Friday, December 28, 2007

Today, I am

another year older.... *sigh...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Custom Error Messages...

Someone obviously got sick of seeing the "HTTP Error 500 - Internal Server Error" message....


Friday, December 21, 2007

Pics From Japan

I've finally found the time to download the pics from my camera... :) Yes, it took me one whole month.. but I have been really really busy with work. Believe it or not, I haven't managed to put my luggage back in the storage room yet, its still where I left it when I arrived back home (however without the dirty clothes).

This one was taken at one of the Temples in Asakusa, Tokyo. We weren't actually planning to go there. We were originally at the Tokyo Tower, but after looking at the long queues (ETA of 90mins to reach the first ticket office), we decided to just walk around and go take a ride on the Water Bus. This was 5 mins walk from the Water Bus Jetty.


We started out in Osaka, but because we had to pick up Mr My-Passport-Has-Expired from the airport, we didn't manage to do a lot for the first day. After Osaka, we headed to Tokyo and spent one of the days in Tokyo going to Mt Fuji and Hakone. This shot of Mt Fuji, was taken on the mountain at the end of the cable car ride over looking Hakone.


You could probably just make out shops and buildings surrounding the jetty of Hakone in this shot. This was taken just before sunset. The sun sets completely by about 4.45pm during Winter.


One thing I know I will sorely miss from Japan is the food, especially the price and quality of the food. The above is a shot of my bento box purchased from the train station in Tokyo. For $11 ~~~ ! My bento box was absolutely covered in salmon roe. It also came with its own drawstring bag (the green thing in the background), which by the way has become my new pencil case. The only disappointing thing we had was probably MOS burger -- It tastes better in Singapore. Other than that, everything else we tried was amazing. Compared to Japanese food in Sydney, food in Japan tasted twice as good and at half the price.


Kinkakuji or The Golden Pavilion, was one of many temples we visited while staying in Kyoto.


The Kyoto Imperial Palace was a nice break from all the Temple sightseeing walks we did.
I loved the red Japanese maple trees.


Picture of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. This temple was massive. It is probably the most visited temple in Kyoto. The temple itself dates back to 798, but most of the structures still standing is from 1633. Once passed the temple, there is a 'love shrine', or Jishu shrine dedicated to the god of love. Here we found a lot of giggling high school girls AND boys 'walking the line' between the two love rocks. Successfully walking from one rock to the other blindfolded is said to bring luck to your love life. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Itinerary Updates

He got his passport in 4 hours.

But he didn't make the flight. International flight check-in gates close 1 hour before flight time.

Which meant he had to forfeit his ticket and buy another one.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

How to renew your passport in 4 hrs ?

One word... Beg

Know no shame. Tell the poor clerk on the other side of the passport office that you are an idiot. Your girlfriend is already at the airport. Your flight is in 4 hours. Your passport has expired. And if your girlfriend leaves for Japan alone, then she will leave. Forever. Period.

To those who think they will have a probability to be (for whatever reason) in a similar situation. You must bring the following to the passport office:
  • Birth Certificate
  • Old expired passport
  • Recent\New Passport Photos
  • Medicare card (for additional identification)
  • Travel itinerary
  • Money
  • Any proof to support your 'emergency travel need' story
And if you have managed to survive the night. (and not already found stabbed to death in bed with an ice pick). Then.. Good Luck.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

fooking idiot

The fooking idiot's passport has fooking expired !!!!!!!!!!!! fooking 1 year ago ~~~~~ !!!!!!!!!!!

And he tells me this the night before our flight ~~~~ fook .... !!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

While I'm away...

I will try to blog my daily outings from Japan ...

and take lots and lots of pics everyday !!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Working the System

The place I'm working at outsources it's infrastructure to different IT companies.

Company A for Networks
Company B for Data Center facilities
Company C for Server \ Domain hosts.... And so on....

A very lengthy process needs to be followed to be able to get any one of these outsourcing companies to provision any task for another third party company. On most cases I go about this lengthy process. Get service requests raised. Get approvals for the change. Get resources committed to the task.

In a perfect environment, when these companies work well together everything will be ok. And everyone is happy.

But it never is.

My service request was lodged, approved and assigned 2 weeks ago. Two weeks later and it still is sitting in someone's queue waiting to be actioned.

When there are no dependencies in play, we usually just wait for them to respond.

But this change had to be actioned before my implementation this weekend... so what to do ?

I called Company C and raised a high severity case with them telling that the Production environment for a certain application wasn't working. And that we had narrowed it down to one legacy setting on the network.

In 5 minutes, I had raised enough alarm bells that got my change request completed almost immediately.

Only problem now is that I have to answer to questions on why they had never heard of this supposedly 'Production Application' prior to my phone call. crap..

Monday, October 29, 2007

I have crazy friends...

Friends who are crazy about playing mahjong regardless of whatever time it maybe. (I must admit I'm a bit like that as well).

Over the daylight saving weekend -- The weekend which we actually lose an hour of sleep -- Came an offer to host a game of mahjong. Starting at 3am. And as sleepy as I was, I can't believe I said 'Yes'.

I was kind of spurred on by the fact that I had been the biggest loser in the last 3 rounds. I was hoping to redeem myself.

But alas, that was not to happen.

I blame it on the 3 shots of XO I had when my house mate's fiancé decided to drop in for the night.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the evening morning. However, this scenery from my balcony told me it was way past my bedtime.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

scary post

Ok.. I think I scared quite a few people from my last post. Well.. maybe not scared. But I did end up with a lot of concerned people calling and asking if I was alright or not.

Ahhh... the advantages of having an anonymous blog. Oh well... :)

This is my venting ground. So expect to read stuff that I may not talk about normally.

To those who know me personally, and are reading this. I'm fine. I'm a big girl. And can handle these types of things on my own. I just need time.

I did appreciate the anonymous comment though. thank you.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

how much longer ?

I know that being able to actually write this post and put my thoughts down on my blog already puts me into the "I'm-so-having-second-thoughts" category.

I guess having to attend to 3 weddings in the past couple of months has really started to put things back in perspective.

Its also is the not-so-faint realisation that I'm not exactly getting any younger. (Some of my friends already have kids for fark sakes!).. That dreaded feeling that I'm leaving things too late is becoming stronger and stronger.

I guess on one hand, being in a relationship where you know where you both stand can be a good thing. But on the other hand, when you both know you don't regard each other as a high priority in each of our own life goals, then the relationship is limited.

Problem is determining when the fun should end.

Sometimes, I wake up beside him in the morning and wonder how long I can keep on going like this.

While I can wake up next to him and wonder about how long this can last now, I realise that I don't want to be still doing the same thing 2 years later on.

Commitment... I guess we have what I would call an 'understanding'.

The problem is, this is not some relationship between two people in their early 20s, we are a lot older now. So its not going to work if we both want to achieve different goals in very different stages of our lives. We both want different things in life. Somehow, I don't see how we can move towards the same goals together.

How do you know when it should end ?

Friday, October 05, 2007

So True....

You will settle with someone that can steal your heart...
but never bother to find that someone who can touch your soul.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm still here...

I haven't neglected my blog. I actually have create several entries which I've kept in 'Draft' mode over the past month.

I just never really got around to finishing them off and publishing them.

However as the days pass, I look back on those posts now, but I don't feel the same way about those issues now as when I was writing about them. It doesn't make much sense publishing them at the moment. Maybe another time.

The past month has been.. well.. frantic to say the least.

Work.. work and more work. But its not only just juggling the amount of projects I'm involved in at work that is becoming chaotic, the rest of my life is as well.

For example, I stepped in to be the emergency bridesmaid for my highschool friend's wedding. On top of that, I was just asked to do the speech as well. (when previously told there wasn't going to be one). The wedding is this weekend. I only found out this morning.

To top that off, Pete is off in Darwin for a week.

And as of this morning, I have lost No. 4 of his fish in the Discus tank.

