Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Things I Did Today

Some of the blogs I like to read contain mostly details about what the writer did on a particular day. I like it. There's a lot of negativity and gravity on the Net, so it's good to read something nonsensical and light. It's a balancing thing.

It might seem like such a mundane thing, writing about what happened today when nothing really important happened. It isn't, not when written with flair and skill. There are some really good writers out there. If you're writing about what the cat did today or what some guy said in the office and make it sound interesting, you must be good.

This is one thing that I'm not so good at. I can rant and whine and complain until the cows come home, but I can't really write your "typical" journal entry with any kind of flair yet. This is why writing is an art, I guess. Some people do it naturally, others have to practise and some others can't do it at all.

It would be quite nice to be artistically eloquent on paper (online?).

So, what I must learn is how to write descriptively, without the need for a heavy subject matter. Just everyday stuff. I think the ability to describe is the key. Maybe if I can get the hang of that, I can write things like stories? Maybe even lyrics. Who knows?

I think the fact that I don't really read fiction might have something to do with that. I've read thousands of books so far but less than a dozen are fictional, I dare say. I read history, technical stuff, general interest books on militaria, and science, things like that. I don't really read novels, poetry and stories.

Maybe that's why.

And while we're talking about art, I think I know what to buy during the next PC fair. I need a soundcard that can change the pitch/key of songs, like a Soundblaster Live!. I was playing around with the guitar this morning, and while I was trying to write down the chords of some songs, I find that a lot of them are downtuned one or two steps.

I supposed I could detune my guitar but that's so troublesome. It's easier if I can uptune the song to match my guitar. And I can't be arsed to manually transpose everything. It's such a pity that my old SB Live died on me last year.

Nevertheless, it's good to have a good guitar again. This morning I was trying out some of the stuff from the Punk Goes Acoustic album. Mostly do-able, but need to transpose. Almost all the bands were using either drop-D or Eb tuning. So inconvenient to change the keys everytime I want to play it using standard tuning.

I tried to play songs like Open Hand's Time To Talk, Yellowcard's Firewater (difficult, fast chord changes), Sugarcult's Memory (very easy), Finch's Letters To You (slow acoustic jam as opposed to the fast electric version) and Cute Without The E (Cut from The Team), which is so very nice. And a few others.

Pop fans would probably not know any of these songs. Oh, and before anyone criticizes my choice of practise material, I'm sorry but pop/emo punk is fun at least to me. I know it's whiny and pathetic sounding but I like it and can relate to a lot of it.

Now, why do I always get defensive when I admit to liking the music that I like? That's a good question. I admit, sometimes I feel self conscious because of it. Why? I don't know.

Anyway, I'm quite busy today so I must go now.

Current Music - Playing Favorites, The Starting Line, Punk Goes Acoustic

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Guitars and What Not to Tell a Blogger

I finally got my guitar back! It's as good as new and sounds fantastic with new strings and frets. Actually, it's not my guitar. It's my brothers, but since he didn't really take care of it and since I paid a fortune for repairs and cleaning, I'm claiming it. I think that's fair don't you?

As pricey Lee's Music Centre is, their workmanship cannot be denied. They cleaned it and polished it up so well, the guitar looks and feels brand new! I wish I had taken a "before" picture of the guitar so we can see how dirty and dusty it originally was. Poor guitar, stuck in a store like that all by itself.

Not anymore. Plus, now that I got a decent instrument again I expect to play a little more now. I'm thinking about sending the other guitar out for maintenance. The neck needs a bit of adjustment because right now, the action (the distance between the strings and the fingerboard) is a little high. I can do it myself, but I lost the allen key that came with the guitar and I can't get a replacement key because I don't remember what size it was.

I suddenly thought about the general welfare of musical instruments.

I bet in many homes across the country, there are high quality musical instruments being neglected by their owners who are either too busy to play them or too ignorant of their true value. Makes me sad. I bet some of these are classic antiques worth thousands!

Such a shame. I suggest that people who have neglected instruments sell them. Maybe someone else will take care of it more. That is, if they're not attached to them. It's very, very natural and easy to get attached to a musical instrument. Notice how so many people name their guitars and refer to them as "she"?

There was a time when MTV Asia held a contest as a promo for the movie School of Rock,which I thought was a great movie by the way. The prize? A Gibson SG electric signed by Jack Black (!). In my entire life, that was the first time I submitted an entry for a competition organized by MTV.

I didn't win.

From time to time, I wonder where that guitar is right now. Is it being used as it should, in jam sessions and shows somewhere in South East Asia? Is it being kept as a souvenir (which is fine, as long as its cleaned and kept in working order)? Or was it won by a non-musician who has no flair or interest for music and is now rotting in a closet somewhere in suburbia? I hope not.

That's a damn fine guitar. I hope whoever owns it now will look after it.

And while I'm on about music, I really should play more. A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with some friends when we had an impromptu jam sessions. I was rusty as hell and couldn't really keep up. It's embarassing and sad.

