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July 31, 2006

Pun intended

I just thought of this pun while surfing for phones:

If Eric has a son with you-know-who, they can't call him "Sonny" in fear of copyright infringement. They might be sued by Sony Ericsson.

Eric, just kidding ya!

Anyway i'm eyeing on this cool phone. Too bad it's not out yet.. Sonny Eric's son, please don't make it too pricey ya..

Posted by peixin at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

'tayar'ing 'XP'rience

tayar (n.) - (Malay Language) tire lube, made out of rubber.

XP (n.) - (Microsoft language) codename of a (finally) stable OS from MS corp. Incidentally, it is also the reverse initial of this blog's author.

So after moving out successsfully, now i'm staying with a senior doing PhD in E&E engineering. This is the first time i'm bunking in with someone more mature, more knowledgable and enjoys running. The funny thing is he keeps refering me from a 'younger generation' (年轻一代的), and then laments how old he is now, but actually he's only 20++.

Last Friday he went out for 'older generation' gathering, so i called up my previous and future roommate Boon whom i shared an Audi with. He's supposed to pick me up and go to Walmart together. Mana tahu when i looked out of the window, the Audi was in the middle of the car park, with lights off. Boon was on bent back looking at the left front tire. Apparently he heard a 'pop' sound and felt the steering wheel went slightly aligned to the left side when turning into the car park. I took out my handphone and shone some light on the left front tire. It was torn.

I flipped my phone around my hand to get hold of the situation. Common sense told us we need some tools. Unfortunately, the car toolbox was in the storage compartment some 22 miles away. Even more unfortunate was that there's no one around to ask for help. Desperate times call for desperate measures. So I dailed my senior's number using what i now deem the most useful invention in the world. He's actually on his way to Kokomo, some one hour away, but he turned back all the way. Man, i was eternally grateful.

The senior tried his tools on the wheel nuts but alas there is no suitable size. The only way was to get out tools tomorrow and in the meantime park the car temporarily at my senior's place.

The next day, I got a call from Boon. Apparently he was at the storage company already trying to search for out storage unit. I told him the unit number, but to his great surprise the lock wasn't on the latch! He pulled open the metal sliding door, and lo and behold, our stuffs were not there. It was empty! I started flipping my phone around my hand again. Surely our stuffs is not stolen!? In desperation (must be the primary emotion i experienced this week!) he went through all the locks in the neighbouring units, but to no avail.

After one hour of trying, he decided to try the last unit nearby. He didn't give it a shot at first because it was double-locked. Mana tahu one of the locks clicked open. Wth!?! Who dared to pull a prank on us by adding another lock!? But it finally dawned upon us that that unit wasn't ours. This left us one and only explanation.


Damn paiseh man...

Boon explained to the owner about what we had just realized. That must have solved the owner's mystery of a locked unassigned unit in his storage company. Apparently the other lock belonged to the owner, just in case. After clearing up all the stupid misunderstandings, we were re-assigned to that unit.

Got the toolbox, finally. After fixing the tire, we went to Steak & Shake for late lunch and laughed about this most incredibly lame and neurotic incident we had ever caused ourselves.

Footnote: the 'XP' in the title has nothing to do with this entry. Just that I have recently come across Dell Inspiron e1405 laptop owned by another senior. What's so special about this model is that it's Dell's first line of laptop equipped with Intel's newest dual core microprocessor. simply incredible speed it possesses! Makes my Inspiron 6000 look like a tortoise next to it.

Posted by peixin at 07:10 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2006

Project Moveout: D-day

Gosh i'm really not used to moving..

I was supposed to move my unnecessary stuffs out today to be kept in a storage place, but things didn't go as planned. My roommates and I followed Nivas' (an aeronautics engineering senior) suggestion to rent a 5'x5' mini garage from Storage Inn for the month when we are going to stay in various temporary places prior moving into dorms. Inexperienced as we are in moving as in fishing, we didn't plan things accordingly. While having breakfast, I received an urgent call from Nivas.

"Bad news la, bro. Storage Inn is already full!"

"What!? are you sure?"

"Yeah not only Storage Inn, Klondike and A Storage are also packed like sardines la!"

"Are you serious! Shoot.."

"Yeah, now i'm checking out on other storage companies, hopefully they still have a space for us.."

