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Leaning in

Ten years ago I sent a video message to my future self. For the past 10 years, I have lived precariously close to jumping off with my whims, but I held onto the ladder. But of what use is climbing on a ladder if it is leaning against the wrong wall?

So I have decided to lean into rather than away from my whims. It may not be for the next ten years, it may be for the next two, or for a life time, but what I do is that I do not want to keep living this way. If I go back further in time then this is not the life my seventeen year old self would have chosen. Listening to a seventeen year old for life advice may not be the most adult like thing to do, but then who said that the adult thing to do is the right thing to do anyway. That seventeen year old self was the no nonsense, fearless, careless and naive young man who had more to look forward to in life than his future self. I have shut him up and imposed rules and restrictions on him long enough.

I quit! I am done! Imagine having a harpoon stuck between your ribs. That is what it has felt like. It is time for me to let go of a life which I never wanted.

I am closing my business, Okinara Consulting Services for good. It started as a ‘for the time being project while I figure things out” after a failed start up. This side quest has lasted over 10 years. A side quest that in all honestly has had at best moments of “I guess this is okay”. If you spent too much time on side quests, your main story line remains incomplete.

It is safer to remain in your comfort zone goes the feeling for most people. Your job, your business, your career becomes a means to an end. Have-tos and need-tos govern most of our lives. Ironically staying in my ‘comfort zone’ has been the most unbaringly uncomfortable thing that I have ever done and I have been doing it a large portion of my life; time that I will never and can never get back.

As for what my ten-years-younger-self said to me, most of the things that he thought would have happened, never did. But I also realize how different my priorities were. I no longer want some of those things. There are still things that I do want. To quote myself.

No matter what you have achieved up until now in 2022, know that you must keep going on. You get only one chance to live so live it fully. Over the years you may have lost touch with yourself. I hope you have not. But if you have, you can reconnect to yourself, with your true nature again. Remember you are here to help others. You have a purpose to be fulfilled. I hope you are fulfilling your purpose. There is so much you have to do. Keep on going. Just keep swimming. Keep on going. I hope you have lived your life with passion and honestly. Satyameva jayate.

This abstract concept of purpose is something I no longer believe in. We are a product of cause and effect and other random events. There is no purpose in life. There is no purpose of life. It is a lie that we tell ourselves because that is what gives us meaning. Purpose of life would mean an intention. No one intended life to begin. It happened because a random series of events occurred in that specific order.

I do believe that there are true natures to people. What you decide to do with that nature becomes your purpose. Purpose is decision, not destiny.

So here I go, leaning into my every whims.



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Kindle Or Kobo in Canada?

Why is Kindle Paperwhite the perfect Kindle?

Price! It was on sale on Black Friday and is again on sale now for $115CAD. The new version has a modern flash design. It does not have physical page turn buttons but the touchscreen is perfectly capable of easy navigation. It also has a dark mode for reading at night. I personally would not have bought one if it did not have a dark mode. It also has a warm light and brightness adjuster so it is pleasant to read in various light settings.

The other feature that I really like is Kindle’s integration with gooreads, and that is to be expected because both companies are own by Amazon. I also like the X-ray feature which is a boom for someone like me who reads multiple books at the same time. Integration with a dictionary and wikipedia is also great.

The only thing I wish Kindle had was flexibility in the format of the ebooks. I do not like getting tied to one company for anything. The greater a company’s openness, the higher is my personal rating. This is the very reason, I use open source software like firefox, linux, nextcloud, libre office etc..

Disadvantage of Kindle

The other disadvantage of owning a Kindle ereader is the lack of integration with public libraries. Currently, Kindle does not support local libraries in Canada( or is is that local libraries do not support Kindle ereaders. Either way, it is a no-go).

Kobo – The more open Kindle Alternative

Kobo on the other hand does work well with local libraries. Most public libraries in Canada support Overdrive which has tight integration with Kobo. You can browse and borrow books from public libraries that support Overdrive directly from Kobo ereaders. Again, this is to be expected because Kobo and Overdrive are owned by Rakuten.

Another advantage of Kobo is that it is more open and can read ebooks from multiple sources because it uses the ePub format. This way you are not locked into one store like what Amazon does with Kindle.

My Choice?

