Neko

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

Before I begin to bore you again, I'd like to wish all my Chinese readers (whom, as far as I know, means everyone here):

  1. 恭喜发财
  2. 新年快乐
  3. 万事如意
  4. 年年有余
  5. 学业猛进
  6. ......

Ok, I'm out of ideas, so I'll stop there.

PS:
I've lost my cat. I think its somewhere in this blog. Can you help me find it?

Reward:
Click it, and it'll play a game of "cat and mouse" with you. Click again to stop.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Digest this!

Yes, I know. I've promised daily updates, and it turned out to be worthless. I'm sorry folks, but the internet connection in my hostel just won't cooperate. And I'm even more sorry, to have to strain your eyes with novella-length posts again. Don't worry, this time I'll add it some pictures as eye candy ;)

  • Friday: There isn't supposed to be a lab session today. In fact, there isn't suppose to be an MCB (Molecular and Cell Biology) class today. The thing is: Dr. Ooi is going to take a few days off after Chinese New Year, and there will be replacement classes, which is how I ended up in the biochem lab. Chin Lin brought her camera, like I asked, but it turned out that her camera wasn't good enough for the job. We're supposed to learn how to calibrate an ocular micrometer and how to measure cells with.

    But before the class could even start, some stuff happened. First, an accident happened in the college car park. What happened? See it for yourself.


    By the way, I don't see anyone parking there anymore.

    Secondly, Chia Pei, Hun Wen and Jia Kai dropped by during lunch time. Later, they're "studying" in our biochem lab too. Of course, when we needed volunteers to smear their blood on the microscope slides, and remembered they didn't pay to come in here, they left promptly.

    Chia Pei used the camera to snap some photos too.


    I'd guess this is the first peek of the college's brand new Biochemistry Lab for most of you guys/gals ;)

    Almost everyone stabbed their fingers with a lancet, but most let someone else do it for them instead. I tried several times and my fingers just won't bleed. So, I let Poh Yin do it. No blood either, and I almost ran out of fingers on my left hand. I need my right hand, so its a no-prick zone. Ok, one last try, one the sole survivor: The little finger.

    The lancet won't go it, so she pushed it hard into my finger (And she really took her time *Ouch*.). Finally! I'm bleeding!! Even then, its barely a drop.

    *Sigh* what happen to the time when I offered my blood for science in secondary school. When my teacher would spend a split second on the almost painless procedure and there's enough blood for every slide we microscope we had, except for the girl who came late, well after the bleeding stopped. Had to prick my finger again for her.

    Imagine me typing my reports after that more recent (and painful) prick.

  • As planned, dad brought me my camera that night, and took home my laundry. Yayz~

    But at what cost? Fuel, trouble, bridge toll, repair bills...ect......
    Is it worth it?

    We'll see.

  • Games time, organised by Michael and his English Language Society (in which I'm the Chief Marketing Director). My job, is to photograph the event. I had trouble sleeping, so I was getting ready by 5am. Good thing I had breakfast prepared a day ahead. It was around 6.30am when I set off to college, so early that I had to ask the guard to unlock the back door for me.

    Since I was up and awake at such early hours, better not let it go to waste. How? Snap some photos lah. Maybe I can sell them to the college's Promotions and Marketing Department :p


    Aww... Can't see the stars in the resized version.


    I'd guess I don't need to tell you folks what's this, except that the orange light is from the street lamps.

    When I was snapping the 2nd picture, Mr Leong drove by. When I spoke to him later, he said he thought I was a blur blur student from China who was lost his way, lol.

    Michael really took his time. He told me to be here by 7am, and he came at 7.30am. Even the participants came earlier than him.

    The participants divided themselves into 2 groups. The DEE students called themselves "Odin's Disciple" while the HSC students called themselves "Team Eselod" (They claimed that he's the mortal who killed Apollo, and so they're going to kill the opposition too. On the other hand, Google seems to know none of this, lol).

    After the first few games, I ran off to the Biochem lab. Dr. Ooi and Chin Lin were already there. I focused one of the microscopes in a few seconds (Which they spent forever doing. Chin Lin thinks I'm not human. Dr Ooi thinks I'm talented. I think they forgot to adjust the substage condenser), and snapped a photo. Yes! The quality is high enough. No need to borrow a dSLR camera from college.

