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October 2006 – Stephen Skory

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Month: October 2006

La Jolla Income Bell Curve

La Jolla Income Bell Curve

I got a mailer today from a publication, the La Jolla Blue Book, which lists local businesses. They're taking some demographical statistics of their readership (which are the people they send the book to - for free). I had no intention of filling it out, until I saw this line:

Let me emphasize: I cannot truthfully check any of these boxes. What's astounding here is they didn't even consider that someone might make less than $25,000 and live in La Jolla, but they spend a whole checkbox on the $100,000 to $1 million bracket.

My new Krups waffle maker (thanks Melissa & Mom!) comes with a warranty card, with a similar demographic-culling intention.

Since Krups sells their products nation-wide, they have to cover all income ranges, which are quite a bit different than La Jolla. I'm thinking maybe I'll fill out the LJ Blue Book form now, but make my own box so I don't have to lie about my income. That'll show 'em poor people live here too!

Most Time Ago

Most Time Ago


I have a playlist on my iPod that automatically updates to include the 25 songs that have gone the longest without me listening to them. (Huh. Can you think of a better way to put that?) I made it some time ago on the idea that songs would migrate there, and then I'd look at the list and listen to something neglected. It doesn't actually happen that way. Today I noticed that the songs at the top of the list had been unlistened to for over three years! I think the time would have been much longer if it hadn't been for an iSight-firewire related hiccup that forced me to reformat the iPod sometime in mid-2003.

I bought my 20 GB 2nd Gen iPod in January 2003 at the Macworld show. According to the Wikipedia page linked previously (a dose of NaCl crystal, of course), since I last listened to these songs, 65.5 million of the total 67.6 million iPods have been sold. Put it another way - these songs have sat unused on my iPod longer than most people have even had their iPods.

Below is a graph of Apple's stock prices over the last five years, since the introduction of the iPod. When I first heard the name, 'iPod,' I actually thought it was pretty stupid. Perhaps that's why I'm not in marketing. The red arrow shows when I bought my iPod, when Apple's stock was below $10. As always, Apple's death was right around the corner. Coincidentally, I purchased a good deal of Apple stock around this time, which I have yet to sell.

What were these songs neglected for so long? Well - a few of the longer and slower Dave Matthews songs and some of Stevie Wonder's poorer licks.

Fun Pics

Fun Pics

I've got green mouth! Where's medical science to save me? (It's just a green laser pointer.)

Photo 18

This doesn't look too comfortable, in my opinion. I guess they're madly in love because I'm not sure I could stick with this contorsion very long. And what's up with his right hand?


Vegitables doing the nasty. Maybe I'll get banned by the p0rn filters now. Sweet.


T-Minus Ten Days

T-Minus Ten Days

In ten days I turn twenty... err seven. Sometimes it's hard to keep track, seeing as my cycling racing age has been 27 since January 1st, 2006. Most (all) of my readers are my friends and family, so they should already be in turmoil over what to gift me. I've thoughtfully provided a wish list, below.

  • You can start from my Wish List category. Any one of the items seen on that list will suffice.
  • A subscription to Scientific American.
  • A Red Ferrari.
  • A waffle iron. Seriously. I'd use it.
  • A new Trek Madone SL 5.5. My current road bike is over five years old and I'd love to get a new one (as long as it's free to me, of course).
  • I'd enjoy a new cycling computer. A power-measuring bottom bracket ($1,599.95) would be nice. If you're feeling less generous, a Garmin Edge 305 (~$350) with GPS and wireless cadence would be a nice upgrade to my Forerunner 301.
  • Cold, hard cash is always accepted. But it's quite unoriginal.
  • I've started a bit of a garden, so plant paraphernalia would be good. Or wild bird feeder stuff. No need for a hummingbird feeder - we got one today.
  • If you're feeling especially kitchy, enroll me in some sort of (blank) of the month club. Cheese? Bread? Beer? Sushi? It's all good.
Dodging the Rain

Dodging the Rain

Five years ago I spent a summer in doing research at the University of Georgia. I'm from California, where between the months of May and September, it basically doesn't rain. The hills turn brown and by early October wildfires start popping up all over the state, and really, the whole west. In Georgia in the summer, it rains. It rains quite often, in fact. There were thunderstorms nearly every afternoon.

It was in Georgia that I learned of the utility of the best weather site on the internet, wunderground.com. Their best feature, was, and still is, doppler radar that updates every six minutes when there's rain. Five years ago all the other websites I searched updated the radar no more quickly than every half hour. In Georgia I would often log onto the website to see if I could dodge between thunderstorms and walk to the Physics building, or go for a bike ride. The radar was accurate and current enough to do this.

In the five years since the radar has just gotten better. Now you can zoom in, make animations, and use many other cool tools. Since I'm a paying customer (I believe it's $10/year, and highly worth it) I get no advertisements and expanded radar tools.

Below is an example animation, fresh off the presses for today. It's Saturday morning, a time when I usually go for a bike ride. In fact, the sun was out this morning when I woke up. But my trusty wunderground.com weather page told me that I'd better wait. I live just a bit north of the black cross with a circle around it, which you can see is about to get pummeled by some thick rain.

The other, more popular weather websites have gotten better in the last five years, too. However, I still think that wunderground.com is still the best by far.