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My Economics Lesson at Budget Rent-a-Car (It's not what you think)

Jul 12,2009  |  Untagged

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Anyone feeling depressed about the US economy should spend some time with someone who moved here from another country. I am writing this immediately after an incredible conversation with the manager at the Budget Rent-a-Car near my office (I rented a car while my own car was being repaired.) The manager emigrated from Pakistan and is now a naturalized American citizen. Our conversation started with my feedback on how the car drove (I wasn't keen on it -- idled fast, but slow pickup).

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Stop Sign

Jul 05,2009  |  Untagged

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I've been struggling to figure out what to write about today, and then it hit me. Or, rather, I hit it. Driving home the other day, I hit a stop sign. It was situated in a stupid place (in the center of the crosswalk), but I was more stupid to hit it. It's an intersection I'd driven through many times before. As I turned, the sign fell into a blind spot (where the windshield meets the car frame)... then the audiobook I was listening to told me that the book was continued on the next disk, and I turned my gaze for a second to hit “eject.” THUD! It was like an out-of-body experience, and I’m thinking, “I can't believe what just happened.”

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Keep Your Germs to Yourself

Jul 01,2009  |  Untagged

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With four children and a husband who works with children, someone in my house is usually sick. In our upstairs bathrooms, everyone has his/her own towels so that germs don't spread. But it's our downstairs “guest” bathroom that gets the most use. I used to keep a roll of paper towels there to prevent the spread of germs, but I didn't like creating all that garbage. So, inspired by a spa stay a few years ago with my mother and sister, I now have a basket of washcloths for family and guests for drying their hands. I'd initially gone to a local bed-and-bath store and to a discount home goods store, but washcloths were way too expensive ($3 or more per washcloth!) for the number I wanted to buy. Instead, I Googled for a hotel supply company, and bought a gross (a dozen dozen) of white washcloths for about $35. They're easy to wash... we never run out, even when we host parties... we all stay healthier... and we save the planet too.

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