The Curmudgeonly Professor takes inventory each week to determine what specific gems of incremental knowledge he has gained during the previous week. Without incremental knowledge, the stuff that is already there tends to stagnate and petrify, sinking us in realms of self-satisfied smugness that make us think that we already knew everything. The Curmudgeonly Professor is all too well aware that he knows very little. Having taught college for 40 years, starting with 100% of what he knew to begin with, he lost a net amount of knowledge equal to 2 1/2% per year, so when he delivered his last scintillating lecture on the perils of deregulating the banking system, he knew precisely nothing. However, it became apparent during the ensuing eight years that no one in the banking system knew anything or paid attention to what they did learn since we are now without paddles, so to speak.
However, I digress. I did learn a few things this past week.
- While standing in line at Albertson's grocery the other day, I had a nice red lacy valentine box of chocolates that had been reduced from $10 to $2.50. The guy behind me couldn't resist: "A little late, aren't you?" he opined.
- The characters in the comic strip Frank and Ernest have long been my role models, along with Hagar the Horrible, The Born Loser, and Earl, of the comic strip Pickles. As Frank and Ernest are reporting to Econ 101 class in the morning comics, they note that Economics 101 has been marked down to 79. Such are the perils of the recession.
- All of the attempts to teach the population some level of minimal economic analysis and reasoning have gone to waste since such principles have become irrelevant in our national policy discussions.
- Leno and Letterman had another week off and the networks are too cheap to hire guest emcees as in the golden years of Johnny Carson.
- Joe the Plumber has become immortal.
- When sent to the grocery store for bread and milk, I came home with bread, milk, Marie Callendar's cherry crumb cobbler, skinless chicken breasts, sirloin mini-steaks, malted milk bird eggs, asparagus, a pizza stone which cost $13 but which included a $2 bag of salad greens, a $2 box of Texas toast, and a $6 frozen pizza, for a net cost for the pizza stone of 3 bucks; jelly beans, and two or three other necessities, total cost $42. You just have to have a Ph.D. to be a good shopper and spot the bargains.