Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Round Two: It's for the Birds

The second round of our major snow storm came last night and early this morning first in the form of ice, and later turned into snow. I would say we have about a 1/2'' of ice covering the streets, grass, and trees, and we got an additional three inches or so of snow on top of that. That means we had total accumulations of about eight inches!

I did some more walking around today as I went to the cafeteria for some lunch, only to find the beauty that is ice-covered plants. I snapped a few pictures on my way, but when I came back, I came across such a surprise. A few of the fattest, happiest birds I have ever seen were playing in the iced-over trees! All of the trees they were "playing" in had bright red ripe berries for the picking, so of course they were looking to score some delicious food. I can only imagine their dismay to find out that the berries were all frozen, but I got a great picture of them! I'm sure they'll have a nice little meal anyway, as soon as the ice goes away...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Even Big Kids Love Snow Days

It may be true that in the working world a snow day is an infrequent occurrence, and usually an unwelcome one. Well, here in the academic world, snow days are very welcome, including by the faculty! The students, including myself, enjoy having a day off from classes and studying, if only for a short while.

Some people, not really myself (any more), enjoy playing in the snow. I could be happy just walking around in it and taking pictures, which is lucky for you, since here are the pictures I took on my walk! I'm sure doing snow angels or having a good-natured snowball fight would be fun, but I'm just enjoying the beauty right now. I hope you enjoy it too, and that you can do so from the comfort of either a warm climate or a warm home.

Monday, January 26, 2009


The talking heads and the powers-that-be are really hyping the up-coming snow and ice storm that will be causing problems all along the Midwest and the Great Plains. Around here, we are expecting mostly snow tonight with accumulations of 3-4 inches by tomorrow afternoon. Class cancellations for tomorrow? Possible but not probable.

Round two begins Tuesday evening with additional snow accumulations of about 1-2 inches, but the likelihood of seeing ice is much greater. We are expecting from 0.5-1 inch of ice between the two snow events, which as many know will be the more dangerous form of precipitation. Class cancellations for Wednesday? More possible and highly probable.

Obviously if you know me at all, you know that I love the snow (or even the prospects of getting any of it). And, as you already know, I love to take pictures of it and post them on here. So, if the situation warrants itself, and we do indeed receive as much snow as they are hyping, I will do my duty with the picture-taking. I for one will be praying for tons of the white stuff. The class cancellations? Just an added bonus.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Recently, in my Accounting class, we started discussing the four major accounting documents used in any business:

The Balance Sheet
The Income Statement
The Statement of Retained Earnings
The Statement of Cash Flows

In order to illustrate how these documents can be used, my professor brought in several sets of the classic board game Monopoly and gave us specific instructions for game play. We were broken into groups and played as pairs in our own "business partnership." Each pair was given $1500 in stock and $500 in a bank loan (equity and liability, respectively) and was told to purchase any property on which we landed, and to build a house on that property. All along, we were to keep account of everything we bought, paid out, or collected, listing every monetary transaction as either an increase or a decrease in cash.

By the end of the game, an arbitrary time decided upon by the professor, we were to match up the amount of cash in our hands with the amount of cash in the paperwork. Being naturally gifted with math and everything numerical, I was able to come up with that accounting very easily and quickly and precisely. Following this, we were to create a beginning and ending balance sheet to determine our ending assets and equity (the liabilities, the $500 loan, did not change). Our ending assets (property and cash) totaled $2188, and our ending equity totaled $1688. Upon finding this value, we created an income statement to determine whether we had a net gain or loss. We obtained a net income of $188. Success!

We did not get to the other two statements during the Monopoly game, however we did discuss them in class this past Tuesday. We have been practicing creating these statements and calculating the respective values in order to get used to reading and interpreting financial accounting statements. So far, I am enjoying this class. I will be sure to blog more about my experiences and learning as the semester progresses.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Surreal Day

Today was Inauguration Day, and boy what a day it was. I am still having a hard time believing all that transpired today, and over the last several months.

I had Bacteriology Lab during the swearing-in ceremony, but luckily for me (perhaps unluckily for some students), my professor brought up a live feed from and projected it on a screen in our laboratory classroom. That whole process had to be one of the most exhilarating television experiences of my life (save for maybe the night Obama was elected). The bands playing, the speeches, the sea of humanity, the look of excitement on peoples' faces, the piece by the classical musicians... It was all too much. Too much I say!! Need I describe to you the joy and excitement in my heart and soul, and the tears in my eyes? I think not.

Apart from the fact that Chief Justice Roberts messed up the Oath of Office (which my professor was quick to point out and say, "Shame on him" for), the whole Inauguration process went off very well. To my knowledge, this is the first one that I have gotten to watch at any significant length, so of course this will be the one I remember the best. Maybe to some this is just a routine thing, but to me it really was a magnificent experience, and you can't take that away from me (that means YOU all you doubters and pessimists!).

I for one will be watching the next four years with great interest. I have a lot of hope and faith that this president will do what's right for this country. Despite his many critics (several of you read and comment on this very blog), I believe and hope that President Obama will bring this country into a new era of prosperity and wealth for ALL Americans. Mr. Obama, you and the great US of A will be in my prayers daily...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Except for perhaps a bowl of chili or some chicken soup, I can't think of a better dinner on an incredibly rainy day than raclette.

In case you have no idea what raclette is, I shall enlighten you. Apparently it is a Swiss dish (as explained to me by my all-knowledgeable mother) that is made on a special raclette grill. My parents received a raclette grill for a wedding present from Aunt Lori, and boy have we gotten some good use out of it! Anyway, raclette is a dish that contains potatoes, bacon (or I would imagine some other fancy Swiss pork meat), and an easy-melting cheese (Gruyere is apparently very popular, but very expensive). We use monterrey jack cheese due to the tastiness and ease of melting.

May I just say, mmm mmm mmm. It does take some time to cook as you wait for the bacon to cook before adding the cheese to melt. But the finished product...oh my... Just pour over the potato and enjoy! Of course, you should also have a side dish or a salad while you are waiting. Plus, since I'm sure the meal itself is not particularly healthy, you should probably have some leafy greens to counteract the fat that you are consuming. At least then you don't feel so guilty for indulging...

I have not really researched how easy it is to obtain a raclette grill, but from what I can hear, it is not easy. Apparently the one my parents received was bought by Aunt Lori on a trip to Switzerland, and I would imagine they are sold almost exclusively there. But still, if you can make it for yourself, I'm sure you will not be disappointed. Just be sure to have a nice workout the next day...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hap---py New Year!!!

I'm sure that I'm not the first on the Blogger network to do so, but I wanted to wish everyone a very, very Happy New Year 2009!

As I sit and type this post, I am the only one awake in the house to welcome in the new 2009. Oh well. Guess I'll have champagne all by myself, if I can find any that is.

At any rate, I hope everyone out there in blog land has a very happy and healthy 2009. May your year be filled with wealth, health, success, love, and above all HAPPINESS.