Musings

March 2018 check in!

Just in case some people were wondering if I was still around on the interwebs.

Short answer is yes, I’ve been playing about on Twitter with a lot of stalking on Facebook.

Longer answer is that I’ve been battling fatigue, massive anxiety (hello hormones I have not missed you what the hell), and general burnout.

The good thing about my current job is that the mention of burnout and fatigue didn’t result in my team leads making me feel like I’m a useless drain on company resources. It actually resulted in a fruitful conversation with actual action taken to minimise the effects. I can still contribute. In fact, the stuff that I absorbed while I was on the road to burning out is actually being redirected into other media and forms of expression. So I’m not writing super long form or detailed articles that require hours of research now; I’m regurgitating what I know into video scripts, website improvements and helping my new colleagues wrap their heads around our services (total waste management in Australia).

My hair is officially past my shoulders. I’m hoping that when June comes, I can lop it all off in a glorious ponytail. The ponytail is going to Locks of Hope to be turned into wigs for cancer patients. June is also my birthday month, and I may do another round of donation requests for The Seed Foundation.

The first quarter of the year is almost over. Hello Spring, it is nice to see you. Winter I think drives my itchy butt. I feel the need/desire for new pastures. Once I’m passed it, I tend to be… ok? In any case, I’m looking forward to April. My bond with my current company ends then. No, I’m not thinking of leaving but I don’t like having the bond over my head. This is a reminder to myself not to do this again next time.

So how was the first three months of 2018 for you?

Geekiness, Musings

Digi Up – A few thoughts

Digi Up is a new service for Digi subscribers, targeted at those who upgrade their phones frequently. It offers subscribers the “newest and greatest” phones at an affordable monthly rate. In a nutshell here’s what you need to know:

Who’s eligible:
– Those who receive the call or SMS from Digi beginning 2 Feb, if this page is right.
– Usage above RM80 monthly for the last three months
– My suspicion: Those who switched phones frequently in the last few years (I had 3 phones over the last 3 years, which was probably why I was targeted)

At a glance, you’ll get quite a few good benefits:
– New phone yearly if you like, or once every two years (flagship level, it seems)
– Phone theft protection (you can claim once per phone)
– Accidental damage (water, screen protection, etc)
– A concierge-like service for all your phone needs
Buy back guarantee for the phone they ~rent~ give you

So it looks like a pretty damn good deal right? You can upgrade your phone yearly if you like and it will always be flagship-level, you get great phone protection and dedicated customer service. I dropped by a Digi store to get more info, and then the hidden stuff came to light.

Here’s the bit that’s a little obscured on their site they don’t tell you:

  1. You MUST subscribe to the Digi Postpaid 110 plan.
  2. You will be paying the device price together with the plan.
    So if you choose the Note 8, you’ll be paying RM262 aka RM152 (device price) + RM110 (subscription).
  3. This is a phone rental service.
    Yes, you read that right, it’s a RENTAL service. You cannot keep the phone even after your contract is over. You need to either return it to Digi for a new phone or extend your contract (max 6 months) OR pay a Payoff fee that’s not listed on that page.
Is Digi Up worth it?

Well, it depends. Digi Up seems to be the next incarnation of Digi’s previous instalment plan, the Easy Up. The biggest change seems to be the mobile protection offered – Easy Up required a separate subscription to Mobisure while Digi Up offers it as part of their service. There’s some wording that also seems to indicate that users could keep their phones on the Easy Up service – on Digi Up, you have to return it or pay them an extra fee to keep it forever.

If you expect to change your phones every 12 months or so then this may be an option for you. If you are already on the RM110 plan OR are considering an upgrade to that plan and was in the market for a new phone, yes, this plan might be worth it. Otherwise, if you’re like me and you expect your phone to be with you for a few years… probably not.

Geekiness, Ramblings

What I learnt this week

Image of the video rendering in progress

So, a few quick things I wanted to write about this week.

Video editing is painful

As part of the ASMR series, I’m uploading a bunch of videos that show me typing. This week’s video with the CM QuickFire Pro has been delayed a few days because I’ve been playing around with Da Vinci Resolve.

The verdict? I’m taking a sledgehammer to a nail. This tool is powerful but I need to relearn how to edit videos from scratch. Why did you delete Movie Maker, Microsoft, why?

Rendering can be nuts

As part of my “learning curve” with the software, I ended up exporting a file that was 65GB. Don’t ask.

This explained why my subsequent export of the same video in a different file format took only minutes instead of hours.

Can’t edit noise in the software

For some reason, I could not edit sound to remove noise in Da Vinci. I am going to export and then add the sound back from Audacity when done. I thought I’d removed all noise earlier. Annoying? Yes, very much so.

Exercise hurts

Finally upped my fitness game from mere walking in Pokemon Go to actual exercise. Yesterday (Wednesday) was Day Two, and for some reason my thighs hurt. Note to self: It could also be due to the fact you walked about 10,000 steps a day last weekend.

Still, it is better than almost nothing of the last two years.

Conclusion

This week was a week of pain, to say the least. See you all next week.

Ramblings

Comfort zone and New Year’s Resolutions

I made three New Year’s Resolutions this year to myself. One was to keep active according to the active time recommended by my health apps (no sweat, seriously, which means I should look into upping the challenge levels). The other was to go through my stash of Big Bad Wolf Sale books – this has been harder, because my attention span has shrunk over the last few years. I am getting there, somewhat.

The third, and one I thought I had in the bag, was a goal to write 2000 words a day. Now this may seem like a lot, but when you considered that I averaged around 1700 words a day during Nanowrimo, it looked like something I could do.

Erm… about 18 days into the New Year and to say I am failing epically is kind of a major understatement.

I feel like I need to mention a few qualifiers.

  1. I went into this challenge knowing and expecting that I would not be able to write 2000 words off the bat. That is a goal that would be nice but unrealistic. I instead aimed for at least 300 words a day, with a view to ramping it up as I hit it consistently.

  2. This would have covered everything non-work related, which includes this blog post you are now reading. So it was a fairly low bar to set in the first place.

So when I say that I am epically failing, I am, because even by this low bar I can’t seem to muster the discipline to do so.

Writing even twice a week and publishing a blog post is plenty enough, but the thing is it isn’t that I lack the material nor the skill, it’s that I lack the commitment to timeliness.

Which is why I am writing this, and why, hopefully, you will see a video at the top of this blog post later.

I am trying to document my adventures in writing using a medium I actually don’t really like (yes I am aware of how ridiculous it is).

I am basically videoing my attempts to write every day, with a view to recording the sound as ASMR type video.

Part of this is sheer spite – Google recently revamped their Youtube videos, and so I basically need to get about 4000 minutes of viewtime each month and then about 1k subscribers in order to be eligible for monetisation. So I’m creating short videos that hopefully won’t require too much editing.

Two is forcing myself to at least keep to a semblance of a routine. Something like this should not take me more than an hour or so at most, with the actual recording taking about 15-20 minutes. I foresee the biggest problem I’ll have is with editing sound – I would prefer to record this in Audacity before I merge them all in VideoPad, which is a software I will review.

Will this work? Will it fail? Who knows? At the very least I will be able to say at the end of the year that I tried.

And getting out of your comfort zone is never a bad thing.