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Gated communities usually house wealthy people and secure gates. Not ours.

All our gate does is keep the mice in and the neighbor’s dogs out. (When we remember to close it.)

But I still like to tell strangers who don’t know Basin City that I live in a gated community.

Money and me. Oil and water. Never sticks together.

Here I am. 62 years of age and still working like a day laborer in a chain gang. And yet at times I can be found handing out cash while my wife watches in bewildered amazement, aggressively shaking her head side-to-side. She really needs to quit the head rotations since after the $500 blog drawing we’ll have no money left for a chiropractor.

Perhaps I’ll share a few of my cash-evaporating experiences for entertainment purposes and monetary teaching moments for the rest of you. And maybe this time I will finally remember to quit giving in to people on the prowl with their hand out.

I’ve probably created the wrong impression that I’m monied since I announced I’m giving away this cash. Tis not the case. This chunk of money is a budgeted advertising expense, not a charitable fling of cash in the wind.

It won’t happen again. I have already handed out way more than my share of lettuce to people’s salad requests.

I am not independently wealthy. In fact, I’m just scraping by. I would have been far more affluent in the cash reserves over these last 50 years except I’ve got this little character flaw of giving in to sad sacks.

This flaw often allows greenback leaches into my inner circle where they fix their sights on my cross-haired bank account. The flaw causes me to believe people’s hard-luck stories, no matter if the tales be true or fiction.

There is no way I am not listed in the SuckersRUs worldwide directory. In big bright bold letters.

I am barraged on a regular basis by scammers. “Who?” You may ask.

Well, there’s at least one guy from Nigeria, and…an alleged paralegal, an ex-con who got a bad rap, a few Les Schwab dudes from the president on down, Indonesians, Chinese mainlanders, and a Dr. Chistopher Miller from the Bahamas (who knows nothing about medicine but has his doctorate and then some in blowing smoke).

I know it sounds confusing but each incident  actually occurred.

I’ve also had many more experiences with less prolific scammers who are no-pay rubber users, also known as dead-beat tire customers. After I finished the mounting and balancing they pealed out, never to be seen again.

Back in my tire marketing days, I was driven by the desire to sell and there were plenty of people agreeing to make payments that ended up never materializing.

I helped many originating from south of the border and a few more from north of that same border. The Northerners usually got me for larger sums than the Southerners just because they had some credit history and could ask for a higher credit limit in my native tongue.

So here’s my first story. A guy I’ll call Bad News drove into my driveway and life with his big SUV ten or twelve years ago. He introduced himself as a paralegal and told me that he’s got all this cash coming in from an impending court judgement in Nevada. He even showed me an impressive ream of court documents that filled a briefcase.

He told me a very sad story and said if I loaned him some dough, he would pay me back double in a couple months. I would be instrumental in saving him from financial ruin. I felt sorry for Bad News and told him he could just pay me back the principle as long as he paid me in the promised time. I had a good feeling of helping someone out as I doled out the dough I was able to scrounge up. (By the time that particular summer was done, the charitible good feelings I initially enjoyed had fled, just like the cash.)

Throughout that summer he kept visiting me with new additions to his old story which required me to shell out more cash. His wife was going to leave him if I didn’t help him pay his bills. He even cried real tears. Or so I thought.

It went on and on. My ill-fated generosity was really putting the pinch on my finances and marital happiness, namely Michele and her empty purse.

I finally had to break his heart and stop the bleeding. “You’ve taken it all” I told him. That didn’t stop him. He kept trying but I had at last drawn the line at buying his line.

I was out around 16 grand from this guy with the crocodile tears. He owned a large rig and would periodically call me and tell me he wanted to see me. Each time, he made another attempt to dip into my wallet.

One day, a few minutes after he had called me to announce another one of his unwelcome visits, there was a knock at my front door. It was a sheriff’s deputy that I  knew who just stopped by to say hi. As we stood and talked outside on my driveway, I heard the rumbling of a rig coming down the road behind the trees.

It was about time for Bad News to show up so I figured even though I couldn’t see him there was a good chance it was the carpetbagger. I got a flash of inspiration and told Deputy Bryan to slam me up against the wall and start frisking me. He said “What?!”

