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When is it time to 'call it a day'?

Andrez 12 Aug 11 - 09:00 AM
fat B****rd 11 Aug 11 - 06:17 AM
Big Ballad Singer 10 Aug 11 - 10:43 AM
Andrez 10 Aug 11 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Desi C 03 Aug 11 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,livelylass 03 Aug 11 - 04:38 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 03 Aug 11 - 03:25 AM
Art Thieme 31 Jul 11 - 04:01 PM
Stringsinger 31 Jul 11 - 11:17 AM
SharonA 31 Jul 11 - 10:01 AM
SharonA 31 Jul 11 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,mg 28 Jul 11 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,mg 28 Jul 11 - 07:27 PM
Crowhugger 28 Jul 11 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,livelylass 28 Jul 11 - 12:21 PM
Big Ballad Singer 28 Jul 11 - 12:03 PM
olddude 28 Jul 11 - 11:49 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Jul 11 - 11:29 AM
Big Ballad Singer 28 Jul 11 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 28 Jul 11 - 02:48 AM
KathyW 28 Jul 11 - 01:13 AM
GUEST 27 Jul 11 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,livelylass 27 Jul 11 - 03:18 PM
Big Ballad Singer 27 Jul 11 - 01:56 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 27 Jul 11 - 01:56 PM
Crowhugger 27 Jul 11 - 12:58 PM
Howard Jones 27 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM
KathyW 27 Jul 11 - 01:50 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Jul 11 - 01:44 AM
mg 27 Jul 11 - 12:22 AM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 11:43 PM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 10:51 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 10:07 PM
Mary Katherine 26 Jul 11 - 09:50 PM
Genie 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM
Genie 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM
Genie 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 06:25 PM
Lox 26 Jul 11 - 06:17 PM
JohnH 26 Jul 11 - 06:03 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Jul 11 - 05:41 PM
jonm 26 Jul 11 - 05:31 PM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Frug 26 Jul 11 - 04:25 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 04:15 PM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 04:04 PM
meself 26 Jul 11 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,livelylass 26 Jul 11 - 03:22 PM
Waddon Pete 26 Jul 11 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,mg 26 Jul 11 - 03:09 PM
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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Andrez
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 09:00 AM

Yes, thanks for the post feedback Big Ballad Singer. Wishing you all the best for the gigging and looking forward to hearing how everything pans out. It certainly doesn't sound easy.

Cheers,

Andre


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 11 Aug 11 - 06:17 AM

Good for you, BBS. stay lucky and keep us informed of progress.
ATB from Charlie in Scotland


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 10:43 AM

Andrez/everyone,

I've got an appointment with the eye specialist. I am hitting the streets this week to play some (was going this weekend but got rained out. There were places I could have played under shelter/awnings/etc, but there wouldn't have been anyone around to play for.

I've actually got a line on a job... I got a relative to spring for the renewal of a professional license I hold that's been expired for a few months now. It's really costly, especially when broke, to get it renewed. I was able to get the paperwork process going and have had a position dangled in front of me upon completion of all the necessary duties.

The only reason I'm not jumping for joy at this point is that this exact same thing happened when I first moved into this house, leaving another state and a decent-paying job and a lower cost of living. I moved down to my current locale with the promise that if I got the certain license, etc, I could have a job with XYZ outfit. Made the move, got the license, job disappeared and XYZ hasn't bothered to keep looking for positions for me. Meh. Whatever.

Long-ish story short, I am going busking, my sights are set high, my family is behind me and I feel as though things are changing for the better.

More to come...


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Andrez
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 07:34 AM

Hi there Big Ballad Singer, you've shared a lot about yourself and your situation over a couple of threads recently and I was just wondering if there is an update on what is happening for you and yours after the more recent posts above?

