Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sweating Muka Lima Sen

I think my cousin is trying to tell me something when she gave me this for Christmas.

Sweating Muka Lima Sen

Yes, I admit I've been using both the =.= (I name it the muka lima sen, literally meaning five cents face) and sweat emoticons far too often lately. The thing is, how in the world did she manage to find one that symbolises BOTH?!? Is it such a coincidence she gave me this particular smiley face since I've not chatted with her on any instant messaging clients before basically due to the fact that she never chats online hence not being able to know I've been abusing these two emoticons? Creepy if you ask me. =.=' (meet my new emoticon - sweating muka lima sen).

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wedding Planner

Another wedding, another time to get together. Nothing beats weddings when it comes to pulling friends and relatives together from near and far, especially those you've not seen for awhile now. It was no different last night during my friend's wedding at the posh E&O Hotel. A jolly moment indeed for all of us there. Congratulations Sze Meng and Chaik Wee!

It was a very elaborate wedding steep in tradition and protocol. To be honest, it was a little too formal for my liking. We even had to wear coats and ties! The rebellious nature in me kept my coat hanging in my wardrobe. Initially, I planned to leave my tie at home too but decided to bring it along just in case. I even had to change my choice of shirt so it could match a tie. I hope I don't put my guests through so much fuss when I tie the knot. Like the promise of no loud music blaring into your eardrums, you are most welcome to give me an earful if I put you through all the fuss of a too formal wedding.

E&O Hotel is not exactly a great choice when it comes to wedding receptions. It may have that classy fairytale feeling and all but having to separate some of your guests to the balcony above is quite a farce especially when there are so many performances involved. However, the dinner was great and the free-flow alcohol made it all that much better. ;)

Do men think about weddings? I can't speak for all men but I personally do. Maybe not to the extend of how things should be but at the very least how it should not end up. One grouse I have about wedding banquets is the choice of menu which is always the same old same old. So, I came up with this menu idea for a Penang wedding banquet. Since guests from afar always like to taste the famous Penang delicacies of during their visits, why not bring the best of Penang to the wedding banquet itself?

1st course: Lok-lok (Four Seasons dish replacement)
2nd course: Laksa (Shark's fin soup replacement)
3rd course: Tandoori Chicken (Chicken dish replacement)
4th course: Pasembur/Rojak (Vege dish replacement
5th course: Fish Head Bee Hoon (Fish dish replacement)
6th course: Hokkien Prawn Mee (Prawn dish replacement)
7th course: Nasi Kandar (Rice/Noodle replacement)
8th course: Ais Kachang/Chendol (Dessert replacement)
Thank You Gift: Tau Sar Pneah (Cake/Sweet replacement)

It saves the guests from having to travel to different hawker stalls to taste the best that Penang has to offer when time is so limited and already tired from their travels. I don't know if I'll be able to invite all the best hawkers to prepare their trademark dishes for my wedding banquet. Neither do I know if any hotel will be willing to allow such a thing to happen in the first place. Whatever it is, you know you read it here first. ;)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Reminders From Mother Nature

Two years ago on this very day, Mother Nature gave us all a reminder of what she's capable of by moving earth and water, causing major devastation across a few regions. I haven't started my blog yet then but I do have my own tsunami story to tell, but that will have to wait for another day. Looks like she had more up her sleeve.

Last year, Mother Nature disposed Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, USA. Many lives perished. Lots of destruction. Uncountable families displaced. The disaster did serve its purpose of reminding humankind not to ravage and plunder Mother Nature indiscriminately but only for a short period of time. Soon enough, humans went back to their old ways.

This year, heavy rains (coupled with poor planning and development without consideration of Mother Nature) caused the Johor floods [PDF] which has claimed seven lives so far. Neighbouring states down south were also affected. Another reminder from Mother Nature.

Humans just love acting as Gods but tragedies like these are just the right reminders we need to realise we are not that great after all. Even during these trying times, the dark side of human nature will manage to rear its ugly head. Looters and profiteers never fail to make the headlines regardless of where or who the tragedies happen to. Fortunately, there are still Good Samaritans living among us.

Even with these constant reminders, we still fail to heed the call for change. When will we ever learn? As I see it, not anytime soon.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Spoilt Christmas

Events that transpired last night has totally spoilt my Christmas mood although I'm trying my best to make the best out of the situation. Will blog about it soon, hopefully in the next few days if time permits.

Here's wishing you all a better Christmas than mine.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Tale Of Two Rats And A Mouse

Rats. Rattus rattus. Pest. Vermin. Destroyer of property. Carrier of diseases. Even ardent fans of rodents cannot deny what a pain in the ass this tiny little creature can be.

[SOURCE: Thinktank Studios]

My house like many others, however clean they may be, will somehow face problems with rat infestation one time or another. In recent times, a family or so of those pesky little rodents decided to migrate over to my house after a long spell of enjoying a rat-free environment. This was when all the problems started.

These rats eat (or at least bite/chew) everything that comes to mind. Foodstuff undoubtedly remains top on their list of chewables. Bars of soap do seem to be very much an integral part of their food pyramid. Paper, rubber, cloth, wood, carton boxes, hard plastics, soft plastics, plastic bags, styrofoam and anything imaginable under the sun, they will eventually take the opportunity to sink their teeth into them. One that remains an evergreen preference for them however are cables. Telephone cables, electrical wiring and even their futuristic brethren, the technological advanced computer mouse is not spared. That @#$%$# rendered my RM60 Logitech optical mouse useless just so they could satisfy their crave for cables!!!

