November 30, 2009

I tend to take a lot of things for granted and among those things is my family. They are always there for me when I need them for something or when I want to discuss something. With the recent loss of my grandfather I feel that life is rather fleeting and that it could end at any moment. There were things I wanted to know about him, there were things I had wanted to do with him and now I couldn’t. There are some things which may be hard to do when they are around, but what is even more saddening is that those very things can be even harder to do when they have passed on.

I also met a lot of family members I didn’t even know I had, but to be honest they were more extended family ie my dad’s uncle’s grandchild. I also had a chance to talk to my cousins from my dad’s side and just know what they do and a little bit about them. Funny how that you only ever seem to meet these people at events like weddings and funerals.


Away for a bit

November 25, 2009

Due to my grandad’s passing I will be in HK until Monday. It will be a very brief trip since I need to get back to work to bring things back under control.

On an unrelated note, I just finished watching an anime series called “True Tears”. It was a very interesting series which is a little deeper than your average school harem story. I found it to be very very nicely animated and the characters quite real besides Noe who stood out like a sore thumb. Her character didn’t have the same believability as either Ai or Hiromi, fitting into the more enigmatic/strange girl stereotype. I didn’t like her character nor that of her brother because they were the only part of the anime which stood out oddly. I reckon the story could have replaced her with someone less… queer.

If anything, I would compare this series to “5cm per second”, the animation was very well done and the theme of unrequited love is prominent in both- but in this case the love is returned and acknowledged. True tears is a fairly serious and slow paced anime, so it’s definitely not for everybody. I actually liked the characterization though, Hiromi was rather callous and bitchy but you could understand where she came from, the side story between Ai and Miyokichi actually tied in well with the main story too helping highlight the main themes and creating new ones.

Now I need to find myself another anime to watch, I was thinking of buying Rahxephon but I am worried about translation quality after buying GTO and finding the translations lacking.

Bad drivers

November 23, 2009

Well this weekend as I was driving to place to place I ran into quite a lot of bad drivers, especially P platers. I was almost merged into by someone who didn’t check their blind spot and ignored my beeping as they attempted to join their mazda 121 into my loaned barina. I mean for fuck’s sake I know I am driving a small car, but if they bothered to turn their head over their shoulder they probably would’ve seen an angry asian guy flipping them off and backed off. Or if they weren’t deaf they probably could’ve heard my beeping as they edged closer and closer to my car.

Another case was when I was driving home from the city, a P plater seemed to be drunk and swerving in and out of his lane. Unfortunately I was driving behind him and had to bear with it until I reached the highway where I overtook him 2 lanes away just in case he decided to swerve into me. Despite all the new laws aimed at making drivers more competent the flood of human stupidity still overflows this barrier, letting these failtastic drivers onto our roads.

On the flipside, sometimes they produce entertaining results; like a ute ploughing into the curb whilst attempting to turn left because he was driving too fast and understeering. I was standing on the pavement watching the ute screech to a grounding halt, blocking half the road. He eventually dismounts the curb, all to the cacophony of beeping from all the cars he blocked.

This is partially why I try not to hurry anywhere when I am driving, or try not to be nervous. If you try to be rushed, there is more likelihood of getting into an accident. Even if I am late to something I would try my best not to rush since there is more risk than reward. This is especially true when I use my car for work and if I was without a car then it would mean I could be out of a job. Accidents are also expensive and inconvenient affairs and it is best to get by without being involved in something so troublesome.

Poetry Friday

November 20, 2009

A rather uninspired Friday poem akin to squeezing blood from a stone.

On a tangential note, I have been playing Forza3 at the moment and am currently aiming for top 20% of all circuit rankings, hopefully I will get there with some practice and driving time with my tuned exige. I am having a bit of issues tuning the car since I am now focusing on adding horsepower, and am finding that the suspension is having some troubles putting the power to the ground. The balance of the car is great but the issue is that because the car is so light, it is very very hard to use all the power on tap and control it. 800kg car with 380kw is a bit difficult to handle. Also I am having some troubles understanding some settings when tuning the car, so I am using a trial and error approach to see what improvements can be made.

coffee cup

the coffee sits cold on the counter,
mixed with excuses for cowardice
and two teaspoons of regret-

it was warm just moments ago
with the excitement of shared company,
anticipating a celebration
it only found a wake.

it was held in comfortable hands
and lulled by friendly words
before being let down by an unwanted

he should have been more forward
in his actions and his words,
not averting eyes
like a suspicious wanderer.

he only stood and listened
to her unbridled enthusiasm,
putting down his hopes
with the lukewarm mug.

she was so beautiful like this,
speaking of futures and ideals
far beyond his grasp.
she deserved better than his selfishness.

but she knew it all;
she had to be cruel to be kind.
“save me a mug” she said,
but they knew that these were just

hollow words.

Hunter Valley trip

November 16, 2009

Well I just returned from a 4 day trip of the Hunter Valley known for its wine and cheese and stuff that old fogeys enjoy. I am also somewhat sick of wine tasting since I have probably been to about 10 or so different vineyards and tasted about 20 different types of wine in the 4 days I was there. After a while all the wine starts to taste the same and the subtleties are lost, not to mention that my wine vocabulary consists of “good” and “not so good” since I am an uncultured heathen. All I learnt this trip was that I do not like flowery wines and prefer the dry stuff. I am not much of a wino so I will reserve detailed descriptions to the professionals and just restrict myself to my own wine dictionary.

