The Rammifications of Thought

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

My breath fails me

Was in Muar the other day when I paid a visit to the largest shopping mall in the district, Wetex Parade to get something to munch on. Yeah life here is mundane to the point where I can eat dried guava while reading for whole day. Oh but the glorious food...that's another story.

So there was this Digi promo going on there. There were a few guys donning Digi shirts trying to coax the crowd to participate in some sort of a game. It went like this: there was a line drawn on the stage, in the shape of a 'V'. You were supposed to begin at the tip of the V and continue moving towards the other end, with the condition that both feet must be on the lines. At the other side, there was a row of lighted candles. So whoever could blow out all candles in 2 attempts got a prize.

After much urging from Gurl, I summoned up my courage to give it a try. It wasn't that hard to volunteer except that all the people lining up to play were KIDS!! Yes...brats at least a foot or two shorter than me. But what the heck, I stood out anyway. Of course, I wasn't out there to prove I had the balls to do some crazy stint in front of the public, but rather because I wanted Gurl to have nothing to say at the end of the day.

I started out fine, nearly reaching the end of the lines since my legs were long. And I thought this was supposed to be an advantage to me. I huffed and I puffed and....guess what, I blew all the candles away in the first try. Haha how I wished it turned out like that. The truth was, I didn't even blow out a single candle with all my breath. Not even one!! Hell even the 7 year olds did better than me (but then they had an unfair advantage being kids). Red faced and short of breath, I walked down with a consolation prize. It didn't help much in 'consoling' me though, if that was its purpose. The only consolation I got was at least no one recognised me...I hope.

Wow. Totally unexpected. What a 'blow' to me ego.

Ah, I'm not a Digi supporter anyway.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Some feelings...

It's 2 am now....I've just finished reading The Rule of Four. Found it a good read, though not as fast paced as the Da Vinci Code. Maybe it's the style of writing, or perhaps it could be due to the missing pages. Yeah, so unlucky of me to buy one that got its pages all messed up. MPH says there won't be any new stock for the time being...I might as well exchange it for The Harmony Silk Factory.

Funny how I feel a sense of emptiness after finishing the book. With it, I had a purpose, a mission to complete, a plot to discover. Now that it's over, I'll just have to look towards other things. Not much of the stuff I'm going through right now is worth looking forward to, though. There's the inevitable assignment, a business plan to come up with...and not to mention the pain of all final year students, my final year project.

Can't believe I got to finish it up in 2 weeks time. My supervisor even wants to do a product launching session in the following month. Can already feel the tremendous pressure crushing on my back. All I have to blame is myself, for not committing towards it.

Gotta buck up now, I tell myself. Just for the next few weeks...and it'll be all over. Doesn't matter if I have no interest in the project, or that I'll have to labour unhuman hours to get it done, I just wanna get it over with and graduate.

Then it's time to consider the future. The crossroads of my life are already presenting themselves now. What I decide to do for the coming year will probably determine how I'll live my life. Graduate program, or a job in the private sector? Yet to be decided upon. That's the problem with me, I'm always that indecisive when it comes to making a choice.

But that's another story. It's now time for me to face the tasks that are before me.

To quote Elbert Hubbard:

"...Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfilment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the elements it needs....We are gods in the chrysalis."


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My life at UTM (Part 2)

And now an excerpt regarding some rants about my faculty, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering or just FKE. Some of you may identify with the issues here...especially my fac mates who have probably gone through the same experiences...or not. Please note that I am in no way maligning the overall efficiency of the academic staff. Criticism and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism are totally different things okay.

On the academic side, I have to say that UTM has its fair share of good and not-so-good (read: downright pathetic) lecturers. I have had the privilege to study under some of the most dedicated academic staff during my five years here. These are the lecturers who truly cherish the teaching process and who impart their knowledge with us without any conditions. Not only that, some are also willing to learn together with the students.

However, it is sad to say that not even half the all the lecturers in the Electrical Faculty fall into this category. (I actually meant a quarter...maybe not even 10% for that matter) Some lecturers have the intention to teach but they simply do not possess the experience and skills to lecture us on a certain subject. This applies mainly to lecturers who are fresh graduates. There is also a minority of lecturers, including some associate professors as well, who display an air of arrogance when they are in class. Everything they say must be accepted without questions, as if their word is the law. (See there's the issue about freedom of speech again) It is still acceptable if they are knowledgeable in the field, but there are those who are not well versed in a certain subject and go on teaching as if they were experts. (Academician-wannabes....despicable they are) These, in my opinion, are the worst type of lecturers. By not teaching using the correct methods, they tend to mislead students and in the end, it is the students who bear the consequences in their exams.

