the first day of spring

I recently finished The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson (spoiler: the book’s title is a misminor: it’s actually about how to selectively give a fuck), and I found this quote particularly poignant:

“Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from “wrong” to “right.” Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. And when we learn something additional, we go from slightly less wrong to slightly less wrong than that, and then to even less wrong than that, and so on. We are always in the process of approaching truth and perfection without actually ever reaching truth or perfection.
We shouldn’t seek to find the ultimate “right” answer for ourselves, but rather, we should seek to chip away at the ways that we’re wrong today so that we can be a little less wrong tomorrow.”

Today is my birthday. I always thought I was born on the first day of spring. The convention in Australia is spring begins on the first day of September. But I was was wrong. Spring technically doesn’t start until we reach the September equinox. An equinox is the moment in which the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun’s disk, which occurs twice each year, around 20 March and 23 September. On an equinox, day and night are of approximately equal duration all over the planet.

So in this year 2017, in Australia, spring begins around 8am on the 23rd of September, not today. I was born in winter after all 🙁


I recently read the somewhat ironically titled article ‘How to stop giving a F@$% what people think‘ (I think he should have actually called it ‘How to stop giving a FUCK what people think’).

One point stood out to me

“When you have your values straight, you have your shit straight.”

I’ve often thought about values but have never tried to articulated them. I had a go this morning on the bus on the way to work and this is what I came up with:

Quality over Quantity: I would much rather something of good quality than have anything at all.
Acceptance over Disappointment: I would much rather accept the things I have than be disappointed over things I don’t have.
Savings over Debt: I would much rather save for something than use debt to get it immediately.
Fewer close relationships over more shallow relationships: I would much rather develop a small number of more intimate relationships than have a large network of friends I hardly know.
Options over free choice: I believe I work best under constraints so I seek options over free choice. For example, I love the iTunes film of the week as I don’t need to make a choice, or a small lunch menu as it limits the choice I have.
Ordinary over extraordinary: As Bill Bryson says, the ordinary moments are what makes up the majority of our lives. I think we should celebrate the ordinary moments more.
Quiet over noise: the older I get the more I appreciate quiet (maybe now as the father of three small boys). I find noisy offices distracting, I find noisy cafe’s terrible and find quiet places great for both thinking and solitude.

What do you value?

junior pixels

Introducing junior pixels…


These pixels show the inside of Kitty’s belly.  They also sorta show what junior pixels, also known as space prawn, will look like when he/she arrives. It’s apt that all we know about junior pixels is what we can see in these pixels: pixels really have come to represent the very first stages of life.

We’re both crazy excited. The arrival of junior pixels will be a big milestone for our relationship, and will be the beginning of many adventures and good times ahead. I just need to ensure I don’t bore people too much with talk about babies.

We fly to Los Angeles on Friday morning. I just hope we don’t get swine flu when we’re there 😦

number two hundred eighty one

photo by mag3737
photo by mag3737 (creative commons)

This is my 281st post on Juiced Pixels. I felt like it was necessary to stop and congratulate myself at some point for making it this far, and I thought 281 is as good a number as any, even though people usually celebrate milestones as big round numbers, like 300 for example.

Some stats so far:

  • two years, one month and two weeks old
  • 280 posts/8 pages
  • 42 categories/836 tags
  • 247 approved comments
  • 5649 pieces of inedible spam™ in the net
  • 184,569 total views with the busiest day having 1,555 views

I didn’t think I would make it this far, because blogs, like diets, usually die within a few weeks, maybe months. I’ve had numerous friends start blogs in the time this one has been running but sadly most have withered away to nothing, like an unwatered plant. One exception is my mate John whose blog had been running well longer than this (since Jan ’06) and still going strong, the aptly named Playing With Myself: lamentations of a board gamer with not enough opponents.

I still don’t have a theme for this blog, but if I could call it one thing I would probably call it random shit™. Maybe that’s why it’s still going, because there’s a lot of random shit out there to blog about.

I find it hard not to be personal, because it’s a fully public blog. You probably note that I never post pictures of myself or family: I am too risk averse.

The reason I have kept this blog going is that I find writing very expressive and a way to clearly articulate my thoughts. I often have very confusing thoughts and I find that by writing them down I can clear my mind for others.

I also find it therapeutic to vent; like the day my unnamed co-worker pissed me off big time.

I’ve also stuck to wordpress in this time, and I have no regrets about it. At one stage I forked to tumblr as well, but I think I might kill that off in the new year.