    Then I ran back.

    Soon, we had a lab session for Computer Studies. Really boring. I finished 4 lessons' worth of work where others have done 3. Even had time to surf the net on my laptop. Left an hour early because there's nothing left to do. Oh ya, I recharged my camera and loaded the pictures into my laptop while I'm there too :p

    Went out for lunch, then back to college for a little break. I took some medicine, but locked my keys in the locker. Had to call Yi Charn screaming for help. Now I owe her lunch. Sigh~

    Bright side: I've got a date with a pretty lady.
    (Yeah right... "Someone" is gonna kill me for even to think of that)

    Its game time again. It was soon apparent to me that we had the perfect recipe for trouble. The participants were unruly and lacked sportsmanship, especially the HSC students (Absolute zero sportsmanship here). On top of that, the rules weren't very clear, especially when it comes to enforcement. Michael was very lenient too. Its a time bomb waiting to explode, and it did. It turned out to be a nuclear bomb too.

    Arguements spark out almost constantly, in almost every game, especially the later ones. They can last from minutes to HOURS (no exageration). The HSC team seem to be on the prowl for anything to argue about, and later, they're on the prowl for loopholes in the rules too.

    In the last event of the day, it was a water war. Both sides, armed with an assortment of "waterarms" and water balloons, are supposed to battle it out in a Capture-The-Flag style game. Problem is, the HSC team brought their own arsenal of weapons, bucketloads of water-filled plastic bag, on top of 50 water ballons provided.


    Uh oh~

    After a long long arguement (I was told that the HSC team leader's mother was a lawyer. No wonder...), it was agreed that there would be no elimination (means, no "Survivor" style voting off member) for that round. Just soak each other for fun. They soaked everyone alright. They soaked the opposition, they soaked their team mates, they soaked the facillitators, they soaked Michael... Everyone. Only me, Chin Lin were spared. Me and Chin Lin were spared because we were carrying cameras. I also loudly announced that if anything gets spoiled, they'll soon be paying for RM7000 worth of photography equipment (I wanted to say RM6000 but I slipped my tongue). We also made convienient human shields.

    Although the war was in the field, the reloading was done in Block C's toilets. Despite my instructions not to play indoors (which I gave after a near miss of an electric switchboard in SR1/2) the area in front of the toilets were flooded. Guess who gets to clean up.


    There was also one part of the game anarchy where a bunch of DEE students chased down their classmate who was a facillitator (guys who help ensure the game runs smoothly), and soaked him with buckets and guns loaded with water. He tried to protect himself with an umbrella. Useless. By the time they chased him down, and have their way with him, the arms of the umbrella were twisted.


    Poor guy. He was screaming for his mom, begging to go home~


    Defeated...
    So much for day 1...

  • At the night after the war, Rui Ken fetched me and his new classmates from the hostel to Gurney, to watch "Memoirs of a Geisha". I was late because I came back from college later than expected, and bathed and changed in a hurry.

    We thought we were late for the show, and went rushing in. Turns out the show itself was late too. All we see were advertisements. Thank goodness Rui Ken had a friend (girlfriend?) who got us our tickets.

    It was a good show, loved the dances in particular. Geisha = the illusion of the perfect woman (of arts) eh? Agreed.

    But the ending came too soon though......

    After the movie, Rui Ken took us to dinner, his treat, at Sushi King.


    *Burp*

I'd guess I'll stop here. I need sleep badly and I don't want this blog entry to swell into titanic proportions. Bye~

Thursday, January 19, 2006

More flashbacks

Alright, ready or not: Here comes part 2, starting with 2nd January 20056.

  • I was simply not ready for school. No way. Especially after spending 2 days away from home, which translates into minus 2 days worth of clothing to bring to college. This is big, because I don't have many clothes, partly due to my dislike of shopping.

    Thankfully, mom, ever the miracle worker, was able to dry and iron them by evening. Meanwhile...

    All day long, its total chaos for me. I can't find this, I can't find that, I can't find anything! Why? No, I'm not absent minded, but my siblings certainly are! Since I won't be using them (stationeries, and other essentials), I dumped everything on one side of my room, all packed and good to go (minus clothes of course).