Another experience with UTM lecturers is their command of language. As we are in a technical field, some may argue that language is not as important as technical knowledge. I would think otherwise, as language is sometimes the sole medium that a lecturer can use to convey his or her ideas to students. According to the Cabinet policy decision made in 2002, all public universities should switch to English as the medium of instruction for all Maths and Science-based degree programmes by 2005. (And still we see this, and this) I do support the move to switch the medium of instruction from Bahasa Malaysia to English. However, most of the classes I have taken recently were still conducted in Bahasa Malaysia, but it is encouraging to see certain lecturers starting to use English as a medium of communication during classes.

To convert all courses to English, the most important role of all is played by the lecturer. (...not put the blame solely on students' "bad" command of English) Lecturers should try to improve their command of the English language, especially those who are local graduates. How can a student comprehend what a lecturer is saying if what he or she is saying does not make sense grammatically? The onus is on improving the language standards of lecturers. If they are able to communicate fluently in English, there will be no problems during class since most of the notes used are based on western textbooks written in English. By then it is up to the student to get a grasp on language. (Yes, us students should buck up too. So go on and buy that latest novel by Tash Aw...and when you're finished polishing up your language skills perhaps you would be so kind to lend it to me?)


Sunday, February 19, 2006

My life at UTM

For the next few days I'll be posting some excerpts from my assignment for the subject Professional Engineering Practices, which I shall rename as "My Life at UTM"...just to make it sound a tad more interesting. Here's the first installation regarding some of my early experiences and hostel life, plus some not-so-subtle thoughts that didn't make it into the official version.

Being in my final year, it is interesting to look back at how I managed to enrol in UTM. I nearly did not make it at first since I was offered a diploma course in electronics engineering at the UTM KL Campus. Fortunately my appeal was successful and there was no looking back after that. (Nope, not even JPA, MMU and ASEAN could tempt me; I didn't want to serve the gov, couldn't afford going private, and preferred to keep my sanity at bay, if you get what I mean)

The moment I stepped into UTM, I was in awe of its size and entire surroundings. After all, it was the first time I was in a public university and not just a college with limited campus space. I never thought a university could cover such a vast expanse of land. (UTM is like...teh biggest!!) As I was one of the second intake students, I managed to escape the ‘hardships’ of MHS, or Minggu Haluan Siswa. One thing that I also missed was the chance to bond with other students during that orientation week. It is not surprising to say that I was hit with a sense of loneliness when I first arrived here. (Roneryyyy......I am so roneryyyy....)

An interesting part of university life is when one stays in the hostels. In my first year, I occupied a tiny room in Kolej Siswa Desa Skudai (KSDS), the only college located off campus. (...and also the HQ for the resident pondans) As the distance from my college to the university was quite far, every morning we had to practically squeeze ourselves into the bus to get to our faculties. This was when most of the residents stopped behaving like university students; pushing and pulling was part and parcel of getting on to the bus. Neat queues and good discipline were nearly non-existent. Perhaps this is the way people behave when they are faced with limited options.(I could get shot being philosophical) You either struggle to get a place in the bus, or you could walk to campus. However, I always believe in etiquette and manners no matter under what situation. (I just put that in to make myself look good, muahahaha!!) Not withstanding the commotion at the bus stop everyday, I was lucky enough to get my own car as a means of transport.

Staying at KSDS however had its perks too. As we were not used to the food served in the café, we had the option to walk to some of the nearby shops and food stalls to have our dinner. I also enjoyed the company of many fellow students living under the same roof. There was always a sense of brotherhood among us and this is what I miss most about hostel life. (Yeah that was definitely the best part of staying in a hostel...those were the days)

(To be continued...)

In case this entry catches the eye of some desperate publisher, I want my cover to look like this:


It'll be the best thing to happen after that geisha story.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Shoe craze

If you are a Reebok, Adidas, Converse, or Fila follower, please DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME BY READING THIS COS IT WILL NOT INTEREST YOU ONE BIT.

I'm a shoe lover, but not the type who's into Jimmy Choo's or Manolo's of course. I'd have to be a lady to do that....not to mention filthy rich too.

