Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Reader Larry E., who's having a great deal of fun learning the elements of photography with his digital camera, sent in this photo of the moon yesterday.

We only caught glimpses of the moon yesterday ourselves; out where we live it was mostly socked in.

This morning it's completely clear, though...


That's what a dozen eggs cost in the early '50s, in inflation-adjusted dollars. This is from an interesting comparison of where our money has gone over the years.

This is something that people tend to consistently miss. We see that a gallon of gas costs $2.15 (here in Jamul, anyhow), and we say to ourselves: Sheesh! I remember when it was just 25 cents a gallon! What's happened?

And we tell ourselves that everything costs more these days. What we forget is that we made much less money back then, and we spent a larger fraction of our income on necessities (food, medicine, etc.) than we do now. This is actually quite indisputable – there's overwhelming evidence that anyone can verify, and doing so is a very interesting exercise in economic reality.

The exercise I went through once upon a time involved music: how many minutes of my work did it take to buy a record album in 1970 vs. a CD album in 2000? Answer: about 70 minutes in 1970, vs. 10 minutes in 2000. Try this yourself! Virtually everything you can think of – including gas! – takes less of your working time to earn today than it did 30 or 40 years ago. Usually much less.

And yet it “feels” like it costs more now.

Strange are the ways of humans...

Storm Total: 2.86 Inches...

The graph tells the story. As I write this, the sky is completely clear and a nearly-full moon is brightly lighting the nightscape.

The wet nightscape.

Driving home yesterday afternoon, I passed through patches of driving rain, lots of gentle rain, and a few clear spots. At several places along the road, I spotted overflowing streams – most notably along State 94 just east of Steele Canyon.