Journal # 136 – Being me

Type 6 INFP. Highly-sensitive person.

These are just labels that pretty much describe who I am. Even the Big-Five personality traits model also indicate the same core traits that revolve around the following:

I don’t do anything if I don’t get the sense or feeling of security or safety. I rely a lot on verbal assurance and/or physical presence to even get through my daily work, especially if I’m dealing with something totally new. This is where I will need to work on my competency that will give me the confidence to deal with situations.

I get stressed out when I have to work in a chaotic or noisy environment. That’s just too much stimulations of my senses. This is where I will need to learn how to unwind and create “me” time at the end of a work day.

I get severely upset after getting criticized on my work a couple of times. This affects my confidence and passion in my work. It will cause quality to fall rapidly. Left uncheck, I will slip into depression. I need to learn to let it go and be a little more professional. Need to remind myself that the world doesn’t revolve around me.

I get stressed out when people even raised their voice slightly when talking to me. I can pick up on the tones, the intent, and mood.

I hate it when I have to keep doing repeating or monotonous work. Making it worse would be to do it within a tight deadline. The only way to prevent me from stressing out about doing repeating work would be to give me something new to do or let me do some personal projects. If left undealt with, I will also slip into depression.

I get upset when I’m forced to do work that doesn’t align with my personal value or stances. It causes massive internal turmoil. I have since learn to let things go from time to time but it still affect me quite badly if I’m not careful.

I need a very long time to recharge after work. That means I can get burnt out a lot faster. That’s why learning to say no, developing my ability to schedule and prioritize work, and learning to compartmentalize is very important. I need to create enough “me” time so that I can recharge in any given 24-hour window.

I hate to be at the center of any attention. I prefer to be behind the scene, and not deal with any people. I prefer to be the side-kick.

Certain smells, noises, and lights overwhelm and upset me. I can learn to manage this but at the same time, letting people know and hope the understand is also as important.

I get hangry and it heightens my already sensitive senses, causing me to get even more upset if I smell certain smells, hear certain type of noise or see certain type of lights. Try imagine to live with your senses tuned all the way up. I can of course learn to manage this.

I hate fakery. For example, I’m a casual person and that dressing up is putting on a fake image. This is akin to stepping on my personal value. I can learn to let it go.

I am open to new experiences but only if they are intellectual-related. Any other type of new experiences may require a little more effort on my part to be uncomfortable but my stress coping mechanism has to be able to handle it.

There are probably many more but I will figure them out as I go through life. Now to achieve success in my life, personal development and growth is very important. I need to figure out a way to work on improving on the above traits, especially those that will affect my professional life.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

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.

10 Tech News Roundup #1

Here are 10 tech news that I found interesting.

A ‘bug’ that let a $500 password cracking box open up iPhone is patched as of iOS 11 – A video posted to YouTube by users EverythingApplePro yesterday shows a small $500 box unlocking an iPhone 7 locked with a short passcode. Techcrunch

Dancing robot army is worth a lifetime of nightmares – Who knew that a massive robot dance party could scare the living daylights out of you. Mashable

A year later, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free – Although Microsoft concluded its free Windows 10 upgrade program on July 29, 2016, the company has yet to close some of the loopholes that it originally opened for folks running Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. Techspot

Can tech companies legally cancel service to hate groups? – The past few days have seen many of the largest tech companies coming out against extremist groups such as the KKK, neo-Nazis, and other white supremacists. Techspot

HPE Ships Supercomputer to Space Station, Final Destination Mars – With a manned mission to Mars on the horizon, the demand for space-based supercomputing is at hand. HPC Wire

Bolstering the ARM Case for HPC Workloads – A new report sponsored by ARM and prepared by the University of Cambridge (UK) shows strong scaling for two popular CFD programs – OpenFOAM and Cloverleaf – on Cavium ThunderX-based ARM systems. HPC Wire

Nokia 8 zeroes in on the Galaxy S8 and its friends – We’ve been impressed with the hardware that recently-reborn Nokia has been packing into its HMD Global Oy-manufactured smartphones. Techreport

Intel expands its Atoms’ radius with C3000 SoCs – Intel’s Core architecture gets the lion and the tiger’s share of attention around here, but the company still makes Atom chips. Techreport

Apple’s ARKit could be huge for virtual car showrooms and online sales – Apple’s iOS 11 includes ARKit, developer tools that make it surprisingly easy to build great quality augmented reality experiences. Techcrunch

Apple Pay is dropping support for websites that sell white supremacist merchandise – Apple has disabled its payments system on websites that sell white supremacist and Nazi-themed merchandise, according to a report from BuzzFeed News. The Verge

Journal #133 – Concluded Psychological Evaluation

“Oh crap!”

