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Archive for September, 2003
KILL THE ADS (BUT TIP-OFFS ARE OK!)
Wired.com reported today that entrepreneurs are saying that targeted SMS ads are going to be the next big thing. While it does sound like there’s gonna be a LOT of complainants about companies flooding your phone with useless SMSes (like when Maxis sends you SMSes on its promos), what about tip-offs of when the next (supposedly members only) Esprit or TAngs sale is going to be, or when RAM prices have dropped to an all-time low? I know I’d sure like to know that!
What’s your say?
A WEEKEND OF MIXED EXPECTATIONS
Last weekend, we took our little girl to Avillion Village Resort in PD for a small vacation, tag-alongs to my hubby’s offsite partners’ summit in this supposedly beautiful place – a fact that’s hard to swallow when you know PD houses an oil refinery or two.
We took the highway there as we started late in the evening last Friday, reaching the hotel at about 9pm. Having lowered my expectations, thanks to my hubby’s pre-emptive measures, I was taken aback by how beautiful the place really was. The chalet we got was a scenic hut right in the middle of the sea with an open-air shower, a kinky four-poster bed and what my hubby calls a ‘love-nest’, a window day-bed that overlooks the ocean and right outside the lush gardens of spices and some plants I have not seen since I was a kid (eg bunga tahi ayam). Indeed, how little faith we had in our own tourist spots. In truth, Avillion was one of the most rustic/luxurious places I had ever stayed in. Or maybe I’m just a country bumpkin!
Avillion, which friends have said is over-priced and rundown, is probably the best seaside hotel this side of the coast and not as badly maintained as some would have you believe – altho they could do something about the sand flies there. With two super sized pools, one with a water slide that did not look at all water-park wannabe, and waters that lap gently at some Roman-themed terracotta stairs that go up to the poolside restaurant, the landscaping is commendable (unlike A Famosa, its watery neighbour not so far away, which is your ‘typical’ Malaysian holiday spot).
And while Avillion may really be targeted towards the desperately holiday-seeking couple (Mat Salleh or otherwise) who cannot get away for more than a romantic weekend, the kids are not forgotten as well, because Avillion IS also a family resort. As far as childish pursuits are concerned, you have your petting zoo of mostly feathered friends and a rabbit or two, greyish sand dunes that’s almost attractive if not for the oil-slick you can feel in the water, and ntm the lovely walks one can take on a windy evening between the lush flora – if you don’t mind the occasional gentle shower.
One of the best things I enjoyed during our weekend there was dining in the “Red Onion”, a round open-air banquet hall in a platform right at the end of one of the piers looking out into the open ocean. Lucky for us, there was an orange sunset to accompany us that evening, and there’s really something therapeutic about hearing the sounds and smelling the smells of the ocean – even if it’s covered with grease!
I told Lokes that we should get out to the beach more often – sans the oil. I suggested Cherating next and he concurred. And I hope I don’t have to wait to a point where ANY seaside resort will do!
On Sunday afternoon, we said farewell to lovely Avillion and took the coastal road to Malacca to have its supposedly famous chicken rice balls and durian chendol, which I was actually more excited about than Avillion before I saw the place. I thoroughly enjoyed our ride there, showing Raeven all manner of Malaysian country life, such as miserable-looking thin cows crossing the road (she called them ‘moomoo’s), rubber trees, palm plantations, small towns where life seemed to stand still (even more so on a Sunday afternoon) and of course, the ocean. Lokes even drove us to a strip of sand he used to spend much of his adolescence in, the Blue Lagoon, which has, obviously, seen better days. Dirty and crammed with weekenders, Blue Lagoon is most definitely not as romantic as it sounds. Still, I was shocked at how little I knew of my own country’s “places of interest” because I NEVER knew we had a Blue Lagoon!
Unfortunately, our relaxing little road trip took a turn for the worse in Malacca, food-wise. While I love nyonya cuisine, what we went there for (the CRB and the durian chendol) were utter disappointments.
The chicken rice balls turned out to be just salty chicken with overcooked rice shaped into balls, and the durian chendol part was just bizarre. After purchasing our coupons at the “smaller” Tan Kim Hock store, we were asked to go next door to a dingy, strange-smelling place where only two customers were seated, having their bowls of chendol. Since it was self-service, we were asked to go to a small little darkened window at a counter where a hand came out for our coupons. THe window was slammed shut and a big no-entry sign reminded us not to poke around on the door. Within minutes, the window opened and out came two styrofoam bowls and our durian chendol: ice, chendol, santan, beans and a smidgeon of durian flavouring. And it was RM3 a bowl. Suffice to say, Lokes and I were pretty disappointed as I had skipped most of the chicken rice balls for durian chendol, which sounded really nice.
