Posts tagged ‘Personal’

February 4, 2013

Neolisms: Simple Truths.

A neolism is a new truth. From “Neo” (new) and “-ism” (word ending that indicates action, manner, condition, beliefs or prejudice). Not the same as neologism – but similar in origin.

All neolisms are by yours truly – feel free to use as you see fit, just get the damned name to thank right. Who knows, something I made might become a meme. (Ha! That would be interesting.)

  • Antivirus

Use and be damned; don’t use, and be thrice damned – by the virus you can’t stop, by the virus you can stop, and by the antivirus company for not using their product.

  • When something goes bump in the night

The dead do not speak – and the living know better than to eavesdrop.

  • Truth

When things are in black and white – you are not thinking hard enough.

  • Defeat

Losing sucks – unless it blows.

  • Infinity

Infinity is a lot – until you learn algebra.

  • Baseball humour

The best humor comes from left field. Right field tends to be sleeping till the lefties are at bat.

  • Society

Society is like a boat: Great view above, stuff to keep it moving and working below and bilge at the bottom.

  • Work

Work does not end; but if you don’t work, you will.

  • Nature vs Nurture

Nature forms; Nurture shapes; Adversity forges.

  • Trust

Never trust promises from a forgetful woman – You never know when they might forget.

  • Relationships

Distance… is but a thought away.

  • Racing

If you are behind the last runner – you are either in the wrong race, or you’re trying too hard to win.

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January 7, 2011

It’s the Hols! Day 13 (New Year Edition)

4 resolutions for the year 2011:

  1. Save $400 a month till early Oct 2011 – up from previous goal of $300 a month.
  2. Donate 10% of active income to a charity.
  3. Train Active Listening skill – achieve Patience and Recall goals.
  4. Reduce BMI to 22 – 65.8kg

Goal 1 – Save $400 monthly

With the year’s budget collated in this week, I see that my $300 dollar savings goal is mostly achievable (except for that period in Nov 2010). This year I am going to up the ante – $400 out of my $1000 stipend is to go into savings. I aim to achieve the $100 difference by introducing the following changes in my life:

  • Eliminate all consumption of flavored drinks except when paid for with Daily$ (my credit card’s reward programme).
  • Bring lunch to school at least once a week.
  • Reduce utility consumption by switching off the computer by 10.30pm, i.e. I should sleep earlier now.
  • Reduce cable consumption by claiming channels with points.

Yes, life is going to be awfully boring for the next few months. The increase of $100 though is meant for…

Goal 2 – Donate 10% ($100) to A charity

I “earn” $1000 a month through my student bond with WDA. 10% of that = $100. If Rockefeller can donate 10% of his salary to charity, so can I. The only question left is which charity to donate to, and how to donate it. I favor children charities, although charities dealing with the environment or rehabilitation of convicts are favorable in my books as well; If anyone has a charity to suggest, you know who to call….

Goal 3 – Train Active Listening – Patience & Recall

I spent part of the past week soliciting feedback from a few people. The result is largely anecdotal rather than statistically conclusive, but the result is that I tend to come off as largely overbearing and confrontational in my dealings.

For those wondering, yes, it hurts to be critiqued. But I can do a lot worse than honest feedback.

To prove that this leopard can indeed change his shorts, I worked out some personal guidelines to follow in the year.

  • When listening, tilt head at approx 3-5 degrees. (Trigger point)
  • When a query comes into my head, note down on pad rather than blurting. (Recall)
  • Mentally count 2 seconds after a speaker finishes. (Patience)
  • Rephrase conversation in mind as list of bullet-ed points, refresh and confirm with speaker at appropriate times. (Recall)
  • At end of conversation, confirm actionable items with speaker. (Recall)

For those wondering, yes I dislike vague/generalized resolutions. The steps above are a series of “ritualized” actions, a reminder to myself if you will, to perform certain actions, much like how I trained my eyes to open/close individually.