In other news, I hear the PPS Bash was a great success. Accounts of it can be read here and here, complete with many pictures.

And in yet more news, remember that post where I wondered how long would it be before the moral guardian wannabes start mouthing off? Well,..


I have said before that blogging is a free for all with no rules, but there is one line that should never be crossed.

No one has any right to tell a blogger what to write or how to write.

That would just kill of the very spirit of blogging. What is blogging if not freedom of expression? Especially for us Malaysians, where freedom isn't as free.

Disagree and express your disagreement with anything you see in a blog, but never ask a blogger to retract or rewrite a post. Never dictate the writing style of a blog. That's just not on.

I understand that some people, especially parents, may be concerned that blogs may not be suitable for the younger crowd. Fine, that is acceptable. However, it is not acceptable to urge a blogger to be "responsible" and to be "decent". Do not ask bloggers to think of kids and other people who may be offended or "influenced".

That's not our job. There are far worse things on the Internet than blogs. Trust me on that.

As far as I'm concerned, the responsiblity to prevent kids from accessing unsuitable things on the internet falls on their parents and guardians. They should regulate what their kids see, not people who blog. Do you see porn sites close down because their webmasters are worried that kids might reach them? No. Why not?

Because it's not up to them to prevent kids from accessing their material, that's why.

I hope the whole thing doesn't blow out of proportion and reach the government. The last thing we need now is blogging control. If that happens, I would not know what to do then.

Unfortunately, knowing how some people are in this country and the way the government works, I wouldn't be surprised if it does eventually happen.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


I'm so bloody knackered now it's unbelievable. The last two days at work, also unbelievable. Twelve hours of it a day, non-stop.

I so wish I had the energy to go out...

And yesterday, I went to read some blogs and I had this nice blog post all planned out, something about the fallout of the two news articles about Malaysian bloggers. And the Sarong Party Girl hype.

I had a long post planned out too. But as luck would have it, work got in the way. As an indication of just HOW much work we're talking about, we actually had to call for extra help from a vendor on top of the guy on duty AND two other guys on overtime, including myself.

Since I'm tired I'm going to make this short(ish).

Before I go on, yes I am aware that people are allowed an opinion on everything. I am also aware that it's perfectly acceptable to react to an opinion. I find it less acceptable for people to dish it out and act all shocked when people react to the dishing out. What can one expect when one disses someone else?

So, for all those people who want to diss, if you can't stand the return fire, don't start a firefight. Even if it is online.

I could probably use this advice meself.

Diss me directly or indirectly, I diss you back. Can't deal wit dat ? Then shut the hell up, biatch!

Anyways, I read with some disgust how some people once again, dismiss blogging as a "fad" if it's not something about news and current events and politics. So what's that mean ? That in order to be "relevant", a blogger isn't allowed to post shit about their life or their cars or chicks or whatever else they want to say?

I bet these people don't have blogs themselves. Do the math. Would you trust a person who doesn't play or watch football to make the rules? So what gives these guys the right to dictate the ways and means of blogging?

Ok ok granted people can diss bloggers as a frivolous bunch with too much time on their hands. It's an opinion, that's fine. The insulting pseudo intellectual remarks? Not fine? Not all bloggers are attention whoring teenagers, okay.

Whose to say what matters and what doesn't? Do all people prioritise the same thing? What are we? Sheep? It's my time and since this blog is about me then it's important to me. And so what if it ain't "relevant".

Why does every damn thing we do need to be "relevant" anyway?

I'm not blogging to start a revolution. I blog just for fun and to bitch about things. Like these dumbasses for instance.

You know? They're right. Riding the Mellow and probably 95% of the blogs I read aren't relevant. These blogs don't bring world peace or create awareness of some critical current issue (however sometimes we do weigh in with our USD0.02) or to fight for some cause.

So what if bloggers don't make the world a better place. We don't have to, it's not our job to do any of that.

Looking for "relevance"? Then what the hell are these people doing poking their noses at blogs like mine and those blogs mentioned in the paper the other day?

Wrong place buddy. Looking for shit? Go to a toilet and leave the rest of us on our front porches.

PS. Just in case there's any misunderstanding, I'm NOT dissing the more serious blogs. They're doing a good thing and are good to read. More power to them.

I'm just saying that it's a little to much to expect every blog out there to be like Screenshots, that's all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Blogging in the News and Some Other Internet Stuff

I've just received some groan-worthy news. Because of some really big thing that's going to happen at work, I'll be extremely busy. I'll have to work one or two extra days a week, starting this week.

For the next one and a half months....

Dammit. The extra money had better be worth it. Depending on how pissed off I am at the end of that period, I'm going to buy something unnecessarily expensive for myself.

However busy I become, at least my boss was kind enough to let me go to RWMF in July. At least I don't have to make any changes to those plans.

And speaking of Rainforest, I might actually just hang at the hotel instead of watching any of the events. I'm actually more interested to people-watch on the day. We'll see what happens.