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 08:27 AM

Well, busking can be a living though it helps if yoiu can get around to festivals, fairs etc. But why not find a venue locally and start your own Folk club, if there's enough interest you may be able to book artists and give yourself support spots. Sounds bad that there are booking clubs there who don't can't give you work, maybe you need to promote yiurself better and a club of your own is a very good way to do it, I know from experience. I don't think a realmusician can ever just give up music. I'm really sorry to hear of your troubles but I hope you'll persevere and fate turns back in your fav our


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 04:38 AM

There was another thing you brought up on a previous thread concerning mobility restrictions which limit the kind of work you can do. You said hernias prevent you from doing the job which you are mainly experienced in doing (that being security) as they restrict your mobility. But before you can have the needed operation to fix them, you need to reduce your weight first and that would take around six months to achieve. Without searching I can't recall how many months ago you posted that message, but was wondering how you're getting on with work on that health issue and whether you're succeeding in making any progress there, or indeed if you've sought out any support groups in the local community or on-line and so-on?


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 03:25 AM

I found the following on another website...I hope it may be helpful. "We are very prone to blaming others, blaming events for our circumstances in life. The brain is structured to protect our perception of events so it can maintain a strong consolidated self. In other words, we will unknowingly rationalize, confabulate, or attribute fault or reasons to other than ourselves. Lots of research in cognitive labs illustrate that we tend to do this.

We will interpret events so as not to threaten our core self. This may not necessarily be the way you intend it to occur but that's the way our brain is biased to work.

Therapy is about learning how we are responsible for our life. And with that learning comes greater self-esteem. Unless you are able to get to a place where you can take full responsibility for your decision you won't hold the lesson in your mind in the same way than if you made the decision yourself.

A good therapist is aware of his or her potential for influencing a client. S/he also knows that a therapist cannot know the best answer because ultimately s/he can never know your life as you know it. A good therapist will empower you to find the answers within yourself, so you can profit from this experience." ...from http://www.myshrink.com
    The reason I posted this is because when I read your response to my previous post, I remembered something I had been taught in Social Work school. We were always told not to give advice. In part, because the first thing people in crisis do is to reject advice. It doesn't matter whether the advice is good or bad, it's part of the human psyche to reject whatever is offered as "advice." You ultimately have to find our own way. If what you are doing isn't working, do something else.
    As another writer puts it: "Therapists aren't your yes man. We've got your back, yes, but this doesn't mean enabling you, coddling you, or hugging you better. We are trained to have difficult conversations with people to help people realize how they often make themselves miserable. Therapy, effective therapy, will have you pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, because change can be uncomfortable. Your therapist won't always be your favorite person, but if you stick with it, you can get some really fulfilling work done and be on your way to being the best you you can be!" While we at Mudcat may not be therapists, I think many of us have a tendency to try to fix things and people, or situations. We can't. While some may offer helpful tips (e.g. how to deal with instruments as tool vs asset), ultimately we all have to "fix" ourselves. Or not, as the case may be. I'll say no more.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 04:01 PM

Alas, BBS,I do understand all you are saying. We've been dealing with the same bureaucracies ever since I lost the ability to play, to make music, to walk, and to have anything like normal bathroom experiences. --- And my wife's problems are, in many ways, as bad as, or worse than, mine. In so many ways, the land of the free is a travesty. Sometimes we get pure oxygen, and sometimes just farts, but I'll continue on -- breathing deeply--until I can't.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 11:17 AM

Performing is a need. Lower your expectations of success and enjoy the small performances that you give. Be flexible in your choice of gigs. Big venues and lots of bucks will not give you as much pleasure as you think.

Be careful about home-schooling. Much ignorance is being peddled which will put your kids at a disadvantage in the real academic world.

A great teacher is however like gold.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: SharonA
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 10:01 AM

...or, better yet, please respond to the PM that I sent to you!

To answer your original question, though, I'd have to say that the time to "call it a day" and decide that "this singing/playing/performing thing just isn't a viable option" is when you give up on it as a viable option.

