It's not really an illusion as the title might imply, but it is fun geometry:
We went shopping yesterday.
We spent about $150 at the grocery store, including buying 7 cartons of pop and two plants.
Then we went to the liquor store, where we spent over $450.
That probably reveals a great deal about our priorities.
I saw this back in August when it first came out, and I see it's making the rounds again on Facebook. Here's the list, but I'm adding my own comments and observations:
1. People asking you to say ‘aboot ‘ for them.
I have never had this happen to me, but maybe that's because I moved here from the US over 40 years ago. However, for my non-Canadian friends, let me add that it seems to me most Canadians do NOT say "aboot" instead of "about". Many say something that seems like a cross between "a-boat" and "aboot" though.
2. Having roads in our potholes.
We have a seriously frequent freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw series of cycles, and they do, indeed play havoc with the streets.
3. Accidentally setting your keyboard to French and not realizing for the longest time.
Been there. Done that.
4. When I Travel Abroad, Locals Think I’m American.
Maybe that's because I am/was, originally from the US. I make sure I have a Canadian flag on my shoulder bag, and I often have one on my jacket as well. But I think this is a less pressing situation now than it was back during the Vietnam war.
5. When I Type ‘?,’ It Comes Out As ‘É’
Crap! Yes, and on a previous computer it seemed to happen all the frickn time!
6. Constantly getting duds when it’s roll up the rim season.
This is reference to the Tim Hortons "lottery". For my response, see this.
7. Uses Canadian Spelling… Gets Corrected By U.S. Spell-Checker.
Happens all the time. I try to set the spell-checker for UK-Canadian, but that's rarely an option. And of course I bugger things up with my self-amused spellings like Vancouvre, sobre, and eagre.
8. Asks For A Double-Double… U.S. Cashier Doesn’t Understand.
Never happens to me. I don't drink coffee with double sugar, double cream, and I rarely order coffee in the US.
9. Paid $1.98 Charge With A Toonie… Got No Change.
I'm proud of this! We got rid of the flippn penny, and I played a role in its demise! See the articles here. btw, a toonie is a two-dollar Canadian coin.
10. Shipping within the US: free. Shipping internationally: 3 BILLION DOLLARS.
No foolin'! I can't wait for even freer trade between the two countries.
11. Panicking at the scent of burnt toast.
What's this about? All I can think of is the number of times smoke alarms have gone off because of burnt toast. But actually I think it has to do with Wilder Penfield.
12. Just Got Netflix… U.S. Selection Is WAY Better.
... but there are ways around this problem, according to several friends.
13. If you pronounce the second ‘t’ in Toronto, you obviously don’t live in Toronto.
After living in Canada for a year, I started spelling it "Trono". It's pronounced TRAH-nah.
14. Tim Horton’s withdrawel while abroad.
I guess some Canadians have this. I don't much care what coffee I drink, though, so this doesn't affect me at all.
15. Wearing heavy-duty winter boots to school and looking like a hoser all day.
Yeah, or wearing them to the office. But I have what I call my "studly" boots, too.
16. 3 second milk ads that leave you wondering what just happened.
They went by so fast, I can barely remember them.
17. Being asked if you ski to work.
Never happened, not even in jest. But there were times when I probably should have skied to work or even to the store or the lunch counter.
18. Your international friends and family visit the other side of Canada but still expect to see you.
Yup. Three related points:
- Someone once asked me, "How big a city is Canada?
- I was once at an event in Kansas where they gave a prize for someone who had come the farthest to the event. They insisted on giving me the prize, even though someone was there from Hawaii.
- A UK friend who knows the geography of Canada very well took the train across Canada from Vancouvre just to visit us. In this case, she knew what she was doing and relished it.
19. Wildly overestimating the price with tax, just to be safe.
Yup again. We have a non-hidden value-added tax in Ontario of 13% on most purchases. So when something is priced at $60, my tendency is to guess that's about $70-$75. That way I'm not too shocked or disappointed with the final bill.
20. Travelling to England means that half of your luggage is filled with plug adapters.
I did this the first year I taught at the Badr International Studies Centre in Herstmonceux, England. I carried only a few after that, but I still had some for the continent, too, since their outlets were different. Lord bless computers that don't seem to care what the power source is!
