Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mathematically Romantic

I’ve often told my students that math is everywhere.   This week I found it somewhere I never expected to.

One of my co-workers got married on Monday, they’d been together for 6 years, living together for a few years now.  They both wrote their own vows and during his he was talking about the ups and downs of their relationship. 

Then he said something like “but if you look at the trend line of those ups and downs, it’s by far on the up side.”

Trend line.  A mathematical construct, and a romantic way of saying although he realizes no relationship is perfect, that theirs is a very good one.

Now I can use “when you’re romancing your beau” to my “when will I ever use this” repertoire.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thematic Photographic 298–Summer

Summer, my favorite season – and not because I’m on school break.  I’ve always liked summer the best.  Clear skies, nice and warm and I get to spend a lot more time outside.

Driving around with the top and doors off.



Dutch oven cooking.

Playing “Capture the Flag” in Goblin Valley. (No knocking over hoodoos involved.)


Sitting around the campfire talking till all hours of the night.

Going to the lakes.

Yeah, no hibernating in the house avoiding the cold.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Kai

Monday, June 23, 2014

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

-attributed to Mark Twain.

I never met the guy, but I’ve know of his existence for a long time.  But my little brother did meet him.  He and his wife were in Las Vegas a while ago and went to see him at one of the casinos.  Afterwards, he went up to Steve Rossi, and got me this business card:

and even got it signed for me:

Rest in Peace, my friend.

And I thought it would be weird.

Three teachers at school are getting married and I decided to give them Home Depot gift cards.  I thought it was going to be a weird wedding gift, but decided that anybody can use something from Home Depot.

Well, I was wrong.  Not about everyone needing something from Home Depot, but about it being weird.  They actually had 2 different gift cards especially for weddings.

So I bought one of each (Yeah, three teachers and only 2 weddings, you figure it out) and now I can stop thinking about explanations for why I picked such an unusual gift.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Must have blacked out last night…

Got this email the other day…

Dear b3988efd9c84f71,
(uh you got my name wrong, it’s C3988efd9c84f71, my older brother is B…, little my sister is D… and my little brother is E… My parents won’t talk about what happened to A)

I was very furious when I listened to your voicemail last night.
(Sorry, I must have been channeling someone on the other side who has been haunting you, because I have no memory of leaving you an voicemail.)

You know, I did tell you about RNBI last month but you’re the one who was not interested in buying at the time. It was trading for just 10 or 15 cents if I remember correctly. You cannot now blame me by saying I didn’t tell you.
(Yeah, I don’t remember that either, this channeling thing must have been going on for a while.)

Anyway bullshit aside if you are still angry about missing the first wave I’m telling you its not too late but you need to listen to me now and buy as many of RNBI as you can on Monday morning before they get too expensive and if you don’t it’s your own fault I don’t want you calling me again and leaving me another nasty voicemail.
(All supernatural stuff aside, I think I’ll pass.  Doesn’t look like your stock has done much in a long time.)

I spoke with my analyst buddy who is working on this specific stock-analysis and he told me we should expect to see shares hit past a dollar within the next 30 days. Do what you must.
(Oh, and did I mention that I did some checking on that new internet thingy.  Seems that your email is nothing but a big scam to artificially raise your stock value.  Here’s my guess:  If the incredibly transparent scam does work, RNBI stock prices will go up, until you decide it’s time to sell and then prices will plummet.  You will make a lot of money, and the people you duped into creating this rush will lose everything.  Amazingly, this seems to have worked before, back in 2013, as you can see by that spike on the graph above.  Hopefully, nobody falls for it this time.)

Take care
Your bud (my ass!)

Before you think about getting in on this windfall, keep in mind that timing is everything.  Unless you know their timeline, you stand to lose everything.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

First day of summer…

…and what do I do?

Go find some snow, of course.

Actually, I just went out looking for dirt roads and ended up at Mirror Lake.  Since it’s at an altitude of 10,050 feet (3060 m) above sea level, snow is not surprising.

And it shouldn’t have been surprising that the drive up there would be a wee bit chilly, considering I had the top and doors off the Jeep and the summit before Mirror lake is at almost 12,000 feet (3660 m).

But, I had the heat blasting on me so it still was an enjoyable ride.

And I decided I have to move to Kamas, the have the perfect road for me to live on.  Or maybe that’s just how they keep track of all them lib’ral commie tree huggers that dare to live in the area.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Oh. Really?

Saw this article on Facebook – “14 Car Features That No Longer Exist”.

Um, hate to be contradictory but my 2014 Wrangler has 4 of your 14 items.

Mine signals are fairly quiet normally, but they really scream if you go more than 10 seconds with the blinker on without turning.

So, does it make me “Old School” because I specifically ordered two of these?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

And it’s only a couple days before summer.

I don’t know how cold it got last night, but I had to put on 3 heavy blankets to stay warm.

There was no way I was turning on the furnace in the middle of June.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Kinley

Monday, June 16, 2014

Advertising–whatever it takes.


