January 2, 2007

Bulk view

Ay, my dad… Fireworks!

My dad sounded *so* disappointed earlier! He trudged up the stairs and
said, “Sacha, I’m so sad…”

I looked up from my computer and asked him what was going on.

The second World PyroOlympics is coming up soon, and he had really
wanted to go and shoot it. He was so excited! He had shot it last year
(a story in its own right), and he wanted to talk his way into press
access for the event. But my dad didn’t want just any kind of press
access. He wanted to find out if he could get away with, say,
representing a horse breeders’ magazine… ;) Why? Just for the sheer
heck of it!

So he… obtained… a press pass (don’t ask how) and was about to hit
them up for access when one of the organizers recognized him, shouted
his name and called him over. It turned out that the organizers had
lost my dad’s business card, so they couldn’t get in touch with him,
but they wanted to invite him to the VIP area for the fireworks
festival. With dinner and everything!

He went home with an envelope containing an invitation for “John Chua
and Family”. Just for showing up. He didn’t even need to talk about a
fictional horse-breeder magazine. But he was *so* disappointed!
Imagine that! Preparing an outrageous setup, getting all excited about
seeing just how far he could push the universe, and the universe just
handed him the prize on a silver (or at least nice porcelain) plate!

Ay, my dad… You think I’m crazy? ;) You should meet *him!*

On Technorati:

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Checking my financial course

I must be doing something right if my mom’s financial advisor is
impressed by my planning. ;)

We visited Tina at the bank today. After my mom finished a little
business, I took advantage of the free financial advice. I told Tina
about the money I’d earmarked for various expenses, the emergency fund
I’d set up, and the savings I set aside. She was glad to hear that I’m
already thinking about all of these things at 23 years of age.

Tina recommended a split between a diversified balance fund and a
high-risk, high-growth equity fund. Asian equities are doing pretty
well, although the foreign currency hit and the fees for transferring
money probably mean that I should keep Canadian money in Canada for

It’s good to know that I’m on course, and to get an idea of what’s
coming up ahead. I’ll keep money in a liquid high-interest savings
account first because I don’t know how much I’ll need when I
transition into the working world. I will probably want to furnish a
place, update my wardrobe, get used to a new lifestyle, etc. I know
I’ll feel satisfied if I can cover all of my startup costs and restore
my emergency fund without taking stuff out of my investment fund.

When the dust settles, I’ll look into the investment options. My next
milestone would be three to five years out, when I decide whether to
stay in Toronto or move on. I like what my mom did with our place on
Bautista: rent the house until she decided to buy it. It seems like a
good way to get a feel for a place. We’ll see. But I should be able to
diversify into really-long-term (retirement or 10+ years), medium (3-5
years), and liquid assets.

I pay attention to stuff like this because I would hate to waste these
great opportunities through mismanagement. Besides, sorting this out
early takes less effort than dealing with the consequences of bad
planning. =) And it’s fun! I like seeing my books balance. I like
knowing that the basics are taken care of and that there’s some room
to take crazy chances and follow my intuition. I like abundance and

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You only live once!

… and each night is as important as every other night, and each day
is as important as every other day.

I’m going to be audacious and ask IBM for what I need to do even
better on my thesis. I don’t know if it’s going to blow up. It’s hard
to finetune subtle things over e-mail. But whatever happens, I’m
better off trying the outrageous than letting things slide. If it
turns out to be a mistake – well, I’ll learn, and there are other
opportunities I can pick up. But I need this, and I deserve to do work
I can be proud of!

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The secret to waking up early

Woke up at 6 today. It’s getting easier and easier.

I discovered the secret to waking up early!

Sleep in the same room with someone who snores. ;) This guarantees
that you’ll be early to bed, early to rise…

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Oh no! I tried using the ACM Digital Library through my
library access
earlier, and I couldn’t get full-text access. I’ve sent my research
supervisor a panicky e-mail. While he’s solving that problem, I’ll
focus on designing my research study.

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