Monday, December 31, 2007

The Noose

1) Signup at
2) Activate account
3) Under My Account, click on Activate Promo Code.
5) Free MobTV for two weeks!

Courtesy of hyperous of EDMW, HWZ

Now that you've done that, watch local comedy news parody The Noose.

It's only today that I had finally gotten to watch it, and damn, I wish I knew of it earlier.

It's incredibly funny, especially if you get the (sometimes obscure) references. Straight sexual innuendo, gay sexual innuendo (Fort Road Beach muahahaha), it's all there. Kudos to the censors for not sanitising the hell outta it, and kudos to Mediacorp for putting their necks out to the edge of the OB markers.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year Eve's Eve

So where did I stop?

Oh, I watched 200 Pounds Beauty (Googled it up and it's 'Pounds', not 'Pound', must be the quirky Koreanglish they speak over there) at Kok Wei's house and it's a really sweet movie. Fat girl likes guy, got sick of being fat, got totally liposucted and implanted until she became a jaw-dropping beauty, and coming to realise that the world is way deeper than just looks.

I almost got to watch 200 Pounds Beauty back when I went to Hong Kong, as it was on Cathay Pacific's in flight entertainment thingie, but the agency decided to bump me up to Singapore Airlines. Ended up watching Music And Lyrics (not good when you're woozy from the flight) and Letters From Iwo Jima (features American planes being shot down, right when the very Boeing I was on hit a turbulent spot). And indeed, 200 Pounds Beauty would have a suitable film then.

That was Kok Wei's party's night and I was one of the last to leave, because the movie was just so good. Ended up at Yio Chu Kang interchange, found that my 2 usual bus services had ended its last run for the night. And I managed to catch the last bus of that third service.

That's how much I liked 200 Pounds Beauty.


Barely 12 hours later, and I found myself in Yio Chu Kang again (if only I could sleep over at his place!), doing that stupid theory trial test thingie.

Had to book the actual test, and the dates were crappy, 4 February is the earliest possible. Sigh.

Hurried through it, went up the bus again, had a good nap and woke up in National Library.

Found a good seat, found some good books, and I was kept happy until 12.30pm when it's a gathering of primary school classmates who I have not met for 10 friggin years!

It was awkward at first, because it wasn't all that easy to recognise each other. Everyone's so different yet so alike as compared to 10 years ago! Dredged up happy memories, sad memories, while we ate at BK.


Sunday cosy Sunday. Every time I don't fall while riding my bicycle with those SPD pedals, I feel thankful for the good luck.

Pretty burnt out by cycling and running. I should try something new I suppose. Perhaps I should take up swimming, or Ben's suggestion to pick up a cushy gym membership to do BodyCombat?


Turns out, someone cancelled their basic theory test so I can do mine on 7 January! That's like, 4 weeks ahead as compared to 4 February. Yay!

OK I admit it. I cheated. I used a computer program called TimelyWeb to monitor the test dates on the web page every 5 minutes. And when it did, I sniped at it. I'm such a cunning beast!


BTW, all the previous words were just a filler for the reason why I'm publishing an entry now. It's:

Any plans for NYE that I can join in?

Saturday, December 29, 2007


I'm like, totally sleepy right now. Doing this theory trial test thingie at the driving centre, which is just some waste-of-time formality.

Last night's class party was a blast. No pictures though, was enjoying myself too much to take any. The bread and butter pudding which I made was a failure by my standards, but hey they liked it anyway. Was pretty much high on alcohol.

Watched Korean comedy hit 200 Pound Beauty, which totally rocked!

Friday, December 28, 2007


And so, things have been going on so smoothly the past few days that I'm sure some calamity would happen soon. It's not pessimism; it's a guarded cynicism! Say if someone won the lottery thrice in a row - it's not going to make it extra likely to win a fourth time, because they are mutually exclusive events, so the probability of winning the next time still remains the same. An application of that would be regression to the mean.

Got myself registered at the driving school, so I should be on schedule as far as as my end-of-May deadline goes.

Hanging out online and chatting to familiar friends while making great new friends is comforting.

Things to do:
Make bread and butter pudding.
Classmate's party.
Register driving theory trial test.
Ask dad where the keys for the foldie bike is, then go refurb it.
Deal with going back to NUS to hand in stupid paperwork.
Revision for exams, dammit!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's as easy to qualify to drive a plane overseas as to drive a car here

Johor Flying Club:
The duration of training is very much depends on your personal progress. The syllabus of training must provide for a minimum of 45 hours of flight time. More realistically, the average hours required to reach PPL standard on a part-time basis over a period of about 12 to 18 months is about 60 to 70 hours. however there are students who complete whole training on a full-time basis in just a month.

What will be the complete cost to obtain my PPL.

The cost is about RM15,000 to RM22,000 and this amount will cover the flight training, ground school and books that are required during training. However it is also depends on individual progress and fuel price.

