Saturday, November 7, 2009

kapal terbang kertas

It should be about time it gets cold in WL, late fall, or autumn if you’d prefer to call it that. I like fall and winter, a little bit of spring, but not too much of summer.

Ahhh, we owned the wolverines in their own sweet big house, but I missed the game.

Let’s talk about sleeping. Why is sleeping not listed as a hobby? Anyway, there’s this one semester during my Purdue days when sleeping was done only 4 days of the whole week. Understandably, I was struggling both to jack up my grades so the sponsor continues paying the tuition (after F-ing up the grades the semester prior) and the courses I took that semester were actually architected to torture. (It was also the semester where it hits me that sports coaches and athletes aren’t the only masochists I’ve had the privilege to work with).

Anyways, back to the sleeping part, well, not really the sleeping part, but the waking up part. Imagine that you went to bed at 430 am last early morning, you wake up at 7. And you stayed up late last night not to watch random youtube videos, but to finish up assignments that were specifically designed and tuned so that they are impossible to finish; something better than proving convoluted theorems or equations, something of that order. Then, u drag that heavy messed up head of yours into the bathroom for an early morning shower; you turn the lights on which would at the same time trigger the radio who an electrical engineering student has installed and integrated into the bathroom’s wiring system. Then, this random radio station situated within a certain radius away from the bathroom decided to transmit this song called Paper Planes sang by the daughter of some prominent Sri Lankan political activist.

So, now to the important part; imagine the significant virtual banging that the little woodman is making merrily in your head after that long night losing your head off on some divine problem, now topped up by this somewhat confusing low beat I-don’t-know-what-genre kind of song from the radio, with every trickle of warm water from the slightly yellowish shower-head adding to a more physical kind of banging motion into the equation….. You’ll find yourself venturing into another world. Everything pitch black, the only things visible were glowing little planet like objects, orbiting around a non-physical energy, even Pluto was there as far as I can remember. The whole body turns numb, you feel like you’re flying on thin air, elevated. It just makes you high; high in the bong sense of the word. You should try it sometime.

I imagine that it was nearly the same kind of high I get during fitness tests; when you’re trying to catch up with the rest of the team, and you just happen to be the weakest. The differences are that the fitness test kind of high lasts only for a few seconds and it hits you while you’re struggling to get enough air to survive, while the high because of this simultaneous banging in and to the head could last a whole 3 minutes in a relaxed environment. I don’t know if that getting high without the help of pills was nice, but it was definitely cool. And imagine going through that kind of messed up situation at least 5 times in the duration of a month.

Anyways, I don’t think I’ll be enjoying getting high anytime soon, because in the past 2 months, on average, I go to bed, (well, not necessarily a proper bed, but anywhere good enough to land my messed up head on) and black out at 10 pm on an average weekday. How twisted is that? Though on a smaller marginal benefit, I still enjoy the sleeping part, but the idea of having nothing to do after work is really annoying.

We were told to come up with this 10-year personal plan. Now I need to fit in people into it. Anyone interested, just let me know. Hehhh

Ahhhh… I’m going to Harvard Business School, or Harvard Law maybe? Hmmmm… maybe I should go beg someone for a million bucks. Then I can take some friends to explore nice places in a pimped up hot air balloon.

I got a non-HBR book this month. Hoyeahhh!!!...

Kembali bermain hoki, dan harap-harap tak hujan minggu ini, mahu bermain bola sepak bersama geng buruh kasar.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

as nervous as the stock markets

33 steps, 9.58 seconds, woww… You can nearly smell the rubber burning, watching him run. He could beat a cheetah on steroids any time of the day.

Sprinting is something I’m not good at. I lack the red muscles my coach said, or in layman’s term, I was just not born for it. And other than sprinting and music, I’ve discovered a couple of other things that just won’t suit me this past couple of weeks. Sales, and P*D kind of jobs are out of the question. So, a good thing, there’s a shorter list to choose from.

Anyways, I just got back from a surprisingly interesting 2-days-and-1-night assessment center. So, they are offering [XXXXXXXXXX] in the bag. It’s an okay deal I guess, coming from a non-oil-&-gas and a non-multinational-semicon corporation, and a good enough offer for a job I didn’t apply for. But it’s a managerial position; something engineering management related, but I don’t know how much engineering stuff will be involved. Should I take it? They need an answer in 24 hours.

