Monday, November 29, 2004

roadworks progress

it seems i'm reduced to updating about the roadworks going on near my house. how boring. a fom who found out i blogged about this said i was weird. yes...

the roundabout taking shape... actually it's a bit of a hole in the ground which for a few days lay in wait for unsuspecting cars to drop into. the barriers on one side had been moved or just weren't placed properly, so if one got a bit too close...

i think this chicane is pretty much all completed. this is my favourite one cos you can pretty much pass through it at normal speed if you hold a good line :) kinda defeats the purpose of slowing vehicles down, but there's enough other devices on this stretch that i think one easy one is some compensation!

feeling of slow, fling of sti

isn't there even any straw for me to clutch at? pretty please?


sometimes i think i want to scream at the top of my lungs. maybe at the top of a mountain while the camera revolves around me, panning in and out (for dramatic effect, you understand). alas, i can barely manage to part my lips and begin to open my mouth. even when that does happen, the only thing that come out is a sigh (or a yawn!)

i want out something bad, but i don't think i'm going to get it.

it's funny how a lot of this is starting to look familiar. wasn't i here a few years ago?! now what wrong turn did i take to end up back here again...?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

a challenge more in my league

ok. i can live with not ranking amongst the google labs echelon. i know my place :p

so upon seeing this puzzle referred to on googleblog, i said to myself: you gotta be able to do that!

and that's the story of how i came to be, late one friday evening, sitting at home in front of my computer, trying to solve a puzzle (purely for the heck of it, you realise), before going to bed.

so now the challenge is - can YOU solve it? i don't know if there is more than one possible solution, and i'm pretty sure my solution fits the requirements... let's compare answers if you have one :)

- - - - -

the benefit paid from a single 30 minute visit to the dentist this morning has more than made up for my annual health insurance premium. mayhaps i'm in the wrong profession!

Friday, November 26, 2004

non google elite

no i don't think google would ever be interested in hiring me[1]... here's what i did instead[2]!

[1] after a bit more reading of the googleblog, i found the GLAT (google labs aptitude test), and thought i might have a chance at one or two of the questions (for when i'm feeling very mentally charged :p). a few more entries later, i find that i probably did well by standing around at the water's edge rather than jump straight in - people much more mathematically minded than me have answers that i mostly don't understand! oh well, interesting reading nevertheless :)

[2] brief exchange between myself and a colleague, who walked past while i was pulling bits and pieces out of old servers bound for the bin (after others had already been through and claimed the bigger hard drives)

scavenging mate?
might as well get something out of this place
too right!

so i walked away with a 20G hard drive, 7 PCI network cards, and a 52x CD-ROM - presumably all still working! pity there were no DVD drives, cos that's the next bit of hardware i'd consider adding to my PC. oh well... i'm sure i can find some use for these bits and pieces...

READY, (almost) SET, (but no) GO!

as i keep saying to whoever cares to ask, i am soooo ready to leave here. i just dont' care to do so without having something else lined up - not keen to return to being unemployed unless i absolutely can't help it.

at least the jobs i've been applying for aren't this difficult! though i'm mighty curious to see what awaits past the first gate, i don't think i feel smart enough to try :p


enjoyed the JFF movie on wednesday night. got a bit emotional towards the end - the girls all had a bit of a cry, but i stayed strong! haha. engaging story though... and thanks to lawry i now know a little bit more about the shinsengumi, adding some historical context to the movie.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

i suppose i shouldn't be surprised, but...

  1. it's hard "saying no" to what you like... :/
  2. google has its own blog!
  3. it looks like work has already started on the "other end of the road"... hmmm...
  4. it's been suggested to me that "it would be good if i didn't just concentrate on my work but try to help out the folks in another section... if i'm not snowed under" (my paraphrase, since i can't recall the exact words). riiight... let me be the judge of how much snow i perceive, eh?
  5. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is (supposedly) a real word, and was reported by a recent newspaper snippet to have appeared in a spelling contest involving 11-14 year old kids!
  6. a google search on the above term returns over 6000 hits! for this and other word oddities, click here.

oh well. i'm off to catch when the last sword is drawn at the japanese film festival tonight. hope it's good :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

lobotomise me!

i think too much. some of my friends also think i think too much. it sometimes sucks to think too much. thinking too much often goes hand in hand with being hurt, disappointed...

people who don't think (enough), often inflict the greatest pain. then there are those who maybe outdo me in the thinking stakes. that's a different, deliberate kind of pain. that pain you could understandably expect, because it's a conscious thing on the part of the inflicter. but the first type... that's they type that makes you scream WHY O WHY?

i don't know why i think so much. maybe i'm insecure. maybe i'm neurotic.

sometimes, it's probably because i care... too much. which is not always a good thing.


so, any budding neurosurgeons around? ;)

i don't care. i don't want to care.
it sucks, doesn't it?
not caring.

