• iPhone 15 Pro SOS
    I am hap­py to learn that iPhone Emer­gency SOS is now avail­able in New Zealand. I thought Apple only offered this poten­tial­ly life-sav­ing ser­vice in larg­er mar­kets. All the new iPhone 15 mod­els will come with a two year sub­scrip­tion to Apple’s satel­lite-based emer­gency SOS ser­vice Apple’s first NZ Emer­gency SOS res­cue Ear­li­er this month saw Apple’s Emer­gency SOS ser­vice used for its first New Zealand res­cue. Hik­ers walk­ing near Arthurs Pass found them­selves on the wrong side of a riv­er which had risen to an unsafe cross­ing lev­el. They used the Emer­gency SOS ser­vice on an iPhone 14 to give res­cuers their … Read more
  • Few things I am pon­der­ing
    All from my favorite thinker and author Mor­gan Housel. Gosh, that’s me too! I’m at the stage in life where I stay out of argu­ments. Even if you say 1+1=5, you’re right. Have fun. Keanu Reeves via Smart Things Smart Peo­ple Said I think there is a lot of val­ue in focus­ing more to devel­op smarts than intel­li­gence: Intel­li­gence: Good mem­o­ry, log­ic, math skills, test-tak­ing abil­i­ty, rule-fol­low­ing. Smart: High degree of empa­thy, bull­shit detec­tion, orga­ni­za­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, per­sua­sion, social aware­ness, under­stand­ing the con­se­quences of your actions. Both are impor­tant. But there’s a crit­i­cal dif­fer­ence in how each is val­ued. Schools are good at … Read more
  • So true for com­pa­nies and peo­ple
    We can all be on our best behav­ior for a lit­tle while, but the longer while tells the truth. Jason Fried — Com­pa­ny cul­ture is the last 50 days
  • Doing Hard Things. Con­sis­tent­ly.
    This week I real­ly strug­gled to start my work­outs. I ate piz­za on Mon­day, and slacked off on Tues­day for no rea­son. I final­ly did an upper body work­out today (Wednes­day). I nor­mal­ly get one work­out done by Tues­day. I will com­plete two more work­outs this week before I board a flight to Asia on Sun­day. But it dawned on me how hard it is to do hard things con­sis­tent­ly. I am not new to exer­cis­ing and I iden­ti­fy myself as some­one who don’t skip work­outs. I kept my week­ly three work­outs rou­tine since 2014 and I already worked out 86 times so far this year. Yet…it is very hard … Read more
  • Road Not Tak­en
    You should nev­er look down the road not tak­en. Because that road nev­er leads to where you think it should. Nev­er Look Down the Road Not Tak­en by Nick Mag­giul­li
  • Here’s why I blog
    Why do you blog?
  • Quite Good
    I did­n’t quite under­stand the mean­ing of quite until learned this from my cowork­ers a few years ago: “quite good” in Amer­i­ca 🇺🇸: real­ly good, very good, total­ly awe­some “quite good” in the UK 🇬🇧: fair­ly good, actu­al­ly not that good real­ly
  • Most impor­tant take­away from sur­pris­es
    When­ev­er we are sur­prised by some­thing, even if we admit that we made a mis­take, we say, ‘Oh I’ll nev­er make that mis­take again.’ But, in fact, what you should learn when you make a mis­take because you did not antic­i­pate some­thing is that the world is dif­fi­cult to antic­i­pate. That’s the cor­rect les­son to learn from sur­pris­es: that the world is sur­pris­ing. Psy­chol­o­gist Daniel Kah­ne­man. Via Mor­gan Housel.
  • Turn­ing 40!
