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Monday, February 28, 2005

Apple's girls

What is it about Apple and the women it features in its advertisements that drives men crazy?

As of this writing, I know of three Apple girls who have made it into the mainstream consciousness. Count that: three! Aside from talking animals, what other company has spawned this many memorable advertisement personalities?

Anya MajorThe first girl was Anya Majors waaaay back in 1984. (More info of the ad)

(The video was edited in 2005 for the 20th anniversary of the Macintosh to show her wearing the iPod, which obviously wasn't around in 1984.)
Why she's hot: she was the lone woman in colourful garb bringing down dull, grey Big Brother and all of his men.
Ellen FeissThen there was "Switch" girl, Ellen Feiss, in 2002. (Fan website)
Why she's hot: she seemed high on something during her entire advertisement.
Mandy Fujiko AmanoAnd now, in 2005's Superbowl, America and the world was introduced to Apple's latest ad girl: Mandy Fujiko Amano. (Fan blog)
Why she's hot: she's beautiful, she's sexy, she's playful, she's alluring... and she's a comic fan!
Which leaves me with just one question: Who's next, Apple?

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Saturday, February 26, 2005

House cleaning

My mum was on a holiday in Myanmar this past week. That meant that my dad and I had to do the household stuff, mostly preparing our own foods. But throughout the week, the floor got noticeably dustier and dustier.

Two reasons for the dust:
  1. Smoke and haze from bushfires in and around the country throughout the week.
  2. Dust from construction work on the highway-bridge-that-will-never-be-completed.
After this week, I can appreciate why my mum would rather close all of the windows, particularly those facing the main road, even if it means a stuffier house.

We have a part-time maid to clean the house once a week, but because no one was at home in the day this week, she didn't come. And the dusty floors reached the level of discomfort that prompted me to clean the house.

Aside: Yes, though I am a guy and cannot see dirt (as a sociology textbook said), I will clean something (tables, computers, floors, etc) when I feel totally dirty and disgusted by it. Like dusty, black-stained feet.

I had planned to wake up at 8am and start cleaning, but fatigue overcame me and I woke up only at about 10:30am. Then it was cleaning time.

10:45am - 12:15pm: Vacuum floors
12:15 - 12:45pm: Damp-dust tables/cabinets/bookshelves
12:45 - 1:45pm: Mop floors

(Times stated are estimates, but very close to actual.)

It took me three hours to clean the frickin' house!!! And I had an epiphany: Artists and thinkers do not clean their houses. Cleaning takes up so much time and energy that artists and thinkers would have nothing left to devote to their art and thoughts.

It is probably safe to say that it was only after the industrial revolution that science, technology and the arts really took off, because then people had washing machines and vacuum cleaners and, now, microwave ovens to ease the menial work, so they had more time for creativity.

At this time, I felt for domestic servants everywhere. They perform such menial work 24/7 for years on end. Where is the value in their lives? No wonder they, in general, cannot progress beyond their current state of lives.

I had an agreement with myself that I wouldn't eat anything until the housework was done. Probably a silly agreement, because I was so tired that I didn't even have the energy to eat properly. So after the great clean up, I sat down for lunch and read the newspapers.

Now the floors are less dusty, though they feel sticky. I think I used too much bleach.

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Alice in my dreams

This is what I dreamed last night:

I usually meet my buddies at a pier at night. This night, I'm early, so I wander to the nearby hotel, which strikes me as very Chinese-y. I see her working at the reception and walk up to her. She has a longish face, shoulder-length hair with side parting, and wears glasses. We start chatting. I lean forward, placing my hands on the counter, and she purposely moves her hands so that they are touching mine. My fingers run tenderly over her hands, feeling their softness. When we talked, we were attracted to each other, but now, I know that we are in love.

She loves me in spite of my physical appearance, mannerisms and other quirks. She accepts me entirely for who I am. It is the first time I feel that anyone has accepted me like that. I love her for her openness and beauty and character.

