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Showing posts from 2013

Futures and Options I: My Introduction to Computing

I've recently been thinking about how my decisions early in life have done me good to put me where I'm at right now. I've certainly lived a very fortunate life -- been blessed with so many good things and been down-right lucky being at the right place at the right time. My 30 year journey to where I am now has been very interesting. I can pretty much say that the experiences I've had up to this point have very much contributed to making me who I am -- and that I regret nothing. Still though I keep thinking about what my life would be like if I hadn't made certain choices I did make throughout the years. There are a few choices I've made that I've stuck to and I keep thinking about wondering "what if I made a different choice instead" -- and the more I think about it, the more I'm happy about the decisions I've made.

Note: This is Part 1 of a series about my early choices in life which have gotten me to where I am today. If you're intere…

Rant: Despair and Hopelessness

This weekend I had the chance to do a Google+ hangout with my father in the Philippines. He and I don't talk often but we do have a very good relationship. My dad is cool like that. In this hangout we talked about a few things happening in the Philippines and I've gotten the feeling that my homeland is getting ever deeper into economic disrepair, and that the politics to which I've come to be hopeless on is beyond repair. I've wanted to get something off my chest that's been bothering me for a while now, so if you would indulge me please read on.

Background

I grew up in a part of the Philippines where the land is fertile, there are thriving industries, and there's a certain sense of abundance and stability. This part of the Philippines has good schools, good employment opportunities (mostly industrial and service industries), good investment opportunities (real-estate and agricultural), and good potential for growth. This was true when I was young and this is tr…

Mental Models of Programmers for Non-Programmers

Programmers are a tricky lot. We have a certain mental model of how things should work and we "hack" systems in order to make sure they fit our mental model instead of changing ourselves and our mental model to fit with existing systems. Programmers are the bureaucrat's worst nightmare -- our brains are wired to look at the rules and go "why?" and our immediate reaction to anything that's not at least optimal is "well, that's stupid".

If you have a programmer in your life -- a parent, sibling, cousin, partner, or friend -- it would help if you understood how most of programmers brains work. I would even say as far as certain kinds of people -- not necessarily programmers -- gravitate towards becoming programmers (or engineers, or any profession/occupation where it involves building systems or just rigorous analysis and design) so you may recognise these people. I know these things work really well for me so if you know someone like me it might…

Summer is Over

It's now the fall here down under and the weather has started to turn to the cooler side. Every day since the start of April the temperature has been dropping steadily during the day, the nights are getting longer, the clocks have adjusted, and now we're heading into a new season. Coming from the Philippines where there's no real season to speak of, I think having actual seasons is a welcome change. Having distinct transitions help with reflecting, remembering what has happened in the past few months, and looking forward to the future.

Much has happened since I last wrote my thoughts down. Here's a list of things I can remember distinctly that I'd like to share:


We've moved house. This is the third unit we've moved into and we're now back to getting ample space to move around and grow into. I liked the cozy feel of the last unit we've lived in but I definitely welcome space.Our church has celebrated its 8th year anniversary. The celebration service w…

Organising Chaos

Just when I thought I've gotten to a state of routine suddenly I find myself having to abruptly change. I've gotten good at doing this change management on a personal level but I hate to have to change for my family's sake. I've come to understand that my family's security is really important -- especially for the simple things like what day I get paid, what time of the month the bills arrive, how much the rent is, etc. Now that I've found some semblance of flow and routine though something comes up that tests this routine.

So now we're going to have to find a place to move into fast. It's a long story why we're going to need to move (there's a lot of factors involved) so I won't go there. The logistics of this is the easy part (believe me). It's the non-logistic things that come with moving that's really hard -- which is why families don't usually plan on or optimise for moving houses every year. Off the top of my head, these ar…

The Decade Ahead

I took my time in writing a new entry into this blog and I wanted to give an update on what's been going on. 2012 has been a good year for me and I hadn't been writing a lot since the start of that year. I'm not suddenly going to change this as I've found different outlets for expressing myself -- there's the exercise, my open source work, being effective at the work I do, and service in church. In this post I look back at 2012 not in a comprehensive manner but in a high level. I also set up the coming decade with a theme and direction that more suits my passions and strengths.

There are a few things in 2012 that stuck out in my head. There were a lot of firsts for me that have to do with health and fitness. I ran City2Surf and did it under my target time which was my first ever running event. I lifted weights that I never thought I could do. There's a lot of things I did at work that I cannot share but were very significant for me. I bought my first electric g…