Damaged Mouse
A victim of sibling rivalry or something more sinister?

The new breed of migrants seems to be a bunch of Einsteins. We've set traps at different areas, using different types of food but nothing seems to nab them. So, every night, we are presented with sounds more disturbing than a heavy metal concert. When I came home last night, I smelt the stench of a decomposing rat. Great! One decided to die on us and now we've to hunt for its corpse. We couldn't pinpoint the source of the smell but a few rooms were affected by the stench, including my room. I ended up bunking in the study room but didn't get too good a rest as I was awaken by various things throughout the night, probably due to me sleeping at a new place.

I woke up this morning to find one rat captured in the trap. Great! A catch after so many barren weeks. My attention was now focused on finding the decomposing corpse. Within the first five minutes of searching, I found its bloated body, trapped between some boxes. Wonderful! Two down, a dozen (?) more to go. Bring on the rest!

Discarded the bodies and did some cleaning, scrubbing and a generous dose of Lysol solved the affected areas. No more stench. Fewer pests. Better sleep? We'll see. Casualty count? Two rats, one mouse.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mars And Venus Diary Writing

Another one of those Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus comparisons. If a husband and wife were to keep a diary, this would probably be the contents of their respective diaries.


Sunday night - I thought he was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a cafe to have some coffee. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment.

Conversation wasn't flowing so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk, he agreed but he kept quiet and absent. I asked him what was wrong - he said, "Nothing." I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said it had nothing to do with me and not to worry.

On the way home I told him that I loved him, he simply smiled and kept driving. I can't explain his behavior; I don't know why he didn't say, "I love u, too." When we got home I felt as if I had lost him, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there and watched TV; he seemed distant and absent.

Finally I decided to go to bed. About 10 minutes later he came to bed. I decided that I could not take it anymore, so I decided to confront him with the situation but he had fallen asleep. I started crying and cried until I too fell asleep. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.


Today Manchester United lost the match. DAMN IT!!

Have a great week ahead and may the husband not need to write that entry so often this season! :)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I So Hate Comment Spam

Comment Spam
(click to enlarge)

Don't you just hate comment spam? Don't you just hate any form of spam?!? I so hate comment spam. Comment spam that have no relation to what your blog topic is about. Comment spam that hijack your blog to promote their own agenda. Comment spam by chicken-shit raisins-for-balls mongoloids who hide behind a cloak of anonymity to spew their poison because they are just not brave enough to stand up for what they say. Comment spam that try to get others in trouble for their vicious content. Comment spam that are so hypocritical, you laugh your ass off at the whimsical nature of the writer. I so hate comment spam.

I'm an advocate for freedom of speech. That's why commenting on this blog is open to everyone and anyone who feels like having their say. However, this is always lead to abuse. Every so often I would get comment spam but ever since I've activated the anti-comment spam feature on Blogger, comment spam has dropped to the random few once awhile. However, this morning I received notification that there were TWELVE comment spam in the space of one hour. Never have I seen someone so dedicated in cutting and pasting their propaganda AND having to go through TWELVE captcha word verification processes in between. Credit has to be given to this fella for all the trouble he went through but seriously, if he could just channel that time, energy and dedication towards something more beneficial than spreading political and racially sensitive propaganda on blogs, I believe he/she could actually change the world. Seriously! Maybe a look in the mirror first would be wise.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Migration To Blogger Beta

Migration to Blogger Beta
(click to enlarge)

Just So You Know has finally moved to Blogger Beta. There are plenty of new features only available on Blogger Beta I've been longing to use since forever. First impressions - it's very neat and I just can't wait for the full implementation of the beta features to all of Blogger.

The thing is, I either create my own layouts or modify available blogger templates out there. Considering the number of blogs I have, it will be too time-consuming at this time to rebatch all my blogs to the new platform so I can fully utilise all of the new features available on Blogger Beta. The interface requires some getting used to though.

I will be easing the migration to Blogger Beta slowly for all my blogs (unless I find a simple solution to overcome this problem). I do hope not much problems will arise but I'll promise to be careful. :P

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Durian Update

Malaysians will probably and fortunately not feel the full wrath of Durian. Looks like Typhoon Durian is weakening and may not cause as much havoc in Malaysia as warned earlier. [PDF]

Durian not likely to hit Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: Typhoon Durian is weakening and is not expected to land in Malaysia.

As of 5pm yesterday, it was approximately 200km south-west of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and is expected to move in a south-westerly direction at a speed of 28kph.

However, the Meteorological Services Department has warned of danger to beach and shipping activities in several areas in the northern part of the peninsula due to bad weather and rough seas in the wake of the typhoon.

Wind speeds of 50kph to 60kph and waves of up to 4.5m are expected in the coastal areas of Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis, Kedah and Penang until Friday.

Meanwhile, all residents living along the coast in Kelantan have been placed on standby for evacuation due to torrential rains and strong winds brought by the typhoon.

A spokesman at the state operations centre said residents and fishermen in Sabak, Tok Bali, Pantai Semerak, Pantai Irama and Pantai Seri Tujuh had been informed of possible evacuation.

This follows a warning of worsening weather conditions due to the effects of the typhoon, which had earlier lashed the Philippines and Vietnam.

In a related development, Kelantan police marine commander Deputy Supt Abdul Salam Abdul Halim said all fishermen's associations had been informed of the rough weather.

