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Friday, 30 January 2009

2009 for Me

Over Chinese New Year, I've watched Feng Shui shows and books that predict my luck for the year. I'll share some of them here, those I remember, and let's see if they come true!

1. Travel Luck

A book I read mentioned that I have a luck to travel this year, and advised me to start saving early to avoid problems.

2. Romance

I will not have much luck in romance this year. Yeah as if I had a lot of them.

3. Career

Feng Shui Da Shi advised me to help others, as it will bring luck to me.

4. Lucky colour

Black. Obama!

5. Wealth

Will be OK this year. But I'm not even working yet!

6. Lucky months

May to mid-July, and October. October will see "a lot of social activity".

Friday, 23 January 2009

Vid: What's That Song?

Chinese New Year is coming. Everybody is busy.

Daddies are busy getting the red packets ready. Mummies are busy doing the shopping and cleaning the houses. Girl-girls are busy getting their new clothes ready. Boy-boys are busy sneaking snacks into their room.

Even I took the trouble to play this song on the piano.

Guess what song this is?

Oh wait, is it related to Chinese New Year?

Ah never mind. Happy Chinese New Year to all who celebrate, and happy holidays to everyone else.

PS - will be MIA for the next few days. ;-)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Left Or Right?

You know, there are times when we do things so many times that we don't really pay attention to it anymore. Things like brushing teeth, open door knobs, you know.

Don't agree with me? Well let's play a game. Think of someone you think you know best, other than yourself. Then answer the following questions. Do not simulate the experience. For example, when I ask you "which hand do you use to write", you don't imagine yourself picking up a pencil and start writing. If you don't know, just say so.

Imagine a door, in front of you. The door opens outwards, with the hinge at your left hand side. Which hand do you use to twist the doorknob?
A. Left
B. Right
C. Depends
D. Dunno

You're going to brush your teeth. Do you brush the teeth to the left first, or to the right?
A. Left
B. Right
C. Depends (again?)
D. Dunno

You're standing up. You took a step forward. Which leg moved first?
A. Left
B. Right
C. Both (yeah right! I said took a step, not hopped!)
D. Depends (don't lie!)
E. Dunno

You're using a computer. Do you press the spacebar with your left or right finger?
A. Left
B. Right
C. Both (idiot!)
D. Depends (...)
E. Dunno

You're eating. Do you chew more on the left or on the right side on the mouth?
A. Left
B. Right
C. Evenly
D. Depends (pick this again and there won't be a D for next question)
E. Dunno

Your backpack is on the floor. You picked it up, and put it on. Which hand do you slide through first?
A. Left
B. Right
C. Both together (are you an acrobat or a clown?)
D. Depends
E. Dunno

You're barechested/topless/top-naked. Now you're wearing a T-shirt. Which hand do you put through its appropriate sleeve first?
A. Left
B. Right
C. Both together (imagine yourself doing that. It's stupid! Like a frog!)
D. Depends
E. Dunno

Now you're trying to wear a pair of jeans. Which leg do you insert first?
A. Left
B. Right
C. Both together (I'd like to see that)
D. Depends
E. Dunno

I still have plenty more questions but I think that's enough for now. If your answers are mostly 'dunno's, well I can conclude that you're an honest person. If your answers are mostly 'both's or 'depends'es, you're pretty much of a joker.

If your answers are mainly A's or B's, are you sure you didn't cheat? OK if you're so sure, try this test again, but this time, imagine the person you know best in the situations instead. See if you really know him/her that well!

*Pssst: my answers are mainly A's and B's but I admit I cheated. A lot.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

KTM Says: Use Your Brain... Later

Well it couldn't be more obvious that Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB), one of Malaysia's major transit operator, is trying to teach Malaysians some common sense.

Since some three months ago, colour-coded lines are drawn onto the platforms of major stations, starting from the disastrous KL Sentral station. This is done to aid commuters to queue up properly.

Um, this, along with a signboard teaching commuters how to queue up.

Surprisingly, and totally out of my expectations, it works!

Well before the train arrives at the platform anyway, that's when people forget about queueing.

