Grown-ups, Live Your Own Lives, Even on the Internet

I don’t see a reason that some people’s personal social accounts do not reflect their own thoughts and lives but shower bagatelles about their children on me — what their kids were eating, where their kids hung out, when their kids saw a doctor, etc. — as if these children were starring in a parent-sponsored low-budget flick or pop-up. One might say, “So what? Children are big part of my life. Their lives can amount to mine.” Oh, fine. Let’s just lay aside this toxic idea. But what on earth is YOUR life like? What do YOU think of the things YOU have just experienced? If you don’t care to let me know through your digital presence, why did you want me to follow YOUR account rather than your children’s, which of course I wouldn’t?

I do know many parents are child-centered in a positive way. A man who fathers three autistic kids (a friend of mine on Facebook) is seen encouraging his kids to communicate with audience on the net in a bunch of videos he has uploaded. Apart from that, he has launched and participated in an array of campaigns for fighting autism. Children are of paramount importance, and his own life has not become defocused and mundane.


To Tip, or Not to Tip: That is the Question

A good friend from China is now traveling in Egypt, where he has problems with tipping in a restaurant. Yesterday his wife tipped a waitress $20, about 10% of the check. Then he spontaneously took it back and gave $5 instead. He was like, “I will not be seeing this waitress again in my life, so why should I tip her that much? Americans are famous for giving very generous gratuities, and that’s why they are welcomed wherever they go. But that sort of fame is nonsensical to me. I just hope to not defame Asians as a whole.”

Well, the fact is not about generosity or good fame. A waiter or waitress spends time waiting on patrons and expects to receive tips of a well-established range of percentages (normally 10% ~ 20% and up). That’s the way he or she makes a living. Yes, the restaurant usually pays a little, hence the importance of tipping. Put yourself in a waitress’s shoes. When you have spent considerable time and energy entertaining a table and end up getting almost nothing from them, what would you think of them? You may regret not being smart enough to wait on a “generous customer” and snub that table of shitty people. Whether or not you’re going to see them again, they are the shitty people you would whine about for days. How worse could a guy be when a shop assistant gives him a lot of sincere advice on buying only to find out he’s a shoplifter?

Bottom line: a good tip is important to service workers, so long as the service itself is satisfactory. It doesn’t have to be very generous, but please make it substantial, not like a 2.5%-or-$5-off-a-$200-check thing. If there’s a reason to undertip, state your concerns honestly. If you just hope to avoid leaving a tip, take meals home without having a seat in the eating house or enjoying any service. A fast food eatery or food court is also a good choice to get rid of tipping. Both local residents and travelers have to be tip-conscious where the tipping culture is prevalent.


Away from Micro.blog

After some consideration, it seems to be the right time for me to leave Micro.blog. From today,

  1. my posts on my own website will likely go on appearing on Micro.blog automatically, but I will no longer check replies or mentions on Micro.blog;
  2. I will remove all apps for Micro.blog;
  3. I won’t remove the Micro.blog logo from my own website in hopes of promoting the concept of IndieWeb and independent blogs;
  4. if you’re interested in any part of me or my posts, please contact me at iiii.ca/contact or comment on my website.

I actually shut down my website in early 2016 and decided to go on an indefinite hiatus. But thanks to Micro.blog, I rediscovered the worth of independent blogs. In early 2018, I relaunched this website and started adjusting to the changing climes in this digital world. Despite its defects and the quirkiness of its community, Micro.blog will always have a place in my mind.


Timeline’s 1st Anniversary: Comments, Webmentions, and Apple Music

Jason Shew’s Timeline has been online for a whole year. Since its launch, comments on posts and subscriptions to the site have been disabled. To better connect with the world, however, I’ve decided to allow comments on all new posts from today — including this post per se!

Just click on the date / timestamp of each post, and you’ll be able to leave a message below the post. Your name, email, and other contact info are welcomed but not required. Feel free to share your thoughts. You can also choose to follow updates on your own comments and to get notified of my new posts. If you’re very web-savvy, try sending a Webmention.

I’m not looking to receive floods of comments. The site may well be as quiet as before. But I’d like to take this little step.

Also, here is another change for music lovers: if you have an active Apple Music subscription when seeing an embedded Apple Music player anywhere on my site, simply sign in with your Apple ID by clicking on the button in the upper-right corner, and you will be able to enjoy a complete track rather than a 30-second preview. Why not have a try now?

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🎵 TEST DRIVE // Joji — BALLADS 1 (2018)

At times I share a whole album or a long playlist. If you happen to see your web browser display playlists in a weird way (say, oversized playlists), please enable Async Frame Scrolling in your browser settings. On the iPhone, for instance, you can access Settings –> Safari –> Advanced –> Experimental Features –> Async Frame Scrolling (turn it on). Now you have a chance to check that your web browser works properly.

