Weekly Roundup: 7th to 15th Nov 2021

This week was a real trip, because Clarice was really into the whole sleeping thing. She had just read “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, and there was a lot of science explaining our sleep patterns and our lifestyles surrounding it. So she spent most of the nights with little lights, and started to limit her screen time.

The result has been us sleeping at about 11PM, and she wakes up at about 7AM the next day. It’s been interesting, and I’m in a weird place of not being able to sleep so early, and also wanting to do other things before I sleep. But overall, timing of my own sleep has improved tremendously, and I’m scoring all kinds of positive numbers for my Oura ring tracking.


A sad side note that for this week in particular: the Travis Scott Astroworld Tragedies. It’s really hard to take in how someone would let things slide so badly in a live performance. I mean, I used to think that Travis Scott was famous for being with the fans, and being like a real stand up guy. I remember he was famous for like joining in on Fortnite, and giving away chains and stuff to fans who knew his lyrics.

But this whole tragedy, and the people surrounding him coming out that he’s got real issues in his own private side of things. That’s really hard news to take in.

A number of people decided to stop listening to him, or to throw his songs out of their playlists. This is one of the hardest parts about cancel culture that I don’t know how to address. Should we remove the artist from the art? I think it’s definitely intertwined, and it’s that person who is behaves in an unsavory way that produces the music or art that we might enjoy. It’s more revealing of us, and it’s a part of us that we don’t agree with. But at the same time, it’s a part of us that we try to figure out, and maybe we struggle with it.

I think of the way that one laughs at comedians who tell dirty jokes. Yes, the dirty jokes are completely different from someone who lets others die while he sings a song. But at the same time, a dirty joke is something we might have wished we could have the ability to say. Maybe we wish we could have made fun of something, but we would also think it would be inappropriate to do so. And that is where the comedian, or critic does it for us instead.

And Travis Scott is that villain inside us sometimes. He raps and shouts things that we wish we could join in and shout about too. But the truth of it is that we could not have produced that same art without that same darkness that he has inside.

I’m by no means defending him, but I would like to separate the art from the artist. Meaning I understand the art of his music. But I do not agree with his actions in any way. The same can be said for xxxTentacion, and Morrissey, and other musicians who have lived very questionable and outrightly inappropriate lives.

Maybe one day, we could have a situation where the artist and the art produced could be totally immaculate. But I have a feeling the art produced would be somewhat boring. It is that darkness, that part of us that is unwanted. That part is what makes art appealing at times.

Maybe one day, there could be art produced that doesn’t center around that, and instead, it could be a glorious expression.

Maybe one day.


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Weekly Roundup 31 Oct – 6 Nov 2021

How fast time flies especially when I’m not blogging! I was thinking about how I should jump back onto updates here, especially because there’s actually a lot that goes on. I mean, I did manage to daily blog for at least 50 days in a row. I really have a lot of random things going on in my life at one time.


I had two orders come in that I was really excited about: Keyboards and Used Jeans. Orders from Amazon Japan, and from Yahoo Auctions Japan. I had won a full size RealForce Keyboard at a really good auctioned price, and then I won a nice pair of used Momotaro jeans. There are some parts that are so nice, and honestly, I see myself enjoying the things that I’ve gotten.

This week also proved to be a bit more restful than expected. I got to join in a mural painting on Wednesday. It was great getting to do some painting outdoors, and just to talk to other people who weren’t my colleagues. Sometimes there’s really a lot of baggage that we keep on carrying, and I just gotta let go of it. It’s not good to hold on to it, and I need to help my friends brush their baggage away too.


Books I’ve finished reading: The Great War by Ralph Kern. Sci-fi war book, interesting premise, and I’ve just finished Book 1 of 5. I will probably do the rest in the months to come.

Books I’m still reading: Sanshiro. I lay in bed one of the mornings and decided to start the book afresh. Man there were so many good lines that I had missed. Natsume Soeseki is really such a great author, and has such good command of expression. I keep thinking about what the Japanese original piece would say, instead of the English translation that I’m currently on. I will get to the Japanese book soon, I’ve already bought the book, and it’s sitting on my bookshelf.