The shoes I'm referring to here are sports shoes. More specifically, I'm a Nike fan.


JUST DO IT babey...

I can still remember my first pair of Nikes which I got from Lot10. Man they were expensive then, especially to a teenager with less than 50 bucks of allowance per month. My dear old pair of Air Flights...I'm still keeping them although they're pretty much worn out, obviously for nostalgic reasons.

I've owned around 10 pairs of Nikes since then; 3 pairs of basketball shoes (while I was still playing), 3 pairs of running shoes (most recently), 3 pairs of sandals (3's the lucky number), a pair of cross trainers and even a pair of casual shoes I got from Hadyai.

There is a downside however of being an owner of Nikes. I remember during my first year in uni, I went in some cheap looking cybercafe which required us to take off our shoes, and when I came out of it, my brand new trainers were gone. GONE!! Couldn't even express how I felt that time. Angry? Helpless? Heartbroken? Yeah probably all of them. To this day I still curse the bastard who nicked my shoes whenever I think about that incident.

But I digress.

Lately the hype's on the launch of the new Air Max 360. Well, a little bit on some history before I continue. Nike air cushioning technology actually came out in '79, and first pair of Air Max was introduced in '87. It was a smashing success and the company never looked back since, overtaking its long-time rival Reebok to become the number one sports brand in the world.


Air Max 1 actually looked like this. Aren't you glad you grew up in the 90's?

With the new 360, Nike promises that you'll be running on air. Believe it or not, the Air Sole unit has no foam, just pure Nike Air cushioning to make you feel like you're walking in the clouds. And you don't have to get drunk to do it too.


The stuff dreams are made of...

I was told the other day that the 360s were all sold out in Tebrau Jusco. At 600 bucks a pair, JB-ers sure must be loaded to be able to snap them up.

I'd sure like to get my hands on, and my feet into, one of these babies. But with Valentine's day just over, I've just got to wait...and wait...and wait.

I guess I'll just have to settle with the Air Max Candela......for now.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Degree minus minus

Another stupid move from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering prompted me to do this.

Seems that after a few mindless brainstorming sessions, some dick(s) in the management came up with the idea to make us final year students to take up some short courses. Yes MAKE US, those friggin idiots.

According to them, everyone of us must take up at least 3 short courses offered by SPACE under the UTM Degree++ programme. Since each course would take one weekend to complete, we are going to lose three weekends in total. That's 6 days...gone...just like that. 6 days ain't much but with barely 2 months left til the end of this sem, 6 days is worth a lot. And weekends too.

Some might argue that it's for the good of the students, since these courses will add value to our employability after we graduate. What's that again? Employability? Man I didn't expect UTM to be THAT smart to use a word like that.

Personally, I think some of the courses are ok. But MAKING us register and pay for them? Wtf's wrong with democracy in universities nowadays? I don't think that word's even in use now.

Don't we (the STUDENTS) have a say in university issues like...I dunno, say, DETERMINING OUR OWN MARKET VALUE AND WHETHER WE WANT TO ADD ANYTHING TO IT??

Those who think, hey I totally messed up in my studies, I should take something else so I can at least get some lowly-paid job at a government department, by all means go and register!!! But for the majority of us, we're doing fine (I believe), we don't need any stupid courses that'll burn a hole in our pockets and waste our time. MAKE IT OPTIONAL!!!

I'm thinking there's a conspiracy behind this whole issue. It's like, they're trying to sell us the idea that it's for our own benefit, and the management isn't making any profit out of it. Yeah right. Some time ago, if I'm not mistaken, the universities were asked to come up with their own source of income since the gov would be cutting down on subsidies. I wonder if this is one of their gimmicks to make money so that someone at the top can go to Maui for a vacation.

World class university (and faculty) indeed......


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What I did for Valentine's Day a secret. You didn't think I'd share that with ya did you? A narcissists has his own limits too.

Anyway, please allow me to indulge you with the food that we had on that day. Location was at Italiannise Pasta Pizza & Vino, Jusco Tebrau City. As some of you may know, it's basically restaurant serving Italian food (that's a no-brainer you dimwit).

Of course with the day being a tribute to St Valentine, there were numerous couples spotted whom I suspect, were worshippers of the good saint himself. Fortunately I booked early so we didn't have to wait.



We had two sets to choose from, in the end picked Sicilian Salad as appetizer, Seafood Fettucine as the main dish as well as Tiramisu cake for the dessert.

One thing about the dishes is that they were huge in portion, enough to fill the bellies of 4 persons instead of a pair. But since they're charging us THAT much, I guess the portion size is justified.

So our dinner started out with...

Sicilian Salad: You will NEVER order a Pizza Hut salad again


I could've emptied the contents of my little garden back home and still it wouldn't match those in the Sicilian Salad. Fresh lettuce, slices of mangoes and grapes, tomatoes, nuts and chunks of chicken: the way to a healthy lifestyle, hehe. And then there was......

Seafood Fettucine: Created for the gods


Mussels, clams, prawns and slices of salmon mixed with the best fettucine, and you get a dish fit for a king. One of the best Italian dishes I have tasted, EVAR! And last we had......

Tiramisu: With a tinge of alcohol?


We didn't really enjoy the dessert in particular. It was kinda moist, but I suppose this is the way they serve it at most restaurants (had another experience with this at Chismosa). Gurl swore she tasted alcohol in it....I have no idea.

Ah forgot to mention we had cocktails for drinks. Gurl had Electric Lemonade while I had this thingy called Lights Of Havanna. Nothing special except that mine tasted a bit funny.


After finishing up our cocktails, it was time for THE BILL.


I am so PK right now.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Derek digs pink


Nothing much, just changed the style for a more romantic look since February's the month for LOVARS...Not like I've gone sissy or something.

Some time back I was seriously considering of migrating to blogspot. It's a hassle though to add all the links and design and stuff...I'm such a n00b at html.

Anybody wanna do it for me? I'll treat you to a coney dog if you do. Maybe something else? You name it baby.

Would appreciate some feedback and comments on the blog, so I can make some improvements about it.

Your reading pleasure is always my priority.

PS: The trouble with this blog is you need to sign in to Friendster before you're able to comment, so here's a step by step to make your life easier:

1. Click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of this entry.

2. You'll be prompted to sign in if you haven't. If you've already signed in, blast away...

3. After signing in, you'll be redirected to your Friendster homepage. On your web browser, click "Back" to go back to my blog.

4. The comment box is all yours.

5. If you happen to have been staying in Pluto for the past few years and don't have a Friendster account, go get one

Karin becomes 23!!

On the day before she officially turns 23, all of us had a celebration of sorts for Gurl.

I'm kinda lazy to blog about what happened; where we had our food, what games we played, how the crickets and frogs got away (omg can't believe those were in too), how we attacked each other with water bombs, how I'm getting a sore throat after all that revelling... I dunno why but I got a crazy idea that perhaps it's because now's already 4 FRIGGIN HOURS after midnight.

So I'm just gonna wait for them to pass me the pics of tonight.

So you guys just have to be patient.

Meanwhile, here's what I got for Gurl (part 1).


A pair of ridiculously colourful 5-toed socks, that ALSO came in a nice gift box.


Yeah and a brand new swimsuit for bday girl made out of manila card. With all our messages on it too. Can't believe I came up with such a nifty card, sheer genius lah. Ok so I got some help from my housemates. But that is NOT because I'm artistically challenged.

Time to Zzzzzzzzz...

Latest: Finally got my hands on some of the pics!

PART 1: The 'formal' celebration at Dream On


After much huffing and puffing Gurl finally blew out the trick candles. Look at that smile on her face. Lucky the smote detectors didn't go off.


And of course, the obligatory photo of us and the Heineken.


Girls up for auction. Starting bid, 10 bucks 1 BILLION DOLLARS.


Fits her just like.....a swimsuit.


Beauty and the finger(s). Hey wtf is CY doing???


A close up of the previous photo. KIDS DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. THAT IS A VERY BAD EXAMPLE.

PART 2: Let the games begin


The creepy crawlies scared the shit out of Gurl...and most of us around too. I salute you!


A bunch of childhood-deprived people playing with water balloons. Kesian lah.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Me lub FA

Fireangel is so cun I'm in love with her.

Check out the videocast while you're ogling.


Cute leh...

Pic from

CSI a threat to social security? Lick my ***

I was nearly dozing off in class today when one of my professors commented on the CSI tv series. It was his opinion that this series would enable criminals to get away with their crimes by knowing how to cover up their tracks.

I so beg to differ.

