Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lost Blogs Part Deux

Okay so the assisted plagiarising for Rail, and the non-p0rn meme for SG all done :-)

Now for The Lost Blogs. I first typed about it here.

Then SG talked about... but HE got visited by someone promoting the book, and not me ... i blame it on blogger: they were having major problems then, so maybe Mr Apgar couldn't access my blog at that time?

Annnnyways... the main thing is this "Grassroots Blogger Book Marketing Campaign" being carried out to mark the release of The Lost Blogs.

The gist:
    ... blog every day for one week straight from Monday, April 10 to Friday, April 14, 2006, as your historical figure of choice, or as (a fictional) someone close to them... Do not directly reveal who the historical subject is in your blog entries ... need to avoid posting about historical figures that are already featured in the book...

The best part:
    The top three bloggers throughout the course of the campaign will receive autographed, first-edition copies of the book. Entries will be judged by Paul Davidson himself.

The kiasu in me is jumping up and down at the thought of getting the prize... the slightly more rational part of me is advising caution, since I wonder if i know enough about *any* historical figure to produce at least 5 solid blogs' worth of this persons's thoughts??

Hmmm, I *do* have one person in mind... but would have to do immense amounts of research... I wonder, should I do this or not, especially when I should be working on that magazine article I got assigned 3 weeks ago? :p

Gasp! a *p0rn* meme?

Tagged again!

By SG again (Another porn meme...)! :p

It's kinda what I did with the random word generator, except that this ain't no collection of random words! Obviously one is suposed to write some hot n heavy stuff, eh?

Instructions: Write a short story of not more than 200 words, based on the following words which can only be used once!
    1. sleepover
    2. whip
    3. handcuffs
    4. leather
    5. sexy
    6. threesome
    7. hairy
    8. shotgun
    9. squeeze
    10. explosion


bleah. here goes:
    Once in a while us girls will organise a sleepover: I'd whip up my legendary fruit salad while others would bring KFC, ice cream, etc etc. Then we'd gorge ourselves while watching movies, gossiping, and all that fun stuff. Last week we watched Threesome - I certainly enjoyed feasting my eyes on that oh-so-sexy Stephen Baldwin! Pity he's so hairy though. Then again, I’ve been told that the hairier you are, the higher your sex drive, hmmmmmmm!

    One day, we had *such* a gigglefest when Dana found a pair of handcuffs under the cushions of the leather couch, courtesy of her absent-minded policeman brother – yes that snotty kid who liked to ride shotgun, and if he's made to sit in the backseat he would cry! Maybe that's why he became a cop?


    Then that other time me & Dana were so shocked at the sound of what we thought was an explosion; turns out gassy indigestion-prone Ivy had tried to squeeze out a silent fart, but somehow it come out loud and clear instead! We almost died laughing! And she's been Ms LAD (loud and deadly) ever since.

    Wonder what the next session is going to bring... can't wait!


Waaahahahahaaa I made it a point to NOT make it "dirty" :p it's more of a challenge that way :) 199 words. so there! :p

Vanilla-flavoured day :-)

I'm at the Coffee Bean opposite PJ Hilton.
Which happens to be very close to Restoran Syed.
And today is a Friday.

For those who know: yes, Restoran Syed + Friday = NASI BRIYANI BUKHARA!

Good thing I already got my "briyani" fix a while ago...

... but this is the Bukhara one...... (kinda like the briyani gam - the chicken / mutton is cooked together with the rice or something,,,, really really yummy!)

aiyah, so tempting....

~ ~ ~ ~

on another note - across the road from me is Stanford College PJ.

Draped on the building is a huge banner advertising their tagline "Take on the World", plus a list of courses available:
  • Accountancy
  • Economics
  • English
  • Hospitality / Tourism Management
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • MBA
  • North American Degrees
  • Pre-U (A-Levels, Foundation Studies)
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Secretarial Studies


Anyone see anything funny there?

HEY, *I* WANT A DEGREE IN NORTH AMERICAN DEGREES!

Tho I suppose it would involve committing to memory all the Universities in North America (USA, Canada, Mexico) and the degrees offered by each institution? In that case nvm lah.

~ ~ ~ ~

update: the weekend drinkfest postponed, bummer. But we may head to Planet Hollywood for their ladies night next week, whoohooo!

10:15 am: F*CK! I just took a sip of my supposed Vanilla Latte - it's vanilla-free. F*CK. I *know* I specified vanilla like TWICE while ordering. F*CK. And guess what? I got charged for a plain Cafe Latte. I'm going to complain anyway - I want my Vanilla!!! Really, the only time I really like coffee is with flavours, especially vanilla. REALLY disappointing, I expect better from my Beanie!!

10:19 am: Aaaah, *much* better! They made a fresh new one for me :-) *now* in heaven, LOL!

The goals for today:
1. source articles off of the net for Rail (some last-minute newsletter thingy - the reason drinkfest got postponed too, grrr!)
2. try to do SG's porn meme :p

Okay, off to "work" I go!

Blonde Joke of the Day

Yes, it's almost my 1am.

Here's a quickie post, hope it helps your Friday/weekend start off with a smile!

The Blonde and the Windows:
Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with those expensive double pane energy efficient kind. But this week I got a call from the contractor who installed them. He was complaining that the work had been completed a whole year ago and I hadn't paid for them.

Hellloooo? Now just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that I am automatically stupid. So, I told him just what his fast talking sales guy had told ME last year... namely, that in just ONE YEAR these windows would pay for themselves!

Helllooooo? It's been a year! (I told him)

There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally just hung up.... He didn't call back.

Guess I won that stupid argument, didn't I?


All I can say is : ROTFLMFAO!!

... yeah, I *could* be a lot worse....!!

I am 32% Internet Addict.
Slight Internet Addict.
I could go either way. Deep into the madness of nights filled with coding CGI-Scripts and online role playing games, or I could become a normal user. Good luck!

One of the Q's: "Do you find the glow of a computer more comforting than a close friend?" Waaahaaahahahaha!! Kosh, reminds me of the "romantic glow of the monitor", how bout u?

... that's a relief!

I am 24% White Trash.
Not at all White Trashy!
I, my friend, have class. I am so not white trash. . I am more than likely Democrat, and my place is neat, and there is a good chance I may never drink wine from a box.


H/T: arod (A Cuban in Ohio)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

will I be able to change my stripes?



(On my first try, with some answers a bit unsure, I got 25% / elephant)

See what *your* next life may be at The Reincarnation Station

Face Match Part Deux

(Part One here.)

For the heck of it... tried another pic of myself @ My Heritage:

The results:
1. Zhang Ziyi (Kewl. Waaaaaaaaay off, but kewl)
2. Annette Bening
3. Kobe Bryant (haaaahahahahahaaaaa)
4. BoA (Eh? What a name, never heard of oso)
5. Andy Lau
6. Arthur Conan Doyle
7. Leonardo di Caprio
8. Alyson Hannigan (whoohooo finally one I like, Willow, whooohoooo!)
9. Gong Li

Funny to see 4/9 are Chinese and another 4/9 are MALE - I suppose I looked masculine & Asian in this pic I used today? LMAO!!!

Then, I tried something Kenny Sia style: The CHIA SPOCK! After all, it *should* spit Leonard Nimoy back out, shouldn't it? Errrr, think again!

Other results:
2. Lino Ventura (who??)
3. Condoleeza Rice (LMAO!!)
4. Victoria Adams (Posh Spice? Waahaaahahahahahaaaaa!!)
5. George C Marshall (eh?)
6. Tim Curry (Yowzer! Imagine Mr Spock in fishnets & leather bustier??)
7. Sophie Ellis-Bexter (who?)
8. Michael Keaton (Spocky Dangerously?)
9. Nicanor Duarte Frutos (I had to look him up - President of Paraguay - wah learnt something new today!)

(MAJOR storm heading my way - getting off line & off the 'puter *now*, byeeee!!!)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

... i wonder ...

This caught my eye yesterday:
Chicken run in Malacca

MALACCA: When it comes to free fried chicken, all fears of bird flu go out the window.

At the Melaka Sentral wet market entrance yesterday morning, 200kg of fried chicken were gone in under 10 minutes.

Eighteen chicken traders at the market donated 10 birds each for the free chicken meal event organised by the Malacca Hawkers and Traders Association to promote chicken consumption.

Many among the 1,000 people who turned up for the 11am free meal came ready with plastic bags with the intention to ta pau (take away) the chicken.

The fried chicken went so fast that many did not have a chance to grab a piece, so the chicken traders gave another 200kg of chicken to appease the crowd.

