Monday, November 03, 2008

A little Crazy So Far.

Am I all alone in this, or do any of you out there also think that things have started to go a little more than normally crazy in the world recently ? A few months ago I blogged here about Zimbabwe, and how strange it was that the UN was suggesting making Zimbabwe the head of the council for economic advice for the Third World. Well, it happened. Now, after another 18 months, Zimbabwe's economy has deteriorated to the point that they can't pay for the paper and ink to make a passport for the head of their own opposition party to travel to the next country to meet the Zimbabwean government for meetings about what kind of government to have ! 1500,000% p.a. inflation ! That means that the price of a loaf goes up by about 10% in the time it takes you to ask the price of a loaf (about 21 seconds, on average) !!

Since then, as we know, the global economy has gone nuts. Not, of course, that I'm suggesting that it's all the fault of a few octogenarian power-crazed Zimbabweans still paranoid about being controlled by Britain or the US that are to blame, but ...........

Things that have happened since I got married at Christmas last:
  • My wife T and her daughter M came to live in Pennsylvania, as mentioned in other blogs.
  • Lots of banks announced that they'd been writing mortgage agreements for people who hadn't a hope of paying them off. This has been going on forever, mind you, and only recently grown. When I first got a mortgage I was offered one for 30 years. As I was looking at retiring at the normal age, and that was only going to be 25 years into the future, I must have looked at the bank official as if he had two heads ! "How am I going to pay off the last 5 years", I asked, "if I'm no longer working? Should I print the money ?". He seemed to think it a normal thing to do, so we went elsewhere and got a better deal on a shorter duration.
  • Over the summer the price of petrol rose from about $2 per gallon to over $4, and our rent went up considerably. They didn't seem to be connected, except in the minds of the rental agents.
  • I got a new job, in New Jersey, about 35 miles away from where I lived. As a result, we moved to a new apartment about 5 miles from the new workplace. Better agents !
  • T joined the company that I now work at, in the call centre. Obviously I can't tell you much about what goes on, for fear of accidentally releasing personal info onto the Internet, but the function of the company is to manage the health care given to people injured in accidents, mainly in NJ.
  • As the summer moved on, the banks started reporting more product of their own stupidity. Some banks failed altogether - several in the USA and, apparently, almost the whole of the Icelandic banking sector over the first two weeks of October !
  • Several banks have been absorbing government bail-out money like sponges take up water, and with about as much benefit to everyone.
  • My son, N, insisted that I (and not his mother !) come on a scouting camp trip last weekend. His mother was very happy not to have to go, and even more so after the event: we got several inches of rain over the time we were there, so, while it wasn't a bad weekend, it was rather damp !
  • M has moved schools, seems to like the new school, and has joined the Band and other musical groups. This results in things like phone calls at 1 am (as last night) begging for a lift home, as they're been away at Hershey (yes, the chocolate place) in a competition.

So those are some of the highlights. We've trekked to see The Yarn Harlot a couple of times; Stephanie is definitely one of the best speakers out there. I can say this because I love going to see her - with or without the knitter of the family - despite the fact that I don't knit and that almost all her talk is knit-oriented.

That's the catch-up, such as it is. Next comes more blogging, I hope - if electrons don't go up in price !

1 comment:

Tola said...

Stephanie likes you too, as evidenced by the fact that she recognises at her events. Hopefully with the new book just out, a new tour will also commence.