Posted by Hedonistics Anonymous :: 6:23 pm ::
I had a dream last night right out of a Stephen King novel.
I was in a grocery store in Australia. My ex-classmate Daniel
was there and he wanted to go half on the groceries with me. I was about to pay at the counter when I remembered that I was broke from buying Thong's birthday pressie
and so I asked the Indian shopkeeper lady where the nearest ATM was located. "Sarawak Plaza," she replied.
I was astonished. "You mean there's a Sarawak Plaza in Australia!?!?"
"Oh, you mean Australia? There's one at Strawberry Farm."
"Is that near here?"
I can't exactly recall her reply, but it was so long-winded, I just cut her off and handed her my credit card upon which she became a real bitch and started muttering and insulting immigrants under her breath.
I was driving home when suddenly it hit me.WTF WAS I DOING IN AUSTRALIA!?!?
Like a flashback scene from the movies, I became a little kid again. Walking beside me was a big gweilo
guy. In my dream, I knew that he was my dad. I even called him dad. But I was extremely cautious of him - like I knew there was something not so right
about the fella. Dream-dad was walking me home from school, telling me to avoid a certain house along the way because it had vicious dogs that almost ate my sister up before.
I nodded agreeably. I was a happy kid.
Dream-dad picked up an old baseball mitt lying by the roadside and tossed it at me. Laughing, I caught it and tossed it back.
Suddenly as dream-dad was tossing the mitt to me again, a boy popped out of nowhere and caught the mitt mid-air. "Hey, give it back!" I shouted.
The boy tossed the mitt to me. I tossed it to dream-dad. The boy watched us and sneered, "Man, you can't throw for shit."
"Can too!" I retorted, catching the mitt.
By that time we were surrounded by a bunch of other kids - some playing softball, some jumping rope, others just watching us. I prepared to toss the mitt back to dream-dad.
Out of the blue, another boy appeared. He was much smaller than the first boy and he stood right in front of dream-dad. "Throw it to me! Throw it to me!" he squeaked excitedly.
Dream-dad got really, really mad. Gently, he took the little boy's arm. Then, quiet as a cat, he bent down and retrieved something from the ground.
Immediately, I ran. A split-second later, I heard terrified screams and all the other kids were running helter-skelter down the street too. I knew what had happened, but still I was compelled to look back.
I saw a lump of sodden, bloody mass on the grass. There was a hand attached somewhere, and also a shock of hair, but the rest of the little boy was literally mincemeat. Dream-dad was grunting and pounding away furiously like a rabid carpenter.
Waking up from the dream was another story. Like a deep-sea diver swimming to the surface, I took almost forever to break the surface of reality. When I opened my eyes, I was gripped by the icy chill that engulfed every inch of my body. Immediately I curled up tightly under the comforter. It took me a few minutes to gather whatever was left of my courage to reach out and grab my handphone from the bedside table.
4am is not a good time to die of acute myocardial infarction.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Internet privacy issues
I am not exactly a model employee. My office has broadband internet connection to facilitate our research. Unfortunately, to me broadband connection automatically means OMFG I CAN DOWNLOAD MOVIES MP3S EBOOKS AND MANY MANY MANY MORE.
My only redeeming "good employee" ethic is that I don't chat online because if I do, my already declining productivity level will seriously sink to zero.
Imagine my deepset horror when the IT guy went around this morning to obtain all our IP addresses. Immediately I uninstalled my Limewire
, hid all my precious games, and deleted all incriminating desktop icons.
And then I discovered that after all this time, I never had a firewall. I was silently cursing my carelessness. At least I have Grisoft's AVG Anti-Virus
(I heart it very much because it's free) and Moosoft's The Cleaner
which is a pretty good anti-spyware/trojan/adware program running all the time.
Internet privacy is a serious issue that is usually overlooked.
Right now, I've got v7Software's Hide IP Platinum
which creates a proxy server so that one can surf the net anonymously, and two firewalls: Agnitum's Outpost Firewall v3.0
and Ghost Security's Ghostwall
(which I also heart very much because it is free).