Seeing the fresh supply, the people crowded the volunteers frying the meat and some even tried to grab the raw chicken.

Association president Wong Soo Tang was delighted with the response.

(The Star, 28 March 2006)


I'm sorry, but really, what were you trying to achieve here?

All I see is greedy Malaysians who will stop at nothing to get free food.

Bring ta pau containers summore...
Crowding the "cooks" - not caring about safety, eh?
Trying to grab the raw chicken - hellooooooo bacteria galore!!

When I read this, all I felt was disgust.

So, what was it they wanted to highlight here? The Ugly kiasu Malaysian? Job done!

Oh, for comparison, see how things went in Penang: here.

What a difference:
  • Only 250 Penangites vs 1000+ Malaccans?
  • The Penang chicken party served FOUR types of chicken dishes, in Malacca just one (FRIED pulak tu... how healthy, NOT!)
  • The Penangites are specified as mostly elderly - so the Malaccans' mad rush was caused by "younger" people ke?

Are Penangites more concerned about the bird flu than Malaccans hence the lower turnout?
Or perhaps they are less gullible easily carried away by the prospect of free food until they don't care about anything else, even their health?

.. or was it perhaps some lack in publicity, otherwise we'd have seen the same mad rush as in Malacca?

... i wonder... :p

do you need a marijuana prostitute immediately?

Look no further than Yow Chuan Plaza,
. . . "M" level ...
. . . . . . right where the pedestrian bridge is ...



Not only does the place provide "Pot Ho Stat*" service...
    ... seems like it may even provide some "binding" S&M services too!

    ... perhaps provided by Mistress Lamination?

Ah, I will miss this getting this kind of laugh once I'm back in the u.s....

(for those a bit blur: "stat" = abbreviation of the Latin statim meaning immediately; watch an episode or two of ER and you'll pick it up, err, stat, LOL!!)

Monday, March 27, 2006

we'd get along *just* dandy!

see here (about 6 "Page Downs" on my PC)

I am grinning from ear to ear ... Favorite science fiction TV show of all time, summore!

Yes, I am a freak.

Or maybe some may say "geek"?

In fact, I read Omni's latest post (@ 3/26/2006 04:59:00 AM), and just about howled with laughter at the "Not the One! Not the One!" quote :D I can still picture Zathras saying it too, with the head-shaking and all... :D

Ah, good times...

.... looking fwd to watching Season 4 all the way to the end (we'd stopped @ the "banishment" of the Vorlons & Shadows, so have *no idea* how the earth conflict gets resolved...!!) once I'm back in the u.s. :-)

yes yes, other exciting things will be happening once I'm back in the u.s., but on top of that, I will get my Bab5 fix again, wahoooooo!!

I'm still grinning from ear to ear, btw :D

Sunday, March 26, 2006

... of kissing skies and guys ...

"Excuse me, while I kiss this guy!"

That's one of the most famous mis-heard song lyrics, supposedly.

And me and my total immersion into music at one point in my life, so much so that depending on the group/song I could probably sing you the entire song just like that, I have found out that I was mis-hearing a few lyrics.

Not much, tho.

Of course, this was well before the age of the internet and online lyrics. This was even before putting lyrics in with the cassette (not even CD's yet!) was common. So we all had to just rely on what we grasped during the song, or do like me and my friends - sometime spoiling our casette cos we'd play stop scribble lyrics rewind stop play stop amend lyrics rewind stop play scribble more lyrics stop rewind check lyrics etc etc etc

Some mis-heard lyrics that pop into my mind:

Paul Young : Every time you go away, you take a piece of me with you.
has been misheard as ~~~ you take a piece of meat with you ~~~

Madonna: gonna dress you up with my love, all over all over
~~~ dress you up with Milo ~~~

Marshall Tucker Band: Heard it in a love song
~~~ purty little love song ~~~

Elton John : Hold me close, my tiny dancer
~~~ Tony Danza ~~~ (this was mentioned in FRIENDS once)

AC/DC : dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap
~~~ dirty deeds done with sheep ~~~ (well that works too, LOL!)

Men at Work: Down Under
    do you come from the land down under, where women glow and men plunder
    ~~~ where women go and make thunder ~~~

    He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich
    ~~~ gave me a bite of his meat sandwich ~~~
Plenty more out there, but these are the ones "closer to my heart" :D

Got any of yours?

Oh, and if you want to waste some time looking up mis-heard lyrics, look no further than the appropriately-named kissthisguy.com. Enjoy!

