Return of the Googled Questions

Q:  why do accounting professors make so much money

A:  Supply and demand?

Q:  how do annual raises work

A:  Every year your base salary gets raised a little bit.  Usually it’s a percentage, once a year.

Q:  why are people deliberately controversial

A:  For the clicks, baby, for the clicks

Q:  another word that i can call my wife

A:  Her name.

Q: if the marginal tax rate you pay on the next dollar you earn was increased by say 10% what impact (if any) would it have on the amount of hours you would work? why?

A: DO YOUR OWN @#$#ING HOMEWORK. I bet that’s in the textbook…

Q:  right spelling for tear” like to tear up paper”

A:  I think you figured it out.

Q:  how to defeat a patriarchy

A:  if you find out please let us know.

Q:  why people lose touch

A:  Liiiiife goes on…

Q:  do gifted children who are not challeged at school get stupid?

A:  Well, they don’t grow as many dendrites as they should.  And they grow up to be grumpy bloggers.

Q:  best before 30th september 2015 is written on aveeno body cream. can the cream still be used in october 2015?

A:  You know what, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and give you permission.

Things that positively affect my mood

  • Waking up feeling rested.
  • Coffee.
  • Hillary Clinton getting the democratic nomination for president.
  • Good weather.
  • Productivity.
  • Things moving forward (including R&R and acceptances).
  • Chocolate.
  • Red meat.
  • A soothing novel.
  • Not being sick after being sick.
  • Happy music.
  • Vit. D
  • Hugs from DH.

What positively affects your mood?

Forgetting and a card trick

I have been having short-term and long-term memory problems lately.  I suspect this has something to do with peri-menopause, but it might be a B-12 deficiency or something else.  I mean to get my bloodwork done at my next doctors appointment.

DC1 is really into card tricks right now (after a week of “magician camp”), and all my life I’ve only known one card trick.

Or I used to know one card trick that I learned as a small child.  It suddenly occurred to me that I could not remember it for the life of me.  For a week I tried and tried to remember hopelessly shuffling DC1’s card deck.  I searched all over the internet looking up the term “cut the deck” and “card trick” and “bottom to top.”  Finally, after 2 days of B-12 supplements it came to me while I was trying to get to sleep.  I raided DC1’s room for hir deck and forced a sleepy-eyed DH to play the role of audience member.

Here it is in case I ever forget it again.

Optional:  Ask the person to cut the deck and restack.

Glance at the bottom card.  Do one of those fake shuffles that ends up with the bottom card as the top card.

Ask the person to cut the deck.

Pick up the one that wasn’t the top card without showing it to the person and say, “This is the [top card].”  Then glance at it and pick up the other card that was the top card and say, “This is the [other card].”  Then show both cards.

(And now I’m going back to sleep.)

What is culture for?

I am extremely cultured.  I know history and philosophy and I’ve read most of the classics (and can fake many of the ones I haven’t read).  I enjoy opera and theater (but not ballet or symphony, though my sister loves ballet) and old movies and classical music.  I can swim and play the piano and embroider and cook (though I was never able to get over my complete lack of artistic talent when it comes to drawing or painting or my complete boredom with ballet lessons).  #2 and I can trade Gilbert and Sullivan or PG Wodehouse jokes with ease.  I know which silverware to use at a fancy restaurant (pro-tip:  start with the outermost) and how to pretend I know what I’m talking about with wine.  Sadly I only speak two languages (English and Spanish), but I know enough French and Italian to get around as a tourist or to get most literary references without Google translate (ditto Latin).

I used to think that I had all this culture because my parents were sharing what they enjoyed, and culture was something to make it easier for me to entertain myself.  (And part of this is true– my father is a European immigrant who grew up in a fancy US coastal city, so his love of operetta patter songs is as real as his love for Jacques Brel or the Beatles.)

But a couple years ago I was rereading Penrod, by Booth Tarkington (free on Kindle).  In addition to being shocked by the casual racism and animal cruelty that I did not remember from my initial childhood reading (from my mother’s childhood hard copies), I was struck by a passage.  Penrod, who is established as having been from a middle- to lower-middle- class family, takes ballroom dancing and etiquette lessons.  A public school kid, this is the only time he rubs shoulders with the private school children of the town elite.  His mother wants to social climb.  His parents, I realized, are trying to help him advance.

Recent readers of the blog may also be aware of my current turn to regency romances.  In regencies (and in steampunk), women have “accomplishments”– somewhat useless entertainment skills such as embroidery or harp or watercolors that are class markers.  Wealthy tradespeople could send their daughters to finishing school so as to marry up into the aristocracy without embarrassing their impoverished future sons-in-law.

One of my mother’s refrains has always been, “to make you a more cultured person.”  And “to give you opportunities I didn’t have.”

I suspect that many of these skills and much of this knowledge that was poured into me may have been for the same reason we were pushed into math and science.  To improve our lot in life with the next generation.

But… Penrod was written in the 1910s.  By the time he was an adult, the parlor manners he resisted being taught along with the formal dancing would be archaic.  In Regency novels, the landed aristocracy of the early 19th century would be replaced with the age of industry and business would supplant tenant farming.  Eventually, stenography would be a more important skill for young ladies than the harp.

I always thought, growing up, that once I got to college I would meet people who were passionate about opera and history and so on.  (Note, this is one of the reasons that #2 and I hit it off right away in high school.)  But even though I went to a top small liberal arts college, that was not the case.  I would even occasionally have to explain literary references to professors in college and graduate school.  I did spread my various loves to my friends (especially those with cars!) and in return picked up passions for anime and Asian food.  High school also provided me with nerd culture in abundance adding, for example, the entire Monty Python library to my repertoire.

