Monday, April 30, 2007

grumble grumble grumble!

Good news: yesterday I stumbled across a really nice and simple template which I've decided to use for this blog's next "look".

Grumble news: the back-up of existing posts is NOT going well!

Firstly, the Blog Collector (Lite) is such a bare-bones program it's actually extremely unappealing to use. And it only works "properly" on Kosh's side of the 'puter [his account, maybe because he's the administrator?] - on top of that, the "remove blog" or "refresh" commands could not be executed either! In addition, it only saves the posts, not the post page which includes comments. And worst of all... they say that the free/lite version has a limit to the number of posts per blog that it will back-up, but nowhere on the site did I find an actual number... if I'd known it was around 60 I wouldn't have even bothered with it! I have over SEVEN HUNDRED posts! And you know what, I ain't gonna shell out USD 70 to remove this limit when I'm not impressed with the program itself anyway!

Coming to that conclusion took a few hours, what with the downloading, installing, failed attempts to back-up from my side, backing-up from Kosh's side, etc etc etc... so then we looked at HTTrack, which unfortunately didn't have much going for it Mac-wise... if we were really adventurous we could try to play around with a Linus-based package for it, but well, we ain't gonna.

So... looks like it's gonna be manual back-ups for me! Gaaarrhhhh!!

So consider this blog to be on vacation this week: hopefully by this time next week she'll be revamped and ready to go again.

'till then,

ciao!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

narrow-IQ-vision

Seeing this made me want to scream "DUH!!!":
Intelligence not linked to wealth, according to US study

Wed Apr 25, 8:15 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Intelligence has nothing to do with wealth, according to a US study published Tuesday which found that people with below average smarts were just as wealthy as those with higher IQ scores.
[...]
"Your IQ has really no relationship to your wealth. And being very smart does not protect you from getting into financial difficulty," Zagorsky said.

The study confirmed previous research which has shown that smarter people tend to earn more money, but pointed out there is a difference between high pay and overall wealth.


Ugh, I thought it was already a given that what we term "IQ" is a woefully inadequate measure of a person! I'm sure we all know someone who may not have a great IQ but is totally people-smart, word-smart, creative-smart, handy-smart, resilient-smart, adaptable-smart, etc, and doing quite well for themselves tyvm. There's so much more to a person that that one number!

I'll concede that looking purely at income, a high IQ will likely have you drawing a higher paycheck. But how you manage your income - whether high or low in quantity - indicates a certain amount of money-smarts. And how much *beyond* "quantity of pay" and "likelihood of financial difficulties" did they go in defining "wealth" anyway?

And to what end, really?

But I suppose I'm looking at things from a much larger perspective: they are looking at pay vs wealth and are focusing on moolah, while I'm thinking of happiness and satisfaction, and how dependent these are on attitude and mindset.

I wonder how much $$ went into this study....

Friday, April 27, 2007

blog update update

(First talked about here, then here)

So I've been playing around with a New Blogger template, and I've pretty much got the hang of it. Also came to the conclusion that I didn't really need a 3-column layout, because I found a few nifty hacks/services that can reduce the clutter on my sidebar. And I've found one or two nifty templates out there I can just tweak slightly in order to get the look I want. Kewl!

Now for the not-losing-everything-when-I-move part:
    I'll drive myself cross-eyed doing the back-ups manually [serves me right for not keeping on the ball since last August?!!]... Found a potentially very helpful service provided by Blog Collector, (and perhaps to a lesser extent, HTTrack).
I *will* get going on this so that I can really sink my teeth into tinkering with this site... I'm sooooooooooooo bored with its looks right now! :)

Also, I've crumbled and succumbed to the Google Monster at Blogger's repeated urging:
  • for all blog/internet-related correspondence I will now be using azlynne1972[at]gmail[dot]com, so fellow blog-buddies, go ahead and update your address books accordingly, thanks!
  • IMPORTANT NOTE to friends, ex-colleagues, and acquaintances (established from 1995 - ~2004): please stick to azlynne1972[at]yahoo[dot]com, okay? It's easier for me to segregate personalities this way :-)

Now, off to get groceries. Shouldn't shop while I'm hungry though, LoL!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

the interview meme, part deux!

As you may recall, I answered Kevin's interview questions earlier,,, now, here are Jeff's:

  1. You have a gazillion blogs on your blogroll. Do really read them all and how much time do you spend daily reading blogs?
    Referring only to "my" [as opposed to the Lost Bloggers] blogroll: Yes, I read them all! Or try to, anyway. Certainly not on a daily basis though! I probably go through them all at least once a month. I know I've a few inactives, just haven't gotten around to doing any Spring Cleaning yet :p

    I'm thinking I should *really* get with the program and start using Bloglines or something, so I'll know when someone's published new stuff [blogroll's being really crappy about the "recently updated" feature lately!].

