Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's Nearly August...

...and I have nothing particular to write about.

I'm at work today and it's almost time to go home. It was a very quiet day. Quiet days are ok but they are boring as hell. So we spent the whole days telling jokes.

It's no wonder certain people in other departments envy us.

Anyway, I can't think of anything to write so I'll imbed a Youtube video instead. It's Megadeth's Holy Wars...The Punishment Due. One of my favourite metal numbers. A brilliant song.

Incidentally, just now I was having a smoke break and I talked about music with my friend here. We talked about jamming and being in bands. Ahh... Those were the good ole days.

Good times, good times...

Sunday, July 27, 2008


One of the most exasperating things about my job is dealing with people with poor phone manners.

It's incredibly annoying when people call to ask for help but fail to identify themselves and fail to mention what their problem is. When I ask what the problem is, they say something generic and cryptic like, "Oh my computer is down", which could mean anything. So I go and ask,"What do you mean actually, is the computer on? Can you log in?"

The answer? "The computer is down lah. Come and fix it right now!".

See? I ask for more details and they either say something completely unrelated or refuse to say and just ask me to go to see them. This is dumb. We can do most things remotely. We have the tools. There's no need for me to waste time and walk all the way (sometimes it can be very far away).

It's amazing how some people seem to not know how to speak and describe things properly. Maybe they expect as to use telepathy and read their minds. You know because IT department is trained at Hogwarts and we have magical powers like remote sensing and telekinesis and the ability to go back through time to find out what someone did to something like... two weeks ago. (Actually, in certain situations I can find out what happened two weeks ago...).

Sometimes I wish I did have magical powers. That way, I can enchant dumb people and give them a temporary boost in brain power so that they can give me the information I need to actually help them. Or turn them into stone. Whatever.

Sometimes we get calls about stuff that isn't even related to us. Apparently for some people, IT folks have such magicks as to be able to solve all manner of problems.

I realize that not everyone is computer literate and for some people, computer stuff really is like arcane magic but some of stuff I get asked is downright ridiculous. The frigging computer is an electrical appliance people. There's no magic there.

Some people say that computers and technology have a way of turning otherwise normal, intelligent people into gibbering zombies. I can tell you this is true. A person could be lucid and normal one minute but the very moment they are within 6 feet of computer equipment, their brains turn to jelly. Apparently this affects their speech. And hearing. And the ability to understand simple queries. Questions like,"What do you see on your screen?" and "Who is this?/What is your name?"

Maybe it's the radiation from their monitors...

Am I being unreasonable? How can I reasonable be when people insist on being stupid everytime they call IT.

We IT people aren't very popular around here for being asshats and trolls but it's hard not to be when we're surrounded by idiots who can't follow simple instructions and can't describe things properly. Even my otherwise jovial, bubbly female colleague gets pissed off at them.

Maybe it's the chemicals. Or is it just a coincidence that we get the dumbest calls from inside the production floor? The idiocy there can reach epic proportions. I seriously wonder how they manage to work with all those dangerous machines and chemicals without killing themselves.

How hard is it to speak coherently when you are talking on the phone? Very hard apparently.


Saturday, July 26, 2008





Wait a minute. It's not August yet. And not September either. What's with the State Flags then?

It's because of July 22. Embarrassingly enough for myself and my Sarawakian nationalist tendencies, I didn't know what happen on July 22 1963.

It was Independence day. Not 16 September when Malaysia came into being. July 22 was the day the UK officially handed over administration to local authorities. For a while at least, we were actually an independent country.

The state government is going to celebrate our 45th anniversary all year round. I'm all for it. I'm not entirely convinced that our younger people know enough of our history (and by "our" I mean Sarawak, not Malaysia). Yes, we are part of Malaysia but our story is different.

We are different no matter how hard some people try to make us the same as states in Semenanjung. This is not a bad thing although I do understand why certain people would feel that it is so.

We will always be different. One country sure, but there will always be us and there will always be them. Different. We will always be Sarawakians first.

I'm not surprised that there are some people who insist that this is a waste of money. I guess some people don't understand the importance of remembrance. The past makes us who we are today. Who we are makes us unique within and without the context of Malaysia. We need to reflect and remember.

These next few months is a good time to reflect on how far we have gone since then and how far we will go.

If I were to start writing about what it means for me to be Sarawakian, I would never finish this post.

The short version?

I'm proud to be from here and I'm proud of my home. I'm proud of all my people and it honours me to be among them. Especially these days of political turmoil and uncertainty. These days of racial and religious tension within the country.

