Monday, August 13, 2012

Am I My Own Weakest Link?

I've been thinking a lot lately about life, the big decisions, the big picture, and it occurs to me that I appear to be basing my overall wellbeing on my poor choices. We're all familiar with the saying "you're only as strong as your weakest link" well I'm feeling only as productive as my least-productive days, only as smart as my poorest decisions. While I can see the logic in the weakest-link analogy, I need a more positive perspective. I need to be strong despite my weakest link, strong enough to fix my weak links. (Seems I can't blog properly from behind this Navy firewall, I'll edit later to add the image I wanted to put here.)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Long Time No See

Yeah it's been a while. Geez life sure is busy. You'll be glad to know I finally got all my Maine photos uploaded! :) Plus Apr-Jul but you know how to get there from here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break 2012 Day 2 Sunday

All my good intentions about staying up super late Saturday or getting up extra early on Sunday to finish my homework were ill-conceived in the first place, and therefore went unexecuted. So I awoke with the desire to spend more family time, slighly dampered by the nagging requirement to do homework. All of which became OBE when JR said he thought Phoebe might need stitches, so I played with Christopher while JR & Phoebe went to urgent care. After more than a two hour wait, however, the urgent care place sent them to the ER in case she needed stitches, because apparently they are unable to stitch faces.

So he brought her home for a quick bite to eat, and I took her to the ER, where she was seen after an incredulous five minute wait (we had been quoted 1½hrs), and her chin was butterfly-stitched (which could have been done at the urgent care place, probably much cheaper).

So we got a late start to NB's, enjoyed a "cooked in the yard" dinner, then enjoyed some family Jenga! AJ lasted but one round, then needed to be put to bed due to unsportsman-like conduct. Grandma & Grandpa & Uncle Dre & Phoebe enjoyed several more fun-filled rounds before NB sent us home so I could finish my homework.

I was completely unsatisfied with my paper, but I submitted it at midnight when it was due.
Note to self: do not schedule anything during the last week of school.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break 2012 Day 1 Saturday

Grandma & Grandpa arrived Friday, so we met after work at NB's for a spaghetti dinner and a brief chit-chat/catch-up, then disbursed so our out-of-state travelers could rest. Phoebe & Christopher both fell asleep in the car (standard), and both managed to stay mostly asleep through the transition from car to bed (a first!).

By early Saturday Phoebe was ready to head STRAIGHT to Grandma & Grandpa's hotel for some pool time! I let her pack her swim stuff, but insisted we go to NB's so the plan of the day could come together with the inputs of all involved. :) AJ had a rough day and wasn't up to pool play, so we chatted the day away, enjoyed a Pizza Hut dinner, and then snuck off to the pool without AJ. When I asked Christopher if he wanted to swim he said no, so I stayed dressed, but took him and his swim trunks with us to the pool to watch Phoebe & Grandma play. I think I heard Phoebe say "Grandma, watch me!" about a million times. :) Then Christopher got interested, so I got him changed and deposited him into the water with Grandma. I'm glad I didn't get in too, because Christopher clung to his Grandma with hugs and smiles and play like never before. They both seemed to really enjoy it.

Then as the pool closed and I attempted to wrangle up the wet munchkins, Phoebe banged her chin on the edge of the pool. :( It didn't bleed much, and she didn't cry at all, but I know chin injuries hurt. Grandpa put a band-aid on it and we headed home. Christopher again stayed asleep through the transition, but Phoebe got her chin re-bandaged by Daddy and stayed up to watch the Kid's Choice Awards (KCAs). She has already suggested that we might have to move to California when the time comes so she can attend "Hollywood Arts" (the high school where fictitious Victoria Justice and her friends to go school).

Friday, March 30, 2012

Math Discussion 1.1

In the overview of this module, we saw how a linear equation can be applicable to the grocery store expenditure. Think about 3 different examples where you can formulate 3 different linear equations. Then, share those examples and linear equations. Include the x-intercept and y-intercept of each of your linear equations. Comment on the validity of the other students’ linear equations. None of your linear equations must have expenditure as the variable. (Think beyond the grocery store example.) Example from module description: Suppose that you go to a grocery store to buy some cola bottles. Your expenditure depends on how much you spend on gas and how many bottles you buy at the grocery store. The amount you spend on gas does not depend on how many bottles you buy, but the amount you spend in the grocery store does. Hence, your gas expenditure can be considered fixed cost, and your cola bottles’ expenditure can be considered variable cost. Now, suppose also that your gas expenditure for each trip to the grocery store is $3, and the selling price of each cola bottle is $2. If your total expenditure is expressed as y, and the number of cola bottles is expressed as x, then one can say that y = 3 + 2x.

