Friday, December 19, 2014

Jet Launch

For anyone interested, a relatively new ecommerce website, Jet.com, is offering free 6-month memberships to anyone right now (including stock in their company, weirdly enough).

Click https://jet.com/#/ji/cgq03 to check it out.

For those who aren't familiar with Jet (which is pretty much everyone since it's in beta), it's sort of an online mix between Amazon and Costco-- it's an online marketplace (like Amazon) with a membership model (like Costco).

Read more on their CEO's blog here:

http://marcericlore.tumblr.com/

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lessons in Fatherhood

Being a father isn't always obvious. You learn things along the way and from time to time, you read things that remind you how little time you have.

1. A birthday party is all about that kid. 

You've planned the perfect party and you are there making sure it goes smooth.  If that's you, you're doing it wrong.  She doesn't care about the decorations or the food, she just wants to hang out with the two people she thinks are most important in the world.  You are the toddler's world and for her party, stay with her the whole time.  Even if she's an independent woman, quietly follow her around for the moment she does need you because it will come.  She's 2 after all. Snacks and guests can take care of themselves.

2. Skip flushing the toilet in potty training

She loves to flush the toilet and does it from time to time for no apparent reason.  I know it's a matter of time before she starts flushing things we left around the house so if you can put it off, do it. For a while, she'll announce every time she goes anyways, so it's not like you can't do it behind her.  Who knows, you may save a few plumber trips if you wait.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Comics For Sale

We're making room for baby #2.  If you're in the Raleigh area... http://raleigh.craigslist.org/bks/3659074526.html

Easy Bacon Oven

How useless is an easy bake oven?  I mean it's ten billion gigawatts to bake 1 bite size brownie in 30 minutes.  I've come up with a much better invention.  How about an easy bacon oven.  Lay the strip on the tray and slide it through.  It comes out on the other side with the perfect level of crispness (since you set it yourself).  Oh yeah, this idea is going to make someone millions.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The New Normal


Wealth is leaving America but not just in the way of outsourcing jobs and borrowing from China.  It's leaving America because the financial backers of business are moving their money outside of the US and into safer economies.  I'll speculate two things: why they're doing this and what it means.

It's impossible to listen to ABC, NBC, CNN, etc without someone talking about income inequality.  They talk about "fair share" like it's a bad thing to choose a job that makes more money then the socially acceptable jobs.  The end goal is to tax more then the 50% that is now being taken so that it can be redistributed to those who don't make as much.  The American dream is to keep your current standard of living and increase it if possible.  If the distribution plan is put into place, not only is the amount you make able to be taken from you but also what you have in the bank.  After all, it's nothing to freeze a bank account if it's deemed gained by greedy methods.  Those who make the big money can often increase their pay to offset the amount taxed.  I speculate that high taxes and anti-capitalism is the cause of a lot of the income inequality.  Additionally, money is being moved into the banks free economies like the Cayman Islands where it is less likely to be seized by the government.

Liberal economics is a principal of consumerism however that is the short picture.  It's choosing the proverbial fish over the fishing pole.  Look at it this way.  You need money to buy things.  Money comes from your job.  New jobs are created via start-up or expansion which take money originating from loans or corporate profit.  Profit is deemed greedy and underhanded as demonstrated by the O.W.S. crowd and should be taxed till they're breaking even.  If no profit is made, then the only alternative is loans.  Loans originate from a bank but a bank can't just create money the way the Fed does.  That means they need to have capital on hand to invest.  Now I have a little bit of money in the bank but not enough to start up the next venture.  The loans that create jobs come from those evil rich guys who just sit on their money.  If that money is moved overseas where it's safer, then the banks aren't able to create those job creating loans. This is creating what has been deemed as "the new normal."  With limited cash flow, the bank is able to take less risk on those with a poor credit score (typically the poor) preventing them from achieving the American dream.  It's not that the bank likes rich people, its just that when a loan isn't paid back, they are now out of that amount of money to give on the next loan.  If too many loans default, there will be no money for loans which halts our economy completely.

What I'm saying is counter intuitive but if you think about it, it makes sense.  Saving money instead of spending everything you make actually helps stimulate the economy.  Said another way, saving money in an american based bank creates jobs and having a lot in savings should be rewarded instead of demonized.  It is unrealistic for anyone to take crazy risks which is why money is leaving the US.  The risk is just too high.

All of this is yet again, one lesson as Henry Haslett wrote in his book.  It's the broken window fallacy



"The whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be 
reduced to a single sentence. The art of economics consists in looking not merely 
at the immediate but the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing 
the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."

"Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other science known to man."
-- Henry Hazlitt in Economics in One Lesson


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Outback Bread

Basically all bread has four ingredients: water, Yeast, flour, salt, (and typically oil too). What makes them different is the extra things you use (honey, molasses, EVOO, sugar, brown sugar, sun-dried tomatoes, etc). Also using a different flour can change the taste. Typically you use a little warm water to pull yeast out of dormancy. Then sugar is what the yeast eats to produce the gas pockets in the bread for when it rises. You mix it all in, let it rise, punch it down, then let rise one more time. Finally cook. Outback bread isn't that different according to a blog I read. Marcie and I went to Outback last Friday so I wanted to know if we could reproduce their amazing bread. Here is what I found.
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 2 1/2 -3 cups bread flour
  • Shortening for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • Oats
Mix the first three in a bowl till you start to see a few bubbles. Then mix in the rest (minus the last three). Once that is smooth, mix in the bread flour to make the dough harder and more elastic. Let rise. Grease and sprinkle cornmeal on the pan. Add dough to pan and let double in size. Sprinkle oats and/or cornmeal on top. Bake 30 minutes at 375.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

First Harvest: Asparagus

Our first harvest is in. It takes Asparagus three years before they can be harvested. We bought our plants already two years old so this year we can finally eat them. They shouldn't be picked unless they are as big as your little finger. These were the first to fit that category. Hopefully once it gets warm more will come. Next year I hope they will do even more.

Also we planted from seeds artichokes. They don't produce in their first year either but we're hoping they will next year. Our apple trees are also doing well. Our gala only has one branch with buds but our Pixie Crunch has a lot. I will probably cut off the buds on the pixie because the tree is so small. I'd hate to dwarf it too much. The gala however can go whenever it wants as it's already a good size. You can see pictured to the right my one flowering gala branch. It's taken from my cell phone which won't focus on items close up.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wake Co ePub checkout

In case you have an eReader that can read ePub format (sorry Kindle owners), here are six simple steps for checking out a digital book from the Wake Co. Public Library. Oh, and books.google.com has hundreds of free ePub books (the classics mostly) which you can keep forever. Open these in digital editions and follow the last two steps to read DRM free ePub and PDF on your Nook.

1) Install Adobe Digital Editions
ADE is an ebook reader program for your PC. In addition to being able to read ebooks, it is also the tool that you will use for transfering the book to your eReader device. This is a one time install.
2) Go to the library's website and find the book you want to check out.
This is pretty simple. If you have a valid library card and pin number, you can just find the book you want and place a hold on it. Once the title becomes available you will get an email letting you know it is ready to be checked out.
3) Check out the book
Also pretty simple. Log in and go to "My Holds" found in the "My Downloads Account" tab. Just follow the steps for checking out your book. Just in case, select 21 day checkout. You can always return early but it's nice to have that extra time.
4) Download the book
When you select download, the default application should be adobe digital editions. Allow it to open (not save) and adobe will open up the book to the first page.
5) Attach your eReader device
Your device should have come with a cable to attach it to the computer. The PC should auto-detect your device. You'll know you are successful when your device icon is in the bottom left side of Adobe Digital Editions.
6) Drag the book to your eReader
You may have to select library view first but it should work. Just drag the book icon to your eReader icon and YOUR DONE!!!

Now here is an idea I'd like to see. With all the smart phones out there, why isn't there an eInk smart phone that just does ebooks, text, and telephone calls. I don't need internet and all that other stuff. Charge $5 a month for Nook app which includes unlimited book downloads and the e-reader software. That's a smartphone I would buy although angry bird on V's new iPhone does look fun.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Marcie's Blog

Let me introduce Marcie's blog ".. MB .."

http://mbmarcie.blogspot.com/ will take you there although like mine, it also gets imported to Facebook. The design looks better then mine although the html needs to be tweaked slightly so that all the links work. She already has a few posts on there about the things she's made and some of the plants she's caring for. I'm excited for her since she will be making all kinds of cool things. Her creativity is her best quality and I love that it shows up in everything she does.

Monday, March 7, 2011

2011 ACC Tourney

Thursday's games
No. 8 Virginia vs. No. 9 Miami, noon
No. 5 Boston College vs. No. 12 Wake Forest, 2:15 p.m.
No. 7 Maryland vs. No. 10 N.C. State, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Virginia Tech vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech, 9:15 p.m.

Friday's games
No. 1 UNC vs. 8-9 winner, noon
No. 4 Clemson vs. 5-12 winner, 2:15 p.m.
No. 2 Duke vs. 7-10 winner, 7 p.m.
No. 3 Florida State vs. 6-11 winner, 9:15 p.m.

Saturday's games
1/8-9 winner vs. 4/5-12 winner, 1 p.m.
2/7-10 winner vs. 3/6-11 winner, 3:15 p.m.

Sunday's game
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.