This year marks the first time I have overcome the winter blues. Fall going into winter isn’t exactly my favourite season. I miss the Vitamin D from the rays of the sun to rejuvenate my energy. I like spring because of the new birth of vegetation and plants. For me, it represents a season of hope. Others like fall because of the crisp autumn leaves and the necessity to drink spicy pumpkin lattes.

I decided to splurge in the past couple of weeks. It was the first Black Friday that I wanted to capture certain deals.

During my 2-week annual leave, I wanted to attend a 2-day training course related to this Kingdom-focused vision. I held back at the last moment for a few reasons. I know I can invest in the same amount of money for a better return for the things I need to use now, plus I don’t have my own equipment to practice afterwards.

In addition, I am better to save part of that money for a business-related consultancy session in London to learn the ropes of the sector within a retail environment, as I want to use a proven source to strengthen the business plan. The next feasible time is February 2017 which is good timing. I may speak with another in mind to team up together. Only then will I know if the other is willing to dip their feet in this venture, otherwise keep pressing forward with the original plan. I already foresee this being a Han Solo project, but only time will tell.

As part of my Black Friday binge, I have been eyeing a worthy subscription to a video training provider, as I’m keen to learn the formalities of the Windows Server platform, virtualization (on a production environment) and ethical hacking. I was able to acquire an exclusive 50% deal for an annual membership upon asking directly for a coupon code, and best of all, the rate applies beyond the first year. I now understand the concept – if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

I sought an active subscription with the major video training provider, as IT helps me to earn a living. I also have this obsession to learn new things. Mind you, I have been eyeing this particular deal for a whole year.

I picked up a few other deals including another pair of Nike shoes for my oversize clown feet, a set of 100% Hungarian goose down togs and pillows (before the Brexit prices spike), and some Christmas presents for my parents, mainly three Blu-ray movies (Finding Dory, The Life of Pets, Jungle Book). I did however trip up over a stupid offer.

Out of sheer randomness, I decided to purchase an Xbox One bundle. It had 1TB of storage. It was the S (slim) edition and there were 6 games of varying genres. My last console was the Xbox 360 from 2009, which I barely play these days. Gosh. My Spirit was not at peace from the moment I hit the order button. It was the first time I experienced buyer’s remorse.

I was unable to cancel the order despite phoning. Seemingly, it was ‘too deep’ in the pecking order that they couldn’t cancel like Amazon. Worse still, because I purchased using PayPal, I couldn’t return my order to a local retail branch. The package had to be sent back via post. Long story short, the package was returned unopened to the nationwide seller’s warehouse using a paid tracking delivery service, and after two weeks of gentle but persistent chasing, I received the money return in full via PayPal in 5 hours. Phew!

Meanwhile, I have also been eyeing up on some fancy Bibles from Schuyler Bible Publishing. They produce high quality Bibles and they have rave reviews within the Bible community, due to the design and craftsmanship. I now have the three latest revisions of my favoured translations including the NASB, the ESV, and the NLT. The former two are from the Quentel series, whilst the NLT is of the Caxton series.

I’m keen to do a separate reflection on Bible translations.

The paper of the Schuyler Bibles are super thick at 36gsm, which is very opaque and minimises the bleed through of printed text. It feels like Indian paper, but less tissue-paper like.

The paper is sourced and produced in Finland. The typesetting design is from Denmark. The printing and binding is done in the Netherlands.

It’s nice to have a quality leather Bible not mass produced in China – not just from a quality assurance perspective, but also an ethical decision. Folk deserve to be paid justly for their labour. Anyhow, I have never been so giddy to buy overpriced Bibles. I jumped at the opportunity when I received a newsletter to notify me that the International shipping rates have dramatically reduced (which means, you don’t need to sell your kidneys), and they even enclosed a discount code, which is better than nothing.

My recent splurge was the Star Wars artbook by the late Ralph McQuarrie. Upon realising I missed out on the first print and thinking I have missed out on the legacy artwork on the original trilogy, I was encouraged to bet on a discounted ‘Very Good’ condition from the Amazon Warehouse (i.e. damaged goods department).

Upon receiving the definitive artbook, I was surprised the condition was basically new. The main reason is to be inspired by a brand that tells a story that appeals, plus I appreciate art in general.

Too often, when creating a concept or brand, designers look at so-called current trends, but really a brand needs to focus on scope. When I read how George Lucas commissioned Ralph McQuarrie to draw concepts and illustrations for Star Wars, Ralph created what *he* wanted Star Wars to be. George was obviously impressed with Ralph’s vision that he based his work and concepts into the final film. Ralph didn’t expect his vision to see light due to his expensive look, but George Lucas followed through with his vision.

With that in mind, I am inspired to turn an unusual leaf as I want to toy around the concept based on scope, as opposed to following trends. Why be something similar when you can start something fresh?


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