Thoughts on a Cyber Platter: 2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 380 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Writer’s Block III

Six months have passed and sadly, I have only moved a few sentences forward with my 2nd Book Project. I started this last May in order to have some sort of creative output. This project, which was mentioned in an earlier post, was inspired by some of the books which I [unfortunately] still haven’t finished. Amazingly, my mind subconsciously reminds me of this little writing project that I randomly open the file in my laptop and browse through it then just stare at the half-blank page.

I feel like a failure now after promising myself to not let anything get in the way of finishing this project, not even myself. Sadly, stress has eaten most of me that I resort to doing recreational no-brainer activities — of course, sleeping is number one on that list.

Pressure struck me since November is NaNoWriMo and I am certain that I can’t finish this novel within the month but my mind keeps nagging me that I should at least try to finish half or even just a quarter of it. I’m no expert in writing. Others may see me as a writer-wannabe who pretends he can actually write some good stuff out of his imagination. Probably there is a part of me who thinks that way that I actually am giving in to this pressure (or am I?).

No, I do not intend to finish this project by the end of the month — though that would be amazing if I could — but I do intend to at least make some progress this November. Maybe I should take away some of my leisure activities and just sit on my bed, turn my laptop on and play around with the keyboard until I end up adding even just one sentence to that half-empty space on my screen.

Reviewing Reviews

I like reading reviews. But I’m pretty sure I don’t rely on them as much as I do on my own criteria (which I am still trying to figure out what, but we’ll get there) for deciding over buying a book or watching a movie or eating at a restaurant.

The digital era has opened the doors to a giant pool of information where almost everyone everywhere can dive in. Hence, a lot of blogs and sites have become flooded with clicks and visits because of the readily available content they provide.

If one wants to know something about a book s/he learned or heard about recently from a friend or neighbor, s/he can easily turn the computer on and google it out then a healthy amount of links will be shown to her/him talking all about that book. Same goes for food, movies, television shows and even people.

Reviews, or critiques as some may call them, somehow help us in deciding whether we should get/buy things or not. They give us a hint or a sneak peek of what to expect over something we are interested in which has already been seen or experienced by someone else. We might not know who the person behind the review is but we do allow them to sway our sense of judgment, even just a little bit.

As I mentioned earlier, I do not rely very much on reviews when I want to sense or experience something new. But I believe reviews give some third-person human experience of the thing we are interested in that’s why we tend to believe them somehow even if we don’t know the reviewer personally. Perhaps that is also the reason why I read them and still decide against them sometimes.

Whether we like it or not, we still let reviews sway our mind at times when deciding over things. It doesn’t make us less of a person nor does it mean that we are easily swayed by people we do not know. I think it just tells us that our decision-making is usually based on other people’s human experience of something interesting that we have not yet experienced ourselves.

Scent of The New

I simply love the scent of new things. Whenever I buy a new book, I love flipping its pages in front of my face and smelling its pages. It refreshes me, like I’m about to start a new adventure by reading the new book I acquired.

Another smell I like is that of new gadgets. The box, the user’s manual, plus the bubble wrap (in case it’s fragile) brings me excitement.

The scent of newly cut grass is also wonderful. It refreshes my mind and eases my tense muscles. It feels like I’m detoxifying when I breathe the fresh air from the province and inhale the sweet scent of freshly cut grass.

And now I smell a new year of existence coming, or rather it has already arrived. That is plus one on my age and plus a year’s worth of experience and wisdom on my mind. I look forward to another year of creating wonderful memories with my friends and my family. Also, I am grateful for being blessed with another year to pursue happiness and achieve my dreams.

The scent of wonderful things coming to my life is definitely in the air, and I am ready to embrace them. Bring it on, world!

Writer’s Block II

I am not the best writer there is, I admit. I’m probably not even a writer. But I do enjoy writing. For me, it is a form of art, an expression of feelings and ideas. I have written a lot of things for a lot of different reasons. Articles and editorial columns for the school paper, rants and random posts on my blog, even narratives and fan-fiction on online forums. Writing keeps my thoughts in order when they start flying around my mind in utter chaos.

Recently I have started to write a new story. I still haven’t decided whether it should be a fiction novel or a graphic novel, but I’m really driven to finish this project unlike my first try (which I might need to revisit since I still believe the concept is good). However, I got stuck after a few paragraphs and I can’t seem to find the inspiration to keep moving forward.

