Tag Archive | nerd alert

game over.

part i. i found my new favorite study spot in wicker park: the lovely bake shop. it’s quiet, free wifi, music is neither obnoxious nor loud, not crowded, and the crowd that is there is shockingly not there to be seen (though i admit i love the people watching at filter and wormhole). big tables (one is an old card catalog), an assortment of benches and chairs, board games, pies, mini pies, hot breakfast sandwiches all day, aromatic pastries, intelligentsia coffee, decent tea selection, a ‘general store’ of giftable items like stationary, thoughtful cashiers.

only negative i have identified: it closes at between 5-7pm over the course of the week, for this shop is clearly more of a bake shop than coffee shop. but i guess that is why it’s great, so i can’t really ding ’em for that. big news: this is my first endorsement of anything on this blog — that’s how delightful the place is.

part ii. i have discovered a browser based blogging program that allows me to change fonts and colors and size!!!! finally!  you probably thought i was disciplined, sticking to one font this whole time, but i’ve been suffering so. not that trebuchet was so hard on the eyes (picture me patting my trebuchet workhorse on the back), but as i’m learning in cases in financial management, it’s all about the option value. so watch out, readers. i’m going to become one of those people.

part iii. LC found a game i want to dominate but cannot complete. no it’s not the timed try-out tests used for mathcounts competitions. it’s a fashion game, instant style. you pick the accessory that you think the style editors at instyle would select. easy enough? like the mathcounts nerd that i am at heart, i’m confident that i’ve even identified something of an algorithm to win this game. however, my high score will never been seen because this game is also coincidentally the slowest loading browser-based game on the planet.

part iv. mike tyson quotes: the song.

sounds a little like guster, no?

part v: drinkify.

highlights (via the chicagoist):



Wilco: 1 bottle Organic red wine. Serve at room temperature. Garnish with sugar.
Cheap Trick: 1 oz. Cocaine. 1 oz. Tabasco sauce. 8 oz. Lemon juice.
Chicago: 6 oz. Tequila Reposado. Serve neat. Garnish with twist of grapefruit.
Local H: 6 oz. Maker’s Mark Bourbon. Serve on rocks. Stir quickly. Garnish with olive.
Andrew Bird: 1 oz. Cachaça. 1 oz. Grenadine. Combine in highball glass and serve.
Kill Hannah: 1 PBR. Serve cold. Garnish with nutmeg.
Billy Corgan: 1 bottle Buckfast. Serve at room temperature. Garnish with wedge of pineapple.
Styx: 1 Bud Light. Serve cold. Garnish with pickled asparagus.
Alkaline Trio: 10 oz. Southern Comfort. Serve on rocks. Stir vigorously. Garnish with fresh berries.
Jon Langford: 1 Miller High Life. Serve cold.
Fall Out Boy: 1 PBR. Serve cold. Garnish with umbrella.
Lupe Fiasco: 2 oz. Hennessy. 2 oz. Grapefruit juice. 2 oz. Chilli pepper Vodka. Combine in shaker and strain into cocktail glass. Serve. Garnish with cucumber.

part vi: game restarted. i just clicked into the mathcounts link and really want to halt all things and do that problem of the week. before i do, please note that the problem of the week is clearly that the writers chose to employ a spelling of ‘l-a-u-r-y-n’. just. why? 


the final word

last installment of our four-part series (uno, dos, y tres), the pinky wars, i.e. last thoughts on non-dominant pinky market valuation, i promise. it’s clear that we’re all irrationally pricing ourselves high given the insurance argument, plus a few closing notes:

  • keith richards insured his fingers for $1.6 million and heidi klum insured her legs for $2.2 million.
  • “we may not value the each marginal chance of losing a pinky at the same price (increasing the chance from 1% to 2% may have a different value than from 99% to 100%) – since this is an all or nothing proposition, simply assuming that all marginal probabilities are valued equally is likely not correct.” — JH
  • “[what] about total value of lifetime resources, the fact that 1 in 572 in one year is not representative of the actual odds of losing a pinky, people may prefer to get an F than risk their pinky, people may be more or less skilled /confident in their ability to ’shop’?” — TJ

moreover, i admit i maintain an irrational difference between the price at which i’d sell my pinky, in contrast to the amount which i’d demand for its loss. it should be the same, but my selling price is much higher and based primarily on emotional attachment and vanity …

…while my real loss/demand price is lower, based primarily on the insurance cost, which is likely based on real probabilities and earnings power …

this all explains why my willingness to pay for someone else’s pinky is much lower than the selling price of my own, of course — and in this exercise, since transplants/prosthetics are not allowed, my buying price is actually zero. is this some perversion of loss aversion?

so what’s the bottom line? there is no such thing as rational independent bottom-up valuation! down with fundamentals! long live relative valuation and momentum trading! i see a head and shoulders [top down] pattern emerging! quick — double down and bottoms up!

