It’s a slow week, but I like it this way. The Iowa winter so far seems undecided between dumping significant snow, or raining and thawing, or plunging below zero at night. I still have a crest of crusty snow on the car, my badge of not having a garage on the property.
At the parish, the students are long gone. Many parishioners are off visiting for the holidays. About half the staff has taken the week off. I got an amazing amount of stuff done today in a very quiet office.
I was reading about the renewal of the encroachment on civil liberties masquerading as beefed-up airline security. No wonder the feds are spinning the news on Detroit’s flame-out like diocesan PR people. The system “worked,” or maybe it didn’t; but we’re going to insist on some silly rules to further alienate air passengers.
Or maybe they’re trying to force the air traffic industry into bankruptcy. I wonder how often a traveller, when requested to do something ridiculous, just tells the airport people to forget it and turns around and goes home.
Even if I had the extra money to fly somewhere, I have to ask myself: why would I bother? Do I need to travel back in time to the first grade and pay for the privilege of enduring juvenile rules? I don’t think so. We haven’t been able to afford a big family vacation in more than three years–the last time I saw most of my family in one place at one time.
On the plus side, I can and do call my mother or siblings just about any night of the week. I probably chat with my mom more often today than in the years when I was in grad school and lived in the same city. Don’t tell my mom, but who needs a vacation? Suppose we all stopped flying? I think my mom, my cell phone, and I could outlast the airline industry. If we turned that into several million cell phone users and their parents, I know we could. Personally, I think liberties are more valuable than bureaucracies and the businesses that prop them up.
In reality, it is a tough choice, I have to concede. Another excuse to put people out of work and not rehire them. The decade of the Big Zero sees one in five (about, probably) Americans un/underemployed. Maybe we should just concentrate our selective non-consumerism on businesses large and small that haven’t hired people, or worse, have let them go.
We did our best last year. When my wife was seriously ill last Fall, we brought in a housekeeper twice a month to keep things tidy at home. After about three months, it was just too much. I didn’t have the funds in the checking account to pay her the last week before payday.
So meanwhile, I’ve just stopped spending. Haven’t rented a movie in almost two years. The public library has more than enough to borrow. Reading books is good. If my wife didn’t have serious favorites on tv, I’d consider ditching cable altogether and hook up the internet to the tv for entertainment.