miscellaneous commentary

Archive for January 2013

The only thing I really value in this flat is the hot shower. Everything else I can do without.

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I admire the audacity and bravery of this piano tuner in giving up nearly all of his material possessions and living outdoors. Don’t think I have it in me (yet) to do the same.


Written by camcarlson

January 21, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Posted in Simplicity, video

Student Loans No More

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I waited and waited and waited for my student loan servicer to send me something in writing confirming my student loans had been paid off — which I did on Black Friday — and I finally received it, kinda, as an electronic message in my account on their website. So I logged on, hopefully for the last time, downloaded each statement (there were nine, as I had nine separate loans) as a PDF and saved them to my hard drive. I’m considering that “something in writing”, so I can now publicly declare my student loans are paid off and I am debt free.

It’s an odd feeling, not having to make any obligatory payments to anyone anymore, aside from rent and all. So far I’m doing good curbing any impulse shopping desires. Years of living frugally has trained me to cringe anytime I have to spend money, especially if it’s on something unessential. I’m still going to treat myself to a few nice things, a few electronics for the apartment and maybe fund some traveling this spring. Otherwise my paychecks are going straight into savings and earmarked for a new car, which I’d like to procure by the end of this year.

Written by camcarlson

January 17, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Posted in Finance

Million Dollar Signature

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Obama nominated Jacob Lew, his chief of staff, to become the next Treasury Secretary. I just saw what his signature looks like. This is noteworthy as the Treasury Secretary’s signature appears on all printed currency.


Written by camcarlson

January 13, 2013 at 1:01 AM

Posted in Politics

Tagged with

Over & Over

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A thoughtful article on why people watch/read/do the same things repeatedly:

The responses suggested that sometimes choosing to do something again was about reaching for a sure thing—the brain knows the exact kind of reward that it will receive in the end, whether it is laughter, excitement or relaxation. They also learned that people gained insight into themselves and their own growth by going back for a do-over, subconsciously using the rerun or old book as a measuring stick for how their own lives had changed.


Written by camcarlson

January 7, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Posted in Science

Resolutions for 2013

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Tonight ends my 10-day* vacation from work. Ten short, cold days mostly spent indoors with Viet, constantly running to Hy-Vee to buy food, seeing various friends for seemingly short bursts of time (1-2 hours tops) and watching a variety of movies (including the 2010 restoration of “Metropolis”, “Santa Sangre” and “The Last Laugh”) and episodes of “30 Rock” and “Merlin”. I caught up on my sleep, ate far too much junk food and didn’t get nearly as much done as I had hoped… so in other words, another typical holiday vacation.

NYE was spent at Cory’s parents’ house with him, Cara, Viet and Swestka. We sat at the living room table and played Farkle, Last Word, Up and Down the River, Sequence and Rummikub, with episodes of “Pawn Stars” playing in the background. We took a quick break at midnight to catch the ball drop and down some cheap champagne.

So here is 2013. I achieved last year’s major goal of paying off my student loans (on Black Friday; I didn’t want to write about it until I received written confirmation from the loan servicer but it appears they didn’t mail it until Dec 23, so may as well break the news now). This year’s major resolution/goal is to either save up for a new car or relocate to a city where I could get buy without one. Once that decision is out of the way, I can *finally* focus on traveling! Otherwise, same as last year — for the immediate future (Jan/Feb) I’m just going to keep my head down, work my ass off, keep up at the gym, whittle away at my winter to-do list and try to spend as little money as possible. Stay tuned…..

[*excepting a six-hour workday on Xmas Eve.]

Written by camcarlson

January 1, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Posted in Cinema, Finance