September 14th, 2015

Today's Activities Include: Ride Photos from Efteling, slightly sick kid, canceled play date

Today, T. was supposed to have a play date after school. The timing required him to be picked up, because if we waited for the van to arrive here, he would have been a half hour later. In the event, however, the play date's mum was ill and it got canceled, so then I had to contact the babysitter to let her know the change of plans and my son (to find out whether he wanted to ride the bus or be picked up still).

My son was surprisingly cool about this, and wanted to ride the van, so then I had to find out whether anyone had told transportation that he wasn't going to be riding, so that could be corrected. No one except my son had told anyone anything yet, so that meant I had to call transportation and tell them, yeah, I'm sure you wouldn't be taken in by a kid saying they weren't going to be on the bus but in case you _are_ (my kid is basically always right about this kind of stuff, which can really mess with an adult's head after a while because you start to trust him), please make sure you transport him home. That got a chuckle out of the dispatcher.

My daughter woke up with a head cold, but still wanted to go with the babysitter (no school in town and some of but not all of the neighboring towns due to Rosh Hashanah).

I used some of the time this morning to pull out the binder from our trip to Efteling and decant its contents into the files. Turns out that when you buy a photo (key chain or whatever) there, the code on the receipt can be used to purchase the digital download after the fact, if you didn't have the presence of mind to get the USB drive band at the time. AND, they don't have any trouble with credit cards (in the past, a lot of NL stuff really expected giro payments, which could make it gratuitously difficult for overseas customers).

Back to School

With FOMC coming up (I'm still betting NO on a rate rise in September, and if it happens at all this year, I'd bet drinks but little more that it will be in October; rationale is: by that point, we'll have real data on back to school spending AND we'll have a better idea what the retailers ordered for the holiday season), I'm once again fruitlessly poking around in search of back to school spending data.

NYT has this to say about those insane lists that have become the norm:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/09/business/parents-may-spend-less-this-back-to-school-season-despite-growing-need-for-supplies.html

No actual data about real spending. I think these lists are disguised school fees that, on the one hand, are kinda sorta progressive (the poors don't actually do the list; people who do supply the contents of the list are helping fund those who don't) but on the other hand are just hiding how much school actually costs, which is rarely good for democracy. School fees are anathema in true public education. We need to provide budget for school supplies. But that is not really what I was looking for.

MasterCard SpendingPulse from early in August: http://www.mastercardadvisors.com/modules/news/steady_growth_back_to_school_sales.html

People price shopping on mobile:

http://digiday.com/brands/2015-back-school-spending-season-5-charts/

Lots of _predictions_ that back to school would be less than last year. In practice, when I went to buy A. sneakers at Nordstroms, they were out of a lot of sizes/styles. Which struck me as more than a little odd.

CR says the data points to a rate rise this month, but he notes that most people are now predicting NOT, largely because data everywhere else in the world is so terrible. (Raising rates in this global environment would exacerbate the already strengthening dollar problem, hurting our manufacturing sector, energy sector and trade deficit.)