Monday, October 31, 2005

If you can..

If you can start the day without caffeine
If you can be cheerful while ignoring aches and pains
If you can resist complaining
If you can stop yourself boring people with your troubles
If you can be grateful every day for the food you are offered
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time
If you can overlook it when people take their fustration out on you
If you can overlook it when, although through no fault of your own, something goes wrong
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment
If you can face the world without lies and deceit
If you can conquer tension without medical help
If you can relax without taking alcoholic substances
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs

You are probably a dog or a cat.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Too Hot

Today it probably hit the high 20s.

But in my apartment, it feels like over 40 oC.

Since our apartment has no air-conditioning (and yes.. I live in Australia), I could only open my small electric fan and put it on full blast.

No use. It just kind of circulated the hot air around my room. So I opened the sliding door to let some outside air in. Hoping it would cool things down a bit and make the room less stuffy.

Bad idea. In less than 5 minutes I could hear the train run past. It was loud enough to wake up the dead. Nearly forgotten we live right on top of the train line.

Sigh... The things we do for cheap rent.

Can't sleep with the door closed. Can't sleep with it opened.

It should be prohibited to build apartments facing west and not have aircons installed by default.

It's only spring now and it already feels so hot. Can't imagine how we are going to survive summer.

It doesn't help that today is Day Light Saving - I just lost an hour of sleep.

I swear it was only 2am when I last looked at the time on my PC, but now it suddenly is showing 3.14am.

Really need to find a place to move.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Perfect Place?

We may have finally found our so-called 'perfect place' to buy ! Whoopee... !

Although when I seriously sit back and evaluate the details and specifications of the townhouse, it appears we have seriously downgraded our requirements. I think the reality of the Sydney housing market has slowly seeped in.

  • 1. We are no longer looking for 2 bedroom apartments - simply because we will have a better chance affording a 1 bedroom

Which actually means anyone else who will come over and visit us from Perth will now have to sleep in the lounge room.

  • 2. We have expanded our locations to include lower north-shore suburbs, and not just eastern suburbs and inner western Sydney.

Which means we would probably lose contact with half our friends. As I doubt many of them will be willing to depart with $7 ($3 bridge, $4 tunnel) everytime they have to come up and visit us.

  • 3. We have lowered our requirements to go for a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 carspace townhouse. Which is a far cry from our previous searches for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 carspace apartment.

But the reality is that we would probably never be able to find a 2x2x1 apartment that's within our price budget in Sydney.

I just hope that when we go to check out the townhouse on Saturday, it is able to live up to our lowered expectations. (fingers crossed!)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Death Sentence

I hardly comment about politics (not because its useless to comment about Australian politics) or other countries laws. Just simply because there is nothing I can say. But there is one case lately that I have been following quite closely on the news. It is the one about an Australian who is facing the death penalty in a foreign country.

This particular case is of a young low-level drug mule who did it to pay off his brother's debt. If the Death Penalty must be imposed, then it should be on the high level bosses.

Sadly this case has not received much attention from the Australian media. At least I can definitely say, it didn't receive the same attention as the Corby case did. I hate to think that it is because he is of an Asian background and not a White Australian. But chances are, it probably is.

I don't know how to justify the Death Penalty. I don't think any institution or human being has the right to take the life of another under any circumstances. How can Society disapprove of Murder and then deliberately take the life of another?

An eye for an eye makes the world blind.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Breast Cancer Week

One of my colleagues at work sent this email around work today. Its Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Another year has passed so quickly. I strongly urge everyone to at least visit this site and buy a Pink Ribbon and support the Breast Cancer Foundation.


Subject: FW: Breast Cancer website - 60 seconds to donate for free by clicking

It only takes a minute!

Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle).

This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site!

Again, please pass this along to everyone you know!


Monday, October 24, 2005

Email Nightmare

I've just spent the last 2 hours of my working day trying to figure out a way for sending DSET reports to DELL. Its 6pm now, and we still haven't worked it out. Trend for Exchange seems to be able to chew-up everything in a zip file and dump it back to me saying that it has hit an exception rule, as it detects the email as containing an 'Isolated Executable'. SurfControl is worse, it just says I'm trying to send a virus.