🎵 This is a playlist on Apple Music.

I hope these neatly embedded players can bring you much auditory joy.


How to Use Also, Furthermore, Moreover, and Besides?

Some students are wondering how they should use also, furthermore, moreover, and besides to achieve correct transitions. Here is an example for you.

My sister believes that McD is the best restaurant in town, but I think that KFC can beat it. The well-known actor Amy has endorsed KFC. The famous comedian Luke also thinks highly of KFC. Furthermore, food scientists indicate that KFC sells more nutritious food. Moreover, KFC itself highlights the nutritional value. In light of the overwhelming celebrity endorsement and the remarkable nutritiousness, I should say that KFC is definitely a better choice. Besides, my sister has been to McD only once and has never been to KFC, whereas I have experienced all the restaurants in town.

Now let’s break down the reasons why I believe KFC can beat McD:
1. Celebrity 1 (Amy) says KFC is good;
2. Celebrity 2 (Luke) says KFC is good;
3. Food scientists say KFC is good;
4. KFC itself has a good business concept;
5. My sister is underqualified for praising McD.

Analysis:
1 ← 2 : simple addition
1 ← 2 | 3 : scientists’ opinion parallel to celebrities‘
1 ← 2 | 3 [4] : KFC’s business concept (on a different level)
1 ← 2 | 3 [4] *5 : my sister’s lack of knowledge as a “bonus”

Bottom line:
(i) also – simple addition;
(ii) furthermore – to pile up evidence with a parallel reason;
(iii) moreover – to pile up evidence with a different kind of reason;
(iv) besides – [a] to indicate that the previous reason(s) is (are) already perfect and here is one more little thing to mention. You can accept it happily as a bonus. – [b] to indicate that even if the previous reason(s) is (are) unconvincing or erroneous, here is one more thing that will make the whole argument unworthy of a conclusion. You have no alternative but to accept it and forgo any conclusion.


Pride and No Prejudice

Stereotypically,

  • a straight / heterosexual man is a human being who is biologically male and feels attracted, both romantically and sexually, to one who is biologically female exclusively;
  • a gay / homosexual man is one who is biologically male and feels attracted, both romantically and sexually, to one who is also biologically male exclusively;
  • a bisexual man is one who is biologically male and feels attracted, both romantically and sexually, to one who is either biologically female or biologically male.

I, however, am not in line with any of these “definitions”, or rather, sentiments on sexual identities because

  • I am biologically, psychologically, and socially male;
  • I feel romantically attracted to nobody;
  • I feel sexually attracted to one who is either biologically female or biologically male;
  • I have been exclusively attracted to cisgender lives since 27;
  • I am capable of feeling and experiencing love of all kinds (like that between family members, friends, etc.).

In the light of these facts,

  • if you happened to see me dating a girl and thought I was straight, then you were wrong;
  • if you happened to see me dating a boy and thought I was gay, then you were wrong again;
  • if you happened to know that I dated both sexes and thus thought I was bisexual, then you were just partially wrong.

Now, you should know that I am technically aromantic bisexual. While I have always been very forthcoming about my specificity, it is NOT wise to identify it with apathy, satyriasis, or priapism.

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If interested, you are welcome to read these articles:

🌈HamiltonPride2018


Hey, This is the Disclaimer.

My site doesn’t promise to provide a hothouse for your bright kids. Neither does the entire Internet. Nor does every tiny part of the world. Let our sanity work. It’s 2018.

If you believe your kids are to stray from the right track by browsing my site, just ask yourselves what the right track is in your pretty sacrosanct minds.

Apple Music provides albums whose covers are not subject to our aesthetic standards. I didn’t make them, and I don’t think sharing them is any close to indecency. Quite the contrary, I reckon them funny and it’s part of the culture I grew up in.

Listen. I embrace the Open Web. Yes, open is the word. If you need a website peppered with censored fairytales, bubblegum stuff, and teenage clichés, which this site hasn’t been made for, build one on your own or read what the Chinese government encourages your kids to. Now. Don’t waste this moment. Don’t presume to issue an order in my own house just because of your kids’ sporadic visits. Mind you, I’ve been running my site for 12 years. It might be as old as are your kids. A good understanding of etiquette does benefit every kid and every adult.

Requesting the webmaster of a personal website to offer content tailored to your interest is even funnier than teaching a pig to play on a flute. If some guy sent your kids a Wikipedia link to Prince Albert, a city situated in Saskatchewan, Canada, and your lovely kids stumbled upon the Prince Albert, a sort of piercing you wouldn’t want me to describe, would it be wise to ask Wikipedia to split that content off from its site? Let’s use our gray matter. 🙂

Hey kids, take my advice. Don’t search Wikipedia for the Prince Albert! It’s an evil website your moms are eager to purify before you take a peep!


