Thursday, September 29, 2005

... the heat is on ...

last night, as I lay in bed, I caught a whiff of a weird smell ...

... warm and metallic...

took me a while to figure it out....

... then it hit me ...

>>> The heat had turned itself on <<<

yeah, the temperature dropped yesterday, overnight of about 45F! I'd finally closed the windows... it's great to have winds blowing in so you get a change of air in the apartment, but it's totally another when you start to feel like you're feezing your buns (or in my case, my feet) off! I guess that was enough "fresh air" around to activate the thermostat.

today woke up around 10am ... coooollllllldddddddddd :p

it's nice and sunny outside, though: I think the weatherperson termed it as "brisk". May bundle up and go outside - make a trip to the library perhaps - just to feel the sun on my face.

~~~
on another note: tonight is the season premiere of SMALLVILLE. Last season ended quite dramatically, we'll have to see where tonight picks up. And like I mentioned earlier, "Spike" will be joining the cast this season, so I definitely want to see that happen.

~~~
tomorrow I head down to St Louis again. So long the weather holds up (cold is fine, just don't friggin rain the whole bloody day like last time!) we'll be meeting up with CB and go exploring the city zoo on Saturday. I'm not really a zoo person, not that keen on animals in captivity, but hey, it's free admittance, and it's pretty close to where we are staying, and did I mentino it's free? :p

okay, time to bring out the home exercise tape and warm myself up via billy blanks or jane fonda or cindy crawford. fun.

laters!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

... life is a lemon?

At lunch the other day i noticed the label on the bottle of iced tea that said "sweetened lemon natural flavor"

... but on the back, i noticed it said "no fruit juice. no articifial colors or flavors"

So, can someone tell me how they get the natural lemon flavor into the drink if they don't use lemon juice? After all, that's what differentiates a "plain" iced tea from iced lemon tea, right?

Oh, and to top it off: in the list of ingredients: last item on this list... can you guess it?

Uh-huh: "natural lemon flavor"

That *so* clears things up for me, that's for sure.

Not!

Monday, September 26, 2005

s*x-related (old) news

Did you hear about the Clinton & Lewinski condoms? Or actually, "Kelintun" and "Laiwensiji" condoms. Yahoo!News article HERE.

My immediate reaction: wait... part of the problem was their NOT using condoms, and spurting all over that blue dress, right?

~~~

Did you hear about the larger-than-life unofficial Cardiff street porn festival?

It seems, a group of students set up a 20ft x 30ft projection ... against the house of a neighbour... So that all their pals could watch it in the street... "it" being porn.

Geez... if you can't keep it in the pants, at least keep it in the house!!
(Reference article HERE)

~~~

Did you hear about the sex-hotline conman?

This guy in Germany would pretend that his car had broken down, and ask to use the phone. He would then call premium rate kinky sex lines for up to 20 minutes at a time.

That's a really smart way of making other people pay for your "perks"!
(Reference article HERE)

~~~

Did you hear about the three wells?

Well, well, well...

~~~

Did you hear abour the three dears?

Dear, dear, dear!

Bones, Head Cases & House


Boreanaz Bites into 'Bones' "After playing the same tortured vampire with a soul for three seasons of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and five seasons of 'Angel' on The WB Network, David Boreanaz is eager to carve a new niche." (Source: Zap2It, Saturday, September 10, 2005)

That's right - the guy I know as Angel is now no-nonsense FBI Agent Seeley Booth, who (in a VERY lame contrived way) is agress to allow forensic anthropologist and mystery-book author Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) as his partner. Her skills at analyzing skeletal remains yields vital clues to crime. His nickname for her is *gasp* "Bones" hence the title of the series.

Story-wise: nothing too outstanding. it's too convenient that they happen to have a prototype hologram thingy that can totally recreate the probably image of the person whose skull they are trying to identify. It's based in Washington, D.C. - so if nothing else, the scenes outside of the lab are quite different from the other shows out there. It's a slightly different track than all those process-focused shows like CSI, so a small plus for some originality.

The major letdown is the total lack of chemistry between Booth & Bones.
I think they are trying to paint a "unacknowledged sexual tension" between them, but, ugh, it totally fizzles instead of sizzles :-(

And are we supposed to believe that someone is so into her work that she really doesn't get any current pop culture references? For example, when Booth caves in to her demand to be partners, he says "Fine. I'm Mulder, you're Scully." What's her response? "I don't understand what you are saying." And she says this SO often. In this flat voice I find totally unbelievable.

I'm gonna watch a few more episodes, to see if it improves any.

~~~
Head Cases
Fox sees little turnout for Head Cases premiere (article HERE).

Remember Chandler's psycho roomaate? Uh-huh, Adam Goldberg pretty much plays the same character, with the same annoying result. And Chris O'Donnell's character is just as bad. Not even going to bother with a proper review - all I can say is, IT SUCKED!

oh guess what? I see now that FOX decided to cancel the show, due to the poor response. After just TWO episodes.

But guess what they are replacing that time slot with? reruns of reality shows like The Simple Life and Nanny 911. Great. Quality programming. Not.

~~~

Aaaah, my favourite anti-hero doctor is back for a second season, and is as cranky as ever. To paraphrase someone I know: "I really like that guy! He says things that I wish I had the courage to say out loud, and I'm pretty outspoken!"

Yep... I'm looking forward to Tuesday nights! :-)

~~~

I just realised ... these are ALL shows on the FOX network. I wonder what that says about me.... or them... :p

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

volvo - short and female bias?

I stumbled across this article : Volvo Convicted of Gender Discrimination

Go ahead, read it.

So Volvo has (had?) a hiring policy that states for safety reasons employees must be between 5 ft 4 in and 6 ft 5 in to work at the conveyor belt at its car manufacturing plant outside Goteborg.

And the court ruled that statistically, the height requirement excluded more women than men, and should therefore be considered as gender discrimination.

So... let me get this right... a company is actually concerned for the safety and health of its employees, and they musta had some sort of study to determine the best range of height of people at the conveyor belt so that noone suffered from back pain or muscle strain or whatever, so they implemented this "range of heights" requirements... for the good of employees as well as for the company...

... and now this company is forced to get rid of this safety ruling, all because a short woman played the gender card.

And they will have to "make an individual judgment of the applicants' physical conditions for the job, for example span of reach and muscle strength."

Great... so if you ever interview for a job at the Volvo assembly line in Goteborg, don't bother power dressing! Come in your workout attire!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

... au clair de la lune ...

check this out: smiley behind

angelic ruminations

... i was *so* pissed off the other day ...

WB aired the final episode of Angel - the series finale - last Saturday.

But for the past few weeks, that Saturday night slot kept getting replaced with friggin' baseball... and instead of catching up with those missed episodes, WB has always just gone ahead and pretended nothing happened, so there'd be a gap in the storyline... so a few weeks ago Illyria was doing the unstable time travel thing, then all of a suden it's that episode where they all take up the impossible fight against the Senior Partners. Grrrrrr!!!




so while I was not quite bawling my eyes out during that really emotional episode, I was also really mad that there were some holes in the story that would be bugging me... after all, it's one thing to read the episode guide... it's totally another to watch the frigging thing and see all the details...

It may take another year before the Sunday noon "stream" gets to the final season... *sigh* gotta just wait patiently... or go rent it out...

this is all Kosh's fault, getting me hooked on Angel!

I'd have thought anything spinning off from Buffy was not gonna be good... heck, look at its origins... but I gotta say, this series certainly is interesting... what with the constant battling against demons and vampires plus the whole vampire-with-a-soul thing and the "Senior Partners" and averting apocalypse after apocalypse and all that character development and twists and turns to the overall plot...

What's scary... me being me, I got so intrigued by Angel that recently I decided that it would be kinda cool to see where it came from.. I mean, in theory I know it's a spin-off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I never did watch any of that show..

So I decided to borrow the first disc or so of Buffy Season One from the library.

I'm now at Season Two disc FOUR!!

Throughout the six or so discs that I've watched so far, I oscillate from "yeah I wanna see more" to "omg this is so lame why the heck am i bothering to watch this show??"

First it was just to see how it all started (btw a *young* David Boreanaz is *so* yummy!)

Then I kept watching cos I wanted to see how Cordelia, who is one of the main characters in Angel, became part of the gang, seeing as her character in Buffy was this snobbish popular girl who totally looked down on Buffy Willow and Xander as losers.

Now I wanna see the slow transformation of Willow from nice but dorky into a full-blown witch who also plays for the "other team".

And in the meantime, I wanna see how Faith figures in to the story (she did re-appear in Angel, and a lot of history was alluded to...), and she'd coming up in Season Three, I think.

Herein lies the dilemma - it's still not too bad to be borrowing Buffy from the library for free. But once I get through Season Three... I'd have to go find the rest at a rental store. And the thought of spending $$ to watch the series: if that happens, then that kinda makes it hard to deny that I'm not a fan, eh?

I suppose I kinda am a fan, but nowhere near my "fan-ness" for Angel: So far, Buffy seems to be just the regular hunting and dusting of vamps with some occasional digressions. I know there'll be much more development later, but still, I'm not so *caught* with the series the way I was with Angel. And I *so* prefer Angel, maybe because it's just so much darker.

But if nothing else, I learned a lot of high school slang already (aaaah, *so* useful, I'm sure!) - the main one, that I had never heard before until watching Buffy - "wig / wigging out". Anyone can tell me the origin of this? How has "fake hair" come to mean "wildly excited, enthusiastic, or crazy"?

Well, got another disc due back tomorrow... gotta get to "work" soon... byeee!

