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We must unlearn what we have learned by wisconsin_cur on Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:59 pm
If you are under fifty you have benefited from a long period of “price stability.” Since the stagflation of the 1970's we have experienced low single digit inflation as normal. For large parts of our population this is the way things have always been and, by extension, the way it always will be. Experience governs our view of the world, from our sense of morality to our sense of cultural propriety. Along with the stories we have heard from our parents and grandparents; it also is the toolbox for the management of our personal finances and home. As a culture, however, we have discounted the value of the stories of our elders and, as a result, our toolbox is limited. It is not too late, however, to listen to those stories and learn from them.

The experience of relative price stability has led to an assumption of further stability. Money may still “burn a hole in our pocket” but this springs from a desire to consume; not an evaluation of the possibility that the dollar will be wort...

[ Continued ]

2 Comments Viewed 57857 times
If confronted by a mob, by wisconsin_cur on Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:04 am
I heard the question asked recently, how do you defend yourself from a mob. Assuming you have done your best (and failed) to avoid the mob, I see the options as:

1. Turn and run (flight)

This will engage the prey drive of the crowd. they will think they got you if they can only catch you. How big is the crowd and what percentile of the population can you out run? I'm not an avid runner but still in good shape, at least for the first mile or so. When I was tested for a job (self-selection bias at work here since only people who were willing to be tested in their 1 mile time applied) I was in the top 90%. So lets say for the population as a whole I'm in the top 5%. If there are 20 people, the odds are good that at least one of them will catch me.

I am also of the age where I will begin slowing even if I start to run more for exercise. Another question is if I have the lead...

[ Continued ]

6 Comments Viewed 238814 times
Product Review: Grabbit by wisconsin_cur on Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:38 am
So I am putzing around in the farm store looking at tarps and trying to figure out how to get a couple of jobs done when I come across a product I never noticed before:


The basic idea is that one piece "the dogbone" goes on the underside of the the tarp and a second piece slides onto the dogbone from above. Supposedly it can be used to connect two tarps together. I just used it to attach two tarps: one canvas and one plastic to a building or anything else solid.

The instructions were wanting but after squinting for several minutes at the picture on the package and about twenty minutes of failed attempts I figured out which end of the dogbone was to face out:


The big draw back is that the center hole has an air space between the plastic dogbone and...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 49293 times
The culture of Poor by wisconsin_cur on Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:26 am
A question was posed to me recently, "At what income level to you think that someone is 'making it' and at what point are they poor?"

This is a issue upon which I have some strong emotions stemming mostly from my biography. My parents were married at 18 and their path to their present level of success began with a newborn and one High School diploma between them. There was no seed money from their parents to get them started but there was an attitude and ethic worth more than the Hilton-family trust fund. For me anyway the nature of their beginings are neither a source for pride or shame. It is just what was. I do, however, take pride in the way they faced that beginning.

Between them they had an ability to get things done and make the best of what they had. In the late seventies and early eighties, when the unemployment level of my home county hovered around 20%, They worked hard, saved what they could, bought a house, went back to school and politely declined government programs...

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3 Comments Viewed 56654 times
Doom, fresh & hot, right off the griddle by Jack on Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:48 am
We talk often of oil, the environment, food supply, and the consequences of exponential growth. All are important. And yet, there is a variable that I have not contemplated as often as, perhaps, I might. That is the human variable - and it is, I think, the underlying reason why a high percentage of the global population is inescapably doomed.

I dropped by a fast-food place - the specifics of who and where are unimportant. It is no different than thousands - perhaps millions - of other small businesses with a product to sell, a few employees, and some customers. I had timed my arrival for their opening time. They opened 15 minutes late, only a bit worse than usual. The reason was that an employee had not come in - he finally showed up 25 minutes late. The person operating the register made a mess of the order and had to get help from the manager to fix it. And then, they made a minor error in filling the order.

So here in Texas we have an 8% unemployment rate, and yet the employees...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 8250 times

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