Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"ketetapan umum dipatuhi" : The 2006 LHDN* rant #2:

You know how when you’re signing in for an internet banking session you’re prompted with a caveat like “I have read and understood and agree to comply with the Terms and Conditions of Use”? ........ Or when installing certain software, you also get prompted with something similar? ....... And those Terms & Conditions seem to be 3 pages long, small print and full of legalese which you can’t possibly absorb in one sitting anyway? ........ But you are expected to say “yes” otherwise you can’t use the services? ......So you say “Yes” but hope that all goes well cos you know those T&C are biased in the favor of the bank should anything go wrong…

The “ketetapan umum dipatuhi” question on the new Income Tax form seems to be of the same spirit.

As far as I knew, the translation was something like “general requirements have been adhered to” … and everyone I asked last year had no idea what this was about, and I think all of us just went ahead and indicated YES on the form… after all, when in doubt, best to say yes, eh? What do do,,,,, we HAVE to submit the form; the explanation for this question is totally lacking in the Buku Panduan (Guide Book); and leaving the space blank will probably cause problems with processing, knowing how things (don’t) work around here…

This time around, I wanted to try to see what it is that I’m saying YES to.

Again, the Buku Panduan was no help. Neither was the LHDN website – can’t believe they don’t have a search function on their page!!??

But thanx to Google, found an Income Tax Help discussion thread within the United Subang Jaya Forum that had two pertinent posts. See the first two on the top of this page: one recommends saying NO, the other YES! Arrggh!! Which??? But taking a step back, I realized the most important thing in there was actually finding out the proper translation of “ketetapan umum dipatuhi”: “compliance to public rulings”.

Which rang a vague muffled bell: pretty sure I *had* seen something about “rulings” on the LHDN page.

So back I went.

And yahoo!!! Found them!! (If you’re looking, go to the drop-down menu of Laws & Regulations and you’ll find them).

Hmmppph! Turns out that there are all these guidelines that have been issued "for the purpose of providing guidance for the public and officers of the Inland Revenue Board". These rulings set out "the interpretation of the Director General of Inland Revenue [DGIR] in respect of the particular tax law, and the policy and procedure that are to be applied".

They have fantastic titles like Perquisites from Employers, and Computation of Total Income for Individual.

On one hand, having this Y/N question in the form could be a (subtle) (forced) program of awareness & education by LHDN of the masses? You know, force people to educate themselves about these guidelines and clarifications.

Then again, seeing how blur everyone is about what these ketetapan umums *are* let alone patuhing them, it seems to be more along the lines of them putting words in our mouths, forcing us to make a statement we don’t understand; making it easy for them to come after us if there are (willful?) mistakes in our tax submissions…

From a PWC article Public rulings - must you comply? Public Rulings has no force of law. Yet, ordinary tax-payers should be concerned.
a. Is a "yes" tantamount to a declaration that the taxpayer has full knowledge of all the public rulings and gives an undertaking that all these public rulings have been complied with? If not, then what does "yes" mean? To what extent is the taxpayer legally bound to make sure that a "yes" means "yes!" and not "I think so, yes"?

b. On the other hand, what is the consequence of a "no"? Would the taxpayer be subjected to a tax audit if he admits to not complying with a particular ruling? And if non-compliance has resulted in lower tax payable, would an additional assessment based on the IRB's interpretation as stipulated in that ruling be raised? Plus a penalty for purported understatement of chargeable income that had arisen as a result of adopting a contrarian position?

c. What happens if the box is left blank by the taxpayer who, in all honesty, does not know whether he has complied with all the rulings? Though the law does not prescribe any penalty, can the IRB reject the tax return form as incomplete and treat any subsequent re-submission as late submission upon which a penalty would be imposed? This seems hardly fair to the taxpayers, the majority of whom are in the "don't know" category, to be forced to make a declaration which is not true, one way or other.

It would therefore seem that the burden of responsibility imposed upon the taxpayer to either answer "yes" or "no" is not one which can or should be taken lightly, and it would only be fair for them to be apprised of the answers to these questions before they make the declaration.

Exactly! I really want to know the consequences of either reply!

But looks like nothing is really known yet, eh?

I suppose I'll just go ahead and say YES again this year.

After all, I won't be the only one saying YES without really knowing what I'm declaring let alone its implications!!

F*ck it, am mailing in my submission tomorrow.

The 2006 LHDN* rant #1

* LHDN = Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri = Internal Revenue Board = the taxman

While certainly not fruitful, my LHDN errand today was thankfully relatively painless (once I got there lah… so many miscomms in the apartment today, *o*m*g*, not even going to *go* there...)...

My focus was on a mysterious “business tax file” (type OG, as opposed to SG, for those who are curious/know/care) that mysteriously got created about two years ago; unfortunately the “home” of the file – the Kelana Jaya tax office – was as much help as the main Jalan Duta office: not much. They can’t say how or why the file was created, seeing as I certainly to NOT own a business of any sort!

It’s not reassuring that they don’t seem concerned about it being a case of identity theft, especially when they seem totally ignorant and unconcerned as to how&why such a file could be opened in my name without my knowledge/consent!

And it doesn’t help that despite the file having been “frozen” at my (verbal) requests in Oct 2004 & April 2005, they keep sending that Borang B!

Hello, LHDN people?!!? If that file is really frozen, no need lah to send that friggin Borang B! What do *you* think I am going to think when I receive it – of course lah I’ll be concerned that somehow the file in your system has been reactivated!

And guess what I have been told for two years in a row, by LHDN staff, when I asked why I continued to receive the Borang B and what I was supposed to do about it:

“Oh, it’s frozen, so no need to submit lah. Don’t worry.”

Then why send that friggin form?

And why am I not reassured?

*sigh*

Seeing as so much about this is beyond my control, I figured for me to get some sort of closure on this, I decided to make a comprehensive file note describing this OG-saga, starting from early 2004 when I first knew something was wrong. It’s now filed along with the unsent Borang B, at the back of the file where I keep all my tax stuff. I figure somewhere down the road, if something were to crop up regarding this “business file”, I can say that a long time ago I tried to do something about it, and all I was told by LHDN was DON’T WORRY.

.. and that, my friend, is what you call closure ..


…or as closured as one can get in cases like these lah…
    btw: my job position, according to the OG file, is Pengarah Syarikat (Director). Kinda cool, eh? It's certainly not true, but kinda cool to see that rank with my name on it, LOL!

Monday, February 27, 2006

my handwriting, thru the years (kinda)



Kinda cool to see the "attitude" @ 12, and the experimentation with different "styles" between 12 - 15... and how different it all is from age 6!

Unfortunately, the college & work eras are missing since the relevant notebooks and stuff are packed away elsewhere (hence the "kinda" in the title)...

Analyses of the above are welcome, btw. *grin!*

doodlemania

... this is a pic of the pencil collection I'd amassed for myself (mentioned it in this previous post)...

... tho this is actually less than half of it... i think i gave away the shorter/used ones to office colleagues before I left.... when it was at my office desk, it was so full they couldn't all fit!

... and here's a composite of what I produce with these pencils...


The center one looks like a ghost, eh?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Journey, and the Destination

Monday 20th Feb 2006:
10:15am-ish (CST)
Check-in to CMI airport. Guy at counter very helpful, manages to check bags all the way to KUL (didn't think it was possible - figured I'd have to claim them in EWR and re-check-in at the Malaysia Airines counter, so I'm saved that hassle. *if* the bags actually *do* make it to KUL lah! we'll see.... watch Kosh have some bfast (me *so* nt hungry), say our g'byes ~1040am, plane leaves pretty much on schedule around 11am.

1:00pm-ish (PST) (12 noon-ish CST)
arrive in CVG only to see that my 2:30pm connecting flight is delayed by almost 2hrs! Good thing I incorporated lots of buffer time in EWR precisely because for something like this...

