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Showing posts from July, 2005

A Spotted Hagrid!

Last Friday, walked into my fave BBQ place for their Friday special : BBQ Beef Ribs.

Bummer, they had (just!!) run out… so ordered half-chicken instead.

Turned around, looking for a place to wait till they called out my number.

Saw this BIG person, hair all over the place, sitting at a nearby table.
He was devouring an order of ribs (grrrr! I wanted that!!), while reading.

My first thought : o*m*g* it’s Hagrid!!
He looked so much like the guy who plays Hagrid in the HP movies!

And what, dear reader, do you think he was reading?

Take a guess… a wild guess…

Yep: Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince!!

Ah, sometimes it’s the small things, chance coincidences like this one, that just make my day :D

PETA: ethical schmethical!

(For those who don't know: PETA = People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

The following story is from This is True dated 17 July 2005. It is Copyright 2005 Randy Cassingham, all rights reserved, and reprinted here with permission:

"Ethical" Defined
After more than 100 dead dogs were dumped in a trash dumpster over four weeks, police in Ahoskie, N.C., kept an eye on the trash receptacle behind a supermarket. Sure enough, a van drove up and officers watched the occupants throw in heavy plastic bags. They detained the two people in the van and found 18 dead dogs in plastic bags in the dumpster, including puppies; 13 more dead dogs were still in the van. Police say the van is registered to the headquarters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the two occupants, Andrew B. Cook, 24, and Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, identified themselves as PETA employees. An autopsy performed on one of the dogs found it was healthy before it was killed.
Police say PETA has been pickin…

books, studies, & other misc ramblings

Yesterday, for the fun of it, I looked up HP6 at the library... if I had wanted to put my name down to borrow it, I would have been number 362 on the list. Wow. And the library has TWENTY-FIVE copies of the book! All of which are either checked out or being held for the next person on the waiting list. *SO* glad I got my own copy!!

That got me thinking... what about when two of my eagerly-awaited books come out? How early can I get myself on the waiting list? Especially considering one of them I don't intend to buy at all, while the other I certainly will buy the paperback version lah.

Figured, didn't matter if the book wasn't owned by my local library: so long it's listed inthe system, I can already put my name down for it... and sure enough, that seems to be the case!!

So, I am #25 for George R. R. Martin's Feast for Crows, which should be coming out on November 8th 2005.

And I am #7 (whoohooo!!) for Robert Jordan's Knife of Dreams, due to be released on October …

did it in 6 hours?!

oh my.... i have such mixed feelings... I was determined not to devour HP6, but, well, devour it I did... or finished it, lah (devour makes it seem too... positive...) ... by 5pm yesterday I was done.

I am not as impressed with this as I was with Phoenix (HP5): yet another death occurs, plus a major betrayal (or was it?)...

On a positive(?) note, some characters finally hook up, and I anticipate that the love (gag, puke) they have for each other will be vital in the battle against Voldemort; after all, how many times have we read about Voldemort pooh-poohing, or refusing to acknowledge the power of, love?

And yes, we do find out who the Half-Blood Prince is: not someone immediately obvious, and for that I suppose I can tip my hat to Rowling. Just dunno how relevant that was to the overall story, y'know?

Amusing for me was, since I'd (re-)watched all three HP movies recently, while reading I was picturing the scenes from the book, with the relevant actors running around doing their…

I think I’ve earned some Harry Potter time!

Books read in the last few days:

1. Stardust: Neil Gaiman
Excellent Faerie Tale, or tale involving the Faerie, if you will. Reminiscent of Cecilia Dart-Thornton’s The Ill-Made Mute & the following two books of the Bitterbynde trilogy. A simple yet absorbing read. Highly recommended.

2. The Radioactive Boy Scout
Despite the books reading like an expose aired on Access Hollywood, it’s a distressing and disturbing read. Describes how a social misfit ends up contaminating his neighbourhood by building a nuclear breeder reactor thingy, discovered in 1995, in one of the suburbs of Detroit. Also gives a good background on the self-delusion practiced by scientists, politicians and commercial organizations in the early days of nuclear discovery. An interesting read, but like I said, when reading I could just picture how it would appear, almost verbatim, onscreen, soundbites and all!

3. Darkly Dreaming Dexter: Jeff Lindsay
Oh my, what a different novel! Dexter is a serial killer, working as a…

Harry Potter: movies, links & spin-offs

One of the Late Night shows (not Letterman - may be Leno?) had a little segment last night where someone of his crew went to a mall and proceeded to read out loud to kids the last page of Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince. It was really funny to see the kids refusing to listen byt covering their ears, or repeating over and over again "I don't want to know, I don't want to know!"; of course they didn't actually read the real ending lah, they were having fun quoting scenes from other movies and stuff. Amusing :p

I rented the movies of HP 1 & 2 recently (HP 3 is waiting to be picked up right now, will probably watch it tonight), also to kinda get into the groove for the release of Book 6. In addition, did you know that the the 4th movie (Goblet of Fire) is pretty much ready? I expect they'll release it in November again, like the did for the other three...

