Waking up at 5am

Been waking up early in the morning, around 5am to be precise, since February until now. I think most would think that I’m crazy. Some asked: “Are you trying those challenges like do something for 30 days?”

Well, no. It is now part of my routine. I know there are people who advocate the benefits for waking up early, saying how great your life would be by waking up early everyday and so on.

Honestly, waking up early is not for everybody. There needs to be a reason on why you want to gain that extra hour or two, otherwise one will never be able to embrace it into their habit or routine. The last thing you want is to drag yourself out from the bed every morning, feeling tired, restless and angsty.

So why I decided to wake up at 5am? What the hell am I doing early in the morning? Well, nothing much actually. I’ll just head to the gym, head home after that to cook breakfast or lunch, pack them ready and get myself dressed up to work. That’s about it, nothing groundbreaking. But if I don’t wake up early, I won’t have enough time to prepare the food, and I wanted to avoid the crowd in the gym, so early in the morning has become my best option.

I’m a morning person anyway, I’m totally fine to wake up early at 6am or 7am before this, and I sleep early around 10pm usually. So all in all, everything just falls into place nicely for me. If there is no reason for you to be up early, there really is no need for you to do so.

Will I continue to wake up at 5am every morning? As long as there’s a need for me to cook or head to the gym in the morning, I will continue on with this routine of mine. Till then.

The state of 2020

“We should just write-off first half of 2020 and let the year begin in July.”

That was what my friend told me. Trip canceled, job lost, pay cut, income dropped, flight grounded, people died, tears dried. Up until the end of March, 2020 has been nothing short of chaotic and a mess. Most of our lives have been disrupted, many were forced to stay home, many were feeling helpless, many were feeling anxious of the uncertain future.

For me, I was fortunate that nothing much was planned for the first half of the year in the very first place. Disruption has been minimal, other than not being able to travel back to my hometown in Kuala Lumpur, some minor movement restriction, life has been pretty much “as usual” here in Singapore. I’m not sure if the measures implemented by the government were effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19, but at this point of time, there’s really nothing much I can do other than leave it to the expert to advise, and of course to wash my hand frequently.

For those who are restricted in movement, do take this opportunity to read some books (if you need recommendation, browse around my blog for some), learn some skills, don’t just Netflix and chill your time away. As the future is uncertain, it’s better to take every crisis ahead and turn it into an opportunity for the days to come. Also, stay safe, stay healthy and stay calm. We’ll get over this for sure.

Shimoda Action X30 Camera Bag: Initial Impression

Credits: Photo from Shimoda website

I’ve backed the kickstarter project from Shimoda for this Action X series backpack. When the project was successfully funded, founder of Shimoda, Ian Miller gave an update that due to overwhelming response, there could be delays in shipping the bags. Since then, there were quite a bit of hoo haa surrounding the delay and a whole lot of mess generated by some backers. I didn’t receive my pack in December 2019 as promised in the project timeline, but I was lucky enough to get one from the second batch which are delivered in January. Well, it is a kickstarter campaign anyway, therefore I have no issue or whatsoever.

There are already plenty of reviews and features rundown on this bag, so I’m not going to repeat those again. I’ll just be sharing what I like and dislike about this bag, and leave it to you to be the judge whether this is the right bag for you.

What I like:

  • Nice balance of size and volume for X30 (30-37 litres)
  • Nice durable materials are used, has a good balance of rigidity and softness
  • Camera access is on the right side (pun intended), I’m probably the few minorities who wants to access camera from the side panel on the right
  • Easily removable core unit and divider allowing bag to double as camera or travel bag
  • Just the right amount of pockets and compartments
  • Beefy and comfortable top and side handle
  • Tripod can be strapped on the side or rear
  • Core unit comes with cover, allowing me to use it separately as camera storage box
  • Not overly engineered with unnecessary features
  • Comfortable shoulder strap (need some times to break-in though)

What I don’t like:

  • Bag is a little heavy when empty
  • Don’t really like the look of the shoulder strap harness (but they are comfortable to wear)
  • There are a lot of zippers, and I wish some of the zipper pulls can be lock down in place for a tidier look on the bag
  • Not a big fan of the look of how the top loader is secured (but it is very functional, nevertheless)

I was contemplating between X30 and X50 during the campaign, worrying that X30 will be too small for my torso length. But X50 is much larger and would be risky to use as carry-on luggage during flight. Furthermore, I do not have that much of gears to pack anyway, so I decided to go with X30 in the end. With maximum torso fit, I’m glad that it fits okay.

