Monday, February 08, 2010

661 Habit and Book Look

661 Habit

Do you always start your tooth brushing on the same tooth? Or do you vary it? Do you always put your left (or right) shoe or sock on first, or does it matter? Do you always put your car in the driveway nose out? How about the newspaper: do you decline to buy the top copy and go one or two copies down in the pile for yours? Or the elevator: five people are waiting, you're the sixth. Do you press the call button or just assume that one or more of the first five have done so?

We are creatures of habit. Or addiction.

Smoking is the latter. Only a non-smoker thinks smoking is a habit. We've learned that officially in the last decade or so. Before that, smokers were looked down upon in the same way as people who were habitually late for appointments or habitually late with their bills or habitually late with their library book returns.

How about your bedroom closet? Does everything hang in the same direction. Or do some shirts or blouses or skirts or slacks hang front to the right or front to the left and others the other way 'round?

Habits. Are they a form of mental shorthand... something that lets us go about routine tasks without having the waste time or effort figuring something out every time we do it?

Maybe. Depends on the habit and your reaction when you're forced NOT to practice it.

If you hang a shirt up facing the "wrong" direction and then go about your business, you're in good shape.

If it annoys you to the point that you come home from work early to turn the shirt around -- you got trouble.

Those of us with a lifetime of punctuality come what may are officially reasoning that time is valuable and lateness is a form of breaking one's word or lying or telling someone that his time is not as valuable as yours.

But it's different when showing up late for work on Monday because a snowstorm causes a self-induced irrational tailspin of worry, guilt and distraction.


--Palin-ology and "retard:" First she blasts Limbaugh for using the word and he replies that he was only quoting Rahm Emanuel. Then she blasts Emanuel and says Limbaugh was only kidding. So which is it, Madam Tea Party?

--Some OTHER Tea Party Goers in Nashville took a page right out of the far left play book. They staged a demonstration against their own side this past weekend. Costs (too high,) "officialness" (unestablished.)

--Put some Smirnoff in the samovar, Tea Partiers. It'll help you deal with that $550 ticket of admission (half price for anyone physically under seven years of age and accompanied by a chronological adult?) It might also calm your anger at everything sane and normal people want.


Coin and Precious Metal Values 2010. Jim Kingsland (House of Collectibles/Random House. $13.99)

Before you flip your late Aunt Nettie's 1907 Gold Eagle into cash... or you buy someones 1907 Gold Eagle... or you sell your "unwanted gold jewelry" to some late night TV infomercial company that'll send you a postage paid envelope and a check, buy and read this book. Before you decide that "gold should be a part of your investment portfolio," buy and read this book. And if you have a bunch of old zinc or lead hanging out in the attic and don't know what to do with it, buy and read this book.

Author Kingsland takes you through the arcane, often unregulated netherworld of precious metals (and not-so-precious metals) with historical context, trend projections, and more warnings than a Surgeon General analyzing something made of tobacco, sugar, salt cholesterol and trans fats. You'll learn what to look out for, what to ask, and what to expect.

And this guy knows his stuff. He writes in the same understated way he's reported on radio and television on markets and business since the late 1970s. Understated, yes. People who know what they're talking about don't need to shout.

For the record, by way of disclaimer, Kingsland is a friend and former colleague, but were he not, there would be not a syllable's difference in this review.

Richards Readometer Rating: 1. No question.

===Readometer Key:
1 - Buy it.
2 - Wait for the paperback.
3 - Take it out of the Library.
4. Flip through it at the book store.
5. Forget it.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2005, 2010

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