Tight labor market, the high end

Strib business page guy ponders what would happen if Amazon came here, IE, would it squeeze the local tech labor market.


Yes, yes it would. You actually have an entity here now that exerts a sponging effect on the local IT labor pond, and Shafer mentions it – it’s UHG. UHG is so big, my experience is it creates tech worker labor scarcity here all by itself. With another company like that? I said before, I doubt as a SW engineering generalist I’d ever have to debase myself for high 5 figure wages again (kidding not kidding). Shoot, for Java programmers? It would be like Silicon Valley, you’d probably have to pay them $200k + on w2, nearly executive compensation in most places.

So, that would happen… And I’m not sure why Dayton’s instinct is to look out for Target and Best Buy’s stability in this. It’s not a pro worker position.


The NFL makes billions of dollars and everyone hates it apparently

First off, the Zingy position on flag kneeling: I wouldn’t ever kneel for the anthem, but the justice system’s inequities are real and you’d think flag kneeling is a decent, appropriate way of making a statement about that in a public venue. I’m fine with it.

As a non-football and non-jingoism guy I am a little detached / ambivalent about it all. But detached enough actually to spot what I think are the weirder dynamics that have passed without much comment.

Ya know, you got the flag / anthem kneelers right. And you have the people that abhor them. A substantial element within the abhor-ers are these people who love football but would like to effect a boycott on the NFL for… you’d be hard to figure what, because the NFL itself doesn’t actually want the flag and anthem kneeling.

Well, there are some tells you can spot here and there… The abhor-ers are consistently a bubba-ized, blue lives matter type of crew. What they are mad about is that the NFL hasn’t come down with fines, suspensions, and terminations on the misbehaving black people there that are anthem kneeling.

So they are going to boycott the NFL, you see all this talk of boycotts… but these guys love pro football…. It’s schizo.

On the other side I can’t parse the thing where we all stand but lock arms.


That’s basically solidarity with the kneelers but respect for the flag right?

Who’s winning:  I think the Black Lives Matter people are actually winning their argument.  And I think most of the country knows it’s OK to anthem kneel.  Doesn’t mean DJT won’t win a second term…. I kinda think he might.

On Kaepernick:  Earnest but awkward fella in some ways, might be a decent comparison to Curt Flood.  There’s all this consternation about him not having a backup QB job right now…I will say, that may not be “racism”.  Kaepernick does have every appearance of being a guy to whom the elite athlete window was only going to be open for a very short time in his twenties… WHICH AS A TRUTH IS MOST PRO ATHLETES…so there is a practical reason for not bothering with him if you are looking for a guy to roster.

Red shirts to get $15/hr


Good on ‘em. If the store worker’s get $15 (by 2020), that’s a pretty decent wage.

I don’t think this is a very political thing though it’s got a nice dovetail into a contemporary political sentiment. Thing is, the labor market, and specifically the low end labor market, is very tight again. Not enough workers there willing to work at prevailing wages.

I’ll give a salient for example. My 16 year old took his first job at an established brunch and dinner place right in the neighborhood (he can bike there, he doesn’t have his license yet). Nice enough joint by the way, pretty good food… traditional with some nuances.

A couple weeks ago he got into a scheduling conflict with his cc-running and it’s still this thing in restaurants where the manager(s) wants the worker bees to arrange their own subs. He tried, and no one would take the hours. So there’s this drama like he’s going to be fired, because that’s still the compliance mechanism in restaurants, threat of termination. I said: just tell them you aren’t showing up for that shift, act reasonably, don’t acknowledge like it’s this insubordinate thing, say it’s not going to be a common practice, I bet they won’t fire you, cuz they can’t easily replace you, and if they do fire you, no big deal you’ll get another job if you want one…

They didn’t fire him, they couldn’t. Subsequently we hear there’s going to be greater lenience in scheduling for their crew of HS students in activities because they can’t keep them there for the money if there’s going to be all that scheduling inflexibility.

It’s like this all over… the worker sentiment seems to be that working in the $8 – $12 range isn’t worth the money if it comes with hassle. So the way employers deal with that is, tada, get rid of the hassle or raise the wage. Fing free market baby.

Good economy is not a Trump thing, by the way. How could it be? It’s a lot of things, a lot of Obama things that are notably neo-liberally prudent and boring. And drill baby drill, which basically happened even under a Democratic administration.

I never thought I’d feel a rush again

Not to be too melodramatic…cuz I’m like Obama… no drama.

But I mentioned I was on Adderall for 7 years and then Venlafaxine for six months. Now, I was tired on Venlafaxine, but one of the things I noticed about the whole 8 years’ experience of being medicated for ‘being on the spectrum’ was I couldn’t get a caffeine rush and I couldn’t get say the now and again music rush when you hear a good song and blast it on the car stereo.

Thing is, I like those rushes. And they were unavailable, missing. They don’t mention that in the possible side effects for these meds that these rushes go MIA

So I’m off medication now for a couple weeks and I’m on this euphoria bender in some ways.

And then I have a monster energy drink and it’s like zoom zoom zoom motor unwinding heart palpitations. Didn’t happen when I was on Venlafaxine. That’s got to stop I guess, scale it back to a Mountain Dew.

Trippy, very trippy. Makes one think life is all neurochemistry. And it’s a good thing my base personality is pretty steady.

Related: I bought another electric guitar. Saw it on Craigslist last night. It’s the niche legendary Paul Westerberg First Act ME501. It’s vaguely broken, and a guy on the east side wanted $20 for it. I went and got it before work.

Also related:


A big focus of this article is say, Aspies not faring well in the interview process. I guess irrespective of whether I am an Aspie or not, I went into contracting and had to learn the dance that is the interview process. Doing 10 or 15 interviews a year definetly helped me go from awkward to polished.

