Sydney Marathon

Sentiment

Yes, I registered Sydney marathon in the last minute at the early bird rate. I am sure I will not be ready for it on the day, but I will try my best.

3 years ago, a colleague went for the Sydney marathon and told me the experience was great, but I had already registered Melbourne marathon so I didn’t go to Sydney in that year. I totally said goodbye to the city of Melbourne after 4 marathons. Although I have changed my focus to triathlon this year, I just can’t resist doing another marathon.

The Sydney route looks complicated and there are no straight roads as in Melbourne route, but the view would be great, especially in the beginning when people cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge and in the end when people run to the Opera House.

I have 5 more weeks to prepare for it. My daily training should be enough for me to finish the run, but I just need to have a 3+ hours run at the weekend to make it easier. The third hour is going to be really painful and I might not have enough time to taper.

5 weeks is also a nice waiting time. I hope the sea water would be warm enough to swim after the marathon so that I can recover my swimming training by then.

CFA exam fail

Sentiment

Yes, I failed the level two exam. I think the CFA exam is really fair. Although the pass rate is low, the candidate will pass if you study. The past few months were crazy. I had to work longer hours to do many year end jobs, then no time is left for me to get assigned reading done. I skipped my morning exercise for almost two months for the exam, but that was not long enough for the preparation. I knew I would fail the exam on the exam day, but I still feel bad when I receive the email from the Institute.

Well, I had planned to stop my finance study in a year so I can move my focus to some area. This is based on an article about horizontal career development, so it is good for people to change the position then seek for development. However, I also think it is necessary to reach a level before changing horizontally. If I stay at the current advisor level and change now, my whole career will never rise. Nevertheless, life is not as perfect as the plan, so I need to be ready for my plan B. I will still look for an MBA programme starting from next year but will delay my 2018 CFA exam registration until September just in case I won’t have time to prepare it next year again.

I saw some posts from those who passed the exam in the forum: Finally nailed this bitch. I actually think the level 2 exam is indeed a bitch now and I want to nail it one day.

Hotel Rating and Ethical Standards

Sentiment, Travel

Last week I was in the big apple for a couple of days. I stayed in a hotel called Holiday Inn Express and it was quite nice.

I went to the restaurant of the hotel very early everyday due to the jet lag, so I was always the only one there. The staff in the restaurant were from a Caribbean island country that I could not remember the name. They were lovely and showed me how to make the fatty American pancake. I told the girls I was here for holiday and they were quite confused. Then I told them I was on vacation, which made sense to them. I was a bit surprised as the hotel was Holiday Inn, it was not a big word like Renaissance, so what would be the meaning of holiday in their minds?

Anyway, in the last day, I still had an interesting conversation with the girls and I told them I was going to leave in the evening. They went to the kitchen, came back and brought me a business card showing the website of the hotel on TripAdvisor and asked me to rate the hotel and mention them. I said yes to them and they told me their names.

After I checked out, I found this rating thing was quite annoying. I will normally rate all my hotels anyway but just to share my experience. If I write this rating just because they asked me to do so, am I still right? It should not be a question to anyone else, but just because I had received strict ethics educations from both CA and CFA programmes, I found I was in an ethical dilemma.

I don’t quite understand the expectation of the whole rating system on TripAdvisor, is it for simply sharing your opinions or can it be sued to send someone a compliment? Furthermore, the girls specifically told me I should mention them, and I would assume they could get some  sorts of benefits, so should I disclose it in my rating? It’s all getting complicated before I tried to rate the hotel.

In the end, I thought I was overcomplicating a simple issue, so I drafted this rating with my own justification: I gave this hotel a 5 star rating, I also mentioned those girls just as evidence to support my rating. As for what they could get as a result of my rating, I would not know, so there was no need to disclose it. In addition, I did not tip them (Yeah, fucking cheap Chinese), so I was meant to do something to show my thanks to them.

I posted my rating on TripAdvisor. In a few days,  I received the manager’s response, so I think everyone is happy now. Phew, it is not easy to become a CA or CFA…

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Is there a next time? Well, say no.

Sentiment

It’s February now. In the new year I normally have some goals, and my potential one in 2013 is to write a blog everyday. I don’t want to break my promises after writing it down, so I would rater make it like this: writing blogs as many as I can, at least more than yesterday.

