Monday, December 31, 2012

Good last Saturday of 2012.  Yeah, it does feel like I am counting down.  I am so ready for this year to end in spite of how often I complained that the time was going by much too fast.  Another cloudy day with light lake effect snow.  We still haven't had a sub-freezing high.  But they say that will change around New Year's Day.  Let's see what I find on the 'net today.

Here is one for the 'WTF????' file.  I wonder where the items came from and what would have been required to make them serviceable.


Welcome to the last Sunday of 2012.  I figure I might as well continue with my countdown.  We may get sun today but they predict a high temp only in the high 20s.  If so that will end this year's streak of days that haven't had a high below freezing.  2012 is second on that list--one day below 1978 which had a stretch of 308 days above 32F.


Ah!  Last day of the 2012 count down.  We did get some nice sun yesterday and the above freezing streak continues though it should end tomorrow.  I pulled out the seeds I still have from last season and started evaluating them for this spring.  I got rid of most of the packets that were 3 years or older because the germination rates were not very good last spring for those.  Then I will merge the two lists--the seeds on hand and the wish list from my first pass through the catalogs--and try to figure out what I actually want to plant.  Things progress a slow step at a time.

Jesse' Cafe Americain, I think, defines our current political, social, and financial situation accurately: an 'empire of illusion and a credibility trap'.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Good Thursday to everyone.  We had a dusting of snow yesterday and they say we may get a dusting again today into tomorrow.  So far we have been on the edge of the systems that have moved through over the last couple of days which means we get minimal effects.  We did our shopping yesterday before the snow started to fall.  Mom had no choice but to go out because she had to get a prescription refilled.  We simply combined all our weekly errands.  The worst of it was the wind.

My musical tastes have also broadened over the years, Kay.  I always have enjoyed a wide variety of music from classical to folk to (some) rock 'n' roll.  I still have most of it because my ex didn't really like much beyond cowboy/western.  Pandora has been a wonderful find.  We often put that on because the pickings are too slim on TV, especially since we don't really want to know most of the crap the news puts on.  We shifted after the BBC started to repeat their headline stories--for the second time.  So far we have listened to selections from Scott Joplin, Eric Darius, Celtic Thunder, and Alabama.  I don't know how many different artists and genres we will hear over the next five or six hours.  We moved from the free service to the pay about a year and a half ago and it has been well worth it.


Welcome to the last Friday of 2012.  All of the snow flurries we got over the last couple of days amounted to nothing much.  And the temperature on our patio got up to 42F yesterday so the cement is clear.  I cleaned out the snow and ice that filled up the little platform on the bird feeder.  Some heavy snow is now falling--the heaviest to date.  How much will accumulate--who knows?

Another entry into the 'why I try to ignore politics' file.

I haven't found words to express my disgust at this bit of political/economic obscenity.  We are definitely living in an insane universe when a city with a big crime problem balances part of its deficit by dismissing a quarter of its police force but does nothing about a large gift to the local NFL and baseball teams.  Sports has become a major 'welfare queen' and it really is time to cut them off.  Circuses are continuing even as bread becomes somewhat dear.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Good Wednesday (Day After Christmas), everyone.  Glad to hear from you, Kay.  My ex didn't want the Iron Butterfly album.  We fought over the Highwaymen and Chet Atkins.  I got the Highwaymen and he got Atkins.  Since I bought most of the music I got to keep most of it.  I think Burpee has a heat tolerant tomato I might try this year.  Still working on my shopping list.  I didn't keep a lot of the seeds I had on hand last spring.  I keep records on how many seeds actually germinate and how old the pack is.  Anything over about three years don't germinate well enough to plant again.  So I get to try more new things this year than I normally would.

The news this morning provided another entry in the 'can't trust statistics' file.  We have been told frequently during this Christmas shopping season how wonderfully profitable the powers that be thought it would be.  We have been skeptical especially considering the ridiculously extended hours (like the 500+ continuous hours of operation for one store) and the deeply discounted prices.  Evidently the figures so far indicate a mere 0.7% increase over last year.  I am sure that barely covers the inflation.  Of course, other sources claim much larger sales increases.  So, who do you trust?

In case anyone thought that Fukushima has become part of the distant past here is a blog post I found by way of Bob Brady at PureLandMountain.

