Of Friends And Growing Up’s Best Friends: Problems.

I wonder where all my childhood friends have gone to and what they’re keeping themselves busy with.

Unfortunately, yes unfortunately we all have to grow up (act all adult and responsible and all) sooner or later and support a family and so on, that there’s simply lesser opportunities to mix around with the childhood friends.

I can’t think of any of my childhood or school friends who own a blog as most of them have simply lost touch with it and gave up blogging entirely.

I would surely like to connect with them on their current statuses, current activities and stuffs.

Anyway, there is this thing called Facebook, which I am not entirely fond of, but I do acknowledge it’s simplicity and efficiency in connecting people.

Everytime I log onto my homepage there, I’m greeted with a message that says someone has moved up a level in Farmville, Mafia wars or someother ‘social games’ as they’re better known as and I doubt it’s a ‘soup question’ or a ‘soup information’ to me.

Anyone who’s watched “Finding Forrester” would understand truly what a ‘Soup Question’ is but I’ll try to disect a little here.

‘Soup Questions’ are questions that you ask for answers that will create some sort of benefiting information which you can then use and lead you to much more useful things or stuffs.

‘Soup Informations’ are informations that you could probably relate, connect with and learn from, and are more than just an ‘I’m sad’ status update, or ‘I think this will be a great day’ status update.

As we grow up, and work a lot, there’s rarely plenty of occasions where one can share stories and experiences on a daily basis, but blogging has presented itself with a perfect platform to do just that.

I hate growing up, I really do, and I wished that I could go back to my Polytechnic days all over again, but reality is that I’ve to sustain myself already.

And not just to sustain, but to prepare for the future as well.

However to prepare for the future you need to know what is going on around you and have an understanding of the situation surrounding your presence.

At this present moment, there’s so much things to do, yet so little precious moments to take care of them, and I am aware that everyone goes through the same things.

But how do you get through with it, like how does a friend get over a setback or celebrate a joyous occasion?

I want to know but it’s not like I can just go knocking on their door and ask them all of a sudden, because there’s a less intrusive manner of sharing a story and that’s by blogging.

Not Facebook, mind you.

Yes reading status updates are good but one thing for certain sharing a story is even better, and I always find time for stories, good or bad.

Last night, my sister shared a few problems affecting her, and I could sense that she’s mildly lost amidst the chaos, but I’m glad she did (share with me her problems and also experiencing it as she’s definitely going to learn something from it).

She’s going through tertiary education and part of growing up means tackling multiple issues at one go, I said to her, but she’s got a strong character and I’m sure with a little bit of sensible advice she’s going to be okay.

Mentioning that some friends are possibly classifiable as pesky, I told her to start dishing out some character into herself and dishing out a few counter measures for certain niggling situations as well.

I may not be the best advisor on earth, nor the greatest listener, but I do listen when if someone seeks my advice, I’ll give them away unconditionally.

Though I don’t seek problems, I love tackling them heads on, because there’s a rush whenever you get to solve one, and I suppose it all began during my Primary school years during Maths class.

Back then, I loved problem sums, because somehow they could always  be solved, and so today I approach problems with an open attitude and a ‘There is always a solution for something’ mindset, because indeed there is always a solution for anything.

If it’s not there, we simply have yet to try hard enough or view it from another angle, though sometimes it’s better to just not try too hard but to instead keep on working hard.

Problems, love them or hate them, they’re a Grown Up’s best friend.

It’s not a 4 month season: Reds Exit UEFA’s Champions League.

Disappointment, sadness, grievances and regrets might be associated at the wake, pun intended, of Liverpool’s Champions League exit, but in my eyes it is actually more of a boon than a bane.

Dejected REDS

I welcome the exit with welcome arms, not because I harbour no reservations of being the Champions of the UCL again ( I do want them to win, next year perhaps~), but mostly due to the fact that I get to see the Liverpool players as mere humans again.

This exit did not turn Rafa Benitez into a bad manager or the Liverpool players into bad footballers, and if anything it goes to show how beautifullly unexpected the beautiful game can be, and how magnificient and feet-firmly-rooted -to-the-grounds Liverpudlians can be.

Nothing can be taken for granted, and certainly in Liverpool’s case, their entry into the Europa league cannot be regarded as a misadventure, but instead as an opportunity to put in the right foot at the right time.

Blessed (thankfully) with the sudden lack of boardroom drama this season, the teamsheet for Liverpool is suddenly blighted with injuries and the sudden bountyful visits of lady luck to opposing teams, where non other than the beach ball incident comes to mind.

