Sunday, February 15, 2009

Time to walk

Started out as a bike ride till I saw a friend of mine walking around Lake Padden. I joined him for part of his walk. He takes long walks clear across town. I walked my bike and had a good talk.

A bit of ice on water surface and snow on mountains reflected in water.

Buying experiences, not things, may increase happiness

That was an interesting segment of February 13Th NPR Science Friday show.

Here are some of my thoughts related to the concept of experience versus material consumption.

It takes time to have experiences, but time is often lacking.

Experiences can take money, but many experiences don't take money. What they do take is time.

It takes time to have an experience whether it's a walk in the neighborhood for free or an expensive retreat to some fancy resort.

Time is something that's in short supply during prosperous times when Americans seem too busy with long work hours and commutes.

Now that the economy is slowing down, there's more time, but people wonder where their next rent or mortgage check is coming from.

Some people are glad to be unemployed if they are getting unemployment.

Unemployment gives folks time for experiences.

Being without a job means time for taking classes, travel, catching up with family and friends. Walking, bicycling, exercise or just sleeping in.

People shouldn't have to be unemployed to have the time for experiencing life.

We need balance.

Maybe a shorter work week is in order. How about the three day weekend?


Can't be legislated, but more people could opt for a shorter workweek.

Problem is, rents and mortgages are too high.

Folks have to work too much just to maintain these ridiculous property values.

What value are people getting from living in homes that are worth 1/2 million which were only worth $50,000 some 30 years ago?

Deflation might be a good thing if it makes living more affordable again.

With all this prosperity, maybe we could go to a 32 hour work week. Increase the amount of time for quality of life. Just let the property values fall.

I know it's easier said than done.

Why should we become slaves to all this foreign capital that has flooded into USA over the past few decades? This flood of capital has pushed everything up and made living in USA almost unaffordable?

Just default on it all and relax.

Even the material things we buy, these days, take time to use. Electronics keeps getting more sophisticated for little cost.

The digital camera, I just bought, costs a fraction of what one month's rent for a studio apartment is. At the same time, this cheap digital camera has so many bells and whistles that one must go on vacation just to have the time to learn it's many features.

To keep up the economy, we have to start buying, but we don't really have time to effectively consume what we buy.

Then all this consuming adds to global warming. We need more "time off" the economic tread mill.

I feel lucky that my rent is still affordable and my modest job is still healthy.

It's time to go out and take a walk.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Green collar jobs

One of the guests of Diane Rehm's round table discussion about green collar jobs on NPR was Representative Jay Inslee from Seattle area.

He had some optimistic things to say about clean energy investments that are part of the stimulus bill.

I remember meeting Inslee when he did a presentation about clean energy several years ago here in Bellingham.