• Week 12, 2023
    This week felt accomplished overall. I hit all, well actually, two main weekly goals: I saved some money and exercised three times on Mon, Tues, and Fridays with more physical movement by way of cricket and basketball with my son in the nearby park. I also kept my meditation and Elevate streaks. I had a review of my last six months at work which turned out to be good. I removed Twitter app on my phone and loving it. Now I only check Twitter a few times on the computer instead of many more times throughout the day. Son’s cricket […]
  • Week 11, 2023
    This week is good. I was on track with my weekly goals, and kept my habit streaks. Will share specifics on my weekly habits and goals in a future post. Moved to 1Password. Good riddance to LastPass which served me well for the last 7-ish years but I am concerned with the frequency of breaches lately. So imported passwords to 1Password and canceled LastPass. The import failed initially but I was able to import via 1Password web app. I also installed AlDente app on a colleague’s recommendation, to limit MacBook from charging above a certain percentage, to decrease wear and […]
  • Weekly Notes
    I briefly re-connected with my old blogging friend Thejesh on his blog this week. We both used to work for the same tech company in mid-2000s. Thejesh is one of the blogger who positively influenced me in the early days of my career. While I haven’t met him in about 20 years, I enjoy reading his blog. In one such recent visit to his blog, I noticed he recently started sharing weekly notes. That also reminded me of weekly learnings regularly shared by one of my other blogger friends Nick from a different corner of the blogosphere. I write this […]
  • Prefer to blog versus social media
    I recently came across a couple of thoughts on social media that resonated with me. Loosely why I don’t engage as much with social media and prefer blogging instead. Social media is designed to make you wish you were someone else, somewhere else, and with someone else. Curate your consumption and eliminate what brings negative emotions. Originally tweeted by Sahil Bloom (@SahilBloom) on February 12, 2023. People don’t communicate on social media; they perform for one another. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt. Via The Art and Science of Spending Money by Morgan Housel
  • Unsubscribing to Lists
    Oh, someone has to really take time out of their busy day to review and unsubscribe me from the email list whereas signup is a breeze!
  • New Mac Apps
    I am loving these new apps that I recently got for my 14″ Mac Book Pro. Make sure to check them out if you are a Mac user too. Top Notch to hide the top notch. PixelSnap to measure things on the screen. The above two apps are from the makers of the screenshot making app I love: CleanShot and that played a part in my decision to let them live on my Mac. Bartender 4 to organize the menu bar. I preferred the 14″ screen to the 16″ (in the absence of 15″), but one of the downsides of […]
  • 2022 Workouts
    In 2022, I worked out 130 times using the same principle and tips I used in the prior years. I missed a lot of workouts, but I never cease to amaze by how small numbers add up over the year. Month Number of workouts Excuses for missed workouts Notes Jan 9 Skipped first week for holidays. Feb 13 Mar 11 Missed the last week during a family holiday. Apr 9 Missed third week; was sick with Covid. May 13 Jun 11 Skipped third week. Just plain laziness. Jul 12 Aug 13 Sep 9 Missed 5 workouts due to travel. But walked a […]
  • Reasons to Quit
    I like this summary of questions from the Rework podcast from earlier this year:
  • iPhone 14 Pro
    I ordered a new iPhone! 14 Pro it is, to replace the original iPhone SE that I bought in April 2016. Loving the Dynamic Island. It is exciting because I am frugal with gadgets (and everything generally!) and I buy iPhones only a few times in a decade. So this is a big moment in the house. Like any phone Apple made, I would say the iPhone SE the 14 Pro is replacing is still good as Apple generally claims on Switching to iPhone page on their website . I could squeeze another year out of the SE if I could put up with […]
  • New Newsletters
    I recently found myself reading and enjoying most of the articles on the following blogs. So I have let them into my inbox. Check them out below. You may love their writing too.