The Calgary Flying Club, Canada
How long does it take to get a Private Pilot Licence?
This is a tough one. As far as the legal requirement goes, student pilots need a minimum of 40 hours of groundschool and 45 hours of flight training, of which, at least 17 hours must be with an Instructor (dual) and at least 12 hours must be by yourself (solo). Confusing? You bet. 17 + 12 = 29. So what about the other 16 hours to get to 45? Well, realistically, it doesn’t even matter and here’s why… The national average is more like 65 hours with our own statistics just a little under that at around 60. So, it is very probable that a person will take more than 17 hours dual, more than 12 hours solo and more than 45 hours total.

Singapore Safety Driving Centre

The duration of each practical lesson is 120 minutes. Student may be required to attend an average of 20 to 25 sessions of practical lessons to complete the driving course.


And say you register now, your final practical test, at the very earliest, is 4 months from now. Assuming you get all the requirements and stuff in time.

It costs about $2000 to learn driving in Singapore.



Guarded Cynicism?

Was holed up in home today, mainly because I'm too damn tired to do anything. Part of me knows I ought to get going, get some good running kilometres in to burn the Christmas flab (trust me, it's a significant amount, being the gourmand that I am), do something great like getting a license to pilot a plane or do something more realistic like finally getting to sign up for some driving lessons. (Which I don't exactly want or need, but social pressures dictate that I have to have.)

Pretty frustrating eh? I won't have any car to drive, nor will be planning to buy one in the forseeable future. It'd be a fun skill to learn, but that's a skill I already have, as proven by that green slip of paper I possess called a military driving license.

I need all the help I can, to find a way to get it done as soon as possible, within the electives period that ends in May.

Argh. What I'm gonna do is to haul my ass to SSDC at Yio Chu Kang tomorrow to see what I can do about it. Which reminds me, I oughta refurbish my assshauling foldie bicycle soon.


Been thinking about optimism and pessimism. I've been told I'm pessimistic. Is it really true?

There are optimists around who had gotten what they wanted from sheer optimism - people who try and and try and try and finally succeed at what they wanted. William Tan comes to mind. (What the NUS article failed to mention is that he did not get his medical degree in NUS - judging from the past enrolments, it is highly unlikely they would accept anyone with a significant physical disability.)

But really, how likely is it?

Anyone might get what they want if they try hard enough, but it's not equally likely for everyone. I might have a steel determination to say, become a fighter jet pilot, or a Tour de France winner - indeed those are really fun jobs that I'd prolly get a kick off - but I won't go on applying to the air force or train myself on the hills 24/7 because I know that it's pretty damned unlikely.

It's not that I'm being unreasonably pessimistic, I'm just having a guarded cynicism of the future.

Murphy's law often rears its ugly end into our lives, scraping the fuck outta the paintwork of our bonnets. And we just gotta anticipate them and have contingencies. If I imagine myself dropping out of university and being a cook somewhere, it's not that I'm pessimistic. I'm making a contingency plan. It's unlikely, but when unlikely things happens, it happens 100%.

The way we're taught in medical school how never to talk about small possibilities lightly - "It might just be a 1% chance of a complication, but to the patient it's a 100% of the complication."

Maybe I'd do better to show more optimism, but the stuff under the hood works and had worked so smoothly so fat for me. After all, who can resist a friend who makes you feel good about everything cause he seems to believe in everything sweet and perfect? You don't go on telling friends "oh I don't think you'll do ok in this, but if you put your heart to it you have a fighting chance".

I'd push myself, so as long as the probabilities are good enough for me to accept. But things I know I probably won't succeed in, I'd just forget it and put my heart into something else. Now that's guarded cynicism.

Optimism: Yay this is gonna be so fun! I just know it is!

Pessimism: Meh. It's prolly gonna be another crap event.

Guarded cynicism: I'm gonna test the waters and see if I can find fun here, but I won't keep my hopes up because most of my friends hated this event.


And YAY for the first time I've got fun things to do this Friday and Saturday! And I got 2 new buddies on my MSN contact list! Today's a good day, even if it doesn't feel like it.

Happy Christmas/Merry Newt Ear

The early bird catches the worm. No lack of worms and birds and monkeys over at my usual cycling route.

I've been bicycling compulsively - you see, I just gotta defeat them SPD pedals! And another ride, safe and sound.

And for the first time, I'm really feeling the so-called 'beauty' of SPD pedals - climbing suddenly felt more efficient. It forces me to lose my bad pedalling habits - I tend to let my feet go everywhere when I pedal hard using normal platforms.

Someone wasn't so lucky. I wonder what this Sixsixone plastic thingie is doing in the side of the road - Sixsixone is a brand of cycling and motorcross protective gear.