~~~
Oh, and Spike (or rather, they guy who played Spike - that's him with Angel in that picture above) is gonna be appearing in the new season of Smallville, playing the role of Braniac. See the news HERE
~~~
Oh, and no I have not forgotten.. I will be "reviewing" David Boreanaz's new tv show - BONES, soon. Gonna give it another episode or two before I .. errr.. rip into it :p

somewhere at the end of the rainbow...

Michael Jackson Killed Hannah-Barbara In Uruguay : that's how I was taught to remember the colors of the rainbow - it's a mnemonic where the first letter of each word corresponds to a color in Malay.
M - merah = red
J - jingga = orange
K - kuning = yellow
H - hijau = green
B - biru = blue
I - indigo
U - ungu = violet

So,,,, we *all* know that rainbows are seen when there's sunlight shining thru drops of water in the air... but before the physics of the phenomenon was known, rainbows had lots of beliefs attached to them (taken from Wikipedia)...
    • In Greek mythology, it is a path made by a messenger (Iris) between Earth and Heaven.
    • In the Hebrew Bible, the rainbow is a symbol of the covenant between God and man, and God's promise to Noah that He would never again flood the Earth.
    • The Irish leprechaun's secret hiding place for his crock of gold is usually said to be at the end of the rainbow.
    • In Chinese mythology, the rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed by Goddess Nüwa using stones of seven different colours.
    • In Hindu mythology, the rainbow is called Indradhanush—meaning the bow of Indra, the God of lightning and thunder.
    • In Norse Mythology, a rainbow called the Bifrost Bridge connects the realms of Ásgard and Midgard, homes of the gods and humans, respectively.

Back in Malaysia, I vaguely remember there being some some superstition about the rainbow.. I think you are not supposed to point to it, or at least not with your pointer finger otherwise it will get stunted or something, so if you wanted to point to the rainbow for some reason you had to point with your thumb.

Uh-huh, point with thumb.

How? You form your hand into what looks like the "A" in American Sign Language, then, well, point with the thumb! Oh, btw, pointing to someone with your pointerfinger is also considered rude in Malaysia (well, among the Malays, at least), so if ever you are in that neck of the woods, remember to use "A" instead. Hey, you learned something new today! :-D

aaaaaaanyways.... back to that belief of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...

Well, turns out someone DID find the end of a rainbow...

And found a pot, all right...




(yes, I gave you that entire lecture on rainbows to justify posting this picture!)

A run-in with...?

... finally took 2 pseudo-sudafed a few minutes ago... maybe that will dry my nose up once and for all... bleeeaaaaaahhhh!!

~~~
something weird happened at the apartment building last night...

some person ran into one of the downstairs apartments... with a car!

I heard the sound of breaking glass, and of a revving engine... looked out and saw this car backing away from the building... but but but when I first looked I saw only the back half of the car... errrr,,,, oookaaaaaaaaaayyyyy.... so the front half musta been *in* the apartment....

my first thought was that this person musta been in a hurry to leave, and jammed on the pedal, but had the car in DRIVE instead of REVERSE...

but then... there's that little concrete "bump" at the front of every parking space... and there's this step-up of maybe 6 inches from the parking to the apartment... so if all this happened by mistake, boy that person musta really not been paying attention!

Other speculation: drunk? drugs? "crime of passion"? or maybe the person lost his/her keys and REALLY needed to get in?

By the time my curiosity got the better of me and I wandered downstairs to see what could be seen, the apartment had been boarded up. That was after visits by a detailer(?), a cop and some firemen. Oh, and when it all went down, there was also a major storm brewing in the area too, with winds up to 65mph. Wow, such excitement!!

The next day (today), the place is full of workmen fixing it up. Snuck a peek while throwing the recyclables, and saw what seems to be the entire bottom of the front wall (about 3.5 feet high?) gone. Then when I left a few minutes ago, I snuck another peek - looks like they are installing a new doorway and door.

Whatever the reason for such an incident, I'm just glad all the samage seems limited to that one apartment (and the car). The structural integrity of the building does not seem to be compromised. Phew! Otherwise we'd all need to move out or something....

I am sooooooo curious about what this was all about... but at the same time, there's no way am I gonna go strike up a conversation with the workmen down there to see what they know about it.

Wonder if we'll ever find out the whole story...

Monday, September 19, 2005

recovering....

