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October 13, 2008

Coffee Snorters: Blonde Moment Edition

Sacre bleu! This is an outrage!

A Connecticut judge has given the brush-off to a blonde woman's lawsuit claiming L'Oreal Inc. ruined her social life when she accidentally dyed her hair brunette with one of its products.

Charlotte Feeney of Stratford says she can never return to her natural blonde hue, a shock that left her so traumatized she needed anti-depressants.

She says she suffered headaches and anxiety, missed the attention that blondes receive and had to stay home and wear hats most of the time.

If you need me, I'll be at the bar.

In the corner. Wearing a hat.

Motherhood may make you smarter:

Motherhood can supercharge the female brain, leading to lifelong improvements in mental skills and giving protection against the degenerative diseases of old age, researchers have found.

The findings challenge the popular belief that having a child harms mental acuity.

While there may be a decline in powers during pregnancy, this is more than offset by improving abilities after the baby is born. This, the researchers believe, equips women for the greater demands of life with a child.

“Pregnant women do undergo a phase of so-called baby brain, when they experience an apparent loss of function,” said Craig Kinsley, professor of neuroscience at the University of Richmond, Virginia.

“However, this is because their brains are being remodelled for motherhood to cope with the many new demands they will experience.

“The changes that kick in then could last for the rest of their lives, bolstering cognitive abilities and protecting them against degenerative diseases.”

... His studies, carried out on animals including rats and primates, show mothers become much braver, are up to five times faster at finding food and have better spatial awareness than those without offspring.

...he compared the brains of mother animals with those of nonmothers, he found physical changes related to these new-found skills.

In particular, nerve cells in crucial areas known to be linked to parenting had grown larger and developed more connections with neighbouring cells. This appeared to give the creatures more “computing” power. They also grew new sets of brain cells that Kinsley calls “maternal circuits”.

“Although most studies have so far focused on animals, it is likely women also gain long-lasting benefits from motherhood. Most mammals share similar maternal behaviours controlled by the same brain regions,” he said.

Another study found rats that had given birth were protected against degenerative diseases, with lower levels of a protein called APP, which in humans is linked with Alzheimer’s disease.

Interesting, but related concept. The credit crunch may make force baby boomers to grow up... finally:

WHEN Wendy Postle’s two children were younger, saying “yes” gave her great joy. Yes to all those toys. The music lessons. The blowout birthday parties.

But as her son and daughter approached adolescence, yes turned into a weary default. “Sometimes it was just easier to say, ‘O.K., whatever,’ than to have the battle of ‘no,’ ” said Mrs. Postle, a working mother who lives in Hilliard, Ohio, a middle-class suburb of Columbus.

This year her husband’s 401(k) savings are evaporating. Medical bills are nipping at the couple’s heels. Gas prices are still taking a toll. Mrs. Postle recently decided that although she and her husband had always sacrificed their own luxuries for Zach, 13, and Kaitlyn, 15, the teenagers would now have to cut back as well.

“No” could no longer be the starting gun of family fights. It would have to be an absolute.

“I tried to tell Kaitlyn, ‘We’ll get the Hollister jeans at a thrift store,’ ” Mrs. Postle recalled. “She got angry and said: ‘That’s gross! Other people wore them!’

Indulged. Entitled. Those labels have become hot-glued to middle-class and affluent teenagers born after the last major economic downturn, in the late 1980s. They were raised in comparatively flush times by parents who believed that keeping children happy, stimulated and successful, no matter the cost, was an unassailable virtue. A 2007 study by the Harrison Group, a market research firm in Waterbury, Conn., found that nearly 75 percent of parents caved in to their children’s nagging for new video games, half within two weeks.

But as the economy totters, many families have no choice but to cut back, which may lead to a shift in their thinking about money and permissiveness. Last week a semiannual survey of 7,000 15- to 18-year-olds by Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and research firm, showed that annual discretionary spending by teenagers, whose money comes from allowance, gifts and part-time jobs, had dropped 27 percent to $2,600, from its spring 2006 peak of $3,560.

