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Archive for July 2008

5yr FYE-Set S&P500 PBO FRs

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That is, pension plan funded ratios for S&P500 pension plan sponsors, determined on the basis of plans’ projected benefit obligations, split into 12 sets on the basis of the month in which a company’s fiscal year ends, for each set showing aggregate funded status as of the close of the most recent 5 fiscal years.

The general idea of looking at separate FYE sets being that, for example, pension plan funded status changes for companies with a fiscal year ending September 30 can be rather different than for companies with a fiscal year ending December 31, depending on experience during the 4th calendar quarter, including investment gains or losses, changes in interest rates, levels of company contributions to their pension plans, design changes such as plan freezes, and other factors.

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Written by macheide

31 July 2008 at 8:20 pm

Posted in άctuary

Sub Wheels

Susan hasn’t been putting many miles on the Bitty Burb lately. Last weekend, she was driven around in the Blue Bug while Nat took Bitty up to Dallas. Now she’s driving a lender Civic around while Bitty is getting her bearings in the shop, that and a new drive belt.

bumper sticker [] - adrien

Written by macheide

31 July 2008 at 8:14 pm

Posted in Adrien

HP Trio

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This is why I usually keep Harry’s network cable, security cord, and power adapter in separate pockets of my computer case. As demonstrated today when I used the smaller internal laptop case to carry the bare necessities to a daylong meeting, the three cannot be trusted together.

bumper sticker [] - tangles

Written by macheide

31 July 2008 at 6:55 pm

Posted in tangles

End and Beginning of an Exit

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Allen: I was nowhere near Oakland!

Play It Again, Sam

Just this past Sunday, in a rant on the obviously low quality and reliability of Google SMS, I pointed out that about 1 out of every 20 times I was sending “Stock DJI” to get an update on the Dow Jones Industrials, I was getting a local address for Dow Jones instead of the index results. Yesterday, that started happening about once every 7 or 8 times. Early today, about once every 3 or 4 times. Then early this afternoon, Google SMS gave up pretending at any intelligence whatsoever, simply returning addresses to any and all stock price requests, from the DJI to IBM to any others. After 30 minutes of checking back to see if they themselves had figured out they’d finally broken their own stupid attempt at SMS, I gave up. Permanently. Who cares if they’ve fixed it by now, when the only certainty is that they will break it again soon enough. Their quality control procedures and programming standards are as slipshod as those of Microsoft, if not worse. So after long ago giving up relying on any of the other Google SMS uses, which were even worse than the stock price use has been until today, finally I’m leaving Google SMS completely. To put it at the absolute bottom of any listing of SMS services would be too kind.

And if that marks the closing scene of one exit, call it the opening scene of other departures I’ll be making from other Google features. Google Docs being the next in line to get the heaveho. I’ve long known that neither its word processing nor spreadsheet products are worth anything beyond a very poor joke with no punchline. Why I’ve still continued to build records of my gas mileage and Zen tracks and other bits and pieces on Google Docs spreadsheets has been more a comment on my own blogging inertia than any endorsement of Google. It’s a dead end. With no expectation that Google Docs will ever rise above the ultra-low standard set by Google SMS, I’m wasting my time to continue.

Shall we give g-mail the pink slip as well?

Bumper Sticker [] - reprobate

Written by macheide

30 July 2008 at 8:00 pm

Posted in reprobate

BfD Smiley

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Breakfast for dinner! Back from the office a lot later than expected and drained from a difficult commute, I’d snacked on leftover rice a roni barely an hour ago, so might easily have found good cause to skip dinner altogether. But would have found enough energy to whip up some french toast for the rest of the fam, if they had let me do so. Instead, Susan and Nat cooked up some sausage, eggs, and pancakes. Puts a smile on my face!

bumper sticker [] - smiley

Written by macheide

30 July 2008 at 7:09 pm

Posted in smiley

Unwanted Commute

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Just can’t win this afternoon. Heading east up the Beltway access road away from Beamer toward Hughes is not my normal outbound commute route. But after sitting through almost the entire stretch I do of the Gulf Freeway south from Houston (partially due to backups from several different accidents, including one blocking half of the outbound lanes), I was too impatient to sit at the Beamer traffic light just because a few drivers more interested in their cell phone calls than the road dallied too long on the green I ought easily to have been able to make it through. But really, I can’t win. I would have also easily made it through this upcoming traffic light without needing to stop, had it not been for an 18-wheeler deciding to park watching a green light until the very last instant. Remind me, please: if I have to stay in the office through 4pm ever again, I swear I will stay and work an additional three hours, just to spare myself the intolerable hassle of rush hour in the Houston heat.

Only good part of today’s commute: my monthly fuel stop revealed that the Blue Bug got over 40 mpg again on its most recent tank of gas, despite adding some local driving to the usual commuting routine.

//] - abelian

Written by macheide

30 July 2008 at 5:24 pm

Posted in abelian

Forget Something, Mister?

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So I’m through building security and halfway out to my car before I realize I’m without my keys. And you know how I hate retracing my steps once I’ve headed off. Almost anything else, and I’d just leave it until next week when I get back into the office. For my car keys, that would be difficult to pull off.

So I trudge back up to my office. Brief panic sets in as my eyes quickly scan my ultra-clean desk space – no keys!! Amazing, the dense thunderclouds of dark visions that swept through my head in the microsecond before I lucked into seeing what the snapshot here reveals. As obvious as it appears when at the center of focus, it would have been so easy to overlook it. And then how stupid I would have felt if we’d found them after I’d gone through whatever turmoil might have pursued me had I not seen where I’d left the keys.

So have I just been working too hard this week? Nah. I’m a noodlenoggin.

(Postscript: Mildly curious that the office drama of the week involved temporary loss of the office keys, raising the spectre of potential security breaches and the temporary inaccessibility of locked files and mail, among other headaches.)

bumper sticker [] - noodlenoggin

Written by macheide

30 July 2008 at 4:13 pm

Posted in noodlenoggin