Submerging your whole arm underwater to remove the dead carcass of a fish stuck underneath some driftwood is a lot more foul than it sounds.

The Discus seems to be pretty sick. Looks like a fungus infection, but I've tried nearly everything I know already. My only wish is that I don't wake up to a tank full of dead fish again tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Silliest Coffee Cup


Doesn't really look like there is anything wrong... right ??

Well.... not until you try to pick up your coffee cup.

You can't.

You can only really grip with handle with two fingers. So its too flimsy to be able to hold properly.

Not with a full cup of coffee anyway.

And don't try to hold it like a mug either. Its way too hot. That little loop handle is too small to even fit your pinky finger inside !

There really should be some written guidelines about design and usability.


Monday, August 27, 2007

And the paper plane goes.. Wheeee.... ~~ !

Heh heh... my high score for today.... 88.886m ... :)



Click here to play the game


How far can you throw ?!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Getting there...

For the 3rd day in a row...I woke up by myself ... (no alarms)... at 7.15am today !!!! Whooohoo ~~!!

Which means I also got to the office by 9am.

Ha !

Although .. I still have to work on my time management. I think I must have spent at least 45 mins in the shower this morning. (leaving no time for breakfast). Oh well.... :)

I still don't know the secret behind being able to wake up at 7-ish every morning. It isn't going to bed earlier. Previously, I could go to bed at 10pm and still wake up at 9am. And sleep through all three of my alarms.

I think its more of getting used to the routine of pulling myself out of bed by 7.15am, when my first alarm goes off.

Whatever it is, I think I can enjoy getting up early each morning. :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Four Weddings...

I have 4 ... F-O-U-R... 4 weddings to attend to in the next 5 months.

Fook ... I'm going to be so broke.

I've also happily accepted the bridesmaid position for 2 out of those 4 upcoming weddings. Which means with the previous 3 times, I'll be putting on a bridesmaid dress for the 5th time. (Starting to get that feeling that everyone around me is getting hitched... )

Due to timing constraints, I managed to con my 2nd Aunty into helping me make my bridesmaid dress for the wedding in September. (The bride-to-be only just passed me the material last week). I doubt I could have found a dressmaker willing to make this in time for the wedding.

The only major catch to this is that my Aunty is in Perth. I'm in Sydney. Which means I wouldn't be able to try it on until the morning I arrive back in Perth. Which also happens to be the day of the wedding.

Since I wont be available for any fittings, my Aunty has to base the dress on one of my previous bridesmaid dresses. Something I wore 2 years ago.

There has been quite a bit of a difference (body mass index-wise) between now and two years ago.

I asked my Aunty to make 'certain areas' slightly bigger... but she said that might ruin the original design of the dress.

So for the next month or so I have to slim back down to what I was two years ago.

Guess I'll be eating salad for the rest of the month..

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Fridging Habits

I'm one of those people who has an issue with throwing away food (once I've taken it home). When I insist on eating leftovers, Pete would rather not eat and go downstairs to get a tub of icecream instead. As a result, I have all kinds of leftovers in my fridge at any one time.

I have eaten week-old pizzas and beef stir fried ho-fun and found it tastier than it originally was.

The last hot pot and chicken curry we made lasted for at least 2 weeks.

I never really thought about how long food can last in a refrigerator. If it has mold, then chuck it away... if no mold, then its edible. But apparently according to this article found on Digg.com - its not always the case.

I think its time to go home to clean out my fridge and chuck away the mayo...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bad Cough

What started as a bad cough 5 days ago turned to be Pleurisy (according to my doctor).

It actually isn't that bad. Well apart from the stabbing pain I feel on my lower-left back area every time I cough. Oh.. and the yucky yellowish stuff I'm coughing up.

But then again, I have no one else to blame but myself.

I must not go out to drink and party the night away when sick... I must not go out to drink and party the night away when sick... I must not go out to drink and party the night away when sick...

Monday, July 23, 2007

week in training

I'm down in Melbourne for a week in training.

Melbourne is freezing cold as usual. So far I've been stuck in the training room for the whole day, and haven't been able to go out to do any retail therapy yet. Depending on how it goes today, I'm going to try and sneak out and atleast get to the chocolate shop.

I guess the best thing about being down here is that I get to stay at the Crown Towers.

There is a LCD screen on the wall (with Foxtel), of where the spa bath is.

I guess that says it all... :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Morning Flights

My mobile rang this morning.. I struggled out of bed to pick it up and say "hello".. only to realise it was my alarm going off...(?!?)

That was at 6am.

1 hr too late.

On the other hand, Pete the Genius had somehow set his phone alarm to go off at 5pm instead of 5am.

His flight was scheduled for 6.25am

All I can say is that it costs $425 to buy a new ticket at the airport for a flight going from Sydney to Perth. And no.... its not Qantas.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Qantas Saga...

My flight has been delayed again. Chain of events :

9/7/2007

- 3pm: Arrive at airport around 3pm to check-in for my scheduled flight for 4.15pm. Got my boarding pass which said I need to see a customer service representative. I ask one of the Qantas personnel who was helping another person at the Self Check-in counters what this means. And she said I will need to line up at the baggage queue and show them the boarding pass then they will fix it for me.

- 3.48pm: Told that my flight has been delayed till 1am in the morning. I could either check-in my luggage now or drag it back home. I told the rep I will just check it in. Was then told a cab-charge will be provided but I will need to line up at the service desk behind me to get them.

- 4.14pm: Finally get to the end of the queue and get my cab-charges which will cover me for my trip back home and back to the airport for my 1am flight.

- 4.25pm: Finished queuing up for taxi and called my parents that I'm going to be back home and my flight leaves at 1am.

- 4.56pm: Arrive home. Watched TV. Had dinner. Slept.

- 10.30pm: My grandma woke me up. Showered. Headed back to the airport.

10/7/2007

- 12.30am: Announcement made saying that there were some technical issues and Engineers were working on fixing the problem.

- 1.30am: My parents were still with me, I tell them if they don't leave soon, parking is going to cost a bomb. They preferred to stay, just in case the flight is delayed again until tomorrow.

- 1.40am: Another announcement. Was told to queue up at the service desk and collect meal vouchers. Looked at the queue forming at the cafe, decided against it. My mother said she wanted some coffee and went to join the queue instead.

- 2am: My dad comes back, wakes me up and said they need the boarding pass to use the meal voucher. (!@#!). I see my mum stuck at the front of the queue, I hand over my boarding pass, and was told I need to pay $4.50 more. Because a single boarding pass equates to only $7.50 meal voucher. (@F#%!S#Ht!@#D!%F%*)..

- 2.45am: Staff start handing out blankets and pillows. Many people are already sleeping on the floor. I tell my parents to leave. Useless for them to stay anyway, and plus there wasn't going to be anymore free coffee.

- 3.00am: Announcement. The captain was going to make an announcement in 15 mins to explain the situation.

- 3.30am: Captain makes announcement. The plane is not going to leave tonight. He apologises and said he knows that the flight had already been delayed once this morning. But said that he couldn't allow the plane to fly and parts will need to be flown in from Sydney for repairs. The Customer service rep then announces that all baggage has been removed, and we will need to go back downstairs to collect it. She advises that the next flight is scheduled for 12.45pm the next day. However, all non-local residents will need to find their own accommodation. They have tried to book hotels, but they could not find any. Interstate travellers were asked to call back their own hotels to see if they can secure their rooms. Help can be provided and those needing help to find accommodation was asked to line up at the service desk again.

- 3.40am: Baggage Carousel breaks down. No help is available. Looks like there is too much luggages to be handled by the carousel. The people on the delayed flight is helping move the luggage from the carousel to put them aside. I help out with the smaller pieces. I notice my bag has been pulled out already. I take it and make my way to the taxi stand.

