Tuesday, May 23

The Best Baseball Bat for 7U and 8U Coach Pitching

The "Best Bat" may be a misnomer. Every year manufactures claim their new model is the best. Plus your boy grows, too - what best today may not be the best tomorrow. So the Best Bat that I share today is based on my son's experience of three different bats (at least used for one season) for 7 to 8 year-old age (Coach Pitching, big barrel) only.

Best - Marucci Cat 7 Junior Big Barrel

This actually his third & current bat (27" / 17oz, 2-3/4" barrel). We noticed this bat from a well-hit opposing team last year.  Its white color made it so outstanding from other popular colors (black, green, and red). My son borrowed from his teammate and hit an in-field home run in a game. This made my mind to buy it for him, even though he already has two

Friday, May 5

Our 2nd Pinewood Derby Car Working Tips - 童子军松木赛车 之二

Pine Wood Derby CarIt's his 2nd Pinewood Derby Car season, and we want to try something different this year. Surprisingly, our new strategy worked ! My son's car won the 2nd place in speed contest. 😏 
Just like to share a few tips here. Again, it may or may not work for your case, but just to inspire you to try something differently.

Let him do it

Looked back, I felt that I did more than I should've done for him last
year. Probably OK for the first car. This year I promised myself - let

Saturday, April 8

little bets - 大突破 源于 小尝试

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries
一个企业在规划自己的产品和战略时,是应该谋定而后动还是应该勇往直前、见招拆招?Peter Sims 的《Little Bets》一书在采访了从乔布斯 (Steve Jobs) 的苹果、皮克斯 (Pixar) 到脱口秀喜剧演员克里斯·洛克(Chris Rock) 等200多名各个领域的成功人士,最终得到了一个结论:合二为一最有效

企业规划从“拍拍脑袋”阶段到“规划战略”阶段,无疑是一个飞跃。但 Sims 指出,这一趋势近来就走火入魔的趋势。能够为未来做准备和计划固然重要,但如果坚信准备和计划可以规避所有的不确定性就太过极端了。


Friday, March 3

Easy Tips for Fishing with Your Kids - 孩子钓鱼窍门

my son's first catch bluegill in March 2015 near our community pondAfter reading the benefit of fishing with your kids: staying away from xboxes & cell phoneslearning a new skill set, getting father-son time, I bet you want to give a try.  But how, or how to get an easy first catch with your kids? 

There are many online tips, but probably not very practical. My post will share one easy & practical tip to fish with you kids in a pond. It works every single time. In fact, we even held a fishing party, and every kid caught a few. 

Please try it out and comment with your results :-)

Saturday, February 4

Damascus EDC Knife - Legendary Uniqueness: 大马士革随身刀

There is a Regular EDC knife, and there is a Damascus EDC knife!
Damascus EDC Knife
An EDC knife is meant for everyday carry. Our lives are different. What is the best EDC for me may not be the best EDC for you. However, you'e never wrong with a Damascus EDC knife, which represents outstanding uniqueness, supreme quality, and rich history.

The Legendary Damascus Steel

Like the stripes of a wild animal, the laminated bands of a

Monday, January 16

"Never Eat Alone" - Networking Bible: 人脉与成功宝典

Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a TimeIt's always a good sign when you're mentally exhausted after reading a book, and I felt that way after completing Never Eat Alone, each chapter contains a wealth of useful information. I've considered myself to be good with people and someone with strong interpersonal skills, but this book humbled me by showing me how much I can improve when it comes to the dreaded art of "networking".

Keith Ferrazzi provides practical and precise methods that can be done in everyday professional life in this book. The importance of connecting and the impact it has on our own success was clearly articulated. The "Connectors Hall of Fame" sections were value enough to read this book. One of the most poignant points was to focus on your strengths, not your

Friday, January 13

Troubleshooting "Radio Project" in ScienceWiz Kit- 矿石收音机调试

Crystal Radio projectPerhaps inspired by my recent post, many friends start building science projects of ScienceWiz / Inventions Kit with their kids,  However, they could not get the last project of "Building a Radio" work. 

Frankly, my son and I did not make it at our first attempt, either. Apparently, we are not alone. For example, this amazon reviewer complained it even though he "followed the instructions to a tee". This boy on YouTube was not able to get any sound even though he double checked everything. 

