Words Per Minute

Typing is such a fun activity. I remember when I was first introduced to a computer when I was a kid, I saw my uncle typing in commands in MS-DOS, and I thought it was such a ‘pro’ thing to do. So when I got my first computer, I was always booting up to play my games in MS-DOS mode even though they could run in Windows 95. I just preferred typing in commands in the console to run them – that was how much I enjoyed typing.

Fast forward many years to a couple of years ago when I had to use my sister’s old laptop (because I didn’t have my own laptop) and installed Linux onto it, I had so much trouble using the command line (and Linux was all about the command line) because I couldn’t remember anything beyond the basic commands. Sure, the GUI was fully workable, but to make the most out of the operating system, you had to use commands. I was Googling how to do something different almost everyday. I was quite happy to switch to a Windows laptop after that.

These days, unless I’m writing music (it’s quite a feat to write down lyrics with a guitar on your lap – much easier to put words on paper with a pen), I write with my keyboard. Like many things I enjoy, I’m not the best at it (gaming, music, drawing) but that doesn’t stop me from doing it. For some strange reason, it is satisfying to see characters appear on the screen each time you hit a key on your keyboard. Instant gratification. I guess the feeling of typing on a mechanical keyboard accentuates it as well.

I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my typing speed recently by doing speed typing tests on Type Racer and Keybr. I have only hit 100 WPM once, but my average of 70 WPM is pretty good I guess. I probably need to type more (which I’ll do with my new job, starting next week yay) and eventually I’ll get faster.

I don’t type correctly. I definitely don’t use the proper touch typing method – my pinkies don’t do a good job or picking up the slack, and I use my index fingers way too much. Not sure if I’ll be brave or bothered enough to learn a new layout like DVORAK (apparently you can form more words on the home row than with QWERTY) but as long as I type fast enough to be a qualified typist, that’s probably good enough for me.

Maybe that’s why I enjoy playing Invoker. Casting combos quickly is as enjoyable as typing out a sentence quickly. With the added bonus of seeing enemies being blown up on your screen.

Do I love typing more than writing itself? I guess there’s a chance that’s true. Then again I disliked taking minutes at my old job. I probably just enjoy typing what I’m interested in.

Rain

For the past year, every time I’ve sent my car for a wash, it would rain later in the day. Case in point, I sent my car for a wash two days ago during lunch and it rained in the evening. I’m not even kidding. Unless you believe that there’s some greater being out there trying to fuck with me, there really is no relation between my car getting washed and the weather. But it did get me wondering why this always happens.

Do I have a biological barometer that instructs my brain to send my car for a wash whenever it thinks it’s going to rain? Instead of my bones starting to hurt or my body getting aches, my tells me, “hey – the weather is going to get wet, you should get your car ready for it!” I don’t know why I don’t check the weather before I send my car for a car wash. It’s literally one swipe away on my homescreen.

I know I’ve had some polarizing thoughts about our weather – before I experienced snow, I wrote about how great it would be to have cold weather in Malaysia but after that I wrote about how it was a hassle having to put on a coat and gloves every time you headed outdoors. The weather we had in KL last weekend was perfect. It was cold enough to put on a hoodie if you wanted, but not too cold to walk around in shorts and a t-shirt.

Rain is great – if you’re not caught in a traffic jam or have anywhere to go to. It’s the perfect complement to a cup of hot coffee and some cigarettes. The sound of rain falling and hitting a roof is calming and therapeutic. I guess there’s a reason why RainyMood.com exists. I don’t know if it’s just me, but for some reason I feel colder whenever I put it on.

Rain always comes to mind when I think about assigning values to situations/problems in life. To an area that is suffering from drought – rain is heaven-sent. To another place that is suffering from floods, rain is a nightmare. Rain, like everything in life, itself is neutral – it is your situation/mindset that determines how you see it.

Wedding Dates

Over the past few years a lot of people I know have been getting married, with a few more later this year. Anyway, a number of them went to visit mediums to find the perfect date to have the wedding, which got me thinking. Would two different mediums give you different dates for your marriage? I mean, if their calculations/faith etc worked – they would give you the same dates, right? Are you allowed to cross check? Do they get offended if you question or choose not to follow their suggestion?

I thought about it and maybe there’s something more behind the scenes. I’m probably talking out of my ass here but hear me out: what if wedding planners, restaurants and hotels are working together with these mediums? It’s nothing complicated or nefarious – venue owners will shave some sort of schedule showing which days they have been booked for weddings. This information is passed on to their network of mediums who keep those dates in mind. When people come to them for a date suggestion, they give them these dates where the venues are available to host weddings.

