Moving this blog, not house... =) I've already reserved insane-ramblings.blogspot.com but the one without the dash isn't available even though the blog doesn't exist. Darn you url squatters!
If everything goes well, wittysquirrel.blogspot.com will redirect to the new address and I'll also be using a new template. But I'm wondering if this change is good, as my screenname just sounds real odd to other people, and I'm beginning to think that they're right... Hm...
1. Should I change the title and url of the blog?
2. Should I use the new template at the new blog?
Saturday, July 31, 2004
Moving this blog, not house... =) I've already reserved insane-ramblings.blogspot.com but the one without the dash isn't available even though the blog doesn't exist. Darn you url squatters!
Posted by Andy at 1:57:00 pm
Thursday, July 29, 2004
I was watching David Letterman last night on NTV7 when I saw an commercial, some little bone-shaped biscuits and other stuff were being poured into a bowl. We then see the dog bowl from the top and it's seperated into 4 quarters of dog biscuits and milk. I immediately thought "Must be another dog food ad, they're going to talk about the dog's diet or something". It wasn't until the words "Beamer needs food" flashed on the screen did I realise we were looking at a BMW logo! The screen then fades to black with these words "Helping the helpless is another luxury you can afford. Donate or adopt, you're in the driver's seat". And it wasn't a commerical, it was actually a public service message brought by PAWS (PAWS Animal Welfare Shelter) and NTV7! Now that's an ad I appreciate!
As the show was nearing the end, there was another one showing 4 dog collars (interlocked?), imitating the Audi logo with the words "Odie needs owner". These creative folks have done a wonderful job in spreading awareness for PAWS Malaysia through the messages, kudos to them! =D Although there were no dogs used in both of the public service messages, the symbolism in using the bowl and collars still did it's job well!
And another thing, I'm beginning to have suspicions about subliminal advertising in a Toyota commercial. You see, there were several noticible blinks in the commercial for the Toyota Unser. Toyota is a filthy rich company, do you think that they'll accept using a commercial clip full of "blinking"? Although I don't see any words in the blinks, perhaps my brain isn't alert enough to read it, perhaps I'm going crazy... XP
[Updated, July 30]: Fixed some typos, added a bit of info that I left out and corrected a mistake... =)
Posted by Andy at 10:20:00 pm
Monday, July 26, 2004
A dozen students in Form 1 and Form 2 in my school were punished after they were caught visiting internet cafes in the island. Some were even foolish enough to give in themselves! The punishment were all alike, 3 strokes of the rattan cane, except that some were caned in the teachers' office while some were caned publicly in the hall. Although I wasn't involved in this incident, it compelled me to blog about the jurisdiction of the school administration towards the students and where to draw the line.
First of all, I felt it was deeply unfair that the students were being punished even though a couple of them had permission from their parents to visit these internet cafes. The parents say yes but the school says no. The parents' decision on their children overrules the school's decision as technically as the decision makers in the child's life are the parents, not the school. The school doesn't have a right to overrule the parents' decision, as this is under the parents' control.
Secondly, the school doesn't have the right to prosecute students if they are outside school property, not skipping classes or not wearing uniforms. The crew cut #1 and #2 are not registered trademarks of SMJK Heng Ee (yes, I'm speaking out against my school), so the school cannot be held responsible just because the students who have crew cuts got themselves in trouble outside.
Thirdly, the school doesn't understand that a part of our lives have already been connected to the online community. Such is the closed mind. Couldn't it be possible that students might be researching information on the internet? What's wrong with playing games together with friends? It's not as if we're organising a triad group or distributing pornography, internet cafes are still legal in the country, you know...
With all of the encouragement and promotion of computers and IT knowledge everywhere, it's all going down the drain for this school. That's the way to go for regression! I for one am thankful that I do not have to rely on internet cafes for my online activities. As "right" as the school administration might be, it's technically wrong if they encroach over their jurisdiction. Our lives are runned by our parents, not the school. I'll gladly debate with the discipline teachers or headmaster over this if I have to.
I rest my case.
[Update, July 31]: You can also discuss about this at the Velocity Media forums. Will be penning the letter once I hear of more news about this...
Posted by Andy at 10:52:00 pm
Sunday, July 25, 2004
"You don't need to feed them much, just twice per day."