“Parents are suddenly saying ‘no’ and their kids are saying, ‘What do you mean?’ ” said Robert D. Manning, an economist at the Rochester Institute of Technology and author of “Credit Card Nation.”

These are difficult conversations. Panicked, stressed parents are struggling to explain and impose restraints, just when teenagers are expecting more spending money, not less. Many adolescents respond with anger at what they see as a bait-and-switch world, fear for their families and confusion about budgeting.

Family therapists, teachers and parents tell anecdotes about teenagers who are badly rattled by the news, in denial, or both. A daughter is shaken as her mother calls for an emergency family meeting. The son of a Wall Street financier whose fortune has collapsed tauntingly tells his father he can take care of himself: he will sell more marijuana.

“It is an unbelievable shock to affluent families that their lifestyles are gone for good,” Dr. Manning said, “and their children are ill prepared for it.”

Who were they expecting to prepare their children to live in the real world?

Santa Claus?

It never ceases to astound me how many parents buy their children's love with material things. This is so unnecessary. What children really want from their parents is love and most importantly, the gift of time. They may not always respond the way we'd like them to, but when we care enough to set limits and to share our values with them, they are genuinely grateful for the security of knowing where the boundaries lie.

I know I have told this story before, but when my oldest boy outgrew his first bicycle, he wanted a 10-speed. We could easily have afforded to buy him one for his birthday or for Christmas, but I decided it would be a better idea to make him earn the money for a used bicycle and have him take it to the bike shop and fix it up. I wanted him to appreciate that there is a relationship between money, material possessions, and work: that the things we enjoyed didn't just magically appear without effort, as so many of his friends seemed to take for granted.

I also wanted him to experience frustration.

That's right: I wanted him not to get what he wanted right away.

I think kids get things too easily these days. I remember wishing and hoping and planning and waiting for things when I was a child. Many things that I wanted, I never did get. It didn't kill me. There was a line in that Mitt Romney CPAC speech the other day "Dependency is death to initiative." I wanted to teach my son that if you want something, you don't wait around for someone else to give it to you. You go out and find a way to earn it for yourself. You get creative, if you can't afford it.

I taught my kids to shop at thrift stores, even though we came from an upper middle class background. They loved combing over old things and finding bargains they could clean up. Recently, one of my sons and his wife found a solid walnut dining room table and chairs online for $200. It was in mint condition. It's gorgeous - all they had to do was rent a U-Haul and drive a few hours to pick it up. All we had to do was recover the seats with new fabric and it looks fabulous.

My sons grew up watching me fix up old things I'd bought for next to nothing - our house is furnished with what I like to call 'early yard sale', but what our movers usually dub 'antiques'. I don't argue with them. If you have a good eye for design, you can find lovely pieces that people get tired of. All they need is new upholstery or some stain and a coat or two of oil finish and they're as good as new. Often better, as new furniture is rarely as sturdy or well made as older pieces tend to be.

I often think that our affluence, in addition to making us complacent, has made us lazy and somewhat self-centered. In giving in to our children's material demands, how many of us were really just satisfying our own desire to be left to our own devices? The sad truth is that it's always easier to give money and things than time and always easier to say "yes" than to teach a child why "no" is the right answer.

But it's not always the right thing - for us, or for our children.

Posted by Cassandra at October 13, 2008 08:04 AM

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“No” could no longer be the starting gun of family fights. It would have to be an absolute.

My first thought reading this? "About time."

“She got angry and said: ‘That’s gross! Other people wore them!’

And right there I'd have slapped the taste out of her mouth. Spoiled brat needs to learn that she can whine about stuff she owns only after she's the one paying for it. I've got no patience for that kind of crap.

Posted by: MikeD at October 13, 2008 11:54 AM

Well, it was over in Hilliard, so just try to accept it. Hilliard is next to Upper Arlington and Dublin, which are REALLY upper class suburbs (full of people with WAY too much money), so Hilliard is full of blond wannabees, on anti-depressants. I was over there last Saturday morning. Sheesh, it was depressing. So I took a pill. :)

Kids really want I-pods, electric guitars, a car at 16....

