Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Riddance Noughties

Well, we are here. Final day of the first decade of the new millenium. I can't wait to see the back of it.

09 has been an awful year.

I had a quiet time over the Christmas holidays. Relative to how the rest of the year went, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm long leave right now. It's quite nice so far, to be away from work.

Talking about that, it's been pretty good at work. Except for one thing. Of course who can be surprised right? This is me after all, when things are going well there has to be ONE thing to spoil it. Otherwise it would be too easy and too easy is not in sync with how life is supposed to be (at least my life anyway).

I won't spell it out here but I'll just say that it's rather difficult to work with certain people who are... well, difficult. It's a good example of how lack of social skills, inability to communicate coherently and lack of common courtesy can make things very... difficult.

Heck, even our boss is having this difficulty.

Anyway, what can I do? Like all the other crap that I've had to deal with, I'll have to suck it up. I do have a feeling though, something's got to give in the end. Let's see how that works out.

Who knows, knowing my luck it will turn out to be MY fault. Yes, I've had a pretty traumatic year as evidenced by my being far more defensive than usual.

I just hope so much that with the new year all that will go away.

And what of the new year? I hope it will be a year where I can settle into boring, safe routine again. None of these super adventurous attempts at "improving" myself and "advancing" my career or any other related matters.

I'll leave that for younger folks to do.

In other words, my resolution for 2010 is to be happy. Not to be rich, not be successful, not to achieve anything major. Just to be happy.

And may the new decade bring that and some peace and tranquility as well.

There it is then. My next post will be in two weeks or something like that. Or whenever I get around to posting.

So, Happy New Year to you too.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Early Christmas Present?


My Geforce 9800 GT graphics card decided to die on me today. This is very, very bad news. It means I need to shop for a new graphics card. A medium/low grade one that will tie me over until I get the warranty claims sorted out.

God knows how long that is going to take what with the holiday season and all that. Or I could just get another highend card, do the warranty claim and flog off either one of the cards when I get the replacement in.

It's a very, very good thing I have some cash left over from last month. I get paid early this month too. Unfortunately, this means I can't buy a hard disk yet.

Incidentally, I have an extra power supply unit lying around. A pretty good one too. I'm going to sell that one off this week if there are any takers.

Apart from this little bit of drama things are rather quiet.

Oh yes, Borderlands is very, very good. Extremely good in fact. So good, I'm very upset at not being able to play it right now due to the dead graphics card. So disappointed.

Hopefully, tomorrow the claims process will go without any trouble. And hopefully, I can find a cheap card as a temporary replacement.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Baldur's Gate 3?

Dragon Age: Origins. For mature audiences only. Notice the number 18.

I wanted to write about how brilliant Dragon Age is and all that but alas... my modem at home has died. Looks like I'm be buying another router this evening.

Anyway, Dragon Age is the reason why I have failed to update these two weeks.

I didn't really care about it at first but there were bold claims attached to the game. Like "the spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate." And one review said it was "the RPG of the decade."

It made me roll my eyes. Lots of RPG games have come out since Baldur's Gate in 1998 and none of them can even come close to the Baldur's Gate in terms of the epicness of it's backstory and the lore.

Well, I've been playing it for more than a week and yes, it's close to the Baldur's Gate series. Heck, it might even be slightly better in fact. It feels like it. And it plays kind of like it.

Unfortunately, the other thing it inherited from the Baldur's Gate series is the occasionally excessive load times.

Nevertheless, Dragon Age is brilliant and a must try for RPG fans. You won't regret it.

A word of caution though. The game is rated M and some of the things you encounter in the story can be rather... disturbing. But that's why Dragon is Awesome, among other things.

I'd write more but I'm at work and getting quite busy...
Hopefully, I can find a cheap wireless router later today.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Overdue Update


I was at E-Mart just now and the foodcourt was playing this movie. It was freaking awesome. Brilliant.

How long has it been since my last update? I have no idea myself. I just logged in here without checking my last entry. It's been more than a week for sure.

So what's been going on?

Nothing. Work. Play. Hang out. Contemplate buying things from the PC fair but decided not to. Except for an 8gb flash drive. I needed one of those.

Life is like that. Just that. And I'm grateful for the boring routine. At least it's safe. No one gets hurt.

I was thinking about writing about how time flies and how it's the end of the year again. But I'm not going to do that in depth. Time does fly. And yet, December last year felt like a whole lifetime ago. How things change so fast. And yet, it doesn't feel like it's so much different. Perhaps I'm feeling jaded again?

I expect next year to fly by even faster. I also expect next year to be far less traumatic and far more boring. But by writing that down, I've just ensured that something weird will happen didn't I? Fate is a fickle beast. I know that much.

So tomorrow I don't have to work in the morning. I got called in this morning but due to some things absolutely nothing happened. Oh well...

At least I enjoyed the PC fair.

Here's hoping my next update won't take so long to post.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Late Update

2012. Lots of smoke. Lots of fire. Not so much bang.

I watched this on Saturday night. It was... ok. There's not need to discuss the plot, story, whatever. It's a typical Roland Emmerich movie. Unfortunately, it didn't have the humor of Independence Day. And it has even more unnecessary family drama fluff than The Day After Tomorrow.

I'm not sure what exactly is missing but the other two movies I mentioned were easier to watch somehow.

Or maybe it's just me. I actually know what Earth crustal displacement and polar shift are. I have books on the subject. That's a problem sometimes when you watch a movie about something you know. Something comes up on screen and you can't help but think,"Wait... That would never happen."

Oh well. Anyway, 2012 is a harmless, fluff movie with some decent special effects.

In other news, this week is rather quiet here. Work is quieter than last week. Last week was mad. Two big events and I got so tired I had to take leave on Friday. Thankfully, there is nothing huge happening this week.

No thanks to last week's event fueled madness, I had no free time and I didn't go out much at all. Thankfully, I had a certain sports management sim to keep me busy...

Don't worry, I won't be writing about FM2010 today. Except maybe to say that it's officially event more addictive than FM2007.

So there we are. Things aren't brilliant at the moment but things are definitely not so bad. Especially considering what was going to happen to me this time last year.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

No Time Right Now

Like I was saying last post, I am busy this week. Very busy.

First, there's work. A lot of things are happening this week and I'm working through the weekend. At least the overtime is good so it's ok.

Then there is FM2010! Oh yes. How brilliant is that piece of gaming software. I've been playing it like hell and it's all I expected it to be.

It's a difficult game though. But it's so very addictive.

So far I'm discovering the joys of international management with Ivory Coast. It's great. In the same game I also manage AS Roma. Did well enough last season and finished 4th. Not so good this season. All because of a falling out with a player. Morale went down and 4 straight league losses later (including 1-3 to Livorno. Livorno!! At Home!!), the offending player got sent off on loan some where and everything was fine again in the dressing room. Unbeaten in 5 Serie A so far and slowing getting up the table. But,..

..we're still in 12th place, the boss isn't happy and my job status with Roma is "very insecure". A first FM2010 firing on the cards?

I really should start an FM blog shouldn't I...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

November

I'm about to get very, very busy next week. Some big things are going on next month. Things are picking up at work.

On top of the extra activity there are some other things that got sorted out this week which will make everyone feel better.

No much on the personal front though. Still playing the FM2010 demo. Still breathlessly waiting for it to come out this weekend.

It's nice to have such simple needs. I remember it used to be so much more complicated with all kinds of drama going on.

Of course, the other big thing that happened was September 16th being declared a public holiday from next year. About time, I'm happy about that. I got myself in the paper too with some comments.

It's quiet. But it's pretty ok so far. So I don't have much to complain about, unfortunately. And I don't have many meaningful things to write about either.

The muse is very quiet these days...

