Main > Joel's November 2007 News
.:Picture of the Day:.


Friday, November 30th 2007

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I was report #9. It's all over. I did it. I am happy.

It's been four months since I first replaced the lead reviewer who transferred out, and I went from simple co-lead to "You are leading the review." Three months since I started planning. A full two months since I started leading fieldwork. 25 days since I started post-fieldwork. At 9pm, my boss and I officially published the report, and closed the review folder.

It's finished, the work is all done, and the weight is off my shoulders. Pumping my fists in the air, I can relax and enjoy the weekend. Today is a momentous occasion.



Tuesday, November 27th 2007

I decided this morning that I didn't want to go to the office today. There can be so many distractions at the office -- someone needs an answer to something, can you look at something, gossipers, whatever. I felt I had a better shot at productivity staying at home in an empty house, and it worked out pretty well.

Eating out is bad. Eating out is BAD. Watch the following Today Show video.

The more I read about the subprime mortgage mess, the better I feel about never being tempted for an adjustable-rate mortgage back in 2005 when we were shopping around. I knew people who were doing it, but the ARMs were just a few insignificant bucks cheaper a month for us, so it didn't make sense. Don't get me wrong - I'm not bragging in the least. I'm saying that although I'm not the smartest guy, I feel much better in hindsight about seemingly small decisions we made two years ago.

I keep reading, and I feel so much sympathy for all of these homeowners struggling to make ends meet, and then have their mortgage payments go skyrocketing to astronomical numbers. And you know, a number of these people's situations took a turn for the worse after some life-changing event, like job loss or a large medical bills that cropped up. I've read about a lot of people who didn't claim bankruptcy just because of fiscal mismanagement. They often were pushed into a corner after they or someone in the family had health problems, the HMO didn't pay for it, and they had to figure out how to pay for the large medical bill.

I think I read that when Congress was pushing that new legislation (which passed) that made it harder on the common man to claim bankruptcy. The ironic part was that Congress "claimed" it was doing this to stop people from just running up debts, then claiming bankruptcy to get out of paying their credit cards and such, but it wasn't that simple. These people were backed into a corner financially, and Congress (and the lenders) made it tougher for all of us.

The more that I read about stories like what Riley Ann and other children have gone through -- tortured and killed, it just breaks my heart. Not to be cliched, but that's when I just want to hug my son. Raising children is tough and can be very frustrating, but you can't take your anger out on a child. Look at Riley Ann's smiling face, and realize that someone would beat her, hold her head under water as punishment, etc. It's just mind-numbing and sickening.

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Some new pictures from next year's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Dark Knight. I expect small sums of cash mailed to me in appreciation.

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Pictures from the new Indiana Jones 4 movie
He is an adventurer, but his pants are perfectly pressed?
And who is that guy?
Cover shot of Heath Ledger as the new Joker

Sunday, November 25th 2007

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Julie with Josh and Rebecca
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Audiovox Slim Line Portable DVD player
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A History of Violence starring Viggo Mortensen

Is it December yet? At the end of this week, I should be basically done with the bulk of the work for the year, then I'm on vacation for half of December. I'll enjoy vegetating at home week after week.

Josh and I stopped by to visit my cousin Shaun and his wife Soni's place on the 17th for a little family get-together lunch. I also haven't seen their daughter Becky since March 2007.

We had a 4-day Thanksgiving weekend, so the Ipes went to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with some of my wife's family. We left Wednesday night, and came back Friday afternoon/evening to beat the traffic. Turns out, we had no traffic going to Virginia, or on the return trip. Awesome. To ensure the long drive went smoother, we stopped by our local wholesale club to pick up a portable DVD player to keep Josh entertained and less antsy. We picked up an Audiovox model for an excellent price, and it's pretty nice.

I spent the rest of the weekend relaxing watching movies (e.g. A History of Violence, Dumbo, The Jungle Book, Battlestar Galactica: Razor, lots of Star Trek) and other relaxing.

We also started prepping the house for some minor fixing-up. We picked up supplies for painting the dining room, including paint. The room is all painter-taped up, the drop cloths are all laid down, and the paint is ready. Unfortunately, I'm leaving the priming and painting for Monday and Tuesday night. We also picked up a new light fixture for the kitchen, a book on how to do electrical work, set up the Christmas tree, and did a bunch of cleaning around the house.