I guess this was as inevitable.  We saw corporate America jump on the 'green' bandwagon and on the 'organic' bandwagon while stretching the definitions so far out of shape that anything could be advertised as organic or green.  Now the same process is hitting the 'buy local' movement.  I wonder how they are going to define local.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to you all and hope you are having a really nice holiday.  We spent Christmas Eve with Sister and her family.  Good to see everyone and Sister always cooks up very tasty meal.  We planned our schedule so we don't have to go shopping until Thursday.  That way we avoid the Day After Christmas shopping/return crush.

I received seven garden catalogs over the last couple of weeks.  I love wish books.  Just on a first look I have about three pages of possibles for next season.  After I list everything I would like I have to go back and prune it.   We started putting up a hummingbird feeder last summer.  This year we want to add plants to attract the hummers and bees.  I have bee balm, pineapple sage, and scarlet runner beans on my list.  I plan to move my little roses--they really didn't like anywhere I put them this year.  I have enough pots to put each one in its own pot.  I think hardy hibiscus will fill that space nicely along with some borage.  Both are hardy enough to be treated as perennials.  I found out that the information I had on pineapple sage was not accurate--it is not hardy at my zone 5 position.  I need to replace it this year, either from seed or with a transplant.  So far the sage, lavender, tansy, pyrethrum, strawberries, oregano, marjoram, and thyme show fresh green and may come back well in the spring.

Inside my patchouli, rosemary, lemon balm, and bay are doing nicely.  I think the light I moved over them has made a big difference.  All are showing new growth and are looking decidedly more healthy than they did last winter.  Especially, the lemon balm--I lost the plant I had last year.

My big question each year is which tomatoes and pepper to plant and where to put them.  Looking back I am surprised and bemused.  About five years ago we had an abnormally cold summer and my tomatoes suffered.  I contemplated putting in one of the hybrids that were highly adapted to colder latitudes.  Eventually, I decided against that.  This year has been the warmest on record and the summer was brutal with more than a month at more than 95F.  Tomatoes don't set fruit in that kind of heat.  The peppers weren't exactly happy either.  I will think about the problem.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Good Morning and Merry Solstice to you all.  We woke to snow this morning and high winds.  No surprise.  More often now-a-days I get headachy when we get high winds and I woke with the beginnings of one.  I don't think we got much snow but when we get daylight here (we're still more than an hour before dawn) I will check out the patio and clear what needs clearing.  We did our weekly shopping Wednesday taking into account both the weather reports and the coming holidays.  That is our usual pattern.  We try to avoid going out when nasty weather is due or when we can expect large crowds.

I guess this was inevitable--the confluence of two insanities.  A school district outside Chicago also cancelled classes for "non-specific" threats.  We wondered what that meant.

Hello on this Saturday before Christmas.  Well we all survived the Mayan Apocalypse.  Why the end of the 13th b'ak'tun of the Mayan long count calendar should be any more significant than the end of the 12th month of the 2012th year of our Christian calendar I really don't know.  I have been tired of that hype for the last year.

The s(news) carried the NRA press conference yesterday and this morning.  I did not watch it myself but the parts that made the broadcast aren't a surprise: the protests and the proposal for at least one armed police officer to be posted at each school in the land.  As I said, I am not surprised but I am both disgusted and suspicious.  The notion that the answer to too many guns is more guns makes as much sense as proposing that the answer to flooding is more water.  This is definitely not out-of-the-box thinking.  That is the disgusting part.  What makes me suspicious is how far down the road to an armed camp society some of us seem willing to go.  I also have to ask where the money will come from.  Cities all over the country are cutting police and firefighters because of budget shortfalls.  One city councilman in California (sorry, forgot which city) told the residents he represents to 'lock the door and load the guns.'  So which Peter are they going to rob to pay for Paul's security?  Margaret and Helen have a few very good comments on the issue.

We have a number of glass cooking pans and have used them for years without incident but this story is worrying.  I remember the Consumer Reports investigation mentioned in the story.  We have used our Corning and Pyrex cookware for more than a decade so I don't think we have much to worry about but we will think twice about any new additions.

