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The Last Update of 2013 - Odds and Ends

Me
Various odds and ends:

The Joys of Home Ownership

For the past week or so, my furnace in my house is making a clicking noise.  Turns out that it's a two-stage burner, and the high stage is not working.  Since the low stage is working, I have heat, but it takes a while to get up to temperature.  The repair guy will be back Thursday with parts to fix.

Travel

I'm planning a trip to London for Worldcon, and I was reading a travel book about London which said "confirm your passport has at least six months left before it expires."  I checked my passport (who tracks the expiration date?) and discovered it had expired in 2010.  Oops.  Renewal in process.

I also reviewed my luggage situation.  I tend to travel light, and can get a week's worth of stuff in a carry-on bag.  But I'm going for two weeks, and my large bag (bought for my last European trip in 1994) has a busted wheel.  So, I bought a new one - got a $400 Sampsonite 4-wheel bag for $200 at Carson's.

Culture

Over the weekend, I went to see American Hustle, the new movie out.  It was well worth the ticket price.  I did rather marvel at Amy Adam's wardrobe - she spent most of the movie dressed for open-heart surgery - and Jennifer Lawrence stole every scene she was in.  Highly recommended.

I also was given a copy of Nate Silver's book The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't. It was also highly interesting, if a bit denser than American Hustle.  One of the most interesting chapters was on Global Warming.  Nate, a math wizard and not a climatologist, ran the temperature numbers.  He discovered that, even if global warming is true, there is a 15% chance that any given decade will show a temperature decline.  That's the "noise" in the signal about global warming.

Well, I'll be back here next year.  Have a happy one!

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This is the personal blog of Chris Gerrib, and all opinions expressed here are solely his own. Commenters are welcome; however please be polite to me and my other readers. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable at my sole discretion. The opinions expressed in a comment are not necessarily mine, and if I do not delete a comment that should not be construed as my agreement with the commenter.

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