So yes, you can buy a limited amount of loyalty from you kids with stuff, but what have you created? I ask myself that a lot these days.

My older son has come to the conclusion that Obama is not very realistic in promising things to people. I'm sorta proud of him coming to this on his own, without being beaten on (rhetorically) by his Dad (which I don't do). I've always tried to reason with him, even when he was just 8 or 9 years old. That seems to be working.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at October 13, 2008 12:43 PM

It took a few years, but I finally convinced my sisters to shop at a salvage outlet (bankruptcies, overstocks, fires, train wrecks...).

They resisted because "but you have to wash whatever you buy there!" I repeatedly asked "First, what do you do with brand-new pans, dishes, whatever" to which the response was "Uh, well, wash them." Then, "OK, as a clueless batchelor I will take a shirt out of its wrappings and put it on: you?" Reply "Of course not, at a minimum it needs ironing and usually we wash them!"

Still working on some other things. One sister gets cards to several "warehouse" outfits through her employment but NEVER uses them. I can almost understand, she has a "rainy day" bank account (in addition to several "normal" ones) which currently holds a bit more than twice my annual income so perhaps does not feel any need to save more than she already has...

Posted by: teqjack at October 13, 2008 01:17 PM

My daughter got an iPod for her birthday. She just turned 7.

It was my old one.

The most I would have been able to get for it on CraigsList would have been about $25 (it's one of the old minis) and she loved listening to it so we gave it to her. And she was thrilled! She then used her own money (earned by doing small jobs around the house above and beyond her chores) to put more songs on it.

Our two favorite stores here are Savers (department thrift store) and the post thrift shop. My kids, at 4 and 7, already know the thrill of finding brand name clothing or gently used toys for pennies on the dollar.

And this past weekend we spent Saturday yard sailing and Little Man managed to get a "new" bike. For $3. He talked them down from $5 because he didn't want to spend all of HIS money on a new bike.

I love the fact that my children do not have that sense of entitlement and my husband and I have worked HARD to foster that in them. They still get the "gimmees", especially now as we approach the holidays. But that's what wish lists are for. Right now, we are on a buying "hiatus" (happens between Princess Trouble's birthday in September and Christmas) and will soon start going through their toys, pulling out at least 3 (each) to donate to the local thrift store.

For Christmas, they get three gifts from us (just like Jesus did) plus their stockings. Nothing more. They get plenty of gifts from family and friends and they need nothing.

I've never understood parents who indulge their children's every desire/want/demand and then wonder why they live with spoiled, ungrateful brats.

I do have one question...at which thrift store can you find Hollister jeans?!? I'm shopping at the wrong thrift shop!

Posted by: HomefrontSix at October 13, 2008 02:00 PM

Charlotte Feeney of Stratford says she can never return to her natural blonde hue...

So, if she has naturally blonde hair, why is she dyeing it? And has she ever heard of hairdressers? They can really help when a home-done color goes bad. And how about just letting it grow out to her "natural blonde hue"?

She does give "blonde jokes" some veracity.

Posted by: Anne at October 13, 2008 02:06 PM

I wear a hat......
And sit in a corner....

I'm feeling repressed.

Posted by: DL Sly at October 13, 2008 02:19 PM


I would guess that they shopped at a store called "Plato's Closet", which trades in 'upscale' used apparel for teenagers. Those might be local to the Greater Columbus metro area. There's one in my town (Westerville, suburb of Columbus).

We shop at a lot of second-hand stores, like "Play it Again Sports", which sells second hand sports equipment. "Second Hand Books" which sells, you guessed it, second hand books (and CD's, records, movies), and used video game stores for the XBox, etc. Buying those second hand REALLY saves a lot of money.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at October 13, 2008 02:33 PM

I spent twenty years in the Army Guard -- *all* of our stuff was hand-me-downs...