So how did I test all my security software? I went to Proxyblind.org
and took the crash test. Using Mozilla Firefox 184.108.40.206
as my browser, Proxyblind still managed to detect my Malaysian IP address (hmms.. seems like Hide IP doesn't work that well with Firefox!) but the site failed to crash my PC. I tried the test again using IE6.0 but for some reason, it took AGES to load the page. My IP address was listed as Costa Rica, which is a good thing - shows that Hide IP works fine on IE. But I couldn't open the test page, maybe because my IE is on a very strict security setting and therefore it doesn't allow external scripts to run. I didn't bother to change the security settings though. After all, I'm strictly a Firefox user.
My main concern at the moment is hiding my IP address from the main office server while utilizing P2P software. Anyone knows if it can be done?
Posted by Hedonistics Anonymous :: 11:25 pm ::
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Short Bali photoblog
Promenade leading to the beach behind Discovery Mall in Tuban, Bali
Driving to work this morning was a real bitch because it was pouring cats and dogs and I had to park my car quite a distance from the office.
Rainy days are only good for sleeping and escaping from Phys Ed classes back in school. Oh, and indulging in melancholic, pseudo-romantic thoughts.
And then I look at my Bali pics and I think, "God, I freakin' love that place."
Isn't it funny how you develop an affinity for some places and not others? I hate to break my parents' hearts after they've spent so much money on the Shanghai trip, but I just don't feel anything for Shangs. But I miss Bali very much.
Park at the foot of Mount Kintamani, Bali
Tanah Lot in Bali
Bali is a melting pot of hedonistic pleasure, carefree happiness, deep spirituality, and the people there are truly fantastic. Anybody can belong to Bali. A gweilo would look very out of place in China, but you can put him in Bali and he'll look like he belongs there.
I think that's what I look for (besides food and shopping) in a foreign place - a sense of belonging.
The last time I was in Bali was middle of last year. The weather was freakin' hot and humid, even at night. Everyday after an outing, we were coated with a slick sheen of sweat. Okay, it wasn't all that bad because there were bronzed surfer studs walking topless around Legian with their boards tucked under their arms. Surforgasmic delight.
The bandit queen and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
Upon the request/command of plinky
, I've decided to post my burqa
pic. This one was taken in Hangzhou. It was sooooo freakin' cold that it actually hurt to breathe. I had visions of frozen windpipes and lungs. Obviously my sis had the same visions too. My dad (who took this pic) was going, "Don't cover your face... later the photo wouldn't turn out nice!", to which my sis and I replied, "OMG, there's no way we're going to uncover our faces... our noses would freeze right away and drop off!"
Posted by Hedonistics Anonymous :: 8:45 pm ::
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Of Shanghai kale and Balinese ducks
One thing I found charming about Shanghai and the provinces around it is the widespread use of kale as decorative plants.
I had an idea of taking a whole bunch of kale pictures wherever I went but obviously it didn't work out well because in some places:
- I was far too cold to bother operating the camera.
- I totally forgot about my kale project.
- I was temporarily depressed. This was at the gloomy Nanjing Memorial Park.
- My dad totally conquered the camera. At times I had to hunt him down to get MY camera back.
This is my sister at the Lingshan Temple in WuXi. I told her that if she was hungry, she could fix herself a hearty bowl of kale salad fresh off the sidewalk. Originally, we planned this shot for her to pretend to be grazing (like a cow) but my mum got royally pissed when she discovered our intentions. Hence we (reluctantly) compromised on this silly kawaii jap girl pose.
One thing I realised last night while browsing through my pics is that I do have a tendency to take avian photos. These duck photos were taken in Bali. I think I was trying to herd them towards my terrified sister. When it comes to birds, my sis is absolutely chicken-hearted (no pun intended).
This photo was taken during my Shanghai trip. See how close I managed to get to the doves? They're quite tame although they won't let people touch them (which I intended to do). But if you make a mad dash towards them, they just half-heartedly hop to the side and continue to search for food.
This photo was taken on my first day at Hangzhou. The shop with the very interesting name is located right at the exit of West Lake park. Don't ask me what it sells though.
I think this is my first personal photo blog. Now I know what to do when I run out of crap to rant about. Heh.
Posted by Hedonistics Anonymous :: 6:35 pm ::