Five things for the week

Garden Highway
  1. Towards the end of the week, I let some things drop on my personal (home) and school fronts. Wednesday and Thursday were tied up with some long conference calls that lasted from 5:30 AM to 3:00 PM, so my energy was spent on that. This week, as a result, I have some catching up to do.
  2. Change is in the air… I think it always is but we only really notice it when we want to.
  3. My wife is continuing to school me in skin and self-care. I must admit, I do like our face mask routines. The charcoal and purifying ones feel really good.
  4. Related to #2: I have the means but, I lack the “way”.
  5. This coming week, we set a goal to just prep/eat vegetarian dinners. I’m excited to see if/how we fare with this. It should be easy but will we cave to wanting some sort of meat?

Recently read, Watched, and Listened


The Disease of More My inner-minimalist keeps trying to surface. This isn’t about minimalist of stuff, necessarily. It more spoke to finding balance and contentment with what you are doing with your life. An example would be salary; how much do you want to earn and why? And what happens when you get to earning that much? Would you then want to earn more, or will you truly be content with what you need?

What It’s Like to Grow Up With More Money Than You’ll Ever Spend Speaking of earning and money, this is a small insight from someone with a lot of money and built-in potential to always make more. But she has tempered, in her way, what having money means and how that affects daily living.


Star Trek: Discovery, Season 1 – We caved and subscribed to CBS All Access, mainly to watch this show. My curiosity kept growing to the point where I just needed to check it out to see if it was worth paying (extra) for. In my opinion, it is. We binged Season 1 though the weekend and are already craving catching up on season 2.

Our Planet I started watching this series (I’m just two episodes in) for the stunning visuals, much like the “Planet Earth” and “Blue Planet” series. I love content like this and have great appreciation for what (I understand) it takes to produce it. Imagine the sheer patience and amount of footage needed to get to their final cut.


I’m trying our a subscription to Apple Music and letting the “For You” playlists do their thing. They’re not bad (so far), and I find that I’m discovering some new artists in the process. I’m still coming to terms with paying for a music subscription versus purchasing (digital or analog).

More art in more places, please!

Unexpected places

This mural, on a water tank (?), is a few neighborhoods over from mine, in Sacramento. I remember first seeing it as we were searching for houses to buy, and thinking “how awesome to see art instead of a blah beige industrial tank” and “I would love to live in a place that encourages art like this”.

Yesterday, after a long series of conference calls, I grabbed a late lunch and took an afternoon drive. I stopped (quickly) by the side of the road to grab this snapshot, making a note to come back to it sometime when the light was more aligned to showcase the center part of the mural. I also noticed that there is a bike path that runs right past this, making another note to myself to get out to explore that soon.

I gotta elephant!

I love this track. It’s a great “hype up” song when you need to pump up for something. It’s also fun to play (and sing to) loudly while driving.

Sometimes I imagine the chorus being “I gotta elephant” instead of “I gotta elevate”. It’s fun imaging that they’re all just happy that they got elephants. Perhaps, it’s just fun for me to imagine that.

Recently Read, Watched, and Listened


The most Innovative Phone Cases are Made in a Los Angeles Shed – The lengths people will go in the name of their creativity is to be appreciated. Also, there’s a lesson in here to just be/do you. It’s an important lesson that we all need to learn over and over again.


Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse Loved everything from the animation styles to the story to the diversity in the characters. It was also just a very fun movie.

BumblebeeAlmost, movie studios… almost got it right. You’re just so so close. Ha! Nope. So many plot holes and “poor loner girl” clichés and continuity mistakes that it was all just too distracting for me to fully enjoy. At least you got the original Transformers’ styles back. I need more Soundwave and Shockwave.


Song Exploder, ep. 156 Sharon Van Etten “Seventeen” Song Exploder is one of my favorite podcasts. I really appreciate the artist breaking down their creative process for creating their music. And it “deepens” my appreciation of the work that was put into each of the tracks.

The Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse soundtrack. It’s too distracting (for me) while working but it sure is fun to play loudly while driving around town. 

On drone photography

Photo by Khánh Phan on SkyPixel

I was looking through the submissions and winners of the 2018 SkyPixel photography contest. It’s a great collection of drone photography, really displaying what the medium is capable of.

I love the different perspectives that we’re getting with drone photography. So much so that I started looking into purchasing a drone with the hope that the new perspective, and hobby, would help me work my way back into photographing new things.

The overall equipment cost acts as a bit of a deterrent for me. Even though I could afford to get into it (modestly) I still can’t justify the cost against how often I might actually use the equipment. I then started thinking about my current blocks on photography. One of the reasons I have the kit that I do is because I just got tired of hauling equipment all over the place. I wanted small and light, a camera that I can thrown into a backpack. Not a camera backpack, mind you, but just a plain old backpack.

Just the thought of moving around with a drone and all of the accessories was enough to turn me off. Admittedly, I still toy with the idea though. I suppose I’m “drone-curious” right now.

Now, what I want more than a drone is an eagle trained to take them down. Now that would be fun!

Five things for the week

Succulent arrangement
  1. After reading this article, I started thinking about the amount of time I spend (we all spend, actually) with keyboards. I am picky with them. Not as picky as some but more than most. At my desk I use a mechanical keyboard for feel, comfort, and sound. I have yet to find any keyboard that I like using with my iPad. Most are tolerable but none preferred. I haven’t purchased an Apple laptop, opting to keep my 2014 Macbook Pro, because the Macbook keyboards since then are horrible. Thankfully, my work laptop (Dell 7480) has a decent keyboard which I appreciate while on business trips (and am away from my desktop setup).
  2. I purchased a dwarf Meyer lemon tree, earlier in the week, and potted it in a 20-gallon pot on the weekend. I’m glad to finally get some green in our backyard (when we bought the house, the yard was just pavers and white rock). I have two more bigger pots that I plan to fill up eventually. Just trying to determine what I want back there. For now, I’d be happy with anything green. I also purchased an AeroGarden to start using as a quick seed starter. 
  3. We replaced our bedroom curtains with darker (grey) ones which, as intended, has made our room very dark through the night and mornings. The pervious curtains (left by the previous owner) were sheer, so let in some light all of the time. I got used to them very quickly, with mornings being easy because I would wake up with the light. Now, with these darker ones, I have more difficulty getting up in the mornings. My wife is sleeping much better so, I just need more time to adjust (and a louder alarm).
  4. I can’t believe it’s April already.
  5. This week’s priority: health. Mental and physical.