Daily Log #40

While I was getting my daily Starbucks drink, the manager at the counter asked me how many times I get drinks from Starbucks per day. I told her one. Then she asked if I drink it every day including weekends. I told her no. The reason she’s asking was because I’m always at the store just before I make my way to office and most of the time, she’s at work too.

There were a few staffs who recognize me because of my frequent patronage. When I didn’t go there on a particular day, they will ask where I go the next time I visit. Because of this, I do feel bad not going and get something. But I also have to be aware of how much money I’m actually spending there and the occasional deprivation is important so that the mind doesn’t become truly addicted.

At work, I focus on doing a bunch of refactoring and renaming of existing classes and functions because I want to adhere to using domain-specific or user-specific terminology language. A big part of that want comes from the desire to express my codes correctly so that there are no confusion between what the user want and what is implemented. My colleagues, well, they are still stuck with the mindset of letting whatever that is in the external system leak into our current application. There may not be any problems in the short term but in the long term, when it comes to maintenance, it will be a nightmare for future teammates because of the disconnect. There will be confusions…

Hmm…

It just dawn on me that there is a basis to this aversion to letting the concepts, naming, or values from an external system leak into our current application. That basis is authenticity and self-identity. These two are something that I value a lot. Letting the concepts from another system enter into the our application is like you as a person let another person define who you are.

For example, if another person say you are tall, you accept that and make yourself tall. Then so if another person call you ugly, you accept that and make yourself ugly?

I don’t believe anyone would do that right?

This is erosion of self. And in some case, it’s just impossible. If you are short, you can’t make yourself tall. It’s confusing to other people who are looking at you. They won’t understand why you are making yourself into something you are not.

So if you don’t do such a thing to yourself, why do you make the application you develop become something it is not and use values or data that doesn’t belong in its core domain?

Where is that adapter?

What is that translator?

This is why my codes now are being refactored to rely on those things I mentioned. Every class files that I have created are put into their proper folders with a certain structure. Functions and variables are properly named. I just cannot tolerate the lost of identity, meaning and context within a given application built for a specific purpose.

For example, if it is an accounting application, the terms (be it function name, variable name, etc) has to be related to the actions or operation founds in accounting.

In the case of my colleagues, since they don’t really want to follow and the team lead didn’t enforce, I will just leave their stuff alone. At the end of the day, from management’s perspective, as long as something works, who cares about code style. At least that’s my view of people in management, especially those higher than project managers.

After work, I went home, had a quick shower and joined my mom and sister for dinner.

An hour after dinner, I decided to go for a run because it’s time for me to stop finding excuses not to run on a weekday. Previously (six months ago to be precise), I put a run schedule in my calendar for every Tuesday at 9 PM but I always ignored it because there was always something else to do: Netflix, Writing, and more Netflix. I’m rather disappoint with myself for lacking that discipline.

Anyway, the good thing about running at night is it’s cooler and there are less people on the street. That also mean lesser chance of encountering smokers walking around.

Second hand smoke is already bad for health, and especially so if one is running as you will be taking in bigger breaths. Despite the statistics of 1 non-smoker dying from smoke-related illness like lung cancer, the government isn’t doing anything about it. At least not in a meaningful way that will reduce 1 to 0. I personally believe it has to do with the tax collected from cigarette sales because it’s the only thing that’s more important than health. That’s also what my friends have been saying too: There’s a lot of tax to collect from cigarettes, the government won’t ban it outright. So until I’m shown otherwise, I’m sticking to this view.

After the run, I had another shower again.

Then I got down to write this log. Along the way, hunger struck and had to make myself a cup of oats.

Hmm… it’s already 11.20pm and I hadn’t really put in any new words for my novel. Anyway, I’m tired too so I will sleep early and wake up earlier.

Daily Log #6

It’s hard to tell the difference between depression and low mood. All I know is I lack the motivation to do anything. So I spent the start of my afternoon napping. After an hour and a half, I went for a run.

Unlike the past where I could run up to 10 kilometers, now I could only run up 4 kilometers now without feeling completely floored and thirsty. My whole body started aching at around 2 kilometers mark.

On the topic of physical fitness, I realize many of my joints are no longer flexible and can’t bend without pain. There are knots all over. I think it’s time to change that situation. I suppose it’s because of this lack of physical fitness it’s making me suffer from lower levels of energy.

