Wednesday, November 30, 2005

PC Fair! PC Fair! PC Fair! (Time, please move faster!)

For some awful reason, the game I played all day yesterday won't start! It simply won't run a second time! I double click the appropriate shortcut, and all I get is a silly error message. Grr... its just like last time. Guess I celebrated too early. *Uninstalls game*

Sigh... now what? Online, play games, eat, drink...blah...blah...blah... (life it getting more and more routine isn't it?). My sis brought home a CD with all the photos from her camp not so long ago, but I still haven't seen my precious memory cards yet T_T. Omg, there is a whole folder (which I presume to be all the photos from the same camera) of RIDICULOUSLY overexposed photographs. I'm aware that not all photographers are nearly as savvy as myself, but this is too much! ALL the photographs are too bright and show little contrast. I'm betting that he played around with the manual settings, forgot about it, kept on snapping photos, and never bothered to check the histogram. Trust me, auto mode of any camera that performs that bad MUST go extinct, wiped off the face of the universe. I'll check the EXIF metadata to see what went wrong another time.

My bro came home from the exam hall with a hearty laugh. I wonder if he went nuts because it was too easy, or too hard. Most likely the former, hehe. I have confidence in him. He's bright. Very hardworking (far more than myself, since I almost NEVER submitted my homework for as far as I could remember). His Chemistry schoolteacher is bold in performing experiments and armed with decades of experience (a photography nut too, complete with a dSLR camera o_O"). His Chemistry tuition teacher writes books, including the Form 4 Science textbook (I think, but too bad it wasn't chemistry) and various reference books. Its hard to get anything less than an "A" with a combination of these.

Tonight, he'll study for tomorrow's Biology exam. Tomorrow, he'll come home a "free man" because he has no reason to worry about the EST exam which follows (on Friday). Yay~ That means I can play games with him. Perhaps its time to settle this age old dispute once and for all: Who is the better strategist under this roof? Both have studied the works of Sun Tzu, Sun Bin, and various others. Too bad I haven't read Carl von Clausewitz's On War but never mind, neither has he.

Of course, the showdown is only possible with a router, which I hope to buy during the upcoming PC Fair. Will be going on Sunday instead of Saturday due to family affairs. I'm worried because that mean's I'll only be going with my mom, who is computer illiterate (except for dismantling important parts and hiding it to keep us away from the PC). If we were going on Saturday, I would be going with both my parents. Since computers are all in a day's work for my dad, I'm more comfortable shopping for silicon with him.

lol, even the ultrasound scanner my dad uses has Windows in it. During the first few days it was purchased, the machine was kept at home. I used it to play Minesweeper while someone else uses the PC (I don't have a laptop at the time). lol, imagine, playing Minesweeper with a state-of-the-art medical device, complete with a price tag equivalent to that of a Proton Saga (at the time). I'd bet most most doctors will butcher their kids for trying that. Hehe~

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Miracles happen... NOT!!! (Not this time, at least)

All day long... I didn't went online! Miracle? No! Its because my sibling used it all day long. It was my brother at first, because my sis took a bus to a mall in Butterworth with her friends. Then, when she came back, she took over the PC and won't answer my requests to have a moment with the internet, even when it was 11pm, almost bedtime.

I managed to dig out an old game from my "archives". Btw, my archive has games older than Win98. Since I'm buying new games from time to time, imagine its size. I don't think I can fit them all in my backpack, even without the cover. Anyway, this game I dug out, "Full Spectrum Warrior" its called, I stopped playing it since early this year because it won't run well. Kept crashing.

But this is not early 2005, this is late 2005! And the game runs as smooth as it can ever be (although I don't know why it worked this time)! Its a nice change of scene from the usual war games, because I no longer do the shooting. Instead, I order 2 teams of 4 men each to do it for me. This game is more strategy than action, since I can't kill people hiding behind cover (eg, corners, sandbags, walls, ect) and they can't do the same to me. No, I had to move my men around and shoot them from an angle where the cover no longer offers protection, which is much difficult that it sounds especially since its game over if ANY of my men get killed. Its almost like a fast paced chess game. But in the end, I finished the game by midnight. Maybe I'll try a harder difficulty level next.

The phone still won't stop ringing, but its not the house phone anymore, except the first few. This time, its my sis' handphone. When my sis came back, she complained that the kid was calling her by the hour while she's shopping, lol. In the end my sis came out with a novel idea. She'd ask her a riddle, and if the kid can't get it right, she can't call her for four hours! Hehe... One of the riddles were (I taught my sis this riddle some time ago): Which country has no roads. You folks wanna guess? First one to get it right gets RM5 (limited to my friends only :p ). You have the rest of November to guess.

Mom made Yong Tofu today. It was ok, but there are better tofu dishes she could have made. Sigh... At least the Swiss chocolates are really edible (because my mom gave permission to unwrap and indulge it).

I spent the night teaching my bro Chemistry. Hmph! Play games while you're supposed to be studying huh? So naughty (Warning: Hypocrisy alert!).

My dad gave me a CD, and inside was a PDF document one 50 tricks on Photoshop CS (btw, I'm using Photoshop CS2, but I guess I could still learn a few tricks). I glanced thorough the first few pages and it looked boring. But by now, I've learned how to add copyright information in my photos, without disfiguring it. However, it looks tedious if I want to add such information to all the photos I ever took (Their numbers are in the thousands, literally!). Blek! I'm too lazy.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Huh? What dessert?! Where?

Argh... can't sleep well again, and woke up well before sunrise! Grr... What's wrong!? Fortunately, this time I'm smart enough to take my laptop and accessories from my sis' room (where I usually leave it, because that's where the internet cable is) to mine last night, before her door is locked. So, I get to spend all morning playing games without the need of waking her up. Btw, she slept soundly until 1pm since she was up all night preparing for her upcoming camp. She is the secretary + medic this time. The bad news is, I'm back beside the phone, which rang about 3-4 times before she woke up.

Soon after, I'm surfing the net again. Finally! They've released the new patch for Civilization IV. I downloaded it and was soon testing my improved game. Its still a big sluggish on larger maps, but overall it has improved. Yay~

On the dark side of my day, my mom won't let me play PS2 games. I had to wait till my bro finishes his SPM. Hmm... this wouldn't take long.

It turns out that my sis made lemon tea flavored jelly yesterday afternoon, and I only found out this morning! And that's only because I overheard mom and dad talking about it. Gosh~ I better check on the refrigerator more often. I also got scolded by my dad for spending too much time with the laptop to the extent of not knowing about dessert. Oh ya, I've also found more chocolate (looks delicious. Its Swiss!) hidden deep inside the fridge. I wonder if I can get permission to unwrap and eat it.

Oh ya, I've left out some good news from my previous blog entry. My favorite cousins are coming soon! I'm not sure when, but I do know they'll want a sleep-over with me and my siblings. This is gonna be fun, as long as I don't break my finger again if it boils down into a pillow fight. That was years ago, and it still looks slightly deformed.

My bro decided to play Civ4 with me, so we started a whole new game and built up our respective empire. But when my sis is done with the PC, my bro switched between playing Civ4 and online games (I believe he was playing FlyFF). So, I was left waiting for him to come back (usually after a long wait) to take his turn. It was so nice until he started doing this...

As for the preparation for the Alumni Nite, another 2 signed in, brining the total to 10. Yes! Just right for a whole table. Btw, the email making the reservations was so humourous, especially the part where she begged Mr. Leong to attend the party too. lol~ So funny... Can't stop laughing! Her humour is a real killer!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Look alive! Because the holidays are starting to look alive too!

I woke up damn early today. Thanks to too much afternoon nap yesterday (I think, because this is the 2nd time in a row I woke up too early). I spent time rolling in bed, bathroom trips, drinks, snacks, back to bed... until I finally decide that I can't possibly go back to bed. So, I made breakfast instead (I know, I just had snack).

After searching the refrigerator, I decided to have cheese omelets (just invented the recipe). Ahh... how do I make omelets anyway? Its been so long since the last time I've done any cooking with eggs, other then mixing it with noodle soup. In the end, I ended up putting too little oil, and had to scrub the pan clean with quite an effort. I realized omelets go nicely with slightly melted cream cheese and soya sauce, just make sure either ingredient goes to the egg, not the pan, or you will break your hands trying to clean it.

My brother woke up when I'm almost done with my cooking. He poured himself some apple juice (which he specifically instructed everyone not to drink, so he'll have something to drink while studying), ate some snacks, and stole a bite from my delicious omelet before going back to his books. Last night, he fell asleep on his Chemistry books, lol.

After cleaning up the mess, I chatted with my bro until my parents woke up. Then, we started preparing to go for a morning walk. My siblings aren't coming because my sis has a meeting with her Chinese Orchestra, while my bro would rather be weight lifting at home, because it won't take up much of his time, and he can play with the computer immediately afterwards (which he did until 8pm).

