Thanks For Visiting, Site Review 2008

2 Comments






The number of pageloads has increased dramatically, while the number of return visitors doubled. This, I believe, is partially due to the increase of traffic from google images. From the detailed logs, I know that they make up roughly half of the unique visits each day.


Latest Weekly Snapshot



A "returning visitor" is defined as a visitor who opens the blog and reaccesses it more than three hours later. The system isnt perfect but it is smart enough not to register my own visits. However, if someone opens my blog from a different computer or browser, it will not register as a returning visit but rather as a unique visit. Due to the amount of data collected, the statistics are valid despite these shortcomings.

The Pleasure Principle

4 Comments
Sharp.


What makes you feel good about yourself? Different people look to different things for pleasure. Of course, what pleasures are available to them is often determined by circumstance, yet as a person grows he/she has a certain amount of control over his/her destiny - and thus the pleasures that are available to him/her.

I contend that the pleasures available to a person determines the person's beliefs - for everyone will believe what makes them feel good about themselves. This is all fine and dandy in theory, but in the real world, people are not born equal. Some are rich; Some are poor; Some a beautiful; Some are ugly - To varying degrees of course.

This explains alot about what drives people to do what they do. When there is wealth, hedonistic pleasures are abundant. It is not surprising that in the first world, people tend to turn to hedonistic pleasures to feel good about themselves. It feels good to indulge yourself with worldly possessions and pastimes such as clubbing. When wealth is scarce, people have a tendency to turn to a belief system to feel good about themselves. Native people have ceremonies and rituals. Others turn to religion (whatever it may be) to give them a sense of purpose. It can be argued that religion does exist in the first world, but the reality is that when push comes to shove, people seek pleasure from hedonism and not religion - and that is where their allegence lies (despite technically having inherited a religion. no longer practiced of course). It's no coincidence that religion has been cast aside to funerals/marraiges and festive holidays in wealthy first world countries.

In the the game of love, the pleasure principle explains alot of what I have been experiencing. I am an honest person. When asked about why I go to the gym, my answer is as short and concise as possible - "to be more attractive to the girls...duh". I've been observing people's initial responses to that answer, and I have (subjectively) noticed a trend. Attractive/beautiful people's first response tends to be supportive (eg. "oh..that's wonderful"). Less-attractive people are less likely to do so. More importantly, the less attractive people are likely to give me a short lecture on why looks are not important (!). It was almost as if they took offence to my statement. Could it be that (physically) unattractive people are telling themselves that raw physical attractiveness is not as important as character/charm to feel good about themselves? It's a question that begs to be answered... As far as I know, girls are just as attracted by raw animal magnetism as guys. The girls that say they just want a sweet, nice, guy never realize that they only notice the "sweet, nice" characteristics of the guys with reasonably hot bodies. Similarly, guys tend to notice the good characteristics of the pretty girls. Many girls dont want to believe that raw physical attraction plays a key role in finding a partner, but in reality, how many couples (when they first met, early 20s) do you know of where the guy is both shorter and lighter than the girl? Ultimately girls do not notice the "nice" characteristics of guys who are both shorter and lighter than they are - and this is why physical build is important to a guy in the game of love.

I am not denying that character and cultural values also play a part in the game of love, but to deny the value of animal magnetism is to live a lie. Indeed, the attractive people are usually cautious and do mention that looks arent everything, after supporting my pursuit to increase my raw animal magnetism. The unattractive people often dont support my pursuit at all and they seem to hold strongly to the idea that they are somehow unaffected by raw animal magnetism - a belief/conviction (I contend) that makes them feel good about themselves.

The Evolution of Me.

4 Comments
2007, 2008, 2009?

2009 is filled with uncertainty. I need to somehow rebuild the personal relationships that have been left to collect dust. This will have to happen somehow along with an 8am-5pm daily grind at the Monash Medical Center. On the other hand, I can already feel myself changing physically with a proper workout routine. It is likely I will be quite different by the end of 2009. With a reasonably good physique, 2009 would hopefully mark the end of a 3 year absence from the game of love. Through malnourishment I learnt the importance of physique in the game of love. Through isolation I learnt the importance of nurturing personal relationships. Through the failures that resulted from ignorance, I learnt the importance of humility - even in my own thoughts and monologues. The evolution of me continues...