    Today is the last day of my 30s. Life is rarely all good or all bad, but I am so thank­ful that my life and work expe­ri­ence of the last decade turned out large­ly in my favor. I owe a huge part of it to my fam­i­ly, mov­ing to this coun­try and work­ing for my cur­rent employ­er. I didn’t get every­thing I want­ed, but as one of my favourite authors said, if you don’t get every­thing you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want. So I am grate­ful for all I have and don’t have, and head­ing into my 40s by … Read more
  • Hap­pi­ness and Expec­ta­tions
    What actu­al­ly brings hap­pi­ness is the con­trast between what you have now and what­ev­er you were just doing. When you real­ize how pow­er­ful expec­ta­tions are, you put as much effort into keep­ing them low as you do into improv­ing your cir­cum­stances. Hap­pi­ness, con­tent­ment, joy … all of those things come from expe­ri­enc­ing a gap between expec­ta­tions and real­i­ty. What Makes You Hap­py
  • Week 15, 2023
    This week I exer­cised Mon, Wed and Fri. And I walked for an hour on Thurs­day. I bought and returned the Bose Smart Sound­bar 900. It is not an impulse pur­chase— I have been con­tem­plat­ing it for a few months. But when we got it home this week­end and set it up, the sound out­put didn’t meet our expec­ta­tions, so we are unhap­py with shelling out $1245. To take advan­tage of the sound bar, we have to add a Bose woofer at anoth­er $750, mak­ing the whole set­up uneco­nom­i­cal. Luck­i­ly the local elec­tron­ics store accept­ed my change of mind and ful­ly refund­ed me. Sigh! I was … Read more
  • Week 14, 2023
    This week all habits were kept. The high­light of this week is that our car returned home after get­ting involved in an acci­dent and then spend­ing next six months in the work­shop while the parts were import­ed from Japan. I am sur­prised that it took only six months to be repaired in the post-Covid world where ship­ping and sup­ply chain issues are ram­pant. While the replace­ment Jeep Rene­gade was great, I only real­ized how much I missed my own wheels after get­ting my hands back on them. This week is also East­er week­end which is spe­cial to our fam­i­ly. We went away on … Read more
  • Week 13, 2023
    We are three months into 2023. Time flies! This is the last week of Day­light Sav­ings which has end­ed today (Sun­day). The days are already get­ting short­er and cool­er. I love the sea­son­al change. So I am look­ing for­ward to cool weath­er and wet days over the next six months. This week has been great. I kept all my habits and streaks. Anniver­sary We cel­e­brat­ed our 16th wed­ding anniver­sary on Wednes­day with a nice lunch and din­ner. We were going to go on a road trip but son had some zone foot­ball at school, so we did­n’t want him to skip the game so we … Read more
  • 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 sea­son com­plet­ed. They played 15 … Read more
  • 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 increase longevi­ty of my Mac­Book’s Bat­tery. … Read more
  • 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 blog pri­mar­i­ly as a jour­nal … Read more
  • 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 the 14″ screen with the … Read more
  • 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 lot in Seoul and took steep stairs … Read more
  • 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 a fussy 6.5‑year-old bat­tery. But I felt like SE has served … Read more
  • 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 until I can com­fort­ably afford iPhone 4 in 2010, and impor­tant­ly, … Read more
  • 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 bor­ing and mun­dane … Read more
  • 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 thoughts about pre­dic­tions and fore­cast­ing are broad­ly … Read more
  • 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 be on a com­mit­tee … Read more
  • 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 the first week Jul 13 … Read more
  • 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 the mind-bog­gling 20335 tasks you’ve com­plet­ed, … Read more
  • 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, 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 of the call for the record. Dare to play it if you want to self-inflict some … Read more
  • 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 cus­tomers. I … Read more
  • 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 lock­er to show pre­set addi­tion­al time zones. You can … Read more
  • 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 years. Unless either of them dies ear­ly … Read more
  • 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. The clos­est cen­tre dis­played a sign that … Read more
  • 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 what you want. (Helps me … Read more
  • 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 take two weeks off at … Read more
  • 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 a hedge against life’s inevitable abil­i­ty to … Read more
  • 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 read­ing I do, I must admit, at some cor­ner … Read more
  • 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 going for at least anoth­er 12 months and … Read more
  • 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 to be eased down … Read more
  • 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 not to wor­ry too much because, after all, I am hav­ing Noth­ing Else Mat­ters … Read more
  • 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 fur­ther down to … Read more
  • 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 fol­low­ing book notes, the prin­ci­ples the author … Read more
  • 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 large crowds, and I don’t feel … Read more
  • 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 obvi­ous, but it is … Read more
  • 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 decid­ed in the night that … Read more
  • (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 and an old friend, all … Read more
  • 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 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 thought I would pay for an email ser­vice, but it is … Read more
  • 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 to improve only the down­load speed. I down­grad­ed … Read more
  • 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 felt hap­py to see … Read more
  • 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 able to stick … Read more
  • 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 range so far since this … Read more
  • 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 in a bet­ter place dur­ing this pan­dem­ic … Read more
  • 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 in many coun­tries, we … Read more
  • 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 my phone to check and … Read more
  • 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 more than three times a week in the … Read more