Long Weekend

30 05 2008

I long for a long weekend to come along.

There is a long weekend next week, but that is too long to wait.

So we are taking a long weekend this weekend too! Yay!

We’re off to Forster with the Lovell family. Lots of long sleep-ins, long shots on the golf course, long walks at the beach, long stints playing Mariokart on the Wii and hopefully long celebrations after the Waratah’s long-awaited, Super Rugby Premiership win over the long-standing champions, the Crusaders.

It’s a long way, so we are ducking off early from work.

I love long weekends!





Go the Tahs!

24 05 2008

We are off to the rugby tonight to see the NSW Waratahs tackle the Natal Sharks.

A big semi-final game. A win tonight would see us through to the grand final. Possibly even a home grand final if the Crusaders get done.

I haven’t been to a game all season, so I am very excited to finally be getting out to see the team live. Hopefully Deano (below) can have a huuuuge game and score 1,000 tries!

Go the Tahs!





I’m honoured…

23 05 2008

…to not only have been linked, but to also have had my photo published on Chongland – a very cool and designer-y blog by Sam Law.

What a privilege!





ABS

22 05 2008

When Turns and I were at uni together studying for our actuarial degrees, we teamed up with Dave and Moses (not ‘the’ Moses) to start an Actuarial Bible Study Group, or ABS.

They were good times. We met up once a week (roughly) and read the bible together. We even studied a Matthias study, “Cash Values”, for a while in preparation for hitting the workforce.

I’ve mentioned before (see reproduced post below) that I think Actuaries possibly have a natural disposition to become Christians.

So it’s perhaps not surprising that the ABS has continued into my working life! We have a group of actuaries here at work who meet up very irregularly to read the bible together. We have about 4 core members and a few others. Yesterday we even had 2 new faces! Praise God!

We have been working our way through Hebrews looking at how Jesus is the reality that the old covenant foreshadowed. It’s been fabulous!





Recycled Post: Actuaries and God

22 05 2008

See original here.

When I was on holiday in Kenya, I read a great book that I don’t recommend to you at all. Unless of course you happen to be an actuary or an actuarial student – in which case its a top read!

The book is called Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk. It’s all about the history of risk and the philosphies of risk management and peoples understanding of probability. (*Snore*)

Why am I telling you this? Well it turns out that a lot of the key historical figures in the book are actually Christians. In fact, a guy by the name of Richard Price, considered by many to be the father of the actuarial science because of his work on expecations of life, is actually an (Anglican?) minister. (He also did heaps of other philosophising that I didn’t look into)

I found this interesting because just before I left on my holiday, a work mate said, “How can you be a Christian? Actuaries are supposed to be scientific and demand proof?”

Well I think its no surprise that an actuary would be a Christian. There are actually a fair few actuaries at work and at uni who I have known to be Christians. Here is why I think the combination fits so well (bear in mind – I am biased):

1. Actuaries know the probability of dying – For everyone its 1… 100%… No getting away from it. The naturally inquisitive actuary will ask – what then?
2. Actuaries know the probabilities of there being no God – I’ve heard it argued that this world came about by chance. A good actuary knows to look beyond mere statistical variation and ask “What’s driving these results?”
3. Actuaries know a good bet when they see one – Ever heard of Pascal’s Wager? Blaise Pascal essentially proved that the best bet was a bet for God (I’ll try to put up my simplified version of this later) .

So I reckon that there are a whole heap of Actuaries out there just waiting to be converted! Trained to be Christians!

What do you think?
Do you think your profession has a natural inclination towards faith? Please explain… MTS workers need not apply.





Arbitrage

21 05 2008

Casinos and betting agencies are very good at taking money off people. Often, these people are the people who can least afford to lose there money (or worse, someone else’s money).

The concept is simple, make the game seem fair to the gambler so they think they are in with a shot, but tilt it slightly in your favour so that, in he long run, you are bound to win. Provided you have enough capital backing to minimise your probability of ruin, you will start raking in the profits.

That’s why I don’t particularly believe this offer from a particular betting website advertised on a news site:

“Place a minimum $10 bet on any State of Origin market at [betting website].com and we’ll match your first bet amount with a free bet up to $200.”

If that is all there is to it, then theoretically I could place a $200 bet on NSW to win the SOO, and with the free $200 bet that they give me, bet on QLD to win. Barring an unlikely draw at the end of golden-point extra time, I would have virtually guaranteed a profit. (Depending on the bets available, you could probably even account for the draw)

This concept of a something-for-nothing risk-free profit is known as arbitrage. Well, strictly speaking, this is barely even arbitrage – just silliness. Any self respecting betting agency would know about arbitrage and wouldn’t allow themselves to simply hand out free money.

If I was a betting man, I’d bet there was a catch.

Go the Blues tonight! I think they will get smashed, but I’ll be supporting them anyway.





Tea

15 05 2008

Getting right into the tea lately.

It’s a good drink for work. Healthier than coffee and soft drinks, not as boring as water.

I am working my way through some vanilla redbush from T2.

And I got a funky new teapot from Victoria’s Basement for $10.

Are you a tea drinker?





Great News!

14 05 2008

Well, that might be overstating it a little bit. Sorry if you saw that in your RSS feed and got excited.

But… the Botticelli is fixed!

It was just a simple circuit breaker switch that needed to be reset. I pushed it so hard on Saturday afternoon that it overheated and the safety switch cut the power.

Luckily Jason, my espresso machine dude and coffee roaster, didn’t take me for a sucker and take all my money, but informed me of the quick fix.

It was back in action this morning.





Shot shots

13 05 2008

Sam and I had a great day on Saturday making espresso all afternoon. We pulled some fantastic shots and experimented a bit with the latte art.

Check out my heart below and Sam’s rosetta. More photo’s over at Sam and Soph’s blog.

Sadly, our Botticelli didn’t hold up so well with the extended workout. towards the end of the afternoon, she stopped heating up. It was fine for making steam, but for some reason didn’t want to get to the right temperature to pull a shot.

Very sad 😦

At least we have 3 litres of iced coffee to keep us going until I can get it serviced! Sam and I bottled all the good coffees we made.





Espresso Extravaganza

9 05 2008

I’m excited!

Tomorrow, Sam and I are going to spend the afternoon extracting espresso, steaming milk and pouring latte art at his place.

Usually I make 2 coffees at a time. If we have people over, I might make up to 6 or 7. Tomorrow we are planning on making dozens! It will be great to get some practice in as my art has been very poor (pour?) of late.

If all goes well, I will post some photos.

And as an added bonus, imagine how much reading I will get done without the need for sleep for the next few days!