I repeated my instructions and told him to hurry as Bad News was almost in sight. Bryan, with a very puzzled look on his face shoved me up against the wall and started patting me down just as Bad News came into view. He was slowing down to turn in at my place but as soon as he saw the cop car and the uniformed deputy making a realistic-looking arrest, he hit the gas and motored on down the road.

I haven’t seen him since.

We had a good laugh as the rig faded in the distance.

Bryan retired soon after. I think he was worried about being charged with police brutality and a false arrest one summer day in Basin City.

He needn’t have worried. I was grateful for the cop beatdown on that particular occasion.

 

So I’ve penciled in a few more details about the upcoming $500 giveaway…

One Winner. Eligibility is essential.

To qualify for this cash bonanza, you must do two really easy things and one really hard thing:

Easy part:

  1. Sign up to follow this blog in the upper right hand corner.
  2. Share on Facebook Ben’s June 7 Facebook post announcing the madman’s giveaway.

Hard part:

3. Be a friend of mine on Facebook or you won’t be included in the random number generated drawing. You and I must have at least one Facebook friend in common for you to be accepted as my friend. 

If you aren’t my Facebook friend and we don’t share a common friend, comment on this blog post as to which Recovering Idiot Amazon review you liked the most and at least one word as to why.  “Because” will suffice. If you want to go into more detail, feel free.

This Comment rule is intended to separate bogus Friend requests that I receive from people who genuinely want to be my friend and be in my cash giveaway contest. I’ll then accept your Facebook friend request. Friend requests not meeting this criteria will receive no response.

The winning friend will be selected in the numerical order of my Facebook friends as listed on my Facebook page.

Here is the random number generator we will be using to find the winner:  Random Number Generator

I know this random number generator tool is not quite as professional-looking as the Powerball tools they use to give away hundreds of millions of dollars.  However, my budget is somewhat less than the Lotto promoters and my “winner” probably won’t have his or her life ruined like the Lotto winners often do.

However, if you do think the extra 500 bucks is going to ruin your life, please shred the check as soon as you get it. Unfortunately, if you have to do this you’re never going to know if my check was going to bounce or not.

If the winner is picked from among my Facebook friends but hasn’t completed both of the first two requirements, I’ll announce their name and give condolences. If we don’t have an eligible winner, the same process will be repeated the next Saturday and every Saturday thereafter until a qualified winner is drawn.

Most sweepstakes exclude relatives or employees of the awarding company. This one doesn’t since I have many relatives who are part of the mix of my Facebook friends.

If my wife wins, I should probably leave the country.

But wait! I don’t have to worry. She’s not one of my followers.

 

 image3-lowerA quote from the book… 

…”Next, these federally-employed “extortion ladies” told my brother-in-law that he must sign a form admitting he had hired children. They had seen these kids in the orchard and therefore they were his employees. If he did not sign, his apples would never be run on the packing line and would be slimy junk in a few days.

They told him ‘If he wanted his 400,000 lbs of fruit to be released, he must sign a false admission that he had hired kids and he must then give the Department Of Labor a $16,000 cashier’s check to pay the fine it handed him.’ Only then would they release his fruit.

They told him that they were going to make an example out of him. It did not matter that he had never hired kids. They didn’t care. All they wanted to do was hold him hostage for their resumes and egos until he met their blackmail demands”…

Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two

 

 

I added a customer list at the bottom of our company’s home page last night. But, since I’m an idiot, maybe I shouldn’t have. I’m trying to change my ways at this late date and start listening to other’s advice. Customer list or not?

http://www.moveitinc.com/home.html

 

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Contrary to the title of this post, I do know where I can find it. That 500 bucks will have to be pried out of my wife’s clenched iron fist. I’ll let the RI winner attempt to do that. (Not kidding:)

Concerning my book. I’m already thinking about having another $500 contest concerning a Recovering Idiot book owner/reader (Just don’t tell my wife).

This is down the road a bit but if you don’t have the book, you might think about getting it and studying up. The contest will require knowledge of some aspect or content from the book.

