Posts Tagged ‘accounting’


§300 I’m back and I’m free

February 26, 2009

I know, it’s the third time I use that title. It just fits well. I never have time to blog when I’m in the middle of all exams, and then the first blog post when I’m done with the exams, is just… that. So, a few updates. Let’s start with the personal ones regarding the studies. If you remember, back in September when the semester started I wrote down the breakdown of the three classes I’m taking:

1. Price Theory A
Unit 1-2 Theory of the Consumer
Unit 3-4 Theory of the Consumer
Unit 5 Theory of the Consumer – Applications

2. Macroeconomy B
Unit 6-7 Inflation
Unit 8 The open market – basics of the theory
Unit 9 Currency transactions in the open market
Unit 10-11 Asset transactions in the open market
Unit 12 Economic growth

3. Principles of Financial Accounting and Reporting: Theoretical and Practical Aspects for Management
Unit 1 The theoretical foundations of financial accounting and reporting
Unit 2 Income measurements and reporting in the financial statements
Unit 3 The balance sheet: Statement of financial position
Unit 4 The accounting process for preparing the financial statements
Unit 5 Current assets: Cash, receivables and short term investments in securities
Unit 6 Current assets: Inventory
Unit 7 Plant and intangible assets
Unit 8 Liabilities
Unit 9 Stockholders’ equity
Unit 10 The statement of cash flows
Unit 11 Financial statements adjustment for changing prices
Unit 12 I Long term investments in equity services
            II Introduction to analysis of financial statements

If we start from the top: the Consumer Theory was a very detailed and advanced math class. It included indifference curves (multi-variable functions), and budget restrictions, finding the consumer demand curve related to price, income (Engel curve), and price of other products. Curve elasticity, Marginal Rate of Substitution, Effect of substitution and of income according to Hicks and Slutsky, DRP relations, Consumtion over time (investing or loaning), and inflation effects, Labor supply, etc, etc…
(Wow, there’s really everything on wikipedia – please remind me not to do this with the two other classes… I’ll be stuck in front of the computer forever).

In this class I had recorded online lessons. I heard them, I understood, I wrote it down, I forgot. Three days ago I started study (after I had finished the exam on the 23rd in accounting). We were allowed one A4 page written on both sides, so while I studied I wrote in Times New Roman size 8 all over the page (used tables to fill out every single little space) while also re-learning it all (wasn’t too hard, I just needed to be reminded of it all). The test was done today. A few difficult questions, for some reason they really loved to hit us with half-linear and concave indifference curves.

The accounting. Now that was fun. I already study a professional accounting class for work (exam in July) and work with it. What this had to offer was first of all a wider view of the profficiency, an idea of the work of the auditor and the different rules that are applied. However, the book still teaches mostly according to FASB principles, and Israel started to work with IFRS standards from the beginning of 2008. Large portions of the books were ditched, and a lot of additional material was made available on the web site. Unit 11 wasn’t taught at all (I guess that would only go in times of inflation). That test I did this past Monday. Same A4 paper thing there, but I was more prepared since I know this subject from other sources (but many things are unique for this class to me – like stocks and bonds and options etc… my job doesn’t deal with that nor have we learned it in the regular accounting class yet). One question that made me laugh was when we were asked to handle R&D costs for developing a medicine “for stress relief with accountants because of the change to the new IFRS standard”. Hah!

The macro-economy. Nothing. I’ve handed in all papers I need to, but I’ve enlisted to do the test in May. It was just too much with 3 classes at once. I had to survive somehow.

Future: Do a test in English in the end of March to prove that I speak English (do I?) and start the two (only two!) classes I’m taking this spring. Introduction to Financing, and Introduction to Management Accounting and Pricing. I need both these and the English exam to be accepted to the advanced class I intend to take after the summer. Analysis of Financial Reports. Only one class. It’s the first time I’ll take an advanced one. And next spring I will not take any classes at all, because I’ll be working on a seminary essay in that.