That’s how I felt when I woke up this morning. It was 0928hrs and I have an appointment with my psychologist at 1030hrs.

So I went to with my morning routine and showered while my mom prepared a simple sandwich with slices of hard boiled egg and margarine. I rushed out of the house after packing my bag for work at around 1000hrs and ate my sandwich while making my way to the bus stop opposite my apartment block.

I made a mistake of not bothering to set my alarm clock to wake me up at around 0830hrs and left it at the original 0730hrs. So when the alarm did go off, and I intentionally left my phone on my desk, which is a walking distance from my bed, I walked over to switch off the alarm and went back to bed. I had thought I would wake up automatically at around 0830hrs, which would have given me enough time to prepare. Well, I’m not really a morning person unless I’m forced to or when I’m stressed out.

During the past two weeks, I dare say I made sufficient progress in evaluating what I want in my life, and what my goals and fears are. With that, I set a rule and shall constantly be reminding myself that whatever full-time job that I take on shall just be a means to an end. It is to secure necessary funds for me to do what I enjoy: writing.

After my session with the psychiatrist, I went for lunch at Ichiban Boshi at Jurong Point. Then I made my way to my client’s office. Instead of getting the usual Cold Brew, I went with Earl Grey. Why the change? Well, I tend to get acne outbreaks if I ate too much roasted, fried, or oily food. I know most scientific studies were not able to find a connection there but my body just behaves this way. Since coffee beans are mostly roasted, my face had a couple pimples.

At work today, I focus on bug fixing and enhancing one of the modules. Then at around 1640hrs, I went to get two curry puffs from Tip Top Curry Puff. Once I’m done with the puff, I went back to work. Did some testing of the bug fixes and enhancement before uploading the executable to the company’s FTP server.

I left the office at around 1830hrs, I left to a sea of crowd at Raffles Place station. There was a train signaling fault from Ang Mo Kio station to Marina South Pier station. That’s like practically half of the north-south train line. That meant that trains are moving extremely slowly between those stations.

However, I felt extremely pissed at SMRT for shutting down majority of the fare gates. I know that they are trying to control the amount of people waiting at the platforms for the north-south line but it inadvertently affect the people who are traveling on the east-west line. Making things worse is that some of the passengers have issues tapping their ez-link cards to go through the fare gates. One of the reasons why they have problem was that their cards were in their bags and they attempt to scan their card with their bag through approximation. That’s just plain fucking stupid. Is it so hard to take the card out and scan?

So by the time I went through the gate, I was already sweating heavily caused by the amount of heat generated by the large volume of people. If you are wondering why, I am highly sensitive to certain sounds, temperate, and crowds. So in a way, I’m suffering from over-stimulation. Over-stimulation raised my stress level, which led me to blame SMRT for their inability to manage the crowding situation.

Anyway, I reached home at around 1950hrs. Had a shower, and took some painkiller with muscle relaxant before eating dinner at around 2030hrs. The whole day I was feeling like crap. The left side of my body, especially the neck and shoulder area is extremely sore and painful. I had trouble turning or tiling my head to the right or down. I wasn’t sure why.

The painkiller didn’t help though and so I decided to paste on some medicated plaster to help ease the soreness. The medicated plaster did help but then the effect lasted only for a little bit. Now I need to deal with the pain.

After dinner, I went on to watch the last episode of Planet of the Apps and a couple of YouTube videos.

Special Mention

I also want to thank Mr. Yann Girard for letting me know about his book: 121 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer. I don’t get direct messages on Twitter unless it’s because I contacted the support team of a specific company for help or when they are my friends. So to me, it is a big deal and I really appreciate the personal touch. As for the book itself, I haven’t really start reading yet but I suppose it may help in my own writing.

One of his articles, From Employee to Entrepreneur in 10 steps, sounds just like a variation of what I am doing now. I admit that I’m fumbling about right now but I see it as necessary. The most important thing is the process of getting to the end goal and not the actual goal.

That’s all for now.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

Latest Science Tidbits #3

Understanding antibiotic resistance

Dated: 15 August 2017

Read More: Understanding antibiotic resistance

Original Source (if any): N.A

Reference Material (if any):

  1. Antibiotics Disrupt Coordination between Transcriptional and Phenotypic Stress Responses in Pathogenic Bacteria
Summary:

Researchers from Boston College has uncovered new insights into how bacteria respond to stress by using Streptococcus pneumoniae. Antibiotic is a form of stressor and understanding how bacteria respond is key to figuring out why they become antibiotic resistant.

