aftermath

we dream, we create, we change, we love

Archive for February 2015

Wake-Up Call

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we were winding up at th pool and gathering our things for catching th plane back home from th conference, but as i turned from packing up one thing i kept finding that what i’d packed up before had gone missing, someone would steal it away from me when i wasn’t looking, until even my wallet was gone along with everything i needed to board th plane

i was on my way to th plane anyway, hoping to somehow settle about being robbed although i was already having difficulty proving who i was without my drivers license. suddenly i was accosted by two militant women holding knives and guns to my face, demanding money and anything else i had worth robbing. when i tried to point out to them that i’d already been robbed of everything, they had a third woman who was working with them who shot warning shots from a hideout among th buildings lining th street

by th time i managed to break free of them i was completely naked. i had lost hope of even remembering which hotel room was mine by now, but hoped to recognize it if i were to ride up the hotel elevator. as th elevator door opened i shrank back against th wall in case anyone would be coming out, worried about being seen. a woman exited th elevator and began walking toward th hotel lobby, but halfway down th hall she turned and saw me, so then went screaming down into th hotel calling for security personnel. in th reflection of th glass in th elevator i could see for th first time what had frightened her so – my face was very badly bruised and i was bloody all over. i quickly entered th elevator hoping to disappear before anyone came, but another woman entered th elevator to go up just as th doors were closing. she seemed to take pity on my plight so i looked to her for help, but it turned out that she wanted to take advantage of my predicament to force me into a relationship with her that i didn’t want

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Written by macheide

25 February 2015 at 11:07 pm

Posted in oneirra

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Hoghenhine o’Mine

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hoghenhine, n. — a person who has stayed in a household for three nights, and so becomes the legal responsibility of the host; a member of a household; a dependant

— OED

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Written by macheide

23 February 2015 at 9:57 pm

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What’s Wrong with This Picture?

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Written by macheide

22 February 2015 at 9:27 am

Posted in άctuary

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Happy Dance

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Finally, I’m learning to dance! At least, enough so to look forward to dancing in public without feeling uncomfortable about how awkward I still am.

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Written by macheide

21 February 2015 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Adrien

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Love Is the True Pink

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vDay

 

One needn’t be an escapist indulging in fantasy to have fun. Far the contrary, the best fun comes from love, and love is the purest fun. So he who is too “practical” to accept fun is missing out on the most real experience of life: the joy of doing things together.

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Written by macheide

14 February 2015 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Adrien

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Pension PBO Funded Ratio for Quarterly FY Groups

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PBO FR quarterly FY groups 2014

Most public U.S. corporations use a calendar fiscal year (FY), ending on or around December 31. But although distinctly in the minority, a material group use fiscal years ending in every other month of the year — on or around January 31, on or around the end of February, on or around the end of March, and so on. Since accounting for pension plans generally rely on spot measurements as of the close of a fiscal year, and since asset experience and discount rates and other measurement factors can be very volatile during the course of a year, appraisal of the full universe of pension plans must take account of the different fiscal years.

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Written by macheide

14 February 2015 at 5:28 pm

Posted in άctuary

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Pensions PAYG Benchmark

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Pension Benefits v Contributions 2014 nov-dec (54)Very early on the education of a pension actuarial student encounters the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) “funding” method, under which contributions simply equal benefits. Except for the occasional reference to our Social Security system, which is basically run on a PAYG basis, the student then leaves the method behind for the majority of practice. Except for nonqualified deferred compensation plans for executives, numbers for which are a material piece of the pension numbers reported on corporate financial results — since those plans are unfunded, their contributions are made on a PAYG basis. In fact, during periods when companies have been on a “contribution holiday” for their qualified pension plans due to previous advance contributions (e.g., as was recently the case for GM), their domestic pension contributions are comprised entirely of PAYG amounts paid to their nonqualified deferred comp programs. Aside from those actual PAYG amounts, the PAYG basis offers a useful benchmark for assessment of total contributions made to all pension plans sponsored by an employer.

