Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 4939441 times)

ender

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15050 on: September 15, 2016, 08:39:38 PM »
True, there's definitely the same bias there that makes people think the world is dangerous today, but hearing about multiple in a given area is either faulty data/predictions, or really, really uncommonly bad luck.


Plus there is always selfish interest in sensationalizing events, pretty much across the entire spectrum whether you are researcher or news media. No one really benefits from making a natural event seem more normal, it's boring. But make it rare? EXCITING.

Doesn't mean "500 year floods" aren't real, but also an added bias.

Pooperman

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15051 on: September 15, 2016, 08:40:45 PM »
We've had two 1/500 year floods here in the past 40 years, and about 3 1/100 year floods.
Indeed.  I've heard similar things often. 

And I'd question the accuracy not only due to data limitations, as mentioned above, but (even if those were all accurate and 100% known) due to the ability to project forward based on them, mostly due to the climate changing.

Keep in mind depending on the geographic area the "500 year flood" covers, it's not really unexpected that they wouldn't happen.

If for example you split the USA up into 500 pieces, you'd get a "500 year flood" about every year, give or take, and it wouldn't be overly surprising statistically.

Increasing sea levels aren't really helping, either.

A true 500 year flood will happen in the Seattle/Vancouver area at some point. That'll be nasty.

ender

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15052 on: September 15, 2016, 08:44:22 PM »
Increasing sea levels aren't really helping, either.

A true 500 year flood will happen in the Seattle/Vancouver area at some point. That'll be nasty.

I've wondered how much humans affect this, particularly in how drainage is managed. I know in my city we had some serious flooding within the past decade, but I think part of that is simply due to poor planning and drainage. Newer developments are deliberately and consciously managing this.

It's kind of interesting to think about, really. If you get an inch of rain in a city, think about how much of the city is no longer grass or otherwise capable of absorbing that water. Most cities of any size have a large percentage of land covered in either concrete or buildings. If you cover 50% of the ground, then every rain storm doubly taxes the grounds ability to saturate (ignoring drainage planning).

Similar to Katrina and New Orleans, you can't really build an entire city in a swamp/low area and wonder when it floods. The water has to go somewhere.

pancakes

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15053 on: September 15, 2016, 11:35:21 PM »
Spendypants colleague started ranting defensively, claiming they are out of debt as they owe less than $1000 to family and they need furniture because it is "for the house which is an investment" (house is owned by their parents and a bank, and they pay far less than the mortgage to live there).

He is not too far off unfortunately.

Before the '09 crash I watched a lot of HGTV and home selling shows for a period of one to two months. Why I stopped watching was this:

  • There was one episode of a show where a lady and her husband were unable to their home.
    • It was one the market for over a year and not a single offer
    • That meant no one was even interested enough to give a lowball
  • An interior decorator (the hosts) comes in, spends sub-300$ in paint and pictures and curtains, and rearranges the furniture
  • Within a few weeks their is a bidding war and they get more than they listed their house for

I had to stop after watching this madness. Just three hundred dollars and a day of labour from an interior decorator turned the house from pathetic to attractive. If a lowball was 15,000 below the listed price and they got 5000 over it, just for how the house looked buyers where willing to pay more than an additional 20K. No one saw the beauty within the home or maybe people don't realize that they don't keep the furniture in the house they buy.

/rant

Ok if they were intending to sell the house and realise some profit from their modifications but they have no plans to sell it.

cerat0n1a

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15054 on: September 16, 2016, 12:50:35 AM »
I've wondered how much humans affect this, particularly in how drainage is managed. I know in my city we had some serious flooding within the past decade, but I think part of that is simply due to poor planning and drainage. Newer developments are deliberately and consciously managing this.

Where I live, there are a reasonable number of houses in the centre of the village which are 500 years old and which were known to have never flooded. They've all been flooded twice since 2000. Not because of global warming, sea level rises or anything like that, but solely due to drainage effects. New houses built on the edge of the village in the 1970s/1980s with non-permeable driveways and roads means the water gets to the river more quickly than when it just soaked into the ground. Farmers have improved field drainage by digging ditches and removing hedges and small areas of woodland. This again puts any excess rainfall into the river system much more quickly and so river levels rise far more rapidly than the past.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15055 on: September 16, 2016, 01:34:39 AM »
$1000.  For a phone. The mind boggles.

I'm often surprised that while computers (and consumer electronics in general) can be had so cheap (Mini PC <$100, Netbook < $200) so many people are still willing to pay vast amounts of money for the premium stuff.

When I first got into the computer business I was selling 360K Floppy drives for $1,500 each (circa 1983).  I had (government) customers at that time who were still winding their own core memories.  Moore's law in action!
My Cousin's first electrical engineering co-op job was winding core memories (switching tapes?) for a government system... in 1989, I think.  Not so long ago.

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arebelspy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15056 on: September 16, 2016, 01:52:40 AM »
I've wondered how much humans affect this, particularly in how drainage is managed. I know in my city we had some serious flooding within the past decade, but I think part of that is simply due to poor planning and drainage. Newer developments are deliberately and consciously managing this.

