News reporters are all over the Oklahoma tornado, in the way of journalists today everything is the worst ever. It's pretty much par for the course these days.
But usually they're a little more creative in their reporting to make sure you believe it.
Saying that an EF-5 tornado is incredibly incredibly rare, then quoting the statistic that "since 1950 there have only been 59 on record!" is... well, less than impressive as far as "rare" goes and shouldn't be presented as an "only!"
I'm not saying it wasn't a tragedy, that it isn't horrible that people died, but people not from the area don't realize that tornados are pretty darn common. And there will, most likely, be another huge one next year. And in between there will be dozens of "little" ones that only destroy the lives of a few people that will never make the national news.
I've always doodled. I remember from a very early age filing pages with cross-hatching and that fading-point perspective shape thing. Zentangle is nothing new or innovative, really, it's just a few rules slapped on an old technique and marketed as something.
That may seem harsh, but I've just finished the first week of "One Zentangle a Day" and it's killing my love of doodling.
...to my Dreamwidth account. Stupid phone randomly logged me out and I couldn't remember my password to get back in. I changed it, though, so hopefully I will remember next time.
Life has to many little things to remember...
While flipping through my soon-to-be-retired "Giant Book of To-Do", I noticed I had copied down a list I'd seen on Facebook about being creative. I'm sure I intended to do something with it, and... now seems as good a time as any.
#1 - Make Lists
How... is this what they call meta? A list telling you the importance of lists? I don't know. But anyway, making lists seems the very antithesis of being creative. You know, logical list-makers on one side, wildly scribbling creative artistic types on the other.
Unless you're making a creative list? In which case you're just being creative, so they might as well sat that to be creative, you should just... be creative. I have seen some fairly creative (intentionally or not) grocery lists. And my to-do list has often been strange ("buy correct size knitting needles for anus" - hey, I'm knitting a digestive tract, I don't know where your mind is!) but I don't know that I'd call it creative.
Sorry, I just don't see this one. List are great, and lovely, and occasionally overwhelming (in which case they're a hindrance) but I've never really felt they helped me be creative. They help you remember and stay on track and get organized, but creativity... is rarely planned. My most creative moments are completely out of the blue and almost entirely at the most inconvenient times.
If rule #2 is "Schedule time to be creative" I'm giving up now.
Got in to a discussion with a coworker about gas being cheaper across the state line, and I said that was all well and good if you were going to be there anyway, but it was silly to drive there just to get gas.
So we ran the numbers, first assuming an erroneous distance of only one mile each way, which I will skip since, in reality, it is about 3 miles each way.
My car gets 20 mpg. Gas is about $3.50/gallon. Gas station round trip is 6 miles. Therefore, it costs me ((6/20)*3.5= ) $1.50 to drive to the closest gas station in Missouri. Gas typically runs $0.05 cheaper there. However, I would have to buy 21 gallons of gas to break even. Since my car only holds 15.7 at a maximum (I admit to once filling up with 15.3), that might be difficult.
So by paying more at the gas station on my way home, I'm actually saving an average of $0.37. Okay, okay, not a huge deal, but that's discounting the extra wear and tear on my car for the extra 6 miles, not to mention the 20+ minutes I wasted driving out of my way (not insignificant in my mind, even if there had been some savings).
I finally convinced him of the soundness of my math, and he even mention having to rethink their coupon strategy - at what point is it not worth running all over town to save $0.10 on your toothpaste?
(your millage may vary, in a 40 mpg car you'd actually save $0.15 on a tankful, but still be out the time, and 20+ minutes of my life is worth a lot more to me than $0.15)
I really need to stop reading those. It's so irritating.
1) Everyone's situation is different. You can't pay off $80,000 worth of bills in 18 months if, say, you don't even make $80,000 in 18 months. Unless you plan on selling body parts (yours or someone else's). Just sayin'.
2) Please, stop making me feel like a self-centered person for having cable. I like my cable. I like sports. It's my splurge. "No one needs cable, get rid of it!" Whatever, I want it.
3) Why the hell am I even reading these? Sure, we owe money on the house, but unlike the one blogger who bought a house for $30,000 (well, a "manufactured home", commonly known in tornado alley as "hey, look, flying debris!") I couldn't pay cash for it, even if I'd saved for 7 years. And we still owe on the one car. I suppose I could pay it off, but I'd rather get new countertops.
4) Maybe that does make my priorities out of whack. But hey, *my* car is 14 years old and doesn't have a plug for an mp3 player (it still has a tape deck!) or nifty voice-activated commands or bluetooth and that's so I can spend money on other things. I really want new countertops.
E) Except we need to get the house foundation mudjacked first. I should call about that. And the plumber.
