Dino’s Journal 📖

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

Back at the start of the year, I started looking into new cars again. It made me wonder why my dream car from 10 years ago — a 2013 Mazdaspeed3, which is what I'm currently driving and have been driving since 2013 — no longer feels like a dream car now.

I mean, sure, it is 10 years old. Some of the paint is chipping. The seats are no longer brand new. Some of the buttons on the steering wheel have lost their symbols. The headlights are starting to look hazy. Some of the wheels have curb rash. There is a big chip on the hood scoop. There is a gash on the passenger side rear wheel fender from scraping a parking lot column in Galveston. I mean yes, it is old. But isn't this still the same car I dreamed of owning a decade ago?

And now that prompts a different question: Was it the car that I really wanted? Or was I just looking for something new?


Headspace — great read on cleaning up your digital clutter and optimizing your sources of information.

How I use my Bullet Journal — a great practical guide to using a bullet journal.

#InterestingReads #BulletJournal

An idea: instead of just keeping old blog posts lying around, why not print them and turn them into a self published book? Then you can store them in a bookshelf at home.

This idea was somewhat inspired by this post by Kin Lane.


God never gives you a dream that matches your budget. He's not checking your bank account, he's checking your faith. ~ Mark Walhberg

#Quotes #Spirituality


Detachment, from worldly possessions and worldly status (fame, honor, recognition) is what ultimately gives you freedom and well-being in this world. That is because desiring for more possessions, more recognition, more fame, only fills you up for a short period of time, before you'll eventually want more.

And to get more, you'll start looking for ways to outdo your previous efforts. This usually means acquiring more possessions (maybe even more expensive possessions), acquiring more recognition, acquiring more fame, etc...

Think of a person who is addicted to likes in social media. A certain post, photo or video can only get you so much likes. So what are you to do next? Post even grander photos and videos of course.

So, as you can see, it is a vicious cycle that will ultimately leave you miserable, because you can never really satisfy your desire for more. Practicing detachment however, gives you permission to appreciate what is in this world, but not have them weigh you down with the desire for more.

Tags: #Reflection #Detachment

Discuss... or leave me a comment below.

While the title itself specifically mentions just the biceps, I think this is a great video overall on how to workout. My key takeaway from this video is how important the rest period is.

The rest period after working out is equally as important as the workout itself. The workout doesn't actually grow your muscles, rather it just provides the stimulus for growth. The growth itself occurs during the rest period. So, if your muscles are not getting enough rest, they will not grow.

^ This kinda reminds me of how important taking a break from reading is as well. If you don't give your mind a break from reading, you don't give your brain time to internalize and learn from all that you've read so far.

Oh and the best exercise to safely train your biceps, is the close grip underhand pulldown.

Tags: #Bookmarks #Exercise #AthleanX

Discuss... or leave me a comment below.

Sort of continuing on from my previous post about distraction, this one is a great read on a related topic; procrastination. Either one, distraction or procrastination, will stop you from getting things done. Thankfully, this is one of those articles that actually have actionable items at the end.

I would post my notes/takeaways here, but they would all be just word for word copies of what the author has said. James Clear has this talent for elegantly simplifying what he's trying to say. It makes it extremely hard to write down notes without actually copying exactly what he said. So just follow the link. It is well worth your time if you happen to deal with distraction and procrastination.

Source: The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don’t Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do and What to Do About It

Tags: #Bookmarks #AchievingGoals #BuildingHabits #Productivity #SelfImprovement

Discuss... or leave me a comment below.

I read a post from Cal Newport titled “Pliny the Younger on Happy and Honorable Seclusion”. After reading this, I thought to myself, here is another example of people battling with distractions. This one was from 2,000 years ago.

So, I'm starting to realize that the smartphone in and of itself is not the cause of distraction. Rather, it is just another form of distraction. Distraction has always been with us. It just takes on different forms as human civilization advances.

The problem was/is distraction itself. The solution was/still seems to be the same — to set up an environment that is, as much as possible, devoid of distractions, so that you can do your best work.

Tags: #Reflection #DigitalMinimalism #Distraction #SmartphoneAddiction

Discuss... or leave me a comment below.

I ran into this video earlier and I could not get it off my mind. It's a great video on how our pride, our ego, our need for recognition, leads us away from the simple and quiet life, and into a life of stress and anxiety.

Here are some of my takeaways:

  • Trying to promote yourself or your work online only leads to more stress.
  • Chasing after accolades, recognition, views, likes, hearts means you're not free.
  • Jesus had the simple and quiet life because he was so humble and he had no pride. He rejected popularity.
  • You don't need to give up on your hobbies/activities to live a simple and quiet life. You just need to stop promoting yourself while engaging in said hobbies/activities.

Tags: #Spirituality #Christianity

Discuss... or leave me a comment below.

A young Galadriel, hanging off the side of a mountain covered in ice.

Right off the bat, the analogy and parallels in The Rings of Power, to the theology and stories in the Bible had me really excited for this show. I watched the show because I'm a Lord of the Rings fan. I didn't expect to find a great discussion between good and evil sprinkled throughout the show. There is theology in here hidden in a high fantasy story.

It must be noted that there is a lot of hate for this show online. I'm not quite sure why though. Yeah there were some head-scratching moments, but none that were enough to deter me from finishing the whole season. My wife who is not a big Lord of the Rings fan like me, actually liked it and keeps asking when Season 2 is going to come out. So there's that.

Anyway, below are some of my thoughts and notes on the pilot episode. Maybe it will sway you one way or another to give the show a chance.


For this journal entry, I'm not going to reorder my thoughts/notes like I normally do. These were basically copied off my journal and pasted here in the order that they were written down. I think it's as close as you can get to actually reading my journal. But the main reason I'm doing this, is to lessen the amount of time it takes for me to publish a journal entry. So here goes...

“We lost!”, my son said as he finished 10th place in a Mario Kart race. He said this happily by the way, in a way that only a child could ever do. This is what we lost when we grew up. We lost that childlike innocence. We lost the ability to see the world through the eyes of a child. We lost the ability to be happy in any given moment like a child could.

The question I have is, how do we get it back?


I noticed that I write down notes with the expectation that I'll be publishing them in the future. This causes me to write longer, fuller sentences in an unconscious attempt to make my notes ready to be published with minimal editing.

I think this bogs down my note taking process. Instead of writing down notes for the purpose of referencing them in the future, I write down notes with the purpose of stringing them all together into a future blog post. I think that if I stop writing “ready to be published” notes and instead go back to writing notes just for myself, that will make my digital garden a lot easier and less exhausting to maintain.


If you haven't made the switch to full battery electric vehicles yet, then there's a good chance that you're driving around in a car that is powered by a direct injection engine. If that's the case, then this video might be helpful. It's a good video on problems associated with direct injection engines and how to avoid them.


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