By the way, the 3 hours drive to and from the program wasn’t really a pleasant one. It was raining rhinos on one stretch, and elephants on the next, and a combo of both with hints of capybaras on the following ones. It was like driving with your eyes tied up with a piece of black cloth, and having your attention threshold further reduced by a whole class of kids from kindergarten banging up drums and empty pails to the beat of an African Shaman dance, and the bottlenecks created by the road-upgrading activities along the way weren’t of much help either. There were at least 4 big collisions, and a total of 5 cars ended up in the ditch in the 2 different days.

Hmmmm…. I’ve been spending too much time on the road, and have been sleeping on hotel beds and floors for too many nights. I think I need to keep track of my carbon footprint; but hey, as they say it, as long as if it’s lower than Al Gore’s than its low enough.

I was just about to ask the guys if they wanted to go for a hike yesterday, but we might have already started fasting. We climbed Gunung Nuang the other day. It was a good hike. Just next time, maybe we should try going on a slower pace, take breakfast before the hike, and leave the fried chicken at home.

It’s my first Ramadan here in Malaysia after 4 years. Everyone was home yesterday except for number 3 who we’re assuming is really enjoying his summer fasting experience somewhere in a hot city in Deutschland, gorging down roasted lamb for iftar.

To those celebrating your Ramadan in West Lala or anywhere else on the other side of the globe, enjoy the long summer days… haha.. And to those celebrating across the ocean, but nearer to home, jangan sedih-sedih… hehhh..
So, selamat berpuasa dan beramal. I’m leaving you guys with this American Ramadan speech.

I am Sam just finished showing on TV…….Dakota Fanning is just woww.

And can anyone just tell me, what the hell does an engineer actually do?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

we are all part of the same compost heap

Errrr…. Hi??.....

It has been a while. I mean it’s been long enough for me to be able to reduce a combo of roti-canai-and-teh-tarik-kurang-manis or nasik-lemak-telur-mata-with-kopi-O into packs of ‘biasa boss’ or ‘biasa kak’ and get the precise info across to the receiving end at roughly 90% of the time. Well, there’s a lot of getting-used-to to do after 3 long years.

You haven’t seen and experienced Malaysia until you’ve found the best (though not necessarily the most decent) roti canai, nasik lemak and tarik kurang manis stall for breakfast in town, until you’ve driven up and down the PLUS highway, until you’ve watched a live superleague football fixture, until you’ve experienced KL traffic and THE Malaysian drivers, until you’ve gone balik kampung and went mengail ikan puyu, until you’ve eaten the king of fruits and his sweet maids and hairy knights and dukes and whatever, until you’ve gone chill out with friends at a waterfall, until you’ve enjoyed some good live music and poetry, until you’ve gone strolling aimlessly at a pasar malam and at one of those super-huge-malaysian-malls, until you’ve enjoyed watching and playing some good hockey and futsal, until you’ve done your wuduk at one of the big Jawa-style kolah, until you’ve gotten yourself a silly parking ticket, until you’ve enjoyed the one thing you can’t find in the states- cempedak goreng for tea, and until you’ve joined a convoy complete with police escorts.

If only we Malaysians can translate the kiasu-ness we show on the roads to the other productive stuff we do…….

Well, a lot have changed in 3 years. 3 years is all it takes for someone to have a change in interest from being passionate about his small banana plantation to giving his undivided attention to his longan and mata-kucing trees, and to see once acres of vast yellowish paddy fields transformed into a jungle of mature enough sawit plantation. Thankfully, at least reuniting and getting along with the family after the 3 years was not really that awkward.

Let’s see…. nothing much has happened since the emotional moment at which the jumbo’s rear wheels first touched the sizzling KLIA tarmac…. I’m still jobless and useless…. haha

The first 2 weeks, I couldn’t stop sweating. And there’s nothing poyo about it. Our body is this one complex and intelligent system which has this ability to adapt to changes, and these adjustments take time. And this whole adapting to the temperature of the surrounding is termed the comfort zone in ergonomics. If you’ve been fortunate enough to visit a 4-season region or you’ve been working in a plant producing these smart thermo-sets, there’s a near 75% chance that you can find a ‘comfort zone’ point printed on the device placed in between the HI and LO, but usually placed slightly closer to the HI point. And just so you get the idea, the comfort zone, which is actually a range of temperature, changes according to the season… blablabla… So, yeah, go attend an ergonomics class.

Hmmmm…. And now I think I get the idea of the importance of money, other than the fact that the stewardess in the business class cabin is always much sweeter. I can’t even join my football or soccer or hockey teams for matches regularly because I’m broke. Ok, I wrote my way off to some RM76.12 the last 4 weeks in the courtesy of Sue, and I get some extra cash from the skim-bantuan-penganggur-muda, but the toll alone costs nearly RM80 for a return trip to KL. So, actually, there’s a lot you can’t do without money….
Hmmm…so, this is how it is to live under the poverty level. haishhhh….. Why is it that people are more interested to pay for a game of footie in a small square, rather than playing in one of the public fields, outdoors for free? Friggin pop-culture….

