Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stripping when you are gone...

No, it's not something that I did when my fiance went back hometown for a couple days or something. It's just something I found on the Yahoo! news.

So I was doing my usual work, when I came across a funny name for a place in China -> Donghai. I was amused at how vulgar it sounded in Cantonese, but it was really Mandarin, pronounced doong-high, meaning "eastern ocean". So I googled up "donghai china", and found the following article on the top of the search result:

Wed Aug 23, 11:09 AM ET
Police crack down on striptease funerals...
BEIJING (Reuters) - Striptease send-offs at funerals may become a thing of the past in east China after five people were arrested for organizing the intimate farewells, state media reported on Wednesday.

Police swooped last week after two groups of strippers gave "obscene performances" at a farmer's funeral in Donghai County, Jiangsu province, Xinhua news agency said.

The disrobing served a higher purpose, the report noted.

"Striptease used to be a common practice at funerals in Donghai's rural areas to allure viewers," it said. "Local villagers believe that the more people who attend the funeral, the more the dead person is honored."

Wealthy families often employed two troupes of performers to attract a crowd. Two hundred showed up at last week's funeral.

Five strippers were detained and local officials "issued notices concerning funeral management," Xinhua said.

Now village officials must submit plans for funerals within 12 hours after a villager dies. And residents can report "funeral misdeeds" on a hotline, the report said.

Read original article at Yahoo! news

So now Donghai is not only that a name for a county in China and the name for a strait between the Pacific Ocean and China, it's a place where you have strippers at funerals. I don't know how long this has been going on, but this act has made this village now synonymous with strippers in the eyes of the world.

Now, being a chinese myself, I could understand the drawing-big-crowd-at-funeral part. In fact, we had marching bands and mini parades strolling the main streets led by the hearse and a Taoist priest. But isn't this a going a tad bit too much? So for all those of you who still think the East is still exotic, virgin, and unattached from modern civilisation and culture - think again.

I'm busy now, but I have a lot to say about this, so I'll be back to update this entry.

Oh by the way, I did get back on track finding its location and here it is...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Do the Programming...

I didn't start out being a geek, to be honest. In fact computing is one of the four things I hated in my life, the others are politics, accounting, and asparagus. I was turned in a geek under circumstances.

As some of you guys know, I used to be a CAD draughtsman for Best Wide Matrix . Up till this day, I still don't know why they did not come up with their own website yet. My first attempt at programming was scripting a LISP AI for my AutoCAD work. Working with AIs are cool in cadding cos it eases my work and speeds up my productivity.

So I studied IT and Computing with APIIT, to broaden my range of skills and in hopes to better my LISP scripting. Of course, I found out later thatn they didn't really teach LISP in IT classes but I was hooked with programming.

Read another blog, the other day, and from there it finally hit me in the head, and brought to the surface the real reason why I liked programming, which has been eluding me for a long time. I love writing, learning new languages, and I love puzzles & problem solving. And programming fits perfectly all 3 of them. There are so many languages in programming, from the lowest level right up to the top. My expertise of course is mainly in web-application programming. So now i finally understand why I never tire of it.


In truth. I had the first taste of programming way back when I was a kid doing Basic Programming. But our family was too poor to own a computer and my enthusiasm just died off. Wonder what would have happened if things happened otherwise...?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Gramaphone me...

We got an old gramaphone in my hometown home. It's actually an electric phonograph, with two 2-feet tall speakers, standard turntable with ceramic stylus, and an amplifier-cum-radio tuner. Can't remember if it was a 75rpm or a 45rpm. Easily 30 years old. Really an antique worth keeping in my opinion, but Papa wants to throw it away.

You see, we have finally sold our old house and have been moving stuff out of the house to the new one, and also been deciding which stuff are worth keeping and which are the ones that we REALLY need to get rid of. Our family (except Mama) are a bunch of pack rats, what others see as junk we see as treasure. I'll talk about this in another topic...

So Papa wants to get rid of it, he thinks that thing really takes up a lot of space, and it's old and unusable. So don't think all our old folks are attached to inventions and products created from their era. Papa is a real Audio-Visual fanatic, and ever since the inventions of CDs, DVDs, and really cool Kenwood sound systems came about, he never looked back.

I have lots of memories with that machine, which was given to us by Uncle Victor - Papa's cousin. When I was small, Mama used to play it everyday while she does housework. I think that's mostly where my passion for oldies came from. We even also have a few Christmas, and nursery rhyme records. Songs for all occasions for the entire year. Sometimes, we would just turn on the radio. Lots of Bee Gees and Samuel Hui records there too, and I was a big fan. And Papa wants to chuck it out.

It's not old, it's just seasoned. (hmm... i think i will used that phrase once I am of age) And it's not unusable, it's just that the stylus/needle is spoilt, and they don't know where to get a replacement for it. Can't blame them, in our current age of high-tech stuff, things like gramaphone ceramic/crystal styli is just not something you can get at a local mall. So I told them to NOT throw it away, I'll take it, move them over here to my place.

Actually, there are still shops lying around still selling gramaphone records and phonographs. All second-hand items of course. The one in Ipoh is closed already, but there's one over here in Sea Park. I frequent that shop occasionally just to look at the old records. So today I asked the shopkeeper, if he has styli for sale. Here's the funny story: he was looking at me in an awkward way, as if to say "what's a young man, dressed smartly in slacks and shirt wanna get a styli for? Is it for his grandma? Does he even know how to use it??". So the grizzled old man was babbling away at me --> "Which type you want? The Kawai type? Toshiba? National? Each of them are different you know....blablabla.." So i said, I wanted the really early types, the "flip-overs", with just a standard ceramic needle will do. Stopped his long-speech halfway, looking bit embarassed, he took me to the glass shelves. I had a look, and after talking to him further, it seems that the type I wanted may be REALLY obsolete. However, he can do mods. So I'm going back home next week, and return with one of the needles to show him, and see if he can do anything.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

She still remembers...

I have a friend. She's the reason I started this blog in the first place (if you have read the early entries). Broke up with her 2 years ago now. And during the "healing period" time, I find myself not wanting to let her go. Very typical of me, I fall in love very slowly, and I fall out of it even slower. So it was tough.

She broke up with me, cos she thinks that she is not ready yet, and thought that it was unfair to me. (I'll tell you why later) I didn't see her as a women that I can love at first, but she was really, really a nice girl, and I see a lot of myself in her. The insecurity, the naiveness, the huge interest in music and composing... She had displayed lots of kindness towards me, that I have never experienced before, and I was touched. But perhaps that's what it was - just kindness.

I brought this misery to myself, for wooing her in the first place. I can't blame her for being shocked when I confessed my affection to her on my birthday 2 years ago. There was some tension between us after that, but I know, I had her attention already. So one day she told me, (something that I suspected a long time already), that she's a bit on the queer side. But I didn't mind and convinced her nevertheless, after much coaxing and I was happy, and proud. We went out and make out just like any other couple, and I can tell that she did enjoy her first experience of being with a man. But inside of her, she was still struggling with her other side. And finally broke up with me.

The many days after that, we remained friends, but I missed her terribly. I told her that I will be back again for her whenever she's ready. But then I grew tired of waiting. Why does it always have to be me making the changes and adapting my lifestyle to someone else'? I wanted someone who I can always be my goofy self, and someone who can understand my needs. I can't be waiting forever, I can't be ALWAYS the one waiting. And that's when I finally met my fiance. Quite a fascinating story on its own. Maybe I will blog it sometime.

On topic, she still remembers, I think. The times when we were together, when we broke up and when I told her that I'll be back. She always mentions it when we occasionally go out for a few drinks. The first one is always the hardest to forget. She's is still reminiscing about our times together. I felt like I have betrayed her sometimes. Even more so, when there was a time, she got drunk, called me up in the middle of the night, and poured her soul to me. Recently, she brought up the movie "The Breakup" starring Vince Vaughn and Jeniffer Aniston, over a cup of tea. I'm not dumb, I could see the hidden implications when she summarized her view on the movie. For a moment, I felt really bad. She's being more casual with me right now. And we're still good friends.

But hey, I am happy now and I have moved on. And so should she. I sincerely hope that someday she finds someone else who can her give all the love and all the things that I wanted to give her myself, and much, much more. And that she should receive her rightful happiness that she deserved.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I'm back ... sort of.

I'm back. Many things have changed since the last time I blogged. I stopped updating cos I got lazy, and nothing really happened for a long time. But I had a really crazy roller-coaster ride for the past 2 years, and I get to see the really different side of me during this time. All I can say is that I'm a changed person, and my role in this life has definitely changed. I probably understand now see now what my calling is. Nevertheless, to those of you who (still) visits this blog, and those googlers, I am back, not better than ever, I'm just back being the same way as I used to be. And that, in my view, is a great achievement already. You will probably see me flooding this blog with past events that has happened and over with. So bear with me for a bit. Peace ^_^

My Guitar Works