The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘Du Jour of the Week’

Slight Improvements

When I was going to start first grade my family moved from Korea to Alaska. The school was close enough to my home that I would walk to school every day (including when it reached -60 degrees out, I was just bundled up to a point that I could hardly move).

The first winter there we also happened to have record snowfall. It was crazy. People had to come shovel your ROOF for fear that the weight of the snow might cause damage. That’s a lot of snow.

Every school day I followed the same path. I’d go out our front door, cut across a field and then be on a sidewalk until I had to cross the street directly across from the school.

After the initial big snowfall I walked to school happy and charmed by the snow. Stomping along happily through the snow and taking it all in. This was a mistake. Because then more snow came along, and more snow, and more snow. The snow was deep enough that trying to walk through it would lead to thighs of steel, and/or a boot lost when your leg sinks into the deep snow and you wiggle your leg around until it finally pops out but whoops … no boot. This meant every day that winter was a reminder – I took some awfully big, goofy steps that first snowy day! By tracing the same steps every day I was able to keep cutting across the field, and avoid sinking into the snow. But unfortunately, my steps were hard to follow.

The next winter I had learned my lesson. After the first big snowfall I didn’t lift my feet at all, shuffling through the snow all the way to school. I created a nice, easily walkable path across that field.

This winter, confronted by snow again, I have also made some slight improvements.IMG_20180202_073547663

I shovel the front porch because otherwise ice is liable to form there, and it’s no fun to walk on snow or ice in your slippers. With a clear porch I can let the dog out in slippers no problem.

And I shovel a bit of the grass because our dog is a dope, and she will wander aimlessly for a while if she sees no grass to pee on. Eventually she gives up and picks a random spot. But it’s easier if I have what I affectionately refer to as the ‘pee patch.’ If this spring that grass is dead, I’ll know the dog is overdue for a visit to the vet.


January 2018 Daily Haiku

January 1 (Monday)
All day in PJs
2018 starts with
Lots of lazinnes

January 2 (Tuesday)
Back to work today
As in my back’s turned to work!
Nah. I’m here. It stinks.

January 3 (Wednesday)
Reading bad sci-fi
Author made himself hero
Who girls can’t resist

January 4 (Thursday)
Slept on my forearm
So numb and asleep that I
Hit myself with it

January 5 (Friday)
Didn’t bring my lunch
New cafeteria food
… Same as the old stuff

January 6 (Saturday)
NFL playoffs
A new chance to hate the Pats
Let me count the ways

January 7 (Sunday)
The commercial trend
With ‘real people’ talking cars
Is dull and painful

January 8 (Monday)
‘Innovation’ sprint
Get to code a fun idea
Embracing nerd-dom

January 9 (Tuesday)
I’m overreaching
At first do this, this, and this
Now? Just this is fine

January 10 (Wednesday)
My night time routine
Humming a song on repeat
Bore my son to sleep

January 11 (Thursday)
New business idea
“Go where Trump isn’t”

January 12 (Friday)
*Draws karate dude*
“Yeah,I guess you could say that …
“I do martial arts”

January 13 (Saturday)
4:30 dinner
Opposite happy hour:
It’s all fams with kids

January 14 (Sunday)
Son woke up crying
I walk up, he sees me, grins
He owns me. And knows.

January 15 (Monday)
It’s MLK Day
Reminder: smart folks, and hope
Can bring good changes

January 16 (Tuesday)
Python class day one
First half: great stuff! Second half:
Brain starting to hurt

January 17 (Wednesday)
Python class day two
Aha! I get that concept!
Next chap.: Brain re-breaks

January 18 (Thursday)
Python class day three
Learned lots. Ready to break stuff!
Hellooooo ugly code!

January 19 (Friday)
When: bout 4am
What: son cried, picked up, *smiles*
Mood: flattered, annoyed

January 20 (Saturday)
Went to a kids store
Found anniversary gift
They even wrapped it

January 21 (Sunday)
Snowstorm hit last night
Friend visiting from Houston
…Wants to shovel? Sweet.

January 22 (Monday)
Demo my ‘fun’ work
Look if you follow THIS path
Works great! … Don’t click that.

January 23 (Tuesday)
Intro to Go class
I’m having flashbacks to C
But I’m less afraid

January 24 (Wednesday)
Three years of good with the wife
(And now a kid, too!)

January 25 (Thursday)
Last night kid slept great
Perhaps a gift from God of …
Keeping Folks Guessing

January 26 (Friday)
Burrito bar night
I dedicate this night to
Eating far too much

January 27 (Saturday)
Put the kid to bed
Watch Arrested D with wife
Hanging out sans kid!!