Yeah, I usually avoid the really bad ones on my blog.  Not because I never say them myself, drop by when things are not going right when I’m working on one of the old Fords and you’ll hear plenty.

But, like in my classroom, it just seems inappropriate on my blog.  As I tell my students, I don’t care if they hear worse in the halls or if they swear at home or with their friends.  The classroom is just not a place for that kind of language.

Now, in advertising that kind of language is still not (yet) appropriate, but alluding to it seems to be in vogue these days.

I was a little amazed with Fresh Market’s tag line “It’s Un-Freshingly Believable”.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, replace “Fresh” with the word at the top and you’ll have something I’ve used to show amazement at what just happened.

Today I saw Toyota’s new ad campaign.  “Go Fun Yourself.”  Taken straight from something I used to tell people that I was unhappy with.

At least in the ad that had “Shut the Front Door” (can’t remember what it was for), their intent was to allude to the obscenity, for humorous purposes.

But I don’t know if I’d want a car that told me to, um, drop dead, buzz off, fall off the face of the earth or whatever, even if it was only implied.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father’s Day

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Geek Paradise, day 2.

Second and last day at IM Flash.  We spent most of the day in the computer lab doing statistical stuff.

We did get to build helicopters, little paper ones, that was fun.  First round we were given very little instructions on how to build them, and then we dropped them off a 2-story staircase in the main hall.  they even blocked off the area so that workers wouldn’t interfere with our work.

We timed their falls, did 3 trials and then went back to the computer lab and charted our results on this stats program they use there.  Made pretty graphs and discussed the mean, median, mode, range and standard deviation. 

The second round, we were given a template and specific instructions on how to build the helicopters, dropped them each 3 times and charted their times.  Amazingly (not really) the times for these were a lot closer.  what we didn’t expect, and probably should have, was that the second round helicopters all landed in almost exactly the same place.  The first round ones landed all over the place, one even on the 1 landing of the staircase.

This all led into a discussion about the causes of variation and how they use the stats to refine their production to minimize these variations.

All in all, it was quite interesting and we even had some fun doing it.  And we even got some IM Flash SWAG: shirt, computer bag, pens, keychain flashlight and even a teeny, tiny IM Flash chapstick.

I didn’t get any pictures of the first round of drops because they don’t allow any photography in the facility except for in specific areas.  One of the higher-ups showed up for the second drop, took a couple pictures so I asked him and he said it was ok for me to take them there also.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

When you cross Micron with Intel…

What do you get when you cross Micron with Intel?

You get IM Flash Technologies in Lehi, Utah.

You get a building that is over a half mile from one end to the other.  They make those silicone chips that are the main part of the memory on your flash drives and mobile devices.

I got to spend the afternoon there today, and again tomorrow.   They came to this year’s last meeting of the group I work with (MfA = Math for America) at the University of Utah and invited us down to visit and learn about all the ways they use math at their company.

I learned a lot of stuff about how silicone chips are made, and especially about the quality control and the math involved in quality control.   They are looking for defects that are about 1/1,000th the size of a flea.  That disc you see above has over 200 124gig chips, and not all of them will be perfect.  Even on discs that can be shipped to their parent companies (Micron and Intel), they do a quality control map that will tell which ones are perfect, close to perfect, pretty good and completely useless.  The “prefect” ones go into mass storage units, like servers and cloud memory storage.  The “pretty good” ones are the ones they put into that $10 flash drive you bought.  Yeah, that little flash drive you have your life stored on is made from the inferior chips.  That doesn’t mean they are crap, just not up to par with the server ones.

Anyway, we got to go through the quality control area, saw the different processes they use and came close to some really dangerous chemicals they use.  Whee!  We even had to wear safety goggles.

We didn’t get to go into the actual FAB room (that white room where you have to wear the “bunny suits”, with the constant temperature and filtered air, but we did get to go into a viewing room that was a glassed in part of it.  Which meant:

getting on our goggles, latex gloves, little “CSI” booties, a hair net and smock.  By the way, he did tell us that if you have bad allergies, the FAB (fabrication) room is the perfect place to work.

Overall, it was quite interesting.   Tomorrow we get to work on some projects they came up with for these visits.  Total Math-Geek type fun, looking forward to it.

P.S. – the visit started with a great lunch.  A good way to start!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Just some Jeep mileages.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Summer Break: Day One

  • Tried this weed killer that I found on Facebook:   I can’t vouch for it’s week killing ability, but even if the weeds survive, the Box Elder bugs didn’t, which makes it worth the $10 I spent on it.  I’ll let you know later if it killed the weeds too. 
  • Took 2 trips to the county dump, and filled up the yard waste can once.  One or two more pickups of the yard waste can and I’ll have the behind-the-garage area all cleaned up.

So much for a nice relaxing first day off, but I do feel quite productive for the day.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Happy Birthday Alex

Monday, June 02, 2014

The end is near!

Lagoon with the 9th Graders tomorrow.

Yearbook signing on Wednesday.

Thursday: last day of school.


Happy Anniversary Dan & Rae