21. Ooh, 15 cents. That’s really helpful Canadian Tire.
The history here is that Canadian Tire (a major retailer in Canada) gives out "Canadian Tire money" [i.e. loyalty programme rewards] with cash purchases. Lots of people have lots of 4-cent or whatever Canadian Tire "dollars" floating around. I don't. I use their Mastercard when I shop at Canadian Tire, and that keeps track of my Canadian Tire dollars for me. When asked if I want to use the money, my response is usually, "Yes, I don't want to die without using it." Well, I say that to myself anyway.
22. “I have a friend named ______ in Vancouver, do you know them?”
I have never heard this, but it reminds me of something BenS used to say: "Oh, you're John Palmer from London, Ontario.... are you by any chance related to John Jones from there?" It was his bizarre sense of humour.
23. Salt stains on everything in the winter.
Good grief, yes! I experienced this in my youth in Michigan, but it is really serious here.
24. Fahrenheit is a confusing and impenetrable mystery.
Not for me. I was raised on Fahrenheit, and Canada didn't switch to Celsius until the mid-1970s. I have slowly adapted to Celsius. But as regular readers of EclectEcon know, I frequently assert that C means Canadian, F means Foreign.
25. Need to fake an American zip code because there isn’t a postal code box.
Been there. Done that. Sworn about it.
26. “And remember class, it must be by a Canadian.”
I don't recall ever having insisted on this. However, I sort of did this the one term that I taught Canadian Economic History.
27. The air hurts my face. Why am I living where the air hurts my face.
I don't know HOW many times Ms Eclectic and I have said this to each other.
28. Having to take your mitts off in the winter to text someone back.
So true! so true! I have the kind of mitts that fold back, exposing bare fingers. But I wear phone-compatible gloves under the mitts. This combination really came handy the last time I was living/working in Regina SK
29. “What’s your background?” I’m Canadian. “no, before that.”
Unlike when the political and social climate in Canada was so strongly anti-US when I arrived in the early 1970s, I have no qualms about saying I'm originally from the US. After all, I have lived in Canada considerably longer than I lived in the US.
30. The calories in poutine. Seriously, the stuff tastes like heaven.
Is this an indicator I'm not a true Canuck? I don't like poutine. However, one of our favourite restaurants makes poutine with onion rings instead of fries, and that's pretty tasty.
A few days ago I did some snow stomp art and was quite disappointed when the wind distorted and muted the results of much of my effort. [See this]
Tonight the temperature began to rise -- dramatically. I looked out at the snow stomp art, and the patterns come through wonderfully! They may not be there tomorrow morning, so I'm posting these photos now:
I was sitting around this evening with Ms Eclectic and our Regina granddaughter. Ms Eclectic was basically ragging on me about my immaturity and quoting to our granddaughter some of the things I often say (she laughs and knows I say them in jest):
And after the last one, our granddaughter (in her 20s) muttered, "I don't want to grow up either."
A special chip off the old block!
We received about 2-3 inches of snow last night, with very little wind. Also, the temperatures were only a few degrees below zero. It looked like a perfect day to go out to the lawn in front of our condo building and do my biggest ever creation of snow stomp art.
Before I began, I had in mind some random paisley patterns with psychedelic swirling in the background. This would be my first go at non-representational snow stomp art, and I was keen to see what would emerge. [For some of my earlier work, see this, this, this, this, and this,
Things got off to a good start. Ms Eclectic took some photos of my early progress:
As you can see, I used snowshoes for this project. They added to the texture, something I was looking for (vs using snow boots, as I had generally used in previous creations). Snowshoes are more difficult to work with in many ways, but they add enough to make the workout worthwhile.
I doubt the paisley patterns would have looked the way I wanted if I had been in just my snowboots.
Here you get a sense of the paisley patterns and swirling fill effect for which I was striving:
The side steps were grueling. A great workout!
Above and below you get a better sense of what I hoped to create.
Putting some final touches in before breaking for lunch:
When we returned from lunch, the wind had picked up seriously. I was nearly in tears as I strove to complete the project before the wind destroyed it all. Here are some photos, but it is clear the project just didn't make it. I was freakn devastated.
Over the holidays, my older son (David Ricardo Palmer) told us that if we put a circle on the floor, the cat where we were all chatting would go sit in it. He showed us all the images here of cats sitting in circles or hexagons.
