Archive for August, 2010

Learning To Live with Less

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

One of the things that is happening is that we are in a period of deflation internationally.  At this point in time, in history, most nations are fighting problems with too many people out of work, in debt and with too much “stuff”.  Warehouses in China aren’t the only places that are filled with “stuff”. There has been a tremendous amount of over-production and we are in the process of destroying assets.

The problem is that people need to still work as we go through the period of deflation that is trying to happen.  Banks, businesses and companies are trying to make money and the secret, in my opinion, is to let deflation happen and rebuild slowly as things settle down. 

Regardless of the debt that people and nations have, it is all a relative value.  Does it matter to you if your share of the Federal debt is $300,000 or $300 if you are out of work and hungry?  That’s right, it doesn’t make a bit of difference, does it?  The number one thing that has to happen is to create more jobs.

It is happening and slowly but we have to get our values readjusted along with this to be comfortable with living with less.  Sales of my book on Practical Money Making are up because people are looking for suggestions on living on what they have.  People are saving more and we need to return to more of a community mindset where we are concerned for what is happening locally with our neighbors and what is going on around us.  Sure, it is great to be concerned with what is going on internationally but as local infrastructures break down (and that includes the people in the communities who need work), we need to channel our attention and energies to helping people around us.

This isn’t touchy feely talk.  It is a practical consideration.  I want my neighbors to be working, well fed and healthy.  There will be less chance that they will try and break into other houses, commit crimes etc if they aren’t getting their basic needs met.  The same holds true for my neighbors in regards with me.

People are realizing that they can get by with less stuff and are going to greater lengths to get things “eee”ed. By “eee”ed I mean as in “free”.  One of the things I am looking into is time banks.  I will let you know as I go forward my thoughts and experiences with them.  That may be a great way to get services especially for people who are out of work, disabled or just need somebody from the community to help them out!  The American spirit is one of helping one another out.  My direction these days to get the focus back on the people local to us.

As a quick note, tax season is coming up in a few months and if you need any advice or suggestions please drop me a line.  Thanks for reading my posts and keeping me popular!

Kim Isaac Greenblatt

Learning To Live with Less

Care and Feeding of your Curio & Relic Firearms

Friday, August 13th, 2010

I get a lot of e-mails asking me about cleaning firearms. In fact, I think that is a sub-culture among people who collect things of any kind.  Part of the enjoyment of being obsessive and compulsive is spending an inordinate amount of time cleaning and displaying whatever it is you are collecting.  Whether it is a firearm, comic book, rare plate, automobile – you add your own choice here – people who collect tend be slavishly dedicated to keeping their love clean.

Personally in the case of firearms, I don’t collect anything that I couldn’t shoot.  It is the same thing when I collected and sold comic books.  The first and foremost idea in my mind is not to put the article up on a stand and worship it but what joy can I get out of using it?  Ah, that means in my case I don’t collect priceless objects d’art that can’t be manhandled or fired, right?  In my case, right.

If you have the money, time and inclination to go ahead and preserve something in museum-like quality, please do.  I for one, don’t have the space, time or money for it.  So to get back to firearm cleanliness.

I always start my cleaning of any firearm from the inside out.  The reason is pretty straightforward.  The firing mechanisms need to be free from powder, collective shmotz and dirt and the parts of the mechanisms that need to be lubricated have to be cleaned.  I work my way going out and take it from there.

On regular firearms I try to keep the weapon as clean as I possibly can.  On the Curio & Relic, not so much because I am concerned about ruining what is left of any original finish, markings, design, etc.  Soap and water and proper drying does wonders a lot better than cleaning compounds with acetone and stuff like that.

If you look at hardcore collectors, the exterior of the firearm is very much important in the determining the value of the item.  This is true in anything that you collect.  How many times have you seen people with baseball cards, comic books, (you fill in the blank) scream when their favorite item gets a fold, tear or scrape?

If that is the case, you shouldn’t bother shooting the weapon and leave it in the box, untouched with the certificate of authenticity.  My one question is – is there a market fifty years from now for a rare, limited edition piece that perhaps fewer and fewer people are interested in?   For a true, scarce item like a limited edition 1800s Colt, sure.  You have a museum piece and if it were up to me, I would sell it or donate it now and get the taxcredit and whatever I can to make a profitable deal.  You may want to leave it to heirs but how many of them will pass it on and what happens three generations down the line?  The way people are in need of cash the first thing I hear from a lot of people is “Ohhh, I bet that is worth a lot of money.” 

For people who collect, there are some things more important than money and sometimes that isn’t passed along or acquired in later generations.

Got way off the topic of cleaning here, didn’t I?

Thanks for continuing to support my log book on Curio & Relics.  If you are getting (or already have) a Federal Firearms Curio & Relics FFL 03 license this bound book is for you.  Hundreds of people have said it is a great bargain and besides being made in America, will have the added benefit of having part of all proceeds from the sales going to find a cure for Rett Syndrome.  Rett affects a girl born every 15 minutes.  Boys born with the Rett gene generally die at birth.

Be well gang!

Kim Isaac Greenblatt

Care and Feeding of your Curio & Relic Firearms

Localizing Economies

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Have you noticed that wherever you live, if you have cash, you can get anything you want shipped to you from all over the world? This is the miracle of a global economy and now, part of the curse. Because of over-production, hoarding and people being out of work, there is a glut of manufactured goods like automobiles, dishwashers, big screen monitors, you name it- there is a lot of it. The problem? People can’t afford it. Folks are hanging onto their money because they are scared that things are going from bad to worse.

It sure seems that way at times and with total dependence on long supply lines, “just in time shipping” and warehouses with goods half a planet away, people everywhere – especially in the United States – need to start developing their own economies by starting businesses. I applaud the Administration’s work with the infrastructure construction. Bridges and highway building cannot easily be outsourced and cannot be bootlegged as a download. It creates work and the workers will spend their money here in the US locally. We need more jobs and we need to have all of us write our leaders and tell them to change tax laws to make them favorable for business. We need more government programs where actual development and construction gets money pumped here at the grass roots where we need it.

On a lighter note, please check out my book on “Practical Gaming” available on Amazon. One of my readers actually took my advice on his $200 No Limit Poker play (as well as info he said he gleaned from my other books) and made a nice $1500 profit at a $200 NL table. Great work, Casey.  My books are written and published here in the United States.  Part of all my book proceeds go to Rett Syndrome Research.  Thanks again for being here and be healthy, safe, happy and wise.  May your prosperity increase as well.

Kim Isaac Greenblatt

Localizing Economies