It works out for everybody. The couples get a place, the mediums get paid for their advice, and probably a fee or cut from the booking, the venue gets business. It’s like using booking.com to find a place to stay, instead you’re consulting a religious person to help you decide when to get married. Doesn’t seem too far-fetched, and it is a lot more reasonable than believing in signs, the zodiac or calculations of dates.

The End of a Season

As my holiday draws to an end, I thought I’d sit down and reflect on the past few months of my life. I can summarize them in one word: great. It’s been amazing not having to worry about anything work-related. I didn’t do anything productive, as is the case with most holidays, but I did have a good time. They were probably the best months of 2017.

A short list of things I did:
– woke up late
– go to bed late
– drink lots of coffee
– visit Cameron Highlands
– played a couple of gigs in Penang, as a bassist for The Propositions
– recorded a few demo tracks
– resumed reading
– wrote a novel
– resumed blogging
– watched a lot of movies
– watched a lot of TV series
– partied a few times
– caught up with friends
– got myself hooked on mechanical keyboards
– started the design document for my first game (it’s been like 3 years, I know)
– got my first plant (LUL)
– got a new bed
– got a haircut
– played a game of basketball

Anyway, the main thing I learned about my season-long holiday is that a break from work does wonders. I’m feeling refreshed, re-energized, and re-centered. I’m ready to get back into the daily grind – in fact I’m looking forward to it. I’ll probably try to utilize my leaves as often as possible to give myself these brief respites to keep myself happy. I’m not getting any younger after all. 2018 is going to be great, I can feel it in my bones.

What I intend to do this year:
– finish my first game
– record songs that incorporate keyboards in some way
– play more sports
– learn to play a Dance Gavin Dance song

#livingmybestlife

If religion is for everyone then why are some people ‘better’ at it or on a higher level? I mean, it’s supposed to be a way of life. If you’re not elevated enough, you have to suffer with the rest of the non-believers.

How can one person be closer to god than the others? How do we even know that they’re really closer? Is there some sort of scale or progression meter that tells a person how close they are to being next level? How does one decide that a person is ready to lead a church or not? Do they really get visions from god?

How do we know they’re not hallucinations, delusions, or just lies? There’s no way to verify. I could write a story about seeing a flaming chariot on the way to work and a burning bush calling out my name, but when I tried to record it on my phone, the video only showed a black screen and a voice faintly calling out a word that resembled ‘George’. Then the next day, I woke up and there was blood on my wrists and I hear the voice of Christ (how do I even know what he sounds like?) telling me to sacrifice my dog and paint my eyes with her blood, so I could see the truth. I did all that, and I started seeing the true intentions of people around me. And as you read this, feeling incredulous and think that I’m joking, I’ll tell you that you don’t believe me because you haven’t seen the truth yet. You don’t know the truth, I do! You can’t tell me otherwise because I have seen it. There are no more wounds on my wrists because it’s a miracle.

People will tell me I’m crazy and will recommend that I get checked up or sent to an institute. They’ll say I’m blaspheming. But I can say it’s the truth because I experienced it, and that you should believe me! Religion! It’s my calling! I know what’s going to happen to the world! However, nobody is going to be able to verify if I’m lying or not.

Assuming I was telling the truth, does that suddenly elevate me to a higher status? Since I had visions and god spoke to me. Will people be more inclined to take my word as truth? Beats me.

Why do we care or bother about what happens to us after we die? Why not make the most of what we know for sure – our lives that we are currently living. Sure, we don’t know for sure if we’ll be alive tomorrow morning, but we do know what we’re capable of doing in the next minute or hour. Just focus on that instead of trying to score brownie points for a proverbial next step. Like, who cares what people think of you after you’re gone? Why not work on the people who do care while you’re still around?

It’s as if there’s not enough to do in this life already, people are doing more things to make sure they’ve got a good shot at going to heaven. What is heaven? Nobody knows. Everything we’ve read about it – all written by people who haven’t been there. There’s no proof it exists, yet so many people are living their lives to get there someday.

If god really wants everyone to live in paradise with him, why not just take everybody in? Why does he need the clause that you must submit your life to him in order to be accepted? What happens if you get to heaven and choose not to be a Christian anymore? Do you get kicked out? Do you get sent to hell?

Why do people call other people ‘bro’?

Excuses or Dependencies?

