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Author Topic: Blog Thread 4; Live Free or Blog Hard - 'cos we all like blogging  (Read 220569 times)

Bluesummers

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About ID's, isn't debit cards valid ID in the states? Or does everybody just have credit cards? It's never an issue here as I pay with the same visa card that I use for ID.

It's valid as a secondary ID for some things, like "show two forms of ID" to prove it's you. Basically they want something with the same name as what's on your photo ID. Chances are, if the photo ID is a fake, you won't have a debit card or credit card with the same name on it.

But it doesn't suffice for a primary ID mainly because it doesn't have your date of birth or address on it. Even the few debit cards with your photo on it won't really cut it; those are more to prevent identity fraud if someone steals your debit card.
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bainidhe_dub

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I think most places want to see a photo ID. Most credit cards don't have a photo.
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Papersatan

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You also can get one when you are under 21, and under 18 actually, so they would be no good as proof of age.
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[12:07] ackblom12: hi again honey
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henri bemis

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Yeah, and some states (or maybe it was just MA?) won't even accept out-of-state licenses for alcohol. 

I'm quickly becoming addicted to facebook scrabbleish games, but I hate people who cheat, and you can always tell.  And they do it all the fucking time.  I keep wanting to grab people by the collar and yell 'OH, THAT'S YOUR WORD?  DEFINE THAT FOR ME, MOTHERFUCKER!' 

If you have to use an app to get your words, you're not playing pseudoscabble, you're just trolling the dictionary.
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Barmymoo

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Debit cards are rather different in the UK from Norwegian ones (I discovered this when Jens came to visit this time). For a start they do not have a photo of the owner on them. All mine has is my name and the card number, which I can never remember - useful as it stops me shopping online by mistake - and the chip.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

Jace

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Some debit cards have a photo on them, my old flatmate had one like that, but I don't know how common it is anymore. That was 4-5 years ago.
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Yeah, and some states (or maybe it was just MA?) won't even accept out-of-state licenses for alcohol. 

They're goddamned picky down in the Boston-area. You can't even use a non-driver's license state-issued ID, you have to have a specific "Liquor ID". So annoying. The only difference is that it says "LIQUOR ID" on it.
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Wait so you're letting something that happened 10 years ago ruin your quality of life? What are you, America? :psyduck:

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I've been happy for several years with a MasterCard from Citi with my photo on it. My signature is also embedded on the front. The drawback is that if I intend foreign travel, I can get a card with the chip but without the photo. Don't know why Citi can't put both on the same card.
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nekowafer

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My debit card has an amazingly terrible picture of me on it. I got it maybe... 5 years ago? And whenever I get the renewed card, it still has a picture. But I've never been able to use that as a form of ID.
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what she said was sad, but then, all the rejections she's had, to pretend to be happy could only be idiocy

Spriteling

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I had no idea debit cards were an accepted form of ID anywhere.  Learn something new every day I guess.
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Redball

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The picture on my credit card, plus an absent or illegible signature on the back, means I don't also get asked for a driver license.
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Barmymoo

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Eek. Just sent an email to a college alumna (she's an Associate, I think, which means she's specifically interested in supporting current students - a good sign!) asking if she can help me with my dissertation. I'm hoping she might be an in for similar visits to the ones I made this summer in the US. I always hate asking strangers for favours, it was pretty nerve-wracking hitting send. But I did it! I saw a reference to someone who looked like they might be interesting and useful and I contacted them! This is quite a big deal to me.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

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I'm quickly becoming addicted to facebook scrabbleish games, but I hate people who cheat, and you can always tell.  And they do it all the fucking time.  I keep wanting to grab people by the collar and yell 'OH, THAT'S YOUR WORD?  DEFINE THAT FOR ME, MOTHERFUCKER!' 

If you have to use an app to get your words, you're not playing pseudoscabble, you're just trolling the dictionary.

