I Don’t Auto-Update

This is super random, but I really hate auto-updates. Long gone are the days when I’d look forward to OS updates on my Mac or iPhone because it seems like Apple is only interested in adding features to their newest products. How many times have I seen app updates for the iPhone X in the past few months? It’s been crazy. I’m sure, going forward, my little phone is going to be left in the dust while the OS is optimised for the absolute latest iPhone model while the updates that affect my phone are just going to make it slower and run hotter. Or the macOS updates are going to be centred on the touch bar that I don’t want, need, or have.

What I especially hate is when developers release a new version of their app and in the what’s new section, all it says is one of these:

  • Bug fixes.
  • General improvements.
  • We’re making the app better to use, so we update it every 2 weeks. (I think it’s because they want to stay at the top of the most downloaded chart.)
The excitement is way too much for me…

I’m not sure about anybody else, but I kinda would like to know what’s actually been improved. I don’t need the computer science explanation, I just want to know what bugs have been fixed and I mean the ones that would improve speed, improve the look, or something like that. I think developers should be a little more transparent like that or at least have a longer explanation of what work they’ve done. I’m perfectly fine with “Fixed spelling mistakes”. That would always make me happy.

The browser that I use as my default now, Vivaldi, does a really great job at this. There are actual things to look forward to with updates, they document them where people can see them, and they prove that you don’t have to go through 16 full number versions to bring in something new. It’s definitely annoying not to be able to distinguish what changed from Chrome 33 to Chrome 60. I’m sure 80 is right around the corner.

Something like this is nice to see. Plus, if you’ve missed something it’s there.

Still, I have a hope that new updates to software and apps bring something new and exciting to the table. I actually don’t have the auto-update features on anything turned on. I just get a notification of what’s changed then I can decide whether I want to install them. I usually do, but at least this way I can see what’s changed before I install it. I do this on my Mac, PC, Android devices, and iOS device. Security updates are different, but I’m usually well-informed of what’s happening in the security world anyway. I also don’t think that it’s smart to explain in detail what the security updates do before a certain percentage of people install them (an example of how telemetry can be used for good instead of evil).

I’m still hopeful and still looking forward to “remarkable” updates with stuff. My XBox One kinda auto-updates itself (because it’s always “on”) which makes me a little uneasy since I want to see the progress of Astroneer.

That’s all from me for the moment. Weird post but it’s been on my mind. You can never tell what I’ll post.

Me Versus A**hole Vegans

Let’s talk about what we eat, shall we? Well, let’s talk about what I eat. Something funny happened over the holidays and eventually, I’ll get there, just give me a moment. People know that I am pretty easy-going and for the most part, I’m pretty liberal. I’m not crazy liberal, but I feel like people who run countries (or really, people in general) shouldn’t be assholes. What I consider asshole behaviour is different from what others consider asshole behaviour.

But there are people who go a little too far. I remember reading something on my Facebook around Christmas where someone basically said “Merry Christmas but go fuck yourself if you eat ham.” I’d love to say that this is an exaggeration but it’s not. I’ve got a lot of friends who are vegetarian. Hell, I can totally go vegetarian (and I have before) but the main reason why I did it is because I feel better doing it physically. Vegetarian food can be really, really good. It’s especially good for someone who doesn’t really like to cook meat because of the smell. Being flexible and being able to eat no meat for weeks at a time has its advantages.

What? Meat AND milk??

I’ve got a friend of mine who says “gross” every time I eat at KFC. She’s right though, it’s not very good for me but damn it, it’s one of my addictions! I’ve seen the awful KFC videos. I think about it for the day, then I’m hungry for it a few days after that. She doesn’t think I’m awful for that because she’s not mean about it.

I know and hang out with vegans and while I think it’s a bit harder to find food that tastes good, it’s not really that common. Something about that is that these people aren’t assholes about it. They don’t tell me I’m a disgusting, murderous person for eating dairy cheese. I like that.

The person who said that people who eat Christmas ham (or in some Americans’ cases, another turkey) can go fuck themselves goes a bit too far. I don’t know him that well, but I find that it’s really rude. Being a total jerk isn’t going to make me reconsider what I eat. I eat meat when or if I want to. No amount of bullying is going to change that long-term.

It really boils down to your actions when you want people to believe the way you want. Going around calling people murderers for eating meat isn’t going to accomplish meat. The more asshole behaviour there is, the less likely I am going to listen, period.

To Oblivion With You! You’re Too Careless!