This bag is designed for your adventure, for you to go out and explore, and to that extent it does seem to deliver. Of course this is just my initial impression of the bag after using it for my short trips, I still need to use it more often in order to give a full review. If you are interested, you can visit their website to find out more. Till then.

台北点滴:第八章

 

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天气放晴的一天,我们清楚的看到了台北101的样貌。这次并没有打算要登上观景台,因为我们都曾经上去过。这次,我们来到了附近的四四南村,来一段假文青的上午时光。这里地方没想象中的大,几栋旧宅改建成各式各样的商业空间,有吃的,有礼品店,有本地品牌等。逛完后,我们前往另一个在附近的小景点去看看,那就是几米月亮公车。小小的公车停泊在路旁,里面满满的盖上了几米的绘图作品,喜欢几米的人应该会为之疯狂吧?

在台北,我们还去了一趟大安森林公园。喜欢五月天乐团的人都会来这里朝圣吧?今天的我们,就这样静静地,缓缓的在这里散步着,看看台北人的日常。我们也到了附近的永康街去逛逛,找好吃的,买些手信。我们也到了龙山寺去拜拜,然后在附近的剥皮寮历史街区走走看看。最后,我们来到了星巴克艋舺门市,喝喝茶,歇一歇。

 

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望着眼前的老婆,想着彼此的点滴。一路走来,我们其实都不容易,确确实实的有哭有笑。有血有泪。有时候和老婆起争执,闹不和时,不禁会让我想起这件事,那就是我的家人在婚姻路上似乎都走的不怎么顺利。想着,总会让我起鸡皮疙瘩。我知道我并不是一个称职的好男人,好丈夫,将来也许也不会是。有时候会想,我也会一样吗?我也会遇上不顺的婚姻吗?我也会闹离婚或家变吗?想着,也不禁让我感到不安。我珍惜现在和我老婆在一起的这份关系,也希望我们可以就这样维持下去。但愿如此。

台北之旅就这样结束了。想了许多,但并不是全部问题都找到了答案。没关系,慢慢来就好,不必太着急。人生就是一场旅行,不是所有事情都能依计划执行,也不是所有结果都能称心如意。但是,只要一步一步的坚持下去,不留遗憾,不后悔的走下去,那就可以了。

台北点滴:第七章

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台北还有什么地方没去过呢?其实还是有蛮多的啦。像是今天,我们就是第一次来到了猫空这个地方。从名字上很难想象这到底是个怎么样的地方吧?不过就台北旅游景点来说这里还算是蛮出名的,只是到现在我都还是没来过就对了。

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不过今天还是一大清早就来到了动物园捷运站,而且刚抵达就被满满的人潮给吓到了。后来才发现,许多小学生刚好在此,似乎是学校的课外活动。毕竟这里有一座动物园,应该是适合小孩子前往的吧。搭上缆车,我们缓缓地往猫空前进。原来那群小学生也是前往猫空,几个男生和我们坐上同一车厢。缆车缓缓前进,几个男孩的嘻闹,让我们觉得好气又好笑。原先他们以为我们不懂得听华语,闹了一阵子才发现我们其实听得懂他们在说什么,非常有趣。

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抵达猫空后,时间还早,许多地方都还没开门营业。于是,我们便前往附近的樟树步道去散散步,赏赏花,接近大自然。在这里也巧遇刚才那群男生,还互相打了招呼。散步完毕,我们前往了茶研发推广中心去参观,品品茶。接近中午时分,我们来到了猫空清泉广场,找了一家风景漂亮的餐馆,吃着茶叶料理。这家店的主人还养了兔子啊!

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填饱肚子后,我们回到猫空缆车站附近的商店街去逛逛。这时看见那群小学生正在到处追寻着“外国人”。原来他们来到猫空的作业是去找个“外国人”来,然后用英文访问他们。结果,当一个洋人出现时,学生们就成群结队的拥上前去“访问”他,情景非常好笑,也让我们感到非常白目,我们也是外国人啊!怎么没人来访问我们?

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猫空,一个环境清幽的好地方。下次有机会还会再来让自己放空一下。