Pulling The Puzzles Apart

I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart...
Fri, Mar 18th, 2016 -- 01:20 pm
Today's Specials:

Once in a while my studies take me strange places.

I'm reading a book by Seth Klarman called "Margin of Safety". It's a tough book to get your hands on; Barnes and Noble has one copy for over a thousand dollars. Not many copies were printed and even fewer were sold. This may be because it is an excruciating technical examination of US stock market trends and investment theories in the 70s and 80s (it was written in 1991).

But Seth Klarman called some shit right and got rich, and Margin of Safety became a collector's item. I don't know how true it is that it's considered a "standard business school text" as some websites assert, because if it's basic enough for me to grasp then I can't imagine future MBAs want much to do with it, but I suppose stranger things have happened.

I don't know that I'm learning a lot about investing from the book because while on the one hand it's a deep dig into investment strategy in the late 20th century, it's also over 25 years old and

a) A lot of what it factors into investment strategies no longer applies
b) Nothing about it is anything I didn't learn at my mother's knee

Granted, my mother's a savvy woman, but still. The essence of the book is a case for value investing, which is very simply put, investing in a company that is undervalued in the marketplace. Buy a stock at $10 when you know it should be worth $20, and wait for the market to catch up. Essentially: buy low, be patient, sell high. Don't look at the market, look at the company. If you are a value investor you're spending more time honing your ability to valuate a company than you are watching stock prices. You don't need to watch the market; you should be finding undervalued companies and buying their stock regardless. (Something my current job actually teaches me to do, so, hooray for that. Also this was my thesis behind investing in GrubHub before reading the book, which is very validating.)

ANYWAY, Seth Klarman makes a few intriguing assertions in his book. First, that Warren Buffett (a well-known value investor) is a god among men. No argument here, the man has lived to be 85 on Coca Cola and Utz potato sticks. Second, that investing in index funds is pointless and stupid. (What an index fund actually is or does is immaterial. But if you want to know, Planet Money has a great podcast about index funds and Warren Buffett's bet here.) Klarman, without outright saying it, cast Warren Buffett as a champion of value investing against the very idea of the index fund.

Here's where it gets awkward. Eight years ago, Warren Buffett asserted that hedge funds were not good investments because they were too volatile, and he made a bet that over ten years, anything he picked would do better than a hedge fund.

And he picked an index fund.

AWKWARD! So awkward for poor Seth Klarman!

Buffett isn't necessarily advocating for index funds with this move. He's advocating against hedge funds -- he's saying the simplest, dumbest index fund can still outperform a hedge fund. But I would have killed to have been in the room when Seth Klarman heard that Warren Buffett was putting a million dollars on an index fund's ability to perform.

I feel like I should write a one-act play about it. It'd end up sounding more like a college economics lecture than a drama, but I think it'd be worth it to write the stage direction

[KLARMAN does a spit take. BUFFETT smiles beatifically.]

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Fri, Mar 18th, 2016 -- 09:11 am
Today's Specials:

This past Wednesday I had an interview with a hip tech company based in the UK, which was an interesting experience. I applied more or less on a whim, but I'm pretty sure I can do the job. The question is whether I want to leap six time zones to do the job.

I'd be off in a shot, but it's awfully far from my folks, which is a concern as they get older. Mum's not happy about the idea of both her sons being overseas, even if Glasgow's a sight better than Australia (and I'm not a rampaging asshole married to a narcissist, which helps). Also it's a for-profit company, which means I give up my PSLF qualification and have to pay ALL my student loans. But the salary might cover that better, I don't know what they pay.

Otherwise the week's been uneventful, as I hold onto sanity with my fingertips until next week, when I have a week's vacation starting Tuesday.

In the meantime, I made a bunny. Aww.