See what I did with the post title? Yeah, something so simple can totally set me off. I’m not a huge grammar-crazy monster like my 9th grade English teacher, but the misuse of “to” and “too” drives me crazy. I’ve probably made this mistake too many times myself and not even really realised it because of auto-correct. Yes, my phones and my web browser (Hi, Vivaldi!) kinda don’t get that it’s my crazy trigger. The phones are really bad at it because people are continuously using the word “to” in the wrong way and as much as I want to correct them, I don’t because I’ve seen what happens to people when they get preachy about spelling and grammar.

When I was a kid, spelling was my thing. I never, ever made anything below a 90 on my spelling tests (but who needs those anymore since everything spell checks, right?). I can 99% look at a word and say “that’s wrong” or “that’s right”. I was never really good at spelling bees though because I didn’t like being in front of people, and I am really awful at spelling words aloud. I usually have to write it in the air or write it down to see if it’s right.

I think the spelling check on just about every electronic device has made people really dumb. I mean, insanely dumb. I would really hate to see people function without some kind of form of spell check.

And as I’ve said, you can probably go back in my personal journal here and find plenty of things to complain about. Putting sentences together seems to get a lot harder as you age, or if you don’t read much, you’ve never been very good at it. Spelling in my thing. And even that’s not perfect. I’m not perfect and no one really is, it’s just that some people go back and proofread their posts. I don’t most of the time.

Time Off + Games = Happy Ben

Believe it or not, I’m still on my Christmas break. I usually take time off at the end of the year so I can catch up on all the stuff that I need to do or travel to the USA or something. This year, I have been trying to keep on top of my coding work since I was running myself ragged during November and the beginning of December. I have another week before I start my traveling 3 hours every day. I guess I’m going to have to enjoy it while I can. The first half of the year promises to be quite challenging, but I’m pretty confident that I can get through it. I have a ton of things to do, places to go, stuff to eat.

Other than that, I’m good. I haven’t been working non-stop but have been playing a lot of games too. For a while, I was buying game after game because it was on sale. I started playing Elder Scrolls Online and it’s fun, but I say to myself that it’s no World of Warcraft. WoW got a bit too complicated, messy and irritating, so I stopped playing it and found better things to do with my time. I haven’t actually played it in several years now. ESO is a bit nice because it plays on my love of Skyrim.

I also picked up Astroneer for XBox One. It’s fun enough but I’m more excited about what they’re going to do with it. It’s basically Minecraft without the ugly blocks, oh, and you can suffocate without an oxygen line that you have to tether to your base. It makes the gameplay pretty fun and it’s really nice looking too. Unfortunately, I was bored with it after a few days of playing it. That’s why I want to see where the game itself is heading.

My partner says I’m addicted but I think of it this way: I don’t like watching movies or TV, so this is what I do instead. I don’t, and can’t, spend 12+ hours of my day every day playing games. I have done that a few times playing Bioshock, but that was a long time ago. He’s got something against gaming in general which is a big shame. I think everybody I’ve been with sees it as a colossal waste of time, but if you think about it, isn’t sitting in front of a screen watching movies just as big of a time killer? At least the added perk of interactivity is there. Sometimes I play games just to look at the artwork or listen to the music. It’s like a big package of nice things. Immerse yourself, I’d say!

Cheap Shots?

Everybody who knows me and reads this weblog be like “What did you say about me?!”

One of the most bothersome things I have to deal with is when someone reads my weblog and then uses every little bit of information I put here against me in some way. I’ve had so many arguments with people because of things that I write here (and sometimes, the things I don’t put here).

Let me just say this, you’ve all read about my problems and you’ve seen that I don’t really process things the best way sometimes. I am told that I paint a picture of me doing no wrong, while everybody else irritates the piss out of me. The last time I checked, I’m really hard on myself. If you think the extent of the abuse of my self-esteem stops with this weblog, you’re incredibly wrong. Let’s just say that I nag myself constantly for not being this perfect person that I think I should be (because I feel like it’s what other people want). Yes, I’m still working through that.

I do say negative things about my partner sometimes. I tend to point out things that bother me, because being nice is, um, quite difficult for me to do. Who wants to read a personal journal that’s full of cupcakes, rainbows, unicorns, and smiley faces? No one does because that’s not how life works. I can’t think of anybody I know that has a perfect life. Shit falls apart all the time. People annoy me. I annoy myself. I annoy others. That’s just life.

Basically, my partner reads my weblog sometimes. He says that I go crazy with all the terrible things about him, which isn’t really that true. I’ve told him so many times that this is a therapy for me and without it, my brain would explode for suppressing all these feelings.

I’d rather type my feelings than talk about them and if it doesn’t have an audience, that’s fine. I don’t mind that. At least I’m psychologically punching a punching bag. I need that.