 

   image3-lowerA quote from the book… 

…Since we were their closest neighbors and were a good quarter of a mile away from their outhouse, Brian’s mom had no problem leaving their privy door open that just so happened to face our home and the prevailing wind. She found this greatly diminished the smell factor.

Her open-door policy remained in effect until the day she found out that my dad had purchased a new pair of binoculars…

Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two

 

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Why in the world would I hand out this kind of dough? Because…

  • My accountant just notified me that in order to get in a lower tax bracket, I need to spend 500 bucks before my tax year-end.
  • I’m lonely and need to purchase a friend. $500 is all I can afford.
  • I need a tax deduction to offset my runaway book sales.
  • I like making things happen, especially when I have $500 rattling around in my back pocket.
  • I like making people happy, even if it costs $500.
  • I think my wife is cutest when her face turns purple. Today it turned a lighter shade of purple when I told her about my cash giveaway. I think the full-blown deep purple coloration will arrive on July 15.
  • I’m an idiot. To confirm, read my book or at least the reviews.

All important aspects of this “sweepstakes” are in bold letters.

One Winner. Qualified drawing.

To be eligible for this cash bonanza, you must do two easy things and one really hard thing:

Easy part:

  1. Sign up to follow this blog in the upper right hand corner of this blog.
  2. Share on Facebook the Facebook post announcing this madman’s giveaway.

Hard part:

3. Be a friend of mine on Facebook or you won’t be included in the random number generated drawing. You and I must have at least one Facebook friend in common for you to be accepted as my friend. 

If you aren’t my Facebook friend and we don’t share a common friend, comment on this blog post as to which Recovering Idiot Amazon review you liked the most and at least one word as to why.  “Because” will suffice. If you want to go into more detail, feel free.

This Comment rule is intended to separate bogus Friend requests that I receive from people who genuinely want to be my friend and in my cash giveaway contest. I’ll then accept your Facebook friend request. Friend requests not meeting this criteria will receive no response.

The winning friend will be selected in the numerical order of my Facebook friends as listed on my Facebook page.

Just to be clear: Following me on Facebook is not what counts in the giveaway. Being a RecoveringIdiot.com blog Follower is one of the needed components. Sharing a RecoveringIdiot.com blog post on Facebook is the other. My Facebook friends will all be in the numbered drawing each week until an eligible name shows up.

Here is the random number generator we will be using:  Random Number Generator

I know this random number generator tool is not quite as professional-looking as the Powerball tools they use to give away hundreds of millions of dollars.  However, my budget is a bit less than the Lotto promoters and my “winner” probably won’t have his or her life ruined like the Lotto winners often do.

However, if you think the extra 500 bucks IS going to ruin your life, please shred the check as soon as you get it. Unfortunately, if you have to do this you’re never going to know if my check was going to bounce or not.

So you may ask “Why is being your friend the hard part? Being your friend doesn’t sound all that difficult.”

You must not know me, eh?

In a nutshell, over the years I’ve heard from so many people how hard it is to be my friend.

The first anniversary card I got from my wife was a do-it-yourself Turkey kit. The caption read “Ben, you need a friend.” If you’re still not convinced, I guess you’ll just have to find out the hard way.

If the pre-qualified winner is picked from among my Facebook friends but hasn’t completed both of the first two requirements, I’ll announce their name and give condolences. If we don’t have an eligible winner, the same process will be repeated the next Saturday and every Saturday thereafter until a qualified winner is drawn.

Most sweepstakes exclude relatives or employees of the awarding company. This one doesn’t since I have many relatives who are part of the mix of my Facebook friends.

If my wife wins, I should probably leave the country.

However, I have to say I’m hopeful the winner is not related to me or I’ll never hear the end of it.

This drawing is going to make someone $500 worth of happy or possibly a few people $500 worth of sad if we don’t pick a winner right off.

Similar to the gamut of emtions we’ll each have when we reach the pearly gates.

Here is the originating seed that spawned this senseless giveaway…

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Mark Maxfield won a measly $50 by simply being a Recovering Idiot Follower which automatically registered him in that drawing. You can read about his good fortune in this blog a couple of weeks ago. I got such a kick out of writing him a check I decided to up the ante by five times the amount of what Mark got. Thus, the $500 figure.