2:30pm (PST)
... am kicking myself cos just realised i could have tried to get on another flight for EWR scheduled to leave at 235pm! So I rush to that gate (in a different terminal!), but they wouldn't allow me without the proper ticket paperwork. Of course by the time I got to the counter to try to get the relevant ticket, the plane's gone, and the next earliest flight to EWR is the one I'm on anyway. sigh.

3:30pm (PST)
Starting to wonder WHERE my flight is boarding at... no gate # provided on the screen, and I really should be in the relevant waiting area by now... finally find an information counter, find out that it's "common knowledge" that that particular airlines flies out of yet ANOTHER terminal! So i hike it to that terminal - no sign of that airline logo! I just keep walking, hoping to find it... and *p*h*e*w* there it is! and like 2 minutes after I got there, they started boarding! Imagine if I'd been just a bit later??!! Bleah!!

6pm (PST)
Arrive in EWR. Find out that having my baggage checked thru to KUL didn't mean I was saved from having to go out and back in thru security, cos I still had to check-in at the normal MH counter at another terminal before being able to get back into the "secure" area. But hey, at least no need to lug my baggage, eh?

6:30pm (PST)
Problem with my ticket... somehow, my name was misspelt in the system (an "S" instead of an "F") and that was an issue... took them a while to sort it out... but it did get sorted out, thankfully (otherwise i'd have raised a stink, LOL!). Now to see if my airline miles got credited into my account because of this... bleah, something to follow-up once I'm back in KL

10:10pm (PST)
Start boarding. Virtually empty plane, whoohooo! But I have a neighbour. *but* we hit it off and start talking (very unusual for me!).. that certainly helps pass the time while the plane just sits there... they anounce a delay due to "planning"?? No idea what that was about. I think we take off about 30mins late.


In-flight EWR - Sweden
Me & neighbour chat a while more - she & I are kindred spirits, pretty cool :) i move away to stretch out on totally empty middle section (5 seats! bliss!! haven't had this much space to myself on a plane since, gosh, i don't even know!), manage to sleep some but not very restful.


Tuesday 21st Feb 2006
5:15am (CST). As usual, we have that 1.5hr break in Sweden where we are loaded off the plane then ushered back into the waiting room after another round of security screening. This time our path actually took us past some shops, wow! The wooden floors of the airport were pointed out: true, definitely a warmer/welcoming feel than most airports. We board (FULL HOUSE!) & take-off with no incidents.


Wednesday 22nd Feb 2006
4:50pm CST / 6:50am Msian Time
Touchdown @ KLIA. We actually arrived on-time! Whiz past immigration (i luuurrrrve the new passport facility!)... and of course get stuck for a while waiting for luggage. And whoohooo, both pieces made it!


8:45 am
Experience the wall of humidity taking my first step out of an air-cond envt (KL Sentral) - but actually i hardly felt it! Wait forever for father to pick me up. My total journey has been about 32hrs from the time I got to the CMI airport. I need a shower. I desperately need a shower!!

9:30 am
I have my first glass of teh tarik kurang manis while watching my father have his breakfast at Paandi#2. The tea sucked - i think they were actually being "healthy" and used evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk... and it showed :p Hey, getting it kurang manis (less sweet) is the only provision I make for this drink - i *know* it's bad for me, but I want it anyway, so please let me have my poison unadulterated!!

10:00 am
Get a tour of the new apartment. I roll my eyes. I think parents are crazy. Nuff said. Till later. I *did* say this warrants a post all by itself :p Take a nice long shower. Am of course sweating right after stepping out, even tho i used cold water. Yep, gotta get used to that all over again...

10:30am
Spend the rest of the day (and the next...) clearing out my old room.
Nothing too too exciting since then.

Wait till this week starts.

Gonna have my LHDN (income tax) saga all over again... sigh....

Some images from my past...

Do you recognise any of these two items?

They were an important part of my (younger) life...

1. my musical watch
    I remember it was a momentous event: for our birthdays one year, my bro & i were brought to Sg Wang, and were allowed to pick out a digital watch each!! Prior to this, with our Swiss "connections" we had always had the usual wristwatches with hands on the dial.

    I picked out a Casio musical watch. Don't remember what my bro chose. Mine chimed the keys of the scale when going thru different menu options, along with being symbolised by the relevant note along the 5 lines on the top part of the screen. I could choose various melodies (some Beethoven, Mozart, etc) to be set as my alarm. Really cool! :)

    My main memory associated with this: as usual, in my quest to be different, I chose to have the watch run on a 24hr basis, so 1pm would show as 13:00 on the screen. And that the rest of my schoolmates complained they couldn't tell time from my watch because they had no idea what 1300hrs was. Imagine that! Looking back I see the behaviour, in such young people!, of deriding things they don't understand... and not having the mental flexibility to "flip" from a 12hr to 24hr system! To be so mentally rigid at such a young age...

2. my Mr Challenger!!
    ran on a 9V battery. It had all sorts of word games to build vocabulary and language skills. I don't remember much about it except that I played "hangman" on it, and that it made this funny noise when you got the answer right :) And that I spent hours and hours with it.

They'd been sitting gathering dust for decades... decided to bite the bullet & let them go to the rubbish bin... ... and just keep a picture for the memories...

and subject my readers to them, LOL!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

...clouds of words...



Generate a word cloud from your own blog HERE (hit custom, type in yr url, when image is generated, right click & save) (thanx *again* to Dawn who seems to find the niftiest stuff online!)

btw... "commandments"??? how on earth is that a key/often-used word here?? nvm, found out why, LOL!

but... Kosh is also in larger font... awwwww...

... and so it begins ...

so here's the room I came back to vacate ===>

Do I miss it?

Nope!

... after all, I all I did there was sleep maaah!

I'd get up to go to work, leaving @ 7 / 715am, but of course would never head straight home after work @ 5pm; after all, just cos office hours ended at 5 didn't mean my work was done at 5.

Besides, traffic outbound from the KL city center is hell between 445pm and 8pm right?

So I'd head to the other side of town instead, and hang out at Coffee Bean Ampang Point until they closed, then only head back to this apartment to shower & sleep. By then it'd be maybe 1am. Then I'd wake up at 630am and the cycle started again :D

And weekends? Outta there as soon as I could, whether to just get away, or again to hang out at Coffee Bean maaaah!

Ya lah, at that time I had my laptop, Coffee Bean was a Maxis wireless hotspot, and me & Kosh were IMing at almost every opportunity.

Now? Coffee Bean no longer is a hotspot. If I *do* wanna do the coffee&surf thing I'm forced to go to Starbucks (ugh!!!). Sure, there are at least two relatively close by, but then again, I'm carless.... bleah :p

btw, already had "Strike One" incidents with BOTH parental units yesterday.

".... and so it begins..."

Friday, February 24, 2006

My output at Age 6 (Std 1)


From my Malay exercise book



From my "writing"(??) exercise book


I've improved since then... will provide proof later, LOL!

i didn't title this one till 350pm, LOL

okayyy.. ... downloading Graphics Converter Pro 6.36.60220 from tucows.com... it's a 9MB file, being downloaded at 3 KB/sec... with total estimated time of 40 mins.

have i mentioned i hate dialup? ... this had better be worth it...

--- quick notes ---
1. avian flu detected in chickens on the outskirts of KL; authorities moving fast to cull birds within a few miles radius. I'm on the other side of town, so far so good. However, being up on the top of this apartment block, we share space with lots of birds, pigeons mostly, that have made their home in the "public attic" next to this apartment. Is there a risk to us? yikes!!