This chart shows results for 54 public U.S. employer with 2014 fiscal years ending in the 4th quarter of 2014 that have released their 2014 annual financial statements by 13 February 2015. For those companies, the chart shows aggregate pension benefits paid (smooth higher orange line) and aggregate employer contributions to pension plans (volatile lower blue line) for fiscal years 2000 through 2014.

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Written by macheide

14 February 2015 at 4:26 am

Posted in άctuary

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Newfound Soup

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Score! A newfie has promised me some island salsify from her own private stash!

I’ll have to reward her kind generosity with some tasty salsify soup.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - kitchen

Written by macheide

13 February 2015 at 7:52 pm

Posted in kitchen

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Pension Volatility — Employer Contribution vs Investment Returns

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Pension Employer Contribution vs Asset Return 2014 dec (50)Employer contributions to pension plans, as illustrated and discussed in my previous post, might seem more volatile than corporate finance officers, investors and creditors and other interested parties (such as the pension plan participants) might like to see. Imagine, for instance, if the employer’s “contributions” to direct compensation paid for salaries were as volatile. But compared to pension asset returns, another key factor in the costs of pension plans, employer contributions appear relatively stable.

For 50 U.S. public corporations with calendar fiscal years, this chart shows employer contributions to single-employer defined benefit pension plans (orange smooth line) contrasted with investment returns on the pension plans’ assets (blue volatile line) for 2000 through 2014.

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Written by macheide

13 February 2015 at 6:18 pm

Posted in άctuary

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2014 Pensions — Employer Contribution

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2014 Pensions - Employer Contribution all (205)For 205 public U.S. corporations, this chart shows the aggregate global employer contributions to single-employer defined benefit pension plans for fiscal years 2000 through 2014. As I’d anticipated last year, the amount continued to decline . . . and the main reason for that decline had absolutely nothing to do with pension funding relief legislation.

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Written by macheide

12 February 2015 at 11:33 pm

Posted in άctuary

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2014 Pension Asset Return

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FR PBO 2014 all fy+1 (275)Investment returns for assets of defined benefit pension plans sponsored by public U.S. corporations generally remained at the healthy levels experienced for 2012 and 2013. This chart shows the aggregate global investment returns during fiscal years ending in 2000 through 2014 for the assets of pension plans maintained by 275 companies (including companies with calendar fiscal years as well as non-calendar fiscal years; and with a fiscal year shift of 1 month, i.e., results for companies with fiscal years ending in January are shifted back to the preceding calendar year). The solid horizontal line in the chart represents zero: years during which investment returns slipped below that line represent years when assets lost value.

Future posts will estimate the annual rates of return based on these investment results, together with estimated cumulative rates of return over multiple years, then will compare those rates of return with investment return assumptions used to determine pension plan costs.

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Written by macheide

11 February 2015 at 9:42 pm

Posted in άctuary

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2014 Pension PBO Funded Ratio

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Pension PBO FR 2014 all fy+1 (275)As I’ve been separately exploring in a post looking at plan assets and projected benefit obligations for defined benefit pension plans sponsored by public U.S. corporations, during 2014 the increase in obligations due to lower interest rates outpaced investment gains in assets. The result: a drop in the aggregate pension plan funded ratio, reversing roughly two thirds of the increase in pension funded ratio experienced during 2013.

This chart shows the aggregate global pension plan funded ratio determined on the basis of projected benefit obligations for 1995 through 2014 for 275 companies, including employers with calendar fiscal years as well as non-calendar fiscal years. The data set for this chart uses a fiscal year shift of one month: companies with a fiscal year ending in January are treated as if in the preceding calendar year.

