Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Best. GUNPLA. Site. Ever.

Dalong.net is freaking awesome! Thanks to Jerome for pointing me to it.

That freaking toolkit had better be on sale when I get off work on Monday. I don't think I want to risk building my RX-178 without the proper tools. And maybe a marking pen.

If I can find a good marking pen, I'm also going to detail my Miguel's Ginn. And maybe my rip-off Duel Gundam.

I'm going to be busy next week...

And by the way, I'm beginning to get very attracted to the RX-178 AEUG Prototype version 2... And Zeta Gundam Ver. 2.0 also looks awesome. Plus, transformable!

Friday, August 25, 2006

No to Theocracy!

We're quite close to National Day as Malaysians would know. It is a time to remember and celebrate and revel in the fact that so far so good, the country is doing quite well inspite of the best efforts of some people to ruin it.

We are still a work in progress like I said before. A lot still needs to be done. Nevertheless, I think if we common people (as opposed to blundering, out of touch, old policy makers) live and work right, our country is in pretty good hands.

And yet, sometimes I worry. I read this very disturbing article in the Star just now. I also read a counter article here. There's good and bad news here.

I'm frankly sick and tired of the attempts of some people to turn this country into a sub-district of Saudi Arabia. I get even more sick and tired when I read that some people consider non-Muslims, non-Bumiputeras as threats or aliens.

That will never work. This place will never be a theocracy. And no, I don't buy the bullshit when people say that "other religions will thrive" when one religion provides the basis for law. Yeah sure, these people will let some thing they consider a threat to "thrive".

Yeah right. Sure.

The problem isn't religion. It is with people. A theocracy will not work because of people. History has proven again and again that a person with too much power will get corrupted by that power. Even worse is when that power is considered coming from a divine source, when they get this delusion that their will = God's will. When men think they represent God, shit happens.

That is why I won't support any idea of a theocratic Malaysia regardless of what religion it is based on. Absolutely not.

Get this bigots. Twist and turn anyway you like, but Malaysian society IS multicultural, IS plural, IS made of people who are not exactly the same as you and who have different faiths from you.

You don't like it? Too bad.

In other happenings, Kuching will host the 49th edition of the National Day celebrations. While we do that, I would like to remind people that on 31st of August, 1957, Malaysia didn't exist yet.

Malaysia was officially born on the 16th September, 1963. I say this not because I'm looking to be a nuisance to officialdom, but rather as a reminder. Too little has been said about this. Much too little. I read the papers these last week or so and I've only seen 1963 being mentioned ONCE.

That's not right. That day is equally important especially to us Easterners because in 1957, we weren't in yet.

Please also remember that Singapore was expelled from Malaysian on the 7th of August, 1965. This too is part of our history, albeit a sad part. This too, is not mentioned enough.

Anyway, enough of that then.

In other news, my RX-178 Titan prototype Gundam Mk. II 1/100 scale model kit arrived yesterday afternoon. It's sitting in my room right now, unbuilt. It's very complex with a hell of a lot of tiny, little parts. I'm going to consult with my model building friends before I begin to attempt assembly.

It's going to be great and I can't wait to see the finished model!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Before Friendster

Wow. Loading the Create New Post page took a while this evening.

I read this really nostalgic post from Kenny and I laughed.

Yes, I too had an autograph book once, a long long time ago before I became a somewhat cynical older person.

For those young ones who've never been through this fad, the way it works is very simple. An autograph book is a book your pass around to your friends, friends of your friends, people you want to befriend, total strangers etc so that they may write something in it and sign. It's kind of like Friendster testimonials.

It was fun. When I was in secondary school (Form 3 I guess) I once knew this rather popular girl back from our sister school. (In fact I still know her, but we don't hang any more. Her husband might not like that too much) So I passed her my autograph book and when it came back, it was full of entries made by many, many girls from St. Mary's. Needless to say, my ego was boosted that whole week. Quite a feat for a bespectacled geek. And during that time, this was a very important point.

It was so much fun and a great way to make new friends and acquaintances. Although thinking back, I suddenly remember that autograph books were always full of teenage corn, if you know what I mean.

I even wrote poetry *shudder*. I think if I look around the house, I'll find at least one of my two autograph books. The question is, do I want to?

The other thing about this autograph book thing was how personal each one was. Certainly more personal than all these new fangled networking sites.

Things are certainly different now.

In other news, immediately after I posted my last entry, it rained that very morning. It's been raining a bit the last few days. It's wonderful. You'd never think that the sky would look so good when it isn't grey and full of wood ash.

Yesterday, I transfered money and my package should be here tomorrow. The only problem was I left out the street name in my address when I mailed the guy back. I hope that doesn't screw up my delivery.

Diana is in town and I met with her and her fiance on Sunday night. It was nice, although I kind of wished we had more time. It's all good though.

I bought a Rockfire joystick. It was quite cheap. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a good joystick in Kuching. I went to Wisma Saberkas and out of the 153,215 computer shops there, only ONE carried joysticks.

What's up with that? Kuching people don't play flight sims anymore?

