I am a little overwhelmed with school work, but in an attempt at some form of stress relief, and a chance to inform the world of recent happenings, I am going to put several run-on sentences together in an almost random assortment, and call it a blog post…sometimes it is just nice to type, and not worry about the intellectual merit of said keystrokes.
Jordan and I are uber excited to be heading to Oklahoma City on Friday to have a little family get-together with my family. We decided a while back that rather than fly we would be much better off just driving the stretch. Now, with gas prices up here dropping like a rock from demand destruction (don’t believe me…see how many more times OPEC cuts supply over the next year!) and other things, we feel we made the right choice!
Originally, we found airline tickets for about $250 a piece back a few months ago, and I have been watching them increase over the last month as we approached the trip. As of this moment, the same tickets are now $454 a piece plus all the taxes! Meanwhile, gas is $1.78 a gallon here, and I suspect it is cheaper in the south. So, we spent a little money on the car, owing to the fact we needed new tires and some maintenance, and we are ready to go for the weekend…at a much cheaper rate.
Now, I have to vent a little here. It was so nice when the gas prices were up, people were driving noticeably less, the bus system was getting peak usage, more bikes were out. Once the prices fell, people began driving again. Compound that with the cold weather settling in, and the roads are one again packed. Obviously, I am in no way surprised by this trend, but I will admit, a little piece of me is disappointed.
The big three are begging for a multibillion dollar ‘free-check’, and we are still over consuming. And then there are the Christmas sales. Consumer confidence is very poor right now, and so the retail sales sector of the economy is trying everything they can to get us spending. I say: screw them all.
Yup, I realize that means a lot of hurting for the economy, but think of it this way. How much of the holiday buying is on credit? We are spending money we don’t have…isn’t that just what happened to Wall Street, banks, insurance companies, and the Hedge funds?!
So as we did last year, Jordan and I have decided not to give purchased gifts but make something ourselves to give out. This is not because we are cheap, but because we are thankful for what we have, and we want to share it in a way that is more meaningful, and within our means.
School is going well, but this week, with the trip looming has been hard. I have an insurmountable amount of work to do, and will be working through most of the holiday unfortunately. Hopefully I’ll catch up a bit, though I am doubtful. Nine-tenths of the battle in a PhD is learning to handle workloads like this a think, so the fact I haven’t killed anybody is a good start, but man on man, this is rough. Nate, if you’re reading this…mark my words, you ain’t seen busy till your a RA PhD student taking classes out of your league while preparing for Quals. and juggling eight different peoples’ demands on your time. But no fear Nate, you’ll get your chance 🙂 (at least you’ve been warned!)
Alright, in one final attempt to ensure this blog says abosolutely nothing coherent, watch this very bad vid on night cycling (kudos if you make it to the end…)