Friday, March 31, 2006

Week 3 HW Thu.

Last night I worked some more on the PTAP project. I found that I messed up my yearly stats, so I reworked those numbers ... still not 100% sure if they are correct. I spun my wheels a lot last night. Finally I just put it away and started reading for Game Theory.

After reading about 5 pages of game theory, I started falling asleep. I was in bed by 10 and asleep by 10:10pm. It was the first great night's sleep in a long time. I woke up at 7:10am today.

Today our study group is meeting. I'm hoping the project will be a lot clearer after today. After that, I have to get home and finish reading my chapter in game theory.

Tomorrow I'll finish up my part of the project and review the chapter from game theory.

Quixote Update

I attempted to read a page, but like I said, I was pretty tired and fell asleep.

Chess Update

I can't wait until I can play chess instead of doing homework.

Anyway ... the last puzzle of March is 32. ? I would move Bc5. If he takes me with his knight, then I move Qf6+, Kf8, Rh8++. If he takes me with his bishop, then I'd move Rxd7+ Kxd7, Qxf7+ Kc8, Qxe8+ and then it'd be a chase after the king.

The answer is Qf6+ Nxf6 33. Bc5+ (black resigns) Bxc5 34. gxf6+ Kf8 35. Rh8++

Well, that's a pretty cool mate too! I keep forgetting that I need to look for the wild sacrifices on Fridays.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Week 3 HW Wed. Q25

The march to graduation continues ...

Game Theory

I usually read my game theory book on Wednesday. But last night I worked on PTAP. I'll probably read my game theory book tonight. We only have one chapter to cover this week.


I worked on Project 1 last night. He gave us data for a T-bill, the Russell, S&P and two other assets. The data was the monthly return for each asset for every month in the 1990's. Last night, I worked on averages, standard deviations, covariance and correlation. After I gathered that data, I started to pull it all together to find the portfolio return and risk. Once I did that, then I needed to use Solver to minimize SD while constraning it to a return. I don't think I did it quite right, but at least I know what's going on so I can ask the right questions for our study group tomorrow.

Quixote Update
Chapter 25

I think this is going to be an unusal chapter. There was a lot of talking between Quixote and Sancho. I barely made a dent in the chapter last night before I fell asleep.

Chess Update

After working hard on the project for 3 hours, I played a couple of games of chess. The first game was against a much lower rated player and I won it easily. The second was an unrated game and it too was an easy win.

The 3/30/06 puzzle is 18. ? I think Nh6+ is the move. The idea I have is to get the queen on h6 and then open up the diagonal for the b2 bishop in order to mate on g7.

The answer is Rc7. The tactic is actually pretty cool. Didn't see this one! Check out the game.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

PTAP Lecture 3 - Q24


The third lecture was boring and Kumar knew it. For the first 90 minutes, we discussed the first case. He combined part of the lecture with the case review. After that, we took a break and then came back and did the main lecture. There were a lot of concepts discussed but not much math. I had a hard time paying attention and I think a lot of other students felt the same way.

I watched the NBA score-board on Dallas was neck to neck with Detroit, but there was a technical foul called on the Mavs and from then it the Mavs lost it.

Anyway ... he ended the class 20 minutes early. He could tell that going on would prove fruitless.

Today I'll be working on the first project. We're meeting on Friday to discuss. This one is worth 15% of our grade, so it'll be a little more challenging than the first case.

Since I'm working on PTAP today, I'll probably read my Game Theory book tomorrow or Friday.

Quixote Update
Chapter 24

So we finally hear the story of the wild man ... his name is Cardenio. He walks over to a grassy spot and lies down. The others do the same. He tells them that he will recount his story but that no one will interrupt him or else he will not continue!

So his story is roughly this: he falls in love with a peasant girl (she is beautiful and intelligent). Her name is Luscinda. Well, he ends up asking her father for her hand in marriage. But he tells him to go talk to his (Cardenio) dad (I didn't quite understand this part). So he goes to his father and his father tells him that an opportunity of a lifetime has become available. He is to go to live at the home of a grand duke and be the companion of the duke's son. So Cardenio does this. The duke's son and Cardenio become very close friends. The duke's son falls in love with a woman and wants to marry her. If the duke's son were to tell Cardenio, Cardenio would tell his father. The duke's son forsees this and suggests to Cardenio that he needs to get his mind off this woman and that they should go to Cardenio's home under the pretense of buying horses. Cardenio, of course, goes along with this idea because it means he can see his Luscinda. In reality, the duke's son wanted to be as far away possible from the girl and not his father. From what I understand, he slept with the girl and as such he now has to marry her. So he was just trying to get out of that commitment.

Anyway ... they go to Cardenio's home and Cardenio tells the duke's son about Luscinda. The duke's son becomes very interested in her and wants to meet her. Somehow they both show up at her home and see her in her night gown. At this point the duke's son becomes madly in love with Luscinda and every waking moment he asks Cardenio about Luscinda. He wanted to read the letters between the two and learn everything about her. Cardenio becomes jealous. In one of the letters Luscinda asks Cardenio if she can borrow a book ... one that she is very fond of. The book is Amadis of Gaul ...

Upon hearing this title, Quixote interrupts the story! He goes off about how wonderful a woman Luscinda must be because she loves that book ... he goes on and on! The whole time I'm reading this, I'm just laughing my head off. I could almost see Cardenio steaming!

Cardenio says something about a knight that Quixote disagrees with. Quixote raises his voice at Cardenio and Cardenio becomes mad ... the wild man returns and pummels Quixote. Sancho to the rescue! But the wild man cleans Sancho's slate and then does the same to the goatherd. The wild man leaves the three bruised and broken. Sancho and the goatherd have a little fight and Quixote stops them.

Quixote asks the goatherd where to find Cardenio because he has to know the end of the story. The goatherd tells Quixote that he doesn't know where Cardenio would be ... somewhere in the mountains he supposes.

Chess Update

The 3/29/06 puzzle is 27. ? I think Ng6+ is the move. Black would play fxg6 followed by Qf4+ thus attacking the black queen with his rook and forking the king and rook at the same time.

The answer is Ng6+ ... and the rest is history.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Game Theory - Lecture 3 Q23

One week after the "flood" at SMU, things are drying out. We had class in our normal room this week.

Game Theory

As usual, we started off the class with a quiz. It had about the same amount of questions as last week's quiz. There were a couple of questions that I was a little unsure of. One of them was that a promise is better for both parties ... true or false. I think I put true, but later learned from the lecture that it is false. Both a promise and a threat, if carried out, makes it worse for both parties ... otherwise it wouldn't be a strategic move.