That's what the shopkeeper of the aquarium shop nearby said to my mum when she bought 5 little goldfishes to rear last week. I wasn't sure at first of her decision, as I already have an active Flowerhorn fish to take care of, but what the heck, the more the merrier and we now welcome the newest batch of fishes into the family.
Contrary to the shopkeeper's advice, the tiny goldfishes have the appetite of an elephant. They indicate that they're hungry by opening and closing their mouths at the surface of the water whenever someone's near them. I feed them about 4 to 5 times a day (in tiny amounts) and it's about the same for the flowerhorn fish (in bigger amounts though).
I could remember the first time we kept fishes, it was when the whole family was staying at a little town in Johore about 7 or 8 years ago. Mum was inexperienced in keeping fishes and used detergent in washing the tanks. She also neglected in setting up an air pump for the fishes. It wasn't surprising that the fishes never lived longer than a week or so. I wished I could've learned more about keeping fishes but I didn't know where to get the information, as nobody told my mum how to keep them. The interest soon waned after the last one passed away.
Fast forward to 2002 and we were armed with more knowledge and we were soon keeping a good looking flowerhorn fish. Keeping flowerhorn fishes were the "in" season at that time. He was an strong and active fella, he even survived a fall from a metre down after taking a bite at my finger, holding on as I pulled back my hand and then landing on the floor. He was a bit distraught, but he soon recovered.
Unfortunately, all of the time and effort in taking care and playing with him went to naught as he bumped his head on the plastic tank. I suspect his brain had been damaged as he was unable to swim upright despite the effort in guiding him. We took him out of the tank and placed him in a shallow tub with an electric air pump. Sadly he didn't live to see the next morning. Losing a pet felt real painful and just like a little child, I cried hard that night.
Another few months later on December 31st, 2002. It was another memorable date for me, no it doesn't have anything to do with New Year's Eve, it was the date when me and my mum were walking back from Taman Free School, since we were passing by the fish shop, we decided to take a look at the fishes there. Another flowerhorn fish caught my mum's eye. She asked me if I wanted to buy it but even though the stigma of losing the previous one made me hesitate for a while, I said yes.
Her first comment after bringing him back home was "aiyoh, so black black yellow yellow one, wasted thirty ringgit only" (translated from Hokkien). The little fish soon proved her wrong as the horrible colours gave way to a nice mix of pink, green, black and yellow. Now, after a year and almost 8 months later, his head is still normal, unlike the giant sized lump on usual flowerhorn fishes. In fact it was the lump that made those fishes popular in the first place! But then again, I don't prefer the enlarged forehead. He already looks good enough. =)
I had a scare last month when he knocked his head on the plastic tank. He almost ended up like the previous one when he started spinning out of control. It was as though he couldn't find where was the way up. I quickly put my hands in the tank to guide him while muttering "no, no, no, no, no", as the previous incident was starting to repeat itself. Luckily this time I noticed that he was determined in steadying himself as he struggled to stay upright. My worst fear didn't became a reality. Thank God.
Btw, my aunt's stepson loves this flowerhorn fish. He comes here once in a while and interacts with him. He even talks to the fish! XD
Posted by Andy at 8:25:00 pm
Lucia's recent entry at her blog prompted me to blog about my own desk... =P
Here's a pic of my desk:
(Click to see the larger pic)
First thing's first, actually I'm not sitting that close to the TV, I sit more like a tilt facing my CPU. As you can see, there's a radio near the floor, which I always tune in to Light & Easy. The door on the right leads to the balcony. My monitor is 17" and it weighs heavy (it left a deep imprint on the desk, btw). I've used this chair for about 7 or 8 years already, the cushion is all but gone and I place my royal butt on a pillow... XD The wooden chair is handy for placing snacks, the daily newspaper, my homework, or my legs... ;P
My mum places her decorative items, like the miniature dragon boat, along with the telephone on the desk. Since I don't use my printer much, I'll just chuck it in the spot there together with some piles of paper. The bookcrossing book (it's released long ago) is on my desk, as I usually place my bookcrossing supplies and the occasional book there.
My computer's specifications is pathetic... XD It's running on Intel Pentium 4 1.5GHz, 128MB SDRAM memory, 40GB Maxtor hard drive, 12x/8x/32x CD Burner, 52x CDROM drive, Nvidia GeForce2 MX 200 graphics card, Windows XP Home Edition. The 29" TV beside me is way cooler... =P
Just picture me placing my leg on the chair. Now you know where I blog from!