January 28 (Sunday)
Let’s go for a walk!
(Sun disappears, wind comes out)
Why are we outside?

January 29 (Monday)
Dear bands of the world
Can I create your next vid?
For real. I’d love that.

January 30 (Tuesday)
“Just pick the UI
“Write code. Change it if needed.”
*Throwaway code starts*

January 31 (Wednesday)
Should all companies
Force a monthly dance party?
I foresee no qualms

Decision Tree – Should I Riot?

Recently the Philadelphia Eagles won the super bowl. I was, and am, happy for them (but honestly, more happy the Pats lost). But, Eagles fans … I apologize. I should’ve provided you with this before the big day … but I had no confidence in your ability to win. (New Englanders would’ve taken a victory in stride as it is par for the course for them.)

Next time, <unexpected victorious city>, check this out first!


DumbFunnery Goes Traveling!

* Out of ***** Stars

Nice location. The food was good, except when you think of it in terms of its price. Staff was friendly. Overall I would’ve given it *** or maybe even **** BUT there was a super weird interaction with this guy.

GOP 2016 Debate*Note* I’m a thin guy with long dark hair. I got in an elevator and I was looking down on my phone so you couldn’t see my face, just hair covering my face. I was wearing skinny jeans because I happen to like that style. This older guy, super gross looking, gets in the elevator and stands next to me and I can feel him looking over at me and sort of swaying and leaning toward my direction. Then, he says, “you know what?” reaches his hand down and grabs my junk, I look up in shock, he gives me this super weird look and then pulls his hand back and says, “not want.” He looks back to the elevator door and gets off at the next stop without another word.



Trump International in D.C.
** Out of ***** Stars

The hotel itself was great – beautiful, luxurious sheets. The room was the kind of over the top luxury you would ordinarily only associate with someone who just recently got rich and wanted to spend all of their new found money very, very fast. Like a dumb pro athlete decorated the place. Totally impractical and stupid, but fun to stay here.

trumpivanka-kusherjared_022817gn_leadThe problem happened when I went out for a burrito (Chipotle is almost like a hobby to me). I came back and this like … orange? overbearing guy said, ‘look who got rape fuel for dinner.’ Are you serious? Disgusting. He had this tragic blonde young woman with him, she was like a Mona Lisa kind of figure where she had this little hint of a smile but behind it all you saw was sadness. And this guy was with her, I think they were married, he was like … I don’t know. He gave me the creeps. Imagine if a stale cracker became a human? I don’t know how to describe him.

Basically: hotel nice, people inside it soul-sucking.


Trump Liquors
**** Out of ***** Stars

leffe_triple_new_2This place is confusing. I can’t tell if it’s a sincere tribute to Donald Trump, or a great big joke mocking him. Kind of like whenever Trump talks and part of you almost thinks it’s some great big Andy Kaufman-esque insane comedy stunt.

Anyway, they had the beer I wanted, so that’s cool.

5 Things to do When an Apology Doesn’t Feel Genuine

5. Shriek
Pretend you’ve just seen something scary and shriek. When the person attempts to follow your line of sight and sees that nothing is there, he or she will start again. Still insincere? Shriek again.

It could get tough coming up for reasons for your shrieking, or maybe, just maybe, this  insincere apologizer will deliver the goods.

4. Accept the Apology Without Being Genuine
Oh, what, you just think I’m being passive aggressive by suggesting this? Why don’t you come up with a list of five things to do then, genius.

3. Maintain Direct Eye Contact While Pooping Your Pants
This is unpleasant for you, which is why it’s ranked number 3, but it is also very unpleasant for that faux-apologizing fool in your life. Things could get messy, literally, if they catch on to what you’re doing and try to walk away. You’ll need to waddle after them while continuing to ‘let loose the dogs of war.’

On the plus side, this person is very unlikely to ever deliver an insincere apology to you again.

2. Tell Them You’re Worried They’re Not Being Sincere
Explain again what led to this apology being issued, and try to help them understand by gently putting them in your shoes, and then explaining why you felt hurt. This could help grow the communication channels between the two of you, and strengthen your relationship, but on the down side this option could lead to the two of you ending up in a montage-like sequence of hugs, laughter, high-fives, and cuddling with puppies.

1. Accept the Apology, Days Later Sneak into Their House, Murder Someone
It doesn’t even have to be the person who gave you an insincere apology, that’s what is great about this option. But on the negative side, you’ll be a murderer. Also, jail seems imminent.


Why would I have a picture of Kevin Spacey when talking about insincere apologies? Oh, who knows.

