Monday, June 30, 2008

One Week No Blogee...

A hookah pipe.
We had some strawberry flavoured smoke while waiting for The Incredible Hulk to start.

Well, almost one week. Been very busy going out, watching movies sleeping late, playing submarine game and watching football.

Spain is victorious! I watched that match and it was pretty good. It wasn't the best football match ever. I spent the time flipping between the Euro 08 and a pretty good pirate documentary on the History Channel. At least I watched the goal. They could have been more goals. Marcos Senna came within inches of scoring later on to make it 2-0. Inches I tell you.

Anyone, I'm pleased. It was a dream final with all the stars on parade and in the end the more adventurous team won.

I watched some movies last week. On Friday night I watched The Incredible Hulk with Esther. It was great. Edward Norton was excellent. As well as Liv Tyler. The story was pretty good. The Abomination was an excellent villain. I enjoyed it very much. I was also pleasantly surprised by Lou Ferigno's cameo. Nice touch.

I'd watch it again. This was better than the first movie by quite some distance. Also the thing that happened in the end will please a lot of people. I sure of that.

Then on Saturday evening I went to watch Get Smart with a different group of friends. To be honest my expectations for this was very low. I've watched a lot of crap "comedies" in the last few months.

Get Smart was a lot better than I expected. It was also a lot longer that I expected too but this isn't a bad thing at all. It didn't drag at all. Plus it was very funny. I was very surprised that not many people were watching this with us. There were a lot of empty seats in the cinema. At least the small crowd we were with appreciated and understood all the humour.

Steve Carrell was perfect for this. The supporting cast was good also and The Rock added a little bit extra. Anne Hathaway was hot and wasn't just there to be eye candy.

One of the things that stood out for me was although Get Smart is a comedy it's also a full blown action movie as well. Usually for stuff like this, the balance tends to shift to one or the other. The got the mix right in this one. I thought it was great and I really enjoyed it.

It's been said that a sequel would be made if this one was successful. I really hope it is because I'd definitely be on for Get Smart 2. I loved this and I want to see more.

There's a bunch of other stuff I want to watch. Next, I want to watch Wanted and Hancock. And The Dark Knight of course.

Let's see what else I did.

I've been playing my sub game a lot. Doing good so far but it's getting a bit harder now later in the war. I got a new, bigger and faster boat but the enemy is more aggressive now.

I've been killed a bunch times. A lot of times I get depth charged to death and sometimes I get caught by planes on the surface. One time I lost a gun duel with a tanker. I decided to save my torpedoes and shell it instead. Usually, shelling a lone merchant ship on the high seas is pretty risk free. Not so that particular evening. I got hit real good.

Another time, I accidentally rammed a freighter. It was at night and foggy and I didn't see the ship until it was too late. Another time, I crash dived after a torpedo attack and promptly bottomed out and ground my boat. I forgot to check the water. Apparently, it was shallow.

Actually, a lot of crazy things happened in that game. I could write a bunch of entries about submarine stories. I haven't even mention things like duds, running out of gas in the middle of nowhere , torpedoes that circle and suicidal Japanese pilots.

Anyway, good game that Silent Hunter 4. Maritime folks would love it.

On Saturday night, I had dinner at Tomoe with Rin, Ivan and Shah. Japanese food is great. I haven't been to Tomoe in a while and it was nice to be back. It's too bad we can't indulge as often as we used to due to the prices of everything going up.

Overall, I had a pretty good week.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Iron Fist

Tonight's post was supposed to be about something completely trivial and unimportant. Then I read this and this.

For those people who don't want to read the links basically the story is about Hannah Yeoh, DAP assemblywoman, not being invited to the SMK Subang Utama prefects' reunion. This is because teachers from the school have issued threats to the organisers. This is apparent because she isn't a BN rep.

You know what is the saddest thing about this? The saddest thing is this kind of thing isn't a huge surprise. Are you surprised?

In an ideal world, this shouldn't happen. But this is Malaysia, so this happens all the time.

Even sadder is that right at this very moment I could think of many excuses BN supporters will come up with to justify excluding non-BN politicians from coming anywhere near a so-called government institution. I guess for some people, politicising education and schools is perfectly acceptable.

I guess I shouldn't even bother writing this stuff. This is typical of the UMNO driven federal government isn't it? The same government which defines patriotism as love of BN. The same government which is addicted to gratitude and blind sheep mentality of it's supporters. The same government who considers dissent as "disloyalty".