Good pre-conception health is the holy grail for all expectant fathers. I suggest the following supplements if you are one of them. Of course, if you are not planning for pregnancy, this combination is still worth trying out.

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1. Lecithin (1,200 mg strength): once (1,200 mg) or twice (2,400 mg) a day;
2. Wheat Germ Oil (1,130 mg strength): once (1,130 mg) or twice (2,260 mg) a day;
3. Zinc (50 mg strength): once (50 mg) a day;
4. Pygeum (100 mg strength): once (100 mg) or twice (200 mg) a day;
5. Folic Acid (1,000 mcg strength): once (1,000 mcg) a day.

Additionally,

5.5 Try L-Arginine and maca to further boost reproductive health;
6. Take other vitamins and minerals, particularly B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C, and calcium;
7. Stop tobacco and alcohol consumption;
8. Frequent a fitness club regularly;
9. Get enough sleep;
10. DRINK MORE WATER!!!

Disclaimer: I’m not giving any medical advice nor prescribing medicine for you as a physician. You should always consult your doctor before trying any of these recommendations.


I Hope This Email Finds You Well

A student of mine once asked about this email opening sentence. She didn’t know how an email, as an inanimate object, would literally FIND the recipient. Yesterday, I came across the same question again on Zhihu, a popular Chinese Q&A site paralleled by Quora.

It should be noted that the word “well” here is not an adverb but an adjective, which describes a state of good physical health or satisfaction.

— How is your sister?
— She’s very well. Thank you.

Also, the verb “to find” does not mean “to obtain”. Instead, it means “to experience” or “to look at”.

My sister quit the job because she found it much too demanding. (= She regarded the job as extremely onerous.)

Therefore, such parlance as “this email finds you well” actually employs the tool of personification: when this email gets to you, I hope that it (on my own behalf) witnesses the fact that you are sound in both body and mind.

In English, “you” can be one person or a group of people. In light of this, 「展信佳」(to a singular recipient) and「闊府康泰」(to an extended family, usually of high social standing) might be qualified Chinese equivalents.

With the above being said, I won’t expect anyone to use it, for it sounds a bit old-fashioned and hackneyed to me. In this Digital and Information Age, we’re suffering infobesity to a great extent. When trying to reach someone, always bear in mind that brevity is a virtue. Instead of being annoyingly wordy, simply use I hope you’re well, which should sound much better.


5 Days with Micro.blog

Well, sorry but I have to say bye to micro.blog at the moment, though I still think it’s an amazing service. The founder Mr. Manton Reece seems too busy to care about my concerns (except for enabling SSL for me and having some convos in Micro.blog’s timeline), but I’ve tried the ins and outs for almost five days to see if it was within my comfort zone. There’s the good and the bad, but it’s still improving. A lot of new features are going on, while Mr. Reece is on the go perfecting another project Sunlit 2.0.

Micro.blog public timeline

(Micro.blog’s public timeline)

Micro.blog is not only a service but a platform. Different from those on Twitter or Facebook, social protocols there are quite interesting. Say, you never know who’s following you, and what you see there is geek talks and real cool people. That’s understandable because people outside the realm of microblogging are normally less likely to run a self-hosted microblog, even not likely to own an independent blog. Birds of a feather flock together.

(7-day trial is almost over)

While I am not going to upgrade to the $5/mo plan, I’m still a fan of it. I benefit from its design and the philosophy behind that way: minimalism and simplicity. They’re not going to change as time elapses. Inspired by this philosophy, I finished redesigning my own website in three days. Based on WordPress, it has been tailored to my specific needs. I wanted it to be a one-man Twitter without typical social features: like, share, and retweet. All I need is a simple log of my life and thoughts.

(Click here to see the pricing of Micro.blog’s services)

I do have my concerns. For example, I spend half of a year in China and my social contacts are largely based in China. If their paid service should be blocked by the Great Firewall, that would be a sad story. Wix.com has not even come up with an effective solution to this, only to notify users in China that they may not provide services in full. I guess Mr. Reece would have to ponder over such issues if Micro.blog saw a quick surge in its popularity.

Still, I feel concerned with seeing the progress of Micro.blog and other products from Mr. Manton Reece and his team. And I won’t rule out the likelihood of returning to Micro.blog some day for some reason.


Welcome Home

└─── posted via Twitter ───┘

Reasons that I love this video (written and directed by Spike Jonze) are simple yet complicated. No question that it’s both visually and aurally pleasing, not to be deemed an ordinary commercial where an actress is paid to pose and move in a cheap, coquettish way or to simply convey the trope of youth/vigor by being hyperactive.

FKA twigs’s dance movements, cadence variations and facial expressions are subtly intertwined with the tune, titled ‘Til It’s Over, a 2018 single by Anderson .Paak, and the lighting effects, so that the female protagonist’s specific state of mind is clearly and artfully communicated.

