Resuscitation, 2008, and moving forward


About a month ago on Facebook my friend Jun used the word “resuscitate” to describe the action I needed to bring this blog back. She also volunteered to teach me CPR… ;-)

Although I did not take up her kind offer, I have been thinking about how best to “resuscitate” ever since. Lots of things have happened since my last post on August 4, 2008; it doesn’t feel right to just skip the past 6 months and suddenly start posting the latest things I want to write right now. I need a “bridge” post, I’ve decided, if only just for the one or two readers who were not with me on Facebook the past 6 months.

So here’s a really quick look back to the last few months of 2008, up till now:

  • The Beijing Olympics. During those 3 weeks I subscribed to almost all the Olympics blogs by major media sports writers and journalists in my RSS reader, and read just about everything that’s been written every day in the western media, NYT, ESPN, FoxSports, Guardian Sports, BBC Sports, Yahoo! Sports, CNN, ABCNews… On top of those I also read tons of message board posts and did my share of postings. It was pretty crazy. So many things happened. There were times I felt powerless. sad. And there were the times of pride. awe. and inspiration. They could go on a separate post of its own, but somehow I have lost the drive to write it.
    (or perhaps it’s the courage to write them that I’ve lost, like a climber facing an insurmountable mountain…)
  • The U.S. Open. The first time we went to see live tennis. We went on the Labor Day weekend and later for the men’s finals. Notable players/games that we watched include: Zheng Jie/Yan Zi women’s double, Djokovic vs a pretty good young guy, Li Na vs Dementieva (the freshly crowned Olympics Gold Medalist), and of course, Federer vs Andy Murray. I was hoping for a Nadal/Fed final but didn’t get it.
    Live tennis games are fun. I highly recommend you try it once, if you watch tennis on TV. Don’t buy the worst seats though, you need a reasonably good view to get yourself into it.
  • Yellowstone Trip. We were lucky enough to have caught the perfect weather, beautiful foliage, and plenty wildlife sightings that include: a black bear (next to a dead elk body), a grizzly bear (walking in the woods at roadside), a wolf and an antelope wandering in the same valley (and missing each other!), a fox-like wolf in the vicinity of a bison (of course neither was interested in the other), three different types of deer, a coyote, a group of sheep, and the best of all, an army of bisons walking right in front of our car (and right next to it within an elbow’s length). The geysers and hot springs were also amazing as advertised. They look even better on photos :c).
    One lesson learned from the trip: you need a binocular, a video cam, AND the best camera/lens you can afford to go to Yellowstone. All three are necessities.
  • The Financial Crisis. The best thing that came out of the whole thing is, it prompted me to start paying real good attention to my 401k… ; ), which then resulted in me delving into a reading fever on some of the best, and academically sound if you will, investment advices that I truly wish I had learned 10 years ago.
  • New Year Eve. Another first: First time we spent the countdown watching a ball drop with a crowd outside. It was freezing like hell, but I really wanted to go, to send off this crazy year of 2008. When it counted to 0 and all the fireworks erupted, I was cheering with everyone else from the bottom of my heart.
  • Movies. 2008 was a great year for movies. I’ve been putting in short, one paragraph reviews on Facebook (via Flixster) for movies I watched lately. Maybe I’ll make a compilation of them into a post later. I think I’ve watched 3 of the 5 best picture nominees as well as some very good ones like The Wrestler and Revolutionary Road in the last couple months alone.
  • New Food. Nepali is now added to my list of Cuisines I’ve Tried At Least Once, as #25. ;-)

Lastly, to whoever that noticed, the kitties pictures on the right is replaced with the latest Flickr photo feed. There seem to be something wrong with Flickr’s RSS feed on a set that caused the kitty set photos all broken. Until I figure out the problem this is the only feed that works here.

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7 responses to “Resuscitation, 2008, and moving forward

  1. yay ! :)

    what pieces of investment advices you read? i want to read it too!

  2. Wow, you have been busy! I am still reluctant to get on Facebook, so it’s good to see you here.
    In addition to all the sports, it was interesting to read about your Yellowstone trip. I have not been there yet, but I know it has to be amazing!
    I miss your kitties :( but it’s GREAT to see YOU! :)

  3. Get on Twitter then… :-D For a blogger like you you may find Twitter more of use… and the more I dig into it (which I only started doing less than 2 wks ago) the more fascinated I become… I can see why Facebook considers it a threat.

    and my kitties will always be here whenever you want to see them!

  4. omg hello!! and i was abt to declare this blog brain dead (“time of death:…”) ;p glad to see u’re back again! more more more!! :D

  5. No!! lol… the brain is not dead dr Jun, It was just “thinking” in some other places!

  6. Jie, I just found out Akismet put your comment into spams!! I wonder why that happened (it’s not like this is the 1st time you commented here and they always went thru). Perhaps it had sth to do with the huaren site url you put in this time… if so that’s not good…

    You can check out the books on my Visual Bookshelf on FB. Bogleheads Guide and Four Pillars of Investing are both good places to start.
    http://www.bogleheads.org is where I first got the pointers (http://www.bogleheads.org/readbooks.htm). Their forums have lots of incredibly knowledgeable investors/investment advisors/authors posting.

    In short, make sure your retirement portfolio have proper asset allocation that fit your situation, and use low cost index funds (over actively managed) whenever possible. If you need to invest outside of 401k (taxable account), u might wanna consider a mutual fund account with Vanguard.

    talk later

    (btw i don’t know if u use ur gmail.. i sent u a reply there this afternoon)

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