40, not yet a dragon

I stopped feeling excited about my birthdays since, I think, 11.

I can actually count the number of cakes I have ever cut on my birthdays, most of which were shared with other birthday boys/girls.

I have no problem with birthdays, though. I only dreaded when there was transition of the first digit, ie from 10s to 20s, from 20s to 30s…

On  the dot of the zero-hour of my 30th birthday, I was alone in my rented room, no celebration, no cake, and I cried like a miserable bloke.

I cried not because there wasn’t a birthday party, but was beating myself up for failing to become a millionaire by 30. Not to mention I was also troubled with all sorts of personal problems. I told myself, “I’ll be better when I turn 40.”

Fast forward to 10 years now. I still dread the transition from 30s to 40s, except this time I don’t have to feel lonely as I have my family with me. I don’t have to feel troubled as I have God with me. And I definitely have some big plans ahead of me!

Though, I’m still not a millionaire, but that doesn’t trouble me as much as it did. Because this time, I’m aiming to become billionaire! Muah ha ha…

When the going gets tough, run!

Since a month ago, I decided to start running again.

The way I put it sounded like I used to run, truth is, I was hardly a runner. I swam a lot. But running? It was never my favorite subject.

Why did I start running? Because I had no time for swim.

How did I make time for running when I had no time for swim? Because I needed to pick Jude from the childcare center anyway. Taking bus would take about as much time as it would for me to run there. Win-win!

For a person who hardly ran in his life, trying to get started was not easy.  Funny thing is, I was more motivated this time, and you know what motivates me? I need to get better in running, so that I can chase bus better!

I should also mention, we sold our car. That’s why I had to start taking buses. Call it a blessing in disguise, else the idea of running would not have crossed my mind.

Things haven’t been going too well for me lately; luckily only workwise. But it’s bad enough to slowly affecting other aspects of me. Running gave me the opportunity to put aside all the negative thoughts and let me focus only at one thing: finish the journey.

Through running, I was reminded once again, that once I had a target in sight, I would reach the target. Regardless how tough the journey was, I always knew one thing for sure, when I eventually finished it, the victorious feeling was indescribable, and it was all worth it.

It was through running, I felt like a winner again.

“Akira-inspired” iPhone 5 Lego Stand

So here’s the story: we all knew iPhone 5 is physically longer. Because of that my previous DIY Lego iPhone stand was forced to retire. My original intention was just to increase the height by a little, ended up I took everything apart and built this. If you grew up with Akira, you will find this familiar. The front wheel is missing as I ran out of Lego parts.

True expert in pizza delivery

I decided to eat pizza for lunch today. I knew there is a Domino Pizza near where I live, so I thought this might be a good opportunity to try them out. It turned out to be my best experience ever for ordering food online!

I was already quite intrigued as soon as I have landed on Domino Pizza’s homepage. Maybe the color scheme, maybe the photography, but I knew I was definitely making it my only choice of pizza delivery from now on!

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Set up baby cam using computer with webcam and iPhone/iPod/iPad

My wife and I were thinking of getting baby cam for monitoring our baby when he sleeps at night. There are many different kinds of baby cam in the market, priced ranging from $300 to $600 SGD. Even Singtel offers baby cam service for remote monitoring via mobile phone on monthly subscription basis.

We have no issue with the cost, but my problem is, those cams aren’t exactly cool and sexy in terms of product design; more over, I am not a big fan of spending money on something that is useful for only a short period. Once Jude starts to walk and talk, the cam is no longer useful per se. Well unless I can find a cam that moves and follows Jude where ever he goes (maybe something like R2D2?)

With this in mind, I began to think I can put the old MacBook into a good use. Why MacBook? Because it has a built-in webcam (iSight). Don’t worry if you don’t have MacBook, any spare computer, be it Mac or PC, as long as you have a webcam connected to it, you are good! The rest of this post will be made into a step-by-step instruction for easy reference. So here we go… Continue reading

My New Year Resolution for 2011

Yes, I’m finally making a new year resolution. It’s not like I have never done this before, but to make it official, no. The success gurus will tell you only by making it official, you have greater chance of actually achieving it! So here I am making it official. Because I mean to achieve it!

First and foremost: Get back in shape.
Shame on me, this was supposed to be in my 2008 resolution (I had actually drafted the blog post titled “Dean Loh 2.0 In The Making” but never published it.)

Considering now that I have a baby boy, this is no longer an optional item but a must! I have about a year (or less) time to rebuild my stamina, so that when Jude starts to run around the shopping mall, I will be able to keep up with him.

Repositioning my brand. I started, and have been stuck as “freelance web designer” since 2006. I’m not complaining, but I have to agree to the setback: being recognized as “freelance web designer” somehow makes me look more like a “will build website for pizza”. After all, this is what most people in this region (particularly SINGAPOREANS) consider “freelance” as.

By repositioning my brand, I mean to move myself out of the “freelance camp”, not saying I will no longer be a freelance, rather, to dissociate it from the negative connotations such as “cheap”, “low quality work”, “unreliable”, etc.

Above all, continue to be a loving husband and father. And that’s about all!

爱是一个决定

有人说:爱是一个决定。所以我做了这样的一个决定:为了我的太太和孩子,我从此以后,除非不得不说,要不然,我能不说的,就不说。我不会为了讨好身边的人而说一些我不愿意说的话,当一个我不愿意当的人。Say what ever you may, but this is what got me this far, this is what gets me to the end.

Car window sign for new-parents

Previously, I created this car window sign for parents-to-be, I printed it out, laminated and actually stuck it to my rear windscreen. Maybe it was just me, or it really got the attention of the motorists behind me, there were noticeably fewer tailgating incidents since.

Now that our baby is here, obviously the sign cannot be used. Instead I came up with the updated versions.

Download: Hall A4-size or Full A4-size