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Parking Prices, Assemble!

July 19, 2013

Having crawled out from under my rock, I learned that Comic Con started yesterday in San Diego. I have never attended this grassroots event turned media circus due to my lack of interest and my hatred for dealing with crowds. However, I happened to catch a quick news story, which you can watch here, about the parking situation.

Comic Con might be a boon for the event itself, hotels, restaurants, clubs, bars, taxis and so forth, but it’s having a negative effect on residents who live and work in downtown San Diego.

Parking prices have escalated as there is more demand with so many people attending this annual event. The increased demand has meant that residents/workers used to paying $5 to $7 are seeing prices ranging from $20 and even as high as $50 to $60. The result of Comic Con has a negative, albeit short-term, consequence for these people who are experiencing price gouging for an event in which they do not even attend–let’s not forget the increase in traffic and heavy crowds.

7 up

June 9, 2013

One of the features I would like for Apple to include in iOS 7 is the ability to delete–or at least hide–the first-party apps. For me, the list includes: Newsstand, Calculator, Game Center, Compass, Voice Memos, Stocks, Weather, Passbook, Videos, Clock, Reminders, Maps and Safari.

I know it’s wishful thinking, but the truth is I don’t use any of these apps nor do I ever plan to use any of them. I know I can put them in a folder or hide them through this trick, but it would be nice to have a built-in feature that’s more permanent and won’t be undone in the event I ever need to reboot my iOS device.

Reigning Cats and Dogs

April 1, 2013

There are rumors that some members of Congress are considering pushing a bill that would make it illegal for dogs and cats to live together in the US.

Supporters of this bill are claiming that cats and dogs living together attack the moral fabric of society. One person, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity, said the idea of dogs and cats who cohabitate is essentially an attack on family values and sets a bad example for children.

Opponents of the bill argue that it violates cats and dogs’ constitutional rights. Many others believe dogs and cats should enjoy the same rights that are given to other animals such as pigs, ducks and zebras. Organizers have already began to rally people to protest this bill before it can become law. Some have started obtaining petitions, while others have taken to the streets to set up peaceful demonstrations.

It is unlikely this bill will receive ample to support, but there are still many concerned families who currently own both cats and dogs. These families fear that if this bill does become a law, it will cause a split between family members on which animal to keep.

We’ll keep you posted as this story develops. Up next, we’ll have an indepth look at how space planners are preparing mankind on colonizing Mars within the next 2 years.

The Value of Weddings

December 7, 2012

I have been wanting to write this blog entry for quite some time, but I haven’t had the opportunity to give it proper attention until now.

A few months ago, I attended two weddings within a few weeks of one another. As I observed both weddings, I began to think about how weddings themselves hold no instrumental value. Rather, they have ceremonial value.

Marriages often involve some type of a celebratory ceremony where friends and family gather to witness two people commit themselves to each other for the rest of their lives. These ceremonies have different ranges and can be anywhere from extravagant and lavish to simplistic and intimate. Traditionally, a licensed official performs the ceremony in front of all the witnesses followed by a reception where everyone celebrates the new chapter in the couple’s lives.

Weddings are a celebration. They add no additional value to two people’s love for one another nor do they provide any instrumental enhancement for a marriage. A couple who have an extravagant wedding do not love each other more than a couple who have a simple wedding–rather, the former couple are participating in conspicuous consumption. And a couple who decide to be married at a courthouse are still married in the eyes of the government. The recognition of their marriage is no less meaningful than a couple who have a sunset beach wedding.

Weddings may not have any instrumental value–only ceremonial value–but they do create economic value. If we examine closely what is involved when it comes to planning a wedding, there is a lot of economic activity involved; however, that economic activity varies based on the couple and their budget.

I did some research and found this information here from the Library of Congress (LOC). The LOC identifies some available services when it comes to a wedding: dresses, consultants, food, videography, disc jockey, favors/bridesmaids gifts and destination weddings. The demand for these services creates jobs for individuals. After all, we need bakers to make the cake, cooking staff to prepare the meals, waiters and waitresses to serve the food, tailors to fit the clothes and so forth.

