That Jog, It Hurts

Last evening, I fell asleep with my facial mask on at around midnight. On my bed, sat by the headboard. Spotify release radar was playing in the background through my Sonos speaker in the bedroom. Feng Timo‘s 世間美好與你環環相扣 woke me up, in a nice way. I took off my facial mask and ready to go to bed. I was expecting a good sleep. I was also expecting body ache.

I woke up at 3.30 am. The ache was rather uncomfortable. From my hips to my legs. My lung hurt. Even my throat hurt. I must have breathed too hard during my exercise.

So I realized that despite all the walks and the gym workouts, I am actually very unfit. My body hurts. But it is good to realize sooner rather than later. I much enjoy outdoor exercise, sweating it out.

I couldn’t go back to sleep because, after an intense exercise, my mind becomes very alert. That’s just how my body operates. I went to the sofa in the living room and continued my sleep. I had some dreams, which I can’t remember.

6.30 am. The birds chirped. I could try to go back to sleep. Or I could take the opportunity to witness the sunrise.

The sunrise was beautiful. I intend to start the day with some readings. That Obama new book borrowed from the library is very thick. And I am behind schedule. Some catch-ups to do!

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14 Years Later I Have Started to Jog Again

Thank goodness I have a website, my personal online diary.

The last time I jogged was 14 years ago when I was training for my Mount Kinabalu hike. I had always enjoyed jogging. After the hike, I injured my knees. I left my injury unattended and since then, I was not able to jog or walk the stairs for too long. The situation is manageable. In the past two years or so, I don’t recall having knee pain. Today, I remember what my college tutor Dr. Wood in the UK shared during one of the Christmas parties at his home – and he was into mechanical engineering by the way – if you can walk, don’t run and if you can sit, don’t stand. That is pretty much the only lesson I can remember from my university days. This is pretty much the lesson that only makes sense after I get older.

Today I have this sudden urge to jog. I dug up my 4-year old Garmin watch from the storeroom, charged it up, though the strip was somewhat broken, and it still works. I jogged from my neighborhood to the one next to mine. I could jog around my area in loops. But I reckon I may give up halfway. What I didn’t enjoy was the traffic lights, construction sites, and smoking area next to the police station. Next time, I may drive to Gardens by the Bay or the Botanic Gardens. I reckon it is more pleasant to jog.

My jog today.

I have covered 5.28 km in 38 minutes crossing no less than 12 traffic lights. My average heartrate was 149 bpm with a max recorded as 179 bpm. As for my heartrate, 30% of time spent in zone 5 (>158 bpm) and 43% in zone 4 (141 to 157 bpm). My average run cadence compared to other runners is pretty bad at 160 steps per minute (5 to 29%). 180 steps per minute is a common target.

Then again, it has been 14 years since I jog. I shouldn’t push myself too hard on this. What I can say is that jogging outdoor is so much more satisfying than exercising in the gym.

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I Made Dumplings The First Time And It Was Ridiculously

Imagine this. I have spent four hours making dumplings the first time. And I ate them in 5 minutes.

Fried vegetarian dumplings. I finished these in 5 minutes.

I had this sudden urge to make my own vegetarian dumplings. It is not that hard to make. Just that, the preparation time, plus the cooling time, and the folding time, took so long.

So long.

So very long.

In this batch, I have created 40 dumplings. I froze half of them. And in my enthusiasm, I bought way too many ingredients. Like, way, way, way too many. This means I have to create another batch of vegetarian dumplings this week!

Another batch!

OMG. Think of the ROI. I would gladly order dumplings online.

The ingredients that took me a long, long time to prepare.

In all seriousness, I am glad that I have experienced the dumpling-making process. And it tasted pretty good. If I could change my approach, I may wish to go easy on the white pepper and change the black vinegar don’t use the sweet one. Perhaps instead of frying the dumplings, I would boil them and use garlic chili oil instead.

That may work. But still. I would rather buy dumplings. Thanks to Sonos though. The music accompanied through the cooking process.

Consider the fact that it was my first time folding dumplings, I think these dumplings look rather legit. Thank you Internet.

Would I do it again? Perhaps I would want to try the meat version.