    Then, my siblings found it very convenient to borrow stuff from me, since Everything's there. The problem is: They don't have a habit of putting it back X(

    And I'm the one who gets scolded for the mess, especially when my sis DUMPED everything on the floor so she could use the bags. Oh ya, I got scolded for not being ready to go by evening too (The plan was to go after lunch).

    One of the things I can't find? On thing no science student can do without: my scientific calculator. Eventually, I simply gave up and took a lousy model I bought when the last time my calculator went missing (Aikz... history repeats).

    When I finally get to my hostel (that's after dinner), me and mom cleaned up the place a little further. Actually, we've done this during our first visit here, but we still needed to do some finishing touches.

    When we're done, I lie down on my bed, chat with my mom a little while, and get up to wish her good bye. That's when I discovered the cons of having a double decker bed. What happened? It sounded like this: "Bang!"

    The internet connection is worst than ever. The login part has been skipped, and I get disconnected VERY frequently. Grr~

  • "Ring~"

    "Bang!!!"

    "OUCH!"

    On that note, another year in college begins.

    For the first few days, the lectures introduced himself and the course he/she is teaching. Classes are 2 hours each, and most of the time, we get a short break when the 1st hour is up.

    My class has only 7 students, initially. 2 boys and 5 girls. But another girl joined us later, and another guy much much later, bringing the total to 9. However, for our chemistry (lectures only, not the chemistry lab sessions as well. Thank goodness) and computer studies class, we'll be joined by students from other courses, mostly ADTP students.

    From our very first day, we get to check out our labs. Chemistry lab is just the same one I used last year, except we get to do an experiment right the way.

    As for our brand new (temporary) biochemistry lab, its packed with cool toys, although its a bit disturbing to me that most of them involve UV radiation, and we'll be wearing lab coats later as a safety precaution (toxic chemicals. omg!). No biology lab work yet. Cheh... no fun, lol.

  • I've finally got my hands on the Alumni Nite video Chin Lin made, but I couldn't run it! Something is wrong with the disc!!! In the meantime, watched the Summer Carnival video with Yi Charn, who is studying her Masters in E&E here.

  • Yi Charn was looking for someone to share a locker with. Her locker costs RM50 a year but she was sharing it with someone last year. Do I want to pay RM25 for a locker? Bleh... my room is so near~ No thanks.

    Big mistake.

    Its finally time to get our textbooks. We've got our course structures, and we know which book do we need. Time to terrorize the library. I went in to search first, then the rest of the class joined in much later, by the time I've found most of the books.

    In the end, we managed to the latest edition of each of the textbooks. For some of these books, there is only one (1) copy in the whole library. Good thing we came early. The bad news was... each one is the size of a phone book, or at least the yellow pages. Yikes... I should reconsider Yi Charn's offer. *Sends MSN message...*

  • After spending all afternoon running back and forth, I've finally got the keys to the locker. Someone was kind enough to make an "n" shaped wooden rack which splits the locker in half, and leave it there. I decided to take the top half, since Yi Charn is shorter.

    The locker proved to be really convenient. After squeezing in my notes, there is still enough space for my bag. No need to carry it around during breaks anymore.

  • When visiting a friend's blog, I was pleasantly surprised by the sight of pretty neat "mini-banners". After clicking around to get some ideas, I even started making my own. Muahahaha~ So boring anyway.

    Posted those buttons here today.

    Of course, I made some for her too. Like I said: BORED~

  • After asking for which pages to photocopy, and days of waiting, Chin Lin finally gave us our textbooks. We were told the guy who did the photocopying was very scared of her now, lol.

    Omg... the chemistry textbook is so thick that it needs to be split in two parts, or it simply won't go through! Yikes...

    This is definately my thickest textbook ever.

  • Science and Maths Society AGM. As former committee member, and since I'm already at college anyway, I attended the meeting. Michael was the one doing all the talking, and he's really making it hard for the ones going for the top job. He interviewed the candidates and asked all sorts of questions.

    Me? Happily snapping photos and counting votes. :p

    Also got to know a few current HSC students.

  • Co-curriculum wise, I'm dead. Michael dragged me into his newly formed English Language Society, as Chief Marketing Director. Today (as in, the day before I typed this blog), my classmates are founding the Chinese Language Club, and I'm dragged in once again.

    Mike is now organizing a "Survivor" style game, and I got roped in. My classmates wanted swimming as their club activities, and I certainly hope they were joking when they wanted me for instructor.

