Journal #269

In approximately thirty minutes, it will be 12:00am and will mark the end of the last work day of 2017. In two more days, 2017 will be over and we will usher in 2018.

I can’t say I look forward to it because my start of 2018 will be spent in a military camp and then back to work 14 days later.

What happened

My morning at work was spent on teaching one of my colleague about how to publish the web application for deployment on IIS. I also shared a bit on how I approach to writing my codes, the style, and design patterns I used.

Then as it approached lunch time, I went to try out some authentication stuff as part of doing the discovery work on how to allow support for different way of authentication to the same endpoint.

The company had a new year lunch which I didn’t join. Instead I went out to eat at Green Dot because I never quite like eating buffet food.

After I came back, I went to dig through the codes written by my colleague for the server side and start to discover more inconsistency and weird use of class instances. I raised the issue up to my team lead who said we will need to discuss further on how to improve.

I also got an inspiration for a product that I could build while at work and is still thinking about what the product will need. I probably should write down all the core features that it should have. My brain could only store so much information.

Later in the evening I went to meet up with my friend for dinner at Herbivore, a Japanese vegetarian restaurant located at Fortune Center near Bugis.

The atmosphere of the place is good and it is like any other Japanese restaurant. It feels familiar.

The first item that arrived was tofu with soy sauce, seaweed, and ginger.

I ordered it for my own consumption because I just love tofu.

The other item that arrived was the unagi maki roll.

This item is shared between my friend. I got to say that it taste pretty close to the actual thing and is very good.

Finally came my own main meal, which is the teriyaki chicken (mock meat) don.

After eating all the above, I could barely get up and move. I was so bloated but I’m definitely happy with what I ate.

That is what I call quality.

After dinner, my friend and I went for a walk around Bugis street before I decided to go to the bookstore.

I went to buy three self-enrichment books as part of my desire to improve myself and change my mindset. As a study have shown what you read affects how your mind work. Even if I didn’t apply some of the things I will read about in these books, the act of reading will upgrade my mind, expand my knowledge, and give me more ideas.

The first book is The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss and I have always wanted to read this book to see how I can make my work life more efficient with more productivity and allow me to focus on the more important things.

The second book is Start With Why by Simon Sinek. I bought this book simply because it’s Simon Sinek.

The last book is The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I mentioned in my past journals about applying the 5 second rule to whatever thing that you want to do. This is how you can put an end to procrastination.

How I feel

I feel great. Work is what I consider useful and productive. I got to meet up with a friend, have a great dinner, and went home with a bunch of books that I wanted to get for a long time.

What am I watching now

Live performance of Youth, a song by Troye Sivan.

Being grateful

I’m grateful that I got a decent job that pays me just enough for me to build a good life.

Journal #266

Christmas went by and came Boxing Day. It is the start of the working week and is also the last week of the year.

What Happened

First half of the day was spent in office preparing an executable that can work in customer’s environment. The previous version couldn’t run at all and none of us know what why.

I tested the executable on two different machines a few times, found bugs, got my colleague to fix it, and repeat the cycle.

Then I went for lunch at Green Dot where I have vegetarian food.

The second half of the day was spent in the customer’s building, specifically their datacenter, where my team lead and I focused on deploying the application, and testing it. We also tried different configurations to ensure it works all the time.

By 5.30pm, we were asked to pack up and leave. So we did and I made my way north to Orchard. It was because I’m meeting my friends for dinner.

Earlier today, my friend came across Tanuki Raw, a Japanese restaurant, and suggested we go eat it. I said ok and before I know it, it was set for today.

Since I finished work early and was pretty near Orchard Road, I arrived first. When I got there, I spent some time walking around some of the malls, just strolling and listening to music. It was to kill time.

When the first friend finally arrived, we made our way to Don Don Donki where he looked for roasted nuts and some snacks to buy. The other friend arrived about fifteen minutes later. We made our way to the restaurant and started queueing and it took up to 45 minutes before there was table for us.

I was already starving by then and luckily for me, I still had one last rolled-up pancake with red bean paste packed in my backpack. I had gotten it earlier, after lunch, to serve as my afternoon tea break. It was to prevent my stomach from eroding itself away by its own acid. While working, I had already eaten two of the three.

Once we sat down, we browsed through the menu and ordered the food we wanted to eat. It took about 15 minutes before the first item arrived on our desk. I thought it’s pretty fast considering the restaurant was packed full of people.

That first item was the Golden Kani Maki. Basically, it’s sushi with seaweed, soft shell crab, and covered in salted-egg sauce. For the price of S$18.90, it was actually pretty good and definitely worthwile.

We ordered the same main meal, Kaisen Chirashi Don because it was the most worthwhile at $24.90.

