Gone are the days when I could read 50+ books in a year. Don't think I even managed more than 30 books this year. Problem is, I didn't keep track. Next year, I'd rather have a proper reading plan and not go ad-hoc. It will help me be more disciplined, learn some useful skills and… Continue reading The 2021 Reading List (31 Books)
"Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities." - Frank Lloyd Wright (Legendary American architect and also the inspiration for the character of Howard Roark in The Fountainhead)With this being predicated on an online business that eventually generates consistent positive cash flow (meaning, no need to work a 9 to 5… Continue reading My Current Home Office Setup & Upgrades In The Near Future
Duckie was cremated at Pets-In-Peace, Semenyih on the morning of 22 September 2020. Her ashes were stored in a small urn which I brought back home. The boys are too young to understand, and will probably not remember her. Still, I'm thankful that they had a chance to spend some time with her when she… Continue reading A Small Tribute To A Big Heart.
Image by Tom Purvis in 1947, taken from Wikipedia Commons The second last day of July 1880 witnessed another unbearably hot summer afternoon for the city of London. At the southern complex of shophouses situated along Tottenham Court Road, blazing sunlight radiated off three golden spheres, the universal symbol of the pawnbroking institution. In an… Continue reading Fiction Writing Project: The Wealthy Pawnbroker (A Sherlock Holmes Short Story).
Last weekend I had a day off from taking care of the boys. Lea and her sister brought them back for a hometown trip. Pretty much exactly from 5pm Friday to 5pm Saturday. So what did I do during these 24 hours? I thought it would be a good chance to do the 41 km… Continue reading Walking + Running 41 km On My Day Off (With Zero Training)
Balcony GardenThe aloe vera flowered recently and gave birth to two new babies! My mum the gardener was visiting recently and she helped to transplant them to their own pots before she left. She used my composted soil so we'll see if it's any good. I've actually stopped composting for some time now because we… Continue reading Another Set Of Twins Is Born (And Other Updates)
Back when I was a full-time employee with Philips Lighting, I read a great book by David Allen titled Getting Things Done. This led me to reorganizing my MS-Outlook to inbox zero. It was one of the best things I ever did in terms of productivity because I never missed important emails and the system… Continue reading My Simple Method For Managing E-Mail (Inbox Zero)
Verticulture Optimizing The WebstoreSo this past week I've been working on improving my website http://www.verticulture.store. I added the 'product reviews' function (no actual reviews yet, of course), order tracking, and a contact page. I totally overlooked writing the contact page when launching the website, even though I already put the header in the main menu.… Continue reading Pinterest Marketing, My First Sale And Other Updates…
E-Commerce ProjectsI was supposed to release this post two nights ago, but fell asleep at the keyboard at around 11pm after working on the website. In a previous post, I've mentioned that I would start an e-commerce project to supply indoor and vertical personal farming products. So, http://www.verticulture.store is now live and like this blog,… Continue reading www.verticulture.store Is LIVE! (And Other Updates)
This 20+ ingredient salad is incredibly nutritious and filling because of the sheer variety of fruit and veg. But it doesn't require a lot of prep or a long cooking time. Ingredients Raw Portion- almonds (bought pre-roasted)- cherry tomatoes- japanese cucumber- capsicum/bell peppers- sesame seeds- golden flax- lettuce- avocado- pineapple- blueberries- cheddar cheese (processed)- sesame… Continue reading Minimalist Recipe #6 – Salad w/ Beetroot & Honey Dressing
My portable steam sauna. I'm probably meditating inside as you read 😜 Summary of Benefits *from Dr Rhonda Patrick's websiteSauna bathing is associated with many health benefits, from cardiovascular and mental health to fertility and athletic endurance. It is generally considered safe for healthy adults and may be safe for special populations with appropriate medical… Continue reading Portable Steam Sauna – Benefits, Use And Maintenance
Time for some updates regarding the blog and important stuff I've been working on. Father's DayJust spent a regular day at home with the family, we're still maintaining social distancing and living like hermits apart from Lea's office commute. I could probably use a haircut soon. Diet/NutritionOn the Father's Day weekend I made some ten-don… Continue reading Post-Father’s Day Life Updates
If anyone wants to try it, the full recipe is included. Coffee has been an addiction since the good 'ol late night studying-partying college days, so we're closing in on a twentieth anniversary soon. And recently my coffee drinking has gone through the roof since having kids until I started getting daily headaches. But recently… Continue reading Inventing A Tea Recipe To Support Intermittent Fasting
My dad got me started in fountain pens in my teens. I still remember using a maroon Pilot fountain pen that he bought me when I went to secondary school. I used that for many years doing homework, writing and sketching. I still have memories of taking it to tuition classes. It eventually broke and… Continue reading Four Fountain Pens I’d Like To Leave To My Kids.