Some guy said good morning to me while he overtook me on his roadster. Replied with a grunt that was vaguely mouthed into a dry hello; I hate being overtaken, even if he's on a faster bike and trains more than me. It's a matter of pride.

It's a public holiday, and the only cyclists who come out to play are the serious ones - the very kind who will overtake me with just a couple of spins of the pedals.

Again, mortally exhausted as I put my steed back onto its stand in the balcony. I've never felt this battered in a long time - not since NS. Scrape on knee (it isn't healing well and exudating gross sticky discharge), muscles all achey and the general feeling of fatigue.

Overtraining makes me cranky, but hey the turkey and cake and stuff has gotta fuel something eh? I'm lean and mean KC, and I'm here to rip the roads apart. I swear my power/weight ratio has never been better.

I can just imagine myself, being so powerful that I could just gently lift up my handlebars and lift up from the road and into the clouds.


Hung out with Ryan at City Hall and Orchard, which were surprisingly empty for a public holiday. Pretty cool, meeting after not having met in months.

Just hung around while Ryan shopped, cause I was really bored at home and all, and anything is better than counting the grooves in the ceiling and reading the telephone directory.

Turns out, I prolly depressed the hell outta Ryan bitching about my life and all, it's sorta sad really. I can't help but to pollute the world with the vile aura I have.

Am I really that cynical and pessimistic? This sucks. Optimism has no place in my life because I don't freaking deserve to be so in the first place, being the failure that I am.

Every time I notice how alone I am, how little achievements I've raked in so far, the fugly self I'm stuck in, the way I'm never ever taken seriously, the people I could have been but will never be, a bit of the hope in me dies away.

I'm waiting for the day my soul gets whittled down to nothing.


Oh screw it, it's just a passing phase. Please tell me it's a passing phase.

Monday, December 24, 2007

New Shoes

So I've been keen on trying them clipless pedals since about 3 years ago, when I realised all the serious cyclists were using them. They gush about them, telling of wonderful stories of how you can instantly gain 2-3kmh of speed just by using them. They train your muscles to pedal in even circles, they let you ride safely when your pedals are all slippery and wet.

They also say, you WILL fall the first few times you ride with them.

That put me off using them, and I stuck with my old, unglamorous retro-looking platform pedals. Until the bearings rusted in, and I got a lighter, shinier pair of platform pedals.


So fast forward to 2 weeks ago. I've been riding my bicycle more than ever, in a bid to hunkify and healthify myself. And I thought. I can't really get to love my bicycle of 4.5 years if the frame's so much lower end than the trinkets hanging off it - a superbly plush fork with adjustable travel, rebound and compression damping, a modest but silky smooth drivetrain, spanking new lightweight rims laced to sweet sweet XT hubs, et cetra. And the frame came from the original bike which cost less than the fork and the rims combined (the whole bike stock, not just the frame.)

And thus, a spanking new Cube/Giant/Voodoo/etc frame looked infinitely attractive. Thought about it and then decided - hey this isn't a valid reason to get a new frame. It won't make me ride much faster, neither can I really find any fault with my current frame.

That decision was finally carved into stone when I rode my GT and overtook someone riding a Voodoo Bokor (one of the frames I was eyeing) on an uphill.

It's not about the bike.


So, back to the drawing board. How else can I better spend my money to add value to my cycling enjoyment and its hunkification abilities?

Clipless pedals and shoes. Shimano SPDs to be specific, as they're the de facto standard for beginner clipless users. They offer adjustable clipping-out spring tension and have affordable, beginner-level pedals.


And so I got them.

Bike shop guy said something to the effect of, I'd see the 'beauty of SPDs', and helped me adjust the spring tension at a minimum so it'd be easier to clip out.

And I installed them, adjusted the cleats to perfect alignment, and tested them at the void deck of the block, with the driving rain to drown out my screams should I hurt myself badly.

The first times I try, it takes several times before I manage to clip in, and when I do, it takes me nothing less than an eternity to twist my feet out of those death clutches.

Fell at the void deck, twice, with a scrape and a bruise to bring home. Not too serious though. Everyone falls. Everyone falls. I keep on repeating to myself, trying to convince myself that I'm not some useless klutz.

I can't let clipless pedals defeat me. Or I'd be a whimpering wuss who doesn't deserve to call himself a cyclist.

And double ouch, the pedals are already scratched by those failed attempts to clip in. Guess they'll be scratched sooner or later - they're pedals we mercilessly stomp on, not some delicate gadget to be babied.


Rode them for real the next day, ignoring the smarting wound on my knee. No disasters this time round; I was riding extra carefully and extra slowly.

They did help me climb a little more smoothly, but I can't help but wonder - are those improvements because:
1. I ride slower near the hazards because riding clipless means I can't bail out at any time.
2. When I ride slower, I use less energy and have more reserve energy left...
3. for the climb ahead of me.


