Random content that I'd like to keep track of.

Movies Around Perserverance and Intelligence

Sometimes we need to be reminded of all the incredible things that humanity can accomplish. For me, often this includes my appreciation for those applying intelligence towards challenges. It reminds me of the power we have to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, and the perseverance often required. I think having it based on a real situation adds additional meaning.

  • Hidden Figures
  • The Big Short
  • Moneyball
  • Imitation Game
  • The Darkest Hour
  • The King's Speech
  • The Way Back (2010)

I may need to re-watch the following to see if I consider them as also qualifying...

  • Apollo 13
  • Zero Dark Thirty?
  • All the President's Men?
  • The Post?
  • Charlie Wilson's War?
April 19, 2023, at 10:39 PMerika

Yes, One of Those Articles

So, just like 60% of the ads on the internet, I too have lost X libs in Y days. Its amazing! Though in this case, I'm trying to do so in a healthy, sustainable way. Some motivations include:

  • I'll have more money if I spend less on food (take away, general groceries, etc)
  • I'll have more energy to play with dog if I eat a healthy amount of healthy food (also no sugar, no/low gluten/dairy)
  • And all the other standard reasons for striving for a healthy weight...

For me, its helpful to lower the number of options - less decisions, makes it easier to choose well, both in the grocery store, and at home with what's around the house. Since I'm single, I only have my food floating around; and only purchase food for myself, not others which might involve unhealthy temptations (including cereal. Oh delicious, delicious cereal). There's an article somewhere of a fellow who was determined to get down to a healthy weight, and ate fish plus veggies at lunch, and chicken plus veggies at dinner, for months, and it worked for him. So healthy, repetitive meals are do-able.

Yes, one needs to make sure there's sufficient nutrients and variation to get all our dietary requirements; and most importantly, yes it needs to be interesting enough that I'm inspired/excited to eat it, yet not so interesting that I binge it and am left with nothing except take out to order...

So, what is this secret routine I'm currently using you ask? Well, its still under development, but my current approach is:


  • 1/4 c. steel cut oats
  • 1 tbsp super grains mix from Quakers
  • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts (nuts, and their oils, are healthy in small quantities)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (amongst other things, helps regulate blood sugar)
  • 2/3 c. boiling water

Let soak 1 hour. Cover and let soak overnight.

  • Add one egg

Microwave for 2.5 minutes, and let stand 30min.

  • Add salt (iodine is good for you), pepper to taste
  • Add banana OR other piece of fruit (eg. wild blueberries, sliced apple).


  • Add spices, eg. cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.


  • Add two types of fruit (don't do always)


  • Add another egg, skip the fruit (and add later), add some baking soda and/or baking powder, mix together, and cook like pancakes. Add maple syrup (not healthy, but *sigh*) and/or fruit.


Open faced sandwich:

  • 1 slice whole wheat, multi-grain sourdough bread (slows digestion, including sugars to bloodstream)


  • 2 slices pumpernickel bread (lower calorie, also sourdough-based)
  • mustard
  • 1/4 avocado sliced/mashed (healthy oils)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 tomato OR beets - sliced
  • small handful kale-salad mix
  • 2-3 slices of: smoked salmon OR ham OR sliced beef OR sliced turkey etc. (unprocessed sliced meat, eg. no salami) (protein)
  • 1 cup eating veggies (snap peas, cauliflower florets, baby carrots, etc.)
  • 1 apple or equivalent fruit (eg. pear, peach; not banana)


  • Add sliced pickles
  • 1 square/slice quality cheese (calcium, but raises cholesterol)


In advance (eg. on the weekend), cook, and mix together in a large bowl:

  • 1 cup dried brown basmati rice, cooked (feeling of fullness)
  • 1 tin kidney beans (slows digestion, evens out blood sugar, feeling of fullness)
  • 1 tin black beans
  • 1 pound shredded meat: eg. ground beef OR pork OR turkey OR white fish (protein)
  • 1 diced onion

Plus - A mix of veggies/spices to make a genre of flavour. For example:

  • Mexican: Add corn, chopped bell pepper, sliced olives; top with salsa
  • Pub: mushrooms, peas/corn or zucchini or eggplant
  • Biryani-style: ??? veggies, garam masala
  • Mediterranean: minced garlic, olives, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, diced artichokes, eggplant,
  • Oriental: mushrooms, baby corn, sliced cooked bok choy, ???
  • etc.

Then each evening, dish out a normal-sized bowl of the mixture. Heat up if desired.


  • Add tumeric (anti-inflamatory)
  • Cook up an egg with the above (watch cholesterol though; recommended 1 egg max. per day)


  • B12 gummy vitamin + general gummy multivitamin (helps top up vitamins)
  • Continuously top up lemon-flavoured large water bottle
  • Green tea

Plus 1-2 of the following (daily calorie counting dependent):

  • Wholesome high-veggie content soup (low/no salt; low/no sugar; low calorie)
  • 2 cups mixed fruit + banana
  • 1 slice whole wheat multi-grain sourdough bread + peanut butter (protein for craving, whole wheat for feeling full)
  • 1 cup greek yogurt blended with 12g melted 100% chocolate or cherries


  • Monday to Friday:
    • 45 minutes elliptical (on holidays, see below instead)
    • Morning dog walk; evening dog walk
  • Once a week: 45min swim (arms, core; helps with ear wax too)
  • Twice a week: 5km run
  • Saturday: 10km run OR 60 minutes elliptical OR 1 hour swim (easier without covid restrictions) + dog walk
  • Sunday: hike or cross country ski with elevation OR 60 minutes elliptical + dog walk


  • 45 minute of "activity" on Nintendo's Ring Fit game
  • Somehow I need to incorporate weights. Still working on that.


