Thursday, April 27, 2006


This blog quietly celebrated its 2nd birthday. In January. It slipped passed me without me noticing it.

Well, what's the story so far?

Two years isn't a long time at all. But in two years of blogging, things happened and things change. Things that I used to be obsessed about, doesn't seem quite so important anymore. I had to let go of certain wants and wishes, thankfully, letting go is proving to be easier that I thought it would be.

The last two years have been good.

I'm in quite some pain at the moment. I feel better all the time, but my joints hurt and I'm feeling kind off exhausted. Also feeling slightly feverish.

This actually is a good sign. Whenever I get flu, the last leg is always the lethargic, kind of feverish, joints hurting kind of situation. At least no more runny nose and coughing. I hate that.

If I had to choose between having a fever and a runny nose, I pick fever. It's a lot less annoying and I can still do things.

Man, and the tiredness. Earlier this evening, I woke up, started up the PC, checked my mail and turned off the PC. This is not what I usually do. I was actually too tired to log in to WoW, which expires today by the way. My copy still hasn't arrived, so no more WoW until it does.

I'm very grateful that I get the next three days off. Tomorrow, I plan to sleep my head off and maybe wake up at 7.00pm. I should be a lot better by then and a lot less tired. By Saturday, I should be clear as a bell.

I better be anyway. Don't want to wreck my weekend by being sick.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I found this great website on the net discussing the psychology of MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). Awesome read. Particularly interesting is this section about a phenomenon called the Chinese Gold Farmer. The gist of the article is too complex to be discussed here.

Great read.

All in all, it's kind of ironic. People play MMORPGs usually to get away from real life and what happens? Things that happen in real life follow them into the game universe. Good and bad. Negative things like elitism and racism. It's kind of expected when a large number people are involved.

People can argue the pros and cons of MMORPGs all day long especially about it potential effects on players.

My take is my usual take. It isn't what it is or what it is or where it is. It's what people do with it. If people allow it to take over their lives, it's their own personal responsibility. In the case of MMORPGs, the game developers do what they can to control what goes on in their virtual worlds. For most part, the players are more responsible in determining what happens in that world.

Just like real life, in fact.

Personal responsibility. You'd think this kind of thing goes without saying. So sad that it isn't quite so. If it was, laws like this wouldn't have to be passed.

My copy of World of Warcraft hasn't arrived yet. My trial account expires tomorrow evening. I'm getting twitchy.

I also found out that there's this thing called Godwin's Law. The funniest thing about this is that it's actually true.

In other news, I recently borrowed the last three seasons of Angel from a friend. I had wanted to copy the DVDs, but they were double layer discs and my writer can only write single layer.

I've been trying to figure out a way to rip those DVDs. The best I can do now is to rip the individual episodes to VOB files which are 1 Gb each. Now I'm looking around for a converter that can convert to DivX AVI files. I have one, but it converts in real time (if the episode lasts 45 minutes, it'll take that long to convert). I don't have that kind of time.

I wonder, is there a faster way to convert VOB to AVI?

If not, then I guess I have to make do with those VOB files. Anyone got any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Not Dead

I'm not dead. Just lazy to update. Or to be more precise, I don't really know what to write about. Nothing really important anyway.

My friends have been going through this big Gundam model kit assembly kick this pass week or so. Pretty good kits too, very good detail and quite challenging.

I used to assembly model kits too. Except not Gundam ones. I remember a Scopedog somewhere in my past. I also used to have a 1/72 Short Stirling bomber by Airfix. That one was a beauty. I had a whole bunch of WW2 aircraft and tanks one time.

That is the irony. When I was young and broke, there were several hobby shops in town selling kits, paints, accesories etc. Now I'm not broke and can actually afford to indulge, and no more hobby shops, as least not ones carrying military vehicles, which are my favourites. Most sell Gundam and mecha kits.

I'm actually thinking about buying one. Maybe a 1/100 scale Master Grade one. I like to assembly kits. It's fun. It'll be great to revisit an old hobby.

...if I can tear myself from World of Warcraft that is. Actually, can. I only play roughly two hours daily. This is to prevent me from getting too bored with it. My trial account expires this week and my game hasn't arrived yet. I'm very anxious.

Anyway, it's been great. My undead priest is coming along nicely and I've had some good interaction with other players. I've saved some lives with healing spells and buffs.

I also created a tauren warrior character so that I can wear cool stuff like plate armour and carry enormous two handed axes.

The game world is gorgeous. The hills and valleys, the fog, the coast, even the desert. It's great.

Anyway, I work tomorrow night so not much WoW for the next few days. Also, while at work, I'll probably think of more stuff to write.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

To my Health!