Posted by Andy at 6:47:00 pm
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
If you have a sore throat, get ready for colds or the flu. After reading one of those health tips and handy tricks books 2 years ago, I noticed that each and every time my sore throat gets better (with or without Strepsils), I either get colds or the flu. o_O The book didn't explain about how sore throat and colds/flu go hand in hand in tormenting my day. Crap, my nose is now leaking like tap water, my eyes is watering and I'm sneezing rapidly. I command you to be gone forever, evil virus!
Last night I managed to invite roughly 80 new Malaysian members at Bookcrossing.com to the Yahoo! group! It was a month ago since I last invited the new-comers. Serves the procrastinator right! Eheheh... -_- I was planning to make inviting members a weekly routine but it gradually turned into a
bi-weekly tri-weekly monthly affair. Too bad there's no mass-PMing function. That'll motivate me to invite more frequently.. =P
I'm also a bit disappointed at first for not getting mentioned in an article at The Star's Youth2 section... But then I'd also rather let this blog be semi-conspicuous, I wouldn't want any of my school's teachers or even heck, the headmaster to be reading this blog!
Oh well, C'est la Vie...
Posted by Andy at 10:31:00 pm
Monday, July 19, 2004
I got my ass busted today by the discipline teacher, Mr. Lim, because of the 4 times reaching school late. -_- It's not that I wanted to reach there late, but once in a while like Murphy's Law, shit happens and oh well... At least he gave the only and last warning that my parents would be called to the school the next time I get to school late. Most of the time, it's just less than one minute! Another thing I noticed is that there's another student in my school with the same name as mine (he's in Form 2 though) also being booked 4 times for the same offence! Well, that's a strange coincidence...
Posted by Andy at 9:22:00 pm
Sunday, July 18, 2004
My life is so unorganised that I rotate around what I like to do. I used to collect stamps, then I became interested in gardening, later I kept a fish, next I got online and started surfing like hell. Btw, I stopped the former 2 but I still collect first day covers at the Taman Free School mini post office.
And then on the internet, there's the several interests which I rotate. At the moment, it's blogging, previously it was reading novels, Gmail, Neopets, Bookcrossing, posting in forums. And then with forums, I rotate around several forums about the supernatural, Gmail, technology, anthropomorphology and the smattering of other various interesting forums.
The universe doesn't rotate around me, I rotate around the universe.
On other news, the posters and banners within a KM radius advertising the school's alumni's 35th anniversary celebrations just ended last night. Although I didn't attend the celebration, it was surely grand with several giant tents, one including a stage, erected on the school field. They even made a "gateway" out of branches and placed a "WELCOME" banner near the entrence of the school gate.
One thing odd is the choice of advertisers. You see, there's a small billboard promoting the celebration put up at the school fence facing the roundabout. I wouldn't blame people if they though it was for Father Julien's funeral or something like that at first glance, because next to a giant photo of him with the school in the background are 3 Chinese words in white letters with a black background that says "bu4 tiao2 wang2" (BanNer King). That part took 1/8 out of the billboard. Turns out that after a closer look, it was printed and sponsored by the same company. Real odd. And while I was thinking about it along to school last Thursday, I turned around and saw a funeral ceremony right next to the school. Somebody living in the condominium next to the school had just passed away. =/
Posted by Andy at 6:17:00 pm
Yep, recently Google has bought up Picasa, the photo management software previously priced at US$29, and made it free for everyone! I tried it out after downloading it, the only thing I can say is that it's sweet! =D The interface is very neat and the photo loading is super fast! It even includes some simple photo editing features like red-eye removal, cropping, enhancing and rotating. It also provides a full-screen slideshow for you to present your family's recent vacation trip!
On another note, the blogger text upgrade is useful but the typing freezes once in a while... =/
Posted by Andy at 5:44:00 pm
Thursday, July 15, 2004
I always see them feral cats in the alley on my never-ending walk to school everyday. They're cautious towards people and it's hard for anyone to get near them, including the very people who feed them. I estimate the cat population in that alley to be 10-15 cats, including kittens. Now there's quite a lot of people who use the alley as a shortcut from Perak Road to Taman Free School since another small lorong had been cleared out together with quite a number of houses for developement.