- 3.55am: Called taxi service. There is no taxi at the airport. I told the lady on the other end of the line that this is not a joke. But we require about 300 taxis at the airport because a flight has been cancelled. She told me the airport did call about 40 mins before, but when the taxis came there was no one there, so they left. I told her its because the baggage carousel broke down and asked her to send the taxis back.

- 4.10am: Taxis start arriving. Called my bf telling him NOT to pick me up at 6am, as I would still be in Perth.

- 4.15am: Got on a taxi and started my trip home with my luggage

- 4.37am: Arrive home. Tired as hell. Can't sleep. Too much coffee.

- 9.30am: Wake up, after about 3 hrs of sleep. Showered and arranged transportation back to the airport.

- 11am: Left home. Half way there I call Qantas just to make sure the flight is still scheduled for 12.45pm. It wasn't. It was now ESTIMATED for 2pm. My mum drops me back home. She needs to go back to work. I called one of my friends who could take me to the airport and go over to meet him.

- 1.30pm: Arrived at the airport. The Self Check-in counter doesn't work. Was told to line up at another area. Checked-in 10 mins later. And go upstairs to find out the flight has been delayed once more.

- 2pm: Heard an announcement made for a flight bound for Melbourne being delayed as well.

- 2.45pm: Finally allowed to board. Take photos with my newfound stranded friends. And we make our way towards the ever-growing queue.

- 3.20pm: Captain makes an announcement. "Sorry its been one of those bad days in Aviation history...but there has been another issue... the airplane next to us on your right has had 2 out of 3 navigation systems fail. And we are going to give them one of ours... the whole process should take no longer than 30 mins... well.. lets just say 45mins". I could hear a couple of moans and groans. The guy sitting next to me starts to laugh and shake his head. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

- 3.25pm: I SMS my bf for the 3rd time telling me my flight has been delayed.

- 4.05pm: An episode of Mr Bean has finished and we've had our ice-cream early. Still stuck on the tarmac.

- 4.15pm: The plane starts moving. People start clapping. "Ladies and Gentlemen, once again I apologise for the delay, we should be on our way shortly".

- 4.30pm: Take off. (Hurrahh ~~!).

I arrived in Sydney exactly 24 hrs after my scheduled arrival time. But feeling a lot more tired than any other trip I have ever taken.

I half want to call Qantas and vent my frustration out on the poor customer service rep on the other side of the phone. But then again, it wouldn't exactly be his\her's fault. I wonder if they would refund my trip. Feel too tired to do anything at the moment.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Start at 7am

I volunteered for the morning shift this morning. (?!)

Yeah... I know... the whole 'I'm-not-a-morning-person-issue'. But it actually seemed like the logical thing to do. Mainly because the morning shift guy had been sick for the last two days and didn't sound like he was coming back to work anytime soon. Plus, I had to catch a flight back to Perth this afternoon.

Which means if I start early, I can leave early.

More time to go home and pack (because I still haven't yet). Therefore, less chance of missing my flight.

I have a newfound respect for morning shift people though. Waking up before dawn. Actually getting out of the bed before dawn. Not falling back to sleep on the train. And actually being able to be productive at work.

I think I was dumbfoundedly staring at my screen for atleast 30 mins before I actually remembered how to log in, and start the morning checks on my own systems.

I don't think I'm going to have any issues sleeping on the plane tonight.... :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Interview Madness

In 20 mins I will be interviewing my would-be-manager. Yeah.... my new manager.

I say 'would-be' because, he has already been through interviews with senior management, but somehow one of my colleagues from the other team and myself was asked to sit in an interview with him as well.

I doubt whatever we have to say after that interview would make a difference.

I have still yet to congratulate the HR personnel or Senior manager who came up with this idea of doing 360° interviews.

All I know is that I have to be careful with the questions I ask him. HR even sent us an email outlining some possible questions to ask.

The Email noted that I shouldn't ask any hard or tricky questions, and outlined the possible implications of doing so, given that this person may very well be my next manager.

I may as well start shining his shoes in the interview.

His resume is impressive. However, his background in IT is not in Storage. He spent his first 10 years working as a software developer.

But then I'm not supposed to ask him questions on how he might handle the position he applied for, given he has no relevant experience in the specific industry.

I guess I better start working on my shoe polishing techniques instead.


Friday, June 22, 2007

How well should you know each other ?

We went out for dinner with Pete and a buddy of his a couple of nights ago. Pakistani food. Although it was nice, I ended up downing a whole jug of water, a mango Lassi and a can of apple cider. (I'm not exaggerating).

I felt like I had set my tongue on fire.

As I was quite obviously struggling with the current cuisine, his friend asked him what type of food I liked. Pete looked at me and asked, "Type of food..errm.. she doesn't have a favorite food"

"How can I not have a favorite food ?!?!"

"Everyone has a favorite food... Com'on Pete... don't tell her you don't know", taunted his friend, who was obviously doing his best to add fuel to the fire.

"I have different favorite ones for different occasions as well... I know your favorite foods. I know what type of food you can eat everyday and which one is your favorite".

*pause of silence**

"The food you can eat everyday is Chicken rice, your favorite food is Masala Dosa... what is mine?"

"Japanese"

"Oh man, you have to do better than that. She atleast pointed out a specific type of meal", his friend pointed out, determined to brew this for as long as he can.

"Do I really have to answer this now ?"

"Atleast take a guess.... Humour me .. ok ?"

"A six pack says I can guess her favorite food before you....Can you start us off with a hint ? What cuisine ?", asked his now-soon-to-be-ex-friend.

"Well.. its not Japanese.... its Italian"

"Fettucine" Came Pete's first guess.

"Wrong.. and by the way, thats your favorite pasta".

Lasagna, was his friend's guess and it was correct. Since his friend got it on his first guess, I gave Pete another chance and asked what was the type of food I wouldn't mind eating everyday. His friend guessed that one before him as well. Its Sushi.

Score ?
Pete - 0
Pete's now-ex-friend - 2

Which brings up the question, how well should you know each other ? I haven't given this much thought before. But that dinner conversation, certainly proved that my other half wasn't very observant at all. I wouldn't go as far as saying he doesn't care, because I know he does. But I also didn't want to go and ask what was my favorite colour is. I had a strong feeling he wouldn't know that one either. But I know his.

Maybe its a good thing I can read him as easily as an open book, and not vice versa. But then why am I getting the feeling that its just not quite right ?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I got to the office by 8.30am... AM... this morning !

Since that Sev2 case was lodged, this whole early-to-bed\early riser trial has been put into full speed.

I somehow managed to wake up by 6am and get to the office by 7am yesterday.

I didn't get out of the office until 8pm. I actually lost count on how many cups of tea and coffee I had.

On a totally different note, I had a somewhat interesting train ride this morning. There was a young couple by the door having fun, oblivious to the rest of the onlookers in the same carriage. Half of the people in the carriage were stealing glances at the couple while the rest just turned their heads to the opposite direction and ignored it.

I managed to count atleast 5 hickies on the guy's neck.

They weren't really making out.. just huddled in the corner.. giggling.. whispering in each other's ears... short kisses. They would have been no more than 16. The guy or boy... didn't even look like he had hit his growth spurt stages yet. He was probably about 5cms shorter than his female counterpart.

Hickies.... I still remember my days spent rubbing out mine, in hopes it will disperse faster, (You can't wear turtle-necks in summer!!). Which then usually turned in into something that resembles a bruise, and had my grandma wondering if I was getting into fights at school.

After that I stopped rubbing them and just kept on telling her it was from mosquito bites. :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

busy busy...

Probably been a while since I've neglected this blog for so long.

But I have been busy. Damn !@#% busy.

My manager has gone holidaying in Japan. And literally left me in a pile of sh-t.

Its 11.22pm now, and I'm still in the office.

I still have to come in tomorrow (a saturday) for work, and have been nicely asked to be onsite at 7am the coming Monday.

I need to bring a pillow into the office...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Day ? - forget it...

