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2018-10: Alton Lane Shirt Review

by phuoc 0 Comments

I spent a month in New York for work in September 2018. I had heard on NPR about a new men’s custom clothing shop called Alton Lane. The gimmick is that you go in, get measured, have a Scotch, and then strip down to your underwear to get 3D scanned. The promise is that you’ll get a really well fitting shirt, suit, etc. So I decided to give them a try to compare them to my current tailor.

When I got home, the shirt was already waiting for me. So I wore it for the first time today to work and am posting some quick thoughts on it here. Overall, the fit is really good and it’s a well made shirt. It was $139… so I think that’s a bit more than my current tailor. Would I use them again? Possibly when I return to New York again next week. What do you think?

Backyard Cooking: Korean Beef Burrito

by phuoc 0 Comments

For dinner tonight I’m making Korean beef burrito. It’s a simple stir fry of sliced skirt steak with green onions and garlic in a teriyaki/Korean hot fermented pepper paste. Garnish with cilantro and a quick pickle of sliced white onions and serrano peppers.

Backyard Cooking: Thai beef phat si-io/pad see ew

by phuoc 0 Comments

It’s a gorgeous Sunday evening and that means another session of backyard cooking! This time I’m making Thai pad see ew. It’s similar to the Cantonese beef chow fun. The dish comes together very quickly in the pan. Prep time is not bad either, so it’s perfect for a lazy Sunday! See how I make it by watching the video.

10 Years On & We’ve Learned Nothing

by phuoc 0 Comments

It’s August 2018. It’s been 10 years on from the late summer/fall of 2008 and when Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill Lynch, and others collapsed or were on the brink of collapse in one of the biggest banking crisis we’ve experienced. That led directly into the Great Recession. The effects were huge. About a year later, we were officially on the road to recovery, although no one knew it at the time and many Americans would have to endure the hardship for many more years to come before they begin to see any light.

In that crucible, we learned some important lessons. Made many new regulations designed to prevent another crisis of that magnitude. And then we got complacent. Some Dodd Frank regulations are being rolled back because they’re too onerous. The S&P 500 hit a record high… unemployment is very low… housing prices have more than recovered since the Great Recession… some folks are even buying house, sight unseen… people are wildly optimistic again… and they’re saying this time it’s different. I don’t know about you, but that scares the bejesus out of me. Have we learned nothing? How soon have we forgotten those painful lessons? Are we on the brink of another downturn? I have no idea. But I’m very worried.

My number is 12. What’s yours?

by phuoc 0 Comments

Recently, I’ve calculated and figured out what my number is and it’s 12. That’s 12 years until financial independence and to be able to maintain my current lifestyle. It means I don’t have to work if I don’t want to, but it’s awesome to have that choice. It’s an exercise worth doing… it allows you to check your financial status and see if you’re generally on track. Everyone’s number is going to be different. Mine’s 12. The calculation is pretty straight forward. You need to figure out how much your annual expenses would be and figure out what you’d need to do to be able to withdraw that amount without touching principal for the rest of your life.

If you want to get to financial independence before the time you can officially withdraw from any tax deferred accounts without penalty, you’ll just have to have enough savings outside of tax deferred accounts to cover those years that you would like to retire earlier. That’s it.

Mine’s 12, which puts me 4.5 – 5 years before the 59.5 year old mark. It means I have to have at least 4.5 years of expenses saved up and based on my savings rate, I’ll get there in 12 years or less. So look at your situation, figure out your number and you’ll know if you’re on track or have to make some changes. It’s an exercise worth doing.

2018 San Diego North County Beach Driving

by phuoc 0 Comments

When it’s a gorgeous day out, I just like to leave the office for a few minutes and go for a drive on the beach. I’m fortunate that my office is minutes from the beach in San Diego. You’ll see Torrey Pines, Del Mar, Cardiff by the Sea, Encinitas, and Carlsbad in this short drive. It’s just me driving with some background music. 🙂

Backyard Cooking: Chicken Madras

by phuoc 0 Comments

I’m making chicken madras for dinner tonight. I did go a little unconventional and added some potatoes to the dish, but other than that, it’s pretty spot on. It was really good too. My sauce is a bit chunkier but if you’d like yours to be smooth, but process the ginger and garlic in a food processor or mortar & pestle until it’s a paste. Cooking time is about 15 minutes once everything is prepped and ready to go. Prep time is about 10 minutes.

Ingredients for two servings:

1 teaspoon hot curry powder
1 teaspoon medium curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 large clove of garlic, minced/chopped/pasted
1 thumb size piece of ginger, minced/chopped/pasted
1/4 of a white onion
bunch of coriander, chopped
1 chicken thigh, cut into bite size pieces