Misc

The real problem? People kidding themselves about getting older

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story about baby boomers not being able to sell the giant houses they built.

This quote sums up the real problem:

The couple, who relocated there from New Jersey, will likely move into an apartment in Charleston. Mr. Hambleton is “a very young 89,” his wife said, and when they built the house, “he was only 82,” so the property’s upkeep “didn’t seem like that major a thing.” But when it comes to aging, she added, “I don’t know that you face these things until you have to.”

CELEBRATE ME... with an odd assortment of gifts

Celebrateme

Just the other day I was at dinner with some friends and I was trying to recall how long I'd worked at Penn. I couldn't remember (since I can hardly remember anything) so I did what anyone would: I looked at my LinkedIn profile.

Turns out I could have waited a few hours because I received an email telling I was celebrating 15 years at the University. Hurrah! And, more importantly, I get a gift in recognition of my service.

Not only do I get a gift, but I can pick one out from... well, a very strange assortment of things.

Now, I'm not complaining because I appreciate the token of appreciation and I am very happy that I can pick something rather than getting a picture frame or something. I'm just struggling to find a theme with options that include:

Grill

A grill.


Gamegrip

A grippy thing to put your phone in... for gaming?


Umbrella

An umbrella, which in and of itself isn't odd but it isn't a Penn branded umbrella which I find odd.

Bowl

A glass(?) bowl. This one looks pretty nice, actually, but I don't think I'm in need of a bowl.

Telescope

A telescope! This is the one that I am most tempted to get, however, I don't really have any place to keep it and I'm pretty sure I would never actually use it.

Gallondispenser

And my favorite time: the 1.5 gallon beverage dispenser. I should get it and fill it with champagne to CELEBRATE ME!


iOS 12

IMG 7844I'm a gadget guy, and I like to live on the edge. Therefore, I installed iOS 12 on my iPhone as soon as it became available (iOS is the software that powers your iPhone).

After reading a few reviews, I was expecting to be impressed. Or at least to notice... something. I do like the grouped notifications... kind of. But that's really the only thing I've noticed (but I did create a a "Memoji" because of course I did).

I will say that iOS 12 makes me glad that I don't have to spend my time writing about iOS 12.


Now even more Irish!

DNA Origins

I spat in a tube awhile back and sent my saliva to the Mormons so they could analyze it (a.k.a. I signed up for Ancentry.com's DNA service).

My results came back, and I wasn't too surprised. I was mostly Irish (78%) with a little Eastern Europe (18%) and a tiny bit of Scandinavian (2%).

I got an email from Ancestry that told me my DNA results had been updated, since they were able to match my DNA against more samples. I was excited to see what the results might be!

As you can see, it turns out I'm even less interesting than I thought. I'm now 84% from Ireland and Scotland (mostly Ulster) and 16% Englad/Wales/Northwestern Europe.

I'm no longer a Viking. Sigh.


House Hunters: Us edition

The House Hunt Continues:

We tried to buy a house in West Philadelphia this week. After nearly three years of looking and we finally found a dwelling that we both liked enough to offer vast sums of borrowed money for. But it didn’t work out. Another offer was accepted and the reason given was the terms.

Finding a house is a difficult process, even more so when one person involved doesn't really want a house.

I've lived in apartments my entire life with one exception: 2 years in an off campus house during college.

I'm familiar with apartment living. I like apartment living. I like not being responsible for the vast number of things that could go wrong with an apartment.

And, like many people, I fear the unknown. Homeownership is a big unknown for me, but over the course the last 3 years we've looked at many houses (in fact, the very first house we looked at was the only one we both liked.... until the house we saw last week) and I've come to accept that there are some upsides to homeownership.

Here's to us finding the right place!


Thank you! Could I have some more?

Colonomg I signed up for the Philadelphia Undy Run several months ago so I could raise some money for colon cancer research in honor of my mom. And I had trouble remembering when the run is taking place (Sept. 9th if you're wondering), so I visited the page and saw the above image. I'm the top fundraiser at the moment! That's so awesome! It also explains why someone from the Colon Cancer Alliance called me the other day and asked if they could help me with anything (I was puzzled, so I said, "No thanks!"). I wanted to thank everyone who has donated already. You rock! And now, I'd like to suggest that if you haven't donated but you can spare some money why not kick in a little bit? I'd love to help move the needle for the run as a whole (they've only raised about 17k out of a goal of 70k).

Donate here and I'll love you forever!


Walking as therapy

After the election I, like many folks, spiraled into all sorts of worst case scenario thinking. I have hope that Pres. Trump isn't going to be as bad as I fear, though early indications aren't making me feel confident in that hope.

Marisa is away this weekend, and so I decided I wanted to keep this weekend politics free. Needing to clear my head yesterday I did what I so often do: went for a walk.

I've always been a walker, but after college I found myself not walking much. I missed the wanders I used to take and a FitBit gave me reason to pick up the habit again (and I just realized I've been FitBitting for 5 years!).

I headed out with one goal: walk 5000 steps in one direction and 5000 back.

IMG_4545

On my walk I came across Independence Hall and it reminded me that this country was born out of great strife in a troubled time.

As I continued my walk I passed the Second National Bank, a building I've walked past countless times:

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I've often wondered what it looks like inside, but I had no idea it housed a Portrait Gallery called "People of Independence!" I thought maybe this was a new thing, but it has been there since the 1970's. I went in and spent a good long time reading about every portrait in the place.

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As you might expect, it was mostly white dudes who were involved with America's independence (along with a smattering of women and black folks). It made me feel better knowing that when times are tough there are people, maybe just a few but still, that stand up for what's right.

I don't know if I'm as brave as the people in that gallery, but I do know that I'll do my part in making sure that this president doesn't ruin all the work that has gone before.


Not cool, Hillary

Unsub

I'm not very political but I think Donald Trump represents a danger for the country, so I donated a few bucks to Hillary for President.

Now I am getting a ton of email from Hillary, which I understand. However, I think the fact that the unsubscribe link is buried in a block of text at the bottom of the email AND ISN'T UNDERLINED like the rest of the links is just not cool.

I'm still with Her, but I am giving her email people the side-eye.


Mom and the Beatles

Mom seeing the Beatles

My mom loved music. She kept the radio tuned to the oldies station my entire childhood, which has lead to me having a taste for Doo-wop and 50's music.

She especially liked the Beatles, which makes sense given when she grew up and the fact that almost everyone likes the Beatles.

When my mom was a teenager the Beatles had arrived in New York for the first time. Mom, being a teenager, snuck out of the house and went to the Plaza Hotel in hopes of getting a glimpse of the Beatles.

Her parents were none the wiser to her city adventure until, that is, her father opened the next morning's Daily News to find the above picture featuring my mom (she's the tallest girl in the picture) behind a pack of girls "bending" the police lines.

Busted!

And thanks to the power of the internet I know this picture was taken on Feb. 12, 1964 by Frank Castoral. You can even order a print of it!


Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011

Steve

Oddly enough, I don't think I would be married to Marisa if it hadn't been for Steve Jobs.

Allow me to explain: the first time Marisa and I ever hung out for more than a few minutes alone with one another was when I helped her diagnosis an iBook with a failing hard drive. I spent hours sitting at the dining room table (which is now our dining room table) running diagnostics and what have you. That is where our friend began, over that piece of silicon and plastic which wouldn't have existed without Steve. Over time (ok, a long time) our friendship deepened into love and eventually we figured out that we should be together.

Thanks for that, Steve.

I don't really have anything profound to say about his death, other than 56 is too young for anyone to die: world changer or not.