  • Useful and overlooked skill I practice
    If you can’t use your legs and they bring you milk when you wanted orange juice, you learn to say ‘that’s all right,’ and drink it. Franklin Delano Roosevelt via Morgan Housel
  • Good things take time
    As I become impatient with a couple of long-term goals that don’t seem to be progressing fast enough, I seek solace from a couple of encouraging perspectives on time: Nearly everything awesome takes longer than you think. Get started and don’t worry about the clock. James Clear Demotivated because of how long it’ll take? Remember the time will pass anyways. Traf
  • Possessions and Lifestyle
    Our possessions should be suited to our bodies and lives, just as our shoes are suited to our feet. Epictetus I recently read The Manual: A Philosopher’s Guide to Life and have been pondering over the above quote from that book. That’s the philosophy I apply when I buy things, from the clothes I wear to my phone and even the car I drive. I vividly remember in 2008 iPhone 3G was hot, and I really yearned for it. I could have stretched my savings, but I wasn’t feeling great about my life overall. So I withheld the iPhone purchase […]
  • Five Years
    Five years is a long time. It is much slower than most of us would like. If you accept the reality of slow progress, you have every reason to take action today. If you resist the reality of slow progress, five years from now you’ll simply be five years older and still looking for a shortcut. James Clear’s May 26th edition of 3-2-1 newsletter on Happiness, the opinions of others, and accepting the reality of slow progress
  • Chop wood, carry water
    I recently read Carl Richards’s personal finance book The Behavior Gap, in which I came across this quote that struck a chord with me: When the Zen master Wu Li was asked what to do to achieve enlightenment, he responded, “Chop wood, carry water.” When he was asked what to do when you have achieved enlightenment, heresponded, “Chop wood, carry water.” Maybe happiness comes easiest when we are so busy working, taking care ofkids, shoveling snow, or cleaning the house that we forget to look for it. Page 66, The Behavior Gap That’s precisely how I derive my happiness: from […]
  • Extension quotes
    I like the following extensions to the otherwise banal quotes: The grass is always greener on the side that’s fertilized with bullshit. Morgan Housel Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. James Clear
  • Covid in the house
    After about two years into the pandemic, Covid finally entered the house!
  • A couple of insightful podcasts
    I caught up on two of Matt Mullenweg’s podcasts today. As always, it was insightful to listen to Matt. I highly recommend checking them out if you are into technology, open-source, and the internet.
  • Morgan Housel on The Tim Ferriss Show
    Enjoyed this three-hour conversation between Tim Ferriss and my favorite author, Morgan Housel. I highly recommend checking it out. I watched this fascinating discussion in two sessions and as always learned a lot from Morgan. You will find the show notes and links here on the following episode web page:
  • Price of things
    Money is often a negative art. What you don’t do can be more important than what you actively do. Everything has a price, and prices aren’t always clear. The price of exercise isn’t just the workout; it’s avoiding the post-workout urge to eat a ton of food. Same in finance. The price of building wealth isn’t just the trouble of earning money or dealing; it’s avoiding the post-income urge to spend what you’ve accumulated. Morgan Housel in After the Fact
  • Ego vs outcome
    When you decouple your ego from a bad outcome, it creates an opportunity for you to learn from it. When you decouple your ego from a good outcome, it saves you from future disasters. Vishal Khandelwal in How to Stop Sabotaging Your Investing In that post Vishal mentions What I learned by losing a million dollars book, which is one of my favorite books to learn how humans behave.
  • Right skin thickness
    All I can say is that writers of all ages should stay away from the extremes of hypersensitivity-to-feedback and obliviousness-to-feedback. Seek out wise criticism. Reserve time in your week for the regret that comes with getting things wrong. I promise the feeling will go away, and something else will appear in its place, which is learning. Derek Thompson in Why Simple Is Smart
  • The thing about contracts
    I recently overheard the following comment about contracts in a podcast. Any kind of contract is 50% what’s on the page, and 50% good faith. It is so true and aligns with my worldview. ↵ Back to Bookmarks page.
  • Big Skills = Small Skills. Compounded.
    It’s tempting to want to find the one big skill that will set you apart. But most incredible things come from compounding, and compounding isn’t intuitive because the incremental inputs are never exciting on their own. Big Skills by my favorite blogger and author, Morgan Housel
  • API: Assume Positive Intentions
    When working with people, assume good intentions. When listening to people, interpret their words in a generous way. You will occasionally get burned and mistreated by always assuming the best in others, but it is a far better way to live than the opposite. January 27, 2022 issue of James Clear’s 321 newsletter
  • Expert predictions
    I am generally skeptical about experts and their forecasts. The following quote from a humble, expert economist I respect and admire, drives my point: …there’s something I learnt in this field three to four decades ago. It doesn’t matter how many ifs, buts and caveats one sticks around a subject, people still want to know what your forecast is for it. So, much as I personally wouldn’t assign more than a 10% chance of this prediction being correct… New Zealand house price prediction for 2022, by Tony Alexander Tony is predicting New Zealand house price growth. But I believe his […]
  • Realism
    The following tweet, I first found in 2014 has served me well. This is how I almost always look at things, generally. Stop wishing. Start adapting. THE PESSIMIST COMPLAINS ABOUT THE WIND;THE OPTIMIST EXPECTS IT TO CHANGE;THE REALIST ADJUSTS THE SAILS. WILLIAM A. WARD
  • Making time for learning and goals
    We often forget that anything in life takes time. That’s why the first step toward getting better at something is learning how to make time for it.   Fresh start effect. This psychological phenomenon makes people see the beginning of a new year (or a new semester, month or even week) as an opportunity to distance themselves from their past failures.  “Yes … damn!” effect, a bias that makes people wrongly believe they will have more time in the future than right now. This is the cognitive bias responsible for why so many of us agree to future activities like agreeing to […]
  • Books I read in 2021
    Here is the modest list of books I read in 2021.
