On turning 33

It’s quite an interesting age. I remember it as the first age I remembered my mother being when I was 6. I always think of her as ‘33’.

I can no longer say I just turned 30. I am officially getting old.

It’s also Prince Charles’ birthday if anyone is interested.

Yes this was an excuse to use this

What a whirlwind of a year. I divided this into sections, I won’t link them because I’m sure you can just scroll down:

  • Vaccination and that corona stuff
  • MBA
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Streaming
  • My day job as an Innovation Enabler at ableneo
  • Mentoring
  • Day Trading
  • Child Life
  • Married Life
  • Music
  • Writing
  • A Lasting message

Vaccination and that corona stuff

I got vaccinated. Previously, and I counted this, I have gone for exactly 55 Antigen tests and 15 PCR tests. At least being vaccinated temporarily stops me being deepthroated with sticks.

This was an incredibly difficult image to get amongst the other less savoury ones for ‘deepthroat’

I see the use of masks in Europe is similar to the use of condoms in the 70’s. If you have one, go on and where it, but no one is going to kill you if you don’t.

While a lot can be said of this, I just hope during 2022 masks can be a thing of the past. I think they work, but only if a great part of the population is using them.

I really hope to see my home country soon, but since my dear government is insistent on still being a prison colony, it’s a bit difficult to get in.

I say this to many people — I don’t know of a situation where a citizen is restricted to go to his home country (i.e., the country of his birth, nationality and passport).


MBA continued. One of the things of being in business for some time is you think Academics don’t know what they are talking about — that they are out of touch with the real world.

My hesitations were largely confirmed. But credit, where credit is due — I was surprised how interesting and rewarding the discussions were. DCF valuation can go **** itself however.

I made at least a few new enemies in my networks, which goes to show you can’t make anyone happy. I used to have quaint revenge fantasies, but now I just let it go — at least for the most part.


I changed my reading lists. Typically I have read on a daily basis:

  • The Guardian
  • The Washington Post
  • CNN

I have moved to:

  • The Guardian (still)
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • The Economist

I also read 10 books this year, mostly on day trading. I must give special mention to ‘Liar’s Poker’ — a really fantastic book.

It’s really interesting how people from different political spectrums comment on the same issue — I thought this Youtube video explained it well:


On to what I learnt:


So when I was a teenager, I was told cooking was a great thing to get into for three reasons:

  • You can save money
  • You can get time away from your stressful activities
  • You can get girls with it, and keep the one you do have, happy

So I decided to get better at cooking. One of the things I miss in this part of the world is good Asian food, and since I grew up in Australia, I have a penchant for it.

Lots of prep, and the almost finished meal

So my speciality is Peanut-sauce glass noodles chicken curry. I use a mix of Thai and Indian spices, I melt down the peanut butter with stock and reduce the sauce over a period of time. “Reduction” in cooking is quite an interesting concept.

I cooked it over 7 times, and now my friends are not throwing up after it, and are really enjoying it. I keep experimenting with other Asian inspired dishes.

I also experimented with Quesadillas, Mushroom Risotto, some simple dishes for my daughter, and various other scrumptious meals. Since I don’t want to make my apartment into a steakhouse, I didn’t cook steak (which is my favourite) but let’s see how we go.

Quesadilla, mushroom risotto

What I want to get into, and learn how to make properly:

  • Eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise (I used to be able to make this, but lost my touch)
  • Chicken/Beef Vindaloo
  • Arancini (Italian Rice balls)
  • Since I have a Slovak wife — I should try to learn Haluski again, but also Traditional Slovak Potato salad with enough mayonnaise to choke a goat.


My idea on finding if things are right for me is to just try them, so I tried streaming games on Twitch, and uploading the results on Youtube.

Fun times were had.

At peak, I had 50 regular viewers on Twitch, and over 2000 views on Youtube. Given the amount of effort I put in, it was still considerable. Though the amount of hours you have to put into gaming to stream is quite insane.

What I loved is some watchers got in touch with me to start streaming again, because they liked the sound of my voice. It was a really warming thing in one’s heart.

The money can be made there, but the joy of gaming largely evaporates when you have to do it for a living.