Ok, enough bragging…

One other thing that made me postpone this post is that it’s number 300. It has to be something special! Has to! Right? It’s a little anniversary! My 300th blog post since I started in November 2006. Woho!

In work news we had a seminar about personal developement, and setting goals and time frames, and developing and evaluating progress etc etc. I ave around 10 goals to reach by the end of 2009. Some easy some really hard.

On the personal note…

Me and my wife discovered the game of scrabble. We have an old one from the 50’s that we inherited from my grandfather’s late wife. It’s fun (the scrabble, not the wife). Unfortunally I always loose (mostly) but never mind… now she has obtained the official letter count and letter score of Swedish scrabble just to be able to convert the language. Great. Guess who is better than who in Swedish…?

We have turtles! Through some contacts we have been able to get two small turtles who now live in our back yard. Their names are Skalman and Botvid. The kids love them.

From some time next week I will start to take care of my congregation’s accounting. This will be fun and easy. Not like at work… =) They’ve asked me earlier but I’ve demanded to finish my tests first.

On a more international news note, I’m glad to learn that all deadly conflicts in the world are solved. In the past there have been killings in Darfur, Uganda, Somalia, Sri Lanka, etc. But apparently that is all gone and the world has become overnight a place of care bears. The news apparently don’t even have anything to report about anymore, so they fill their sites with news about Obama family dog purchases, and Swedish princess Victoria’s engagement to a “commoner”. I am so happy to hear this. Now we just need to start an international soldier knitting contest, to keep the soldiers of the world busy with something useful until we have dismissed them all and disarmed all weapons.

And we will finish with a philosophical question: If an accountant makes journal entries in the middle of the woods, and no auditor is around to audit him. Does he still KICK ASS?

Now I need to get some dishes done and then fall asleep as soon as possible. I can barely stand straight anymore. I slept 2 hours last night and 3 hours the night before that. Sat up almost all night and studied for the test. Good night.

By the way, do a quick google or wikipedia search on Jean-Francois Champollion. Now there’s a pure genius!


§284 The beautiful art of Accountancy

January 22, 2009

Below is a translation to English of an article I wrote for teenagers, trying to push them to study accountancy and killing the myth that it’s a boring job. Here we go.

Bookkeeping and accountancy is one of the coolest thing you can do for a living. It’s so cool you’re not even worthy to have me write about it here. But I write it anyway so you’ll learn what it is to be cool for real.

First of all you’re an accountant. It has a name. It’s beautiful. It’s impressive. I’m an accountant.

Bookkeeping is the work in itself – to write down all the stupid stuff that the company you work for is doing. Accountancy is using the bookkeeping results to create nice reports in the end of the year showing how much you own, how much you owe, how big profit you made, etc. Accountancy is also the science of analysing the work and researching how effective it is.

The coolest thing with it is that you can work for anyone. 
Airlines, goose liver manufacturers, shoe shops, the State, IT-companies, flag pole polishing service companies, travel agencies, churches, barbers, non profit organisations, weapon industry plant, candy taste quality check service companies, insurance companies, theatres… they all need accountants. Just go out on the street. Every shop you see uses the service of an accountant. It must be the coolest and most popular profession ever. Have you ever heard of unemployment in the accountancy business? That there’s no job because people are not interested in having money? Exactly.

If anyone had told me when I was 18 that I would become an accountant I would’ve laughed in his face. It took a long time before I understood exactly how awesome this profession is. Accountancy and bookkeeping has had a label of “boring” for too long. It’s time to snap out of it! Now go to the closest accountant you can find and give him a hug and apologize that you ever thought they were boring. Don’t let him fool you! Under the neat tie and the white collar is a crazy beast that juggles debits and credits in the air just like that, and that accounts so expertly good that every single auditor loose track. When he sits at his computer and write journal entry after journal entry, and fix them up in neat T-accounts in the general ledger where he analyses and summarizes and creates monthly trial balances, he kicks your ASS! Yes, yours, specifically your ass!