2. have also been dealing pretty well with the heat & humidity - for example, I didn't even feel that "wall of humidity" that I usually walk into when finally emerging from air-conditioned buildings to my first exposure outside. Of course, in the apartment, it does get stuffy... and there are no fans, so gotta hit the a/c... i suppose the electricity bill will be going up along with the internet bill to mark my presence here...

3. have been keeping busy enough that i'm surprisingly sane considering it's already been 48hrs since my arrival :p and today is pure bliss cos i didn't follow the parents to Port Dickson for the day :-)

--- download now 42% done. ugh. ---

more later. hopefully with pix.

ciao!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

PC blues

okay so i finally cleared stuff out of the "old" room. Now stuff is all over the place in my "new" room. What's next is tidying up, repacking, storing... yay.

btw was going to post some scanned images of my Std 1 - 6 exercise books; among other things, wanted to share the handwriting progression, it's amusing.

But,,, for some reason all I get are TIFF images.. and i don't see how to convert it to jpeg... grrrrr!! Hopefully I get some help from bro tomorrow, so I can share the pix in a day or two...

And for some reason, blogger is making everything I write into one long straight line. wtf? so right now I'm manually hitting enter to go to the next line. grrrr! nvm, fixed, somehow.

In the meantime, I stumbled across this, and thought it was *so* appropriate seeing as I'm not on speaking terms with the PC right now :p

enjoy!

A poem for you "Elderly" computer users:

A Computer was something on TV
From a science fiction show of note
A Window was something you hated to clean
And Ram was the father of a goat.

Meg was the name of my girlfriend
And Gig was a job for the night
Now they all mean different things
And that really Mega Bytes.

An Application was for employment
A Program was a TV show
A Cursor used profanity
A Keyboard was a piano.

A Memory was something that you lost with age
A CD was a bank account
And if you had a 3-inch floppy
You hoped nobody found out.

Compress was something you did to the garbage
Not something you did to a file
And if you Unzipped anything in public
You'd be in jail for a while.

Log On was adding wood to the fire
Hard Drive was a long trip on the road
A Mouse pad was where a mouse lived
And a Backup happened to your commode.

Cut's what you did with a pocket knife
Paste you did with glue
A Web was a spider's home
And a Virus was the flu.

I guess I'll stick to my pad and paper
And the Memory in my head.
I hear nobody's been killed in a Computer crash
But when it happens they wish they were dead.

talk about spicing up your sex life...



here's one h0t d1cK for ya!

What kind of American English do I speak?

This Malaysian with a foundation of British English scored the following:



Your Linguistic Profile:



65% General American English

25% Yankee

10% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern




Amusing.

I think one or two of the questions are too black and white... for example, asking if "Route" rhymes with "Boot" or "Out" is too limiting for me, seeing as I use both, depending which sounds better in that particular sentence. Maybe there should be a third option: "yes / both"?

Many thanx to Dawn for the cool quiz :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Overdue pix (from *my* phone)

... as opposed to overdue pix from *Kosh's* phone...

teehee!


anyways... I've "owed" these pix for a while...

From THIS previous post:
    Pix of Kosh the shreddage freak!

    Kitty helping with further shreddage?



From THIS previous post, here's my banana (chocolate) bread:




And in case you wanted a closer look at the crazy kitty...

awwwwwwww ain't she cute?

*now* me off to bed.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

i'm baaaaaaack!

So I warned a whole bunch of people via sms while waiting for my luggage by the carousel...

...will blog on the trip another time...

right now will just say that once I got to the new apartment (which warrants its OWN blog regarding my reaction to it!), i very soon got to work on visiting my "old" room in the apartment 12 floors down, to sort/throw/move stuff upstairs.

Found my plush family, managed to talk them into posing for a family photo:


Then they got bagged!


Yes... I've got my phone talking to the PC, so I can publish my crappy phone pix, whoohooo!

More soon.

Now need sleep!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Nohari & Johari windows

(Yes, I'm still here!! I *hope* this is my last post till KL?!!)

I've seen this Johari Window thing on a few sites
... invented by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingram in the 1950s as a model for mapping personality awareness. By describing yourself from a fixed list of adjectives, then asking your friends and colleagues to describe you from the same list, a grid of overlap and difference can be built up. (Read more about it HERE)

... and I wasn't planning to jump on the bandwagon, until I noticed its dark side: the NOHARI Window!

So here goes: I'd appreciate people who have actually met & known me to help fill in both Johari & Nohari windows for me.

Funny.. I had a tough time choosing the Nohari adjectives cos I didn't see that many that I though fit me. And for the Johari, there were TOO MANY to choose from that I think describe me, LOL! Let's see how y'all see me, k?

Many thanx!!

And finally....

How Moses got the 10 Commandments....

God went to the Arabs and said, "I have Commandments for you that will make your lives better.

The Arabs asked, "What are Commandments?"

And the Lord said, "They are rules for living."

"Can you give us an example?"

"Thou shall not kill."

"Not kill? We're not interested."



He went to the Blacks and said, "I have Commandments."

The Blacks wanted an example, and the Lord said, "Honor thy Father and Mother."

"Father? We don't know who our fathers are."



Then He went to the Mexicans and said, "I have Commandments."

The Mexicans also wanted an example, and the Lord said "Thou shall not steal."

"Not steal? We're not interested."



Then He went to the French and said, "I have Commandments."

The French too wanted an example and the Lord said,"Thou shall not commit adultery."

"Not commit adultery? We're not interested."



Finally, He went to the Jews and said, "I have Commandments."

"Commandments?" They said, "How much are they?"

"They're free."

"We'll take 10."

........ There, that ought to offend just about everybody!

And on that note... heading off for food and other errands *soon*...

... gosh I'm just not wanting to think about my being in an airplane outta here in 18hrs' time! 3 different planes, 5 different airports, and I'm not even going to itemise the travel time & waiting time between all them flights.

Bottomline: here -> there = 30hrs

fun

have there been new developments?

Out of the blue, I've had a few hits on my blog from searches for "Noritta Samsudin", or "photo of noritta samsudin" ... from Taiwan, Australia, and of course Malaysia. THIS is my year-old rant that has them coming. I wonder, has there been something new to hit the news about this?

blog review!

Am visiting all the blogs on my blogroll,,, here are things that caught my eye today:
From Arod, some interesting facts definitely worth a read, espeically for the wry comments following each fact [Example: Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people. (If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)]

Thanx to Glamor Girl Gone Bad, found out about this "marriage contract" written by this guy in Iowa who is currently facing charges of kidnapping. Of his wife. Hey Kosh, wasn't Iowa your #1 pick to go for residency? Yikes!!

Baghdad Burning's Feb 11th article about a raid in their neighbourhood is an engrossing read.. do check it out HERE.

This is *so* cool! For U.S. (and Italy) residents - check out the distribution of your surname within the U.S; mine is as below:
(I *think* that's Wyoming with no "H" at all in the state?!!)
Many thanx to Gangadhar for this great link :-)

I'm sure glad my job is *not* as janitor of the men's bathroom!! (Thanx to Oreos for the link).

Thanx to Samantha Burns, I have found that my Fantasy/SciFi Character is, quite appropriately...
GANDALF
    A wandering spirit caring for a multitude of just concerns, you are an instrumental power in many of the causes around you.

    And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord.

    Gandalf is a character from the Middle-Earth universe. TheOneRing.net has a description of him.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?



And go HERE for a list of some websites that sure sound dirty, but aren't... example: The site: TheRapistFinder.com is really TherapistFinder.com (directory of therapists) :-)
Yes, it's 4:30pm, and we're *still* at Kosh's workplace. Now I'm hungry AND we haven't done any of the shoping yet. Or packing. Or catching up with tv shows. *sigh*

time keeps on slipping slipping slipping....

... into the future....

everyting becoming a blurrrr... I don't even remember anything that happened Thursday...