    Time estimate? That's tough - I can get sucked in for hours and hours and hours of blog-surfing and -reading, whether by visiting my blogroll, or using a link exchange directory thingy like Blog Explosion or Little Neo... I'd say AT LEAST 3 hours a day. And that's a VERY conservative estimate :-) I'm sure I've gone over 8 hours before:-) I'm a jobless bum, tho, so I've got loads of time to spare :-)

  2. I've seen every episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. What would you think of a guy who admitted that?
    I'd certainly be amused, and perhaps tease the guy about it a little, but hey, I know I certainly preferred Xena to Hercules myself [See #23 here], and I've seen every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer *and* know the musical soundtrack by heart, so I don't see why I should judge someone for *their* taste! :-)

  3. Have you become a US citizen yet? If not, do you plan on it?
    No, I'm not a US citizen - yet? - I have about 3 years before I'm eligible to even begin to apply for it, so I've got loads of time to decide. Frankly, it wouldn't be an issue at all if Malaysia recognized dual citizenship! Despite all its social and political problems, I feel the US resonates with me more than any other country I've been to / lived in. But Malaysia has such a skewed view on loyalty and nationalism that she'll disown me if I take up US citizenship... and I'd lose all those "rights" I have courtesy of an accident of birth that made me a member of the preferred race & religion [on paper, at least!]. Not that those things are that important to me. Meh. Bottom line: still undecided, check back in 3 years or so, LoL!

  4. I counted at least 17 different posts where you mentioned Meat Loaf (and I'm sure there are more). Are you OK?
    Oh wow, you get A for effort, considering I haven't even gone back to label my old posts, LoL! Anyways... yeah, me and Mr Loaf.... Well, I do have an ever so slightly addictive personality :-) And more importantly, Meat Loaf / Steinman songs have played very important roles in my life: Paradise by the Dashboard Light totally blew my mind during college, both for the message of "be careful what you promise in the heat of the moment" as well as the whole mini-opera-in-a-song concept. It Just Won't Quit was my reluctant love song during college. And so many songs from the Couldn't Have Said It Better album seemed to outline Kosh's and my feelings & situations. What more can I say? :-)

  5. I drive through Chicago about twice a year. Where should I stop for lunch next time?
    Good question! I'm not the solo-adventurous type, and with Kosh busy at work, I haven't done much exploring of Chicago, whether sight-seeing-wise or culinary-wise. But what pops into my mind right now is Greek Islands over in Greektown: excellent food PLUS free valet parking [you just needs a few bucks for the tip], which is always a plus in my eyes!


= = = = = = = = =
This is a surprisingly fun meme, and while I'm happy to be on the receiving end of the questions, I *would* like to be challenged to come up with 5 questions for *you*! So, want in on the fun? Here are the rules:

  1. Leave me a comment with your email addy, or email me at azlynne1972[at]yahoo[dot]com, saying "Interview me."
  2. I will respond by e-mailing you five questions. I get to pick them, and you have to answer them all.
  3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
So, any takers?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

last night I howled in bed!

So last night / this morning, I hit the hay around 130am.

By then, Kosh had been asleep for about 2.5hrs, and was pretty much in the same position as when I'd tucked him in: slightly to the middle of the bed, with a bent leg encroaching on "my" side.

Usually when I climb in, he'll stir and make room for me, all the while still sleeping.

This time, he added a little extra:
- He stirs,
- - - makes room,
- - - - - - then out of the blue *blaaarrrrrrrrrpppp!*

He'd belched.

And the aroma associated with digestion of orange roughy in lemon juice, garlic powder and tamarind chutney with a generous side of red and green peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, garlic and cauliflower cooked in green chili chutney got blown right into my face.

At 130am, I howled in protest.

We then burst into gales of laughter.

And I thanked him for giving me something to blog about today.

The end.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf Tech? (Part Two)

So I got totally side-tracked in Part One, because the social responsibility aspect kept wanting to be heard, so I addressed it as much as I could at that point in time.

But here's what I originally wanted to say.

If you recall, I started off with that most "excellent" of blame-shifters: "guns don't kill people, people do!"
Banning/severely restricting the sale/possession/use of guns wouldn't make much difference to someone who is intent on killing someone else. There are plenty of other weapons that can be just as deadly: Your fists. A baseball bat. A nearby rock. A 2x4. An unfortunate "accident". Arsenic. You name it. If the determination is there, the killing will happen.

BUT.