For drinks, I went with a pint of Sharkinator, which is beer a slight hint of citrus. I like the taste and think the price is reasonable at S$12.

I ordered the drink because I wanted something to drink to relax and for my friends, it’s about ordering the Fresh Oysters which cost $12. The restaurant’s policy was that you have to order an alcoholic drink before you can order 6 oysters.

I won’t say the oyster taste that fresh or good. There’s a heavy hint of fishy-taste.

We also ordered the Truffle Sweet Potato fries, which tasted pretty good for S$10.90.

After the dinner, we left for home. One of my friend took the north-bound train while the other and I took the west-bound train.

How I feel

I felt detached and generally tired in the morning and that was even after drinking coffee. My eyes were heavy from the insufficient sleep.

As it got to the afternoon, I felt better and my mood was kind of lifted by the progress my team and I made at work. The application was working as intended and is almost ready for actual production use.

By the time I met up with my friend, I felt happy and has been that way for most of the night.

Along the way, we just had a chat about our work day.

What am I watching now

I was browsing for new music based on what I tend to watched and found the music video for the song call Crazy Law by Kazaky.

I just love the beats and the bass.

Being Grateful

I’m grateful for my friends.

Journal #176 – Going Through Drudgery Daily, Then A Decent Ending For Today

Why do I have writer’s block? Why do I not know what I want to write about today?

I want to say I’m tired. But that sounds like a fucking excuse.

But at the root of it, it’s really simple.

I didn’t put myself out there enough, exposing myself to brand new ideas, talking with people, sharing.

Everyday is the same fucking shit.

Wake up. Have food. Shower. Travel to work. Write code. Test code. Fix Code. Write more code. Have food. Do more code…

Sounds extremely boring isn’t it? In part yes. In part, no. The no part refers to my tendency to refactor my code even though they are not done or functioning yet. I moved my codes around, create more classes, break apart certain functions, etc. All part of the development process. The yes part refers to the process of writing code itself.

Just like the process of writing my journals. It’s a form of drudgery as it’s boring as hell. There could be a million (ok, not a million, maybe a dozen) of things that I could be doing. And sometimes, I’m tired. But I still write because that’s how I will improve.

My friend did tell me there is no need to write everyday. Generally, I will just say fuck off. But not today because I choose to ignore him.

You see, by forcing yourself to write everyday, you are training yourself. It is intentional training. Just like how some people go for music lesson in a consistent manner. That’s how they become good.

So in my case, because of me consistently writing everyday and putting out content, even now when I’m super exhausted, super sleepy, I’m still able write so much. See, I’m good at telling my own life story.

I’m just that good at it.

Now let’s repeat after me.

Ha! I’m joking. But I hope you get what I’m trying to say. Keep practicing and you will become good at what you do.

And today, I didn’t go home right away after work. My friend actually asked me out for dinner and so I did.

Met him at Orchard to eat at The Sushi Bar and each person pays S$38.60.

A cup of green tea for $2.

A bowl of steam egg (chawanmushi) for $4.

A regular sized Kaisen Chirashi Don for $26.90.

After dinner, my friend and I made our way to the Kinokuniya Bookstore at Takashimaya. At first I didn’t know what I want to buy, then I thought about buying Tim Ferriss’s 4 hour workweek. But I wasn’t sure I could find it. Then I thought about buying Steve Jobs’ biography until I came across a book about Jony Ive.

So I went to buy the book call Jony Ive: The Genuis Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahn.

Why did I buy it? My initial thought was maybe I could try and understand what’s going on behind the decisions that gave us the products that we so loved from Apple. I thought maybe it could expand my knowledge. And a part of me, I don’t know. It’s my first biography that I have ever bought.

Maybe after reading it, I could give a decent review. I shall see how that goes.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

Food and Restaurant Review # 1 – Hana

Restuarant

My friends and I went to the Hana restaurant located at Forum The Shopping Center for dinner on Sept 23, 2017. It is a Japanese restaurant with an integrated bar. Alcoholic drinks like beers, wine, and Japanese Sake can be ordered.

If you are going to eat there, do take note of the opening hours as follows:

Lunch: 12pm to 2.30pm

Dinner: 6pm to 9.30pm

Ideally, you should make a reservation if you don’t want to share tables with other people. The restaurant itself is also rather small and can fill up rather fast.

In terms of service, it was decent enough. The staff were friendly. Presentation wise, it was clean but not quite minimalistic.

Food

We ordered a Sashimi Platter, regular-sized, for the price of $48.

I don’t think it is worth the price since there were only a few slices of Yellowtails, Tuna, scallops, farmed salmon and spot prawn. I could get bigger portion of the sashimis in the form of Kaisen Chirashi Don for the price of ~$27 at The Sushi Bar. Freshness wise, it was acceptable.