On our way home, we passed by the ‘big’ Tan Kim Hock, where buses and tourists seemed satisfied enough with their cincaluk and satay fish purchases – and of course, what looked like large, bountiful, delicious-looking bowls of durian chendol. Lokes asked if I wanted another. One bowl of powdered Santan chendol was enough for me.
I wished that we had time to take the coastal road home but it was already 4pm and we had to hurry home. Raeven was already quite tired and a nice, relaxing evening at home was very tempting. A holiday from our holiday.
So the next time YOU want to go to PD and MAlacca, try Avillion, but skip the durian chendol or CRB in Malacca!
UPGRADE YOUR BRAINS
Cnetasia reported today that brains can have wireless upgrades, so says scientist Kevin Warwick. Taking a page from TV Smith’s recent parody on Mykad, (used with his permission, hehe), here’s what could happen when a cybernetic Ah Beng orders pizza!
Operator: *10110001000100101001* (translation: THank you for thinking of Pizza Hut! Pls think your username and password)
Customer: *0010000100001001001* (translation: Ah Beng niasing…seilor what’s my pass already…)
Operator: *1000010001001000100* (translation: Error, please rethink your username and password)
Customer: *100000100001001010* (translation: Ah Beng…niasing123!)
Operator: *001000100000001001010* (translation: Thank you for your verification – pause – Welcome back Mr Ah beng, your address is-…)
Customer: *000100001010000100001* (translation: hmm..what to eat ah…stuff crust…maybe some kah…)
Operator: *00100010100100101001* (translation: I’m sorry. Please verify your address before ordering – pause – Ah Beng, customer No. 53545354, address No. 53, Jalan 54, 53540 PJ. Pls confirm by thinking of the letters YES)
Customer: *001001* (translation: Y E S)
Operator: *0010001001010010011* (translation: Thank you for your verification, Mr Ah Beng. Please place your order after the image of the Pizza Hut logo)
Customer: *00010010100001010010* (translation: Ah…ok, I want ikan bilis stuff crust pizza regular…)
Operator: *0001010100101* (translation: Error. Size of image of order transmitted is not the same as size of actual item on menu. Please report thought order process)
Customer: *001001010101010* (translation: Niasinglah,..ok – looks at pictorial menu before thinking – I want one ikan bilis stuff crust pizza regular, one long bread…)
Operator: *001001010010100001* (translation: Error. THere is no such item as “long bread” in our menu. Please repeat thought order process).
Customer: *00100101010100101* (translation: BASKET BALL!)
Operator: *00101000001000101* (translation: Error. There is no such item as ‘basket ball’ in our menu. Please repeat thought order process).
Customer: *0001010010001000101*!! (translation: Ok…stop thinking…stop thinking)
Operator: *001001* (translation: Order aborted. You have terminated the service. Thank you for thinking of Pizza Hut. Good bye and think pizza, think Pizza Hut!)
GET C IN BM, JOIN THE FORCE!
I was reading a report in TheStar.com.my today of how the govt is encouraging more non-Malays to join the police force today and it says here that “Those intending to join the police force as constables need not have a credit in the SPM Bahasa Melayu paper under a move to encourage more non-Malays to join the force….but will be given three years to obtain the credit, failing which they have to resign.”
Wait a minute. I thought this was about encouraging more non-Malays to join the force. Is lowering the BM language requirement encouragement enough? Oh, I have a C in BM. Yay, I can join the police force!
The thing is, the article reports that reasons why, for instance, young Chinese won’t join is because of the low pay and promotional prospects. I quote “Farn said that apart from the low remuneration, the authorities should also find out the real reasons for the poor response from non-Malay youths.”
So is not getting a C in BM one of the real reasons non-Malays are not joining the police force?! Pfff…
GUNAKAN ORI – THE BENEFITS
Since I got my rig, a P4 3.06Ghz monster with a fancy Icute case that has a blue fluorescent tube that goes around the mobo (stupid gigabyte one with the supposedly important dual BIOS), my ATI Radeon 9700 has been giving me problems. How did I know for sure? Because my Windows XP crash reports tell me so. And that is the beauty of using original software.
Did you know, for instance, that if you use pirated sware, you can’t get critical updates AS they come? So far, having religiously reported every crash, they have been getting lesser and lesser, excepting my gcard problem of course, which turns out to be not a driver problem but a physical defect, which means I have to go get it changed before the warranty expires. But this whole reporting thing and the MS staff helping me isolate the problem is really very cool. That’s what I call support!
