Journal #193 – Chill Sunday with movie

After resting for most of Saturday and taking my medication, I felt better today. With that, I decided to spend some time to watch Netflix in the morning and asked my friend if he wanted to watch Blade Runner 2049.

He agreed and so we picked the 2.50pm show. I booked the tickets online, watched more Netflix, and meet my friend for lunch at 1.30pm.

For lunch, we ate at the Legendary Hong Kong restaurant but for me, even though I felt better, it doesn’t mean I have that big of an appetite to eat.

I ordered BBQ Pork with Roasted Pork rice but I couldn’t finish it. Half way through, I was feeling very bloated and I stopped eating. I didn’t want to push myself further until the point where I need to vomit.

After lunch, we went window shopping around the mall before entering the cinema.

The movie lasted more than 2 hours and my butt actually hurts from sitting for so long. Had to adjust myself from time to time towards the end.

I actually enjoy the slower pace of story telling with Blade Runner 2049. It allowed me to focus on enjoying the dystopian atmosphere, the character development, especially that of Ryan Gosling’s character. There were some action scenes which were decent, not too flashy like Star Trek, Star Wars, and the likes. But I think the main draw of the show was how it developed the story slowly and doesn’t feel rushed like most science fiction shows these days. The neo-noir added a certain flair or tension to the show. I also found myself asking certain questions like how humans are able to breathe if the ecosystems of Earth has been totally destroyed. How is oxygen produced? And if humans in the Blade Runner universe able to spread themselves across 9 planets, why are they recycling the massive waste that is outside the main city, which is Los Angeles. Overall, definitely a 5 out of 5 for me.

After the movie, my friend and I made our way home.

For me, I had some water as I was extremely thirsty before going for a quick jog of 3.8 km around my neighborhood. I didn’t do a 5 km as I didn’t want to overexert myself.

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Journal #188 – I care about things maybe a little too much

I’m someone who feels deeply and get upset when things aren’t at their ideal. I am quite opinionated when it comes to certain things in life or in society as a whole.

Of course, there are people who said it’s none of my business and I shouldn’t care. To some, caring so much affects one’s mental health, and causes unnecessary stress. Some may say I should just keep the comments to myself and don’t upset the status quo. Maybe they are wrong or maybe they are right. I supposed it highly depends on the situation. What I know is that, if no one questions why things are a certain way and get the conversation going, nothing will change. In some cases, it will get worse.

An example would be the excessive pragmatism adopted by Singaporeans in general, until the point where nobody does anything if there is no short term monetary reward. I’m upset, disgusted, and at times angry about this situation because it affects me too. I like to believe that I’m a creative-type person who is also intellectual though I tend to contradict myself every so often because my thoughts are everywhere. I feel like I’m suffocating.

Yes, I know pragmatism is necessary to survive and it’s the practical thing to do. However, it takes away risk-taking behaviors. It takes away innovation. It suffocates whatever creative endeavors that a person may feel like taking on. It destroys the soul. This is probably why Singapore is amongst the world’s most unhappy nations.

It is my belief that the economies of the future will require societies to be creating new ideas and new products. That’s not to say the service industry is not important. Services will still play a big part. But it feels like Singaporeans are stuck in this mindset of being a worker in a highly-skilled production line where ideas come from the very top, who may or may not have a complete understanding of future requirement.

The other thing that I care about is the environment.

I care about how each nation and every company on this planet tries to fulfill the obligations stated in the Paris Agreement. So far, only a few nations actually take any substantial actions to meet those obligations. United States so far has proven to be utterly disappointing.

United States government is practically declaring war on the climate and wants more pollution because the president believed climate change to be a hoax. The other politicians has shown time and time again to be against the future generations, self-centered, caring only to fulfill the wishes of the other bunch of people who cares only about profit by focusing on policies that introduce coal back, approved oil pipelines, undoing green initiative, and many more. Yes, I’m referring to every single Republican politicians, and maybe some Democrats.

I’m definitely upset but there’s nothing I can do about it because I’m just one person and it’s not my country. Americans made their choice and decided to drag the whole world down with them. That’s how I feel. At least China showed leadership when it comes to fighting climate change.

The other issue related to environment is smoking. I know I have been talking about how smoking affects my health and the healths of other people around. But little does people know smoking also causes global warming and damages the environment around.

Every puff releases chemicals that are subsequently carried by the winds which subsequently land somewhere on the ground, in the waters, in the soils, etc. Considering just how many smokers are there in the whole world, it adds up. Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide are also released into the atmosphere.

