Friday, May 28, 2010

Signs that the economy is bad: End of May 2010 edition

We welcome our three readers to yet another edition of "Signs that the economy is bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. This is my semi-regular (when I get to it or have the time) feature where I go out on the Internet and find those oh so subtle hints that the economy is bad. Any pundit can tell you that the Dow may be going down, or that the unemployment numbers are not good, or any of the other obvious signs. But it takes a little more work to find the smaller clues, and I am here doing it as a public service to my three readers. As usual, my comments and snark are included for free.

  • Stay at home moms turn to phone sex. Though the story is covered by the local news here in Tyler, TX, the newscaster makes sure to emphasize that the local mom she interviewed would never do it. I have to admit you have to be amused by the righteous attitude. At the end of the day, I can certainly sympathize. One paycheck in the household just does not go far enough, and these moms usually work from home, after the kids are gone (so no one can say "think of the kids." If anything, they did think of the kids and planned accordingly). Anyhow, not a good sign when mothers feel they have to take a few extra hours doing this kind of work. To be honest, it would not surprise me if it came out there are a few women here in Tyler, or East Texas, doing this work already. This is a town where employers often tell women who have a husband that they should not have to worry about working since their husbands should be able to take care of them. By the way, my wife's employer did use that line about "your husband should care of you" in arguing for cutting her hours. We both had a brief moment of outrage followed by amusement at the quaint backwards attitude. Yes, I do take care of her, but we still need the second paycheck. And sorry to any hopeful guys, but the better half is not employed in phone adult entertainment.
  • Reporters can no longer afford to follow the U.S. President around. When reporters have to cover the President, the President travels in Air Force One. The reporters basically have to charter a plane and follow him. This is something I did not know, so I learned something new. Well, it seems things are getting a bit tight for reporters trying to cover the President. (via Bizmology).
  • If you are on campus, don't be a parking scofflaw. Universities are now getting aggressive in going after people who do not pay their parking tickets, going to the extreme of hiring collection agencies to do so. I do have mixed feelings about this since the whole parking thing seems more like a money racket to me as it is. Campuses never provide anywhere near enough parking for their students; they then charge exorbitant fees to get a parking decal which is practically worthless (since they overbook so to speak), and then they also ticket when more often than not you may be forced to park illegally. Just does not seem right, but alas students do learn to live with the snafu situation. To my credit, I never got a single parking ticket as a student back in my day. At the end of the day, it is a sign that the economy is bad. States are cutting funding left and right for their higher education institutions. Then, to add injury, they tell colleges they can't raise tuition or cap the tuition raises at unreasonable lows, which of course leads to the schools having to find money from any source possible. It really is a vicious circle that in the end makes a college education more expensive and less accessible.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Signs the economy is bad (moved this week)

Since Blogger for some reason was refusing to publish this post, I have moved the draft over to Alchemical Thoughts, my scratch pad blog. You can read this week's semi-regular (as in when I have time and feel like it) feature over there. My bet is Blogger probably had some b.s. issue with some of the html code in the post (or just some bad voodoo?) since a previous test post published fine. Anyhow, go read it over there, and we hope things are back to normal this week.

Testing post.

Disregard. Just seeing if publishing works.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Signs food places are trying to kill you

From the blog that brings you the semi-regular (as in when I have time to do it) feature "Signs that the economy is bad," here comes a new list: "Signs that food places are trying to kill you." You would think that it would be in the best interest of food establishments to keep you alive (so you can come back and eat more). But based on these stories, I highly doubt keeping you alive is a consideration. So, in the interest of providing a public service, The Itinerant Librarian has wandered around the web looking for those oh so subtle signs that food places are trying to kill you. See below:

  • Generous use of gravy. Hardee's has just released, for a limited time, a new 1,000 calorie breakfast. The Hardee's representative proudly says it is slated to be a hit. After all, "add gravy and they will come." Unfortunately, it does not include bacon, but don't worry. The nice Hardee's spokesperson says that "our operations crews are always happy to accommodate special orders. Tell them to throw some bacon on it and I'm sure they'd oblige."
  • Take out the bread. Bun? Who the hell needs a bun on a "sandwich"? By now, my two readers are fully aware of the monstrosity KFC recently unleashed upon the world: the KFC double down sandwich. This "delight" will kill you by "encasing bacon, cheese, and 'Colonel's sauce' between two slabs of deep-fried poultry."
  • Add some cheesecake. You need some dessert? That breakfast pancake just not doing it for you? IHOP has you covered with their new pancake stackers. This treat is a "slab of cheesecake that's sandwiched between two pancakes. And then smothered with fruit compote and 'creamy whipped topping. . . .'"Because you can never have enough carbs, and you do need to get your daily serving of fruit in there. Photo of the item in question here.
  • Make it look exotic. By themselves, peeps are pretty plain, but turn them into sushi, and you got something worth clogging your arteries for.