The Downton Abbey Economy

It’s been said that the rise of the tech plutocrats of Silicon Valley (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn) and the simultaneous decline of the American middle class is pushing us toward an economy of the rich and the poor who will earn their daily bread servicing the rich.

SNAP Kitchen, our pretty-well-off Northwest Hills neighborhood’s latest retailer, seems to be a good example of services catering to people who presumably can afford $2 for a deviled egg.

Hey, they’re spicy (Jalepeno, black pepper, etc.)! And cage-free. Whoop-de-do.

SNAP Kitchen (“fresh, healthy take-away”) also sells beef that’s “grass-fed” and produce that’s “conscientiously” picked. Mrs. C. said the latter maybe means they think good thoughts as they snip tomatoes from the vine and pull the carrots from the soil.

(They probably don’t realize that SNAP is the federal acronym for food stamps: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.)

San Francisco (bedroom community of the tech grandees) comes to Austin is what I call it. But the Downton Abbey Economy also works. While it isn’t good for a democracy not to have a middle class, it could be lucrative for the skilled journeyman. And as long as the Abbey keeps it civil, there won’t be any sabotaging of the home heating/AC the Abbey doesn’t know how to maintain.

Rule 5: Bang Tam


Taking a break from plus-size models, one of my favorite Vietnamese singers. The backup violins are’t bad either. With a competent stab at translating the lyrics of this love song.

Ebola in Texas

First confirmed U.S. case. In Dallas, where else? Well, it could have been Houston. And the feds are unprepared. Except in four states and, of course, Texas isn’t one of them.

Gee, I wonder how that happened. Eh, Barry? Open borders and no airline screening might have something to do with it. But, hey, we’re all sure taking our shoes off at the airport. Security theater plays on and on, as Ebola spreads.

N95 masks are selling really well at Amazon. Probably just a coincidence. And CDC protocols call for those exposed to be quarantined for 21 days. There’s an economy killer. Even better than “climate change” which (wouldn’t you know it) is getting the blame.

How to avoid Ebola: Among other things avoid people bleeding from the eyes. And be sure to stay away from Dallas. Could be smart to ignore Money Mag and avoid McKinney, too. Oh, and save those trash bags.

Via Drudge

UPDATE:  There seems to be a second Ebola patient in Dallas. And five schoolkids are being “monitored” at home while their five schools are checked. Why do I think this is going to get worse? Best bet: stay away from Dallas and read this book!

The wallet biopsy

Yesterday’s bone-marrow biopsy for Mrs. C. only lasted five minutes but the setup, and the recovery from the “twilight” painkiller took several hours. And before she even was taken to surgery, the business office came to call.

Insurance, apparently, agreed to pick up 80 percent of the hospital’s costs but we paid the rest, and the wallet biopsy took precedence to the medical one. Can’t blame them. Nobody (except government) is in business to lose money.

Still to come, of course, are the costs charged by the doctor and nurses and drugs and etcetera. And more for today’s PET scan which looks to take most of the afternoon.

We get Wednesday off, then it’s back to the grind on Thursday. All this to decide whether (and how) chemo actually begins next week. Fight cancer, the unaffected always insist. If they only knew how wearying it is before the fight even begins.

Eat Mor Chikin

One reason your beef and pork prices are going up at the grocery is because Obozo and his green cronies are conspiring to raise electricity bills to fight non-existent climate change. The grocery is passing the higher cost on.

But Andy at MyOldRV, whose wholesaler recently alerted him to rising beef and pork prices even without the grocery middleman, has discovered another problem that’s apparently going under-reported.

“Cattle herds were depleted over the last two years as ranchers were forced to sell due to the drought. There was some sort of virus introduced into the pigs starting in North Carolina that they think came from China. It has since spread across the country and killed millions of piglets. I never saw it reported on the news.”

So, like the billboards say, “Eat Mor Chickin.” It’s likely to be the cheapest.

Via MyOldRV.

Tentative smiles at the cancer center

Tentative smiles, that is, among the patients. The staff smiles until you wonder if their faces will crack open and their mouths fill with blood. We primary care-givers also smile tentatively, keying on our patients.

I’m a primary care-giver now that Mrs. Charm has been diagnosed with Stage III Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, DLBCL. Tentatively. Still awaiting results of this morning’s bone-marrow biopsy and this week’s PET scan to make sure it isn’t some other type of lymphoma. The lymphoma part is definite.

Infusion port to be installed in her upper chest soon for the chemo to begin (tentatively) week of Oct. 6. Drill thereafter is one six-hour day of infusion of R-CHOP (unlovely acronym) followed by three weeks of recovery.

Then another six hours of toxic infusions and so on for (ideally) about six months. Otherwise Mrs. C will not be among the 55-70 percent for whom R-CHOP works (for at least two years, hopefully longer) and then it will be on to the radiation and, probably even more tentative smiles as the burning further diminishes her health.

There’s little joy in Mudville, i.e. Rancho Roly Poly, these days. Mr. Boy (a new high school freshman) and I are hanging (appropriate word) in there. Tentatively.


Rule 5: Brooke Max