Sure, traveling to the gig takes fuel, which takes money... but that's why you book paying gigs, right? If the pay doesn't cover the cost of getting there and back, plus some profit, don't take it. For goodness' sake, why are you wasting your time, money and fuel to go to open mike nights where you're not getting paid and where there's no chance of getting booked for a paying gig at the venue? If it's for the "exposure" in hopes of getting hired by one of the audience members for a private party or something, I hope you are at least pumping a lot of hands and handing out a lot of business cards (which cost next to nothing to print on a computer).

Sure, it would be difficult to transport yourself to gigs if you don't get your cataract removed. Glad to hear that you're working on that problem, but I can't help thinking that blindness didn't stop a whole big bunch of fine musicians from finding someone to transport them to gigs. If you want to get there and play the gig, you'll find a way... and people will be willing to help you. (Ummm, doesn't your wife drive?)

Let's face it: the REAL question you're not asking (at least, not on this forum) is: "Is it a viable option to continue living where I'm living, in the lifestyle to which I've become accustomed?" If you're in such a terrible neighborhood that free public school is not a safe option for your kids, it's time to find a safer school district to move to. Okay, the in-laws might not like it if you're farther away and they can't see their grandkids as often, but it doesn't sound as though you're dependent on them for child care because you're home-schooling the kids, so what's the point in living so close to them if it's not working for you? (I'm not asking for a response here; just prodding you to think about this.)

"...they wanted their grandkids closer to home. They've also now paid 18 months' worth of our mortgage and car insurance, so we couldn't possibly entertain the idea of going elsewhere..." Sure you could. Entertain it. Think about moving to a nearby state where car insurance isn't so astronomical. Rent if you can't own. It sounds like your in-laws have you by the short hairs and they know it. Cut loose before they choke what remains of your life out of you (your music, for instance), and "circle the wagons" around your own family unit (you, the wife, and your kids). Forsake all others, as you promised before witnesses that you would do.

If for no other reason than that your kids need to develop an understanding of music theory which will help them with math and science concepts as part of your home-schooling, keep your instruments. Teach your kids to play them. Tell the Social Security folks that the instruments are part of the home-school curriculum. Find a way -- any way -- NOT to "call it a day".

If you decide to stay where you are, at least for the time being, do the necessary networking to find the necessary gigs. As I said, I think I can help you there... if you're willing to refrain from labeling viable options "impossible".


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: SharonA
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 12:57 AM

"The State's behaviour really has the odor of bureaucrats run amok..."

Well, we ARE talking about New Jersey, after all. :-D

But since it's New Jersey we're talking about... BBS, unless you're living in the Pine Barrens, I can't imagine that you'd have to drive that far to find a folk gig, because New Jersey is such a well-populated state! I'm thinking that you just need to make the right connections. I'm in southeastern Pennsylvania (Philly suburbs), and I may very well be able to help you with networking. Please send me a PM.

--Sharon


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 07:32 PM

http://www.state.nj.us/njfosteradopt/foster/faqs/

Am I reading this right that rates start at $713 a month? Here in WA they are about $300 a month.

Also, there are children with special medical needs that need special care, and payment would be higher.

There is also the possibilit, although very difficult, of being an adult foster care home or elder care..I would only do elder care personally with children in the house.

Romanian immigrants have really set up a lot of these homes in my area. mg


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 07:27 PM

If you truly love children and have a stable, happy household other than the financial issues, have you checked into being foster parents? I would limit myself to children younger by 3 years or more than your own..perhaps a couple of 3-5 year olds if possible, perhaps a sibling group. I know you are not supposed to be foster parents just for the very modest money, but there are two of you home at the present time and you have a security background, presumably would pass a background check, and your wife has done child care as well as your own children. You shouldn't do this only for the money, which ranges from awful to OK in some states, but there is nothing wrong iwth it being a factor that enables your wife to stay home, or you..perhaps not both of you. mg


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 06:24 PM

If one has declared income from using the guitar, a copy of the tax return and related assessment (or whatever they call it in the USA when you get a statement confirming the tax payable & paid) should be credible enough evidence. It would need to be fairly recent I'm sure, last year or two, maybe three, I would think.

