Link: “2012 vs. 1984: Young adults really do have it harder today”

I read this today, and I feel obligated to share.

All young adults who think they’re getting a raw deal in today’s economy, let me tell you about how it was back in my day.

In 1984, my final undergraduate year of university, tuition cost more or less $1,000. I earned that much in a summer without breaking a sweat.

When I went looking for a new car in 1986, the average cost was roughly half of what it is now. It was totally affordable.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/2012-vs-1984-young-adults-really-do-have-it-harder-today/article2425558/

Sunday Afternoon Thoughts

This is weird and rambly. I apologize in advance.

The gig today with Chasing Grace went well. It was in a very reverberated space, and very loud (not that I am one to complain about that). Good times were had.

What I’m listening to:

I’m planning a replacement/additional desktop computer to allow further self education on important IT principles.

This mattress is very comfortable. Thanks to the family who gave it to us! (I wasn’t sure if you wanted to be named or not, so erred on the side of privacy)

I am rather sweaty, and probably stinky.

I visited the train show in Harrisonburg today, and picked up a number of items. It’s still quite a culture shock compared to the model shows in New Zealand which were more about layout owners showing off their models and less about vendors. Here it’s all about Vendors selling their wares with only a couple of small layouts.

As a side note to the above, I also want to check out the local model railroad club, as I’m working during the day and might be available to attend – I just need to ensure it won’t conflict with other commitments.

Crash is doing really well at obeying commands, though he isn’t perfect. With one attempt at running away out the front door, he seemed to follow the instructions to wait, and go back inside.

I should look up Hulu and CBS and see if I’m caught up on Fringe and NCIS.

Top Gear is a fun show. Which reminds me, there is an episode we were watching the other day that needs to be finished.

Earlier this week we went out to see the circus train come through town. It was a guess as to when it would show up, but it worked out in the end. And much earlier than initially predicted. We’d been estimating as late as midnight (with unhappy looks from Kelly, with us having to be up early the next day and a 30-45 minute drive home). It showed up around 10pm where we were, and I got some bad video and unusable photos of it by the crossing we were sitting at (Look for Lynnwood on my Flickr for daylight photos from the place) then chased it North to Island Ford, filming it again poorly, and then we were alongside it (he was doing about 50-55mph, and we were creeping alongside at 55-60mph). His head end got to Elkton first, but with a more direct route and slightly higher speed limit we got to Shenandoah first (and even then, only just). Lots of waves exchanged with circus cast and crew, and generally a good time had by all.

People are coming over to watch Sherlock tonight. I’m not sure how social I feel like being, but Sherlock should balance that out.

My allergies have been bad lately. It’s annoying.

I enjoyed driving the truck today, it’s been a while. Even though I did accidentally try changing from 4th gear into (non-existent) 5th. Pretty sure it was a safety thing, but I ground a little putting it back into 4th, realized I was a little too far over still, and slotting into “R” instead. It does the same when trying to slot either into first or reverse when moving. Quickly corrected without any damage, and continued on our merry way.

Running out of things to say, probably a good thing.

Changing Timezones

Changing timezone without moving anywhere. It’s a tough assignment, but I’ve been able to do it.

Since September 2010 I’ve been working for Rosetta Stone’s test lab on the second shift, generally working somewhere in the vicinity of 5pm-midnight. In the last few days I was asked if I would be interested in swapping positions with a member of the day shift team who needed to move for personal/family reasons.

I elected to think about it, and later accepted. As of yesterday (and everyone I work with is now aware of this, so I can tell the world in full), I am a member of day shift working “normal people” hours! I’m still officially part time, so there is no change in my 35 hour limit. The only change in pay has been a result of my regular company raise (also received that notice today!) so really all that changes for me is starting in the morning and finishing in the evening, and not the other way around..

New Home

Since the inception of this blog, it’s been hosted at WordPress.com. It was a logical choice for several reasons, predominantly because at the time I didn’t have a reliable web host and also because I wasn’t sure I would be able to commit to making regular updates.

As it turns out I’ve made a number of posts over the last four years and things I wanted to be able to do were being restricted by using a hosting service.

And so we have this new home: http://blog.i-al.net/. Much like the old one, but hosted by me. If it’s broken, blame me.

Galatians 5:19-25 GNT

What human nature does is quite plain. It shows itself in immoral, filthy, and indecent actions; in worship of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups; they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these. I warn you now as I have before: those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of God.
But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives.

John William Polidori

… was a man who lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and was the personal physician to Lord Byron. As well as a doctor, he was also a writer.

In June of 1816, after being a part of a group who all read aloud from a particular collection of horror stories, it was suggested that they should each write a ghost story.

It is because of this, primarily, that we were invited to visit with friends in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend. Every 6 months or so there is a group who meet and share their creative written works, completed or otherwise, for the rest of the group. The general rules are an unwritten limit on time (ie, 10 page readings are generally frowned upon), an expectation that it is a new work (the idea being that it was written that day, or in the day or two beforehand), and a general air of support and positivity. It isn’t so much a place to critique works (although that can be performed later), as to simply share ideas with each other.

