Bullying Is Not an LGBT Trait

"Bullying Is Not an LGBT Trait"

I’ve been receiving these “not gonna make my day” types of messages from time to time. Well, I’m sorry that their daughter had to experience this. But at the same time please be aware that some people with Asperger’s are also harassing LGBT+ individuals in a blatantly rude manner. More importantly, some autistic people are members of the LGBT+ community themselves. The overlap between the two identities does exist. ⇢ Read more

and vs. &

"and vs. &"

When texting people or posting a status on social media, we often write the word and as & (ampersand) for convenience. But does Python handle and and & the same way? ⇢ Read more

Addition, Concatenation, and Increment

"Addition, Concatenation, and Increment"

Many Python learners consider addition and increment to be similar or even the same, like a = a + 1 is basically the same as a += 1. Here are some examples to show you that they’re actually not – when “addition” is actually “concatenation.” ⇢ Read more

Interesting Python Operators

"Interesting Python Operators"

Have you noticed that + (arithmetic operation) creates a new object with a different identity when it works with a variable while + (string concatenation) doesn’t do so? (You can use the id() function and the identity operator is to find out.) ⇢ Read more

Neither Wow nor Meh: My First Samsung Earbuds

"Neither Wow nor Meh: My First Samsung Earbuds"

My launch-day AirPods Pro are not working nicely. The microphones in the right earbud keep emitting funny noises that render it barely usable, despite the fact that it’s already an AppleCare-covered replacement unit and the original unit had the exact same issue. However, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to buy another pair of AirPods Pro at this point. They have been on the market for 2.5 years, and a new generation won’t be available until this fall or winter. ⇢ Read more

The Computation of the Square Root of 𝑥

"The Computation of the Square Root of 𝑥"

I came across an apparently simple yet intriguing coding problem:
⇢ Read more

Declogging My Kitchen Sink

"Declogging My Kitchen Sink"

UPDATE: Ugh! It got clogged again today. Now I’m working on it. Wait… does it get clogged every March?! 😟

The kitchen sink got clogged all of a sudden. Hours before I had washed a lot of dishes, pans, and fruits. Everything was fine. Then water just didn’t drain away anymore. I was at my wit’s end, pretty aware that the mesh strainer hadn’t been there for weeks. This could have been totally avoidable.

With this unexpected event I couldn’t start cooking dinner. It was 7pm and I didn’t feel like driving to Home Depot for a tool. Nor did I want to call a plumber — no plumber’s number has been on my phone anyway. Then I remembered I had half a bottle of Drano Max Gel in the bathroom. Eek!

I poured all the content into the drain slowly — as directed on the label. Then it was a 30-minute wait. I spent that time looking for an ideal plumbing snake / drain auger / clog remover on Amazon. By “ideal” I mean the most positive reviews, reasonable pricing, and one-day delivery. Unfortunately, no such thing came to my shopping cart eventually.

The HomePod played a chime; 30 minutes had just passed. The last step was to flush the drain with hot water. Wow… Incredible! Water started to drain! Drano worked like a charm!

Now I’m preparing dinner, and writing this blog post on my phone.

Don’t bother to remind me. I’ve just put the strainer back in place. 🙂

A Tiny Shard of the Plate

"A Tiny Shard of the Plate"

I broke a plate last May. It crashed to the floor, shattering into countless pieces. I spent almost an hour cleaning up the mess. Shortly after, another plate (part of the same dinnerware set) broke on its own into two parts, one of which cut into my finger. I took pictures of it with the other hand.

Just now, when I was sanitizing the garbage bin as usual, an itty-bitty shard of the plate (probably the one smashed on the ground) was clearly seen on the inside of the lid. It’s been 13 months. Even if I had fixed that plate, this tiny little bit would still have been left out, waiting to be discovered today, or someday.

Just like other things in our lives — once something’s broken, whether it ends up getting fixed or not, you’ll likely be reminded of the mishap one way or another. To keep everything intact might sound like a bright idea, but it’s one of the hardest things in the world.

Here’s Why You Should #VoteFordOut

"Here’s Why You Should #VoteFordOut"
  1. It took some 400 days into this pandemic for the Ford government to implement paid sick days.

  2. THREE paid sick days for people whose exposure/infection entails at least TEN days in quarantine? What’s the point? Even Doug Ford himself was home-quarantined for more than ten days.

  3. Doug Ford, a college dropout and bully, now is in way over his head. Still remember this is a guy who, when at City Hall, wanted a Ferris wheel and to close libraries to save money? Ontario had cut down medical spending significantly before COVID-19 hit the province.

  4. Look at the failed vaccine rollout in Ontario. Ontario has roughly the same population as Tokyo, the capital of Japan. But it seems to take forever for the former to vaccinate all its residents.

  5. Voting for Ford again equates to voting for ignorance, both his and yours, again.

A Knack to Poaching Eggs

"A Knack to Poaching Eggs"

I have to admit that eggs Benedict are very delish and yet cooking poached eggs is one big headache. Whenever I cook them the traditional way, I lose at least 30% of the egg whites into the boiling water. Besides, I need to add white vinegar and always end up washing the saucepan with some efforts.

