October 27th, 2015

#4952: Ahh, the weekend!

Glorious nothing to do for the next two days except what I want to do.

* * *

Had a hankering to reread B Gata H Kei, and I think I downloaded all of it from the guys who were scanlating it, so I can just go ahead and read. Win.

* * *

Today was a pretty decent day, too. Didn't have any real problems to deal with; the hardest part was the coaching from my boss, and the hard part of that is listening to the phone call. We didn't even listen to the whole call, and the coaching was half an hour where I didn't have to answer any phone calls, so I don't mind at all.

I'm gradually getting used to the work I do. It's a different kind of customer service than I ever did before, and it's difficult because I'm still learning a new skill, but it's not beyond my capabilities to do it.

Today, for the first time, I managed to save a line from being cancelled. Proof that I'm getting better at this.

* * *

...and that's all I've got. My days are consumed with work, my evenings consumed with relaxing and preparing for the next day's work. This is how it is, and I have no complaint.

#4953: It sure looks like October out there to me.

Sunny weather for most of the past five days; when I get a weekend, cloudy and cold. *sigh*


* * *

In the "No shit, Sherlock!" department, the GOP leadership is out of touch with the base.
The social mood has shifted. What works when the voters are generally optimistic does not work when they are increasingly fearful, angry, and desperate. It's fun to speak knowledgeably of Ricardo and wax eloquent about how immigrants are enriching the economy when you're pulling down six digits at the office, but the cruel realities of supply and demand are a little more likely to strike home when you've been out of work for 18 months and haven't had an interview in your last ten job applications.
The GOP establishment simply does not understand what's going on, and they--and the elites in general--do not see the misery that has resulted from the ongoing depression.

It's easy to assume the economy is in great shape when you don't have trouble paying your bills, and you don't know anyone who does. For someone pulling down six figures, the rising price of food and energy isn't the problem that it is for someone making a tenth (more often a twentieth or a fiftieth!) as much.

The GOP establishment is confused because they think all they have to do is front "not democrat!" and they'll automatically get conservative votes. But when their guy is merely "Democrat lite" and everyone is hurting, it doesn't work that way. People remember George W. Bush, and not very fondly; I suspect I'm not the only one suffering from complete Bush Fatigue which renders one completely unwilling to vote for Yet Another Bush.

Absent 9/11 it seems likely Bush would have been a one-term President.

* * *

White teacher dresses up like Kanye West, complete with blackface. Okay, first off, way to go, dumbass, deliberately putting your foot on a landmine like that.

His biggest mistake, though, was apologizing for it, as Vox Day says. If the SJWs begin their "point and shriek" routine the worst thing you can do is to apologize, because that's an admission of guilt; the thing to do is double down: "Yeah, I dressed up like Kanye West, and my students thought it was hilarious."

Vox Day gets one--just one--thing wrong: "I don't know if it is true that the teacher lost his job," he says, "...that seems unlikely given the teachers unions have made it all but impossible to actually fire a teacher for anything short of serial killing students...."

Teachers' unions have made it impossible to fire teachers for being pedophiles, for being incompetent, for being illiterate, for being negligent, for being lazy...but a teachers' union would never stand in the way of firing a white teacher for doing something that might possibly be construed as hinting at the suggestion of being raciss.

Coming to school in blackface? The union probably rubber-stamped that termination request so fast it left scorch marks on the paper.

* * *

Cell phones? Rent-a-Center is doing poorly because they wrote down their stocks of old cell phones? And we're not talking about Motorola DynaTACs, here; we're talking about Samsung Galaxy S3s and iPhone 4s.

As the article notes, the older 4G phones are still valuable because people with lower income will buy them; also people like me who don't give a rat's ass about having "the latest and greatest" and who merely want a smartphone so they can check their e-mail occasionally. (Unless RAC is talking about disposing of basic phones and pre-Android smartphones, in which case the stockholders should be asking management why they held onto stock like that for so long.)

A cellular phone is almost-but-not-quite a necessity these days, and in general they're cheap enough that nearly everyone has one. If the bottom is dropping out of the cellular market--that's not a good thing. (And not just because I currently work in the cellular service industry.)