"However, I was told by most fishermen that they are used to such weather, which is part of the monsoon season. Nevertheless, they are taking all precautions," he said.

DSP Abdul Salam said marine police had placed its vessels on standby for rescue and evacuation work in case of floods.

In Kuala Terengganu, a 1km stretch of coast in Tanjung has eroded, triggering panic among residents that the typhoon was heading their way.

Restaurateur Lau Fook Khoy, 58, said she feared that the typhoon could cause further erosion.

"The soil along the affected stretch is weakening and the situation could become worse due to the strong waves," she said yesterday.

Terengganu Health, Unity, Consumer Affairs and Environment Committee chairman Toh Chin Yaw assured the people that the state government had taken all precautionary measures to prevent further erosion.

"We also anticipate that the typhoon will not hit Terengganu due to its travelling pattern," he added.

However, Malaysians are still warned of the dangers of bad weather and rough seas and all beach and shipping activities should be kept to the minimum. Heavy rain and strong winds still to be expected in the northern states till the end of the week.

Earlier write-up can be found here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's Raining Durians

It has finally happened. It's raining durians. [PDF]

Typhoon Durian warning

KUALA LUMPUR: Heavy rain and strong winds are expected over Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis from Tuesday to late Wednesday as Typhoon Durian heads southwards towards Malaysia.

The Malaysian Meteorology Department said strong winds of 50-60kph and waves of up to 5.5 metres high were expected over the east coat of the peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak.

It warned that the strong winds and rough seas were dangerous to all shipping, fishing and ferry services.

We've made reference to heavy rains being like durians dropping from the heavens but never have I imagined that it would one day come true. As I blog this, the rain is really heavy and the roof on my house sounds like being hit by durians. I just hope it doesn't get any much worse here in Penang.

Oh, if you were trying to figure where they came up with such a name to call a tropical storm, the name was contributed by Thailand. During the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, I've blogged about the naming of tropical storms. You can find more information here.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Gmail Integrates With Google Docs & Spreadsheets

This was bound to happen sooner or later and I'm glad it has happened. Google has finally integrated Gmail with Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Previously, Google rolled out new ways for Gmail users to view attachments in emails. For example, MP3 files could be played with the embedded player. You could choose to view PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides as HTML. Now, Google is adding another option for documents and spreadsheets. You can now open these attachments as a Google Spreadsheet or Google Document within Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

This makes it easy for Gmail users to share a particular document or spreadsheet after it has been edited without the need of attaching it and sending it back and forth through email although some may point to the fact that the document or spreadsheet could and should have been uploaded/created on Google Docs & Spreadsheets to start with.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

But one thing though, it makes it convenient to open such files on a computer that may not have productivity softwares capable of opening such files installed on them. I would prefer opening such attachments on Google Docs & Spreadsheets rather than having to download, save and opening it on a computer that is not mine and having to locate the file and deleting it from the computer.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

There's no official announcement from Google concerning this new feature as of now but it's not unusual. Of course, this could have been rolled out in stages a few weeks back and this feature has only been enabled for my account recently. I find this integration very useful considering my heavy usage of both services and saves me a lot of hassle. So, what do you think about this new feature in Gmail?

Monday, November 27, 2006

How Danes Tackle Speeding

We know speed kills. It's one of the top (if not top) killers in this country. Our Government tried various ways to tackle this problem, among them imposing fines, reducing fines, offering discounts, enforcing speed limits, increasing speed limits, media campaigns and all sorts of attempts that proved futile time and again. Maybe the Government can try out this novel idea by the Danes. I'm sure traffic will start to slow down. Slow down to a standstill even! Watch the clip.

So, what do you think? ;)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Legal Inheritance

Since a lawyer friend sent me this, I have no qualms posting this up.

The madam opened the brothel door to see a rather dignified, well-dressed, good looking man in his late 40s or early 50s.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

"I want to see Natalie" the man replied.

"Sir, Natalie is one of our most expensive ladies.

Perhaps you would prefer someone else." said the madam.

"No. I must see Natalie" was the man's reply.

Just then, Natalie appeared and announced to the man that she charged $1,000 a visit. Without hesitation, the man pulled out ten one hundred dollar bills and gave them to Natalie and they went upstairs. After an hour, the man calmly left.

The next night, the same man appeared again, demanding to see Natalie. Natalie explained that no one had ever come back two nights in a row - too expensive - and there were no discounts. The price was still $1,000. Again the man pulled out the money, gave it to Natalie and they went upstairs.

After an hour, he left.

The following night the man was there again. Everyone was astounded that he had come for the third consecutive night, but he paid Natalie and they went upstairs. After their session, Natalie questioned the man. "No one has ever used me three nights in a row. Where are you from?" she asked.

The man replied, "South Carolina."

"Really" she said. "I also have family in South Carolina."

"I know", the man said.

"Your father died and I am your sister's attorney. She asked me to deliver your $3,000 inheritance."

The moral of the story is: Some things in life are certain, 1. Death 2. Taxes 3. Being screwed by a lawyer

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Follow Up To Online Child Predator Discussion

Just a little heads up regarding the article featured on The Star regarding child abuse in conjunction with World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse. Hope the articles will be of help to the discussion regarding online child predators.
You may add your thoughts regarding this issue here. I've disabled comments for this entry to keep the discussion focused.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Birthday Wishes And All That

Thanks to all for the well wishes. I know this is very much overdue. Wishes came in different shapes and sizes; face-to-face, emails, blog entries, Friendster testimonials, Friendster messages, online cards, SMSes, instant messages, gifts, presents and so forth. The usual really. A few unexpected ones which is always nice. Thanks once again.

