Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Vital Protein Pea Protein Isolate Review

I purchased Vital Protein Pea Protein Isolate at Chemist Warehouse for $30, which gave me 500g of pea protein isolate. This is much more expensive than pea protein isolate sold online, for example, from Bulk Nutrients, but I was willing to give this a try.

What I notice from reading the back is that the amino acid profile is very good. Normally pea protein is mixed with rice protein to enhance amino acid profile, but the methionine and cystine levels in this protein powder seems to be high, which may be a result of the way they isolate the protein from the pea.

I put a tablespoon onto a glass of water. It is a very mixable protein powder. It didn't take too much mixing to dissolve the powder into the water. In terms of taste, it certainly tastes like pea and has a naturally sweet taste. The sweetness is not too strong, just mild.


Monday, 10 November 2014

We are not perfect. We are not flawed. We are who we are.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Bulk Nutrients Rice Protein Isolate Unflavoured

I've been trying different protein powders from Bulk Nutrients. I have always been purchasing protein from Bulk Nutrients, and I like to try different types of protein just because I love variety. I recently purchased rice protein in unflavoured form. I've heard that rice protein tastes horrible, but I have actually just tasted the product in person and it is incredibly bad. The description everyone gives is correct. It is chalky and tastes like sand. I'm going to have to mix it in with other protein powders and some flavouring (for example, pea protein and stevia). I've purchased two kilograms of the rice protein, so it might be hard finishing it all. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Sugarless Organic Stevia from Chemist Warehouse - Review

As part of working out, I've been drinking pea and rice protein shakes for a few months now. I've learned that for those who have trouble gaining weight, you can mix in carbs to your protein shake to create a "mass gainer." I've been mixing in either powdered oats or waxy maize starch to my protein shake. As a result, the taste has gone south. My pea and rice protein (Earth Protein) was vanilla flavoured and tasted quite nice. However, once I added carbs in, the blend tasted horrible, especially with powdered oats, which not only made the blend taste bland but often clumped together and made the mixture thick.

Today I purchased Sugerless Organic Stevia from Chemist Warehouse for $8 (250g). It seemed pretty cheap. The product came with a spoon that measured half a teaspoon. I put two teaspoons into my carb and protein shake and tasted the mixture. It was surprisingly good. The product seemed to do the job.

The major surprise I got from this product came from looking at the nutritional information. According to the table, this product, which is labelled "organic stevia," contains 0.5% stevia (steviol glycoside). The product is 99% organic erythritol, which is a different type of sweetener.

I wonder then why this product would not be labelled "Erythritol + Stevia" or something less misleading because erythritol is a completely different product. Furthermore, it seems like you can purchase erythritol online for much less than $8 per 250g.



Monday, 29 September 2014

Runaway Spider in my Bedroom

About ten minutes ago, I was lying on my bed with my spine lined up against a rolled-up towel. I was doing stretches that my osteopath prescribed for me. I have to do these stretches every day. It's very annoying. While stretching, I saw a spider on the ceiling. I took out a plastic container and then trapped the spider in this container. I put the lid on and was about to take this container outside where I would release the spider into the wild. Unfortunately, there was a hole in the container. The spider got out. It ran into a bunch of paper. When I moved the paper aside, the spider disappeared. 

I now fear sleeping in my room because I know there is a spider somewhere in this room with me.



Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Comfort of Deferring to Expertise

When people come to me seeking my advice because they think I'm an expert in my field, I try my hardest not to let them down, and I give the best advice I can give. When people seem satisfied, I start to wonder whether it was wise of them to trust me because nobody knows my own imperfections as well as I do, but whether it is because of trust or image, there is a myth commonly held of the expert. This is why physicians are held in high regard and are respected. They are seen as experts in health. I am not the only one who feels this insecurity, and indeed there is a term for it: impostor syndrome.

