“Cliff-Notes style” guide to Financial Independence

I usually find good stuffs via del.icio.us and saw this page. Thought I’d share with you guy, that is if you’ve been meaning to save money, pay off your credit card debt, start some investments and most of all, you don’t want to be still working into your sixties or seventies.

This guy said he’s read over a dozen books on financial independence and he’s found a recurring theme almost in each of them. He summarized them up and include a guide or rules in a bullet-style list. That way, you don’t have to spend $20 on each book (I’ve read three) and you can remember the points better and use the page as a quick reminder or reference.

http://www.foldedspace.org/archives/004245.html

Learned something from that article. He said financial independence is achieved when your monthly investment income equals or exceeds your monthly needs such as car payments, house payments, etc, which will take a long time to acheive. How nice would that feel when that happens. No more getting up early in the morning and dragging my ass to work. Play golf all I want.

Mantra #2: “Is this a need or a want?” Ugh, I hate this question but it’s vital to your financial independence. Dang, I want more golf balls, new suspension (sway bars, shocks, short-throw shifter) for my car, new G5 powerbook, and the list goes on endlessly, sigh.

This sentence got my attention.
Mantra #4: “Cash is better than credit.” There is almost no reason to carry a credit card.
True, ‘cuz it would incur debt (doh). I carry my debit card instead and some cash when they don’t accept debit cards like Vietnamese Pho cafe.

So, if you read the article, followed the steps, and for the rest, you have to be committed and disciplined. Doesn’t that sound familiar?

Blog Crush?

I just stumbled across someone’s blog, confessing that she has a secret “crush” on someone’s blog, so that got me thinking. I wonder if it’s possible to have a crush on someone’s blog without even knowing that person or never met the person before, like a complete stranger.

I have this scene in my mind that during your boring times or being sleepless at 3 am in the morning, you decided to check out your friends’ blog, despite the fact that you already checked a few hours ago. Ah, nothing new except for one new comment in ur friend’s blog, you followed the link and read the comment. Something about the comment got your attention and you’re curious who wrote that comment, so you clicked down the author and it turned out s/he has a blog too.

You’re reading her/his entries and the more you read, the more you become fascinated. You click on “previous posts” for more reading, then clicked again for more posts. Without knowing, you’re hooked to the blog and you decided to click on the << to go all the way back to the first ever entry (which is like a few hundred entries back), so you could imagine her/his life better in a chronological order. However, the first entry said something like "Well, this is my first entry and I'm just going to babble about my thoughts, life, love, experience, etc and I know no one probably will read my blog anyway." You found yourself thinking "Hey! I love your blog! I'm reading all of your entries! There IS someone who does read your blog." Now you're thinking, "I wonder if this person post some pics?" and off you went looking for pics. "Ooo! I see pics! hmm, that person is good looking."

So within a few half-hours later, you're still up and you have read each entry, you know what s/he likes, her/his favorite foods are, movies, etc. You know what their friends look like and what an asshole her/his ex-spouses were. You bookmarked her/his blog and check their blog right after you check ur daily email box. Once in a while, you'll try to drop off a comment and wait to see if s/he will respond to your comment. You may have found out where s/he lives and how far they live from you. You spend ur day daydreaming about meeting that person and what would you say when you do.

Wait a minute, maybe this doesn't sound like a crush.

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Hungry?

Hungry for some pizza? To help spread word about Pizza Hut’s new online order service, they’re giving out a free coupon, so I thought I’d post in here.

Instructions:
1. Go to pizzahut.com
2. Register
3. Add either a large or extra large pizza
3. Apply the code: HL
4. Enjoy your FREE pizza!

*Not sure when it will expire; today could be the last day.
**it seems that the coupon no longers works, so if it continues to be that way, guess we missed the boat, :-(

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T-Mobile Sidekick II

I have been meaning to order the new T-Mobile Sidekick, not because it has a built-in camera or that it’s a bit smaller and lighter than its predecessor but a better vibration. With my current sidekick, I often would have to check my pager to make sure I didn’t miss any alerts. Ah, one of the many pitfalls of being a Deaf person.

