Friday, September 29, 2006

Girls For IT Guys

For guys in the IT world like me, I find this amusing. I got in my email ages ago, but I thought I'd share it.

she remembers everything, FOREVER

she forget about you, the moment turn her off

everyone know that she can't do a thing right, but no one can live without her.

She is good for nothing but at least she is fun

Difficult to access

Always busy when you need her.

She make horrible thing look beautiful

She is always faster and faster.

Every ten things she says, eight are nonsense .

Also known as "wife'' when you are not expecting her, she comes, installs herself and uses all your resources. If you try to uninstall her you will lose something, if don't try to uninstall her you will lose everything...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I Need More Space...

Yeah, I'm still awake. Doing some office work. Serves me right for forgetting some routines that I'm not supposed to. Oh well, everything seems to be fine, so I'll be back to my bed now.

On topic, I've been downloading stuff from Hello!Online. And I'm running out of disk space soon. Yeah I should have burned them to CDs, but that would mean I will be taking my files off the torrent seeds. I've downloaded much videos and laughter for my sake, thought I'd return the favor. Well, until a certain time, I will have to relocate them files. But I still need more disk space!

I have a spare hard disk lying around. It's from my other PC. It's supposed to be spoilt, but I thought I'd attempt to salvage it. I gots tonnes of treasure in there. All the songs I've composed are in there, also my 3D animations and projects that I've worked on last time.

Now if I only have the time to do so.... don't mind me adding that I ALSO NEED MORE TIME!!

Peace ^_^

Transposing Morning Musume Songs....

I'm a huge fan of Morning Musume. . I ain't gonna blab about them. Click that link and read for yourself, for those who don't know. Come to think of it, I had not started a post about them before. Maybe I will do it in my other blog.

Now there aren't a lot of people who wanna strum the guitar to the tunes of Morning Musume. Their music just aren't that material. I've been watching the Hello! Pro Hour show, and there are lots of 'unplugged' performances. Other than the really rare solo performances, the acoustic versions of the usually loud and colourful songs sounded really cool and mellow. So I thought I'd try to transpose them songs and post them up for all.

It's been a while since I've transposed any song. I picked up my guitar few days ago, and gave it a try. Still haven't lost my touch, that's good, but I side-tracked and played some of my old practice tunes and played freestyle a few times. Had been out of touch from my classical guitar music for a long time already. Feels great to get some of that ol' feeling back. Now what I need is a capo and some score sheets, will buy them when my paycheck comes this week. (Yes, I am that poor now).

OK then, will see if I can kickstart this little personal project successfully...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

kawaiiNation and Me is Back...

All is well again. The virus apparently wasn't sent to me on purpose. That friend of mine contacted me personally via email, says that the Trojan/worm infected his IM application, and has sent itself to all of his contacts. Well, I guess it's all just a misunderstanding. Respect to him, for taking the pain to try to sieve out my email address to clear things up.

In that same email, he brought a few other things, so apparently some thorns have not been cleared up yet and the scars have not all been healed yet. Perhaps I need to go back to say that we are all still cool and can continue to be friends.

I'm starting to have lots of things on my plate. Too much work and stuff. But I'll be back there. Just as soon as things cleared up a little.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Kawaiination is No More...

Well, I changed my mind. I'm not going back to kawaiiNation after all.

I PMed an old friend there, to see if he is OK to chat. So he did, went on Messenger, said hi, and sent me a file and logged out. I clicked on it to open - only to find that there's a virus attached to it. Now normally I wouldn't do such a thing, but he had my confidence and trust so I naively clicked on it. Thank goodness it didn't infect my machine which is a linux box, but I'm worried that it will make its way to the Windows partition, which is... I think is unlikely.

We had some bickering before I left kawaiiNation, but it shouldn't end up like this. If it was a prank, it's certainly not funny at all. Not to any system admin.

*sigh* I guess I better put them in my past and move on. So sad that it had to end up this way. Am tempted to track his IP down and return the favor, but I am too old for these games now. He can have his victory, if he enjoys it. Have started to remove all my references of my account from that site, and removing them from my bookmarks. I won't edit my blog posts, so you guys can stil click-through if you want, it's still a great site so take advantage of that. It's some people that you gotta be careful of.