And then there was this story which made me feel my age.  I remember when In-A-Gadda-Da- Vida came out.  I still have my vinyl record of it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Good Thursday to you all.  We have rain this morning that is supposed to turn to ice and snow later.  Maybe.  Most of the maps show us on the edge of the snow.  How much we get will depend on how far to the south east the storm tracks.  We have already turned off the cable TV.  The news is simply a rehash of what has been on forever (or so it feels.)  No movement on the 'fiscal cliff' with John Boehner trying desperately trying to gain some advantage in the political contest.  Obama has appointed a group headed by Vice President Biden to study the issue of gun control while the news and other commentators are asking where the President has been over the last four years.  I wonder how far these idiots think Obama would have gotten given the wonder atmosphere of political cooperation and camaraderie in Washington.  As for the rest of the TV offerings--we have either seen it too many times already, didn't want to see it in the first place, or couldn't stand it long enough to see it all the first time around.  We have often discussed whether the so-called service we get is worth the cost.  And those discussions are leaning more and more towards the negative.

I found this item to rant about this morning.  Less than ten percent of Americans have 'optimal' heart health according to a new study.  Frankly, this is a big crock of bull.  First, it is a survey.  No physical examinations involved at all.  Second, it is a self-reporting survey and we know that people always tell the truth an surveys, don't we.  Third, look at the criteria.  People were judged optimal if they had no evidence of hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol; exercised according to recommendations; ate five or more servings of fruits or vegetables a day; were not overweight, underweight or obese.  In other words, no kind of actual measurement of heart action.  Another piece of meaningless fluff for the (s)news media.

Gene Logsdon had me scratching my head for the first paragraph.  But with the first sentence of the second I knew exactly what was happening.  An amusing little piece.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Good Monday to you all.  They say we will have another gloomy day though not much chance of more precipitation.  We may get snow Wednesday but the chance isn't all that great.  Hi, Lois, good to hear from you.  I have been following the drought conditions out there in Colorado where I once lived and where several friends still live.  The news hasn't been good.  I am not surprised at the water utility deciding to 'ration' by cost.  I agree with you--it is simple greed.  I don't have to imagine how this will work out.  A couple of years ago, when Atlanta's reservoir almost went dry, one resident of the city maintained a large pool and running water feature, in spite of restrictions, because he was willing and able to pay for the privilege of being wasteful.  Our city didn't impose restriction though they did encourage conservation.  As part of that effort, the water utility offered to supply rain water collection barrels to any homeowner who wants one.  If we owned our home we would have signed up.  If conditions are as bad as last year, or worse, we may get restrictions.  Of what kind I don't know.  Even without that pressure, the utility has been able to get approval to raise prices because of extensive improvements over the last couple of years.  They don't seem to be interested in giving those who use less a price break.

Good Wednesday, Everyone.  The news has been dominated by the shooting in Connecticut and I really have nothing to say on that issue.  Although, every now and then, someone else says something interesting.  Check out Tina E. at anotheroldwoman.  As I noted a while back I could have gone into a coma a month before the election and woke any time since to find nothing has changed.  Krugman evidently feels the same way.  I find myself in the same situation as a couple of bloggers whose posts I read whenever they come up--I need to change and find something else to write about.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Good Sunday to you all.  The Chicago snow 'drought' record continues and another record is threatened: latest first snow of more than a trace at O'Hara airport.  The rain we got yesterday was only three-quarters of an inch and the most since October.  The weather people say we are 10+inches below normal moisture for the year.  The drought monitors still have this area in moderate drought.  Let's see what is on the internet besides the Connecticut shooting which I have begun to tune out.  It is an insoluble conundrum that more 'information' is unlikely to solve.

The Kansas City Star published this investigative report that might put you off beef for a while.

This little article at the Nation (found by way of Chris Martensen's blog) torches the argument that low corporate federal income tax rates translate into more hiring.  We always knew the argument was a scam, didn't we?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Good Thursday to you all.  It looks like we will have bright, sunny skies again today and temperatures above normal by about 10 or 15 degrees.  No snow so the Chicago record watch continues.  The news readers say that the new law which restricts how loud TV commercials can be.  I don't know how effective it will be.  After all imagine you are watching an action move and the commercial comes in at 2 decibels above the explosions.