  • 2021 Workouts
    I exercised 142 times in 2021. When I took a count in July, I anticipated missing about 10 workouts through the remainder of the year, but I actually missed just one. At 3x per week, I was lucky enough to work out about 47 of 52 weeks. That makes 2021 yet another good year in terms of physical activity and exercise compliance. Here is the monthly breakup: Month Workouts Done Notes Jan 9 Skipped the first week Feb 12 Mar 12 Skipped the last week Apr 12 May 13 Jun 9 Skipped the second week and missed one session in […]
  • Todoist Karma Enlightenment
    Almost three years ago, I moved to Todoist to manage my todos and projects. Today I am thrilled to receive the following email from Todoist. I only vaguely know about the Todoist Karma feature. I haven’t taken time to explore the Karma feature as it is related to stats and is tangential to how I use Todoist, but I am pleasantly surprised by this snip of the email I received: you’ve joined just 0.05% of all Todoist users to ever reach Todoist Karma Enlightenment. You should be incredibly proud of this accomplishment – we sure are! … In celebration of […]
  • Covid Test Result
    Ever since the pandemic started, I have been curious how the Covid test result would look like. Here is how:
  • Sad day for Indian (Telugu) cinema 😔
    My favourite lyricist passed away today. But his work will always be alive for the lifetime of Telugu cinema.
  • A quote on gratitude
    I came across many quotes on gratitude, but this one I found in last week’s James Clear’s 3-2-1 newsletter felt profound and made its way to the Quotes page on this site. Poet and playwright Oscar Wilde on being grateful for what you avoid: If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want.  Don’t Forget to Sing in the Lifeboats via James Clear’s 3-2-1 newsletter, November 25, 2021
  • 100 days of lockdown
    Today is day 100 since the current lockdown started. My feelings over these past 100 days are something similar to this: Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level. Shakti Gawain Following are the relevant Covid stats shared by a nice person on twitter.
  • Fork in the forest
  • Lockdown update
    Among other things happening in my life, I almost forgot that today is day 75 of the lockdown that started on 18th August. Here are today’s case stats shared by a nice person on Twitter. This is the longest ever lockdown since this plague started in 2020 God knows where and how. Just like almost everyone’s, this lockdown totally upended my plans and routines since August. I will have to share my experience of living through this lockdown in another post… perhaps on day 100 or hopefully sooner when I get time to reflect deeply and write down my feelings.
  • Worldwide WP 5K 2021 Walk
    Today I completed the 20201 edition of the WWWP 5K run walk. I opted to walk instead of run because I was with my family. Today is the official last day for the run, and the weather was wet in the morning so I wasn’t sure but then the day got drier by mid-day so we laced up and headed out.
  • No thanks. Not now. Not ever.
    It is really amazing how Twitter tries to remind you to enable notifications. But I am good at declining things.
