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


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


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?


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


I checked out 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".


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

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.