But anyhow, most people do end up loving clipless pedals to bits, so I should be pretty alright I hope?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Fall

mrbrown's SPDs

mrbrown's SPD fall

He's not the only one.

My M540 pedals and M075 shoes were a blast, but well, the usual - unclipped the left side, dismounted on the left, lost the footing and leaned towards the right with the right foot still clipped in.

Ouch. And I have this mild scrape on my knee as a battle scar. All on day 1.

Day 2 - rode 20+ kmh with nary an incident, but I won't be so optimistic to say that I'm out of the danger phase!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Ending

The theory test wasn't that bad after all.

Got the dead RAM stick exchanged. Works now.

Bike shop didn't have my size of the SPD shoe (I have big size 45 feet - well you know what they say about big feet), but they can order it in really quickly.

Went on a bike hunting spree for my friend. And spotted a few models he can choose from, so that was rather productive

And I'm exhausted after all that getting around Singapore. Goodness knows how many hours I've spent on the road today, with earphones popped on and too tired to do anything else.

I ought to sleep, and therefore, this post ends here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


And I'm gonna bitch like a girl and I don't care because right now, I don't think anyone - girl or boy - deserves to be experiencing the crap that I have been experiencing. And you can skip this bloody post if you want your caramel-coated sugar-frosted happy endings, because there ain't gonna be one. What do you expect? It's a friggin blog, for goodnessessake.

If you haven't realised it already, I have no qualms about embarrassing myself on this blog because, hey, if you're one of those judgemental pricks who make up 90% of the population, you'd either be 1. not reading the blog in the first place 2. too tight-assed to even get to know my name - let alone my blog or 3. gloating at my poor pathetic life, in that case I'd be glad to provide you that entertainment, because I really don't give a damn about what you think about me; you're an asshole anyway.

I find that angst makes me write better. Yay me.


Monday and Tuesday were an absolute bore. Cooped up at home staring at my schoolwork, trying to revise for the coming end-of posting tests. Not to mention, the dreary weather. (Bloody hell, the weatherman is always wrong. 10 minutes before it rained today, the weather hotline told me it'd be dry, when the dark clouds in the sky were prancing around, making a respectable impression of Captain Obvious.)


So, Wednesday morning is the test, and half of our batch were to do the test in one hospital, and the other half in another. I got the hospital better known for obscure, difficult cases.

And I got the tester who's like, the legend of that hospital, who's really demanding in terms of your knowledge of conditions and et cetra. She's a legend indeed, considering that one of the bitchier senior doctors wants to be her. Yes. He really does. In a Mika-esque 'I try to be like Grace Kelly' kinda manner.

Clinical tests are as such: You go to the patient, talk for 15 minutes and try to dredge up as much information as possible to build up a picture of his condition, the causes, the complications and the problems to be solved. While 2 hawked-eyed professors stare at you, scrutinising your every move and listening in on every syllable.

It was a tough case. And when I mean tough, I could list a list of 8 medical issues in that single patient. And no I'm not naming them, for I'm protecting that poor kid's anonymity.

I did badly. The legend said I didn't. And I'd 'probably pass' after she tallies the marks. It's messed up. People don't fail this posting, and I might set a precedent.

And the frustrating thing is, I KNOW I'm not all that lousy. It's just that I had the incredible luck to be saddled with 2 demanding professors (including the Legend) and with a really complicated case.

Spent the next 24 hours bitching about it to about all the classmates I talk to, and yeah, they agree that I did indeed get what pretty much sounded like a worst case scenario. It's sorta silly, being judged on such tests when there's so much marking variation between testers and all. I usually get the short end of the stick.

Quote of the day, on the phone half an hour after the test: "Hey does bus 33 go to anywhere I can find a cliff to jump off?"

Headed of to another hospital, not to check into the psychiatric ward from the trauma, but to hand in some stupid form for the elective postings. Paperwork. I hate paperwork.


And I really don't have any mood to revise for tomorrow's theory paper, being demoralised as I am.

In other news:

I baked muffins scones. You see, they didn't rise like they should. When life hands you lemons and you make lemonade and it tastes like crap, call it limeade instead.


My Acer notebook died on me. Isolated the problem to one of the RAM sticks that I had installed recently. Fuck you, Kingston Value RAM. Oh well, gotta get it replaced under warranty.


Bicycle ride. Idiots parking their cars in the middle of steep curve in the 2-lane road (with double white lines to boot) to feed the monkeys. Shouted at them. Assholes. The monkeys are causing a major hazard around here, especially when I gotta swerve around them and they sometimes chase my bike. Not to mention, whenever they park their car in the middle of the curve, it's hard for me to overtake them safely when I can't even see the oncoming traffic beyond that curve.

The problem with Asian societies such as Singapore is, Asians aren't trained to fear their neighbours, while the western counterparts are.

