Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Same Old Thing

I've decided that I like work a lot more than school. However, I also know that I don’t want to work there forever, hence going to school. Today I drilled holes into a ton of catalogs, cleaned up the 3-hole drilling machine, and moved around heavy boxes while throwing others out. It wasn’t bad, I got to listen to the radio (mostly Bryan Suits) and talk to interesting people.

I also got to use Rich’s scanner to scan the first 200 pages of my organizational management book. Having all of my textbooks on my USB drive and reading them on the computer is much more desirable than lugging them around all day. This is the last of my books to scan and I’m 1/3 done already. As long as I get the chapters scanned before we need them for class Trebone will be happy since we’re sharing books; so I have to send him the scans.

Ran 5K on the treadmill at varying speeds going a few seconds over 30 minutes. That was spread between running and walking. Run fast for a few minutes, then walk to keep my average speed just over 6 miles per hour. Now I’m off to start my reading for organizational management as we have our first midterm tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Quote of the Moment:
“If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job. The kind robots will be doing soon.”

Monday, October 22, 2007

String Theory

No, this doesn’t have much to do with quantum physics. Rather, there is a string strung across my neighborhood. We noticed it on Saturday and saw that it went over my house and behind it as far as we could see. We walked around the block, to the other side of the ravine behind my house and found it high above the trees and the power lines. A few blocks farther north we found its end. It’s a greenish string, probably nylon, and it was fairly tight. The end we found was tangled in some bushes along the road, in front of someone’s house.

We decided to search for the other end so we started hiking up the street again. Nearly ten blocks from the end we lost track of the string as it was getting dark. Thus we gave up the search. Yesterday my dad and I set out to find the rest of the string so we went south to the last place I had seen it, and found it again easily. We went another few blocks south before we lost it again due to lack of light.

Today after work my dad set out to find the other end of this string. He plotted its position on a map and set out to find the rest of it. He finally found the other end nearly a mile from our house near an old school. The weird part was that it was pulled tight, was strung above everything, and was so thin. I wouldn’t have expected a string that thin to be able to be that long. Our best theory is that it was once attached to a small kite that broke, but I don’t know who would attach more than a mile of string to a kite, considering it isn’t usually windy enough around here for kite flying.

School was the same old thing. I had my Managerial Economics midterm today, which wasn’t too bad. It might have been even easier if I’d actually read the textbook, but that’s usually a waste of time. The rest of the day was pretty boring and I could not stay focused in class. I think there’s only 6 weeks left and I’m thankful for that. I have two more midterms this week though, and I’m probably going to have to study for at least one of them.

Saturday was the World Bible Quiz Evergreen tournament. There were 12 teams form several different denominations competing. Our team by far had the biggest disadvantage as our rules are the most dissimilar from the WBQA rules. And we use hand-pad buzzers in our quizzing while every other league uses seat pads, another disadvantage for us. So naturally getting anything above last place would be an accomplishment. We quizzed 7 rounds before lunch which put us in 9th place. After lunch was a single elimination tournament. We competed against the 10th and 11th place teams and beat them without much problem. Somehow we managed to win the next two rounds which put us into the semi-finals. We were losing most of that round as well, but managed to tie for first place, which we took in overtime to win by 20 points. That put us into the final round. We lost that round pretty horribly like 10 to 200 to 120 or something like that. Oh well, I was going to be happy with anything better than last place. But my teammates abandoned me right after that last round was over since they wanted to go to a concert. Therefore Brenda and I were the only ones left from our team to go up and receive our trophy and medals. It was pretty funny.

I got no running in on Saturday, and on Sunday my legs were still sore from the seatpad quizzing. And I was pretty exhausted so I didn’t run then either. I guess two days in a row is my worst so far and I have no intention of making it three in a row so I’m going to go for a jog in a little while. Wow, that’s about a full page of text, so I’m quitting now.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Why Not Prision?

I saw this video on Andrews-Dad's blog a few days ago. It chronicles only a few reasons as to why Hillary Clinton should be in jail right now instead of touring the country to run for President. Some of the details I had heard before, but others were new information to me. But thanks to having family friends appointed to the justice department she didn't get convicted of anything criminal. Instead she was elected to the Senate.

