About Me

When not at work with students, I spend my time in my room either reading, calculating something using pen and paper, or using a computer. I read almost anything: from the pornographic to the profound, although my main interests are mathematics and physics. "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -Erasmus

Thursday, November 4, 2010

first day of registration

I woke up early yesterday to help me readjust for the coming semester. I checked the class schedules of physics 7x, and noticed that there were three sections with times set around 7 am, so I think it's extremely likely that I'll be assigned to another 7am class.

Some of the things I got done yesterday: I had my bike sprocket fixed for PhP 35. I patronize two bike shops, one along 10th Avenue of Kalookan and the other one along C. P. Garcia Avenue. One advantage of the Kalookan shop is their low labor cost. They're also much more likely to repair broken down parts than to replace. For example: the C. P. Garcia shop would have probably told me to replace the sprocket instead of fixing it. It turned out that all it needed was to be cleaned so that the pins that connect the sprocket to the wheel would work.

This reminds me of the need to doubt experts. I recently reread Levitt and Dubner's Freakonomics, and one of the topics that they talked about was information abuse-- how experts manipulate the asymmetry between what you know and what they know in order to get away with charging you more. It's a good read,so I'd rather plug it rather then giving a summary. If you do plan to buy it, be sure to get the more recent version because after the first printing, a few inaccuracies (mostly about Stetson Kennedy's role in the campaign against the Ku Klux Klan ) were found in the book.

Another task accomplished was to install new lenses on my eyeglasses. I had my eyes rechecked (at no extra cost) at the optical shop in front of the church at 11th avenue. The cost is far lower than the shop I first visited (at SM North). The new lenses cost me PhP 350-- far lower than my initial guess. But then it does make sense because the main cost of the glasses is the frame rather than the lenses themselves.

Finally, I went to school to get the grade sheets printed and submitted. I also went to the graduate office to find out what I need to get my records fixed.

One of the things I enjoy every morning is brewed coffee. Yesterday, I was unable to have some because of the power outage. Turned out Meralco was installing new meters and wiring in an effort to combat the use of jumpers. It meant having no electricity all day yesterday, and it looks like the same thing will be true today, since they haven't finished the work.

But I was really talking about coffee. I own an inexpensive coffee maker, and get the grounds from the Rustan's or shoppersville. It's more expensive than instant, but worth it. I don't buy grounds from starbucks because it costs twice what I usually buy, and I notice no difference in quality. But then, I do prefer kapeng Barako (Liberica), while the usual starbucks brew is a mix of arabica and robusta.

My coffee consumption has gone down, however, from the peak it was on during my undergraduate days. Then, I probably drank 6 mugs of coffee a day, and was on a perpetual caffeine high. Now, I drink around two mugs of coffee a day. While at work though, I have to make do with instant. It's only when at home that I indulge in brewed coffee, although I do visit the starbucks branch near the institute.

I miss writing my morning journal. The last entry was a few months back. To get back to the habit of reflecting about the day before, I'll try using electronic means instead of my notebook.

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