At times like that, I second guess keeping this thing. I probably could keep a private journal, but I think I feel a little better knowing that there are people like me out there who can read this and be like “This sounds like me.” and they don’t feel so different. I mean, with what happens in my head and the constant abuse I put myself through then see what I’m doing about it. I know, I lack a bit of the “what I’m doing about it” part. I’ve improved over the years. I’m a work in progress!

I guess what I’m saying is that if you’re going to read this and base everything about me based on my constant bitching about stuff on here, it’s probably not a good thing to do. My partner’s not that bad. He irritates me sometimes and likewise, I irritate him too. I know I do, but how do I write about the things that I personally irritate him with? I told him to start a weblog and take shots at me if he wants. I’ve offered to set him up with one, and if he really wanted to be an author on this thing, he’s free to do that too. I always wanted to do the collaborative thing.

Mmmmm… cupcakes.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

May your 2018 be everything you hope for, full of nice surprises, love, prosperity, and magical weight loss coffee that doesn’t require you to watch what you eat or go to the gym! (Yeah, someone’s been peddling this crap on my Facebook lately: Today’s version of the snake oil man.)

I am going to continue my journey to better my career and hopefully do something about my recent weight gain before it gets to the point where I can’t do anything about it.

No one really knows what the future holds for us, but no matter what, we can make it good by focusing on the good things (as small as they might be) or we can can make it terrible by focusing on the horrible things that happen. We can always find some good in any situation even if we have to be really creative about it.

So, 2018, bring it on.

Edit: Oops. Meant to post this at 5 pm here so that it’s midnight in Texas.

Is it Fear of Commitment or Married Life?

Hi, weekend!

I’ve been spending time with friends in Melbourne because I don’t get much time to be social with them. Since I’ve moved, my time interacting with people over there have been quite limited. I met up with a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in a really long time and it was really nice. I was telling him about my upcoming plans for 2018 and how I’m supposed to get married mid-year.

Regardless of how sick I get that day, I’ll be there. (I’ve always had this really deep sadness for Miss Havisham. That lady got seriously mentally fucked by being left at the alter.)

He’s completing a degree in psychology, so it was pretty fun for him. He had me come by because he wasn’t sure if he was going to complete it or not and needed some feedback. After hearing about my “issues” he decided he’s going to finish it. I am a bit honoured but I’m also laughing at myself at the same time.

He said it appears that I get overly anxious when I talk about our wedding. I am, because I still don’t know what I’m doing, and the marriage thing is something that I want to do right the first time, and hopefully not have it fall apart. That’s the thing though, I feel like my relationships will fall apart. It’s not that they can fall apart, but they will fall apart, so I ask myself why should I do it or put a lot of effort into it? I am an odd one.

I think about 10 years ago, I accepted that something like this would never happen to me and my gay life was destined to be drifting from person to person (not in a slutty way though). The thought of being with someone who I love for the rest of my life appeals to me. I like that and I love this guy, of course. (It’s hard for me to say the word “love” to anybody, including my family, so that’s major.)

In so many ways I’m looking forward to it but in a few ways, I am dreading it. Some people who I know personally probably don’t believe this, but I absolutely hate being the centre of attention. It caused me a lot of grief when I even did my citizenship ceremony. It’s why I didn’t attend any of my graduations. It’s why I don’t do birthday parties. A wedding where I have several people looking at me? It has horror written all over it.

I have been getting really panicky about it. What’s more interesting is that it’s more than half a year away! I’m already dreading something that is so far away. This is what I deal with internally over just about everything. It makes me very tired, but it also makes me very sad. I haven’t been able to deal with this very well. I do make attempts to put myself in situations where I get what I consider unwanted attention. It is so hard to do, but I do it because I want this to get a bit better.

That’s why I get so anxious about it. I’m scared of the “ceremony” (EVEN if it’s just signing documents), not the results (the being married part).

I guess that’s what’s bothering me right now. A few times, I have just been on the very edge of really panicking. It’s really stopping things getting planned, I think.

I’m really not wanting to sound like some Tumblr drama queen or anything with 130+ problems. This is just something that I continuously struggle with. I hate it and shouldn’t focus on it, but it’s a real emotion that I think a lot of people struggle with.

So basically, it’s not a fear of commitment nor is it a fear of married life. It’s just the attention on the day–something I’m going to be thinking about constantly until it happens. I’m going to just try to deal with it though. He’s not going to be a jilted lover, meaning that I’m not going to show up. I’ll be there, but I’ll probably be barfing my guts up that morning. Some of the last words that my friend said that night was “Don’t you dare leave him at the alter or cancel at the last second.” That won’t happen. I do love the guy and I’ll work through the “pain” for him.

