Going into December with a second cold snap in less than two months, and an unprecedented shift in oil prices, I can only imaging what is in store for us in the coming weeks leading into 2015. Since I virtually no longer celebrate x-mass in that I work through the holidays and pay no homage to the commercial aspects of it, the economic rage that usually ensues this time of year is missed, but only my wallet stays intact–not the increase at my work. Already my time is sucked clean as my hours at work are scheduled to each week’s limit, and side jobs are more plentiful, meaning that what time is left over is barely enough to catch up on a proper night’s rest-period. The only significance of December for me is the Winter Solstice celebrations that I like to attend, only becuase this is when I get to meet and mingle with other back yard astronomers around my area.
I am still shocked as the world oil prices slide into four, five maybe six year lows since the OPEC cartel decided to suck the same amount of oil out of the ground in November to oversupply the markets, rather than holding back like they usually do. If there was ever a time when relief in my daily budget was needed badly, cheaper gasoline could not have come sooner. While inflations seems to be on the rise again, this cheaper gasoline could off-set my income enough balance it out. The joke is, as Canada tries to jump on the U.S.A. Black Friday sales event by retailers, OPEC itself was joining in the event with the announcement of its offering of hugely discounted petroleum for the whole world. I welcome the price war–bring it on! It will be nice to see the wealth redistributed.
Working for cheaper wages, putting out more labour and more expected time for it, seems to be the new shift for the working class. Yes, my wage to labour ratio has shifted to what I saw back in the 1980s. All ground has been lost with earnings evaporated as 2014 seems to be the year for me when the labour market here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia seems to be saturated with labour. From a job that used be valued at $15.00 per hour five years ago, now sits with many applicants at just over $11.00 per hour. It took me a while to see this, but now I see so many moving to the city that employers can easily find cheaper labour when the cost of living in the city is twice the needed cost. The North East end of British Columbia has unemployment rates lower that the National average, while Vancouver rate sits just above it.
Mingling with the astronomers will be the highlight of December for me. Even though most of the time the weather never cooperates with the longest night of the year for telescope viewing, we still gather to see the latest teck-gear and photographs that people have taken of celestial bodies from out into deep space. Yes, some like to dawn their cosplay Warecraft garb to add a little bit of silliness, but it is all in fun.