First of all, CSI is a tv production. That means it's as harmful as any other show you watch on tv. Example: Cartoons (think Southpark), MTV (yucky), Survivor (conniving bastards), Malaysian Idol (a total joke...except for a few) et cetera et cetera. Hey, it's created for the sake of entertainment ffs! That's the whole idea of T-E-L-E-V-I-S-I-O-N....hello?

No doubt crime scene investigation is a science, and it's good for us to know that such technology exists to bring down the baddies. I mean, if you believe in the series so much, which idiot would dare to even nick an chocolate bar from the supermarket? Yep, there'll always be heroes like Gil Grissom, Horatio Caine and Mac Taylor (love the guy) to keep our society from collapsing...albeit all of them are just fictitious characters.

The message that the series is really trying to convey is simply this: CRIME DOES NOT PAY. You'll get busted if you commit one, no matter how teh smart you are.

End of story.

Original pic from

ADDED: And here's the proof (sourced from HowStuffWorks):

"...In Mr. Clayton's opinion, shows like "CSI" aren't making criminals any smarter. The truth is, crime scene investigation and forensic science are always trying to catch up with the criminals, not the other way around. And while there are certainly people who meticulously plan a crime and how to get away with it, Mr. Clayton's experience with crime scenes tells a different story: Most violent crimes are committed in the heat of the moment. The perpetrator is in an agitated state, possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and doesn't have the presence of mind to meticulously cover his tracks. It's the rare criminal genius who studies forensic science so he can commit the perfect murder and get away with it."


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Blah Yadda...

My final semester is choking me.

Final year project has to be done within 6 weeks, my Ethics assignment is due next week, and with loads of other assignments and tests coming up, I'd be surprised if I don't suffer a nervous breakdown one of these days.

All this before I even start my struggle in the corporate world.

I guess it's time to face reality. CNY is a thing of the past and it's time to get back into the mood for work again. Blogging will be a luxury. I might as well rip off the broadband cable.

But I can't as there's still research to be done. How ironic.

Damn I wish this'll be over soon.

Sure would appreciate some support.

A couple of beers would probably do me good.



Monday, February 06, 2006

I love bak gua

One thing that cannot be missed during CNY is the 'bak gua', or 'rou gan' in mandarin.

However, I didn't get much of them this year cos we're broke.

Actually we're not broke but I suspect it's more because of the family's increasing sense of health.

But what the heck, it's only a once-in-a-year delicacy. (There goes my wishful thinking again...damn)

Talking about bak gua, there's a variety of brands out there. If you don't believe me just take a look around the local shopping centre during the festive season.

Out of all these, I personally prefer the BBQ pork by Yuen Chen Siang (Muar). It is definitely teh best. If you're happen to drop by Muar, do make it to the town's Sah Beh Lo to get one of the best-tasting, mouth-watering, saliva-enticing bak gua.


Wanted to put some pics but I forgot to bring back the camera cable. Wait til I get a card reader.



Thursday, February 02, 2006

Wanna hear a joke? Or two?

A couple of jokes I heard over CNY, courtesy of Yu Hui. You'll understand why I didn't publish them in English, I have my reasons.




问:一间房间里面有粒球及四个人物, 分别是超人,蜘蛛侠,蝙蝠侠和聪明的马来人。请问谁会先抢到那粒球?


Wahaha......stupid jokes. I didn't say they'd be intelligent.

If you didn't get the second one, good for you.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

On the 4th day of CNY

"On the fourth day of CNY, my true love sent to me.....pouring rain and a gathering of primary school classmates??"

Rain came pouring down for most of the day today. Made me felt so lazy to go out.....might as well finish off reading Memoirs Of A Geisha at home.

Genting trip was cancelled due to rainy conditions (who wants to go there when it's already friggin cool down here?). Was planning to visit Yu Hui in KL at night but that was cancelled as well. Starting to feel that the CNY spirit is wearing off. With Yu Hui back in KL and Soon Cheng leaving tomorrow, I guess there won't be any more large scale gatherings.

Event of the day was a gathering with some of my primary school classmates from Class of 95, SRJK (C) Ketari. Gosh haven't seen some of them since UPSR. What a surprise it turned out to be when more than 15 of them turned up for the gathering.

Frankly I was kinda worried that it might turn out awkward for us since we hadn't been in touch for ages. But it turned out alright. Luckily had old gal pal Soon Cheng as company. Probably saved me from a few silent moments.

Anyway, it was good to see some of them again. Hope we can stay in touch somehow.



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