While there certanialy are people using other apps to cheat, Scrabble is not a vocabulary game and many players know only that a word is legal, and not what it means.  Similarly, knowing which words are not legal, even though you think they should be ("tase" is not a legal word, even though it has been adopted (from the proper noun Taser) for some years now to be the verb for shocking someone with a stun gun.  The OED recognizes it as a word for goodness sake!!)
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[12:07] ackblom12: hi again honey
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Zingoleb

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I played down 'zen' on a triple word once in Scrabble; turns out it's not even in the Scrabble dictionary! I lost that game pretty harshly.
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Welu

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I'm quickly becoming addicted to facebook scrabbleish games, but I hate people who cheat, and you can always tell.  And they do it all the fucking time.  I keep wanting to grab people by the collar and yell 'OH, THAT'S YOUR WORD?  DEFINE THAT FOR ME, MOTHERFUCKER!' 

If you have to use an app to get your words, you're not playing pseudoscabble, you're just trolling the dictionary.

While there certanialy are people using other apps to cheat, Scrabble is not a vocabulary game and many players know only that a word is legal, and not what it means.  Similarly, knowing which words are not legal, even though you think they should be ("tase" is not a legal word, even though it has been adopted (from the proper noun Taser) for some years now to be the verb for shocking someone with a stun gun.  The OED recognizes it as a word for goodness sake!!)

From little bits I've read, in professional competitive Scrabble, it is considered bad form to ask a definition. Since everyone there has basically just learned of as many words as possible, the letters are what's important and not the meaning. Although in those situations there's a mediating verifier type person.
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Papersatan

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'Zen' is not a legal word because it is 'proper' like 'Finnish' or 'Christian'.
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[12:07] ackblom12: hi again honey
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henri bemis

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Oh, I know it's not a vocabulary game, I was just being hyperbole-mad at people who only ever play obscure words, who either didn't know a word existed before they plugged their letters into a generator, or are just much better than me :-P
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Jace

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Qi is a word but chi is not a word in scrabble.
I hate scrabble. If you ever want to not be friends with me ask me to play scrabble. I'll probably agree, but you better be ready for death threats.
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Zingoleb

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spelled out one irate block at a time.
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Every year at the AP Calculus grading, there's a game room, and there's always a scrabble tournament.  I remember the exclamations of joy when "Qi" was finally officially allowed as a word - hey, a use for Q that didn't need a U! 


The cribbage tournament's even more cutthroat, though...
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Zingoleb

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not just a q-without-u word, but more importantly a two-letter word with q in it

two-letters are the most important words always. I can rack up 50 points pretty easy by playing a three letter word and making three two-letter words in doing so.

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Patrick

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Today I jammed with my friend Erika, and we figured out a buncha songs to have both of us learn. Then I went through my handheld recorder and checked out some of my older song sketches. If my real job isn't gonna have me for a week and a half, might as well work on things I'd rather be working on.
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Akima

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Qi is a word but chi is not a word in scrabble.
While qi is the correct pinyin Romanisation for 气, which is not a proper noun, it is also the romanisation for 齐 as in the Qi Dynasty which is a proper noun.

Are "alpha" and "beta" valid Scrabble words? If so, why would "chi" not be? As well as being the Wade-Giles romanisation of 气,chi is a letter in the Greek alphabet. Every mathematician, or at least every statistician, knows the chi-squared test!
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jwhouk

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qaid and qait have always been acceptable in Scrabble. I have the book to show it.

Best thing to do in Scrabble is to agree on a dictionary and go from there. If it's not in the dictionary, it's not allowed.
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LTK


I reluctantly agreed to play a game of pub scrabble a while back with some fellow students, because I remembered that the last time I played it I was completely rubbish. But that was Dutch language scrabble, and it turns out that I totally rock at English language scrabble.

It still annoyed me that people kept using archaic words from various dictionaries, though.
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

Barmymoo

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Random thing to post but I just read about a guy who is suing Oxford University because they wouldn't let him study for a 1-year MSc because he couldn't prove that he had 12,900 to cover his living costs.

What on EARTH do they think students spend? The average rent for a single room in Oxford is 535. Let's be generous to the university and say that accommodation will work out at about 7000 a year. Who on this earth spends 6000 a year on living costs excluding rent? I live on less than a third of that! If I were living on just my student loans, and not my earnings from various jobs, I'd be surviving on a sixth of that.

