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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Odds and ends.

A few things on my mind, but not yet ready for this week's Martin World News.

First, we just got back from IHOP, where Laurie decided to order the Mega Monster Cheeseburger.  In a huge case of the eyes being bigger than the stomach  mouth opening, she actually had to cut it into wedges to get it into her jaws:

That was approximately a 1/5th slice of this thing.  1/3 of the MMC came home with us.  And I ate her fries, leftover onion chunks, and that poor crumpled up piece of unloved lettuce.

Next up is that I had my work performance review Friday.  Rather than brag upon myself, I wanted to discuss the difference between a current job review and a former job review.

Current:  "We look at five sections of job performance, asking several questions in each one.  We use the answers to grade you on each section."

Former:  "We pretty much base everything on your attendance and how well your overall group is doing, factoring in personality traits that annoy us."

Current:  Chris:  "I gave you something on a silver platter to give me a negative on" (i.e. I just was out sick for two days).
Boss:  "That happens to everyone."


Current: "We base your yearly raise on the grade you get on the review.  Here's how much you went up (about 3%)."

Former:  "You hit top scale 15 years ago.  COLA is something you drink."

Current:  You are a great team player, and a valued employee.  Thank you."

Former:  "If your group doesn't pick things up, you can all be replaced (with cheaper Mexican labor)."

This, BTW, is NO exaggeration.  I thank God every day for how fortunate I am.

Next, for anyone who might possibly care:  I am going to post a weekly report on the hockey leagues I'm following on the heretofore-slumbering fantasy football page.  Some leagues are in their playoffs, and others are closing in.  I will be covering any of the teams I'm following if they make their finals RIGHT HERE ON THE MAIN BLOG.  Until and unless, though, you are safe.  Unless you want to go over and peek at how bad China dragon is doing.

Finally, I got asking our IRA guy (Moore and Associates, here in FTW!) about the endless annoying ads about "the price of silver doubling" and "ensure your future by buying our silver Polar Bear coins".  Basically these ads try to convince you that the world is almost out of silver and  the price will soon skyrocket.  Our guy said, number one, we are not running out of silver.  Which makes sense, because the ad says, "there is only about $4 of silver left per person."  At current prices, that is about a 1/5th of an ounce.  At 7.147 billion the current population of the world, that would work out to roughly 45,000 tons of silver.  Wikipedia quotes experts as saying the world reserve is roughly 12 times that number.

Given that their angle of scarcity is BS, our guy explained that while supply and demand has some effect, the main drive of metals prices (gold and silver) depends upon government economic policy and how much money is in circulation.  As a result, he told us, the stock market (and thus our IRAs ) went up solidly last year, while gold tanked.  He said the main things driving their ad campaigns are a) they have a buttload of silver and they want to get rid of it, and b) they are unregulated and can say any half-assed thing they want and get away with it.

Now I understand how it can be that, even though we have such a "silver shortage", they can sell you 20 silver Polar Bears and give you 5 free.

Oh, look! the poor guy is drowning because Global Warming melted his iceberg!  Or, maybe he's just hungry and going out for a seal.


  1. I don't know... I'm of the mind set that a good solid investment is keeping the money you actually have. Gold and silver may be good, but look how easy it can be misplaced or stolen... or buried in the backyard to be forgotten about.

    While that burger looked great, I am so done with eating out for a while. So much food and it never tastes the same the next day.

  2. Well, the polar bear coins are kind of cool. I'm always wary about those investment things, but they sound good.

    Hockey? I'm on the edge of my seat--I've got dinner almost done and I need to check on it. No, really, hockey? I don't really give a puck. But I guess some folks might have an interest so go for it and see what response you get.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    1. The nice thing about setting up a separate page is that you can put stuff in it and if no one else looks at it, so what? But, somewhere between 1 and 9 people have stumbled, on purpose or inadvertently, onto it this week, so apparently somebody looked..

  3. Hold on, you're telling me that IHOP serves something outside of breakfast fare? They don't just shutter the doors raise the drawbridge at noon (my IHOP has a drawbridge and a moat)?
    About ten years ago, I remember the same commercials about gold. Then I heard from an economist that over 20 years, with the volatility of the commodities market, you would have made the same investing in gold as you would have putting your money in a general savings account at a bank with a less than 1% interest rate.

    1. I had breakfast....

      I knew there was going to be some kind of catch to their pitch. Just had to ask our guy what it was. The best rule of thumb is, if you hear it on radio or TV, it's a racket.

  4. I see the silver coins but I always notice it says "Canada." Silver is silver, I guess, so it shouldn't be an issue, but it? Should it?

    1. Yeah, once I looked at the one I posted, I wondered about that. Makes me curious, too. Maybe if I remember it until our next conference in September, I'll ask him.

  5. I had a good friend from my first job (a long long time ago) who loved hockey. He was so into it that he insisted on taking me to a live pro game. I really enjoyed that game, but I always like the In The Stadium stuff pretty well. I just get bored watching it on the small screen. So, I don't keep up... not just hockey, but any sport. Just not my thing. But, as Arlee says, see what response you get. You never know until you try!

    1. Actually, it's more of a "easy way to keep track from year to year electronically" thing for me. All I gotta do is click the NHFFL link at the top, and there I go!

  6. Today is National pancake day so go back to ihop and get your free stack.

    1. Today has been such an abortion, I've no strong desire to venture forth till morning, free stack or no. I'll wait for free hash browns day.

  7. Chris:
    God bless Laurie for being a real food "trooper" (and you for eating the rabbit food that came w/ the burger...heh)
    That bugger reminds me of the old H.A.Winston burgers back in philly (like a meatloaf on a bun with dozens of toppings - your choice).

    LOL - love the job "review".

    Most of the reviews I recall were few and far just got a surprise in the old paycheck (and usually got bumped into a HIGHER tax bracket for all one's diligence and devotion)
    But, I did enjoy the "one-on-ones" that I did have. I learn from others by the manner in which they converse with me.
    (or not)

    And I've been after Wifey to diversify her portfolio (we got one of those) with some precious metals.
    Yet, while the price of SILVER keeps going UP...I hear the Lone Ranger STILL refuses to sell!
    (must really love that horse)

    Very good post, brother.

    Stay safe & warm up there.

    1. It pretty much sounds like the only ones who might benefit from owning metals are the Glenn Beck survivalist demographic... though how that would work in an essentially barter economy is beyond me.

  8. CW

    I am not sure what prompted it, but for National Pacake Day (3/4/14) Golic ate 20.5 pancakes during their ESPN show.

    Kind of makes the burger seem smaller now, right?


    1. Yeah, but could he have picked up the whole stack at once and took a bite? Laurie almost got him there.