Saturday, October 02, 2010

It's October?!?!

I can't believe it's the first of October. My brain is still back in July or August, or maybe early September. But the calendar says we're in the final quarter of 2010, so it must be true.

The job situation hasn't changed. I actually had an offer, but turned it down. I would have had to buy the hardware and software, done all the marketing on my time and my dime, then give someone else 20% of whatever I made as a, well, a fee of some sort. Not sure what for. No thanks. I can do all that and keep 100% of what I make at no greater risk and at lower start-up cost completely on my own, which is what I was figuring on doing once we settle somewhere for more than 12 months.

In the meantime, I've been sending out a dozen or so applications/resumes a day and not single word in return. Not even rejections. Just nothing. It's like the whole thing is some sort of sick joke. And it isn't just me; I've talked to a number of other people around here that are having the same result. There also seems to be something called "group interviews" that, as far as I can tell from people who have suffered through them, are like some sick reality show. Who the hell comes up with this stuff? Anyway. Job search. Not going well. Moving on.

What is it that compels people from New York to always, always, announce that fact within the first 10 seconds of any conversation? First, the fact that you mispronounce the name of your native state/city is a dead give-away of your geographical origins. Second, no one is impressed in any way by the accident of your birth place. No one believes that being from "New Yawk" or "Brawklan" automatically makes you tough or gritty. Neither do the stories of the never-ending string of conflicts that make up your so-called life. Just. Shut. Up.

Yes; it's been one of those weeks.

The month of September was a quiet one on this site; only eleven posts and 193 unique visits. Referrals were nearly non-existent given the lack of linking and posting in other places. What few referrals we did get were people searching for Debbie's boobs, farting unicorns, and Arcosanti scams. The internet is such an, um, interesting place sometimes. Nothing really new on the OS and browser front: IE8.0 (58.5%) and Chrome (17.2%) continue to nibble away at Firefox (20.7%), and 92% of you are running XP, Vista or Win7. That doesn't really leave a lot of oxygen in the room for anyone else. Firefox 4, due out later this year, may shift the browser pie slices around a bit, but I wouldn't expect any major changes. As long as blogs remain a desktop thing (which is the case for this one at least), I don't expect to see any big OS changes either, other than some of the XP hits shifting to Win7 around Christmas. Assuming that anyone buys anything more expensive than sock monkeys this Christmas. I can guarantee that there won't be any new computers around here for a long time.

The myth of retirement is dying a long-overdue death.

A study of wealthy individuals around the world conducted by Barclays pokes holes in the notion that an individual should stop working at a pre-defined age, as it is more of an illusion than a reality.

Which more or less substitutes one problem with another:

Some believe that in an age of limited employment opportunities, a pool of talented and experienced workers who continue to work will block opportunities for younger workers. But some argue that individuals who work longer will increase the opportunities available and add to the GDP.

Given that employment opportunities have been limited for three decades, I'd go with the former.

I love when news people confuse causality with coincidence:

The recession took a dramatic toll on the institution of marriage in America last year, new figures show, with weddings for people 18 and older at the lowest ebb in over a hundred years.

Or it could be that the majority of men under the age of 40 have decided that there is no need to buy the cow when they can get the milk for free. Or that two generations of women have been told men are useless for anything other than sperm donors. Or that family courts make marriage a suckers bet for men. But no; it must be the recession.

More unstimulatin' stimulus:

The 2009 federal stimulus money that paid Hill and 84 other job counselors to teach at the state's 46 workforce centers ends Friday. Without funding, those workers must move on.

Green shoots everywhere.

As further proof that an education doesn't make you smart:

Guests at the new Vdara hotel have been complaining that because of an architectural flaw on the glass skyscraper, the sun's rays are being magnified and reflected onto an area of the pool, causing severe burns. There have been reports that even plastic has melted from the heat. 

It takes a great deal of education to make you dumb enough to build a giant concave mirror in the middle of the desert.

Martin Robbins has written a meta-science article that makes all popular science reporting obsolete. It must be aggravating to put the kind of blood sweat and tears that goes into the typical scientific paper only to see some clueless hack completely miss the point.

When a private business experiences a decline, they cut costs by laying off people, cutting hours, closing underutilized facilities, etc. When the Post Office experiences a decline, they run a $6 billion loss that is covered by taxpayers. First class mail is going the way of classified ads in the daily newspaper, and can no longer be expected to subsidize hard-copy corporate spam. Unfortunately, adapt or die never applies to government agencies. 

Rolling Stone has a great bit about the Tea Party movement. Of course, being the Rolling Stone, there are the expected cheap shots, ad hominem  attacks, and vulgarity, but the main point of the article is spot on. The Creeps in the Republican Party will do everything in their power to pull any Tea Party candidates into the fold and get them on-message. National politics in this country has enormous institutional momentum. Just because a couple Creeps get knocked off in the primaries doesn't mean they will all fold and go home.

Not that the Nuts in the Democratic party have any intention to go gentle into that good night. It looks grim for them right now, but as past elections have shown again and again, what people say to pollsters and what they do in the election booth are not always the same thing.

My take on all this is probably somewhat off, but from where I sit, everyone said "Enough!" and threw the Creeps to the curb in 2008. Unfortunately, they voted in the Nuts. Now they want to throw the Nuts out as well. The Creeps are taking that as a sign that everyone has repented and wants them back. That is dead wrong. From what I can tell, no one gives a damn about party; they want to get rid of the Creeps and the Nuts, and replace them with people who can govern regardless if they are Republican, Democratic, Tea Party, Libertarian or Beer Drinker. Unfortunately, we don't have a none-of-the-above option and, at least here in Florida, every single "person" running for office seems to be doing everything they can to make normal people despise them. That can actually be good strategy for the mid-terms; the middle is so disgusted by the campaign, they declare a pox on both houses and stay home, and the election will go to whichever side can whip their lunatic fringe into the fiercest feeding frenzy. This could be interesting.

Gold set a record again for the fifth or sixth day in a row. I had it all set up to buy sometime in 2002 or 2003 with an out-the-door price of less than $400/ounce. I spent in on college instead. Should have went with the gold. So far, the college degree has been a complete and utter waste of money. If I had went for the gold instead, I'd be sitting on $100K. Coulda, woulda shoulda.

You know things are getting bad when our overlords start trying to mellow us out with pot. I think they may be getting a bit scared. The ganja is one of the better ways to keep the pitchforks safely in the shed.

I should get off the computer and go to bed, but I'm really not tired. I'll probably end up sitting here half the night watching old Nova episodes on Hulu.

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