July 27, 2012

Brown Rice Roll

A very unique sushi roll made of brown rice.

10 Minutes Garage Make Over

As more family members are coming, we need more room in our house and I always want to have a space that I can read, meditate, or work on small projects. So we spend some time clean up the garage and turn it in to a studio, we called it gardio! It actually feels very nice! Area rug and paintings helps a lot.

July 23, 2012

Wonka Ice Cream

There is a Wonka Ice Cream promotional trunk here at DreamWorks.

The Willy Wonka Candy Company is owned by the Nestlé company. The brand started in 1971, the same time as the first movie, using licensed materials from Roald Dahl's novel: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. They were bought by Nestlé in 1988.

I never read the original book nor the first movie. But I do remember the one in 2005 perform by Johnny Depp. Sadly, I am not a big fan of neither the movie nor their ice cream...

July 20, 2012

July 19, 2012

Ribbon cutting ceremony for our new building!

Bark & Byte Game Design - Byte

I still like the very first game character that I designed. His name is Byte, and he is an action hero in the game, Bark and Byte, that we designed in school.

I'll post more about this game in the following postings.

July 17, 2012

Paranoma view from my office window

We just moved to a new building this month. I like my new seat. It has decent space and a good view. However it is closer to common area so I can hear people chatting. I've requested for a new seat where it has fewer view but bigger and in a very private place.
I used to want this change badly but now I am not sure. Because the view in current seat is just unbeatable. In real estate, they say location, location, location. But in my case, view and bigger private spot are both good location factor. I am now more incline to keep current seat and let others have the bigger one. What would you choose if you were me?

July 16, 2012

Difference between wire and ACH trnasfer

Recently in a big real-estate transaction I made a big mistake by transferring the closing cost in the wrong method. On our online banking page, there are three options: two business days, next business day, and same business day. Since I figured that the fund only need to arrive the next day, I pick the next day option to save a couple bucks without knowing that they are actually using different transfer method. The two business and next day transfer use ACH transfer and same day transfer uses wire transfer. Apparently, real-estate transaction only accepts funds via wire transfer because that is the only certified way to transfer money. So the closing agent never receive the fund and we almost fail to close the deal.

So what is the difference between ACH transfer and wire transfer? I did a little research and here is a summery that I come up with:

July 15, 2012

5 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

1. Ask for Client References:

  • If they were happy with the quality of the work.
  • Was their home completed on time and within budget.
  • Did the contractor spend enough time on the job for their satisfaction.
  • Was contractor easy to reach for questions or concerns.
  • Would they recommend the contractor to family and friends.

2. Ask for Business References:

  • Ask contractor’s banker, title company, material suppliers, sub-contractors: Does the contractor pay on time?
  • Ask the suppliers and sub-contractors, ask if they’ve ever had to file a lien for non-payment, and if they still conduct business with the contractor.

3. Ask to see the Contractor’s License

4. Ask for the Contract

  • details of the work
  • estimated start and finish dates, cost and payment schedule

5. Ask for Protection Clause

  • might ask for your interest payments to be paid by the contractor for every month they go over schedule.
  • allow for delays due to the "acts of God"

5 Mistakes not to make with small house plans

 I found this article about mistakes people made choosing or drawing house plans. Something to keep in mind before finalizing my plan:

  1. Not enough planning and preparation. - not all the features are needed for your family. We should prioritize needs and determine what is really necessary and what doesn't really fit our lifestyle.
  2. Not considering how rooms can perform double duty. - e.g. Use the ‘Dining Room’ as an office and put our huge 7 foot dining room table in the ‘Vaulted Breakfast’ area. Our teenage daughter was in ‘Bedroom 3′ and my office and workout room were in the front ‘Bedroom 2′ for the morning sun.
  3. Not considering how the layout will ‘live.’ - e.g. see right into the hall bath
  4. Selecting a small house plan that’s expensive to build.
  5. Forgetting that you might want to sell one day.
Original Post:
5 Mistakes NOT to make with Small House Plans