Lots of stuff accomplished, but I still haven't found my passport. :(


Monday, November 12th 2007

Talk about suprises. Friday morning, I was checking my work email, and I see all these notices about limited services on Monday due to the holiday. I ask myself, "What holiday?" Yeah, Veterans Day. My department follows the Federal Reserve holiday schedule, so we had a 3-day weekend, and I had no idea about it. Surprise, surprise.

I can't find my passport. This is very disturbing. I'm getting a little freaked out, and I'm starting to look in every nook and cranny for it. I'm getting nervous, as I have some international travel coming up, and now is not the time to be waiting 6 weeks for a replacement passport. :(

This weekend, Josh & I met up with my friend Gary at his house, and wanted to see if my kid liked dogs or cats. Turns out, barking dogs have a tendency to unnerve a two-year old. He was much more relaxed around the cats. After lunch, the three of us drove over to the Newark Human Society to see what it was like. Josh again seemed to like the kittens and cats, and was kinda scared of the loud barking dogs. We're considering getting two kittens, but we'll see how it goes.

In the evening, Josh stayed over with his grandparents, and Nums & I went to NYC for a Diwali party at my friend Sai & Karthik's place downtown.

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Year of the Dog starring Molly Shannon

Sunday was church, then relaxing at home. In the evening, we watched Year of the Dog starring Molly Shannon. I had heard good review, but I thought it was okay.

I spent my Monday vegging out, watching Tivo'd shows and Star Wars Episodes 4 and 5. I also met my wife for lunch..... on her lunch break. I also uploaded some pictures from... well, some are from October!

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Ryan's 2nd birthday party
Visiting a petting zoo
Feeding a goat
Adding a pumpkin to our family tree
Karthik & Sayali

Man, I gotta go back to work tomorrow, and still no passport. :(


Monday, November 5th 2007

I'll be brief tonight, since I need to get to bed pretty early tonight. As part of my career development, I've set up global conference call for tomorrow morning at 7am to discuss commonalities within the organization, and yes, I'm being purposefully vague here. From a "I think I'm developing an interesting career path", it's fairly exciting, and it can give you a new sense of purpose. For me to make my own conference call, I need to leave here before 6am. It has to be 7am in order to be fair for subject matter experts in Europe and Asia, who don't want to be in the Asia offices at 10pm. Unfortunately, I'm not a morning person.

Training was good last week, for the portions I attended. I still had work, and ended up missing the class Tuesday afternoon and all of Wednesday, and worked out of our nearby NY office. The good news, I think I'm fairly close on wrapping up a portion of the audit. I talk too much about work, don't I? Ever since people in my office found out about this little slice of heaven, I'm paranoid now. I don't want to get called into a meeting with management that I divulged one critical piece of information, like the code to the fax machine. It's difficult when you spend most of your waking day at the office!

So this year, I got promoted to basically a vice-president level. Pretty neat, right? Then again, tongue-in-cheek, the joke has always been that everyone in a bank is a vice-president. Well, turns out, it's spread way beyond the banking and financial services industry. Everyone is a vice-president these days, even recent college graduates joining the workforce. Watch this NBC Nightly News segment called Title Wave. Just when I think I've gotten ahead, turns out I'm just another cog in the machine. Wait, I always knew that I was a cog in the machine. BTW, Donald Trump gave his opinion in this news segment too -- he's still a jackass.

This past weekend, we all got a bit sick -- something Joshy gave to us, I think. We're all currently fighting off the ill-effects. Sunday night, we drove to South Jersey to have dinner with my sister's husband's family. It was nice.

Okay, I need sleep. I have to get up around 5am. The rest of this week looks to be less stressful than the few....uh, months. I just need to get the draft audit report out the door, and approve audit workpapers. My goal is to avoid being in the office at 11pm with my manager to close out my workpapers (which is the last phase.) A good employee is supposed to make life easier for your manager, not create more stress. If you create more stress for him/her, I think you've seriously f$%'ed up.

Did I mention we're debating getting a dog?