Miscellany

Just a few random thoughts on this Monday? Tuesday?  It gets hard to keep track of what day it is.  Since my work week starts on Sunday, this is technically Monday, but functionally Tuesday.

Looking at the back of the Cream of Wheat box this morning, I see that they suggest putting maple syrup or raspberry preserves in it.  No!  The only true proper way to eat Cream of Wheat is with lots of butter.  Sort of like grits, except that grits require you to dump shredded cheese in as well.

I may be the beneficiary of some Apple enthusiasts’ somewhat pathological need to have the latest and greatest iPhone.  Since the 5 has come out, used 4s have become easier and cheaper to get.  My particular iPhone 4 (which has yet to be hooked up to my number, since we’re switching services) originally was from… Afghanistan.  I am hoping simply that it belonged to a member of the military stationed abroad.  Otherwise, I should say hi to whatever NSA lackey is monitoring my phone calls.

It’s a beautiful day here in Northern California.  It was foggy and 49 this morning, and is expected to get into the seventies today.  Gotta love those twenty-five degree temperature swings.  On the other hand, the sky is just wonderful.

The Mountain View City Council has decided to do the right thing and pay prevailing wage to the workers building city-funded affordable housing.  The vote was 6-1, with Mayor John Inks casting the sole opposing vote, saying, “This is where you have politics intervening in the marketplace that’s better decided by businesses and labor groups,” he said. “I don’t think that it’s appropriate for a political authority to pick favorites over others.”

Your Honor?  I feel the need to point out that since the city is funding the construction, they are for all intents and purposes a business interest here, the same as if they were a private developer hiring subcontractors.  A private developer would be certainly be allowed to restrict his subcontractors to those paying prevailing wage.  Besides, you guys rightfully pay prevailing wage to workers on pretty much all other city-funded projects, why not this one?

As an aside, Matt Savage, the resident quoted at the end of the article, is a coworker of mine.  He’s a really nifty guy — he was my team leader in the waning days of the Chavez campaign.  He’s bright, funny, and politically progressive — my kind of person.

Speaking of work, it is definitely getting harder.  Depending upon my mood, I sometimes dread going in. I am becoming inured to the Tea Partiers, and other angry Obamacare opponents (last night, I had a very angry man, who after announcing he had insurance,  ranted that the Affordable Care Act did nothing to really help poor people, that it needed to go farther.  He was really mad — I wish I could have told him I agreed with him, but that the Act was a great deal better than the current situation. Of course, we’re not supposed to discuss politics — on either side of the fence — so I guess it’s just as well he slammed the phone down before I could say anything.)

It’s the other calls that are getting to me: the people who are grateful and relieved to be getting insurance (especially people who are now going to be eligible for Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid).  They tell me their stories, and so many of them are heartbreaking.  My ability to deal with human misery is rapidly declining.  It’s not that I am finding it hard to care — how could I do this work and not care about people? — it’s just that it gets wearying.

Speaking of work, it’s time to go get ready.  Wish me luck.

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