Business & Creativity, Food & Drinks

Sushi Boat

I do not feel like cooking dinner this evening. So D and I ordered takeaway Japanese. Our dinner will be Sushi Boat 2, accompanied by some sake which we bought and stored away a while ago.

In doing so, D and I will be celebrating the new year, and giving a local business a bit of support. 🙂

Standard
Belgium, Business & Creativity

Behaving

Yesterday, I read an opinion piece of an economist as regards to next year. He stated that the general mass are too optimistic and are underestimating the current crisis. Everyone is hoping that 2021 will be the year we all bounce back and lead normal lives again. We have suffered enough, most think. But the realists know deep down that it shall not be that easy. Logic dictates that we are far from the end. It will be at least another year of holding our breaths.

The world shall belong to those who are able to persevere for another year. Recovery will go to those who will be able to stay calm, behave, and take care of themselves wisely.

Since international travel is out of the picture till 2022, my main activities of 2021 would be mainly concentrated on home improvements. Ikigai 2021 will involve a pond in the backyard, new flooring for upstairs, new coats of paints where necessary, silicone strips replacements, and maybe even installing a bathtub at last. D and I will have to plan and implement according to availability of time and funds.

Standard
Business & Creativity

Creative Pen Tablet

Christmas came early this year! 🙂

This Saturday morning, the post(woman) rang the doorbell and placed a package at the front door. I smiled and thanked her, and she returned in kind. I do not know that they deliver in the weekends these days.

The contents of the box consisted of a bird feeder and a Huion pen tablet. I have always wanted one since I first tried a Wacom pen tablet when I was studying design.

To start off this new hobby, I shall continue practising my brush strokes, but alternating my tools with the new gadget. When I am comfortable with digital calligraphy, I shall try out free hand pencil sketches, copying images from some old and loved photographs.

Standard
Belgium, Business & Creativity, Jibber Jabber, Travels

Second Home Speculation

Covid-19 has made travelling and holidaying in other countries quite an annoying and inconvenient matter. This in turn has led to a significant demand for real estates at the coastal region of Belgium. Well-to-do Belgians who face hindrances of enjoying their overseas homes, are now spending their surplus wealth in their own country.

From the perspective of local economies, this sort of purchasing trend is a good thing. It is probably an exciting and joyful time for some real estate agents, especially those dealing with coastal properties and holiday homes.

Yet, I cannot help but wonder whether this is a wise way to spend ones wealth. As an economist once said, you cannot turn bricks into bread when you are hungry. One has to remember that we are dealing with many uncertainties at the moment. Second homes, especially those near large bodies of water, are not ideal investments in the long run. We also have no idea what kind of influences and functions money will have a decade from now. Making large scale purchases, locking up ones wealth in costly assets seem like a game of pure speculation and gamble.

Standard
Business & Creativity, Flashbacks, Numbers, Simplify

My Invisible Car

Five and a half years ago, I decided that I have no urgent need to own a car. Instead, I used what I have allocated as car budget to buy mutual funds, knowing that I can easily sell these off when I need the money. Half a decade later, the value of these mutual funds have increased by 25%. A car would not only have decreased in value, but would have also cost me money in the form of road tax, insurance, fuel, and maintenance.

I have benefited from my good decisions in life. This is one of it.

Standard
Business & Creativity, Human Nature, Simplify

Lockdown Calligraphy

This morning, I restarted my calligraphy practices again. During the first lockdown, I went through a mountain of unwanted paper and was seeing a subtle improvement in my brush strokes. Now that we are in a second lockdown, I shall pick up where I left off, and continue to improve my brush strokes. This hobby also has a calming effect on me.

If this autumn’s harvests would not take up too much of my time, I might also restart my online mathematics exercises. I was having fun solving the ever challenging mathematical problems. It sure beats spending my time playing silly computer games.

Time management is complicated. Important matters typically do not incite a sense of urgency. Thus, we tend to spend our precious time attending to semi-urgent yet not important tasks.

Standard
Business & Creativity

Feeding The Giants

A lot of people get upset knowing how much Jeff Bezos earns, especially during these trying days of 2020. Blood pressures go up knowing full well that Amazon.com’s CEO can end world hunger with a tiny fraction of his mass fortune. Instead, Jeff bought himself two multi-million estates not too long ago.

While Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and the likes are now and then getting criticized for their lack of compassion for the unfortunate half of society; the influence of China’s Alibaba is quietly seeping into our lives without us even realizing it.

We, the people love our low-priced items. We, the people adore free shipping. We, the people want instant gratifications. We, the people are feeding the giants.

Standard
Business & Creativity, Simplify

Mindful Economy

Mindful spendings are the only kind of transactions that truly support an economy in the long run. Mindfulness does not allow for overspending. In such, it does not lead to crushing consumer debts. Mindful consumers pay for what they need with money which they have.

Also, honest spendings do not create the illusion of unrealistic demand, thus keeping the production of merchandise in check. Producers will not be driven to increase their costs and efforts to overproduce, which in many cases result in sub-standard products.

Mindful consumption is a win-win for humanity and the economy.

Standard
Business & Creativity, Jibber Jabber

Free Seedless Grapes

Yesterday, D and I went to an atelier to buy a gift for his father’s upcoming birthday. We were both taken aback when we were told that no masks were required and friendly handshakes were offered. The man declared happily that they are not infected. Yeah… but how did he know that D and I were not? Anyway, for ten minutes yesterday afternoon, the virus did not exist.

After Rumbeke, we went to do some light grocery shopping at the local store near home. I had my coupons with me and our purchase got us a free 500g bag of white grapes. They are seedless… an abomination according to D. But we will eat them regardless. 😛

At three this morning, I woke up because my chin was itching. Knowing what was most likely the culprit, I turned on the light at my night stand. Fortunately, it did not take me long to spot and sent the damn thing to mosquito walhalla. My slap was loud enough to wake D for a bit, he mumbled and asked if I got it.

Meanwhile, it has rained lightly in phases these past 48 hours. The cistern is filling up slowly but surely, even though we still cannot flush the toilets yet. We shall get there by this weekend, hopefully.

Standard
Business & Creativity

AIs & Humans

Excerpts from The meaning of life in a world without work, The Guardian:

  • By 2050 a new class of people might emerge – the useless class. People who are not just unemployed, but unemployable.
  • The end of work will not necessarily mean the end of meaning, because meaning is generated by imagining rather than by working. Work is essential for meaning only according to some ideologies and lifestyles. Eighteenth-century English country squires, present-day ultra-orthodox Jews, and children in all cultures and eras have found a lot of interest and meaning in life even without working.

We need to adapt to ever-changing life philosophies and lifestyles, make periodical course corrections, learn and improve on various skills, and embrace whatever opportunities life happens to throw at us. The combination of flexible activities are ways to keep ourselves afloat, in a world gradually taken over by AIs.

Standard