- On my plane trip home I don't know what was more concerning: 1) Seeing one of the copilots yawn or 2) Seeing a guy in the bathroom pick up and talk on his phone while he was hmm occupied.
- The Alumni basketball game that I was in training for went well. I made two 3s, a layup, and had a few assists for the team that ended up winning by 20.
- The Vikings provided my brother-in-law with a great Christmas gift in rolling over for the now in control Redskins.
- I finished 1st, 3rd, and 3rd in my three fantasy leagues. Now I am debating what to do with my winnings. The top 3 choices are half of a big screen tv, a Playstation 3, or saving most of it. The crazy thing was that I was a total of 6 points away from finishing 1st in all 3 of my leagues.
- I finished Season 4 of 24 and thought that it was the best season I have seen. If I had to rate the seasons in order (I haven't seen all of 6 yet) this would be ranking from best to worst: Season 4, Season 1, Season 3, and Season 2.
- I saw the movie Juno yesterday with some friends and can definitely recommend it to people who are interested in seeing a clever, low budget film. The only problem with it was that it got my friend to continually repeat "As far as (blank) goes she/he is totally boss." The lines in the movie are hilarious, so I guess I can't fault my friend for repeating it so much.
Anyway, on to the meat of the post. I have been discussing with my friends for awhile about a "ranking of the states" post. The original idea came from a discussion with one of my friends from North Dakota. I always like to comment on how North Dakota is kind of like the cold Mississippi and I have no clue why anyone would live there. It seems like there is nothing to do there, no jobs, no sports, and on top of that is freezing cold. If you are going to be in a cold state at least live in a city like Minneapolis where there are things to do, plenty of jobs, and a relatively nice sports scene.
If anybody needs a reason why they should live in Mississippi over North Dakota all one needs to do is check the weather at any given point. For instance I just checked weather.com and it is 20 degrees with a wind chill of 10 degrees in Bismarck, North Dakota. In Jackson, MS it is 50 degrees with a wind chill of 48 degrees. Now there isn't much to do, not many jobs, and no professional sports teams in Mississippi, but at least there is the fact that it is warm. With that being written here are 10 states worse off than North Dakota on my ranking of the 50 states.
*Ranking is based off subjective stats like people (2), vacation (1), weather (1), attractions (1/2), sports (1/2), and state's identity (1/2) and objective stats like jobs (1), intelligence (1/2), disposable income (2), and cost of living (2). The ranking is based on a 10 point scale with 10 points being the best and 1 point being the worst. The ranking is then multiplied by the number in parenthesis and added together to give a total grade. Obviously this ranking should be taken for what it is worth.
50. Vermont: "The Green Mountain State" What is the state known for: Maple Syrup
There isn't much going for this state outside of syrup and intelligence. While both of those are important things I would rather live in state that wasn't as cold, had at least one professional sports team , and also had at least one Fortune 1000 companies. Another thing that isn't in favor of this small state that easily gets confused with New Hampshire is that the disposable income rank is only 22nd while it is 10th most expensive place to live. If only I would have given more weight to intelligence then Vermont with a 34.4% the adult population being college graduates would definitely be higher than a state like West Virginia. Unfortunately for Vermont though I rate weather more important than the intelligence of a state.
49. Maine: "The Pine Tree State" What is the state known for: Lobster
This state was kind of a shock for me since I loved the one and only day I spent in the state. The food was excellent and if I could ever find a way of incorporating the ranking of food in the state then this state would definitely be higher. The problem with Maine is that the weather is awful, there isn't much of a sports scene (minus hockey and who cares about hockey), and it is expensive to live there (14th most expensive) compared to how much you make (35th in disposable income). I am willing to reconsider the ranking of this state though because of the fact that I did really like being there and think it would be a great state for a vacation.
48. West Virginia: "The Mountain State": What is the state known for: Outdoor Activities
While this state was above average in cost of living (7), vacation (6), and weather (7), it was way below average when it comes to sports (2), jobs (1), intelligence (3), and disposable income (1). There are no professional sports teams, a high unemployment rate of 5% with only 1 Fortune 100o company (Wheeling Pittsburgh). and the lowest % of people over 25 with a bachelor's degree or higher at only 15.1%. As much as I enjoyed whitewater rafting on the new river I think this state is better served as an outdoor vacation destination than a place to consider living.
47. Rhode Island: "The Ocean State": What is the state known for: Being the smallest state.
There isn't much to write about the smallest in size (not population where is ranked 43rd) state. According to worldatlas.com the Ocean State's motto is "Hope", so I guess one can only hope that there is something worthwhile about Maude Read Farnum's native state.
46. Oregon: "The Beaver State": What is the state known for: Crater Lake
I have heard good things about both Oregon and more specifically Portland, but this state still managed to find itself in the bottom 10% of the states. The reason for this was high unemployment (5.5%), a high cost of living (12th highest), and a low disposable income (33rd ranked). The gap between disposable income and cost of living (minus 21) was the largest negative gap with the exception of the state ranked at 46.
45. New Mexico: "Land of Enchantment": What is the state known for: Aliens
This state easily could be rated as the worst state and you would find no complaints from me. There isn't much of an identify with the state and there is little to no sports scene. Also, on top of that it has an average cost of living index (ranked 23rd), but the disposable income rank is an awful ranking of 46th out of the 50 states. The strange thing is that the state has a low unemployment rate (3.1%) as well as two Fortune 1000 companies, which would seem to suggest a higher disposable income rank. Apparently though, the land of enchantment whose motto is "It grows as it goes" hasn't done enough of growing the wages of its employees.
44. Montana: "The Big Sky State" What is the state known for: The big sky
This state looks like a perfect example of a state that would be great to vacation at (Glacier National Park), but not the best state to live. There doesn't seem like there is much to do in this cold, large (4th largest state), and poor state.
43. Wyoming: "The Equality State" What is the state known for: Yellowstone
The disposable income rank of 9th (37K, which is between Virginia and Delaware) was surprising for the state with 1/36th population of metro New York City, but I guess when then aren't many people (only 500K) then it only takes a few rich ones to increase your ranking.
42. Idaho: "The Gem State" What is the state known for: Potatoes
The song of Idaho is "Here We have Idaho", but really it should be "Here we have jobs in Idaho." The state has the lowest unemployment % of any states as 97.5% of people in Idaho have jobs. Also, 3 Fortune 1000 companies have their headquarters in the Gem State. Now if only this resulted in a better disposable income (ranked 44th) then we would see Idaho ranked higher.
41. Michigan: "Wolverine State" What is the state known for: Cars
As the domestic car market has gone, so has the economy in the state known for cars. Unemployment in Michigan is at a staggering 7.7%, which makes it 1.6% points worse than the next state. The weather is bad and now that I have a few more Ohio St. connections I can't say many nice things about the people either. I guess if I don't have anything nice to write, I will just end this post on the worst 10 states by writing nothing at all.