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Beautiful Game

....is...BEAUTIFUL!


Attention! This post is about a game. If you would like to skip all my ranting and frothing in the mouth you may scroll down to the last paragraph and read the summary. Thank you.

I downloaded the demo for this last week and I've been playing it to death, trying to find out whether anything isn't working properly. My conclusion is FM2010 is so fantastically awesome it's beyond belief.

If you are a football fan I URGE you to try this game out. You WILL love it!

As good as FM2009 was, it had some problems that turned off a lot of people. For me personally, these would include the broken Italian Serie A transfers and Italian lower league problems. The game's tactical side didn't really work as well as I wanted it to either. It was tricky and a lot of people who used to play FM casually stopped playing it. Which is sad.

Other things that bothered me a lot is how many clubs in the game world don't retain their players. As a result as time when on, the AI squads would get smaller and smaller especially in the lower leagues. Another thing I hated was some leagues were just... broken. Especially the financial part of it. I like to try and play in different parts of the world and I couldn't get in to it due to some of these leagues not set up properly.

As one can imagine these problems caused a storm on the SIGames forums and apparently, the game devs took notice and made improvements. And improve they did!

I want to note down and write EVERYTHING that I loved about the demo but that would make this post huge! So I'm just going to write the more important ones.

Where do I start? Tactics would be a good place. Last time, when I wanted to change something I go into the tactics section and move many, many sliders that control things like width, tempo, defensive line etc. This goes for player instructions too like tackling and closing down and creative freedom and runs etc etc.

Those sliders are gone in FM2010. Instead, there are drop down menus with general instructions and strategies all written in plain English. So, if I want my team to play a high line and close down our opponents more.. I just tell them that. No more fiddling with damn sliders. Same goes for player instructions. If I want let's say, Leo Messi to run at defenders more or sit back and be a play maker or be a deep striker I just tell him that via a pull down menu. No need to set sliders anymore!

And these instructions WORK! I SEE them being executed in the new, improved match engine. Words fail to describe how much I love this new tactical interface! With this, I done things like change formation during a match, change player roles and duties from attacking to supporting to defending, subbed in extra strikers/defenders/midfielders etc. You know... like an actual football match in real life.

I never bothered before because previously it would take too much work to do it.

Now it's easy! It feels like... coaching a football team instead of playing a computer game! I could go on and on and on but the new tactics part of the game is a giant leap forward, nuff said.

A new FM player will be able to get in to the game immediately and start coaching his team instead of learning what all the fricking sliders do.

The 3D match engine is improved as well. It looks better and smoother now, the AI plays better football and looks even more real.

They fixed Italian Serie A! Woot!! And lower league teams aggressively recruit players! The finances of small teams are now logically set up!

The backroom staff talk to you now! They make suggestions on everything! Tactics, player interactions, the team's strengths and weaknesses. Your physio reports back regularly about injuries! Your scouts proactively make suggestions on players to look for!

Non useless backroom staff! I love it!

Media has improved too. So has hundreds of other small, small things. Like the customizable tool bar on top of the page! And the speed of the game has improved yet again. I've managed to play 25 matches in one go in a little more than half a day on Saturday. That's...... FASTER than FM2009!

The next feature I'm itching to try out is the editor which will come out together with the game. You now can create and edit your own league and cup competitions. This will include activating leagues and cups that are already in the game database but are not officially licensed.

Many people have already stated that they want to do things like activate and manage in leagues like England lower leagues, Italy Serie D, USL (US leagues) etc. I also might try activating leagues in Africa (Egypt!) and the middle east (UAE, Saudi Arabia). And sooner or later someone will create a database for J-League! I know they will.

So yeah, I'm really looking forward to this. I went and checked for all the things that used to bother me in FM2009 and all those things are gone. I'm going to get all my friends to play this especially those who got turned off by FM2009.

To summaries, FM2010 is a giant improvement and will be the best Football Manager game EVER. Strong points are the new, very user friendly tactical interface, the improved match engine and 3D, improved processing speeds, improved staff interaction, improved media, improved AI squad management, improved transfers and improved finances. The game editor will be awesome and I can't wait to try it out!

I hope these improvements will make long term career games viable again!

So if you like football, play FM2010.

Edit: Oooh, I forgot! New tactical element. Touchline instructions! Now instead off shouting at your monitor you can shout orders to your players! I love it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Demo!

I'm downloading the FM2010 demo this very minute. I'm excited.

There isn't much else to talk about at the moment, unfortunately. Life is as it is. One minor thing though. At work, I have my own cube now unlike before where I had to share my space with 4 other people. Perhaps I should think about a little decoration to make it look a bit more lively?

Something to think about this week.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Things that Didn't Happen

...like my blog post yesterday. I forgot. And some crazed people from a neighbouring country were supposed to invade today weren't they? I was looking at the sky expecting some spear armed paratroopers to descend and they would somehow win, forcing us to go underground and form a partisan unit ala Red Dawn.

I'm so sad to note that some blogs I follow have disappeared suddenly. It's too bad. Now I have to find more to replace them. This is hard since I don't really follow the so-called blogging scene these days.

The weather has been quite nice these days. I got me thinking, since when did people equate rain with nice weather? And who else thinks this way?

I have a sudden craving for Japanese food.

I also have cravings for new games. Unfortunately, most of the ones I want aren't coming out anytime soon. At least FM2010 is out the end of this month. That should be a blast. I've been following it's progress on the MirrorFootball FM blog and I'm liking what I see.

Things are pretty good so far in everyday life. I'm pleased, more or less. Things are rapidly accelerating at work and in the coming weeks I'm going to be quite busy.

I just hope this lack of drama will last at least until the end of this year. So, does anyone have any good blogs to recommend?

By the way, a little bit of advise here. To prevent your blogs, mail and other cyber real estate from being hacked and hijacked, a strong password is a great start. 12345 isn't a strong password. Neither is "password". And same goes for your name, phone number etc.

A strong password looks something like Pa5sW0Rd!!. The longer the better. The more funny characters the better. Even spaces will work. That way, at least it'll be more resistant to brute force attacks.

So ends this week's public service announcement.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ahh

I'm tired.

We've been having fire training at work over the last few days and it was very tiring. But it was fun.

Fun.

That would be a good word to use this week. I've been having it a lot.

I wanted to post about Need for Speed Shift actually. But I'm so tired, I'm going to put it off until some other time. For the moment, let's just say that it's bloody brilliant and I can't stop playing it.

The in car view is back and it's beautiful. Not only that, other graphics related things as well. At max detail it's mind blowing. Even the plastic and leather parts of the interior look real. Very real.

The game has 50+ cars and each one's interior is properly modeled. It even has working gauges.

Talking about fun, last night I went to visit Aida. She's fun. So much fun in fact, I'm surprised I don't hang out with her more often.

I should do something about that...

Let's hope the fun will continue this week.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Move Along

Once upon a time, I mentioned that this place was a refuge from the world and life and the trouble they bring. This was a place for me to rant and rave and complain and dump all the toxic things that were going on in my life.

Notice the past tense.

I guess one reason why I don’t post much anymore is I haven’t really needed to. I haven’t really needed to run or hide from anything for awhile now.

Not that the troubles are gone of course. They are there. It's just that they don't seem so... troubling anymore.

That’s one of those things about growing older. Gradually things that used to matter a lot, didn’t matter that much anymore. Gradually, letting go of things got easier. Gracefully surrender the things of youth. I understand what that means now.

Or perhaps I’m just being cynical again? I’d like to think that I’ve become more realistic. Or something. Or perhaps I've become a broken record. I know I've written about something like this before.

No, I’m not closing this blog down although the thought did cross my mine. How could I after all these years and all the good that it’s done for me.