So we decided to try it. We got some duct tape and put a hexagon on the carpet.
The cat at that place would have nothing to do with the hexagon. It may have sniffed at it once or twice, but that was about it.
However, the daughter of my younger son (Adam Smith Palmer) went right to the hexagon and stood in the middle:
We all had a good laugh about how the hexagon was more of a toddler trap than a cat trap.
But the laughing stopped when they finally got around to lifting the tape a few days later. Much of the adhesive was stuck to the carpet and the adhesive residue began collecting dirt. :-( You can see the outline in this photo.
Fortunately it looks as if several goes at the adhesive with GooGone has cleaned it up pretty well.
So if you're going to try cat circles on your own, maybe use a rope or something.... or at least remove the tape before people have walked on it for several days.
Lately on Facebook, I have seen a number of repostings of a video in which some people quickly set up a fake gravesite on someone's lawn and proceed with a religious ceremony. The video includes the shocked and puzzled reactions of the homeowners. [No, I will NOT post a link to the video.]
It is all a variation on the old theme of Candid Camera: do something mean or cruel to unsuspecting people and watch (laugh at) their reactions.
I always felt uneasy about Candid Camera and didn't much care for it.
It is a sick form of humour. It is a power play that says, "I can do something to you and laugh at you."
It is a low form of humour that gets its jollies from putting other people down or putting them on the spot.
And it isn't funny.
I used to love shopping during the holidays. People always seemed in such good spirits.
I'd often make of point of going out on December 24th even if I didn't want anything just to exchange smiles and chuckles. At first I thought I'd just laugh at all the people who had put off buying their gifts, but actually it looked to me as if most of those folks were having a good time too.
And it has become a family tradition for me to go out to Walmart and the malls with my older son, David Ricardo Palmer, and his daughters as soon as the stores open on Boxing Day (December 26th). We rarely buy much. We have all the Christmas decorations and paraphenalia we want, and there isn't much else we're keen on fighting over. So we go out, wander through the stores, and have lots of fun shopping and laughing together.
This year two things have been different:
I love shopping, especially when other shoppers are in good spirits.
Once many years ago I read the hypothesis that methane from dinosaur farts caused climate change. Here's a link suggesting the same thing.
Now recent research tells us that the growing population of beavers in marshes is also contributing to greenhouse gases [via Jack]:
“It has long been known the release of methane from beaver ponds is more intense than for other types of wetlands. With the species’ re-establishment and population growth in regions where beavers have been introduced, we set out to quantify whether the methane produced would be large enough to be significant...”
“We found that valuable habitat area has been established by beavers over the last century,” Mr. Whitfield said.
“While this habitat contributes to the global methane gas emissions, the magnitude of this methane source is lower than many other natural sources and unlikely to be a dominant climate change driver.”
Contributing? Yes, but not much apparently.
It seems I am not the only person to think "Socks are the new neckties". [Also see this]. Apparently the sales of socks are going through the roof this Christmas season. From the NatPost [ht Brian Ferguson],
Unwrapping a pair of socks is no longer met with suspiciously overwrought squeals of excitement and half-hearted thank yous. The stigma is gone: go forth and stuff your stockings with mountains of colourful socks. ...
Some thoughts on design from the article:
Aesthetically, designs should be bright, able to match with a variety of outfits and instantly recognizable.
“Bacon-print socks were very popular this year, but some of them aren’t at all identifiable. That’s a problem,” Wright says.
“We keep in mind that people on the street don’t see the entire sock — just that small space on the ankle. The colours in that area have to be to be bold and prints have to be iconic,” Cohen explains.
Moreover, patterns that appear great laying flat don’t always look so hot on actual feet and ankles. “The design process takes anywhere from three to four months. You have to get your head around the fact that the socks are going to be cylindrical.” Kogan says. “Making socks is unlike any other form of design.”
One of several photos from the article:
From my own collection:
What began as an annual tradition several decades ago. Here it is again in response to many requests. You'll have to click on the link to get to it. Merry Christmas.
You won't want to miss it.
Last week I read a discussion on Facebook in which professors speculated about how many students would attend class on the Friday before Thanksgiving.