Where I live, there are a reasonable number of houses in the centre of the village which are 500 years old and which were known to have never flooded. They've all been flooded twice since 2000. Not because of global warming, sea level rises or anything like that, but solely due to drainage effects. New houses built on the edge of the village in the 1970s/1980s with non-permeable driveways and roads means the water gets to the river more quickly than when it just soaked into the ground. Farmers have improved field drainage by digging ditches and removing hedges and small areas of woodland. This again puts any excess rainfall into the river system much more quickly and so river levels rise far more rapidly than the past.
That is a good explanation.  Thanks Ender/cerat!
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MrRealEstate

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15057 on: September 16, 2016, 04:40:06 AM »
Regarding a 100 year flood zone and a 30 year mortgage, the odds of the house flooding while being owned by the bank is 30%. I know it's obvious when it's spelled out, but most people don't put two and two together. They only are unhappy when the lender requires them to purchase flood insurance.

BlueHouse

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15058 on: September 16, 2016, 05:08:50 AM »
Regarding a 100 year flood zone and a 30 year mortgage, the odds of the house flooding while being owned by the bank is 30%. I know it's obvious when it's spelled out, but most people don't put two and two together. They only are unhappy when the lender requires them to purchase flood insurance.
DC appealed new flood zones (and won) around the time I was buying my house, so I was pretty concerned in finding an appropriate insurance amount. . The new (proposed) 100 year flood zone would have put 1/4 of the city (including the national mall, any fed buildings and almost all of the SW quadrant underwater once every 100 years. That's a huge change in insurance costs, but also would have changed the building code for the area in 100 year zone. There is a massive redevelopment effort underway on the waterfront in that quadrant. that would have required building redesign and increased insurance costs, new building footing if it fell in a flood zone. But DC appealed, so no need to listen to experts when we have tax bureaucrats deciding the proper building code based on what they want to pay rather than on science-predicted events.
Just thought that was interesting.
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Pooperman

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15059 on: September 16, 2016, 05:19:50 AM »
Regarding a 100 year flood zone and a 30 year mortgage, the odds of the house flooding while being owned by the bank is 30%. I know it's obvious when it's spelled out, but most people don't put two and two together. They only are unhappy when the lender requires them to purchase flood insurance.
DC appealed new flood zones (and won) around the time I was buying my house, so I was pretty concerned in finding an appropriate insurance amount. . The new (proposed) 100 year flood zone would have put 1/4 of the city (including the national mall, any fed buildings and almost all of the SW quadrant underwater once every 100 years. That's a huge change in insurance costs, but also would have changed the building code for the area in 100 year zone. There is a massive redevelopment effort underway on the waterfront in that quadrant. that would have required building redesign and increased insurance costs, new building footing if it fell in a flood zone. But DC appealed, so no need to listen to experts when we have tax bureaucrats deciding the proper building code based on what they want to pay rather than on science-predicted events.
Just thought that was interesting.

Here's a future news story: "the city of New Orleans has won the appeal to keep the French quarter in the 500 year flood zone. 'The low tide mark is only halfway across the quarter, there's no reason we'll see any flooding' one official was quoted as saying.

marty998

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15060 on: September 16, 2016, 05:48:56 AM »
Guy I work with, his partner (male couple) has acquired expensive tastes doing his job as an interior designer....

Wanted to purchase a $26,000 lounge.... work mate said no, put the foot down.

The partner does high end designing jobs, last one he was given a budget of $450,000 to furnish a home... just furnishing, no building/renovating.

Easy to lose perspective I reckon. Gotta be careful you don't pick up the habits of those you serve as customers.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15061 on: September 16, 2016, 06:25:40 AM »
Guy I work with, his partner (male couple) has acquired expensive tastes doing his job as an interior designer....

Wanted to purchase a $26,000 lounge.... work mate said no, put the foot down.

The partner does high end designing jobs, last one he was given a budget of $450,000 to furnish a home... just furnishing, no building/renovating.

Easy to lose perspective I reckon. Gotta be careful you don't pick up the habits of those you serve as customers.

This happens all the time in the restaurant industry.  Employees will spend all day serving $20 entrees, with bills totaling $50 and up.  Then they'll go turn around and do the same, spending $50-$100 for 2 people on $10/hr.  Because they earned it.

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15062 on: September 16, 2016, 07:19:04 AM »
We've had two 1/500 year floods here in the past 40 years, and about 3 1/100 year floods.
Indeed.  I've heard similar things often. 

And I'd question the accuracy not only due to data limitations, as mentioned above, but (even if those were all accurate and 100% known) due to the ability to project forward based on them, mostly due to the climate changing.

Quote
The new (proposed) 100 year flood zone would have put 1/4 of the city (including the national mall, any fed buildings and almost all of the SW quadrant underwater once every 100 years.

I think you all (and a lot of officials) fall for a common misconception here.
A 100 Year flood does not mean you get a flood every 100 years. It means the HIGHEST flood in 100 years is this amount.
There is nothing in this statistic saying you cant have 3 100-year floods (3 times the water gets that high) in one year. Or 50 times a 99year-high flood in 100 years.