I’ve previously written about how I’ve conditioned myself to write when I’m outdoors with coffee and cigarettes. It’s not much of a problem, since I don’t write that often, and I’ve been only writing for fun. However, today, as I sit here at a cafe, smoking and drinking coffee – I think I might have turned it into a habit. A dependency.

Like sure, it’s great, I get to compartmentalize my life – home is for relaxing and fun, cafes are for working. I don’t think about work when I’m home, I just think of all the fun things I can do. But because of that, when I’m home – I don’t feel like working at all these days. Like, I can’t even take my laptop out to write a simple blog post. I have to drive out of the house, get a caffeinated drink and light up a stick to get the engine running.

I admit, it works, but I don’t think it’s good in the long run. What if one day I have to quit smoking or drinking coffee? I guess I’ll learn to adapt, but if it’s in the middle of the day and I’m at the office with no chance to go out, then what? I sit at my desk and stare at the blank screen for hours?

Maybe it’ll be different when I actually do start work. Since it’s been a long time since I’ve held a writing job. But I’ll probably have to condition myself again to work differently. Unless I get an office with a smoking room (hah!) that would be fun.

What about other routines I have like taking a shit in the morning if not I’ll feel uneasy until I do? Is that a bad habit? People tell me it’s good that I have regular excretion habits, somehow I feel like I shit too much. It feels terrible leaving the house without taking a shit in the morning (i.e. I’m in a rush for a morning appointment). Especially during traffic jams. I always get the feeling like I’m about to shit my pants. Fortunately that hasn’t happened yet, but it’s bound to happen someday. right? I’ve had to deal with this for the longest time. Seems like another dependency to me.

Just like the first stick of the day. I usually have one while waiting for my car engine to warm up or as I’m exiting my condominium if I’m in a rush. My day just doesn’t start without one. I guess it’s like brushing your teeth before you go to bed or when you wake up. Nobody feels good going to bed or going out without doing it. Right?

Time Internet Telemarketers

Earlier today I received a call from a Time Internet telemarketer. I’ve no idea how they received my phone number but they knew where I was living. He immediately started his pitch, telling me about faster speeds, lower prices bla bla bla. I told him I wasn’t interested. He asked how much I was paying for my current plan, I told him. He pitched again – cheaper, faster. I told him no. He hung up the phone. The whole interaction reminded me of my job in PR previously – I made a lot of calls to publications, sometimes cold, just to invite them to our events. I also had to call up other people for venue inquiries and bookings. It was probably one of the worst aspects of the job.

I always felt like I was being an annoyance. Personally because I’m not much of a phone person these days (I used to love speaking on the phone as a teenager, not anymore) and it felt so inefficient to me. You spend five to ten minutes on each phone call, with no guarantee of getting a positive answer. Compare that to sending an email or text message which takes less than a minute to send to everyone (after you’ve crafted it, of course) and it’s pretty much the same result. Interested media will reply/RSVP, uninterested ones will ignore it. On the plus side, you haven’t wasted half your day making calls to people who may or may not be in the office or attending another event/meeting. And you didn’t need to be verbally rejected, after all the effort you put in.

I don’t know if the media enjoyed receiving calls from PR people, but I sure as hell don’t enjoy receiving calls from telemarketers. I know these people are only doing their job and I shouldn’t hate them for it, but if there was a less annoying way to sell products to people. Like email or text messages? Hmm. Then again, people probably think that customer interaction is an important aspect of their company/product. I’d like to see the numbers for the success rates of telemarketers. If people are still doing it in 2017, I have a feeling it must be working somehow. If not, companies are just flushing money away hiring people for the job.

Personally, I’m okay with ads even though I use adblockers on my computer mostly because I hate pop ups and any possible malware risks. But the best form of advertising to me has always been recommendations by friends and endorsements by people who I care about i.e. esports players, teams, tournament sponsors, streamers. When I decide what product to purchase, they play a factor in my decisions. However, when it’s an endorsement by someone irrelevant (i,e. movie star or badminton player promoting anti-virus software) I immediately dismiss it. If someone I know has personally used something and recommended it to me, I think that is much more effective.

Like in the case for Time Internet – if my neighbor told me that he switched from Unifi to Time because it was cheaper and he could download Steam games much faster or his Twitch streams were 1080p with no lag, that would have probably pushed me over the edge into signing up for Time. Right now, Unifi works perfectly for me at home so I see no reason in switching. And it’s not something I can easily switch back to if I was unhappy with Time. Also, it would be a hassle setting up my home network again. Also, if more people switched to Time in my condominium, that should free up the congestion on Unifi’s lines and make life better for me, right? kek

Why I Don’t Vote

Disclaimer: most of you probably don’t agree with me and I don’t expect you to, but since I’ve been asked multiple times throughout my life about voting and politics, I’ve decided to put down my thoughts on the subject. I’m not expecting to change any minds and these are just my thoughts. If you think I’m ignorant or stupid for doing so, it’s okay, it’s your right. I don’t hate people who believe in voting, it’s your life and you’re allowed to do whatever you want with it. So am I.