The next time we meet, I purposely go to the hotel to look for her. She meets me at the entrance, we sit, and without any words, we kiss. By this time, all of her colleagues know about us and are excited for us.

I forgot what happens at our third meeting, but I remember that we meet accidentally, so we end up doing something together, and we enjoy it thoroughly. Also, when she's not working at the hotel, her appearance is different: rounder face, hair tied up in a ponytail, no glasses, shorter (reaches my shoulder). But I know that it's still her.

Our first real date is next. I don't remember what goes on, except that it involves a romantic dinner, and then we walk to the pier to chat. My buddies, who also know about us, are there and they cheer us on. We end the night with a kiss.

The next time, I'm with my mum buying groceries at a supermarket that just happens to share an entrance with the hotel. One of the sales girls sees me and quickly calls her at the hotel. She rushes to the supermarket and finds me. We kiss, then I introduce her to my mum as my girlfriend. I say that we've been going out for a week. My mum is impressed.

We're supposed to go on another date, and I'm early in meeting her again, so I end up on a hunting trip to pass the time. But the trip takes longer than it's supposed to.

I have a feeling that I'll never see her again...

(The name "Alice" came about probably because I had just watched "Closer". But I did not dream of Natalie Portman.)

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Friday, February 25, 2005

"Closer"

Closer
I was supposed to go out with a few colleagues for dinner and drinks tonight because it's a colleague's last day, but the plans were scuttled due to last minute unforeseen circumstances. Since I had already planned to be out, I decided to watch the movie, "Closer".

I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get a ticket, because the quota for online bookings had been used up. Fortunately, there were about four empty seats when I arrived at the cinema, though they were in the corners. No matter, as long as I didn't waste my trip.

I knew the story was about love and betrayal, i.e. guy falls for girl but betrays her by falling for another girl. This is true in general for all of the characters, but it was more complicated than that. There are four people, two men, Dan (Jude Law) and Larry (Clive Owen) and two women, Alice (Natalie Portman) and Anna (Julia Roberts), and the whole movie is about the love square (yes, the men have relations with the women) and complications that develop between them.

I can see why Natalie Portman got her Oscar nomination. She plays very well a stripper who is emotionally detached from her job (no nudity, though) and a free-spirited determined woman even better. And Clive Owen plays the jealous boyfriend/husband so realistically that we feel for his misery and understand why he says and does the things he says and does.

Two things I realised only when I watched the movie:
  1. It's based on a play.
  2. There are credits only for six actors (the four mentioned and two extras). Which is true, because we only see the faces of these six people. Most of the scenes had just two of the main characters, so there was little use for background extras. Wow, you really can produce a good movie without a large cast ensemble!
Good story, good acting, good movie. It really wasn't a wasted trip after all.

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Overpaying for phone subscription

It's been nine months since I first subscribed with a mobile phone plan. This evening, I sat down to work out how much I would've paid if I had subscribed to other plans. And the shocking truth is that, if I had followed my gut instinct and signed up for the cheaper plan, I would be saving a whopping 33%, not on average, but each and every month!

So I called SingTel to find out about changing my plan. Firstly, because I'm a two-year contract (snarl), I can upgrade only after my first year of subscription, which is the middle of May, but this will have a fee of $100! And I do not have the option to downgrade. If I terminate my contract, I have to pay $210, or more than what I'd pay for the two-year subscription from start to end.

In other words, I'm stuck. My other option is to let someone take over my plan. Anyone interested in an $18/month phone subscription?

Actually, my first instinct at the time when I was thinking about getting a mobile phone was to use a prepaid card, but my back-of-napkin calculations (which are probably wrong on hindsight anyway) showed that this might get too expensive because I'd have to pay for incoming and outgoing calls. Now that M1 has free incoming calls for its prepaid M Card (for $0.70/day), or , this has given me something else to think about what I'm going to do after 15 May 2006. Of course, by then, some new plans would have cropped up, thus muddling my decision further.