After all, I still need a place to squee over some new game or write about the trivial things that I do. It's already like that actually. For awhile now too. And who knows, I might still need to vent once in a while.

So there it is, this week’s post. I really should try to post more than once a week.

Hope your week will be good too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

46


As usual around this time of year, I post something to commemorate what should be our actual national day. Sure, sure, The Powers That Be has given it the name Malaysia Day and insist that our country is 52 years old. Which is kind of odd when you think that if you hop into a time machine and went back to 1962 and asked people about Malaysia, nobody would know what you are banging on about.

Just like many people don't know what the hell is the big deal with 16th of September.

Of course, there are people who try to explain the rationale behind the date and age discrepancy. Whatever it is, all the different explanations sound the same. They sound like lame excuses.

Anyway, whatever. Official or not, the important this is that WE remember. It's not like anyone wants to take the very big trouble of changing things like these anyway.

And we can be grateful because despite all the issues and problems we still have at least we don't have to deal with the kind of bigoted, racist and political bullshit that's happening the other side of the country. I'll always remember that.

So happy anniversary Sarawak, and may we maintain our way of life and all those things that make Sarawak and Sarawakians special.

Finally, a note on the song above. That's the old state anthem. The new one is this one. I like the old one better.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oops

I would've posted yesterday but I got caught up playing Hawx. It's not bad. At least I got something to use my joystick with.

Had good trip over the weekend. Went out to Kpg Semukoi with some friends to attend a funeral. It's about an hour past Serian. Long drives can be fun sometimes. We might be doing something like that this weekend too.

We're attending some training at work. Very, very interesting.

I would write more but people are starting to come in to the office already. It's been a pretty good week so far.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Low Octane

It's Wednesday again so it's time to post something. If only I had something interesting to write about...

Anyway, I've been using that new RON95 fuel ever since it was available in August. It's ok so far. I don't notice any big difference. Only a slight loss of power but that might be because of the old engine rather than the fuel.

Already, I'm hearing nasty rumours about how the thing is going to ruin your vehicle and all that. Another example of grapevine inspired paranoia is all. The new fuel is only slightly lower octane than the old Super so it's very, very unlikely to do anything bad to your car. I did have a question about cleanliness but since then I've read that all the gas companies are adding cleaning additives to it so I'm not so worried.

Still, it's very early so things could still happen.

Another thing, these days everytime I read the paper or watch the news on TV my first reaction is usually skepticism. Even mundane things. I wonder where that came from...

I've been playing Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood lately. Very, very nice. I'm quite surprised by how fun a spagetti western based shooter could be. I wished the story was longer. I'm thinking an Fallout 3 like open ended cowboys-n-indians era RPG shooter would be a really good idea actually. I hope a game like this would appear someday soon.

Talking about appearing soon, FM2010 will be out at the end of October. Can't wait for that one. And when in the Hell is Diablo 3 going to come out?!

It's September already. Time flies by so fast when you're getting old...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Not So Much to Write About

It's Wednesday and it's time to blog once again. Not much to talk about.

A certain "femes" blogger will be visiting my place of work this week along with some other slightly less "femes" bloggers. Hopefully they will enjoy themselves.

Today is payday! Except there was a problem at the bank so, no pay yet. Good thing we don't have to pay for lunch.

I'm starting to play guitar again. I'm so rusty it's not even funny. But Tears in Heaven is slowly coming back to me...

And finally, a documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of Blackadder. Here is part 1. Follow the related videos panel for the rest of it.




Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tabula Rasa

I'm not one for regrets these days although one could argue that I do in fact have a lot to regret. But for the most part, past things are buried where they should be. In the past. It's easier these last few weeks with my formerly messed up life hurtling back towards normalcy. I say hurtling because it feels like everything is settling down very quickly. Almost as if the last nine months never happened. Almost.

I saw some old college photos a Facebook friend and a former classmate put up. I wasn't in those photos. My friends and old mates were in them. Even my former room mate was there.

For that one quick moment, I cringed. I remembered how things were. Even worse than that, I remembered how I was.

Boy was I a freak then. My old friends would probably think that's a harsh word to use. But lets face it, I was very troubled then. Surely that was obvious.

If I could go and wipe myself, the things I said and the things I did from the memory of all those people I met then I would.

At least that way, if I bump into them now I'd have a clean slate. At least I wouldn't have to proof to anyone that I'm not weird anymore.

Then I snapped out of it and got on with the rest of the work day. Thank goodness for busy days at the office...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Thought of a Good Title but I Forgot What it Was

I have a confession. I haven't really felt any real need to blog in a while now. At least ever since I started working again. I've been doing very well and I've been enjoying it. We had an event over the weekend and from the technical side everything went well. My friends who I hang out with will know that.

The relative lack of personal drama is playing a large part in my not blogging much. Not that I want any that is.

I learnt something over the last few weeks. I learnt that I deal with work related stresses much better than I handle personal anxiety.

Meanwhile, I was bored last night so I messed around with Windows Media Player and uploaded a song to YouTube. It's a very, very good song too. It's down here.



It's been a good week so far and I hope it'll stay that way.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

August Heatwave



Some people don't get why I like t.A.T.u so much considering how most of the music I like is more... jangly. They were "manufactured" too. I hate "manufactured" bands. I don't get why I like them so much either. It's definitely not that faux lesbian phase they went through when they first came on scene. I didn't like them immediately anyway. It took awhile for me to get interested.

I like them a lot. Especially the song in the video. I think it's brilliant. And songs like 30 minutes. And their other stuff. Especially the ones that weren't singles. I even like their russian stuff.

It's too bad that they decided to "take a break". Hope they come back soon.

Meanwhile back in the real world, things are hotting up. El Nino is back along with the haze and the heatwave and uncomfortably warm nights. This weekend, we will be having our first public event at work. I'll be on evening duty.

So long week ahead. But hopefully a good one.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gubra

For those people who haven't watched Gubra you can watch it now, starting with part 1 below:-



Mukhsin is there too.

You can also go into the user channel and watch Gerak Khas the movie... Hehe.. Also available are other good old stuff like Ali Setan. I like that movie.

Ooh, and Hati Bukan Kristal which is also really, really good.

PS: This guy also posted a lot of Malay movies. I think I wrote about watching Leftenan Adnan from his list.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ancient Music II



I've not heard this one in literally decades. Classic 80s style.. They don't make music like this anymore.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Life Seeps Back

I had a great time last weekend. It was really the best weekend I've had in a very long time. Considering that it was in fact a rather mild weekend by most people's standards would tell you how hard things have been before this.

The weekend was great because I felt free for the first time in a long time. It felt like I escaped from a trap and can finally have a life again. Feeling alive is great.

I went to this rather cosy place near Wisma Hopoh, called Ileq-Ileq. It was pretty cool what with the it's simple decor and seemingly random people coming up to this little stage to play songs. Apparently, anyone can come up and perform. A novel idea. I forgot to take pictures of the place. Even if I did I probably won't post them. I feel so lazy to break out the card reader when I'm at my PC at home. Only when I blog with my laptop would I be inclined to post pictures. Anyway...

The day before day I went to Zest again for dinner. Was out the whole day in fact. The night before that I was at Kopitiam No. 6 at Jalan Song. Another nice place.

While all this was happening, I had to try and repair a PC which I couldn't in the end due to a borked mainboard. No choice but to buy a new one. Talking about borked, my lappy battery is on it's last legs. A replacement will cost about 265 bucks. Maybe later this year.

This morning I woke up and felt really good. Like something good was going to happen. My flu being gone might have contributed to the general good feelings.

A lot of people got sick last week. It's been ridiculously hot recently.

In other news, Candy has a new album out. Being an independent outfit means that their new material is hard to find. If I do get around to getting it, it will be the first original CD I buy since forever. They deserve the money so I'm going to get it when I can.

