A brain teaser kind of question at GregTang math (I just heard bout GregTang and the problem recently at a school event): use 6, 7, 8 and 9, plus any addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to make the result of calculation as 10 (only use each number once, can use any kind of parenthesis as needed).
I saw a few kids come up with answers (but it seems to me some answers are from the parents I tried but could not come up with answer as 10 at the spot. Note we, my wife and I, when we were kids in China did similar exercise / games using the poker (draw 4 kids, instead of 10, we need to make 24). On my way home, or at home (this is how things work for me, just like how I come up with the solutions to coding at work), I have this: (7+8)x6/9=10
Note: there should be many ways / combinations to this, the one I heard at the gathering is 8x(9-7)-6=10
After that I followed GregTang on twitter, and I worked on some of the puzzles there from time to time: those are not “too hard” problems, but nonetheless interesting / educational for the kids (I think).
Last Friday evening, when I was at a gathering at Shack, for a fundraising event my daughter’s school association (usually called parent teacher organization or PTO in other schools), with auction and beer/food etc. I was talking to a dad, since his kid is same grade as my daughter. I said “I know your wife too”. Then suddenly he said his wife passed away. I did not know. That reminds me of couple other parents’ passing for the same grade kids, due to various reasons.
I had my daughter was I was 39, and she is 7 years old now. I think I am at the older side of my cohort parents (parents of kids at my daughter’s grade). And when I heard this type of news from my daughter’s mouth in last few instances, I felt very sad for the affected kids and families. Once I told my daughter: give the kid a lot of hugs. She said she won’t mention the passing parent to the kid. Yes that’s a good idea too.
Our younger one is only 3, and she could not quite understand the concept of “death” yet. She thinks she will live with us forever. I hope we can live with our kids as long as possible/practical *don’t want to be a burden to them when the day comes
Chase (link here): First two rides = 50% off (up to $15 per ride). Use your Chase card to sign up for a new Uber account, enter promo code CHASE50, and take your first two rides by 7/31/17
SPG (Starwood preferred guest): this is target offer. I got it in the email, quoted below:
Get started with Uber. Enter promo code SPG2017 during sign-up or on the Uber app “Payment” page, and you’ll enjoy your first ride for free (up to US$20*). Offer valid through March 1, 2018.
Amex Platinum (“How to Get $200 in Uber Credits From Your Amex Platinum Card” by TPG): I don’t have the Amex Platinum.
Note I live St. Louis, in which Uber has not grown popular yet. But I plan to take it sometime this winter.
Amex: Amex Offers has a Quiktrip in store (order via QT app) off $5 offer, can be used twice. And the Amex offer appears only available via the Amex app too. So basically you should install the Amex app, check if there are offers, add them if yes. Then install the QT app. The food items in QT actually are the best in gas stations (they actually have a kitchen Tried today: the philly cheese stake and chicken flat bread. Total $7 (tax included, minus $5 makes it $2). Plus a large drink which is about $1.50 separately.
Chase Pay order ahead $5 off (first use): similar to the QT app, except in the case of Chase, they have a lot more restaurants, subway seems is the most popular (most stores), but I tried chick fil a, which I have not eaten for a while. You will also need to install Chase Pay app. Note I includes the links to iTunes app store here.
Last but not least, the Panera is offering $10 bonus card if one purchases $50 gift/egift card. I already got one, and plan to get another one (I am not too greedy since sometimes it takes time and effort to track down e-gift cards).
Dumb mistakes using airline miles
1) Let it expire;
2) Spend it on hotels,
3) Let myself be the redeemer instead of my old daughter Serenity. Later found out I cannot add my younger daughter (<2) as lap child (the mile redeemed ticket does not have that privilege).
Deep Springs College: I heard about the college first time today. Apparently this is a very small college (26 students enrollment per Wiki). But they emphasize work (labor), the college is free. All male for now until the lawsuit can be settled.
College of the Ozarks: I knew this college a while ago, and I heard about it in the news on their “absolutely no alcohol policy” (even off campus). It’s a christian college, and the Berea college below is similar in this aspect.
Berea College: in Kentucky instead of Missouri, similar size as CoFo above, about 1,600 students. Both CoFo and Berea require students to work, and the tuition is waived. It looks like there are at least 7 work colleges in the US. Quote: “Each student receives a tuition scholarship worth nearly $100,000 for four years.
The College is one of only seven federally recognized Work Colleges in the United States…”
Recently I started to realize buring (use) rewards points efficiently is as important as earning, if not more.
