Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Favorite Lesson in Economics

One of my favorite lessons from the economics courses that I took at Mizzou is that of a sunk cost. It makes complete sense but 9 times out of 10, people will not act rationally and will consider the sunk cost - to their detriment - when making a decision. In other words, this is a perfect example of how people are irrational. They worry about sunk costs.

According to Wikipedia, this is the definition of a sunk cost:

In economics and business decision-making, sunk costs are costs that cannot be recovered once they have been incurred.

Traditional microeconomic theory proposes that an economic actor does not let sunk costs influence one's decisions, because doing so would not be rationally assessing a decision exclusively on its own merits.

So, let's put this is laymen's terms. You go out to dinner and spend $100 on a fabulous meal. Everything is delicious and you have practically licked your plate clean in enjoyment after each course. Now, though, you are starting to feel uncomfortably full and more food is on it's way. You consider lying down on the floor to let your food "spread out" so that you can force down the dessert. You would un-button your pants but they are already unbuttoned.

What can you do? You've already ordered and (essentially) paid for the meal. Your options are to (1) shove the food down your throat and feel miserable all night long or (2) realize that you have thoroughly enjoyed yourself and your meal and get a "doggie bag" for tomorrow. Your problem is obvious: food is never as good when it is re-heated and you want to get your money's worth from the meal.

Judging by the waist lines of America, I would venture to say that most people gobble down the food in this situation. Making this decision based on the theory of a sunk cost, though, you should take the extra food home in your "doggie bag". You ordered your food already and cannot change the cost of the meal to you so it's a...(say it with me, now...) sunk cost. The price should not factor into your decision of whether or not to eat the dessert because you cannot change it now. And, I'm saying that this is true EVEN IF the dessert on your plate is icing, pancakes, and pecan pie. The concept still applies.

Ok, so on to my real point: It's painfully obvious that the Obama administration needs to learn about sunk costs. The government should not have bailed out any of the auto companies to begin with and I completely disapprove of the insane amount of tax-payer money that has been "given" to these failing companies. We live in America and good companies should succeed and poorly run (eh-hem, heavily unionized) companies should fail. Our socialist government, who has no reason to be meddling around in the auto industry (or any industry), decided today that Chrysler could file for bankruptcy. The proceedings will be quick, as Obama said today, and the company will re-emerge. To no one's surprise, Chrysler is also set to receive up to $8 billion MORE in tax payer money.

I was nauseated (this time is wasn't attributable to my acid reflux) as I heard his speech on the radio today. I heard a man's voice say, "go out and buy an American car. Buy a Chrysler. All warranties will be backed by the federal government". I wasn't sure if it was still Mr. Obama speaking or a car salesman.

Turns out it was both.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My (latest) obsession

Have you ever gone to the Etsy website? If you haven't, you are in for a real treat when you check it out. The website is for everything custom made.

One of my neighbors, Tina, had some beautifully monogrammed burp cloths (too pretty to use) made for Connor from a seller on the website. And yes, Connor officially has several embroidered items (thanks to Katie, Sallie, Allie & Bettyann). Would you really expect anything less? And let me tell you, too, whomever picked out his name did a really great job because his initals lay out perfectly.

Dennis can attest to the fact that I spent several nights on the computer emailing back and forth with several of the sellers on the website about their products. I wanted some custom made letters and I had a vision in my head of a damask giraffe print. (Weird, I know, but I'm just blaming it on being pregnant.)

Just like I do at restaurants, I was asking for substitutions, different sizes, different colors...basically creating an entirely new product. While Dennis cringes when we go through a drive through and he simply orders a "number one" and then I take twenty minutes to order several items on the side, make a few substitutions, and basically guarantee that our meal will have some extra sauce (spit) in it ... I am thinking that his comfort level with all of my special requests for these artsy items for Connor is significantly higher. Maybe it has to do with the whole saliva-on-our-sandwiches-thing or the fact that he didn't have to witness all of the conversations that transpired via email.

I guess it doesn't matter because either way, we're very happy with how Connor's room looks so far.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Keen Eye for the Straight Girl

Ok, this is awesome. See how long it takes you to find the 5 things that are different in the photos. It took me 22 seconds and I had zero misses.

Apparently I have a "keen eye". Well, DUH. That's obvious.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Like it was in the Olden Days

Dennis and I took a step back in time last night. I know you are thinking: Ohmigod. I cannot believe that they used their time machine to go back in time. AGAIN. And Krista is pregnant. That's just plain irresponsible.

