them’s the breaks

Ordered a box of KN95 masks today, and a big bottle of Vitamin D. Paid a little extra for quicker shipping. Ran about 110$ total.

Still holding off on grocery shopping. Numbers are falling in my county, but still up above 60 new cases per day per 100k population. I bought some snacks at the Dollar General next door over the inauguration, and picked up some frozen veggies at the same time. I might make it another 2 weeks.

Bad news on the van–the exhaust shop I took it to didn’t know anything about the DEF (diesel emission fluid) system that these Mercedes diesels run. They fixed a rusted out chunk of pipe for me, but that’s it. I drove it for ~60 miles since then to give the codes a chance to update, and soon I’ll jot down whatever codes it’s throwing now and then reset them and see what pops back up. Also, assuming everything is not resolved by that piece of pipe being replaced, planning on calling lots of shops nearby and seeing if anyone works on these MB DEF systems. The consensus seems to be that the dealerships have to handle that. My brother, a redneck who’s been driving diesels for decades and doing a lot of his own work, said he wouldn’t attempt it. And if no local mechanics will either, then I don’t think I have much chance of doing it myself. That means paying crazy prices to a dealership. Even if it comes to that, I’ll be calling some other dealerships to get quotes.

The first dealership quoted me 9k after taxes, and that’s about a 1/3 of what I paid for the van itself. I’ve thought about whether or not it makes sense to back out of this project, selling what I can to recoup as much of the cost as I can, and I don’t think I’m going to do that. I couldn’t get what I still owe for the van, and would take losses on everything else. This was a major issue that existed with the van before I bought it, and that I didn’t know to look out for ahead of time. Viewed that way, this cost is part of buying a high-mileage used vehicle (though it’s still a fucking lot). Once this is taken care of, hopefully there won’t be other major repairs for some years.

More bad news, this time on the job front…or rather a lack of news that I’m interpreting as bad. My current college has not yet offered me a job for next year. The department wants to hire me back, but the admin was supposed to have decided 10 days ago whether or not they’d allot funds for such a hire. The fact that they’ve pushed that decision back so far does not bode well to me.

So I’m going to pull the trigger on a Coursera program in data science, and start trying to move out of academia. I’m not feeling empowered in my job situation right now…every year I scramble for work and worry that there won’t be any. I do a damn fine job teaching, and am shown very little appreciation by the institutions, and zero loyalty. I’m drawn to the idea of making 6 figures and being able to choose from multiple available positions. I’m going to start today.

I bet I can save 500k in 10 years on a data science path. If I inherit another 500k over that timeline, I’ll be in good shape to live on passive income for the remainder.

I hate the idea of putting off the work I want to be doing (math, writing, and music) for so long, but them’s the breaks. Where I’m at is not great.

Another plus of moving into data science is that it would likely make it easier for me to move to another country. The fact that I’m in danger of losing my healthcare mid-pandemic has not endeared me to this country, and the relationship was already strained (to say the least). So…fuck all y’all. I’mma bounce. I’d love to end up in western Canada, working mostly from home near Vancouver. I think that sounds like a 5-year plan.