(That reflex, by the way, is still imperfect, so no live demonstrations.)

Goal 4 – Reduce BMI to 22

My present body weight is 68.5kg, height 1.73m, rounded off to nearest “nice” value. That gives me a BMI of 22.9 kg/m2. After verifying via the Heath Promotion Board’s circular (vaguely recalled the changes in BMI ranges from a newspaper article a few years back), I am barely within the safe limit.

The new goal is another “nice” value: 22 kg/m2. That gives me a target weight of 65.8kg. Well either that or I better start growing taller.

Things to change:

  • No using of escalators/lifts for heights less than 4 floors.
  • Walk home from Kovan rather than take the shuttle from Serangoon.
  • Review efforts in April 2011.

References

StudyGS article on active listening: Click here.

Buzzle.com Effective Listening: Click here.

Health Promotion Board on BMI ranges: Click here.

December 26, 2010

It’s the Hols! Day 6, 7 (Xmas and Boxing Day Edition)

So what did I do for Xmas? I counted money.

To be exact, I finished tabulating my expenditure for the year 2010 (up to Nov) with the recent arrival of my utility bill for Nov. A summary below with nice colorful graphs:

For those who want to use my template for their own expenditure monitoring, below is the link to a preview/download page.

Expenditure sheet for 2011: Preview (Google Docs)

Note: I have to apologize for the messy layout. This spreadsheet kind of grew organically; I tend to tag on new stuff as I discover I needed them from month to month.

The quick Summary

I want to acknowledge the fact that the money I spent monthly is unrealistically low for most people. Why?

First, I do not have to spend money on rental or mortgage for the roof over my head. That will easily double to triple my monthly expenditure.

Second, a third to half my meals are eaten at home, and I often bring leftover food to work/school for lunch as well. Again, this can easily double to triple my monthly expenditure, especially if you work in the city area where food is alot more expensive.

With that said, I do firmly believe that it is possible to spend less than $1,500 if you plan ahead and commit to being frugal.

“Analysis” of my Year’s expenditure (TL;DR section)

I started monitoring my expenditures in Mar 2010. The number in Feb’s Savings column represents my total “emergency” fund, or monies that I keep on hand to deal with those hiccups that crop up in life.

My work as a contract teacher earned about $2900 a month, which dropped to $2400 once I deduct my CPF contribution. As you can see from the picture above, slightly more than half my paycheck went straight into savings, mainly because I wanted to fatten my fund till it hit $20,000 (my original target).

In June I left the job and went on a trip to visit some family in San Diego, which explains the $940 deficit in the month of Jul.

Starting Aug, I embarked upon the SPUR programme with Digipen, which paid a monthly stipend of $1000. Expenditure from Aug onwards contracted sharply as well.

By the end of Nov I have saved a total of $14,000 in my “emergency” fund.

In conclusion, I have failed to meet my $20,000 savings mark. Mostly this is due to the loss of income from Jun onwards. However, I am happy with my monthly saving rate.

On a side note, average figures at the end of the summary are on the “optimistic” side because there were no figures for Jan/Feb expenditure.

The year ahead – 2011

For this coming year I doubt I can make the $20,000 savings mark again – $400 saved a month for 12 months = $4800 saved + $14,000 original = $18,800.

What I can do is to push my monthly savings to $400 on average. The extra $100 in savings will go towards some long term goal that I will decide by New Year’s Eve.

December 15, 2009

The Truth

The most insidious thought came to me. It is in response to a comment made in the video above.

People go about their entire lives searching for the truth, but what they don’t understand is that there is no truth. There are only opinions. In order for there to be universal truth, everyone would have to share a common opinion. Since there is not one thing that the 7 billion people roaming this planet can share perspective on, there is no truth. Everything we perceive to be true is all a matter of opinion. The only truth we accept is our own.

Then if my truth is not your truth, what common ground can we share, what institutions can we build, to protect those truths? For the truth is a lie; we never truly share the same thoughts, just our opinions of those thoughts.