There are plenty more games of football to be played and we’re not even halfway into a season and shoddy calls of a disaster / crisis period looms over Anfield, and I strongly disagree.

If a team plays badly without conviction nor determination, and where the Manager goes into a press conference with his hands held up surrendering and spouting weakness in his every words, and when the Board of Directors starts praising other Managers, and until then, there is nothing remotely resembling a crisis at Anfield.

Imagine Manchester United without Rooney or Berbatov, Giggs or Scholes, and Vidic or Ferdinand.

Imagine Chelsea without Drogba or Anelka, Essien or Lampard, and Terry or Carvalho.

Imagine Arsenal without Van Persie or Arshavin, Fabregas or Denilson, and Vermaelan or Gallas.

Then imagine Liverpool without Torres or Gerrard, Riera or Aquilani, and Johnson or Agger, except for the fact that there are games when all of them have not featured at all.

It’s not as if the players aren’t trying as you can see how they grimace and despair over loss oppportunities and inexplicable setbacks such as a mistimed injury.

The severity of injuries to key first team players have affected the results and until everyone plays together on the same field at the same time, it’s an unfair judgement that’s being passed around the walls of Anfield at this moment.

Remember the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover?

Well, perhaps for now, try not to judge a team by a 4 monthed scorecard.

Probably The Best D*mn Movie I’ve Seen In Years: District 9

District 9From an actor (Sharlto Copley) who’s never really acted in any other movie, from a director (Neill Blomkamp) who’s never really directed a big budget movie and given the carte blanche stance, from a producer (Peter Jackson) who brought his previous employers to the courthouse (and not for a friendly cup of tea, mind you), from a movie poster (see them here) which spells ’12 year old’s drawing books’, AND from a half past 6 blogger1 (ooh, that’s me!) who’s not that often impressed by almost all the movies these days, District 9 is… here it comes… get ready for it… *takes a deep breathe*… refreshingly astoundingly entertainingly gruellingly thrillingly movingly ass-kickingly simple-yet-mesmerisingly  awe-inspiring.

And if those 9 words can’t describe it any better, than maybe I’ll summarise my reaction at the end of the movie in the next 9 words: Probably Definitely the best damn movie I have seen in years.

Everything about the movie felt complete, and not since LOTR, Terminator 2 or Finding Nemo have I spent minutes just trying to figure out the bad parts of the movie, and I just couldn’t.

It’s part documentary, part political, and maybe racial (or should I say Alienial?), part action and part emotional that it’s hard for me to really divide it into it’s own genre — but if I had to compare it to a movie, I’d say that in the end it’s like Black Hawk Down + Gladiator and lots of Aliens.

Thank god the intention of making a Halo movie didn’t materialise and instead Peter Jackson allowed Blomkamp to do whatever he wishes, and though at the beginning you may be forgiven for thinking that it’s just another B-Grade movie that’s a little protracted, however you will be extremely gratified for staying put on that movie seat at the end of it all.

The action sequences will put Die Hard fans to shame, the CGI (though nothing like 2012) is so good, that Hollywood should learn here that less is actually more, and directors *koff-michael-bay-koff* should note that you don’t need hot babes to make a movie lustful, because we have porn movies for that right?

But here, in District 9, there are Prawns instead — a slur that’s given to the Aliens, by the locals in Johannesburg, whom they live in close contact after their mothership descended on our planet (and thank goodness it isn’t another Washington) and then failed to take off, leaving these Prawns stranded among us.

You’ll soon learn how the authorities work behind thinly veiled propaganda (probably in real life itself, but who knows~) for other agendas, and when Wikus (Sharlto Copley) leads a battalion into District 9 in an attempt to get the Prawns to agree to an eviction, that is when the plot thickens and the pace quickens.

Where it goes after this, I shall not spoil much (you can Google and spoil yourselves) but the movie should pick you up well and leave you exhausted from allthe explosions, the voodoos, Wickus’ emotional roller coaster ride and thrilling visual treats.

District 9 is the kind of movie that probably makes you want to leave your seat within the first 30 minutes but then makes you wish for more at the end of it all.

Sure 2012 have gotten all the attention, and deservingly so too, but if I had to put my last $10bucks into watching a movie this year, this is the one ticket that I’ll gladly put my money on — even after having seen it 8 times.

But if you’ve yet to catch it in a cinema near you, and you had a few *ka-chings* in your pockets, then you can catch District 9 in DivX quality here (not free though~).

