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    Friday, November 28, 2003

    It is still happening. I get a call from a friend wishing me a happy belated birthday.

    Other Person: Happy belated birthday.
    Me: Thanks.
    Other Person: I'm sorry I missed your birthday.

    This has happened enough times for me to know what the next statement is.

    Other Person: Why didn't you tell me?

    Why is it that whenever we forget someone's birthday, we say "Why didn't you tell me?"

    As if people go around telling it's their birthday. Well, I guess some people do that. But most people don't. And if they did, we'd think he is shameless.

    So, instead of saying "Why didn't you tell me?", just fess up when you forget someone's birthday.

    Just say, "Yes, I forgot your birthday because you are insignificant to me and not worthy of my time, money, or attention."

    If that's not true, then say something like "Yes, I forgot your birthday because I am a fucking dolt. I will make it up to you by buying expensive gifts."

    Plain and simple.

    Thursday, November 27, 2003

    When you think about it, our celebration of birthdays is quite misdirected. A person celebrates the day he/she was born. And we do it every year on the same day. Technically, it's not so much a "birthday" as it is an anniversary of your arrival at this planet.
    I think the person who deserves the birthday celebration is the mother. After all, she did all the work. She gave me rent-free use of her uterus for nine months. That’s food AND lodging. All I did was show up. I checked out when things got a little crowded. And if that isn’t enough, she still offered 24/7 after-birth support.
    So, all props to mom. Happy birthday mom!
    I am heading down south on the North-South highway and I see this huge billboard advertising the new "Kuala Lumpur Infrastructure University College" or the KLUIC.
    This is one of those things that show me how incredibly stupid some people are. This is right up there with the "Dataran Trauma" they had at the new block of the University Hospital.
    Let's break it down: Kuala Lumpur Infrastructure University College.
    What the hell is that?
    It's either a university OR a college. But what the hell is a "university college"?
    Correct me if I am wrong.
    A "college" is usually smaller (compared to a university) that offers two-or-three-year diploma courses. They are usually focused in their field of study. However, a college may also be part of a university; as in the "College of Fine Arts" or a Business School within a university.
    A university usually offers degrees and you spend more time and money there.
    So then, what is a "university college"?
    I think it's one of those dumb Malaysian situations where ignorant dumbasses who have no idea of what they are doing are put in positions of power. And how we have this need to overstate what we have or what we are.
    I am not making this up! Their website.
    And then there's those airport limos which are really cars! And "bas kilang" which are actually vans. And my personal favourite display of stupidity: VVIP - Very Very Important Person.
    What I want to know is, when do you cross that line from "Very Important" to "Very Very Important"?
    It's probably that same line that separates "models" from "supermodels".

    Friday, November 21, 2003

    DVD. Little plastic discs that give us so much joy.
    What's the difference between DVD 5 and DVD 9?
    The guy will tell you that DVD gives you better picture and audio quality. That's a load of bull. He won't know unless if made the copy himself. The only relevant difference to the DVD guy is that he makes more money selling DVD 9s than when he sells DVD 5s.
    DVD 5 and DVD 9 are capacity specification.
    There is technically NO DIFFERENCE between DVD 5 and DVD 9 except their storage capacity. DVD 5 hold 4.7GB of data, which is a little over 2 hours of audio and video. DVD 9 holds 8.5 GB.
    A possible reason for any picture degradation is if the pirate transferred the pictures differently when copying to DVD 5 and DVD 9. But I do not see why this would happen.
    Most video pirates would save time and digitally copy a DVD. I don't think any would bother to degrade the pictures by sending the video out into the analog domain and then rerecording it onto another digital device. It's just too time consuming since it is done is real-time.
    Therefore, pirates would rather sell you DVD 9s to make more money but the content may be the same as that you'd find on a DVD 5, ESPECIALLY if the movie has not been released on DVD by the film studio yet. This is true for most movies.
    There are also larger-capacity DVDs such as the double-sided, dual-layer DVD which holds something like 17GB of data, which is about 7-9 hours of audio and video.
    In a nutshell, if it is a very new movie and has not been released on DVD by the film studio, you're better of getting a VCD. If you can't get the VCD, you're better off getting it on DVD 5 since the source will be either VHS or something some guy took with a video camera strapped to his head.
    Get it on DVD 9 only if you can't find it on DVD 5 and you want the additional features such as track commentary or featurettes (even that you wonder if they actually put them in the DVD.) By the way, "scene selection" and "subtitles" are not a special features.
    I cringe whenever someone tells me that they can tell the difference between video from a 5 or 9. That's totally irrelevant. It's like someone saying the audio sounds better from a 70-min audio CD versus a 80-min audio CD. Or their Word document looks better saved on a 40GB hard drive than when its saved on a 80GB hard drive.
    These are the very people why Monster Cable is still in business.
    Next week, we will discuss why MyKad is safe for you and me.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2003