It is important to take note that the [totally non-exhaustive list of] examples involve getting up close and personal with one's target. The first 4 involve putting the attacker at similar risk as the target - what if the target fights back? wrests the bat out of your hand? Grabs a larger rock? Swings that 2x4 more viciously than you ever could? Chances are, the attacker would not emerge unscathed from such an attack. The other two examples involve patience and planning: less exposure than the previous examples, but perhaps less satisfying? After all, the killer may not be able to actually witness the death of its target, or, the death may not be dramatic enough, satisfying enough...

A gun, on the other hand...

Joe and Jane Average will probably freeze in fear just at the sight of such a machine in your hand. You can get off on the power surge of the control you have over them, and on the fear you elicit.

Depending on what you want, you can achieve loads of blood and gore, or you can leave a nice neat little bullethole. You can snipe or spray from the top of a building or open window, or up close and personal.

So many options.

So much destruction.

And so easily achieved results, compared to a baseball bat, a 2x4, etc etc etc.
Wanna get into WHY people kill people? There's no one easy answer. But in this day and age, we "society" as well as we "experts" have a good idea about causes, and therefore have set up many opportunities for identification, prevention and treatment.

However, we know from sad experience that all too many people make it past all these potential stops.

And when they do, guns seem to be a particularly destructive weapon of choice.

So what I'm saying is, while it's true that it's people who kill people, if the weapon chosen is a gun, things get nasty, fast.
Guns are not to blame for Cho Seung-Hui's behaviour. But guns certainly were a factor in Cho Seung-Hui's high body count*.
* NOTE:
Some might argue that if only other students had guns with them, they would have been able to shoot at / kill Cho Seung-Hui and minimize his damage. Yes, but, how do you know that these armed students wouldn't have added to the body count due to getting all panicked because they've never used their guns outside of a controlled environment like a shooting range??

Also, I wouldn't want to go to class wondering *who*'s gonna get pissed off at someone else and whip out a gun, threaten to shoot, etc etc... I'm all for responsible gun ownership. Unfortunately, my impression is that a lot of the noise about gun control and ownership comes not from problems with the responsible ones, but from those idiots who shouldn't have their hands on any weapon of any kind but because they can, they do,,, and then use guns to express their irritation that their neighbour's dog barks too loudly, that a passing car has too much bass, or their classmate cracked a joke they found offensive.

So yes, again, it boils down to the PEOPLE rather than the weapon.

But yet again, mixing people of certain characteristics with guns gives a particularly lethal combination.

The gun folk can't just sit there and point to everyone else.
Well, they are... but they shouldn't; they can, however, so they will.

Ugh.

I'm not even going to try to suggest a solution. There isn't one. There is no magic bullet. A whole variety of changes need to take place, among so many people, within so many systems, that it seems just a pipe dream.

But if we sit back and do nothing, nothing will ever change, except perhaps for the worse.

Ah, what fun times we live in....

[I realise I still have some loose ends to tie up: in Part Three!]

Friday, April 20, 2007

Stewie's Final Thoughts

I've had *my* squigglies since forever... never did get around to writing an ode to 'em, and now Stewie beat me to it!
oh squiggly line in my eye fluid
i see you there lurking on the periphery of my vision
but when i try to look at you
you scurry away

are you shy squiggly line?

why only when i ignore you do you return to the center of my eye?

oh squiggly line
it's all right
you are forgiven
[From The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Family Guy Episode 5.11]

If you don't find this amusing as is, well, maybe the actual clip will do it for ya: enjoy!

I was laughing my a** off when I first saw this, while Kosh was once again looking at me askance, probably wondering again about his choice of life partner, LoL!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf Tech? (Part One)

"Guns don't kill people, people do!"

Ummm,,, yeahhhhh,,, but it's not that simple, is it?

How many pieces are there in this equation? Just three?
- Killer
- Weapon
- Victim
IMHO, there's at least one more piece, which encompasses a huge variety of stuff and overlaps with the above factors. I'll get to that in due time. [In Part Two!]

But first, let's just play along with the premise of the above quote, which shifts the focus [and blame!] squarely on the shoulders of the killer.

Thought, word and deed

All actions we undertake are the result of the chain of occurrences involving thought, word and deed. So for someone whose train of thought is chugging away along a homicidal track, having the opportunity of PREVENTION at every step will go a long way to derailing or turning back that train.
    At the thought level, a huge portion of prevention rests on having a well developed internal value system [usually provided by religion*...] in line with society in general: but if we grow up being told that killing is wrong / a sin and yet we observe too many examples where killing is not only ok, but a must, or "is cool", or just plain happens all the time, how do we reconcile this internally? Where do we draw our line? Why?