That's it for today. Here's hoping for a nice week. And some rain.

Ancient Music


The Flame - Cheap Trick

This song will never grow old.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Murphy

In my life thus far, I have learnt many lessons. Many of which run contrary to the cliches and axioms that we keep hearing.

One of these is the following:-

Plans do not survive contact with the enemy.

Some people might not see the point there. It's a military thing. A commander who makes plans for battle must be aware that more often than not, unexpected external factors come into play. A good plan must be flexible and have enough redundancy to survice last minute changes and unexpected developements else the commander may find himself caught out by them.

I've seen this happen time and time again in recent weeks. And unlike some people, I'm not the least bit surprised when weird things happen.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Safe and Sound

I should have posted something yesterday since it was my birthday and all that. But I couldn't since I got flu over the weekend and am still recovering from that.

Been busy all week too. It's been good so far. Careerwise I think working here at my new place will do me a lot of good in the long term. I'm enjoying the experience and there are new things every day. It's an entirely different industry from where I was from so it's going to be interesting to see what other things I might encounter in the future.

Things are looking up and I intend to keep it that way.

Personally, things have improved as well over the last few weeks. My confidence level is back up. I'm enjoying myself doing something I enjoy. I don't feel any more side effects from the last nine months.

I still have my finances to sort out so I won't be able to spend as much as I used to. I think it will take at least 6 months before that becomes normal again.

Hopefully this next year of life things will rebound from where they were before. So cheers to the future then.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Useful Link

Speedtest.net. Very cool.

I just got home and am a little tired. Need to fix the car this week.

Need to eat now.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Short Post

Maybe I should get a Twitter account. I've had the urge to write things recently but they're all short things. Not enough to make a good sized post.

Anyway, it's been a tough but good week so far. I'm still trying to find my feet at work but things are beginning to settle and I feel more comfortable now. I'm learning new stuff at work. Some very interesting stuff about voip. Very interesting. I have absolutely no experience with it. I've never even seen an IP phone before this week.

Since I'm in the IT department, I'm going to have to learn fast since I'm going to help with maintaining and administrating the thingies and the underlying infrastructure. Which is completely alien to me at this point.

That's one of them prerequisites of being in IT. Learn fast(er). Especially newfangled technologies because users are going to expect you to know things when they come to you for help. It's not so bad really. If your theoretical knowledge is ok and your logic is sound it's not so hard to pick up new things in IT. Except in my case, programming. I still find it extremely mind boggling. I've never had the knack for it.

So that's the way things are going to be for the time being. There will be more unknown new stuff for me to handle soon.

So far so good.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Semi Coherent Philosophical Post

Unlike last night, I'm feeling very tired and sleepy. Also unlike last night, I won't talk about work tonight. The only thing I'll say is I'm glad the week is out. It a hard week. But in a good way.

I feel like writing about random things. Things that crossed my mind in the last few minutes. So this post is not going to be about anything specific. I haven't had the urge to ramble in a long time. I kinda miss it.

I like to read random blogs sometimes and there are things that make me shake my head and sigh. Things like anonymous people leaving nasty comments on other people's blogs. Especially if the post is a happy shiny one. It's just very..... unseemly to do such a thing.

Actually, I get it. It's part of our human nature to be envious. There are times when it's hard to see good things happening to other people. Why wouldn't it be hard? There be times when you put in the effort and try your best only to lose out to someone else who just shows up at the last minute. It's hard to accept that other people enjoy better luck than you. Especially when you feel more deserving of said good luck.

It's like playing for Hull City in the Premier League. You turn out, pumped up with all that blood and thunder. Then you lose badly to a top side playing at half pace while they save themselves for a midweek Champions League game. Everyone loves winners but how many of us actually try to empathise with people who lose despite their best efforts.

It's easy to be bitter. I'm was an expert at being bitter. Just read my past blog entries. Especially those laments about failed attempts at building a relationship.

Being the expert that I was (or am?), I also understand that envy isn't always malicious. It isn't always about bringing someone down. Most of the time, it's about ourselves and the envy is just a manifestation of the unhappines we feel about our own state of being.

There may actually be a good point or two in here somewhere. One of those points would be, it helps to understand where envy comes from. If you are feeling envious, the cause might be something happening in your life instead of whatever/whoever is the object of that envy. So envy should be treated as a flag. Or an error message. Or a warning in your personal event viewer. Something is wrong somewhere and you should go look for it.

The other thing I thought about was youth.

Ah to being young again. I remember that vaguely. Holding on to ideals about life and love and things like that. Having dreams and having your whole life ahead of you. So much enthusiasm. So much hope. What could possibly go wrong?

Then real life happens. Then you find out that many of the platitudes people keep saying to us are complete and utter bollocks.

I worry sometimes when I read hopeful, enthusiastic posts written by teenagers and young adults about their plans, their "perfect" love life, the dream job that they will surely land when they leave uni etc.

Our parents and older relatives usually fail to mention that life is cruel and cold and bad things happen no matter how good you are or how hard you work, that evil, nasty people get rich and prosper not inspite of their ways but because of it. That life is unfair.

Sure, they will probably say that you have to work hard, struggle etc. But that's not even close to how dark and nihilistic things can be. I guess it's hard to put into words without sounding discouraging. Maybe that's why.

Things happen and people break. Then they feel envious of people who zoom past them in life. Get more money doing things they love. Get married to beautiful people. Have families. While they are stuck in a shitty dead end job that doesn't pay and remain undateably single despite their own efforts.

For those kids who are going to be broken by the world (and this WILL happen to some people like it or not), I can only hope that they have support from strong families or good friends. They're going to need it.

No, this post isn't about me. Maybe it's about what USED to be me. I'm pretty chipper this week. I don't have most of the things that I wished for but I'm pretty ok with that now. If life is a poker game then I didn't get a good hand. But what choice does one have but to keep on playing?

I got lucky this week. Who knows when I'll get lucky again? Probably not so soon. Even as good things happen in my life, I'm looking over the shoulder bracing myself for disaster. I guess I got used to it after all the things that I've been through.

Sorry for the babblefest. Just felt like writing is all.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Beginning of the Beginning

I can't sleep yet. So I blog.

I haven't watched Transformers 2 yet. If I'm in the mood (and have enough energy left) I might go tomorrow night. Alone if necessary. Then I can watch it again the next day in the afternoon. I already promised someone to go with anyway.

I'm using IE 8 right now. Been having this problem with Firefox recently where the browser would stop receiving data and display an error saying can't open web page. I'd have to restart my router to fix it only to have it happen again 1-2 hours later.

IE 8 is actually not so bad.

Tomorrow will mark the end of my first week at work. It's been ok so far. A bit more tiring then I thought it would be. There were some very big surprises and some things that weren't so surprising.

The organisation that I'm working for is very new and not even fully operational yet so there are a lot of unknowns left to discover when we open for business not long from now. Since everything is in preparation mode, I have quite a number of things to deal with some of which will be very, very important. I'm not complaining. Far from it, I'm quite happy with it. It's a step up for sure.

My boss took me aside one day and told me what he was expecting from me and also told me that I could move up if I do well enough. I could actually end up in a position usually reserved for degree holders if things work out. That thought scares me and intrigues me at the same time. The responsibilities will be larger than I'm used to.

In my last job, I went it and everything was already there. Infrastructure, policies etc. All I had to do was fix broken things and run operations. This time those things don't even exist yet. What we have right now are drawings, plans and a half finished building somewhere, which I have to go to to inspect a few things. Yes, in my first week. I've been involved in some discussions and the thought of having some of my input being used in planning is a very strange thought.