I've tried GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo. None of them work.

They all say I'm trying to send an executable file... :(

When I opened up the report file, I noticed most of the files were just .htm files and cascading style sheets. Then I realised what the scanners must be picking up. There has be some scripting code used within some of the .htm files.


Technology just got too smart for its own good.

This is one time that I really feel like technology has just backfired on me.

My company uses two sorts of security packages to filter our emails. And the result of implementing so much security checkpoints ? I can't even send a simple standard DSET report to DELL to fix my server issue! Grrrr....

I think the only thing left for me to do, would be to dialup to my own ISP and use my external email account from my ISP to send those zip files over to DELL.

Perfect. I now need to think of work-arounds solutions just to send an email.

Friday, October 21, 2005


I finally received my tax return statement from the ATO (Australian Taxation Office). After nearly lodging a claim for everything I could possibly claim for (without being audited by the ATO). I managed to claim some of my tax back. It isn’t a lot. But it is better than nothing.

During one of the previous year tax returns, I actually had to pay the ATO money due to my HECS debt.

I have a cookie tin where I keep every single receipt that might be able to be used in my tax return claim. And when it is time to submit my tax return, I just take my cookie tin and give my Tax Accountant a visit.

Australia has some of the highest income tax rates in the world. With the highest marginal tax rate at about 47%.

As I slowly read through my statement, I realised I would probably be in HECS debt until the end of my working life. Depressing.

I also realised I had paid a 5 digit dollar figure in tax for this financial year to the ATO.

I wanted to cry.

The ATO just took away the steering wheel, front leather seats, a set of 17” alloy wheels and possibly the 10 stack CD changer to my future new car.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I'm an Expert !

After nearly 2 years on Experts-Exchange, somebody has finally accepted my answer as the best solution to the question they posted! For those who don't know, Experts-Exchange is one of the biggest IT newsgroup sites which has over 1 million IT solutions documented online.

I feel all techie now.. ! (Techie not Geeky .. there is a difference !!)

From the email they sent me, it says "I have earned 2000 Expert Points and have been rewarded with a grade of A".

Whoopeee !!!

If only Expert points can be converted to real dollars... *sigh..

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Meeting with the Big Boss

At 3.30pm today I have a meeting with my team leader's manager's manager. The manager of our whole Australian Operations department in Sydney.


I still have no idea what the meeting is for. I only know that yesterday I recieved a meeting request in my Outlook inbox asking me to respond 'Accept \ Deny' the meeting. In situations like these, is it even possible to deny a meeting request from your boss's manager's manager ??

I had no choice but to click on the Accept button and send the reply back to his PA.

So here I am now, with 12 minutes left to go, twiddling my thumbs. I can only think he would want to discuss my performance. Why else would he want to see me ? Unless he has a server at home he wants to configure. But then that would be double handling. I'm sure both levels of my managers before him will be able to handle my performance issues. They report back to him in any case.

I'm trying to think of all the possible situations that I might have stuffed up at something. Or may have caused someone to complain to him about my performance.

Nothing. Mind is blank

Don't upper-level management people know they can cause heart attacks in their people by sending out meeting requests with no descriptions ?!?

My List of 10 Things

My best buddy recently sent me a link to a blog she reads religiously. And since I had surfed nearly every possible thing to read on web today (yes.. another boring day in the office), I decided to give that link a visit. My buddy was right, this guy's blog was interesting. The first entry I read talked about his 10 achievements to date and 10 things he wanted to do before he died. He asked his readers to do the same as him and start their own list, and experience the feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction. Just like he did.