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Mon, Mar 14th, 2016 -- 06:41 pm
Today's Specials:

I go running in the mornings -- as a friend said when he found out I go running at 4am, I go running "in the moooooooooooornings". But there's a lady who must get up at like 2am, and she always gets to the gym before I do, which these days means she gets the one older treadmill. The older treadmill is better because it's easier to operate, so I don't begrudge her, but this morning someone else was also in the gym, what the fuck, leaving me with The Worst Treadmill In The Gym: the one in front of the mirror.

Why would you want to run in front of a mirror? What kind of masochist...

But I had to. So I did. And it turned out to be a regrettable but ultimately gainful experience because apparently I have a really narrow stance when I run. Which would explain why I keep kicking myself in my own ankle. And that's probably not great for my form.

But it also means I spent the entire two miles on the treadmill trying to broaden my stance, and now my thighs don't want to work. Ever again. I'm just gonna sit here until I become one with the sofa.

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Mon, Mar 14th, 2016 -- 07:46 am
Today's Specials:

Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] missworthing (and Anonymous) linked to a fundraiser for Crystal, a nurse and mother of five who is in need of a heart and double lung transplant; her family is trying to raise funds to cover the copays and travel expenses for the surgeries. You can read more and support the fundraiser here.

icarusancalion linked to a fundraiser for Ani Sangye, a Buddhist nun who is immune-compromised and has been struggling to avoid homelessness. She has temporary housing through the end of May, and is trying to raise money to purchase a used trailer to live in. You can read more and help her reach her purchase goal here.

Professor Amy Green is raising money for an innovative pilot program at UNLV, where she is an English professor working with the study of digital storytelling; she's trying to increase student access to video games for her courses. You can learn more about her program and support the fundraiser here.

tabaqui linked to a fundraiser for _beetle_, who is a brand-new published author needing a little help to get to the Rainbow Book Fair in NYC to promote her new book. You can check out her book (the first in a series) here and give to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] sadbhyl is still raising funds for Hero, a budding chef with an opportunity to study international cuisine and the hospitality industry behind the scenes at Disney World; they haven't quite met their goal yet and the final payment is due tomorrow. This looks like a fascinating program and she is offering perks for donations; you can read more and support her studies here.

editrx has been struggling to keep her indy bookstore afloat for this past year, and on top of her troubles there, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate. She's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault. She doesn't have a new fundraising site yet, but funds from her ongoing YouCaring fundraiser will reach her, as will income from the Starcat Books online etailer. She also has jewelry for sale on Etsy. (Obviously if you're shopping her etail or etsy there may be a delay in delivery.)

Anon linked to a fundraiser for Freya, a dog who fractured her femur and due to complications has to have her leg amputated. Crystal, her owner, is raising money for the down payment; you can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] dreamwaffles has added new items to her Etsy, which is currently her only source of income while she applies for jobs. She's got cool beaded art and earrings for very reasonable prices; you can shop and purchase here!

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

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Sun, Mar 13th, 2016 -- 06:33 pm
Today's Specials:

 R and I hung out this afternoon, primarily at Joong Boo Market, where R can spend hours just fascinatedly staring at all the Korean food he doesn't understand but knows he wants to eat. In the car on the way back, with my giant sack of nishiki rice and rather smaller sack of glutinous rice flour (mochi here I come) in the backseat, R played a recording for me of his students doing a chorale concert at a downtown childrens' singing exhibition.

Children: *singing their asses off on some bridge between two tunes in a medley*
Sam: What...what are they saying there?
R: "Live your life like it's golden."
Sam: OH! Oh thank god.
R: Why?
Sam: No reason.
R: What did you think they were saying?
Sam: "Live your life like it's stolen."
R: WHAT. *starts laughing*
Sam: You know, like, drive it like you stole it. Live your life like it's stolen!
R: *crying with laughter* LIVE YOUR LIFE LIKE YOU STOLE IT. 
Sam: I think my version is catchier. I'm going to make it my new motto.  