Before reading your piece, you have the opportunity to make a disclaimer. In my case, I am not a fiction writer. I’m not good at making up stories. Typically, my best opportunity is to take a real event and either try to adjust it or totally change it so that it works but is not the same. In this specific story, I have to concede that neither the original story, nor the idea utilized in it are totally mine: I’ve read three similar stories in a book several years ago, and decided to try my hand at the idea. I also apologize to anyone who understands banking a lot better than I do.

This is the story I wrote and shared on Saturday:

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his wealth.

And unto one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent; to every man according to his previous performance; and straightway joined the great queue that was for airport security, where he did wait upwards of forty five minutes.

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded on the stock market with the same, and made them other five talents.

And likewise he that had received two talents, he also gained other two talents.

But he that had received but one talent went and deposited in a local savings bank, with a minimal interest return, and hid his lord’s money.

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

And so he that had received five talents came, saying, “Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five more.”

His lord said unto him, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

He also that had received two talents came, and said, “Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two talents other beside them.”

His lord said unto him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

Then he which had received one talent came and said, “My master, how was thine flight? I trust the staff did treat you well and granted unto thee many blessings of food and wine.”

His lord interjected his blathering and said unto him, “The flight was fine, the food, I have had worse. Now, where is that which I entrusted unto thee? I wish to see what thou hast done with mine wealth.”

“Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and I was uncertain of the stock market and how it doth worketh, and went and hid thy talent in the local savings bank, with minimal interest return: lo, there thou hast that is thine.”

His lord answered and said unto him, “Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to bonds with a good history, or gold, or perhaps put it unto reliable enterprises who grant dividends, and then at my coming-”

And he did stop speaking, for he was distracted by the sudden weeping and gnashing of teeth from those who had doubled their moneys, and asked of them what was wrong.

And they did look up from their intelligent telephones, with looks of great horror, for they had just seen the news.

And they did share the news with their master, for he was looking at them expectantly.

And they said “It has just been reported that the companies in which we had bought stock are failing, and the value of our shares has dropped unprecedentedly.”

Their lord opened the drawer of his desk and withdrew a bottle and four small glasses.

And he said unto them, “Well, I suppose we can ask the government for an bail out..”

Quotable Monday: What a Girl Wants

“Women don’t want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think – in a deeper voice.” — Bill Cosby

One of the many things that attracted me to my wife is that she is not a stereotypical woman. I’ve been in trouble before for mindlessly agreeing, for not having my own opinion. I am encouraged to think for myself, and to have independent thoughts that don’t necessarily coincide with what she thinks. In matters of important decisions we usually come to some kind of agreement, in other matters we may decide that I am going to go one place and she is going to go somewhere else and we’ll have a great time, see each other later.

This is a trend, it’s something I really believe, but men, think for yourselves even if it results in conflict with your wife or girlfriend. If it’s something you just can’t get past as a couple, then maybe you need to re-evaluate your relationship. Same with you girls.

Quotable Monday: Conformity

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.” — Albert Einstein

This also references my earlier Quotable Monday entry on blind faith. I always have trouble when I run into people who, when asked questions about things, just speak information they don’t understand.

I ran into this issue on IRC not too long ago, when talking to someone who was making the absolute federal minimum wage of $2.16 (or whatever it is) an hour while driving for a pizza company. When asked about what they made, they referenced Florida as being “under maritime law.” This didn’t make any sense to me, as I assumed that I would have known something along this line a long time ago, and so I went for a talk with my buddy Google.

I confess that in this talk I did learn things – mostly related to the exception to the $7.55/hr federal minimum wage (as it applies to people who normally receive tips in their line of work), but at no point did I find any reference to the State of Florida combined with Maritime Law.

So I challenged the individual, and asked plainly: Is that just what you’ve been told it is? And the answer came back with a resounding “Yes.”

My problem isn’t with people who conform by their own choice, my problem is those who fail to consider the options, or make their decisions without making so much as an attempt to think for themselves. Letting other people think for you is, in my mind, an assault to the freedom of choice that you were given. This also applies to the “non-conformists” who have chosen their path simply because it’s not what other people are doing. Believe it or not, you’ve let other people think for you by rebelling against them.

If you are in the military because you considered your options and it was what you decided to do, that’s awesome. If you are in the military because you were told to, or it was expected of you, and you just accepted it, not so cool. And the same applies to other fields too. It’s totally fine for a feminist to decide to stay home and be a housewife. It doesn’t go against the core principles of feminism which (as I understand them) are about giving women the right to choose. If you’re staying home and being a housewife because you wanted to, go right ahead. If it’s merely because it is the socially accepted thing to do, maybe you should reevaluate what it is you want from life.

I’m not going to apply this to every person in every religion or social setting, I’ll leave that to you to consider.