Unfortunately, mom had to go buy vegetables on the last minute, so we were very late. Had breakfast (again?!) at a coffee shop. I ordered "Roti Telur" and orange juice, and I got "Roti Telur" and "Horlicks" instead. Somehow, the Indonesian who took my order mixed up "orange" and "Horlicks". Its wasn't too bad, but I still don't like the new drink. Finally, we proceeded to the local golf course (where our new house is supposed to be built, if it ever gets built).

It turned out that mom had a hidden agenda after all. All she wanted was to see all the beautiful houses that are finished or nearly finished. Plus the landscape of course. Phew... the largest one, an Indian household, was like a palace!

After spending almost an eternity going uphill and downhill, we took a bath at the clubhouse before paying the contractor a visit. The whole conversation was is Hokkien, so I didn't understood a word. Next, we went to an electronics store, where our TV is under repair, and where my favorite (and only) digital camera was purchased. I don't know the motive of my parent's visit here, but I went on window shopping for camera accessories. Nice, huge memory cards, bigger pouch, extra batteries, external flash... and the ultimate eye candy in the store: A wide conversion lens which can be attached to my camera via an adaptor. Problem is, the lens alone costs almost RM500, and I don't want to find out the cost of the adaptor. I didn't bother looking at the new cameras because I know that my camera is as good as a prosumer camera can get. Any better, its probably a dSLR. Besides, the best camera in the market is a very particular Canon camera, although I forgot its name.

When we finally got home, I continued to play games. The arrogant Montezuma declared war on me, in doing so, the English and the Malinese declared war on him too, in accordance to our Mutual Defense Pact. He managed to land a shipload of troops on my home ground, but were quickly dispatched before they could cause any trouble AT ALL. Before long, I had spies sabotaging his industry, Navy SEALs raiding everything undefended, battleships and destroyers bombarding his cities, fighters engaging in air combat (btw, his fighters are propeller powered, mine have jet engines), and stealth bombers blasting everything that looked important. All that, and there is not a single thing he could do about it. Hehe... just wait until I land my tanks ashore.

But before I could finish off my opponent, I fell asleep! Why? Because when the game crashed (must patch...) I fell asleep. It was only 8pm when I woke up, because my bro finally decided to let me have the internet. Phew~.

Yay~ we have 8 alumni coming for the Alumni Nite, just enough to fill a table without looking too empty. Cool, we'll just call it the VIP table, hehe. I was real worried when a few pulled out. At one time, I received an email saying 3 changed their minds and don't want to come!

I've learned that next week, there is going to be a computer fair at PISA (Cue to Zi Yun: Bluetooth. Perhaps a new game?)! Maybe I can buy my wireless router there on the 3rd of December (Saturday), just the day after my bro officially finishes his SPM. I said "officially", because my brother consider the Biology exam next week the end of the exam. The 2 papers after that, are EST (English for Science and Technology). We both agreed that its an opportunity to adorn our certificates with a free 1A, and no less.

In addition, we've been invited to a house warming party by a friend, the one who called me a Watermelono-spaghetto-saurus. I'm sure there will be plenty of watermelons, hehe. Yay~ this holidays are starting to look alive. Just when I thought that's the best of it for now, the TV has arrived! All fixed and ready to go. Dad can now bring his TV (which has a screen area only slightly larger than my laptop's, I think) back to his office, and let up enjoy the much bigger screen. Pity the workers who had to carry it all the way upstairs, because its wasn't a plasma nor LCD TV, despite the size. No, its a CRT :P

I'm going to play PS2 games real soon.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Gunboat Diplomacy

Remember the two pictures in the previous blog? When I wanted to Bluetooth them to my laptop this morning, I realized something is terribly wrong. My laptop's Bluetooth wasn't working! Anyway, my sis needed her phone because she was going for a meeting (to organize yet another camp), so I've got all the time to get it fixed. I even went to the extent of opening my laptop (Kids. Don't try this at home) to make sure the internal Bluetooth card is securely connected to its connector. When I'm finished, I continued playing games.

Mom cooked more spaghetti, and used the leftover sauce from yesterday. Yummy! Spaghetti for both breakfast and lunch, again. She didn't make more for dinner though, but there is still enough sauce for 1-2 servings. Btw, one of my brother's friends gave me a nickname during his visit here, years ago, when my mom was serving spaghetti: Spaghetto-saurus. Later, it became Watermelono-spaghetto-saurus, because I liked watermelons too (sweet ones of course).

After a long afternoon nap, its finally my turn to surf the net. My brother has been using it all day. Not much to do, until dad came along. He showed me what he did with the same photos I edited yesterday, and I'm not impressed. So, I edited again, using the most aggressive noise removal alogrithm possible. Its like dropping a nuclear bomb on noise, it kills it, and everything else. Much detail was lost. In addition, I used the photo of the blank paper (in photography speak, that photo yesterday is referred as "Bias Frame") to cancel out the lens distortion. Muahaha... I win...... Call it father-son rivalry if you will.

In Civilization IV, Montezuma of the Aztecs annoy me. He kept making all sorts of demands when my nation was small. Now that I'm a superpower (I've got satellite-borne lasers for killing incoming nuclear missiles, he's got muskets) and signed Defensive Pacts with the 2nd and 3rd most powerful nations on the map, I tried making a demand instead: 9 Gold per turn, or your head. He nodded. Woohoo~ Free money! It wasn't long before we refused to pay up, but who cares? Most importantly, was the show of power. Now, whenever there's a diplomatic dialog between me and him, I know, for sure, he's in no position to bargain. Even better: I know he's not a threat.

Day of Defeat...

Went jogging in the morning. My sis was supposed to come with me, but she overslept. No cool sunrise scenary this time, but ironically its a good thing, because I won't frown at the fact that I'm still waiting for my camera to be returned. It was quite a run because when I'm about halfway done with the 1st lap, I had to answer "nature's call". I don't know any public toilets around, and I still have to buy breakfast for myself. Fortunately, I managed to finish the rest of the jogging track, get breakfast, and get to a toilet before anything happens. Phew~ Next time I'm emptying my bowels before I leave home, lest a fiasco happens.

Mom is making spaghetti today, YAY!!! My favorite! But the problem is, the Bolognese sauce calls for generous amounts of tomato puree and button mushrooms. Yesterday I abused my hand to open 2 cans. Today, I had to open 4 :S

When I'm done, mom finally lets me have my laptop back, but the charger and the DSL modem are all in my sis' room, and she's still sleeping. That means, I can't go in. So, I lie in bed, with the laptop on my chest, playing Civilization IV. This time, I'm on the losing side. I lagged behind in an arms race, and the English steamrolled my musketeers and longbowman with a never-ending stream of tanks. The Spanish jumped into the fray with less advanced but still formidable army. Despite pressure from 2 technologically advanced armies, my defenses held firm, just barely. I managed to survive long enough to sign a peace treaty, no thanks to my French ally.

But it wasn't long before war was declared again. This time, the French helped, but only to get overwhelmed and lost their own cities. My own cities survived a little longer than those French cities at the border (my nation is sandwiched between the English and the French), but that's it for me. The only reason I didn't lose immediately was because I've just established a city in a newly discovered continent, far far away. Later, I have 2 cities in the "New World", but those 2 are constantly attacked by babarians (armed with rifles!?). Figure out yourself what happened next...

Then my sis finally woke up (just about time, my batteries were almost dry), I went online, had lunch, back online, fell asleep in front of the laptop, and continued until my brother wanted to use the internet. Then, I went back to my game. Started a new map of course. This time, things are more promising. I'm now a world superpower, muahahahha...

Last thing I did for the day, was to fix some photos taken from my sis' camera phone. These are uploaded to my laptop some time ago, but my dad wanted me to fix it for some reason, probably to send to relatives. Oh my god... the quality is so....... just remind me not to go anywhere near camera phones. The "noise" was horrible, the lens diffraction was so clear, and the JPEG compression was so aggressive that the pictures look like a jigsaw puzzle loosely fit together. My god... I'll still be working on it tomorrow.

Can you believe this is a photograph of a white, evenly lit, blank sheet of paper? Using this photo as reference, I managed to Photoshop out the lens diffraction.

A "black frame" image from my sis' camera phone. This is taken with the lens covered up, so it should be all black. Clearly, this isn't the case. All these dots are called "noise", made worse by a very aggressive attempt to cut down file size.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Guess what, my laptop got confiscated! The night before, I publish my post and wanted to shut down my laptop. Then, I ended up reading about photography! A site which I stubbled upon by accident. A negative effect from my random surfing habits :-( Then, my dad, who was having problems sleeping, stumbled upon my midnight mischief. He didn't say much, but I knew I was in trouble. I was right.

The next day (i.e. today), I woke up to find my laptop missing. Then my mom lectured me and ordered all sorts of chores to be done, and promise to exercise more control on laptop usage. I read the paper first before moving on.

There was an article about a 21 year old boy, with a picture of him holding a Dell XPS laptop, and his own BMW behind him. His yearly income is USD60k. His occupation? Professional gamer, plays Counterstrike for a living. Blek~ The game sucks. The only first person shooter today that gives me motion sickness. Anyway, I think he's quite well paid, considering his "work" load.

There was a movie preview on TV. The show was "Reel Review" I think. I don't usually watch TV, but I happen to walked pass the idiot box at the time. They were reviewing "Valiant" at the time, and the host said something like "This movie is actually based on a true story. The Royal Pigeon Service saved many lives during WWI and WWII. Wow, how come we didn't read about that in history." I said: "Good question" (Note: Sarcasm intended).

My mom wanted to make macaroni, and I get to open the cans of button mushrooms. The knob on the can opener that I'm supposed to turn to make the blade rotate, doesn't work. So, I had to use it like a pair of scissors. By the time, I'm done, I can't feel my fingers. At least I liked macaroni......

After a few random chores, my mom assigned me to the one I dread most: Clean up the room. My stuff were quite tidy when I got back from the hostel. All neatly packed in bags placed in one corner. But since my sis wanted those bags, she simply dumped them on the floor, and took the bags, but none of the responsibility.

Keeping my room clean is much harder than keeping my hostel room clean, ironically. This is because most of the storage space has been filled up. I've got my dad's old medical textbooks, bro's various books, my telescope, bro's dumbbells and gloves, an electronic keyboard, and much much more. Since it was so boring, I was regularly distracted by other stuff, including watching my bro play games (he regularly empties entire rooms of players, sometimes by reputation alone), sleep (weather: drizzle. Perfect!), and eat. It was nearly bed time by the time I'm done, so I won't get the laptop till the next day.

All hail the king of procrastination!

Mom bought home some chapatti for dinner, in case there isn't enough macaroni for everyone. The best chapatti in town, she claims, and I don't dispute it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mimics Jar Jar Binks: "How rude..."

I can't believe what my sis did. I've just got the internet from my bro, plugged the RJ-45 cable into my laptop, and let my game go a little while before I save, quit and surf the internet. Then, my sis came in, said she wanted to use the internet, unplug it, plug it back into the PC and start surfing. All that despite my explanation (which quickly became shouting, enough to shake some dust off the cracks and crevices) that I still want to use it. She just play deaf and COMPLETELY ignored me. Hmph! Am I a carpet or something?

So, I'm stuck with my games while I'd rather be surfing and chatting. Just spent all day playing nice with some neighbours, making other more aggressive ones pay dearly for their transgression (with interest), and try to end up in first place. I did, but the game still won't rank my skills on par with Augustus Caesar. In fact, it did the opposite :'(

I've only got my cable back at night. And that's only because my sis is watching TV and my bro went early to bed (so that he can wake up later and study for tomorrow's Add. Math exam).

Sigh... I'm so desperate for a router now, even a conventional, non-wired one would be godsent. And where's that @*&^^% patch for Civ IV?!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Dilemma over!

Not much today, except for more games. Uninstalled that new game and played Civilization IV instead.

Please release the patch soon......

I hope I'll play well enough to be rated as on par with Augustus Caesar, muhahaha...... On top of that, I'll give my military less priority, and try to achieve victory thorough cultural dominance. Soon, everyone on earth will worship Made in (my civilization's name) movies and music.

My sis vacuumed her room, so I borrowed the vacuum cleaner to clean my laptop. Hehe... this is much better than the tiny USB vacuum cleaner I usually use.

I've come to a decision about what to do with the 2 photography competitions. Instead of going through all the trouble, submit myself to all sorts of rules and regulations, and end up standing a chance of submitting myself to more rules and regulations, losing my copyright, and ponder what to do with the prize, I've decided to...... share them for free! At the moment, I'll post all my nice photos here, until I find somewhere better to post them. Be sure to read the captions!

All of them are my work, except the one in Pulau Redang (that's my dad's). Feel free to do whatever with it, except (this is not a complete list) selling or claiming its yours. I've resized it to 1024 x 786 pixels, perfect for a wallpaper for most people! Tada~ nice leh (me, not the photos :D).

Must... have... wireless router!

Not much to do today, except sit in front of my laptop all day long. My siblings dominate the PC today, so I'm stuck with playing games only.

I played a few more rounds in Call of Duty 2, then decided to shut down my laptop. I'll uninstall it soon. I have no idea how this game became one of the top games, scoring 8.8/10 points in So, I went back to playing Civilization IV, trying to appease my neighbours, fend of the barbarian hordes (especially when they somehow bypassed a choke point I set up and start attacking my capital), forge close trade and diplomatic relationships, until I finished the game.

Next, I took a nap. So boring without the internet, and without the patch for the game. Its been so long since it went into testing. How come it takes so long? Just QA testing... My brother got himself a new online game (isn't he supposed to be practicing his Add. Math?).

By the time I got the internet, its 11pm. Poor I... Sigh...... Then, mom wanted me to look for universities there and then. So I just look around MMU, Nanyang, and NUS just to humour her. Those folks in Singapore are as sly as a fox! The government pays for a large portion of the tuition fees (even foreign students), but in return, they have to work for a Singaporean company for 3 years. Heck! In 3 years, they've already got a home and a secure job on the island, who wants to go back to their motherland? No wonder we in Malaysia is having problems with brain drain.

By the time I finished checking those (no way I'm going there, still too expensive), checked my mail and everything, there isn't time to blog. Mom demands I shut down my laptop immediately. Sigh, I online less than 2 hours (half of which is spent on something I'd rather do another day, on her orders) and she wants me to shut down now. Have to blog another day.

In the news, there is yet another photography contest, this time by Fujifilm. Sigh... now what...... Then, there is a 6 year old boy who could Waltz through Form 5 Add. Maths papers. Wow... I'd guess his IQ would easily surpass 280. Wish I could do that too, lol

My sis also did something real silly today. She smeared cream cheese on two pieces of bread, and puts it in the toaster! lol. Normally, we would toast the bread in a broiler instead if we wanted anything melted with it. Now everyone is wondering how to scrape off the melted cheese in the toaster XD. lol

Sunday, November 20, 2005

"Ham Sap" Doggie. Bad dog!

My dad tried to wake me up for jogging this morning, but I'm not in the mood. Feeling lazy today. Besides, the clothes I usually wear for sports is still in the laundry, waiting to be ironed. You know, the one with "I Have Participated In The Making of The Largest Jalur Gemilang made of Grain" written at the back. Not too proud of it though, the flag is out of proportion.

First thing I noticed was that my laptop is missing. Nope, its not a thief this time, it was mom. She confiscated it before leaving home with dad and sis. I still had my mouse and I wanted to type my blog (the previous entry, not this one). So, I used the on screen keyboard. To Windows XP users who don't know, you can access this by clicking Start=> All Programs=> Accessories=> Accessibility=> On Screen Keyboard. From there, I started typing clicking my blog.

Hours later, I've typed clicked several paragraphs, and just finished typing about the grass around the nearby lake. Then, my PC hang, showing me the infamous blue screen of death, talking about some "infinite loop error". Grr... I want my laptop back!

After doing tonnes of chores, including beating various cooking ingredients to a pulp, do the laundry, disinfecting one of the cordless phones (mom says its because its second hand, given by my uncle), rewire the telephone line to my room, and connect the cordless phone there, install its handset downstairs, and making sure it works, I got my laptop back. Phew...... At least no more phones to ring right beside me, because they're still ringing.

I played games. Can't use the internet with my laptop because my brother was downloading stuff again. So I played games, until I finished that new game on "Regular" difficulty (not "Easy"). Then, to bed I went, until dinner time. Before (its called "appetizer :p )and after dinner, I had ice cream. My sis was real surprised to see me eating mango, lol. I don't think there is any ice cream flavour on the market I wouldn't eat, unless it is purpose-built to disgust me. The ice cream finished today, in contrast with the weeks it took to finish the green tea flavour ice cream.

I think the whole family has been mistreating the dog. I caught it holding a cushion mom made for the chairs in the living room by its mouth, and attempting to mate with it. Wah, so desperate o_O". I yelled at it before it could do anymore "damage". Then again, last time my friend brought a female Shih Tzu (same breed as my dog) to my home, all they could do is bark at each other, and follow each other throughout the house, all day long. In a desperate attempt, we placed them both in a small cage, but all they can do is sit in their corner in the cage and do nothing. To this day both dogs are still virgin, no puppies for either of us. So don't say I'm evil and deprive my dog of its "needs". I tried. Understood? Good.

When its finally my chance to go online, I spent it dealing with the alumni students, chatting and helping out a friend in need, or two. Then its blog time. Mmm... I love keyboards. They're so fast, not like mouse-typing.

My sis made a beautiful bead bracelet within the hour. Cool, except I get to wear it around her wrist for her. Only then I've noticed the dexterity of my hands are sadly lacking. Took me forever to help her put it on. Good thing I'm not going to be a surgeon. Otherwise, I might mistakenly insert an IV tube into my patient's trachea instead of his veins in the wrist.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I scream, we scream. We scream for ice cream!

My sis and I are supposed to go jogging today, with a friend of her's. Unfortunately her friend couldn't wake up (again), so we went jogging all by our lonesome.

Omg, the sky was so beautiful! Where's my camera? Err... camera?

Apparently, after my sis' camp, one of her colleagues wanted ALL the pictures in one CD. So he took all 4 cameras in camp with him, including mine. I'd understand if he wants the pictures and takes the memory cards, but the whole thing!? Even if he just wants to use it as an overpriced card reader, he didn't have the cable which connects the camera to a computer. Grr... that guy better returns it unscratched, because if I start demanding compensation, it'll be with interest rates so high, that I'll make even the most notorious loan sharks blush in shame. *Clutches fist*

Ops, went off-topic.

During our laps around the lake, my sis told me more about her camp. In fact, they had one of their station games here, and also, where most injuries occurred. I suppose kids today are made of cardboard instead of bones, and jelly in place of skin and flesh. We also met my high school Add. Maths/Maths teacher, our primary school English teacher, and one of my close friend's mom. Wah, since when my social calendar became so full (by my standards, at least). On the way back, we bought breakfast for our bro (our breakfast is already ready at home, but for some reason, he didn't fancy tapioca) and met my sis' Living Skills teacher.

Next, I helped mom did a bit of "gardening". Some plants were growing on the walls, and mom wants them out before it springs cracks on the wall. Most didn't survive a good shake followed by a jerk, except the last one. Its small, so I thought I could just reach up and uproot it. Big mistake, it was far more stubborn than that. I climbed onto a chair to gain more height, and get in a better position to pull it. After considerable effort, it simply broke in two, leaving the roots where is was. Hey, that won't do, I don't want it to grow back! Grandpa suggested poisoning it with kerosene, I just hope he doesn't burn down the house, or mistaken as an arson when he tries that, lol.

Meanwhile, my brother is supposed to buy a book for his Add. Maths so he could spend the next few days doing last minute practice. Since the local bookstore was closed, mom took him all the way to Butterworth to buy it from the Popular Bookstore branch there after lunch. My sis tagged along, leaving me all alone at home. I went out to buy a new game, and some blank discs to backup my stuff (so I wouldn't mind deleting them). Another reason, is to simply get away from the phone. Those kids never seem to quit calling.

Since I've already stepped out of my door, I visited a Flower Fest held just a stone's throw away from home. They were beautiful, but nothing special. Still worth photographing though. There was also a small exhibition hall, where all sort of plans are drawn out to turn the city into a huge garden by 2010. One such plan involves the very lake I often jog in. They wanna build a fountain in the middle of the lake (like the dancing fountain of Mines Wonderland?), an amphitheater to watch the show, and a floating restaurant, among other things. Pretty cool is it? Wait till you hear the price tag: RM1.8 million, for the plan to developed the lake area alone.

Even if the local council has the political will and vast resources to make it that way, are the citizens prepared to keep it that way? No point having an amphitheater with the grandeur to rival the Hagia Sophia, if people are just gonna treat it like canvas and spray paint on it, right? Oh ya, in the mean time, the grass growing around the lake needs trimming NOW.

When I got home, I installed my new game: Call of Duty 2. It took up a whooping 4GB of disc space. Had to make way for it. Its a good game, if all you ever want to do is to kill Nazis all day long. There are some interesting quotes appearing from time to time. My favourite (because of its humour) is:

"May god have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't"
--General George S. Patton

My mom and siblings returned very late, as expected. They spent about 5 hours buying a book, lol. Again, as expected, they came home with other stuff, including 2 cordless phones (Huh? Why do we need this?), and... *Drum rolls please* more Haagen Dazs! Unfortunately, its mango this time. Everyone here likes mango. My sis actually thinks I don't like mango because I rarely eat the fruit whenever mom serves it. Huge error! I like mango!!! Not the fruit itself, but the juice, candy, cake...... ice cream! Muahahaha....... Please excuse me while I go steal some frozen milk and fruit.

*Evil laughter* Hehehe...... >:-D

I didn't get to use the internet since my siblings returned, so I had to type this blog real late.

Sigh... I've read a notice that says that the patch for the Civilization IV game is in final testing since Monday. Can't wait for its release...

Friday, November 18, 2005

MuSt DiScOnNeCt PhOnE... @.@

I woke up quite late today, but my sis did even better! I was already late for lunch, she woke up as I filled my plate.

Then, as I did the usual stuff on my laptop (I'm not gonna bore you with the details), she slept again, or at least she tried. From time to time, her handphone starts ringing. Eventually, the house phone starts ringing too. btw, during her sleep, she accumulated 6 missed calls since last night. Total: 9.

Don't ask me what the kids want. At one point, they even asked for her address! Omg, and the kids don't even know her name. They just say "I'm looking for Koh... Koh... Koh......" Then, there is another who referred to my sis as "护士姐姐". That's "Sister nurse" to those who don't know Chinese. Omg, don't tell me those kids all have a nurse fetish! Wah! Scary... *Hides 12 inch knife in bedroom*

And all those phone calls are so annoying! Not an hour passes without AT LEAST one call. And mind you that, due to the location of my laptop, my ears mere 50cm from the phone. Every time it rings, it interrupts whatever I'm doing, severely damages my ear, breaks my nerves, and after all that, I gave to get my sis to the phone. My ears are still ringing (not the phone anymore) as I type this in the middle of the night. Grr... I'm so tempted to disconnect the phone, but what if a genuine important call comes? Sigh...

At least my sis now agrees with me on one thing: Handphones aren't necessarily a blessing. Yes, that's vibrating most of the time too.

I've also burnt some CDs (photos from Summer Carnival, Prom Night and last day of classes) Hun Wen wanted. First time I've done something a month before its due, lol. Usually, I tend to rush things in the very last moment. Imagine how bored I am today. Maybe I'll go get a new game soon, or go back to the PS2.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Photograpical Dilemma

I spent all morning helping mom with chores. Fortunately, one of them included peeling sea coconuts, because that would mean dessert! Yes!!! Unfortunately, today's menu also included steamed fish :( I know its healthy, don't even try to lecture me, but its far from being my favourite (for most varieties of steamed fish).

Normally, my brother won't discuss how he did in his SPM, in accordence to his teacher's advice. But for today, he made an exception. Its Modern Maths, and he thrives on it. He is very confident he only got one wrong. Anyway, he came with 2 friends and studied together for the 2nd paper later today. But sometimes, it looks more like my brother was giving a free private tuition class, lol. So proud (too bad I can't say the same with most of his other subjects, except a few).

I came across a news artical about the Sony Nature Photography Contest, so I searched the web for details, and even sent an email asking for some clarifications (which was promptly replied. Cue: Applause). But now, I'm not sure whether to participate or not. I have a few photos I could submit. One from the Summer Carnival and some from Pedu Lake. Maybe a few more if I dig through my photo album (its 6.5 GB by the way). But, what if I win?

The 1st prize (student category) is a RM3000 Sony voucher. That means I'll have to buy Sony stuff. Like what? I don't have anything in mind, except a better camera, but I don't have any particular camera in mind. And its a voucher, which means they'll have all sorts of rules like "Valid till (insert a date quite near the date the prizes are given)". Or worse: "This voucher is only valid for purchases of RM(Insert absurdly high number here) and above in a single receipt."

After all that fuss, there is still one dilema. Am I willing to let go? These pics (especially the sunset at Batu Feringgi) are my best works ever! You can say its almost (pity, just almost ar?) my pride and joy! If I win, I have to give up my copyrights EXCLUSIVELY to Sony. That means Sony owns my pics, not me. Personally, I'm not sure whether stripping down my bragging rights to "Look, I took this picture (if they still let me show it around)" is worth RM3000, all that trouble, 15 minutes of fame, and the right to brag about being the winner.

Ok, maybe I've been too optimistic. What if I lose? Well, the rules state that I must submit A4 sized prints, a soft copy the the pictures (CD, thumbdrive, whatever), and if I want it returned in event of a defeat in the hands of a better photographer, I must include a self-addressed envelope with stamp. Ok, how much is all that gonna cost me? If I lose, its all that spent for nil. Plus, I've seen and heard all sorts of horror stories about our postal service, when those which involved registered mail. So, how do I make sure it arrives in one piece and not damaged/bent? Heck, how do I make sure it arrives in the first place!? And what about the journey home? Will it survive another trip? How much extra are the precautions are gonna cost me? All for naught!

