Saturday, September 29, 2007

Going Against Old Song?

I grew up educated that shower is a thing you do every morning (and late afternoon, but I nullified it rather quickly). There's even a song about it: "bangun tidur kuterus mandi~~". But something happened two years ago that made me reconsider that: I let my hair grow long. Long hair takes some time to dry, and given me, I would wake up just early enough to give myself barely enough time to shower and walk to class (with relatively generous late margin). That means I was walking in the morning sun with semi-wet hair, in the equator weather, equator humidity. That, ladies and gentlemen, was torture.

Inspiration struck: why not shower at night, before bedtime? It's rarely original, I know. Guess what, it worked like a charm! No, like a computer, charms don't work, they're just superstition (Ryan, please don't bully idioms). Really, it solved the problems, I could be cute(?) and comfortable at the same time. It's like having a cake and eating it too! But there's more, I found out that it's easier to wake up if there's less to do between waking up and going out. Morning shower did make me more resistant to waking up, more prone to skipping class! Moreover, I found out when the hot water is usually cut off too (and scheduled my shower time accordingly, imagine the anguish to suddenly being have to bear with cold water in the middle of an enjoyable hot shower, ouch). Another nice thing from the shift is that I can leisurely enjoy my showers, I'm not pressed with getting to class on time, getting myself to sleep is a hard thing anyway, might as well enjoy the process (different thing with getting myself to wake up, said like a true bat-penguin!)

Now I'm experimenting the method for application during Ramadhan. I know for a fact that morning shower doesn't work nicely. We'll see if night shower works better.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Obfuscation

Pulling out a pen and begin writing is a normal thing. If you have several colors ready, maybe you want to choose which one is best for the purpose, green ink for an official document, for example. Of course, choosing ink color to use is hardly an adventure, no one has killed a dragon, dug up a treasure chest, and saved the princess just to choose which color he'll use to write his exam paper in. Although examination itself is arguably equivalent to killing multi-headed dragon, digging a treasure chest buried deep under the sea, and saving several loud princesses with their pet frogs, the choice usually boils down into two: black ink or blue ink.

Now, what if we inject some direly needed thinking process in pen-choosing-fu. Take a look at the exhibit below, I have four pens: red, black, blue, and green. The color of the cap and the bottom, and the tint in the clear casing all point to the color of the ink. The one with green cap has green ink, and the one who needs a thinking cap is me (off screen).

I'm going to disassemble them, then mix-match their component so as the ink color of a pen is the color that is not present in the outside. For example, green cap, red bottom, blue tinted clear case => black ink. The re-imagining result can be seen in the below exhibit. Blame lo-res phone camera for the quality, but I would always be happy to show it off in person.

Finally, the time has come when trying to use a blue pen involves problem solving! The fun has come back to pen! This will so solve a lot of problem in the world! I decided not to carry around black ink for a while. Before anyone screams discrimination, I use almost exclusively black for years. for. years. It's time for the other to take the spotlight. (Discrimination!)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Smorgasbord

First and Foremost, Ramadhan is here. I apologize for my mistakes, intentional or not, international or not (?), which must measure like mountain ranges, only without the beauty of mountain ranges. Next, I decided that a thick steel wall is not really that healthy. I recall claiming to be not as healthy as a thousand kilometers thick steel wall, and when things happen, they happen. I wanted to join all the glee surrounding the first days of Ramadhan, but inability to get out of bed didn't help. Maybe it's some kind of cleansing, showering everyday just don't cut it. Anyway, I didn't need to be a certified ill person this time around, so I just disappeared from classes for a day, sorry profs. Lastly, we NTU final year Electrical and Electronic Engineering Students have a favorite subject this semester: Human Resources Management. Personally, I like the subject, I really like the subject, it reminds me why I want to be engineer, truly!

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's been a While

Since the last incomprehensible chain of wordy hullabaloo.

A new one:

Irrelevant Resources of Significant Expedience!

