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.

09 February 2014

Feb 2014 Update on New Years Resolution

I've said before that I've started a resolution for 2014 to do more weightlifting. I initially set myself the ambitious goal of 100 minutes per week (lifting 10 KG at any one time, either holding one 10 KG dumbbell or 2 x 5 KG dumbbells), which turned out to be far too ambitious. Nevertheless, I still managed to do a reasonable and regular amount. See the results below.

As you can see on the graph, there is a point when my weightlifting starts to plateau, but that is due to an injury I had when I fell over.

In addition to tracking how much weightlifting I've been doing, I've also been keeping track of how much walking and how much learning I've been doing. I have installed an app called Noom Walk on my phone. All you have to do is install this app and automatically it tracks how much walking you do per day. It is not a perfect app. There were days when I'm sure I walked around quite a bit but it didn't log any of the walking I did. But nevertheless, I like the idea of have everything measured for you without too much effort. The data can be exported from the app in a CSV file.

In terms of learning, I am using the app AnkiDroid to create flashcards for myself. In fact, I am a long-time Anki fan and have been using it since my university days (probably for about ten years now) but only in the last few years have I used it on my phone. I don't study anymore but I still like to learn about new things, so I put new, interesting, and important knowledge into Anki and get into the habit of revising this new knowledge in the morning when I am on the training coming in to work. The great thing about AnkiDroid is that it also keeps track of your progress over time. The worst thing about AnkiDroid is that the synchronization is horrible. That is to say, I get into the habit of syncing every time I start using this app and every time I stop using it, but there are still syncing errors that appear. It is not like Google Keep or Evernote that sync automatically and seamlessly in the background. 

Many people are skeptical of measuring progress like this. Just because I measure progress it doesn't mean I will actually do it, but I do believe that measuring progress is a good first step because you don't know if you've failed unless you measure your performance. Seeing yourself perform poorly can give you motivation to do better. Another idea I've been having is to impose upon myself a financial punishment if I don't get a certain result.

02 February 2014

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Nexus 5

My Sony Xperia Z is currently in for repairs due to a faulty camera. My main gripe with the Xperia Z is the camera, which is far too slow, and the emergence of dust particles in the lenses doesn't help either. In the meantime I have been using my backup phone, the $150 Kogan Dual Core, which although it is cheap is quite poor compared to the Xperia. It is significantly slower and the display is simply bad. If you really need to buy a cheap smartphone, I recommend paying a little bit more to get the Kogan Agora HD (Quad Core) or the Motorola Moto G. I do not recommend the Kogan Agora Dual Core smartphone. The slowness of the device alone has frustrated me.

I am really tempted to simply buy a Nexus 5 right now but I have heard rumours that the Sony Xperia Z2 will come out soon. The Xperia Z2 is rumoured to have the following specifications:
  • 5.2-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 2560x1440
  • quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor 
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 20.7-megapixel main camera
  • 3,700mAh battery.
A 2560x1440 resolution would make this a 2.5K phone, which is quite incredible. The screen size, at 5.2 inches, it starting to get quite large. The Z and Z1 were already large phones, but the Z2 is looking even larger. That being said, if largeness were a problem, there is always the 4.3 inch Xperia Z1 Compact, but there is something about returning to a small screen that doesn't appeal to me. If you pay a lot of money for a phone, you want to get your money's worth, so getting less screen real estate, fewer pixels, smaller battery, and so forth just doesn't sit well with me.

Treating a Shallow Flesh Wound

I am a clumsy person. Over the weekend I fell outdoors and scratched my elbow. Flesh tore off, creating a shallow wound. I was fortunate that there were no deep cuts. See below for a picture taken on the day I fell (sorry image is poor).

To treat the wound, I washed it with Dettol and Betadeine before applying gauze and then sticking it there with surgical tape. I took off the gauze every day but what I found was that, when taking the gauze off, I would peel off the scab and as a result the wound did not heal and I'd be back where I started.

This has been going on for a week now and the wound has not healed. I went to the pharmacist today who recommend that I put on a Smith & Nephew clear barrier film and, instead of taking it off every day, leave it on for as long as possible before taking it off gently and applying the same film again.

Smith & Nephew Clear Barrier Film

Flesh wound with clear barrier film attached