Also related: It’s been understood, for a long time, fairly clinically actually, that superstar pitcher Zack Greinke is an Asperger’s guy. Mere star pitcher and local guy Pat Neshek is having a spat with Greinke about autographs, and Neshek calls Greinke “socially awkward”.


Yeah, he went there, that’s kinda ballsy. I’m actually with Neshek on this though, Greinke can be called out, he doesn’t get a pass…. he’s too privileged to get a pass just because he’s an Aspie.  Neshek has his own Aspie features by the way, he’s well know for the depth of his autograph obsession.

Post 1000: First post was 9/30/13. 1000 now on 9/21/17.

This blog is here because I had gotten kicked out of the SRC comments section for being obnoxious, consistently obnoxious. Now, for those who would recall that and wonder what was the deal with the trolling … I got insulted there on SRC at one point. It was nothing really, but within me I have a reservoir of chippy-ness that can be tapped and it took on a life of its own as a performance at SRC. Ya know, internet, dumb internet. But I am not actually cray-cray or ill-tempered or even all that merely irascible in truth.

What I really actually liked at SRC was the graduate level, smart people conversation. I wanted to continue that, and wanted to “debate” politics. Thought I’d draw an audience on my own page here, but that did not happen. This was not because I didn’t write enough, I did do that. But I did not do the network linkages / marketing to cultivate a following. Also, blogs died in the interim because of Facebook, so this more became a space for a guy with a lot of noise in his head to work on thought composition. BTW I’m a fan of the WordPress suite.

I think it’s been a great thing for that. Now, what’s also happened in the last 4 years is I think I’m a happier, mellower dude. I don’t know if that’s concomitant with aging or concomitant with the blog and writing. Fair to say I was / am on a search for truth and wisdom though, as we all kind of are, and one thing is I can’t write things down, then re-read them and see they are basically lies. They have to stick as truth for them to make it past the self-editing process.

I wrote a fair amount and this happened quite a bit for me when contemplating angry, reactionary conservatism. I couldn’t make the RW words stick in a lot of cases. So, I am mellower politically now having edited some RW untruths out of my life thinking. Still pretty libertarian of course cuz… freedom, ‘merica.

But I have a readership too right… 2 dedicated readers, and one of them comments… A thing that happened a while ago, might have been a couple of those years gone by, was the commenter articulated the notion, I think it was, of being pointlessly oppositional as a conservative / righty. I could search it but I don’t really need to. Whenever that moment was, it was very powerful, and I think it benefitted my mind and soul. A lot of the right is pointlessly oppositional. …dicks… To be a real thinker about things and to contribute to the dialogue you have to not oppose for oppositions sake. Gotta listen and relinquish when proper. Thanks for that PM!

The rest is history, now I’m pro single payer and I work at MnSure.

Anyway, some other reasons I’ve kept up a writing regimen:

· It’s a diary

· It’s a dude’s diary, a stoic working man’s diary. I don’t think stoic men put their perspective in words enough.

· It’s a diary, and I think it would be neat if in 300 years some doctoral candidate picked out a piece of my word construction here as representative of the zeitgeist or even THE TRUTH of the time, ya know.

· It’s a diary, and I figure I might be proximate to history at some point and have something meaningful to say about it.

· I wanted to record some observations about the contemporary workplace and my trade that the business press is missing.

Anyway, the blog goes on, free form as it has, in pursuit of general wisdom and goodness.

Jots w/ dots 9/21/17

I was looking through the admin tool yesterday, and it showed me next post is number 1000 apparently. So we’ll save that for brief, non-maudlin reflection.

I wanna rock: This summer’s feature of my perpetual adolescence, besides baseball, is I bought a guitar and an amp to fool around with (axe is a Chinese SG clone, decent quality certainly for the $125 you pay). I feel musical to the point I want to learn some very remedial rock songs. I’d like to go to some concerts too, I believe I will go to Dylan at the X on 10/25. So, I would have wanted to go to this: http://www.startribune.com/kiss-members-reunite-in-all-star-concert-to-send-hurricane-relief-from-st-paul/446308053/#1 Ya know, cuz FUN. But yesterday was first I heard of it. I complained to a couple people that I never saw it advertised, these people told me it’s been advertised on KQ for months. Oh, well that explains that. I did actually outgrow KQ, more than 20 years ago…

Yankees sweep / the Twins suck… actually, I’m a believer in irony, and what this sets up is a Twins’ victory vs the Yankees in the wild card game. Team of destiny now…

Slate: damnit, in the future people will still be able to make things, sell things, and buy things…. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2017/09/futurists_rarely_imagine_a_tomorrow_without_capitalism.html

Follow up on my word policing of ‘innovation’: It’s to say, financing schemes like what you’d build to fund health insurance are not something you ‘innovate’ It’s all taxes, just taxes. And yeah, I want to say, that’s not a bad word, let’s all put on our big boy pants alrighty.

Burns’ Vietnam Ep 3.

Covered say how Lyndon Johnson was made to own Vietnam, from 1963 to December 1965.

I have been noting that the ‘village sweep’ is one of those things that makes war hell. In this episode last night they played a 1965 report by Morley Safer where the Marines went through a village and looked around, then finished it off by burning down everyones’ huts, zippos to the thatched roofs. I had never seen this footage before even in the age of youtube. And had not observed its reference in my reasonably high quality post secondary education before. Everyone’s media example for the Vietnam war is the Cronkite moment in 1968.

Sheesh, it was jarring.

All of it, jarring. These jungle firefights were just vicious. What’s analogous to these encounters in a different war, like the Germans vs the US 1944 in the Ardennes? I think these Vietnam encounters were way more vicious as matter of how many rounds were getting shot off.

As I say, jarring, a very jarring documentary.