Actually.. I do know what day of my little experiment it is. Its Day 7. But since I ended up going out for drinks with my workmates last night, my regime has been completely screwed.

I didn't wake up until 9am this morning. And it was a while yet before I managed to stroll into the office.

Must admit though, the sight of Gatorade bottles on nearly every one of my colleagues' desk did put a smile on my face.

Still looking forward to drinks tonight... :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Day 4 - Closer

Day 4

Alarm time set: 8.05am
Time awake: 7.45am
Time Out of Bed: 8.20am
Time Reached Office: 9.15am
Breakfast: None

I actually woke up today and just lay there... waiting for my alarm to go off. woot! Jumped out of bed. Then promptly jumped back into bed. sigh.. Winter is definitely not the best time to be trialling this. But I am getting there. :)

******************

I found something on digg.com that will probably solve my lost-keys issue. Only problem is that this promised solution may, or may not happen for another 20 years...

Google in 20 years ??

Monday, June 04, 2007

Day 3 - No better...

Day 3

Alarm time set: 8.05am
Time Out of Bed: 8.30am
Time Reached Office: 9.32am
Breakfast: None

It was a struggle getting out of bed this morning. I think I snoozed my phone alarm atleast 3 times. I decided to set my alarm 5 mins earlier, but I don't think it made any difference.

***************

My weekend was plagued by disappointments. No chicken rice. Socceroos lost. The Terrace house I went to look at, turned out to be about 80k over my budget.

And we both left our keys home on Saturday night. According to Pete, it was just me. Because I had left my keys home, and he had left his keys in the car. However, his car keys were at home. Blah... Men.. Is it really that hard to admit you're wrong !?

Thank god for housemates. Our trusty housemate who has never failed us. :)

Maybe I should do some research on how to improve our short-term memory, and work on that instead of my sleep patterns.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Day 2 - Sleepy & Arrived Late

Day 2

Alarm time set: 8.10am
Time Out of Bed: 8.48am
Time Reached Office: 9.46am
Breakfast: Apple Blackcurrant juice


Not sure if I am getting any better at this. I went to sleep earlier last night, only to wake up at 6.49am. Watched half an episode of Boston Legal, and dozed back off to la-la land. By the time my alarm went off, I felt sleepier than I was at 6.49am. Took me ages to struggle out of bed. And I ended up coming in later today than I did yesterday. :(

*******************

On a different note, I have a pimple on the tip of my nose. It is annoying the sh-ts out of me. Seriously. Although its not totally visible yet (ie. not ready to squeeze), I can definitely feel it. And the affected area looks kinda red. Grrrr.....

I've always been pretty lucky with my skin. I never had acne during highschool, and I've never really had to use any products to keep my skin clean.

Just wash with warm water with face towel and splash with cold water later.

However, as I've grown older, I've been reeled in by various sources (friends.. my own mother.. Cosmopolitan etc), to start using some kind of skin products to 'delay' the aging process. (No, I don't have W******* yet).

Apparently, if I didn't start now, it was going to be too late.

Which is all good. The only problem is that my skin doesn't seem to appreciate it. 75% of the time after applying something the night before, I would wake up with acne issues the next morning. Not alot, but 2-3 pimples on my forehead is enough to piss me off for the rest of the week. I get worse results the next day if I use makeup.

Last night while cleaning out all my 'products', (my buddy advised me that these products have a shelf life of about 1-2 yrs... mine are about 3-4 yrs old already), I found I had an unused SK-II mask packet.

If common sense had prevailed, I should have thrown it away. I have no idea when I had brought it, but then again, it didn't have an expiry date. So I used it. (Hey.. SK-II is expensive .. ok???)....

And woke up with the consequences this morning.

The thing that really bugs me, is that I still don't know if its the SK-II mask that is causing my skin breakout, or if its because I used an 'expired' SK-II mask. ?! Its been so long since the last time I used one of these things, I've forgotten the previous result already.

The reason I did the 'clean out' was to make way for some new products. Anyone out there got any recommendations ?! Not sure if I really want to be spending all that money on SK-II products again.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Day 1

Day 1

Alarm time set: 8.10am
Time Out of Bed: 8.28am
Time Reached Office: 9.29am
Breakfast: None

Its day 1 of my little experiment, and althought I managed to get to the office before 9.30am, I practically yawned all the way here.

I maybe half an hour earlier, but I don't feel anymore awake than I was yesterday.

Need coffeeeeeeee.....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Take Charge

My sleeping pattern has gone completely wacko for the past two weeks.

And combine that with winter mornings, I've been waking up at 8.30am, getting out of bed 15 mins later and getting to work around 9.30am.

Today, I didn't wake up until 9am. Out of bed by 9.30am, work by 10am. If I keep this up, its only a matter of time before my manager finally cracks, resulting in me having to find another job.

The problem with starting the day late, is that not only do I feel like I need another 10 hours of sleep, I'm also immensely unproductive. I've done nothing today. And its not because there is nothing to do (there is loads of work), but I just can't get myself commited to start on something.

Then I read this while surfing through digg.com

I read through all the advantages... humm.. the 'commute' one doesn't really count, there isn't any peak-hour traffic after 9.30am anyway. But then again, being able to have breakfast in the morning again sounds good. Lately I've just been doing the Brunch thing.

I guess I can try to change my sleeping patterns. Not sure how I'm going to force myself to wake up 15 mins earlier.

My target is to get to a stage where I can wake up and get out of bed easily by 7.30am (excluding weekends). And be at work before 9am.

I'm going to try and record my progress on this blog.

Wish me luck !

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Need more ...

Annual leave !!!

I think I have gone through most of my 20 days already. My last pay slip says I have 5.07 days left.

Thats not including the 7 days I will be taking for the Osaka trip in November, and the 2 days away while I will be back in Perth for my Granny's b'day during the first week of July.

I'll also be back in Perth for my friends-since-highschool buddy's wedding in September. (Trying to make that just a 'weekend' trip).

And now to top that off, another one of my close friends informed me that he is getting married in two months time. The wedding will be in Singapore.

Oh... and my ski trip in August.

I'm at a stage where I actually feel a bit embarrassed, to hand in anymore annual leave request forms.

Looks like I'll be putting my hands up for any overtime work for the next 6 months or so, just to accrue more leave. *sigh**

Monday, May 21, 2007

Its the People

It has been a sh-t week.

Thursday left at 10pm.

Friday left at 11pm.

Call outs on Sunday.

One power outage and my whole week + weekend ends up screwed.

IT equipments don't like power outages. 1 motherboard change and 2 interconnect HBA card changes later, and everything seemed to be up and running. Hardware failures -- I can handle, its the people that get to me.

After I got my downtime approved, some IT Continuity Manager called up and said that the outage was not to go ahead, and if we were to replace broken parts, then we were to do it without any downtime.

Nutcase.

He may as well asked a doctor to perform open heart surgery without putting the patient to sleep first.

I explained that the Interconnect cards were down. Which is the hardware that controls the cluster failover links. The ability to have redundancy. And if there was another power outage, or even any other hardware failure, and then if the system goes down, there will be an extended period of downtime during the day for which I cannot account for.

After another hour of phone calls, it was still a 'No-Go'.

I wonder what part of, "If system suffers another problem, and Interconnects not fixed, system will go down indefinitely", did he not understand.

He said that if I couldn't guarantee that the system will be up by 7am the next day, then I couldn't go ahead. I told him I couldn't guarantee that the system would be up in the next 5 minutes.

I was so tempted to just shutdown everything and report a Severity 1.

Although if I did do that, I will probably be spending the rest of the month filling out incident reports.

In the end my manager took the phone, and said, 'If we don't do anything tonight, and system goes down tomorrow, I will put it down that you were the one who didn't allow work to be done tonight?'.

I didn't hear the answer, but once my manager put the phone down, he told me it will go ahead tonight.