Mar’s Movie Ratings: 9.3 / 10
Mar’s last word: Since an alien spaceship won’t be descending anywhere anytime soon, the next best thing then is to go watch it.

They Said, So I Say — Newsworthy of Blog.Mar.Sg

They said: Alcohol helps cut heart disease risk for men: study

So I say: That these men are intoxiated, happy, obnoxious and thus no stress at all. That’s why no heart disease.

… and then …

They said: Tech Economy in the Hands of Nude Entrepreuners (A Calendar featuring tech geeks instead of .. the professionals.)

So I say: And that’s a bad thing? Oh come on!

… next …

They said: Google Offers Peek at Operating System, a Potential Challenge to Windows

So I say: Bye bye M$ campaign. Okay, Windows 7 quite promising and not too bad, but a Chrome OS, based loosely simlar to the Chrome Web Browser, is a welcomed promise for me. I love the Chrome browser for it’s extreme (and unrivalled) speed and usability, but until the OS launches, it’s still just a promise.

… and finally..

if you’ve ever lay in bed and wished that the living room TV could serenade you to sleep, then here’s your wish come true.

TV on Bedpost

How To Choose The Perfect Laptop

This is a hot topic among friends and colleagues isn’t it, where the only end to this debate is  a broken nose or a cracked monitor, which was thrown from across the other cubicle right?

Maybe that was a far fetched claim but debates will crop up for sure whenever 2 tech geeks get together to discuss about this.

Of course I always have my fair share of favouritism of brands and models whenever I jump onto the bandwagon and decide to share a piece of my mind.

Laptop Ranking By Malfunction Rates

As always I will always recommend an Asus brand to anyone who asks me which is the brand to lookout for, and looking at the stats above I’m not wrong eh?

Asus makes great reliable motherboards as well, and whenever I’m customising my systems, I tend to choose Asus (if MSI is too expensive) more often than not.

I guess it’s not wrong either when I mention Toshiba as another reliable option, with its famous Toughbook series, which are quite… tough.

However there’s one particular brand which is missing from this list and that is MSI, which to me is an ethereal brand that produces top laptops with over the top features — and I can only think of overclockers and modders for ruining its position here.

Anyway do you see Apple at no. 4? Perhaps something that the Apple execs are not used to seeing eh.

I don’t recommend Apple’s laptops anyway, not because of the scarcity of bootlegged softwares on the streets (btw stop piracy! Ish… ) but because it’s NOT NEEDED by most when you consider the pricetag on their machines.

Unless you’re a Tai Tai, a Designer, or just won a $4000 bet with a friend, which he betted against Singapore wining 1-0 against Thailand last night, then Apple’s machines aren’t for you.

They’re too expensive (unless you get it from bidpax. heh~).

But if you look closely at the title of the laptop rankings above, it says malfunction rates — not feature and ease of use and such, as these would warrant another ranking list altogether.

The ranking above talks about how durable/reliable these laptops are, especially useful for construction workers or students that chug their laptops in their backpacks and then throwing their bags around the floor, before complaining later how unreliable and brittle their laptops are and how they could really use that Macbook Pro with the unibody design instead.

Pffft, I say, then so how does one choose the perfect laptop?

Easy, get one with the perfect warranty.

A lifetime warranty suits anyone best, but in this not so perfect world we live in, a 2-3 year warranty should merit you with enough protection, before the laptop specs become obsolete and you decide to purchase a new one again.

The ‘Singnet Is Upgrading Give Me Your Account Details’ Scam

Going under the moniker of The Support Team (don’t know which team or company), the (these unrelentless Scammers, or in this case Phishers) will send you an email with the subject ‘Attn Subscriber’ (they didn’t even bother to spell out attention), along with a body text like this:

Dear SINGNET Subscriber1,

This mail is to inform all our SINGNET users
that we will be maintaining and upgrading
our website in a couple of days from now2.As
a Subscriber you are required to send us
your Email account details to enable us know
if you are still making use of your mailbox.

Be informed that we will be deleting all
mail accounts that is not functioning3 to
enable us create more space for new
subscribers, You are to send your mail
account details which are as follows:

Username:
Password:

Failure to do this will immediately render
your email address deactivated4
from our
database.

Thank you for using SINGNET
From The Support Team5

Woah! Credit to whoever copyrighted this crop of text because at first glance it can be totally deceiving and forceful, and I will attempt once more utilising my ultra scam awareness skills which I have since levelled up to a higher level ever since Bidpax.com tried to hook me.

1 No reputable online business would address their valuable customers via a generic noun whenever a critical change is inevitable. In any case, any real online business SHOULD attempt to contact their customers via their first names, at the very least, as this creates an emotional bond and not appear as a scam. And this email I received brutally failed the scam test with only their first sentence.

2 When exactly is that? Tomorrow? Three days later? Being a Singaporean, I would naturally want to delay giving you my details until the very last day, just like how most of us only give our homeworks full attention on the night before submission day or like how we will queue to replace our old ez-link cards only on the final day, and then proceed to whine that we didn’t know earlier or didn’t have the time. Too bad, oh dear Scammer, but I want to be able to complain and you’re not giving me the time.

3 You mean by being able to receive your email finely and simply by not replying, that it isn’t functioning? Even though my customers and friends are able to receive my emails perfectly and if I don’t reply to you that it isn’t functioning? Okay, I’ll reply then, but when’s the deadline huh?

4 ‘Render your email address deactivated’. Actually there’s not much wrong with this line except that I find the words used to convey the message a little amusing. Anyway, deactivate it for all I care. I’ll just complain back stating how you never gave me any deadline so I didn’t knew that my time was up! No fair I say, no fair!

5 Signing off as a generic name in just too generic. This is definitely a sure-fire sign of a Scammer/Phisher as there’s no real name/contact details. Ooh, so busted!

There you go, Scammers or Phishers at work and me trying to teach them how to write better copy you how to avoid stuffs like these.

I’m amazed that there are still conmen (or conwomen, or conpeople) still phishing around for stuffs or information like these, so outdated and so bo liao (hokkien for, and loosely translated, ‘nothing better to do’.

I’m definitely replying to them, not with my account details, but with a few friendly words, because since it’s the second time that I’m on the receiving on of such mails, something needs to be done.

And this email address is from focuspm@singnet.com.sg, but strangely when I hit reply, the address is now maintananceteam_engi01@msn.com.

Stramge, and anyway do note that I didn’t hide these addresses, so that any spambots scanning my pages for an email address will catch these, and hopefully volley back with a dose of their own medicine.

Ahh, sweet revenge.

World’s Most Corrupt N Least Corrupt Government

According to a certain report from an online webby, it is such that…

The world’s most corrupt governments:
1. Somalia
2. Afghanistan
3. Myanmar

The world’s least corrupt governments:
1. New Zealand
2. Denmark
T3. Singapore
T3. Sweden

For the list which says the most corrupt, I shall not venture anywhere near their coasts.

For the list which says least corrupt.. ahhh, a few words, may I and let’s start from the bottom?

Sweden ties with Singapore in third place. If only this was the final teams’ positions in the South Africa 2010 World Cup, which some people in Singapore actually made an effort to commercialise it into a Goal 2010 event, which as we all know by know is merely a NATO event — not to be confused with the United Nations army thingy, here it stands for No Action Talk Only.

Anyway, sweet isn’t it that our country’s in third place and being the overly warm and welcomely people that we are, we even share the position with Sweden.

Hello Swedes. Abba rocks.

And then it goes up to Denmark, a country which is known for… wait, what is Denmark known for? Pardon my ignorance but I’ll crack my brains a bit here…. Carlsberg! Lego! Mermaid! Beautiful girls! Free hospitals!

Okay, with such wonderful assets, who’d even think of going corrupt?

But know why New Zealand is right there on top?

Because half the population are living overseas, thus not many people to leech off from being corrupt.

Anyway, whose report? Theirs.

Ooizit (Who is it), whose life isn’t hectic, isn’t chaotic and isn’t a mindless routine?

Wooot! 4 days of non blogging, mind didn’t really went blank but it seems like there were just too many things going on inside my fragile house of cards, that is my wandering mind, and if really a wandering mind was made of cards, any drift that comes in will simply blow everything away.

Whose life isn’t hectic, isn’t chaotic and isn’t a mindless routine, please put up your hands?

Sometimes we just have to give in to the momentum, that is life, and let ourselves get carried away, because resistance is futile.

Like how I had to tuck in at home on a Sunday ‘cos Dad and Ma are hosting a family and friends gathering-cum-well wishing occasion at home, and was made to overturn the huge, bulky, grey sofas from the living rooms and temporarily put them outside by the common walkway.