As an upper-middle class citizen approaching middle-age, I haven’t found my elitist skills to be particularly useful.  They still provide me joy, but to be honest, they are not shared by many people.  I don’t have much outlet for them away from the city.  When I am in a city partaking, I’m surrounded by professionally coiffed white hair.  These elite class markers are markers of a previous generation.

Times change.  Social class markers vary.  The approaching-middle-age elite who we rub shoulders with today are also first generation wealthy and formerly from the midwest.  They are not from East coast old money.  And so, my esoteric knowledge that my mother worked so hard to provide me with, those classics I was forced to read to “be a more cultured person,” were not as useful as the love of math and ambition that she also fostered.  In fact, I’m a bit out of place with them– elitist in many eyes.

But fortunately, even when it is lonely, cultural knowledge still provides personal entertainment.  It still makes jokes more funny and deepens appreciation of even modern media (since people in the film industry who direct and design are remarkably cultured themselves).  So maybe that itself is enough in this ever-changing world.

link love

Despite what the news wants you to believe, there are actually more important things going on right now than Donald Trump’s twitter “strategy” or his change in campaign managers.  Unfortunately, most of that news is depressing too.  Riots in Milwaukee, flooding in Louisiana, Zika spreading in Florida, wildfires burning homes in Southern California.  #2 wants to hear about these things just as little as she wants to hear about Trump.  However, these things are important.  I don’t know what to do about police violence in Milwaukee.  You can write your congressperson about Zika.  Wildfires in CA… write your congressperson about climate change?  But the flooding in Louisiana, that’s something we can actually do something about, and when I switched radio-stations so as to avoid the NPR in depth Trump twitter piece, our non-NPR station was doing an in-depth story on that and lamenting the fact that they’re not getting as many donations as previous major floods because the major news networks were too busy covering Trump.  That’s like the opposite of ironic.  So anyway, there are ways that you can help.  And, of course, since NPR isn’t all bad, the next morning they did a story about flooded schools that were already strapped for cash, which, of course, led me to one of my favorite charities, Donors Choose– they’re letting you pre-donate specifically to Louisiana teachers affected by flooding.  (Problem with donors choose– once I’m on the site, I end up spending more than I had intended!) Man, and August is supposed to be a slow news month.  Interesting times suck.

Texas wants women to die.

More F the police.  Also this one.

A woman escaping from messed up religious messages about sex

Why saying that Hillary Clinton has epilepsy is harmful

Ok, one little trump link.  This just in, WATER IS WET.

Meanwhile, across from Sarah Palin’s house

More cheerful stuff:  Death rates by state.

Not of General Interest discusses class and education and canning.  Looks like we tagged her previous post as well.

Family recurrence map

How Jessica Williams transformed The Daily Show

Why is Sara Benincasa so fat?

These pencils are awesome.  If only #2 used pencils or they made them in pens!

A rare example of a non-sexist article about Clinton.  Read it!  Because CNN needs to be encouraged to write more nonsexist stuff about HRC the candidate.

Everything is f*’d:  The Syllabus

Send gifts pls

Why we say eleven, twelve

Mental floss is a rabbit hole

Escapist fiction recommendations that aren’t primarily romances.

We need fluffy diverse books!

Books about books

This made me smile

 

Ask the grumpies: How to grow jobs in an area and general entrepreneurship

First Gen American asks:

My latest interest is around how to grow jobs in an area and general entrepreneurship. Anything around that topic would be interesting.

How to identify unmet needs
How to make a business plan
How to decide what to do
How to do the quick back of the envelope calculation on roi. (I’d have to sell how many ice cream cones to just cover rent!?)
How to take a risk without putting it all on the line and if that is even possible. (Many of my customers emptied their retirement savings to start their businesses. It was rough going for a while for many of them and I am only talking to the ones who made it.)
How to determine if a market is saturated. (I.e. Microbreweries)
Where to find businesses for sale.
How to assess the numbers and make sure they are real and not just lipstick on a pig.
Places to find resources for research. Like tax incentives for a region or female owned businesses, grants, etc.

Since my company, one of the major employers, is leaving the area, I also would like to focus on non service type ventures. (I.e. Jobs that don’t rely on the health of the local economy….a product that can be shipped outside of the region.)

Unfortunately this is all completely out of our wheelhouse.  We’re not even sure where we’d start asking to find out the answers to these questions (maybe Paula at Afford Anything, but she’s pretty focused on real estate, still, she might be able to 6 degrees of separation you to a good answer).

Grumpy Nation, any ideas?

Things that negatively affect my mood

Lack of sleep

Lack of a feeling of control/feeling overwhelmed/being told I have to do stuff or that I’m not doing enough stuff

Having future deadlines but not being able to work on them even though I planned to work on them because other people have dropped the ball and there’s nothing I can work on in the meantime while I wait because I already did it all or I would have to get into the mindset for a completely different project and I just don’t have that mental load and I know everybody is going to get back to me at the same time too close to multiple deadlines and I’m going to be stressed out.

Eating sugar or refined carbohydrates and sugar-crashing

Low blood sugar more generally

Mild tummy aches/headaches

impatient drivers behind me who want me to risk my life making a left turn across traffic

Sometimes hormonal imbalances

Whining (other people’s not my own, and literal whining)

Mansplaining

Did I mention people flaking out on me?

Grumpy nation, what harshes your buzz?

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