Imation Flash Wristband

Wow, this is neato, same as those $1 wristbands started by Lance Armstrong but with USB.

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How to fold t-shirts in two moves

Wow, this is awesome. I gotta practice this.

China Censorship

For a little background info on the censorship by China, just type “Google + censorship” in In one summary sentence, Google agrees to censorship asked by the Chinese government or they will block Google out of their DNS. (China, you’re making a huge mistake and this is the same reason why you couldn’t take off with your paper creation and other inventions cuz you keep slowing down others and suppressing individual acheivements.)

Now, see it yourself and you can see the difference. – US Google Search – Chinese Google Search.

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my golf swing

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Being a race car driver

You know, a lot of youngsters dream of becoming a professional baseball player, basketball, football, or even a fireman but for me, the day I sat behind a steering wheel for the first time ever, I wanted to be a race car driver. Fast-forward a few years later, a few tickets/car crashes later, I’m still nowhere close to being a race car driver. So, the least I can do for myself is to buy these:

I can’t wait to play tomorrow! :-D

New Year’s resolution-aries

I’m no English buff but thought this is a kick-ass introduction. From Men’s Fitness, Feb. 2006, p. 110.

“For about a month at the beginning of each year, everybody is a hardcore gym rat. I’m talking about the hundreds of New Year’s resolution-aries who invade your gym, determined to meet their newly set goals even if it means sidetracking you from yours. Not only are they a distraction—working out in polo shirts and doing curls in the squat rack—they’re an outright danger, poaching the equipment you need and blocking your path. (picture holding 70-pound dumbbells and hurrying back to your bench, only to find some dude stretching on it.).

Of course, in about a month, most of them will be gone and the gym will once again be the dungeon of sweat and solitude you know and love—and you can resume your routine without further interruption…”

Weekend recap

The weekend’s about to end…never mind, it has already ended. Just when I thought I have nothing filled over the weekend, events began to pop up and when I look back, I did pretty a lot. Last Fri, I worked late as I was trying to finish a project (it didn’t quite get finished but when is it ever a finished project?), and then had to clean out my work queue. Even there’s still some things to do when I get back on Monday, doh. Got home, rest, thinking abt what I want to do with my limited free time. It went like this.

Saturday: got the day going by doing errands first before meeting Luke at the golf course to play a 18 holes. =) My driving was definitely rusty; dunno what the heck happened to it. Did I lose my core strength in swinging the driver? I think perhaps I was trying to swing it too hard; I always want to hit the ball hard but I know it’s the opposite. Let the driver does it job. Gotta remember that. But my short game has improved a lot; putting a touch on my putting and chipping. I got a 87, with mulligans, of course. After the golf, went to Gallaudet to watch the men’s basketball game. Damn, that was a good game, seeing the Bisons beat the Catholics for the first time since 1996. The Catholics are leading the CAC conference. In sum, that was a great upset to witness. =)

Later that night, went to a bar called the Irish Times. It was the first time I went there and while it looked small, it had a dancing floor downstairs in the underground and upstairs, there was a one-man live band signing whatever he was saying. One thing that I thought was cool is they had beer bottles out in a big metal ice-filled cooler and you just pick the beer up and give three george washingtons to the guy behind the coolers. Simple. No need telling the bartender what you want and you still got the wrong one anyway. Oh yeah, there were two birthday boys–Marlon and Ian, 21st and 22nd respectfully, so we partied through midnight to make it like killing two birds with one stone. ;-)

Sunday: slept in late but my hangover wasn’t too bad. Got an email from my uncle Bud, giving me the address to watch my cousin swim in a synchrozied meet. It was my first time going to one. I realize it’s just like figure skating but with water instead of ice. There were solos and team competitions. Interesting. Watching those girls swim, I know I’d choke on water as soon as I do a back rotation or whatever that move was called. =) Good job, Nina!

Then my roommie and I hosted a last-minute b-party for Ian, coupling it with a guys’ night. Dang, these charcoals take forever to heat up. Our only female roommie made brownies so we guys used the brownie as a cake and pathetically used a match for a candle, sing-sign the birthday song. Hey it’s the thought that counts and he enjoyed the brownie. =) What can be a guy’s night without playing some poker? So, we played poker and I made a foolish mistake, lost my $20. =( I’m just glad I don’t play it professionally or I’d have to declare bankruptcy. Oh yeah, watched NFL but they weren’t even close, with Pittsburgh handing it to Denver and the same went for Seattle over Carolina. Thought it’d be closer than that. None are my “fave” teams but if I had to pick, it’ll be the Pittsburgh Steelers to become the 60th team to win Super Bowl. But congrats to Seattle Seahawks for entering SB for the first time ever. I still remember how bad they were when they were an expansion team.

Now I’m behind my computer once again, thinking, writing, (and a bit of surfing too), reflecting, remembering, and finally sleeping soon.

Lesson of the day

Documenting is really important. Trust me.

And shit, I just found out that I have a friend who may be a millionaire himself. o_O

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Glowing Hands

Saw this website while surfing. I think it’s hilarious.

Here is the website that sells them.

Now we can talk in a bedroom without having to turn on lights. ;-)

a Workaholic

Haha this is funny.. who knows I might end up like the guy in 10 years from now…

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Japanese Sushi etiquette video

This is quite funny especially the part about who should pay the tab.

