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Monday, December 30, 2002

i'm back! as of a week ago :)

after 3 weeks of not driving, i've driven 5 different cars in the week i've been back.

somewhat back on msn (messenger - finally decided to install it at home). blogging's not quite the same when you're having to dial in from home once every day or three, so i probably won't be doing too much of that.

so this is just a typically geeky "hello world" statement :)

Friday, November 22, 2002

so this is it. the last day.

i'll be more or less offline from now... duration indefinite. no more msn or blogging away... though i might make the occasional appearance should the opportunity arise.

'til next we meet... take care :)

Thursday, November 21, 2002

just finished reading lost japan by alex kerr. a most fascinating and very insightful read, giving lots of filling-in-the-background info on various aspects of japan's society and culture. here's a review google found. wonder how much i'll be able to soak up while i'm there in person.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

drove an 11-seater toyota "troopcarrier" 4wd yesterday. in peak hour traffic... :o

even though that drive only lasted less than an hour, i'm still re-adjusting somewhat to my much smaller, much lighter echo (even though i've been driving *that* for 3+ years!)

Thursday, November 14, 2002

been listening to an album (soliloquy) by karin schaupp... classical music on the guitar. found it hard to appreciate, being somewhat of an ignoramus when it comes to classical music (and probably not helped by only ever listening to it in bits and pieces, while driving in the car). then the subject of sonatas and movements came up with my passengers this morning, and i thought i'd try to educate myself a bit more by google-whacking on the topic... found one site which looked helpful - incompetech's musical genres. maybe not the most in-depth coverage of the topic you could find, but suited me for now :)

and now i'm listening to more classical sounding stuff - vanessae mae's "the classical album 3: the italian album" (the original four seasons and the devil's trill sonata). i think i need a tour guide.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

one for diehard nokia buffs, i gather:

"Want to get a higher score on Snake? Try out this new Snake Joystick..."

see it for yourself!

Monday, November 11, 2002

came across this site while browsing: gracenotworks.com. seems useful... shall have to return and have more of a read of their articles/past issues.

watched kate and leopold. amusing, mostly nice, fluffy... with the odd enjoyable bits of dialogue / one-liners from the antiquated mouth of 1876 leopold :) otherwise, i think i preferred meg ryan in her earlier romantic comedy roles, esp sleepless in seattle and you've got mail.

speaking of antiquated, i much prefer blockbuster to video ezy when it comes to dvd rental. pretty much all of video ezy's new rentals are overnight (return by 6pm), whereas blockbuster has a lot more new releases on 3 and sometimes 7 day loans, and even the overnight ones can be returned by midnight. with the amount of bonus/additional material you get on some dvds, you pretty much need >1 night/sitting to see it all. only reason i'm renting from video ezy is to use my free rentals... two left on that account. will have to see if the scenery changes after my freebies run out :o

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

resignation form: signed, (not quite) sealed, and delivered.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

i think i hit a butterfly the other day, while driving... saw it fly across in front of me and then it went up. looking in the rearview mirror i saw the black coloured shape flutter to the ground behind me...

bowled (ten pin bowling) almost four games last night... now my arm is sore. i got progressively worse with each game, never bettering my initial score of 139. i was pretty happy, being a very occasional bowler who only aims to break a century with each outing! maybe i should aim a bit higher next time :)

found a new online photo album hosting site today, so did a little experimenting with it. generally speaking, i like it. comparable to what i'm currently using (imagestation), but much better in the sense that
  1. it allows albums to be shared PUBLICLY, and doesn't require visitors to sign up/log in just to view albums
  2. the uploading tool works SO much better than imagestation's one, which is at best fickle
the only reason i've stuck with imagestations is that i had not found any other site with comparable features, allowed public viewing, AND offered unlimited storage. i'm yet to confirm whether this site has that, but so far i haven't seen any limits stated... so to test it out i have uploaded some photos from the wedding i attended on the weekend... congrats to ted & emi.

Monday, November 04, 2002

boy dental care is expensive! $105 for a basic filling... well that's what i *would* have paid saturday morning had i not known the dentist. sometimes it pays (or rather saves) to have connections.

had a lazy-ish rest of the morning and afternoon hanging out with some uni friends, including attending the wedding of another uni friend. it was nice and relaxing and refreshing in a way to catch up. oh waiter, x2 please...

and it turns out that my friends had all seen "my sassy girl" - fancy that! actually they were talking about it using the chinese title for the movie... which of course i didn't recognise (i think the translation was something like "my crazy girlfriend"... and of course i wasn't readily expecting that there were too many other fans of korean cinema out there). but when one person quoted "coke? you wanna die?! drink coffee!" the identity of the movie was unmistakable :) we all enjoyed it, so if that's not a good enough recommendation, i don't know what is :p

Friday, November 01, 2002

ahh... this is the life... internet to your bed :)

poor man's version of course - thanks to an long phone extension cord and the work laptop, which will soon be a distant memory of a luxury.

there are probably 15-20 people in my house at the moment. all downstairs. and i'm upstairs in my room connected online... yeah i'm bored. can you tell?

forgot to mention that i thought many aspects of road to perdition were quite predictable. granted, it's not meant to be a mystery/suspense flick, but still. i think that took a bit of the enjoyment out of it.

anyhow, off to do a spot of surfing and newsgroup browsing... have a full-ish day tomorrow and not in the mood for anything too mentally draining tonight.
no slow, lazy afternoon for me this friday! been on the go since i got into work 8+ hours ago... ah well, i guess you gotta take the busy with the not so busy...

watched road to perdition wednesday night. it was pretty good, but i think i was expecting more. maybe because of the whole "tom hanks" factor and implicit hype, though hype isn't really the right term. anyway, definitely passable movie viewing material, and has a few rather funny moments too. it's probably worth a re-watch to pick up on more of the father-son relationship themes, which is probably where the heart of the story lies. but that can happen via video/free-to-air tv - i managed to watch this for free too, so aren't about to pay to watch it a second time!

apparently my blog has had a few more visitors in recent days, how exciting :) speaking of blogs, i've discovered a fellow rambler and longer-time blogger at this peachy site: check the journals link for her blog.

the free japanese film festival is on this weekend in town... details can be seen here. i actually found out the details for it last week (at japanime 02), but wasn't intending to go. of the films on offer, i've seen postman blues (i think two years ago at biff), not sure how keen i'm on wrt lily of the valley, and would have gone to see princess mononoke, but found out that someone i know has it (along with many a other miyazaki films!) on dvd, so that sounds a much tempting alternative.

hmm... time to think about going home, perhaps...

