Death in the Family

It's a very sad day. A wonderful man has died. He played uncle to my husband with no obligation of expectation for him to do so. My husband's real father had nothing to do with him and let him grow up in the DC foster care system. But when Leisure Lad turned 21, his bio dad showed up and wanted him to take his last name.

And so Fred, in the intervening years, was there for him and helped him out of many scrapes over the years. Fred was also an avid reader of this blog, something which always made me very proud. He really cared for me the way I was, not because I made him look good. That was something new for me.

We had dinner with him and his wife just last night and I tried to teach him how to highlight text and print it. He was 81 and didn't cotton to computers. My husband and I had dinner with he and his wife once a week for most Sundays out of a year. Often we would be the only people they would see all week. It was the best investment I ever made.

Fred Tate, I will miss you a lot. God bless you and keep you.


Housing Prices Will Fall By Half

You heard it here first.

What Do We Want In a Fed Chief?

People are never happy. Alan Greenspan foretells the stock market bubble, only to be openly ridiculed by oafs not qualified to carry his lunch. Econo-Girl remembers the 'irrational exuberance' speech. She also remembers the old guys on the 'news' channels talking about Greenspan as if he were some doddering old man who has lost touch with reality. In retrospect, many of Greenspan's critics were making money off of their wild-eyed stock predictions.

As an aside, it doesn't matter if the stock market is above 10,000. It's only a number.

So now the new guy to replace Alan Greenspan, Bernake, was roasted on Capital Hill because he refused to offer economic advice other than to reduce the Federal deficit. No one is ever happy. But is that what the Fed Chairman should do? He said that the size of government is none of his business. But isn't it? Doesn't that affect his choices on the money supply? And if it does, shouldn't we know that?

If this guy doesn't know the answers, who the hell does?

Econo-Girl predicts that, in the end, Bernake will choose to offer some advice. He is just drawing a clear line between himself and his predecessor. And now that he has drawn the cloak of mystery around himself, Bernake will be watched even more closely.


*** is Corrupt

Econo-Girl has read today in the paper how easy it is to be fired based on a blog. Well, well. She thought she would try to trash a FORMER employer just for fun. What are you going to do? Fire me?

*** is best known for the black suits its employees wear. They are expensive and tailored. *** is less known for the movies its employees watch at work or the naps they take behind closed office doors, both of which Econo-Girl has witnessed. They like to put a huge wall between the customer and the workers, so ne'er the twain shall meet. This tactic allows for big obstacles to stand between the government client and the truth about the computer application's functionality.

In the lobby of a ***building, a guard stands with a plastic thing in his ear. Is he in moment-to-moment touch with Security Central? No. He is eavesdropping on the *** employees in the lobby. It's OK that they get blown up, but those pesky little worker bees better not be talking out of school.

As a software tester at ***, I witnessed about the worst coding I have ever seen, except for +++. No small feat. The application was due to be deployed in two weeks and almost none of the background calculations were working. And when I wrote up what I found, the computer programmers blamed me for it! And management went along. To this day, I believe that if I had told them that the computer program worked fine, I would still have a job.

And don't get Econo-Girl started on the racial or sex discrimination at ***. Every white male was a partner or on the partnership track. I only ever saw one female partner and no people of color as partners.

Econo-Girl kept getting the feeling that she was about to be knifed in the kitchen, and she probably was, although not with an acutal knife. It is enough to say that she is glad as hell to be out of there and hopes a major scandal rocks *** in their boots.


Space Alien Abductees

Suppose, perhaps, that people were recovering actual memories? And suppose that there was a way to make sense of it without delving into the weird? Econo-Girl has an idea.

Econo-Girl saw a documentary on people who recovered memories on space alien abductions. A striking similarity ran through the stories. Namely, the creatures had big eyes, stuck things into their orafices, picked them up and transported them seemingly though the air, and were sometimes assisted by shorter space aliens. Right so far?

All of the above would describe the experiences of a newborn baby. And the short aliens would be siblings. Remember, a baby's eyesight is still not developed fully. It is entirely possible that what people are describing applies to how an infant would see their parents and feel about having their temperature taken. Just a thought. Approaching it from another angle would take some of the horror out of the situation. And the recovered memory thing would be right, too. It's just giving the memory another context gives it an entire new meaning.


