Wednesday

They are just so odd...


Tuesday

hail!

Many thanks to the Mountain Tates for a toaster that makes bread fun again.

(i tried to work "bread ex field" in here somewhere but it just felt forced)

Saturday

...

My first year out of college I spent Christmas Eve in Proctorsville, VT and per the suggestion of my brother John - who was once no stranger to solo Christmas Eves before the advent of Lisa - I went and had Chinese food for dinner. It's a tradition I've kept alive for the past decade thanks in large part to the guests we always have at the hotel over Christmas. It must be a tradition in the Chinese-American subculture to come to Killington, Vermont for Christmas and to cook up a storm and party like Wok-stars (a-thank you). The same group - in the row of non-smoking double queens - always fixes me a plate and so here I am...tradition alive and well. Stunned, perhaps, this is my third time spending CE at a hotel with what were once total strangers but are now familiar acquaintances...stunned but thankful.
My stomach may be full...but there is room in this inn.

Wednesday

Gingrich gets a few more points with me

Occupy wall street in the micro

I am one of the 4%...on ebay at least. Ebay is, in some ways, it's own little economy. Buyers and Sellers peddling and competing with their own little paypal currency.

 Participation in this economy is entirely voluntary and your success either in finding the best deal or in getting the best yield for your selling efforts is solely dependent on the individual. About a year ago I began to sell on Ebay in earnest. (I'd go on craigslist looking for bargains and then I'd go on Ebay and flip the item for a profit. Recently I've become a "coupon magnate" selling mass quantities of coupons.)  Whenever I sold an item this past year, just like the rest of Ebay, I was charged 5% of the sale price. Or I was taxed, if you will. But just like any ideal economy there are rewards for hard work. I began to pride myself on my accuracy of description, prompt return of emails, dispute resolution, speediness of delivery (as well as quality of packaging materials) and I also began adding a personalized, hand-written note in each sale.

 This week I was rewarded by being labeled both a power seller and a top-rated seller.  Classifications determined by a calculus that includes factors from both buyers and from Ebay itself and classifications I can stand to lose.  Buyers have rated me as above average in every category with Ebay concurring - and Ebay acknowledges that I bring in above-average revenue for them without any unnecessary work on their behalf.

So now I pay only 4% in seller fees and I am "taxed" less than about 96%  of the Ebay population.

This was no accident and while I don't equate my ability to flip a cell phone on Ebay to some grander economic achievement - the lesson for me is quite clear:  There are winners and losers in this American economy of ours and at times we will all be both.  But what this economy is most certainly not designed for is spectators.  You cannot sex up or intellectualize laziness.  It all comes down to staying up and waking up that extra minute.


Tuesday

Yeah, or go to a different Chinese joint next time

Obadiah Tom Tate, second row - peering

"Or we can return to the road we once knew and which has served us well: a road where individuals acting freely and with little restraint are able to pursue fortune and prosperity as they see fit, a road where the government's role is not to shape the marketplace but to help prepare its citizens to prosper from it.

In short, we must choose between the straight line promised by the statists and the jagged line of economic freedom. The straight line of gradual and controlled growth is what the statists promise but can never deliver. The jagged line offers no guarantees but has a powerful record of delivering the most prosperity and the most opportunity to the most people. We cannot possibly know in advance what freedom promises for 312 million individuals. But unless we are willing to explore the jagged line of freedom, we will be stuck with the straight line. And the straight line, it turns out, is a flat line."

- Jeb Bush

(from this WSJ article)

Friday

my mind used to race...

...now it just hands out the cups of gatorade