After the quiz, we reviewed a few more scenarios of the prisoner's dilema. He showed us this report of how two parties in dispute must use a lawyer. When one party had a lawyer and the other did not, the party with the lawyer did better. But if both had a lawyer or if neither had a lawyer, then both did OK.

The rest of the lecture was about promises and threats, assurances and warnings, conditional and uncontional moves. Just briefly to review ... promises and threats are moves a player will carry out in order to make the other player change his move. By carrying out a promise and threat, both parties are worse off. Assurances and warnings are just statements telling the other party what would happen if no strategic move is made. And finally, unconditional moves are strategic moves where one party is commited to do one thing ... usually it's a first move or a move that turns a games into a sequential game. Conditional moves are 2nd moves that do that same thing ... I think. I'll need to go back and review all this stuff at lunch today.

Quixote Update
Chapter 23

Quixote and Sancho head for the mountains. They come across this chest or saddle bag full of writings, gold and other items. Sancho is so happy to have the gold while Quixote is interested in the writings ... he wants to know who owns the stuff. They continued on their journey in search of the owner when the come across a wild man. The wild man disappears and Quixote is sure he is the owner of the stuff they found. While in search of this wild man, they come across a goat herder. The goatherd tells them that indeed the wild man is the owner of the stuff they found. He tells them how the wild came into the mountains one day and how somedays he is "normal" while on other days he is completely insane. They all agree that they need to capture him and take him to the city and have him cured.

While talking to the goatherd, the wild man joins them. He approached them and greeted Quixote. Quixote got off his horse and hugged the wild man. The wild man returned the embrace ... they hugged as if they had known each other for quite some time. The next chapter will be about what the two men say.

Chess Update

I uploaded my latest PGN file. It has the game I played on Saturday.

The 3/28/06 puzzle is 32. ? I think it is Rxh4, Nxf3 33. Rh7+ Kxh7 34. Nf6+ Kg7 35. Nxd7 and white is up a bishop.

The answer is ... Rxh4 and the rest is history.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Week 3 - Beginning

It was a quiet weekend. Besides working on the case, I didn't do a whole lot this weekend. I was working on getting the house a little more organized and also spending some time with my kids.

Game Theory

I really need to review chapters 5 and 6 today. I've got to do well on those quizes.


I put together the final version of our case last night. We're still tossing it around today and then we'll turn it in tomorrow. I've got to review the next classes slides too.

Quixote Update

No update today ... I've not quit reading it ... I've just been busy with other things.

Chess Update

I played one game on Saturday. It was a really intense game. I thought that he was going to put the hurt on me, but I was able to survive his little attack and rout his king. I need to upload the latest pgn file.

The 3/27/06 puzzle is 28. ? I would take out the a7 pawn with my rook. Regardless if the king captures my rook or not, I'd move my other rook over to the A file. Then I'd use my queen and rook to blast away on the A file.

The answer is just what I said it would be.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Week 2 Comes to an End

Week 2 is in the history books.

Game Theory

I haven't done anything with this class since Thursday. I need to do a little reviewing before the quiz. I was on campus today for a group project ... so I checked my folder and found that I got my first quiz back. I got an 83% on it ... missed two - and they were easy ones too! Oh well ... need to do better. Hopefully that will be my lowest.


Met for a group project today. Last night I worked on the case and got most of the analysis done. All we had to do today was go over the questions and verify our own analysis. We were all pretty much right on. We'll all be working on the write-up today and tomorrow. I'll put the whole enchilada together and turn it in on Tuesday before 10am.

Quixote Update

Havn't been reading lately ... I've been using some of my rare spare time to do Sudoku puzzles.

Chess Update

I'm hoping I'll have a few minutes to play today.

My wife was talking to the wife of a friend of mine and she said that he has been playing lots of chess and wants to play me sometime. I'll need to talk to him at church tomorrow ... enlighten him about FICS so we can play a few on-line. I think he's been playing Chessmaster (don't know which version though) or some other computer program. So I'm really looking forward to having a friend with whom to play chess.

When I was in Central America on a mission, my comp and I met this gentleman (I think his name was Julio) who loved to play chess. He was the "county" chess champ at the time. This man had a friend who was a member of the church but inactive. On our p-days, we'd go over to this man's house and play a few hours and drink liquados ... it was a bunch of fun. Ever since I've wanted a good friend to play chess with. Maybe this is it. Anyway ... to finish the story, the member ended up coming back to church and was a great help in the branch. Now that I'm thinking about it, I remember that I borrowed a chess book from him. Like most chess books I own, I read about 2 chapters worth and forgot about it!

The 3/25/06 puzzle is 16. ?I'm not sure about this one. Obviously white can make the exchange, but as for the rest, I don't know and I don't have the time today to really think it out.

The answer is Ne4 ... I'll have to take a look at this later.

That's all for today ...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Week 2 HW Wed. Q22

It's always nice to have classes out of the way. Wednesday was a nice evening of reading Thinking Strategically.

I read chapters 5 and 6. I'm not quite done with chapter 6, but I'll finish it today. Chapter 5 covered threats and promises as well as warnings and assurances. Chapter 6 talked about 8 ways to being credible. Without credibility, threats and promises aren't much good.

Today I'll be reading the case for PTAP and then reviewing notes.

Quixote Update
Chapter 22

Quixote and Sancho come across a gang chain ... prisoners in chains on their way to the galley. Quixote asks the guards why they are all locked up. The guards basically tell him to ask the prisoners themselves. So Quixote asks them and between the slang that they prisonsers use and the madness of Quixote, all the prisoners' stories make them sound innocent when in fact they are not. So Quixote lances the head guard in an effort to free these "slaves." The "slaves" seize the moment and take out the other guards. When they are freed, Quixote tells them to go to Dulcinea and tell her of Quixote's nobility in freeing them. Instead of thanking Quixote, they throw rocks and him and Sancho ... and they get beat up ... again.

Chess Update

Didn't play chess last night. After doing homework, I went to the gym to workout.

The 3/23/06 puzzle is 45. ? I think the best thing to do would be to check the king. But he would escape to easily. We'd need to clear the b1-h7 diagonal ... so f6 would be a good move. If the queen takes it, then Re8+, the king moves to h7, the white queen moves to b1, black's response is either Qg6 (Rh8+ Kg7, Rg8+ and white wins a Q) or Kg7 then white moves Qg1+. If the black queen defends, then the white rooks checks, else the black king moves f7 followed by white Qg8 mate.