of dreams and books

If you've got the time, why not stop by Gangadhar's "Invitation to Dream" and see what you think about the photo... you can see my comment there :-) add your own lah, k?

~~~

I did some impulse buying yesterday, grrrr @ myself ... all Veya's faullltttttt!!! heeheheh! Yea, she wanted to visit the bookstores in The Curve as we were walking aimlessly while talking ... so we entered Borders ... they had this "Buy 3 get 1 FREE" offer on selected books, which I know are usually non-famous non-moving stock. But... something caught my eye...

T H White's The Once & Future King

Ugh, one of THE Arthurian books, often referred to during my Arthurian Literature course, but it wasn't part of the actual syllabus/book list, and I'd never gotten around to getting/reading it (same with Thomas Mallory's Le Morte D'Arthur)... and there it was, in hard cover summore, for RM30 only.... what a steal!!

oh darn...

So I thought to myself, nevermind, that's just one book, no need to get "suckered" into getting books you don't really want.... but... I kept looking at the other books in the selection... you never know, I may just find something else... like

What If? The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been


Ayoyo, that sounds like a good read! Hard cover for RM35, and it's actually Vols 1 & 2 put together.

Gawsh darn it, that's TWO books alreadyyyyyyyyy!!

Veya was no help, I hoped she'd see one or two she liked, so we could combine our books and split the savings, but she said she didn't see anything she'd want.

Grrrr....

Saw "an FBI thriller", don't remember title or author, but figured it would do for a mystery/thriller type read. Can do lah for the "extra" book maybe.

So, needed a fourth.

And found The Complete Book of Heraldry.
(bought it for around RM25 - and it's on amazon for USD22!!)

Yes, I have unusual tastes.

So I walked away with four hard cover books, paying only RM91 for them. I think that was a really good deal. But yeah, it was all still an impulse buy - I didn't *need* those books! :p

~~

Finished another book today: Alien Dawn: An Investigation into the Contact Experience by Colin Wilson. It explores the entire gamut of "alien contact", and comes to some very thought-provoking conclusions.

It provides a sampling of a variety of contact experiences, sometimes revisiting the same experience in different chapters depending on the particular "angle" being explored.

I knew of Uri Geller and his spoon-bending abilities - what I *didn't* know is that he attributes his gaining the ability via alien influence. Did you?

I was also reminded of the fantastic yet true account of the abduction of a lady witnessed by a prominent UN official and his two bodyguards - and was amazed to know the follow-up story that one of the bodyguards had actually "met" the lady abductee before, during his own abductions.

And the train of thought leading to the supposition that these aliens may be "higher-evolved beings", perhaps a branch of human that had broken away from our line a long time ago, when our line insisted on looking at things from a totally logical/rational/"hard"/left-brain perspective, while they were the polar opposites. And that we have absolutely no grasp of just how much we can do with our minds- skills and abilities that these "aliens" have mstered.

I'm not really capturing the book - I admit, I didn't concentrate-concentrate on it... but I definitely think it's worth a read for anyone who wants to know a bit more about what's out there, and like me gets irritated very quickly by the typical breathless sensationalistic conspiracy theory type style. This books is different. A bit draggy at times, but certainly different.

... it's certainly given *me* some things to think about ...

Taggamania!

My meme/tags so far:
1. i've self-tagged myself a few times here and here
2. my first "real" tag was here courtesy of Burgwaki
3. then SG tagged me here and here
4. my SOL pseudo-tagged me here
5. then recetly it was maverick here

... and now Dawn's the latest tagger :-) Interesting one - seems to be a mish-mash of random stuff, which collectively helps paint a pic of who your are.

Here goes:
Accent: I pick up accents easily, tho my "basic" Malaysian "accent" will always be there. I was told it's not that my pronunciation is different, it's my enunciation. Yeah, whatevah :p In the U.S. they know I'm a non-American-native; in Malaysia they say I now sound American. So how did I sound "before"? Errr, dunnolah, but always had some sort of accent lah. Thanx, that's helpful! :p Whateverlah, I sound like me lah :p

Booze of Choice: LIIT! or currently VK-T :-D the main thing is NO BEER!!

Chore I hate: I used to *hate* washing dishes, now I can deal with them, so long I don't feel like I'm being FORCED to do 'em... I *don't* appreciate people like one of my parental units who seems to be taking advantage of my being here to just leave dishes in the sink for me to wash, while if I wasn't here it would wash them itself because the other parental unit would bising otherwise.

Dog or Cat: grew up with dogs, but overall I think cats are a step above :-) but if it's possible to have both, I'd probably opt for both :D

Essential Electronics: broadband internet access!! accessed via a PC. and to a lesser extent - a handphone, with PDA functions like my beloved Nokia 9100 or my current crummy Sony Ericsson P800.

Favorite Perfume: my "first love" perfume-wise was CK's Eternity for Men. Later, I liked L'Eau D'Issey by Issey Miyake. Yea, I'm one of those who hates women's perfumes - too flowery lah... I like musky / woody odors.

Gold or Silver: Silver, definitely silver. Or white gold. Or platinum. Any of the "white" metals.

Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Insomnia: Rarely. Unless I didn't do much during the day, so I maybe hadn't properly drained my energy or anything, and would be in kinda of a limbo. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping in a strange/new room (i.e. visiting folks).

Job Title: like the blog sez: A Jobless Bum & lovin' it!

Kids: none. probably later. we'll see :p

Living Arrangments: currently staying @ parents but trying to reduce exposure to them as much as possible :p

Most Admired Trait: ... of myself? Hmmmm.... being able to do the right thing even if it's not the easy thing...

# of Sexual Partners: a few; nuff said :p

Overnight Hospital stays: stayed a few days & nights due to Hepatitis A (i think - the once-off one, usually "caught" from contaminated food).

Phobia: Nothing comes to mind: I used to not be able to stand the sight of blood, and I still get queasy... but I wouldn't call it a phobia....

Quote: ... tough one ... i collected a lot from all over, and selected a different one every few weeks as my "signature" at work... then started including song lyrics too ... but right now I can't really remember anything off-hand. So here's one from Meat Loaf: "... don't worry about the future: sooner or later it's the past ... "

Religion: officially Islam, tho my upbringing and my observation of "Islam as she is practiced" have made me wary of all forms of organised institutionalised religion. I'd classify myself as spiritual.

Siblings: one older brother (2 years older)

Time I wake up:Since I've been back in Malaysia, I suppose I've been waking up at 8am at the latest. Really depends on when I hit the hay loh!

Unusual Skill: I can raise just my right eyebrow. Can't do the left tho.

Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: tomatoes - kinda overdosed on 'em when younger, I guess... I'll eat em if i have to, but i usually just pick em off my salad or whatever. I also avoid tomato-based pasta sauces (which is bad since the "other" usual pasta sauce is the creamy rich alfredo-type sauce, heehehehe)

Worst Habit: ugh, so many to shoose from, LOL! I think my nail-biting is still the worst. Tho my tendency to totally clam up and be unable to properly communicate what is pissing me off / upsetting me is also way up there :p

Xrays:I've had a few taken of my chest, for normal physical check-ups over the years. Had one or two done on my foot when I'd broken (well, cracked) one of the metatarsals. Had an MRI or something like that done on my head when pinpointing that stone in my salivary duct. Also had x-ray of my teeth when going to get the wisdoms out.

Yummy Food I Can Make: if you mean "from scratch", errr, nuffin I guess :p but if it's a matter of throwing some pieces of a dead animal into a pan, smothering it with sauce from a bottle, then surrounding it with some veggies, then well, I suppose I can do that easily and yummily enough, LOL!

Moment of Zen: I'll consider this as my "a-ha! moment" : reading Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and the first chapter about being proactive covering stuff about the victim mentality, using active vs passive sentence structure, essentially using the power of language to change how you see the world, acknowledging one's sphere of concern vs sphere of influence ... it all struck such a chord in me...

And the tagging ... hmmm.... how about my usual "if you like this, go ahead and tag yourself, then drop me a line in the comments once you've posted your answers"? :p

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Reading the Sunday Star

Things that struck me as I read the papers today:

1. There seems to be lots of coverage on the upcoming docudrama 1957, boasting of "the support of the Selangor royalty and several prominent figures in the state", which essentially covers "... the role of all races in the fight for independence, which then Malaya achieved in 1957". Of course, a big part of the movie will involve the role of Tunku Abdul Rahman, who really championed the push for independence from the British, and proceeded to become the nation;'s first Prime Minister. My first thought was to wonder just *how* unbiased/factual the movie will be ... and another thought: It strikes me as kinda funny that the late Tunku is "orang Kedah" - Kedah royalty in fact, so why do "they" need to state that there is support from the Selangor royalty for this movie?? Ah, politics... better not ask too much? Anyways, you can read The Star's Search for Tunku, and Wikipedia's entry on the Tunku himself for a flavour of the man behind it all.

2. Was reminded of Ron Allan's post about students at the mercy of teachers, sparked by the death of a kid made to eat pencil shavings (read the article here).... it seems a teacher "allegedly used a hammer to clobber a Year Four pupil on the head and shoulder for not completing her homework on Wednesday". You can read more about it here. Can you believe the teacher wanted to hammer the child's hands/fingers, and turned to the head & shoulders when the girl refused to put out her hands? And.... you know what REALLY gets to me? The teacher is said to have apologised, but also claims that it was an accident. AN ACCIDENT?? Just reminds me of an Eminem song, the one where he walks in to find his wife in bed with another man, she says it was an accident, and he screams "What, you tripped, fell, and landed on his d*ck??". Yeah, THAT kind of accident, is that what you mean, oh Ms Hammer Teacher?

3-a. There was this small blurb saying that the Housing and Local Government Ministry had been roped in to strengthen usage of proper Bahasa Malaysia. Local authorities would be empowered to take immediate action against wrong useage of the language on billboards, signs, etc. Haaahahaahah I'm sorry, but most of the time i have the impression many "local authorities" don't seem to have a grasp of the language's grammar & spelling in the first place. I'm afraid you're gonna have a case of the blind leading the blind....

3-b. I notice they are calling it Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysia Language) again. When I was schooling it was called Bahasa Malaysia. Then, somone pointed out that the Malaysian Constitution talks about "Malay", not "Malaysian" when it comes to language, so for a long time it was changed to Bahasa Melayu (Malay Language). Which totally went against my grain - it reeked of an unnecessary racial divide. Rationally it makes sense - it *is* "Malay", not "Malaysian" that I speak, but "emotionally" calling it "Bahasa Melayu" instead of "Bahasa Malaysia" is just, well, not for the benefit of the nation.... and I suppose somehow it's now been rationalised that "the Malay language" = "the Malaysian language"?

