Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday Ramblings

I hope you aren't counting on this blog to tell you what day it is..

This was one of the more relaxing Sundays in recent times. After church and choir practice, we had an early authentic Chinese lunch at Panda Express then walked across the street to Wal Mart to pick up a few sundries.

A giant panda posted on the wall at Panda Express proudly informed patrons that Panda food has no MSG, is prepared in 100% soybean oil (is that good? - better than Crisco I suppose) and the veggies are fresh. What they don't tell you is some of those entrees have so much oil in them you could probably strain it out and run your car on it, and make a salt lick for horses with the sodium. I checked the Panda website and noted that Julie and I happened to choose two of the lower-calorie items, mushroom chicken (her) and string bean chicken (me). Just when you think you did yourself good on the calories, however, then comes the chow mein and/or rice that accompanies the entree with about triple the calories.

Oh, well - you could do far worse. At least there were veggies in the entrees.

After Panda and after exiting a relatively uncrowded Wal Mart, we came home and had an uneventful and peaceful remainder of the day. By the way, for dinner we tried that lemon pepper sole I bought from Costco on Saturday (see yesterday's post for a picture) and it was quite good. Delicately seasoned just like the box said, and so easy to prepare. Just throw it in the oven, no need to defrost.

I spent the afternoon doing computer stuff. First, installing and configuring Acronis True Image 11, software for doing file backups. It's really easy to use. I backed up the entire computer and scheduled daily backups to run, something I've been remiss in doing for a long time. I've been thinking about switching from Microsoft XP to Vista and want to make sure I've got my whole drive backed up in case Vista goes haywire, which is likely, and has me wondering why I am even considering the change. But if we listen to our presidential hopefuls, change is good, right?

One time two men and a woman in highly professional attire visited our office trying to get us to switch the administration of our 401(k) plan to their company. After listening to their spiel, I told them that every single advantage they mentioned was something we already had. We were very happy with the current company so why should we trade the known for the unknown?

The woman paused to ponder this and then brightly chirped, "Well, sometimes it's good just to make a change!" She tossed her hands in the air to emphasize the point. We all stared at her. Despite how stupid that sounds, that's pretty much the only reason I can think of for making this change of operating systems I'm contemplating.

A little program Microsoft has that I downloaded tells me that my computer is ready for Vista; only three items were questionable but from consulting the website of the manufacturers of those three things, all have Vista-compatible drivers so I should be good to go. I'm not going to attempt anything until next weekend so I will have time to fix whatever goes awry, but if you tune in next Sunday and have a blank page where this blog used to be, you'll know what happened.

Then I decided to try Outlook 2007 for my e-mail program so that took more time configuring all my various e-mail accounts since I have so many aliases, haha. All the test messages went through okay but I haven't received any new e-mails other than those test ones so now I'm getting paranoid.

Treasury Secretary Paulson appeared on a segment of 60 Minutes tonight, discussing the recent financial crisis and associated $700 billion bailout. According to a website I just checked, there are an estimated 305 million people living in this country. That means each person is on the hook for about $2,295. After paring the population down to exclude non-taxpayers, such as underage and overage folks as well as illegal aliens, the burden on taxpayers is outrageous.

Did we not see this coming? Any fool could tell you house prices couldn't keep spiraling up forever, and that when mortgage rates began adjusting and property tax bills showed up in the mailbox, lots of people wouldn't have the money to pay for this. But yet, greed ruled the day - not just on the side of big business, but among the people who imprudently stretched themselves to buy a house they couldn't afford.

And now we're left to clean up the mess. It's like being hit by an uninsured motorist - the damage is done, they can't pay for it, so we have to pay for the damage ourselves. Or being the victim of a hit and run - like all those faceless people who got rich off the subprime situation and left us holding the bag.

I don't want to politicize this blog or turn it into my soapbox but recent events can't be ignored and it really is like all of us taxpayers got blindsided by an uninsured motorist. Whoever becomes president is going to have a mess on his hands and hopefully, there will be change for the better that comes from all of this.

Okay, down from the soapbox.. I will try to refrain in future editions of this blog but I just had to throw in my devalued two cents. And that's my Sunday..

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