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

the nanae_2002 mailing list is alive! i've just sent my first message to it, to kick off the archiving. but... even though i checked it a couple of times before hitting send, i still managed to omit the subject line... *sigh* pretty sad considering i saw that the subject was still empty, but said to myself: remember to put in a subject before you send. moral of the story? don't bother talking to yourself ;)

"the rookie" turned out to be fairly ok... nothing earth shattering, but not a bore either. would make a good tv/video movie... but perhaps not one i'd jump at the chance to pay to watch in the cinema. good thing i watched it for free then :)

Monday, October 28, 2002

don't you just hate it when you encounter a slow, lazy afternoon, and you feel like hopping on your blog to tap out an update, and the power goes out?? well that's what happened last week. actually the power was only out on one of the phases to the building, so my computers were still on. but the outage did take out the local switch, so i had no network. i guess i could have typed out something and saved it to a file for later uploading, but that kinda defeats the purpose of blogging somewhat, so i played pinball and did a bit of reading instead :p

so... what was i going to say? went to japanime thursday night for the opening night (and queensland premiere of the) movie "spirited away". not overly impressed with the cinema itself (screen, seating etc) - i've been spoiled on the excesses of "senstadium" and "cinestadium" seating - but it was a full house and the atmosphere was positive. the movie started about 30 minutes late, and was perhaps a bit on the long side (i found myself checking my watch on more than one occasion), and some people commented afterwards that the ending seemed a bit rushed, coming too quickly. but overall i enjoyed the movie, though i'm still not entirely sure what to make of it as a whole. it was somewhat intriguing and interesting - probably not the sort of thing i'd automatically choose to see (especially at the price it was going for) but it's always good to watch movies in the company of others and be able to chat about it afterwards. the "after party" consisted of sushi and other tidbits of food, coupled with a few choices of alcoholic beverages.

didn't end up watching any other movies at japanime... was supposed to go to a concert at church on friday night, but that got cancelled somewhat last minute... and ended up staying back late after work anyway, so in the end i went home and veged out. while preparing to heat up my dinner i heard on the radio that they were giving away movie tickets, so on a whim i rang up the station to try my luck. the competition was called "battle of the suburbs" and i was pitted against another contestant in a best-of-seven questions quiz. in the end the score was tied 3-apiece as one question didn't get answered in time. so one of the announcers decided to give us both a half of the prize and not bother with a tiebreaker. and i still didn't quite know what it was that i'd won! but, picked up the tickets this morning and it turns out to a couple of free passes to a preview screening of "the rookie"... so that's what i'll be doing tonight :)

saturday was the word 25% off sale! rather handy for picking up a copy of sara groves' new album which i had been intending to buy anyway, along with some other items. then i did my tax return in the afternoon, and played more a bit more pinball at night - manged to break the 10 million mark... once.

sunday saw me getting wet on the way to the 96.5 festival of choirs, at the albert st uniting church in town. the special guests there was an a capella group called the idea of north, who performed two sets during the program. quite enjoyed listening to them sing, and using their voices to create a myriad of sounds. good fun (except for getting a little wet... :p)

and it's about time for lunch...

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

hmm... one of my fillings just "broke" and came loose while i was munching my way through a biscuit! how odd. needless to say, it's leaving a rather strange sensation in my mouth. guess i'll have to pay the dentist a visit soon :|

almost forgot... watched "my sassy girl" last friday night, one of the (two) free movies screening during the korean film festival. it was much more entertaining than i'd expected! funny, not taking itself too seriously, yet not too outlandish... at times quite poignant and ever so slightly verging on cutesy romanticism, all in all a throughly enjoyable and fun movie, one that i would have been happy paying money to see. here's just one synopsis/review.

japanime hits brisbane tomorrow night - am going along to the opening night premier of "spirited away". it's a hefty $25, including an after party with food and drinks, so hope it'll be fun!

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

uploaded pictures from brothers night, which took place two weekends ago. val has also put up some of her shots here.

Monday, October 21, 2002

wait and see



if you look closely at him today, you may catch him smiling to himself, or notice the hint of a goofy grin wriggling to escape to the surface of his person. his smile is not from a joke or amusing anecdote, though it could make for a nice story in years to come. he's not recalling a funny incident, or scheming up a practical joke. and he's not crazy - at least, he's pretty sure he isn't.

he smiles. mostly on the inside, but sometimes can't quite keep it from showing on the outside. he smiles because he's happy.

he might well have reason to be unhappy - there was the confirmation of a traffic infringement fine and associated demerit points a few days back, and that incident last night where his car was hit by two eggs, seemingly propelled with some deliberate force by persons unknown, while driving home. and things are not perfect at home, at church, with friends, and family... and the future is still quite uncertain.

of course there have been positives too - helping a friend celebrate their 21st birthday, and another couple their engagement, during the weekend. an enjoyable and entertaining korean movie last friday, and good conversations before and after that. other good conversations and prayer in the next day. and this morning, having a recurring problem with the car alarm identified and finally fixed.

but mostly he's happy because he can't help feeling that way... he's happy because God is good. he's found himself wrestling with a specific issue of late, and doing a fair bit of thinking, both by himself and with the thoughts, opinions, and counsel of a few close friends. though wrestle might not be the best word... since it hasn't seemed that hard. he's been wary of depending on himself and his own abilities, motives, and wisdom, and hence tried to bring the problem before the Lord in prayer, and sought the advice of trusted people. and he feels quite at peace with the ensuing decision. "trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey." no doubt the trust and obedience is flawed and at best imperfect, but he's feeling a quiet sense of joy and contentment from the attempt.

the decision? asking a friend about the possibility of venturing into a more-than-friends relationship.

the response? wait and see...

