Print Story You keep losing when you ought to not bet
By TheophileEscargot (Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 05:31:29 AM EST) Reading, Consumerism, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "The Cloudspotters Guide". Boots. Web.

What I'm Reading
Finished The Cloudspotter's Guide by Cloud Appreciation Society founder Gavin Pretor-Pinney. Short, whimsical book covering clouds, with tips for spotters, some reasonably informative stuff on the science behind them, and a bit of their importance in art culture.

Serious meteorologists would find it a bit basic, but I enjoyed it. Worth a read if you're interested in knowing a little more about our vaporous companions.

However, I feel cloudspotting should remain a disorganized hobby: the whole beauty of it is that you require no equipment and no budget; it's democratically available to everyone with an eye or two.

Just bought my first ever pair of boots. (I have monstrously wide feet so boots are a problem). Anyone have any great boot-wearing tips? I believe I have to "break them in" before walking great distances in a single day.

Also have some new glasses. Same as the old glasses but the wire frames are black. Can see a bit better though.

Metafilter's been hacked. Careful now.

Video. Kraftwurst: We are Pork Products. Slingshot ace. Worst ad placement ever (spoilers for BSG S4E11).

Webcomics. Harpy, Vampire from Lore Sjöberg's Monster Manual Comix. Article: why John K. likes Johnny Hart

SF veteran Frederick Pohl has a blog (via). On collaborating with Arthur C. Clarke.

Essay: why Internet debate is bad.

Economics (MR)

...why are Americans so gloomy, fearful and even panicked about the current economic slump?

...The slump is the longest, if not the deepest, since the Great Depression. Traumatized by layoffs that have cost more than 1.2 million jobs during the slump, U.S. consumers have fallen into their deepest funk in years. "Never in my adult life have I heard more deep- seated feelings of concern," says Howard Allen, retired chairman of Southern California Edison. "Many, many business leaders share this lack of confidence and recognize that we are in real economic trouble." Says University of Michigan economist Paul McCracken: "This is more than just a recession in the conventional sense. What has happened has put the fear of God into people."

...U.S. consumers seem suddenly disillusioned with the American Dream of rising prosperity even as capitalism and democracy have consigned the Soviet Union to history's trash heap. "I'm worried if my kids can earn a decent living and buy a house," says Tony Lentini, vice president of public affairs for Mitchell Energy in Houston. "I wonder if this will be the first generation that didn't do better than their parents. There's a genuine feeling that the country has gotten way off track, and neither political party has any answers. Americans don't see any solutions."

...The deeper tremors emanate from the kind of change that occurs only once every few decades. America is going through a historic transition from the heedless borrow-and-spend society of the 1980s to one that stresses savings and investment.

< I am so screwed. | Three fires >
You keep losing when you ought to not bet | 28 comments (28 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
What brand? by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 05:36:26 AM EST
I can't get wide Docs over here, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the Stone Ridge (size 44) I bought at a estate sale fit me 10 1/2 EEEEEEEE feet very well.

Grafters by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #2 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 05:38:43 AM EST
They're what the lady in the Wide Foot shoe shop recommended. I'm a bit skeptical about whether they'll be wearable, but will have to wait and see.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
oh my. by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #3 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 06:19:59 AM EST
that really is the worst product placement ever.

if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
Years ago, in the late '70s... by ana (4.00 / 1) #14 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 01:26:59 PM EST
I was watching a newscast. With somber face, they announced that Karl Wallenda had fallen from the high wire and been killed.

Cut to commercial.

Couple in bed; he asleep, she sitting up addressing the camera. "This is John," she says. "He sleeps like a Flying Wallenda."

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Breaking in by spacejack (4.00 / 2) #4 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 07:16:00 AM EST
Well I guess you could just walk shorter distances. Wearing them around the house doesn't seem to do anything.

Usually I just wear them for my usual 5k walking commute and break in my feet to conform to the shape of the boots. I should have very normally-shaped feet by now.

are they leather? by misslake (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 07:32:49 AM EST
they look leather.
oil the leather and it will soften up.
use emu or mink oil. i have tried the "dubbin" type stuff, but find it's just not as good as animal oil.

i feel dirty. i am a bad vegetarian. doubly so for owning leather footwear and oiling it with the grease (and soul i'm sure) of some poor flightless birds.
but this method totally fixed up my 15+ year old ice skates that had become brittle from storage in my parent's basement. made them funtional and comfy. it also keeps my docs in shape so i can just keep wearing them forever and never buy leather footwear ever again.

As someone who has monstrously wide feet ... by lm (4.00 / 1) #6 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 07:46:22 AM EST
... I prefer wearing boots as most other shoes are insufficiently wide.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
The Clarke by ni (4.00 / 1) #7 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 07:53:26 AM EST
article was lovely. Thanks for the link.

"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
my docs took by R343L (4.00 / 1) #8 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 09:08:50 AM EST
Six months or so of intermittent wearing (I would go nearly every day for a week then couldn't bring myself to wear them for a week) to break in. The first month or so -- since I would generally wear them to work with no alternative footwear available -- I carried bandaids, ointment and a roll of moleskin (and some foldable scissors).

They are still even now problematic if I wear the wrong socks and try to walk a bunch in them.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

your docs by dr k (4.00 / 1) #9 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 09:19:43 AM EST
don't fit.

:| :| :| :| :|

[ Parent ]
err by R343L (4.00 / 1) #10 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 09:39:03 AM EST
If you say so. But the sizes below and above fit far worse.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
in that case: by dr k (4.00 / 1) #11 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 10:06:09 AM EST
your docs don't fit; they are not shaped correctly for your feet (or vice versa).