Example 1. Suppose it is girl scout cookie season. :) You have committed to buy ten boxes of cookies from your own daughter, and also to buy three boxes from every other girl scout that comes to your door selling cookies. The total amount of cookies you buy does not depend on how many boxes you buy from each girl, but on the number of girls that come to your door. Therefore, the cookies you buy from your own daughter can be considered fixed, and the cookies from other girl scouts can be considered variable. If your total cookie purchase (in boxes) is expressed as y, and the number of girl scouts you buy cookies from is expressed as x, then y = 10 + 3x.
  • Solving the x-intercept for y = 10 + 3x (y = 0)
    0 = 10 + 3x
    -10 = 3x
    -(10/3) = x
    -3.33 = x
    x-intercept is (-3.33, 0)
  • Solving the y-intercept for y = 10 + 3x (x = 0)
    y = 10 + 3*0
    y = 10 + 0
    y = 10
    y-intercept is (0, 10)
Example 2. Suppose that you are considering carpooling to reduce your 20 mile per day commute to two miles per day to a carpool meetup spot, plus the once or twice weekly full commute when it's your turn to drive (based on a five day work week). The total number of miles you drive per week does not depend on how many miles in your commute, but on the frequency you have to make that drive. Therefore, the mileage to your carpool meetup is fixed, and the mileage for the rest of the week is variable. If your total weekly mileage is expressed as y, and the frequency you drive the carpool all the way is expressed as x, then y = 2*5 + 20x.
  • Solving the x-intercept for y = 2*5 + 20x (y = 0)
    0 = 2*5 + 20x
    0 = 10 + 20x
    -10 = 20x
    -(10/20) = x
    -0.5 = x
    x-intercept is (-0.5, 0)
  • Solving the y-intercept for y = 2*5 + 20x (x = 0)
    y = 2*5 + 20*0
    y = 10 + 0
    y = 10
    y-intercept is (0, 10)
Example 3. Suppose that you are enrolled in an eleven-week graduate class, and are scheduled to complete ten homework assignments, twenty online discussions, and one final exam (31 total assignments). Suppose also that you alot two hours for easy assignments and four hours for difficult assignments. The total number of hours you need to plan for your schoolwork does not depend on the number of assignments, but on how many of them are easy and how many are difficult. If the total number of hours you need to expend on your assignments is expressed as y, and the number of assignments that are difficult is expressed as x, then y = 2(31-x) + 4x.
  • Solving the x-intercept for y = 2(31-x) + 4x (y = 0)
    0 = 2(31-x) + 4x
    0 = 2*31 - 2x + 4x
    0 = 62 + 2x
    -62 = 2x
    -(62/2) = x
    -31 = x
    x-intercept is (-31, 0)
  • Solving the y-intercept for y = 2(31-x) + 4x (x = 0)
    y = 2(31-0) + 4*0
    y = 2*31 + 0
    y = 62
    y-intercept is (0, 62)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

OMFG @ Remedial Graduate Math :{

Week One: Algebra Review & Linear Equations. Shit.

Algebra Review:
~Natural Numbers. Ok, got it.
~Whole Numbers. Ok, got it.
~Rational Numbers. Ok.
~Irrational Numbers. Wtf.

Properties of Real Numbers:
~Commutative, Associative, Identity, Inverse, Distributive. Had to refresh my memory, but ok.

Polynomials. Ok.
Addition & Subtraction. Now that's what I'm talkin' about! :)
Rules of Parenthesis. I remember those.
Multiplication & the FOIL Method: First, Outside, Inside, Last. Had to re-learn that. Shit.
Order of Operations. Thanks to building Excel formulas, I know that.

Properties of Exponents:
~Product, Quotient, Power of a Power, Product of a Power, Quotient to a Power, Zero Exponent, Negative Exponent, Inverse. WTF!! Shit!

Radicals. Huh?
Factoring. Simplifying - I can get w/that.
Greatest Common Factor. There's a formula for that? I always did that in my head, formula makes no sense. What's a "prime" factor?
Factoring Patterns. "When factoring polynomials there are common patterns easily recognizable..." Easily recognizable MY ASS.

Properties of Rational Expressions:
~Cancellation, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction. Ok.

Rectangular Coordinates and Linear Equations. Thanks to Excel, this is not totally foreign.
Point-Slope Form. I f'ing hate Algebra.
Slope-Intercept Form. Who needs math anyway.

Business Applications of Linear Equations. Finally, maybe this can be made useful somehow.
~Forecasting. Supply & Demand makes sense - but these formulas?!? Shit!
~Break-even Analysis. "Suppose that you are selling popcorn." Yeah, suppose that. I don't need math to sell popcorn.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Incredible Shrinking Stephanie

Once upon a time, while JR was at boot camp, I succeeded in losing a rather significant amount of weight. I remember a colleage referring to me as "the incredible shrinking Stephanie" and I think I'm due another round of that! Just look at this recent picture:

I'm short, and fat! I am hoping this photo, combined with the uncomfortable fit of most of the clothes in my closet, will help motivate and propel me into some sort of fitness/weight-loss regimine. There's this nice 2½-mile lake trail - right in my neighborhood! I really need to get out there. Me and Sydney. 5am. I remember how good it feels to start my day with exercise.

Post per Week Blog Challenge 4/52 Balance

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Come Alive

Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~Howard Thurman

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Post per Week Blog Challenge 1/52 Accountability

I've been meaning to blog more, so in an effort to do so, I am challenging myself to do one post per week. I considered just doing a weekly wrap, but decided instead to elaborate on the words from my blog header. These words represent values that inspire me when I see them in others, and that I strive for myself.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity. ~George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Grades So Far

I began my MBA journey a few weeks ago, unsure how I was going to manage cramming coursework into my already overwhelmingly busy life. As it turns out, being smart is making school much more manageable than I'd feared. I started with a Marketing class, and as I delved into my text book, much of it seemed common sense, with some new jargon and just a few new concepts to digest. I worried that I wasn't putting enough graduate-level analysis into my work, but I continue to interact with my classmates online, I am seeing that my years (and years and years) of experience is serving me well. I'm at 100% so far! Yay!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Caretake This Moment

Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit the evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now. ~Epictetus