And since the chances of getting the Louisville job is getting slimmer, if I really want to have a shot in the middle class, I think I should start attending job interviews, and to do that, I need to first update my resume.
hmmmmm…. maybe tomorrow....hehhh…. The middle class is a tad too saturated don’t you think? We should all then find spouses from the higher line of order so there shall be evident mobility!!!...

imagine waking up to this every single morning~..... (yellowstone, summer '08)

Kena pergi panjat gunung!!!!!!....
And go have tea with the married poet (-_-)….. again…..

Fun fact:
Out of the 6 receptionists in the 6 offices I went to, 3 are named Su, and 4 out of the 6 are from ipoh.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

pomp and circumstance

Last week, another proud Purdue astronaut went on a spacewalk to fix the great old Hubble, and Mark Polansky and David Wolf will be tweeting in orbit next week. And this past weekend, while Giggsy and the guys were wrapping up the race for the title, some 1300 proud boiler engineers launched over Mr. Markov’s arc to move on to the next state after an approximately short 5.1 years of sojourn time here in WL. Symbolic ceremonies are always hassle packed, but I think I like this one, so, maybe I should go to a few more. I was not planning on going at first, but my mom insisted. I think my mom didn’t go to her commencement ceremony when she got her degree, and I doubt that my dad went to any of his, except for his PhD maybe.

shitty iPhone camera

Sorry I don’t have much pictures to show because everybody else were busy with their families, I didn’t hire a professional because I have no money, and because of the recent swine flu hit, everybody seemed to prefer to keep their distance. Heck, we were even told not to shake hands on stage, just a simple hat tap was allowed. Man, this pig flu is annoying. And i should've really gone with the flops and shorts instead.

Anyways, it sure feels good to get this part of life done with. Honestly, I never thought I was going to make it this far. Talking about going to a tough program, this is where your best hasn’t been and never will be good enough (unless you’re one of those geniuses who gets a 90% when the class average is 35%); I got my first C the first semester my freshman year, and the first D the first semester my sophomore year. 2 of my first matsaleh friends switched to management school the second semester our freshmen year and a couple of our Malaysian friends got kicked out of school a couple of semesters in. So, to say that the past 4 years have been fun wouldn’t be that accurate, but it was really humbling (well, there’s nothing more humbling than having your 1st semester GPA telling you “You’re not really that smart enough to be here Mr.!!!!” right in your face). But Alhamdulillah, I’m just happy I managed to get through this.

Ok, this is the bell tower. It is a very well known fact that it is very hard to get out of here on time with the paper, that they have this legend. There’s a seal under the bell tower, and it is said to be cursed, and any student who walks across the seal will not graduate in four years. So, it is practical enough to see these engineering nerds take the longer path (walking around the tower), instead of the shortest one (walking under and through it), because the practice is much more feasible. By the way, I think I can ask for something very expensive from my dad since I manage to graduate before turning 22, it’s just this thing we had when I was younger.

As for the ceremony itself, I think everyone enjoyed the speeches and the music. Everything was simply fantastic. But I can’t help myself from thinking on how penat it is to put on a smile like that through all the whole 4 sessions in all the 3 days, madam president, you’re the best!!!!

So, now what? I should go seek for the self, seek for some enlightenment. Maybe I should pack up some Tolstoy’s and see what I might find in Alaska. Or I should go see the Dalai Lama and see what this orang-biasa has to say. Or I should join a Pondok school, and get that part of the self filled in a bit. Or maybe you people can donate me some money, so I can go on a 1 month trip across Europe. Or maybe, I should just stop thinking………

Ahhhh… it feels good to wake up and having to think of nothing (for a while at least, carpe diem as the imam and Robin Williams would say). By the way, thank you to those who came in the morning in place of the family, haha…. And thanks for the presents (people get colognes for graduation? And I’m still trying to figure out how to get this one humongous chocolate block down my stomach)

And as for the farewell parties, you just can’t beat the feast, Mick, a guy I knew from football, threw out; we were served with 2 whole roasted lambs Saudi style, just like the one Anthony Bourdain had, it was awesome. And Japanese with the Koreans was great, and the one in Cactus was OK I guess, but I left early.

We should go fishing.

Durden T., BSIE
-bum in training-

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"A kid? I smoke, I snort. I've killed and robbed. I'm a man. "

Let’s start out with a riddle;

“Which creature in the morning goes on four legs, at mid-day on two, and in the evening upon three, and the more legs it has, the weaker it be?”