That was thursday night. After 4 reboots and the system still didn't come back up after the interconnects were replaced, I realised the problem was much bigger than just the HBA cards. It would take another 4 hours for parts to be dispatched onsite. And it looked like a new motherboard was needed.

Normally, I wouldn't mind staying back. I could just go home, get something to eat and come back when parts arrived. But not this time. I called my manager up and asked if he would want me to stay, he said 'No', I could do it tomorrow night.

So, Friday morning I called to let him know that it didn't go as planned and that further downtime would be required.

He didn't sound happy. But I really didn't care anymore.

Friday, May 18, 2007

How Aussie are you ?

Question 7 was easy. We are known to eat the only two animals shown on our Coat of Arms. So I just choose the two animals which I knew to be edible. Ha !

However, I don't know who was the first Prime Minister of Australia. (I doubt many other Australian do ...)

Funny how I would know who was the first President of the United States though.

A sample of questions from the 'Aussie Test' can be found on the link below:

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21752541-2,00.html

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Go Figure

Why are the Grey Shirts (Cityrail Police) standing outside the ticket gates to check people's tickets after they have passed through the gates ?

*smacks forehead**

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back in Form

An old friend of mine who dropped by Sydney for a quick 3 day trip left this morning. In true fashion, to reminisce old times, we both decided to go karaoke and have a drink or two last night.

A drink or two turned out to be two bottles of Chivas. 750ml Each.

We didn't just sit there and skull a bottle each. We aren't that crazy, but my friend did insist we do it just like the good old days. No mixers. Just two cubes of ice each, so that we can swish it around in our little plastic cups.

Actually the most amazing thing last night, was that we managed to find a Karaoke that didn't close up at 12am. (it took us three attempts). But now I know where to go, if I do feel like going out for drinks again on a Monday night.

Legend has it that I could once drink 3 guys under the table. That might be true if the 3 guys have livers the size of a candle nut.

However, after last night, I do feel that I'm back in form.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Marriage Insight

This probably isn't just a marriage insight. So far I'm able to apply it to all of my previous failed relationships. I'm a sucker for #2. And #3 just doesn't exist. The way I'm going I think I'm doomed to be a spinster for the rest of my life.

While we were at a pub last week, I was told by my bf that he will be 'ditching' me (i.e. I will need to find my own ride home), if I didn't leave with him in next 5 mins. He had basketball on that night.

Basketball has and always will come first. -End of Dicussion-

Given that incident, I don't favour my chances with point #10.


Warning: big amounts of text to follow, copied from one of my girlfriend's emails.

=========

TEN WAYS TO MARRY THE WRONG PERSON

By Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A.

With the divorce rate over 50%, too many are apparently making a serious mistake in deciding whom to spend the rest of their life with. To avoid becoming a "statistic," try to internalize 10 insights.
  1. You pick the wrong person because you expect him/her to change after you're married. The classic mistake. Never marry potential. The golden rule is, if you can't be happy with the person the way he or she is now, don't get married. As a colleague of mine so wisely put it, "You actually can expect people to change after their married...for the worst!" So when it comes to the other person's spirituality, character, personal hygiene, communication skills, and personal habits, make sure you can live with these as they are now.

  2. You pick the wrong person because you focus more on chemistry than on character. Chemistry ignites the fire, but good character keep sit burning. Beware of the "I'm in love" syndrome. "I'm in love often means, "I'm in lust." Attraction is there, but have you carefully checked outthis person's character? Here are four characteristics to definitely check for: Humility: Does this person believe that "doing the right thing" is more important than personal comfort? Kindness: Does this person enjoy giving pleasure to other people? How does s/he treat people s/he doesn't have to be nice to? Does s/he do volunteer work? Give to charity? Responsibility: Can I depend on this person to do what s/he says s/he's going to do? Happiness: Does this person like himself? Does s/he enjoy life? Is s/he emotionally stable? Ask yourself: Do Iwant to be more like this person? Do I want to have a child with this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her?

  3. You pick the wrong person because the man doesn't understand what a woman needs most. Men and women have unique emotional needs, and more often than not, it is the man who just doesn't get it. Jewish tradition places the onus on the man to understand the emotional needs of the woman and to satisfy them. The unique need of a woman is to be loved -to feel that she is the most important person in her husband's life. The husband needs to give her consistent, quality attention. This is most apparent is Judaism's approach to sexual intimacy. The Torah obligates the husband to meet the sexual needs of his wife. Sexual intimacy is always on the woman's terms. Men are goal oriented especially when it comes to this area. As a wise woman once pointed out, "Men have two speeds: on and off." Women are experience oriented. When a man is able to switch gears and become more experience-oriented, he will discover what makes his wife very happy. When the man forgets about his own needs and focuses on giving his wife pleasure, amazing things will happen.

  4. You choose the wrong person because you do not share a common life goal and priorities. There are three basic ways we connect with another person:

    o Chemistry and compatibility
    o share common interests
    o share common life goal.

    Make sure you share a deeper level of connection that sharing life goals provide. After marriage, the two of you will either grow together or grow apart. To avoid growing apart, you must figure out what you're living for while you are single-and then find someone who has come to the same conclusion as you. This is the true definition of a soul mate. A soul mate is a goal mate....two people who ultimately share the same understanding of life's purpose and therefore share the same priorities, values and goals.


  5. You choose the wrong person because you get involved sexually too quickly. Sexual involvement before the commitment of marriage can be a big problem because it often precludes a fully honest exploration of important issues. Sexual involvement tends to cloud one's mind. And a clouded mind is not inclined to make good decisions. It is not necessary to "test drive" in order to find out if a couple are sexually compatible. If you do your homework and make sure you are intellectually and emotionally compatible, you don't have to worry about sexual compatibility. Of all the studies on divorce, sexual incompatibility is never cited as a main reason why people divorce.

  6. You pick the wrong person because you do not have deeper emotional connection. To evaluate whether you have a deeper emotional connection or not, ask: "Do I respect and admire this person?" This does not mean, "Am I impressed by this person?" We are impressed by a Mercedes. We do not respect someone because they own a Mercedes. You should be impressed by qualities of creativity, loyalty, determination, etc. Also ask: "Do I trust this person?" This also means, "Is he/she emotionally stable? Do I feel I can rely on him/her?

  7. You pick the wrong person because you choose someone with whom you don't feel emotionally safe. Ask yourself the following questions:

    Do I feel calm, peaceful and relaxed with this person? Can I fully be myself and express myself with this person? Does this person make me feel good myself? Do you have a really close friend who does make you feel this way? Make sure the person you marry makes you feel the same way! Are you afraid of this person in any way? You should not feel you need to monitor what you say because you are afraid of how the other person will view it. If you're afraid to express your feelings and opinions openly, there's a problem with the relationship. Another aspect of feeling safe is that you don't feel the other person is trying to control you. Controlling behaviors are a sign of an abusive person. Be on the look out for someone who is always trying to change you. There is a big difference between "controlling" and "making suggestions." A suggestion is made for your benefit; a control statement is made for their benefit.

  8. You pick the wrong person because you don't put everything on the table. Anything that bothers you about the relationship must be brought up for discussion. Bringing up the uncomfortable stuff is the only way to evaluate how well the two of you communicate, negotiate, and work together. Over the course of a lifetime, difficulties will inevitably arise. You need to know now, before making a commitment: Can you resolve your differences and find compromises that work for both of you? Never be afraid to let the person know what bothers you. This is also a way for you to test how vulnerable you can be with this person. If you can't be vulnerable, you can't be intimate. The two go hand in hand.

  9. You pick the wrong person because you use the relationship to escape from personal problems and unhappiness. If you are unhappy and single, you'll probably be unhappy and married, too. Marriage does not fix personal, psychological and emotional problems. If anything, marriage will exacerbate them. If you are not happy with yourself and your life, take responsibility to fix it now while you are single. You'll feel better and your future spouse will thank you.

