Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Something that we have misplaced

Last weekend Danielle and I went to Radio Shack to make a purchase. While there I thought about the major change in Radio Shack. I remember Radio Shack being filled with electronic do-dads. Switches, buttons, transistors, soldering tools, etc. It was the place you went to when you wanted to get stuff to build electronics. They also sold a few things like telephones, and remote control cars (they always had the coolest R/C cars at Christmas time). Well that kind of Radio Shack is a thing of the past. Now they are full of consumer electronics, which brings me to my point.

I think Radio Shack is indicative of the change in the American Economy. What would you do if your electronics broke? Well you would go to Radio Shack...and buy a new one. We have lost the tinkering skills that my Grandfather had. He was an electrical engineer by education but he was able to muddle his way through a lot of tasks. He had a knowledge of how to do things, a savoir-faire. I fear that we have lost something.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Update: Concerning Goverment Waste

So in my previous post I wrote about the expensive airline tickets for my flight to Rochester. The story gets better.

Now Government workers get a bad rap for waste but sometimes it is systematic errors. I received an email from the travel agency because they said my airfare expired. I called in to the travel agent and gave them a credit card to purchase the JetBlue tickets on. Well they waited and waited and now the price has gone up.

So they contacted me saying that they needed to rebook the flight. The fare went up and they couldn't purchase it at the price the told me when I called in. Now the airfare has hopped up to $423 from $229, and I am flying a puddle jumper in and out of LaGuardia.

Now why didn't the travel agent take my credit card number and not buy the airline tickets? This baffles me. What bothers me more is that I could have done it myself using except for some department of labor policy that requires us to book through the travel agent.

The office is full of economists who, for the most part, value efficiency. This is due to our schooling. When things like this happen, everyone in the office gets agitated. Weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth have been known to occur. But the waste is not due to me. I can find a better way of doing it but what they really want is the most cost efficient way within their parameters.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What a Great Day to be a Field Agent

I love being a field agent, especially on days like this. I was able to drive to an appointment in Brooklyn, and visit another company further out on Long Island. The sky was blue, the sun wash shining, I even rolled down my window for a bit (as I got closer to the City I rolled it back up so I didn't choke on pollution). It is nice to have the chance to get out of the office every once in a while.

But mind you it's not all fun and games. There are those days when you have to drive up to Connecticut for an appointment you made two week prior not knowing that on this day the tri-state area was hit with a major snow storm and quite a few people never left home. Those white knuckle driving times aren't great, but it is still better than being cooped up in an office. Especially on beautiful days like this.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Why I Don't Blog

So for all those who keep checking the Silva Family blog for updates and leave disappointed because there isn't anything new here is a post explaining why.

I preface my response with the following. If you know me, I am a big fan of technology. I love email and the internet. I was a computer science major before I moved to economics. If you didn't know that now you know.

Having that said I will proceed with my answer. I don't blog because I don't find it to be a very helpful technology. The kinds of things I would put on a blog I would prefer to discuss with people face to face. I find that technology is a poor substitution for person to person interaction. Thus I would prefer to speak with most of the people who read this blog about what is going on with my life, etc.

I do find a blog helpful to help me remember things, or to communicate information with people you don't need or want to speak with. For example I have my Genealogy Research Log. It has 691 hits since the beginning of this year. This is a good use of the technology in my opinion. I post to this blog at least weekly. So that is why I don't blog.

But realizing that the time to meet and discuss is hard to come by, we (Danielle and I) will start making posts to the blog. So stay tunned...