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Take You To The Moon / Wild Passion – Two Doodles

Towards the end of 2020, I have explored a different art direction. My interpretation of cubism, which requires precision. Hence, I have switched to papers for marker pens.

Somehow, I still miss the fine-grain heavyweight paper that I used to draw with. Sure, that consumes more ink and the paper is harsh to the marker pens. It costs more in the long run. It is harder to draw because of the ink feathers. But I prefer fine grain heavyweight paper.

Titled as “Take You To The Moon”

In a way, it is like when people tell me that I should use an acoustic guitar to play music instead of strumming using a classical guitar. It is probably ‘wrong’. But I have made it my own, going against the norm.

In another word, I create art for my own consumption. It doesn’t make sense, I know (Jason my guitarist used to remind me that songs have to be written for general consumption, just stick with the general expectation and we would be fine).

I think I am a rebel.

Take You To The Moon is my latest work that inspired me to write a song that I have recently published on YouTube. The objects I use are very recognizable when you examine my previous work. That is a deliberate effort as I intend to form my signatures on my drawings. That is to say, by looking at the drawings, one would relate to the style of an artist. The cat, the couple, the half-moon, and the thorns. The difference for this drawing is that instead of roses, I drew stars to better suit the theme.

Titled “Wild Passion”, which is the predecessor of “Take You To The Moon”

On New Year Day, I stayed up late having this urge to return to the previous paper type (as mentioned above). I wanted to draw something abstract, free form, and to inject a sense of freedom and urgency. Personally, I enjoyed drawing Wild Passion a lot. The end result may not be as refined as other drawings of mine. It was liberating. I suspect those who are into interpreting art may find Wild Passion more interesting.

And yes, Wild Passion is also the predecessor of Take You To The Moon. I may do more abstract art. Perhaps in a more controlled manner.

If I Could Be A Marvel Superhero, What Would That Be?

People in the past were used to ask me this question a lot, especially during the days when I was actively running my YouTube channel playing the game Marvel Heroes.

As you may know, each superhero comes with unique abilities. There is one hero whom I really want to be. I will get there in just a bit. Let’s talk about fortune-telling for now.

Do I believe in fortune-telling? I tend to think that there are gifted people in this world who can reveal a glimpse of our future. Chinese believes that the future is a secret that has to be kept within the heavens. Those who reveal the secret would have to pay with self-sacrifices depends on how big the secret is. Hence, real and good fortune tellers are often well compensated by their clients.

Is fortune telling a self-fulfilling prophecy? Does that mean that our fate is sealed before we are born? Knowing our future, can we change the course? I will get there in just a bit. Let’s talk about quantum mechanics for now.

The first time I have encountered the topic of quantum mechanics was not from books nor classes. It was during my university days in the UK, my friend Trevor from Hong Kong was obsessed with physics. We would play arcade games, Street Fighters or Mortal Kombat (by that, I meant I watched him playing it). And he would talk about all things physics. We bonded so well that we have decided to cycle from Oxford to Edinburgh together. Side-track to this topic, going on a trip with someone is a true test of a relationship. Unfortunately, the relationship between Trevor and I didn’t survive the trip. We could barely survive day one of our trip.

Quantum physics is a heavy subject. What is relevant to this post is that quantum physics is probabilistic. We can’t predict the outcome. But we can predict the probability of finding each of the particular possible outcomes.

So in my mind, there is no one future but rather, a wide spectrum of futures. Each future has its own probability. In the concept of the multiverse, who knows, we may have to live through each of these futures.

And so, when a fortune-teller shares the secret of the heavens, he or she may refer to the most probable future. For example, one time, I was told that I have two windows of opportunity when it comes to marriage: marry young, marry old. Was there any chance that I could marry somewhere in between young and old or not at all? I guess so. But the fortune-teller must have sensed that it was highly improbable.

I tend to think that our actions today can help to charter towards a future we desired – no guarantee that we will reach there, of course (think quantum mechanics). There are versions of the future that we may not be able to choose, determined by just a toss of a coin. If there is one Marvel superhero I could become, right now, I would like to be Dr. Strange (think Avengers: End Game).

Right now, I not only wish to see my future, but also the probability of each.