September 25th, 2010


Saturday. It's a lot like Friday.

The weather was pretty decent for a couple of weeks, but it's gone back to being hot & humid for a few days. Makes it hard to motivate myself to pack up the laptop and go out to one of the local libraries or to the Alexandria campus to help maintain the illusion that my full-time student gig is like work. Speaking of the student thing, I'm making definite progress at digging myself out of the hole I got into by being a depressed slack-ass in July and August. I am very nearly done with the Principles of Accounting course that I should have finished; I have the computer project, homework, and the final exam to get done and am confident that I can knock them out this weekend. As for Law, I have three chapters to skim over, posts on Blackboard to make, and I think some other trivial scribbling to do before gearing up for another paper. Then I can turn my attention to Statistics, Government & Non-Profit Accounting, and similar wild delights.

While I am whaling away at the studies, I'm not getting much else done around here. Cataloging all my books in LibraryThing has stalled for now, since I am using my Copious Free Time (sic) to keep up with stuff in EVE, where I am more or less the head of EW training. Getting a couple of my Badgers blown up this week due to inattentiveness/stupidity hasn't helped. It's funny, I finally bought a copy of Bioshock a few months back (June?) but haven't played it hardly at all. I've also been avoiding the flash games on Facebook, as those are enormous time sinks. Thanks to consolidating my e-mail with Thunderbird, I have been doing more surveys, and this is helping the cash flow a wee bit.

The H&R Block tax class continues to go well. I'm very very glad I took the Principles of Federal Taxation courses over the summer; the grounding those provided into why the law works the way it does, and the familiarization with parts of the 1040 I hadn't worked with before have been immensely helpful in the Block class. Also, I love the tax prep software. Not as glitzy and shiny as TurboTax, but it gets the job done as long as you are moderately methodical and careful to punch in the right information. Booya.
Boss Coffee

The problem with locavores

Virginia Postrel on Locavores and Michael Pollan -
This cornucopia of choice and convenience is a tribute to logistical ingenuity and gains from trade, the very progress the local-food movement is sworn to overturn. For those of us blessed with a Mediterranean climate, giving up imports means higher prices. For everyone else, it means a far more limited diet. New Yorkers sometimes complain about farmers' markets that seem to sell only varieties of apples. Were they expecting locally grown oranges and mangoes? Coffee and spices from the plantations of East Hampton?

The local-food movement's ideological parochialism would be dangerous if it were somehow enacted into law. But as persuasion, it tends to focus on the positive: the delights of local peaches and fresh cider, not the imagined evils of Chilean blueberries and prepeeled baby carrots. In this regard, it resembles the English Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century. William Morris, who is remembered today more for his wallpaper and book designs than for hjs social theories, didn't manage to overturn the industrial revolution. But he and his allies left a legacy of beautiful things. Pleasure is persuasive.

This is pretty much how I feel about the whole locavore thing. I like the idea of encouraging people to eat locally produced food, but putting social pressure on them to do so is just obnoxious. Trying to put laws in effect to compel it on any scale (or subsidize it, for that matter) is evil. RTWT.