FIRE

Recently I’ve had this annoying unsatisfied feeling hanging around. I feel like I’m stuck in a rut (again), trying to get ahead but always being pulled back. And somehow at the same time I’m feeling restless but apathetic.

I’ve been reading FIRE blogs and I guess the idea resonates with me. Maybe I’m just romanticising the freedom that comes with it. I think if I could just reach the stage where I don’t have to work because I need to… but can because I want to. Playing around with the calculators all put me around 11-12yrs away. I just don’t know if I can remain stagnant here for that long. I mean I’m good with the heads down and charge forward but every now and then something ends up shitting me. And I want to be a hermit again and not have to deal. Which doesn’t really work if you’re on a schedule.

Some days I wonder what it’ll be like to just throw it all in and do something crazy. Then the responsible part of me smacks me in the back of the head and tells me to grow up. Can’t win…

And when I get frustrated with life I get annoyed at everything in general. And at the moment that’s the mess surrounding me. So a few yrs ago I put up this:

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Seemed a good idea at the time. Increased the privacy a bit and seemed neater. Well it didn’t stand up to the test of time. Most of the wire holding the reed fencing together was starting to rust which means whole sections would break down in windy storms. And the sections in the sun bleached and looked blotchy. Then there was the amount of junk that got caught up behind the reed fencing and between the balcony walls. Finally pulled it all down, chucking it out is going to be another matter entirely. I threw half out but it doesn’t exactly fit in the bin.

Then I ended up with this giant pile of crap I had to sweep up…

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Like I said… mess… annoying… But at least it’s all gone now. Still need to rethink the balcony idea. Obviously reed fencing isn’t the solution although for about two and a half yrs it did ok. I just need something easy, non permanent and not ugly. Perhaps I’m asking for too much.

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Ouch and Dr Color Chip

So there’s nothing that feels like such a stab in the guts as finding scratches on your pretty new car. One month in and wham. Just kill me now…

Well after my breakdown, I started my research. Do I pay someone to fix it? Do I do a DIY in case I get more scratches? Will I be happy with the outcome? Rationality won out. Let’s try a DIY and if it still really bugs me in a few months I’ll get it fixed. Meanwhile still stewing about it. I just can’t have nice things sigh…

From what I’ve seen, this one seemed to have decent reviews and less likely to turn out looking like utter crap. And believe me I’ve seen some horrid DIY patch ups. Colour match was good. Paint was easy to apply, if anything it maybe dried a little too quickly. Or I just assumed being in the middle of freezing winter, it was going to take a bit longer to dry. The three tiny brushes were handy, probably should’ve started with the smallest one instead of ending up colouring outside the lines so to speak. I liked the apply and wipe off approach, although you do lose some gloss on the new finish. I’m guessing once the paint cures and you apply a wax it will all even out.

So far it’s still obvious under certain light. I guess I’ll give it a few days before a wash and wax and see where we end up then. Something tells me the OCD in me is still going to have a field day staring at those spots… I swear to god if another van boxes me in I’m going to bloody lose it. Goddamn useless Sydney drivers. Need to get half of them off the roads. And the fun begins with school zones back into play yay…

New New Lappy

I’ve been itching for a new lappy for a little while now. It’s not that I really needed one although the current one’s battery life left a fair bit to be desired for. And I think there were issues starting with the wireless card – every now and then it required a restart to pick up the wifi internet. Mild annoyances but nothing crazy.

Then Ebay decided it wanted to do another one of its 20% off sales. Has Ebay had any breaks from sales in the last 2 years? Coz it sure feels like it’s constantly having one. Shouldn’t complain though… Well I got myself another Asus.

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Pretty packaging – tick. I was a little worried there when I was opening the slightly boring/ugly exterior box, didn’t realise there would be another box inside it. Have to hand it to Asus for packaging, they do a good job.