Kindle

My choice a is a bit complicated. I subscribe to Amazon Prime, which no doubt is a great service. It includes free shipping for most orders on Amazon, Prime Video and Prime Reading, which provides you with free books that you can read without waiting for holds or having an time limits. Also, I really do love the Goodreads integration and X-ray integration.

Amazon locks you into the Kindle bookstore. Kindle also does not support overdrive in Canada, which normally would be a big knock against Kindle, however,

Kobo

I live in Brampton, and 2 years ago Brampton Library decided to remove Overdrive support. So buying a Kobo, just does not make sense for me. I am very disappointed that Brampton Library no longer supports Overdrive.

But there are other good things about Kobo, like the fact that it is more open than Kindle, and Brampton Library still does support Kobo with CloudLibrary, but there are extra steps involved, which for someone like me, reading itself is an extra step IN LIFE, is a big no no.

Kobo also supports Mozilla’s Pocket, and even though I have an account and have the plugin enabled, I never really use it, but just like reading books included with my prime membership was not read by me until I got a Kindle, who knows, I might start using Pocket more if I got a Kobo.

One more thing that pulls me towards Kobo is its Canadian roots. And because it supports overdrive, I am even thinking of paying $120/year to get non-resident access to Toronto Library – oh how I miss living in Toronto.

Final Decision?

If I am honest, I am leaning more towards Kindle. What it has going for itself is:

  • Goodreads Integration
  • Amazon Audibles integration
  • X-ray feature
  • Prime Reading
  • You can sort of, kind of, may be if you are willing to go through some hoops and charter into territory of using a software like Calibre to convert books borrowed from public libraries to read them on a Kindle ereader.

If Amazon decided to open up its doors to Overdrive, then Kindle will be a nobrainer, but until then, I still need to consider Kobo as an alternative.

I am thinking of purchasing the Kobo Libra 2 to see if I like it better than the Kindle Paperwhite.

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Never Too Late to Start Reading

It may be unfathomable to most that anyone who loves to write, not share the same sentiment towards reading. I am such a person, or rather, and might I delightedly correct myself – I was such a person. In retrospect perhaps this was a sign on my unwillingness to listening before I spoke. Being a natural introvert, I never thought that that was a problem I had. But speaking less does not equate to listening more.

Listening before you wanting to be heard is something that I have learned from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Normally, I would not be reading this or any other such book. Any book that I have read in my life was because I had to for school or for a work project. However, most of my work project reading fell under technical documentation or wikis.

The only reason, I started reading the book was because, it was free for Amazon Prime members, and since I had in the past from multiple sources, heard good things about the book. I had started reading it in May of this year. A week ago, I was not even half way through the book. Reading to me was an idea imagined to be worth pursuing, but lacking the same allure of…um.. anything but reading.

This Black Firday, I made an impulse purchase of a Kindle Paperwhite. It was heavily discounted, and I thought, “oh what the heck.” and the next think I knew was it was in my cart. A week later, I had it in my hands. I still waited 2 days before I opened it. My skepticism of my sudden urge to start reading was warranted. This was not my first kindle. I think I still have my first kindle in the deep recesses of my box, or boxes of neglected momentary passions.

This time, however, it feels different. For one, the first generation kindle has nothing on the newer kindles or any book modern ereaders for that matter. For the most part, ereaders have remained the same, but their speed and touch capabilities have increase hundredfold. Of course, they are not as snappy as smartphones or tablets, but no one needs those speeds when reading anyway. At least not until some company decides to ‘do it anyway’.

So after I finally decided to open the new kindle, the first book I decided to read was The Seven Habits…. I completed it in around a week. And not only that, I am currently reading and listening to 7 books. Opening the kindle package, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that Amazon had decided to go for a mimal packaging approach which according to Amazon: “95% of this device’s packaging is made of wood fiber-based materials from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources.” Go figure.

One obvious and important reason why I like ebooks is that ebooks are environment friendly. You are not cutting down treas to produce ebooks. Also, ebooks will not get torn, or damaged. Technically ebooks will never die. Of course, there is the possibility that vendors like Amazon or Kobo will decide to not support it in the future or do something dubious like stop supporting older version of ereaders, and this does happen in pretty much every industry now, but that is a topic of discussion for another time.