click to zoom

okay really, though, what’s the bottom bottom line? nothing, really. this was merely a thought exercise meant to distract the target audience of this blog (we, the unemployed and highly levered). the only conclusions i wholly support: ii) shop class at booth is a great idea, and ii) if you dig deep enough, the breakfast club has answers to all life’s questions.

you mess with the bull? you get the horns.

sunday always seems to move so slow

my favorite season is finally here! boots, pie, foliage, burnt orange, pumpkin patches, brown, apples, warm cider on cool, crisp, blustery days …

"windy city" -- taken by DM, somewhere in chicago saturday. i wonder what else is up there.

a good day to think about… how you value your pinky. yes, still on this. JH (during a lecture that cost $500+ to attend) opines:

I’m calling BS on the values people state re pinkies.

[Technique from statistical value of life]

Say Booth announced last year that shop class is mandatory for 2nd years. Unfortunately, someone lost a pinky last year (one out of 572). Because of the danger involved, Booth is making specialized carbon fiber pinky guards available for a cost of $________ (student loans are available). How much do you pay for the pinky guard?

At a value of $10 million, you would buy the guard if the price is $17,000.  My belief is that most people would only buy the pinky guard if it was less than, say, $500.

Thus I believe the Booth student values his/her pinky at a maximum of $300,000. Alternatively, $10 million might be $300K for pinky and $9.7MM for having to explain that you sold your pinky…

ps – note that there is an interesting flaw in this logic (that also applies to statistical value of life) that is left as an exercise for the reader.

seeing as how i didn’t even know there was a statistical value of life:

  1. i’m swayed by this new learning and the fantasy that we could have shop class at booth. i didn’t know what shop class was until i watched the breakfast club which also taught me about flare guns and lobotomies, and then when i actually had shop class in middle school, i learned that “solder” of “soldering iron” fame is pronounced “sodder”, and then i was so stunned that i soldered my shop partner’s pointer finger by accident (hi, BH!! my LED blinker got an A and is still working — your something-degree burn was worth it! to me). so many lessons.
  2. i need you, reader, to find the logic flaw in JH’s clip above.

separately, (hometown pride) thurston moore and kim gordon of sonic youth broke up after 27 years. let’s commiserate for a moment over the loss of brilliance such as this timely tune:

but really, i think everything is going to be okay — they lasted twenty seven years. “That’s two decades and a second grader! That’s two and a half Biebers!” (dlisted). much more importantly (because recall the focus of this blog — all me, all the time) that makes my age “two decades and a third grader,” which translates loosely to old enough to have spawned a third grader (plus a fraction of a bieber).


i need answers

to very important questions.

DM: things are not going well with interviews
me: no?  how come? you mean [for case prep]?
DM: for [interview] invites.
DM: i wish someone would pay me to cut off my pinky
me: hahaha. J’s pinky is only $75K!
DM: he’s nuts
me: that’s like less than a year of booth tuition
DM: he should demand way more
DM: i would cut off just the part above the top knuckle for a guarantee i’d come out of school debt free
me: i think it’s because he lived in crunchy seattle. material things like pinky and cash mean less
DM: it’s true. he’d probably do it for a joint. maybe two

DM [later]: i just typed the last sentences without using my right pinky once. I use my left pinky for “a” and “shift” and “q” but that letter is useless
me: true. but it slows down my ctrl c ctrl v action. i guess i could use my other pinky for ctrl.
DM: oh my – i wasn’t even considering excel shortcuts.

so what’s the takeaway from all of this?

  • in this job market, i wish i had as many spare pinkies as kidneys. hey wait.
  • for an engaged booth couple, the rational thing to do is to monetize the female’s pinky right before marriage, before it loses $3 million in market cap in, like, a day.
  • i think women think men think pinkies are pivotal to being marriage-material.
  • meanwhile men think all women’s pinkies are overvalued.
  • this “self-reported” data gathering method is so inefficient, inconclusive…yet so addicting. clearly, i am stuck on this like my pinky is stuck to my hand (for now).

failure – stuck on you.


the homestretch


made infinitely more palatable by MW’s cinnamon twists delivery service and hello kitty perching.

KW: Why aren’t you [back in Chicago] yet?!? I’m so bored.…

me: seriously, why am i still working? Umm also I have an accounting question.

[i subsequently email a huge long accounting question on how sales are booked vs bad debt expense, bad debt provisions, calculating free cash flow, working capital adjustments, and omg nerd alert]

KW [the next day]: wow, i had too much wine last night to even read that entire question.  so, what’s the answer? I can’t believe you are still working.  My week has been all about getting ready for school.  This has included taking long bike rides, ignoring the “Math for Economists” book that I need to study for fixed income, getting my hair cut and eyebrows waxed.  God I love MBA school.

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