One of my friend and I ordered the Flying Cha Soba with Maki, which cost $18 each.

It was one of the more unique dishes on the menu. One of my friend called it a gimmick, which I agree. At the end of the day, it’s just soba presented in a different way. The food itself wasn’t that particularly good or bad. The main soba sauce, despite us adding the quail egg, seaweed, and spring onion in, it was mostly tasteless. My friend went to add the fake wasabi in for additional flavor but it didn’t work. The sauce is just too bland. The other sesame-based with half-boiled egg sauce was better and added a little more flavor to the otherwise bland noodles. I didn’t get to taste any hint of green tea from the noodles though.

For drinks, I didn’t order any alcoholic drinks and I personally prefer coffee over anything else. So I ordered a cup of ice Americano for $5.

The first sip gave me a good coffee kick. I quite like the taste of the coffee as it has the right balance of bitterness and sourness. Comparable to the Cold Brew I always order from Starbucks.

Conclusion

The final bill was $142 for three person, which I would say is on the slightly more expensive side. If you are nearby, want to eat Japanese food, and don’t mind paying a little more, you can go there. I haven’t try the other dishes, so I don’t think it would be fair of me to outright reject that place. For me, I don’t think I will go out of my way just to eat there. There are other better restaurants around Orchard Road.

Journal #135 – A visit to Singapore Night Festival

Updated (20 Aug 2017 1033hrs): Included additional thoughts Annabelle Creation, and removed intent of adding video.

I woke up at around 0730hrs with the intent to go for a 10km run. So I did went for it at around 0830hrs. However, half way through the run, I felt weird and whenever I stopped at traffic lights, my vision almost went white and I felt slightly giddy.

I suspected that my blood sugar has fallen to a certain level and that my body is telling me to stop. And so I did. I walked home and climbed the stairs, activities which are less strenuous than running.

After I came back, I had vegetarian fried noodles with white cabbage, braised beancurd sheets, and fried beancurd. While eating, I binge watched The Defenders, followed by the TV series, Dark Matter, Killjoys, and Zoo.

By then it was almost time for me to leave the house to meet with a friend. We went to Liang Court to have dinner. We ate at a Japanese restaurant and I ordered a 11-type sashimi chirashi, tofu, and green tea.

After that, we went to the Singapore Night Festival where we enjoy light shows and visit the museum which showcases stuff from Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s house, Singapore history.

Here are some pictures I took while I was there.

After that, we decided to watch Annabelle Creation at The Cathay.

The movie Annabelle Creation is one of the better horror movies that I watched in years. While watching it, never had I felt so dreadful. I have watched countless horror shows, played survival horror games, and Annabelle Creation is one of those that make me want to curl up and stop watching. In terms of story, I thought it did a pretty good job too. 4/5 for the movie.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

Daily Journal – Aug 6, 2017

This is my 122nd journal.

Woke up at around 1000hrs feeling extremely groggy and to the sound of my irritating neighbors doing some hammering work and blasting their music.

Lazed around in bed until about 1100hrs before I actually got up, brushed my teeth, and took an omeprazole pill with a full cup of water. Waited for half an hour before I ate my breakfast.

After that, I was just mingling around in the kitchen chatting with my family members and made a cup of Earl Grey tea.

I am not sure what to do for the rest of the day. Part of me don’t feel like playing any games too.

At around 1430hrs, I decided to go out with my mom and sisters. Had a shower, put on a T-shirt, a pair of shorts, and sneakers before heading out.

Went to IMM first, and trailed behind my sisters and mom as they went looking at shoes. Had lunch at Ichiban Sushi and it was my treat. The bill totaled $113.

I ordered a hot green tea, Agedashi Tofu, and a plate of assorted Sushi.

If you are wondering or have yet to figure it out, yes, I love Japanese food and I find that they are more healthy than traditional Chinese cuisine, or western cuisine.

Then I went to get StarBucks while they went ahead to JCube. I joined them there and walked around some more looking for shoes. Then we went to play at the claw machine and I lent my sister 10 bucks to get a duck stuffed toy.

Then we walked about some more at Jem before we head home.

Well, my mom decided not to cook after reaching home and so we will be heading out again for dinner. Until then, I will focus on doing some writing.

There wasn’t enough time for me to do any proper writing since it takes time to even get the gears moving.

My family and I went to a nearby Tze Char store to have dinner. After the dinner, we went home to the weather starting to letting go of rain. It was a light drizzle but since it’s a short walk from home so it didn’t matter.

For the rest of the night, considering that I had quite a lot of caffeinated drinks today, I think I will do some light writing and watching YouTube video.

That’s all for now.

Here I conclude my journal for today.