Listening to: Yaeji and Oh Hyuk’s EP: 29 and Year after Year. It’s really such a jam. Really enjoying Yaeji’s rapping and vocals though, it’s very chill, and her phrasing is very interesting. Silk Sonic just released a new track too, and that’s really quite dope too. Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars is a really nice collab group. Such is the theme for this week’s music update I guess.


Things I’ve been doing: Sashiko (Repairing embroidery) and Running. The sashiko thing has been on my mind since Kenjima (on YouTube) showed the embroidered Levi Jackets, and also the sashiko jeans. Such a nice vibe.

Been running again because Clarice had started running, and asked me to train her. She got a really nice pair of running shoes, and I’m really stoked to train her in running. It means that I’m running 5 days out of the week too, but that’s good for me. I get some exercise, and I’ve been feeling a lot more positive in life.


I do want to get back to daily blogging, because I think there was a space for that in my life. But I’m not sure which part of the day I want to try that on again, and I’m not sure if I can keep to it. But I’ll work on these weekly ones first and we’ll see how things go from there.

New Routines

Making a new routine is legit tough work. The night before, I wrote out this really long line by line time table of the things I needed to go through, and man, it really was quite detailed. But I think after the first part of the day, I couldn’t really keep to it. I’ll do a debrief for myself later, and hopefully tomorrow I can do a nice work time table again.

As much as I really like to make the new routines and timetables, I really feel like I need a larger sense of freedom in the first place. I stand by what Jocko Willink preaches: Discipline Equals Freedom. That space that I can hold tight for each purpose gives me a larger sense of freedom that I can’t find if nothing is defined. It’s not cool when I can’t do something when I want to, because there’s no time limitations on it. If I put time limitations on, at least that way I know that I can dedicate 100% of my efforts for that time specifically.

In any case, one day of routine at a time. And as a daily blog will be good for me.

Reset

2 days of not blogging makes me think harder about what I want to blog when I blog. I don’t know if it should be as daily logging, or just a place to put my thoughts. Personally, I think it might need to be something like a mix of both. But the journal aspect of it is what would make these posts stand out better for myself. Like a clearer stamp in time.

Also, I’m thinking about how to approach when I blog. Should it be at a time when it’s comfortable for me? Or should I schedule a time in the day everyday to write? I know there are benefits to both, and at the same time, I really feel like if this is for me, then maybe I should do a schedule. Something consistent to keep my brain space somewhere.

Maybe I should even go back to waking up at 6 or 7 and getting work done at that time. It’s really hard, but I do know that my waking hours are the best used then. I looked forward to it then, but at the end of the day, it’s hard to keep to when the night meetings go long, or when I sleep late.

I gotta see what would work out eventually. Tough call, needs some determination.


Slightly related, is that I’m thinking of whether this should be well planned content, something like what I drank/ate/did today, and then from there everyday has a consistent look to things. Either that, or to do a check in of sorts at the start of the blog, and to re-use that template.

This also leads to YouTube, and what kind of content I like, versus what kind of content I can produce. A part of me wants to try talking to the camera and explaining things out, but another part of me also wants to try a full story board, and making a real movie/video. That would be a crazy way to think about it, and to make the whole scene happen. I think it’s worth a shot for me to try both, and I can try sooner than later.

Keyboard Post: Marshmallow Switches

Straight up one of my favourite switches I’ve ever bought, and one of my favourite switches that I can go to at almost any day and find myself really happy with whatever I’m typing with. It’s a switch that gets a great sound from it, and paired with any board, no matter how stiff or bouncy, I get really giddy with joy typing with it.

Produced by ThicThock, the Marshmallow switch is exactly what it’s name suggests, its supposed to feel like you’re typing on marshmallows. That means that it’s kinda soft as you press down, but yet some what of a cushioning appears. This comes simply from the Progressive springs that ThicThock produces themselves.

Their spring title is equally impressive, the Magically Progressive 68G springs. The 68G stands for 68grams of weight that is needed to bottom out the spring – bottom out meaning to completely compress the spring down. Usually there are two numbers, the actuation weight – the weight in which the mechanical switch leaf makes contact and actuates a keystroke or keypress; and the other number, which is the bottom out weight.