Monday, November 22, 2004

law vs. grace

"Give and receive" is the language of grace (which depends on the work of God).
"Earn and achieve" is the language of law (which depends on the work of man).

extract from Day by Day by Grace

Thursday, November 18, 2004

not chinese enough!

had dinner at a chinese restaurant on the weekend, celebrating my parents' wedding anniversary. they left before us to attend a meeting, and us 'kids' then strolled to the counter to settle the bill. the lady gave us a bit of a discount, though we weren't really sure why. maybe it was because she didn't approve of our choice of dishes, cos my sister thinks she made a bit of a face upon looking at our bill, and then she told us something to the effect of

"the dishes you chose weren't very good/nice, next time you come, speak to the waiter in the black tie and ask him to recommend you some authentic chinese dishes..."


guess i'm a bit of a fake then eh? lol...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

while the sun shines...

the hay i make is deciding to pull off some snaps while driving past the roadworks ;)

two views of the (future) traffic circle on a T-junction (cross street is on the left in the first shot, and on the right in the second). they haven't started work on this yet, but you can see the yellow markings on road for where the structures are going to be built. note also the new lane markings visible in the second shot... previously most of the length of this road had no markings at all, now it's starting to look somewhat "proper"!

one of the chicanes. the red and white block things (no idea what the proper name for these things are) mark out the border of a section of the road that's been dug up. white dotted lines towards the sides denote lane boundaries, and yellow mark the new "kerb extensions". the latter two are somewhat faint in the photo.

don't know that i'll be able to quite get the desired "before and after" effect, given that all these shots were taken while travelling in a vehicle and thus harder to reproduce position/timing! oh well, one step at a time :)

Friday, November 12, 2004


what does it say about you, when you derive so much satisfaction from solving a technical problem? geek? nerd? in need of a life? hehe... have been having this really annoying "problem" with my PC for ages now. when viewing many video files, whether in WMP or quicktime, they would have this propensity to go to full screen. not just the normal full screen like when you hit alt-enter in WMP, but the kind that doesn't let you quit or alt-tab or do anything else.

the first few times this happened i just ended up letting the video run its course. then i figured out i could kill the running video by pausing first, then alt-f4 (doing this while the video is running just kills other background applications). it's been annoying me no end and my previous few forays into the web for answers have come up empty.

i figured it's probably not an application setting, since it's doing it on more than one application and i don't see the same behaviour on other machines, plus i've been through the options many a times without finding anything that might be the culprit. this led me to glance sideways at my video card... i'm sure i tried googling for this before as well, but for some reason couldn't find anything until tonight! on a whim, i tried some new search term combinations, and... finally, reading a reply to someone else's Full Screen Video Problem, though not exactly the same issue, was close enough to get me where i needed.



anyways, that's one item ticked off my to-do backlog :)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

calm yourself

recently there has been a noticeable rise in activity along the main street/road that connects the area in which i reside, to the closest major arterial road. lots of people standing in the middle of the road, marking the surface, measuring, and generally looking like something major is going down.

after passing by a few times on my drives to and from home, i realised that they're preparing to implement some traffic calming devices! well i guess that *would* slow down traffic on that road... ironically it's mostly wide enough for four lanes of traffic, but being in a suburban area has a 50km/h speed limit.

anyways, a quick google (to check my vocabulary) later, i think we're getting a traffic circle, two chicane-like things, and two speed humps. i briefly thought about going out on the weekend to snap the "before" of some before and after photos, showing the preparatory work and markings on the road, to be followed by shots of the devices upon completion. but i probably won't now that my weekend is starting to fill, and besides they've already started digging up the road.

was wondering why such devices would be required, cos the area is essentially one big no-through road, and so we only get local traffic. then i remembered that the other end of the road which is currently a dirt track, is going to be made into a proper thoroughfare. so i guess this is to discourage ratrunners... i hope they leave the other end of the road free of obstruction, that way i'll still have one way to reaching home (though it will only be convenient in some situations) without having to slow down and negotiate an obstacle course! doing this day in and day out is probably going to drive me nuts... oh well... not much i can do other than get over it... guess i'm just too used to, and comfortable with, the familiar :p

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

not-so-silly messenger

seeing a fom with a messenger nickname of "we're buying a toilet!!!", i just had to bite :p

me: umm... that's good news i presume??!
fom: very good news. we've been saving all semester to buy one.
me: does that mean you *didn't* have one before?
fom: no no. we have two of them in my house.
fom: my Bible study group has been "paying" to come all semester, and tonight we decided what we were going to spend the money we've raised on. we're spending the money on things from the TEAR "really useful gift catalogue", and buying a toilet for a poor community in a developing country.
me: *lightbulb*
me: cool.
me: tear is good
fom: yeah, they're great. and their gift catalogue is such a great idea...

fom: ... cause really, most of us don't "need" anything for birthday or christmas presents... and putting the money you would otherwise have spent on something superfluous into something that someone else really needs is awesome.
me: yeah. and u get a free card to use :p

