If you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth…

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The Body Electric

Adafruit strainless conductive thread

With my recent purchase of a thermal jacket and awesome thermal bib tights from Craft, I’ve become a lot more comfortable riding in colder temperatures. Matched with a balaclava and either thermal gloves or lobster mitts, I’m able to ride comfortably for hours at 20-40°.

However, there’s always been one glaring problem with cold-weather rides: full-fingered gloves make it impossible to operate my new bike computer. Its capacitive touch-screen requires contact with skin to complete an electrical circuit to determine where the touch took place.

Although not a critical issue, it was most pressing (pun intended) when relying on the computer for navigational cues. But the computer just won’t respond to fingers insulated (in both thermal and electrical senses) within full-fingered gloves.


Inna Anna Outta

Inna @ Kuala Lumpur

After several years in a long-distance relationship with Inna, I thought we might see more of one another after I moved in with her in Pittsburgh back in 2015.

But last winter I spent five months up in Maine, caretaking my mother. And now Inna’s job has sent her to the other side of the planet on a six-month project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

The Petronas Towers at night,
from Inna’s hotel room.

The first thing to be said is how proud I am of her career. After a complete reboot, she’s become an experienced procurement consultant, helping clients optimize capital expenditures ranging from a quarter million dollars up to a freaking beelion, without any fluster or fuss. It says a lot about her competence that—out of all her peers—she was chosen as an expert to kick off this absolut »more

And I'll Never Have That Recipe Again

A Testament

I wouldn’t say my mother was a natural cook, but she was willing to try anything that struck her fancy. While building her repertoire, she used an old typewriter to commit her favorites to index cards that she stored in a hinged wooden recipe box.

Over the years, I sifted through her recipe box countless times, looking for her instructions for sour cream cookies or nisu bread or the family’s traditional spaghetti sauce.

After she died—a year ago today—my brother and I sifted through her belongings, finding homes for all the things she left behind.

Naturally, I went through that recipe box, intent on preserving everything I wanted before passing it on to other family members.

At the back of the box, hidden behind everything else, was another unremarkable index card, yellowed with age li »more

A Testament

A Testament

Hand-typed excerpt from William Wetmore Story's poem "A Testament", found on an index card in my deceased mother's
recipe box.

The Ghost of Munny Present

Money Quote

My previous post, The Ghost of Munny Past, covered some of my pre-2015 experiences with money and investing. Here we get caught up to present-day with a few more recent adventures.

At the start of 2015, most of my net worth was tied up in my Back Bay condo, which had originally been purchased with proceeds from the Sapient stock I’d acquired as an early employee.

At the end of 2015, I moved to Pittsburgh, which meant putting the condo on the market: my first home sale. Fortunately, despite needing renovation, it sold promptly on Leap Day 2016, for a reasonable “profit”. I use the word “profit” advisedly, given the things I said about mortgages in my previous post. Still, investing the proceeds from my condo sale has been one of my biggest preoccupations for the past year.

Cash: I Has »more

The Ghost of Munny Past

True Money Stories

It’ll surprise those of you who know me best, but aside from my 2016 mention of my condo sale, I haven’t posted about money at all in four or five years, mostly because “people get funny when you talk about munny…”

But since money is one of my six necessities for happiness, and because things are afoot in that department, I’m going to correct that with a two-part look at money and investing. This first part will be a retrospective covering the 25-year period from 1990 to 2015, and a followup post will discuss more recent developments since moving to Pittsburgh.

The Windfall

The event that kickstarted my savings was, of course, working at Sapient. I joined a startup of 120 people, and during the dot-com boom we grew to over 3,600 staff, went public in an IPO, and were added to the pre »more