First, a little backstory. My Chinese ancestors were teachers from Guangxi, but when my paternal grandfather came to Malaysia almost a century ago, he started up a small photo studio on Jalan Rahmat in Batu Pahat, Johor. I'm told the shop did not survive hard times, but I do have a few older cousins who… Continue reading A Decade Of Creature Portraits (2008-2018)
Three days ago I played the Black pieces in this 3 minute Blitz game on LiChess against alfonsonaranjoa (rated 2065) and managed to cross off something off my bucket list: the rare smothered mate. Prior to this I had never, never been able to pull this off in any competitive game. With coronavirus and kids(!)… Continue reading I Finally Managed A Bucket List Checkmate.
Serves 2. Prepared in 15 minutes or less, guaranteed. I have a dead simple cooking algorithm. The recipe has to be healthy, and if the time taken to eat a dish is shorter than the time taken to prepare it, then I'm not making it. This means that I have to give say no to… Continue reading Minimalist Recipe #5 – Sesame Tsuyu Soba
This recipe was adapted from Ben's Chargrilled Seafood Spaghettini Ingredients - Spaghetti or spaghettini- Chilli flakes- Wedge of lemon- 1 garlic- Prawns- Squid- Baby spinach Method Using a frying pan that is deep enough, add some water, a teaspoon of sea salt and the spaghettini. Bring to a boil on medium heat. The water level… Continue reading Minimalist Recipe #4 – Sub 15-Minute Seafood Spaghettini
Woodblock titled Mt. Fuji #2 by Azechi Umetaro (1979). Image from ukiyo-e.org Azechi Umetaro knew from a young age that all he wanted to be was an artist. However, he was born to a poor farming family in the remote village of Uwajima, about 900 kilometres (559 miles) from the city of Tokyo. Ordinarily, this… Continue reading Against All Odds – The Life & Times of Azechi Umetaro
Cooking for one person is generally not very efficient, since there is already a minimum base effort required to prepare ingredients and also cleanup. So I modified this quickfire recipe to solve all that. The key ingredient. Ingredients- Vietnamese rice paper (normally used for their spring rolls) I ordered mine off Lazada here- Mixed vegetables,… Continue reading Recipe #3 – Six Minute Rice Paper Pizza (Minimalist Solo Lunch)
Found a text file I archived with some poems I wrote circa 2000. They could be classified into two genres, love poems and....depressing emo minimalism (LOL). Some didn't age well, but some I'm still quite happy with, despite the melancholic vibes and Robert Frost homages. I think that some of them have never actually been… Continue reading Found Some Poems I Wrote 20 Years Ago.
Caution: For serious book lovers only; otherwise you might be extremely bored. What is an Ex-Libris? The Latin phrase means 'From the library of...'. An ex-libris (aka bookplate) is a printed label that people stick inside the front endpage of their books to indicate ownership. This was a practice in Europe as far back as… Continue reading Make Your Own Ex-Libris
Once you are familiar with the previous lessons, and you are playing a lot (and hopefully winning!), it's time to skip ahead to self-learning via a few of my favourite Youtubers. Understand that playing without analysis is very poor quality practice. Unlike other video games, anyone can play for 12 hours a day but only… Continue reading Mastering Chess Part #4 – Three Great Youtube Channels
Seneca has some of my favorite quotes about time. If someone throwing money away could be considered insane, then shouldn't someone throwing time away be similarly judged? Because unlike money, wasted time can never be recovered. I'm no different, and even extremely guilty of this, even if my blog deceptively presents the best version of… Continue reading How To Get Back 100 Minutes Per Day.
One day in 1988 when I was eight, my dad gave me a book with this inscription. It helped to kick start a lifelong love of reading and completely changed my life. And although all my childhood books were later donated to my younger cousins once I outgrew them, this special Enid Blyton Famous Five… Continue reading Do For Your Kids What My Father Did For Me.
We used to go to Aussie inspired cafes like Feeka or VCR on the weekends. Sometimes with friends or family, sometimes just the two of us. Nowadays it's a lot tougher with the arrival of our boys and social distancing. So, for Mother's Day, I decided to make a minimalist version of what we used… Continue reading Recipe #2 – Mother’s Day One Pan Brunch (Minimalist Recipe)
The Great Wave......arguably the most famous Japanese vintage woodblock of all time? I used to have an Etsy store. Well, still have, actually. It was only active for a year plus and I sold digital reprints (giclees) of vintage woodblock art from Japan (shin-hanga). These reproductions were for the purpose of displaying on walls, which… Continue reading Resurrecting My Old Etsy Store
Fashion, passion and more passion (... fruit!) Shortly after my previous post describing a new lame attempt at starting a small composting project, my mum Anna gave me her top 10 lifetime gardening tips! She has always been a lifelong gardener. Even as a child, I have memories of her planting mangoes and guavas in… Continue reading Guest Post: Top 10 Tips From A Lifelong Gardener (My Mum!)