Peace ^_^

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kawaiination and me...

A few years ago I joined a web community called kawaiiNation. It's where we lounge around looking for softcore pictures of japanese girls, and create lots of discussion around the topic of that one thing that is our common interest - Japanese Girls.

I can't say that I am a pervert, but basically we say you're a pervert when you look at nudie pictures of girls, consistently and religiously. So yeah, I guess I .... was. ^_^ What? Stop rolling your eyes, I still love girls, but the level has toned down a lot, ya know. On topic, it was really fun being there. That was the first webcommunity I have every joined.

Why was this web forum deemed enough to start a blog post about? Basically, it's all nostalgia, and lots of history - good times and bad times. It's the one place that has a place in my heart forever.

The thing that attracted me to this forum in the first place was the pictures. I am a big Japan-holic guy since young, so I was the only one in my neighbourhood looking for pictures of Japanese idols, while my friends are oogling Jennifer, Britney, Christina and the gang. What's more addicting are the members. Each one have truly fantastic persona and character. It was a great experience to interact with them with on a regular basis on our common interest.

Over the years, we managed to collect an archive of links to websites with galleries of Japanese girls of all genre - schoolgirls, models, amateurs, pros, idols, gravure, softcore, b-grades... you name it. It was really impressive. Remember this was back in the day where torrents wasn't around and Kazaa really sucks. But one thing for sure - "No Hardcore". So you never see any pornography nor genitalia at all. It's one thing we're really proud of, and that we know how to set ourselves aside from the rest of the world. Eventually, with the arrival of newer members, our horizon was broadened to outside of Japan. I remember we debated on whether we should keep our forum solely for Japanese or at least to East Asia only. But we opened up the market anyway to cater other interests.

After some time, I was recruited to be one of the moderators to oversee the maintainance of the site. Maintaining the site was a difficult job. You see, what makes this place unique is that we encourage on having more 'quality' postings, so one liners are considered spam. We wanted the forum to be different from the others, where the members are required to be more active, intelligent and creative when they submit posts. Flamings are also a taboo. At the end of the day, we have ourselves a site where everyone are courteous, user participation paramount, and great pictures for all. Obviously, this have led to some members branding us as being snobbish and holier-than-thou. Some who claimed to be veterans at other forums blasted us for our policies. But they are just minor, they went away later seeing that they could not do anything to change us. In my opinion, they are just jealous to see us growing so fast and so consistent, and still able to maintain ourselves a great reputation as an informative forum with great members. They just failed to notice the key thing to our unity. We are not only friends, we can be as close as family members. In fact two members found their soul-mate in this very place and got married.

Among some of the key things that we gained there was our net-crawling prowess. We have developed some tricks and techniques of crawling the net with the help of only search engines and stuff. We come to a point that we can also identify the girls just by looking at the boobs. We even know their interests and personal information like blood type and favourite book. Are our obsession too crazy? Well, don't be surprised, it's just the same as being able to recite the entire active roster of your favourite football team and their hobbies. My role there, until I left, was to moderate the forum, provide Japanese translations, help identify forums and such.

So why did I leave? After some time, there are many times I find that the site just became passive. Most of the postings consisted of the regular members which is only handful. The old members have left, we are struggling, desperate for more active members. We have more lurkers than participants. And with our filtering policies running, we couldn't even get spams sometimes. Generic members are feeling too intimidated to post. SO, I figured that it was probably my time to go, to have more room for "new blood" to come in.

Plus, I have once dedicated most of my time to kawaiiNation, that it came to a point where kawaiiNation was the only 'life' I had. I have a job, and I have friends and family too. I can't neglect my real-life for too long, lest I become a real Denpa Otoko. My responsibilities have grown too much for me to handle and the effort to juggle my time with kawaiiNation has grown taxing.

