The last few weeks have witnessed a host of changes to my life.  One thing after another meant that I didn't really have time to make a post.  But, now that things have settled down, that is exactly what I am doing here.

It all started on March 2, when I bought a new (used) car: a 2006 Honda Accord coupe with a manual transmission.  I had first seen this car more than a month ago, at the end of January.  The previous owner, a nice lady who had worked at the same company as me, was quitting her job, and moving to San Francisco to look for a new job.  She had posted an ad on Craigslist with the note that she would need the car until March.  Since I was in no hurry, and I was actually planning on switching cars sometime later in the year, I thought it was worth a shot.  It turned out to be a life-changing event.  I looked at the car, and it was fine.  The price was right, and after getting my friend, Frank, to look at the car later that week, I committed to buying it.  Thus, I waited for a month, and bought my first manual car at the beginning of this month.

2001 Toyota Camry (2010-2018)   2006 Honda Accord (2018-)

It took two weeks for me to get accustomed to driving manual.  The first day I drove a whole day without stalling was on March 15.  Though, it was a sign to come, because I haven't stalled at all so far this week.  I'm pleased that I'm getting the hang of driving manual, and my stupid left foot is getting smarter.  Getting the paperwork done has been more of a hassle than I would've liked.  Turns out, the title needs to be signed on the back by the owner, who was actually the lady's dad, who lived in a town in south Texas.  I had to mail the title to him to get it signed.  The whole ordeal took two weeks to get sorted.  But, I am very happy driving this car.  It is so much nicer than my old Camry, although, my Camry, which has served me without fail for 8 years also had its charm.  Unfortunately, now I am selling my trusty old partner to make room for my new toy.  If I could, I would keep them both.  But, that's impractical.

2001 Camry Dashboard   2006 Accord Dashboard

Sometime in February, my TWC/Spectrum internet bill had gone up.  I called in, but they wouldn't budge, so I arranged to switch to AT&T in March.  That is the benefit of competition: choices.  AT&T came, installed the internet, and I was able to get it up and running within the day, hosting my website, as before.  Ironically, our whole neighborhood used to be locked into AT&T, but a few years ago, we rallied enough people to pressure the HOA into getting off of AT&T, and letting us choose ourselves what service to go with.  At the time, I had jumped on TWC, which was going for $40/month, as opposed to the $120/month or so AT&T was charging.  A few years later, and the situation had reversed.  I was being charged almost $80/month by Spectrum, which had acquired TWC a year or two ago, and AT&T was offering $40/month internet at the same speed.  Thus, it was time to go back.  The equipment AT&T installed this time was noticeably better than that from years ago.

Having gotten a new car, and set up new internet, I then thought about revising my website, to modernize it, both in presentation as well as in architecture.  This led to what you now see.  In contrast, the old website can still be accessed here.  This newest revision is really leaps and bounds better than my previous revision, which I made live back in 2011 (it's pretty crazy that it's been 7 years).  It really showcases the lessons I've learned in these 7 years, and mostly in the last year and a half.  Whereas the previous revision was done in a time before CSS3, HTML5, Flexbox, Bootstrap, Material Design, frontend frameworks, and single-page applications, and had a focus on functionality above all else, this revision uses the latest and greatest of the web technology developments since then, combined with the leading edge technology, such as Nuxt server-side rendering technology, PWA, and a no-JS design.  The architecture uses microservices combined with Nodejs, Express, Nuxt/Vue, and Material Design Lite.  The result has been that this newest revision excels at visual presentation, SEO, and performance over the old revision.  It is more robust and the code is more concise.  Though, it has also had its share of new challenges which needed to be addressed.

Finally, sort of on a whim, sort of not, I went to Daiso and saw a nice pair of slippers.  I ended up buying them, a set of ear picks, and a set of driving gloves (for filling the gas without getting my hands dirty), and the bill came out to be less than $8.  That made my day.


Alas, not all things were good.  My wasabi experiment failed, and now, all that remains are two rotten, bug-infested stumps.  Disappointed, but I think I got close.  I may try again in a few months.

March 24, 2018
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