In actuality, we were neither irresponsible nor dangerous. Instead of taking a ride in a time machine, Dennis and I listened to Dave Ramsey's Town Hall for Hope on the radio rather than watching TV. Or playing on the Internet. We sat on the floor (not sure why), facing each other, and listened to what Dave Ramsey had to say. A fan of limited government who has pointed out that "government is nothing more than a parasite", he urged people to remain hopeful that the economy will recover - because it will - and to not participate in the recession.

Just how do you go about not participating in the recession? Be positive. Don't complain, just fix whatever it is that you are going to complain about. If you are out of work, then go find a job. Don't wait for a handout and don't act like you are entitled to anything. BECAUSE YOU AREN'T. You aren't entitled to healthcare, to a college education, to a job, to money. You have to take accountability for yourself and your actions. The reason we're in this bad place economically is because no one is taking responsibility for their actions. I signed loan papers for a house that I couldn't afford but it wasn't MY fault that I had to foreclose on the property. I lost my job and so it wasn't MY fault that I couldn't make my house payments. Or my car payments...

He went on to discuss failure and how important it is. How pathetic is it that many schools don't allow children to get a grade because it isn't "fair" if one student gets a lower grade than another student? Everyone is always "equal". WHATEVER. We are setting children up for a huge slap in the face when they enter the real world: things don't always go your way and you don't always get a second - or fifth - chance to re-do your work. I don't know about you, but I have failed a lot of times. And, I am confident that I will fail many more times in my life. While it may not have been fun, I always learned something and grew from that experience. We, as a society, need to embrace failure because as Dave Ramsey said last night, it "chases us to excellence".

In the olden days, after the Great Depression, people became very aware of their finances, their decisions, and started to save their money. Saying "no" and taking responsibility for themselves and their decisions became the new "in" thing to do. We've gotten away from that mentality and the pendulum has GOT to start swinging back in that direction. Government is not the solution to all of our wants and needs. It's not the entity that is supposed to supply us with a job, a secure retirement, and healthcare.

We can be our own worst enemy or we can be our own solution. No one is more "fortunate" or "unfortunate" than someone else. As soon as we realize that we are individually responsible for our own decisions and where we end up in life, we will start to see improvements all around us. Just like we did in the olden days.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Time for Class

I wish that ALL of the classes that I have taken in my 30 years carried the same suggestion as our Childbirth Preparation Class: wear comfortable clothes, bring 2 pillows and a blanket.

We probably won't bring Dennis' saliva-bleached pillow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Twist on the classic "chicken or the egg" question

Dennis and I celebrated Easter with his parents at the Baptist Church and then went for the traditional lunch at Outback Steakhouse. For some reason, I just LOVE that place. The appetizer salads that they have are just so good. Maybe it's the croutons. Or maybe I'm just always starving when we go there. ANYWAY, we went to church and a nice lunch with Dennis' parents and on the way home Dennis and I were discussing Easter Eggs. Then, I asked the age-old question: why does everyone talk about eggs on Easter...when rabbits don't lay eggs?

As the conversation progressed, I asked Dennis how baby chickens are conceived. He said that they have sex, just like other animals. I stopped him right there and told him that one of the guys from work (who has a farm, so he is an automatic expert) told us that the chicken (or hen) lays the egg and the shell is still sort-of soft. Then, the male chicken (rooster) comes along and drops his sperm in it. This is a time-sensitive process, I explained, because the rooster must make sure he drops his stuff in the egg before the shell hardens. Dennis started laughing at me and said that my explanation was ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY not true.

So, to solve this question, I did what any normal person would do: I googled it. (By the way, if you google "chicken sex", you will get some interesting results.) And, to my surprise (and Dennis' delight), I learned that chickens do have sex. And an unnecessary - and kind of disturbing - tidbit that I also learned is that the rooster will peck the hen in the head during sex...but this has nothing to do with conception. Guess it's just something they enjoy doing.

So, here's the scoop: hens lay eggs. We all knew that. The eggs we get at the grocery store are obviously unfertilized and for that to happen, the people raising the hens keep the roosters away during this egg-laying time. But, if the hen and the rooster (who are obviously in love, and are married) sneak away and some secretive hen-head-pecking occurs, we get a fertilized egg when the hen lays her next egg. A baby chicken is born.

Now, talk about some life-changing information. I bet you never thought that you'd be an eggspert on chicken sex.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wishing you an Eggstra Special Easter

As usual, here are some 2nd-grade-level jokes. I love 'em.