I'm going to put up a few links before I forget.

First of all, Malaysian bloggers made the news yesterday. Positive news too. This is probably going to sound cynical, but now I'm going to see how long it takes before some moral guardian wannabe starts talking about how blogging is "bad" because no one has any real control over it.

I wish I was kidding, but everyone knows this country is rife with assholes like that. Anyone taking any bets before they start making noises ?

Negativity and cynicism aside, I'm quite please with the local blogging community. It's lively and can be quite influential at times. It's a whole lot better than some other forms of online community that much I can say.

When it comes to blogging, I'm sure a lot of us have read or heard some misgivings from some quarters about things like style or content or the reasons behind blogging or even the perceived behavior of the average Malaysian blogger as opposed to a foreign one. As much as this form of elitism and prejudice irks me, everyone is entitled to a say. Even the trolls.

So what do I say about blogging ? Blog away, for whatever reason. Blog to provide an alternative source of news. Or to talk about life. Or cars. Or sports. Or nothing at all even. Blog just for the hell of it. Or to look for new friends. Maybe find some old ones.

There are no set rules for blogging. The Internet is the new Wild West. You make your own rules.

So go ahead and start a blog, if you haven't already. Don't knock it until you try it. And don't feed the trolls.

In other news, Marina Mahathir came up with another gem of a column. Check it out. When it comes to interracial relations, I guess we, the general public, need to be reminded that our society isn't like what some of our beloved out-of-touch political figures would want us to believe.

It's a good thing to remember.

Finally, last week I found two very good articles about the SUV culture. Good reads, here and here. Now before anything else, I would like to say that I am not biased against people owning SUVs. It's just a vehicle after all. But I do have some problems with SUV drivers who don't give a shit about the rest of the people around them, just because they're bigger and higher.

Drive around town and you'll see what I mean. They are a lot of people who can't drive out there, and some of the worse (try to) drive SUVs. Watch yourself and be careful now.

Somehow, I'm quite certain I'm not the only one who notices bad behaviour among SUV drivers.

Right, it's lunch now. Gotta go. It's going to be a long day today.

*Today was such a busy day, this post took five hours to write.

PS : Reminder, I need to update my blog roll.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Eye of The Beholder

"I wanna know what it's like to be awkward and innocent, not belligerent.
I wanna know how it feels to be useful and pertinent and have common sense..
Let me in, let me in to the club, cause I wanna belong,
And I need to get strong, and if memory serves,
I'm addicted to words and faces."

- LGFUAD, Motion City Soundtrack

There be times that I hear or read things that I find disturbing or offensive, especially when those things are related to me in some way.

But here I have a choice. I could respond and retaliate. Or I could just let it slide. I'm going to let it slide. I'm going to ignore that part of my psyche that screams,"Silence is an admission of guilt !!!" I don't need to deal with things like this. There will be none of that school yard you-hit-me-first-now-I-hit-you stuff going on here.

I guess I'm going to have to live with the fact that not everyone I meet is going to like me.

I mean, as a rule people are allowed to pick and choose who they associate with and are, as a rule, allowed to reject unsuitable "candidates", yeah ? And when people reject, for whatever reason, what can you say about that eh ? It's disappointing, but still an undeniable right.

No one is good enough for everyone. That's a fact. Unpleasant. But fact.

That's a funny part about being human. I can pick at, pass judgment and say no thanks to people whom I don't want to hang with. And I think it's fair. I feel it's my right. No offence.

And yet, when I find that people do the same to me, I feel slighted and offended. Yeah, I know. That's a double standard. My double standard. My fault.

Perhaps it's the need for validation from other people that causes that. That's something I need to deal with, however difficult it is to be completely self sufficient. It takes a great deal of conviction and confidence to be that way. It takes a lot to be ok in the face of rejection and criticism.

I guess I never really came to terms with the idea that I, by simply being myself, can rub others the wrong way. I never really accepted the fact that I can be less than what other people want or look for. It hurts the pride to be considered lacking and to know that to some, I'm not worth it.

To some people, I'm all kinds of bad. I may be too boorish or too opinionated or too lacking in tact and finesse. Maybe I'm too simple or too complicated. Perhaps I'm not artful and articulate enough for some people. And for others, maybe I'm not manly or hard enough. And to yet more people, maybe I'm simply too plain without any obvious charm.

To some people, maybe I'm alright. To others, I may not be so good. Or perhaps I'm just nondescript and ordinary for them.

I am a composite of many things, including flaws and shortcomings and more. I can't expect everyone to tolerate those, can I ?

It depends on how or what another person sees, their perception. Good ? Bad ? I cannot control what another person will notice when they see me.

Obviously, I haven't figured how much of myself do I need to change before I can be accused of selling out. Such a fine line isn't it ? What do you do, be true and stick to yourself or give face and try to change.

I'd like to be number one in everyone's book. That's just not possible. As long as people remain different from each other, that's not going to happen. No one can be everyone's friend. There will always be others who don't like what you think, what you do, what you say, what you feel and what you are, for whatever the reasons.

And so, rather than whining about how unfair and unpleasant it is, instead of lashing out and coming out with allegations of mistreatment, I'm going to try and accept it like it is instead. Not everyone is going to think I'm an ok person. That's a fact. No need to think of the whys and the how comes.

It's life and it's people. And that's just the way it is.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Awesome !

My connection is on the fritz again. I'm unable to certain websites and I can't post pictures. Last night I couldn't get online at all. Which is a shame because I wanted to put up a really cool Batman Begins poster.

We watched Batman Begins on Thursday. The verdict ? Absofragginglutely AWESOME ! Michael Keaton ? He ain't the real McCoy, Christian Bale is.

This version of Batman is so far superior to its predecessor, words fail me at the moment. I make a poor film reviewer.

I just knew that a darker, angrier Batman would work better than the Michael Keaton version, not that I didn't like that one. But I always felt that Bruce Wayne/Batman had a certain amount of anger motivating him. We get to see that here.

I like how plausible everything is in this movie. The way Bruce Wayne learnt his skills, how the gadgets work, why did he choose the bat as his totem creature, where did he get his armour and why super villains exist, all dealt with very, very convincingly. Christian Bale did a great job, but my favourite character is probably Michael Caine's Alfred.

He was magnificent. Which is more than I can say for some people. Like Katie Holmes. Her Rachel Dawes character was poorly used, almost the token female. They could've fleshed her out a bit more.

I was very impressed with the rest of the cast too, even the support cast. Look at it, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Ken Watanabe and Gary Oldman, who looked so vastly different from how he usually looks, I didn't know who he was. Anyway, that's what I call a powerhouse cast.

My only complaint has something to do with the fight choreography. Most, if not all of it was shot a little too close in. It would've been nice to see a wide shot of an alley with Batman fighting off three bandits at once.

I really, really want a sequel. I'm sure there will be.

A lot of movies to watch this next month or so. I'm very much looking forward to it. Next on the to-watch list are:-

I'm sure I'm missed something. I'm also sure I'm going to enjoy them all.

In other news, this evil piece of entertainment software is threatening to engulf my life.

There are good games and there are awesome games. Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas absolutely rocks. This iteration of the game is SO huge, it will literally take months for me to complete.

Therefore, it's quite possible I won't be going out too much. And I might blog a little bit less.

In more news, Rin passed me some CDs with a lot of hard to find stuff like Letters to Cleo, Punk Goes Pop, Punk Goes 80s and a lot of other stuff. And Viggo Mortensen (?)

Am taking time off GTA and sorting through them now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Same Person, Different People

I was on Torrentspy just now and what did I notice ? A torrent file for the Grand Theft Auto San Andreas PC version DVD. Is it really out for PC already ? How come I didn't know about this ?

Looks like it's time for another trip to the favourite computer games shop on Thursday. That means I'll be somewhere near Kuching Plaza around afternoon.

For those of us gaming fans who haven't played any GTA games before, why haven't you ? Are you nuts ?

Heh, just kidding. GTA is extremely violent and extremely politically incorrect. It's not for everyone. But seriously, there are good games and there are awesome games. Try anything in the GTA line up. Guaranteed fun.

What's not to love about a game that allows you to beat people up, steal cars, run over pedestrians and other things that could get you arrested in real life ? Yes, escapism is nice like that. With GTA, nice upstanding citizens like myself can indulge in our gangsta fantasies and not care.

Having said that, this new GTA is apparently going to be a lot harder than the previous one, since I read somewhere that they boosted the cops this time around. Should be interesting.

I'll find out when/if I buy the game.

I was supposed to write about something else entirely this morning.

I've got Yahoo Messenger and other chat software on my PC. I used to be quite excited about that, but I don't use them much anymore.

I've discovered that I've lost the ability to chat online.

I sound completely different from myself in real life. It's hard for me to decide what to say/type, especially when I'm trying to chat with someone I know. I get this strange case of acute writer's block. I become extremely boring. I have no idea why.

In real life, I'm much chattier than that, and hopefully much less boring. I've speculated and thought about why I'm so different on and offline, but I still don't know why.

And what of this blog ? I'm not sure. Do I sound like this in real life too ? Since it doesn't involve direct, real time interaction with other people, it's a lot less apparent to me. So once again, I can't say whether I sound like my blog in real life.

It's quite likely that I'm at least three different people, with at least two online personas and one offline one. Or maybe, three different sides of the same thing. So which one is the purest one ? Who is the real me ? Which one wears the most masks ?

I should go and ask and expert about this. Anyone know a good sociologist ? Or is that even the right person to ask ?

How true are we to ourselves when online anonymity is taken into account ? Or are we more true because of that anonymity ?

What do you think ?

Monday, June 13, 2005


*Cracks knuckles*

Today is going to be quite a hectic day. Some people are on leave. So I cross my fingers and hope nothing major happens that require these people.

Apart from that, I'm going to take it easy today. Just routine stuff, nothing too experimental. The same goes for everything else.

I'm thinking about simplifying my life in general. I do notice that I tend to overthink nearly everything. It's quite exhausting.

So I'm going to take things at face value a lot more now. After all, not everything has hidden meaning and not everyone has an ulterior motive behind every question and every request. The whens, the whys and the wheretofores don't matter all the time. Funny how paranoia makes you think that way. I don't do any of that, and yet somehow I always suspect that everyone else is.

Victim mentality again, probably.

So, I'm going to pay less attention to the perceived threats in life and deal with actual things for a change. Also, leave the future in the future, the past in the past and now in the now. Whatever that means.

At least that's plan anyway. Am I going to do it or is all this just rhetoric ? Don't know yet. Whatever happens, I hope to be a little happier at the end of the day.

In other news, I'm feeling dry blogwise. I actually thought about taking time off from posting. But I'm not gonna set any limits. There is no way I can stay away from blogging without feeling anxiety. It's like cigarrettes, only it doesn't kill you.

Anyway, the real reason why I feel dry is that the introspection has dried up. Closure and acceptance does that. The price for that is a boring blog, I guess. Riding The Mellow will no longer be powered by angst. It's time to find a new power source.

Therefore, I might talk about games, movies and miscellaneous other things a lot more now. Maybe I'll write about other people. Or something else that's not directly related to me. I don't know yet.

Ok then, I must go back to work now. Have a nice day.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Letting Go

Since my last post, I got really busy and couldn't post anything. I was supposed to do some kind of introspective thing, but I can't really remember what it was supposed to be about.

I think it was something to do with letting go and growing up. Something like that. Don't you just hate it when you think of something quite profound to say and yet when you sit in front of the computer, the words won't come out ?


Anyway, letting go and such.

Sometimes, when I get bored, I go read old blog entries and old comments, as a regular blogger often does I bet.

I should really stop regretting things that happened in the past and just get on with the rest of life. I should just accept that the so-called normal life that I want has eluded me. Time and age has made sure of that.

I should stop feeling like a disgruntled 20 year old trapped in an older person's body. I think I've gotten so used to being down in the emotional dumps, it feels strange to be out of it.

This letting go business is quite hard to do, apparently. It's not the first time I thought of such things. And yet, I fall back into familiar territory and start feeling bad about myself again. It's almost comforting when that happens. Hard habit to break, it is.

This is what victim mentality is, isn't it ? Am I using my so-called misfortune as an excuse not to try and move on ? Might be.

Pride can be very troublesome. It prevents me from making do. It makes me ask why I don't have what other people have. Stuff. Satisfaction. Relationship. Any number of other things. Yeah, I'm guilty of being overly proud sometimes. I feel like I deserve all the things that I want, and stamp my feet when I can't get them. I feel like the world owes me.

Whether or not the world actually owes me, that's not really the point is it ? I should realize by now that most of the things that happen to people happen to them whether or not they "deserve" it.

I thought about all that while I was playing my computer games and felt quite at ease. Things happen. Or sometimes, didn't happen when I wanted them to. Sometimes I was the one who messed things up. I made mistakes. I regret. I wish I could go and change and fix things more to my liking.

But no amount of wishing will change those things. I'll have to live with them.

Of course, what-if scenarios are quite fun to discuss, so I won't shy away from that. But perhaps now I can ask what-if and not feel guilty ?

And of course, sometimes I will put up one of those "oh woe is me" posts. I'd be very naive if I thought that things will change from now on. It's healthy to rant once in a while.

One last thing, just as a reminder. I should stop wanting things that are obviously bad for me. I should be brave enough to walk away from such things, no matter how enticing, regardless of the paranoia that I could be throwing something away. Certain things aren't worth the pain they can bring. The juice may be good, but sometimes is not worth the squeeze.

I am not a victim. I am not desperate.

Here endeth today's rather ambiguous post.

Current Music - Swing Life Away (Acoustic) - Rise Against, Punk Goes Acoustic

Friday, June 10, 2005

Some Game Stuff

There should be a picture here. I'll post one when I get home.

What a pleasant day. I'm at work and am about to go off soon, after only six hours on the clock. Six short hours. Six short OVERTIME hours I might add.

I did something for Wikipedia last night. I corrected, rearranged and cleaned up an entry about the Sichuan Invasion. It's not complete though, some of the original entry was incomprehensible gibberish. I'm also not entirely sure of it's historical accuracy.

The original entry was in pretty bad shape. It seemed like the original contributor took the info from a non-English source, put it through Babelfish and posted the results.

Posting on Wikipedia will have to wait while I try to master its formating style. I did start my P-47 Thunderbolt research though, I hope I can finish that someday. Imagine that, an entry in an encyclopedia written by me.

And now for some gaming news, so for those who aren't interested, you people can skip the next paragraph or so.

I downloaded and installed a very, very well done mod for Call of Duty : United Offensive. What it does is that it replaces all the ingame weapon sounds, made some corrections to the names of items, made all the weapons more realistically deadly and other minor cosmetic changes here and there. The new sounds are superb. I suspect that some of the sounds were taken off Saving Private Ryan. That's just fine by me.

Long rifles (bolt action and semi auto) now kill with one shot in head or torso or cause a lot of damage if other areas of a body are hit. Sub-machine guns can kill with short burts, two to three hits. Light and heavy machine guns are so deadly now, they post a real tactical problem as opposed to just being mildly annoying, pre-mod. This time around, the MG-42 canvas ripping sound makes me flinch. As in real life. That thing tears people apart in milliseconds now.

Grenades are properly done now too. The German stick grenade does half the damage as the Allied pineapples. The mod also removes the crosshairs. I found this to be a lot of fun. Now I need to use iron sights a lot more and hip shooting is only practical at short range.

I appreciate historical accuracy in my shooting games. Adds to the atmosphere.

And finally, a little bit of introspection.

I'll do this later when I'm at home.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Let's Wiki !

"Please don't go crazy, if I tell you the truth
No you don't know what happened
And you never will if
You don't listen to me while I talk to the wall
This blanket is freezing, it's been out in the hall
Where you've had me for hours
Till I'm sure what I want
But darling I want the same thing that I wanted before
So sweetheart tell me what's up I won't stop no way"

- How to be Dead, Snow Patrol, Final Straw

Guess what my current favourite song is ?

Oh man, that song is absolutely brilliant. Snow Patrol rocks ! I love their lyrics.

Aside from that, there is a new hobby I'm contemplating.

At work, I've been spending a lot of time perusing through entries at Wikipedia. A free encyclopedia, what a brilliant idea !

I've been reading articles on things relating to World War 2, history, battle details, machinery, units involved, etc. I found quite a few entries that are either non-existent or incomplete.

I have many, many books on World War 2. Included in some of those books are details about these very same incomplete entries.

I'm thinking about contributing. Yes ! Then I can pretend to be all scholarly and borrow my dad's reading glasses.

I also have other references at home that I could use to flesh out other stuff on Wiki. Like details of the legendary P-47 Thunderbolt. And German U-Boat classes. And many others.

Encyclopedias are fun. I grew up reading one. I learn how humans reproduce through it. Talk about getting to the source.

I notice that a lot of people don't really read anymore. Such a shame. Books are cool.

Anyway, about Wiki. I wonder how comprehensive are the entries about Malaysia. I'm going to check now.

Oh yes, before I forget, I must mention that Wiki is open source and anyone can edit and add entries. ANYONE !

I'm going to reread their posting and editing policies and get started as soon as I get that sorted out.

Later then.

Current Music - Grazed Knees, Snow Patrol, Final Straw

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Some Pictures

Finally I'm able to put up some pictures.

I like this one. I have many pictures of the sky, taken at different times of the day. And talking about the sky...

...here's what it looks like from the jungle floor.

Some rocks at the waterfall. This picture was actually quite blur, but fortunately it looks alright when I reduced the size.

All this pictures were taken around the Singai area not far from a friend's house.

In other news, there's not much to tell. Except maybe.... nah, that is for another time when I feel like talking about it.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Post About Work

Isn't it brilliant? I finish sorting through the new pictures I took last week. I resize them. I'm about to post them and what happens?

Photojerk is inaccessible. Looks like those pics will have to wait until next time. Maybe in the morning or something.

I'm actually thinking about buying a new camera. The one I have is fine, but I want one with faster autofocus and more settings. Maybe one with a manual mode, so I can play with shutter speeds and exposure and things like that.

So many things to buy. So little money. Lets see, right now I want:-

- New wheels for the car.
- Subwoofer/amp.
- New frets for the guitar. And new strings.
- New soundcard for the PC.
- New chair.

All that, plus the necessary expenses like gas, food, drink, DSL etc, means more money needed. I think I'll buy the chair and fix the guitar first. Do the cheap stuff first.

Today, I find myself feeling extremely jaded with my work. It is very possibly an artificial feeling, induced by fatigue, boredom or hormonal imbalance again.

But still, I'm feeling kind of jaded with my job. It feels extremely boring tonight.

I'll try to think positive, up thoughts and remind myself how hard it is to get a job around here these days. I'm going to think about how much I get paid, which is a decent enough amount.

Working in a large private company can feel terribly inpersonal sometimes, where it's more about the bottom line then it is about people. I'm just one guy among hundreds/thousands, working to make a few select individuals get even richer than they already are. Not that there's anything wrong with that. At least the environment is nice and political bullshit is at a minimum. At least I got that to be happy about.

I don't intend to stick around forever though. I'd like to eventually do something that makes an immediate difference in people's lives. Damn if I know what I really want to do. I want to do things on my own instead of working for someone else. Maybe one day?

Maybe I'm missing the contact that I used to have with customers when I worked my previous job? Maybe I want to do something that allows me to meet and talk to people.

Or maybe, I'm just thinking like this because I'm bored and it'll all go away later or in the morning.

The important thing about working is, I guess, the realization that what I do is necessary for me to be able to live properly. Sometimes it's necessary to do things that I don't like or don't feel like doing. My job's not the most noble thing but at least it pays the bills and allows me to have some fun.

Other than this rather bored feeling, everything is fine. The hours tick by and this will improve, probably.

Tonight is also one of those times when I feel like writing a long, long post, except that I'm not sure what I want to write about.

I'll try to remember to post those pictures in the morning.

Current Music - Playing Favorites (Acoustic) - The Starting Line, Punk Goes Acoustic

Monday, June 06, 2005

Some Stuff in the Papers

I shall now post some random stuff to occupy my time here at the office.

Firstly, another excellent, as well as timely column by Marina Mahathir, one of my favourite columnists. I admire her a lot, for being fearless in expressing opinions contrary to the country's political norms and for her work to create HIV/AIDS awareness.

She rocks. She had a book out a few years ago, a collection of some of her Musings articles, published in The Star. Great read.

I hope she'll come out with Volume 2 soon.

Here's another fascinating story about hangmen in Malaysia.

Personally, I'm for the use of the death penalty. Some crimes are just too heinous for the guilty party to be left alive. For example, rape/murder. In my mind, it's quite simple. You rape. Your victim dies. You die. Especially if they're kids. Or maybe for that instance, a firing squad would be more appropritate.

And talking about crime, there's this story about a kid who got beaten up in school and who is now partially paralysed.

As a former victim, I feel very, very strongly about bullying in school. I'm not the right person to ask what to do about bullies. It's a hard topic to think about rationally. It fills me with quite a bit of anger and not a little hate.

I remember them, their faces, their names, the things they did. Most of them now are at the lower end of society, eking out a living. No, I don't feel sorry for them. They nearly destroyed me and any self worth that I had as a child and I still can't get over some of the damage. They deserve every ounce of pain and hardship they get now.

They had it coming.

As for the kids who beat up Afiq, suspend them, try them as juveniles and if found guilty, send them away to Henry Gurney. Or jail, since they're 17 right now. Let's see how "strong" and "macho" these bastards are. Or a salt mine somewhere.

If it were up to me, I'd sit them in the middle of the school football field, make them kneel, shoot them in the gut with a small calibre pistol and leave them to bleed to death.

I guess it's good that it's not up to me.

If it is true that the school's principal and teachers tried to cover this up, sack them.

Enough of this. I can feel myself getting pissed off.

In other news, broadband is going to be cheaper and more efficient, so says the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry. I'm not going to hold my breath. It's the government talking here. They talk a lot, but do a lot less.

However, it's great that they're going to open things up a bit and break Telekom's monopoly. Should be good for consumers, like me.

I hope it happens when they say it will. But I'm not holding my breath.

And finally, Superkumquat tagged me with a meme about DVDs. The problem is, I haven't finished doing my DVD inventory yet.

I'll do the meme as soon as I can. That should make a good post.

Back 2 Life

I need a new chair.

I saw a nice one that won't bust a hole in my wallet on Saturday at Courts. It's incredibly difficult to find a nice, comfy chair that isn't expensive. It's also quite amazing how so few places actually sell loose chairs i.e ones that are not part of a set.

Or maybe I'm not looking hard enough, or in the right places.

I want one of those swivelly office-type chairs that I can lean back on, preferebly with arm rests. The one I have now is actually a dining chair, wooden and straight-backed.

Not the most comfortable thing to sit on for a marathon computer game session.

I think I'll get one next week. Probably.

Today is Monday, which means I go back to work this evening. I will go with some reluctance. I had a nice, long spell away from work.

I simply have to try and go for a week long holiday. Soon maybe.

The crappy thing about having a nice holiday is that it has to end. And I always have this paranoia that in order to keep the balance, something horrible will happen the week after. For once, I'd like to have fun and not worry about negative karmic repurcussions.

So today, I will resume the mundane stuff that most of life is made of (unfortunately).

I went to visit some friends on Friday night. I'm suddenly thinking how appropriate it would be to have a Star Wars convention in Kota Padawan (literally, Padawan City or Padawan Fortress). We talked about it and by the end of the conversation, no one could speak due to too much laughing. Especially that part when one of my friends said he's going to go home to Padawan and ask his granddad about his lightsabre and where did he put it.

It sounds a lot funnier in real life.

My friend's kampung is Kampung Padawan. For those who don't know, Kampung (or Kota) Padawan is a mostly Bidayuh village not far from the city.

Oh yes, I should mention the jokes about Jedis being trained at SMK Padawan (village secondary school). Yeah, we had a roaring good time.

Life isn't too bad right now. The first half of the year's been relatively good to me. I really, really hope the second half will be as good.

Actually, I want more. I want fate to give me a break.

I want this next six months to be in my favour. I hope I will get some money (at least I got a raise, so that's a plus). I want one of my crazy projects to take off. I want to be in situations where I'm the one who comes out on top, simply by just showing up and standing around with my hands in my pockets.

I want to be the one who gets lucky, as opposed to some other person who shows up and stands around with his hands in his pocket. I want someone else to feel frustration and ask why, instead of me. I want to win for a change.

I want to meet someone and get involved in a relationship that actually works. I want to be able to do that without walking on eggshells and constantly worry that something I do or say or don't do or don't say will screw the whole thing up.

Selfish? Yes. But why should I feel bad about it. I want good fortune. What's so bad about that?

But this being my life, nothing is that simple and nothing I want ever comes without cost or without fine printed clauses.

I wish it wasn't like that.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Gawai Aftermath

Is it me, or does Streamyx seem sluggish today.

I'm feeling extremely dry right now. I got quite smashed last night. Therefore, my Gawai is complete. As an indigenous person, not getting drunk during the harvest festival is like not celebrating it. Must get stoned.

And I did.

Anyway, I think up to this point this afternoon, I think I've drunk 3 litres of water. Which helps.

Lester just called. I'm supposed to go visit him later.

Where were we last night ? Oh yes, drink. At Leon's place. As usual with any festive occasion at Leon's, drinks were served.

Beer, Night Train, beer, baccardi and two different kinds of tequila. It was awesome.

All our friends were there. Jerome, Rin, Will, my brother, Syuk, Raven and Trimas. I think I got everyone there.

We used to do this a lot. Gather somewhere, pop open a few bottles, get drunk and tell stories and ribald jokes.Nowadays, everyone's kind of busy so we don't do it so much.

By the end of the evening, some of us had to leave early while some of us passed out on the pavement and some of us threw up. Ahh, good times.

I took many pictures. Leon went one extra and took a video of some of us cackling madly. It was very funny.

I might post one or two.

We also went to Kampung Singai to visit Will at his parents' kampung (village) house. Another Gawai feature, a trip to the rural parts of the state. It wasn't very far, maybe 35 minutes of leisurely driving. My brother for some odd reason managed to fail to notice the two red cars we parked by the road side and overshoot to some other place far, far away. He made it in the end but that was still quite weird. How do you not notice two red cars parked by the road ?

Later, Will took us to a waterfall nearby. That was cool. The water was great. Too bad we were dressed wrong. Next time we go here, I'm bringing shorts.

The place is quite out of the way and not too many people go there. And for good reason. The trail up to the waterfall was quite tricky. Definitely not safe for the less gainly amongst us.

I took many pictures. Will put them up once I sort through them.

Gawai 2005 has been a good one, with many friends to hang out with and more (hazy) memories to savour. I'm going out again to visit some more friends.

Happy Gawai everyone and may the next year's harvest be as bountiful, whatever it may be.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Once You Start Down the Dark Path...

An internet quiz, taken of My Two Bits.

Green is your Lightsaber's color.

Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth,
harmony, and freshness. Green has strong
emotional correspondence with safety. Green is
also commonly associated with wealth and
happiness, so someone with a green lightsaber
like yourself is a fortunate soul.

What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Fortunate soul ? I somehow find that funny. And not in a humourous way. Fortunate ? Funny how I don't feel like that on some days.

There are times in life when it's hard to feel blessed and grateful. It takes a big person to see light in dark times. I guess I'm not as big as I thought. That's a disappointment.

Remember when we were children and so full of idealism ? We thought we were The Good Guys, holding the fort against the so-called Bad Guys. We wanted to be heroes, steadfast and true.

We grow up and along the way we find that many truths are actually half-truths or worse, pure lies. The good guys don't always win. Hard work guarantees nothing. Being a good person doesn't exempt you from hurt and betrayal, it in fact make it easier for people to use and discard you. Things don't work put the way your parents and your elders tell you.

We become jaded and cynical. Some of us give in to sorrow, hate, anger and pain. Slowly, the dark side beckons.

It's deceptively easy to fall. And worse, when it happens you don't realize it before it's too late.

I think about it sometimes. Where do I stand ? Am I still Good ? Or have I succumbed and given up ?

I like to think that I'm a good person. Am I still ?

There are days when I think that I am not as good as I think I am, that contrary to what I imagine, I'm not The Good Guy. I might just be a bit player or worse. I find that very disturbing.

Life is hard and really effective at squeezing the good out of people isn't it ?

In other news, I've been entertaining myself by reading episode summaries of The Twilight Zone.

I've seen many horror movies and things like that, but some Twilight Zone episodes make my blood run cold. A writing tour de force, no doubt.

I'll write more about the Twilight Zone and other horror/thriller anthologies when I wake tomorrow (hopefully).