If you'd *seen* the pile of used tissues on the table yesterday, you'd understand why my nose hurt so much...

uh-huh... i've been suffering from a bad cold these last few days... maybe it was due to the rainy weather? It's no fun getting 3 colds in 3 weeks... although this most recent one was certainly the worst!! The other two? I mentioned having caught a mild cold right after Labor Day. Which I passed on to Kosh. Which he then passed back to me at the end of the Cleveland trip. fun. :p

so on the exercise trail - apart from some very low-impact & intensity at home via exercise tapes, haven't done much exercise... certainly didn't have the mood to drag myself to the gym only to have a pile of use tissues piling up as i tried to up my heartrate! bleeeaaaaah at the thought!!

aaaaaaaaaaaaanyway....... on to not-snot tales... 'snot funny!! haha...

~~~

First.. here's my stupid score... I like that the quiz kinda messes with your brain in the end.. kinda uses the percentile thingy in reverse, so the lowe the score, the "less stupid" you are.. try it out for yourself :D (sorry, I forgot to whom I need to tip the hat for this one! was it Gibson?)


'The



~~~

Here's something for those who may have been doing a good job avoiding someone, but in a moment of distraction answer the phone, only to find [*avoidee*] on the other end... it's called sorrygottago.com, with a tagline: When you absolutely positively have to get off the phone. They provide lots of suggestions for excuses to get you off that phone... I dunno how often i would need that,but for the rest of y'all in the real world... enjoy...!

~~~

Remember I'm a fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show? Well i stumbled across this link to watching the movie, with bunny actors! teeeheee!! Looks really funny (but I access the 'net in a public place, so I haven't turned the volume on yet, bummer!) Check out the Rocky Horror Picture Show Bunny Show HERE.
(Tip o' the hat to: Edison Ho)

~~~

It's no longer a ha-ha burning issue, but gas prices will always be something to look out for, especially when one is gonna be doing a lot of travelling between Urbana and St Louis, or later Urbana and Iowa City... So yeah, check out Gas Buddy: it's a very useful resource for those who wanna know where to find cheap gas (and I don't mean the type you get outta yr behind after a dinner of beans!) - punch in yr ZIP code, and tadaaaaaah! This is particularly helpful considering the high gas prices nowadays (valid only for most of the USA & Canada).
(Tip o' the hat to: Randy Cassingham, featured as a Bonzer Site of the week, This is True for 11 September 2005)

~~~

okay, I think that's all the links and "news" for me for today... hope to be a lot more productive (and entertaining?) tomorrow :p

Cheers!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Power dressing: taking it to the next level!

I've never bothered too much with the whole power-dressing concept...

My jackets were usually too big/long on me... what do you expect when so many of the clothes found off the rack seemed to be made for anorexics??!! ... tall(er) anorexics!

I'd usually be found with a long-sleeved blouse and pants (later, it became looser blouses/shirts that I could wear without tucking in, aaaaah, so easy to cover an expanded waistline, teeehee!).

What brought this on? This Yahoo!News article HERE, about someone who unknowingly took the "power dressing" concept to a totally NEW level!

This got me thinking... I'm the kind of person who builds up a charge quite easily (have ALREADY been zapping myself when getting out of the car, and when using other metal doors, I suppose the air's getting drier and drier already... grrrrr!!!)... so I gotta find out what exactly he was wearing (what BRAND! what material! etc..) to make sure I don't end up making the news for a similar incident!

Of course, that's subject to me getting back to work in the first place.. and whenever that does happen, I probably wanna be at some mom-and-pop type small business that doesn't require business suits... but that's a different story, for another time :D

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

the St Louis tale :-)

Picture this #1
upon entering the bathroom, I'm accosted by signs EVERYWHERE saying (I paraphrase here): "1. please flush after using the toilet 2. please flush only toilet paper down the toilet 3. please wrap sanitary napkins in toilet paper before disposing them in the bin provided"

errrrrr... yeah.... about those TPS reports.... wait, what country am I am again?

and guess what: twice when I used the bathroom, I had to put up with the icccky sight of an unwrapped sanitary pad :p to give someone some credit, one of them had been rolled up, but had become half unrolled (but totally unwrapped lah, see "rule" #3 above); the other was a gross totally unwrapped thing - bleeeeaaaaahhhh!


Picture this #2
I get in the shower : only two shower stalls available: I chose the one furthest away from anything. Start the water : HOT. errr, okayyyy... I try to manipulate the thingy, but no matter what the setting, it's sending out scalding hot water out at me....

I'm kinda daring myself to go ahead and do a quick shower anyway,,, but I can't bring myself to get under the stream of seemingly boiling hot water...

after a while, I hop over to the next stall - try the water there - whoooohooo it's COLD!

I transfer the soap, shampoo and me in my birthday suit to that stall, and proceed to shower under cold water, as I tell myself "tomorrow, I'm driving back to Urbana, THEN I take another shower!"


All that happened last Monday 12th September in a dorm in St Louis.

A dorm? huh? what was I doing there? Here's the tale....

So me & Kosh got back on Saturday from the Illinois/Indiana/Ohio trek. Monday he was starting his "away rotation" in Washington University @ St Louis, so we had to leave Sunday to get there. Estimated it would be a 3hr drive. So planned a "leave latest by" 4pm time. Poor kitty was gonna have less than 24hrs with us b4 we disappeared again!

So the next day (Sunday):

woke up late at bit later than planned

watched tv while breakfasting

Kosh puttered around while I just watched (nagging about time would NOT be appreciated!)... couldn't really pack until I did laundry, couldn't do laundry till Kosh dropped me off at the laundromat, couldn't be dropped off until he was done puttering around, and while I was in charge of laundry he'd be at his "office" getting other stuff done before going off for one month...

I don't know what time we ended up leaving, but it was well after the "planned" 4pm!

after some trials and tribulations, we get there, and check-in to the dorm that he's booked for one month.

Not too bad: linen and towels provided, plus wrapped plastic cups, and soap, and alarm clock... pity the bathrooms are probably the worst in terms of size and comfort... (plus that stupid hot water thing!!). Pretty high security features (swipe card access to elevators, lounge, stairwells). Even had own sink in the room, so all you really needed the public bathrooms for was shower and toilet time :p

Stayed over Sun & Mon nights. Then drove back to Urbana, stopping by a Wal Mart on the outskirts of town for immediate shopping needs (salad, veggies, cream cheese danish, etc). Caught up with some recorded shows (another blog due for my reviews of the new season of HOUSE, and the new series BONES and HEAD CASES - stay tuned!)

~~~
on another note: have been online for over 4 hrous now... the rain FINALLY stopped!! whoohoooo!!

and ... I've been trying to get beyond #10 in Little Neo's ranking... I'm at over 160 points but STILL at #10! omg how many points do the Top 9 sites HAVE??!! I give up... :p

~~~

i think my exercise for the day will be walking to the library to return an overdue book (i coulda sworn it was due tomorrow but whaddaya know it was due yesterday grrrrrr!)... may check out some DVDs too while I'm there...

no more blogging / surfing till tomorrow, k?

mmmuuuuaaaahhhhhh!!

rain rain go awayyyyyyyyy!

aaarrrggghhhhh.....

it's been raining all dayyyyyyyy!
and the temperature is a cold 64F (about 17C?)
i really wanted to go to the gym today....
instead I've been watching tv, doing many sudoku puzzles and finally got online to check for comments on my blog, then to check out LittleNeo's random blogs... been online for over 2 hours now... and the rain is still going strong :-(
weather like this makes it TOO easy to put on weight, cos all i wanna do is curl up and sleep :p

funny anecdote about the kitty:
about 2 hours ago, as I was booting up this 'puter, I got up from the chair to turn on the light.
Kitty jumped onto the chair
I said okay, move over kitty, mommy wants to sit down
she looks at me and meows as if to say what r u talking about? it's my chair!

spent a few minutes trying to get her off the chair, in the end had to kinda force my butt on a corner of the chair and slowly push more of it on the seat and push her off the seat :p

she *did* jump in my lap a few minutes later, but declined to sit, choosing instead to knead/massage my knee for a minute before jumping off again.

silly kitty :p


urgh, it's as if writing about the weather made it worse??!! rain got heavier, outside got darker :-(

boohoooohooooo!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

who wants to get tagged?

Decided to consider myself "tagged" by Samantha Burns wrt this meme she blogged about on Sept 6th 2005:

Instructions:
Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog's name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross pollination effect.

1. bluestocking
2. colleenscorner
3. canadianexpatriatesblog
4. samanthaburns
5. azlynne1972

Next: Select four new friends to add to the pollen count. (No one is obligated to participate and anyone can play if they want to). Here's the tough one... don't have that many people to tag, let alone those who'd be *willing* to be tagged :p So, any of you readers who are also bloggers and wanna try this out, go ahead and consider yourselves tagged, ok? Tell me in the comments section once you'e posted your answers and I'll come looking!)