My 2 cents: If you want a realistic danger, go for the 10 or at most 20 year flood. 20 year is what german drainage in cities is build for btw. And about once a month a city is flooded because the drainage cant keep up. Because there is more then 1 city.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15063 on: September 16, 2016, 07:54:46 AM »
Guy I work with, his partner (male couple) has acquired expensive tastes doing his job as an interior designer....

Wanted to purchase a $26,000 lounge.... work mate said no, put the foot down.

The partner does high end designing jobs, last one he was given a budget of $450,000 to furnish a home... just furnishing, no building/renovating.

Easy to lose perspective I reckon. Gotta be careful you don't pick up the habits of those you serve as customers.

This happens all the time in the restaurant industry.  Employees will spend all day serving $20 entrees, with bills totaling $50 and up.  Then they'll go turn around and do the same, spending $50-$100 for 2 people on $10/hr.  Because they earned it.

Yet, for the vast majority of the customers the $20 entrees are a treat of some kind for a birthday or anniversary. They come out a few times a year, except for a handful of regulars for whom the restaurant is part of a lifestyle they're committed to and a substitute for other forms of socializing (example: choosing to live in a studio apartment, using a restaurant or pub once a week to socialize with family and friends, and having a lower net cost overall). Going out once or twice a week and spending that amount is overdoing it.

Interestingly, I got an insight on staff culture at high-end restaurants when I briefly went out with a man who was a professional server. By this I mean in the French style, where people do it as a career instead of as a way to put themselves through school or pay the bills until the acting career takes off. It turns out that most of the career waiters don't care to spend their off hours in a restaurant because it's too much like the work environment. The last place this guy wanted to go on a date was out for dinner.
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Making Cookies

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15064 on: September 16, 2016, 08:16:14 AM »
[Tangentially related to my biggest pet peeve about most modern construction. Cheap, shoddy construction hidden beneath a shiny veneer.

I'll second that. Anecdotes I know.

Watched a roofing crew put new shingles on an old house a few years back. No roofing felt under the shingles.

Replaced a door+frame on my house recently. Discovered builders did not wrap the house. Did not attach door frame to the studs. Did not put anything under the door threshold to shed water or seal out water.

Basically build it as quickly as possible and sell it. Our house is okay and problems are getting corrected as we do maintenance like replace HVAC, doors, floors, etc. Well I mean we are doing them to a higher standard than the builders originally did.

mtn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15065 on: September 16, 2016, 08:51:19 AM »
[Tangentially related to my biggest pet peeve about most modern construction. Cheap, shoddy construction hidden beneath a shiny veneer.

I'll second that. Anecdotes I know.

Watched a roofing crew put new shingles on an old house a few years back. No roofing felt under the shingles.

Replaced a door+frame on my house recently. Discovered builders did not wrap the house. Did not attach door frame to the studs. Did not put anything under the door threshold to shed water or seal out water.

Basically build it as quickly as possible and sell it. Our house is okay and problems are getting corrected as we do maintenance like replace HVAC, doors, floors, etc. Well I mean we are doing them to a higher standard than the builders originally did.

One of the reasons I am glad we bought a house built in 1927. Sure, being that old presents a different set of issues, but at least it has stood the test of time so far.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15066 on: September 16, 2016, 11:29:21 AM »
Regarding a 100 year flood zone and a 30 year mortgage, the odds of the house flooding while being owned by the bank is 30%. I know it's obvious when it's spelled out, but most people don't put two and two together. They only are unhappy when the lender requires them to purchase flood insurance.

It doesn't quite work out like that.  If you own a house for 100 years you don't have 100% chance of it flooding.  Just like if you roll a die once, you have a 1/6 chance of rolling a 6, but two rolls doesn't equal 2/6 odds, or else 6 rolls would be 6/6 (100%) chance of rolling a 6.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15067 on: September 16, 2016, 11:33:57 AM »
We've had two 1/500 year floods here in the past 40 years, and about 3 1/100 year floods.
Indeed.  I've heard similar things often. 

And I'd question the accuracy not only due to data limitations, as mentioned above, but (even if those were all accurate and 100% known) due to the ability to project forward based on them, mostly due to the climate changing.

Quote
The new (proposed) 100 year flood zone would have put 1/4 of the city (including the national mall, any fed buildings and almost all of the SW quadrant underwater once every 100 years.

I think you all (and a lot of officials) fall for a common misconception here.
A 100 Year flood does not mean you get a flood every 100 years. It means the HIGHEST flood in 100 years is this amount.
There is nothing in this statistic saying you cant have 3 100-year floods (3 times the water gets that high) in one year. Or 50 times a 99year-high flood in 100 years.

My 2 cents: If you want a realistic danger, go for the 10 or at most 20 year flood. 20 year is what german drainage in cities is build for btw. And about once a month a city is flooded because the drainage cant keep up. Because there is more then 1 city.

GOOD point.  Bottom line is you can't really predict this stuff ... You can look at historical records but it's really hard to make odds on black swans.  Insurance companies try, but I'm not convinced they do a great job

o2bfree

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15068 on: September 16, 2016, 03:00:11 PM »
I have a van, and I am starting to see more and more that trucks serve no really useful purpose- that is, intrinsic to trucks and exempt from all other types of vehicles...