But the biggest advantage is that you can carry literally hundreds and even thousands of books on one single ereader. Not only that, if you lose your ereader, you can always purchase a new one and download all your books within minutes. Not to mention, the social aspect of reading ebooks. You can share quote and highlights from ereader.

Reading has been somewhat of a stress buster. All my worries and other nagging thoughts just fade away as I melt into a good book. One good book that I am reading is “Sold on A Monday”. Normally, I would read books like these, just the description would turn me away. Also, I do not think I have ever willingly read a fiction book, apart from The Alchemist because it is so revered the world over. But because Sold on A Monday was available for free with Kindle Unlimited and I had a free trial, I decided to download it. I am so captivated by what is happening in the book. I am about half way through the book.

The other book that I am reading is 1984 – a classic, but bares so much resemblance to over time, expect the signs are not so obvious. Big brother lurks in the shadows of the digital world.

I was clueless to the fantastic ability of authors to create characters and worlds in the minds of their readers. Perhaps, I merely forgot what it was like to read stories. I did enjoy books like Treasure Island, The Swiss Family Robinson and Making Good, as a child in Primary school. Those books were the last books I remember reading because I had no choice, but to date they bring back fondest of memories. I remember those vivid worlds more than the movies and TV shows that I have watched.

But at last I have begun my journey in reading. I hope I can continue this same level of excitement for many more books to come. I want to start with classics, the Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne books.

It is never too late to start.

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Canada Day 2021 – A day Difficult to Celebrate

I did not celebrate Canada Day this year. I did not wish anyone Happy Canada Day, I did not have a BBQ or go out for picnic. I have mixed emotions about this year’s July 1st. I just got a second shot of vaccine and although I do not feeling 100%, I can take comfort in knowing that I am doing my part to protect myself, my family and my community. The restrictions due to the pandemic are starting to easy, so I can be happy about that too. Canada has a great health care system, that is free and accessible to all; I can be thankful for that. Easy access to fast internet meant that everyone who had to work from home was able to for the past one year or so. I can be thankful for all of that and more.

I am trying to look for things to celebrate, and be thankful for to be a citizen of this country. But just like many Canadians who are mourning the tragedy that is in the history of this country, I too feel pain, embarrassment and shame. Unmarked graves of children who were part of the Indigenous residential school systems have been discovered in the hundreds, and it has brought to light the dark history of this nation.

From the 19th century until the 1990s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded schools in a campaign to forcibly assimilate them into Canadian society. Abuse was rife at the schools where thousands of children died of disease, neglect and other causes.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/30/canada-first-nations-unmarked-graves-indigenous-residential-school-british-columbia

It is not only the death of individuals, but of future generations. The pain was not only caused to those individuals who lost their lives, but also to the families who had to endure their lose,and now after generations, the entire country morns.

No amount of social progress can ever replace or hide nor should it ever the dark history of this country. I was aware of the unjust treatment of the native population in the past, and the present neglect that the indigenous people of this country face, but this just shatters the very foundation of what makes a country great. Today when I look at my country’s flag, I find it difficult to see the beauty in its simplicity of white and red, and the iconic maple leaf. I cannot help but see the blood of innocent children in the red of this flag.

I cannot help but feel that the road that I drive one, the pavement that I walk on, the floor of my home that I stand on was built on the foundation of bones of the innocent.

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Philosophy Uncategorized

Veganism

About a year ago, I decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle. I call it a vegan lifestyle, because I feel that there is some negativity associated with the word “vegan” or rather the phrase, “I am a vegan”.

It’s Lifestyle

Also, “I AM…” signifies a core identity, and that somehow that is the lens through which I see everything. I have come across the idea that being vegan is associated with someone who is uptight, inflexible, and unreasonable, and somehow every aspect of the person’s life and every decision is based on the idea of being vegan.

I am not like that and I do not want to be associated with such an attitude. I stopped consuming meat and eggs and anything that comes from an animal. I also stopped wearing leather belts and bought a single ‘vegan’ belt made of nylon. The fact that I have never really used it is a different matter; we have been living in very strange times. It has been a year since we have been locked in our homes in one way or another so I have not really had the chance to utilize this ‘vegan belt’.