There are other reasons, which I won't reveal here out of respect of the existing members and moderators. But long story short, there was further clash of interests and principles. I would hate to be the grumpy old dude character there. I always emotional in whatever I say, so I may said things out of my line in order to prove a point. So I decided to retire from it all before it grows worse.

Time went by, and I have never forgotten the times I had there. So I decided to take a stroll down memory lane there today, and my oh my, it seemed like they did really great. A strong nostalgic feeling came to my heart, and warmth of liquid to my eyes. It's like seeing an old friend.

So I popped in a PM to the admin, Rin, to see if he still remembers me. And yes he did. I decided to join back the forum. I'll most probably hang out in the non-girls forum, let the newer fellas have their fun. I had mine already a long time ago.

If any of you guys are still reading up to this point, thank you. To some of my friends and family reading this, this may be a shock to you, but this is who I was and who I am. But I am still the same person.

So if any of you are interested, give them a visit.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Real "Benefits" of Smoking...

Related post: Smoking Benefits...

In a previous discussion, I mentioned about the real "benefits" of smoking. Guess what? There ARE beneficial side of inhaling the intoxicating nicotine through your lungs. No, it's not only having the oh-so-old remark of looking cool while leaning back and sitting cross-legged, left palm on lap, right arm draped on back rest of the couch with a ciggarette between your middle and index finger. That's old. I now present you some of the cooler things you can have when you smoke.

Create Clouds
Gather a group of buddies and make clouds together. A great way to create a "highland" atmosphere at any time, while having a chance for quality time with friends. Works best at closed compartments.

Better Tastes
Oversmoking kills the taste buds on your toungue. Rendering you near immunity to spicy and strange tasting food. Impress your friends with your power of resistance to spicy food and curry. If you're a man, your wife will never ever notice that you hate her cooking experiments anymore.

The Sympathetic Unwell Person
Bring out the mother-instinct in women, watch them get closer to you with the great look of concern on their face reserved only for you. (Yeah, we men love those) Don't worry about the coughing stuff, this will make women care for you more. There are many types of disease and side effects you can get for smoking. Among the popular ones are bronchitis, coughing blood, asthma, and Parkinsons. Remember that Mohammed Ali has two wives. By the way, this works well for women too.

Terminal Disease
Related to the point above, there are more dangerous disease which you will get after prolonged smoking. Lung cancer, heart disease, pneumonia etc. Coupled with lies about your Donald Trump-like wealth will soon attract the young and beautiful to your side like moths to fire, thinking that they will benefit from your demise some day. Sure, they'll find out later, but in the meantime you will have lots of fun and pleasure. Works well with the next point.

Dry Skin & Wrinkles
Get that great mature, elderly look in your face and skin for that rugged sexy look. Like David Carradine, Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Jack Nicholson and company. Your bronchitis will further complement you with that husky voice for the complete effect.

Blackened Lips
YTour lips will gradually turn dark after many years of smoking. It's faster if your frequency is higher. Forget about lipsticks and coloured lip balms. Smoking will give you a super-cool natural-looking black lipstick effect that will last forever. Want a real gothic and mod-look? Grab that ciggy now.

Yellow Teeth (with Gum Disease)
Smoking causes the tar and smoke stick to your teeth, rendering it with beautiful yellowish ochre. Perfect for an all natural Halloween disguise for a convincing look. Also good if you always wanted to look like a real hillbilly.

Dragon Breath
In addition to the above point of yellow teeth, higher levels include decaying of teeth. Because tar and smoke are highly acidic it will slowly eat up your teeth. IF that does not happen, your alveoli and bronchial tubes within your lungs will be so polluted and damaged you will emit a natural foul smell every time you open your mouth. Now you will breathe a powerful yet foul and funky stench that will forever keep your safe from muggers and pickpockets. Handy, isn't it?

Aliens for Babies
Are you an alien lover? Wanna be the coolest guy in town with a baby that looks like the Zerg or Ninja Turtles? Start smoking and have your sperm start to deform and degenerate, and even cause your hormones and chromosomes to mutate. Helps if your wife does it too, to speed up the effect. Be aware of the inevitable impotence, stillbirths, miscarriage, premature birth and SIDS, so act fast while it lasts. Sounds risky, but hey, think of it as an investment. You may end up with a potential science fiction movie child-star where producers will love to have, to save cash on make up and special effect.

