The Lifelong Learner :: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are -Roosevelt ::

Archive for the 'Off Topic' Category

New Category: Investing January 2nd, 2012
Michel de Montaigne on Being Yourself September 3rd, 2009
Comparing Schools August 3rd, 2009
Best Places to Live 2009 July 30th, 2009
Best of Zen Habits June 23rd, 2009
Nations Without Metric System June 22nd, 2007
Reading Books in 2007 January 30th, 2007
102 Personal Finance Tips November 3rd, 2006
The Face of America October 12th, 2006
Truths about blogging October 9th, 2006

New Category: Investing

I had a blog dedicated to investing that got quite stale — no updates and no visitors. I decided to take some of the most valuable entries in there and merge it with this blog under a new category Investing.

P.S. I want to put more focus on this blog in the near future.

Michel de Montaigne on Being Yourself

The bottom line: be yourself. A lot of times we don’t do something because we are afraid of what somebody else will think. It happens to me a lot. Stop, I don’t do something because of what somebody else “might think?!” Time to put a stop to that! There is something seriously wrong with that. I read a great quote that has been on my mind: “It’s none of your business of what somebody else thinks of you.” It’s much more important to do something that you think is right for you, without concerning yourself about others’ thoughts.

Comparing Schools

When looking for a house, one of the most important things for me is how good the schools are. It’s not the easiest task trying to find that data. I did come across a very good website that just a very good job. It gives you a quick view on how the school district is performing.

Best Places to Live 2009

In the August issue of the Money magazine, they list 100 Best Places to Live. This year, the focus is on small towns with population of 8,500 to 50,000.

  1. Louisville, CO (Population 18,800; Typical single-family house $325K; Property taxes: $1,590; Unemployment: 6%)
  2. Chanhassen, MN
  3. Papillion, NE
  4. Middleton, WI
  5. Milton, MA

On a related note, here’s a list from July’s Kiplinger’s.

  1. Hunstville, AL (Population: 395K; Unemployment: 6.8%; Median household income: $50K)
  2. Albuquerque, NM (Population: 845K; Unemployment: 6.3%; Median household income: $45K)
  3. Washington, DC (Population: 5.3M; Unemployment: 5.9%; Median household income: $83K)
  4. Charlottesville, VA (Population: 194K; Unemployment: 5.7%; Median household income: $53K)
  5. Athens, GA (Population: 189K; Unemployment: 6.8%; Median household income: $41K)
  6. Olympia, WA
  7. Austin, TX (Population: 1.7M; Unemployment: 6.2%; Median household income: $57K)
  8. Madison, WI (Population: 561K; Unemployment: 6.4%; Median household income: $60K)
  9. Flagstaff, AZ
  10. Raleigh, NC

Best of Zen Habits

Leo Babauta is the master behind Zen Habits, a movement (blog, books, and more) towards becoming a more productive person. He offers great advice. I recently read a very good book from him, The Power of Less, and have been a subscriber of his blog. Today, he has a blog entry that has links to 20 Classic Zen Habits Posts. Some very good articles.

ReferenceThe Power of Less, my recommended book20 Classic Zen Habits Posts – blog posts at Zen Habits

Nations Without Metric System

Interesting… Is America behind?

Reading Books in 2007

My goal this year is to read/listen to 10-20 non technical books (and 10-15 technical books). Last year, I was able to listen to 13 books, My 2006 Book List. I don’t have too much time to actually read non-technical books so I use most of my commute time to listen to audio books. It’s a great use of down time. Use it as the learning time. :-)

What do I want to read/listen this year? I love autobiographies, so I’ll probably listen to couple of those. I also like a motivation book from time to time. History books? Yes, I actually like them. I learned a lot about how America was founded by listening to autobiographies of the founding fathers. Good stuff.

What are the best books I listened to last year? There are three that stand out: Authentic Leadership, Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton.

As I said before, I don’t buy audio books any more. I rent them from my local library for free.

I love to learn and reading is a great way to learn.

102 Personal Finance Tips

Cheers to frugal living! Excellent set of tips on how to live within your means. We tend to forget that. :-)

Reference102 Personal Finance Tips Your Professor Never Taught You, Your Credit Advisor blog

The Face of America

US is growing. That’s a fact. It is a nation of 300 million! It’s madeup of many nations blended together. I think that the most amazing thingabout the US: the ability to mix many nations and races, and still have a safeenvironment. I came across a great article on Yahoo: what US iscomposed of, and what it will look like in the future. A good read –link below.

I extracted some interesting parts from the article:

  • The US population moves past 300 million- expected to happen in the next few days
  • There will be 400 million Americans in 2043
  • 2050, non-Hispanic whites will have dwindled from 69percent to a bare majority of 50.1 percent
    • Hispanic will have doubled to 24 percent
    • Asians also will have doubled to 8 percent of thepopulation
    • African-Americans will have edged up to 14 percent
  • Americans are expected to continue to gravitate west andsouth
    • the West and South have been growing two to three timesas fast as the Northeast and Midwest
  • A person born in 1967, when the population turned 200million, could be expected to live 70.5 years.
  • Life expectancy for those born today is 77.8 years
  • As the US moves toward 400 million people, Americans can beexpected to marry later in life, and more of them will live alone.
  • Between 1970 and 2005, the median age of first marriagemoved from 23 to 27 for men and from 21 to 26 for women.
    • the percentage of single-person households grew from 17percent to 26 percent

Thenext 100 million and the face of America, Yahoo News

Truths about blogging

Rajesh Setty, author of Beyond Code (book I recommend for programmers), has some good points about blogging. It’s not as easy as it seems. :-) I agree with Rajesh.

1. It’s easy to start but hard to maintain.

In fact, it is VERY hard to maintain. Since most bloggers are not depending on blogging for their living, it is walking an extra mile almost everyday. Plus, how do you motivate yourself to do something that does not have a short-term return?

2. People expect consistently good content or quality readers walk away.

You can write something stupid and get away for a while. People may even link to it and you may see an upsurge in traffic but that traffic is not what you want. Quality readers don’t have time to hunt for stupidity. If you don’t post good content consistently for a LONG time, there is no loyalty from quality readers. Ultimately it is not who reads your blog


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