Posted by: BillT at October 13, 2008 05:32 PM

What a coincidence! I am currently a plaintiff in litigation involving "Father Time, Inc.," over the accidental use of its widely-distributed product that has caused an irreversible graying of my once beautiful flowing locks of sunburst red, a complete collapse of my abdominal muscles from a once-golden rippling "six-pack" to a now-hulking, pale "keg," and the unsightly growth of random coarse hairs in places where nubile women once gladly nestled their tender cheeks and lips. Moreover, my knees hurt and I occasionally snore (or so I'm told).

This unspeakable trauma has caused me to want to stay at home most of the time. Even when my wife attempts to reinsert me into the society of normal society, I resist, preferring to watch mindless sporting events on TV rather than appearing in public at a kitchen-craft or fabric store in my horrifying condition. Alas, my condition is permanent. I am be doomed to wear hats with the names and logos of sports teams on them when I am forced to go out in publi. But I do so willingly - not only to hide the personal deterioration caused by this shameful product, but to give me hope. Hope that some young, incredibly beautiful and scantily-clad young woman is going look past all of my pathetic, shambled decrepitude and take pity upon me. "Go Sox," she says, and I am renewed.


Posted by: spd rdr at October 13, 2008 05:35 PM

Hope that some young, incredibly beautiful and scantily-clad young woman is going look past all of my pathetic, shambled decrepitude and take pity upon me.

"Hope is not a method." -- US Army Safety Slogan.

I've got a flight suit you can borrow. It works for *me*.

Ummmm -- sometimes...

Posted by: BillT at October 13, 2008 06:16 PM

Sheesh, it was depressing. So I took a pill. :)

Don, you're the best.

Now get out there and chase those younger women. You're not pulling your weight :p

Posted by: Cass at October 13, 2008 06:48 PM

I read that "home finance" article yesterday, linked to over at TigerHawk's place. My thought? Yes, you have been a bad parent, never telling your children "NO!". It's you, yourself, that has created that spoiled brat who can't conceive of not having everything they want, when they want it...

I'm still single. So, not seeing any need for it, I still have the bedroom furniture my parents bought me after we returned to the States in 1982. The stuff that had been in storage (yeah, quartermaster furniture is so stylish...) went to my little sister when she outgrew the crib, and I got more grown-up looking stuff. Dresser with mirror, desk and chair, nightstand, headboard, mattress, box spring, and bed frame. My sister have both asked me why I haven't "upgraded" to a full. They seem to think I should just ditch the perfectly good bed I have to have a big one that I don't really need.

I remember shopping the thrift store on base, especially when we were in Germany. When my Dad retired, it floored me to learn that my sisters' friends (in elementary schools) all seemed to have TVs and VCRs in their bedrooms. All growing up, we had a TV in the living room, didn't get a VCR right away when they came out, and when a second TV was purchased, that went into my parents' room. My first TV was a gift from my parents for my 21st birthday. I still own that little 13" Zenith, though all I get on it right now are the local stations, since there isn't a cable box to connect it to. I did buy a new TV - a 32" flat screen - and my co-workers were telling me I should have gotten a bigger one...

My sisters, 10.5 & 14.5 years younger than me, are more spoiled than I was, but they aren't as spoiled at those brats in the article. Good Lord!

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 13, 2008 07:22 PM

Miss Ladybug, don't be too hard on the kids, they really don't know any better, because their parents have indulged them all their lives. They are shortly (a few years from now) about to have a rude awakening when they go out on their own.

My neighbors have two "grown" daughters, who are both pretty nice girls, but they were "spoiled" too, even though my neighbors are really nice people who have worked hard all their lives and tried to instill values into their kids. The oldest daughter is really a "mess", and has an ultimatum to "get out of the house" by January '09 (she is 21). Shock therapy is about all that's left to get her head in the real world.

PS. I still use the clothes dresser in my bedroom that was given to me when I was 12 years old. Talk about cheap!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at October 13, 2008 08:34 PM

I would have said yes to music, dance and art lessons. They would have to babysit, deliver papers, do yard work, chores around the house or other things to make money. We do cake, ice cream and ONE present for birthdays and Christmas is homemade.

