Friday, March 11, 2011

Moving stuff to Wordpress

For about two years I've resisted.  Even after I got my Blackberry with 50% off data from work.  I figured Blogger was going the right direction with their so-called mobile blogging feature.

Except this feature has not improved at all since the day of its inception.  Now that Wordpress has free Blackberry and iOS apps for easy posting and managing, with integrated photo and video posting directly from my phone, what is the point of keeping an account on an out-dated blogging platform?

I need to express myself on the go, anywhere, anytime.  Sure nobody's really looking but I want my thoughts out THERE, my way, NOW.  Who has time to sit at home and compose thoughts?  If I have time to sit at my computer after a long day's work, I better be playing WOW.

After today, this will be on

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Money is NOT the root of evil.

As I get older (29 this year), I am increasingly aware of the importance of not only managing your finances but the absolute need to make investments to *cringe at cliché* - "grow your money".

I always thought naively that it was enough to live day-by-day and relatively debt-free besides regular monthly expenses. You could do what you wanted whenever you felt like, owing nothing to anyone and being responsible solely for yourself - without dragging anybody else down. This philosophy stems from a severe aversion to debt (the origin of which is unknown) and the ratifying notion that money is the root cause of the world's problems. I did however acknowledge that money is a necessity in life. Therefore one should at least have their day-to-day money matters in order.

In today's world this simple financial strategy can get you by most days but it doesn't leave many options when an unexpected life event consumes your Plan B savings (assuming you even have this safety net). To receive a decent salary in this day and age as a contractor or employee, specialized skills, specific potential and higher education are all required. What happens when a person loses their job after investing years into a career? Or when health problems prevent continuation in their current line of work? What happens when your business slows to a halt during a recession and you have no skills or knowledge in anything else?

This could happen to anybody at any stage in their life. Either way you are pretty much screwed. The old (younger) me would've thought it too cautious to live life based on careful preparation for the worst. I would've said that money breeds fear and fear binds us because money is evil*. The current me thinks those are only half truths - just one side of the coin. The real seat of evil is ignorance and laziness. In this fertile ground, all sorts of evil will thrive.

* putting things in terms of good and evil help me to make sense of the world

Money is definitely a necessity in life. To dream and work hard for more in life is natural. To use our God-given intelligence to devise better & smarter ways to attain these goals is "efficient". To attain perfection as close to perfection can be in this life, where we have everything provided for without causing harm to others and the only thing we could worry about is death - none of that is wrong. Current me thinks that it is perfectly okay to want these things. It is also okay not to want them but in order to be stable, independent and perhaps be in a position to aid others– that day-by-day mentality just isn't enough.

I really owe my new found way of thinking to my fiancée who has had a much tougher life than me. Being a natural entrepreneur, he was forced at a young age by circumstance to manage his personal finances well or else forsake his entire future. Commendably, he chose NOT to be ignorant and throughout his life he witnessed other people's "rise and fall". In knowing him I have also met a few people who due to sickness, divorce, starting a family combined with current or previous financial mismanagement ended up losing most of what they worked for in life.

I mean I should've learned that taking care of your money is important simply from observing my own parents since their divorce. I knew it on an intellectual level but emotionally I rejected it. Somehow yesterday while taking the bus to work, it really hit me.

I am making a serious vow here to learn more about actively managing my finances so it will grow instead of diminish slowly, in the hopes that one day that money will either help me 1) retire, 2) send my kids to college or 3) help a familly member or friend in dire need.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Best Eyeliner EVER!

It has been months since I've written anything on my "hobbies" blog but well, I've been fairly busy. In September I started a new job which I actually care about. Since I am a slightly just over the border workaholic, I put in the full official 8 hours and then some, plus a 2+ hours commute there and back. With that and daily chores like tidying up, making dinner, etc. it doesn't leave too much time for leisure. I usually get about an hour or so of personal down time. Either I can sit down, tap away on my iPod, workout, be healthy or pig out to bust stress. OR I could actually go to bed early to catch up on some sleep.

Anyway, the sad point is that I rarely knit or sew now. I still have lots of ideas for all kinds of projects. We bought an Arduino kit for Christmas and I have 2 different programming projects in the back of my head plus the ambitious programming project to simplify things at work which I am really excited about but have no time to do. By the way, I am not a programmer by trade. Now, in my semi spare time during the commute I read free public domain ebooks or listen to audiobooks and frenchpod101 lessons. My French has improved a ton!

