Mindful Smoking

Is that a thing? Probably not.

Earlier, while I was having a cigarette, I noticed that I put my fingers to my lips frequently – every time I took a puff, my digits touched my chops. Usually, this never bothered me – until today.

For some unknown reason, I started thinking about where my fingers had been – the buttons on the elevators, the lid on my post box, the money in my pocket. Not very hygienic considering the state of our world at the moment. So, I did what any sane person would do: I put my cigarette out and threw the remaining pack into the bin.

Just kidding, I didn’t do the latter. However, I decided that for the rest of the day I would vape since it wouldn’t require pointers touching my facial orifice. I’ll only smoke cigarettes when I have access to soap and water to clean my claws. I’m already putting tons of unknown variables into my cavity every time I use restaurant utensils, I can afford to reduce it by one. Am I naive to think that germs can’t travel from my finger to the button of my mod, and make their way up to the mouthpiece of my vape? Probably. But it makes me feel better and that’s what counts.

But George, why don’t you just give up the habit? I’m trying to ensure the ineffectiveness of my sperm – at least until I have a vasectomy (by the way any kind of smoking is bad for your fertility, not just menthol). Also, an interesting result came up while I was Googling factoids for this post. Did you know that hand sanitizer can kill sperm? It’s not recommended though.

Seeing posts about people panicking on my social media feeds is doing nothing but spreading the fear. At least mass gatherings are banned. People who don’t have to attend church anymore will realize how much more fun it is to sleep in on Sundays and to keep their hard-earned money for themselves. You don’t know how churches spend their money anyway.

I can’t wait for the lockdown, then I’ll get to jam with my neighbors. Would give me a reason to dust off my harmonica (if I can find it).

How Sicilians deal with the quarantine from PublicFreakout

On the bright side, most people are staying in and playing video games. It’s a great way to pass the time and there’s no physical contact. Skip LAN parties (RIP Geekfam after qualifying for the LA Major) and couch co-op, ya dingus.

I Am

Things were different in the past, now people care about my color.
At times I am a burden, other times I am a frill.
I can be specific or all-encompassing. I am ubiquitous.
You could live without me but it would be difficult.
Commonly found in the air or on the ground, above and under you.
People worry when I’m left alone in populated places.
You put in me things you trust. I try to keep them safe.


The other day I woke up with a dream where I wrote a riddle and I thought it was brilliant, I managed to save a line on my phone before going back to sleep. I thought I’d try to recreate it but it turns out that writing a clever riddle is harder than I thought. To write a clever riddle you have to skirt the line between being too obtuse or too obvious – something I haven’t mastered. In turn, doing this exercise made me appreciate the amount of work that goes into creating good riddles. Maybe I’ll attempt more in the future.

In case you didn’t figure it out already, I am a bag.

Labor Goals

Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to realize that looking for a job is like looking for a life partner (or maybe I’m just mashing two subjects together, who knows?).

In the past – people used to flip through classified pages to look for jobs – and to look for partners. While most of the searching has evolved to be online today, newspapers can still be used in the same way.

Life partners can be introduced to people – so can jobs. People set up friends with each other all the time, they do the same with jobs too. There’s no guarantee that they will fit well – but at least you can say you tried.

Head hunters function like matchmakers – seeking out potential candidates for companies or people to fall in love with.

Relationships can end out of the blue – like being let go from a job. The difference is you sometimes get compensated by the company.

Full-time jobs usually take up a significant amount of time – and so do relationships. If they don’t, it’s very cushy and you should keep it.

Some jobs give you money, and so do some relationships, but some relationships require you to spend money to keep them (though it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to equate that to working for no pay).

It’s not necessary to have either, but a good job or relationship will make your life much more pleasant.

Rejecting a job offer is usually the nail in the coffin with a company, which is similar to rejecting a partner. Sometimes it’s due to various circumstances a person can’t commit to either. Maybe it’s not the right time, maybe it’s not what they’re looking for right now. Sometimes you try again after a few years, there’s no telling if it’ll be better the second time. It could work or fail terribly.