- - - - -

now don't get me wrong, i don't shop at tear just for their free cards! but i have used their (arguably the world's most useful) gift catalogue a couple of times this year, and i quite like having a complimentary card to use to give to the person on whose behalf i have purchased some gifts. i usually dread shopping for gifts, as i usually have no idea what to buy. that's why i like gift registries and the like - i'd rather get something i know the other person wants/needs/can use/would like etc. lately there has been a bit of trend (at least among my friends who have gotten or are getting married, or in some cases major birthdays) to include an item like a tear donation on gift lists.

for one wedding earlier this year i picked out some items on behalf of my family, matching a cooking related item on the couple's gift list with a cooking related item from tear - one for you, one for them :)

last night a friend graduated from a TESOL course, so again i went to tear and chose a literacy gift to match the occasion. but of course i did this early enough to have the card ready in time for the actual ceremony ;)

Monday, November 08, 2004

it's like turning up at a party, and finding someone else with the same clothes!

sometimes you just want a bit of uniqueness.

a while ago i found that the CASE blog changed its layout/template - to the same one that i've been using since july.

today i find that another blog i've started reading has also just made the same change.

now i don't feel so special...

but i suppose that's what you get for picking a blogger supplied free template (and a nice one at that :p), and being either too lazy or unskilled (or both) to be able to come up with your own statement of individuality.


Sunday, November 07, 2004

puzzle this ring

i first came across a puzzle ring about a year ago, when i saw it on the finger of a friend who got one from NZ (i think). after fiddling with it for some time, i managed to figure out a solution, though it was neither all that elegant nor easily reproducible...

noticed that same friend playing with it yesterday afternoon, and thought i'd give it another go. to my increasing frustration, i could not recall the solution, and wasn't getting anywhere close to rediscovering it. even after seeing her solve it (very quick when you know how) twice, i still couldn't catch it.

been playing with it off an on all night (some of the people i had dinner with also gave it a go), and i'm as stuck as i was when i began. finally, i called on my old friend google - and was quite surprised at the variety of Puzzle Rings that you can get!

anyways i'm happy enough to solve the one i've borrowed (i don't think she realises i took it home with me :p), using this better illustrated solution.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

messenger silliness

snippet from a msn messenger conversation last night between me and a friend of mine:

fom: how u feeling now?
me: like a sine wave
fom: sine?
me: yeah
me: or cosine
me: same thing
me: almost
me: u would've done that in maths b i think
fom: hmm
fom: soudns familiar
fom: but forgot
fom: is it wavy?
fom: you are feeling wavy?!
me: basically. it's a repeating cycle... up and down
fom: like a girl
me: *skept*

(after a brief pause while my pc recovers from a spontaneous reboot)

me: so are u calling me a girl??
fom: no!
fom: yes!
me: i'm not a girl
me: not yet a woman...(*sings*)
fom: haha
fom: ur weird

- - - - -

yes... i suppose i am a little bit weird. doesn't that just make life a little bit more interesting though? :)

kopi kat capers

was digging around at home last night for a casesstte tape from years ago, trying to find a song that i had in my head. it's a chinese song based on (at least the start of) psalm 46, and the words came to me yesterday while i was feeling very low. i could only remember the first one or two lines, and got motivated to look for the tape so i could listen to the whole song.

coulnd't find it... haven't listened to tapes for soooo long! but i did manage to dig up a second kopi kat klan cassette which i forgot i had! so breakfast this morning was spent slurping porridge in the lounge room, reading the newspaper while kopi kat klan's "we're back!" played on the stereo...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

twist and turn

it occurred to me that maybe i'm the moth, and it's my wings which are getting burned.

and the candles? well... either they keep shining or burn themselves up!

bleh! maybe you're asking: 什么废话?!

well... i don't know either. can't make head or tail of it all.

this feels really sucky. nice technical description that is...

- - - - -

i want to sigh, i want to cry
but all i can do is to stare awry

it's raining cats and blogs

ok maybe the hyperbole factor was turned up a little too high on that subject :p but yeah... found out that another person i know has started their own blog. this is like the third discovery in about 2 weeks (ie of people that i know recently starting their blogs). and here i was humming along for the past two years or so (since starting mine), thinking that i was the only person among my circle of friends and acquaintances who blogged (or even knew what a blog was!). actually there has been the odd discovery along the way, but this cluster of 3 are of people i actually see every week - though not necessarily talk to all the time - so it feels a bit more significant.

what useless information that was. i should sleep. tried doing that early-ish last night but ended up tossing and turning for a while which is a bit unusual - these days i am usually so tired/sleep deprived that i fall asleep relatively quickly. must be too many unresolved things floating in my head. was meaning to be in bed 90 mins ago but came across some stuff which i'm not really supposed to know... but read it, and in so doing did no favours to the fog soup in my brain...

i'm afraid that i'm like a candle to moths... come too close and your wings get burned. or worse.

should i stay up till my head starts hurting and i can't think anymore?