Monthly Archives: June 2021

Sayonara Uncle Sam

Well, here it is.  The day we all wait for.  Retirement.  My official work counter shows me at 37 years and 8 months and retiring as a GS-13 Step 9.

We’re quite a ways from 1982 when I went through the gates at Great Lakes Naval Training Command.  Imagine being 19 years old and departing boot camp and reporting to an aircraft carrier in dry dock.  I’m not scared of heights but when I looked down that dry dock at the USS Carl Vinson in its entirety I got a little bit of vertigo.   Not to mention the whole ship is a gigantic maze with no cheese at the end.

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Multitools

Even though I am a Swiss Army knife guy through and through I have just started dabbling in multitools. During my employment career it was necessary to have a pocket carry EDC knife and most 91mm Swiss Army knives fit that bill perfectly.  Now that I telework (thank you COVID) and am about to retire I probably won’t be getting out and about as much and having a few multitools laying around strategically will be fairly practical, I believe.

I decided to try a tool from the major manufacturers and got the following:

  • Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit X
  • Gerber Suspension NXT
  • Leatherman Surge

After reading dozens of reviews and talking to a few people I also decided to get a Leatherman Wave +.

Leatherman Wave +

I think out of all of them I may like the Wave + the best although it is a tossup between that and the Swiss Tool Spirit X.
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Credit Alert Interactive Verification Reporting System (CAIVRS)

I bet you never heard of Credit Alert Interactive Verification Reporting System (CAIVRS) before.

CAIVRS was established by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency in June of 1987.  It is a database of Social Security Numbers that are in default regarding federal loans such as Student Loans, Small Business Loans, VA Loans, etc.

The following agencies report to CAIVRS:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Small Business Administration
  • Department of Justice

If you default on a loan or credit card it goes to your credit report which is accessible to you.  However, if you default on a Federal Student Loan it is not reported to your credit file.  It is only reported to CAIVRS.

YOU WILL NEVER KNOW YOU WERE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT UNLESS YOU APPLY FOR FEDERAL MONEY.

I just applied for a VA loan for a new home and was notified by my lender that I was delinquent on a Federal Student Loan and that I could not get my VA loan until this issue was cleared up.  I immediately knew this was inaccurate because I HAVE NEVER HAD A STUDENT LOAN.

I called the Department of Education Student Loan Debt Resolution ……………… let that sink in a moment.   This problem is so huge apparently that they have their own departmental offices.

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Leatherman Surge vs. Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit X

I love Swiss Army knives.  But recently I have decided to try out some of the larger multi-tools.  Yeah, I’m a few years late to the game……..but here goes.

Before I ever talk about these tools know that I think they are used best on a conditional basis.   When I am at home or in the truck or camper know that I keep a proper set of tools around to take care of business.  The right tool for the job, as they say.

However, having a good multi-tool within reach most of the time does come in mighty handy.   And on the surface this statement might seem odd ……….. If the proverbial fecal matter were to hit the electrical rotary device………being stuck in the middle of an emergency situation with a suite of tools in your pocket would be a blessing, no?

So multi-tool choices are abundant and there are review videos galore on these tools.  The selection of a good multi-tool is going to be a very personal choice and no way am I ever going to imply that I found the BEST TOOL and that you should get one.

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