2008 will be remembered as the year I faced the bitter truth of emotional and physical realities. I have paid the price for not nurturing personal relationships. There was no one to blame but myself - I did not have the desire to take an interest in others. After intentionally isolating myself (relatively) during the summer break, I felt the desire grow. The want, the need, the thirst for human interaction now permeates through my being. Pride/arrogance/ego makes one find excuses and explanations to oneself that deviate far from truth. Excuses lead to complacency and ignorance. 2008 ended with the discovery of proper strength training. I used to be so ignorant. I thought jumping around a court, running, and doing simple chest presses were adequate exercise to elevate my physical form from one that was very malnourished (link).

2007 is the year I turned 21. Life in Melbourne has opened my eyes to the reality that is the world. I overcame my childish fears (link) and realized my weaknesses (link). Overcoming despair and sweeping away the remnants of the cold ash that darkened my heart gave me much insight - yet from 1997 it took me ten years to even realize simple truths such as those outlined in ladder theory (link). As much as I had reflected on issues surrounding me, I was looking at only the truths that I wanted to see. This is why 2007 is so special in the development of me as a person. It will be remembered as the year spent transcending the inner bigot. I am beginning to find my center. Spiritual issues have been resolved. I have financial security and I am in the country/university/course of my choosing. The veil has been lifted. I see now that the final frontier in my development as a person will need to revolve around interpersonal skills and kinesthetic knowledge - two things that I had consistently neglected for the past ten years. Things are looking bright. I've never felt better.

Unemployed. In Pain. Lonely.

1 Comments
Three Color Illusion


Unemployed: I have not received any responses from the places I applied to. After trying to apply online, I went around shopping malls looking for a job the old fashioned way. That was early last week. Havent heard anything yet. Perhaps I should have applied a little earlier - a few managers I spoke to said that they had been hiring for the summer months way back in October. It's almost mid December, so I doubt I'll be able to find a job now. The economic outlook for Australia is not very bright either with the global recession starting to have an effect down under.

Pain: I am now hurting. All over. I feel it in my chest. Everywhere.

With the closure of the Richardson Hall gym, I finally decided to join the Monash Gym. The staff there were helpful in pointing me in the right direction on how to use the equipment. The gym is well equipped. Below is my current routine.
  1. 20s stretches
  2. Track: 1000m @ 10km/h
  3. Weighted Squats (2x12)
  4. Assisted Pull Ups (2x12)
  5. Chest Press (2x12)
  6. Leg Curls (2x12)
  7. Seated Row (2x12)
  8. Shoulder Press (2x12)
  9. Dumbell Walking Lunge (2x8)
  10. Abdominal Circuit: 30 pairs of cross-crunches. 45s x 2 side plank.
  11. Track: 1000m @ 10km/h
  12. 30s stretches
Now that I have some idea of how to use gym equipment properly, I discovered that the maximum weight I could move is significantly more than what I use to train. For example, I could chest press about 50kg for six repetitions (my former routine). But to do that I would have to use momentum and rest intermittently by locking my arms forward. I can only push 30kg for 12 repetitions done right. Two seconds to push and two seconds to let the weights down - without any rest in between (no locking arms forward). Without the use of explosive force and momentum, pushing even 30kg for 12 repetitions took all I'd got as I was effectively applying 30kg of force non-stop for ~50 seconds. Many of the exercises, when done properly, turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated. I could do pull ups (hands far apart) unassisted about three times in a row. However, they are not proper pull ups. A proper pull up involves spending about two seconds ascending and two seconds descending (negating the effect of momentum). The best I can do 12 times in a row (without straightening my hands: 'dangling'/resting) is a 50% assisted pull up.

