My Many Interests

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu and the Economy

Swine flu seems to be cramping my lifestyle. The news just broke in on the TV to say that the entire Fort Worth school district will shut down til May 8th due to a confirmed case of swine flu. We had planned to visit a few events this week to get out of the house. Now that we think about it, maybe we should stay at home. So if the economy is not a downer you have this flu throwing it's hat in the ring. I'm actually thinking about doing what I said I wasn't gonna do in the first place; I'm getting worried. Not the "run out and buy out the pharmacy" kinda worry, but I will take a few precautions.
The CDC has put a set of guidelines and they are as follows:
  • Stay informed. This website will be updated regularly as information becomes available.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • Take everyday actions to stay healthy.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
    • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Develop a family emergency plan as a precaution. This should include storing a supply of food, medicines, face masks, alcohol-based hand rubs and other essential supplies.
  • Call 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information.
How has the "possible" pandemic affected what you do, if at all? Or just point out my misspellings?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two Tons of Steel remake of The Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated

"Heard this song on my way out to see my Dad a few weeks back and just remembered to look for it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Or not.

I Wanna Be Sedated - Two Tons Of Steel

Monday, April 20, 2009

Has the economy bit into your movie budget?

My wife and I don't go to the movie as often as we did when we started dating. As great as the movies are, we just can't seem to bring our selves to shell out $9.50 a ticket for a cramped seat and the chance to hear what the person four aisles away is talking about. Add snacks and they can cost as much as the tickets.

We finally tried the dollar (actually $1.50) movie across the highway and enjoyed it. For less than the price of one regular priced ticket we were able to see a double feature. Snacks still cost the same, but for $30 we did what would have cost us almost $60. Still the same old guy talking four rows up and the tight seats, but, hey, for that price, I'll deal.

Nowadays, we don't go out unless it's a blockbuster spectacular that has to be seen on the big screen. Any kind of blow'em-up, shoot'em-up, scifi, adventure, epic type of movie is why we shell out the big bucks. (Un)Fortunately, they are few and far between. Well, except for May, when Wolverine and Star Trek come out. We'll deal with that through the local comic book shop, Boomerang Comics. They're across the street and Neal, the guy that owns it, has a movie night at Studio Movie Grill. He rents out the whole theater and you purchase your tickets through him.

Another way of fighting the price of movies is through NetFlix. We have an account with them and it's great. For $16 a month, we can get 2 movies at a time. We watch them and return them and they send two more. As many as we can watch in a month for $16 and there are no late fees. Wife gets a movie and I get a movie. We watch one, stick it in the mail the next day and a new one usually arrives by the time we are done with the next movie (unless you watch them both one after the other.) They have bigger plans including 8 movies at one time. You manage your list online and as they recieve one movie, they ship the next one out. I've sent one out on a Monday and had the next one on a Wednesday.

And for those with fast connections, you can watch certain movies and tv shows on your computer. This is great for people like me who want to see things that the spouse is not interested in like my Red Dwarf tv series from the 80's. Even watched a book-turned-movie by one of my favorite authors and saw why he hated it. I did too.

I'm a NetFlix fan because we don't waste alot of money on the movie experience unless it warrants it. I've got a link for it on my other website, so if you'd like to try it out, please do.

So, how do you cut corners with your entertainment expenses? Do you rent, or do you deprive yourself during the economic downturn? Or are you even affected by it? Let me know!

Friday, April 17, 2009

What is news?

Susan Boyles' performance on Britain's Got Talent has been a world-wide phenomenon and people were weighing in on CNN about it. The typical comments were "never judge a book by it's cover." Then one woman posts a video comment and in it she says that someone being judged by their looks is not news. She being an over-weight asian woman means that she is judged every day. That is not news. Yes, I agree with her. It's not. She as well as others missed exactly why it was news. The look on Simon Cowell's face as well as the other judges' and audiences' is why it is so worthy of the attention. Yes, she is a wonderful singer and yes, she's frumpy. But that is far out-weighed by the eating of crow by so many people at one time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sharing the Awe-someness

Amanda Bauer is an astronomer in the United Kingdom and I love reading her blog. This latest post tells how she shared her love of astronomy even though there was a language barrier. Please check out the post and check out the rest of her blog. The Language of the Universe

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Making the Sale

I've been out of work now for a little over three months. Most of it by choice, but now that school has fallen through on it's end of the deal, the wife and I have decided to get back to work and concentrate on building up our reserves. Again, if it hadn't been for Dave Ramsey, we wouldn't be keeping our heads above water like we are.

I'm going to an interview on Tuesday for a bank teller position with Wamu. They've been bought out by Chase and are looking to expand a little in my area. Wifey has had experience in the bank field, so we thought that if her job hits the skids then she might apply also.

While I'm preparing for Tuesday, I came across this article and thought it very timely and that I would pass it on to you. It's one of those articles that I wish everyone would read or pass on to anyone getting ready to go looking. Time and time again, I've witnessed, as well as the wife, people who show up to job interviews half-prepared. That's putting it politely. People who show up to fill out applications wearing short-shorts and flip-flops alongside those that bring all of their children. You can't tell me that Mama didn't teach them how to dress and that someone couldn't watch those kids for 2 hours. Yeah, yeah, I know. I don't know their story, but I see it too much to think that it's not a social norm nowadays.

Question: Have you been witness to people sabotaging their interview before they even begin? Please comment and give details. We love the details!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Kay from 'Perhaps we learned something' put together this little string of offerings about the 7 deadly sins or "vices that lead to sin" as she put it.

I decided to give it a whirl and talk about greed. I believe that you can be greedy without even being aware of it. In fact, all of the sins can be committed without any conscious thought. But, we're speaking of greed here.

Ever been in a buffet line and there's people behind you and there are three slices of pizza left. You think nothing of it and take all three. People behind you will now have to wait for the next pizza. (and you know who you are, buddy!) You cut someone off on the highway because the person in front of you isn't going fast enough. The person you cut off now has to throw on their brakes and thus everyone behind him does the same. Because of your impatience, people now have to slow down thus causing slight ripples in traffic that lead to backups.

These things are minor, but they are still examples of greed. You have gained while others "suffer." Is it something that you should go to hell for? I don't think so, but look at it this way. This kind of behavior causes the people who have been slighted to think bad thoughts or want to commit bad acts. The things that they want to say or do may be slight in our eyes, but in a world where we all live and work together, these add up. Almost a butterfly effect of emotions.

Then again, I could be full of hot air! Let me know what you think. Check out Kay's blog and leave my pizza alone.