Hello hello! Amazing how I’m 36 already, this shit is nuts. And I’m going with Marcus Smart for this year. LEGGO C’S! I’m stoked we got Hayward this summer, it’s amazing.
Starting this post off at the crack of midnight, I’ll get on with the usual thanks in due time.
First off: very thankful to be in good health, and hopefully better health as I experiment and learn more about how my body reacts to different inputs (exercise, food, sleep).
I feel like I have plenty to learn, but my interests have moved away from the external environment, and I’m dwelling more on the self more than anything else.
And I can’t believe, I forgot about fucking taking the day off. In a year when my birthday actually fucking lands on a Friday. I’m an idiot.
I went to work as usual, had lunch with the guys (because Samurai Friday) and got smacked with a China support request before I could scoot on the dot. Dammit. Ended up being the last guy at the office, at 5 past 5.
Grabbed some Lord of the Fries at Flinders St station while waiting for the train, had dinner and we did our birthday cake routine with the kids, V and Cookie. Peppermint and chocolate aren’t my favourite flavours, but the thought counts!
Andddd yes. That was all.
Two trips on the books this year, if everything goes to plan. China in Q3, the US in Q4. Frequent flyer miles, HERE I COME!
I got passed over earlier in the year (depending on how you look at it) for a promotion to a senior role, but not fussed. Can’t control stuff like that, and my life remains unaffected. All is well.
Outside of that, work has been largely stable, if a little heavy when it comes to the quarterly goals. Also: I’ve never been a fan of team assignments since my school days, and going into the workforce hasn’t changed that sentiment much. We’ll leave it at that. Huge thanks to Jared and Ravi for being the pals they are, and to Andy for always being supportive. I still miss Crystal’s departure from the team, looking forward to seeing her when I finally get my ass back to the US.
People have come and go at the office, and I think I’m just getting used to the constant, ceaseless flow of people moving in/out. Sometimes, you feel like it’s hard building lasting relationships when things happen. Regardless, S/O to the folks at the office: Simon K, and also the folks I lunch with these days: Alan, Dave, Greg, Dom, Pete T, Jackson, you people are excellent.
The Pick and Roll
So much to say. As usual, I lose track of time when it comes to this project. What was it like last year? I can’t recall, and usually have to backtrack and read my past entries.
The team expanded in preparation for expanded NBA coverage, but it ended up not working; I had to drop guys. It’s the same old story. People come on board, write for a bit, then start to fade out with poor communication. If I wrote down every single story I’ve been told since inception, it wouldn’t be too far off to say that writing is a tragic profession for aspiring writers. I had to lay “the talk” down and that’s where it ended. It sounds selfish and unfeeling but it is what it is. If the site is to work, I have to get a firm idea on everyone’s commitment. If you’re planning to contribute once a month, that’s probably not what we need over here.
Overall, content has been slow in the past season, especially at AITNBA. Half of it has been me not producing as much, and taking time on to focus my energy on myself. That might have contributed to a poorer internal culture. It’s also a mix of the veterans getting full-time jobs; Hayley with the AFLW, Jayme and Winston getting their respective gigs, and Warren being busy at work all the time.
Having said that, Ben has been an star. He’s been a go-getter, driven to reach his goal, and pushes himself hard. He’s attended ASW and is at the Summer League now, and I’m sure these networking events will open doors for him somewhere down the track.
We also transitioned from a sole owner business (me) to a company structure, and had some interesting adventures with a law firm along the way.
Instagram growth has weaned off a bit, I’m still thinking about whether the lack of hashtags in recent posts have contributed to the slow down.
YouTube feels like a dead end and doesn’t lead to anything. No ROI essentially, unless we produce our own content. I’ve been talking to the guys about possibly producing our own videos, but that’s some ways down the timeline. We don’t have a location to work with, and equipment is a question mark as well. Writing isn’t the long-term answer, and all the big media companies have essentially come to the same conclusion. It’s only inevitable that we understand the reality and start moving too.
Site advertising, partnering with a certain digital agency, turned out to be a poor experience. Turns out asking for transparency and chasing payment isn’t something we should be doing! It’s amazing. I’m working on overhauling our AdSense setup, I feel like we can equal and easily better the revenue the digital agency was getting for us.
Setting up more ad units, including in-article units, I’m aiming for two. This should help to better our AdSense revenue.
I’m hoping to produce more content myself consistently, anything from 2-4 articles a day, depending on storyline availability. Like I told Steve, this should boost our average to something in the neighbourhood of 5,000 a day, and push us to 150,000 monthly, which would be a nice climb from what looked like 45,000 a month.