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Sat, Mar 12th, 2016 -- 06:50 am
Today's Specials:

My current residence is a rented condo in a high-rise in the south loop, which is great, but since I'm not an owner I'm not privy to condo meetings and such (I suppose I could go but why god why would I want to). Which means that sometimes I am subject to random surprises. Like this week, when they replaced all the molding, repainted, and relit the building hallways. Every time I step outside my door I fail to recognize my own hallway, and I have a moment where I wonder if I've walked into an alternate universe. I have to do a check and look back at my front door, which is decorated in a very specific fashion, to make sure I am on the right floor and haven't just spent the night in some other random person's apartment.

I did one time get off on the wrong floor and was trying to put my key in the lock of someone else's door before I noticed, so, you know, this isn't 100% unlikely to happen.

Today's origami was an AT-AT! Shut up, it totally looks like an AT-AT, origami is hard and it wasn’t my diagram. (Step 25-26 is the Do Some Magic step btw.)



When you’re doing a relatively complex figure like this one, you either have to have very good origami paper or very large origami paper. You’d think thin paper would be best but it tears too easily; what you want is something like tant paper, which feels thick like construction paper but, due to the way the plant fibers are layered when it’s made, folds and holds a crease like tissue paper.

I do have some tant paper but I’m not wasting it on an AT-AT, so I had to use the large paper, which was rather poorly printed. So now the tips of my fingers are blue where the ink came off.

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Fri, Mar 11th, 2016 -- 12:49 pm
Today's Specials:

Today I set out to fold a horse, but between the swirly-wave pattern and the fact that the horse diagram opens with what’s known as a “fish base”, I decided to end my horse as a Hippocamp.

  



I did the head and front-legs from this diagram, and finished with a klutzy backwards rendition of the shrimp’s curling tail from this diagram. If I had it to do over, I’d do steps 1-5 of the horse, then 7-9 of the shrimp, then steps 6-10 and 12-13 of the horse.  

He is the proudest little fish-horse ever. I’m naming him Buckingham.

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Mon, Mar 7th, 2016 -- 03:17 pm
Today's Specials:

So, I decided I wanted to learn more about the stock market.

Well, it's always struck me as a terribly irrational way to run an economy, but if I'm going to dislike it I should understand why. And really the only way I learn is by doing, so I asked Nakki about it, since I knew she did a little investing, and she pointed me to the RobinHood app, which lets you buy and sell stock in realtime for no fee.

I threw fifty bucks in and built a portfolio, just to kind of see what’s what, and today I made my first sale -- I bought Grubhub at $18 in late January and just sold it for $25. Probably I shouldn't have sold, but the whole thing's an experiment, not a wealth-building exercise, and seven dollars' profit is a bonus.

Plus it freed up just enough cash to buy into Fitbit. :D We'll see how well my picks continue....

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Mon, Mar 7th, 2016 -- 07:40 am
Today's Specials:

Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] ixzianna is a disabled student raising funds for a Power Assist device, the MX SmartDrive, which will help her resolve accessibility issues on a somewhat un-Accessible campus where she is starting a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree. You can read more, see a demo of the MX SmartDrive, and support her fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] thephoenix04 linked to a fundraiser for a former coworker's daughter, who has been selected to represent her school and state at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Conference, where she'll be accepting an award and meeting with Nobel Prize winners and other young future leaders in science and medicine. She needs to raise funds to attend the conference; you can read more and support her here.

editrx has been struggling to keep her indy bookstore afloat for this past year, and on top of her troubles there, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate. She's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault. She doesn't have a new fundraising site yet, but funds from her ongoing YouCaring fundraiser will reach her, as will income from the Starcat Books online etailer. She also has jewelry for sale on Etsy. (Obviously if you're shopping her etail or etsy there may be a delay in delivery.)

[tumblr.com profile] digitaldiscipline is participating in a team attempt at The Sufferlandrian Knighthood, a bike training event to raise money for Puppies Behind Bars and Oxfam. They'll be showing a live feed of the grueling workout; you can read more and support their ride here.

