Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stupid Economic Stimulus

Hey look, I'm no economist, but this stimulus package we're accelerating toward has every sign of being total crap. Mostly, it looks like we're going to cut everyone in the United States a $600 check and then hope that spending turns the economy around. Yeah right! Just the same way the last seven years of Bush's tax cuts really kept the economy moving!

I'll be just as happy as the next guy to have an unexpected $600 windfall, but I'd rather not do it by piling on an extra $100 billion to the U.S. debt load. I heard one economist indicate that right now we're looking at about a $2 trillion dollar economic downturn and that throwing a hundred billion dollars at it is like taking an eyedropper to fight a house fire. That seems like an extremely likely comparison to me. If I take my newly found $600 and buy a new PlayStation and maybe even a couple of games, how much good does that do the economy? If every American follows suit and buys a PlayStation, then we do quite a bit to help Sony, but some of us would prefer a nice Xbox 360 or a hard-to-find Nintendo Wii (even if we do have to spend $600 on eBay for it), not to mention all of us who just aren't gaming fans. The point is that the money will be spread out in a million different directions, not even counting those who sock it away in savings account, and the overall impact becomes quite small.

I know it's hard for politicians to be excited about voting against bills that give cash directly to their constituents. After all, it kinda makes you look like a surprise visit from the police during a teenage beer bash, but c'mon stand up to the disapproval and do what's right for us kids. Don't hand us free money and expect us to rebuild the economy with it, because damn it we've got drugs and booze to buy and maybe a little gas to get us to the shindig.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

#$%&#* AIM

It's official. I really hate AOL.

So in continuing our Blue 2.0 tasks I was trying to re-establish/set up an AIM account. Now, I'm pretty sure that several years in the past I had an AIM ID set up so I started out by requesting password information to my old hotmail email account. I didn't get an error message saying that they didn't find my email, I didn't get a warning that it might take a week for the password to get sent, I only got a message saying my password was sent and asking me to log in again. So I check my email and I have no AOL messages awaiting me. It being currently about an hour since I first tried and I still have yet to receive any message from them.

No big deal, maybe I'm remembering incorrectly and I never really set up an account with them or maybe their notification system is really slow. I'll just set up a new account. 15 variations later on my favorite username, Satans_Parakeet, and I still haven't found an available username. This is made increasingly frustrating by the fact that Windows Live Mail is taking about five minutes to load every screen I go to. That's one more reason that I don't use my hotmail account much. So I finally find a crappy l33tspeak version of Satans_Parakeet that works, satansparak33t. BTW, this is after several failed humanity verification checks where I'm supposed to psychically know that spaces are not necessary (Maybe I should know that since they usually don't, but c'mon, they only warn you of that once you've already failed. Why not warn me beforehand?) and that the o shaped character is a zero, not an oh (Never, EVER, use os or 0s in character verification software. That's a major rookie mistake). So finally I have an ID set up and working and 15 seconds later I get an email telling me that. Woohoo! . . . but that makes me even more annoyed that I still haven't seen an initial password reminder email.

Oh well, I suppose it could've been worse, but it could have been a heck of a lot better. Luckily I already had my Meebo account set up so it was easy as pie to add my new AIM name to it. Yay! Bonus points rule!

First Post

Hello world?

That's probably not really appropriate since I'm hardly coding anything, but it amuses me nonetheless.

So I'm getting into the public blog biz in order to participate in the UK Library system's Blue 2.0 program. I've had a oft neglected blog at work for some time now, but nothing that the whole world could see. I don't expect to do much library or other work-related posting here since I have too many preferable communication lines for those kinds of posts. I do see the value of a blog for the easy posting of news and informational items of interest. It definitely makes sense to me.

I suspect that this space will tend to be used by me as a general rant space when I see stupid thing that are worth yelling about . . . hence the name. It took me a bit to come up with a unique blog name that was interesting and appropriate. Not surprisingly, "Suck It!" and "Stupid Crap" were already taken. This title is probably a little more tastefully subtle anyway.

In any case, you'll see a few more Blue 2.0 posts in the coming days and weeks and I'll see if I have the inclination to do more than that.