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Hope everyone is doing okay here. Something strange happened with me today - I was playing an online game (8-ball multiplayer on Miniclip) and the computer put me against a person named "null". The 2nd person the computer randomly picked against me was named "martin". And, naturally I got reminded of NAO, so decided to drop by. Also, it felt like we have gone this road before - kind of a Deja Vu.
It looks like it's all a dead place now. People who have spent years of their lives on this wonderful site have all moved on and hardly visit this place now. Life goes on I guess.
We are doing good. Still in Canada. Started a Modern Furniture retail and wholesale business back in 2011 here in Calgary which is a big success, and we are planning to open another retail location soon. Started multiple other business ventures on the side - started a travel agency, and an IT consulting firm. Things have been good to us as entrepreneurs here in Canada. Can't believe that it's been close to 11 years since we moved to Canada. The 5.5 years spent in USA feel blurry now.
Kids have all grown up now. Elder one who was born around the time I started visiting NAO for the 1st time is a teenager now and the younger one is now 10.5. Both are growing up to be nice human beings.
Hope everyone here is doing well. Connect with me on Facebook in case anyone wants to be in touch.
Last year September I decided to throw away the ingrained belief that putting money in the stock market is gambling. I studied a lot on this, and then decided to plan my future and became a long-term investor. I took the plunge and read up whatever books and articles I could find on investing and then convinced myself to go for it.
I sometimes feel that I started out too late. I am 34 now, and people who are my age now, but started at age 22 or 24 might be in a much better shape. But, its better late then never. I decided to take control of my finances, and now have a budget that I update every month, I keep track of my passive income (dividends and interests earned) ever month, and I am also currently in the process of building my nice little retirement portfolio. I also keep track of my net assets and liabilities every month. This is my favorite past-time now, and I love it. I just regret not doing it in my 20s.
The other day my friend told me that "long-term investing is for failed traders". This is partially true. Before deciding to become a long-term investor, I got fascinated by Forex trading, and played with some demo accounts for 3-4 months. Then when it was time to put some real money I even did that, and ended up losing $2650 of real money (all of the capital that I had put in forex) in it. The leverage and margin killed me. I got to know my limitations and learnt more about myself in the process. It was a very nice experience for me and it has helped me a lot in terms of my long-term investing plans. I hope to become a better investor then a trader. Hopefully, if I end up saving a lot of money one day I can think of opening my own trading corporation and can do trading again. This time I won't repeat my mistakes again. But till then, my long-term portfolio is keeping me busy. Afterall Mr. Market is on sale nowadays...
No, I am not fully back. Still not getting time for personal stuff. Life is doing good, am all tied up with a new job, new responsibilities, and things are moving at an extra-fast pace. The moment things settle down a bit, I will try to be regular here. I do miss writing at NAO, and do miss the people here, and I do hope that everyone's doing good.
Just a brief info on whoever's interested:- Moving to Vancouver, Canada was not a bad choice afterall. In April I joined a new company, and since then things have changed for me in many ways. I have finally got a job that I love, after job-hopping for the last 8 years in about 8 companies. I love the people here, and I love the new challenges and the new responsibilities. On personal front, my family had moved to Vancouver in February, and they are doing really good now. My wife has started working and hence both of us fight less (as we end up seeing less of each other ;-) ). Our kids are doing great, Kriti has started going to pre-school now, and she is really enjoying it.
My parents are not living with us anymore, and we bought a new car. Still house-hunting, finding a decent place to live in Vancouver is an NP-Complete problem. I love the place, the weather is great, the people are great, the country is great, the only thing missing is a place that we can afford!
This post was edited by ReallyCoolDude on Sep 22, 2005.
The day has finally arrived! My family is leaving Houston for good, and they are arriving here in Vancouver (Canada) this Saturday. We did manage to sell almost all of our furniture (sofaset, dining table, bed, computer desk, etc.) and our car too. Our house is still in the market though, and it's quite tough paying two rents (one here in Vancouver, and our mortgage payment in the USA). The real estate market is a bit down in Texas right now.
Anyways, coming back to point, I am glad that after a gap of 4 months, I am going to start living a family life. Though I did enjoy my bachelor life for the first few days here in Vancouver, it was getting quite tough for me. I have got used to living with my family, and I missed them a lot. The wait is finally over. And, I can't wait for Saturday to arrive.
On a side-note, I am still sick, I still haven't recovered fully from Flu, which I had got more than a month ago, and now it seems like I have chronic bronchitis. People in the office stop-by at my desk daily, and ask me whether I am going to survive or not, and after coughing a lot, I manage to utter a few words out, saying, I definitely hope so! I haven't had a coke in the last 1 month, haven't had proper food too, and have lost almost 15 pounds of weight (around 7 kgs.) in the last 4-5 weeks. I hope when my family arrives here, all is going to change for the better.