I nailed it!

On a somewhat related note to chess ... I did my first Sudoku puzzle yesterday. It took me about an hour. Once I started, I couldn't stop! It was really fun. It took me about 10 minutes of bumbling around to figure out a decent strategy. What I ended up doing was writing all the numbers down in each box and then I'd cross out the ones that wouldn't work. Eventually I'd just write down the valid numbers. After finishing it, I read up on Sudoku at Wikipedia and found that I used a good strategy to figure it out. Today I'm going to do a hard one.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

PTAP - Lecture 2

The campus is still drying out. In one of the articles I linked to yesterday, it said that the Fincher building at Cox was the worst-hit building on campus.


The 2nd class for PTAP was last night. It was a good class. It was a big review with lots of derivations of formulas. We talked about portfolio theory with one risk-free asset and one risky asset. Once we covered the basics, we covered the same process using different numbers of risk-free assets and risky assets.

Our first project is due next week. Our group will be getting together Saturday morning to work on it. Kumar said that it should be straight forward. I think we'll just plug numbers in formulas and then test with with a different A (risk-aversion number).

Quixote Update

Didn't read last night.

Chess Update

Less than 150 days to go until I can resume my chess studies!

I played one game last night and won. I've posted a permanant link to my blitz games to the side under "Chess Links."

The 3/22/06 puzzle is 28. ? Nf5+ exf5 29. exf6+ Kf8 (or e8) 30. Rd8++

The answer is the same ... black resigns on 29.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Game Theory - Lecture 2

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH! In my opinion, he's the greatest composer ever. He was born 321 years ago on 3/21! I've been listening to his music all day today.

It rained over half a foot in Dallas this weekend. There was lots of flooding. SMU got hit by the flooding. Sadly, an SMU student was one of the handful of people who died this weekend from the heavy rain. When I arrived on campus, it didn't look bad at all. I could tell where the water was. Cox got flooded in the basements of all three buildings.

Game Theory

After I arrived to campus, I walked over to the Collins Center (where the executive MBA's have classes) and studied for an hour and a half. I reviewed chapters 2, 3 & 4 and then read the articles.

After that, I walked over to the Crow building. By the time I arrived to the classroom, there were only 2 other students ... class would begin in 10 minutes. After a handful of other students showed up, we realized that class was on the 2nd floor. They cancelled all classes in the basements. This is at least the 2nd time Cox has been flooded. In Riffe's class, she recounted how a heavy rains overpowered the pumps and the entire basement of the Cox school was flooded. They had to practically rebuild the bottom floor. Suprisingly, they still keep the library in the basement ... along with the technical support team and all those servers. I'd put those two centers on the 2nd floor if I were in charge.

Anyway ... class was good. We talked about simultaneous games and strategys. We played this bidding game too. It was, again, a really good, fun lecture. I am enjoying reading the book and I find the lectures pleasant.

Quixote Update
Chapter 21 continued

I finished chapter 21 today at lunch. While they were walking to their next adventure, Sancho suggests that Quixote find a king so that the king can have a history written about Quixote. Quixote then thinks up how he thinks his adventures will end ... he then gives a summary of a typical knight's story. The way he tells it is pretty funny. There is some dialogue between Sancho and Quixote that's pretty funny too. Before Sancho asks Quixote about finding a king, Sancho says that he has something on his mind and wants to ask Quixote before he forgets what he wants to ask him. Quixote tells Sancho to ask the question, but not to be long-winded. The irony follows ... Sancho's request takes up less than a paragraph in the book, while Quixote's response spans 3 pages! This is such a good book!

Chess Update

I played one game of chess last night. I didn't see any seeks I wanted to play, so I put one out. A player rated in the 800's accepted my seek. I beat him and then dinked around with my formula ... to avoid seeing player's/computer's seeks that aren't in my range. Later, I'll need to mess around with my seek formula so that low-rated players can't accept.

The 3/21/06 puzzle is 31. ? Right off the bat, I think d7 is the best move. Black can capture white's, but then white responds with Rc8+ followed by RxR and then dxc8=Q+ The queen then goes on a rampage until black is defeated.

The answer is d7!

Monday, March 20, 2006

National Employment News

I read this article today. What I thought was interesting was that 2001 was the last time employment was so well off in the US. I graduated from BYU at the end of 2000 and landed my first job in 2001. This year I'll be graduating again!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. college graduates are facing the best job market since 2001, with business, computer, engineering, education and health care grads in highest demand, a report by an employment consulting firm showed on Monday.

"We are approaching full employment and some employers are already dreaming up perks to attract the best talent," said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
In its annual outlook of entry-level jobs, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said strong job growth and falling unemployment makes this spring the hottest job market for America's 1.4 million college graduates since the dot-com collapse in 2001.

The firm pointed to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers which showed employers plan to hire 14.5 percent more new college graduates than a year ago.
The survey also found higher starting salaries this year. Graduates with economic or finance degrees will see the biggest gain with starting salaries up 11 percent to $45,191, while accounting salaries are up 6.2 percent, business management salaries up 3.9 percent and pay for civil engineers 4.3 percent higher.

But Challenger said graduates should not assume the improved labor market will guarantee everyone a job.

"Even as demand and salaries rise, college students should not be lulled into thinking that the job search will be easy or that jobs will be handed to anyone with a degree," he warned.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 4.8 percent in February from a 4-1/2-year low 4.7 percent in January, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Employers added 243,000 new payroll jobs in the month.
That's a good forecast!

Week 2 - Beginning Q21

What a weekend it has been! Friday turned out to be a horrendous day ... we had TONS of problems at work. I had to leave early to take my kids to the doctor for their health checks and immunizations. When I got into work today, I found out that lots of people, including my team lead, were working all weekend long on this problem. The problem persists today ... so I'll be brief on today's entry.

Game Theory

I havn't done anything with this class since Thursday. I've been working on the other class. I'll review for game theory today before class. I hope I'll do well on the quiz. Judging from his sample quiz he gave last week, the questions are worded kind of funky. We'll see ...