To insure this promotion is on the up and up, I’m going to hire Price, Waterhouse and Cooper to audit the proceedings.

Whoops! After an online search, I just found out PWC will charge me $50,000 just to watch me pick a FB friend. In addition, they want 40% of the winnings.

Ain’t going to happen.

Who needs accountants when you’ve got a mind as good with numbers as I do?

But, I probably better hire an accountant just to keep everybody happy. Therefore, I will hire a former PWC CPA’d person to do the observation. That person will be…drumroll please…Margaret Payne from Phoenix AZ.

Margaret was the only female bean-counter on a 5-person bean-team from BYU that won a national collegiate accounting contest. This is the only reason I have chosen her.

BYU Students Take Top Prize at National xTAX Competition

From Left: Meg Casper, Kodiak Smith, Aaron Zimbelman, Reed Maughan (PwC Mentor), Brian Hunt and Jed Eastman.
From Left: Meg Casper, Kodiak Smith, Aaron Zimbelman, Reed Maughan (PwC Mentor), Brian Hunt and Jed Eastman.

 

This happened back when she was still packing around my last name and before she married Jake who is a real Payne and has always been one.

To be candid, there’s one other small little reason she was acquired. When I said I was going to hire an accountant, I was mistaken. Please omit the word “hire”.

She won’t cost me a dime since she’s my middle daughter and still owes me from back in the day when I changed a few of her really yucky diapers. Her observation will have to take place on Facetime since now I can’t afford the 500 dollar airplane ticket for her to be here in person. . Thanks, Meggie!

Meg will be judge and overseer of the giveaway.

We are doing all we can to insure that the Russians don’t hack into this process.

Disclaimer: In the very unlikely event this little promotion goes viral, contrary to what most of my fans think, I can only do so much in accepting friend requests.

Late-coming entrants will be accomodated in chronological order of application. Those unable to be accepted will have to wait in line until I can get around to accepting their friend request, whether it be in this lifetime or in the world to come, I know not.

Also, in the very likely event that I go bankrupt between now and July 15, I’ll still cough up the 500 bucks. Just don’t tell the bankruptcy trustee or my purple-hued wife.

If you have any questions, make a comment at the bottom and I’ll answer you as soon as we get back from the dermatologist.

Michele’s skin conditon has flared up again.

Good luck. May the best Follower win!

Concerning my book. I’m already thinking about having another $500 contest concerning a Recovering Idiot book owner/reader. This is down the road a bit but if you don’t have the book, you might think about getting it and studying up. The contest will require knowledge of some aspect or content from the book.

 

   image3-lowerA quote from the book… 

I was two years old at the time and toddled around the place in freezing weather while the folks built the house. I probably wasn’t much help. Dad mixed concrete for the foundation by hand and shovel. They illuminated the primitive worksite with the car headlights….

…My future with the capitals “BT” for “Big Trouble” was foretold one cold winter night when I stuck my tongue on the business end of a frozen hammer. The folks got a little concerned when they saw me walking around with a claw hammer hanging out of my mouth.

How to thaw and separate? There was no electricity, heat, or running water. I was screaming and time was of the essence. The only warm substance available was mom’s spit so she started hocking loogies toward my connection point with this foreign object until we finally separated…

 

Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two

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I often see apartment fires on the news but today I almost saw one up close and personal.

We visit our refugee families once or twice a week. Last week we took two small kids, two teenage girls and the small kid’s grandmother to Howard Amon Park in Richland. I think it was their first time in a park.

In the eight months we have been working with these families, we have never been able to get a word out of the meek little four year-old girl or her seven year-old brother. I don’t know just what the holdup in communications has been but I’ve never heard a peep from either child.

At the park we got the kids to sit on swings and I began pushing them. They both yelled with surprise and glee at what looked to me like the first swing-set ride they had ever encountered. Each time I pushed the boy, he enunciated a big yell out of his grinning mouth. It was a very rewarding time to bring some happiness into their world. A simple little exercise that we’ll each remember for a long time.

Back to the apartment fire. Today we visited the families once again. Michele read stories to the little girl while I talked to her uncle who can be partially seen in the background.Image1

Soon her grandmother launched into Swahili to her son (the uncle) about what had happened just a short time prior to our arrival. She talked so emphatically and fast that I didn’t understand a word she said.

I have as much Swahili under my belt as grandma has English. But I have mastered 3 Swahili words.  “Missouri” is not a river in the mid-west but a general term that basically means “Good”.

And after picking the families up several times to take them various places and waiting longer than I thought was necessary, I’ve learned that “Kua Tuende” means “Get your behind in gear and let’s get the heck out of Dodge!” I also learned that the louder the “Kua Tuende”, the quicker our van got loaded.

Only after the doors were closed and the state-mandated seat belts clicked did I say “Missouri”.

We have noticed that electricity is a new and strange power that these folks are unfamiliar with. Last winter on days that we visited them we would notice the thermostat was turned clear up which made perfect sense to me since it was 10 or 15 degrees outside and these folks had just arrived from Africa. What didn’t make sense was when we walked by one of their windows, they were wide open and freezing air was pouring in.

I assumed they were checking to see if the heater could stay ahead of frosty Mother Nature or maybe they were just trying to make the ambient outside air temperature in Kennewick a little closer to that of the old Congo neighborhood.

We’ve also noticed that when these folks cook, the burners are always turned on high. When something is on the stove, the burner element is red hot. I guess they think a red hot burner in Kennewick is the next best thing to a cooking fire in the refugee camp back home.

After the uncle heard the story, he slowed down the conversation speed and converted granny’s Swahili into English.  It turns out that fast-talking grandma had finished cooking lunch but forgot to throw cold water on the cooking fire before she went in the other room.

The little four year-old girl decided that since there was a nice electronic campfire on top of the Kenmore it was time to dispose of the trash. She lifted the week’s garbage,  still encapsulated by the plastic garbage container, over her head and placed it on the campfire.

In the other room, grandma heard a loud screeching smoke alarm go off and rushed out of the bedroom to be greeted by plasticized smoke signals. The signals were billowing out of the kitchen and smelled nothing like the meal she had just cooked.

This is the campfire-style stove and the heat-seeking garbage container…

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I’m don’t know how she got the fire out. Maybe she did throw cold water on it.

I’m sure the many families living in that particular apartment complex have no idea how close they came to sleeping out under the stars tonight with just the clothes on their back.

I told grandma in my broken Swahili that the next garbage can she acquired should be made out of a non-flammable material like cast iron . I also let her know the stove knobs work better than water when trying to kill an electronic kitchen fire.

Like and share if you liked this post!

“Recovering Idiot” Facebook posts are seen by about 35% of my friends. You can beat the odds and get notified each time I post by entering your email address in the upper right portion of this post.

image3-lower   A quote from the book…

Claude kept harping and didn’t stop the impromptu flight school discourse so finally I said as I slammed the door, “All right, Claude, thanks for the ride. I’m going to take off with the wind just to show you!”…

(15 minutes later)…I pulled back on the stick and got no response. I wanted to stop this nightmare, but it was much too late. If I tried to abort the takeoff, I would hit the end of the runway, cows and trees at 120 mph. The point of no return was now a long way behind me…

Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two

At last, I’m finally making decent money from my inventions. However there is a downside. My kid brothers and sisters are extremely jealous and trying to crimp my style. Read on for the full scoop.

My first invention from 18 years ago is pictured here. Sales have been great, far exceeding my expectations.

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Propane dealers from sea to shining sea can’t do without it.

A homemade video showing it in action (Start at the 45 second mark)… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owhm9zHV7P4

Here’s one of the first YankATanks I built, long ago outliving it’s depreciation schedule and now relegated to a scrap area.

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And there’s more where that came from…

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This is the original prototype of another idea I call the Tire Squire and Truck Tire Squire. It’s fun to see what can happen if you have a little vision!