I'm not a huge fan of the government. The federal government makes me sick. But I'm not a huge fan of the opposition either. A lot of them make me sick too.

So the question is, will this ever change? Will we ever see a different type of federal government who won't resort to threats and won't keep reminding people to be grateful to them for something their predecessors did decades and decades ago?

Anwar wants us to think so. Lim Kit Siang wants us to think so.

Honestly, I don't think so.

One must remember that for all their promises of change, these fellows are all the same thing as their BN opponents. Politicians. Their main agenda is to put forward their party's agenda. People's welfare is a side effect.

They'll tell you otherwise but I've seen enough behind the scenes. It's.... hard to explain.

This party line thing this is why we have shit like party whips in parliament. I remember someone commented on a post I wrote months trying to justify the system. I guess it might make a lot of sense to those who believe in it. But it all sounds like a lot of shit to me.

But what do I know, I'm an anti-authoritarian anarchist after all. I hate authority as a rule. *shrug*.

Bottom line is, once you join a political organisation you can kiss your own conscience and your own opinions goodbye. It's all about the party from day one. So if your friends and supporters bring up an issue that is contrary to the party line you're supposed to tell them to shut the hell up. Even if you agree with it yourself.

I don't really enjoy the political scene. I'm too bull headed and rebellious for it.

So, what can we do?

Well, for me I'll just carry on and stay the hell away from politics and limit my interaction with government bodies to the absolute minimum.

Finally, what is the point of this post?

It's just a rant. It has no point. It offers no solution. It offers no alternatives. I don't have to back it up with stats and facts and figures and shit like that. I'm not a journalist. This is a blog. Not a goddamn newspaper.

It's just there to be a pain in the ass on the internet. Which what government people insist they can control and censor, but in reality, they can't...

Thanks for reading and have a nice day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

On Time

I'm no poetry aficionado but I really like this one. Used very appropriately in the above video. Please, click on the video and enjoy the poem.

Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;
And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more then what is false and vain,
And meerly mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.

For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,
And last of all, thy greedy self consum'd,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;

And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine
About the supreme Throne
Of him, t' whose happy-making sight alone,
When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall clime,

Then all this Earthy grosnes quit,
Attir'd with Stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.

- On Time, John Milton

This poem also reminds me.

My birthday is coming in less than a month.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Down Below...

Attention: This post is about a submarine game. If you find that boring, please skip to the paragraph that says "In other news". Thank you and have a nice day.

I'm a big fan of WW2 games. I've played tons. Everything from flight simulators to first person shooters to grand strategy. So this week was quite cool because I managed to get my hands on Silent Hunter III and Silent Hunter 4.

I like sub sims. One might think a game simulating sitting in a metal tube and sailing trackless oceans for weeks on end to be quite boring. Actually, sub sims are quite gripping, tension ridden and exciting. Plus a well done sub sim also introduces the player to the basics of navigation and the maths involved in launching torpedoes. It's quite complex actually.

But the bottom line (hehe, bottom, hehe) is it's fun. Especially for history buffs like myself.

A long time ago in the days of my old 486 PC in college, I played a classic called Aces of The Deep. It was awesome. I'm happy to report that Silent Hunter 4 has the same amount of awesomeness plus some more. Including new age graphics.

It also has some new elements like crew management. Each member of your boat has stats and they can gain skills and experience as they go on patrol. As captain, I can assign crews to various positions on the boat and I'm also responsible for things like promotions and decorations for them as I see fit.

I think that's a really cool feature of the game. Also pretty nice is the ability for me to request upgrades for my boat when new technology becomes available. I can also choose what ordance to carry as in what kind of torpedoes I want to have. Early in WW2 I get only one type of torpedo. Later on, I can choose from several types including electric driven ones and the exotic homing torpedo for those must-hit moments.

Talking about torpedoes, the centrepiece of all sub sims is the torpedo engagement. Let me say one thing, torpedo combat isn't for jittery people. It's slow, methodical and requires lots of patience (and in Silent Hunter 4 on expert level, an unbelievable amount of maths!). Anyway, launching torps is fun! Especially when you get it just right and even more when you bag a really big, fat target.

Before I left for work just now, I saved my game in the middle of a convoy attack. The biggest ship in that convoy was a ginormous oil tanker... I've already sneaked past the destroyer screen and when I saved my game just now, I was 800 yards away from the target with torpedoes ready to launch...

Exciting stuff!