Used coffee grounds and fruit peel ready for the first round of composting. We have some space on the balcony that could be put to good use with a small vegetable garden. The objectives to be met: Only grow plants that can be harvested for eating or other usesReduce wastage of fruits and veges by… Continue reading Balcony Farming & Composting Project
1. Physical Books Me love books. Me have too many books. Me donated many books. Me only keep my favorite physical books. Me love e-books too. E-books save lots of space. E-books better than physical books? No, but good enough. Me have best of both worlds. Me have tonnes of e-books to last for a… Continue reading 10 Things I Stopped Buying in 2020.
Some purchases that you make, you instantly know that they are going to save you a tonne of time or money. And these are the purchases that we should be on the look out for, things that can help us to multiply our productivity or to help us focus exclusively on the essential things. What… Continue reading Our Best Purchase of 2020
How often is something useful as well as tongue-in-cheek? Here are some favourite hacks I currently use in my quarantine life. 1. Plug In USB Correctly The First Time, Every Time. I've got so many devices using USB nowadays it's crazy. But if you're in the same boat, you don't have to let USB drive… Continue reading My Top 5 Quarantine Work-From-Home Hacks You Probably Won’t See Anywhere Else.
No, not this one. I'm a self-confessed reformed watch addict. I was hooked ever since my dad bought me a G-Shock and then a Seiko 5 when I was older. Over the past two decades I've collected a few more Seikos, Girard-Perregaux, Omega, Roamer as well as the infamous R**** brand (that shall remain unspelled).… Continue reading Four watches I’d like to leave to my two kids.
1. Shia Labeouf's epic epic freestyle (Warning: explicit lyrics) Shia Labeouf films? Most are awful. In fact, Transformers and Indiana Jones 4 are on my worst ever list. But, boy oh boy, can this guy rap! His 2016 four minute performance is one of the greatest freestyles I've seen. He attacks it with passion, incredible… Continue reading Weekly Selection #1 – Four Picks For Your Quarantine Weekend Entertainment (and Learning)
My home gym (pull-up bar and portable sauna not shown) With the twins and Coronavirus keeping me indoors all the time, I've designed a small home gym with the equipment mostly sourced online. I get a full body workout with a full range of motion. Push up grips (I got mine from Decathlon)Kettlebells (I have… Continue reading Maintaining a Consistent Home Workout Routine
This is Part 3 of a multi-part series on self-learning the game of chess and the entire course overview is listed here. Here are the videos to watch on the three main phases of a chess game. Lesson Nine: The Opening https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kURU67G98O8&t=69s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21L45Qo6EIY Lesson Ten: The Middlegame https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvIsBjn2f5g https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEoAY3Ot-6Q https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv7_0svOlQU Lesson Eleven: The Endgame https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mhLQOZKVQs… Continue reading How to teach your kids to play and master chess (even if you don’t know the game) – Part 3: The Opening, Middlegame & Endgame
Since we're all stuck at home, here is the complete syllabus for those who want to go at a faster pace! Just Youtube the relevant videos as you go along. I'm posting Part 3 later today.. Part One - The Basics (available here) 1. Names of pieces 2. Set up a chessboard 3. How the… Continue reading How to teach your kids to play and master chess (even if you don’t know the game) – Complete Syllabus Overview
Use this decision tree to determine the recommended action steps. *This is a follow-up post and is more relevant for South East Asian homes, particularly Malaysia. Check out Part 1 here if you haven't for proper context. Solution A So you're planning to rent out your place. Stick to using E27 and GU10 type bulbs,… Continue reading The Top 3 Biggest Home Lighting Mistakes You Might Be Making (Quick Fixes and Suggestions) – Part 2
Rule #1 - In the daytime, use as much natural light as possible and as little artificial light as possible. In the nightime, use as little artificial light as possible. Might as well do this since we're all stuck at home. Good home lighting design is often overlooked. It can boost productivity, restfulness and safety.… Continue reading The Top 3 Biggest Home Lighting Mistakes You Might Be Making (From a Decade of Experience in the Industry) – Part 1
Even if you have all the money in the world, you can't buy these three things. A fit body, a calm mind and a house full of love. These things cannot be bought - they must be earned. One of my favourite quotes by Naval Ravikant. I made it into a high-res image as a… Continue reading A great quote by Naval Ravikant.