Also another benefit of buying ori software, especially multiplayer games, is the fact that you get to play online, without which I think I wouldn’t have had the training and confidence I did before I went for WCG. Adversely, having to buy ori to play online at ESO was why popularity for AOM was so much lower than the original AOE/AOK which one could play on Zone even with a pirated copy. Who wants to pay RM140 JUST to pay online?
Still, I think most hardcore gamers wouldn’t mind forking out the dough, which was why collector editions for WC and Civ III got snapped up so quickly. I went to SB a few days ago and the DVD cut for WC (yes, the one where all the cut scenes are rendered!) was sold out!
So why this sudden sanctimonious outburst for ori software? i just need some Msian gamers to play withlah. I just started Asheron’s Call 2 and have not met one single Asian. What gives?!
HEY, THAT’S ME!
A few minutes ago, an acquaintance of mine pinged me on MSN and told me he read something about me in less than flattering light at Challenge-MY, one of Malaysia’s most visited gaming forums run by a guy named Nael and his friends. Taken a little out of context if u refer to my original post, but it is strange to be made the focal point of such attention (albeit only a little but hey, that’s me in there! *huah!*). I guess it may be related to the fact that I stepped on his girlfriend’s tail months ago in a post referring to her colourful vocab, a fact revealed to me during the WCG launch at Sunway I actually forgot about until now. Naturally, I have become quite unpopular among the group, a most justified response considering how this holier-than-thou aunty came to rain on my parade – who the hell does she think she is!!?? Effin fatso! Ure not my mother!
Hey, that sounds familiar…
FOURTH PLACE JENN
“Reporters report the news, not become the news.”
Trying to challenge this adage, I took my first step towards world domination by joining the World Cyber Games 2003 tournament which ended yesterday. The results? I was fourth in place to rule the world – in AOM that is. Sigh.
Truth be told, I made a lot of mistakes. Lokes tells me mostly, I was battling myself. I was full of self doubt, I did not sleep worrying if I would cave in (and I did), I wasn’t confident at all of my chances may have been real. These are all true.
Also true is the fact that I did not expect the other participants, excepting Irwin of course, to be good. Being arrogant (and at the same time carrying flawed strategies with little study of details, as was my analysis of what happened later on) that I would somehow be able to scrape through with just enough training and six hours sleep a night, I made the mistake of underestimating my opponents, to perhaps inject some (false) confidence into my already tired veins.
Sigh. What a weekend. Awesome, amazing and an experience I would most likely remember for a long time.
Until next year. I shall try again next year. If AOM is still in. Or maybe I should try FIFA….:)
TWO MORE DAYS!
Believe it or not, 30-year-old me signed up to compete in the upcoming World Cyber Games 2003, in the game of Age of Mythology. I have been hooked on the game since it was launched and thought might as well give it a try. Who knows? That trip to Korea and RM1,000 don’t sound too bad at all!
The truth is, I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, since the days of AOE (Age of Empires) and I was trying to kick some unsuspect newb ass in Zone. Bet most of you who read this blog don’t know this side of me.
Yea, I’m a gaming phreak!
Well, I have two more days. 48 hours before I get thrashed by a bunch of kids who may not even be able to spell ‘Mythology’. Wish me luck!
BEING A GOOD MOM
Yesterday, I almost dropped my child on her head. I grabbed her feet in time before she slid off my thigh, head first. What resulted was a small bump right at the tip of her very round little head. There were some tears but that was it. Thanks to my apparent dexterity despite being 40 kilos overweight, I saved my child from my own carelessness.
Sometimes, I wonder if I’m cut out to be a mother, and then my husband reminds me that having kids was all I ever talked about. If you’d known me back when I was a wild child, you’d know that sounds ludicrous. Jennifer Tai Pooi Ling, a mother? Get out!
I can’t. And I won’t.
But what really is the measure of a good mother? That you won’t drop your child because you were too busy kicking someone’s snooty ass on Dereth? That you won’t accidentally feed her expired milk? That you won’t scald her tongue because you wanted to feed her very quickly?
Not that I’ve done any of those things, you know. 15 months into the job, you’d think all this self doubt should have evaporated (if not just pushed aside into a very small corner at the back of my mind) but being a tad philosophical at times, I just want to know if I am doing a good enough job.
And then I take one look at her tiny little grinning face, and I know I am doing enough.