So here is my attempt to list my 10 achievements to date:

  • 1. Win an award for academic achievement at a Tertiary University Level
  • 2. Drink a 700ml bottle of Chivas - all by myself (and not puke)
  • 3. Travel and relocated to new places to work all by myself
  • 4. Fallen in love
  • 5. Drove from Melbourne to Sydney - without ever being in Sydney before.
  • 6. Have not succumbed to peer-pressure to start smoking or take party drugs
  • 7. Skied down Perisher Blue mountain without needing help
  • 8. Win the drinking game 10-15 continuously around the whole karaoke club - twice
  • 9. Gone to a strip club at a bucks party (and actually had fun)
  • 10. Loved someone enough to let go and wish them the best and genuinely meant it

And following with tradition, here is a list of 10 things I would like to have done before I die:

  • 1. Complete my A.M.E.B 8th grade Piano exam. (Currently on 7th grade)
  • 2. Travel at least once around the world - before I have kids
  • 3. Get married
  • 4. Let go of my career when my first child is born (and be financially comfortable)
  • 5. Buy my daddy a Mercedes Benz for his birthday - while he is still young enough to drive
  • 6. Meet the child I am sponsoring through charity
  • 7. Complete my Masters Degree
  • 8. Build my dream house
  • 9. Start my own business after my children start schooling
  • 10. Be able to comfortably retire with my hubby before the age of 40

Looking back at the things I achieved, I realised I do have some which I'm proud of, as I had actually put in alot of effort to make it work. Some just happened out of pure stubbornness and my own mischievous will.

When I look at the list of 10 things I want to achieve before I die.. well..humm...

I really hope I would be able to achieve some of them.

These two lists actually took me alot longer than I thought it would. And I must admit I feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that I can actually physically list out my achievements. To anyone that actually does read this, try doing one yourselves. It is worth the time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

You are what you eat

Recently I read about a study which came to the conclusion that a person's choice of food is dictated by that person's sate of mind. Meaning that if the person was angry then they had a higher percentage to turn to chewy foods (eg. Steak) and they would most likely pig-out on chips and potato wedges if they were stressed. Interesting enough the study also concluded that gorging on cakes and sweets is a sure-sign that you were sexually frustrated.

Hummm.. now that is an interesting topic to ponder.

Chips and potato wedges (covered with gravy) are my favorite comfort food and I personally think they can cure any state of mind. But I'm not too sure about the relationship between pigging out on cakes and sweets and being sexually frustrated. I personally would like to be able to pig out on ice-cream and tiramisu without some other onlooker thinking I am sexually frustrated.

Monday, October 17, 2005

iPod ... with Video??

A colleague of mine sent around an email to all the 'known' iPod owners in the office today.

Sent: Monday, 17 October 2005 12:31
Subject: Ipod owners

It was worth the wait …
Suckers :-)

I certainly felt like one. Even thought I didn't buy my iPod (Pete brought mine for me), but I did buy a iPod Nano for my cousin. I'm pretty happy with my iPod with colour, it does everything I want it to do - play music & store photos. I'm not 100% sure if I would ever download TV episodes onto a handheld device - which is why I don't think I would invent in a new iPod. But then I doubt I would of brought my cousin the iPod Nano if I knew there was going to be a iPod with Video released in a couple of weeks.

The two are basically different devices for different uses. But then again, it would of just be nice to know they would release something so soon.

I'm not berating Apple and I still love my iPod. But it would of been nice if they released both of them at the same time.

At least then people will have a choice.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Bunny Rabbits

I'm the proud owner of two very cute rabbits. I love them heaps. Words cannot explain. I can sit there for hours just watching them jump and run around at home. They are not only just cute, but also very intelligent. My bunnies will only do 'their business' on a place with newspaper. They have hardly ever poo-poo anywhere else. I'm so proud of them.

Photos of my bunnies are showing on my Flickr album, which is displayed on the links column to the right hand side.

So imagine my dismay when I read the following article while I was browsing through my daily news on the Sydney Morning Herald...

"Accused of bestiality with rabbits and their mutilation deaths, the 36-year-old New Zealand-born businessman found himself in the glare and flashes of television and newspaper cameras when he left Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court.... In addition to the bestiality charges, he is charged with 18 counts of aggravated cruelty to 18 rabbits whose mutilated and partially skinned carcasses, many with their skulls crushed and ears cut off, were found throughout the Sydney CBD over a six-week period in July and August. Some of the rabbits were found dumped in a lane at The Rocks or inside women's toilets in the York Street building where he operated a financial planning and mortgage brokerage... "

After reading the article I wanted to go to the Central Local Courts and throw carrots at the idiot.


