Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Magick

Christmas Magick
Tis the day before guests come,
and all though the house,
No one is happy especially my spouse. 
I with my Kindle, my eyes under a cap,
had just settled down for a well-deserved nap.
Here she comes, here she comes, my mellow to douse
Get up, get up, something has gone wrong with the house.
The switch in the bathroom broke all of a sudden.
If you don’t fix it, folks can’t get their "work" done.
Off to the horses and off to the sleigh,
Off to Home Depot and RIGHT AWAY,
Wait! No! It’s the only day all year,
When you can’t go to stores to buy switches or gear,
Away to the basement I flew like a flash,
To see what treasures, I’d find in the trash.
Off to the basement! Down on the stairs!
Hoping and praying a spare switch is there. 
In boxes of junk, in places where things from old projects had massed,
I sifted and sorted the gear from the past.
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when I met with this obstacle, I looked to the sky.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But variable resistance light switch, which caused me to cheer.
To the top of the steps, to the bath by the wall,
Wire it in, wire it in, wire it in all
I was so happy that now it was fixed; I knew in that moment must be St Nick,
Yes, yes that's right, my bath light was fixed by Christmas Magick!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Life Metaphor

A Life Metaphor, is a meaningful metaphor for your life. It come up on the Slate CultureFest on Oct 13, 2015. Susan Krause Whitbourne wrote about them more intellectually in Psychology Today.  She liked metaphors like caterpillars & butterflies, or winding roads. 

I have a metaphor that I have carried with me from adolescence, and I thought of it when I was ten. It has evolved though. It is about defending myself, with originally, an anti-aircraft gun. I thought of it when a neighbor parent was at my house, and accusing my brother of some misdeed. The anti-aircraft equipment was impossibly complicated and always breaking.

As I grew older, I favored jet fighters over anti-aircraft guns, perhaps after I had gotten a car. Similarly the plane was impossibly complicated and always breaking; Just like my old cars. I also felt insecure in my early adulthood, like I was one auto wreck from homelessness.

When I got a job at a large company in a fancy research center, I imagined super-modern fighters, and while impossibly complicated like my conception of the adult world, they didn't break as much.

Later, I worked at an industrial site, and they were stripped-down and rusting. Competent, but with missing rivets, parts that I didn't understand, and always need repair.

Time marched on I got a bigger house, and I found it too dangerous to be flying around, I decided to shoot baddies down like Ronald Reagan with ground-based lasers. This isn't so crazy because my thesis work involved focusing and tuning big lasers. This fit my more sedentary life, and my unwillingness to get hurt. The lasers always needed fiddling with.

When I became a manager, I became way too busy, and I want to tear down the machines and build something that doesn't need fixing. Gleaming new machines with good software that I can fix and forget. Just turn it on, and the computer does it. I don't have time to fiddle with it. On the other hand, they kept needing upgrades just like my Mac.

Today, we are empty nesters, and I am looking for connection. I am interested in a network.  "It takes a village" to be okay. The neighbors and I each have 2-3 drones that work together, and our autonomous network of thousands provides safety for all.

So there is my life metaphor.

Post-Financial Economy

Can a country have so much capital that it can build all the factories and infrastructure that it wants, and still have extra capital? In such a situation, demand would be served, and still there would be un-invested dollars sloshing around and interest rates would stay low.

In twenty-teens economy, the scarcity is of demand. If there were demand, then capital would chase it.

Right now, the real interest rate is 0.14% on ten year debt -- the ten year T-bill is at 2.04% and the core rate of inflation is 1.9% and 2.04-1.90 = 0.14%. This means a bond paying an inflation adjusted $1 per year, would be worth $714, which is crazy. Historically, should be closer to $20 or $25.

What about all the poor people would love to have a new iPhone, a bigger TV, a new X-Box, and a vacation in Maui? Isn't there unlimited demand?

There does not seem to be. The people with money are sated, and the people without money are without money. Transfer mechanisms between the Haves and the Have-Nots are too small to create demand.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Running Shoe Update

 Here are my Adidas Supernova shoes with the Boost expanded thermoplastic urethane ETPU soles. These soles have great resilience or energy return so they are fun to run in. They weight 334 g per shoe which is 35 g or 10% more than my first generation Adidas Boost Shoes

I had worn these for about six weeks and you can see the discoloration of the ETPU from the sunlight.

The toebox on the new shoe is larger, and the shoe is more comfortable than my older Boost shoe.
I had a chance to visit Brooks in Portland and get a tour. I saw the treadmill lab where they test out the new shoes.

While I was there I got a discount a new pair of Ghost 8's. These are a similar design to the Ghost 6 & 7.

Notice that they went back to the black outsole. I wonder if that is for performance or for style.

This pair of Ghosts is the least homely pair. My Brook's shoes have been great to wear, but they are not so stylish.

These shoes are 345g. 10 g heavier per shoe than the Boost. 24 g heavier than the Ghost 7 and about the same as the Ghost 6.