Had a very low-key celebration with my family at a Taiwanese restaurant. I prefer it to be this way nowadays. No cakes, no loud noises, no crowds. Just some quiet time spent with people that matters most to me. Not only was the food good (and allegedly healthy), it was really cheap! I really like the ambience. I will definitely go back again.

I guess Friendster still has its uses. I've been contacted a few times recently with the help of Friendster by so called long lost friends in recent weeks, mostly caused by them not taking note of the change in my email address. :P It's good to hear from them though. Still receives the occasional friend requests. I guess I'll continue keeping my Friendster account, at least for the time being. The good thing is, weird, unknown and unwanted people don't come visiting my profile anymore or sends me valentines or smiles. *phew*

Since the launch of the new blog on my birthday as a gift to you meant for more serious discussions, there has been two topics - euthanasia and online child predators. There will be follow-up discussions on these topics in the near future. I would really appreciate it if you could just post your views on these issues at the comments section. All views are accepted and appreciated. No views will be considered more right or wrong than the other and the purpose of the discussions is not to determine what is right or wrong but for us to see things from a different perspective. It would really help the discussions if more views are put forward. I would really appreciate it if you could also spread the word around regarding these discussions. Thank you in advance.

About the new blog layout, I know it's a little dull when compared to my previous layouts. Lack of colours. Lack of graphics. Lots of white spaces. Why change it then? A few reasons really. I wanted it to load faster and I love white spaces. Somehow I find it kinda serene. Very zen. The reason this column is made so narrow is very much due to the Reader's Digest concept. Having fewer words each line makes reading easier and retention better. It may be more work for your fingers to scroll down the page but less taxing on your eyes. Basically, I just grew tired of my old layout.

Anyway, there's a high possibility of fewer postings until the end of the year (as if there hasn't been a lack of updates already :P) but this is not certain yet. I'll post something up if and when I feel it is necessary. I guess you guys must have gotten used to the JSYK withdrawal syndrome by now. :P

Friday, November 17, 2006

Are You Working In The Right City?

Are You Working In The Right City?

Let's all learn French and move to Paris!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Online Child Predator

child abuse

If you are aware of the existence of an online child predator, what would you do? Lighting a candle is just not enough.

What course of action would you take?
Who do you go to with this information?
Who do you tell?
Who do you NOT tell?
Do you confront the person yourself?
Do you take a kitchen knife and thrust it in his abdomen?
Do you just keep quiet about it, hoping he/she will come to his/her senses?
Do you pray to God for some kind of divine intervention?
What would you do if you had information of an online child predator?

As a matter of fact, I do have such an information. I've decided on the course of action but I would really like to hear your opinion and discussion regarding this topic. In fact, this is just a teaser of sorts before I provide more details in an upcoming post which hopefully will lead to further discussion then.

So for now, let's discuss on what your course of action would be. What would you do if you were in such a situation?

Thank you for your comments on the previous discussion topic - euthanasia. If you would like to add further comment, you are very much welcome to do so.

ReviewMe: Get Paid To Blog

I'm getting paid to write this post. Seriously, I am. Well, at least that's what I've being promised. Not much really but something is better than nothing, no? All I need to do is write a review and I get paid. They only ask that you indicate the blog post is sponsored and your review to be at least 200 words long, and from my previous blog entries, you should know that's way too easy. Is that freaking cool or what?


The service is called ReviewMe. It is an advertising network that pays for posts on blogs, obviously a rival of PayPerPost. For those who think I've sold my soul to the devil, fret not. Nobody's bought me. No one will have a hand behind my back and dictate how I blog. I will still be that pain-in-the-ass critic that you all have come to love (or love to hate). How is that so? Well, although I'm being paid to review their products, I'm still able to write negative reviews if I do not like what I'm reviewing. The key here is unbiased reviews. So rest assured, the only agenda I will be pushing in this blog including the reviews I make in future (if any) will be mine and mine only. You will still get the frank and balanced analytical writing seen from a different perspective as you've grown accustomed to in this blog.

(click to enlarge)

A glowing review so far, so where's the beef you ask? I guess the only grouse I have with this service is how they rate your blog. Signing up is easy but getting your blog accepted is not. You may have up to six active blogs at any time. The people at ReviewMe use Alexa and Technorati to determine the popularity and eligibility of your blog to be admitted to this service.
The thing is, not everyone uses Technorati especially bloggers who are not technologically aware and trust me, there are heaps of them! As for Alexa, the traffic they monitor is widely regarded as inaccurate which they have admitted themselves to be biased. I do not want to elaborate too much on this subject since you can read more about it in this article. What I'm trying to get here is using these two sites to determine the popularity of a blog is flawed in many ways considering they are not representative or even indicative of the true nature and behaviour of the internet user population. A blog regarded as not so popular by their algorithm may well be a very popular blog with a niche group of very loyal readers. So, a very popular Chinese cuisine blog all written in Chinese with a huge following of Asian housewives not knowing what RSS is or how exactly the Internet works may possibly not get admitted to this service at all or receive a lowly rating even if admitted.
Your blog rating will also determine how much your review's worth. In my case, I'm at the wrong side of the spectrum from 'top' blogs paid up to USD250 for a single review. It's not exactly a bad thing really. There may be advertisers looking for cheaper alternatives for a particular niche audience, right?