I used to call out to the cats but as usual, they respond with a stare. A cautious stare. But one cat seemed to be different from the rest. He's a grey, striped cat with a whole of of affection. =) Not that I don't like my fish anymore, but I've always longed for a cat, my cat. Sadly the committee don't allow cats or dogs in the block, but I've seen a poodle and quite a few kinds of miniature dogs around the block... Go figure...
Back on topic, my mood has been lifted these recent weeks because of this same cat. He'll act like a domesticated kitty around me but hostile towards others. o_O Whenever I see that patch of grey fur and I call out, he walks towards me and and craves attention so much that he'd follow me for a few metres after I continue walking... heheh...
What a cat! =)
Posted by Andy at 6:52:00 pm
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Wikipedia is another proof that the internet will snuff out any other existing encyclopedia out there, whether in book form or software. =) Sales of Encarta and Brittanica are going to suffer.
Wikipedia is a free internet encyclopedia that relies on everybody to contribute. Unlike the normal "Phd. or higher" requirement to contribute to encyclopedias, anybody can write, edit or update any article in the Wikipedia! Through Wiki technology, anybody can click on the "edit" button and contribute to Wikipedia regardless of Phd or not... =) So far the Wikipedia has over 299,409 articles in English and there are 186 languages being used in the Wikipedia, including Malay with 2555 articles. =)
So far, the only article I could say I really contributed is the Bookcrossing article. I just don't know much about the others... =P
Posted by Andy at 9:26:00 pm
One of my friend from the chess club complained to me some time ago that one of the committee members of the chess club had flipped the chess board and sent the pieces flying after an arguement on the day that I wasn't there. He also said that a few members were sent to the co-curriculum headmaster's office. Hm... He said that this committe member had a different face when I didn't attend the meetings. I asked another member who's in Form 2 but he said he didn't see anything. Now, I don't completely trust this friend, but I did notice that this committee member always spoke to me softly and quietly but occasionally shouts at the others. o_O I just got reminded of this incident because I met him in the canteen today and he used that same, quiet tone to tell me that I should have my breakfast before the meetup starts because some students had complained about me... o_O
Anyway, just to cover my friend's back and avoid trouble from happening, I'll try to attend every meetup...
Posted by Andy at 7:53:00 pm
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Today at school seemed like a normal school day until I realised that nothing in this school is normal. Mr. Tan, the disciplinary teacher was making some announcements in the hall and the as usual, some of the unfortunate students were called to stand up on the stage for various offences like playing truant, uncompleted homework, being rowdy and the occasional money-laundering. Usual stuff.
One period before recess, Benny (unofficial first name), the monitor asked me to accompany him to the teachers' office to find something for the teacher and we saw that the mother of one of the students were walking there. She was holding a rattan cane. o_O I overheard her asking another teacher where she could find Mr. Tan.
Both of us sliped out of the teachers' office knowing what was about to happen next.
"Terrible" is the only thing I could describe the situation. :|
Posted by Andy at 10:59:00 pm
Sunday, July 11, 2004
"Chirp, chirp chirp, chirp, chirp!!!"
Repeat sound for next 5 days. That's how it's been going on here. If you lived around the Jelutong-Perak Road area or just passed by, there's this odd chirping noise somewhere around here. It chirps non-stop from dusk to dawn and dawn to dusk. My mother says that it's a recording, and I'm sure that she's right. If it was a real bird, it would've collapsed and died from all of that chirping.
"Chirp, chirp, chirp chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp!!!"
I have no idea why the person who wanted to play the recording 24/7. Maybe it's to attract birds? I myself think that the guy has gone completely loco. The others in the neighbourhood must've been insane for not complaining about the sound. An early morning chip is okay, but a shrill-sounding chirp throughout the night? I'm thankful that I live in an apartment and my room is at the other side of the unit. And even though it's about 300 metres away from my apartment block, the sound is still audible and very clear. Must be good quality speakers. :|
"Chirp chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp!!!"
Somebody please put an end to this!
Posted by Andy at 6:54:00 pm
Just as I was about to step into the elevator to get to school last Friday noon, I noticed a tiny feather lying just outside of the door. Picked it up, looked at it and placed it pocket. Just as I left the apartment block, I saw another feather! But this time it's much larger than the earlier one. This freaky moment reminded me of the feather that appeared at the start and at the end of the movie Forrest Gump.