We got our group together. Three of us were in Snir's Excel modeling class last mod. We're thinking that Snir's class might actually help with this one! I read as much textbook as I could take ... it was very tough. After about 3 hours of reading that textbook, I felt like Ted Ferguson Budlight Daredevil. I've been really worried about this class ... not sure if I'm going to pick this stuff up or not. But then I realized this weekend, that 50% of the class is just project and case work ... stuff I'll work on with the help of other people. The other 50% will come from the final and I can work my way through that part. So I just don't need to sweat about this stuff so much.

Quixote Update
Chapter 21

The next adventure is about how Quixote wins Mambrino's helmet. There was a barber who was travelling on the same road Quixote was on. He had a brazz basin with him. It began to rain and so the barber put it over his head to protect his new hat. Quixote sees him from afar and deduces that this basin was a rich prize and that he must have it (some knight Quixote read about had a brass helmet or something). So Quixote approaches this defenseless barber and takes the helmet by force. After that part I went to bed.

Chess Update

Nothing new ... I fiddled around with the chess viewer and got it working fine now.

The 3/20/06 puzzle is 35. ... ? I think it is Bxh2+ The king must capture h2. Then the rook comes down followed by the queen. It's over.

The answer is 35. ... Bxh2+. Easy as eating pie.

Friday, March 17, 2006

My Chess Viewer

I twiddled around with MyChessViewer tonight and got it working to my liking.

Here are a few blitz games I've played recently (just to show an example) ... including a mate in 7! Unfortunately I lost to the same person in the previous game ... blunders.

Week 1 Homework Thurs. Q20

Game Theory

I read chapter 4 last night. It was about how to solve the prisoner's dilemma. The book talked about OPEC and collusion and other methods to overcoming the prisoner's dilemma. One example that I've always thought is cool is the strategy of matching and beating any competitor's price.

For example two electronic stores would be better off if they worked together to keep prices "normal" as opposed to having a price war. In order to keep each other in line, both offer a program that they will match and beat any competitor's price.

If a competitor X lowers a price, consumers can go competitor Y and get that item for even cheaper. This keeps all competitors "honest" without actually colluding (which is breaking the law).


Tonight I'll have lots of textbook reading (barf) to do. I'll have my nose in that piece of garbage the whole weekend.

Quixote Update
Chapter 20

Just when I thought there was going to be a lull in the book, I end up surprised. Quixote and Sancho come across some thunderous noise in the middle of the night. Quixote thinks to attack whatever it is. Sancho is scared out of his boots and begs Quixote not to leave. Quixote insists that he must go, so Sancho has to be creative ... he ends up tying the legs of Rocinante so when Quixote tries to spur his horse, the horse doesn't move. So Quixote thinks that is the will of God and is content to sit on his horse during the whole night!

So while they are waiting, Sancho has a hold of the saddle and is talking to Quixote. Sancho tells him some nonsensical story and Quixote is unimpressed when the story abruptly ends (because he wasn't counting the sheep!). Then the funny part comes. The way Cervantes describes it is sooo funny ... Sancho has to do something that no one can do for him ... he has to take a dump. So he drops his drawers and pinches a loaf! Quixote smells it and their exchange of words is hilarious! The sun finally comes up and that is where I closed the book and went to bed.

Chess Update

St. Patty's Day puzzle is 34. ? What can I say ... it's a Friday puzzle (difficult). Since most of these require sacrifices, then I looked for a few. The best I could come up with was 34. Bxh5 gxh5 thus "opening up" the defenses. After that, I'd have to dispatch my rooks and queen to g and h.

The answer is Ba7! Wow ... didn't look at that ... just a simple tactic. Lesson learned: don't assume to look for complicated tactics on a Friday!

Last night I had a dream that is related to chess. I dreamt that my wife and I had just been married in this old Spanish/Italian-like cathedral. We walked out of the ceremony very happy. We checked into a local hotel. Each room had a wooden box at the front desk. In the box were 4 sets of chess pieces. It seemed to me that I was in a chess tournament. But I didn't like the pieces ... they were too small or something. So I went to this market-like place in the hotel's basement and asked they man in charge if I could get better pieces. It was dark and he had to find the light switch. While he was gone, I had a flashlight with me and turned it on and started rummaging through the inventory to see if I could find any pieces that I liked. I found a good set and that is where the dream ended.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Week 1 Homework Wed.

I'll be reading like a hard disk for the next few weeks.

Game Theory

Last night I read chapter 3. Chapter 3 was about simultaneous game strategy. It talked about Nash equilibriums and how to get out of a "cycle." Pretty interesting stuff. I need to read chapter 4 and then review for the quiz next week.


I'm dreading reading for the class already. I'll need to review the last classes notes and then start into the next reading assignment ... 7 gazillion pages.

Quixote Update

Didn't read last night

Chess Update

The 3/16/06 puzzle is 25. ? I think one of the knights needs to take out d5. Then exd5 followed by Nxd5 with black playing Rc6 and then white's knight taking the bishop and then black will end up losing the knight on c5.

The answer is Ncxd5 ... the rest is history ... see the game!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

PTAP - First Class Q19

One week down, seven to go.


Class was OK last night. I always have a hard time understanding teachers who speak fast and who are from foreign countries. This teacher not only speaks fast, but has an Indian accent. It takes me a couple of weeks to get used to accents. I found myself spacing out because it was just too darn difficult to understand what he was saying.

Anyway ... from what I understood, he gave the "this class is no 'filler' class" BS. He said that it would be "rigorous" and "challenging" ... I always hate it when teachers hype up a class. When I began applying to SMU's PMBA program, the recruiters were always throwing out those buzz words. Maybe they used those words to weed out a few people who are too intimidated. I always get intimidated when I hear that a course will be difficult or "rigorous". I go into the class expecting to get my hide whipped, but when it's all said and done and I look back, and although it was no cake walk, it wasn't impossible. So I've learned to not put too much stock into comments like this.

The rest of the class, we talked about risk and some historical stats. He goes a million miles an hour! I think I'll do OK in the class. This class will definately have more work in it than the other class ... especially up front in the first three or four weeks. We're going to cover about 10 textbook chapters plus a case and project all before week 5! But then it will slow down a bit with not so much reading.

Quixote Update
Chapter 19

Quixote and Sancho are riding on their horse/donkey and talking. While they were talking, they saw some lights in the distance. They think they are phantoms carrying a dead body. Quixote rides up to them and demands that they tell him what happened to the dead person so that he can avenge his death if necessary. They are monks taking the bones of another monk to his final resting place. They don't have time to discuss what they are doing and how their brother died. Quixote gets upset and begins attacking these defenseless monks! They scatter and he ends up breaking the leg of one of the monks. The funniest line of the chapter was when Sancho says that his master truly is the most bold and courageous (to have the audacity to attack peaceful monks!) Quixote and the monk have a few words and the monk who is very upset with Quixote, excommunicates him from the church. Quixote and Sancho continue on and then rest for the night.

