Goodnewsgeorge 2.0

Welcome to my new site. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time tweaking it over the past week and I’m really happy with how it looks now.

It all started when I noticed that my website was taking longer to load than I would have liked, so I went on an optimizing spree. After that, I thought maybe it was the theme I was using that was the issue.

So, I spent a few minutes Googling high-speed themes and GeneratePress popped up – a theme I had tried in the past, but found it to be super barebones. I decided to give it another shot.

I began by experimenting with colors using palettes generated on I opted for an orange banner at the top and was pleased with the result. It felt like a fresh coat of paint for my blog, a nice way to start the new year.

From there, I decided to use black text. We were off to a great start. Then, the design reminded me of Penguin Classic books. A quick lookup confirmed my suspicion. Inspired by this, I embraced the design influence.

Penguin orange? Check. Futura headers? Check. Caslon body text? Check. I used a deeper shade of yellow for more contrast and white for the background, as it’s odd having text on non-white backgrounds. Tada! A Penguin-inspired palette.

I also decided to remove ‘a blog by George Wong’ from the header. How many times does one person need to repeat their name? Since Hot Mulligan is still my favorite band of all time, I allowed myself to be inspired by their latest album, Why Would I Watch.

I played around with the layout, adjusted the sidebar and navigation bar, and settled on a layout I liked.

Lastly, I felt the site title needed a logo. It looked very empty without one. I tasked ChatGPT to turn a pen into a question mark, saved it, cleaned it up, made it transparent, and voilà! Icon done.

Welcome to goodnewsgeorge 2.0. Just ahead of’s redesign. Hah!

On a side note, reskinning my blog brought back the warm fuzzy feelings I used to have back in my teenage days, playing around with HTML and Paint Shop Pro, and thinking up new designs for my Geocities homepage. Maybe I should play around with websites more.

Graphic design is my passion.

Anyway, expect more real content next time. When was the last time you gave your homepage a facelift?

One Year Strong (2023 Fitness Recap)

I didn’t manage to write a wrap-up post for 2023. Fortunately, I had the foresight to put down my thoughts about time, which was apt. Since the real new year has begun – I’m Chinese, that’s what Chinese New Year means right? Non-Chinese people won’t get it. Here’s my 2023 recap (more like my fitness journey).

With a little bit of 2024 sprinkled in, because why not? I could have written a recap of my past 365 days at any point in the year – which was what I did back in August. A yearly recap can be done at any point in the year, just that it’s not so meaningful unless you keep it consistent.

Then again, who reads this blog and thinks, “That was meaningful.”

It’s been a year of significant change for me, some by choice and some not so much. Regardless, these old bones have gone through quite a bit. I’m still getting used to my new role, where I’m learning something new every day. It’s no cakewalk.

In the coming months, I plan to grasp my role and live up to expectations fully. It’s time to take off the training wheels and step out of my comfort zone.

This brings me to the main point of this post: gymming. I started hitting the gym last February, and as of this week, I’ve officially turned it into a habit. One year of gymming at least thrice a week – that’s 156 times in 2023.

Now, you might think, “That’s crazy, George! I could never do that!” But it wasn’t difficult at all to practice what I preached. Consistency is key, as I’ve always said. And while I’m no Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’ve achieved my goal of making my pants fit.

If there’s only one thing you take away from this blog post: being consistent works. You won’t see results overnight, but you didn’t get fat overnight either. Which is why you have to keep going. Don’t give up when you don’t see a change immediately.

And here’s a tip: make it easy for yourself. I made my gym days fall on my work-from-home days, and I picked a gym within walking distance. No excuses for skipping the gym. Especially since it’s open 24 hours.

Other things I did to make sure I stuck to my routine: I kept my sessions to around one hour. That made it easier for me to play my day. Keeping my sessions to an hour also helped me to maximize the time I spent working out. Knowing I only had three hours a week at the gym ensured I didn’t waste any of it.

For posterity, here are my stats – February 2023 and February 2024:

I haven’t gained much muscle I’ve managed to reduce my body fat. My lack of muscle gain is probably due to my unchanged diet. Protein shakes? Tried them for a bit, but didn’t fancy them much. Maybe I’ll revisit that in the future.

Back when I started gymming, I had a trainer who guided me through 24 sessions. Most of our workouts targeted my arms and upper body. Turns out you can’t spot reduce fat, so working on my arms was the way to go.

My progress has been steady from struggling with a single push-up to aiming for 10 pull-ups. Pull-up progress has halted for a bit due to an arm injury over a month ago. But I’ve adapted by switching to running, wrist-neutral and wrist-strengthening exercises over the past few weeks.

Thank you for reading my fitness recap. It took me 38 years but I’m in the best shape ever. Maybe the next step is getting rid of my smoking habit, but we’ll see about that. Happy New Year everybody, I will spend more time writing on in the coming days.