Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What to do while bored at work

I would never do any of these things at work. But if you were bored at a slow time, you might be tempted to do these.

First the obvious:
1. Personal email / blog
2. Read news
3. Check stock prices, get mad at stock market credit concerns, sell stocks and admit defeat

Now that those are out of the way:
1. Subscribe to consumer reports for $20 a year. Read in detail the facets of cars you want to upgrade to. There are a ton of great product categories on the site, baby stuff, lawn equipment, computers - cars are just my most recent addiction.

2. Check zillow.com for an estimate of house prices, either for your own house or one you hope to buy. The site is within 20% of market value most of the time, not exactly accurate but you can get an idea of price. You can view satellite images of houses from this site or from google. Also check realtor.com, the best site I have found for houses for sale.

3. Check your credit score for free. I believe myfico.com has that service. You may have to sign up with a credit card for a free trial, then cancel once you get your score immediately. Kind of a pain but it's offered free once a year. Quick note in case you're not familiar - above 700 is good enough to get the lowest rate most of the time.

4. Update your resume - never know when you'll need it. The first real company I worked for laid off the whole office with 3 hours of notice to get out.

5. Build a fort of boxes in your office. If someone tries to intrude, grant them access and use a password to make them feel special. Don't allow them to leave. That way, everyone will want to come in and see what's up.

6. Ponder how much better Saturday Night Live used to be with the old cast.

7. Try to relate the employees in your office to characters in the show, "The Office." If you have a Dwight Schrute in your office, send me an email. I'd like to meet that guy.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Reality of Teaching in America

I found this interesting because my wife and I will have our first child very soon. Below I have summarized an article by Anne Ouse about how kids today are losing intellectual steam through poor teaching.

The quality of teachers in the U.S. is declining. Until the mid-1900's, the most intelligent and capable women were exluded from high-paying, ambitious jobs. However, over the past fifty years we have moved into a new era and women can now become doctors, lawyers, politicians, and the like. The most ambitious and capable women no longer have motivation to teach, as society dictates there are better jobs to be landed. Their ambition is not to blame - it is the relatively low pay and unambitious stigma associated with being a teacher that makes teaching an unattractive option. The unlikely solution is to make teachers a priority, paying them as much as doctors and lawyers and granting them the same respect. Only in this case would teachers be at the same level as they were in the past.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Another Blogger

Inspired by a friend's blog, I decided to take the plunge. Maybe someone will find something interesting in these posts. Here goes, cheers!