Thursday, November 29, 2007

!@#$#!%@!@# Toilet

Damn toilet wouldn't flush properly, and I thought my dad would call the plumber during the weekend.

He had other ideas. Bought a new pump from the DIY store before I could protest.

And guess who gets to implement his idea? That's right. Me. On my own. !@#$!@#$!@#@!

Lots of work to be done.
Note the two screwcaps in the foreground, near the screwdriver.


After draining and ripping the guts out of the tank


Realized that I had to rip the tank out its mountings too, because the old screwcaps wouldn't fit through the hole at the bottom.


Done. New pump installed, works fine.



[boast]All in all, not bad work, if I say so myself. Not exactly rocket science, but I knew nuts about how the toilet works before starting. Quite proud that I figured out and did everything myself.[/boast]

Really messy and icky work though.

Ewww.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cambodia

Woke up at 0630 today to go for training. Sky was a little cloudy and had to give myself a kick in the ass so that I wouldn't lay there and fall back asleep.

Met up with Farh, K3, Peng Hui and Chao Hong at the MRT station, where we were accosted by a lady from another group, asking for Terence's number. When asked for the purpose, she pointed at the newspaper in her hand, which was emblazoned with the headline that the national team's boat capsized in Cambodia, with 5 missing.

My heart skipped a beat.

Proceeded to SDBA, where glum faces greeted us. Did a light warmup, and 5 sets of 8, then Aaron called us together to announce that today's training was canceled. Didn't really bother me, nobody looked like they were in the mood for it anyway.

Went for a run while waiting for the girls to arrive, so that the team briefing could commence.

Don't wanna reveal what was said.

Anyway, I have a request if you're reading this post. Won't take you a minute. Pray for a miracle. Pray for the safe return of the 5. I know it looks bleak now, but something is better than nothing.

But if Fate/God/Allah/Buddha/Yahweh dictates it and the 5 have met their tragic end, pray that the families and friends of the 5 can find comfort and solace soon. Pray for their grief and anguish and suffering to be lessened, shortened.

If you're able, do lend them a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.

Don't let them go through this alone.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Kid

Went out to get some groceries just now.

On my way back, passed by an arcade and since I had nothing better to do at home, decided to blow a couple of bucks.

Played one game of Outrun first, then decided to switch to Daytona.

Before I reached the Daytona machines though, a group of teens arrived first and occupied them.

Looked back at the Outrun machines and the seat I had just vacated was already occupied, so I decided to wait for the Daytona guys.

This is the MAXX version of Daytona. 20 laps for Beginner, 10 laps for Advanced.

Daytona teens played one game. Then another. Then another. Outrun machines were crowded as well.

I got pissed.

Finally the teens stopped and I got to play 2 rounds of Daytona. Didn't drive well in either, maybe because I was frustrated. Which got me pissed even more.

Decided to go back to Outrun, where the crowd had dissipated, and 2 kids were playing. One male, one female, both about 7 or so. Even so, I was pissed that I could not play it immediately.

The machine the girl was using had a dimmer screen and its sound was a little wonky, so I didn't want to use it.

The kid on the good machine had just started his game and was driving rather crappily. I was pleased when he started crashing all over the place and he didn't shift gears correctly. I hoped he would time out and I would get to play. Now. Now now now now NOW!

He passed one checkpoint and time was extended. I got a little disappointed.

Then I caught myself.

What was I thinking?

It wasn't the kid's fault that I chose to play in the arcade.

It wasn't his fault those teens played 3 rounds of Daytona.

It wasn't his fault I drove like crap today in Daytona.

It wasn't his fault that he started to play before I wanted to.

He's just a kid, who just wants to enjoy himself playing a game.

And here I was, hoping his joy would end soon.

What kind of person wants to deny a kid joy?

Who am I? What have I become?

I don't know myself anymore.

He finally timed out and got out of the seat, casting me an apprehensive look in the process.

Kids who don't know me normally do the same thing all the time. I'm used to it. However, this time, it only compounded my guilt.