Sigh...... Now what?

Took a little quiz just for the sake of curiosity. See the post below.

When my brother returned home from his Modern Math Paper 2 exam, he's very happy. He claims that he got every question right. Yay~ But when my sis returns from camp, she was totally drained. As if taking care of kids wasn't bad enough, she had to deal with medical issues too. And the PBSM girl who was there won't take her advise at all, particularly when dealing with a child having an asthma attack. Fool! My sis spent last year's holidays working at dad's clinic! And isn't it too ignorant to ignore advice from someone who has been there, done that (my sis has asthma too)? Bleh, her ego nearly killed the child. Apart from that, my sis had to check on the kids' health in the middle of the night, especially the one with asthma, lest it strikes in his sleep. Asthma symptoms usually decreases with age, so kids are particularly vulnerable. Then, there are those with sprained ankles and sun stroke. Why today's kids are so "fragile"? I'd bet I can drop a porcelain vase and one of those kids from my knee height, and the vase won't break, but the kid will.

Then, they are very "manja" also. Always want story time, and my sis and her friend's company. They even wanna sleep with my sis (don't take this the wrong way)! Then, when parting, they wanted the organizing committee member's numbers. As far as I know, my sis currently has 3 calls from unknown numbers. Guess who? lol, my sis can start her fan club.

Ok, enough about kids. Keep ranting like that, and my parents will be disappointed to find that the most senior family member of my generation (that would be me, as far as grandpa is concerned) is childless in the near future.

When its time for dinner, I had the dessert and some biscuits first. Hehe... can't resist. The only sugar I had recently are in fruits and vegetables. Then, my mom yelled at me, not because I'm eating the wrong dinner, but because I've got a phone call. Huh? Phone call for me? Who would bother to call me? As if that wasn't interesting enough, she added: "its a girl." lol, this is really interesting.

It turned out to be Angeline (cheh...). Apparently, there is going to be a staff party on the coming Sunday and they needed a photographer/video cameraman. Then, someone took note of my handiwork and recommended me for the job. lol, so flattering, but I have little inclination to travel across the sea so take pics of a party where only Michael (the emcee) is the only other student attending. Especially if I'm not the driver (that's usually my mom, because I get lost easily).

Late at night, I was told that the KL trip was CANCELED. Somehow, I knew this wouldn't go well, although I was hoping I was wrong. But too many people backed out, so... its gone. And the organizer was deeply hurt too, by all the negative criticism.

Oh ya, there was also an email. It tells about an award to be given during Alumni night for each for the following categories: The Einstein Award for Academics, Mr. Congeniality, Ms. Congeniality, Top Talent Award The Style Award for Fashion – Male, The Style Award for Fashion – Female, The Perfection Award for All-Rounder (a friend calls the last category "Voting for God", lol).

Of course, I'm not stupid enough to publish whom am I voting for right here, lest it causes an uproar. Besides, although I've filled all the information I need to fill, and the email is ready to send now, I'll wait a few days, spend a few night thinking about it. Plenty of time for that, now that I don't need to worry about KL and preparing for the trip there.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Koh, your love personality type is INFP

I've got yet another email from Usually I don't bother but this one seems interesting enough. Its "The Love Personality Test"!!! So, after answering 40 something questions, I've got my results: INFP. Cool, its consistant with what I got during the MBTI Workshop at college some time ago. Let's see what else it says (In blue, are my comments):

About 3-4% of the U.S. population possesses the combination of traits that make up this personality type.

Yay... I'm a rare specimen.

Being an INFP means that like a walking encyclopedia, you can be an incredible resource of information. In fact, people of your type have such a diverse array of interests that others probably see you as a real Renaissance person. More than many people, you appear to have the gift of being able to think with your head and your heart. This can make you a compassionate individual. In addition, although you may not necessarily be religious, chances are you're deeply in tune with your feelings and spirituality. Being conscious and creative can be vital aspects of your identity. Given your passionately held beliefs, you're not the kind of person who is going to easily lose sight of who you are.

Err... ok. I can agree with that, except I'm not so sure what the last sentence means.

In relationships, you're the kind who is able to fulfill both the roles of a caring friend and a romantic partner. You don't take your relationships for granted. For example, you'd ordinarily rather spend your time with close friends than spread yourself thin between many acquaintances. You are a genuine person - not the type to hand out meaningless compliments. Most times, you'll think carefully before you speak, so when you do say something others know that your praise is real.

lol, that's very flattering XD (Perhaps too flattering)

Ahh... Visitors! Welcome!!!

I don't know what got into me. For some reason, I slept OVER 12 hours, waking up at 2.30pm. Then it gets worse. I went about doing my business, whatever people do when they've just woke up (minus breakfast). Saw my dog's "business" at the front door. Sigh... need to clean it up later.

Wait, isn't Shy Peng visiting at 3? *Looks at clock a screams at the 10 minutes remaining*

In record speed, I bathed, cleaned up my dog's "minefield", tidy up whatever that is out-of-place and mop the floor. Argghh... no time, forget mopping, mop up my dog's dirty stuff enough!

Good thing Shy Peng was very punctual, but he wasn't early enough to let me have my lunch. I was just holding my plate of veggie and omelet, and going to fill it with unpolished rice (aka brown rice) when he came.

He came with a friend, my friend from high school too. I borrowed my "Sniper Elite" DVD and the ballistics chart I used with the game. Then I ran the training misson for Star Wars: Battlefront II and leave the duo to it while I had "lunch". First time I let someone use my laptop without supervision. Good thing nothing happened when I came back with their drinks, but they didn't do anything either. The poor clone trooper was just standing in the middle of nowhere watching his brothers fighting and dieing.

Since they aren't that interested, I later switched to Civilization IV, and started a Hotseat game. We played until its time to say good bye. Soon after, I continued the game, until Shy Peng and his Mongolian Empire was destroyed by barbarians o_O"

Ahh... finally, back to the internet. Turns out that Yi Charn logged off because of connection problems, not because she was angry. Phew... In the meantime, I've read blogs, read articles, read this, studied that, and chat.

For dinner, I've got honey melons for dessert. Yummy~ my favourite fruit (if its sweet enough, but mom tends to pick the sweet ones). I took my dog so it could do its business outside (lest I have to mop the floor again). Dad gave me a chemical peeling session. The first thing he said when he started was "Wah, so many pimples". Hehe... ya meh?

My friend sent me some photos she took during her trip to China. Ei? Why didn't she send any photos of herself? Oh well, here's one photo I particularly liked:

Eek! I wanna go too!!! (But only if they decide to fix their toilets)

Monday, November 14, 2005

After a long walk in the dark...

Nothing but the usual. Typed blogs, chat, sleep, eat, surf the net, play games...... ect. At least till evening.

My sis SMSed me, asking for a loose T-shirt to be delivered to her at camp. But it is only when she miss-called me half an hour later, I read the message. No can do, mom sent her car for repair. Oil leak (its an old car after all, dating back to my kindergarten days). So she sent one more SMS asking for help, and I surrendered. Took a bath and WALKED to a local Buddhist association/temple.

When I got there, I asked someone to fetch my sis. While waiting, I got this weird stare from a girl. She was gawking at me for a while, until she finally said:" You're not Wenying's boyfriend, right?" lol, of course not!

When my sis came, at least she seemed very happy. She was like... almost at tears when she said "thank you", lol. I didn't stay for long though, I want dinner! So I walked home, ate, play games, and wondered what was that girl thinking, gawking at me like that.

Was it:

  1. Omg! What is that? A chance to tease Wenying?
  2. Eekk! Handsome!!! Is he taken? (Heaven forbid... blek)
  3. Eeww! Gross...... Wenying's bf ar? Bad taste. Go away, I'm eating!
  4. Omg! Wenying has a boyfriend!
  5. (Something else, beyond the scope of my imagination)

Oh well... doen't matter. Hmm... On second thought, it might make a very interesting topic! What do you folks think? Comment! Comment!

A PARTICULAR annoying fellow posted a rather offensive message on our Yahoo group. Pfft... some people have skin tougher than the steel hull of the legendary battleship Yamato. He just won't show the slightest hint of remorse!

Yi Charn was a bit bored when she came online, so we had a little "perli" fest. Then I played a little prank on her, and I think I went overboard. She logged off. Uh...oh...... *Starts typing email of apology, and pray hard*

Mmm... Tastes like chicken

Woke up to the noisy sound of my alarm clock. Wait, why would I want the alarm to ring in the middle of my holiday anyway? Its because I wanna go jogging! Omg... sunrise was so beautiful. Why must my sis take my camera...T_T She better take some interesting photos, or else......