Almost gave up until I read this successful case with the

Tuesday, January 3

Emotional Intelligence Enables Success - 提高职场软实力

Emotional Intelligence 2.0
[中文I bought Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book probably due to a little social pressure - at least two corporate training instructors recommended it as "Gold Standard" for my career development.

I agree. To me, this book is a success-enabler. Every time when I read it, I can not help recalling several events in my career either success or failure, which in fact correlated with how well I handled my emotions.

The book has a single purpose -- "Increasing Your EQ". Well done! It's the first I've seen that actually shows you how to not only be

Sunday, January 1

Practical LEGO Robot Kits for Kids (7+) - 实用机器人套件

The LEGO Technic Idea Book: Simple MachinesDid you make the similar mistake? My son loves Legos. To cultivate his engineering sense, I bought tons of different LEGO sets, City, The Mine, CreatorStar Wars, Technic etc. However, the problem is when the set is built, it is "dead" and becomes a display.

Luckily, I met a renowned robotics educatorCharles Chen, at my son's robotics camp and talked about this problem.  He gave me a simple solution for kids age 7-10 before using LEGO Mindstorms:


Monday, December 26

How to Help Your Kid Start Ice Skating - 初学滑冰手记

Riedell Model 10 Boy's Ice Skates"Is ice skating the right sport for my kids; which one - Figure skating or Hockey? " Many parents asked these questions. My answer is simple - "Let them TRY but with a Right Starter Kit."

My son started it when he was 5. I listed some tips that we learned during his skating journey. Hopefully, your kids will avoid these rookie mistakes, pick it up easily, and have more fun! 😏

The tips are mainly for the beginners, typically for those who have not decided their skating style (figure vs hockey) yet


Friday, December 23

Your Brain at Work - 了解大脑, 笑傲职场

[English] 大家都知道-“干得累不如干得巧”。那怎么才能干得巧?这本《Your Brain at Work》书会给你一点儿启示。

  1. 趋利避害 - 漫长的人类进化,把我们的大脑处理信息的主要目的变为趋利避害。而且往往对“祸”最先反应。 比如说你老板叫你去,你第一反应很可能是"我干错什么事了?"而不是“太好了,我要加工资了。”
  2.  SCARF 模式包括 Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness。增强其中任何一个对人们

Thursday, December 22

Must-Read Chess Books for Kids - 适合孩子的象棋书

Conquer your Friends with 8 Easy PrinciplesMy son has played chess over a year. He went to chess camps and took chess lessons. One tip is to get the right books. He read the following chess books recommended by his coach. He improved rapidly and had lots of fun. A little regret from me, I can not beat him easily any more :-)

Conquer your Friends with 8 Easy Principles

  • Strategy with 8 principles - big picture of the game

Wednesday, December 21

Our 1st Pinewood Derby Car from A to Z - 童子军松木赛车 之一

Scout Pinewood Derby Car KitMy son and I had zero background about the Pinewood Derby Car when we got his car kit from our Pack. Over the past 2 months, we did lots of homework via Google & YouTube and also bought several tools & accessories for the project. Eventually, we built our first Derby car and surprisingly brought a trophy back home.

CAT Toolbox for Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Car ProjectNow I like to share our lessons/tips learned from this project. I am
not trying to focus on some technical depth about how to make your car faster or more realistic but more to summarize the whole project with a series of steps. It probably does not help or spark those Derby gurus but hopefully gives some hands to the first-time maker and beginners.

One question before I start - does your son have his own toolbox? If not, it is probably a good time to get one for him. I bought a CAT Portable Toolbox for my son. It turned out to be a good decision; especially on the contest day he had everything in one

Thursday, December 15

Bose Bluetooth Speakers - Which one?

Bose SoundLink Mini IIWhat is the right Bose Bluetooth Speaker for me? I know that I will be never wrong having a Bose blue speaker. The question to me - Which is the Right one for me: Bose SoundLink Color II, Bose SoundLink III, or Bose SoundLink Mini II?

I did some research based on Amazon reviews and listened several audio test clips from YouTube. Long story short -  Bose SoundLink Mini is not the best one in terms of price and quality but offers the BEST COMBINATION of size, quality and price.

