Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Last Week or So

Well, a while has passed since I last posted, so I am behind, yet again.  Therefore, I will go a few mini-blog-posts that summarize what I have been up to.  These are in a random order.

Brother's Car Dies - Money to the Rescue

Well, the title pretty much tells the whole story.  My brother's car died - the timing belt broke.  In fact, the timing belt was due to be changed in 15,000 miles, so it broke very early.  Ah, Chrysler, what a wonderful (i.e., total sh*t) company.  It ended up costing about $50 to tow and $750 for the repair.  He didn't have the money, so I "loaned" it to him.  This was sort of sad, since we just paid off all of our credit cards about 2 days before this.  We were just talking about how we could save a little money and get ahead, and then we had to find some money for this.  It sort of depressed us for a bit.

NASA Meeting

Right now I am in Florida at a NASA meeting.  This is an interesting meeting, since we meet for about 8 hours a day, but we spread it out from 8-12 and then from 5-8, so we had a break from 12-5.  Because I am a workaholic, I thought that is was a great opportunity to get caught up on some work.  Well, that didn't turn out very well, because there were so many other meetings that I had to do while here.  And then, we had to get lunch each day.  The days end up being pretty long.  I will admit that it was 70-75 degrees each day, which is much better than the 10-15 degrees at home.  I will also admit that the meeting was much better than I expected it to be.  I found that I couldn't do very much work during the meeting because I was paying attention, which is a good sign for the meeting.

Last weekend I got to spend a bit of time with my sister down in Miami, which was very nice.  She took me to a country music festival, which was adventurous.  There were a ton of people there, and it was in a very casual setting - basically in a park, where you could plop down anywhere you wanted to.  I would say that 1 out of every 1 person was drunk.  Ok, maybe 1.9 out of 2 people were drunk.  All I am saying was that there was probably a mega-gallon of beer drunk.  Which makes it fun to watch people.  Here is one of the most interesting people I saw.  I don't think that I have ever seen a big dude with cut-off shorts and cowboy boots (well, maybe they were cowgirl boots...)  After the festival, I had a nice debate with my brother-in-law about college basketball vs. college football playoffs, and health care.

CrabBoy Hits 1/2 Puberty

One of the things we noticed when CrabGirl hit 7-8 years old, she started testing limits and became more emotional.  CrabBoy seems to be in that stage now.  The other night, as he was breaking down into tears, he exclaimed "You just don't understand!"  We tried our best not to laugh.  We are trying to figure out how to get through this little bump in the road.  I am sure it will pass soon.

iPod Causes Rift

CrabBoy is extremely jealous of CrabGirl, who saved enough money and got some help with Christmas to get an iPod touch.  I had the naive impression that she would use this to listen to music or audio books, but she ends up playing computer games on it almost exclusively.  This make CrabBoy nuts, because he wants a hand-held gaming system also.  CrabGirl is unwilling to share, which makes sense, but is "unfair" to him.  We'll been dealing with this issue a lot in the two weeks.

The USA Today

It is shocking to me that a newspaper that is distributed to people all of the United States of America could make very, very stupid mistakes.  Although it is pretty clear what is wrong with this chart, can you see it?  By my estimate, 112% of the people believe that the worst decade was the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or 2000s.  That is a LOT of people.  Way more than half!  Indeed, of the 1,504 surveyed, 1684.5 of them answered the survey!  This seems more like an Afghanistan election than a survey!  I guess this shows the problem with the USA educational system.  Right on the front page.


Lee said...

Bad chart, very bad chart. The problem is that they took those numbers out of context (positive opinion adds up to 214%): each decade adds up to 100%, but not each rating level (the same person may have rated '60s, '70s, '80 and '90s positively, but boy, those 2000s sure sucked!) Just because you can make a bar graph, doesn't mean you should.

The full report is here, in case you are interested:

Space Prof said...

Read the question again...the columns are not mutually exclusive. You would probably answer "yes" to all of the decades, I suppose.

Lee said...

BTW, I still have a Mattel football game ( I would be willing to give it to the boy. Len has the baseball game..Not so much the same thing, I guess.