Womack Report

July 31, 2007

Managerial Accounting, July 31

Filed under: Accounting,Notes,School — Phillip Womack @ 6:12 pm

Not getting tests back today. Feel pretty good about the last test, though. Chapter 9 today. Oddly low attendance today. (more…)

July 26, 2007

Managerial Accounting, July 26

Filed under: Accounting,Notes,School — Phillip Womack @ 5:49 pm

Chapter 8 today. On Activity-Based Costing (more…)

July 25, 2007

Managerial Accounting, July 25

Filed under: Accounting,Notes,School — Phillip Womack @ 5:35 pm

Still no test grades. Chapter 7, today. (more…)

July 24, 2007

Harry Potter and the Missing Protagonist Qualities

Filed under: General — Phillip Womack @ 10:46 pm

So, I borrowed a friend’s copy of the seventh Harry Potter book. Read it in about six hours. Enjoyed it.

One thing worth a little commentary is the role of Severus Snape in the series. If, by some odd chance, someone besides myself is reading this, and that someone hasn’t read the book and will be offended by spoilers, this is your chance to stop reading. (more…)

Managerial Accounting, July 24

Filed under: Accounting,Notes,School — Phillip Womack @ 6:22 pm

Taking attendance as of 6:10. Most of the class is fairly concerned about the test we just took. We won’t be getting them back yet; he’s only graded half or so of them. Initial commentary suggests that the concern is warranted. (more…)

July 19, 2007

Managerial Accounting, July 19

Filed under: Accounting,Notes,School — Phillip Womack @ 5:42 pm

Getting started quicker today. Only five minutes after six. (more…)

July 18, 2007

Managerial Accounting, July 18

Filed under: Accounting,Notes,School — Phillip Womack @ 5:49 pm

Professor showed up at 6:10 today. May get started as quickly as 6:15. Not particularly impressed with the class so far. Not looking to be difficult, but no real content either. Waste of my time. (more…)

Different spheres

Filed under: General — Phillip Womack @ 5:13 pm

I have, for some years now, subscribed to the notion that different people live in totally different worlds. I mean this in the sense that two people can look at approximately the same data, and come to two completely different conclusions about that data.

The first time a really remember clicking to this was back at SFASU, in Dr. Legg’s recreastion management class. We were discussing campsite design, and why all the campsites you see in state parks are right up next to the roads, parking spaces, and each other. All of us outdoors-lovers in the class thought this was terrible; we wanted to put the sites way back in the woods surrounded by trees, where you didn’t have all those ugly cars and noisy other people around. As Dr. Legg pointed out, this was exactly what we would want, but this was awful for people who spent all their lives living in cities. A person who has lived his entire life surrounded by high rises knows, deep down in his bones, that it isn’t safe in the deep wilderness like that. There are things, like bears or snakes, that could get you. This, of course, was very funny to the students in the class; of course a random bear isn’t going to run up and eat you in a tame state park because you’re thirty feet from the road instead of ten. Dr. Legg then asked how many of the people there would be eager to walk around in Houston’s Fifth Ward alone. Not many hands raised. And yet, as he pointed out, there are little old ladies who walk through that area every single day to buy groceries and talk to their neighbors, perfectly safely. It’s only the silly rural folks who believe, deep down, that inner city areas have things, like drug dealers and murderers, who could get you if you walk around there.

His point, and it’s a good one, was that you can’t design public facilities to be used by people who think like yourself; you have to plan for everyone. But there’s another thing I drew from it, which is to what a huge degree your experience influences your perceptions.

Two people, both educated and both intelligent, can look at one campsite. One of them will think it’s pretty uncivilized; it’s so far from a road, or a real building; there aren’t any street lights; it’s like being in the jungle! The other person thinks it’s only one step from camping in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. And they’re going to have a very difficult time relating these things to each other.

You see this in a lot of places. Look at history. Go stand a U.S. citizen and a British citizen next to each other and ask what the War of 1812 was about. It’s fascinating. Look at how different historians interpret famous events.

This was made clear to me at a D&D session the other night. Assorted people playing assorted characters. Noteworthy is that this group of player characters contains, essentially, a big pack of morally ambiguous ne’er-do-wells with hearts of gold and one single paladin. Fight scene vs. monster of the week, a wererat, occurs. Rat-man is cleaning our clocks, but timely magic puts it to sleep. Great. Fight is over. All the edgy petty criminals of the group begin figuring out how we’ll tie up or cage the rat and transport it to the authorities to stand trial for murder, possibly after making it reveal its nefarious plan to us. Paladin hesitates not a moment in standing over the rat-man and trying to deliver a coup-de-grace to it while it’s helpless.

Most of the players there were fairly surprised by this. I know I was. Not because the player of the paladin would want to finish off the monster once and for all rather than taking the trouble to transport it; that’s standard behavior for him. Rather, that a player would do that with a paladin character. Paladins are the stereotypical knight-in-shining-armor good guys of the D&D system; they actually get mechanically punished for doing things which aren’t good and honorable and so forth. For me, at least, killing a helpless foe is a clear-cut evil action, and likewise not particularly honorable. It’s often pragmatic, and I’ve had characters coup-de-grace helpless foes before, but it was always to demonstrate that those characters were being evil or dishonorable.

It was odd to realize that the player in question didn’t have that association.  It’s one of those points that you don’t realize you haven’t yet examined.  A thing that is obvious but not universal.  That interests me.

July 17, 2007

Lunch and Talk

Filed under: General — Phillip Womack @ 9:42 pm

Good day today.

Had lunch with Dad. Talked about life. I haven’t sat and talked with him much lately, which was my fault and a shame. I’ve been more or less avoiding him because I’m stressed abou being unemployed and moody, and didn’t want to discuss it or evade the subject.

But, when I actually did just say, more or less, “I’m unemployed, I’m a little depressed and moody, I don’t know how to get in motion even though I know getting moving will help,” Dad was very encouraging. He’s generally very good like that.

This is a lesson I learn over and over, and never seem to remember. I do better and feel better when I talk to my family about the things that bother me. Even if it’s just talking a little bit. But my instinct is to clam up and pretend everything is OK, which just things worse.

That’s not to say there aren’t times to avoid running my mouth. Earlier this year, when I was trying to plan and visiting colleges, I think I was right to put that and related subjects on information lockdown while I figured things out. But that was a different case. That was me in good spirits and busy working out a plan. At that point, I was overloaded with advice and needed to constrain the problem so that I could attack it. Coping strategies for one situation aren’t necessarily suited to other situation.

Funny thing, too. I mentioned that I was feeling depressed and mopy, and Dad immediately said he understood and I had gotten that trait from him. Previously this year, I had a similar conversation with Mom and she was certain I got that trait from her. I suppose everyone gets depressed when they are idle too much, or at least a lot of people do. That matches up with past experience of mine watching other people. But it’s hard to connect what I see in other people to what’s happening to me, sometimes. Intellectually, I can acknowledge it, but my brain doesn’t actually believe that my problems are the same ones common to all mankind.

I look at my own internal foolishness sometimes and just have to smile fondly. Like a pet owner whose dog has gotten into some mischief. My foibles have dug under the fence again, and met me on the driveway wagging their tails. It’s not something to encourage, but it’s something you tell other people with the same troubles, and all have a good-natured chuckle. And tomorrow you try to fix the fence.

Managerial Accounting, July 17

Filed under: Accounting,Notes,School — Phillip Womack @ 5:49 pm

Starting up around 6:08. We’ve got a few folks in class we haven’t seen before. (more…)

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