Dino’s Journal 📖

A glimpse into the life of a sleep deprived software developer, husband, dad and gamer.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring? I wasn't sure what trim this was as it was just a loaner car.

I really enjoyed the 2020 Mazda CX-5 loaner car. I had it for a few days while the Speed3 was in the shop. I think it's a great daily driver. It wasn't the top of the line CX-5 trim, but it had a Bose sound system, heated seats, heated steering wheel and even had power folding mirrors. I think it also had ventilated seats, but I didn't get to try it out.

It didn't have the turbo engine, but it drove really well. Sure, it could use more passing power at highway speeds, but the engine felt responsive and strong. The biggest difference in my opinion, between the engine in this 2020 CX-5 and our 2016 CX-5, is the powerband. They both have the same 2.5 liter 4 cylinder SkyActiv-G engine. The newer engines do have cylinder-deactivation. But the powerband on the 2016 CX-5 goes from 3250 to 5700 RPM, while the powerband on the 2020 CX-5 goes from 4000 to 6000 RPM. Technically, the 2016 CX-5 has a wider powerband, so it should feel stronger in everyday driving. But this was not the case.

The much improved throttle response on the newer CX-5, plus the powerband being at the higher end of the RPM range, meant the newer CX-5 felt stronger in everyday driving. It also made for a much more fun drive. Bury the throttle on a 2020 CX-5 and the transmission puts you right into the powerband, where you can wind it out to 6000 RPM if you want to. The 2016 CX-5 on the other hand, feels like it runs out of steam before the redline. It's like the 2016 CX-5 doesn't want to be revved to redline, while the 2020 CX-5 wants you to redline it as often as you want.

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Stab a Book, the Book Won't Die by Craig Mod is a great read on the value of physical books. He presents an interesting idea that I've never thought of before — entering into contracts with the media that we consume.

What kind of contract do you opt into when reading a physical book? What about reading a blog? Or watching a YouTube video? Or what about consuming content through social media news feeds?

The simplest contract can be had with physical books. You buy the book and you can read it anytime you want. The book will not try to harvest your data, or serve you ads, or track your habits, or build an online profile out of your online activities. The book will be there for you to read, when you want to read it. It is as simple a contract as can be.

On the other hand, using say your smartphone to read books, blog posts, essays is a totally different contract. Now you're exposed to ads. Now your behavior is being tracked. Now your data is getting mined, etc... All sorts of things happen behind the scenes, some of which we most likely don't even want to be involved in.

It's a good reminder to re-examine the contracts that we are entering into, when we choose to consume information the way that we do today.

Tags: #Bookmarks #Books

Find me on Mastodon (@dino@writing.exchange) or Micro.blog (@Dino)

I purchased a new domain, nowlisteningto.com for my Now Listening to... music blog. Prior to buying the new domain name, I didn't realize how big of a pain it was going to be to set up redirection. Turns out, you can't setup a 301 redirect using just DNS records. It has to be done on a web server level, or via your domain registrar. My issue is that I can't use my domain registrar for redirects, because I use Netlify to manage the DNS records for my domains. And from what I can see, Netlify doesn't have a menu option for redirecting from one domain to another.

So, I ended up doing a redirect via HTML and JavaScript, by hosting a static site on Netlify. This static site's purpose is to simply redirect from nowlisteningto.dinobansigan.com to nowlisteningto.com. It is not ideal, but this will do for now until I figure out a better solution. Thanks to this answer on StackOverflow for the idea.


There's a new Head First C# book that just came out this month! I still have the first one that came out back in 2010. This was the book that started me on the C# path. If you want to learn C#, I definitely recommend picking up the new version. In fact, I'm going to buy a copy for myself as well.


I wish I had more time to write blog posts that are focused on just one topic. One issue I see with my Weeknotes post is that a single post covers a bunch of different topics. In my mind, those topics should have their own blog posts. But the fact of the matter is, I already have a day job. And it involves writing code, not writing prose. And so unfortunately, I've resorted to bundling everything up into a single Weeknotes post, just so I can get something out. It's not exactly the setup I want, but it's what works for me now.

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I read tmo's “cosmetic equipment + more research” post and was going send all this to him. But in the interest of preserving my keystrokes and the realization that the information here might be helpful to others as well, I've turned this into its own post.

Philips SHP9500

Philips SHP9500

If you're looking for affordable over-the-ear headphones, check out the Philips SHP9500. They are open-back headphones. So, something meant to be used at home — definitely not in a library or public setting. They are so comfortable and they sound good with most types of music. They are great for playing video games and watching movies.

I bought them exclusively for playing video games. This is so I can hear when one of my kids wake up while I'm playing. But they turned out to be really good all around headphones for use at home.

Did I say they were comfortable? These are so comfortable that my wife, who is not a fan of headphones, asked me to buy one for herself. We now have two of these at home. We use them to watch movies at night while the kids are asleep. And it's been really good for that use-case too.

And the price? It usually costs less than $80. They are definitely what I would call “bang for the buck” over-the-ear headphones.

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This week I found myself asking the question, “Why did I start blogging?”

  • One reason was that after I took a hiatus from social media, I didn't know what to do with all my free time. So, I kept myself busy by blogging.
  • The other reason was that I wanted to create a way for my friends to stay updated on what's been going on with my life, without using social media. Basically, I wanted to see if I could replace social media with blogs and personal websites.

On my previous weeknotes I said that there's no feedback loop for my photo-blog. That was part of the reason I created an Instagram account for it. Well, I was wrong. At the very least, there are stats for it. So, I guess that's something.