~~~
What were you doing 10 years ago?
ooof... that would be mid-september 1995? wow, I was about to start my job! My first REAL job lah (the part-time Customer Service at Toys R Us doesn't count!)

I'd graduated with a BSc in Chemistry (with distinction, mind you! gotta treasure these little things in life..) in the U.S. in May, spent about a month in the UK and Switzerland, back in KL in July and checked-in with the company that sponsored my studies... and felt like they were lucky I was checking-in at all! I mean, it really seemed that it was news to them that I was ready to join the workforce?! And with all the paperwork already filled out previously when getting the scholarship, I thought it was ridiculous that I had to fill up a job application form as if I was a person who had never had any dealings with them ever, y'know?

One thing that struck me when filling out the form: a question that asked me to indicate if any of my relatives were working in the company, and if so, list their names & positions... so even before starting work, I wondered if what I knew was anywhere near as important as who I knew (or was related to)!

Anyway: yeah, so checked-in with them in July, called in for an interview (which ended up being an all-day "assessment" session) in August, and started work in September.

Before starting work, got the offer letter that only stated that I was being offered the position of "Quality Control Executive" in a [*cough*] processing plant on the east coast of Malaysia. Had no idea what that was. So many questions were running thru my head: what was the job all about? what if I don't want to go to the east coast? what happens if I decline the job offer? ... The letter also gave the name & contact info for the HR Senior Manager, so I called to try to get answers to the questions. And whaddaya know... she never got back to me... so in the end I just cringed and signed my acceptance of the offer...

I could go on, but I'll save it for another post, maybe, if you, dear reader, wanna hear about my first few days as an employee of [*ahem*].


What were you doing 5 years ago?
mid-sept 2000 - ah, yes, I think I was going thru a difficult stage relationship-wise (I think there were TWO "incidents" involving EtOH, in August and maybe Sept/Oct, that made me realise I was deeply unhappy but keeping it all bubbling inside); in the end, we broke up around December 2000.

Work-wise, a new MD/CEO had come into the picture, and was gung-ho about Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline and the concept of Organisational Learning... and as the Organisational Improvement Executive (yes, I'd gotten a transfer to a different job, and in KL by then) I was in charge of kinda organising stuff for it... Don't remember if I / my deparment had a manager at this point (I'd pretty much run the (small) department single-handedly for quite a while, and doing a good job considering my lack of authority but full responsibility, but of course, there was no way I could be promoted directly to managerial level... aaaaah, how i do *not* miss the worklife!), or if the [*deleted negative description*] who had no clue about what he was doing had already been assigned to the department... I enjoyed the work (I learnt SO MUCH!!), but HATED feeling like I was being taken advantage of by my immediate boss/manager. (After taking all that I could take, I looked around for another position: and in Oct 2001, transferred to a totally different job, different responsibilities, and said good riddance to the jerk!)


What were you doing one year ago?
Oh, this is good! September 2004 was my LAST month of work!!

Early Sept: I did my final stint as an emcee for this series of "Management Forums" (or Fora [*wink* @ lengloi]) the company organises every year. The news of my resignation had leaked out, and coincidentally many of the attendees of that particular session were people I knew, so I had a LOT of explaining to do... but I value my privacy, and HATE gossip, so I did more of negating the various rumours about my resignation than actually telling anybody anything. teehee!

Mid/late Sept: I was playing tennis! Yeah, I was offered a place on the company's tennis team, which in a way means I was representing the country, to play against other countries in the south-east asia region. (vague? yeah, sorry, those who know where I worked what I'm talking about though,,, I think...). I'd been part of the team before, and had traveled to Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok, courtesy of the company, to play in these friendly tennis games. Actually, I think the only real thing I miss about where I worked was getting paid to play tennis!

Bottom line? One year ago, I was counting down the days till I would become a jobless bum!


What were you doing yesterday?
Updating my blog like crazy, wanting to capture the recent events of the last two weeks. Driving from St Louis back to Urbana.

Five snacks you enjoy:
* cream cheese danish
* Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide
* donut holes (from cake donuts, not the fluffy donuts)
* chocolate, esp if w almonds
* chips & salsa (or picante sauce)


Five songs I know all the words to:
... but but but i know all the words to SO MANY songs, Kosh doesn't call me "lyric bank" for nothing! So here's just a (VERY SMALL!) sample:
* Do Re Mi (Maria & the von Trapp kids)
* Yesterday (The Beatles)
* Numb (Linkin Park)
* Fantasia Bulan Madu (Search)
* Negaraku (the Malaysian National Anthem - hehehe yeah let's be "patriotic" : I even know the rukunegara by heart, thanx to us having to repeat it every single (Mon?)day at morning assembly!)


Five things you would do if you had a million dollars:
* i'd buy Kosh a green dress (but not a real green dress, that's cruel!) teehee!
* Pay off the 1-year of work I owe my ex-employer (once they supply proof of the amount I owe, of course...)
* Buy a house here to settle in
* Equip the house with wireless broadband, and get a state of the art PC, laptop, and other toys to go with it
* Finally, put the rest into some sort of account/investment where i'd be able to live comfortably off of its interest


Five things you like doing:
* Blogging and reading blogs and pretty much spending time on the 'net
* helping others find (and reach) their potential
* "making order out of chaos" : seeing patterns and relationships in seemingly-unrelated things
* eating spicy foods (nasi lemak and sambal, mmmmmmmmm!!)
* curling up with a good book, having a good snooze


Five bad habits
* biting my nails :-(
* procrastinating / leaving things to the last minute
* "shutting down" instead of expressing irritation / frustration
* not drinking enough water daily
* linking my performance (in sports & games) to my sense of self-worth, and getting *so* frustrated if I don't do well


Five things I would never wear again
* lime green cotton-ribbed tights worn under ripped (holey) jeans
* lime green cotton-ribbed tights and long (mid-thigh) green t-thirt
* purple eyeshadow to match purple t-shirt (I have a picture - ugh!) (I don't wear makeup now anyway :p)
* short denim skirt (just at the knee) - or ANY skirt, for that matter!
* .. not gonna "wear" my hair like a french poodle again (a hair perm job that got screwed up - I looked like Gloria Estefan's hair!)


Five favorite toys
I'm gonna consider this asking for games as well as toys:
* my Sony Ericsson P800 phone/PDA (photos, solitaire, tetris)
* my Nokia 9100 (tetris!)
* The Sims and ALL expansions (but that's on my PC in Malaysia, sob sob!)
* SCRABBLE (I have the official scrabble dicitonary, what can i say...)
* Sudoku puzzles

kitty at large?

RAAAAAAAANCH!

Yeah, so says the psycho kitty...
Don't think she's stopped purring since I got back yesterday evening!
She actually sat on my lap for a while... and slept by my side instead of at my feet last night...

She does keep going back to the front door/window wondering where daddy is... poor thing... no daddy for almost a month, kitty! We're just gonna have to make do, just the two of us, you and I :-)

It's about 730am... got up about an hour ago... and I'm still feeling kinda zombie-ish...

And right now I'm on an old Mac laptop that's prone to dropping the measly dial-up connection...
Which doesn't have Firefox installed so I have almost NO editing tweaking available...
And the screen is threatening to blank out on me...