When I start to doubt the veracity of my own advice and expertise, naturally I start to question the veracity of other people's advice and expertise, and certainly being sceptical of expertise can save us, e.g. the Commonwealth Bank financial planning scandal.

But at the same time, I understand the comfort of deferring to expertise. Before I went to the gym, every second person I met gave me advice on health and fitness. They'd tell me to buy a bike and then go into detail about different types of bikes, materials used for the types of bikes, and so forth, and yet others say different things, e.g. I should be playing soccer or tennis or badminton. Of course, deep down I knew that these people simply tried to sway me one way or another based on their own personal interests. If they were passionate about cycling, they'd naturally want to steer me towards cycling with them.

After I joined the gym and received advice from one fitness consultant, my friends stopped giving me amateur advice. When people asked me what I did for health and fitness and I told them that I was now a gym member and that my fitness consultant or personal trainer prescribed me this and that, that weight of expertise seemed to intimidate other people from giving me their half-baked views, and suddenly I feel calm and at peace because I don't need to listen to diverse viewpoints, evaluate, decide for myself, and feel ashamed if I made the wrong choice. I can just obey the expert, and typically no one dares to question the expert.

If I knew more about health, maybe I'd do my own research, but health is not my area of expertise, nor is it an area I am passionate about, so I am satisfied with deferring to the experts in this area. But in other areas, e.g. personal finance, I am quite passionate about finance and prefer to do things myself rather than rely on a financial advisor or financial planner, and given the bad reputation financial planners have had recently, I am glad I've taken this route.

There is probably no best way to handle uncertainty. In some areas you want to do it yourself and in some areas you want to outsource to an expert.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

What to do after you win the lottery

1. Tell no one. If other people know about it, they will be greedy.

2. To prevent the money being spent all at once, divide the money over time with an annuity or invest it and live off the passive income. Don't increase spending or live extravagantly or more than passive income.

3. Don't get into debt.

4. Don't help others too much. Don't bankroll friends and families' crazy business ideas. Say no to anyone who wants a handout or a loan. You need to help yourself first before you give it all to others. No one is to know of your wealth anyway (see rule 1).

5. Don't divorce. If you are single, don't get married.

6. Don't do drugs e.g. cocaine.

7. Don't gamble.

8. Be careful of being sued. Frivolous lawsuits are common. Protect your assets in retirement accounts or family trusts. Talk to a lawyer or accountant.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Using E10 and Commodity ETFs to Destroy Animal Farming


I've always been a meat eater. Meat tastes good. I also love milk and cheese. But I've always been guilty of the industrial slaughter of animals that occurs in order to produce these goods. When I speak to people about this topic, there is a tendency to rationalise. For example, people say it is natural to kill animals. Even animals themselves kill each other. When I respond by saying that it is also natural for humans to kill humans (as humans have done often during human history) people criticize me for thinking too much about it. In other words, there is a tendency to just stick with the status quo, and if something just doesn't seem right, rationalise it away.

Animal cruelty takes place in an animal farm. If you care about animal welfare, you must study the business model of the animal farm and do everything in your power to disrupt it.

How do you disrupt a business? There are three ways: (1) increase costs, (2) reduce revenue, and (3) increase volatility of costs and revenue.

If costs rise and revenue reduces, the animal farm becomes unprofitable and will shut down. If the volatility of costs and revenue is high, e.g. if the price of feed fluctuates too much, then animal farms are less likely to start up due to unacceptable risk.

Many vegans already try to increase costs and reduce the revenue of animal farms by switching from meat to plant-based food. For example, if instead of eating beef you eat vegetables, the revenue of the animal farm decreases and furthermore because the land that is set aside to make vegetables to sell to the consumer is used for this purpose rather than being used to sell feed to animal farms, then the price of feed will go up.

