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Looking back at 2012

Four days till 2013, I am counting down again.  Actually it’s just 3 days 7 hrs to the ring of New Year, and as always it is time for me to look back.  Quite a busy, productive year it’s been.

For the most parts of the year, I was overwhelmed with projects, interviews, job transitions, and tempted calls for moving to SFO, Austin, or even further, in New Zealand.  I could not say enough thanks to previous positions that equipped me with the knowledge and skillsets that are now valuable, and in demand by many enterprises.  As they always say, everything happens for a reason.  I found myself working like crazy, there were 12-hr days.   I exhausted previous position’s vacation days to work for projects, that took away my weekends, my personal and vacation time for the rest of the year; donated unused accrued sick days to a former coworker who was disabled from a tragic accident.   Good thing is, I could not sacrifice too much of my personal time for all work, so I managed to keep my Flex schedule to have every other Friday off.  I would go crazy for sure otherwise…  Cousins were visiting from Berlin, Germany.  The first time they visited us, mainly Mom, in the US after 20yrs.  Younger brother was visiting home; and it was the first time I saw my lovely handsome nephew Nevan – he is a piece of everyone of us.  I welcomed and adored my first niece Bella in May from younger sister, and  look forward to welcoming second niece Noelle from brother this winter.   Life is not perfect but kids deserve the best of life and love.  I feel  for parents who lost their innocent kids to the nonsense shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.   I elected President Obama, this time with my full trust in his integrity and leadership, and hoped he was reelected by majority, knowing that it is Texas where my vote would not count much.  I did not elect him (nor McCain) 4 years earlier.  You can only tell whom to trust with time.  He is a passionate but persevere people-person.   It was unbelievable I lost my iphone at Home Depot.  It had this suspicion of my iphone missing or stolen and it happened so soon…  I should always trust my guts!!!  I am checking off my 2012 to-do-list, and yes, the townhouse is rented out, the soffit/roof got fixed; I acquired  another investment property just for income-tax deductible purpose.  I am happy I am able to provide shelters to others who need and can appreciate.  While renting the places out; I am OK with going home to Mom’s place after work/gym/mission trips….   I guess, I chose to spend more time with her; it’s always my intention for the past 10 yrs to be together with family.   I think I tried too hard to lead that belief.  Or better yet, I am still watching that to happen.  Mom was thought to have a slight stroke one night – what happened was she woke up to go to the restroom but could not make it to the restroom and laid on the floor for hours till afternoon. I believe she had a vertigo/dizziness, and hope she wears the LifeAlert necklace that brother subscribed and ordered for her.  However, I have to start checking upon her in the morning before leaving.  Mom has water delivered monthly by Ozarka.   The rainwater collection project is not done.  I missed the rain-barrel sales event at the City, will get to that next year.

And finally, I deserve a big reward.  After 6-month of online and stop-by/window shopping, I reward myself a new car.  And really this babe is meant for me.  After all,  it is not the Wrangler that I had in mind last year.  It’s a MB Coupe, for the sake of money worth-spent, I like it for its “Muscle, unboundAggressive in presence, athletic in shape (not too masculine), unleashed performance, and confident in motion; unrestrained style; unlimited engagement”.  Shopping for car was quite a self-educating experience and I am proud of myself for being prepared.  I am glad I also made new friends.  At the same time the wish of dating men to be like shopping for car occurred to my mind.  If dating men is like buying car, life would be easier – right car, right timing, right price, low miles, 1 yr/1 owner, edgy, with warranty, full options, and fun to drive…  Fun but real though.  🙂

The Holidays will run out quickly.  It is also time to reconnect with old friends.  2012 has come and gone in the blink of an eye as months, weeks and days whizzed by… and I was kept busy.   The world is wired up with social media, networks, twitter, skype,…  I am not totally wired up.  I finally got caught up with some good movies that I missed.  Roku XS box with video-streaming helps.   A few personal projects – as there are as always for months to come.  It is a world of craziness out there.  And kindness is hard to find.  I am looking forward to the much needed quiet time, and forward to 2013 another exciting year to come.

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We are taught from the time we are born to conform. To conform to current and conventional views. We are discouraged from taking risks and encouraged to follow the proven path. In many ways we have been taught how to follow, rather than lead. We’ve been encouraged to look at the stars rather than reach for them. Yet inside each of us exists a unique and authentic light, a set of beliefs that, when followed, gives us a sense of purpose and ignites the human spirit within.


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from mydailymoment:

As the world economy continues to boom, Leo, don’t be surprised if you’re surrounded by new work possibilities. More than one chance to increase your income could come your way today. The problem will be wading through all these opportunities and trying to decide which is the most appealing and workable for you. List your options and outline the pros and cons of each. Writing things down can sometimes make them clearer.