  • Awful ICICIDirect phone support
    Just this afternoon, I shared an anecdote about how, in 2021, it is still painful to generally access customer support across the board. As fate would have it, I had to call a company called https://www.icicidirect.com/, and I did run into the exact icky situation I was ranting about. Here is the transcript: 0:02 – Welcome to ICICI Direct 0:05 – Thank you for calling us0:10 – Terrible music starts(Terrible music continues for nearly 6 minutes while I hoped that someone will attend to me. But alas!)06:04 – Terrible music ends with a Goodbye! Here is the full audio clip […]
  • Contacting companies is still cumbersome in 2021
    I am just reading the print edition of the August/September issue of the Rural Living magazine (online edition here). The following editorial piqued my interest and confirmed what I know is generally true with most customer support. Although this article is aimed at New Zealand businesses, anecdotally, I know the state of customer support elsewhere is not drastically different. It is an excellent opportunity for clever companies to genuinely value customer support, make it easier for customers to contact them, and bring their business to them instead of dealing with an apathetic competitor who won’t listen and is inaccessible to […]
  • A few cool Mac apps I use
    It’s been a few years since I wrote about the Itsycal calendar app that I use on my Mac. It still is the default time and calendar app on my Mac’s menu bar. Here are a few more cool Mac apps that I use and love. Clocker Clocker displays time from additional time zones on Mac’s menu bar or as a floating panel. In my work, I look up UTC time a lot, and so I set up UTC time on Clocker to show it on the menu bar. You can also click on the menu bar to expand the […]
  • iPhone upgrade
    I woke up to the new iPhone dubbed as iPhone 13. It is as gorgeous and amazing as every other iPhone before it. I’d love to buy the iPhone Mini, but both the original iPhone SE and iPhone 7 in the house, which I bought in 2016, are still going great for my needs, so I chose to delay the gratification. The iPhone SE is a bit flaky, and I anticipate upgrading it sooner than the iPhone 7. I hope to hold on for two more years with my now five-year-old iPhone 7 and upgrade to iPhone 15 in two […]
  • Got my first Covid vaccine jab today!
    Today, on the tenth day of the current lockdown, I got my first vaccination jab done! We just walked into the local vaccination centre, and they have spaces! My age group wasn’t eligible to book until this week. When I tried to book my vaccination earlier this week the latest slot I could book is six weeks away. After booking my slot, today, I got a message saying I can book the vaccine. Clearly, something is off with the booking system. Despite booking for October, we decided to try walking into one of the two vaccination centres in the neighbourhood. […]
  • Level 4 lockdown anticipation
    With a community case detected this afternoon in Auckland, the Level 4 rush begins, for which I’m contributing as well. The roads and supermarket aisles and check out lines are busier for a Tuesday afternoon. (This post is brought to you from the supermarket checkout line with a moderately full trolley.) Fingers crossed, we won’t have a lockdown. We will know in a few hours.
  • Fifteen of the 100 little ideas
    My blogging friend and coworker Nick shared this list of 100 Simple Truths in a recent post on his blog. I love reading such lists because you find some ideas you identify yourself with and also: In quoting others, we cite ourselves. Julio Cortázar Following is a selection of the fifteen ideas that I highlighted in my Kindle as I read through those 100 ideas. My thoughts are in brackets. 1. It’s 100% off if you don’t buy it. (I use this trick to postpone or avoid vanity purchases.) 10. Be happy with what you have, while you work for […]
  • A new quote on this blog!
    The Quotes page on this blog is one of my favorites. On it, I list some principles that resonate with me. I just reordered the quotes and added this quote. All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone. Blaise Pascal I think this quote is similar to the importance of the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) principle that I believe I first learned from It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. I am also deliberately practicing this quote and JOMO right now in my life.
  • Mid-year update on my 2021 workouts
    I exercised 25 of the 28 weeks so far this year. Overall, I skipped ten workouts and exerted myself 70 times at three workouts per week. I am happy with the volume of my physical effort so far. I am looking forward to keeping this pace through the rest of the year. I will likely miss another 10-12 workouts before December because life happens! Yet, I anticipate I will exercise at least 60 more times before the end of the year. I look forward to reaching the end of this year with my usual annual average of 120-130 workouts. Then […]
  • Ask iOS Apps Not to Track
    Today I got some interesting prompts when I opened the Twitter app. But first, you can disable these prompts for all apps by toggling off Allow Apps to Request to Track from Settings > Privacy as following: Back to the prompts, it is funny how Twitter framed their prompts as if it is doing something beneficial to me, and even offering some choice. No thanks, Twitter.
  • Importance of emergency fund
    I am re-reading Morgan Housel’s The Psychology of Money this year and I highly recommend this book to everyone! There are many nuggets of money wisdom in that book. I try hard to resist my urge to share everything I read and learned from this cool book. But today I read the following that reminded me why I save personally: no reason. Save. Just save. You don’t need a specific reason to save. Saving for things that are impossible to predict or define is one of the best reasons to save. Savings that aren’t earmarked for anything in particular is […]
  • Reading books: quality over quantity
    Out of the 11 books in my this year’s reading list, I already read five books in the last few years and some just the last year: What I learned by losing a million dollars. The Psychology of Money. Atomic Habits. Style: the basics of clarity and grace. The Customer Service Survival Kit. I am going to re-read them all this year. The year-end lists of books read by some people I follow are really long! And I only read a handful of books for the past two years (2019 and 2020). While I am cool with the amount of […]
  • 3 Goods. 4 Givings.