Now, going back to why I say I have adopted a vegan life style rather than saying “I am a vegan” is again because of negative connotations associated with that phrase. It somehow gives the impression that I am right, and everyone who does not follow my way of living is WRONG. Sadly, I know vegans who do in fact behave in such a way. This really does not help the ‘vegan cause’ or the ‘vegan movement’, or whatever you want to call it.

I like a more flexible approach. To me living a vegan lifestyle is just that, a lifestyle. That is the way I choose to live my life and I do not want to be judged for living this way, neither do I want to judge others for not living this way. I do hope that more and more people join me, and ideally, I would rather have it that everyone adopted the vegan lifestyle. However, I know that it might not be a right for everyone, or rather not right just yet.

Think about the Environment

I decided to adopted a vegan lifestyle for moral and philosophical reasons. In simple terms, violence against animals was a big factor in my decision. However, there are other reasons to adopt a vegan lifestyle. There is a phrase that a lot of vegans(that I know of) say:

You cannot be an environmentalist and not be a vegan

I happen to agree with this idea. Animal agriculture is one of the leading factors in greenhouse gas emissions, which as you may know already, is one of the greatest threats to our environment.

Also, when people talk about the environment, it almost has a dissociated characteristic, as if it is something that is external and separate to an individual person. What affects the environment, affects us all. So if you care about the environment, if you are someone who believes in recycling, using electric cars, or at least fuel efficient cars, then you may want to consider adopting a vegan lifestyle.

Vegans – take the win!

And I am of the belief that every bit helps. You can be a weekend vegan, or have vegan Wednesdays, especially if you are someone who eats meat or eggs or milk 7 days a week. You can start by taking a couple of days off.

I know a lot of vegans, including some of my friends who would be appalled that I even suggested this. To them I would say, take the win, every small win counts.

Take this analogy. More people are buying electric cars, hybrid cars and fuel efficient cars. Not everyone is going to suddenly be driving electric cars over night. Likewise, not everyone is going to be turning vegan overnight. But a reduction in the consumption of meat, fish and dairy is a good start – take the win.

Drinking Milk is Weird

Not only is a vegan lifestyle good for the environment, it is also good for the body and the mind. A few thing that come to mind are fat, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics.

Did you know that no other animal drinks milk that comes from a different species? Also, did you know that no other species drinks milk in adulthood? Humans are the only ones that do this very odd thing.

Choice

Anyway, I am not here to convince you to change your habits. All I am saying is this is the way I am choosing to live my life… and is that not a very important distinction. Choosing to live this way?

Whatever habit, whatever programing that you may have whether it is cultural, or family, or any other, you do have the mental faculty of choice. You can choose to behave a certain way. You can choose to not eat meat, or drink milk, or eat eggs. You do not have to make it permanent. You could occasionally choose not to do those things.

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Activism Internet Philosophy Self Development Software Technology Uncategorized Web

Farewell Facebook

I’m conflicted – I want to delete my Facebook account. For some years I was benefiting from this and other platforms by working with programs and providing strategies to businesses. But I wanted out.

I stopped working on social media related projects and I had my social media accounts either deleted or disabled for around 2 years but I had to come back due to academic reasons; university club meetings, tutoring sessions and group studies are conducted and coordinated on Facebook. It boggles my mind that that sentence describes the norm.

Just when I decided the negatives outweigh the positives and again when I was so close to deleting my facebook, whatsapp and instagram accounts, my attention was brought to the current use of social media as a platform to push forward change in a way that was not possible some 10 to 15 years ago.

If it was not for social media, it would not have been possible to get the world to rally behind a cause – frankly it is heart breaking that such issues still exists even in 2020.

During the pandemic, we were kept in touch with our friends and family through this platform, racism and other injustice gets exposed routinely, and people are able raise awareness and organize actions against injustice through this very platform.

It’s a great tool that has helped change for the better. But it’s also a pit that drowns people and tears people apart despite being one click away. It’s a platform that encourages what the world needs and fights against what shouldn’t exists. But it also does the opposite.

It taps into our humanity and satisfies that need to connect, but also chips away our connections.