I hope that I can continue writing this blog over the next couple of years. My viewpoint will most probably change, and that’s a good thing. I will look back and ask why I said that, but that’s okay, that’s progression. I’ll be more scared if my views haven’t changed in a few years.

one hundred things

One hundred things about me:

  1. I love that I was born on the first day of spring;
  2. I was born in the year of the metal rooster: nineteen eighty one to be exact;
  3. My ruling hours are those of the rooster: 5-7pm;
  4. I love monkeys; Kitty was born in the year before me: the year of the metal monkey;
  5. Kitty and I have been together since I was fifteen; and we’re still going crazy strong;
  6. I watch minimal television, I’ve probably watched less than five hours of television in the last six months;
  7. I listen to a lot of music, probably about five hours every evening, and all day Saturday and Sunday;
  8. I use the internet a lot, probably about three hours a day: I love rss feeds and i subscribe to about one hundred;
  9. I love plants that look good and are easy going: mainly succulents and frangipani trees;
  10. I dislike cliches, idioms and most puns; I usually cringe when I hear one;
  11. I eat meat whilst Kitty is a vegetarian; we accept each others decisions;
  12. I don’t drink much; maybe a beer once a fortnight;
  13. I love reading novels, mostly modern American thrillers;
  14. I love open-source, open standards and creative commons, also Ubuntu;
  15. I really dislike d.r.m;
  16. I went to a private school and was the only male in my year in both the top-maths and top-english class (there were only three males out of thirty in the top english class);
  17. I try to continually expand the right side of my brain;
  18. When ever I listen to my ipod using just one earbud, it’s always in my left ear: feeding the right side of my brain;
  19. I can’t pee at a urinal;
  20. I prefer to have a few deep relationships than a lot of shallow ones with friends;
  21. I work in IT; I say I don’t like what I do but I secretly do;
  22. I love street art, but hate tagging and graffiti;
  23. I choose to rent over choosing to buy;
  24. I make most of the art in our apartment, Kitty makes the rest;
  25. My favourite font is Georgia;
  26. I hate excess and waste, therefore I hate microsoft office, openoffice is just as good;
  27. I hate inconsistency;
  28. I drive a clean diesel car that is fuel efficient, less emissive and still powerful;
  29. I love Japanese built cars: my dream car is a lexus, but Kitty thinks they’re way too conservative;
  30. I wouldn’t ever like to work for a casino or a bank; I think they cause way too many social problems;
  31. I hate poker machines with a passion; I would love if every single one of them was blown up;
  32. I like writing in green pen, metallic violet is good too;
  33. I don’t have any debt, I pay off my credit card every month and it feels good;
  34. I save half of what I earn, but still manage to have fun;
  35. I don’t like receiving presents, but gifts mean a lot to K so I’m working on it;
  36. I love Vietnamese food, especially rice paper rolls and salads: I would be happy eating these most nights of the week;
  37. I get angry when people don’t keep left when driving;
  38. I am six foot five and a half and wear size fifteen shoes; I buy my shoes mostly from America via eBay;
  39. I still use products from The Body Shop, even though it’s now owned by L’oreal. I really like their men’s fragrances;
  40. I buy the Big Issue every fortnight off Greg in Brisbane; we have a chat most days during the week;
  41. I love traveling but I also love hanging at home;
  42. I’m addicted to information: I read three to four newspapers every weekend which bugs me because that’s a lot of paper;
  43. I’m fairly superstitious: I was once saw a lone magpie and was freaking out for weeks;
  44. I always try to say cheers when starting a meal with family/friends;
  45. I dislike personalised number plates;
  46. I try to remain open to new ideas and things, but cut-off jeans will never be okay;
  47. I’m still not sure if ignorance is bliss;
  48. Kitty clips my hair at home using a number three Wahl, I’m going grey too;
  49. I have three tattoos on my lower arms: an @, a speech bubble and an airplane;
  50. I don’t show off my tattoos at work; I’ve never actually worn a short sleeve short to work; my choice;
  51. We have a mat in our lounge room which we use for krumping at home;
  52. One day we might have kid(s) but I don’t want to be a parent who loses their identity and just talks about their kids;
  53. I have four email addresses including my work one;
  54. I lived in Canberra for over three years but struggled because I love hot weather and sunshine;
  55. I am the youngest of four boys;
  56. I eat crazy fast: most likely because my older brothers used to steal my food;
  57. I have a large scar on my forehead where one of my brothers (accidently) hit me with a golf club when I was a small kid;
  58. I bite my nails: it’s a disgusting habit;
  59. One day I want a koi pond, but we currently live in an apartment;
  60. The only time I ever have stayed in hospital (besides being born) was backpacking in Ireland in 1999 when I got the worst food poisoning of my life;
  61. I don’t like Christmas day; family dramas always prevail;
  62. I don’t drink coffee, but love tea, especially when made using loose leaves in a pot;
  63. I can drink really hot drinks, without burning my mouth;
  64. My head is so big literally, that I have trouble finding hats to fit;
  65. My favourite colour is blue;
  66. I don’t wear any jewelery besides my platinum wedding band; watches have a strangling effect on me;
  67. I’m allergic to penicillin and erythromycin, which makes it hard to find an antibiotic that actually works;
  68. I love watching movies, but have fairly bland taste;
  69. I have a very small amount of facial hair so I can’t grow a beard;
  70. I don’t have chest or back hair;
  71. I choose the car whenever I play monopoly;
  72. I secretly like cats;
  73. I swear quite a bit, but only in context;
  74. I am scared of bogans and living in the burbs;
  75. I find CAPS LOCK offensive;
  76. I currently live 50 meters from a seven-eleven: bliss;
  77. I prefer slow cooked, lightly fried eggs: not flipped;
  78. I love sliced wholemeal bread with sesame seeds;
  79. I have trouble getting to sleep, but never staying asleep;
  80. I like pastel colours and dislike fluoro colours;
  81. I am frightened of swooping birds, particularly plovers;
  82. I don’t watch sport. This makes hanging out with blokes awkward; kitty loves it;
  83. I like architecture, old buildings, and old bricks;
  84. I love fresh flowers;
  85. I fear monobrows: I maintain my ‘middle bit’ regularly;
  86. I like playing board games, but need more people to play with;
  87. I am addicted to threadless t-shirts: I’ve bought about fifty;
  88. I read a lot about economics, but still don’t understand it;
  89. I don’t like discs: i’ve converted all our music and most of our dvds to digital files;
  90. I own four printers; a mono laser, a colour laser, a printer/scanner combo (cheaper than a scanner) and a mini photo printer;
  91. I love incense: my favourite is nag champa;
  92. I own two sets of creature speakers, my favourite gadget ever;
  93. I love lamps; we have about ten in our place;
  94. I like op-shops, but they all smell really weird and make me itchy;
  95. I too have the male one-channel brain, Homer Simpson “can’t talk, eating” thing, which shits Kitty;
  96. I always try to let ladies into a lift first;
  97. Walking towards closing lift doors makes me feel awkward, I usually hold back or look the other way;
  98. I believe that most disagreements can be resolved with an arm-wrestle;
  99. I only recently started to like the Beatles; and
  100. Kitty and I have a lot of nicknames for one another; some of her nicknames for me include Pony, Shuk, Slappy (the seal), Bud, Buddy, and Pones.

