December 20, 2005

Goin' out west to Vermont

That joke will only be understood by a handful of people. Anyhow, we're off to Vermont this afternoon, by way of Albany. I hope the snow doesn't keep us from getting over the mountain. Maybe Janet's dad will throw some more wood on the stove so as to bring the temperature up to maybe 65 or so. Or, maybe I should make sure I bring a sweater.

By the way, I saw the story that Jessica Simpson filed for divorce. The only real interesting tidbit in this non-story that's been beaten to death is the fact that, under California law, they will have to split anything earned since their marriage 50-50. This is noteworthy because Jessica Simpson somehow managed to make 35 million dollars in 2004! Doing what, I have no idea. I am in the wrong line of work.

December 19, 2005

I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance...

...by switching away from GEICO.

It's true. By switching from GEICO to Traveler's, I'm saving 39%. Significant, I'd say. I'm not sure how companies calculate their premiums (they all do it differently), but GEICO was among the cheaper options for us back in 2003 in North Carolina. Now, as we've moved to Chicago and to the end of 2005, they are one of the more expensive. Getting that gargantuan bill made me want to check out our options, and I'm glad I did. 39%!! You should got get some quotes and compare it to what you've been paying. Remember that there is no penalty for changing insurance companies during your policy. They have to refund your money that you've already paid. This is why there are so many commercials for car insurance. GEICO seems to be leading the pack here, which might explain why Traveler's was so much less.

December 17, 2005

Cars

As the old Saab continues to creak along, I sometimes think about what will happen when we need to replace it. You have two options, neither of which is that appealing, unless you've got more money than I do. First, you can buy a new car. Cars that you actually want to drive cost too much, especially if you end up having multiple car payments. Even a $17,000 car can have a pretty high monthly payment unless you chunk a lot of cash into the down payment. There are cars that cost less, but their desirability, reliability, features, or safety are questionable. Option 2 is to go with a used car. A good economic choice, but then you have to go through the process of actually finding a good used car, whether you use the internet, head to your favorite dealer, or scour the classified ads. No matter what, you really have no idea where the car has been and what's been done to it. Then, you end up spending a lot of time finding the car that will work out for you, and then you're never quite sure if what you got was worth it. Leasing is another way to go, but I feel like you only come out on top there if you have no car, need one right now, and have no money to put into a downpayment. Otherwise, you're just borrowing the car. When I buy, I'm looking at it from the long term perspective in order to get the most for my money. I would, however, be interested in hearing arguments for leasing from any readers with experience. I'd also be interested in anyone who wants to donate a car to me and my lovely wife. I think we'd even consider a straight up trade for the Saab.

December 12, 2005

Heavyweights

I'm a wrestling coach, so I'm thinking about wrestling pretty much all the time. Something hit me today, and that is the concept of ideal weight when it comes to heavyweights. Most heavyweights (in college, this is everyone between 197 and 285 pounds) are nowhere near their "ideal" weight in terms of body fat percentage and all that. This is strange on the surface and obvious at the same time. For the other nine weights, everyone has usually trimmed down intentionally to be close to their "ideal" weight. I'd imagine college and professional athletes are the men most likely to be at an "ideal" weight. In terms of college, when is there a better time to be at your ideal weight? I mean, you're 20 years old and working out six days a week. In wrestling, you're probably also burning more calories than you take in. This all falls by the wayside with most heavyweights. More of them look like this than this. Here's the thing, though, those two guys are the last two NCAA Division I wrestling champs at heavyweight. There's accomodation for all sorts of body types, as long as they can wrestle.

Something I considered today, then, is what it would mean to some of the "lighter" heavyweights if they dedicated a spring, summer, and preseason to losing about 30 pounds and making a go of it at 197. A lot of times, 197 is not the strongest weight in terms of talent (in the overall sense...it's very tough at the top). However, if a heavyweight has the wrong style, the more athletic guys at 197 might eat an otherwise successful heavyweight for lunch. A lot depends on this style. If the heavyweight had a quicker style based more on leg attacks, he might have found himself getting caught underneath a 280 pound behemoth and losing the match. For this guy, shooting in on a 197 might be more inviting. Other "light" heavyweights might have more of a straight up pushing style that relies more on slide-bys and snap downs. Perhaps it's better to stay up a weight and work on adding 15 or 20 pounds of muscle over the summer. At least there is a maximum weight now, so no 230 pound heavyweight has to deal with a 412 pound monster.

December 7, 2005

Pictures from the MSOE Invitational

Apropos of nothing

I was reading something about acupuncture while trying to decide if I could do it. I decided I could, even though I don't like needles. I realized, that what I really don't like is watching other people get injected. I've watched myself get a shot without a lot of trouble. Sure, there's the pain, but I could deal with it. I think my best bet on acupuncture would be if I didn't have to look, even if I knew what was going on. I'm sure you wanted to know this about me.

Hey, I could be whining about schoolwork (if I had any), but I think I read enough blogs that do that.