When you find the right job or relationship – they say it doesn’t feel like work anymore. Everything just falls into place. You’re content, happy, and tell everyone about it. It’s all you’ve ever wanted in life.

However, people sometimes look for new jobs while currently employed and or companies come knocking with a seductive deal. There’s always a better option out there – right?

Anti-Modern-Radio Me

When I was young, I remember being bored to death whenever my parents switched radio channels to listen to oldies. Songs they listened to growing up. They would tell me that they don’t make songs like they used to anymore. I would fervently disagree with them, defending my tastes in Limp Bizkit and Eminem. I assumed they didn’t know better.

Now that I’m older, I don’t listen to the radio anymore – mostly because they mostly play songs I dislike, have terrible DJs and too many advertisements. When I have to (because I’m driving someone else’s car), I tune into Light and Easy – a channel that mostly plays oldies because I can enjoy them, unironically. I enjoy listening to songs that I heard growing up even though I wasn’t a big fan of them back in the day because, amongst the cesspool of modern radio, they sound euphonious.

It can’t be that music has gotten worse – there must be a reason why these artists on modern radio are getting airtime and making new records. There is a demand for them even though I might not like their music. It’s just not for me.

But why do I not enjoy a lot of current music? I think it comes down to a few factors:

  • I’m listening to the wrong stations – maybe, but I can’t be bothered to give other radio stations a shot. It’s not worth the time, so I stick with what I know and enjoy.
  • My tastes have already developed and I’m rejecting what’s new and unfamiliar. I have noticed that it doesn’t apply to a lot of new music I discover that’s not on the radio, so probably not the case.
  • Mainstream radio has always been trash and the only reason I enjoy old pop hits now is that I grew up listening to them – the nostalgia and singalong factor is what draws me to them. This seems like the most likely reason.

Is this what my parents were experiencing when I was growing up? As kids did they face the same chagrin for their music tastes from their parents? I’ll have to ask them to find out.

On the other hand, if you think I’m just some whiney old boomer who is wrong about modern music, feel free to share some songs to change my mind. I’m open to listening to new songs and artists. I know there’s a lot of good stuff out there I have yet to discover.

Why Write?

Over the past week, I found myself doing a lot of things I put off in the past. I finally set up a LinkedIn account, used it to apply for some jobs. Logged in to my many years old Jobstreet account, also to apply to jobs. Created accounts on brand new sites to look for jobs. It made me realize that for the longest time I didn’t have to look for jobs – for most of them I was just given the opportunity to do something by other people and I took it. It would also have been true for my next job but alas, things didn’t work out as intended. So now I’m doing the job hunting on my own.

Nothing to report so far, but I find myself questioning my lack of productivity. After all, since I’m jobless – I should make the most of my free time right? Spend it drawing, writing, making music, etc. Instead, I’m gaming and watching shows on Netflix. I guess I need to get into the rhythm of working again. Tomorrow will mark the second month of unemployment. Woot.

On the bright side, I can say I am ready to return to work again after this breather. It reminds me of the break I took after leaving Big Bad Wolf Books, but with 100% less Cameron Highlands. I think traveling around Malaysia would be nice, but irresponsible in this time of contagion. Better to sit home and do things in front of my computer. After all, that’s what I’m great at.

The other day I was asking myself – is writing a phase? Is it something people only do once in a while? I know some people who have stopped writing even though they used to write tons only a few years ago. What changed? Do people eventually run out of ideas? Don’t ideas constantly refill? I’m not sure.

Anyway, I’ve decided that I’ll update my blog every weekday. Back to writing topics, fiction and so on. It was a thing of the past and I’m bringing it back. I just want to tell myself that I’m capable of churning out content daily. It’s good writing practice after all.

Wow, over three hundred words just to spout a bunch of bullshit. I think I still got it. See you guys next week!

The Spell

“It’s so hard to read this gibberish!” Dina said to herself with the stolen spellbook open in front of her. “There must be a better way to get a prom date!”

“No, this is all Adrian’s fault!” she reasoned. “If only he was in love with me, then I wouldn’t have had to resort to magic!”