Westerners seldom do blatantly selfish and irresponsible deeds in front of the people around them, because they know that they stand to get a verbal lashing, a fistfight or even a bullet in their head should they offend someone enough.

Asians however, are too used to the people around them turning a blind eye. All they fear is the police, or rather, the punishments that the police mete out.

Of course, the citizen vigilantism in western societies would tend to take care of such civil problems better, because really, does the police bother until a robbery or a murder has taken place? And there's only so many policemen around.


Went home, did a cursory inspection on the bicycle. And fuck, the headset bearings are loose. Tightened them, and now it feels gritty and sticky. Even though I've cleaned out just a few days ago. Argh. Fucking thing rusted through, probably.


Thinking of getting Shimano clipless pedals and shoes (the funky pedals that hook onto your shoes and let you pedal really smoothly and securely) tomorrow.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Loving myself?

Feeling numb, alone, bored, whatever. Dissociated. It feels like my body has a mind of its own and I don't have full authority over it. It's like, I could tell it what to do and say but it'll just take them as suggestions, not orders.

Sorta like how modern aircraft fly in autopilot mode. The pilot could jam the stick in one direction, but the plane has a mind of its own and refuses to let the plane pitch up so steeply until it stalls and crashes. But still, the pilot can tell the aircraft where to go and what to do, as long as it's within a reasonable range of actions.


I steeled myself for a bicycle ride despite still feeling sick, and yay I survived it. Gracefully. At a respectable speed, to boot. I'm so gonna reward myself with a new bike frame or something when I reach 3 out of 4 of my fitness goals. (Top secret, I don't wanna reveal my embarrassing baseline fitness!)

And I had a shower and looked in the mirror and had an epiphany.

I really do look reasonably hunky nowadays, compared to the fat and flabby old days! I've got a picture to prove it, but I'm not posting it here! What were you expecting? Self portraits available on request though.

I should start loving myself.


Revision for the test is in shambles. Argh.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Powered by my legs

Bloody headset's rusting. And the thing is, I don't want to get a new headset in case I do swap out the frame in the future, since different frames use different headsets (mine needs a funky Zerostack internal headset, not that common) and even then, they aren't easily transferable from one bike to another.

Opened it up, and phew, the bearings still look decent. Worn, but still no water damage. Plastic umbrella-like thingie to keep out the dirt has cracked too.

Why do all my bicycle parts die on me?

Now I'm again tempted to get a new frame. The Giant XTC Team ain't too bad...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Powered by Chlorpheniramine

Chlorpheniramine is a first-generation antihistamine, which is used for various conditions including allergy, runny nose and itch. It has significant sedative effects, which means that you'll prolly feel drowsy and sleepy after a dose. The little yellow pills it comes in is more commonly known by its brand name Piriton, and is a mainstay in the cheap symptomatic relief of common colds.

It is also known to have mild serotoninergic effect, i.e. it acts like an antidepressant. While it is not used clinically for depression and mental illness, it had paved its way to the development of clinically effective selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac and Zoloft.

Even if it doesn't fix my nose, at least it will help my sleep and possibly my mood? Been using a load of antihistamines lately and it seems to have got my sneezing and eyebags a bit better.


The weather is lifting but the mood isn't. Woke up with a blocked nose, and the whole bloody day was going to revolve around that.

Blowing out pus-streaked mucous is not very pretty I tell thee. Toughing it out is quite scary, and not very sensible either. I predict a bad day.

School was pretty demoralising. Printed and photocopied some stuff. Cashcard expired (WTH what's the point of disabling cards once they reach 5 years old? A waste of plastic I daresay.), went to refund it at the ATM so now I need a new one. Lunched alone. Some Chinaman took my table, some senile old fool spilled coffee on my shirt. It's depressing. Problems, disasters, agony. Bad times are doubly hard when I'm all alone. Gah.

I think the best times of the day are spent on comfortable, well air-conditioned Volvo double decker buses. There's very little better than plonking my plump ass down on a plush seat and taking a good quiet nap or playing Call of Duty 4 on my DS (retarded playing a modern FPS on a 192x256 pixel screen, I know).


It's 10pm and I'm groggy from being sickish and from the chlorpheniramine. Just woke up from a nap and groggy. Beats feeling down I guess.

And the nation's ministers are at it again, raising their wages to unprecedented numbers. Sometimes I wonder, where do we draw the line and call it corruption?

Further Away

Bloody hell, I'm feeling sick again. Enduring a series of lectures that never ends. And I'm peeved cause some retard spilled coffee at me while he was walking around blindly. Bah. Life is frustrating. Sigh. When will this lecture end?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Powered by Ethanol

This post is powered by ethanol.

Boddington's Pub Ale, in particular. This is an orangey bitter ale hailing from England, which means, since its inception in 1778 to date, it had probably fuelled numerous pub brawls, foolish acts of Dutch bravado and embarrassing admissions to NHS hospitals.