I think it is a well rounded routine my entire body will ache the next day. This is what my summer will be like for the most part. Gym on one day, rest on the next. Repeat all summer.

Lonely: I am glad that I am finally feeling lonely. Thank god. I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with me. Anyway, I am now starting to feel the urge/compulsion/desire/want to interact with others. It took a few weeks of social isolation but I think it was well worth it.

The Summer Plan

2 Comments
A week has passed since the the exams. What the hell did I do? It seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. Well, I watched the sun rise... alot. The first friday night after the exams was spent playing cards and hanging out at robert's hall till 6am. The next three days were a Heroes marathon - all 43 episodes of heroes (45min each). Leslie and scott were generous enough to host a game of kings. Also finally got to put my poker set to use after a loong break from playing. Played Wii and 5 player (playstation multitap) soccer in the common room... till 6am again. My guitar arrived - it's much easier than I anticipated - my days playing the electone (no, im not as good as the girl in the video) was not in vain! Oh, and last but not least, I heard the Call of Duty (V) - if you live in the halls, do not buy this game, it is very finicky with firewalls and multiplayer does not work unlike most other games.

It's good to have time to roast coffee again.

The Summer Plan
  1. Get a job.
  2. Diet: maintain 2200 Cal + per day. Red meat three times a week. 50g+ protein per day.
  3. Exercise: Once every two days
  4. Skills: Learn to play the guitar!
  5. Circadian Rhythm: Wake before 8am every day.
  6. Career: Half an hour per day devoted to refreshing knowledge base.

The Big Red Chili

2 Comments
The Biggest Red Chili Ever.
That's a 1.5L bottle of coke btw.


It's quite surprising how easily misconceptions can form. Here I would like to clarify what my previous post was about - it had drawn far more attention than I expected.

so wat if u dont have a car... wat did u use to do wen u didnt even have a driving license? get a lift with ur rents or borrow the car for an evening. here's a thought, get a friend to pick u up and pay gas money or something if its that far.. or call a cabby... there are ways around it...

It's not so simple. The bottom line is that back home, I will be stuck indoors on a _majority_ of days. The lifestyle doesnt only promote complacency but also makes me a slob. Sure, I can always rent/borrow a car for the evening.. but it is relatively costly and when push comes to shove, will only happen a few times a month at most - the rest of the month will be spent rotting at home.

Here in australia, my lifestyle is remarkably different. For some reason I have the motivation to get up in the morning and do things productive. Freedom and the need to care for myself is a strong driving force to do things productive - it is nonexistant when I'm pampered at home.

cause if its jst to analyse urself and ur ways then ur jst gonna put urself down... go out and have fun and jst wing it...

I honestly wish I could "have fun and just wing it". I did try that for a good part of the year - especially in the early months of Hall Society 2008. Somehow, I didnt derive much pleasure from interaction with other people. Believe me, I tried (very hard) to mix, mingle and click - ultimately, it was unsustainable.

Not deriving much joy from social interaction meant that I did not remember names/birthdays/events/"things about other people" that well - further inhibiting my ability to click. Notice how all sociable people pay attention and remember things about other people? Notice how the people you find nice and sociable tend to know/remember things about you?

It is my perception of others that needs to change. I just sense that a bit of isolation will do me good; to create an inner desire/want/impetus to click, connect and put mental effort towards other people (ie. becoming more extroverted). This, combined with a healthy lifestyle, healthy diet, healthy body, and healthy mind should hopefully lead to a healthy social life, come 2009.


Q: Why dont you change yourself instead of your environment?
A: Like... DUH. First and foremost I work on changing myself. It's simply easier to do in australia than at home.

C: Stop blaming the environment! It's not the environment, it's you!
RE: Here's a simple example: Is it easy to study in a pub? No. Is it easy to study in the library? Yes. Is it easy to become independant pampered in your parent's home? No. Is it easy to become independent living alone, fending for yourself? Yes.

C: Looks/Attractiveness isnt important.. (or whatever words you may use to carry the same meaning)
A: Read THIS. I have answered this question in depth before. Also, look at ANY psychology text book. It has been proven over and over that looks/attractiveness/beauty is very important in building interpersonal relationships. Bottom line, in simple english: Ugly people are ignored. Beautiful people get attention. Ugly people have to settle for scraps. Beautiful people get choice selections of partners. People who deny this and say looks dont matter usually are the ones who did not get their choice selection of partners and had to settle for less...and called it love after awhile. ALTERNATIVELY they may be people who were lucky enough to have a person of their standard show interest in them - in that case i'd say that they are just being arrogant cocks.

Q: Are you trying to score/lay/fvck/bang a girl?
A: No. Re-read my previous posts for my motivation for doing this.

Q: Why dont you just go out more?
A: Yes, that is what Im actively trying to do. But that is not my problem. My problem is a lack of interest in other people inhibiting my ability to "click" so to speak.

C: All you need is confidence...
A: Confidence simply isnt an issue for me. If you are confident, come comment with your real name. I dont have any problems talking with people (boys and girls, beautiful and ugly alike) and have participated in numerous public speaking competitions. I am not a loner and yes I do have numerous acquaintances. When I speak about "building relationships" and "clicking" I am referring to building close friendships and hopefully a building a relationship with a reasonably attractive woman as well.


p.p.p.p.p.s google chrome sucks! Firefox rules =)

Be A Man.

32 Comments
One Year Ago*.


"Why arent you going back over summer?"
A question I get asked all the time.

To keep conversations short I usually say that I want to get a job and experience working in Australia. In reality, that is one very minor reason for staying over summer.

Staying Home Is Bad, Very Bad, For Me.

It is anticompetitive. There is no point staying at home hearing only what I want to hear. Mum tells me that someone will come along and not to worry. Dad just keeps on telling me about how he met mum despite to my knowledge not ever having any real opportunities with other women.

I know I will lead a very sedentry lifestyle back home. It is inevitable. The comforts and luxuries of home will just spoil me. I will have no motivation to do anything.

It has taken me almost two years living abroad to come to realize that:

1) In order stand a realistic chance with girls I find reasonably attractive, I absolutely must work on my 'animal magnetism'.
2) In order to build up a healthy social circle I must regain a genuine desire to click and connect.

'Animal magnetism' is quite a straightforward goal. I simply need to eat more of the right stuff (i dont believe in supplements), exercise (power/strength training, minimal cardio) consistently and keep stress levels to a minimum (to reduce my cortisol levels). I am already 12kg of lean mass heavier than I was a year ago (picture above). Still a bit thin, but much better.

Social wellbeing is a completely different animal. I know for a fact that I do not derive the same pleasure from social interaction as others. I am starting to wonder why. Why dont I have the motivation to talk and build relationships with other people? To sit down and click and take an interest in others - for the prequel to being sociable is empathy. Why do I lack this empathy? Have I been so spoilt by other earthly pleasures* that I have neglected this very important part of my general wellbeing? Have I spent too much time rotting at home before coming to Australia that I've lost the instinct to maintain my social wellbeing? Well, pointing fingers is useless now.. the bottom line is something has to change.

* the dopamine rush of first person shooters, good music, pron, movies etc.

Social deprevation I faced when I was anorexic a few months back made me realize that I need to put some serious mental effort into engaging other people more - but until I could find the inner motivation to do so, that will not happen. Having a good diet, enough sleep and exercise helps with this regard and makes me more outgoing and engaging. Hence, I will have to focus on these core issues if my plan to improve my social wellbeing were to succeed.

Staying at home I know I will have my parents and brother to interact with and I wont feel socially isolated. I am hoping that by staying in Australia over summer, I will experience social isolation that would create an inner desire, an inner craving, to be connected. If I could create a genuine desire to click and connect with other people, my social life would definitely improve. By click and connect I mean to have a greater sense of empathy towards others, for being sociable is not about being interesting - it is about being interested in other people.

To the small social circle I now have in the halls, if you are reading this, know that you guys do mean alot to me and are a cornerstone in my overall sense of wellbeing - I am really grateful to have you guys around.

In three words the simple reason why I want to stay over summer is that I want to:

"Be A Man."



*Image (c) Raine W. 2007

The Fake Humility of Ugly.

Head in the sky.


Ugly. Alone. Outcast. Nobody wants to talk to you. People walking by say hi but never hello. You crave for attention. You want people to give you attention. But you were so socially isolated you never learnt that the prequel to clicking is empathy. You blast your awkward ideas into conversations hoping for a response that you never truly get. You wonder why you dont have a best friend. Everyone you know are just acquaintances, friends for a fleeting moment.

A boy notices that you are down and gives you a bit of attention. You welcome his attention. You enjoy his company. He grows fond of you, and despite a little social awkwardness, likes your humble quiet personality.

Time passes. Less ugly. You start to build up your social life. You revel in the attention you finally receive. A confused boy supports and encourages your efforts. Seasons change. Your self confidence picks up. You take the boy for granted. You expect attention but are unwilling to give anything in return.

The naive boy wakes up. He realizes he has become a cuddle b1tch. "But maybe she's just shy?", he thought. So he tries to reason with her to no avail.

The foolish boy lets you know why he wants to turn away. He makes it very clear to you that "IT IS WRONG TO LET A GUY SPEND TIME/EFFORT/MONEY/HEART ON YOU IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN HIM!!". She acts like nothing happened..ignoring moments of intimacy and says "We're just friends". He feels betrayed. He knows he wouldnt have spent as much time/effort/money/heart if he knew you weren't interested earlier on. He realizes that he has been played on. Could have he misinterpreted your behaviour? He thinks not. There are some things 'just friends' simply dont do with one another.

The month of forgiveness beckons. The stupid boy decides it's time to resume platonic relations. "People change after all" he thought to himself... He was wrong. While enjoying his hospitality, and in the presence of company, you have the audacity to gloat about how some older single guy is willing to spend thousands of dollars to fly to australia to see you. even though you have no interest in him as a lover and see him only as a friend. Arrogance. Have you learnt nothing?

b1tch.



Note: Comments for this post have been disabled - people were getting the wrong idea. This post serves to highlight what I would like to refer to as arrogance in the context of relationships. It is not gender specific as the post may imply. Consider the following:
1) Girls that abuse their beauty/attractiveness to get free dates / dinners /movies / trips with guys they are not really interested in. They give the guy false hopes and when push comes to shove, they will use the 'just friends' excuse - regardless of whatever intimate moments they may have shared.
2) Guys that abuse their position/power/dominance to get companionship/intimacy with women they are not really interested in. They give the girl false hopes and when a prettier girl comes along, they will tell the girl that they are not meant to be etc.

This post is about how some people are humble in the context of relationships when they are unattractive/ugly... but become arrogant when they perceive that they are receiving more attention from others.

I have no respect for these people. Boy or girl.

Melons, Goldfish and Foamely Esctasy.

3 Comments
Hailstones In The Sun


WATCH THIS VIDEO

Very hot video. This is the kind of video that makes teenage boys sit crossing their legs while the girls go green in jealous envy.

NOW WATCH HER SING IT IN ENGLISH

~lost in translation - the lyrics are real. see video above if you dont believe it.~

It's got fruits, animals, "foamely escasy" and involves an "overstressed uncle". Weird, kinky, and a little animalphilic/frutiphilic in a disturbing kinda way. There is some incest thrown in as well. It takes an awesomely hot girl like Alizee to pull off such lyrics.

Bubbles and water, Legs up for hours,
My goldfish is under me, To bathe for hours
Makes my mouth water, Im foamely ecstatic.

I lazy round. Melon and water.
Is it a sin?
Bombs, you keep away from me!
Today lying low, twisting up my toes.

Im fed up with loneliness,
With my uncle overstressed

Fumbling, crawling for something
Im fed up with creeps crying.