That is simple enough, but there are two more ways I think we can disrupt the animal farm. One is to use ethanol blend petrol in our cars (E10 for most cars or E85 or E100 if the car is compatible). Proof that this works can be found in American renewable policy that forced petrol to be blended with ethanol. This causes the demand for ethanol to rise significantly, which in turn meant that corn being grown on farms was being sent to cars rather than to animal farms. Animal farmers then had to pay higher prices for feed. This resulted in much higher meat prices (see Ethanol Helps Boost Meat Prices - NPR).

With regards to increasing volatility in agricultural prices, this is where I recommend buying agriculture ETFs as part of your investment portfolio. Not only can it save animals' lives, agriculture investments can make you rich. For example, in Australia, you can buy the Betashares Agriculture ETF. These investments don't actually buy agricultural products like corn and soy and store them. That would be far too difficult. Rather, when you buy these investments, a team of financial experts buy and sell futures contracts for corn, soy, wheat, and rice. Buy doing so, your investment will approximate the prices of the underlying crops. When fund managers buy and sell agricultural derivatives on the market on your behalf, you are contributing to more speculation in these markets, which has the potential to increases prices and, more importantly, to increase price volatility, which makes the business of animal farms much riskier.

The bottom line is that we should be switching from meat products to plant products. This applies not just to what we put in our bodies, e.g. switching from cows milk to almond milk. This should apply to what we put in our cars and our investment funds.


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Healthy Distractions

I finished work early today because there is not much work for me to do. I kept myself busy on the train by reading my phone, as everyone does. When I got home, I ate dinner and when I finished I had a shower. Normally, after a shower, I'd go to bed, but today I came home so early I had nothing to do for two hours.

Only a month or so ago my girlfriend and I broke up. It didn't affect me at first, but now I'm starting to feel bad, and there are times when, because I have no distractions, I start to think about things and all of a sudden I think about my girlfriend. There is other trauma in my mind. When your father betrays you, it's hard to forget, and the anger just stays in you.

I have a Quickflix subscription. I pay $10 a month and get to steam various shows and movies to my TV. I'm glad I paid for it because it's nice to distract yourself. I watched an episode of Boardwalk Empire. I love crime shows. I don't know why.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Monarchy is Dictatorship

I've just read Geeks for Monarchy about the rise of people who support monarchism and oppose democracy. I find this disgusting. How can anyone support this? Monarchism is effectively dictatorship. If you want monarchism, you risk becoming subservient to Hitler, Kim Jong Il, or Stalin. You could get a benevolent dictator or benevolent monarch or benevolent king, but who wants to roll the dice and risk being thrown in a concentration camp or gulag? I'd rather live in a democracy. Sure, democracies are not perfect. The views of the masses are, quite simple, stupid. People are on average, idiots, but most people want the same thing. They want freedom, they want happiness, they want peace, they want good health--and a democratic system allows them to force these desires on the elite rather than have the elite force their values on the people.

To all these monarchists, I say be careful what you wish for. Democracy is fragile. If our democracy collapses and the elites take over to establish an aristocracy, who is to say the policies of the aristocracy will benefit these hangers on? Perhaps they will be thrown into a concentration camp or thrown into a Colloseum-like stadium to be eaten by lions. Be careful what you wish for.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Quickflix vs Google Play Movies and TV

I am a Quickflix subscriber. I pay $10 a month and get access to a library of movies and TV shows. I install the Quickflix app on my Android phone and cast it to my television using the chrome cast, which you can purchase from Dick Smith or JB Hi Fi for $50.

I think Quickflix is great. I am watching the Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire. I am watching early episodes. That gets to the main problem with Quickflix. The library of movies and TV shows is not very comprehensive and you mainly have to watch old movies and TV shows if you don't want to pay extra. Most content cost extra money on top of your support subscription.