  • I've discovered the best part of being a member of such a small class: We tend to gang up. If one of us is around college going somewhere, chances are the others aren't far behind.

    Lunch break? Most of the time, the whole gang goes. Discuss about a project? The whole gang is in. I even gave a short lesson on typing formulae on Ms Word and using the college's printer.

    Plus, everyone knows each other. Emilyn even took the trouble to type out a contact list for everyone.

  • After many tries, Chin Lin finally manages to find one copy of the video DVD that does work on my laptop. Spared no time copying it. That night, and the next, I was working on a version of the DVD that works on DVD players. When I'm done, I wasn't going to burn it straight away into a DVD+R. I've got some high quality discs with me and I'm not just gonna waste them. I burnt it on a DVD+RW first because I can always erase them if things go wrong.

    Everything seemed fine. My laptop could run the this just like it would with any other Video DVD: With a software based DVD player, such as CinePlayer and PowerDVD, which can only run such discs.

    After a whole hour of burning, its ready. I passed it to Chin Lin the next day, and she brought me bad news: It still worked on her DVD drive as any Video DVD would, but not her DVD player.

    *Bangs head on wall*

    What went wrong?

  • I hate this. While walking out of Block B, smiling happily at my first chemistry report of the year (fresh from the printer :p), some guy stopped me and asked for a lighter. Grr...

    I, being the notorious hater of cigarettes, the guy who writes an whole article equating smoking to chemical terrorism (minus a political cause), was really offended.

    So, why is that idiot still alive? I've concluded that it'll save me a lot of trouble to let cancer kill him off, instead of choking him myself. Besides, its much more painful.

  • Another idiot smoked in the hostel's toilet AGAIN, just as I wanted to take a bath before going to class. This time I lost my nerve and asked him to smoke outside, with a really annoyed tone of course. Then the guy "asked" me to shut up. Scolded him for being so inconsiderate before returning to my room and wait for the smoke to go away.

    Good thing that guy was doing "big business". I don't suppose anyone would charge out of the toilet naked, leaving behind a trail of "chocolate cake" behind, and TRY to beat me up. lol

    Hmph! Public toilets are precisely the worst possible place to smoke. Its poorly ventilated and people NEED to use it. And for some reason, smokers seem to have a knack for smoking in toilets. Then again, nobody ever said they were clever. Otherwise, they wouldn't smoke in the first place.

  • Really can't decide what should be on the top of my wishlist. World peace? A brand new camera? or extiction of tobacco?

  • Got sick. My head was spinning in class. That night, it developed into a fever, all that on top of headaches, sore throat and coughs. Managed to get 2 PCM pills from a friend of a friend (who wouldn't let me return a favour).

    Fever is over by morning, but everything else remains. I had a mega dose of Strepsils until I got home, where dad prescribed antibiotic pills. Another week later, my throat get better, but was was still coughing. Cough syrup and some more pills (forgot what pill is this) are the order of the day. The two are in my locker, since that's where I'd go after meals.

    Brought home-baked cookies to the locker for snack too. Yi Charn seems to like it, and is asking for the recipe, lol.

    I hate cough syrups. Makes me drowsy. Manages to stay awake in class (barely), but I won't know when will I fall asleep while walking and roll downt the stairs, lol.

  • Cannot tahan... I'm officially addicted to photography...

    We did 2 biology lab sessions in one day: Introduction to microscopy, and how to measure stuff with it. I was only separated from my camera 2 for about 2 days by then, and guess what happened.

    Tze Yang snapping photos of the samples with his camera phone, magnified by the microscope. Me? I watched and turn green with jealousy. Asked Chin Lin to bring her camera for the next lab session, lol.

  • 1 week ahead of Micheal's game, called "Elimination Trials I: Poseidon's Rage" or something like that. I'd really need my camera in top condition if I were to capture some good shots.

    Planning the logistics to fix the camera, get it back on time, with minimum
    inconvenience. I couldn't send it for repairs earlier because my sis needed the camera precisely a week before the game, to record a debate competition which I also watched. Since the event is held on Saturday and Sunday, I couldn't go home this week. Laundry would be a problem.

    In the end, it is decided that:
    -Mom would send it to the shop, so it could be forwarded to Sony's service center for repairs. But that's after she
    asks whether it can be fixed in time.

