Friday, August 24, 2007

A Gaping Hole

I couldn’t be an astrophysicist; it all seems too theoretical, like a story that’s based on a sliver of truth and then drawn to a fantastic and unlikely conclusion.
Scientists just found a gigantic empty hole. I know, its exciting, but wait—there’s more. Apparently there is nothing in it. Absolutely empty hole, with no matter whatsoever. And it’s HUGE, like 1 billion light years across of nothing. How do you measure 1 billion light years of nothing? I mean, I am trying to invision a method to decipher exactly where nothing starts and ends.
When I read about something like this I think, “who gives a hoot?” But I also think, “Wow, if we have been gazing into the stars for hundreds of years, and doing it with some fairly sophisticated equipment for the past 100 years and this is the first time we noticed a 1 billion light year wide hole of emptiness, what they heck have we been looking at all this time?”
Obviously we should fill that sucker up with something.

Monday, August 06, 2007

stock picks of a 9 year old

I was in a class in 3rd grade and had the opportunity to do all sorts of "enrichment" activities like brainteasers, or inventing, and at one point we got the Wall Street Journal and we all got to do a stock picking game.

I am sure the teacher was attempting to teach me the time value of money or the amazing properties of compounding interest, but the highlight was a fantasy stock game and I picked three stocks: Kroger, KMart, and UpJohn.

We all started with 10k so I figured I would double check what might have happened.

Turns out that 3333.33 in Kroger invested from 1985 to now and disregardin dividends would be worth--- approximately 20k, not bad.

KMart declared bankruptcy fairly recently, so that 3333.33 is worth 0.00 but let's hope I would have figured out the company was struggling and sold it in the 90's.

UpJohn is the startler. UpJohn was purchased by Phamacia and Phamacia became Pfizer and Pfizer makes billion trillion dollars, so it's safe to guess that the 3333.33 would be worth more today than I would have expected.

So the moral of this story? My oldest son will be nine next year, I intend to ask him for his stock picks immediately.

Survived the maiden voyage on my new bike

Went for a quick ride on Saturday, ended up going quite a bit farther than I intended which is exactly the way a good ride should go.

About 10 miles on the road and then about 45 minutes in the woods, I have no idea how far I went but it was pretty challenging and I still can't figure out the SPD pedals, but I am determined to teach an old dog a new trick.

It turns out that 25 years of pulling your foot off a pedal in order to put it down on the ground is a difficult thing to unlearn, it's like a muscle memory test with the added degree of difficulty and the panic of realizing that you are about to fall into a pile of craggy rocks and thorns.

I even managed to fall over in my front yard...the beauty of it is that I don't even think to put my hands down, I just slam full speed on my side into the grass while still clutching the handlebars and laughing at myself.
I need a new helmet.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

a new toy

For my 31st birthday my wife, my parents, and my wife's parents got together and bought me something really nice:
I love riding bikes, and the bike that I currently ride I bought when I was 14, so it was time for an upgrade.
It's a Specialized Hard Rock Disc, and I splurged and bought the SPD pedals and some really nice shoes and now I just have to train myself to remember to twist my foot when I want to unclip from the bike.
I already fell once on my front porch when I came to a complete stop and then went to put my foot down and to my surprise, my foot was still firmly attached to the bike. As the ground rapidly approached I laughed because this is the second or third time I have done that. I completely took out one of our bushes and generally looked like an idiot but no harm no foul.