À propos de ce article, I am using a new eyeliner which I am so happy with in every way I just had to blog about it. It's the new Maybelline Eyestudio cream eyeliner. I bought it on sale at $6 plus tax on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart.

The eyeliner is available in 4 colors: Blackest Black, Charcoal, Brown & Eggplant. It comes in a small pot the same as most other cream eyeliners out on the market. The good thing is that it is packaged with a little brush that isn't like the usual eyeliner brushes. Usually when you buy a single eyeliner brush it either has a flattened brush shape with a straight edge or it is a very small watercolor brush with a pointed tip. This one is more like a mini foundation brush, flat with a more tapered edge instead of rounded like most foundation brushes. It lets you build a thick or fine line so it is easy to create different looks. It works very well with the consistency of the cream liner - just perfect.

The cream is also waterproof. It does not smudge at all after a full day. Unlike the liquid liners, it is much easier to work with. With non-waterproof liquid eyeliners, you better not get teary-eyed at a movie, have allergies or god forbid walk in the rain. Sometimes you blink and you'll have black spots at the corners of your eyes. Or with the waterproof liquid liner varieties, a mistake means breaking out all your other tools to rub it off, causing your lids to become red and swollen.

With the Eyestudio liner, when you make a mistake, just a little water/saliva :P will erase it. At the end of the day, it comes off easily with eye makeup remover. No need to rub hard and basically scrape the paint off your face with a cotton pad.

I also want to note that I wear contacts and the Eyestudio liner did not irritate me at all. I even apply it right to my bottom inner lash line - a trick I learned from a makeup artist back in my camera trainee days. Application to the inner lash lines make you look more awake instantly without looking like you have any makeup on. This liner stayed on, no smudging on my bottom inner lash line during allergy season, all day long. I mean it faded a little bit but I am way too lazy to touch up throughout the day. THIS passed all my liner requirements with a thousand gold stars.

Thank you Maybelline for creating such an amazing product. I do believe it is the Holy Grail at the end of my lengthy search for the perfect eyeliner. I know there are really good cream liners out there but they cost so much, I just can't justify spending that amount to feed my vanity! But this is so amazing and affordable, I just had to write about it.

I love it!

* FYI I also got engaged during Christmas and have been procrastinating on the planning.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Shawl for Grandma

It's been quite a while since my last post. No doubt it's because I have not knitted much since winter. You know the usual excuses: summertime, laziness and such.

BamBam has also passed. I found him one day on his back right in the middle of the tank as if he jumped off the red rock to his death. I hoped he was molting but alas after a few days when his tank emitted the foul stench of crustacean death, I decided it was time to do the right thing and clean it out.

I'm visiting my grandmother in Hong Kong in about 5-6 weeks. Planning to send my love by knitting her a cozy and fabulous shawl. Since I haven't experienced a HK winter since I was 7 years old, I posted a note to Hong Kong Knitters on Ravelry to ask for yarn suggestions and patterns. Hope to get some replies soon so I can buy the yarn and get cracking. While it would be nice to have something to knit on the plane ride, ideally I would want to finish and block it before going to HK.

Been mulling over these patterns for now.

Woodland Shawl
Woodland Shawl

Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl
Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl


Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Moltey Cru(s)

Little Pebbles' antics really intrigued me last night and I couldn't fall asleep so I did some research on various aquatic life forums, webpages, etc. Turns out, they might already be molting.

Molting or moulting is the process by which crustaceans shed their exoskeleton as their body grows. The new shell remains soft for a period before hardening. This process is also known as ecdysis.

It is important during the molting process to provide areas for burrowing or hiding that will shield them from light. The molting process can be stressful (imagine if your body was involuntarily trying to break out of your own skin), especially after shedding of the exuvium, their soft new shells make the little crabbies vulnerable to their surroundings. Their environement should be maintained at the usual temperatures, clean and undisturbed.

From now, if I see BamBam or Pebbles lying on their backs or whatever, I am not touching them at all. What I will do is change their water over the weekend to make sure they'll be alright after they've shed their skin. *sob* They grow up so fast.