Sunday, October 26, 2008

Expectations, Projections, and Spark Plugs

I'll be glad when November 5th gets here and John Sydney McCain can return to 1/7th of his homes, call Sarah Palin a cunt or a trollope (as he is often want to do, apparently... Just ask Cindy McCain!), and bury his dreams of one day destroying America with a cigar, a vaguely unethical poker game at an Indian Casino, and a bottle of whiskey!

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, let me update a few running topics:

1. I voted early for Obama, straight ticket Democrat for all state and national races, then for every judge and commissioner supported by the state teacher's union. It felt good to do my part to make the world a better place. I'm really hoping that North Carolina will turn blue on Election Night. It would feel good to know that over half of the state has evolved beyond race and bigotry. I was going to add stupidity, but that's probably hoping for WAY too much evolution at once.

2. I completed my first buy/sell cycle in my financial experiment. I am in the middle of the second cycle now. Within a week and a half I've managed to turn my $1000 initial investment into $1400. At this rate, if things go perfectly constant, I will have $100,000 by my birthday in May. Of course, nothing ever goes perfectly for me, but worst case scenario at this point seems be around $25,000 by May. I'd still be happy with that, seeing as how I've never made more than $22,000 in any given year by doing actual work.

3. Something is beyond wrong with me as far as school is concerned. I haven't written a single paper this semester, even though writing comes naturally to me. I just haven't felt like doing any work for some reason. It's interfering with my ability to post on this blog, to be quite frank! I feel guilty all the time because, obviously, my first priority SHOULD be to doing school work instead of posting, so after some deliberation I end up doing neither!

4. One of my friends from Algebra class, a guy named Chris, came over and replaced three of my four spark plugs and resurfaced my headlights so that they aren't foggy anymore. We could only get three of the plugs replaced because the fourth had apparently been cross threaded at the factory and couldn't be removed without risking damage to the threads in the cylinder where the plug was located. Also, we discovered oil pooling around two of the plugs which is either due to decayed gaskets or a crack in the engine. Best case scenario there is to replace the gaskets, which would still cost $500 because of the labor involved for a shop to remove the top of the engine. At any rate, I'm going to be waiting awhile before I do something about it.

As payment for the hard work, I took Chris out to lunch at a local Italian place near my apartment. We had a good time, and I felt as though I learned new things about him. In some ways, it seems, Chris and I are in similar situations except that Chris has a much more financially well-off family to fall back on if things go sour.

All in all, I suppose things are moving slowly forward. My car does seem to drive better with the new plugs installed; and it feels good to think that I might finally be investing in my financial future and that I may not have to feel trapped by economic woe for the rest of my life. I was surprised at how easy it seemed to actually change the spark plugs on my car. Ever since taking my HUM 220 class I've been getting more into vehicle maintenance and am continually surprised by how non-intimidating it all seems when you have the right people around to explain it to you. If I could ever get around to buying proper tools I wouldn't mind doing some of the basic maintenance on my own. It would certainly save money, that's for sure.

By the way, I've noticed a few people have been checking out the blog lately, so what do you guys think, so far? What's going on in your own lives which may parallel some of the things I've been mentioning up to now? Any thoughts on topics you might want me to discuss later? Feel free to leave comments below.

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

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