Hope you are having a nice Friday, Everyone.  And I hope my internet and computer are better behaved today than yesterday.  I got a real appreciation for the old saying "slow as molasses in January."  Let's see how things work out today.


It is now a mild Saturday with the possibility of rain.  As you can tell I didn't have much to say yesterday.  The Connecticut shooting dominated the news.  Most of the coverage was predictable.  The arguments for and against more stringent gun control have been made before and I doubt that this will change them.  There isn't much I can say except I grieve with the families and I simply don't understand the shooter (and probably never will.)

But then there is another idiot I will never understand: the religious asshole who attributes all the evils of our society to 'removing God.'  My reading of history leads me to the conclusion that the prospect for divine punishment, whether sometime in the near future or in an after life, has never deterred anyone from perpetrating horrors.  Indeed, more often than not, the perpetrator believes God is on his side and those who suffer the atrocity deserve it.

Much of the discussion on the news centers on 'prevention.'  How can we "keep this from happening again?"  That question presupposes a positive answer to another, prior question: can we keep this from happening again?  I am not at all sure we can answer that question positively.  And we also have to recognize that we have no positive answer to the logically following question:  are any of the 'solutions' politically, socially, or economically tolerable?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Good snowy Tuesday to you all.  We got about an inch of which not much is left.  However, since the official reporting site is O'Hara Airport where they got no measurable snow, 2012 now holds the record for longest stretch without measurable snow all by itself--281 days.  Now that we have snow I put up our winter wreath.

While shopping today we stopped in at the closest of our local Walgreens stores.  The clerk rang up our little order and asked if we had the 'rewards' card.  We said no and that we didn't want one where upon he told us that the store had gone to restricting their sales to their customers who signed up for the card. Mom was not pleased to say the last and told the young man bluntly that, if that were the case, we would shop elsewhere.  The 'conversation' went back and forth with Mom expressing her displeasure at being required to give out her information to get yet another card to simply take advantage of the sales.  But I got the impression that the young clerk simply didn't understanding her (and my objections).  He is used to a world in which that is the way things are and he didn't seem very concerned about the loss of privacy.  That scares me.  I am not at all comfortable with the amount of surveillance out there and how much information is floating around.


Good Wednesday, All.  Tuesday was actually quite sunny and we expect the same today.  And no more chance of snow till Saturday night into Sunday--maybe.

I am not surprised that the Sunday political talk shows didn't introduce the topic of defense cuts.  I think the question this Crooks & Liars is apt though I don't expect it to be answered.  Certainly not after our legislators passed  an appropriations bill which gives the Defense Department another $600+billion.

Another interesting post on Crooks & Liars on Superstorm Sandy.  An old saying comes to mind: the more things change, the more they stay the same.  I don't doubt that experts were sounding the alert about the possibilities of such a storm and its probable consequences.  Officials had similar warnings about the impact of a strong hurricane in New Orleans well before Katrina hit seven years ago.  I expect the same response--they will build back to the pre-storm level but no more.  I noted Mayor Bloomberg's citation of FEMA statistics indicating only a 1% chance of such a storm hitting New York so, of course, no one was prepared.  I also remember former Vice President Dick Cheney's argument for the expense we went to to prevent another 9/11--no matter how small the chance of a repeat we had to treat the possibility as though it were an absolute certainty.

I mentioned yesterday our experience at Walgreens.  For those of you who might think we are getting a bit paranoid take a look at this article I found by way of Naked Capitalism.  It occurs to me that we don't have to have national ID cards and travel permits as Germans did under the Nazis or Russians under the Soviets.  Over the last decade we got 'secure' ID drivers' licenses largely because the Federal government defrayed the costs for the states that balked.  The TSA has gradually expanded its reach and is trying to go even further using the same tactic.  I can easily see a time when everyone is tracked where ever they go.  Think about programs like Progressive Insurance's 'Snapshot' marketed to customers as a money saving choice for customers willing to have their driving tracked or AllState Insurance's invitation to drivers to prove how good they are behind the wheel to get reduced rates.  We are under surveillance from governments at all levels and from big business.  And it will only intensify.