And finally...
Reduce Lifespan
Help yourself, and help your country. Reduce the ever-growing population by dying early or killing other people with your smoke. This will lessen the country's burden and free-up annual budgets from smoking-ban campaigns. Ultimately it helps to reduce taxes too. What better way to server your country, and serve your own interests at the same time? (However, if it causes the country to raise taxes on other utilities to make up the deficit, blame your country's government)

Don't forget the social qualities that come with it. Namely:

Ciggarette Hierachy System
In Malaysia, the brand of ciggarettes that you smoke may reflect your social status. It may be due to the price of ciggarette brand, or the commercial popularity of it. For example, people who smoke Dunhill are considered well-to-do. Marlboro are a favourite among the chinese and range from yuppie groups to techno geeks. While the Gudang Garam may reside on mostly construction workers and low-paid labours. Show off your social credentials today!

Cool Zippo Lighters
For people with glasses, the dramatic "take-off" will swoon girls who are looking for the classic sympathetic broken man, waiting to be hugged. Smokers have a reason to sport cool Zippo lighters legitimately. Use the head-turning flicking action that will grab the attention of the hot chick at the corner of the tequila bar instantly. That's not all, some designs come hand-warmers and play music. Absolutely irresistable to women. Get lucky today!

Footnote: The above article is only a jest, to coincide with my mission to quit smoking, and should not be taken seriously as "benefits". However, the medical effects and side effects are true. (Yes, I'm not joking about the alien babies part). So be warned.

"A pinch of tobacco, wrapped in paper. A fire on one end, a fool on the other."--Mark Twain

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Pope angers the Muslims...

During a visit last weekend to Kajang, to visit my fiance's grandma who is staying at the auntie's house for the day, we brought up a topic that has swept the world with controversy - our Pope Benedict's statement on the Islamic Jihad.

I really wanted to stay out of the conversation on it, and my belief is that the Pope meant not harm nor insult to the Islamic faith. The Pope shouldn't be that stupid to provoke one of the largest faith in the world. However, I think he just did not choose the right words.

The main story? Apparently, the Pope was quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor on the Prophet Mohammed, the founder of the Muslim faith on a speech during his visit to Germany. He said: "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."' He also said that violence was "incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul". The Pope has apologised, saying that he is very sorry that some passages of his speech may have sounded offensive to the Muslims.

The Pope is actually referring to the Islamic Jihad. More precisely, the "Jihad by the Sword", or the "holy war" because there are other Jihads. Whereby, when pushed to the limits, you can retaliate to preserve the holiness of your faith. (I hope I got that right, correct me if I am wrong). Now, this is serious. He is almost stroking the patience of the Muslims by going straight at the heart of the Islamic faith. The bombings, 9-11, the Iraq invasion, etc... had all happened in only recent years. Surely, the Muslims, any Iraqi or Arab descents all have gone restless and felt oppressed because most of the world have generalised them with terrorists and violent people. They don't need any more of that.

Bickering on religion and faith is always pointless, in my view. That is why I always avoid such talks if possible. I can understand the reaction of the Muslims. Should someone starts attacking my faith, with or without grounds, I would most definitely be upset. In the past, some people have challenged me to a religious debate many times, and I backed off gracefully whenever I can. And whenever I am forced to indulge in the the debates, I always win. Sure, I won. But so what? I'm not happy cos it's the outcome of it that I don't like. And normally, in the heat of the debates, we may say something that doesn't sound right to the other party. So if I lose, I get upset, and they continue gloating. If they lost and took it negatively, they hate me. And if the debate have shook the cornerstone of our faith, we get confused with life and its purpose. It's always good if both parties are open-minded, so that no matter what the conclusion/outcome of the debate is, we still respect each other. But that rarely happens.

Therefore it's not who is right nor who is wrong. The point of the matter is not whether the Pope has solid understanding of the Muslim faith, nor even that his good intentions behind his speech is misunderstood. The point is - he should not have brought it up in the first place unless he had structured his words properly.

