Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dual Monitors Come to Chromebook!

With the latest release of Chrome OS, you can run dual monitors.  It's just what I've been waiting for.  I have a monitor mounted to my wall that sits over my desk and it will be really nice to have my real work on there and I can video chat from the chromebook screen.

If you need to configure the position of your second monitor, just click the status area (with battery & wireless info), then click the name of the monitor and you'll be able to adjust.  Super simple.  Chromebooks just keep getting better & better.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Which Weather Forecast to Trust?

Below are two very different forecasts.  The temperatures are not that far off from each other, but compare the chance of precipitation!  Note that the TWC forecast starts at 4pm and Weatherbug at 5pm.  These forecasts were pulled offline within minutes of one another.  I just do not understand how such a discrepancy in precipitation forecasts is possible when both places have access to the same historical data.  Do they have models that are that vastly different?  If you know anything about this, please leave a comment explaining.

I'm no weather expert, but sometimes I visit the NWS radar page to see if I can interpret the radar as being closer to one end of the forecast spectrum or the other.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

FAMU Way Extension

This is the front page of a City of Tallahassee document about a new road to be built south of Gaines.  It would have been nice to have this in place as an alternate route before messing up Gaines street.  One thing to notice (after you check out the paralleled donk & the red car with big rims and blackouts) is the double sidewalk and a nice wide bike lane that is separated from parked cars by the "door zone" painted with diagonal white lines.  I think this could become a preferred bike route.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

100 Mile January

I decided about 10 days into January that I would try to run 100 miles this month.  I had noticed a high mileage beginning to the month.  I just passed my goal yesterday, sitting at 101.5 miles for the month.  I still have 5 days left.  I don't plan on running every day, but I am about to go out for a little jaunt now.

It's kind of funny that this stint followed a 2012 with only 481 miles.  Only 35.5 were in December.  I don't think I'll keep up this rate of mileage throughout the year, but it's been a nice project.  I feel good.

Socrates Sock

Update 1-27-13: Cam Carter has announced production delays.  There should be weekly updates here.

Original from 10-31-12:
So, there's a Kickstarter project to make amazingly durable socks.  I wanted to get in at the minimum level, but they had sold out, so I kicked in $65 to get 4 pair of socks & a handkerchief.  I've never backed a project on Kickstarter before, but I think it's a super cool website.  It's incredible what we can do with the internet these days.

I've been serious about socks since I bought my first pair of Sock Guy socks in undergrad, probably in 2003.  I used to wear plain white cotton socks.  The moisture wicking Sock Guy sock was my favorite until I wore it out.  I started picking up a pair or 2 of "technical" socks at a time and now they're what I wear almost exclusively.  The Socrates Sock looks to be so durable that it will last indefinitely.  I'm going to need some more business socks anyway so it was good to get these.  My good socks are all athletic style right now.  I'll wear them as a base layer underneath business socks to get the benefits of moisture wicking combined with a dual-layer effect.

Speaking of wearing socks out...In order to test the durability of the Socrates Sock, I'm planning on "barefoot" running in the Socrates Socks.  I might make a youtube video review detailing the damage done.  I have worn out quite a few pair of socks.  In fact, I quit buying Sock Guy socks because they seem to wear out faster than some other brands I've found.  Wearing out a pair of anything is a pretty good feeling for me though.  As long as it doesn't happen prematurely, I feel like I've got my money's worth out of the worn out item.  Let's hope I'll get that money's worth feeling from the Socrates Socks even before they wear out.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Frugal February, Round 2

I'm doing Frugal February again this year.  You can read about the background here.  Last year I had seven rules to follow to eliminate my impulse spending.  This year I'm doing a bit of tweaking.  I will retain all the old rules and add some new ones.

New rules:
1.  I will try to drink mainly water to reduce my expenditure on drinks.
2.  I will try to eat fairly cheaply without letting my diet fall to crap.  Last year I did not limit myself on grocery expenditures and spent about $108 on food.  I'm pretty sure I can drop this to $90.  I might try to eat some food that's been on the shelf in my house for a while.
3.  I'm allowing expenditure on Valentine's day stuff, but nothing extravagant.  Definitely under $20.