Just couldn't believe that a university which claims to be encouraging applicants from deprived backgrounds could have such an outrageously out-of-touch view of student lifestyles. That sum doesn't include tuition, by the way - he had a separate loan for that. They will not accept a masters student who cannot show that they have 13,000 in the bank at the start of the course.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

Spriteling

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Random thing to post but I just read about a guy who is suing Oxford University because they wouldn't let him study for a 1-year MSc because he couldn't prove that he had 12,900 to cover his living costs.

What on EARTH do they think students spend? The average rent for a single room in Oxford is 535. Let's be generous to the university and say that accommodation will work out at about 7000 a year. Who on this earth spends 6000 a year on living costs excluding rent? I live on less than a third of that! If I were living on just my student loans, and not my earnings from various jobs, I'd be surviving on a sixth of that.

Just couldn't believe that a university which claims to be encouraging applicants from deprived backgrounds could have such an outrageously out-of-touch view of student lifestyles. That sum doesn't include tuition, by the way - he had a separate loan for that. They will not accept a masters student who cannot show that they have 13,000 in the bank at the start of the course.
That's pretty crazy.  Even to get a student visa to the UK, you don't have to show that much money for living expenses.  I think the first time I did it, I only had to show about 5000.  It's strange to think that a university wants you to have more money than the immigration-phobic government does.
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pwhodges

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Mind you, Oxford is now (this weekend's papers tell me) the most expensive place to live in the UK, edging ahead of London and Cambridge.
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"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

Barmymoo

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Even so, I don't believe it is six times more expensive than Cambridge. OK, I live very frugally, but even accounting for that - is it really three times as expensive as Cambridge?

I'm tired again. It's 9pm, and I got more than nine hours' sleep last night and every night this week. WHY AM I TIRED?
« Last Edit: 27 Jan 2013, 13:01 by Barmymoo »
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

pwhodges

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No, of course not - and I imagine that (as usual) there is some crucial information about the situation and the requirements that has not been reported.  In the first instance, the report veers back and forth between blaming the college and the university (which is common when reporting things in Oxford and Cambridge, of course).
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"Being human, having your health; that's what's important."  (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

Barmymoo

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You're quite right of course, news reporting is notoriously incapable of presenting the whole story. So I have looked into it. I found this on the official website for the university:

Quote
DOCUMENTING YOUR FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS

If you receive an offer of a place, your college will require you to complete a College Financial Guarantee form providing evidence that you have sufficient funding to cover your  fees and living expenses for the duration of your programme; for some part-time non-matriculated courses, the Department for Continuing Education may also require you to provide satisfactory evidence of funding arrangements.

No mention of any sums, but it does direct you to the Fees, Funding and Scholarships calculator for a "personalised estimate of the amount of funding you will need per year". I am not sure that my definition of personalised is the same as theirs, because no matter what information you enter, it informs you that your living costs will be 12,900. It even gives a breakdown of that figure:

Minimum spend per 12 months
Accommodation   6,200
Utility bills    1,050
Food 2,950
General living costs (clothes, books, socialising, etc) 2,700
TOTAL 12,900

2,950 for food. That is 56.73 per week. That is more than my parents spend each week to feed two people, three cats and a dog.

And when I click for more information on this flabbergasting sum, it informs me:

Quote
The cost above is based on a mixture of eating meals in college and self-catering. Meals in colleges are subsidised and can be significantly cheaper than purchasing meals outside. Self-catering can also minimise food costs.

Self-catering can also minimise food costs. Yes. Yes it can. I, for example, spend about 10 a week on food. Usually less, although I do have an initial outlay of about 40 a term to get in freezer staples.

Oxford, you are out of your mind. Off to find out whether Cambridge is similarly insane.


Edit: interestingly, the sum cited for undergraduates is 1,800 per year on food. It states that the figures only apply to undergraduates who live in college during term and go home for vacations. Assuming that the Oxford terms are the same length as Cambridge ones (three eight week terms, generally 30 weeks in residence per year) that is 60 a week. Do people seriously live like this at the age of 18?!