5) I haven't gotten more than 5 hours of sleep any night this week, with a record low of 3 hours on Sunday night.
G) Maybe I'm just easily irritated today. Also, I need to go tot he yarn shop. Shut up, I have a gift certificate to use. :p
7) Made my tiny monster for the swap. Made him too cute and I want to keep him.
Going to bed now. After one game of spider solitaire. Just one...
...the sketch for the SECOND lesson of Lifebook 2012 is painted.
There are parts I like and parts I hate, but it's DONE.
I've actually spent a great deal of the last two weeks doing "art", but not finishing much. I have a bunch more mostly-finished pieces. *sigh*
But, now I've signed up for three swaps on Craftster, so back to crafting!
Everyone is a conspiracy theorist, apparently. My latest brush comes with the unfortunate topic of cancer.
Yes, I had a very brief, very emotional (on her part) discussion on why I don't believe there's actually a "cure for cancer" that the government has managed to squash.
I understand (now) it's personal for her, that someone she loves has cancer, but still...
She claims the treatment center in Mexico he was going to was defunded by the US after demonstrating a 100% cure rate.
Two problems with that...
1. Unless they can only provide the service for free, why would they need US funding to provide care? Goodness knows they'd have people flocking from everywhere to pay for a cure!
2. Mexico has... a long and sordid affair with "statistics". See: their murder rates. My guess is, if they were defunded by a US group it had a lot more to do with the misuse of funds/corruption/unsafe medical practices/etc.
Think about it. Allllll those countries out there. Alllllll those doctors who know about the "cure". The freedom of information in the world (see: Wikileaks). You think some country out there isn't going to say "screw corporate America and their health industry, we're going to cure our purple since we have a national health system and it would save us billions!". Is our government REALLY that powerful? Really? When we can't even stop shit like the stuff published on Wikileaks?
She claims there are countries in Africa that have cured cancer completely. Then again, the average life expectancy in some parts of Africa is 35, so one wouldn't expect high cancer mortality. And, again, reporting is probably spotty at best - who cares what Great-Aunt died of, there's civil unrest and more important things to worry about.
Is there money in treating cancer? Sure. Is there money in curing cancer? Yes! Probably more, in the long run. Especially for non-private health care, which is every country other than the US.
I just don't see the logic in this argument, I don't. And I think a lot of people who make it don't truly understand what cancer is, how much different types of cancer vary, and how hard it is to treat - unlike most other conditions, it's not a foreign body invading, it is your body. Your cells. Your DNA.
We can't even cure a cold (which there would be a ton of money in, just like antibiotics). Why are people so sure we can cure cancer?
So. Got the appraisal on our property today. Always a fun thing. And I KNOW everyone (okay, not everyone, but a lot of people) are in the same boat, and I don't expect my property value to be skyrocketing, but it'd be nice if it wanted to hover CLOSE to what I paid for it.
(Also also: property values are public record. If you know my address, you can look it up, so I'm just going to flat-out give you numbers. It's pointless to dilly-dally with percentages.)
We bought our house in 2005 for $169,000. Shortly after the appraised value peeked at something like $191,000. Then it started the slow, relentless fall. Last year was another slip, down to $150,600. But everyone was in the same boat, I know people who lost up to $50,000 in value, so I couldn't complain too much. Until this year.
Our appraisal read $119,700.
Yup, a $30,900 drop. 21%. Whoa.
Now, I'm not planning on selling the house any time soon, so this can only mean lower taxes. I shouldn't be upset. And, in fact, there is no check box on the back under "disputes" for "I want to pay more in taxes, assess my property higher!". Still, it rankles.
So I do my usual checking on neighboring properties.
First I check out the other houses in our neighborhood that have the same floor plan. Almost all (except for the one falling apart on the next block that was already valued very low) had the same 20-22% drop in value.
Okay, check out the comparables they listed on the appraisal form. All have approximately the same square footage, same number of bedrooms, two car garage. They sold for $207,500 - $215,000. They are much newer houses, but still. A $95,000 disparity on age? Okay, fine. There's always been a pretty big gap between our subdivision and theirs.
Last check, on a whim - the houses on either side of us. Not really comparable, as one is a 3 bedrooms and has significantly less square footage (like 600 less, our house is half again as big!) and the other is slightly smaller (300 sq ft less) and is falling apart - it's been mostly abandoned and paint is peeling and there's a screen hanging off a window...
The much smaller house? $130,300
The decrepit house? $127,800
What. The. Fuck?
I doubt I'll do anything about it, it seems pointless. But we've easily put $90,000 into this house (downpayment and improvements) and we owe just under what it is currently appraised for. So I could have been renting all this time and been that much ahead. THAT is depressing.