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Early Exercise and 83b

This is a post where I'm trying to figure out what I should do from a tax perspective. I'm not that knowlegable about taxes, but I still have to make a tax-relevant choice. So please read this as "Jeff writes down what he's currently thinking about how to make this decision" and not "Jeff tells me how to decide whether to early exercise."

Update 2017-02-17: The modelling in this post is wrong to the point of not being useful. I had thought that the reason to exercise early was to get capital gains treatment on options, but ISOs already have this if you're careful with them. The reason to exercise early is the alternative minumum tax.

I recently started at a startup, and as is typical part of my compensation is in the form of stock options vesting over four years. I have two choices about how to handle this: more...

Carcassonne For Kids

Standard Carcassone is too complicated before about age 9, but if you adjust the rules (substantially) it can be a lot of fun with much younger kids. Stages of play:

  1. You just take turns playing tiles, and edges don't matter.
  2. Still just playing tiles, but now edges do matter.
  3. When you play a city tile, you can put a person on it, and when the city completes you get the person back.
  4. Same with roads.
  5. Same with monastaries.
  6. Start counting points and having a winner.
  7. Add farms

I've been playing stage #1 with Lily (nearly three years old) a lot lately, I've played stage #2 with a five year old, and stage #3 with a six year old. The exact rules don't matter that much, the important thing is to have fun and to teach the idea of playing a game that has rules you need to follow. For example, Lily wanted to play with the meeple as well, so we play that every time you put down a tile you also have to put a person on it.


Role Term Survey Responses

As part of thinking about how whether non-gendered terms would work for mainstream contra dances, I thought it would be good to ask callers what they thought. Is it something where most callers were only willing to call Gents/Ladies, or are they more flexible? Do they generally support this sort of change, or do they think it's a bad idea?

I wrote to the callers who have called my local dance (BIDA) in the last year, plus the ones who are currently booked, to ask them whether:

  • A dance like BIDA switching to gender free terms is better, worse, or about the same.
  • They have a preference between Larks/Ravens and Jets/Rubies.
  • They would be willing to call Larks/Ravens or Jets/Rubies if a dance required that.

Of the 18 callers I wrote to, 17 responded. Of them, all but one was willing to call Larks/Ravens or Jets/Rubies, though several said (without my having suggested it) that they wouldn't be willing to call Lead/Follow.

Many of the respondents didn't say whether they were in favor of the switch. Of the 11 who did respond, it was 5x yes, 3x ambivalent, and 3x no.

Nine callers preferred Jets/Rubies because they find it easier to say, but no one so much that they were willing to call Jets/Rubies but not Larks/Ravens. more...

Work Hardware Setup

I recently started a new job, and I needed to figure out what I wanted to do in terms of hardware for work. The company doesn't have any sort of standard setup, so future reference, and in descending order of cost, here's what I decided to get: more...

Costs of Foods

It's hard to get a sense of how expensive different foods are. For example, compare bread and pasta: which is cheaper? What's the right way to compare them? At a general american meal where you have a starch, a protein, and a vegetable, the role of the starch is mostly to provide calories, so comparing pasta and bread on a cost-per-calorie basis seems right. Similarly the role of the protein is to provide, well, protein [1], so cost-per-gram-of-protein makes sense there. On this basis, what do different foods look like? more...

Visual Role Markers

Traditionally contra had two roles, "Gents" and "Ladies", where men danced the "Gents" role and women the "Ladies", and so you could tell what role someone was dancing from their appearance. This had some nice aspects:

  • The caller can easily see whether dancers have gotten mixed up, and fix things if need be.
  • Other dancers can more easily tell which person they're supposed to be interacting with (your neighbor is always opposite gendered, the other person in a ladies chain should be female, etc).
  • Partnering is easier, because someone who only likes to dance the "Lady" role just needs to look for someone male they'd like to dance with.
But there were also a bunch of problems, that have been becoming more of an issue over time:
  • Sometimes two men or two women want to dance with each other.
  • Some people aren't male or female, some others have an ambiguous gender presentation.
  • Sometimes two opposite gender dancers want to dance "swapped", in the opposite of the roles you would expect from their genders.
  • Some dancers want to switch gender as they go, or dance to dance.
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