Tuesday, May 22, 2012

8th anniversary

The family headed to the Maggie Valley area of NC for our 8th anniversary.  We stayed at the same cabin we've stayed at several times for anniversary and other weekend getaway trips.  There is a soothing creek adjacent to the property.  It is as peaceful as peaceful gets.  I had visions of a relaxing time as we all caught up on sleep and enjoyed our time together.  This was true with the exception of the sleep part.  Little man had other ideas and decided to wake up more than once each night.  We also started the day at 415AM on Friday.  Part of this was our fault as he had outgrown his last batch of diapers and was getting wet/full fairly quickly.  Nonetheless, we had a nice time, had lunch with some friends on Thursday, and visited a few shops and pubs in Asheville.  Bri had time to get in a run around Lake Junaluska, and I snuck in a swim at the Waynesville Recreation center.  Do you like my new block format of typing?  No more paragraph breaks.  I may eventually do away with punctuation and proper spelling as well which would be neat it would just be a long sentence that rambles on with some disconnected seguays and maybe some umms and ahhs to give you the sense of me actually speaking rather than reading what I am saying dont you agree that would be funny ha ha funny not oh weirdo dude funny anyway here are pictures:

Friday, May 11, 2012

5280 Swim

The 4th annual 5280 Swim at Falls Lake is tomorrow morning, come on out and enjoy a beautiful day.  9AM start time.

In other news, I am way behind on sleep the past few weeks.  Good thing we are taking a short vacation next week to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Core CPI, chained CPI, and my CPI

I have decided to cut out all the middlemen and con artists in the government and start a quarterly tracking of consumer price inflation in my local neighborhood.  We won't use any substitutions or increased utility bullsh*t in it either.  If you're unfamiliar with these concepts, the idea is this:

Utility: A concrete example is that a gallon of orange juice costs $4.  But due to some crop harvesting improvements they yield more oranges and you are able to get a gallon for $3.50 next month.  Your utility/use (value to you) of orange juice has increased while the price has decreased.

A specious example: Time Warner cable had 50 basic channels and was $30/month.  Now it has 100 channels and is $40 a month.  Because it doubled its content delivery, its utility or use (value to you) increased.  But, the price went up $10.  50/30 (5/3) or 100/40 (5/2)  if we consider the 100 channels all valuable.  This would track as a decreasing cost (you were paying $30 for 50 channels, but now it's $20 for 50 channels) with the measurement utility.  Like I said, bullsh*t, because you don't watch CNN 5 or the O channel.

Substitutions via "geometric ratings".  This one is awful.  If a pound of premium ground sirloin, which was $6 increases to $9, the current use CPI would say, well, the average family can still buy a pound of top quality chicken (or fish, or whatever) for $6, so somewhat gradually over time we include more chicken and fish measurements than we include premium ground sirloin, thus smoothing the stated inflation rate in total.

Which, as you can see in my previous sentence, is bullsh*t.  Because you ain't got no beef no more.  If you follow this one to the end conclusion, we could have all premium meats increasing in cost to the point where the "average" user is out trading -something- for a pound of squirrel or rat meat at about $6 / lb.  But meat is meat, right,?.

The chained CPI is worse, it's a quickly rebalanced average of cheaper substitutions over time.  The sole purpose of this CPI is to quickly rob you of all your savings via taxation and eroding purchasing power and leave you for dead.

Anyway, I plan to include 10-20 items in my personal no-BS CPI.  I'll allocate them somewhat equally
  • 1 gallon gas premium local Shell
  • 1 gallon gas standard local Exxon
  • 1 gallon skim milk local Harris Teeter
  • 1 half-gallon local non-steroid cow milk local Whole Foods
  • 1 6-pack of Lone Rider Shotgun Betty from local Shell
  • The same 6-pack at local Harris Teeter
  • 1 year in-state tuition and books from NC State ( divided by 100)
  • 1 year in-state tuition and books from UNC (/100)
  • 1 night standard rack rate in hospital (adult) (/10)
  • 1 pound of locally grass fed beef
  • 1 12 ounce bag of Starbucks Verona roast at local store (any)
  • 1 pint of Big Boss rotating tap at local restaurant
  • 1 pound of 96/4 lean beef (non-local)
  • 1 standard chicken sandwich + side from Tribeca Tavern
  • 1 standard quarter pounder meal (regular) from local McDonalds
  • 1 month insurance premium for us (/10)
  • 1 pool entry to local pool
Might add a few more.  I read that awful article on chained CPI (linked above) a few days ago and wanted to start shouting at someone.  It is a total money grab.