Friday, September 30, 2011

Io at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens

Monster Shaine

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Evolution of My Evernote and Moleskine System

A couple years ago, I wrote about how the Moleskine was killing my Evernote use. I'm happy to say that Evernote has survived the ordeal and even has me still paying the monthly subscription. Now they co-exist peacefully. However, it's not until recently that a harmonious balance came into existence.

There are two things that drive my use of these two note-taking options; ease of use and quick access. I love Evernote's endless supply of storage and the ease with which I can find material. However, entering information is not always quick unless I am at the computer.

The majority of my Evernote entries come from my mobile phone. Typically, they are in the form of a photo. While the Android app allows me to upload images, text, voice notes, or other files, manual entry of long notes is cumbersome. Voice notes are pretty good; but to make them searchable, I need to transcribe them at some point.

The Moleskine wins out with long note-taking and drafts of some of my work when I am away from the computer. To do the same thing would be extremely slow on my mobile phone.

Here are the rules I follow in how I take notes when I am away from the computer.

  • If possible, take a picture of information for storage in Evernote. Upload it.

  • If the text cannot be photographed, then write the information down in the Moleskine. Take a picture afterwards. Tag and title it for later retrieval.

  • If driving, I don't use the Evernote voice notes. It's easier to call a private Google Voice number, which transcribes most of my message correctly. I can copy and paste or forward to Evernote for later retrieval.

  • PDFs and other files are increasingly being stored on Evernote as the cloud storage I was hoping Amazon S3 could be. This way I can access, download, or email to anybody.

As for writing down tasks, I made a video of how I've used my Moleskine to track my To Do list. The list has moved to my Evernote account. I find that I can easily copy and paste items that were not completed from one day's agenda to the next. This is much easier to do than hand writing the lists. It is also a much better way of tracking what I have done in the past. Each day's agenda is moved to the Journal folder as a record of the day.

With respect to journaling, I do append notes to my day's agenda as needed. I am unable to tick the check boxes using my phone; but I can definitely add text to the note.

I create a new agenda for each day one week in advance. Some days have tickler items on them so that when that day rolls around, I have the item listed already. I also have tickler pages on Evernote for every month. I start to depopulate the monthly page as each week rolls around by copying and pasting the to-do items into the daily agendas for the week.

There is an Evernote page with Someday/Maybe and Waiting items where I keep track of things I want to do someday and things others are doing for me.

All this may seem confusing if you're not accustomed to the GTD methodology and unfamiliar with Evernote. I assure you that the process is more streamlined than using my Moleskine.

I've tried all kinds of To-Do list managers; but the main drawback to all of them is that they either do not synchronize to the web automatically, or they synchronize too much, making them too slow for simply marking an item done. I like Google's To Do list; it's fast and accessible anywhere. The downside is that it does not keep a history.

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What is Twitter? A good analogy.

Motorola's First 2 way radio from 1962
Image by bhenak via Flickr

Twitter is analogous to 2-way radio. Many of the same dynamics that apply to radio communications are also applicable to how Twitter allows its users to communicate. Radio communications gives everybody in the group the ability to listen in. The ambient radio chatter gives all members of the group situational awareness of what is happening throughout the organization.

While radio carries voice communications, Twitter carries text and background awareness of what is happening in the network.
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Still Weighing Springpad vs Evernote

I recently downloaded the Springpad app for my Android phone. As an avid user of David Allen's GTD methodology, I like to experiment with different ways of capturing and using information. Evernote has done a good job for me in terms of universal capture; but, it has shortcomings on a mobile platform. In my venture with Springpad, there are things that it does better than Evernote; but, it's also not completely filling my needs.

What Springpad does well

The advantage of Springpad over Evernote is that it categorizes information from the outset. You can create tasks, recipes, notes, reminders,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Google+ Offers Geographic Diversity of Friends

Google Plus offers users geographic diversity in who you circle and who circles you. I think this will probably improve now that Google added search to the platform.

What I mean by geographic diversity is that your circles aren't limited to certain geographic areas. 

Let's take Facebook, for example. Most of my Facebook friends are clustered around my immediate area, San Antonio, and Austin. That sort of makes sense. If you're adding friends and people with whom you may have some mutual acquaintances; then it stands to reason that your social graph will depend largely on your physical presence. 