    -On Friday night, dad would come over to pick up my laundry, and hand over the camera, hopefully fixed.

    -Saturday and Sunday, snap away. Oh ya, got 3 hours of computer lab session in between X(

    -Monday night: Dad returns, with fresh clothes for me to wear.

    Phew... Gotta love my parents.......

  • Bought a DVD (Pirated, shh...) and installed Norton Internet Security 2006 and Norton SystemWorks 2006 Premier, to help keep my laptop "in shape" and prevent another invasion.

    The problem is, it eats up so much of my laptop's resources. This gaming laptop now takes forever to do its work. Power consumption doubled. Aikz... this thing isn't laptop friendly, but what to do?

    Maybe anything short of 1GB RAM isn't enough for this. Darn power guzzler~ In terms of hogging system resources, I can't tell which is worse: Norton, or the malware it is supposed to defend against.

  • Wednesday. I had a gut feeling Michael would want my help for one thing or another, just that he forgot to tell me earlier. Once again, I was right, but it wasn't what I expected: Shopping, for water guns and other stuff needed in the game. Chin Lin, Rui Ken (omg, his Itachi costume is still in his car!) and a few HSC students are here too, including my successor.

    Well, no need for me to say gua... It was real boring...... The only nice part was when Rui Ken invited us for the movies, this coming Saturday night, to watch Memoirs of a Geisha. Anyone wanna tag along? lol

  • I was reading some articles about the Stardust mission (A 7 year space mission to collect space and comet dust and send to to earth for studying, which recently concluded), the I came across this: Stardust @ Home.

    Yes, I signed up. I'm bored enough to look for needle in a hay stack. Besides, standing one in a million chance of having my name appearing as co-author of a scientific paper sounds interesting, and worthwhile (remember my chosen field involves a lot of research anyway, so this might actually be helpful academically. Check out Jun Yen, he's so hungry for certs now. I'd bet a having a scientific paper under my belt would pack more impact than a mere cert :p ).

    Wait until the folks of UQ check it out, if that ever happens...... lol

    Yes, I'd welcome you folks to sign up to, even if it means lessening my chances, hehe~. But its not just sign up though, there will be a test, and now its just Pre-register only, like booking a seat in a very big restaurant.

    I'm gonna post this in the forums.

    Oh ya, some links:
    Project homepage
    Background history
    Stardust Mission

  • My blog rises from its grave. Look! A flicker of activity, lol. Wrote the previous post yesterday and added all manner of icons on my sidebar today. And this post, today of course (duh~)

Well... I'd guess that settles my "Blog debt". Will continue to blog daily as usual, if this lousy connection doesn't kill me first...

Goodbye 2005. Hello 2006

"Hey look! A body!"
"Is he alive?"

"BOO!"

"Argh! Zombie~!"
"Run!!!"

Aright, alright folks, joke's over. I'm alive and well, thank you.

So, if I'm alive and well, why is this blog dead for over a month?

Simple: Discouragement

After the Alumni Nite, I spent days (Yes, days) blogging about it. It was bound to be my longest single blog entry, ever...

... Then, it happened. Windows did its routine auto-downloading of so called "Critical Security Updates" and demands that I restart the computer every few minutes, complete with a 5 minute timer that restarts the computer anyway if I don't respond in time. It was more annoying than spam mail, and it gets worst. I fell asleep in front of my laptop, and it killed my several thousand word's worth of blog.

But I wasn't worried when I woke up, knowing that there is a "Recover post" button in Blogger.com. What I didn't know was, it only works for 30 minutes. So, I went to bed, a proper bed. (In case anybody's interested, sleeping in front of my laptop, at home, means sleeping on the floor, RIGHT NEXT TO MY BED! lol)

So, the next day, this blog goes into hibernation, but not saying that I didn't change anything in the meantime. I updated the link (look left at the side bar) to my photo album, because I switched to another host (told ya I'll do that).

Ok, let's get back to resurrecting awakening by blog. I'm going to put this in point form, and as chronological/detailed/accurate as my poor memory permits.

  • Alumni Nite! After month's of anticipation, its finally here. I arrived very early to start the preparations. Unfortunately, all other committee members were late and we weren't allowed in the venue until 3pm. I survived solely on a piece of bread for lunch. We were supposed to go for spa when we're done, but we soon realised there isn't time for that.

    I was the Marketing Director of the event, and it pains me to see so few of the alumni (7) turned up. Out of 10 who signed up and almost 80 who didn't.

    I was also the photographer for the event, and at least I did that part well. A job well done, at the cost of missing sushi, most of the dessert, muscle cramp in the thumb (it happened right when I need to click the shutter! Who ever heard of a muscle cramp in the thumb anyway?), and my legs felt like they're made of jelly. All that, on top of running all over the place like a maniac. In total, I took over 200 pictures, so many that I have to upload them into my laptop, and recharge my camera, on the spot.

    About the muscle cramp part, and the legs feeling like jelly: Is this what people mean by giving up and arm and a leg (for photography)?

    Thank goodness Chin Lin brought an extension cord. (Oh ya, I helped choosing a spot to put her video camera too, and play around with the settings).

    It was great fun, looking forward to next year's.

  • The very late night after the party, HSC results are released. I've just bathed and waiting for my hair to dry while editing photos taken earlier. All my friends (most of them anyway) were online and impatient. Results were released at 3am. Not too bad, no surprises. Just a bit disappointed that I failed MX1, but that's not counted into my UAI. All it did was: make my results sheet look ugly.

  • The next day, my parent's came over to check my results. They seem disappointed, but still tried to cheer me up. But it wasn't me who needed cheering.

    Later that night, as I was sleeping in front of my laptop while trying to blog about the Alumni Nite, a friend MSN-ed me, but I was deep in dreamland until much later, when she's offline. I didn't think much of it, other than missing an opportunity to chat with her, until I read a suicide note in her blog.

    Then, me. The famous among my secondary school peers for showing little emotion, so cool that won't even scream on roller coasters (although I was scared), and whose pulse won't even go above 80/min during a public exam... finally panics. Nothing I could do about that though.

  • That night, can't sleep. Not because my UAI was going to be released at 6am, but because of that suicide note. Would things have been different if I didn't fall asleep and talked to her. *Gasp* What's going on in that island across the bridge? Again, all I could do is sit and wait. (More like lie on the floor and wait, but not sleep).

    When the time came, it read: 80.75

    Not enough for a scholarship T_T.

    I was hoping for getting a huge scholarship, and use it as a bargaining chip to get dad to buy me a dSLR camera. Looks like if I'm getting a new camera soon, it'll cost me my blood and sweat, maybe an arm too.

    When my parent's woke up, they were still quite encouraging, and reminding me that I joined HSC 3 months late, missing almost a third of the classes, substituted by replacement classes which move at the speed of light. That only made me sadder because it meant my dream camera was indeed within my reach.

    Still couldn't sleep despite staying up all night.

  • Later that day, my suicidal friend finally came online. A relief. Turns out she got bad news from her dream university. She was very sad so I played counselor for her. This went on for a very long time, until her appeals were accepted and she got her offer letter. Yayz~.

  • IICP Open Day. After my parents finished making durian cakes for my uncle to bring home, they took me back to college (note that I still haven't slept). After paying Simone, Mr. Goh, and Dr. Ooi a visit, I signed up for the Biotech program, but I'm planning to switch to nanotech once I get to Australia for my Year 2.

    While submitting my application at OAR (thank goodness I haven't withdrew my deposit right after my HSC course. Otherwise I'd have to pay the deposit again PLUS registration fees.) I met Irene, who reminded me to get a room in the hostel. Good thing, because I've forgotten, and there were few vacant rooms left.

    I'm getting a room with a double decker bed, but I'll be the only occupant. It'll be lonely and boring without a room mate, but at least it's safer for my laptop. I'd die if it gets stolen again.

    When all that is done, my parents took me to shop for clothes. Not that! I still haven't slept yet!!! Die~

    By the time I hit the hay, I was awake for about 25 hours.

  • "It" happens. Erasing my blog and killing my enthusiasm to blog for a long long time.

  • While knowingly treading a dangerous part of the internet in search of crack files to allow me to play some games I downloaded, 1 missed click and a cascade of 30+ spyware, malware, Trojan horses, ect (you name it, its there) poured into my laptop within a space of 5 minutes.

    Some were even persistent enough to reinstall itself after removal, others even stopped spyware and virus scans in its tracks. Guess there's no other option: Reformat :'(

    But first, I'll need discs to back up some files.

  • It was days since my laptop was "raped" by an army of intruders. My dad finally brought home some DVD+R and CD-R discs, but where are the DVD+RWs? Guess the only way to get things done, is to do it myself.

    Besides, I need to buy ingredients for Titus' party anyway. I've volunteered to make Konyaku Jelly for the event. The local baking supplies store was just a 30 second walk away from the CD shop anyway.

  • The Reformat. After spending an eternity deciding which files to keep and which ones to discard, I've finally started reformatting my computer. As Windows reinstalls itself, me and my family had other plans...

  • Christmas eve dinner! Ya I know, we aren't Christians, but hey! This is Malaysia. We picked up grandma and went for Equatorial Hotel. Part of dad's year long desire to try out the famous Japanese restaurant there: Kampachi. But the hotel staff, whether intentional or simply an honest mistake, had other ideas.

    When we got there, we had to find Kampachi first. Grandma's dependence on her walking stick wasn't helping things. So, some of the family split up and look for Kampachi and the others look after grandma.

    Since I've been here once before, while looking for a venue for the Prom Nite with Michael, it didn't took me long to find it. But when I head back, my bro told me dad found the place (huh?). Yes, that's when thing get really confusing.

    The place was definitely the wrong place, but my dad told me that a staff explained that the Christmas Party was moved here (huh?! But I thought I saw...) to a ballroom. After we paid for entrance (which was cheaper that what we had expected) and settled down to discuss what happened. (Note: the place was decorated with a "Cowboy" theme and an international cuisine was served, sounding yet another alarm in my head).

    After taking dad on a stroll outside, he pointed me to where he THOUGHT was Kampachi. And yes, there was very little party atmosphere there. Its a cafe after all, all they had was a small buffet. Nothing compared to the one we're having in the ballroom.

    I frowned and dragged my dad further down the corridor and said: "THIS! Is Kampachi!".

    "Har, I dunno ar. The hotel staff dragged me there. Don't believe, ask your brother."

    X(

    At least the food in Kampachi didn't look like it'll suit my grandma anyway.

    Oh ya, after reading some signboards, turns out the party that was moved was a poolside party, due to cloudy weather. And the pool was near Kampachi, and that's probably where the confusion started.

    Santa visited the ballroom too, distributing gifts. Me? I was "following" a "trend" I've been following for years. Forever chasing Santa and never getting anything. What? I'm so naughty meh? Friends! What do you think?

    I still remember the time when I chased Santa 4 floors up at Sunshine Square, before they moved to their current premise. That was during my childhood, and I wasn't happy. That's the last time I went to Sunshine Square until they moved. Okok, flash back's over. Back to topic.

    I also took some gorgeous night shots from the hotel's balcony (see photo album). Thank goodness I brought my tripod, or it wouldn't be possible. When taking family photos in dimly lit halls, I impressed even my dad with one perfectly exposed picture after another, all without using flash which would have ruined the "grand" looking atmosphere created by the chandeliers. Very happy, because my dad used to own a film SLR camera. He know's photography too.

  • Windows was finally reinstalled. So I started installing other stuff too. But something went wrong. My Ms Outlook backup file was corrupted. Something went wrong when burning that on DVD. That means my archive containing half a year's worth of emails, a painstaking typed contact list (even got pictures inside), and an equally hard-to-compile calender recording birthdays, holidays and anniversaries... are all gone. NO~~~.

    Curse you malware authors!

    They should really go to hell. Surely the 18th level is reserved for them.

    Add to wishlist: Malware scanner with an "Avenge my computer" button

  • It never rains, it always pours. For some reason, my camera is defective. Whenever "zoom" is used, a dark patch appears on the LCD screen. It becomes visible when the zoom reaches 1.5x, and gets worse on higher magnification. If I'm not mistaken, the warrenty has expired not too long ago. Sigh~

  • Titus' BBQ party. In the morning, I made my jelly. By night time, its ready, but not before some overgrown mice (ie. my siblings) get their hands on it. I had to drive there on my own, since mom is getting her hair done.