A van, YES! We love our 1996 Savana. It's daily transportation, it can haul things, and it's awesome for road/camping/sports trips. It's got a full-sized bed in the back with storage underneath, and room to prepare food and make coffee roadside or on rainy evenings in the campground or rest stop. And, full-sized vans hold their value pretty well.

Those goofy, jacked-up trucks with their comically pompous tires make us laugh.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15069 on: September 16, 2016, 03:23:45 PM »
Regarding a 100 year flood zone and a 30 year mortgage, the odds of the house flooding while being owned by the bank is 30%. I know it's obvious when it's spelled out, but most people don't put two and two together. They only are unhappy when the lender requires them to purchase flood insurance.

It doesn't quite work out like that.  If you own a house for 100 years you don't have 100% chance of it flooding.  Just like if you roll a die once, you have a 1/6 chance of rolling a 6, but two rolls doesn't equal 2/6 odds, or else 6 rolls would be 6/6 (100%) chance of rolling a 6.

Mustache Math!  :D It pervades this forum...
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dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15070 on: September 16, 2016, 09:49:39 PM »
Regarding a 100 year flood zone and a 30 year mortgage, the odds of the house flooding while being owned by the bank is 30%. I know it's obvious when it's spelled out, but most people don't put two and two together. They only are unhappy when the lender requires them to purchase flood insurance.

It doesn't quite work out like that.  If you own a house for 100 years you don't have 100% chance of it flooding.  Just like if you roll a die once, you have a 1/6 chance of rolling a 6, but two rolls doesn't equal 2/6 odds, or else 6 rolls would be 6/6 (100%) chance of rolling a 6.

Mustache Math!  :D It pervades this forum...

That's not how it works, apparently, but if you have a 1/100 chance every year, then over 30 years you have a 26% chance, which is not that different from 30%.  So you can quibble about the calculations, but either way the bank is taking a big risk.

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15071 on: September 17, 2016, 12:30:42 PM »
We've had two 1/500 year floods here in the past 40 years, and about 3 1/100 year floods.
Indeed.  I've heard similar things often. 

And I'd question the accuracy not only due to data limitations, as mentioned above, but (even if those were all accurate and 100% known) due to the ability to project forward based on them, mostly due to the climate changing.

Quote
The new (proposed) 100 year flood zone would have put 1/4 of the city (including the national mall, any fed buildings and almost all of the SW quadrant underwater once every 100 years.

I think you all (and a lot of officials) fall for a common misconception here.
A 100 Year flood does not mean you get a flood every 100 years. It means the HIGHEST flood in 100 years is this amount.
There is nothing in this statistic saying you cant have 3 100-year floods (3 times the water gets that high) in one year. Or 50 times a 99year-high flood in 100 years.

My 2 cents: If you want a realistic danger, go for the 10 or at most 20 year flood. 20 year is what german drainage in cities is build for btw. And about once a month a city is flooded because the drainage cant keep up. Because there is more then 1 city.

GOOD point.  Bottom line is you can't really predict this stuff ... You can look at historical records but it's really hard to make odds on black swans.  Insurance companies try, but I'm not convinced they do a great job

Insurance compynies are really freaked out about climate change. (Yes, including those in the US, because its their money :D ) They calculate that at the end of the century they will have to pay a multiple because of natural desasters then today. Which they dont like, because they have to increase premium and that means that 1) less profit because the one who goes up first loses customers and 2) less profit because there will be people who cancel all those insurances.

btw here is a picture from my town, that often baffles people when they first see it
http://britische-huetehunde.de/picture_library/Landesgruppentreffen/2008/WanderungJanuar08/wand0801087.JPG
Its a bridge on the green, centuries old. Most years it just stands there and children play (on the other side is a playground)
But if there is a flood the water flows not only in the real river bed but also in the old one, around the old lower city, just at the line of the old city wall (which doubles as flood wall in those times, the parts that are still standing) and under that grass bridge. Like here:
http://www.mz-web.de/image/7751256/2x1/940/470/e59ab8ddc18d19bc12016c7f4d76eee0/Py/am-waldauer-anger--1294645914575-.jpg
This bridge is then the only way you can take if you dont want to drive 40-50km more.

Just a few years ago there was a really huge flood, the highest ever I think, where the water was so high that even the ends of that bridge were flooded - and parts of the lower city.   


merula

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15072 on: September 18, 2016, 04:55:29 PM »
Insurance compynies are really freaked out about climate change. (Yes, including those in the US, because its their money :D ) They calculate that at the end of the century they will have to pay a multiple because of natural desasters then today. Which they dont like, because they have to increase premium and that means that 1) less profit because the one who goes up first loses customers and 2) less profit because there will be people who cancel all those insurances.

This is absolutely true. I work in insurance.

Y'know the old Upton Sinclair quote "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it"? Well, there are more industries who depend on maintaining the illusion that climate change NOT happening (oil, automotive, plastics manufacturing, construction, real estate, etc. etc.) than industries that benefit if climate change is recognized and addressed (insurance, clean energy/technology).

Which is kinda weird, when you think about it, because there's not much else those two industries have in common, and frankly the general culture of insurance hasn't done well at addressing climate change, but we're doing better than most, precisely because we need to be able to predict the future in order to make money. We set the rates we charge for flood and wind insurance based on predictions from past events, but we recognize that the past events can't fully predict the future anymore.

