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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Start a Job Club, Will Rush Leave US, Go Solar

Poor Man Survival Bulletin
Your Choice for Usable Information

Inside This Issue:

· Pop Secret Movie Night
· Grab your share of business grants
· Creating a Job Club
· 3 easy ways to go solar
· Will Rush leave the country because of the healthcare passage?

If you’re truly serious about preparing your child for the future,
Don’t teach him to subtract-teach him to deduct.
--Fran Lebowitz

Leveraging Your Assets

In the late 1980s I owned a successful, regional B2B publishing company. We were profitable our first year, which is unheard of in most businesses and this was pre-internet days. Several factors contributed to this. We were innovative. We were the first publication in the country to put our media kit onto a computer disk – this in itself generated a lot of positive press for us.
Perhaps the biggest reason for our success was our focus on developing multiple profit centers or leveraging our assets. Our nearly 40,000 subscribers allowed us to successfully implement business shows, related newsletters, a B2B coupon mailer called BizPak, list rentals and more.
One of our profit centers included a distributorship of Nightgale-Conant business and motivational audio and video tapes which we rented and sold. As I spent a lot of time on the road in those days (promoting our business) I listened to these tapes and they never failed to provide me with profitable ideas. Just one idea, which was an aside from the speaker, sparked an innovation which generated an immediate $1000 profit from something we were already doing….and it did so for each subsequent year.
The reason I mention this…you can do the same in your daily life. Whether for personal or business concerns, you can leverage ideas into more profit, a better lifestyle or a means of helping others…in other words – RECYCLE ideas and adapt them to your own situation.
Of course, not every idea will produce results but you should make every effort to acquire new ideas (that usually means reading, listening and adapting). Consider it a form of mental recycling.

NOTE: See my idea for a new highway welcome sign over Washington DC at end…
Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you'll be surprised at how little you have. - Ernest Haskins

New Resources

Where Your Kids Eat Free
Remember the old Holiday Inn billboards, which promoted free meals for your kids?
I always thought the billboard should show Hansel & Gretel with the wicked witch peering out from her gingerbread house…in reality, here’s a site which lists freebies.

Pop Secret Offers Movie Night
Movies and popcorn are as natural a combination as… well, movie theaters and sticky floors. Diamond Foods’ PopSecret popcorn brand, which has cultivated a connection with film in the past, has just launched a new Movie Night Maker utility on its Web site to enable users to pick a flick and invite their friends over via e-mail or Facebook.

Visitors to are presented on the home page with the Movie Night Maker, which asks them to use three scrolling menus to select the movie occasion (from “Rainy Day” and “Sleepover” to “Break-up” and “Fright Night”), the audience, and the mood they want to establish (from “sentimental’ and “silly” to “rebellious” and “bummed”).


Stimulus Funds Still Up for Grabs
It’s estimated 27% of the billions set aside for grants and loans to create jobs is still unpledged. Here are a few you might be able to tap.
· Funding for miscellaneous small project contracts can be found at: while grants are found at: Grants.Gov (see the Poor Man site to learn more about how to get a grant) Most stimulus funds flow through state government portals which are listed at:
· You can also contact your state economic development office to find opportunities. Our government doesn’t particularly like newcomers so consider pairing up with an experienced partner which can be found at:
· Know your federal agency when applying for contracts and grants. Most federal agencies have a SADBUS (Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization Specialist) who can advise newcomers.

The next airline surcharge
“In the unlikely event of loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down. To start the flow of oxygen, simply insert your credit card.”<<<>>>

Snag a New Job by Joining or Creating a Job Club
From the LinkIn site, Tory Johnson, a Good Morning America, correspondent, suggests starting a Job Club to share contacts, search techniques and moral support. Folks have been recently creating such clubs by posting the news on Facebook…We’re starting a job club. If you know of anyone seeking work, this is an out-of-the-box way to make things happen. For an example of one such club, go to:

Three Ways to Go Solar
From Natural Home, by Julie Collins

Think capturing the sun’s energy is too expensive? Three homeowners—with three very different budgets—find ways to build photovoltaic power.
He bought the system.

What He Did: After retiring from a 33-year career in water politics in 2003, Patrick Ferraro retrofitted his creekside home with a solar water heater and thirty-six 100-watt solar panels, which power his home and recharge his Chrysler Global Electric Motorcar neighborhood electric vehicle. Patrick researched solar options and took classes on solar energy payback, then hired Mike Clifton of Santa Clara’s M C Solar Engineering to advise him and handle the installation.

