→ how can I make my life simpler?

Answered by Patrick Mathieson on Quora

  1. Have a routine that you use to start your day that becomes automatic and thoughtless.
  2. Selectively avoid tasks that you suspect may be unimportant.
  3. Reduce the number of ways people can reach you.
  4. Get comfortable not having an opinion on most things.
  5. Remember that in 200 years, it’s very likely that nobody alive will know that you ever existed

Worth a read.

Also this, and this, and this.

5 things I learned living in an unrenovated 1950s house

We’ve been living in an unrenovated 1950s house since May this year. Not only do we save lots of money on rent but we’ve discovered there’s actually some really cool things about old houses 😎

  1. Open plan is overrated – being able to close the doors between rooms – particularly when you have screaming kids – is a godsend
  2. You don’t need so many mirrors – modern houses have built-ins with full length mirrors galore – these aren’t necessary – just learn to look at yourself less
  3. Hanging ceiling lights are fantastic – we have different hanging lights in every room, heaps cooler than downlights which mean you can’t even change the bulb yourself
  4. Your house should be smaller than your garden – modern houses have this the opposite way around and it’s all wrong
  5. Shower curtains and a bath tub are easier than glass shower screens – it’s a pain to clean glass shower screens when shower curtains do the job well and you can just put them through the wash.

five qantas international cabin classes

I’ve been lucky enough to fly Qantas internationally in all cabin classes. One of the key differentiators of cabin classes is usually quality and variety of alcohol but since I don’t drink I’ll compare the tea.

  1. Qantas Economy (B747/A380): narrow seat with average leg room, tea comes pre-brewed in paper cup, no amenities kits, cabin smells like fart.
  2. Qantas Premium Economy (B747): a slightly wider seat with slightly more leg room, tea comes pre-brewed in small porcelain cup, small ‘Country Road’ amenities pouch (toothbrush and eye mask), lots of people pretending to be people they’re not, and wine discussion; cabin smells less like fart.
  3. Qantas Business (A380/B747): a wide seat turns into a fully flat bed (with the world’s thinnest mattress topper), tea comes freshly made in small porcelain cup, amenties kits contain actually useful products; feels like a rich person pyjama party.
  4. Qantas Business (B747 Upper Deck): same as Business class on the lower deck of the B747 but a much cosier cabin size, especially when you have a whole row of four seats to yourself. Plus you can see the cockpit (see pic). Feels like flying on a private jet; so worth it.
  5. Qantas First Class (A380): instead of having a seat you have a suite which is like a mini cabin all to yourself. There’s no meal or drinks service, you order whatever you want whenever you want. There are so many staff as soon as you turn your head someone is there. Amazing SK-II amenities kits. Tea comes freshly made in a pot. The pilots come and say hello. As close as you can get to heaven at 40,000 feet.

five apps to cut out the middlemen

Here’s five of my app ideas to cut out the middlemen:

  1. App for people looking to pay for dates – cutting out pimps
  2. App for people looking for local guides – cutting out tour companies
  3. App for people wanting to swim in your pool – cutting out public pool operators
  4. App for people wanting to find local roadside produce stalls – cutting out produce wholesalers
  5. App for people wanting someone to cut their hair in their home – cutting out hair salons ✂️

The thing I realised is that all these ideas are basically replacing a community service with a paid app idea. 

Even Uber falls into this category. One day not so long ago if you needed a lift to the airport you’d ask a friend or family member. Now you just call an anonymous Uber. Parents even use Uber to drive their kids to school – who cares about asking a friend if they’d help out?

So instead of paying someone to swim in their pool you could make friends with neighbours and use theirs. Instead of charging someone to take them on a tour of your city you can make friends for life by doing this for free. Instead of paying for a date…

It seems every app idea I have is about de-personification and capitalism of society. Why can’t apps make society a better place?

five ways you can order your Philly cheesesteak in philly

I must admit I’m not a huge fan of philly cheesesteaks (I classify them along with doner kebabs as ‘drunken’ foods); but I couldn’t visit Philly and not have at least one!

I had one at Jim’s Steaks; ‘Pats’ or ‘Genos’ are apparently tourist traps. 