Sigh, the cost of one bad decision.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

My old UW-Madison Op-Ed newspaper articles

While Googling my surname today (because I have an ego to stroke), I found two articles that I had written for The Badger Herald, one of two daily student newspapers at UW-Madison. Reading those articles brought back memories of a time when I was more idealistic about the world. But I also realised that little has changed since my articles were published.

On the upside, the articles were picked up by campus news agencies and seem to enjoy longevity in their archives. I'm pretty sure I wrote at least one more article, but I guess it's lost in the void. Maybe I have it somewhere in my computer...

To prevent these two articles from suffering a similar fate, I've posted them here, so that there is at least a smaller chance of their disappearing if the news agencies decide to clean their archives of deadweight.

March 5, 2001: "Cultural hindrances on campus"
July 11, 2001: "Microsoft ruling a victory for consumer choice"

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Monday, February 21, 2005

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

On the way home from work, two girls boarded the bus and sat opposite me, talking between themselves. And I did the one thing I could do: compared their facial appearances.

My attention was first drawn to girl on the right. In my opinion, she was less attractive than her friend. So I thought: why is that? Among the things I noted:
  • small eyes
  • long nose, ending in a pudgy way
  • buck teeth
  • small lips
  • long face
In comparison, her friend was more average-looking, e.g. bigger eyes, wider mouth. She didn't possess supermodel beauty nor the type who turns heads towards her. She was just a regular looking girl. But she "won" precisely because she had no features that stood out, e.g. buck teeth.

So is that what beauty is all about: a comparison between two people and deciding which one has less irregular features?

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

"Constantine"

Constantine
Firstly, the correct method to say the name is the way it's done in the trailer. You don't use your vocal cords/voice box at all. Rather, you exhale the word and use your teeth and tongue to say it correctly. Go ahead, try it, I'll wait.

And if you really believed that, you're one-month-and-a-week early for April Fool's Day.

I watched the movie with my sis, bro-in-law and cousin at GV Grand. This is my first time to that cinema because it is out-of-the-way, and by that, I mean that it is not near a convenient bus route (for me) and there is no MRT station in its immediate vicinity. But apparently, its out-of-the-wayness is what my sis, bro-in-law and cousin find appealing about it because there are less kids.

If you're devoutly religious, particularly in Catholicism, then "Constantine" is not for you. It uses a mix of Catholic doctrine, magic, horror and action to drive a rehashed story:
  • there is a war between heaven and hell
  • God and the devil made a bargain over the souls of mankind
  • demons are bug-riddled and bad-ass, and angels are turning away from the light
  • the fate of the world rests in the hands of one (Caucasian) man
What differentiates "Constantine" is that the hero does what he does for the selfish reason of entering heaven. Take away this selfishness and he becomes a supernatural Superman who does good because it's the right thing to do. Even Batman, a dark hero in his own right, fights crime to restore justice.

And it's probably because of his indifference that Constantine doesn't care for anything else, not even that he's chain smoking himself to death. That, I think, makes him an intriguing anti-hero.

While Keanu Reeves played him well as the can't-be-bothered stony faced type, I thought that he could have had better lines to better portray his world weariness. And he needs a speech coach so that he doesn't mumble. I had to read the Chinese subtitles many times to catch the dialogue. Rachel Weisz was beautiful and performed well as the cop desperately seeking justice for her dead sister, but at times, she too suffered from the mumbles.

Overall, a sufficiently entertaining film with about the right amount of action and philosophy.

After the movie, we went to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, where we were entertained by 80's rock music videos. Over dinner, most of our conversation revolved around TV shows and movies, including the upcoming flicks like "Batman Begins" and "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith".

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Friday, February 18, 2005

Tax-free again!

Because I earned less than S$20,000 S$22,000 last year, I won't have to pay any income tax for the second year running (barring unforeseen circumstances). Woo-hoo!