I also have Google Play Movies and TV on my phone and I can also cast to my TV via Chromecast with it. I have noticed that Google has many features that Quickflix does not, mainly the ability to remember at which point of a movie you were at, the ability to download video to your device so you can watch it offline, and the ability to purchase content in HD. Google Play is simply a more polished and better product. However, Google Play does not have a $10 per month subscription. It is all pay per view. There are many shows on Quickflix that are free with the subscription that cost about $40 per season on Google Play.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Why Didn't Elliot Rodgers See a Prostitute?

As many know, Elliot Rodgers was a young male who went on a killing spree because he was not able to get a girlfriend. On the day of his killing spree, he released a 140-page manifesto titled My Twisted Life.

An interesting question has been submitted. If he wanted sex so much, why didn't Elliot Rodgers buy the services of a prostitute?

Here’s the thing. Rodger did have “sexual options.” Sex workers in San Diego, not far from where Rodger lived, participate in a market that generated some $97 million dollars in 2007 alone. Had he been willing to make a day trip to Nevada, only a five-to-six-hour drive from Santa Barbara, Rodger could have paid for sex quite legally. Bracketing the immensely complicated question of how sex work should be considered as a legal matter (for a compendium of excellent articles on sex workers and the sex trade, try this Slate Long Form Collection),  and stressing that I believe that sex workers, like all other workers and human beings, deserve respect and legal protection, the question arises: if Rodger, a self-professed virgin who had “never even kissed a girl,” was so incredibly driven by the need to have sex, and if our society, for better and for worse, makes it possible for men to purchase sexual encounters, then why didn’t he pay for it?
When I read My Twisted Life, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Elliot. I think the answer is that you go to a prostitute for sex, but prostitutes are not substitutes for girlfriends. You cannot hire a prostitute to watch a movie with you. There is also a social problem with hiring a prostitute. If you hire a prostitute, it is a secret transaction due to social stigma. It is something you do to satiate your sexual desires, but Rodgers talks often about his desire to have a hot blonde by his side to make his father proud or to show others that he was superior. Having a girlfriend then is a public statement of your worth, much like driving a nice car or wearing nice clothing is.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Ripped Off by PayPal Exchange Rate

I just purchased an eBook online from America. I needed to use American dollars and I had Australian dollars. I decided to use PayPal because I had just installed it on my phone and set up an account. I went through the motions, purchased the book, and then afterwards realized that PayPal charged an exchange rate of 0.90 when a simple Google search revealed the exchange rate to be 0.94. PayPal ripped me off! I will see if I can change PayPal setting so that it charges my credit card in US dollars and supposedly the rate charged by the card is not so bad, but if this turns out to be too hard then I will just uninstall PayPal and in rage will never use it again. Credit card is already quite safe anyway. PayPal charges absolutely outrageous fees. Not only are their foreign exchange rates a rip off but supposedly if you transfer money to a friend who also has PayPal, you must pay a 2.3% fee. What a rip off! Bank transfers are free. If you don't feel comfortable giving away your bank account number (research what happened to Jeremy Clarkson when he gave out his bank account number on TV) then bitcoin fees are less than 1%.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Problems with the Narrative Clip so Far

I have always wanted to get the Narrative Clip, which is a small 5MP camera that you clip on to your clothes. The clip takes a photo every 30 seconds. This allows you to live your life without worrying about taking photos. It is annoying going on a holiday and pointing and shooting using a DSLR or smartphone at the same time. It is better to simply enjoy your holiday.

However, so far, based on reviews I have been reading and videos I have been watching, I will be holding off on getting the Narrative Clip mainly because I do not like the idea of plugging it into your computer to upload photos. To make matters worse, you must have Windows installed on your computer to upload photos from the Narrative Clip. Given I use Ubuntu, it means I wouldn't be able to upload photos, which completely ruins the product. It would be better if the clip has in-built wifi that can automatically upload photos to Facebook, Google+, or some other service, which is currently what happens on a smartphone. Furthermore, although not essential, it would be nice if the clip had qi wireless charging so you can just place the phone on a charging mat overnight, although USB is not a problem.