Anyway, I got bored of playing WoW due to a spot of particularly bad lag, so I reinstalled IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles. Only this time, I also installed the Ace expansion pack and Pacfic Fighters on top of it. There is this option called merged installed that allows all these different packages to function together. It's neat.

Also, the last time I played this game, I had a crap graphics card and crap joystick. This time, the game really looks gorgeous powered by my Radeon 9600 Pro. And now I have a good joystick with vibrate function, POV hat, Z-axis twist and throttle!

I'm doing very well, I don't stall as much and I no longer crash on take-off because of the torque. I still suck at piloting multiengine aircraft. It's quite complex.

Sometimes, I fire up a quick mission and fly around just for kicks. No combat, just flight and the occasional tower buzz. It's fun.

And those are the things that I did this week so far.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Hot Nights

The last few nights have been SO hot. By that, I mean temperature-wise. I don't mean warm. I mean HOT.

Last night, after returning from Jerome's house at 1.00am, I took yet another bath. The water was still warm. And tonight is the same.

It's unbelievable, I remember DAYS that are not this hot.

Yes, the haze is back in full effect as every one around here will no doubt see (and feel). It's not really the dirty air that bothers me. I smoke after all.

It's the damn temperature. It's bloody hot. It's such a good thing that I'm working nights the next 2 weeks.

So yeah, it's been rather uncomfortable sitting in my room with the computer on.

I have a public service announcement. Some bizarre news, the kind of news urban legends are made off.

Do you own or use a Dell notebook? If you do, better watch out just in case your notebook is the exploding variety. Yes, it's true. In my work email is an official press release regarding the matter, complete with dramatic photos of various Dell notebooks going up in smoke. Apparently, this explosive new "feature" is due to a faulty battery.

If you suspect that your Dell notebook's battery is one of the "hot tempered" types, go to this link and check the battery serial number. If your serial turns up, contact Dell and they will replace your batt for free.

Despite this, I still say that Dell does in fact, make excellent and competitively priced notebooks and desktop computers. They are really nice, seriously.

No, I don't work for Dell, by the way. It would be nice if I was though.

In other news, I found a great place online to get very good priced Bandai stuff and other collectables, like Transformers. 1/144 High Grade Gundam kits aren't very much cheaper than those in Kuching, but 1/100 Master Grades are easily 25% - 30% cheaper (cost of shipping already factored in).

I saw a Meteor unit that cost RM390+ (plus shipping). Only.

The price difference is even bigger for 1/60 scale. I haven't checked all the other stuff they have. And they have lots.

Unbelievable. Local traders are really making a killing selling at their current prices.

So far, so good, I've been mailing Diamond Comics and they have been very, very prompt in replying my questions.

I think I'll be doing my kit shopping online now. Let's see how my first deal turns out. Incidentally, I've never really shopped online by myself before. The only other time I ordered something online was when I ordered CDs from Amazon on Jerome's credict card.

Online shopping makes me nervous actually. I idea of sending money over the internet is kind of, daunting. At the same time, I'm quite excited.

There are many other things that I would like to write about, but most of it is serious, current issue, controvery related stuff.

But today, I just want to be excited and pleased. So no serious post. For awhile, I guess.

Here's hoping to some rain in the next few days.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Funniest. Engrish. Ever

I know it's not the most politically correct thing to laugh at but bad Engrish can be so much fun.

I found this Livejournal entry and it's hilarious. Later I find out that this is actually an LJ belonging to one Elyse Sewell, who apparently was on Season 1 of America's Next Top Model. I wouldn't know, I don't follow such things.

Anyway, the LJ is a great read and she has a great sense of humour. Not bad looking either.

Well, the haze is back in full force with all around bad visibility especially during the evenings. The haze also causes really warm nights. Not the most pleasant thing. Yesterday I was outside looking at the sky and I wondered, how high up does the haze bank go? If I were to fly a plane, how much altitude do I need to gain before I break into clear sky?

Does anyone else wonder about this? More importantly, does anyone know how high the haze bank goes?

Obviously, I'm bored again. At least tomorrow, I don't have to work.

Tomorrow, I think I'll go out and buy me a Bandai nipper tool. It's for model kit building and hopefully with a proper cutting tool, I can assemble one without those annoying, ugly burrs resulting from improperly cut sprues.

I suddenly realize that some of my hobbies are not very accessible to many people and some people probably wouldn't know what I'm on about when I talk about them. This must make this blog quite boring, at least more boring that when it was a big angst-fest.

Such is the cost of being not unhappy. Have a nice weekend.

Friday, August 11, 2006

No Leave

Well, I didn't get my leave for Sunday and I'm kind of peeved. I've just had a tiring day too.

Nevertheless, things are calm here as they have been. There's not much to say. Except...

In our mind, we are always the "good guy" and many others are the "bad guys". We are "right" and they are "wrong". And then one day, we walk past a mirror and then suddenly realize that we are often not much better than others. Sometimes even worse.

And sometimes, we think that we've been doing a really good job hiding and getting rid of our flaws and weaknesses, only to find out that everyone already knows and those ugly parts are still there.

