In which Girard is very pleased with his good behavior.

Water feature or pond? You decide!

G: “I didn’t mess with the water future!”

Me: “That’s very good.  But it’s water ‘feature’.”

G: “I didn’t go near the water future!”

Me: “Feature.  Water feature.”

G:”I didn’t throw things in the pond!”



The Old Man and the Electricity

Castle Ladyhawke was previously owned by a deeply strange bachelor.  He had some curious habits and his electricity management was one of them.

The house is mostly typical double outlets like this:


Now imagine that the top one is turned off for every single outlet in the house.  Only the bottom ones are connected up.  This leads to the question of “Why did he do that?”

The answer is that it’s a lazy, weird way to avoid the possibility of overloading or overheating the circuits.  Probably.

Trump baby bump states

Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont (or is this a Bernie baby bump?), Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Birth records are from provisional data for 2017 from the CDC.  The criteria I used was looking at births from August 2017 to December 2017 (that would have been conceived from November 2016 to March 2017) and the states above had at least two consecutive 2017 months where the births were higher than the same months in 2016.

Only Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia had three consecutive months of increased births compared to the prior year.  And only Tennessee and North Carolina had four consecutive months of increased births.

I’ve seen people claiming there is one, so I looked into it and the answer is a solid maybe, I guess?



Are there signs of a Trump baby boom(let)?

Short answer: maybe.  Longer answer: only regionally at best, and there’s some evidence of a “Bernie birth boomlet” as well.

As far as sheer birth numbers, it’s all downhill in aggregate.  You only see increases in small subgroups and they are not big enough increases in big enough subgroups to bump the totals up.

I’ll put up a list of states that show birth increases for births from August-December 2017 (so conceptions around November 2016-March 2016) later tonight or tomorrow.


Revising the class structure idea

Thanks to the feedback on that post, I see that there will have to be some modifications because my taxonomy is too STEM/tech-centric.

Basically what we really have is a married class with low, middle and high tiers, and the low tier still has a ceiling well above the median household income of 50k/yr.  The high-income tech (and to a lesser extent STEM in general) subset are marked more by the weird ways they tend to spend their money compared to the other married class people than where their income “ought” to put them.  So what people used to call upper middle and middle has split into three levels of married-ness, mostly based on income.  SAHMs are tied more to the low and middle married tiers than the high one.

The true upper class, as would be expected, hasn’t changed much and is still there (and still tiny).  But they don’t necessarily have high income or wealth personally, although they usually have some aspect of the latter.   They have access to it by default though.

Singles are really either part of a premarital class (they are taking the steps to be able to join a tier of the married class and will pass into it) or they’re essentially working class if they’re stably employed but not in a way that will make them able to join the married class.

Single parents are also pretty much working class if they’re stably employed.  In both cases, singles are lower class if they’re not working or not working reliably.

The new class structure in American society

Upper class: Married, college completing, has domestic support at least part time or extensive use of internet-based equivalents. Household income range is 200-450k. 95% white and Asian, 5% black and Hispanic.  6 million households.

Upper middle class: Married, college educated (mostly completing, but a substantial minority of “some college” households).  Household income range is 100k-200k.  90% white and Asian, 10% black and Hispanic.  Lifetime number of children is 1-4. 16 million households.

Middle class: Singles with their act together, single parents who make more than 50k/yr.  Retired married couples.   25 million households.

Lower middle class: Hispanics (particularly 1st and 2nd generation immigrant), non-college white and black married couples. 34 million.

Lower class: Singles who can’t get it together, single parents who don’t work. 40 million.

This is a draft.  The numbers are pretty close to the total households in America though.  Peel away, it’s a pretty big onion.

April reading update

I read 8 books for this month.  I read the first three Tarzan books, a 30 year old YA book about a boy surviving in the woods, finished the last Avery Hall book, finished a book of usenet-funny work anecdotes, finished an ebook-only assortment of fantasy stories and finally read the Velveteen Rabbit.  I saw it as a kid, but never read the book.  It’s a very sweet story.

The current count is 30 down, 70 to go.   I am mired in the Burton Arabian Nights translation, which is a very spicy meatball.  I didn’t know that before jumping in.  The first 100 or so pages are pretty q-rated and the KJV stylistic approach makes it even denser of a read.  Will probably finish Hippies of the Religious Right this month.  Not really sure about how I’m going to read the remaining 70 books planned for the year.  T.W.O. unpacked a bunch of to-read history and fiction that I was working on before the move and I’ve been in analysis paralysis on where to start or resume.

I feel like my oldest child.  “I’m allowed to check out two more from the library, but I’m already reading nine books, and I wouldn’t finish them before the return date.”