News to Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to [twitter.com profile] Donorschamps, a twitter bot a friend of hers wrote to find "classroom requests for exciting projects, preferably for high-poverty schools, that just need a little more to be successful". You can check or follow @donorschamps to find almost-funded campaigns that you can help push over into success.

[tumblr.com profile] wrw47 linked to a job opportunity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for academic staff/researchers in the Computer Science department. They're looking for people with UNIX use and programming experience; you can read the job description here and [tumblr.com profile] wrw47 says you can also ping his askbox if you have questions.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

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Thu, Mar 3rd, 2016 -- 12:29 pm
Today's Specials:

Trying to get back in the swing of things; this has been a crazy week. February always bleeds over a little.

I didn't work a full week in February at all, which was for good, happy reasons, but still left me feeling very short-handed. I was looking forward to getting in a full workweek this week, but on Tuesday I woke up, did like two things, and then realized I had a scintillating scotoma so bad I couldn't see out of my left eye. (They're relatively harmless but can be heralds of migranes; they never have been for me but why risk it.) I also felt exhausted, despite having had seven hours of sleep the night before. So I emailed my boss and said I wouldn't be in, and then I went back to bed and slept for another five hours. The only reason I woke up when I did was that my fitbit buzzer went off to tell me it was lunch time.

Because I get up at 4am, I now eat lunch at 10:30am, which is hilarious.

Anyway, that crunched this week up, and next week will be crunched up with work, but almost everything I have assigned to me right now is due on the 14th, and after that, blissful quiet.

I hope.

In the meantime, I ran 5K on the treadmill this morning. I've decided I'm going to name my 5K runs even though they are just morning treadmill runs. This morning's 5K was the Avengers Academy Open Invitational And 5K Charleston Danceathon, which will mostly be funny to those of us playing the Avengers Academy smartphone app.

Today's origami, now that I'm getting back to THAT too, is a rather sad whale:



*sad whale noises*

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Mon, Feb 29th, 2016 -- 07:28 am
Today's Specials:

Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] thebibliosphere needs vital medical testing for an undiganosed GI issue which is preventing her from being able to eat properly or find employment. Insurance won't cover much of it, so she needs to raise the rest independently. You can read more about her issues and costs and find her paypal info here.

[tumblr.com profile] doctorscienceknowsfandom linked to a fundraiser for Duranee, who was laid off at the end of January and lost their housing at the end of February (landlord wanted to reoccupy the house himself). She's raising funds to cover the cost of moving and, as of Sunday, to get a tire replaced on the road. You can read more and help her get to Boise here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is having trouble managing medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn back money for the bills they've received. You can read more and help out here.

editrx has been struggling to keep her indy bookstore afloat for this past year, and on top of her troubles there, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate. She's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault. She doesn't have a new fundraising site yet, but funds from her ongoing YouCaring fundraiser will reach her, as will income from the Starcat Books online etailer. She also has jewelry for sale on Etsy. (Obviously if you're shopping her etail or etsy there may be a delay in delivery.)

Anon linked to a fundraiser for WFPRR, a volunteer-run small steam railroad which is facing a lot of damage after recent flooding of the Meramec river. They're raising money to restore the grounds and facilities; you can read more and support the railroad here.

News to Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to !!Con, a conference focusing on "the joy, excitement, and surprise of programming" in NYC on May 7th-8th. They're currently seeking proposals for ten-minute talks on programming-related subjects; you can read more and get a link to submit here.


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

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Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016 -- 07:30 am
Today's Specials:

Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] thebibliosphere, who has had a furnace breakdown recently and is unable to pay for emergency medical procedures (necessary for her to return to work) because of the cost. She's offering fic in exchange for donations; you can read more here, including info about her situation; a link to her paypalme widget is here to support her directly.

