Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cinco de Mayo Fundraiser

Last night was the "Cinco de Mayo" fundraiser at Olathe Deaf Club, to help with the costs for the next Miss Deaf Kansas 2007-2009 (it is soon over for me!). We sold Mexican lasagna, soft tacos, fried ice cream, nacho and others to hungry customers at the club. I think it was a successful event! The food was especially yummy!

I also was honored to recite the numbers for the game Olingo, which took two hours. I never knew the task was exhausting! Olingo is a card version of bingo, using decks of playing cards. Biggest prize was $309, but nobody won it, so the money will be carried over to next month and increased. Nice!

Photos are here, but all are dark, oh well.

Monday, April 23, 2007

just great.

I was already late for my 9am appointment at a place, and I was pulled over by a cop. Great, I was thinking. My clean record clean no more. I was going 40 in 35 and the cop was already behind me all long but I probably daydreamed for a second and he caught me speeding a bit.

Gulp. No. He told me that my license tag (the personalized license plate) is expired. I was confused - huh ? He says I'm supposed to be using one of those personalized buffalo plates not the sunflower plate. The sunflower one expired last year apparently and I knew NOTHING about this. Whoever heard of expired license plate anyway and I paid extra for this personalized plate.

Here's what the buffalo one looks like:
The one I currently have (minus the numbers and cycle label) looks like this:

Basically, I got fined $70 and am ordered to make a court appearance on May 14.

Grr. I will go to Olathe DMV tmw and talk to them about replacing my license tag (again, who knew?)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

save the earth.

I went to KC EarthFest 2007 yesterday. I was glad I went! I knew about this event over a month ago, but did not bother to look it up until the day before :( thus, I had a hard time finding people to go along with me.

I decided to do a pledge thing - I pledged $100 and sure enough, I was able to collect $100 worth in donations (thanks guys!). I managed to find a friend, Dennis, to come with me. Socks went too.

At 9 am in the morning, we walked 2.7 miles, and I think we finished around 10 30 am. There was a refreshment tent full of yummy stuff - organic bananas, oranges, apples, and energy bars (those energy bars tasted sooo good - I need to find where they sell the bars and buy more). Water was also provided everywhere. There were over 70 booths! One booth gave out free "treelings" (baby trees) but I did not have a backyard so I did not get one. Entertainment was also provided on the stage, but I couldn't care less because it was all music and singing.

Altogether, I walked around 7 miles! I brought my pedometer with me and clocked my steps. 10,000 steps succeeded :)

And today I suffer for it with sore gluttons and legs...ahhh!

Do what you can to save the earth.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Variety show

Last Saturday, April 14, we hosted two performances of variety show at Murphy Aud. at Kansas School f/t Deaf. Many people loved our show! We gave various ASL stories, by signing and in mime. We earned over $300 so it was a success. Many thanks to KSD for letting us to use their stage for free.

Many people are asking for a repeat performance so we might do it again at Olathe Deaf Club in May, who knows?

Here's the pictures at my friend's flickr site.

Variety Show

My trip to RIT

Here's the pictures from my trip to RIT.

My RIT Trip

Plenty of pros and cons with this trip.

Cons: cold, rain, snow, lack of appearance to my presentation, flight cancelled, missed 2 days of work

Pros: met my good friend, found my masters program, missed 2 days of work, flight cancelled, free food, free trip

Enuff said.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I have found my destiny...for now.

I have been wrestling back and forth with myself about the idea of getting Masters. I had no desire to go back to school when I graduated with bachelors in Spring 2003, basically because I have been schooling since I was 1 (yep, 1, ask my mom) I needed a break. The thought of going back to school has quietly surfaced from time to time now and then..

I started thinking about a MBA - I wanted an useful degree - MBA is an useful degree that I can use in managing or setting up a business.. then I thought of MS in Software engineering, it will be on track with my career, as a software engineer at my work currently. But I did not want to go into the technical side too heavily for my future.. no interest in being a software architect or a developer. I am thinking of something more like project management or such.

I looked at colleges around here in Kansas City metro...and went to KU "Back to School" orientation.. I got scared and still did not feel right.. none of the programs sound right.

