Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mark Perry made me laugh

From Carpe Diem :

You should definitely add Carpe Diem to your RSS reader.

(I won't link to because they aren't family-friendly, and I don't want to contribute to that. Also, this is certainly the funniest thing that I saw on their site.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama Starts the Selling

Melinda Henneberger over at Slate notes that the Catholic Bishops don't want to own hospitals that perform abortions. Ms. Henneberger is surprised that Mr. Obama might be willing to sell out on his pro-life Christian supporters. (The ilk at Vox Populi (including myself) are commenting on this surprise. I'm posting too.) This is after Mr. Obama has picked pro-war people like Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton for his Cabinet, making the anti-war moonbats start melting down. The rich people tax hikes and healthcare for all have disappeared too. I'd even mention the no free puppy, but that would be piling on....

I had no doubt that many would get sold out by Mr. Obama, because you had too many groups getting too many implied (or explicit) promises. Since there's no way the hard left fringe will turn Republican in 2012, they're going to get tokens, just like the small-government Republicans under Bush. At least as a rightist libertarian, Mr. Obama will tend to sell out in my direction... :)

If Mr. Obama manages 8 years, the hard-core left will have the Battered Voter syndrome feeling that the libertarian/small government wings of the Republican party has felt since Reagan's second term (and some would argue first term).

Friday, November 21, 2008

I am getting too cynical in my old age

I just read on Yahoo News that the Dow and S&P 500 are both up because Mr. Obama will supposedly nominate Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary in the next administration. Since Mr. Geithner is currently president of the New York Bank of the Federal Reserve, that makes him one of the foxes that caused this current crisis. I feel like a hen stuck outside of the shed....

If it weren't already past the closing bell, I would have sold this rally. There is NO way Mr. Geithner (or for that matter, Mr. Obama) has a magic wand to make things better.

My magic market prediction: the Dow Jones Industrial Average at 5000 at least, and possibly as low as 1 "share" of the DJIA equaling the cost of 1 ounce of gold on the physical delivery market (not the polite fiction of the spot commodities markets). Since I've now made a prediction, it's important to understand that I am best at saying what the market should do and what it might do eventually, and usually 100% wrong about what it'll do in the short term.

More cost-cutting for Information Technology

As I mentioned last month, we turned off almost every computer at home, and moved our email and such over to Google Apps. I have been completely happy with them, and as best I can tell, we've dropped our electricity bill between $20 and $30 dollars. Turning off the big server helped, and I was also able to discover how to turn the Speedstream 4200 my ISP provided into a firewall (and turn off our current one).

Even so, we were still paying over $160 a month on TV, Internet, and phone. Our biggest problem was phone and TV. Windstream started charging us $6 for an equipment maintenance charge, and our plan was $55 a month. We looked really close at our usages, and we were paying almost $25 a month for effectively 4 channels - Boomerang, BBC America, Toon Disney, and History International. We agreed to compensate with Netflix, so it wasn't too bad a trade. Now TV is $40 (before a $5 package discount)

The big savings was in the phone part. We got suckered into switching to a plan with Caller ID and 100 minutes of long distance. That ran our phone and Internet up to $85 a month plus taxes. Then I discovered Greenstreak . "Naked" DSL is DSL that doesn't include a regular phone line. Windstream coudn't do naked DSL, but they can go "topless": the phone line can do incoming calls, 911, and 800 numbers, but no long distance at all and outgoing local calls are $0.10 per minute (i.e. don't do them). We will have 3M download speed, which is effectively equivalent to a 10M cable link (the cable bandwidth is shared in the neighborhood).  Total costs: around $35.

Since we all already have cell phones, we don't need the home phone for calling, just for the Dish, security system, and the occasional incoming call.

Even picking up Netflix, we've saved $50 from the entertainment budget, and given ourselves a lot more options.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hello, my name is Tootsie Pop

Sorry for not posting. I was suffering pre-election traumatic syndrome. It was just too awful thinking of the election to post.

My voting record still holds: Milady and I have voted differently in every election I have been eligible to vote in. She voted for Obama, while I voted for Bob Barr. Ben Chandler won (1-2 for me), and so did Mitch McConnell (oops, 1 for 3). Most of the rest in my precinct were unopposed, so there weren't many choices. I did write Milady in for State Senator, but Kentucky doesn't count write-in votes unless you pre-register, so no one will know it but you.

Now, here's my new self portrait:

Why is that? Simple. I am a SUCKER! Milady and Little Miss walked up after I went to Wal-Mart and showed me this:

We now have an 8 week old Boston Terrier pup named "Queen Padme Amadala Packrat". Given my ever-growing dislike of the prequel trilogy, I tried lobbying for a change in name, but again, I'm a sucker. Padme it is.

Around 5AM this morning, I felt a little tongue licking my back. Milady had gotten suckered into getting her out of her cage and putting her in bed. At least she seems to be pad-training well, so she didn't wet the bed.

It's a good thing I don't think I'm in control of my family.... ;)