For two persons to share a common truth, a belief so to speak, one must impose his opinions upon the other. During the process of imposition, the opinion might deviate slightly, but its core should remain constant. In short, the “sharing” of beliefs is but one person’s opinions having supremacy over the other. To scale the event, a people is formed when an opinion begins to hold sway over the majority of persons by one person.

In short, the tyrannical adoption of an individual’s opinion is what defines a people. How ironic.

September 9, 2009

Night/Light

2.00a.m.

There’s this thing about being awake at a time when people are asleep. Suddenly, instead of being one among many, a leaf in a forest of trees, you take the centre stage  The soft blue glow from the computer monitor, illuminating a tiny arc in front of it, is the only light in an otherwise black carpet. It is like a spotlight that highlights the importance of one self, only not so harsh, softer and gentler. Contrary to popular belief, the darkness  is a comforting dark blue, not black. It conceals, but it also softens;  shapes, colors, details, edges all become indistinct in this dark blue carpet. Even the dirt become indistinct and invisible in this comforting dark. A cloak, for people in need of non-physical warmth.


Video/Music link above (click picture to watch)

It is quiet, but not silent. You can hear the grasshoppers cry in the darkness, sometimes the odd bark. Rather than the cacophony of a full military band, it is the minimal setup, a mood evoking set piece with a keyboard and a low bass. It can feel scary, this absence of noise, but soothing for the weary. Repetitive patterns mix with odd harmonies and melt into a melody that feels right. If color were to be used to describe the melody, it would be a 3 beat of white with strains of a dark sooty red against a background of navy blue.

Addendum: It’s all smoke and mirrors of course; the place has not changed, just the light. But what a difference it makes! The cycle of night and day is but the rotation of a round ball around a single light, creating a series of light scales bigger and grander than any architect can conceive.

June 29, 2009

Begging… and how not to.

Today a man approached me on the street outside the National Library in Bugis. Fifty-ish, tastefully dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, he held a handphone in his left as he hailed me with the right in Chinese.

“Hey, you know the way to Hougang?”
“Ummm…”
“Far ah?”
“Yeah.”
“I want to know the directions to walk there.”
“Errr…”
“Got no money lah. You got money to give me?”
“I don’t have money.”

As I turned and walked away, the man scolded me in Hokkien: “Don’t want to give, don’t give. Don’t come and tell me no money. mai gong jiao wei!”

Beggars who take home £280 a day (Link goes to Daily Mail article)

He told me he had no money and asked for money from me. I told him I had no money and he called me a liar. I wonder if he fully appreciated the irony of his statement.

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May 23, 2009

Four Years and Seven Months

Taken from my original 1000th post @ Hongfire:

Four years and seven months ago I joined a group of individuals who have come together to form a community, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that openness and cooperation leads to a richer life for all participants. Now we stand at a crossroads, testing whether our community, or any

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June 9, 2008

NED-さん休みの一日

6.18am. My eyes actually opened before the alarm rang. The reason became painfully obvious really quickly: i was running a temperature. So there you have it, NED is down for the count on a lovely Monday. Even the weather is lovely… grrrrr. Given the “free” time, i decided to get some writing down, so i finally updated this blog with a personal post.

Here’s a new anime that’s gone below the radar of most people. Candy Boy is a short web anime released by Anime International Company (AIC) in Nov 2007. The name of the anime is something of a misnomer. There are no boys in the anime, being about the lives of 2 very dissimilar twin sisters and the tension caused by the feelings of 1 freshman towards the younger of the twins. The title is taken from the single by Meilin, a Korean artist, whose cd is packaged with the DVD release. Meilin’s music also graces the anime at various points.

As of May 2008, AIC started a new run of 7 episodes, each 14 min long.

Candy Boy Wikipedia entry
Candy Boy Japanese Site Has links to nico douga for each episode as they are released. Extremely high quality.
Froth Bite homepage The only english fansub group that is working on this anime