Irrelevant Resources of Significant Expedience!

Irrelevant Resources of Significant Expedience!

Practice, practice, and don't forget the old ones.

The Elusive Art of FoldingChair-Do

There are many kinds of martial arts out there in the vast world. Karate-do, Judo, Kendo, Iaido, et cetera (the DO means 'the way of ...') But Brad Thames chose the most bizarre of them all, the FoldingChair-Do, The Way of the Folding Chair. Brad Thames has been practicing the arts since elementary three, when he barely could lift a folding chair. Though the moment he started, he knew that it was the way his life would be, the way of the folding chair.

Like any way of life, it was not entirely flowery. Dedicating oneself to mastering the art of the folding chair was never an easy task, and would never be. Brad Thames met many resistance by the general population in his life of folding chair. He couldn't have his folding chair with him in class in school. They provided chairs and desks, so said the school. Brad Thames always thought that the school just hated his passion in pursuing FoldingChair-Do.

But all that changed when he began high school. His principal, Madam Cindy Pane Dunesby, had no problem with him going around with his beloved silver-green folding chair, with some conditions. The conditions weren't hard, Brad wasn't allowed to hurt people with it, which he very easily did, for the way of the folding chair is a way of love and peace, not a way of violence and vengeance. The other, harder, condition was that he had to race the tolerant principal upon request. What race?

Everything and anything. As we know, Cindy Pane Dunesby was an impulsive racer. She would race oil tankers given the chance (and she did!) Apart from the absurd races, young mister Thames' high school life was just the way he wanted it to be: Free to pursue the way of the folding chair.

Several months into high school, an idea dawned upon Brad Thames. Why don't he promote the way of the folding chair by establishing a club of it? They have Karate, Judo, Boxing, Quick-eating, Slow-eating, Racing (all kinds) clubs, but no FoldingChair-Do club. So he told the principal of his intent. Principal Dunesby was thoroughly amused by the idea. She thought that that's the way youth has to be; energetic and enthusiastic. But she didn't think that the club would attract much enthusiasts, she couldn't give facilities to a club that would never take off. Even so, she liked the idea so much that she just had to decide immediately, no time for a survey of interest.

So she resolved the problem with the only method an honorable Cindy Pane Dunesby would take: racing. If Brad could beat the principal in a kilometer folding chair race at the school's running track, he would have permission to establish the club and would get a club room and some funding. Needless to say, Brad Thames who had been living the way of the folding chair won the race, although not easily. Madam Dunesby may not had raced with a folding chair before, but she managed to present fierce, if not mad, competition to him.

The competition attracted a crowd. Students and teachers were all awed by the heat of passion that can be injected into a folding chair. Many thought that The Way of the Folding Chair was the definitive way of youth. So right then and there, Principal Cindy Pane Dunesby declared the establishment of the Folding Chair Club, where students could pursue the Way of The Folding Chair with Brad Thames as the captain.

The Folding Chair Club is now over 50 members strong. Although there is no large scale inter school folding chair race yet, the values of FoldingChair-Do such as strong will and perseverance is permeating all over the school. Suspiciously, The Geometrically Offensive Cake Shop insists on sponsoring all their events, and the president, Mr. Terrence Pierce, has never failed to show up however obscure or bizarre the event might be. It might be a mystery to Brad Thames and his followers, but we know what Mr. Pierce is really after, don't we?

What truly is a mystery is that Mister Graham Jonesy can never seem to be at ease around the young Brad Thames. He would hold his walking stick firmly on one hand, toss it between his hands, or actually support himself with it. But, why?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Nameless FLowers

In a great grassland Siil Amari arose. The tall grasses and the surrounding hills she beheld, and they pleased her. Long she ran amongst the trees and grasses, her garment glittering silver in the sun and glowing white under the moon. Many songs of power and beauty she sang of things she witnessed. Many a bird and beast followed after her, for her songs delighted them and her beauty enticed them. And names she gave to all things she saw. From the names she devised many more songs and the land was permeated with her voice.

