November 23, 2008: A Relaxing Sunday, But No Baby

Dominica is now 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant…

I woke up around seven thirty this morning but, since this is probably my only chance to really relax for quite some time, I decided to just stay in bed and escape for a while.  Oreo got himself up and went looking for his grandpa long before Dominica and I got ourselves up.

Today is our one chance, without me having to work all morning, to go out for breakfast so that is what we decided to do.  We drove down to the Beach Shopping Center and ate at Pastel’s.  Dominica and I discovered that they have really great Belgian waffles.

Did you know that the pixel, roughly as we know it, is at least 441 years old if not centuries older and the documentation of such has just not yet been discovered?

After breakfast we stopped by GameStop to see what they had in stock.  Dominica found Lego Star Wars: The Complete Sage used for the 360 and so picked it up since she loves the Lego Indiana Jones game.  I also picked up My French Coach for the Nintendo DS.  Both were used and cheap.  I am always looking for a way to learn a foreign language.  I really wish that I could speak something other than English.  I have minimal survival Spanish but that is about it and it is very minimal.

I found out today that one of my all time favourite games, Chrono Trigger, an RPG originally for the Super Nintendo, is releasing this week for the Nintendo DS.  I also found that Final Fantasy IV has been remade and is now available on the DS.  I have a lot of game playing to do to catch up with all of the games that I want to play.

Dad did some work upstairs, including some patchwork on a bump in the wall where a baby item fell and dented it, while Dominica and I worked on getting the car seat put into the Mazda.  That was much easier than we had imagined.

Dominica spent the afternoon playing Lego Indiana Jones.  Dad spent a bit of time watching her play while I spent the afternoon in the basement working on a Ruby on Rails project.  A lot of my day was lost working on a really obscure and poorly documented Ruby/Gem SQLite driver problem.

For dinner we decided to go out to King Buffet, which is right around the corner, for Chinese Buffet.  This is our first attempt at Chinese Buffet in Westchester.

It was before five thirty when we got to King Buffet but there was quite a waiting line and we had to wait ten minutes or more to get a seat.  I am pretty sure that I have never seen a Chinese buffet with a waiting line before.  We ended up all being pretty impressed with the food.  There was quite a large selection and all of the food was really good.  Everyone really liked it.  They even had really good soft serve ice cream.

After dinner we came home and Dad watched television shows via Hulu on the PS3 and I got back to work on my Ruby on Rails project.  Dominica spent much of the evening researching new video games for herself and for our nieces.

I worked until almost midnight.  Before heading off to bed I checked the regular and financial news reports.  The US government looks convinced that without help Citi is going down – whether because of actual financial problems or just simple panic it is hard to saw.  In either case, the government seems prepared to keep Citi from completely collapsing.  It is going to be an interesting morning.

There are two schools of thought coming from the “purely capitalist” side of things.  One is the school that says that there should never be any government intervention and that the market should always be able to run itself, for better or for worse, because in the long run the market always chooses rightly and any government intervention just creates bad behaviour and bad results.  The other school says that there is always some form of intervention somewhere and that the public does not behave correctly for a pure-market economy (panics based on mass hysteria or incorrectly reported new, etc.) and so the government has to step in for the people’s own good.

In case you are wondering about market panics, think about Apple’s stock prices when Bloomberg incorrectly announced that Steve Jobs had died (he was actually fine.)  Several news sources had speculated that his health was failing and that Apple had no plans after Steve was gone.  This was pure speculation to sell papers to people who don’t do their own research.  Then, suddenly, one of the most trusted news agencies accidentally released a story saying that Steve was dead!  There was every possibility for the event to have destroyed Apple even though they were doing great financially and nothing had gone wrong internally.  Articificial forces outside of the pure-market were affecting large amounts of capital investments simply because the business world today is far too complex for normal people (including me) to grasp and because making investment decisions based on a news item require reactions to be so fast that taking time to check sources is dangerous and could result in a large loss simply by trying to be sure that something is true.

As you can see, capitalism doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  Not that I think that the government should bail out investors who do really risky things and then want the rest of us to pay for their gambling, but often, on the other hand, banks are hamstringed by non-market driven government intervention such as heavy regulations.  If the government gets involved in regulations (beyond the basics – no stealing, no misrepresenting, no lying, no breach of contract, etc.) then it has a certain duty to get involved when things go wrong as well.  It’s a tough call.  In either case, though, tomorrow is going to be interesting.

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