Revenue Recognition

I’d like to think I’ve got the financial savvy to recognize a revenue if I saw it, but it’s not like beauty, which is in the eye of the beholder. There are pages and pages of rules promulgated by the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) that tell you is it is or is it ain’t a revenue.

revenue recog

AT&T, welcome to the fraud triangle.

My phone just up and died yesterday, so I went to the store to get a new one. The good news is that I was “eligible” for an upgrade (only $25.00 plus a $2.99 pro-ration fee) and my new phone is ONLY $749.00. Which I can pay in monthly installments with NO INTEREST.

Hmmmn. AT&T collects the sales tax and I just pay my monthly installments to the company store. No interest, because this is the kindest, bestest company ever and they are rewarding me for my brand loyalty?

Ha! Probably not. It’s more likely that AT&T will engage in some trickeration aka financial wizardry and move this asset off the balance sheet, fluffing the numbers so they’re nice and plump, serving them to investors like a channel stuffed Thanksgiving Turducken.

fraud triangle

Means, motive, and opportunity. Same old, same old.

When digging for some financial info on AT&T, I noticed that they are in the midst of a merger with Time-Warner. Curious I am about how this will play out. Besides the obvious:

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The Delta

Growing up, the word delta conjured images of fertile farmlands adjacent to the Mississippi River on the other side of the state.  On my side of Louisiana, the Sabine River deposited slick red clay that turned every rainy day into a thrilling adventure called “don’t get stuck on the way home.” The modern term for this is “MudFest.”

mudfest

These people got stuck on purpose. I wonder if they called their Daddy to come tow them out with a tractor?

In the early years of college, delta meant something else entirely, mostly Greek parties. In statistics, we learned that Big Delta means difference or change. In calculus, little delta refers to distance when proving the limit of a function.

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Big Delta, little delta. Greeks have the upper hand in calculus because they know all the letters.

The triple goddess is represented as the maiden, mother, crone. When women approach the limit of one stage and transition to the other, it’s sometimes called “The Change.”

triplegoddess

Youth, Fertility, Wisdom. 

 

Henceforth,* this change shall be known as THE DELTA to honor Delta Burke, who played Suzanne Sugarbaker on one of the best shows ever– Designing Women.

 

 

*I used this obnoxious word on purpose…. Overuse of introductory phrases, hideous writing, and head-hopping are remanded to the bayou effective the summer of 2017, where they shall remain in perpetuity until the perpetrator of such abuses has been fully rehabilitated.

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Exogenous Shock*

Surprise, surprise! I went to a conference and I liked it. What’s not to like about plenty of good food, good company, a boxing bag in the gym, and setting the a/c  on 67 with no complaints from the peanut gallery?

summer in louisiana

This is me in the summer in Louisiana. And it ain’t even August, yet. I am going to try to rent some space in the Circle K beer cooler.

The best part was the small group interaction where we each had to present a proposal. Our group consisted of a hodge-podge of methodologies, topics and institutions, but our group leader was fantastic and everybody gave and received good comments.

This is a scary time in the doctoral process– dissertation proposal phase. Trying to find a good topic is a lot like trying to find a good life partner– seems like all the good ones are already taken.

proposaldefense

It’s tricksy finding just the right balance of new versus familiar. In exercise, balance is related to our core muscles. I think it’s the same in academics– reinforce the core, be consistent, do some work every day.

bring it

BRING IT, BABY!!!!

So, this is my strategy: (1) one day at a time, (2) 2 steps forward, (3) three goals in 3 realms (mental, physical, spiritual) every day.

 

*An exogenous shock is an unexpected or unpredictable event that affects the “studied environment.”

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So Long, Farewell

It’s been a Long day, and I’m not happy about it. Our state budget teeters on the edge of a fiscal cliff and our elected leaders are passing useless, unwanted, frivolous bullsh*t, backscratching, backroom bills instead of figuring out how to get along.

We need to be long gone from playing partisan politics– every flood, fire, tornado, and terrorist act should bring us closer together. Instead we’re farther apart than ever.

Our legislative priorities should reflect the fact that the state is flat, fricking broke. We’ve already taken everything of value to the pawn shop (that’s what privatization, outsourcing, and long-term leases are), sold our state into eternal, indentured servitude to every lobbyist group in existence, and sold the people down the proverbial river.

Instead of focusing on fiscal reform, prison reform, the condition of many educational facilities in the state (can anybody say mold and asbestos?), or the abysmal roads and highways— the jackrabbits in charge have voted to change the name of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.

I don’t care if the proposal was to name it after me. It’s not about that. It’s about the good old boy cronyism that started with the progenitor of this legacy and continues to self-perpetuate against the wishes of damned near everybody.

