Saturday, May 30, 2009

Higher Education FAIL

I'm a regular subscriber to FAILBlog. Some of their posts are pretty hilarious. I saw this while driving home the other day. My mother was kind enough to hang out the window and take the photo.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dental School Woes

I've only just begun to look at the full cost of going to dental school. Temple's tuition runs somewhere in the middle of all of the schools I interviewed at. While it's not nearly as expensive as University of the Pacific (in San Fran), and the fact that becoming a Pennsylvania "resident" is rather difficult (so, no in-state tuition unfortunately) it ends up looking about "average" tuition for an out-of-stater like myself. And, of course, tuition isn't the only thing I'll be spending lots of money on. The cost of living isn't terribly outrageous in Philly, but it's nothin' like the midwest, either.

I've been running spreadsheets for about the last week now, trying to estimate how much money I'm going to need to take out in student loans over the next four years. If you take out too much, you'll be the last person from your class to pay back the loans. If you don't take out enough, you eat Ramen six nights a week, and Mac & Cheese (not the kind with Gruyere) for your fancy meal of the week.

In any case, I'm hoping to have my loans paid off within ten years of graduation, if not sooner, and i'm totally prepared to drive my Camry until the wheels fall off in order to make that happen. Eeek. It sure is scary to see how much it's going to cost me, in sum. $300K, less if I'm smart about it.

The photo is a screenshot of a part of one of the spreadsheets, which shows monthly payments, as well as the fraction of interest and principal balance paid.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A bit of handywork

Two of my three Xbox 360 controllers have been unhappy recently. The buttons on one stopped popping back up after they had been pressed down. The other controller had the misfortune of being the one I was using when I lost my 10th straight game in Halo 3's fiesta double experience playlist a couple of weeks back.

I had two controllers in need of repair, so I bought a special tool online so I could undo the screws that Microsoft uses (tamper resistant Torx, size T8, just in case you care). Long story short, when I was putting the controllers back together, I realized I could mix and match the pieces from the different colored controllers (white and black) to make a unique look.

I was so pleased with the result, I took a couple of photos.