Saturday, November 29, 2008

An Open Letter To Mr. Time

Dear Mr. Time (or whatever else you may be called),

I hope you can read, because this is a desperate plea for more time, please. I just cannot stand spending as much time as I currently do in front of the computer with a mix of processes in mind, a big file, and highlighted segments in numerous excel files that leave me very very confused anymore. It is so annoying to be not able to do anything else (which I'd rather be obviously doing). So yeah, if you're reading this... try to do something. Stop time, or make everyone freeze or something. I don't care!

yours truly,
Terra.S.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Car pooling and the city

The place where we trained. The pink actually matches the blog. Ha! Ha! Not one of the best looking buildings around, though.

I spent two days of the previous week right in the middle of the city, in KL, where the buildings reach dizzying heights, and the unseen boundary between land and where it supposedly ends is practically non-existent. It was for a two day training stint which we were sent for so that when we get back, we will be able to tackle more work related to that training and therefore lead more meaningless daily existence.

Of course, it being the city and all, we went there together in one car. From our workplace, the journey took us about an hour plus. Although I do go to KL at times when meeting up with friends, I usually take the train and only end up seeing what can be seen from the railway tracks... nevertheless, when you actually drive into the city using the normal streets that are usually famous for their bumper to bumper traffic jams, you actually get to see so many buildings close up, and can't help but marvel at how beautiful those buildings are. KL is indeed a beautiful city!

Anyway, on our journey back and forth (there were 4 of us), and we get along pretty fine despite being in different departments, we get into conversations ranging from work to interesting happenings around us and to ribbing one of the guys (lets call him M, who at 25 is the youngest among us, and becomes the 'victim' because he is such a sport about it) Actually, we spent most of journey talking that I could probably write something of novel length here if I brought up all the topics we talked about, but at the moment I'm typing this, I can't seem to recall much. It's amazing the things you can know about people when you travel together and chat about stuff.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Workaholics Bowl


Every year without fail, the place I work organises a bowling event for the workaholics who spend most of their lives working. Every year without fail, I do not submit my name. It wasn't any different this year... I did not submit my name but someone else did.

So when the group list came out the other day, I was a bit surprised to see my name there, listed in Group 19 with 4 other people from various other departments. My initial thought was, should I go? If I did, I might make my team lose. Yes, I have a very unfortunate condition called drainitis (or kelongkangan as I usually call it in our local lingo), where the balls I throw will somehow manage to enter the drains at either side of the alley. Nevertheless, I also found out that if members did not go for the competition, the whole team will be disqualified, and me being the person that I am, dragged myself out of bed at an unearthly hour to get to the bowling place in time so that my team does not get disqualified (but it's ok if we lose)

Right, so there I was, in line, got myself registered at the desk, found out that none of the team mates were there yet, and hung out with a few other friends while waiting for the lanes to be opened. When things finally got started, I was dismayed to find out that NONE of my team mates were there. None of them... what the hell? So, I went despite not wanting to, and all my team mates are not there so we end up being disqualified in the end. Is that a strange irony or what?

So there I was, the lone player in lane 19 (Lane 20 was almost equally as bad as only two members were there), and I played, and played despite the fact that the right side of my ribcage protested like hell. My score was miserable, and I somehow managed to hurt my knee by twisting it into a weird position. And everyone else from the other teams came by my lane and expressed sympathy at my playing bowling all by myself! Even when they took group photos in the end, I had to be alone with the Group 19 banner accompanied by a hot pink bowling ball.

Nevertheless, despite the setbacks, I did have a lot of fun watching other friends play in their teams (I think about 7 or 8 teams were disqualified due to not having enough members), and talking to people in general, shook hands with a couple of friend's kids, and cheered for some of the others... It was generally a good day!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Curiosity Killed the Cat

There's like a million things swimming in my head right now, ready to burst out, but I have such limited time to sit down and properly compose something that is worth reading, what with the atrocious spelling that sometimes accompanies my post and weird sentences that seem to hang midway without any purpose.... but... I shall go through one topic at a time. So what if I'm a few days late and there is no relevence to what I post (am I making any sense here? - Oh, i don't know) by the time it gets up.

