Friday, December 30, 2005

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

That Question Again...

This morning, my colleague asked me some questions. Firstly, age. I told him I'm 32 going on 33. And then, he asked me what my new year's resolution is going to be. I said, I haven't thought about it.

And then he asked me, how come I don't seem to be concerned about getting married. Apparently, he can't understand why I can't find women since I'm very "sociable" and go out a lot.

*Groans....* I knew it. There was no way I can go on for any significant amount of time without having to explain myself to people when it comes to my "status".

I didn't really mind being asked like that. He didn't mean any harm and he was probably genuinely curious.

And right now, I am thinking about that. All I can say is... I don't know, but it's better for me to stay single right now.

It ain't happening anytime soon. I no longer go looking for it. I no longer dream about meeting "someone" and living happily ever after. What can I say, it's no longer a holy grail. I guess I just don't believe in it any more.

Just as well because, I'm still not fit to be in any kind of serious relationship right now. I'm far too damaged, too defensive and too scared to get involved. I don't think I can deal with the responsibility of being in a relationship. For me, it's very dangerous. I cannot risk another failed attempt, another rejection and the disappointment of things not working out and things turning out to be something other than what it should be. And I absolutely cannot risk falling for people who will never feel the same way about me.

One more disaster, one more humiliating screw-up and it will undo all the work that I've done pulling myself together to become the semi-stable person I am nowadays. I've come so far, then and now. I don't ever want to go back down that road again. I'm too old for that shit.

Actually, I feel most sorry for my parents. They'll need to look elsewhere for grand children. I won't blame them for being disappointed. I feel sorry for some of my friends, especially those who try to set me up with other people. I bet they're feeling disappointed that nothing is working.

I'm sorry. It's not you guys and it's not really the people they try to set me up with. It's just me.

Maybe one day, when I'm more surefooted, when I'm braver, more stable emotionally. Until then, everything stays the way they are.

Maybe one day.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

I've just got back from church.

It's funny how it works out, one day you think faith is dead and the next day the priest delivers a killer sermon specifically for that. It's true what is said, God doesn't give up on his people.

I had a nice time.

In case people wonder which pagan festival Christmas is supposed to be based on, it is the festival of Sol Invictus. And the possible reason why the two are celebrated on the same day:-

"Some scholars maintain that December 25 was only adopted in the 4th century as a Christian holiday after Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity to encourage a common religious festival for both Christians and pagans"

There's more. Keep reading the links, very educational and interesting.

But to me personally, the exact date doesn't matter. The more important thing is why we celebrate Christmas and what it means.

Merry Christmas to all of you and peace and good will to all people.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Still Here

I haven't been updating much have I? I haven't.

I'm not sure why, considering how much I really want to talk about. Things like people who take things too personally, retarded internet arguments, how we need "villains" in our lives to justify our own causes, blogs I recently discovered and more. And I have about four million words to say about current issues stuff like the lame attempts the cops are making in saving their tarnished "reputation" from the nudie squat affair and even lamer attempts by halfwit UMNO MPs to try and foist the blame for this on their usual hapless scapegoats i.e opposition MPs.

Honestly, politics and politicians sicken me, and yet I find political news irresistable. It's like smoking I'm telling you.

I do feel very tired however. I'm so glad the year will end soon. And talking about that, I kind of miss having the year end blues. This month is supposed to be punctuated by bouts of melancholic reminiscence and wallowing in my own self pity and loneliness. It hasn't been like that so far.

I kind of miss the oddly comfortable misery feeling like that brings. Something is changing here, I'm not sure what. I feel quite different from what I usually feel.

Anyway, before I forget, let me write about some minor stuff and things I've been up to.

I have discovered a wonderful eatery in town. It's in front of St. Mary's School, a stone's throw from The Junk. It's a little, cosy place called Bla Bla Bla. It's marvelous. The food is great and the environment and atmosphere better. I love it. We should have a blogger's gathering there soon.

The only problem with the place is there is absolutely no where to park without ending up walking long distances. In the dark.

Still, I like it and I'll be back there very soon. I hope they serve wine.

I'm playing a WW2 shooter so bloody difficult, it makes Call of Duty 2 seem like a cakewalk. It is called Brothers In Arms: Earned In Blood. It's a squad based game where you have to order around two sections of men to achieve your objectives.

Very steep learning curve and very realistic. I'm almost wishing that The Major can help with some tactical advise. I'm stuck at a level where I'm supposed to clear a town. Urban combat, very dangerous.

When I get bored of having my ass shot off by angry Germans, I still fall back to Need for Speed Most Wanted. It's been a while now, and the game is still fun.

I wished it included Feraris and Hondas.

And talking about that, all you people who are hitting my blog in search of SDHIDER, please go here.

I hope that helped.

Another nice thing that happened just now is that I've been invited to guest blog at one of my favourite blogs! That was a pleasant surprise. The problem is that I can't think of anything to write about yet. It has to be something that appeals to everyone, not just Malaysians, and it should be seasonal.

What eh?

Tonight is my last night of work for the year. Next week I come back to work in the day after Christmas. And next week, I'm going to Permai for three days. I hope they have internet connection somewhere nearby. And I hope I don't forget to bring my camera. And buy batteries.

And this Sunday is Christmas! How cool is that!?

And tomorrow evening, the bloggers' BBQ. I'm looking forward to that.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


There are not many good reasons for sitting still for three odd hours. King Kong however, is quite a good reason.

For a movie to last that long and not have many boring bits is quite an achievement.

Action packed would be a nice description.

And not only that. Jack Black's in it. He's cool. And Naomi Watts, who not only look like Nicole Kidman but is also apparently her best friend.

And Andy Serkis, who is in real danger of being type cast as...... an animal? And why not? He makes quite a decent animal.

Colin Hanks and Adrien Brody did quite well too.

Overall, I liked it. Go and watch. I like it enough to want to buy the DVD when it comes out.

Another movie which I surprisingly liked was one we saw on Thursday evening, a malay movie simply called Rock. It's about a rock band that almost made it. It was so cool, despite suffering from a very common ailment that many local movies suffer i.e good idea, bad execution.

But it was funny and nostalgic at the same time, being set in the early nineties. As you know, that period was the heyday of the Malaysian rock movement.

Those were good times. Anyway the movie.

It was great. I enjoyed it. Funny and nostalgic, and a little sad at the same time. I especially like the jam studio scenes. We used to do exactly the same thing in a jamming studio that looked almost identical.

I also watched The Dukes of Hazzard. Also fun. It has to be. Stifler is in it.

I think I've caught all the movie worth catching this year. Now, I look forward to watching Gubra, the much anticipated "sequel" to Sepet. I wonder if the government will miss the point again try ban this one. Hmm.....

Oh damn it, I forgot about Memoirs of a Geisha. I'm watching this one for sure.

I've watched so many movies this year, I wonder what a list of it would look like....

Current Music - Dari Sinar Mata, Bumiputera Rockers

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Lot Can Happen In One Year

A hell of a lot in fact. Remarkable considering how short a year actually is. You'd think when you get older, the odds of changing are less. It is sort of, but not quite.

A lot can change in one year. I for one think I've gone through an overhaul.

I sit here in December and can safely say am a very different person from January. A false alarm? Could be. But that's not important right now.

Now what am I wittering on about?

There's this clever little meme that I've seen floating round the web. Some of my friends have done it. I thought, this could be fun. So here it is.

Go to your Calendar and find the first entry for each month of 2005. Post the first line of it in your journal, and that's your "Year In Review."

January 05-
I just came back from the most fun New Year's Eve bash I've had in the longest time.

February 05 -
I had lunch at a coffeeshop at Bishopgate today with Diana and Jane.

March 05 -
What a waste of a perfectly good day.

April 05 -
Yes, that was what I had for dinner.

May 05 -

June 05 -
Fortunate soul ? I somehow find that funny.

July 05 -
I'm tired.

August 05 -
Since my brain is still mush, I will refrain from writing long, long entries where I will get confused by the second paragraph.

September 05 -
I couldn't resist it.

October 05 -
Last night, Rin called me to join them at The Crib.

November 05 -
I'm back.

December 05 -
You know you're famous when....

An excellent meme don't you agree. And a good way to recap the year.

I suddenly have a thought. If I were to pick the top ten best/favourite entries from Riding The Mellow in 2005, what would they be?

Actually, I think that would make a good meme...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Small Rant and Other, Happier Things

I'm posting, which means that I'm at work.

Only a fortnight left before Christmas! It's unbelievable how fast this year has gone by. I hope the year will end well. At least I hope the year will end better than last week.

I had a rather unpleasant encounter with a superior. I won't go into details, all I can say is that I don't appreciate personal attacks and rude comments about my ability to do work. Normally, I'm a non-confrontational person. But after last week's outburst, I'm not giving this superior any more face.