'Other people wore them?' Sweetheart, it isn't like you bought used underwear or had your mother make your underpants out of flour sacks.

I wouldn't have slapped her, necessarily, but what is wrong with sewing, fercryingoutloud? Don't women know how to sew or knit any more?

Thrift stores are the best places for bargains, especially designer clothing. Jeans make terrific bags, quilts and jackets. I would have taken the darling aside and said, 'You're right, dear. So what you can do is earn some money to buy new, or you can learn to sew and wear what you make.'

In fact...this week I have a break from school. I think it is time the princess kitty learned how to make some simple pajamas.

*beings raiding stash for flannel*

Posted by: Cricket at October 13, 2008 09:11 PM

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 13, 2008 09:40 PM


My mom taught me to sew, and I also took Home Ec in junior high. My sisters never learned. By the time they were of an age, my mom was no longer a stay-at-home mom like she'd been all the time I was growing up: Daddy was retired from the Army and working on his Bachelors, and Mom got a job to help pay the bills. My sisters didn't have the same kind of guidance and supervision I had... I don't have time to sew now, and fabric can be just as expensive as - or moreso - than buying clothes off the rack (especially when you have to buy more of it than a skinny little thing might have to). Last thing I actually sewed was a Halloween costume, I think from about 4 years ago. I came in second in the contest...

As for the furniture, we still have the stuff that got handed down to the older of my two sisters. It's very 70s, but it's solid - higher quality than what replaced it for me... My parents still have the bedroom furniture they've had as long as I can remember. Big, heavy pieces made of solid wood. You'd pay through the nose for that kind of quality today, if you could find it...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 13, 2008 10:14 PM

You know, Ymar, I may be on the road to rendering myself persona non grata in the milblogs community.

I don't want to. But when I read garbage like that, I'm ashamed. And I'm hardly a wimp. It's just that I like to think (with think being the operative word) that principles and morals matter, and that we don't throw them out the window when we get angry.

Whatever happened to self restraint?

Post upcoming.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 14, 2008 08:51 AM

Wretchard’s Warning:

There was a time when people explicitly understood their ignorance. And they defended against uncertainty by relying on simpler, less interdependent systems for survival. In case snow blocked the roads they had hams, canned goods, dried beans and sacks of flour in the storeroom. In the event 911 didn’t answer they had a shotgun in back. Family was the insurance against unforeseen crisis. Nation was the refuge against enemies. Culture provided a standard operating procedure which everyone was expected to know.

We have abolished much of that because in our foolish pride, it became an article of faith that we no longer needed them. Canned food is now shunned for the preservatives that it contains. Bacon is bad because it has salt. Allah forbid that there’s a gun in the house. And who could be less ‘with it’ than a woman with five children and a husband who drives a snowmobile. Sarah Palin is hated by sophisticates because she is almost a cliched example of this kind of simplicity. Ha ha ha. Today really cool people live in big cities, dependent on power grids, power circles and power lunches. They imagine there’s no heaven, no countries, nothing to kill or die for and no religion too. Today the truly cultured person is expected to know nothing of his own culture and a smattering of everyone else’s. Because they’re certain in their epistemological arrogance they’ll never need any of the things they’ve safely abandoned. Who needs a family when you’ve got a retirement fund?

Lenin once described Communism as “socialism plus electricity”. The modern version of Nirvana is “socialism plus Google”. When will we learn? Never, I fear, while pride and the desire for power rule the human breast.


Posted by: Real Craig at October 14, 2008 10:22 AM

My family was financially stable; we were never in anxiety about food, shelter, clothing, or medical care. But we never had a lot of money for extras, either -- partly, I'm sure, because my Depression-era folks budgeted for the basics first, and saved, too. My sisters and I got into the early habit of picking up odd jobs to generate spending money. Even that was an indulgence on my parents' part. When they were teenagers and young adults, they were expected to find work and contribute to keeping the family finances out of disaster.

I don't remember particularly suffering for lack of material goods. Sure, I'd have loved to be taken on trips to Europe. But a nice thing about not having been raised with a lot of luxury was that I found it really easy to live cheaply and contentedly when it was time for me to grow up, get a job, and have a place on my own.

