31 March 2006

Random Ramblings Part 1

Not sure if this is the start of a new series of posts, but sometimes there are things that I'd like to jot down without making an entire post out of it.

First PC: Pentium-II 233MHz, 32MB SD-RAM, 2.1GB hard disk running Windows 95. I still remember the start-up chime of Windows 95. Anyone know where to download it again?

First media player: Xing MPEG player. It came pre-installed by the PC vendor. I remember using it to play VCDs.

First pirated computer CD: A collection of racing games. I believe it cost RM10 back then, or maybe more? There were many games, but many could not be run. I don't know where that CD went.

First computer game I played extensively: Either Warcraft II or Tomb Raider 2.

First programming language: Visual Basic 6, started in 1999 I think, along with HTML as well.

I knew I'm destined to be a computer geek when: I tried flashing (updating) the motherboard ROM. But I think I downloaded the wrong update, thus killing the entire motherboard. I blame my itchy hands even though my motherboard was working fine. I just had to do it, fully knowing the risks :P

30 March 2006

Holy Chicken!

David just turned to me and asked, "Is KFC an Asian chain or worldwide?"

I looked at him blankly.

I replied, "You like KFC so much but you don't know where it's from?"

"Well, the old uncle looks like he's from Australia or something..."

"Why not you search Google for Kentucky? Then you'll know where it's from."

1 minute later...

"How do you spell 'Kentucky'?"

"K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y" I sighed.

"T? That's strange. I thought it was a 'D'... Kenducky."

I rolled my eye in frustration and quickly typed this post.

Chicks With Attitude

I don't know why, but I sometimes confuse between Anastacia and Pink. They are both female singers who have very interesting names, and they were both popular in the early '00s.

Their music career has not been too hot lately, but Pink has just released a new album "I'm Not Dead". When I was looking for torrents to download I came across her album so I immediately downloaded it. And all the while I was thinking, "Hey! It's a comeback album from that singer who had breast cancer!", which of course was referring to Anastacia.

It was only listening to a few songs on the album that I thought, "Hmm... she sounds kinda different. Oh, wait! Oh.... PINK.... not Anastacia...."

At any rate, "I'm Not Dead" is a mediocre album. The songs tempo can be two polar opposites - one may be very upbeat while the next one is slow. But recommended songs are "Dear Mr. President" and "Fingers". The second song seems to be a homage to female masturbation, but I'll have to listen carefully for confirmation.

29 March 2006

That's Why (I Go Open Source)

If you are in the IT field, you would have undoubtedly heard about open source software. Many people are waxing lyrical over the ability to have fully-functional software for free. Not just that, the source code is also available for anyone to view and edit. It's a pretty amazing idea, but I never really appreciated the whole concept because even popular open source software like OpenOffice.org cannot match Microsoft Office.

Today, I changed my mind.

For my final year project, I need to have some kind of diagramming framework. This is a piece of ready-made software that I can use to create my own software. I accidentally stumbled upon Netron, an open source diagramming framework. It looked very complete, but it lacked solid documentation so using it could potentially be a pain in the you-know-where.

So I went online to find some commercial diagramming frameworks. I found several good ones, but I was shocked at their price. It ranged from US$499 to US$2000! How could I ever afford any of them? So I have decided that no matter how much my you-know-where hurts, I will have to use Netron. I am also beginning to realize how important the open source movement is. When one is stuck between a rock and a hard place, I always go with Free.

P.S. In support of the Open Source movement, I have decided to make GreenP, my Final Year Project software, open source as well. There is nothing there at the moment, but those interested can keep yourself updated over the next five months at http://sourceforge.net/projects/greenp. When it is eventually released, I will announce it here. I hope you can then go over and download it! Thanks!

27 March 2006

Pivotal Moments Part 5

Search for other Pivotal Moments posts

Near the end of 2004, Dad bought me my very own digital camera, the Canon Powershot A95. Needless to say I was very happy as it is a good camera. One day I went over to my ex-secondary school to see the school counsellor regarding the school's website. As I was walking to his office I bumped into my very good friend Charles (name changed to protect privacy). He was in Upper Form 6 then.

We exchanged greetings and I just couldn't wait to tell him about my new camera. Charles was interested in photography as well so I was quite sure he would be excited as well.

"Hey, guess what? I bought a new digital camera!" I exclaimed delightfully.

He looked at me blankly for a while and then said, "I have something important to tell you."

"Yes?" I could sense the urgency in his voice.

"My father passed away this morning."

I was shocked. Shaken to my core. I had to lift my jaw off the floor, but even that was hard because I felt paralysed. Charles' father? Passed away? But he's not even very old!

The feeling of shock was quickly replaced with the feeling of shame. Just 15 seconds ago I was practically boasting about some worthless digital camera in front of someone who had just lost a dear one! Granted, I didn't know about it beforehand but it still felt rude and so very inappropriate.