    We recently visited the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple. While in the temple, I noticed this concept of 3 Goods and 4 Givings. I liked how actionable the 4 Givings are relative to the 3 Goods.
  • The best definition of Risk I found on the internet
    Carl Richards says “Risk is what’s left when you think you’ve thought of everything.” The Big Lessons of the Last Year.Apr 2, 2021 by Morgan Housel
  • Surprising thing about surprising things.
    Daniel Kahneman says that when you experience a surprise the correct takeaway is not to assume that event will happen again; it’s to accept that the world is surprising.  The Big Lessons of the Last Year.Apr 2, 2021 by Morgan Housel
  • Being frugal with gadgets
    I’m writing this on the iPhone 7 I bought in October 2016. The first generation iPhone SE I bought in April 2016 still works just fine. I have a first generation iPad Air I bought late 2013. It works for my limited needs. My laptop is my employer-bought mid-2015 Mac Book Pro; it is still going. Although I must add I got a free battery and keyboard replacement in 2019 on Apple. I’m long eligible for an upgrade. I can buy and expense the highest-spec latest Mac Book Pro right now. But I’d like to get the current mid-2015 laptop […]
  • Thoughts after the fourth lockdown.
    Today in Auckland, New Zealand, the Prime Minister announced that the fourth lockdown we entered into from 6 am last Sunday (27th February) would be lifted at 6 am on the coming Sunday (7th March). I am cautiously rejoicing the news. This is the fourth lockdown since the main lockdown started in March 2020. The second one after that, in August 2020, was surprising; my phone got an emergency alert when I was sleeping, and that really shocked me! Two more mini lockdowns later, I am now convinced that another lockdown could hit anytime! Even this current one, which is announced […]
  • This cross-app crap is coming 😬
    Found this recently in the dummy Facebook account I use for testing.
  • Timely Advice for Lockdown 4
    Earlier this afternoon I realized today is day 2 of Level 3 lockdown 4 for the 1 community case we got on Saturday evening. Yes, we got into Level 3 lockdown again since 6 am last Sunday. The lockdown was announced on the Saturday evening, literally within an hour since I was roaming in the city center, peeked into a few bars and restaurants and felt everything was just great and lively! I dropped by the Giapo store, ordered Nothing Else Matters ice cream and then while I was enjoying it, I heard the news of the lockdown. I decided […]
  • Lockdown — third wave
    We had another —third so far—lockdown in Auckland from Valentine’s Day’s midnight, but luckily it lasted only three days as initially stipulated. Auckland went from Level 1 to Level 3, 4 being most restrictive. The rest of New Zealand stayed at Level 1. I was stressed not because the lockdown was abrupt but because it aggravated my ongoing low spirit due to sluggish progress on the two big, long-term plans for 2021 and beyond. Plus, it also upset the plans I had for my weekly off days. But in the end, we eased one level down by Wednesday midnight, and […]
  • Lessons from “What I learned by losing a million dollars” book: issue 1
    In the July of 2020, I read What I learned by losing a million dollars book. I blogged a quote that I loved from that book. But there are many nuggets of wisdom and life lessons in the three chapters in the second section of the book titled Lessons Learned. While this book is about the author’s personal story of how he lost money in the US stock markets, I think the psychological processes he explained in chapters 5, 6, and 7 are universal and equally applies to life as well. i.e. if we swap the words business and markets with life in the […]
  • Auckland Anniversary Day
    In 2010 I first landed in Auckland and instantly fell in love with the city. So much that I applied for permanent residency right in that first week. Like any worthy endeavors, some effort, some uncertainty, a bit of drama, and a lot of luck helped me realize my dream. In the end, it all worked out in my favor. In about 18 months since my first landing in the Auckland International Airport, I gained my permanent residency and eventually citizenship of this beautiful country, which helped me make this lovely city my permanent base. I’m not too fond of […]
  • Books I read in 2020
    Here is the list of books I read in 2020, lifted from the Todoist Read project. Books with ♥️ are insightful reads that I’d like to revisit.
  • Worldwide WP 5K 2020
    Back posting 2020 WWWP5K run that I did on Christmas day.
  • I voted today!
