I loved the trailer for Vengeance, looks so much fun. But I don’t think it’s going to be in theaters around here anytime soon. So all I can do is wait for it to become available on some OTT platform.

Go outside as often as you can, ideally without devices. Work in the yard, or just walk around. Pause occasionally to take a few deep breaths. When you come back in, do not head straight for your device; instead, make a cup of tea, straighten your shelves, or pray.

Source: Another friendly reminder

My daughter wanted to record a new video for her channel this week. She’d watched her old videos and felt she needed more. She had a few ideas in mind but wanted to tell her friends first what she had been up to. So, that’s what we recorded - a new video is out today.

I finished reading A View to Die For by Cheri Baker 📚

I really enjoyed this one. Paul Gumbs, the central character, comes out as a natural hero. The mystery is breezy and never slows down unnecessarily. I am involved in Butterfly Island and the characters living there enough that I’ll no doubt pick up the next one in the series.

It was relaxing to watch the calm river stream as I sat next to a shack. A cup of steaming hot tea in my hand.

A place to discover books in new and exciting ways. Read the first page without judging the cover. If you’re hooked, click the reveal button to find out more.

Source: Recommend Me a Book

I am not a horror movie fan. I have seen a few over the years but do not enjoy them. With age, my patience with them has further gone down. I do not watch this genre at all anymore. Or so I thought.

I was recently reminded of my dislike as I read this list from the editors at Rotten Tomatoes. I realized that there are few movies in this genre that I have enjoyed. Or I do still enjoy. The likes of The Mist or Jaws Or The Shining. Or the number one on the list, Psycho. Or the one I thoroughly enjoyed recently - Get Out.

Basically, I don’t mind psychological thrillers. Or ones with creatures. But I am done watching haunted houses and ghosts and unnecessary gore.

That said, I do enjoy reading the plots of the movies, predominantly from the horror genre, that I have no interest in. I have read so many movie plots on Wikipedia. I was anyway not going to watch the movie. By reading the plot, I at least know that the one twist the movie was sold on is shit.

I watched The Gray Man today – mindless action is not entertainment to me. I had fun when it was in superhero films. It doesn’t here.

I find it surprising that iTunes remain the only good store to buy digital music even today. There has to be some reason that all the big players have exited the space and have gone the streaming route. Is it the competition? Or the overall logistics of selling digital music?

I watched The Batman today – I am glad that after a few terrible few showings, we have a good setting again. It’s not a perfect movie – it’s too long and too thin. But I loved the way it’s shot, it does “look and sound brilliant”. The first half is particularly gripping. I didn’t like the Riddler though, his eccentricities felt forced.

That said though, the first thing this movie made me do was rewatch a few sequences from The Dark Knight series. The heights that Nolan took this superhero to is hard to scale.

Not a natural blogger

I no longer am the prolific blogger that I once was. I won’t comment on everything that I read these days. Or post every thought I have.

I read what a few people write and realize maybe I am not as natural a blogger as I thought at one point. Writing doesn’t come naturally to me. Knowing that English isn’t my primary language, I knew what I write in the language won’t sound natural either. In my school, even my English teacher didn’t speak in English. English became my primary communication language pretty late in my life. So I am aware that the way I use some words or the structure of my sentence must sound wrong to English-speaking readers.

Not that I blame my struggle with this foreign language for my recent slump in writing. It’s true that I never wished to write perfect prose. The recognition that it conveyed what I wanted was good enough for me. But it’s equally true that writing is not easy for me. It takes effort.

I would love to believe that my writing has improved over these 15 years. But I am also conscious that my desire to write frequently, differently, hasn’t improved. Instead, it has been impaired recently.

I feel bad when I struggle to garner the drive to word my thoughts and I wrote about my frustration a few times recently. Looking at my blog without anything meaningful added newly makes me feel worse.

Maybe this space needs a break. Maybe I do?

It was 10 years ago today that I began a seven-day challenge not to log in to Facebook. I haven’t seen that timeline since then. It was a good, eye-opening challenge in that sense. Nice!

We sometimes write sentences that don’t need to exist. Hidden in a paragraph, we might not notice. Standing on their own, we notice. Delete any sentence not worthy of its own line.

Source: Writing one sentence per line | Derek Sivers

I finished reading The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness by Morgan Housel 📚

A short, but brilliant read. Housel writes in an easy-to-follow manner even though the topic he talks about is not. Some might say this belongs to a series of blog posts. But the chapters and respective takeaways sound coherent.

As Housel mentions, there cannot be a single investing strategy for every person out there. Each individual’s background is different. Their goals are different. And so are their perspectives. In the same spirit, two individuals cannot have the same set of takeaways from this book.