The place I stayed at was quite nice though, it was a rather modern looking house in a gated village next to a golf course. It easily accommodated 10 people and the place was very clean and just generally nice to stay at. It was also fairly close to the wineries and places of interest. The Hunter was a bit boring though, nothing really exciting over there but definitely a great place to relax and hide away from society since it was quite far away from anything. I think that 4 days was a bit too long and could have been reduced to just 2 or 3 days since it really is just a place to go for wine, cheese and a taste of the country.

Another thing I realized was that property in that area was rather cheap for rather obvious reasons. It looked very tempting to buy a plot of land and just wait for the house prices to rise in 10 or 20 years or even to keep it as a possible holiday location. Too bad I need the money for more pressing things at this point in time.


November 11, 2009

This has got to be the most addictive game since I don’t know when. The gameplay is surprisingly addictive given the relatively simple nature of the game. Get quests, kill things, collect various objects, receive rewards, rinse and repeat. It’s actually quite a lot of fun especially the grabbing of loot which is completely randomized. There are a million possible combinations for loot but the only problem with that is that most of the time the loot is pretty worthless. Also the fact that you only have 1 action skill gets a bit dull, adding to that the charge delay is very long.

I am currently a Lv32 siren and it is a blast to play her, I just don’t like the 20 second delay between using my skill even with my charge reduced to maximum level. This game is more an FPS with RPG elements and not an RPGFPS. No qualms though, it is still a ball to play especially with 3 friends. There can be so much fun and action that you don’t even know what is going on anymore!

I noticed on Friday that my transmission seemed to be slipping in my 1 month old car so I took it to a mechanic on Saturday to confirm my worst fears. I need a transmission rebuild. Basically whenever my transmission tries to change gears it feels like the teeth don’t lock and the gear doesn’t engage but rather slips into neutral before biting. It tends to be a problem in my model of preludes but I assumed I would be ok since the car has done so little kms. Clearly I misjudged.

Now between getting the car repaired from the accident and my grandfather’s funeral I will also have to find time to send the car to the mechanic to sort this out. I don’t know how long I can keep driving the car until the transmission blows chunks on me but I was advised that it might still have 6 months on it if I baby it when I drive. My plan is to get body damage repaired first since that has been put off long enough and my body shop is quite busy, then straight after that I will send it for a transmission rebuild.

Hopefully this is the end of my dramas and I can enjoy my Christmas season.

Poetry Friday

November 6, 2009

Something I wrote once upon a time.


the ink blots, lines
appearing thick and coarse
as the paper tears under tears
of frustration, whilst a shaking hand engraves
angry marks on the oaken desk.
a simple letter never felt so hard;
a plethora of lines inscribe the desk,
well respected and loved by the man
whose image once superseded his.

“a man’s work reflects the man himself”
the saline forms puddles in the
scars, ever so slowly rotting the wood;
decaying the memories that took a lifetime to build.

“what are you making father?”
top quality leather never felt so cold.
the ottoman unused; those imprints
were not his, they belonged to a bigger man-
a master craftsman, a master diplomat,
the master of his home.
the swivel chair abused (marked by age
and liquor); is impressed by the shape
of one and the same man.

the restoration of a memory begins
with a heartbeat. as scars heal over,
a stain remains; a remnant of a learned past.
the chair is repaired: new leather laden upon
tender upholstery, its vitality refreshed
by a genuine recognized belief;
i am my father’s son.

a frenzied hand writes its past
on paper soaked in sentiment, letters
blur and colour the melancholy blue as
the paper tears under the stress of the pen,
writing words of wisdom from a familiar mouth:

“He was my father,”

Death and his friend Regret

November 2, 2009

My grandpa passed away this morning.

Like clockwork he woke up early as always and went to do some exercise at the local park with grandma, it’s more like stretching for half an hour than actual exercise but thats the way old people are I suppose. After that my grandparents would go yum cha with their friends, walking there after their exercise session. They would always go to the same place, they would always wash the cups because they don’t trust the cleanliness of the place. It was the common thing to do in their generation and I never wondered why they kept doing it even in this day and age. Apparently he felt really tired after yum cha, so they went home and he had a nap; but when my grandma woke up grandpa didn’t wake up with her.

I was more or less raised by my grandparents when I was very little, say 1-4 years old, because my parents both worked, so the majority of the time was spent with them babysitting me. Every time I went back to Hong Kong I would stay with them whilst I was there and they have always taken care of me when I went. My granddad was a funny man, he drank a lot and was very sociable; it seemed like everybody knew him well. He was also very smart and savvy, I guess it comes with life experience, but he was very up to date with things and was able to associate well with people from different generations.

He seemed like he would be around forever. Not in this case.

It’s a funny thing when someone you love dies. It’s funnier still when you didn’t know how much you loved them. You don’t know what reaction to have until you feel the tears well up in your eyes and go “Hey, thats sadness”. The lump in your throat doesn’t let you say anything to reassure yourself and you are filled with emptiness. It’s like all your emotions have been expelled into these tears, leaving a nothing behind until the void fills up again; who knows when that will be.

Logic and reason has no time nor place amongst here; no matter how much I think about the fact that it’s an event that I have no control over, or how regret does nothing, I still feel so sad. I wish I spent more time with him and learnt more about him and his life; I told myself once upon a time I would ask him someday about his life, and find out what type of person he was. Now I will never be able to hear it from him, how he felt in certain situations in his life, what he has done and how he passed through life.

Now all I know is that he has passed away, and that is that.