  10. You pick the wrong person because he/she is involved in a triangle. To be "triangulated" means a person is emotionally dependent on someone or something else while trying to develop another relationship. A person who hasn't separated from his or her parents is a classic example of triangulation. People can also be triangulated with things as well, such as work, drugs, Internet, hobbies, sports or money. Be careful that you and your partner are free of triangles. The person caught in a triangle cannot be fully emotionally available to you. You'll not be their number one priority. And that's not basis for a marriage.
==============================


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Poker Face

I had an incredible run of good luck during last night's poker game.

I got away with 3 big bluffs and ended up getting good hits on the River or Turn cards.

I can't say I really know how to play poker, I kind of seem to just go in with cards I think are good (when apparently they aren't). Our resident dealer, kept on shaking his head after I took him out by following his 'All in' when I held a Jack and a Two. He on the other hand had a Ace and King.

The River card (last card) to come out was a Jack.

Finally it was down to Pete and me fighting it out for the pot.

I held an Ace and Queen of hearts. It was Pete's turn to call, and he checked. I followed. The Flop contained a King of hearts. And I was thinking... humm.. possible Flush ?! I was still hoping another Ace will follow later.

Pete betted and I followed.

Ten of Hearts came on the Turn.

By this time, I had shown my cards to my housemate sitting on my left, and we were both giggling away. The flush was becoming a real possibility. But more importantly if the next card was a Jack, I could have a Straight... or even better... if it was a Jack of Hearts then... it would be a Royal Flush.

I looked at Pete... His face appeared as calm as ever.

He betted the minimum amount, as if to draw me in. I followed.

The River card came and the both of us couldn't control ourselves anymore. My housemate did a 'scream of joy', I followed (albeit a bit louder than her), both jumped up, embraced each other, laughed and eventually sat back down and calmed ourselves.

While all this time Pete was just muttering under his breath (I think I heard.. 'What-The-F???'), shaking his head and then chucked his cards into the middle.

He Folded.

I was already counting out my chips to go 'All In'.

He told me there was no way he would go in after seeing the little fiasco that just happened.

I held the Royal Flush, and he told me he knew it.

Then the 5 other players on the table also told me they knew it.

Pete showed me his cards, he had all Hearts too, so he had a Flush. He said if I had kept a straight face or what they call 'The Poker Face', he would have gone 'All In'. And I would have won. Instead he Folded, because he knew from my reaction, and the possibility of a Royal Flush on the table. Damn.

But how do you keep a straight face when delt a Royal Flush !??

We were loud enough to wake up the whole apartment block when the River card was delt.

I guess I've still got alot more to learn. Poker Face... I have not.

Although it didn't change the outcome of last night's game. Two hands later Pete went All In before the Flop was delt. He had a Pocket Pair of Sevens.

I looked at my cards, smiled and turned them over. Pocket Nines.

The 3rd Nine came out on the Turn.

And so I won the Pot... :)

Its the next day now, and I'm still smiling when I think about my Royal Flush. My first Royal Flush... :)

I think its time to go work on my Poker Face now...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Holiday in the Planning..

One of the budget airlines in Australia had a '2nd ticket for $3 sale' over the weekend, and I managed to get tickets to Osaka ~~~~ !

JAPAN !!

So for the past two days at work, I've been spending every spare minute researching online about Osaka and what there is to do there and where to stay.

Only problem is that I'm not actually flying until late November.. so at the moment I can only drool at the yummy photos of food from the websites.

Any must do \ must see \ must eat \must go to places in Osaka ? If so pls let me know.. :)

For now its back to Osaka web surfing... *drool ~~~~

Monday, May 07, 2007

Happy Drinking...

I have to remind myself to get out of any future dinner events with his friends in the future.

Being ignored by half the table is one thing, but getting looks which makes you feel like a piece of vermin is another thing all together.

I shouldn't really be bothered by it. Everytime I do end up meeting with them, I'm usually bored shitless anyway and on most occasions just end up drinking myself silly.

They are mostly nice people. I guess with some people you'll just click with no issues, while with others, it will just never happen.

When dinner was finally over, we went back to join up with my group of friends who had already started the party at my place.

We planned to drink ourselves silly over a game of cards, but no matter how many bottles of beer I drank, I just didn't get drunk.

There was 3 1/2 dozen bottles in total. 42 bottles of beer.

And about 1/2 of which we polished through in 45 mins during a game of 7,8,9. (dice game)

I was happily high, but incredibly sober.

My bf however was not. He was slurring all the way when playing the final rounds of 5-10 with me.

Its been a while since I've had this much fun.

I still find it quite amazing how I managed to finish atleast a whole dozen by myself but felt good throughout the whole night.

I guess its all about the company...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Good Job

Got a call from the big boss just as I sat down to log onto my computer.

Luckily I didn't decide to watch the next episode of CSI NY this morning.. otherwise I would have missed the phone call... and be knowingly late.

The call was to congratulate me on a job well done.

Apparently one of the PMs or Users I was working with, sent him an email commemorating my performance.

Its not everyday I receive a call from someone thanking me and telling me I did a good job. 95% of the calls I get everyday are from users calling in to say something is broken. And usually when the problem has been fixed, I may get a 'thank you' at the end of the conversation, but that is usually it.

Its nice to have a phone call thats different... :)

The big boss also told me to go out and have dinner with my bf and put the tab in expenses later on. hummm... :) Where to for dinner tonight ?!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gamer No More

Today marks the 3rd month since my last log on to WoW.

And with my iCush chair packed away in the store room under the stairs...

I can safely say that I have finally been weaned off Warcraft.

This however, doesn't mean that we have been going out more than usual. For the past month and a bit, we have been spending our time together watching old TV and Japanese Anime series all over again.

For example:

Inuyasha - all 167 episodes !
CSI (series 1-6)
CSI NY (series 1-2)
Ouran Highschool host club
Wolf Rain
and of course Boston Legal and Heroes.

Now that I think about it, it seems I have simply moved from Warcraft to TV series. Only the content has changed, technically I'm still staring at the screen of my laptop. (or in some cases, the secondary screen I've attached to my laptop).

Kind of ironic when I think about it, because I only really started watching TV series again when a Warcraft friend emailed me a link to some taiwanese TV series.

I wonder how long its going to take before I can find something to spend time on which does not involve my laptop.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Flu with Bad Cough

Its been nearly a whole week now since I've been down with my flu.

Runny nose and a Cough that just doesn't seem to want to go away.

I have officially gone through 3 boxes of Kleenex tissues and 2 rolls of toilet paper.

No ... I didn't spend my sick days stuck in a toilet... I had run out of Kleenexes at home and had to turn to toilet paper instead.

However I still managed to go out drinking on Tuesday night and Saturday. I knew I needed more sleeeeep... but with a public holiday on Wednesday, and the weekend available, it was just too tempting.

I had a feeling that nothing good would come from me going out while sick. (I can still hear my good conscience voice telling me 'I told you so').

Atleast amongst all this going out and having fun, I did manage to put two theories to the test.

One.. that Beer, although also known as the Western world's equivalent of 'Herbal Tea' to Asians, it does not possess any herbal tea benefits.

Two... alcoholic beverages prepared from single malt, aged 12 years liquor DOES-NOT kill off germs or the flu bug.

Why is there no cure to the common cold ? *sob

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Reason #712 Why I hate dealing with Dimwits

After my last clustered failover occurred, I lodged a case to the support engineers in the US, in hopes to determine what might have caused the system to panic.

After a week of not hearing anything from the support engineer I was working with (he had promised to call me back), I saw this logged into the case notes this morning:

--------
(S) I tried reaching you at 612 9*** ****, the listed number above, is there an alternate number to reach you that number rang busy
--------

I really wanted to put an update into the case notes which says something along these lines:

--------
+612 9*** **** is the correct number, and the reason why it rang busy ... is BECAUSE I'M FOOKING ON THE FOOKING PHONE.

