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 […]
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.
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!
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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
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.
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.
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 […]
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?
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 big fixes” in the app’s version history doesn’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 […]
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.
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
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!
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 power of the open-source. I look forward to another show on Venture Capital and funding. Hopefully, they are able to record it sooner!
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Many years ago I read this essay titled Why overachievers go down the path of self-destruction written by Subroto Bagchi. Although I am far from being an overachiever, that post has helped me become aware of some of the mistakes driven people make. It is probably one of the earliest materials from where I learned the importance of humility, self-awareness and disassociating myself from my successes. The other reason why this article stuck to my mind for years is that I am fearful of giving in to distractions and temptations life throws at me from time to time. It is hard […]
The first thing I noticed with Twitter.com’s redesign is that the algorithmic timeline (aka top Tweets) is set as the default. A few days ago I wasted some time looking to change this setting in the More > Settings and privacy page. I couldn’t find it there. I then googled, but still couldn’t find the answer. I googled again today and found the solution in this Mashable post. The timeline preference setting is moved from Settings > Account > Content to the centre-right of the home page. The bright side is that at least now it is easier to change the preference […]
Bill Bennett, a local technology journalist I respect, tweeted a CNN Business article about Twitter’s overzealous algorithm. That article quoted a Twitter spokesperson: … We will continue to work to improve our efforts here, and people always have the option of turning off our curation if they just want to see content from the people they follow. This quote is sketchy and only half-true. The other half-truth, which this Twitter spokesperson did not say, is that although you can turn off curation, on the phone app Twitter turns it back on within a few days without your consent. The settings on […]
After about fourteen months on 100 Mbps fibre connection, I asked to double the speed of my internet to 200 Mbps for a $15 extra per month. I will see how long I go before I get used to this new, high speed and stop appreciating it. So far so good, although I am a bit surprised at first that the upload speed did not improve.
Recently I wrote about how I reduced the noise on my Twitter timeline by changing the default timeline preference from top tweets to the latest tweets. Since then I noticed that from time to time my timeline preference is falling back to top tweets without my intervention. But I wasn’t totally sure because I did not think Twitter may be overriding my preferences. Today I realized it is indeed the case! As shown in the following screenshot of the iOS app on my phone, Twitter is overzealously overriding my timeline preference to what it wants me to see. Every time […]
The usual workflow to add tasks to any to-do app involves loosely a few steps: Find the app on the computer Open the app Find the Inbox folder Click the Add task button Type the task name Hit Enter to add task These manual steps of adding tasks are way better than not having a to-do system in the first place. But the problem with manually adding tasks is the number of steps it involves. The six steps I listed above don’t even include deciding the project of the task, priority, due date, labels et al. The basic six manual […]
I recently changed my Twitter iPhone app from Tweetbot 3 to the default Twitter iOS app. Twitter for iOS app is largely good. But I noticed that my Twitter timeline both in the browser and iPhone app got noisy than they should be for the fifty people I follow. This is making me spend (not waste) more time than I would like to spend on Twitter. The clutter also means the actual tweets from the people I follow, the tweets I would love to see, are buried in the noise. This made me feel like I am missing important tweets. […]
I feel like I am becoming tad wiser these days by reading Morgan Housel’s Collaborative Fund blog. This list of 29 Short Money Rules is one such gem I read on this blog today. A few rules that stood out to me: 21. Being nice to people is the easiest career competitive advantage. 22. Being smarter than others is the hardest. Choose wisely! Then there is this rule that I liked: 2. Most people are afraid of looking wrong. I think not worrying too much about my ego, always being open to feedback and iteration are what makes me unafraid […]
I have been looking for Wunderlist replacement since last year. I can feel Wunderlist is staling. Wunderlist’s new incarnation, Microsoft To-Do, isn’t making good progress. It lacks basic features like sub-projects et al. Given how long it’s been since Microsoft’s acquisition of Wunderlist was announced and the development progress of the To-Do app, I have no hope that To-Do will be worth the wait. Trello seemed to be a good replacement for a bit, but on looking deeper, Trello is a great project management tool, but not so much a to-do list. Sure, I can tweak Trello’s boards with checklists, […]
I am constantly looking for better workflows and today I stumbled upon this useful workflow to manage the app windows in Mac using Alfred. I set it up and used a few times. I loved using it! Thanks for making and sharing it, Paweł. I am also on the lookout for better Space Manager apps and ideas. But more on that later, when I find a solution that I love.
