Friday, November 21, 2008

Ten Assorted Little Things

What were they thinking?
When the Big Three automaker CEO's hopped in their individual corporate jets to fly to Washington to ask Congress to bail them out, isn't it amazing that not even one out of the three thought this might look bad. Couldn't they at least have flown in together? And shared a car service to The Hill. Did they get take their cue from the AIG execs who decided to stick with their par-tays even when it looked like they were par-taying on our dimes.

It could be worse.
In the Wall Street Journal yesterday, there was an article on the Russian economy. Among the other problems they're undergoing, there's a big issues with unpaid wages - 300,000 workers are owed a collective $145,000,00o. One woman who hasn't been paid since September. She's continuing to slog away, hoping to be paid by New Year. It's not as bad as it was in the 1990's, "when tens of millions of people were affected. Then, workers went without salaries for months on end, sparking nationwide protests."

2012 has already begun.
I am really not looking forward to four more years of Mitt Romney campaigning for president. Frankly, I'd much rather listen to Mike Huckabee -who, by the way, is campaigning via book tour. I may not agree with him on much, but at least he's got a good sense of humor.

Out of Town News
I'm as bummed as the next Bostonian-Cantrabridgian who's bummed by the impending demise of Out of Town News, which has been selling, well, out of town newspapers since 1955 from plunk in the middle of Harvard Square. I bought papers or magazines there occasionally. Once, before a trip to Ireland, I bought a bunch of Irish newspapers, including flaky little ones like the Kerryman. But, like a growing number of folks, I don't do much newspaper reading off-line. I read the newspaper every day through much of my life, but now I can go weeks without getting newsprint on my hands - even though I'm reading The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal pretty much every day. No, it's not the same experience, and I miss some of the things - like letters to the editors and the obits - that I no longer read. I do not want to see paid journalism die. Someone's got to report on stuff for us bloggers to blog about. But it's the way the world is going. (I sure do hope that there are still magazines in print for the rest of my life, though.)

Bobby Kennedy's birthday
If he'd lived, RFK would have been 83 yesterday. Hard to believe, isn't it?

eMail Addresses
I know that if I put my mind to it, I could consolidate at least some of my e-mail addresses, at least herding a few of them into the same in-boxes. But until I put my mind to it, I will have to continue to deal with the four e-mail systems I look at multiple times during the day, the three I look at on an occasional or ad hoc basis, and the two I really should tear out by the roots.

Gasoline Tax
Massachusetts is considering levying an 11 cents a gallon tax at the pump. The way people are pissing and moaning about it, you'd think that they'd proposed an $11 a gallon tax. If the average driver puts 20 gallons a week in their tank - which sounds high to me, but then again the only cars I've ever owned were tiny little gas sippers - that's an extra $2.20 a week. Yes, times are hard, but $2.20 a week, and people are tearing their hair out? Cease and desist.

Holiday Shopping
Usually I'm wrapped by Thanksgiving - yes, I'm one of those  - but with a couple of exceptions, I haven't bought any presents yet. Like everyone else, I'll be cutting back a bit. I'll be taking at least some of the cut back money and give it to a couple of local charities that help those who have no place to cut back. (I do, of course, already have my Christmas cards - cannily purchased on December 26, 2008; I already have my Christmas stamps (Nutcracker, not religious); and I already have this year's (and next year's, for that matter) Yankee Swap, which is what the grownups do on Christmas Eve in my family.

I'm not yet willing to go gray
Yes, despite the Age of Frugality that will soon be upon us, I am having my hair colored on Monday. For a long time, I just did highlights. And sometimes I still think of the procedure as getting my highlights done. But who am I kidding? This is a dye job. Because it's a color my hair actually was in nature at one time, I somehow convince myself that it's more or less natural. Plus, when it grows out - because it's not that far off from the real me - it doesn't look weird. I don't get that "roots" look.  In truth, I have no idea what's under there. All I know is it's streaked with gray. And I don't really want to find out - not quite yet. So on Monday, I'll go see Rita-the-hair-color-genius.

Did I Say Ten Assorted Little Things?
Silly me. I meant Nine.

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