What’s up? Quite a lot. Yes I moved to Swan Hill and began my new job. Exciting? No, I was quite frustrated about the tax software they use in the firm. All other people including the new girls seem quite proficient in it, not me. I guess doing tax returns in a computer would be very different from passing exams in the university, and I hope it will not take a long time to get used to the new office as well as everything else. Luckily the people in the firm are really good and I kind of believe I made a right decision to be an accountant. Though nothing would be easy in the beginning, as I found something quite surprising in this town. For example, there is no gas supply in this area so everything is powered by the expensive electricity. Also, Telstra is the only broadband provider and there are not any cheaper options like Optus. Moreover, there are no Asian grocery shops, and the only “Asian” shops in town only sell Indian stuff, so I have to go to Woolworths to buy the organic Tofu and unfortunately no more garlic chives or garlic shoot from now on. Can I survive? Maybe I can. I found there are two gyms in town and one of them even had a swimming pool. I also found a good tennis club and they had lots of grass courts. Though I still need to go to Melbourne occasionally to east some proper Chinese food.
Talking about Melbourne, people in the firm or in this town thought I was from Melbourne, but I actually moved everything to Swan Hill. As for the place of my home, yes I once thought Melbourne was my home but  it was not true. Till the day I rent a van and put all my stuff into it, I did not even go to Rod Arena once and did not witness Australian Open personally even once. I always thought I could do that later as I would plenty of time in the future but actually I won’t. Like many other things, time will not wait for me. Do I want to have such regrets in the future? No, grasp each chance like there is no “next time”, and I will not make the same mistakes.
It is my first weekend here in Swan Hill, and good luck to my new week.

It is Nice to be Still Young.

Sentiment

This after-exam holiday is in Alice Springs, the outback of Australia, my first time in Northern Territory.

For me travelling is much better than taking exams: visit different places, meet different people, and learn the local culture. Kata Tjuta, Uluru, King’s Canyon, in our small bus, with 17 people from different country, it’s a 3 days camping. When I was taking pictures with everyone in the Rock bar last night, I suddenly found it was so nice to be young. If I were getting older, I might not like to spend 2 nights in a sleeping bag around a fire in a freezing night, I might not like to play the stupid game in the bus in front of everyone, I might not like to dance like a child in the pub. Are we dancer, are we human? Those music men knew what I was thinking.

On the first night of the camping, I saw 5 shooting stars and I made 5 wishes. Is it coming true? Goodbye Uluru, goodbye the big rock.

Location:Parsons St,Alice Springs,Australia

Familiar Stranger.

Sentiment

Today, I tried a radio service called Pandora, the entry page asked to list any favourite artist, and I typed Vienna Teng, just wanted to test if the service could identify indie music as well. Surprisingly, the next recommended song was Missy Higgins’ Sugarcane. Oh, I nearly cried. Sugarcane, I firstly listened to this song back in 2008, at that time I was extremely busy everyday travelling in different cities and struggling if I need quit my job to study, on Youtube I saw the video of this song, a quite girl played the piano while singing this sugarcane, it was then repeated in my iPod for months. Music is magical, when people listen to the same song, it will never feel the same. But after many years, if a familiar song came out again, is it always accompanied with so many other familiar things?

After moving to this lonely country, I became lonely as well, or even more. Sometimes I count the people I meet in one day, only three or less can I talk to, and I sort of enjoy or have to adjust to this life, even though I don’t know if this is what I want. Back in my university time, there was one song called “The Most Familiar Stranger”, every girl liked to sing. I don’t know the lyrics, but I think the title can well describe this kind of controversy. Change can be improving, also new thing that people are afraid to accept. Unchange can be something old-fashioned, but sometimes it is sweet.

Older and Wiser.

Sentiment

On one of my birthdays when I was young, I was very sick, probably because of flu. Mum took me to a hospital, on the way back home, she bought me a small watermelon, I guess it was imported from Southeast Asia, very expensive. She used the knife to have a o-shaped cut and passed me a spoon, “the watermelon is yours, for your birthday.” I remembered clearly I was very very happy on that day, so many years passed, it was like yesterday.

This must be the only thing I could recall for my birthday, as I am really not a birthday fan. As for the age, I used to like the age of 28, not too old, not too young. So when I just graduated, I liked to tell others I was 28. Gradually, I was closer and closer to this age, then it was my real age. Till today it’s finally gone away from me, like all the previous ages.