Another nice thing this week. When my boss took me aside to describe my potential job scope (yes that's right, things are so new not even my job scope is fully fleshed out yet), he also told me why he pulled me in to join him there. It was very flattering to hear those things. I didn't expect the stuff I did as a lowly hardware technician to leave that kind of impression.

So fingers crossed. When things go down in the coming weeks, let's hope I don't have stage fright and freeze up. If I do well, I'll be quite successful here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Normal Again

I just got home from my first day at work about 90 minutes ago. It was alright. Got eased in to what I should be doing (which is a lot by the looks of it), met up with some old colleagues in the IT department and discovered more people who used to work with the old company. That helped. There wasn't much of a culture shock to speak off.

Except for the fact that I've not been working for 9 months. It was weird in a sense but in a good way.

Since there was quite a bit to do the day went by quite quickly which is always nice. My work hours are pretty good too. I start at 9 which means the worse of the morning rush hour is almost gone by the time I move to work. I get off at 6 and again the traffic isn't too bad.

So far it's been ok and I hope I'll enjoy it. The pay isn't too hot but I'm getting a little more than I used to and there's always a chance to move up since the company is new and isn't fully operational yet. Plus, normal (as in no graveyard shift) hours. I also get my weekends and public holidays now. It's going to be nice to live like a normal person for a change.

After 9 months of drama, uncertainty and frustrations, boring and safe routine is going to feel quite good. Hopefully the rest of the year will turn out like that.

Edit: It just occured to me that I've used the title Normal Again before in a previous post. Oh noes, does this mean I'm running out of titles to use? Will I start reusing all my previous post titles?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reboot

It's done. I can start getting my life back now.

Funny story. What with all this time waiting around and the anxiety and the rude people calling me and other less rude people NOT calling me sooner, the whole thing got settled down in 10 minutes. Some people took it for granted that I would automatically choose the job with more money. I didn't choose based on money alone. Some people are upset.

Funnier story, while I was talking about choosing between two jobs a lot of people said it's "up to me". Ok since it was up to me, I made some phone calls, thought about it and made a choice. Apparently, the meaning of the phrase "it's up to me" is lost on some people. So some people are upset.

I understand why they're upset. Some people went and did my paperwork and that took some effort to do (and of course they did all this without informing me or asking me what I wanted to do actually).

So what is the lesson here? One, you shouldn't make assumptions. Especially assumptions about people's choices. Especially about something as important as work.

Two, if you tell someone that something is up to them then you really shouldn't be shocked when they actually make a choice. It's up to them. Not up to you. If you don't want them to make a choice that isn't the same as yours then you really shouldn't tell them it's up to them.

I'm partly relieved and partly mildly disappointed. I hate to upset people and it kills me when I'm faced with a decision that might cause any upset. The choice between doing something that I think is right for me but might upset people or doing what pleases people but might upset me is not something that I don't want to face very often.

Anyway, today I made my choice. I feel I made a good choice and some people are just going to have to accept that.

And also, today I hope to close the book on what's been an absolutely disastrous nine months. I have a lot of work to do to make up for lost time.

Oh yes, this also means I can get back to blogging about meaningless trivial things again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hindsight

I was reading old blog posts the other night. That's one of things about having a blog, it helps with remembering what things used to be like. Ups and downs. Things I used to do and say.

Once upon a time things were calm and despite the relative lack of excitement and drama, I was pretty content and happy. I wasn't rich or very popular or hugely successful but it was ok. I'm not particularly ambitious anyway. None of that mattered. What I used to have was more than enough. I just want contentment and happiness. That is all.

I want my old life back dammit.

I'll be one step closer to knowing on Monday. I went for an interview late yesterday evening. It went well enough but I'll only know for sure on Monday. As usual, I have a bad feeling. That's just probably due to a gradual loss of confidence over time. The last nine months have been quite confidence sapping what with so many things not working properly.

I want that to end. I would like to start rebuilding. And soon.

I am grateful for one thing though. I'm not feeling on top of the world right now but how much worse would things be if I didn't go to see a shrink and got "fixed" not too long ago? With the amount of stress I've had to deal with I'd probably gone completely mad. Or worse.

I thought about that. It's a good study in contrasts between then and now.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue testing and messing around in Free Realms. Not bad for a free MMO.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Was Bored So...

When I'm bored (and when I'm not fretting over things I can't control) I go and read stuff on the internet. Like the excellent Neatorama, a collection of err... neat finds from around the www.

Like this excellent electronica video based on the classic musical Mary Poppins:-



Check it out, it's great. The guy who created this mix has a whole collection of them.

I also decided to change to a "wider" blog template so that when I embed YouTube videos the video box won't overflow. The new template is also clean and easy to read I think. What do you think?

I might play around with the colours when I'm up to it. The present colours are fine but I may have one or two ideas to brighten it up.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

New Buffy


The trend these days is to reboot things isn't it? Batman, Star Trek, Bond, any number of old horror movies and slasher flicks have all been rebooted.

I'm pretty open minded about people taking some older works of fiction and rethinking it to suit contemporary tastes. But when I heard that a Buffy reboot is in the works I initially thought, WHAT!!? WHY reboot?! What's wrong with the old Buffy?? Why don't they just do a Buffy movie using the TV series time line? Or even do a Fray movie?

Then I went outside for awhile and after calming down a bit I'm deciding that this is actually a very interesting idea. Unfortunately, people who don't follow the Buffyverse will probably feel like they're watching an Underworld or Blade clone.

If done properly, viewers will notice that this is not the case at all.

The idea and concept of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is very, very different. The Buffyverse is all about subverting tropes and stereotypes, under the creative leadership of Joss Whedon anyway.

Whoever is going to develop the new Buffy franchise had better get this right especially since Joss Whedon will not be involved with it to my dismay. I hope it doesn't end up being your typical vampire movie. It should be a vampire movie with all the normal conventions turned on its head. This is the core of the Buffy universe. This was what made the TV series so much fun to watch.

From what I read so far, the new timeline with have little to do with the Buffy that we know and love. There will be no SMG. No Giles. No Scooby Gang. No Angel. No Spike. From what I've read so far, the intention is to make the film darker.

Which is quite good provided they stay faithful to the idea and point of the whole Buffy story. A darker Buffy might draw a larger fanbase and that is a good thing.

So now we arrive at a very important question. Who on earth is going to play Buffy and can she be as good as Sarah Michelle Gellar?

Any ideas?

Flash

I've been having a tense few days, agonising over which way to go career-wise. Some people say I should take one way and some other people say I should take the other way. Being split in half is difficult to handle.

Something occurred to me just now on my way home from a night out with friends.

Part of the tension is caused by my fear of upsetting people whose opinions I value. The trouble now is that whichever direction I choose, there will be people who have the right to be unhappy with it. This is justified. If someone gives advise and suggestions that end up not being followed, it doesn't leave a very good impression to say the least.

Then it hit me. Ultimately this is my life and ultimately, I am the one who has to live with the consequences of whatever decision I make. Therefore, I should be making decisions based on what I feel is good for me. Not based on whom I may or may not disappoint.

What I feel is good for me. That sounds incredibly selfish when you say it out loud particularly when other people have spent time and effort with well meaning help and advise. But in the end, you have to look out for number one and go with your instincts.

And my instincts say...

Well, remember that job offer I got the other day? There's been a slight delay. This delay is causing me some anxiety. I would prefer it if I knew the outcome soon so I can finally make a decision. Also, I can finally inform other people that I won't be available anymore.

What I'm saying is I need a decisive end to the quandary that I'm facing now. I don't do anxiety very well.

At least I have Sims 3 to fall back to while I wait..

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Ooooohh....


I checked out TSB.com.my just now and apparently, The Sims 3 is already out and available right now!

I also went and watched some gameplay videos and by God, it looks so so very sweet. I'm definitely playing this once I get around to getting it.