Friday we had our last bbq beef ribs session for lunch.
Then headed out to a friend of Kosh's for dinner, about an hour away from us.

Saturday was supposed to be productive, but some how, well, it wasn't :p And we had dinner with another couple, essentialls Kosh's sister's friend & hubby, and dog and 2 cats. Dog had hurt its jaw and was slobbering everywhere: bleah! Apart from that, it was a fun night - played a few rounds of euchre; had my first taste of 3-milk cake.

Sunday (today) is my last full day here. Already off to a slow start... Kosh is at work for a while, while I play around on the work PC. Then it's off to do a spot of final shopping, then back for packing. And catching up with tv shows: can you believe I have 7 hours of recorded tv shows, most of them being Da Vinci's Inquest, to watch before I leave??! Yikes!!

And to top it all off.. it's been *C*O*L*D*!!! M-O-O-N that spells friggin cold!!! According to the weather reports, this weekend is the coldest of this year's meteorological winter (December - February). Brrrrrrrrrrr! I kid you not! Friday was warm (over 60F) then temps dropped so low that the overnight low was in the single digits! Saturday was totally frigid! Today it's better, slightly warmer, but still cold... Have I said bleah??!!

Anyways... these may be my last few posts for a while... i doubt that I'll be online till I'm back in Malaysia. fun. catch up with y'all then.

Da Vinci's Inquest, Smallville and It - a common thread?

Watched Stephen King's It recently.

Bleah, really badly made - poor acting, poor dialogue, poor special-effects - though it was relatively "loyal" to the book. Glad to finally have seen it, tho... cos I didn't catch it when it was first shown on HBO in 1990. But overall, it's still better than what they did with The Stand, LOL!

In It, was really amusing to see a very young Seth Green, playing the young Ritchie Tozier. I knew him originally from the Austin Powers movies, then as Oz on Buffy :-)

Then the young Beverly Marsh looked so familiar,,,, voice, mannerisms,,, finally figured it out she looked like the prostitute Sue from Da Vinci's Inquest. Thanx to imbd, got it confirmed! The actress = Emily Perkins.

And the "old" Beverly Marsh? None other than Annette O'Toole, the same one who played Lana Lang in Superman III, and Martha Kent in Smallville :-) Funny to keep seeing her on screen :-)

And speaking about Smallville.... Watching the older episodes of this tv series, seeing Lana Lang's aunt Nell Potter... something about her reminded me of Sgt Kurtz *again* of Da Vinci's Inquest. Kosh was like "No, they are not the same person", but, well, I wasn't convinced. And thanx to imdb, found out I was right - it IS the same person! Actress = Sarah-Jane Redmond.

Hmmmm, maybe I'm watching at bit *too* much tv?? LOL!!

Or rather.. I'm watching tv *too closely*??! *grin!*

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thaipusam

Recently, it was the Hindu festival of Thaipusam.

"The festival commemorates both the birthday of Lord Murugan (also Subramaniam), the youngest son of Shiva and Parvati, and the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel (lance) so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadam."

Even though I grew up in Malaysia, I've never attended any of the celebrations. So TV Smith & Lu Sean's coverage of this year's event in KL/Batu Caves was an excellent way of seeing what I missed out on. Do check out the pix :-)

btw - happy b-day rik.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

... back when I wrote letters via snail-mail to pen-pals...

Did you ever have pen-pals?

My best pen-pal was this girl from Sweden... not sure when we lost touch - probably around the time we both went off to university. Re-established contact briefly, exchanged e-mail addresses, but again - dropped out of touch. :-( I found her e-mail address late last year and dropped her a line again, but, no reply :-( I still know her original snail-mail address by heart, maybe I can drop her a line there again, and see if I can get anywhere... if ever I do make it to Iceland, I might as well include a trip to Sweden too, eh? Would be cool to meet up one day...

Another pen-pal was this girl from the U.S... she wasn't the best at keeping in touch, and wrote only occasionally, and moved around frequently. But when I got to the U.S. for studies, I finally did drop her a line at her most recent address. Which actually reached her!! She called me, but I was about to head out the door for a football game... got her number, called her back, got an answering machine, she never called back, I didn't follow-up, and now I would have *no* idea how to hunt her down. She may no longer be in the San Francisco area, and no longer with the same last name, cos I couldn't get very far searching the white pages... Bummer.

I might have been "assigned" others, but none ever caught on like Asa & Becca.

Not sure *how* I had gotten them... while I know I participated in a pen-pal placement agency that required payment in terms of an international money cupon or something, I think my main source of pen-pals was from writing to "Dear Pen-Pal" a service provided by the tv show The Big Blue Marble.

Anyways... after the Olympics in South Korea (1988?), I wanted a pen-pal from Turkey, all because I thought Naim Suleymanoglu was sooooo cute (hey, I was a teenager! it made sense to me then!!).

I got assigned a guy, don't remember his name.

So I wrote him, and as I usually did, enclosed a recent photo of me.
    The photo was taken in ~1987? : Me leaning against the shelves in the corner of my room, garbed in a slim-fit purple-&-green (Wimbledon colours!!) "baju kurung" (the traditional dress of Malays); I was looking mischeviously into the camera, this half-smile on my lips.


Yes, I really liked how I looked: it was a great ego-boost for me to see a pic where I actually liked what i saw. So I wanted to share that photo, of course. Wanted the Turkish pen-pal to like me.

... but can you guess the result?

It really gave me the creeps:
Bad enough that the Turkish guy (let's call him Naim, shall we?) wrote back in very childlike handwriting... But the letter also contained crude stick-figure drawings of a boy & a girl holding hands, with captions like "Naim and Lynne together forever" and "Naim [heart] Lynne"!!

My reaction: *W*T*F*??!

I refused to reply Naim's letter. So what if I wasted some $$ in getting him as a pen-pal... didn't want to be exchanging letters with someone who claims to love you based on a photo... It had really freaked me out!!

Also, I decided that no matter how much I liked that picture, I'd just keep it to myself from now on, no need to "show off" to anyone.

.... aaaaaanyways.... I was just thinking, in this day & age... teenagers are no longer doing snail-mail pen-pal type communication... instead they are communicating in chatrooms, blogs and IMs... just not the same thing... there's no "physicality" to it compared to getting a solid letter in the mail, y'know? And then they are now falling victim to online predators, exposed to so many things too early in their lives.

.......... Glad I'm not a teenager in this day & age!

Have a think.

MuppetLord's got some great links in this article, do check them out, along with the links' links.

And from the above: THIS is just ridiculous - an important piece of history to be bulldozed to make way for a 'parking lot, two 50-storey hotel towers and seven 35-storey apartment blocks'??

Will the insanity *ever* stop?

Jeopardy with Lynne

This... is.... jeopardy!

{Play the Jeopardy theme}

A: Buffalo, cow & turkey
Q: What animals were killed to make Kosh's & Lynne's dinner tonight?

    Went to a bbq place that serves buffalo burgers. This time Kosh had beef brisket & smoked turkey so we could sample *other* stuff rather than we both get the same thing. And for those who don't know: buffalo is similar to beef, but less fat. It also dries out very fast, so the most "wellness" you want is medium rare; that will give you pink in the center but NOT dried out.

A: 7 shirts, 5 pants, 4 ties and 1 belt
Q: How many of what new items were purchsed to breathe new life into Kosh's wardrobe today?

    Even when limiting myself to the "petite" section, it's difficult for me to find anything I like let alone that fits me :p So devoted time to finally adding to Kosh's wardrobe. Had the most fun trying to match ties to the pants & shirts. :-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

VD#6: the end of VD

As I start this post, only 10 minutes remain for VDay.