    I voted today! This is my fourth time voting in this country since 2011. Having voted once in 2009 in a third-world country amidst lot of unwarranted drama and hassle, I decided not to vote in similar situation again. But just after a year, in 2010, I got lucky and extricated myself from that corrupted environment. I have since enjoyed hassle-free voting at every possible opportunity in this wonderful country that I am fortunate to call home. Looking forward to the results on 6th November.
  • Lockdown update: back to freedom after 56.5 days
    I’m so glad that we as New Zealanders could contain the second wave of Covid-19 in 56.5 days since the last outbreak. Auckland will join the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 1 at 11:59pm today (Wednesday, 7 October). While that’s great news, this time I am cautiously optimistic. There is still COVID-19 in New Zealand; as of today, there are 37 active cases, albeit in managed isolation and quarantine facilities. That number is much smaller than many other countries, but it only takes a little bit of complacency to push us all into another lockdown. It may sound […]
  • Definition of Expert
    Found and liked this definition of expert in James Clear‘s newsletter. The physicist Niels Bohr on what it takes to be an expert: “An expert is a person who has found out by painful experience all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field.” The oldest source I could find was “Dr. Edward Teller’s Magnificent Obsession” in LIFE magazine. September 6, 1954.
  • Lockdown returns
    Last night I woke up to this emergency alert: Auckland returned to lockdown alert level 3 since this noon: 12 noon on Wednesday 12 August. The rest of New Zealand moved to alert level 2. I was shocked because last night I went to sleep planning to make the most of today, which I took off from work for working last Sunday. I wasn’t following news and had no idea of events leading up to this second lockdown. So having to wake up in the middle of my sleep to the emergency beeper of my phone freaked me out. We […]
  • (no title)
    Anytime you see a committee of more than ten, it isn’t the real committee. There’s a subcommittee somewhere making the decisions. Pg. 37, What I learned losing a million dollars I think this is very true in many settings.
  • 37
    Seven days ago I turned thirty-seven. I took the day off in lieu for working the previous Saturday. My wife took off from her work too. My wife and son surprised me with a couple of gifts, one of which is my favourite organic dark chocolate from a local co-op. Given the current world events, I did not feel too excited to venture anywhere outside our lovely neighbourhood. I spent the rest of the day with my wife and son, chatting together, playing video games, and eating out at our favourite places. I also spoke to my parents, brother, sister […]
  • HEY, email spy!
    I am not surprised by this, but it feels weird to realize actually getting spied! I am sure there will be many more instances of spying and it feels normal over time, but here’s the first one for the record.
  • (no title)
    I realize in the tweet sent from my previous post I sounded like I sent a pre-populated tweet some services encourage you to share right after signing up for them. 😬 That tweet isn’t something HEY populated or nudged me to send. I should have written a personable custom message to go along with my previous post. Nevertheless, I am excited about signing up for HEY!
  • Hey, HEY!
    Last night I bought my @hey.com email address subscription after trying it for a few days. I have been following HEY ever since Jason gave a heads up earlier this year. Since this is from Basecamp, I knew it is going to be amazing and it is! I signed up as soon as I got an invite a few days ago and I loved everything about it: the onboarding, speed, features, simplicity and privacy. But most importantly, I subscribed to the HEY Manifesto and the principles of its principals Jason and DHH and their Small Tech company, Basecamp. I never […]
  • Lockdown update: returning to normalcy
    New Zealand is moving to lockdown alert level 1 —and a return to mostly normalcy— from this midnight. Only border restrictions are in place. I am glad it is over! It won’t be as normal as before all this, and it is still important to follow the hygiene and physical distancing practices, but overall, given how broken the world is right now, I am grateful for where I am. I couldn’t be anywhere better! Here is the full timeline of New Zealand lockdown. God Defend New Zealand. Here is the summary of Covid-19 virus cases in New Zealand.
