Sunday, July 29, 2012

Two Things that Start with "B"

Jake and I have been talking about living and working in Brazil almost since we got married. One of the many reasons Jake was hired at Hertz was his fluency in Portuguese from his mission; there was some audit work needed doing in the Brazil headquarters office, and Jake's language skills would be invaluable, as most Brazilians' English isn't great. He spent three weeks in Sao Paulo last October and another three this March. And then, in May, Jake was hand-picked to work on a big project in Sao Paulo that would last 18-24 months. The higher-ups were very excited about Jake and kept talking about contracts. Six weeks later, we had still heard nothing and were ready to give up on the opportunity and begin job hunting for other opportunities in Brazil, as we have felt strongly that we should try to live there. Our lease was also up for renewal, and we had to make a decision by July 15. We left for Utah for Jake's Anderson reunion and much-needed family time on July 1 without having submitted our lease for renewal or letting our apartment management know that we would be moving out by August 31.

Because we hadn't heard back from Hertz but hadn't yet begun the actual job hunt, we were planning to extend our lease through October or so to give us more time. Jake had left Utah for a work trip in Pennsylvania on July 8. Before he left, we had actually signed the lease extension and put it in the envelope and were planning on mailing it July 9. The evening of the 8th Jake sent me a text saying that the Brazil opportunity through Hertz was back on the table and looked incredibly promising and also to wait until he heard anything before sending the lease. As you might imagine, my stress level was through the roof. I had just managed to let myself believe we weren't moving right now and then this!

After talking to the people in HR, Jake and I talked it over and felt good about not extending our lease at all. The following week when he was back in New Jersey, Jake emailed me the contract, we looked it over and decided it was a good opportunity. I was still in Utah with my family until July 26, and it seemed like every day brought a new cog in the machine of moving. It will be an unbelievably complicated process, but Hertz is providing a lot of help from packing to moving to storage to house-finding.

The biggest surprise came last week when Jake found out he would be flying to Brazil next Sunday. We thought we'd have some more time together before we were separated, and I'd really hoped I would have his help moving because *shock* packing and moving with an incredibly busy toddler is REALLY hard with both parents around and is nigh impossible when it's just me. I know this because I did it in December when our floors were replaced and Jake was out of town.

The other interesting little twist (about the size of an avocado, currently) is the bundle of joy we're expecting in early January.

All things considered, we are very possibly insane, but we're also very excited to move on to this next stage in our lives and welcome this new little soul into our family and home.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rethinking a Crisis of Abundance

Over the past five years, the U.S. and parts Europe experienced a housing crisis. For a moment forget the leverage aspect of the crisis (I know, it's asking a lot). Fundamentally, there were too many houses and they were too big. This has led to a fall in the value of homes. Now, imagine there is a food crisis. The problem is that there is so much food everywhere, that many growers of food start losing considerable amounts of money. Or, better yet, imagine an oil crisis. Oil drops to $5 a barrel and huge losses for oil producers ensue.

Yet, people don't call the latter two examples a crisis because the positive effects are easy to see and are close to home, while the negative effects are farther from home and difficult to see. Also, selling "we are having a crisis of abundance" is usually be a difficult selling point.

Shelter is a cost. The lower the price the better off, on net, we are. If the cost to building a home dropped by 90% tomorrow, would people be better or worse off? If mass production of switchgrass ethanol became economically viable tomorrow, would it be regarded as a bane on society? When innovation or processes improve, supply increases, and prices drop, producers tend to lose and consumers tend to win, and, on net, it's a positive.

Of course, then you add back in leverage and it mucks up the short-term...  :(

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Current Mobro Music

First, these guys were on Leno the other night.  They also won the 2008 BYU battle of the bands.  Great rock that's also positive. Good for them.



Second, you will not regret wasting a half hour on The Piano Guys youtube channel. Ashley and I once listened to a few very good interviews on the Mormon Channel with these guys. Very very good.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Simple Things in Life

Last month Ashley put Joseph down for a nap.  He was not happy.  Through his wails Ashley could hear, "Bubbles... Hugs... Faffles [Waffles]..."

That got me thinking. If a genie said to you, "I can grant you three wishes to provide you any material good. What do you wish?" I hope my response would be. "Bubbles, Hugs, and Faffles please."

Monday, July 16, 2012

When auto website composition goes wrong

Most news websites run on algorithms, where certain stories will automatically move up in prominence (higher on the page or with a "must see" arrow next to it) on a page depending on its trend, views, geography of the IP address opening the page, etc. With this in mind, I took the following snapshot from cnbc.com:






Yeah. CNBC. Business news. Riiiight.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More fun music

Mutemath once again released a ridiculously fun music video. Enjoy:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just some music

I'm pretty much a sucker for optimistic music with strong visuals:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Entertaining European Polls

I don't know why I thought this was so funny. Oh Europe.