Friday, October 18, 2002

read an interesting article (url from bloggerbuzz for october 17) titled "how to write a better weblog". some good points in there; food for thought indeed. if you have an opinion on this blog (and haven't already shared it with me) i'd love to hear it.

- - - - -

someone at work recently changed the behaviour of some of the internal mailing lists we use - something to do with making it a closed list ie. only postings from subscribed addresses will be allowed. this was supposed to be a spam-fighting measure, but a couple of things got overlooked:
  1. many staff have multiple addresses, and often the subscribed address is not the same as the sending address when posting
  2. which can be worked around, if only people had been notified of the change!

quite a few emails had been sent to the various lists but not delivered. adding to the confusion was the absence of any bounce or other error messages indicating the failure to the original sender. it turns out that all the emails being sent from non-subscribed addresses had been delivered to an admin staff member who didn't know what was happening and didn't do anything about it!

communication - getting it right can be hard work.

speaking of which, i'm starting a mailing list for anyone who wants to receive updates/news/info regaring my short term mission trip to nanae in december. if that's you, you can subscribe to the list by sending a blank email to this address:

nanae_2002-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

it will probably start seeing some action in the next week or two, and last for a few months at the most. if you know me you'll probably hear from me soon on this topic, so consider this a pre-release bonus for my blog readers ;)

Thursday, October 17, 2002

noticed a new album by sara groves in the koorong catalogue i got in the mail yesterday... so had to go searching for more info, seeing as i already own copies of her other two releases :) the album looks so good, i think i'll have to buy it soon! this is one CCM artist whose lyrics i've appreciated, and often identified with. i haven't even heard anything from it yet (there are realaudio samples available from her site, but i can't get it to work from my machine), but i'm sure it'll be worth it. go check out the lyrics and reviews for "all right here". i think my ears are starting to itch... :)
heh... my pay increment has finally gotten through... only about half a year late! oh well... i get the money eventually.

speaking of money... i was talking with some law student friends a few days ago, and they were working on this assignment where they were investigating a lawyer who had made a few questionable/inappropriate transactions with her money and her client's trust money. then i somehow managed to figure out that the minor transgressions could be used as a cover for the more major transgression of money laundering. of course, that was based on about 30 minutes worth of talking and background info, so i might have been totally off the mark! but... maybe all i've demonstrated is an example of the wickedness of humankind, ie the tendency towards perverting justice, ethics and laws etc for personal gain... :o

anyway, onto other financial matters... still gotta do my tax return before it's too late, and consolidate my super(annuation). feels like such a chore... someone commented recently that the ATO has an army of unpaid tax accountants - ie those who do their own tax returns! i'm an unwitting draftee... wouldn't life be simpler without the tangles of all these financial concerns?
ahh... back on the air... couldn't access my blog yesterday...

photos from glor's 21st are up.

attended part of the OMF prayer conference last friday/saturday - it's been a while since i've spent that much time in praying for other people in the space of one day. it was good, got to speak to a few people - some ex-missionaries, some current (on home assignment), and others who had done and are still involved in short term stuff. looking forward to visiting nanae in december - got an email from the omf missionaries there, so now i have a better idea of what i'll be doing during my time there, and how/what to prepare beforehand.

then on saturday i came back to brisbane for the yf brothers night, which was quite fun, and also full of encouragement and prayer. excellent stuff :) photos to come...

got another friend's 21st coming up this weekend, plus an engagement party. and two weeks later a wedding. should be good for catching up with some old friends and people i haven't seen in a while.

Friday, October 11, 2002

it's 2:30pm in the afternoon, and i am past being ready for the working day to end... TGIF? :)

it's actually looking a bit dark and stormy like outside. will be leaving town and driving up a mountain later today, so i hope my sense of timing will be off and i'll miss any storms waiting to hit!

*tick*tick*tick*

*twiddle thumb*

*sigh* might as well try and get some more work done i suppose!

Thursday, October 10, 2002

happened to be driving near the previously mentioned intersection last night, so took a mild detour to scope out the lights... unfortunately they weren't behaving as they did when i passed through the other night. bummer. that'll be $135 and 3 demerit points, thank you very much...

onto happier news, i've just finished my cisco course! had the final theory and practical exam this afternoon, and managed 100% in both (had to guess a few in the theory MCQs) so i'm feeling pretty happy about that. should be sitting an official certification exam sometime soon, hopefully won't have forgotten too much by then! oh well... no more studying for a while suits me juuuust fine :)

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

more road stories of a different nature...

got my picture taken last night, while turning left at a T-intersection... during the approach to the intersection, i saw the turn arrow go from green to red, then the straight light turn from red to green, but the turn arrow must have stayed red (the one for going straight was definitely green, unless i've gone blind) cos i saw two bright flashes halfway through the turn... maybe i saw it and it just didn't register in my head cos i couldn't (and still can't) understand why one would not be able to turn left when one can go straight. the only thing i can think of is when there is a pedestrian crossing... and i'm sure there weren't *any* pedestrians around to have activated the signals... nor do i recall seeing any pedestrian signals...

i'm a bit disappointed about the whole thing as it wasn't like i was trying to beat the light and got caught. anyway, i guess i can't avoid being at fault, though i'd sure like to do the instant replay thing to have another look at the scene :|

Monday, October 07, 2002

pictures from the hksa ball are now up.

went to a friend's 21st last weekend, which proved more entertaining! pictures of that to come...
saw this signature in a newsgroup posting; thought it was pretty clever:

There are 10 types of people - those who understand binary and those who don't.