Until I went to Rochester, NY over the extra long weekend (another story to be blogged some other time), visiting my alma mater - Rochester Institute of Technology. I really like the school and it provides good programs. I was wandering mindlessly in the halls of Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (where I graduated), looking at boards and such. I saw the bulletion board for masters programs but still did not see anything I wanted so I wandered away. Some gut feeling told me to walk back so I did.. and sure enough, I overlooked this perfect program for me... the second I took out the brochure of the information folder, I knew this is it.

So I am going to apply to the master of science in software development & management program at RIT. It is entirely designed for part time students with distance learning. And even better.. I do not have to take GRE :)

I just feel so right.. it is a very nice feeling to have... no uncertainty or fear of going back to school.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Free Breakfast at Wendys and Savings

Just as I arrived at work, Hemant immediately sametimed me, "Free breakfast at Wendys on 119th and Strang!" I had to ask twice to make sure - were all breakfast items free? So I took him with me right away and got our really good breakfast meals. Orange juice, hash browns, and egg and sausage croissant. Even I was impressed.. I was so stuffed all day I finally forced myself to eat lunch as of now at 3:14 pm CST (leftover lasagna which I made last night, to save my money eating out!).

Now on different subject, my pal Nathan sent me CNN money article Saving Survey

Wow.. only less than 25% of people nearing retirement age have more than 25k saved up. I am aware that not many people are saving, but the statistics do hit home hard.

"Predictably, the youngest workers (ages 25-34) dominate this group - 68 percent of them have less than $25,000 earmarked for their later years. But so do half of workers age 35 to 44 and a third of workers age 45 to 55 and over."

Naturally, a high percentage of young workers do not have more than 25k saved - in the age group of 25 to 34. That age is when a person just gets out of college, or is still studying in school (for perhaps Masters or Ph.D, or even less), and not knowing yet what to do with his/her life. But though, do take advantage of the company's saving plans (such as 401k) as much as you can.
It is pretty stunning to see that the age group of 45 and OVER, a third of them, have less than 25k saved up!

The article also suggests the same thing - contribute enough to your 401k at work to get the full matching contribution from the company (read: FREE MONEY).

First, contribute to your 401(k) at work and contribute at least enough to qualify for the full matching contribution from your employer. ...

Next, aim to build a nest egg that, in combination with your Social Security benefits and pension benefits if you have them, will be large enough to generate at least 70 percent to 80 percent of your pre-retirement income.

Here's the link for 5 401k mistakes - naturally the biggest mistake is not to invest in it!

Top 401k Flubs


Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Elms: A worthy overnight getaway

Getting away to the Elms in Excelsior Springs, MO was a worthy break. The spa resort is in a very quiet little town, surrounded by curvy and hilly roads and lush forest. It is a nice short break away from daily life of Kansas City - work, school, pageant, and other things.

To sum our break (Tawanna and mine), I have uploaded pictures to my flickr.

My Flickr Set: Getaway at the Elms

As mentioned in previous post, we took the Friday Night Special - totaling $169 for a room, dinner buffet, and a free movie in our room. I thought that was a pretty decent price for a spa resort. After taxes (and history tax??) it came to total of $94 each. The buffet was pretty good, and we truly stuffed ourselves. We had soup, salad, entrees, and desserts. I did not try the crab legs, because it is a stressful experience trying to pry little meat out of tough legs, and since I was on a getaway, so I declined from the crab legs but went for bloody raw prime rib. Tawanna wanted her prime rib well done, so the chef specifically cooked it for her. Very nice. After resting from the big dinner, we went down to the fitness room and execrised. Then we went swimming and hung out in the hot tub. Starting to get sleepy..we went back to our room and used our coupon for free movie - we picked "A Night at the Musuem", which was a light comedy, maybe decent for a relaxing night, but I would give that movie an average rating.

Next morning we had breakfast buffet, which we paid $11 each. I thought that was overpriced since the buffet was not all that great. We were told it was 7.95 by the front desk, oh well. Then we checked out and went downstairs to...our pampering! Tawanna and I shared the same room for massage and facial. That was interesting. I had only a facial once last year, and it was very different this hmm I do not think I would recommend a facial to anyone staying at the Elms, for that price. The massage was pretty good. Then we went to get our pedicure/manicure, which was pretty regular (nothing extraordinary). I still do not know why the spa at the Elms is called "KC's best spa", though we did have a nice time. It might bother a bit that the area was shared by other guests for the pool/sauna/fitness, though.

But overall, it was a nice and inexpensive getaway for a night. I did really come back feeling very refreshed and full of energy.