Or maybe it’s an age thing. After all, I’m not that young.

After the run, I took a shower and went for lunch at Ichiban Boshi. Then I went to get two boxes of green tea because it’s been a long time since I drank any on a daily basis. I suspect not drinking tea has contributed to me gaining weight and I’m not blind to the fact there are of course many factors in my life. Lack of activity is one of them.

When I got home, I started watching Jessica Jones season 2. I watched until episode 2 and decided to stop because I just didn’t think binge watching is a good idea now.

After dinner with my dad, I came back to start writing an article. As I wrote it, I find myself struggling with the content. I dug deeper and realized I wasn’t clear enough about my objective of writing the article. My thoughts were everywhere, thus making me present it in an incoherent manner. I spent nearly two hours on it, writing and editing it. Even now, I still don’t think it’s good enough. I’m feeling insecure about it yet it doesn’t change the fact that I need to publish it.

As soon as I was done with writing the article, I came across a trailer for a show call Perfect on Gizmodo and thought it looked really interesting.

It’s a good thing that I put the article away down for an hour. When I went back to it to edit some more, I saw more incoherent stuff and edit some more. At around 11.40pm, I decided to publish that article because I don’t see the point of holding it back anymore. If it suck, it suck. I will just learn from it.

Journal #285

Today is just a chilling Sunday so I spent most of my day just doing relaxing stuff. And I’m here enjoying the cool weather brought on by a Northeast Monsoon surge for as long as it last.

What happened

Despite deciding to play The Evil Within 2 yesterday, I didn’t. My neck pain was causing me to suffer from nausea and dizziness. I took two muscle relaxant tablets and went to bed early.

Woke up this morning at around 8.30am feeling much better. Throughout my sleep, I found myself waking up from time to time and had whole bunch of weird dreams that I vaguely remember.

At around 9.20am, I went ahead and played The Evil Within 2. When I stopped the game, I was at Chapter 7 and the time was about 1.30pm.

I switched to playing Cities: Skylines because I felt the urge. I reloaded the previous save game and continued tweaking my city. I redid some of the roads and expanding my city further with more zoning and roads. I also removed some non-productive bus routes and tweaked some of the existing ones for more coverage. I also added a new metro station and moved most of the rail lines underground because I needed the space.

The following are two screenshots that I took of my city, which is getting pretty dense now.

However, my city’s treasury is still not doing very well because of insufficient tax especially during the day. So I will focus on that going forward.

At about 5pm, I decided to stop and go for a run. So I saved my game, backed up the files, and shutdown my machine.

I came back home after running for about 4.3 kilometers and walked another 1 kilometer.

After the run, had a shower and went ahead to watch two episodes Saga of Tanya the Evil on Netflix.

How I feel

I feel great because of the weather. I have always hated the heat and humidity.

I also feel a little lethargic…no…scratch that…more like procrastinating.

At the same time, I also feel a bit depressed because I have to go back to work tomorrow. But I guess I can’t complain more about that because I need the money for my further education.

What I plan next

I will probably spend the rest of the night watching some more shows on Netflix or iTunes. If I get bored enough, I may decide to do some more writing.

Journal #251 – Chilling rainy Sunday with life review

If I really have to list something useful that I did today, I can probably count them with one hand.

The first most useful thing was writing an blog entry about “Why I buy Apple products as a minimalist”, which I publish here and here.

The second most useful thing was me going for a quick 30 or so mins run at around 4.30pm and earlier in the day, I went and did twenty push-ups, split into two sets of ten.

The third most useful thing? For most people, I don’t think they will call it useful but for me, it’s probably is. I went to watch two more episodes of Dark on Netflix. I actually spent more effort to absorb in the scenes, looked at the expressions of the characters, their behaviors and actions, and start thinking about how I would create the show, scene or characters as a writer. It’s important to train yourself to think like a writer when you are consuming content produced by other people. To me, it is part and parcel of getting inspirations and understand how to get people to consume the content you create.

Other than that, I spent the other part of the day playing Sky Force: Reloaded on my iPhone and iPad Pro so that I can collect enough stars to upgrade my plane. That I definitely won’t call useful but it’s part of my desire to just chill.