(click to enlarge)

All in all, I think this service is great. I've been offered money to write up articles before but they wanted me to promote their agenda which I'm not so comfortable with. With ReviewMe, I get paid to blog and still keep my soul. That's good isn't it? I get to keep my soul! Now, tell me that's not a great deal. However, it would be great if they were to revise how they rank blogs.
Anyway, don't just take my word for it. Give it a spin yourself. No harm trying, right? After all, they are giving away USD25,000! So what are you waiting for? Visit their website here.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Gift For You

It's my birthday and I have a gift for you. How great is that?

Another year has come and gone. Time really flies. Many ups, many downs. Hey, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Enough about that. On with the juicy part. Let's face it - the only part of this blog post you are interested in, right? Right, the gift I mentioned earlier.

So what's this present I'm giving away on my birthday? By now you should have noticed the new layout this blog is sporting. The new blog template is not exactly the gift I was referring to but maybe a consolation prize or something? :P

OK, on with the story. Well, you might think the gift is nothing but it really means something to me. It's something I've been wanting to do but have not been able to get the ball rolling until now. It's a new blog called Reverse Hypothesis. [UPDATE: The contents of that blog have been imported to Just So You Know from July 2009]

Being a researcher, you always come up with various hypotheses. Some you eventually prove right. Some you eventually prove wrong. Some proven right gets proven wrong. Some proven wrong gets proven right. The point I'm trying very hard to make here is that there's no absolute right or wrong and everyone should be allowed to speak their mind.

That's where the blog comes into play. I feel that blogs can be a useful avenue for critical minds to come together and discuss the subject at hand openly and rationally. I tried that with this blog but I guess the constant nonsense I post in between kind of diluted the seriousness of any critical topics brought up for discussion, thus the creation of a new blog. A fresh start.

So, what happens to this blog? It will still continue as my personal blog and occasionally, critical issues will still be brought up here. Reverse Hypothesis however will play host to special discussion topics where critical thinking will flourish.

So, I cordially invite each and everyone of you to put on your thinking caps and go right over and have your say on the first topic of discussion - euthanasia. A rather bleak subject to bring up on my birthday but it is such challenging of norms that I hope will be seen regularly at Reverse Hypothesis. All diverging views are welcomed and respected. Just keep it civilised.

There you have it. My gift to you on my birthday. :)

Taking One's Life

I've not had the liberty of watching TV for awhile now but in recent days, I've been presented the opportunity to do so. To be honest, I'm not a TV fan but I find it to be very therapeutic whenever I need my brain to just wander off. The entertainment value is priceless.

couch potato

I have a fixed appointment with the idiot box every Monday night which I try not to miss. I will try my very best not to reach home after midnight on Mondays. If I reach home not having enough time to freshen up, that will just have to wait till after the sitcoms are over. I just have to get my weekly dose of laughter or I'll get really cranky.

Everybody Loves Raymond

That however is not the point I'm trying to make here. Instead, it's something totally the opposite. Very morbid as a matter of fact. An episode from a drama series I'm (technically) following made me think. Very deep thoughts. Very serious thoughts. Thoughts I've never given much thought previously.

If you are paralysed from the neck down, unable to speak, having to depend on someone to attend to your every whim, your mind works in overdrive. That is to be expected since your brain is one of the few body parts left that you have control over. One thought would almost always come to light. Wouldn't it be best for all parties if I were to leave this world? Then the issue of having to care for me wouldn't arise. Then everyone would be able to carry on with their own lives. Wouldn't that benefit all parties?


Euthanasia. The taking of one's life. It's an ethical issue. Whenever one decides to play God, it always is. Who decides we live or die? Do we have a say in this matter? It is after all our very own lives. I'm not saying suicide is alright and everyone should start jumping down from their apartments but technically, this is not suicide, right? Mercy killing is different from suicide, no?

Christopher Reeve

Of course reference to Peter Tan or Christopher Reeve aka Superman would come into the discussion sooner or later but let's not forget that Peter is paralysed from the waist chest down. He still has control over his upper body. Christopher Reeves may be paralysed from the neck down but he could still speak and reach out to the world, although he did contemplate euthanasia once early in his recovery.

If you are paralysed from the neck down, unable to speak, having to depend on someone to attend to your every whim, you won't be faulted for feeling helpless. Matter of fact is, you ARE helpless. And if I were to be in such a condition, I would seriously consider euthanasia and have my organs donated to patients who urgently need them and are able to live a more fulfilling life.

That's just me. What would you do?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Things My Mom Taught Me

Found this email very interesting and funny but somewhat real!

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE:
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside - I just finished cleaning!"

My mother taught me RELIGION:
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL:
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

My mother taught me LOGIC:
"Because I said so, thats why."

My mother taught me FORESIGHT:
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

My mother taught me IRONY:
"Keep crying and Ill give you something to cry about."

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS:
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper!"

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM:
"Will you *look* at the dirt on the back of your neck!"

My mother taught me about STAMINA:
"You'll sit there till all that spinach is finished."

My mother taught me about WEATHER:
"It looks as if a cyclone swept through your room."

My mother taught me how to solve PHYSICS PROBLEMS:
"If I yelled because I saw a meteor coming toward you; would you listen then?"

My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY:
"If I've told you once, I've told you a million times - don't exaggerate!"