    At the word level, the killer is communicating intention to harm, or indicating potential capability to harm . Perhaps the communication isn't cogent and coherent, but it does happen. This is an opportunity for intervention, but this involves other people - family, friends, colleagues, strangers - who would a) notice, b) understand/recognize, and c) do something. And to have these other people to get to "c" is admittedly tough in this and age [for a variety of reasons we won't go into]. And beyond these "filters", the few potential killers who make it past all of them will probably get into the the mental health system - and how effective is that in treating them???

    At the deed level, the killer then puts thoughts and words into action: gets armed, and does the deed. So gun control fits as a preventive step here, one of many prevention measures required at this weapons acquisition stage: after all, guns are not the *only* weapons out there! And finally, when actually carrying out the deed, the police and other similar services then serve as both preventive and reactive functions. It looks like prevention at this stage is a function of established "systems", although it is important to remember that systems are created and run by people, and will thus have flaws in both.
[Note that the above triune perspective works whether a killing is spur-of-the-moment or meticulously planned. A bit more about that in Part Two.]

At this stage I find myself forced to digress from my original post intention [hence requiring a Part Two], because me being me, "solutions" are jumping out at me and clamouring to be addressed.

What we, as general individuals, can do:
    Thought
  1. examine our own value system*: how consistent are we? what sort of example are we, whether to our children, or people in general? Figure out what you stand for, and live it! No more lip service, please!
  2. similarly, examine the messages/examples being communicated by others: a major factor here is of course the media! Have you really thought about any conflicts between your values and those trumpeted by the propaganda-spewing yet tabloid-like news reports?

  3. And if children are involved, and you're having trouble with #1, perhaps some "positive hypocrisy" might be better than mixed messages? But still need to be consistent!! As for #2, I know many choose to control media access, which works for the young'uns but such restrictions will certainly backfire as soon as the kids are able to rebel. A much more valuable action -- when children are capable of intelligent conversation -- is to encourage discussion *about* the conflicting messages of media vs values: after all, teaching your child to think critically provides a valuable skill needed through life!

    Word
  4. To quote the CTA: "If you see something, say something!" But say to whom? Well, you need to figure that out for yourself, depending on what you are comfortable with. "But what's the use?", you ask. Lecturers in Virginia Tech had actually referred Cho Seung-Hui to Mental Health services due to his disturbing behaviour and "creative writing" output, but it's unclear [to me; I haven't read deeply of the details] whether anything was really done. Ditto about his stalking history. But you know what? That's others who [might have] dropped the ball. But if everyone who avoided "mr question mark" had expressed their disquiet with the relevant authorities, perhaps the sheer volume might have gotten the ball picked up again? Who knows,,, no use getting hung up on What Ifs. And I'm certainly not saying we should get even more paranoid than we already are. What I'm saying is, do your part, don't just think that "Oh, someone else should do it, it's not my problem." What happened in Virgina Tech shows just how much it *can* become your problem!

By the time we get to deed, as "individuals in general" about all we can do is educate ourselves, voice our opinions and push for change where change is needed. Like I mentioned earlier, by this time it looks like prevention seems to be in the hands of "systems", and just how flawed are these systems created and run by people who might have political and personal biases that overshadow the the true function of health care, gun control, police or whatever? Are the systems themselves slaves to administrators, bureaucracy and red tape that negate the true function they were supposed to serve? Can people within the system fix things? Do we need to throw out the system and start anew? Is there anything we can do about it? All I can think of is that no matter what, systems are made of individuals, and if this collection of individuals do the self-questioning etc above, perhaps they can make the difference required so these systems actually do serve their intended purpose...

It boils down to all of us as individuals doing the right* thing.
... While educating our kids
.. While interacting with others
... While doing our jobs
.. While living our life.


So back to the premise of shifting blame totally on the shooter/killer: bullshit.

More in Part Two.
I'll let this simmer a day or two, though, just because.
    * NOTE; yes, "right"/"value system" seem relative, and may mean totally opposite things to two different cultures, usually as a result of their different religious beliefs. My take on this is, if I could get them to cut through the crap and just look inward, challenge their own precepts and traditions, and see if their actions really jive with the spirit of their religion, with their ultimate inner compass, I think there might be some hope. After all, do you not believe that if Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad and other religion-establishers were put in the same room, they would embrace each other and recognise the similarity of their messages, while if you were to put their followers in the same room they'd end up killing each other? Call me idealist, but I think a lot of problems in this world can be solved if only we had the awareness to seek our true selves, and the courage to face up to what we find; and then to help others with the same journey.

    Heh. This seems more appropriate fodder for another forum. Maybe I'll repost this elsewhere too ;-)
Ciao.

p/s> h/t Monsoon for triggering this post. yes, pun intended. sorry.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

... so there's this interview meme going around ...