Alternatively you can contact me on my mobile (+6141********), but I may not be able to pick up the call if I am busy on another line. If that is indeed the case, please try calling again later.... fooking dimwit !!!!!
--------

I was tempted, but I didn't. Instead I kept it simple: "If number is busy, pls try again later."

Today is a busy day. Busy days are not good days to be dealing with @#$! Dimwits .. grrrrrr.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Whats for Dinner ?

I hate having to think about what to have for dinner.

Most of the time, when Pete askes me what I want for dinner, my usual reply (unless I am craving for something) is.. "I don't know.. what do you want?"... He goes through his list of food choices - to which I ban everyone of them (Dominos and/or KFC is not a type of cuisine). Then he complains that if I wasn't going to go for anything he suggests then I shouldn't ask for his opinion. We ignore each other for a while.. until either one of us starts to starve. Which by this time of the night, the only thing available is McDonalds, KFC or Dominos.

Recently we've come to some kind of compromise. He can't suggest any one of the 'top 5' fast foods (ie. McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hungry Jacks and Dominos), and has to answer with something I can actually cook (Which means.. No Singaporean Chilli Crab), and with ingredients that are available downstairs (more on that later).

Then I'll go and cook it.

I thought this was fair, so long I didn't have to do the thinking, and he wasn't allowed to complain.. even if it tasted like shit water.

Oh.. and Indo Mee.

Indo Mee seems to be our best seller so far, we managed to finish a whole box within 2 weeks. During our grocery shopping downstairs yesterday afternoon, (to pickup yet another box of Indo Mee), I asked the dinner question again.

Tomato Soup was the reply.

Real tomato soup ?! (I asked as I eyed the can soup section on my left)

Yeah.. why not ? Do you think they have all the ingredients here?

My last attempt when I tried making tomato soup was with canned tomatoes and water with some chicken stock powder.... The Campbells Canned Soup version tasted better.

Ingredients that are available downstairs. Ever since the Asian grocery store opened downstairs we haven't stepped foot into a supermarket. Neither one of us is willing to drive to a supermarket, which means that what we eat at home has been limited to what the Asian grocery store sells. A lot of canned food, preserved\dried food, bread, bacon, instant noodles, eggs, Asian veggies but no fresh meat.

So after a bit, I managed to find some chinese-brand canned chicken stock. I also got some carrots, celery and lots of tomatoes.

I googled a recipe for tomato soup after my last failed attempt and remembered that was roughly what I needed. Well, everything except the basil. I figured I could just use the dried spicies at home anyway. The grocery store didn't have any vine-ripen tomatoes either. Actually the only ones that were available was borderline greenish-looking.

Nevertheless, the result wasn't all bad. It looked kind of more orangey colour than red. Pete did eye it suspiously when he saw the final product. But after the first spoon, he declared it was 'nice' and alot better than canned soup and went on to gobble the whole thing down with bread. I admit it was a bit better than canned soup, but something was missing. Quite possibly, the absence of basil and vine-ripen tomatoes. I'm going to try and get my hands on some later this week, and if it tastes good, I'll post the recipe up.

Until then I still have 2/3 of a pot of tomato soup to polish off.

Other than bread.. does anyone know what goes good with tomato soup or if I can use it for something else ?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Away from home

Yesterday while doing some late night shopping alone, I realised I had been away from home for 5 years and 1 month. The 5 year mark had lapsed, and I didn't even realise it on that day.

I'm actually not sure if I had accomplished my 5 year goals -- the ones I had originally made before I jetted off to Singapore.

The original list is in my old Filofax diary (does anyone still use Filofax??) back home in Perth. But I can still recall some of the major goals\milestones I had listed.

  • Not Married and definitely not have kids. Yes. Believe it or not, this was first on my list. I think it might had be contributed by my grandma constantly praying in my ear that she will not accept any great-grandchildren out of wedlock. But marriage was a big thing to me. Looking at my parents, (don't get me wrong, I think they did a great job).. but there was never time. I don't recall having a proper sit-down dinner with both of them at the proper dinner time. (11pm at night is not proper dinner time).. and unless they sell their business, I doubt I ever will. I always had in my mind that if I wanted a family, then I would need to give up my career. Or atleast until the kids grow up. And so whatever I would want to accomplish in my career will need to be done before kids. I know alot of women who read this will disagree with me, and argue that as females we can have it all. And I do agree with that, some women can, but it wasn't what I wanted. And anyways, these were my long-term milestone plans I made before I left home and went overseas to work. Now, I'm not so sure I can let go of my career, probably because what I want to accomplish seems to have scope creep. I'm not really 100% sure what I want yet.. and doubt I will ever be.

  • To be a Database Administrator (preferably Oracle). I know this line will make some people laugh. I'm still in IT, but I kind of did a 90° turn and went down the Systems Administrator\Engineering way. Looking back now, I think I have touched nearly every side of IT, but DBA. In working order...Delphi Programmer, Networks Operator, IIS Webserver Admin, System Admin and now Systems Eng. I have worked with Oracle DBAs and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them, but somehow never ended up going down the DBA track.

  • To be working in UK\London by the end of my 5 yr working\travelling trip. I'm not sure where this milestone has gone to either. After Singapore and Melbourne, I was supposed to leave Sydney after I finished the 1st job here. But one job followed another and I was never more than 1 week without a job. So I guess thats why I am still here. Oh.. and all those stupid relationships.. thats what has kept me grounded in Sydney. I still want to go to London. Somehow I think I will always feel like I've missed something in my life if I don't go. End of the year or early next is what I am planning for right now. :)

Thats the 3 major ones I can recall from my list. The other ones I think I had down were rather stupid. I think I had down after each year what I wanted my salary to be. In the beginning, my career path was somewhat driven by money. I can say it isn't now... And hasn't been for a long while. While salary is still one of the determining factors when I move jobs (can you say No to a 30k payrise??), I'm happy to say it is no longer the most important one.

Looking back now, lots of things has changed since leaving home. Not only my milestones in life, but the daily things. Eat, drink, sleep etc. I probably have more instant noodles in a month now, than I would have in a whole year back home. But more interestingly my sleeping pattern is alot more normal. Past 1am now, and I'll probably just pass out on the couch. Before at 11pm I will still be calling people to go out to drink or have coffee with me. Or maybe just another sign I'm getting old ?!

While I was shopping last night, I realised the things I would buy had also changed. I had picked up this intricate top, silk and some beads sewn in it....I instinctly searched for the wash\care label, and confirmed the answer to my question... Hand Wash Only. I put it back down. I ended up getting something for the Kitchen instead. *sigh

I'm going to make another milestone list this weekend for my next 5 years. Although I'm still not sure which side I'm swinging towards in regards to the whole 'marriage and kids scenario in the next 5 yrs' thing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

For On-Jai

On Jai... Something for you to drool on until the end of this week. :)




This dish is actually pretty hard to find in Sydney (especially the good ones). We actually found this at a sandwich bar in Ashfield. Funny thing is that we sat there the whole morning and everyone who came in was ordering the above dish (which they make once every fortnight), and not one sandwich was sold.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Email Stuff-Ups #1023

After sending an email outlining the implementation plans to another department's manager, I got a reply back with only one word.

"Excellent"

And my reply......

"Thank you, Mr Burns."

---------------------------

And No... (in case you are wondering), his surname is not 'Burns'.

I think I've watched too many episodes of The Simpsons... And why do my fingers type faster than my brain works !?!? D'oh!

Monday, April 02, 2007

FitnessFirst Cancellation Hell

Yep. FitnessFirst cancellation HELL. And judging from the information I found on some forums, I am not the first and unfortunately would not be the last one either.

My Gym membership is paid monthly. Every month on the first, a direct debit from FitnessFirst would be taken from my credit card account. Having finally made up my mind to quit my gym membership, I went to the nearest FitnessFirst during lunchtime to get the required cancellation papers. I knew I had to give 4 weeks notice and therefore, an extra month will be debitted after first notice of cancellation. So I wanted to get this cancellation notice in as soon as possible.

A request to cancel has to be submitted in writing. And as I soon found out, it must be submitted using one of their Forms.

A form which you will be required to fill in during your 'Appointment' with a Customer Care Manager.

Now here is the suss part. The Customer Care Manager will call you to make an appointment. When I asked them when would they call, I was told usually between 24-48 hours. (No definite timeframe). I was also told that the appointment would be made on a later date.

I told them due to work commitments, I wouldn't be able to make it to any appointment. I am being 100% truthful here. I'm practically 1/2 a field engineer. I have to go onsite to replace parts or solve issues whenever the need arises. I can't even make it to most of my project manager's meetings !! And I'm supposed to make time for some appointment with my Gym's Customer Care Manager to process a cancellation !??

Isn't the whole point of a cancellation supposed to mean that I don't want to go there anymore ??!

I was then told to call the 1300 number for FitnessFirst, the guy at the counter told me that I can speak to the Cancellations call center and they will be able to process it there.

So I went back to the office, and tried out their 1300 number. According to the 3 different people I talked at ranging from the Facility at Pennant Hills to Rockdale, it turns out there is no such thing. Surprise Surprise. Dammit ... I knew he was just trying to get rid of me.

Oh, I did find out one thing though. They had spelt my Surname wrong. And also my street name. Making it a painstaking process to locate me.

The only thing the people at the Facilities could do (that was all I got put through to from their 1300 number), was to put a 'note' \ 'comment' that I called, and that a Customer Care Manager(CCM) would need to call me back regarding my cancellation.

I called one of my friends who had recently quit his Gym membership and asked if he had to go through the same process. He told me Yes. And that the 'notice to cancel' was taken from when the form was submitted. WTF ???

Apparently for him, it was 1 week before he could make an appointment to see the CCM, and 3 weeks before the process was complete. And he was originally under the impression it would be from when he was called to tell them that he wanted to cancel and not when the 'Appointment' with the CCM was conducted. Unfortunately by the time the whole process was completed, he had to pay another month's membership because it had already rolled over to the next month.

He told me to write a letter and hand it in to them, outlining that I wanted to terminate my membership and details what I have done to try get them to process my cancellation. And so I did. Not sure if it would do the trick, but as he said, atleast I've got some kind of writen correspondence. (Even if it is only on my side).

Trying to get one of their people to email me something to confirm that I've requested to cancel my membership was like trying to squeeze blood out of a brick.

It would only be my blood. And it just wasn't going to happen.

One of the people I talked to wouldn't even give me her last name. And was blatantly rude. So much for customer service.

Here are some links to some of the forums I found:

http://phorums.com.au/archive/index.php/t-208801.html

http://au.messages.yahoo.com/health/general-fitness/578?p=last

http://robw.vox.com/library/post/fitness-first-horror-stories.html

http://www.inthemix.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=90608

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies-archive.cfm/681739.html

http://www.blagger.com/db4/company_id/1035/companyname/Fitness-First.html

http://fitnessfirstsucks.com/

Friday, March 30, 2007

In Search of the Perfect Chip

I've been craving for fluffy, deep golden chips ever since I got back from Perth. Well, actually I'm only craving for the chips at Blue Duck Cafe in Cottesloe.

But given that is a good 5 hours flight away, I will need to find a place in Sydney instead to satisfy my fluffy potato chips craving.

Chips, Wedges (with or without sourcream and chilli) .. are my comfort food.

When I used to get stressed (really stressed) back at my last job, I would munch on some $3 box of wedges (courtesy of the foodcourt downstairs), while typing away frantically trying to resolve some system issue.

I must say, I feel sorry for the guy who took my seat and had to use my keyboard after I left.

The best Fish 'n' Chip shop I've found so far is Smith's Seafood down south near Blakehurst, just before Tom Ugly's bridge. Or rather, the best 'Fish' shop. Their chips kinda suck there. Its the frozen type that gets chucked straight into the fryer. When I go there now, I only order the Barra (battered) and give the chips a miss.

I prefer chips that are light and fluffy in the inside and deep fried to a crispy golden brown on the outside. None of those long-stringy french-fry chips. I don't mind the chips at KFC, if only they weren't so soggy and covered with oil.

If anyone has any recommendations, pls post it in my comments.

I will post results of my search as soon as I've found anything promising.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

phone calls

I got another phone call from him this morning. Telling me that somewhere in Singapore (where is his right now), there is this road that reminds him of Perth. Reminded him of our time together and how much he misses the care-free life back when we were all studying in Uni.

He sounded drunk.

And I told him so.

For the past month that I have been receiving these sporadic calls, I've tried to play the part of a 'friend'. I knew he was going through a particularly rough patch in his life. I didn't mind to listen. I was actually more concern that he would do something to himself. A path I believe he would take if all was lost.

I didn't want to learn one day that he too had gone down that path.

For that matter, how are you supposed to help someone who is depressed ? After each phone call, I only feel that I am the one who is becoming more and more depressed.

But this morning I kinda snapped. I guess the result from receiving a phone call from a drunken caller before 7am in the morning. I told him to stop calling me. Stop drinking. That he was not the only person in the world having problems. And told him to go wake up someone else in Singapore.

I so regret saying that now.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dinner Talk

During dinner at home last night.....


"You know when you were back in Perth.. I was eating only steam rice with soy sauce and chilli everynight"

"Huh? Oh you poor thing....I'll cook more often... ok?"

"But it was so yummy..hehe.."

"...... ?!!??!"


Somebody is going to be eating only steam rice with soy sauce and chilli at home for a long long time.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My mother is in town

My mother is in town.

-- The End --


Just kidding... its not 'the end' .. although that sentance above can definitely be my 'picture to a thousand words' for this post.

I spent the night before cleaning and vacuuming until 3am. (Although we did have a game of mahjong in between). And yet the first thing she said when she came in was, "Girl.. you should really clean your apartment up a bit ... so dusty".

And so Bunny took a bit of the blame.

Rabbit... Fur... Dust.

My day started at 7am. Her flight arrived at 7am. Breakfast - Lunch - Mahjong - Supper.

Having had only 4 hrs of sleep the night before, I was completely exhausted by 11pm. And fell asleep by the end she wanted to have some pre-bedtime talk.

She is only in town for 3 days (just for my graduation), so its not all bad. I just need to think about where to bring her to for dinner tonight. And possibly endure a night of nagging questions on why I still haven't brought my own place yet and the dreaded 'M' topic.

Oh.. and thanks again to my friends who contributed to the "Mummy Entertainment Fund" while playing mahjong with her last night.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pics from Perth

Some pics I took with my SE K800 while I was back home in Perth.

This one is at my favorite place... Cottesloe Beach. I can probably sit here the whole day.. :)



Monday, March 12, 2007

Best Vietnamese Pork Roll

In my opinion, this place has the best Vietnamese Pork Roll in Sydney.

This place is so good that no matter what time I go to pick up a $3.50 pork roll - it is always packed. Which means you have to line up. Something that you don't usually see in Sydney, unless you are lining up to get into a night club.

Presenting... Hong Ha in Mascot. Or quite simply the 'Pork Roll Place'. Everyone in front of me had either ordered a Pork roll or Chicken roll.. or (like my bf) both.

We went there at 11am, hoping to beat the lunch crowd...But still... it turned out pretty much the same.



This photo doesn't really do the line-up justice. The counter is a bit further back, and behind the counter were 5 ladies busily working whipping up yummy pork rolls by the minute. Which meant I only spent about a total of 4-5 minutes in line.

I did manage to take a photo of my pork roll before I gobbled it all up. :)

Paté, Mayo, 3 different types of pressed pork with salad, spring onion, corriander and gravy.. all encased in a crunchy fresh bread roll.

So craving for one right now... Grrrr....