Read on for the answer.

Anyway, let’s talk Greek. So, it’s amazing on how one very uncommon word can pop up and be discussed one too many times in a span of a month.

A couple of weeks ago, professor J, my sociology professor, invited me over for some second hand smoke; I was passing this bench under the tree where he will sit everyday without fail, summer or winter, sun or snow, for his nicotine and caffeine fix, when he called me over to join him. I think the majority of his students like him; lecturing in 501 jeans and crewneck t-shirt, Freud jokes, and most importantly, he knows how to teach. I was in his class 2 summers ago, the only 'foreigner' and the only engineering major in the class, and the only one who scored above 94% in all the exams (no wonder these people from the other side of campus hate us so much, haha); so, that was how we first got acquainted.

Anyways, we talked quite a bit about everything, from how he still doesn’t get how soccer is the world’s most famous sport, and why baseball isn’t, to his ebony general physician girlfriend from Chicago, to Eastern people’s mentality, to what I think I will be doing after school. So, we jumped about everything for about half an hour, with him dominating most of the conversation with the different theories and quotes from about everyone famous enough.

Then we came to ‘peripeteia’. It started when he was telling me on how easier it’s going to be for someone like me who has no particular passion for about anything. At least he said, I won’t be wasting my time thinking of the things I want to do, but instead, I could just go on with the flow, and discover. But, analyzing is still important, because we don’t want to come to a point in which Aristotle calls a tragedy. So, from there on, he was giving me literature, drama and film lessons, from Hamlet to Oedipus Rex.

(A quick disclaimer, I’ve never really studied the story, so, the facts might not be quite right.)

So, King Oedipus’s story is about this king who was adopted by another royal family from another state, after he was abandoned in a field as an infant instead of being killed as suggested by the oracle his father consulted. Then, once he grew older, he went to see the Delphic oracle, and he was told that he was destined to mate his own mother and kill his own sire. So, desperate to escape his foretold fate, he ran away, not knowing that the king and queen of the state were only his adopted parents.

While on the road, he got in a quarrel with this man on who has the right of passage on a one lane road, which ended in Oedipus killing the man, unaware of the fact that the man he killed is actually his real father. Thus, the first part of the prophecy was fulfilled. And he went on with his journey and entered the city of Thebes.

And before he could enter the city, he was stopped by the smoking hot Sphinx, who guarded the entrance to the city. The Sphinx, known for her riddles, told Oedipus the riddle mentioned earlier. And being a bright king, he managed to solve it; man was the answer, he crawls as a child, walks on 2 legs when old enough, and some will need the assistance of a walking stick at an older age (maybe there weren’t any wheelchairs yet back then, so, the Sphinx left the wheel part out). The Sphinx, so distraught to find someone smarter than she was, killed herself by jumping off the cliff, marking the day on which the zoomorphic species got extinct.

With the Sphinx dead, Thebes was free from the Sphinx’s curse once and for all. Being delighted and all, they awarded Oedipus the kingship, and he married the queen, who is actually his biological mother; the second part of the prophecy, fulfilled. They should have really visited a genetic expert before getting married….

Long story short, Oedipus realized everything (who his biological parents were) when he was trying to solve the case of the murdering of Laius, his wife’s former husband, the former king of Thebes, his biological father. The whole mystery was solved when the shepherd who left Oedipus in the field as an infant who was also the sole witness of the killing of Laius by Oedipus was called to the floor.

And that very moment when Oedpius realized that the woman he was having babies with all this while was actually his biological mother, is called peripetia.

A sudden realization after a tragedy, a turning point maybe. You can always check the dictionary for a more complete and precise definition.

And the story of Hamlet, you can find that yourselves.

The next week after that small pep talk with Professor J, I was talking to my sister on the phone, when we ended up talking about peripetia. And I think you got it right, Freud called his sick idea Oedipus complex.

And last night, after some casual volleyball and basketball at the rec, I was browsing through the videos on TED for some motivation. And I found Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs. Enjoy the video. The earlier part of the talk has a little touch of Chuck-Palahniuk-reading-Guts on it. And he explains the idea of perepeteia very well.

Enough with Aristotle and the Sphinx. Why is it when we talk about passion and love, we always talk about the arts? We talk about the neurotic painter’s passion being reflected and infused in the disturbing abstract of the art he scribbled and nibbled on the piece of square canvas. How about all the doctors, engineers, math teachers and marketing people? And why do these oracles have to talk in riddles and kiasan all the time?