The next time he pulls a stunt like this, I will be very, very rude. If this happens a third time, I will do something very, very dire and become his worst nightmare.

I do realize that perhaps he was in a bad mood. Maybe he has problems at home. Maybe he has a deadline and he's being pressured.

I don't care.

You do not take out your frustrations, anger, disappointment etc on other people. Other people don't exist to entertain you when you are pissed off. It is not ok to do this.

If you want some attention when you are feeling poorly, then open your mouth and say,"I need to get something off my chest." or "I have a problem and I feel like crap" instead of acting like a bitch and expecting people to guess why. Or worse, expecting people to understand.

Especially when I'm not even your friend.

And, in case any one accuses me that I probably do the same thing, I don't. I do not use my friends, colleagues, family members, total strangers, pets etc as punching bags to blow off steam when things go wrong.

If I need to, I open my mouth and talk, at the risk of being accused of being a whiny, little bitch. Which is a fair accusation, sometimes.

And one more thing, I wouldn't have minded so much if I was wrong. Instead, I got ticked off because the bastard can't speak English and failed to clarify an instruction. That, is NOT my problem.

Ok, now that we've gotten that off my chest, let's move on now.


I had good fun last night.

We went to the Film Fest at Cultural Village to catch the Lord of The Rings extended trilogy. That's what? Nine, ten hours. We finished at six in the morning.

The projector was set up in a clearing near the woods at Cultural Village and the screen was put up on an outdoor stage. Luckily, the weather was absolutely perfect for an outdoor screening. The stars were out and there was no rain. There were no insects and it wasn't very cold at all.

It's quite interesting to be lying in a field on a poncho while watching a movie.

This outdoor film fest thing is a brilliant idea. I hope it becomes annual. Tonight Batman Begins is showing. Unfortunately, I'm working.

Talking about movies, we watched Narnia on Thursday night. It was great. I was quite impressed.

The pacing was just right. It's a long-ish movie but it didn't really feel like it. No boring, draggy parts to endure.

I was quite impressed with the special effects like the talking animals and creatures like centaurs and minotaurs.

That reminds me of an article I read about this. Apparently, the late C.S Lewis didn't want to have a live action version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe because he thought that the special effects would ruin the story with less than convincing animal characters.

I'm sure if he knew what CGI is capable of today he wouldn't mind.

Overall, it was quite satisfying.

Next, King Kong! Should be good too.

Apart from watching movies, I've been downloading episodes of Top Gear. Awesome car show, simply awesome. And not only for the cars. It has one other thing that I really like to watch.

British humour. Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Rich Hammond are insanely hilarious. I also have to mention the mysterious character known only as... The Stig, who is the show's resident test driver. He doesn't say anything and nobody knows who he is since he's always wearing a white helmet with black tinted visors.

It's a laugh riot and educational at the same time. If you like cars and things like that, watch Top Gear. You'll love it.

Ok then, off to work now.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Ok. Ten minute post before all the other elves arrive at the office. It would help if I actually had something to write about.

It's three weeks and the year is out. I find that amazing.

And this year, a very rare year when I don't feel like greeting the end of it with a great big sigh of relief. Instead, I'll have some good memories from this year.

I wish so much that I could have had a year like this 10 years ago, when I was 22. Yeah, now and then I remember what a complete waste of a decade 1993-2003 was. A complete, utter waste of time. I regret nearly every moment of it.

I had a dream a couple of weeks ago. In it, I went back to key moments in my memory and righted wrongs and made the right choices.

In one of my old jobs, my boss asked me and another colleague to choose between MIS and another position at the networking services, I stood up and chose to go and be a support technician as opposed to staying a programmer, which is very hard when you can't do programming. Had I chosen tech support, I might still be there, earning more than I do now. Plus, it was a government position with all the bells and whistles.

I said no thanks to a "business" deal with a friend, thus saving me around 40,000 bucks and a whole lot of trouble later on.

Instead of banging my head into a brick wall while I try to get together with an ex-girlfriend who obviously wasn't interested and have said so a dozen times, I cut my loses and walked away despite my own desires.

Instead of going to Saratok when someone I fancied asked me, I said no instead, knowing that I don't do well when meeting older people and do even worse when there is an ostensibly "superior" rival.

I wake up and since having that dream, I keep asking where would I be now if I had done things right, if I had been more decisive.

I'd probably be a lot happier, a lot sooner. I'd probably be a bigger, better, faster me.

That's the beauty of hindsight isn't it? It's always 20/20.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Flux and Ends

Aeon Flux was surprisingly good. Charlize Theron is surprisingly leggy.

I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. It had a really strong anime feel to it.

I thought Marton Csokas looked extremely familiar but I didn't really know from where. Later I find out that apparently, he was in Lord of the Rings.

I like the way the environment of the film was set. It had a severe, industrial look that conveys a kind of hopelessness and cynicism.

In other news, I've finished playing Need for Speed Most Wanted. I can inform everyone that when I got to No.1 on the Black List, the game became nearly impossible. I had to use a no bust trainer to get pass the final police chase.

All in all, an excellent game and I'm playing it again. Or maybe it's time to go back to football management?

Today yet again, was a very busy day. It seems our workload is directly proportionate to the number of people we have. The new guys were supposed to help lightened the load. Instead, the workload is keeping pace.

I notice something. How do you make someone who is usually languid and a little spaced out at work concentrate and be able to handle more responsibilities?

Give him an apprentice. Or in my case, two.

Suddenly, I'm worried about what I do and how I do my work. I'm actually concerned about Setting a Good Example(TM).

This is so unlike me. I like to goof off and do my own thing at work, like read blogs. Now I don't really feel like doing that anymore.

It's not a bad thing I guess. About time I be a little bit more responsible anyway.

I've had some more thoughts over the last few days, many of which formed during late night conversations. Too bad I can't seem to recall them all.

But I do vaguely recall one.

It's a sad thing that everything in life has to have an ending. Especially good things, like friendship and good company. Wouldn't it be nice to be contented for the rest of life? It's easy to forget that even that will end and will change. Better? Worse? Who knows?

I guess there are no happily ever afters in real life.

I hope when things change in my corner I'll be able deal with it instead of falling to pieces like I'm prone to doing.

I've had a nice day. I hope your's is good too.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


You know you're famous when....

.... you find your first album seeded on Torrentspy.

Click for bigger image.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Alo? Salut, Sunt eu un Haiduc

"Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma nu ma iei
Nu ma nu ma iei nu ma nu ma nu ma iei.
Chipul tau si dragostea din tei"

- Dragostea Din Tea, O-Zone, Disc-Ozone

Four day weekend coming up. Possibly going to watch Aeon Flux tomorrow.

I forgot to bring my cell phone today. How stupid is that? I have this strange tendency to forget things. If I had to remember 10 things or names or facts, I'll almost always remember only 9.

It's been like that ever since I was a child. Must be a genetic problem....

I downloaded O-Zone's Disc-Ozone last night. Oh! What fun! This means that apart from English and Malay music, I now have Romanian (or is that Moldavan?) music on my PC. I also have Italian music. Luna Pop's Squerez album I got from Rin.

Now if only I can figure out how to include "Dragostea Din Tea" in Need For Speed's EATrax in car music.....

I also need to remind myself to update my music backup.

I'm looking forward to a good rest of the week and a good December.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sdhider and a Comment About Cops

I'm going to help all those people who've been searching for sdhider. In my hit counter, "sdhider" is the most common keyword over the last few days.

Also, just to inform anyone who is looking for it, there is NO crack for NSF: Most Wanted at present.

Last time I check, sdhider.rar can be found here. If the link dies one of these days, sdhider can probably be found either as a torrent download or on any p2p network.

Please also remember to follow sdhider instructions EXACTLY, or your game WILL NOT run. Do the following:-

- Mount disc 1 and wait for it to autorun.
- Launch sdhider and click Hide.
- Quit Daemon, or any other image mounting software that was used. Be sure to leave all emulation options on when you exit.
- Click play on the Most Wanted autorun menu. The game should run. If it doesn't unmount everything and start from the beginning.
- Once you finish playing, please click Restore on the sdhider menu after exiting Most Wanted.

Sdhider is also useful for other games that use Securom copy protection, like Quake 4.

While I'm at it, get Daemon Tools. It's very useful. Please get familiar with it.

Here ends the public service announcement.

In other news, I'm tired. It's been a tough coupla days at work.

I had originally planned to write about a very hot current issue, the police video thing with the strip search and the ketuk ketampi footage.

I'm not going to write in depth about that. Thousands of bloggers are doing it and I'm too busy to be doing parrot impressions.

While I know that there are nice, friendly, good police personnel out there, my feelings about the cops in general are quite well known to people who know me.

My feelings haven't changed. First, the IGP doesn't say anything (although he could've said something yesterday, I haven't checked the news yet). Then, the Deputy IGP quite blatantly tells the whole country that the police will investigate and GO AFTER THE WHISTLEBLOWER.