I bumped into my dad on my way back, while he was taking the dog on a walk and taking care of "business". So he simply let me take the dog home and went on with whatever he wanted to do. Convenient eh? Speaking of doggie business, me and my family are civic minded enough to pick up the poo and pack it in a plastic bag for disposal, and wash away the pee with water. Why? Because during our visit to the US, dog owners are actually required by law to have some means (like the plastic bag) to cleanly dispose of dog poo whenever they go for a walk. There are even dispensers distributing free bags for this purpose at a certain park we visited. We were impressed.

But to be fair, I'll let you know then when walking around in San Francisco, there was human poo on the sidewalk. Don't ask me how it got there, I don't wanna know either. Guess Malaysia isn't so bad after all eh? At least we can't even find dog poo along the main roads of Georgetown.

Why am I talking about poo anyway? Ewww.... back to topic. (is there a topic anyway?)

Back home, my brother was already using the PC, and the internet. He's been waking up real early these days. So, I had to wait for him to finish up. It was about 11.30 when he left for the public library with his friend. He told me not to use the internet until the movie he was downloading is finished, but who cares? He isn't supposed to touch the PC anyway (although enforcement of this rule has been very lenient).

Next, I spent ALL day and night blogging about yesterday's field trip. Of course, I was constantly distracted by chatting and reading, not that I'm complaining.

Mom went out to visit my grandaunt. That leaves me all alone at home. When Its time for lunch, I felt like I wanted something other than good old H2O rushing down my throat, but I'm too lazy to walk out the door to buy some drinks too. So, I searched the refrigerator and found a coconut. Obviously, I've learnt nothing about opening coconuts from last time and start wondering how mom did it. In the end, I managed to cut a nice round hole big enough to dig out the flesh with ease. Yay~ I've done it! Ah... I can taste victory....... It tastes like coconut juice.

At night, everyone skipped dinner and waited for dad to come home. When he did, its supper time. Mom served a whole chicken, wrapped in paper (not writing paper of course), rock salt, and aluminium foil. A family favourite. Dad even SMSed my sis (who was still at camp) about the chicken and apple juice, both her favourites. Next thing I knew, she called home and asked me to get dad on the phone. I don't know what they discussed though.

I went on blogging until late night. The word count was 2180 words, and a whole lot of photos. Phew.... give my fingers a break! Zzz......

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Field trip.

Shortly after posting my blog yesterday...

Ok ok, I know you're anxious to read about the field trip, but just bear with me for a sec, ok? Thank you.

My dad walked pass my sis' room (where the all the computer-related stuff, including the internet line, are located) holding an antique. The only thing older than it is the house itself, some of the furniture, a broken vinyl record player, and my parents. That's right, that thing is even older than me, and its called an SLR camera. You know, one of those huge film cameras with an even larger lens assembly. The only reason my dad eventually switched to a point-and-shoot film camera is because he can't find any passer-bys who knows how to use it to help him take photos.

As he walked pass, he said its so old that there is mold growing on it. The next time I saw him, his eyes was glowing with enthusiasm, thinking that his camera can still be saved. After an hour of labour, he managed to get it cleaned, but not working.

Oh well... so much for nostalgia.

Next morning, I woke up as early as 5.30am, 30 minutes later than I intended. Anyway, I managed to get ready soon enough. Mom helped me preparing breakfast and tea. Dad woke up much later. But in the end, I had to wait for them to get ready. The original plan was to set off at 6.45am, but it became 7am.

Dad still won't give up on his camera. He now believes that its because of the dead batteries, and sent me off buying a new one. Those are button cells he's looking for, but where am I supposed to find it at 7am?

He suggested the new 7-11 shop nearby. Problem is, last time I checked, it wasn't even opened yet, but I went out anyway, due to the boredom of sitting at home waiting for my parents to get ready. It turned out that their grand opening is at 9am, so I'm their first customer! There were only some shop keepers making final preparations. By the way, they don't stock button cells -_-''

We finally set off, and arrived in the nick of time, IF the bus were to arrive on time too. It was about 10 minutes late. On the way up the hill, there was a rainbow to the west. It was beautiful! And it seemed to "originate" from some flats in the distance, with rolling hills as background. Wow...... but I know better than to snap photos from a moving car. I only photographed it once I reached college. The view wasn't nearly as spectacular from there.

Wait... Aren't rainbows a sign of incoming bad weather? Uh oh......

When the bus was finally here, we boarded it. I was surprised at our small numbers at first. It was only later when I found out that we'll be picking up more passengers later. On the way, I showed Zi Yun how to crack her game's CD protection, and hope for the best. Then, our new passengers joined us. They were Lin Hui, Kevin, Dr Ooi...... ect and a whole bunch of...... kids? I was told that the kids are Dr Ooi's wife's students, but I don't know about the few secondary school students who joined us too.

Our first stop was the Tropical Spice Garden. Beautiful place, and smells good too, but our time there could have been better. Its a bit boring actually, maybe its because we were on a rush and we didn't get a guided tour. But still, it was a great eye candy, and the nose too. We were each given a squirt of insect repellent to rub on ourselves, then we're on our own. After a long walk, we took a tram ride to a gift shop where there is also a small muzium and cafe with an ocean view. Too bad the cafe was closed for renovations. Kevin lost his sunglasses somewhere in the garden and it was never seen again. Now, here is where my blog briefly becomes a photo-blog.

The entrance. Here we go!

Are we there yet?

Zzzz..... (Note: The hammock is wet :p )

A piece of driftwood that washed ashore in front of the garden during last year's tsunami, now becomes a memorial.

Jun Yen and Mervynn firmly believes that the best way to learn is through first hand experiance. Lesson of the day? Papyrus stems are edible.

After a tram ride. You think I should have got a hair cut a day before?

The Tropical Spice Museum

Inside the museum

Next up, is the Tropical Fruit Farm. En route, I played games on my laptop to burn time. When we got there, we took a short hike up to a building where some fruits and juices are on sale. Soon, our guide took us all on the best part of the trip... Our guide had a weird accent, ok English, and one hell of a sense of humour.

He started by explaining telling us about the time worn Malay proverb "Pisang tidak berbuah dua kali" ("Bananas don't bear fruit twice") and the reason behind it. As he went on, we saw all sorts of plants, fruits and learned all sorts of interesting stuff about them.

For example, we learned that there is a delicious variety of bananas called "Toman", and the owner of the farm suggested to Tun Dr Mahathir that the banana be named after him. However, he rejected the idea because he noted that the Prime Ministers before him did not have fruits named after them.

Other interesting things we learned included why dragon fruits on the market are tasteless, which is the smallest of bananas, where are the flowers of the fig tree, why pruning in compulsory in certain fruit trees..... and much much more! Unfortunately, I was right about the weather. Soon after we started the tour, the sky started to drizzle. Some had straw hats taken from the building where we started our tour, others had umbrellas, but most of us took the full force of the rain, which became heavier by the time the tour was rushed to an early end. We had to go back to where we started by van, in batches of 10, to avoid getting any wetter than we already are. During our wait, Kevin took one of the bananas used for decoration and ate it. He also spared some for a few friends. Hmm... that's for decoration, so is it injected with formaldehyde? Good thing I was wrong, lol.

There, some of us had fruit juices. Oh ya, there is also an enormous scale there, where, out of curiosity, I weighed my laptop on it. 3.3kg, ouch. Then, due to popular demand, I weighed my bag too. It exceeded 7kg. If I counted in the books, stationeries, calculators, and loose sheets of paper I usually carry in it during my recently concluded college days, I think it should be around 10kg. Wow, I can actually go to Relau and back carrying that.

Our guide, explaining why bananas are so stingy with its fruits.

The smallest of bananas: Pisang monyet Can you even see it? Its the small green protrudings under the flower.

Try some dragon fruit!

A flower which will eventually develop into a dragon fruit. But on what does it grows on?

That's right! Dragon fruit is from a cactus plant! Its native to Mexico.

A nutmeg

Fortunately for her, no preservatives (especially those of the highly toxic variety) were added to that piece of banana.

The "base camp" before our hike. Anyone fancy some juice?

After the tour, we headed to Teluk Bahang forest reserve. Unfortunately, it was raining heavily. Zi Yun described it as "raining cats and dogs". I prefer to think that half of Malaysia's moist air is condensing on top of our heads. So, be headed to the butterfly fame instead. At least there was ample shelter there, under which he had our lunch. In the end, the rain was still too heavy, so we canceled this part too, and got our refund. Too bad.

Ironic. We came all the way here, but never went in.

