Archive for August, 2008

I am a turtle.

Posted: August 20, 2008 in Uncategorized
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Fun Pictures

Posted: August 20, 2008 in Uncategorized
I love meat.

I love meat

Yin Yang in Coffee

Dr Suess car

I went golfing for work yesterday

Posted: August 19, 2008 in Sports
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Yes, it’s true. I got a call around 11:45 that the forth person on a team representing the Mission couldn’t make it at the last minute so someone thought to call me. The conversation went like this:

“Hey Dan do you golf?”

“No. I have golfed, but I wouldn’t say that I do golf. I’m actually pretty terrible.”

“That’s great. Do you want to play in a tournament today?”

“Um, didn’t you just hear me say how bad I am?”

“Yeah, but we need a fourth guy and you’re available. So can you come?”

“Yeah, when do we leave?”

“Right now.”

And so it went. I didn’t have lunch but I actually made enough good drives and putts that it was worth it. I might even fool myself into thinking that I’m actually good enough to buy a set of clubs. We did play “best ball” though which was good. Basically, all four people hit their own ball and then you pick whoever shot the best and play from there.

It was for a good cause too. The Samaritan Center in Syracuse feeds the homeless and I think we raised more than $10,000.

Ultimate frisbee

Posted: August 18, 2008 in Sports
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I played some ultimate last night with my brother and sister and a bunch of their friends. One of them has a connection with the Parks and Rec department so we got to play on a turf field with the lights on. It was really fun. Although it showed that I am slightly out of shape. I am not eighteen anymore like a few of the people on my team. But I got a second wind around 10:15 or so and made some good interceptions and passes.  Great fun.

I always enjoy Frisbee because of good memories of playing it with my Dad out on the sand when the tide goes out in Brewster on Cape Cod. You could just run forever and not hit anything. Those were the days. I am also fortunate to have a wife with a great frisbee arm. We have a lot of fun playing and doing tricky catches and throws. Although we were almost arrested on our honeymoon because we were playing in a park in the middle of town in Bar Harbor. We found it interesting that a state who’s motto is “vacationland” will not let its tourists have fun.

Yes, we use cloth diapers. No, we’re not insane. My wife and I both agreed to this approach before Andrew was born. In the past, both of our mothers used a diaper service that was available but they often use harsh chemicals like bleach. So we decided to do it ourselves. We got a new high efficiency washer that has a “sanitary” cycle. Basically it has an internal water heater so that it can use very hot water no matter what your t-stat is set to on your hot water heater. The diapers are really not that bad to use. The covers have velcro and cool designs on them. You don’t have to use pins.

Another great reason we use them is that disposable diapers are just so expensive compared to cloth. We bought two sampler packs of cloths and covers that cost around $160 total.  We haven’t needed more since and our washer only costs about 44 cents a load. Compare that to disposables that go for around  $50 for jumbo pack that might last a month. That’s still $600 a year. Not to mention the environmental cost of having a plastic ( remember plastic is a petroleum product made from oil. Why are we in Iraq again?) diaper rotting in a landfill for 500 years.

I know cloth is not for everyone. People think they are too busy or that it would be too gross. And it does take a lot of work. My wife is awesome in that respect. But they have already paid off in many ways. We’ve only had one minor diaper rash (that was using up the newborn disposables we got) and potty training will be easier because cloth actually feels wet and uncomfortable instead of that gel stuff that sucks it away ( and may or may not be carcinogenic) Well that’s just a few thoughts on why we use cloth diapers and why I think other parents should too.

I am proud of the fact that I have a small (1500 sq. ft.) arts and crafts bungalow built in 1925. Yes it’s small, old, has a moist basement, and non-insulated walls, But it was built to last by people who took pride in their work. I read an interesting book that had a chapter on this very subject a while ago. It is “Crunchy Cons” . I have a review of it below. The other good thing about my house was that even though we qualified for a $300,000 loan, we got it for a whopping $58,000 and have since put $12,000 into it as a 95% efficient furnace and insulation. The winters can get cold here in upstate NY. Plus it’s within the city so I only have to ride my bike two miles to work instead of a long commute from the suburbs.

Commuting

Posted: August 15, 2008 in Uncategorized
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My commuter.

My commuter.