4. There was this whole page focussing on a Yulduz Emiloglu, a Taiwanese lady married to a Malaysian, and has spent most of her life in the country. A few things struck me: it's not blatantly stated, but since she refers to Allah, and and father's name is Abdullah Emiloglu, it can be safely assumed she is a Muslim. Her husband, however, seems to be a non-Muslim Malaysian Chinese, based on the name given in the article. If that's true, how'd that happen? Did the authorities not bother with the whole "need for conversion" thing because neither of them were Malay Muslims? Hmmmmmmmm.... and also, there's this little bit that's mentioned ever so briefly, but somehow chilled me to the bone: "Due to her status, she could not work then so she contributed articles to Chinese newspapers and read to the blind". What status? That she was a foreign wife of a local? And they are not allowed to work? So what, people who marry foreigners are assumed to be rich and can afford to have just one source of income? There are lots of things left unsaid, which have me very curious...

5. A local "communications professional" has established the Genesis Initiative, to help provide "... life skills education for young people ..." It sounds like something I'd like to be involved in - just to assist if nothing else; wonder if she needs an extra pair of hands on a part-time and temporary basis? ;-) based in Puchong, tho - transport to get tehre sure leceh...

6. The Bruintjes family in the Netherlands are protesting being made to pay a "dog tax" - they say the authorities have been fooled by their "barking doorbell". More here.

7. The US Marine Corps must be desperately seeking victims suckers recruits : they sent a recruitment letter to a Ms Sonia Goldstein. Nothing wrong with that... except that she's seventy eight years old, and needs to use a walker to get around... errr, not *quite* what I'd envision a Marine to be, eh? The article here.

And on an aside : did you hear about the spoof of the March of the Penguins? "Farce of the Penguins" is described as the story of "one penguin's search for love while on a 70-mile (112-km) trek with his libidinous buddies on their way to a hedonistic mating ritual." Who's behind this, you may ask? ... Bob Saget. Yea, the same one from Full House and the original America's Funniest Home Videos host. I'm not sure whether to cheer or jeer... will wait till the movie and review come out before I even consider going to see it :p

And speaking about movies - tomorrow is V for Vendetta day with Deer. It sounds very interesting, thought provoking, and well in line with what I associate with the Wachowski brothers, tho I do hope with it being just the ONE movie, it won't be too lofty/abstract as the later Matrix movies turned out... :p

k... outta here... byeee......

Friday, March 24, 2006

Another chapter in the Bolehland saga

“Choose compensation or an end to floods”


*W*T*F*??


Here’s the story: about a month ago, there was a really bad heavy storm in the wee hours of the morning, and residents of TTDI Jaya were rudely awakened by rising water… at the end of the day, nine thousand residents had been affected, and the 1,200 houses in TTDI alone had damage and losses that ran into millions of ringgit.

My initial reaction: Hey, at least there was no hiding behind “IT WAS AN ACT OF GOD” this time. (Sorrylah, I see Samy Vellu’s face every time!)

The reason for the floods (yes, the people of that area had had THREE floods within the span of a month!) wasn’t forthcoming. Took a while: then turns out some benteng somewhere was pointed to as the main culprit, I think. Okay, I admit, I didn’t follow too closely… just another Bolehland saga what… after all, common what… building violations forgotten, lack of proper infrastructure conveniently overlooked, “green lungs” destroyed, all no problem so long as the right amount greases the right palms, or the perpretator has close enough ties to some royal or political family or another….

Then, today, in the papers, the Selangor Mentri Besar, Dr Khir Toyo, is reported as saying “You want more floods in the future, or compensations? You have to choose either one, but cannot have both.”

I’m sorry, but *W*T*F*??!!

First, I have to make clear, I do NOT like the attitude of people sitting around expecting the garmen to pay for every little thing …

BUT

When something like this happens, when it’s obvious (to me lah) that these floods are the results of poor planning and development – oh wait, you DO have a plan? Then why was it not adhered to? Wait, you mean there ARE laws, rules, regulations and guidelines regarding where development is allowed, how much density is allowed, what drainage and other facilities/utilities are supposed to exist within a certain development? Then why were all these things never (or hardly ever) implemented? Hey, ever heard of enforcement?

WHY HAS THE SELANGOR GOVERNMENT NOT BEEN DOING ITS JOB?

A developed state, my a**.

Like it or not, ultimately, the responsibility lies at your feet, Mr Menteri Besar.

And now, COSTLY corrective action (RM350 mill for remedial work including deepening Sungai Damansara, building more retention ponds, improving the flood early warning system) needs to be done.

And you already want to shift blame to residents who are asking for compensation if the works don’t go ahead as planned? Are those who want compensation for their losses (caused by the state government’s negligence) going to be painted be seen as “selfish”, taking away funds needed to carry out these costly remedial works? Hellooo, it's your JOB! Oh, but wait, speaking about jobs,,, all this costly remedial work has to be done precisely BECAUSE you and your people, Mr Menteri Besar, didn’t do your jobs.

What is really getting me is this: the utter lack of accountability and responsibility.

When I see things like this, it *so* makes my blood go upstairs.

And I feel helplessly frustrated… will things *ever* change in this country?

Some reads:
  1. The Star Monday February 27, 2006 Residents rudely awakened by floodwaters
  2. The Star Saturday March 25, 2006 MB issues victims ultimatum
  3. (blog) Straightforward: Khir Toyo should resign over the flood
  4. (blog) Lim Kit Siang: Selangor - first "flood developed" state
  5. (blog( Jeff Ooi: City floods: Dr Toyo vs DID
  6. (blog) Kota Damansara Urban Wetland: Collapse of retention pond ...

The first two links will expire in due time... the others should be good :-) the last one is worth exploring too, so do spend some time there.

btw - i wasn't going to blog this weekend, just to give myself and readers a break.

shows how angry I was reading that newspaper article, I just had to share this SOMEHOW...

feel better now.

*now* i can go meet up with Veya, and later Rail, with a slightly lighter heart.

ciao!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kenny does it again!

Gotta love the guy's humor!!

Remember my match to Gloria Estefan?

Kenny Sia took it further. Many many many steps further.

Watch out when u go visit his link, you may burst out laughing so hard.....!!

The School Meme

Tagged, this time by Maverick.... actually I'd seen this on his blog and was considering just going ahead and tagging myself.... then I forgot about it... then he figured out the whole tagging thing, and tagged me, LOL!

So here goes: THE SCHOOL MEME

How many schools did I go to?
    One kindy in PJ. One primary & secondary school in KL (which has since moved near Batu Caves area). One "language school", part of my scholarship deal, to "gradually get used to being in the U.S. (waste of time!). TWO universities: one semester in the university at the same town as the language school while waiting for "proper" Fall intake; the second being my "actual" uni where I spent 4 years and got my BSc in Chemistry. Oh, and one more: the SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS a.k.a. work, LMAO!


Was I the studious nerd, or the last minute hero?
    Now that I'm all grown up, I'm definitely more the "last minute hero" ... when I was younger, I certainly wasn't a studious nerd, but I don't remember doing things all last minute. Oh wait, yes I do. Okay, last minute hero it is! :-)


Was I the class "taiko"’ or the teacher'’s pet?
    LMAO! The teachers wanted me for a pet and I refused!! I always thought the teachers were hypocrites, "liking" me mostly because I looked different even tho I was quite the rebel (maybe I was the rebel BECAUSE they "liked" me??). I was always a bit of a rebel, but I didn't go out of my way to aggravate or bully the teachers lah. Neither did I "organise" aresistancenec that would have me considering the "taiko" title.... But here's a perspective: in Form 1, I *so* wanted to be a Junior Prefect (the "honor" going to about 20 Form 2 people every year), actually managed to get chosen,,, then found out that all you were was a glorified teacher's slave. Can you believe some of the "duties" assigned was to wait for the teachers arriving and helping them bring their book sup to their office?? And any little errand that needed to be run, the teachers would call on the prefects. Sorry lah, I wasn't going to stand for that. After that, I never looked enviously at prefects again - I pitied them instead,LOL!! And in Form 4, my Form Teacher insisted on nominating me for prefectship again: me & a few others who also didn't want such a dubious honor made a kind of history by declining the nomination, haaaahahahahaaa! padan muka! The teachers were all puzzled why I would reject it. Better stay silent than voice my reasons, eh?


What was the biggest rule I broke in school?
    Hmmmm.... I was a rebel, but more in attitude, not really in "actions" like breaking school rules... I know I regret bringing a cassette to school which got confiscated during one of those friggin spot-checks... and I remember that bitch prefect July Fly who gleefully showed me MY TAPE that she'd confiscated, waving it in front of me: I think she wanted me to beg for it or something, so she be persuaded to bend the rules for me... yea that bitch like her power trips; i refused to cooperate: no satisfaction for her. You want to be a bitch, go ahead. You'll get no reinforcement from me.


Three subjects I enjoyed:
    In primary & secondary school - NONE! I did well in Chemistry, and chose to major in that, but I won't say I *enjoyed* it in my schooldays. Enjoyment came during my university days: I've talked about my "unusual" courses taken (Icelandic Sagas, Norse Mythology, Arthurian Literature), I'd say those were those I enjoyed the most. Honorable mention to Quantum Chemistry (I actually liked it so much I took a grad-level course, and did well too!), and Abnormal Psychology (I still regret not knowing one could DOUBLE MAJOR till it was too late to pull it off, else I'd be holding degrees in both Chem *and* Psych)


Three teachers that inspired me
  • My 1st Chemistry TA, in that uni of only one semester, wish I could remember his name: he was my first exposure to life within a university, and he was such a breath of fresh air compared to the boring stifling teachers in Malaysia. He had bonus questions for quizzes that included "Suzy Q is sang by what group"? I didn't know CCR then, but I always think of him when I hear a CCR song now.
  • Dr Ken Suslick: helped show the practical side of (inorganic) chemistry... or at least, translate a lot of what we were learning into "everyday terms". For example, we learned about Cytochrome P450 and how it impacts the "processing" of barbiturates vs alcohol in our system, but it was in the exam that we were asked apply that knowledge to explain why & how Marilyn Monroe died. Abecauseues of this, while I don't remember much else, I remember Cytochrome P450. He'd also told me academia would greatly benefit from me, if I chose to pursue that path. A great vote of confidence, from such a person! :-)
  • Prof Marianne Kalinke: The person with whom I explored Icelandic Sagas, Norse Mythology and Authurian Literature. She lived and breathed these subjects, and was just so into the topics, you couldn't help but get right into it all too!


And I'm tagging...…
    ayoyo.... I prefer to make it an open tag = whoever would like to share their school/education memories, please consider yourselves tagged, okay? Then drop me a line in the comments when you've got your post up.

Hey, leggo my blego!

B*L*E*G*O: blog ego