And I'm hungry!

With the past 2 weeks pretty much on the move, haven't had much time for serious exercise...
The good start I had in building up my cardio has probably all gone downhill...
Will need to start hitting the gym again... .... ... manana!

Will sneak myself into a facility with PCs and non-dialup connections either later today or tomorrow... and will blog more from there... so in the meantime... y'all take care!!

laters!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

a quick catching up! (Part 3)

(Cleveland, continued. Friday 9th September 2005)

A large, many-legged insect spotted on bed - hit it with pillow (took off some legs), but the main part of the body disappeared so it probably was maimed, not killed. Fun. I had urge to empty all bags and repack carefully to make sure it or its family were not gonna stow away in our stuff!!

ugh.

checked out (plus complained... ugh... the staff were apologetic but kinda insisted on awarding 1000 points to Kosh's newly set-up "loyalty card program", but they didn't provide a good explanation of the significance of the amount... I mean... is it worth a free night's stay, for example. I will be composing a *nice* letter to them over the entire incident!!)

made our way to the Erie waterfront...

on the way, got accosted by a scary-looking woman who took a look at our t-shirts (we were both wearing our newly-bought Meat tees), and said loudly while pointing to us "Look! Two bats out of hell!" teeheee!

close to the waterfront, next to what turned out to be the City Hall building, we saw a huge stamp out by the road:

(will insert picture... hopefully soon...)
(*someone* needs to e-mail me pix taken from the phone!!)

In the City Hall building was a "branch" of the Cleveland Museum of Art: our eyes were caught by the exhibit on Tibet, and went in to see. But of course, it being an official administrative building, we had to go thru "security" first (just sign in... but that took a while to be established!).

the guard looks at our tees and says "hey, I think meat loaf is going to be in town tonight, are you going to see him?" - we smile politely and say that he was here LAST night and yes, that's why we're in town...

The Tibet exhibit is actually a "live" exhibit - a Tibetan monk working on a mandala. reminded me immediately of the creations made for Thaipusam (or was it Deepavali? ugh, sorry, my mind is drawing a blank!!). It's an immense work, and I can immediately say that the act of creating such a mandala is an act of worship and meditation all by itself.

(I took some pix... if they look ok, will post 'em here... later..)

Made our way to the Science Center, where Body Worlds 2 was on display. We had been told that people usually go thru it in about 2 hrs. We were there from 12:45 - 4pm! With only about 45mins max of lunch break. Well, when one goes to such an exhibit with a medical student who happens to LOVE anatomy... ah... lecture mode... teehee! Sure, it dragged the trip out a bit, but I think it helped me understand much more of what I was seeing.

My fave was "The Swordsman" : The body had been cut into 3, and kinda fanned out... giving an excellent view into the all the internal organs in addition to the "usual" detail on all the muscles...

What was VERY sad; to see the plasticised body of a woman and her 5-month fetus. I admire the person for donating her body(ies) to the exhibit upon knowing that both she and the baby were unlikely to survive whatever it was that she was suffering.

What pissed me off: a group of young (18 y.o.?) nurses, being very noisy, brazenly touching (PETTING!) the exhibits. Even taking pictures. When there was ample signage about NOT touching and NO photos allowed. Worse, to me it signified total lack of respect for the bodies in the exhibit. yes, the people are now dead, what we're looking at is just the shell... but still...

