Jan. 6th, 2008 05:27 pm
yesthattom: (Default)
Please comment with ONE thing you think I should do or try to do in 2008. Big or small, silly or earth-changing.
yesthattom: (Default)
Our little New Years gathering had about 15 people and was really fun. C and I enjoyed all the planning and cooking that we did together. C did most of the work, including these fantastic chocolate/coconut balls she makes. We had champaign at midnight and kissed. 2 of the people attending were ex-girlfriends of mine, which for some reason made me think a lot about past relationships and wanting to reconnect with old friends.

I had an awesome therapy session.

The 3 day work week was perfect. I got a lot done because I was more focused. I really enjoy the time of the quarter where we have meetings to talk about the big plans we have and how to get there. At my staff meeting we had some extra time and did some long-term planning, akin to me asking "what should [our project] look like 1 year from now?" There were a lot of really good suggestions. Later in the week there was a meeting that also turned into that kind of discussion, but for a different scope of people. We ended up brainstorming on some major issues, the person running the meeting put them up on the whiteboard and we did a multi-vote. I was happy to see that people were inspired to look into taking the initiative to do the highest rank projects (or at least investigate what would be involved).

I was "on call" at work. Because we have sysadmins all over the world, we can "follow the sun" and nobody has to do too much work. I was secondary (only paged if the primary doesn't respond.) It is 10am to 3pm, only 5 hours. However, it is Monday to Sunday, so it means that I have to stay home mid-day on Saturday and Sunday. That was ok because...

This weekend C and I spent time working on the heat efficiency of our house. We had multiple $600 heating bills last year and want to prevent that. I spent time insulating pipes in the basement [The basement was as hot as any other room just due to the steam pipes losing heat; last year I insulated about 40% of the pipes; this week I got that up to 70%. The basement is now cold, which is good.] C put up thermal curtains in two doorways that lose a lot of heat (the doorway in the kitchen to the unheated laundry room, and the stairs up to the 3rd floor). Being taller, I helped drilling holes to install the curtain rods. We also found 2 radiators that heat parts of the house that we don't use much, and turned them off. There's also a hole from the basement into the 1st floor bathroom which I plugged since we were seeing a heat loss there too.

Guess what helps me make the house more energy efficient? My iShuffle. Being able to listen to podcasts while I wrap heat-proof tape around tubes of insulation takes my mind off how boring it can be.

Sundway was laundry day.

Finance. I am now 13 months into my experiment with Magic Formula Investing. I've lost 7% so far, but the stocks to be sold this month have made 14% (2 increased value, 1 lost value; net of 14%). Not fantastic. If the market crash of October 2007 hadn't happened I'd be up something wonderful. So it took me a few hours to study the results today. One problem could be I'm not diversified enough. Another could be that the system is bunk. Alas, I think I'm going to keep with it another year and see how it goes. Most investment strategies fail because people don't stick with them. My real investments are with Vangard index funds anyway. Compared to where I was last year I have much less free cash to toy around with (which makes me feel broke, though I have friends in worse situations), but I think if I cut a few of my wasteful habits I'll have enough to increase the investments rather than just maintain the money I have in the system (which is important since the stock market had a 'correction' I should be putting more money into investments, right?)

User Group Presentations! I have 3-4 "stock presentations" that I can give when a computer user group asks me to speak. However, I have nothing to say that plus the new 2nd edition specifically. I've had some thoughts in my head, but wasn't sure if it was cohesive. Today I spouted it all to C and she didn't say I was crazy, so I think I'm going to write it up. I'm speaking near Princeton in February, so there's nothing like time pressure to get me to do something. I think it's going to be great... a speech rather than a PPT with bullets. Something I've always wanted to do. There isn't a tie-in to the 2nd edition except 1-2 of the examples come from the book, and the book can be used to reach some of the goals I'll be talking about, but it isn't a "hard sell" of the book. This just in! I just learned that a friend of mine took a job with SL! How exciting!

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