And about those kids. I think they just look like kids. Out of the blue, one of them asked me whether I have a girlfriend, and I said "no". Then he went on saying lots of gibberish. But the few words I managed to catch included marriage... o_O''. Then, the kids went on and speculated that Zi Yun is my gf! Then, one of them wanted to tell me a ghost story while all I wanted was a nap. And they even tried to make fun of me while I tried to sleep. These kids are too scary, I'm going to the back... In a separate incident, a boy and a girl among those kids were arguing. Then the boy said, in Chinese: "I take off my trousers and show you my (censored)." What do they teach kids these day o_O". Another question, how come they get a Nokia N-gage while I'm using a Nokia 3100 only?

It was only when the kind disembarked when I took back my original seat. Everyone was chatting, but I'm no good in group chatter. Too much information being exchanged at the same time. I didn't even have time to digest what is being said. Am I doomed to participating one-on-one conversations only?

On they way, I've got all the pictures Chin Lin took, and burned the pictures (along with mine) on Lin Hui's CD. The CD was passed to Chin Lin so she could copy my photos and pass it to Lin Hui (who disembarked by then).

I called my parents on the bus (that's 3pm), and they said they were shopping, and will hurry to the college to pick me up. When we arrived at college, most of those who disembarked there left pretty soon, and I was the only one left. Later, they called again, saying they're on the way. The next called said they were at McDonalds, Greenlane branch, buying apple pies. Finally, they made it here. By then, it was 5pm, and I have fallen asleep and woke up several times.

On the way home, they told me what they've been up to all day long. Originally, they wanted to go have breakfast after dropping me off, and follow me as I follow the tour group. "To see if I'm chasing girls" they said. But I accidentally put my handphone on "Silent mode" while it should have been on "Discreet mode". So, when dad SMSed me after breakfast, asking for my whereabouts, I never replied it. He (wrongly) assumed the bus would go through Balik Pulau, onto the Tropical Fruit Farm, work our away through all our destinations, and come back to college via Georgetown.

So, they waited there until they can't take it anymore. So bought bananas (my favourite variety: Raya) and some unusually large cloves. Then they visited the butterfly farm (saw lots of butterflies), a batik factory, and the Tropical Spice Garden. There, they got stuck in the rain and had tea while they waited. Oh ya, the staff there forgot to gave them bug repellent, and were ravaged by the insects there until another staff told them that they were supposed to be sprayed with the repellent, much later. After that, they went to Metrojaya (formerly known as Island Plaza) for shopping.

As for the SLR camera... so this is why dad suddenly took out his camera yesterday. To follow me! (But ended up traveling in the opposite direction) Unfortunately, he couldn't find the batteries for his camera. If you folks wanna ask why didn't he just used his 35mm film camera, its because film point-and-shoot cameras are embarrassing. Digital photography is the way to go. But with an SLR, even a film SLR which is older than me, at least he looks professional, not like a dinosaur.

When I got home, first thing I did was recharge the camera, and collapse on bed. The reason why I recharged my camera first, was because of my sis. She is leaving for camp that night and she wanted the camera too. She even took my asthma medicine, due to last minute packing.

At night, I edited photos while trying to help Zi Yun get her new game to work. Solution still pending.... Sigh....... As for the photos, I wished I didn't burn it so early. Some of them had significant improvements even with just an auto-adjusted colour balance, which could have been done quickly.

Shea Speare told me that the trip he is organizing has been postponed to 23 November, and claimed that everything is ready except participants. Hmm... I'll try to get permission to go. Accommodation is at Dynasty Hotel? Good. They have wireless internet facilities there, hehe......

To conclude this, I would say the field trip was very educational and enjoyable. There should be more trips like this.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Random rants

After mopping half the house, I finally switched on my laptop. lol, quite surprising I can stay away from it for that long eh? Edited a photo for Wen See, then spent all morning, and some of my afternoon helping Zi Yun with her game. As I feared, the CD protection system, meant to thward pirate-wannabes, caused all sorts of headaches. Solution pending.... :S

Played more of that Star Wars game. I'm getting the hang of dogfighting and found weakspots of several vehicles. I also getting fond of the Jedi's, plus General Grevious, for their ability to cut down large portions of the very unfortunate enemy army, like hot knife through butter.

My grandaunt isn't doing well after my granduncle passed away. Not doing well, as in, suicidal. My cousins are having a hard time just to (unsuccessfully) stop her crying, let alone comfort her. I can hear her talking between sobs when she spoke to my mom through the phone.

My sis is busy packing. She's got camp from tomorrow night onwards. In fact, she's in charge of emergency medicine there, although she is not a certified first responder. Since I'm home from hostel, there is no shortage of bags here. The problem is, she dumped the stuff in it all over my room. Now half my room has been converted into a junk yard! Its not like I'm concerned, though.

I better start packing too, because I've got a field trip tomorrow. I'll be waking up before dawn, make my own breakfast and set off at 6.45am. I think I should consider myself lucky for being able to participate at all, considering all the fuss.

Oh ya, China has finally unveiled its Olympic mascots! Not really cute, if you ask me. What do you folks think? Details here.

The Beijing Olympic Mascots. For the first time, there is more that 3.

Feeding Frenzy: Sushi

Not much today, except my brother started his own war: SPM. I had him to buy more blank CDs on the way back, adding a <50m walk to his trip home. Shouldn't be too much fuss.

He won't say much about the exam, only that his teacher forbidden him from discussing until the whole exam was over, so that he could concentrate on the next subject, just like I did last year. lol, compare that with what we HSC students did. We even went to the extent of visiting forums and blogging about it!

He only said that, the exam started late. So it finished so late that there is little time to eat before the next paper. To add insult to injury, the canteen is closed. Well, time to deal with his empty stomach, with sushi!

That's right! Sushi! And no, we didn't go not Sushi King or Sushi Queen or some other Japanese restaurant. Mom made them, alongside with salad, and they were both lovely. Salad doesn't go well with sushi, but mom insisted that our meals are nutritionally balanced. Whatever~ I like'em both!

I also changed the water filter today. I couldn't even remember when was the last time this was done. Eww... the carbon filter was all brown with dirt and God-knows-what! No wonder the manual advised me to clean the filter housing while I'm at it. The cloth I used to wipe the interior of the housing looked like I soaked it in water saturated with Fe3+ ions (for those who already forgotten their chemistry, its brown in colour). I'm just glad its going anywhere but inside me. And to think that I actually bathe in this stuff... Thankfully, changing the UV lamp was far less revolting.

Next, its nothing but games. I wanted to snap some screenshots but got too caught up in the action. Its not easy to remember to press the snap screenshot button while a horde of (insert random enemy here. I've made many enemies recently) wants you dead.

At night, I FINALLY got to use the internet. That's around midnight, I tell you. I found out about a trip to KL from Lin Hui, and got the details about it from our Yahoo group. Its being organized by Mike. Today is 11 November. The trip is supposed to be on 17 November. WHAT'S WITH THE SHORT NOTICE! Such events should have a one month notice, and the preparations should begin much earlier. In fact, my former classmates have organized trips to KL-Melaka-Genting before and it went without a hitch. Guess how much time they spent preparing: Half a year.

Sigh... I'm gonna have a hard time getting permission to go.

Wen See gave me a photo of herself to edit, artisticly. I'm a seasoned (but far from expert, or even veteran) user of Photoshop, but I'm sadly lacking in arts and creativity. Yawn... I'll see what I can do about it tomorrow.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


No jogging today, slept all the way till it's well pass 11am. Since mom insisted that I do more than just starring at the laptop, and I didn't go jogging, she had me doing some chores. Not much, just moving stuff around the store room, dusting (wore masks for this, lest I get another asthma attack), cleaning the fishing rods...... ect.

When dusting stuff in the store room, I accidentally gave my bicycle a little nudge and the whole thing went crashing down. One small part of it hit a disused plastic aquarium. From the portion that was hit, a roughly triangular 4x3 cm piece of plastic fell off, so you can imagine how small was the point of contact. But upon closer inspection, there was a crack at the bottom, along the entire length of the aquarium! Problem is, the sand inside started flowing out. Thank goodness its disused, so no water. Sigh... more problems that need taking care of.

I never knew my bicycle was that heavy...

Ahh... to Star Wars again. I really hate that Naboo map. Why? Because the enemy has a pair of tanks and I don't have any! When I saw the enemy fleet moving toward Naboo (I had to fight the same battle several times over to conquer it), I was screaming "NO! Not Naboo!!!" Yes, screamed. Ask my brother, he heard me screaming.

Sigh... I repelled one invasion, one which was so brutal, it came down to a 1 vs 1 battle. Everyone else will be carried away in bags. The second invasion, did the job, and Naboo is under Imperial rule again. *sob* (oh, did I mention I joined the Rebellion since this afternoon?)