I didn't get in a run on Tuesday because I was too busy studying. Wednesday I got in a 20 minute run at 6.7 miles per hour. Yesterday I got in a 21 minute run at 6.8 miles per hour. Today I plan on walking 2-4 miles as I need my legs well rested for WBQA tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

And I Thought the RIAA was Bad

  Apparently in Britain it is considered piracy to allow someone else to listen to your radio. Apparently a auto shop is being sued for £200,000 because the mechanics turned on their radios and had them loud enough that they “could be heard by colleagues and customers.” The Performing Rights Society is suing because they consider allowing others to listen to a personal radio to be the same as online music piracy. I might be able to accept this case if they were suing those jerks who blast the radios in their cars loud enough to drown mine out; those people should get their £200,000 fine and probably be shot as well.

If it’s illegal to allow other people to listen to a personal radio, shouldn’t the radio station be at fault for enabling people to share the music by broadcasting it over the airwaves? It seems that precedent is saying that enabling others to download music is enough to ding you for piracy. I’ve already heard the MPAA claim that you should have one copy of a movie for EVERY person who is watching it on your TV or you’re a movie pirate. Now the PRS is claiming that you need a radio for everyone who wants to listen. What’s next? Are publishers going to start suing libraries for lost sales since many of us check books out rather than buying them from the bookstore?
Here’s the story if you want to read it.

Random Quote:
“The reason elephants are endangered and cows are not is because cows are generally considered private property and thus are conserved. Whereas elephants are wild animals and considered public property; then are hunted for their ivory.” -Juan Gomez (my Managerial Economics professor)
I think it might have to do with cows being raised for food because they are slower and taste better than elephants, but I haven’t eaten elephant yet so I can’t confirm this.

Monday, October 15, 2007


So yesterday I spent the entire afternoon partying with family. My sisters wanted Italian food so we had various flavors of spaghettis, raviolis, meatballs, and breads. For dessert we had apple pie and pumpkin-spice cheesecake.

Since my sisters are big fans of DDR I went to Game Stop to see which versions they had cheap. I found DDR Extreme 2 used for $40 and was tempted to get it, before I saw that they had it new for $30. The guy at the counter even asked me if I wanted to get the used one for a mere $10 more.

So near the end of the party we were playing DDR for a while, and my legs were really getting tired. I counted that as my workout for the day as playing it on harder modes is more physically demanding than running.

School today was more of the same old boring stuff. I fought to stay awake all day. My economics teacher made a big deal about Leonid Hurwicz winning the Nobel prize, as Hurwicz was his game theory professor in college. They also had an ice cream giveaway at school as a ploy to meet the UW Chancellor, who I think I met but didn’t know who he was.

Got in my jog for today: 19 minutes at 6.5 miles per hour.

Random Quote:
"When birds fly in the right formation, they need only exert half the effort. Even in nature, teamwork results in collective laziness."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy Birthday

Today I got to sleep in for the second day in a row, it was a great start to the day. Then I went over to my Grandma’s to help do a bunch of yard work. Managed to kill the lawnmower less than 1/4 through her back yard, which required a trip to the store for a new sparkplug. The mower’s engine still sounds a little weird, so there was more wrong than just a gummed up plug but it runs again. So I just managed to do the front yard in its entirety as well as kill a bunch of blackberry bushes and ivy.

Once I got home I needed to do all three of our yards. I broke spider web that was connected to one of the dwarf apple trees in the front yard, which turned out to be connected to the power lines above it. So the spider had to climb up the house, crawl along dozens of feet of power line, then drop down and walk across the driveway to climb up the tree. I’m impressed.

I slacked off and didn’t manage to run either Thursday or Friday. I’ve more than made up for it today, spending more than 2 hours cutting grass. I also spent more than an hour on the treadmill while watching the latest Kaizoku fansubs of One Piece. So I got in 6.5 miles today as well.

After church the entire family is coming over for my sisters’ birthday since they’re turning 14. I might not get a chance to run then either, so we’ll have to see. I’ll make it up either way.

Quote of the Moment:
“Neither sense nor courtesy are common around here.”
Not sure if I’ve heard that somewhere before; it may be something I came up with but I doubt it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Americans Can’t Pick Fruit?

Or at least that’s what this article claims. Farmers in southern California might be forced to let their crops rot rather than have them picked. Why? Because tighter border security is shrinking the pool of sub-minimum wage laborers. And since there aren’t as many laborers from Mexico coming to pick fruit the fruit won’t get picked. Last time I checked Americans and Mexicans had roughly the same anatomy: two hands, two arms, two legs, etc. which can just as easily be used to pick crops. It may be time to invest some serious time and money into research for mechanical or robotic fruit pickers.