Yet, using Singapore as the context, our approach to putting an end to smoking is what I feel to be too slow and not draconian enough. Only next year will we raise the minimum age of smoking from 18. Enforcement of smoking bans will only be properly done next year too. I mean…what the fuck?

I seriously feel that the whole industrial complex dedicated to making cigarettes shouldn’t even exist as the whole process involves some kind of serious environmental and health impact.

But I’ve got people telling me that we can’t ban smoking because we need the tax dollars. All I can do is to just glare and ask, “are you fucking serious?” Despite all the bad associated with smoking, all you care about is tax dollar? And now you know why being so pragmatic is such a bad thing? There are certain things that really just can’t be negotiated, not if we want to deal with something as bad as climate change and health problems.

Let’s not forget that I got friends who tell me that I’m weak because I can’t even take a little bit of secondhand smoke. Should I even call these people friends? Maybe not. I don’t care if you want to die young of inhaling all kinds of toxic chemicals but it doesn’t mean you have the right to drag me along with you.

In case anyone forgets, one of my core values is after all Health. The other being Environment. I mentioned this under my core value entry a few weeks back and foundational values entry even further back in time.

I’m sure you can count the number of times I mentioned I was upset about certain things. How disappointed I am. Now you know why it may not be healthy. But I supposed it’s all related to me being a highly-sensitive person. Maybe my neuroticism plays a part too.

Anyway, I am not very sure where to put this entry under. I feel like it’s a form of musing and at the same time, I feel like it’s a form of journal. For now, I think I will put this as my journal.

 

Movie Review #1 – Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Please note that there may be some spoilers.

I went to watch Kingsman: The Golden Circle with my friends on Sept 23, 2017 at Shaw Lido. It came out in Singapore on the Sept 21. This is my quick review of the show.

Some background first. I watched the first movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service, when it came out in 2014. I loved the first show due to its over-the-top action sequence with the occasional comedic scenes. The funniest scenes were always when Samuel L. Jackson is on. In that movie, we saw Eggsy, portrayed by Taron Egerton, grew from an anti-social youth to become a respected young man capable of dishing out heavy punishment on the bad guys.

In Kingsman: The Golden Circle, we saw Eggsy as a mature agent, able to fight off his enemies with relative ease. And when he’s not fighting or on the job, he was able to maintain a cover of a young adult who has a girlfriend, hanging out with his friends in his house.

About quarter way of the show, we get to see the Kingsman wiped out except for a few survivors — Eggsy and Merlin were the only those survivors.

From then on, the movie was about the remaining Kingsmen working with Statesman, the American counterpart to stop the villain, Poppy Adams, portrayed by Julianne Moore. She’s pretty good at portraying her character’s eccentricities.

Elton John stars in the movie too as a captive and generally serve to replace Samuel L. Jackson in the sense that his scenes were rather funny.

The action scenes were like the first, over-the-top yet maintaining some sense of believability. It’s generally a fun movie. During certain parts of the show, the CGI was pretty obvious. I’m not sure if it was intentional or what. Generally CGI in most Hollywood shows have a certain polish till the point where you almost couldn’t tell the difference between real and fake.

I give the movie 4/5 stars.

Journal #172 – Ill Sunday, My Health and Anti-smoking Rant

Upon waking up this morning, I realized that I was feeling kind of sick. I had runny nose combine with sneezing, and a mild throat irritation.

I’m not surprise as I hadn’t been eating very healthily these past few days. For lunch when I was at work, I eat stuff like BBQ pork with Roast Pork rice from coffee shops and hawker centers or fried rice. Then on Thursday night, I ate a slice of Bakkwa and yesterday I ate at the Tonkatsu Bistro by Ma Maison at Westgate mall for lunch, ordering the black pork cutlet with fried breaded prawns. Over the last week or so, I have also restarted my coffee drinking.

Other than the fact I need to deal with a runny nose, I spent half of today watching Netflix, spent some time preparing and publishing the Restaurant and Food review. In the afternoon, I went about doing some freelance work, fixing the software bugs raised by my client.

I also took a Fedac tablet for my runny nose in the afternoon at around 4.30pm. By around 5.30pm, the drug kicked in and my nose wasn’t that runny anymore. But that tablet can cause drowsiness and so I actually dozed off several times while seated, trying to codes.

Hell, I even accidentally click restart instead of shutdown on the menu of my Synology NAS because I was so sleepy.