Additional edit: Cambridge specifies its minimum maintenance amount (as in, the amount graduate students have to show they have to live on) as 11,750. I'm genuinely staggered. Am I really in the minority? Does everyone spend this much a week on food and I just hadn't realised?
« Last Edit: 27 Jan 2013, 13:45 by Barmymoo »
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

Zingoleb

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Whoa! How do people eat that much? I thought I was eating too much when I was spending fifty dollars a week!
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Barmymoo

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I've thought about it, and actually you could spend that much money on food. If you went to a restaurant twice a week and ordered pizza every other day. But I simply can't believe that Oxbridge have such a low view of the intelligence and life skills of their graduate students that they feel they have to REQUIRE them to show that they can finance a lifestyle of irresponsible budgeting and profligacy.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

jwhouk

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You're quite right of course, news reporting is notoriously incapable of presenting the whole story. So I have looked into it. I found this on the official website for the university:

<SNIP>

Minimum spend per 12 months
Accommodation   6,200 (US $9,796)
Utility bills    1,050 (US $1,659)
Food 2,950 (US $4,661)
General living costs (clothes, books, socialising, etc) 2,700 (US $4,266)
TOTAL 12,900 (US $20,382)

2,950 for food. That is 56.73 (US $89.63) per week. That is more than my parents spend each week to feed two people, three cats and a dog.

 :? How the heck do they expect a grad student to make $20k while taking classes? And $170/week for food and socializing???

Quote
Additional edit: Cambridge specifies its minimum maintenance amount (as in, the amount graduate students have to show they have to live on) as 11,750. I'm genuinely staggered. Am I really in the minority? Does everyone spend this much a week on food and I just hadn't realised?

I'm... I'm not sure.

EDIT: Okay, I looked up on MY alma mater's website about the costs to attend school. Here's what I found:
  • Graduate Non-resident student, 9 or more credits: (all amounts US, per semester) $8,815
  • Suite housing on-campus: $2,568
  • Mega Dining Dollars: $1,850 (includes ALL available meals @ dining halls
  • On-Campus Resident Parking: $110
  • TOTAL COST PER SEMESTER: $13,343
Keep in mind that these are the MAXIMUMS, and they're based upon the 2012-13 academic year. If you actually live in Wisconsin, or take a lesser housing/meal/parking program, you can whittle that cost WAY down.

Basically, assuming you're going to be doing this for the entire school year (Fall/Spring semesters), that would be $26,686 for one school year - about 16,890.

Of course, no one would actually spend that much on graduate school at Whitewater - not anyone who's normal, that is.

Maybe an Emily type. ;)
« Last Edit: 27 Jan 2013, 14:53 by jwhouk »
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Carl-E

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Beer is only that expensive in a bar.  Same problem as the food in a restaurant, it's cheaper to buy it yourself and "dine in", even with friends...
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ackblom12

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Nothing makes you realize how much you drink as much as paying bar prices for alcohol. $5 per shot's worth of cheap bourbon adds up damn quick.
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Carl-E

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Most bar owners hope that by the time it costs too much, you've had enough not to be able to add (or even count)  anymore...
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Zingoleb

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At that rate, drinking anything at all is way too damn pricey. Youch.
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ackblom12

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It's why I do it incredibly rarely. Bottles of liquor are the best way to go.
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jwhouk

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I should point out that you can tag on extras for gas to that total, because another thing NO student at Whitewater would do is stay around on campus on the weekends. ;)
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"Character is what you are in the Dark." - D.L. Moody
There is no joke that can be made online without someone being offended by it.
Life's too short to be ashamed of how you were born.
8645

nekowafer

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The boyfriend and I spend at least $150 a week on food... some of that is that he has expensive tastes (like, almost refuses to get generic brands of anything), some of it is that we are both big people and we eat a lot. I feel pretty guilty about it, to be honest. And this doesn't even factor in work lunches which are generally fast food/restaurants...
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what she said was sad, but then, all the rejections she's had, to pretend to be happy could only be idiocy

LTK


I'm not sure where I fit in. If I buy my own food every day of the week, it costs me around 24 ($32/20), I estimate. Spending fri-sun at my parents' brings that down to 16 ($22/13). On myself I live like Scrooge McDuck, compared to what I get to eat at my parents'. My breakfast and lunch are two slices of bread, one peanut butter, one dark chocolate sprinkles (an American friend thought eating a sandwich with just chocolate sprinkles was really weird) and I snack on apples or bananas. I make my own dinner 9 times out of 10, buy everything fresh because I don't have a freezer, and make enough for two meals so I can eat it again the next day. I drink tea or tap water, and I don't buy any other food or drinks. I might be able to knock a few euros off if I went full vegetarian, so I can kind of see how May spends so little money, but if I bought even cheaper food I'd start to worry about my health. Long-term, that is; I'm sure that I can live entirely on cheese omelettes and vitamin C pills while still functioning, but not for say, five years.