But the details of that, obviously, are not something you wanto to put on a public web site.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 12:21 PM

"if anyone officially inquires, there's "nothing to see here; move along"."

If appealing anything, you need to go via a formal paper route, don't just drop in and get narky at the desk jockey. Front of house staff can't just make up stuff as they like, and if they are doing so, then you should seek redress. Apply in letter, for the formal paperwork with which to make an appeal. Return said appeals paperwork with clear details of why you are appealing and why there decision against you is wrong. A signed note supporting your claim from an advocate - some kind of official person would be good, if you are a Christian go to the vicar maybe - but there are also usually charitable advocate bodies out there who can help. Keep copies of ALL correspondence. Retain evidence from post office of posting these materials. Do take these procedures seriously and consider the long term, if your health is going to become increasingly impared over time, you may have to consider rolling up shirt sleeves and ensuring you are in receipt of everything that you may be entitled to receive.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 12:03 PM

Richard, suffice it to say that if anyone officially inquires, there's "nothing to see here; move along". Like when the magician does his thing... it's GONE! Or, is it...?

Yes, not only following up on the free-surgery option, but also going to a family friend who is an eye surgeon to determine what needs to be done and when. I was not eligible to see him on my state insurance until just recently; he doesn't accept Medicaid for surgery, because his EXAM practice is his own, but the surgical practice is with others and they do not allow Medicaid patients. He's a good Christian who opened his own examination/eyeglass practice in a poor neighborhood so people on Medicaid could have a REALLY excellent eye professional to go to.

olddude, God bless you as well. Trust me when I tell you that there are friends who are making all of this easier to deal with and are taking the finality out of it, if you catch my drift.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: olddude
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 11:49 AM

Please don't do that, your instruments are like your arms or legs. If it were not for my guitar I could not get through all the crap that has hit my family this year .. I play to get my mind off of things.

I have been told by my biggest client that they are going with an overseas company for new development and support. So I am screwed. I just will figure out what is next for me and hustle the best I can.

There are lots of things we can do. We are upright still to some extent .. just need to sit , think and redo ..

Please do not do that, I know things are hard for you ... It will workout but you need to clear the mind and think. It is hard to do believe me I know

God Bless


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 11:29 AM

Did you show the pen-pushers the statute, and did you follow up on the free eye surgery?


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 10:50 AM

KathyW, I've been over the statues you referenced, but what people need to understand is that it's very hard for me to get gigs right now - there just aren't many places in my area booking folk/ballad type music, and, even if there were, I'd have no real way to get to those places to audition. Then there's the idea that just because I could get to a place once doesn't mean that next week or next month I'd be able to - no job means no money means no gas.

As I've mentioned before, the open mic nights around me are all at places that routinely book cover bands, usually either top-40 or "classic rock" outfits.

For me to justify getting out to the places (all an hour from home or more) that would potentially book me, there would have to be some better-than-average chance that I could get work there. Otherwise, right now at least, I'd be spending gas money that I don't really have just to go out and play three tunes and listen to some others. That constitutes a luxury.

BigDaddy, the guitar has been "leased"; that's as much as I'm going to say about it.

Send the kids to public school - not with a gun to my head.

My wife has brought in money from childcare from time to time, and will likely one day be able to do so again.

Please bear in mind that I am not arguing "for my limitations"; I am a person who has braved these odds for years and have always been mule-stubborn when it comes to doing things the way I see them done right. The fact is, however, that difficulties with time and age (I'm not old, but nowhere near as young as I used to be) and health and the economy are realities and daily "ingredients" of my day, if you will, not excuses or even obstacles. I don't see the lane-markings on the highway as obstacles, I just see them as things I sometimes have to follow, avoid, or be controlled by. In this period of my life, the issues I am facing are just some heavy traffic on a road I know well. It leads where I want it to; I am just trying to navigate a very congested stretch right now.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 02:48 AM

