Big Oil is at it again!

Those nasty old oil companies are at it again--they're making money. How dare they? I mean, businesses are making money???

Here's a quote for you:

[The oil companies are] clearly getting rich at the expense of their customers.
--Mark Wolfe of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association.

Uh, yeah... that's typically what businesses do. Welcome to a somewhat free market!

You've got to love how the media plays with the statistics to make them sound as unreasonable as possible. I can hear the conversation in the newsroom: "Hey, why don't we take the total profits and divide up so we get the profits per day?" "No, wait, how about profits per minute? That'll get an even bigger reaction!" (I don't think I'm exaggerating too much. I've written newspaper articles before, and have learned that it's not really that hard to rephrase things in order to nudge your readers' thinking in a particular direction. I don't know that journalists do this intentionally, as my imaginary conversation suggests, but I'm convinced that it happens.)

Funny how that little profits-per-minute statistic is worth reporting, along with total profit, while the media somehow manages to ignore such obscure statistics as oil companies' profit margins--particularly in comparison with those of other industries!

Here's an interesting article on the topic. It's from last November, but it's still relevant.


Interesting--this article from CNN lists the "Five best internships for real work." Only one of the Big Four accounting firms--Deloitte--made the list. I suspect that CNN tried to put a variety of companies on the list; from what I've heard (from both interns and recruiters) having interns do "real" work is pretty standard, at least for accounting firms. So is hiring interns immediately after they graduate.


I'm losing my mind!

So, in only 26 days, Lord willing, I will be moving out on my own for the first time, and five days later will be starting grad school.


My mom and I are planning to make the three-hour trip to my new apartment tomorrow with a carload of stuff. Tuesday, we plan to drive to a larger city halfway between home and school where I have an informal office visit with one of the Big Four accounting firms. I'll work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and then Friday evening, drive back to that larger city for a weekend recruiting event at another major firm. The next week, I drive back to school to get some stuff taken care of up there (and probably to take another carload of stuff to the apartment). A couple days after that, I'm scheduled to have lunch with some people from the tax department of a firm here at home.

Oh, and I bought a new car this past Thursday (which is another story entirely), and I still have to get my insurance set up for that, and finish up the final details of selling the old car. I'm also in the middle of changing health insurance, and Blue Cross is being quite slow in deciding whether to approve me. (Good thing I started the process a month and a half before my temporary insurance is scheduled to run out!)

Also, I can't find my "to-do list." I should have put the whole thing on my blog or emailed it to myself or something instead of writing it down!

Oh, well. God is still sovereign and good.


Why did the accountant cross the road?

Because he looked in the file, and that's what they did last year.

A quote

I post this not to draw more attention to the unfortunate situation at Maranatha, but because there are some really good thoughts here.
When one hears conflicting stories from conflicting parties, one must resist the compulsion to “pick a side.” When they are in Christ, there is only one side. All of the parties are on “our side,” friends, and the happy resolution of the conflict, the restitution of sinners, and the righting of wrongs is our prayer.
More on this topic from Pastor Bob Bixby at Pensees.


Annoying, repulsive, or just sad?

I watched network news last night. I've gotten into the habit of reading news online, so I can choose what to ignore; but last night, I wanted to find out what was going on with Israel, so I watched... let's see... I think it was NBC. I'm not really sure, though, and it probably doesn't make a difference.

So, what was on the news last night? Well, obviously, the violence in the Middle East. And the next big story? Oh, no--oil prices are up and the stock market is down! People on the other side of the world are sleeping in bomb shelters, and Americans are worried about their wallets.

I think there was another story, something about the fires in California--which, admittedly, are a legitimate cause for concern. Then, the next big story.... drumroll, please.... a horse might die! Alas!

I'm thankful to live in a country where I'm not facing the constant threat of being hit by a missile, and where we have the luxury of having such pathetically ridiculous worries such as whether a horse we've never seen might die, and I'm not saying that I'm happy about spending $40+ to fill up my car's gas tank. But I still can't decide whether to be annoyed, disgusted, or just sad about the apparently skewed priorities of many of my fellow Americans.

I'm still here!

You're probably wondering why I haven't posted in a while. (Well, assuming that anybody actually reads my blog. I know; I shouldn't assume.)

Anyway, here's what I've been up to... I'm still working two jobs (only around 44 hours/week total, so it's not as bad as it sounds); trying to switch from short-term health insurance to something a little better (and, naturally, a little more expensive); selling my laptop; thinking about selling my car; looking for a new car; setting up pre-interviews for an internship that's still six months away; fighting spam filters at companies where I might like to do an internship; setting up a time to visit campus (three hours away from home) to go over my resume and learn the software to sign up for interviews; starting to get stuff ready to move; purchasing a DustBuster, iron, and bathroom scale; meeting with my future roommate to figure out logistics and what we still need for our rental condo; and balanced my checkbook... I've also managed to spend a day at Six Flags with friends (where I was ridiculed for my habit of picking up every coin I passed on the sidewalk--although I pointed out that what I picked up off the sidewalk exceeded the quarterly interest on my brick-and-mortar bank savings account) (oh, and the Crocs were great), get the worst heartburn of my entire life, put in an appearance at my old office, and do a little "wardrobe supplementation" (i.e., shopping--some articles in my "professional" wardrobe are beginning to look a bit worn). I've also purchased a papasan chair frame, although I'm still looking for a nice, medium-darkish neutral colored (khaki would be good) cushion for a reasonable price.

The summer reading list? Don't ask. Please.

I'd also like to give you a gardening update: I have sunflowers! Well, they haven't completely bloomed yet (as far as I can tell--they're a foot or two taller than I now), but they're working on it! I've picked one cucumber, several tomatoes, and some peas and green beans. I'd love to post some pictures, but I haven't gotten around to locating the USB port on my temporary computer yet... When I do, I may also post evidence that I really do not "have it all together," just in case any of you were still under the impression that I did.


Happy 4th!

This is the day when Americans traditionally pause to reflect on and to celebrate the freedom that we enjoy as a nation.

But even more important than that freedom is the freedom that we can have through Christ:

Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man (Jesus Christ) forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:

"'Look, you scoffers,
be astounded and perish;
for I am doing a work in your days,
a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.'"

Acts 13:38-41, ESV



I just bought a pair of these, even though I think they're hideous. I bought them only because they're the most practical type of shoes I can think of to wear to Six Flags on Saturday. I can wear them on water rides and not have to walk around in soggy footwear all day, I shouldn't have to worry about having them fall off on wild rides, and they're supposed to be a lot more comfortable (and better for your feet) than flip-flops. I gues I can deal with the ugliness.

Although I have to admit that their appearance is growing on me...

My Crocs are lime green. :)

Is it tacky to laugh at obituaries?

I generally try not to laugh at people's obituaries, but sometimes I can't help it. For example, look at this recent obituary.

The part that caught my attention (after the "Junebug" thing) was the opening sentence:

[The deceased] left this life of being bedridden for over six years to walking the streets of Heaven at Greenville Memorial Medical Center on Thursday.

Atrocious sentence structure aside, I'm glad to finally learn the exact location of heaven! Or, at least, of its streets.