So, I scorched the Net for the absolutely best deal on the sidekick 2. For the reference of price comparison, I used the T-Mobile’s upgrade offer, which is outrageous at $370 dollars or $300 dollars with the purchase of voice/data plan, $39.99 or higher, for 12 months contract. Of course, I don’t use the voice plan at all. Then, I saw this page that you could get it for free but only to add an additional line to your current account, phffth. So, the best deal comes to deafpager.com and fusewireless.com. They offer similar pricing, with one $50 dollars rebate from T-Mobile. You may be inclined to ask how come their deals are lower than most online retailers such as Amazon.com. The secret is that they have an agreement with Sprint and MCI relay. They pay them to install Sprint or MCI relay programs onto sidekicks. (I believe deafpager.com works with MCI IP-Relay while Fuse Wireless uses Sprint relay). Sprint and MCI are fierce competitors, vying for more customers to use their relay so that they could garner more minutes, which will be reimbursed by the FCC. Somehow, fusewireless.com adds $20 dollars fee to the initial price of $149, bumping the price to $169 while deafpager.com doesn’t. Moreover, deafpager does offer a free color bumper to customize your sidekick plus a free car charger. I entrusted my order to deafpager.

Deafpager.com said it’ll be within 48 hours that the order will be processed. If they don’t, I’m gonna report to the Better Business Bureau!

Soju!

Had my first soju drink. It tasted just like vodka but lighter. You could call it a “Vodka Lite”. It has about 40% proof as opposed to 80% in vodka. Cheers!

Quickie Post

Just a short message to let everybody know—if they do check my page—that I’m still alive and kicking. The only excuse I have is that time’s going by too fast. Had a three days long conference at DHHIG recently. Learned a quite about communication and networking in the federal government. Prior to the conference, I played golf on Saturday and Sunday. Also last Friday, I went to a DPHH event and I made some interesting observations, in which I’ll post about it soon enough. Now, I just flew in today to visit my parents here in Illinois. I’ve been under this roof ever since I was brought to the United States when I was three years old. Ofc, the layout has changed since then but it still brings a lot of memories. Dad bought an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier, so I’m gonna scan a lot of pics and feed into a photo gallery. More to come!

Oh yeah, it does feel nice to come home and have a refigerator full of foods that didn’t come out of your pocket. :-)

Beer Ring Opener

I try not to blog too much about other sites (that’s why I created a linklog above) whereas the subject should be…well…about me. But I saw this picture that I have to post it here. This is every beer guy’s dream. :-)

The Link

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Install Gentoo: Day Two

Ahh, I came home to fix the blue screen of death right after I left work. Indeed, I did look around for solutions in the www, (thank god for message boards) and found one solution exactly like mine. Here. So, the problem turned out to be that when I made Linux partitions on my hard drive, the Partition Magic 8 software “hide” XP boot record so that the attention be turned to Linux. All I had to do is to boot into Linux CD and run fdisk /dev/hda. Press “T” to change the system id on /dev/hda1 which contains the boot record of XP. ID number was 17, stands for hidden, so I changed it to 07, unhide. Then reboot. Bingo, XP is back. Then one of my two logical drives went missing—probably because I messed around with MBR, trying to fix anything without doing the research first—I didn’t have a laptop to help me out, so I didn’t have a much choice. But thank god for Partition Magic 8, it has an ability to “undelete” a partition and rescue that second logical drive. Whew. So, everything’s back to normal. I looked at the partition table and realized that I had not resized the extended NTFS partition and was basically partitioning Linux ONTO NTFS extended partition! So I changed the partition table again. Then, I decided to use fdisk to do the partitions instead of PM8 since it hides the XP without ever letting me know, phfft.

Before I could make my system wet with Gentoo Linux, I had to go meet a friend at 8 pm to discuss rent situation as he was thinking abt moving into the basement room for his summer internship. Time passed away quickly and it’s my bedtime, ugh. Had to put this on hold for next day.

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Install Gentoo: Day One

**warning** this is gonna be a bunch of geek talk that will consist of such words like cfdisk, emerge, mount, grub and other countless similar words so please do not read any further if you don’t want to hear yourself saying, “wtf?” or a big “huh”. You have been warned.

This is going to be a temporary journal as I share my experience installing Gentoo Linux onto my Shuttle XPC computer. I developed an itch to play with Linux again after one of my friends told me about it. He works at Google and they use Linux to power all of their approx. 250,000 servers to run the search engine. The last time I played with Linux was a Redhat 6.0 distro a while back in college when I was taking system administration class at RIT and one on my computer. Then I got into web development, designing websites with CSS, PHP and MySQL, then I worked with Microsoft Access and Excel in my internships (they were for government and they’re ruled by Bill Gates and Michael Dell), so I slowly forgot about Linux and I needed more disk space to store mp3 songs, movies, and games. Another reason, during that time, it wasn’t exactly eye-catching or something to impress your friends and I hate that damn squarish boxes in Linux.