However KTMB themselves doesn't seem to have much common sense either. KTMB has been improving their services, and they seem to entertain us along the way too. I recently covered the Disabled Toilet issue seen at the Kajang KTM station. Last time I checked, it was still there. Doesn't a single KTMB employee read my blog?

They don't? Oh good. I can reveal yet another blunder by KTMB.

You see, KTMB has been trying to ask people to stand on the left side of escalators. So, they put a sign saying "Please stand on the left to allow others to pass."

Unfortunately... Can you tell what's wrong with the following picture?

I'm really sorry if it's a bit blur and dark. My cheapo camera just couldn't take the lighting conditions of the platform.

Well but don't tell me you can't see that the sign is placed at the wrong side of the escalator. It's place not at the beginning, but at the end! What's more, it's even facing the wrong side - the reverse is blank. It happens to the escalator going up as well.

Actually the signs aren't placed wrongly at all. It's just that the escalators are going the wrong way.

Seriously, anybody here a KTMB employee?

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Three Stages of Education

Well most people of my age has been through all three stages of education before. Boringly named Primary, Secondary, and Tertiery (why can't they be something like Alicia, Bell, and Catherine instead) levels, each level is distinct from the others.

Oh yes, they're more different than you think they are.

1. Writing tool
Alicia Primary - pencil. Write and rub! It's kinda amusing seeing little children exerting so much force on their tiny erasers.
Bell Secondary - pen . That's when something call "liquid paper" comes in handy.
Catherine Tertiery - computer printer .Because it's easier to copy and paste this way.

2. Writing material
Primary - small books oftenly called "Primary School Exercise Books".
Secondary - B3-sized exercise books (called note books for no reason).
Tertiery - foolscap (if plagiarism is an issue) or A4 paper (otherwise).

3. Don't hand up your homework in time and...e
Primary - get scolded, caned, and humiliated
Secondary - get reminded to hand up the next day
Tertiery - nothing else happens

4. Skip classes and...
Primary - get dragged up stage during weekly assembly and scolded, caned, and humiliated in front of the whole school
Secondary - get chased by discipline master to class
Tertiery - nothing else happens

5. Transport
Primary - walk, school bus, parents' car
Secondary - ride motorcycle, drive car
Tertiery - null, stay in school. If we can't go to school, let the school come to us.

6. Exam pressure
Primary - nervous (lack of experience) . Remember the teachers reading the questions aloud to us?
Secondary - cool (used to examinations) . Don't know the answer? ABCD - pick your favourite.
Tertiery - phobia (fed up of examinations). Is it ever going to end?

7. Knowledge source
Primary - "Mama! Papa!" . We were fools to trust them this much.
Secondary - Textbooks. These are more boring than talking to your dead rabbit.
Tertiery - Google, Wikipedia . Best friends ever, and they always know the answer. And they never care if we copy them.

Gawsh. Don't we just love the days we spend in school? (Pssst, do I sound sarcastic at all?)

Sunday, 11 January 2009

How To Sleep?

Recently, my already irregular sleep hours has been made even more inconsistent by the fact that I'm having my first exams in UNMC.

I normally have trouble sleeping before 2am at night (I think I inherit some sleeping difficulties from my dad), but other times I have to sleep earlier, for example, before my programming paper.

So how to assist sleep?

1. Counting sheep

I assure you, this NEVER works. It'll go like 1, 2, 3, 4, this is bizarre, 5, 6, 7, 8, so silly I have to blog this, 9, 10, 11, I wonder what happens if I cross the 10 000 mark, I'll go 1E4, 1E4, 1E4, 1E4... eh where did I stop? Let's start over again. 1, 2, 3, 4.

2. Self hypnosis

Well classic hypnosis involves a chain watch, swung in front of the eyes like a pendulum. This NEVER works too. How are you supposed to swing a watch in front of you when you're lying down? Use your brain...

3. Bedtime stories

Aw come on. Don't you have any logic at all? Authors like J. K. Rowling and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle keep me awake for hours. Literally.

4. Lullabies

Firstly my singing sucks. So I to experiment, I have to use my MP3 or computer to playback music. But then again there's always a need to switch them off before I actually fall to sleep, and that always wakes me up again. MP3 has another problem - if I don't remove it, it'll prod my body for the whole night. The worst is when you have an extremely loud blast in one of your songs in your playlist. All in all, it does NOT work.