Indeed I am so overwhelmed…  all of a sudden projects come from everywhere.  I feel like everyone wants a piece of me… And the ongoing projects have deadlines.  I am learning on the fly how to re-prioritize and extend the implementing process on the roadmaps here and there.   And the call for moving to the Bay Area seems attractive.  It is a tough decision to make.  But I am counting blessings.

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“Too often the sense of loyalty depends on admiration, and if we can’t admire, it’s difficult to be loyal.”

— Aimee Buchanan

“ We would rather have one man or woman working with us than three merely working for us. ”

— F.W. Woolworth

In handling men, there are three feelings that a man must not possess-fear, dislike and contempt. If he is afraid of men he cannot handle them. Neither can he influence them in his favor if he dislikes or scorns them. He must neither cringe nor sneer. He must have both self-respect and respect for others. 

Herbert N. Casson

“Love of pleasure is a disease which makes men most despicable.”

– Cassius Longinus

“ Vanity is a mortgage that must be deducted from the value of a man. ”

— Otto Eduard Bismarck

“ Speaking or writing without thinking is like shooting without aiming. ”

— Arnold Glasow

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Love Mikey always.

This past weekend while others mourned or watched Whitney Houston’s funeral, I mourned over the loss of Mikey – our lovely cat.  Although he had been with us over 6 years short, it seemed he had been with us so long or all his life.  He was moved from Seattle by his mom (my sister) and lived with us – been pet-sit by granny (our Mom), enjoyed the big house as his own world, while his mom can travel for work.  He got struck by cancer which was found out  so late,  just 3 months ago.  Remorsefully thinking, he could have lasted longer if I could spend days and nights with him the past 1 month.  But we tried our best.  Mikey stopped consuming any foods and barely drank.  I could only feed him twice a day – morning and evening, tried to pump-feed him with CatSure milk, liquid, and meds and all that could help.  About 10 days ago, gotten home after work and looked for him, I noticed his body started deteriorating, he lost a significantly huge volume of muscle.  For some magical reason, he held it so strong until Sunday morning 02/19/2012, one day after his Mom finally got home.  He was happy to see his Mom being home with him on Saturday night.  He had her in his last moments – just like any child would ask for mom when crying in pain.  I heard that human beings also do that …  In their dead beds they always call for or think of their mothers, or loved ones(?).  Just seeing an animal or anyone going away in suffering was so hard… Living in suffering is even harder.

We are not accepting the fact that Mikey is gone. He is still around here, as if someone waits patiently for us home by the window, sometimes sneaks behind me in the closet while I subconsciously watch out not to step on or run into him…

He left us a valuable lesson – pets are the only ones who can bring you happiness and that is all they bring – happiness only, but they can only stay with you that long. I read from someone’s one blog that her cat was with her for 19 years.  That must be some well-cared for healthy cat. We love them always. Love Mikey always.

Although we can not avoid the natural law – if there is birth, there is death.  Life on this earth is a four-stage line of “birth – aging –  sickness – death”.

Having seen what happened  to senior(s) at dead-beds had me thinking many times of how we all should live in order to die without suffering.  We can eliminate the ‘sickness’ part.  Advanced science and technologies have made it possible for extending human life expectancy.   At the same time, it is not too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle, to be aware of the air we breathe in, the water we drink, and the foods we consume.

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Growing up, I learn we all have ups and downs of life.  It is the natural law.  The ocean is not always calm.  When it comes to how frequent and how extensive, or how they (the ups and downs) affect one person’s life versus others’, there are many factors involved –  we are all different, born on different date/time, have different up-bringings, different levels of dignity and sub-consciousness, good/bad deeds, and wisdom.  It all boils down to ‘karma’.  And of course ‘karma’ is all about what you harvest after you have sown.  Let’s see what this year will bring me –  I am embracing.

If I am an “earth or soil” and my luck element is “water” and based on this website 2012 is the Water Dragon year. Dragon contains Earth. People whose Earth score is low will receive benefits from Dragon. Dragon also contains Water. 2012 will bring good luck for people whose Lucky Element is Water.
Earth implies steadiness or stillness. Earth people minds are kind of inflexible. They always have the basic instinct to keep their promise.

The following is your birth chart. The first character in DAY represents you. So you are equivalent to Soil.

Hour (kids) Day (you) Month (parents) Year (ancestor)
Female FireFemale FireFemale Fire Female SoilFemale SoilFemale Soil Female MetalFemale MetalFemale Metal Female SoilFemale SoilFemale Soil
RabbitRabbitRed Rabbit ChickenChickenBrown Chicken SheepSheepWhite Sheep ChickenChickenBrown Chicken

Your birth chart was generated using the Chinese Stem-Branch Calendar system. The Stems, upper row in the chart, are Five Elements which are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. The Branches, lower row in the chart, are 12 animal names which are related to Five Elements. The following Five Elements distribution chart is produced from your birth chart.