Look at the aftermath of this event right now:

The Pope has apologised but it has planted a seed of hate and distrust to any of the future speeches and lectures that he will be making.

Although some Muslimes have accepted the statement and apology, there are other Muslims has stepped further, and demanded that the Pope apologise in person, and that they do not accept the explaination that the speech was "badly interpreted". What are they gonna ask next?

This gives the terrorists, a new reasons or excuse to bomb churches and pillage monasteries. In fact, they have set fire to 2 churches in West Bank, somewhere in the Palestinian area.

Some Muslims said that the Pope has (intentionally or not) linked terrorism much closely with Islam. They may start to blame the invasion of Iraq and the attacking of Afghanistan on this speech.

News sites and journalists put the single-quote or double-quote symbol to Pope Benedicts apologetic words e.g. "is very sorry", 'deeply sorry'. What? They don't believe him? They do not think he is sincere enough? Are they quoting him now? Yes, they are saying that his statement sounded like a "clarification", not an "apology". Look how all this has affected his image.

Being a rabid worrier, I am most afraid of the possible sequel for the Crusade. A war that I can't even imagine. The Pope has scheduled to visit Turkey this year on November. I'm sure security measures have been tightened but I am still worried for him.

In any case, I still love Pope Benedict, and his works of continuing Pope John Paul II's mission of promoting peace. If you're looking for more information on Pope Benedict and his activities around the Vatican, I found this blog quite informative. The Pope Blog.

Pope Benedict needs to consult with his advisors or fellow councils before he go out in public. He needs to understand the brevity of every statement, every move, and every decision that he makes, can impact the world as a whole, even at the slightest detail. This is not his first time of making statements that are offensive or negative towards Islam. But I do indeed hope that he will change.

Pope Benedict XVI and Islam - UK BBC News 15 Sep 2006

*sigh* It's always times like this that I miss Pope John Paul II, He is just amazing. Wonder what would he have done if he was in Pope Benedict's shoes?

Pope Benedict XVI's remarks of regretting causing offence to Muslims in his speech in the Bavarian city of Regensburg, 12 September 2006.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The pastoral visit which I recently made to Bavaria was a deep spiritual experience, bringing together personal memories linked to places well known to me and pastoral initiatives towards an effective proclamation of the Gospel for today.

I thank God for the interior joy which he made possible, and I am also grateful to all those who worked hard for the success of this Pastoral Visit.

As is the custom, I will speak more of this during next Wednesday's general audience.

At this time, I wish also to add that I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims.

These in fact were a quotation from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought.

Yesterday, the Cardinal Secretary of State published a statement in this regard in which he explained the true meaning of my words.

I hope that this serves to appease hearts and to clarify the true meaning of my address, which in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect.

Source from UK BBC News

"Christ's message to us, is not to respond to an injustice with another injustice, to violence with another violence, but to remind us that evil can only be overcome with good, not with another evil."
- Pope Benedict XVI, April 10 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Car Broke Down...

Whew... what a day! My car broke down just now. Thank God I'm able to make it home in good time. But I was exhausted from it.

My car stopped moving halfway through the Kerinchi Link because I was out of gas, almost at the peak of the single lane flyover, going down to the Federal Highway heading towards Klang. To add to the problem, I left my mobile phone at home. So I had to put up the emergency triangle, locked the car, and with an empty gas bottle, took a 1-2 Km hike down the road all the way to the nearest gas station and make a phone call. Kinda dangerous, with all the speeding cars and all.

I managed to walk to the Shell gas station at Jalan Gasing, and called up my fiance to pick me up from the St Francis Xavier Church. She brought her landlady along, because she wasn't sure how to get there. And so, I took over the steering wheel, and drove back to where I left my car(after I filled up a bottle of few Ringgit of petrol). And to my dismay, I saw that my car was gone. Two possibilities, the highway patrols towed my car away, or somebody stole it. Thankfully it was the former. I continued down the road, and find my car at the roadside of the Federal Highway. Probably the patrols towed it there to avoid congestion/collision. Though it's nice to see that our toll fees aren't for waste, it gave me a heart attack just because of their "effective" service. So I filled the tank with the bottle, and we all went home after that, and I bought the landlady some ice-cream for her company.

On the side note: Twice, a good Samaritan stopped by with his bike and offered me a ride, but I declined. Now I have this advice to all you guys out there - If you get good-samaritans on bikes offering you a ride or any help of sorts when your car breaks down, do not take it. Yes, these guys would actually take you to the gas station, or have a look at your engine, and you may feel that this help is heaven-sent. But at the end of it all, they will demand so much money from you for their trouble, it is almost robbery after all. I heard this story from a Sprint personnel, where a dude's car broke down, two Indian guys on bikes stopped by, with this victim's permission opened up the hood to check it out, and after minutes of tinkering and absolutely no resolution at all, those guys rudely demanded RM 100 for simply having a look. Also, it seems that these people actually patrol the highways for situations like this, so that they can make a fast buck. Given the density of vehicles at these parts, chances are that they will come across at least 1-2 vehicular breakdowns a day. Man, I should quit my job right now and join the group.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

My Cubicle....

A parody song of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful".... named "My cubicle". My office colleague introduced it to me. Really funny! Love the punchline at the end.

Click here to view

IQ Dragon Ball Z...

Test your IQ....... Dragon Ball style!!!

Find 7 differences from the absolutely original Dragon Ball Animation. Darn difficult. I'm only able to spot 5. This one is much more difficult than the previous ones... well, of course, combine the high-speed Dragon Ball anime action you may get confused.

Saa, orya to sho buu daa~~~~!!!
Kame Hame Haaaaaa~~~!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Switched Beta Blogger...

Switched to Beta Blogger already. The new features are really cool, and there are more links connecting to each module, which makes blogging easier. Haven't really tested deep enough on the other new features but I will be.

I must say that new Layout template feature was really good. This will allow end-users to modify their CSS easier instead of copying from other "template-provider" sites and then complain the interface doesn't work, and THEN they started bothering people like me.

Oh, and fortunately, they maintained the manual editing of the CSS portion intact, for us old-school people. Relief!

One of the downsides now, is that I cannot leave comments on the non-Beta blogs. Apparently this feature has not been added yet. So my friends are probably wondering where I am now. Oh well, guess we'll have to wait for it.

Voice from the UK...

Really exciting news today!

My cousin Michelle from UK has sent me an email! Though she sent that last month to my Hotmail account, which I only check once in a blue moon. Thank God for the urge to check it today, it's as if He sent me a reminder Himself.

An update to those who don't know: I have an aunt (I call her Ah Koo, it's Hakka for auntie) who married a Englishman and migrated to the UK many years ago, and gave me 2 cousins, Michelle and Darren. (Michelle is the elder) Last I heard, Darren is still a mechanic, moved out to his own house with his girlfriend. And Michelle is still single and is working all over London.

Darren's situation might have changed now. And Michelle gave me a brief of her current situation. It seems that the news of my marriage plans have made its way to England, which prompted her to mail me. How nice!

Michelle is still single, and is living her life to the fullest. Job hopping from to another just like any other big city denizen. She has done just about everything, and somehow related to music and entertainment. That's something I admire, because I can never do that now, I'm all for stability right now. Music is almost behind me now.

So, I sent her a mail and I'm really looking forward to her reply. I really wish she would keep in touch often. So Michelle, if you're reading this, please respond! Pronto!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Smoking Benefits...

OK, firstly, I want you guys to be clear about one thing - Smoking Is Bad. And I knows it. But yes, there ARE benefits of smoking too.

A lot of people has asked me why I started smoking and why didn't I quit since I know it is bad and all. The fact is, I can actually stop smoking at any given time and I can last for months or years without it. So why?

Before I explain, let's go way back to my school days. Some of my friends around me smoke when not within the school compound. Does it make me curious? Not at all. In fact, it looked awful to see a kid in school uniform smoking a cigarette in a town bus. Plus it drains your stamina, which is very bad for me because I was very active in sports. That's why I was never tempted and graduated high school without a single puff.