How has my experience been in Vancouver so far? Well, Vancouver is a very different city compared to Houston. I moved away from the fattest city in the world to the healthiest city in the world. People are more liberal, more educated, and more friendly. Noone drives big 4x4s (or SUVs) and the pedestrians actually have the right-of-way. The traffic is not that bad as in Houston, and the public transit (commute by bus) is extremely comfortable. In Houston, people are so much afraid of even the notion of traveling in bus or train that they reject the idea of building a metro rail system outright! I doubt if Houston is ever going to have a rail system like the real advanced and metropolitan cities in the world. People are still living in the cowboy world in Houston, and love traveling in their big trucks in spite of the fact that it might take them 2 hours to travel a distance of 5 miles.
Houston has many good things too that I really miss. I miss my neighborhood, the houses are really good (and big). There is a lot of space. And, I miss all the wal-marts (Houston has a wal-mart in every mile -- sometimes closer). I miss the warm (and humid) climate, I never had to wear my jacket throughout the year there. I have not worn a T-shirt, ever since I came to Vancouver. I miss the big roads, and big lanes, and more cleanliness in general. I miss all the new construction. I am not a big history fan, and don't like century-old houses that are abundant out here in Vancouver.
But again, I love the medical plan of Canada, I end up paying $100 per month for all my medical costs, compared to $600 per month in Houston (and I also had to pay $25 as a copay amount in every visit to the doctor, and that was per person). I have heard great things about the educational system in Canada, and am hoping that my decision to immigrate to Canada was not a bad one. Let's see how things turn out. My first goal is to spend around 3 years here, so that I can become a citizen.
I am not happy to leave the USA, but the country had not left a choice for me. Apparantly, they are happy embracing all the illegal immigrants, but people who are well-qualified, and are legal aliens, are turned back due to so much beurocracy. So, if you don't want us, we don't want you either. At least, Canada accepted us with open arms, and our (Canada's and mine) ideals match.
BTW, I would be going to Seattle to pick my family up, they couldn't get a direct flight to Vancouver, and got a really nice deal with SouthWest Airlines for $99/- one-way from Houston to Seattle. From Seattle to Vancouver, the bus-ride is only 3.5 hours, and its only $22/-. So, we saved tons of money that way. But, we found out today only that according to some US law, a parent can not leave the border with a child under the age of 18, unless s/he has a written letter of no-objection from the other parent. Since my family is flying day-after-tomorrow morning, there is no way they can get the letter from me at such a short notice. So, I deemed it better to go to Seattle, pick them up from Seattle airport, and then come back together. If both parents are accompnying the child, then it's fine with them.
Okay, enough from my end, now, it's going to be party time on Sunday (hopefully my throat is much better by then).
This post was edited by ReallyCoolDude on Feb 11, 2005.
Just a few days back when I was discussing this on NAO, little had I realized that I was going to get hit with my age-old problem. Yesterday afternoon, when I got up from bed, I started feeling dizzy, and by 5:00PM I had started throwing up, which went on till 8:00AM today morning (I was throwing up ever 15 minutes till then). I am quite dizzy now, but I guess, I won't be able to stand-up and do anything for a couple of days.
What made this episode worse was the fact that I am alone out here on my 37th floor apartment here in Vancouver, and yesterday night, the fire alarm went off due to some incident on the 9th floor, and in the midst of throwing up, being dizzy and all, I somehow walked down all 37 floors, sat outside in cold (around -7 degrees celsius), and then when everything became okay, and I finally came back to the apartment, the fire alarm went off again, twice. This time neither did I have the courage or the will to go down again. I thought to myself, if there's real fire, let someone get me, but I am not going down again. And, thank god, those were all just false alarms, but I am never going to forget this all my life. It's like Murphy's law, when something has to go wrong it will. In the last 3 months here in Vancouver, not once did the firealarm went off, and it had to go off only when I fell ill.
Anyways, I am feeling much better today, am just living off some juice and gatorade, lets see when I would be able to get off the bed. My roommate has gone for a week to California and I don't know anyone else out here in Vancouver, so kind of boring and depressing situation I have out here. Anyways, take care everyone.
Here are some latest photos of my daughters. Those who have seen Kriti's photos in 2002, well, she has changed a lot. And, Purvaai, who arrived on Dec 04th, last month, looks exactly how Kriti used to look when she was small.
Now you know why it's so hard being all alone here in Vancouver. I just wish my family joins me here soon.