Saturday, September 28, 2013


Because I like computer stuff like this, and because "51% likelihood of being foreign" doesn't really seem like probable cause to me, I figured out how to encrypt e-mails with PGP (wiki explanation). My public key is here.

If you're interested, you can set it up quite easily on a Mac with GPGTools.
h/t MrB

Dirtbagging at Walmart

Walmart lets you sleep in your RV or car in their parking lots. I've taken advantage of this a time or two, and I've read that Clarence Thomas does the same. The NYT magazine has a photo piece on people from Arizona Walmart lots.

Friday, September 20, 2013

More Updates

As you can see below I sold my Subaru for scrap, because it would have cost too much to get it to pass PA inspection. I may or may not turn that cash into 13% of a used Suzuki V-Strom 650, or maybe just a Burly trailer so I can get George places. For the time being, I'll just be renting on occasion, because it's pretty ridiculous to own a car when you live half a mile from your office.

Apparently the College eliminated a lot of low-fee retirement investment options. This is unfortunate. I may not believe all of what my father taught me as a child anymore, but "put your retirement investments in a low-fee index fund and leave your money there, because you'll lose a bunch of money in taxes and fees if you try and beat the market" is something I am still 100% on board with. Watch this PBS Frontline, or listen to this NPR Fresh Air if you don't know what I'm talking about.

I got my first solo-authored journal submission rejection yesterday. A revise and resubmit would have been great for the job market this fall, but alas. There were some constructive empirical critiques (include a placebo/falsification test by showing that there's zero effect in time t+1, for example) but also claims of a lack of sufficient general interest. That's fine, though obviously subjective. I can't be too down since at 6 weeks from submission to rejection, a pretty excellent turn around time, at least for economics. Onward to another journal!

A Colorado mountain magazine, Mountain Gazette, has a Mountain Dog photo competition. Apparently my facebook friends think below is my best chance. Based on last year's winners, I'd say I don't have a chance unless I go with something over the top artsy or over the top goofy, but whatever.

A million of your facebook friends will share this Louis CK bit about kids using cellphones to distract themselves from the howling void that is the meaninglessness of life. Here's an NYT article about atheists filling that void with church-congregation-like community.
UPDATE: The ex-minister in the above article was fired for overstating her academic credentials. [NYT]

So long, subi. No hard feelings, I promise. For an 8-week one-way rental from CO to PA, you actually did pretty well. Enjoy your new life as a refrigerator.

Sunday, September 08, 2013


I saw John Prine live at the Wilmington, DE Grand Opera House last night. I went by myself, and I was probably the youngest person in the audience. That said, it was amazing. I cried. I only learned he was playing nearby (I'm equidistant from Philly and Wilmington, plus there's a cheap beer store across the state line in Delaware) from his appearance on Colbert on Thursday, which I thought was only mediocre, but made me want to see him before he got any older. I had previously never heard the two songs below.

This afternoon on the way home from my run, I realized I had no way to pay for my standard two veggie burritos, because my wallet had been ransacked. I accidentally left it in the car overnight, and accidentally left the car unlocked. $36 and three bank/credit cards gone. Thanks for leaving my driver's license. If you'd left me $13 for burritos, I wouldn't even be mad. Thus far Swarthmore Police are great and doing even more than I expected (hoping to track down video from the Best Buy and gas station where stuff was purchased today) which is great. I guess I don't live in Oakland anymore, where police won't come unless the home burglary is in progress.

I posted the Subaru for sale on Craigslist. I don't really need a car except for occasional rides to/from the airport, and they have these things called taxis, and I think this would take a little work to pass PA inspection, though the engine will probably last a while. I'll probably take it to the shop this week to get an estimate on all the repairs; if <$800, it's probably easier to just keep it--it got me across the country, after all.

Should I have drafted Colin Kaepernick instead of RGIII in my fantasy leagues? We'll see.

I switched from theoldreader to feedly for my RSS feeds. The Old Reader is too slow.