I’m amazed that I actually did some physical work at home that Sunday. *Pats self*

Did I mention that Dad had to barge into my room 7 times, before I actually got up and made the lazy effort towards the bathroom, only to find my relatives busying themselves with cooking in the kitchen? And it was only 10am! Who wakes up at 10am on a Sunday anyway?

By the time I became fully aware that I’m awake, it was already 11am and I realised that suddenly there’s so much time in my hands, except that it was all spent in tidying up the house in preparations for the incoming crowd later.

You see, Dad n Ma will be going for their pilgrimage trip to Mecca this coming Monday, which I’ve dutifully taken a day off from work (and not because I intend to spend the day gaming away though — and not that I probably won’t~) to fetch them to the airport with Bro and Sis.

Anyway I wished I had taken pictures of that Sunday, when throngs of unkown people in my eyes, walked in, made friendly noises and friendly gestures, before leaving without their empty paper plates and paper cups, which some have kindly left for me to clear away — thank you!

That aside, it actually was a good day for me, meeting up my relatives which I probably would not have met up, not even during Hari Raya ‘cos of my erratic work schedule, and that I actually saved a few pennies by spending time at home instead of shopping, or gaming away (no, not gambling but computer gaming..).

That Sunday was actually a peaceful day, despite all the welcomed ruckus that the visitors brought — it was a peaceful, yet noisy Sunday afternoon, just the perfect tonic that my mind required, even if it meant that my beauty Sunday sleep was cut short.

Somehow, by helping out at home I didn’t seem to mind about having to update my status online, or think about the next post for my blogs, or read up on some forums or explore new markets and such, and that despite the chaos, it all seemed focused and peaceful.

So you want a non hectic, non chaotic and non mindless routine?

Then go randomly volunteer your help for a random event.

When all else fails, maybe this Ooizit website showcasing underground music artistes might help you uncover a few hidden gems n blow you away instead.

Oozit

Google, 14th November 2009 — A New Moon?

Google New Moon

Usually during festive seasons Google will change its look on its search homepage and today, 14th November 2009, they did it again although I am left scratching my head as to what this means.

What does this mean?

2012? End of The World (cue: hysteria, paranoia screams)? That astrologists discover that the moon has a purple halo all these while?

If anything, the first few words that race into my head are “New Moon”, which is the second installment of the popular novel ‘Twilight’ series by Stephenie Meyer.

I’ve not read it at all, nor am I a fan of the Twilight series, but if you’ve read it all and want to know more about the movie adaptation, then this here is your new shrine.

A Christmas Carol, The Movie

A Christmas CarolNo, there’s no quitting of jobs or quitting of smoking in this post, but Scrooge’s better quit that miserly attitude of his, but we all know how the story ends right?

So what makes Robert Zemeckis’ “A Christmas Carol”, a novel by Charles Dickens, any special than all the other directors’ versions? Allow me to introduce 3 things…

1. The Robert Zemeckis touch.
The Pursuit of Happiness, Contact, Forrest Gump and Back To The Future. These are shows which have been given that ultra special Robert Zemeckis touch and you can bet that his version of “A Christmas Carol” is going to be a thrilling and entertaining ride, unlike any Disney movie that you’ve watched before.

However, like any Disney movie you can be sure that it’s going to be entertaining and enriching story. I’m pretty sure that I’ll enjoy the movie throughly when it opens on 19th November 2009.

2. The Jim Carrey moment.
I thoroughly enjoy every movie that has Jim Carrey in it, and I can’t stress how funny he can be when he’s in his element, so don’t mind that I’m a little pro Jim Carrey here.

Anyway, the last film that I saw Jim Carrey in a Christmas movie was when he became the grouchy Grinch in “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” in 2000.

In his first ever project with Disney Pictures, Jim Carrey is back — although you’ll only get to hear his voice(s) as the highly talented actor takes on a myriad of characters in Disney’s “A Christmas Carol”.

He is the voice behind Mr Scrooge (in all the various age and time), Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Future.

If you enjoy Jim’s antics and comedic nature, then get ready for Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” as it opens on 19th November 2009.

3. Disney Pictures
What can I say? Anything that goes by the tag of Disney Pictures is bound to be a lovely episode of drama and comedy, but if you think Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” is a show for kids, think again.

There is plenty of occasion for the plot to go scary and creepy, but with Jim Carrey in it, I think it’ll be a lot more tolerable.

If you can’t wait to catch the movie, then here is a trailer from youtube to whet that apetite…

“A CHRISTMAS CAROL” OPENS IN SINGAPORE CINEMAS 19 November 2009!