(Click to see the enlarged version, smaller pic above is roughly about the same size as the real one)
Posted by Andy at 4:12:00 pm
Here are some scans of the envelopes that used to contain books sent by some of my Bookcrossing friends to me as a requested RABCK... =)
(Click the pics to see the enlarged version. Addresses, including mine have been removed due to privacy reasons)
First one was Wild Justice by Philip Margolin, which was sent by Senorag and it traveled half-way around the world through surface mail from April 9, 2004 to June 23, 2004.
Second one was Forrest Gump by Winston Groom. It was kindly sent by Meshe and the trip lasted a short 13 days, which was from June 18, 2004 to June 30, 2004.
Thanks to both for the wonderful books! =)
Btw, contact me if you'd like to read any of books listed as "available" in my bookshelf. I'd be glad to send them to anywhere in Malaysia! (Please register with Bookcrossing first though)
Posted by Andy at 3:30:00 am
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
The monitor was repaired and sent back to my home yesterday! But it costed RM80 for the fried components... T_T So anyway, I spent most of my free time (aka internetless time) reading some of the novels. I finished Sons of Heaven by Terrence Cheng, Forrest Gump by Winston Groom and Steroid Blue by Richard La Plant within 3 days! I was beginning to worry about finding time to finish the big stack of books... hehe...
Last Saturday was the first ever BookCafe - Malaysian Bookcrossers Meetup in Penang! After the countless joint meetups held in Kuala Lumpur, I was thrilled to attend one here. =) Anyways, the meetup was just tiny but not in anyway a disappointment. Well, 2 is the minimum number of people needed to hold a meetup, right? =)
Tim posted a question on BookCafe asking if we could hold a meetup in Penang but I didn't notice it until Zarina pointed it out to me (thanks!) but before I could give me any more information the darn monitor broke down. Hmph. So I had to go to my friend's house to get online for the next 3 days... It's as excruciating as being constipated using a 28.8Kbps dial-up connection... XD
So, big day: Saturday July 3, 2004. Time: 3:15pm - 5:15pm. Venue: Starbucks, Prangin Mall, Penang.
Me and Mom arrived at Prangin Mall at 3pm sharp and I went inside Starbucks to see if Tim had already arrived or not. I saw some suspicious faces but there's no books on the table, so if couldn't be him. After a quick glance, I SMSed Tim and he called back saying that he's already at the car park and he'll be there in 5 minutes. He also said that he wore a pair of blue jeans and beige shirt, but I somehow heard that as pink! XD So imagine the temporarily confusion when a guy carrying a backpack walked up to me and said "Are you Andy?"
"Ah... So you're Tim!" was the reply that escaped from my mouth. -_- Did I ever mention that I was nervous around people? So expect me to stutter a bit and sometimes seemingly talking a bit of incomprehensible sentences when meeting me in real life... XD
Formalities took over us it seems, as we stopped at the front door to let each other enter the shop first... I was nervous I tell you! XD Tim and I went to the counter and he ordered Starbucks brew of the day, and then he asked me what I'd like. He then passed the Bookcrossing label pin to me (gift from Emily in KL) and said "here's your pin". It was very cute, I have to say! (I was talking about the pin) Imagine me as the country bumpkin there as I haven't ordered from Starbucks before. "I'll have whatever you're getting..." I should've said "having". The jitterbug strikes again. I helped him carry the tray containing 2 very black mugs filled to the brim with coffee and we sat down at a table close to the entrance.
Okay, first thing's first. He took out the 2 books which were passed on to him from Denise at the recent meetup in Kuala Lumpur on June 27 and passed them to me! The Love Hexagon and Time to Say Good-Bye were the titles of the 2 books. We started off with a bit of chatting before he brought out his Dell Inspiron notebook and proceeded to insert a WiFi card to surf the internet wireless! The 2 books were then journaled and Tim posted his comments on the 2 books at the Bookcrossing site.
We then went about discussing about the sites on the internet that we frequently visit (if you're reading this right now Viewtru, we laughed out loud at the pic in your blog... XD) and checked our e-mail... =)
It went on until 5:15pm when Mom called me that it's time to go... =) I got up, shook hands and left the cafe. That ended the first meetup in Penang!
Posted by Andy at 9:33:00 pm