Stock up some diapers from Target.com

Target is offering $20 gift cards for 2 giant packs of Pamper or Huggies diapers. With the expiring $10 off $40 store pick up offer from target.com, that makes 2 giant packs from about $70 to $40. With Target red cards, there is 5% discount as well. Personally I picked up Huggies little snuggler size 2 (12 to $18 lbs).

This is better deal than a similar deal I got from target recently, in which they offer $10 GC for 2 super packs Pampers new born diaper, which costs $50 before tax.

Sam’s Club: I bought a “super giant” Huggies’ size 1 snug and dry pack from them, which has 192 pieces, and they offered $6 off about $40 original price. From this article at babycenter it appears “little snugglers” is better than “snug and dry”.

Of course, the risk of stocking up diapers is overstock :-) From personal experience, size 2 is a safe bet, because infant usually slows weight growth after couple months. That’s why I don’t want to stock a lot new born and size 1.

Last but not least, when placing order at Target.com, make sure entering a valid email address to receive the free Gift Card, it appears their web page does not check that. I had to call their customer service to get the $10 GC as I forgot to put it my own email there.

PS, I picked up the huggies size 2 order this morning at 8 am. Because this is the last day of tax free holiday this year, there is quite a crowd and the Guest Service lady complained about this “flexible fulfillment” promotion (pick up in store), and the tax holiday thing. I waited for about 10 minutes before they got the items from their warehouse. Anyway, it appears Target is getting some disgruntled workers. And a related question, if a store is full of deal seekers, and not many people willing to spend, that also signals trouble, right?

Got suspicious call from Chase Fraud Service

Twice

The first time, call originated from this number 1 844 540 4033, the guy not even verified my name, and told my Southwest Air Credit Card is stolen, then started reading about those “fraudulent” charges. At the end, I asked the last 4 digits of my card number, that does not match; and I asked the first name, does not match, and so on. So I told him I would hang up and call Chase directly.

The second time, they are coming back with a similar message, with this call back number 1 800 955 9060.

This itself (the phone calls) appears more like fraud, I am thinking they are trying to get more information from me. To have a peace of mind, I did verified my credit report via annualcreditreport.com (free for everyone, 3 reports for one year), and I could not find the card number mentioned by the suspicious caller.

Just trying to add some burden as we are having a baby girl lately. Those cheaters.

How much should we tell Facebook, LinkedIn?

Dos and Don’ts in the social media age

Recently the Facebook “lab rats” testing for its “news feed” is the news (see this one at Guardian). I gave it some more thought and since I’ve thought about this privacy thing before, I’d like to share some of my thoughts.

We all knew (hopefully heard about) a few years ago, people complained employers in the Facebook (or linkedIn), and got fired. So if one does not plan to move on, my suggestion is not to say negative things about employers publicly. Because although Facebook and other social media appears not necessarily public, they are actually public as soon as it’s went up in the air.

The more worrisome thing for me is, though, is with the big data (data scientists) Facebook and LinkedIn got, they have already affected how we interact with friends, reading news, and how to look for new jobs. And in the process they could manipulate how we think (Facebook appears already did this). So there is the danger of intersection of social media, psychology and data science. Should we worry about all this?

I don’t know. I am not a pessimist, but I think to be careful, or use another proverb: trust but verify. The technology usually will brings positive changes to society, but just like iPad, we should be careful don’t let iPad to our baby sitter :-)

PS, I happened to read some unpleasant reviews on my former employer at glassdoor.com made by some former coworkers. I don’t think that’s a good idea either. I think those can be address at exit interview, or survey, but not at a public places like glassdoor.com. I don’t have personal opinion about this website (for/against), I just felt some of the comments went to extreme: too good to be true, or too bad to be true.

Another reason which I think is more relevant to those kinds of comments, is people felt frustrated (due to various reasons). And they felt relieved when they left for new jobs, and they wanted to say whatever they like. Wrong. Two reasons: 1) We don’t want to comment others purely out of our own frustrations; 2) We don’t want to bad mouth others if all at possible.

Oh, boy, now we are talking about human psychology :-)

PS 2: came across this article “Facebook – the big tobacco in social media”, thought it’s interesting read.

