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Last update: 25 Mar 2005 -- 3:04pm
 Friday
25 Mar 2005

A look at the recent Social Security Trustee's report:

[A] permanent tax increase of 1.2 percent of GDP would offset the Social Security gap, forever and ever and ever. In FY2006 dollars, that would be $155 billion. By contrast, the cost of the tax cuts since 2000 in the same terms is 2.2 percent of GDP (Auerbach, Gale and Orszag, 2004). So eliminating 55 percent of the Bush tax cuts offsets the Social Security shortfall over the infinite horizon.

 Monday
14 Mar 2005

    

Make your own!

 Monday
7 Mar 2005

With four days of snowboarding imprinted on various body parts I have learned:

  • Typical rental boards suck. The one I had in Telluride was pretty good, but the more typical one I got at Bear Valley was not. Edges were kinda weak, and the board had it's top edge rounded several times (which means that it's met rocks more than once, most likely).
  • Typical rental bindings suck. Again, Telluride's were pretty nice, it turns out. I had step-in bindings ("Switch" is the brand name?) at Bear Valley and they weren't nearly as good.
  • Lean forward on your board. Even if you are careening down the hill and doomed to plow into the rapidly growing trees in front of you. If you lean back, you lose control and will see stars. If you lean forward, you may actually turn or stop before that time.
  • If you cut you hair short, wear a hat when you are in direct sunlight all day. It burns! It burns! We hates the yellow face! (This may seem obvious, but when you have never even thought about it before...)
  • It's not fun to fall on icy snow and hear a tiny click/pop in your neck. (No after-effects have been note thus far. I'm hoping it was just air like a cracking knuckle rather than exploding some part of my spine.)

 Friday
4 Mar 2005

As luck would have it, I'm going snowboarding again this weekend at Bear Valley!

Update: Actually didn't go. Going next weekend instead.

 Wednesday
2 Mar 2005

I'VE GOT MAD SKILLZ!

As may be evident from the picture, I went snowboarding (for the first time) over last weekend. I was at Telluride staying at Mess' Pop's place, celebrating Mess' upcoming wedding. As (nearly) everyone else is a good skier, I decided to try my hand at snowboarding. My roommate has been snowboarding for a while and said it was pretty easy to learn, though the first couple days are a bit abusive.

What I learned: snowboarding is AWESOME!

I took group lessons both days and was taught the basics. The first day consisted of quite a bit of falling down. My forearms and butt took the brunt of the abuse. By the end of the day, though, I could safely stop and link heel- and toe-turns while going down the slope.

Rule: Always use the uphill edge of the board. Downhill edge == Pain.

The second day, the instructor showed and told us how to do an ollie (simple jumps) and a 360 (on the snow, not in the air). My second and final attempt at an ollie caused my most spectacular crash of the trip: I caught an edge and BLAM! I slammed flat on my back, exploding my hat and goggles off my head and down the hill. More ollies will have to wait until another time, I decided.

Rule: Always land the board flat, not on the edge. Edge == Pain.

By the end of the second day, I was doing pretty good. I was able to get down the beginner's slope at a good clip without wiping out and without killing any other skiers. I also did my first toe-grab (though on the ground).

The picture at the right was taken at the end of the second day. It may not be evident because of the goofy smile, but I am utterly exhausted in that picture. I had just finished a great run and, even though I probably could have fit another, I decided to call it a day before I broke my wrist or face.

I'm still a bit bruised and battered, but I'm already jonesing to get back on the slopes!

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