sometimes i forget

August 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

that i’m surrounded by people who love me

keen shoes >>> keen places (part ii)

August 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

photo from

biking oshawa >>> guildwood

August 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

During the ten days following wisdom teeth removal, I basically sat on my butt and ate mushy food. Now I’m back to kicking butt and eating everything. Believe it or not, I miss exercising as much as eating real food.

On Wednesday, we spent 50 minutes in the condo gym and 15 minutes in the condo hot tub. While on the elliptical, I read about a new fitness trend: aerial dance. I saw Malaria Lullaby last weekend and was super impressed; not only the strength of the dancers but also the imagery.

On Friday, I ate roasted salmon sandwich from Montreal Bread Co for lunch and sticky rice potato pancake and bibimbap at Ka Chi for dinner. Maybe the recent stock market decline had a psychological impact on me but I can’t believe roasted salmon sandwich is ten bucks. Thank goodness for cheap Asian food.

[Interlude: When I made my first financial plan in 2007, I decided that I never want my public equity exposure to exceed 30% of my net worth. My thinking is that 30% decline in public equity is not unlikely and I’m comfortable with 9% decline in net worth. Recently, I was wondering if this 30% threshold should include my exposure to Manulife. I haven’t decided but, in the mean time, I’m speeding up my mortgage payments as much as possible and hopping into ING savings account.

I’m not endorsing ING. I would never put more than 100,000 in any institution. But ING allows you to do everything online. And they understand bunnies.]

On (non-slacker) Saturday, we took the Go from Union to Oshawa, biked to Guildwood following waterfront trail (55 km because we got sidetracked a few times) and took the Go from Guildwood to Union. Despite the industrial areas, the scenery was great.

After dinner, we took the ferry to Ward Island, satisfied our sweet tooth and enjoyed Hansel and Gretel. No, we didn’t eat Hansel and Gretel; S had praline ice cream and I had affogato (espresso + ice cream = keen) from Island Cafe. S is jealous of the cafe’s veggie garden. In the photo above, Freud is talking to the minstrels. No, Freud didn’t eat Hansel and Gretel either. In the photo below, S is playing the role of a telemarketer. Usually, they invite kids to participate but they asked S. He must look like a kid.

On the ferry back, we hummed Mack the Knife.


August 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m reading John Kay’s Obliquity. Why our goals are best achieved indirectly because it was endorsed by Nassim Taleb. Taleb didn’t teach me anything new but he said everything in such interesting ways.

One vicious attribute is that the longer these animals can go without encountering the rare event, the more vulnerable they will be to it. For evolution means fitness to one and only one time series, not the average of all the possible environments.

[Interlude: Clearly, it is a brilliant idea to live in a different city every two years.]

I haven’t finished reading Obliquity. but experience so far is comparable (i.e. not learning anything new but enjoying the storytelling).

Charles Darwin attempted to follow Franklin’s rule when he set out the pros and cons of marriage in two opposing columns. A wife would provide “children, companionship, the charms of music and female chit chat.” But Darwin also noted the disadvantages: the prospect of “being forced to visit relatives, and to bend in every trifle”, the “loss of freedom to go where one liked”. Both men understood perfectly well that moral algebra is not how people really make decisions. Below his assessment Darwin scrawled: “It is intolerable to think of spending one’s whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working–only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa.” He ends his notes, “marry–marry–marry Q.E.D.” The following year, he wedded Emma Wedgwood; the couple had ten children.

Friday was coop shadow day at Manulife. Alice, our coop, spent half a day shadowing Mark, one of the US Life coops. Mark then spent half a day shadowing Alice. I did my usual product risk spiel: we setting standards, we approve new business plan, we approve new products, we monitor actual new business profitability relative to plan. People often ask me how I assess product risk. There are all kinds of check lists. But we don’t go through the check lists and say x% disintermediation risk and y% reinvestment risk. When we hate a product, we know it.

keen shoes >>> keen places

August 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

Last weekend was wisdom teeth weekend. S took me home after surgery and bought tonnes of baby food. Mum visited me after surgery and cooked all kinds of innovative mushy stuff. I felt specially cared for. But I miss the texture of real food. To cheer myself up:

1. I bought purple vans. My baby blue converse is falling apart.

2. I watched Lost in Translation. I had great expectations because I love The Virgin Suicides and heard that Lost in Translation feels like Before Sunrise and In the Mood for Love. But I felt empty afterwards.

I am reminded of Charlotte’s own claim in the movie that all girls pass through a stage of wanting to be a photographer, usually leading to lots of pictures of their own feet. Coppola composes ravishing images of her feet, but at a certain level, that’s all they are; even her cityscapes might be metaphors for her feet. When she really finds her feet, I have a sense that we’ll know it. I don’t think it’s quite happened, but I am eager to see her try again.”

3. I watched Waking Life. Again. I debated fear or laziness with S while drinking iced cap from Balzac’s.

4. I drank iced cap from Crema everyday before work.

5. I drank a bottle of Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling.

6. I drank a bottle of Yellow Tail Shiraz.

7. I wandered around pusateri’s, buying vodka sauce. I flooded my pasta with vodka sauce.

8. I ordered pork bone soup ramen at Kenzo.

9. I uploaded all my photos from Patagonia.

+1. I read 5 ways to beat the post-travel blues.

+1. I watched Kimi Wa Petto. Again.

+1. I read Matsuri Special. Yoko Kamio’s female characters have special skills. I think she is trying to tell us that we are all special.

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