Seppia's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Smashter
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Smashter » Thu May 03, 2018 3:31 pm

I really like those paintings. Thanks for introducing me to Kupka, I'd never heard of him.

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Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sat May 05, 2018 3:27 am

Kupka really is special, not so well known because most of his work stayed in Czechoslovakia, hence shielded from western view for all the communist years.
The pictures obviously do not do the paintings any sort of justice, I strongly encourage any art-lover with access to NYC (MoMa), Prague (Kampa Museum and Veletrzni Palac) or Paris (Beaubourg and now this exhibition at the Grand Palais) to go see his work live.

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Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sat May 05, 2018 3:44 am

Weigh In:

93kg, lost 0.3kgs since two weeks ago. 10kg to goal.
Very disappointing, but not TOO bad considering I spent 5 days in France with friends. Will need to push harder.

More Change

Yesterday I signed the job offer I received and filed resignation from my current job.
Next assignment will cover a still-very-large-but-not-the-whole-planet-large area, so quality of life should improve.
I will be managing sales for the Asia Pacific region (excluding China) for a mid size (600M usd approx) food company that probably 95% of the civilized world population has at least heard about.

In order to ease my way in the company, I will spend my first year-ish working from the Italian HQs, then the plan is to move on-site (probably HK or Tokyo).

The first year will be brutal travel wise, but considering:

1- My line of work is export sales: travel and time zone differences are to be expected
2- I go from working with clients from GMT +10 to GMT -8 to working with clients from GMT +10 to GMT +7. This is a huge positive as I will only get called super early in the morning and not both super early AND super late.
3- I plan to bring my wife along with me on the long trips, taking advantage of the fact she just recently quit work (one of the recent life > money choices we have implemented)

This is still a major improvement overall compared to what I am doing now.

The other positive I see is that we will get to know that area of the world almost for free.

Jason
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Jason » Sat May 05, 2018 9:09 am

Seppia wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 3:27 am
I strongly encourage any art-lover with access to NYC (MoMa), Prague (Kampa Museum and Veletrzni Palac) or Paris (Beaubourg and now this exhibition at the Grand Palais) to go see his work live.
I have come to appreciate art later in my life. Many years ago I was friends with an art restorer who told me that I ever bought art, to buy current artists and not waste money on prints. It keeps the art world going and maybe it will turn into an investment. We have bought a few of this guy's works.

http://shawnmcnulty.com

He paints with his feet. What do I know.

A few years back I was working with an art transportation company. He told me this story of moving some of Ronald Lauder's paintings from his California home to his private NYC gallery. He had to check in every fifteen minutes by phone. If he pulled over to get a Big Mac or take a leak, he had to let them know. A security team followed him. He arrives at 2:00AM in front of the GWB. At that point, NYPD escort him to the gallery. When he arrives at the gallery, a glorified SWAT team takes the paintings into the museum and hang them up. For the next forty eight hours or so, art conoisseurs, celebrities, etc. arrive by invitation only to view the paintings. After that brief period of time, he goes back to the museum and the glorified SWAT team places the paintings back in his truck and he heads back with them back to Ronald Lauder's private home in California. Immediately after he leaves, another van pulls up and places imitations on the wall for when the museum is opened up to the general public. He said that no museum has the actual paintings on the wall. They are just too valuable. The real Mona Lisa is hid in the catacombs underneath the Louvre. Being that art theft is depicted as real in the media i.e. Whitney thefts, I have no idea what to make of what he said but he seemed to know.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sat May 05, 2018 11:19 am

Does the compensation plan include unlimited pasta sauce and olive oils?

I worry about your work-life balance. Japanese overlords may lead you to Karōshi, and that would be bad from an ERE standpoint.

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Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sat May 05, 2018 11:36 am

Jason wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 9:09 am
He said that no museum has the actual paintings on the wall. They are just too valuable.
This could very well be the case, I love modern art but I'm not nearly educated enough to spot a fake.
I have a good friend who is a high profile art guy at one of the two major auction houses on the planet, and he says that many experts are still fooled by fakes, and it takes tons of exhamination to determine authenticity.
So I would guess for the average art enthusiast (like me), real or very well faked are equivalent

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 11:19 am
Japanese overlords may lead you to Karōshi, and that would be bad from an ERE standpoint.
I have yet to plug the numbers in my 87GB spreadsheet, but yeah that sounds suboptimal

This gig will come with unlimited supply of caffeinated drinks (of the italian variety, so non-carbonated and served in small ceramic cups)

Jason
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Jason » Sat May 05, 2018 12:37 pm


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Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Tue May 15, 2018 5:58 am

Weigh In

92.4kg, -0,6 since last week, 9.4kg to goal.

