Sep 21

So fucked

Was reading this and stumbled across this fact.

Percentage of Americans near retirement with less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts: 75

Crap, I had no idea it was that bad. I don’t know what they are including in “retirement accounts” here nor do I feel like researching it, but that sounds about right to me. Hard to save money if you don’t make enough to save any.

Also, I didn’t realize I had strayed out of the middle class salary range until I looked at those facts, but one sure sign you probably have is I don’t really know how much I make in a year or my hourly-equivalent rate. I’d have to find a pay stub (which I also really never look at) or ask HR to look it up for me.

And for all that, we still could not afford to buy a house in NYC, Seattle, San Francisco or most other major urban areas.

But 75 percent of people with less than $30,000 to retire on? That is not sustainable, not in any way. That is a disaster waiting to happen, and actually happening for that matter.

Sep 20


Today my partner said, “The only way I get to see your family is in mug shots!”

Well…that’s because I grew up among the lowest-class white people there are in North Florida. When the poor kids wanted someone to make fun of for being worse off than them, they made fun of us. Not saying that every lower-class person is a criminal, but my family and friends definitely were.

I think I should write a country song called “Everybody I Know is a Criminal.”

Unlike 90% of the so-called Country stars, I don’t even have to fake the Southern accent.

Sep 20

Not-very-smooth criminal

Ha, dammit, must everyone in my family be criminals?

I just found a mug shot of my 57-year-old stepmother on the internet. She was arrested less than a month ago. Out of some sense of misplaced courtesy, I am not linking directly to it.

So glad I got away from that place, those people. Haven’t talked to any of them in years and years.

Sep 19


In 11th grade, I had an English teacher I was frequently at odds with.

In one paper I used the word “perspicacious” to describe someone.

She gave me a lecture about how “no 11th grader knows words like that,” and that I should “not use the thesaurus so much” on my papers.

At that time I didn’t even own a thesaurus and hadn’t used one at all. This was long before the internet came to the fore.

So I said, truthfully, “I knew that word when I was in 5th grade. I used it correctly and I’ll use what words I want to in my papers.”

She told me that I’d never get above an 85 in her class again on anything (which I did not).

Upon her telling me this, I said, “Do I seem to you like I am grade-motivated? Have I actually given you that impression?”

Ah, the joys of growing up in a very small town.

By the way, that was AP English where I later got the highest score possible (5 out of 5) on the AP English test.

Sep 18

On being interesting

Used to when I was young, I had dreams of being someone interesting, of doing amazing, daring things and living to tell about them.

Turns out I did those things, and did in fact live through them.

This isn’t why I did them, but I thought it’d make people like me more. Turns out I was right about that but it also turned out that it didn’t matter.

Because those sort of experiences also separate you from people. Not to glorify myself, but when you’ve seen things and done intense and dangerous things that most people really haven’t experienced, it builds a wall over which most people just can’t climb.

I’ve never been in combat thankfully, though I have been in some pretty hairy non-combat situations, and when in Homeland Brody finds that he can only talk to Carrie about himself and his life, I understood where he was coming from. Where they both were.

Luckily my current partner had no problem climbing over that wall, or we probably couldn’t have stayed together for as long as we have.

But for most people, there is no path, and no stairs, no catapult, no hovercraft, no jetpack or anti-gravity device that gets them over. We are just from different worlds and I have nothing to say to them that they’d understand.

Sep 18

Got my goat

Only yuppies who’ve never been around goats would sign up to go on a “goat hike.” Goats would be terrible pack/hiking animals. They are ornery, wily, mean, and will charge you when your back is turned just for the fun of it.

Can’t find the page I was looking at last night about it now, but saw someone’s miserable experience with a “goat hike.”

It would never even occur to me to sign up for something like that, having grown up in the country. Goats are like the coyotes of the even-toed ungulate world, barely capable of being domesticated and always willing to show you who’s boss.

Sep 17

Incomparable standards

Just realized that “ditziness” in women considered to be attractive is probably/almost certainly the exact same phenomenon in men that supposedly signals higher intelligence – that of the Aspereger’s or Asperger’s-like obliviousness to certain social cues and expectations.

Thinking about it, I can’t really see any difference.

Funny that the same behavior can be read so differently, even when supported by no evidence.

Sep 17


Even worse than the US national forest sites not having GPS coordinates for various trailheads is when the GPS coordinates are completely damn bogus. That makes life very difficult.

Sep 16

In truth

University of Oregon to Faculty: You Belong to Me!

The suffocation and of the American university system – once the greatest in the world – will in some distant future be seen as roughly equivalent to the destruction of the library at Alexandria.

Turns out that being force-fed raw capitalism directly isn’t good for anything – the environment, the university system, or the planet as a whole.