But digging deeper what it really feels like is The Matrix, where you and I are batteries in a vast farm of others like you and me, it’s sole purpose to keep us engaged, to keep us dreaming so that our lives can be harvested and sold and traded to benefit the few that are at the very top.

We have willingly taken the blue pill. In the next days or weeks to come, I intended to delete my Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram, gmail and other google and microsoft accounts. That’s the plan, it didn’t work in the past, but let’s see.

There are alternatives to gmail, microsft office, onedrive, google drive, whatsapp, android with Googleapps, windows, macos, ios … Not easy, but doable. I have moved about 80% away from these.

Follow my blog if you are interested in alternatives or want to join forces and start taking control of your own data.

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Ubuntu Again

So this is what happened:

Something happened after I wrote the post about moving from Linux to Windows , where I talked about how Windows 10 really is the only operating system most of you would need and there is no real reason, at least not for me.

I came across a project where the best option was to use docker. For now, docker on WSL( Window Subsystem for Linux) does not work – WSL2 will fix that. Then I tried using Hyper-V to install Ubuntu on a virtual machine – which was not a great experience. I had to fiddle around a lot to make networking barely work.  I tried to setup docker on windows and yes it worked, but it was not as seamless as I would have liked it to be. Then I started to have issues with Python on Windows. I regularly write and use python and shell scripts to automate things sometimes for ridiculously simple things which manually might take less than 30 seconds. My python scripts were working on Ubuntu, but kept failing on Windows. When I tried to install packages, pip wouldn’t work and there was just a long and torturous 3 hours “I can see it, it’s right there”, “but that’s exactly what I did”, “I love this keyboard, but this time if it doesn’t work, I will smash it”.

If you’re a developer, go Linux(Ubuntu) – it’s so much easier

Since Widows 10 came out, it has been my daily driver, but now…ironically right after I touted Windows to be the number 1 choice, I’m back on Linux, and I am really enjoying it. Working on Linux is amazing. I had forgotten how powerful apt-get was.

Missing package? No problem

sudo apt-get install this_feeling_is_glorious

In no time, I had customized my workspace just the way I wanted and it seems over the years, the Ubuntu Desktop has improved considerably.

For example, by default, all apps no matter if they are spread out across different workspaces, get bunched into one – a nuisance when switching between apps/windows with “Alt+Tab”, but you can easily customize this by downloading a package from apt-get.

Also, the Snap App Store is great. The terminal is such an integral part of Linux and as much I admire Windows Powershell and the object oriented nature its commands, the Linux terminal is really where its at -it’s hard to quantify, but makes me feel like wizard. With linux permission levels and UFW + Iptables ( the Linus firewall), I was quickly and easily able to secure and compartmentalize things.

Linux isn’t perfect – nothing is

It’s not perfect; it does have issues, but they are different from issues on Windows. For an average user, Windows IMHO is still the best general purpose Operating system – it does almost everything pretty well.

For power users, developers, opensource enthusiasts, Linux is where it’s at.

I recently got into skateboarding, and a fitting analogy is Linux is the shortboard  0f operating systems that lets you do cool technical tricks, but you’re you’re not into doing tricks, get Windows because that’s a cruiser. 😉

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Moving From Linux (Ubuntu) to Windows

The Journey sailing through different operating systems

Before, I begin, let me clarify things a little. I have not really moved from Ubuntu to Windows recently. I made the transition long time ago, what I am here to tell you is that, I don’t think there are really all very compelling reasons to move from Windows to Linux(for me and people like me).

I have been using Ubuntu on and off since the very beginning when I first stumbled upon it while in university. I have used multiple Linux distros, but I always keep coming back to Ubuntu. There was a time when Ubuntu was my primary driver. This was the time when I had quit my job to work on my startup. I had turned my old Windows XP (yes, that’s right, XP!) into a Ubuntu machine because I didn’t want to spend money on upgrading my hardware or the operating system to Windows 7. Plus, I didn’t really like windows 7. I used it for a couple of years until I needed to move around with my work so I bought a macbook which I absolutely loved!

However, my desktop operating system was still Ubuntu Desktop, while I used Centos Server for work. I have never liked Centos, the any variant of it – we used Redhat in University and I used Fedora for desktop for a little while. At that time, I thought, I will never in my life ever move back to Windows for anything. I even installed Ubuntu on my parents desktops. They were okay with it. Didn’t get many complaints.