.. and WHAT A SHELL we have ... it's just amazing... if you haven't seen it, so check it out.. hopefully it will be coming to a museum near you...

~~~
After the exhibit, took a another break to rest our weary feet at the waterfront... and had a couple ask us about whether meat was in town, cos they saw our t-shirts... had a brief chat with them about the "quality" of the concert :p Funny - THREE instances of Meat enabling interaction among strangers, teehee!!

We had purchased a combo ticket for the Body Worlds AND Rock & Roll hall of Fame... so despite being really tired, we went over to the neighbouring building.

Ugh. It's essentially a Hard Rock Cafe but you have to pay admission.

okay okay i supposeit's a bit more than that. But still... overall I was *not* impressed... the "main" part of the Hall was downstairs, and all it was was a showcase of mostly clothes from all these artists. So what. There were some interactive booths, but really, nothing earth-shattering. The only thing that caught my attention was they had John Lennon's report cards from school, that had teachers' comments on his attitude. There was also a postcard to Julian Lennon I wanted to read, curious if it was from John or Paul, but some other visitor was oblivious to me and was totally blocking. Ugh.

Then we made our way up to the other floors. They had a special exhibit on TOMMY (The Who) on the uppermost floors. The other floors included THE SIGNATURES, oooh ahhh.. yeah, the signatures of the inductees to the Hall of Fame itself (of which Meat Loaf is NOT a member, shame on them!!!). I know. *so* exciting.

In the end, the place we spent most time was at the merchandise store (and boy do they have a LARGE store! lots of crap on sale!!), and got an inductees tshirt for Kosh (listing all inductees since it started in 1986), and another baby-tee for me.

The building was closed by then.. and we did a fast hike back to the hotel to get the car out of the parking lot before 6pm... then made our way outta there to a town south of cleveland (or north of Akron), where we had dinner and spent the night at Kosh's friends from med school, who were doing their residency there.

Saturday, 10th September: drive back Akron - Urbana. Ohio -> Indiana -> Illinois. around 5 hours' drive. nuff said.

... psycho lonely cat waiting for us.

and less than 24hrs later, we gotta leave for St Louis!

Why? you'll find out in the next post!

'laters!!

a quick catching up! (Part 2)

(Cleveland, continued: 8th September 2005, 5:30pm)

We were a little late getting out for dinner: walked to the Hard Rock Cafe - proceeded to over-order, cos we didn't know just how BIG a portion the Jumbo Combo was! Good thing we were splitting that and an entree, as opposed to that and TWO entrees! Plus drinks ;)

Saw many people whom we knew were also going to see Meat... most of them looking like hog-people (the Harley Davidson crowd), and wearing different Meat t-shirts. I want one of those!! (t-shirts, not hogs :p)

After the meal, was thinking of getting HRC t-shirts, but the guy at the merchandise counter just didn't seem approachable... combine that with the fact that the concert officially started 5 mins ago... so I grabbed my minimum purchase at any HRC - a pin. Chose a colorful rainbow-guitar... found out later it was a gay pride pin, teehee!

Anyway... so off we go then to find the Tower City Amphitheatre... from the map we know it's across the road from the HRC but down by the river. We try to walk towards where all the traffic seems to be accumulating... some were going down a ramp for parking, but the traffic police said we couldn't go that way... Turns out we shoulda taken the lift down to the parking lot of the building where the HRC was, and follow signs from there to the amphitheatre... geeeez, woulda been nice to have even ONE sign indicating that on the ground floor as we exited the HRC!!

aaaaaanyway.... yeah, so we finally make our way there... fashionably late, but well in time for the concert itself... whoever was the opening act, I pity them... noone was paying them any attention :D

Immediately checked out the merchandise booth - overpriced t-shirts, and not the best of selections, but heck, gotta have one. So I got a baby-tee with a bat on the front, and the words "I'd do anything for love" on the back. Kosh got the concert tour t-shirt, with the image from Bat 1 in front and Bat 2 at the back. They were also selling SIGNED copies of his autobiography To Hell and Back, which I do wanna get, but it was selling for USD40?! A plain one costs up to USD25 only at amazon.com... hmmm, maybe next time...

Got ourselves something to drink... emptied bladder... made our way to our seats... and just as we sat down, the *real* concert started! Whoohoooo, talk about perfect timing!!!

(A slightly incoherent account of the concert HERE)

The concert was around 1hr 40mins ... it's a pretty decent length... but I felt kinda gypped cos the encore was only one friggin' song! :-( And there were *so* many songs that should hv been sung!!!!

Around 10:45pm we made our way back to the hotel... and loaded up on the Meat songs we *didn't* get to hear by using the CD player in the room. Including CHSIB (aka *our* song). The song that Meat didn't sing at the concert. The song during which Kosh was planning to propose. So that night in the hotel room, with CHSIB playing, he whipped a ring from outta nowhere and asked me to be his wife. My immediate reaction? I chuckled, and looked around, trying to figure out "where were you hiding that? where did that come from?" LOL ! A little while later, I said yes :-D

The sneaky guy had had it all planned out... and I had actually been oblivious to it all!! Good for him! Don't ask about the actual tying of the knot, though... I cringe at the thought of all the paperwork that's gonna have to be done, including figuring out how to reconcile two different countries' different requirements :p yeeeeehaww!!

In the meantime, I'm not yet done with the running around the mid-west states story... next post: walking in memphis cleveland 9th Sept 2005... laters!!

what's your GF like?

(Tip o' the hat to: justanothertragedy)

GF, as in Gullibility Factor lah :-)

Pity the site doesn't have the convenient copy & paste html code for the quiz results to be posted on a blog :-( But do check out the quiz itself HERE.

My results:
Your GF score is 76.
(Out of a range of 0 - 100, where 0 = mind slave, and 100 = free thinker.)

Welcome to the top 5%. You're a true free thinker and a person who is well informed about the reality in which you live. Although you may have been easily manipulated earlier in life, you eventually gained lucidity and developed a healthy sense of skepticism that you now automatically apply to your observations and experiences. You are endlessly curious about human behavior and the nature of the universe, and you have one or more lifestyle habits that most people would consider odd or unusual. You are not only of very high intelligence, you are also extremely creative in one or more areas (music, art, software development, inventing, etc.)

If you were in The Matrix, you would have taken the red pill, completed the combat training, and started fighting (and beating) agents from day one.

Your architects: You have cast off reality distortions taught to you by your parents, schooling, corporate advertising and government propaganda. You create your own beliefs based on what serves you best, without much regard for what the rest of the crowd is doing. You are guided by your own internal code of ethics (which may or may not agree with politically-correct ethical codes) rather than any pre-set system of ethics (such as from any one religion).

I think it's a pretty good description of me :-) Not bad for answering a pageful of true/false questions! :-)

so... tell me how YOU did!

More importantly - did you learn anything? I'm gonna have to follow-up on stuff like
1. biopiracy
2. "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn
3. carmine & its use in the food industry

(yes yes yes, i still owe ya the cleveland saga... soon soon soon... am driving back to Urbana soon... so maybe tomorrow, ok?)

Monday, September 12, 2005

macca newsflash!

omg omg omg ... paul's got a new album out! And if I wanna believe the one article I read about it, it's supposed to be good, his best ever since his time with The Beatles!!

It's entitled Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

I *really* liked the Flowers in the Dirt album... that's when he collaborated with Elvis Costello, and boy did it prove that Paul needs a partner in order to produce good stuff!! Pity that in 1989 I didn't have a CD player, so I got it on tape, and now I have no idea where it is; and even if I did find it, it's probably unplayable anyway... :-( I can still sing some of the songs on that album from memory, but it would be nice to get my hands on a CD...

(okay, so my tale of Cleveland is interrupted by this macca newsflash, sowwy... will continue with that tomorrow... in the meantime, here's something to chew on: I am typing this while in St Louis, Missouri; in the campus of Washington University! How did I get here? stay tuned!!)

a quick catching up! (Part 1)

heyya all,

it's been a while since a proper coherent post from me... here's why:

Thursday Sept 1st - 4th: Labor Day weekend:
went up to Crystal Lake in the outer Chicagoland area: mainly to attend an annual family reunion on Kosh's mother's side of the family. Uh-huh, I got exposed to (and survived!) yet another aspect of the family, teehee!

We arrived later Thursday night... and sometime that night Kosh managed to trip while going up the stairs, and ended up with majorly scraped shins and a broken/split big toenail!

Friday was when I first met them all (we were a total of around 14 people - not too large a gathering... I think I actually remember names and faces... amazing!!) ... and Friday was also the day we had a room at a nearby hotel, just so we didn't have to be overly-exposed to everyone all the time, teehee! Spent the whole day with the folks, went food shopping with all the gurls, hung out on the veranda, dinner, Trivial Pursuit... quite a full day!

Saturday was multi-locationed:
Went to watch as one of the kids (4 y.o.) took his first ice skating lesson.
Then drove up to Lake Geneva, up in Swissconsin oops I mean Wisconsin. That was crazy... it was about a 1.5 drive, but finding parking seemed to take about that long too! Lunched there, walked a bit around the lake area (it was HOT HOT HOT weather, so all the sun worshippers were out in full force!), then headed back to Crystal Lake.

Half an hour later, left Crystal Lake for the city itself: was gonna be spending the night at KT's.

Finding her place wasn't all that bad... but after being in the car for so long, we voted to walk to a Thai/noodle place... now I could have sworn she said it was a block or two away : felt like a mile or two! By the time we got there, we were tired! Good food, though.

We had a tentative plan to catch March of the Penguins... but we all agreed that we didn't really feel like a movie... so we walked all the way back (didn't seem as long on the return!), then hung out over a bottle of Sauvignion Blanc while playing "FLUXX", a card game whose rules change as you play the game - pretty entertaining game! *squishy chocolate* will be on my mind for quite a while! Will look into getting myself a copy of that.

Sunday was ALSO a multi-locationed day:
Morning & early afternoon: breakfast @ Einstein's Bagels, then took the "L" to the City, walked to Navy Pier, walked around Navy Pier; FUNNEL CAKE!! There was an International Toy and Game Exhibition, which we checked out: purchased a new game called "Go-Mental" : it's similar to trivial pursuit, but the questions are presented in the form of "pick which one of the four listed is the odd one out", plus extra points if you can explain WHY that is so. (have *yet* to actually play it!!! sob! sob!) Other versions of the game are Fundamental (for ages 8 & up), and Sacramental (testing your religious (probably predominantly Christian) knowledge). Check 'em out!

btw, we had wanted to catch the Body Worlds exhibit, but since it was a long holiday weekend, and since the exhibit itself was closing after that weekend, the museum was staying open 24hrs BUT the tickets for it were all sold out unless we went between 2 - 5am Sunday. Uh-huh, no thanx: looks like there's another one in Cleveland, we'll catch it then!

Drove back to Crystal Lake for dinner and drinks, then said our goodbyes (the others were gonna be leaving the next day), drove home that night, arriving around 1am.
The cat was absolutely nuts from being left alone for so long... kept almost tripping us up, and meowing in such a demanding way, it reminded me of the Wendy's "RAAAAANCH!" commercials :D She didn't leave any poopy or pukey surprises for us to find tho, and that was great! :)

Spent most of Monday just recovering from the weekend. Unfortunately, i started to feel under the weather... no fever, just very stuffed head & nose... and sneeze sneeze sneeze...

Then Wednesday 7th September, the Meat Loaf journey started...

But since we were heading out that way, Kosh wanted to drop by some universities that may potentially be applied to for medical school. On the list: Indiana University, Ohio State University, Case Western, Cleveland Clinic.

Urbana - Indianapolis (~ 2 hr drive)
Firstly: it's Indy-naah-p'lis, no matter how it's spelt :D
Secondly: the attempt at getting an appointment on our way past there didn't quite happen, oh well, too bad.

Indianapolis - Cinncinnati (~2 hr drive, PLUS one hour time difference!)
Oh my... there were actually some hills! Ups & downs! and something OTHER than corn or soy bean fields all around us! Whoohoo!! (This was at the last 30mins or so of the journey :p ). What I liked about Indiana: speed limit of 70mph!

Met up with VM, one of the few AXE members I'm still in touch with from university... of course, to make things complicated, we didn't know if we'd get to meet up at all, since she'd not replied either my or Kosh's emails, but she *did* call as we were leaving the apartment, whoohoo! So we met up with her and her fiance, took 'em out for dinner close to where they are on the outskirts of Cinncinnati, then had to leave for Columbus.

Cinncinnati - Columbus (~2hr 20min drive)
Kosh had a 730am appointment for Thursday morning at Ohio State University in Columbus, so we found our way to a Holiday Inn close to the campus, arriving around 12mn.

Before that, we drove around the campus area to get a feel of it: I liked what I saw... looked like very large and new facilities.

I couldn't sleep: maybe I was wired from the coffee I had (but it usually doesn't affect me?!)... so I ended up watching old episodes of the X-Files on TNT, finally giving up and forcing myself to sleep around 3am...

Kosh goes for his appointment, I sleep on...

Columbus - Cleveland (~2 hr drive)

checked out at 11, slowly made our way to Cleveland. I took some of the driving time, since we weren't in a rush this time (not that I don't speed,,, but if we *need* to be fast, better let the native do the driving!).

We make our way to Case Western... I sleep on a couch in the hospital waiting room while waiting for Kosh to meet up with whoever it is he's arranged to meet :p

No word at all from the folks at Cleveland Clinic, so s***w them :p

My first impression of Cleveland, around the Case Western area: kinda dirty & run-down... The campus/hospital itself looks okay.

Check in to the hotel, near the downtown area, around 4pm... and get ready for the 7:30pm concert!

(more about that night... in the next post... stay tuned!!)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Post-meat!

Meat Loaf rocked & rolled the Tower City amphitheater, and me & Kosh were there to *finally* see him *live*...

... of course, with both of us not the most vertically endowed (I'm 5', he's 5' 4"), it was a bit of a challenge to actually *see* him cos our seats were halfway across the amphitheater, but we got to see above some people's shoulders, plus I must thank whoever had the idea to have live video feeds of the stage projected onto two larger screens on either side of the stage,,, of course sometimes the cameramen seemed more inclined to focus on the gals rather than Meat, but hey, overall I saw more onscreen than onstage, so I can't complain!

I *can* complain about the show itself... cos he didn't play *our* song!!!! The title track from his most recent album: Couldn't Have Said It Better.... :-( apart from THAT let-down... wow, what a show!!! Yeah, so his voice occasionally got swallowed by the noise, and one of the songs he sang so differently than the album version, I didn't recognise it till he got to the chorus.... and he could have launched into "Why Isn't That Enough" immediately after "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" to give the "part 1 & 2" of the tale... and "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" could have easily been followed by CHSIB... grrrrr!!! but overall,... maaaaan, he is certainly a big man with a big voice who sings big songs and has big hits!

btw; there was a HUGE complication to Meat not playing "our" song: will tell ya about it later, teehee!

Anyways.... so I've attended my first ever Meat concert.... and will be looking forward to more!! I may even sign up for the Fan Club, so that I can get backstage passes next time... meet Meat in person, that would be AWESOME!!

... oh, and out of the horse's (Meat's?) mouth itself : Bat 3 will be out in Sept 2006! Mark your calendars!!! He sang a song from that upcoming album ("it only hurts when you feel"?) which was kinda hard to gauge.. seemed to be a mix of slow and hard rock... guess I'll study it further next year *G*R*I*N*!*

we'll see when I wake up whether my voice even exists anymore.....

btw, since we are all the way in Cleveland, we'll be visiting the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, *and* the Body Worlds exhibition too!! so gotta be up relatively early...!!

so... g'nite!!!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

a quick surf .. and some kooky news

a must for every flood-prone home?

I immediately thought of New Orleans, and wondered whether a device like this would have made a difference: it seems that a schoolgirl in China has invented a device that allows her to walk on water! (Tip o' the hat to Wasted Blog for this one)