In this way, Facebook has somewhat of a small town feel, where everybody knows each other or is related somehow. And despite the occasional Internet famous person I follow who live outside my geographic area, everybody kind knows each other in that sphere too. 

Google+, on the other hand...

In contrast, Google+ for me has been very different in the sense that I find interesting people from all over the world. 

To be honest, I did "import" a bunch of my friends on Google Buzz over to Google+ when it launched. My Buzz friends were already geographically spread out through Europe, Asia, and other places. But, Google+ only seems to have continued the trend towards geographic diversity. 

To be clear, I did look for local people to add into local circles. Some came from using the Nearby feature on my mobile device; some came from searching for local city names in profiles. However, the vast majority of people who have circled me are from all over the planet. 

I think this geographic diversity that Google Plus offers is very similar to what Twitter offers. On Twitter, I follow people based on interest more than how I know them. 

The main distinction

Google Plus is something like an RSS feed with interaction. It's like going out into the big city and meeting all kinds of interesting people. It's more of a window to the world than a window to my world. Whereas Twitter has done a great job of connecting people who would otherwise have little in common, using only 140 characters, Google Plus builds on that with additional means of expressing yourself. 

You can write longer posts, add photos, photo albums, video, links, location. You can also segment your view of the world into different circles based on your interests or agenda. And, based on the recent updates by Google Plus, it seems that you will soon be able to turn passive content consumption into actual working groups of people collaborating across geographic lines. It's a synergistic dream. 

With Google Plus, it's not a question of who you know; it's a matter of who you want to know, regardless of where they live. 

Kvetching About Sprint

Motorola i335 by Boost Mobile
I'm still on track to using a feature phone and a tablet rather than a smartphone. I've switched the T-Mobile Nokia for a Motorola i335, which is an iDEN phone on Boost. In case you're confused why I'm kvetching about Sprint, it's because Sprint operates the Boost Mobile network(s?). Boost is in the process of transitioning clients over to CDMA phones from their old iDEN phones. Lately Sprint has been lousy about maintaining the network.

If you recall, Boost Mobile started off as a popular prepaid phone service. What made them popular at the time was that they offered unlimited walkie-talkie calling for $1 per day.

These days, the walkie-talkie feature isn't as popular. This is not because it's not useful; rather, the iDEN network is old technology that is not capable of transferring high speed data, which our smartphones slurp up like nobody's business.

There are still plenty of people who use iDEN phones to communicate abroad or with their workforce. Contractors still use iDEN phones to communicate with their crews.

I own an iDEN phone because I still find it useful to chirp somebody up on a spare phone I have when I'm working on a project. It's just faster. While, I can technically call other people using unlimited minutes, or text them with my unlimited sms, chirps are instant... and also unlimited.

One thing that Sprint did well for the longest time was to maintain good iDEN coverage in my area. Lately, I've been driving through more and more dead zones. Calls drop, messages don't come in or go out. It's inconveniencing me.

I can sort of understand why Sprint isn't keeping the local network up like they used to. They will support the phones until 2013, when they will be phased out completely. According to the grape vine, Sprint will provide walkie-talkie service via CDMA phones capable of talking to old iDEN phones. Naturally, there is little incentive to invest heavily in a technology that will be obsolete soon.

Unfortunately, it's affecting my ability to communicate. I don't like it.

I would switch to a Boost CDMA phone if it could do walkie-talkie; but those aren't due to arrive until Fall.

In the meantime, I'll kvetch about the deteriorating service. Job done.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

There Is No Business Manual For The Aspiring Tech

There are a bunch of smart people who are really into technology of all sorts. Some are computer techs. Some are developers. Some are network specialists. Some are engineers. Others just love technology and have a high aptitude for it. Unfortunately, there isn't a manual that tells you how to make a living from technology.

Everybody who is into computers in some way gets asked to fix a computer for a friend or family member. Things like that, you are a bit shy to price. You're doing them a favor, right?

Once you get a referral to somebody else, you are shy about charging what tech shops or the geeks at a big box store charge just to show up. Obviously, if the person wanted to pay through the nose they'd have gone to one of those places. So, you charge a lower rate.

Perhaps you don't have any certifications or degrees in the field. Maybe you feel you aren't as proficient as others in the technology field. Perhaps you looked at Craigslist and saw that some fools are charging $20 an hour or some ridiculous flat fee for a job that takes many hours.

For whatever reason, you are not charging your clients enough.