These days, even homeless people are using the local library's computers for job searches, blogging, networking, etc. And I'd agree with a couple of comments above in regards to the guitar. Either use the regulations to show that it is your money-earning tool, or sell/give it to a friend who will then loan it back to you indefinitely. Send the kids to public school, freeing your wife up to work a day job. If you have to, leave your family temporarily to go wherever you can get work. It's for a good cause, and many have had to do it over the years. Get the cataract surgery. Author Richard Bach wrote a book called "Illusions." Lot's of good stuff in there. One quotation comes to mind in particular right now..."Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours." Keep plugging, pal.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: KathyW
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 01:13 AM

It looks like you've decided to sell your instruments. I'm not sure what program you are trying to obtain aid under, but it sounds to me like the people you are dealing with are wrong. Have you asked to see a copy of the policy that requires you to sell your guitar? At the risk of arguably going a bit off topic, let me be specific about what I meant in my earlier post.

Title 10, Chapter 90 of the New Jersey Administrative Code, governing the "Work First" program provides, at Subchapter 3, "Eligibility-- income, resources, benefits" under § 10:90-3.20, "Exempt resources" as follows:

(a) Exempt resources are not subject to any requirement for liquidation and are not considered in determining WFNJ eligibility or in determining the cash assistance benefit. In addition to the exempt income set forth at N.J.A.C. 10:90-3.19, the following resources shall be exempt for each assistance unit:
. . .
6. Personal property, such as, but not limited to, house furnishings and clothing which are used regularly or likely to be used;
    i. Furnishings and clothing in storage may be deemed to be exempt in the presence of a reasonable plan for their use;
    ii. Personal effects if regularly used or of small intrinsic value;
. . .
7. Livestock, machinery, tools, equipment, and stock-in-trade which serve to produce some net income in cash or in kind or serve as an incentive for self-help; livestock or property owned or used by a child in connection with a group or school activity (such as 4-H); and farm and garden products raised by the eligible assistance unit for its own use;

I don't know anything about public aid and I'm not a New Jersey lawyer, but if I were in your situation, I would have pointed to that regulation and claimed the guitar to be exempt both under § 10:90-3.20(a)6.ii., as a regularly used personal effect and under § 10:90-3.20(a)7. as a tool which could produce some income.

I suggest getting a copy of the regulations that affect the program that you are applying for and study them carefully. You owe it to yourself and your family to know the rules so you cam use them to your advantage. This website may help:
http://www.michie.com/newjersey/lpext.dll/uanjadmin/1/4f9b7?f=templates&fn=document-frame.htm&2.0#JD_analysis21995


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 07:56 PM

It is the nicest time of year
To bring out the camping gear
The woods are good and plenty
With lots good and splentiful

Give it all to Jesus the gardener down the street
Within six months (before the winter snows) there will be bounty to reap.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 03:18 PM

"all they care about is following the letter of their policies."

Thing is those 'desk jockies' (I've known a few myself) are only paid to help you fill out the necessary forms correctly so they can process your application for assistance as efficiently and as quickly as possible. They are not usually in a position to make decisions or judgement calls on individual cases. Those judgement calls on individual cases are far more involved, which is the very reason appeals can take far longer to process. But despite the seeming hassle, appeals are still very much worth pursuing. Don't abandon any appeal that might deliver you some cash, even six months down the line. Even if short term issues are pressing, the long term ones also need to be addressed. Meanwhile, as said, I've actually known a few people who got work at their local DSS office doing that very same desk jocky job of processing new claimants. Have you ever asked your local office about vacancies there? It might be worth your while. In the UK at least the DSS is a very equal opportunities employer which will not be prejudiced against a job applicant because of disabilities or present unemployment status. Plus as you say, so long as you can tick boxes and stay polite when people on the other side of the desk are getting pissed off with you, you don't really need any prior expertise.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:56 PM

Believe me, people; I have tried to reason with the desk-jockeys at Social Services, and all they care about is following the letter of their policies. The office I have to deal with routinely has people working the phones and the desks who speak poor English (I don't mean bilingual immigrants who are hired to be able to help the Hispanic applicants, I mean idiots who speak gutter English that should well know better). Everything on their documents and on their PC-based forms that they fill in is "fill in the blank, tab to the next" kind of baby-steps stuff. These dopes wouldn't know how to generate a report or type an officially-worded document if their lives depended on it.

