Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday--and the cool temps and rain continues--though they say we should get less rain, more sun, and slightly warmer temps today.  I have seen some nice growth on the beard-tongued fox glove.  Nothing yet on the hibiscus but the info I have seen says it emerges in late spring so it might be a little too early yet--as well as too cool.

I wonder if "affluenza" is the disease of our times.  First we saw that spoiled brat who got drunk and killed a couple of people while driving drunk get off with "drug rehab" in an expensive resort style "clinic" his parents had to pay for.  I'm sorry.  I'm simply not buying it.

I read this one sometime ago.  It is just as funny the second time around.

Been there, done that.  Many, many years ago a fellow grad student who was applying for adjunct positions in California where her family lived described the kind of life she would have working as an adjunct as "genteel poverty."  Since then I have learned that there is no such thing as "genteel poverty."  Though we didn't realize it at the time the job market in academia was changing and for many (if not most) of us the adjunct route was going to be permanent--not the bridge to tenured professorships we hoped for.  The signs were there but few of us put together the dots we were seeing:  the highly credentialed and enthusiastic temporary prof who was filling his fifth one-year visiting position and about ready to give up on his dream job, the number of new or soon-to-be PhD's from first tier schools with long publication records (already) applying for a job at a second (or third) tier school, the articles in the Chronicles of Higher Education detailing the travails of new PhD job seekers.  This is yet another reason I think the emphasis our political leaders place on college education for all is greatly misplaced.  What is the quality of the education when the teachers are just another type of migrant labor?

We have been entertained this morning watching the sparrows and chickadees at the feeders.  They don't seem to know whether they want to build their nests or eat.  Several flew in with materials in their beaks and had to drop that to eat.  One smart little bird dropped the straw on the perch, held it there with her foot and then picked it up when she left.

The teaser for this article said "Pipeline company says: oil spills create employment opportunities."  The article softens that considerably and quotes the company as saying the "economic effects are both good and bad."  So let's see: is it a good thing that fisherman who were productively employed before the Deepwater Horizon spill had employment cleaning up the spill when they otherwise wouldn't have been working at all?  And is it a good thing they had that income since they are still feeling the effects in reduced (and no) catches four years down the line?  The problem here is that whether the fishermen are employed catching fish or cleaning up BP's mess their employment is considered a positive for the economy.  I think the first is the only positive.  The second doesn't really produce anything and doesn't even bring the situation back to original condition.  The best description I have heard: paying the doctor who broke your leg to set it.

This is hilarious in so many way.  After we finished laughing we both had the same thoughts.  First, perhaps it isn't such a bad idea to leave the system as it is.  It might be less vulnerable to hacking than a modern system.  Second, we can't even remember the last time we saw an 8-inch floppy.  Hell, how often do you see the 5.25 inch disks.  I still have a few but I haven't used them in years.  I haven't even used the CDs.  Third, where the hell have they been spending our money?  Oh, yeah--building substandard schools in Afghanistan and lining Karzai's pockets.

Oh how jealous I am looking at the pictures posted on San'in Monogatari.  We have seen more green lately and the daffodils are blooming along with some of the dog wood and crab apple.  But I so want the spring we haven't really had yet.

As usual Charles Hugh Smith writes a lot of truth in a small post.  I saw a new book about the consequences of our involvement in Afghanistan that had a title appropriate for our political situation: No Good Men Among the Living.  We haven't had good politicians killed or driven into hiding.  Ours have, instead, sold their souls to the highest bidders and have made bad bargains in the process.

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