TL;DR: Climate change is happening; you can tell because people who stand to lose money if we ignore it are saying so.


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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15073 on: September 18, 2016, 06:32:53 PM »

TL;DR: Climate change is happening; you can tell because people who stand to lose money if we ignore it are saying so.

I used to find more climate change information in the business section of the paper than the (almost non-existent) science section.  When a forestry company chooses which trees to use in its re-forestry projects it is making decisions based on projected climate change.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15074 on: September 18, 2016, 09:05:18 PM »
Husband's (all-male) team got onto the subject of WAGs and spending last week*.

One of the guys complained that his live-in girlfriend (previously mentioned in this thread) buys at least one new lipstick each month. At a cost of $180 each.

More than $2k a year on lipstick.

When they first met, she gave him a tour of her shoes. "These were $1500, these were $500..." It was only after they moved in together that she 'fessed up to $30k in CC debt.

nnls

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15075 on: September 18, 2016, 09:08:22 PM »
Husband's (all-male) team got onto the subject of WAGs and spending last week*.

One of the guys complained that his live-in girlfriend (previously mentioned in this thread) buys at least one new lipstick each month. At a cost of $180 each.

More than $2k a year on lipstick.

When they first met, she gave him a tour of her shoes. "These were $1500, these were $500..." It was only after they moved in together that she 'fessed up to $30k in CC debt.

I dont think all my shoes combined would cost $500

nobodyspecial

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15076 on: September 18, 2016, 09:12:56 PM »
I dont think all my shoes combined would cost $500
Well that would be an awful lot of thongs !
 

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15077 on: September 18, 2016, 09:31:55 PM »
Regarding a 100 year flood zone and a 30 year mortgage, the odds of the house flooding while being owned by the bank is 30%. I know it's obvious when it's spelled out, but most people don't put two and two together. They only are unhappy when the lender requires them to purchase flood insurance.

It doesn't quite work out like that.  If you own a house for 100 years you don't have 100% chance of it flooding.  Just like if you roll a die once, you have a 1/6 chance of rolling a 6, but two rolls doesn't equal 2/6 odds, or else 6 rolls would be 6/6 (100%) chance of rolling a 6.

Mustache Math!  :D It pervades this forum...

That's not how it works, apparently, but if you have a 1/100 chance every year, then over 30 years you have a 26% chance, which is not that different from 30%.  So you can quibble about the calculations, but either way the bank is taking a big risk.

The other thing to remember is that when you draw the 100 year flood zone, the likelihood is only 1/100 years at the far extent of the zone, any closer to the river/low point and you're in a higher risk zone. So you could say that the river bank was 'in the 100 year flood zone' and it could flood every time it rains. Most places in a 100 year flood zone have a higher than 1/100 risk of flooding every year.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15078 on: September 19, 2016, 09:52:22 AM »
Regarding a 100 year flood zone and a 30 year mortgage, the odds of the house flooding while being owned by the bank is 30%. I know it's obvious when it's spelled out, but most people don't put two and two together. They only are unhappy when the lender requires them to purchase flood insurance.

It doesn't quite work out like that.  If you own a house for 100 years you don't have 100% chance of it flooding.  Just like if you roll a die once, you have a 1/6 chance of rolling a 6, but two rolls doesn't equal 2/6 odds, or else 6 rolls would be 6/6 (100%) chance of rolling a 6.

Mustache Math!  :D It pervades this forum...

That's not how it works, apparently, but if you have a 1/100 chance every year, then over 30 years you have a 26% chance, which is not that different from 30%.  So you can quibble about the calculations, but either way the bank is taking a big risk.

The other thing to remember is that when you draw the 100 year flood zone, the likelihood is only 1/100 years at the far extent of the zone, any closer to the river/low point and you're in a higher risk zone. So you could say that the river bank was 'in the 100 year flood zone' and it could flood every time it rains. Most places in a 100 year flood zone have a higher than 1/100 risk of flooding every year.
The 26% number is calculated 1-e^(-p*t), this is the probability that it happens, not the probability it happens exactly once.  The expected value is still 0.3 (p*t).  In that 26%, there's a chance for it to have happened 100 times in those 30 years. 

Like in the dice rolling, the expected value when rolling 6 times is 1, but 0 is possible and up to 6 is possible.  In that case, there's a 67% chance that any given number happens.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15079 on: September 19, 2016, 01:32:48 PM »
We've had two 1/500 year floods here in the past 40 years, and about 3 1/100 year floods.
Indeed.  I've heard similar things often. 

And I'd question the accuracy not only due to data limitations, as mentioned above, but (even if those were all accurate and 100% known) due to the ability to project forward based on them, mostly due to the climate changing.

Keep in mind depending on the geographic area the "500 year flood" covers, it's not really unexpected that they wouldn't happen.