The most sophisticated part of the performance is the dual-role dancing. Why? The two roles are dressed the same way and appear in the same frame. However, they need to engage in intimate interaction and conduct improvisation respectively while presenting nuances of emotions. Though their looks are identical, the differences of their dispositions are so evident that you can easily notice that in the end, the girl in the mirror (pepped up by the track streamed via the HomePod), instead of the girl in real life, lies in the couch, puffing and delighted. There is a positive metaphor intended.

Also, this video is technically exciting, for what you see is not a CGI scene but an authentic one. Apple has blown audience’s minds again with its tasteful method of artmaking.


How Does it Feel to be Aromantic?

Carnal desires are irrefutably human. An aromantic individual is not necessarily being asexual, and vice versa.

(aromantic flag)

I used to be demiromantic (toward heteroromantic) before the end of my sophomore year at college, and turned aromantic after a dramatic and traumatic breakup with an ex-girlfriend.

Being aromantic is no pride nor abashment. It’s a normal state of human mind. Being a perceptibly rare species is cool, and I’m going to reveal how I feel as an aromantic bisexual male.

  1. At each romantic moment, there seem to be some cameras on the spot as if I was shooting a bubblegum pop music video. I try to cater to my partner’s every need while I clearly know what I’m doing and stay horribly calm inside;
  2. There are moments I cuddle and caress my partner — just imagine the way you rub your love into your pets;
  3. Often blamed for “not being passionate or amorous”;
  4. Solitude is the best solution to stress of any kind;
  5. Clarity galore before, during, and after sex;
  6. You may think that sex could be the only way to channel romance into each other, but in fact sex has nothing to do with romance. That is, sex doesn’t necessarily trigger affections, and doesn’t necessarily happen when affections arise.

Being aromantic is NOT painful at all only if your partner FULLY understands your situation.


My Mating Preferences

I’m about to repost this for future reference, not for real mating.

Choose by intuition:

Q1: Your gender?
Male ➜ Q4
Female ➜ Q2
It’s complicated ➜ [Durian]

Q2: Were you born EARLIER than March 22, 1986?
Yes ➜ [Apple]
No (even on that day) ➜ Q3

Q3: Your physique?
Tiny ➜ Q5
Ordinary ➜ Q5
Fit ➜ [Apple]
Curvy but not shapely ➜ [Apple]
Enormous ➜ [Durian]

Q4: Do we look alike (in reference to the BBB dogma)?
More than 95% (We’re both Bulky, Bearded, and Butch!) ➜ Q5
About 90% (less bulky, for example) ➜ Q5
About 80% (less facial hair, for example) ➜ Q5
About 70% (bearing even less resemblance) ➜ [Apple]
Just around 60% (not very butch, for example) ➜ [Durian]
We look like Tom and Jerry ➜ [Durian]

Q5: Are you a virgin now in ANY way?
Yes ➜ [Cherry]
No ➜ Q6

Q6: Have you made out ONLY with same-sex partners?
Yes, I’m gaily homosexual basking in rainbows ➜ [Durian]
Yes, but I’m also curious to date the opposite sex ➜ [Durian]
You know, I’m in sham marriage ➜ [Durian]
No, but I’ve almost lost interest in the opposite sex ➜ [Durian]
No, I can still make out with the opposite sex though reluctant to ➜ [Apple]
No, I’ve been literally straight so far ➜ [Cherry]
No, I go both ways at will ➜ [Cherry]

 

Results:

➜ [Cherry] = Let’s have a shot! (You have to answer the extra questions shown below, though)
➜ [Apple] = We can be friends, and progress may (not) occur.
➜ [Durian] = Let’s just stay where we are.

 

Extra questions for [Cherry] :

1: Do you enjoy Jazz?
2: Do you enjoy live shows (live music, drama, operas, etc)?
3: Are you financially independent enough to live your life the way you wish to?
4: Do you like traveling a lot or staying in?
5: How much do you weigh social networking?
6: Do you think it acceptable for one to keep in contact with any of one’s exes?
7: How much do you love reading, television, and movies?
8: When your partner has changed in some way, do you think it’s important to stick to commitment?
9: How often do you smoke, drink, or go clubbing?
10: Are you quiet or talkative?
11: Are you laid-back or bossy?
12: Do you mind renting a dwelling place instead of buying one?
13: How much do you value personal hygiene?
14: How much do you enjoy video games / mobile games?
15: How do you view gambling, card games and the like?
16: Would you choose to stay away from those who might affect your relationship with a significant other?
17: How well do you educate yourself in terms of something beyond your knowledge?
18: How much effort would you like to put into acquiring knowledge about security and maintaining health?
19: If you got $100,000,000 by winning a lottery, what decisions would you make?
20: Are you particular about trifles that many people believe are not worth noting at all?