Just a thought that popped up while working out the upper body in the last hour. But first some context. Last week and this week, I am finding it very hard to exercise. It is after all holiday season, and I have had excellent exercise compliance so far this year. So why not take a break for Christmas and New Year weeks? The world doesn’t stop, and the sky doesn’t fall if you miss just two weeks, has been my inner monologue! But somehow that did not feel right. I felt uncomfortable from within about not having to exercise even for a week. That’s probably […]
Earlier this month I signed up for Grammarly to improve my writing. I used it for a few weeks, and it seemed like a useful app to help me write better. So I thought of upgrading to Pro but haven’t opened my wallet. Then an email appeared on 10 Nov suggesting me to upgrade for a 40% discount but only for the next 48-hours. It was tempting. But I am so used to email marketing. So I chose to wait. Then the Last chance: email came on the second day. I ignored it. The upgrade went up to its full price. […]
I hate it when an Apple event happens and I don’t see any updates to the products I need. My work computer is due for a refresh. So I ordered the latest iMac anyway despite no twentieth anniversary iMac refresh.
My favorite habits author James Clear’s book Atomic Habits is releasing today. I benefited from his work over the last many years. The concept of Identity-Based Habits which I first learned from his blog has helped me in many ways especially with building and keeping my exercising habit. I like his style of writing and explaining ideas. So I bought the book as I know I not only enjoy reading it but learn a ton. If you are a regular reader of his blog like me, you may find some ideas repetitive, but I think that’s a good thing. None of […]
I am so glad I bought and read Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson’s latest book It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work. The book is a collection of succinct and insightful essays on how to work calmly and effectively. Alongside those, it teaches great lessons on leadership which ties into how Jason and DHH run their company, Basecamp. I feel lucky to have found and read book at this stage in my career. I loved the book so much that and I am keeping it as my go-to leadership handbook. The essays are quick and easy to read. I think […]
Over the past few years, the following foundational skills have helped me shape my career. I am not going to perfect them anytime soon but I think I don’t have to. I believe these skills takes life-long practice and I really don’t want to get done with them. I think it would be silly of me to think that someday I will master them all. I probably won’t. But by simply being aware and practicing them, I feel like I can adopt growth mindset and get better in my life and career. Focus Regardless of what I do, being indistracable and […]
Just watched this useful video. Being indistractable is a super power. Nir Eyal started out his Mind the Product SF 2018 presentation by sharing that in the five years since his book Hooked came out he’s kept up with everything, gathered feedback, and learned even more about the neuroscience and behavior that drives our motivations and attention. My main takeaway […] via (Video) Indistractable, Nir Eyal — The Sensible Leader
I am not sure why I did not realize yet, but I became an appreciator of avocado toast! Glad that I realized it just before the harvest season for Hass avocados (the main variety of avocados in New Zealand), September to April. Yet another reason to look forward to spring and then summer!
Okay, this post is a bit late as I have been busy with other cool, important and exciting things. But I’d rather publish this post late than never because it is a good lesson and importantly, a lesson I believe and follow. Facebook is constantly urging you to share your thoughts and reactions to every life event. A couple days into its biggest challenge, Facebook’s creator is still hasn’t shared his thoughts. There’s probably a lesson in that. — Dave Pell (@davepell) March 21, 2018
I turned 35 today. I am happy, content and grateful for everything I have in my life. I have some habits to continue, ambitions to pursue, and dreams to realize. But right now, at this point in my life, I don’t wish my life be any different. I have enough. And what a great feeling that is!
I bought a Kindle Paperwhite and Kano Computer Kit while I was in the US last week. I also did not buy an iPhone 8 Plus. My first attempt to buy Kindle was at the end of 2010. But that Kindle was lost even before it reached me along with my friend’s lost checked-in baggage. Over the years I have been reading a lot on iPhone, iPad and physical books borrowed from the library. But I felt like I could benefit from Kindle in the following ways: Easy to carry. Gentle on eyes for reading in the night. Distraction-free reading. Can […]
I recently learned some Mac tips and one of the things I was excited about and tried is Hot Corners. But after a few months of trying them they proved to be Annoying Corners. I often accidentally send my mouse pointer to one of the corners of the screen and invoke them inadvertently. So I disabled Hot Corners today. I am hoping to instead add a few more multi-touch gestures to my finger memory. Multi-touch gestures are intuitive, fun, and make me feel like I am a pro Mac Book Pro user. So far I am loving the gestures which […]
I started a tiny habit: flossing my teeth. I have been trying to start flossing for many months now. I brush my teeth every night but I know brushing twice a day is not enough to keep a really good dental hygiene. I knew I needed to start flossing at some point because it is good to floss. While I was learning about tiny habits a few years ago, I read BJ Fogg’s suggestion of flossing just one tooth to start with. That advice sounded great. But I did not really start. The other day I saw Colgate floss boxes near the […]
I loved the following definition of personal freedom I found in an Indian actor’s twitter bio I discovered via my colleague’s tweet. Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.
