Scheduled TV Shows

If there’s one appliance at home I use less than the fridge at home, it’s the television in my living room. If I watch a TV show these days, it’s mostly on my tablet or my laptop. Either streamed or torrented. Why? Because I don’t like scheduling my day around a show. Unless something is live or I’m going to a cinema to watch a film, I like to decide when and where I consume content. But life wasn’t always that way.

Back then we had to wait up to catch movies on terrestrial TV because there wouldn’t be any reruns. If a movie was showing too late, we’d have to record it and catch it the following day. Thankfully the VCRs we had could fast forward. I remember having to pause recording during adverts back then if we wanted to record something seamless. It was quite a fun activity to do. You’d have to remember to pause and unpause during commercial breaks (also, why does paid TV still have ads? we pay for it after all). This skill translated to my Walkman days when I used to rip songs off the air. I had to make sure I started and stopped recording before the DJ came back on.

Did you remember catching test cards on TV?

One thing that I’ve learned while working in the content division of a TV network is that programming schedules matter a lot. TV channels will be running shows 24 hours a day, but not everybody is sitting in front of the TV all day long. You need to run your best programs when they’re sitting in front of it. The rest of the day you can put your not-so-hot shows on because nobody watches them. This is why we have terms like prime time. Also, with slightly better than average movies like Peter Rabbit succeeding at the Box Office, it shows us that timing makes a difference.

Despite the existence of video on demand, I don’t think regular TV channels will ever die out. It’s so easy to just turn on the TV, flip to a channel and just watch whatever’s on. There’s no need to think about what you want to watch (a problem I face sometimes). There are a few benefits to this system. Occasionally you’ll tune into a movie that’s showing the best part and hook you in until the end. It could have been a movie that you were likely to skip due to it not being the kind of show you enjoy or a movie with a slow start. It’s also great for older people and younger kids who don’t really know how to search for content. They can literally tune in and tune out.

Maybe in the future, VOD services will have certain channels that autoplay shows tuned to your preferences and every now and then they’ll play something that they think you might like. We need to give them more of our personal data first. Trust me, it’s worth it.

The latest season of Silicon Valley has been great by the way. I’m looking forward to see how Jared’s character progresses as COO of Pied Piper. His monologue about the analogy to horse manure was so good.

Random Ramblings

George, what happened to your daily posts? You were supposed to blog 5 times a week! You’re slipping man! That’s what I tell myself. I’m pretty sure nobody noticed that I only posted 4 times last week (so this week I gotta do 6). Anyway, what can I say? Work is picking up so I’ve been spending a lot more time doing that instead of writing random blog posts for myself to read. I recently discovered that I don’t have to work at the office if I feel like working elsewhere, so I’ve been making use of that privilege.

I tried working at a co-working space the other day. It seemed more like a regular cafe than anything, so it didn’t really make a difference (I was expecting some sort of increase in concentration and efficiency). There were a lot of kids just hanging out there to study or watch videos on their laptops/tablets so it didn’t really have a working vibe to it. To be fair, it was probably the cheapest co-working space I checked out so it probably wasn’t a good judge of what it should be like. I’ll be exploring other places in the future.

Thinking of ideas for the next big IP is a daunting task. It’s already hard enough to create interesting stories and characters, but when you throw in conditions like marketability, target audiences and commercial value, it gets even harder. You want to serve an audience something they want. But it has to be something new. But if you think about it – almost everything good that can be done has already been done. So you try to create something that doesn’t already exist and has potential. Then you think – is there a reason why nobody has been doing it in the first place? Maybe it has been tested internally and doesn’t work. So you’re left scratching your head wondering if you should continue down that path. Is it better to be derivative or original? If you do something that’s so far out left field, would people get it?

These are questions I ask myself while I try to work out what I want to make. It has to be something I believe in. Because I know that I won’t be able to give my all working for something I don’t believe in. Which is probably why I’d be a terrible salesman for most products and services.

I’ve been watching a lot of Pewdiepie on YouTube. He’s probably one of the most entertaining YouTubers out there right now. I guess there’s a reason why he remains as the most subbed channel on the platform, with nobody coming close. I used to think, why the hell would anybody watch reaction videos? Then I got sucked into the world of H3H3 and YouTube drama and found it all very interesting. Sure, they have no educational value and are really a big waste of time, but sometimes all you wanna do is tune out before you go to bed and these videos are a great way to do so. Also it doesn’t hurt that I find them extremely funny and entertaining.

Sometimes I feel like I’m burnt out from blogging too often. But then on the other hand, I think it’s just an excuse and I’m just not being disciplined enough to keep writing. Writing is good for me. It’s typing (which is fun), therapeutic, and a great way to practice putting words down.