As time went by, I upgrade my macs, and with every update, I became sadder and sadder. During that time, I had moved from Iphone and Android and was shocked at how well Android did things that IOS just coudn’t. I was tempted with Windows 8 after using it on my sister’s laptop, but I needed to the *nix experience because of my work. I had completely stopped using Ubuntu Desktop at this point. However, I had moved all my servers to Ubuntu.

Then came windows 10, and also the update to Mac OSX, which I don’t remember what it was called, but I clearly remember thinking, “IS THIS A F*CKING JOKE?”

Then I finally decide do take the plunge into windows. The touch screen, the new browser, the new menu system, the promise of Universal Apps(sadly this didn’t come to fruition). Everything about it felt better than Macs. Initially, for about a month or so, I regretted my decision because I finally realized how dependent I was on *nixy  commands. I tried to manage with cygwin, but truth be told, it was just awful. Crashes and bugs and just a whole long list of disappointments and endless frustration and workarounds.  But I stuck with it.

I converted my shell scripts to python scripts for my dev work. And it was going okay.

Touch Screen

Meanwhile, evernote had started to fail me with constant crashes and multiple changes to UI, and I decided to switch to OneNote. Up until now, I was always looking for an excuse to use my digital pen. But now, with one note, I rediscovered (and in some sense had to relearn) the joy of writing. I will never ever go back to MacOs, or even  think about going back to it unless and until Macos has touch screen capability.  I was already sold on having touchscreen on a laptop, but now with one note, things got to a whole new level.

Then came Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

You can read about my excitement here: Ubuntu on Windows. This started to change everything. With the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), I could start using some of my shell scripts again. SSHing to severs was easier, and my workflow became fun and my productivity just sky rocketed.

Then, (from what I remember), the WSL was separated from “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows” as a standalone thing with Ubuntu becoming a downloadable app from the Windows App store and other Linux distros were also introduced.

Gaming on Windows

After a long period of thinking “I have outgrown games”, I bought an Xbox One and rekindled my love for video games. Still not satisfied, I decided to build myself a gaming PC. Let’s be honest here, Windows is the best place to game on out of all the desktop operating systems.

SSH on Windows

SSH client is now natively built into windows, so I find myself using less and less of Ubuntu on Windows.

Windows Firewall

One thing that Windows has that Linux does not is a built in application level firewall. No, iptables is not enough and yes I do use iptables on some of my servers and UFW on other servers. Windows Firewall is THE BEST builtin out of the box firewall out of all the operating system I have used in my life. Paired  with something like Windows Firewall Control, I can have a very customized firewall, something that I have not found any other free or paid firewall do well.

WSL 2 is coming!

Windows Subsystem for Linux version 2 is coming and it could not have come at a better time. WSL 1 was like a translator between common Linux commands and the Windows Operating system. BUT, WSL 2 will be an actual real Linux kernel – THAT’s RIGHT! Windows will now ship with a Linux kernel. It will be a virtual machine, but Microsoft is saying, without the slowness of a typical VM. I assume they will be doing some sort of optimization to make this happen.

I was using Hyper V to get Docker working on Ubuntu since WLS 1 is not compatible with Docker. (Yes, I can use docker on Windows too). I do have Ubuntu installed on one of my desktop hard drives which I use when I feel like having a change. Recently, I found myself contemplating moving my work back to Ubuntu  Desktop, mainly because of consistency. I will not have to switch from git on windows to git on ubuntu or windows desktop to Ubuntu server etc.. etc…

I even tried it on Ubuntu Desktop for a few days. I missed Windows – I love Windows. With WSL 2, I hopefully will not have any reason to doubt calling Windows 10 my home.

So these are my reasons for using Windows Desktop. Working, note taking, gaming and just general ease of use, IMHO Windows 10 is currently the best desktop operating system.

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Your Existence

Your existence whether a mere coincidence, or part of a grand scheme, whichever you believe in, is a small glimpse of fading, moving air across your open palms on a clear sunny day with a light breeze.

Your existence is temporary, so much so that if every atom, every molecule, every planet, star, galaxy, were to stop and watch you live your days from the time you take your first breathe to the time you take your last, they will not know a thing about you. The breathes you took, the laughter you had, the tears you shed, the songs you sang or the lies you told.