And at last, I’m done with the jacking up the efficiency project. The company having already saved at least $180,000 a year by having unpaid college students coming up with that kind of possible solution, with a possibility of doubling their production at 75% of the cost, memang cilake la kalau tak bagi A.

Yesterday was a special day, with the rain complementing the mood, groups of students screaming after each class session, and some were already seen giving hugs to friends, for goodbyes … it was interesting. Yesterday was the last day of class for the semester.

Cita-cita baru minggu ini......... nak jadi Chuck Yeager.

by the way, the title is a quote by Steak-and-Fries from Cidade de Deus (City of God)..... hmmmm... kena belajar hisap rokok....

X-men on Monday?

Monday, April 13, 2009

"heroin, mug's game...."

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the future lately, and I don’t like doing that. Get me a desk, some money, and a pair of these, and I’m a happy man.

We lost again yesterday, 8-7. I got 2 goals and 3 assists, but I was also guilty of giving away the ball to Fred, an opponent player, which resulted into a stupid soft goal. Nevertheless, it was still a good match; we crawled back in into the game after trailing 8-3. But a lost is still a lost. Anyways, we still have intramural playoffs this week to look forward to.

And to some soccer back home. The local soccer scene just got a little more exciting; getting a story published under the headlines tab on ESPNsoccernet sure is something. Halim Napi is one mad man, and the home crowd, wow. I’m not implying that I’m giving my utmost support to hooliganism and such, but yeah, we’ve had cases of home supporters throwing stones to the visiting team’s busses and all, but putting a police vehicle on fire sure is something new. At least, I look up to these people more than those Melayu Malaysia perasan Red Army and Malaysian perasan Steve Hickmont. I have a lot of catching up to do before going back home. And the national hockey team went on to lose 3-1 to India in the Azlan Shah Cup tournament finals.

And talking about hooligans, I just finished watching the rise of the footsoldier. It is an OK movie, maybe it is just a little bit too long, and it gets a little lackluster towards the end. Anyways, I’d recommend this to anyone who is into gangster or crime films, and be warned that it is a little graphic. You can find a short description of the movie here. And the one big thing that I learnt from the film is, stay away from drugs. Maybe money is the root of all evil, but drugs is the pinnacle of it, the point where if you fall, you’ll fall the hardest.

Back on the future; I can’t really see why I need to conform to the society’s brand of a successful person. It’s not anything existentialism……… I guess. But well, let’s skip the crap.

And talking about successful people, Mr. Onitsuka and Carlton Leach have these characteristics in common; they have a gift, and they got guts. You can have all the muscle and the money, but you need to have bakat to go up the ladder. And the one big difference between them is that one planned to be successful, and the other one did it just for the thrills. So, failing to plan is a plan to fail crap is really not that true I guess. Well, planning ahead is still good though; but it is not right to generalize- that’s what my writing lecturer told me at least.

More on successful writers, I bumped into Nadim last week, and he made me read a short story entitled Guts from Palahniuk’s Haunted. Palahniuk is one sick and amazing writer. He is so good that up to 60 people have fainted listening to the story of Guts during his book readings. I didn’t faint, but I just couldn’t help myself from uttering a couple of bad words aloud throughout the excruciating few pages with the rather animated looking Nadim laughing the whole time. You guys should try it sometime, or you can find a couple of videos of him reading it on youtube. But, just be warned, unless you have a sick and twisted mind, it is going to be agonizingly disturbing.

I still haven’t decided if I’ll be running the 5k next week, so, a pair of shoes with the fancy gel has to wait. And my younger sister will be coming over to the states sometime this week. I need flight tickets….. Houston ke, Philly? And yesterday’s forum was just horrible.

Letih. Perlu pulang ke pangkal jalan.

Monday, April 6, 2009

a better loser

At last, I had the chance to attend the club’s annual regional conference for the first time last week. The focus was on how modern medicine interfaces with and impacts our society and the world. Among the topics covered include Biotechnology, ethical issues regarding to genetic testing, adjusting to an aging population, the rising cost of public health, etc.

Since it’s near impossible to summarize everything here, let’s just talk about the slot which I think is the coolest. Firstly, I didn’t really plan on attending this particular parallel slot because I was afraid that I was going to offend a handful of informed people by not laughing to their clever inside jokes (I never had any biology, not even in high school, and the topic presented was ethical issues in genetic testing, in a big conference where the attendees know a little bit of everything), but I just happen to have entered the wrong room, and when I realized that, it was already too late to get out and join the other group next door. Anyhow, at the end of the day, it wasn’t really that bad, though I had to constantly google up the new terms and jargons used by both the esteemed presenter and the hyper-cool audience throughout the session.