I realised there’s (at least) five ways you can order it:

  1. With Whiz (with liquid ‘cheese’)
  2. Wiz Wit (with whiz with onions)
  3. Pepper steak (with capsicums)
  4. Mushroom steak (with mushrooms)
  5. Steak Hogie (with lettuce and tomato)

five things I overheard in the usa

  1. “I’m reeling you in buddy” ~ Guy talking to someone on his mobile phone
  2. “You only ate half your sandwich: what are you…sick?” ~ Husband to wife who only ate half a massive sandwich (hamburger)
  3. “Buckle your booty” ~ Four year old girl to five year old brother on the plane when the seat-belt sign came on
  4. “We smoke em 24/7” ~ Manager of the Texas BBQ chain Rudy’s on how they cook the beef there
  5. “Do you want tinned water? Just in the tin?” ~ Flight attendant to lady on plane.

my five favourite chuck norris facts

One: The chief export of Chuck Norris is Pain.

Two: There is no theory of evolution: just a list of animals that Chuck Norris allows to live.

Three: Chuck Norris has two speeds: walk, and Kill.

Four: If you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars then Chuck Norris has more money than you.

Five: If you spell Chuck Norris in Scrabble, you win. Forever.

From chucknorrisfacts.com

five new things that just aren’t the same

One: MP3s vs Vinyl

There is something great about the experience of listening to a piece of vinyl spinning around on a turntable. Even the large cardboard album cover of a LP was asthetic. Listening to compressed mp3s on an ipod doesn’t produce the same warm sound or experience.

Two: Cards vs Cash

I believe that one of the main reasons that we, as a society, are so indebted is that we mainly use cards instead of cash. Cash has the effect of feeling very real. I don’t get this much nowadays because I mainly transact electronically. The different between one grand and ten grand in my bank is a single digit on the ‘puter screen, the difference between one grand cash and ten grand cash is very real. I understand that cards are much more safe, but are they? With all the phishing, scamming, swiping, frauding and the like, maybe we should all just use plain old cash. I reckon they should make people pay for houses in cash too, it would quickly stop people overpaying for housing. Handing over 500K in cash would feel very serious and real, even if it wasn’t all yours.

Three: Digital Photography vs Analog Lomography

There’s something amazing about Lomo. I haven’t seen a digital camera that captures the same warmth. Digital cameras are all just bits, bytes and pixels.

Four: Modern Architecture vs Gargoyles

I often walk around looking at buildings in cities, and most of the time I like the old ones much better than the new ones. The old ones were often made of stone, and were handcrafted and ascetically pleasing. The new ones are mostly built hastily to maximize investor profit. There’s an old building near my work that has gargoyled cats… Why don’t they put gargoyled cats on buildings anymore?

Five: VHS vs Internet Video

I enjoy watching music video clips. I used to have a collection that I recorded off Rage onto VHS. Sometimes I relive those days and watch them on the Internet (YouTube), but the quality sucks. Why was my 1980’s VHS better quality than YouTube? Why is YouTube all pixelated and splotchy? It is 2008.

five of my favourite films

I recently enjoyed a film recommended by Meg recently, so here’s five of my favourites, in no particular order.

1. Nacho Libre: synthetic Mexican accents, cheesy dialog and good tunes: good times

2. Little Miss Sunshine: warm everyday characters and family dramas

3. Bandits: my favourite ‘date movie’ to watch with K

4. Kill Bill 1 & 2: a cool message and heaps of gore

5. The Darjeeling Limited: colourful scenery and characters

Five things I enjoyed doing in Melbourne last weekend

I was in Melbourne for the last day of winter, and the first three days of spring. The weather was unpredictable, but the whole trip was consistently enjoyable. The five things I enjoyed the most were:

1. Visiting the Guggenheim Exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria


The exhibit displayed a large variety of art from different eras. Predictably, I enjoyed the Roy Lichtenstein art the most.

2. Dinner @ the Supper Inn, Celestial Laneway Avenue in the City

We only just discovered this place on this trip, but it’s a real hidden gem. Authentic cantonese cuisine. Packed out, hard to get a table, and really really good food.

Supper Inn

3. Birthday Cake from Brunetti’s

Kitty bought me a small chocolate profiterole birthday cake from Brunetti’s. Lovely.

Birthday Cake

4. A day of driving along tram tracks in Melbourne in an Audi

Audi Melbourne

We decided to hire an Audi for a day to discover some new spots. It was heaps of fun driving around and dodging trams, luckily we chose a Sunday and there weren’t that many trams about.

5. Browsing the ‘Famous‘ portrait gallery by Karin Catt @ The State Library of Victoria

Karin Catt

Not only were the photos great, but the accompanying text for each told some interesting stories also. Highly recommended.

Good times all around, again.