... and I suppose it's contagious, because for some reason I've asked Kevin and Karl for interviews! Now that I've received Kevin's questions, I'm wondering what I've gotten myself into, LoL! You'll see what I mean when you reach #5... Here goes!

  1. You moved from Malaysia to Chicago. Either you really love the guy a lot or a ton of money was involved. Which is it?
    I note the use of two superlative-like expressions used together: "really" and "a lot", and as over the top as it may be, well, yeah, it's definitely that :-) Of course, other factors I've mentioned before [family, work, ...] also helped with the final decision. Ultimately, however, I followed my heart.

  2. What would Jon Heder have to do to move off your list of actors that make you want to see a movie less? Does he even stand a chance?
    *lynne* turns head to one side and exclaims "Gosh!" Well, if he can play a non-Napoleon Dynamite character, I'd be happy to give him another chance. From the previews of Blades of Glory and School for Scoundrels, my impression is that he's still playing the same misfit kind of role. Branch out, dude! [btw, I probably will watch Blades of Glory anyway, *despite* Heder's presence, LoL!]

  3. How did you get into blogging?
    My first exposure to blogs was due to an ex-bf, a major techno-geek, who'd established his own website and later a place on blogspot - I didn't quite understand the need to air his usually incoherent thoughts out into the world, but hey, it was something to look at while biding my time at Coffee Bean with my laptop waiting for my IM dates with Kosh.

    Then, what with my plans to resign getting delayed plus my frustration levels getting higher, and if I were to vent it all at Kosh [who else *could* I vent to?] it would make for a very toxic [and LONG] email! So in June 2004, I decided to establish a blog where I could get my thoughts out, and shared the link with just a few people. Didn't have too many posts there, but the contents are definitely keepers!

    In Oct 2004, I decided to establish Life After Work as a way to stay in touch with family and friends while I made my way to the U.S. to become a Jobless Bum. Of course, most of my target audience didn't bother with the blog. Oh well! Now I just write for me, but am always happy make new blog buddies.

  4. Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
    Of the two, hands down, MILK CHOCOLATE! And no need for any fancy schmancy stuff; in fact, I prefer the plain ol generic milk chocolates sold in Le Co-op or Le Migros in Switzerland to those with various nuts or almond cream or whatever in 'em. But, if you really wanna know, my real fave type of chocolate is the white toblerone.

  5. Three bloggers - Karl, Dave, and Neil - and three statements - marry, sleep with, live their life. Match up a name with a statement. Each name and statement can only be used once. Who is what in your heart of hearts?
    Yikes! I *have* to answer too, don't I? Gah!! Okay, be warned tho, these are contrived answers!
    Karl: Live his Life? So I can have a basis of comparison for the last 1.5 years of my worklife, to see just how much of it was lived in what I now believe was undiagnosed depression.
    Dave: Marry? Because he seems like he'd be able to support my Jobless Bum lifestyle, LoL! He's all creative and stuff, plus he curses at idiots, just like I do - we're a match!!
    Neil: Sleep With. By default. Sorry, dude! Oh wait, I suppose you wouldn't mind, would you? :-)


= = = = = = = = =
Curious? Want in on the fun? Here are the rules:
  1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
  2. I will respond by e-mailing you five questions. I get to pick them, and you have to answer them all.
  3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Okay, *lynne*'s addendum: Please don't assume I have your email addy! I'm not with typepad where you can enter your email addy and not have it shown to anyone else except the blog owner... so please either give me your email addy [preferably "altered" so that the 'bots don't recognize it as an email addy, y'know?] when you drop me an interview request, otherwise I'd probably have to drop by your own blog and leave an out of place comment which will contain the questions!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

pls excuse the gushing

First, many thanx to those who pseudo-tagged themselves with that movie meme: had a lot of fun seeing how you responded, and, even cooler, I've added a few movies my Netflix queue based on y'all's recommendations! Tho it might take some time before I actually get to them: I have, after all, over 200 items in the queue, LoL!

And now for the gushing.

So there I was on Netflix adding Angela's Ashes to the queue, and it popped into my head to see if they had anything with Michael Praed in their system: that's me, ever the optimist... nothing. Then, for some reason I decided to follow my thoughts, and searched for him in imdb, of course seeing "pilot tv movie" Robin Hood and the Sorcerer as well as the series itself Robin of Sherwood. For some reason my tangan was gatal ["my hand itched"] to check out the specific DVD info pages for each of these: usually there's nothing there apart from confusing info on UK-released stuff.. but this time, I almost got a heart attack from the *thrill* that surged through me...

omg omg omg omg omg Robin of Sherwood is FINALLY available in Region 1 DVDs! Just released, like just about a month ago??!!! omg omg omg omg omg!!! Michael Praed is the yummiest Robin EVAH! And the sarcastic Will Scarlett! And the oh so yummy Nasser the Assassin! *swwwwwwoooooooon!*

[yes, *lynne* has regressed to a mental age of 15 or so]

*ahem!*

okay it's not *just* hormones talking here...