    Not many people turned up, but still good if you consider the distance most of his guests have to travel to get here. Then again, we mainlanders traveled a fair distance to attend events on the island too. Hey! What's this? No fair. We went to the island to attend to many things, and they can't even come over for just one. Hmph!

    There's too much food to finish. I'm guessing Titus will be eating BBQ chicken for the next few days, lol. My jelly seems popular. All were 64 (minus dunno how many my siblings stole), were gone. As I left, Titus' mom gave me some waffles (because I kept asking for more when I drop by during CNY) and his dad asks me to come back, but with jelly and/or scones.

  • The next day, I went to Sungai Petani with the whole family, minus my brother who claimed he wants to study. I'd bet he's playing games most of the time. Anyway, the reason to travel to Sungai Petani is to attend a wedding. Not mine of course, no such luck (got a track record to prove my rotten luck some more, lol) :p. Its my cousin's wedding. Not just the wedding dinner, but also all the ceremonies before that.

    Mom says its a good opportunity to photograph this important but rarely seen part of Chinese culture. Indeed, this is the 2nd time I'm seeing this.

    We dropped by at my granduncle's place first, so he could take us to a house where we'll sleep. He has a pair of Golden Retrievers, one (huge) male and one female. The female is very quiet, but the male is even more playful my dog. I'd bet it'll even make a great candidate for a Search and Rescue dog. (Fun fact: SAR dogs aren't only chosen based on physical fitness, but also playfulness. For it, sniffing out missing people is just a game.)

    We'll be spending the night in another relative's house, who is never there anyway. Nice place, considering she doesn't live here. Opting not going to a hotel was a good choice, although there aren't enough beds, so I'm sleeping with my sis. No big deal, since she thinks I make a great pillow anyway. Good thing the bed's big enough for 2. I can't sleep with someone resting her head on my back (not butt), can I?

    After dropping our bags, we went to my cousin's house. Not much there until evening, when we went to a small party hosted by the bride's family. Since we're on the groom's side, we weren't supposed to stay after the "Cheers~" part, so we left early.

    PS: Cousin's car was REALLY comfy.

    At night, I made jelly, same ones I made for Titus' party but without the proper measuring tools. Fortunately, everything's measured in when packing, except water. Mom did bring her own jelly from home (some weird mix of "pandan", egg white, Konyaku jelly and agar) but I liked mine better, and so did the kids. The adults seem to prefer my mom's.

    This time, my sis and cousin (another cousin) helped slicing up the kiwi fruits. But when they're done, they started criticizing this and that (What?! I'm more successful than my sis in cooking leh) and took over. Hey! That's my job! Hmph. *Sulks for next few hours*

    lol, I started 2006 sulking.

    Oh ya, something terribly funny happened while we were cooking. My cousin (the groom, not the one "helping" with the cooking. Aikz, I got too many cousins) was drinking. After he changed into his PJs, he threw his laundry into the laundry basket behind me. It went into the other basket beside it: The garbage bin. lol. Good thing I'm strictly non-alcoholic.

    Next, came some ceremonies. Pray to the Heavens, ancestors, ect... his (the groom) parent's combs his hair 3 times, and a tea ceremony. Done. Sleep.

    The next day, we went over the the bride's house. After even more formalities, its time to meet the bride. That's when I get really discouraged from getting wed :S

    The bride's friends won't let the groom into the bride's room just like that. In fact, they even barricaded the room with a table. Now comes the torture. All sorts of challenges were thrown at the groom and his close friends. These include eating and drinking insane amounts of fruits and liquid (including a can of beer and 1.5L bottle of 100 Plus), chili, wasabi, ect.

    So how does Prince Charming and his knights conquer these obstacles to meet his princess? Simple. They found a small bucket nearby, and they poured most of the stuff in it, and finish what's left. lol. The girls saw this of course, and protested. But in the end, all they wanted was Angpau. :-S

    If it were me, I'd drop dead on the floor if anyone gives me beer or chili. That's why I intend to save myself the trouble. Muahaha~ just hope it doesn't get too lonely when I'm old and grey, lol. Why I'm saying this? I've still got DECADES ahead of me!

    Next up, even more ceremonies, before the we went back to my cousin's place (this time, with the bride) for lunch. The next part is the wedding dinner, which I'm sure you all are familiar with.

I'd guess that's all for 2005, and 1st day of 2006. Stay tuned for the 2006 so far :p

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