Just yesterday we shipped one to a tire company in Georgia. The only man-powered machine on earth that will pick up and haul 8 truck tires. All packed up and ready to ship:

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Action shots of the offspring from the original old beater… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLUm0FYxnw4 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw8DvudXqZ0

You may ask “Have you ever made something you didn’t sell?” I know it’s hard to believe but 95% of the things I’ve developed have never made it to the production stage.

One time I heard the phrase that people would beat a path to your door if you built a better mousetrap. So I did.

To get rid of rodents at the shop I found some great green mouse bait. The mice loved it but they carried it off to their winter quarters and came back for more. It just didn’t do the whole job. So I set to work constructing a gizmo to destroy Mickey.

I used the mouse bait to entice the mices to an area that featured my new but heretofore untested premier 110-volt Mouse Trap/Vaporizer. As you can see, it was an awesome invention!

Right off, I could see that I needed to do some improvements on it if I was going to get UL Laboratories to give their stamp of approval on it.

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It worked great because I never once found a mouse lounging around the area. They had all been vaporized!

It never really took off. The only thing that took off from this handy little device was me on those unlucky days when I forgot about the high-charged ring and happened to brush up against it as I walked past. I didn’t vaporize but I’m sure I lost a pound or two from all the excitement and hopping and yelling and screaming.

Instead of calling it 110-volt Mouse Trap/Vaporizer, maybe I should market it as a 110-volt Weight Reduction device.

Speaking of weight reduction, here’s another one of my inventions that can help you lose weight and yet I never sold a single one. Yet.

The original prototype:

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4Mggzai_ac

Some of the fruits of my simple creations that do sell can be found at moveitinc.com

The story behind this post is my dilemma with my family…

I rent a building or two from my eight siblings so I can continue to turn my daydreams into nightmares and once in a while into real machines. Contained in this rented area are the remnants of my work over the last 18 years. Unfortunately, mechanical inventions necessarily produce a pile of prototypical expensive junk. At least mine do.

I’ve found it’s hard to part with my babies since I’ve put so much time, effort, hope and money into them.

However, my evil landlords have decreed that my scrap pile must be eliminated. They don’t have the sentimental attachment that I do for the rusty old relics. I finally had to quit crying, capitulate to my underling siblings and begin trashing my historical treasures.

Here is a small sample of my subject material:

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As I started gathering up my works of art, the inanimate objects decided they really didn’t want to vacate the premises. At regular intervals they commenced attacking me to drive home the point that they didn’t want to leave their birthplace. My body is now sporting multiple contusions, scrapes, cuts, bruises and wounds from these battles.

Here is just one example of their assault on me:

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As I lifted up a large load of metal to drop in the scrap bin, a large slippage occurred and I narrowly missed becoming part of the remnants being thrown away. Notice the missing fingertips that actually did end up in the scrap bin at an earlier date.

Thank goodness my old forklift had a safety cage wrapped around the driver’s seat!

The cleanup is almost complete. In spite of the mindset I had to fight through in order to chuck the stuff, I did it. It was hard.

It was even harder as some of my siblings circled like vultures around the hazardous cleanup site. Once in a while they would swoop in to partake of my treasures before I could get the items loaded in the scrap bin.

Here is pictorial proof of an actual brother absconding with what used to be part of my valuable inventory:

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Like I said to them in the original unsuccessful debate, “This stuff is not junk! I’m going to need it someday.”

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Or, in this case…

One brother’s treasure used to be another brother’s treasure.

While we’re on the subject, have you ever had a secret desire to invent something that has never been thought of before?

I did for the majority of my life.

Finally, I quit dreaming, rolled up my sleeves and dove in. The crazy ups and crazier downs of my inventing experiences are detailed here…

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Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two

Cash winner followup:

And because I’m doing so well with my little inventing business and need more tax deductions, I decided to give out a little cash to my blog followers and commentators. Here’s our first winner who was randomly drawn from Recovering Idiot followers. Image2

Mark Maxfield of Pasco WA and his check for 50 bucks.

Recovering Idiot Followers and Commentators will be drawn from time to time for cash prizes. I do this because it’s fun to make people’s day and I need more IRS deductions.

Don’t miss out!

Mark didn’t!

My back pocket is getting kind of overloaded again. I think I’ll hand out some more heavy greenbacks in June.