Here are the basics. The balance sheet is the basic report that shows in the end of the year exactly what the company looks like. It’s divided in three. The first one is assets. All the stuff that the company owns. From the value of computer and buildings, to the value of the the inventory to the money on the bank. The second part is liabilities. How much you owe others. Loans, unpaid invoices, etc. The last one is Capital and is the actual difference between assets and liabilities. The capital of a company is usually a good indication on how rich it is. A company can own millions of dollars but also have million dollar debts. Then they’re not really that rich. But even if the capital is disgustingly high, you also need to take a look at the type of assets. If a company has a capital of 3.5 million, but 3 million of its assets are buildingsand computers that they can’t do anything with except letting them stand where they stand, then they don’t have that much real money. But they own a lot of crap.

So the accountancy equation is that capital plus liabilities equals assets. In order to write this correctly, you use the “double entry system” (enter dramatic music here) bam-bam-bam. Every thing you do is written in two places. If a company buys a computer then it’s a plus on stuff (“fixed assets”) and a minus on money assets. Liabilities and capital didn’t change, a piece of assets only changed form and became another piece of asset. But if you pay salaries, that’s an expense. So that’s a minus on assets and a minus on capital. If you buy a bunch of furniture but haven’t paid yet, it’s a plus on furniture assets, and a plus on liabilities. When you’ve paid the dept, it’s a minus on liabilities and a minus on money assets. When you get an electricity bill but haven’t paid it, it’s a minus on capital and a plus on liabilities. When you pay the bill it’s a minus on liabilities and a minus on assets. Whatever you do, capital plus liabilities always equal assets.

Isn’t that totally super awesome? Just writing that gave me an orgasm.

Anything that is PLUS on assets or MINUS on liabilities or capital is called DEBIT.

Anything that is MINUS on assets or PLUS on liabilities or capital is called CREDIT.

So all  above examples would be written:
Debit – computer 5000 USD
Credit – bank account 5000 USD

Debit – salary expenses 5milj USD
Credit – bank account 5milj USD

Debit – furniture assets 7USD
Credit – furniture debt 7USD

Debit – furniture debt 7USD
Credit – bank account 7USD

Debit – electricity expenses 6000 USD
Credit – unpaid bills 6000 USD

Debit – unpaid bills 6000 USD
Credit – bank account 6000 USD

What you see above is one of the most beautiful things humans have ever created. It’s called journal entries, and they are all written in the journal and later copied to the “General Ledger”. Every row you read above like “bank account” or “furniture assets” etc are an “account” an works pretty much like any bank account. These accounts are written in the General Ledger with all the debits and credits of the year and the final balance which can be a debit balance or a credit balance. Nowadays we usually have all these in computers instead, but the terms are still the same that were used by the cool Italian guys that invented this system back in the 16th century. (A “ledger” is a book that is “lying down”)

If you’re with me this far, there’s something you can shout “HEY” to. The bank account. When I pay money it says Credit! What kinda crap is that? Credit is when I receive money, isn’t it?

That’s when I answer WROOOOONG! Haha! And then I point my finger and laugh at your ignorance and incompetence. When you get credit, others agree to owe you money. When you write credit you are giving credit, that is you owe someone else money. The bank writes from its own point of view. When you receive money they write credit (they gave you credit) because then the bank owes you more money. But you write debit because you have increased the bank’s debt to you. If the bank takes money from you they write debit because they have lowered their debt to you. You write credit because the bank owes you less money. You gave the bank credit.

Too complicated? Then go become something else. We don’t want idiots like you amongst us accountants. We own you.

Except the above mentioned balance sheet, there’s also the need of an Income-Expense report that shows how much money you’ve gained/lost during one year. Companies on the stock market usually need to do this every quarter.