"okay i'll come over and help."

So we googled up 5 other companies in the Lafayette areas, phoned all of them, found out that 2 were already closed for the day, and the other 2 fully occupied.

Our last choice (which is not a choice at all): Pyramid Storage, about 10 miles away. smallest space available, 10'x10', $74.

It's so far that the idea of loading our stuffs (total of 30 items, ranging from big blue plastic comtainers and mammoth luggages to indo-mie boxes, not to mention 2 cupboards and a tv) in our old Audi and making numerous trips to and fro seemed unpalatable, implausible, and just plain impossible.

We need a truck.

Penske, Budget, U-haul, Enterprise.. we tried them all, but on a saturday at one in the afternoon, every attempt hit a solid red-brick wall. It's either closed or out of trucks.

We were as desperate as the housewives on ABC channel.

When a person is at his/her wits end, it is said that (s)he will try anything to work things out. That's exactly what i did.

I know Anthony since that day he became the new front desk clerk. He's a nice african american guy who owns the splitting image of Will Smith. Even the hairstyle lol. He's friendly and always spread news about upcoming activities held by the apartment management. The cliche greeting "what's up yo mah man" which caracterizes the origins of the Afro-English slang was invariably on his mouth all the time. So i approached him for help.

"Hey, Anthony. How are you doing?"

"HEYY YO! What's UPPP YOoo mah man?"

"Fine, fine.. hey i was wondering.. we got a storage space which is quite far away, you know? Somewhere behind Meijer at Lafayette.. So i was wondering.. do you know anyone who's a truck and is willing to rent it out just for a couple of hours?"

"You need a truck yo mah man? When do you need it?"

"like.. today, now?"

"Yo, have you tried out other truck companies? U-haul maybe?"

"Yeah, i tried them all already, they are either closed or ran out of trucks. like the whole world's moving out today man.."

"Yo, how long have you known you are moving out tomorrow man?"

"erm... a couple of months ago?"

"Exactly mah man.. you gotta plan beforehand before time runs out man.. yo, aren't you an international student? you should know the flight takes a month to plan man."

"Erm.. actually someone planned it for me.."

"Hmm. I don't know anyone off my head now who has a truck to rent.. I'm sorry mah man.. I wish to help but I can't. I'm sorry man."

"It's okay.. Thanks for your help. Have a nice day!"

"You to mah man."

I left, a small part of me feeling a bit indignant, a big part ashamed. Indignant because of his ascerbic critisms, ashamed because he's right. We don't just lack experience in moving, we are actually clueless about all the plannings and adapt that incorrigible, unassuming character which whispers in our ear "it doesn't matter la.. things will sort out by itself when the day comes.." It doesn't. Then all the alamaks and aiyohs and I-should-haves came out from our minds, lamenting everything that's too late to plan.

After the third try calling Budget, finally we got hold of a truck at tomorrow 11 in the morning. Finally. At the very last minute, we were relieved of all the unnecessary panicky situation we all throw ourselves in.

This is the second time i move since when i was like, 3 years old? Yeah. Moving is painful. Yeah.

Posted by peixin at 05:19 AM | Comments (1)

July 16, 2006

Project Moveout


My room is in a mess since day 1 I move in.

1 more week till the 'preordained exodus' from Willowbrookwest and my world is already upside down. For once, i'm going to tidy up my room and pack up my things NEATLY. Which is no fun. I prefer organized mess. Sounds oxymoron to you? Lemme explain. Although my things heap around (read: messy), i know exactly where to find my dictionary, last year's letter from the bursar office, booklet from college of science and last week's Entertainment Weekly (read: organized).

After a full day of cleaning bedsheets (After a year? Ewwwwww!), folding clothes and packing books while listening to all Jay Chou's songs (I have 76), finally my room looked like this:


It looked almost like the day i moved in. Then i realized it's been a year since I came to US. Omg, time doesn't just fly at Mach 3, it practically travels linearly at the speed of light!!

There are tiny changes occurred during this one year, and i just noticed them:


2 out of 3 Edison's creations went kaput, leaving me with dimmer light for a while. I think my both eyes gain another 100P each. I just notice that when i find things blurrer nowadays. Even when i look into my mind, i see blurriness (no pun intended!).




