It is what it is

“It is what it is” is perhaps the most mind boggling phrase I ever heard. And, mind you, it is because it makes complete sense — a true tautology. Why say it then?

Each time that phrase is uttered, it suggests the speaker has somewhat accepted what has occurred which should be a good thing until he or she starts to get everyone to accept like he or she did.

It is of course what it is; there’s no way it is what it is not. Unless there’s a bloody misunderstanding in which case it STILL is what it is because you just don’t know that your interpretation of the event is unreliable. Yet.

I propose search phrases to be left out. And I’m not trying to be a smart aleck. I hated the resignation of this statement. We are always taught to assess the present situation and make a move. If things don’t go right we assess on its remedy. We can still try to correct things for what it is now to make for a better outcome.

I paid my taxes

On time! Taxes almost slipped through! I’ve been busy, I always say that to people. I really should stop because it assumes too much about others, basically, thinking they probably aren’t as busy as I am.

You know the feeling of being so busy that all you care about is your immediate goals and you think to yourself, “hey taxes can come on the April 18?” That’s what that made me delay the whole tax filing thing. These are little chores in life that serves to haunt you for the rest of your life. It makes me feel better after I stopped questioning things such as, “why don’t we pay taxes after five years, then I only have to pay twenty times if I live to a hundred twenty,” and accepted it as part of life.

Other annoyances include insurance premiums and credit card bills. Again I stress how little you really need your credit cards. Don’t get so many cards and have a fat wallet. I’m getting rid of one card this coming week. My mistake to apply for it, damn Citibank has amazing coercion techniques. Not a compliment, sentiment analysis engine.

Interesting discoveries #07

Time flies when I’m busy. It seems like April’s here and it’s a rude awakening for me. I’ve met interesting people lately, some from the Singapore Humanism Society and also from one of the frontend developers kinda meetup.

1. Google Whatsapp

Rumor has it that Google’s acquiring Whatsapp. Had a quick conversation over this this evening and it’s a sensible choice for Google. Even if it is 1 billion. Google has not been fast enough to jump into messaging and the other companies are taking over. LINE and WeChat has been especially popular in Asia and Google’s probably finding this hard to ignore. If Google does get Whatsapp, I can imagine improvements to it. I love to watch for SMS integration in this, especially for the iPhone.

2. ChannelNewsAsia has a new design

Woah new design. It definitely a great improvement. The new site takes some getting used to but this is a great step forward. They are a couple of jarring mistakes, more on the choice of colors and there’s some awkward color decisions. I do not think the trend graph is sensible too. Love the bigger images and larger text.

3. Mad Men

I’m watching Mad Men this month and advertising is such an interesting industry. I thank Grace for getting me to watch this. If you’re looking for some drama to watch, this is something.

4. On web design in general

Web design has evolved so fast that tools can’t keep up. I find that designers are painstakingly using Photoshop to work on their designs and there’s no way Photoshop can express responsive layouts. Designers can probably imagine how the layout would change in their minds but it’s too tedious to create mockups. In the bigger design houses, some designers got their hands dirty and do HTML and CSS to just design directly. I think that has to be the way at some point of time. The web designer title is evolving. I see this as an interim though, perhaps tools will catch up and allow designers to express web designs better. Seriously designing a whole website in Photoshop or InDesign is making lesser sense these days. (Note: I’m a web user interface developer.)

5. Grunt.js

Grunt.js is such a joy to use, I’ve been automating some LESS.js and minification tasks at work and it’s making me happier leaving these highly repeatable task to this wonderful tool. I’m starting to use this more efficiently and have introduced this to my colleagues at Tremor Video as well. It’s a slightly different workflow as what we are doing but definitely worthy of further exploration.

6. My best 50 bucks spent

I’ve been bring the phone charger and adapter back and forth for months. One day I bought a set to keep it at home and have my existing set at work. The new adapter at home charges both my Apple iPhone 5 as well as the Amazon Kindle together. I now have one less thing to think about when going home from work. That freed me to think about under things and I swear this reduces my overall stress. Consider getting yourself a set of these too.

7. The curse of credit cards

The curse is to watch out for payments. I’ve been scalded once, OCBC charged me 60 dollars for late payment for 20 bucks. That upset me. I have 8 credit cards today and I only use 2 regularly. I know what to do. I’m just waiting for the time I can cancel without a penalty. I recommend everyone to have as little credits cards as possible. Forget about the dinner discounts, they’re limiting your dinner choices anyway.

8. Roger Ebert, RIP

Roger Ebert died at age 70 after battle with cancer (Sun Times). Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago. He’s one of the best writers I admire. Have a look at this article that’s not movie related.

How to add string interpolation highlighting for Sublime

To add general string interpolation highlighting for Sublime Text 2, you need to edit your .tmTheme file. It can be found in your SublimeText 2, go to Preferences, then Browse Packages. This will open up your finder or Windows Explorer. Look for the folder “Color Scheme – Default”, you should be able to find themes like Monokai and others inside.

In order to add the syntax highlight for CoffeeScript #{} in strings, for example:

[code language=”coffeescript”]c.url("#{vhaAppAddress}saaa", done)[/code]

Open up your .tmTheme file and add the following lines:

[code language=”xml”]
<dict>
<key>name</key>
<string>Embedded Source</string>
<key>scope</key>
<string>string source, text source</string>
<key>settings</key>
<dict>
<key>fontStyle</key>
<string></string>
<key>foreground</key>
<string>#9bca3c</string>
<key>background</key>
<string>#444</string>
</dict>
</dict>
[/code]

You can change the colors of background and foreground to your liking too. Hope you’ll find this useful!