It turns out when faced with a common threat or stress such as nutrient deprivation, the bacteria mount a highly organized response. However, when faced with antibiotics, the response was highly disorganized, demonstrating that the organism has a hard time with this kind of stressor.

With the use of RNA sequencing and transposon insertion sequencing, the researchers were able to determine that genes rely on collaboration that enables the organism to mount a successful response. When dealing with a new stress, the gene collaboration was nearly ineffective.

This discovery will allow us to stress bad bacteria out and eradicate them.

Author’s Take:

I want to applaud the efforts of these researchers. I for one is very concern with the rising antibiotics resistance.

A tiny fraction of oceans could meet world’s fish demand

Dated: 14 August 2017

Read More: Tiny fraction of oceans could meet world’s fish demand

Original Source (if any): Seafood for Thought

Summary:

A study by scientists from UC Santa Barbara and researchers from Nature Conservancy, UCLA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that nearly every costal country has the potential to meet its own domestic seafood needs through aquaculture.

To determine aquaculture’s global potential, the researchers identified areas where the conditions of the oceans are suitable enough to support farm by using parameters such as ocean depth, temperature, and the biological needs of 180 species of finish and bivalve mollusks, such as oysters and mussels. They also ruled out places that would conflict with other use of the oceans such as high shipping zones and marine protected areas, and excluded ocean depths that exceed 200 meters. Not all possible political and social constraints are also considered.

This will allow for the flexibility to think about and doing the best way for conservation, economic development and other uses.

Author’s Take:

I like to eat seafood but I’m also concern about the environmental fallout. Let’s say we over exploit a certain species of fish just to feed the demand. That will be bad for the whole ecosystem. By implementing aquaculture properly and taking advantage of the available space, I believe it is sustainable and more environmentally friendly.

New way of making hair grow by activating stem cells

Dated: 14 August 2017

Read More: New way to activate stem cells to make hair grow

Original Source (if any): UCLA scientists identify a new way to activate stem cells to make hair grow

Summary:

UCLA researchers found a new way to activate stem cells in hair follicle to make hair grow.

What the researchers found was the hair follicle stem cell metabolism is different from other cells in the skin. When these stem cells consume glucose, they process it to produce a metabolite called pyruvate. This pyruvate is either sent to their mitochondria or converted to another metabolite called lactate.

When the researchers observed this, they went to investigate what if the amount of pyruvate sent to the mitochondria is reduced, will it cause the stem cells to produce more lactate, which will then activate the cells and make hair grow faster.

The researchers were able to confirm the increase in lactate production accelerated hair growth in mice model.

Author’s Take:

This is definitely good news for those who are suffering from heavy hair loss.

Journal #131 – Rainy Tuesday

Beep Beep

I woke up to the sound of my phone going off. I had set the alarm for 0730hrs because I wanted to go to work earlier today. However, I was extremely tired from only sleeping 5 hours. I dragged myself out of bed, hit the off button, and went back to sleep. I woke up naturally half an hour later.

It was only then that I realized it was raining. It has actually been raining on and off for the past few days but it doesn’t really change the overall temperate. It still felt humid and hot.

I went about my morning routine, and had my breakfast. While eating and reading my Twitter feed, the weather got worse and was pouring down heavily.

I took a shower and left the house at around 0930hrs. As it was still pouring down heavily with strong wind, I knew I couldn’t walk to the train station. If I did that, my pants and shoes would be completely drench which I hate a lot.

So instead I went to the bus stop behind my apartment block. I took the feeder bus from the bus stop to the bus interchange at Jurong point. Upon boarding the bus, there were only three passenger, me included. It felt lonely but then just the way I like it. I never quite like boarding a bus packed full of people as I find them to be overstimulating.

As it was slightly after 1000hrs, it was considered off-peak and the bus simply went through the remaining bus stop without really stopping. Most people by now, especially the students and working adults, would already be in school or at work respectively. The retirees and senior citizens, due to the heavy rain, I’m assuming that they won’t want to go out for safety reason.

After I reached Jurong Point, I made my way to the MRT station. I used the sheltered walkway that connects the mall to the train station. But due to the intensity of the rain, I got peppered by the rain and my glasses were covered in rain drop. It wasn’t a very nice experience.