And what I can conclude from the lecture is this- the future is just plain scary. Imagine this, the setting from the X-men series, and how the one main difference between the mutants and the rest of the human population is causing havoc around the world; just this time, no wolverine, no sexy slimy blue woman, and replace the x-gene with some other genetic traits…… Ok, that’s not a very good explanation.

Ok, anyways, we already have enough problems with racial, religious, sexual orientation, and social class discrimination, and the last thing we want is to have groups of people being discriminated because of their genes. And in this case, when we talk about discrimination, it goes beyond the social prejudice. It involves issues regarding to money, well being and protection in terms of insurance plans and some other sensitive issues including abortion, etc. As an example, with advancements in biotech, such as the availability of the pre-natal genetic testing, in the future, without the right laws and regulations, it is possible that one day, parents can choose to keep the unborn or to simply perform abortion if it doesn’t really go along with the specifications of the kind of child they want. And in the future, marriage, or love in general, will have to go beyond the psychological chemistry, with the unrestricted genetic profiling coming into play. And as we in general just don’t like to be labeled and treated differently because of certain stigmas, then, we will be forced to choose, thus the issues with selective personality and all. Anyways, the 2 examples are just a small portion of the problems that will surface without the right laws and guidelines concerning genetic testing. And as we were informed, the laws governing the issue today is lagging years behind compared to where we have arrived today.

And the other topics discussed were in fact, just as interesting. And all in all, other than the roasted vege for lunch; the 2-day conference was awesome. And I was just a little disappointed that I had to skip a couple of slots because I just had to join the team for the WC tournament last Saturday and share a portion of the humiliation of getting whipped, losing by 8 goals to 1.

It was a really big slap to our big fat pride; at least 3 guys I know and one random guy I can’t really remember who, came up to me on campus asking what the hell happened. And since the intramural game was cancelled yet again due to the storm, I was available to play for the team for our 2nd game of the indoor tourney. And since its Macheda’s day and we didn’t really want to steal his thunder, we thought that pulling an upset by winning the game was a bit inappropriate; so, our 1st ever WC win will have to wait until next week. hmmmmm…. We really need to find a way to play against guys double our size,....... and how to scramble from very small dogs when playing outdoors…… and I think I can cross ‘playing in the world cup’ out from my bucket list.

And yup, the team got ‘beet’ out, but the future is bright. I like Hansbrough, but I want MSU to win. We’ll see.

Btw, imagine this, liyana fiza (estrella) with a degree in biology from MIT, and she’s all Zidane………..

And good luck Mr. PM.

Monday, March 23, 2009

big shoulders

So, spring break is finally over.

Tomorrow, the sacred boilermaker campus will be swarmed by proud insomniac Neil Armstrong and Brian Lamb wannabes yet again. With the sun shining gloriously after a long hiatus, and the basketball team advancing to the sweet 16 , there’s a lot to look forward to, other than the classes with Korean instructors.

Anyways, it was a well spent-low-productivity-level break. We learned playing mahjong Hong Kong style, played poker, had barbecue, watched basketball games and movies, went to Chicago, played soccer and football, and most importantly, we slept well.

Ok, let’s talk about the impromptu Windy City trip. First of all, Chicago is a very cool big city; the air feels cleaner and the traffic is really not that bad compared to NYC or KL. And if you’re into architecture, you should really go see Chicago (the SEARS tower et al). And what I think I like the most about the city are the cool sculptures all around the city, and the gorgeous parks down the long Lake Michigan shore-line. And just so you know how windy and cold the city is, random local people were talking about how warm and beautiful the day was, when the temperature was at 1 degree centigrade, and the wind was gushing constantly into our faces.

and i've actually upgraded to a point-and-shoot...

And talking about sculptures, at last, I had the chance to see the god bless america sculpture up close. I was excited about the sculpture because I was trapped in a conversation about the American Gothic Painting (which the sculpture was based on) with some guys some time ago, so, yeah, it was cool to see a piece of art and actually knowing something about it.

Btw, I’ve been to Chicago for at least a dozen times before, but being a lousy tourist and all, I haven’t really visited the City of Big Shoulders until recently. And i'm glad i did.

So, if you’re planning to go to the Second City for a visit, you could do the usual tourist stuff like go up the Sears Tower, go visit the Museums and the Aquarium, go to one of the beaches, visit Navy Pier, see the cool stuff in Millennium Park, go to the Planetarium, enjoy the parks, and walk and shop along Michigan Avenue. And if you have some extra cash, go see a theatre or go see the Bulls, or the Bears, or the Cubs or the White Sox play in their respective stadiums. And if you go on St. Patty’s day, you’ll have a chance to see the parade and the river dyed green.