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It’s pretty bare bones on the inside though. Power adapter and USB to ethernet plug. No manuals… I mean I know we’re all about saving the trees and all but there’s just something different about being able to physically flip through a booklet. Scrolling a PDF ain’t the same thing. No microfibre cloth which I thought was odd as every other Asus laptop I’ve had came with one, including the refurbished unit. There is a basic laptop sleeve which is a practical inclusion.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Asus, hence the 4th lappy from them. First one was a 12incher I had for years and only upgraded to a bigger screen though towards the end one of the keys kept coming loose and had to keep popping it back into place. The second was the only one to completely die so I hacked it to pieces afterwards. Third one had a hard drive failure but was under warranty so after replacing the drive it has been smooth sailing since. And given it was refurbished to start with, these three and a half years were good ones. Now it’s time to start a new relationship.

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There’s just something aesthetically pleasing about Asus. The zen circle pattern on the top, the large smooth touchpad and this time rounding off with the backlit keyboard. Things I miss going from 14″ to 13″ is no dedicated page up and down keys. And having the function key on the other side of keyboard away from the arrows requires two handed navigating. Smaller text is the other issue, playing around with resolutions and adjusting text size is tricky as things get unpredictably fuzzy. I’ll eventually work it out…

The mineral grey has a slight purplish hue which I’m appreciating more and more. The gold/brass coloured hinges are still growing on me though. At times they do seem a bit flamboyant but it’s a unique look. Still nothing compared to their royal blue lines. I may get tempted in a few years. Especially when minimal bezels become more mainstream and I can go back to a 14″ without sacrificing portability.

Only petpeeve with the Zenbook Flip is the sides and bottom of the chassis aren’t 100% flush.

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It’s not the entire border, and it’s less than 0.5mm but still… Just one of those things to live with I guess given everything is mass produced these days. Overall I’m happy. Brand spanking new lappy around $1.3k. I’ve just got to stop splurging now. First new tablet, now new laptop. Alright spending embargo… at least for the next few months…

Alone

I call out your name in the darkness,
Waiting, hoping,
Instead it echoes in the emptiness
Haunting me in the night.

Broken, wasted,
Blood dripping from my veins
I walk this lonely road.

Onwards it stretches
Through the shadows neverending.
Even the stars are lonely here,
Casting their eerie light
On this godforsaken path.

Trudging mindlessly,
My footsteps stain the earth.
I’ve searched this life for you
But still I walk alone.
Always,
Alone.

Christmas

Another year eh?

By all accounts it was a good one this year. I got some peace and quiet. Sure I had the parental obligations but apart from that, I got my summer hibernation.

Sydney is really too hot for turkey. But I just had to do it. My first turkey roast ever.

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Pretty good for a first attempt I reckon. Though now I’ve come to the conclusion I really don’t dig it that much. And it has nothing to do with dad’s salty but otherwise tasteless rolls of meat he gets from the supermarket every year. Turkey is actually that tasteless. I skipped the brining so at least I’m not dying from sodium overload. Jointing a turkey seems easier than a chicken, but the connective tissue is tough. Not a fan. And the weird thing is I never realised there was such an obvious distinction between light and dark meat on a turkey. Chicken is much more subtle.

So the past few days have been either cooking, eating or dreaming about food. I dreamt someone made a salmon sashimi cake and damned if I didn’t want it when I woke up. It’s not as gross as it sounds. Just a whole heap of salmon arranged into a round cake shape. Man to have that much sashimi… *drooling*

Apart from food I managed to snag myself an early xmas present a few weeks ago. Gotta love them Black Friday sales from across the seas.

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Such a fancy box. The device isn’t half bad itself. But man the bargain price… about US$250 inc shipping. Sorely in need of a tablet upgrade for a while. 1.5gb of RAM just doesn’t cut it these days. Especially when you have multiple tabs open on Firefox. The damn thing just keeps crashing.

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I think my main petpeeve with all the 8inch tablets these days is hardly anyone does 16:9 screens anymore. I want to hold it properly in one hand damnit. That and bezels. The fact that this one has thin ones makes it perfect. The screen is nice and sharp. The fingerprint sensor is a novelty, my phone still doesn’t have one. Great speakers. Awesome battery. Only thing that annoys me is EMUI but nothing a new launcher won’t fix. I haven’t gotten around to rooting just yet. Can’t decide if I want to go down that route or not. These days since most things are customisable it’s becoming less and less relevant. The perks of having control and managing backups still has me on the fence. But more so for a phone than a tablet so I guess I’ll see when I upgrade the phone.

