Updates MWF

Congratulations CL for New Book

One of my friends, CL, just published her first book Sustainable Home: Practical projects, tips, and advice for maintaining a more eco-friendly household. It's not just some run-of-the-mill no-name book either—it's being sold in every major bookstore including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Here is CL's new book!
This is the front cover of CL's new book.

Awesome! I'm Jealous.

Congradulations! Wha–Whe—How did you get so ahead of me?

Best wishes on your blog's future! I hope you buy your own book and eat it.

It's strange watching her blog grow up from infancy. From reading her first post, to reading her daily musings, and now hearing about the publication of her new book. Needless to say, her blog is definitely going places.

If you can't tell, a small, small part of me is jealous. I only got interested in blogging recently, so of course she's farther ahead than me. Mostly, I'm very proud of her. And she deserves it too!

I'm not surprised about the content of her blog, either. She's always been interested in minimalism and she's always considered the environmental consequences of her actions. Nor am I surprised about her success. Her passion is contagious. Like a disease!

If you're worried about getting gypped, don't worry. CL's online personality isn't a front. What you see is what you get.

One aspect about her that you can't get from reading her blog is her attractiveness. And I am not just talking about her face, but her overall personage. At least that's my best guess. I don't see what the whole hubbub is about CL, but everyone I've met says she has this attractive charm.

Actually, when we served leadership together, I felt kinda bad for her. Not because of any thing she did (at least not intentionally). When we served in collegiate leadership, I knew of at least three people who had confessed to her, and three others who had secretly fallen head over heels for her. ALL WITHIN A 5 MONTH TIME PERIOD. I couldn't believe it!

Looking back, it makes more sense now.

  • She loves to bake. Very homely.
  • She has an easy-going personality.
  • She exudes that sort of artsy-fartsy vibe. You know, like an Etsy seller.

Yet, even considering all this, it's still unfathomable as to why SO. MANY. PEOPLE. were caught by her love bug. I mean, she only got a 77 on the Duck Row Test. Am I missing something about her that other guys see?

CL wearing my glasses.
Here's PROOF that I know her! In this picture, she is failing at wearing my glasses. Everytime she tries to wear them, she combusts into laughter.

Just imagine: All your guy friends—those close to you and those you considered platonic— kept requesting to talk to you in private, and then BLAM! All of them began to confess their undying love to you left and right. Scary right? I'd be afraid to talk to any of my guys friends fearing that they'd fall in love with me.

So, in my idiotic brilliance, I decided to confess to her about my DISinterest in her. In my mind, the plan was foolproof. I would tell her that I don't have any intention of hooking up with her, and if she needed a guy's perspective on something, she can come and ask me without any worry of me declaring myself her "Romeo". I followed through with my plan, and it was a glowing success.

At least, that was what I thought.

The plan backfired. Now, every time she sees me, she asks, "Hey, remember that time you told me I was ugly and unattractive?"

I know she says it in jest. We're still friends and there's never been any ill will between us. Well, those days are long past now. We both graduated and moved to different places. Besides, she's married now.

I'm proud of you, CL, and hope to catch up to you in the near future. Don't forget about your eccentric friend Often when you become filthy famous.

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Image Naming and Formatting

I've been debating how to file and organize my images, and I still don't have a firm conclusion. There are two possible options:

  1. Organize the images in the same folder as each individual post. [Grav's Default]
  2. Organize all the images in the same folder.

I still have not decided which is the best option, but I am leaning towards the second one. However, the first option is extremely desirable because it's easy to view, upload, and add the pictures into the post using built-in tools of their CMS.

Picture Format

Wherever the images will be placed, the naming system will be consistent.

Naming Structure

The naming structure will start with a 3 digit number, a dash, and then a 2-4 word description of the image followed by the file extension. For example, here are some example file name structures.

  • 001-testpost.jpg
  • 002-startrekisawesome.jpg
  • 010-monkeysvsgorillas.jpg

While the original image will have a much higher quality picture, the front end image (image in the post seen by visitors) will typically have a 3:2 aspect ratio with a resolution of 600 x 400.