The prices at one of our local gas stations surprised us.  Not the price though that was the lowest in some time.  Rather because of the contrast between the E85 (ethanol) and the regular gas.  The E85 was four cents per gallon more than the regular.  Remember when E85 was promoted as a cheaper alternative as well as a conservation measure?  I get the feeling that both those promises were illusions.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Good Monday, All.  Still gray with a very slim possibility of snow.  If we don't get at least a trace of snow at O'Hara airport (the official site for the Chicago area) the record for consecutive days without snow will be broken.

This was a surprise.  Not the notion that the cable companies are looking for a new way to siphon off more money from their customers.  Rather that it got to a vote of the FCC without a peep from the lamestream media.  It makes me wonder how much else is getting by under the radar.

We watched a bit of CNBC this morning and started sniping almost half way through Santelli's rant.  Not so much at what he said as what he left out.  I can agree that Obama's insistence on hiking the taxes on 'rich' to the levels set in the Clinton administration doesn't consider inflation.  Santelli claimed that $250k today is equivalent to $167K then.  If they did take inflation into account the cut-off would be more like $325K.  I am fine with that.  I wouldn't mind if they set the cut-off at $500k.  So what is my problem with his arguments?  Basically it is with how many other things haven't been corrected for inflation.  Take the minimum wage.  If it were set taking into account inflation since when it was set at $5.25/hour the current value (if I remember some stats I read recently) the minimum wage would be over $20/ hour.  Santelli's charge that the numbers basically lie because liars have formulated them to do so is quite correct.  Take a look here for another aspect of how the numbers are massaged to give a false picture.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Good Saturday to you all.  Gray and wet again but no snow.  Another day to tie the record for number of snow-free days in a year.


Well, here it is--Sunday.  And we have now tied the record for snow-free days and it looks very likely that we will break the record.  I told Mom this morning that you could tell the temperature was no where near cold enough for snow by looking at the kale.  It is standing up straight.  If the temp was below 30 it would look a bit wilted.  We are getting rain now.

As you cam see I haven't found much to comment on lately.  I read a lot in politics and economics and both have been pretty inane.  What can you say after you have already said how idiotic the whole mess really is?  I could have gone into a coma last summer before the election and waking now I wouldn't know any time had passed.  I think I have to change my reading.  Have to give that some thought.

Coyote Gulch has a post concerning water wars in the Missouri River-southern Mississippi River basins.  It follows on another article in Coyote Gulch yesterday (sorry--didn't keep the link) which described a Horsetooth Reservoir just west of Ft. Collins, Colorado, which is at 40% normal.  I think I have noted before that I lived in Ft. Collins for about fifteen years between the late 70s and early 90s.  I never saw the water level that low.  The interesting part of today's article is the competing interests pressing either for or against a release of water from Missouri reservoirs already at low levels:  shippers how move goods up and down the Mississippi vs. farmers in the northern Missouri basin who depend on the river to grow the crops (much of which is shipped down the Mississippi) vs. sports fishermen vs. cities who need to tap the river for drinking (and other uses) vs. conservationists who want to conserve as much as possible of the natural environment (and it isn't just the birds and fish that depend on that environment--it is us also).

The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, N.Y., posted this story which puts and interesting spin on natural disaster damage.  Think Superstorm Sandy caused the most economic damage this year?  Think again!!  The continuing drought beat her numbers by several times.  And NOAA expects the drought to intensify in most affected areas in 2013.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Good Thursday to you all.  I cut the tall stalks on the tansy and mums.  I probably shouldn't have cut back the mums but it was the only way to get the stakes and cross pieces out so I could put them away in the shed for the season.  I really hope we get some normal temps and snow soon.  I don't want my outside plants confused.  I would rather they went into their winter sleep and stayed that way until spring.  The weather people predict possible overnight Sunday into Monday which, if it comes, would tie the record for the longest snow free period in a year (280 days).  Let's see if there is anything I want to comment on today.


Hope you all will have a nice Friday.  We may get some light rain with a possibility (though the weather people are not all that optimistic) for light, transient snow.  I looked up the 'normal' temperatures for my areas and found that the high should be around 35F.  We haven't seen that except as a low since December began and November was warmer that normal.  Two hundred seventy eight days without snow which puts 2012 in second place for the longest period in a year without snow.