So, no, appealing to their common sense doesn't work, and by the time I do go through the hassle of appealing to higher authorities, Crowhugger is right... six months or better from now, I'd be stuck all the same.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:56 PM

Wishing you the best BBS! During the potato famine starving Irishmen were forced to eat seed potatoes needed for the following years planting. In the short term it staved of starvation but greatly complicated the problem for the following year. That would seem to me akin to selling tools that you need to rise above your adversity. If you can spare some instruments, so be it, but keep what you really need! Public school for the children seems to be a reasonable option. In most advanced countries medical care is considered a right of citizenship. I know that Obama tried to make improvements in the USA but his vision was shot down by big corporations bleeding big bucks from health care. Will any of the limited improvements that he made help your situation?


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 12:58 PM

KathyW I was whinging a bit there.

Howard your point is very well taken. The cruel fact remains that when one is living that close to the ground, pushing a point bureaucrats who believe they are correct can be a risky course of action even if one's premise is unassailably right. Unfortunately, winning an appeal in 6 months' time won't pay the utility bill this week.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM

I posted this answer on a different thread, but here it is again:

if you can demonstrate that you've gigged in the past, then can you argue that your instruments are "tools of your trade"? It seems a nonsense for them to make you sell an asset, the proceeds from which will be spent and gone in days, when you could use it to earn at least some income. Would they expect an electrician or plumber to sell their tools?


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: KathyW
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:50 AM

Were I you, I'd try to make the argument that your $125 guitar falls under the category of "personal effects" that you are allowed to keep along with things like household goods, clothing, the family auto, etc. (This, Crowhugger, is why people are not asked to sell their leather couches.)


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:44 AM

Move to Oregan.

They have a program

It is much better than going it alone.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Tu plonges dans la pensée de la nuit.
Tu dois réveiller mon coeur. Jusqu'à la fin de la lumière. ...


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: mg
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 12:22 AM

One of the best places for employment, although poorly paid employment, is in elder care of some sort. Going from house to house checking on them..being male is apparently a problem even with older males..most people it seems prefer women..but there are undoubtedly some who need checking and not heavy lifting..it sounds like you have experience from your driving position, and also checking on their security at home ..you have the security experience. Also, you could sing them an occasional song. Catholic Charities often hires people. Except some discrimination as a male unfortunatley. Perhaps you and your wife, if she does not ahve a job already, could tag-team. And with a better financial base, you could still give lessons and get the occasional gig, specializing perhaps like Genie does in nursing homes.

If ss or whatever does not know about a guitar, I would give it to a friend for now and get it back later.

I also would question the homeschooling too. For one thing, it would get you and your wife out of the house and available to go to interviews, training classes, etc..and it would get the kids away from an environment that is highly anxious, worried..family stuff from inlaws..it would give them a few hours a day in an atmosphere with hopefully some sports, and counseling if they need it (and the school still has counselors)..some social support, perhaps a school nurse (if they still have nurses), and of course the free lunch. That is one less meal to cook or prepare. Is it philosophy, religion, or what that makes you stick to homeschooling? Don't have to answer of course ..could be safety of children in chaotic schools..but most children do OK in public schools, and soemtimes it is the healthier option. Like someone said, you can supplement whatever education they get there. mg


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 11:43 PM

BBS, do you happen to know if the State social assistance office would insist someone sell their gently used leather couch in favour of a cloth one? It would be interesting to know where they draw the line. Such a thing in comparable condition would net far more money than your guitar. But if a leather couch doesn't have to be traded in on something cheaper, I'd start to suspect the State of systematic or bureaucratic discrimination on the basis of your profession. Would a mechanic have to sell their tools if there wasn't an immediate job opening in that capacity? The State's behaviour really has the odor of bureaucrats run amok, HOWever, arguing with those who have dug in their heels--especially when they hold the purse strings--is a losing proposition, innit.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 10:51 PM

Crowhugger, that's a very succinct and accurate summation of my situation.