When it comes to peace, tranquility, unity and harmony Sarawakians lead the way. There is no need for some government big wig to come down and talk of "Perpaduan" here. Those are just words. Here, it's a way of life. It's always been like that. It will always be that way, God willing.

On a social level in modern times, Sarawak has never had any serious tensions amongst her own. We can all be justifiably proud of this fact.

It's not to say that there is no problems at all here. Only a blind fool would say that. There will always be problems, both social and political.

We have some minor racial issues every now and then. Our government isn't the most transparent and our politicians aren't the cleanest lot. We suffer from poor treatment by the Federal Government. We have issues with cronyism and corruption.

But so far, we have never allowed our problems and conflicts with each other to tear us apart. At the end of the day, despite our little frictions and disagreements we are all one people. Sarawakians.

Hopefully we can solve what problems we may encounter and be even better in the future.

Sarawak is a beautiful place and I will always be loyal to her, first and foremost.

May God bless our home and may we live long and prosper, no matter what happens.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Still Thinking

My notebook. Still going strong and nothing to complain so far

Something just occured to me when I was reading my post yesterday. There are some people from work who read my blog. If you are one of them, I need you to do me a big favor.

Don't tell anyone else. Don't tell my boss especially. I don't want people at work to find out. It might affect morale and how people treat me. So hush hush now...

And talking about yesterday's post, I'm still thinking about it. I discussed it with the parents and they don't mind. In fact, now they're thinking about talking to the other brother who is in KL to try for it as well.

All three of us at sea. That would be interesting.

After much thinking, everything looks good on paper so far. I'm still feeling a bit anxious though. I supposed that's normal. I got more information about it today from my friend. Information about the necessary certification courses. I haven't called to make inquiries yet. I'll probably need to find out if I can get those here in town. That would be more convenient.

Meanwhile, I've not been doing too much these few days. I'm playing Titan Quest again. I haven't actually managed to finish the game yet. I'll probably need to wait till the end of the year for new and exciting games to come out. Perhaps by that time, I'll be playing them at sea?

Yes, there is internet connection on barges as well as on oil rigs. I was very, very relieved to hear that. That alone should be enough to preserve my sanity. I can keep blogging too.

Anyway, we'll see what happens next. I might decide not to change jobs. Who knows?

In other not very good news, my Bali trip has been canceled by AirAsia due to "operational requirements". I guess this means that they are no direct flights available at the time. I don't feel too bad about it. I could use the money for something else. I feel more sorry for Esther who was really looking forward to going.

I can't help thinking, is this a sign?



Just wanted to add a little something. I've recently noticed some cases of people ripping off posts from other blogs and passing it off as their own. Come on people! How hard is it to blog? I don't have any literary background and yet I can do it!

Seriously, people who need to plagiarize are losers and people who plagiarize blog posts are the worse losers of them all.

L2Write plz. TQ.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Black Gold

A few days ago, I hung out with a friend at MJC. He's just come back from spending 45 days on board a barge at sea working on oil rigs.

It was a very, very interesting evening. Among other things, I got to know about what goes on onboard these barges. Of course, the most interesting thing was his wages.

I can think of a few words to describe it. Astronomical would be one of it. Especially when compared to mine.

The working conditions are harsh. You could end up spending more than 60 days at sea, going from rig to rig hundreds and hundreds of miles from home and from friends and family. Or any piece of land for that matter. Obviously this kind of work isn't for everyone.

My friend urged me to try applying for this kind of work. Despite my doubts, he says he's sure I can do it.

I do have my doubts. It's a huge risk. I need to quit my job now and go attend some courses to get certified for off shore work. That costs but I have the money. If I pass and get certified, I need to go to Miri to look for work.

To be honest, I've been thinking about this for months. Even since this friend of mine left for Sibu. My brother went along with him.

My brother is coming home soon after 2 months off shore. I'm going to grill him for answers. I have a lot of questions. Especially about pay.

Obviously, I'm quite uncertain about changing jobs at the moment even though I do feel it's time to do so. I've been working at my current job for the last 6 years I think. I like my job. It would be very hard to leave it.

Making big changes are always very hard. Especially hard when it involves changing jobs, changing cities, changing industry, changing... well, everything.

But if all the things that my friend told me were true, I'd be a fool to let this opportunity slip by. I can end up earning up to 10 times more than what I do now. If I plan well, I can actually save enough to retire early!