When I first began to make adult money, the temptation to overspend was almost overwhelming, particularly since credit was so easily available. My husband and I experimented with it briefly, then settled down, paid cash for almost everything, paid off our home mortgage early, and built up a nice nest egg. So the early training won out.

Now with the market so scary, we still can fall back on the ability to do without what we don't really need. Sort of. It's harder than when we were kids! But at least we were never in the position of being reluctant to leave home because we couldn't stand the decrease in standard of living.

Posted by: Texan99 at October 14, 2008 11:19 AM

I find many kids these days don't distinguish between wants and needs. That is critical.

You can overspend, so long as you have a cushion and clearly understand what you are doing. I think the danger lies when you jeopardize your basic security (your needs) to get nonessentials (your wants).

I see kids do this all the time. They'll tell you they can't afford x, y, or z (all essentials) but spend money on fripperies like pizza or eating out or cable.

They'll say they can't afford not to work but can't find 'affordable child care' but they haven't run the numbers on working vs. one parent staying home. It makes no sense.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 14, 2008 11:30 AM

They'll say they can't afford not to work but can't find 'affordable child care' but they haven't run the numbers on working vs. one parent staying home. It makes no sense.

Reminds me of the Japanese when the samurai women were the total managers of their household and would ensure that their husbands would never have to worry about how to pay for things like festivals, wars, and what not.

It probably feels very good to know that somebody else will be managing your money, like the state or something or your employer, and all you have to do is to work and do things and not pay such things any attention at all.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 14, 2008 04:54 PM

Addendum: If people buy into the premise that they can always get more money from some place, welfare, Democrat vote buying, promotions, or Union work, then most of their energies are going to go into that rather than management and micromanagement of their actual funds.

American culture contributes somewhat to that, and not just in this century either, but the individual still has to decide in the end. Those that give up such choices will eventually have to rely upon the government, union leaders, or other such special interests to tell them what is good or bad in life.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 14, 2008 04:57 PM

Reminds me of the Japanese when the samurai women were the total managers of their household and would ensure that their husbands would never have to worry about how to pay for things like festivals, wars, and what not.

Well, that's pretty much the arrangement my husband and I always had when I was a housewife.

Now that I work, I have tried to reciprocate his being more egalitarian about my working with including him in decisions about household finances and how the house is run instead of being a petty dictator. After all, fair is fair.

I have to say that I am not sure that I understand men. I try to be logical about this stuff. To me, there should be a balance in all things. If he works and I stay home, it makes sense that I manage everything on the home front and he concentrates on bringing home the bacon.

But if we both work and we both do a bit of everything, it makes sense to include him in decisions and we should operate more on a joint decision making model. Either you have one model or the other but you need to have things explicit.

Sure, it's easier for me just to be bossy as all get-out, but that is not right.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 14, 2008 05:14 PM

I'm an Assistant Scoutmaster in a Boy Scout Troop. We take the kids out on outings, and they work on their requirements. We run into problems with this kind of thing.

First, some kids react badly when they find they're expected to do things like clean out the spaghetti pot after dinner. Everyone gets their turn with this kind of duty, but there's a lot of kids who have never had to get their hands dirty. When they find out they've got to do things for themselves like cook for both themselves and their peers and then clean up, we lose a few.

Second; when we say something like "demonstrate how to use an axe safely", we mean you actually have to do it, not just talk about it, and if you don't do it the way it says in the book and the way you were shown you don't pass. This flies in the face of the "preserving kids' self-esteem at all costs" philosophy. Of course, real self-esteem comes from meeting and overcoming an obstacle, but that idea seems to have been lost in modern education.

Third - we tend to use the word "no" a great deal more than they hear at home. It's also quite jarring to find that we actually mean it. "No" means "No". Asking a different leader when the first one says "No" or asking the same leader the same thing repeated times a) still gets you a "No" and b) will actually have negative consequences. We lose kids over that as well.

