The reality of the economic downturn

28 01 2009

Four people at work lost their jobs today.
It wasn’t unexpected. We’d been warned it was coming a while ago, but it was still a bit of a shock.
Thankfully, I still have my job. However, I realised how hard it is to talk to people when they are upset or distressed.
Not a nice day.

Time is short

30 09 2008

Don’t you hate it when it feels like all your deadlines converge?

My exam is a mere 3 weeks away, but before I go on study leave I need to finish a big report at work which includes building a GLM on claim payments that we haven’t investigated before.

Ideally, the next few weeks would be spent winding down work and winding up study. Instead I think I have some late nights ahead of me.

Not going to worry about work this weekend though… Long weekend! Yay!

We’re heading up to Forster, hopefully for some warm weather/beach action (plus some study). Your plans?

Just call me Cadel…

27 08 2008

I made a significant purchase last Saturday.

Work was kind enough to give me a year-end “Exceptional Contribution Bonus”, which I think means that I contributed this year and they see that as an exception. With some of my new-found spare cash, I splashed out on a brand new bike to get me too and from work.

A friend here at work hooked me up with the good people at Cranks in North Sydney, who are currently building me a Giant CRX 3, which is a flat bar road bike.

By the end of next week I will be zooming to and from work in next to no time!


2 07 2008

I’ve taken up cycling… sort of.

Ever sinced we moved to our new place I was sure we were close enough to ride into the city for work.

Today I finally did it! On a borrowed bike from Stu Lobb.

It wasn’t too bad. It took me about 40mins, I’ve had a shower downstairs and I’m about to enjoy some Weet-Bix at my desk.

I’m more nervous about the ride home. Will have to leave nice and early to catch the last of the sunlight.

Busy Week

22 06 2008

A very full week for me last week. Most of the excitement was concentrated into Thursday though.

The highlights:

– A promotion and a pay rise. I am now a “senior” person of little importance.

– The Sydney Harbour Bridge twilight climb

– Dinner at Sailors Thai at the Rocks.

The last two were a work event. A celebration of a job well done. Would have been more fun if my wife was invited.

Another big week coming up – exam results are out on Wednesday morning, 9am.

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.

Looong Exam

2 05 2008

The exam is all over now. It was a tough one. 6 questions and 15 pages in 3 hours.

Most of the people I have spoken to found it similarly tough. So we will have to wait until the end of June to see if I am one of the lucky x%.

Now I can enjoy sweet,sweet freedom for a little while…. except for the whole “going to work” thing.