Saturday, October 14, 2017

[755] Mortality of a Friend

I recently found out that a classmate of mine in grade seven had passed away due to a heart attack.

I was shocked and saddened by the news. It was as recently as a few months ago that I was corresponding with this guy via social media. We even agreed to have lunch one time with another former classmate. Although as is the case with me, I never followed it up.

I would never consider him a good friend, to be honest. After grade school I transferred to another school and we never got in touch. Strangely enough when I was working already we would bump into each other once in a blue moon in Makati.

I guess it was through those random times that he decided to add me to his social media account. And I guess those were the steps that would have rekindled our friendship. He was, overall, a good guy to me. He did burn a portion of my left forearm with a very hot wire when we were kids, but hey, we were kids at the time. And I did manage to land a pretty solid (in my opinion) hit on the side of his head after he did that.

Did I carry any grudges with him? No. That thing he did to my arm was a childish thing that I had let pass. The scar, or peklat in Filipino, is gone. I still remember it, but that's because I remember so many damn random things in my life.

Anyway as I said earlier, he passed away due to a heart attack. Bloody hell. He's thinner than me, at least from what I saw in his social media posts. I don't know if he had any medical conditions. To pass away at this age due to a heart attack? Come on, he's about the same age as me. He should be anywhere from 36 to 38 years old and he dies of a heart attack?

I'm partially glad that I started walking in January and have lost weight. I'm partially frustrated that I'm now hitting a wall in my exercise and have no mood to do any lately. And I am totally afraid of something fatal happening to me anytime soon. I'm just not ready for it.

So anyway, I'm rambling again. Rest in peace, my friend. Such a shame we never got to have lunch. I enjoyed connecting with you, even if only via social media.


Sunday, October 01, 2017

[754] Fuel Economy

"7.67km/L on my Rav4. Biggest change? I was driving.
Edit: Previous top ups (including this one) 7.67km/L, 5.09km/L, 6.6km/L, 6.16km/L, 6.51km/L.
Driving style affects consumption A LOT. Also traffic. One other notable change was leaving the house earlier to bring my daughter to school to avoid traffic. Ten minute difference was a major factor."
- My Facebook post earlier today.

I drive a 2001 Toyota Rav4 AWD with a 2.0L 1AZ-FE engine. It is obviously an old car, and for quite a few years I've always had an issue with the fuel consumption.

This past week I had to drive my daughter to school and pick her up. This was a bit concerning for me since the price of gasoline here is relatively high right now and I know that the Rav wasn't exactly a fuel efficient car.

As a quick reference, I've heard that some 2nd generation Honda Jazz get 8 - 10 km/L consumption in heavy traffic. 8 - 10 km/L! How I wish I could experience that consumption.

Anyway, I had noticed that I was spending quite a lot almost every week for the gasoline of the Rav4. And now that I had to use it everyday to bring my daughter to school, I knew it was time to see if I could improve the consumption. As you read from my FB post above, I did.

The biggest change that happened was I drove it almost exclusively. My driving style is quite different from my Mom's driver, who normally brings my daughter to school and fetches her. I anticipate when to let off the accelerator. I try to make sure I keep the engine revving smoothly. And when it's an open road I make sure I move near the street legal top speed. Also, I stay in my lane and avoid snaking in and out of traffic.

Another change that greatly helped improve fuel economy was leaving earlier. Traffic sucks in the Philippines. Ten minutes is a big deal in traffic. We left ten minutes earlier, around 5:50 am and we normally got to my daughter's school around 6:20 am. Before when they left around 6 am they would get to school around 6:45 am or so.

Finally, I'm not sure if this helped but I put in 100 octane fuel instead of the minimum recommended 95 octane. Hopefully putting in a higher octane fuel helped de-clog the fuel lines or clean the engine. I don't know. For all I know using higher octane fuel did no difference.

You can imagine my surprise when I computed for the consumption of the Rav4. I was very pleased with it, but I also know that consumption will go back down once someone else starts driving my car. Oh well, at least I was able to get a little more bang for the buck in my last top up.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

[753] I Wish I Could Turn Off My Brain

I think too much. And I think too much of things beyond my control. Or I try to think of all possible scenarios for things I want to do in my life.

Oftentimes I focus on the worst-case scenario. I don't know why. And I wish I could turn it off sometimes. Just go with the flow, but be prepared. Sadly I'm not like that.

I like to think. To analyze. To predict. Even stuff that shouldn't bother a normal person bothers me. My wife has tried to help me stop thinking. I've asked her countless times how to let go.

I've tried to rationalize to myself to stop thinking about some things that shouldn't even be problems.

I don't know why I think too much. I just do.