The Problems With Not Charging Market Rate

There are a few problems that arise from being shy about charging the market rate, which currently ranges between $80 to $120 per hour.

The first problem with not charging the market rate is that you're seen as a pushover. You're obviously not as confident about your work, so you're willing to charge less to make up for it. Some businesses, the ones you really want as clients, won't hire you if you charge too little. There is obviously something wrong with your skills, they think.

The second problem with not charging market rate is that you end up going from job to job barely making ends meet. You're basically stuck working to pay for going to work. That's not a business, that's slavery.

The third problem with charging too little is that YOU DON'T SCALE. If two or more of your customers have problems at the same time, you can't be at both places. In addition, you don't earn enough to hire somebody to help you out.

The fourth problem with charging too little is that you are stuck with crappy clients. You have to keep working to earn a living and don't have enough money or leisure time to market your services to better clients.

The fifth problem with charging too little is that there is no padding for administrative work. You end up using your family time to catch up on paperwork or accounting.

You'll Eventually Figure It Out

You'll eventually figure out that there is a reason why computer shops and other tech companies charge so much. They need to pay employees, taxes, marketing, training, travel, equipment, insurance, rent, benefits, and on top of that make a profit. Although you as a solopreneur don't have all those expenses, it also means that there are some jobs that are beyond your reach when you charge too little. You can't afford the necessary training to do the jobs.

What it means, ultimately, is that you don't really have a business, you have a job. A business runs whether you show up to work or not. You can get somebody to fill in for you if you're sick or have to take some time off. When you are the only employee, if you don't work, you don't eat.

You should at the very least charge market rate so that you can live off the extra cash on the day or two you don't feel like working. You can't really do that if you are charging too little.

Other Professionals Charge Market Rates

Do you know why attorneys charge $100 per hour or more? They spend a lot of time meeting potential clients who probably don't have a case. They have to pay for all that lost time they spend qualifying customers. They are not afraid to turn people down. Some cases would be a waste of their time and the client's money.

Electricians charge around $60 per hour. Plumbers charge about $80 per hour. They have skills; so do you.

Underselling Yourself

One of the things that well-meaning people will tell you is that you should not sell yourself short. They phrase it in a self-esteem kind of way, that you should value yourself more. They are missing the point. Nobody cares about your feelings.

Providing your services for too little is numerically unwinnable. Forget your stupid self-esteem. You're in this to get ahead in life, to live a decent life. By providing cheap services, you'll only attract cheap customers. Once you're on that train, you can only provide second rate services; you can't afford to awe the customer because they will question all your recommendations and talk you down to band-aid solutions.

That type of customer will pay the market rate without question if their back is against the wall. All you have to do is wait. Plumbers can provide preventive maintenance or inspections; but how much can you charge for just checking things that may or may not have problems? On the other hand, if a pipe bursts and is flooding the building, that same customer is even willing to pay extra for emergency service.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bike Riding With the Boy

I went bike riding with my son earlier this evening. I'm guessing we rode maybe 5 miles. He has been too young to go on bike rides. He is nine years old now. He has mostly ridden his bike around the front of the house, back and forth.

I've always enjoyed bike riding, although lately I haven't done much of it. I took the bike out of storage not too long ago. I have it in the living room of our apartment to make it easier to take out on rides; but, I often get home so late that it would be dangerous to ride in the dark. I do not ride as often as I would like.

Circumstances today made it so that my family and I were home around 5 pm. It was the perfect opportunity to go on a ride with my son. He and I have the only bikes; the toddler has her Dora bigwheel; but, that's not adequate for more than puttering around outside on the sidewalk.

My main concern was that temperatures were still in the upper 90s. Fortunately, there is a big park about 1 mile away from our apartment. From previous bike rides, I know that there are water fountains with cold water. So, I planned to ride there, drink water, and then ride around the park.

When we arrived for our first water break, Magnus was flushed. I may possibly have been the same. We drank and then went off to explore the park with our bikes. It's a relatively new park, which means that there is very little shade; all the trees are still young.

The park has playgrounds, tennis courts, shuffleboard, basketball courts, baseball fields, and a track that may be nearly 2 miles long. They even threw in a duck pond and exercise stations. We discovered all this by riding everywhere.

We stopped at the exercise stations and have come to realize the bad shape our geeky ways have left us. Once upon a time, I could do nearly 30 pull-ups. I could barely do one today. My son did not fare much better. We did better at push ups and sit ups.

