Category: Musings

Feb 15

Pi Day is coming! Pi Day is coming!

 

Come to the dork side, we have pie

Who doesn’t love pie? Seriously. Who? I will tell ya who…. geeks, nerds, scientists and mathematicians of all stripes. Ok, well, just about everybody loves pie.

I’m not here today to talk about PIE, but about PI. The mathematical constant that relates a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter and is often shortened to 3.14159, or even 3.14. Actually the number is infinite. It goes on and on and on and on and on and … It is an irrational number, meaning it can’t be defined using common fractions. So it’s a bit of a conundrum as you can never really find the square of a circle using a compass and a straight edge.

It has also spawned an International Pi Day, observed on March 14 (Get it? 3/14?) that started, of course, in San Francisco as all good counter culture movements have in the past 5/10ths of a century. A fine gent by the name of Larry Shaw started the first Pie Day at the Exploratorium in San Francisco by eating pie on March 14, 1988. Since then it has become a beloved, yet little-known holiday … except to the geeks who observe it.

Larry Shaw, the founder of Pi Day, at the Exploratorium in San Francisco (Ronhip (Ron Hipschman), uploaded to the Commons by Furfur on 22-Jul-08)

Since I love geeks, but think they really shouldn’t be running about naked (think of the children! And the cold cold winter!), I have a bunch of t-shirts and hoodies over at Cafepress perfect for wearing on Pi Day. And since my student loans won’t pay themselves off, the proceeds will help me end my debt slavery. So be a darling and get a t-shirt or two. I will be adding new posts and t-shirt designs here regularly throughout the month leading up to Pi Day. There might also be recipes for pie. I also welcome suggestions for new concepts, and new pie recipes.

So help a fellow geek out and fly your Pi High …..

How have you celebrated Pi Day in the past? What are your amazing plans for this year?

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Feb 14

Confessions of a student loan statistic

Student is debt slavery

Crush student debt before it crushes us!

 

I admit it, I am a statistic. A student-debt-up-to-my-eyeballs-in-debt statistic. In 2010, I completed my seven year journey to obtain a doctoral degree and since I was a single mom and not really rolling in the dough, I acquired what is euphemistically called “student debt.” I don’t regret getting the degree as it has opened whole worlds to me, but it would have been dandy if it didn’t leave me a financial cripple for the rest of my days.

My monthly student debt bill is $1095, which amounts to $13,140 per year. Add in a car payment (my trusty Blueberry died after 13 years of excellent service), insurance, and a small bit of credit card debt left over from my grad school days, and … yeah. Not much left over to help with the kid’s college savings or to save for a rainy day or to buy house or to contribute to retirement fund. My total debt after paying for three years, and paying off several smaller loans, is still over $140,000. How does that even happen? Obviously, my degree is not in finance. I work in state government, so if Congress holds up its end of the bargain, then about half of that (the federal loan half) will be expunged after 2019.

What would be helpful is if I could deduct the entire amount I pay, not just the interest up to $2,500 from my income when paying taxes. I know that my name is not Exxon Mobil or Goldman Sachs, but
surely we little people deserve that much.

People like me work hard at jobs we love. I really really love my job which I would not have if I didn’t have my degree.

Of course, if anyone has a spare $140,000 laying around, I wouldn’t be too proud to have some sugar daddy pay it off.

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Feb 08

Oh, the weather outside is frightful …

…but the scones are so delightful!

So Oregon has been in the grip of a rare winter storm that has brought many many inches of snow to town. Now, most of you folks back east may scoff, but when your town only has two snowplows, it can be an issue to deal with. We took advantage of the Snow Day to bake some lemon scones…

Lemon scones

Lemon scones … with honey and butter

Later, it kept snowing so what do all good Scadians do when that happens? That’s right, kids, we get into garb and take pictures! So Luc (who was having NONE of that silly getting into garb and going into the snow action), Meghan and I trudged into the back yard, just as the light was starting to fail.

Oh the weather outside is frightful!

Oh the weather outside is frightful!

Handsome husband is handsome

Handsome husband is handsome

 

Snowy Persian!

Snowy Persian!

 

Mama likes the snow!

Mama likes the snow!

 

Could this be a snow ninja?

Could this be a snow ninja?

 

Much fun was had by all!

Much fun was had by all!

 

After taking the pictures, we came in to a warm house and a pot roast that has been cooking all day.

 

 

 

 

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Feb 07

Snow Day!!!!

Today is a snow day! I have my coffee and there will be scones later. Oh yes, there WILL BE SCONES! And maybe a pot roast if I feel like braving the walk down to the market to pick up a cut of beef. I have some carrots and onions that are on their last legs and need to be cooked to yumminess soon.

The goal for today will be to get the taxes in order. This year is probably the last year it will be fairly simple. Next year I will have business expenses to fold in to the fun and games with the IRS. Which reminds me, the library book on home business tax deduction that I checked out is due soon. I need to finish it this weekend to help me to get my book keeping house in order. Maybe I’ll post something about some of the best tips that I find.

Speaking of planning ahead…. A future post will be a soul-baring outline of my student loan debt. Get ready for some scary stuff! I have been a bit of a coward and not really faced exactly how much student debt I really have. But I will start a series of posts here with quarterly check-ins to see how much (or how little … EEK!) debt I have managed to pay off. Check back often! I should try to find one of them thermometer thingys to make it very visual. Or do an infographic, since that seems to be all the rage these days.

So, I’m off to get a start on the day….

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