So, yeahh… everyone will miss doing nothing.
The team will play the other Husky this Thursday, and let’s prove Obama wrong.

Wazza, I feel you man… and BTFU!!!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

people with no other options


It’s Monday again. So, let’s start out with something good. I came across this entry on MM’s blog. I’m not very fond of motivational writings nor am I a fan of new age affirmation, but maybe some of you would find it inspirational. And I’m putting it up because the guys on the team thought it was pretty impressive for a single straight guy to be able to recognize a certain designer’s name in a song. But to my defense, I’ve never seen any of his shoes nor have I stepped in into any of his boutiques including the online ones, and heck, the guy was born in Penang!!!!!... So, like any other Malaysians, of course I’ve heard about him from somewhere. Btw, the nice entry dedicated specially to the Monday-haters out there was written by Jimmy Choo’s son.

Enough with Monday, let’s move on to something much more thrilling…. like the economy. News has it that the unemployment rate in the US could go above a staggering 9% by year’s end. And I’m assuming that as people are losing jobs and all, green issues have lost its appeal. And heck, even Rupert Murdoch has been said to be losing his magic touch, which explains why the media has more important things to focus on.

Anyways, let’s leave that to the pros to elaborate. Let’s talk materials economy. Well, maybe you should just click on the link and just watch and listen to Annie Leonard’s cool presentation on The Story of Stuff. This project has been around for quite some time I guess. To those who haven’t seen it yet, enjoy, and to those who have, sorry I got nothing to crap about; I have my own linear system on a finite planet to worry about.

And just what on earth is going on with the country?

Just my 2 cents, I think this guy has a point. Well, my dad used to tell me a couple dozen of times on how they should’ve stopped Khir Johari (if I’m not mistaken) from pulling out jawi from the system. And whatever the resolution might be, let’s just hope that it will be in the favor of the country, the rakyat and the generations to come.

And one more thing, let’s not make ‘taking it to the streets’ a trend; because you pull up the same trick too many times, the opponent wouldn’t have to rely too much on his reflexes to make the tackle anymore, not to mention it loses its WOW factor. Mannn, we are one twisted nation. Mr./Mrs. Politicians, you can start cleaning the mess up by pulling your heads out of your arses.

And after some long depressing hours of Youtube-ing, trying to reestablish a connection to home which I haven’t been back to for quite a while, jumbled in the middle of the long list of videos of FRUs and tear gas shots, new legendary tree stories, samseng-like raids in the parliament compound, and some local soccer talk, I found this.

So, have a great week everyone……

March Madness is coming…..

Friday, January 30, 2009

bulan 2.0

Being here, at the cradle of astronauts, I’ve had the privilege to see the first man who walked on the moon from 20 yards out, and meet a couple of other ‘real’ astronauts along the way, including Mark Polansky and a couple of his friends.

And quite recently, the geek club had the opportunity to meet up and have a rocket-science discussion with a prominent rocket scientist and the CEO cum the president of an aerospace company. They were here to talk about the company and how they are progressing with the lunar x-prize competition. You can look it up here.

And yup, there’s a Malaysian team competing too. And what is more exciting is, is the fact that the team is based in Semanggol, which is just about a 30 minute drive away from boring PB. A launch pad in PB then?.. I’m guessing that they’re looking at going as a payload on someone else’s rocket.

Anyway, before you people start hating and throwing bad words at the company for wasting money on this random competition, keep on reading. Firstly, by now, you should already notice that the competition is for privately-funded companies only, so, there shouldn’t be much problem with wasting the rakyat’s money and all.

But then, you might not be na├»ve enough to not think that the government might be funding it anyways. So, to the next point, as I was informed, the $20 million is really not the main catch as most of the teams are looking at working on a $100 million cost. It is more of a chance to make a statement and to build reputation and credibility; it’s more of a long-term investment. Though the solar panels on the moon don’t sound that realistic and all, there is more beyond the prize money I guess. But again, if you have the money, and you got the management part right, then, you’re probably on the right track. As we were told, it is more of a project management thing than it is rocket science.
And google’s catch? I heard that they are going to put a webcam on the moon. I don’t know.

Anyhow, I had an interview with the company the next day, which I did pretty badly in. They won’t be hiring me anyway because they have investments in some defense related stuff. And since they won’t allow internationals to join the US based teams because of some safety and top secret technology regulations and all, to the rest of the teams out there who are interested in having an additional leech on the team, do leave me a message. I have a couple of possible proposals we can work on; probably adopting Robert Full’s work on the rover maybe?