This short temporary moment that you have in this vast cosmos and this abundant infinite time, is a beautifully fragile stance that you must embrace and endure.

Know that on the skin of this vast cosmos and endless time, you are a tiny particle of air of a sunny clear day breeze that softly caresses and fades into distant nothingness.

Do not be saddened by this truth. This majestic insignificance of yours is the cause of serenity that the cosmos feels on its skin.

 

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My First Super Bowl Ever!

 

I had never watched The Super Bowl – NEVER! The closest thing to it was the “Bowl” of rugby. That all changed last night when for the first time I decided that was going give this American Football a try. Noticed I said American Football instead of just football? Because I still see it that way – a very much an all-American sport. Although, we do have a few Canadians playing in the NFL.

So yes! This was my first time watching the Super Bowl! And in fact, this was my first time ever even watching one full game of American Football! And boy oh boy, what a game it was! I don’t know (yet) if I will ever truly become a fan of the sport, but I will be joining in the festivities of the Super Bowl next year!

Before I get to the obvious part of why it was such an amazing Super Bowl, let me explain

Why I have never watched the Super Bowl until now.

The reason is quite simple to be frank. I come from a rugby background and American football looks a bit like rugby. The ball is very similar, the ‘try’ lines are very similar, the goal posts same and serves a bit of a similar purpose. It is also a very brutal contact sport.

However, the gameplay and the rules are completely different. That was the very thing that threw me off and turned me away from the game!

  • In rugby, you never pass forward – always back and move forward with the ball. But with football, you can and almost always pass forward.
  • In football, there is a lot of stopping where as rugby is a much faster paced game with no such stoppage unless a rule has been violated or the ball goes out of play. It drove me mad to see the game stop every 10 seconds.
  • They wear all this gear which at first made it difficult to know who was who. In rugby, players don’t wear such gear. It’s a much more dangerous game to me(personal opinion) and I always thought that is the way a contact should be play – a bone crushing, fast paced, heart pumping action packed game. Why the protective gear?
  • Lastly, I never really bothered to learn the rules or understand the strategies behind certain kinds of play. One can’t really enjoy a sport if one does not know what is going on.

But enough with that. Let’s talk about yesterday’s game.

Yesterday’s Super Bowl Made History.

(source: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000783986/article/at-least-30-records-set-or-tied-in-super-bowl-li )

  • Most appearances by head coach: Bill Belichick (7)
  • Most wins by head coach: Bill Belichick (5)
  • Most career passing TD: Tom Brady (15)
  • Most appearances by team: Patriots (9)
  • Most first downs in a Super Bowl by both teams: Falcons and Patriots (54)
  • Most passing first downs in a Super Bowl by both teams: Falcons and Patriots (39)
  • Most passing yards in a Super Bowl by both teams: Falcons and Patriots (682)

What an Experience!

But honestly, I’m not a huge fan of stats. I’m all about the experience a huge sporting event brings. I’ve never seen any team pull a come back like that. Yes, I know, you must be thinking about how I can even say that when this was my first super bowl ever.

The super bowl can be compared to any championship game. You can draw parallels to the intensity and the pressure that is there for the players and coaches and the high expectations from the audience and the on the edge of your seat drama in every minute.

All this is part of any major championship game regardless of the sport. To make a huge come back after being down to that degree is almost impossible for any team.

Source: https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/02/06/sports/06SUPER2final/06SUPER2final-superJumbo-v2.jpg

I have heard so much about Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and now I can see why. That man had a look of an unbreakable conviction. When they were down in the first half, you could see a man who was not frustrated, not afraid, not given up. It was a look of a man, who was looking for a way, looking for some way to turn this around by focussing on the next immediate step – he was going to win that one step at a time.

In the second half when the Patriots scored their touchdown, you could see that search turn into a conviction. He is a true leader of the game. Most players and even most leaders would get under pressure and it would show on their faces. Either they would have given up, or after getting frustrated they would have started to fumble and make mistakes. Not Tom Brady.

I have new found respect for the sport of Football – yes I said football and not American Football.

That’s my take on a freaking amazing super bowl.