Sunday, November 27, 2016

Post-Santa Gift Giving Change?

I just had a fun little conversation with my kids following a proposition I tossed their way. I will also say that they heard the "true" story of Santa Clause a few days ago. For anyone that has known me for awhile, they probably have an idea for how this conversation may have gone.

Given their new found understanding of the world, it occurred to me that perhaps I could con them into accepting not receiving presents on Christmas, but every month on their birthday. This means Matthew would receive a gift every 6th of the month and Ella every 23rd of the month. This is in contrast to receiving gifts only on their normal birthday and Christmas.

Naturally, the idea of receiving gifts every month enticed their little minds. Yet, I was taken quite aback by what followed next. Despite everything they now know about the Christmas holiday, they very much wanted to still receive presents on Christmas. I even pointed out how close to Christmas they would be receiving gifts. Ella, just a few days before and Matthew just two weeks or so following and a few weeks previous. They were just downright adamant that they wanted to still receive gifts on Christmas specifically. There was just no convincing them. I told them to sleep on it and we would discuss it in the morning, then bid them goodnight. They were laughing at the very prospect and we all enjoyed our little back and forth on it.

I kept thinking, though, who would really benefit here? Let us actually think of the economics of this. Pretend that we spend $600 per child on Christmas and birthday presents. If you split that up evenly across the year, you have $50 per month. I don't know about you, but I already spend a bit of money each month doting on the kids in one form or another. I think the parents would really win out if we could somehow knock our spending down to something paltry like $50 a month. Every month, just one more thing. Maybe splurge for two $50 gifts for birthday and an extra $50 gift for Christmas. Perhaps that could reduce your costs in the long run.

Regardless of what you think you would actually like to do, pose the question to your kids to see what their little minds might think up. Mine liked the idea of gifts every month, but not the loss of Christmas, despite knowing the "truth" about Santa Clause.

Enjoy your holiday season!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Some Suggestions for the Dating Apps

Just a few ideas to share...

I went to chat a Smart Water demo gal at the store who looked super bored at her little booth. I thought she was attractive and I figured I could use the practice regardless. As soon as I heard her voice I wanted to just act like I was walking by, but I took the coupon she offered and bought two bottles. This made me realize that it would be nice to hear someone's voice before making that decision to throw down a couple lines in chat if we matched.

There are so many factors that go into play for someone to make a choice of selecting to pursue a person. The visual certainly works, the last gal that I was pursuing had selected me by Quickmatch on OkCupid. She didn't even know that you could tap the picture to flip through. She hadn't answered any questions other than the few that the site first asks. We chatted for a week through the messenger on the site and her friends pressed her to ask me to dinner before the day I had planned to. We met and hit it off. Things didn't work out, but the point of the story is that the visual aspect is powerful.

Something else that I have found to be interesting is how a person moves. My OkCupid match had a couple of different walks, looks, and other small movements that just drove me wild about her. There is an app called Phhhoto that takes several images in succession and puts them together for a GIF or will convert to video for Instagram upload. If you check it out or are already familiar with it, the image is just a second or two long. What would also be nice is to have the ability to use those for profiles or to have a short video clip like the Vines of Twitter yesteryear.

Music choice via Spotify and Instagram are already linked to Tinder and OkCupid profiles, but limiting on media type would probably help. Users already upload Snapchat pictures. Just more fun to be had with GIF and video.

Additionally, it could be used to help prove that someone is real. I had a conversation with a friend last night who is a pilot and he said that women didn't believe he was real.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Why we should abandon the electoral college in favor of popular vote

The electoral college is a strange beast. For the most part, if a state votes majority for one party the state's delegate votes go to that candidate. New Hampshire and Nebraska actually will split the vote based on percentage of votes cast, but the remainder are a 'winner take all' system.

During the early days of the Union, news traveled slow. There was no Pony Express back in those days. News traveled at the rate that folks visited your area. You might have taken months to find out the Red Coats were occupying Boston, let alone the shots fired at Bunker Hill.

To consider this slow moving process, it makes sense to have a system that roughly guides the vote of a delegate who may act in the best interest of their people. However, since the days of President Lincoln, we have had an electrical means of communication to share information across the country and world. Even more so now, someone hiking in Rocky Mountain State Park may read a tweet of an event occurring in the South China Sea before the President of the United States is passed a note during a meeting.

The plethora of information that is available to any one person at any time for the purpose of discovery and understanding of what a potential leader thinks should be done has never been more widespread and pervasive than it has been in our thousands of years of shared human knowledge. Our electorate has the ability to be informed, even if it is an unreliable source of news, and they are literate. The fact is they have information that they can derive a decision from and will make an decision from the source of their choosing.
As much as I would like to make decisions in the best interest of the people, I think the time has finally come to allow the people to make the decision, as a whole, to choose the President and Vice President of these United States of America.

(I need to write more but I don't have much time - I wrote this waiting at the pharmacy.)