Next i found 3 items unexpectedly. A letter from Grace, a guitar tab-cum-lyric sheet of an Adam Sandler's song "Grow Old with You" presented by Joyce in speech comm class and a drama script written and directed by Joyce. Each with a story that made deep impact (not the movie la!) in my life. When I came upon these 3 items, I smiled. How can i explain this smile? It's a smile that, irregardless of physics impossibility, curves back time and relives every single second of each event. I could really feel what i felt those times. Maybe that's what people call nostalgia. No, it's more than nostalgia. Nostalgic moments come and go. This is eternal memory.


As i looked at the scenery framed by my bedside window, my mind was at peace.

I'm moving in to a senior's place for 3 weeks, and then i'll be staying in dorm for a year. The address is taken out due to personal safety lol..

Posted by peixin at 09:59 AM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2006

Italy Prevailed... and Poor Zidane

To all soccer football fans out there, what do you think of the final match between Italy vs. France? As my personal record, this is the only match which i really watch throughout the entire World Cup 2006 fiesta (please don't throw digital rotten tomatoes on my blog), but i must say what a roller coaster ride of emotions i experienced watching the entire 120 minutes and 9 penalty kicks before Italy finally prevails as the World Cup champion title holder.

Most of the drama unfold around the French veteran star player, Zinedine Zidane, who, purportedly, is going to retire from the world of football-dom after this important match. Who would have guessed? Zidane shone in the 7th minute with a confusing bounce-in, bounce-out penalty kick which brought France a glittering hope of leading in the early game. He played his role as a remarkable mid-fielder, assisting teammates in launching an avalanche of attacks on the Italians in the second half of the game after a slow first half. Throughout his entire career until now, Zidane painstakingly built up the symbolic status of integrity and utmost respect as a legendary player on par with Pele. He was at the zenith, the epitome of his career, ready to end it all with a nice retirement and a wonderful memory etched in the history of football as well as in every football fan's mind.

It didn't turn out that way.

Hell was let loose when Materazzi, the Italian player which scored the equalizer goal for his country against France in the first half, allegedly insulted Zidane during the second OT after Zidane's wonderful header was blocked away by Buffon, Italy's star goalkeeper. Blinded by rage (that's what i think happened), Zidane gave Materazzi a headbutt in his ribcage (full report here). Maybe Zidane thought as long as the referee's eyes were on the ball he could pull the stunt without being shoved with a card. But man, this is a technological world. Video cameras were everywhere. Moreover, with a position as a star veteran player, with this game being the last one ever in his career, of course Zidane should have thought that more than one camera would be following his every action on the field. What a shame he was caught red-handed banging his head on Materazzi. Even more shame, the video was shown to the spectators in the Olympiastadium seconds after Zidane's foolish stunt. Red-carded and sent away. That was how his glorious career came to an ignominious end.

Secretly i would have wanted France to win, with Zidane at the helm of the team (i watched the game with a bunch of Italy-fanatic friends, hence the reason for secrecy). I can imagine if not for the headbutt incident, Zidane would have taken the penalty kicks with ease, judging from his ever-precise kicks. He would have greatly increased the possibility, if not turned it into a certainty, of France claiming the World Cup for the second time. He would have kissed and hold the Cup with great ecstasy in the closing ceremony. He would have announced his retirement with all the dignity and pride he has obtained. He would have been a beautiful, flawless legend.

There are so many would-have-beens.

Well, I have lamented quite a lot about Zidane's 'brain for brawn' act, but i still respect him as one of the greatest football player of all time. Not that i know a lot of great players of all time, but heck, IMHO he's good enough. At least he doesn't have any scandals or legal problems both inside and outside his career. If there's anything i find pitiful about him, it's the fact that newspaper reporters and paparazis had just found a perfect victim for 'sensational' sports coverage for the next few weeks. Poor Zidane... Here's a warm toast from me.

Cheers! and Cheerio!

Posted by peixin at 11:32 AM | Comments (1)

July 05, 2006

Star-spangled Banner

Akin to 'Jalur Gemilang' as the pet name for our Malaysian flag, 'Star-spangled Banner' is not only the more amiable title for the American flag, but also the title of their national anthem.


Night beckons.