Most of the time, these weights mean nothing until you start experimenting. If you notice that you accidentally press letters too much, it means that you probably are having switches that are too light for your preference. If you type in a way that you get tired of quite fast, then your switches might be too heavy for you. These things will only be known after testing, or trying out a range of boards.

In any case, the Marshmallows are slightly on the heavy half of spring weights. The middle ground stands at about 62-64G of weight, and there are a number of switches within this weight range.

There are other kinds of switches that one could experiment with, and these switches fall into the range called Linears, meaning it goes straight down without a tactile bump. Tactile bumps within a keypress give you a Tactile Switch, which means you are usually feeling the actuation close by. The last one is a clicky switch, meaning there is a mechanism that gives an immediate feedback when a switch is activated. This comes in two main parts: click jackets, or click bars.

These are all Cherry MX Style switches of course, and maybe tomorrow or on another day when I’m rushing for a post, I’ll write about this in greater detail.


Anyway, I typed this whole post on my Marshmallow switches. And they will probably stay in this board for a much longer time that they had before.

Denim

I’ve been in a seriously hardcore denim phase for the past few weeks. I think it started from the denim jacket that came during my birthday, and since then I’ve been wearing my raws like almost every day. Its pretty intense.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what I have, and what I am enjoying.

  1. Momotaro 10th Anniversary Edition 0205SP

I had bought this pair in 2016, and Momotaro was a brand that just looked so badass. They have their “Going to Battle” stripes that are so bold and just really look so cool. At the same time, I know that anything silkscreened on the butt pockets will definitely fade uniquely. So I put my money down on that pair, and was broke for a bit. Met Clarice soon after and didn’t buy another pair of raws until our honeymoon.

I washed them for the first time in Tasmania about a year later, and then I washed them 2-3 more times. I think twice in Bukit Batok, but once in Jalan Minyak, where I’m staying at now. (4 Washes in 5 years)

These are Slim Straight Jeans, and I got them in 32in. They took some time to wear in, and they were really pretty thick for someone who never wore raws before.

2. Momotaro 0201TN

I got this pair on my honeymoon in Kyoto, at the Momotaro Kyoto Store. I was actually wearing the 10th Anniversary pair there, to which the store salesperson said that I should wear them out a lot more. I told him I was wearing the Jeans once a week, on Sundays. He said, more more.

Anyway, I got myself a very similar looking pair, and I washed them once so far. I wore them to school a bunch of times, but currently I’m wearing them every other day or daily during this time. (1 Wash in 2 Years)

These are also Slim Straight, but I think the leg opening tapers a bit more. They’re pretty fun to wear on an every day basis, as they’re not as baggy looking as the Anniversary pair. I also cuffed them higher, so they’re showing off my ankles a bit.


I actually also have a bunch of Uniqlo’s that are dark washes, but only one that is definitely a raw or just one wash. But for the sake of keeping things sane, I’m not putting that one here.


3. Momotaro Type 2 GTB Jacket

This is the most recent one, that I keep wearing all the time now. It’s awesome, I love it. No washes, it’s just being worn as much as possible, as often as I can. I’m actually keeping a tally of the wears I’m getting in, so hopefully I can track these things as objectively as possible.

One Day

Maybe one day, there will be no such thing as hunger on the earth.

Maybe one day, where there is only great keyboards to use.

One day, the weather would be great, cooling enough and yet not too hot.

One day, and donuts won’t add to your calories.

Maybe someday, but not today.


Days like today, I just feel so rotten and upset with the world. It’s not like anyone did anything bad to me, but just reflecting on the worst situations that people are placed in. Humans being really mean to other humans, or animals. Just utter mistreatment, and just not good things done well.

Then there are other days when the world decides to poop on you, and just everything goes wrong. Coffee spills on you, you stain your raw denim, your keycaps fly off and you can’t seem to find them again. Maybe your shoes are slightly damp because you left them out in the rain a bit.

And then you just hope for a better day some day. Like me right now. Just hoping things would be better tomorrow.

All things considered, I’m getting to blog in a very nice cool day, and it’s been a day of great denim wear, and I got to talk to my friends. I think it’s a great day actually. But what a hard day to start with today. I’m glad it’s over.

I hope tomorrow goes well. Praying to God that it does.