:)

Thursday, October 03, 2002

more road stories...

last night on the way home i had a car try to cut in front of me three times in the space of about a minute. the first time attempting to cross a solid line when exiting a freeway - i braked to let him in. the second time peeling left on an added lane just after exiting the freeway - without signalling... i braked again. then after the peel was a left turn onto a double laned road. the guy took the left lane after the turn, and i went into the right to overtake... and just as i drew alongside he signalled and made to change lanes again. this time i accelerated. some drivers are not worth the trouble to be following behind.

speaking of which, i almost forgot about another incident the other day... might have been yesterday morning, or the day before. this time i'm coming into work, driving along the main road that leads in, and i brake to stop behind a car which is stopped at the lights. except the lights are green. no i don't mean the lights had just changed from red to green, which may explain why the car was still not moving. the lights had been green prior to the car in front reaching the intersection... she just stopped. as there was too much traffic in the adjacent lane, i had no choice but to stop also. but she soon took off again, travelling well below the speed limit. next intersection, she stopped again! not to make a turn, but to have a look around. then when she'd had enough of that, she took off again... by now there was enough of a gap for me to change lanes and overtake, an opportunity i was too glad to take.

how do people get their licences??

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

they say that most accidents happen within something like 1 or 2kms from your home... is that going out or coming back? last night on my way home some car (or rather its driver) nearly hit me. it was in the driveway of a townhouse block near home - i saw it, ready to make the turn onto the road, but waiting as there was traffic already on the road. the car in front of me turned into that same driveway, while i continued straight. as the car in front of me turned and i went closer to the centre of the road to go around, the car already in the driveway suddenly came out onto the road with a burst of speed! i don't know what the driver was thinking, but i'm fairly certain had i not swerved into the other lane (good thing there was no oncoming traffic) our respective bonnets would have collected each other in a rather non-amicable manner.

last friday a bus tried turning right on a roundabout from the left lane... while i was intending to go straight in the right lane. i don't know what was going on there either, but i suddenly saw a lump of metal crossing in front of me, cutting off my exit pathway. i wasn't going to argue with the bus (bit of a size mismatch there) so had no choice but turn. (or i guess i could have stopped in the middle of the roundabout...)

it's fun sharing the road with other vehicles... but i guess all i can do is try to make sure (as far as possible) i play nice myself.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

japanime info is available online... www.japanime.com.au. it's a bit pricier than i expected though...

Monday, September 30, 2002

flexed off early on friday to have plenty of time before the ball... it was such a strange yet somehow liberating experience to be walking around in the early afternoon and *not* be thinking about work (at least for the rest of the afternoon and weekend). sat around with some friends over lunch, then ran some errands on the way home... don't make the mistake of leaving a girl alone in your car with a digital camera while you run an errand, for this is what happens ;)

- - - - -

the ball itself wasn't *that* good, but i did generally have fun hanging out with the other yfers - we comprised two tables of seven, so it wasn't all that big an affair. food was ok, entertainment so-so, dj/music rather ordinary... and things got a tad boring towards the end. it was funny (not in the "ha ha" sense) that many of the others chose to be segregated along gender lines for a large part of the evening - i'm not sure what the deal is with that, but when you go to a ball, and you (happen to) have equal numbers of guys and girls in your party, and all the girls decide to sit at one table, with all the guys sitting at the other table... something about that picture doesn't seem right. anyways, speaking of pictures... photos from the night are in the pipeline...

Thursday, September 26, 2002

wow... almost a week without an entry...

work's been fun... spent pretty much all of my working day on monday and tuesday dealing with a breakout of security incidents. this basically involves looking at the reports that come in (mostly from external parties, some internal), trying to track down who owns/admins the machine in question, and telling them to go fix. some days i feel like a neutered monkey - it's about all i do and all the "power" i have. which is ok, if people are only expecting a neutered monkey... but that's hardly ever the case.

two more months, i say... that's when i get out of the frying pan, and into... hopefully not the fire! nothing official yet, but my manager knows...

still sick... bleh...

trying to organise transport for some friends, for the hksa "starry night" ball tomorrow. maybe i should consider a career in logistics? looking forward to it :) (uhh... that's to the ball, not the logistics!)

Friday, September 20, 2002

ok i'm definitely sick... again... *sigh*... currently sucking on a blackcurrant flavoured strepsils extra lozenge (for the sore throat part). dunno if it's helping any, but at least i feel like i'm doing _some_thing...

weekend coming up - sleeping time!

the news is not all bad however... i felt heroic-cinema's joy at the number of news items that broke this week, in the world of asian cinema down under. read this week's news (follow link within 7 days of this post) to find out why.

oh why don't i just share with you the ones that apply to me :p

so i'm basically like... ooh, ooh, can't wait... hehe

but wait, there's more... last sunday night i went to this wierd sounding show called "sticky", which turned out to be quite entertaining. photos from the night have been placed online; i took a few mpegs / short movies of it too, but am yet to find (ie start looking) for somewhere online where you can upload stuff like that, besides which they're somewhat larger than my scaled down photos...

umm... i think that's about it. back to work now.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

pop quiz: how easy is it for someone to delete stuff on your hard drive(s), without them requiring access to your computer?
answer: if you're running windows xp, and you haven't installed service pack 1... VERY! thanks to the help centre flaw.