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Working in Malaysia

For the first time in three years (I think), I stepped onto Malaysian soil again. Part of me can't believe that it's been that long, part of me thinks I could've waited longer. Am I prejudiced against Malaysia? Well, the first thing I smelled upon clearing customs at the Causeway at Johor Bahru (JB) was the putrid stench of sewage. But I did my darnedest to keep an open mind through the half day there. Honest!

I was in JB on a business trip. Woo-hoo! My first ever business trip. Ya, it's geeky of me to be celebrating over this. But there was a slight thrill as I completed the immigration card, at the part that asked why I was entering the country. All along, it had always been "personal" or "leisure". Now it was "business". Whoa.

The purpose of the trip was to film the Malaysian factory for a company corporate video. This would also mark the first time that I had visited the company's Malaysian premises. (This was just a day of firsts for me.) The factory is located in the industrial area, which is a place that few tourists would venture to. Yup, another first for me.

We (my colleague involved in the filming, and the manager who gave us a lift there) left Singapore at 7:30am and arrived at the factory at about 8:30am. Clearing the Causeway took slightly under half an hour. The roads in the industrial area is badly in need of resurfacing, but I know that there are such roads in Singapore too, so I stopped comparing that.

I won't talk too much about the factory itself. Actually, there are two plants situated about one-minute drive from each other. They're filled with machines and workers who churn out printer ribbons and inkjet cartridges/refills and fax ribbons and ink. I thought that the plants could be mechanized further, since a lot of manual labour seemed to comprise of attaching something to a machine, then removing and packing it later.

The filming took over an hour, then my colleague had to meet a customer there and I tagged along for the ride. We had tea, visited another factory, then ate bak kut teh for lunch. After that, the customer gave us a ride all the way back to our Singapore office.

Some other observations about my morning trip to JB:
  • A lot of buildings look run down and in need of a renovation or total reconstruction. I thought JB was competing with Singapore to be the premiere city of south Peninsular Malaysia?
  • Why have traffic lights if the traffic police are going to give contrary directions? E.g. the policeman waved "go" when the traffic light was red. I thought the whole point of traffic lights is to automate the flow of traffic and reduce manpower.
  • Major traffic junctions have countdown timers. Good for impatient drivers.
  • Like America, the car of the 21st century is not the SUV, but the truck. I shudder in fear of when that day arrives in Singapore. Singaporean SUV drivers are obnoxious, right behind the bastards of the roads, taxi drivers.
  • Roadside hawkers, right out of pre-1970s Singapore! Awesome!
Thus was my half day-trip to Malaysia. Can't say I miss it. What I do miss is the large amount of space, unlike cramped Singapore.

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Culture of fear

This afternoon, the boss sent an email to everyone that, in brief, stated the following: if you have a heart attack, you should cough hard to get your heart pumping normally. That advice is, of course, fake though it seems real at first glance. In fact, it's an urban legend that has been floating around the Internet for a while.

So I sent a reply to everyone stating that it is fake, pointing them to a page with information about this heart-attack-and-coughing urban legend, and thought nothing about it.

A short while later, I received an email from a colleague stating that I had guts for correcting the boss. I thought that this was strange, since I was correcting something that is factually wrong. Besides, what if someone really had a heart attack and resorted to coughing? And that's what I told my colleague.

But later in the day, more and more colleagues either came up to me or started talking among themselves about my gutsy move. They weren't gossiping that I was correcting a mistake, but that I was refuting the boss. It would seem that they were more willing to believe a lie, albeit an unintentional one, than to say that the boss was mistaken.

Which is just plain rubbish. People make mistakes. It's a human failing. No one is perfect, except deities-as-humans. And bosses are humans too. I suspect that this is an Asian-wide phenomenon because of our reverence for elders and authorities. It would be blind foolishness to take his word as gospel just because he is the boss. People need to be more open-minded.