Ipod Nano Belt Buckle

Wow, this is sexy.

For anyone who owns a nano and wants to buy one.

25 years left to be a millionaire.

Since last year, as I started to have a steady income by having a real job instead of applying to graduate schools, I decided to read more about finance so I bought some books: the automatic millionaire, smart couples finish rich, and the millionaire next door. Obviously you could tell that I want to be a millionaire and unlike my dad, I can’t become a millionaire by buying those lottery tickets every week.

First of all, please don’t think I have a greedy side that I want to become a millionaire. It’s because I want to be financially independent so that I don’t have to work well into my sixties. Life is way too short for that. Besides, I’m fascinated by this idea that you don’t have to be earning six figures to be able to become a millionaire. You can earn as little as 40k to achieve a million dollars in your savings.

After reading those books, I learned quite a number of things. Most of them are pretty common sense like don’t put yourself in debt. Good thing to know that the only debt I have is my car loan, which I hope to pay off in about 2 years. I learned that being rich and being wealthy aren’t the same. They are two different things. Another thing I learned was to always pay yourself first, which means money goes into your savings immediately after you receive your paycheck. The author, David Bach, suggests that you save 20% of what you earn and you’ll be well on your way to being financially sound. “The Next Door Millionaire” author said he found that what set them (the millionaires) apart from million other people who are in debt more than 10k is because they simply track their money and keep a cash flow spreadsheet of my payday loans. After reading those words, I decided to keep a spreadsheet of my cash flow—how much I earn and how much I spend. It may turn to be the best move I have ever made in my whole life.

In the past, I thought I had a pretty good idea of where my money was going and thought I was doing a pretty good job at saving my money but I was completely wrong. After putting a large sum of my savings on buying a new car, paying off all the outstanding transactions that my college had billed me before they would send me my diploma, and moving into a place far from my hometown, my savings was pretty much blown. It didn’t help much that I was in my “college guy” mode that I thought if I’m going to get a job in the future, I’ll spend this money now and I’ll get it back later when I get a job and put it into savings. Nope, it didn’t exactly work out like that.

So, I started a spreadsheet about a year ago and I thought I would have abandoned it a long ago but thanks to online banking, it was actually easy to track my money and record every transaction in my spreadsheet. A year passed, my spreadsheet begins to look like, well, a spreadsheet, instead of a blank empty white spreadsheet. I could have sworn that it was done by a CPA, not someone like me.  Maybe it’s just me but I find it fascinating to look at my spreadsheet and see how much I spent on electronic stuffs, food, gas, clothes, etc. And realizing the mistakes I’ve made, which is a lot.

This is how my 2005 budget looks like:

  • In the foods category, I spent about $3,000 or about $250 a month on groceries and eating out. Shit, I’m a hungry man with an expensive palate. (how do buffets and sushi sound?)
  • I’ve withdrawn a total of $2,150 dollars out of ATM. Anyone wanna rob me?
  • I paid $830 on gas. Could have been a lot worse if I owned a SUV.
  • Being a golf avid player (and a wanna-be pro), I spent $855 on course fees, equipment, etc.
  • I enjoy reading books, so I spent $160. Education sure comes with a price. And dammit, I need to sell these books.
  • I spent $370 on clothes. Not too bad for a guy, don’t you think?
  • I read somewhere that someone put “stupid mistakes” category for not paying bills on time, fines, fees, or penalties he has to pay, so I thought that was a good idea and it was a very costly one.

    So, in bank fees, I had to pay $170 and this next one, I’m not very proud of myself, I paid a whopping $825 dollars in parking tickets (lots of them), stupid speed camera tickets, and traffic tickets (for failing to stop completely and among others). I guess that’s what you get for living in DC your first year. That comes to almost one thousand dollars that I could have avoided to pay if I followed the sign, pressed on the brake more, and eased off the gas pedal a bit more. This year, my goal is to pay zero. My right foot, please behave.

  • For us who own a sidekick, I paid $386 in subscriptions and extra programs like games.

Even all with those expenses I had to shell out, I was still able to save 20% of my total earnings in 2005 and I wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for my precious spreadsheet and by paying myself first. Now that year 2006 has started, my goal is to save 30% (large part of that will go toward housing down payment wherever I decide to settle down), pay nothing in “stupid mistakes”, and perhaps reduce my ATM withdrawals but I’ll never ever reduce my food budget. :-)

Anyone up for some sushi?

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My first post in 2006

I just got back from visiting my parents in Illinois last night and I really had a great break. As I was taking a break from work and a chance to spend some family quality time with my parents, I realize I was also taking a break from computers as I didn’t really spend much on a computer during the break. It was what I needed; I’ve been on a computer too much. Now I’m back at work and on the computer, feeling refreshed and aim to finish the projects that I’ve started. I’m not good at finishing projects. Ahh.

I saw a number of people over the break—most of them I haven’t seen more than a year and it’s interesting to see how much we have changed and I remember I was pretty insecure back then but now I find myself more confident and able to discuss different topics that I wouldn’t have been capable of holding the conversation a year ago. Oh yeah, wearing a blazer really does make a difference.

Someone special is coming here this Friday. Yay. :-)

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