Getting Comcast Discount

A majority of US population is getting one of their dreaded utility bills from Comcast. My 6 months period of Comcast service with the most basic cable TV and internet was just over, and my bill went from below $35 to above $60.

Yesterday, feeling being ripped off by Comcast, I called them up and then calmly and logically explaind how I can substitute the basic cable TV with an antenna that I already have ($15 –> $0) and cable internet with DSL ($40+ –> $20+). The gently-spoken rep on the phone promptly and kindly offered me these “existing deals” to reduce my internet bill combined with an upgrade of my cable TV to extended cable for a total of $50 per month until the end of 2007.

Hmmm, so it’s not as cheap as it was before, but I am getting more channels for a lower monthly fee. I would say it’s a good deal, and now I get them ESPN channels and all, hehe.

All it took is for me to call them. Need to cut down monthly expense? Feeling ripped off like I did? A lower cable+internet bill could be waiting if you take the initative to call Comcast too. What are you waiting for?

Originally posted 2007-06-14 22:37:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

New Year Resolution is Silly

It’s that time of the year again. It’s that time of the year where everyone sets grandeur plans and shouts that those plans shall get accomplished. It’s that time of the year where gym is all jammed, albeit temporarily. Oh, new year resolution, allow me to say a few words about how silly that is.

It’s ok to talk and have fun talking about it… it’s still silly though.

Silliness of Emphasis on Weight Loss

As much as we always talk about positive thinking and affirmations and as much as we emphasize aggression in our society, losing weight on the contrary is such a defensive maneuver while positivity in this context implies becoming healthy. Losing weight does not mean becoming healthy.

While losing weight is usually a natural side effect in the process of becoming healthier, the way people lose weight often neglects the restoration of the body to a healthy state and worse yet, they sometimes do things that further undermines health, JUST to lose weight. As such, speaking, we are missing the point logically and pragmatically.

Silliness of Emphasis on New Year Resolution

What I really mean is not that new year resolution is completely and utterly silly. It is symptomatic for the fact that people cannot act or achieve without setting a goal.

I mean that the way we are emphasizing new year resolution is silly because in doing so, we completely neglect to look at our entire life as a complete process. We are treating our lives as a repeated process of going from point A to point B. It is easier to think like that but it is also far from reality. When we get so narrow-minded by goal, it is equivocate to mistaking a tree for the whole forest.

I mean that because, we had so focused on these small steps, milestones, we never get down to thinking about the character that we want to be as a person and what we really want to in life. The importance of character to a person is like what a wine connoisseur called “body” in wine.

So maybe instead of new year resolution, we should have life resolution and that is to an on-going effort to work on our characters.

The difference in questions is “What am I going to do this year?” vs. “What am I going to do with myself in life?” or “What kind of person shall I become?”. Which one is more aspiring?

A more concrete example is the questions “How do I become president?” vs. “How can I serve my fellow citizens?” Note the difference.

Who you are and aspire to be drives your behaviors and habits. You cannot change who you are without first facing who you are, in its entirety, without self-deceit. And then go from there.

Silliness of Rugged Individualism

It is too easy to say it’s all genetics and that we are born and grown up in certain way and that is that. But genetics and conditions only afflict on us a tendency which does not have to be, and to say otherwise, you are surrendering to the belief that there is no free will.

If you had not sit down and take the time and effort to re-examine yourself, you are not going to create any real and permanent change. You’ll forever be a random juxtaposition of concepts and ideas that happened upon or drilled into you. You can enforce short-term change that may work for a little while but never lasts. Change by repression without understanding does not liberate. That’s why there’s what is call the “rebound.”

You cannot change who you are until you see who you are. It sounds simple but what is simple is always most difficult. It boils down to…

(And if you continue living your life without ever done a self-examining process, you will forever be either what others want you to be and/or a pretension of who you THINK you are.)

Rugged individualism – to shout “I am who I am” – without ever first discover who it is that you are, is silly and leads to insecurity in ourselves, and insecurity turns us into sheeps and conformists because we will feel that need to band together (and eliminate those who are different) to feel a bit more secure. And that is the state of affair we are in. And that is what we are teaching the next generation by being great “role models”.

Silliness is that rugged individualism leads to conformity.

Self-Examining

People who rebound had never internalize their change… they didn’t really change in the first place because they had not discover the inner character that drives their behaviors.

Who you are shows. As Emerson once said, “Who you are screams so loudly into my ears that I cannot hear what you say.” That is indeed true that your character will be obvious to someone who pays attention and is aware.

Thus, it is helpful to: Focus not on what you said you will do. Focus not on what you think you did. Focus on observing your own action in various contexts to understand who you really are. Likewise, if you care to observe and understand others.

We, national and global populace (even most of our so-called leaders), are so accustomed to focusing on very short-term and “me-me-me” while I sincerely believe, a complete human being (shall we say an evolved, wise, and intelligent human being?) requires also the ability to think far and wide.

The prediction is: Until we, as individual, as fellow earth dweller, as global citizen, go through a period of self-examination and only after follow with actions that is base on self-understanding and thus also our connection with our surrounding world, the world will continue to get worse, before it gets better. There will still be more and more man-made crisis – be it medical, environmental, financial, etc. – (and probably made even worse by natural phenomena) in the coming years, until we had confronted ourselves. That’s the prediction.

Happy new year and I wish everyone a wonderful, peaceful year ahead/
vs.

Originally posted 2012-01-01 00:15:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Law of Relativity Applied to the Dollar

The theory of relativity is one of Albert Einstein’s greatest achievement. Today, I apply it to our perspective on money to explain the pay for being directors and CEOs. And don’t miss out the wonders of CEO perks.

From $21,000 an hour, at your expense:

In 2006, the latest year for which numbers are available, 85 corporate directors took home more than $1 million.

From Is a CEO worth 364 times the average Joe?:

Top execs at Fortune 500 companies averaged $10.8 million in total compensation in 2006.

In terms of relativity, the passage of time is drastically different from someone sitting on an Herman Miller chair to someone sitting on a porcupine. Likewise, the value of money is different for owner of an Enzo Ferrari vs. owner of a 20-year-old rusty beat-up Corolla. In literal terms, for commoners and middle class folks, including myself, a dollar is just a dollar, but for the people who peer down on earth from Mount Olympus, they speak in terms of thousands. Base on the said theory base on relativity…

Directors who earn $21,000 on an hourly basis, that is a whooping $21 dollars. That’s a couple happy meals there.

For CEOs who make millions each year, their salaries are reduced to a couple thousands dollars. Ah, poor bunch living in poverty. No wonder they needed company-sponsored social security. With high inflation and increasing energy cost, I see them needing help from their companies more than ever.

Now that we have applied relativity to the dollar, those people no longer sound so impressive. That should bring us some solace and comfort knowing that they feel as poor as we do. Yeah! It has also become clear why they strive so hard to become billionaires because it’s no different from us trying to become millionaires!

And guess what, today’s Dilbert comic ironically is on the same topic!
dilbert20080146685118.gif

Below are some notable(laughable) perks mentioned in The worst CEO perks, though I beg the difference and would title it best instead of worst. And if you apply relativity to all the numbers by removing the last 3 decimals, then all the perks will make perfect sense. In fact, they are of the same value as the perks the white collars get – unlimited supply of paper, staples, post-its, and what not. More fortunate ones may get international long distance phone calls, like CEOs with their private jets.

  • Chairman and former Chief Executive Vincent Gierer Jr. [of UST Inc.] got $6,500 for his wine allowance, despite making more than $6 million.
  • At Anheuser-Busch, execs enjoy unlimited free beer “for personal use and entertaining.”
  • Shareholders of Nuance Communications footed the $25,911 bill for a personal assistant used by Chairman and Chief Executive Paul Ricci. [And his] $3,896 tax bill.
  • Motorola executives get personal health coaches.
  • i2 Technologies paid $942,000 to shuttle CEO Michael McGrath back and forth from his home in Maine and his office in Dallas during the year.
  • United Technologies CEO George David wasn’t far behind. His shareholders forked out $612,000 in 2006 for his personal use of the corporate jet.
  • Even CEO Martin Glynn was paid $13.8 million in salary, stock incentive grants and other pay in 2006, HSBC paid him a $177,600 rent allowance, plus an additional $150,000 to cover the tax on the value of the rent.
  • Liberty Media shareholders last year chipped in $319,278 to help Chairman John Malone pay his taxes.

After reading all that, let’s begin singing what I learned in singing class, “Oh what a wonderful day~~~”.

Originally posted 2008-01-18 15:48:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Presidential Candidates’ Obligation

It just crossed my mind that presidential candidates have always been able to propose whatever plans during their compaign and once elected president, do whatever else the heck they want. Doesn’t that constitute as lying? It seems to be the current trend of recent election.

Because of this, it is only logical for the candidates to say whatever it is that gets them the most votes. It is in their own best interest to do so. They would be stupid to do otherwise.

It just sucks to be the people because they will be stuck with the same president regardless. All we can really hope for is a president who feels a twitch when he sees child suffering or feels like barfing when he hears children being molested by people who pray to their deity. But hoping is too passive. I propose we implement a contractual binding to hold the candidates to their words upon presidency. I’m sure they will be more cautious about shooting spits across the floor. After all, this is only integrity, something that every president should have.

But we know this binding bill is destined for veto by all branches of governments because of the obvious non-existence of integrity among politicians.

Originally posted 2007-12-14 10:39:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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