Saturday, July 29, 2006


there's a guy at work who is allegedly known to "look into" a lot of things, but never getting much of an outcome. one colleague had dubbed him "mirrorman".

i have a tendency to spend a lot of time looking in the mirror. not that i look in a mirror very frequently (as could relate to vanity issues), for i don't have a mirror in my room, and usually only find myself in front of a mirror when i'm in the bathroom. it's when i need to be here that i can on occasion spend large slabs of time standing in front of my reflection... reflecting. i don't know that the reflecting takes me anywhere.

tonight, while and after staring at the man in the mirror, this came into my mind:
Unable to fight
I sink
Slowly I'm pulled by

Perhaps unwilling
in truth
What is wrong with me
I ask

That I do not know
It's all in my mind

The words, they don't come


Thursday, July 27, 2006

it may be winter but this ain't no sonata

recently a friend recommended the popular korean tv series 'winter sonata' for me to watch. the last asian tv drama series i watched was over a decade ago. the only thing i really remember was watching the vhs tape on 2x play and skim reading the subtitles, wanting to finish the whole lot but couldn't be bothered waiting with the slow pacing of the drama itself to unfold.

and i've seen plenty of bad/over-acting in asian tv, from the bits and pieces glimpsed in various visits to the region. so i was a bit hesitant about whether i would like this particular series. however, given my penchant for the odd romantic drama, i proceeded to do a bit of research into getting hold of a copy.

taken somewhat aback by the high cost of new units selling on yesasia, i turned to the global marketplace that is ebay, hoping for cheaper alternatives. what i found were very cheap options (though still probably more than what i'd like to pay for something i'm not sure i'll enjoy). anyways, long story short, i picked up on a listing from a seller, and even though i suspected it to be a fake from the start i thought i'd try to ask the seller about the item and see what sort of response i get. i've posted a transcript/screen cap trail of our exchange, along with some of my accompanying thoughts.

i like how s/he tries to turn the tables on me towards the end... i almost get the feeling that they were saying that if i want to play in the sandpit of ebay, i should put up with so called less safe products from china, or not play at all. and don't cause trouble for those who want to profit from trading in such products.

there are those who probably don't care that a product is pirated, and buy anyway. then there are those who are the too ignorant to know the fake from the real. but what really gets me is those who think they're getting an original, find out after the fact that it's an illegitimate copy, and still give the seller positive feedback! makes a mockery of ebay's ratings/feedback system, which was probably a good idea at the time but is of considerably less use and value than it could be. maybe they're all just too scared of getting negative feedback themselves, as tends to happen when you stand up to a pirate -- funny how there's a trend i see among those accused of piracy turning the blame back on the victim. and who's going to help you or take up the fight against these profiteers? ebay? daryl kerrigan would tell you you're dreaming!

and i will borrow from wiser heads than mine and say forewarned is forearmed, and caveat emptor. looks like i'll be holding off on any long forays into soppy melodramas for the moment...

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related sites:
related posts (on ebay/piracy):

Saturday, July 22, 2006

oiav? someone's got this back to front...

was browsing ebay for hdd enclosures when i came across this unit, with a logo which upon first glance was strangely familiar yet disturbingly not:

after a closer look, all i can say is that vaio it ain't, and "it's a sony" it ain't neither!

ok. now that this amusing little distraction has gotten all (and perhaps more than) the attention it's worth... can all the pretenders puh-lease get out of my way so i can focus on checking out those with a bit of quality and class about them?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

sorry dr. spin, i'd like a second opinion please

so we (as in my workplace) took home some prizes in the recent ATA state awards. personally i couldn't really care less, other than the fact that it meant even fewer people on the phones taking calls (because they were busy putting up decorations and preparing for the judges site visit etc) when we are already understaffed. which just means more calls for the rest of us... joy.

what i really found amusing was this quote which appeared in a recent internal newsletter. it comes from a senior person from our site, who reportedly said the following in relation to our wins:
the excitement is palpable and the entire centre is ecstatic to the point where they haven't even noticed that there is a peak workload - they're just attacking it with renewed energy.
that's funny. maybe i'm blind (or just cynical :p) but i noticed no palpable excitement of any kind from a centre level, nor was/is there any ecstacy or renewed energy.