And when I say bitter, I mean tongue-gripping, lip-dessicating bitterness. It goes smooth on the throat, but again - the bitterness is so overpowering it masks the flavours of the beer, making it little more than a medicinal brew. I guess that's how some Brits love their beer, but it just isn't my kinda thing. But if you want a mean Made in UK beer, look no further than Carlsberg Export.

In any case, having a cold, after-dinner beer while unwinding is sheer pleasure.


Spent the greater part of my afternoon at Sim Lim Tower buying replacement 3.5mm headphone plugs. Settled for a cheaper gold-plated one from some random shop as the branded ones LHS sells was nickel rather than gold plated (and I'm pretty wary of nickel plated contacts nowadays).

Recap: I bought an all-metal plug the other time for an extension cable, which proved rather disastrous as it didn't really fit the jack on my Acer notebook, therefore not muting out its speakers.

This time round, got a cheaper plastic one. Went home and soldered it up, but the first one was a painful mess. Totalled the first plug, prolly not salvageable.

Learning points:
1. Stranded enamelled wire is best stripped of its coating by slow tinning, not razing it with a flame.
2. Always remember to thread in the housing before soldering the plug. AUGH.
3. Have a continuity tester and a multimeter handy to test t3h 1337 soldering skillz.

The solder job was good, it fit the iPod Nano well after I shaved off some of the excess plastic at the end. But alas, it didn't fit the fussy jack on the Acer notebook again. It's usable, but it cuts in and out at certain positions. AUGH.

I should have gotten the branded plugs from LHS.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Love Cats

Particularly if, as in the Avalanche 2.0’s case, it comes from a distinguished line of thoroughbred off-road machinery. The frame detailing is impressive for a bike at this price. From the fashionably gigantic, cross-ovalised down tube – which provides a massively stiff backbone from which to hang everything else – to the neat internal headset and pimp-ass, curved dropouts, this is a chassis that wouldn’t look out of place on a much more expensive machine. It’s a fact that’s borne out by the weight – or rather the lack of it. At a shade under 29lb it’s no anorexic whippet, but the GT skips up climbs with a little less reluctance than most mountain bikes in its class. - What Mountain Bike magazine, 2004

Or, I should learn how to stop worrying and love the bike. The one that I already have.


I woke up this cold morning, staring into the mirror. I definitely do look fat and ugly lately. Argh. I really should watch what I eat and exercise more. Gee, I'm really bad at disciplining myself at doing that. Maybe freaking myself out in the mirror every now and then might spur me on?

And of course, having a nasty mood and a shitload of food on the table at dinner doesn't help...

Not only ugly and fat, but also useless and unmotivated and stupid at school. Sigh.

My mood's pretty unstable in this dreary cold and dark weather. I almost lost it just because I had missed the early bus. It's hard to stay cool, calm and contended.


Bootleg children's sticker:

I never knew Garfield had such... inclinations!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Addicted to Speed

Somehow, I'm already missing the feeling of having the winds buffet me while I try to keep my front wheel in line. And the smell of cheap gear oil. And that orgasmic feeling of accelerating into straight empty roads like I'm darting through the viscous air.

Riding a desk while surfing the net aimlessly is comforting yet sad.


Forget scandium - I heard it dents too easily. Forget carbon fibre seatstays - figured that it's just a marketing gimmick; who the hell uses carbon fibre for a section that handles compressive loads? They might as well use a plastic dowel and it'll probably work equally well.

Forget titanium, cause I'm too damn broke.

How about black then?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Human beings are waterproof bags of cells

No no, I'm not letting the weather win this time. So when the skies got brighter - the first time in a long while - at about 5pm (confirmed by an all-clear on the rain radar), I got ready my bike and cycled.

Trying out a new route that makes sure I'm never more than a few km away from home, so should it start raining, it won't be that bad.

The tyres I run, they aren't that good in the wet. When I try to make a fast tight turn, it just doesn't feel right. I dunno if it's psychological or not, but once you reach a certain amount of tilt, there's this part of your mind that says 'stop, turn harder and you'll wipe out'. I can't really describe it - so maybe that's what poor cornering grip feels like?

Cycling on the major roads feels good. Especially when you're cycling fast. That feeling of acceleration and speed is addictive, I tell you. Metre after metre of road zooming under your tyres, and you're going so fast you swear you'd lift off the ground at any time.

But trust me, in windy post-rain conditions like today, it's no fun trying to steer straight while having all the vehicles overtaking you at close distance.

And while I was traversing Bishan Park, it poured. Soaked gloves. Water splattering in the eyes. Rain going up the nose (the human body obviously isn't designed for anything faster than a trot).Wet brake pads that screech and leave a tarry goo on your rims. It's just horrible.

