2018 In Review

After the personal events that transpired in 2017, 2018 doesn’t seem all that bad.

Most importantly, I passed the PMP exam.  Secondly, I started working again.  I finished 4/6 books.  I am on track to finish the 1 Second Every Day project.  I was able to travel twice despite unemployment for a length of time.  And if you count a weekend road trip up to Bay Area as “traveling” then I traveled three times this past year.  My weight was decreasing but started increasing again when I started working.  Overall, I hit a few personal goals but also failed to finish a few as well too.

2019 goals to come.

Always Factory Reset First

I would probably file this under a Pro-tip category.  But I was looking into speeding up my tablet and I may have unintentionally bricked it.  When I think about it, I should have factory reset everything first before trying to perform the actions that I was reading.

Now I have to try to recover from this unintentional actions.


Thankfully whatever I did wasn’t serious.  Reading up on the instructions to get to the bootloader to factory reset the device wasn’t difficult to do.

Cat Quest

I was browsing on Steam one day and ran across a sale on this game called Cat Quest. It’s an isometric, Zelda-esque, hack-n-slash, RPG by a developer called The Gentlebros.  I had purchased and tried to play this game on Android but I realized for this type of game, touch was not the best interface.  I had contemplated purchasing the game for the PS4 sometime ago but opted to hold off.

With the Steam sale on Cat Quest, I bought and started playing the game.  It’s a fun 11 hours or so to level and complete everything (main quest, side quests, all equipment, all seven skills, level 99).  They have a bonus additional “meow-difiers” that add a level of difficulty to the game after the first play through.  I’m debating if I want to play through with some of these “meow-difiers.”

Overall it’s a pretty fun short game.  Well worth the discounted price.

Yes Plz Coffee

So sometime ago, I had kickstarted a coffee roaster called Yes Plz that offered an initial subscription service.  This was the first bag that was sent.  I got a 2nd bag shortly afterwards.  I subscribed for a total of 3 bags within 3 months.


Honestly, this debut release was very subtle.  The aromas from the bag had subtle floral, buttery and cocoa hints.  Grinding these beans, I’m very surprised the subtlety of these aromas as they seemed to intermingle in the ground beans.  Taking a big whiff of the ground beans, all I get are chocolate aromas.

But after making my latte, the chocolate aromas disappear leaving this buttery, berry, and toffee tasting drink.  I don’t get a significant aftertaste either.  It’s extremely smooth and easy to drink.


Dear Spotify

As readers of this blog may have noticed from a short post that I joined Spotify.  Since then, my playlist has been predominantly…

  • Chill Tracks
  • House Acoustic
  • Classical
  • Lounge Chill
  • Acoustic Chill
  • Indie Chill
  • Melodic Dance
  • Acoustic Coffee House
  • Piano Lounge
  • Morning Acoustic
  • Evening Acoustic

Noticing a pattern?  Most of the listening is a mix of melodic trance, classical, house and acoustic.  If there’s one or two words I would use to describe the theme… it would probably be uplifting relaxation.

Squash: Let or No Let…

Trying to be as descriptive as possible…

1) I hit a forehand drop shot/kill shot that is placed at the bottom right front wall just above the tin. First bounce is probably 1-2 feet from the front wall. From my viewpoint, it was less than an inch from the right wall and eventually hit that right wall after the second bounce (which bounced about a foot after the first bounce).

2) When I hit the drop shot, I’m standing on the left side of the court if facing front wall and about 2 steps from the T diagonally backwards to the back left corner. My opponent is even further back probably another 2 steps behind me. When I hit the, I stepped forward towards the front wall to “clear” since the trajectory of the ball was along the right wall.  This action (I thought) allowing him access/path to the ball.  Although in retrospect, where would I “clear” to?

3) After I hit my shot, I feel him trying to get past me as the ball bounced the first time. Then because he couldn’t get to the ball, he decides to call a Let. His reasoning is… He couldn’t see the ball. Therefore could not react to the shot and ultimately, wasn’t able to retrieve the shot. He cited this “Fair view” rule.

4) After reading this rule, I will admit that I am a big guy. He probably couldn’t see the ball given where he was standing. Yes there was some interference since he bumped into me trying to get to the ball, but I wasn’t purposely blocking his path to the ball.

5) After playing squash, I get a feel for how fast the opponent moves and I think that this shot was definitely a shot he couldn’t have gotten. It was a) well placed, b) tightly hit along the wall, and c) he was backed into the corner and out of position.

6) We argued about this call because he expects me to acknowledge every Let he wants when I clearly think some Lets he calls are really not justified because I caught him flat footed and in a weak position.  He disputes the fact that it’s not returnable because he wasn’t able to get to it.  But that’s a circular argument.  How do you know if you can return a shot if you can’t get to the shot. On a similar reasoning, how are you able to react to a shot if you weren’t able to see the shot because the opponent was blocking your view?

7)  If this were a competition, I would have ruled it No Let because it was too good of a drop shot.



It’s that time of year again… Not Christmas.  Not New Year’s fireworks.  It’s the year end scramble to donate to a non-profit in order to take potential tax deductions.

This is my 2nd year donating to NPR.  Their Politics podcast and Planet Money podcast are two of the best podcasts to listen to.  I also listen to the Ted Radio Hour, How I Built This, and Hidden Brain.  Aside from podcasts, I also listen to their news via Google Home.  That’s six NPR shows.

Donate!  https://www.npr.org/localized/donations/


LA Auto Show

I went to the LA Auto Show recently.  I’ve always heard about this show but never really looked into going.  However, I took advantage of a Groupon deal for 1-day discounted tickets.


It’s held at the LA Convention Center which also holds other events like Anime Expo.  But unlike Anime Expo, there weren’t a lot of people.  It’s nice to walk through the convention center without having to bump into people at each step.

Going to the different car exhibits, many of the car makers had model cars to sit in.  Three things kind of came to mind.

  1. The roofs of most cars are pretty low.  Sitting inside some the cars, my head was touching the roof.  Even after lowering the seat as low as possible, I barely had any clearance.  With some models, I could just slide my fingers between the roof and the head.  While in other models, the cutout for the sunroof gave me the “extra” room for my head.  Furthermore, I couldn’t even get inside some cars because I couldn’t bring my head underneath the frame of the door.  This was the same for most sedans, crossovers sedans and even SUVs.
  2. Many of the cars were set pretty low to the ground.  I had a hard time getting in and out because the car was set very low to the ground.
  3. Why is it that none of these car makers offer an embedded dash cam option?  An embedded dash cam eliminates the need to have wires running inside the car interior ruining the interior look and design.




Dual Political Monopoly

Readers of this blog probably know Freakonomics is one of the podcasts that I listen to.  They recently released a new podcast that touches on politics… specifically, the duopoly (dual monopoly) in politics between the Republicans and Democrats.  Everyone should have an interest in politics since the government can directly influence the daily lives of each citizen both positively as well as negatively.

This podcast makes the case of why this duopoly needs to be broken up.  From collusion  to keep other 3rd party candidates out of elections to partisan legislation through Congress and the White House, I hope all the readers of this blog seriously listens to this Freakonomics podcast.