Stacked Deck

I have a very young kiddo at home and this has led me to do some financial thinking and planning. For full disclosure, I was a fiscal conservative but am leaning more wacko liberal more and more due to the following I am about to explain.

I have a job that pays a good salary, and thankfully have never lived paycheck to paycheck. I am a college graduate and from a family where college was the expectation. Financial planning and forethought has always been a part of my life.

Let’s dive in.

Colorado, where I live, has public universities that would be fine options for a future potentially college bound child. We’ll look at Colorado State University’s (CSU) numbers (source).

Residents of Colorado pay an annual total price of $24,722 to attend Colorado State University Fort Collins on a full time basis. This fee is comprised of $8,716 for tuition,  $11,110 room and board, $1,200 for books and supplies and $2,336 for other fees.
Next up, let’s look at past tuition data in order to make an estimate about future tuition (source).

Year Out of State In State
2011 $23,652.00 $7,952.00
2012 $24,441.00 $8,649.00
2013 $25,166.00 $9,313.00
2014 $26,077.00 $9,897.00
2015 $27,267.00 $10,558.00
2016 $28,346.00 $11,052.00
2017 $29,372.00 $11,790.00
2018 $30,435.00 $12,578.00
2019 $31,537.00 $13,418.00
2020 $32,679.00 $14,314.00
2021 $33,862.00 $15,271.00
2022 $34,654.15 $15,608.22
2023 $35,689.93 $16,318.80
2024 $36,725.71 $17,029.38
2025 $37,761.49 $17,739.96
2026 $38,797.27 $18,450.55
2027 $39,833.05 $19,161.13
2028 $40,868.84 $19,871.71
2029 $41,904.62 $20,582.29
2030 $42,940.40 $21,292.87
2031 $43,976.18 $22,003.45
2032 $45,011.96 $22,714.04
2033 $46,047.75 $23,424.62
2034 $47,083.53 $24,135.20
2035 $48,119.31 $24,845.78
2036 $49,155.09 $25,556.36
2037 $50,190.87 $26,266.95
2038 $51,226.65 $26,977.53
2039 $52,262.44 $27,688.11
2040 $53,298.22 $28,398.69

Given that my son is brand spanking new, we’re looking at a projected TUITION cost of about $25,000 per year. That is currently the cost of one year of school. If the other costs (room and board, books and supplies, other fees) went up equivalently then in 18 years the cost of one year at CSU will go from $25,000 to $50,000. That’s one year of college.

Obvious math for the purposes of showing how painful the numbers are? A typical four year approach to college would cost $200,000. For a public school.

Looking at the above table, from 2011 to 2021 you’ve got a cost that has almost doubled (a 92% hike). What do you think the chances are of any person getting raises such that they make 92% more after 10 years of work? ie you’re hired on at $100,000, and ten years later you make $192,000?


Now that we’ve seen what we’re going to be dealing with, let’s talk about how to save up for that.

If you look up “don’t panic college cost” you’ll see a lot of articles talking about how grants and scholarships keep many from actually paying the full cost. That’s good, but you can’t plan on that. And more on that below.

Instead, you take advantage of some programs. Namely a 529 and a DCFSA.

First up, the 529. Every state provides a 529 and there are a ton of options. But it’s a way to put aside money, with tax advantages, that you’ll eventually use on college, vo-tech, books for school, etc (they have specific rules).

The DCFSA is a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. This is for when you have a little one. This is a tax advantages way to take money out of your paycheck (before it goes to you) and into this account which you then use to pay for daycare. If I’m already going to pay for daycare why not put money into a DCFSA to save myself a few tax dollars?

But here’s the thing!

In my case, my son won’t be in daycare til April but I am able, due to the fact that I don’t live paycheck to paycheck, to start putting money into the DCFSA right away. In fact, I don’t have a choice (I opted into this program when choosing medical insurance and such).

And again, thanks to a good salary, I am able to start putting money into my son’s college account (the 529) right away. With the investing that money will do, it’ll (hopefully) grow and invest into itself so that the money will grow.

With the fact that my wife and I have options and a good life, we’ll be able to provide stability, extracurricular options as the kiddo grows up, hopefully good schools, and parents who have predictable jobs and hours and we’ll be able to channel that into a good environment for a growing mind. This increases the odds of obtaining grants or scholarships.

With the 529, the DCFSA (to start the kid off right with a good daycare), and a healthy life that will increase the odds of being one of those who is able to secure scholarships or grants our kiddo will hopefully be able to afford college without crippling student loan debt should he choose to go.


Feel free to examine this from the perspective of someone who is less fortunate however you see. But a few points I’d like to make.

