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.

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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.

Daily Journal – Jul 09, 2017

This is my 97th journal.

I will be splitting this journal into two parts, covering the events that happened yesterday and today. You can think of it as a summary of my weekend.

Jul 08, 2017

I met my friends for Spiderman: Homecoming at 0950 at Jurong Point. Decided to have breakfast at Subway and reached it at around 0930. At first, I thought that we were meeting at 0955 for a movie that’s much later. Turns out, my friend intended to watch the movie at 9.55am. My bad. So I had to eat fast. However, it wasn’t until 0941 before it was my turn to order. The queue was not that long but slow. Every single person in front of me was ordering multiple shares.

After I was done eating, I rushed up and met my friends at around 0950. Needed my morning coffee fix and so I ordered black coffee from the cinema’s food counter.

The movie itself was slightly longer than 2 hours. Generally, it’s a fun movie to watch and has the same quality found in other Marvel’s movie. It’s definitely better than the preceding reboot made by Sony in many way.

After the movie, we had lunch at the Legendary Hong Kong restaurant (seriously though the name sound riduclous).

Ordered a whole bunch of food that we could barely finish. For me, I had Ice Lemon Tea, Fried Rice with luncheon meat and egg, Crystal Skin Shrimp Dumpling.

Egg Tarts, Carrot Cake with Fried Shrimps, and Custard buns were the extra stuff that we ordered to share.

Then we went for desert, which I didn’t take any picture of but it was Pomelo with Mango on ice.

We made our way home after that and for me it was just in time for me to do my first ever 9 kilometer run as recorded by my Apple Watch.

After the run, had a shower. I was super tired and decided to take a short nap. Told my parents that I didn’t want to go out anymore. So my dad packed food for me before they went out.

I spent the rest of the evening watching tv shows and did a little light gaming, playing Cities: Skylines.

Jul 09, 2017

Woke up around 1100 the next day. I slept really late last night. So did my usual morning routine and continued playing Cities: Skylines in the morning.

I won’t say I’m very good at playing these kind of games. Also, I am not that creative or have the patience to actually do things like what other players did. E.g. reconstructing their home city or town.

But I managed to build up my city up to a decently big size without having me going to deficit for longer than 1 in-game week. That deficit happened because of some in-game power issue. A large section of my city was without power due to an accidental destruction of the connecting electrical lines causing lack of water supply and buildings simply stopped working. Well, I was remodeling the roads and forgot about my power grid. Other than that, my city was constantly bringing me 10k to 30k worth of taxes.

Took some screenshots.

Before I knew it, it was about 1430 and it was time for my lunch. I went to Jurong Point again to eat at Sushi Express. Had 11 plates worth of Sashimi and Sushi. Then I went to grab some supplements and toiletries before I ordered a grande-sized Ice Americano.

Made my way home at around 1730 and decided to watch some movie. Rented the movie call LIFE on iTunes and watched it on my Apple TV.

After that, I had my dinner and here I am writing this journal. Along the way, I watched some youtube video on Starcraft 2 and reading its Wikia.

Tomorrow is another round of SIT. Tuesday too. Personally, I’m super bored by the whole thing.

Did I mention that I actually got a job offer from ST Electronics? It’s a .NET Software Developer role on a two-year contract basis. I don’t know if I want to take it. A big part of me still want that career break. Another part of me is thinking if I reject it, I won’t another offer anymore. But logically, this kind of fear is unfounded.

Anyway, let me lay it out what I’m thinking about.

It’s a .NET position and I’m more proficient in Java considering that was what I have been doing all these while for my career. Since the project has a deadline of six months, that means I need to pick up a whole bunch of unfamiliar stuff within weeks. I’m not sure if I can do that kind of ramping up. After all, I’m still suffering from the effects of burnout. I mean I have not been having any desire to do any work anymore…I’m even contemplating about whether I want to do any work for my client; Yeah, they raised some bugs with the application that I’m maintaining and in case you have forgotten, I’m a freelancer.

A large part of me is saying that I no longer want to go into the situation where I simply can’t tune work out when I reach home. And then repeating the whole cycle of burnout. Call me avoidant or childish or whatever. My health and mental well-being is more important and I’m still working through my mental toughness and resilient.

Baby-steps. Baby-steps.

My other priority is that I just want to go home to do my own projects, my own things after work and not think about what’s next for my main job. I mean it’s naive to think that way, but for me work is just a way for me to earn some money to survive and enjoy myself. I have no intention of burning through my health or happiness just to earn the extra dollar or climb the corporate ladder.

I have one more day to consider the offer before I need to make any kind of commitment and the company send me the actual physical contract to sign. I will think about it more tomorrow. But for now, I’m hovering around 60% rejecting the offer.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

Daily Journal – Jul 1, 2017

This is my 91st journal.

There goes June and here comes July. This month marks the last month I will with my current company. After that it will be my career break.

Last night, I had too much coffee that I didn’t sleep until nearly 0430 in the morning. I woke up at around 11am. I spent my waking hours until around 1610 catching up on TV shows. I also watched some YouTube video and read some articles.

Then I went for a 8km run as evident from the screenshot of my Apple Watch. As of now, I’m actually completely exhausted from that long run but I think it’s worth it.


After the run, I went for my dinner at Jurong Point. As usual, I eat in one of the Japanese Restuarant cause I never quite like to share table with a total stranger and I hate the need to find a seat in a food court or hawker center. So I had a cream-sauced pasta with prawns and salmon chunks. I won’t say this is the nicest pasta I have ever eaten but it’s familiar to me and I eaten it quite often.


Later tonight, I will be out with my friends from Secondary School for a drink. Not sure which place yet. Will update this blog post later with pictures.

Normally, I’d schedule my journal entry for publishing. But for today, I will just post with whatever I have because I don’t know what time I will be back to update with the relevant content.

Update: Jul 2, 2017

As promised, I will posting something more after my drinking session with my friends.

First all, I got to thank them for being there upon the call. I mean, if I didn’t go for the drinks, I would probably feel very depressed at home.

So, we met at Jurong Point later that night and took a cab down to the place. We ordered a tower of San Miguel.

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We finished the first tower rather quickly. Then we ordered the second. For me, I had too much in one seating that we couldn’t finish the second tower.

I went home pretty drunk, lost track of chunks of my time, and only remembered stumbling out of the cab and went home. Good times actually.

Here I conclude my journal for today.