  • Fibre Ultra
    I upgraded my fibre internet to Fibre Ultra, technically called Gigabit fibre which has the advertised speeds of 900 Mbps down and 500 Mbps up. First, some backstory. My first fibre connection I got in 2018 was solid (Fibre 100 – 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up). After some time I grew unhappy with the puny 20 Mbps upload speed. I felt uplink could be better and so I upgraded in 2019 to Fibre 200 which doubled the download speed, but oddly enough it did not change the upload speed. So I saw no point in paying extra just […]
  • Lockdown update: returning to routines
    After eight weeks of stricter levels (4 and then 3) of lockdown, things seem to be getting better. We are currently in level 2 and have been since Thursday. It is great to see people returning to the streets and generally going about their businesses. Today we went to our favourite cafe in the morning. As always, the baristas made great coffee. After that, we went to our favourite place in the neighbourhood and grabbed bread from our favourite bakery. In the afternoon I drove past a restaurant that’s usually crowded but was ghosted for the past many weeks. I […]
  • Lockdown update: down to level 2 from Thursday
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today New Zealand would move from alert level 3 to level 2 at 11.59pm on the night of Wednesday 13 May; that’s seven weeks after we entered the strictest lockdown. On Thursday, 14 May, cafes, restaurants, libraries, gyms, malls, cinemas, tourism operators, and sports clubs can reopen. On Monday, 18 May, kids will be able to return to school. On Thursday, 21 May, bars will be able to open. I have no interest in bars, malls or cinemas. But I am looking forward to schools, cafes and libraries reopening soon. It is great to be […]
  • Lockdown update: down to level 3
    New Zealand eased into a less severe Level 3 of lockdown today (from 00:00 on April 28th), after about five-and-half weeks of strict lockdown in Level 4 that started from 11:59 pm on March 25th. We are going to stay in Level 3 for two weeks until May 11th. On May 11th, the cabinet will announce the nation’s next step in the fight against Covid-19. In a great piece of news, the new Covid-19 cases over the past eight days remained in single digits. I am also delighted to see the overall number of infected New Zealanders in the sub-1500 […]
  • Lockdown updates
    Yesterday at 4 pm Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced that New Zealand would go one level down to level 3 from 11:59 pm on 28th April. We would further go down to level 2 from 11th May if the downtrend continues. It is so much relieving! I am impressed with how this country managed the outbreak in the world where many other first and third world countries have had appalling results. I never took it granted, and I have always been grateful to be living in this country, but more so in the present testing times. I couldn’t have lived […]
  • Free Tutorial: Optimize Your Business Website — The Sensible Leader
    Originally posted on Kathryn Presner: Two weeks ago, my colleague Marjorie asked if I’d be interested in helping run a webinar for small businesses, with tips on getting the most out of their website. She knew I’d done a lot of public speaking and thought I might be interested. Even though we wouldn’t have a… Free Tutorial: Optimize Your Business Website — The Sensible Leader
  • Lockdown updates
    Yesterday marked two weeks since we are locked down. Today as we head into the Easter weekend I am excited about a few pieces of promising COVID-19 news: Lowest number (29) of COVID-19 cases since March 21. Tighter border controls, and mandatory quarantine for new arrivals since this midnight. And in a piece of more exciting news… Lockdown decision will be reviewed on April 20. I’m hoping lockdown will be eased to Level 3 and some level of routines will resume from April 28.
  • Two opinions on the PM
    Today I read two posts about the New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Arden and her government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. A praise: Three reasons why Jacinda Ardern’s coronavirus response has been a masterclass in crisis leadership and a critic: Should lockdown end early? I agree with both the opinions.
  • Pandemic thoughts
    It’s been two full weeks since I started worrying about Covid-19 pandemic. And we have three weeks of lockdown ahead. Like many of my generation, I haven’t seen anything like this before. Hopefully this is once-in-a-lifetime event and so I wanted to journal my thoughts in this post. That way, years later I don’t have to think hard to share the pandemic stories with my grandchildren. The pandemic By now it is needless to say we are experiencing unprecedented times around the world with this COVID-19 pandemic spreading fast in many countries. New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 4. Like […]
  • How not to text your customers before the lockdown
    And so are your customers! Bummed to receive this patronising text from my LPG provider just before the lockdown. I don’t even need a gas bottle anytime soon! Surely, they can send an empathetic copy, to the customers who actually have upcoming orders?
  • Books I read in 2019
    Here is the list of books I read in 2019, lifted from the Todoist Read project. ♥️ are the books I enjoyed and learnt the most from and would love to revisit from time to time.
  • Text Message Forwarding on iOS
    A while ago I noticed that I am receiving texts only on my iPhone, but some texts don’t show up in the Messages app on either of my Macs. The texts I can’t see on my Macs are usually the two-factor authentication codes and other texts sent from the special three-digit phone numbers typically used by the businesses and other organizations. This felt odd because until some months ago I always used to receive ALL the messages on ALL my computers. So certainly something has changed. This problem meant that while working at my computer I have to walk to […]
  • Twelve on Twitter
    Twitter helped learn a lot of things despite aggressively pushing its preferences at times. This post is my tribute to Twitter.