I'm still worried but I think I owe it to myself to find out as much as I can before making a decision.

I hope it works out. I do want to leave and I do want to make a fortune if I can. If it does then at least I'll never need to worry about money anymore.

I have a few more days to think before making my final decision.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I watched The Dark Knight on Wednesday night. I was out with a friend and originally was planning to watch Hellboy 2. While queuing up for tickets I noticed that incredibly, the 10.00pm show was not yet full. In fact, some very nice seats were still available. Thus we ended up watching The Dark Knight instead.

What can I say about the new Batman movie? What can I say? I don't have enough superlatives for it. Honestly.

It was awesome, to cut a long story short.

I would like to say a few things about Heath Ledger's Joker. Now that's what I can a villain! He was kickass. Twisted, evil, chaotic and rather deranged. So out of control not even the great Batman could adequately deal with him at first. Hands down and without a doubt, this is the definitive Joker.

The Joker was fantastic. No doubt, the highlight of the film and one of the best (worst?) onscreen villains I've had the pleasure of watching.

It's so unfortunate that Heath isn't around to enjoy the accolades that he so richly deserves for such an effective job. There's this buzz going around the entertainment circles that Heath should get an Oscar for his work. I don't disagree one little bit.

The rest of the cast weren't so bad either. Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman were all top notch and I enjoyed watching them. Especially Gary Oldman.

I also have good opinions about Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent/Two Face. He was great and played the antihero extremely well. I felt sorry for Two Face. You rooted for him and wished that he would just stop and calm down but in the end...

Tragic. And very fun to watch.

I'm also quite impressed with Maggie Gyllenhaal. Before this I didn't know too much about her aside from the fact that she's Jake's sister. But she's much better and livelier as Rachel Dawes than Katie Holmes was in Batman Begins.

So how about the story? It was long and very detailed. A tip before watching TDK, make sure you go to the bathroom and have something to eat. It's a very long movie. Which was necessary to flesh out the complex plot. Which was all about the Joker and his manipulations.

TDK is one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-it type of movie, although some parts did get a bit tiresome. Especially the monologues. They could've reduced that and it would help move things along.

You need to pay attention in order for everything to make sense. Lots of subtle plot points to be noticed in all the dialogue.

Yes, there is a lot of talking. But the action does not disappoint. Of course. It's a Batman movie after all. I won't write about Batman's new gadgets (and his new suit and why he needed a new one). Just go and watch the movie already.

In summary, The Dark Knight is the best movie I've watched this year. It's also the best superhero movie I've watched in a long time. And it's also the best crime drama I've watched in a long time.

TDK works as a superhero movie and works just as well as a crime movie too. I love the gritty, realistic feel of the new Batman universe. It's more believable and not so overblown like some other superhero movies and this is a great thing.

Looking forward to the next Batman movie. Too bad Heath Ledger's Joker won't be in it...

Have you watched TDK? If not, then what are you waiting for?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why A Good Graphics Card is a Good Investment

A good graphics card is a vital piece of hardware for avid gamers, such as myself. In order to play the latest, coolest games properly, you need one. It costs but a good card will last 2 years plus (maybe more for the high end stuff).

Why am I talking about this all of a sudden?

Because of games like this.

Check out this awesome Fallout 3 trailer:-


Another cool game trailer. Sims 3!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I had a plan to post on my birthday which was a few days ago. It was supposed to be all angsty and troubled like how I used to write. It was supposed to be a litany of regrets, a dirge for dead ambitions, a lamentation of lost youth and time.

You know, the stuff that screamo lyrics are made of. You get the idea.

I thought I was going to be miserable on Monday. I thought I had good reason to be too. My 35th birthday is a big deal. It's that line in the sand between youth and middle age. Well, to me anyway.

All the stuff that I planned and attempted had be to done by the time I was 35. By 35, I was supposed to be stable and contented. In short, a lot of stuff had to happen by the time I'm 35.

In short, 35 was supposed to be some kind of milestone. It's the time when I was supposed to sit and reckon all my achievements and successes (if any). Thirty five was my Rubicon.

I'm not going to lie. The idea of turning 35 bothered me more than I would want to admit. Especially considering how my life had been turning out until that point.

So on the day itself, I waited for that inevitable pall of gloom to fall on me so that I could write my blog post of doom. I waited. And waited. And waited.

It never came. I was rather relaxed throughout the last few days. Talk about anticlimax...

