my computer is not as young as it once was.
Fall of 2005 it was an absolute beast of a machine. 3.5 years later it's not quite as much, but it gets the job done right now. I frequently write up pleo entries one night to find that in the morning my computer has reset itself, or the video card overheated and the screen froze. I get angry and don't write for another couple days. Sometimes i remember to save the posts elsewhere, and then reread them and choose not to post. There's some pretty amusing stuff on the confines of my hard drive.
Being a technophile, I'm constantly stuck between a rock and a hard place when upgrading my gadgets. I know what the next cool things are as soon as they're announced, then i want to wait for them to trickle down to the retail channel which can take months and months. For this reason I constantly obsess about laptops and smartphones. I live in fear of my processor/motherboard going out and realizing my computer really isn't worth trying to find parts for that are that old (socket 939? what?), THEN having to settle for a computer that's in the channels today when I know something better is just around the corner.
Making those decisions for real is going to extremely tough come fall. What I am looking forward to is cheaply upgrading this desktop to work as a networked server that I can access remotely if need be. more on that nerdage as it transforms itself into reality.
I had an outstanding day of productivity in the recent past:
1. withdrew from shelton community college, as i didn't really need the classes i was taking, and they were boring me to tears.
2. retroactively withdrew from the university of illinois. turned a semester of F's into a semester that didn't exist.
3. made a budget to convince my dad i was somewhat fiscally responsible.
4. got my tax return back, AND refrained from spending that sweet cash on frivolous things. alright, you caught me. I paid for an appetizer at chili's when i had a gift card to buy the rest of my meal on. and i'm hitting up indian food on sunday. /drool
In a similar bout of productivity, today I reapplied to UA for the fall semester. Tomorrow will have me re-sending my transcripts. I also started work on my FAFSA, which also means I have to convince the UA financial aid office i'm independent.
So $1,000,000,000,000, eh? I wrote both Alabama senators asking them to ask congress to allot me my piece of the pie. I could do a lot with $3,000.
People call this the failure of a market economy, which I don't think could be further from the truth. This market is shedding the economy of hundreds of thousands (millions?) of jobs that weren't deemed important enough to continue existing. Any bailout is only going to delay the inevitable.
In a globalized economy, the world is a giant free market. People are essentially a type of currency whose value is in a number of different places (ability to learn, think, create, teach, raise children to do likewise). When you draw higher value people to your shores, the more your stock goes up. The more barriers we put up to smart people entering the country, the less are going to live here. The more barriers we put up to smart companies entering a competitive market, the less are going to make it. If we were all embracing the competition going on, we wouldn't be where we are today. The US would be pooling its resources to defeat the next evil empire (a bunch of fundamentalists in a near third world country do not count).
GM should be burning right now, UAW should be whining over the fall of socialism, and Toyota should be making cars that get 40+ mpg. Gasoline should have a fair tax on it to decrease demand. Drugs should be legalized and taxed moderately, eliminating the need for the DEA and DARE (both proven to be largely ineffective, instead i say create a drug abuse education program as well as better funded rehab clinics with tax money from the drugs. I imagine this to be received about as thrillingly as sex ed programs where abstinence is supposedly brushed off: "don't have sex, but if you ever find yourself bored and in heat, here's some stuff to consider". abstinence only education isn't much of an education. /end mini rant. The good part is this would be a money making endeavor on the government's part, and it would eliminate most drug related crimes and people's overwhelming desire to travel to amsterdam). The military should just not be overseas. If education is to be socialized, as it unfortunately is, we need to increase expectations for students and teachers. The industries should learn how to deal with rampant piracy in other ways (variable electronic pricing, lowered salaries, inefficient companies fail, promoting many more bands and letting fans choose the music they want to listen to... i could go on for reforming the movie/record industry). That's a piece of what a truly market economy would allow to happen.
At least reading the blog of my favorite econ textbook's author
keeps me sane-ish. Sometimes even he gets a tad liberal for my taste.
I may/may not be 'assisting' a friend with write ups for her sociology homework every week and I find myself continually attacking the way questions are worded as they're biased towards giving military personnel, the homeless, prisoners, hospital workers, really just anyone they write about, some lofty sense of entitlement. Sociology blogs i read are almost all written by people that think that people who don't earn it need a ton of free stuff, which couldn't be more at odds with econ 101- people respond to incentives. I can't decide if that makes me want to minor in sociology more or less. I am extremely passionate about those people not receiving any more than they're due, so that could be good fuel. On the other hand I do want to learn more about how and why people think what they do to get involved in behavioral econ. double minor?
The most useful manager at the northport store was laid off the other day. By laid off i mean the district manager called the store manager 5 minutes before she arrived, came in, brought tony to the back, fired him, gave him a week's pay for every year with the company (3) and then gave him his remaining vacation hours. Pretty terrible severance package. Pretty terrible way to go, just get blindsided. Like i already said, he was the most useful manager because he can do everything in the store and he knows about technology, and not only that, I learned he was the lowest paid manager and the one that had been with the company the longest. I can't fathom what office depot was thinking.
At my store up north, 3 managers were fired with the same severance, at the same time. This creates a remarkable disincentive to advance within the company. kudos office depot: increasing job turnaround and continuing to sow the seeds of your own destruction, and that 1.5 billion dollar loss last quarter was pretty solid to boot.
On a positive note, I've begun abusing the "winning solutions suggestion program". every day i've worked for the past 2 weeks i've sent in suggestions for how to better the company/make it more profitable. It's a good way to vent at work. Unfortunately they only review those ideas once per quarter, and review is probably an extremely generous term to use here. SO I look for other more immediate issues and bother other people with them. I get dull calls from corporate every couple days saying how they fixed this line here or there. If you're going to office depot and looking at a desktop with a quad core processor, you can thank me that the tag no longer says "Run up to 4 programs at once," which is silly because any computer can run 4 programs at once. Now it says "powerful quad core processor".
A roadtrip, yes, a roadtrip to the Panama Canal is in the works for this summer. If you all have contacts along the way, suggestions for things to do or places to see, or experiences to impart, they'd be extremely welcome.