Friday, September 20, 2013

Daily Life Update

Third Paycheck
It's nice to be making money. I looked online yesterday but I realized that I had never had any on-line profile with whoever my Stafford Loan lender is. It was the private loans that had those. I'm going to have to go hunt through the old binder to calculate how much the repayment is going to be, based on how much I was loaned. Really hoping there's a convenient phone number that's reasonably placed on a piece of paper somewhere. One of the worst things when trying to sort out financial stuff is when you can't figure out which of the dozen phone numbers you're supposed to call. And then you have to deal with a machine operator for 10 minutes before you get a real person. Anyway, what does this have to do with paychecks? Simple. The main reason I'm stocking up money right now is to have a buffer for when the loan repayments are going to begin, to save myself stress. As of right now, I don't know what the payment's going to be. So I'm putting everything except whatever goes toward food into my mental "savings" category.

Exercise Routines
I began August doing situps in bed (in bed, because it's soft. Have you ever done them on a hard floor, even on a mat, and gotten really sore on your backside? Well, that happens to me, so when I did a lot of situps back in High School, I developed a habit of doing them in bed every night, then rolling over and letting the ceiling fan cool me off). I went from 20 to 50 but slacked off a bit in the last few weeks, in all honestly probably because of the cold. I've had the fan off. Yesterday was the first day I ran my 2x1 mile distance since starting work, and boy am I sore in my quads today! I bet that's because I biked to and from work the day before, (I've been biking a lot this past month and a half for the purpose of transportation) and running rather than resting must've overworked the muscle. I made myself run because I noticed I'm inching up the scale and wanted to counteract that. At work I get to move around but there's a lot of standing in one place, which doesn't burn a lot of energy.

March of the Wooly Caterpillars
On the days when I have biked to work, I've noticed the annual migration of wooly caterpillars crossing the road, always going from East-Southeast to West-Northwest. I wonder what makes them do that. It's like they're fleeing winter. They're a harbinger of cold weather.

My Tree Transplants vs. Grubs
I moved three small loblolly pine trees from the corner of our yard two years ago, to the side yard where there aren't a lot of trees. I'm not much of a gardener but I like landscaping. I guess I just want to make bigger things. I'd rather change the topography than worry about keeping the lawn uniform. Building a hill 10 feet high and 20 by 40 feet wide/long in the back yard sounds like an exciting project! Me planting the trees is motivated by my excitement at seeing them get big over time. But now one of them appears to have died. I saw a collection of about 15 small grubs (at first they looked like caterpillars, but their head shape is beetle-like) hanging on to my biggest one, and I shook them off and threw them over the fence. I'll have to keep an eye on them. 'Would hate to lose my hard work to an insect pest infestation. 

Coworkers Gaming the System: Anecdotal Evidence of the Statistics
When I was spending my days arguing politics on my university forum, I'd often refer to statistics. Statistics can be very useful, but also very misleading. The irritating tendency of people I argued against would be to use statistics all the time to try to make points, but reject anything I said that utilized them. One example of such a statistic would be abuse of government welfare, such as unemployment benefits. I was mocked by the "older, wiser" liberals for talking about things I'd only read about, when I "hadn't experienced life" myself. This is maddeningly illogical but I'll address that another time. Here I'm going to make the point that now I have lived a little, and I have some anecdotal real-life experience to demonstrate the actuality of the general claims I made.

Two of my coworkers are gaming the system. One is only scheduled for two days a week, and they leave at 1 or 2pm, a really awkward time, if we happen to be having a rush that stretches on until 3pm. I was surprised to learn of her short hours because I'd overheard her say that she was anticipating working more when school started for her kids. I had it explained to me by another coworker that they were working as much as they could to be at the bare maximum level that they could in order to still qualify for unemployment. 

Another coworker is a promotion higher than me, and is one of the best crewmembers there. I asked someone if he'd been given an offer for promotion and he had--he had turned it down. Why? His girlfriend would lose her 'assisted living' benefits if he got the higher rate/position, whichever.

Now here's the question: can you blame them? On the one hand, they're intentionally choosing to get free money by taking less responsibility. They're incompletely ambitious. But on the other hand, if their benefits now are significantly better than the slight increase they'd get from being paid a little more per hour/working full time, respectively, then aren't they making the most rational decision, the one that's best for them? The fact that they're in a situation where they're pressured to make the decision they've made is, pure and simple, the fault of our intrusive government. It isn't the government's job to get so involved with people's lives that it makes them dependent on continual handouts. That messes with the economy and it messes with people's lives. They're stuck in a rut because they're afraid to be ambitious lest they lose. Our "benevolent overlords" have conditioned them to do that.

So who is the enemy, and who is the victim, in this? Think it over.

~ Rak Chazak

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