There's a whole story to that convoy thing but I'll write about that next time.

In other news, I have quite a few things to write about actually. One thing, I wanted to write about my favourite kolo mee shop. They serve such excellent kolo mee they deserve to be written about on the internet.

Another thing is a potential new hobby. Many months ago, some of my friends in my neighbourhood in Matang talked about buying mountain bikes so that we could go cycling. Well, three of those friends bought bikes over the last two weeks and another one is getting a bike at the end of the month. I already have a bike so I'll be joining them.

I'm not sure what sort of stuff we'll end up doing with our bikes but I'll definitely write about it.

Hopefully, we'll do cool stuff and get some much needed exercise to boot.

Speaking of excercise, I'm feeling kinda hungry suddenly...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I've been looking at some engine treatment options to help save on fuel. One of my colleagues recommended Tufoil. No, I've never heard of it either.

Apparently, it's "The World's Most Efficient Lubricant". Hmm... I'm always very leery about product blurbs making outlandish claims like this. But I went to the website and everything looks pretty good.

But the thing that swayed me was my colleague's recommendation. So I went and bought a bottle yesterday and put it in when I got home. I'm supposed to add this when I do my oil change but since I did that last week and the oil is still new I added it in straight away.

The oil is a concentrate so it pours like chocolate mousse. Slowly.

So how's it working out so far?

This morning I drove to work as usual and the difference was obvious and immediate. One thing, there is suddenly no more lurching or jerking. You know, when the engine is cold it lurches when shifting gears or when you apply a lot of power suddenly. My car lurches like a bitch when it's cold. Or it used to anyway.

This makes sense. I know the lurching\jerking is caused by the mechanical lag that is in turned caused by metal to metal friction when the engine is cold. The oil in cold engines settles at the bottom of the engine and it takes a bit of time for it to circulate again. The lack of lurching means that the oil in my engine didn't settle. Or the Tufoil is sticking on all the moving parts. This is a good thing. Cold starts put a lot of stress on the engine and any reduction is good. And hopefully will extend its life.

Another nice thing was the overall smoothness. The "feel" is a lot nicer and there was no obvious dipping or surging like I used to get. There used to be this very obviously surging when I hit 2000rpm. I didn't get it this morning. It was smooth. Very smooth.

And the engine noise. Which was not as much as before. A lot less rattling.

All this after 12 hours.

As for the other claims, I'll find out more as I use the car. If it does half the things it claims, I'll be happy enough. The thing that I'm most concerned about and what made me try this out is my mileage. The box says it will improve mileage by 5% but on the website there are people who claim improvements of 10%-20%! I guess they're using old cars. 5% is fine for me.

In turned, I recommended this to another colleague this morning.

Well, I'm off tomorrow and I'll put the car through some more tests to see what else is different.

By the way, I haven't seen this stuff in shops around town so I guess people will need to order this online. Or contact the Malaysian distributor. The contact info can be found in the Tufoil website.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Still Here...

... just not posting. Nothing to post about this week. No idea what to post about.

I watched the Spain vs Sweden game on early Sunday morning. Good game. Huge drama at the end. David Villa is on fire right now. Four goals in 2 games.

Before the game, we hung out at this place called Family cafe next to the AmBank near the Satok flyover. The place itself was fine. The food was so-so only. The fried rice was a little too salty for my taste.

We talked about a lot of stuff as usual. What we did for the week, what movies to watch next, stuff happening on the internet and etc. We also talked about work and I told them someone we know is applying for work at my place. The topic of promotion at work came up and I said that to be honest, I wouldn't want to get promoted at the moment.

I'm not particularly ambitious career wise even though I do enjoy my work. I think I've written about this before. I have no great aim at becoming the boss at my work place. If I ever get promoted one day I might consider it. But that's never been my major aim.

I'm not really sure when it happened but I gave up trying to be professionally successful a long time ago.

Sounds rather simplistic, but all I want is to be happy and satisfied I guess. By that I mean in my personal life. Suddenly I'm thinking, happiness and satisfaction is rather simple sounding but it's also very elusive no? It's also rather odd when I look at many "successful" people around me and see that they are not even close to being happy and satisfied.

I'm not judging. Perhaps that is what they want and where they are is where they want to be all along.

How about me? I'm pretty good I guess. I could do with a bit of extra money but I'm ok otherwise.

