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Entertaining Spiderman

23 May 2002 14:50

I finally got to watch Spiderman this evening with my colleagues after repeated aborted attempts to watch it ever since it came out. While I may be quite the Star Wars fan, after watching both, I reckon Spidey rates better as far as entertainment value is concerned. The movie has quite a good balance of action, drama and heart in it. It almost faithfully retells the story of Spiderman's origin from the comic book. Note that I said "almost" there. Some adaptations had to be made in the transference to the silver screen. Most notable differences were Peter Parker being bitten by a genetically engineered spider in the movie (as opposed to a radioactive spider in the comic book) and also the web fluid which seemingly comes out of the veins of his wrists (as opposed to a specially created wristband that shoots out web fluid in the comic book). However, it was tastefully done and it was no doubt due to Stan Lee's (creator of Spiderman) involvement in the creation of the movie itself. Peter Parker/Spidey was played out appropriately by Tobey Maguire, being the witty superhero and still maintain that boyish charm. Willem Dafoe was superb in his role as the neurotic Norman Osborn/Green Goblin as he lived up to that character really well. Kirsten Dunst was also great in her role as MJ Watson (Actually, I don't really care! She can act bad and I'll still like her! Hahaa!). The role of J. Jonah Jameson was also played out well by an actor whose name I don't know at this time of writing. Anyways, certainly a great movie and I can't wait for the DVD to come out. I give it a personal rating of 8.5/10. The jury is still out however as far as the best movie of the summer is concerned and I'm anxiously waiting for the third Austin Powers movie to be out in about a month or two before I can make some sort of judgment.

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Norah Jones - Come Away With Me

22 May 2002 12:48

I was prompted to get this album after watching her perform onLate Show With David Letterman the other night. Certainly good to know that not all young female artists out there fall into the usual mould of bubblegum pop (e.g. Britney Spears) or angst rock (e.g. Alanis Morissette during her Jagged Little Pill phase). Norah's voice is surprisingly mature for her age of 22 and her songs mostly are of mellow and easy listening type that would be ideal for a lazy afternoon or late evening listening as well as those long drives on the highway. None of the stuff really sticks into your head (at least I reckon it to be after listening to it for a couple of days) but rather, it's the soothing nature of her songs that makes me wanna listen to it again. Overall, a good album from a promising artist! I'd give it a 8/10 rating.

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Xfresh.com Gathering

19 May 2002 15:21

As mentioned in my entry last weekend, one of the things I like to do whenever time permits is to hang around with some people who are younger than I am (I'm beginning to sound like as if I'm really old now! : \). A lot of times, they amaze me with their creativity and mindset. I find conversing with them can be exhilarating at times, especially when they come up with ideas that you just simply overlook yourself or even don't even think of. Other than that, hanging around with them is just plain fun! So, in a break from my usual Saturday evening of nothing, I decided to hang around a bit with those people from Xfresh.com when they held a gathering at Mid-Valley. Finally managed to tie some names to faces (Hi Ed, Joanne, Alyaa, Maman, Diyana, Vince!). Heh! Funny that most people had the impression that I was 19 or something. Perhaps one day I oughtta try out putting on a school uniform and take off whatever facial hair I have and walk into a school and classroom. >:)

Listening to: DMX - I Can Feel It

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Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones

17 May 2002 17:20

Finally! After two years, Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones is finally launched worldwide! I was lucky enough to obtain free tickets to the 9:00pm show on opening night (courtesy of the company I work for). I can tell you that it's definitely much, much better than Episode I: The Phantom Menace as far as the actions and storyline goes. We finally get to see how some things seen in the later episodes actually form e.g. how Luke's Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru came into the picture, the origin of the Death Star's design and of course, Anakin's intimate relationship with Amidala which eventually led him to the Dark Side and subsequently the birth of Luke and Leia. However, the movie has its shortcomings too. Firstly, the dialog came on as too corny, and what's up with the Anakin and Amidala rolling down the meadows of Naboo ala Hindustan movie as well as that scene where Amidala was running up the hill ala Sound of Music? Was Lucas short of ideas for the romancing scenes? Still, the best part of the movie I reckon was the light sabre battle between Count Dooku and Yoda! It was worth waiting to see why Yoda is THE Jedi master! Also, Sam L. Jackson gets to strut some badassed Jedi attitude ala Shaft this time around (I want a purple light sabre too!). All in all, I'd give it an 8/10 rating.

I've really gotta watch Spiderman after this. I'm sure the ticket demand would be much less with people flocking to see Episode II now.

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Schumacher-Barichello Wins, Ferrari Loses At F1

13 May 2002 15:09

Whoever thought lightning wouldn't strike twice at the same spot would have to think again as Michael Schumacher won the Austrian Grand Prix in a fashion not too different a year ago at the same circuit. Reubens Barichello was ordered to move over at the very last few meters of the race to make way for Schumacher, the current leader in the Formula One championship standings. While it may be forgivable last year since the race for the championship was closer, this time around it was totally unfair to the person who was clearly dominating the race throughout. Schumacher was gracious enough to hand the trophy to Barichello and even shove the latter to stand on the winner's podium place but still, it just leaves a bitter taste in the mouth to many people, Ferarri fans included. Barichello did try to play it down somewhat and understandably so as he just signed a new contract with Ferarri a couple of days ago that ensures him of his position with the team for another two years.