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Written by macheide

9 February 2015 at 8:20 pm

Posted in άctuary

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Rest of My Rest

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9 feb  —  4hr48min
8 feb  —  3hr44min
7 feb  —  4hr13min
6 feb  —  4hr24min
5 feb  —  4hr32min
4 feb  —  3hr32min
3 feb  —  5hr24min
2 feb  —  6hr2min
1 feb  —  2hr54min
31 jan  —  4hr38min
30 jan  —  3hr55min
29 jan  —  4hr0min
28 jan  —  3hr58min
27 jan  —  4hr42min
26 jan  —  4hr8min
25 jan  —  5hr0min
25 jan  —  5hr0min
24 jan  —  3hr30min
23 jan  —  5hr5min
22 jan  —  4hr38min
21 jan  —  3hr40min
20 jan  —  5hr51min
19 jan  —  4hr41min
18 jan  —  3hr40min
17 jan  —  4hr51min

Recent records for my sleep, as measured by my Fitbit Flex, after subtracting out periods when the gadget considered me to be awake or restless. Is something near an average of 4 hours per night of rest enough?

An NIH publication suggests that healthy adults sleep on average 8-8.5 hours per night. Yeah, but is that counting all the time spent sleeping, or only the time that Fitbit would call restful sleep? Because I’m putting in close to 8 hours per night of time when I’m not consciously awake, so maybe I’m ok.

Shortly after college, upon learning that Edison slept about 4 hours each night (as reiterated in a recent article on sleep deprivation, I spent nearly a year restricting my sleep to 2 hours per day. I only ceased that habit when a close friend persuaded me to test how much better I would feel if I sleep closer to 8 hours per night for 1-2 weeks. After agreeing to his experiment, I felt no better than with my own routines . . . but then I found it impossible to return to that preferred routine, at best managing only stretches when I would do 4 hours per night. Even so, some of the ideas that I worked out during that one year have survived to fuel projects I work on to this day.

From November 1986 through December 1987, I averaged 100 hours per week of hard work, as I assisted the Administration and Congress in the development of pension funding reform. But I had little else to occupy my time those days, so I don’t recall too many short-sleep nights.

During my life I’ve experienced two periods of severe sleep deprivation. First, in 1991 I averaged about 40 minutes of sleep per night during the 30 days when I wrote my book. The result: I wound up in the hospital with total amnesia. Then almost exactly 20 years later, in 2011 after my shenanigans I experienced a period of zero sleep for a stretch that lasted upwards a week or more. The result: what the doc in charge of my head called organic brain syndrome. OK, the morale of that story seems to be to steer clear of sleep numbers that get too close to zero for much more than a few days in a row.

But was that 2-hour habit during my youth really so unhealthy? And more to the point for today, should I worry that Fitbit has me resting little more than Edison used to spend sleeping? Like, perhaps the chemicals that gave me hallucinations in 2011 and that crashed my head in 1991 are not all that disconnected with chemicals that can enhance creativity, when taken in moderation, relatively speaking. Just wondering . . .

//www.internetbumperstickers.com] - non compos mentis

Written by macheide

9 February 2015 at 4:09 pm

Posted in non compos mentis

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2014 Pension MVA & PBO

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Pension MVA & PBO 2014 (275 FY+1)For 275 U.S. corporate sponsors of defined benefit pension plans, this graph shows aggregate global numbers for market value of pension assets (blue diamonds) and projected benefit obligations (red squares) for fiscal years ending in 2000 through fiscal years ending in 2014 (treating fiscal years ending during January as having been for the preceding calendar year). As expected, this chart shows trends that are quite similar to those that had been seen on the original charts shown in this post for 6 companies, for 16 companies, and for for 205 companies: asset increases for 2014 on pace with the gains of 2013, but with even greater increases in projected benefit obligations due primarily to significant declines in discount rates.

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Written by macheide

7 February 2015 at 12:05 pm

Posted in άctuary

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Small Parts

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                   chest: 42½              waist: 40½              hip: 38½              outseam: 38½
                   inseam: 30½              neck: 16½              sleeve: 25 35              head: 24
                   shoulder: 18½              nape-waist: 19½              nape-floor: 62                 

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Written by macheide

6 February 2015 at 3:55 pm

Posted in Adrien

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Sincerely OK

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‘okay, I have had enough, what else can you show me?’
                      —Bob Dylan, It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

Merriam Webster recently posted an interesting video clip on the “bizarre origins of the world’s most recognized word”: okay. OK. Like, isn’t that what Rose would say that is?

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Written by macheide

3 February 2015 at 4:34 pm

Posted in so to speak

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