After I’m done with my work, and uploaded the required files to my client’s FTP server, I went for a quick 3.8 km run and walked another 2 km instead of my usual 6 km. I felt energetic enough to do it. I actually wanted to run at the stadium today and made my way there only to see that it was closed. I don’t know why and I didn’t bother checking. So I had no choice but to run by the road, having to breathe in the smog and secondhand smoke.

This is the part where I feel like ranting. I am so pissed off by the air quality in Singapore.

Look, one of my value is health. I know it’s kind of ironic considering that I hadn’t been eating healthy lately and I am here complaining about smog and secondhand smoke. The fact is, air pollution and smoking tend to cause more health damage because you can’t control it and you unknowingly breathe those residues in. I know I breathed them in because I can smell them. My nose is that sensitive.

Singapore isn’t a green city. It is a lie. We got all these fucking smokers walking around, smoking and leaving behind a trail of toxic airborne chemicals.

Did you know that it takes the body up to eight hours to clear the toxins inhaled, even if it’s a single whiff? I bet you don’t. And those smokers don’t give a fuck about other people’s health. They poison their kids if any, poison others, and their breath stinks.

What is Singapore government doing? Well, they raised the minimum age of smoking from 18 to 21. They added more areas to the smoking ban list, not that it matters because there is no enforcement and the smokers don’t give a fuck. I see smokers happily smoking away under sheltered pathways, public corridors, and many places where smoking is banned.

Lastly, I got a whole bunch of fucking neighbors that smoke a lot and the residues are blown into my room, every day! Complaining to NEA also saw nothing being done. I have to close my windows but it makes my whole room so stuffy.

Ok, I’m done ranting but I still don’t feel good. Because as of right now, I still smell cigarette residues coming into my room. I shall proceed to do something else.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

Journal #158 – Emotionally Exhausting Monday

When I went to work this morning, I was feeling somewhat productive and equally gossipy. I spent most of my morning chit-chatting with my colleague about life and work.

For work, I went about fixing some issue with the async web service call and managed to update the client UI accordingly.

We went for a quick lunch, went back to office, and I continue to chit chat with my colleague again.

In the meantime, I waited for the team leader to come back, and I checked with him on what to do next. I also went about asking for some time off for tomorrow morning for a medical appointment. He agreed to it and so I will go off around 11 am for the appointment and then come back after lunch.

I went back to my seat and studied how to implement a login page using WPF. I manage to create the basic form in less than an hour. I also discussed with another colleague, whose responsibility is on the backend services, on the various web services that I will need for my part of the work. She got back to me on the web services later in the evening.

I also raised the issue of my upcoming military in-camp training with the team leader. He said he will check with the department manager and the technical manager. I did indicate repeatedly that I didn’t want to defer. After that, I went to check with the admin on the status of my company-issued laptop who told me to check with the IT department.

So I did just that. Went down to the first floor where the IT department, waited for them to finish preparing the final few stages of the setup, and I took the laptop.

Everything was good up to this point…

I went back to my desk and my team leader said the department manager wanted to talk to us. So I went along. It turned out the department manager wanted me to defer the upcoming in-camp training.

Noooooooo!

With that, my mood was destroyed. I didn’t want to do any more work.

Screw work!

I already indicated so thoroughly that I wanted to go for the in-camp training. One of the reasons, which I never said, was because my friends will be there and they make the whole training enjoyable. I love having them around. Secondly, another reason which I didn’t mention, deferring the training means there will be make-up training later with people I don’t know. It will also throw my future training schedule off. I won’t be with my friends anymore going forward and in many ways, will affect my desire to go back for future training.

Look, I’m someone who get depressed every so often. Having friends around is what kept me going and help to raise my mood. Take that away from me, I will slip back into depression. And if I have to pretend to make new friends just to get by, that’s going against my personal value again. It does not have authenticity. That itself will upset me quite a lot.

Of course I didn’t share that with my manager. As manager, I don’t think she cares. I understand her priority is delivery of the project on time as proscribed in the tender, and that the rest of the team does not need to work overtime. She added that going for the training after this phase is fine and she won’t stop me.

Well, that’s not the point… not for me anyway.

Professionally, I will still deliver what is required and contribute to ensure the smooth delivery of the end product.

Emotionally, I am extremely not happy and will be taking a series of actions over the next few weeks so that I can right my own ship back to its original heading. I do have quite a few things planned after this phase… This definitely is a wrench in the gears. But then life doesn’t always go your way.