Five elements Soil Soil (you) Metal Metal (kids) Water Water (money) Wood Wood (job) Fire Fire (mom)
Total 176 180 0 24 59

Here we select an element from the Five Element chart as your Lucky Element. The Chinese Yin-Yang Five Elements describe the BALANCE. When the Five Elements are balanced, they are in harmony and you will be lucky. When they are out of balance, they are in conflict and cause you trouble. So your lucky elements are the ones that bring the Five Elements into balance. Usually the lucky elements are the ones with a lesser weight (score). Here we want to pick Water as your lucky element, because your Five Elements have a better shape when the weight of Water increases.

Lucky Element How good is my luck in 2012?
  Water It’s very good, 2012 is a strong Water year. There is nothing can stop the luck coming to you. You can feel it and people can see good luck over you all the time.
Day Master Type What will happen in 2012?
  Water Water represents your friends, siblings or same generation relatives. The 2012 events will connected to them and spend most of time with them. You will have more energy in social activities. If Water is your Lucky Element, then you will get lots of courage and support from your siblings or friends. If you are doing business, then your friends or business partners will help you to bring in more income. If Water is your Unlucky Element, then your friends or relatives will bring you trouble. They might ask for a loan, or you may be forced to spend money on them.The major element of Dragon is Earth. Water is afraid of Earth. Earth brings pressure on Water. So Earth represents law, career, boss or position. If you have a lot of Water in the birth chart, then Dragon will bring a job opportunity. If you waste money in spending, Dragon will give you advice on how to save money. If someone wants to borrow money from you, then sometimes Dragon will help you to say no. If you have a little Water in the birth chart, your friends and siblings will fully support you when you face trouble in career, argument or lawsuit.In general, 2012 will be a very good year for people whose Water element score is low. The high score Water people need a conservative attitude in the Water Dragon year.

2012 is Male Water Dragon year . If your birth chart contains Female Fire , then your social relationship with people will be good. If Female Fire is your Day Master and you are a female, then it’s possible that a love relationship, engagement or marriage will come to you in 2012.

Chicken and Dragon have a Branch Attraction Relationship into Metal. If Chicken is in your birth chart, then your people relationship will be good. If Metal is also your lucky element, then you will do well in social activities. Chicken is also the Romantic Star of Dragon. If you are looking for love, then you will have a very good opportunity to find someone you like. If you already have a lover, then we will have a closer relationship. If Chicken is in the Day Column of the birth chart, then you might think about marriage in 2012.
Hmmm????  Career-wise, I can see that I have more work.  It’s all my choice, and any choice has a cost.  Money comes, money goes.  Luck comes and goes.  Again, the 80/20 rule applies here.

Hour Day [ You ] Month Year
Male Fire Male Fire
Male Fire
Female Earth Female Earth
Female Earth
Female Metal Female Metal
Female Metal
Female Earth Female Earth
Female Earth
Tiger Tiger
Red Tiger
Chicken Chicken
Brown Chicken
Sheep Sheep
White Sheep
Chicken Chicken
Brown Chicken

The upper character in DAY column represents the person. So you are equivalent to Female Earth. The symbols in the upper row of birth chart are called Heavenly Stems. The animals in the lower row in are called Earthly Branches.

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Happy New Year! !! The New year 2012 has already been here.  Where was I?  I am like an alien or  “nothing new, it’s just a change of calendar – another calendar to turn its pages” .   Admit it, I did not welcome the New Year the same way as I had done previous years.  The weather has been so unusually amazing … .  We had a nice Christmas week, a chilly Christmas eve…   I got a nice long break for family events, then a breakaway for myself, and then time for fighting the flu/cold.  Blame it on the sudden amazing change of weather.   I can’t complain.   Everything would come so early this year – the warm weather, the sun, the rain.  The Iowa Caucus is already here.  I am not into it as it’s no longer the same as was in the history.   Too corrupt and crony – such are politics.   Very soon the Luna New Year will come, in 3 weeks.  It will be the Year of Dragon before I know it.  We had a good rain in Texas – the start of dragon’s watering the earth, to make up for last year.   As we enter the year 2012, we have to look back and also be prepared to open a new book/chapter of new, blank pages.  As usual, I am putting words on my new pages.

New Year symbolizes the beginning of a better tomorrow. Let’s raise a toast to the new year that holds many promises.

I wonder if I should do the checklist again.  It’s there in my mind with a few important items – I am sure.  I am thinking of doing something different – make a wish instead.

A new year has begun.
A chance to start life anew.

A time to stop living in the past, to forget all the failures, and let go of all doubts and cautions.
May this New Year bring peacefulness and prosperity to all countries of the world, uplift the life of those under economy hardships and mental breakdowns.

May this New year be filled with glory and victory.

May this year help me to let go of all the disappointments and anger, let my life be filled with strength and courage, and keep me in healthy shape and mind.

Let this year be full of adventures untold and mark the start of many sweet, wonderful surprises.

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