I’m the last person on earth I ever thought would be screaming for massive government intervention in the free market, but for god’s sake the financial sector is taking a pummeling whose only precedent was before most Americans living today were born. Not to sound like a complete alarmist, but if the Congress allows liquidity to dry up any further it’s entirely possible that the entire financial engine of the country could seize. Our economy on the macro level is based on big institutions providing short term loans to one another. If that suddenly stops happening well, then God help us. I hope you’ve stocked up on lots of canned goods.
No one should be surprised that I watched the debate last night and now I’ve watched the morning spin on all three of the major news channels. I’m actually a little disturbed by the repeated line from the talking heads that last night was a contest between “two great politicians at the top of their game.” Were they watching the same debate I was? At best, both of them seemed tepid in their responses. Had one of them stepped up and presented an air of command, of certainty, I think this election would basically be over. Is a little passion too much to expect from those who would be king? Rather than increasing my interest in either of the candidates, it made me more likely to check the “Other” box on the ballot. The trouble with democracy is that the people tend to get the government they deserve. Given my level of confidence in the people to make informed decisions, I’m not optimistic.
One of my biggest annoyances with the house since the day I moved in has been that the back yard is essentially useless in the summer (a full southern exposure, Memphis heat, and a brick wall = impossibly hot) or when it rains. I’m hoping to resolve those issues in the next couple of weeks. I’ve had three contractors here over the last week and am waiting on the last of the estimates. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with even the higher of the two being almost $2500 less than I had budgeted. With or without the final estimate, I’m making a decision at the end of the week and will hopefully have work started shortly thereafter on a new 12×17 covered patio. Who knows if it will actually add any value to the place… of course lately, nothing anyone could do would really add value. Worst case scenario, I have a couple of years of not getting rained on or sunburned when I take Winston out. Seems like a good deal to me.
I’m not exactly known for my track record for running out and trying new things and I suppose there’s a good reason for that. Having been talked into a quick massage at the mall yesterday, one of the features was a reflexology treatment. Now, I have issues with feet to begin with (that’s definitely another story) and mine in are already banged up from the heel spur. The message itself was good enough, but I thought I was going to have to kick this poor guy in the head when he grabbed a hold of my foot and started yanking it around. I don’t know what a reflexology session is supposed to feel like, but I was under the impression that it shouldn’t leave you hobbled for the rest of the day. There are two basic morals to this story: 1) New things are bad and 2) Never trust some damned crazy Chinaman to make your feet feel better. From here on out, I’ll be back in the camp of getting my medical advice from actual doctors.
From time to time you’ve seen me rail against the incompetence of management, their unresponsiveness to questions, and their apparent lack of interest in much of what’s going on around them. Well, with 10 days into my stint as a supervisor, I’ve already found myself hopelessly overwhelmed with paperwork, dangerously close to missing key milestone dates, and utterly annoyed at the ability of a supervisor to actually direct any work. For the last ten days, I’ve managed to call meetings, beat my BlackBerry to near unconsciousness, and not personally do any actual work. It’s a vicious cycle really; the more I engage in a project, the less I am able to actually do with it… and lord, don’t even get me started on the information papers, memos, and policies I’m supposed to be reading and approving. But damn don’t I hate it now that the shoe is on the other foot.
Now that we’re starting into the time of year when the outdoor temperature isn’t approaching that of the surface of the sun, there are at least half a dozen major or semi-major projects I’ve convinced myself I would start once the weather broke. Wanna know how many of those I started on this rainy morning? None. Zero. Nada. I feel like I’m lucky to run the vacuum and keep the grass cut… and fertilized… and trimmed. Ok, so I’m probably a little more obsessive about the grass than anything else around here. The truth is, I just don’t have any motivation to do those things at the moment.
I don’t want to go find paint chips. I don’t want to start a materiel list for getting a floor down in the upstairs bedroom. I haven’t called a single contractor to get an estimate on having the patio covered. Logically I know I have about 5 hours between when I get home and the time my eyelids start getting to heavy to focus on much of anything and I feel this overwhelming compulsion to fill those hours with something productive but not the motivation to actually get much of anything started.
I think maybe the problem is that I’m not a fan of multi-stage projects. I like things that I can start and finish in a one or two day blitz… and none of the things I want to do is one of those kinds of projects. Of course all of this may be irrelevant if someone keeps dragging me around Shelby Farms on Saturday mornings, because I’ll never be able to walk up the stairs anyway.
Coming home from the office this afternoon, I swung into the Costco parking lot so I could feed my 5.8 liter beast. The first sign of something being not quite right was the guy standing in the middle of the lane waiving people away from the pumps. No problem, I think, I’ll just go around and come at the pumps from the other side of the lot. No dice there, either… another guy in a orange safety waiving traffic around. Stopping to ask what the hell the issue was, all he did was point to the 30-40 car deep line waiting to even pull up to the pumps.
All I can say is what the hell are people thinking? I know there’s a hurricane and that refineries in the Houston area are going to be shut down for a few days. I also know that prices are going to spike by 30-45 cents because of that… But waiting in line for 40 minutes to get gas $.30 a gallon cheaper than it will be tomorrow just seems silly to me. I mean, just do the math… for me: 30 gallon tank x $3.45/gallon = $103.50. Same 30 gallon tank x $3.75/gallon = $112.50. Sorry gang, but my 40 minutes on a Friday afternoon are worth a damned sight more than $9.00. I’m just sayin’.