Got my soaked ass home as fast as I could. While trying to keep my eyes open in the driving rain.

Bloody weather.

Gerald, now you know what I mean when I said that it's raining all the time over here lately.


Thinking of changing my bicycle frame to something higher end. But will red match my current fork?

My current bike:

Photoshop simulation:

Should I go for red or stick with blue? Bloody hell, a scandium alloy Voodoo frame with carbon fibre seatstays is tempting indeed.

You know you can't be feeling really all that bad when...'re listening to Radiohead's ever-so-depressing Creep and rather than wallowing in the despair of the lyrics,

you're trying to figure out the chords and wondering if you'll be able to play it on the guitar the way Johnny Greenwood and Ed O'Brien do it so perfectly.

It may be unpolished and infantile, but hey you gotta admit it's one of Radiohead's best.


Muscling through schoolwork now. Exams and stuff coming. And if the weather clears up, I'm finally going for a bike ride.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Temper the Weather

Going for a morning run now, and I need all the luck in the world, so that I'll stay dry in this dreary, threatening weather.

Gotta rush back by 9.30, because, well, school at 11!

I hate this weather.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The hardest blog post so far

I have a few things to blog about:

1. how I shouldn't let screwed up people screw me over
2. music
3. Asperger's
4. taking with a friend about automotive tech
5. the weather

Now for the life of me I can't find any way to link these ideas up into a coherent post. Perhaps it's the way my mind works - if it were a CPU it'd be probably one of those newfangled things with dedicated cores, each doing a specific function, such as that Playstation 3 Cell CPU.

And yeah, those CPUs are a bitch to program for. It's difficult to coordinate the data exchanging between those sub-CPUs and to distribute the workload evenly. It's the same with my brain. I daresay I'm excellent with working things out, but in terms of remembering things in a coherent manner, I might as well be a drooling spastic kid.


OK. A few paragraphs have passed, and I'm not into item 1. Know what? I should just do some pseudo-chronological thing, because if nothing else connects the items together, time will. Time heals everything. Riiiight.

And today isn't as bad as the previous days, because of an epiphany I had while lying in bed trying to sleep late in the night listening to the traffic downstairs zooming by and the sad sad people milling around the estate by themselves.

So what if they treat me like shit. There'll always be other people who don't. I'd just have to tough it out for a couple more weeks, and I won't even need to get along with them any more.


Peter Bjorn and John is playing on my iPod while I do that daily groggy bus commute, trying to keep my appendages from freezing off. They're this Swedish indie band that had made significant inroads into the UK alternative scene, especially with their infectious anthem Young Folks.

They're like the Flaming Lips, only poppier.


Thursdays are happy days because it's lecture day and I can choose to hang out with people other than my group mates. People I can actually talk to, without that overwhelming viscous fog of inadequacy surrounding me. It's not so much that I feel inadequate, but it's plain obvious that I'm kicked aside like an extra cog that doesn't fit anywhere in the machinery.

I've this friend who I can actually crap with about automotive tech in real life! Other than Richie that is, because he's in the land of cows, Hobbits and unpronounceable town names, more colloquially known as New Zealand. I mean, how many people I know can actually tell the difference between a synchromesh and a torque convertor?


Speaking of which, Asperger's. Autism. It's often said that autistic people don't see objects in the context of the object's purpose, and often, when given a toy car, would flip over the car and play with its wheels.

Perhaps I'm mildly Aspergersy, but I indeed did that as a kid. But it was because I was enthralled by the design of that particular toy car. It had plastic wheels suspended on an axle made of springy metal, such that it acted as a primitive spring suspension of sorts.

And of course, as a kid, I naturally went on to test the durability of the suspension by rolling it off heights and hoping it lands like a cat. But unlike those feline creatures or Murphy's tasty buttered toasts, there's no physical mechanism that ensures that the car lands on its wheels.

I have some pretty Aspergersy interests myself. I could tell you the make, model and characteristics of almost every public bus on the road. But that's nothing close to some of the purely obsessed who can tell you everything, down to the bus route and permanent bus registration numbers that appear on a particular service.

Heh I guess I'm prolly pretty normal, given that many of my classmates are totally Aspergersy about the obscure facts they read in the textbooks.


And finally, the weather is driving me nuts, preventing me from getting my regular bike rides and jogs done. I'm gonna grow fat argh. It's no secret that my weight can fluctuate by a couple of kgs, depending on whether it's rainy or clear season.

Chinooks flying low above my block because of the low-lying clouds can be pretty scary. Especially when you can make out all the little parts on the underbelly of the helicopter with your bare eyes.


There. I thank you for listening to me whine.

How frustrating

I know what I'll do now. I'll stop trying to be cordial to the people who hate me.