Chess Update

No chess last night.

The 3/15/06 puzzle is 19. ? I don't know on this one. I'd probably play Rxd5 and then let my knight bounce around checking the king and cleaning up peices.

The answer is 19. Rxd5 ... and like I said, he goes on to capture a pawn and bishop and ends up with a NBR vs. RR advantage.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Game Theory - First Class

OK ... something strange is going on around the Cox school. Yesterday was my first day back at school. Last mod there was this student who was in my Excel modeling class. Towards the end of the mod, he stopped shaving ... I thought that he was just using so much time for school that shaving wasn't a top priority. Yesterday, I was eating my Chipotle burrito when I noticed the same student walk in sporting a full-blown beard. He looked like a true mountain-man. But that isn't the kicker. Well, let me back up ... Mr. Moutain-Man is in my game theory class. So he's sitting there in the front row. After a few minutes, in walks another student whom I've worked with and he too is growing a beard! I think that it's unusual for him to grow a beard, but no big deal. Just before class begins, our teacher, Dr. Smith comes in and it appears that he too is in the early stages of a full beard! What is going on?! I just thought it was rather odd.

Game Theory

The first class was last night. The teacher is really layed back and easy going. I think I'll like this class. He talked about what we should have read for next week. He went over the syllabus and course outline. Then he gave us a sample quiz and we took it. He wanted to give us a feel for what to expect each week at the beginning of class. The quiz wasn't graded. He said that if we do well on all the quizes, then we should expect to get a good grade. He said that about if we average about 85% and above on the quizes and final, we'll get an A- or A. The quizes are based on the readings from the book. He also made available the past finals so that we can practice them and get a feel for what the final will be like.

The rest of the class was a lecture. We played lots of games ... Centipede, 21 flags (he showed a video from Survivor Thailand where they played this same game - see the immunity challege from episode 6), 3 Pirates and a few other games I can't remember right now. Anyway ... the whole purpose was to demonstrate sequential games and how it's important to know about 1st or 2nd mover strategy as well as dominate strategy. We also talked about game trees, the two pigs game and other stuff. It'll be a great mod with this class ... I hope.


Tonight is my first class. I need to read the chapters today sometime. I'll be underprepared for this class.

Quixote Update

Didn't read last night. The house is in disarray from all the painting.

Chess Update

Didn't play last night.

The 3/14/06 puzzle is 24. ...? Fairly easy ra1+ 25. Kf2 Nd3+ black wins a queen for a knight.

The answer is 24. ... the same as above. Except white doestn't even trade a rook for a knight.

That's all for today.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Spring 2006 Mod B Class Begin

Module B starts today. I've not done anything with the classes. We've been busy getting ready for the kids' Spring break.

This morning, the wife and kids left for Austin. They'll be visiting their cousins for the next 4 days. It was a hectic morning getting them off. On top of getting them ready, we're getting the house painted ... so we had the painters getting the house all ready to paint. Julio is the crew chief. He said that they'd be done by tomorrow. It'll be nice to have the house all painted and put back together. Also, this weekend I planted grass seed in most of the back yard where the grass died a few years ago. So we're under a lot of stress right now .... can't wait to get this week over with.

Needless to say, I've not done much with school and chess since Saturday.

Quixote Update
Chapter 18

I finished chapter 18 last night. It was pretty funny. So Quixote goes off to attack the sheep. Sancho tells him not to, but Quixote thinks they are really armies and not sheep. He kills 7 sheep before the shepards nail him with two shots from their slings. One hits Quixote in the ribs, breaks them and the other hits him in the mouth, knocking out a bunch of molars. Quixote drinks that magic potion (the one that made him vomit). Sancho comes to his rescue. Quixote asks him to take a look into his mouth to see how may teeth he has left. Right then the potion takes effect and Quixote vomits all over Sancho. Sancho gets sick and in turn vomits all over Quixote ... I thought this was pretty funny! Cervantes does such a wonderful job describing it all ... no wonder it's a classic. Anyway, they get on their horses and take their leave.

Chess Update

I played lots of blitz this weekend and like Don Quixote, I got the crud knocked out of me numerous times. I was a blundering fool this weekend. I got lucky on a couple of games and won them, but I lost most of them.

The 3/13/06 puzzle is 19. ...? Rh1+ 20. Kxh1 Nf2+ (forking king, queen and rook.

The answer is Rh1+ and the rest is history.

I hope that the dust all setttles soon so I can get some games in this weekend.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Spring Break - Friday

Sadly, my last Spring break is coming to an end.

Game Theory

I had to start reading last night. I printed off the syllabus yesterday. We have to read the first two chapters of Thinking Strategically by Monday. So after watching who got booted from American Idol (I'm pulling for Chris Daughtry), I went upstairs and read the first chapter.

Within the first few pages, the authors were already mentioning chess. I think this is the main reason I like game theory so much ... a lot of it is just plain fun. The first chapter talked about 10 "tales" of strategy. In each one, he talked about a real-life story that demonstated some form of strategy. I think I'm going to like this book and I think it will help me with with what's really important ... chess.


I need to read the first two chapters in the book for this class, go over the slides and I think there is a paper I have to read too. I don't have class until Tuesday, so I'll probably read Sunday and then again on Monday before my game theory class starts.

Quixote Update
Chapter 18

Quixote and Sancho leave the inn. They babble on for a while and some of the conversation is pretty funny. It's almost like two kids who are playing make-believe. They just think up stuff and then pretend it really happens. But the sad part is that the rest of the world isn't going along with their game ... and that is what makes this book so funny.

After talking about making a magical sword and other things, the two are caught between two clouds of dust. They think the clouds are caused by two approaching armies. In fact, the clouds of dust are caused by two herds of sheep! Anyway .... Quixote and Sancho think the armies are fighting over a girl ... some prince and girl wanted to marry, but the king (daughter's dad) doesn't approve ... or something like that. By this point in the chapter, I was pretty tired so I went to bed.

Chess Update

I am going to play tonight for sure. Today is the last day I'll have some "free time" to play chess. I need to read for my classes, but I am still going to set aside some chess time too. After today, I won't be playing too often until my next break in May.