Stacy Park vs. Beirne Park

We go to Berine Park a lot, we meant mostly Serentity and myself, sometimes my wife will also go. The main reason is it’s so close to our home, across the street from Olive blvd, and 2 to 3 minutes driving. It’s across the street from the Spoede Elementary School, if everything works out as we expected, that’s where Serenity will go for Kindergarden next year. Beirne Park has some nice feature, as explained by playstlouis blog here. I don’t have any complaints. The only thing is sometimes, it has very few people, probably due to its location (not exactly next to Spoede, tucked in a bit). It could be an advantage too, as sometimes we joked that’s a private park.

But as Serenity gets older, and more social, she really wants to play with other kids, because she is the only one (so far), she can play with kids mostly in parks besides in her pre-school. That’s Stacy Park comes into play. It’s a much bigger park, and has some nice feature too (playstlouis; yelp). And in addition to that, it has the “social feature”, both for Serenity and my wife, as it got more people. Interestingly enough, the Creve Coeur park website says Berine Park is one of the busy park in Creve Coeur, that is probably compared to other Creve Coeur parks. Stacy park got to another level. A few days ago, I think was July 3 evening, I saw bunch of many kids playing soccer, and play ground.

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

Self identity

Serenity became 4 years old a few months ago, and we are actually expecting our second child this July. Being the 1st generation Chinese immigrants in mid-west, we have some unique challenges such as being the minority in the community. This is not the case in the pre-school/toddler community we sent Serenity to (Hope Montessori at Creve Coeur). But it’s not always the case. I recall, once when Yoyo was still very little, probably one year old, we went to a mall play ground, and a Caucasian girl (about 10 years old) came over to play with Yoyo, but her dad called her back. It seems to me a race kind thing was going on (from the expression). This is fine with me, my personality is I don’t care too much about discrimination other people say/express towards me. But nonetheless, I don’t want my daughter felt that way when she grows up.

Economy condition
Beside race, another common thing is different economy conditions among families. For us personally, we really work hard to send her to the private pre-school. It’s not a small change for us. I wishes my app store or google adsense revenue could make up some of those some day :-)

Fun aside, once I talked about private school option with a fellow parent (his daughter is my daughter’s good friend in the class). And one worry from her dad, is if we send our kids to private school, will they feel so removed to ordinary people’s lives. Note both of us have fairly humble up-brings. We don’t want our kids growing up having no empathy for people are less fortunate than us. This is a very good point I did not think much before the conversation. Interestingly enough, I heard discussions on similar topic lately with my coworker, one reason they decided moving to new school district is that new school district demographics matches their background better. Not too affluent like some other districts :-)

I will update more as I have more thoughts on this topic.

St. Louis farmers market project

The summer is coming. Since we will be free on Saturday mornings, I plan to take my daughter to all the farmers’ market in the area. We have been to Tower Grove before; Creve Coeur just opened the farmers market at the same time (Saturday morning) at the Parkway north middle school parking lot: 181 Coeur De Ville Drive (intersection of I-270 and Ladue Road). I heard Ellisville has a farmers market too, it’s Thursday 4 to 7:30 pm. Ferguson always has already a good one. Then there is Kirkwood.

Btw, I will update the “To Market” app once I got all the facts correct for the markets in the area.

(Update 05-24-2014) I submitted the 2014 update (v 1.2.4) to the app store a few days ago.

(Update 05-26-2014) I found stltoday has a google map for all the farmers market in the area. Here is the link.

(Update 06-03-2014) The update is available at the iTunes App store.

photo

Kindermusik and Team Central Gymnastics

This is the end of school year, it is also the busiest time for parents and kids. I just realized it this year. As this past week we had two activities for Serenity: besides the Spring musical, we had Spring Performance at Team Central Gymnastics. Yoyo has done this for a year now, I knew she might not be talented in this, and we sometimes skipped classes (especially in the cold winter), but we got to finish it with a strong note.

spring_performance_team_centralIt’s also a bit emotional to say goodbye to our Kindermusik teacher and friends. We have done this for last 2 years, since Yoyo was 2.5 years old. I recall at one time when she was transitioning from toddler class to pre-school at Hope, the only class she likes to go is Kindermusik.