We stopped at a water station after completing our exploration and sat for a bit to cool off and rest.

On the way back, we took a less direct path, through the country club roads. Although it's a bit more circuitous, it's safer than the main road.

Just a few moments ago, my wife commented that I wore him out. She hasn't heard the boy snore since he was a baby. I am proud, not so much that I wore Magnus out; rather, I am proud that this may be the beginning of a new activity my son and I can do together. I think we both can stand a little hardening up of our physiques.

Today was a good Dad day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Testing Mindmeister for Android Beta

Mindmeister recently released a beta version of Mindmeister for Android, which I am testing out. The beta is available for a limited time. If you are a fan of mind mapping and have an Android phone, you should give it a whirl. This download version will only be available until September 12.

First Impression

Thus far, I like the experience. The experience so far has been very similar to Thinking Space, another Android mind mapping app, which will be the basis for comparison. Thus far, the beta has worked reliably. I've had one crash while I was syncing all my mind maps. Other than that, no problems.

The Mindmeister app keeps your maps synced with your online maps. Even if you do not have an Internet connection, you can still work on your mind maps, which will be uploaded to the web automatically once your connection is restored. Your maps are organized in folders and provide the same visual experience as the full web version.

Mindmeister for Android also gives you access to practically all the features of the web version. You can create, update, move, delete, and share your maps. Within the map, you can change the style, move nodes around, change themes, make node connections, add notes to nodes, add hyperlinks, and add tasks.

The Tasks option is what really gives the app greater utility as a productivity tool. Mind mapping is good for organizing thoughts; but, in the end, you need to take action. Through the Mindmeister website, you can connect your mind map tasks to your Google Calendar. This is an excellent way to track tasks on multiple projects.

Overall, the Mindmeister for Android app provides a sufficient set of features to make mind mapping on a mobile device useful for organizing thoughts and putting those thoughts into action.

Features I Would Like in Mindmeister for Android

As mentioned earlier, Thinking Space forms the basis of my comparison of Mindmeister. Thus there a some things I was hoping Mindmeister would have. Before starting with that, I will say that both apps are very similar in functionality and features. For example, Thinking Space uses the Mindmeister API to synchronize your mind maps too. Thus, many of the features offered by Mindmeister are available on Thinking Space.

Export Options

Mindmeister does give you a sharing option; but, it is limited to sharing your online mind map. At most, you enter the email address of the recipient. They will receive an email with a link to your mind map. Great for the desktop, not so great for the mobile.

One of the features of Thinking Space I like is the ability to export your mind map in different ways; their app allows you to export your map as a file, an image, as text, or to the cloud. This is a very handy feature, particularly the image export. Images are the lowest common denominator in terms of sharing. You can email the image to anybody. Better yet, I can use the export option for blog post images.

What it comes down to is that I may create a mind map that I want to send to somebody and delete. I don't necessarily want to keep a copy online all the time.

On-screen Toolbar

Another feature that I'd hoped Mindmeister would offer is an on-screen toolbar. The app offers a very Spartan set of features. You can add, delete, re-center, and zoom with the on-screen controls. Everything else needs to be accessed via menu.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Good luck on that additional stimulus, Mr. President

I wish I could have watched the President's speech to Congress tonight. Really, no joke. While I may disagree with him, I keep hoping he will have an epiphany that his political opponents are also his constituents, who are loudly telling government what they want and expect. Congress could take a hint too.

I've read the text of his speech; but didn't really find anything exciting or particularly moving. It is difficult to judge by the text alone. He may have presented it much better than it reads. Thus, I wanted to watch.

Seeing the light?

Here is what I get from the speech. He was opposed to tax cuts; now he isn't. He either knew they would help, and opposed them anyway; or, he really believed he could tax us into prosperity.

Suddenly he also sees the light on overregulation too. Or did he know all along that it is burdensome?
I'm glad he has seen the light; but, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. He says the tax cuts are paid for.

Who do you suppose will pony up the revenue in this plan? Business taxes.

Or the same old thing?

It's the same divisive tactic. People are getting the dangling carrot of lower payroll taxes and other goodies, but only if we get those greedy corporations to pay up what they owe. He is offering to save companies a few dollars on payroll while simultaneously hammering them by taking away other deductions and loopholes.

Something else that stands out from the speech is the heavy emphasis on schools and teachers. While admirable, they are also big union havens, just like the public employee and construction sectors.