Noticed this article when doing my occasional hop into Technorati. Was pointed to a few blego-related sites... so what more, I tried out lah...

talkdigger seemed to yield most of my own posts, instead of finding links to them on others' sites. bleh.

For comparison, I ran Samantha Burns (10,182), Michelle Malkin (5,152) and Jeff Ooi (9,233) too.

From bloginfluence, the results were not satisfying: there were errors reported for Technorati blog & post links and additional points were given for links via their own Bloglines subscribers. I'm at a measly 614.6 while Samantha Burns is 212,960; Michelle Malkin is 1,086,300; and Jeff Ooi is at 22,429.

It's so obvious that the results are meaningless, since they don't come up with consistent results. After all, each have their own formula, desgined with their own biases, and therefore spitting out vastly differnt results.

But there's *some* level of consistency, I must point out: after all, did you notice I'm consistently the lowest of the four? Haaahahahahahaaa!

it's amazing how a SMALL thing...

... can have such a large impact...

A teeny tiny little tab broke off the flip part of the phone. How tiny? Here it is next to a Malaysian 1-sen coin for comparison:
(Sorry - blurry. My phone doesn't seem to be able to do close-ups :p )

Wondering what my phone is, and where actually that little bit goes? Here's something that should help:


So now, just cos that bloody thing snapped off (and I'm pissed because I've taken great care to NOT let that happen,,, then,,, all of a sudden, whooops it's gone. &#^%@$^*(&!!!! ), I can't use the keypad properly: I hit the 3/DEF key but get 2/ABC instead. I hit the "C" button but get the "menu" instead.

Why nowwwwwww!!!


I was gonna get rid of both phone AND phone line in a few months....

The flip can't be fixed: it needs to be replaced. At what cost? dunno yet, but even RM50 is too much for something I'm not planning on keeping much longer... and yet... i like using the keypad more than the open screen, depending on what I'm doing on the phone... so I may bite the bullet and get it changed anyway. If they even have the parts available anymore!?!!

Grrrr...!!

Stupid design, anyway. I think they got rid of those stupid tabs for the next model anyway.

Me still mad.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Guess where I am now?



.... H E A V E N!

How's that for a match?



It seems these celebs all look like me :-)

Wanna try your own? Check out this link to the My Heritage Face Recognition site. Many thanx to Samantha Burns and her article Celebs Who Look Like Me

btw, on my 1st try, I got 7 matches; then when resubmitting the same photo while preparing this blog, I got three additional matches... Roseanne Barr (oh, shoot me now!), Madonna (hey, not bad), and Jamie Lynn Spears.

Yes, Gloria Estefan was the top/best match, both times.

And hey, that's even *without* my perm-gone-wrong french-poodle a.k.a. "the gloria do" of yesteryear.... whaddaya know...

Try it out... and tell me what/who you got, k?

(UPDATE [Thursday 23rd March]: after spending a bit of time looking at the pix above, I'd conclude that I think the best match is actually the Spears kid. Those who know me - do you concur? Just don't say Roseanne barr, okay??!!)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

friendly compatibility?

Inspired / prompted by Omni's "fascinating tidbit posted @ 3/20/2006 06:37:00 AM"

"How can you tell if someone's compatible as a friend?"

I have a feeling if Omni & I were to meet, we might find our tastes quite similar...

For example Omni had liking, or at least appreciating, something like THIS as a criteria of sorts.... pssssssst, guess who has about 30 similar mp3 punk covers of a variety of oldies/pop songs... and i think these versions are just awesome!! So different than the original, and yet, sooooooo listenable :-) And I don't expect most people to appreciate these versions, at least not in this part of the world... :-(

Rocky Horror Picture Show? omg yessssssssssssssssssss! *grin!* My ravings about it in the link.

Appreciating Dilbert? Yuuuupppppp!! I'm not a *huge* fan, but I certainly appreciate and can relate to the whole life in a cubicle with idiot (pointy-haired) bosses and senseless work... I subscribe to the Daily Dilbert, and have quite a few of them strips saved away on the 'puter, to review on a rainy day when I need some laughs :-)

Weird Al?? LMAO!!! Y-O-D-A is one of my all-time fave songs... plus the original "One More Minute" (... i'd rather clean all the bathrooms in grand central station with my tongue...)??!! I can sing almost all the lyrics to "Like A Surgeon" even tho I haven't heard the song in like YEARS... I've belted out "The Saga Begins" karaoke-ing in public, in a bar full of strangers except for Kosh & his folks... and later attempted to memorise the song so that I could sing it "over" the original American Pie (didn't quite work, drew a blank halfway, bummer!)

But anyways...

I don't actually have "compatibility criteria" per se, but I suppose someone would certainly need to fulfill some of the following to move from "acquaintance" or "colleague" to FRIEND. In no particular order, and kinda just winging it here... sorry for any incoherence...

  • Firstly, no matter what, "potential friends" should have characteristics like open-mindedness; be non-judgmental; be aware of own biases, and acknowledge them where appropriate. Have the conviction to have and state their opinion, but in addition, being able to discuss these opinions rationally! Be able to see, or at least appreciate, other peoples' perspectives: not be so quick to judge & dismiss others. Very relevant to, but not limited to, how one handles matters pertaining to differences in religion, religious beliefs.

  • Has a healthy respect for music in general; rock / heavy / classic rock more specifically. Hey, *i* think some of the stuff in that category is noise too... but if *all* someone listens to is the Light&Easy or Top40 stations, well, chances are you're a bit of a wimp in my eyes *grin!* Bonus points if you are a pre-Bat2 Meat Loaf fan :-) If someone introduces me to a new band/sound that i proceed to totally enjoy (like "joe" who got me into Placebo, and those punk rock covers), they get bonus points :-)

  • Reads. Pref not Romance nor Chick Lit lah, I shudder just at the sight of those kinds of books :p Bonus points for reading fantasy (e.g. George R R Martin, Robert Jordan). Additional points for having opinions on Robert Jordan & whether he is just milking his fans by dragging out a tale that should have been finished 3 books ago *grin!* Majorly additional points for having read, having an opinion on, and able to discuss, Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Again, introducing me to an author that I then proceed to voraciously consume everything he/she has ever written - a load of points earned! And a note on the Da Vinci Code: major points for questioning basis of beliefs after reading the book, but lose loads points if you swallow all that is written hook line & sinker :p

  • is a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fan. And I mean fan enough to be quoting obscure lines from the series. Recognising my obscure references is of course a plus; and stumping me with your own obscure references is good too (up to a point lah, I'm no expert & don't make me feel inadequate, k?) Here's a quote: "seven!" ;) need more? It's Monica, both hands up, with 7 fingers up. Kinda whispering it, kinda in ecstasy. Got it? Heeheheheheeee :-)

  • Has a quirky sense of humor that, while probably doesn't match mine, it can at least be pretty compatible... puns are fun... word play too... total off-tangent perspectives... knows Weird Al songs... knows of the existence of the secret diary of aragorn... ... ...

  • Babylon 5!! Nuff said.


Okay, brainfreeze... can't think of anything else right now. I bet Kosh is reading this, slapping his flowhead wondering why I didn't mention x, y or z that are *so* obvious to him :p Beb, if you are, drop me a line in the comments lah, k?

And guess what?

Not many people can "pass" the above: one of the reasons i find it extremely rare to find someone of my wavelength (especially in Malaysia!! especially for the 1st point!); why I treasure the few people who have somehow "gotten to me"; why I am loathe to drop out of touch with anyone who's made it to the "inner circle" ... and why, when it comes to friends, I choose quality over quantity.

Thanx again to Omni for this blog topic for the day (night! morning?!! took me over 1.5 hrs and it's already "tomorrow"!) :-)

g'nite!

Monday, March 20, 2006

... candidates for hell?

Found this amusing quiz thanx to Silly Bahraini Girl.

I scored 9 points more than a 69

. . . which puts me in the "normal" category

... awww maaaaaan....

(off to bed now... g'nite!)

how daring do you think i am?

well, according to this blogthings quiz, I am:

You are a Mild Mama

You don't have to be screaming at the top of your lungs to have a good time
You rather chill, soak in the moment, and appreciate life for what it is
Guys appreciate your "take life as it comes" approach...
(Though they wouldn't mind if you got a little wild from time to time!)


fits.

... am i a party gurl??

You Are a Fun Girl!

You are all about having fun - and you don't need to drink to have a good time
Sure, you've thrown back more than a few every so often
But getting totally stupid and wasted is not your style
You're the life of the party, by keeping everyone laughing and smiling


sure, that works :-)

... and what type of writer should i be?

You Should Be a Science Fiction Writer

Your ideas are very strange, and people often wonder what planet you're from.
And while you may have some problems being "normal," you'll have no problems writing sci-fi.
Whether it's epic films, important novels, or vivid comics...
Your own little universe could leave an important mark on the world!


LMAO! I certainly enjoy sci-fi movies, but NOT sci-fi books.

My "other planet-ness" is not in doubt, though: i dunno that many people who DON'T think I'm weird :p

What kind of soda am i?

OMG this is soooooooooo true!

You Are Coke

A true original and classic, you represent the best of everything you can offer.
Just the right amount of sweet, just the right amount of energy... you're the life of the party.

Your best soda match: Mountain Dew

Stay away from:Dr Pepper


Okay, so I'm a Coke Zero person,,, but that's only because I don't want the empty calories of a Classic Coke... Classic Coke RULES!!!

and the best soda match of Dew?? omg, spot on....

and stay away from Dr Pepper?? you betcha!! that's carbonated prune juice, maaaaan!!

(thanx samantha burns for the quiz link!)

On a lighter note...

Cats in Heaven

A cat died and went to heaven. God met her at the Golden Gate and said, "You have been a good cat all of these years. Anything you want is yours for the asking."

The cat thought a minute and then said, "All my life I lived on a farm and slept on hard wooden floors. I would like a real fluffy pillow to sleep on.

"God said, "Say no more." Instantly, the cat had a huge fluffy pillow.

A few days later, six mice were killed in an accident and they all went to heaven together.

God met the mice at the gates of heaven with the same offer that He made to the cat.

The mice said, "Well, we have had to run all our lives: from cats, dogs and even people with brooms! If we could just have some little roller-skates, we would never have to run again.

God answered, "It is done." All the mice had beautiful little roller-skates.

About a week later, God decided to check on the cat.

He found her sound asleep on her fluffy pillow. God gently awakened the cat and asked, "Is everything OK? How have you been doing? Are you happy?"

The cat replied, "Oh, it is WONDERFUL. I have never been so happy in all my life! My pillow is fluffy, and those little Meals-on-wheels you have been sending are absolutely delicious!


LMAO!!

my brushes with fate

... bringing you another trip down memory lane .... but ...

*warning* *warning*

... perhaps not for the faint-hearted ...

*warning* *warning*


Got your attention? Heeheheheeee!

"Inspired" by what happened about 3 hours ago outside the apartment:
I had my window open, was kakuro-ing, then heard someone shouting (in Malay) something like "Oooiiiiii, slow down, he's (it's?) ... "

Just as my brain was processing that...

SQUEAL!!!

