Welcome to Medary.com Thursday, March 23 2023 @ 07:42 AM CST


Back yard deer

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We spotted this deer just beyond our back fence, the other day at around dusk. He, or she, had worked his/her way down the utility easement about three houses, when I snapped this picture.

Reynolds on Ramsey

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This goes into the little-used "Life" section . . . wherein Glenn Reynolds aka Instapundit, a law professor at the University of Tennessee, discusses personal finances and what he does differently from fellow Tennessean Dave Ramsey's approach:

We donít follow the Ramsey approach. Itís good for people who have debt problems, but weíve never had those as weíve avoided debt. My approach is tailored to my laziness, and lets savings be the control on spending. I decide how much money to save, and it goes into a money market account, automatically every month. The key is that this account is for money to go into, not to come out of, except for major purchases (like a house or car) or emergencies. I have a separate ďslush fundĒ savings account that also gets an automatic deposit every month, and that gets hit up for routine unscheduled things like home and car repairs. Every once in a while I sweep money out of the ďdonít touchĒ money market account into another account at a different bank that is inconvenient enough to access that I donít take money out of it. (I guess thatís the ďreally donít touchĒ account). At the end of the year, I look at the various account balances and know if Iíve saved as much as I planned; usually it turns out to be more, as I sometimes put unscheduled money ó speaking fees, royalties, etc. ó in there instead of the slush-fund savings account if Iím feeling flush.

This system turns my considerable sloth into an asset; savings is automatic, while spending takes effort. Taking money out of those ďdonít touchĒ accounts is an event, meaning that I think about it before I do it, and thus donít do it much. Likewise, almost the only credit card I use is American Express, which I pay off every month. You can stretch the payments, but, again, you have to make a conscious decision to do so, which means you have to think about it and realize how dumb it is, so I donít. But the key is to prioritize saving first. Once Iím saving what Iíve planned to, I donít have to worry about what Iím spending; itís taken care of.

Hmm. The Insta-Sloth. Seems to be working for him, judging from the number of fun toys he blogs about on a regular basis . . .


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It's for a good cause.

No, really.

And yeah, I'm late. Why am I always the last one to find out about these things?

Is willpower a finite resource?

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Do people only have so much willpower to spend?

This Psychology and Heath article, as quoted at Futurepundit, says maybe so:

"Cognitive tasks, as well as emotional tasks such as regulating your emotions, can deplete your self-regulatory capacity to exercise," says Kathleen Martin Ginis, associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University, and lead author of the study.

Martin Ginis and her colleague Steven Bray used a Stroop test to deplete the self-regulatory capacity of volunteers in the study. (A Stroop test consists of words associated with colours but printed in a different colour. For example, "red" is printed in blue ink.) Subjects were asked to say the colour on the screen, trying to resist the temptation to blurt out the printed word instead of the colour itself.

"After we used this cognitive task to deplete participants' self-regulatory capacity, they didn't exercise as hard as participants who had not performed the task. The more people "dogged it" after the cognitive task, the more likely they were to skip their exercise sessions over the next 8 weeks. "You only have so much willpower."

See. THIS is why I don't want to do things. I'm saving my willpower for the important stuff. Yeah. That's the ticket.

Who We Are

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I'm about to post this over on Free Republic, in response to yet another Sarah Palin thread:

Sarah Palin doesn't need to take over the Republican Party. We do.

We, the people. The real majority of this country. The people who didn't go to Ivy League schools, the people who had better things to do than get a law degree. The people who didn't drink the Marxist cool-aid at Berkeley or the post-modernist crap at Duke, the people who just want to live their lives and love their families and be left alone to do that. The people who aren't invited onto CNN or Fox News to give their opinions. The people who don't even know what Current TV is, let alone have so much time on their hands as to make a show for Al Gore's network.

We're the people who sit around a fire in the woods or the back yard, drinking beer and making s'mores, not the people who dress up and go to swanky dinner parties where they sip white wine and nibble on exotic cheese. We like cheese, too, but prefer cheddar to gouda, and if we're feeling a bit rambunctious, some pepper jack.

In fact, most of us don't like ties at all (if we're male). Give us a t-shirt, or a polo, if we want to dress up.

We believe that hard work is a virtue, and getting benefits from the government is not--regardless of any other consideration.

We think that Congress should actually read the bills they pass into law.

We think that Congress, for that matter, should actually read and comprehend the Constitution that they swear to uphold.

When we think of our history, and the Boston Tea Party, the first thing that comes to mind is NOT a homosexual sex act.

We understand "Take this job and shove it." We occasionally sing it loudly and off-key, when we're having a bit too much fun at the local watering hole.

We understand charity. We are willing to give to those who need it. We are not willing to do that at gunpoint, however.

We understand stewardship. We expect it from our elected officials. We do not often see it from them, however.

What we want more than anything else is to leave our fellow citizens alone, and be left alone to live our own lives without bowing down to some Ivy League lawyer who says he or she knows better than we do how to spend our money.

The Democratic Party elites don't speak for us. The Republican Party elites don't speak for us. The media doesn't speak for us.

Nobody speaks for us, in fact. Nobody with any kind of power, that is. So we talk amongst ourselves, after church, at happy hour, at Free Republic and some other places on the Internet.

We are Flyover Country. We are the Little People. We are Americans.

And we're getting very angry.

Food poisoning is not fun

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I'm finally on the upswing after getting ill Wednesday. Really ill. "Coming out both ends" ill, combined with "not being able to sleep" ill. Pretty miserable combination.

I'd have taken a picture but . . . there's no reason for you all to get sick, too.

Update: You want to know how bad it was? Snookums tells me I got sick Tuesday night. I completely lost Wednesday somewhere. Yikes.

His and hers cortisone shots

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Today, both Snookums and I went to the orthopedic doctor--her for what turns out to be "golfer's elbow" and me for achilles tendon bursitis that I've had since summer. Both of us got cortisone shots. Mine hurt an awful, AWFUL lot. Hers, of course, didn't. The orthopedist explained that hers was among the more painful cortisone shots he gives. Yikes.

My shot was excruciatingly painful, brought tears to my eyes and made my breathing really, really difficult to control. I recommend it as an interrogation tactic at Guantanamo Bay, as it's definitely a tactic of torture. "I'll talk, Doc, I'll talk! I bombed the World Trade Center! Just make it stop!"

Hers . . . "Doctor, any time you're ready." "Oh, it's already done." "Oh."

As I keep telling her, she is a freak . . . of nature.