Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Signs that I am Beyond Hope
Number 3: Assuming Love Must be a Parameter to be Estimated

So Laura and I were talking last night and when she commented that her Love seemed to increase as time went by (I know its mushy), I immediately responded by saying that here sample size was too small to be able to estimate accurately the acceleration parameter with respect to time.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Making Friends: Adult-Style

I've lived the vast majority of my life as a kid. I'm not really used to this adult thing. When you wanted to make a friend as a kid, you invited a kid over to your house to play or sleep-over. In college, you decided to study together or go out for coffee. In the world of adult-hood, what do you do?

Steve and I want to become friends with another couple in our apartment complex. They seem to want to be our friends, too. Unfortunately, lives are busy. They have 1.8 kids (she's pregnant with their second) and they're hard pressed to have time to see each other, much less go on impromptu coffee dates (dragging the little ones along!) I don't really know how to develop friendships in such a situation, so I tried to harken back to what MY parents did.

Last week we found out that she (Leah) had the stomach flu. Because they worried about dehydration and the baby on the way, that meant a 4 hour stay in the hospital in the middle of the night. After discovering this, I promptly started making bread (Steve's mom's "good recipe") and 2 hours later we called them up to deliver the package. I felt silly about the whole process. I wanted to be nice, but I wasn't sure if I was being TOO nice, or TOO eager to make friends. I mean, we hardly knew them. Steve consoled me by saying that they probably didn't know how to make friends any better than we did, and that it was a good effort.

I think he was right. This week the same couple shyly announced to us at the P.O. boxes that they had made us brownies. :) Mmm... I'm glad they took our cue. My stomach and mouth are happy, too. Perhaps next we'll one-up them by making dinner?

Which begs the question: Can you bake your way into someone's heart?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Slight Brag
This weekend we enjoyed a 4 day vacation to the ocean where we stayed in a cabin that the professor in charge of our Intervarsity group owns. So, all we paid for was food. Lodging = free of charge.

I swam a lot, Steve walked around in shorts and a t-shirt, looking at sea creatures, we had a nice seafood dinner, and I got a tad pink from too much sun.

All in mid-October, all in our "home state."

Anyone else want to move down here?

-Laura (Yes I'm alive) McMullen
(and you wonder why I don't find time to blog!)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Lances of Death: 0, Steven: 1

The first Mid-term matchup was held today, with challenger Lance of Death 1: Macroeconomics against the home contender Steven. In this closely fought match the Lance of Death started out with a poor showing, as Steven breezed through his explanation of how a positive shock to investment demand would effect Output, Labor, and Wages. Steven's math was flawless and his analysis sound. Lance of Death 1 almost gained an edge when it pulled out the question about the cyclical behavior of the real wage, but this blow was also dodged in the end with a safe but ambiguous answer.

Question 2 from Lance of Death 1 was also met by a strong performance by Steven, initially it looked as if a minor sign error on the part of the defender would give Lance of Death 1 an edge, but once the defender realized that the federal reserve would have to decrease the money supply in order to maintain the fixed exchange rate in the face of a rising foreign exchange rate, this question, too, was easily finished.

At this point in the game, Steven looked as if nothing could stop his dominant performance, and so the ever crafty Lance of Death 1 pulled out the dirtiest trick it could think of: it asked how output per worker, consumption and captial per worker would be affected by a decrease in the population growth rate according to a simple Solow model. The challenger must have known that Steven prefers to blindly memorize large amounts of information, and a question requiring real understanding like this would throw him for a loop, and indeed it was right. After a long and depressing time in which Steven produced no coherent thoughts, he was able to pull together an analytical answer and draw a set of appropriate graphs, knowing full well that this was a fight for as much partial credit as possible.

In the end, despite the devious twist pulled out in in question 3, Steven's strong performance on the first two questions guranteed him the P and the victory over Lance of Death 1.

Stay tuned for next weeks Mid-Term matchup: Lance of Death 2: Econometrics versus Steven.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Church Search Episode VI: Holy Transfiguration Church.

Last Sunday we decided to try out an Orthodox chruch (OCA, Orthodox Church of America) which was only about 20-25 minutes from our house. We had run into the preist when he came to speak to our Intervarsity group and were curious.

Preaching: 9/10, the preist is a very thoughtful man and gave a great sermon on the gospel text of the day. The guy was a missionary for years, and has taught at Trinity Evengelical Divinity School, among other places, and knows his stuff.

Worship: 10/10, needless to say there was no rock and roll in this service, and no speaking in tongues (other than some mumbling in Russian) but you gotta give kudos to a choir which can sing a liturgy which goes on for an hour and a half.

Smell: 10/10, a new category perhaps, but the incense and candles really do smell nice, even if they are not good for the lungs.

Seating: 1/10, The seating would have been no better if we had stood for the hour and a half. Oh wait...we did. Actually we got to sit down for the 10-15 minute sermon on the wooden benches along the side, but the rest was on our feet, and they were pretty sore by the end.

Weird Family Connections: 10/10, It turns out that the preist and his wife were EFC missionaries in Germany while Laura's Grandparents were missionaries, and the two knew each other well. So yeah. You can not run...You can not hide...from Laura's family's friends. There are just too many of them.

Coffe time: 7/10, not a giant pot-luck, but still it is hard to argue with free danishes and apple juice after a long service.

All in all it was a great experience, we are interested in learning more about Orthodoxy now, and plan on doing some reading.

Signs That I am Beyond Hope
Number 2: Retraining My Hands to Write Greek

The shift is official. I used to accidentally write a's and B's when I tried to write α's and β's. Now I find myself writing α for a and β for B. I am also distrubingly practiced writing much of the greek alphabet, different ways of writing the letters x, t, n, u and other letters commonly used as symbols in economics.

On the plus side my handwriting has significantly improved. Bad handwriting can cause too many math errors. I make enough errors with carful handwriting.

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