Blurbs for the Brain

Photo Credit: Daniel Jamme

Time for more blurbs. I’m a hoarder when it comes to one thing: the written word. I’ve got stacks of interesting articles and newspaper clippings everywhere. I used to file them away, but I don’t have the patience for that type of organization anymore. I’ll just blog about them, then toss.

How beautiful is this bridge in France? It’s one of the tallest in the world. Read about the Photo-Op here.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when breeders say, “You know you won’t be able to sleep in when you have kids.”

So what’s your point? Am I supposed to set the alarm at 6am and pretend I hear a crying baby just for the hell of it? Some people are so dumb.

I think sleeping in until 10am or 11am on the weekends is one of the most coveted luxuries of life. Here’s some info from the WSJ about catching up on lost sleep.

Getting eight hours of shut-eye each night is generally recommended, but many people don’t. As the week rolls from Monday to Friday, they accumulate a sleep debt. Spending a few extra hours in bed on a Saturday morning, people assume, will help them “catch up” on lost sleep. They’re likely right. “Nobody knows how long the horizon is, probably a few nights, but studies show that recovery sleep in the short term does work,” says Dr. Winter, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Read the full article here.

Here is an interesting article on the perplexing question as to why Girl Scout cookies are not tax deductible. If the IRS rules say you  cannot deduct anything from which you receive a personal benefit, then why are we taking tax deductions on all other non-profits since we usually receive some kind of benefit from them. I donate to my church and I receive a personal benefit from attending mass, right?

Apartment Rental Bust?

An article in the WSJ yesterday projected that, while rents continue to increase, the overall rental market may be cooling as the housing market continues to rebound.

Exactly! Now is the time to put the brakes on the home search and start scouring Craiglist for rental deals. Markets are cyclical. Buy low, sell high. Did we all forget the golden rule of investing?

A quick update on this 2-unit property I was pining for in Rockridge, Oakland. If my condo sale had closed in time, I would have pounced on this.

It was listed for $825,000 and closed at $910,000. Pretty insane, but worth it considering the guaranteed rental income.


Alcohol Binge

Did anyone read the article in the WSJ last week on the unhealthy concentration of bacteria on cell phones? It reminded me of my high school biology class and testing the amount of fecal coliform bacteria we found around the classroom (writing instruments, backpacks, the stools we were sitting on). Anyhow our findings back in the ’90s by a bunch of teenagers were pretty disgusting. The current research by real scientists discussed in the WSJ was even worse.

1 unit of coliform bacteria per 100ml is the limit in drinking water. From a randomly-selected test of cell phones taken from a Chicago office, the research indicated levels between 2,700 -4,200 units. Yuck! These levels lead to diarrhea, pink eye, and all sorts of maladies.

You know what I did this weekend? I thoroughly swabbed with rubbing alcohol our cell phones, keyboards, door knobs, handles…anything that normally doesn’t get cleaned but is touched often. Alcohol is proven to be 100% effective. Note that Apple and Blackberry on their user manuals strictly prohibit liquids (including alcohol) on their products. If you’d rather follow instructions and get sick, follow the rules. I, however, will be on an alcohol binge.


Who isn’t addicted to the Olympics? It’s the only time in my life when I actively watch TV. It’s the first thing I run to when I get home from work. At work, I’m refreshing the BBC, WSJ, and NYTimes because the tech gods blocked NBC! Uber-annoying.

We were supposed to do trivia tonight, but I cancelled. Gotta get my Olympics fix, especially since we missed watching all of the opening ceremonies because we went out for drinks on Friday. Should’ve skipped drinks. The Olympics only happen every 2 years—yes, I’m talking about both summer and winter.

I have to voice my opinion on Jordyn Weiber failing to make it to the all-around finals. She came in third and the famed gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi said the top athletes regardless of country should make it to the all-arounds. What an idiot. If we made that a rule across all the sports, then ping pong would be dominated by China. Can you imagine watching the Olympic games, a global sporting event, where every contender (say for ping pong) came from one country? Ridiculous. Besides, Weiber almost fell off the balance beam. Her teammate Aly Raisman deserved to be in the top spot, and Gabby Douglas #2.