Well, first things first... I recently submitted my blog for a review at World Blog Council and was worried because, well, you know how things can get when you decide to have it reviewed and all. Allow me to explain.... it was one of those in between hours of Friday night and Saturday morning, and I was reading Lizza's blog because I didn't want to sleep just yet. She had posted her blogworld Saturday, and I was clicking on the links and I ended up there. As I said, it was one of those in between hours - 2 am perhaps, and without me realising I had gone and submitted this old blog for a rewiew.

When I checked out the site today, I noticed that they had viewed and reviewed this blog, and guess what, there's a stamp of approval! Phew. And I like what they wrote... so I'm writing about them here. Anyway, if you want to know what they had to say... just click here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

To irritate or to not irritate

This is old news, first I heard it on the radio (by the way, my two most favourite DJs are back with a vengeance, and loads of my type of music), and then I saw it on Tazeens blog, and because I'm tired of complaining about how tired I am from all the long hours at a certain place, but am still irritated, I give you this, and as usual my own (addled) thoughts in parentheticals.


The top ten most irritating phrases:
1 - At the end of the day (Yes, every day ends at some point... but do we need to stress on it?)
2 - Fairly unique (Surprisingly, this is the first time I'm hearing this one!)
3 - I personally (Reverse that to Personally, I ...)
4 - At this moment in time (Lol! Very dramatic. At this moment it time, I feel like I'm dying, but I just can't drop dead)
5 - With all due respect (Sure...)
6 - Absolutely (Why not? Short and precise)
7 - It's a nightmare (Yes, everything is... )
8 - Shouldn't of (No comment, sorry)
9 - 24/7 (Yeah, more drama, but short and sweet, and precise, and cool)
10 - It's not rocket science (Everybody knows that... ;)

Reading the list, I don't feel the slightest irritation. Perhaps it's just that I seldom ever hear the phrases being overused. Or, maybe I've just been living in my own world all this time...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Because I'm Lifeless

I'm at a point where I could fall asleep standing, and yet I'm reluctant to hit the sack seeing that it's only 10: 22 pm at the moment I'm typing this out because it means that I'm acknowledging that whatever is left off the weekend is finally over.

There's something I noticed... November is not fond of me at all. From the very beginning, November has been an intense month. I was getting some documents stamped with something that makes it valid, and I got into conversation with the person who is in charge of ensuring that it is really valid, and she seconded my notion that this November has indeed been cruel! The weird thing is, it has been so the past few years since 2005 with the exception of 2007 (because there's no evidence of me proclaiming it to be a terrible month like I usually do)

So, I shall sit here and ponder about what I'm gonna do in the next hour and a half before it's officially Monday. Hmmm...

Terra Complains (Again!)

It's Sunday evening, and I'm still at work. This has been the longest week ever, career wise (If you can call it that.. Ha! Ha!) Just finished a report about half an hour ago, and was about to head back until I saw the condition outside. It's pouring. Like there is no tomorrow. So here I am, waiting for the sky to clear up a bit as I highly doubt it's possible to drive back in that. Sigh...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Tale of Two ISPs and A Dilemma


As strange as life can be, nothing beats technology. And above that, nothing I know beats the hell technology puts me through. In September, I highlighted an issue regarding something that allows me to put my thoughts up here, that is the internet and my ISP (not an ex yet) which is hell bent on putting me through a series of miserable days that eventually turned into weeks and now into months.

Although I had gone ahead and subscribed to a new ISP which provided a spiffy new modem which can fit into my palm (It is very cute, I tell ya), I regret to admit that it's service has been less than satisfactory. I can't download anything - especially my i-tunes upgrade, games, and listening to songs on the online radio station is a mission impossible. The following was a comment by an anonymous reader in the earlier post where I expressed intentions in changing ISPs :

" You think Telekom's bad....try Maxis...same piece of shit with the luxury of extra price. I even had technicians who even asked me to ping 127.0.0.1 to test why my connection to msn messenger failed (for those who are slow 127.0.0.1 is localhost...basically pinging yourself like a retard!). I even had technicians who asked me to "clear my cookies" to resolve my speed problems where I wasn't receiving HSDPA but EDGE instead...apparently clearing cookies can help your modem receive full 3G coverage....such intelligence!
Almost all ISPs here are scumbags...PERIOD!"