the peak workload? that i do see. i'm just glad that i've been put on temporary "higher duties" which takes me off the phones, and i'm hoping to ride this wave for as long as it lasts.

it's a very different looking hive depending on whether you speak to the queen bee or the worker bee...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

i'll do it myself, thanks!

a few months ago...
dad asks about getting a replacement vibrating alert gizmo for his mobile phone, as his phone doens't have a vibrate feature and he misses calls due to the nature of his work. i gave him one of these devices a while back, but he's misplaced it, and asked if i had another one. i give him my old vibrating battery instead.

younger sis passes her old optus pre-paid mobile to mum. it's still locked to the optus network.

a few days ago...
dad asks for the return of his original battery, cos the vibrating battery is playing up. dad also asks about using newer phone from younger sister. problem: his sim card is on the vodafone network... the phone won't take a non-optus card. well how about i take this phone (since i'm still with optus) and dad you take my old phone... unlocked and ready to roll. but... i'll still need sister's old phone unlocked for any overseas travel and local prepaid sims... hmm... back to the drawing board.

enquire with younger sis about history of phone. eligible to be unlocked for free, but she no longer has prepaid sim card and cannot recall the number. nevermind, i'm sure optus can help... after all, phone is almost 2 years old and well past unlocking fee period.

ring optus after midnight, wait 5+ minutes, CSR claims cannot help as original owner of the phone is no longer with optus. hang on i say, phone is locked to optus, bought ~2years ago, can't you look up the imei and arrange for unlocking? further questions to try to clarify the situation results in CSR saying sorry cannot help anymore good night. no no no don't you hang up on me i say... the nerve... but click went the phone regardless.

lodge complaint via optus website about appalling lack of customer service -- accuracy of information notwithstanding, getting hung up on while i'm in the middle of trying to clarify is just plain bad service. back on the phone, different CSR, better service but still not the result i'm looking for.

plan b. search on ebay for phone unlocking service/info... could be an option... DIY for ~$10 or less... hmm...

but let's ask google? google says have you met my friend unlockme? no i haven't, but i'm glad for the introduction... and such a promising referral! download software to try, but wait, there's more! how about an online solution? oh yes thanks, unlock nokia free indeed... worked like a charm :) all for about 60 seconds of effort in typing in the phone imei and model, clicking a button and entering the resulting code in the phone. and all $free too.

if it's really that easy to do it myself, why do the corporate biggies make things so hard for the unsuspecting?

moral of the story? if you need a phone unlocked, don't waste your time ringing a call centre to wait in queues in the middle of the night only to speak to operators who can't / won't help (or even explain why), just google it!

and you could have been in bed that much earlier... *yawns*

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related posts:
swings and roundabouts - part 2
Optus, you suck!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


one old friend spoke of my presence as a 'stalwart' figure;

one newcomer had me pegged as a "senior", even before we met/talked;

and another newcomer thought i was too young to be having a younger sister in the mid-20s ("how old does that make you?" came the question).

thus went yf camp 2006, which was on the theme of "kingdom come", and hence the increase in usage of the early new testament greeting "maranatha!", an aramaic term meaning "come, lord jesus".

in the back of my mind somewhere i had the idea that last year's camp was supposed to be my last -- after all, it's getting to be a bit of a stretch to be calling me a youth, and i'll have to change the current wording in my "about me" box... so i don't know why i actually registered for this year's camp! partly out of habit, and partly to hear the speaker (bill colyer) again i think. i remember the first time he spoke at yf camp in 2000, and the talks impacted me a lot at the time.

couldn't stay for the full camp this year, and it was a bit different going as a regular camper with no "responsibilities" per se. lots of new faces, both of current yf folk and some of their friends. lots of young people running about during free time while i retreated to the dorms and caught some sleep. all of which contributed to a greater feeling of disconnection, which is not necessarily a bad/negative thing. anyways, i don't know where i'm going with these thoughts, so i'll show some pictures :p

more media:

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related posts: encouraged from reflections