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Greg

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it's-been-a-little-while links [Jun. 1st, 2011|01:29 pm]
Greg
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[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

- A cool visualization of various countries' "life indices" where you can weight the different factors. And the countries look like flowers! (via djedi)

- A new poll shows Americans estimate 25% of the population is gay/lesbian. To which I say...where are you living?? Admittedly things like this are hard to measure (some people are closeted, not to mention sexuality is somewhat fluid), but this is way higher than any estimate I've seen. 7-10% or so sounds right to me. (via djedi)

- In a similar vein, a story from the AP suggesting the same-sex marriage tide is turning, maybe. Unfortunately the map is still pretty grim, and Minnesota just put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to ban same-sex marriage.

- Over at the Atlantic, there's a series on the 10 biggest constitutional myths. Here's a good debunking of "originalists", and here's why the Constitution's purpose wasn't to limit Congress.

- Facebook devalues birthday greetings - yes yes yes! I've been saying this for years!

- Being Frugal Makes You A Loser - inflammatory title, and please don't read the comments, but I generally agree with the message, assuming you can afford good-quality things. (NSFW language)
LinkReply

Comments:
From: spchampion
2011-06-01 07:12 pm (UTC)
RE Facebook birthdays:

I agree that Facebook devalues the greeting, but it has a distinctly modern upside. It's basically an excuse to say "hi" to people, many of whom I don't speak with on a regular basis. Sometimes it results on an impromptu update where I learn how they're doing and they learn how I'm doing.
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[User Picture]From: gregstoll
2011-06-01 07:16 pm (UTC)
That's a good point. Maybe I should pick one person who wishes me happy birthday and catch up with them...
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[User Picture]From: flamingophoenix
2011-06-01 07:25 pm (UTC)
I think it's nice to get a little message from people. I don't really expect much on my birthday anyway (once you're an adult, birthdays kind of lose their point) so I'm starting from a cost basis of 0 here, but still. :-)
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[User Picture]From: flamingophoenix
2011-06-01 07:32 pm (UTC)

Frugality

I think the *key* in that article is the "on the wrong things" part.

Of course, it may not be *possible* to buy yourself nice things. But if you can, you should.

This was something I learned fairly early, but it took me a while to completely shake the frugality bug. My grandmother is a super-frugal person, and bought low-quality stuff quite often. After a while I talked to my parents about it, and learned about how it's better to buy one good thing than 50 bad things you'll just have to replace. Case in point: When I was a teenager, I used to buy $3 athletic sandals from the A&N bin. They would wear out in no time, and I would spend a lot of effort taping them back together with duct tape before giving up in disgust and buying new ones. (I haaaaated brand names; that's a different story.) Eventually, though, I broke down and bought a pair of Tevas when I was 15. Well, I'm 27 now, and I wore those same shoes to the grocery store this morning. There are permanent foot-impressions where the rubber has worn down in the tops, but the soles are as solid as ever.

Hmm...the thing about washcloths is a bit weird. But okay!
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[User Picture]From: flamingophoenix
2011-06-01 07:32 pm (UTC)

Re: Frugality

Jeeeez, you weren't kidding about the comments.
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[User Picture]From: gregstoll
2011-06-01 07:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Frugality

Honestly, in my world "don't read the comments" is good advice around 90% of the time.
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[User Picture]From: flamingophoenix
2011-06-01 07:46 pm (UTC)

Re: Frugality

Indeed.
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[User Picture]From: gregstoll
2011-06-01 07:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Frugality

Agreed. My parents were frugal enough that it rubbed off on me, and then I kinda "rebelled" and bought really nice stuff, and now I think I've found a happy medium.

(for the record, our bathroom does not feel like a spa :-) )
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[User Picture]From: flamingophoenix
2011-06-01 07:49 pm (UTC)

Re: Frugality

Yay, happy medium!

I started out with a lot of free, iffy-quality furniture and some free, high-quality furniture. (See also the Sam Vimes theory I linked above - having family with spare furniture is a huge advantage.) Over time, we're replacing our less-good furniture with better furniture - e.g. instead of the barely-a-double-bed Ikea foldout futon with the wooden arms that dig into your legs when you sit down, we now have a regular sleep sofa (leather, so our allergies won't trigger) that's as least as comfortable for our guests, and which is more comfy to sit upon.

I haven't bought new chairs yet, but eventually I will replace the terribly uncomfortable chairs that I inherited when I moved up here. (The seats are completely flat, and the backs are pretty straight.)
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[User Picture]From: medryn
2011-06-01 07:46 pm (UTC)
25% ?! Most gay villages are not even that gay. According to this article:

http://gayrealestate.typepad.com/gayrealestate_usa/2009/08/lgbt-zipcodes-codes-with-the-higher-percentage-of-samesex-couples.html

there are only two zip codes in the entire country that are more than 25% gay! (I live in one of them :P)
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[User Picture]From: gregstoll
2011-06-01 07:52 pm (UTC)
...congratulations? :-)

Neat! Thanks for the link. Although it looks like that's only talking about couples - maybe if you include singles the percentage goes higher...
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[User Picture]From: andrewhime
2011-06-02 06:35 am (UTC)
I think 7-10% is optimistic by *at least* a factor of 2.
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[User Picture]From: djedi
2011-06-02 06:38 pm (UTC)
The article equates frugal with cheap. Now, I think many of what he says still apply to being "overly frugal" but I also think that some of what he talks about is just bashing the "fish-in-a-barrel" cheap.
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[User Picture]From: flamingophoenix
2011-06-02 11:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think that might have been a connotation fail...
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From: brittongregory
2011-06-04 05:04 pm (UTC)
Indeed. Frugal doesn't mean not buying high quality -- it means buying high quality on sale, or used, or in bulk, or when you actually need it as opposed to when you feel like it.

That said, it's easy to bash being cheap when you have the money to easily do otherwise. (I'm looking at all you double-income-with-no-kids folks, in particular.) If you need something replaced and the choice is between buying cheap and getting consumer financing, the choice is less clear. I find the happy medium is to buy cheap, then save up to buy high-quality when the cheap stuff gives out.

Also, though the folks in this thread are smart enough to know this, it's still worth pointing out that cheap and low-quality do not necessarily go together, and nor do expensive and high-quality. Some Ikea stuff is cheap simply because you put it together yourself, not because it won't last more than a year.

(As a side note, I like what he said about ways to make your bathroom feel like a spa. We'll have to try some of those.)
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