So I tried my luck on Amazon, where I found scores of tools for the job: silicone ramekins, electric egg poachers, metal egg rings, etc. When I was just about to order a set of four silicone cups, a review caught my eye:

3.0 out of 5 stars
Verified Purchase

not great, use cling film instead

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2019

not the best, I find even if you add a bit of oil the egg still stick. Save your money buy cheap food safe clingfilm, wrap the egg in the film and simmer in water, works much better, cheaper and you can do more than 4 eggs at once 🙂

19 people found this helpful

What a bright idea! Cling wrap is designed to withstand high heat (up to 120~140°C), is BPA-free, and saves you from washing the saucepan and investing in unnecessary utensils.

But here comes an issue. Some cling wrap tends to melt at high temperatures when it comes into contact with fat, sugar, and, arguably, protein. So I laid my hands on some parchment paper in the kitchen as well. Parchment paper is water and heat resistant, and it has proven capable of doing the trick perfectly. Cling wrap or parchment paper, your choice. Just remember to add 30~90 seconds to the original cooking time (typically five minutes or so), as paper- or film-wrapped eggs do not contact boiling water directly.

Another small problem is that, probably because I wrapped each raw egg a bit tight and tied four of them together, none of these poached eggs looks like a UFO, which has the shape of an ideal poached egg. Instead, they are sort of ball-shaped and resemble crouching adult frogs. Wait… Does Ugly Frog Offspring have an abbreviation? 🤔

Bottom line: I’ll go with parchment paper for my poached eggs, and I’m confident of a nice shape.

Enjoyed My Peanut M&M’s, Without Guilt

"Enjoyed My Peanut M&M’s, Without Guilt"

If you know me very well, you should know my preference for candies: hard candy, soft candy, salty candy, chocolate, etc. But not all candies are enjoyable. While Maltesers are my least-liked kind of chocolate, peanut M&M’s are absolutely my fave.

Last week I was yearning for the taste of some peanut M&M’s, so I took a 3lb pack home from Costco, a place you can’t expect to offer a pathetic 30-piece “fun size” bag.

After scoffing down some fifteen pieces, I felt overwhelming guilt — largely associated with my obesity. Toss the rest in the trash can? What a waste. Let them end up in my stomach? My blood sugar level would spike in a split second.

Then I psychoanalyzed myself: the funnest part of the peanut M&M’s, to my inner self, is actually the peanuts. Then I finished these M&M’s the way I eat sunflower seeds — by shelling the peanuts out with my teeth and tongue and dumping the cracked shells 🚮.

Bottom line: Skip M&M’s and buy roasted peanuts 1 next time.

  1. Yes, even peanuts per se do no good to weight loss and maintenance. I know, I know … 

Hopefully I Can Sleep Tight Soon

"Hopefully I Can Sleep Tight Soon"

My doctor from the sleep lab called back this afternoon with a report of my sleep study done on November 17th, saying I have developed severe sleep apnea –– as predicted by my family doctor and Apple Watch.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine:

Obstructive sleep apnea can range from mild to severe, based on a measurement system called the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). The AHI measures the number of breathing pauses that you experience per hour that you sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea is classified by severity:

  • Severe obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is greater than 30 (more than 30 episodes per hour)
  • Moderate obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is between 15 and 30
  • Mild obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is between 5 and 15

The sleep study shows I had 83 episodes per hour.

According to Harvard Medical School:

At sea level, a normal blood oxygen level (saturation) is usually 96 – 97%. Although there are no generally accepted classifications for severity of oxygen desaturation, reductions to not less than 90% usually are considered mild. Dips into the 80 – 89% range can be considered moderate, and those below 80% are severe.

My oxygen level during sleep was only 73%.

Protracted sleep apnea results in low blood oxygen level and gives rise to Type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and depression, among other serious conditions. Desiring to take a nap in the daytime is also a sign of sleep apnea. In some cases, a sleepy driver may fall asleep behind the wheel while waiting at the red light due to sleep apnea. (FYI, this is not me. I’m too safety-conscious to fall asleep in the driver’s seat.)

The sleep doctor also says that a person should feel refreshed after sleep, without the need to take a nap in the daytime. White people suffer from sleep apnea usually because they are obese, whereas Asian people have greater chances of having sleep apnea even if they are slim.

It’s easy to explain why my Apple Watch frequently detects a blood oxygen level as low as 76% in the nighttime and just above 4 hours of sleep even when I have lain in bed for 8 hours straight. After a cessation of breathing, I have to gasp for air, readjust my breath, toss and turn, and move my legs, so unconsciously that I thought I was still asleep. My Apple Watch doesn’t think so –– it doesn’t count in any minute spent on non-sleep events. Kudos to Apple for making such an intelligent device. You don’t even have to purchase any sleep tracking app; the built-in Apple Health app can do the job adequately.

In a word, I’ll be prescribed a CPAP machine, 75% of the cost of which is covered by OHIP. My sleep doctor will follow up on this CPAP therapy on March 11, 2021.

Hopefully this will improve my sleep and overall health.