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the economy

The Morrill Act and What It Means for You

Don’t go scrambling for the newspapers – the Morrill Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on July 2, 1862, establishing the land-grant colleges. Morrill Act (more…)

So, You Want a Farmers’ Market

I was reading a post on Facebook the other day with regard to farmers markets and one commenter wrote that every town needed one and that her city did not.

On the face of it, that sounds like something out of a ‘say wha?” sort of experience. Doesn’t every place have a farmers market? Someplace? (more…)

More FANAFI: Find a Need and Fill It

Everyone has their favorite event or story from the recent Winter Olympics. Mine is the tale of the Norwegian Curling Team’s very colorful pants. Now, how they came to find the pants is not the topic here. The pants, however, attracted a huge amount of attention worldwide, not only for the Norwegian team (which finally lost in the end to the Canadians), but also for the sport itself. A fan from Rochester started a Facebook page, The Norwegian Curling Team Pants which has 600,000 fans (including 200,000 from Norway itself).
CNBC was running curling coverage after the close of business on Wall Street, so there the traders were, ogling the Norwegians’ red, white and blue diamond pants, while the teams were playing what has been heretofore considered a sport about as exciting as watching corn grow. (more…)

Basic Entrepreneurial Rules Still Apply: Find a Need and Fill It

“Demetri Leontaris sometimes calls himself the “iPod Doctor” and the license plate on his van that says exactly that. But the first thing you notice is how many people come up to his van and ask him for a business card. Leontaris repairs cell phones, laptops and digital music players, and he says his business got started by chance. He loved the iPod when it came out; he bought a broken one, but he found Apple’s repair prices too steep. So he bought another broken iPod for the parts, took them both apart, and fixed one of them. Before he knew it, he “kept on finding people with broken iPods, who wanted to get them fixed.” In fact he says that most people are amazed. They had no idea they could get their Blackberries, or iPods fixed.”

Mobile Electronics Repair

The DH heard this story on NPR this week and told me about it – he was fascinated by the major aspect of the story: A guy turning a personal need into a business that is growing like crazy – a mobile ‘small personal electronics repair’ business. (more…)

Information: The Tool You Have In Your Hands to Help Others in this Economy

One of the reasons that I started this blog is that last year, I started to see that the economy was going into the tank and was very concerned that for a lot of people, certain basic ‘activities of living’ were going to become harder and harder to accomplish.

And that has not changed.

I don’t care what the economics pundits and MSNBC bozos wave around. “It’s over.” “It’s NOT over.” “Green shoots” “Turned a corner.”

I could not care less what some of these know-nothing self-interested gasbags say, actually, because I know that there are a lot of people in a world of hurt right now and a lot of them have been that way, frankly, for years. (more…)

Loose Ends and Housekeeping

If you are (ahem) old enough to recall the Ed Sullivan Show, then if I mention the words “Italian acrobats with spinning plates”, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. For the less ‘elderly’ among Aunt Toby’s readers, suffice it to say that this family group had a hilarious act whereby they set up poles with plates spinning at the tops and they ran about the stage, back and forth, making sure the plates were spinning and not falling to smash on the floor. The big finale was their all picking up the poles and catching the plates. Voila!!

Well, sometimes, Aunt Toby feels that way about KCE. I have to make sure to keep some of the ongoing things up in the air and revisiting them from time to time before they..well, they won’t go smash on the floor, but the story may not be fresh or interesting any longer and all of my little buggers might lose interest.

So, this post is a bit of a catch up. (more…)

Close – But No Cigar: New Credit Card Legislation Does Not Go Nearly Far Enough

Aunt Toby has written before about credit cards, their use, abuse, and the almost preternatural ability of people to create large weights of debt with which they can NOT continue to conduct their financial lives. Atkins for Plastic Thank Shopping

One thing I have not written about is how I feel about credit card companies targeting people who not only are not in a position either psychologically or financially to take on debt, but the effects of people such as these groups who end up with huge amounts of debt at times in their lives when they can least afford to have it.

These people are college students. (more…)

Wherein Aunt Toby grapples with something a little bit lighter in terms of the economy

This blogging thing can get a little strange at times. Recently, a female blogger from Think Progress was followed by two Orcs from Fox across the entire northern portion of Virginia just so that they could leap out at her and harass her with a camera and questions. I figured I was safe here at Chez Siberia – this is the sort of place The Unibomber would pick to hide out…if he wanted to hide out in plain sight.

But this morning, it definitely got weird when The Boy looked out the window and announced, “Ma, there are a couple of guys in suits and sunglasses getting out of a sedan – they’ve got wires on ‘em. Whadya do this time?”

Yep – definite FBI or Secret Service; they have the look, you know? And wearing sunglasses at 6:30 a.m., when it’s barely light is a definite give away. (more…)

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