Things have been an even crazier scramble this year, because two things changed: Elly’s school, and V’s workplace. The commute got really tough.
First off: Elly’s school ends at 6pm, period. We get charged by the minute if we’re late, and the commute home is insane at times, especially when V left her workplace late and city traffic flat out murdered us.
There was also this phase when V had to work overtime for days on end, it was really, really rough. I was on the verge of falling sick, constantly feeling tired, and even took a week off work to rest.
Things are better now, so I’m happy.
Elly’s settling well into her new school, I’m amazed at some of the things she talks about sometimes, and the concepts she can grasp. I’m pretty damn sure I was as close to being a drooling idiot at 5 years old in my day, she seems to be better by leaps and bounds. Lunches are a constant challenge, but overall, I’m pretty proud of her. She whinges a bit too much at times, but I’m constantly reminding myself that she’s five, and she’s done really well so far.
Lenny like me, has been slow on the uptake when it comes to talking, but is slowly making progress. We can actually hold a semblance of conversation these days, which is pretty amazing in my books. It’s just magical to me, how I’m used to having one-sided convos with the lad, and he now responds with stuff I can actually understand and go, “hey, he actually gets me. He knows what he wants/does not want. This is pretty cool!” Having said that, he’s coming into his delayed terrible twos phase, which means his favourite word these days is no. I’m going by the principle that me saying no too often, leads to him saying no more. So I’m trying different tacks to get the same outcome, be it distraction, offering two choices, talking about what he wants etc. It’s always a learning process for both sides.
It’s pretty funny whenever I ask him, “It’s time to?” He’d go “SLEEP!” And then say: “Time to NO!” He finds it ridiculously funny, and it’s becoming a bedtime ritual of sorts.
Kids. You think you’re teaching, but you’re always learning at the same time.
Not really a holiday, but I flew over to Singapore for MH’s wedding late last year. If I have to be honest about this, it felt like the only wedding I kind of regretted flying for.
It somehow felt like the wedding wasn’t the highlight, but rather all the people I managed to catch up with, including:
- Estee: my favourite LYDD, whom I haven’t caught up with in ages!
- ahlong: ma boy! kopi sessions are always good, and he came around for breakfast one day too.
- my basketball kakis (you guys: Alan, YL, JH, ZY, Victor)
- Adri: haven’t had a proper meal with her alone in ages, it was wonderful.
- my KTV gang (HJ, HY, SC)
- LS: dinner, and a swim. Checked all the boxes once again. Thank you for taking leave to indulge in something like swimming with me!
- NZ, MS, SC: didn’t quite count as a catch up since it was just at the wedding, but it was still good.
- SP: quick meal at Peninsula, loved the talk and thank you for letting me tag along while guitar shopping.
- ZM, Alvin, CT, MM: quick catchup, it’s just good to see everyone 🙂
- Nick: always the champ who makes it for breakfast without fail.
- Clement: thanks for the drive and meal, enjoyed our banter
- WJ: probably the only guy I catch up with regularly from army days, I’m constantly amazed by his drive to learn and succeed
- Lester: one of my best mates ever, it’s a shame I don’t see him often enough.
- LH: good food, good conversation. Thanks for sharing bits of your life and for listening too.
Thanks to Stan for driving me over to the airport, that was a huge help.
Our last “holiday”, a weekend trip in the city, involved 50% of our time in the hotel, with V working out of her laptop. That kinda sucked. We had fun trying out a list of cafes and restaurants I’d shortlisted though, so that was good. Food, is good.
The family trip we took in January was really good. Beach holidays are amazing, I think we need to make it an annual affair, and everyone in the fam seems to be on board with the idea. There’s no Chinese New Year thingo over here, but hey, we can make up our own traditions I guess.
I’m hoping to be able to make it down to Boston for season opener this year, and for the playoffs next year. Fingers crossed!
Nada. I played a couple of times when I was in Singapore with the guys, but that’s it. I’m a disgrace of a basketballer.
Following last year’s update, I actually managed to bulk up to 75kg. Had a good run with Tyson as my trainer for about 8-9 months, learnt more about supersets and how I could combine different exercises to target muscle groups.
I was getting fat more than anything else at one point, especially at the waist and that was really annoying when I looked at the rest of my body looking fine. Got more serious about measuring my macros, and cut 5kg within 3 weeks. Since that cut, I’ve been hovering between 68-69kg. Not really in a hurry to bulk up.
I started Jordan Yeoh’s Iron Mastery, and gradually added tweaks to the sets. Right now, I have this formula that seems to work well for myself.