... one thing that struck me about RoS was how it retold the well-known tale by adding a layer, a foundation even, of British myth and lore, thus providing a deeper meaning to Robin's actions: he wasn't "just" righting wrongs, but also discharging a holy duty bestowed upon him by Herne the Hunter, to bring things into balance, to stop the corruption of the administration which was in turn causing the corruption of the very land itself... Looking back, I think that my fascination with the importance of "perspective"/"context" [without my knowing those terms/concepts yet] was really born here: seeing how a tale I thought I already knew could take on such powerful meaning when viewed within a different framework.

*sigh!*

Good times.

Now to figure out how to convince Kosh to get it, even though we've not made much of a dent in the Babylon 5 Season 5 DVDs that we've had since December, LoL!

UPDATE @ Sunday ~3pm: Told Kosh about this discovery, looked it up on Netflix, and guess what? It's now available there?!! Guess what's been bumped up to the top of the queue? LoL! Should be getting my hands on Disc 1 by Tuesday, whoo hooooo!

Friday, April 13, 2007

... where you may want to take those online directions with a pinch of salt ...

h/t: Cigar Intelligence

Slow blogging week.

More later.

Yawwwwn!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Lost Blogs: a year later

A year ago tomorrow, I participated in the weeklong grassroots blogging marketing campaign: Kevin's brainchild to promote Paul Davidson's then-soon-to-be-released book entitled: The Lost Blogs: From Jesus to Jim Morrison -- The Historically Inaccurate and Totally Fictitious Cyber Diaries of Everyone Worth Knowing (duh!).

My choice was Malaysia's first Prime Minister: Tunku Abdul Rahman. (You can see a convenient collection of links to my entries at the bottom of my sidebar, in that blue box,,, or here:


lostblogsbadge_2
#1; #2a, #2b,
#2c; #3a, #3b,
#3c, #3d, #4;
answer.

I didn't win or anything, but I had fun *while* educating myself on someone important in my country's history; someone who all those mind-numbing history lessons certainly didn't do justice to. And I'd like to think I helped remind participants of the existence of countries *other* than US, UK and the Western World, teeheehee!

Thanx to participating, I also expanded my blog reading circle, as bloggers I'd never have bumped into otherwise ended up on my radar screen. Some even got graduated from the Lost Bloggers blogroll into my *own* blogroll! And, *gasp!* this blog also got added by some of them other Lost Bloggers onto their *own* blogrolls! Whoohooo!

However, I realise that I've been neglecting that second list of Bloggers way down there on my sidebar... so in honor of this 1-year anniversary, over the next 24 hours or so, I'll be systematically visiting each and every one of ya. If I have something *more* to say than "hi, happy 1-year Lost Blog anniversary!" then I'll certainly drop a line in yr comments.

Yay, more surfing! :-)

p/s: I just realised, I never *did* get my hands on the book, LoL!

Friday, April 06, 2007

A Good Friday Meme!

(or perhaps I should rephrase that to "a great meme to use on a Friday", tehehehee! But, for those marking this Easter Weekend, I do send my best wishes to ya!)

Seeing as I've been ... seeing ... lots of movies recently, this meme on a blog I stumbled across recently caught my eye...

The questions usually ask for ONE movie answers, but me being me, if I feel the urge to yap more, then I'll yap more :-)

Here goes!

THE MOVIE MEME

  1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.
    Yikes, good question! I can name many I've seen more than 5 times, but, more than 10??? I'm gonna guess ... Galaxy Quest : saw it like three times on the plane where I first discovered it, then bought the VCD and watched it a few times, then caught it on TBS a gazillion times. Other possibilities include Rocky Horror Picture Show, Star Wars: A New Hope, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

  2. Name a movie that you've seen multiple times in the theater.
    Multiple viewings in the theater are not a luxury I indulged in. But I'm pretty sure the first time I saw a movie more than once in the theater was Dances With Wolves. Totally loved it the first time through (bought the soundtrack!), but unfortunately my second time was too soon after the first, and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open through it! I've not bothered to re-watch it ever since, LoL!

  3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.
    Alyson Hannigan [but Date Movie was horrendous!!]

  4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.
    Jon Heder [I'm sorry, but Napoleon Dynamite was *so* painful to sit through! "Gosh!"]