Got in the seat, and although I drove pretty well and finished the game, I couldn't feel proud.

My mind was still on the kid. And what I had hoped to take away from him.

I'm ashamed of myself.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My mp3 player can beat up your mp3 player

Finally got my grubby fingers on the iPod Touch yesterday. Was pretty impressed by what I saw while playing around with it. Little did I know that more surprises awaited me.

I was amazed when I got my iPod last year, but this really blows my mind, because with the iPod Touch, you can actually perform this little operation called jailbreaking, which allows you to install 3rd party apps on your mp3 player.

I now can MSN, play Super Mario, access Google Maps, send email, blahblahblah on my iPod Touch.

Kudos to the hackers who made this possible. You guys ROCK!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pain pain pain pain PAIN!

Went to change the tyre that blew up yesterday. Tyre guy said the other tyres were due for replacement also, so I changed all.

Total damage: $280

OWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Zoom zoom

Need for Speed: Prostreet is out! Woohoo!





And it's got the best list of cars I've ever seen in any NFS game!
All my favorites are in. The R34, E46, LP640, FD3S, R36, 997 Turbo and S15!

Hey.... waitaminute. where's Mercedes and Ferrari? Okay, make that more than a few of my faourites.

Acura Integra Type R (1999)
Acura RSX (2006)
Audi S3 (2006)
Audi S4 (2006)
Audi TT 3.2 Quattro (2007)
BMW M3 E46 (2008)
BMW M3 E92 (2008)
BMW Z4 M Coupe (2007)
Cadillac CTS-V (2006)
Chevrolet Camaro Concept (2008)
Chevrolet Camaro SS (1967)
Chevrolet Chevelle (1970)
Chevrolet Cobalt SS (2006)
Chevrolet Corvette '67 (1967)
Chevrolet Corvette C6
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (2006)
Dodge Challenger R/T
Dodge Charger R/T (1971)
Dodge Viper Coupe (2006)
Ford Escort RS Cosworth (1996)
Ford Focus ST
Ford GT (2006)
Ford Mustang GT (2006)
Ford Mustang GT '03 (2003)
Ford Shelby GT500 (2006)
Ford Shelby GT500 '67 (1967)
Honda Civic
Honda Civic SI (2006)
Infiniti G35 (V35) (2003)
Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 (2006)
Lexus IS350 (2006)
Lotus Elise (2006)
Mazda Mazdaspeed3
Mazda RX-7 (1995)
Mazda RX-8
Mitsubishi Eclipse (1999)
Mitsubishi Lancer EVOLUTION IX MR-Edition (2006)
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
Nissan 240 SX (S13) (1989)
Nissan 350Z (Z33) (2006)
Nissan GT-R PROTO
Nissan Silvia S15 (1999)
Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) (1999)
Pagani Zonda F (2006)
Plymouth Hemi Cuda (1970)
Pontiac GTO (2006)
Pontiac GTO '65 (1965)
Porsche 911 Turbo (2006)
Porsche 997 GT2 (2008)
Porsche Cayman S (2006)
Porsche GT2
Subaru Impreza WRX STi (2006)
Toyota Corolla GTS AE86 (1986)
Toyota Supra (1998)
Volkswagen Golf GTI (2006)
Volkswagen Golf R32 (2006)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanks a LOT, Singaporean drivers!

Was driving to a meeting today when I heard a bang and my car lurched to the right.

Limped to the road shoulder to find out what was going on.

A walk around my car reveals that my right rear tyre had blown up.

Popped the trunk, got the spare, jack and wrench out and proceeded to change the tyre.

Cars, vans, motorcycles and trucks whizzed by.

Not one stopped and offered help.

Not that I needed any, but it speaks volumes about the attitude of Singaporeans.

Everyone for himself.

I do wonder, however, how many would have stopped if I looked like, say, Jessica Alba.

Rhetorical question.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Free rice

Bored? Nothing better to do?

Help you end world hunger by playing this game.

For every word you get correct, 10 grains of rice will be donated to end world hunger.