I am also concerned with the Narrative website saying I need to pay money every month for a subcription to Narrative's apps. I was hoping that once I plug the Narrative to the computer I can just access the photos and upload them to whatever storage I want, e.g. a hard drive or cloud storage, but hopefully this Narrative app is not compulsory.

The Narrative Clip is really a simply device. It is effectively a camera. The ideal lifelogging device would be an Android clip that you can pair to a smartphone. Once you pair the clip to your Android smartphone, you can install apps onto the clip, e.g. an app that takes photos every 30 seconds and then automatically uploads to the internet whenever wifi is detected. Give this device is effectively an Android smartphone without a touchscreen or a high-end CPU, in theory this clip device should be cheap given the standard budget Android smartphone, the Moto G, costs about $250. The clip should be about $100 to $150 or even less.


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Relax, Life Ain't That Bad

I don’t know what I can really say now. My life has been fine. I feeling like, after going through the holiday period, everything is turning back to normal, and I am starting to really enjoy and love my job. I think what I have found is that my satisfaction at a job is mainly dependent on who I work with. My previous job was bad because the people I worked with were bad people. But things have changed now. I am in a completely different team doing different work. The people I work with now are competent and kind. I feel so happy to go to work that I don’t even feel any desire to go on a holiday. In fact, it is not just my work that I am happy with. I am happy with just about all aspects of my life now. I have a girlfriend and certainly the novelty and excitement of having a girlfriend has suddenly worn off, but I don’t mind having a girlfriend, and I don’t mind if she dumps me either, so either way I am covered. I am totally hedged! I think my experience with the girlfriend constantly complaining and putting expectation on you is an annoyance I’d rather not have. I’d be perfectly happy living a single life.

I have made it a goal in my thirties now to man up and stand up for myself. I need to have confidence in my decisions and my ability to manage my own life. I think the way my life is at the moment is fine and I don’t want to change anything. I am also now willing to defend my life to the death. I feel like I need to do this because the life I live is very different to the life everyone else thinks I should live.

I am thirty now. I live with my parents when most people think I should move out. Most people tell me that I should move out in order to gain independence, learn how to cook, get a girlfriend, and not be a burden.

If I needed to, I could simply leave the family home right now and rent a house by myself. I earn enough to live by myself. I have spoken to my mother and have told her that if she wants to I am happy to move out. But she practically begged me to stay at home and argued that I would save money rather than waste it on bills, rent, council rates, and so forth. This counters the argument that I am a burden on my parents. My mother wants me to stay with her and I certainly do not mind being with her because I can save on rent, bills, and council rates. It’s a win-win situation. Because I do have my own job, I am not dependent on her. I could rent my own place and I don’t imagine cooking is difficult.

The cooking issue, in my opinion, is stupid. People always argue that I need to move out so that I can learn how to cook. I could easily just learn how to cook at home right now but I choose not to because I could not be bothered and because I don’t need to. Many people argue that eating out is expensive and so it is necessary to learn how to cook. People usually give me this argument while I am eating out with them! My counterargument is that I don’t eat out all the time. I do go home and eat food that my mother or grandmother have prepared. Furthermore, I am able to save 90% of my income. Can they beat that? If not, who are they to give me advice on living frugal. Sure I eat out, but I don’t pay rent, mortgage interest, banking fees, credit card fees, car loan, day care costs, phone plan costs, etc. Don’t lecture me on frugality! I only really eat out during lunch at work and not only does it provide me with food but it also spares me from having to cook at home and bring in food during my commute that can turn rotten and stale and stink up the office. When I take a break at work, I feel I need to get out of the office to clear my mind and eating out and getting coffee helps me with that. Eating out is also social because I invite friends to eat with me. Most of the time I spend with my friends is during lunch at work. People who criticize me for eating out or not cooking usually do so while we are eating out and I just think to myself, if you don’t want to eat out then fine, let’s stop eating out. I will stop eating out with you.