I thought Thanksgiving was on Thursday and then many/most people not in the retail business also got the next day, Friday, off. Schools closed for both Thursday and Friday, and people traveled for the four-day holiday.
But, nope, these folks were talking about the Friday before Thanksgiving. They were discussing schools and work environments in which people get an entire week off for a Thanksgiving holiday. A week to give thanks? A week to shop? A week to catch up on schoolwork and write overdue term papers? I was puzzled.
Then over this past weekend, we were visiting our son (Adam Smith Palmer) and his family in Houston. Well, son-of-a-gun. The entire public school system there is shut down for all of Thanksgiving week. Why? What is the explanation?
Sure, it is nice to have more time off work (I'm mostly retired; believe me, I know!). At the same time, parents who do not get the entire week off must scramble to find daycare and other activities for their children for the first three days of the week.
And, of course, if students at university are given a three-day weekend or a week off (we had something called "reading week" or, euphemistically, "slack week" in February at UWO when I taught there) inevitably many students leave on the Friday or even Thursday preceding the week off from classes. I have even had parents call me to beg for mercy for their students when I scheduled an exam the last day before a holiday because the parents had booked tickets to some resort, leaving a few days before classes ended.
And people wonder why US productivity hasn't grown.... Sheesh, I feel like a curmudgeonly old codger.
In November 2013, one of the urinals near the economics department at The University of Regina was dedicated to my memory. I was honoured:
I really expected someone there in the admin to be upset (or at least not amused) and was surprised that the plaque was still in place when I visited the university last month to give a seminar.
Yesterday a former colleague from the University of Regina wrote me that the plaque has disappeared. I'm disappointed but not surprised.
Well, we have been on Daylight Savings Time (except in Saskatchewan) for about 7 months. It is now time for us to change our clocks (in Saskatchewan, change our television viewing patterns) for the next five months or so. Set 'em back tonight before you go to bed or tomorrow morning after you get up.
If that has been "daylight savings" I guess we now move on to daylight wasting time.
A discussion with Facebook friends led to this pair of queries:
Some preferred contracting ebola, with the expectation they would be cured.
Others mentioned sizable alimony from Kim.
But some still said there are fates worse than death, and marriage to Kim would be one of those.
Fifty years ago I was content with the concept of an infinite universe --- infinite in time and space. Then I started learning about expansion, deflation, the big bang, string theory, parallel universes, 11 dimensions, criticisms of string theory, etc.
I was shaken from my contentedness by the turmoil and uncertainty of it all. Ms Eclectic and I began reading more and watching more PBS-type television programmes about cosmology. I cannot even pretend to understand the mathematics and all the physics of cosmology [mired, as I am, in my basic Newtonian world outlook which struggles for even/especially/only an intuitive grasp of relativity and quantum physics], but I love trying to understand cosmology.
And so it is with pleasure and delight that I read this article [via RalphK]. It doesn't really help me understand cosmology any better, but it is a fascinating expansion of human knowledge about the earth, the Milky Way, and the universe.
[O]ur galaxy is a mere speck in a larger structure, which was just revealed for the first time by a group of scientists who created a map of more than 8,000 galaxies in an effort to understand where they fit in the universe.
The team placed the Milky Way on the outskirts of a massive, previously unknown galaxy super-cluster scientists have named Laniakea, from the Hawaiian words for "immeasurable heaven."
The finding, reported in this week's issue of the journal Nature, stems from a new mapping technique that combines not only the distances between more than 8,000 nearby galaxies, but also their motion as the universe expands and galaxies are pulled through space by gravity.
It sort of looks as if we're in suburbs of Laniakea:
Note that this is a two-dimensional map of what is surely 3 or 4 (or more?) dimensions. Where were these galaxies and other clusters 5 billion years ago? and is this a map of where astronomers think they are now or where they were when they emitted the light we see now?
"Immeasurable Heaven", Laniakea, is a good term. I like it. And I'm thrilled with the increased understanding of the universe even if this understanding means little or nothing to our lives and struggles on earth.
This article is directed toward Bay Street lawyers in Trono, but probably applies in many other situations [ht Raffi]. And even if the advice doesn't work for all jobs, the overall direction of the advice might be useful.