  5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.
    [I'll get back to you on this - gotta ask Kosh, cos he's on the receiving end and would know better, LoL!] [UPDATE: we've come to the conclusion that I/we quote from tv shows more than movies. Buffy [esp the musical!]. South Park. Animaniacs. Movies, not so much]

  6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
    The Sound of Music, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

  7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.
    The Nightmare Before Christmas (see Item #4 here).

  8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.
    Most recently, it would certainly be Little Miss Sunshine.

  9. Name a movie that you own.
    ... by this time, there are so many! But my first ever movie I remember owning, on VHS, stored lovingly in my room? Spaceballs! "Comb the Desert!" "Those are the Stunt Doubles!" "She's gone from Suck to Blow!" Waahahahahaaaaaaaa!

  10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.
    Eh? How about the other way around: Patrick Swayze: okay as an actor, but did you know he started out as a dancer until he screwed up his knee then he opted for acting? and you gotta admit his She's Like The Wind was a nice song: sure, it's a simple and easy song to sing, but he did good!

  11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?
    I think I've been to one in Oklahoma, and one in Arkansas. No idea which movies though!

  12. Ever made out in a movie?
    I don't think so. I go to the movies to see the movie, dammit!

  13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t yet gotten around to it.
    Duh, that's what Netflix is for :-)

  14. Ever walked out of a movie?
    nope.
    ... but the only movie with the dubious honor of having gotten me to fall asleep in the theatre [and two other times when trying to watch at home on VCD / DVD]? Unbreakable. Yawwwwwwwwwwwwn!

  15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.
    I hate movies that use typical cry-inducing formulae, and hate it more when I succumb to their cheap tricks: can you believe I cried at the end of Daylight? Wait, can you believe I actually *watched* Daylight? 'Twas my partner-at-that-time's choice, not mine!

  16. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?
    Musta been back in Malaysia, probably was Underworld: Evolution with Rail.

  17. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?
    Difficult to pinpoint: I enjoy most genres; I'm a fan of originality, quirkiness but I appreciate well-played action. What I DON'T like are movies full of formulaic drivel, "comedies" that cater to the lowest common denominator, or movies that are just so full of themselves.

  18. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
    It might have been Disney's The Fox and the Hound: I remember going with our neighbours from down the street, their treat. I *wish* I could say I remembered watching Star Wars: A New Hope, but I don't :-(

  19. What movie do you wish you had never seen?
    Most recently, I would have to say Superman Returns. Even Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor couldn't save it.

  20. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
    I'm sure there've been many, if only I could remember.... But I gotta say, The Butterfly Effect totally blew my mind with its funky timeline thing. I then went on to see Memento, and more recently Donnie Darko, all with screwy timelines too.

  21. What is the scariest movie you've seen?
    I'm more about the implied / off-screen / psychological thriller than the typical in-your-face horror / slasher / gory genre one usually gets scared by. But I got suckered into watching House of 1000 Corpses - that is one sick twisted and disturbing movie that you. just. can't. tear. yourself. away. from! It, and its sequel, are on my Netflix queue. Why??? Why do I do this to myself?? Aaaarrggghhhhh!!

  22. What is the funniest movie you've seen?
    I've already mentioned Little Miss Sunshine, Spaceballs and Galaxy Quest. So I'll put forth Shawn of the Dead and Kung Fu Hustle for your consideration.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ so... who do I tag??? Eh, whoever thinks this'll be fun, consider yourselves tagged, k? Leave me a link in the comments if you do run with it :-)

Cheers!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

... getting them all in a bunch?

Remember item #14 from a recent meme?

Reminded me of a rant whine I had that's been on the back burner for ***oops!*** over 2 years now. Bear with me. Or just don't bother to read on, no worries :-)

But first, as an appetizer:
You Are Basic Panties

You are a laid back chick with a real natural beauty. You can make unwashed hair and minimal make-up super sexy. Men tend to notice you show the "real you" - and they appreciate it. And while basic makes boring for some, it looks classic on you.

Definitely me! Although that particular pic is not *quite* the style I use, LoL!

btw, reminds me of the blue thong-like frilly horror that "NS" sent me as a gift sometime while I was studying in the U.S. Stayed in my drawer for the longest time until I finally threw/gave it away. Sorry beb, certainly not my style!

And now for the rant whine:
For the longest time, since 1990 in fact, I've been a faithful customer of Sloggi underwear. First time I bought them was to revamp my wardrobe before leaving for the U.S. for my studies. Bought under the supervision of a parent, I could only choose shades like blue & skin. Bought two styles: normal and high-cut. Totally loved the feel of 'em: I suppose it's that 100% cotton lycra blend they use.

