Wednesday, February 28, 2007

TCS Daily - L'Eggo My Lego

TCS Daily - L'Eggo My Lego: "So they first explored with the children the issue of ownership. Not all of the students shared the teachers' anathema to private property ownership. 'If I buy it, I own it,' one child is quoted saying. The teachers then explored with the students concepts of fairness, equity, power, and other issues over a period of several months.

At the end of that time, Legos returned to the classroom after the children agreed to several guiding principles framed by the teachers, including that 'All structures are public structures' and 'All structures will be standard sizes.' The teachers quote the children:

'A house is good because it is a community house.'

'We should have equal houses. They should be standard sizes.'

'It's important to have the same amount of power as other people over your building.'"

Interesting lessons in those schools. Much more important then things like reading and math.

Stories like this make me want to hurl!

The implosion of the Soviet Union confirmed that socialism just doesn't work. When we visited our relatives in East Germany it was amazing to see bomb damaged buildings still un-repaired after 50 years.

And what have the children learned. Low-level mediocrity. Woopee

How Much Emergency Money Should You Have On Hand?

The Simple Dollar has a post on why you might need to have some emergency cash on hand. However, he doesn't really give you any guidelines on how much.

Is a Franklin enough? A week's salary? something else?

It depends on what you can do and what you are expecting to happen.
For example the various relief agencies will take 72 or more hours to get on scene for most disasters. But it often takes about 2 weeks to restore services. In any case it may take longer to get to your particular home.

Having some cash on hand is great to help cover some items you may have forgotten. If you lose your job you need to understand that it generally takes 1 month per $10,000 your make to find a similar job. For example, if you had earned $60,000/year, it will generally take about 6 months to find an equivalent paying job. So having 6 months of expenses (mortgage, bills, insurance premiums, &etc.) saved up is a good thing to have, but that is a family emergency and you'll still have access to banks. Though if you identity is stolen you may have a job but no way to get to your bank accounts, so having a month or two's expenses handy may be very handy.

If there is an evacuation having enough cash on hand to drive across the country, eating fast food and staying in motels and filling up the car is useful to have. Things will cost more near the site of the disaster so expect to pay more.

If you want gold for a economic disaster, like Post-War Germany (doesn't matter which one) or current Argentina, the best choices are plain gold jewelry like necklaces and rings. My parents and grand-parents made use of these are an alternative currency on occasion.

Most people have a good idea of what they are worth as you see them for sale in every mall, unlike gold and silver coins which very few people are familiar with. Besides they are pretty and most people want them.

For emergency supplies a good progression is this:
• A 72 hour kit for the office/car to get back home.
• A 2 week supply of food, water and fuel for a BBQ at home.
• A 1 week supply of cash for food, gas, motels in case of evacuation.
• Expand home supply to 2 months built up over time to a years supply.
• Increase cash supply to cover 2 months of expenses built up over time to a job search level.

Browse Random House books

Random House has created a new ability to browse their books on line. This is a good way to get people to buy since it is more like the bookstore experience.

Paycheck Calculator

This is a useful money hack. You can fine tune your tax exemptions and the like.

Monday, February 19, 2007

You know you're a foodie...

when you have six different kinds of salt in you cupboard.

We made a run to the Penzey's spice store over in Old Town Arvada. That is always fun because they have jars of spices that you can get a good sniff from.

Among other things we picked up some Diamond Kosher salt, which is a much different size compared to our standard Morton's Kosher flake salt and so I wanted to try how that works in food.

We also picked up some course salt for grinding as we have a salt grinder that is almost empty.

We have some Pacific Sea salt that makes for a nice finishing salt.

Finally we have ordinary table salt and popcorn salt. The popcorn salt is a very fine salt that is great on popcorn and fried foods.

Monday, February 05, 2007

LEARN CPR - CPR information and training resources.

LEARN CPR - CPR information and training resources. : "Learn
CPR is a free public service supported by the University of Washington School of Medicine.� Learn the basics of CPR - cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Updated with new CPR Guidelines issued by the American Heart Association and published in Circulation, Dec 13 2005."

Everyone should know how to do this. An actual class would be best but this is better then not knowing at all.