I had this odd dream last night. I can't really remember what it was about but I remember it having to dowith an old flame, two guys (one of whom I vaguely remember from college) and lots of seafood. In a foreign city.

In the dream, me and old flame are friends again and are on talking terms. In real life, we are not. It would be nice if we were back on talking terms.

As for the seafood and the two guys, I have no idea what that's all about....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


See the picture? What is that thing?

That thing is the drum kit peripheral for...

... this! Coming out October this year! Woohoo!

No doubt this game will cost a fortune to get here, so I hereby declare that I will be willing to chip in for it when it does come out. I just hope that the other controllers aren't sold separately because that would suck quite a bit. I also hope the game will accept the Guitar Hero 3 controller since Ivan already has that one.

I hope the game will have an expanded set list and more moddability. Some of the announced features are quite nice.

While I'm still talking about Guitar Hero games, I was at some guitar forums yesterday and I noticed that many people are still arguing about the merits of the game vs playing an actual guitar.

*Sigh* I know that many internet arguments are in fact retarded but still.... *sigh*

Here's my take on some of the points raised.

Guitar Hero is NOT harder than playing actual guitar. Learning guitar hero and learning guitar are two totally different things. Some people insist that guitar hero players will be able to play real guitar at pro levels if only they devoted the same kind of dedication to the real instrument.

Not true. Whoever said this obviously don't play. Becoming expert in guitar playing takes much more effort than becoming expert in guitar hero.

Having said that I feel playing guitar hero games can help with things like finger dexterity and strength. It also helps with timing and rhythm particularly for those who aren't good at it naturally.

I honestly am surprised at some musicians hostile reactions to this game. What's the problem? Here we have a fun, wholesome game which encourages people to listen to music and to appreciate it more. I've read many threads and posts and articles about how many people who are picking up guitar because of this game. I would love it if this happened to people I know.

I've also read about how guitar sales have skyrocketed and so has demands for guitar teachers. With games like Rock Band and the upcoming GH4, I think the same will go for drums and percussions as well. It's safe for me to say that interest in playing music has spiked because of games like Guitar Hero.

How is this a bad thing? The more musicians, the merrier I say.

I guess that's the problem with any real life hobby or passion. There are always those damn elitists ruining everyone's day. Maybe they want to revel in their own "leetness" and not spend time teaching "noobs"? Maybe.

As funny as it is to read, these arguments make me sad.

I do hope that guitar purists don't scare off aspiring guitar students who started because of guitar hero. It shouldn't matter how or why anyone starts out playing music. There are many others who are happy to share and teach.

This brings me to another thing. I've decided to start playing again. Guitar I mean. There are FOUR guitars in my house and nobody is playing any of them. Especially now that my musician brother has gone to work out of town.

So on Friday I'm going out to get some supplies, wipe my Epiphone acoustic clean and change the strings. I have a whole bunch of new songs to learn.

I should get pretty good by the time Guitar Hero 4 rolls into town...

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Tomorrow I'm going back to work after one week off. The thought makes me rather weak. Still, it's time to go back to real life. It's been quite a pleasant break. Not that I did much. But it's still good.

I didn't go out yesterday evening. For some reason, I was very tired. I did go for breakfast in the morning with Gette, Rin and Ivan. It was pretty cool. I haven't been to town that early on a Saturday morning since a long time ago. The city is very pleasant to be in during that time of the day. Not much traffic and not many people. The weather was quite nice too.

In the news, the fuel thing is still very hot news indeed. Rather than rant about it some more, I'm going to find ways to deal with it and prevent it from causing me to go bankrupt.

I've been modifying the way I drive and after some rather obsessive rpm watching I managed to squeeze an extra 10 clicks this week before I had to refuel again. Not bad. So that's one thing you could do, watch your gearing and don't over rev unless really necessary. For me, that means not going above 2000 plus rpm before shifting. Except for 1st gear where the limit would be 3000rpm.

My car hits 80km\h at slightly above 2200rpm if I remember correctly. That's just nice for me. I also coast a bit more going downhill and before braking for traffic lights. Obviously, all this driving techniques only work for manual transmission.

Talking about fuel consumption, my car's got a rep for not being very economical. It's probably due to the exhaust tip. The exhaust tip on the Saga LMST is quite big actually. For me, it's hasn't been a guzzler. But then again, when I change my engine oil I refuse to use cheap ass mineral oil. I use synthetics instead.

