SL 681

I’m a huge fan of Nicole Cliffe. Her newsletter today had a super interesting post about being autistic. I love adult reflections on their childhood autism. It helps to understand my son.

Higher ed research: Two great articles on college housing costs. Is college worth it, if you major in the liberal arts? (yes, sometimes. You can play with numbers here.)

We have to do some major repairs on the house. The siding is 60 years old and has rather large holes in it. We have to replace the whole thing. I was thinking about doing the farmhouse look – stark white on white — but I’m already getting sick of it.

Does anybody think that the Senate is going to convict Trump?

29 thoughts on “SL 681

  1. Our wooden siding is going, too. I’m also seriously thinking about the Hardiplank, because I know there were exterior repairs done just 8 years ago.

    My sister discovered an enormous mouse condo in the exterior of their house when they were redoing siding (country living).

    This month’s House Beautiful has some really pretty color schemes. I stashed my copy away for future reference.

    “Does anybody think that the Senate is going to convict Trump?”

    The numbers aren’t there and never were there.

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  2. No, the Senate is not going to convict Trump.

    Year-end statements came out this weekend for our firm’s pension plan. Quite a people were saying, semi-facetiously, that they might vote for Trump.

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  3. Your link to the article on ACC (American College Communities) had me searching for their product. I found “Twelve” in our neck of the woods (as well as two more college housing buildings, NORA and NOLAN). It was an interesting visit. The buildings here are not restricted to students (I think there might be some ruling that prohibits it) and no 5 shares (max of 2, as far as I could tell). Looking at the costs — which to me look like 2X what UW projects for housing/food I could see why parents would buy in. In schools where students aren’t required to live on campus or guaranteed housing, where with even out of state tuition, you are paying less than the cost of private universities. If you are paying 80K for one of your kids at Harvard, UW still costs less. I was going to compare to U Michigan, but whew, their out of state tuition is 54K. $8000 more than Harvard.

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    1. And, they get washer/dryers in the apartment! and presumably can sign multi-year leases. And, yes, it further separates the haves from the have-nots.

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  4. The Nicole Cliffe essay was illuminating.

    From the article on college housing costs: even though I’m willing to believe that a liberal arts degree can lead to a good job— the example given was journalism major with $75,000 in debt! That is a lot of debt to graduate with. I don’t think I’m willing to believe it will work out well in that case. The housing costs were contributing to the problem, but the whole system is dysfunctional.
    In our family, my older guy has been at college in a place that is not an overcrowded urban area and the housing is actually reasonable. Including kitchens and washers and dryers. And the school does a pretty good job of maintaining and sorting day-to-day stuff out. We did pay through the summer months for two years when he’s not there which is hard for my frugal self. But it’s so much less expensive than what we’re used to—too, I guess we just went ahead with it.
    I’m glad, though, that you and others, are trying to bring some attention to this particular aspect of gouging students and their families though housing.

    –A big yes to Hardieplank siding. We put some on our house over 15 years ago and it still looks very good—including the finish and the color. It seems indestructible and the color is still great. We don’t have to paint it (unlike every other piece of wood on the house). I like all your design choices so I’m sure you’ll pick a nice color scheme for the siding.

    The Senate will never vote to impeach Trump. Talk about a time-suck. The amount of time and effort put into this process is just worthless. It was worthless when it was happening to Bill Clinton too.
    I want to support the democratic party but they make it so hard.

    And are those “Cherry Ames, Cheerful-Nurse-Extraordinary” books for sale from your book selling side-gig? Do they sell well?

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    1. cy said,

      “the example given was journalism major with $75,000 in debt! That is a lot of debt to graduate with.”

      Yeah, 2X likely starting income is textbook for an unreasonable income-to-student-loan ratio.

      Also, people who want to pursue long-shot or low-income careers (journalism, art, performing arts, academia) need to keep their student loans compared to people who are pursuing more predictable and remunerative career paths.

      “We did pay through the summer months for two years when he’s not there which is hard for my frugal self.”

      It’s nice not to have to move everything out and store it and move it back in, though, right?

      “A big yes to Hardieplank siding.”

      Yay!

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    2. “The amount of time and effort put into this process is just worthless.”

      The alternative, once the Ukraine stuff started coming out, was signaling that the Congress was ok with what Trump was doing.

      Everyone who votes Republican is ok with letting Russian aggression go unchecked in order to support Trump’s personal fortunes.

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      1. Doug said,

        “Everyone who votes Republican is ok with letting Russian aggression go unchecked in order to support Trump’s personal fortunes.”

        Obama was kind of leery about providing lethal aid to Ukraine after Russia invaded, wasn’t he?

        https://nypost.com/2019/10/09/sorry-joe-team-obama-refused-to-arm-ukraine-at-all/

        “In 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea and began arming separatists in eastern Ukraine with tanks, armored vehicles and rocket launchers, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko came to Washington to plead for weapons to defend his country. In an impassioned address to a joint session of Congress — with Biden sitting directly behind him — Poroshenko said his country appreciated the nonlethal assistance he was getting, but declared “one cannot win a war with blankets.””

        Obviously, the motivations for holding back on aid are quite different, and there is a point to not accidentally backing into a hot war with a nuclear power, but failing Ukraine has a pretty long history. I suppose the start point (at least in our lifetimes) is probably the 1990s, when the Ukrainians gave up their 1/3 of the total Soviet nuclear arsenal in return for (what turned out to be totally worthless) security promises from Russia, Britain and the US.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_and_Ukraine

        Hindsight is 20/20, but looking back, it would have been a good idea to take a more active interest in Ukraine’s conventional defense at some point over the last quarter century, but before the Russian Federation starting nibbling off tasty chunks of Ukraine.

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      2. “Obviously, the motivations for holding back on aid are quite different”

        This obviates the rest of the attempted argument.

        Trump held back aid that the Congress had authorized, and that the relevant parts of the Executive had certified met the law’s requirements, for the personal gain of a ginned-up announcement on TV to further his personal quest for re-election. This was not a policy disagreement. This was corruption pure and simple: pervert the execution of the law for his personal benefit.

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  5. Apropos of only the picture, I loved Cherry Ames growing up. My mum still has the set, minus Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse, which was left on a flight to Tampa.

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  6. Yes, we’re looking at Hardiplank. Our last quote was $36K. To add on a few replacement windows, garage doors, new front door, and some minor repairs, we’re over 50k. I’m getting more quotes.

    Cherry Ames is a new listing. Not sure how it’s going to do.

    Btw, Ian might have big problems. Probably won’t blog about it. Waiting for an important phone call at 9.

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    1. “Yes, we’re looking at Hardiplank. Our last quote was $36K. To add on a few replacement windows, garage doors, new front door, and some minor repairs, we’re over 50k. I’m getting more quotes.”

      *reaches for heart*

      Tell us if you can back that down a bit.

      The last time our house (3,000 sq. ft.) had the exterior done, it was $14k for the close equivalent…but that was in the aftermath of the recession. Also, even though it was only 8 years ago, it needs to be done again soon, so I really don’t want to repeat the same process with the same materials.

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    2. Okay. His MRI is normal. Thank God. He has a brain scan on Monday and it was taking a long time to get results, so I automatically thought the worst. Epilepsy is a pain, but fixable. A brain tumor would have been devastating.

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  7. A friend noted that she got better quotes when she worked with contractors from less fancy towns. She thought there was a “fancy town markup.”

    There is also the practice of contractors quoting very high prices, when they don’t want to turn down work, but don’t have the room in their schedule to do it now. Although your list of work does add up, especially for labor.

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