Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop

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Credit Scores and What Really Affects Them

Posted 23 February, 2012 at 11:51am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Credit Cards, Life) 1 comment

Over the years, I've heard a lot of different theories about how to increase your credit score. Most of them are grounded in some truth, but are based on incomplete knowledge. For example, a lot of people say that given the choice to buy a car with cash or finance it, you should finance the car to build credit. Although, that is generally true over time (in the short term, the auto loan will actually hurt most credit scores), there are often better ways to increase one's credit score without the initial negative effects and without having to pay real money on interest.

A credit score, such as the FICO score (produced by the Fair Isaac Corporation), is a numerical way for banks and lenders to determine if an individual is a credit risk. The scores generally range from 300 to 850 depending on which company and which method is being used to calculate the score. In theory, an individual with a 300 on this scale would be someone who would definitely default while an individual with a score of 850 would be guaranteed to not default. Since nothing is ever certain, the scores are designed so people will fall between these two extremes.

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Credit Scores and What Really Affects Them

What I Ate: December 31, 2011 (Taste of Ethiopia)

Posted 4 January, 2012 at 1:03am by Tina Jiang

We met up with some friends at Taste of Ethiopia (1100 Grand Avenue Pkwy Pflugerville TX, 78613 512-251-4053) for lunch. This was our first time dining here, and it won't be the last. The food was great, the owner (her name is Woinee Mariam) and staff were so nice, and there's something so special about sharing a meal with friends where everyone ate out of the same plate. The detailed descriptions below are from the restaurant's website http://tasteofethiopiaaustin.com.

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What I Ate: December 31, 2011 (Taste of Ethiopia)

What I Ate: December 30th, 2011 (Austin Cake Ball)

Posted 4 January, 2012 at 12:32am by Tina Jiang

We discovered Austin Cake Ball (3401 Esperanza Crossing, Suite #104 Austin, TX 78758 512-215-3633) about two years ago. We hadn't had cake balls before that and had only read about them (and it didn't sound very tasty). Well, when we had these cake balls, we knew we had stumbled upon something great! Recently we tried cake balls from another local bakery and it only validated our high opinions of Austin Cake Ball. They can be purchased locally or online at www.austincakeball.com. We bought half a dozen which came in a convenient tin (larger size tins are also available).

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What I Ate: December 30th, 2011 (Austin Cake Ball)

What I Ate: December 30th, 2011 (Urban an American grill)

Posted 4 January, 2012 at 12:06am by Tina Jiang

We went to Urban an American grill (11301 Domain Drive, Austin, Texas 78758 512-490-1511) for some comfort food and our favorite tres leches in town.

Loaded Mac and Cheese $6
Cheesy with bits of bacon - what more can I say.
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What I Ate: December 30th, 2011 (Urban an American grill)

What I Ate: December 23th, 2011 (Wink)

Posted 3 January, 2012 at 6:36pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Dining, What I Ate) No comments

We've been meaning to check out Wink (1014 North Lamar, Ste. E Austin, TX 78703 512-482-8868) for quite some time - since we moved to Austin over two and a half years ago. We finally made it!

amuse bouche
A very crispy and flaky tart with bacon flavored filling.
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What I Ate: December 23th, 2011 (Wink)

What I Ate: December 9th, 2011 (Afin Modern Japanese Tapas)

Posted 18 December, 2011 at 4:32am by Tina Jiang
(Filed under: Dining, What I Ate) 4 comments

We tried out a new restaurant - Afin Modern Japanese Tapas (6519 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 512-614-4974).

Garlic edamame $7 Stir fried, garlic, soy sauce, olive oil
Salty and garlicky. I liked it.
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What I Ate: December 9th, 2011 (Afin Modern Japanese Tapas)

What I Ate: November 17th, 2011 (Kome Sushi Kitchen)

Posted 18 December, 2011 at 4:31am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Dining, What I Ate) No comments

When we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, there were several excellent ramen shops offering different styles of ramen which we loved. After we moved to Austin, it's been hard finding ramen that's authentic - the fact is that there aren't that many Japanese restaurants offering it in the first place. When we heard that Kome (4917 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 512-712-5700) may have Austin's best ramen, we just had to try it out.

Tonkotsu ramen
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Miso Ramen
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What I Ate: November 17th, 2011 (Kome Sushi Kitchen)

What I Ate: November 1th, 2011 (Evangeline Cafe)

Posted 18 December, 2011 at 3:25am by Tina Jiang
(Filed under: Dining, What I Ate) No comments

We ate at this Cajun style restaurant once before and liked the food and atmosphere, but we forgot to bring the camera. We went back to try some more dishes. Evangeline Cafe (8106 Brodie Ln #110, Austin, TX 512-282-2586).

Special - red fish $13
I thought this dish was rather bland. The red fish and the cream sauce both needed more salt or seasoning.
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What I Ate: November 1th, 2011 (Evangeline Cafe)

What I Ate: September 21th, 2011 (Justine's Brasserie)

Posted 18 December, 2011 at 3:10am by Tina Jiang
(Filed under: Dining, What I Ate) 4 comments

We went to Justine's Brasserie (4710 East 5th Street, Austin, TX 512-385-2900) for dinner a while back (apparently I had forgotten to post the entry). As usual, the dishes were delicious.

Summer Salad $12
A variety of homegrown tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, fresh anchovies, and croutons with a lemon garlic dressing.
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What I Ate: September 21th, 2011 (Justine's Brasserie)

What I Ate: October 23th, 2011 (Tandoori Bistro)

Posted 27 October, 2011 at 2:59am by Tina Jiang
(Filed under: Dining, What I Ate) 1 comment

We felt like Indian food a couple of nights ago, so we went to Tandoori Bistro (1605 E. Oltorf, Austin, TX 512-383-8210) for dinner. We had been there for lunch and dinner once. This time we ordered a bunch of dishes that we hadn't tried before.

Lamb Samosas $4.50
The lamb filling wasn't very flavorful… we liked the vegetable version better.
Lamb samosas

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What I Ate: October 23th, 2011 (Tandoori Bistro)

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