~~~ CRUNCH !!!!! ~~

... a chorus of horns start honking...

Obviously, an accident had occurred at the intersection near the apartment.

Gotta love the chorus of horns... NOT! An accident just occurred, y'all! Honking is gonna do NOTHING to help the situation!!

I had absolutely no view from my room, so I had no way to see for sure what had happened. But from the sound, it was two vehicles colliding, so hopefully no/minimal loss of life lah (as opposed to the sound made by car vs motorbike, or even worse: car vs pedestrian!)

There was one horn that was "on" continuously .... on and on and on ... I suppose a driver was slumped unconscious on the steering wheel?

Finally heard some sirens (with a hospital just there, you'd think they's have been there much sooner, or no need for an ambulance at all?), then the continuous horn was silent.

Yep, it was probably a body on the steering wheel.

Later, heard the "trilll" whistle, probably the sound of a traffic cop manually directing traffic at the intersection.... but of course nNot before hearing *so many* busses totally laying on their horns... I *really* don't understand why people think pressing on their horns will actually help the situation any....

A bit after that, on the way out of the apartment, mother took a peek: sed it looked like a clash of a school bus and a van. Yikes. Hope the bus was empty, or at least that the kids are okay! Maybe we'll see a little blurb in tomorrow's papers.

... waiting for that trip down memory lane I mentioned?

Well, I was thinking back to how I've been extremely fortunate, I've not been injured in the few run-ins I've had:
  • Sure, I've been in the backseat when my mom accidentally hit a pedestrian who was jaywalking UNDER a pedestrian bridge (yes, UNDER the pedestrian bridge; and the moron wanted to blame my mother??!);
  • I've had a near-miss when some idiot tried to cross traffic at a no-entry, ramming into the front of MY car (a few seconds difference and he'd have rammed into the passenger side and ME cos I was riding shotgun at the time);
  • I've kissed the bumper of some moron who stopped their car BLOCKING my car instead of stopping further ahead as expected, so I had moved forward looking at oncoming traffic, not at them;
  • I've had a tree branch fall straight onto the car I was driving, landing diagonally across the windscreen. A second's difference would have had it either totally damage the bonnet & engine, or come crashing down on the roof and me. Instead, all it did was smash the glass and dent a bit of the surrounding area. And I was wearing a cap AND shades, so no glass into my eyes or anything.
  • I've looked up from studying a map while driving just in time to swerve away from crashing into a divider... :p
  • I've made donuts with the car, stepping on the brake while on ice (Malaysian where know how to deal with winter weather?!), and having the car make two circles before stopping - on a totally clear road, no traffic. Phew!
  • ... and BEST of all... I rammed straight into a telephone pole just outside my (then) house, cutting the phone connection to my house and neighbours, cos I'd been distracted by something just as i took the corner.


... i've also been spared seeing the gory sights of accidents ...

yes, I've passed by and seen some bodies sprawled by the side of the road at scenes of accidents: one seemed to have been well-burnt. I've seen some pix of awful accidents too.

But one I'm very thankful to have been spared the sight of:
There was this girl in school, many years younger than me. People knew her by sight, if not by name, because she was small for her age, and had to walk awkwardly around because she was bow-legged.

School busses would usually stop outside the school, unload the kids, and the kids would have to cross the road into the school.

So that fateful day in Form 1? Form 2?, I'd been dropped off by the bus, had crossed the road, was safely in the school. A few minutes later, news spread like wildfire: someone got hit!

It was the bow-legged girl.

Run over by her own bus.

She'd gone to the front of the bus to cross; the driver thought all was clear (you usually can't see what's immediately below you when you're on a high-up bus...), and moved forward...

... it seems her brains were all over the road ...


Of course those already in the school compound weren't allowed to go anywhere near the scene, only those who were still arriving for school had the chance (?) to see anything.

But even if I didn't see anything, it was quite upsetting for me just to think about it : a life snuffed out, just like that. And what a way to go... Brrrrrrr!!

A scene still vivid in my mind: we were all on the school field, in little groups, friends morbidly gossiping / speculating / reliving the scene: it was all too much, and one of my friends was about to bawl; I was about to hug and comfort her, probably end up bawling too, when another "friend" came up and totally belittled us for being emotional about it. I dunno what HER problem was - I'd like to think she was dealing with it by being rude & brash, but lemmie tell ya, my respect for her dropped sooooooooooo low right there....

Anyways... so yeah, those have been my brushes with fate.

Have I been fortunate? Definitely. And I am very thankful for that.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Filling time hazily

I mentioned I haven’t been reading at all since I’ve gotten back to Malaysia.

So, what *have* I been doing with my copious amounts of free time?

You mean, apart from meeting up with ex-colleagues and schoolmates from the days of yore?

This:


I like to think of it as Sudoku: The Next Generation. It’s called Kakuro, or Cross Sums. Same principle of having non-repeatable numbers from 1 – 9, but within each column/row the total of the numbers is provided, and you need to figure out which numbers go where, based on clues provided by the totals.

It’s helped me improve a bit on my mental math (which is VERY sloppy, heehehehe!), and I suppose it’s also helped take the rust off some patches of my math geekiness: I’m not sure whether anyone else would think it’s “cool” that, among other things,
  • 45 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9
  • 23 = 6 + 8 + 9; 24 = 7 + 8 + 9
  • 15 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5; 16 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 6

No worries, no need to memorise all the possible permutations: the list is given at the front page of the book I have. And yes, one needs to flip to that page very often to figure out whether that "33 in 5 digits" is 3+6+7+8+9 or 4+5+7+8+9, for example.

