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Thank you Starbucks :)

About a year ago, I wrote this post about a particular incident of great customer service from [tag]Starbucks[/tag]. A few months after that, I was contacted by Dr. [tag]Joseph Michelli[/tag], who was at that moment writing a book about the company. He wanted to use my experience in a particular chapter of his book.

To make the story short, my entry was used in Dr. Michelli’s book, and he sent me an advanced copy of his book called [tag]The Starbucks Experience[/tag] along with a Starbucks gift certificate. Just wanted to convey my gratitude to both Dr. Michelli and Starbucks through this post.

[eminimall products="coffee, starbucks"]

NBA Fantasy Season 06-07

Every year, about 10 – 12 of us play [tag]NBA Fantasy League[/tag] in [tag]Yahoo Sports[/tag], and this year is no different. We’re playing weekly head to head games with 9 cats (PTS, REB, AST, FG%, FT%, 3PT, STL, BLK, TO). This year, just like last year, I got near the end of the draft at 11th pick out of 12 people (last year I was 12th out of 12th … it’s a conspiracy I tell you :) ). So without further ado, here’s my starting 15 players (10 starters, 2 utilities, 3 bench):

[tag]Allen Iverson[/tag] – What can you say about this guy, plays through pain, and still shows no sign of slowing down even though he’s hit 30.

[tag]Yao Ming[/tag] – Foot injuries a concern, but as he showed second half of last season, he’s ready to be the next dominant center of the league when healthy.

[tag]Gerald Wallace[/tag] – Injuries also a concern throughout his young career, but the only player last year to average at least 2 STL and 2 BLK per game, also improved his shooting this year.

[tag]Rashard Lewis[/tag] – Had him last year, absolutely loved his numbers.

[tag]Chris Webber[/tag] – First healthy season in quite awhile last year, not sure if he can stay that way, but a pretty good gamble at 5th pick.

[tag]Caron Butler[/tag] – Ditto with Rashard, had him last year, good numbers and STL from a F position.

[tag]Ben Gordon[/tag] – Mostly for scoring needs, and boy can he score.

[tag]Deron Williams[/tag] – Showed flashes of brilliance second half last year, hope he can maintain that consistency the whole year.

[tag]Maurice Williams[/tag] – Starting PG at Milwaukee now that TJ Ford is gone. Gonna be monitoring him to see how well he does, if not then Steve Blake might be taking over.

[tag]Antonio McDyess[/tag] – Now that Big Ben has moved on to Chicago, many are predicting big things and a more involved role for Dice.

[tag]Delonte West[/tag] – Yes, I know there’s Telfair, and Rondo has been doing great in the preseason, but last year he was a great all around player for the C’s, and he can play the 2 also. Don’t see his value dropping too far. Only concern is his back problems during preseason.

[tag]Chris Wilcox[/tag] – When he was traded to Seattle last year, he was an absolute beast. He’s been outplayed by Nick Collison in preseason, so we’ll see how it goes.

[tag]Nene[/tag] – A gamble really, I’m betting on Camby and KMart not really being able to play 82 games either this season.

[tag]Sean May[/tag] – Looks like he’s gonna be getting good minutes in Charlotte these days.

[tag]Adam Morrison[/tag] – The only rook I could get (was aiming for Brandon Roy, but he was taken already). Looks like he’ll struggle in other cats besides scoring.

Mute button on people?

Is there a way to put a mute button on people ala the movie “Click” where Adam Sandler could just mute the sound of anybody he chooses?

My oldest son would be one good candidate for that button :). He just can’t stop talking, from the moment he wakes up till he falls back asleep, there’s hardly any one minute of silence. Can you imagine having to listen to someone talking all day all the time, and in lots of cases, it’s whining/bugging us for something? Trying to be patient just doesn’t work after a few years of this, and I”m just stumped on what to do right now. If someone could invent that mute button, it’d be greatly appreciated :)

Career direction

Well, it’s been just over 9 months since I’ve done anything for a career. At the moment I’m just stuck as to what I plan on doing in the future. Some of the options I’m considering:

Investing

My top choice really, even though I don’t have much experience in it. There are a couple of investments that I’ve been looking at which seem pretty good as a source of income. One is investing in EPSI Canada, which does processing of Interac, cashback and Mastercard (basically swiped transactions). The investor gets to purchase the terminals, and they do all the maintenance, as well as guarantee a minimum number of transactions per month (24% ROI per year – which is written in contract). I’m currently looking at the contract agreement, trying to find a lawyer to view it and trying to call the references that they’ve provided. It seems a pretty good deal if I can get a steady income from this while in Indonesia, so I can concentrate on doing something else.

The other investment opportunity which has come up is a company in Indonesia where one of my friends works and has shares. He’s offered me to invest in a new spin-off of the company or the current parent company where his investment has grown 750% within the last 5 years.

The issue with these 2 of course is the capital, I’ll need quite a bit of money to invest on these, which means we won’t be able to buy a house in Indo for now. One solution I’m thinking of is getting a secured line of credit from a bank and use it for the investment. We’ll see how that goes since getting a secured line of credit doesn’t seem so easy after all.

Back to the workforce

My second option of course is the easiest, whether here in Canada or back in Indonesia. Back to doing development, systems analysis, programming, database etc. The problem with this is that I’m not sure I really enjoy it anymore and I’m 9 months behind on technology anyway. Going back to this means I have to find some specific niche that I truly enjoy such as Web Development or I”m just gonna find it dragging away again. Doing this in Indo also means mediocre pay and hardly worth the effort.

This was a subject that I had interest in awhile back: Project Management. Being involved in projects (specifically IT ones), dealing with people most of the time, new technologies, managing and yet not having to get down to the nitty-gritty stuff sounds like quite an enjoyable thing to do. Of course the stumbling block is that I don’t have the experience nor certification to get started in the field.

Work from home

Something I’m really serious on, especially if the investment in point 1 above can produce enough income. The 2 main culprits being online day/swing trading and playing poker professionally.

I’ve tried online day/swing trading with limited success (well, almost no success in financial terms :) ), and yet I keep thinking that if I persist in studying all the variables, charts, patterns et.all , I’ll be really good at this. During the times I traded with full concentration and no distractions, I managed to gain good profit. But since there was only a short period of time in a day I could do this (no more than 30 minutes, due to a toddler rampaging the house and a newborn asking for attention :) ), I tended to get sloppy and made transactions without fully analyzing it, hence lots of losing transactions. Tighter money management and better analysis would probably be necessary for me to be successful here.

Playing professional poker is more an indulgence than anything else. I do enjoy watching those people play on TV, and it seems like fun trying to get in the other person’s head, figuring out what they’re thinking and what they’re gonna do. I haven’t played with real money yet, just play money in Sit & Go’s and online games, enjoying winning quite a bit with (probably) inferior competition. I dunno what it’ll be like playing with professional players, but I sure would like to give it a shot if I get the chance :).

Well, all these options are just confusing the heck out of me. They all have their plus and minuses, and yet none that has a significant edge over the others. So right now, I’m just trying to figure out if I can spring enough money for the investment options, as that seems the best route, after that then maybe I can make a decision on what’s best to do.