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Categories and Tags

The blog is organized in two different ways: File Structure and Categories/Tags. While both are related, they actually serve two different purposes.

File Structure

The file structure system used to organize the blog for either a databaseless system" or a static website. As in, if I ever plan to move away from a database to a static website that only uses CSS and HTML, the structured this blog makes this transition seamless.

Menu Bar
You can look through the front end file structure yourself by clicking through the title menu and seeing how the pages and posts are organized.


The use of Categories and Tags is a nod towards the mighty Wordpress. It is used to organize the blog in a database system. So, if I ever want to transition to Wordpress as well, it won't be too much work. All the necessary aspects of the blog are already set in place. All I need to do is copy and paste.

Search Bar and Popular Tags
You can navigate through the database using the database through the 'Search Bar' or the 'Popular Tag' on the sidebar in the blog page.


The current Content Management (CMS) that I use is Grav. It's wonderful, wonderful, and suits my needs. One reason why I like this CMS so much is because it cleverly uses a flat-file database. For me, Its the best of both worlds. It's fast, adaptable, and not too steep of a learning curve.

Database Structure

The Categories and Tags system is extremely simple. The categories are the main topics of the blog. At minimum, they will always be one, and at most, there will be three. They are all the names in the blog's menu bar. If you want to see the complete list of categories, they are the following:


  • Series
    • Crown of Solstice
    • Rogues of Fortune
  • Essays
  • Projects
    • Book Design
    • Fitness
    • Cooking
    • Family History
    • Minimalism
  • Appendix
    • Blog Standards Manual
    • Resources
    • Tutorials
    • Lists and Rubrics
    • Notes


The tags will always include the Categories as well as a spattering of other tags which may include the following:

  • Journal
    • Poetry
    • Reflection
    • Economics
    • NPR
  • Series
    • Fiction
    • NonFiction
    • Fantasy
    • Science Fiction
  • Fitness
    • Wendler 5x5
    • Starting Strength
  • Minimalism
    • Green Living

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Blog: Updates and Change Log

Change Log Icon
Current Changelog

Past and Recent Changes

Current Version: Version 0

"There's still quite a bit of editing from the back end of my blog before I feel satisfied to leave it alone.

Here are some immediate I needs I need to work on:

Major Updates

Here are a few of my updates and changes needed to get the blog up and running.

  1. Add Commnt System
  2. Add UML Support
  3. Fix CSS stylings
  4. Fix Mobile Blog Menu
  5. Finish Writing Formatting Guide.

Specifically, I still need to figure out how to organize the naming system for images as well as their DPI and aspect ratio. Lastly, there is no image gallery to independently organize blog images, so I need to make a tutorial showing how to move, edit, and organize photos using SSH.

I also need to write some sort of front matter [https://gohugo.io/content-management/front-matter/] for all my posts to help with organization.

Blog Version

This blog is currently on Version 0. Description of blog versions is shown below: Version 0 - Building Underlying Structure of Blog Version 1 - Blog's Maiden Voyage!

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On Health

a brief reflection on health and well-being

This is my morning salad. It was quite tasty. I can imagine eating this on a daily basis.

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. From the Constitution of the World Health Organization

Ever since the Summer break, I've let my health fall to the the wayside. So many things have happened in my life, and I've been having trouble trying to manage my time. Right now I have a stomach flu, and I feel like my stomach is tearing up inside me. It's fustrating. I had an agenda I wanted to accomplish today, but now all of these projects and responsibilities need to be pushed aside to recuperate my health. I'm not sure if this sickness was brought on by my recent unhealthy living or by something more specific like spoiled food or a contagion from someone else.

However, I think that this temporary abdication of responsibility is a blessing in disguise because it allows me opportunity to reflect on the well-being of my current lifestyle. In specific, I'm going to reflect more on the physical aspects of my health rather than some of the more abstract views of health. In the nearby future, I plan to expedite the execution phase of my Cooking and Fitness Projects as well. In specific, I will be discussing nutrition and fitness.