[personal profile] aunty_marion's friend's niece Jessica and her acrobatic partner Olivia have been selected to represent Great Britain in the World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championship in China next month. They're fundraising GBP3000 to cover expenses, which they will have to pay themselves; you can read more about this extraordinary pair and support them here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is having trouble managing medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn back money for the bills they've received. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] jabberwockypie, who is struggling to make ends meet this month after her stepfather failed to pay child support. Her mother has recently had medical issues and she's trying to raise about $250 to get through the month. You can read more here; she doesn't have a fundraiser up but her paypal email is sam.says.bazinga at gmail.com.

editrx has been struggling to keep her indy bookstore afloat for this past year, and on top of her troubles there, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate. She's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault. She doesn't have a new fundraising site yet, but funds from her ongoing YouCaring fundraiser will reach her, as will income from the Starcat Books online etailer. She also has jewelry for sale on Etsy. (Obviously if you're shopping her etail or etsy there may be a delay in delivery.)

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] dreamwaffles has launched her Etsy store, selling beaded jewelry, including taking commissions. She's currently job-hunting but for now Etsy is her only source of income; you can check out her Etsy and help out here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

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Fri, Feb 19th, 2016 -- 01:46 pm
Today's Specials:

AND THEN CHICAGO GAVE US FREE DONUTS.

We went shopping at Belmont Army, where my guest got a dress and I did NOT find a new suit coat that fit, but at least we had fun. Also, Crisp on Belmont, for those of you in Chicago, has really delicious Korean chicken, but the wings are FULL wings, so you don't want the ten-wing platter unless you have a powerful hunger.

After chicken, I decided we should take the train back instead of taking the bus, which meant we could swing past the new Stan's Donuts (HIPSTER DONUTS) and get some donuts on the way home. But I couldn't go into Stan's when I tried, because there were a bunch of people in the doorway...handing out free donuts.

Apparently it's free donuts day at Stan's!

So to sum up, today it was 60 degrees and sunny in Chicago and they gave me a free donut.

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Fri, Feb 19th, 2016 -- 09:47 am
Today's Specials:

I have a guest staying with me this week, and I haven't been able to show her around much because I've had to work and she's had to do some remote-work in the mornings. But today I took off, so we've been watching Hannibal all morning (both of us are puzzled by season three, so an analytical rewatch was in order) and now we're preparing to head out to do some touristing. I need to hit thrift stores, and up at Belmont there's a Korean chicken place we're going to try. Big days in Chicago!

Today’s origami is a lion – done with paper that is printed with cats, and really I should have folded a reverse lion because not a single kitty is visible. Still, I kind of like the pattern that emerges on his mane regardless.



The pattern is older than the site makes it seem – I folded it during my first year of origami, once upon a time – but the diagram is a nice tribute to Cecil the Lion and anyway is a nice clean example of the fold.

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Thu, Feb 18th, 2016 -- 12:24 pm
Today's Specials:

It's been a hell of a two weeks. Mostly travel followed by illness; once you get behind on life it's tough to get out in front of it again. Last week I only worked three days because of this wretched head cold, and this week I was worried I'd need to skip out to hit the doctor, because I thought I might have a sinus infection. Either I don't or the mucinex is making me believe I don't, because the sinus pressure has eased, but I'm very happy to be leaving today and not coming in to work tomorrow. I haven't worked a full week in almost a month, but if they didn't want me to take the vacation time they shouldn't have given me an extra 46 hours of it last month. :D

And I'm back on origami! Today is a winged hat for a viking kind of day. It's flowery!

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Mon, Feb 15th, 2016 -- 07:58 am
Today's Specials:

Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is having trouble managing medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn back money for the bills they've received. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] jabberwockypie, who is struggling to make ends meet this month after her stepfather failed to pay child support. Her mother has recently had medical issues and she's trying to raise about $250 to get through the month. You can read more here; she doesn't have a fundraiser up but her paypal email is sam.says.bazinga at gmail.com.

You all know about editrx, whose fundraiser I've been promoting for a few months; on top of her struggles to keep her indy bookstore afloat, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate (who is fortunately in jail). She's had to rekey her locks at home and at the bookstore, and she's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault. She doesn't have a new fundraising site yet, but funds from her ongoing YouCaring fundraiser will reach her, as will income from the Starcat Books online etailer. She also has jewelry for sale on Etsy. (Obviously if you're shopping her etail or etsy there may be a delay in delivery.) She could really use the help these next few weeks.