The train platform itself wasn’t that packed and the train didn’t take long to arrive. Boarded it and despite the empty seats, I chose to stand at the gangway connection. I personally love that spot because it is the least crowded part of a train even during peak hours.

Upon arriving at Raffles Place station, I made my way to Starbucks, got a venti-sized Cold Brew, and a Cajun Chicken sandwich. I went up to my client’s office and made my way to the backdoor where it leads directly to the IT room. Before I scanned my thumbprint, one of the staff from the Settlement department just came out from the washroom and I greeted her. We both went in and made our way to the IT room.

I wasn’t sure if it was related to me placing down the sandwich on the desk but there was a conversation about sandwiches. It turns out there was a sandwich store nearby that serve pretty good sandwiches but ever since the closing of that store, the replacement store didn’t really serve good sandwiches.

After the Settlement lady left, I went about finishing my sandwich and got down to work. I alternate my attention between Twitter and NetBeans as well as my phone. Before long, it was 1340hrs and I decided it was time for me to get lunch.

I got Chicken Rice from the food court nearby and went back to office. While eating at my desk, I went to read some science and tech news. After that, I went back to work again.

At around 1600hrs, I decided to drink some tea. So I went back to StarBucks again and ordered a venti-sized Earl Grey.

I got back to work again and lost track of time. Before I knew it, it was 1810hrs. I decided to call it a day and packed up. I left the office at around 1820hrs.

While walking home from the train station, my ex-colleague texted me asking how was life for me on Signal. So I chatted with him a while before he said he had to go offline. After that, I went to take a shower again.

For dinner, my dad got us curry rice. He only told us it’s from Clementi but didn’t elaborate further. I personally like to eat the Hainanese Curry Rice at Maxwell Hawker center. This one from Clementi was alright. I found the rice to be a little dry and the curry wasn’t that oily. For those who would like to try out Hainanese Curry Rice around Singapore, check out this entry.

After dinner, I watched a few episode of Mr. Robot Season 1. Now as I’m writing this journal, I pondered what I wanted to do next. Maybe I could watch Mr. Mercedes and see what’s the fuss about. Or maybe I should just finish watching the whole Season 1 of Mr. Robot.

Don’t worry, I will figure it out.

In the meantime, for those who are into Java programming, I think this article on the private access modifier would be good for you. Personally, despite me working with Java for so long, I didn’t know about it too.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

Journal #130 – Love-hate relationship with Monday

Sometimes I hate Mondays and there are times when I love it. It really depends on what’s my mood and my feeling about work that day.

Put it this way. If the task that I need to do on Monday is something that I would enjoy, I look forward to it. But if it’s something I dread or have no interest in doing, I feel the Monday’s blue. And there are days when I feel the Monday’s blue because I’m burn out from work or that there’s something else that I want to do.

And today is enjoyable Monday.

My day started at around 0750hrs but I chose to lay in bed for a while until about 0800hrs before I got up. Went through my morning routine, put on a pair of black sweat pants and navy blue t-shirt, and out of the house I went.

My mom went to Genting earlier today and will only be back on Wednesday. Since there won’t anyone at home until evening, I spent some time to power off everything except the fridge. The reason is very simple; fear of electrical fire. I have seen enough news about electrical devices or appliance just bursting into flames.

At work, I did some major code-refactoring and feature implementation.

My code refactoring was mostly about shuffling classes around so that they make sense in terms of subdomains.

Ever since I got exposed to domain driven design a year and a half ago, my favorite way of packaging my Java classes is that of the one used by the Cargo Example. The top four main packages, interfaces, domain, application, and infrastructure help to me easily identify the purpose of the classes. Going further down the packages, they represented the subdomains.

But until today, I still have some trouble sorting the classes properly because I know I don’t have enough experience and I’m dealing with a legacy system. Whatever domain knowledge that I had about the system I’m working on were mostly rusty. Two, I have the tendency of second-guessing myself, and is unable to justify why certain classes have to go into certain packages.

At around 1700hrs, I decided to call it a day and packed up. I went home and reached home at around 1815hrs. Had a quick shower and then I went about vacuuming the floor, and keeping the washing machine’s outlet pipe, after draining it dry, once the spin cycle completed.

Then I waited for my dinner and ate it while watching Game of Thrones. I love how some of the characters came a full circle but then I don’t quite remember everything about the show. To me, there are more important things in life than remembering what happened in first few seasons of a TV series. Like for example, building up my personal brand and doing writing.

23So next, I shall focus on watching The Strain before moving on to watch some YouTube video.

Here I conclude my journal for today.