Q. What do you call a rabbit with fleas?

A. Bugs Bunny

Q. What do you call a dumb bunny?

A. A hare brain.

Q. What’s the best way to catch a unique rabbit?

A. You ‘nique up on him.

Q. How do you catch a tame rabbit?

A. Tame way, unique up on him.

Q. Why can’t a rabbit’s nose be twelve inches long?

A. Because then it would be a foot.

Q. How can you tell which rabbits are the oldest in a group?

A. Just look for the gray hares.

Q. What do you call rabbits that live at the North Pole?

A. Cold.

Q. What is a rabbit’s favorite dance?

A. The Bunny Hop of course.

Q. How do bunnies stay healthy?

A. Eggercise

Q. What would you call the Easter Bunny if he married a chicken?

A. The first Rabbit to lay an egg.

Q. What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole?

A. A Hot Cross bunny.

Q. What did the bunny say when he only had thistles to eat?

A. Thistle have to do!

Q. Why is a bunny the luckiest animal in the world?

A. It has 4 rabbits’ feet.

Q. What do you get when you cross a bunny with an onion?

A. A bunion.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Is anyone surprised that Walgreens pulled this product from it's shelves over concerns that people would be offended?
In the overly-sensitive-everything-offends-me world that we live in, I am not surprised. Too bad for Walgreens that they aren't selling this any more. Because you and I can still purchase this fantastic Easter gift at other drug stores. Oh, YES WE CAN!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Chuck, meet UP-Chuck

Since I'm still struggling to come up with things to blog about, I figured this was as good as any. So, I hope you enjoy.

Recently I have had the enjoyable sensation of being able to enjoy my food - twice. That has not happened to me for a very, very long time. I asked Dennis about it the other day and our conversation was extremely high-level. It was extremely high-level, too, because he was working on his computer and only half paying attention to what I was saying.

"Dennis, what is it called when you have your food come up in your throat when you haven't eaten for a while? Is that considered to be heart burn?"

"Naahh. I don't think that's heart burn. I'm not sure what it is, though."

"It's probably just up-chuck."

"Up - what?"

"You know, up-chuck. When you throw up a little in your mouth. Only this stuff didn't make it to my mouth. Just my throat."

"That sounds gross. I don't think it's up-chuck either."

I should have taken these little occurances as signs that my digestive system was not particularly happy. But, since I couldn't exactly say WHAT was wrong (was I having up-chuck or indigestion?), I didn't worry about it too much. I thought maybe Connor kicked my stomach and made some of my food jolt back upstairs.

Several days later, I was getting ready for work, drinking some OJ. Talk about the picture of health: I was drinking a glass of OJ while I was slicing a banana for my bowl of Cheerios. I should be on the cover of the Cheerios box. That's another story. ANYWAY, I sat down to eat my healthy breakfast and only got two bites down before I SAW my food again. NICE.

After cleaning up the kitchen (luckily I made it to the sink) and throwing away the remainder of my Breakfast of Champions, I quickly dialed in for an 8am conference call for work. It is a good thing that they automatically put everyone on mute to avoid too much background noise because I definitely would've blurted out to everyone: "HEY, I just puked. Orange juice, Cheerios, and bananas gone wild. Don't worry, I made it to the sink." Not sure why I like to tell people when I puke, but I've always been that way. It's a badge of honor...or something. Either way, it's good that I was muted because I'm not sure that would've scored me any points for professionalism. Cool points, yes, but professionalism points, not so much.

I have since learned that heartburn, as it is properly named, is common in the second trimester of pregnancy. And, according to a wives tale, if you have heartburn, your baby is born with a full head of hair... Less than 8 weeks and we'll be able to see if that is true or not!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

31+ Weeks

I am suffering from a case of bloggers block....I think. So I am going to post a few pictures of what **EXCITING** things have been going on in my life.

(1) The Belly Shot. Connor is definitely growing...Dennis said that he thinks that my belly gets bigger every day. According to my back pain, I would say that is probably true.

(2) Look at all of these cute invitations! I have some of the best friends and family in the world and I really appreciate all of the work that has gone into getting all of these fun showers together.

(3) As of today, we are PROUD PARENTS of a LAZ-Y-BOY. I wonder if they make a bumper sticker that says that? I imagine that I may be sleeping in that chair before Connor arrives. It is so good to my back!

(4) Cute little Echo is posing with this quasi-pillow-contraption that I sleep with these days. It's supposed to help support my back when I sleep. It's pretty comical, though, because once I get situated in bed, turning over is next to impossible because of this huge pillow and my huge belly. It takes me close to 5 minutes to rotate from laying on my right side to laying on my left side.

(5) Another contraption for my back. I wear this underneath my clothes during the day. Talk about SEXY! Maybe I should get my hair cut like the model has hers. It's almost a "business-in-the-front-party-in-the-back" mullet. Almost but not quite.