Today was a little better than yesterday. My flu's clearing up nicely with the help of some clarinase and those weird mouth numbing lozenges, which never cease to amaze me. A numb mouth is quite the sensation.

Despite it being just a flu, I suddenly thought of mortality, my own to be exact. One of the these days barring any terminal personal mishaps, I'll get sick and unlike all the previous times, won't get better. Then I started to imagine what would it feel like, to feel life itself slipping away.

When we die, can we feel it coming? Old folks would say yes you would be. I hear all kinds of stories of people saying strange things and not really being themselves on the eve of their passing. Did they know? It's a bizarre thought.

Today's post is one of those posts where I think too much.

Talking about being sick, I'm grateful. I get sick very, very rarely, despite the way I used to live what with lack of sleep and the boozing and the nicotine abuse and the emotional problems etc. Though I don't really keep up with that kind of life much these days, I should be more sickly I reckon.

I'm not. I'm fitter than some other more health conscious people I know. I'm grateful for this hardiness. It also just occured to me that I've never really thought about keeping fit and being grateful for my health.

Being sick made me think about it this time. That was a nasty flu I had yesterday.

In other happenings, this week is one of those weeks where I feel like life is in some kind of holding pattern. It's as if it's waiting for something. I suddenly feel quite uncertain about what's going to happen next week.

It might be because my schedule is all messed up amid all the shift changing. Or maybe not.

This uncertainty is a bad thing. Usually, upheavals in my life are bad, unpleasant, disastrous even. I always end up losing something. I hope this feeling goes away soon, along with the flu and morbid thoughts of death.

Have to be extra careful this week, les I screw up at work.

Now that's a dreadful thought.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Short Update

I watched Ultraviolet on Sunday night. It was ok. It felt kind of like Aeon Flux, but I like the overall feel of Ultraviolet better. It was muted and sombre throughout. Very noir.

This past few days' biggish news however is WoW. I signed up for a trial account and so far it's looking pretty good. My own copy should be here next week.

This of course, means there won't be too many updates here, especially when I'm not working.

This week's actually been pretty quiet for me. Most people I've met the last few days seem pretty tired. Including myself.

Wow should perk me up.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Friday, Good

I have a slight hang over. I'm also at work. Not the best combination under any circumstances.

It was supposed to be just a visit. I was just supposed to say hi and what's up to the guys. Instead I find them starting a charcoal bonfire for a so-called Good Friday barbecue. And with these bunch of people, when there's meat, there's also booze. By the way, these guys are really good at grilling. Starting a barbecue looks straightforward, but it's really not. It's unbelievable difficult to start a fire on purpose, I've discovered.

So I got dragged in and ended up drinking with the boys until around midnight. It's just to bad I had to go to work today.

I woke up this morning and wanted to die. I willed myself to take a bath and put clothes on. Driving was ok, there was no traffic, since Good Friday is a public holiday in Sarawak.

I went to my usual breakfast place to have breakfast. I didn't. Instead I sat in the car with my can of Coke. Coke is supposed to help with hangovers since it has caffeine and sugar. It did.

Now I feel a lot better. A little sore, but better. I just hope I won't get inundated by an avalanche of phone calls, like yesterday. Yesterday was nuts.

I seem to be getting busier and busier these days.

No need to think about work tomorrow, I have the day off.

In other news, I watched Gubra. Since I'm still slightly loopy I'm not going to attempt a review. There is a list of reviews right here.

I loved it. It was wonderful. If you guys haven't watched it, please go and spend your money and watch it in a cinema. Yasmin deserves the money.

I go to do some work now.

EDIT at 8.07pm

I survived. In fact I did pretty well at work. And now, I'm going to sleep.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Time in the Valley of Death

I took this test just for the hell of it:-

DisorderYour Score
Major Depression:Very Slight
Bipolar Disorder:Slight
Cyclothymia:Very Slight
Seasonal Affective Disorder:Slight
Postpartum Depression:N/A
Take the Depression Test

Judging from the questions, I was A LOT worse in the early to late nineties. It started to flatten out and diminish around the time I realized that I may have chronic depression. I never even considered it before.

What is it like? What happened? How did I dig my way out? I will share what I know. Perhaps some of my experience might help whoever needs the help. I sincerely hope so.

I blogged about it, a guilt free way of "letting it out", as opposed to telling (and annoying) everyone and his mother.

More time in the sun. Sun is very important. I have found that it affects me greatly. Even now when I work at night, I tend to have low moods on the third night (sometimes second, depending on weather) onwards. It's not as bad as before, since now I know that it's temporary. If I work day, I feel fine, chipper even. At home, I don't feel it at all. THAT single fact is one of the biggest diferences between then and now.