So how did I spend this day?
Hmm - woke up. Breakfast while watching some Da Vinci's Inquest episodes. Worked out a bit. Blogged a bit. Showered. Lunch. Smallville. Smallville. Library to pick up Tootsie (and books I'm not going to read in time before leaving!!). Picked-up chicken wings for dinner & ice-cream for dessert. Dinner while Smallville-ing again. Then watched Tootsie with dessert. Now playing Disc 2 of The Stand while online again. ... bottomline: it pretty much went as expected :-)


Wanted to note that I also had a pseudo VD post over at the BSB site... it was already VDay over on that side of the world even tho when I posted it it was still before midnight on the 13th. But check it out for a smile if you like the combination of hopping and boobs ;-)

Think I'm gonna hit the hay soon.

G'nite all!

VD#5: ewe ess pee ess

Incident #1:
Mid-December 1005: A greeting card was wrongly delivered to Kosh's letterbox: sure, the last name was the same...and same street... except that it was for SOUTH xx St, and we're at NORTH. And of course totally different unit number. [we wrote "wrongly delivered" on it and popped it back into the mailbox by the Post Office]

Incident #2.1:
End-December 2005: You know those postage paid postcards provided by companies for surveys/customer feedback? Where on one side is the address and "no postage necessary" thing, on the other side are the questions to be answered. Which in this case included a space for us to fill in *our* address. Popped it into the Post Office mailbox, sometime during that week between X-mas & New Year. The next week, that postcard was delivered into our mailbox! [Yes, despite the address printed in large fonts on the front, somehow it got delivered to the much smaller address written in a future doc's chickenscratch handwriting on the "other" side!!]

Incident #2.2:
Mid-January 2006: Took the postcard to the Post Office and handed it over to a Post Office personnel. She put it to be re-delivered, making sure to mark out the barcodes that had been printed on the card while processing it the first time, saying it sometimes happens that these cards are processed on the "wrong side" depending how they are inserted into their sorting machines. [Hellloooo, the mail deliverer is still human, right?? Even if the machine makes a mistake, surely the deliverer would notice that something's wrong?]

Incident #2.3:
End-January 2006: The postcard appears in our mailbox *again!* Why? "INSUFFICIENT POSTAGE"!!! But.. but... but... it's a POSTAGE-PAID postcard!!! Yeah, so the postage rates *had* gone up in early January.... but that should not affect these postage-paid things, right? And why deliver back to here??? So took it *back* to the Post Office, raised a bit of a fuss, got it re-re-processed. Geez, there were so many markings and cancellations made to the thing I wonder if any of the feedback would be legible by the time it reached its destination. If ever! [No sign of it in the mailbox so far - so either it made it, or they just threw it away?!]

Incident #3:
Mid-January 2006: The system in this block of apartments is that mailboxes are locked, with only the individual resident, and the local mail deliverer, having keys to the boxes. So the other day we checked the mailbox, saw an "attempted parcel delivery notice", and were all excited wondering what it could be, since we hadn't ordered anything from amazon.com or anything, and wanted to see when they would attempt a re-delivery. Then took a closer look at it and saw that it wasn't for us, it was for the unit next to us!! Can you say sloppy??!! We couldn't slip the notice into the correct box. Knocked on the fella's door - no answer. In the end we just taped the notice to his door. It seemed like real sloppy work by the mail deliverer - how can you mix up something like that??

Incident #4:
Early-February 2006: Sure it was just an unimportant piece of junk mail, but it *was* supposed to be in the mailbox of the apartment block across the street from us, not in *our* mailbox! Again: sloppy, sloppy work....

Figured out the title of this post yet? Talking about the United States Postal Service : USPS : ewe ess pee ess :p

Yeah, so we're not 100% confident about the mail carrier in charge of our area here... not all of the above can be attributed to the holiday greeting card high volume overload, eh?

VD#4: rubber hands & misc thots

ugh.. I suppose it *has* been a while since I whipped out those teeny dumbells and did some arm reps... just did 3 sets x 10 reps of misc bicep, tricep, shoulder & side thingys. now my arms feel a bit shaky, like they are made of rubber. Boy am I gonna get whupped my first few tennis sessions once I'm back...

...

and in case you noticed / were wondering, yes, I stayed up till past 330am last night - me blogging while Kosh was working on some stuff, with Disc 1 of Stephen King's The Stand playing on the TV/DVD. I've yet to see the whole thing (it *is* kinda bad...) - prefer to re-read the book instead: yet another to put on my reading list :-) marked the start of VDay by blowing kisses across the room to each other, LOL! Are we an old couple or what :-)

...

okay - arms feeling better now. Off to shower & lunch. Will have non-dial-up blog time later tonight - expect more meanderings then :-)

VD#3: interview blues

Reading Oreo's recent post about interviews took me down a few lanes of memory...

"Why were you holding back during the second half of the session?"
This question was asked by my one-on-one interviewer, after a day of "group interactions" with other Management Trainee candidates for this international consumer goods company (ice cream, shampoo, soap, cooking oil... u name it, they probably manufactured it!). We'd been put through two or three scenarios/case studies, and our interactions, opinions, conduct and whatever observed and noted. Followed by the final one-on-one interview with a high-ranking member of the management team.

So, for the first one or two scenarios, I was totally myself - leading, giving opinions, asking pointed questions, etc. But during that time, I could see that there were a few of us who may have been kinda overwhelmed by what was being asked of us, and had essentially withdrawn into their shells. I felt bad for them. I started to make it a point to draw out some of the quieter ones, by asking if they had anything to add, or what they thought of so-and-so's statement.

By the time we were at our last exercise, I'd pretty much taken the back seat, and only contributed when I thought the group was losing focus, or needed a different perspective on the topic at hand.

So, my answer to the question? Something like "I figured the observers would have already been able to get a good idea of me and my capabilities from the first half; I wanted to make sure the quieter ones would be able to show what they had to offer too."

A week later, I was offered the job.

Unfortunately, within a few days of receiving this offer letter, I received orders to report for an interview with my scholarship-provider (and I *had* a 10-year employment contract in exchange for that scholarship...). Not wanting to accept a job only to be forced to resign a few months later, I had to regretfully decline the job offer.

I still wonder how different life would have been if I'd said to heck with it and just taken up that management Trainee post...

Oh well...

"Hmmph, it's very easy to get a high CGPA in the U.S. if you know what easy classes to take"
I was taken aback by the attitude and tone of this interviewer. This time it was a two-on-one interview, again at the end of a long day of numerous modules of case studies, encompassing both individual and group activities. Having already gone through something similar a few weeks earlier, I wasn't too nervous about the proceedings.

But here I was, facing a middle aged man and woman for the final stage of the interview, two people who probably would have a large role in determining where I would be shipped to for my initial posting within the company that had provided my education scholarship... yet someone was being quite the unprofessional!

I think I had a 4.75 (out of 5.00) CGPA. Sure, I took some unusual (easy??) courses like tennis and bowling and Icelandic Literature and Italian and French, but on the other end of the scale I took a few graduate-level Chemistry courses AND did an undergraduate research thesis. There are only so many "easy courses" one can take, b*tch, in the end I would need to do well in both "elective" as well as my core Chemistry subjects in order to get such a CGPA, b*tch! Besides, she was making that statement based purely on the CGPA, NOT on the transcipt which listed all the courses I'd taken! Again: what a b*tch!

I thought it was very unprofessional of her to have said such a thing.

I don't remember anything else of the interview, not even my response to her pooh-poohing my results. I'm sure I answered in a carefully neutral manner, I instinctively knew better than to challenge her and her opinions at that time. I soon forgot the name and face of the b*tch, but I remember that situation well, since it gave me flavour of what to expect of the people I was going to be working with...


I've had a handful of other interviews thru the years; nothing outstanding tho.