I immediately sat down with Charles and got more details. I attended the cremation ceremony and was very impressed with the overall calmness of the event. I attribute it to their deep Buddhist values.

That event marked the first (but not last) time I was confronted with a situation where my friend lost someone but I couldn't console them. I felt that I was somehow unqualified to comfort them as I have not gone through those emotions myself. But more importantly, I learned the lesson of tact. From that day forth, I always try to let other people speak first before I do, because they may have something far more important to say. I won't allow myself to get into such a weird situation again.

26 March 2006

Unappreciated Gestures

I just came back from a sharing session with Stephanie and Wong, two ex-students of my college. They were invited by the college to give a talk as part of the Info Day event. The unfortunate thing was, no one came except me. I almost did not turn up myself, but I'm thankful I did because it was very educational.

Stephanie is an Analyst Programmer with a leading IT consultancy firm while Wong is a Technical Consultant with a world-renowned networking products vendor. They came back to share their experiences and I really learned a lot from them. I got to ask them regarding their initial interview process and how the IT field is really like out there.

Though only scheduled for 30 minutes, it stretched out to an hour. I had more questions, but I didn't want to hold them back from their appointments. Anyway, I managed to get their e-mail addresses and will ask them more questions. I just felt it was a big waste that none of my other peers came. But they are not entirely to blame - bad publicity for the event and an awkward time slot are major factors as well.

25 March 2006

"Cheaper Cars"! Really?

The headlines in the news these days boldly proclaim the advent of "cheaper cars". As soon as I saw the headline, I asked, "Really?". Malaysians have been promised cheaper cars since cars were first sold. A brief glance through the reports revealed that some locally assembled cars will only be reduced several percent, while large vehicles like MPVs will actually be more expensive.

Local car company Perodua is the first car maker to publicly announce their new pricing schemes. They proudly announced that Perodua cars will see a discount of between RM800 to RM1,500 under the new government policy.

I went, "Huh?" You see, with the recent fuel price increase that RM800 will not amount to very much in the long run. I am practically speechless at the publicity this silly policy is getting.

24 March 2006

Is This the 1 Cent Con?

I'm beginning to despise the local branch of Watson's convenience shop. I think they're up to something. Something illegal. I once heralded Watson's appearance in Nilai as a godsend, but now I'm not so sure. Is this the Devil's hellspawn? Read on to find out.

A couple of weeks back I went to buy some items. Upon checkout, the cashier told me with an apologetic face that they have run out of 1 cent coins. "Do you have any?" she asked me. Of course not! Who in their rightful mind carries around a bunch of 1 cent coins? It was the first time this had happened so I didn't think too much of it and just let them keep the change.

Several nights back, I dropped by Watson's to pick up a bottle of shaving cream. At the checkout counter, the same thing happened. "I'm sorry, do you have 1 cent? We are out." I let them keep the 4 cent change, but I was beginning to get suspicious.

What if they did this to every customer? The discrepancy does not show up in the receipts so it is a perfect candidate for con jobs. I was instantly reminded of the computer hacker who stole a few cents each bank customer and ended up a millionaire. What if this is just a smaller scale? Their loot could still easily go up to thousands of ringgit effortlessly.

Next time, I'm gonna carry around those pesky 1 cent and 5 cent coins. Just in case. In fact, I'm gonna carry every possible type of coin with me the next time I go to Watson's. Be afraid, be very afraid.

23 March 2006

I Shall Miss Them

My college has two canteens, and one of them underwent a change of operators this year. As a result, the whole place was overhauled and new stalls came in. While this is great, I felt a little sad because my favourite vegetarian stall is no longer there. Instead it is being run by other people.

I miss them because I have gotten used to their oily food. I miss them because I have learned how to exploit their pricing system. I miss them because the occasional bickering between husband and wife can be so entertaining. I miss them because the new vegetarian food sucks. I miss them because the new stall owners are so stingy with the food.

I miss them.

22 March 2006

1 Liter of Laziness

With the aid of technology, humans have found a valid reason to be lazy. Let's take Milo - the favourite drink of many a Malaysian youth, as an example. In my father's time, powdered Milo only came in tins. To make a delicious cup of Milo, a young boy will have to plead his mum to take a spoonful (or more) of Milo, add in 250ml of boiling water, and then sweetened with condensed milk. But most children like Milo chilled, so that means a night being cooled in the fridge.

Not long after, some guy had the bright idea of creating convenient sachets containing Milo powder with adequate amounts of creamer and sugar. Thus, the 3-in-1's were born! Mothers no longer had to worry about buying separate tins of condensed milk that have to be kept cool - they just get the instant mixes which will create a nice cup of cocoa all the same. Of course, there was the problem of chilling the Milo first. But have no fear!