i first heard about this last thursday afternoon, and couldn't help thinking that this is too easy. and apparently microsoft have known about it since june. so now there's a fix (included in SP1), but most people wouldn't even know that there was a flaw to begin with, if not for the media picking up the story recently. still, how many people out there don't follow IT news, use XP, and would be inclined to click on a link or two during their web/newsgroup/email sessions?

speaking of SP1, i installed it on my work laptop last week, and it took all of nearly 3 hours... and i'm on a 100Mbps network. imagine trying that at home, over a dial-up modem connection. fun.

i love microsoft. not.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

hmm... looks like i need to retract my comments on my friend's sunglasses - they're not just an expensive pair of fashion lenses, they do actually provide 100% UV protection, but they still aren't a great fit :p

- - - - -

valley finally sent me the pics from her camera, so i have updated my birthday photo album, 26 red, with the extra shots.

also up are some shots from yf's sisters night 2002, which took place on the weekend. didn't manage to capture everything, as some of the shots turned out to be too dark and/or too blurred... guess my hands ain't steady enough :( 'twas a good night for one and all, methinks :)

- - - - -

mooks has been car shopping/browsing, i think the honda jazz would be a goer :p

- - - - -

my head hurts... my throat's feeling funny... might have a slight fever? *sigh* i have a sinking feeling i'm starting to get sick again... will be aiming for an early night tonight...

Friday, September 13, 2002

Thursday, September 12, 2002

life is nebulous.

i'm falling asleep in class...

away, heavy eyes!

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

was harassed by a bird while walking to the carpark on the way home last night... was ready to swing my bag at it as it came in for a second close fly by, before it decided to leave me alone. 3 minutes later i realise my sunnies had fallen off... so i hurried to my car, got in and drove back to the place of the "attack". couldn't see much (it was dark, and the area not terribly well lit), and my torch battery had died... so was about to return to my car to turn on its headlights for assistance, when i stepped on something... yup, you guessed it... my sunnies. except i didn't really step step - more like clipped it with the toe of my shoe... so it's safe and sound. don't you love happy endings? :p

- - - - -

more photos are online (now that i've got the hang of things)... if the listings below don't mean much to you, then the photos in the respective albums probably won't either. up to you...

Monday, September 09, 2002

finally... a new photo album is up... check out 26 red if you want to see some birthday-related stuff. unfortunately you'll have to sign in to view them, which means you'll need an account with imagestation if you dont' already have one. more (albums) to come, hopefully... if you're really bored there's two older albums there as well, both from last year.

Friday, September 06, 2002

friend of mine got some new sunglasses the other day. i was much saddened to find that they appeared to be nothing more than a very(!) expensive pair of fashion lenses. fashion lenses meaning that while they look good, they contribute nothing in terms of protecting one's eyes from sun damage. more than contributing no positives, fashion lenses (with no UV protection) typically contribute negatively to the health of one's eyes.

how do i know this? because not too long ago my optometrist told me one of my eyes was showing (unexpectedly early) signs of sun damage, which was enough to stir me into doing some serious research into sunglasses, and thus i am now significantly more enlightened in this matter than i would have been a few months ago. i ended up going with a pair of maui jim sport sunsets from sunglasshut, because they were about the only pair i could find which fit my minimal criteria of must haves:
  • 100% UVA and UVB protection
  • polarized
  • wraparound frame/lens
  • tough, durable, lightweight
  • fit my face very well and be comfortable to wear

... and then some! the technology in maui jim lenses are actually quite impressive... take a look for yourself, i was pleasantly surprised and in the end quite happy to invest in the product :) (and mine still cost significantly less than this other brand name fashion lens... go figure)
spring has definitely come quickly this year - winter's all but a distant memory with the warm weather that's accompanied the last few days. i've quite enjoyed and appreciated the comfortably cool breezes that were about earlier this week - they were especially refreshing after a wearisome day at work. it's good to be able to "stop and smell the roses" every now and then.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

i think i'm stressed... my face is breaking out...

and now to subject myself to more of the same, since i'm not getting paid to post my blogs all day long... *sigh*
some guy (a self-proclaimed "MacGuru") in the states (with a "IV" appended after his name, ie mr so-and-so, the fourth) emailed me from my old (ie hasn't been touched in years) website, and tells me he has a new casio g-shock watch for sale on ebay if i'm interested. gee... thanks but no thanks. (one of the pages on my site was on the few watches i had at the time, one of which was a g-shock) i don't quite know what to make of it... i'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but struggle to class this as anything other than "what the.... ?!"
my car parking world is turned upside down...

it's 9:25am. i pull into my usual carpark to see one car exiting, and another getting into what turns out to be the last available spot. damn. what's going on? i think to myself... it's never been this bad all year. so i hook around to the other main blue zone (blue being staff-only access) carpark which also used to be have plenty of free space up to, and even past 10am. no go - it too is full. so is every other spot i pass. the only spaces i could see were red zone ones (red is only available to staff above a certain pay-scale; i don't earn enough to qualify for a red) and casual parking, ie pay by the hour. looks like i'll have to join the rat race and come in earlier, dirtying my wheels in rush hour traffic. not happy.

skimmed over an article in the local newspaper - something about (local city) council news, and how they're patting themselves on the back for the "success" of the busway which opened last year. funnily enough, they base this conclusion on results from surveys handed out to commuters using the busway. now i'm no expert on statistical analysis, but isn't that what they call a biased sample?!

you might think i'm sounding a bit negative. that's probably because i am.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

a few poems by Tadashi Maekawa, as translated in 'The Wind Is Howling', an autobiography by Ayako Miura (originally in Japanese):
Walking together through a grove of trees in the park,
I had the impression that we were lovers.
I walked along the dark road with an innocent girl,
Wondering what would happen if I suddenly embraced her.


