May 232012
 

So, some in our household are anxious to move. Others, not so much. Bankers are kind of on the fence. They don’t seem so fond of the idea of contingencies or two mortgages and the simplest way seems to be to sell one house and then go buy another.  Just where do you live in the  meantime?  We’ve seen some people goto a smaller apartment – and that adjustment in lifestyle seems to add to the pressure to find a new place.  That can be motivating, but also stressful it seems.

I started wondering how come we don’t do things the college way anymore?  That is, take in roommates?  Sure, we’re a family now, but shouldn’t there be another family that is as good a fit as some of the college roommates I’ve had in the past?

With two substantial rents being added together, it seems like we could get a nice house in a good school district to live in.  Just that we’d need to adapt lifestyles with another family in the household.

We were talking to another family (they can out themselves if they like, I won’t) about this.  One said that their family did it when they were younger.  They don’t speak to that other family anymore though.  Ha ha – brush off that data point and keep going with my idea, is the way I approach things.

We covered some basics – but overall, this uncommon idea didn’t have a showstopper.

  • Need to give benefit of the doubt
  • Don’t feel slighted if not invited out to something
  • Don’t be afraid to invite yourself
  • Everyone’s going to have to get used to more farting
  • Need to maybe have a quiet area (a smaller area though, so not every adult can fit in it)
  • Maybe have hats to wear for “do not disturb” or “looking to chat” (married folks adaptation of signs on doorknobs in college dorms)
  • Reduced left overs
  • Hire cleaning folks

I think the one that Catherine and I held back, would be how the other family would constantly be asked to serve as the panel on the Marriage Ref.  Our “discussions” usually don’t end up with either side really changing their mind – and we’d love to have some help in getting things decided.  Picking the right family to do this with becomes even more important in that light.

There are clearly some families that this wouldn’t work out with for us – which was a fun though experiment in itself.  But there are some that it might work with.  But we haven’t heard of anyone doing this and though that should raise some warning signs, I’m not convinced of them.

I’m guessing, if we did go into this experiment for a year (ample time to find a house, right?) we’d leave that year with the new, concrete knowledge of why people don’t do this more often.  A fun learning experience though, huh?

Feel free to send me your family’s application…

Jul 282009
 

Say there was a group of folks that liked getting tattoos while skydiving naked.

Say for some reason, they wanted to stop doing that so much.

They decide to charge a luxury tax on themselves for doing it.

So that if anyone went skydiving naked and got a tattoo on the way down, they’d pay all the other members of the club some non-trivial fee.

That would be a little motivational device they could use to help curb their habit.

Now, suppose you’re someone that isn’t really interested in skydiving or getting tattoos.  And they ask you if you want to join.  There are no annual fees to be in the club, no risk, no catches, no gotchas.  Just that once you’re a member of the club, you’d get paid out if someone got a tattoo while skydiving naked.  And on the off chance that you did change your mind and decided that for your first tattoo, you would like to do it while skydiving naked, you would have to pay a little tax to everyone else in the club.  But that’s unlikely.

So there’s really no risk, only reward for being in this club, of recovering skydiving tattoo addicts.

I don’t see any reason to not join.  So when someone at lunch told me they weren’t interested in joining the club, I couldn’t understand it.  Why wouldn’t anyone that doesn’t have any tendencies towards tattoos, public nudity and skydiving not want to join?

They just want to keep their options open?  I don’t get it.

And yes Brian, I’m talking about you.

Jul 262009
 

…that your wife wanted to get rid of.

Having them lined up at work would be kind of boring.  What could you do instead?

If you put one on co-workers desks when no one was around, how would they take it?  Suppose you put some thought into each one and found some characteristic about the character that reminded you about the co-worker, how many of them would be flattered versus confused versus insulted?

Did I get Groundskeeper Willy cause I’m strong and always willing to help or because I have an accent and not the sharpest tool in the shed?

Was I given Smithers because I’m a solid right hand man that will goto any lengths to support his superior, or is it because I have plenty of closetted habits?

What’s Flanders doing on my desk?

Yeah.  It could be fun huh?