Wolfowitz Admits He Was WRONG


Paul Wolfowitz,in comments in a coffee shop in Dupont Circle Saturday morning, admitted the whole "lets invade Iraq" thing was wrong-headed from the start. "Hey, it was worth a shot" said Mr. Wolfowitz. "How else would we know? Anyways, I'm not there anymore, so it's somebody else's headache."

The previous paragraph was completely fabricated. However, Econo-Girl is going to conduct an experiment. She's going to copy and paste only the false first paragraph, and send it to every media outlet with an e-mail, along with the link to this specific post. She encourages her readers to do the same. The goal is to see how many people take the quote without actually going to the link and reading the post. What's your guess?



Econo-Girl waited for last Friday night for two weeks. It was "expose the pervert" time on Dateline. What fun! What ratings!

One of the backlashes of the information age is the private realm is shrinking. People who committed crimes 20 years ago are being found out as they live among us as Baptist ministers.

Econo-Girl believes that a new underground economy is starting. The privacy option.

Let's face it, there are actions we take that we don't want everybody to know about. So pay off a clerk to keep you out of the information stream by putting another name down instead of yours.

There could even be people who go around breaking into computers to erase data about you. Cool gig.

The Tyranny of Lifestyle Choices

My sister actually said to me, that she doesn't hire smokers. She outlined her strategy of offering a five minute break between interviews, giving the interviewee the space to smoke.
If they took it, they were out.

This is, of course, the beginning of lifestyle discrimination. The obese know about it already. And the moral superiority that goes with healthy choices will make fewer people want to abide by them.

My former supervisor at Booz Allen smoked a lot. She also worked at home a few days a week, which is unusual for a supervisor. None of us were allowed to work at home, though. She never actually said that, it was just that every time I did, I was reprimanded, even when I asked for and received permission beforehand.

Now Econo-Girl, to tell the truth, is a bit of a pain to work with. Damn good at what she does, but a pain nonetheless. She sings and dances in her cubicle when in a good mood. She has a minor obsession with Martha Stewart and quotes her a lot. You get the idea. It can get trying for the people around me.

So is my former supervisor a good example of a smoker? No. But with all the swill being passed around about how bad smokers are, it would be easy to meld the two impressions into one. Thus is the power of the media.

Econo-Girl heard a doctor say that eighty percent of all disease is from lifestyle choices. That seems extreme. But it feeds into the "unhealthy is unholy" mean running around these days.

So how is all this stigmatization helping anyone? It isn't.

It just makes everyone feel bad, like airbrushing photos in women's magazines. Not real, but we wanted you to feel bad anyway.

The Next Bubble

Is there another asset bubble in store for us after stocks and real estate? What would it be?

Gold is a good bet. It has a history of being used to hedge value in times of uncertainty.

Tulip bulbs have a brief but florid history as an asset bubble in the Netherlands about the year 1600. People are still talking about that one, as you can imagine. Can you think of what it would be like to have people as nutso about tulip bulbs as they were about dot coms? As an enthusiastic gardener, it sounds fun.

Maybe it is illegal drugs? No, I think it would have to be something legal.

Newsprint? Just a joke.

No, Econo-Girl's bet is on gold.

We Gave Away the Puppy

Econo-Girl is sad. We gave away our little Boxer puppy because we couldn't give her the attention she needed. The recipient is a local cop who took a real liking to her and has a half acre of fenced land for her to run in. The house is much quieter now and the other dogs are pouting.


"America Is Addicted to Oil"

When Econo-Girl heard that this morning while getting her daily bagel, she burst out laughing. "He said that?" I asked the cashier, who apparantly does not listen to the radio piped in to her deli. And, yes, the President did say that in his address last night.

Econo-Girl's loyal readers know that she believes the importance of oil is directly related to the imprtance of short, ugly men wearing bathrobes on t.v. Weaning the U.S. off of the crude would be great. We'd be more self-sufficient, always a good thing. We wouldn't need to listen to ranting radicals, nor hesitate to stop them from building an A-bomb.

On the whole, President Bush is an idiot. This is not new information. He also has latent fascist tendencies (see Domestic Surveillance). Raise your hand if you remember the Administration wanting to cancel elections after September 11 attacks.

However, on this one, he has it right. Just like President Carter did thirty years ago.