So do give this a read and discover for your own.

I have been under the weather for the last few days. I rested for the first couple of days and got much-needed sleep at unusual times. But the recovery period gave me a chance to read a few books after a long time. I slept and I read. A nice break I must say.

I have been a PC guy since I was 10 years old. The first version that I used was Windows 95. I stayed the longest with Windows 98. I fell in love with Windows XP even on my PC hardware that didn’t support the OS well then.

However, what I had for this platform wasn’t love. For the small town I am from, Windows was the default platform. At home, in school and at work. Mac OS wasn’t a name anyone had heard. Linux was limited to textbooks.

I dabbled with the latter during my bachelor’s and the developer in me was instantly captivated. It wasn’t ready to replace the default OS on my desktop though. There was still some time to go before it could go mainstream. So like most folks around me, I dual-booted Windows and Linux.

However, I believe things have improved since then. There are many “flavours” of Linux today that target users beyond developers. Why not then should I give them a try again?

So I have been running Linux as my primary OS for more than a few months now. I haven’t missed my default platform yet. It may not still be ready for all the people that Microsoft targets with Windows. But it is ready to be the default platform for many tech-minded folks out there.

I am not going back to Windows anymore. I don’t have any incentive,

PS: I am trying Chrome OS Flex currently. I am pretty impressed with this flavour of an operating system. It’s light and fast. Plus it also runs Linux now. Except for the fear of Google, this platform has a lot going for it.

An unpopular opinion, but I need not post everything on my blog. Some fleeting thoughts are better if not considered as part of the words “published”.

You have to leverage the mind’s habitual and reflexive nature. Instead of consciously “trying to be more present,” you gently train your own attention, like you’re training a dog, to locate and be with present moment experience as a normal and natural reflex.

Source: Trying to Be More Present Isn’t Enough

A social network or a community dies when the interactions dry down. When everyone speaks but there is no dialogue. Soon everyone is shouting at the top of their voices.

I find and read a lot of brilliant articles/essays throughout the day. Most are shareworthy which I freely do. But I have realised too much reading is unfavourable for my writing. The mind gets inundated with others' thoughts. I tend to first be affected by them, then overanalyze them and soon get paralysed by them. It’s not a healthy chain of events.

I am reading a lot more than I am writing. I haven’t made up my mind yet that it is bad. But I need to balance them both.

Garbage in, garbage out. Sure. But only in, nothing out is equally bad – doesn’t matter that it’s only the best that goes in.

There are times when I know I want to write about something, but I can’t think of anything. This is one such moment. Plus I am too sleepy to dig into my mind. So I am making this note to slightly pacify my mind.

This is a list of things you’re allowed to do that you thought you couldn’t, or didn’t even know you could.

Source: Things you’re allowed to do - Milan Cvitkovic

A fascinating list this. A few that resonated with me were saying “I don’t know” or “I don’t have an opinion” when you don’t" or “don’t drink (alcohol), even when you’re expected to”. A handy reference.

My daughter regularly uses the assistants at home – for timers, for reminders. To play songs that she loves. She even asks questions about things she gets curious about. She loves Alexa and talks to her as if talking to a friend. She can work with Google Assistant – it always gets the job done.

However, she doesn’t like Siri. I set a timer for her with Siri today – it didn’t take her long to move it to Echo. Well, I can’t blame her. She asked Siri how much time was remaining on her timer. Siri replied, “I am sorry, I can’t do that here.” How can you not do something so basic?

Once my daughter was done, I asked Siri to cancel the timer. Well, she repeated that she can’t do that. Sigh!

I suck at emojis – I don’t understand this language. Why are there so many representations of the quality of laughter? Grinning, Smiling, Beaming and whatnot. I understand each word means something different, but conveying that through the right emoji is a task in itself. I mean seriously, what’s the difference between emoji representing “Grinning Face with Smiling Eyes” and “Beaming Face with Smiling Eyes”? I will never know that.

We have around 3600 emojis (3633 to be exact), which include gender or skin tones. Isn’t that number too large? Plus it keeps growing every year. Sure, add new emojis that people want and anticipate. But remove a few tens that get hardly used. Who uses Dotted Line Face 🫥? What does it even mean?

Emoji is a powerful language – fastest growing at that. But it need not grow meaninglessly.

Side note, did you know 😭 is the most used emoji? It represents the pain that is using the right emoji.

These stunning images are a major achievement for us Earthlings. And given everything absurd we’ve witnessed on Earth of late, they are more than that. If nothing else, the humongousness of the universe ought to put our problems into perspective. A little insignificance isn’t such a bad thing.

Source: What’s in the James Webb space telescope photos? We can explain.