During my high school days, I was Orchestra Leader in the Chinese Instrumental Group. Sometime after graduation, I was invited back by my juniors to watch the national chinese instrumental group competition in Penang.(It was going to be history, because the following year they would take part of it, it's a FIRST. So they decided to watch the show, to see what they're up against.) I was there to counsel and provide adult supervision to those kids. After the show on the first day, I hung out with a junior and long time friend Carson, at the balcony. He was smoking away and we had a nice talk about our musical group.

Now, as I mentioned before, I often have people pour out their souls to me, telling me their life story naturally, and he was no different. (I don't want to brag, but I just have this aura that makes people tell me things :) ). I love listening to stories about other people so I let him talk. But mid-way through our conversation, when it comes to personal details, he just wouldn't commit further after that. So I tried another approach, I took one of his cigarettes and lit it. I could never forget the look on Carson's face, while exclaiming "Hey! I didn't know you smoked too!". It's as if he found a long-lost brother.:) So then, he opened up, and told me everything about himself from his childhood till his present days.

Side note: That was actually my first puff. And surprisingly, I didn't even choke or cough from the smoke going through my trachea and lungs for the first time. It seemed...natural. As if I had been smoking for a long time. (Which is one of the reasons why it seemed convincing to Carson) All these years of thinking "i wonder how it feels to be smoking" and the conclusion that I get is..... dissapointing. It was nothing really. Other than the slight high you get in your head after each puff, it was a waste of time.

Many years after that, I took from this experience with me when I started working. I find that it helped me a great deal where ever I go.

On my first job I worked at a Civil Engineering company, where I was site supervisor, I was in charge of inspecting the R.C. frame contruction. Same thing -> the contractor talked with me professionally, nothing more. Then I took one of his ciggarettes, and he began to tell me about his wife, and kids automatically .... and also where he cheated on the materials. (I later advised him to repair it, because it may cause the building to collapse, in which he obeyed willingly). Every visit to the site, he would indulge lots of tips and tricks of the building construction world to me, and I learned a lot. I did the same to my peers, the trainees, the site workers, other engineers etc. And I get positive results and "inside stories" on just about anything, related to work or not. A year later, I was many years ahead of anyone with the same position as I am in terms of knowledge and skill. Thanks to my secret weapon - the cigarette. I didn't only use this at work, even at social functions. It's a sure-fire icebreaker.

The reason behind this is simple:
Smokers are shunned in the eyes of the society. You see a kid smoking - it's a teen-gangster. You see a man smoking - he's crude and rude. You see a women smoking - she's a tramp and a vamp. You always see "No Smoking" signs everywhere. Parents see smoking as a weakness. The image of smokers are never nice here in Asia.

By pulling out the cigarette and smoking with them, they feel as if they found another comrade in distress. Smokers are like a groupie of their own. As a result of this exclusion, smokers tend to group in certain places e.g. fire escape stairways, lobby areas, smoking rooms etc. And it is in these "smoking meetings" people meet and talk, because it's rare you get a break like this. Now the "comrade in distress" mentality does not take place all the time, but it's the opportunity to meet people that counts. Sometimes business propositions may even take place. I have rubbed shoulders with many CEOs and Execs at stairways where we learn about each other's businesses.

Additionally, smoking gives me an excuse to take a few minutes of my work, go out and take few minutes break. Now office administrators deemed that this is a sign of low-productivity as it takes time off from work. But I consider this as a lower offence compared to other "crimes" such as repairing make-up, getting up to make coffee often, long breaks at the pantries during tea-break, surfing porn when no-one is looking, checking (junk) mail, walking around looking for chat-mates, checking/sending personal SMS, etc etc.

So do you still think that these are reasons enough to be called "benefits of smoking?". Well, these are just my personal experience on how smoking have benefited me. :)

And actually, I'm in the midst of a resolution to stop smoking now. Because my current work does not require for me to smoke at all. (I'm a system administrator and programmer now, and my job requires me to be on my desk at most times. So I don't get to meet people outdoors much) Hopefully it pans out this time.

I'll be starting on another blog entry on other ...err.... "benefits" of smoking. I'll let you decide on that one. :D

Monday, September 11, 2006

Emergency Hotline Posts...

Launched in Bukit Bintang last week.

Emergency hotline posts around the city

This emergency hotline post may soon be a common feature around the capital as police show their determination to come down hard on crime.

The first of these new posts had been erected at the Yayasan Selangor building in Bukit Bintang with Kuala Lumpur chosen by the Federal police as the pilot city for this project.

The post is quite basic as it has been fitted with an intercom, speaker and a closed-circuit television camera to monitor prank calls or to identify the person in distress.

A senior police officer told the New Straits Times: "This project is the brainchild of the Federal police headquarters, and there are big ideas in the mix.

"If the pilot project is successful, it might be introduced nationwide in the major cities. For now, the public should get used to this post being a common feature in the capital city."

Read original article and view the picture here.

Don't know how effective this wayphone system can be, but it's definitely better than erecting wooden police booths around town, which is quite an eyesore and a waste of resources.

I also hear that during the launching, the demonstration of the system was overly done, with screeching police cars and even included a hovering helicopter. 0.o Reminds me of the Proton Savvy car ad.

However, I sincerely hope that they live up to what they have demonstrated there when the going gets tough.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ai Ra Bu Yuu Kishidan...

My sis has recently asked me to show to Papa and Mama who she is currently interested in.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Unfortunately, she is not romantically involved with them. :)

Kishidan has been around for a decade already, and recently celebrating their 10th year anniversary with some shows and activities. Go here to have a look if you know japanese. They are really one-of-a-kind, with their stage performance, looks, and music. Don't let their looks and goofy antics fool you. If you listen closely, their musical talent is not to be underestimated, and it is waiting to be fully released one day.

This group, consisting by Ayanokouji Sho (Vocals and leader), Saotome Hikaru (Gibberish Vocals and dance), Saionji Hitomi (Guitar), Hoshi Grandmarnier (Guitar), Shiratori Shouchikubai (Bass) and Shiratori Yukinojoe (Drums).

Their Style: Early 50's bosozoku biker gang, sporting exaggerated and permed pompadour hairstyle, black japanese high school uniforms modified to their own style with large kanji. Their rock songs are always accompanied with para-para moves, each song having its own.

Their Music: About high school love, bikers, friends, gangs... anything yankii.

Their Popularity: Already 10 years in the industry and still not phased out. Need to say more? However, they are limited to the Japanese, as their style does not really appeal to the international market. Which is good because I would hate for them to be compared to the Danish techno group Cartoons. Their songs are also a favourite among karaoke goers, whey they can dance along with it.

Their Influence and influence to culture: Obviously, Sho and his buddies took from the bosozoku culture which is common in their hometown, and took it to a national recognition. Despite their outlook, they have never promoted violence and stuff. Instead, their songs are mostly about love, courage, and faith. They are one of the most recognisable rock groups in the country, and have influenced the fashion industry with their style. You will see a lot of mangas and animes emulating their outlook when depicting gangsters and yakuzas.

- Has appeared in Kouhaku shows. It is a national show for New Year's eve.
- Kishidan are friends with Glay, another famous rock group. It was one of Glay's home party, that Sho was introduced to Utada Hikaru, and they became best friends from that day onwards.
- Hikaru has a gimmick where he is the one in the group that speaks in gibberish. Even his self description in the live concert pamphlets/flyers will consist of "!@#$%&*" or something like that.

Lately, Sho has a side project with an alternate persona, DJ Ozma. His bandmates from Kishidan are involved in this, but they never admit that they are the same people. In live interviews, DJ Ozma will never admit that he actually Ayanokouji Sho, instead he will say that they are distant relatives. Of course, this is just a jest, everyone knows that already. But according to my sis, some people actually believed that! :)

So for those who are interested, don't be shy and give them a try. Start with their great hit single "One Night Carnival", and the recent "Ai Ra Bu Yu (I love you)"

My Guitar Works