[A]ll of our experts agreed on these finer points of dressing like a fully formed lawyer
- Well-kept facial hair is fine. Just no soul patch. Ever
- When the collars or cuffs start to wear, toss the shirt
- Skip the bow tie
- Always have a blazer hanging on your door (or cubicle wall)
- If you’re going to wear red lipstick, the rest of your makeup should be subtle
- If you’re not interested in fashion, don’t pretend to be. Stick to classic pieces
- If you want to play it safe, don’t wear jeans in your articling year. Not even on Friday
- A little colour goes a long way. Try not to overdo it
- Always err on the side of over- dressed. That way, you’re ready for anything
Subject line and link courtesy of JR (my favourite drug dealer).
And about the subject line? JR's version of schadenfreude. The subject line of the email message he sent with the link was, "Pleasingly displeasing".
These would make excellent gifts for some people, but I haven't seen any on Amazon. ;-)
I'll be in this production of Death of a Salesman playing Charley, the next door neighbour (who seems to be one of the few honest, sane people in the play).
I love this production. The director, Jason Rip, has a terrific perspective which should open some people's eyes. And the cast is amazingly good, especially the two leads: Rob Faust as Willy Loman and Deb Mitchell as Linda Loman.
If you want to come to the $9 preview on the 18th, book tickets early. The other performances are $20, but seating is very limited, so even for those shows it's a good idea to book tickets early. The ticket-booking site is a bit complex because there are two different theatres at the same site, and the other one is doing "Noises Off" (which I'd love to see, if we can work out some way to visit one of their rehearsals).
Questions to consider, for those who know the play:
Performances at Procunier Hall (of the Palace Theatre):
September 18-20 8pm
September 21 2pm
September 24-27 8pm
For tickets, call 519-432-1029
The intersection between economics and psychology is huge, especially in areas of reinforcement, responding to incentives, learning theory, etc. Both disciplines rely heavily on the concept that people respond to incentives.
Psychologists have known for decades that animals also respond to incentives. Witness the early work with dogs [Pavlov] and rats [Skinner, Guthrie, et al.]
But this story about pandas seems almost more like economics [ht Jack]:
A giant Chinese panda has been accused of faking a pregnancy in a cunning bid for free buns.
Ai Hin seemed to display all the signs of an expectant mother, including moving less and initially having a smaller appetite....
However, it seems that Ai Hin had everyone duped and was never pregnant at all.
It seems the panda had learnt that her pregnancy news would see her rewarded with plenty of extra buns.
Wu Kongju, a panda expert told China's state news agency Xinhua that giant pandas are moved into a single room with air conditioning when pregnant.
"They also receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life."
A Facebook friend nominated me to list 10 books that have stayed with me the longest or have changed me in some way. Feel free to list 10 yourselves on your own blogs or in the comments here, and consider this a nomination. I posted this list yesterday on Facebook, but here it is again with links.
1. Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. This book probably did more than anything else to nudge me away from being a socialist toward being a libertarian.
2. Industrial Concentration: The New Learning by Goldschmidt, Mann, and Weston. The collection of papers in this volume pitted the east-coast interventionists against the Chicago-UCLA economists studying industrial organization. I'd been trained as a "Bainsian" by the former, but this book pushed me toward the Chicago/UCLA approach.
3. The Economic Way of Thinking. When I first saw this book in 1984, I fell in love with the approach and later had the opportunity to write the Canadian edition.
4. Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot. I read the entire collection in chronological during my first summer in grad school.
5. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. I think this might have been the first novel I ever read on my own initiative.
6. Rex Stout and Nero Wolfe. Some of the best mystery stories ever written.
7. Summerhill by A. S. Neill. What a bizarre, intriguing approach to education and parenting. I loved it at the time. Not so much now.
8. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffen. As a young white man, this book gave me insights that guided me through much of the rest of my life.
9. The Economic Analysis of Law by Richard A. Posner. I reviewed the first edition of the book in the early 1970s and had my mind blown/altered on so many topics through his careful applications of economics. It is still my go-to book when teaching Economic Analysis of Law.
10a. I'm not sure this qualifies, but I have spent more time with this paperback than with most other books: the pocket score for Dvorak's New World Symphony.
10b. I'd be remiss in not mentioning Bill James' 1984 Baseball Abstract. It put me on the road toward Sabremetrics and becoming a baseball sportscaster.