Since then, new steps has been made in the Linux development and by now, there are more than 100 different Linux distros. Linux has really grown since I “abandoned” them. Being a visual guy, I need something that will blow me away and then I see this screenshot, and this mac-like flavor. That’s more than enough to convince myself and my turn to make my friends jealous. :-) And I’ve quit playing games on computer, especially CS, as I’ve had enough of getting splattered constantly. Besides, I already have a hacked xbox where I can rip off games (just don’t tell Microsoft). Time to devote my time to the Linux World!

Last night, I was in a hurry mood, although I was aware that this type of installation can take a long time especially if you fall into “unexpected events” and you’re struggling to find what’s causing it. I was itching to get it up and running, seeing Gentoo in action. I downloaded a distribution copy of Gentoo and burn it to a CD as a boot CD plus installation. Then, I opened up Partition Magic 8 software to make room for Linux and I have one primary partition plus two logical drives in an extended partition. I decided to reduce the size of the primary partition, leaving the logical drives intact. As per instruction online, I created a new Linux boot partition, swap, and root partition. What appeared to be all good, I let the program made changes to the HD, although I have a queasy feeling that something would go wrong. The change made is done and time to reboot. Then I got this error message in the boot-up screen, “Missing Operating System.” Oh shoot, the program has altered the Master Boot Partition and is now missing an operating system. So, I went into cfdisk off a gentoo boot cd and ahh, I see no boot asterisk next to /dev/hda1 NTFS, so I put the asterisk on that, then reboot.

You think I’d be out of the jungle and save my ass but not so quite. Now, I can see the Windows Professional boot screen and that dots moving right, then all of a sudden, it said “autochk.exe not found”, then I get the infamous blue screen of death with code that said Session Manager is fucked up, something like that. “Ohh f**king great.” I’m in a big trouble and that’s what u get for not taking the time and doing research before you start the installation process. Problems began to mount and I don’t have a laptop to google for problems/solutions and I need to ask my roommate if I could borrow his laptop but he’s gone out somewhere with his new girlfriend. So, I f**ked it, called it a night, plopped on my bed, watched some NBA playoffs game (Go Miami, Houston Rockets, and the Spurs) and got some sleep.

While in my sleep, “worse to worse, and you are hanging on the cliff on your fingertips somewhere in the Grand Canyon, luckily, you still have two logical drives, which mean you can boot into Windows Recovery Console and copy important files (mostly porno movies actually) over to the logical drives, and then do a clean wipe and reinstall Windows XP. At least you’ll be free of porno pop-up ads that you can’t seem to get rid of, even after you used Ad-aware, Spybot, etc. Or you go to work tomorrow and to kill some time, look for solutions online, write notes, print out papers, then you go home and try out the solutions to fix the blue screen of death. If not, clean wipe it and save your porno.”

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You can never have enough golf

Today, I made plans with my friend to go to a driving range to “warm up” for a Deaf golf league tomorrow. He told me that the driving range has unlimited buckets, like a buffet, hit all you like. I thought he was kidding me because I never heard of unlimited buckets unless I’m Tiger Woods. When we got there, sure enough, they did have unlimited balls, for $14 dollars, sweet. Also, one of the Deaf league members told me that I gotta score better than 100 to become a member. O_o, pressure. Heh, my friend and I hit the balls like damn crazy muthafuckers. When it got a little boring after hitting like 100 balls in a row, we decided to play a little game. Ofc, one of them was a driving contest—that I won with my TaylorMade R5 driver, :-), played some accuracy games like who can hit the ball closest to the pin or putting the ball between flags as if they’re a fairway. I’m getting pretty confident about my irons but a bit unpredictable with my driver cuz I tend to force it a bit too much. We ended up hitting balls for 3 hours at the driving range and we probably hit more than 500 balls each, heh. Despite all those balls hit, it’s my short game that I’m most concerned with, as I’m not that delicate with putting and chipping. Wish me a good luck at the league game tomorrow. :-)

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