- - - - -

When I cautiously kept my distance in friendship,
One after another the girls left me.
car park was rather spacious this morning... or so i thought for a split-second before realising i'd come in early and it wasn't yet 8am. and i've been pretty much on the go since then. some days i really think i suck (big time) at my job, and wonder why people would ever hire me for this type of role. some days you are the nominated fill-in for another person who manages the high performance supercomputer (while he's away for a week), which might sound kind of interesting except that the pleb users on the system probably know more about it than you, as a systems administrator, do. that's bad. especially when a server (which i spent half a day tracking down) mysteriously died early sunday morning. if i had tears of frustration aplenty, i'd shed them. then i'd go finish eating my lunch.

Monday, September 02, 2002

on a totally different stream of consciousness... today i feel for garfield, who hates mondays.

to start, the carpark at work was unusually full this morning - when i entered, there was another car about to take the second last spot. i circled, and saw someone leaving from a better spot, so waited and took that one. as i was walking out, another car entered to take the last remaining spot. so... full carpark at 9:35am. let's just say i've never seen that carpark full... ever... close to full yes, but full, no. and i've been in later than 9:35am. not a good sign.

then, i get to my desk, and immediately have to attend to problems. people can't login to the high performance supercomputer. neither could i. but i find an existing connection, so i spend 2+ hours trying to figure out something of which i have close to zero knowledge, all thanks to being the nominated "stand-in" for a colleague on leave. finally i call his mobile, and he suggests a fix which seems to do the trick. all so easy when you actually know what you're doing! meanwhile, another guy from a different group continues hassling me about stuff carried over from previous weeks. i'm so ready to give this up.

anyway, it's lunch time... chance to breathe a little...
a quote from serendipity that i liked:
If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. -- Epictetus, philosopher

Friday, August 30, 2002

watched 'serendipity' the other night, then again later with the director's commentary (on dvd). it was the first time i'd watched a whole movie with director's commentary, and i'd have to say that (in this particular instance anyway) it was a rather enriching experience. it was nice to be able to appreciate (after being told, because i'm too dumb of a viewer to pick up most of the nuances!) the little subtle, background, peripheral stuff. and also to gain some insight into the actual film-making process.

then again, i'm a bit of a sucker for romantic comedies, so that could explain why i particularly enjoyed this one :p having said that, i don't necessarily agree with all of the morals, ethics and beliefs portrayed in the movie (and perhaps typical of movies like this)... so it's a balancing act between having to remind myself of the disparity between the world of movies and the world of real life, and trying to enjoy the movie for what it is - make-believe, fantastical, idealised, entertainment :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." -- C.S. Lewis, in 'The Problem of Pain'

Monday, August 26, 2002

received a couple more birthday gifts on the weekend (i'm sure this will be the last of them!)... one from bin, the other from my elder sister. the latter is a watch with a rather interesting "second hand"... take a look for yourself at the fossil chinese tic. the novelty hasn't quite worn off yet ;)

Sunday, August 25, 2002

from the "letters to the editor" section of a motoring magazine, pointing out an error in a previously published feature article:
"No-one has the right of way on our roads. The law simply states who should 'give way'."

editor responded saying the magazine stands "admonished and corrected. 'Right of way' is not the correct terminology."

i don't think i realised this... perhaps that should be extended to being not the correct attitude out on the roads.

Friday, August 23, 2002

walked past some trees on the way to work this morning. the wind blew, and the leaves, being wet from earlier rains, proceeded to deposit drops of water to the ground. it was like watching a mini domino-effect shower (these branches were fairly high), and with the light from the rising sun streaming through, it made for quite a simple yet beautiful sight. my words fail to describe it - you'll just have to trust that it was a nice moment in time :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

my (known) readership base has at least doubled! or increased by two... depending on how you look at it :p

i'm actually running quite low on slack time, hence the lack of posts. went for a nap at 8pm last night and stayed in bed till 7am. wasn't asleep for all of that time though, which was a shame cos most of the time that i was awake, i was trying to fall asleep.

for those of you craving more interesting reading than this, check out training europe, a live diary by jerome about his recent travels in europe. i don't actually know the guy (just his siblings) but he's a better writer than i, and i've recently finished reading through his travel tales and found them quite enjoyable. maybe you'll enjoy them too :)

to whet your appetite, here's what he had to say at the end of it all:
In my opinion travel is the best education one can get. It changes your outlook on life and rearranges your priorities. It breeds tolerance and an understanding of different cultures. It has also allowed me to learn about the history and language of a few of the countries I visited. There is nothing as exhilarating as travel, the notion of the unknown, the sense of discovery, the meeting of strangers.

I hope this has inspired some of you to travel. Nevertheless I will leave you with another quote:

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, narrow-mindedness, all foes of real understanding. Likewise tolerance, or broad wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."
- Mark Twain

Monday, August 19, 2002

from a keyring sent to me as a gift - for people born on august 6:
People born on this day can be a bit of a charmer. They have a high self-esteem. Will strive for success. They have a very hospitable nature.

is it accurate? perhaps the best judge is the beholder.
heh... proof that someone does read my blog - some user contributed posts / feedback :)
you want suggestions on hair styles, well, a singaporean friend of mine has a standard sort of asian haircut (maybe a shorter version of yours, mainly in the fringe area) and he gets kind of rusty red highlights which actually look really good on black hair. Otherwise, there's an asian salon on Adelaide st near the UQ bus that does funky stuff. You could, if you dare, give them carte blanche and see what happens......

but wait, there's more! no, not steak knives, just a simple quote:
"I'm not king. Christ is king; I'm just a singer." -- Elvis Presley

this post brought to you courtesy of dan the man, my #1 fan ;) :p

ps. feel free to send me feedback if you are so inclined. if you know me, you should know how to reach me. if you don't know me, then look a little harder and you'll see at least one way to reach me.