Keyser Soze dah jatuh nombor 2

Back to the job hunting part, given the so-so economic condition right now, the job hunting game has just got a little tougher. A couple of my friends just got informed that they’ve lost the positions they were guaranteed to fit in after graduation. These people have been taking every summer job possible for at least 2 years in every imaginable big corporation around, so you can just imagine how hard it is going to be for people like me who has no prior industrial experience and with not a very sturdy academic standing. I get invited to interviews and all, and I even went on to the more advanced 3rd and 4th round interviews, but in the end, my visa just won’t allow me to go further. But the most frustrating part is that they only tell you that they won’t be hiring after the 3rd or the 4th stages, but, what the hell, it’s never a bad thing to give it a shot right? But there goes my dream car….. ahah

Anyways, it’s a good thing that I’m here, and am in this department. Because our FYP, as most of you would call it, are the coolest kinds of FYPs available in the whole wide world. Because we’re a different breed of engineers, we don’t do much stuff like inventing underwater walking robots or frequency converters or such. So, we need to go out and take projects from cool companies who offer benefits such as sponsored private jet rides for site visits, travelling allowances etc, and act as consultants. Initially, my group was assigned to the coolest project available this semester, involving the biggest semiconductor company in the world and a prestigious medical school nearby in making improvements on a new system. However, we were assigned to take on another project at the very last minute. So, there goes the golden ink on my resume.

Anyhow, the new project isn’t really that bad. I haven’t heard of the company before either, but it turns out that it is the biggest player in the wireless device supply chain business. And I hope that everything’s going to go on smoothly. And better, at least the other 2 members in the team have got some pretty decent industrial experience on their backs. So, if I get lost along the way, leeching is still an option. ahah.

So, sebelum subuh esok, I’m off to Indy, 630 in the freaking morning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm doing science and I'm still alive

In 17 days 919 Palestinians were killed by Israel including 284 children & 100 women, while 4260 others were injured

anyway, remember primary school language classes, when we had to write essays on ‘my most humiliating experience’ or ‘pengalaman yang tidak boleh dilupakan sepanjang hidupku’? Everyone or at least those not adventurous enough would write about their first day at school, wetting their pants because they were too terrified to ask the evil teacher to go out to the loo, or better, how they cried like a baby under the wooden desk when the dad had to leave?

btw, I didn’t make up the crying under the desk part, but let’s keep that for another day shall we. Man, I can’t stop laughing, sorry eh…. hahaha.. And I still can’t stop laughing.

And because we were not trained to be adventurous, and the one example that the teacher gave is supposed to be the best one, I had to write down some lame lies every time we had to write something about the aforementioned topic. Though it was a good way to learn fiction, it was still pretty lame.

But I digress…..

Anyways, I was just trying to enlighten you that I didn’t cry at all on my first day of school. Ahah…. I did look back the instant my dad left, right after dropping me at my desk, when all the other parents waited for their kids outside the class. But I didn’t shed a single tear.
Because the class teacher thought I was so brave, and anarchism was yet to be integrated into my dictionary, I was appointed the ‘penolong ketua kelas’. Farhan was the class rep, only because he was the biggest and the tallest kid in class, and because Mrs. Chew, our class teacher knew his dad, Mr. Wilson Yeo. But no hard feelings, we went on to be best friends up until today.
But thinking back on it, I think I didn’t cry because I didn’t know we should or we were expected to cry on our first day at school. And I didn’t know that parents were expected to wait for us outside the classroom the whole first day of school. But I’m glad I didn’t know. hehh…..

And today was the first day of school all over again; supposedly the last first day of school for some of us. I’ll probably be staying for the summer, I don’t know yet. Anyways, back to today, it went pretty well I guess, except for one of the classes. I think the professor is a psycho, I don’t know. And I’m in a modeling class again, mathematical modeling to be exact... ahah... lame gile…..

I've experiments to run, there is research to be done… (lagu rockband smlm)

And to some soccer, most of the ‘liga competitive malam jumaat’ guys are back in snowy WL. So, we had a game just now, but we had to stop early because the roller-hockey guys wanted to play on the court we’re sharing with them. And just so you know, every time the two groups come at the same time, tension will flare, but thank god, tonight, only bad language was used, and no punches were thrown. I’ll be writing to the paper tomorrow. But I had to stop playing early anyway; I pulled a muscle in my right thigh. And AJ, the guy I’ve been playing with for at least a year now, actually lives opposite my apartment. hampehh….

Anyways, welcome back to school. Let’s hope Friday will come by in a flash.

bye-bye coach Dungy.

yang lapar dan sakit kena sepak.

*terdelete entry sebelum ni.