:| :| :| :| :|

[ Parent ]
dr martins never fit by cam (4.00 / 1) #12 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 10:09:34 AM EST
they are exercises in sadomasochism.

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]
they fit my feet by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #13 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 11:33:17 AM EST
They take a short amount of breaking in, but I never get blisters or anything.

To Rollins lesbians are like cuddly pandas: cute, exotic, forest-dwelling, dangerous when riled and unable to produce offspring without assistance.-CRwM
[ Parent ]
ditto by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #16 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 11:11:42 PM EST
I've worn docs for most of a decade with no issues.

[ Parent ]
You need to fix that by Alan Crowe (4.00 / 1) #17 Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 06:35:56 AM EST
Carry on suffering like that and one day you will snap. Then you will end  up joining the SBL like me and every-one will think you have gone mad, in that strange, "my shoes don't fit either, I wish I could go mad too" way that humans semi-think.

[ Parent ]
Boots! by LinDze (4.00 / 1) #15 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 07:28:51 PM EST
I personally use tonnes of Neats Foot oil. Really just soak the leather with the stuff. Have to be carefull as it will stain your slacks if it gets on there.

Other than that you might have luck  with using real Boot Socks and a liner sock while they're being broken in. Also, a cheap trick for blisters: Place a patch of Duct Tape on your skin where you're developing hotspots. It will absorb the friction instead of your skin.

-Lin Dze
Arbeit Macht Frei

Internet debate by Alan Crowe (4.00 / 1) #18 Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 07:20:10 AM EST
The essay brought back memories of Kuro5hin. Happy memories; I'm sad that Kuro5hin got trolled to death. Amongst those memories are huge debates/arguments/flamewars over the Israeli-Arab conflict.

It strikes me that it wasn't just the trolls that killed Kuro5hin. If you got sucked into those angry, obsessive debates you got burned out by them. You looked at the time you spent on the website, decided it was too much, and stopped entirely. My subjective impression was that good people left after the Arab-Israeli inspired flame-wars and the site never recovered.

Part of the excitement of Kuro5hin was the prospect of having ones say. One might never get on the BBC, but one could make the front page of Kuro5hin. It wasn't exciting in itself; it was exciting because of the possibility of persuading others and changing the world. When you realise that no-one is listening to any-one else you give up.

That realisation could come from outside. One might simply notice that no-one every replied to your comments: Gosh, you are right, I never thought of it that way. That realisation could come from inside. One might simply notice that one never felt the temptation to reply "Gosh, you are right, I never thought of it that way." That need not be a killer problem. Real life is just as bad. I think it is the big, angry debates that bring the problem to the fore.

That wasn't my reason for leaving by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #19 Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 10:57:16 AM EST
Rusty stopped caring, the crapflooders took over, the signal to noise ratio plummeted, so for the most part I left.

[ Parent ]
boots by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #20 Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 02:53:49 PM EST
Lace 'em to the top, as tight as you can stand, and go for a 1 km walk.

If they chafe, you'll need to repeat that a few times and break 'em in. If you slide around too much try heavy socks or a thicker insole.

If they don't chafe, you're probably good to go. I found a brand of boots that fit my feet like they were tailored for me. I'm on my 4th pair in 15 or so years, they're by far the most comfortable footwear I own.

Economics by jimgon (4.00 / 2) #21 Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 04:47:22 PM EST
I think there's a lot more to the pessimism than simply a move from a borrow and spend economy to save and invest.  An awful lot of people are waking up to the reality of what it means to owe more than your assets are worth under the bankruptcy reform rules of 2005.  Freedom is not having nothing left to lose, freedom is having nothing left you owe.  There was a story on 60 Minutes tonight about the DHL closures.  One women was loosing her job, but offerred a job at another facility.  The problem is that they can't sell their house so they can't take that job and move.   In essence their trapped by their debt with no way out.  People are seeing that and waking up to the awful realization that their world has changed.  The American Dream has been dead for a while, but until now people could charge up their credit cards and keep it on life support.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Did you spot by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #22 Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 08:37:33 PM EST
The sneaky trick though?
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Nice by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #23 Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:04:25 AM EST
Not until you gave it away.

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

[ Parent ]
Yep. by Tonatiuh (4.00 / 1) #25 Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:52:33 AM EST
The Soviet Union reference gave things away.

[ Parent ]
I had <n/t> by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 02:59:05 PM EST

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
If you have a job you should be OK. by Tonatiuh (4.00 / 1) #24 Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:48:43 AM EST
If I would be in that situtaion I would take the job, get cheaper housing close to my new workplace and then try to get rid of the other property.

You can rent it out, or you can renegotiate the terms, once you have a job banks will be more willing to help you out, at least they can recover something from you.

[ Parent ]
Sometimes it's not that simple by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 03:02:56 PM EST
The town in question has DHL as it's prime employer and they're laying off everyone.  There won't be buyers for that house.  There likely won't be renters either.  The problem with a lot of poeple is that they have too much mortgage even when they have a salary.  They can't afford the mortgage and even a modest rent somewhere else.  In theory I agree with your comment, and in their case I would consider walking away from the property and taking the foreclosure.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Still it is better to have a job. by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #28 Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:15:54 AM EST
You can lose the first house, but if you have a job you still would be better off.

I didn't say it would be easy, but I think it would be better (or less bad at least ...).

[ Parent ]
You keep losing when you ought to not bet | 28 comments (28 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback