Saturday, December 30, 2006

Food Poisoning

I've had a dreadful few days. First, the earthquake near Taiwan ruins my internet connection.

Then, over the last 3 days I had a stomach problem. I think it's food poisoning. My parents think its gastritis, which is very unlikely actually.

Whatever it was, it was very painful. I've not really eaten in the last 72 hours. Fortunately all the pills I've been taking are finally making me feel better.

By the way if anyone has problems burning CDs and if you use Daemon Tools, disable the virtual drive created by Daemon (if any), exit Daemon Tools and restart your computer. That should fix it.

Going out for dinner soon. It's good to finally get some appetite back. Hopefully, I can salvage whatever is left of my week off from work.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Peace on Earth

... and good will to all men.

Christmas is tomorrow. Today is my last day of work for 2006. When I come back to the office, it will be the 1st of January 2007.

It also seems like it's been a very short year.

I hope to have a lazy week off. I would like time to take some time off too, so instead of it blazing by like it has all year I would like time to pass by languidly. You know, like a stream or something. Unfortunately as they say, time waits for no one. Unless you're at the dentist...

It's been a decent enough year. Quiet, with almost no drama (except for that time when the neighbour's house caught fire). On the personal front, it's all quiet as can be observe from the relative lack of introspective ranting here on this blog.

One of the negatives of this year has been the fact that I've drifted away from some of my friends. I've always known that as time goes by, we'd end up going our own ways and doing our own thing. It's just one of those things that you'd think would happen "in the future" instead of now. It's something that you take for granted.

I have many female friends and I feel it most when they marry or get engaged or general become less available. A few of them have done so this last two years especially. Of course I wish them all the success and happiness in the world, but there is that little bit of sadness there. We are still friends of course, but it's not the same anymore.

The same can be said about the guys I used to hang with. It's not the same either.

I guess drifting apart from friends is the one of the less pleasant parts of growing older, one might say.

Anyway, the year ends in 7 days and a new year will emerge. I wish that the new year will bring something new. I wish that in the new year something will happen that will bring back my enthusiasm and spirit so that I may take risks without too much fear of failure.

Above all else, I wish to be happy and content with what I have and what will be. What ever becomes of me, I hope I do not become (more) cynical and jaded. That's one other thing that I didn't like about this year. This year I could sense myself turning colder and colder inside. I hope that there is a way to reverse that and perhaps in the new year, I will find the way.

But that is all for next year. I will mull over it some other time.

For now, it is a time to enjoy and to be grateful for blessings, friends and family. I wish all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I was reading some blogs (namely Erna's and Steph's) and came upon a rather interesting meme, which I will do now.

Tagged by : No one in particular.

Layer ONE: On The Outside
Name: Mac
Date of Birth: 14th July
Current Status: Available but inactive
Eye Colour: Brown
Hair Colour: Black
Righty or Lefty: Righty
Zodiac: Cancer

Layer TWO: On The Inside
Your Heritage: Iban with Chinese mix
Your Fears: Abandonment
Your Weaknesses: Melancholia, procrastination, forgetfulness
Your Perfect Pizza: Pizza Junction's Hawaiian Chicken - delightful!

Layer THREE: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Your First Thoughts When Waking Up: *sigh*
Your Bedtime: Varies very widely, anytime from minight to 8-9 am depending on whether I'm working or not and what shift I'm on when it is a working day.
Your Most Missed Memory: Can't think of any at the moment

Layer FOUR: Your Pick
Pepsi or Coke: Neither
McDonald's or Burger King: BK definitely. Unfortunately, no BK in Kuching! Quick, someone get a franchise going!
Adidas or Nike: Both but Adidas has more tradition and history than Nike
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate
Cappucino or Coffee: Tea

Layer FIVE: Do You
Smoke?: Way too much
Curse?: Rarely

Layer SIX: In the Past Month
Drank Alcohol: Yes
Gone to The Mall: Yes
Been on Stage: No
Eaten Sushi: Yes
Dyed your Hair: No

Layer SEVEN: Have you Ever
Played a Stripping Game: Never in my life
Changed Who You Were to Fit in: Unfortunately, I have tried to. Usually, I fail.

Layer EIGHT:
Age you're hoping to get married: 30 Not anytime soon

Layer NINE: In a Girl/Guy
Best Eye Colour: Irrelevant
Best Hair Colour: Dark/Black
Short or Long Hair: Irrelevant

Layer TEN: What Were You Doing
1 minute ago: Doing this meme
1 hour ago: Reading news and blogs
4.5 hours ago: Playing Football Manager 2007
1 month ago: Nothing special
1 year ago: Writing blog posts, playing computer games, working i.e the same thing I'm doing now

Layer ELEVEN: Finish the Sentence
I Love: computer games!
I Feel: numb/disinterested
I Hate: Losing
I Hide: my emotions quite well when I'm out with friends
I Miss: normal 8-5 work days
I Need: to try be more sociable

Layer TWELVE: Tag 5 people
1. Everyone on my Blogroll
2. Everyone on my Livejournal Friends List
3. Everyone who reads this entry
4. None of the above
5. All of the above

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Seed of Destruction

Some questions are very difficult. They say that honesty is the best policy, but is it really?

If someone was honest to you and tells you that you're doing something wrong, would you listen?

I remember years ago I was in the throes of yet another failed attempt at courtship. Out of frustration, I asked a friend what do I have to do and what am I doing wrong.

She told me I had to figure that out myself.

I was angry at that answer for a good long while, even after I figured out what was wrong (the problem was mostly me and how I conducted myself, by the way)

Suddenly tonight, I'm not so sure if I was justified in my dissatisfaction at such an ambiguous answer.

If she had told me that I was the problem and that I was doing it all wrong, would I have listened to her? Would I have realised the cause of the problem and tried to remedy it?

Honestly, no. I was sure I was doing it right. Or rather, the way I was doing it was the only way I knew how.

Back then I believed that if you're "nice" and "sincere" your "good" qualities would shine through despite your social ineptitude and lack of charm. That and all the other sappy, romantic, idealistic, good-guys-win-in-the-end, chick flick, romance novel bullshit.

Then one day, I woke up and found myself in the Real World(TM). As can be expected, for most part it was already too late by then.

Very recently, one or two things happened that reminded me of what used to be. Certain individuals are shooting themselves in their feet, most likely without their own knowledge.

I felt an urge to say something to "save" them from the regrets that they will inevitably have.

I've decided not to. My ambiguous friend may have been right. Certain things are best left for other people to discover on their own. For their sakes, they'd better get their blinders off fast.

Or find partners that believe in the same things...

I've read many things and heard much advice from people about the ways and means of attraction and courtship. There is something that I've personally noted that never seems to get mentioned.

Sometimes we fail to attract others because we have some unsolved, deep seated, personal issue(s), not because we're "bad" people. It could be any number of things. Low self esteem, lack of confidence, social anxiety, poor body image, emotional problems etc. It doesn't matter what issue it is. These issues manifest themselves in the way we behave and carry ourselves, which usually ends up being very unappealling. Or creepy. Or annoying. Or some other way that is not going to help.

Being "nice" isn't the key and was never the key. Being attractive is. Having good or bad intentions has no bearing on attraction (re: Swaggery Colleague)

It's a point worth remembering I feel, myself included of course.

If you find yourself chasing away every member of the opposite sex that you have ever liked, don't be so quick to blame things on the outside. Look in the mirror and really look.

The problem could be you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I was reading just now about people and their ambitions, aspirations and dreams which they would like to achieve in life.

It suddenly dawned to me that I don't really have any ambitions or dreams to speak of. At least not any more. I want to say my ambition is to travel and see places but am I really up to it?

I've been kind of lucky that at least one of my youthful ambitions have come true, sort of.

I wanted to work with computers. I do work with computers now. I fix and maintain them. I also roll out software and make sure there are no malware or viruses in the network. On a good day, it can be fun. I actually quite enjoy being tech support despite the occasional aggravation caused by clueless users.

My work is the one thing which I wanted and got. The rest are all misses.

I'm not really complaining and I can't say I'm really disappointed. I feel totally indifferent about it actually. But sometimes, I do kind of wished some of the other stuff came true to though. If only, if only.

But they haven't and most of it probably won't come true. I can accept that. Time moves on and I move on with it.

What might be nice to have now is some kind of new aspiration or dream. I think dreams and aspirations are important to have. It drives, provides hope and gives more reason to the things we do. It's always good to have something long term to look forward to.

Like I said I was reading blogs just now and it struck me. What is it that I want out of life? Ten years ago I would have no trouble answering this. This morning, the answer is apparently, I don't know.

I don't know what I want.

I wonder, is my lack of ambition caused by my current general lack of enthusiasm or is my lack of enthusiasm caused by my apparent lack of ambition?

And why do I like to ask these difficult-to-answer questions?

Sometimes I think it's better to be a simple minded person. Things get a lot less complicated.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Three Weeks Left

Finally I can log in and post. Would've posted earlier except yesterday night I was too busy and just now there were people here hanging around in the office.

Well, there's only three weeks left before the end of the year. How fast did this year go by for you? For me, it went by extremely quickly. It's been a very quiet year for me personally. Right now, I'm straining myself trying to think of anything worthy of mention. All I got so far is the fire in June and my new(ish) PC.

Speaking of which, I went to the PIKOM PC fair this weekend. Some very, very tempting deals there. Like a widescreen 19" LCD for a mere RM688/-. I would've bought it if I had less self control. I ended getting what I had originally planned for, a Maxtor 250Gb SATA hard disk and a 1Gb thumbdrive. Very cheap.

Unfortunately, I had failed to check my PC's power supply unit before going out to buy the hard disk. When I arrived home, I found that the power supply unit had no SATA connector. So the hard disk is sitting in my drawer, unused. Fortunately, a colleague of mine happens to have a SATA power convertor that he's not using so I'm taking that of him tomorrow morning.

When I put the hard disk in I will have 450Gb of space in my PC. Should be good enough for at least a year.

I also bought a USB hub. It only cost 8 bucks so I figured what the hell.

Yep, that's about it for any kind of news. Still uneventful here.

So uneventful in fact, on Saturday night an old friend called and when she asked me what's new it took me 10 seconds to think of anything. When I did think of something, it wasn't even about me. It was about my dad's retirement.

I think that about sums up the whole year. Uneventful.

I really hope something happens over Christmas week to spice things up a bit. Doesn't look likely though.

Uneventful or otherwise, 2006 was a kind year for me. A year of stabilization one might say. Also a year of gradual shifting of priorities.

But I think I will reserve this kind of recap in another post, maybe during the final days of the year.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

FM2007 ver. 7.01 Fixed no cd patch (no double transfer fees)

The file can be had from here or here.


Those people who have recently downloaded a Football Manager 2007 7.01 no cd patch from Gameburnworld may notice something odd when they transfer players in and out. The transfer fees get doubled so everything cost twice as it should be.

This is because the patch file is kind of bugged. Anyway I've managed to find another no cd patch that seems to fix this problem. I'm testing it now and so far so good, it seems to work. If it does work as intended, I will post links for download.

People who wish to check it out themselves can check out this thread at the Megagames forums to get a Rapidshare link to it, but please make sure your anti-virus software is up to date as the Megagames website is listed as badware by Google. I didn't get any problems though.

In other news, I've been busier than usual at work. I expect to be even busier today because one of our colleagues is on leave.

Very tired. It's a good thing that I'm off work tomorrow.

I had a brainstorm yesterday and I wanted to post it here. It was a good topic too. I would post it now but I forgot what it was about.

I hate it when that happens.

Lately it's been a struggle to post new entries to be honest. I'm finding myself quite hard pressed to come up with anything personal or original. I don't want to write about what's happening in the world (i.e current issues stuff) because I'm quite sick of that right now.

Suddenly I miss my angst. Actually I don't miss it, but no one can deny that angst provides really good blogging fodder right?

I do sometimes feel like writing about work but I worry that people from work might have found this blog. That would be bad. Or potentially bad. I have a certain persona I use here at work and the last thing I want is for people to find out that I'm not really that person in real life.

Actually, now that I think about it my work face is better than my private life face. At least on the outside.

Very well then I will go now. Perhaps later tonight I will come up with something else.

Monday, December 04, 2006

What I've Been Up To

A friend of ours got married the weekend before last and I didn't even know about it!

So to make up for that we had a little gathering at his house on Saturday. I got quite tipsy with all the whiskey and raspberry vodka. While that was happening, we had another conversation with another friend who is contemplating marriage within the next 18 months.

A whole bunch of people are about to start another part of their lives. They are great people I'm glad for them.

Other than that I had a nice weekend. I watched Click, Cars and Flyboys all in one sitting on Thursday night. All good movies. I liked Cars more than I thought I would. Yesterday I bought a football DVD showing all the goals from the last World Cup. That's the first time I have ever bought a footie video. Rin also bought a footie DVD, a Chelsea season review. We watched that last night. It was great.

Can you believe it? It's December already.

Soon the year will go and soon I will find myself staring at the Monday filled wonder that is January. I don't like January at all. Like I keep saying January feels like it has 31 Mondays in it.

Anyway, I have no big plans for this year. I'm taking some leave over the Christmas period so I'll be off work for a whole week, which I am really looking forward to. Unfortunately, I'm working on New Years' Day so no party for me on the eve.

I actually set out to write an introspective post this morning but I can't think of anything I want to be introspective about. I suppose that's a good thing? I could write a current issues post but I haven't read the news yet. That is definitely a good thing.

I'm hoping this week will be a good one and I'm going to go to a PC Fair this weekend and buy a nice new SATA hard disk. And maybe a thumbdrive.

Am also hoping fervently that December 06 will be a enjoyable, peaceful, quiet month.

I hope you all will have a blessed holiday season too.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Equality and Empowerment

Currently, there is a movement going on empowering women to use ICT against violence. This is great. I'm all for it. Crimes of the violent nature are on the up and often the victims are women.

I've also read some blog posts and articles about feminism recently. A hot topic as always with many, many arguments.

Feminist activism's been around for ages but there are so many people who don't really know what it's about or even worse, feel threatened by it. And it's not just men who feel threatened by it.

From my observation, many times a woman's worst enemy is not a man. It is in fact other women. I remember when I was in college, some of my more emancipated girl friends and classmates complaint about their more conservative compatriots looking at them funny and telling them that they are not being "proper" or "ladylike".

I read arguments that men are to blame for this state of affairs. I'm not going to get into that today, too many different arguments involved here. All I can say is that I strongly disagree with this statement.

Yes, we do live in a male dominated society and yes there is more than can be done for equality. No, it's not always the fault of men. Rather, it's the fault of conservatism. Also, I believe that any man (and woman for that matter) who feel threatened by any kind of equality or empowerment movement feel that way because they are not able to see women as equal. People who feel like this usually don't have any close contact to people from the opposite sex.

This kind of separation doesn't help with understanding and empathy between men and women. I've said this before, I believe.

This is one reason why I don't quite agree with boys only or girls only hang out sessions for example. I think it's kind of sexist and divisive, if it's just for the sake of differentiating using gender. If one wants to hang out with one's friends because of shared interest and all those friends happen to be all men/women, then no problem there. If it's just because there are men/women, I think a rethink is in order there.

Why does one separate using gender? Is it justified? My personal opinion is no.

A common point to this question is the common,"There are things that guys/girls won't understand". Fair enough. But if we don't share thoughts with people of the opposite sex then how are men and women ever going to understand one another?

I don't agree with this exclusive knowledge for men only/women only thing. It doesn't help.

I think men and women need to share their issues with each other more or else true equality will never happen. In regard to violence against women, the issue is more of a societal one rather than a gender issue. It affects everyone, women and men both.

I must go soon, but there is one last thing I want to say after reading quite a lot of blame-throwing and mudslinging between some feminists and their detractors.

It's easy to appeared "empowered" by being bellicose and confrontational, but being confrontational isn't empowerment. It isn't the same thing.

Have a nice day!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanks for Coming Over

It's always a nice feeling when I check my hit counter and see that despite this blog's loss of "quality" so to speak, the number of people who visit is always consistent. Sometimes I feel bad for people who visit.

It's always very gratifying to check the counter and notice that there are still people who search for "Riding the Mellow" or "macdyne". Even during weeks when I don't really update.

I would like to say thanks for all the support and thanks for dropping by. I do hope that while this blog is mainly for my own use, other people might find it useful too.

I've noticed something kind of odd lately. I'm not as enthuasistic about meeting new people as I used to. It used to be quite interesting to meet new people. These days to be honest, I couldn't really be bothered. When I do meet new people (in the office for example), I don't say very much at all.

I know that's not the best attitude to have. The question is, why? Why does it suddenly feel like it's too much effort? And the most important question of all, how do I regain the motivation and enthusiasm for new social contact? Or for anything else that's new for that matter.

I hope I'm not slowly turning into some kind of scrooge. That would be kind of sad.

Well, it's coming to the end of the year now. As usual, I'm inclined to ask where did all that time go? And as usual, I feel very, very lazy. I have no motivation to work whatsoever.


I've finally managed to get the full 2 DVD version of Medieval 2 Total War. Now I get all the videos and other bells and whistles and the game seems to work a little better. I do have to say that the AI is still a bit lacking. Not cunning and/or aggressive enough for my taste. The rest of game however is simply breathtaking. The battles especially. I especially like the so call "bloom" effect. It makes the graphics less sharp and everything looks more warm and fuzzy.

I await the patch which will take care of some minor issues and make the game better.

I'm also waiting for the Neverwinter Nights 2 patch. According for my brother who's been playing it, the game has a potentially deadly bug whereby you cannot finish some quests. Such a shame for such an otherwise excellent game.

I'm also waiting for the FM patch which will help fix some minor but annoying bugs.

It seems that these days, software is so sophisticated it's impossible to get everything right at the first try. Even games.

In other news, my house is still kind of under construction. Which means that there is so much noise during the day that it's impossible to get any kind of peace and quiet. I hope they finish quickly.

So far that's the only noteworthy thing that's been happening.

I hope to have a quiet week. Nay, a quiet month!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Evlyone's a Ritter bit Lacist

What I want to write about right now would sound like this if I was more eloquent.

Najib, the UMNO Deputy President said that future general assemblies might not be featured on live TV anymore. This reaction was apparently caused by the amount of ruckus caused by the racist vitriol spewed forth by some of their apparently "inexperienced" delegates.

That's their solution to people's justified concerns about the things that UMNO people talk about. They could've promised to just stop being racist but no, we'll be racist indoors and hide it from the public. Party leaders could've given those "inexperienced" delegates a bollocking for being racist. But no.

Sure sure at the end of the day the PM said one or two things about the need for unity and such things. But will anything real be done to change the mindset of racist Malaysians? Talk is cheap after all. Even from Pak Lah unfortunately.

I often read that people who speak like racial chauvinists are "playing to the gallery". I want to know who are these people who are in this "gallery" who NEED to hear racist bullshit to feel good about themselves.

I guess it's just too hard NOT to be racist. Especially for some UMNO people. I sometimes feel that party leaders won't crack down on this kind of behaviour because there are afraid that their more radical supporters might accuse them of not defending "the Malay cause" as it were. And losing support is bad, very bad. Much worse than being racist.

There you go ladies and gents, the screwed up priorities of local politicians.

Many other political parties in this country are exactly the same. Including the opposition. So no, I'm not a supporter to any of political party. None. I know sometimes from what I write, people may feel that I'm a left leaning, socialist type DAP supporter perhaps.

Nope. DAP does and say stupid shit too. DAP people also do that whole political doublespeak thing. Also I hate how they like to argue and debate just because they can and how sometimes they blow tiny little things that don't matter out of proportion. It's all about vote fishing, not service.

Ok, now I sound a little like an anarchist. Perhaps I am, sort of. At least I'm not racist.

Or am I?

Actually, I believe all of us have some sort of biased, somewhat racist tendencies to varying degrees.

We pick it up as kids. Sometimes we hear our older relatives saying things like,"Don't hang out with those people. They are [insert race here] and they are [insert racial stereotype here]" or things like "Of course they act like that. They are [insert race here] and they're always [insert racial stereotype here]".

Then we go to school, get jobs and live in the real world. Some people can never get past what they've picked up, always seeing other people with suspicion and prejudice which is really sad and probably means that the person isn't very good in the IQ to begin with. Some others begin to see that those things that we've heard aren't all that true. We end up being friends of "those people" and find out that lo and behold, we like the same things and have similar problems.

When I took my current job, I remember at least 2 people who warned me that I would suffer and not prosper. They warned me that since I'm my "kind" and they are their "kind" they wouldn't take kindly to me and will make things hard for me. At first, I was kind of worried too. I've heard this kind of talk before. Very common when it involves a person of my "persuasion" working with people of a certain other "persuasion".

But 4 years down the line, I can say with certainty that with my colleagues at least, all that talk is horseshit.

Racist tendencies can be unlearned slowly just like they can be picked up. The important thing is to not let any of those learned tendencies manifest itself. They can be controlled if one has good sense, unlike some of our more public figures.

In other news, I have more stuff to write about actually. I want to mention that I got Medieval 2. It's gorgeous!

But I'm saving all of that for the next post.

PS: The post title is a line from a song from Avenue Q.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Panadol Kills Cats!

Firstly, a public service announcement.

If you have a cat and he/she falls ill, do not under any circumstances give him/her paracetamol (Panadol, Uphamol etc):-

Paracetamol is extremely toxic to cats, and should not be given to them under any circumstances. Cats lack the necessary glucuronyl transferase enzymes to safely break paracetamol down and tiny fractions of a normal tablet for humans may prove fatal.
- Wikipedia, Paracetamol entry

It's very good to know these things. Please spread the word and let people know. I can't even begin to contemplate how awful it would be if I accidentally killed my cat by giving her "medicine".

In other news, early this morning (around 2.45am) there was a power failure at my house. It was very bad. And very boring.

It also reminds me of how much modern man needs electricity. I think 97% of all our activities will involve some kind of electrical power usage. The power outage lasted until around 4.00am. All the while I couldn't sleep because my room would become quite stuffy without something to move the air around (like a fan). I'm suddenly wondering how much a ceiling fan would cost. I'm quite sure it would cost less than air conditioning.

I was reading and I found that there WAS something wrong with my DSL connection after all. According to this post at Screenshots, the Streamyx problem with connection difficulties and crap speeds have been going on for a while too. Something to do with messed up hardware upgrading schedules. The post is quite technical but is very useful.

When Telekom does complete all the maintenance work I most certainly hope my previously very good DSL connection comes back to normal. Then I can play World of Warcraft again without lagging like crazy. I also hope the p2p blocking rumours are just mere rumours.

Anyway, relatively speaking my connection is still quite usable, provided I don't try to download anything. I know of other people who can't even get on and when they do get on, get worse throughput than dial-up.

In yet more news, I was supposed to do a Soundtrack of my Life kind of meme on Thursday. That was when I noticed that my music library hasn't been reorganized yet. I use Windows Media Player 10 to manage my music collection and on my previous PC. All the music I had were properly tagged with the correct relevant info like artist, album, cover art, songwriters etc.

When I got my new machine, I accidentally screwed up my OS hard disk which also contained the database for all my music.

I'm doing the whole thing all over again now. Should take about a week and a half if I take it slow.

All in all, I've had a decent enough week. My Hari Raya overtime just came it and is immediately going out again on account of my car hire/purchase and the PC upgrade credit card bill.

I still don't have enough cash (and motivation) to go out and buy clothes. I really should because it's a good time to go shopping. Things are beginning to feel Chrismas-sy. The end of the year of course, is my favourite time of the year.

Also happening in December is PIKOM's PC fair which will come back to Kuching on the 8-10th December. I'm very likely going to buy a SATA hard disk at the fair. And maybe some RAM. Can't go wrong with more RAM now can ya?

And that is everything for this week.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Circus/Free Software

The circus is in town yet again(not in my town though), providing much fodder for both professional and amateur political pundits everywhere in the country. It will be yet another show of threats, warnings and political doublespeak directed at "the enemy". We all know who this "enemy" is so I'm not going to elaborate.

I'm talking about the UMNO general assembly of course. To make things very interesting, this year's assembly will be shown live on TV.

Good idea. That way all can see and hear for themselves what some UMNO delegates are really about. Provided the live telecast gets through untampered of course.

I won't be watching though. I might get a little too upset. I'd rather sit in my room and play Football Manager or Neverwinter 2.

Anway, UMNO. I can't stand their belligerent, arrogant, racist swaggering. Of course they say they're not any of those things, but people have eyes and ears and brains to do the math.

The scary part is most of these people are playing to a gallery of hardcore supporters. I'm more scared of these supporters. Their existence proves that there are some Malays in the peninsular who are just as racist and bigoted as the people they elect to represent them.

Anyway, I'm not going to discuss UMNO further. I'm extremely grateful that I am from here, where there is NO UMNO and not from over there. There were rumours awhile back about some "interested individuals" (most likely ex-PERMAS people and disgruntled PBB members) who were trying to bring UMNO to Sarawak.

Not if I and a few hundred thousand other Sarawakians (at the very least)can help it.

Things aren't perfect here. We have our share of messed up politicians and our own political circuses. Politics aren't rosy here in the Land of the Headhunter, but it's not nearly as screwed up as in other places. So if anyone asks if we need to bring UMNO here, I will reply with a resounding No Thanks. We have enough of our own (stinky but still manageable) shit to fuss about.

In other news, my house is being made over. This is a good thing except that I work at night this week and when I get home the workmen are banging away with power tools and the air reeks of new paint fumes.

It's not an ideal situation when you're trying to get some sleep after a night's work.

I downloaded Open Office 2.04 just now and installed it. I've trying to get it down for the last few days. Connection at the house has been very slow lately. It looks quite alright but I haven't really tested it properly yet. I do know that it the Writer app can create pdf files and that's really cool.

I'm in a middle of a freeware kick at the moment. A few days ago I was thinking it would be nice if I could substitute as many of my cracked pirated software with legal freeware as possible.

I'm already using AVG Free Edition. I use Firefox 2.0. I got Open Office. I also downloaded Flashget. I also use Irfanview.

I need to get a freeware CD/DVD burner next.

So the only pirated apps I have now are my Nero Burning ROM (but my Nero Express is licensed though), my games (except Need For Speed Carbon and World of Warcraft) and my WinXP Pro SP2. Damn Windows XP so goddamn expensive. Honestly, if it cost 200 bucks I would buy original. If only...

I'm not trying to be morally vain or anything. Not a chance, I'm really just making a sport of this. I think it all started when I read an article somewhere that says that it is possible to have a freeware loaded PC that is as competitive and useful as one loaded with payware. I got curious and here I am hunting for freeware.

If anyone else has any suggestions please do tell. More cool free stuff is.... well, cool.

I'm off work tomorrow so I'm going to take it slow this evening. And I will be picking up a used 17" monitor tomorrow for my old PC dad's PC. I bet my two brothers will be really happy about that.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Big Brother and The Weak Minded Voyeur

I converted to the new Blogger Beta yesterday. Eagle eyed observers might have noticed that the last post had a tag.

The new blogger seems quite promising. It's faster than the old blogger and so far I've not had any difficulties editing or creating new entries.

Today's entry is once again, not about anything much.

Actually if I were to really get into it, there are quite a number of subjects to blog about.

Things like this for example. You'd expect that in the year 2006 in the 21st century, men would finally stop accusing victims of sexual crimes or harassment that they somehow "asked for it".

Alas no.

It's crazy. I wonder if these types of people realize that by saying the above, they are implying that men can't control their urges and have no self control? I'm thinking this is probably the by-product of lame ass piece of shit conservative bullshit culture that is quite entrenched in this country of ours. Perpetrators and purveyors of said culture are usually old fogies with little education, narrow minds, and an unhealthy obsession with appearances.

Never mind if their thoughts are gutter fodder, as long as they LOOK respectable and responsible everything is alright. Never mind if issues don't get resolved, as long as they can be covered up and hidden away from the sight of joe public (and more importantly, tourists) everything is a-okay.

Ok, I may have digressed slightly. Anyway, there you go. I really can't stand conservativism.

Anyway getting back on topic, it's quite annoying that in this day and age the concept of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is not known by some people. I marvel at the kind of convulated thought process that could make someone think that they can do something to someone and blame that someone for making them do it.

The question I want to ask now is that why are there still people who are so stupidly narrow minded even with all the information and the exposure that we get from many different points of views and from many different cultures? What's with the medieval mentality?

The other issue that's kind of hot these days is the recent publication of the banned books list. I mentioned this in an earlier post but this time I have a link for reference and further reading. As can be expected, many bloggers in Malaysia are quite unhappy about this.

Me? As I mentioned before, the thing that pisses me most of all is still the Interior's Ministry stony silence on the issue, as is usually the case when the Ministry is involved. So far as I know, there has been NO explanation as to why those books were banned. I don't mean a general "these are banned because they are bad" stock answer either. I'm talking about explanations regarding EACH book. I'm quite sure that those books were not banned for just one reason.

Some might ask, why not write to the government? I'm sure it's been done by people who have more balls (and motivation) than me. And my cynical side tends to think,"why bother?" That's not the best way to deal with it, but seriously when it comes to the Federal government actions, why bother?

Anyway, one may wonder why books are still being banned. Is the Malaysian public's psyche so fragile that it needs to be protected from the big bad world? Is our society still so "kampung" and so primitive that people will riot in the streets if they read a book that they don't agree with? Or is it fear? Is the government afraid that the people of this country might read something in some book that will make them less "loyal"? Are they afraid that the public might find out about "something" that they don't want them to find out about?

Many interesting questions no?

The banning of books (and censorship for that matter) is futile. Why? Because whatever gets banned can be gotten from the internet. The government can't regulate internet access because that would be contrary to the policies that it set during the time the MSC was started. Internet control equals loss of business and that is a huge deal.

So yeah, banning books is a waste of time. There are other ways to get those books just like there are ways to find and download animal porn for example, which is also banned in Malaysia.

Instead of banning and censoring books and media, a rating system (which is already in place actually albeit very poorly used) will work better I think. That way, joe public has an idea of what he's getting into before deciding to read a book or watch a movie.

I don't see this happening anytime soon though, if ever.

PS. A newspaper column about the ban is here.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Idle Thoughts

My oh my. This blog really is seriously in danger of being neglected to death. I might need more drama in my life to spice things up a bit, so to speak.

I haven't had anything really important to blog about since before my last post. Even now as I write this, I have absolutely no idea where this post is going to go.

Kind of like the first time I started.

The latest new thing I'm wondering about is what is wrong with Bittorrent lately. Does anyone else have problems downloading stuff using torrent files, or is it just my connection? I've asked some people and all those people are complaining too. I've also heard rumours that Telekom did something to limit torrent download speeds. I most certainly hope that isn't true.

That would suck if it turns out to be true. Anyway, another thing I've noticed is that the speed of torrent downloads seems to be inversely proportionate to the size of the download. I can still hit decent throughput if the files being downloaded are less that 100 Mb.

When I download drivers and other stuff through http, my speed is kind of inadequate too now that I think about it. Which is not good news since I need to download new ATI Catalyst drrvers.

And when I play World of Warcraft, my latency is around 900ms+ presently. That's just barely enough.

It's a good thing that these few weeks have been really good with off line single player stuff. Like Football Manager 2007, Need For Speed Carbon and Neverwinter Nights 2.

Yep, yesterday I managed to get NWN 2.

It's very good. Definitely I'm quite impressed with the brilliant graphics, although the ingame camera system isn't very good without some adjustments in the game options. I'm also impressed at the implementation of D&D 3.5 rules. I created a Human Fighter and so far, the game is quite fun.

It remains to be seen if the story is as epic in scale as the one in the Baldur's Gate/Baldur's Gate 2 saga, which is still the greatest computer role playing game series ever created in my humble opinion.

If there's anything to complain about NWN2, one of it is probably the very hefty graphics requirement. Even my new fangled computer had some problems at first. The other thing is that the story takes awhile to get going.

In other happenings, not much else is happening.

It's still the same. I still go hang out and chat with friends, still fuss over the dog and cat, still fiddle with the computers at home. I hope to get a used 17" monitor next week. Real cheap.

So how am I feeling these days?

I'm feeling quite content, if one could call it that. I mentioned drama early and it's been so long since I've experienced any real upheaval, it's just a dim memory now. These days, I watch more than I participate.

Occasionally I do wonder if this apparent lack of emotion is doing more harm than good. I remember someone telling me that it isn't good to be numb inside. I think that's one way of describing it.

I do feel sort of numb.

Or perhaps after all this time and after all that's happened, I've finally gotten bored of it all.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Today's Post

Wow. Signing in to Blogger was a real pain this morning.

Anyway, a little follow up about swaggery colleague. Apparently, he didn't get to go out on his date. Before the appointed day, he got caught red handed with some other woman while lying about his whereabouts and now the woman who busted him won't return his calls anymore.

Oh well. I guess there's still some small amounts of justice left in this world.

Maybe I shouldn't take too much satisfaction from this considering that we are friends and all. Anyway, said setback doesn't seem to faze him at all. This makes me ask, how does one just brush off disappointments like this without even the slightest signs of distress? If it were me, I'd probably be writing a long woe-is-me-the-world-is-not-fair-why-why-why post right now.

I guess being a emo piece of shit really is not good for the health.

In other news, the Interior Ministry released the latest list of banned books. The thing that irks me about this is not so much the banning of said books, but the reasons behind the ban. As in the lack of explanation of the ban. That's one issue I have with the powers that be sometimes, the apparent reluctance/unwillingness to explain why they do the things they do.

Many bloggers are writing about this. I'll post links when I find the time to look for them.

I don't know about everyone else, but I think the government does owe it to themselves to explain the common people why things are the way they are. Not explaining (or deflecting inquiries with the stock "It's for the good of the public" stock answer) smacks of big brotherliness.

In my opinion, this is just another example of conservative insecurities. I won't elaborate more, it is enough for me to say that I have a multitude of issues with fearful conservatives. There's not a lot of good that I can say.

Anyway, whatever. The powers that be can go and do as they please, so long as they stay out of my face and leave me alone. That's all I ask. It's not as if I can make much difference anyway.

In more news, the New Computer is getting on just fine. It's quieter, cooler and a lot quicker than the old one. I'm very pleased with it.

My car is going into the dry dock most likely on Friday evening. I hope to fix all the other stuff too, like the scrapes on the front fender and the bonnet and also to install my new amplifier which has been sitting in my room this past month or so.

That's the story of my life so far. Just routine stuff. Nothing too heavy.

It doesn't make good fodder for posting about I guess.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Newish PC

I bought new stuff for the PC on Thursday!

1Gb RAM, Gigabyte GA-M55SLI-S4 AM2 socket board, AMD Sempron 3000+ proc, new case with 500 watts and an NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT PCI-e graphics card.

The board is SLI ready! And so is the graphics card. Therefore, I can stick TWO GeForce 7300GTs in my machine if I'm so inclined.

The board was (rather enthusiastically) recommended by the sales guy. I'm quite impressed with the board's other features. It includes on board Firewire and network interface. Very convenient. The thing that really attracted me to it though was the fact that unlike many other SATA capable main boards, this one includes a full featured PATA IDE controller. That means I can use all my old hard drives and DVD writer plus SATA hard drives in the future. I think this is a nice feature.

So far so good. The new system is as stable as a rock and quite surprisingly, doesn't generate as much heat as my previous AMD Athlon XP 2200+ processor.

Now my old stuff is sitting in my dad's old casing, fully configured and running. Finally, we have TWO PCs with decent power in the house. Our old Duron 600 is finally retired after nearly a decade of service.

Or has it?

I noticed that I have enough junk parts to use back on the "retired" hardware and set up a THIRD PC. In fact, all it needs is keyboard/mouse, a monitor, a wireless LAN card and some kind of optical drive. It so happens that I'm planning to buy an LCD monitor and SATA hard disk within the next 2 months...

My brother asked me about it yesterday and I've decided to go for it. So the new LCD monitor replaces my 17" Samsung monitor, my monitor will replace our relic 14" monitor and that will be used by my brother. Three PCs in our very own home network. And, my youngest brother's P4 is still in KL.

All these new computer projects is making me giddy with excitement.

In other news, my Need For Speed Carbon arrived on Thursday too. It's bloody brilliant. There's a lot I can write about it so I'll do a post on it some time next week probably. I'll probably throw in some thoughts on the new graphics card too. All I can say about it now is that it's very powerful for something considered "mid-range".

Alright then, back to the canyons!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Tale of the Swaggery Colleague

Firstly, Love United. What a lovely song that was. In the video, Roberto Carlos is quite funny.

Anyway, thought I post a follow up on that list I put up last week:-

1. Already placed an order for the door. It should be here within this two weeks.

2. Guy who hit me promised to pay me this week.

3. I keep forgetting to look through the CDs in the car. Might do that tomorrow, I'll move them out of the car at least.

4. Backup of music in progress. Lots of DVDs.

5. Still no time to play guitar. Work gets in the way. And Football Manager.

6. Too lazy to close bank accounts. Besides, there isn't much money in them anyway. I might want to keep the Maybank one just in case I need their online payment service.

2 out of 6. Which is less than half. Ah well.

Yesterday, I was hanging around with my colleagues at work and someone blurted out that our Swaggery colleague has got himself a date with this woman from another department.

That is bloody fast. Last week they didn't even know each other. Actually, I wanted to slowly talk to her.

Once again I'm going to have to let this one slide.

Relationship dynamics can be quite complicated but watching Swaggery colleague work his way through women is frightening. His method is scarily simple. He just bulldozes them, never giving them any chances to overthink. Take it or leave it. Now or never. It's mystifying.

Needless to say he gets laid quite a lot.

Some might say it's a matter of timing but from what I see here, being forward is more rewarding. Being brash and swaggery helps too apparently.

That's the X factor. Swaggery colleague has tons of total confidence in himself. Almost too much one might say. I'd pay money to be that confident and that fearless. I guess confidence is what separates the wheat from the chaff.

Sometimes I think, where did this confidence come from? Is he confident because he gets laid a lot or does he get laid a lot because he's confident?

Also, guys like this make it hard for ordinary guys.

You see, he gets laid a lot. So, behind him he leaves a trail of messed up women who fell for him. In fact, he dumped one just last weekend. *Snaps fingers* just like that.

Now, let's say that I met one of these "leftovers". Let's say that I wanted to befriend her and take her for dinner or whatever. She won't. Because I'm a guy and guys are scum. Just like the last guy who dumped her.

Unfortunately, this isn't a hypothetical scenario. Wrong place wrong time?

Anyway, there are three conclusions. Conclusion number 1, low confidence equals no success with women. No surprise there.

Conclusion number 2, the more easily one hooks up with a member of the opposite sex, the easier it is to leave them just like that. It's because one can get away with it and people will give one more chances to "make up for it" so to speak. It's not necessarily evil, it's just the way it is. If you're desirable then you can get away with being a bitch/jerk because you're desirable and people are more willing to let it slide. That's why people stay is bad relationships.

Don't ask me why, I've tolerated bad treatment out of want and desire myself. It's just human stupidity I suppose...

And lastly, unless you have a "move" or are attractive or uber confident, if you are just an ordinary joe, the one and only one thing you can rely on is still just pure, blind, dumb luck.

That sucks but there you go.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Long Delay

Very sorry.

Six days between updates. That's a new record I think.

There's not much to write about this days. Nothing important anyway.

I went to Diana's and Cyrus' wedding dinner on Saturday night. It was a grand affair. They didn't spare any expense. It was fun. Alvin Leong is one damn good photographer. He's kind of expensive, but after seeing some of his work that night I kind of understand why.

The rest of dinner was alright. I didn't really say much to everyone at my table on account of a banging headache which mercifully petered out as the evening went on. Some funny stories were told.

I didn't get to say much to either bride or groom, which was a shame. They were both quite harried, having to greet everyone at each table. There were many tables.

I hope that they will be happy and that their married life is as great as the reception. They are very lucky. In this world these days, it's hard to get that lucky. Both very nice people.

After dinner, I went to meet up with Rin, Jerome and Zack.

There were no negative vibes that night. I didn't feel sorry for myself and I wasn't plunged into introspective mode. I guess I really am alright now. The fact that no one asked me any "dumb" questions really helped though. I was kind of worried about that.

I did realize other things. Things concerning my rapidly advancing age and the fact that middle life is less than a decade away. I realize that I'm not really going to have a stereotypical, normal, average future so to speak.

I'm not really sure if I'm 100% comfortable with that idea yet. I do wish for some of the trappings of "normality" sometimes.

I guess it'll be all ok in the end. I hope. I do realize that this "normalcy" that I sometimes want won't happen without any effort. We'll see if I ever get enough motivation.

In other news, I watched The Prestige on Friday night. It was awesome. Spectacular even. Rivetting stuff. Go and watch it. You won't regret it. Seriously.

The end of the year is upon us already. In my work calenday, today counts as the first day of the first week of November. Already I'm feeling the holiday spirit!

This year I don't think I'll be doing anything special on New Year's Eve. Especially considering that I have to work on New Year's Day itself.

I have a feeling that this year, the end of the year will be a quiet, peaceful one. That's just fine by me.

This week I will start buying parts for my new system. I'm planning to slowly build it up so that I don't overload my credit, starting with board/cpu/ram this week. This is going to be fun.

So, how has every else's weekend been.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More About Football/Selamat Hari Raya!

I'm very engrossed by FM 2007 right now. Hence the "disappearance".

*football starts here

Talking about FM 2007, the Football Manager franchise gets better and better with every installment. This one is the best one yet. This one is also the most challenging one to date. Yet somehow, not as frustrating as some previous versions of the game.

Most likely this is due to the extra speed boost courtesy of the optimized coding. I really appreciate this. Previously, Football Manager games were notorious for being very slow and unwieldy.

I've started a few FM games. I learnt the ropes by managing Brighton and Hove Albion. Later I started a French League game, managing Toulouse FC. I also started a Serie A game, managing AC Milan just for the heck of it. I usually stay away from the big clubs. I like to play down in the lower leagues which is usually quite challenging.

That doesn't mean the managing a club like Milan any less of a challenge however. The challenge is different.

Anyway, the experience of playing Milan is quite exciting. I have a squad of stars, millions in the bank and skyhigh expectations from the board of directors (Silvio Berlusconi!) and the fans.

I don't play this AC Milan career often. It's there for pure fun factor. Managing a world superpower football team is fun!

Yesterday, I started my "proper" campaign. I created an English/Irish manager and started the game with no job. Later, I was offered the vacant AFC Bournemouth job. I took it.

What a far cry from Milan! They may both wear the same colours (black and red stripes) but they are from different worlds. Bournemouth are a small, mediocre team with little cash, a little stadium and little hope of ever leaving League 2.

Yes, I'm finding it harder than usual. Goals are hard to come by, so winning is rare and precious (unlike Milan). Defence is pretty good but I'm finding it hard to kill off opponents and win games. I draw a lot of games (0-0 and 1-1). Especially at home.

I cannot strenghen the squad much because I have no money to sign people and I can't get anyone on free transfer because I can't pay their wages.

I'm loving it though.

FM may not have the glitzy graphics some games have, but when it comes to management simulation all the others don't even come even remotely near in terms of realism and depth. I urge all football fans to try it.

*end of football talk

In other news, today is Hari Raya Aidilfitri. I have many friends who celebrate it and I wish them all a blessed and joyous holiday.

This also means that there's no one in the office right now. Today should be a quiet-ish day.

Last week I said I wanted to do something about lists. Here is mine:-

Things I need to do this week.

1. Get my replacement door. It will cost RM226/-. Not including spray, which will cost RM180/-

2. Get the guy who hit me to cough up at least 50% of the total cost at the end of the month. I'll worry about the other 50% later.

3. Look through all the CDs in my car. I have stuff in those CDs that I don't have in my PC.
3a. Buy a CD marker.

4. Back up ALL my music. I have 40Gbs of it. It will take 12 DVDs.

5. Play guitar. I haven't played in a good long while and I really should because we have 3 really good guitars in the house. The callouses on my fingers are gone so I'm going to have to build them up again.

5. While I fix my door I might as well fix that ugly dent in the bonnet of the car, which was my own fault (parking mishap).

6. Close unnecesary bank accounts. I have 2 accounts that are dormant. There is money in them.

If I do half these things by this time next week, I'll be quite happy.

That is all for today and Selamat Hari Raya again to all those who are celebrating.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Finally, FM 2007

I was reading Suanie and from there I got the very interesting and very hilarious MadHaiku! It's absolutely brilliant. Check it out.

And talking about brilliant, this morning I downloaded Football Manager 2007. The game hasn't been officially released yet, but from what I can tell it's the full version with all the leagues and correct updated data. Now, I would buy the original like I did with Need for Speed:Carbon, but it would cost RM149. Personally, I think that's just a little too much. I'd buy it if it cost half that.

So I started the game up and picked one of the managerless clubs in the English Football League, Brighton and Hove Albion. My first impression is good so far. The game is very fast now, unlike before when clicking continue would begin a very boring wait. The makers of the game claims to have optimised the code and from what I can see so far, I believe them.

The interface is very slick, similar in look to the previous FM 2006 but with extra bits thrown in.

The match engine looks the same as before, but I only played one match before I left for work so I wouldn't know for sure until I play more matches. The new features are quite nice, prematch team talk, more options to interact with players (like asking them if they know of any other footballer that I can sign for the club) and of course the feeder club. Or rather in my case, my parent club which in this case is Le Havre AC.

There is a great number of new little touches to the game and I wouldn't be able to write about all of it. Lets just say that in relation to FM2006, FM2007 looks kind of the same but not exactly the same.

Like I said, I've only just played one friendly match (I forgot against whom) and lost it 0-1. So I'm still getting used to it before I go play seriously... and manage a team in Italy. Or maybe Spain? I hope they tweaked the match engine enough, I had the greatest trouble with FM2006 tactics.

In other news, I still need to fix my car this weekend. I haven't heard anything from my mechanic friends about a door yet. I hope they find it soon. If not, I have to go order the door from Proton and God knows how much that would cost.

Tomorrow, I have no work so I'll probably be playing FM2007 until 10.00am at least.

There's something else I feel like writing about, but not right now since that would lengthen this post by way too much. Something about lists. I'll do that next week, probably.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Speedposting 2


Soon I will be free on Saturdays again! For three months. Until middle of January next year! More importantly, this means that I'll be free when other people are free.



I was reading the news, blogs, comments on blogs and Malaysiakini just now and I was thinking if aliens landed here tonight and read those same things, they would think that this place is really screwed up what with its politics, racism, marginalisation and other sundry stupidity.

Actually, it's not, but we all know that. And by WE, I mean The Others. The sane people in this country. The ones who aren't racist or narrow minded or crazed religious fanatics (these includes some atheists also by the way) or bigoted in some other way. Usually, The Others don't have blogs or regularly express their opinions in public.

Even if they do have blogs or other public outlets of expression, most of the time The Others write about daily stuff. Or work. Or their hobbies. Or other things that pundit wanna-be trendwhores would consider "irrelevant".

I don't write about politics or news or current issues much. But that doesn't mean that I don't care or don't think about what's happening around us. I'm sure I speak for most regular people when I say this.

While we don't say much, we are all watching. We are all vigilant. Crazy people talk and try to screw things up, but one reason why this country hasn't torn itself apart yet is that most of Us are sane, regular people who just want to enjoy our lives in peace.

So, we must continue to watch and be careful. There a lots of people out there whom if given the chance, would turn this country into their own private dystopian nightmare based on their own beliefs and ambitions.

Good thing for us this country is a democracy. We must do out utmost to stop unfit people from being elected into office. We must never be bedazzled by them and give them power.

If they do then we, the sane people of this country, are screwed.


Regular followers of this blog would notice that recently I have been dividing posts into sections by marking them with "------" It's a new thing I'm trying.

You see, sometimes when I write, many things pop up in my head. Usually, I say,"Hmm, I'll write about that in the next post" but usually, I forget about it. And so to avoid wasting all these thoughts I've decided to try writing all of it down in the same post, but in their own sections.


Finally some assorted minor news.

On Sunday morning as I was about to leave work, some guy reversed into my car's rear door. It's badly dented. The guy has promised to pay for repairs. So now, I'm looking for a rear driver side door for my car. Apparently, beating the door back into shape takes too long and costs the same as a new door.

So until I buy a door, I have to drive with a huge dent on the car's right side. Bummer.

Last night, I went out to pay my bills and every ATM in town was out of money. According to one guy I met at the Eon Finance ATM vestibule, it's something to do with government servants getting their Raya bonuses. I can believe that. I went to Hopoh at 8.30pm and the place was packed with whole families shopping for clothes.

I couldn't even park nearby. Which is remarkable since it's Wisma Hopoh and not too many people go there.

I'm getting my car tinted on Saturday evening. It's going to look really nice. Except for that dent in the rear door....

Friday, October 13, 2006

Gaming News

I received a very interesting notification email just now.

Need for Speed: Carbon is available for pre-order. Release date is end of the month. Wow. Just look at the car list. This is going to be the biggest Need for Speed ever.

I'm especially looking forward to Autosculpt, a modding tool that will actually allow you to design your own physical modifications, like body kits. I can picture myself spending hours doing this.

Also, in this installment of NFS, you get to hire your own crew. Teammates, mechanics etc. Plus more tuning options, both cosmetic and performance.

The end of the year is always a great time to be a gamer. Let's take a look at some of my favourite offerings coming out very, very soon.

The Football Manager 2007 demo is out. The game itself should follow soon after.

Like I mentioned before, Medieval 2: Total War is due out on 14th of November.

Sims 2: Pets is due out on the 20th of October. I really hope it works with the Sims 2 Megapack, which is what I have.

Battlefield 2142 is due out on 17th of October. It's also available for preorder.

Also being released on the 31st is Neverwinter Nights 2. Again, also available for preorder.

And finally around Christmas time, Burning Crusade will come out. I hope.

The mind boggles at such a wide array of new stuff. Did I mention that it's a good time to be a gamer?

It's going to be awesome, especially when I change my PC at the end of the year.

Posting at The Speed of Thought

Sometimes when I go hang out with my friends, we reminisce about any number of things.

Things like what TV shows we watched and how they don't make em like they used to, the things we did before the invention of the internet and the good old days when we had to go outside and make our own fun.

And not to mention how tricky it was to schedule a gathering during the days with no cell phones. At least, it seemed like it was tricky. The memory is a little hazy.

There were a lot of good things and great memories of great times that I've had.

And yet at this hour of this morning, my brain persistently asks,"When did it all go wrong?"

A strange question indeed.

I have many things that I can be grateful for, and yet some days I catch myself thinking,"If only I had done [insert correct action here] instead of [what actually happened]..." I find it quite annoying that for all the effort I put in, that side of my head that likes to regret and think up negative things still has a very loud voice and still comes up with things like this. Especially when I'm not looking.

The glass is half full they say. This is a truth that we should embrace. There is much to gain from negative experience. And yet, somehow I find the fact that a half full glass is also half empty more.... comforting, for lack of a better word.

The big question is, why?

Before I go on, I should probably mention that all this is triggered by a few events. Like today, it frustrates me when I try to makes sense of some things. There are things that happen that still baffles me.

I wonder, how is it that some people can act like a bull in a china shop, crashing about in their bellicose, inconsiderate, selfish way, and still get a positive reaction from people. While other people, do it carefully and quietly and get absolutely nothing.

Since when did being rude become the proper way of getting what you want and being nice and polite not be the proper way.

Up = down, left = right, bad = good and lying and being an asshole = dates with women. Despite all those things that people say, this is what I keep noticing, sometimes right here at work. Sometimes, I think the world has turned completely inside out. Or that I got sucked into some parallel bizarro world where all the rules are different.

There's more of this upside down examples I can remember, but I'm going to stop thinking about it. It just makes me mad.


World of Warcraft is getting interesting again, after a cooling off period the last month or so. My warrior is level 49 now. That's almost 50! That also means I'm strong enough to solo some low level dungeons. These dungeons usually require a group of 5 people when done at the correct level. Yesterday, I soloed my favourite dungeon, Shadowfang Keep. And this morning, I soloed Black Fathom Deeps, a fabulous instance that is the underwater ruins of an ancient elven temple. I have to hand it to Blizzard, some of the architecture of these instances are awesome.

I get no experience points for doing this, but I did get a ton of auction house fodder, bucketloads of raw material and quite a good amount of coin from the dungeon elites.

I put my haul up for sale and so far half of it is gone and I'm getting cash at a nice rate!


I have a wedding to attend to at the end of the month. For once, I can actually go. The last two weddings I wanted to attend, I couldn't because of work.

Ah weddings. I can say it's no big deal but really, those things are. It's almost like a reminder that I'm not doing something right. That something is.... missing. That I'm somehow lacking a basic but important ability.

Ok, I'm going to stop writing about this now before this post goes out of hand. We don't want a woe is me story now. It wouldn't do any good.

I'm just going to go to the wedding, be happy for my friends and have a good time.


I was looking at my schedule and I won't have to work on Sunday until the middle of next month! That is nice.

Soon it'll be December. I wonder how the year is going to end. Certainly, the more recent years have been relatively kind.

I'm really grateful for that.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Zeta and Wing Zero

Pictures are up.

Zeta and Wing Zero. Both very good looking mobile suits!

Also, both very difficult to pose and manipulate... I haven't managed to transform the Zeta to Waverider form yet but as soon as I'm able to, I'll take pictures.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

WoW and Gundam

*Warning: Lenghty post about things that aren't very important.

It's a Sunday. It rained yesterday and what a relief that was. Unfortunately, it didn't do much for the haze other than lower ambient temperatures, which is fine actually.

I have some World of Warcraft related news.

On Thursday, I managed to download Southpark Ep. 10-08, Make Love, Not Warcraft. It was great! I'm very pleased that Matt and Trey managed to get Blizzard to work with them and produce a top notch mechanima of Southpark using the WoW engine. The episode was pretty funny too, although it was by no means a classic. MMORPG players in general and WoW players in particular would find it funnier than lay people I think.

Also in WoW, I finally managed to buy a horse. I finally managed to get 100 gold at Lvl 47 and I spent 90g buying the riding skill and the horse. Now I can move 60% faster than before. No more walking! Of course that means I am kind of broke and will not have enough cash to upgrade skills when I reach level 48, which is very soon.

I don't WoW much these days, not like the first 2 months when I got the game. Now it's maybe 1 hour per sitting, maybe 2, sometimes 3 hours if I'm not working. But I'm more efficient now though. I can finish 4 - 5 quests in one trip and hand them all in during that limited playing time.


Talking about questing, a funny thing happened the other day while I was questing at the pirate base on the coast of Tanaris. I was fighting a pirate when I saw a lower level Night Elf hunter getting overwhelmed by 4 pirates. Usually, Horde players (which is what I am) don't generally assist Alliance players (which is what Night Elves are) because they are the "enemy"

Somehow on this occasion, I was moved to rush to his aid, enemy status notwithstanding. So I did and managed to pull 2 of the pirates off him. After defeating the pirates, I bowed and waved and left the Night Elf to heal and revive his pet, which had gotten killed. By the way, Horde and Alliance players cannot chat with each other. The only way to communicate is through emotes like waving and bowing and pointing and jumping up and down and general gesticulating.

A little later, it was my turn to do a bad pull. A bad pull is when you try to attract one enemy to you but end up attracting more than one instead. So there I was try to fight off half a dozen pirates in a more dangerous part of the base when out of nowhere, a black panther comes out of stealth and ambushes one of the pirates. It was a Night Elf druid in cat form. Behind him, was a Night Elf hunter, the same guy I had helped just minutes ago. And next to him was another Night Elf hunter.

Apparently, the guy was part of a group and he had called the rest of them to help.

So they saved my bacon. More gesturing and bowing and waving. We decided to stick close together and cover each other as we did our pirate quest, which we all managed to complete without much difficulty since there was now four of us (six, counting the hunter pets). They would attack something and I would help and then I would attack the next target while they covered me.

It was great. I had fun. Situations like these is what makes MMORPGs so much fun, when enemies can put aside their differences and assist each other.


In other WoW related news, MMORPGs got into a national paper today. Of course as usual, it's where old farts accuse something they don't understand as bad while players defend their passtime. Not much to comment on that, except to say that it's hardly a surprising reaction. Soon, people who don't play MMOs will start writing in to papers urging the government to ban MMORPGs or something similar.

Well, that's Malaysia for you, moral vanity is sort of like a sport here. So many moral guardians who are so afraid of things they don't understand. It's so annoying.


I nearly finished building my Zeta Gundam! I have head, upper torso, waist, legs and arms. Last night I started building the wings. I have the right wing and tail done so far. Only need to do left wings and guns. Next, decals. This time around, I've decided to do all the detailing work (decals, panel lines) on all the separated parts first. When that's done, only then will I put the thing together.

All in all, Zeta Gundam is a big challenge to put together. So much fun.

While we're on Gundam, I just finished watching Gundam Seed Destiny last night. Despite the negatives like how overwrought with emotion the series was and how annoyingly bad the pilots' discipline was in battle, I thoroughly enjoyed Seed Destiny. I was well made and had great production. The music wasn't too shabby either. I'll do a proper review when I finish watching Gundam Seed. That way, I can compare.

Right now I'm trying to decide which Gundam series to download next. Do I get Zeta Gundam? Or do I get Victory Gundam? Which one eh? Or do I get the others first? F91? Double Zeta? Stardust Memory? Gundam Wing? Stargazer? MS Igloo?

So many!

And so little hard disk space...

Seriously though, I need to get another big hard disk. I can't wait for December when I will get double pay and will finally be able to afford to get a new PC.


Ok then I've been very talkative this post. It's time to go for lunch.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Night at Scoops

My Zeta Mk.2 finally arrived on Tuesday. It was a long wait. I was very nervous. It's an expensive model kit.

It's also very complex just as I thought it would be, with more parts than your average master grade kit. I've been spending about 4 hours a day for the last 2 days building it and I'm not even halfway through it yet. Not complaining though, I like the fact that the kit is complex. A real challenge.

The weather is very, very hot these days what with the haze coming back. Last night, I had planned to stay home and continue building the Zeta, but it got way too warm to stay inside my room. So I went out. Luckily, at this time Rin called me to tell me that Gette wanted to meet up at Scoops.

So we went.

This is the first time I went to Scoops. It's an ice-cream place. It was very, very good. I'll be back there again soon.

Gette arrived later with Andrea followed by Jerome and then Zack and his friend whose name now I have forgotten. I must be getting old, lately more and more things seem to be falling out the back of my head.

Talking about getting old, I was building the Zeta in the living room I switched on MTV for the first time in months. During the four hours it was on, the only people I recognized were Shakira, Marion Raven and Ryan Cabrera. I'm so out of touch with new music these days.

Not that I'm missing out on much. Current mainstream pop music doesn't do a thing for me. Plus, there's simply too much rap, hip-hop and RnB on. What happened to guitar music, man?

A lot of the stuff I like is now being played on radio stations like Lite n Easy and on retro segments on radio and TV. A sure sign of times moving by.

Music was one of the things we talked about at Scoops. It's always an interesting topic.

All in all, a nice night out before I go back to work. Which is where I am now...

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I wrote a post just now but it disappeared when Firefox crashed on me.

Anyway, I was remarking about how pleased I am to have discovered this awesome website. A must read for history buffs and fantasy role-players.

I'm still testing Windows Vista. It's looking very, very good. I managed to tweak the PC to enable it to use Windows Aero. It's very pretty with its cool menu effects and transparent, glassy borders and taskbar (only with Windows Aero desktop, available only if you have a display card with AT LEAST 128Mb memory).

Oh yeah, the taskbar. I've always thought that black taskbars are cool and wondered why Windows XP didn't have them. With Vista, it comes standard.

I think the most striking things about Vista so far are its great, soft appearance and its apparent high speed. Yes, it's very fast. Faster than XP. Definitely faster than other earlier versions of Windows. I installed it on an ancient 5400rpm 10Gb hard disk and it's still fast.

The overall look is great. Due to the way the desktop and icons are rendered, everything looks warm and fuzzy. This is probably due to Cleartype fonts. It's gorgeous. And OS X users might notice some similarities here. Ok, a lot similarities. The icons especially.

Not only that, the overall appearance of everything on my test machine looks smooth, warm and fuzzy. I like.

Also, there's another interesting feature called ReadyBoost. You take a USB2.0 flashdrive, stick it in your machine and Vista will ask you, amongst other things, whether you want to use the flash drive as somekind of virtual RAM. Yes, you can use your USB thumbdrive to boost your PC performance. It's great.

While I test Vista, of course I am also testing IE7 and Windows Media Player 11. So far so good. Haven't really noticed anything too different. IE7, as I mentioned earlier, is a lot smoother than IE6. It has tabbed browsing, RSS, popup blocker, search engine plugins. No surprises there. The only thing I don't like about IE7 is the menu system, but this is probably because I'm not very familiar with it.

In fact the menu system is currently the most annoying thing about Vista. I'm not familiar with it.

And the cost. It will range from 299 to 399. USD. That's 1000+RM. Well, if that is so, looks like I'll be waiting for pirates again. Which is fine since I'll still be using WinXP until I'm 100% sure about Vista. It might be pretty, but I don't enough about it to start using it, at least for the first year. As usual with Microsoft stuff, it's best to wait for Service Pack 1...

Also, MS is going to put out Service Pack 3 for Windows XP which includes some Vista features for XP. Cool.

Today is my last day of work for this rotation and I will be off work three days followed by another 4 days of work. I have some minor things to do tomorrow and a lot of videos to watch!

That's it for now. See you later.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Early Day at Work

I'm in the office, continuing a Windows Vista RC1 final beta download my colleague started last night. 3.0Gbs ISO DVD image. I'm quite excited actually.

I'll be testing that today.

I've been reading up and all in all, nice new features. Especially impressive is the new Windows Aero desktop and 3D flipping. Very nice.

Provided everything works, of course. It is, after all, Microsoft. As usual, I'll wait about a year before I think about converting my home PCs.