* * *

Economic doomsayers see a huge crash coming. If they are right--and I pray they are not--we are in for a bumpy ride.

I do expect that the illusion of prosperity cannot endure much longer. We're in a depression, and have been since 2009, and it has suited our aristocracy to pretend real hard that wasn't the case. (Besides, they're making money hand over fist; under Obama the rich have gotten richer while the poor have gotten poorer because of exactly the sort of crony capitalism the Democrats pretend mightily they despise.) This is the endgame of thirty years of defict spending, piling debt upon debt.

The thing is, what we're experiencing now is pretty much what the Great Depression was like, from 1929-1939. It's going to take longer for this one to clear because our politicians have spent the first eight years of it fapping around trying to pretend everything was rosy (they remember what happened to political careers during the last depression) and not doing anything to fix the situation.

The bad debts have to clear and deflation must be allowed to take place. The economy is cyclical, and the high part of the cycle cannot happen until and unless the low part is allowed to take place first.

Of course, if the low happens, a lot of politicians and bankers and other rich people lose their cushy lifestyles and end up flipping burgers. (Relatively speaking.) And they don't care who has to suffer as long as they do not.

* * *

Couple of chores to do today, nothing major, and one's already accomplished.

I spoke to the guy who bought the Fiero today. He told me his grandson took it for a drive, and said that it runs smoother than his BMW does. Meanwhile he's got a factory stock radio in it (the one that I gave him with the car was apparently not working right) and he's getting things fixed. He's even replaced the sail panels, something I never did in thirteen years of ownership.

Well, good. I'm happy that he's getting so much joy from it. As I said, if he gets half as much pleasure out of owning that car as I did, he got a bargain--because I sure did.

#4954: What a great meal.

So, it's been rather a long time since Mrs. Fungus and I went out to dinner. I looked at the date, my bank balance, and we talked it over, and ultimately we decided to splurge a little bit and go out to dinner.

We did not break the bank to do it--we got out of the restaurant stuffed to the gills for $43 with tip--and we had excellent, excellent food.

The place is called Runa; it's on the northeast corner of 159th and Harlem in Tinley Park. It's asian food--some Japanese (mostly sushi), Chinese, and Thai. Their hot and sour soup is the best I've had in a very, very long time. Everything else was delicious, too. If I'd had a little more room we wouldn't have come home with a smallish takeout box of leftover orange chicken and fried rice. (Their Tuesday special is orange chicken with fried rice, an absolute steal for under $4!)

* * *

REI is closing all their stores on Black Friday. Mrs. Fungus and I are planning to buy some stuff from them to show our support for their excellent decision. Take pity on retail workers everywhere and support this.

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Had to visit Best Buy this evening to get a new copy of Webroot. The subscription I got for free last year (for doing on-line training) has expired, and I don't work there any more, so I have to pay for it. Webroot simply works. Their web site wanted me to pay $80 for it, though, so I went to Best Buy...and got a one-year three-machine license for $40 plus tax. Win.

Also, I went to the Tinley Park store--it was on the way home from the restaurant--which is not nearly as ghetto as the one I worked at. The music playing was at an ignorable volume, and consisted of more than just R&B/pop/hip-hop crap.

* * *

So, my phone freaked out and set itself to standard time a week early.

I figure that the algorithm for determining when to make the switch was deliberately designed to do it on the last Sunday in October--following the 4th Saturday, because there is only a 5th every eleven years. Someone decided that the extra logic required to perform right in the unusual case where October ends on a Saturday wasn't worth the space, and time it would take to debug it, so they took a shortcut.

And yeah, too bad for you if you're using your phone as an alarm clock and you end up waking up 45 minutes late because your phone thinks it's an hour earlier than it is....

Luckily I woke up in time to get out of the house on time, and made it to work Sunday afternoon with 10 minutes to spare. Basically, I slept through my "lollygag" time, built into my wakeup time of 11 AM; and because of that, I didn't have to rush to work. Even so, it's annoying.

* * *

Tomorrow is my Sunday. My weekends, alas, are all too short...but that is true for everyone who works a five-day week.