Around the same time, TetraPak popularised the convenient drink boxes which we see everywhere. Show me a widely used drink box that is not copyrighted by TetraPak and I will show you my tan lines. With this new found convenience, Nestle debuted Milo in 250ml boxes. Mothers all over Malaysia heaved a sigh of relief as they could now just stick 6 boxes of Milo into the fridge and their children could just take one anytime. You don't even have to boil water!

And today... today I saw the Motherlode - 1 liter boxed Milo! Someone in Nestle's product development department must have thought, "Children are just too weak to take a straw and punch a hole through those small boxes. Why not come up with a 1 liter box version so they can drink directly from it?" I really do not know how convenient (read: lazy) the act of drinking Milo can get.

I predict that one day, mankind will be too lazy to have sex, thus leading to the annihilation of our species.

21 March 2006

It's Spelled with An 'E', Not 'A'

It's amazing how people can misspell Zemien as Zemian. And you'd be surprised to know that people have called me Zemian many, many times. Frankly it's becoming annoying. And just a few days back, someone actually spelled my nick as Zamien! Argh!

I mean, I chose Zemien as my nickname because it is unique (Google can prove it) so why spell it wrongly? No doubt, when spoken they sound the same but it is still unjustified.

I haven't seen anyone call me Zemian on this blog yet, but I'm betting it is only a matter of time. Once again, boys and girls, it is Zed, Eee, Emm, Eye, Eee, Enn. Zemien!

Gone in 120 Minutes

I think I left my pencil case in the classroom this morning at 12pm. When I realized that my stationery is no longer with me at 2pm, I quickly rushed back to the classroom. Alas, it was gone.

I always thought that students in my college are too lazy to care or steal such things, but I am obviously mistaken. Jackson suggested I post a message on the college message board, but I'm not sure how effective that will be. Well, everything's worth a shot!

20 March 2006

Multiple Personalities

Last night I chatted with a fellow blogger whom I've never met in real life before. We hit it off quite well and were happily chatting when he wrote something along the lines of, "Gosh, Zemien, I never expected you to be this kind of person from your blog!"

Almost all my friends who know me long enough will realize that I essentially have multiple personalities, which I can freely choose to use depending on who I'm interacting with. Here's a little breakdown for all my friends who have to deal with me daily. This is by no means a complete list - a man must still have his secrets. Anyhoo:
  • Contemplative Zemien: This is the Zemien most blog readers and friends will see. I am extremely quiet and keenly observe life as it happens around me. I form a lot of opinions but I don't voice them out. Instead, I write some of it in here.

  • Bitchy Zemien: This form manifests itself when I meet other bitchy people. However, I usually choose this personality only when I'm chatting through Instant Messaging. This is partly due to the fact that I don't have the bitchy look nor do I have the comedic timing required to pull off bitch stunts. Once again, I choose the written word to express myself.

  • Zemien the Public Speaker: I once gave a speech on video for some friends, and they commented that I act as if I'm newscasting. Well, that's just the Public Speaker in me talking. My experiences in debating and giving mini-seminars have made me a rather dry and professional speaker. Especially if I need to deliver an impromptu speech, I will speak in the most monotonous voice you have ever heard. This is a direct opposite of the Contemplative Zemien form.

  • Furious Zemien: You don't want to see me mad, seriously. In fact, the only people to have seen me blow up is my father, and some old classmates back in Form 1. Hint: It involves throwing things and punching the wall. David almost got himself in danger when he locked me in, but he was lucky. Seriously guys, don't go there.

19 March 2006

The Battle Against Urinal Urophobia

Urophobia - Fear of urine or urinating

Fear not, dear readers! I have not stopped urinating due to weird suggestions.

For a long time I feared peeing at the urinal. All throughout my life I only peed in cubicles, probably out of habit. It was only 3 years ago that I realised how shy I am and made a resolve to be more casual about it.

It began disastrously, though. I just couldn't pee as I felt weird hanging out my willy in the open. Even if it's technically not out in the open. The problem got worse if there are other people at the urinals as well, as I was under pressure to perform. And the more pressured I became, the less I am able to pee, which resulted in even more pressure.

It was a long and hard journey (pun not intended) but I finally overcame it with lots of practice and willpower. I still feel a little awkward when there are many people around the area but it's not as bad as three years ago. Of course there were bad moments as well. Two years ago I was taking the ferry from the mainland to Penang island. I went to pee and while I was trying to get it going on, I noticed this old man to my left who was peering at... well, you know, that. I was so shocked and he didn't even try to hide himself - his head was obviously cocked to the right. I couldn't start peeing at all and I got scared because I was afraid he might think I was there for "fun" as well. I quickly zipped up without peeing and fled the scene.

I think that incident set me back several weeks of practice but I'm glad I no longer have urinal urophobia anymore.

Anyone else has any weird fears that they would like to admit?