Another argument people make is that I need to move out because I need to get a girlfriend and because girls don’t like men who live with their parents. Firstly, I currently live with my mother and I currently have a girlfriend, so that hypothesis is dead. Furthermore, even if girls don’t like men who live with their parents, I consider that to be a problem with women, not a problem with me. As I said earlier, I can survive just fine with or without a girlfriend. Back on the topic of independence, I believe I am totally independent. I am not dependent on female intimacy. If the girlfriend dumps me, I don’t care. No female can lure me to get me to do what she wants. I hate it when women think they are powerful just because they are female. They think they can lure men to do whatever they want. Most women are not even that attractive and their attractiveness diminishes fast. I am also mostly asexual and do not care about female attempts to trap men into the web of marriage.

Back to the topic of independence. I have been told to move out of home to be more independent, but I am currently very independent. Like I said, I can move out of home right now and rent a place of my own. Cooking, cleaning, and ironing is not hard. I can easily learn through Google and YouTube. Some people laugh at this idea without giving me a solid explanation why there is anything wrong with it. I am so independent that not only am I independent of my parents but I am also independent of my employer. If I wanted to, I could retire from my job right now and live in Southeast Asia. As the retirecheap.asia website says, retiring in SE Asia allows you to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. I am very happy to fly over and just retire at the age of thirty but I do like my job and I feel like maybe I can make a difference here, so I work for fun, I suppose, and if things go wrong (e.g. I get fired) then I always have Asia in the backpocket as a safety net. I am not like the average person. I have no debt. I have small expenses. I love my lifestyle. I can afford to eat out. Other people, on the other hand, have mountains of debt. They have car loans, credit card loans, mortgage, house and contents insurance, childcare fees, and private school fees. These people must work at their jobs for another 30 to 40 years just so they can clear their debts and finally retire at the ripe old age of 65.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Amaysim Round Up to Nearest MB

As much as possible, I try to avoid debt. This means that I buy a car outright with cash rather than get a car loan. With phones, I never go on a phone plan where there is an obligation for me to pay e.g. $60 per month. Rather, I buy a phone outright and get a pre-paid SIM card.

Although I do make some phone calls and texts, the amounts are negligible. I tend to use only mobile data, so when I shop around I look for the cheapest possible pre-paid mobile data. Currently in Australia, this seems to be Amaysim. For $100, they provide you with 10GB of data for one year. However, there is a catch.

Rather than billing customers according to kilobyte, Amaysim bills customers according to megabyte. For example, if you send an email or Facebook message, you will use about 4KB of data. Companies that charge you according to kilobyte will bill you for 4KB of data. However, Amaysim rounds this up to 1MB (about 1000KB) and charges you for that. This practice has been exposed in this Sydney Morning Herald article: Telcos take a byte out of pre-paid mobile deals.

SMH summarises the charging practices of telcos below:

Vodafone - Will charge in 1 kilobyte increments from February 13 on all pre-paid plans. Was proposing 1 megabyte increments across all plans before it about-faced.
Telstra -
Charges in 1 kilobyte increments on most pre-paid plans but does charge in 1 megabyte increments on its "Simplicity" plan.
Optus -
Charges in 1 kilobyte increments on 1 pre-paid plan and 1 megabyte increments on 2.
Virgin Mobile -
Charges in 60 kilobyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Red Bull Mobile -
Charges in 250 kilobyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Woolworths Mobile -
Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Boost -
Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Crazy Johns -
Charges in 10 kilobyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Amaysim -
Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Kogan Mobile -
Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.


All this makes it difficult to compare among different providers because you are not comparing the same products and therefore you cannot compare by price.

Even though Amaysim rounds up to the nearest megabyte, the other providers seem to charge much more than Amaysim and even for pre-paid they charge fixed amounts per month. I will stick to Amaysim for now, paying $100 for 10GB and try to limit my data usage to 800MB per month, even though they round up.