    Blogs are funny things. On one hand, you want to be able to pour your heart and soul out for all to read. You just don't want people who know you reading it. But you still want people to read it. But you don't want your boss, your mother, that guy/gal you like, that friend you blogged about because he had something hanging from his nose, and your sister to read it. Therefore, you do not pour your heart and soul out as stated in Plan A.
    I guess you could really throw caution to the wind, pee into it and just let it all out. In other words, let the world know how sometimes cool but otherwise pathetic you are.
    You are OK when random strangers read your blog. But when your mom reads it, the ick factor sets in. And by "ick factor", I mean that feeling of wanting to rub chlorox in your eyes and stab toothpicks under your finger nails because your mom read your blog.
    I guess it doesn't really matter. It's inconsequential what we write. It just makes us think we are cool and we let of some steam. We get to throw in the word "FUCK" a few times in our writing since we don't get to use it anywhere else in the written world unless you count the walls of public restrooms.
    It makes us feel smart because we write stuff and make witty remarks. It bands together people who would rather blame others than blame themselves when they tell us they hate their boss because he is so stupid. Or we feel some kind of connection when we say we hate the world and we want to die. We can sound like the man in despair hoping that someone will feel sorry for us. It's almost like art and can be that pretentious; particularly when they go that that "self exploratory" trip to find themselves via blogging.
    I can't say which girl I like but does not like me back, or how I feel now. It's like my mom is watching. :-

    Monday, November 17, 2003

    I was reading some reports and updates on Proton. Yes, that local car company that has made parking lots look like Proton showrooms. I say this because it baffles and infuriates me that a company like Proton, with all its access, its strategic position and opportunities before it, it still manages to suck so much ass in every possible way.
    Consider this. With the upcoming effects of AFTA, EON, the national distributor for Proton estimates a 40% drop in Proton car sales over the next year. As such, EON will be distributing Mazda cars in order to maintain revenues.
    Because of AFTA, many expect prices of imported cars to go down since taxes will be reduced. However, leave it to the Minister of International Trade, Rafidah Aziz to highlight the stupidity of a race and nation, to insist that prices will remain the same because the government will find some other way to tax them. How clever.
    However you slice and dice this, it only points to one simple fact. Proton is not a good company with poor management.
    Check this out.
    After the second world war, Honda first made motorcycles. Then they moved to cars. The first Civic was introduced in 1972.
    Proton rolled out the Proton Saga, its first car in 1985.
    Granted, Honda had a head start of about 15 years. However, Honda started from scratch and Proton had the technology from Mitsubishi. (Well, sort of...even if it means slapping the Proton logo on a Mitsubishi Lancer.) But perhaps Honda had one advantage over Malaysia: They were Japanese. But what’s the score today?
    Allow me to present Exhibit A.











    Now, check out the pride of our nation.















    And still no airbags. Makes you want to run out and wave the flag, doesn’t it?
    While I am still on my soapbox, let me be the first to ask, what’s up with that logo?














    Shame!
    Proton is profitable, in the same way why Telekom is profitable. It profits from its near-monopoly position in the market place where competitors are priced out of the market. But how long do they really think they can get away with this?
    In the coming years, I expect Proton to continue to lower its prices in order to compete. And in order to maintain it’s profitability, it will cut back and compromise on the quality of its components. Where air-bags in most import models are becoming standard features, I predict that the car stereo, alarm, and air-conditioner will be options for Proton vehicles in the near future.
    It breaks my heart to see the vision of the former Prime Minister being soiled. I’d imagine he would have expected Proton to be what Hyundai is today. Or at least Kia and not the current state which I’d imagine what Daewoo was before it went away.
    We Malaysians are a funny lot. We complain, whine, and moan a lot. It could be said for most societies and culture. But somehow I sense Malaysians, and in some ways, Singaporeans, bitch and moan a lot. Just check out any online newsgroups or forums with Malaysians, and you will see the amount of flaming that goes on is enough to BBQ a dinosaur.
    Generally, we are nice to other people, but not to each other.
    Ever noticed how when we find a bug in our food, we just pick it out the bug, put it on the side, go "eeeeuuuuuwwww...gross" to our friends and continue eating? It could be a six-legged bug but you only see four, which means two bug legs are still buried somewhere in your food, and yet we just get on with life.
    Tolerance or just afraid to cause a commotion?
    Or when a friend relates an incident to you.
    FRIEND: My boss is such as ass. He told me stay back. As if I have no life. He think I what? I am a slave ah? Anytime he wants me to work after hours, I have to work. Not like he is paying overtime. Still the same pay, why should I stay back for him? Who the hell does he think he is?
    ME: Sorry to hear that. Did you tell what you just told me to your boss?
    FRIEND: Oh, not really.
    ME: Not really? So, what exactly did you say?
    FRIEND: Err...I told him I'd stay back.
    After all that, we conform because we are too chicken to speak out to those who matters. But amongst our friends, we bitch and moan and talk like we are the shit.
    In light of this revalation, I shall now speak my mind, be opinionated and judgemental about everything, and write what I feel without fear of offending anyone. Heck, I might even put it on the Internet for all to read just to show my conviction on speaking out. What a scary thought.


