He talked about us believing that if we hit the lottery, then we'll be happy. He said that for folks who don't have the basics (clothes, a place to sleep, good healthcare, etc.), it does indeed provide happiness because their basic needs are finally met, but for folks who make $75,000+ a year, it really doesn't make any difference in their happiness levels in the long run (beyond a few months).
When something causes us to be happy (or unhappy), it doesn't last more than 3-4 months, contrary to what we anticipate. The problem is the anticipation. We incorrectly determine that certain things will make us happy, but when scientists follow folks and interview them, it turns out that the things they believe will make them happy (or even that they claim do make them happy) are not the things that make them happy after all. He used children as an example - people anticipating children are really happy and when parents are interviewed, they claim that their children bring them happiness. However, when they follow moms around and have them rate their day and when were they happiest, interacting with the children is nowhere near the top of the list!
He did mention some things that tend to make folks happy: short commutes! (apparently, the more time you spend commuting, the less satisfied you are with your life), surrounding yourself with friends/strong ties to community and I don't remember the rest cause they didn't apply to me! :-)
I'm going to pick up his book - among other things, he had a good sense of humor, which can make this sort of subject more palatable.
The plants make my backyard look prettier, so I like that. It didn't really take much time and there's definitely a sense of accomplishment (I like that).
I'm practically a farmer, eh? Ah, how times have changed.
(I also cleaned gutters and cleaned up my bicycle. It's been a busy weekend. And I went to a street fair yesterday. And going to Fremont today - funky part of Seattle I like a lot. I'm on a roll...)
From Reuters: A senior official in U.S. President George W. Bush's re-election campaign was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Wednesday for his role in suppressing votes in a key U.S. Senate race, a scandal that Democrats charge may involve the White House.
Gardens are different every day (at least in the spring). It's kinda cool to discover what plants and flowers are in my yard as this is my first spring here and I know nothing about plants. Turns out I have yellow ones and blue ones. I'll take some pix this weekend and post.
I'm sorta happy that DaVinci code is getting terrible reviews. I'm so burnt out by the "news" channels talking about it. I couldn't sleep last night and one of those entertainment shows pretended it got good reviews, but I know better. The show was probably owned by the same company that made the movie. Or else Karl Rove is handling their PR. Are any of you excited about this flick? I mean, I planned on seeing it, but I guess since I'm a heathen, it just doesn't really make me jump on a couch or anything.
Bush wants to hire a big company to build a fence. Shocking. Anyone want to take bets that the winner is...Halliburton? Oh yeah, it's a fence to keep bad poor brown people from coming here to steal our gardening jobs.
Anyone have a connection to the White House? We're trying to get my stepbrother's resume there for consideration as a Federal Judge. He's very qualified - been clerking for a fed. judge for 6+ years, bipartisan support, etc etc etc. Let me know and I'll send you his resume and recommendation from his judge.
Oooh - I heart the Colbert Report - especially "the word". I didn't like it when it first aired, but my brother suggested I check it out again and I'm definitely a fan. He's not as adorable as Jon Stewart, but he's nailed those Fox type news folks. It's brilliant.
Skype announced that all calls from within the US to telephones in the US or Canada are free for the rest of the year. If you haven't already, you should check it out. It's software you install on your computer. It allows you to make calls to other computers or to telephones. You can call another Skype computer anywhere in the world for free. It's also got video now, so if you have a videocamera, you can play with that was well. I use it regularly. You can look me up there using my email address at gmail. I used it when I was in Paris and it worked fine. Even when they do charge for calls, its $.02 a minute to call anywhere in the world.
I did a budget lately and I discovered I've been living beyond my means. I sorta had some clues - I've been transferring dough from savings to pay my bills. But this was the first time I sat down and ran the numbers. Since I HATE being in debt (it freaks me out), I am now doing the stuff I do when I'm afraid I'm going to run out of money:
1. Get a library card
(My mom pointed out to me that whenever I get money nervous, I immediately stop buying books and start going to the library. I was never aware of this, but that was definitely my plan. Heh.)
Have a good day!
Interested? Go to http://www.alaskamen.com
I never got these types of postcards when I lived in LA. I'm going to post this on my manager's door.
Excerpts from LA radio KABC station Doug McIntyre's blog:
So, I’m saying today, I was wrong to have voted for George W. Bush. In historic terms, I believe George W. Bush is the worst two-term President in the history of the country. Worse than Grant. I also believe a case can be made that he’s the worst President, period.
After five years of carefully watching George W. Bush I’ve reached the conclusion he’s either grossly incompetent, or a hand puppet for a gaggle of detached theorists with their own private view of how the world works. Or both.
He then goes on to say that the Democrats aren't the answer either and that maybe the two party system just doesn't work any more. Interesting...
Of course I'm not happy that Americans are unhappy. I should be happy that they're finally becoming disillusioned by this administration. It's just that the Democrats don't give me a lot of confidence that they're able to leverage this situation.
The righties go further right and the Dems tack to the right. You can't come up with anything original if you're chasing someone. You have to draw a line in the sand and say "this is what I believe." Stop being wishy-washy losers! Bah.