Friday, August 16, 2002

another pick the flick jackpot went off this morning. just a few minutes ago actually. i knew what it was after yesterday clue, so tried calling in this morning but the phones were busy and i didn't get through. 12 tickets could have been mine... oh well...

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

feel like i OD-ed yesterday, so nothing much to say today. except that after writing yesterday's last entry, i thought that perhaps others (esp. those who know me in person) may be perturbed by reading it. well... these are nebulous thoughts of mine, and some do come at apparent random. this isn't necessarily one of them. if you feel prompted to speak to me about it, please do so. if you feel prompted to speak to the Intercessor on my behalf, please do so too. they aren't mutually exclusive options.

or if it's all too hard... to follow, understand, or deal with. forgetaboutit.

i'm glad i'm not working tomorrow.

Monday, August 12, 2002

i am perturbed. (actually i have been for some time now... this probably goes back at least two years, but has no less a contemporary relevance.)

a touch of anger. a spoonful of disappointment. a pinch of frustration. liberal doses of disheartenedness and sadness. plus 11 other secret herbs and spices.

kentucky fried quop.

why is it that sometimes your friends (good, and/or close friends at that) appear to treat you worse than distant friends, acquaintances, or even strangers? it doesn't seem to be any act of deliberate mistreatment, moreover they don't seem to realise that it's happened.

is it just me? am i overly sensitive? are my boundaries and thresholds out of kilter with the rest of society? or is it them? are the boundaries and thresholds of chunks of society out of kilter with mine. or are we perhaps both out of kilter with some other absolute reference?

if i'm mistreated by people from whom i have no reason to expect favourable treatment, i'd probably feel anger and indignation more than anything else, if anything. plus injustice, if i've not been afforded the same fair go as the next person. but i think for the most part i'd get over it... move on.

yet being mistreated by people from whom i have no reason to expect unfavourable treatment, moreover those from whom i'd hope to receive favourable treatment... that's a more bitter pill to swallow. this distraughts me, given that it's happened multiple times with multiple people (multiple friends...). what am i doing wrong? what's wrong with me?

friends... can be a blessing. should be a blessing. is it right, should it be possible, that they can be a curse? i'm still friends with them all... our respective friendships do not appear to have suffered as a result. then again, i've never spoken up about it...

maybe i should. one day i'll need to learn how. without offending, without accusing, with an aim towards mutual understanding... to repair the hurt and to use that as a stepping stone to further and strengthen the friendship.

am i like this to any of my friends? i hope not, but no doubt i have been, and probably will be. when i am, and where i have been, please... please be kind enough to admonish. the power to change others is not within my grasp; even the power to change myself is not fully within my grasp. but it's a start. and you need a start if you're going to get anywhere.
a few quotes from "Help! My Halo's Slipping: The Saga of a first-Term Missionary" by Larry Dinkins, which i'm currently reading:
"If we succeed without suffering, it is because others have suffered before us. If we suffer without success, it is that others may succeed after us." -- son of Adoriram Judson

"God does not waste suffering, nor does He discipline out of caprice. If He plow, it is because He purposes a crop." -- J.O. Sanders
to place or not to place... on the question of eggs and baskets, an interesting (at least in the beginning - it got a bit long and contrived) and sometimes humorous read.
this thing keeps giving me errors after i've been logged in for a while. i'll type away on a post, leave it for a bit (work has a habit of interfering...) come back, go to post/publish and be greeted by a "http 500 - internal server error" message. rather annoying, what. especially since it means i lose whatever i've typed and not yet posted.

backups. backups. backups.

i mean. save. save. save.

- - - - -

the credits keep rolling... got a late email from neece[1], complete with my name in lights, so to speak. she was going to bake me a cake, but apparently it wasn't of sufficiently high quality to be fed to people other than her parents!

she recently helped bring me my birthday present to myself - a canon powershot digital ixus 330. i think i'm mostly sufficiently comfortable with the manual settings on this baby... this from a life-long point-and-shooter. if you're into this sort of thing, here's a rather detailed review of the camera.

[1] this is the "local" neece; i know another neece who lives in a different country. both neece's are from the same country. useless piece of trivia for the day? :]

- - - - -

gave away my free movie ticket...
according to a recent nation-wide IQ test, conducted as a television event, i have an IQ of 146 :o not that i'm an expert in the setting of IQ tests, but i thought some of the questions/categories weren't all that useful in testing intelligence, per se. my score was probably inflated thanks to
  • a solid grasp of the english language
  • having previously seen questions similar in type to some of the items in this test
  • being older than i was a week ago, which placed me in a more "forgiving" age category!

anyhow, they say that the highly intelligent generally have a deficiency of common sense and/or aren't particularly adept at social graces and tasks associated with day to day living. what happens if you aren't particularly highly intelligent, yet exhibit the above shortcomings? :|

Friday, August 09, 2002

found a birthday card waiting for me when i got home last night, it had been posted from mooks. cute self-deprecating humour, returning the f(l)avour for/of one i had gotten her for her birthday :)

24 started screening on tv last night - looks good, will probably stay with it. found the show that followed, mutant x, to be fairly ok too. dark angel is set to return next week... looks like my weekly tv quota will be jumping up a few hours...

fujitsu pocket loox pda... nice!

