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Sorry people, haven’t had time to update the blog about my new notebook :). It’s a great machine, and I’m writing a review on this A8Jm review page. The link is available on the right navigation menu. The review will be an ongoing one, as I don’t have the time to complete it in one shot.

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Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 150 user reviews.

Well, after months (even years) thinking about buying a notebook, I finally got one. It’s an ASUS A8Jm. Gonna pick it up this afternoon.

I’ll post the details this evening after I get it :)

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Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 242 user reviews.

Well, another year just went by in my life. Last night, a couple of my friends took me out to dinner to celebrate. It’s really great to have a group of friends whom you’ve known for a long time and see how everybody’s grown in life. Some of us have kids, others just got married and some getting married soon. Very nice to reminisce of old times and have fun together :).

A birthday is usually a celebration of life, what you’ve accomplished so far, wisdom of another year spent on earth, and time for reflection. For me though, the last few years was just a reminder of what I have NOT accomplished, and if it weren’t for my family and these good friends of mine who celebrate with me, it wouldn’t really mean anything.

The truth is, I’m not really satisfied at where I’m at in my life at this moment. Sure, I have a wonderful wife and 2 kids, nice life as it’s seen from an outsider point of view. But I just feel that I’m not in the position I’m meant to be at this time. Somehow there’s a feeling of many many missed opportunities the last few years, that there should’ve been something different, that somehow I made a few wrong choices in the past.

I see people everywhere building careers, businesses, families and think, all these people at my age, some at managerial positions in big companies, some self made millionaires, some strong families, enjoying life etc etc. And here I am, almost 30 years old (not yet :) ), no career, no business of my own, no sense of accomplishment, no mark in society, and I think my wife and oldest son would agree that I’m not being the best family man I can be towards them right now.

One of the reasons I agreed to go back to Indonesia, was to fix some of these issues. I wanted to start something on my own so I can be successful financially, enjoy quality time with my wife and kids and in general make a mark in life, contribution to society, do what I’m meant to be. But even this presents its own burdens; trying to find funding to start a business, finding the right partners and business to do, high medical and educational costs, safety, no support net but yourself, and so many more …

Birthdays are a time for reflection, and in reflecting, I find that life just doesn’t get any easier. It’s as if, once you hit adulthood, there’s no more fun and games, you’re in a war to accomplish your purpose in life, and choices made, good or bad, will affect whether or not you can accomplish that. Right now, I’m just hoping that I’m making the right choices in life and the bumpy road ahead won’t break down my spirit.

Well, well, that’s my reflection for this year. By the time next year rolls around, I’ll be in Indonesia and doing something to try and achieve something meaningful. Maybe the best thing is not to look back, but to look forward and keep on going. Wish me luck.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 247 user reviews.

My wife just had her laser vision correction done at LasikMD. The procedure itself according to her only took about 5 minutes or so, but the preparation and recovery time included made it total almost 5 hours.

When I picked her up after the procedure, her eyes were very sensitive, sore and it was hard for her to even open them. Apparently this will be the norm for the first 6 hours after surgery. There are a couple of other issues during the next while that she has to follow such as:

  • - Wearing black sunglasses ala Stevie Wonder for quite awhile :).
  • - Using eye drops on the eyes every 15 minutes for the next 24 hours, and as needed till about 3 months from now.
  • - During naps and sleep time, she has this gel that she has to wear and a pair of glasses that will prevent accidental scratching.
  • - The eyes cannot be touched by water for at least 1 week, which is quite hard for her because it means taking extra care and time to wash her hair. The doctor recommended wearing swimming goggles anytime she’s near the shower :).
  • - Regular checkups tomorrow, 1 week after, 1 month after and 3 months after.

All in all, I think it’s a great technology to have, allowing people with vision problems to have it back to perfect 20/20 vision. It’s not a cheap procedure (they start at about $490 per eye, and gets more expensive if your eyes are worse), it cost my wife almost $800 CAD per eye, totaling $1600 (not including insurance).

A piece of advice to anyone thinking of doing this: try negotiate the price. My wife tried to ask for a better price and couldn’t get any, but while she was talking to another patient this afternoon, she found out that the person forced the issue, and got a reduction in price + a 3 year insurance. That person then added $100 to make it lifetime guarantee (meaning if the eyes get bad again, the procedure is free for as long as you live). The price my wife was told was an extra $400 for a lifetime guarantee, so she didn’t go for it. If she got the deal that person got, she would’ve been able to get the lifetime guarantee for $1700 CAD.

[eminimall products="lasik"]

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Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 182 user reviews.

I come from Indonesia, where like in most Asian countries, we negotiate almost everything before buying. In lots of cases this takes lots of time before a deal can be reached. Of course, it’s become a habit of many Asian people, and it carries over to when they’re older.

Yesterday, I mentioned that an offer was made to our condo unit.Well, today I’m gonna be talking about negotiating vs time wasting due to that offer :).

In buying and selling, of course there will always be negotiation about compensation, price and details. My problem is if one part of the negotiators try to lowball the other by making unreasonable demands and thus waste time for both sides. This promotes feelings of distrust and hostile intent. In such cases, negotiation becomes an act of war, where both sides try to destroy the other by getting a one sided deal.

This morning, the other agent presented the offer from the people interested in buying the unit, and it was so far below market value, it’s not even funny. Case in point: there is another unit for sale on the same floor as us, smaller and lacks a couple of features that our unit has such as in suite storage and outside the bedroom laundry. That condo is almost $20, 000 lower in price than ours. Consider that the offer these people made was $20, 000 BELOW THAT OTHER UNIT’s price. In essence, they’re making an offer for our unit at a price about $30, 000 below the market value.

I understand the need to negotiate better pricing, but in cases such as these, negotiating turns to time wasting, since we have to counter, then counter, then counter and so on. If it weren’t for the patience and advice of my wife and our agent, I wouldn’t have even dignified that offer with a counter, telling them to come back when they’re serious. I mean, can’t people realize that this is wasteful of time for both sides? The sheer idiocy of some people just escape my thinking. If the offer were reasonable, I would’ve countered with a lower price, but just for that insulting offer, I’d probably turn this into an act of war :)

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Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 152 user reviews.

Well, sadly our experimentation with The Cooler Zone has ended. It seems that none of us have the time to post quality articles there. So I’ve imported all the posts to this site, and from now on I’ll be posting just on this site.

It was fun while it lasted, thanks to Henry and Kurnia who contributed quite a bit to that blog.

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 284 user reviews.

Well, our agent just confirmed that there’s an offer on the table for our condo. It’s quite interesting because so far there have been only 2 agents who’ve shown our place, and these people making the offer were the first ones who saw it. Talk about love at first sight :)

We’re gonna hear the offer tomorrow afternoon, fingers crossed for a good offer and quick sale.

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Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 264 user reviews.

We went out to Casey’s Bar and Grill last night because we had a 2 for 1 dinner coupon, and it expired yesterday.

Ordered the 14 oz NY Steak with grilled portabello mushrooms, while my wife had the Rib n Wing combo. The food was delicious, steak tasted great (albeit, not as good as Ruth’s Chris :) ), and ditto with the Ribs and Wings.

After that we decided to try out the Mile High Chocolate cake, which was awesome. By the end of the night, we were so full, it was hard to breathe. I’d recommend trying out Casey’s to anyone.

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Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 220 user reviews.