At the same time, increase your word power!

I'm stuck at about level 40. :(

Have fun!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Owwww.... my head.

Been reading a lot lately, and my head's full of ideas and notions and opinions that haven't really been digested yet. Kinda just spanging around in Sean's brain, in a myriad of directions, so this post will seem very disjointed. I don't even know why I am blogging now. I just feel that I need to get it all down before I lose track of them all. Either that or my head explodes. This post will be filled with inaccuracies and factual errors and bigoted opinions and blahblahblahyaddayaddayadda. Read on only if you're extremely bored.

You've been warned.

Still here? Ok. with the caveat lector out of the way, I will now commence my rambling.

But before that, I think I should summarize what I've learned over the past few days into one phrase.

Question everything.

Yes, everything. Even what you're reading now. Why should you listen to me? I'm just a fat, hairy, balding(yes, I know it sounds strange, but I'm both hairy AND balding. It's called androgenetic alopecia. If you wanna know more, wiki is your best friend. I don't want to go dig for the link now and interrupt my train of thought.) guy sitting in front of my computer, pecking away at a grimy keyboard.

My mom was showing me this newspaper article the other day. (It was in Chinese so I didn't really read it. Just looked at the pictures.) The article, as related by my mom, went like this: Ang mo girl went for a holiday somewhere, braided her hair reggae style, and when she undid the braids to wash her hair when she got home 4 days later, her hair fell out in clumps. Doctors she saw said it was the result of blood not flowing to the follicles in her scalp. Even her eyebrows fell out.

My ma then continued to tell me to wash my hair more often to clean it, so that more hair will gorw(how she links clean hair to blood not flowing to the scalp is beyond my ken), a lecture I will not subject you to.

When I sensed her monologue was petering out, I asked her "Okaaaay, and where did they get this story from?"

Her reply: "It's in the newspaper."

"No, you're not answering my question. Where did they get the story from? Did they quote from somebody or some newspaper or something?"

She scrutinizes the newspaper and points to the corner of the newspaper, where 世窗2007 is printed in bold font.

"You've still not answered my question. Where did they get the story from? 世窗2007 just says the news is not local. Foleign tarent news."

Silence.

"I can bet you, probably somebody at the newspaper just received this in an email, and thought it would be a good idea to print it out to fill up the newspaper. Probably did next to nothing for story verification. Just translate the email into Chinese, add in the pictures included in the email, and boom, a 'story' to print out."

I know it's rude of me to rebuff my ma like that, especially when she had my best interests at heart, but I do wish she would pause and think sometimes. As I do with some people I meet.

For all we know, those pictures were first included in an email begging for money to continue some poor girl's chemotherapy treatments. Somewhere along the line, some prankster could have took the pictures, reedited the text to the "reggae braids make you lose your hair" story, and sent the email along its way. The email then wends its way into the tabloid editor's inbox, and because it's a slow news night, he decides it's a good idea to print it out so the newspaper won't have too many blanks.

And the newspaper finds its way into the hands of gullible readers like my ma.

I mean, blood loss to your scalp makes your eyebrows fall out? COME ON, PEOPLE!

Just because "it's in the newspaper" doesn't mean it's true. I mean, tell someone you're from Singapore while you're in a foreign country, and you'd probably elicit replies containing "Michael Fay", or "Van Tuong Nguyen", or "Merlion", or even "chicken rice". "Press freedom" won't really pop out, if you know what I mean.

Nietzsche writes in Ecce Homo:

Here there speaks no fanatic, here there is no 'preaching', here faith is not demanded: out of an infinite abundance of light and depth of happiness there falls drop after drop, word after word - a tender slowness of pace is the tempo of these discourses. Such things as this reach only the most select; it is an incomparable priviledge to be a listener here; no one is free to have ears for Zarathustra... With all this, is Zarathustra not a seducer?... But what does he himself say when for the first time he again goes back into his solitude: Precisely the opposite of that which any sort of 'sage', 'saint', 'world-redeemer' and other décadent would say in such a case...