Anyway: remember or not at one point I mentioned I had rented & wathed all 6 'original'…

Harry Potter: Countdown to Book 6

Today is Friday, 15th July 2005. Tomorrow, Harry Potter Book 6 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) goes on sale.

Did you know, there is actually concern that this release date is going to compromise the opening of Johnny Depp's Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, a movie that's in cinemas today? It's a remake of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory which had Gene Wilder as Mr Wonka, and is considered one of those children's classics (it *did* get cleaned up on the silver screen, I hear the original book by Roald Dahl was a lot darker! Either way - I *love* the Oompah Loompah's song!!)

Speaking about 'darker' .... maaan i really am waiting impatiently for HPHBP! For those who know, the Harry Potter books have progressively gone darker (and thicker,as in voluminous), more serious... heck, in The Order of the Phoenix (Book 5), there was a lot of social commentary, on government administrators meddling in school affairs, of entrenched politicians who a…

Now reading: The Rule of Four

A few days ago, I spent about 2 hours online, at Looked through their lists of best books of 2004, critics' list and customers' list. Made my OWN list of 'to reads' from that. Then went to the library and proceeded to see if they were available : all except one.

Whoohooo! I have lots of fodder to keep me going now :D

I have already made my way through Magical Thinking: True Stories by Augusten Burroughs: a collection of short stories about what's happened in the author's life, the author being a gay advertising person who's made enough to freelance it, comes from a screwed up family, etc etc etc. An easy read, relatively amusing. The conservatives will find the contents shocking, I bet :p

So now I'm currently reading: The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason.

It's something like Dan Brown 's Da Vinci Code... but for the moment I find it slow going, tho I can see hints of why it's said to be 'better written' tha…

ENT Part 2: of stones and blues

D-day arrived. Got to the hospital nice and early. Had not had anything to eat of drink since at least midnight the night before. Took off all jewelry (not that I wear much – just a necklace and a bracelet, occasionally earrings). Changed into the hospital gown. Got wheeled into the OR. Counted backwards from 10: I probably got to 7 or 6 and went under.

I had wondered if I’d wake up in the middle of the procedure, aware of the pain and what was going on but unable to move or tell the doc and nurses that I was awake. Didn’t happen. Phew!

I DID wake up right at the end, feeling COLD, and started shivering there on the stainless steel operating table. I remember a nurse exclaiming “Oh kesiannya, dia sejuk!” as I was moved onto the cart(?) and wheeled out of the OR. Even once I was transferred to the bed, I was still shivering.

This was termed a day-op, i.e. get operated on in the morning, and unless something serious comes up, you get released after lunch or so.

So there I was, still under t…

Interlude: rain

It’s raining now. It’s Hurricane Dennis, two days after hitting Florida. By the time he makes it up to Illinois, he just brings rain, but no destruction. The worst he'd do is cause floods in this area.

(I don't get it; usually hurricanes are given girls' names (e.g. Arlene that hit last month) how come this time it's Dennis? And last year's worst one was Ivan? But the next one to threaten Florida is Emily? Or are they now alternating between male/female names, in the name of equality?)

Guess what? found a site to explain the names and more : wow they are also named in alphabetical order! I guess Bret & Cindy weren't huge ones like Arlene or Dennis! Ah, the fun of learning something new!! Check out the info here.


Remember a previous entry about re-roofing? Well, I think they couldn’t have timed it better.

They finished work on Monday afternoon. Monday night it started raining thanx to the washed out Dennis. And has continued to rain intermittently since the…

ENT Part 1: of stones and 2nd opinions

“You have a stone in your saliva duct, which will need to be taken out.
I’m free next Monday, shall I schedule you then?”

Back in the late 90’s, I was busy getting my work area ISO9002 certified. Sometime then, I also caught strep throat or some similar type of throat infection. Maybe it was particularly bad, or maybe it wasn’t going away, I don’t remember exactly why, but I actually had to visit an ENT for it.

There I was at this specialist hospital in the Ampang area. I recall that the doc didn’t seem too worried by what he’d seen in relation to the throat, and I suppose he musta prescribed the relevant drugs to get me all better, I don’t remember.

What I do remember is him saying something totally unexpected: “You have a stone in your saliva duct, which will need to be taken out.” A slight pause as he looked at his calendar: “I’m free next Monday, shall I schedule you then?”

Whoa, slow up a little there, doc! A bit too eager to put me under the knife, aren’t ya?

Since this was totally o…

... of zombies and books...

Am looking out the window, seeing shingles fly down off of the roof.
Yesterday was the south side, today the north-facing roof.

Yeah, work's going on *finally* on re-roofing this apartment (after more than a year of random leaks in the closet area).

Got rudely awakened at 750am by the roofers, asking if one of the cars in the parking lot, where they were gonna be spreading the tarp to catch the shingles, was mine. Don’t think I was immediately coherent, but enough to convey ‘nope.’

Now there’s awful noises from above, scrapings and such, indicative of them doing their work.

Unfortunately that gives me no peace of mind to sleep, nor, for the second day in a row, to work out.