I know I can look forward to a few different interviews once I'm back in KL,,, once I seriously start looking for something to keep me occupied and out of the apartment lah :p And while I know the main question I will need to rehearse an answer for would be "What have you been doing for the last 1.5 years?", it won't hurt to brush up on other typical/tough interview questions: the Random Interiew Question Generator from monster.com looks like a useful tool to use. Anyone else prepping for job hunts, see if it helps :-)

VD#2: oooops, were those Qing vases i just destroyed?

Did you hear about the three priceless Qing vases that got smashed in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England?

yes... smashed... when a visitor "tripped on a loose shoelace, tumbled down a flight of stairs and crashed into the vases, smashing them into smithereens".

I wonder just how safely these vases were displayed, since they were not behind any protective plexiglass or anything: some articles state that these vases "... had been displayed for many years on a staircase window sill".

... but ... on a window sill??

"Shocked but determined museum staff members have vowed to glue the shards back together again".

Why do I have images of Humpty Dumpty in my head?
* * * * * *

Wanna read more?
1. MSNBC: "Oops! Art lover trips, shatters ancient vases"
2. BBC News: Historic vases smashed in stumble
3. Archaelogical treasures destroyed by klutz

VD#1: Motivation schmotivation!

... here are some REALISTIC sayings I'd like to see on those office inspirational posters:

(The ones that particularly resonate with me, in bold)
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Doing a job RIGHT the first time gets the job done. Doing the job WRONG fourteen times gives you job security.

Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

We put the "k" in "kwality."

If something doesn't feel right, you're not feeling the right thing.

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.

A person who smiles in the face of adversity...probably has a scapegoat.

If you can stay calm, while all around you is chaos...then you probably haven't completely understood the situation.

Plagiarism saves time.

If at first you don't succeed, try management.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.

TEAMWORK...means never having to take all the blame yourself.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.

We waste time, so you don't have to.

Hang in there, retirement is only thirty years away!

Go the extra mile. It makes your boss look like an incompetent slacker.

A snooze button is a poor substitute for no alarm clock at all.

When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break.

INDECISION is the key to FLEXIBILITY.

Succeed in spite of management.

Aim Low, Reach Your Goals, Avoid Disappointment.

We waste more time by 8:00 in the morning than other companies do all day.

You pretend to work, and we'll pretend to pay you.

Work: It isn't just for sleeping anymore.

Anyone wanna go ahead and create the posters? Thanx to Tyler I can point you in the right direction: check out this cool website! Have fun!!

Monday, February 13, 2006

a VD meme?!

No thanx to SnglGuy, I got tagged with a Valentine's Day meme..... LOL, I am so NOT into the crass commercial drivel that is Valentine's Day, but just for SnglGuy I'll try to answer the q's anyway even tho I'm already rendering most of the q's and a's meaningless...

1. What did you do for last Valentine's Day (2005)?
    Nothing. I think the highlight was Kosh dropping by between his classes to drop off a burrito from Toxic Hell Taco Bell, which I'd requested for lunch.

2. What are you planning to do for the next Valentine's Day (2006)?
    Nothing specific. Probably watch more of Smallville Season Two, or try to finish off a book or two! But you never know, seeing as I've less than a week to go here, maybe Kosh will spring a surprise? Me not expecting anything, tho.

3. What would be the ideal place to celebrate Valentine's?
    A Meat Loaf concert? While sloshed to the gills with vodka/tonics?? LOL!!

4. What qualities in a person would make an ideal Valentine's date for you?
    Someone who understands, and shares, my distaste for Valentine dates, LOL!

5. What gifts would you buy/have bought for your partner?
    I've likely given VDay cards... I honestly don't remember anything significant that I've ever bought/given to anyone - whether for exes or Kosh!

6. What gifts have you received/would like to receive from your partner?
    Specifically for VDay, eh? I suppose I've received cards, maybe flowers, dunno what else if any... I liked the surprise mixed-CD of significant songs from Kosh in 2004 :-) As for gifts I'd like to receive: hmmmmm, nothing in particular really... maybe going out for a treat like apple pie a la mode or brownie a la mode, LOL!

7. What's your all-time favourite romantic movie?
    Errrr, Spaceballs? LMAO, I don't think I have one!!

8. If you could choose any person on earth to be your date on Valentine's, who would it be?
    Awwwww, Kosh of course!!

9. People I wanna send my love to this Valentine's Day:
    As usual, me not officially tagging anyone... but I wish all readers a Happy Valentine's Day, whether or not you "celebrate" it. Here's hoping everyone survives the day of all-pink, hearts, chocolates and drippy love songs!

pictures of my life - according to Google

Saw and subsequently stole tagged myself with this pseudo-meme from Dawn.

Here's how it works: Use the picture you like best from the first (no clicking around for 44 pages) page of the search results on Google Image.
NOTE: Okay, so I'm not 100% clear on things like copyright, so I made it a point to indicate where the image is from. If the image belongs to you , and you'd rather I didn't use it, do tell me in the comments section and I'll be happy to oblige, k? Thanx!
Here goes...

1. The city and province of the town where you grew up, no quotation marks

(image from HERE)


2. The town where you currently reside

(image from HERE)


3. Your name, first and last, but no quotes

(image from HERE)


4. Your grandmother's name

(image from HERE)



5. Your favorite food

(image from HERE)


6. Your favourite drink

(image from HERE)


7. Your favourite smell

(image from HERE)


8. Your favourite song

(image from HERE)


Sure, the whole posting of pix is a bit of a hassle (have I mentioned I *h*a*t*e* dial-up?? and I made the mistake of copying the thumbnails instead of the actual pix... aarrgghh!!), but it was also very fun to see what pix would come up... A prime example being of course the bodybuilders pix that was so totally different I just *had* to choose that over any pix of the KL skyline, LOL!

And yes, in case you were wondering, I did indeed made it a point to be cryptic and not choose the "obvious" pix for stuff like fave smell and fave song. ;-)

Anyone interested in tagging themselves, knock yourselves out!
And do drop me a line with a link to your version, k?

Standby for an “energetic” post?

When you were growing up, how many of what sort of electrical appliances did you have at home? (exclude refrigerators, ovens & washing machines, unless you had more than one at a time)

Let’s guesstimate around 1987: I remember the family having
  1. a combo turntable / cassette deck / radio
  2. a TV
  3. a VCR *
  4. a radio alarm clock *
  5. a hairdryer
  6. maybe two radio cassette players
  7. a toaster
  8. a water heater
  9. a vacuum cleaner
  10. a typewriter
  11. two irons (1 "normal", one steam)

And how about now? From the apartment my parents just vacated, I can picture the following:
  1. 1 microwave oven
  2. 1 toaster
  3. 1 blender
  4. 2 water heater units
  5. 3 air conditioning units
  6. 3 radio alarm clocks *
  7. 1 personal computer
  8. 1 laptop
  9. 1 scanner
  10. 1 printer
  11. 1 electric toothbrush
  12. 1 hairdryer
  13. 2 radio cassette/CD players
  14. 1 TV *
  15. 1 DVD player
  16. 1 satellite TV receiver/decoder *
  17. a “surround sound” type system *
  18. 1 vacuum cleaner
  19. 2 mobile phones & chargers
  20. 1 steam iron
  21. 1 steam gadget (for clothes, in lieu of ironing)

What a difference 20 years make! Immediately you can see an increase in the number of different items. In some cases, there has also been an increase in the quantity of a particular item. Also - how about the items marked with * denoting “on all the time / standby mode”?

And the above is just an example of changes in a middle-class Malaysian family.

