The Sam Vimes “Boots” Theory of Economic Injustice

I love a good illustration. It makes concepts easier to explain and you can extend the analogies to build an argument.

The Sam Vimes “Boots” Theory of Economic Injustice runs thus:
At the time of Men at Arms, Samuel Vimes earned thirty-eight dollars a month as a Captain of the Watch, plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots, the sort that would last years and years, cost fifty dollars. This was beyond his pocket and the most he could hope for was an affordable pair of boots costing ten dollars, which might with luck last a year or so before he would need to resort to makeshift cardboard insoles so as to prolong the moment of shelling out another ten dollars.

Therefore over a period of ten years, he might have paid out a hundred dollars on boots, twice as much as the man who could afford fifty dollars up front ten years before. And he would still have wet feet.

Without any special rancour, Vimes stretched this theory to explain why Sybil Ramkin lived twice as comfortably as he did by spending about half as much every month.

(Source: Discworld & Terry Pratchett wiki)

Picadillo in Lettuce Leaves


1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 c sliced green olives
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
8 large lettuce leaves

1.Spray large skillet with nonstick spray. Saute onion until softened
(~5 mins). Add garlic, stirring frequently until fragrant (~ 30 secs).
Add beef and cook, break apart with spoon until browned (~5 mins).

2. Add olives, chili powder, and cumin; cook, stirring (~ 2 mins). Add
vinegar, salt, & pepper; cook, stirring constantly until vinegar is
evaporated (~30 secs).

3. Spoon about 1/3 c of mixture (picadillo) onto each lettuce leave
and arrange on platter.

Low- Carb, Gluten Free

From New Weight Watchers Cookbook.
2 PointPlus per filled lettuce leaf.

Nicknames that Spades has earned while running

Smiley Cyrus – While running ahead, she’ll occassionally look back to check on you with her tongue hanging out and it just looks like a big, happy smile.

Sniffy the Boat Anchor – You’re trying to run but she’s not letting you go anywhere because she wants to stop and smell the roses, particularly after a rain has “refreshed” all of the scents.

Jesus Dog – She intentionally aims for the puddles to walk through to cool off her paws or maybe just to have fun splashing.

NYPD Dog – She has a ‘stop-and-sniff’ policy instead of ‘stop-and-frisk’.

Play-doh factory – It has to do with pooping…

I believe I can fly – A turkey vulture or some other bird might be gliding overhead but for some reason she thinks she can catch it some 30 feet up.

The Weekend Warrior – Anytime we run our new 5+ mile loop together.

Panting Pro V – When she gets to panting quite loudly and you’re not sure you’d be able to hear a car coming.

Trail mix – This is the nickname for the stuff along the road that she finds and wants to eat and you try to stop her, compressed lawn clippings, harvested corn cobs, etc.

The Commute to Work – It’s stop-and-go traffic the whole way.

spades panting


Henry David Thoreau has many classic quotes about seeking the simple life. ‘Unsubscribe’ is the modern day call to simplify. Some may see a subscription as unfettered access whenever desired but others may see a subscription as an obligation – an obligation to get your money’s worth, an obligation to consume everything in one sitting so you don’t have to pay the subscription the next month. As soon as we are obligated to our entertainment, we have lost.

Taking out your regular bills like a mortgage, car payments, student loans, insurance, and utilities including cell phone and Internet bills, there are still tons of services clamoring for you to subscribe. Taking each of these monthly costs and multiplying it by 12 to get your annual cost and then summing them together can show they can add up quite quickly.


Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud


Xbox Live, PSN


Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, MLB Nation, Center Ice, NFL Sunday Ticket, Crunchyroll

Paid TV cable/satellite


Audible audiobooks

Pandora, Spotify



Do you have subscriptions you’re still paying but aren’t using?

Stupid things people say to somebody walking or running with their dog

Walking or running with a dog, you might get to enjoy all sorts of commentary from good-meaning people that becomes tedious, repeated, and annoying.


Out of breath after a long run:

Who’s walking who?

Shouldn’t it be ‘whom’?

While running past:

What’s the big rush?

Running 3+ miles will do that, try it sometime:

Boy, somebody’s panting hard.

With the dog pulling at the leash, probably because of said commentator:

Is that leash strong enough?

I’m not a ‘dog person’, I’m a ‘my dog person':

Oh, you’re a dog person?

Just sign this waiver:

Can I (or my kids) pet your dog?

You also sign this waiver:

Is it ok if our dogs meet?

Does it matter?

Is it a boy or a girl dog?

And what ethnicity are you?

What breed of dog is it?

Is it because you’re lazy?

I wish I could have you walk my dog.

Activity with my dog is because I care about her. Do you care about your dog?

Coming from a random stranger, your tip carries a lot of weight:

Have you tried [random one-size-fits-all suggestion]?