This Vox article I found in a colleague’s tweet convinced me to delete my Facebook account. I had my Facebook account for about ten years. Naturally my usage was high at the start circa 2010 and has steadily reduced over the years. Now I have a test account devoid of my personal details or photos using an email address that I use specifically for this kind of dummy profiles. I need this test account for my work. So I will have to keep it until Facebook becomes extinct. I haven’t turned cold turkey on Facebook. I haven’t shared anything of substance on Facebook […]
Yesterday I came across the following tweet by David of Raptitude, one of the few blogs I read and recommend. Really excellent stuff from @jdroth Becoming proactive: The number-one secret to wealth, freedom, and happiness https://t.co/pEJhtyd4Gm — David Cain (@DavidDCain) January 16, 2018 The article in that tweet is a great read regardless of your life situation. If you are dealing with challenges, you should read it to learn how to turn around your situation. If your life is already great, you should still read it as it serves as a great reminder of the things you got right and shouldn’t forget.
This wise man has read my mind. sure things are changing but the rot is so deep, it cannot change fast enough to make a difference in one lifetime. You have one life. Not worth wasting your time chasing these guys. Do everything to avoid — Ram (@ramprasad_c) December 27, 2017
For reasons I can’t explain, I love to hear Jingle Bells song. The tune just feels nice. When my son was a toddler, I used to sing this one for him. I still love to sing this one even now and I don’t think I will ever get bored with it. My son’s class was on stage recently for the last school assembly before the school closed for summer break. The kids performed this Kiwi version of Jingle Bells song which I totally loved! To top it all, Automattic, my awesome employer and proponents of remote work, produced this cool […]
Listening to Matt‘s podcasts is one of my favorite ways to spend my free time. I wish I made a list of all Matt’s podcasts I heard over the years. But somehow I missed that. And it is too late now. Anyway. Last night I listened OFF RCRD episode with Matt (transcript). It was great to hear him mentioning Decision Journals and Farnam Street Blog. He also mentioned Brainpickings and On Being blogs. They are great as well, but I deliberately keep the list of blogs I read short. I started reading Farnam Street Blog only recently when someone at […]
I finally ran the first 5k of this season! I intend to run a 5k every weekend for rest of the spring and summer. I ran about twenty-five 5ks in 2015. But I did not run much in 2016. This year I try to do better again. My running goal is modest: I just try to run a 5k each weekend. I start running around this time in October when days start getting longer and weather warmer. I stop running around March when days start getting shorter and wetter. I can probably run a marathon or even a half of […]
I learned a LOT about habits by reading James Clear’s blog. He has heaps of great posts on his site, but if I were to pick one, it is this: Identity-Based Habits: How to Actually Stick to Your Goals This Year. The gist is that: Building good habits and changing ourselves for better is all about our identity (what we believe of ourselves and who we try to become), not performance (the actions we take) or appearance (what others say about us). Performance and appearance are great, but for habits to last, they should start from within, from your identity, […]
Okay, I work for a company that makes it easy for people to setup a blog, site or online store. So I may be biased. However, I found this tweet from Twitter interesting: But seriously, if you are dying to share something with world, and you can’t fit your thoughts in 140 characters, I think what you need is a blog or website where you truly own your content. Not tweets with 280 or some arbitrary number of characters.
Added a new quote to my Quotes page on this blog. I can think. I can wait. I can fast. – Siddhartha Found this quote in Matt’s Twitter profile via the following Derek’s tweet. Thanks Matt! And I *LOVE* your profile quote from Siddartha. My favorite line from the book, too. — Derek Sivers (@sivers) August 5, 2017 Tim Ferriss’ explanation I found here elaborates this quote well. Ferriss said that this deceptively simple response is the foundation for all high performers. He explains in “Tools of Titans”: “I can think: Having good rules for decision-making, and having good questions […]