I finally went and responded to one of the American Express Blue[tm] credit card offers I got, because if I have an American Express card, I can shop at Costco without a membership. It only comes up maybe once a year, and except for occasionally going with friends, I just don't shop there. I think it might add some activity to my credit report, though, which has been quiescent since I paid off my car in 2005. I was amazed at the speed: I sent the form in--declining to put my actual home address, even--and probably five days later they sent me the card. I guess I see how people get into trouble, if they weren't raised with the idea that in general you shouldn't buy things you can't afford. (The limit on this new card is over $16,000; on the single card I actually use, they just upgraded me to a "Signature" card with no limit.)
I have a friend who signs up for cards that offer a year of interest-free balances, buys his big-ticket items on those (furniture, for example) even though he has the cash, and sticks the cash in an interest-bearing account. He makes all of $40 on one of those adventures if he's lucky, plus having to occasionally argue with the credit card company, but he claims it adds up. We all have difference amounts of effort we're willing to put into things: I buy stuff with the credit card, which has a 1% rebate, then pay it off at the end of the month. I'm pretty sure I make more on my credit card purchases than he does.
I watched Ben-Hur last night and this morning (it's four hours long). It's quite good, and not too dated except for the looming "the Jew will eventually see the Light of Christ" subplot, which I got the impression is much reduced from the original story anyway: the story is subtitled "A Story of the Christ", which, since Jesus figures into about 20 minutes of the 4 hours, is kind of a stretch.
They're shutting off the water in my building tomorrow for plumbing repairs, "From 10 AM until completion". Guess I'll shower early and break out all my Nalgene bottles.
People (okay, my parents) ask me periodically if I think about going to grad school to get my MSCS. And I have, and decided I don't want to. Here is a perfect exemplar sentence for why not:
Historically, ML stands for metalanguage since it was conceived to develop proof tactics in the LCF theorem prover (the language of which ML was the metalanguage is pplambda, a combination of the first-order predicate calculus and the simply-typed polymorphic lambda-calculus).This is, first of all, from Wikipedia, so I can only assume that actual graduate material is worse. But man, if you think the stuff I do know is bizarro technobabble, you should see the stuff I avoid. (There are other concomitant reasons to dodge grad school, like computer science research tending to be sort of wanky and impractical, and the fact that I much prefer being paid for my time.)