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August 31st, 2008

From an MLS listing for a house we are interested in in Acton, which recently expired:

"This one won't last!"

And yet, it did. Despite at least one price change down that we noticed. It lasted until it expired. Bet we'll see it relisted soon at a still lower price.

From the Boston Globe, yet another article about why you shouldn't trade in your guzzler on a car that gets better gas mileage:

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2008/08/31/trading_guzzlers_isnt_always_cheapest_option/

Their calculations assume average number of miles driven per year at 15K, which while a little higher than what I've been using, is totally inadequate to capture the number of miles driven by your typical desperate-to-trade-in-person. I'm running into a lot of anecdotes in the 30-40K/year range. And I'm seeing used car listings for year old Fits at current list price -- with 30-40K on them. Their calculations also assume today's gas price lasting for however long it takes to payout (based on fuel savings alone, ignoring differential maintenance, licensing, insurance, tax costs. And let me tell you, your typical high gas mileage vehicle wins on _all_ of those compared to a typical guzzler.).

R. notes that over the history of gas prices, assuming today's gas price will be the future gas price is the most accurate prediction. Which is true. But it's clear to me (altho apparently not to economist-thinkers like whoever keeps writing these turds) that at this point in time, applying the lessons of the overall history of gas prices is, perhaps, not to the point.

Oh, and one more, from a video of Chertoff on nola.com: some New Orleans hospitals (unspecified as to which ones, but I'm assuming Charity and wherever its interim home is) that had planned to shelter in place have decided (today? late last night?) to evacuate some of their most critical patients, and this has impacted scheduling at the airport. Nice, that they showed some late breaking sense. I get that they can't afford anything anyway, so they were really hoping the storm would die down and/or miss them entirely. But geez. That place apparently floods whenever there's a lot of rain.

ETA: Here's why I assume it is Charity/University that changed their mind:

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/hurricanes/2008-08-29-new-orleans-hospitals_N.htm

I haven't figured out how to link to the Chertoff video. You know me. I'm not up on the intartubes.

ETA2: Here's the AP story on the briefing that I saw video of over at nola.com (on the current home page, but I can't find it in their videos section).

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iW4ag0ehwvgQa2A-teqR0bLTPNuQD92TCOI00

No name given of hospitals in this coverage either. Some photos of Chertoff at the airport, but I'm not seeing a link to the video here.

ETA3: Okay, you can try this for the Chertoff video.

http://video.ap.org/v/default.aspx?mk=en-ap&g=97474aa5-7c9d-4e44-9669-de89061b8ed0&p=ENAPus_ENAPus&f=ILCHS&t=s201fg=tool

That's evil, so you can also try this:

http://tinyurl.com/6glvqq

bicycling realtors

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2008/08/31/realtors_are_peddling_to_the_pedalers/

6 block radius! Wow. That's not just bikeable -- that's walkable. Like, with a _walker_.

Nice to see this being taken seriously.
http://www.drspock.com/faq/0,1511,647,00.html

Some seriously nutzoid advice here. Over on the berkley parents network, a variety of people ran up against the when-to-tell an observant young'un that mama was knocked up. The issue typically (as with telling anyone) revolved around what-if-something-happens, but some of the parents really, really, really felt bad lying to their kids (good for them!).

This guy advocates specifically not informing (unless nausea etc. forces your hand) in case of miscarriage. One wonders how you are then supposed to explain the episode of depression that will naturally follow on the miscarriage to your clueless young'un who has probably figured out some way to blame themselves.

But if that were the only issue, I'd just soldier on. Here's a sample exchange he gives for answering the how'd the kid get in there question:

"For example, if your daughter asks, "How did the baby get into your stomach?" you could answer, "He is not in my stomach. He is growing in a special place called a uterus."

Right. Because when your toddler means stomach, they don't just mean that whole area, no, they have a detailed internal physiology map and bringing up the womb is going to somehow help. Which, I might add, evades the question anyway, which is, okay, how'd he get in the uterus?

The rest of the article is just the usual same old lame old. In a lot of respects, I kind of like the excessively heterocentric and gender-conservative advice from of old: when Baby arrives, Second-Youngest Now Belongs to Papa. All this "helpful advice" that assumes mama is responsible for everyone is just loopy, and leads to things like, delay going to a crying baby when engaged in an activity with the toddler so the toddler knows they are important too. Yeah, _that's_ a great message to send. (Not from this particular article, altho he gets close.) While this guy advocates the other parent (admirably _not_ heterocentric) step up to the plate (and hopefully grands are around to help out), these relationships are treated as "consolation" prizes for being with mama. I'd say booby prize, but that might not be right here.

Talaris article about older sib/new baby

http://www.talaris.org/spotlight_sibling.htm

This is better than average, altho I will note that you have to pay _very_ close attention. When they say "older children" shortly after talking about 0-4 year olds, they do _not_ mean 4 year olds. I'm not entirely certain what they mean, but they definitely mean > 4 year olds.

This appears to be part of the Social Ventures thing started by the McCaws, a bunch of people from Microsoft and assorted others (run out of Laurelhurst, which I find really, really funny for some reason). Think: geeky white people who had their kids comparatively late and are still really geeky about the whole thing. But without becoming APers. Good to great, within certain parameters. They do not advocate lying to the toddler. They are not obviously heterocentric (altho they do assume hospital birth). They do assume more than one involved parent. They have citations at the end.

Looks like a worthwhile operation in a variety of ways.

Toddler Fun: musical beds

Last night, I got extremely frustrated with T. because he wouldn't settle down to sleep even tho he had asked to go to bed. I have limited patience with him when he kicks me in the belly, in part because A. then proceeds to kick right back. I went downstairs, complained vehemently to R. about it, and R. went upstairs and lay down next to T. until one or perhaps both of them fell asleep.

As a result, T. was on the queen size mattress on the floor (predictably, sideways in the exact center of the bed). But hey, there's a perfectly good twin right there, so I went to sleep on that one.

2 a.m. came and 2 a.m. went. There was some movement on the other bed, but T. did not get out of it and did not climb in next to me until 7:45 a.m.

We may be on to something here. I can always have A. in the moses basket on the floor for the first few weeks if I don't want her next to me on the twin. If that prophet is compelled to unite with the mountain, go hang out on the foothill if you need to avoid him, right?

Toddler Fun: musical beds redux

Tonight, once again, the huge annoyance with the toddler who insists on flipping around. This time, I just got up and went downstairs and got my book to read. On my way out the door, T. said he wanted to stay in bed. I said something along the lines of, yes, stay in bed. He did, and a few minutes later, all was quiet: no music from toys, no rummaging around, no coming downstairs in search of company. (I offered to let him watch more TV if he wanted to. He was uninterested.)

And he insisted in sleeping on the twin.

Wonder what will happen at 2 a.m.?

This is all so very strange.