Highly honored

It’s funny how once the ball gets rolling, it doesn’t stop. See, after accepting one job offer, I recently got contacted again for another job interview for a research position. I turned down the invitation to interview for the job and the professor responded that he wasn’t surprised I got snapped up so quickly. Needless to say, I’m flattered and at the same time, wondrous. God has been amazing to me and my husband. I cannot thank him enough for opening doors for me at a time when lay-offs are happening left and right. I mean, I just feel so blessed right now and my husband’s family (and mine) are just so happy for me. My mother-in-law & I went to TJ Maxx to ‘celebrate’ with some shopping therapy while M & J had their midterm exam. lol. She totally spoils me and she got me some gorgeous dresses that bring “grown and sexy” to mind. I went to see my former boss and told him about the good news i.e. getting the job and they ribbed me about the job because it could possibly qualify as one of those Dirty Jobs, but I’m excited about the learning opportunity this presents. πŸ˜€

In tech news, I updated my WordPress version to 2.6 and I’m loving my Plugins management section. I mean, not having to manually activate my plugins? Genius! πŸ™‚ Upgrading was easy except for the part where my “Add Media” section of my TinyMCE editor disappeared! I mean, everything else seemed to work fine and the only thing I did different from all my other upgrades was use the gzipped version on the WordPress download site. Some plugins like Podpress and WP Polls caused my “Write Page” or “Write Post” screen to go nuts and these problems didn’t get resolved until I backed up my MySQL database and re-uploaded all the WordPress 2.6 files again. So, I’ve got all my plugins up and running & my “Add Media” screen is back. I’m also particularly excited that WordPress will support Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) because I’ve recently gotten the privacy-paranoia bee in my bonnet. Using an SSL means you cannot get snooped on by bad people. I’ve currently got The Onion Router (TOR) up and running on my PC and I use it for sensitve issues. πŸ™‚ WordPress is definitely the easiest content management system I have used and I have not had any major issues with it.


Little B is doing really well and he is going to be one tall young man. He’s got an excellent gene pool so no worries. Mrs. JW and her hubby are also doing a fantastic job of teaming up and being the best parents they can be to the little smacker. πŸ™‚ That’s my pet name for B because he smacks when he eats. I just got done riding for about 15 miles and I had M take a short video of me. I’ll upload the video and update this post. He also prepared an absolutely delicious meal of spaghetti with sauteed salmon. Can you say yummy-licious? He is quite the cook, I tell you what!

Update: I’ve finally uploaded the video (thanks Google Video!) and here it is in all its glory:

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Savings, Retirement and WordPress woes

Of late, I’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs and I could kick myself for the information that I’m discovering that I wish I’d known before. Nevertheless, it is not too late. I am turning 23 this year and I got started on my first ‘real’ job. My job automatically contributes the maximum amount from my paychecks to a 401(k) which they match at a rate of 9%. This is pretty good. Their benefits are good such that M has dropped his employer’s health plan in favor of mine e.g. they cover 90% vs his employer’s 80% plan). Based on stuff I’m reading, here are several things I’m learning:

  1. Debt resolution should be #1 on your list. You can do this by paying it down aggressively or “snowflaking” approach popularized by Dave Ramsey i.e. you pay little at a time, taking money from little areas that you might otherwise ignore. In my case, snowflaking will be the best way to go afterall that’s pretty much how I cleared up my Bank of America credit card. Let me see them collect 20.74% APR on a zero balance card. In your face!!
  2. Building an emergency fund. The idea of an emergency fund is emergencies. It’s said that an emergency fund should be “three to six months worth of basic living expenses”. Without going into too much detail, this will also require me/us to practice some serious snowflaking habits. Now, I started this one out the wrong way. What did I do? I put $100 in a tip jar. Now, this is a special tip jar, but M just showed me a neat way of retrieving money from this jar so I’ve safely retrieved the $100 from this jar, but that’s not what was wrong with my approach. The money was just sitting in my tip-jar when there are no-cost high yield savings accounts that are liquid (i.e. easily accessible assets)! So, I have started an Orange Savings Account with a 4.10% annual percentage yield. All you need to open this account with is: $1.
  3. I’m also learning that it is a good thing to participate in another type of retirement account (the IRA or individual retirement account) called a Roth IRA. I would go out right now and start one, but the biggest obstacle is committing to the somewhat hefty payments that need to be made monthly. Additionally, I’d like to set up one for both Matt and myself so it will take some number crunching. Last night, M & I couldn’t sleep and we actually sat down (or up cos we were lounging on the bed) and tallied our cost of living. We are going to do some interesting things with that discovery and I’m pumped about being savings, et cetera.
  4. A key principle to getting rid of debt and not getting stuck in the cycle is not channeling all your funds towards the debt such that when some mini-disaster strikes, you will end up having to resort to dipping into the credit card pool. It’s taking a little while for me to wrap my head around that, but it makes perfect sense. For a while last year, I would throw quite a bit at both cards and by the end of the month, I’d find out that I was essentially going nowhere! However, little chips here and there caused me to wipe out the Bank of America card, some old lingering school fees, etc.

That’s about it for now. I’ve been going nuts tinkering with my WordPress 2.3.2 installation because contrary to my last post’s congratulatory tone, I still am getting the “tinyMCE is undefined” error which causes the toolbar to disappear. I finally hunted down Dean’s FCKEditor plugin for WordPress and I’m typing merrily once again. I hope the WordPress developers fix whatever is causing the TinyMCE toolbar to disappear. I mean, I reuploaded a fresh instance of WordPress 2.3.2 (after deleting old files) and my toolbar showed briefly. Today, I logged in and coudn’t get my toolbar to show. Anyhow, I’m working with the FCKEditor now so I don’t care too much. In more WordPress news, I’ve been discovering some really cool plugins most notably StatPress! It’s like WordPress.com stats on steroids!! l recently transitioned from using the WordPress Reports plugin because it kept “forgetting” that I’d put in my Google account information a zillion times. So, I decided to go with Local Analytics which gives a lot of customization room. Still, I really miss the nice report view that the WordPress reports gave me. I haven’t gotten used to the really complex Google analytics interface and it takes me a while to figure who visited my site, and from where. It’s a confusing mish-mash. That’s why I still have Statcounter running on this site because it condenses the information and presents it in relevant bite-sized and digestible chunks. Hey, I’m easy to please.

Oh and lastly, I finally gave into activating the Share This plugin because it really wiped out several things in one fell swoop: giving you the ability to email/IM/twitter any post you like to your friend/enemy/frenemy as well as posting it to any or all of your accounts on Facebook/MySpace or the next hot social networking site. I didn’t like that the original developer (Alex King) had sold the plugin and that I had to sign up to use the plugin, but it wasn’t that painful and I just hope I don’t get spammed. Besides, the older version of the plugin is still available. He’s pretty involved in the WordPress community and I trust his plugins. Alright, I’m getting tired. It’s red flag day and I’m really twitchy. I wonder how come I am relatively docile up until the day comes. Then, I turn all grumpy and usually, my grumpiness is even what alerts me to the possibility that the red lady’s come a-knocking! I know, weird. I’m pretty regular although not to the exact day. It’s more along the lines of a windows of 7 days. So, stay outta my way for the next 5-7 days. lol