See, the problem here is that there's almost always a highly disproportionate value placed on ANYTHING that might suggest to the Social Services Board that their assistance is not really necessary in a supplicant's case.

They'd rather tell me that my $125 guitar is an impediment to their helping me, because, after all, if I can afford a guitar that cost $125, then I must not need that extra $125 a month in food stamps. Their policies allow them to assume that whatever assets we have must have been bought new, or that we must have some other channel through which we are able to get such nice things. They inform us that if we have any resources for these "luxuries", then we must not need their assistance.

I'm working on figuring out how to maximize exposure for my guitar and harmonica teaching, and I am going to hit some familiar street-corners to do some busking soon, when the weather cooperates.

Thanks, all, again, for the encouragement and advice.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 10:07 PM

MK, and everyone: BBS cannot keep the guitar unless it will earn him at least as much as he'll lose in social assistance: The State views it as an asset that must be liquidated and spent before the State will offer to kick in anything. BBS says there aren't enough gigs within affordable driving distance, and he should know. I would suggest that a new teacher in a depressed economy will need time he doesn't have to build up a clientele. Not that he couldn't choose to start down that path, if only the State would provide him with food stamps + utility payments AND let him keep his guitar. But it's against their rules. It's a nasty, nasty rock vs hard place he's between.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 09:50 PM

Keep your best-loved guitar. Use it to TEACH. Teach beginners their first chords, teach kids, teach whoever. Put a 3x5 card up at the nearest market, church bulletin board, wherever. Get hold of the music dept. or music teacher at your local middle school and high school. "Half hour private guitar lessons, any level, $25. Call xxx-xxxx." You can do it at home, and it keeps you doing music, which you clearly love, even though not on the level you are capable of. In two hours a day you can make $200, if you can work your way up to four students a day. Best of luck, don't give up.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Genie
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Genie
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Genie
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM


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Subject: If there's a guitar available to borrow...
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:25 PM

BBS, if there's a guitar you can borrow, it won't hurt to let everyone you meet know that you do special occasions like baptisms, anniversaries, family barbecues, engagement parties, business luncheons, Rotary or Lions club dinners. Give them a choice of professional performance, campfire style sing-along, or background music (hey a gig is a gig at this point).

My a cappella quartet finds itself well received at retirement residences where we do performances with a sing-along segment. Even some government-run places (read: near-zero entertainment budget) are willing to scrape together our full fee from other budget lines because the residents love us.

My point of course is not mainly to share my pride in this (although it's nice to do that) but to bring your attention to this pleasant non-bar gig market: We've been tld by RR staff that there are a lot of bad karaoke singers passing themselves off as entertainment for these retirement homes, so (if you can borrow a guitar) why not try what we did: Make a 1-minute demo mp3 (we used 5 to 10 second excerpts from several well-known songs, cross-faded, put our best ones last, recorded just on handheld mp3 voice recorder). We send this out with our inquiry e-mails; you of course will limit your enquiries to locations you CAN afford to drive to. If they know up front that you sound better than what theyve had before, they'll book you in a second. At least they do here in the Toronto area, knock on wood it continues.

We just started giving out business cards (large print for RRs) during our meet & greet time with the audience after our performances. We tell them we love to do both family and business occasions; so far one booking from such chat but it's a start at diversifying. Rather than pay for cards you might prefer to use 1/3 or 1/4 of letter page as a mini-flyer, so you can produce as few or many as you need only as you need them.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Lox
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:17 PM

Well I say NEVER give up.

One way or anotherm choose the road that allows you to be yourself in all your radiant spectrum of colours and characteristics.

You owe it to yourself and those who love you.

Its natural to feel sorry for yourself, but only so long as it takes for you to listen to your soul and take stock of what it needs.

Then you have to look around and find that stuff.

Good Luck.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: JohnH
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:03 PM

Answer to Q. When you are dead!


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 05:41 PM

PM me with your contact info and I will see if anyone in my industry is hiring there


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: jonm
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 05:31 PM

From experience, if you absolutely have to sell something musical, sell amplification, mikes and "gear" - these are easier to replace when times get better without such a sense of loss (most of this sort of gear is mass-produced and doesn't mature with age) and also easier to borrow if, for example, you do some playing for a church group and then ask to borrow the amplification for a non-church gig.

If you have time on your hands, busking always helps. It reconnects you with why you play, what you play and the effect you have on the one man and his dog who actually stop and listen. Additional income is incidental but welcome.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 05:16 PM

Frug... innnnteresting. Very, very interesting.

Thanks!

Oh, believe me, once I get some of these issues sorted out, there'll be some changes made, as the old son goes!

You people make me smile. Really, ya do.

To All Of You - Jimmie Rodgers said it best...


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,Frug
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 04:25 PM

BBS
You probably need a longer term solution however in the short term why not try "passing the jug" at open mike nights?? Also if you do originals a simple home made sampler CD sold at open mikes and whilst out busking might bring a few dollars and would put you out there! Could you give music lessons? On a more long term basis....retraining for something? but sorting the cataracts if it could be done is clearly a priority.

Good Luck

Frank


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 04:15 PM

How nice to have the "problem" of too many people caring!

LL, that link from VTam is brilliant...gosh, wouldn't that be the cat's pyjamas?!


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 04:04 PM

MY parents are the grandparents. I'm WAY too young to be a grandpa yet! :)

No, I don't think busking is glorified begging... in fact, I got lots of notoriety back years ago by being a rather popular busker. I was just having a little pity-party just then. There was, however, no cake, and fat people never stay at parties with no cake, so I split from the pity party a while ago.

There have been a FLOOD of responses, both in threads and in PMs; please don't be offended if I don't reply in either way just yet. I have a LOT of reading to do!

Thanks, all.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: meself
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:30 PM

Am I the one confused, or is there some confusion in this thread? I got the impression from BBS's posts that his own children are the 'grandchildren' in question, and that he moved to be closer to the grandparents of his children. The rest of the world seems to think that it is BBS who is the grandparent, and is interpreting his experience on that basis .... BBS, can you clarify (or not, as you feel)?

You seem to feel that busking is little more than glorified begging - if you go at it with that assumption, you're going to find it a depressing experience. If, on the other hand, you can convince yourself that it is a valid way to earn a bit of money, then you may find it worthwhile.

If you have been doing home-schooling with your kids, you may want to consider offering tutoring services for other kids/parents. Slap an ad up on Kijiji and see what happens.


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:22 PM

"I passed my last vision exam by the skin of my teeth. I am certain that I will not pass my next one, because my vision has markedly deteriorated since the last exam. I will then not only lose my commercial driver's license, I will also lose my standard driving privilege.
So, long story short, I wouldn't really be able to go back to the old line of work if I wanted to."

Did you see this? If not you probably aught to look up the link VirginiaTam supplied:

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 01:42 PM

Mission Cataract USA offers free cataract surgery for of all ages who cannot get the surgery under Medicare or Medicaid.

http://www.missioncataractusa.org/index.php?n=1&id=1


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:17 PM

Crowhugger, that is one excellent idea!

Now needs someone in the area to step up to the plate!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:09 PM

Is your wife able to work? Is she working?

Are either of you veterans? Probably not or you could have tied into their health system.

If you did not have the health problems, I would move back to the better state if I had a job lined up. Can you contact former employer and say I can no longer drive but do you need a scheduler or something????

You could, again without health problems, do what others have done before and leave family in one area and work in another..horrib le option but could be short-term.

How many kids and how many bedrooms? Could you rent out a room?

If your wife is not working, I suggest she focus her energies on looking for work. Men, even in the best of health, get very demoralized..it seems worse than some women..and often women find the job first that will tide them over. Home school could be done by you or you could analyze that situation and send the kids to school, for free lunch if nothing else. mg


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