blog action day is coming

Blog Action Day is imminent and I am currently thinking of a topic that I’ll write about next Monday.

In the meantime I noticed their article on ‘50 Quick, Painless Ways You Can Help the Environment Today‘.

The list reminds me of a bit of “Change the world for ten bucks“, which is an excellent ten dollar investment by the way!

I am happy that I have pretty much already followed most of the ideas on their list, including 42. Use Cloth Shopping Bags. I have a small collection of shopping bags that I use every time I go shopping. I used to occasionally I forget to take them shopping with me. I have overcome this by a) hanging some on the back of the front door to our apartment so I can’t forget them, and b) folding one up and putting it in my work bag for any incidental purchases (or library borrowings).

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Small changes to ‘Juiced Pixels’

Minor changes were made to ‘Juiced Pixels’ today. A new banner image was added. It was created using some wooden letter blocks found in a ‘one dollar shop’ for three dollars.

Juiced Pixels Banner Image Small

The ‘My Reads’Blended Books‘ page was also added. I once planned to use posts to keep track of good books. I think using a single page is lean. I would like to have a table in this page (nice & neat) but I don’t think that wordpress supports tables at present so I will have to come up with something else.

Why this blog is like a patch of grass…

I have just updated the about page for this blog. It kinda (tries to) explains the no strategy strategy behind the blog.

Initially this Blog will not have a theme. “Not have a theme?” I hear you ask. That is right, not have a theme. Instead I want to develop a theme as I move along. I am planning on adding lots of clippings/articles/links I have been collecting for the last year or so (before I had this blog), and then, with all the new stuff, a theme will emerge. A story that describes my intention comes from another blog I read, Creative Think:

Designer Christopher Williams tells a story about an architect who built a cluster of large office buildings that were set on a central green. When construction was completed, the landscape crew asked him where he wanted the pathways between the buildings.

“Not yet,” the architect said. “Just plant the grass solidly between the buildings.”

This was done, and by late summer pedestrians had worn paths across the lawn, connecting building to building. The paths turned in easy curves rather than right angles, and were sized according to traffic.

In the fall, the architect simply paved the pathways. Not only did the new pathways have a design beauty, they responded directly to user needs.


photo by ezu