Links this week

  • Festival of Frugality
  • Kite Runner star is threatened in his native Afghanistan - We really liked this movie, and thought it was very well-done. Josh even ran out to get the book! Hard issues are dealt with in the movie, however, causing it to be banned in Afghanistan- and the boy actors threatened.
  • Eating local on a budget - last summer, I made a big effort to try to eat local, and only did so a little bit. This summer, I'm barely trying, and yet we eat something local in every meal. I think having local food growing in the backyard is a big help. Last night's meal: stir fry with peas, carrots, and broccoli from the backyard. Hopefully, local food will continue to become part of our lifestyle, rather than a novelty.
  • Speaking of local, is Walmart going local? Doesn't mean I'll start shopping there. In other Walmart news: If Costco can treat their employees well, why can't WalMart? Yeah, we're Costco members. Of the choices of box stores where you can buy both computer memory and oranges, I'll take the one that pays its employees better.
  • Why would anyone choose dial-up? Apparently people are doing it. We did for a while, and it wasn't a bad choice.
  • Is debt inevitable? This is an NPR interview with Barbra Ehrenriech, author of Nickel and Dimed and This Land is Their Land on my age group, and how debt is practically unavoidable. I could relate when she talked about college grads starting out with, on average, $20,000 in student loans, but she isn't very hopeful for us recent-college-grads prospects starting out. I hope to be a counterexample.
  • Forbes Best Places to Raise a Family list is out. Who's at the top, #1 spot? That's right, Hamilton County, IN, where I live smack on the middle of. Who's number 2? Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, where we visit family a couple times a year. I can be critical of my county from time to time, but, on the scale of things (apparently) I have it pretty good. Rankings were based on the quality of the school districts, cost of living, graduation rate, standardized scores, home price, property tax rate as a percentage of median home price, percentage of homes occupied by owner, per-capita income, air quality, crime rate and commute time. Hamilton County scored highly on everything except air quality, where it was only mediocre. Perhaps we'll stick around here for a while.

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