I still don’t understand the problem the farmers are having. Is there truly no one in southern California who is willing to pick fruit? Or is no one there willing to pick fruit for a few dollars per hour? I’d have no problem picking fruit all day, but I’d expect at least $12 an hour to do it. Really I think the farmers are just whining about nothing right now. It's probably not the difference of paying someone $50 per day to pick a few a thousand dollars worth of fruit a day or having it rot; the difference is paying someone $50 verses $150 per day to pick the fruit. If that is truly not the case, I’m willing to fly down Thursday nights and fly home Monday mornings to anyone hiring and willing to buy plane tickets. If there really is such a crisis, then paying for me to work for you is still more profitable than letting your crops rot. 

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tuesday Post

An article about Washington's impending $1.5 Billion shortfall. The reason for this, people aren't buying enough gas. They've raised our local gas taxes 14.5 cents over the last six years and people aren't too happy about it. The state keeps raising the price of car tabs, no matter how many times the voters overwhelming pass $30 tabs measures. With gas prices that keep flirting with all-time highs and us now having to pay 56 cents in taxes per gallon of gas, I think people are starting to realize using less gas is a good thing. Some people have bought more efficient cars, others carpool, others drive less either way the state is getting less money in gas taxes. And they’re not happy about it.

Last I knew the entire state of Washington is supplied gasoline from two refineries. That means that all gas sold in stations around here comes from the same place which eliminates the competition that could help keep gas prices lower. Add onto that the highest gas taxes in the country and we’re looking at a recipe for high gas prices. I personally will spend a little under $1,500 on gas this year, up $200 from last year. Last year I paid an average of $2.53 per gallon of gas verses $2.78 that so far this year. I’ve done some tweaking to my truck so I’m getting slightly better mileage this year over last year, but still less than 20mpg. If I had the money to spare I would buy a little car such as a Geo Metro or a Honda Insight for most of my day to day driving, but can neither afford to purchase or insure another vehicle at the moment and my truck is too useful to sell off. Since I only work part time while attending school full time I’m pretty much broke for 5 more quarters. So unless God compels someone to hand me a check for the $12,000 it will cost to complete my degree I’m resigned to being broke until I graduate.

Got my jog in today; 17 minutes at 6.5 miles per hour. It’s progress.

Quote for the Day:
Luck can't last a lifetime unless you die young.


Monday, October 08, 2007

A Lesson in Economics

Yesterday’s Seattle Times had a story on the front page about people outraged over tickets for Miley Cyrus/ Hannah Montana concerts. Apparently the tickets sell out fast for such concerts which leaves parents with the choice of breaking the bank buying tickets from scalpers (which have been able to charge $4,500 for a pair of tickets) or let their 12 year old, spoiled brat kids hear the word “No” for the first time in their lives when they find out that they couldn’t get tickets at face value because they didn’t wait in line all night.

Some people have filed formal complaints with various state Attorney General’s offices about not being able to buy tickets for a concert. When there are a finite number of tickets and more people who want them than available tickets, there are two actions that could result. Either the ticket sellers should charge more for the tickets which would reduce demand until there is an equilibrium, or scalpers buy tickets and resell them for market value, which is significantly more than face value.

Parents today seem to be horrified when they realize that they cannot easily cater to the wishes of their kids. The average price people are for tickets is almost TEN TIMES the face value of the cheap seats. When I wanted tickets for midnight shows to “Lord of the Rings” my parents thought it was a fun idea, but they weren’t going to buy them for me. Do I have the only parents in the world who refuse to bend over backwards to cater to the desires of their children? Those kind of parents are the reason I camp out all day to buy the latest game system or toy; some people will pay any price to get these items for their little monsters for Christmas because they’re afraid of the tantrum that will ensue if they fail to provide.

There’s a reason I bought a Furby years ago and a Tickle-Me-Elmo more recent than that. I could resell them for much more money closer to Christmas. I was able to list three Nintendo Wiis on eBay last year, and tried to do the same with Xbox 360s the year before that. As long as there are people willing to pay a premium for such items for their kids I’m willing to take a day out of my life to sit around and read while waiting for something to come out in order to fulfill the needs of these spoiled brats whose parents are too scared to say “No” and will pay me to for my stuff I don’t care that much about. Since Wiis seem to still be scarce in many parts of the country I will probably pick up a few more and try to resell them in the mall parking lot on Christmas Eve.

I didn’t get a chance to run yesterday, but made up for it by hiking up to the library and back with 20 pounds of books on my back. That comes out to about a mile in each direction with steep hills making up about half the trip. I still got in my 17 minute jog at 6.4 miles per hour today as well.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Day is Finally Over

Today (yesterday actually if you look at the calendar) we had our first Bible Quiz meet of the year. We quizzed over the entire book of Galatians, plus “Application Questions” which often have little – if anything – to do with the book itself. Overall we did relatively well, with my team’s record of 4-5, with two of those losses being within a single question of winning. After the meet, I took my sisters home and Brenda came with us. We watched “Cats Don’t Dance”, “An American Tail”, and “Halloweentown”.

