News

Spoiled Rich Kids

I ran across an article in the NYT describing excessive Sweet 16 parties. It’s from a few days back, but just reading it annoyed me.

Who in their right mind is going to spend $200k on a Sweet 16 party? As if to further divide the haves and have-nots, MTV is promoting this craziness.

One of the quotes from a father basically says he’s got the money, so why not do it? I’ll tell you why. If you give your daughter a Mercedes convertible and diamond jewelry for her sweet 16, what’s left for graduation? Or marriage? That’s already answered for us. For graduating high school, the older daughter got a Bentley, diamonds, and two homes in India. Was the older daughter surprised? Yeah, she was only expecting a Bentley and one home.

Who are these people? Clearly, they have no sense of the value of a dollar. Who gives a teenager a $165,000 car? Who spends $200,000 on a sweet 16 party? Why not do something sensible, like putting that money towards college?

Gadgets

Cheap PCs

I saw that you can get a decent PC from Dell for cheap. It’s got 1GB ram, 160GB hard drive, DVD burner, and a 17″ LCD. All for $350, plus tax (at least in NC), and (presumably) shipping. If I needed a spare PC, I would definitely look at this.

News

Gas Guzzling

So how much are you paying for gas now? Here in Greensboro, regular gas is hovering right around $3/gal. How much higher will it go? It’s hard to filter out the analysts that are trying to scare everyone and those that are trying to accurately predict where it’s going. I think we’ll see a lot of places hit $4/gal, especially if this hurricane season is active.

There has also been a lot of attention given to the oil companies making obscene amounts of money, especially ExxonMobil. And while they have earned a ton of money, their operating margin last year was 16%. For comparison, the operating margin for Google was nearly 33%, twice that of Exxon. Microsoft was 36% last year. Now I realize that I’m comapring tech companies to an oil company, but my point is that there are other companies out there with much larger profit margins. But no one fusses when Google reports huge jumps in earnings. All we are drawn to is the sheer amount of money oil companies are making.

Even with all this outrage, what solutions are out there? A “windfall” tax? Give me a break. What will that solve? Will it make gas prices decrease? No. It will just give Washington some extra pork money.

Gas prices are high because we use so much of it. Do you really think that we would be paying this much for gas if our vehicles averaged 40 mi/gal instead of 20 (or so) mi/gal? Of course not.
[tags]Gas Prices, ExxonMobil, profits[/tags]

Random

reBlog Blog

I use reBlog as by [tag]RSS reader[/tag]. There aren’t too many sites I keep track of, only like 20-25. I like it because it’s set up on bastone.org, so I don’t have to worry about something going wrong with the other sites out there, like Bloglines or Netvibes.

One of the functions you can is publish items that interest you to a blog. I’ve done just that, publishing the articles I like here. I’ve also played around with the WordPress plugin, and the layout is a bit clunky. That blog is here.

Do you use an RSS reader? If so, what do you use?