Friday, December 24, 2010

On the Eve of This Most Auspicious Holiday:

Yarn Harlot shares some thoughts we should all be thinking.

And remember - whatever your beliefs regarding Christmas, take the time to celebrate the fact that winter is half over (even if it doesn't seem like it quite yet), that you have people around you who love and appreciate you (even if they sometimes don't show it in ways you expect), and that every day is a new day and a new chance for you to make your world and yourself better.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Mmm, Economics.

Farmers get farm subsidies - they are paid to grow certain crops (like corn) and they are sometimes paid not to grow anything at all. This has massively screwed with farm production, skewing it heavily toward subsidized crops (which has far-reaching repercussions beyond a surplus of corn and unused farmland), and has made it difficult for farmers who want to diversify their crops to do so without losing money.

I realized today that unemployment benefits can be described as a work subsidy. We're paying people not to do anything, and we're paying them enough that getting back into the workforce at minimum wage means taking a pay cut, rather like farming eggplant instead of corn means taking a pay cut on the farm. Our system is broken. So how do we fix it? Simply raising the minimum wage won't work, clearly - it will only cause price inflation of basic goods and services (since McD's has to pay you more, their hamburgers will cost more). And dropping unemployment benefits to below the minimum wage would be fought every step of the way through congress. No one wants to lose "free" money!

Seriously though. What, therefore, should we do?

Today's reading assignment, no matter your politics or opinions on poverty:

And we expect people to take these jobs... why?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Cognitive Dissonance and LEGO

Cognitive dissonance is what happens when you pull a band-aid out of the box and find a stinkbug sitting on it (I swear they are EVERYWHERE), and your logic circuits take .3 seconds to retrieve the response: "Just a stinkbug, nothing to worry about", while your lizard-brain goes "OHMYGODITLOOKSLIKEASPIDERITSASPIDERAAAAAAHHHHHHRUNLIKEHELL!". And since you can't think two things at once and fight-or-flight beats logic every time, you flail and send the stupid bug flying into the sink before regaining control of yourself and calmly retreating to a bug-free location hoping no one saw you freak out.

Rick got LEGO sets for himself as an early xmas present; because they were buy one, get one half off like every year at Toys R Us. We spent all night after I got home from work sitting at the dining room table, constructing a really cool Jeep-like vehicle complete with working doors and steering, a full trailer and 4-wheeler. Nerd bonding is the best bonding!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Whine Wednesday

It's time for.... Whine Wednesday, wherein I moan and complain about all the terrible things that have happened to me and justify my horrible mood. If I remember, I'll try to do a Thankful Thursday tomorrow to make up for the whining.

  • Sore throat started last night.
  • The cat/dog woke me up 5 times this morning before 10am.
  • The dog chewed through yet another pair of underwear last night and tried to play with my only pair of work-appropriate black tights too. I swear she's trying to keep me indoors by eating all my clothing.
  • Sinuses have been draining icky green snot for days.
  • This morning it's snowing, and it's the nasty wet kind of snow you get when it's barely freezing outside, and it's forecast to do this all week.
  • I have work 8:45am - 5pm tomorrow. I won't even see daylight before/after work because of the cloud cover and early sunset. Ack!
  • It's -cold- in here, and we still haven't fixed the big gap in the back door frame that lets a lot of air in.
  • Rick's asleep (still) after staying up till god-knows-when playing video games.
  • I have a headache on top of the sinus issues and sore throat and nausea. Wooo!
  • Did I mention it's snowing?