Well, this is a hopeful development.  I am very skeptical about the emphasis our political leaders place on college educations.  I have read several articles over the last couple of years concerning the difficulty high tech employers say they have finding 'qualified' employees.  Part of the problem, as a number of commenters have pointed out, is the unwillingness of some of them to pay a good wage for the work.  But another part is, I am sure, the lack of workers with the training needed.  Going back to well coordinated apprenticeship programs might go a long was to solving at least one of those problems.  The other (paying good money for a good job) is another problem.  As this post on The Economic Collapse aptly puts the situation we have gone from "Good Jobs to Bad Jobs to No Jobs.  Obamacare, however, isn't at fault and may not even exacerbate the problem.  The process has been ongoing for the last half century.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Good Tuesday morning, Everyone.  Chicago (not far from us) hit 70F yesterday.  According to the weather person on the evening news, temperatures in this area have reached that level in December only 3 times (including this time) in the 140 years of record keeping.  One viewer had an interesting question--what kind of snowfall came in the previous years of high December?  Answer: a trace.  Our November just past we got only a trace.  Yeah--we looked out once and thought we, maybe, possibly, saw a flake.  We had rain last night and into this morning for which I am very grateful.

Another three seed wishbooks came yesterday.  Two I haven't seen before and, my favorite, Baker Creek.  Still waiting for Burpee, Schumway, and Jung.  Already found some intriguing possibilities: a really small tomato that is supposed to be a heavy producer.  Ditto a small pepper and, one of our favorite, the Mexibell pepper--a mildly spicy bell.  I skimmed the catalogs yesterday but will look more closely over the next month.


Here it is Wednesday.  Howdy, All.  Time certainly is flying by.  Temperatures are back to near normal.  Let's see what is on the 'net today.

Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post has some good comments which eviscerates the arguments for the Repthuglican positions on tax rate increases.  They have nothing to do with either job creation or a slow economy.

Helen ends her very on the mark post with an appropriate description of Repthuglican antics: pissing in the baby pool.  Unfortunately I don't think we have very many adults in Washington and those few are vastly outnumbered by the over-grown pre-adolescents.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Welcome to December, Everyone.  And a warm December 1st and first week it is.  Temperatures should go into the high 50s or even hit 60 this weekend.  A bit cooler after Tuesday but still a good bit above normal.  We haven't seen 'normal' in so long I wonder if we would recognize it if it bit us.


It is now Sunday, Dec. 2.  I didn't have much to say yesterday.  I got out and swept up the leaves on the patio.  Used them to mulch the roses and blueberries.  It may be my imagination but I don't think we got as many leaves as in years past.  I also checked the moisture levels in all of the beds--doing good.  No need to water anything.  We got a bit of rain--a very tiny bit--last night.  But no snow and none likely for the next week.  We bought a winter wreath last week--I think I mentioned that.  I said I would put it up at solstice or when the first snow fell.  Looks like solstice is most likely.  The weather person on the news this morning said that the latest date on record for a first snow is Dec. 16 and last year it fell on Dec. 9.  Looks like it will be late again.


Monday, Dec. 3.  Another bit of rain last night and fog this morning.  Incredibly warm for December--even early December (low 50s).  You might wonder why I don't have much to say on the political row over the 'fiscal cliff.'  Well, I was bored and irritated by the first iteration during the campaigns and now I am simply bored with  the sequel.  Seen this before, boys and girls.  I was utterly unimpressed.  No matter who wins the debate (Damnocrats or Repthuglicans), we will have some form of austerity.  If you can't stomach what is happening in Greece don't console yourself that it can't happen here.  Steve Fraser's post on Tomdispatch should disabuse you of such a notion.  We have lived with increasing levels of 'austerity' for the last 40 years.

I don't know how often over the last several year I remarked, after hearing about union give backs and declining pay and benefits among non-union workers, that soon enough we wouldn't be able to tell the difference between 'something' and 'nothing.'  A parallel argument holds that those who have jobs--any jobs--are luck to have them and should be grateful.  Well, this Daily Kos post demolishes that argument.  Another article I read recently (sorry, didn't keep the link) cited stats which indicate two-thirds of the jobs lost were high-paying-with-benefits types while two-thirds of the jobs created were low-paying-no-benefits.  That doesn't sound like something to feel either lucky or grateful for.