There are 5 different types of accounts. Assets, Liabilities, Capital, Income and Expenses. The report that shows all the income and expense during the year is a summary of all final balances in all expense and income accounts. The final sum is the net profit or net loss. Profit if it’s a credit amount and loss if it’s a debit amount. All these accounts are then nullified in the end of every year, and the net profit/gain are written as change in capital of the year. This means that if you compare the balance sheet of year one with year two, the difference between the capitals should be year two’s total profit/loss. This is not always true though. There are a few times when something is taken or added to the capital directly without going through the I&E report. Mostly noted is the payout to the owners or stock holders and investments received from owners or stock holders. But sometimes also reevaluation of fixed assets or changes in owned stock’s worth can cause this.

If you so far understand everything and if you’re not totally lost,then you’re not an idiot. Congratulations. You’ve understood the basics of the accounting language and could without problems learn to be an accountant if you want. If?? Of course you want! Go find an accounting school today!


§278 Song boycott, Darfur, Water scams and Peace initiatives

January 15, 2009

First of all, this article in a Swedish newspaper calls for boycotting Israel in the Eurovision song contest. Apparently, people from war areas can’t sing. They get sore throats from screaming slogans at the enemy. The fact that it’s a duett of one jew and one arab that will represent Israel doesn’t change that fact.
The scary thing is that there’s a poll for readers, and apparently two thirds of the Swedes who have read that article are in favour of mixing entertainment and politics like this, and thinks it’s fine to discriminate Israel as much as possible (and how did you like the Beijing olympics…?)
Sweden is going downhill… my only hope now is that the normal people didn’t see the article.

Second of all today is last day to vote in before the inauguration. Hurry up and vote! Darfur was 40-something place last time I posted, and it’s up to 16th place now! That’s great, but there’s only one day left, and it needs to make the top ten in order to be presented to Obama.

Third of all, watch out for water scams. Scott Adams has tried to identify the next financial bubble that is likely to form and that will screw us over completely. It’s water.

Fourth of all, this article gives, in a very informative and non-propaganda way a good picture of how Israelis see this war, and why it’s different from the two previous Lebanon wars: “Israelis united on Gaza war as censure rises abroad“.

Fifth of all, Sri Lanka army says it’s best in the world at avoiding civilian casualties, even better than Israel, and that they’re the first country to defeat terrorism completely since Malaysia in the 50’s. The LTTE apparently disagrees. Then again, the LTTE leader is wanted by interpol for terrorism, so maybe they’re unreliable. On the other hand the army could be exagerrating. It’s hard to know in a country that journalists don’t really care about.

Sixth of all, people are still killed in Congo. Known as the deadliest conflict since WWII, the humanitarian need there is great. To all you people donating to Gaza – instead of donating to a good cause, where Hamas seizes your aid and gives it to whoever pays most, why don’t donate there, where other terrorists… well… will probably do the same.

Seventh of all, Jerusalemgypsy copied this article in her blog, and I’ll copy it to mine. It’s too good to be unread:


Gaza needs a peace stimulus

History shows the power of people-to-people contact.

By Daniel Noah Moses and Aaron Shneyer
from the January 14, 2009 edition (Christian Science Monitor – )

Jerusalem – “We have failed, haven’t we?” our colleague from Gaza said over the phone, amid the sound of explosions.

For those of us engaged in “people to people” peace building, the latest violent chapter in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is both tragic and surreal. All around us, people remain convinced that the solution to the conflict depends on military fatigues, armored tanks, Qassam rockets, suicide bombers, stones, and F-16s. But violence will only prolong the conflict and inflict deeper wounds.

Israelis and Palestinians have a choice. They can continue business as usual: violence, separation, hatred, and fear. Or they can recognize that they must look for mutually beneficial ways to share their small corner of the world.

People-to-people diplomacy works on the assumption that if Israelis and Palestinians connect at a human level, they will build compassion and trust. They will change public opinion. Painfully, slowly, they will create cross-border movements to transform the cultural and political reality on the ground.

Many question the impact of people-to-people diplomacy. But it has hardly been tried. Researchers estimate that perhaps 5 percent of the Palestinian and Israeli populations have engaged in an organized “dialogue” or “encounter” program of any kind. Since the beginning of the second intifada in 2000, an estimated 1 percent or less of Palestinian and Israeli youth have had such an opportunity. It’s unreasonable to dismiss people-to-people programs based on such a meager attempt.