Over the past, such a sin.
Not to be cool, but a fool
If I could mess up their rules.
Im fed up with your complaints
Baby, well Im not a saint!


...I want to be her goldfish.

This blog had its 15,000th visitor today!

The Real Game Of Love

9 Comments
Darkness...

First, a few definitions:
Social Dominance: in control of one's life and has a certain level of connectedness with those in his social circle. In the modern world, social dominance is difficult to achieve without money, but possible on a tight budget none the less.
Pretty: sexually attractive / proportionate (whatever your definition of sexual attractiveness may be)
Ugly: not sexually attractive / disproportionate (note: it's not about being slim or chubby...)

1) Consider The Following Statements

Guys like girls who are pretty.
Girls like guys who are socially dominant.

Guys would not usually think of actively courting / spending resources on girls whom they are not at least a little bit sexually attracted (or physically aroused by) to.
Girls would not usually think of actively trying to get the attention of guys whom they perceive as being weak.

Guys try to court the pretty girls.
Pretty girls have a wide choice of guys.
Pretty girls will not usually settle for guys who are non-socially dominant.

Girls try to attract the socially dominant guys.
Socially dominant guys have a wide choice of girls.
Socially dominant guys will not usually settle for girls who are ugly.

Your "average" girl may just so happen to appeal to a really socially dominant guy.
Your "average" guy may just so happen to appeal to a really pretty girl.

2) Face The Truth

Being pretty improves a girl's chances of finding the right guy who is reasonably socially dominant, reasonably well built, and compatible.

Being socially dominant improves a guy's chances of finding the right girl who is reasonably charming/feminine, reasonably sexually attractive, and compatible.

3) Reality Bites

Think about the girl who realizes that she's in her 30s and has never dated. She was never sexually attractive enough to have a guy who was up to her expectations ask her out. To avoid feeling bad, she tells herself that she was distracted by the pursuit of knowledge and wealth/career. Her biological clock is ticking. She knows she's way past her prime... Her ovaries are not going to wait for her. They are shriveling by the day...
Not all girls are pretty.
The average girl learns that the most eligable bachelors are out of her reach and looks elsewhere. She finds a guy who he thinks is right for her. She calls it love after awhile.

Now what about the guy who never attracted the attention of a girl whom he finds reasonably attractive? He has never really had any real experience with women. Now he finds himself shy to ask girls out because of bad experiences (with the pretty girls who had more eligable suitors). He's been working for 10 years and now has his own little humble place. He's feeling lonely and knows that his youth is nearing it's end. He's never even gotten laid before (ok, that's a bit cruel to say)
Not all guys are socially dominant.
The average guy learns to lower his expectations/standard to a point where he is comfortable. He finds a girl who he thinks is right for him. He calls it love after awhile.

4) Caveats

a. Cultural compatibility plays a key role in finding a life partner. Social dominance or beauty will not guarantee the p
erson you find attractive is right for you.
b. Different people have different standards for beauty/attractiveness/social dominance. Mika recently wrote a song about how chubby girls are attractive in their own way. DONT JUDGE PEOPLE too much.
c. Attractiveness may literally be "chemical". Scientists now believe that people with differing sets of genes for bacterial/viral immunity are more likely to like each other's natural scent (eg. the smell of your t shirt after you've worn it all night to sleep).

What im trying to say is that there are other factors that come in to play asides from the major ones in red and blue.

Personally
...

...the person whom i very much would have liked to spend my life with was NOT the prettiest person i've ever dated
. We were compatible, and in her I saw "home". I cant explain it, but I did find her reasonably attractive. Unfortunately, we were to go our separate ways...

I recently completed placement at a health center where I dealt with issues pertaining to indigenous healthcare. Much of it dealt with a "sense of place". It is not some special connection indigenous people have with the land - it is actually inherent in all people from all cultures. In retrospect, that may have been why I saw 'home' in her. More on that another day.