. . . . . . . . .
There are many FB memes talking about how wonderful mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and sisters are. Despite my apparent addiction to FB, I have yet to see any of these things talking about how wonderful dads, grandfathers, uncles, and brothers are. I always want to post comments, correcting or adding to them, but that would become both tiresome and tiring.
Am I missing the ones mentioning males? Or is there some other explanation?
For several decades when we lived in single-family private dwellings we had natural gas hook-ups installed so we could barbecue year-round with little difficulty. It was terrific.
Three years ago, though, we moved into a condo unit where the natural gas lines cannot be installed to the balconies; we have had to give up the idea of continuing our use of natural gas to barbecue.
Provincial law forbids carrying propane tanks in elevators, and I'm not about to lug one up the stairs to our unit, so propane bbqs are not a good solution.
After several false starts, we finally came across the Dimplex electric grill. Unfortunately, Dimplex seems to have decided not to produce electric grills any longer, but we quite like this one. I hope it lasts a long time.
Recently, we wondered whether we might enjoy using a Cook-Air grill that uses hockey-puck-shaped pieces of hardwood or composite fuel, and so we bought one from our local Lowe's. It does indeed heat up quickly, get amazingly hot, and cook quickly. Also, it cools off quickly and cleans up pretty easily. It would be great for tailgating, for sure.
But we will probably give ours to a family member. It smokes quite a bit, even if you trim off as much of the fat as possible, and I really don't want to impose that externality on our neighbours. And to be honest, I don't want to trim the fat, and I like the smokey flavour. The Cook-Air is probably better-suited to tailgating or places where smoke is less of a problem.
Also, after inquiring, we learned that having a wood-type fire on our balcony (albeit small and very well-contained) might not be consistent with all our condo rules.
So.... for us it's back to the electric Dimplex grill, which has been fine (aside from not really searing the meat and not cooking very fast).
Meanwhile, if you have suggestions that don't involve huge propane tanks, charcoal, or wood, we would be happy to reconsider.
Scott Sumner asks this question in a postscript to this post at The Money Illusion. Here is the postscript:
PS. If you insist on asking parents what they would think of their children doing something, then FOR GOD SAKE DON’T ASK AMERICAN PARENTS. Reason just ran this story:
A whopping 68 percent of Americans think there should be a law that prohibits kids 9 and under from playing at the park unsupervised, despite the fact that most of them no doubt grew up doing just that.
What’s more: 43 percent feel the same way about 12-year-olds. They would like to criminalize all pre-teenagers playing outside on their own (and, I guess, arrest their no-good parents).
Those are the results of a Reason/Rupe poll confirming that we have not only lost all confidence in our kids and our communities—we have lost all touch with reality.
“I doubt there has ever been a human culture, anywhere, anytime, that underestimates children’s abilities more than we North Americans do today,” says Boston College psychology professor emeritus Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn, a book that advocates for more unsupervised play, not less.
I’ve talked to both European and Asian parents about this, and both seem to think American parents are utterly insane in their attitudes toward leaving children unattended. Do we really want to rely on the moral intuitions of crazy people?
So many of my friends and I had pretty much free rein as we grew up. We spent many unsupervised hours at the neighbourhood park, we rode the bus downtown a couple of times a week, and we rode our bikes all over creation. As Scott Sumner writes,
Do we really want to rely on the moral intuitions of crazy people?
I answered all ten questions on this GMAT-type quiz correctly [ht JR]. I wasn't completely thrilled with their explanations of the correct answers, though, particularly when they didn't explain the uses of infinitives and gerunds.
Note: the quiz seems to require that you provide your email address to see the correct answers, so you may not want to waste your time if you're unwilling to do that.
This question was posed by a friend on Facebook.
My first reaction was that I own a couple of slide rules, but I don't think I've used either of them in the past couple of years.
Then I saw some bottles of after shave. I use them rarely and they are pretty old.
I have given away nearly all my books, but I have a few that I acquired back in the 1960s, including a bunch of conductor's scores. But I don't read hard copy books much, if at all, so I don't really use these.
Maybe the oldest thing I acquired myself that I still use (albeit rarely) is a maroon wide-wale corduroy pull-over thing that I bought in Chicago about 1966 or so.
But probably the oldest things that I own and still use are things I inherited: