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Back In The Saddle Again

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This morning I took my first training ride.  About 5 miles round-trip to folks house and back.  Overall, not bad.  I topped out at 27 mph (going down hill, cranking for all I was worth).  I need to check the bike computer, but I probably averaged around 12 or 13 mph.  My goal for the SLO Lighthouse ride is 62 miles in 3.5 hours.  So I have until September 24 to shave ~two hours off.

When I was in high school I had a purple Raleigh Olympian (pictured above).  Purple became my new riding color.  The handle bars were wrapped with purple and while tape, my helmet and riding gear were purple.  Everything but my pump and shoes were purple.  When I went looking for my current bike, I posted that I gave extra points for purple.

I was convinced that because the name of the bike was ‘Olympian’, it must mean that this was the bike that was used in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.  I proudly boasted this fact to anyone who would listen.  In hindsight, I realize that it was probably not true.

I rode that bike for about six years until it finally gave up the ghost.  My parents paid the neighbors $100 for it in 1988.  I was so excited I could plotz.  I like to think that they got their $100 worth.

Now that I think about it, today was the longest ride I have had in probably 15 years.  Let’s see how I feel about it (literally) tomorrow morning.

And so it goes.



The Tenth Eighth Month

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Good morning!

First, happy birthday to my big brother (pictured (sorta) above).   Second, today is my engagement anniversary.  I am probably one of the only guys around who remembers the day he proposed to his wife.  I picked today for a special reason:

It is my brother’s birthday and I don’t usually forget that.

For any given day, there are a nearly infinite number of other occurrences.  Depending on how you view time, there are an infinite number of occurrences.  Things happen today (like miners being rescued) that every one knows about and other things (like a grandfather passing) that will only be noticed by a handful of people.

Today is also special because I got my latest Bag of Crap from Woot!  I am taking it to work tomorrow to allow everyone to share in the opening.

I think that is it.  I have taken so much time off of posting that I don’t want to strain myself by attempting to write a manifesto of October 13.

And so it goes.



“I don’t believe in reincarnation…

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…and I didn’t believe in it when I was a hamster.”

– George Washington, shortly before the Battle of the Bulge, 1984

Hi kids!

It has been an tumultuous few months,  so I decided to concentrate on the tumultuousness rather than blog.  But, again, I am going to attempt to kick it back up.

First things first.  If you recall, the reason I took a break in the first place was to study for my level 1 CFA exam.  Below are the results:

Your results for the June 2010 Level I CFA exam are below. The pass rate for June 2010 Level I was 42%. If you have questions or comments, please contact us. 

Level I: Pass

The table below illustrates your subject matter strengths and weaknesses. The three columns on the right are marked with asterisks to indicate your performance on each question or topic area.

Item Set
Q# Topic Max Pts <=50% 51%-70% >70%
Alternative Investments 8 *
Corporate Finance 20 *
Derivatives 12 *
Economics 24 *
Equity Investments 24 *
Ethical & Professional Standards 36 *
Financial Reporting & Analysis 48 *
Fixed Income Investments 28 *
Portfolio Management 12 *
Quantitative Methods 28 *


A total of 42% of the participants passed the test, so I am fairly satisfied with my results.  Now on to level 2….

Now, for the main news.  We have new member of the family named Francis Saint Oliver.  He is a hamster.  I purchased said hamster so Alpha and Beta could have something to take to school for the blessing of the animals.  We let Alpha pick the first name and Beta pick the middle name.  Note to self: reverse the order next time.

Of course, having a pet at all reminds me of Cassie, the little dog who wouldn’t.  She wouldn’t pee anywhere by the house.  She wouldn’t refrain from biting me if she wanted my food.  She wouldn’t stop eating a pound and a half of dark chocolate.  And most of all, she just wouldn’t die without making a mess.  Oi.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved that dog, but she was a huge pain in the rear.

Our little hamster likes to run around in his ball and Delta loves to kick said ball.  It is surprisingly difficult to explain to a 22 month hold why it is not a soccer ball.  He also like to run in his hamster wheel, which he is doing now.  And will continue to do until the wee hours of the morning when he collapses from exhaustion.

And so it goes.


p.s. My blog celebrated its 3rd birthday last month.  Happy birthday!

My Sunburn

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I have had several request for updates on MS SUNBM.  Here it is:

(If you don’t know about MS SUNBM, click here)

This all happened two weeks ago, Friday.  I was preparing the children for school.  We were going through our usual routine of brushing hair, washing faces and the like.  I glanced at the clock and observed that it was nearly 7:15.

‘What are you looking at dad.’ asked Noelle.

‘Well,’ I replied, ‘It is about time for MS SUNBM to drive by.  I guess I am little apprehensive about it.’

‘Don’t worry, dad.  We have not heard her for several weeks.  I am sure she is gone now.’

‘I sure hope so.  It has been pleasant, not having to worry so much about the honking.’

Just then, HONK HONK.  I don’t really remember exactly what happened next.  Something in my head just snapped.  Before I knew it, I was up and running towards the door.  Casey called to me, but I didn’t register it.  I nearly jerked the hinges off the front door as I opened it.  Keys in hand, I flew to the car and took off after her.

I think she saw me coming before I was even in the car.  She accerlated with tremendous force and was flying down the street.  I laid into the gas and was able to catch up with her after about a minute.  We both ignored both stop signs and pedestrians as we played our deadly game.

Once we were both on the main road, I flew past her and was able to cut her off.  I slammed on my brakes, hoping that she wouldn’t ram me outright.  She tried to swerve around me, but her tire caught the island and she had to stop.  We both jumped out of our cars to face each other.

‘MS SUNBM!’ I roared at her.  ‘What do you torture me like this!’

MS SUNBM laughed haughtily, ‘Torture?  You don’t know the meaning of torture!  You were never terrorized by the Honker of 1975.  That was torture.  What I am doing is not torture.  It is just child’s play.  I am merely getting you ready for what is to come.  You should be thanking me, not chasing me down.’

‘I don’t care what happened to you,’ I replied.  ‘I just want you leave me alone.  We have done nothing to you, yet you honk and honk.  It is driving my poor wife mad!  She is afraid to leave the bedroom before 7:15.  That is no way to live life.’

‘ ‘No way to live life?’ ” she spat.  ‘You’ve growth soft in you dotage.  You need me just to keep yourself in the real world.  But don’t worry, this will end soon enough.  Soon the Honker will be released from prison and you will be begging me to come back and take his place.’

‘Released?  There is no way he will be released!  The judge who put him there said that he would stay in the darkest pit of the worst prison for this actions.  He will never get out.

MS SUNBM regarded me calmly for a moment and when she spoke there is was a hint of steel and more than a hint of self loathing and abasement.  ‘You don’t follow politics do?’ she asked.  ‘You probably don’t know about ABX 14, do you? If you did you would know that the Honker is 60 years old now.  He is eligible to be release into home custody because he is permanently medically incapacitated.  He coming home.  And when he gets there, all hell breaks loose.  And I will help him.  I have sold my soul to that monster.  I must do what he tells me.’

I scoffed at her claim.  Sure, ABX 14 will allow that to happen, but if he is permanently medically incapacitated, what harm can he do.  I pointed that out to MS SUNBM.

‘You’re an idiot.  Yes, he will be confined to bed in his home.  But it is his home that scares me.’

‘What do you mean, ‘his home’.’

‘Don’t you get it?  He lives in a Winnebago.  The evilest motorhome around.  It has the windshield from Bonnie and Clyde’s car, the rear bumper from Hitler’s staff car and the gear shifter from Martha Stewart’s minivan.’

‘So, just shove a potato in the tail pipe and be done with him!’

‘You can’t.  It has an electric motor from Ed Begley Jr’s concept car.’

I inwardly shuddered as I began to grasp the magnitude of what has happening.  The Honker driving around at will in his Winnebago.  She was right.  I hadn’t seen anything yet.

‘But now you know too much.  You must die.’ said MS SUNBM.

She stood their with a look of concentration on her face.  The clouds above me began to boil, the wind began to shriek around me.  I suddenly felt the oppressive weight her mind upon me, trying to crush out my sanity before I could act.  I slowly inched towards her as she began to speak, her eyes mad with an unholy pleasure.

‘It’s over,’ she cackled, ‘I have won!’

Ten feet.

‘You will finally know my pain!’

Six feet.

‘Prepare to perish!’

Three feet.  Her eyes were now totally mad.  Bits of spittle foamed in the corners of her mouth and she did not even seem to care that she had come with in range of my fornortner rod.  I easily cast it forward with a flick of my wrist, just like dad taught me.  It seemed so easy.  The rod disappeared into her chest like a stick into water.  I could feel her faltering heart beat thrilling up the rod to my hand.  She looked at me in total surprise.  Then her lip curled back to a sneer and plucked the rod out of her chest as it nothing had happened.

‘I will return.  You have not seen the last of me!’

She made a curious gesture with her hand and the earth opened up underneath her.  She stood their over the gaping pit as if the air under her was solid.  Without another word she dropped and the earth closed up around her.

It was over.  Trembling with exhaustion, I lowered myself to the ground.  I admit I wept silently for a time, just trying to process what had happened to me.  She will return?

So now I wait and abide against her return, ready for whatever I must do.   I just need to be ready to defend my family when the time comes.  If it comes.

And that is exactly what happened.

And so it goes.


The old man and his blog…

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As most of you loyal readers know, my little sister has a blog called Bird By Bird.  (If you don’t know that already, then you need to pay closer attention.  This is like at least the third time I have mentioned it here.)  Inspired by the on-line adventures of both myself and my sister, my father had decided to start a blog as well. It is called Kid By Kid.

As excited as I was to see my sister start to blog, I am even more excited to see my father start to write. He always has very interesting stories about his life and lessons. The stories I find particularly interesting are those that occurred before I came into the world. More often that not, I find myself thinking, ‘Oh, that’s were I got that from’.

It’s funny to see yourself in another person. This always happens with my kids. I will see them do something that I did when I was that age. Or sometimes I see them do something that I do now. It’s like have four trained monkeys around the house, copying your every move.  (Except for Leela, of course.  She can only copy major bodily functions)  I can only imagine what my parents think if they see one of their behaviors in their grand-kids. 

There have been times when I watched one of my kids do something that I do when I am frustrated.  That can be a little disheartening because you only want your kids to pick up your good habits. 

So go visit dad’s blog and ask him to write about the time he was stuck in Minnesota with a pair of Eskimos who only spoke French.  It’s an absolute riot. 

And so it goes.


Happy New Years!

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Well, tonight we say good-bye to a rather tumultuous year, at least for our clan.  We saw the loss of a job, an unanticipated move, the gain of a job, the blessing of a better place to live and the great blessing of another child.  There were also the incidental victories.  I got my second Bag ‘o Crap from Woot and I and won my fantasy football league. 

Looking back at the year, I feel the same way a forest must feel after a fire.  The fire hurt, but now there is room for growth and renewal.  In 2009 Sammy will start kindergarten and Mary will start pre-school.  I will continue (God willing) in my new job and Casey’s Speech-Pathology practice serving the Catholic Schools will grow.  We will wrap up the year with our first Christmas in Boise and our first Christmas in Idaho since Casey and I were married. 

We lost our dog, Cassie this year.  She was a good dog.  A good dog.  Noelle started wearing an eye patch to help with her Anisometropic Amblyopia.  For each day she wears her patch, she gets a gold dollar to use to buy a hamster.  The hamster won’t live as long as the dog (at least I hope not.  I don’t want a 16 year old hamster).

We are going to strive to cut our current garbage output from four bags a week to three bags.  We have cloth diapers for Leela and Mary will be potty-trained this year.  We tried last year, but it just didn’t take.  Too much going on. 

We replaced our dinner table one that will allow us to seat all six people and keep food on the table.  That may not sound like much, but it is really a huge deal to us.  Ralphie and Steve were nice enough to provide the table. 

Ralphie was able to spend a month with us while Leela finished cooking.  The kids loved having Grandma Ralphie around for so long.  So did we.  Mary is still asking, ‘Where did Ralphie go?’. 

This year my blog enters its third year and I will pass the 100 post mark.  I don’t know if that is really a big deal, but hey, I am running out things to say.

I hope all of you have a wonderful 2009 and that it is full of the Lord’s blessings.

And so it goes.



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Don’t forget to check out the new Woot-Off pictures on my Woot page… (over on the right, where it says Woot…)