She was by no means an experienced spell caster. She was far from one. Dina had spent exactly
one day under the tutelage of the Great Theodore, one of the school’s most powerful wizards before she found herself stealing one of his advanced spell books and attempting spells beyond her means.

Tonight was the school’s prom night and she had decided to test the seduction spell on Adrian because she wanted a dance. Things didn’t go accordingly, and she killed everybody in the vicinity instead. Now she was by herself, trying to figure out how to undo the damage.

Dina flipped through the pages of the book, looking for pictures that resembled mass resurrection. There was nothing as far as she could see. “Maybe that’s in volume two…”

Nearing the end of the book, her eyes widened when she saw a drawing of what appeared to be a tombstone with a crack going through it. “Could this be the spell to raise the dead? Only one way to find out.”

Dina cleared her throat, raised her wand, and did her best to utter the words on the page. “Du’s ra tha rath guia eh ko luu chai!”

Her wand started glowing and lighting shot out from its tip to the corpse closest to her, and bounced around from corpse to corpse, electrocuting each body and bringing them back to life.

“Yes!” she exclaimed, happy that the spell worked.

As the previously dead people rose to their feet, they all looked at Dina, eyes blinking in confusion, demanding an explanation. Eventually, everybody was alive in the hall, including Adrian who was now stumbling towards Dina. However, the lighting continued bouncing around and started striking people once again, sending their bodies into convulsions before turning them into ash and ending their second lives.

Dina realized what was happening and quickly returned to the book for a spell to end her previous spell.

“Dina, what’s going on here? Did you do this?” asked a dazed and concerned Adrian.

“No time to explain!” said Dina, as her eyes frantically scanned the pages of the book. “Ah hah!”

Raising her wand again, Dina yelled, “Suu kai la thri roos rhah!”

Her wand let out a small spark and quickly extended itself, turning itself into a lightning rod. The lightning redirected itself to Dina’s wand, dissipating almost immediately. “Phew.”

She collapsed to the floor, exhausted from the ordeal.


Haven’t done a writing prompt in a while, decided to get back into it today. Prompt from /r/promptoftheday “She resurrected”

An Interlude

“What happened to my drive to write?” some of you may have asked. Not really, I see the stats, people don’t come here for my rambling. But that’s okay. This blog is just an outlet for me to release what’s pent up on my mind (most of the time).

You see, I’ve had a lot of time to myself over the past month. There’s not much else to do when you’re not working. I guess I kinda took for granted how much of my time work took up. And to clarify: I’m not complaining either – I’m far from unhappy or bored, I’m enjoying my break a lot. I enjoyed it the last time it happened as well.

What I am anxious about though is my next job. I’m still not completely sure where I’ll be ending up (I’m supposed to have an answer tomorrow). I’m also tired of having to explain to people I don’t know where I’m going yet – because I don’t. Can’t wait to get that out of the way.

In any case, I’ve been spending a lot of time catching up on shows I’ve been meaning to watch, playing games that have been sitting around in my Steam library, and even picking up the guitar to figure out some new chord progressions. Heck, I even completed a Unity 2D platformer tutorial the other day! Life has been great – I know this state is only temporary, so I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Speaking of being productive, I’ve been updating Animal Bus weekly. It’s been pretty tough trying to maintain the schedule, but I can tell you firsthand that it’s not easy. I understand why people work in teams – honestly, if I had the money I’d probably hire a letterer, colorist, and artist to help me out. Mainly because I’m lazy, but also I’m terrible at visuals and would like to stick to just writing. However, the comic isn’t dead yet, so I’ll keep pushing out new chapters until I’ve decided that I’ve had enough. In the meantime, if you haven’t read it yet – check it out.

I rarely write about books, despite my book sales background (lol). However, I feel that Richard Dawkin’s Outgrowing God is too important to not share about. If you want to read about why religion and believing in it is inane, look no further. Dawkins gets his points across in a succinct, sometimes funny, and easy to understand manner. Highly recommended if you’re interested in challenging your faith or reaffirming your beliefs in a godless world.

Angry at a Thief

“Life is what you make it” is a common phrase that I say all the time and believe in. Sometimes it becomes interesting even if you don’t do anything. I guess you could say this was my fault, but let me begin.