My day job as an Innovation Enabler at ableneo:

I learnt many things, but of note:

  • Overcommunication is usually welcomed — once, twice, three times, four
  • If you don’t have rules, and particularly don’t enforce them, then people, by no fault of their own, will do things you don’t expect or want
  • Being tough in business doesn’t mean you have be tough in your personal life — it can be an act
  • Once you get higher and higher, it’s harder to stay true friends with those at a different level than you — you won’t be able to tough on them when the time comes
  • Meeting minutes are the cornerstone of a growing business as much as I hate to admit it
  • Whether people like it or not — most people are motivated by greed for money, or greed for time — or a combination of both. Find out the percentage, and work with them on this, and they will play ball
  • Perfection is the mistress of procrastination


I started mentoring two young men on lessons I’ve learnt in life, and how I can help them. For their privacy I won’t say who they are, but I’m really impressed with their progress. If you are a young man, and want a mentor, particularly one who is good at making bad jokes — send me a PM

I inadvertently promise you to make you into a man.

Day Trading

I started experimenting with day trading with commodities, and am really quite successful considering the volatility of the market and the respective leverage. I won’t say the amount of money, nor the percentage, but it is a nice side income.

It’s evidently extremely scalable, but it is a test of the emotional capacity of yourself. Typically we are not in situations where we can gain or lose money in an instant, but it is really like that. But making money in this way is quite pure — it is just your intellect, your guile, your will against another (and the market itself).

Child Life:

  • The homework is getting harder
  • Desiatka (Recess)(Food you have between breaks) is fun to make
  • I taught her how to tie shoelaces, quad biking, kite flying, better English writing and the like
  • She is a wondrous human being, and at least for now, a pure soul
  • The Pokemon obsession continues
  • She is correcting her teacher in English
  • I thought I would be a tough dad, but I usually melt when she asks me for something.

Married Life:

  • I made the right decision, I’m sure of it at least every day.
  • I love her to bits and she is definitely a companion for life
  • She started to like Squid Game, and more violent movies/tv shows, which improves our selection from just dramas and romantic comedies
  • She picks my fashion, packs the bags when we go on a trip, and all the things I hate doing
  • She cooks extremely well and is a remarkably centered woman
  • Fellow men — one woman can bring you the belonging, the happiness, the strength, and everything you need. One woman is all you need. But you need to deserve it, and you need to work hard at it. Romantic relationships are like looking after an old Italian car. They will give you all the passion you can want in the world, but you need to take daily care of them.
  • I can’t wait to expand our life further.


So I spent the majority of my teenage years playing saxophone, with a bit of guitar and piano. While I don’t have time to practice now (which I hope to carve out), when you have an affinity for music, it’s interesting the emotional changes that can occur just by playing it in the background.

On my drive to work, I usually play ridiculous embarrassing music, typically the stuff you hear at clubs where they will likely spike your drink. It really changes one’s mood.

Credit: XKCD


This year I took a break from writing. I had a lot of work and other things going on, but I really wanted to try different things this year and see if they stuck. But I have not forgotten it. I would like to try to get a column or something similar in a newspaper — I quite liked being a social commentator in my youth. Maybe a third novel would be nice to write, maybe post-corona dystopia story — in case the whole world hadn’t started a vaccination effort.

A Lasting Message and want I want to do next year

So my life has always been spent trying new things and trying to make them work. But I’ve realised I can only achieve a certain amount of things in a certain time — i.e., while I think I’m smart, the focus is necessary to really achieve something

I have to improve my body. I did some cosmetic adjustments (I got my ears tucked in, I now go to a barber who doesn’t think I’m metrosexual), but I have to improve my overall muscle tone, and reduce my weight significantly. I want to have a six-pack and pecs and all that jazz.

I have to balance my time better. I typically go down the deep end on tasks — I need to finish and move on.

I have to read more. Even reading 10 — maybe 15 books this year wasn’t enough. If Teddy Roosevelt can read one a day, maybe I can try for one a week.

I have to write. Even writing this post made me happy and it felt meaningful. And I’m sure I have something to say in the wonderful world.

I must learn German properly, at least to B1. During the first 6 months of the year, I was doing 3 lessons a week and making great progress — for various reasons I could only manage 1 lesson a week. Let’s get it to at least 2 lessons a week in 2022

I must achieve more in my work life. Corona had a way of slowing things down, but now I want to achieve greatness. I have the skills and the will to do so.

and I must trade. Even in my spare time, it’s an exercise that as intellectually stimulating as it is potentially financial stimulating.

I hope you found this enlightening. If not, at least surprising. And if not even that, then enjoy your day, week, month and year, and see you around this beautiful world we call Earth.


Bryan Dean Harrell

On turning 33 was originally published in ableneo People on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.