Turns out, I was serious about no longer wanting to publish overly personal posts on this journal. I created a new blog on Write.as and set it to Private. Then I moved over all my journal entries into it, plus a couple more posts with personal content.


... you’ll answer for it because when you claim Christ you choose exile, and therefore will be held to a different standard, entirely, than the world’s.

~ Throwing Away Our Holy Things by Elizabeth Scalia

Choosing to follow Christ means going against what is expected of people in this world. Sometimes I forget that it is a totally different way of life. And if you follow that way of life, chances are, you will be ridiculed for doing so. It is as Elizabeth says, to choose exile.

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I would like to apologize in advance. I tried to edit this post to make it as coherent as possible, but it still feels like a mess. Welcome to what my brain and life was like last week.

I ran into an issue while working on the previous weeknotes post. My weeknotes post show up on this journal, but it has software dev related posts. That makes me think that those should be on my dev blog. And now I wonder, maybe I should have just one website in the first place.

Now the problem with having one website that houses all kinds of content, is that my personal posts would start showing up alongside my dev related posts. I remember Scott Hanselman said that you should keep overtly personal information out of your tech blog. That's pretty much why I have a dev blog and a separate personal blog/journal. I also think that the advice on separating them still makes sense. But I also feel, based on experience, that having to maintain multiple websites can be exhausting.


After pouring out my heart and soul, my personal life into this online journal, I now have this urge to move on and leave it all behind. I no longer want to post something overly personal.

Had I decided to remain with an anonymous journal like Inquiry suggested in the past, I probably wouldn't have a problem with all the personal posts I wrote. But I really wanted to “own my words”, so this is what I get for doing so LOL.

On a related note... I wish I could start over with my domain and websites. Or, just leave everything behind and start fresh on a new blog/site.

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I wonder if I can use Write.as as a headless CMS? Basically the idea is, Write.as will host my content, while I consume the content using an ASP.NET Core powered website. That will give me more control of the site's design, code, etc... while keeping the content safely stored in Write.as.

I already have a .NET wrapper library that can query their service for my posts. It might be a fun project to try in the future.


Struggling so much with the “ASP.NET Core 3 and React” book. I am simply following the instructions in the book, but I keep running into compile errors. The compile errors are brought about by the use of other libraries to help with development. I've had to spend more time troubleshooting the errors than actually reading the book.

At the end of another frustrating night trying to troubleshoot the errors, I realized the crux of the problem. The reason I was running into so many errors, is that the latest version of the libraries I was using, was not compatible with each other.

Face Palm

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Trying out something new here. I'm so far behind on my journal entries, there's no hope of catching up soon. So, I'm going to give weeknotes a try. The idea is to list what I've been up to this past week or so. What makes this easier for me is that these notes have already been typed into Obsidian. All I have to do is copy paste them into a post. And so before exhaustion kicks in, I'm going to get started...


Working with Obsidian and building a personal knowledge base has me on a high. I've been writing so much today (this week), it's crazy. And all this writing was done offline. If that isn't “writing for myself”, I don't know what is. I may be getting tired of writing blog posts, but apparently, I'm not tired of writing.

This leads me to thinking that this might be a better way to pass down my journal entries to my kids. Plain text files should hopefully outlive me. I don't have to do it through an online journal or a blog. I can just pass off my collection of text files to them.


It's interesting that, I am using a blog/journal, to post on social media to let my friends know I'm still alive. The problem is that the feed on social media runs on an algorithm. That means, my post might never even show up for my friends before they stop scrolling. Which means, what I'm using social media for, is actually not working for me.

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2) Writing wasn't fun anymore

When I would write a blog post, I would always start with a blank page and a massive backlog of ideas. The act of writing a well-formatted blog post is intimidating. That is the part I don't enjoy.

I realized I was overthinking it. The things I write about are straightforward and often very technical. They're more for me than anyone else. Writing helps me think and understand so I decided to embrace this and change the way I write.

Instead of writing long, formal blog posts for others, I now write smaller (usually) brief notes about a specific topic to build up my own personal knowledge.

This collection of notes can then be used to Learn in public, sometimes referred to as a Digital Garden.

Link: How and why this site exists – Eric Gregorich

Sad to say, but I'm at this point right now. Just the thought of writing a decent blog post somehow renders me exhausted. Not to mention, my mind has been stuck on the idea of, not everything has to be shared online. It's perfectly okay to go through life, to let things happen to you and not have to share it online.

Writing this post took a good bit of effort on my part. I had to make sure to finish it in one sitting, otherwise it would have gone unpublished for sure. Needless to say, I've all but given up on the 100DaysToOffload challenge. I got to 76 posts. That's as far as I could go.

Lately, I've been spending time writing code, instead of writing entries on here. At this point in time, I find more satisfaction in producing a working application, as opposed to a new blog post or journal entry. It's not that I don't have anything to write about — my bullet journal is filled with topics to write about. But lately, I just don't feel like I'm publishing something of value on here. I guess I also finally got tired of writing journal entries.

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During last Sunday's televised mass, Bishop Edward Burns of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, gave a very interesting homily. Instead of talking about the gospel reading, he instead gave a lecture on the different parts or rites of the Mass.

To give some examples, he explains why the priest or bishop say what they say. And why the clergy responds the way they do. Most of it is based on the Bible of course, and he cites specific passages as it relates to them.

He explains the offertory and what is really being offered during that time — spoiler, we are offering ourselves.

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