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.

The Vampires Come at Four in the Morning

As I age, I find myself thinking more about mortality, life, and how I spend my time. Not sure why, but it might be a consequence of growing old. After all, I’m reaching forty soon, the right age to depart this world. Before any ailments and debilitating illnesses have a chance to set in these old bones.

Gone are the days of sleeping through weekends. I’m usually up before lunchtime, sometimes even early morning. I force myself out of bed to get shit done.

Now that forty is not so far away, I find myself reconsidering that deadline. Especially since I’m now in the best shape of my life, thanks to gymming thrice a week. Although each session only lasts about an hour, I find the time constraint helpful in keeping me focused and not wasting it.

Yet, efficiency eludes me at times. I still find myself daydreaming and procrastinating when I should be working instead. I also spend late nights working, mostly to catch up on work that I didn’t do during the day but also because I enjoy working at night. It’s quieter and nobody bothers me.

When I want to eat at a restaurant but there’s a queue that’s too long? I skip it and go eat elsewhere instead. I often find that most restaurants aren’t worth the wait. There’s always an alternative place around the corner with no queue.

I don’t mind eating meals alone these days either. I don’t have to wait for people to finish, plus I get to read and eat at the same time without being a jerk.

“Time is a man-made construct.” The units we use to measure it are all man-made. We defined the seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, and so on to represent one of the fundamental aspects of the universe. Time goes on regardless of what we do, we’re just passengers along for the ride.

For simplicity’s sake, we won’t take into account how long a person has been alive or how long they have left. Regardless of wealth, status, or background, everyone is given the same twenty-four hours a day. Time is the great equalizer. How everyone spends their time? That is the difference maker.

Whether we want to use our time to achieve our goals, help others, or waste away – it’s all up to us. There are no rules for what we should do with our time. However, it is the major limiting factor to what an individual can accomplish.

Entrepreneurs have great ideas they want to execute. But usually, they don’t have the time to do everything by themselves. Technically, they could learn all the required skills to be a one-man show, but it would take an unreasonable amount of time to see meaningful results.

Since they have the money to spare, they hire other people who already have those skills to help them with their goals. These employees can spend their time doing things they already know. Collectively, they make up a company and together, they work to carry out the founder’s vision.

Just like our passions and interests, it is up to us to allocate time to pursue them. There’s no such thing as not enough time. If can feel that way, but in the end it’s a choice. Like, I look at all these talented kids on YouTube making music and other content I wish I could produce and feel jealous.

But then I tell myself I shouldn’t. I have the same amount of time as that kid, maybe even more. If I wanted to be as good as them, I would need to put the hours into practicing the right techniques and so on. To think otherwise would be to complain for the sake of complaining.

Since I don’t do that, I obviously don’t feel like it’s important enough for me to make the necessary sacrifices. And that’s what life is all about – choices. The sacrifices we make. Like tasks we have to accomplish at work, we decide what to prioritize.

Which ones do we want to accomplish sooner? What can we cut to make the task easier? What’s non-scope?

If we really want something, we’d be willing to give up a lot of things for it. That’s just how humans function. If we’re desperate enough, nothing’s going to stop us. But most of the time, we’re comfortable enough to not want to make a change or put in any effort. So we end up stuck and not progressing.

Of course, there’s no reason to rush anything – unless you set yourself a deadline you wish to stick to. We can still accomplish our dreams of getting better at things with incremental steps. Break down those large monumental dreams into smaller chunks. When your goals become bite-sized, they’re easier to complete.

Be patient and take your time but be consistent. Thirty minutes a week improving a skill is better than spending zero minutes. Over time, the thirty minutes add up to hours. The next thing you know, you’ve spent more hours improving yourself than whining about it.

Ultimately, life is defined by our choices and sacrifices, shaping our experiences and achievements through how we use our time. You don’t have to succeed immediately, but you need to start somewhere and keep going. A little bit each time will eventually get to where you want to be.