Much better than last week, but I suspect this result may be due in part to dehidration. I expect next week to be disappointing.
One step at a time.

Work

I am planning my exit from the current company, european timings are longer compared to the USA.
About to close on a huge contract that will definitely put us on the map in a big way in a key strageic market where we almost didn't do any business before (Japan), so the current employer may try to keep me for as long as possible.
I'm definitely willing to accomodate this, because I would love to leave on a good note.
Looking for a possible late July to late August start with the new employer.

Because of the bonus structures, I will probably give up 4-8k USD by delaying my entry (depending on exactly when i start): current company will NOT pay me any bonus probably* (bonuses are conditional to employees being with the company on 12/31), while my new employer will pay me the 2018 bonus pro rated to the number of months I'll be with them in 2018.

It is a ton of money I'll likely be giving up, but I'd rather exit as a gentleman and be remembered as a good guy who worked hard, delivered results, and gave up some money to do his job the right way.
I also kinda believe in karma, plus the Japanese contract we are closing is with a gigantic corporation that may become a business partner in my next job too.

*they may decide to pay me something anyways, but it would be a goodwill gesture on their part and not an obligation. Knowing how they are wired, there is a chance they will do something, but I prefer not to count on it.

Fun Side Projects

I run a personal finance blog.
It would be a semi-useless blog if not for the fact that it's written in italian, which I think makes it valuable.
Italian PF blogs are almost non-existent except for often scammy or outright stupid stuff, and most Italians don't understand english well enough to be able to read ERE-MMM-portfoliocharts-MadFientist and the likes.
So my blog is basically a translation / adaptation
Blog has been going on for around three years, and has a small audience (about 400 clicks per day).
I enjoy it a lot, and I'm super proud when people write me that I have been of great help in saving more / starting investing / other good stuff.

jennypenny
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by jennypenny » Tue May 15, 2018 3:52 pm

That's cool that you're writing about PF. Is the culture in Italy receptive to basic PF advice? The forum gives me the impression that some cultures get it right away and others don't. Maybe it's more about the messenger connecting with the culture and not the message.

I'm surprised you aren't doing a food blog. :D

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Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Tue May 15, 2018 4:16 pm

Thanks a lot jp for your comment :)
jennypenny wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 3:52 pm
That's cool that you're writing about PF. Is the culture in Italy receptive to basic PF advice?
Italians have good savings genes. We are a nation of home owners and with low levels of private debt (this compensates the high public debt)
A very surprising statistic is the median wealth per adult. Italy ranks 8th on the planet, above Japan, and double the USA and Germany
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... _per_adult (rank by the median column)

The reason why Italians are good with saving is the same reason why they are cavemen/women with investing: we distrust everything that is "modern".
We diss credit card debt but also stock ownership.

When I tell friends/extended family members I own stock they react
"oh so you gamble with stocks?"
jennypenny wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 3:52 pm
I'm surprised you aren't doing a food blog. :D
:)

Thing is I like to try and add value. That is my goal basically any time.

I know a little about food, and a little about personal finance and investing.
There is a ton of great PF advice in English, and what I know in this field would be redundant/inferior to what has already been shared by others.
So I feel Americans* may benefit more from me sharing some of my food knowledge.

For Italians, on the other hand, it's the exact opposite.
My recipes pale in comparison to the average grandma's, but even the little I understand about saving and investing is pure gold in my home country.

I just try share what's valuable, depending who I'm talking/writing to.

*for the sake of simplicity, I consider this forum to be "American", even if it is clearly a banalization

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Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:56 am

We just got back from a long weekend in Trieste, where my new job will be located.
Trieste is a beautiful city I had recommended in another thread, home to one of the most beautiful piazzas in the country (Piazza Unità D'Italia).

Mostly, we were apartment hunting, and we found two solutions that work.
One (my favorite) is a nice 1bd/1ba of around 700sqf with a big terrace (around 200sqf) in a super new building in a nice area of the city.

The other one is a slightly larger 2bd, 2ba (around 950sqf) and looks more like a "normal" apartment.

The pics don't do the first one justice at all FYI.

My parents and my wife's are obviously pushing for the bigger solution, as they believe it is impossible to live in a 1bd/1ba, somehow forgetting that we just did it for 5 years consecutively in NYC.
I love my parents so no issue here, it just makes me laugh a bit.

The thing is that this is unfortunately insilling doubt in my wife "will we have enough space" (we currently live in a 2bd/1ba of approx 850sqf).

