What did you say?

It has been a great day for word play and you know how much I love word play.  Here are some of the giggles I had today.

  • The policy around use for corporate documents is still cloudy.

comment made while discussing the recent of introduction of Google Drive

  • Is the application taxing?

question asked while scoping out the hardware requirements for an accounting application

  • I’m too fast for myself

response from the person who said the above when they realized what they said

Many thanks to Ricky P for making the day go by a little quicker.

Mi Casa

My wife and I have had an on again off again conversation out how long we want to work before retiring.  This has been going on for several years now.  For the past five years she has been diligently monitoring the real estate market in the location we want to live. Meantime I have been calculating savings rates and plotting cash flows.  My retirement age moves from fifty five to fifty seven to fifty nine. Argh.  Wrong way!

A few weeks ago we finally decided to “go see the money guy” and get real about it.  Once we laid it all out the answer was stunning.  “You could go now, if you wanted to”.  Holy Frack!  Didn’t see that coming.

Now, I recognize that all this comes with caveats.  “Could” is all about what lifestyle you want to have.  Want to travel to Europe once a year? Then no, go back to work.  Want to live to 100?  Go back to work.  In our case “could” means I can live to 90 without a lifestyle change from today.  That’s significant.  I have a pretty good life.  Not 4 weeks in the sun every winter and a new car every few years good. My truck is turning 13 years old and a winter holiday means staying home to watch World Junior’s on TV every Christmas.

It does mean I keep my cabin and its growing armada of boats (six now, is there a 12 step program for boats?).  It means I can continue to enjoy restaurants as frequently as I do today.  It means I can still hope to go to Europe at least once.

More importantly it meant that I could do what we just finished doing.  We put all of my wife’s efforts to use and bought that property in the location we want to be.  We won’t be using it immediately.  For the next couple of years at least it will be a rental property offered very discriminately to hand picked tenants.  After all, it will be my home one day.


I don’t follow mainstream news sources

I hardly ever make much attempt to follow the news, or at least news from the mainstream sources. I don’t watch national or regional TV news shows. I don’t read national or international newspapers. I read my local paper maybe 2 or 3 times a week. I surf to news web sites a scan headlines maybe once or twice a month.

Does that make me out of touch? Am I being irresponsible with my civic duties? I don’t know, maybe. I don’t believe it does though. Being responsible also includes critical thought, counterpoint opinions, and actual action on your part. Eating a staple diet of headlines doesn’t do that and some will argue it prevents it, but I don’t want to go down that rat hole today. Suffice it to say that many major news outlets no longer do much real journalism anymore. The 5th estate is a watered down thing.

This morning I fired up one of my favorite aggregation tools Flipboard and looked through the News category. Grim. Below I have listed the story counts by subject and tone. I went until I started to see repeating subjects, in today’s case the zoo that killed the healthy young giraffe and fed it to the carnivores at the zoo. I ended up scanning through 37 articles.

Subject – count of stories
Immigration/xenophobia – 3
Nuke fear/drum beating – 5
Bad economy – 2
Terror attack – 5
State sanctioned violence – 4
Bad politicians – 2
Articles about anything in my country – 0

Today is also day 3 of the Sochi Olympics. The first Olympic story ran in 36th place. The first positive story ran in position 27. The total number of positive stories was 2 out of 37.

This list of stories is advertised as a hand curated list of the biggest stories in the world. Sorry, but medical marijuana in Alabama, a lack of action in the US Congress, and the scrapping of an old US aircraft carrier seriously can’t be the biggest stories in the world.

I like Flipboard, and will continue to use it. I guess I need to tweak the News feeds. Obviously their curators and I have a different opinion about what’s news. Besides, I would prefer to encourage positive change by celebrating the successes rather than more handwringing over the failures.