This realization is the worst kind of shame. So when this happens, what can be done?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Leisure Time!

Is it just me or does anyone else have any problems with Blogger on Firefox The create new post window won't load on Firefox. It's fine on IE, which is what I'm on now.

I was bored. So two days ago, I bought a Gundam plastic model kit.

A long time ago, I used to build kits as a hobby. Mostly military aircraft kits by manufacturers like Tamiya or Airfix. Those were good times indeed.

Anyway, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed kit assembly. It was a good feeling seeing the Mobile Ginn (Miguel Aiman Custome) that I got slowly turn from bits of plastic into a cool 1/144 scale Gundam figure. Fully poseable too.

I enjoyed it so much, I went out and bought another one the next day. I decided to try something bigger (1/100 scale) so I bought one of those Little White Dragon rip-offs. The verdict?

The Bandai ones may cost more, but the end result is much better. And less annoying. My knock-off model has loose parts and parts that needed scraping with a knife to fit. Some of the extra armour bits didn't fit and I'll probably end up gluing them into place.

By the way, that's one of the perks of Gundam kits. No need for glue and paint is optional. The model looks great straight out of the box. No need to glue and paint and spray and dry and paint and spray and highlight etc etc. A 1/144 Gundam kit doesn't need 3 days to complete. Which is great because I don't have so much time.

Which reminds me, I need to buy batteries for the camera.

Anyway, this model kit thingie is a good distraction away from the PC so I think I'll do this regularly for a while.

Meanwhile, in World of Warcraft, my Forsaken warrior reached lvl 37 while hunting panthers in Stranglethorn Vale. Only three more levels before I can buy a mount. It's going to cost 100 gold pieces.

I have a princely sum of.... 10 gold pieces. I have no idea where to find the cash before I hit lvl 40.

So there, the things I do in my free time these days.

There's a PC fair this weekend and I really hope to go. Let's see what things I can get for cheap then.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I Couldn't Resist...

Yesterday, I wrote a lengthy, rambling post about the government's recent announcement that blogs will be monitored for "seditious" and "slanderous" content with immediate effect.

I reread it and I decided not to post it. It was way too angry and ended up being a tirade about the insecurities and flaws of the conservative generation and how chicken shit they are taking the easy way out of uncomfortable situations. Banning is easy. Countering misinformation with truth is not. Answering difficult questions asked by your own citizens is even harder, apparently. Threats and bans are easier.

Anyway, it's a current issue and I did promise myself not to get too involved with it.

The Malaysian government is very funny. It's essentially democratic yet it can be so totalitarian. It's as if we're still not sure about what we are.

Our country is still young and all this infuriating censorship and lack of confidence in our own citizens ability to reason is part of the country's birth pains. Yes, birth pains. We're still a young nation and very much a work in progress. 1963 seems like a long, long time ago but big picture-wise, it's really not.

I most certainly hope that the quiet majority do enough to keep ultras, racists, religious zealots and idiots from getting too powerful.

With regard to this blog monitoring business, I do hope the powers that be spell out what they consider to be "seditious" and "slanderous". Without definiton, these terms can be turned and twisted to put anyone behind bars. I have a nagging feeling that some politicians want these ambiguity to stand. That way they can squelch and kill any and all inconvenient arguments that go against their interests.

Or rather, the "rakyat's" interest as they are so fond of saying.

Once again I do declare, politics is full of shit and I'm never, ever getting involved. Ever.

That's enough about that.

In other news, I've been having the worse latency at home over the last week. I ping Yahoo and half the time, I get time outs. I get 2 second lags in WoW. It sometimes takes me 10 minutes to download a lousy 6Mb file.

It only seems to happen at night. Early in the morning, it's fine. I'm monitoring this and I hope it clears up soon. I really,really don't want to call TM Helpdesk.

There's a PC fair next weekend and I hope to go. Unfortunately, I'm working next weekend so I hope I can get a replacement so I can take leave.

Finally, some aviation news I would like to share.

A US company is building several brand new Me262, with consent from the Messerchmitt Foundation! Brand new Me62s! This is quite exciting for any classic aircraft enthusiast. A video of a newly 262 can be seen here. These new jets actually have better performance than the original 1945 models by virtue of a new powerplant (apparently the old Junkers Jumo engines are kind of hard to find these days...), the General Electric J-85 which generate twice the thrust!

Plus, the new jets have safety features like new airbrakes and stronger undercarriage. Adolf Galland would've approved.

This is very exciting news for me, considering that the Me 262 was the world's first operational jet fighter. Not so for some of you guys I bet.. But still, the Me-262 flies again!

Another classic warbird that's being rebuilt new is the classic FW-190! A German company is building new ones! This is excellent.

I'm suddenly wondering how many other classic WW2 aircraft are being reborn. I know that it is possible to get new Spitfires and P-51s. I wonder if any others are being built new again.

If I had a pilot's license (and money...), I'd seriously consider getting me a newly built classic warbird. I think a Spit would look really nice parked at the Kuching airport!

Starting tomorrow, I have a long break. Hopefully, my connection clears up and hopefully, I can think of something to write.