Then there's the whole "What? You let kids do THAT?!" when they see their kid shooting a .22 or going rock climbing. But I won't get into the parents - that's a whole 'nother story.

Posted by: RonF at October 14, 2008 05:24 PM

But if we both work and we both do a bit of everything, it makes sense to include him in decisions and we should operate more on a joint decision making model. Either you have one model or the other but you need to have things explicit.

Well, speaking as a man whose wife takes care of the finances etc, I think the important thing is knowing that I have a voice in the decisions. I don't need to exercise it in order to feel good about it. I just need to know that if something is important to me, I do have say in the matter.

I guess it's kind of like knowing I am free to go hang out with the guys anytime I want. I don't, but if I really wanted to, she'd not make a big deal about it. And in turn, I always ask if I do want to go out with the guys. I know she's going to say yes, but it's a respect thing. I am going to give her a choice and voice in the matter. And honestly, if she said no (and explained why) I'd accept that no and bow out.

Your Unit doesn't need to have daily input, because he knows you respect him enough that if he does input, you'll accept that. But I am positive he really appreciates the fact that you respect him and that input.

Posted by: MikeD at October 14, 2008 05:26 PM

Well, then I am an all-around failure. Not only does the now eldest CLU have two merit badges in firearms (one in rifle and the other in shotgun), he has the Bogus Merit Badge for Backyard Ballistics. For days all the male CLUs and the Engineer were in the back yard, insisting on canned meals...and I found out they were building a Kewl, Super Sekrit cannon and firing one liter pop bottles filled with Gaia water over into the neighbor's yards.

Laughing in that little boy got caught manly fashion, they persisted until they got the firing down right.

It's a guy thing.

Posted by: Cricket at October 14, 2008 06:34 PM

I also found out what happened to all the cans.


Posted by: Cricket at October 14, 2008 06:34 PM

Sure, it's easier for me just to be bossy as all get-out, but that is not right.

Would it be right if you became his quartermaster?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 14, 2008 08:10 PM

Posted by: MikeD at October 14, 2008 05:26 PM

To clear something up, you aren't the same as Mike Devx at Bookworm Room, right?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 14, 2008 08:11 PM

> she can never return to her natural blonde hue,

Huh? It changed her HAIR ROOTS permanently?

I've never heard such a thing, and I doubt its validity here. She may need to wait for it to grow out, but it sure as hell will grow back its original shade.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at October 15, 2008 08:29 AM

> “It is an unbelievable shock to affluent families that their lifestyles are gone for good,”

Huh? Granted, that may be true if Obama gets elected, and, if the polls are any indication, that may be the way to bet, but it's hardly a proven thing. This economy is not the same *TYPE* of economy as produced the previous downturns and recoveries.

As bad as the current situation is, the seeds of growth are spread far and wide, unlike previous times, when only a few had the means to create new companies, market new products, and make new wealth. And that allows for a startlingly quick recovery, if the government's meddling doesn't screw things up too badly.

If McCain does get elected, we could see the Dow back to the +12k range within three years.

All bets are off if Obama gets elected.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at October 15, 2008 08:35 AM

To clear something up, you aren't the same as Mike Devx at Bookworm Room, right?

Never even heard of Bookworm Room. So no.

Posted by: MikeD at October 15, 2008 09:44 AM

> “It is an unbelievable shock to affluent families that their lifestyles are gone for good,”

If their lifestyles were based on over-borrowing and under-saving, and on cannibalizing their home equity on the assumption that it always would rise much faster than inflation, then they may be right that the gravy train is over for good, and the sooner they adjust to reality, the better. MUCH better for their kids, who need to see an example of grownups facing reality and acting on it.

Even assuming the market recovers, as I hope and expect it will sooner (McCain) or later (Obama), some lifestyles never should have been expected to be sustainable in any market.

Posted by: Texan99 at October 16, 2008 09:46 AM

OBH, she is a blonde, and not even a recovering one at that. I am a recovering blonde. I started my road to recovery when I became a mother for the first time.

Posted by: Cricket at October 16, 2008 11:24 PM