I did sit down and look back as one is wont to do on one's birthday. Life most certainly not turned out the way I wanted it to be. Many things happened that I wished didn't. I did many things that I wish I could take back.

But I had good times too. I have friends. And experience which enriched me in more ways that I can think of at the moment.

On the whole, I didn't get the cake that I wanted. But what I got isn't so bad as I thought it would be.

Obviously, things are going to have to change in some parts of my life. Change is inevitable after all. I'm going to have to forget about certain things and lower the priorities of some others.

Surprisingly, making that decision was easier than I expected.

In the end, I had a nice quite birthday as usual. As usual, we went to that food place in Batu Lintang where we go every year. And as usual, Mom asked when am I going to get married and told me that they aren't picky about that, yadda yadda yadda...

Anyway talking about priorities, what should I be aiming for now? I can't think of any so-called greater aim in life at the moment.

And thus, the end of the post has come. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year and the years after that. Let's see what The Fates have in store for me.

I also need to find the motivation to blog more. My current output is too low for my liking...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Alive Still...

A random image

...just not blogging.

I've been away from work this last three days. Didn't really do that much at all. On Tuesday evening after week I went to Zack's house to fix their PC. Bluescreen of death again. The PC is ok now. The PC is getting old but with WinXP SP3 it should hold up quite well.

Marginally more interesting is what I did the next few days. Been hanging out at a friend's house playing his Playstation 2. Which used to be my Playstation 2. I suddenly miss having a console but consoles are much more fun when you have people over to play.

We've been doing that for the last few days playing things like Tekken 5 and the new ProEvo soccer which version number eludes me at the moment.

Call me crazy but I suddenly want to have a console again. Anyone got a used PS2 for sale?

That was my week.

Oh yes, I had lunch with Diana on Wednesday I think it was? I haven't seen her since she got married a few year's back. She's doing well. Busy but doing well.

It is three in the afternoon and I feel like cruising around randomly but that's not the best idea considering how much that costs now. Talking about fuel saving, I think the best and most effective thing I've done to reduce cost is to use internet banking. I pay everything online now.

No more driving to different banks, no more looking for parking and no more cueing up at ATMs and deposit machines. It saves a ton of fuel and many hours of my time. I've been encouraging my friends here to do the same.

I encourage everyone to do the same. Ask your bank for more information.

Obviously, security is a concern but so far I'm quite confident and comfortable with the system. You just need to be careful with your login name and password.

I have a meeting to go to later. I'm not very enthusiastic about it...

Monday, July 07, 2008


Hancock's trailer is very, very misleading. You'd think it'd be a funny movie. Well, it was funny in places. But it isn't a comedy. It's a bit more serious than that.

And there's that surprising twist in the middle. Very surprising indeed.

I watched this on Friday evening and came away pleasantly surprised. It wasn't what I expected but what I got was good. Maybe even better than I expected.

Fans of Will Smith will like this. The guy is a fine actor.

Lots of movies to catch this following month or so.

There's The Dark Knight like I mentioned before. Then there's Hell Boy 2. Then there's The Mummy sequel. And then there's Red Cliff.

I also caught the new Bond movie trailer. Looks quite promising.

It's fun to be a kaki wayang.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Ok, it's time to write about food. Specifically it's time to plug my favourite kolo mee vendor, 668 Cafe at Tabuan Jaya here. It's right next door to Kaya and Toast.

My usual bowl of kolo mee...

...and the accompanying bowl of kiaw. Lovely.

Kolo mee, a signature meal for Kuchingites (for those who can eat non-halal food anyway). Lots of places sell kolo mee, each slightly different from the next. Some of these places are somewhat mediocre. Some others are terrible.

Some are excellent. Like the one on the corner of Bishopgate street, reputably the best of all of them. Lots of people say that and I can't disagree. 668 kolo mee is very, very close to that. Just like the Bishopgate one, 668 kolo mee is so good and so addictive it should be illegal.

It just occurred to me that I don't know how to write food reviews... Anyway...

The unfortunate thing about 668 Cafe is it opens a little too late for me to have breakfast at when I'm working day shifts. I usually have something in Tabuan before I head off to work. It's usually either kam pua mee or kolo mee or porridge. Some days I just have coffee.

668 opens at 7.00am usually which is the time I have to start work. I'm not sure when it closes. I usually go there for breakfast only.

Tonight is my last night at work this week and this morning I will drop by at 668 as usual. Looking forward to some good noodles in the mornin'...

For those who love good kolo mee, please go to 668 and try it. You'll love it.