I leave my flip flops outside, on the welcome mat of my home. I have been doing that for years with no issues until a couple of days ago. There’s always a first time for everything.

As I was about to head out of the house in the afternoon, I realized my flip flops were missing and in their place was a hideous pair belonging to a stranger. “What the fuck?” I exclaimed.

I asked my mom if she had brought my flip flops into the house – negative. I told her that they were gone. She laughed. I wasn’t so amused about it.

They were my favorite pair of flip flops! And they weren’t cheap! And last I checked, Miniso had stopped selling them. I was pissed off. Immediately, I began to wish the worst upon whoever had switched my footwear. I was talking to myself, calling the thief all sorts of names. My mind began generating evil thoughts – leaving out another pair of flip flops with diseased needles protruding from the bottom, the thief getting his/her foot trapped in an escalator, the thief stumbling down a large flight of stairs to their death – everything under the sun. I had never hated someone as much as I did that day.

It took me a day to cool down until I returned home and saw that my flip flops weren’t on my welcome mat, which reminded me of that miscreant. I was still mad.

I haven’t been this angry in a while. I know my words don’t hold any power, but it is cathartic to let it out.

To the owner of the flip flops above (who knows if they were stolen too): fuck you, you lowlife degenerate. I hope stealing my flip flops will be the cause of your downfall. May you and your family be plagued by foot diseases, victims of abuse, and robbed blind. Sooner rather than later. You don’t deserve such comfortable footwear.

GNGKB75: A Custom Keyboard

The Design

Earlier this year, I spoke on The Board podcast about plans creating a custom keyboard of my own. I had no idea that it was going to be a project that I’d finish before the year ended.

I was thinking about what kind of layout I wanted for my custom keyboard, I decided I needed something to replace my daily driver (a KBD 19X). I would have used one of my many HHKB layout keyboards at home, but they were missing the dedicated F-row which I needed for gaming. That became my starting point for the keyboard – an HHKB layout with an F-row.

For those of you wondering why didn’t I just buy the EVE Meteor, when it was on sale I was still new to the hobby and wasn’t sure about dropping that much money on a custom keyboard (let alone one that I had to solder). The GNGKB75 was inspired by its design, along with the Plum 75. The TX-75 would have been my next choice if I didn’t commit to this project.

The PCB

I drew up what it would look like in Keyboard Layout Editor and pitched it to Don, who gladly took the design and started working on the PCB. During the process, contrary to what he initially assumed, we both learned that I knew nothing about making keyboards. It was an entertaining back and forth process (thanks for being so patient with me) which didn’t take very long.

For the layout, it wasn’t anything special – just a regular HHKB layout with a row for the function keys. In my original layout, I had left some space in between the number row and the F-row – Don missed it out (it was only discovered after the PCBs had been sent for manufacturing), but it wasn’t that big of a deal to me – at least the gaps separating the blocks of F keys were still present, which was more important to me. The gaps beside F clusters allowed me to hit the keys on the sides without looking at the keyboard (important for gaming).

There was the question of what to do with the additional key on the top row – Don suggested a rotary encoder, which I was immediately on board with. I thought it gave the keyboard a nice touch, was in a nice position, and I enjoyed using the one I had on my Planck. It also gave him the chance to experiment with using encoder footprints on the PCB.

The Case

For the case of the keyboard, I had wanted it to look like a Model F – however, after learning how much it would cost to create such a case, I scrapped those plans and decided on an acrylic sandwich instead. Again, Don whipped up the files for the plates in no time. I got them cut at a local shop (thanks Evolve3D!)

However, I learned that the plate for the keyboard wasn’t perfect when trying to put it together. There was something wrong with the size of the holes for the switches – when one side had the switches put in, the other side would be crooked, and when I straightened the crooked side first, the other side would become crooked instead. To solve this, I used a filing tool to expand the affected holes by about 1mm, and all was fine.

Unfortunately for me, I only noticed this issue after I had soldered the switches in (I have nobody to blame but myself) so I had to spend time desoldering the switches first – which lead me to lift one of the pads on the PCB. This meant I had to jump the switch using a wire – a new experience for me.