If for example you split the USA up into 500 pieces, you'd get a "500 year flood" about every year, give or take, and it wouldn't be overly surprising statistically.
The frequency of these floods based on historical trends does little to account for the fact that we've been taking land that has traditionally retained or absorbed storm water, and we're paving it over so its impermeable. As a result, we end up collecting all that storm water in catch basins and dumping it into the nearest body of water (polluting our rivers every time it rains). Thats only going to make things worse during a flood. I like what they're trying to do in Milwaukee by tearing up old stormwater trenches made of concrete, and adding grasses and plants to a permeable trench system so they tend to drain and retain water during the beginning of any rain event, and channel water out of the city to the treatment facility during long/heavy rain events.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15080 on: September 19, 2016, 04:49:09 PM »
Feel free to start a new thread about flood insurance. :)

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15081 on: September 19, 2016, 06:04:19 PM »
A new thread?

pffft there are multiple mini-threads in this one already :P

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15082 on: September 19, 2016, 07:21:56 PM »
This happened over the course of the past few weeks with a coworker.  Guy probably makes $100K.

Him:  I'm glad fall is almost here, I'm tired of being broke all the time.
Me:  Say huh?
Him: Yeah, I'm spending like $150 a weekend in fuel for my boat.  The slip (boat parking spot) is like another $200 a month. 
Me:  Wow, I had no idea it cost that much.
Him:  Yeah, I think next week I'll pay to have it winterized and put it into storage.
Me:  Oh, how much does that cost?
Him:  I think the winterizing cost $200, then it's only $80/month for indoor storage.
Me:  Oh.  OK.

About a week later...

Me:  Done boating for the year?
Him:  Yeah, but I think I'm going to sell my boat.
Me:  Tired of spending money on it?
Him:  Kinda.  I think I'm going to sell it and get a newer one with an aluminum trailer so I don't have to buy a F250.  I don't like towing mine with my F150.
Me:  How much does that thing weigh?
Him:  About 10K loaded.  I only get about 8 MPG pulling it.
Me:  I wouldn't want to do that either.
Him:  I figure I can probably sell my boat for $15K, but I hate to do it because I have some equity in it, and a new one will be about $35K.  Can't buy a F250 for $20K, amiright!
Me:  Well, good luck.

Ugh.  That was painful to read.  Imagine it's even worse in person.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15083 on: September 19, 2016, 08:55:45 PM »
Feel free to start a new thread about flood insurance. :)

What does the black box say?  How about the orange box?   These floods are foamy!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15084 on: September 19, 2016, 10:02:20 PM »
Feel free to start a new thread about flood insurance. :)

feel free to start a new thread about new threads

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15085 on: September 20, 2016, 01:38:02 AM »
Feel free to start a new thread about flood insurance. :)

feel free to start a new thread about new threads

Feel free to just put anything and everything into the Overheard at Work thread.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15086 on: September 20, 2016, 06:12:11 AM »
We have a "personal finance" presentation today at work, probably will provide good content for this thread..

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15087 on: September 20, 2016, 06:25:45 AM »
Not overheard but a corporate HR email regarding 2017 benefits has a bullet on the offer to cash out upto 40 hours of leave time. I'd love to see the 2017 metrics in 2018 to know how many of my co-workers cashed out. And why, and what did they spend the money on... but I can easily predict that based on past performance, with p>0.5.
Who am I kidding? Fuck that saving shit, it'll be p>0.7.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15088 on: September 20, 2016, 07:01:42 AM »
Regarding a 100 year flood zone and a 30 year mortgage, the odds of the house flooding while being owned by the bank is 30%. I know it's obvious when it's spelled out, but most people don't put two and two together. They only are unhappy when the lender requires them to purchase flood insurance.

It doesn't quite work out like that.  If you own a house for 100 years you don't have 100% chance of it flooding.  Just like if you roll a die once, you have a 1/6 chance of rolling a 6, but two rolls doesn't equal 2/6 odds, or else 6 rolls would be 6/6 (100%) chance of rolling a 6.

Mustache Math!  :D It pervades this forum...

That's not how it works, apparently, but if you have a 1/100 chance every year, then over 30 years you have a 26% chance, which is not that different from 30%.  So you can quibble about the calculations, but either way the bank is taking a big risk.

The other thing to remember is that when you draw the 100 year flood zone, the likelihood is only 1/100 years at the far extent of the zone, any closer to the river/low point and you're in a higher risk zone. So you could say that the river bank was 'in the 100 year flood zone' and it could flood every time it rains. Most places in a 100 year flood zone have a higher than 1/100 risk of flooding every year.
The 26% number is calculated 1-e^(-p*t), this is the probability that it happens, not the probability it happens exactly once.  The expected value is still 0.3 (p*t).  In that 26%, there's a chance for it to have happened 100 times in those 30 years. 

Like in the dice rolling, the expected value when rolling 6 times is 1, but 0 is possible and up to 6 is possible.  In that case, there's a 67% chance that any given number happens.

The point I'm making is that most places within the 500 year flood zone are also in the 450 year flood zone, many will be in the 300 year flood zone etc. If you are in the 500 year flood zone then your absolute best case scenario is that you expect an average of one flood in 500 years. You might be doing your maths based on a 1 in 500 year event, but not realising that you should be doing it based on a 1 in 300 year event.

The river bank doesn't flood every month because of random chance, it floods every month because it has a really high likelihood of flooding.

