Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Made for these times

"I keep looking for a place to fit where I can speak my mind..."

The mark of a great artist is that she puts words or images to a thought or feeling that is inside many people but hasn't been expressed in a way that most of us will understand. Brian Wilson is a great artist.

In the song "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times," Wilson puts words and music to the awkward feeling that each and every one of us feels when we recognize there is no one else in the world quite like "me."

"I've been trying hard to find the people That I won't leave behind ..."

The search for friendship, the search for meaning, the search for "fitting in." Ultimately we won't find complete fulfillment from other people. John Maxwell writes about being in the audience when someone asked his wife if "John makes you happy" and getting surprised when she responded, "No."

Monday, July 18, 2011

The debt conundrum

The car is starting to squeak a lot more than it used to, the suspension may be shot soon, and it's overdue for a transmission flush - but I have to make the monthly payments first. I should be saving up to buy the car that will replace this one - and the computer that will replace this one - and the lawn tractor that will replace the one I bought five years ago - but instead I am spending hundreds of dollars a month to pay the balances on the car loan and the credit cards that I haven't used in more than a year.

And that's the problem with debt. A debt is a trade - you exchange your future income for the money to buy what you want NOW.

The cost of having it now is a little thing called interest. So the $10,000 used car costs you $12,500. Is it worth it to have it NOW? That depends on whether you could have used the other $2,500.

Essentially you are gambling that nothing goes wrong for the life of the obligation.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hey - wha hoppen?

I think The Mighty Wind is a charming movie that works as satire only to a point because the makers really do seem to love the 1960s folk music that they're trying to mock. Let's face it, songs like "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" and "Potato's in the Paddy Wagon" are just too good to be as funny as they could be.

My conscience emailed me the other day and said he has begun to refer to me as "the blogger with nothing to say." I could think of no response, which was ironic. Or fitting. Or something.

We're in a season of blowback, a season of seeing what happens when people elected to balance budgets and limit the power and size of government actually attempt to balance budgets and limit the power and size of government. The tantrums have been instructive. Every dollar spent in the name of Big Government has a patron. There is so much to say, and yet it all seems so self-evident.

The heat index outside my office window was something like 93 degrees today. Last time I posted something here, the wind chill was in the 20s. It's time I said something.