12/15/2006

one week

I don’t know if I’ve been putting off writing this, but certainly I haven’t had the energy for it.

Not sure whether to build up with lots of drama, or just say it. So, I’m pretty much just gonna say it.

So last week I was robbed. At gunpoint, semi-automatic handgun. My wallet and phone were stolen.

It happened pretty fast, but it’s amazing how many times you replay that over and over and over. And over.

I’m fine, although still short two replacement credit cards and an ATM card. My Wash U ID and Wal-Mart gift card probably are gone for good. I know, serves me right for having a Wal-Mart gift card.

I’m not sure how to explain it, but it’s a little difficult to talk about. Something just so raw and vulnerable about it. You know it’s dumb, but nonetheless, it is. Julie was asking how I was feeling, and this is what I wrote back to her: I'm annoyed. frustrated. saddened. embarrassed. alone. It's really lonely between a wall and a gun.

I can describe the scene pretty well, what we did that evening and what happened during those couple minutes. But making it personal is hard.

Fortunately I’m ok and they ditched most of the wallet, which a security guard at the arch found. Julie and I had gone to dinner, and while she was upset that she wasn’t with me at the time, I’m really glad she wasn’t. Things could have potentially turned out much worse.

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12/05/2006

three weeks

So my boss mentioned last night it's three weeks until Christmas.

Where does the time go?

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12/03/2006

numbers fun

I had a couple different thoughts, but they both involve somewhat rather random numbers which I nonetheless find interesting this afternoon as I settle into the Chiefs game and putting off errands I should have run yesterday.

First, on the topic of football, I think it is becoming increasingly clear that the NFL this season is substantially less interesting than the baseball season was. Now, I’m a big baseball fan, so personally that’s my opinion most years, but I recognize that football is generally perceived as the prime American sport. This year, however, is downright boring. There are good teams and bad teams, and we knew them very early on, and frankly, there’s little anticipation that anything exciting is going to happen. I was checking ESPN’s predictions for this week, where they have eight commentators and one computer calculation choose who they think will win. Of the 16 games playing this weekend, only 5 had a 4/5 or 3/6 split. 9 out of the 16 were unanimous consensus picks – a whopping 56%. I checked last week, and of the 7 unanimous picks, 6 won. Combine that with the fact that there are NFC teams with losing records in the playoff hunt, and you’re just thankful for college football. Wait, scratch that, we’ve known all season Ohio State and USC would meet in the Rose Bowl. That’s what happens when you root for Notre Dame, Michigan travels to Columbus, and you have roommates from Texas and Florida. Oh, did I leave out Arkansas and Boise State? Cry me a river.

The other thing is quite happy. It’s been roughly two years now since I was at DFC (financial services), and my retirement account hit a fun but totally arbitrary milestone. It topped $5K! I suspect that will about buy me a new pair of glasses and lunch at McDonald’s by the time I’m 90, but that’s the point. The principal won’t get you very far; you need lots of investment return to outpace inflation. And spoil the grandkids with fancy new plasma holoscreens. According to Quicken, if I’ve put in all the data correctly, my Roth has netted an annualized 15.6% over the last two years. Not too shabby.

As a general not-so-gentle nudge, if $5,000 sounds like a lot of money, put more money into your retirement account. Now.

It was really eye-opening meeting people and person and after person, a difficult but solvable issue was how to save. A much more difficult issue which many hadn’t even really thought about solving was procrastination. So many people I met knew it was important, and wanted to be saving; they just hadn’t started (there's always next year...). And of course, I’m in the same boat. I had some fun playing around with my car money in college (Ameritrade is great fun), but I didn’t start saving long-term until I was actually working in financial services.

Don’t be a slacker :)

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12/02/2006

go outside right now

Listen to springtime! Walk down a street lined with trees, look at the sunshine illuminating everything clear and snowy. And listen. Listen to the ice melting off the trees, pelting puddle and car and human.