I think what we're forgetting (before 8 new replies were posted) is that the average 18-year-old probably spends as much money on booze as we do on food. Factor in two beers every night at the local pub, or a six-pack from the supermarket once in a while, and I'm sure you hit 50 in no time.

I'm still rather surprised you can live off so little, May. Can you get food especially cheap? Or does buying in bulk make that much of a difference?

What I'm also surprised by is that it appears that I'll have about 20 left after my rent is paid for this month. Usually I have to withdraw some allowance from my savings account to break even - which is accounted for by my deposit of a year's worth of external student financing. I guess having fuck all to do for an entire month really makes a difference!
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

Papersatan

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Sometimes there is a bonus to them estimating high.  My school estimates $18,196 for Sept-April for books and supplies, room and board and 'miscellaneous'.  Because I have no income I can borrow up to that much each semester to cover my cost of living.  If I were single that would be more than I need, but I stretch it to provide for two people, and it is not quite enough. 
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[12:07] ackblom12: hi again honey
[12:08] ackblom12: I'm tired of lookin at that ugly little face

Barmymoo

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LTK, there are probably several factors - one is definitely that buying in sort-of bulk (as in, I buy on 3 for 2 offers if it's something I'll definitely have bought anyway, because of my freezer) does cut down the price. Another is that I get my vegetables from the market which halves the price. I don't eat meat, which is expensive. And really, I don't eat very much. I realised this when I went on a calorie counting diet and actually had to increase the amount I was eating to hit their "reduced" daily goals, and had it confirmed whenever I fed the xB and when Jens came to stay - both of them ate at least four times as much as me.

Edit: wanted to restate the fact that the sums which I quoted are the amount which you have to show that you have before you're accepted onto the course. It isn't just an estimate of what you'll need (and then because you are an adult you are expected to decide whether or not you actually have it). It is a financial barrier to study.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

Zingoleb

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I'm getting frustrated with food. I don't have any income and I've been stealing a ton of food whenever I go "shopping" (buy ten bucks worth, get a hundred dollars worth!) but it's honestly not enough to live on. I can't even cook because the oven's not working, and on top of that we don't have anything like bread, milk, butter...

I'm supposed to be getting ~3,000 calories per day (remember, I am a huge person - ask May!) but I'm usually barely cracking 1,000 when I bother to count.
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lepetitfromage

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Uni, what grocery store chains are near you? I've cut back a shitload on my grocery expenses just by matching up the sales to coupons. Just as an example.....this week I'm buying $135 worth of groceries for less than $30. And I'm getting $10.25 back. I buy coupons for things I know we need in bulk on eBay and I often end up with some coupons left over. I know that without income, acquiring said coupons can be a pain in the ass but if I know what stores you can use, I can hook you up with a bunch of coupons to get free stuff. People underestimate coupons but they've helped a LOT of people keep food on their tables.
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Barmymoo

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Uni, where are you living at the moment?
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

Spriteling

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I spend about 30 a week on food, although that also includes stuff for my cat.  Sometimes I'll also by junk food for snacks, etc, on top of that, but I never top 40.
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Zingoleb

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With my father.

Also, keeping under budget isn't the issue here; I have literally no income, and since my wallet has been stolen (along with...so much fucking else) I have to pay to replace everything in it. So. I pretty much get food whenever I get it, and since Walmart's the biggest place around here and they compact all their trash, there's not a lot of availability w/r/t/ dumpster diving.
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lepetitfromage

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I gathered that much...the good thing about walmart (ack, scary phrase) is that they price match EVERYTHING. I meant that I would send you coupons for stuff you could use so that essentially, you could get a bunch of stuff for free. I use livingrichwithcoupons.com to find deals at my stores and they put up a post every week with matchups on how to shop for free. There have been days where I had absolutely no money to spend on groceries and still walked out of the store with $20 worth of food- legally.
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If you try to take all the steps at once, you'll fall over.
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