My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE:
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

My mother taught me about ENVY:
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do!"

So how many reminds you of your mom? ;)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Freakish Dreams

It has been a freaky few nights lately. I've been having some really weird dreams for the past few nights. I wouldn't say it's as nightmarish or creepy as the one I talked about earlier this year but let's just say it's not exactly something you would want as your dreams.

I wouldn't say they were scary dreams and definitely can't say they were nightmares either. I didn't wake up breaking any sweat or anything, the dreams were quite calm and felt real in more ways than one. It definitely ain't no Nightmare on Elm Street, that's for sure.

[SOURCE: DVD Review]

Let's start with the most recent one. I can't remember all the details but I was outside a building where some hostages were being held. The 'terrorists' were threatening to wipe them out with some biological weapon if demands weren't met. The next thing I knew, I saw the hostages dropping one by one like flies and strangely I didn't find the scene horrific in anyway. I just woke up like nothing happened. In reality nothing actually happened but somehow I find it amazing that I do not feel anything about something so terrible that my brain could come up with.

It's not exactly the first time I've had a dream like that. In a previous similar dream I was supposedly in the midst of a nuclear strike. I was inside a skyscraper surrounded with glass windows and had a great 360 degrees view of the surroundings outside. Suddenly I felt a tremor and when I looked outside, I saw an orange mushroom smoke developing on the horizon. I turned around and there was another one! A few more followed and the next thing I knew, I 'died' and woke up. A little overkill with the amount of nuclear bombs dropped but freaky anyway, no? Maybe I've been watching a little too much of 24. :P

[SOURCE: Nuclear Weapon Archive]

Alright, now let's move on to the more interesting dream, well at least to me. Honestly, I find this dream very fascinating. Why? Because the dream was about me being diagnosed of having a huge tumour in my head. Yes, a growth in my brain. Yup, brain cancer! Can you actually believe someone would actually have such a dream about him or herself? I even had a CT scan in my hands showing where the lump is and trust me, the lump was huge!!!

[SOURCE: Wikipedia]

That dream actually explains a lot. The constant headaches, temporal eyesight problems, slower brain processing power and many others. Maybe one of these days I should just give my trusted medical doctor a visit just to be sure. Now, here's the strange and interesting part. Somehow, I just don't feel anything about the thought of me having brain cancer. No fear, no worries, no feelings, no emotions. Of course it would suck big time especially when my brain is one of the organs I'm very fond of, but I just don't seem to have any worries about it. Maybe it's the thought of me having insurance coverage that quelled my fears but still very strange, no?

My dreams have a freaky way of coming true so I just hope these don't end up on the list of realised dreams. As much as I love the thought that I may have some kind of superpower, I would prefer these dreams to remain dreams. I mean who would actually want any of these dreams to come true, right?

Happy Halloween everyone and hope you don't get any nightmares or freakish dreams tonight! :P

Monday, October 30, 2006

hitsFM or shitFM

[SOURCE: Anthem America]

Just had to post this up. The design for this car is just horrible! You decide: hitsFM or shitFM?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Light A Million Candles

Do your part in the fight against online child predators. All you need to do is just light a candle. Yes, it's as easy as that. Watch the video below if you are not convinced.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Eid Mubarak

Wishing all Muslims near and far a peaceful Eid ul-Fitr.

Happy holidays to everyone else.

P/S Happy (belated) Diwali to all Hindus who observes Deepavali.

Just a small reflection:
Isn't it strange that the Government declared weeks ago that October 23rd will be a holiday for all civil servants so that they will enjoy continuous days off beginning from Deepavali when in fact we don't even know when Hari Raya Aidilfitri will officially begin since the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal will only make the announcement after the sighting of the moon which would be a day or two before Hari Raya? How if Hari Raya would to fall on October 25th instead of October 24th? What then?

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Manager's Dilemma

One for the weekend.

An office manager had money problems and had to fire an employee, either Jack or Jill. He thought he'd fire the employee who came late to work the next morning.

Well, both employees came to work very early. Then the manager thought he would catch the first one who took a coffee break. Unfortunately, neither employee took a coffee break.

Then the manager decided to see who took the longest lunch break - strangely, neither Jack nor Jill took a lunch break that day, they both ate at their desk. Then the manager thought he'd wait and see who would leave work the earliest and both employees stayed after closing.

Jill finally went to the coat rack and the manager went up to her & said,
"Jill, I have a terrible problem. I don't know whether to lay you or Jack off."

Jill said, "Well, you'd better jack off, because I'm late for my bus."

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

STROKE: Remember The First Three Letters...

My friend sent this to me and encouraged me to post it and spread the word. I agree. If everyone can remember something this simple, we could save some folks. Seriously. Please read:


During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food - while she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - at 6:00pm, Ingrid passed away. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

It only takes a minute to read this...

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognised, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


Thank God for the sense to remember the "3" steps, STR . Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognise the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognise a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE


(Coherently) (i.e. . . It is sunny out today)

R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS

{NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue... if the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke}

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this shares it with 10 people, you can bet that at least one life will be saved but seriously, do you actually need a cardiologist to tell you that?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's Not Indonesia, El Nino's To Blame For Haze

Some smart-ass Malaysian researcher currently with the United Nations University in Tokyo claims that El Nino's to blame for the bloody haze we are experiencing, not Indonesia. [PDF] (Note: Emphasis mine)

El Nino from Indian Ocean causing haze

PETALING JAYA: It is unfair for Malaysia to blame Indonesia for the latest haze situation, said a Malaysian researcher with the United Nations University in Tokyo.

