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2007 Personal Year in Review

It's time for a little personal reflection. I know I'm usually an issues blogger but you can excuse a post or two about my life, right?

Professional

I had another great year at work. Last year, the processor I've been working on for so long was finally built and our debug tools are accomplishing their mission. Back in 2003/2004 the technical challenges involved in this project loomed large and no one was sure whether it was possible to do what we've done. Now, years of innovation and problem-solving later, we have proof in the lab.

We don't stop often enough or long enough to contratulate ourselves on what we've achieved. We're so busy improving things for the current project and looking forward to the next projects that it's easy to lose perspective. But the view from here is awfully nice!

We've done a great job and I'm proud of the work I've done and the team I've done it with. I know a lot of my co-workers read my blog, so I want to say: Thank you. We have done a great thing.

Financial

I stopped posting net worth updates about halfway through the year. I didn't want to spend the time writing those posts when I thought not many people cared about them in the first place. Additionally, I think they tilted my blog too far away from its roots. (I did keep posting on Networth IQ, though.) I'll continue to do personal finance articles from time to time but I don't want that to be the blog's theme.

That said, 2007 was a very rich year for me, clearly the best ever — I was up about $150,000. (2006 also looked good, but artificially, because I wasn't valuing my house at its market value at the beginning of the year.) I've certainly felt the gyrations of the housing market this year, with my home's estimated value up $21,000 at peak only to finish down $5,000.

Net Worth Figures
CategoryEnd of 2006End of 2007
Total$491,397.94$640,666.76
Short-term$26,900.45$27,798.14
Medium-term$111,852.44$218,685.32
Retirement$165,874.22$207,773.70
Property$186,770.83$186,409.60

Personal

In 2007, two close friends and co-workers had significant family events: A marriage, and a birth. These things finally overcame my inertia about the single life and I started dating. The curious can read my personal ad. (Those with too much time on their hands can contrast it with Micha Ghertner's.) I'm actually active on three online dating sites (eHarmony, Match.com, and Yahoo! Personals) but I think eHarmony's system is awful and the population is very small on Yahoo.

  • Women who I contacted: between 50 and 100
  • Women who contacted me: 2
  • Women I had e-mail conversations with: about 11
  • Women I met: 6
  • Women I met more than once: 3
  • Number of times my heart was broken: 5 (yes, really)
  • Approximate total cost: $1,500 (yes, really)
  • Favorite day: shopping with Jacque at Clackamas Town Center
  • Favorite moment: sitting with Celiene in Pioneer Place
  • Current status: single

I don't want to dwell on failure here by recounting the details. But I can't resist offering one piece of salacious advice: Do not kiss a Thai woman on the second date.

The most puzzling and remarkable thing I learned is that foreign-born asian women are dramatically more likely to be interested in me than any other demographic group. Of the women I met, 4 out of 6 fit that profile.

Home

I had a roommate for one month this year. It was actually the first time I've had a roommate since my first semester of college. My cousin moved to Portland and her living arrangements fell apart as soon as she got here… so she stayed with me until getting that mess straightened out. Despite being accustomed to living alone, I do miss having someone else around the house!

And speaking of the house… I've been very relaxed about completing my decorating project, so we're still not finished. But we're close enough that I can share these shocking before-and-after pictures of my living room and downstairs bathroom.

My tiny downstairs bathroom

Downstairs bathroom, before

Downstairs bathroom, after

My living room

Living room, before

Living room, after, #1

Living room, after, #2

The improvement is stunning! Sadly, the entire upper floor of my house still looks like the "before" pictures…


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Tiny Island