Dino’s Journal 📖

A peek into the mind of a sleep deprived software developer, husband, dad and gamer.

In the past few months, I have prayed the Rosary and read the Bible more times than I could count. This is more than I've ever done during the last 10 years of my existence. How did I manage to do it? I did it by telling myself this statement as I settle down at my desk at night:

If you have time to play video-games, then you have time to pray the Rosary or read the Bible.

As you can see from the example above, I'm simply following the format for this statement: “If you have time to do X, you have time to do Y.”

At first glance it sounds like I'm only guilt tripping myself into doing said activity. It might even look like I'm only tricking myself with the use of the statement. And maybe I am. But I like to look at it a different way. It as a way to refocus on my priorities. Playing video-games is a past time of mine, but it is not a priority for me — working on my relationship with God is.

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I stumbled upon the Mayonnaise YouTube channel a couple of days ago. Mayonnaise is a rock band from the Philippines that makes some really good soaring rock music. Needless to say, I'm a fan. While most of their songs are written in Tagalog, they do some in English too. I was delighted to find out that they do covers of popular rock songs from the early 2000s. Here are two that are really good.

Most people know Yellowcard. Most people know their hit song “Only One”. It is my favorite song from Yellowcard. This is a very nicely done cover by Mayonnaise.

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The subject of this short film is the theologian John Hull (1935-2015). He recorded the words featured in the film in an audio diary. The recording began in 1983, when he became fully blind after several years of progressively losing his sight.

Watch this short film and you'll gain a much better appreciation of your gift of sight.

Link: Notes on blindness

Listening to John's words as he describes the despair and the hole he finds himself in, trying to break through the wall of blindness, but never getting anywhere — it was at times hard to listen to. But that's what makes you really appreciate being able to see right now.

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We can't go on a walk, or a run, or a bike ride without sharing photos that we did so. We can't read a book without sharing a photo of the book we are reading. We can't drink a latte without first sharing a photo of it. We can't eat without sharing a photo of the food we are eating. We I can't listen to music without sharing what song we're I'm listening to. We can't live our lives without documenting a part of it — if not all of it — online.

Why? Why are we doing all this? Why do we feel the need to do all this? Does anybody else think that's not normal? I've been asking myself those questions for months now.

There's lots of advice on what to do to take control of your data online. For instance, you should have all your blog posts and photos under your domain name, so you keep control of them. And if you're not concerned about that, there's lots of advice on what platform is the best for photo-blogging, long-form blogging, micro-blogging, etc... There's all sorts of advice regarding the best ways to manage your data online. But no one seems to be asking the question, why?

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A good read on why you might want to make use of “Read It Later” apps, like Pocket or Instapaper. Tiago also goes through his preferred setup and why it works for him.

Link: The Secret Power of ‘Read It Later’ Apps

Below are my two takeaways from reading this.

Make better use of idle time with a reading list

In this article, Tiago Forte quotes David Allen on the benefits of having an organized reading list available all the time. The reason being, is that life is full of these random moments where we don't have anything to do. Having an organized reading list can come in handy during those moments. It is better to spend that time reading something good, than to spend that time browsing social media or consuming junk information.

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A compilation of goals from Pro Evolution Soccer 2019. All of these goals were from my Master League games.

Let's start off with this beautiful free kick goal from Arcas. I surprised myself here with the amount of curve he was able to put on that ball. Wonderful goal.

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One of the results of practicing digital minimalism, is that I have more time to think. The problem is, I’m finding that thinking is hard without being able to write my thoughts down.

Where to write it down, is not as important as being able to write it down.

Processing thoughts and ideas, while trying to keep everything in my brain, is hard. I could spend a good amount of time thinking about something, then my brain will switch gears and think about something else, and I lose most of what I thought about prior to the new idea popping up.

That's because we can only hold on to at most, four to seven items in our head at any time. Which means our brains are not designed to think through or remember multiple things at once. It also means that if we try to keep everything in our head, we will be taxing our brain. It is not an efficient way to think. And so, I have to write my thoughts down.

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The title pretty much says it all. This is a pretty good read for those who want to build better habits... now. Why wait to get started, right?

Link: The Secret to Better Habits in 2021

Below are some of my key takeaways from reading this.

Improve yourself with incremental acts performed consistently every day

Self-improvement is all about small, incremental acts performed consistently and intently every day. It's about doing the work that needs to be done to get better, day by day, until you finally get to see some results.

Kinda sounds like the advice Bishop Barron gave on one of his Daily Gospel Reflections — that baby steps are all you need to take to start doing God's work. In this case, it is also applicable to self-improvement.

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This is a gem that I ran into on YouTube. If you like cars and driving, you might like this road trip series. If you like 90s JDM cars, especially Mazda RX-7s, then you'll most likely love this series.

While I've enjoyed watching road trip episodes from Top Gear, I always felt like they were out of reach. Like the cars were out of reach, the people doing the road trips were out of reach. Those were big budget production episodes and it felt that way.

This one though is different. While these guys were sponsored, this one still feels relatable. This feels like seeing a couple of car enthusiast friends film their road trip. It feels down to earth. It feels like something a regular joe, like you and me, can do.

As the title states, it's a road trip across 48 states in two Mazda FD RX-7s. One is still running a rotary engine, while the other has a K-swapped Honda engine. Interesting, right?

It's also very nicely shot. The cinematography, if that is the right word, is beautiful. The choice of background music is beautiful. I've never thought seeing somebody wash a car would illicit an emotional response from me, but it did. Then there's the numerous clips showing a Mazda FD RX-7 in motion. It's like watching poetry in motion. Just stunning to see a red and yellow Mazda FD RX-7 cruising on the highway. It's a sight that I'll probably never get tired of seeing. I consider the Mazda FD RX-7, one of the most beautiful cars ever made.

Anyway, I've run out of words and time. I hope you enjoy watching these as much as I did. And to the car enthusiasts out there, enjoy driving your fun to drive cars. It won't be long before our stick shift enthusiasts cars will be replaced by self-driving electric cars.

Episode 1

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Randomly ran into this wonderful video on the internet. A must watch for any anime fan out there. This brought back some great memories. This makes me want to start watching anime again. Maybe it's time to get my son into anime.

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