5. Alcohol

Well, it works if you mean to get me sick as well.

6. Food

Didn't your mother tell you that sleeping with a full stomach is not healthy?

I even consulted my favourite cartoon character for advice.

Goofy's How To Sleep, 1953

I'm not sure if his solution is worth a try. Dam. Where are my lecturers when I need them to hypnotise me?

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Disable Toilet

"Disable toilet!"

"Yes sir!"

So I went into the toilet, and gave the bowl a big pile of my ultra high-fibre dung.

And then I flushed! Woohoo! A wonderful concoction of water and dung and piss, stuck in the bowl.

"Toilet disabled, sir!"

The next morning, the sign read "Disabled Toilet".

Spotted this in Kajang KTM station. It should say Accessible Toilet.

I know some readers are going to say "this is a crap post". Don't worry, you're only going to receive, hmmm, two more such posts before I finish my exams.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Second Chance?

The story below may be long (and boring for some), but I sincerely hope everyone to read every word of it, and may it inspire us to study or work harder towards achieving our goals. Wishing everybody good luck in the new year.

There was this man. Let's call him, say, Bruce. Bruce was about to be released after spending 2o years of his life in prison, after committing a crime in his teen days.

After signing a few papers and documents, a police officer gave Bruce the directions out of jail. Bruce listened intentively, eyeing the officer's belt. His eyes glided from the shiny buckle to the pistol and baton, clinging on to the polished leather.

What he feared most, however, was the handcuffs. He had spent a lot of his days thinking over his life in prison, and swore that he would never want to come in contact with those cold curved steel anymore.

"Good luck," the officer suddenly patted Bruce on his shoulders, bringing him back to reality. Bruce turned to leave, trying to recall the directions given to him just few minutes ago.

Somehow, he found his way to the main gate of the prison, after going through several automated bulletproof doors and guarded exits. He then laid down his things (wrapped up in a blanket) and waited.

He called his sister two days before, and left a message telling her about his release. It's simple, he thought. I just have to start life over again. I'll hang over at her place for the moment, and after getting a job, I can rent a room elsewhere and blend into the world seamlessly. He immersed himself in his fantasies, which didn't seem that far away.

Except that nobody showed up after two hours of waiting.

He became impatient and strolled up and down along the tall prison walls. It was nearing dusk that he finally accepted the fact that his sister wasn't coming for him.

Who was he kidding? Why would his sister come for him? Why should she help her start all over again? They had met little over the past two decades (and had lots of disagreements even before that, which Bruce deeply regretted, along with plenty of other things), and she had rarely followed Mother to visit him in prison. She had said nothing to him during all of her visits, except her last, which was two years ago, when he told him about Mother's death.

He sat down beside the road, catching the last rays of the orange sun of the day, attempting to swallow his sorrow. Why had he wasted his first chance to live when he had a loving family and a promising future? At 39 now, he knew his future is as much gone as the sun that day was. He had been nothing but shame and disappointment to his family since he was born. He had no employable skills. He didn't even know how to take care of himself in the real world, being fed and watered on time daily behind the walls. He had no places to go, nothing to do, no one to go to - the prison had been his only home and shelter for the past 20 years.

He stayed stuck to the spot for a long time, nailed to his thoughts, sorrows, and regrets. He finally picked himself up again, long after night fell. He unwrapped his bundle and rummaged the contents within.

There's the blanket, the old toothbrush he'd been using for the past two years, a tube of half-finished toothpaste, a spare set of thin clothes, two novels (so crumpled after two decades of being flipped on daily basis), pieces of wood crafts he had learnt to make in prison, a few notebooks filled with sketches, his red identity card, some pencils of varying length (mostly short), and bits of eraser. Nothing much of value.

Except... hiding in the bottom of the pile, a golden ring. Bruce remembers that - he used to hang the ring around his neck like a necklace. It got confiscated with loads of other things when he first entered prison. He couldn't remember the details of the ring, and wondered how much it cost.

After admiring it for a while, he pocketed it and wrapped the other things up. With a deep sigh, he then stood up and walked into the darkness, hoping desperately that the next day would serve him well.