poisonwood's Diaryland Diary

Date: Jun. 20, 2008 . Time: 12:11 p.m.

dancing notes Entry:


dancing notes

Ah, the joys of TV. I have really been enjoying the dancing TV shows - Dancing Wi*th the St*ars and So You Th*ink You can Dance. Am I the only one?

Ir*ish dancing has been going well. We had our second recital last weekend with no major glitches. It's definitely fun, and I'm enjoying getting to know the people in my class better over time. Turnover is very low, which is mostly a reflection of the fact that the teacher is great.

I was a little amused to get an e-mail with a list of drills we are supposed to be doing every day. I'm happy if I do some kind of Irish dancing 3 or 4 times a week.

12:11 p.m. - Jun. 20, 2008


big employers

Great opinion piece that actually includes a few numbers. Here's an interesting excerpt:

In Raleigh, N.C., last week, Sen. Obama promised, "I'll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we'll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills."

Set aside for a minute that Jimmy Carter passed a "windfall profits tax" to devastating effect, putting American oil companies at a competitive disadvantage to foreign competitors, virtually ending domestic energy exploration, and making the U.S. more dependent on foreign sources of oil and gas.

Instead ask this: Why should we stop with oil companies? They make about 8.3 cents in gross profit per dollar of sales. Why doesn't Mr. Obama slap a windfall profits tax on sectors of the economy that have fatter margins? Electronics make 14.5 cents per dollar and computer equipment makers take in 13.7 cents per dollar, according to the Census Bureau. Microsoft's margin is 27.5 cents per dollar of sales. Call out Mr. Obama's Windfall Profits Police!

It's not the profit margin, but the total number of dollars earned that is the problem, Mr. Obama might say. But if that were the case, why isn't he targeting other industries? Oil and gas companies made $86.5 billion in profits last year. At the same time, the financial services industry took in $498.5 billion in profits, the retail industry walked away with $137.5 billion, and information technology companies made off with $103.4 billion. What kind of special outrage does Mr. Obama have for these companies?

8:06 a.m. - Jun. 19, 2008


angry white feminists my rump

Angry women love McCain? Give me a break. I think I fit squarely in the "white feminist" camp the pundits love to go on about - though they usually call us "angry white feminists." Whatever. No feminist in their right mind would vote for McCain. The problem for women with the two party system is that there are no options! The Dems are the only option in most cases, and in all cases in my memory at the national level. Now THAT makes me angry.

The new Washington primary system is the best thing EVER. The two candidates with the most votes will go on the ballot after the primary. That means in many areas, you'll have 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats. That means Dems (in my area) can't just declare themselves Democrats (anti-war, pro-gay, anti-poverty, blah, blah, blah) but will have to distinguish themselves! (Who cares whether my city councilman is anti-war or not? What are you doing about the fact that there are way too many non-operational crossing signals?)

7:37 a.m. - Jun. 17, 2008


sailing, sailing

Sarah's pictures made me want to go sailing. My Dad sailed, so we had a sailboat when I was a kid, first a San Juan, then a Catalina 22. We used to go on weekly sailing trips sometimes, and after my senior year we spent 10 days sailing around the Caribean from island to island. This would have been great - and was in some ways - but when you're 17, you don't always want to be in very close quarters with your parents. Still, none of us will ever forget that trip.

Fast forward a bit. John B and I went sailing in college a couple times. Turns out he took to it and sailed solo to somewhere - the Bahamas? Can't remember. B used to sail, but it turns out it's really, really hard to maintain a boat in Sea*ttle, much harder than other places. This is ironic because there's a lot of great sailing around here. However, his old boat did not appreciate being rained on 9 months a year. Turns out it leaked (on top). This is something he wasn't aware of because it didn't rain constantly in his previous home.

Anyway, I miss it. I actually miss sailing with my parents. They really knew what they were doing. My Dad actually sailed across the Atlan*tic (from the Azo*res to Ire*land). So, no matter where we were, I could just enjoy it and help out. When it was just B and I, it was a lot more nerveracking. All of a sudden, I was one of two responsible parties on a fairly large boat on a large often choppy body of water that is killer cold all year round. I definitely didn't want to be responsible for crashing a boat.

I'd like to sail again, though, maybe on Lake Washing*ton which is warmer and calmer than the sound, and learn what I'm doing so I can be a responsible party if necessary. It's just such a wonderful thing to be out on the water in a sail boat. We've rented motor boats a couple times and they just do not compare.

7:28 a.m. - Jun. 17, 2008


gas prices

It cost me $4.33 a gallon to fill up on Friday - that's roughly $45 for my focus. B drives a slightly larger sedan, and when we filled up on Sunday, it cost closer to $70. Wow!

At the trailhead Sunday, 5 of 9 vehicles were SUVs. A 6th was a minivan, and a 7th was some kind of cross between a station wagon and an SUV. Basically, A LOT of people drive expensive, new-looking SUVs around here. My next-door neighbors, for example, have two trucks and an SUV (and no car). I wonder if this will change?

I heard a really interesting program on NPR which allocated the cost of a gallon of gas. 10 cents went to the local station. 65 cents went to the refiners people love to heat (ie Exxon, etc.) 25 cents goes to taxes (in Seattle / Washington ?). The rest goes to pay for the oil itself. Even if the refiners are taking ridiculous profit by percentage, the government is taking at least that much in tax. The bulk of the cost is the price of oil.

They say gas stations have no part in this. However, in a shocking coincidence, all the gas stations in the main town on I90 people stop in fuel up before going East, gas was exactly $4.50 - 10 to 15 cents more than anywhere in Seattle. Perhaps they increased their prices for the weekend? Hmmm.

8:11 a.m. - Jun. 16, 2008


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