"I now go away alone, my disciples! You too now go away and be alone! So I will have it.

Go away from me and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he has deceived you.

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.

One repays a teacher poorly if one remains only a pupil. And why, then, should you not pluck at my laurels?

You respect me; but how if one day your respect should tumble? Take care that a falling statue does not strike you dead!

You say you believe in Zarathustra? But of what importance is Zarathustra? You are my believers: but of what importance are all believers?

You had not yet sought yourselves when you found me. Thus do all believers; therefore all belief is of so little account.

Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me will i return to you..."


Whew. I hope your head doesn't hurt. I know mine does.

I guess what sparked this rant is me being sick of the way practically EVERYBODY in Singapore just falls over every time a bunch of guys and gals with a penchant for the pearly shades of the color spectrum say it should be the thing to do, "for the good of the nation".

I'm sick of "medicine".

I'm sick of "the broader picture".

I'm sick of "the collective".

What's good for the goose might not be good for the gander.

They say the Singapore youth is pretty politically apathetic. It's pretty true. We worry about getting As. We worry about relationships. We worry about money. We worry about not being able to see our favorite boy bands. That pretty much sums up the average Singapore youth.

But even we can see that something is not right here.

Somebody is losing touch. Shit is being manufactured in such great quantities that the creators are also partaking in their own products.

To quote Morpheus: What IS "real"?

Hey Men in White. A storm's a brewin'. Trying to suppress it in the ways you've employed so far will just make it grow bigger. Don't say Sean didn't warn you.

But hey, what do I know? I'm just a student, earning pennies, not peanuts.



If everything was as rosy as painted, Dick Lee would have been greeted by jeers, not cheers, don't you think?

"Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?"

- Morpheus
The Matrix

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Friday Night Lights




^^^
<3<3<3










Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Do yourself a favor and go catch Stardust

Great movie.

A philosopher once asked, "Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?" Pointless, really...”Do the stars gaze back?" Now *that's* a question.

Little synopsis: Dying King has 4 sons, and to choose his successor, he flings the family jewel (Oh, get your mind out of the gutter. It's a ruby. On a necklace.) out the window, telling his sons that whoever gets the bling gets to rule.

The jewel travels far into space (It's a fantasy film, so a little slack on the imagination department, okay?) and knocks a star out of its perch, and sends it crashing to the ground. Cue helter skelter rush for star.

Guy wooing girl sees the falling star and promises it to her, for her hand in marriage. She agrees. Guy goes in search for star. When he finally gets to the star, "it" turns out to be Claire Danes. Hmmm... that's a toughie, cause "Nothing says romance like a kidnapped injured woman", right?

Evil witch also sees the falling star and covets it, cause eating the heart cut out from a living star would grant her youth and beauty.

I read the book before I watched the movie, and although I didn't like how they dealt with a few things, I think all in all, they pulled it off pretty well and if you didn't read the book, you'd have nothing much to gripe about. Neil Gaiman's now my favorite storyteller.

Watch out for Robert De Niro's performance as a pirate. Had me in stitches. Why are the pirate roles so much fun? First Captain Jack Sparrow, now Captain Shakespeare.

And of course, the ever-luminous Claire Danes. I had the hugest crush on her after Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet was screened in the theaters. She's still so HOT, even after all these years. *faint*





Rockin' good fun, I tell ya.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Baby Steps

I've been in limbo for the past few weeks. Months, actually.

I start trying to make myself better, then lose steam after a couple of weeks.

I think I finally know why.

I'm trying too hard. Trying to eat the whole cake in one bite, and choking myself. I end up puking the whole thing out and feeling worse than when I started the ambitious projects.

I forgot one tiny nugget of information.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

Also, I'm dragging along too much baggage. It's very draining to run when you have 200 Samsonites chained to your feet. I need to free myself of this.

So, starting tomorrow, I'm going to set my life right. My targets are the same.

Only, this time, I'm gonna be carrying less, and I'm gonna be taking one baby step at a time.