[tumblr.com profile] missworthing linked to a fundraising post for her roommates, who need to clear overdrafts on their bank accounts and pay storage, medical, and rent bills. They don't have a direct fundraiser up but you can read more and give via paypal here, or contact them about commissions.

Emkay linked to a fundraiser for a friend whose family is raising money for a service dog for Asher, a five year old boy with Sensory Processing Disorder, and to help 4Paws For Ability continue their work training dogs for people like Asher. You can read more and support their fundraiser here.

Help For Free:

Katherine is conducting undergraduate academic research on queer engagement in superhero fandoms through the University of Victoria, looking at how "queer fans who are underrepresented in superhero comics use digital strategies of participation to create new spaces for participation and representation." She has an anonymous survey available here where queer fans 19 years and older can make their voices heard. Katherine let me know she reached her sample goal and so has closed the survey. Thanks to everyone who participated!

[personal profile] twilightpony is looking for anecdotes about social interactions that strengthen friendships. They have a fictional My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic blog where they're listing "friendship lessons" and would like to have help coming up with them. You can read more about what they're looking for and how you can help out here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

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Thu, Feb 11th, 2016 -- 09:07 am
Today's Specials:

It's been a long week, and it's only Thursday. And I had Monday off. But I did manage to win the weekly "best of Tuesday" award at work, which means I have custody of the trophy for the week, and it's nice to see it gleaming at me from the garden in my cubicle.

I am also coming down with something, potentially strep throat (given my history) but more likely just a chest cold; we'll see how that shakes out.

In the meantime, all the origami in my calendar lately is heart-themed: today was a Note Holding Heart.



The diagram for folding this one is kind of terrible – the final step, the really IMPORTANT part is folding up the little triangle in the middle to “lock” the heart’s curves – but it’s pretty fun. It doesn’t hold a “note” so much as a slip of paper about the size of a fortune cookie, but I like the idea of Fortune Hearts.

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Tue, Feb 9th, 2016 -- 02:10 pm
Today's Specials:

Oh my god today kicked my ass. I forgot we're in February, and February is HARD.

But I made time for origami! I made "Swan Love".



Well...some days are better than others.

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Mon, Feb 8th, 2016 -- 09:02 am
Today's Specials:

Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

I had no new entries for RFM this week, or at least none came up, so I'm reposting the standing entry. If you DID send me a blurb for this week's RFM, please let me know, because either this computer doesn't want me to have them or there's something wrong with the google form.

Ways to Give:

You all know about editrx, whose fundraiser I've been promoting for a few months; on top of her struggles to keep her indy bookstore afloat, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate (who is fortunately in jail). She's had to rekey her locks at home and at the bookstore, and she's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault. She doesn't have a new fundraising site yet, but funds from her ongoing YouCaring fundraiser will reach her, as will income from the Starcat Books online etailer. She also has jewelry for sale on Etsy. (Obviously if you're shopping her etail or etsy there may be a delay in delivery.) She could really use the help these next few weeks.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

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Sat, Feb 6th, 2016 -- 12:06 pm
Today's Specials:

I don't think I mentioned this, between the madness of travel yesterday and the madness of using this tiny broken computer that can barely load websites, but I heard back from the job I was interviewing for in Austin. They decided to offer it to someone else, which is always a bit of an ego blow, but on the other hand by the time I was done with the second interview I knew I didn't want it -- and I didn't want to have to decide between Austin and Chicago.

So I'm actually really happy they didn't offer it to me, and I think my folks are happy too. They'd like to have me in Austin, but Mum says if I'm coming home to help them in their old age I should wait another five to ten years, so I think she gets it.

In other news, I wanted to get my host something special for the party she's throwing, and she expressed an interest in Baiju, which is a kind of Asian liquor made from grains -- in much the same way that Terry Pratchett's "scrapple" drink was made from apples.