Have to put it the Huawei. Maybe it was prejudice but I never did expect to see something of this quality. Still can’t get over how well put together the box is. Though it did take me forever to find the screen protector.

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Seriously, of all places you snuck it there? Well it was a pretty good hiding spot I have to admit.

So now all that xmas-ey stuff is over. Only a couple more days until the end of the year. Yay? I haven’t decided yet…

Spring Or Summer?

This crazy weather has done my head in again. It’s cycling between warm and hot, humid and gusty, scorching and stormy. Can’t the weather just be mild and sunny for once? Too much to ask for apparently.

Still anything is better than cold and freezing. I’m slowly emerging from my cocoon, shedding the layers of blankets and clothes, being able to feel my toes. Getting sunburnt – which I suppose would be one of the other cons of this time of year. But c’mon glorious vitamin D…

The stupid winds lately have been tearing up my balcony. That reed fencing won’t live another 12 months I don’t think. It’s randomly breaking in sections. The plants for the most part have been a bit hardier. Although now I know what happens when you try and plant sweet potatoes in flower pots.

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Haha mini sweet potatoes…¬† I haven’t quite worked out what to do with them yet. Maybe I’ll just bung them in the oven. I’m assuming they’re edible. Might have another go another time in a bigger container. Though the plants themselves are caterpillar magnets which is bloody annoying.

I’m going to re-attempt my windowsill herbs again. Last time they ended up all gangly and falling over which sucked. Hopefully this time if I remember to water them more frequently they might turn out ok. Here’s hoping… Maybe in a few weeks I’ll have some pretty photos of more green things…

Vivosmart HR

So it was coming up to a year since I had my original Vivosmart and it was pissing me off as the band starting cracking. That and the LED display started losing pixels. I kept dealing with it since it still sort of worked, I could still make out my messages and all that, it just required scrolling back and forth to get it to land on the pixels that did work. But then chunks of the band started to fall off and I ended up with this.

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Definitely not useful. I was never sure when the band would just pop loose since it never struck me as that secure in the first place. So then I was umming and ahhing over what to replace it with as I really wanted something able to read emails and messages. I didn’t want a real smartwatch as most of them are just so big and bulky, not to mention poor battery life. In the end I ended up settling with the new Vivosmart HR.

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First impressions – the strap seems flimsy for a $200 device, it feels so much chunkier than the previous generation, the display is much easier to read. So far I’ve been using it a few weeks now. The display is awesome – no problems in sunlight. I was worried about it being so shiny. Within the first week I thought I had scratched it up when I swung my wrist and hit a doorway. I ended up with white marks on the edge of the display which at first I couldn’t remove. Over time I managed to rub it off and you would even pick that it had been banged up. Battery life does suck a little compared to the previous generation. Then again this little sucker has to power up a HR monitor. I should really turn that off since I don’t use it much. Apart from when I’m bored. And wonder how on earth it thinks I have¬† heart rate of around 50 when peddling on an exercise bike all puffed out.

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It does have this groovy weather notification thing going on. Again not really that useful and probably sucking up juice. Speaking of juice the charger sucks. Someone shrunk the cable in half. Who the hell thought that was a great idea? The clip in for the charger is also crap. Way too fiddly lining up the bits. Plus all that clicking in and out to charge is bound to crack something one of these days. Another annoying thing is I think it undercounts steps compared to the last one. Unless the previous one overcounted? I have noticed that when taken off and put in a pants pocket, the older Vivosmart would still count steps taken whereas the new one doesn’t. Not sure whether that on it own would account for the roughly 10% discrepancy.

Overall, I guess I’m pretty happy with it. Especially since I picked it up when 20% off. Not sure I would’ve paid full price for one. Then again since when have I ever paid full price for anything? Fingers crossed this one lasts me more than a year. Given the higher price it better otherwise I shall be mighty pissed.