Work/Play station audio update

Pun intended!

I finally got my audio setup sorted. I have my Audioengine A5+ speakers hooked to an Audioengine D1 DAC, which is connected to my desktop (Dan A4) via USB for power & audio input. Then I have my PS4 Pro connected to the D1 via optical cable to route the PS4’s sound to my speakers. I connect my Audio Technica M50x on the D1 DAC if I want to used headphones. And finally i have a Blue Yeti mic in black on a Rode PSA1 boom arm.

The Audioengine D1 DAC prioritizes the optical input, so when I boot the PS4 it automatically changes signal sources. I did opt for quality RCA and optical cables which I got from The Listening Room, nothing fancy though. They do have a noticeable difference in static noise and crackling over generic cables you can get at Ace Hardware or the like.

On a side note: I like how my desktop is smaller yet more powerful than its PS4 Pro neighbor. It packs an 8 core, 16 thread cpu with a GTX 1070.

Training smarter

I train primarily to release my aggression, angst and negative energies I’ve accumulated over the years. It’s a fair endeavor where I get what I put in, where I have control and can affect positive changes over course and outcome.

i’ve been training hard and consistent for the past 15yrs not because i want to be fit, but simply because i am a very angry person. But at 35, where i should be in my prime, i find my body constantly breaking down. I’ve read countless books and studies to counteract this but it never really sunk in… Not until i saw this talk between Joe Rogan and Firas Zahabi on the matter.

I am familiar with RPE (Rate of Percieved Excersion), the Flow State and all that, but the way Firas explained it just put things into perspective for me. I will put this into action and hopefully I can get to a point where i am healthy majority of the time so i can focus on the things i wanna be proficient at i.e. Olympic Lifts, BJJ.

Height Adjustable Desk Review

I’ve been wanting to try a Height Adjustable Desk ever since I heard of it some 2 years ago but couldn’t due to logistics and cost to acquire one here in the Philippines. Desks range from $500-$1,000 USD plus shipping which was the primary limiting factor for me. Fortunately you can purchase one locally at Offix for just P20,000 ($400 USD) with free shipping within Metro Manila and a 2 year warranty. You can chech them out at Qube along Aurora blvd. near Gilmore.

The table frame itself lacks features of the one I originally wanted like cable-management support, and better linear stability but the quality is comparable and works as advertised. It does have 2 motors on each leg with 3 programmable height settings and can handle a load of 120kg. The only thing I didn’t like initially is the slow movement of the motors and the lack of responsiveness of the controller, but you’ll get used to it over time.

Features aside, having a height adjustable desk which I primarily use standing up has been one of the best decisions I made since I started working on a desk. I’ve been using it for a month now and the benefits I experienced are already well worth the price of admission:

  • I don’t have lower back issues (soreness, numbness, pain etc) when working anymore.
  • My flexibility has improved, particularly my posterior chain.
  • My posture improved too, particularly my shoulders and neck, since I can adjust the desk to have a more ergonomic typing position.
  • I burn slightly more calories than I typically did when I was working sitting down

Those are just the tangible / noticeable benefits I got from the desk. The biggest benefit to me was fixing my back issues, that in itself is priceless to me, the other benefits are just icing on the cake. Now that I think about it, P20,000 is a small price to pay if you make your living off your desk, considering it is a long term investment in your health and productivity. For me, I feel I already got a return on my investment. I do plan to upgrading my desk in the future if I can source a better one, but this should serve me well into the foreseeable future.

35, what i learned so far

Here are 8 things that sum up the things I picked up this past year. I hope to pick up more as I continue my journey and look forward to my next Orbit.

  • Define what success is to you – the earlier you know what success is to you, the more time you’ll have to achieve and enjoy it.
  • Being right is not as important as being happy – agree to disagree and move on. Right and wrong is a vast gray area where you often don’t know where white ends and black starts.
  • Being limber is the secret to feeling and looking young – don’t take little things like putting on pants standing up or lacing your shoes without effort for granted.
  • Health is the true wealth – your body doesn’t come with spare parts, take better care of it. An ounce of prevention is infinitely better than a pound of cure.
  • Find the right balance of having enough money and time – You’re most likely part of 99% of people who can’t have both in abundance, don’t delude yourself otherwise.
  • Mistakes are advance-payments for success – experience is the best teacher, take stock of all your short comings, avoid repeating them, and know that it will eventually add up to you making better decisions in the futures.
  • Life is not fair, it will never be – Take what you can get, keep your head down, chin up, make the best of any and every opportunity the come your way.
  • It’s a marathon not a sprint – Everything takes time, there’s just no getting around that. Know that hard-work and being consistent always pay dividends in the end.

Back to blogging

I started web logging (blogging) back in 1999 when i got into web development. Way before WordPress, where you had to code your own version of blog websites on GeoCities, SpacePorts or similar free hosting platforms.

Somewhere between 2005 and now i stopped since it became main stream. Now that the band wagon has predominantly moved onto social media platforms and the ease of uae of WordPress, i find myself getting back into the habit. I can voluntarily share my content to interested parties, hide my personal musings and have complete control over my data.

What i missed about blogging is that feeling that you are able to articulate your thoughts to an audience without prejudice or judgement on a post, hit publish and keep it private for noone to see.. It’s like talking to a shrink but on the cheap. I can vent out, ramble, then read through what i wrote and psycho-analyze myself.

