Monday, February 13, 2012

I Live in Iowa: Week 43

Another week living the dream. Of course the dream is a process of development and a mental state far more than it is an actual achievement. I forget that all too often.

I worked 43 billable hours this week. It's not much really, but it is consistent and the amount of work that I get done in an average hour is improving. This week was fun as well. I worked or am working on an articulation lock. Usually I don't mention what I am working on for fear of saying something proprietary, but articulation locks are so common among construction and forestry machines that the sheer amount of time that I have spent on it seems an enormous investment for something that is relatively small. What is interesting about the simulation is that I am using solid elements, nonlinear material properties, and contact interfaces. Those are things that I don't get to use terribly often and it is fun because they are more complex than the standard shell element model.

In the coaching world we continue to have victories and defeats. We had a high profile athlete cause some drama this past week, which I have a blog post 90% written with my take on the situation and reflections on my role as coach. That counts as a defeat because we failed to diffuse the situation before it became a problem. The victory this week happened when several of the athletes, perhaps most, set personal records at the meet on Saturday. We keep telling the kids that we have been through the track season cycle numerous times and had success, we know for the most part what we are doing, and it showed this weekend. Almost all the throwers threw season bests. We had a sprinter run one of the five fastest times in the country. One of the distance runners who greatly doubts her speed ran a new 800 meter best, off of two weeks of injury and rehab. That is just a sampling of the meet, but in short, we rode home from UW Platteville with a bus full of smiles.

My own running was terrible this week. I get stressed every so often trying to fit engineering, coaching, running, and anything resembling a social life into my life and I had a few days this week where I felt like I was failing at them all. You need to have the hard times because they make one appreciate the good times or the successes more. I ran only 61 miles and only one workout. Although it was a very short workout it was 4x200 with 3-5 minutes rest and I averaged 29.5 including one 200 meter repeat in 28.9 seconds. That's nearly as fast as I raced a 200 a few weeks ago! I refuse to accept running 30-31 for hard 200s and calling it good enough. I am faster than that.

In the social life I spent a few hours at a friend's house watching a poker game. That's about it. Because of the feeling of stress in the middle of the week I slept over nine hours a few times. I needed some recovery time.

I am going to include a weekly tracking of the DHT (Double Hull Tankers) stock that I bought so that we can see together how it does. As a reminder I bought it at $1.18 per share. It closed on Friday at $1.08. So I have already managed to "lose" money. However, it is not real money right now as it is instead stock in a company. I did buy more of it when it went down, but that was for a different account so I will not mention that particular stock again. I am not worried because I feel the company financials are still stronger than the price that I bought it for. Additionally with a $0.03 dividend every quarter this stock is returning about 10% a year in dividends at this price. That is ridiculous. I didn't know that any dividend returned 10% a year. Occasionally you hear about 4-5%, but never over 6%.

Life is good. Any complaints that I can think of involve my ignorance and laziness, so I guess I don't have any.

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