May 27, 2009

Drip Drip

I biked to class yesterday in the rain; as the old Corps saying goes, "If it ain't rainin', we ain't trainin'!" It wasn't all that bad; I had a nice jacket and it wasn't raining all that hard.

(The jacket I borrowed from Dad when I was in Illinois for Grandma's memorial service. I have since forgotten to return it.)

Class was nice enough, I chatted with the instructor afterwards (he told me "If you're not a history major, you should switch!"), cycled home through the drizzle, ate a late dinner and went to bed. This morning I got up and unloaded my backpack, so I could file my notes into my class binder.

I take notes on a clipboard, writing with a fountain pen. I love the writing feel of the pen, so much smoother then a ball-point. Today, though, I had cause to regret my decision. It seems my backpack's zipper is not waterproof. And my ink is water-soluable. So my class notes from yesterday are six pages of unintelligable smear.

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May 23, 2009

Don't Take the Marshmallow

I just read an utterly interesting article about self-control; researchers tested young children's ability to resist gratification, and discovered that those who could delay had dramatically better life-time achievment, avoided drug use, et cetera et cetera.

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May 21, 2009

Biathlon

The bike shop's about three miles away. That's the distance of the Physical Fitness Test, so I figured I'd run it rather than drive it; get my bike, and ride home.

Annoyingly, it's 80° today, and I ran into a headwind the whole way there. The ride home was nice, though; smooth-rolling "urban" tires to replace the offroad ones, new bearings, and trued wheels. The bike's in fine shape. As for me, I'm tired enough I'm not looking forward to riding to class this evening.

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May 20, 2009

Bert's Bike Shop

The bike repairs are actually going to be almost two hundred dollars, as the shop pointed out the dry rot on the tires, and talked me into replacing the handgrips, where were foam, said foam having been in bad shape since I was in high school.

I dropped the bike off at the local shop today in the early afternoon, and was told it'd be done by Friday. Apparently that was a rather liberal estimite, because when I got back from class just now, I had a phone message that my bike was done and ready for pickup. Perhaps most people got their bikes fixed a few weeks ago, when the weather just became nice.

At any rate, while they are still open, I think I'll go get the bike tomorrow morning. Riding to class every day should be fun, and good excercise that's easier on my knees than jogging.

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May 18, 2009

Bike Shop

I've decided to get my old bike repaired, instead of buying a new one. The necessary repairs should be about a hundred dollars, which is much less than a new bike. Plus the excercise will be good for me, and I'll save much gas from not having to drive to class.

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May 17, 2009

Little Punks

I visited my mother this weekend. Saturday, I left my car in her driveway but forgot to lock the driver's side door. Sunday, all the loose change I keep in a cupholder was gone.

I suspect children because the thief didn't open the glove box and take my GPS and all my CDs.

So while the monetary loss is trivial, I'm kind of annoyed on the principle of the thing.

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May 14, 2009

Robin

There is a huge bush right outside my back window, and next to my back door. Yesterday and today, a pair of robins built a very fine nest in there. So to recap, I've got swallows at the front door, and robins at the back.

I'll give them a few days to get comfortable, then you can expect to start seeing lots of bird photos.

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Grades Are In

I got three As, an A-, and a B-. The bad one was in Statistics, to my lack of surprise.

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Taking Losses

In the Corps, I was one of the guys in the unit that people went to with financial questions, because I could explain stocks and bonds and mutual funds. I always refused to directly recommend any stock, other than "a broad-based index mutual fund."

But I ignored my advice, and bought some Citigroup shares, because banks have consistently made money every year since the end of the Great Depression, and most of them made money during that time, too.

Today I gave up and sold my position in Bank of America, which "aquired" Citi after it imploded. My Citi investment has lost approximatly 98.5% of its value in the last two years.

And this is why I don't recommend individual stocks to people. (The only good news is that I will likely sell some stock to pay for college, and I can offset capital gains with the capital loss on Citi.)

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May 12, 2009

Swallows

There's a swallow's nest on my porch lamp, seen here. I was thrilled when I started seeing swallows last week, as they have migrated back to Buffalo.

My happiness has been tempered by the realization that those swallows are presumably the culprits crapping all over my car on a daily basis.

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