Cost: The installed system cost $39,600 before rebates and credits. Ferraro received a California Energy Commission rebate for $10,700 and a California state income tax credit of $4,500. The panels reduce Ferraro’s power import by 50 percent and save him $600 a year.
How It Works: Ferraro’s photovoltaic (PV) system converts sunlight into energy, which powers the freezer and refrigerator; washer and dryer; window air conditioner; wall heaters; and shop tools. Maintenance is easy. Ferraro washes the panels with a long-handled broom and a garden hose. In the past six years, he hasn’t had to replace or repair a panel. “The system runs itself,” he says.

Why He Did It: Since he purchased his home in 1972, Ferraro has wanted to go solar. “Regardless of the cost you incur when you install PVs, the feel-good part is priceless,” he says. Nearly nonexistent utility bills are pretty nice, too.
Drawbacks: Solar panel installation can be pricey—even with credits and rebates. At current energy rates, it can take 15 to 20 years or more to break even.
They rent their panels.

What They Did: Peggy and Glen Roberts wanted a solar-electric system for their 2,100-square-foot bungalow, but even with rebates and tax incentives, it was out of their price range. Last year, the couple discovered SolarCity’s SolarLease program. Once the Roberts replaced their tile roof underlayment (which they needed to do anyway), SolarCity installed PV panels onto the tile roof. The 4.1-kilowatt DC system consists of fifty-five 75-watt panels that produce 7,084 kilowatt-hours a year. Any excess power their system generates is sold to the power company, and if their electrical loads exceed their system’s capacity, they can pull power from the grid. Ideally, Glen Roberts said, the amount of excess power they produce will offset much of what they need from the grid over the course of the year.
Cost: The Roberts’ only upfront cost was a $150 permit fee for their neighborhood homeowners association. The Robertses will pay $50 a month for their 15-year lease, with an annual increase of 3.5 percent (lower than the 5 percent estimated utility rate increase). The couple, whose panels were up and running in September, expects to save 10 to 15 percent on an annual basis when both the lease payments and reduced utility costs are factored in. “In the long run, it is of course better to purchase a system than to lease,” Glen Roberts said. “But if you do not have $30,000 lying around, the question becomes, ‘Do we lease and take advantage of a solar lease program we can afford now, or do we continue to be reliant upon power generated by dirty fuels?’”

How It Works: It’s similar to leasing a car. After checking out the location and applicants’ credit history, SolarCity installs the panels and provides maintenance. For their monthly rent payment, homeowners are able to use all the energy their panels produce and sell the excess to their local utility. At the end of 15 years, clients can renew, upgrade or have the panels removed for free. If they sell their home before the lease term is up, the lease term can be taken over by a qualified homebuyer.

Why They Did It: “Going solar, particularly with no financial sacrifice on our part, seemed like the greatest contribution we could make toward reducing our carbon footprint,” Peggy Roberts said. Glen Roberts adds, “We’ll be producing most of the energy we need. I also like that we’ll be helping to power the neighborhood.”

Drawbacks: Solar-as-service programs aren’t available everywhere. Because the solar providers own the panels, they get most rebates and credits. (SolarCity maintains that the utility company rebate helps them keep the lease payments low.)
She supports solar.

What She Did: Since Austin Utilities began offering its Solar Choice program, Belita Schindler has paid extra on her monthly utility bills to support solar and wind projects in her area.

Cost: Schindler estimates she spends an extra $10 to $12 a month on her utility bill.
How It Works: The Solar Choice program connects companies that produce and share solar energy—such as Good Earth Natural Foods in Austin—with customers such as Schindler, who support renewable energy development by paying a small premium on their utility bills. The panels installed by local companies power their businesses—and whatever they don’t use is sold to Austin Utilities. Then, thanks to the contributions of individuals like Belita, the local solar producers receive a bonus from the money raised through the Solar Choice program.

Why She Did It: It’s a low-cost, low-commitment way for Schindler to support alternative energy in her area. “We have to take care of the planet, and you do what you can,” Schindler says. Purchasing or leasing solar panels isn’t an option, but she’s willing to help others go solar—and she’d continue to do so even if rates increase. “It’s totally painless,” she says.