Race standings: 1 - Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), 2 - Reubens Barichello (Ferarri), 3 - Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams BMW), 4 - Ralf Schumacher (Williams BMW), 5 - Giancarlo Fisichella (Jordan Honda), 6 - David Coulthard (McLaren Mercedes)

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Wasted Weekend Work

12 May 2002 17:28

I already really hate it when people call me up to work on weekends. But when people call me up to work on weekends and then turns out that whatever stuff you worked on gets wasted because of some glitch in planning and coordinating the work, I get really ballistic! I could've used the afternoon to go watch Spiderman instead of laboriously poring, formatting and editing some other people's write-up and then coming up with your own part in some large documentation project which all ended up as irrelevant. Bah!

Rather than spend the rest of the Saturday evening fuming mad or moping over what happened, I decided to hang around with Albert and Shaz (of the Xfresh.com outfit) since they were hanging around at KLCC anyways. I sure was glad I did so as it proved to be a rather interesting evening! Also finally managed to meet Ardeana and KJ for the first time! It's been awhile since I last hung around with these people. Being in the company of adults, especially through long periods can really be stifling. No doubt that they're experienced and more mature in many sense but they can also be rather rigid in some. I like hanging around with young people simply because of the mindset, creativity and youthful energy that they possess. I find it disturbing sometimes that some parties work their way through to pacify the youth in the name of keeping order. Here's an article I came across about a year ago which advocates some form of liberation for the nation's youth. It was written by a rather prominent politician in our country who was once a doctorate student at my alma mater, Purdue University.

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Coaster To Conquer

8 May 2002 15:01

My enthusiasm for rollercoasting got ignited again after that outing in Sunway Lagoon the other day. My stumbling acrossnews of this particular coaster and a video clip of it just helps add fuel to the fire. (How on earth could I have missed it when it first launched back in January? :-\ ). Anyways, this one looks particularly interesting to ride as it adds a rather interesting thrill factor in that the seats rotate as the ride goes along! This looks like another good candidate to go into my "Coasters to Conquer" list, along with Millenium Force (Cedar Point) among others.

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I'm A Techie, Not A Writer, Dammit!

5 May 2002 18:09

I must really admit, not only that I'm not a good writer, I'm not even a writer! At least I don't consider myself as one. One of the things that gets in my way of writing is that darned writer's block. And it really doesn't help that my line of work involves lots of writing and documenting stuff. I don't mind doing all the hands on job installing, commissioning and configuring equipment or systems but when it comes comes to putting it all down into words, I'm just lost for it. What you're reading on these webpages, are merely my measly attempts at writing. :P

Anyways, I've been having one reunion after another of late. The Class of 4 and 5 P (for Proboyz. Heh!) in MRSM Jasin back in 91/92 held a small gathering at a mamak stall in Desa Pandan tonight. Although it wasn't really in full attendance (only Aril, Syed, Boy, Zack, Haniff, Pajero, Meor, Mus and myself) it was certainly great being able to meet them dudes again, especially after a decade since I last saw any of them! Of course, no reunion would be complete without a retrospect into our juvenile years at the junior college in Jasin during those years! The Singing Compo Night, the Burger Sale, our teachers, etc. Nostalgia! Hope to see more faces during Syed's wedding reception come May 27th!

Listening to: Eminem - Without Me

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HTML Email? No, I Like 'Em Plain, Thank You!

3 May 2002 15:12

Some people, especially my colleagues at work, always gripe why I always send emails in plain text form. Here's my principle: HTML email is evil. Besides making the size of email to be somewhat larger, it also has the potential to be malicious. No doubt it makes them look great with all the colors, graphics, some degree of interactivity and such but do we actually need them? I remember back in the 1993/94 when I first started out on the Internet. The mail client I was using wasPINE that ran on a Sun Solaris which we had to telnet in from dinky lil' PCs in the lab over PC-NFS (if memory still serves me right :P). Everything was sent using plain text. For all intent and purposes, it was nice and simple. It stayed that way for the next few years until sometime around year 2000, HTML email was picking up steam. And that when trouble began to brew. We got viruses spreading via email now. Although it's been done before through mail attachments in the form of executables, it requires the extra step for the user to invoke it. With HTML email, it sometimes doesn't even require the user to take that extra step since most HTML email readers execute the Javascripts which in turn executes the virus that are embedded in it. I know it can easily be circumvented by disabling Javascripts but still, it'll be more comforting if it's the email is not rendered through the web browser engine. And then there's the other thing: Spam. Some of the spams I received have been in HTML. Most of the time, I just don't bother to even open it and just delete it on the server before I even download it to my PC. Out of curiousity one day, I decided to download one and save it as a HTML file for me to take apart. The HTML tags all look normal to me but there's just something about some of those image tags. Then it struck me, Webbugs! Again, this idea is not new as some organizations out there use this technique to sniff out user behavior on their websites but spammers have taken this idea to use it as a confirmation your email is a valid one and will thus continue pounding it with their junk. Another gripe I have over HTML email is the size. A simple mail is now about 60-70 percent larger (the average I derived from some HTML emails I received) in size. While it may not matter to some, but to those who are on a slow link and receive a lot of email or even have to pay Internet access fees based on bandwidth used, it does make some difference.

Today marks the 28th Wedding Anniversary for my folks, so Happy Anniversary, Ayah & Mama.

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Reflection Of The Moment

1 May 2002 15:11

Hmm... last day of April already. Time flies by when you yourself don't know what you've been up to.

Should you really cope with disappointment and regret, especially if its through no fault of yours but of those whom you have trusted your life with? If there's one hard lesson in life that I've learnt, it's to take control of your own life as soon as you're capable and then don't let anyone else mess with it. The consequences of not doing so can potentially last a lifetime and there's no way of backing out.

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Geeky and musically inclined male carbon based bipedal life form capable of operating machines that can perform billions of operations per second without bloodshed. Also capable of producing millions of male reproductive cells on a daily basis without even trying. More...

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