People say, kids like to be older, while adults like to be younger, it’s always the birthday wishes. I once do so, but not any more. There are so many things that can be done in any age, spend more time to what we can, no need to regret the past. Birthday, just like any other days, has nothing special.

I don’t know who was the first one to wish me wiser for birthday, I like this wish. In Chinese culture, happiness and longevity are more often mentioned on birthday, but I really prefer the wiser one. Isn’t it? Even if I were 80 years old, I still have something happy, even I am old, I am wiser too.

Happy birthday to myself.

New Year Wishes.

Sentiment

I nearly forgot I was behind the firewall in the beginning of 2011, and I should make up my New Year’s wishes today. Actually it will be a tough year for me, I would never think I can make it, but after this afternoon, when I finished 1 hour’s running in Sport, I was happy to see I have finished it on time and I hope all of my other New Year wishes could be as easy as this.

First, finish 10 units within this year. I will overload in the next semester and do one more unit in summer, so only 2 more units are left in 2012. I will target all units average distinction score, as a student, this should be primary.

Second, take LSAT and GMAT in this year, definitely very important for my future, lots of work to do though.

Third, attend Melbourne Marathon in October, at least a half marathon, depending on my training.

Fourth, drive to university for my lecture, and hopefully get a Australia driving licence by the end of this year. This should be the easiest task.

Fifth, arrange my time to travel to North America and Europe.

Sixth, guitar and tennis once another week.

I would not consider to list them before as most of them are not easy to achieve. however I know if I don’t try, I will never get them, at least today is a good start. 2011 is a special year for me, as it’s my last year before 30, what fruit can I get by the end of it, I’ll see.

iPhone IOS 4.0 enables Notes sync.

Sentiment

I have been using Yahoo account for a long time, along with Flickr. I don’t want to change my Yahoo mailbox to any others, though Gmail is much better in many ways but I just don’t want to change, in this way I am stubborn, I know. Recently Yahoo updates its mail service as well, though slowly and not regularly.

The New IOS 4.0 has many new functions, one exciting change for Yahoo is the notes sync. Before, Yahoo mail and Calendar can be synchronised separately from mail and CalDAV accounts in iPhone, the new platform enables Yahoo with the same sync option of Gmail, in which Mail, Calendar and Notes can be all synchronised. Simply add Yahoo account and turn on all the options. Once a new note is added, a new Folder in Yahoo mail called Notes will be set up, all the notes will be shown under this folder immediately. However from website the notes can not be edited, it’s an one way sync.

I am a little confused the notes sync is not under the Notes application in Yahoo mail but under a new mail folder, but it’s really good progress, there is no need to download any other notes apps as the notes can be backed up in Yahoo mail in the future. Additionally, Yahoo contacts can be always synchronised by turning on Address book sync in iPhone, then all services will be synchronised between Yahoo and iPhone, how convenient it is.

This update is only in IOS 4.0 of iPhone, iPad remains the same as iPhone 3GS and doesn’t support notes sync.

Silent Wisdom

Sentiment

Another sunny day, a few clouds, I sit on the bench in the park, it can be called “Warm Springtime and bright sunshine” 春和景明 as in Yueyang Pagoda 岳陽樓記, such a good place to enjoy myself…

This city is too commercialised, the defense among people had lost us, it’s hard to believe anyone, any news, any affection, any authority, any express…

A week ago, when I rested in the fourth floor of the library, a young man came to accost, we said our studies, our family and even the goals. When I thought it pleasant to make a new friend, he told me his job was to sell Amway, showed me his handout and asked me to join his pyramid selling, suddenly I noticed I was trapped and schemed, though I was polite to listen to his speech following and left my telephone number.

Usually what you are facing is just lies.

The plants are silent, according to the season, to have buds, flowers and leaf, every year, under time changing. They truly express themselves, without cheating others, should be the real elements in this city.

Here, I can see more than one kind of birds, those sparrows like to twittering with people’s notice, do they know what I am thinking?

They don’t need to.

Sometimes, not knowing is a wisdom.

In the whole life, the more things we know, the more pains we get, which resembles the co-ordinate in maths, the origin is in the centre, the best position, not positive, not negative. As mentioned in Prajnaparamita Sutra, “All Dharmas are empty of characteristics, they are not produced, not destroyed, not defiled, not pure, and they neither increase nor diminish.”

This origin is the heart.

This heart doesn’t need to be known.