I've always had admiration of people who voluntarily live under strict diets—vegetarians, vegans, paleos...— and I am thinking of subscribing myself to one of these dietary restrictions as well. Not for any moral reasons—I do think that they are important— but because I fear death. Well, not death itself, rather living an unoptimal life. I agree with Henry David Thoreau when he said:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...”cite Henry David Thoreau

Yes. I too want to "suck out all the marrow of life", but I am not sure if I can do that if I consistently and constantly drink bulalo, Filipino bone marrow soup. It's sad to think, but I am beginning to see the old generation pass away. My parents, uncles, aunts... their health is beginning to deteriorate. Some in their late 60s but many others in their late 40s or early 50s. What fustrates me is that they accept their current health as normal and are not taking any steps to correct their lifestyle with diet and excercize. I'm not going to go any further on family matters, but to tell you that this is one of the primary reasons why I want to study history—to correct or at least bring to light the problems unaddressed by my family.

Also, just like Henry said, I believe my best option is to set limits on myself on what I eat as well as the quantity of the food that I will eat. I've tried to strictly count my Macros, but it was just too difficult. Using a food scale, feeling guily everytime I eat out, counting calories on everything I ate. Looking back, it was a miserable experience yet enlightening. I began to discover that my dietary choices are... to say the least... less than superb. So this next time 'round, I've decided to employ a different method. Portion control using bowls. This will make it easier for me to control my macros, but more importantly, it will limit my food intake and ensures that I have a balanced meal without much thought or effort.

The use of Dietary supplements is another factor I need to consider as well. To allay some of your concerns about improper use of supplements, I do understand that they are first and foremost, a means to supplement my nutritional needs, not to replace them. However, I think that they will be necessary if I begin to restrict my diet, especially in the early stages of my journy, because they will help fill in any nutritional gaps in my diet as I fumble through the journey of healthy eating.

I've discussed my basic plan with others, and let me say that the response has been mixed. Healthy people roll their eyes and say, "Of course that's what you do. Wait... you haven't been doing that?" while unhealthy people who are trying to live more healthily look at my plan with gleaming eyes and say, "Wow, this plan is brilliant!" (I'm exaggerating, but I know that is what they said in their heart). So, I think my planning is on the right track, I just need to take the first step.


I've never been super sportsy. I tried... but my Asian parents put a higher emphasis on my higher education than my extracurricular activities. So, I've always felt awkward and inadequate when I tried to play basketball or football with my friends. I'm considering taking a community college class that teaches me cardiovascular exercise. I'm thinking dancing. It's not competitive (I hope), it's fun, and it will help me become more social. Also, maybe it will open up my social circle to more attractive people. You know... cast a wider net.

However, cardio exercize is only half of the equation. Before, I've used to be heavily into lifting heavy things. I started Starting Strength and moved onto 531 BBB. It's been over three months now since I've stopped lifting, but I would like to start again. It was always the highlight of my day. Part of me wondered why I stopped in the first place.

Further Reflections

One more thing I want to point out before I begin cleaning my home gym. I would like to reflect more on the quote I provided above. It's so resonant to me (and to my brother who is a doctor) that I don't mind repeating it again:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. From the Constitution of the World Health Organization

This quote sums up the groundbreaking epiphany I had about health from these past several months. In short, my conclusion was that health is not an absence of something, but rather a presence of something. The buzzword that people use right now is "well-being", but the meaning behind it is the same—health is an advance forward, not a retreat away. This may not seem groundbreaking for the majority of you, but it is to me. Health is a presence of something. That means that we need to make the concious effort to be healthy rather than spending the bulk of our time avoiding unhealthy things. I had this same realization with the concept of peace. I was talking to a friend, and he told me that peace was a given as a command. It's not an absence of something but rather a presence of something, like health. Therefore, we need to make the active choice to be peaceful.

I am hopeful about my situation, and I don't think I've put myself into a point of no return. I'm not an expert on health, but I know that I'm stepping in the right direction. This pursuit for health is not just for my sake, but also for others around me as well.

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