But Siil Amari soon grew weary of her own songs. They sounded sweet to her ears, but her heart they soothed not. Many days and nights she sang, but none answered to her songs. Many things she called by names she gave, but none heeded her. Ran and ran and ran Siil Amari, her songs grew lonely and sad, and beasts wail at night in lamentation. But finally she came upon a shore, the ocean seemed boundless and wise to her. In a song most heart rending she sang to the sea of her wishes for answers.

From the sea walked men and women. They stood upon the shore in confusion and fear, for nothing they knew and they felt defenseless. But at the sight Siil Amari lighted up, and she sang a joyful song to the sea in gratitude, for she did not know that the sea presented not gifts, and that her joy was of her own will. Then the men and women gathered about Siil Amari, and there they felt at ease.

Thus dwelt Siil Amari amongst the people from the sea. They learned speech and the name of things from her and held her as their queen. The Queen then named her people Filiam, the waveborns. The Filiam soon took delight in the growing of plants and in crafts of building. Many great houses and halls they erected for their dwellings and for the storage of their food. For Siil Amari they built a mansion most beautiful in the middle of the town. There councils of wisdom are held, where Siil Amari told the Filiam of her devisings and wishes. In Evenings when the day and the people were weary, the queen would stand in her balcony and sing them songs of vast lands and tall mountains, and they would answer with lyrics of wonder and yearning for lands of which their queen sang.

Swiftly men grew in might and they began journeying about the lands, seeking sceneries the queen sang to them. In their quest they took up hunting and weapon smithing, of which Siil Amari took with ill mind. Birds and beasts they feasted upon were the first to hear the songs of the queen, and with words they might not answered, but in their hearts they answered still. Thus many corners of the land was filled with human settlements and Siil Amari's people grew in number and dominion. Many of the mightiest among men then thought to take Siil Amari's hand for himself, for power nurtured their greed. Each of them thought he was most worthy of being the compainion of the king and the lord above all people, and unrest stirred in their hearts.

Arms were raised against each other. Men slaughtered each other. Visions of power and domination blinded them from sceneries of peace. They were deaf but for the clashing of swords and battle cries. The voices of the queen were left unheard, and her songs were of forgotten past of weakness. But among men there existed those that remembered peace, those that renounced the bloodshed. Even then, they did not rally under the queen to restore unity, they took the queen as the root of the conflict, not the harbinger of peace. The smell of blood might had not intoxicated their mind yet, but it was already overflowing with arrogance.

When they finally raised their knives, they pointed it to the queen. The conflict would end if the cause is dead, so they counseled themselves. They then called upon the queen in her palace. The queen knew what counsel her people took for themselves. She did not fight and so her life was taken. But in the face of death she laid a curse for all the people of Filiam:

"There shall bloom on a hill unknown, flowers which I would not suffer a name. In time they shall all whither and be returned to earth. When all flowers have died and be returned to earth where I shall wait, the land shall be drown aflame and the people shall know only pain. But shall one dare find and pluck one blossom, my fire shall be quenched. But the brave one's kin, I shall not permit their blood to die and they shall be the eternal harbinger of conflicts and dooms for my grief shall not be vanquished."

Many valorous men and women scoured the land far and wide in search of the hill. Their purposes were many, not all of them noble. Some wished to sacrifice themselves for the whole Filiam, some thought the queen's curse meant eternal life, though in conflicts, and sought just so. But the curse was not relinquished thus easily. The queen laid it down in spite, and in a most horrible way the curse would unwound itself.

See also this post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Nice Earthling

Wrote something else for Kuntum blog.

Orang Baik

Yes, I love to show off.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Twirl~ Twirl~

I can't seem to finish writing anything here lately, isn't that fabulous? Well, that doesn't deter me from showing off anyway. Do you see a flat surface or a tunnel with zig-zag walls?