I’m not a registered voter.
I’ve never registered and until they make it a crime to not vote, I don’t have any plans to do so.

Why?
I don’t care who wins. I have more interest in the winner of the next Dota 2 TI Arcana vote than whatever is going on in the political scene.

Stop telling me I need to do vote. I don’t.


Instead of worrying about who is going to control the fate of Malaysia, why not utilize your precious time and energy on how you can improve your own life or situation?
Selfish? Maybe, but it’s definitely going to be more effective than trying to swing the outcome of a public vote that isn’t even a guarantee.

Which brings me to the upcoming new year’s eve rally to protest the petrol price hike.

While you’re out there standing in the sun, think about what you can be doing with all that time instead. Perhaps preparing your contribution to your New Year’s Eve potluck you’re attending later?

I never understood the point of these rallies. What does it accomplish? Awareness? Oh, as if people don’t know prices of petrol are going up. I’m aware and I wasn’t even looking out for it.

How about working harder for a raise or getting another job to improve your economic situation? How about switching to a lower fuel consumption vehicle? How about commuting or walking? How about spending less on other things? How about anything instead of protesting? If you can afford petrol, pay for it. If you can’t then resort to other ways to get around. It’s that simple. I’m a smoker. Instead of joining a rally when the prices of cigarettes went up, I adapted to the situation. I could have quit smoking (I didn’t) but instead, I adjusted my budget accordingly. I also picked up vaping, which did cut down the amount of cigarettes that I smoked though it wasn’t the reason I started – it’s just something I enjoy.

But hey, you can go and protest if you want to.

“Don’t talk shit about things you know nothing about!”
Then stop asking me to get involved with something I don’t care about.
“But George, you’re just bending over and getting fucked by the government. We need a change!”
Oh, how sure are you that the new government is going to give you the change you want?
“We don’t know if we don’t try.”
Why not try working on your own life instead? I guarantee you that you’ll see more results instead of wasting time with politics. Spend your time doing what you enjoy or hone your skills in something that makes you money. It’s way more satisfying and you’ll accomplish more. Don’t sit around on your ass blaming the government for everything bad that happens.

You know why we’ve been able to survive for so long? It’s what humans beings do.
We’re adaptable. We can live in difficult conditions.
And to be honest with you, life in Malaysia is pretty damn good.

“George, you’re an immature, privileged, spoilt piece of shit. You don’t understand!”
Maybe I do. Maybe I don’t. Look, the people who are dependent on the government – they don’t want the current guys voted out. They want the hand outs and what not, good luck fighting that.
For the rest of us, the “oh-so-privileged” citizens of Malaysia – work to improve your own life. What’s stopping you from doing that?
If you’re too comfortable doing what you’re doing and expect things to magically get better, you’re out of luck. You’ll never strike gold if you don’t mine for it.

Be the change – in your own life.

Thoughts on the 25th

My favorite cafe, Doiffee, is closed today. Strange, because it used to be open all the time, even on public holidays. Which was what I liked about the place. I had somewhere to go for good coffee and quiet environment to do my writing. No biggie, I relocated to Encore today. A pretty good cafe as well, known for its desserts. The coffee here is good, the tables are a bit small if you plan to use a laptop with an external keyboard, which seems to be the only way I write these days. Typing on your laptop’s built-in keyboard is for plebs. Just kidding, it’s just much nicer to type on a proper keyboard.

A few years ago, I wasn’t really into mechanical keyboards. I felt that regular keyboards could do the job as long as you could type on them. Now, I own four of them and I’ve been investing in keycaps to replace the stock ones I have. I’m browsing a lot of /r/mechanicalkeyboards in my free time as well. It’s become quite a hobby, dressing up these pieces of plastic. I guess the next step would be ordering a kit and building a keyboard of my own. I’m not enthusiastic enough to do that just yet. Because it would mean I’d have to pick up soldering skills. Hah! But I’ve learned to never say never. Thanks Justin Bieber! Thanks Seng Yip!

Yesterday I flipped through the newspapers – the first time in a long time. There was nothing that really interested me, and I didn’t feel like I’ve been missing out all that much. I mean, whenever there’s big or important news, I’ll see it on my Facebook feed or on the Reddit front page anyway. That means anything unimportant has been filtered out, and I don’t have to waste time reading about it.