I think it is a non-issue because

1- we are finalizing the purchase of a very small (570sqf) 2bd/1ba in our hometown Como, so part of the stuff in our current apartment will be moved there
2- if for some reason we still had too much stuff it would be a great occasion to get rid of all that useless shit we own*

On friday, while DW was screenening through about ten apartments to find the "finalists" that we looked at together on saturday, I met with my future employer to start planning a few things + some admin stuff.

First impressions are excellent, I really cannot wait to start.
Among the funny things, they told me my company car is going to be a ridiculously gigantic thing, a four wheel drive with a 3 liter turbodiesel engine (BMW 330d xdrive Touring to be precise).
Not that I'm complaining but in my soon to be ex employer I had downgraded to a smaller A3 TD quattro and still felt it was more than enough.

Since I refuse to drive back and forth to work every single day with such an inefficient vehicle, I have purchased a small scooter.
I managed to get a great deal on a very lightly used one (2400€ instead of 3290€ new for a 1 year old one with 1800km/1100 miles), so my real cost of usage is probably going to be fairly low (gas + insurance + a very minor depreciation: I should get same money or better if I sold it in a year)

It's this thing:
Image
It has a 155cc engine with enough strenght to carry me around at reasonable speeds, and it gets a real 85-90mpg (37/38 km/l) in stead of the 30mpg I would get with the car.

*I am consistently amazed at how much clutter we accumulate, especially since we pay attention NOT to add stuff.
The number one truest statement in the ERE book may very well be:
"stuff will accumulate to fill all available space" (or similar, can't remember of this is the exact quote)

jennypenny
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by jennypenny » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:49 am

The balcony looks lovely on the smaller one. Is the kitchen well-appointed? It doesn't have to be big, but functional is really important when you cook. (or are most kitchens designed for cooks in Italy as compared to the US?)

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Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:53 am

All the furniture inside is Ikea, so quality is average, but it is all new.
The kitchen design is well done (as you may imagine, I pay attention to that :) ).
I would love it to be gas based (cooking with modulable fire > every other option), but it's forbidden in new developments.
This is induction, which is the second best option.

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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by jacob » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:06 am

https://www.amazon.com/Decluttering-Spe ... 0718080602 is mainly about breaking the "fill every single space with clutter"-habit or as I call it "stuff-tetris".

TL;DR - For a given space, say a book shelf, there is a finite number of books it can hold. If you own more books than that you are not allowed to put them elsewhere. You have to get rid of the least desirables. In the book, she has basically resorted to donating everything rather than playing the "sell it on ebay"/"find someone who will really appreciate it"/... (to recover the cost or build stuff-connections) -game, even for expensive stuff. It's kinda goes against ERE fundamentals in that sense, but it's certainly moves clutter out a lot faster than setting up and administrating an "eBay"-room (alternatively closet or stack of boxes).

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Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:46 am

interesting thanks Jacob, I'll look for that book

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:27 am

+1 regarding the balcony on the first apartment.

My great-grandfather supposedly disembarked from Trieste.

Nice scooter, too, looks efficient. Makes me wonder.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:03 pm

Scooters are more fun than driving. I really like both places, looks like you can't go wrong =)

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Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:00 pm

@MI: Trieste's beauty comes in part from it being so multicultural. Used to be the main port of the Austro Hungarian empire, then used to be part of Yugoslavia, then Italy etc.

Small engined scooters are the main mean of transportation in Asia, where there's lots of people and not too much money to waste in gas.

I actually wanted to get this thing, which is the number 1 most sold motorbike in the history of mankind:
Image

But it's not sold in Italy and has to be imported, which defeats part of its purpose (being stupid cheap), so I got the Nmax which was born to be a "premium" scooter for the Asian market (so cheaper, small engine, focus on fuel efficiency etc)

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Frugalchicos
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:04 pm

“For Italians, on the other hand, it's the exact opposite.
My recipes pale in comparison to the average grandma's, but even the little I understand about saving and investing is pure gold in my home country.”

I feel just the same buddy. I try to be quiet about what we are doing when I go back home. Nobody really understands investing or ERE or anything that is not an average life...

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Astra
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Astra » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:02 am

Seppia wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:00 pm
Small engined scooters are the main mean of transportation in Asia, where there's lots of people and not too much money to waste in gas.
I was surprised to see so many electro-scooters in China. In many cities, motorcycles and moto-scooters were actually banned to relieve the smog problem, and you need a special license for cars, so the e-scooters have popped up like crazy. Not to be confused with the child-toys, the e-scooters I mean look something like this (and will seat a family of 4 if you really want to):
Image
And cheap too: new ones will cost you 400-600 US-$, used as low as 250$! Shame I could never find these in Europe...

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