Atop Slater Hill rests an open-air performing stage where the Purdue Musical Organization Lafayette Citizen Band, emblazoned in pearl white uniform and armed with various musical instruments, began churning out fight songs and patriotic musics from days of yore. As the trumpets blare and the drums roll, the Purdue Varsity Glee Club choir members clear their voicebox and sang pieces after pieces of heart-stouting songs of glory. The glory of a nation. The glory of America.


As the performance continues, spectators, ranging from young children to young adults to old folks, from Americans to Hispanics to Asians, from families to friends to individuals, faithfully bask in attentiveness and enjoyment of a performance that marks the glory of a free nation, of how they have come so far since the day they were independent.


As the last note ends, 21 salutary cannon shots are released. Then everybody waits intentively for the highlight of the day: fireworks display. (Disclaimer: the photo below was photoshopped)


Woohoo! My first 4th of July :) Still, I miss the Merdeka celebration in Batu Pahat.. the fireworks are much better! and I can have friends and family celebrating it with me..

Posted by peixin at 12:43 PM | Comments (4)

July 03, 2006

This weekend, I...


Here's a photo of my lab station, part of it, that is. Da ge, I was about to take a photo of the cryostat machine you asked about when the camera's battery died on me. Next time lah!

This weekend, I...

1)...get an extra day off on MONDAY YAYYYYY!!! This means no horrible sectionings normally scheduled on that day!!

2)...cooked nasi lemak for Ulrika's birthday party!! Oh, she's a lab member, who incidentally is a German, whose country incidentally won against Argentina in the World Cup 2006 prelim match on that day lol!

3)...found out that Batu Pahat has it's own little black dot on Malaysia page in the world atlas owned by Professor Fekete and her husband Professor Hollenback. (I don't know the publisher, but thanks a lot for making my hometown significant to the world!)

4)...found out shortly later that Professor Hollenback is going to be my biology professor for course BIOL 231 next semester! *gasp* what a coincidence!!

5)...finally got to become a fourth-degree friend with Jay Chou!! I got to know a Taiwanese, whose friend's friend had my favourite singer over to his birthday party last year and had friendly basketball matches with him!! (okay, i know that doesn't count as a 4th-degree, but heck, I'm at least a bit connected k! Better than nothing)

6)...made a feeble effort to find a place to stay after my current lease ends on 23rd July. Asked the Taiwanese friend to help me look around for good deals coz all the on campus summer housing are full already. Hope i can get one in time, or else, erm, the lab station looks comparably more luxurious than jalan kaki lima. (Just joking!)

7)...finished reading 'Life of Pi'! It's a fantastic book! Simply superb! I like the humours (one very memorable phrase goes something like this: "So, Murti Jesus, are you going to complete the Hajj journey this year?" asked Ravi) but also cringe at the trying times Pi had to suffer through on board of the lifeboat with a royal Bengal tiger.. but towards the ending chapters, I was confused by 2 versions of Pi's story.. which is the real one? I would rather believe the animal story like the 2 Japanese Maritime officers did coz the other version is just too.. brutal. There are lots of horrifying moments during the shipwreck days, but to believe the cannibalism in the 2nd story is just too much. Anyways, the whole book speaks of untold courage, intellect and faith of a boy against all odds and finally his triumph in surviving the harsh slappings of cruel fate.

8)...watched 'Click' by Adam Sandler. It's a great movie IMHO, and apart from Spanglish, this is the first time Adam Sandler mix a bit of drama and parental responsibility into his comedic acts. Definitely different from his Waterboy days! And Kate Beckinsale (made famous from, among other movies, Underworld and Underworld: Evolution) is absolutely gorgeous! However, there's a cheesy part to the whole plot(spoiler alert!): who in the world would walk into Bed, Bath & Beyond and find himself in the dark corridors of the 'Beyond' part looking for a universal remote controller only to find a death angel masquerading as a product inspector giving the controller for free? Then it all ends up with (more spoiler alert!) Adam Sandler purportedly waking up from a really bad 'dream', learning how to cherish his family and finding out that the controller really existed. Hello, this is not a modernized version of the Christmas Carol show, is it? But all in all, no doubt Adam Sandler topped the box office again with his flair for comedy.

Posted by peixin at 01:12 PM | Comments (1)