End of the Year Wrap-Up

Can you believe it? The year is almost done and 2018 is right around the corner. What a great time to make promises of stuff I’ll do, but probably break 2 weeks into the year? I’ve always been a big fan of making my goals so broad that they can definitely be accomplished, but rarely do I actually remember the checklist. My plans for 2017 included improving my main career branch, and I accomplished a lot. I’m quite proud of myself. 

What’s next year going to compromise of? Well, I have a lot going on next year. As many of you already know, the next year is when my wedding day will be. I actually have a date now which is good. It’s at a time when more of my partner’s family will be in Australia. Unfortunately, I know that it’s hard, if not impossible, for my friends and family to fly to Australia, so I am planning to do something special for them at the end of the year (assuming that my partner goes to the USA with me), or if that is too uncertain, I will just do an online thing (but still go to the USA at the end of the year, by myself). It’s not really what I want, but my partner’s year looks to be even busier and more expensive than mine. He’s starting new jobs, starting his PhD, and a few other things, so I’ll be a bit more understanding of his situation.

So when? I’ve added a countdown in the left column of my website. If you’re on a mobile device, it should be near the bottom.

The online stuff I am doing will be quite controlled, so if you know me well, and you want to see it, you’ll be able to request access to it when it becomes available. More about that later. (I’m building software that I need to do some testing for anyway.)

So what is my focus on next year? I think I just need to be better at my job. I want to be better, so I’m going to focus even more on what I want to do. I have some mental hurdles to jump over, but I have a bit more confidence that I can do it. That makes me feel a lot better knowing that I can do it. The training I’m going through at the moment is showing me that I can do a great job and connect better with people in a professional way.

I also need to love some of this gut fat. Over the past month or two, I’ve put on a lot of weight. Sometimes I think my partner likes to see that happen. I’ve been teasing him about his gut, but he seems to be content with it. Who knows. My gym membership needs reactivated, but will that really make me go back? (Hint: No.)

Merry Christmas to Everybody

I know I’ve said a dozen times that the holiday spirit isn’t something I do very well over here, but if you do the Christmas thing, I really hope that your holidays are full of love, blessings, Jesus, God, Santa Claus, unicorns, cheesecake, and all the other good stuff you like.

But anyway, Merry Christmas to you and your family. (I wouldn’t want to say “Happy Holidays” and get people’s panties in a knot.)

And no, I didn’t go outside and take the picture. It’s a picture of Christmas lanterns in The Philippines. I am not a Filipino (obviously), but I was in Manila one year right before Christmas and saw all the shops selling parol (Christmas lanterns) and it was really beautiful. Unfortunately, I don’t have any surviving photos of my trip there, so I “borrowed” this one. Sometimes, it’s really nice to see how excited Filipinos get about Christmas. I don’t know many here any

Communication is Key

I’m supposed to be doing stuff this morning, but as usual, my mornings are full of distractions (like my blog). I was talking to one of my best friends here yesterday, complaining about how flattened I feel, and just how exhausted I feel though I haven’t really done much to warrant that exhaustion. It’s a bit weird.

A lot of what’s bothering me is that the wedding’s happening next year. I tell people that I am a little apprehensive about it and really, I think that’s a normal thing. For every little argument that my partner and I have, I think “Gee, is this something I want to deal with later?” To me, the little arguments we have aren’t worth the fuss. It’s probably fair to say that I am very into the conflict avoidance thing. I just don’t see the point of wasting the time and energy arguing about things. I’m more about acknowledging what’s being argued about, compromising or admission that something isn’t right, then moving on. My partner, well, he’s argumentative. I’d really hate to say it, but he argues a lot with people but when he argues, his listening shuts off. It’s like he believes that the louder a person speaks, or the longer a person speaks, they will win the argument. I’m not so interested in the winning part. I’m basically interested in fixing problems part. He does come back after a while being more sensible but he really needs to just take the time, as soon as possible, to think things through and ask himself “Is this really worth it?” It takes a lot of energy dealing with this and lately, the energy wasted doesn’t even involve me! It’s with other people! He does this with other people, it’s not just me. He really needs to work on this because it’s extremely maddening and it’s not a good quality. To me, this is a major problem.

It sounds like I’m just having a go at him and complaining about it, but it’s more about communicating better. The communication can’t happen when the other person can’t get a word in, feels ignored, or feels like they’re not being listened to in the first place. Relationships aren’t perfect. I’m not perfect. He’s not perfect. I know all of this. Being able to communicate is important though, there’s no doubt about that.

We probably both need to work on communicating better. Don’t get me wrong, we do communicate but it’s just when he argues (with anybody), he shuts everything down and let his mouth run the show. I hope he’ll see that one day.