Right now, I've got 3 fleets. One running all over the place, conquering. Anywhere but Naboo. It was just like the way Julius Caesar described his battles: "Veni, vedi, vici" ("I came, I saw, I conquered). The other 2 fleets keeps the Imperial fleet from ever leaving Naboo, and I'm getting better and better in space combat :) Hehe... I'm taking you down, plastic boy! (refers to stormtroopers and their plastic(?) armour)

Ok here's the drill. Grab a shuttle and fly it straight into the hanger of the ISD (Imperial Star Destroyer). Then, fight through the flood (and I do mean flood) of Imperial Marines and pilots. Destroy the computer controlling the auto turrets so my fellow pilots can ease their nerves a bit. Then, destroy the shield generator, life support, and engine cooling system. Finally, hijack a TIE Bomber and destroy anything of interest (ie. Victory II class frigates, bridge, sensors, communications array...ect) until victory is declared, and return to ship as a war hero.

Where's my medal?

By tomorrow, the galaxy will be mine! Muahahahhaha.....

Oh ya, did I mention my mouse ran out of batteries in the middle of a dogfight? (To those who aren't in the know, a dogfight is an aerial combat involving two or more fighter planes, usually very fierce)

Another thing I dislike, is the AT-ATs. Those 4-legged war machines are next to invincible! Which gives me a reason to dislike the Hoth map too, at least when I'm with the rebels. I can try tying up its legs with a snowspeeder's harpoon gun, but I'll need a gunner, and the computer controlled (AI) players are too stupid to do it.

Ok, I'll be the gunner instead, you fly. Then, I suddenly find the AI pilot flying my snowspeeder into a mountain, or worse, the AT-AT. Either way, I died in the crash and eventually lost the battle.

This game needs more balancing.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Star Wars: Berserk-front II

This morning, I went jogging again, but without my sis slowing me down this time. Therefore, I managed to jog an extra round around the lake, but tired quickly. Apparently, my stamina is a mere shadow of its former self. How am I going to take my 1st degree blackbelt test like this?

Back at home, I waited patiently for my download to finish, and it did just shortly before noon. YAY! 83 hours 30 minutes 45 seconds of wait finally bears fruits. But I wonder which would have cost me more? Utility bills for downloading it, or the cost of buying a DVD of the game? Next time, I'll have to be really desperate to download anything larger than 1 GB.

Now... to make way for my new toy...... hehe. Now I regret telling my dad not to upgrade my laptop's hard disk to 80 GB when ordering it. I was worried about the extra cash, and thought 60GB was enough. How wrong was I......

Oh ya, need to burn the CDs Lin Hui wanted. The burning of the 1st CD went fine, but the "Disc Verification" part (which checks the disc to make sure everything is in order) failed instantly. I tried running the disc, and my laptop couldn't find anything. In fact, it thinks the CD tray is empty. So I tried burning it again on a 2nd CD (which was meant for the second half of the photos she asked for) and the same thing appeared. Weird!

Alright, enough of that. Game time, everything else is secondary. Quite nice, both the game and the player (ie. me, lol). But the CD protection software was really good. Gave me a lot of headache before I managed to fool it that I'm using a genuine, original DVD.

There was one interesting part of the game, which occurred on Mustafar. I've replayed the same map over and over again because I kept losing. There is one choke point where all my allies gather up to eat grenades, and all of them became one with the force (which means they're dead). Me, not being able to do much alone, didn't stand half a chance. My brother was sitting beside me, enjoying my demise.

On the last try, I managed to hide in a room near the choke point until all my allies died and the droids running all over the place (including the room I'm hiding) looking for me. I slowly worked my way up the nearest command post, blasting the occasional droid I saw with short bursts of laser fire, until the command post is mine.

Tada~ reinforcements arrived. Then, I continued my onslaught, displaying the same efficiency I did just a moment ago. My brother thinks something got into me and started giving all sorts of theories about it. I think I just went berserk. I'm no Stormtrooper! I'm the emperor's newest elite soldier: The Berserkers. Anyway, I single-handedly turned the tide of the battle. The result was 76 kills for 1 death. Not bad (understatement).

At night, I let my sister try running the 2 CDs on PC. It worked! So, I tried using it on my laptop again. It worked again! Super-weird!!! Now, I have 2 identical CDs, what do I do with it?

Online All Day Long!!!!

YAHOO! Due to my brother's excessive playtime (which he spends on online games), and his upcoming SPM exam, mom confiscated the keyboard! In other words, the internet is all mine!!! Muahahahaha...... I actually online-ed all day long, literally! By the time I'm typing this, my laptop has been hooked up the internet for well over 24 hours.

Not much happened today. Didn't even play games. Spent the day surfing, reading and chatting. Plus the occasional cat nap of course. Then, being fed up with the waiting time for downloading my game, I decided to fork out RM12 on a DVD version of it. Besides, I need some blanks to burn the photos Lin Hui wanted. After asking the shop assistant (never seen this guy before. Newbie?) for the game I wanted, he's unsure, and let me search the place.

Later, a more familiar shop assistant returned, probably after running an errand. He asked me what I'm looking for (on his own initiative. Talk about customer service!), then told me its only available on PS2 at the moment. The PC version will arrive on an unknown date. Guess that means more waiting then.

At least the speed is a bit faster than usual now. I noticed that peer-to-peer download speeds are often erratic. Hmm... a reasonably optimistic estimate, would place the completion type at noon tomorrow. A pessimistic one, will set me back by another day.

Sigh... wish me luck!!!

I suffered a series of two "scandals" today. One was regarding my post several days ago, about the goals I did, and didn't achieve. The secondary objective of not falling in love, attracted attention. Ying Yi interrogated me, and eventually she just got her answer from somewhere else ;P

Next, my friend/ex-classmate studying in Nilai had a friend who took over her laptop. Since it was on MSN, he used it to chat with me. Then, he told me that my friend was "quite famous", because of some unknown boyfriend. Eventually, he thinks I'm that boyfriend! Oh dear... Nilai College must be in an uproar by now, with people saying "So... your mystery boyfriend's name is Jun Lin huh?"

Oi, I'm not in a relationship la. Sigh... now I just hope my friend is doing fine, and doesn't kill me or anything once she returns to town.

Oh ya, remember the ice cream I've been talking about for days? It lasted for days because I never ate more than a few (usually just one) spoonfuls at a time. Now, with so little left, I decided to finish the whole lot! Hmm... delicious. RM17.50 worth of quality ice cream, virtually all mine. Wow... the "Haagen" in "Haagen Dazs" probably means "Heaven" in another language. I noticed it melts very quickly. Maybe its because its more cream than ice? Oh well, ice cream expert ain't me.

"I scream. You scream. We scream for ice cream! Rawr, rawr, RARW~~!!!"

Monday, November 07, 2005

The dream of a perfect girlfriend

Since reading a very interesting entry from Lydia's blog a few days ago, I started thinking: What would a dream girlfriend (maybe even wife, lol) would be like? So, here's the result. Keep in mind I spent days on this, so it'll be, naturally, much longer. Here goes.... (arranged in no particular order)
  1. Understanding
    No need for me to elaborate gua...
  2. Forgiving
    We all make mistakes
  3. Trusts me!
    Relationships are built on trust, duh!
  4. Good cook
    Well... I would like to try something from someone special. Maybe we can even have a one-on-one cooking competition and let our friends be the judges! lol.
  5. Good dress sense
    So that I won't look awkward when bringing her to parties and stuff, and, most importantly, to complement my total lack of dress sense.
  6. The 3 N's
    No smoking, no gambling, and no alcohol (ok, maybe no binge drinking only lah)
  7. Good sense of humour
    Who doesn't like a good laugh?
  8. Good listener/supportive
    Sometimes, even for guys, we just want someone to listen, or even a shoulder to cry on.
  9. Pretty/cute
    Ya, I know this is very shallow, but hey, who doesn't want (or at least prefer) their significant other to be pretty/handsome?
  10. Very important...
    *Kneels down, begging and crying*
    Please don't drag me though the mall!!!
  11. Shares some common interests
    So that we have something to relate to each other.
  12. Character
    Sweet, upbeat, positive, caring...... To cut things short: Sugar, spice, and everything nice.
  13. Good family background
    Last thing I want is the family black sheep, knocking on my door, and asking for money to pay off the loan sharks/drug dealers/police bail/ect.
    *Fanfare music plays*
    She really loves me~

Of course, there are some I left out. Maybe I don't have the vocabulary to describe what I have in mind. Maybe I forgot. Or maybe it simply didn't cross my mind at all. Whichever the case, my point is: This is a partial list. And its not a final list either (got anyone see a ray of hope after reading this? Got? Got? Anyone? lol).

Unfortunately, dreams and reality often disagree. So, must (and will) compromise... On the other hand, I think I can live without one, other than the occasional heart aches that I'm so familiar with.

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