They were a bit on the expensive side, and I'd tried once to go back to regular/generic undies - ugh! They were of ickky cheap cotton that erupted in those tiny balls after just one wash! After that lesson, I stuck to the Sloggis.

Every few years I'd inject more into my stock. Whenever possible, I went for black. Which worked fine when they were sold individually. Later, they were sold in valu-packs of three, or "buy-3-get-1-free", already grouped together, so I couldn't always get an all-black choice. But s'okay, I was still able to steer away from the worst of their colors.

Then... in 2004... this time revamping my wardrobe after becoming a jobless bum, and lemmie tell ya, I needed to totally replace my aging undies! I noticed the packaging had changed, but s'ok, I knew I needed the "midi" style, size L, so I grabbed a whole bunch of those.

Went back, opened the packaging, and to my horror saw that they weren't what I'd wanted! Instead of being briefs that would go up to just about my belly button, they ended just below the swell of my belly. At the back, it felt like it barely covered the top o' the crack! Urgh!!

But of course, Malaysia being Malaysia, once you buy you can't exchange undies, even if you've got them unopened/in original packaging!! Grrrr!!

Not thinking too hard about it, I figured I'd made a mistake and actually needed their "maxi" style, since it *had* been a while since my last purchase,,, so went back and grabbed a bunch of those. Damnit! These ended up being these horrendous "grandma panties" that went up waaay past by belly button and really did NOT flatter me in any way!

Turns out Sloggi had "split" their undies into three different lines, and in so doing, had changed the style of existing briefs. Oh, and they changed the material too. So my comfy cottonny briefs are now made of this ickky shiny material that, while relatively comfortable, is just NOT what I want to have on my skin.

So I was stuck with two horrid-in-their-own-way styles of panties, that I'd wear only unwillingly. Since coming to the U.S., I've experimented with FoTL & Hanes undies as replacements: they'll do, but they are all missing that little bit of lycra that makes the undies "hug" ya, y'know?

And with the undies already out of whack, the rest of the wardrobe just doesn't *quite* feel right, y'know?

Conclusion:
  • If I ever find Sloggi on sale here, I'd hope that I'd get some help from the sales assistant [which I didn't get at all while in KL!] to see if I can find the [original] style & material I want [in its new guise]...
  • No matter how confident you are about a new style/item, buy just ONE rather than a whole bunch, juuuust in case!
  • Yes, I have a panties in bunch about not having the right panties, LoL!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

you say tomato, I say nightmare!

so I was watching some tv this morning, and this commercial [go ahead, click!] was aired which made my skin crawl in horror:
  • a tomato tree that shoots up to 8ft height in 90 days!
  • produces tomatoes up to 2lbs *each*!!?
  • showed this monstrous tree with like hundreds of tomatoes hanging off of it
  • implied that a bucket of tomatoes were a typical week's yield
  • produces over 60lbs tomatoes per year
All I could think of was omg whoever gets this monstrosity will be sick and tired of tomatoes after a week!
    [a la Forrest Gump] Tomato gumbo, tomato pudding, tomato casserole, tomato pie, tomato bisque, tomato dip, stewed tomato, tomato chutney, tomato ketchup, sun-dried tomatoes, fried tomatoes.....
When younger, the only sauce that went with spaghetti was a tomato-based sauce. Tomatoes appeared, in sixths and all smushy, in curries and such. Or, as a simple side dish: cut into eights and slightly salted. Nothing too too taxing, nothing too traumatizing, but somehow I just am not one to willingly eat tomatoes anymore. (Except grape tomatoes: crunchy and bite-sized somehow counteracts their smushiness, I suppose...)

So this ad really gave me the shivers.

It gets worse! If you order that tree, they'll essentially send you THREE for the price of one, PLUS three "Big Earlys".

That means SIX mutant tomato trees... and perhaps an annual yield of tomatoes six times what was featured in that ad.

Unless you want to singe-handedly be the tomato supplier of your local grocer/neighborhood, I'd give this offer a pass!

bleeaaahhhh!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

misc on monday

As found at Karl's:

Cheesy Rock Ballads Quiz No. 1



Score: 100% (10 out of 10)

He and I both got 100%: how 'bout you? You as cheesy as us? ;-)


And, on a slightly related note....
How smart are you?


Finally, to get you to doubt yourself even more, check out this illusion which should help you take a step back and remember not to trust everything you perceive through your eyes!


Cheers!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Stephen King Sunday?

heh. the SciFi channel must be in a Stephen King mood: first they were showing the six-hour miniseries of The Shining [not to be confused with Stanley Kubrick's movie version of the same tale]...

... and now, they've got the 3hr The Langoliers on.

Not that I'm watching-watching either of 'em ... just amused at today's theme :-)
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