What the President is doing, in effect, is specifically carving out freebies to constituencies that would make Republicans hesitant to oppose the Bill. They probably won't oppose the measures; but will add or subtract some.

The Fly Around the Ointment

His only miscalculation is that he's not dealing with a bunch of admirers who will feel inspired to carry out his grand vision as is. He's dealing with Congress. They will hack and butcher whatever he sends them; it is their nature. There will be poison pills in the bill that the President will oppose.

The President will then have to choose between passing a bill he hates, or threatening to veto his own bill, which he would have invested the last of his political capital selling. He seems adept at painting himself into a corner. The fly is circling around the ointment; it's a matter of time before it lands.

If the Republicans were smart, which I'm not saying they are, they would take the President's Bill and dismantle it, passing those things they like individually, and removing those things they do not. This would present too many targets for the President to campaign about. It would muddle his message.

Not a Game Changer

So, in the end, tonight's speech won't be the game changer the President was hoping to pull off. He already broadcast his game plan by demanding Congress pass the bill quickly. All they have to do is pass it in a grotesque, unrecognizable form that the President would be loathe to claim and do it eventually, not immediately.

No doubt, the President's team thinks that they have hit with a master stroke that outsmarts the Republicans. If you've ever watched Pinky & The Brain, you know that Brain has brilliant ideas; but they fall apart due to the simplest and dumbest of reasons.

The longer Congress delays on passage of the Bill, the less effective the President will be seen. Timeliness is crucial to the President's plan. Congress need not delay 14 months, they need only delay until the Fall when people will be thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Superbowl, March Madness, etc... The public will stop paying attention at that point.

The President's urgent pleas to Congress have revealed his hand. Expect that to be the undoing of the master plan.


Politico has an post showing concern that the bill will be broken up

Friday, September 02, 2011

Why In-Person Appointments Waste Time

Meeting people in person is often a major time-waster. Technology allows us to call people on the phone, text them, send emails, collaborate through online shared spaces, videoconference, and recently "hang out". There is a mismatch between what is possible and what people are actually doing. 

One of my biggest pet peeves is when somebody wants to meet because they don't want to tell me something over the phone. Another pet peeve is somebody who doles out assignments one at a time; just give me a damned list with deadlines and leave me alone. As long as you get results, who cares how or when the job is done?

As a for-hire IT guy, I somewhat understand why many people don't take advantage of technology. They don't take the time to figure out how to use technology to do things. To be very blunt, there is no reason to remain ignorant in the age of Google. There are tons of how-to posts everywhere. You can download manuals to almost anything. I see it as a lack of desire to be efficient. 

Going back to meetings, they are a big waste of time. Meetings not only take the time allotted, they take driving time to get to the meeting place, they take driving time to return from whence you came, and they take time plan and digest. Your little 15 minute meeting could easily take 2 hours out of productivity for each person attending. If you were to simply email, call, or teleconference, we'd get more done. 

However, when one person refuses to invest 30 minutes to learn a new technology, that person costs many multiples of that amount in other peoples' time driving over to meet the luddite. The occasional meeting is fine, in person; not every damned meeting. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Already Freaking Out About 2012

Lately, I've been pressuring myself to find a calendar to help me start planning 2012. I know, I know, it's only September 2011; there is plenty of time. 

Theoretially, you are right. There is plenty of time to plan ahead. However, I am engaged in various projects and activities that demand my time, some which reach into 2012. I need to block time off way in advance so that I can mentally prepare. 

I somewhat use electronic calendars. Having an Android device is good in the sense that it updates my online calendar, and vice versa, automatically. However, electronic calendars simply do not work with the way my brain operates. I need a physical calendar. 

Earlier tonight, I got my fix of productivity porn over at Plannerisms. This afternoon, I made a trip to Wal-Mart to see what they have in terms of calendars; my current one came from there. It's adequate; but, it's not quite as good as the Uncalendar. I've been wanting a calendar ever since I realized that my plans extend beyond December 2011. 

The great thing about Uncalendars is that they are undated. This can be a pain if you sit down and enter all the necessary dates. Here is a video of the Uncalendar.

While I was at the store, I did consider a page-per-day planner that I saw. Plannerism's latest post discusses some of the benefits of a day per page planner. For me, the key advantage is that I write a lot of notes in a day. So, having a full page for my day is beneficial in that it gives me plenty of latitude for planning and noting, which turns into a journal of sorts. 

