Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday and the weather is changing. More comments on technology. Thoughts the Pink campaign might not like.

The temperature is definitely on a downward trend here.  The weather people expect frost by next weekend.  I cleared out the stems of the tomatoes and put the strawberries (pots and all) in those areas.  I have a couple of strawberry daughter plants to get moved.  As I move things around I have to do some major clean up.  I have never had so much mold growing on the cement before.  I may have to use some bleach on it and wash everything down well.  I still need to split and move the oregano and spearmint and find information on overwintering the hibiscus and pineapple sage.  I took the hummingbird feeder down earlier in the week--much to the disappointment of a couple of lonely little bees.  But the hummingbirds are gone and the bees can feed on the pineapple sage which is finally blooming.

Sorry to hear about your frustrations with Blogger, Kay.  But I have remarked frequently over the last couple of years that we have had more glitches with technology than I can remember in earlier years.  I know blogger has given me a few problems that have left me sputtering profanities.  Those have usually cleared up leaving me with no clear idea of why it happened or why it suddenly righted itself.  On a couple of occasions I have toyed with notions of trying out other services.  I did just that when they cancelled reader.  I don't like my routines being disrupted so.  As far as the information getting out goes--so much of mine is out there in different databases that I think protecting our traditional notions of  privacy is a lost cause.

An interesting story on the morning TV news that touches on our dependence on technology involved a "glitch" in the processing of the food stamps debit cards in more than a dozen states--including Illinois.  You can get more info here.  Xerox, which runs the system, is "investigating."  My philosophy on this is a version of "trust, but verify."  I "trust" that the technology will be there but I think about work arounds in case it doesn't.  We have been doing that kind of thing in response to other monkey wrenches over the last few years.  When the big banks started hiking fees, we asked ourselves what would be our response if our bank did the same.  When storms interrupted power in areas around us, we started looking at what we need to function in case of an extended power outage.  You always need a "plan B," "plan C," and sometimes a "plan D."

More on the glitch with the food stamp debit cards.  Reuters is reporting that the trouble related to a power outage which has been fixed.  I heard that on one of the news broadcasts (but only one) and that the outage took out both the primary system and its backup.  Sounds like someone needs a backup for the backup.

I have a new "What if" question to ask.  I think we have an answer to the question I asked starting back six or seven years ago: what happens in a consumer driven economy when the consumer can't or won't consume on a heroic scale any more?  With declining income, disappearing wealth, and few (if any) benefits for the middle and working classes, discretionary purchases have declined and economic "growth" has stalled.  My new question?  What is going to happen to our so-called "national treasures"--you know, the parks and monuments that "we" as a "nation" hold in common--when the states assume financial responsibility for operating and maintaining them?  We have already seen several states taking over those operations because the local economies are so heavily dependent on the tourists spending their money there.  But how long before those states decide that perhaps the Federal government should get out of the parks business?  How long before those so-called national treasures no longer belong to the "nation?"

You all may remember that I describe myself as a medical minimalist with a very skeptical attitude.  This article explains why.  There are times when the "pink" campaign to "combat" breast cancer irritates me.  First, I am disgusted by the commercialization and by that I mean all of the companies selling everything under the sun decked out with pink and promising that a (small) part of the price will go to some (usually unspecified) charity engaged in the "war" on breast cancer.  Second, I don't trust the statistics that supposedly show how far we have progressed in the "fight."  Third, I absolutely detest the no-prisoners philosophy which demands aggressive treatment and considers more time an ultimate achievement.  If you are too sick (thanks to the treatment) to enjoy that time, why bother?

No comments: