Monday, October 09, 2006

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Monday, June 20, 2005

Raise credit card dispute

I win a credit card dispute today. Some restaurant in San Francisco charged me twice for one meal. The second charge is small enough to make me hesitate for a while before I raised the dispute over a phone call.

When and how I should wield the dispute weapon?

  • Unauthorized use of my card. Under the law, I can not be charged for more than $50. I should call credit card company as soon as I noticed the unauthorized use.
  • Disputes about how much I owe. I must write (phone call also worked for me) to the credit card company within sixty days of the first bill with the improper charge. I must include the following information:
      • my name and account number
      • The dollar amount I dispute
      • Information as to when it was charged and the name of the merchant.
      • A statement of the reason for my dispute.
A special case is dispute about problem with the quality of goods and services.
  • I must have made a good faith effort first to resolve the issue with the merchant directly.
  • Enclose the letter which I wrote directly to the merchant.
What will happen?
The credit card company is required to investigate.
  • In many cases, the charge as well as interest associated will be canceled.
  • Until the dispute is resolved, I need not pay the disputed portion of my bill.
Indiana government provides useful information and a sample letter here.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Learn to make small talk

Taking a elevator with a stranger is always an awkward moment for me. What I usually do is like a martyr facing interrogation. Keep my mouth shut, stare at a spot on the wall, and not let a single word slip out of my lips. Time to make a change. is my source of enlightenment this time.

  • Read a lot, especially something different from programming.
  • Watch some tvs. Get in touch with different cultures.
  • Write down funny stories I heard on my blog.
  • Think out several topics I can always resort to.
  • Practice. Next time I came across a stranger, chat with him/her. Cheer me up...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Stop procrastinating

2056 people on 43 things want to stop procrastinating. I am one of them. My wife used to making fun of my promises to do things earlier. When I was at college, a project deadline usually meant several sleepless nights at labs.

"Two common explanations are fear of failure and dread of taking on a long, boring, and/ or difficult tasks." Well said here.

Now I am starting my therapy.

  • Figure out why I am procrastinating and write them down.
  • Make a realistic and prioritized to-do list with two dates. The first date is the date I first thought of it and the second one is the date I finally accomplished it.
  • Break down big tasks into smaller jobs.
  • Write down planned rewards for each task.
  • Keep reminding myself how good I will feel when I am finished.
  • Tell my friends and family about my goals and ask them to check up on my work.
More advices can be found here.

Father's Day is coming

My mom said happy future father's day to me over today's phone call. I know what she means. She is urging us to have a child soon. Both my wife and I love children, but we are still waiting for an appropriate time for a new family member to come in.

I almost forgot next Sunday (3rd Sunday of June) is Father's Day. Need to mark my calendar to call my dad on that day. Official flower for me to wear this Sunday is a red rose cause my dad is living. Otherwise, a white rose should be worn instead.

Interesting enough, Father's day is first proposed by a woman. Mrs. John B. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father. More history about Father's Day can be found here.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Another earthquake tonight

It terrifies me now. Four earthquakes (magnitude > 5) hit California in a week !!!

Thursday, June 16, 2005 at 11:21:42 PM (PDT)