(I’m gonna have to post date this post so that I can get a chance to do it before I ruin the surprise for folks…)

…So I did it.  Turns out that the characters were from the movie, which I hadn’t seen and there weren’t as many as I had thought there would be.  Here’s how it broke down.

Flanders: Sean.  Just cause who else would say Okely-dokely?

Bart: Ben.  Just cause he’s got a skateboard.

Krusty: Pawson.  I really enjoyed how he was moved by the fact that when we played that Family Feud game at the offsite, that he got Class Clown, but didn’t make the board for funniest.  That is funny.

Comic book dude: Chuck.  He might still think that Luke goes to ComiCon.

Nelson: Travis.  No real reason. Just wanted to give him one.  He can be funny in that jerky way I suppose that’s why it went to him.  I guess I had to give it to someone, that’s why he got it. Not cause I wanted to give Travis one.

Apu: No one.  Who could it be?

Some dude I don’t know. I had to look him up on the web and have since forgotten who he was.  Some EPA guy from the movie?  Gave him to Dan. Cause I figured Dan would be the one most disturbed trying to figure out why this EPA dude was on his desk.  I really wanted to give Dan Milhouse, but he wasn’t in the set.

Burns: Kelly.  If there was the Burns/Smithers combo, I wrestled with giving Burns to Ben Strong and Kelly Smithers, but I didn’t have that choice after all.

I think I gave Joe T someone too.  I forget who.  Maybe Dr. Hibbert?  No reason. Just to mix things up.  Make sure enough of the fantasy guys were represented that it didn’t look like I was picking favorites.

Maggie or Lisa went to Michelene cause she’s the girl.

I left myself Barney – again to throw people off the track of who was putting these things on people’s desks.

Plus, it didn’t hurt that I was on vacation this past week…

Nov 042008
 

So I’ve been watching these car prices drop, as the cars get older and people stay concerned about gas prices and the economy.  Even when the economy was fine, it didn’t make sense to buy the car…but now, the prices on the cars are dropping 2-3k a month.  And they’re the same cars that have been on sale the whole time.

What I’m wondering is, come 2009 – will the prices drop even more?  Because they’ve gotten a “year older” by model years?  Kelly blue book’s gotta change then too right?  I’m kind of guessing here, having never tracked used car prices.  Anyone know?

Cause I’ve waited 5 months for this car – what’s another couple of months to save a few more thousand?  The worst that could happen is that I end up test driving a Cadillac CTS-V and find out that I fit comfortably in it…

Oct 202008
 

Hypothetically speaking, say this happens…

You get on a conference call in the morning, while at the same time, trying to deal with one of your children. Things go smoothly for a while, then rough, then really rough. So rough that you leave the phone with the conf call going on, to go deal with one of your kids.

By the time things are reasonably resolved, you’ve noticed that the call has ended.  For the most part. There are still 2 people chatting as you get back to paying attention to the call.  They’re chatting about personnel moves and with the way they are talking, it becomes clear that they think they’re the only two people on the line.

There are a lot of “That’s so awesome!” or “You’re too brilliant” or “That’s so classic of you.” going on and one gets a glimpse into how one really moves ahead in this world.

Then the conversation goes back to being social.  Again, if one hangs up now, there’s a double beep to let the people on the line know that someone has left.  This is helpful if people’s cell phones drop a connection and you need to know.  Less helpful if one is trying to discretely leave a call.  Now they’re talking about a weekend with two social events going on.  One the boss has already RSVP’d for, the other thrown by the other party on the line and with seemingly less notice.  The boss says they’ll look for a way out of the other event, because they so much would rather goto the event being thrown by the person on the phone.

Now, you know all the people involved.  Give anyone a heads up on who wants to go to who’s party, or just let thing pieces fall how they may, then make comments afterwards about how attendance was chosen?

Or hang up earlier in the call?

Jun 262008
 

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

This is all clever and inspirational and stuff, but when the rubber meets the road, how does one balance the serenity and wisdom with giving up?  If you give up and just accept things will be the way they are, are you a sucker or are you serene and wise beyond your years?

Maybe it’s what you got going on outside of that arena that tips the scales one way or the other?  Or does it?

In this comic – if the pawn realized what the King was thinking – and continued to be a dedicated hard worker, would the pawn be a sucker or would he be serene and wise?