When the conflict between Israel and Hamas took its latest ugly turn, Israeli and Palestinian graduates of the Seeds of Peace summer camp in Maine were at a citywide interfaith celebration in Haifa. While Hamas and the Israeli government communicated through violence, the “Seeds” communicated with words and affirmed their commitment to finding nonviolent ways to build a better future.

Participants of all ages in reconciliation programs such as Seeds of Peace go through profound personal transformations. They do not melt into soft consensus and sing “Kumbaya.” They struggle – intensely. They disagree radically about fundamental issues.

At the same time, they come to terms with the existence and the perspectives of the “other side.” They form deep, life-long relationships. They build trust.
But it is difficult for seeds to flourish when the ground is toxic. To cultivate a culture of peace, we need a critical mass. Leading up to the Good Friday agreements in Northern Ireland in 1998, at least $650 million in mostly government funds was spent over five years to bring Catholics and Protestants together. This people-to-people diplomacy touched at least one-sixth of the population (250,000 people).

There are nearly 12 million people within the borders of Israel and the Palestinian territories. To reach roughly the same proportion of people there as in Northern Ireland, let’s assume we need to spend at least the same amount per capita. This would be about $5 billion over the course of five years – $1 billion a year.

This is pocket change. The war in Iraq has cost the American government almost $600 billion so far. The United States gives more than $2 billion annually to Israel for military aid. Why not invest close to that amount in peace – $2 billion a year over the course of five years, just $10 billion for the first phase of a peace-building initiative worth its salt.

For such a “peace stimulus” to succeed:

1. The United States must lead an international campaign to bring together millions of Israelis and Palestinians for sustained people-to-people diplomacy.

2. The Israeli and Palestinian governments must make people-to-people diplomacy a public and vocal priority.

3. Programs need to be flexible. They must provide space for local initiative and local needs.

4. Resources must be devoted to programs that focus on community building, on dialogue within communities – on getting one’s own house in order.

5. Programs must be coordinated and sustained: Follow-up is essential. Individual organizations need to work together, to share resources, to have maximum impact. The Alliance For Middle East Peace is taking critical steps in this direction.

First, we have to navigate the geography of conflict: the enforced separation, through military and legal means; the emotional and psychological barriers, just as strong. We urge the international community to construct a chain of secure centers, safe havens, at the separation barriers, where Israelis, Palestinians and internationals can meet safely and interact as equals.

With war raging, with people dying, with pain, anger, and hatred intensifying, world citizens of conscience must take responsibility and realize our power to help transform this conflict. A well-coordinated people-to-people initiative would do more than perhaps anything to ease the tensions in the greater Middle East and on the world scene.


§265 Tired… so tired

January 1, 2009

Never ever ever again 3 courses at once. I can’t deal with it. It’s impossible. A few weeks ago I focused on the accounting and the macroeconomy course to get the papers in in time, and neglected price theory where I have recorded lessons. Now I still have 6 hours of lessons left of price theory just to catch up to be able to do the paper that is due on Sunday. There’s a bunch of papers in every course, and a minimum requirement. In accounting I’ve done the minimum, and could, theoretically, stop study, and then learn all I need really really fast before the test. In price theory and macroeconomy I’ve reached the point where I must hand in almost everything left in order to make it.

If I fail to hand in everything I won’t fail the class. But the papers not handed in will get zero points which will affect my average, and as a result I must get a much higher grade in the test in order to pass.

Yesterday I was up until 0200 seeing a lesson in price theory. (Only 6 hours left to see). I got up at 6 this morning to get to accounting class in time (not the same as the univeristy studies). Need to go much earlier today, because the traffic jams at the checkpoint are much worse nowadays because of higher alert due to Gaza situation.

The local Maale Adumim paper screamed with desperation, how the government DARE neglect the inhabitants of Maale Adumim like that. I say shut up. The Palestinians go through 5 checkpoints a day going to work, even if they stay inside the West Bank. How can you, as a settler, say that that’s ok, and complain about the checkpoints you go through and still look at yourself in the mirror? I don’t get it. I’m considering writing something to the paper.

I had an argument in accounting class today with a couple of settlers. I’m a settler myself, and I do believe in the concept, but these had some weird view that I really can’t understand. She told us her bus was hit by a rock thrown by an arab on her way here. It smashed the door glass but no one was hurt. Then she turns to me and says “and you still think we shouldn’t be racists”. And then she goes on that “they are all like that” and that “they all voted for Hamas, they’re alll terrorists. If they clap their hands at terrorists acts they don’t belong in this country”. I try to understand what she is saying… “so you say we should evict them all? How can you believe that and still be against evicting settlements? Isn’t evicting people from their homes immoral whatever circumstances?” But no, the settlers in Gaza had bought the land fair and square, and they had cultivated the country, etc, etc. It sounded like she was arguing with me that the disengagement was wrong. No need to convince me, I’m with you. But I think evicting is immoral in any case, no matter jews or arabs, no matter settlers or palestinians. Then I asked how she can be mad at people being happy about the suicide bombs, if she is happy at the civilians killed in Gaza. I explained that I’m in favor of this defense, but we should still be able to feel sorry for the killed civilians. Apparently nono from her. The civilians there are to blame that they live there. Hamas is using the area to shoot on us, it’s the civilians’ responsibility to leave the area. Besides, they all voted Hamas in any case…

I reallly really hope that most settlers are not like her. I tried to bring it to religion. Aren’t all humans created in God’s image? Shouldn’t we be able to feel sorry for every killed human being, no matter who he was or what he did? Of course we should be glad that our country is finally defending our civilians. But we should still be able to see the suffering on the other side. The Palestinians are suffering from Hamas terror acts too.

Problem is, that since the intifada, and since all problems in the released/occupied areas (whichever you want to call them), I’m afraid that most settlers are like this. Because anyone thinking clearly will put his children before ideology, and would leave the area. Only the extremists are left. In the end, isn’t that also the terrorisms fault? It’s a bad circle. Terrorists do violence. Normal Israelis and Palestinians leave. Extremist settlers and soldiers are left. Crazy israelis are the only israelis palestinians see. They think we are all like that, and with a little Hamas brainwash, they become terrorists too, and so the circle goes on. It has gone on like that ever since the mufti of Jerusalem Haj-Amin al-Husseini started the jihad against jews. It has gone on for almost 100 years. Will it ever end? I’m not sure. As long as there’s a few terrorist fundamentalists, they will make sure the suffering goes on and on. And as long as there’s suffering, the mighty arab (and iranian) dictators will have a way to unify their people – hate against Israel. It will go on as long as the fundamentalism and the suffering is serving the interest of mighty and rich people.

If there was no conflict in Israel, the arab nations would most probably make up one.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still against a two-state solution, and I still believe this is our God given land. I just think that narrow minded idiots make things worse. If you can’t see a situation from your opponents point of view, you should get away from the situation alltogether.

On the other hand I can also understand this settler. When you experience these things, it makes a personal impression that can be impossible to shake off. When you see that entire crowds of arabs make boo-whistles during a silent minute for terror victims (happened at a soccer game after the yeshiva shootings – israeli arabs, not even palestinians), it’s very easy to think they are all like that. And to a certain extense she is right too. But then she can’t complain that they think that all jews are like her, who wants them evicted.

I spoke a few years ago with another settler who had a much brighter mind. He actually said that “if I believed that moving to Tel Aviv would bring peace – I would do it. But I don’t think it will. It will only bring the front closer to israeli population”. The Gaza disengagement certainly proved him right. He also said that he has no problem with the palestinians living where they live, as long as they don’t have a problem with him living where he lives. There are huge beautiful areas in the West Bank, and there’s plenty of room for everybody. I hope that more settlers are like him. I really hope so.

Why did I reach this rant? I was only speaking of the traffic jam this morning, and it got to this… oh, well. Besides all that, I will be busy changing from 2008 to 2009 at this place. We got the inventory done yesterday (and today in Tel Aviv). I am looking forward to get all this done with. Both at work and the studies. But I have a couple of months left at both.

Why can’t I ever write short things? Why does it always get to this? No one will ever read all that.

Happy celebration of the fact that January is named after the two-faced roman God Janus, and enjoy the upcoming voyage around the sun, named “2009” because of a certain monk’s miscalculation. I celebrated my new years a couple of months ago.


§258 I like everyone in the world – except the people I don’t know

October 31, 2008

Headline of today is a quote from my four-year old.

Let’s see my RSS. 193 unread posts. 49 of them are Amber’s.

Sorry folks. Can’t get myself to skim through blogs today. I’ll just write something. I don’t really know what yet.

I survived the first normal week since the holidays. I’ve done some progress at the accounting at work (on the expense of the day to day work – gotta take care of all the unpaid bills when I get back on Sunday).

Yesterday, Thursday, was first day back in the accounting class after almost a month off. I only have those classes once a week. That was actually really fun. To be back in a class again. It does give my self confidence a boost when I see how much better I am than everyone else. I ask the questions that makes the teacher answer “you’ll learn about that later”. And I always have time to kill when people ask him to repeat things I’ve already understood, or when I’m done with the excercises much earlier than everyone else. It’s just like back in high school… I’m the best. I’m the smartest. And I’m the most modest.

When I have time to kill like that, I usually take out the litterature from my academic accounting course and read a little in that while I’m waiting…

Right, the university studies from home. The Open University. Mwaha. In all three courses I take, there are classes in jerusalem that have lessons once a week – a service that cost 300 shekels extra and I say no thank you. So I’m enlisted in classes in Tel Aviv that have lessons once every two or three weeks. I say, sure, but I’m not coming to any classes. I’ll study from the books and send things on the internet. There are teachers with phone numbers and telephone times that I can call if I have questions.

In Macroeconomy I have one paper till the 7th and one till the 14th about inflation. I’ve focused on that subject lately, and have actually finished everything there is to read about inflation. The conflicts between the classic and the Keynesian views, the Philips curve and the inflation of the 70’s, etc, etc. Next thing should be to get started working on that paper. Saturday evening will be dedicated to that.

In the price theory the books are awful. However, there are lessons once a week in videoconference. One teacher teaches in Ra’anana, and the lessons are broadcasted to classes in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, etc. He has an white electronic touch-board blackboard that is displayed directly to the students. He can also see the students in the other classrooms – it’s a videoconference.
I don’t get to any of these actual classes, but they are recorded and uploaded to the website, so I can sit at home in my underwear eating spaghetti and see the classes from home the day after. And if I have questions, the teacher with that class has phone time only a few days later. The only thing I’m worried about is that I’m not an official student of his – so if he is late with material and grants his students delays in handing in papers, that might not affect me. I sent an email to the main teacher of the course asking if there’s anything to do about it.

In the academic acounting course – it’s totally different than my regular accounting course. It’s an entirely different level. It’s three really heavy books, and they have told us that lots of it is unupdated and I must download more material from the website. They said they warmly recommend that EVERYONE go to the classes. Well, helloo…. I can’t spend 6 hours on a bus (3 hours there, 3 hours back) to get to Tel Aviv for a one hour class. But there are those classes once a week in Jerusalem that I didn’t pay for… and one of the teachers there even lives in Ma’ale Adumim. Maybe I should check with him if it’s ok if I visit his class once in a while…

BUT today is Friday and tomorrow Shabbat. Until tomorrow evening – no work, no studies. And no worries about them. Rest! Rest rest rest! Thankyou God! Shabbat is the best invention ever! EVER!

And we have a great friend visiting us today and tomorrow. Our adopted little sister.
It’s Shabat. It’s being with family. It’s the best.

Shabat Shalom.


§228 First man on Mars ¤ I’m an accountant ¤ My schedule

September 26, 2008

1. First man on Mars
A few days ago I showed my four year old son a picture taken by NASA. It’s a picture of the earth and the moon, taken from Mars. I explained to him that they sent “a camera” there, but no humans have been there for real. He said he wants to go there. I told him he’d better join the air force and go the pilot school if that’s what he wants. My son. First man on Mars. Wouldn’t that be awesome? One great thing about kids is that they still have their entire future ahead of them. They could be the first man on Mars, or a legendary president, or a sock designer, or an expert on Arameic vowel reduction. You never know.

2. I’m an accountant
I’m learning more about accounting every day. Both from work experience and from the course I take on Thursdays. Lately I’ve also started study accounting from a management point of view in my academic studies. I love the fact that
1. I actually understand it, and it’s interesting.
2. My profession has a name. I’m an accountant. It’s Something.
3. It’s known as a “boring” job, but I find it exciting. I can talk passionately about stock value adjustments and depreciation calculations and everyone else think I’m a boring idiot. I love when people think I’m a boring idiot (think: Ross Geller).
4. I already know much more than “regular people”, including my manager.
5. I finally actually know what I want to do with my life, and there’s a set career road ahead of me!

3. My schedule
This is for regular working days Sundays through Wednesday. On Thursday I have accounting school, so it works a little different then. Friday I’m usually off.
0600 – wake up, make breakfast for kids
0615 – make their kindergarten breakfast and water bottles while they eat. Pick up Talitha, change diaper and give her a bottle.
0630 – Eat a fast breakfast and make a cup of coffe
0645 – dress kids, and take a few sips of coffee now and then
0700 – wake wife and ask her to fix Emunah’s hair
0715 – leave house to kindergarten with kids (ideal – it’s usually around 0730)
0730 – say goodbye to kids
0750 – jump on the bus to Jerusalem
0845 – reach work
0900 – work
1200 – lunch
1230 – continue work
1730/1800 – leave work, jump on bus home
1845 – reach home. Girls asleep, Efraim awake. Read story with, put on pyjama, brush teeth, put to bed.
1930 – Eat dinner and drink coffee. Either with wife while watching 2 episodes of Friends or each one to his own with the studies (depends on study density period).
2010 – Do dishes
2110 – Finish dishes and take out garbage
2115 – Shower and put on pyjama
2130 – Start to study, with a cup of coffe
0000 – Brush teeth, go to bed

Hm… This means I should have 2 and a half hours of study every work day… I must be planning bad or doing thing inefficiently, because I’m never able to actually reach that. Must get better. Those three courses are not a picnic. Also, I usually never actually fall asleep until 0100 – 0130. Maybe I would feel better if I got more sleep…? Come to think of it, I have difficulty remembering when was the last time I’m not tired. But it could be worse. My wife can’t remember when was the last time she wasn’t exhausted!


§227 She just keeps insisting on trusting and loving me – why??

September 24, 2008

It’s 22:33. I have a mountain of dishes to do, and homework for accounting school tomorrow. One and a half hour ago I had the same amount of things to be done, but more time to do it on.

I’ve wasted an hour and a half on nothing. I seriously have no idea what exactly I did. I didn’t even read all of my subscribed blogs, only a few. And I wrote a necessary letter to our insurance agent. But the things and the time just adds up until what was more prioritized to do ends up for the last moments.

What does my wife do? Tells me? Nags me? Tells me to get my butt off the chair?

No. She does nothing. It’s like she’s treating me like an grown up. Like an equal. It’s like she trusts me or something.

(For the record she can’t do the dishes due to medical reasons).

Will she suffer from my irresponsibility? Yes she will. I’ll be up doing the dishes, finishing my homework until 1 o’clock and she’ll be in bed trying to fall asleep but can’t until I’m there. She’ll get up at 6 o’clock when the kids wake up just like me.

Still – nothing. No nagging. No “get the dishes done already”. Nothing.

She is punishing me by treating me like I don’t deserve to be treated.

I love her.

And why is she always right??