Archive for December, 2007

Insomnia Again

It’s 3:30am and i can’t sleep, despite having exerted myself shooting handball earlier on.  I have a lot of thoughts on the church and Christians today that keep running in my head and part of me is very bothered by them as they are not very favourable in my opinion.

There are many things i’ve seen, though i don’t profess to have seen everything, and i believe i know enough to make my own conclusions, but i think at certain point of time you realize that how one deals with things cannot be the same since it’s not working.

I’ve blogged about it before, how i see and feel that many Christians today, both chronologically young and old, do not think about their faith and remain childishly naive.  It sometimes feels to me that they absorb mindlessly like lemmings, without questioning the actual intention, text and context of what is being said.  Worse still, there is practicing of selective listening and want to compartmentalize God in a certain area of their lives.  I do not understand how people can do such things, and perhaps being a thinker in my own right, i never will.  Dependence on God is good, but consistent blind faith isn’t; moreover there’s a difference between dependence on God and dependence on chance, in the sense that things that cannot be controlled.

I keep feeling that something simply must be done about it, but who am i? I’m as sinful as the next person, a hypocrite no less. 

Brothers and Sisters reading this: keep me in prayer.  I do not know what plans God has for me in this matter, but i’m sure that if this is something that He has planted then He will give me His plan when i need it, and the strength along with it as well.

In other news, i’ve been eyeing a few wireless headphones recently and i’ve narrowed it down to the Endigo Bluetooth Headphones (with dongle) and the Creative ones.  The latter costs more and has more reviews, but the former is pretty unknown in most places, though it seems reliable.  If there’s anyone with any feedback on either one or on wireless bluetooth headphones in general, please do leave a comment.

It’s 3.50am now, and i’m still wide awake.

stumbled upon this while reading engadget – and i have to admit some are really funny because i’ve read the original before 😀 below is a long sample:

The Arpus in ARPUville liked gadgets a lot
But a grouch who lived close to ARPUville did not.
How the grouch hated gadgets. He hoped they’d all break.
Even counterfeit knockoffs that kept it real fake.
(And those knockoffs are wrong. Not a soul who is wise’ll
Knock off the fine writings of Theodor Geisel.)

Now perhaps it was DRM transfer futility
Or the wonky AC from his local utility
Or the terrible manuals barely grammatical
Or the versions of standards that were incompatible
Or the feature creep that took away from their essence
Or the rapid revamping and quick obsolescence
Or the tech support hotlines that spoke incoherence
Or the wireless networks slowed by interference
Or the UIs that frustrated each simple deed
Or the small LCDs that were so hard to read
But for whatever reasons that made him demonic
The grouch hated all that was made electronic.

But he knew this was when the gift givers would cave in
And would buy that advised by their local tech maven
And the savings accounts would be thrown to the dogs
After reading gift guides from award-winning blogs
And then after the gift wrap was eagerly shredded
There would be even more of just what the grouch dreaded.

The Arpus in ARPUville would drop to their knees
To plug HDMI into their HDTVs
They’d wade through piles of gadgets stacked up to their necks
And enjoy the game consoles or at least rain checks.
They would listen to music wherever they’d go.
And would glide on their phone screens with finger or toe.
They would upload their content to YouTube or Flickr.
The mere thought of it simply could not make him sicker.

So this grouch so generic in characterization
As to perish the thought of any litigation
Then concocted a plan that he thought couldn’t lose.
He would steal all the gadgets from all the Arpus.
So he drove into town and that lowly old slug
Started to grab each thing with a battery or plug.

He took all of the cell phones receiving more bars
And he took satellite and cable DVRs
He took all of the TiVos, each last one of them.
And receivers for Sirius, also XM
And swiped the Ceiva frames with their bright 8-inch glass
And then all of the Zunes that were used with Zune Pass
He pilfered each Yahoo-branded Sansa Connect
And some watches that tuned to MSN Direct
He took notebook PCs on that dismal cold day
With cards for EV-DO and HSPA.
And the Apple computers hooked up to .Mac
And PCs using OneCare to keep them on track
He took all of these gadgets he found on the scene
And he filled up his Prius. (At least he was green!)