Obituaries are still a thing. I’ve always wondered why people announced the death of somebody. Doesn’t it just draw attention for money-grabbing relatives to crawl out of the woodwork, looking for a slice of the pie? Does anyone have so many relatives that it would be impossible to inform all of them via text or phone call? I guess people use obituaries as a way of celebrating someone’s life, however necessary that may be. Then again, I believe that money can be better spent instead of being used on afterlife amenities. Dead people really don’t give a shit what happens after they’re gone (they can’t).

Last night, I drove by a couple of churches that were counting down to Christmas. I wasn’t interested in joining the festivities. I haven’t been to church to worship for about ten years. The same amount of time I’ve been working. Coincidence? Not really. During my first job, I stopped going to church because I was working six-day weeks and wanted to rest on the seventh day. I started going less, and after a few months I realized that it made no difference to my life. Eventually, I stopped praying and even thinking about God. Then I discovered how funny religious jokes were and how liberating it was to not live my life by some arbitrary rules found in a really old book. I mean, we already have enough rules to live by in this country and at our workplaces – why bother adding another set to the mix?

The best part about this time of the year is the music that gets played in public places. I think we should have Christmas songs playing all year-long. It always makes shopping a pleasant experience. Also, Christmas songs are fun to sing along to.

The world stops running for a day today, at least for most of the world. And in a week’s time, it’ll be another break for the start of the new year.

Another sunny day in Kuala Lumpur

This morning, I woke up at 6ish and thought to myself, this must be what it feels like to wake up on time for work again. Washed up, thought of having an early start to my day, and promptly fell back onto my bed. Woke up at a more reasonable 1pm. Ahh. The life!

What do you do in your spare time, George? I hear that question a lot. It’s always the same answer though. I game, write, watch shows, play the guitar, and sleep. Basically I keep myself occupied with things I enjoy doing. It’s the best way to make use of your time. I don’t have to go anywhere (maybe except Doiffee, since I can’t make myself coffee that good at home) to enjoy myself.

However, for the past 2 days, I did make a trip to two malls and I’m reminded of why I hate going to crowded places. Traffic jams and hunting for parking. Definitely not up there in my list of things to do with my time. Today, I was smart and Ubered to Mid Valley instead of driving there. As expected, the place was packed. Having someone to drive me around is so convenient. Promo codes are also great.

But it does make you wonder – why are shopping malls so crowded even on weekdays? Don’t people have work to do? Is everyone a student or a tourist? Is everyone jobless like me? Speaking of job, I’ve got a job lined up in January, so for those of you worried that I’d be a jobless bum – worry no more!

I’ve been watching a lot of movies by Martin and John McDonagh. All their movies are great. I have yet to be disappointed by any of them. Each movie I watch from them is turning out to be my new favorite one. They’re definitely going into my movies to watch every year list. I’m also looking forward to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (which is never going to arrive in our cinemas, sadly).

I finished the first season of Attack On Titan, which is pretty good. However, I’m not a fan of the main character (Eren). He seems so whiny to me. I’m sure it’s because he’s a young teenage boy, but man, he’s probably the most annoying anime character I’ve come across. I should also catch up on Rick & Morty, Adventure Time, Regular Show, Gravity Falls, Archer, and Bob’s Burger.

I watched The Last Jedi in the cinema, and I thought it was an okay movie. I preferred the previous two Star Wars films that came out recently. It wasn’t terrible but I thought it could have been shorter. Also, I’m not a big fan of the Star Wars universe so I don’t really have much to say about it. I did enjoy some Star Wars games a long time ago though: Jedi Knight 2 and Jedi Academy. Those were pretty good games with solid lightsaber sequences. The Knights Of The Old Republic RPGs were also good (though I only got through half of the second one before I formatted my PC a long time ago, will definitely revisit it in the future).

Speaking of games, I’ve been playing Watch_Dogs (didn’t deserve the flack it got IMO, the gameplay is solid, with my only gripe being the driving sequences because I suck at driving in video games) and Battle Chasers (probably the best JRPG I’ve ever played so far – the game is also gorgeous). Dota 2 is still a staple, I’m also thinking of attending ESL One Genting if Na’Vi qualify. I tried a PUBG clone on my phone the other day, uninstalled it after one round (lol).

I’ve been getting visits to this blog from countries like Sweden and South Korea. I’ve no idea who’s living there and cares enough to read this blog, but hello!