Another good thing is the size of the game. I was expecting a giant hard disk hog but apparently it only needs 6.1Gb of space despite all the content available. Relatively small for games these days. I have games that are between 8Gb and 14Gb in my computer so this is great news for me. No need to shell out on that new hard disk yet.

The best thing I've read about the new Sims game is now your entire neighbourhood is loaded and running when you load/start your game instead of only your house like in the previous Sims. That means you can go outside and do things like lepak with your neighbours or go to the gym or go shopping without loading a separate module. This will make the game run faster and feel more "real".

Awesome!

People might be wondering if their PCs can run the game so here's the recommended spec I got from Wiki.



Requirements
Operating System Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista Service Pack 1
CPU Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent
2.0GHz (XP)
2.4GHz (Vista) [If built-in graphics chipsets then 2.6 GHz Pentium D CPU, or 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo, or equivalent.]
Memory 1 GB (XP)
1.5GB (Vista)[If built-in graphics then add 0.5 GB additional RAM]
Hard Drive Space 6.1GB or more for extra content
Graphics Hardware DirectX 9.0c compliant card with 128 MB RAM (NVIDIA FX 5900/ATI 9500 or better) and support for Pixel Shader 2.0
Sound Hardware 100% DirectX 9.0c compliant card

Not so bad and many of my friends will be able to run it. This means more things to talk about when we hang out!

Unfortunately, this game is not out for consoles yet but I read somewhere that console versions will appear sooner or later.

I'm going to write something about The Sims 3 again once I manage to get my hands on it.

Oh yeah, if people want to buy ori it will cost RM139 for the basic game and 169 for the Collector's Edition.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lifting Clouds

My old boss from my old company texted me this morning. He offered me an IT job!

Holy shit!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Half Done

May is almost over. I'm glad.

Gawai is in a couple of days. I'm just going to take it easy. Most of the people I'd want to visit aren't here anyway.

Gawai is a celebration of thanks for a good harvest. Sad to say mine wasn't so good this year. Perhaps next Gawai I'll have more things to be grateful for.

In all this, at least I have my friends. No one could wish for better company.

Happy Gawai everyone.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Again?

I'm not feeling very good right now. Remember how I got thrown off a barge last time? They say they want me back. I'm not sure exactly when. Could be tonight. Could be the end of next year. I don't particularly care at the moment.

I should be feeling pretty good but in fact I'm feeling very meh and a little bit pissed off actually. Why now? I would have felt better had they never considered wanting me back. At least I can close the door on that awful experience. I'm feeling some pressure now because if something goes wrong again people are really going to blame me for it regardless of whose fault it is.

I shouldn't be feeling so negative but how can I not? Stupid weird shit happens a lot in my life. Who's to say God himself won't ruin my life again just for laughs? It's not as if it's not happened before.

Nevertheless, necessity forces me to consider any kind of work that comes by at the moment. I remember making plans on my way out on that ill fated first trip a few weeks ago. This time, I don't think I'll do that anymore. Call me a pessimist but making long term plans sometimes feel like you're tempting fate.

So no change from last week. The wind blows and there will I be wherever is it. Whoever gives me work first is where I'll end up long term.

June is approaching and I really, really hope I get some kind of break for the second half of this year. The first half has been nothing but disastrous.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Still Nothing

I need more ideas for more places to send my resume to. I've done it for all the usual places on the net. I've looked at the papers and as usual there is nothing there.

I've managed to cut my expenses down to almost nothing so the situation isn't very dire...yet. I have some support to manage my commitments. In fact, my biggest concern now is actually boredom.

I've also decided to expand my search to involve other fields like those involving translation and language work. Can't hurt to try now can it?

So how about oil and gas? Well, the whole failed urine test experience has left a really, really bad taste in my mouth. Every day I'm feeling less and less inclined to try again. I'm not sure if I can hack it working something that I don't really love doing despite the potential for good income. The bad initial experience does not help at all.

My first choice will always be to work with computers. That is what I do and what I'm good at.

Hopefully, the application I sent last week will bring some news. Heck, at this time even a rejection is better than no sound at all.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Starting All Over Again

There was a power failure at my house yesterday evening. I got bored and went out. I drove around for awhile and ended up watching Star Trek by myself. It was nice.

I also prepared a job application late last night. There is a position available at a leading hotel here in Kuching. My mom helped send it this morning.

I hope something good will happen. After all that's been happening, I deserve a bit of luck. My family needs that bit of luck too. I've been nothing but a drain to them. They deserve better than this.

Will I go out to sea again? I don't know.

Since The Fates like to screw around with my life I'm just going to let them decide. Whichever job becomes available first that is where I'm going. If I get a job on land first then that's it. If I get another offer to go offshore before that, then I'm going.

Whatever happens, it can't screw up again. I'm not getting any younger and I can no longer waste time blundering around anymore. I hope The Powers That Be understand.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Greek Tragedy

...can be made out of the story of my life. Something terrible has happened again.

I failed a urine test on the barge. I tested positive for opiates. Opiates! How on earth did that get in my system!?

I arrive on the barge, go through the usual registration, induction etc, meet some of my new shipmates, pick up my gear and go to sick bay to do a urine test. Then I go to my bunk to rest until I report to my station.

Despite all that stuff I said earlier, I was actually stoked to be there finally. Then, the safety guy comes over and asks me to follow him. That was when the medic told me about the "problem".

None of us were happy about it so we decide to wait an hour and do it again. No good. Also positive.

I didn't know what to say. The medic and the safety told me they had no choice. There are regulations about these things. I knew. I understood. They asked me if I had taken any medication that might have opiates in them. No. I only took some seasickness tablets and those don't have morphine in them. I told them I don't do drugs. They believed me.

So where did the opiate in my system come from? Damned if I know. The medic shook my hand and apologized. He then signed the report and off I went. By the way, boat transfers at night are VERY nervy. Especially when the sea is choppy.

My entire first trip lasted all of 3 hours, not including the 21 hours I spent sitting in a crew boat getting there. The only upside was that when the rest of the crew found out they seemed genuinely shocked and sorry about it. Even the superintendent.

I'm not pissed off at any of them. This wasn't their fault.

Why do these things happen to me? First the Oz scam and now this? Who is responsible for these disasters that seem to beset me when I try to do things?

On the way back to land, the only thing I could think of was to clear my name. I make landfall and all my travel arrangements have been made. I fly out the next day to Miri to see my boss. That was on Monday. On Tuesday, I met him. I thought they were going to eat me alive. Instead, they were surprisingly calm. Even the biggest boss.

They told me what I already knew and accepted. The job is gone. They have a replacement flying out that very minute (and who happens to be a friend of mine too, so that's a good thing I suppose). The only thing they can do now is to clear things up. So they send me off to a clinic to do a more thorough test...

...which turned out negative. They are going to use this information to make some inquiries. They won't tell me what kind exactly.

I took the bus home from Miri last night. Lots of time to think on a 14 hour bus ride. I got in this morning and now I sit in front of my PC at home, not knowing exactly what to think or feel.

I'm just.... numb and shocked. And bewildered. And embarrassed. I made plans and I actually told people about it. What are they going to think of me now?

Everything was going great up until that urine test. It's just crazy. Opiates in my system. How? Or maybe the question should be, who? I don't want to speculate and play with conspiracy theories. I have a big enough headache already.

Why do these things happen to me? First the Oz trip and now this!?

In the bus, I thought to myself maybe this is a hint of some kind. Perhaps I was never meant to do "adventurous" things. Maybe it would be better for me if I just stuck to what I know and do best, fixing computers and other IT work.

There is no time to mope and feel sorry for myself. I have absolutely no money left. I need to find work. Any work. Right now.

Friday, May 08, 2009

ROTF


The new Transformers 2 trailer is out. Damn. The movie's release seems like a whole lifetime away. I can barely wait for it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Veo0G2qfY

Thursday, May 07, 2009

In Transit

I had a rough day yesterday. Didn't get much sleep in the morning due to that phone call. I ran around all day preparing things and by 5 pm I was at the airport. I had the worst case of nerves you could imagine. The sweltering heat didn't help at all. Mercifully, it rained last night.

I feel much better this morning. A bit of food and a good night's sleep makes all the difference.

Anyway, the original plan was for me to check out and leave tonight but not 30 seconds ago I received a call telling me that I'm going off tomorrow instead. That probably means there isn't enough time to do all my paperwork today. Which is ok I guess. Could use some more rest.

I'm in a hotel in Geylang right now. I'm going to have to find something to do today. I could go out and explore but to be honest, I don't feel all that touristy at the moment.

I'm not much of a traveler. I don't feel all that comfortable in strange places. Takes a bit of time for me to get used to new settings. Especially when I'm all alone like now. That is my peeve today, the fact that I'm completely alone with no one to talk to. Maybe I'll take a walk later and come back in the evening to surf the net.

Can you imagine how hard this would have been without access to the internet? I would die of boredom.

Anyway, while I'm still kind of anxious I'm not nearly as fearful as I was yesterday. I'm guessing this was caused by the initial shock of the hey-you're-leaving-today-get-your-stuff-ready phone call and the lack of sleep.

Have I ever mentioned how I hate surprises? At least this thing is real unlike that Oz scam I got caught up in. That experience was very damaging for me in terms of confidence and morale. I blame that for the excessive amounts bad emotions and thoughts I've been having in the days leading up to yesterday. If it weren't for that I would be way more confident and be raring to go instead.

At least I'm feeling much more positive today. Barring any disasters I should be able to fit in with my new colleagues. I hope things will be ok once I get out to sea in the next one or two days. I hope I'll do well and maybe even enjoy the experience.

Whatever happens this is something new and exciting for me.

EDIT: Something happened a minute ago that is equally surprising and irksome at the same time. I received mail from another offshore contractor telling me that they had received my resume and now they want my other documents (seaman book, certs etc). I laughed. I've always felt that The Fates like to mess with me and this is them doing it again. Where was this job offer two weeks ago? Funny thing is, I don't remember sending them my resume in the 1st place. Oh well... When it rains it pours.

Maybe I should ask them how much they pay?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Time to Go

Apparently, I'm going to Singapore this evening. I've been warned about this but it's still a bit sudden.

Fears and anxiety notwithstanding, it's now. By this time tomorrow, I'll be at sea. Wish me luck. My biggest peeve is that I didn't get to say goodbye to everyone.

Hopefully, 2 months from now I'll be a much happier person.

I have a plan. If all goes well, I'll work this job 4, maybe 5 years. I have a financial target. If I meet that target, I'll quit. If all goes well, I'll never have to work for a living again after that.

Financial freedom. I'll sacrifice 5 years of my life in exchange for the rest of my life. That's the motivation now.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Dollhouse


After Buffy and Angel, I don't watch much tv related material anymore. Not even Heroes although I feel it's really, really good from the few episodes I did manage to watch.

However, I might start following Dollhouse regularly. Why?

It's a Joss Whedon created Mutant Enemy product. Joss Whedon is awesome and I'm always interested in what he does. The show's premise is fascinating. The lead is Eliza Dushku, one of my favourite exBuffy/Angel people. She also produces the show. Amy Acker also plays a minor recurring role.

I've seen some teasers and recaps and I like what I'm seeing. I hope Fox renews it for a second season. I'm going to hunt for episodes tonight.

Here's a recap from Youtube. (Spoiler alert).

Friday, May 01, 2009

Gaga Does Coldplay

I find it a bit odd that she chooses to wrap her voice with all that electronic pop stuff in debut album. I mean listen to this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOEVKL0y1lQ

Lady Gaga Coldplay cover. She's a good pianist no?

*Can't embed video. The widescreen format spills over the post column.

Edit: Another nice video. Paparazzi i.e my favourite track from The Fame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP8SrlbpJ5A (Piano acoustic)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nothing to Say

Like the title says. Nothing of note to write about.

A few days ago I had this weird craving for Yeo's Chicken Curry. The one in the can. God knows why.

Apart from that random piece of information there's nothing happening at all.

Oh yes, a friend came back from offshore and passed me some more tips. I feel a little bit more encouraged but not by so much.

Still a bit anxious but not as bad as it was last week. This offshore job thing had better not be one of life's bad jokes. I've had a lot of that and it's not really that funny.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Not Gone...Yet

I guess I spoke too soon.

It's 6.00am on Thursday morning and I've just endured a 15 hour bus ride from Miri back to Kuching.

So what happened? Well, the original plan was for me to stay in Miri for a few days before deploying. Usually this is how these things work. However due to some circumstances and last minute changes I'm going off in the 2nd week of May instead. Which is great news because that means I can tie up some unfinished business and put in some extra training before mobilizing. And to see all my friends off course.

This could still change though. They could still call me later and ask me to pack up and go immediately. These things can happen too.

It wasn't a complete waste of time though. I got to talk with the new boss, hung out with a friend I haven't met in a while and most importantly, signed a contract. The money's pretty good and I'm pleased with it.

Also, I'm feeling a lot less nervous about the whole thing. I guess some mental conditioning was required. The first call really caught me off guard and by this time I wasn't thinking about going off at all. After hanging out and meeting the new boss and talking to some people I feel like I'm ready for it. As ready as a noob radioman will be anyway.

Right now, my tentative itinerary would involve flying out to Singapore then to Batam then to the barge off the coast. I say tentative because again, things can change at the last minute.

I guess all that's left to do now is to prepare as well as possible and try to do well. Things are going to change quite a bit this year.

Finally for some off topic comments.

I forgot one very important preflight rule yesterday morning. Avoid caffeine. It increases the blood pressure and during descent one blood vessel behind my left eye started throbbing and it hurt like a motherf***er.

Long bus rides are not fun even on a reasonably comfortable bus. Also in order to appreciate how big Sarawak really is, a bus ride from Miri to Kuching (or vice versa) would put that into perspective quite clearly. I left at 1400 yesterday afternoon. We stopped in Batu Niah, Bintulu, Selangau and Sibu before fueling up at the Penrissen Shell station. Arrived in 4th mile at 0451 this morning.

I won't be doing that again anytime soon. Unless I'm broke and desperate to get home. The ticket cost 80 bucks by the way.

The plan this week is to clear some debts and transfer some reserve funds into my savings account. If all goes well, I'll get all my money back and more within six months.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Call

In a previous post I mentioned that offshore manpower demands have dried up and I was not likely to go off.

Well, The Fates like to play tricks on me. Apparently I am going. Tomorrow.

I received the call today. Someone is leaving and needed replacing.

I cannot even begin to describe the dread I was feeling. I'll admit it right here, from the beginning off the whole offshore thing last year I've had doubts about whether I can handle that kind of work. Actually that overwhelming dread started during the safety course. I have no idea why. I also imagined all kinds of nasty, antisocial types working in the offshore industry. I don't know where that idea came from either.

Well, that's just me. I've always had little confidence in trying new, more challenging things. The whole idea was to break that. And the money, obviously.

I feel much better now. I went out with a good friend just now and we talked. It makes things seem less frightening. Anyway, my brother is doing well and so is another friend. Why shouldn't I do just as well?

Well, we'll soon find out. My greatest wish now is for me to enjoy this new line of work and be as successful as I was in my previous job. And if I don't do well, so what? At least I tried.

There isn't much to worry about actually. It's just me being silly.