I'll still keep working the the daily puzzle despite classes starting up again.

Today's puzzle is 26. ? I think the knight needs to move so that the queen can open an attack on the king. It might go something like this 26. Ne6 Nxe6 27. dxe6 Ba4 28. Qd4+. I can't think how it'd be done, but I'd like to get the bishop on d5 and the queen on h6. To do this, I'd have to get the d5 pawn on e6 (using above knight move) and then I'd probably move g4 in an effort to move my f pawn to f5. That would by my strategy.

Ideally, I'd like this to happen: 26. g4 hxg4 27. hxg4 fxg4 28. Ne6 Nxe6 29. dxeg Ba4. At this point, I'd think it would be set up to get the queen up to h6 and the bishop to d5.

The answer is Bxh5. This clears the pawns on the king side and opens it up for the queen to attack. Check the game for the end game ... it is really great!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Spring Break - Thursday Q16, 17

I bought books for my next two classes. I was pleasantly suprised that I spent under $200. Usually books will run between 200 and 300 dollars a mod.

Because of the nature of the module system, teachers get a little jumpy during Spring break. Some are worse than others. But usually, teachers will send out an email during Spring break telling the students where the web site is and what book to buy and what chapters to read for the first class. Other teachers will send out an email during finals week! I think that no teacher should be making students think about a mod B class during mod A finals week ... that's just ridiculous.

Classes start up again for me on Monday the 13th.

Game Theory

My game theory teacher is James L. Smith. Looking at his profile, his speciality is (of course) game theory and oil & gas management. He also teaches a finance class that deals specifically in engergy .... oil and gas.

The only book that we have to read for this class is Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics and Everyday Life by Dixit & Nalebuff. Just from reading the title, I'm pretty pumped about reading this book. It might be one of those books that I keep rather than sell back. Who knows ... it might give me some ideas for chess! Besides the book, he's got some WSJ and Harvard articles and cases posted on his site.

The course will be graded on 6 quizes and 1 final. The quizes make up 50% and the final the other 50%.

I hope I enjoy this course. Maybe I'll like it better since Davis isn't teaching it! Or maybe it'll be worse ... yikes!

Portfolio Theory & Asset Pricing (PTAP)

My PTAP teacher is Kumar Venkataraman.

I'm taking this class because I really enjoyed the portfolio theory and asset pricing chapters & lectures from my 2nd finance class. I've talked to my brother about the portfolio theory and he's mentioned to me that he really loves this subject too.

What has me a little concerned about this class is what Professor V. said on the course syllabus; "the course covers a great deal of advanced material. Students are expected to be comfortable with probability, statistics and regression analysis and with a spreadsheet package such as Excel. Some use of calculus and linear algebra will also be required." I'm OK in these areas. I don't know how comfortable I'll be, but I've survived other classes where we've used stats and calc before. Usually the teacher will bring the students up to speed before delving into derivitives or regression.

The book we'll be using is entitled Investments by Bodie, Kane & Marcus. It is a textbook ... boring. I wonder how much he'll use it. We may actually use this one becuase he'll be assigning problems from the book. The bookstore was selling the solutions manual, but I didn't bother buying it.

I hope I enjoy these classes. It'll be good to get back into the finance classes.

Quixote Update
Chapter 16 & 17

I finished 16 and read 17 last night. I really enjoy this book! It is funny! I think this would be a great slap-stick movie with all the butt-kicking going on.

Anyway ... Quixote and Sancho are still in the hotel. They fall asleep and the room is dark. Besides them, there is a muledrive who is sleeping in the same hotel. That night, Quixote is thinking about knight-errantry in general. His thoughts turned to his lady Dulcinea del Toboso. He promised to himslef he'd be faithful to her (he was tempted because of the hostesses daughter). The hostesses daughter's name was Maritornes. Earlier that day, she had made an "arrangment" with the muledriver to meet him that night. When the time came, she had to walk past Quixote to get to the muledriver. It was dark in the room when she entered. Quixote perceived that she entered the room. He outstretched his arms while blabbering on about how lovely Maritornes is. She thought his hands were the muledriver's, but when Quixote started talking she knew it wasn't the muledriver. Anyway, the muledriver heard what was going on and proceeded to give the already injured Quixote another schallacking. Confusion erupted ... Maritornes dad came in, she jumped in Sancho's bed to hide, Sancho got frightened and started hitting the girl, the dad heard the screams and then beat the crap out of Sancho, Sancho hit back and .... well, you get the picture ... it was like a 3 Stooges act.

Quixote is so badly injured, he decides to make his magic potion. He puts some nasty stuff in it, drinks it and then vomits for the next several mintues. Sancho tries it and vomits for two hours. The two finally leave the next day and Quixote doesn't pay. The innkeepers detain Sancho and he says that he won't pay either. They abuse him some more and then take his saddlebags.

The way all of the events are described is just hilarious! This really is a good book!

Chess Update

No chess last night ... all this free time and no playing ... how disappointing.

The 3/9/06 puzzle today is 32. ? How about Bxf7. This would open up the 7th rank for the rooks to attack the king. The Queen is already in great postion to provide support or even go for the kill. If black does not capture the bishop, then Be7 followed by a white rook attack.

The answer is the obvious sacrifice of the queen ... Qxh6+ The only options for the king are to move to the 8th rank. White moves Rg7#. Wow! Simple. I guess I should look for the more audatious sacrifices too. For what it's worth, I considered the queen sac ... just not too seriously though.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Spring Break - Wednesday

OH ... the drama of grades!


I received my grade yesterday. It was a B. I was a bit shocked. I expected a B+. So I fired off an email to the TA:
Thanks for the information. I don't have any issues with my individual grades which are:
Electro Serve: B+
Beamer Buy: B+
Working Women: B+
Harborco: A-
Cascade: B
Participation: B+

What I would like to know is how the above translates into a B for my final grade. I don't know what process you used for determining final grades, but I was expecting a B+ for a grade ... not a B. Can you explain why I got a B for my final grade when I got mostly B+'s and only 1 B on the cases?

Thank you!

She responded later that day:
That is the way the grades were calculated. Then Dr. Pinkley decided the cutoffs for the final averages in relation to the rest of the class. Notice that it is only out of 95% also. Email her if you have more concerns.

This all happened yesterday. Along with this issue, there were other work related problems going on and it just wasn't my day.