  • 2019 Workouts
    Exercising is one of the foundational habits that I wanted to incorporate in my life. In 2014 I found a colleague who is passionate about personal training. He used to run exercise classes at my then workplace. He encouraged me to work out three times a week, became my accountability partner and have been since. Three hours a week seems to be just about the right volume of time and effort to be consistent with my exercise goals and make working out part of my lifestyle. Anything more than three times is a bonus. But I hardly ever worked out […]
  • What’s in your soap?
    A few weeks ago I was listening to an episode of the Rework podcast titled Lab Week. At [00:02:23] I heard this: We three live together and we just liked trying things out and one day we needed soap. We kind of looked it up and we’re like, well, how is soap made? And did a lot of research and figured out that a lot of soap is made with animal fats. Beef fat or even pork fat. And it’s not usually obvious in the ingredient list, but there’s like sodium tallowate, which is very common in a lot of […]
  • Outlook app issues
    I finally removed the Microsoft Outlook app from my phone. It still keeps freezing and getting in my way. The Outlook tech support person was kind and offered further help when I blogged and tweeted my troubles with the app in October. However, I still face this problem with the app. The frequent “performance improvements and bug fixes” in the app’s version history don’t inspire my confidence. I captured only the latest few in the following screenshot but the same note repeats for many earlier versions. I have enough demands in my life that I don’t want to spend any […]
  • ✅ Wunderlist
    Microsoft is finally shutting down Wunderlist. Glad that I moved to ToDoist earlier this year. A few years ago, Microsoft acquired a calendar app called Sunrise that I loved using. I have since moved to the macOS and iOS stock Calendar apps. When you give your money or attention, think about the values and principles of the makers and avoid short-termers as much as you can.
  • Word of the day
  • Meh, Instagram
    I am looking up something in a public Instagram account and it wants me to login to continue. Not going to happen, Instagram.
  • Dark Mode = OFF
    Turned off automatic dark mode on my iPhone after seeing the following tweet. Dark mode didn’t feel right and I think that’s for the reasons explained in the blog post within the tweet. I prefer Night Shift instead. Actually, the best way to dark mode is to keep the device screen off after a certain time in the evening! Thank you @zapier for doing the research for me. I can now switch back to #lightmode feeling enlightened, and yes, a little bit smug because #Itoldyousoallalong https://t.co/PBsjJUw8BY — Valentina Thörner (@ValeDeOro) November 4, 2019
  • Today is my 15th work anniversary!
    Today I feel grateful to be able to be employed for fifteen straight years, starting my work journey from the beautiful Infosys Mysore campus which was very much under construction at that time.
  • Something is wrong with this iOS Outlook app update
    Update: I uninstalled the app, restarted the iPhone, reinstalled the app (version 4.7), set up my email accounts and disabled notifications and smart default settings that I don’t need. It is back to all good now. Technology is weird!
  • A debate between Matt M and DHH
    Recently REWORK podcast recorded and published a fascinating debate between the two people I admire and respect, Matt Mullenweg and DHH, about tech monopolies and the power of the open-source. I look forward to another show on Venture Capital and funding. Hopefully, they are able to record it sooner!
  • Weekly 5K runs
    Daylight saving time started in New Zealand last Sunday (29/September) which means, I can no longer wait to run. It is now time to lace-up and run a 5K every weekend. And that’s what I did last Saturday: I ran a 5K with a bit of nudging from my eight-year-old who also wanted to run and joined me. Like every year, I intend to run a 5K most of the weekends until come March / April when days start getting shorter. Last Saturday’s run felt effortless overall. We stopped a few times to catch up with our breath. Son was […]
  • Avocado toast recipe
    One of the highlights of spring and summer for me is the onset of the avocado season. Avocado toast is an expensive eat-out but works out super cheap and easy to make at home. I like avocados for their taste, nutrients and super simple recipes. Here is the recipe I typically use.
  • Messaging app with VIP features
    It is 2019 and I wonder why there are no messaging apps that will let me choose the people from whom I wish to receive notifications. Right now, the notifications are all or none deal and I default to none. Which is better, but not best. As people start getting detached to devices and start prioritising their offline lives, I think there would be a lot of demand for a user-centred notification system. The closest I know is of the VIP feature in the iOS Mail app. But that’s not good enough. My dearest people will not email me; they […]
  • (no title)
    Can’t wait to hear from my favourite author and speaker @berkun live!