A Little Ray of Sunshine

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The downside of winter

I love winter, yes, but the car heater is broken. The mechanic says we need to replace the heater core. Maybe in a few months we can aford that done.This means that when we go someplace, we have to dress for sitting still outside. Hemi likes it least. He ends up so bundled up that, with his short baby legs, he can hardly stagger along. Beau could care less, as long as I let him kick snow. Hemi doesn't like snow anyway. He hasn't grown into it yet.
I restacked the canned food yesterday. It is in old babywipe boxes. Eventually I will cover them with something, likely an old sheet.
One of my students' mothers, M, who is an obsesive-organizer type, asked about the boxes a couple weeks ago at her son's lesson. I explained they were canned food that I didn't have anywhere else to store. M and family are good Mormons. She suggested we should build more cupboards, but had trouble finding a place to put them at. Being a food horder, in Mormon country, is not a questionable activity. No one asks why. Which is one nice thing about living here. Having two children is also not a questionable activity. Except for the "Are you going to have another soon?" sort of questions.
That's about the only thing I miss about the house we used to live in: storage space. Old houses do have that, at least around here. I got my gas bill for last month. $35. Compared to over $200 at the old place at this time last year. Even though the state let the gas company raise the prices by 25%. And I have the heat turned up two degrees higher. (I think. The controls at the old place were so varied, the baseboards didn't have degrees on them, and every room had to be set differently depending on whether it had forced air as well as baseboard, and if the baseboards in the rooms around it worked or not.
Okay, I miss having twice as much square footage, too. But this place is warm and snug, and it has twice as many bathrooms.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Been gone a long time

Well, I didn't think it was that long! Somewhere in the stumach flu during Thanksgiving break (for which we are grateful, if we had to have sick kids, that it happened when my husband didn't have to go to school and I didn't have to teach), the days seemed to turn into weeks. But clearly I've been neglecting the blog since before that. My sense of passing time doesn't work too well.
My husband took advantage of the break, too, to reinstall our operating systems on the two big computers. This is nice, because this was a dual opporating system machine but the Mandrake part took up seven gigs of the hard drive, and didn't do much of anything else. (He never put on drivers for the ethernet card, so twas pretty well useless.) Now I have the whole (almost) 30 gig hard drive to myself, because the boys have their own machine to fight over. Which they do. For whatever reason the computer likes to reserve a little bit of hard drive from the partition. I am told that all computers do this. Fine. I have plenty of room for my stuff now.
Of course, this means that I have to reinstall all the games. Well, when I feel like playing them again, I will. I don't play most of them very often. My husband's machine has a bigger hard drive, processor, and everything else. That's fine. He uses more of it. He's always trying out this and that and the other.
We had a blizard Saturday, much to my mom's dismay. She likes the crazy sales. I prefer to stay home. Well, she says she got some great bargins on Friday. She's not sharing what all of them were, but she's pretty happy about it, so I'd say Christmas presents. My parents have at least a foot of snow everywhere, as much as three where it drifted. We have some places that are bare dirt, and others (like the driveway) were over two. The snow makes the world look beautiful. We offered to help them with their driveway, it is a longer one, but they are stuborn and proud and insisted on doing it themselves.
I have the windows open in spite of the cold, the house felt so stuffy and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I think this house is a little too weathertight. But, on the bright side, I can crack the windows only when it's sunny out, and not too terribly cold. It's cold out, yes, but not so bad. I wish the boys were big enough to go out skiing and maybe even snowcamping. My husband thinks I'm crazy. Well, duh! Cross-country skiing is what I like better. You can get out into the world and see all sorts of things. I even still have skis. I'm half-Finnish, it's genetic.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Targeted inflation

This is one of those things that make no sense to me. I've decided, though, that it's not because I don't understand economics. Economisists don't understand economics. I get it just fine. You get your money, you pay your bills, you can do what you like (within the law) with the rest. Works the same for government or companies as it does for an individual.
Put me in as Fed Chairman, and I'll tell you what I'd do. I'd do targeted deflation. Yes, I'll decrease the amount of dollars out there. This will be popular with the elderly who have fixed incomes. Their purchasing power will go up. And they vote. So it would be a politicly viable move, even. We might have to put a cap on maximum interest rates temporarily to decrease the number of bankruptcies. The credit card companies would scream, of course, but they'll still make plenty of money. Actually, they'll make more money, relatively speaking, because each dollar they collect will be worth more. It'll hurt the poor, but no moreso than inflation does. I'll target deflation over a number of years until we reach the point that we can make dollar size coins out of gold, and have them be worth a dollar. Of course, there will be a lot fewer dollars around, but there won't be any less money. Cents will just be worth more. The value of denominations will slowly be redefined. It'll be a long process, of course. Probably take at least fifty years. And the Fed. Gov. will have to get it's sorry rear out of debt at the same time.
I've got an idea as to how we could accomplish that, too. Simply require that before any other fed. bills are paid, it must pay all the interest due on loans plus ten percent of the principal. Of course, how we could get that made into law elludes me.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Sorting through old stuff, deciding what to keep and what not, I found some interesting things. Snapshot of myself with a DS at Fort Knox, among others.
A replication (I guess) of a one dollar certificate? War bond? from the Confederate States of America, dated April 6th, 1863 from Richmond, printed on one side only. The fine print reads 'Six months after the ratification of a treaty of peace between the Confederate States and the United States of America. The Confederate States of America will pay to the bearer on demand One Dollar. No. 1468." It is signed by two individauls, whose names I cannot read (handwriting), and says it is 'receivable in payment of all dues except export duties'. This was given to me years ago by my dad, and I think I should have another somewhere.
Map of Fort Lewis.
File of some of my compositions (music) while in college.
Report (bound) on the U-2 spy plane that crashed in the USSR, complete with color maps and supporting documents. End of term project for History of the Cold War class. I recall I did it in about two days, immediately before it was due. I got an A, of course. It was a great class, a great teacher, (I think it was either the third or fourth class I took with that teacher, because of that teacher) and I never did homework before the last minute. Ever. For any class.
FM 25-101, Battle Focused Training.
Empty notebooks.
Color postcards of Brice Canyon.
Past Honored Queen's Card.

Clearly I need to declutter more often. I have trouble throwing things out, and I'm trying to work on that. None of these aformentioned items am I yet willing to get rid of, even though some are clearly worthless to me now except as mementos. I did get some extra milage out of the postcards. (See, honey, this is why I want us to drive to M.'s wedding in CA next summer. I want to show you some of this stuff in Utah. Okay, yeah, besides my intolerance for the TSA.)
I'm hoping when the boys get older I can get some milage out of the U-2 report and maybe even the FM. Or maybe that's just an excuse to keep them.