The Flaws

One of the problems building my prototype was the switches I used for the keyboard – Everglided Oreos (from Drop). The switch for the space bar was having trouble returning after I put the keycap it on. Initially, I thought that I had installed the stabilizers wrongly, but after checking them thoroughly, it wasn’t the case. I thought, maybe it was a problem with the plate – I filed the stab and switch holes down to no avail. I thought, maybe I had too much lube on the stab, so I wiped it off – no difference. I tried using the switch and stabs with no plate – again, it didn’t help. I went through about five different switches, still no improvement. In the end, I replaced it with a T1 switch, and everything was well again. Based on the solution, it certainly seems like a fault of the Oreo switch, but I’m not convinced – the switch spring isn’t even that light. Anyway, the space bar returns normally now, so I don’t have to worry about it.

The hardest part about building the keyboard? The long wait for all the parts to arrive (diodes, standoffs, screws, etc) so I could build it. It was then about a day of troubleshooting, including desoldering switches, filing the plate, and jumping a lifted pad.

Acrylic sheets not being exactly 3mm meant that my standoffs were slightly too long – I didn’t account for it, which meant I had some gaps in between the top layers of my case.

The corners of the acrylic sheets are way too sharp – something I didn’t take into account during the design stage. The blockers for the F-row cluster gaps are also missing (an oversight).

The Future

This was my first time dipping my toes into the keyboard designing experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it. While my first keyboard isn’t perfect and there’s plenty of room for improvement, I’m happy that it has been completed and I have a functional input device to use. This post was written on it!

If I were to continue to improve this keyboard (which I’ll probably do in the future since I still have some extra PCBs), I would make the following changes:

  • Include rounded corners so my keyboard doesn’t accidentally cut anybody
  • Figure out what caused the plate to be cut incorrectly so no additional filing needs to be done
  • Include blockers for the F-row clusters
  • Increase the size of the standoffs and screws to M3
  • Produce a metal case if I have the funds for it

Edit 2/1/20 – forgot to include the typing test video I recorded for the keyboard

GNGKB75 (Acrylic case)
– JTK Hyperfuse
– Everglide Oreo switches


If you’re interested in building one of these yourself, I’ve got 4 spare PCBs available – I can sell them at cost ($15) + shipping (depending on your location) – you’ll have to source the onboard components and case yourself. Just drop me a message (on Reddit or comment here) to let me know.

All files for the keyboard are open-source and available on Github.


Once again, thanks to Don for all his help. Without him, this project wouldn’t have even taken off. I would still be at step zero.

2019 Season Finale: Part Two, Hello Oxy

Another post about being old, how boring


I’m now thirty-four, and I realize that I’m still facing some of the same problems I have faced many decades ago: pimples. By the way, did you know that acne and pimples aren’t the same things? The more you know.

I remember being the pimply-faced kid back in school. I was relieved when I grew out of it after many years. I’m not sure if it was the facial sessions I went to, me washing my face with skincare products, or just my body adapting to hormonal changes – my face eventually cleared up.

While I’m free from outbreaks, I still get the occasional pimple popping up now and then (probably due to my bad sleeping habits). The other day, I was thinking to myself, I should do something about a pimple that kept popping up in the same spot. I visited a pharmacy and bought myself a tube of Oxy.

I chose Oxy 10 instead of Oxy 5 because why would you pay for something weaker? (It didn’t occur to me that it would affect some people differently, fortunately for me, I haven’t experienced any side effects).

Long story short – I’ve started using Oxy daily for the past week, and man this shit is pretty good! While it’s not instant like pimple popping at a facial (god, that shit hurts), it has been very effective in taking care of the pimples on my face.

The other day a bright idea came into my head – why not try it out on the pimples on my ass? I’ve been bothered by a couple of pimples that have surfaced there and refused to go away.

And if you’ve been wondering about the answer – yes, it works. Not that you’ll be able to verify my buttcheeks, but you can take my word for it (or try it out for yourself). I don’t know why I was so surprised to find out that it was just as effective. Skin is skin, and pimples are pimples, right?

Well, I guess you do learn something every day.