18 March 2006

Touch Me in the Morning

About two weeks ago, Jackson realized something that I myself have known for a long time - I am extremely sensitive to touch.

Jackson is a very physical person (in a good way) but everytime he touches me I would jump 2 feet in the air. He has therefore held himself back from stroking my back or anything remotely similar. He has also advised, "You should get used to it before you get a girlfriend. It's important." I agreed, but I didn't tell him that I have already experienced what he meant.

It has happened several times. The other person (identities withheld) and I would be lying on my bed. I will be perfectly happy, when suddenly a hand slowly moves down my back/arm/thighs, and I convulse as if I'm sitting on an electric chair. The offending hand is suddenly pulled away and I try to explain (between laughs) that it's OK and I'm just a little sensitive. The other person will look at me strangely and then say, "It's alright." Everything will go back to normal and 5 minutes later another uninvited hand will cause my receptors to scream. Thankfully, I have not kicked anyone off my bed yet with my convulsions.

I really feel bad for both me and the other person. Mostly I feel bad about myself. I wouldn't want any future partners to think that I hate intimacy when in fact I love it so much that I became sensitive to it. I'm not sure what is causing this. Is it biological (I have more receptors) or sociological (I was not touched enough when I was young)? At this moment, I don't really care as long as I find a solution.

I have found that being really relaxed helps but does not cut off the stinging sensation when my skin is touched by a hand other than my own. Can anyone help?

My First Meme

What the heck is a meme? I didn't know until I checked up Urban Dictionary, but I'm feeling particularly evil today so you will have to read it up yourself instead of me telling you.

Well, I don't know whether I should consider myself lucky to be tagged. On one hand, it shows my blog is getting popular enough to be tagged. On the other hand, SPM High Achiever kekex practically tagged anyone who read his meme, so it doesn't really count.

But this happens to be an easy one, so here goes:

4 Jobs I've Had In My Life

* Student Tutor
* Computer Technician (for a very very short time)
* Public speaker (conducted several seminars)
* Library helper (putting back books onto shelves is FUN!)

4 Movies I Could Watch Over & Over

* Moulin Rouge
* X-Men 2 (and soon 3 I believe)
* Kylie Minogue concert DVDs (it's that good)
* Lord of the Rings (old favourite)

4 TV Shows I Love(d) To Watch

* Lost
* Charmed
* Arrested Development
* Desperate Housewives

oh what the heck... here's 7 more:

* The IT Crowd (BBC Sitcom)
* Grey's Anatomy
* The Apprentice
* 24
* Family Guy
* Southpark
* Futurama

4 Places Where I've Lived

* Penang
* Nilai
* -
* -

4 Places I've Been On Vacation To

* Thailand
* Singapore
* Myanmar
* China

4 Places I Would Rather Be

* New York, New York!
* New Zealand
* Singapore ;)
* Japan

4 Of My Favourite Foods

* Mixed rice! (Not exactly nice, but I've been having it everyday)
* Anything with pasta (spaghetti, lasanga, etc)
* McD Apple Pie (if I wasn't vegetarian now, it'd be Double Cheeseburger)
* Wan Tan Mee (eternal favourite when I was young)

4 Websites I Visit Daily

* TorrentSpy
* Pearls Before Swine comic
* The Star online
* Dilbert comic

4 Beautiful People Worth Tagging

* My good friend Jackson
* My lucky friend Calvin
* My old friend Joshua

(I know I only gave 3, but since I gave ELEVEN favourite TV shows I should be cut some slack, no?)

This is Just Stupid

From The Star Online's website today:
A 21-YEAR-OLD man's vision mysteriously deteriorated after he ate a dog that he killed in a fit of anger, reported Tamil Kural.

The report said the man, identified only as Selvam, from Kudiyatham in Tamil Nadu, had returned home for lunch and became angry when he found that the dog had gone into the kitchen and knocked down the meal prepared by his wife.

He beat the dog to death with a stick, then cooked and ate it.

A while later, he started vomiting and had diarrhoea. The family rushed him to a nearby government hospital.

Selvam, who regretted killing the dog and eating it, said his vision had blurred while his hands and legs had become weak.

I think the guy is both heartless and stupid. This is one reason why vegetarian Buddhists do not eat meat. Most animals like chicken and pigs are killed in a very terrible manner. Imagine for a moment, if you will, that you are a cow. Now what will you feel when the butcher uses a Taser to electrocute you to death? When we are angry, we release certain chemicals into our body. But those chemicals remain when the animals are killed, and we humans happily take them down and poison ourselves.

I am not surprised that the Indian man is feeling the effects of his actions. Medical science can't prove it, but sometimes a little common sense will tell you that eating meat is a disservice to the animals.