Despite my less that favourable thoughts about MS business practises, lately I've been finding myself becoming more sympathetic to the people who work there. I've dealt with them before on various issues, and they've been very nice. Despite all the Microsoft stereotypes, the people we've dealt with so far really do care about what they do and actually do listen to us.

Anyway, I hope Vista works out as well as IE7 has so far. No really serious problems so far. It's faster, feels less cumbersome than IE6 and is quite possibly the most stable version of Explorer I've used so far.

Personally, I still use Firefox. All this IE testing is work related.

In other news, my package from eBay should be arriving today. I recently ordered a Zeta Gundam Mk. 2. It will be the most complex kit I've gotten so far. It is also my first transformable kit! This is going to be awesome.

This would probably be the last kit I order this year. Next, I'll be saving up for a major PC upgrade. It will cost quite a bit. It'll practically be a new PC. New board, CPU, RAM, PCIe graphics, case, SATA hard disks and possibly a new monitor. I think it'll cost 2 grand. At least.

It all depends on my annual year end windfall. Hopefully, it will be enough. I really hope so because this will also give me a good reason to retire my dad's PC and replace it with my current one. My brothers use my dad's PC regularly and it sucks. It can't do anything really useful at all now. I feel kinda bad for them. With my PC in the common room, everyone can use it for almost anything. My current PC is still very strong and should be enough for most things.

Well, I'll cross my fingers and hope I can afford to do this without having to wipe out a good portion of my savings. If possible, I want to use only my bonus money and nothing else.

And look at that, it's the end of September. Only 3 more months left till the end of the year. This is going to be nice because I really like the final quarter of a year. And Christmas will be here soon. That's always great!

As usual, one wonders, how fast does time fly these days!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

One Good Night

My life is quite nice these days. I have good friends, enough quality personal time and money to spare to be able to spend on the finer things in life. Like a decent in-car audio system. Or 1/100 Master Grade GUNPLA kits. Or nice outings in gourmet coffee houses and other places.

A lot of things to be happy about.

I had a great time tonight. I went to Grand Continental to meet with Zack, Azreen and Gette. I don't get to meet Gette often enough. She's great.

Anyway, we were talking and one of those things that came up was the topic of those annoying chain emails that make you forward it to 1,184,876 other people or bad things will happen to you. Or those urban legend ones that tell you that Microsoft or something is giving away free money. Or those sob stories about various dying children who suffer from various exotic fatal ailments.

It's really mean to take advantage of people's misfortune to start a viral email but that goes without saying.

These days, I have a procedure to deal with this kind of mail. I try to debunk them.

I look up Snopes and other places on the internet for confirmation and forward the link back to the senders. Hopefully, everyone learns a little something whenever I do that. It's also more satisfying to do that instead of just ignoring it.

Also, I would like to inform everyone that there is really no harm in ignoring those forward-this-or-else emails or forward-this-and-get-your-free-blessing emails. I've ignored thousands and here I am, not dead and blogging about it.

It's quite surprising that even in this day and age, people are still superstitious enough to fall for stuff like this.

In other news, still nothing much to report. Life is just like that these days and I'm enjoying it so far.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

At the Risk of Sounding Pedantic...

"A GOOD number of Malaysians in Sabah and Sarawak are nursing a grievance because the significance of Malaysia Day — Sept 16, when Malaysia actually came into being — has been eroded and even ignored as the years go by."

Damn right.

I refer to this column in the NST. This is also a kind of extension from my previous post about Malaysia.

Well, the good news is at least the grievances of many Sabahans and Sarawakians have not gone entirely unnoticed. Someone took the trouble to write the aforementioned column, and I appreciate that. According an article in the Star, the Deputy Prime Minister said that the cabinet is willing to discuss making 16th September a public holiday, if there was an official request from the State Government to discuss the matter.

Personally, whether Malaysia Day is a public holiday or not isn't really the point. My point is Malaysia Day's significance is not highlighted enough. It is AS important as 31st of August, not less. It should be made a bigger deal. I've said all these things before and I'll say them again.

Anyway, a common answer to the 16 September question is the US example. The American Independence Day commemorates the declaration of independence of the original 13 colonies, not the dates when other states joined the federation.

This is not a good example. The US' and Malaysia's independence/formation are not the same thing. Let's examine the United States Declaration of Independence. The 2nd line of the introduction is the following phrase,

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, (*emphasis by me)

According to that, the country was called the United States of America from day one. The other states gradually joined this federation, which as we can see from the document, was ratified on the 4th July 1776.

In Malaysia's case, it was different. On 31st August 1957, MALAYA was officially declared independent. On 16th September 1963, MALAYSIA was formed when Sarawak, Sabah, Singapore and Malaya banded together.

So prior to that date, Malaysia DID NOT EXIST. People can twist and turn and deny and pooh-pooh, but there you go.

I'm in NO WAY saying that we should change the date of National Day. It is no doubt, a vital date in our history. Neither do I want to be parochial or regressive or whatever else people might want to call me and others who feel the way I do.

What I DO want is to see 16 September 1963 be recognized for what it really means, not just for the sake of our people in Borneo, but for every Malaysian. We should ALL know what 16 September means.

The federal and state governments can and should do MORE. The current situation is NOT satisfactory. What do I mean? Go out and ask 1000 West Malaysians about what happened on 16th September, see how many people know. The result will be surprising.

I'm NOT being paranoid or stupid. I went to college in KL and Johor until the mid-90s and NOTHING happens on the 16th of September over there. NONE of my West Malaysian classmates EVER made a big deal out of the date.

This is NOT right.

I have a suggestion. Why not celebrate Independence over 2 weeks instead of just one day? I don't mean we should be wasting money by having parades everywhere for two whole weeks. Rather, the period between 31st August and 16th September should be treated like a memorial period. For example, we could have more documentaries, exhibitions and activities that celebrate the events and the people who were responsible for our independence. Sure, some of that is being done, but it's not enough. It must be more.

That way people won't forget, like they do now. Maybe, just maybe, if that happens on a regular nationwide scale, Sabahans and Sarawakians will start feeling closer to being more Malaysian. Maybe, just maybe, West Malaysians will get to know more of our half of history, get know us a little better and stop misunderstanding us.

Everyone will come out a winner.

As usual, I'm quite passionate about this matter and I think this is enough for now. One last thing, if it is true that our state leaders and politicians never made an official request for more recognition of Malaysia Day, then I'm very, very disappointed. Not surprised really, but disappointed nonetheless.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Games To Look Forward To

Ever since I've been playing World of Warcraft, I haven't been playing much else.

That could change not long from now.

Firstly, FM 2007. The world's best football management sim is coming back, better than ever. 100s of new features, updated squads, a proper youth system and feeder clubs. Coming in December.

And then, we have Medieval 2: Total War. The Total War series has always been mindblowing. When Rome: Total War came out, I was thinking it couldn't get any better than that.

I'm going to be wrong apparently. This new one is going to be awesome. No release date yet though.

In other news, we watched Keroro Gunsou at Jerome's house, It's... evil man. Really. But seriously, it was hilarious.

That reminds me, I have many animes to watch.

Not much else to report. Tomorrow, I return to work.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lest We Forget, It's Actually 43

31st of August 1957 was the day that Malaya got its independence from the British Empire. It is also the official date for National Day. Malaysia was officially created on the 16th of September 1963 with Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak forming the new federation, although most casual observers and lay people most probably wouldn't know that. Singapore left in 1965, unfortunately.

Sarawak Flag, 1963-1973

I'll say it again like I've said it before. There is simply not enough mention of the event. I can safely say that many Sarawakians and Sabahans feel kind of slighted by this apparent lack of recognition. No, hosting this year's National Day is not even close to being enough.

Not to be a pain in the ass, but a little respect would be nice. After all, the resources of the two states help power the whole country does it not?

Much more could be done to make the people of our two Borneo states feel more at home and on par with the rest of the country. It would be nice if more parts of Sabah and Sarawak history make it into the national education syllabus. It would be nice if we could get more money from our oil and other resources. We really do need it, especially Sabah, which is poorer than it should be.

Sarawak Flag, 1973-1988

In that respect, we Sarawakians are lucky. Our politics are relatively stable and the state government, for all its shortcomings, has so far done an adequate job balancing our books.

It would be nice if we could get more TV and media time, if only to prevent West Malaysians from thinking that Easterners still live in trees, are naive jungle dwellers and have no access to technology. I'm not being paranoid, ask any Sabahan or Sarawakian who has studied, lived and worked in the Peninsular and we can tell you about all the dumb questions that we keep getting from Westerners. It's not their fault really. They don't know.

The Powers That Be need to answer that question. Why don't they know? Why is it so many people are still ignorant about us?

Yeah, we kind of feel like no one cares sometimes. This has a side effect. Part of why Sabahan and Sarawakians are so fiercely proud of their state and heritage is the very fact that we feel we are misunderstood and ignored. It's us against the world. Our loyalties lie with our state first.

Sarawak Flag, 1988-present

As long as the status quo remains, many of us will continue to feel more Sarawakian and Sabahan than Malaysian. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Happy 43rd Birthday Malaysia.