Monday, August 23, 2004

 

My weekend and Costco Selling coffins

Okay, so I'm sure everyone is desperate to know how my weekend went...well, Jason and Matt claimed to like my new haircut (they are nefarious folk trying to get me to have a decent opinion of myself, but luckily common sense prevents me from falling for such chicanery).

On Sunday night we went and saw Garden State (hence no Hooters for me). The three of us all seemed to enjoy it, though it did lead Matt to resort to a quote that I have some problems with, "The unexamined life is a life not worth living." In college I wrote a philosophy paper arguing that the unexamined life was the only life worth living. Still, it was a good time. They also let me eat some of their homecooked meatloaf which was good and I am constantly amazed that they are able to have me at the dinner table without either a) driving a steak knife through my heart or b) vomitting.

I was beginning to wonder if anyone read my blog except for them actually, but Kerry commented on a post earlier so she has at least looked at it once. Hopefully I'm reading too much into the notion that she would be scared that I would be going to the same school as her.

What else did I do with my weekend? I looked at a couple of places to move to. Royal Oak here I come (hopefully). I also worked. I got 6 schedules done this weekend which is Hella Good.

Okay, now for me to comment on some news, which I haven't done in awhile (forgive me all).

Costco is going to carry coffins. I'm sure everyone has heard this story by now. I find it interesting because I had a bit of an interest in college in Necroeconomics as one textbook I ran across referred to it. At one time I even considered being a funeral director...creepy Adams family music please. The big companies were moving in though and causing the high paying jobs to shift away from the day to day labor to the conference rooms where MBA's and marketing gurus had the big salaries, so it didn't seem worth it. Plus, I imagine I don't come off as very sympathetic with my cold heartless libertarian ways. It is amazing though what power the funeral industry has been able to excert in the U.S. It also leads to some interesting questions about how such power was able to be utilized in the U.S. but not in other countries.

Consider the fact that in Austria (and many other countries) graves are not purchased, they are rented. Multiple members of a family can be buried in the same grave, there are no vaults or concrete grave liners so the simplistic and inornate coffins soon decompose and become part of the earth. Graves are rented in 10 year blocks.

Last time I checked, which admittedly was several years ago, there were only approximately 60 recognized funeral director vocational/academic programs in the country. Further, every state has their own licensing requirements. One immediately begins to see how these two elements help to limit supply by causing transferability between areas to be difficults. Continuing education credit requirements and a vast array of other requirements help to insulate the workers in the industry from an influx of potential workers. Not to mention all of the "health" requirements that the funeral industry has managed to get passed into law in order to lessen competition.

Anyway, I jokes about Costco selling sets of 50 coffins aside, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

There were many more stories I wanted to get to, including "The Scream" but I have to get up early tomorrow so I am going to call it an evening. You shall all hear from me tomorrow I'm sure...

Night


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