(Today's religious message is proudly brought to you by Zemien)

17 March 2006


Despite my 71kg frame, I barely make a sound when I walk. Even when I'm tired I try not to drag my feet and still maintain full strides. I still remember one particular day when I was 15. We were having our science class in the lab when several classmates walked back to the class to pick up some books. I noticed that I have forgotten my exercise book as well so I walked behind the first group. They were chatting happily, and about halfway to the classroom one of them looked back and got a shock to see me there. None of them heard me at all, though I was barely 2 feet away!

It was then that I realized my potential to be a secret agent. Think about it, if you are going to sneak around dark corridors you better make sure you don't make any sound. I find that I have that ability without much effort. In contrast, I have heard people with such heavy footsteps the entire hallway echoes! I have a friend, CC, who is only 50kg but walks so loudly that I can hear him 20 feet from my room.

Too bad Malaysia does not have Secret Service.

16 March 2006

The Horror of Tan Lines

I've recently taken up swimming as an exercise to get in shape. Ideally, I will swim thrice a week but a packed schedule has gotten in the way. Nevertheless, I will almost always go around 5.30pm and swim for an hour.

I prefer going while it is still bright so the lifeguards will be able to spot me if I get a cramp or start to drown. After all, I am a beginning swimmer, having learned breast stroke barely a year ago.

Unfortunately, this decision is not without its demerits, as my thighs can attest. Our constantly sunny Malaysian afternoon has given rise to some unsightly tan lines across my thighs. My swimming trunks resemble a very short shorts, so it actually covers a bit of my leg. I'm not sure if this is a blessing or not, for I sure as hell would not want a triangular tan line.

At the moment, my legs look beautifully bronze for the most part. But if you keep looking up you will see a sudden cutoff and the beautiful bronze is replaced with unappealing white. Being sort of a perfectionist, I can't stand such irregularities. I am thinking of getting a tan-through trunk which allows a more balanced tan but they cost two bombs. Another alternative is to get a pair of triangular swim trunks, but due to certain hairy reasons it is not viable.

Thankfully I don't really have to worry about people making fun of my tan line because I wear boxers that fully cover the unsightly area. And I have no reason to be naked with anyone particular at the moment. But if you have a great idea to solve my problem that does not involve nude sunbathing, do share it.

And no, I won't post a picture.

15 March 2006

Spring Rolls Part 2

I went to buy another pack of spring rolls after another smelly tutorial, but it was already closed.

I guess I'll just have to fantasize about it from now on...

Spring Rolls

More than 6 months ago, I wrote about how I support student-run trade fairs. They are mostly business students doing a practical project, and the latest installment was this week.

Compared to previous fairs, there were fewer food stalls. But there was one food item that caught my eye (and taste buds) - Vietnamese Spring Rolls. I can't vouch for its authenticity but they are made by Vietnamese students so I suppose they come close to the real thing. Nevertheless they taste really great. I would have posted up some pictures if I have not finished eating it on the way back.

At RM2 for 3 rolls it is quite a good deal. Order spring rolls at any Vietnamese restaurant in town and you are bound to pay around RM5. Of course the style is slightly different. The one being sold here is deep fried and really crispy, while those that I had in restaurants are steamed (like popiah) and served with special soya sauce.

I've already had it twice. Should I get another pack before they close today?

My Worst Pattern

If you have read Andrew Matthew's classic motivational book Being Happy, you would have learned all about patterns. Basically they are like habits, things we keep doing, but it is more rooted in our subconscious and we may not be aware of it. The most infamous Malaysian pattern is of course the I-will-turn-up-late pattern. And within each of us, there are also other positive and negative patterns, such as the I-always-get-cheated pattern and the I-don't-deserve-to-be-loved pattern.

Upon discovering our negative patterns, we might become defensive. "Of course I don't want to be poor! What kind of stupid people has that pattern?" True, you may not want to be poor, but your subconscious influences you to be so. Another aspect of patterns is that it is repeating - it keeps on proving itself. That's why people with positive patterns always seem to succeed, while people with negative patterns always seem to lose no matter how hard they try.

I read Being Happy almost three years ago, and about a week back I borrowed it from the libary again to refresh my memory. On my second reading I realized, to my horror, what my worst pattern is.

Everytime I am about to finish a piece of work, my mind wanders and I do something else to 'reward' myself. I would say, "Hey, I only have the Conclusion to write anyway. Why not watch an episode of Arrested Development first?" And then I'll end up postponing the work till the deadline draws near.

I have constantly noticed this pattern over the past few days, and it is indeed difficult to break free of such a negative pattern. However, I take solace in knowing that admitting I have the problem is the first step to recovery. I still haven't replaced my pattern with a positive one, but I know I'm doing my best and that's a positive pattern all by itself.

Readers, why not reflect on your positive/negative patterns and share it in the comments section or the TagBoard?

14 March 2006

That's Why

I was at an event of sorts and I was just mingling around with the attendees. I struck up a conversation with a guy in his mid-20s.

"So what do you work as?" I asked him.