    Simply because it doesn't get said enough.
    1. My family
    2. The microprocessor
    3. The Internet and the World Wide Web
    4. Air-conditioning
    5. Wireless technology
    6. Cubase SX
    7. That I wasn't born in some poor African country
    8. Women who are sympathetic enough to have sex with me.
    9. Women who are sympathetic enough to have sex with me TWICE.
    10. Kazaa Lite
    11. Taiwan12. McDonald's
    13. I get paid for doing what I love.
    14. Maybank2u.com
    15. Pirated VCDs and DVDs
    16. Broadband access
    17. Coke Light
    18. The seven friends I have.
    19. NTV7 for showing "Late Show with David Letterman"
    20. Low Yat Plaza
    21. IKEA
    22. Google
    23. MIDI
    24. Bacon
    25. Brakes
    What else did I miss?

    Thursday, November 13, 2003

    Jac and I went to IKEA this evening. She was looking to get a chair for her male parental unit. I was there to help carry the box from the cart into her car. This seemingly blah evening turned out to be somewhat of a revelation.
    I was not planning to get anything at IKEA. But IKEA being one of the weaknesses I have (the other being Low Yat Plaza), I bought a really nice glass container/vase which I was planning to use as a fish err...bowl?
    Anyway, when we get to the chair Jac's looking to buy, we do some price comparisons and calculations. What's RM220 + RM197?
    Believe it or not, my brain exploded! And from the look on Jac's face, I could tell she wasn't doing too hot either.
    But we did get it after awhile. RM462.
    Then I realise. My brain is crapping out on me. I am actually becoming more stoopids.
    I've always pride myself as someone intelligent; one who thinks things through; one who thinks; one who gets the jokes on "Frasier". And there I was, with this constipated look on my face which would make you think I was deciphering some cryptic message in Hebrew from God himself which explains the meaning of life. All I was trying to figure out was how much the chair would cost with the foot stool!
    As common human beings go, I must blame something or someone else but me. I blame technology for making me so dependent on it, and IKEA for not rounding down their prices to the nearest tenth ringgit.
    But fact of the matter is, my brain is getting slow and I am getting too dependent on technology, or in this case, the calculator.
    In fact, just the other day, I caught myself saying, "I don't want to think about it. It is giving me a headache."
    I used to go on my judgement trip on people who make such statements. It's pure denial. It's putting the blinders on the brain because the heart does not want to deal with the consequences.
    I've become one of "them". I've become one of the millions of people Scott Adams makes fun of in his Dilbert cartoons. Get me to understand the concept of the 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. tea-break and I am ready to become a government servant.
    But where does that leave me? I have not addressed my situation of decaying intellect.
    Sigh. All this is giving me a royal ache in the head. I will think about it later.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2003

    This past week has been interesting. Interesting in that I've mostly sat on my ass all day and did nothing. It has been like that for the past two weeks and I must say that the new couch has been broken in.
    Consider some of the things I've done in the past week.
    1. I responded to one of those Nigerian email scams. This time, the seventh wife of a dead African king is trying to withdraw $30 million (US Dollars Thirty Million Only) of her late-husband's money. And she needs my help.
    So now, I have this guy claiming to be the woman's lawyer, calling me. And here I am, playing along. It has been fun irritating the hell out of this guy but I think he is catching on.
    2. I moved blogs. I spent one whole day "playing" with the new site. I can now confirm the relation between how much life that person has based on how much effort he/she puts into his/her website. As one can tell, I have no life.
    3. I shaved my head. I finally used the electric shaver I bought months ago after I first shaved my head. I did it again today. Now I feel so well ventilated. And think of all that cost of shampoo I'd be saving.
    4. I bought plants. Me, a man, bought plants for the apartment.
    5. I have not done anything musical in one week. Not one song. I have customised the crap out of my recording software though.
    6. I watched the "Indiana Jones" trilogy and bonus material.
    7. I bought shoes.
    What's next? A sex-change operation?

    Tuesday, November 11, 2003

    HELLO ALL!

    I've moved. This site will not be updated anymore.

    Click here for the new site at www.netcentral.cc/audi

    Thanks Blogger and Google!

    Batdude has left the building. Please...no looting!