I'm also using a calorie counter on my phone to track how much I'm going over or under for the day which helps. I'm using a weight training app to record how often I'm out for a run/on the elliptical, and also Strava to record where I go/how far I go for my runs and hikes. Lastly, I weigh myself almost daily to make sure it corresponds to weight loss.

August 24, 2020, at 09:23 PMerika

Socializing an Idea for Introverts - Part 1

This last week, I've heard the phrase twice now regarding "socializing an idea". The concept is a bit amorphous, but the idea is a blend of spit-balling an idea, bouncing an idea off someone, gaining support about an idea's value to the product, and seeing if there's even interest or value in the idea.

I've been struggling with this for the better part of the week, and I'm unclear where the struggle is coming from. What does it mean to socialize an idea? Why is there value in taking the time for such things? What if its wasted time? How does one socialize an idea? What ideas are worth socializing? Perhaps articulation will foster clarification...

My default state - given my personality, profession and introversion - is:

  • Focus on the work that I'm tasked with
  • Don't be a bottleneck for others
  • Don't interrupt others unless there's a good reason
  • Getting things wrong is bad (means re-doing things - wasted time/resources). Don't get things wrong. (Struggles with perfectionism anyone?)

The third one greatly impacted me at my last job. I felt uncomfortable asking questions, so I instead learned the large codebase thoroughly, on my own, from scratch. This made my throughput poor compared to other, more established developers (I still feel the throughput was decent given I was early on in my career... ).

I've since recognized that I need to actively fight against my default state and strive to ask questions early to prevent personal bottlenecks. The struggle is balancing asking questions with performing sufficient research to ask useful questions. And the trickiest part of the struggle is accepting that sometimes I'll get the balance wrong (investigate too little, investigate too much) but **its okay** if I get the balance wrong. (see the last bullet point above). I'll learn something if I get it wrong. I hope.

So I'm striving to socialize programming struggles. Okay. But now we're being told to "socialize ideas". Er, um... what??? Don't we already have mechanisms for this? Such as:

1. Isn't that what a design doc is? Mock up an idea, send it out for consideration and/or meet to discuss, get feedback. Decide to implement it or not, based on business needs. Done. 2. Or if its a small idea, keep it in mind (or write it down to remember it) and if we're in that area of the code again, bring it up as a suggestion. Done.

These optimize people's time, prevent interruptions, and keep the conversation focused/directed. See bullet points 1-3 above.

So what does socializing an idea do that these don't cover? Well, one observation is that the premise behind #1 is there's already acceptance/consensus over a problem existing, being important enough to warrant a design document and go exploring solutions. And observe that with #2, these smaller ideas are more detail-oriented - they add (greatly?) to the overall user experience (or a collection of them would), but are unlikely to make-or-break a product for shipping. Sneaking them into the product at a time when we're working in the area is an easy interruption or natural extension.

So perhaps ideas that require socialization are the ones that fall under #1 - medium to large to epic sized ones. But in the stage before acceptance/spiking. But the questions are: what types of ideas warrant socialization? And how does one go about doing it?

These should be obvious. All other medium to large sized ideas should/require socialization/acceptance. And to go about it, one needs to run the idea by others, perhaps brainstorming improvements before converging on a go/no-go for the feature.

Straightforward, right?

But perhaps... the questions really are - why do I feel I can only sneak in suggestions (via #2)? Why do I feel uncomfortable sharing these ideas and having these conversations? Do I have ideas that really warrant socialization? If I don't, why don't I feel I have ideas that warrant socialization? Am I suppressing the opportunity to think beyond the domain I feel its okay to provide input for? Or outside the times where it seems acceptable to provide ideas?

It could be that I'm busy (see the first bullet at top re: focusing on tasks), but there's certainly value to the company if I have - and take the time to consider - ideas of value. And even if I have such ideas, what type of ideas warrant the act of socialization? Given bullet points above, I suspect I've developed the habit/inclination to consider my ideas not worth interrupting others' work. Especially when we're trying to ship. Obviously. So I write them down, and wait for opportunities for them to be incorporated. Or for someone else to bring them up.

My lovely logical mind came to the recognition - without my buy in, I might add - that if an idea is important enough, someone else will eventually come up with it, and it'll happen. So, is there value in my spending time considering ideas if someone else will generate them and get them through anyways? Devil's advocate one direction - nope, think of all the free time, and mental (and apparently social!) overhead I'm saving which can be directed towards specific tasks. Devil's advocate the other direction - but maybe it starts the conversation, or adds to the conversation (another voice/vote), or is a direction one might not necessarily take.

Part one in "socializing an idea for introverts" -- allow yourself to brainstorm ideas that are worth interrupting other peoples' time for. And be okay with this.

March 02, 2020, at 04:07 AMErika

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