Give me a few more weeks and I can proudly claim that I’ve become a minimalist. I actually didn’t know it’s been called that term, I always thought of minimalism in terms of photography. No I wasn’t unhappy or miserable, the level of clutter I have is not even alarming enough to that of a hoarder, but I guess it’s because I wanted to live within my means and enjoy life without the pressure of wanting more. I came across this documentary film about minimalism by Matt D’Avella and was inspired even more. Here’s what got me started. continue reading »

Into dish gardening

While it took her a while to quit cigarette smoking (I stopped several years ago) I’m just happy that my wife, who remains a huge Aldub fan, have realized she’s gifted the green thumb and kind of got addicted to gardening, and collects a variety of cacti, succulents, and several flowering plants.

It all started with the small, barren areas in our garage and front yard, having had our house fully renovated last year from one story to add another floor to accommodate more rooms. What used to look like a puzzle of plumbing lines and unsightly cement droppings and broken hollow blocks, are now plots for beautiful gardens when she got them fixed, with which she’ll wake up early every day (even if she hardly slept due to work) keeping her mornings preoccupied with watering and tending to her plants. This also got her started with dish gardens and turned it into a business of sorts – Lhen’s Dish Gardens – selling her creations to friends and those who inquired online. continue reading »

Badminton cracked my iPhone 7

My first iPhone is the 3G, heavily protected with a thick case, but when the iPhone 4s came out, with its promise of a stronger exterior, I stopped using a case and used every iteration I owned almost always naked from unboxing. I thought, if Apple says it’s durable, whether glass or aluminum, it must be. Even with a few silly drops here and there, every iPhone I owned survived without cracks. That’s true until today.

It was my usual Sunday cleaning drill at home, when I saw my wife playing badminton outside with a nephew. I joined in. I actually missed playing and just as I was happily sweating it out with heavy smashes, I heard a loud thud from what I thought was a TV remote. Everyone watching us play was in shock: it was my jet black iPhone 7! You can tell from the look on their face, I must be stupid for not being careful or not investing on a protective case. continue reading »

From smoker to quitter

Yes, I smoked my last cigarette almost 2 months ago, the day after I promised my son Kurt I’d quit. Other than this commitment to my family, I don’t think any other major reasons or health concerns could have convinced me to stop, but I’m so glad I did. I’m no chain smoker either though I have been smoking cigarettes since high school. But like my drinking binges, that I rarely do now, I only smoke on occasion, though lately I have developed this weird habit of only smoking at home, making it even much worse than chain-smoking someplace else.

While it wasn’t exactly difficult for me to quit smoking, I realized that that will also make it easy for me to keep the bad habit. So aside from enjoying the welcome health benefits, I use the free iOS app Since iQuit (screenshots above) to monitor the stats of my smoke-free lifestyle, including money that I save from being a quitter. The amount is not that much but that’s nothing compared to the long-term benefits of clean living.

Yes, even that has an app.

Wet dreams

Me: [One early morning, while having breakfast, I teased my youngest son, who’s in Grade 5, about peeing in bed] Marcus, why’s your boxer shorts wet?
Marcus: [In his babyish tone] Papa?! I didn’t have wet dreams!
Me: [Dumbfounded] What? Where’d you get that term?
Marcus: [Speaking matter-of-factly] At school, reproductive system?!
Me: [Slightly relieved but anxious of what the reply will be] And what exactly did you learn about wet dreams?
Marcus: It’s what happens when you wet the bed.
Me: [Laughing out loud]