And he drove them away as their weight pushed his wheels.
Thinking, “CompUSA, whatcha think of these deals?”
Then he parked by his lair and he opened the hatch
Put them all in a big room and closed the door’s latch
And with nary a light from a green LED
He locked up the devices and threw out the key.
He could hardly believe he’d made off with the goods
Why, perhaps he could hit some other neighborhoods
Then a long grouchy laugh grew from out of his smile
And the grouch became happy… at least for a while.

Because 30 days after his gadget abatement
He got an envelope with his credit card statement —
Well, not really a statement but more of a stack
So enormous it threw out the mail carrier’s back.
For, much to his surprise, the devices he’d snatched
Had all come with a number of purse strings attached
Then the grouch realized something that caused a conniption —
Each Arpu in ARPUville transferred his subscription!

“But we grouches aren’t rich! I just don’t have the cash, man!”
Why, my dear cousin Oscar lives out of a trash can!”
All this nickel and diming sure makes it quite tough
To make an honest living by stealing folks’ stuff.”
And what happened right then? In ARPUville they say
The grouch’s bank account shrank three sizes that day.

Then he gained his composure and ran down the block
Went and hired a locksmith to pick the door’s lock
And with scarcely a pause in which to close an eyelid
He put the electronics back into his hybrid.
He drove down to ARPUville to put back the loot
And plugged everything in and allowed it to boot.

He put in the Li-Ions and odd Energizer
And then snuck quickly out with nobody the wiser.
Now that grouch didn’t bother those Arpus again
He will purchase a gadget himself now and then.
Why, he even picked up a PC for his lair
Where he answers spam e-mails for credit repair.

There’s more at here, here and here!

Merry Christmas

…to one and all.

It’s been many years since this blog had started, back from the days of “Destiny’s Claim”.  It has suffered many words and many styles of writing, and it holds my thoughts, my temptations, my terrors and my tears.  It has catered to an audience of 4, to currently having expanded to the point where i no longer can pinpoint who reads this…

But to all those who do, i wish you a very merry and God-blessed Christmas this year. I pray we touch another’s life and make another smile this Christmas 🙂

Funny?

I find it vaguely amusing that people can come into the computer lab at E2 block, throw (literally) all their stuff on a chair and plug in their laptop AC adaptor and switch on the power, log into the computer provided for them and then grab their laptop and leave the lab, with the adaptor not leading to any appliance since their laptop is with them, yet their handphone, wallet and computer account is left unattended.

The damage i could cause, if i had a malicious mind.

Sometimes when people ask an honest question, its sounds really rude for the other person in the conversation to give a snide remark, no matter how smart or witty the remark may seem to the person who makes it.

It kind of reflects the way i think our society has been made to turn out – so many layers, in which one is never really sure what the other person really means in a conversation.  Even in exam questions, there always seem to be some hidden reference to something obscure that could possibly be in the scope of the answer, but then again possibly not, and one is never sure if it’s in or not, nor is it often that we have the time to actually write the answers out so it usually ends up to the people who are either so muggerishly familiar with the text that everything is regurgitated or who are lucky enough to guess that the additional bit really is the additional bit that they happened to add in on the exam script itself.  Perhaps that’s why i don’t give very good answers in exams – i only answer what has been asked, because that’s what the question wants to know.

Part of the way the society has become, is to be layered.  I remember that i preferred working with the hokkien pengs in army rather than those of my A level cohort because things were much simpler with them – there were no doubts or suspicions held back and if one offered another a coffee or something, it was purely because the giver decided to do so and without any intentions to ask for any favours.  On the other hand, most of the other people did something with the intention of demanding a favour in return, to which my response always was “why couldn’t you just ask it in the first place?”