Even a jail sentence would be too good for him. I would confine him to a small space and force him to eat only rotten carrots for the rest of his miserable life.

Click here for to view the full article:

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Highschool Friends..

My high school friends have always been close to me. Although my bestest best friend from my high school days is no longer the same one. We all still remain quite close. We have our regular gatherings (for the ones who are now located in Sydney) and all try to meet up together when our Stewardess high school friend (who works for SQ) flies in for one night.

As our air stewardess buddy was flying in on Sunday, we got together and did our usual gathering over dinner. After much debating (over mass emails) we decided to go this Spanish place for Tapas. Dinner was not too bad. But the service was atrocious. We stood at the door for about 10 minutes. I accidently tripped one of the waiters a bit (it was an accident). But in the end, I realised it was only because of that we had got his attention. After another 10 minutes or so, one of my girl friend's partner politely got up to get our menus. He had probably noticed my patience was severely wearing down. By the end of our meal, we had still get to receive our jug of water.

I don't understand how a place like that could survive in a city like Sydney. Especially in a street that had 5 other Spanish restaurants.

Our first high school friend to get married did so the previous week. And so 'marriage' was pretty much the topic of the night. I can remember it wasn't that long ago that we still bitched about each other's boyfriends. And now we are already on the topic of marriage. Scary thought.

I could tell we had all grown up quite alot. We talked about our plights with house \ apartment hunting and about how busy we were at our various jobs.

Topics that definitely wouldn't of come up when we were back in the days of Perth.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Black Thursday..

I know I have pretty bad luck sometimes. It usually starts off as little things going wrong in the mornings and snowballs into something much bigger by the end of the day. This was one of these days.

The following were the string of events in order of occurrence.

1) My fish tank cracked...

As I was getting ready to leave my apartment (putting on my shoes and about to dash out of the door), I noticed a pool of water underneath the table which holds my fish tank. The table was soaked with water and was over-flowing into the carpet. Upon closer inspection I noticed a 5-7 cm crack towards the bottom of the tank.


Emergancy evac procedures were carried out. Which included the re-location of all goldfish and snails to separate plastic containers. And also carrying the tank to the laundry basin - so it can happily continue to leak out the remaining water left in the tank.

Which subsquently meant that I was late for work again.

2) I was stuck in the lift on the way down to lunch. I repeat.. STUCK in the FREAKING LIFT !

I was trapped in the office lift for a total of 17 minutes on my way down to lunch, with two other guys. I think men get more agitated than women in situations like this. One of the guys just kept on pressing the alarm button. The other just kept on muttering under his breath. I luckily had my mobile with me and SMSed the good news to my manager - as an excuse to have a longer lunch break. When the doors finally opened, we had to climb out as the lift didn't exactly make it to the 38th floor. It was kinda 3/4 of the way there.

3) One of the production servers crashed.

With no apparent reason at all. It just died. By this time, nearly everyone in my team knew I was having a bad day. And so they handled the fault.

I had a feeling this wasn't the end to my bad day yet.. It was all just building up to the climax.

4) The new server I was going to attach to the SAN didn't have enough PCI-X slots for the HBA cards. (ARRggghhh .. !)

This was bad. Really bad. It meant that all my projects that depended on this server being attached to the SAN now had to be on-hold. Until the idiotic sales guy can send me the right parts, either HBA cards for the PCIe slots or change the model of the server to something that will accommodate everything we need.

When I let my project manager in on the bad news, he wasn't very pleased. But nevertheless, I'm not the person who deals with the ordering of equipment. I'm just the techie.

So that's about it. For now.. I hope nothing else will happen tonight. (fingers crossed)

Bad Day Rating: 8.5/10

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bali Strikes Again..

"MORE than 20 people have been killed... in a series of near-simultaneous terrorist bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali..."

It has happened again. Just 11 days short of the 3rd aniversary October bombings in Bali which killed over 200 people.

Every time it happens (Bali.. Spain.. London), those who have lost loved ones in terror attacks will re-live the pain again.

The war against terror - there seems to be no end.