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kleinbl00  ·  139 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 29, 2017x 2

Birth center is donezo.

I mean, there's a couple little things. Gotta put up some blinds. Need to replace a doorknob. One counter still needs a backsplash. But we spent $1500 on catering for 50 people at the open house Saturday and after three hours we had eight rolls of mortadella, a couple polenta cakes and about a melon's worth of honeydew.

Also got my call for work this summer, so our financial future is secure while we wait for, oh, $1500 worth of catering to come back to us as goodwill and consumer interest.

Also pulled off the taxes such that we won't starve prior to work starting again, was able to pay my daughter's tuition in full, was able to pay the accountants and was able to set money aside for retirement for me and the wifey for the first time since 2005 so that's nice. I also managed, through sheer blind luck and mk's tutelage, to leverage bitcoin and Ethereum such that... well, I'm pleased with the current price and guardedly optimistic as to its trajectory. We should be starving to death right now and we're not. We might be sitting on a half million dollars' worth of leverage but apparently that's between a third and a quarter of where we'd be with a dental clinic. I might be driving a '95 Dodge, my daughter's room might be directly across the hall from mine and I might not be sure if we can afford storm windows this spring but fuckin'A I have a reasonable expectation that whatever windows we've got, I'll still own their frames next year.

My insurance is good enough that I have a nutritionist and a physical therapist, and my daughter is going to have a shitty week because she's got shots tomorrow and the dentist friday. I also have a yoga instructor. Mine is a pampered fucking lifestyle. If my biggest complaint is that I'm now eating sixteen servings of fresh vegetables a day I'm neck deep in white people problems.

I dunno. You're supposed to be thankful in November. That's always seemed weird to me because that's right about the time you're going into ridiculous debt buying shit people don't need and busily accomplishing fuckall until January. For me, it's always been getting through February.

We're cooking the second 3lb chunk of corned beef for my father-in-law's birthday tomorrow. That means i will make Irish Tacos for the second time in as many weeks because they're fucking delicious.

kantos  ·  146 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The beginning of the end? Reddit introduces profile pages

kleinbl00  ·  209 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017x 2

a year in the life.

We had our first class in there last night. Coats were hung on coat hooks I had hung five minutes previously. The person running the class had my phone number for two days to coordinate everything she might need; instead she showed up half an hour after she said she would and expected I could make it all work. And I did. But it's galling - "Yeah, I've never been here before, or met you before, and the last time my organization stopped by the sheetrock had just gone up I'm sure you can make my three hours of powerpoint and Youtube videos work just fine, especially if I give you half an hour, despite the fact that I've been forewarned the internet is spotty I'm sure you can work it out."

And then my wife showed up and then I took the kid home and then she got home at eleven. I'm on my 3rd or 4th 10-11-12 hour day on this fucker. Monday night was two hours naked knee-deep in lukewarm water scraping blue protectant off a tub. Yesterday, on the other, was easier... but I discovered that the tub they were 3 weeks late in delivering (thereby setting us back 3 weeks) is a factory 2nd with a massive chip in it that will spread if I can't get it fixed. So that made me happy.

The difficulty is the minute that class got there, it was abundantly clear that I don't belong. Nobody in the birth community says "husband" because it's offensive. We're all "partners." And we're all "supportive" and we're all expected to get out of the way so they can focus on women's mysteries. Except during the birth where the philosophy is basically "thou art thy partner's bitch who is suffering more than you can ever know to bring about the miracle of life you're lucky we let you in the room worm now help your master breathe!"

So what I'm left with is I've spent like three years building a business in an industry actively hostile to my gender, that will never have anything to do with me, and which resents my participation. I am a fish building an airplane. It's a fuckin' P-51 Mustang to be sure but I still got gills, you know? The only thing I get out of it is gratitude from my wife, and despite spending the better part of two days cleaning and tidying and polishing that place I was denied any reaction from her last night because god forbid we speak too loudly to interrupt the class.

I realized yesterday that while I've been maintaining social media channels for two years and organizing ad campaigns and infographics and all the rest, I've never once mentioned the birth center on my own Facebook page.

This is really the only place I talk about it.

That probably says something.

flac  ·  252 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 7, 2016

So, thenewgreen commissioned a shirt from me, and I decided to make a Hubski-themed one. Still mid-process, needs buttons and hems.

Here is is head-on. Mostly black, subdued, but then...

BLAM color everywhere.

Collar down.

Cuffs closed.

placket.

Proud of how this one is shaping up, lots of nice details in it - goobster, there are honest-to-god pleats and plackets on this puppy, I'll upload detail pics later.

----

Also

Made my sister a dress for her birthday.

(There is a picture of me modeling it, but it's a bit early in the day for that...)

-----------

Relatedly, my mother, who is a saintly woman, saw me working on this shirt last night, and she literally pulled my father by his shirt to the machine and said "OUR SON CAN MAKE A PLEAT" like it was the most mindblowing thing she had ever seen. My dad has been, uh, not super pleased with my sewing in the past, so it was nice to at least get a "huh, pretty good" from him (even if it was kind of forced).

Bottom line: my mom is awesome.

kleinbl00  ·  337 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Jeff Kunzler: Against Minimalism A Plea for Cyberpunk

Oh shit now you did it.