"I'm an electronical engineer. How about you?" he responded.

"Oh no, I'm still a student."

"What are you studying?"


"Erm... business?"

I replied, "No... I'm taking Software Engineering."

The other person smiles and so do I.

YES! YES! THAT'S why I took Software Engineering, not Computer Science. So it sounds freakingly cool when I tell people what I do next time. Wooo! Woowow! Suck it in, Computer Scientists!


Excuse me for my outburst. Everything is now back to normal.

13 March 2006

The Simple Life

I have a small cooler hidden in my room. I can't call it a mini-fridge because it doesn't work like a fridge, nor does it work as well as a fridge. By hostel regulations we're not allowed to use such high-powered equipment so I place it in a way that outsiders won't notice it.

Dad got it almost two years ago as part of those credit-card bonus points scheme. And exactly last year, I brought it here to use because it would be useful. And indeed it has. I can chill my drinks, and keep my temperature sensitive food like margerine and jam.

Unfortunately, it stopped working last week. I was sad, but the scientist in me tried to find out what's wrong. I unscrewed the back cover and was surprised to see a very simple construction. There is basically a heatsink where all the heat dissisipates and a 12V cooling fan that blows on it. I suspect that the fan has spoiled, which will explain why the inside cannot turn cold. It's a common computer cooling fan, so I will get one the next time I go out.

Until I get the fan though, I have to go back to the simple life. No more breakfast of home-made sandwiches. No more 1 liter fruit juices. It's back to red bean buns and instant cereal mixes.


12 March 2006

Stiff Walking

FACT: Men get erections at the most inopportune moments, and also when we wake up.

I kinda think of it as Mother Nature's way of punishing us for not being able to have menstrual periods. My female readers might protest, "But getting a boner doesn't cause you any pain!" No physical pain, yes, but possibly emotional pain. Just think of the damage erections will do to a young boy's psyche if he is asked to stand up and answer the teacher's question while sporting full wood! And we are at risk everyday, not just once a month.

I love drinking water, and I usually sip a bit before bed. That usually means that I'll wake up in the middle of the night to go pee, and if you still don't know where this post is going, you should reread the Fact stated up there. So yeah, I will usually wake up at 4a.m. with a 'sunrise surprise'. I prefer to let it subside, but the fact is it won't subside until I've urinated! And every second I waste sitting in the dark could better be used for sleeping.

So I've gotten a little more brazen lately by walking out with my 'Sir Throblington'. The corridors remain brightly lit so anyone walking past might catch sight of the tent in front of my shorts. I'm not too concerned about other guys seeing my stiffy, but my hostel does have a female guard that patrols the place once in a while. And if she ever saw it, she'd be giving me lewd and suggestive smiles everytime I pass her. The thought of that just stiffens me up!

(Thanks to WikiSaurus for providing endless synonyms for 'erection')

Leave No Stone Unsmiled

Some time ago I wrote how troublesome it was to be a friendly guy. And I just had to go prove myself right.

This semester I had a new coursemate, this Malay guy who also happens to be 2 doors away. Obviously we'll exchange greetings when we see each other, and this has caused me trauma, no thanks to my CFTDS principle.

The problem is that my coursemate is dark-skinned and has no hair (on his head). And on the same floor there is another tall Indian guy who is also dark-skinned (though darker) and also has no hair (on his head). Besides him, there are several Africans, and we all know how they are dark-skinned and have no hair (on their heads).

While in the past I only have to prepare to smile at light-skinned guys, I must now be on alert whenever I catch a glimpse of my chocolate brothers. I almost smiled at the wrong person several times, and you can imagine my embarassment if I had actually showed my toothy grin.

11 March 2006

Who Is The Real Seducer?

There is an interesting report on The Star newspaper's website today - Who Is The Real Seducer?

I have attached the full report below as The Star's links are inconsistent. My opinion is that the person with less money is usually the seducer. What do you think?

A 78-year-old man who became an instant millionaire last month and a 53-year-old widow he befriended three months earlier have made police reports against each other claiming one had seduced the other.

The man was among the Felda Sendayan settlers who got handsome payments from the Government for their land.

The woman, whose husband died 10 years ago, is a direct-selling distributor.

They met at a bus stop four months ago and he became one of her favoured customers.

On Tuesday, the man made a police report claiming she allowed another woman to take photographs of his naked body.

The following day, police picked up the woman for questioning.

In retaliation, she also made a police report, charging that the millionaire had tried to force her to sleep with him.

In his report, the man claimed that the woman had asked him to go over to her house in Seremban 2 to discuss a land proposition and money she owed him.

He said when he arrived at the woman's home, she asked him to undress and to just wear a towel and wait in her bedroom.

He claimed that she later came into the room and ripped off the towel from his body. At the same time, a younger woman came in and took pictures of him in the nude.