Aims and Purposes

Whenever I have a meeting, or start a discussion of some sort, there’s always that question of what the point of the meeting is. Or maybe what do we hope to get out of it, after the meeting. After some time, one of the most ironic things that I’ve realised, is that the meetings with an aim that is too clear usually has someone directing the meeting specifically. On a rare occasion does that meeting leader actually utilise the meeting for it’s proper purpose: to meet with others.

It doesn’t mean that meetings are useless, but sometimes the over directed aim becomes over bearing. A meeting would be one where everyone gives their views and contributes to that sense of where the group is planning to go towards. But a Briefing, on the other hand, is one that is planned already, and everyone is briefed on what to do instead.

I think for the sake of my sanity, and for a lot of others, we should call more meetings briefings. Especially when the leaders of the meetings have already planned everything. If not, sometimes I really come into a meeting with ideas, and plans, only to be told that the plans were already decided.

I wonder why I’m explaining meetings on my blog, but I guess it’s something that I’m constantly going through. Maybe one day I’ll be able to write a nice book about how to handle yourself through meetings. It would most probably include how to have multiple tabs on for shopping websites. Buying things during meetings means that when the meeting ends, you have a present for yourself for sitting through the meeting. What a good reward. Sitting still for the past three hours truly deserves some level of reward.


In a side note, and specific to today: I have a couple of Work With Me videos on my YouTube now. So if you wanna try working with a nice keyboard typing nearby you, hit up my YouTube.


Also, this might be one of my most boring posts ever. Talking about meetings, what a bore.

Personal Pressure

Talk about worse things in the world to happen. Just as I was starting to write this post, I spilled all my freshly made ice coffee all over me. If there’s any clearer a sign for being under personal pressure, I think it would have a director yelling “Action!”, as the coffee was about to spill.

Why does this exist though? Why does personal pressure exist, even though we could be absolutely lazy if we chose to be? I think that in itself becomes a conundrum of sorts. Why would we be pressuring ourselves if we don’t actually want to do things at all?

And I think that’s really where we have a disjoint between what we like to do, versus what we actually do. That makes everything very troublesome, and honestly, there are a lot of improvements we could make on our own selves. If we make this a smooth flow, what we want to do, and we do what we want to do, then we actually would enjoy ourselves a lot more. I feel that the pressure we feel is when we want to do something, but we don’t actually do it. That makes us uncomfortable, and we end up feeling really pressured by ourselves.

I think that if I do the things that I want to do, and actually get it done, the pressure really lifts off. And as my coffee as told me today, there’s a lot more that I wish I could be doing that I’m not doing. That’s some real pressure build up.


Learning point: I really need to get things done today.

Coffee on Hot Days

Why do I do these things to myself? I just wrote a (fake) 10 things to do to survive hot Singapore, and yet the next morning when I wake up I make a hot cup of coffee. The amount of sweat that I keep giving out is intense, and I really just can’t deal with this.

There’s also this thought that having a warm drink on a warm day will make the hot weather feel cooler. But honestly, it really doesn’t. I feel myself getting sweaty, just pouring out sweat from all my pores. I just keep showering most of the time, and it’s making me feel too damp most of the time.


Quick review of Blue Bottle Bold Coffee beans: I rate it 3/5 Coffee beans. It’s strong especially on pour over, that I normally do it on. It reminds me of the Starbucks and Coffee bean brewed coffee kinda flavours. It’s not horrible, but its not great either. Meh. Maybe it’ll taste better on Aeropress. Better and more detailed review soon.


Is it because the familiar taste of hot coffee overpowers the heat sensors within the body? Or maybe it’s because the idea of routine and what makes up the routine is more important the actual heat that I face through the process of the routine.

It also asks the question of the routine: was the routine meant for the person, or the person for the routine? I think it’s a big question that demands a flexible change for when you need to do something. At some point, the decision of why you had planned something in the first place might have changed. So a new routine needs to be made, to match the current time’s needs.

One of the key things that I’ll need to adjust for in my routines is to deal with the current heat wave, and I think having time to cool down daily is a good thing to plan for. I’m trying to figure out a cool drink or a cooling posture to have. Maybe sitting down in front of somewhere, or just in a cooling place in the home.

I’ll update back about this soon, I hope, if I don’t forget.