~~~

dog saves man's life ... sorta!

this guy in Malaysia threatens to commit suicide... talking him down by reminding him of his family was getting nowhere... uh-huh, I can imagine part of the conversation:
negotiator": "what about your wife and kids?"
suicidal person: "h**l, they are what drove me to this in the first place!!"

So what saves the day? The authorities find the guy's locked car nearby, with the dog in it. So they tell him the dog's dying of suffocation in the car (and wouldn't it be? this is Malaysia! even with windows cracked open for "air circulation" the doggie would have perished fast in the heat, eh?), and the guy has a change of heart, and is finally persuaded to abort his attempt.

Seeing how dysfunctional so many families are, and how uncomplicated & fulfilling relationships with pets usually are, I'm not surprised the dog "won" over the wife & kids!

~~~

time to bring out your dead?

hey, the castle featured in Month Python and the Holy Grail will be the site of a pilgrimage of sorts... now under the stewardship of Historic Scotland, Doune Castle now hosts an annual Monty Python Day (started last year). I think it's still open for 'regular' tourists anyway, btw...

Did you know that this castle appeared several times in the film? It was used as Camelot, the Castle of Guy de Lombard, the Swamp Castle and Castle Anthrax! I'm gonna have to watch the movie all over again, just to satisfy myself that that is indeed the case!!

Maybe we can find out for ourselves the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow... whether african *or* european?! after all, there *will* be about 1,200 coconut shells so that the select 500 attendees can clip-clop along during a screening of the film.

~~~

okay.. it's 2:40 in the morning here... signing off.... g'nite!!!!!!!!

a moral trojan?

no, no, no, I'm not talking about condoms :p

there's a new Trojan horse program that's starting to spread around the 'net...

...but instead of doing malicious things like wiping out your hard drive, or stealing your financial information, its creator took the moral high road...

"the Trojan horse, called Yusufali-A, monitors Web surfing habits. When it spots an objectionable term such as "sex" or "exhibition" in the browser's title bar, it hides the Web site and instead pops up a message taken from the Koran"

Read more about it HERE.

I like it... a moral trojan... cool :-)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Holding out for a(n inner) Hero?

My Inner Hero - Wizard!




I'm a Wizard!


There are many types of magic, but all require a sharp mind and a cool head. There is no puzzle I can't solve, no problem I can't think my way out of. When you feel confused or uncertain, you can always rely on me to untangle the knots and put everything back in order for you.

How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.

~~~
Here's the full profile (based on a 20-question quiz) ... tell me what *you* are!
~~~
Character Stats:

Rogue (11)
Warrior (7)
Wizard (21)
Paladin (13)


Your Profile:

You're intelligent, educated, and just a bit superior to everyone you know. If you're still in school, you probably make A's, if you're not too bored to waste the effort. If you work, your annoying boss relies on you to solve the problems no one else can figure out. You've never met a puzzle you can't solve. When it comes to leisure, you'd rather read, play a strategy game, or surf the 'Net than run around getting sweaty. You're a brainiac, and you're not ashamed to admit it.