And unlike Sudoku, where once I got the hang of it I whizzed right up to “Expert” puzzles and got stumped only by a few really good ones, for Kakuro I’m fine with the “Easy” levels, am starting to be able to finish off “Medium” levels after extended effort, but the “Hard” and “Expert” levels are, well, haaarrrrrdddddd!!!!

. . . Back to books, though: I now have one to add to my year-end book report for March readings: Piers Anthony’s Currant Events, book 28 of the Xanth series, or book 1 of the next “cubed Xanth trilogy”. Yes, devoured it in less than a day :D It was choc-full of puns as usual, some of them REALLY groan-worthy. Then, I almost LOL'd at the appearance of a stinky fruit being eaten by a Thai girl who's crossed over to Xanth, the fruit being called the "duran" in the tale. Close enough :-) Nice to have a (slightly-misspelt) piece of this region appear in the book :-)

HAZE WATCH: the usual finger-pointing was in the newspapers this week, the haze is starting to appear again. And I suppose it's only going to get worse! Imagine, it rains heavily almost every evening/night nowadays, and yet the sky's still all hazy afterwards. It's still just very light lah... but still... if the rains can't "wash the particles out" now while it's light haze and heavy rain, imagine when it's thick haze and no rain?? Sigh.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

400th!

Hey, this is my 400th post in this blog! kewl!

Had to take note of this piece of news: "South Park" battle over Scientology heats up.

Helllooooooo, South Park is known to poke fun at anything and everything.

I can't believe my eyes when I read that Isaac Hayes, the guy who provides(d) the voice of Chef, has quit because of "the show's ridicule of religion"

... after HOW MANY years of enjoying whatever $$ he's made from the show ridiculing Christianity, Jesus, Islam, Santa Claus, whatever ...

You're more than happy to profit from the ridicule of other religions / beliefs...

You only now draw the line, when it hits you personally??

You hypocrite.

(btw, on an unrelated note: did you know that his performance as "Chef" in the TV series "South Park" (1997) was supposed to be a one-time event, but audience reaction was so positive, "Chef" became a regular character? Found this bit of trivia here thanx to imdb)

sweet sixteen!

yeah!!!! down to sixteen!! now to take a break from the blogosphere for a day or so :D

Friday, March 17, 2006

... all I can do is shake my head ...

Did you hear about the anti-soccer fatwa publicised in a Saudi daily in August 2005?
(A fatwa is explained by Wikipedia as ... a legal pronouncement in Islam, issued ... at the request of an individual or a judge to settle a question where "fiqh", Islamic jurisprudence, is unclear ... Because Islam has no centralized priestly hierarchy, there is no uniform method to determine who can issue a valid fatwa and who cannot, and upon whom such fatāwa are binding....)

To get the full story, please refer to this IHT article by Goeff D. Porter, who also translated it from its original Arabic. Here's a selection to blow your mind:
  • International terminology that heretics and polytheists use, like "foul," "penalty," "corner," "goal," "out" and others, should be abandoned and not said. Whoever says them should be punished, reprimanded and ejected from the game. He should be publicly told, "You have imitated the heretics and polytheists and this is forbidden."

  • Do not follow the heretics, the Jews, the Christians and especially evil America regarding the number of players. Do not play with 11 people. Instead, add to this number or decrease it.

  • Do not set the time of play at 45 minutes, which is the official time of the Jews, Christians and all the heretical and atheist countries. This is the time used by teams that have strayed from the righteous path.

  • Do not play in two halves. Rather play in one half or three halves in order to completely differentiate yourselves from the heretics, the polytheists, the corrupted and the disobedient.

  • If neither of you beats the other, or "wins" as it is called, and neither puts the leather between the posts, do not add extra time or penalties until someone wins. No, instead leave the field, because winning with overtime and penalty kicks is the pinnacle of imitating heretics.

  • You should spit in the face of whoever puts the ball between the posts or uprights and then runs in order to get his friends to follow him and hug him like players in America or France do, and you should punish and reprimand him, for what is the relationship between celebrating, hugging and kissing and the sports that you are practicing?

(There's more .. please check out the link!)

My first reaction to this was OMG I really hope this is a joke!

Guess what? It's for real! *cringe!* Here's what's written about it by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

... wonder how these fatwa-issuers behaved during the cartoon controversy??

... the future's so *DIM* i gotta wear ... ??

Here's an article to read: Goodbye sunshine
Each year less light reaches the surface of the Earth. No one is sure what's causing 'global dimming' - or what it means for the future. In fact most scientists have never heard of it.
(btw - have that title running around in my head, to the tune of The Beatles' "Good Day, Sunshine" :p )

Okay, so this article is dated December 2003. Tried Googling for others, but guess what? That Goodbye Sunshine article is tops when looking for "global dimming" :p

So, just pause for a minute ... with the sun being a huge source of "free" solar energy, and oil prices that just keep going up and up, and most of us really wishing there were more environmentally-friendly energy sources that could be tapped to reduce/eliminate our dependecy on oil ... are we going to lose the sun as an energy source?

Even better: a few generations from now, will daylight be a myth they scoff at?

Just how bad is this dimming thing?? They don't seem to know, do they??

... i turned to Wikipedia to see that could be seen....

And to my relief, it seems that there's been "some reversal" in the dimming, "particularly over Europe", attributed to reduction in pollution. Also, it seems Earth has "brightened" by 4% in the last decade, so maybe all is okay?

Well, "okay" in a veeeeeeery loose sense lah :p

I still have doubts this world of ours will last beyond another few generations, what with all the abuse we are heaping onto her...

a summary of Biblical condensation?

One major part of English lessons when in Forms 1 - 3 was the "summary" part:
    There'd be this one-page article that we'd have to "summarise" into a max of 100 words. I always felt that entire exercise was just a waste of time: the "technique" was to find the 10 key points of the article, and couch each of those points in a 10-word sentence. Ta-daaaaaah, you get a 100-word "summary".

    Bleh.

    The product was always stilted: the focus was more on the 10 key points than on flow/coherence. I know, I know, it was after all called "summary" .... but still... dunno what good it did in the bigger picture...

Other exposures to "summaries" were much better: the Readers Digest immediately comes to mind, what with their condensed versions of books and all.

Then a while ago, I stumbled across this from (then) Just Pure Mood: a condensed version of The Bible, in 50 words:
God made

Adam bit
Noah arked
Abraham split
Joseph ruled
Jacob fooled

Bush talked
Moses balked
Pharaoh plagued
People walked
Sea divided

Tablets guided
Promise landed
Saul freaked
David peeked

Prophets warned
Jesus born

God walked
Love talked

Anger crucified
Hope died

Love rose
Spirit flamed
Word spread
God remained.

Wonder if the person who thought of this worked with the Readers Digest?

P/S> ex-JPM: I couldn't find the post on your new site to link to: didn't keep track of *when* I found it on yr (old) blog, just where :p I'll be happy to add the link, if you don't mind providing it? :-)

Book update!

I don't have a target or anything, but I am keeping track of the books I read this year, and will post a summary of them all at the end of this year. A quick look at that draft shows that I've read 9 books in January 2006; 2 in February; but NONE SO FAR in March! Yikes!

Yea, somehow I'm not feeling the call of books right now: the new digs and the ikea-themed room are somehow not conducive, I guess :p But will need to at least log ONE book for March! Gonna look at all those partially-read / unread ones sitting in the cupboard / on the shelf....

In the meantime, here's a book I am definitely picking up; don't remember at whose blog I came across this: The Lost Blogs by Paul Davidson.

... what a great concept!! .... Here's the Book Description from Amazon: "There are over 13 million people in the world currently blogging, but what about the blogs written by the iconic men and women who (unfortunately) died before the Internet was even invented? In this witty and original take on the most important technological development since spam, THE LOST BLOGS offers hundreds of blogs from the most famous minds in history, detailing their hysterically personal (and impersonal) revelations, such as: John Lennon's thoughts after meeting a young woman named Yoko Ono (and her strange interest in the Beatles' publishing rights). Tips of the trade from Jesus Christ's carpentry blog, including how to build a combination water and wine rack. Shakespeare's treatment for a new play about two princes who misplace their horse and carriage and spend the entire play trying to locate it. How a stray hot dog nearly derailed Ghandi's hunger strike. Jim Morrison's original lyrics to Light My Fire (what does smell like a burning tire?). And the missing two cents from everyone else who matters, proving there's no such thing as "too much information."

... it's exactly my cup of tea, methinks!

... coming soon: May 2006.

