Friday, April 16, 2010

Sports Thoughts Even Though They Don't Seem Appropriate

1.  I wish Jason Campbell would swallow his pride one more time, and be a backup to McNabb.  I would much rather have him than Grossman.  With McNabb as a tutor, it might help him, especially when McNabb gets hurt which is a foregone conclusion.

2.  I don't trust Jim Haslett, and I am betting that the 'Skins defense is worse than it was last year.  I never have liked coaches who imposed their systems on personnel that didn't fit.  Haynesworth and McIntosh are talents.  A good coach would find a way to keep them happy and motivated.

3.  We're ten days into the baseball season.  I am still interested.  Let's see where I am at next month.  

Monday, April 12, 2010

Syrofoam, Sunk Costs, And Alternative Energy

One time I was living with a retro-hippie sympathizer.  He invited a retro-hippie over to our apartment.  She criticized my use of Styrofoam plates, cups and bowls.  I retorted that the Styrofoam was already made.  They were going to be used by someone.  I understand general equilibrium effects, and my purchase stimulated demand and hence supply.  But the idea was the Styrofoam was made and it was cheaper (at least in my mind) to use than "real" dishes.  The negative parts of Styrofoam were sunk costs.

I feel similarly about oil.  Part of me thinks that oil is unsustainable.  But it is still cheaper.  I have never seen a credible analysis that says hybrids are cheaper than traditional compact cars for most people's driving habits.  As we stand today, wind and solar just can't do it.  Most people now see that ethanol was policy-induced mistake that cost more than it was worth. 

So I am going to keep driving my dad's truck and not worry about "our" (inter)dependence on oil or "promoting" alternative energy.  The oil in the ground, like death, is just a sunk cost.            

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Pat Jordan: The Man, The Myth, The Legend Or "What You Say About His Company Is What You Say About Society"

One way to be happy is to take joy in the small things.  The best paragraph ever written about this is from Pat Jordan's A Nice Tuesday: A Memoir:

"He could have let that disappointment overwhelm him, make him bitter or, even worse, self-pitying. But he never did. He never found an excuse to be unhappy. My uncle was a happy man because he knew happiness was not a given. It was not something deserved. It was something to be worked at, created out of any little thing at hand. My uncle was a master at finding joy and wonder in life's minutest details that the rest of us so often overlook in our pursuit of grander pleasures. Like that toast. It was the most perfect buttered toast I have ever had."

So, I am happy that I most of my dishes are washed.  I am happy that I have woke up at 6:05AM for two straight months.  I am happy that I have not driven to campus once this semester.  (I lost my parking passes, but I could have bought new ones for $2 a piece.)   I am happy that I have sent birthday cards to most of the females in my family for the past year.  I am happy that the campus store has peanuts 2 for $1.