Thursday, August 08, 2002

ooh, just discovered another email, this one from tcc. didn't see it earlier as it was sent to my other address. too many pop-ups and ads, plus it's web-based - not my mail client of choice.

a local radio station has a "pick the flick" competition in the mornings, where listeners are asked to identify the movie from a soundbite they play. pick the flick and you win two tickets to a sponsoring cinema. get it wrong and the prize pool jackpots for the next day. this morning it was up to 30 tickets. was talking about it post windtalkers the other night, and my pick ended up being correct. pity i didn't try calling in, as the flick finally got picked today.

speaking of free movie tickets, i got one from my sister last night. expires next tuesday, so i'm trying to figure out what's good to watch. there's nothing really compelling, and signs doesn't open till after tuesday... dilemmas dilemmas dilemmas...
more credits... this one from the doris clan aboard the mv doulos. the email was a few days late, but they had a valid excuse - being that the ship was sailing to cape town on the day, which meant they had no email connectivity. ok... fair enough... AND they did a virtual rendition of happy birthday doulos-style, which is what the yfers did live at my office, hehe.

watched "never been kissed" last night, which was ok... if i think about it too much i'll get nit-picky (eg there's no way that the stamp she got at the nightclub could have been transferred to her forehead to read the way it did next morning), so i won't. afterwards there was a suggestion that i should do something to my hair - maybe dye it or get a radical haircut. maybe next jan. hmm... quop goes feral ;) any suggestions for what i should do before i wimp out?

told my manager today in passing that i'm considering a change in the next 6 months. not real sure whether that was a smart thing to do. oh well, it was going to happen sooner or later. i'll live.

got a piece of spam this afternoon which actually owns up to having obtained my email address from a purchased list. they were even kind enough to provide contact details (email and postal) should initial unsubscribe attempts fail. should i care? spam is spam, and deserves no more of my time than to pass on the details to the good folk at spamcop.

i'm still sick, and my head probably wishes it had nothing more to do than sit idle. started taking drugs yesterday. gee that could be taken out of context. drugs as in the prescription kind, prescribed by a doctor, on the basis of my illness. hope they do the job.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

roll credits... (in roughly chronological order, and backdated as of yesterday)
  • stir fry - mentioned something in a msn conversation last week
  • bin - talked about getting me a present during a phone conversation on the weekend... told her i was too old for presents :p
  • mooks - phone call last night
  • caren - email from last night (i gave her "hiroshima" as a clue to the date)
  • dad - this morning
  • algae - sms, wishing me a day of no work at work :) don't think it'll come true though!
  • ac - sms
  • mrflomo - sms, psalms 37:4 and ephesians 3:14-21
  • dee - email
  • dan - email (probably the only person i know who reads my blog at the moment!)
  • various yfers: fifi (who was trying to make me think she'd forgotten this morning!), fatte (thanks also for the card), tekken, gg, stir fry (i'm listening to the harry connick jr stuff as i type), slam man, miss ab-do, algae, valley (and pastaofmuppets, who missed it by that much)... these peoples came into my office bearing gifts (cakes and a mandarin "balloon" - photos to come later, hopefully) and sang happy birthday to a wide-eyed, stunned mullet ;) then we all headed downstairs to es, where gg took off and shteppi joined us, and leonie and joey added their wishes.
  • sheepie - 2 sms's, featuring song and dance. okay, maybe no dance... but there was a song and 3 cheers :p
  • wobz - while calling to cancel on windtalkers tonight...
  • yunga - msn
  • ac (who increased my dvd collection to a grand total of two) and dckt - meeting up for windtalkers
  • sj - phone call just before movie started
  • kayakok and girl - over at ac's post movie
did i miss anyone? thanks muchly to one and all :)

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

some famous people with whom i share my birth date:
  • (lord) alfred tennyson, english poet
  • michelle yeoh, hk actress and former miss malaysia winner (yeah, go malaysia! :D)
  • m. night shyamalan, director of movies such as the sixth sense, unbreakable, and signs (which looks worthy of my cinema patronage)
  • david robinson, nba (basketball) player
  • geri halliwell aka ginger spice (not that i was ever a fan of the spice girls... honest!)
  • soleil moon frye, probably best known (?) for her role in the sitcom punky brewster (yeah i know that probably shows my age... but hey, i used to watch it when it was on... besides, she shares my birth year as well)


some notable events that toook place on this day in history:
  • "Tim Berners-Lee released files describing his experimental World Wide Web project on the Internet on this day in 1991... by 1990, he had created the basic parameters of the World Wide Web, and a working version was posted on CERN's internal computers in May 1991. On August 6, 16, 19, and 22, Berners-Lee released Web files and requested input from other developers. By late 1991 and early 1992, the Web was widely discussed, and in early 1993, when Marc Andreesen and other graduate students at the University of Illinois released the Mosaic browser (Netscape's precursor), the Web rapidly became a popular communications medium."
  • "The first atomic bomb used in warfare was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan (1945). Hiroshima was the target of the first atomic bomb ever dropped on a populated area; almost 130,000 people were killed, injured, or missing, and 90% of the city was leveled. Much of the city has been reconstructed, but a gutted section has been set aside as a �Peace City� to illustrate the effects of an atomic bomb. The Peace Memorial Museum is there. Since 1955 an annual world conference against nuclear weapons has met in Hiroshima."

Monday, August 05, 2002

the ubiquity of nebulocity


a search on google just now revealed about 420 hits for "nebulocity". dang.

granted, the name isn't terribly original or creative, but i liked it (having been through - still going through? - a rather nebulous stage in the not too distant past) and didn't want to come across as a plagiarist. oh well, my consicence is clear on this matter. while i can't claim exclusive coinage on the term, i did arrive at it without the "assistance" of that UK site, annie lennox, david bowie, ben folds five and co... do a search yourself if you have no idea what i'm talking about.

right, time to call it a day and go home.
"push-button publishing for the people", indeed!

i like it. not least because it's easy and convenient for me! :) really can't be bothered mucking around with html (what little of it i do know), so the combination of blogger and blogspot sounded rather enticing. besides, plaintext is good, and in most cases sufficient.

who knows, if i get up enough motivation and enthusiasm, i might even go and tweak with the template a bit! don't hold your breath on that one though.
cool... my very own blog :)

baby step #1, onwards we go... where we end up, nobody knows!