Chase Ultimate Rewards, Hyatt
I made a small mistake about a month ago when I transferred some Chase UR points to Hyatt. The impetus for doing that was I needed to book 3 nights of hotel at Hyatt Regency in Chicago (magnificent miles). And I found booking via Chase UR website costs about 45,000 points. But in split of a second, I mistook Hyatt charges 40,000 points for 3 nights (it’s actually only 2 nights, but my mind short circuited). And I did the 40,000 points transfer (1:1). After that I no longer have 45,000 UR points, and had to use some 6,000 points plus $430 for those 3 nights.
So there was the cost of my small mistake. But the story did not end here, as I heard from one of my friend Hyatt points was a big saver in his family Florida trip. So I looked for Hyatt Place or Hyatt House for the summer trip we are taking in the east. I was able to book the free night (yearly) at Boston Harbor, also booked 5 nights either at Hyatt Place or Hyatt House in Owings Mills (Baltimore), Amherst (Buffalo), Morristown (NJ), and Boston Braintree (south Boston). Note both Hyatt Place and House have free breakfast.
Starwood Preferred Guest SPG
I know SPG points are valuable, and I have used them in various places including Shanghai, and this one with more pictures. Recently Marriott and SPG joined forces, and I have some points in MR and SPG but could not make a booking from either. So I transferred 5,000 points from MR to SPG (worth 1,666 SPG points), combined with 1,400 points I already have, I was able to make a booking at Aloft BWI (baltimore airport). I stayed at Aloft ORD before and have some ideas how it feels.
I buy Lego mostly for my daughter and her friends’ birthday gifts. There are 5 stores I usually go (both online and offline): Lego official website, Amazon (probably bought the most), Walmart (both online and store pickup), Target (online, free shipping with red card), and Toys R Us (both online and store pickup). Note in the online cases, I usually got the free shipping.
A ballpark for deal or not is see if the per piece price is 10 cents or not. For example, for an 100 piece lego set, a fair price is $10. If it sells below $10, then it maybe a deal.
Deals usually got sold out fairly quickly. I recall once in holiday season I had it in the cart, but I was a bit greedy in terms of using shopping portal (Discover Deal) and also tried to find a nearby Walmart store, during the process the lego was sold out. Today I learned my lesson, as soon as I saw the deal from dealsea, I click on it and ordered from Toys R Us. I actually bought two because a friend asked. This afternoon when I go to the store to pick up (btw, I feel the physical stores are in big trouble, as the parking lot was pretty empty at Mid-river Mall). The store clerk said they were a bit puzzled about two orders in the morning, I said they are both mine
I think Lego is good for kids toy because they encourage creativity, and in the case of I don’t know a kid’s hobby (for birthday present), a Lego set is a safe bet as it’s pretty liquid (they can give away easily).
Recently my wife and I are having some trouble find out a way to manage our old daughter’s at home behaviors, esp. around good working habit (wait until last minute to do homework or play piano), clean up the mess after playing, be nice to her younger sister, and last but not least, playdate with friends went over the time we set initially.
Since I work in the reward space for my day job, and I thought there may be something we can do in an app. We did tried stickers, and charts, but nothing really stuck for a while. I think with the popularity of smartphones, a smartphone app may stick. Looked around I am seeing two; iRewardChart and Choremonster.
Last but not least, I came across two articles on this topic, Reward system: Goodbye to the sticker chart and How Experts Discipline Their Children.
(Update 03-20-2017) This is partially inspired at the teacher/JA volunteer (my coworker) rewards kids with chocolate/candy for good behaviors in classroom (see this post about my JA experience).
There are many good summer day camps in St. Louis area. STLToday recently has a good piece on this topic.
Personally my old daughter has been to the JCC Day Camp, and Andrews Academy. We like both, with a bit preference over Andrews: for its after care, and overall quality. Note cost-wise, Andrews is a bit more expensive than the J (about $1,300 per month vs $220 a week for the J). We also thought about the Arts Camp at COCA too but the pickup and dropoff is a bit challenge (due to half day schedule). Note they do have 2 locations: the U city campus and the Whitefield school at Ladue/Mason. My daughter was very much interested in the arts, that’s why we signed up the art camp at the J when she was 5 (incoming kindergartener). This summer we are thinking again sign her up at Andrews (4 weeks Science camp and 4 weeks Outdoor camp). Both the J and Andrews do swimming once a day.
For the little ones, the summer camp at Hope Montessori (Mason road, Creve Coeur) is very good. We are thinking about signing up younger daughter this summer.
Other camps I heard about: the mad science summer camp, and the Lego (Robotics) camp at Maryville U. Both are half day, so it’s a bit challenge if both parents work full time and in office.
Btw, I wrote about the summer camp about 3 years ago.
Last but not least, found a summer camp search website here.