CAVEAT:  I am exempt from these rules if I get a flyout.  A flyout is basically a day long interview/campus visit for a university that is interested in hiring me.  The exemption lasts from the day before I leave until the day after I return.  At my discretion I may make up for these days by extending these rules into March.
...and by the way, I realized that I have a multi-day teaching conference to attend in February that's a couple hundred miles away...I'm going to allow gas for that.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Parents are Economists #2: Don't Drink & Drive

My parents wanted to make sure that I would never drink & drive.  On top of education about the disaster that can be caused by DUI, they also structured incentives to make it a dominant strategy for me to avoid drinking & driving.

The rule in our house went like this:  if I were ever in a situation where I felt that I should not drive home, all I had to do was call my parents and they would come and get me.  No questions asked, no threat of punishment.  Let me repeat:  I would NOT get in trouble for getting wasted as long as I was responsible and called for a ride home.  On the other hand, if I were to drink & drive, then consequences would be severe if they found out.  There is a high probability that they would find out since I live at home and my mom's nose could serve as a breathalyzer.  They would be alerted to my return home by the alarm, so there's not a good way that I could have hidden intoxication upon return home.  Even if I could have hidden intoxication with probability p, driving drunk would impose other costs on myself and others and I would always have the dominant strategy to avoid drunk driving.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Famous from Facebook

Well, maybe I'm not famous but a girl at the F Lounge tonight asked me if I was Austin.  Apparently she was friends with one of my ex-girlfriends (who hails from Tally) and had seen me on Facebook.  I thought it was kind of funny and razzed her a bit for being a stalker but it's just one more sign of a shrinking world.  I think it's cool that people can recognize one another even if they've never met online before.

This kind of segues into why there's less crime in small's because everyone knows each other.  There are reputation effects and sanctions can be imposed.  I imagine that this girl would have avoided me tonight if she thought that I was a jerk because of what she had seen online.  I know that this sort of thing creates the ability for misconceptions from the digital realm to permeate brick & mortar reality but that shouldn't happen very often.

In fact, I met a professor in San Diego last weekend.  I had not met him before, but had been to his website and watched some of his youtube videos.  I had heard stories about him from other professors and I was able to hop right into a conversation about his style of teaching.  The internet really can bring us together socially as well as facilitating the exchange of money for goods and services (and microfinance loans).

Friday, January 11, 2013

WTF Nishant

I was just looking at the website and saw the following video.  Nishant stayed with me for a couple days in Tally.  It was a fun time.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I've Always Been a Teacher

As I was sitting at my desk tonight, reviewing my SPOT (Student Perception of Teaching) evaluations, I am reminded of why I want to be a professional teacher.  I could be doing a lot of other stuff right now, but reviewed my SPOT forms.  I always seem to want to do my teaching related tasks, much like my psychology homework when I took that course in undergrad.  I enjoy preparing for class, instructing class, and I can handle the grading.

I've always been a teacher.  I prepared my brother for school and he was able to start a year early.  My neighbor and I taught my brother colors and letters and numbers and who knows what else while he was little.  I guess it helps that D's a bright kid and he can still learn whatever he wants (although he won't learn something that he lacks interest in).  As early as middle school, I would study for tests by helping other people with questions they had...this became a dominant form of test prep in college.  I made most of my money growing up from mowing yards, but ever since becoming qualified to tutor more classes, I have done most of my side hustling by tutoring.  I've tutored chemistry, spanish, math, econ, and maybe even other stuff.

I like to teach people who are willing to learn.  It's very satisfying when students "get" a concept.  I like to be able to help them reach a new level of understanding.  In the professional setting, I really hope that students can take what they learn in my class and apply it to their everyday lives and maybe even a more advanced class.

I started teaching very young and I hope I can continue until I'm very old.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Running Recent Record

I've run 38 miles in the first 7 days of 2013.  That's more than I ran in any 7 day period in all of 2012.  The biggest 7 days in 2012 totaled 34 miles.  Part of the reason I was able to run so much is that I was at the "job market" in San Diego from Thursday night until Monday and I finished my obligations after Saturday morning so I went for one nice 8 mile run and a 9 miler the next day.  I don't always have that kind of leisure.

I was thinking about trying to make running a more regular thing.  We'll see how that goes.  For now I'm considering taking a day off.