I still use Evernote, it helps me tremendously; but, it mainly helps rid me of stuff that would otherwise create clutter. In other words, it's great for archiving. But, when it comes down to planning ahead and working in the here and now, paper is still king. 

I realize there is still time to get a 2012 planner; but, it will be here sooner than we realize. I don't want to settle for whatever calendar I can pick up. I want something I will enjoy the whole year. 

Blogger blocks excessive posting

A while ago, I tried uploading a blog post via Android App. The upload kept failing. Not to be deterred, I deleted the app and reinstalled, to find no better success.

I thought that perhaps I could email the post to Blogger. That did not work either. The email bounced back with the following:
Technical details of permanent failure:You have exceeded the the allowable number of posts without solving a captcha.
This happened because I imported quite a few blog posts from another blog I discontinued just yesterday. It has been less than 24 hours since the import. It makes sense. I'm rather certain the captcha speedbump is also why the mobile app refused to publish my posts.

The problem can be circumvented if you post directly on the Blogger site and solve the captcha. This problem will likely resolve in the next few hours and all will be right with the universe once more.

Balance in the Universe

The universe seems to balance out. In one sense, it is great. Whenever bad stuff happens, good things happen to balance it out, if you are receptive. Unfortunately, you must equally fear good fortune because of the certain doom that proceeds.

I got some bad news earlier today, regarding finances. It will cause a bit more struggle to make ends meet. Of course, I'm stressing out a bit; but, good news has presented itself already. There is work available to help me adjust. I also had the inklings of a disaster plan in the back of my mind. There will be a little pain; but I'll get over it.

There is the philosophical question of fearing happiness when the universe balances itself. Enjoy the good times to the utmost; they will carry you through the tough times.

If Government Creates Jobs, What Jobs Would They Create?

The President is going to make a big speech about Congress setting aside their differences and taking action to create jobs in our country. I generally agree, in terms of economics, that the Government does not create jobs. There is no amount of legislation that will create a job. But, if the Government were to create jobs, they are not the kinds of jobs they are attempting to create. So, what jobs can the feds create?

The Government cannot simply will manufacturing jobs into existence by passing a law. If people are not buying products, there is no point manufacturing them. If we are not exporting products, there is no point manufacturing them.

The Government at this point cannot spur the service industry. With so many unemployed and wage-cut workers out there, people are choosing to cut back on expenses as much as possible. This includes dining out, entertainment, shopping, etc...

If the Government could create jobs, they would be related to the core function of Government. One such core function is maintaining a military. They could step up efforts to recruit new soldiers. Some really nice pay raises and benefits packages could allure more people to enlist. Not only do they serve their country, they learn valuable skills that make them an asset to the workforce after their enlistment ends. Instead, Government is cutting the military budget.

The Government is also responsible for dispensing justice. The judiciary is swamped with litigation and criminal cases. The Feds could increase the number of courts to expedite justice. They would hire more judges to hear more cases, which in turn would mean that attorneys would have more billable hours, there would be more court reporters, more stenographers, more bailiffs, more secretaries, more of everything judicial. The great thing about this is that legal work is not cheap. The Feds would be liberating a bunch of money to flow through the economy wherever courts are located. Unfortunately, there are plenty of empty benches with no chance of being filled during the current political stalemate. Creating more courts would only result in more empty courts.

The Government is also responsible for things like Interstate highways and operating post offices. So, theoretically, the Federal Government could create more jobs, if those jobs are within its core functions. Outside of that, you can lead a horse to water, and so on.

Unfortunately, they cannot even create those types of jobs effectively. Every paycheck the Federal Government provides is with borrowed money. Every social security check is with borrowed money. Every road project, post office, courthouse, and federal building is running on borrowed money. This is problematic because they are spending everything they take from us, and spending some more that we haven't earned yet.

So, even if the Federal Government were to create jobs that are a part of its core functions as I have suggested, they would be taking money out of the economy and putting it back in. It keeps people busy, which I suppose is a good thing to distract them from realizing that we aren't prospering.

I don't expect that whatever "jobs program" is proposed next week will have a lasting effect. In fact, I'd recommend the Congress take some extra time off, which would have a much more beneficial effect on the economy. All they will accomplish is to freak people out more with additional laws and spending, achieving the opposite effect of what they intended, once the initial cash infusion is spent.