Monday, March 4, 2013

A little of this, a little of that....

The news hodge-podge clogging my radar today:

On a scale of 1-12, I read that the pollen count in Dallas today is 11.4.  That explains a lot. *cough, gasp, wheeze*


The Wall Street Journal reports the newest "exciting field of academic inquiry is 'boredom studies'."  Yeah, I had to read it twice, too.  Technically it's referred to as the Study of Monotony.  It boggles my mind to think that college professors (tenured, no doubt) can make a living studying boredom.  

And Canada seems to be the hotbed of boredom studies.  Wow!... that's something to be proud of!  There's even a "Boring Conference" in East London with power point presentations on topics like "toast".  Jeez.  Talk about....wait for it....a boring conference!

This reminds me of when I was a college senior looking for a slam-dunk grade-point-enhancing course that would get me a diploma. I found it in the "Sociology of Leisure".  The professor was a tie-dyed T-shirt, beads, and sandals wearing kinda guy.  As the Vietnam War was in full bloom, the prof told us we would all pass, guaranteed, as he wouldn't want it on his conscience that he flunked someone who was then drafted and later killed in Vietnam.  In the spirit of the subject, I cut his class most of the rest of the semester.  Absolutely true story.


I read on Yahoo news that a recent study found that in every major US city except one the average family income wasn't enough to buy the average priced new car.  It seems that after allowing for inflation the average family income has been essentially flat for the past 30 or so years while new car prices have increased dramatically.

What to make of this?  First, our system of economic rewards is broken.  The system is rigged with favorable tax and deduction and exemption rules and even subsidies for some, at the expense of the majority.  We need a new tax system that is fair across the board. If we can do that everything else should fall into place.

Second, cars are too damn expensive!  All these electronic systems and government mandated features cost a lot of money.  

But to me the main thing I took away was....guess which major city in the study had the highest average family income?  Washington DC, due to all the extremely well-paying government jobs there.  What we pay our "civil servants" is absurd!  Go to "federal government employment opportunities" and see the wages they are (WE are) paying.  IMO these paper-pushin' water cooler queens need to have their pay and benefits slapped down in line with what similar jobs in the private sector are paying and no more.  The dog is tired of being wagged by the tail!  Maybe our budget crunch will fix that.

Come to think of it....a lot of my Sociology of Leisure classmates went on to careers in government employment. It was a perfect fit! 

That's all I have.  Bye.  ;)



  1. It is sad to think so many people can't afford to buy a new car. I probably couldn't have if I hadn't gotten a big supplier discount on mine. To think a new car is a luxury item now! Henry Ford would be rolling in his grave.

  2. I prefer older cars because everything isn't computerized and easier to fix than newer models, and cheaper to maintain.

  3. To much here to comment on everything...Suffice to say I agree with some and this post would NOT make the boredom study.

  4. I wonder what our pollen count is? -4 maybe? We're supposed to get snow again tomorrow.

    We sure can't afford a new car - or a used one for that matter, until we get Mike's car paid off. Fortunately I think mine is going to hang on for a while - it just doesn't like it when I gun the engine. So I stopped doing that & I'm getting better gas mileage :)

  5. I think I can remember when cars were priced in three figures. For sure, in four figures. SWMBO said the other day the last time we bought a new car was in 1986 and it was $11,000. Now, it's three times that.

  6. Pollen count of 11.4? That was the temperature in Buffalo...

    *Cough Gasp Wheeze Shiver*

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