The man said the widow then gave him back his clothes and he quickly left the house. He then contacted one of his sons and lodged a report at the district police station here.

The widow, who has two children aged 35 and 30, said the man was trying to defame her because she rejected his marriage offer.

She said he came to her house at 10am on Tuesday.

“He asked for a drink and later he got up and walked into one of the bedrooms. When he came out, he had nothing on but a towel,” she told The Star.

She claimed the man then pulled her hands, but she freed herself and fled into another room.

The man only left when she picked up the house phone and threatened to call the police, she said.

The widow was released on police bail until March 21, pending instructions from the Attorney-General's Chambers on whether there was a case against her.

10 March 2006

Creative Outburst

I think almost anyone can sense that my posts have been a little dry over the past week. But I have been rightfully reimbursed when I experienced a creative outburst a few nights back. Whilst walking to the toilet at 4am to pee, several interesting posts practically wrote itself in my head. When I got back to my room I quickly typed the titles in my phone lest I forget it later (as it so often happens nowadays)

Therefore I hope you enjoy my posts for the next few days. Remember, the TagBoard on your right is not there for show! Write something! :)

I Like Tutoring, But...

Currently I am tutoring a junior in Visual Basic. And while this is not my first time in the role of teaching, there are two things that always get to me:

1. Incompetence
2. Body odour

#1 really can't be helped. Obviously the reason why they joined a peer tutoring programme is because they couldn't understand the lectures. But there are certain times when I feel I could just implode because my tutee did not see such an obvious error. Or sometimes they keep making the same mistakes even after I reminded them. I have managed to keep my patience so far, and it has really taught me to respect my teachers more.

But #2 is something which really bugs me. Everytime my tutee comes he will be all sweaty and smell like salted fish, and that is just sickening. We usually have our tuition in the air-conditioned labs but even the cold air con can't mask the odour. I don't like commenting about other people's hygiene, but I do wish he would pick up a deodorant next time he goes shopping.

The extreme opposite is true for my first tutee. He is an Arabian (from Yemen) so he would always smell of strong perfume. Almost all Arabians I meet in college use such strong fragrance it almost makes me nauseous. Dad says it's to hide their body odour since they don't bath often. But in this humid tropical country, how can we afford not to?

09 March 2006

What I've Been Up To

If my posts seem dull and uninspired lately, that's because I have been dull and uninspiring too. Last year when I started my second year subjects I got a shock at how much more difficult it was. I tried to prepare myself for a smoother transition into my final year but the full impact could not be eradicated.

I've just been busy busy busy, especially with my final year project. It is requiring me to be more of a man than I already am, and so I've shut down my creative processes for the moment. The excruciating heat is also a large contributor to my (and others') lack of enthusiasm these past weeks.

Not to worry though, I will still update daily! With the blog's 1 year anniversary coming around not too far away (wink! wink!) I definitely have something to cheer about. I already have some plans on how to countdown to 2nd May, so just keep tuning back!

08 March 2006

Why Do Birds...

... suddenly appear,
everytime, you are near?
Just like me,
they long to be,
close to you....
(Close to You, by The Carpenters)

Well, apparently birds really like me because I keep hearing chirping sounds all day. As there is a tree directly outside my window, I suspect some birds have set up nest.

It's quite alright to have birds chirping in the daylight but how would you feel if they chirped when you're sleeping as well? That's right, apparently they don't sleep very much. I wonder what they're saying to each other?

Mr. Bird: Honey, the kids are hungry! Go catch a worm for them. I need to sleep as I have a presentation tomorrow.
Mrs. Bird: Of course, but on one condition - stop stealing the covers! You know I can't sleep with all this cold wind!

07 March 2006

The Great Pretender

Every semester, students are given lecturer evaluation forms to fill up. It is very much like an assessment. I have a lecturer this semester who is rather boring. Ms. P is a nice lady, no doubt, but her lecturing skills leave much to be desired.

Today during her class she complained that we always look so dull during lectures and that one of the admin staff noticed that. She said that next week there will be some 'spot checking' done on her. We promised to act interested when we see the admin staff.

When Jackson said that, I recalled back my secondary school days. Sometimes we would have trainee teachers doing their industrial training in our class. Most of the time they were absolutely horrible and we, being boys, would not pay attention and cause chaos.

But when the evaluators come to sit in the class, we would be the most obedient angels you have ever met. There would be nary a squeak and we would pay rapt attention to the trainee teacher. While we are doing a great service to the teacher, I wonder how many students are now suffering under his/her tutelage.

06 March 2006

In-Your-Face Advertising Part 2

Looks like they have decided to do something about that annoying banner. They tied it to a higher beam and cut off the ropes at the bottom so tall people can actually just push it aside. And it won't hurt as much if you run smack into it, like what Kelly witnessed.