A Laugh for the Day: New Drugs

Another sharing of an e-mailed goody:
NEW DRUGS FOR THE LADIES

D A M N I T O L

Take 2 and the rest of the world can go to hell for up to 8 full hours.

ST. M O M M A'S W O R T
Plant extract that treats mom's depression by rendering preschoolers unconscious for up to two days.

E M P T Y N E S T R O G E N
Suppository that eliminates melancholy and loneliness by reminding you of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn't wait till they moved out.

P E P T O B I M B O
Liquid silicone drink for single women. Two full cups swallowed before an evening out increases breast size, decreases intelligence, and prevents conception.

D U M B E R O L
When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low IQ, resulting in enjoyment of country music and pickup trucks.

F L I P I T O R
Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage and the urge to flip off other drivers.

M E N I C I L L I N
Potent anti-boy-otic for older women. Increases resistance to such lethal lines as, "You make me want to be a better person. Can we get naked now?"

B U Y A G R A
Injectable stimulant taken prior to shopping. Increases potency, duration, and credit limit of spending spree.

J A C K A S S P I R I N
Relieves headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary, phone number, or to lift the toilet seat.

A N T I-T A L K S I D E N T
A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers in elevators.

N A G A M E N T
When administered to a boyfriend or husband, provides the same irritation level as nagging him.

Hope you had a good laugh!

it's down to 21 now

Last December I said I had about 30 articles, in various stages of completion, saved as DRAFTS in this blogger's dashoboard. I counted 'em again today : down to 21, LMAO!

So, guess what today's objective is? Bring it down to at least 20, perferably 10-15 :-) Doesn't mean I'm gonna churn out 10 posts today: some topics may be combined into one post; some considered too stale & just get deleted, etc etc etc ... but definitely wanna bring that # down substantially.

Stay tuned! :-)

Dis and Dat

1. Listening to Green Day “Warning” while typing aimlessly. Other times, I listened to other CDs I missed while in the U.S. : Linkin Park’s 1st & 2nd albums (Hybrid Theory & Meteora). Don’t have a CD player in the room, so can only listen while at the PC. Wondering just which ones I’d make a point of bringing with me to the U.S., whether I’ll go ahead and take ‘em all, or just leave ‘em all… hmmmm… seeing as once I leave (in July? September? Dunno yet) I probably won’t be back here for a few years (barring any family emergency lah), I might as well bring at least those I’ve been missing, eh?

2. The moon’s provided some excellent views these past few days. Right now it looks pretty full, and peeking out from behind some clouds. So purty! And it’s at times like these that I actually feel the urge to invest in a good digital camera, so that I can snap & upload easily. Now, well, I *tried* to capture it with my phone, and well, it was so horrible I deleted it at once, accompanied by a disgusted grimace :p Imagine lah: low resolution, no light, no zoom… oh well :p

3. Blogger was being really weird… I couldn’t post anything – kept getting an error message about my archive not existing! And I was going to boast that I was typing from my beloved Coffee Bean!!! The one at Section 14 PJ. I figured I’d try my luck there, and if they weren’t wifi-ready I could hop over to the Star*ucks @ Jaya itself. Thankfully I didn’t have to do that. And yes, I had my ice vanilla latter regular skim milk with no screw-ups, whoohooo! And, the guy @ the counter recognized me as the “permanent fixture” of CBTL @ Ampang Point, teehehehe! So, even tho this CBTL is not one of my usual hangouts, it felt like I was home. Am I a geek? OR just a total CBTL fan? Both? :D

4. Been raining heavily every evening for weeks now… glad I got that *one* tennis session somehow… cos there’s absolutely NO way to plan anything in the evenings :-(

5. keep getting the line dropped - have had to re-dial-up like ten times already.. grrrr...

patience wearing thin...

ciao!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Friggin Blogger!

Yea, earlier it was friggin dial-up (and indirectly: blogrollling)

Now - it's definitely friggin Blogger!

Of the links in my sidebar, the only ones I've managed to load so far are Jeff Ooi, Kenny Sia and TNChick. All you others... sorry, I *did* plan on visiting, but looks like most of you are on blogspot, and for some reason, I can't get to your pages! Which is kinda weird, cos i can access my own page without problems!

Not gonna bother with any other visits at the moment. No use driving my blood upstairs, eh?

But hey, today is a free day (tho I *do* have things to do like, oh MAJORLY TINKER WITH MY RESUME, teehehehe!), so I may park my butt at a Star*ucks/CBTL** and surf from there. So even if blogger is still down by then, I can at least find out faster, LOL!

** I'm not confident that ALL Coffee Beans are now (free)-wifi-equipped, so I dunno if I wanna risk heading to let's say the one opposite PJ Hilton, hunt for parking etc, only to find out they've not been "upgraded" yet or something... I wish the CBTL website had information on this... sigh....

'laters!

sometimes I wonder...

... how on earth I turned out the way I did.

Okay, it's a small thing, but still... funny how some things trigger some thoughts...

So today, my parents and I were at a little cafe thingy, having lunch. When we were ready to go, we all stood up: they both just walked off, chairs sticking out around the table; I, on the other hand, had automatically pushed my chair back in before walking off.

I was puzzled: where did I pick that trait up, if not from them?

... after all, I feel like "I've always done that" ...

... and if that's the case, wouldn't it have been developed while I was young(er)?

... were they "positive hypocrites" who put on a good example which was then dropped when the kids left the nest? Or did they truly practice it before, then just couldn't be bothered in their older age (slight difference from the sentence before)? Or have they always (not) done it, and I only recently noticed? Which would mean I only developed this habit much later in life.

Why the big deal, you ask? After all, I know many (most?) people don't bother to push their chairs back in when they leave the table, right?

It's just me and my outlook on life, the universe, and everything, I suppose.... I just don't like to see people leaving their chairs away from tables: it's messy; it's inconsiderate; I feel as if these people are saying "the staff are being paid to straighten up once we leave, why bother doing their job for them?"
So tell me this, Mr and Mrs "it's not my job": at home, do you push your chair back to the table when you get up?

If yes: then why don't you just go ahead and continue that habit outside? It won't hurt you one iota, and you're doing a small good deed to the waitstaff of the restaurant or wherever. Even if it goes unnoticed, it *is* a good deed.

If no: okayyyy, so who DOES push it back in? or is your place all messy and not having a neat dining area just a vague memory? or... do you have a maid whom you expect to do everything for you, including straightning up after you?

Is it just me and my unusual perspective on life that has me linking small nice deeds like this with: being humble, showing respect for other people, and in general just being a nice person?

Also: I dunno about you, but i don't like having to "slalom" past all these chairs when getting to/from my own table, so I push my chair back to the table because I don't want to contribute to the "problem".

Maybe it's just not important enough to others?

Maybe they are not even *aware* of dinky little chairs when their minds are on their full tummies, the tv program they want to rush home to see, the important meeting they need to psych themselves up for the next day, the sex they are going to have when they get back cos it's "their night", etc etc etc??

Discuss.
*grin!*

p/s: in a related vein: have you heard the "why should I do someone else's job" line get twisted to justify behaviour known to be bad? Here's what I mean: i just couldn't believe my ears when someone I knew justified littering by saying "If I don't litter, those poor DBKL street sweepers will be out of a job! I've got to help them maah!" Errrr, yeah. Uh-huh. ... some people just blow my mind...

Vrrrom vroooom vrrooooommmm!

did you know that the "original" words to Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" were actually "scrambled eggs"?

Scramble according to AskOxford.com: scramble (verb) 1 move or make one’s way quickly and awkwardly, typically by using one’s hands as well as one’s feet. 2 make or become jumbled or muddled. 3 make (a broadcast transmission or telephone conversation) unintelligible unless received by an appropriate decoding device. 4 cook (beaten eggs with a little liquid) in a pan. 5 (with reference to fighter aircraft) take off or cause to take off immediately in an emergency or for action. 6 informal act in a hurried, disorderly, or undignified manner: firms scrambled to win contracts.

Scramble according to Kosh: getting an internship place after graduation, cos the computer didn't match him to anything he'd ranked.

Am glad to report that in the end, he's secured a first year general surgery internship in a Chicago hospital.

(Not really where I'd have wanted to end up, but hey, the important thing is that he's actually *got* a place now, phew!!)

So, while doing that 1 year, he'll need to either schmooze his way into that hospital's ENT program, or apply to other hospitals/schools for a second year intake for ENT.

So, yay, there's still another year of uncertainty wrt where we'd actually be "settling down", i.e. Chicagoland, or AnywhereElse USA :p

No real biggie.

"i will follow him" maaaaaaaah!
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