Naturally, getting back at two o’clock from taking Brenda home delayed my daily running until the very wee hours of the morning. I’m happy to say that I still got in a 17 minute jog at 6.3 miles per hour, despite it being close to 80F in the basement thanks to the woodstove burning right now. My cold is getting better and I’ve not medicated myself in any way today, but am still on a fairly hefty cocktail of vitamins at the moment. Lately I’ve been taking 8 different capsules in the mornings. Also, I have to be at church to run camera in 5 hours so I should probably go to bed pretty soon.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Not Our Doing

Here's a story implying that nothing humans do can help the Earth. Antarctica's Ozone hole is shrinking! Do they thank us for slowly cleaning up our emissions by having cleaner exhaust from our vehicles over the last decade or two?
No. For building solar panels and stuff like that? Nope. They claim it's probably natural variation. Therefore the Ozone layer can get thicker on its own, but if it ever gets thinner it's only because we're emitting too many chlorofluorocarbons
(If I'm thinking of the right thing here). Relating this to global warming, we know that the earth has warmed and cooled on its own throughout the millennia, but there’s absolutely no way that it could be natural this time.

I think I need to come up with a way to make money on this whole global warming scam just like Al Gore is doing. I need to figure out how much people are paying for these carbon indulgences and start selling them myself to people who feel guilty for living their lives as they always have.

I also got in my run early today, 16 minutes at 6.3 miles per hour, so a tiny increase in speed and distance. My cold is worse, bad enough that I actually decided to take something for it besides just loading up on foods rich in antioxidants.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Keeping On Keeping On

Today I worked pretty much all day. I managed to sleep through 2 of my alarms and thus got out of bed an hour later than I would have liked. I still managed to get into work 6 minutes earlier than I did on Tuesday, but that was still later than I would have liked. After that it was a quick trip home for food and a shower before heading out to church for tech practice for the event tomorrow.

Sadly I had to skip TBQ practice but made $50 instead, even if I did very little and was totally bored for most of the evening. I did manage to get some time in on the treadmill and ran for 16 minutes at 6.2 miles per hour. Still not a good distance or speed, but my cold is worse than yesterday yet I still managed to get an additional 0.11 miles in today. Tomorrow I will attempt the same duration at a slightly higher speed regardless of how I feel tomorrow.

This is also my second post in two days; let’s see if I can go three in a row.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Another long day

Today in class we discussed the qualities of an ideal work group for our class, as the title of the class is Group Dynamics. Apparently the goal of the class is to teach us to work in teams, which are distinctly different in practice from groups.

In Managerial Economics we had a simulation of how the markets work in the sale and purchase of various goods. And also how the market is affected by outside influences in the forms of taxes, government regulation of prices, foreign demand of goods, and foreign production of goods. Most often the market – free of government controls – gave the best profits and benefits to both buyers and sellers in this game. I also came in second place for the most profit made buying and selling, even though various regulations killed my performance in various rounds as I couldn’t either buy or sell my good at a profit. It was a fun exercise.

In Political Ideology class we discussed Classical Liberalism, which would be considered more conservative than most Conservatives today, which is a far cry from those who favor Modern Liberalism today. It was a pretty boring class and I almost fell asleep while drinking my Coke, which would have been really bad if I did fall asleep and spilled it on myself. I also managed to acquire an mp3 player in that class that was dropped by another student. I’m pretty sure its an Apple mp3 player, and I’m also pretty sure that it belongs to a guy in my discussion group so I’ll give it back to him on Monday if it is his. If its not his I’d like to sell it on eBay and buy a better one with the money while pocketing the rest.

I’ve also been slacking very much in my running of late and have got really out of shape. I cannot realistically run these days outside as I have no free time during daylight hours. Hence I’m restricted to running on the treadmill at night, which is not the same as I cannot use full strides; so its more of a jog than a run. Given that case I’m making it a goal to jog for a set time and speed every day, with each day increasing either the time or the speed. Today I jogged for 15 minutes at 6.2 miles per hour. Given that I’m probably getting sick at the moment and am out of shape that took much more effort than I anticipated. Tomorrow I will most likely add time to that. I’m also making it a goal to log all of my running here everyday so that everyone in the world (or at least the 4 people who read this blog semi-regularly) will know when I’m slacking.

That is all. No interesting quote comes to mind.