A lot has happened to me lately. Wave after wave of misfortune came to me like I’m in Lemony Snicket’s book series. These events have shaken me and I’m quite unstable and out-of-balance as of the moment that I can’t seem to push my 2nd Book Project forward.

Looking at it through a positive lens, I keep myself from falling any further and try to find more reasons to hold on to. I am truly stoked in finishing this project and I do hope that nothing, not even myself, can stop me from doing this.

Hopefully, what I’m experiencing now is just a very bad case of writer’s block which I can just shrug off by going out and taking a sip of coffee, or by consuming a tub of vanilla ice cream so I can continue on finishing my little project.

P.S. If you’re wondering why the title is labeled “II”, you may refer to the “I” through an old post in my other blog.

Why Terror Exists

Recent news tell us about bombings, explosions, and a lot of other stuff done by terrorists. Why do they do it? What motivates them?

The human psyche is such a complicated thing to understand. However we try to solve certain matters or predict certain patterns concerning how the human mind works, it’s just quite unachievable.

I have been wondering for so long why there are people who just simply love spreading terror among their fellowmen. Does it give them that schadenfreude-type of pleasure? But I cannot seem to comprehend how the proliferation of terror is justified.

Some say, the negative exists so that we can appreciate the positive more. Like sadness, so that we can really feel how wonderful true joy is. Or like evil, it exists so that we understand what is good and be more appreciative of it.

So I wonder, does terror exist so that we can fully appreciate comfort and safety? I think it only leaves us even more terrified knowing that it exists in this world and that, ultimately, comfort and safety are too far-fetched.

It is truly hard for me to understand why terrorists do what they do. And maybe I will never be able to fully comprehend their motives or their goals for doing such terrifying acts. But I hope that somehow, some day, terror will be less of a worry of this world so that we can finally achieve — like what most beauty queens used to say — World Peace.

Air Compatibilty

Gemini, the twins, is one of the twelve star signs or zodiacs in astrology. Based on the zodiacs’ group in triplicity, Gemini is one of the three Air signs, the others being Libra and Aquarius. Based on quality or the zodiacs’ group in quadruplicity, it is the Mutable sign among the three Air signs. Mutable signs are those who are the most flexible among the other signs. Other Mutable signs are Sagittarius (Mutable Fire), Pisces (Mutable Water) and Virgo (Mutable Earth).

I am a Gemini. I am a Mutable Air. Like air, I value freedom very much. Being encaged is equivalent to death for an air sign like me. Needless to say, air signs are not good friends with chains and locks. I love being able to freely express myself, my thoughts, my beliefs, my intellect, my feelings. Unfortunately for the latter, air signs are not the best in that area.

Feelings and emotions are the water signs’ forte. It would be good for air signs to get advice from water signs with regard to handling feelings. However, air signs have to keep the balance between their rationality and the empathy they learn from water signs.

In terms of execution, a fire sign is the best companion for air signs. They tend to be more motivated and aggressive when it comes to making things happen. Air’s creative ideas and good communication skills plus the motivation and enthusiasm of fire leads to great innovations. Probably, air should just be a bit careful when it comes to decision-making initiated by fire.

If air signs want things to be grounded and be kept as is, earth signs are the best partners. Earth can help air to keep its feet on the ground. The earth signs are very consistent and stable. If you are working on a project based on certain standards, be confident that earth will help keep air on track.

Maybe you wonder how this relates to your life. Well, if you are an air sign, particularly a Gemini like me, then you know how you can find effective companions on things you want to achieve. If your sign is from another element, then you would know how you can help an air sign such as myself.

But of course, we should always remember that these zodiacs are meant to guide us and not to dictate the course of our lives. If you’re interested about your element and zodiac, there are lots of resources which you can find on the internet. You can start with my references below.

I wish you good fortune in exploring and finding out more about yourself through the signs.

 zodiac groups

What Am I Talking About?

Firstly, welcome to my new blog, Thoughts on a Cyber Platter. So I’m here to express those random musings of my mind about anything and everything under the sun. However, I’ll try my best to keep this different from my previous blog. Hopefully I can keep them both active.

Anyway, what am I really talking about based on my site title and tagline? I guess I just want to talk about almost anything on this blog. But I’ll be focusing less on emotional and more on general topics, things which most people will be able to relate to.

The topics I envision to post here range from getting stuck in a traffic jam in the middle of the highway under the scorching hot sun with the car air-con unit busted to planning whom to vote for in the coming elections (but I might just not post those two topics because it won’t be a surprise anymore if I did).

Well, I look forward to everyone’s support by reading the upcoming random musings of this little mind of mine.