The cops are nothing but a bunch of thugs, no different from those triads that they are supposed to be combatting.

I don't trust cops in general. No offense to individuals who are policemen of course. I do know a few personally. These ones I trust.

There are a few more things I want to say about cops, including one or two suggestions that might help raise the quality of individuals who choose police work as a career.

I have a feeling that cops are generally corrupted morons (especially beat cops and low rank desk flunkies) because people who become cops usually do so because they can't find any other work. I personally feel that training standards are too low and have too little emphasis on attitude adjustment. That's why so many moron beat cops have such an addiction to the power trip they get when they harrass innocent people.

And no, this is not a generalisation or a stereotype a sweeping statement. It's happened. To me and people I know.

But more on this some other time. Or when I feel like it anyway.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What I've Been up to This Week

Some sad announcements. Pat Morita is dead. George Best is also dead. Long live both of them.

Been away from the net. Very busy. Playing computer games....

Last week, I finally got around to trimming and culling my blogroll. It was long overdue. Also overdue is my link list updating. I don't know when I'll feel like doing it.

We have a new toy in the house. Yesterday, my parents and I pooled money to buy a parabolic dish. So now, we have another satellite decoder. Currently it has three satellites programmed into it, one Chinese sat (AsiaSat?) and two Indonesian ones (Palapa C2 and the other one I forget the name). I think I'll need to go around and look for more info on more satellites to scan with the dish.

Also, we need to get a taller ladder because the dish is on the roof and needs to be manually adjusted when switching satellites.

Anyone else interested in parabolic dishes? It's very cheap now, it can be had for a mere RM490. The one with the motorized dish will cost RM1000 plus though.

I also need help with satellite info. Does anyone have any info or links to websites with the info? Please leave a comment. Thank you.

Like I was saying, I've been playing games.

I had a good week in Football Manager 2006 with AS Roma. We won the Scudetto (Italian Serie A league title). I also won the European Champions League, beat Bayern Munich on penalties. In the summer as Italy manager, I won Euro 2008 by beating Croatia, also on penalties. The new season started, and I won the both the European Supercup and the Italian Super Cup.

On top of the league now with 12 matches played. Am on a 31 match unbeaten streak in the Serie A. However, I'm taking a break from football because Need for Speed Most Wanted is getting really interesting.

I'm more than halfway through the game now. It's awesome! I have a yellow Lamborghini Gallardo now. I decided not add to or modify the car's appearance. Somehow, it feels wrong to put things like stickers or those humonguos carbon fibre "ah beng" spoilers on a Lambo....

And bloody hell, the Gallardo is fast! It goes 0-100km/h in less than 5 seconds and I've clocked speeds of 300+km/h on that thing. If I had a Gallardo in real life, I wouldn't know how to drive it without special training.

The Gallardo is my favourite car right now.

I also kept all my old cars and the cars I won from rival drivers. Currently, I have a Mitsubishi Eclipse, a Merc SL500 (nice!!), a 'Vette C6, a purple Mustang (classic!) and my good ol' Fiat Punto.

And the thing about the Fiat Punto, when it comes to running away from cops, the Punto is my most "notorious" car. That car is so much fun to drive, especially now with stage 2 turbocharging and with upgraded transmission and brakes.

And how rich must a person be to actually own something like a Gallardo? I think it'll cost about 2 million ringgit.... And lets not talk about fuel consumption shall we? At least in Need for Speed, I don't need to buy gas.....

Apart from all the gaming, I've been out with friends as usual. And as usual, the conversation's been great. Like on Friday night when we discussed world changing topics like how chick peas resemble a horse's ass and the merits of different shoelace tying methods.

Yes, we indulge in some vital, serious discussions.....

But seriously, I had a good break from work. And look at the date, the end of the year is coming already.

And with that, I've made an observation.

...No year end blues this year.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What Makes A Pirate

Long long ago, I had a reluctance to buy CDs because they were expensive. I was but a poor college student then.

Nowadays, I don't want to buy audio CDs anymore because they might have malicious software in it. Or they have some other "copy protection" feature that makes the CD either too bloody inconvenient or totally useless to someone like me who likes to keep my original CDs unplayed and therefore unscratched, unmisplaced and unmissing.

I understand why record companies do this. All it did to me is just turn me off buying genuine music, perhaps forever.

While we're on the subject, sometimes I listen to these adds on TV and radio about piracy and how it's a bad thing and all that. Yes, intellectual property "theft" is not a good thing, in principle. Any moron knows that.

What I don't get is how some quarters paint people who download stuff off the net or make backups of their audio CDs or buy pirated CDs like they are some kind of criminal. No, I don't appreciate the guilt trip factor. It insults the consumer's intelligence.

Have any of these people wondered WHY people resort to downloading and buying 5 ringgit pirated CDs?

It's not because they deliberately want to deprive artists and others in the entertainment industry of their income. It's not because they purposely want to support the underground organized crime syndicates that produce the pirated goods. And it's not because they wake up in the morning and say,"Oooh, I feel like stealing today..." while booting up their DSL modems.

I dont' know about how it is in other countries, but in Malaysia, the reason is very simple. Original CDs are TOO BLOODY EXPENSIVE!

That is why people buy CHEAP pirated ones. Being considerate or not has NOTHING to do with it.

I don't buy the industry excuse that the prices are high because of the cost of promotion, recording etc is too high. It's high because some people, especially promoters and other middlemen are too greedy and too cowardly to slash profit margins and bet on incresed volume in sales that would result in lowering of prices. This is what I think.

Don't get me wrong, I do have a conscience. I do feel sorry for some of the less well known artists who need those CD sales to record more music.

I can't say the same about music execs who complain that sales are down and yet earn 1000 times more income than the average consumer. What does this excess wealth imply to me?

It implies that they can afford to fight pirates by reducing their profit margins instead of targeting school children and old ladies and threatening to sue them.

And yet have they taken this very proactive and practical step of reducing prices? Nope, at least not in Malaysia they haven't.

Why not? The answer is very obvious...

I have this sense that people who are either in powerful positions or in possession of great wealth or both have lost their pragmatism so much that they can't see the ground anymore and can't grasp reality. They've lost touch with the rest of the people.

So far, I have seen nothing that changes that opinion.

I mean, look at what politicians argue about these days.....

Here endeth the rant....

Sunday, November 20, 2005


I have obtained a copy of Need For Speed Most Wanted! Unfortunately for me, I slept the whole day and woke up one and a half hours before going to work so I didn't have much time to explore the game much. Plus, there is no crack. I had to download all the CD images (there are four CDs), use Daemon tools to load it up to install the game, trawl the net for a virtual drive hider called SDHider and fiddle around with it until I could get it started. That took a while.

So far as I can see, the game is absolutely gorgeous graphics-wise. I'm starting to think that another graphics card upgrade is a very good idea now. Plus, there is a PC Fair less than a week away..... Hmmm.

Anyway, back to NFS:MW. It's brilliant so far! There are a few things that you can do, a few more things than the previous NFSes. There is your usual career mode, where you start out as a out of luck street racer with no money and you've just lost your very nice, modded blue-silver BMW 3 series to some asshole who cheated while racing with you.

I've just gotten to the part where I buy my first car, in this case a white Fiat Punto. I haven't driven around town yet.

The game's "levels" are represented by drivers on the so-called "Blacklist". There are 15 of them, the number one driver being the bastard who stole your BMW and is now using it to win races.

Before you are able to drive against a Blacklisted driver, you need to get a certain amount of reputation. You can do this by winning races and dressing up your ride, just like the old NFS games. And ....and this is what intrigues me.

You can get rep by causing trouble.

There are "landmark" events such as surviving a police pursuit for a certain amount of time. Another challenge is have you car tagged by a speed trap at a certain speed. There are other challenges I suppose, like the classic time trials and getting your car on DVDs and magazines. You can also get on the police wanted list by being a nuisance (I suppose).

These extra things are the things that really, really spice the game up for me. And did I mention there are cops in the game now.

There are 32 cars in the game. I know the Supra is there, the Mustang, the Nissan 350Z. I also know there is the Murcielago and the 911 Turbo. And the BMW M3, Fiat Punto, IS1300 and the VW Golf.

Also, beating a Blacklisted driver advances the story. I like the fact that NFS games have background stories. This time, your main helper is this girl named Mia, played my the jaw-droppingly hot Josie Maran!! She drives an Mazda RX-7 in the game, by the way.

I really hope 15 drivers mean 15 levels. I hope the game will be very big and will take a long time to complete.

This also means that I will have to either suspend or slow down my FM 2006 game. Which is too bad because in my current (3rd) season, my AS Roma is unstoppable and at the top of the table ahead of Juventus and Inter. The only team that has a reasonable chance of beating me right now is Juventus.