It was emotionally exhausting day for me. I got back home, ignoring work and focus on watching my TV shows.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

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.

Journal #128 – I flew my first drone

I decided to change the way I give titles to my entries. I found the previous style to be a little monotonous and boring. But if you prefer the previous style, let me know in the comments below and I will change it back.

Set my alarm clock to wake me up at 0645hrs because of the need for me to take the omeprazole half an hour before food. I felt like shit (got a headache and puffy eyes) waking up so early as my normal waking time is around 9 or 10 in the morning.

Had my breakfast, shower, and out of the house I went. Half way towards the train station, I realised I don’t have enough time and so I went to flag a cab. Went to the training center.

Upon arriving, signed my attendance and went into the classroom.

We went through theory first, which was a little dry but necessary. It covered the rules and regulation. After that, we went for a quick break and are issued with our own drone, the Syma X5HW-1.

This drone is a trainer drone and can take quite a fair bit of beating. We are advised to practice on this drone first until we are familiar before going on to the more expensive ones like dji Mavic Pro or Phantom 4.

Now, according to the trainer, this specific drone is one of the best ones out there for beginners undergoing training and it cost only about SG$120, maybe less or more, depending on where you get it.

Here are some videos that I took of the training.

I also bought a miniature drone at the training center with the intention to practice flying at home or indoor before bringing out the X5HW. After finishing a written test, we went home.

For those (Singapore Citizens only) who are interested in taking this course, please go to this site.

So upon reaching home, I unpacked my bag, put down the drone at home, showered, and joined my family for dinner at Jurong Point. We ate at Dian Xiao Er. After dinner,  we walked around the mall for a little bit.

While at the mall, I also decided to get a new pair of running shoes since I got flat feet. My current pair of running shoes just isn’t suitable for me. It’s pretty worn down and gross anyway.

After that, we took the bus home and I started sorting out the boxes for the drone, tested flying the miniature drone. Well, it ran out of battery, and so I put it on charge immediately. I also went to charge the battery that came with the X5HW.

That’s all for now, I shall go and catch up on tv shows.

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.

Daily Journal – May 27, 2017

This is my 62nd journal.

Today is the official opening of the first Apple Store in Singapore.

I met up with my friend at Jurong East MRT station at around 11am. Boarded the train and we made our way to Orchard Road. Once there, we joined the queue and it took about maybe 15 or 20 minutes before we are inside. Upon going in, we were greeted by excited staff who gave us high-fives.

We were given door gifts. The first is a t-shirt. Below is the image of the box. I haven’t open it yet as of writing this journal.

Then there is also a sticker.

That sticker, I’m gonna stick it on my MacBook Pro.

Once in, you can see that the stores has the futuristic vibe to it. Ignoring the crowd, the wood material on white furnishing looks great.

On the first level is where people get to try out the various products and the second level is simply a gathering space for people.

Well, I didn’t take a lot of photos but below are the couple that I did take on the second floor.

Oh, I love the trees in the store. It make the place look great. I don’t think there are any stores in Singapore that actually use actual trees.

See the massive screen there? There are chairs in front of it for people to sit in when they participate in Today at Apple events.

While at the Apple store, I went to buy a black Nike strap for my Apple Watch.

Then my friend and I made our way to Sushi Bar where I had Kaisen Chirashi Don. Basically, it’s a big bowl of rice with a mixture of Tamago eggs, scallops, and three slices of different kind of sashimi — Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish and Yellowtail. I personally prefer swordfish because of the texture. Then there is the generous amount of Salmon Roe. Sorry, no photo for this one.

Then we took a bus to the Art Science Museum at MBS where we bought tickets to the Human+ exhibition. It is about how we humans augment ourselves through the use of prosthetics, talked about how we interact with nature, how robots may make us feel and interact with us, the rise of automation and genetic modification.

There are some pictures that I took and here they are (not in any particular order):

And here is Nadine, a robot that knows how to interact with a human in a socially capable manner. It was developed by Nanyang Technological University.

After the visit to the museum, I bought a t-shirt and a notebook. Then we made our way to a Häagen-Dazs store located at the Esplanade where we had ice cream. I created my own ice cream dish — two scoops (Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate and Banana), one waffle, and powdered Oreo topping.

With that, we made our way home. Then after resting for a bit, I went for a run. For dinner I had Subway.

Here I conclude my journal for today.