I’ve mentioned before i think life is simple, though i’m not naive enough to believe everyone has good intentions.  Neither am i skeptical enough to doubt everyone that comes my way; i think.  Often i find that such an attribute alone differentiates me from a lot of the crowd, but amidst that, i also like to keep things simple. 

So when someone asks a question, and an honest “want to know” question at that, why is it that the answer that comes back often isn’t much of one at all?

Grrrrrr.

It started out as a really good day, albeit i was pretty tired from the entire week’s activity, but it was a good time with jianming, even though we just talked about stuff and thoughts.  Or perhaps i should say it was because we just talked. ^^

But on the way back i had a few very very unpleasant encounters and it caused me to be extremely vexed at the nature of certain people.

The first person i encountered was right outside funan, and he was smoking.  Now while i have nothing against smokers per se, i still don’t like the smell of cigarettes so i decided to stay upwind from him, which was coincidentally on the side on which he was holding his cigarette.  So he, having filled his lungs with an inhalation of nicotine and tobacco proceeded to swing his hand carrying the cigarette very rapidly downward, thereby burning me with it.

OUCH!

i didn’t scream or yell, but i let out a sound of pain, to which he just glanced at me, then at my hand, then at his cigarette, then proceeded to puff one more time while looking at me.  Had i not been level headed at that time i believe i would have proceeded to do something in which would have gotten me arrested.  There’s a blister where he swung his hand out and burnt me with his lit cigarette, where the skin has burned off, exposing the flesh underneath and it stings like anything.

Thankfully the ride back to clementi on the MRT was uneventful, though it was pouring cats and dogs outside.  Once i stepped out to the bus stop right below clementi MRT station i had my mishap.  Some old granny had just finished tying up her umbrella and while still holding it at the middle portion, swung it back to poke me right in the stomach.

I’d had worse hits, but it still hurt. Another yelp of pain, to which she turned around, looked at me and her umbrella and said “siao!”, which means “crazy” in hokkien, for those who aren’t fluent in the language, and then hurriedly walked away.  Painful jon left behind rubbing his stomach, but it was an accident, so okay, i won’t make a fuss about it.

Just then another little kid came up with this little kiddy umbrella that all kids their age are very proud of and decided to point the direction in which they were going while looking at his mom beside him.  Second poke in the same damn place.  This one hurt and i reeled back because it was a real jab in the stomach from someone who intended to poke clear air. “You really should watch where you’re going” was the mother’s reply.

OEI! I’M NOT EVEN MOVING BECAUSE THE CROWD CAN’T MOVE DUE TO THE RAIN!

Here i will take a turn for comic relief and reiterate Russell Peters’ advice: parents, please beat your kids when you’re supposed to. No, seriously, do it or discipline him, because if your kid pokes some street punk who isn’t really in control of himself in the stomach with an umbrella, then you’re in deep shit.  At the damn least you could apologise, seeing as i’m the one in pain from your kid’s wonderful idea to poke his umbrella (and a very expensive one by the look of it) into my stomach, accident or no.

And then right as i was getting up some guy kicks my slipper into the drainage area on the road. (you know, the side of the road just beyond the pavement, where if the cars go through it makes a great splash on all passing pedestrians) Coz when you get up, one leg is bearing more weight than the other right? So this guy kicks the leg that wasn’t on the ground very much, and the slipper flew straight into the water.  This time i wasn’t going to accept the excuse that it was an accident because nobody was even walking forward, so you wouldn’t have moved your feet.  That, and the fact that he was so falsely apologetic about it. Hint: if you want to pretend you’re sorry, having a girl or a girlfriend with you giggling away isn’t convincing.  Neither is it when you turn to her and laugh at my slipper in the water.

The day wasn’t all gloom and doom; there was an incident where some old aunty decided not to heed the bus driver’s advice and got her head and umbrella stuck in the entrance doors of a stationary bus with the body outside and all, but by that time, i was already too furious to think about anything.