I had this heads up, and another good review from the sister's friend. I really should have asked for a third opinion, come to think of it. In spite of not having to ping 127 like the person above, the 3.6 Mbps promised is a far cry from what I get in real life. To get a clearer picture, if I want to watch a four minute video on youtube, I can play it on one tab, open up another tab and compose an e-mail or even a blog post of medium length, and when I get back, the video will still be buffering. So much for high speed access. Argh...

On the other hand, my battle with the older ISP has seen me making countless number of phonecalls to incompetent gits who are out there to make my life more miserable than it already is as well as useless journeys to their respective offices.

The evidence I needed from my bank met with a dead end when the person on the line (a customer service moron) coolly informed me that I needed to provide them with the exact dates I made my payment so that they can lodge a complaint on my behalf. Incredibly unbelievable! If I knew the exact dates I wouldn't be asking for their help now, would I? And then there's the ISP people themselves, who say they can't help me, and my printed evidence cannot be used as evidence. Now my case is still pending and I still get charged every month although I'm not given access.

The other day, I received a phone call from the older ISP and they asked me why I didn't use their service. (apperently they have seen that I have used 0 hours since October) And so I told the lady on the line my sob story and asked her if she could help me. She said that she couldn't but informed me that my connection has been restored. (Oh, really?) A check slightly later revealed that it has indeed been restored, and honestly browsing using that particular service was so fast I had a hard time believing it, which brings me to my dilemma. Should I send the spiffy looking but slow service out the door, and make peace with the old one? I'm very tempted to do so. As for making payments, perhaps I shall have to endure lining up in the post office during my lunch break once a month to ensure that nothing disappears into thin air.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Cough

A strange sound echoes through the night,
Through the morning, and right up to the evening
It's a now common plight,
That leaves her complaining

For a fortnight it has hung out,
Relentless in it's aim
It's something to talk about,
Or so that's the claim

There's a pain in the gut,
Due to shaken ribcages,
She feels like she's stuck in a hut,
Where there's a table full of pages!

The cough, it comes and goes,
It stays, enough to torture,
Even if she stands on her toes,
The cough, it's there to endure.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chasing 50,000 words


I'm feeling sort of loser-ish at the moment, a suspected root cause is most possibly a stress inducing competition that I had brainlessly signed up for because I apparently am not under enough stress as it is. The past week saw me staring at my word document. I'd type something that seems interesting only to delete it all a little while later. It's hard to say it, but I think I'm going to cave in to the urge to hide my pen under the carpet and never look at it again for sometime.

Nevertheless, this less than anticipated outcome has made me learn a few things about me attempting to write in general, and they are:

1. If you are female and your name is not Sue Townsend, do not attempt to make your 'ahem' protagonist a male, because it will only end in disaster. Or worse, he will be effeminate and be the laughing stock of all your other characters
2. As much as JD Salinger made it work with Holden Caulfield and his first person narrative in Catcher in the Rye, do not be tempted to pull something similar, because it may just not work.
3. Do not attempt to write something that could happen in real life. A wild imagination is the key in getting 50K words in 30 days.
4. Stick to short stories, because they are more controllable, which means that you have to give this particular competition a pass.

Anyway, on a different note.... I saw this website that can apparently identify your gender based on your writing. It might be a fun site to procrastinate with. A check on this blog says that it's gender neutral (but with a slight preference for female)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Remember those Numbers

It was after 9 p.m. and a woman walking alone was abducted by four men with less than honourable intentions. They took her for a joyride which only they enjoyed, and had confiscated her mobile phone. What they didn't know was that she had two mobile phones, so one still remained in her pocket. Finally after hearing her pleads, they allowed her to get off into the bathroom of a petrol station to do her thing. The smart chick locked the door and immediately called the police. They arrived, and the four men drove away. So one woman was saved from being another number in the papers.