Once you know something, there’s no going back, you can’t simply unlearn things you experience. The.more experiencea you go through, your understanding of how the world and people operate broadens. The realization of that sometimes gets uncomfortably heavy and one must adapt to thrive.

How I secured my WordPress site

I recently came across malware in my WordPress installation even though I am running the latest version of WordPress and not running any other plugin apart from JetPack. I tried removing the malware and updating all the WordPress files only to get infected again a few days after. So Far these steps have mitigated the malware from infecting  and/or penetrating my site.

.htaccess conditions

I added these rules to my .htaccess file. This will append or replace the existing rules of WordPress as well as the WordFence Plugin if you use it,

Installed WordFence and Really Simple SSL Plug-in

I installed WordFence to scan and replace WordPress core files. I only use the free version, though there is a premium version available with more automation features. I also installed a SSL certificate on my server and installed Really Simple SSL to force HTTPS on my main site.

Updated passwords and changed DB table prefix

If you haven’t already, I updated all database and user passwords in my current WordPress installation as well as changing the default database table prefix (wp_) to something obscure.

Set file and directory permissions

Set directories to 755 and files to 644. I simply run these commands via SSH

Limit or disable access to XML-RPC

I use .htaccess to limit access to the xmlrpc.php file since I use the WordPress app. You can opt to simply deny access to the file all together if you don’t plan on using it.

 

Abrasive

(of a person or manner) showing little concern for the feelings of others; harsh

A lot of people (Family included) find me abrasive and that’s okay. People cope in their own unique way and if they find me abrasive in order to understand where I’m coming from then that’s fine. Like Mark Manson said:

You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get fucked.

We play the cards we’re dealt, some make the best of what they have, more than most. My experiences in life shaped my personality during my formative years and I won’t apologize for it, not anymore at least. I used to draw parallels with Frankenstein and throw a pity party for myself, but life’s too short for that shit. I learned (the hard way) that relationships are a two-way street, it takes two to tango, and that you can’t force people to like you. I just needed to accept that some if not a lot of people don’t like me and that’s okay… I like, love, and respect myself and that should be more than enough.

I am writing this not to rant but to remind me in the future that I should spend more time and attention to the people who actually care about me rather than chasing those who don’t… It’s not a popularity contest after all.

Why I train

The simple truth of it is i want some resemblance of control. Where i can tell myself matter-of-fact that i had significant influence on the outcome of my undertaking. A safe emotional and mental environment where i can break and rebuild myself in every aspect of life away from the judging eyes of my peers and people in general.

I am my worse enemy, so i try to one up myself in every aspect I can. That way I have this sense of moving forward towards something, anything really, so long as it’s worth while. I guess one if not my greatest fears is staying stagnant. I figure life is a journey, so I have this irrational fear of missing out on something if I stop moving forward and progressing.

I love running because it taught me the importance of endurance and patience, life is a marathon not a sprint after all. I took up powerlifting to teach me the value of mental and physical strength under tension, we all have some weight on our shoulders we carry around. I took up cycling to remind me to stop and enjoy the scenery, life needs a constant change of pace. Last but not least, I became more mindful of my nutrition and resting cycles seriously because you have to love and respect yourself first before people around you reciprocate it towards you.

I attribute my growth and success in life to the fruits of my physical training. It is suprisingly more mental and psychologist than one would think. Though it is a jard concept to graps unless you go through the grind yourself. The superficial side effects are just perks of the real benefits of pushing yourself to always be a better version of yourself day in and day out regardless of the circumstances.

anti-social commentary

I get my news off of social media, it’s convenient. I typically just browse through feeds of a few personalities I follow to get my fix when I’m interested then move along. I make it a point to ignore the comments section to save both my sanity and time. Though there are exceptions wherein my curiosity prevails and I grab myself a bucket of popcorn and read through. Case in point is James Deakin getting some heat on a photo of him and Bong Bong Marcos which was posted ion Instagram.

Majority of the commenters are throwing shade at James Deakin for being with Bong Bong Marcos in a photo. Through out tolerance and mutual respect out the window when it comes to personal opinions especially on the internet. It just highlights the tribal mentality of most people where they find other people’s belief offensive and almost an act of aggression. I find it ironic that a lot of people still have this narrow way of thinking despite having access to so much information, ideas and different perspectives on things.

I really don’t through my hat in, since more often than not you won’t agree to disagree then move forward. Rather, you end up with  an exercise in futility to see who’s black or white in a sea of gray.

Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. — Mark Twain

I mean, dudes are in a photo smiling, trying to promote their own agenda’s without being offensive to anyone (unless you count the haters). Yet a lot of people are acting the fool over it. Then again, that’s why the people in the photo are successful and not angry commenters in a public forum.

the road less traveled

image

For a high school dropout, things have been working very well for me so far. Got a place I can call my own, a job I actually like and the time and financial freedom to do what I like, and enjoy life. For everything I never had and wished I had helped me know what and how to get what I need and want in life.

I guess, I am writing this to remind my future self that when shit hits the fan (like it usually does), life is still good all things considered. I aimed for the stars, failed, but still landed on the moon… now rinse and repeat.

The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.