I also went to get the Designed by Apple in California book out from the cabinet and start browsing through the pages. As I was browsing through, I spent some time understanding the designs and appreciating them all. It turns out I really found joy in going through the pictures and thinking about the story behind those designs. It’s so much easier to understand the context given that I have read Jony Ive’s biography and is still in the process of reading Steve Jobs’s biography. The process of going through the designs also got me feeling nostalgic as I started thinking about my days in secondary school when I was studying Design and Technology.

Thinking back, I do have some inclination for the design and technology subject in general. I understood the technical stuff rather easily but not so much of the society aspect or aesthetic. For my Singapore-Cambridge GCE Ordinary Level D&T project, the end product was average but I managed to score slightly above average compared to my peers because of my strength in the theory part and orthographic projection. One year earlier, I actually did very well for N-Level examination. If I remember correctly, I actually scored an ‘A’ due to the end product, theory and the drawings. It was actually a useful end product with a pretty good design.

So you see, when it comes to creating things, you will fumble and tumble from time to time. The only difference is how much effort you put and how much desire you have to achieve mastery and greatness.

Back then, I wasn’t sure if I could find a decent job if I went to do product design and I did find an inclination towards writing and interest in programming. So after my O-level examinations, I went with something that has practical uses given the economic situation and culture of Singapore. That was why I chose information technology for my Diploma and subsequently Computer Science for my degree.

Now if I were to do it all over again with what I know now, I will probably put in extra effort on my writing and have it run concurrently to my software development career so that I have more choices. But there is no point in regretting this because it’s a fact that I wasn’t mature or self-aware enough back then. So what I can do now is to forge a new path with the experiences and knowledge that I have gained. It’s never too late. I have already took the steps to improve my writing skills by applying and going for courses, keep writing, and learning from other writers.

So stop your bullshitting about being too old, feel tired or lazy studying, and complain about the fact that you are sick your current, meaningless job yet want to change career or do something more meaningful. Start creating the plan and taking the necessary actions or be quiet about your current life and apply gratitude.

Journal #242 – Haircut Sunday

Slept at around 4am after having too much coffee last night and woke up at around 9.30 am feeling very hungry.

Throughout the night there were moments when I actually heard my stomach growling from hunger and got pretty gassy. But I just chose to sleep through it all.

After I woke up, I went for a cup of water. Upon drinking it, my stomach actually hurt. I suppose it’s because of the pre-existing ass and stomach discomfort caused by the hunger. Then I went about preparing some instant oatmeals to eat and just decided to laze around in bed.

I took the chance to play Sky Force: Reloaded on my phone, collecting as much stars as I could so that I can upgrade my plane to make my life easier in the game. So far, I actually enjoying playing it though I didn’t go as far as buying stuff. Don’t see the need to spend money.

After that, I went out with my parents again to have breakfast.

But today’s main thing was that I got a haircut after three months. I had to time it just right because I got reservist next month and didn’t want to cut my hair twice within a three month period. I waited that long because I do like to show some “f#*& you” attitude. When my hair get long, they make my head look very fat due to the volume. Kind of like a massive mop.

When I was at the salon, the hairdresser was surprised and asked, “how long have you not cut your hair.”

I told her three months and she said she’s can’t believe I can tolerate that sheer volume of hair.

I just smile, told her how I want my hair cut, and let her do her thing. She also asked me how was it like to use the Apple AirPods and how much it cost. She saw me listening to it earlier. We talked about it for a while and said there are cheaper alternatives for bluetooth earphones.

Generally, I won’t outright advise people to get Apple products when there are cheaper alternatives. But if they do want Apple product, I won’t stop them. It’s their money after all and they can decide for themselves what they want or need.

After the haircut, I went to get a waffle from the bread store with red bean paste and a veggie patty sub for my lunch before going home.

Personally, I have no issue with the veggie patty sub but some of my friends do. They say it taste like shit. For me, I do need the protein.

Had a shower, washed my hair thoroughly and just sit back and relax. I went to watch some television show while having my lunch.

Now that I’m done with my lunch and television shows, time for me to go for a run. I don’t want to run in the evening because of the sheer amount of cars and smokers plying the streets.

Finish a run of 4.2 km and I walked the rest of the way home to make up the rest of the distance.

Once home, had a quick shower, and started watching Tokyo Ghoul on Netflix. Surprisingly, I found myself really enjoying the show. I guess it’s because of its dark nature, the gore, and more importantly for me is how does someone so different try to live their lives and blend in.