I also went out, sometimes reluctantly. Sometimes, I force myself to especially when people call. I was especially reluctant at first. When things got better, it became more fun and I felt less like a burden to people. The everpresent guilt began to diminish.

Sun and other people. I read that two reasons why some people get Seasonal Affective Disorder
is the lack of sun and the lack of social interaction. There are of course other factors.

I read. Surfed the net. Research. Why and when and how to overcome it. Knowledge and information is important.

Happily, I apparently don't need medication. So far so good. I'm not really up to taking too many risks (especially in relationships) yet but at least I'm comfortable nowadays.

I found out what the big triggers were. I dwell on past mistakes and bad memories. My childhood isn't something I am happy about. My home life was never ideal. Failed attempts at relationships, one after another undermined an already unhealthy self esteem. Apparently in my mid-twenties, it reached critical mass and I imploded. I became more morose than usual and became impossible to motivate. I spent most nights awake and most days trying to stay awake.

My work suffered and I lost one job and underperformed in the next one. My relationship with my family worsened. I began to shed friends, acquaintances, potential girlfriends. For the record, I don't hold any grudges against them now. I understand why they walked.

I was losing control. Only now has some of that control returned.

The triggers are vital. Knowing it is probably half the battle won, I feel.

Thankfully, I had the support of friends and people who are so kind to leave messages on my blog. Some sent me mail and positive advice. In that respect, I got lucky. It's impossible for me to overstate my gratitude.

I'm not out the woods just yet. It comes and goes now and then. I wouldn't dare tempt fate by declaring that I'm ok now. The fight continues and is long and hard.

Depression is an elusive, insidious and stubborn demon that's especially hard to kill. The causes are legion. Could be physical, could be emotional, could be other things. All or none of the above.

Most importantly though, one must remember:-

The demon can be contained, even killed. To all those who suffer silently, there is hope yet for a normal life.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Another Run of The Mill Journal Entry

Over the last few days there have been things I had wanted to write about.

But I've been very busy. And I have been feeling kind of under the weather, moodwise. I've learnt NOT to try to write posts while feeling depressed. Especially complex introspective posts. The low moods are temporary. Unfortunately, the posts written during the low moods are permanent. They reflect badly on me.

I don't need to worsen my reputation.

Yes, I still have them. I still feel depressed once in a while. It just comes and goes now. Nothing persistent. Not like before. I know what to do and what not to do to alleviate it. Still, I wish treatment was cheaper and even more than that, I wish people would take it more seriously.

It has come to my attention that some people I know think that I (and everyone else who claims to be depressed) should just stop being dramatic and "get over it" (tm). It's annoying enough to hear ignorant strangers dismiss it like it's some figment of a person's imagination. It's worse coming from people whom you know personally.

Get over it. A person who is depressed would like nothing better than to "get over it"(tm). Trust me on that. To wake up and NOT have to worry about feeling sad for no reason whatsoever? Bliss.

Sometimes I wish that some of these people's hormone levels would go haywire and cause them to feel worthless for no apparent reason. Or how about the tasty thought of suicide? Let's see how fast they can "get over it" (tm). I'll be standing right there with a big sign saying "Welcome To Hell. Enjoy the View."

I'm not in that place anymore and thank the heavens for that. It has cost me so much.

Today's post isn't going to be about anything important. Just felt like writing. Just another dear diary entry.

Anyway, it's not nice to wish ill will on people. After all it isn't fair. Those who have only been in the sunlight will never know what darkness looks like.

I've been reading and there's a number of posts about multi-level marketing, like this one from BrandMalaysia, one of my favourite blogs. This guy hates it even more and for good reason.

I'm not going to discuss the morals of MLMs or pyramid schemes or ponzi schemes nor the ethics of recruitment conducted by these organizations. There are lots of material to read over the net about that.

I would like to remark how easy it is to take advantage of people's greed. I should know. I do know about that now. Unfortunately, many others don't.

Regardless of what some silver tongued merchant may say, there is NO EASY WAY TO GET RICH. This very basic fact should be very clear isn't it? Apparently not.

One of my pet peeves with some MLM salespeople is how some of them talk as if you're making a huge mistake trying to make an honest living. How is working a honest job a mistake? Yes, I know it's a spin to attract attention. Spin or not, it's still irritating. I also don't like the way they tell you how "easy" it is when in fact, it's not. If it was, then how come not ALL members of MLM companies earn six figure wages and own expensive property? Not everyone can be a salesman. Not everyone has the charm.

Another thing I find very annoying is how they "lure" you to join one of their brain washing sessions talks. They call you up and invite you out on the pretext of some other thing and what happens? Sales pitch. I hate that.