On the upside, I happened to bump into the boss, and he thanked me for correcting him, although he said he knew of one case where a person did manage to survive a heart attack by coughing. I remarked that it probably wasn't a heart attack, but a slight case of irregular heartbeat. If you compare the force of electric paddles to coughing, you know that there is little to no way that a cough can restart your heart.

So at least the boss was on my side, ha.

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Whew! Checking a website for standards compliance

Over the last two days, I spent nearly the equivalent of one full day ensuring that one of my company's websites is up to standards. By "standards", I don't mean something like checking if the website looks professionally designed or look as good as the best websites out there. No, no, not that kind of standard.

Rather, they're the industry standards laid down by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to ensure that websites and web pages can be displayed correctly and properly across different machines.

(A bit of background can be found on The Savage Doctor.)

And now, my eyes are sore, but I'm satisfied. Luckily, the website that I corrected is relatively small, i.e. about 10 pages in total. But there are other websites, and those have lots more pages. Oh boy.

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Monday, February 14, 2005

Indulgent Singaporeans

The company held its annual Chinese New Year lunch party this afternoon. There was yu sheng and prawns and curry chicken and curry mutton and vegetables and more. I sat with a group of colleagues whom I work with sometimes and we get along fine. At my table were five women and two men (including me).

And then I found out, though not for the first time, just how shallow Singaporeans can be.

We were tucking into our lunches halfway when they started commenting on the quality of the food. One said something bad about the fried rice, another commented that the breadcrumbed shrimp didn't taste nice, one other said the mutton wasn't "up to standard", and then there were more and more negative comments about the rest of the dishes, including the overly diluted orange drink.

And all I could think of was: "You should be glad that you have food to eat!" I couldn't help thinking about impoverished people who would have labelled us as hedonists for what we think of as regular fare. Especially with the tsunami disaster relatively fresh in our memories and reports of the lack of food and clean water for the survivors.

Or maybe people really care only about themselves and their comfort/satisfaction. When we are confronted with someone in need, maybe we go through a momentary guilt trip and offer what help we can. But with the snap of a finger, we then return to our self-indulgent ways as if nothing happened.

I would be hypocritical if I don't add this last paragraph: I did not say any of the above to my colleagues. I haven't reached the level of familiarity with them where I can be so, err, blunt.

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Saturday, February 12, 2005

Kids these days

So there we were, having dinner at a country club with my aunt and her family, and midway through, the conversation turned to children, not because anyone is expecting a child soon, but because (a) there were noisy kids in the next table, and (2) my sister and a cousin are teachers, while my brother-in-law is an ex-teacher.

And because of those two reasons, the topic was really about disciplining children. Like the all-powerful cane that my generation (I sound old!) grew up in fear of. Today, parents would rather reason with their preteen kids than hurt them. Or they just leave the disciplining to the maids.

Now you see the problem.

Anyway, things came to a point when the kids at the next table must've been on a sugar-high after dinner and were making a lot of noise while playing with their Nintendo Gameboys. So much so that my dad and aunt yelled at their parents to keep the kids quiet. And then an unearthly silence fell upon the place. It was spooky.

But knowing today's parents, they had probably secretly planted hexes on each one of us. Their kids are angels, after all.

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Friday, February 11, 2005

Navy's recruitment campaign's message

For a while now, the Republic of Singapore Navy has been running a recruitment campaign through posters and television ads. The former are found in advertising panels at bus stops, while the latter are screened on the tiny television sets in the North East Line MRT trains.

The television ad shows one of the navy's ships (a battleship?) transforming into a robot, then firing its gun into the camera. I was mildly amused by it. Then I saw the recruitment poster:

Singapore Navy recruitment poster

And a new thought struck me: the navy's idea of effective recruitment is by pointing a gun at you??? So here's the message that I got:
"Don'ch play-play, better join the Singapore Navy! Skali we send our Mighty Morphin' Transformer Battleship and hoot you with its tua liap cannon, then you tzai si!"
Yeah, that makes for an effective recruitment campaign!

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Chinese New Year

It's that time of the year when relatives gather together to chat and catch up, while the children receive red packets filled with money, and oranges are aplenty on every table.

This is the first year that I decided to give ang pows. Usually, only married couples give them, but I learned in the newspapers that once you start working, even if you're single, you should be giving red packets too. So I gave my parents and grandparents. If I had direct nephews/nieces, I'd give them too.

I went with my parents to my auntie's house, which has become the main gathering place because my maternal grandfather lives there. Some other relatives were there already. I found out that my recently unemployed cousin just returned from a three-week trek through Viet Nam and was looking forward to more bumming, that lucky girl.

Later, more relatives arrived, together with the new generation. Two things I noticed:
  1. None of the kids seemed to recognise me, or at least they would only give me cursory glances of acknowledgement. At least I got a wave back when I waved at a niece who was leaving later (the same niece who was enthralled by the candy (second last paragraph)).
  2. The kids wait for ang pows to be given to them. Back in my day (wow, I sound so old!), we had to greet each of our uncles and aunties before receiving a red packet.
We stayed from 10:45am to about 3pm, then went to visit my paternal grandmother at my uncle's house. After staying there for about an hour, we had an early dinner at a Malay Muslim restaurant before returning home.

Thank goodness for multi-racial Singapore. I remember when I was in Madison during Thanksgiving, it was so difficult to find a place to eat. The only places that were open were the few Chinese restaurants. All of the other shops and restaurants were closed and the whole place was like a ghost town. Over here in Singapore, when it's a Chinese holiday, the Malay and Indian shops are open. And when it's a Malay or Indian holiday, the Chinese shops are open. Whew!

So, as a cousin greeted us:
HAPPY YEAR OF THE COCK!

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Monday, February 07, 2005

Great UW Friends Meetup

Reginald's back in Singapore, so it was time to meet friends again, namely, Alan, Jie Hui, Shu Min and Suyin. But such is the life of a young Singaporean that we could not all meet, nor could we meet on time. Jie Hui and Suyin weren't free (the latter had last minute Chinese New Year shopping).

The rest of us arranged to meet at City Hall MRT at 7:30pm, but when I got there, I realised that it was too crowded to spot familiar faces, so I suggested a less crowded place, MPH Bookstore in CityLink Mall. Since I had arrived early, I browsed at HMV for a while and gawked at their outrageously high prices.

Alan was there first, followed by Reginald. Shu Min was late -- even though it was her day off! We settled on dinner at Nooch Noodle Bar in the mall. What a bad choice that turned out to be in terms of service.

Case in point: ordering water
The waiter, who looked like he was the head waiter based on his attire, came to take our order. We said we'd need a few more minutes, but in the meantime, could we have some water please? I noticed he didn't look too pleased when he heard that. Alarm bells rang in my head but I didn't think much of it.

Shu Min arrived 10 minutes later, but not our water. So we asked a waitress for water while placing our orders and assumed that we could finally quench our thirst. The food arrived, but we had to wait another 10 minutes for our water and her orange juice. At this point, I thought that maybe the waiters either had to do a rain dance or were waiting for hell to freeze over, you know, so there would be ice to melt. And maybe they had just planted orange shrubs for the juice.

We finished our dinners and our glasses were empty. Based on our past experience, we weren't sure if we should ask for more water. And we didn't. Instead, we sans Alan adjourned to Starbucks for coffee, though it turned out that none of us actually did order that beverage. Reginald had green tea, I had regular tea, and Shu Min had hot chocolate.

Over dinner and after-dinner drinks, we did the usual talk, like updating one another on what has been going on in our lives. Interestingly, out of all the times that we met, there was little to no talk about working or financial blues. Instead, we talked about what we wanted in the future, e.g. job, spouse, life, etc. Maybe we've become more numb to our current lives that we've stopped wishing and hoping.