They cost more but in the long run it's good for the car. My car is almost 6 years old and it's still ticking away like clockwork. The engine runs perfectly and I still have no problems cold starting early in the morning. I don't do anything to the engine so I'm quite sure the smoothness can be maintained by using a high grade oil. Plus, high grade oils reduce noise and engine drag and therefore good for fuel consumption.

So the next time your car is due for service think about using semi or full synthetic oil if you can afford it. Your overall fuel cost will go down and your car will appreciate it too.

It won't be cheap though. I did mine on Friday and it cost 128 bucks for oil, fuel filter, labour charge and those two little bulbs that illuminate the rear plates. I did it at a Shell station and they have some kind of promotion where they give you a voucher for 13 bucks of gas. That was pretty cool.

Right now, I'm reading up on things like engine treatment and those gadgets that claim to reduce fuel consumption. I wonder if they really work...

Another thing is weight. Extra weight is bad. I changed my rims from 14" steel to one of those lightweight alloy 15" ones and they do make a bit of difference. I also don't keep junk in the car. I suppose this helps too.

Why am I not using the bus to go out?

I live in Matang. That should be a good enough explanation. I don't fancy buying fuel but I fancy sitting on my ass for two hours waiting for the damn bus even less. Wasting up to two hours of my life waiting for a bus isn't going to cut it with me. Especially when I need to go to work.

The bus service in Matang sucks. Until they fix the public transportation issue here I won't rely on it. Plus the last bus is way too early for my taste. A rail transit system is much better than the bus but it costs a lot to develop and no way is it going to appear here in Kuching.

Not for another 50 years probably.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Crush Depth

Well, it finally happened.

I haven't checked what the other bloggers are writing about. Haven't got the time. I'm sure lots of people have lots of opinions and feelings about this.

What am I feeling? To be honest, I'm a bit numb right now. Also a bit anxious. Especially about crime rates going up and profiteering. These two things will definitely happened. The powers that be won't be able to stop it. It's up to us to look after ourselves.

I was also a bit upset last night because I was caught in the panic-buying induced traffic jam when I wanted to go meet some colleagues. As a result we started late and I had to cancel another engagement. I understand why it happened (the panic buying) but I don't know, it all seems so pointless to waste the entire evening and lots of fuel just to go and buy even more fuel.

I'm also worried and feel sympathy. These new fuel price increases will cause some people to fall through the cracks and become hardcore poor. The government will say this won't happen but come on think about it. Some people I know are already making zero profit from their tiny wages. Add 40% extra fuel cost and we get a deficit.

Cue desperate people trying all kinds of things to make ends meet. Including crime.

So lock up your houses and valuables, keep your eyes open and maybe buy a dog or two. Or a geese. Geese are good guards too. I fully expect crime to shoot up. Some may say the cops will deal with this but seriously, you think they can do anything? It's up to us again to look after ourselves.

In the meantime, I'm going to have to think of some way to increase my own income. I'm not making enough as it is and I'm far from living a luxurious life.

I just hope my RM625 rebate won't get lost in the mail.

One last thing, I heard rumours that the 625 thing is a one shot payment. I guess whoever said this was really pissed off. It's ok to be pissed off. It's not ok to spread rumours. The rebates and
discounts are annual.

Well, there you go. I hope everyone will be ok and find a way to survive. Our lives are about to change again.

PS: The title of this post is based on a phenomenon detailed here. In my analogy, we are the submarines.

Monday, June 02, 2008

On Call

It's Gawai week. Lots of people are having fun. I am... work. Well, sort of.

I'm on call this week. The entire factory is shut down and there is noone here. Still, somebody needs to come by every now and then to run backups and stuff and to make sure everything is ticking. And it is this morning. I'll get off at 8-ish after everything is done and come back later in the evening at 6.

Everyone else is celebrating. I'm not too bummed on not being able to do that though. Somehow I'm not as eager about it. However, Gawai is the harvest festival and it's the time for thanksgiving for what blessings we may have had over the last year.

I do have one or two things to be grateful for. The peace and quiet this week would be one of it. Not being miserable and depressed anymore is the other. It's been a year since I first when to see a psychiatrist if I'm not mistaken. Since then, life has been very, very different.

My memories of life before that are beginning to fade. I can barely remember what it was like to be in that much pain. That is how different it is. I do want to keep some of those memories though as a reminder of how awful it was.

Anyway, I must go now. My backups are done and I need to check on a few more things before I go.

Have a blessed Gawai and may the coming year bring peace and prosperity to all of us.