So took a hurried shower instead. And am zombie-ing online for a bit.

Not only am I zombied by the 750am wake-up, but also my the 330am sleeptime!

Why 330am? Well, I absolutely HAD to get to the end of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (JS&MN) last night, what can I say!? It’s certainly a welcome breath of f…

London Bomb Blasts

saw sms about 7 london bombs at my 820am

immediately switched on tv to try to find some news coverage (I only have basic cable, so no CNN. Have caught BBC news before, but that's like a special slot rather than a 24/7 thing), and found one channel that was running through it as "Breaking News: Terror Alert". Had live feeds from London, where the correspondant was saying things were strangely quiet & calm in the heart of London. Then they went to New York City and wondered why New Yorkers weren't panicking. Ugh.

at the same time, got online to see what the online news sites have to say about it... but combine dial-up with graphics-heavy pages with probably plenty of readers: turned out to be a pretty frustrating experience.

Was 'glad' to see that the number of blasts had been reduced to 4, tho it included an aboveground blast that ripped the roof of a double decker bus. Of course the death & injured numbers will keep chaning. Will have to wait till mayb…

Never Give Up, Never Surrender!

There was a treat for me on the 4th of July: Galaxy Quest was on at least twice on TBS, and I ended up watching it both times :)

I remember stumbling across Galaxy Quest on a plane, maybe enroute to Switzerland, maybe in ’99: I had never heard about it, but boy did it seem funny; after all it was majorly poking fun at the genre inspired by Star Trek. The guy from Home Improvement playing a Shatner-esque character to the extreme. And it had Sigourney Weaver as a BLONDE - I didn’t recognize her! – whose duty was essentially to provide cleavage and to repeat what the computer has to say.

I ended up watching the movie over and over and over, for the trip to Switzerland, and on the return flight too!

I think those who have a healthy liking for the StarTrek genre, but who are not absolute Trekkies (Trekkers?) will really appreciate this movie.

Check it out!

Currently Reading: Susanna Clarke

After devouring Stephen King's Dark Tower series, followed by rereading the 7-book Death Gate Cycle by Weis & Hickman in less than 2 weeks (the delay being due to having to wait for one of the books at the library), I was kind of at a loss as to where to turn my voracious appetite next.

I know Kosh has been trying to get me to read the rest of the Dune series: even supplied me with the 1st book, which I read the first book sometime last year. Found it nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be... however, I wasn't impressed enough to want to go on to books 2 & onwards, tho I guess I will find myself at least perusing those tomes sometime in the near future...

In the meantime... I came across this book (see right) in the library, and decided to check it out. I remember being intrigued by this book when it came out, but somehow I wasn't going to risk buying it. I just LOVE having a public library that is so well-stocked in my kinda books!! ;)

So yeah, here I am, maki…

moi? a genius?

Was clicking away at the list of blogs at MyCen, followed some threads, and found a quiz on "The commonly Confused Words Test"... here are my results:

English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 86% Expert! You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!
Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog:

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:You scored higher than 62% on BeginnerYou scored higher than 53% on IntermediateYou scored higher than 75% on AdvancedYou scored higher than 81% on ExpertLink: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid

Try it out for yourself! …

Memories of Coke (added pic)

1. Coke vs Pepsi?
I remember a long time ago my aunt saying she had taken part in a Coke/Pepsi taste test, organized by either Coke or Pepsi, I can’t recall: she was one of those that liked the taste of the rival brand, and so the organizers were quite miffed at her. Teehee!

If it had been me, I’d have gone for Coke, definitely!

Pepsi has that horrid aftertaste… and that’s regular pepsi! We’re not talking about all the ‘lite / diet’ products yet!

2. NewCoke
Coke had its fiasco with NewCoke: I dunno if it ever made its way to Malaysia, but I certainly never did get to taste it. My regret wrt this product is that the first virtual V-J, the stuttering Max Headroom, had been tied-in to NewCoke, so when the product died, so did poor Max :( I really liked him/it/whatever…

3. Coke and the Europeans
I remember that the only place I’d ever see Coke served with a slice of lemon was in Europe, and I’d hate it – spoilt the taste!

4. Coke and salt?!
Then there was my brother who at one stage of his li…

... a new look!

Yeah, I got a bit bored with the 'scribe' template, so now I am using this 'lighthouse' one instead. You like? I think it feels more 'airy' :D Gonna change 'comments' to something else ;)

Am laying off of the 'expandable post summary' style, as I figure everyone's Page Down key works well enough, and sometimes I just don't feel like 'dividing' my posts, plus I'm not savvy enough to have the 'click here for more' to appear ONLY when I want it to. But if you miss it and want it back, dear reader, so say so, ok?Also, will experiment with another counter for this site, which seems to indicate the COUNTRIES visitors come from :D Of course, I only expect to see u.s.a, malaysia, switzerland, UK lah... anything more than that will be bonus indeed!!

Will be adding a "Links" section to the sidebar too, so I (and you!) can easily get to different blogs and other online venues I like to visit :) Will be adding to this fro…