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My blog

One night, Reginald asked me for advice on what to do on a blind date. Evidently, I have more experience than he in this area, though he has more experience than me in converting first dates into relatively long-term romantic relationships. I leave it to you to decide who's more successful.

Anyway, our conversation drifted to how he's meeting a girl whom he knows from LiveJournal (this would be the first time that they meet face-to-face physically). And then he noted how, in a recent journal entry, I had lamented about the unpopularity of my blog.

Here are his two reasons for the unpopularity:
  1. When I blog, I need to write in a fun and humorous manner that is more acceptable to the general blog-reading public.
  2. I need to write about topics that the blog-reading public likes to read. Like that perennially popular topic: sex.
But I've rationalised somewhat since my lament and decided that this is my blog and the primary audience I should be concerned with is I, me and myself. One day, when I'm old and tired and thinking fondly about the good ol' days, my blog will be my first reference to those days, and if I don't understand what I'm reading, then my blog will have failed its purpose.

If I want to write for a target audience, I'll write on The Savage Doctor or Second Hand Tales. But this blog remains my blog. If anybody else reads it, then that's a bonus. I shall not be overly worried about my blog's ranking in the blogosphere...

... aside from getting some exposure boost by mirroring on Blogger too, heh.

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Blog mirroring

I've started mirroring my blog on LiveJournal with this blog on Blogger. The mirroring serves one primary purpose: to increase exposure -- because Blogger is part of Google, and therefore gets priority during the latter's search engine indexing.

But my blog at LiveJournal will continue to exist because people read it, whether they're my friends or they're members of communities that I've joined. The latter is one reason why I like LiveJournal: no other blogging service seems to have a similar communities feature. By contrast, most blogging services stress on the individual's voice, when successful websites like eBay have proven that communities are a powerful force to be reckoned with.

In summary: what you see on my LiveJournal blog will be what you see on my Blogger blog (starting from January 2005) and vice versa, and I will remain an active member of LiveJournal.

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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Skype

I'm on Skype, mostly because my company is shifting its international calling to it (cheaper, lah). My username is "yuhuibc" and your best bet for communicating with me is through text chat.

Unfortunately, I can't use it at home. My Mac OS X version doesn't support it (can't wait for the new version in June...) and I'm mostly on dial-up (stop laughing!).

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Chinese New Year parody song

Many, many years ago, my sis told me this parody of a customary Chinese New Year song:
I was sleeping on my bed,
Everyone thought I was dead.
Doctor brought a coffin in,
I jumped out and he jumped in.

Gong xi, gong xi, gong xi ni.
Surprisingly, this has never entered the popular domain, or at least a cursory search on Google yielded nothing. So I hope Google crawls my journal and indexes this page for posterity.

It's 2005 now and I think it's time to add verse 2. Here's my attempt:
It was such a peaceful night,
Vampire gave me a bite.
Sunrise made me feel so blue,
Now I want to bite you too.

Gong xi, gong xi, gong xi ni.
Ah, not a great attempt, but it'll do.

Hopefully, I can be inspired to write another verse in 2006.

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Today Online blooper #2

Today newspaper just gets better and better. I was reading the email version this morning as I do every day, when I couldn't help but laugh at a headline. Once again, it's a typo. Unlike the previous blooper I discovered, this one was found on all three versions -- email, Web and print. *And* it's visible in the little contents box in the left column on the web page. (See photo below.)


No, no, no, it's not what you think. SingTel and Jack Neo (local director/producer/comedian, churns out banal comedy movies) are not engaging in BDSM activities with a certain newspaper reporter. Rather, the two have paired up to bring Jack Neo's TV offerings to SingTel's 3G subscribers on the latter's phones.

You know, I've read about how our local media is strict about sticking to the official line and supposedly punishing reporters who stray, but this is just plain ridiculous.

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