Monday, August 20, 2007

"When I am taller ..."

My three year old daughter Aravis and I were sitting on the couch together. I asked her if she thought she would ever get "holes in her ears" (as she calls it) so that she could wear earrings. She responded, "When I get taller, I'll have brown hair and get married in the temple and get holes in my ears so I can wear pink earrings." That sounds like a well considered life plan.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Annual Report: Reserve Savings

Everybody should have some reserve savings for the metaphorical
rainy day. How are the family and I doing on this worthwhile goal? As
I mentioned in my post about a life events timeline this data would be
interesting to see next to a list of significant life events to help pinpoint
cause-effect relationships. After doing annual reports for a few years, one
should be able to spot seasonal trends and better plan for them.

What I want is a graph of reserve savings showing the balance throughout the
year normalized against the balance at the start of the year. This won't
reveal to all the world exactly how much savings we have, but will show
how we did at building on (or burning up) the reserve.

The data is easy enough to get. E*Trade stores a list of all the
transactions for our money market fund and displays them in a table like a
checkbook register. Unfortunately, they only export the data in Quicken and Microsoft Money formats, neither of which include the balance data.
With a bit of Perl and some pedestrian Excel goodness, it all becomes a
beautiful graph. You'll have to wait for the report to actually see it of

Monday, August 13, 2007

Annual Report: Life Events Timeline

Timeline widgets are great for seeing events
and how they relate to each other temporally. Synchronized graphs such as
those used in financial
and by Google
further show temporal
relationships and even hint at cause-effect relationships between events.

I've thought of several graphs for the annual
that would
have a chronological
X-axis and some
piece of data on the Y-axis. It would be interesting to put a timeline of
significant life events at the bottom of a page with all those graphs. The
X-axis would be synchronised across the graphs so that I could easily see how
the birth of a child affected my reserve savings or effective tax rate.

It should be easy enough to find data for the timeline from my own memory of life events such as getting married, children's birthdays, moving to a new house, starting a new job, etc.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"I've attached ..."

If I could have back the time I've spent resending emails when I forgot to
actually attach email attachments, I could spend less time sleeping and eating
and more time doing necessary stuff (thanks TanookiTravis). I need my email
client to ask me something like this: "You're trying to send an email in which
you say 'I've attached the report', but there is nothing attached to the email.
Are you sure you want to continue sending?"

has this feature. Has anyone already implemented it for