For the rest of the night, I suppose I will try to write the at least one chapter of my new book.

That’s all for now.

Journal #235 – Did some gaming, sick again

Today was nasty because I woke up to a bad cold. I had to deal with lots of sneezing, puffy eyes, and runny nose. By the end of mid-day, my room’s dustbin was full of tissues.

But I didn’t let it stop me from playing some games. Today I specifically went with playing Starpoint Gemini Warlords.

Originally I bought the game (that was several weeks back) because I thought it was interesting but I didn’t quite like the first few hours of playing it. It felt a little clunky and the learning curve was a little bit too much. As I had Everspace to keep me occupied, I didn’t put much focus into Starpoint Gemini Warlords.

And today when I went to play it for several hours, it was starting to get the hang of it and I found myself enjoying the game.

By about mid-afternoon, I decided to stop and play Cities: Skylines. It was a short game because I didn’t know what else to do and I was still dealing with the cold. Before that, I took a pill for it and by the time I was done with the game, I was already feeling sleepy.

So I went to take a nap until about 6pm when I woke up. I was already feeling better and I decided to go for run. By now, the rain had already stop but the ground was still wet but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

I ran about 4km before deciding to stop. Since I ran on the pathways beside the roads, the evening air was particularly bad. There were cars everywhere and most of them were diesel-based. Some could be from Malaysia too and may not have installed any quality filters. So all I could smell was car-exhaust. I suspect I have already breathed in an insane amount of toxin into my body.

I have been looking at the AIR+ Smart Mask to protect myself from the bad air quality in Singapore as you guys know I am particularly sensitive to cigarette smoke, car-exhausts, etc. I just hadn’t gotten around to get the mask because I was lazy and self-conscious. And now I have reached the tipping point.

And now as I’m writing this journal, my runny nose came back. Sigh.

Time for another pill and sleep early.

Journal #220 – Singles’ Day, Just another chilling day

Today is actually marked as Singles’ Day. It’s a festival that originate from China celebrating single hood. It is also a day where irresponsible consumerism rules because things will be on massive sales and people buy these things en-mass. Just like Black Friday or any other day where companies make compulsory consumption a thing.

To me, it doesn’t really affect me. It’s just another Saturday. I woke up much later today, at around 9.45am. After brushing my teeth, I went out with my parents to have breakfast. After we came back home, we made our respective coffees and I proceed to start up my desktop to play Everspace.

I played for quite a while consistently and for the first time while I was playing through Sector 5 to 6, I didn’t die. I had been very very careful with my resources and the battles I got into. My longer than usual sleep and the coffee definitely helped with my reaction time and calmness.

Then I finally reached Sector 7. There was a moment when I felt excited. It was the last sector of the game and also the end.

After several nerve-wrecking situations in sector 7, I managed to finish the game by early afternoon.

I took 35 tries just to reach this stage. Talk about patience and drudgery.

After that, the game was about collecting 8 DNA pieces. I played for the next couple of hours but by then, I got pretty tired.

I had my late lunch and was waiting for the rain to stop. These past few days, the weather in Singapore had been rather wet. The rain can get pretty heavy.

Once the weather cleared up for a bit, I went for a 5km run. That actually wore me out but it was good.

I went for a shower and decided to just lie down and read the Jony Ive biography until my family members are ready to go out for dinner.

We went to Crystal Jade and ordered a whole bunch of dishes, including meat. I didn’t eat the meat but it doesn’t mean my family don’t.

First dish, steamed buns and Po Lo Pork.

Second dish, Xiao Long Bao.

Third and fourth dishes, stir-fried french beans with minced meat and sautéed vegetable with three kinds of eggs (scrambled, salted, century).

I want to note that the fourth dish was the worse due to the strong ammonia from the century egg. At first, we thought the food was spoilt until we narrowed down the ammonia. So, next time we will not order this dish.

Fifth dish, sweet and sour fish.

Sixth dish, stir-fried prawns. And these prawns are frozen. Very obvious from their sheen.

So you see, even Crystal Jade’s standard isn’t even there. They can’t even use fresh prawns.

Seventh dish, was a vegetarian one. It’s the fried beancurd skin with mushroom strips.

Overall, the dinner was filling but in terms of quality, it’s just isn’t there. I expected better. Anyway, it was my treat.