In the Euro Champions league, I qualified to the second round and my next game is against Benfica in Portugal. That game should be easy.

I'll come back and play again from time to time. And one thing for sure, when I'm done with everything else and have nothing to play on the PC, I'll go back to FM2006.

So yeah, I've been very busy....

Friday, November 18, 2005

Calmly Calmly Now

I watched the new Harry Potter movie the other night and I must say out of all the Potter movies so far, I like this one the most. It's also the longest one, weighing in at 2 hours plus.

One probable reason is that the earlier ones were a little "young" for me. It's hard to explain.

Just came back from the office after one of the longest meetings I've ever had. I went off and bought chicken after that.

I must be getting old. Once upon a time long long ago, I would be able to polish off one entire bbq chicken in one sitting. I did this regularly too. Just now, I couldn't even handle half.

I made a new musical discovery thanks to Rin, Jump Little Children. Very very good.

As you all can tell, one side effect of being calm and tranquile is the lack of drama and therefore the lack of blog fodder. Not much is happening with me nowadays. Touch wood, I'm not asking for any angst inducing incidences or anything like that, no sirree.

I like my calm.

On the football management game front, my new Roma game is going very well. First season, qualified for Champions league by finishing 3rd and beat Hamburg SV to win the UEFA cup. December into the second year, I'm sitting pretty at the top of Serie A, one point ahead of Juventus. The tactical problems that plagued my previous attempts have been solved. One of my strikers somehow managed to score 44 goals in 42 appearances!!

I also managed to get the Italy national team job again.

Good times, good times.

PS. Anyone know any interesting rock/punk/alternative stuff to listen to nowadays?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Some Football

Football related talk...


I seem to be getting nowhere with my FM2006 game with Lecce.

Yes, I was fired by Parma for not doing enough to reduce the club's debts. Lecce's old boss went to AS Roma and Lecce offered me the manager's post. They even gave me a better contract and more support than Parma. Unfortunately, my home form is very poor, having lost 4 of my 6 home matches so far.

Luckily, my away form is better. But on the whole, still far from being good enough. I'm getting quite frustrated.

Also, the save game size is giganourmous now and takes forever and ever to load and save.

I better quit now before I get fired again.

So tomorrow after work I'm starting a new game with a smaller database, which should improve game speed. I haven't decided whether I should try another AS Roma game or try another team in a different league all together. Top flight or lower league? Serie A or EPL? La Liga? Eredivisie? MLS? Ligue 1? Where?

Anyone have any suggestions?

Hopefully, I can get sorted out fast enough and get my tactics right. The problem I'm having now with my current game is a tactical one. I keep getting overrun in midfield. 4-4-2 isn't working for me....Maybe it's time to try 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 with a sweeper?

Strangely, this only happens when I play home matches. Away from the Via del Mare, my counterattacking 4-4-2 tactics are working very well.

I might resort to stalking forums and downloading other people's tactics.....

I'm at work right now and it's a very slow night again.

I'm taking the day off on Wednesday and working again next Sunday. This week we get paid and I have bills to pay. Apparently, I forgot to pay last month's car loan. I also owe some people some money. I hope the Raya overtime comes in this week.

While we're talking about football, England's win over Argentina the other day was a good one.

It was a boring match actually. One reason why I much prefer club football to international matches is that players play with more urgency for their clubs and the tempo of the match is usually faster. International matches can get very, very slow.

It's not surprising how many people from non-footballing countries fail to see the beauty of the game. I understand how some people don't get it. After all, I could never understand cricket, even after careful explaination...

The World Cup is coming! Isn't that amazing? That is going to be so much fun!

In other completely unrelated news, from what I've been reading about cats, our cat Ning is a Calico Oriental Domestic Shorthair moggy.

And Ning's "chattiness" is apparently a Siamese/Burmese trait.

That's very interesting.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Now and Then

This article caught my eye. It's about the notion of the good ole days. So was life really better then, back in the old days?

It's not really true, but it's a wonder how we always feel like it is.

I feel that too. I sigh and reminisce and speak fondly of the days when I was in school or in college. I always say that life was simpler then.

But when I honestly think about it? For most part, my early twenties and late teens were a living hell. And life being simple? It's only because I was more naive and my "world" was smaller then.

I think that's the reason why the past seems "nicer" somehow. When we were young, a lot of things we don't notice and think about. Everything that had anything to do with us was in our immediate surrounding. It wasn't the world that was simpler, it's us. We were.

I think that's true. At least for me it is.

I mean life is always complicated one way or another. It's all a matter of perception.

I think about it now and I find that nowadays, things are better. My life now is actually simpler than it was back when I was in college.

Sure I miss some of the things that I experienced then. But to be honest, I wouldn't go back there.

It was a confusing time, full of disappointment, frustration, loneliness and heartache. It was the height (or it is depth) of sadness and depression. I was very unhappy about nearly everything. And even worse than that, I felt I was completely useless, out of place and I had no self confidence at all.

Nope, the good ole days weren't so good for me I'm afraid.

Life is much better now. I do well at my job. I seem to have kicked the depression thing for now. I have many friends, enough in fact to barely have enough time for all of them. I make enough money for most of the things I need. I no longer feel bad about myself all the time (sometimes it comes back but now I know that it doesn't last).

It gets lonely sometimes, but I can deal with that now. At worse, I can go talk to someone about it. For a while now, it hasn't gotten to the point. I no longer measure myself with friends and family who have girlfriends and wives. I guess I no longer care so much and I guess part of why I was so desperate before was possibly because of my wanting to "be normal" and "measure up".

I can quite honestly say I've gotten over that and it doesn't matter all that much any more. It happens, cool. It doesn't,...*shrug*

It's not perfect by far, but I'm pretty satisfied with how things are going.

My only lingering regret is that it took me this long to get where I am now. Sometimes I catch myself asking,"If only..." If only I was more self assured, stronger. If only I was less dependant for the approval of other people, many of whom never had my best interest in mind. If only I knew what I wanted earlier?

What things I could have done? What people I could have met? Would I have had so many personal disasters?

How far would I have gone now? Where would I be?

But that's all water under the bridge now.

There will be days when I will drink with friends and we will speak of better, easier times and laugh about how stupid we were. But in the back of my head, I'll remember how grateful I am that things have changed since then.

Or should I say how I have changed...

Friday, November 11, 2005

This Post Is About Nothing In Particular...Again

I've decided not to have a so-called footie blog. Who am I kidding? I barely have time to maintain the one blog that I have. Biting off more than I can chew sounds about right.

Blogger's spellcheck function apparently doesn't recognize the words "blog" and "blogging". I find this extremely funny.

I'm feeling very content. Whatever problems I used to have, I think I got them all licked for now. I was about to say it's a strange place to be in, then I remembered I've said it before and it shouldn't be like that. No one should have to feel that it's wrong to feel contented.

I've heard some people say that people who are content are being stagnant. I say that's a whole load of horse hooey. Isn't it better to want to strive and work out of love and our own free will instead of out of people's expectations?

I'm also finding rather peaceful to take a long break away from the internet and blogging. The net's a great place and blogging is great. Stupid, petty arguments and blog politics aren't so great.

But really, one of those things that you learn from the net is how blind, stupid, self centred and close minded some people are. It's a real eye opener sometimes.

It's also unfortunate. I feel sorry for some of these people. For some others, not so sorry.

I'm going to look at the brighter side of things and laugh the next time I read something that doesn't make sense.

A friend of mine posted an LJ icon recently. On it were the words,"I reject your reality and substitute my own!".

I find this very funny.

On the other hand, it's tragic when people allow idealism to cloud reality. Trust me when I say naive idealism does more harm than good, no matter how politically correct it sounds like.

And it's because reality isn't ideal.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Footie Blog?

Movie night tonight. We're going to watch the second Zorro. The actual title eludes me at the moment.

I've had a great week at work. In fact, I've had a great week in general. There's two new guys at the office, totally inexperienced. And yet, far from being annoyed like I thought I was going to get, I feel great pride in showing the two guys the ropes.

I thought my job was pretty simple. For these guys, apparently not. So I am the "master" and these are the apprentices. Feels good actually.

Master, haha. That's a word I never ever associate myself with.

And talking about being master, I have an idea. I am, as everyone knows, playing Football Manager 2006. I was thinking how about blogging it. I could create a separate blog for the manager I am playing. There are stories I could tell.

Like in my current game. AS Roma. Italian Serie A. First season was a great success. UEFA Cup champions. Second place in the Serie A.

Second season, not so good. After losing very narrowly to Inter Milan, the Roma board sacked me. I have played the FM series since the mid-90s and I have NEVER been sacked.

I thought about quitting and starting a new game, but two weeks after losing the Roma job, Nevio Scala quit Parma. Guess who the Parma board wanted to replace Scala with?

That season is gone. We finished sixth. I lost to Genoa in the Serie B playoffs in June. (Parma got relegated the previous season). Money was tight and morale was low.

This season? Leading the Serie B four points ahead of Genoa with promotion to Serie A an absolute certainty. It is now December 2007. 22 games played. Lost 2, drew 3, won the rest.

I'd write more but I need to go to the movies now.

See ya.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Tis a Funny Ole Game

I'm back.

I've been a little busy. Also, I had some trouble logging on to Blogger last week.

It was an ok week. Hari Raya came and went. It was good. I went to friends' houses as usual. I had to work on the first day of Raya, but that was ok too. Could use the extra money.

A swift glance at the calendar and what do we have here? It's November already. 2005 is almost gone. Some days it feels like it hasn't even started for me, strange as it may seem.

Strange. That would be a good word to describe my year. So far, it's full of revelations and epiphanies. It's all about changes in priorities and what I want for myself. One more month, let's see what the year end brings.

It's quite refeshing. A lot of times, I sit here at my Blogger console chock full of negativity. I haven't felt any real negativity in what it seems, months. Probably less, if I could be bothered to check the contents of my blog. Much less, probably.

And old blog posts. Some of them feel like they were written a whole lifetime ago by someone else. Changes are like that aren't they. Sometimes, we go years and years being the same people, then suddenly within weeks, things change.

Not much else to tell here. Been playing Football Manager 2006. It's a lot harder than the older versions of the game. My AS Roma isn't doing too well now, and last I checked, there's a real chance I could lose my "job" as manager.

Football, tis a funny ole game. And football management is a funny ole game too. It can be so exasperating sometimes, so frustating and annoying when you're not doing well. And yet I can't stop. I mean, people play games to relax, not piss themselves off. But I can't stop playing FM....

Crazy huh?

Work now. More later.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Good Weekend

I'm posting through email today. I'm having a technical problem with the Internet access at the office. I hope this works.

I'm still on my game kick. I just completed downloading Call of Duty 2. The expression "unbelievable" doesn't quite do it justice. The pace of the game, the chaos, the noise, the smoke, the bullets whizzing overhead like angry bees, I'd say this is so far the best and most immersive depiction of combat ever done in a computer game.

The graphics are awesome, even on low quality. It's simply gorgeous.

So far, I've done all the Russian missions covering Moscow and Stalingrad. I've also done the Desert Rats one, which is a nice change of locale. It's set in Libya and Tunisia against Rommel's Afrika Corps. Nice tank battles here.

Currently, I'm halfway through the American missions (featuring the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc) and last night, I stopped playing during the last British mission at Caen.

I had a pretty good weekend. On Saturday night, I went to an engagement dinner. It was quite pleasant, if a rather formal affair. Even more significant than that is my reaction which was...... nothing at all. I'm not at all bothered by it.

I used to have the greatest trouble with going to weddings and engagements and any other type of event where people get couply, but I think I'm over that completely now. Finally....

I guess the peace has been made and I'm ok with where I am, relationship-wise. I'm not in one and frankly, it no longer matters if I am in one. I feels good like that.

Immediately after that, I went to watch The Exorcism of Emily Rose. There were 11 of us in one group. It's always so much fun to be in a group that big when watching movies. That's equal to 2 rows of seats on one side.

The movie itself was great. I enjoyed it so much. I was quite surprised to find that it's more of a courtroom drama rather than pure horror. I suppose some of us got disappointed by it, due to the movie's very misleading trailer. Something should be done about the trailer. The trailers we watched didn't emphasise the trial at all, which is misleading because the movie was about a trial.

Lucky for me, I actually like good courtroom dramas and this was a good one.

After that, we went to while away the hours at our favourite 24 hour food court and talked about movies among other things. One that we talked about the movie Poltergiest and how it was one of the most frightening movies we ever saw because of the fact that it involved children. There's something about demonic kids that freak me out.

I suppose it's the duality of it. One side, we have the pure and innocent child. The other side we have the demon.

And talking about freaky, listen to Poltergiest's main theme, especially the end.....

Friday, October 28, 2005

No Time To Blog Today

Too many games to play!

I've got Quake 4 and Football Manager 2006 to go through.

Quake 4 is very, very nice. Nice graphics, nice sound, nice levels and nice story apparently. I'm halfway through I think.

FM2006 is also very, very nice. It's very nice because now my players have more personality. They have their physical stats (height and weight) so it's easier to imagine them. Many player profiles come with pictures.

During a match, I can shout instructions to players while the game goes on. Also, during halftime, I now have the option of conducting a team talk where I tell the players that they suck, or not.

All very interesting, but if you're not into football (soccer) it's hard to get in to.

I suppose I'll be playing the next few days so there might not be any blog entries. Just as well, I'm feeling kinda burnt out with work and writing actually.

I was thinking about going out, but my parents are using the car to go to some church function. They asked me to go, but I'm not really keen on church functions (no disrespect to church people).

Tommorow night, I have an engagement dinner to go to. For once, it doesn't fill me with dread. I guess I'm over the whole relationship thing. About time too.

I might post tomorrow night if anything interesting happens.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


The same way that some people shouldn't handle guns is the same way some people can't handle free speech.

I've been following another blog storm recently, something to do with some facilities for disabled persons, how some bloggers don't feel that it should be an exclusive right and how people who disagreee with the said blogger(s) are "attacking" and are "jealous" of said blogger and/or the blogger's country.(???)

It's amazing how skewed and troll like logic becomes when one gets pushed into the defensive eh? Nonetheless, it's all very entertaining in a rather exasperating way.

Anyway, in this case, how are firearms and free speech similar? In this instance, they are similar because they require responsibilty.

You say you pay. Free speech is not free, as in without cost. Like a firearm, freedom of speech and the right to opinion carries a certain amount of responsibility considering how dangerous it can be if used wrongly.

As a blogger, I am responsible for what I say. If I am being a prick in a public place like the Internet, what right do I have to expect people to shut up and put up? None whatsoever. To expect people who disagree not to voice their disagreement is too much to ask. The argument where it's my opinion is hollow. People who disagree with me have opinions too right? So if I have a right to my opinion but others don't have the same right, isn't that a double standard?

Unfortunately, lots of people don't see it that way.

If one's opinion is WRONG then people are bound to disagree. Of course, some may say that we should tolerate people's opinions.

This is where relativism goes awry. Of course some things that are wrong to some, are not wrong to others. That's a given fact and is an important fact that breeds tolerance and allows different people to get along with one another.

However, some things are just plain WRONG, pure and simple. Some things SHOULD NOT be tolerated. Racism is wrong. Repression is wrong. Wanton senseless hate and violence is wrong. Denying the rights and priviledges of less capable members of society is wrong.

There are lots of gray areas in life, but I say there are some absolutes that are still valid. Certain things we simply should not tolerate.

There is one last thing. The certain blogger in the eye of the latest storm is well known enough to have been asked to endorse certain products.

In view of some of the questionable things that this certain blogger has said, some of the other bloggers who disagree with her have written in to those companies with products that are being endorsed.

As much as I disagree with this certain bloggers opinions, I think trying to interfere with her financial and business dealings is going a little too far. I may not like this certain blogger, but I'm not going to touch the pot of rice. To me, this kind of response is excessively vengeful.

I believe people will make up their own minds once they read and know what happened and what this certain blogger's been saying and that they will do the right thing for them.

That's my opinion.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Some More Game Talk

Almost immediately after I posted my last entry, I found my Doom 3 CDs!! I was rummaging through the junk in my room for reusable CD sleeves and there they were.

Yesterday, I bought the expansion Resurrection of Evil.

Now, the last time I played Doom 3, I still had my old crappy GeForce 4MX graphics card. The game looked ok, if a little jagged in places. Now, I have an ATI Radeon 9600 Pro and I could bump up the graphics by a big margin. Everything looks smooth and shiny now, especially round surfaces with the help of some anti-aliasing. Overall, the game looks so much better.

And also a whole lot more frightening. All those shadows and moving lights and the fact that it was too dark and I had to move around in the game world with a flashlight on all the time really adds to the atmosphere.

I discovered one major thing that wasn't in the movie. The game has a very, very strong horror/occult element to it. It was truly frightening in places. Considering that I've played the game before this, that's really saying something.

Doom 3 was scary enough. The expansion is even worse. But I'm lovin' it.

I also went to get a long overdue haircut yesterday. The place that I usually go to was closed for some reason, so I decided to try another one. It was better than the one I usually go to. So I guess this place will be my regular place now. Next time I go for a haircut, I should remember to bring something to read. All they had were out of date women's mags.

Today, I'm at work. This week should be very light. I'm taking a day off this week and that means I got a long weekend again.

Which is great because Call of Duty 2 is coming out this week. Let's see how fast the pirates get it in.

This week is gaming week. All these new games coming out and all those free downloadable old games I've found.

I'm having a good time.

Monday, October 24, 2005

That Doom Movie

Arrgh. I can't find my Doom 3 CDs.

Last night, we watched Doom. It was quite ok. It wasn't as good as I expected, but at least this adaptation wasn't too far from the game. At least they didn't change things that gamers like myself would notice, like weapons and creatures (like this nice Hellknight on the left. The Hellknight managed to get in the movie.)

I wished they were more FPS moments in the movie. What little first person footage that we saw, I loved it. I wished there was more.

To be honest, I thought Doom wasn't violent enough. I want more gun battles in the next one (if any).

I remember thinking at one point,"Man, this movie is a little slow innit?" Then it occurred to me, as violent as the game (Doom 3, which is what this movie is loosely based on) was equally slow in parts.

One more thing that didn't deviate much from the game were the levels locations. Just like the game.

Overall, it was ok. Not so good, just ok. At least the gloomy feel of Doom 3 was there.

In other news, something utterly despicable happened. The Major's blog got hacked. I was speechless. I hope this doesn't put him off blogging. I hope Blogger can help him.

At least the most valuable part of his records, the valour roll, is still intact. Considering how surprisingly difficult it is to get records and stories of local veterans, it is priceless.

Major Swami should write a book and do something to persuade the Ministry of Defense to make public more accounts from the days of the Confrontation and the Emergency.

Other than that, I was resting the last two days. Unlike most Sundays, I didn't go anywhere at all today. Looking forward to next week.

Just now, I had wanted to write about something else, something that I've been thinking about. But I am too tired right now.

But I do want to say this:-

There are times when the best thing to do to help yourself is to turn your eyes outwards, away from the inside.

And lest I forget, I'd like to say thanks to Nikki for those great abandonware links! I'll write soon.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's Good to Get Pissed off in the Morning...

.... for a good reason of course.

One of the blogs I read is this one, run by a former Ranger (a retired Major). In it you will find posts about things like what happened in Somalia, and my favourite posts, about recipients of the Pingat Gagah Berani (our equivalent of the Victoria Cross/Congressional Medal of Honor).

All riveting reads, such inspirational stories of valour and courage, brave deeds done in the face of insurmountable odds in combat.

Everything is fine until one day, a commenter accuses our good Major of GLORIFYING VIOLENCE !!!

Holy F**CKING CRAP. If commenting was a shooting competition, this commenter missed the side of the barn.

How is the act of remembering our veteran troopers, who fought for a good cause, be equated with glorifying violence?

This commenter said,"Give it a rest". Give it A REST?? Meaning what? We should stop remembering those people who got killed during the Emergency? That we should stop honouring them for what they had to do?

Does this mean that we tear down the National Monument?

You know, this is one issue I got with some peaceniks. They hate violence and death so much, they even turn on their own countrymen who served and got killed for their sake. Killing is wrong. Yes we know that. But sometimes, what can you do? If you are a soldier and your enemy aims a large, bolt action rifle at you what do you do? Bore him to death with speeches and cliches about "peace"?

Seriously, what would you do?

I don't know about other people, but if I was that soldier, I'd point my own spiffingly shiny assault rifle and let him have it full auto in the chest. Does this mean I am evil and I enjoy the act of splattering some guy's internal organs all over the jungle floor? No. I can't even slaughter a chicken without gagging. But in this case, what else can I do?

The word that comes to mind is Ingrate.

I'd like to put all these peaceniks in a machine and dump them in a parallel demension where the communists won. Let's see how they enjoy THAT!

Some people seriously don't engage their common sense before speaking/writing. It's unbelievable!!

*Takes deeeeeep breath*

Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you all about something very nice for a change. I went out for dinner with some friends a few nights ago when Syuk told me about Home of The Underdogs.

Oh yes!! A repository of ancient computer games!! The same ancient games when I was young, the same ones that used to sit in my trusty 486.

The best part? Most of it is FREE!!! Don't you just love that word?

So I managed to download XCOM UFO Defense, Great Naval Battles 5 and New Horizons. Am planning to download Darklands next.

Someone should really remake Darklands. It's possibly the most detailed RPG ever made. Ever.

I'm thinking, if people can remake old movies, why not remake old games?

Picture it, a new XCOM UFO Defense version 2005 with upgraded graphics and boosted AI. It makes me drool, I tell you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Why is it so difficult to leave something that is obviously so bad for us?

This has been on my mind for the last few days. Specifically, we do people find it so difficult to leave a bad relationship?

I had a talk with some friends, and some of them (to my surprise) have had struggles caused by "toxic" friends.

Now, when there is a "friend" who is poison, the logical thing to do would be to walk way right? And yet, why is that so hard to do?

Why would we willingly be treated badly by people who are ostensibly our "friends", rather than do the obvious correct thing?

Another example would be this other person I know. She had a boyfriend and the boyfriend treats her very badly. Why doesn't she just leave?

Of course, things are complicated aren't they? Nothing's that simple. I know that. I often asnwer these very same questions the same way. It's not that simple man.

Maybe. But is it really that complicated all the time? Or is that a lame excuse.

Why so hard to do the right thing and leave people who are bad for us behind, or keep them at a mininum safe distance? There are many "answers" I guess, but one answer would be because we want to be good.

We want to be the good one, that's why we can't leave. Who sets these standards? Us. Ourselves. It's not really what other people think. It's what we think of ourselves.

It's bad enough, you walk away, and the person who you walked away from thinks,"Damn, what a bitch/asshole/other insulting word". It's bad enough to know that someone thinks of us like that. But even worse I dare say, is when you hear your own voice telling you the same thing. You're a bitch. Asshole. Other insulting term.

So we don't walk. We try make things "better". We try to change. We try to talk. Sometimes things do get better. But most times? Out of 100 times, how many times?

Things don't work out. We feel bad. We try again. The endless circle continues.

Because we want to be good. We want to satisfy our own idea of our own goodness.

That's why.

In my own life, I've had my share of pointless attempts at relationships. I've had "friends" who treat me badly and take things out on me when they are pissed off, without even telling me why.

I know how hard it is to do the right thing and walk away. But knowing why I do that gives me another option. It gives all of us another option. We can continue to burn for people who don't care enough to look our way, don't care enough to care. This is the easy thing.

Or we could just walk away. This is the hard thing. So I guess we need to look inside to see why it's so hard. And maybe talk to a friend. That always helps.

Suddenly, I'm thinking, have I ever been a toxic "friend" myself. Have I ever done this to anyone? Does anyone have a good reason to walk away?

If I am toxic in some way to anyone, I'd like to know about it. The poison also comes from inside, and I want to stop it if I am poisonous.

So friends, do tell me. In fact, I think we should all ask that question. If we do that and answer honestly, the world will suddenly become a much better place.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Another Epiphany

"We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise (2 Cor. 10:12)"

A long, long time ago, I posted something about feeling guilty and conscience and what not. Ok, not that long ago actually.

So last night, immediately after I posted my last post in fact, I stumbled upon something that smacked me right in the face and hit the nail on the head.

I found a little read called When We Don't Measure Up. It's from a Christian point of view so lots of Bible quotes. I guess it won't be useful for everyone. But trust me when I say that it's a great read and describes my situation 100% accurately.

At this point, I would love to write a summary. I'm not so good at that, but I'll put some passages that I liked. It's not in order, so it might be incoherent.

"A life filled with guilt over not measuring up is no way to live. It can drain us spiritually, emotionally, and physically, and leave us enslaved to the opinions of others."

" Near the core of our burden to please others is often a fear of disapproval or rejection.For many, this same kind of fear is rooted in early relationships where others angrily criticized or withdrew from them for not measuring up. They were made to feel they weren't the right gender or weren't smart enough, athletic enough, or thin enough. Some of us were made to feel as if we wanted too much love or involvement or praise. Whether people expressed their anger with a glare, an insult, or in manipulative tears, the message was loud and clear: "How can you be such a failure?" or "How dare you ask for so much?"

"Out of desperation, we secretly try to get what we want from people by living up to their expectations without letting them know what we're after or that we're even in need. Our fear of disapproval or rejection and our desperate craving for acceptance is part of the reason we try so hard to live up to the expectations of others and feel so guilty when we don't."

"There's no doubt that our strategies work, but for how long and to what degree? Can we totally escape our disappointment and protect ourselves from what we fear? Can we actually earn enough acceptance and approval to fill the emptiness in our hearts?

The answer, of course, is no. Our strategies are a poor investment. We get little relief, shelter, or satisfaction compared to the amount of time and energy we invest in them. Even worse, they drive us to the brink of exhaustion. We rarely relax or deeply enjoy life. We live under a tremendous pressure to make sure we don't let others down or become a burden. But we can't keep it up. Inevitably, someone sees us
as disappointing or needy."

"For those of us who are burdened with a sense of never measuring up, we can start facing the truth by admitting that while we have our faults, we have also been unjustly criticized and/or abandoned by significant people in our lives, and that their mistreatment or lack of involvement has deeply affected us. As a result, we struggle with fears and disappointments that otherwise would not be present to the degree that they are."

There's more. A lot more. And it's uncanny to read something that speaks so closely to what I feel like.

I was elated and shocked at the same time. That's just so typical of me. First I thought I had a problem with being sad and having a low opinion of myself and now I find that I also have a major problem with conscience. I didn't even know that it was a problem to begin with.

I kinda felt overwhelmed by the number of things I have discovered over recent years about myself. It also struck me that if I didn't blog, I would never have known all these things. As bad as things get sometimes, they could be a whole lot worse.

I'm looking for this book now, called False Guilt: Breaking the Tyranny of an Overactive Conscience by Steve Shores.

It's out of print unfortunately. Does anyone have a copy I can borrow/buy?

I'm kinda speechless right now for some reason.

In the end, the truth, the absolute truth about me and what I am will be the thing that sets me free. Will I find that truth?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Public Service Announcements

Don't turn your back on Bali.

This add struck me when I saw it.

I would love to go actually. I've seen a lot of Bali from Discovery Travel documentaries. It's on my list of places to visit.

Unfortunately, I'm broke right now and my passport is expired ( and also missing, but that's another story).

So for those who can, please go and visit Bali. It's a nice place to visit I hear.

Another add that struck me was this one by UNICEF.

Makes you think don't it?

Adds that strike deep and makes you want to react, they can be so simple.

Those guys in charge of the Tak Nak campaign need to learn a thing or two about making an impact.

This has been a public service announcement. Have a nice day.

*I got to know of both from BrandNewMalaysia, a really good blog. Go and read.

In other news, does anyone want 30Gbs of email space? I might sign up just for a lark.

And finally, I'd like to apologize to all my friends for whatever thing that I have said/not said and done/not done. I never mean to offend or to miscontrue or misundertand and I most definitely don't mean any harm.

I'm very sorry, I'm not so good at being a friend I guess. I'm very sorry if I did the wrong things. I don't know what the right words are sometimes, or what the right actions are. I try and I'm sorry if I was wrong.

Please don't be mad at me. I'm sorry.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Good Movies!!

Oh My God.

I just watched Sin City and wow! It was, it was...indescribable. It was fantastic, unbelievable. Fabulous. Also, violent and over the top. So it's not for squemish people. And it has Carla Gugino topless, so make sure your parents aren't around when you watch it.

I haven't watched noir in forever, and if anyone has to watch just one film with that style, make it Sin City. And there's always this surreal feel when movies are shot in black and white. I get the same feeling whenever I watch the original Psycho or some old P. Ramlee movies.

It's hard to describe why I enjoyed it so much. It's one of those things, you got to be there.

For old times sake, I also watched Bad Boys again. Fun. A good, straightforward action movie. Will Smith rocks as usual and Martin Lawrence is funny as usual. Great action flick.

I'm reading some posts on the IMDB Sin City board and as usual, some people watched this movie and miss the point completely. It's noir for crying out loud, it's supposed to be bleak and cynical. What do these people expect?

Granted, Sin City may not be the greatest film ever made and not everyone will be able to stomach it let alone like it. But when people miss the point? What can you do about that?

Anyway, I loved it, I thought it was a real clever story and I hope they make a sequel.

Honestly, I don't get it. Why do so many people miss the point of things like action movies? Sometimes, it's fun to watch things get blown up.

Not everything needs to be arty-farty metaphoric, I think.

I was having a conversation about this a few nights ago and one of us made a comment,"Some people don't know how to have fun at the movies anymore."

Damn right.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Small Update

Not a really big update. I didn't want to feel I'm I'm neglecting the blog while I relax.

Not at work. How nice is that eh? And starting from week after next, no work on Saturday for three months. Even nicer.

Been playing Total War today. I overslept. I was supposed to do some errands, like go the Registration Department and ask them about my Mykad (new ID). I also need to buy a belt. I guess I'll do all this tomorrow then.

Went out last night to Seattle and met up with Rin, Zack and Eric. It was great.

Call of Duty 2 and Need for Speed:Most Wanted comes out this month. I salivate in anticipation.

That's life so far. Work, gaming, hanging out with friends. It's routine at the moment, but I appreciate that. I remember life being a lot more "eventful" than this and a lot worse than this. It can get a little dull, but I try to remember and put everything in perspective.

Where I am now is exactly what I wished for then.

I'm off to play Total War now. My Western Roman campaign is almost completed. Three more settlements and I win!

Later people.

PS. New movies to watch out for: Goal! (which I am SO looking forward to just so that I can play spot-the-football-stereotype) and Firefly Serenity. I hope for Joss Whedon's sake, it does well. He deserves to be hugely successful! And Doom!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Very Interesting Quiz

You are a

Social Liberal
(68% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(33% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

"You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness."

Quite interesting, no? In this case, does this mean I have to support DAP now?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Things are never so simple

*This post was written yesterday but was not posted due to a busy day at work. It's a rant and a manifestation of my dislike for authority figures and people who think they know better, so don't expect this to be rational and bias free. Thank you very much.

I can't decide whether to go for lunch or not today. Or whether I want to have it outside or not. It's so hot outside right now.

I was reading the news and reading blogs this morning. As usual, lots bad news. Then again, what can we expect from the mainstream media. Why is that huh? Is the public so keen to read bad news?

I was reading milblogs by servicemen from Iraq and I've noticed so many good stories, some heroic, others heartwarming and others not so great. But I've also noticed that these stories from the front aren't quite as negative as the mainstream media puts it. So which is it? Who's winning? Is it really Vietnam II?

Like I always say, I think that the truth is always in the middle somewhere, halfway between the John Wayne'esque stories hawks like to tell and doom and gloom that is the mainstream news.

My opinion? America should withdraw BUT not without someone else replacing them. They cannot just pack up and leave just like that without securing Iraq. To do that would be the height of irresponsibility. And more people would hate America.

If they can't secure Iraq, then they need to find someone else to help with that. Who? I have no idea.

Of course, some people, who mean well I'm sure, are too naive to see that. I still see many antiwar folks who hold on to the idea that once America leaves, religious terrorism will magically disappear and everyone will live happily ever after. Really?

It's never quite as simple as that is it?

And talking about naivety, I read in the paper today that some well meaning but naive people think that the solution to bad habits like smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages is to either hike up the price until it becomes too expensive or a total ban.

This will not work. I can tell you that absolutely. Is this me being stupid again? Don't believe me? Believe it. Bans have been tried before and they don't work.

Why doesn't it work? Why won't people stop drinking and smoking when things get too expensive legally? Two words.

Black market. The demand is still there, so somebody will fill the gap. It's just the way it works. The idea of pricing these things out of people's reach is invalid. And no, enforcement won't work either. If it did, the Mafia wouldn't be as powerful like it is now would it?

The fundamental truth is that people are people and among other things, people hate being told what's good or bad for them. Yep, even in Malaysia. Everyone and his moral guardian brother talks about how people should not smoke/drink/mingle with the opposite gender/modify their vehicles/etc but how many people listen?

Why not listen? It's annoying and insulting that's why. People don't like being treated like they're stupid, even if what they're doing is stupid.

Take me for instance. If people treat me like a pariah because I smoke, will this make me want to stop smoking? Hell no. It will only piss me off and make me want to smoke more, just to prove a point. Juvenile and immature I know, but it's not illegal and it's still my choice right?

What can be done is to reason and educate. People will listen more if they are treated like adults and not some stupid budak kecik (small kid).

Having good intentions doesn't make it ok to be condescending and kurang ajar (rude).

People stop bad behaviour and quit bad habits on their own, and for no other reason. And certainly not because of some asshole moral guardian.

My point is that people should stop minding other people's business, whether or not they are agreeable. Opinions are fine, but not when you try to impose on other people. No one has any right to do things that are "for my own good". I'll decide that, thank you very much.

This is my opinion.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Early, Early Bird

I've been here since before 6.00am.

It's very cold here this morning. I'm at the office now. Today, I started one hour early due to the start of the fasting month. There's no one here yet. The regular office people won't show up until 8.00. I like the quiet.

I was checking my schedule and noticed a nice thing for the month of October. This Sunday, I'll be working. I won't be working on Sunday again until the middle of November. That will be so great.

The Corrs have a new album! I like it. This new one has a more Irish sound than their previous albums. This new one sounds more like their first. They even have a couple of gaelic songs included. At least I think it was gaelic anyway. I haven't ripped the CD yet.

Yesterday was another quiet day. I finally managed to drag myself out of the house in the afternoon and drive to town to buy things. I finally bought lots of blank DVDs and a new wallet.

Watched Crash yesterday. Very, very good. I'll be watching this again soon. I like ensemble movies like this. I also like the kind off surreal, dreamy vibe this movie has, despite it's heavy premise about racist stereotyping. I like the haunting score too.

Watching how some of the cast like Sandra Bullock and Brendan Frasier take roles they're not normally associated with was great fun.

Somehow, Crash feels very similar too Lost in Translation, another movie I've watched more than once. I have a big thing for movies with dreamy vibes for sure.

I also am a big sucker for sports films, hence my anticipation for this. The very fact that this movie is about football, features Newcastle United (including Alan Shearer) and set in the English Premier League is enough to make my mouth water. The story will probably be one of those stereotypical ones, but I'm not watching this for the story.

Apparently, it's about two hours long. I sincerely hope it won't be too boring.

I also saw that hilarious Chicken Little Numa Numa clip thingie yesterday. It was.....hilarious.

Apart from all this, nothing new at my end. Excuse me, I'm going for breakfast now.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Randomly Random Again

I wanted to go out today, but I have a headache.

Watched Hostage yesterday. Not bad. Bruce Willis looks unrecognizable with a beard. I was kind of expecting him to be like the character in the Die Hard series, but he wasn't like that at all. A pleasant surprise.

Been having a real good game of Barbarian Invasion. Playing the Western Romans, it's difficult and frustrating at times, what with the empire threatening to collapse on itself, the money problems and barbarian incursions. It's the most challenging and fun Total War campaign I've ever had. Good game this one.

Watched a two documentaries just now, one about the Concorde crash in 2000 and the other one about Interpol art theft investigations. Very interesting.

As can be seen, I'm doing nothing now and finding it quite relaxing. I haven't even been reading blogs all that much. Just as well. One of the bad things about reading blogs is the politics. Sadly, nowadays, blogging has its politics too. And lately, there's been one or two incidences.

Silly, childish ones involving bloggers, other bloggers and commenters.

I refuse to get involved in things like that. That was not why I started blogging and I'm not going to allow it to become that.

I would stop if that were to happen. Ok maybe not stop, maybe I'll change my URL and title. For now, I'm enjoying a quiet, idyllic online existence and I'd like to keep it that way.

Enough about that then.

Since I still have my headache and now that it's almost rush hour, I guess I won't be going out until later, maybe.

I think I'll go blogrolling now and later I'll play RTW again. The Berbers have just sacked Carthage, the Goths are still rampaging in central Gaul, the people of Ravenna don't like the church I built for them and I'll running low on funds.

Lots to do.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Guilt Tripping

Last night, Rin called me to join them at The Crib. It was quite an important night. The Crib is going on an indefinite hiatus, so to speak. Last night was their final night.

Which is a real shame. A real big shame.

A bigger shame is that thanks to my schedule, when other people can go out on weekends, I'm often too tired to go out.

Like last night. I told Rin that I was too exhausted. After I hung up, I felt this enormous wave of guilt wash over me, as everyone else who usually hangs out at the Crib was there, including some friends whom I don't see very often. I still feel bad about it in this morning. It's just like sitting under a waterfall of guilt really.

I feel bad. I wish I could've gone. Whoever was there, please know that. I wasn't being antisocial or anything like that.

Sometimes, I feel grateful about my work. Other times, I curse my schedule and the way it always clashes with everyone else's.

Yeah, sometimes there are days when I'm like that. I hate to refuse. Like sometimes, a particular friend of mine who isn't always around would ask me to go out and I wouldn't be able to because of work. I have a good reason not to go, but I feel guilty about it nonetheless.

Some people who read this entry might accuse me of having a guilty conscience. They would be right.

I admit that. That's probably why I get so defensive about certain things. What things? Well, I don't exactly know.

So the detox list is getting longer. First there's the depression, then there's the sudden anger issues and now the guilty conscience.

My parents are right. I'm one screwed up sonofabitch aren't I? I don't just need a little fixing here and there, I need a complete overhaul.

I need to remember and acknowledge that.

For all of you, I sincerely hope you all are having a great weekend. Later then..

Friday, September 30, 2005


There's an article I noticed recently in the paper, I can't remember which one. Something to do with rude drivers having low emotional maturity. That was an interesting article.

Emotional maturity. That's an interesting concept. I haven't found any definitions, but I think part of emotional maturity is the ability the reign in and control emotions. Or perhaps the degree of control emotions have over a person.

Which brings me to the point of this post. This is a very rare moment these days. Totally of the cuff rant from me. This is going to be freestyle posting, with no thought, no filtering and no planning. So if it sounds biased or whatever, sorry about that then.

It's more of a confession than a rant actually.

Last night, I had a very bad argument with somebody. But the argument is not the point. The point is something that I noticed about myself. Something distressing. And no, it's not me being emo again.

Last night's argument should not have happened. In fact, two years ago, when I was a pathetic depressed whiny bastard, it wouldn't have. I wouldn't be able to muster enough anger for it.

Last night I was able to. And this morning, I got really upset at an innocuous support call. I know people don't call to annoy me, they call because they need help. And yet, even knowing that, I very nearly lost it.

In the last 24 hours, I have been losing my temper MUCH too fast. I'm beginning to turn into something I detest.

Dammit. I have no idea why.

In my entire life, I have never ever thought that I could have trouble with temper because that's just not me. I don't get pissed off. Period. Or at least it's always in control. Anger was never a problem.

This is just great, while I grapple with one demon, along comes reinforcements. This is a good joke heh?

Anyway, I need to do something about this before I inadvertently destroy myself, my friends, my family, my career etc. I can't afford to lose any of it. I need to calm down.

I'm concerned about this. I'm a lot of things, but one of those things that I don't want to become is a person who flies off the handle with the slightest provocation, for no good reason at all. I don't like that, in the people I'm with and most of all in myself.

I hate anger. Anger destroys. I don't want it any more than random episodes of depression. I don't like it when people get angry (especially suddenly and without reason) and here I am, in danger of becoming exactly that. What the hell??

I'm going to have to force myself to be calm, to be rational, no matter what kind of provocation I encounter. This is what I need to do today.

No matter what things I hear or what people say. Whoever can accuse me whatever they want, they can say how screwed up I am, I'm going to try my hardest to deal with that without losing my temper.

Dammit, being mad sucks!

Barbarian Invasion!!

Attention: Game related post

Amazing how early one can wake up with the right kind of motivation. This morning I woke up at 4.00am. Why the hell would I do that?

Because by 4.00am, my RTW: Barbarian Invasion ISO image download was completed, that's why.

Last night, I was on the Net when i came upon a RTW:BI torrent file. The full one, not the demo. I immediately downloaded it. The thing is, the game isn't supposed to be out until today. I wonder who managed to get it early..

Uploaded the ISO image onto my Daemon tools, ran the installation and ran the game without a hitch.

So far the game has impressed. The world map is slightly different. There's religion in the game now, Catholicism, Aryanism, various pagan religions, Zoroastrianism. Very important factor to determine population loyalties. Choose to be tolerant or hardline, up to the player.

The interface is nicer looking. Darker, reflecting the rather chaotic period in the game. The game is set to start at 361AD (I think). This is after the Roman Emperor Diocletian split the Roman empire into two halves and when the so-called barbarian migrations began. The Old World is in upheaval. The Classical Age is about to end and the Dark Ages is about to begin.

A good setting for a brutally violent strategy game.

I started a game as the Huns, which was interesting, because they start as a nomadic horde. As a horde, I have the option to keep moving until I see a city I want to take. Another extra option is what happens after one of my horde armies capture the city. I could occupy it and settle, or I could sack it for loot and move on.

And talking about battles, the AI can fight now. No more dumb mistakes. No more suicidal charges. I actually got beaten in open battle, an impossible thing before BI. I saw the AI use horse archers just like I would. It was amazing. You had to be there.

In sieges, the AI can defend properly now. It will try to plug gaps in the wall where my battering ram is and tried to push out my attacking troops instead of marching back and forth while my archers shoot them to pieces. Inside the city, the AI now stands fast and fights hard. It actually tries to reinforce crisis points and tries to flank me. Some of its defensive tricks are the same ones I use!

It was so much fun! Finally a challenge!

I can’t wait to see what else the game has in store. Oh yes, I have noticed one thing about barbarian factions. They can horde, meaning to say that if you take their last town, they uproot completely and turn into vast horde armies that can either counterattack immediately or migrate to some other place. That means that barbarians will be difficult to eliminate, unlike before.

Makes for some interesting strategic possibilities.

I’m going to start a proper game later, but I still don’t know what faction to play. Do I want to be civilised or do I want to be barbarian? If I take Romans, do I stay Christian or I do go back to the Roman gods? If I play barbarian, do I settle down at the edges of civilisation and build up slowly or do I stay as a horde and pillage my way into Rome?

So many possibilities!