BeezleBub spent the weekend working at the farm, as he usually does. But now he's enjoying it even more as he's been given new duties and responsibilities, meaning he'll be spending more time running one of the many tractors and their various agricultural equipment attachments and less time performing stoop labor (picking vegetables or weeding).
My weekend duties including opening our business Saturday morning, getting what hazardous waste we'd collected over the past year (primarily T8 fluorescent light tubes and dead compact fluorescent lights) to our town's annual hazardous waste collection day at the depot set up behind the town hall, and getting the laundry and housecleaning done. I even managed to mow the lawn (what there is of it).
Deb also put her time in at work at the Veteran's Home during the evenings and at our business this morning, closing out the books for July.
All in all, we weren't not busy all weekend.
***********As of 9AM this morning it appears the House Republicans and the White House may have reached an understanding on raising the debt limit, raising it $2.5 trillion in exchange for a deficit reduction of the same amount.
I find it curious that the news reports state it that way – the Republicans and the White House. No mention was made of the Congressional Democrats at all with one exception – Harry Reid – and then only in passing.
Was this intentional? Was it just one more way the media is working to distance their Democrat masters from the mess they helped create?
Time will tell.
***********And speaking of debt limits, it appears the average American household is deeper in debt than the spendthrift US government.
I'd like to think our particular household is doing better than that, particularly since we just finished a mortgage refinance at a much lower interest rate and managed to pay off some debt. (And unlike a lot of folks, we actually have equity in The Manse, even after the re-fi.) And that seems to be the trend lately. Rather than taking on more debt, people with a little extra cash are trying to pay down what debt they have.
I think it also bears mentioning that debt in this context means unsecured debt, like credit cards. As Glenn Reynolds writes, “Several readers point out that Americans’ mortgages are secured by tangible assets pledged as security, which is different.”
***********Another physician is packing it in, giving up his private practice and instead doing in-patient treatment at the local hospital.
Dr. Bob lists some of the reasons he's finally thrown in the towel:
Oh, yeah, Obamacare is gonna fix all of that. Uh-huh. Sure. Yeah....
The past year or so has been one of the most challenging in many a season, on a number of fronts. Professionally, the passage of Obamacare has made it abundantly clear that the independent private practitioner is a dying breed, and likely will disappear — with the exception of cash-only, concierge-style arrangements — within the next few years. The administrative burden is crushing — unfunded mandates, such as pay-for-performance, compliance programs, HIPAA, mandated “government certified” EMRs (even though existing, non-certified ones are fully functional), and intrusive, abusive audits by the Feds and third party carriers. Such mandates and regulatory excesses place, or will soon place, such an overwhelming burden on the solo physician or small group as to make their continued existence unsustainable, even in the near term — and the full implementation of Obamacare will put roses on their grave. Reimbursements are dropping precipitously (my income dropped about 25% last year), as expenses spiral upward (employee health insurance rates are up 25%; malpractice rates up 15%, etc., etc.). The small business model of solo practice or small medical group is rapidly becoming extinct: its executioner, Big Government and Big Insurance.
But I am weary. After nearly 30 years in private practice, I am not sure which straw broke the camel’s back, but it is most surely broken. It is a weariness born of 14 hour days; of dictating charts and finishing paperwork until 8 or 9 pm each night, after starting the day at 7 am; of endless audits by the insurance industry and Medicare; of the constant threat of litigation; of the crushing burden of one more federal requirement mandated but never recompensed; of a host of ever-expanding administrative burdens having nothing to do with patient care, and everything to do with bureaucratic micromanagement of the profession. And this before we have even begun to see the nightmare which Obamacare will inflict. Camels weren’t designed to carry such a load.
(H/T Maggie's Farm)
***********Also by way of Maggie's Farm comes a link to this review of a book critical of the uncompromising environmentalist movement, calling it “an ugly experiment.” The author is himself an environmentalist, but one who now sees the benefits of technology and how it can 'save the planet'.
***********Ann Althouse looks at the economics of the two-income family and finds that it doesn't make sense, particularly in regards to the higher income tax load and increased spending required because both spouses work. Between those two factors it's a money-losing proposition.
I have more than a few friends that have found this to be true and when they had children, one of the spouses stayed home to raise them. In the end, it worked out better for them than many of their contemporaries taking the both-spouses-working route.
***********David Starr from the North Woods of New Hampshire offers some advice for speeding up your computer (assuming it runs Windows), particularly for web surfing. Apparently Java Quick Start (jqs.exe) has a tendency to eat up memory and CPU capacity even if you aren't using Java. It will start every time you boot your computer. David tells us how to change the settings so it starts only when needed.
I tried it and it made a noticeable difference on my machine.
***********It looks like the AGW crowd is going to have to do something now that their computer models have been shown to overestimate the effects of CO2 on radiation of heat from the Earth to space.
“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”
Not only does the atmosphere release more energy than previously thought, it starts releasing it earlier in a warming cycle. The models forecast that the climate should continue to absorb solar energy until a warming event peaks. Instead, the satellite data shows the climate system starting to shed energy more than three months before the typical warming event reaches its peak.
“At the peak, satellites show energy being lost while climate models show energy still being gained,” Spencer said.
Of course I expect someone within the AGW cult will try to massage or spin the NASA data to prove otherwise.