And if I were to list a typical U.S. household? According to energy consumption surveys conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 1978 there were no personal computers in U.S. homes – compare that to 1997 where 35% homes boasted of at least one PC: I wonder what the number is like now in 2006… And imagine this: in 1978 only 8% of U.S. homes had microwave ovens. 1997 saw a jump to 83%! Add in “necessities” like a clothes dryer and dishwasher. Maybe a garage door opener too? And multiple TV’s, DVD/VCR players, perhaps entire home entertainment systems including drop-down screens, X-box, PS2, etc… and DSL / wireless routers…

So many things that we think we just can’t live without now, which may not have even existed 20 years ago!

And if all that wasn’t bad enough…. did you know that 20% of energy consumed in American homes is consumed by appliances in standby mode?

That’s TWENTY PERCENT, folks.

Here’s a thought… How about taking an inventory of everything plugged-in in your house: is there *anything* that is currently on all the time / on standby mode that doesn’t really need to be? Can you set it up such that you switch it on /plug it in only when needed?
  • Example: do you really *need* to tell time on the microwave oven, when you have VCR that already tells time PLUS the alarm clock at your bedside AND the watch on your wrist AND that clock on the wall?
  • Also: If you have just the one or two radio stations you listen to, is it so vital to keep the stereo on in order to save the pre-programmed stations on the tuner? Besides, if you’re like me, I listen to my CDs much more then the radio nowadays, so having radio stations in memory is not vital.
I’m sure there are lots more possible suggestions out there.

I figure if we all do our bit to reduce this portion of energy consumption, that may reduce *ever so slightly* the energy consumption that’s just too darn high. Not just for those in the U.S. either! And we’d shave a few bucks off our energy bill for our effort.

And while you’re at it, how about taking a step back
and asking yourself
how much you actually really need all these gadgets anyway. ;-p

Which leads me to fodder for a whole other post (later!! If I feel like it!!!) about how we’re surrounded by so much “noise” and “clutter”, we’d be so much better off simplifying our lives.

(This post was inspired by the article Consumption UP – New Appliances Eat Energy in the January 2006 newsletter by AmerenIP)

Proverbial Humour

Found these in a long-unused email inbox, thought I'd share it here:

New Proverbs
  1. If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out.
  2. Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he'll be a mile way - and barefoot.
  3. Going to church doesn't make you a holy person any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.
  4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
  5. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.
  6. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
  7. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.


Proverb completion

A first grade teacher collected old, well known proverbs.  She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb, and had them come up with the rest.
  1. As you shall make your bed, so shall you..........mess it up
  2. Better to be safe than....................punch a 5th grader
  3. Strike while the................................bug is close
  4. It's always darkest before.............daylight savings time
  5. You can lead a horse to water but.......................how?
  6. Don't bite the hand that.........................looks dirty
  7. A miss is as good as a...................................Mr.
  8. You can't teach an old dog new..........................math
  9. If you lie down with the dogs, you'll.....stink in the morning
  10. The pen is mightier than the............................pigs
  11. An idle mind is.........................the best way to relax
  12. Where there's smoke, there's.......................pollution
  13. Happy the bride who......................gets all the presents
  14. A penny saved is.....................................not much
  15. Two's company, three's..........................the musketeers
  16. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and....you have to blow your nose
  17. Children should be seen and not..........spanked or grounded
  18. When the blind leadeth the blind..........get out of the way
  19. Better late than.....................................pregnant

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Star Trek; New Voyages

Did you know that the crew of the original Star Trek series are back???

Just found out about the continuation of Star Trek The Original Series, in the form of *web* episodes distributed thru the 'net via downloads.
The new show will be the continuing voyages of Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701 as seen in the 1966-69 television series, Star Trek. The series was cancelled after its third season. We are restarting the series as if it were in its fourth year.
The people involved want to "bring back the Roddenberry spirit, ideals and philosophy to Star Trek."

Again - I am no Trekker, but yeah I do know that there has been dissatisfaction about the state of Star Trek series (I think they consider everything beyond TNG as pretty much trash), so I suppose this ST:TNV is the product of the dissatisfaction?

While there are of course new actors portraying the "classic" characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, etc... some actors are also returning tho I assume *not* to play their earlier roles. Walter Koenig (Chekov), and soon George Takei (Sulu) are participating in this!

Find out more about it all >HERE.

probably one of my last forays into this topic

1. I'm not surprised to see this sort of thing. Are you?

2. Aiseh Man has numerous excellent posts, check them out.

3. Wikipedia is the place to check out the entire 43-pg dossier distributed during the Danish clerics' "tour". Hurry, it is slated for deletion. At least now I've seen *one* 'toon *I'd* consider offensive (the "This is why Muslims pray" one) BUT take note it's one of those "of undetermined origin" 'toons, not anything published by that Danish paper. (Thanx to Muppetlord for this link!)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

L.Y.N.N.E. Decoded!

Hey, Kosh! Guess what my name stands for??


Lover Yearningly Needing Naughty Embraces


Pretty cool :-)

Many thanx to Samantha Burns for this link ;-)

Then, tried out one or two other "names" ... just for the heck of it ;-)


Minx Offering Massage



Stud Administering Thrilling Arousing Necking


Ah, yes... the fun things on the net!! :-)

Traffic Update #2

(#1 was done last September)

    Spike #1 @ April 2005
    Dunno what would account for a leap in visits at this point in time. Maybe that's when I started feeling confident and actually started leaving comments on other blogs? April is also when I got my sitemeter counter. Related?

    Spike #2 @ August 2005
    Signed up with Little Neo. Lots of new readers. And readees! :-)

    Spike #3 @ November 2005
    I believe this is when I found SYN/ACK/FIN's random reading page, and used that as a reference for another round of adding readees.


Nice to know readership is slowly on the way up :-)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

... of ends, means, and justification thereof ...

There's that saying / defense / excuse: the end justifies the means

What was the "end" for Imam Ahmed Abu- Laban, the Danish Muslim cleric's "tour", anyway?
- Publicising the offensive Danish 'toons (that were published last September! a bit out of date, eh?)?
or
- inciting hate & violence?
    Then we start to hear about three FAKE 'toons were part of the "evidence" handed out during this "tour"?

    What, someone didn't think that the original dozen or so offensive 'toons might just not cut it in terms of garnering support (read: inciting hate & violence!), so someone decided to add more ooommph to the mix?
Bad enough to have such a tour which seemed to be intended to incite violence rather than peacefully highlight to and educate the non-Muslims how and why such 'toons are offensive.

Then to be exposed as using fake / other toons, thus destroying any credibility of theirs, and indeed calling into question the intention of the tour...

And of course, protests over the 'toons have degenerated into incoherent emotional outpouring of anger and resentment and hostility and dissatisfaction towards the Western/non-Muslim world in general.
    I watched the news the other night, and saw these white-robed, sarban-wearing, wau bulan beards on their chin, youth in Indonesia throwing themselves against police barricading the Danish Embassy, hurling obscenities at police trying to keep the peace. So many countries, so much havoc and destruction. Flag burning. Riots. All these people, so caught up in their righteous rage. Selfish. Irresponsible. Blind. Lost. And worst of all: parading their own ignorance of their own religion for all the world to see, for the world to take as "the true face" of the religion. Drowning out calls by more "aware" Muslims and citizens of the world for an end to all this mindless violence.

All I could do was shake my head in disgust, roll my eyes at the screen, and flip the channel.

Way to go, y'all... excellent work in providing total negative publicity AND further confirming the Western world's view that being a Muslim means you are a fanatical violent extremist terrorist.

If THAT was your "end", well then, I guess everything's just dandy, eh?

*sigh*

Excuse me while I wrap a cloak of apathy and indifference around me.

I'm going back to devoting my energy to things that are productive and fulfilling, not this lost cause.

marriage similies

... similies, not smilies / smileys.