So I went to Chicago's Chinatown, to a liquor store where I was told I could reliably acquire it, but of course a lot of the signage and labels are in Chinese. So I approached the cashier, who was this older Chinese dude who clearly either owns the store or runs it, and I said, "I'm looking for some Baiju. It's a gift for lunar new year."

His face LIT UP for some reason and he got super excited, and he said, "Oh, you don't want normal baiju. For toasting! You want violent baiju!"

And what else can you say when someone suggests violent liquor to you? YOU SAY YES. So I said "Yes, show me the violent baiju!"

So I bought some Red Star Guo Tou Jiu, which is fifty six percent alcohol by volume. For reference, most vodka is 40%.

I cannot wait to TASTE THE VIOLENCE.

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Quotes
Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.
-- Daniel Burnham

The Egotists' Club is one of the most genial places in London. It is a place to which you may go when you want to tell that odd dream you had last night, or to announce what a good dentist you have discovered. You must not mention golf or fish, however...as Lord Peter Wimsey said when the matter was mooted the other day in the smoking-room, those are things you can talk about anywhere.
-- Dorothy Sayers, The Man With The Copper Fingers

"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all, I know that just to be alive is a grand thing."
-- Agatha Christie

The line between actually very serious and actually very funny is actually very thin.
-- Anon

All over Hollywood, they are continually advising me 'Oh, you mustn't say that. That will get you in a lot of trouble' when I remark that some picture or writer or director or producer is no good. I don't get it. If he isn't any good, why can't you say so? If more people would mention it, pretty soon it might start having some effect.
-- Humphrey Bogart

"At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid."
-— Friedrich Nietzsche

Abby: Is that a guess, or do you actually know where I'm going with this?
Gibbs: What do you think?
Abby: Well, I don't know. That's why I ask you.
Gibbs: Why don't you just tell me?
Abby: So, you don't know!
Gibbs: I want to make sure you know.
Abby: Hmm.
Gibbs: Hmm.
Abby: We should play poker sometime.
Gibbs: Yeah we should!
-- NCIS 1.14, "The Good Samaritan"

I am as idle as idle can be: one of the causes you have hit on, viz irresolution, the other being made fully aware that my noddle is not capacious enough to retain or comprehend Mathematics. Beetle hunting & such things I grieve to say is my proper sphere.
-- Charles Darwin

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.
-- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound Of The Baskervilles

Can I read books? Yes. Have I visited every star in the universe? No.
-- Stephen Fry

'I'm sure we can pull together, sir.'
Lord Vetinari raised his eyebrows. 'Oh, I do hope not, I really do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.'
-- Terry Pratchett, The Truth

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
-- HG Wells

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. You are like a pebble thrown into water; you become wet on the surface, but are never part of the water.
-- James Michener

It always seemed to me that those who claim to know that others are going to hell must already be very familiar with the way to get there.
--Mark Landers

I come in peace, I depart in gratitude.
-- Garrison Keillor

Information is the currency of democracy.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Up to the age of 40, I don't think there was a science-fiction book I hadn't read. I love them because they're a marvelous way — and a safe way, I might add — of saying nasty things about our own society.
-- Sydney Newman

You must believe in it and play it for real. If you don't do that how can you expect anyone else to?
-- Verity Lambert

You need more than a key to get into my ship. You need knowledge.
-- The Doctor

Maintaining integrity as a private detective is difficult; to preserve it for the hundred thousand words of a book would be impossible for me, as it has been for so many others. Nothing corrupts a man so deeply as writing a book; the myriad temptations are overpowering.
-- Rex Stout, The Mother Hunt

Chicago is not the most corrupt American city. It's the most theatrically corrupt.
-- Studs Terkel

I feel good when I am doing it and better than when I am not.
-- John Steinbeck, in response to the question "Why do you write?"

I dunno, this is a really hard job, I gotta come up with five opinions a week.
-- Cheers