It is like rolling a die and looking for 'a three or more', not like rolling a die looking for a six.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15089 on: September 20, 2016, 08:01:58 AM »
We have a "personal finance" presentation today at work, probably will provide good content for this thread..

Looking forward to hear about this!
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15090 on: September 20, 2016, 08:08:13 AM »
Not overheard but a corporate HR email regarding 2017 benefits has a bullet on the offer to cash out upto 40 hours of leave time. I'd love to see the 2017 metrics in 2018 to know how many of my co-workers cashed out. And why, and what did they spend the money on... but I can easily predict that based on past performance, with p>0.5.
Who am I kidding? Fuck that saving shit, it'll be p>0.7.

My company allows you to sell back sick time at the end of the year, also up to 40 hours. I sell mine back pretty much every year because I haven't been using it.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15091 on: September 20, 2016, 08:45:04 AM »
Not overheard but a corporate HR email regarding 2017 benefits has a bullet on the offer to cash out upto 40 hours of leave time. I'd love to see the 2017 metrics in 2018 to know how many of my co-workers cashed out. And why, and what did they spend the money on... but I can easily predict that based on past performance, with p>0.5.
Who am I kidding? Fuck that saving shit, it'll be p>0.7.

My company allows you to sell back sick time at the end of the year, also up to 40 hours. I sell mine back pretty much every year because I haven't been using it.

Wish we had that, but at least we have a very generous vacation policy here. At my old job, where we had a horrible vacation policy (it has improved since I left), I'd often use sick days as a mental health day. Kinda needed it too.

marcela

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15092 on: September 20, 2016, 12:40:40 PM »
Not overheard but a corporate HR email regarding 2017 benefits has a bullet on the offer to cash out upto 40 hours of leave time. I'd love to see the 2017 metrics in 2018 to know how many of my co-workers cashed out. And why, and what did they spend the money on... but I can easily predict that based on past performance, with p>0.5.
Who am I kidding? Fuck that saving shit, it'll be p>0.7.

My company allows you to sell back sick time at the end of the year, also up to 40 hours. I sell mine back pretty much every year because I haven't been using it.
We can cash out 16 vacation hours in December and I do it every year. I'd cash out a heck of a lot more if it were allowed. However we accrue 4 hours sick/6 hours vacation a pay period. I will have 194/vacation and 98.5/sick at year's end, even with planned deductions for the cashout and holiday travels.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15093 on: September 20, 2016, 01:33:39 PM »
[Tangentially related to my biggest pet peeve about most modern construction. Cheap, shoddy construction hidden beneath a shiny veneer.

I'll second that. Anecdotes I know.

Watched a roofing crew put new shingles on an old house a few years back. No roofing felt under the shingles.

Replaced a door+frame on my house recently. Discovered builders did not wrap the house. Did not attach door frame to the studs. Did not put anything under the door threshold to shed water or seal out water.

Basically build it as quickly as possible and sell it. Our house is okay and problems are getting corrected as we do maintenance like replace HVAC, doors, floors, etc. Well I mean we are doing them to a higher standard than the builders originally did.

Nothing wrong with skipping the felt, IF you don't have shingles blowing off, due to high wind.  Unlike house wrap, felt is there as a nothing but a pre-installed tarp, for a damaged roof. Personally, I never roof without 30LB felt, and ice and water shield under shingles, but I know that 99.9% of the felt I installed will never do a thing for the building it's nailed to.  The whole failure to protect the subfloor under the door thing, just amazes me. I have been using rubber flashing under doors for decades, and every new framer I hire asks, "what's that for?" Given that a lot of new pre-hung exterior doors with adjustable sills, leak right from the factory, I can't believe that it's rare to see anybody actually install them correctly.  Finally, believe it or not, with the wet garbage that passes for framing lumber lately,  shimming and nailing the door frame to the jack studs is often a bad idea. If you install the unit by face nailing the brickmold with galvanized #12 finish nails, you have a much better shot of correcting a non-functional door, as the house dries out and "settles".  You can usually bring a door frame back into alignment with carefully concealed, long screws, IF you haven't shimmed it and nailed it tight to the jacks. Generally I agree with your thoughts. I built new places for three decades, am closing on the sale of my three year old, personal home in a few days, and wouldn't mind ending up in a nice mid-century fixer-upper that has real hardwood floors and a full brick/stone exterior. I'm soooo tired of chipboard and vinyl siding that I could puke.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15094 on: September 20, 2016, 02:04:09 PM »
Not overheard but a corporate HR email regarding 2017 benefits has a bullet on the offer to cash out upto 40 hours of leave time. I'd love to see the 2017 metrics in 2018 to know how many of my co-workers cashed out. And why, and what did they spend the money on... but I can easily predict that based on past performance, with p>0.5.
Who am I kidding? Fuck that saving shit, it'll be p>0.7.