Above all, you're a mastermind and a great thinker. You see the unknown as territory to be conquered, and the mysterious as something to be systematically unraveled. You don't have time for fools; you only spend your time with people who can comprehend your obfuscatory convolutions. You enjoy amassing knowledge, both useful and trivial.


Your Mission:

You were put on this earth to enlighten people. They will listen to you, because they are impressed by your vocabulary, your erudition, and your ability to grasp concepts that invariably elude them. You are the one who has to figure things out, because let's face it - you're the only one smart enough.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to Discover Something. Something small, or something big. Find an unknown insect in your own backyard. Discover a cure for sunburn. Develop a faster way to get the dishes done. Calculate the number of molecules in the Andromeda galaxy. Discover a comet. Discover SOMETHING.

And do make it a priority. The Famous Adventurer of Silmaria has a crystal ball trained on you, and will be noting your progress.


A Warning:

Try to remember: you're not infallible. If people around you are all nodding and smiling, it may just be because they don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about. Check your facts and admit the possibility that even you can make mistakes. Loosen up. Make friends with a Rogue and have him or her try to poke holes in your theories. Who knows; you might actually have fun.

On another note - making plans and formulating theories can be quite stimulating, but at some point, you are going to have to actually DO something. Employ a Warrior, if necessary, to put your brilliant schemes into action. Just be sure your instruction manual is written in very small words.

Traffic Update

From April 4th to around August 8th 2005, sitemeter reported a total of 666 visits to this site (no need to ask *why* I would remember such a number, eh?) Then, from August 8th to Septmber 6th, let's see.. if I do the math right, it's 1311 - 666 = 645!

wow... the same amount of visits that I got over the past 4+ months, I got in the span of just about ONE month, thanx to Little Neo :-)

I really like that I've discovered lots of new sites to visit (many of which are listed in the blogroll, in my sidebar), and it's great to know that others are also checking out this blog regularly.

Here's some graphical illustration of the change in traffic:

Image #1: Visits to blog, 20th July - 19th August 2005... TWO things that jump out at ya: the average of maybe 5 visits a day which skyrockets after August 8th... and the two spikes...

so... what's the deal with those spikes??? Maybe a snapshot of the traffic a bit further on will shed some light... so here's Image #2: August 2nd - 1st Sept 2005


... ugh... I immediately see a downward trend in those spikes, so overall I'm slowly getting fewer visits...

... and the spikes? Many people take time off from surfing during the weekends, is my guess :-)

but what the hey, *i* think it's cool to see the increase in traffic, even if it's a piddling amount compared to famous sites :-)

THANX TO ALL MY READERS!!! Y'ALL COME BACK NOW, Y'HEAR?

aaaaanyway... will be catching up with blogging while I can... will be leaving for MEAT LOAF IN CONCERT IN CLEVELAND either tomorrow afternoon or the next morning... oh my, I can hardly believe it... by this time Thursday night, I'll be yeling myself hoarse watching the big man himself!!! Whoooohooooo!!!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina & the Waves?

Dunno how many people in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, etc could claim that they are "walking on sunshine" though...

It's been dubbed the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since the 1906 quake in San Francisco... and probably the costliest to date, too! Thousands estimated dead, and the number is only going to keep rising...

Yep, talkin about hurricane Katrina...

Saw images on the news about places in Louisiana being totally inundated, and while just waiting for the flood waters to recede is going to take a while, the rebuilding of roads, etc, all point to many (most?) parts of the state actually being uninhabitable for AT LEAST three months!


Q: What's worse than reading about the floods?

A: Reading (and seeing on tv) about people who take this opportunity to break into houses and stores, and loot what they can. In New Orleans, several television networks reported 1,500 police from search-and-rescue missions had to be pulled out and reassigned to deal with looting and lawlessness in the streets.


I wonder how many lives that could have been saved were instead lost because of the looters?

Humans can be really ugly & selfish creatures, sometimes...

~~

on a related note: oh my did gas (petrol for my Malaysian readers) prices go up!! From USD2.40-ish per gallon a few days ago, it jumped to USD3.18/gallon yesterday (today it's 3.14, whoohooo!!). A Yahoo!News article on that HERE.

It's when things like this happen that people in Malaysia should be thankful for and appreciate the government's current policy of capping/controlling petrol prices at the pump. If my very rough math is correct, over here we are currently paying about double what you pay for petrol! And try comparing to gas prices in Europe.. even higher, trust me!!

While I certainly appreciate the "cap", I *do* have a problem with the Malaysian government's tendency to firstly deny rumours of a price hike, then, if you're lucky you may hear official announcement about it at the 11th-hour, otherwise you wake up one morning and ooops, it's 10sen more per liter, and everyone feels cheated out of a full tank of gas at the "old" price.

But with oil prices rising high due to Katrina's impact on the oil refineries down there in the Gulf of Mexico, be prepared for another hike, y'all...

~~

So, back to Katrina... here are some alternate reads:

1. a blog entry by a katrina survivor: the blog design makes the entry a bit hard to read, but it could be worth your five minutes to take a look HERE

2. a more political blog entry on the Bush administration, plus featuring a New York Times editorial on Bush himself HERE

3. snippets of news wrt effects of Katrina, as compiled by the Times Online UK HERE

4. I'm sure there are plenty of pix featured all over, but HERE's one run by Reuters AlertNet: good photos, with descriptive captions for each.

~~

Okay, that's it for now... will be leaving for an extended Labor Day weekend up in Chicago-land... may be able to sneak onto the net for some blogging, otherwise, I'll probably be silent till Monday... stay tuned!!

Malaysian Miscellany

Did you know that Lim Kit Siang just started blogging? Check it out HERE.
(Tip o' the hat to: meqonline for this info)

~~
On 31st August, Malaysia turned, errr, what's 2005 minus 1957? 48? Yeah, think so :p Happy 38th Birthday, Malaysia! Tho, technically, it was only when Sabah & Sarawak joined us on 16th Sept 1963 that we changed our name from the Federation of Malaya to Malaysia...

Did you know that I once took part in that boring National Day Parade? Yeah, I was in secondary school, and was part of the Girl Guides contingent. Uh huh, how exciting *rolls eyes* All I remember is having to go for a few days of practice beforehand, and having to be assembled in he wee hours of the morning, getting devoured by mosquitoes... the only plus side was getting to meet with newly-made friends: some other Guides from other schools.

I have no interest in any of the official celebrations held all over the place... to me, all I want to mark the occasion is to see the archive footage of Tunku Abdul Rahman shouting "Merdeka! Merdeka!" (translation: freedom, independance, you get the idea) ... whoa, sends goosebumps all over, every time... so this year, I didn't catch that cos I'm not in KL :-( Anyone know where I could possibly get a soft copy of that?

~~
Thot I had more to post... and I do! but not on the topic of Malaysia tho... so I suppose I'll just post what I have now, and look to putting up another few posts soon...

Stay tuned!

Some of my past lives!



Currently "A Jobless Bum" but In a Past Life...

You Were: A Mute Alchemist.

Where You Lived: Korea.

How You Died: Hung for treason.



Currently "Unemployed" but In a Past Life...

You Were: An Albino Executor of Sacrifices.

Where You Lived: China.

How You Died: Buried alive.



... and if I used my most recent job of "Change management", what *would* my Past Life have been?

You Were: An Arrogant Belly Dancer.

Where You Lived: New Zealand.

How You Died: Suicide.



Hmmm... I think my fave past life would have to be the "Arrogant Belly Dancer" :-)
Blog Widget by LinkWithin