Thank you for reading. Comments and feedback are very much welcome =)

If you are a member of lowyat.net, please help me bump this thread: http://forum.lowyat.net/topic/727987. If you find this article useful, please help vote in the poll to pin the article as well: http://forum.lowyat.net/topic/752384

K.I.S.S. revisited.

7 Comments
Building Blocks


1. I stumbled upon this blog one day. The style of expression was simple and concise.

2. A few weeks later, I decided that it was time to change the format of this blog. I have a tendency to rant and go on and on about things so this approach should hopefully change that.

3. Yes, im jealous that he gets an average of 500+ replies to each of his bullet point posts.

4. The KISS principle, revisited.

Peru Organic Grace Villa

0 Comments
Freshly Roasted Coffee


My green beans finally arrived yesterday. I now have 2.5kg of Indian Tiger Mountain AA and Peru Organic Grace Villa Estate coffee beans. The first two roasts went flawlessly, thanks to advice from the folks at CoffeeSnobs.com.au. I used a popcorn machine to roast the coffee. Ideally, coffee should be roasted in about 15 minutes but popcorn machines are alot quicker and I had to stop the roast around 8 minutes.

It's hard to describe the smell of fresh coffee. It smells almost like fried chicken! A really pleasant subtle savoury smell - nothing sharp or rancid like the stuff you buy in the supermarket.

Did two batches of Peru Grace Villa yesterday night. The flavours are still maturing, and it's not ideal to drink them yet. Of course, i couldnt resist the temptation and tried some this morning. The coffee was unlike anything i had ever tasted. It had superb body, and an intense savouryness that exceeded my expectations. The pour was near perfect. It drizzled out like syrup from the portafilter to form an emulsion in the cup. Puck resistance was easy to achieve with the fresh beans - using supermarket (months old) coffee one walks the fine line between choking the machine and producing an emulsion of semi-stale oils. Great body and minimal bitterness/sourness makes the Peruvian bean very suitable for a macchiato or straight espresso, but it does not have enough acidity/dryness to cut through milk in a latte or cappuccino. My morning capp had lots of body and savoury mouthfeel but tasted relatively flat.

When "Healthy" Food Really Isn't.

2 Comments
Homestyle


Ok, so you've learnt how to avoid so called "fatty" and "sugary" foods and try to eat as much healthy food as possible. Mc Donalds and KFC are excluded from your choice of restaurants. So you decide to join the hippies and eat the allegedly "healthy" sandwichies at Subway.

Subway promotes itself of having a very healthy menu. At first glance, their sandwiches do really seem promising. The roast beef sandwich has only 600 calories (a daily requirement is roughly 2000calories) and fills a person up quite well. It also has about 35g of protein, or half of an adult's daily protein requirement.

But what happens when you add dressing to the sandwich? Most people add cheese, a free option, as well.

I was working at a community health center and having a subway sandwich for lunch in the staff room. Ok, on campus it would have probably been considered a healthy meal, but amongst allied health workers, it wasnt. Around me people were people who brought along their home cooked meals. Lean fillets with steamed vegetables, Moroccan couscous, bread cheese vegimite and avocadoes, sandwiches and fruit.

I've always felt very lethargic after eating the allegedly "healthy" subway foot long sandwiches, but having lunch amongst people who included dietitians prompted me to scrutinize the "healthy" nutrional breakdown on my subway tissue.

Dont be fooled: SUBWAY IS NOT NEARLY AS HEALTHY AS THEY PROMOTE THEMSELVES TO BE

The roast beef sandwich has 900mg salt for 290 calories! On top of that, they will sprinkle salt and pepper on all sandwiches unless you specifically ask them not to. Then when everything is ready, they will ask you if you want any kind of dressing. Almost everyone will choose to top their sandwich with dressings. All of their dressings contain high amounts of salt as well.

The recommended daily intake for salt is between 1000 and 2000 mg. A person eating 2200 calories worth of subway sandwiches would be consuming at least 7000mg of salt - assuming that he chose not to add cheese (high in salt), or dressings, or shaken salt. I wouldnt be surprised if the figure approached 8,000 mg of salt in a real world scenario.