Revenge is a sweet sweet thing.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I could write in prose
But there's nothing as close
as hiding behind this charade we call

It was a bad day,
then another bad day,
then a few more just for a cruel

Don't you know it feels to be hated?
Makes me wish I never was created
Staring at you receiving excess

And if one day I were to

Hijack a bus and crash it
Into a ravine killing a hundred.

Or bash someone in the nose so badly
He'd be too disfigured to face the world.

Or jump off a overhead bridge into
Speeding traffic and creating a deadly pile-up.

Or simply lash out unreasonably at you.

Then maybe you'd get it in your blocky head
That I can hate the world as much as the world hates me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tinsel Town

There's this frustrating sense of helplessness. I feel like I don't exist, that I'm just a shadow floating around, hoping that the world will acknowledge my existence. Or that I'd acknowledge my own inexistence.

I feel so wretched, it feels uncomfortable anywhere but in the secluded desolation of home. I'm useless, ugly and freaky, and it's only fair that I should be locked up in some dank dungeon where the sun doesn't shine.

Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on. But not everyone offers their shoulder. Where then do the extra people go?

Monday, December 3, 2007

And the world is made of energy

Haircut's done.

Homework mostly done.

Living a mechanical life now.

Bloody iTunes having a bad today, spewing out all my most-disliked songs. I don't remember having that many Bloc Party songs.

Ok The Cure's on now and it's Just Like Heaven. It's not all bad.

I'm gonna come up with a real entry soon I promise!

Argh fergettit forcing myself to stay awake won't delay Tuesday's arrival. Unlike trains and buses and planes, days always arrive on time.

Set Yourself On Fire

Monday bloody monday.

I need a haircut.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Science of Air

Those who know me well enough will know that I'm really quite a sucker for anything transport or automotive related.

I could tell you the different engines that the Volvo B10 series of buses have used, including engine type, cylinders, displacement, horsepower, that kinda stuff.

I could tell you the mathematics behind how buses bunch up. And the rationale behind why on a congested road bus drivers get numerous beeps from the schedule device, a call on the speakerphone, then they decide to remove the service number display and speed on without taking on any more passengers. (So as to compound the delay and not let it snowball.)

Not to mention the various methods cars can shift its own gears, and emerging technologies.


Now that I've gotten pretty sick of land transport, I got bored and started reading up on air transport on Wikipedia.

It's a natural choice, being a cyclist. Bicycles pretty much share the same design difficulties as aeroplanes - essentially, it has to be a highly aerodynamic, lightweight, strong, yet safe vehicle.

Don't underestimate wind on the bike. at 30+kmh, about 80% of the energy at the pedals is literally used to push the air in front of you. All that tyre rolling resistance, friction in the gears and all merely add up to 20%

No surprises when you learn about the materials used in high-end bicycles - 6xxx and 7xxx aluminium alloys, titanium-aluminium alloys and carbon-fibre composites, all found in your Boeings and Airbuses and Cessnas.

Yay. So now you know how I've been wasting my time online. I now know the difference between ailerons and elevators, the importance of flow separation and how to design a good plane.

And I also know the rough idea of how planes navigate when they take off and land. Terms like ILS, visual approach, VOR and CFIT, they're no longer alien.

Damn, I'm a geek.

I guess catamarans, hulls and ports will be what I'm reading up in the near future.


Morning jog was a total failure, too fatigued from the previous day's bike ride. No use flogging the weary horse, eh?

Orchard today, and finally got a pair of spare shoes after my spare pair of self-repaired shoes started to become rather... scary to wear. Bata, simply cause it's cheap. Cheapo me.And a polycarbonate Camelbak bottle at Carrefour. Was $30 and now it's $15, which means, it's discounted overpriced stuff, which works out to, a roughly reasonable price.

Bumped into Wanru, caught up and stuff, and I gotta say I prolly acted really distracted and cold, since I was pretty worn-down by hunger and weaving through the Sunday crowds by then.

Decided against a haircut, considering the utter chaos Orchard is today. There's lotsa AIDS Day people selling flowers for charity, and I think there's an AIDS Day walk later on.

I really should put in more effort at my schoolwork, rather than working on my case write-up for nary an hour and then throwing in the towel for the day.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Me versus Nature

Morning bike ride. It's windy and rainy season, but I didn't reckon it was that bad until I saw the roads strewn with twigs and peppered with washed-up sand.

And crosswinds that could knock you down the bike if you weren't careful. You see, parts of the roads I cycle in are flanked by trees, and other parts face wide empty areas. Cycle across the transition, and the wind suddenly changes direction and speed, and you gotta stabilise yourself lest you veer off.

And back in the park, a huge broken branch lying diagonally across the tree and the path, only supported by a small branch on the tree.

Boy, it could kill someone.

Aren't you glad I survived?

But hey it's not as if I'm useful to anyone eh? There, you can start pacifying me, telling me that it's perfectly OK to feel inferior if I am indeed inferior.