There is demand for other services such as travel, hospitality, decorations, rental of banquet hall for reception, etc. Depending on the complexity of the wedding, the list of services could go on and on.

I couldn’t find official statistics on weddings, but I did stumble across the following website here. It provides some statistics for weddings in 2011 (I can’t assure the accuracy of these numbers). As you can see, the average amount of money spent on a wedding is quite high.

Weddings are a celebration of a lifetime commitment of love. While they may have only ceremonial value, there are certainly economic benefits from them.

Kings of the Cup

July 29, 2012

I really enjoyed this amazing YouTube video that recaps the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals series between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils. It’s quite impressive to say the least due to the outstanding quality of the chosen footage, the music selection, and the drama of the series.

There is one thing that bothered me about the video; it happens around 21 seconds into the video. The commentator, Mike Emrick, says, “You see his name as both a pronoun and a verb describing the way he plays,” when referring to Jonathan Quick’s last name.

First, it is incorrect to categorize Quick as a pronoun when referring to someone’s last name. The proper categorization is proper noun.

Second, it is incorrect to refer to quick as a verb. Quick is an adjective, as in, “Jonathan Quick is very quick.”

I don’t know whether “Doc” was caught up in the moment, or if he thought pronoun and verb flowed much better than proper noun and adjective. I do think he does his audience a disservice when it comes to his ad-hoc grammar lesson. However, I will give him the benefit of the doubt by assuming he was caught up in the moment and didn’t have much time to process what he was saying.

Richest Duck in the World to Become Billionaire Philanthropist

April 1, 2012

Scrooge McDuck, the multi billionaire dollar mallard from Duckburg, USA, is set to make a surprising announcement. Sources close to him have confirmed that he plans to donate 99% of his wealth to numerous, “worthy” organizations around the world–or as he likes to call it, the pond.

Many may remember Scrooge for his starring role in DuckTales and for playing the crotchety penny pincher Ebeneezer Scrooge in Disney’s interpretation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Mr. McDuck admits to losing interesting in swimming through all his cash reserves at his infamous money bin. He has suffered several concussions from the constant dives into the coins, which some are speculating as the real reason for his sudden generosity.

Among his ardent supporters are his nephews Donald Duck, Huey, Louie and Dewey. Also applauding his new sense of generosity are Duckworth, his long time butler, Launchpad McQuack, his long time pilot, Gyro Gearloose, his personal inventor, Mrs. Beakley and her granddaughter, Webby–all are expected to be in attendance when he makes his announcement.

There are some critics who are questioning McDuck’s intentions. They include his long time rival Flintheart Glomgold, who is characterizing these actions not as heroic and altruistic but as a public relations stunt to win more favorable attention towards McDuck Industries.

Other fierce critics include Magica De Spell, who sees McDuck as a thorn in her side. Not surprisingly, the Beagle Boys, who McDuck has foiled many times in the past for their constant attempts of robbing him blindly, have said they don’t think he’s doing it out of the kindness of his heart due to his reputation of being cheap.

McDuck’s representatives deny anything other than good will and genuine sincerity about helping others as being the key factors to his decision to part ways with much of his wealth.

Human rights groups, charities and NGOs are some of the groups expected to receive donations.

Mr. McDuck plans to keep his lucky number one dime, which he credits for much of his success, because of its special value and significance in his life.┬áThe event for the announcement will be held in two weeks outside McDuck’s mansion with many dignitaries in attendance, including the legendary and iconic Mickey Mouse.

Bad Decision Making in Escondido

March 26, 2012

It’s not hard to understand why city workers in Escondido, CA are protesting a decision to give raises to top managers who are making quite a substantial amount of money in the first place–above $100,000 to be exact. Even though the city is cash strapped, the top managers are to receive pay hikes while the rest of the city employees are being told to suck it up.

Cases like this one, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, are the reasons we have seen the Occupy movement gain so much traction, especially during times when so many of us have become victims of greed.

Update: It appears the city of Escondido isn’t the only city in San Diego county to approve a raise for its highly paid managers. Carlsbad has issued a 6% raise for its city manager.

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