Tuesday, December 26, 2006

fruits and binomials

Yesterday I tried baking some squash and apples. We had some pre-cut acorn squash around, I added apples and coated it all with some oil and syrup, topped with some brown sugar and walnut pieces. It turned out ok, but the squash was a little dry. Maybe I should have covered it or added water or something.


I have also been playing around with probablility and cards. In particular, I’ve been looking at that Most Popular of single-player card games. I think I’ve figured out how many deck orderings lead to an entirely unplayable game, in both the draw-3 and draw-1 variants. I’ve found someone’s article where they have gotten estimates based on random sampling, but haven’t been able to find anyone with an exact number, which I believe I’ve got. I’m kind of pleased about that, and I’m in the process of writing up an article that I’ll probably put online eventually.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Bicycle: Repaired. Employment: Diversified.

I fixed my bike tube last weekend. The offending shard of brown glass was still in the tire. It was nearly a quarter-inch long and was shoved pretty much all the way into the tire. The tube needed two patches right next to each other, but the whole process went pretty quick.

Also, I’ve got some new part-time work lined up. I’ll be putting my degree to some use, sooner than I expected, editing math textbooks and study guides. The pay looks to be pretty nice, and I’ll be working at home and more or less setting my own schedule. The whole situation has a lot of promise, and was frankly a surprising reversal, considering my employment search efforts up to this point.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

old news is new news

Here are a few things that have happened lately. Some of them have happened several times now, but such repetition seems to be the state of my affairs lately.

We went to visit the college I attended. This time there was a soccer game going on. I just watched, but next time they may be low on players so I might play instead.

My bike has a flat tire. It seemed to be a result of some glass I ran over. I find this interesting, since I seem to run over broken glass a lot and this is the first time I’ve noticed a flat tire immediately following. I suppose it might be because the kind of glass that is usually on the street is car window/windshield glass and the glass I ran over today was probably beer bottle glass. Is this significant? I don’t know.

I have been playing chess by email with a friend of mine. When I get the chance, I play chess online in real-time against other people I know, but that doesn’t really happen often enough.

I continue to work at the book store, and probably will for some time. I apply for other jobs sometimes, but I haven’t found many that would improve on the job I have.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

no-meat sandwich

I don’t think we’ve been making much interesting food lately, but I felt this one was worth mentioning: a hot meatball sandwich with cheese. I might have cut the bread too thick and not toasted it long enough, but it was still very good and very filling. The meatballs and the cheese are both vegan soy products. We had some lettuce and things that I should probably have fixed a salad with, but I don’t think I could have eaten one anyway after this sandwich.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

more stuff

I bought a pair of mittens and a cardigan at the thrift store yesterday. The mittens are army issue, and the inner liner has a trigger finger option in addition to the usual mitten compartment. The cardigan has buttons and pockets. I don’t really feel like I need pockets, but it was the only decent cardigan I could find, and I wanted to get something to wear around the house as the weather gets colder.

I wore the outer shell of the mittens to work today. The inner liners seemed like they might get too warm, so I replaced them with a pair of thinner gloves that I have. It worked well. I’m also in the habit of wearing my full rain gear to and from work. There isn’t a lot of rain, but it helps a great deal with the wind. Since I started that, the ride has been pretty comfortable for the most part. The only remaining problems are hat related. It’s difficult to position a hat so that the wind stays off my ears. I have a pair of earmuffs also, but I’m concerned that my head will get cold if that’s all I wear. Wearing both is not very comfortable, based on my tests.

Also, we picked up some carpet. Most of it went in the bedroom across the hall from mine, but I got a couple small area-rug size pieces for my room. It’s quite nice compared to the hard wood floor. I should have tried to get some sooner.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bicycle Progress

I went to a bike shop and bought a wrench, tire levers, a new tube and a patch kit (for the future). It turned out that the tube had a new hole in it and my patch had not failed. I just replaced the tube anyway and it’s working fine for the moment. I’m a little concerned that the rim, which is out of true and maybe out of round also, is causing the tube to puncture, but I don’t know enough about bicycles to know how likely that is. I’ll probably replace it anyway with one of the rims I have in the basement. They will probably be in better condition.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Three events

I did three major things this week. First, I managed to patch the tire on my bike. Unfortunately, that didn’t last. Just last night it went flat again. The bike co-op had no tubes that fit my tires, so I would have to try to patch it again. More likely, I’ll take it to a bike shop and pay to get a new tube on it, or buy a tube and the tools to do it at home.

Second, I built a dresser out of cardboard boxes I’ve received. I’ve been trying to find a dresser for a while now, but haven’t come across anything good, so I decided to put one together.


It looks a little tidier in life than in this picture. The middle flap doesn’t hang down like that. The drawer-box on the right is pulled out a little, also. When not in use, it tucks nicely away.

Third, I attended a local board game night with friends of a friend. It was a good time all around, and the house was close enough to bike to. In the future, I might try to work on the same days as the board game night, because the store is on the way there and it would save me a trip and a half or so.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Fun and Not Fun

There is a park nearby with basketball hoops and a big open field. We go there sometimes to throw the frisbee around, and today we went to play a game of Horse. It’s been unseasonably warm, which is nice. Inside our house, the temperature is always several degrees lower than it is outside, so getting out in the sun feels extra pleasant.

A few days ago I spent some time in the sun for a different reason. My bike got a flat tire and I ended up walking to work. I found out I wasn’t scheduled to work until the afternoon, so I walked home and then walked back again later. I took the bus home that night. I’m still taking the bus to work, but I’ll try to fix my bike again by the end of next week.

It’s interesting how much a working bike is worth to me. I’ve invested less than ten or twelve dollars into the bike I have. It will probably cost another three dollars in to fix the tire. If I ride the bus to work and back for the rest of the year, it would cost me more than a few hundred dollars.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

under the weather

I’ve been succumbing to and recovering from a cold for the past few days. It’s been a bit unpleasant, but the worst seems to be past. Fortunately I wasn’t really hit with it until after I got off work, and I happened to have enough days off that I should be mostly recovered before my next scheduled shift. I had to put off some of my days-off plans, though, and ended up without much to do except watch movies and drink hot liquids (some good hot cocoa and some mediocre apple cider, mostly). It wasn’t an entirely wasted weekend, but it also wasn’t really the one I wanted.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

public transit

It was raining fairly hard yesterday, so I decided to take the bus to work instead of biking like usual. Our house is less than a block from a bus line that goes right past the store where I work, so I may take advantage of it quite a lot as the weather gets worse.

Unfortunately, the bus schedule doesn’t line up very well with my work schedule. I have the choice of arriving half an hour early or else arriving barely on time and maybe too late. Yesterday morning I planned to arrive half an hour early, but since I hadn’t taken the bus before and didn’t know exactly where the stop was, the bus passed by me about ten seconds before I got to the stop. I hung around the house for a while and then went and took the next bus and got to work just barely on time.

After work, I decided to check out a nearby thrift store to see if I could get some decent rain gear. I ended up with a very nice goretex pants and coat outfit. The pants are not quite long enough if I wear them normally, but I just wear them low and let the jacket cover the gap.

After the thrift store, I wasn’t sure how long I would have to wait for the bus, so I decided to go ahead and test out my new rain gear by walking home. It turns out that it is a very long walk, so I don’t expect to try it much in the future. Along the way, though, I did find a Monopoly board game that someone had thrown out. I brought it home and we laid out all the money and cards on a plastic sheet to dry out. It looks like missing pieces are minimal, so with any luck it will still be playable. Also, my rain gear worked quite well, so it was overall a successful walk.