Would a mom or dad who is living more along the lines of paycheck to paycheck be able to afford the DCFSA? It could present a tougher challenge. Say a child is supposed to start daycare in June, you expect the mom or dad to sacrifice their precious paycheck that many months? And what if their kiddo is going to an unofficial, and therefore not DCFSA allowed, daycare or in home care?

And if they can’t do a DCFSA, what are the odds they’ll be able to do a 529?

And if they’re working jobs that don’t allow flexible hours, how easy will it be to have the kiddo join after school programs which prevent them from being able to take the bus home from school? And without a heavy resume when applying for colleges, the odds of a grant or scholarship for academic or extracurricular reasons decreases.

And if they’re looking at a $50,000 a year cost for college, isn’t it fair to look at that number and feel overwhelmed and less enthusiastic about pushing your child to better him or herself?


If you’re thinking, ‘well, it’s the American dream, you just have to work for it.’ Sure. I’m with you. But it’s like having two football teams where one has the latest pads, jerseys, cleats, etc and the other is playing naked. When you beat someone when you’ve got such a head start, it’s hardly worth patting yourself on the back.

Going worst case scenario – we live in a society where college (and housing, and autos) is increasing at a rate much, much faster than salaries are increasing. Aren’t we setting ourselves up to have a diminishing group of higher educated people? That does not benefit society as a whole.



December Haiku

December 1 (Friday)
What is happiness?
The kiddo sleeping on me
With little sleep sounds

December 2 (Saturday)
Went shopping today
The dog stayed home and practiced
Her best forlorn look

December 3 (Sunday)
Vid of kid sneezing
And … is that MY voice? Gushing?

December 4 (Monday)
Hi ho! Hi ho! It’s
(Dramatic audible sigh)
Back to work I go

December 5 (Tuesday)
Winter has arrived
As evidenced by my hands
Dry, cracked, scaly hands

December 6 (Wednesday)
If Quasimodo,
Camels fought for ‘hump day’ rights
Who would win the fight?

December 7 (Thursday)
Got sis from airport
Quick bathroom stop at Dunkin’
Hellooooo donut holes

December 8 (Friday)
Vacation day, fools!
Brewery tour with the sis
Yes please, free samples

December 9 (Saturday)
Take out Thai food plus
Bad Netflix Christmas movie
Equals a good night

December 10 (Sunday)
Aw, happy baby!
AH! Upset screaming baby!!
… My circle of life

December 11 (Monday)
My moment of Zen
Is picturing the kiddo’s
Big, goofy smile

December 12 (Tuesday)
Christmas shopping done!
But for buying myself junk
It’s open season

December 13 (Wednesday)
People have spoken!
Thank God ‘Bama has black folks
White ‘Bamans … The hell?

December 14 (Thursday)
The internet’s free
To be broken for profit
Thank you FCC

December 15 (Friday)
Kid can’t do dairy
So the wife cut out dairy
No milk … For good milk

December 16 (Saturday)
Hosted a small brunch
Everyone there has babies
Life moves pretty fast

December 17 (Sunday)
Kiddo’s belly’s off
Poor kids hardly slept last night
Mom and Pop? No sleep.

December 18 (Monday)
Check the to do list
Huh, it says ‘Be unproductive
Just count til Christmas’

December 19 (Tuesday)
Christmas card crafting
Or, a chance to be cheesy
And show off my son

December 20 (Wednesday)
So great it’s Friday!
*Looks at clock, blinks, sighs, bows head*
I feel so betrayed

December 21 (Thursday)
Tree falls in the woods
Tree summers in the mountains
Tree has some nice homes

December 22 (Friday)
Who here among us
Would like to cast the first stone?
(Glass house unveiling)

December 23 (Saturday)
Hello vacation!
Ten days of sitting around
Plain old glorious

December 24 (Sunday)
Wife’s folks and grandfolks
Visiting us for Christmas
Our kiddo’s first one!

December 25 (Monday)
Merry Christmas, all!
And to those who could care less
Happy Monday, all!

December 26 (Tuesday)
Food out for rabbits
Courtesy my wife’s grandpa
They took most of it!

December 27 (Wednesday)
Saw Star Wars!
He was all, ‘hey man, same team?’
She was like, ‘as if!’

December 28 (Thursday)
Wake up with kiddo
We play or he naps on me
Joys of staycation

December 29 (Friday)
Nature can be cruel
My son gives a giant pout
I giggle, say ‘awwww!’

December 30 (Saturday)
‘Don’t Know What That Means
But it Sounds Intelligent???’
My auto-bio

December 31 (Sunday)
Rang in the new year
By making good burritos

%d bloggers like this: