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Sunday, July 01, 2007

What I Did During (The First Part Of) My Summer Vacation

I just realized that I haven't posted anything new on the blog for about 10 days, so I thought I'd let you know that I'm still alive and haven't stopped blogging altogether. But, I did feel a bit burned out on blogging, so I took a bit of a break. Here are a few updates on the summer so far:

I've been working on a few projects. One is editing a paper I'm doing with several other people. It's a new experience for me since a good part of the paper is theory-based, and I'm an empiricist at heart. So, I've been forced to brush up on a lot of the math I haven't used since grad school. In addition, I'm the only American among the coauthors, and they're all theorists. So, I'm in charge of "englishizing" the paper (their term). Hopefully it'll be handed back to my coauthors for their part soon.

I've been working on a second project in what's also a new area for me - it ties in options implied volatility to firms' information environments. While I'm familiar with the information asymmetry literature, the options stuff is new to me. And in addition, the data set is several times larger than any I've worked with, so I had to learn a few new SAS programming tricks. But being the nerd that I am, it's actually fun.

Logging my research (actually, my "writing") time has been a humbling experience. I 've been averaging one "zero time spent" day out of every three or four, and find that I don't spend nearly as much time writing as I thought even on the days I do write. But then, that's the point of the exercise. As my accounting friends say, "you can't manage what you don't measure".

I also got one small paper submitted, so I now have 4 under review.

On the personal side, I've been cycling pretty regularly (about 5x a week on average), and have done a few hard 15-20 milers. I'm still not in top shape, but I've been able to hold just shy of a 16 mph pace for a pretty hilly 20 miler. My goal for the summer is to get up to an 18 mph pace for the 20 miler and to ride to my mother's house, which is a very hilly 80 miles away.

Other than that, I've spent my time playing with the kids, trying to grow grass on the front part of my yard, and trying to unpack some of the boxes that have been in my basement since we moved almost a year ago.

I'll get back to posting some "real" stuff in the next couple of days.

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