05 March 2006

That Soft and Tender Feeling

As I was brushing my teeth, I saw a person going in to the toilet cubicle with a box of facial tissues. Nope, not the old, rough toilet roll everyone else uses, but a box of soft Kleenex.

I guess some people's arse is just luckier.

04 March 2006

Pivotal Moments Part 4

Read for other Pivotal Moments posts

Some years back I went hiking with Dad and his friend. We walked up a part of Penang Hill, to a checkpoint known as No. 3. It is a popular trail among hikers and you can reach the shelter within 30 minutes of moderate walking.

I have climbed this trail before so I knew it wasn't particularly hard. That might be the reason why I pushed myself to walk fast on that fateful day. I have heard how we must push ourselves beyond our limit in order to achieve greatness, and I think that's what I was trying to do.

By the time I reached the No. 3 shelter I was panting heavily and felt out of breath. Dad had kept up with me so he was walking around the shelter. There were many people and I just leaned on a pole to get some rest.

Next thing I knew I was looking up at many concerned faces. I felt dizzy but I could hear people giving medical advice such as "lift his head up", "bring some water", "anyone has some medicated oil?". I think Dad was talking to me, but I'm not sure now. It was very obvious, however, that I blacked out.

I felt very embarassed as people were giving me so much attention. I was forced to drink down a glass of warm water and change into a dry t-shirt helpfully offered by someone. From what Dad said later, my head narrowly missed some rocks. He wasn't around when I fainted but he noticed a commotion nearby and was shocked to see me on the ground with my lips turning blue.

I still am freaked out by the accident. It has made me even more cautious when it comes to physical activities. Though I have a large build I am not particularly strong so the fainting left a very deep impression. Till today, I am very reluctant to go for outdoor activities that require lots of strain, like hiking Mount Kinabalu. Even when it comes to lifting heavy boxes, I prefer to let someone else do it (because of my back problem). But that's for another post.

03 March 2006

In-Your-Face Advertising

As students walk over to the academic block, we have to cross this overhead bridge. Societies often place banners promoting their activities, and sometimes the college also put up notices.

This week is "English Week", organized by the School of Languages to promote the use of English (duh!). To announce the event to the whole wide world, they hung this huge yellow banner across the bridge, so that everyone who crossed the bridge will have to walk under it.

Now, usually this is not a problem but apparently the college has seen fit to make the banner big enough that everyone over the height of Gimli the Dwarf has to bow down to go under it! I've seen most girls having to do it, so I know I'm not alone. Plus, they also made sure the bottom of the banner is tightened to a post, so we could not just push it aside.

This is the most annoying advertisement I have ever encountered. In-your-face advertising, literally!

02 March 2006

Free Frenzy Part 2

Recently, I wrote how The Star was giving away free newspapers. Now I wish they hadn't.

People just DO NOT have respect for free things, even if they knew it would cost them RM1.20. I see the newspapers thrown inside garbage cans, left on the table, and generally wasted. I would at least read a few articles and the daily comic before I keep it in my room for a month until it becomes dusty. Then I'll throw it away.

I even heard a horror story from David. He said he saw this guy take the newspaper, cross the overhead bridge, and throw the paper at the closest garbage can.

Yo! The Star! Your efforts are wasted!

01 March 2006

Uncomfortable Silence Part 2

[This is a direct continuation from yesterday's post]

Mr. M called out my name and I put up my hand. "Sir, how? OK ah?" I asked with enthusiasm. He hesitated a little just to add an element of suspense, "Er... no problem. OK!" I sighed with relief. He kinda said it with a hint of sarcasm but he doesn't seem to be that kind of person so I took my seat.

Then he started distributing our answer scripts. He called out, "Who is [YY]?" YY was absent so Mr. M announced his marks, "He got 22.5/50. He and [Zemien] were the only people to pass." That kinda got the whole room quiet. Then he went on by calling out names, but did not reveal the marks.

When Jay got his marks he immediately folded it and did not want to let us see. Alvin went next and he did the same thing. I began to get worried, "Is it that bad?" I have seen people getting bad results, but I haven't seen people getting it so bad that they hid it from others.

After everyone got their marks Mr. M didn't address me, so I went and asked for mine. He was once again hesitant but he gave it anyway. When I looked at my marks, I got a shock and my jaws literally dropped.

"46.5? Forty six point five over fifty?" To say I was happy would be an understatement. But a kind of sadness hung over me. How would the others feel, I thought? The next highest is YY at 22.5, but he's not here now. And when I showed my marks to my friends, I got a lot of Oohs and Aahs but I knew that what followed would be uncomfortable silence.

I want to reach out and say, "It's OK" but I know that's not gonna work. It's the same thing with other tragedies such as the death of a loved one. I want to comfort them but I know they know I'm not qualified, coz I haven't lost a loved one nor have I gotten 'bad' results in college.

It was hard for them no doubt, but it wasn't nice being the odd one out either.