Sunday, March 30, 2008

Just Like Heaven

Slow news day.

So here's a sweet live video of the Cure for you.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

On lonely days I sometimes wonder

if I'm losing empathy with the rest of mankind. Things blur into a numbing mess.

Am I supposed to feel sorry for the death of someone I know, when he had had led a very fulfilling life so far, while at the same time no one really bats an eyelid at the thousands of starving kids dying every day?


Cold, cold bus ride this morning. Damn you, SBS2812L (Svc 54, the Nokia bus with sofas)! It's one bus that consistently turns my nailbeds blue...

School. Blah.

Hung out with friends, and ate at Cafe Cartel. Again! St Louis Pork Ribs (a.k.a. Angmoh Char Siew) is good stuff. Sickly sweet and sickly flavourful.


Short bike ride today, couldn't go earlier as the weather was rather unpredictable. In fact, according to the news hailstones supposedly fell in my area before I got home. Was in City Hall area at that time, and I was wondering why the raindrops seemed so huge.

It's a day of crazy, crazy weather.

I fought the weather and I won. Screw you, weather.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


It's all about the angle.

Went to Sim Lim Square to get DVD-RW blanks. That's the digital era equivalent of VHS tapes. Know what? DVD recorders rock. No more rewinding, no more shaky pictures. And recorded DVDs are cross-compatible with your typical garden-variety DVD player.

So many pesky Ah Tiongs in Sim Lim Square. It's depressing.

Met H to explore Asian Civilisations Museum since it's free entry for today.

I still love my camera.

Don't Let The Blue Smoke Out

If I don't answer your calls or ignore your text messages, blame my phone.

It's fucked. Just today it failed to receive 2 calls. Switched it off and on, and lo and behold, Singtel CallAlert sent me a message telling me that I had missed 2 calls due to being unreachable.

And that's after a series of weird intermittent problems - random shutdowns, corrupted lists, et cetra.

Not to mention the ubiquitous Sony Ericsson Joystick Problem that I had fixed for now.

Yes, I opened it up and sprayed in some contact cleaner to clear out the grit in the joystick contacts.


The Microsoft mouse replacement situation has been nasty.
Thank you for your reply. I am about to process your request however when I checked your email I am unable to view the attachment for the order replacement form. Please make sure that you send it successfully. Thank you for your cooperation.


I understand that you already sent us the attachment however I am still unable to view it. Please make sure that you send the attachment successfully.

Got really peeved. After all, I was sending the form edited in MICROSOFT Word using MICROSOFT Outlook, to MICROSOFT. Just today I sent it to them using another email account (particularly painful, since Hotmail AND Singnet email were both down this morning so I had to settle for my 3rd choice Yahoo mail). Sent ANOTHER copy by fax (by lugging my laptop to the phone socket and using its fax modem) just to make sure they get it.

It's been more trouble than I had anticipated. Microsoft's hardware replacement workflow leaves alot to be desired.


1. Google for hotline, find it only after sifting through a bunch of links

2. Call hotline, wrangle through a long series of automated choices

3. Talk to Guy 1, get a case umber from him, copy it down

4. Get transferred to Guy 2, read out case number to him

5. Receive assurance that returns form will be emailed to me by the next day

6. No returns form the next day. Guy calls, I tell him about that.

7. Receive 3 emails - 2 returns forms and 1 apology about the delay. The problem is that they have separate Tech Support and Returns departments and I'm being shuttled between both departments both on phone and email. Horrible.

8. I scan my proof of purchase, fill up returns form and email them.

9. Thank you for your reply. I am about to process your request however when I checked your email I am unable to view the attachment for the order replacement form. Please make sure that you send it successfully. Thank you for your cooperation. I re-send it.

10. I understand that you already sent us the attachment however I am still unable to view it. Please make sure that you send the attachment successfully. I re-send it again, with a fax for good measure.

Who let the blue smoke out of my electronics?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bang Bang

"THAT bead of metal goes into my head. And if it doesn't, THAT other one will.", he fantasised. It was going to be a beautiful shoot-out.

The looks on their sergeants' and officers' faces will be priceless. The hunter becomes the hunted. The meek shall inherit the fucking Earth. It'd be so sweet, what a loaded rifle could do.

There's only so much taunts one can shrug off before he snaps. Just yesterday, the Captors singled him out for not putting in effort for his battle drills. The Captors sure know how to break a man. Humiliate him in front of the platoon, attribute the failure of the platoon to his actions, make the platoon hate him and love the Captors.

Don't they realise, they're part of the same fucking plan? Captors, Captives, they're all conscripts. It's part of the big master plan to turn them against each other, to inflict maximal pain.

Fuck it. He's going to send a message. He's going to get his revenge on the Captors who had taken such great pleasure playing their futile roles.

He played out every single step in his mind. That very mind that was going to receive one cold bullet down the middle later.

It was going to be a completely typical training shoot at the firing range. On the command, they'd fire their first shots.

Then he'd do a 180 degree and shoot the first 14 Captors he sees. Anyone, everyone. It doesn't matter, all the Captors are guilty by proxy. Does individual innocence matter any more if the Captors can inflict such great pain as a group?

It was pretty simple. Bang. Bang. Bang. He'd have to count really carefully and calmly though. He needed to leave 2 for himself.

And it was rifle in mouth, aimed slightly upwards into the skull.

Then, bang. Nothing was going to matter any more.

The looks of horror on the faces of the Captives and remaining Captors would be golden. The repercussions were going to be a blast to see. The Conscriptors will go weak in their knees. If only he could be both alive and dead at the same time to witness it. The problem with death is that one can't get any closure to his own death.

"Detail 6, prepare to fall in."

And he meekly took his rifle with him and left his fantasies behind in the training shed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Rat Pack

And so, the trusty Microsoft Wireless Optical 5000 finally met its demise after less than 2 years out of 5 of its warranty period.

It doesn't make any economic sense for mice makers to provide 5 year warranties, because it means that customers would prolly get 2 mice for the price of 1 eventually.

Getting it exchanged under warranty involves calling the Microsoft hotline, speaking to a rep, then speaking to a technician, reading out a really long serial number on the bottom of the mouse, then awaiting an email where one fills up a form and attaches an image of the proof of purchase.

Saves you a trip to a service centre, but it's a bunch of mental hassle.

Microsoft Habu (currently on the gaming rig), Microsoft Wireless Optical 5000, Microsoft Basic Optical and Acer notebook mouse.

Unfortunately I had to make do with another mouse for now, and so I plugged in the Microsoft Basic Optical mouse. It's tiny. And makes my finger muscles spasm in rebellion. What's more, it doesn't glide freely on the mousepad. Ouch.

Borrowed the Logitech from my brother's abandoned rig. It works better, but it's old and sticky and small. My LARGE hands need LARGE mice.

And boy oh boy do I miss the nifty side buttons on the Habu and Wireless Optical 5000 which are assigned Forward And Back roles in web browsers. Mouse Gestures on Firefox is a convenient alternative, but hitting a button with your thumb is always easier than holding down the right mouse button and flicking the mouse either left or right.


Xiu Ji Yong Tau Foo at Chinatown Temporary Market. Don't believe the hype. At $3 for its portion size (VERY variable. My friend got mostly little fishballs in his bowl), one can't help but feel slightly cheated. It's a great idea to serve noodles with fried ikan bilis. And it doesn't taste obnoxious, but it certainly doesn't deserve the stellar reviews and long queues.

Bought a REAL leather (real men use real leather!) wallet to replace my broken one, since Fadz says I might as well invest in a proper wallet. Billabong makes superbly reliable cloth wallets, so I gave their leather ones a shot. After all, they're cheapish for a leather wallet complete with zippered coin pouch, zippered dollar note compartment, a generous smattering of card holders and a tab to hang my keys.

After all that hype, the price tag still reigns supreme.

Went for a run today. Tired.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

No Dumping

I've been thinking quite alot about death and suicide in general. Maybe it's just that, people who suicide are intelligent enough to realise that life isn't worth living, unlike the average Joe who doesn't have that kinda mental horsepower?

I dunno. Those I know who've chose that route are really smart people.

3 footlong Subways, 2 people. Wow at the absurdity of it all. Only for the month of March.

Felt fat and went for a run.

It's unglam bumping into my classmate while I'm all sweaty, at my mid-point taking a rest and staring at the piston prop planes in the sky. Wearing the horribly oversized XL tee (I fit an M these days, and even those M sports tees are getting loose-ish for me.) Yikes.

No dumping? First thing I thought about were the bears that shit in the woods. I have a twisted mind.

Get Over It

Some say it's a good thing the Guillemots decided to go all radio-friendly along the likes of The Twang and The Zutons. Others believe it stifles the charm that was present in their older songs such as Trains To Brazil.

Me? I can't say if I can make an opinion. Sure. Get Over It is is saccharine-sweet, but Trains To Brazil had insight that few songs exuded.

Video here:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sakura restaurant Orchard

And so, it's gonna be one last gathering in a long long while. The original reason that got us together in the first place, well, it's breaking up. But friendships aren't as arbitrary as that, therefore this.

We went to Sakura restaurant in Orchard, a buffet place that focuses on sushi and sashimi. (It's hidden in the building next to California Fitness.) For $20+, it's a rather decent deal, though there's wasn't any particularly fantastic item that I can name. Oh and they got a counter where you can order stuff like lamb and satay freshly-cooked and served at your table.

The cameras:

The people:

The food:

The poses:

Blurry pictures galore, as I decided to do away with the flash altogether and depend on image stabilisation and ISO800 to get me by. Flash + complicated yellowish lighting makes everything look ugly, so I just used a custom white balance and shot the photos flashless.

I guess I don't need to say how enjoyable it was, because the photos speak for themselves.


On another note. Went bicycling this morning.

And I'm really thankful Mas Selamat escaped.

Because that means that the police are patrolling the forested area around Old Upper Thomson road where I ride.

And that means, no more idiots stopping their cars in the middle of the narrow curvy road to feed the monkeys.

It makes things easier for me. And safer for me. The probability of me getting hurt in an incident attributable to Mas Selamat escaping is lower than that of getting squished by a car squeezing between me and the stopped cars on that road.

I'm glad Mas Selamat escaped. It might have made things difficult for you, but it's a net benefit for me.