After much foot-dragging and procrastination, and with great loathing, I am rolling out, under counsel, what I am calling “The Stale Big Mac Maneuver”.
Long story short, I have been advised and encouraged to develop and build a broad “subscriber base” using my current ContinueToGive donation platform, as is the norm with most “podcasters”, in order to regularize cash flows, and to build up savings in the form of pre-paid rent and well-defended FRNs. Even though I struggle with the notion, I am assured that it is not unreasonable, and is even responsible and prudent for an adult human to strive for financial stability, savings, and an ability to absorb unforeseen expenses. It’s so crazy, it might just be true!
Thanks to SuperNerd, we have now produced 53 Barnhardt Podcasts in just over a year, including the hiatus after the arrival of Tiny Princess. I enjoy doing it, SuperNerd enjoys producing it, and, apparently, quite a few people enjoy listening to it. Hooray! And, of course, blogging continues apace here at Barnhardt.biz .
Why is it called “The Stale Big Mac Maneuver”?
This name originally comes from a name SuperNerd gave to topics on the Barnhardt Podcast that we had beaten to death (cough, the Bergoglian Antipapacy, cough). As I started thinking economist thoughts about utility and value, I started getting angsty about what dollar value of utility I am actually able to deliver here. I know that many of my benefactors in their extreme munificence already WAY overcompensate me for the product I provide (leaving aside the Benefactor Masses, which are my duty). I thought to myself that since a stale Big Mac costs about $5.25 today, that is the dollar level of utility that I feel I can provide to a benefactor/subscriber per month. Maybe. If I try real hard. That is what I have been advised to do and am looking to develop.
But always at the forefront of my mind is the fundamental truth of monetary theory: money is a fungible proxy for the human capacity to labor, produce and create through time. Every dollar someone gives to me is a piece of their life – time they spent working, producing, creating, which was then turned into dollars when someone exchanged value-for-value. Money isn’t pieces of metal, pieces of paper, or zeroes and ones on a computer server. Money is, at its core, quantities of human lives in exchangeable form. That is a deeply humbling and intimidating thought, especially when all one does is rant and rave on the innerwebz.
A Few Words To Existing Benefactors
If you are an existing benefactor, and you are thinking to yourself, “Uh-oh. Ann is talking about money. This must mean that I’m not doing enough…”, let me disabuse you of that false premise immediately. Not only are my existing benefactors stunningly munificent, I actually WORRY that some might even be TOO munificent. Sometimes a donation notification will come into my email box and I will think to myself, “What percentage of this person’s rent or mortgage payment is this?” I worry.
Which brings us to another point that it is morally incumbent upon me to say: If meeting your monthly rent or mortgage payment is EVER in doubt or question, YOU SHOULD NOT BE DONATING/SUBSCRIBING TO ME. Period. Please – PLEASE, just pray for me, and for the priests that offer the Barnhardt Benefactor Masses, and the weekly Requiem Mass. Please. Remember, the Barnhardt Benefactor Masses are offered every day for my benefactors and SUPPORTERS. God knows who you are. As we all heard on Saturday morning cartoon commercials when we were kids, “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY”.
A third note for existing benefactors who are using the ContinueToGive recurring platform: I get quite a few notices of “failed transactions” on recurring donation profiles due to expired credit cards, and cards that have been deactivated. Tangential story: I just had to get my one remaining plastic card re-issued last month as I made the stupid mistake of using an outdoor ATM. Apparently, the new “thing” in credit card fraud is installing clandestine chip readers in outdoor ATM machines which read and record the card numbers, and then are extracted by the criminals, and the harvested numbers are sold on the black market. In my case, criminals in Washington D.C. had purchased my card number (I’ve never set foot anywhere near Washington D.C. in my life), and proceeded to max out my card (temporary authorizations – none of the transactions went through) with failed $500 ATM withdrawal attempts – apparently they were trying to guess the PIN. I got a fraud notification within minutes from the credit card company, but a new card had to be issued, which took just over a week. It is a major, major inconvenience, and can really put a person in a pinch. I will never use an outdoor ATM again. But back to the original point, I know there are quite a few recurring donation profiles on ContinueToGive that fail every month. So just a heads-up there.
A brief summary of my situation and expenses
My two major expenditures, by far, are rent (which includes all utilities and internet), and food/toiletries. I have a cellphone, which isn’t very expensive at all – I hardly make telephone calls anymore. I have no health insurance, and recently availed myself of the neighborhood walk-in clinic, and was able to see a doctor and get a course of antibiotics and steroids for my dual ear infection for less than $100 – which was a relief. This was the first time I had seen a doctor or taken a prescription in over ten years. Not bad.
I have no car, and am able to walk everywhere. When I do have to move any significant distance, I use public transport. I do enjoy taking the occasional pilgrimage, when the opportunity arises, but either use public transport or ride with friends. I have not been in an airplane in four years (thanks be to God). I do, on occasion, take continuing education courses. My current rental situation is very favorable. The landlord is outstanding and lets me pay rent in cash, the dwelling itself is exquisitely maintained and the location couldn’t be better (for me). I am within easy walking distance of daily Tridentine Mass, and I am also within easy walking distance of a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Parish – so I even have a back-up Divine Liturgy on Sundays in case anything happens to the Latin Mass. I have been in this “parking spot down by the river” for 20 months now after a forced emergency move in the fall of ARSH 2016, and I hope I can stay here indefinitely. So that’s a little summary of my day-to-day situation.
How I Tithe
I have also been asked about how I tithe. I mostly tithe “in kind” and directly to priests, namely by hospitality (picking up the bill for a meal – I get a steady stream of visitors), and to a lesser extent these days by physical labor. My church-cleaning skills are well-known in certain circles, and I wield a mean steam iron. I only give cash tithes directly to good and holy priests with the explicit promise that the money will go for THEIR expenses, and not one cent will go to the chancery or bishop’s conference. I will not subsidize the human trafficking schemes, sodomite abuse cover-up payments and settlements, NewWorldOrder FrancisChurch agenda or Antichurch activities that pretty much every bishop is up to his eyebrows in. NO WAY.
Snail Mail Donations
Yes, my mailbox in Centennial, CO is secure and checked regularly. Check, money order and small cash donations can be received there.
Cattle Marketing DVD
Yes, I still have copies of my Cornerstone Cattle Marketing Level 1 DVD set available for sale. For ordering instructions, email me with “Cattle Marketing DVD” in the subject header, and I will send the ordering instructions back.
So, from now on, when you see the Stale Big Mac thumbnail which will be a hotlink to my ContinueToGive Donation page, you will know what it is.
My undying thanks to one and all for your years of readership and listenership, and for your generosity. After the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, should I live to see it, I will write a book and tell you all of the amazing stories which current circumstances prevent me from sharing. In the mean time, please accept my deepest, sincerest thanks for essentially subsidizing my existence, and making the “involuntary early retirement phase” of my life as shockingly wonderful and unpredictable as it has been, and continues to be.
Be assured of my prayers, and I shall continue to endeavor to provide at least “Stale Big Mac” utility and value.
P.S. SuperNerd’s PayPal page for SuperNerd Media is HERE. Thanks again for all of your prayers for SuperNerd, SuperMommy and Tiny Princess!