After the dinner, my family went to the NTUC supermarket to get stuff for a vegetarian soup that my mom wants to prepare tomorrow.

By the time we got home, it was already 10.15pm. That’s when I got down to business and start writing this journal. I shall spend the rest of the night watching some show and turn in.

Journal #214 – Sunday, feel like crap

I woke up this morning with pain on the right side of my neck and shoulder. I couldn’t tilt my head to the left or turn my head left or right without feeling pain. Right shoulder and general arm movement felt sore.

This is what happen when you spent too much time in front of a computer and never really taking care of your physical health.

The pain is making me feel very uncomfortable and wanting to sleep in.

But I did try and get myself up early to go for at least a short run. I wanted to do 5 km but upon reaching 3.6km, I felt extremely tired and thirsty. The weather these days hasn’t been very nice. The rain tend to come and go and when it does come, it can become extremely heavy suddenly.

After I went home, had a quick shower, I tried to play some Everspace but didn’t feel good playing continuously and so I stopped after about 45 minutes. I shut down my PC and went out for breakfast with my dad and upon coming home, I powered on my MacBook and decided to watch some Netflix until lunch. Bought lunch for myself and my sister and continue to watch Netflix until about 3pm.

Decided to spend more time away from the computer and went about ironing my own shirt and doing some basic exercise to ease the pain.

As of this moment, I’m contemplating if I should go for my friend’s wedding dinner today. A part of me knows that if I don’t go, I will spend my time in front of the screen, sleeping and more screen again. Hmmm…I guess, I should just force myself to go and have some fun. Cooping up at home tends to get pretty miserable at times.

I don’t think I will be able to make time to add more stuff to this journal later today. I will have a quick afternoon nap and then prepare to go out.

One final note. I actually went and bought the book, Designed by Apple in California, last night from Apple online store, and have it ship to the physical Apple Store at Orchard Road. I hope it will arrive before end of this week.

Journal #156 – Tired Saturday

It’s one of those weekends that saw me waking up feeling extremely tired despite having what I believe to be a decent night sleep.

I went about with my morning routine and I found myself not wanting to do anything at all. Knowing that’s not how my day should go, I decided to power on my desktop and play some games. The game I chose to play was Sniper Elite 4.

I managed to finish the remaining two missions of the single player campaign by about noon. Or was it much later? I couldn’t remember.

But I do remember feeling extremely exhausted and depressed at around 1400hrs. I suspect it had to do with the fact that I’m extremely hungry. So I went to eat a banana and then decided to play Watch Dogs 2. Half way through, the game crashed because of the display driver. Ever since I got the game, the game always caused the display driver to crash. I had since given up on trying to fix it. It’s not my problem. And since this game is considered quite old, I don’t really care about it anymore.

The exhaustion reached a point where I decided to take a nap, or at least tried to. But couldn’t fall asleep. Then my mom went to get me lunch at around 1530hrs. I ate that and tried to go back to sleep again. Still can’t sleep but I did felt better.

At around 1700hrs, I decided to go for a run but it was a painful one. My knees were hurting and then I had to deal with the toxic fumes from the cars and the irresponsible, selfish smokers along my run path. I kept coughing and felt sick. Cut it short at 6km and went home. Had a shower, watched some YouTube video on my iPad Pro and went out for dinner with my family at Jurong Point.

Walked around for a bit and they got some stuff. Half way through, I got so bored and tired. I went and listen to The Minimalists podcast.

We made our way home at around 2200hrs and here I am. I’m just waiting for my friend to call me or when he’s free to pick up. Whichever comes first.

Daily Journal – Aug 5, 2017

This is my 121st journal.

I didn’t do much today except spending most of my waking hours playing Cities: Skylines. I managed to fix the traffic issues and got my city population growing again. Tax income has now stabilized and that the commercial zones can get their goods now. What I did was simple. Creating a cargo train network that spanned the whole city with support from cargo ships.

Later in the evening, I went for a 8km run. Wanted to do 10km but then I felt that I should let my joints recover as they still hurts when I run. I still hadn’t got around to get the new shoes yet as I have some budget constraint this month. I mean, I didn’t quite want to spend the money since I’m technically not employed full-time.

Had my dinner and off I went to watch Dark Matter (TV Series) and Killjoys (TV Series).

That’s all for now.

Here I conclude my journal for today.