My company allows you to sell back sick time at the end of the year, also up to 40 hours. I sell mine back pretty much every year because I haven't been using it.
We can cash out 16 vacation hours in December and I do it every year. I'd cash out a heck of a lot more if it were allowed. However we accrue 4 hours sick/6 hours vacation a pay period. I will have 194/vacation and 98.5/sick at year's end, even with planned deductions for the cashout and holiday travels.

i spend every PTO hour i get and then some by flexing time.  thats my time i make enough and my company ESOP is really my driving force to reach FIRE so i'm taking all the time off i can get.  may drop to 4-8s when we have kids in a couple years.  i'd do it now but i need some socially acceptable reason.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15095 on: September 20, 2016, 02:19:16 PM »
We've had two 1/500 year floods here in the past 40 years, and about 3 1/100 year floods.
Indeed.  I've heard similar things often. 

And I'd question the accuracy not only due to data limitations, as mentioned above, but (even if those were all accurate and 100% known) due to the ability to project forward based on them, mostly due to the climate changing.

Quote
The new (proposed) 100 year flood zone would have put 1/4 of the city (including the national mall, any fed buildings and almost all of the SW quadrant underwater once every 100 years.

I think you all (and a lot of officials) fall for a common misconception here.
A 100 Year flood does not mean you get a flood every 100 years. It means the HIGHEST flood in 100 years is this amount.
There is nothing in this statistic saying you cant have 3 100-year floods (3 times the water gets that high) in one year. Or 50 times a 99year-high flood in 100 years.

My 2 cents: If you want a realistic danger, go for the 10 or at most 20 year flood. 20 year is what german drainage in cities is build for btw. And about once a month a city is flooded because the drainage cant keep up. Because there is more then 1 city.

GOOD point.  Bottom line is you can't really predict this stuff ... You can look at historical records but it's really hard to make odds on black swans.  Insurance companies try, but I'm not convinced they do a great job

Also, fault tends to be bursty, and it cascades.

Bursty fault: some weird weather patterns occur in a region and cause unusually wet weather, resulting in a 10-year, 20-year, and 100-year flood within a 5-year span. Then the weather pattern adjusts and just after people panic and build a massive flood control wall, the climate gets suddenly dry and stays that way for a decade.

Cascading fault: a 100-year flood takes out a levee that would have protected a city against the normal seasonal flooding, but the storm sewer system is only designed to handle normal seasonal water levels with the assumption that the levee is in place. With the levee no longer providing protection, ordinary weather patterns now overwhelm the storm sewer system, resulting in 10-year, 5-year, and 20-year flood levels in a region that was formerly protected. The statistical model should change in response to loss of a flood control mechanism.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15096 on: September 20, 2016, 03:33:26 PM »
A Bayesian would say that if you had a flood once, you're gonna have a flood again.   ...   Ok, she might not say that, but that's the essence.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15097 on: September 21, 2016, 06:16:35 AM »
Husband's (all-male) team got onto the subject of WAGs and spending last week*.

One of the guys complained that his live-in girlfriend (previously mentioned in this thread) buys at least one new lipstick each month. At a cost of $180 each.

More than $2k a year on lipstick.

When they first met, she gave him a tour of her shoes. "These were $1500, these were $500..." It was only after they moved in together that she 'fessed up to $30k in CC debt.
The tour of her shoes should have been a clear warning sign to him and the perfect timing to make a run for it. Losts of shoes, purses = high maintenance. When I was still dating I had a ‘no shoes or purses women’ rule I lived by. Seems to have worked out okay as I ended up with a more or less frugal partner
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15098 on: September 21, 2016, 09:19:36 AM »
Husband's (all-male) team got onto the subject of WAGs and spending last week*.

One of the guys complained that his live-in girlfriend (previously mentioned in this thread) buys at least one new lipstick each month. At a cost of $180 each.

More than $2k a year on lipstick.

When they first met, she gave him a tour of her shoes. "These were $1500, these were $500..." It was only after they moved in together that she 'fessed up to $30k in CC debt.
The tour of her shoes should have been a clear warning sign to him and the perfect timing to make a run for it. Losts of shoes, purses = high maintenance. When I was still dating I had a ‘no shoes or purses women’ rule I lived by. Seems to have worked out okay as I ended up with a more or less frugal partner

*shrugs* I have 2 pairs of boots and a pair of shoes that cost 300$+ each. Granted, I bought them 8 years ago, and am still wearing them and wouldn't buy more (also known as: 1 pair of expensive heels, maintained, rather than 3 cheap pairs a year, costs less in the long run, and my feet never hurt).

 Shoes aren't necessarily Evil. But lord, I wouldn't give someone a walk-through of my closet and give price listings; that's just vulgar. And I wouldn't date someone who does that, either.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15099 on: September 21, 2016, 12:16:13 PM »
Husband's (all-male) team got onto the subject of WAGs and spending last week*.

One of the guys complained that his live-in girlfriend (previously mentioned in this thread) buys at least one new lipstick each month. At a cost of $180 each.

More than $2k a year on lipstick.

When they first met, she gave him a tour of her shoes. "These were $1500, these were $500..." It was only after they moved in together that she 'fessed up to $30k in CC debt.
The tour of her shoes should have been a clear warning sign to him and the perfect timing to make a run for it. Losts of shoes, purses = high maintenance. When I was still dating I had a ‘no shoes or purses women’ rule I lived by. Seems to have worked out okay as I ended up with a more or less frugal partner

I agree, that would be a red flag.