Then karma blew in my direction. Last night before going to bed, I checked my email again and found this from the TA:






So I got a B+ for negotiations ... finally. I'm just glad I sent that email. I think there were about a dozen students that complained because that's how many she sent the email to.

Excel Modeling

Snir just came out with grades. I got a B in that class. I must have done well on my final. I was expecting a B- or a B at best. All our cases were B-, so I probably did well on the final case. I'll be going to campus today and I'll pick up my case and see what he thought of it.

Quixote Update

I didn't read last night.

Chess Update

No chess last night either.

The 3/8/06 puzzle is 22. ... ? There seems to be a number of things to do. What I'm aiming for is to block the white queen from defending e3. I want to place the black queen on e3. So to knock the white queen off, maybe Rg3. If Qxg3, then Bh4.

The answer is 22. ... Rg3 23. Qxg3 Bh4 ... right on! The games goes on to 40 moves, but black wins with a rook and an advanced pawn.

I hope to play some tonight ... I just need to log on and play rather than getting sucked into watching American Idol with my wife. I can't believe I just admitted that I watch American Idol ...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Spring Break - Tuesday

Still no grades yet. I'm going to sell and buy books today. I'm always a little hesitent to buy books. Sometimes the teacher will require a book, but then they never use it (negotiations) and then other times the teacher heavily relies on the book (Fugate) while others will not necessarily require you to buy the textbook, but then they refer to it quite often. Anyway, since the MBA is on my employer's dime, I usually buy at least the required text.

Quixote Update
Chapter 16

I only read about half of chapter 16 last night. Quixote and Sancho make their way to an inn. Quixote thinks it's a castle and that the inkeepers are a king and queen. So far, there's just been a little dialogue between them.

Chess Update

I played two blitz games last night on FICS. The first one, I put out a seek. I ended up playing a player rated 846 ... I need to put an algorithm in my seeks to weed out the lower rated players. I played him anyway. It wasn't much of a match. After that, I waited for a game to come along. Nothing good was available, so I ended up accepting a seek from a guest. It turned out to be an interesting game. I played a different variation and had my bishops lined up targeting his castled kingside. I sacraficed the black bishop and then moved in with my queen. I then got my rook and knight involved and then he resigned. I saved the game to analyze it later.

The 3/7/06 puzzle is 28. ? I think Ng5 would be the best move. If Nxg6 then Qg7 mate. Else the black queen has to capture the knight in which case white is up a queen.

The answer is Nd6 ... the error of my thinking is that the black knight would not take my knight, but the queen would take f6, thus defending f7. Nd6 is a double-attack on the queen and rook. If cxd6, then rxe6 defending the f6 pawn. Regardless if the black rook or pawn takes the white rook, white moves Qg7 and wins.

I might get a few games in tonight before bed.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Spring Break - Monday

Still no word on grades yet. I'll be checking my grades every day until they come out. I'll probably go sell my two books and buy next mod's books this week too.

Quixote Update
Chapter 15

At the end of chapter 14, Marcela ends her discourse and then turns and heads into the deep forest. Quixote unsheathes his sword and declares that no man should or will follow the lovely Marcela. After that, the travelling company and Quixote split.

In chapter 15, Quixote and Sancho head into the the deep woods themselves ... in search of Marcela! They came to a stopping place to rest the night. Thinking that Rocinante would be well enough off, the didn't tie him to a tree. So the horse wandered off and tried to mount a few ponies. The Yanguesans, the owners of the ponies, didn't like Rocinante getting it on with their poinies ... so they took their staves and gave the horse a royal beating. Quixote and Sancho saw all this happen. The two of them took on dozens of other men in order to defend Rocinante. Well ... Quixote & Sancho got schallacked. The Yanguesans leave them for dead and walk away. Quixote & Sancho talked for a while laying down on the ground ... bleeding and beat up. Then Quixote got on Sancho's donkey and they got Rocinante up and they walked away. Poor Rocinante!

Chess Update

Today's puzzle is here. Black to play. 28. ... ? I'd play 28. ... Qxe1 Rxe1 29. Rd1+ Rxd1 30. Rxd1 ++.

The answer ... same as above. This was pretty easy.

I've got to work on the yard this week. But after a hard evening's work in the yard, I'll settle down and play some chess and work on tactics.

I still remember the day I signed up on FICS. It was April and the weather was gorgeous. I sat at the computer with bare feet and played chess while listening to the Spring birds sing outside. Every Spring, I am reminded of that glorious day!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Spring Break is Officially Here (for me)

Spring Break officially begins today ... for me at least.

MBA Update

I just emailed Snir my Safari case. It's all over now ... it's in the books ... not much I can do at this point. I'll get grades for negotiations and Excel modeling next week sometime.

I received the Summer schedule yesterday. I also got the tentative class listing for Fall 2006. I looked to see if the classes I wanted were offered ... they were. But the bad news is that the two classes I wanted to take in Mod A are on the same day! The other bad news is that the International Finance classes I wanted to take in the Summer are going to be taught by Davis.

So I had to re-work the whole schedule ... and here's the really bad news ... I won't finish all my classes until December. But, on the bright side, I'll only be taking one class in Mod A and one class in Mod B in the Fall. So, really, it won't be that bad. It will be like I'm done with school in August. Taking one class per mod is very easy and not at all stressful. This could end up being a good deal ... since I'll be able to focus on one class, I might get a couple of A's in the Fall.

I won't be taking both International Finance classes ... I'll just take one in the Fall. This means that I had to come up with a couple of different classes to take in the Summer. So, I'll be signing up for Security, Valuation & Selection and Database Design for Business Applications. I loved my database classes at BYU. But after taking this Excel modeling class, I'm a bit leary of the database class. The other two classes I wanted to take in the Summer are available and I will be able to register for them ... one's a leadership class and the other is a managing teams class.

So what does all of this mean for my chess schedule? That is the important question I'm sure everyone is dying to find out (silence ... crickets chirp).

It means that I'll be done with school (as I know it) in August. The workload will drop considerably from August on. I'll be able to spend more time playing chess and working on improving. If nothing else, I'll have at least 6 hours a week that is freed up since I won't be taking two classes. Today I will update my countdown to end on August 19. Starting August 20, I'll begin gearing up my chess studies.