About a week ago I gave rd95 an absurd quest: To find some horror comics from the late '60s or early '70s, look in the back for a page that was nothing but head-shop posters, and find me the one that looks like a dude sitting alone in a crystal labyrinth. It is an image seared in my brain thirty or more years ago, the most striking vestige of a collection of horror comics I inherited from my cousin Larry and sold wholesale two years later, a time capsule from another era I had not quite forgotten. It is an image I have looked for off and on for twenty or more years, the "holy grail" poster of my past that I have never been able to let go of. I promised him an assortment of mid '60s Popular Mechanics from my deceased grandparents' house as reward.

It took him half a day.

This is the past future that defines me: a semi-absurdist pop-culture future in which nuclear annihilation is a foregone conclusion and that which comes later will be gacked to the nines and spired out like Metropolis.

It doesn't help that I've effectively retreated into No Man's Sky to get away from my neighborhood. The future, as presented by No Man's Sky, belongs to Ralph McQuarrie and Syd Mead, not Jony Ive and Dieter Rams. It is a messy lines-of-coke, acoustic-coupling, MICR-E13B future where n times apple times pear equals three and where the driving ethos is wonder, not smug self-satisfaction. You know what has always bugged me? I can get this shit all day:

But apparently no one has even thought of selling me one of these.

It's funny - twenty five years gone and I find myself nostalgic for ugly shit. Say what you will about the Soviet design bureaus, they had an ethos.

_____________________________________________________

I think we're turning a corner, though. I've been in the market for cars and there are an astonishing number of boring ones out there. But at the same time, the Japanese are apparently feeling their Akira. Just in the past year we've gone from this:

to this:

And from this:

to this:

and while five years ago the articles were all "ZOMGJONYIVESQUEEE" they're now all "FANBOIHURRRGHWHARRRGARBL" and aside from the exquisitely dull world of personal electronics, things might be going the other direction.

One need only look up "LED chandelier" to see that the Pacific Rim is not waiting for us. And I embrace their adventure.

rd95  ·  495 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: More Than 40% of Student Borrowers Aren’t Making Paymentsx 4

Sorry this took a bit to respond to, but I've had trouble typing this out. This isn't stuff I like to think about and it seems like kleinbl00 has explained some of it. Here's what I typed out though, partially stemming from personal experience. . .

The thing is though, $8,900 is a lot of money for a large number of people. For paying back student loans, that's about $100 to $150 a month, something a lot of people can't afford. Let me break it down for you a bit, so you can see where I'm coming from because I found myself in this trap. Here we go . . .

Let's take a person, like me, college drop out working 2 jobs to make ends meet. Only, unlike when I was working 2 jobs, now thanks to Obamacare, the number of full time jobs out there is much lower. Now, people are working 2 part time jobs, max hours, with no benefits. That's two jobs, maybe above minimum wage, at roughly $8 an hour for 50 hours a week. That breaks down to . . .

$400 a week or about $300 after taxes. $1600 a month or about $1200 after taxes. That's about $20,000 a year or $16,000 after taxes. Money is fucking TIGHT. Here's the wild ride we're going down, and trust me, it's painful . . .

You take home $1,600 a month. Take away $500 dollars for rent. Congrats, You're down to $1,100. Now take away an additional $300, because you have to pay for utilities and your phone on your shitty plan. Now you're down to $800. Now take away another $300, because that's your money for your car insurance and gas. Heaven forbid you still owe money on that car because that's even more coming out of your pay. Now you're down to $500. Take away another $150 for food and another $150 for health insurance and you have yourself at the end of the month, $200. That's $200 dollars flex room, before student loans even come in.

Here's where things get shitty. Your car? It's a 15 year old GM J Body. Something breaks on it once every three months. There goes some of that money. What's that? You got a minor cold that somehow became an ear infection so bad that you have to go to the doctor because you woke up to literal puss oozing out your ear? That'll be an $80 copay for the clinic plus another $20 for antibiotics. In reality though, you spent half the day getting that taken care of so you're actually out more money, because you're not spending time working. After you get home from a long, half day at work because you work a shitty retail job, you find out that one of your roommates blew part of his money on a $25 dollar pizza delivery, instead of real food like rice and eggs. That's not the worse of it though, he bought that pizza to soften the blow of him getting fucking fired from his shitty ass job so now you have to cover his part of the rent until he can find something else. Now your rent just went from $500 a month to $750 a month and now you're hemorrhaging money every single month until he finds something new because you just can't kick him out, he's like family. Congratulations. You're now in a massive downwards spiral and you haven't even touched your student loans yet. Your debt is getting worse by the week and even when your roommate finally finds work again, climbing out of the debt will be that much harder, because you not only dug your hole deeper, but possibly wider. To make matters worse, if debt wasn't bad enough, the psychological pain of the inevitable collection calls and knocks on your door from the landlord will make things worse. Six years later, you're still afraid to pick up the phone whenever an unknown number calls you.

So many things go wrong when you're poor and everything that goes wrong ends up costing you money, making things worse and worse. There's a reason why savings are called "safety nets." Being able to afford to take care of problems when they first show up, keeps them from getting worse down the road, literally saving you money in the long run. You have to have that money to begin with though, to make things work.