My projects for this year:
– develop my first game
– record a new EP
– edit Animal Bus and turn it into a comic

It’s almost May and I’m not even close to finishing any of those things. Damn, time flies.

Beard Diary #01

Didn’t really know what to write about today so I thought I’d just put some sort of update about my adventure in beard growing. On the 3rd of April, I received my shipment of Minoxidil. I’ve been applying it daily for about 2 weeks now and I’m not sure if it’s working yet. I’m definitely feeling its effects – dry skin (I actually get dandruff when I scratch my beard haha) and my face bloated up a bit initially. After a few days, I decided that I’d cut down my intake from 2ml/day to 1ml/day for my body to get acclimatized to it. Next week I’ll probably go back to 2ml/day again.

As for the hair on my face, there’s nothing significant but I’m definitely seeing the growth of some new hairs on spots where there wasn’t any hair previously. Literally less than 20 new hairs, so it’s going to take a lot more time to grow. Hopefully I have hairs waiting to come out in the spots that matter.

Due to the nature of the chemical, it is important to make sure your hands are clean after you’re done applying it on your face. I guess it’s so that you don’t accidentally apply it on other parts of your body or on other people if you touch them. Imagine giving some girl you dislike a beard (haha).

I guess this is a pretty pointless update, but I thought it would be nice for me to have some dates down and a reference point that I can look back on in the future. It’s still too early to tell if it’s going to work or not, but I’m hopeful. In other news, I think I’m going to grow out my hair again. There are no rules on how I need to look like for my job, yay for flexibility.

The Perfect Crime

“Two years and not a word. I wondered if they even realized it was gone. Was my fake that good? I went into my garage, unlocked the trap door to my basement and descended the steps into it. I switched on the lights. There, in the middle of the room, was the prized Mona Lisa, resting on an easel for no one but my own eyes to see. I had pulled off the perfect crime, but there was nobody I could tell about it, or I would have been caught and sent to jail.”

“Alright, show and tell is over. It’s time for your meds,” said Francis off to the side of the podium. I stepped away from the lectern, normally reserved for bingo nights, and felt two steady arms guide me back to my seat. Though my eyesight was failing, I could see the same (old) faces, smiling at me, breaking the silence with frail clapping.

“Oceans Ninety Nine! Tell us another story!” I heard from the back of the room.
“This is only the hundredth time I’ve heard it!”

“Bah! These patronizing kids,” I thought to myself as I sipped the water through a straw placed in front of me. “They’ll never know the truth if it hit them in the face!”


Writing Prompt from Reddit: You have been striving for years to commit the elusive “Perfect Crime” for the fame of it. You steal the Mona Lisa and replace it with a fake. You leave a taunting note and wait for the panic when it is discovered. But, 2 years later, no one has noticed.

Pertinent Layers

After using my 40% keyboard for two-and-a-half months, I’ve managed to map out a layer that works for me. While most of you are probably wondering, why did I bother with such a small keyboard in the first place? I already have a standard sized keyboard on my laptop.

Well, when you’re spending so much time in front of the computer, wouldn’t you want to type on something that feels good? I know I do. The laptop keyboards if definitely sufficient, but it’s not great. Lack of travel, feedback and programmability. And of course, most importantly, a e s t h e t i c s.

The 40% board is great for traveling – I can’t leave my keyboard at work, so having something light and portable is important for me. It may not seem that much smaller than a 60% keyboard but when you have a tiny backpack like me, every cubic centimeter saved is important (gotta pack more bags of drugs in there).

For non-mechanical keyboard enthusiasts out there, you’re probably wondering how on earth someone could possibly use such a tiny input device. Well, after experimenting with many different layouts on the Vortex Core, I’ve come up with something that works for me and the work I do. It’s nothing fancy, but with it I can easily type characters like ‘ and / which weren’t mapped to the non-function layer by default. I’ve also mapped control, alt and windows to the HHKB layout (I’ve gotten so used to it) and moved escape to a function layer so tab is next to Q. I’d love to do a lot more, but I’m limited by the current functionality of the board.

I still miss the number row when entering passwords, but I’m dealing with it. I even put the number row key caps on my keyboard to help me out in that department. Eventually I will have them all memorized. After using this layout for a while, I’ve come to realize that I could even do away with 3 of the keys on the keyboard, which would make something like the Pearl usable for me (damn, those sexy blockers) – something I would have never dreamed of before using a 40% keyboard.

Anyway, here is a diagram of the layout that I currently use. Feel free to use it or offer any suggestions if you think that you can make it better! I didn’t put down the Shift + Fn1 layers since those can’t be changed (they symbols are mapped from !@#$%^&*() on Ctrl to L respectively).

I can’t wait for Vortex to make the Core completely customizable, I already have plans for how I want to tweak this board even more in the future.