And one last item that concerns my MBA ... or the graduation thereof ... my in-laws called last night with some excellent news. They formed an LLC a few years ago. All of their children are part of the LLC. The LLC owns a couple of time-shares. I've noted before, at the very beginning of the blog that we went to Hawaii. We stayed at one of the time-shares when we went to Hawaii. Since then, the in-laws have taken all the other kids to places like Mexico, Orlando and Hawaii. My wife and I are the only ones who haven't had a chance to go again. So my in-laws informed us last night that they're sending us to either Hawaii or Guatemala as a graduation gift! Of course I was really excited to hear that Guatemala was one of the options. I spent a couple of years there as a missionary. It looks like we'll be going there (just my wife and I) sometime around May of 2007 ... about 10 years to the month of when I was there last.

Quixote Update

I didn't read, again, last night. I worked on my paper and watched TV. I ended up watching "Let's Make a Deal" and "The Office."

Chess Update

I didn't play chess either last night. I did fire up CT-ART 3.0 and worked a few tactics. Tonight, there is a 100% probability I'll play between the hours of 7:30 and 9:30 Central Time.

The 3/3/06 puzzle is 18. ? The tough part of puzzles that are early in the game is that all the pieces are still on the board. There are so many options. This is what I see ... 18. Bxf6 Nxf6 19. Nxf7 Bxf7. Doesn't lead to much, but that was the first thing that came to mind. Another option 18. Ng6 fxg6 19. Bxg6+ ... not sure what that leads to either.

Well the answer is 18. Bxh7 {to open the way for Bxe8} Nxh7 19. f5 Bd7 {black cannot capture h4 or else the white queen would check the king and cause all sorts of trouble} 20. Bxe7 Kxe7 21. Nxd5+ {cxd5 and white goes up big time} Wow ... that is really cool!

That's all for today ...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Spring Break Beginning to Set In

Ahhh ... no class last night ... I went home and relaxed! Had a good dinner with the family, put the kids to bed and then read and played chess. It was a welcome break.

Excel Modeling

I'm done with the model ... I just need to do the write up. My wife will be gone all evening, so after I get the kids to bed, I'll do the write up. Last night after I got in bed and started listening to my music, I had this vision (nightmare) of my thumb drive getting destroyed. I realized that the only copy of my model is on my thumb drive! Yikes! So I got my butt out of bed and retrieved my thumb drive and powered on the computer. I hooked it up and copied my model to my hard drive. Feeling a litte more assured, I went back to bed.

Quixote Update
Chapter 14

I read a little of chapter 14. The first part of it was the writing of the young man who has passed on. After his little "poem" who should appear? None other than the lovely Marcela ... the woman whom the young man loved. She explained to all the goatherds that it was not her fault the young man died ... she explains that everyone loves her because of her beauty and as such, everyone expects her to love them back. She actually gave a pretty good discourse in my opinion.

Chess Update

I played a couple of games last night. I won the first on time and I won the second when my opponent blundered. After playing on FICS, I started CT-ART 3.0 and worked through about 20 tactics. I figure if I work through several a day, that will give me a base to work off of for when October rolls around.

When school is finished, I plan on buying the 1000 x Checkmates CD to use for a modified 7 Circles program. I think I might give Man De La Maza's 10 circles a try.

The 3/2/06 puzzle is 34. ... ? My first take would be 34. ... Rxb4 Rxb4 35. Qa2+ 36. Kb1 Qa1++. I don't know if that is sound ... looks good.

The answer is Qa2+ ... my analysis is off because I didn't see that the white queen has b4 covered ... so that wouln't work.

I'm really motivated to get my write-up finished so I can play chess tonight. Maybe I'll get my paper done during lunch which would leave me two hours to play chess! It's going to be a great spring break!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Negotiations Are Over

I've completed yet another class and am about to complete another.


Last night, our group met and did the final negotiation. I think just about everyone was eager to get it done. We met at a Barnes & Noble, so the atmosphere was a little distracting. My partner or associate ... whatever the case called him ... wasn't really into the negotiation. He has two classes left before he graduates, so his attitude wasn't the best. I did my best to get as much money as possible. The two on the other side of the bargaining table were a little stiff.

At this point, I'm glad to have another class finished with.

Excel Modeling

I finally got a decent model working! I fell asleep last night thinking about the problem, but no solution came to mind. So after a good sleep and a solid workout at the gym this morning, I came into work, read some email, took care of business and then took a fresh look at the problem. The total number of "garments" to purchase was different in each of the options. So the net profit was different. The 2nd option was supposed to earn more money than the first option, but the first option was making more profit. So it dawned on me this morning to use profit margin, and lo and behold the profit margin was better with the 2nd and 3rd options. I hope it's correct. But at this point, I really don't care ... the model will do. I just have to do the write up ... probably tonight and then I'm done with that class! HALLELUJAH!

Thoughts on Perception of Classes

Since I've been in the PMBA program, I've noticed something about my attitude toward a class and the degree of difficulty of the class. I remember thinking that the 2nd accounting class I took (Hogan) was going to be very difficult and that the decision modeling class would be hard. It turned out that accounting wasn't all the tough and that decision modeling, although stressful, wasn't that bad either.

Another example was my first finance class and marketing. I thought marketing would be a hard class and that finance wouldn't be so tough. It was just the opposite. Marketing was relatively easy and enjoyable and finance was the bear.

Pretty much every class I've taken has followed that pattern. I think I might like a class, and it's hard. I think a class might be tough and it's easy. These two classes, negotiations and Excel modeling were no different. I was semi-affraid to take the negotiations class and I was all pumped about the Excel class. As it turned out, I dreaded the Excel class and really enjoyed negotiations.

So what are my feelings towards the next two classes ... game theory and portfolio theory & asset pricing (PTAP)? Well ... I'm taking these fianance classes for two reasons; 1) to fulfill my major requirements and 2) because I liked these topics when we covered them in previous classes. And this is what has me worried ... I'm looking forward to these classes! If that is the case, and judging by past experience, then I'm in for a rough 8 weeks. I sincerely hope I'll enjoy these classes or at least I won't have a hard time with them.

Quixote Update

I didn't even open the book yesterday. I came home from the negotiation, put my kids to bed and then watched part of a movie with my wife. It was about 10:40pm when we went to bed. She was out and I was very drowsey, so I feel asleep relatively quickly. I listened to Enya's Amarantine while I drifted to sleep. It was peaceful.

Chess Update

Didn't play any games last night for reasons stated above.

As for the 3/1/06 puzzle. I didn't get it. It was 21. ? I thought Qh4. I thought of the bishop sacrafice on h7, but didn't know what to do after that. The game turned out to be a wild king-chase all over the board.

There is a high probability I will play a game or two tonight.