It looks like this (sample set DB bench press), with 1 minute rest intervals:
- Warmup set – 15 reps, 8kg
- Set 1, 2, 3, 4 – 12 reps, 14kg
- Set 5 – 25 reps, drop weights by 4kg to 10kg.
The fifth set basically murders the muscle group, and in my case, almost guarantees DOMS. Takes a bit of time to complete though.
I’m adding in chinups and dips again, hoping to get back to weighted stuff. I moved away from these while I was training with Tyson, hoping to get these basic movements back in. There’s good in training specific muscle parts, and also concerns in not involving compound movements, or natural movements. The last thing I want is imbalance, which could lead to injury.
I guess the biggest thing that’s happened, would be the fact that I got a vasectomy. It sounds huge, but the actual operation was quick and painless. The waiting took longer than the actual procedure, to be honest. Minimal swelling, nothing in the way of lasting pain, just a vague soreness that gradually wore off. (Full details here.)
My personal perspective on life hasn’t shifted too much over the past year, it’s more on getting things done, moving forward with the overall life plan. This includes sorting out remaining Singapore-based shit like the Prudential insurance products I had, moving towards Australian citizenship, getting our finances in order, possibly moving house, and so on. Just nitty gritty things.
First off, a couple of PS4 games from the brother: Nioh and Witcher 3. Looks like I’m gonna have to game even harder to clear my backlog of games.
A card from the brother! Love it.
“A punny birthday card for the brother who enjoys puns! It’s hard for me to express how much of a friend, brother, and father figure you have been for the past 29/30 years. You’ve done an amazing job as a father & husband, and I’m sure V + the kids appreciate you for everything you have done. I wish you good health to continue to pursue your ideal way of life, and the good luck to breeze through the obstacles in life. Thank you for being you, and here’s to many more years ahead.”
- PR: Happy birthday to you tmr!!!! Wish u hv a great day! 🎂🎁🎉
- LS: Happy birthday to my dearest fren!!! Hugz! 🤓 Have an awesome day ahead!
- Bill: Brother, happy birthday 🎉. Hope you have a blast today 👯
- Jas: Happy birthday Mr!!
- ahlong: Happy birthday bro.. have a great day and an even better weekend. Cheers.. 🎉🍵
- SC: Hows the burf boi tdy? 🙂
- SJ: Di~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY~ over the half of 30s liao! Wish you have a wonderful and fulfilling year ahead with the increased life experience. ;p
- Lester: Eh dey Happy birthday Hope the kids treated you well today
- NZ: Happy Eat a Cake Day!
- Benny: Happy birthday lao da
- Sylvester: Hey Bro! Hope it’s not too late! Happy birthday and God bless always 🙂
- Stan: It’s midnight now. Happy birthday to you!
- Mum: 兒子，生日快樂！
- Dad: 生日快乐 隨心合意 步步高升
- Alvin: Happy Birthday to You!!
- Wing: happy birthday good papa !
- ZM: Happy Birthday to the person I hate most! Stay happy, healthy and live longer so that we can keep on debating on various aspect on life till the end of time!
- Daryl: Happy birthday old friend. More good times ahead!
- XY: Happy Birthday Kein!
- Dave: Thought you were setting us up for more Dad jokes! Happy birthday bro, enjoy your night with your family!
- Jas: Happy hapoy birthday:))
- Tai: Nawwwww so cute! Happy birthday!
- WX: Happy birthday Kein!
- XX: Happy birthday Kein!
- Estee: Happy Birthday!! LYDDDDDDDDD!
- Muz: Happy birthday Kein looks like u had a fun time celebrating 😉
- Jenny: Happy Bday!!! Save us some cake!
- MS: Blessed birthday! ❤🎂🍻
- Helen: Kein! I saw you today and didn’t realise it’s your birthday! Happy birthday! I wish you all the very best, always!
- Andrew C: Happy Birthday !
- Isabel: Happy birthday Kein! I wish u and your family in good health and happiness!! 🎂🎉🥂
- Shihui: Happy birthday!
- Meihui: Happy birthday!
- Bhawana: Such a cute moment Kein and captured beautifully….Happy birthday man. Stay Blessed and enjoy.
- Uncle Loh: Happy Birthday Kein!
- LY: Happy belated bday Kein!
- Lukas: Happy Birthday Kein!!!
- Davina: Happy birthday Kein 🎂🍻
Special thanks to Dom for recording that lovely birthday song with Nico 🙂 Loved it. And to Ashish, Dec, Alan, Simon K, Alana, Dave & Raf for the wishes earlier at the office.