Another thing, when it becomes clear that you're resisting them, sometimes they would ask some dumb question like "Don't you like money?" or "Don't you want to drive [insert exotic vehicle marque here] like so-and-so?". Stupid questions. No need to answer.

I'm not baselessly bashing MLMs. Some people do very well and I think that's great. I just don't like how ragingly insincere some of them are when they are trying to get you to join them.

So, children, despite what MLM people say, repeat after me. THERE IS NO EASY WAY TO GET RICH.

In other happenings, a friend of mine has a new blog that offers an interesting spin on the whole blogging thing. Please visit and support PhinMag. Really cool idea from one very good writer. Support her please.

Finally, wow look at the date. It's bloody April already. The second quarter of the year has begun. Shifts are changing and by the end of the month, I'll be free on weekends again. Gawai will be here soon. And my birthday.

It's been a pretty ok year so far. Not spectacular. Just ok. Which is nice.

I would like to end with the following remark. Recently, I found out that one of my old crushes is engaged. That bothered me more than I would've liked.

That's also very stupid.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Simming It

Sims 2 is crack. It's very bad. It is very detrimental to the state of my social life. It should be banned.

Yes, I'm playing that now. Happily, the build mode problem that used to afflict the game when it first came out is now fixed.

I'm very surprised that I'm only just starting playing the thing now. It's brilliant in a typical Maxis Games fashion. I'm trying very hard to remember why I didn't try it the first time around (aside from the build mode bug). Well, hard disk space for one. It's huge. And the hardware requirements are very, very steep.

The game looks awesome with the right hardware. Thankfully, I do have that.

And the best (worse?) thing about Sim games? Moddability. I'll be looking around for stuff now. The other good thing about Sim games are the stories. I've been playing for three days and already I have tales of exploding kitchens (with guests as witnesses), accidental adoption of child and unexpected lesbianism!

The University expansion is very cool. I might go out and get Open For Business next week, hard disk space permitting. Then my Sims universe will be complete. I also have Nightlife.

Thanks again for Rin for lending me the DVD, who got it from Velvetraven.

In other news, I've just come off one of the busiest nights of work I've ever had. Therefore, I'm pooped.

At least I'm not sad, so all good here. Being tired is a lot more tolerable than being sad.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

No Title

Currently making DVDs of Robotech. Just now I was playing Mechwarrior 4 : Mercenaries. There is this mission where I have to defend an oil refinery. I got creamed.

The attacking enemy included TWO Atlasses. The Atlas is an assault 'mech. 100 tons of badness. One is very bad news. Two is even worse news. Two of them leading TWO lances (squads) of other 'mechs.....

My own lancemates and I were totally outclassed.

The last thing I saw before my Thor blew up in a shower of molten metal and unexploded ordnance were these two Atlasses pouring laser, Gauss and rocket fire at me. It's so unfair.

I've been repeating this mission for the last three hours. I don't remember this game being this hard the last time I played it.

Last night I watched some Saber Rider. It was very funny somehow. And corny with bad dialogue and bad puns.

But in a good way.

I've noticed that movies and films have gotten more "technical" as time goes on. Like nowadays, film makers have to make sure little technical details like costume and equipment are correct, especially if they are doing a feature about war or a period piece. Even fantasy films are more believable these days.

Audiences are more intelligent these days.

Back in the 80s, people didn't really care so much about a guns with unlimited ammunition and generic "medieval" clothing that are not historically plausible, for example.

I attribute this to technology and the fact that people as a whole are more technically aware in our increasingly wired world.

It's not to far from truth to say that back then, jocks rule. Now, geeks rule. About time too.

Going out now.

Monday, April 03, 2006


I'm away from work and I've been up all night watching Robotech episodes I downloaded last week.

It's great since there are episodes I haven't watched before.

The Robotech Shadow Chronicles trailer looks awesome. I also think Robotech would make a nice live action movie or TV series. Not necessarily based on the anime, but set in the Robotech universe.

Speaking of live action, The Transformers live action feature is still on. That's a relief. It's been quiet on the news front. Apparently, it might get updated to 21st century standard but at least it's still Generation 1. I hope Soundwave doesn't get turned into an i-Pod. That would be stupid.

I think the Battletech universe would make great fodder for TV and film. A CGI MechWarrior film would be so awesome.

Especially if Joss Whedon and his team writes and directs. Mutant Enemy and BattleTech, looks like a good combination. It probably can't happen though...

That's all for today. Apart from watching videos, I have no plans for the week. Oh yes, and I'm going to start downloading Angel. I can't seem to find any Angel DVDs in town.

Oh yes, with regard to the Transformers movie, it's confirmed:-

Megatron and Prime will be voiced by their original voices!! Yay!!!