And before any of you comment that there are people out there who aren’t like this let me say something: i know.  There are nice people like those who helped the stubborn aunty get free while enduring the rain, and i was one of them.  My complaint is not against those people, but the ones who are rude and refuse to apologize. You will also note that i never mentioned anything about them being Singaporean because i really don’t know if they are, so any referrals to a biased view of “ugly singaporeans” are not welcome.  And just for the record, i didn’t count the multiple times i was pushed out into the pouring rain because some aunty was afraid of getting her hair wet – just because i’m already wet doesn’t justify the actions.

I know some people have the “bully me” look in their face, but i’m not one of them, so i’m left wondering if these people have some sort of death wish.  If you’re one of the people by any chance, and you think you can get away with all these kinda things, then let me give you some advice: you reap what you sow.  Call it karma if you will, though i don’t believe in it, but you’re gonna get everything back to you one day.  And those reading this who are not of the group of people who do those things, which i believe most of you readers in readerland are, be on the lookout for such people.

Grrrrr.

…that nothing seems to be going right and everything just blows up in your face.

To recovery: my shoulder’s healing good.  I can bear weight on it, but impacts against the joint still send a bit of a shock down the arm to the elbow. Leastways i can eat without having a shaky hand – had sakae sushi ramen today and of course ate with chopsticks ^^

To work: FYP has also started again, with a tad of irony that despite my FYP being materials based i find myself having to do everything from design to manufacturing and circuits.  It’s a little weird because those are the very things i was hoping to get away from, aside from the face that Materials really are rather interesting as it is, albeit sometimes a little too much information to remember at a go.  But despite that, things have been going smoothly, though i’m a little confused about what i’m supposed to be writing for the progress report and presentation.  I’ve been deliberately trying to keep my weekends totally free as much as possible so that i have the time to do the other things that i want and all, so each day will inevitably be a little more packed than i’d like for comfort – but ah well stuff like that come at a small price.

To competition: in the sports arena, IHG is coming up.  Needless to say, the season involves a lot of training, a lot of time taken up from other areas, a lot less sleep (though in reality i usually find myself sleeping more during the IHG season).  Also, as i see my term of undergraduate studies drawing to a close, i begin to see what competition brings out in people and the bad sides that everyone can give under pressure.  I’ve had a great deal of thoughts about things like wanting to be in the limelight and things like achievements, with full knowledge that at times i do wish for these things as well.  Still, the want for these things aren’t intrinsically bad, more often than not it’s how one chooses to manifest that in behaviour, especially of that to other people.

To Christmas:  walking down Orchard Road and seeing all the lights and deco up and remembering that prices for stuff usually soar during this period.  I’m thinking of what to get for Christmas presents and realizing that at times i really don’t have much to offer.  But i’ll have to make do with what i have i guess – not that i have any choice in the matter.

Happy holidays to all, and do take some time this Christmas to remember those who are less fortunate than you. ^^

I’m typing this with my left hand because my right arm is too shaky to even eat from my pack of dinner.

Why?

Because my shoulder got pulled out during handball training.

Now, granted that it’s a tough game and can get rough at times, but this is only the second injury i’ve gotten in handball, and on a previously injured joint.  Make that multiply injured.  Weakened shoulder + sharp angle of pull = big ouch + soreness as an after effect.

Coincidentally i watched a small video clip on youtube that showed a guy born with no limbs whatsoever, and i wondered how he would have felt.  Heh…guess i better be careful what i wish for next time.

Insomnia?

It’s only the second day after exams and i’m already up late (it’s 3:30am now) doing FYP stuff.  The sad thing is, i’m not doing it at this hour because i’m in a rush, but because i can’t sleep and i don’t really feel like playing any of the games that are readily available in my collection at the moment.

It’s quite insane actually, considering that one of the first things that i wanted to do after the exams was to get my bioclock back in order.  Unfortunately, despite sleepy early last night and getting up earlier than usual this morning hasn’t done much for that, and instead after an hour plus of squash plus another movie on my laptop and a few hours of technical drawings, i’m tired but i can’t fall asleep.

And i have been having incessant cravings for the McDonald’s shaker fries.  Even after i’ve just had one pack.