Saturday, October 22, 2011

Grimm Reality

It looks like NBC is playing with social media to promote new programming. If you follow their Twitter account for the soon-to-air series, Grimm, they'll private message you with a code that allows you to preview the show's pilot.

When I'd seen the commercials for the show, it had piqued my interest. So, I hit their "follow" button Twitter. A short while later, I got notification of the private message's arrival. Donna and I sat down and watched the episode. It wasn't horrible. Has a decent enough premise. However, it was a bit on the predictable side.

I can't say that I'll go out of my way to watch the show, but I won't avoid it, either. If I happen to hit the channel when it's on, I might watch. If the actual series is better than the opener, then I might seek to watch it. Who knows, it could get good. Star Trenk: Next Generation started out poorly, then eventually found its stride. But, for now, it's a bit weak.

Which Side of the Bed?

Frequently, I wake up before I really want to. Generally, my body seems to only want about 3-6 of continuous sleep. So, if I go to bed much more than five hours before my alarm is due to go off, there's a better than even chance I'll wake up before my alarm goes off. Unfortunately, that generally happens close enough to when I'm due to get up that it's not even worth trying to go back to sleep. Frequently, I just lay there, waiting for my alarm to go off, to actually get up out of bed.
This morning, I woke up before I wanted to. I'd gone to bed just after midnight, but, wasn't due to wake up till at least 8:30 (so we could make the regular pilgrimage to the Saturday farmers market in Falls Church). I spent a few hours memory-walking, while waiting for my alarm to go off and wake Donna.
When I say "memory-walking", it's basically just me sitting/laying there and letting my mind float over my past. I just sorta bounce from memory to memory, letting the threads of their interconnectedness play themselves out. The bouncing is rarely linear. I can find myself remembering things as far back as my first days of preschool or my earliest nightmares/dreams to things that have happened as recently as just a few hours' previous. They can come in any order. One recalled memory triggers the next. It's fascinating how the memories string themselves together; how they order themselves; and how vivid they tend to be - even the extraordinarily mundane ones.
It accomplishes very little, but, it's good existential-wanking, I suppose. It's a far better way to while away the time than the ones spent contemplating darker thoughts.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Money vs. Happiness

Just saw an infographic claiming the median household income for Fairfax county in 2010 was $113K.

Back in the 2005-2006 timeframe, there was a global income study that supposedly concluded that $75K was some kind of magic income number beyond which you reached a point of diminishing returns for increased happiness. Presumably, since that figure was shown in USD and was a global study, that magic number was normalized against some other measures. I would presume that they chose to normalize against each studied country's median household income at the time (about $48K in the US in 2006). That means that $75K figure would represent a figure that was 150% of the US median household income.

Given the number in the infographic and the presumed method for deriving that $75K figure, I would have had to have been earning just shy of $177K in 2010 to be making the normalized equivalent of that magic $75K figure. On the plus side, I guess that means I've not crossed that diminishing returns threshold. However, there are definitely days where it feels like it.

Even though I now make several times more than I did when I was much earlier in my career, I'm not sure the salary improvement is  linearly-reflected in overall life-happiness. I'm not sure there's even some kind of parabolic curve I could chart (passing through the peaks and valleys of life-happiness).

Maybe times have changed. Maybe it's not (or never was) the kind of statistically meaningful figure that some people like to quote. Maybe it wasn't so much a diminishing-returns point but a peak-return point. Dunno.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Police Games

Had the news on, this morning, as I readied myself for work. There was a story on about the turmoil in Greece related to the austerity measures. Protesters were hurling rocks and such at the police and government buildings. The police were responding by hurling smoking tear-gas canisters at the protestors. All I could think was, "so the Greeks were playing rock/paper/tear-gas, today?"