Drawbacks: Utility-based green power programs let you support renewable energy producers, but the electricity that’s fed into your home isn’t necessarily solar. Programs vary considerably. Austin’s Solar Choice program provides tangible results in the community, but in many cases utilities simply purchase renewable energy credits from producers that are already up and running.

Excerpted from Natural Home, a national magazine that provides practical ideas, inspiring examples and expert opinions about healthy, ecologically sound, beautiful homes. To read more articles from Natural Home, please visit or call 800-340-5846 to subscribe. Copyright 2009 by Ogden Publications Inc.

The average American family will spend nearly $1,000 this year on cable TV, internet & video games…add in average cell phone charges of $1,000 & we spend as much annually to stay wired as we do on auto fuel costs. –New York Times

For designs that might move one to contemplation
check out:

Unixarcade Zazzle's*

Resources for Stockpiling and Disaster Preparation

Make Your Own Energy
Step-by-step guide reveals how to
make your own energy for 100$ or less.
If I ruled the world…”I’d get money out of politics as it limits our ability to choose good leaders. It makes it hard for civilians to feel as if the government is theirs. –Singer, James Taylor
The "underground" economy is rising in direct proportion to the fall of the conventional economy, which is being choked by job-destroying regulations and tax rates.
Interesting trends you may have noticed:
· Online barter organizations are mushrooming on the Internet. Sites such as,,,, and many others are enjoying growing success as people liquidate unneeded used items for things they actually need.
· Pawn shop chains, major discounters, and self-help services are prospering. There has been phenomenal growth in Dollar General stores and many other bargain basement retailers of basic needs. Companies such as Autozone, which offer free diagnostic tools to those buying parts to work on their own cars, have seen major growth.
· Community colleges which teach trade skills such as electrical wiring, plumbing, and welding are packed with eager new students.

Home schooling, DIY courses at community colleges are growing in popularity and essential self preparation is taking place…all of which we’ve predicted since the year 1999…of course, we offer much of this at our site and via our Poor Man Survival CDs.

Is Rush Going to Leave our Country when Obama’s Healthcare package passes?
There are many hoping he will leave…but the truth is, none of the health plan has been fully shared with the public in easy-to-understand terms and it has left many afraid. Rush is stating this is the end of our democracy…then again, he’s prone to hyperbole.

However, it is clear
Voters are furious. They hate Washington. They also detest incumbents. They're concerned most about the economy and unemployment that's hovering near 10 percent. They're also split over whether Obama's health plan is good for a nation with enormous budget deficits and climbing debt.

A Gallup poll showed more Americans believe the measure will make things worse rather than better for the country as a whole and for them personally. And most polls show most people don't like the plan although some surveys showed Americans giving high marks to individual elements.

It’s my belief that

Most Americans have already been conditioned for servitude…Medical tourism will become increasingly popular.
Moving to a foreign tax haven doesn’t mean giving up your U.S. citizenship, although some have taken that drastic step. Easy Living: My Two Years in the Bahamas, go to

Also, learn more at:

Bone to Pick

For more than 20 years I’ve been a loyal supporter of a certain charity, donating a 14’ foot truckload of goods this year plus cash and time. Upon coming to MI we’ve noticed their growing greed and poor customer service (this charity isn’t alone). A visit to one of their stores left my jaw on the floor. As many of you know, I am a bookseller. Finding books of any decent kind has become much harder. This particular charity has hired a person to price books as if it were operating as a used a bookstore and the prices were sky high – much more than I could ever get on eBay.

I wound up purchasing what I thought was a new coffee maker (still sealed in the original box and priced only slightly less than traditional retail). Upon opening the box I found there was no carafe so we took it back asking for an exchange or store credit. “Absolutely not, too bad,” was the clerk’s reply. My calls to the area store Captain were never returned.

I will never patronize this charity again. I estimate I’ve donated about $20,000 to them over the years. Guess what? Not anymore! Why should I support an entity which, has now become a competitor, which in my book (pun intended) is not how these thrift stores/charities are supposed to operate.

That’s it for this week!
Bruce “The Poor Man”

A Shallow Planet Production

P.S. Soon, we’ll rename Washington DC – FedMart…Your one stop shop for medical care, jobs, police protection and everything else – the complete Nanny State Store!

1 comment:

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