The thing is after reading the article, we kind of discussed what the emergency numbers are. I think the general number is 991, and they connect you with the relevent authorities to help you out. However, an even older incident from the news comes to mind, where the number 991 was used from a mobile phone and it didn't work. Apparently 991 is only accesible from land lines. But in the case of an emergency, how on earth are we supposed to get hold of a land line phone? Reading about this incident just shows how important it is for us to know what the emergency numbers are, be it from the landline or from a mobile phone. And having an extra phone doesn't seem like such a bad idea after all!

Edit: This is what you get with haphazard publishing of posts and "too lazy to do thorough research" bloggers. The latest info from wikipedia states that the emergency number 112 can be accessed via GSM phones. As for the local emergency numbers for each country, there are several nice tables segregated based on continent (with flags!) that you can refer to on this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_telephone_number

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Take a Picture

Technology comes and goes whether you like it or not. From the bulky, heavy types, now you have cameras so slim they fit comfortably in a woman's clutch purse. Back in December 2005, after getting a good review for one particular brand which not many people use because the brand name is better connected with film than with cameras (in this part of the world, anyways) I went in search for it.

Coincidentally, at that time, an obscure little shop in an equally obscure mall was having sales and I went and got it. The camera is pretty cool, a 4MP with the normal functions you get on other cameras. It has served rather well all these years, even falling onto a rock near a shallow pool while I was once attempting to get a photo in the jungle. The camera fortunately did not break although I was afraid that it was the end of its life span because it turned crazy for a bit by eating up several pictures I took..

Anyway, other than a permanent scar, it is fine. Quite a number of people I know have changed cameras several times throughout, going for higher megapixels (but why?), but I don't have the heart to do so until the camera totally decides to cave in to old age. I blame it on my weirdly strong connection with inanimate objects. So while everyone else around me seems to be carrying something which is just out of the market, I still carry one of those sort of bulky fellas that don't fit into a clutch. Besides, I'm not very big on clutches.

The other day about two weeks back, my cousins and I hung out, the click happy ones taking pictures like there was no tomorrow, including candid shots of people's nostrils at strange angles. One of my cousins was checking out my almost 3 year old camera and said that it is "Da bomb". Imagine this coming from someone who uses a new Sony Cybershot. Apparently, the image on my viewfinder is clearer than any image she has seen elsewhere. Oh wow! ;)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Because Updates are Necessary Sometimes

It's hard to leave something unattended for a bit too long especially after it's been given a new set of clothes, so blogger's block or not, here goes...

1. Yeah, it's still there. In fact it questioned my appearance here.
2. How is it possible to lose both earrings from one ear, and that they are nowhere to be seen? I feel like a pirate with only 1 ear with earrings. Soon, each hole is going to sport lone designs as a homage to their lost partners.
3. I don't feel it yet, but I'm going to miss the smiley earring.
4. My NaNoWriMo story this year sucks. If it were in paper, I'd send it for recycling. I also have a NaNo block
5. The French word for water is 'eau'. I had a tough time recalling it last Friday during a conversation. Just so I don't forget, it's 'mizu' in Japanese.
6. That proves the point of how lousy I am at languages
7. You learn a lot of things about your colleagues during a fire drill.
8. If it was a real fire you might just learn how they/you look dead.
9. The ribcage hurts because of all the coughing
10.Sometimes 2 packets of Fisherman's Friend will still not help send your cough back to where it came from.
11.Then you get to your third pack and promise yourself it's the last
12.Sadly, most of the time, even the doctors can't help much.
13.The positive news is that everyone near you seems to be displaying the same symptoms.
14.Which means that you're not dying yet
15.But it also could mean that all the chemicals that are swirling around you have finally got to you and your friends
16.Deadlines are creepy. Dead lines mean nothing
17.I use the laptop on the floor (cause it is too hot for the lap), so when I stand near it, I can't hear my music well, but I can hear the music from another room!
18.I'm a bit bummed that the team I was rooting for in The Amazing Race Asia got eliminated last week.
19.No Woman No Cry....