January 1, 2007

Yay me!

January 1, 2007 - Categories: life

I gave up watching New Year fireworks for the thrill of actually
keeping a not-quite-New-Year goal of waking up before 7:30 for 7 days
straight, and I did it! =) Sure, it’s a minor thing to all of you
people who actually do get up with the sun (although this is easier in
the Canadian winter, because the sun hardly ever wakes up). It’s still
a nice little accomplishment for me. Check one off my list of goals
for 2007!

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Making things happen

January 1, 2007 - Categories: life

My dad was telling all sorts of crazy stories at the breakfast table
earlier. It’s a good thing my mom reminded me to run and grab a
recorder. I caught some of the stories on video! =) He’s an awesome
storyteller, and he has such adventures.

He started by talking about the photography school my sister is
thinking of attending next year. The school is expensive, and they
don’t really teach anything my dad doesn’t already do. Then again,
he’s done everything—from aerial to underwater, from cars to fashion,
and even sports and photojournalism as well. He refuses to be niched,
and he loves breaking ground.

He regaled us with stories of his adventures, like the time that he
was shooting a ship. They gave him coordinates, and he looked them up
on Google Maps. He realized that he wouldn’t be able to get a good
shot because his fixed-wing plane would interfere with the flight path
at the nearby airport. He called the ship on his cellphone and gave
them new coordinates, spelling out a plan that would ensure the kind
of shot the client wanted. At 1000H they would be at the coordinates
he gave. They would keep their bearing for five minutes, then turn
toward the sun. They would execute a wide circle and then continue on
their journey. Impressed, the captain agreed, and everything went
exactly according to plan. Result? A head-on shot of the ship that was
so well lined up that it seemed to have been taken from a helicopter
and not from a fixed-wing plane.

My dad’s the kind of person who can move things to fit his vision, and
for whom things also just fall into place. He told us about
hitchhiking in Albay and how things kept happening for him. I managed
to record that, so I might put it up on YouTube soon. =)

He can do anything he wants to, because he wants to. The strength and
clarity of that desire could be part of the reason why people help him
make things happen. My mom wrote to airport managers and mayors,
arranged accommodation and fuel, organized exhibits—all because my
dad had a dream.

My dad can make things happen, and things happen for him. I have that
nature of my dad’s. I haven’t developed something more like my mom’s,
though. She’s more methodical and pays more attention to detail. In
the MBTI personality inventory thing, I think she would be an S-type
(Sensing), and my dad and I are firmly Ns (Intuitive). It would be
good for me to develop a little of that, but I don’t have to do
everything on my own, just as my dad works with others to make things
happen. =)

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My books are balanced

January 1, 2007 - Categories: finance

I have to confess a certain delight in knowing that my books are
balanced and that I have a full year of financial information now
behind me. I know my net worth and my expense breakdown. I’ve
earmarked enough funds to cover my essential expenses for the next
eight months. In addition to that, I have savings that I will divide
into emergency fund, proper savings and an investment kitty. I’ve also
been tithing 10% in an earmarked charity fund, and I plan to adopt a
cause this year – maybe microfinance in the Philippines.

I’m still not quite clear what my cashflow will be like for the rest
of my studies, which is why I’ve set aside a lot. My cashflow will be
easier to figure out when I start working.

I’m thinking of immigrating to Canada. I need to find out what the
rules are for RRSP eligibility so that I can use the power of
tax-sheltered investments. I also need to find out what to do if I
decide to live elsewhere.

It feels great starting the year with a pretty good handle on my
finances. =)

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Big, hairy, audacious goal

January 1, 2007 - Categories: research

2My Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal for the next eight months is to help
huge companies imagine how they can help people connect by prototyping
my research idea, figuring out how it can be improved and made into a
product, and writing up my thesis.

A thesis is a pretty big goal. Just ask all the people who finish
everything but their thesis. Even really smart people. Even my
friends.

And I’m pushing even further than that. I want my thesis to be
practical *and* research-worthy. I want to take it into the business
world.

I’m going to need help making this happen, and I’m going to need a lot
of personal strength, too.

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