Wednesday, December 14

ScienceWiz / Inventions Kit- 和孩子分享科学快乐

ScienceWiz / Inventions KitScienceWiz / Inventions Kit》:儿子8岁了。他对 Lego 有与生俱来的热爱,好奇机械、爱拆东西。为了给他普及一些科技知识,除了读书外,我一直在找一本适合7-8孩子的科技动手图书。不想让他仅限于 l Lego 的拼搭,更要引导他一些基本的物理常识。

比较一些图书后,我对《ScienceWiz / Inventions Kit》from Penny Norman 一书比较满意。除了物理知识简介,书中所有的科技实验的器材都包括在盒子里。而且没有Fancy的东西,都是一些日常生活用品。每周日和儿子一起做一个Project。他很高兴我们的 daddy-n-son时间。


Monday, December 12

2016 Goodreads Choice Awards -350万读者选出畅销书

Truly Madly Guilty

美国 Goodreads 网站 2016年度“读者选择奖”


1. BEST FICTION - 最佳小说

Truly Madly Guilty《委实疯狂的罪恶》

Monday, December 5

The Right Telescope for Kids - 初级天文望远镜7-8岁孩子

Celestron 21038 Travel Scope 50 Telescope, 70mmCelestron 70mm Telescope:刚看见有人求荐入门级Telescope适合7-8岁孩子但低于$50。一分钱一分货。低于$50且质量说的过去的比较难找。 我家用的是 Celestron 70mm, Amazon Best Seller,$65。效果比较满意 ,可以清楚看到月亮、木星。

要是想用手机拍照片,可以直接用手机对准目镜拍,不过要有耐心。没必要浪费钱买什么手机或照相机架子 Gosky Universal Cell Phone Adapter Mount 。我买了这个Gosky的架子,效果没有想象的好。常常是调好了

Sunday, December 4


为了进一步激发8岁儿子的中文兴趣,我在他临睡前的story time 引入了故事性、趣味性强的成语和陈卫平的《中国历史》中一些故事。效果不错,儿子每晚都盼着听;而且他在日常对话中有意识地使用一些听过的成语。


Saturday, December 3

Storytelling with Data - 让数据讲话, 升华演讲技巧

Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals演讲技巧(Presentation skills) 在职场的重要性我就不再赘述了,想必大家都有共鸣。我在公司也陆续参加了几个有关Presentation skills的培训。虽有些帮助,但见效不太显著。

一次,偶然的机会在YouTube上看到 Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic(Google前人力分析团队总监)的视频,启发很大。原来不光是PowerPoint的结果和语言组织,还有一些以前忽视的问题:
  • 如何选择最佳的图表模式来表达结果;
  • 如何第一眼看到重点,抓住观众眼球
  • 怎样能把一个结论(即便是正确的)用图表讲活;
  • 如何connecting the dots把一些论点串起来;

Friday, December 2

Cub Scouts Experience - 儿子参加童子军的经历 (7-12岁)

1. 导语

Dinner at the Cub Scout camp out event
这里的经验仅限于我和儿子参加了一年半的Cub Scouts活动,所以分享经验主要基于Cub Scouts。Cub Scout 是童子军的预科,主要针对7-12岁男孩。通常说的童子军是指 Boy Scout 12-18岁男孩。更多童子军信息参见 Boy Scout of America 网站。

2. 摘要 -What is in it for my son?
我觉得讲俗一点儿 就是“孩子们在一起分享各家的爸爸”。那么正式地讲就是培养男孩子在学习和体育之外的诸多能力,比如户外  outdoor,动 手能力, 团队合作teamwork,领导能力

Thursday, December 1

The Shortest History of Europe - 《最短的欧洲史》, 值得一读

The Shortest History of Europe, John HirstThe Shortest History of Europe covers the sweep of European history in only 150 pages. Based on a series of lectures, John Hirst tells the story of what it means to be European. An easy read, highly recommended to all of us who live in what were once colonies, to remind us of our European heritage.

All pieces come together! As a non-native English speaker, it took me 1 week to finish this small book. This is not a regular “fact-based" text book. The author summarizes the whole European history in a few threads, makes the entire book very easy to read.

最近读了本《The Shortest History of Europe》。
言简意赅,短短150页 就梳理了欧洲史的脉络,从几个重要的角度讲述欧洲历史事件之间的必然和联系。这些角度包括政治,宗教,