C.K. Tan attributed the haze to the El-Nino occurring in the Indian Ocean called the "Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)".

The IOD, he said, would cause severe droughts and it would easily lead to forest fires during the IOD year.

As the dry condition continued due to IOD, the haze would be more serious.

I really want to know what he's smoking up there in Tokyo because we Malaysians would really need some of that stuff to clear/cloud our minds enough (depending on your current state of mind) to comprehend the nonsense he is blabbing.

Has he forgotten the state of emergency we had to declare August last year? Has he been living in Tokyo for so long that he does not realise the haze export business our 'lovely' neighbour Indonesia is involved in for over a decade (or two) now is a recurring event this time of the year, EVERY YEAR without fail?!? Is the IOD and El Nino a yearly affair? I don't think so! So how is it he can come up with such a connection when the root of the problem is really the inaction of the Indonesian authorities?

He must be smoking something really strong to wipe all that from his memory or is he really that foolish to dish up such a lame rationale as that? If an Indonesian newspaper editor can put up his hands to take the blame [PDF] for the nauseating haze problem, I don't understand how this true-blue Malaysian can come up with such an incoherent argument as this?

Maybe this, this and this will remind him of what we have to endure here in Malaysia on a yearly basis while he's breathing fresh clean air up there in Japan.

Monday, October 09, 2006

SMS Quirks Of Sorts

Every now and then, I will receive some really strange (and interesting) SMS on my mobile phone. I've been getting quite a few lately. There was a time I received a flurry of SMS from China concerning me 'winning' a jackpot of sorts. How stupid can one be to actually believe this is true?!?

Anyway, spam has finally found its way to mobile phones and SMS is not the only medium they are using. They are also making use of the push message service that most phones (if not all) are able to receive. This can actually be easily rectified by setting your phone to decline all push messages but I feel this is actually a very good service which for example the Government can use to inform the public of certain news such as tsunami alerts or something like that. I just wish there's an efficient spam filtering service like the one used in Gmail implemented for phones. Wouldn't that be cool?

During festivities, I will also receive some strange SMS in the form of unknown persons or those written with Chinese characters. Friends know I'm unable to read Chinese characters apart from my name and those easily distinguishable and common ones, but somehow they will still send me SMS greetings containing Chinese characters, probably hoping I've somehow automagically learnt the language overnight. I can speak (a fair bit) but I just can't read the language to save my life! How then does it help if I don't understand what is being written in the messages? All I can assume is it's some Mid-Autumn Festival greeting (for those I received a few days back) and hope they are not cursing me in Mandarin for not sending them mooncakes. :P

The SMS below however comes out tops, in my opinion.

Maxis offering number - 01249702** if you're interested pls kindly contact for more information thx 01251146** ms liw.

** number blanked out for obvious privacy reasons.

OK, the number this 'Ms Liw' is offering is very close to my number (only one number off) but it's just amazing that people nowadays will resort to such tactics to make a quick buck. I can only imagine the number of SMS she sent out, spamming those of us who have numbers close to the one she is offering. I'm not about to take out my calculator and start punching some numbers to see the number of probabilities but one message alone is already IMHO one too many.

Do you have any recent weird SMS to share?

Sunday, October 08, 2006


by Beyonce

"Irreplaceable" music video by Beyonce

To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
Everything you own in the box to the left

In the closet that's my stuff
Yes, if I bought it nigga please don't touch
And keep talking that mess that's fine
But, could you walk and talk at the same time
And, it's my name that's on that Jag
So come move your bags, let me call you a cab

Standing in the front yard
Telling me how I'm such a fool
Talking bout I'll never ever find a man like you
You got me twisted

You must not know about me, you must not know about me
I could have another you in a minute
Matter of fact, he'll be here in a minute, baby
You must not know about me, you must not know about me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don't you ever for a second get to thinking
You're irreplaceable

So go ahead and get gone, call up that chick
And see if she's home
Oops, I bet you thought that I didn't know
What did you think I was putting you out for
Because you was untrue

Rolling her around in the car that I bought you
Baby, drop them keys
Hurry up before your taxi leaves

Standing in the front yard
Telling me how I'm such a fool
Talking bout I'll never ever find a man like you
You got me twisted

You must not know about me, you must not know about me
I could have another you in a minute
Matter of fact, he'll be here in a minute, baby
You must not know about me, you must not know about me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don't you ever for a second get to thinking
You're irreplaceable

So since I’m not your everything
How about I'll be nothing
Nothing at all to you
Baby, I wont shed a tear for you
I won't lose a wink of sleep
Cuz the truth of the matter is
Replacing you is so easy

To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
Everything you own in the box to the left
To the left, to the left
So don't you ever for a second get to thinking
You're irreplaceable

You must not know about me, you must not know about me
I could have another you in a minute
Matter of fact, he'll be here in a minute, baby
You must not know about me, you must not know about me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don't you ever for a second get to thinking

You must not know about me, you must not know about me
I could have another you in a minute
Matter of fact, he'll be here in a minute
You can pack all your bags
We're finished
Cause you made your bed
Now lay in it
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don't you ever for a second get to thinking
You're irreplaceable

I'm so head over heels over this song at the moment, it's insane I tell you and that's not even taking into account the satisfaction of watching Beyonce shake her booty in the music video! It's not often I mention how good the lyrics are for a particular song but this one is very well written. The tune is very catchy while the lyrics are very fiesty and realistic. Everytime she sings the chorus especially the "in a minute" section, my heart beats a few times faster. Hearing here sing this song especially that particular part of the song is very orgasmic, I'll tell you that much!