Friends, Family, Internet Strangers, please, please, P L E A S E! Please remember this day. Remember how nearly every single elected official ignored your calls, emails, and letters and voted to spend money we don’t have on stuff we don’t need.

Run against them. Vote them out. Remind them that Choices have Consequences.

We can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines and wait for someone to save us. We are gonna have to save ourselves.

WE ARE THE PEOPLE.

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Insider Humor

Inside jokes are the glue of relationships. They stick in your memory like day-old grits stick to the edge of the pot– and explaining them to outsiders is just as tough as removing them.

Once upon a time, when the mailbox was more substantive than ornamental, we received a typed chain letter that suggested dire consequences– plagues of locusts, widespread internet outages*, breaking of the seventh seal, and worst of all, loss of “your hob.”

Since we didn’t have a hob, we didn’t give a Tinker’s damn about losing it. But we’ve had countless laughs over the decades inquiring about each other’s “hobs.”

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He’s lost his wizard, his dwarves and his way! ~The Hobbit, 1977

Speaking of lost and Hob(bits).  And mondegreens and mumpsimis– we thought Bilbo had lost his Wizard, his DRAWERS, and his way.  We couldn’t decide whether it was a chest of drawers or underpants that had gone missing. Either way, we still get the giggles about it. Or I do.

And finally, the impetus for todays blog:

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Mural in Allen Hall, LSU

Before hipsters popularized home-grown, organic produce, southerners had gardens. Or tried to.

Sabine Parish dirt is a mixture of red clay and iron ore that’s good for growing pine trees, azaleas, and sturdy people. One summer, Dad had planted some sweet corn, which God, in her infinite wisdom neglected to water.

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This is not our dead corn from 1982. We only took shadowy pictures of stray cats, tractors, and random blurry shapes that I can only assume are bigfoot sightings.

Kennieth Walker’s construction crew was closing in the garage, and they nailed a crooked sign to a tree next the corn:

THIS FARM CONDEMNED

The paint was still wet when they put it up, because the letters dripped and dipped all over the scrap lumber they used.

There was speculation about why the farm had been condemned, and I bought an actual alphabet template, some spray paint, and on the back of some paneling wrote:

“GOVERNMENT EXPERMENTAL PROJECT”

and put it under the original sign  (Yes, I know I misspelled experimental, but the sign was looked official enough that a sheriff’s deputy came to investigate the project*.)

And now you know the rest of the story, the inside scoop, and how people used to have fun “back in the day.”

*The project was clearly time travel, since my parents still don’t have cable or the internet.

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4th Year

One of the more common questions I’ve been asked since starting the PhD program is: How long does it take?

4 years (at LSU). Some programs are 5.

 

phd

My hair all fell out the 1st year (2014-15).  I’ve mercifully escaped growing a full beard.

I couldn’t have made it this far without Mark. His support has been invaluable: he’s been Mr. Mom and Dr. Dad, schlepping kids all over North Louisiana during the week and running down I-49 most weekends to bring them down to see me when I couldn’t make it home.

He’s been on call 24-7 for over 1,000 days to discuss topics like post-earnings announcement drift, gamma prior distributions, auditor industry specialization, and general ‘what the (*%$^& does this mean’ questions with an often teary-eyed, exhausted and hairless woman with a passing resemblance to the woman who used to live with him.

Whenever my schedule changed because of an extra project or a last-minute assignment, he flexed like a master yogi and made it all work.

Fire-Walking

Mark could give The Buddha lessons on detachment.

This separation has been hard for us. Hard for the kids, the parents, the couple, the extended family– everybody.

We’re approaching the final lap in this race; our tires are bald, our tank is empty and we’re running on fumes. It seems like a crash is imminent. Unavoidable given all of the uncertainty.

And with all that it’s cost, this program has made me a better person. Given me sharper vision, clarity of purpose, and I’ve found an inner strength to persevere that I never knew I had.

best worst

Charles Dickens is one heck of a writer.

Charlie didn’t address the summer, and neither did the Bard. But I will. ‘Tis the summer of our repose. Well, except for the little matter of my dissertation proposal… which I have to defend before I can officially be ABD (all but dissertation) respite.

abd

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Asymptotically Normal

When I first came to LSU (last millennium) we used 3 separate machines to print, fax and copy, had dial up 4200 baud modems, and only the POTUS and other mobsters had satellite phones.

Technology has changed so much and so fast that it’s virtually indistinguishable from magic– what else would you call a 3-D printer or nano-medicine?

And me? I feel like the saber-toothed tiger watching Noah seal the ark, the first cold drops of rain splashing down on the back of my neck, icy frissons of doom skating down my spine.

My last econometrics final exam is tomorrow and I’ve not studying as much as I should what with the lightning taking out my car and all. The good news is that neither have my classmates.

finals-are-here-and-so-are-the-memes-xx-photos-5

 

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