36 thoughts on “July 12, 2018: Is It Thursday?”

  1. Anyone have kids playing Fortnite? My 10-year old is champing at the bit to play, just about everyone he knows is playing it.

    As someone who grew up with videogames, including plenty of violent ones, I'm fine with him playing at this point. I just realized that I was only 12 when Mortal Kombat came out and I put a ton of quarters in that machine. But my wife (step-mom) and his mom are both more apprehensive.

    1. I don't play Fortnite myself, but I'm not entirely sure the problem with video games these days is violence (nor was it ever), but having to listen to racist 14-year-olds during online play...

    2. We said no to our 12-year-old.
      To prevent wide-scale assessing of things, we generally go by ages listed. It also saves EAR and I from arguing over appropriateness.
      Though I keep forgetting he's not 13.

    3. We recently let the 12 year old start playing it.

      We usually review common sense media before allowing a videogame, movie, etc. The downside is they have a ton of spoilers so reading their reviews can spoil a movie you may want to see yourself.

  2. Saw a book of face post today that basically said that we need to get rid of food stamps and just give the poor something like basic food stuff kits so that people aren't using food stamps for steak and lobster. Several locals like the post and commented. I don't indulge in these conversations on that platform as my business is tied to my profile. Hopefully you all will be patient with my thoughts.

    When I was around 9 years old, my father had failed in the real estate industry about the time it busted bad in the 70's. He was unemployed for a while and as a result we were on food stamps for about 4-5 months. Both my parents did not want to go on them, but they had not choice, as they had 5 boys to feed. I remember back then we all felt a sense of shame to be on them. Several times, I had to go to our little store in our little town of 300 people to purchase items for my family with food stamps. Now, our little store was a little social gathering space for the neighborhood kids, and it was a somewhat traumatic experience for me to suffer the snide comments and laughter from my friends (and childhood enemies) each time I made a purchase with food stamps. Eventually my father found someway to beg and borrow enough money to start up a restaurant in the area and the parents dug themselves out of the poor house. As I look back, I am so proud of my parents for doing whatever it took to feed us, cloth us, and put a roof over our heads. Even prouder for how they battled their way out of the situation. Three of my four brothers have also had to rely on some government assistance at times in their lives. That is why I don't really complain about taxes. I have been on both ends.

    As I see the rhetoric now, I am just so disappointed. Yes, I am sure there is a fair amount of fraud and abuse in the system. But I would guess a big majority of people on food stamps, or welfare, or gov. assistance are in a similar situation as my parents were. Do we cut off those truly in need because some people abuse the system ? My wife and I have always given to the less fortunate and to our church until it hurts a bit. To me, that is partially what being an American is all about. Giving a bit of support and even hope for those in tough times. I think a lot of this conversation applies to immigration, but that is a topic for another time. Anyway, thanks for being a place where I can put out thoughts like these. It is therapeutic.

      1. Indeed. My wife works for WIC. Her job is to counsel people who are using the program on nutrition (and other aspects of feeding babies) before they are able to get their food card (can't recall what they call it). She very, very rarely mentions someone who is clearly scamming the system, but like 98% of the time its people (and more importantly their kids) who really, really need it. These programs are good.

    1. I've seen those kind of postings on my FB feed to and I just ignore them . Do the people complaining know what the steak and lobsters are being used for? Could be making a huge meal that leads to two days of leftovers. Or buying a cheap roast and throwing it in the crock for shredded meat sandwiches. I could go on. Meat is pretty cheap (generally) and can be stretched to make meals for days.

      Food stamp shaming is dumb (Growing up, my family was there. I learned to love government cheese of bagged cereal)

    2. Whether there is rampant abuse of the system or not, there seems to be a lack of compassion when these kinds of decisions are made.

      I worry that "pre-packaged" food kits ignore food allergies and other restrictions on diets.

      Our church has a very successful program of filling backpacks each week (60-70?) with food that are helping kids who can't afford the school lunch programs.

    3. There is much more vitriol in this country aimed at marginalized people who require a few hundred bucks of assistance than billionaires who fraud the system on a daily basis. Which is exactly what billionaires encourage us to do and want us to do. Even if every single person on government assistance was frauding it, it still wouldn't be that much money compared to what the big banks did and continue to do.

      Beyond just the logistics, I'm likewise disappointed at the lack of compassion for people who aren't just like us. Most people are generally good. And beyond that further, we should want people on food stamps to have access to expensive, healthy food so their health is better and put less burden on the healthcare system. But humans are notoriously awful at long-term, preventative thinking.

      1. My feelings echo yours completely. Knowing that compassion and kindness are looked at as weaknesses from some corners of the population really bums me out.

    4. I try to tell myself that people that post these things are just ignorant or so unhappy with their own lives that they have to find someone to blame.

      1. This is indeed often the case. And rather than look up they look down. It’s the same reason we blame immigrants for taking our jobs that we don’t want or aren’t qualified to do.

    5. Fun fact about me: I used to represent clients whose public assistance had been terminated. Since I'm able to resist this time, I will, given the FZness here, but let me just suggest that as someone who has actually been closely involved in these cases, I'm generally of the opinion that real fraud is exceedingly rare. And that more love and respect for all people is a good thing. That's also a general opinion I hold.

    6. I have a sister-in-law who has been very successful in her business career who is always the first to complain about people on 'welfare' and food stamps and any form of public assistance. I never miss an opportunity to remind her that she herself relied on government assistance when she was a young unwed mother of two small children. I applaud her for using the opportunity assistance provided to lift herself up by the bootstraps, but she got those bootstraps from the government, which I continually have to remind people is simply the collective representation of the American people.

    7. I think there are many people who get stuck in an "I struggled to get where I am today, you should too" mindset. This applies to social benefits like this as well as other areas of life. There are so many times in academia I hear faculty essentially say that they made it through in spite of little help from professors, so why shouldn't current students be able to do the same?

      Any time I experience this manner of belief, I just think, yes, you made it through, but wouldn't it have been better with more help? If you're successful now on your own, think how much better you could be doing if you got that little boost that was not there when you needed it?

  3. Oh man, this Agile stuff -- what have I gotten myself into? I've settled into an acceptable once per month travel schedule to Omaha, and now I have a trip barely two weeks after my trip next week. And a steady stream of video conferences and meetings and bureaucracy (Jira). #7thFloorProblems *prepares dirty looks for "job security" responses*

  4. Had a great time with my wife at the zoo concert yesterday. We had never heard either band before , didn't even know who the opening act would be. But every once in a while you have to step out of your familiar comfort zone and try something new. By the end of the night, both His Golden Messenger and St. Paul and the Broken Bones had earned two new fans.

    1. This happened in our neck of the woods, too. I was wondering if that was because the asphalt got so hot yesterday or because it is simply incredibly humid.

  5. I should probably save this for FMD, but am I weird for having the opinion of my favorite two tracks on The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" album are the two instrumental tracks?

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