This third release from her sophomore album B'Day is a total hit. The music video is equally well done. While the song is pitch perfect, the choreography is just flawless. Too bad the only booty shake is at 1:18 but trust me, it was enough to make my heart race. ~drool~ I may have mentioned that Beyonce may have to share that special place in my heart with one Rihanna after watching her S.O.S. music video in this post. I would like to retract that statement with immediate effect. How foolish of me to actually think that someone like her could replace Beyonce? She's IRREPLACEABLE! ;)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Death And Resurrection Of Palm Tungsten E

You've heard of (and probably experienced) Window's infamous Blue Screen of Death.

[SOURCE: Wikipedia]

Let me introduce you to the White Screen of Death I discovered on my Palm Tungsten E a few days back. This is what I should see when I turn on my Palm.


Instead, I got this when I tried to power it up.

Soft resetting it didn't work. Neither did the warm (system) reset. No luck even with the hard reset. Technically, my Palm was brain-dead and I'm sure I was dead too when my heart stopped beating for a few seconds. The pure virgin white display was really upsetting me in more ways than one. Little did it know it will lose its virginity very soon. :P

The first thing I did the following morning when I left for campus was to search for the Torx driver that would enable me to open the cover. I found the seriously impossible to find T5 driver at my very first stop but not after searching high and low for that particular size. The shop had in abundance T8 and above sizes but only one particular set that contained the T5 driver I needed.

This 'Mobile Phone Repair Set' cost me a whole RM9 after some haggling. Still costly IMHO.

I started violating my beloved Palm as soon as I reached campus. The power from the rechargeable battery had been fully drained after the white screen lighted up my room the night before since I couldn't get my Palm to switch off or do anything at all, for a matter of fact. I used the tools I just purchased and started prying it open with the help of online resources I found using Google. I was very slow and careful initially since I was afraid of breaking something and condemning my Palm to forever function as a very expensive paperweight. After a few rounds of opening and closing the cover, the task became really easy as the fear dissipated.

After successfully opening the cover without breaking anything, I was greeted with this.

Back and front of the mainbord, above and below, respectively.

I didn't know what to do frankly but deep down inside I hoped it was just a loose connection and I could just push it back intact and everything would automagically return to normal. I couldn't find anything amiss except for the power switch which was already giving me problems for awhile now. I decided since I had opened the case, I might as well fix the power switch problem by soldering it properly to the mainboard, right?

It wasn't easy since everything on the mainboard is so tiny and I don't exactly have 20/20 vision. Soldering did help but I still had to slip a piece of rolled-up paper behind the switch to give it some support so it won't break or come loose again from my constant abuse of the power switch. :P Why they didn't place a foam behind the power switch for additional support is beyond my comprehension since the power button is bound to be one of the most used button on the PDA!

I put the cover back on and tried firing up my PDA. No luck. I was still greeted by the white screen. I opened up my Palm a few more times the following days just to look at the circuits and connectors, using a magnifying glass even, just to see if anything was not right. Everything looked OK to me, not that I'm an electronics expert or anything but nothing looked amiss to me. I repeated this process over and over again until suddenly, out of the blue the Palm logo replaced the total white screen. Progress, finally!

Tried all the three different resets but still I couldn't get my Palm to load up properly. I was repeatedly flashed with fatal error messages. I kept opening up the cover and pushing all the connectors inside to make sure everything was not loose. After all that, I was still stuck with the Palm logo. At least it was better than the white screen, no? Well, maybe but it still sucked as much.

One day though, after repeating the same process, my Palm was alive again! I didn't do anything different so I don't know what actually brought my Palm back to life but I don't really care anymore. The important thing is that I can now use my PDA again! I synched my Palm with the backup data from my desktop computer and everything was back to normal again. I still don't know what happened really since I care for my PDA very much and there are no scratches on it whatsoever unlike my mobile phone which I've dropped probably close to a hundred times by now (who says Samsung phones are not durable? :P). I didn't install any new programs or drop it. I didn't use it any differently from ordinary. The only thing I can speculate is that it could have been a loose connection that caused me the misery (which seems to be quite common after you've used your PDA for awhile).

It wasn't that I had anything that I couldn't live without on the PDA that I don't have backed up on my desktop computer but there are some contents that can only access on the PDA which is crucial to me but not exactly a matter of life or death. I use my PDA quite heavily and rely on the contents of my PDA quite a lot, and the few days without my PDA was really awful.

It made me realise that I depend too much on technology and my life will be affected if any of those technologies or gadgets were to be taken away from me. I should do something about this but no one can deny that technology helps us a lot in our daily life by squeezing more time from our busy schedules, making information more accessible and making life easier. Still, I have to learn to be less dependant on technology and I intend to work on it.

I'm glad I chose to rectify the problem myself which I fortunately succeeded. The choice was actually forced on me since it would cost a flat fee of USD125 (~RM450) for any repairs sent in excluding shipping charges and I'm dead broke at the moment. Even if I could afford that amount, I would probably not send it in for repairs and use the money to purchase a new unit instead. In the end, it cost me only RM9 for the T5 driver needed to open the cover. A real bargain if you ask me. ;)