Check out Samantha Burns' Marriage Vows post. Personally I like the bowel movevment (#3) and airport terminal (#9) ones :-)

aaaanyways... here are some similar related observations:
  • sex is hereditary: if your parents didn't have it, chances are you won't either
  • one good turn gets most of the blanket
  • love is a matter of chemistry, sex a matter of physics

Okay - now for some exercise, shower, food! maybe not in that particular order ;p

11 days to go...

Good news! Checked my library account and saw that Gregory Maguire's Wicked:The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West is waiting to be picked up! I've been on the waiting list for so long, I'd pretty much given up hope of getting my hands on it before I leave. So - yay! Now to make sure I finish it off before leaving :-)

More good news - yep, *d*o*n*e* with Buffy Season 5. I've had so much Buffy that my dreams of last night/this morning were filled with characters of the show. And with Kosh's snooze alarm going off every 10 minutes, it would disturb my dream but I'd make a mental note while waking up that it was okay "cos I was watching a DVD and could resume once I got back to sleep" or something weird like that, LOL!
    The best episode of this season, in my opinion, is The Body, which very poignantly, tastefully and artistically depicts the events happening within the first few hours of Buffy finding the body of her mother on the couch. There was no music used in this episode: no haunting or sad music to go with the mood - so there was a very stark feel to it. Then there was the disjointed focus on the smallest of things. Images of "what if" scenarios running through Buffy's mind. The charcoal in Dawn's hand making a downward mark as she leaves the easel and follows Buffy outside for the news. Anya the ex-demon all confused about the emotions she feels. So many things!! But my absolute fave scene within it all was a short (not even 10 second) sequence where the doctor is done with the autopsy, takes off his gloves, switches off the lights of the morgue, and makes this seemingly endlessly long journey from the dark cold land of the dead, slowly coming into grey, past some doors that lead to some color, some noise, then turns the corner to bright vibrant bustling life - the land of the living - where Buffy and gang are comforting each other waiting for news. I thought that was a particularly well done sequence.
My eyes were leaking big time through most of this episode, btw.

Will spend the next few days listing down what I need / plan to bring back with me, and procuring them if need be. One or two TSA-approved padlocks, definitely. One or two sets of "office attire". And somehow, also need to bring patience, lots of patience (or at least some sort of mental block), otherwise I'll be going mad from exposure after just an hour or so back at the apartment. yay. I know, I know, my bitching and focus about the inevitable is just going to take away from the few days I *do* have of blessed sanity; but this is the way I need to steel myself for the experience.

Monday, February 06, 2006

*pausing for breath between Buffys*

Hey, the TRUE 2005 Stella Awards are out; check 'em out HERE.

Buffy update: finished Season 4, whoohooo!! That Adam storyline was getting so irritating, it was kinda cool to see the end of him/it (*and* The Initiative) in the next-to-last episode. Whoohoooo! Now am taking a slight break before attacking Season 5 in full force.

Reading update: I was in kind of a "self-help / management-help" type mood set off by reading about that Ferrari-less Monk, so before the new DVD player came along I had gone through another three related books:
    The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
    compared to the Farrari-less Monk, definitely a better read. But in the overall scheme of things, it's still a shallow trying-to-be-more-than-it-can-ever-be type of wanna-be-thought-provoking-but-failing-miserably tale.

    The Identity Code - Larry Ackerman
    Oh my what a piece of crap. Again somone who's convinced he's "discovered" these "natural" "laws" this time concerning identity... but bottom line, he's not saying anything new. Start here or with any other book - just don't swallow everything hook line & sinker...

    Which brings us to
    The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need - Paul Pearsall
    The message in this book is very similar to my own stand about all those self-help / management type books out there ever since I got exposed to them in the course of my work. All these people who sell their angle as the only real true correct angle. While I'd easily see the similarity of messages, see that they are essentially saying the same thing, but in different ways. So in the end it's up to us to pick and choose what seems right to/for us. Dr Pearsall takes it one step further by saying that a lot of the unhappiness in the world today is caused by this self-help movement that convinces everyone that something is wrong with them: his angle is most of us are doing just fine, we just need to be more "mindful" as we go through life. I think it's similar to the "self-aware" angle I use.

I'd recommend Pearsall's book out of the three above.

Oh, and one good thing out of it: got a pointer towards a proper scientific investigation into reincarnation (you know, as opposed to unsubstantiated tales or whatnot) - sounded interesting, have already ordered it from the library. It's "Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence For Past Lives " by Thomas Shroder. And perhaps that will naturally lead me to Mary Roach's "Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife"?

By this time, in a fortnight, will be in a plane headed back to Malaysia. Ugh.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

...yet another muddying of waters...

The world in general has no real idea of what Islam is.

I don't claim to be an expert, oh no, not me, but still... the actions of those terrorists who claim to be fighting for the cause of Islam are really *not* helping with the stereotype and misinformation and misunderstanding...

So I'm not surprised when I read about some Danish caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that have the Muslim community all riled up.

That the cartoons were concieved and published shows a deep ignorance a few Danes had of how highly-regarded the Prophet is by Muslims.

I do think they should have known better than to publish a cartoon that depicts the prophet as a terrorist with a bomb in his "turban".

But, again... am I really surprised? no.

hello, Muslim world -- that such a faux pas would occur in this day and age, when we should be showing the world what Islam really is all about (i.e. NOT that terrorist bullcrap), is a failing on all of us too.

Don't just hit out at the ignorant "Westerners". What have you been doing to educate them, to provide an alternate view of the religion, one that is not supplied by the extremist terrorist whatever-ist organisations, that is eagerly reported and propagated by the media all over the world to further some nations' agendas??

Then the Danes hide behind the excuse of "free speech";
... the media focusses on Muslims hurling ridiculous pro-Zionist accusations, torching Embassies & burning flags;

... people start picking sides ... (btw, I wonder how many have actually *seen* the 'toons for themselves....)

aaaaaaand everyone pretty much stays stuck in their respective ruts.

yay.

*sigh*

Haven't seen the 'toons? Try HERE.

Other reading material:
1. MWU's "What Would Prophet Muhammad Have Done?"
2. Basque News & Information "U.S. backs Muslims in caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad dispute"
3. The Times Online "What price must be paid for free speech?"
4. ridiculopathy.com "Muslims Outraged Over Blasphemous Garfield Cartoon" (Not to be taken seriously)

supermen in the buff?

..we got so tired of the friggin DVD player that wouldn't play, so we went ahead and bought another one. Not too too happy with it, will probably return it for another model, but for the moment we are keeping it and playing all those DVDs we'd borrowed from the library..

The Superman movies :
The worst one = Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. *o*m*g* lame storyline, lame nuclear man, lame rebuilding of the Great Wall of China, that really was the worst of the lot!! And I really don't remember if I'd seen it before, could have sworn I'd seen it but didn't remember a thing, maybe because i blanked it all out cos it was so lame??!! Oh, did I mention I think this movie is lame? :p

The most different one would definitely be Superman III, with Richard Pryor as the unwitting "bad guy". There was more in terms of humor & sight gags, maybe because of Richard Pryor's involvement? What was cool too about this one was seeing Annette O'Toole playing Lana Lang, when later she's in Smallville playing Martha Kent :-)
Smallville Season One:
Kinda cool to see the absolute beginning of the series. However, it looks like all those otherworldly storyline twists about symbols and elements and caves will come in maybe Season Two. Don't have that from library yet. Me in no rush, probably let Kosh knock himself out on that while I'm gone :-)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Yes, finally got to start on the scooby gang's post-HighSchool action! Almost halfway through Season 4 right now, with Season Five also in hand and due back Feb 9th... yes, four days to go through one-and-a-half seasons of Buffy,,, I think I'm gonna be all Buffy-ed out by then!
Oh, and yeah, 15 days till my departure. *u*g*h*
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