If I find myself liking it I will succeed in my plans to retire early provided I don't suddenly develop expensive, extravagant tastes.

Wish me luck folks.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Zooey


I've been watching (or rather re-watching) a lot of DVDs lately. I think I've watched Transformers 3 times already this week.

I also watched Yes Man earlier this week. Good movie. Starring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel. Ah Zooey..

I like Zooey. She is one of my favourite actresses. I've seen a number of her movies and I liked them all. She's also part of She & Him. Like most things involving Zooey She & Him's music is very... quirky?. Just watch that video on top of the post and see what I mean.

I was trawling Youtube for interviews and I found one where she mentioned the Speech Accent Archive. It's a collection of various English accents from all over the world by both native and non-native speakers. It's awesome. (It uses Quicktime so if it doesn't work with Firefox open it in Explorer.)

And while listening to the supposedly Malaysian accent it got me thinking. Is there such a thing as a proper Malaysian accent? (Manglish doesn't count). There are so many ethnic groups here and they all sound different when speaking English. Heck, all my friends speak English and they all sound different.

What do you think? What's the definitive Malaysian English accent if such a thing exists?

On that note, here's another great song from She & Him.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Plan B


Holy week. Hmm, perhaps it's a good idea if I do something holy?

Anyway, I'm still looking for work. This week I signed up at JobsMalaysia, that Labour Department website. And Jobstreet of course. I also have two other openings I heard about through the grapevine. One of them sounds good but unfortunately requires knowledge of Linux of which I have none at all. The other one is only available next month.

I've given up looking at the local papers. There's nothing good there.

I also registered at myEG just for the heck of it. Looks quite useful. You never know when you might need it.

While I've been doing this it dawned to me that perhaps my skills set might be a little too specific. Apparently there's a ton of positions available for systems analyst, programmers, application devs etc. Software stuff. No surprise. Software related work is NOT easy. Hence the talent pool might be a little on the short side.

There's almost none available for the humble hardware and support tech. Either support people are a dime a dozen these days or hardware and operating software have gotten so reliable support is no longer that important. I'm inclined to think it's the former.

Yes, things are looking a bit grim and I can't really shake this impending sense of doom. But I keep looking.

How about that offshore thing? Well, I've heard a lot of stories recently about oil and gas but the manpower demand has completely dried up (no pun intended) and now it's almost impossible for a newbie to get in. Everyone wants experienced people at sea and I don't really blame them actually.

Maybe it's got something to do with crude being at 40 bucks a barrel only these days. There's another reason why I'm thinking twice about going offshore but I can't really say much about that right now.

I owe the parents 5k. They said I don't have to pay it back but somehow it would be so very wrong if I didn't at least try to pay them back.

If nothing happens by the 1st week of May it'll be time for Plan C. Which means I need to leave home in search of work. Perhaps I'll be away for a long, long time.

Life is not so easy these days...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Are You Bored?


Or did you find a foreign word you can't pronounce? Type it in here and here your computer speak.

It's a lot of fun..

There isn't anything new so this will have to count as an update. Oh yes, there is one thing. April is near. Time for Plan B.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fast Times in the EPL





Just wow. First Man U self destructs at Fulham and get two more players sent off. Now Liverpool can't stop scoring. I think that's 13 goals in their last 3 games.

Only the week before that I think, we were hanging out at Jalan Song remembering the good ole days when Chelsea were actually good and Jose was giving Sir Alex a run for his money..
It's too bad I can't watch games at home now that we don't have the Astro Sports Package anymore. The next few weeks are going to be exciting for EPL fans.

Man U would probably still win the league though. They still have that one game in hand. It's hard to write them off as much as I'd like to see someone win for a change. I never like to see the same team win all the time. It gets boring and it gets even more annoying to meet more glory hunting Man U "fans"...

Anyway, if Liverpool win the title it would be great. They haven't won in decades. I also would like to see Villa get into the Champions League instead of Arsenal. Makes a refreshing change.

Talking about change, I downloaded Internet Explorer 8 two days ago. It's not bad. Doesn't feel as "heavy" as previous versions of IE. It's almost like Firefox in many ways. So far, I like it.. There are many new features that I haven't tried out yet. The private browsing option is a very, very good idea for security. The multicoloured tabs are a bit strange but might be useful.

I'll write about IE8 when I play around it more this week.

EDIT: I've detected a problem with IE8 already. It screws up my blogger post formatting by removing all the line breaks between the paragraphs. Damn. I had to log in via Firefox to correct it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Some Miscellaneous Things

Well, no big update from me this week. Still not employed yet. Luckily for me, all my insurance policies matured right now so I actually have quite a bit of money right now. What a relief this is.

Anyway, I've been gaming a lot as usual. I got some news for FMers out there. I found a logo pack containing 35,000 logos! That includes logos for all competitions and clubs in 105 leagues. By the way for those who don't know what I'm going on about, not all clubs in Football Manager 09 have their logos included in the game. Only the licensed ones. Therefore, some very nice people actually took the trouble to create the graphics for the logos (as well as skins but I like the default skin so I don't bother with this). The logo pack comes from FMGLive. Unfortunately I don't have the actual link anymore but it's on there somewhere in the form of a torrent file.

Now my FM looks pretty and "official". I'm very pleased.

I don't spend ALL my time in front of the computer despite the gaming stuff that I like to talk about. I just came back from Happy Valley. They serve the best (non-halal unfortunately) barbequed stuff in town! I haven't gone in a long time. I love that place. It's across the road from Crown Square. Go and check it out. There's actually two venues, a cafe in the shophouse facing the road and a private house behind it. I prefer to go to the house. Nicer atmosphere.

I should have taken a photo...

Anywhere, right now I'm in front of the PC again and I'm playing around with the FM database to see what I can update.

See you next time.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

An Update

My brother's band Ethnic Transmissions have their new single out on promo. Check it out at their Myspace page or down here.



Their new album should be out in the next few months so if you like local music please give your support. The boys are doing a really, really good thing here.

I hope you like the song.

Aside from this, I haven't been able to update more regularly... There isn't much happening right now and not much to write about. Which is a good thing I think.

I did have a good time last night though. One of my friends got married recently and last night was their wedding dinner. It was a lot of fun. I think of all the wedding dinners I've attended in the last few years, last night was the most fun. Usually I have some negative things to say about these occasions but last night was great. The food was great and the booze was non stop.

Except for that problem they had with the notebook and the faulty headphone jack which meant that the presentation they wanted to play would have no sound. In the end, I decided to convert the video file to VCD instead. It worked beautifully and no one was any wiser.

Anyway strangely enough despite all the drinking, I didn't really felt drunk at all. I still had energy to power up the PC and play some games until early morning.

Talking about games, I've finished most of the new ones already. I'm down with Dawn of War 2 and Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, which was awesome by the way. Great story, ala Band of Brothers. I've got Empire Total War installed but I'm playing that one slowly.

The game is humongous now. The installation files alone are 13Gbs but when you see what the game is about it's not surprising at all. This time around the game takes place in the 18th century, the age of gents in powdered wigs, black powder muskets and exploration. Therefore, the game now includes areas like India and the Americas. I have a Great Britain save game and in it, I'm at war with Spain and France with all the fighting taking place exclusively in the North America and the Caribbean. Great fun.

Many changes have been made since Medieval 2 Total War and one of the biggest change of all is 3d naval battles. The graphic detail must be seen to be believed. The ships are so detailed, you can see crew and rigging and cannons and the like. When the fighting starts, you will see debris, sails being ripped and people falling overboard. That is if you can peer into the smoke. In this time period there is a lot of smoke on the battlefield from all them muskets and cannons.

Anyway, the game is very deep, very involved and very long. And also very fun, especially for history buffs like myself.