I already mentioned that I ride my bike to work but I thought I’d talk a little more about it. I started last year when we lived 3.5 miles from my work and my wife was 25 miles from her workplace. When we started looking for a house, location relative to work was definitely a factor. Now I am only 2 miles away (about 12 minutes by bike and 11 minutes by car) and Lydia is only 15 miles away. I hear about these people who get up at 4:30 am and drive 3 hours to go to work. Everyday. That’s crazy! My time is more valuable than that. And my money goes to other things instead of Gas. I only filled up once in June. If you decide to do this, here are a few tips: get fenders, they prevent that stripe up the back from rain and puddles. I use the rack on the back everyday for my messenger bag or my laptop so having one of those is also important. Mine has lights in the front and back that run off a little dynamo on the back tire. When they’re off, they’re just reflectors. I don’t use this very often but when it’s dark coming home, or raining or misty, it really helps. The only other big trick is to have a back up transportation plan in case the weather is terrible. I could ride the bus or snag a ride from my wife if I really needed to but since the car would be going downtown, that defeats the purpose of saving gas. If more people would realize that they can commute by bike if they rearrange a few things in their life, they could save money, time, and get fit doing it.

Hello world!

Posted: August 14, 2008 in Uncategorized

Hey Everybody! I’m new here. I had a blog over at blogspot that I posted to around twice a year so I thought I would start again and wordpress seemed better. So maybe I will repost some of my old entries here to start things off and hopefully I will stick with it.

Dan

YES. If you do not have one, get one. Saving for retirement is important and even though the market may seem bad now, in the long run, it is always a good bet.

On a personal note, I just met with my adviser from the Principal and he said I was an “Ideal” participant. I started young (around 19 or 20) and am putting away 10% of my income. My employer also contributes 7.5% which is amazing for a nonprofit. If I just keep going how I am, by the time I’m 67, I will have $ 1.7 million dollars tucked away. Not bad. If I up my contribution to 15%, it will be over $3 million! Yeah baby!

So my point is, start a 401 (K) and contribute to it. Shoot for 10% but anything is good. Over time, you might become a millionaire.

Living Green

Posted: August 14, 2008 in environment
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I have been trying to live a more “green” lifestyle. I ride my bicycle to work (only 2 miles so about 12 minutes) I installed a 95% efficient furnace, and also got a new washer, dryer, and fridge which are all highly rated with energy star. We compost and only clean with natural products. I even go so far as to shave with a straight razor because there are no replacement blades. (although sometimes when I am lazy I use an old safety razor that has double edge razor blades. But those are 10 cents each, not 4 dollars each like mach 3 or fusion blades are. There are many other ways we save as well. Here are a few: (more…)

New Baby!

Posted: August 14, 2008 in Uncategorized
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Hey blogosphere! ( all 2 people who actually read anything I wrote)

I wanted to say that I am a new Dad of a two month old Andrew Iain. He is pretty sweet. He just laughed for the first time a few days ago. Today is the one year anniversary of when we moved into our new house. We are inviting everyone who helped us move. Pizza. We have done a lot to the sean pios but it still needs a lot of work. Here is the new baby.

Andrew Iain

Andrew Iain

This is a post from 3-28-07

Me at Salmon River Falls gorge

Me at Salmon River Falls gorge

Hey blogosphere!
Things are going well for me. I’m rockin’ up at school with Calculus and Accounting (just got a 95 on my latest Calc exam). The only hard thing about class is not seeing my wife in the evenings. Just last night, 15 minutes before I needed to head out the door, my lovely wife starts belly-dancing! Like it’s easy to go to math class as it is without tearing myself away from my sexy bride. Anyway, here is what I’ve been reading lately:

“Selected Stories from Philip K. Dick”. Lots of his short stories. Very cool. Lots of crazy ideas.

“Crunchy Cons” by Rod Dreher. This is about the neo conservative movement in America. Crunchy means “earthy.” This was a thought provoking book. He went through different sections like food, housing, religion, education, etc and how conservatives feel about each issue. For example, he would rather have (more…)

This was a post from11/20/06

The Happy couple

The Happy couple

Hey guys,
Well it’s been a little more than 3 months since my wedding. It went great. Weather was perfect. My bride was beautiful. Our honeymoon was pretty cool. We went up to Canadia and down through Maine and then back up to PEI. Beautiful. I definitely took way too many pictures. We swung back through Acadia which was also great except for their No Frisbee Playing ordinance in Ba Ha Ba. We jumped right back into life when we got back and Lydia got hired the day we returned! Yaa! Our home is finally getting in order and we have had a few awesome parties so far with International Talk Like A Pirate Day on Sept. 19th and our Masquerade Extravaganza just before Halloween. I was a ninja, of course!

Anyway I thought I would just update my current interests. I just finished reading a few good books.

“The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach is all about setting up your accounts and things so that you accumulate wealth…automatically! Basically set up a 401 k early and contribute at least 10 % of your income for as long as you can. Second, buy a house, don’t rent. You will never get rich renting. Also don’t use credit cards. That’s about it.

“Overthrow” by Stephen Kinzer is about America’s century of regime change from Hawaii to Iraq. This book was pretty cool. It’s kind of like a secret version of history that you don’t learn in school. Now I know why South America doesn’t like us. Or the Philipines. Or IRAN! We started it! (more…)