Sunday, August 16, 2015

Planning and the Paranormal

Jim is having a meeting right now with his Malaysia business partner/possible con man Mark right now, so I'm sitting here listening to some 70s nostalgia music trying to drown out Mark's voice while I plan our fall vacation to the Palm Beach/Fort Lauderdale area. I need the beach!

What I do not need is having no choice in listening to Jim and Mark's Skype meeting. Just the sound of his voice pisses me off immensely. Not Jim's voice, Mark's words and inflections.

It started back when he zeroed in on Jim back in February and has been attempting to get Jim to go into business with him. First it was building houses, then it was building rental homes, followed  by buying old cars to fix up and resell. All of these schemes involved Jim putting up the money and Mark putting up the work and then the two of them splitting the profit 50/50. I was able to shut those down pretty quickly by pointing out to Jim that the risk was entirely on our side.

My gut instinct is telling me that Mark has zeroed in on Jim as an easy mark with money, not figuring on my putting up any fight over these things. I'm sorry but I have a tough time trusting people that brag that they know millionaires when it's obvious the only millionaires they know are the Pangburn's candy of the same name. Add in a nomadic life and some years spent running a Russian mail order bride dating service and I'm even less impressed. Everything smells like a possible con from here.

Once Mark got into trouble with his job, decided to up and quit, flee the country (and likely the IRS) he decided that he and Jim would go into business together doing furniture imports from Malaysia. He's pushed pretty hard and Jim has dutifully gone out and tried to get furniture orders. Mark's frustrated right now with Jim, claiming that he's spent over five thousand dollars on his end on this furniture business. I keep trying to get Jim to make Mark quantify this claim as all I can see on this end is that he's contacted a few furniture factories, held a few Skype meetings and scanned in the manufacturer's catalog. There's just no huge impressive investment that I see.

No investment on this end beyond business cards, a cheap and nasty website and a CD catalog I put together just so Jim would have something to hand out when he has met with furniture buyers.

I sense a money plea coming soon...

One of the things we did this very busy week was drive into the city to have a meeting with an organization run by retired executives that give advice on starting up businesses. The guy who'd worked for the Commerce Dept handling import and export policy and working in the field pointed out to Jim that this was at best a very long shot because of a couple of factors, 1 - Jim knows next to nothing about furniture at all and 2 - getting your foot in the door with the buyers is going to be a long and costly process, likely we'd have to go to the trade shows with product.

Again, money, money, money, something I'm not wild about spending on this... and it would be way more than five thousand dollars.

I guess there's no harm in trying sales calls, but my inner voice is telling me this is some sort of scam.


One thing I do know, I'm looking forward to going to Key West for the day with my friend Cindy. I want to see Robert the Haunted Doll, drink copious quantities of coconut rum and visit all the paranormal hotspots in Key West. I'm excited.


We drove home from Michigan and Jim's friend Gary's home and decided to forego the Ohio and Pennsylvania Turnpike for a change. We took back roads through rural Ohio and West Virginia instead. Funny bits, started getting the same massive sick to my stomach I always get in high EMF fields, looked at the map and realized we were a few blocks from the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.

Unfunny bit: My perfectly maintained old lady mobile started to overheat slightly on highest point of Highway 33 through West Virginia. Starting to have problems with the air conditioning, I'm thinking this caused the over heating. We ended up pulling over at a scenic turnout and taking a break.

This week back has been filled with activity too. Jim had physical therapy appointments. I had to get my VPAP and nebulizer checked out at the medical supply place. The trip into the city for the business. Also I had some crazy fall out to deal with from our scuffle with the IRS four years ago. The IRS never told the tax people in the state of Virginia that they'd accepted our amended return for the year our broker screwed us by only reporting our sales but not that we'd turned around and reinvested the money. So the state had threatened to go into our checking account to take the money they thought we owed. That was an enormous pain the rump to fix, but I did it. We own them nothing.

Today I went and visited Laura just to get a breather from the insane busy of this week. Just something as simple as a grocery shopping trip with my daughter was a much needed break. Laura has discovered she hates 'adulting' - paying bills, buying groceries, trying to juggle a full time job and classes for her Masters degree. I feels her. I have days when the idea of playing with bubbles, coloring in coloring books and eating a Lunchable seems so so desirable. I'm proud of how she's turned out, even if she hates to adult as much as I do many days.

I may have solved the Jim nagging me and trying to get me to do things with him all the time. I have him picking the apples from our trees so I can make jelly, canned apples and pie filing. The secret to him not driving me nuts is to have a powerfully long 'Honey Do' list.

School starts soon and I'll be in class many days so there's that.

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