A Big Mac actually ends up being healthier than a subway sandwich! 2200 calories of Big Macs would only contain 1150mg of salt! Sure, it does contain more fats, but what few people realize is that it only contains about 10g of saturated fat. Hence, 2200 calories in the form of Big Macs would provide only two times the recommended daily intake of saturated fat.

Summary:

2200 calories worth of Big Mac:
  • 1150mg salt (RDI 1000-2000) OK.
  • 40g saturated fat (RDI <20g)>

2200 calories worth of Subway Roast Beef sandwich:
  • 8000mg salt (RDI 1000-2000) EIGHT TIMES the recommended daily intake.
  • 15.2g saturated fat (RDI <20g)>

Real Coffee

0 Comments
Photobucket
Espresso

Nearly a century ago, the Italians discovered a way to extract the most flavour from coffee beans using a balance of temperature and pressure. Fresh ground coffee that is packed tightly into a puck. A small amount of hot water is then forced through the puck to create the emulsion of flavourful oils known as espresso. Coffee beans are 17% oil by weight. This is the reason why instant coffee will always taste bland compared to any kind of coffee made from freshly grounded coffee (drip, percolated, moka, espresso).


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Tamping the grounds into a puck

By varying the pressure and grind, the amount of espresso extracted from each puck can be altered. A slow pour creates a darker, more bitter cup. A quick pour has sharper, more acidic notes. Most cafes extract about 45 ml of espresso in about 25 seconds. I prefer to extract 20ml of espresso in about 20s. This is known as a ristretto (restricted) shot. The lower volume produces a richer and darker emulsion while the shorter extraction time reduces the acidity and bitterness (caffeine content) of the espresso.


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The Ritual

It took me a good three months to be able to make acceptable espresso. A measured dose (10g) of beans is carefully weighed and grinded into a porcelain bowl. The porcelain bowl allows me to judge humidity. Humidity is my biggest problem in achieving consistent ristretto shots. Ground coffee is like sand. Dry sand is very porous and water just pours through it quickly - resulting in acidic, sour coffee. Coffee grounds in humid atmosphere is compact and has a lot of resistance. I've choked my machine a number of times. 135 pounds of pressure generated by the machine could barely force out 5ml in 30s when the puck is too dense. Hence, by noticing how the grounds stick to the sides of the bowl, i can vary my tamping force appropriately to reduce the density of the puck. I also had to get a bathroom scale to tamp on to ensure that my tamp was consistent. Making espresso is really an art. Below are some of the more important variables involved in making espresso:
  • Consistent dose - the amount of coffee in the basket must be the same each time.
  • Consistent grind - the coarseness of the coffee must be just right.
  • Freshness - Roasted coffee beans are like bananas. They go bad in about a week. Vacuum packed coffee beans in the supermarket are like canned fruit. They are nothing like real freshly roasted coffee. Freshly ground coffee goes bad within an hour as the flavourful oils oxidize and go sour. Hence, a quality burr grinder is absolutely critical for making espresso.
  • Consistent tamping - the pressure applied must be consistent and level. Improper tamping causes channels to form during extraction. Water doesnt flow through the puck equally in all areas resulting in a poor quality, acidic, and less flavourful shot.

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Cafe Ristretto

How rich can you make a cup of coffee? Above is a restricted shot (cafe ristretto) made in a 200ml cappuccino cup. 10g of coffee was tamped with about 20kg of force into a dense puck. About 20ml of water, heated to 92 deg C, was forced through the puck in 25 seconds, producing a flavourful emulsion.


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Cappuccino

About 150ml of steamed full cream milk was added to the espresso to make a cappuccino. The flavourful oils in the brown coloured crema mixes with the rich full cream milk foam to form the cap from which the drink derives its name. The half inch thick cap of foamed milk helps keep in heat on a cold morning. A latte would also have a similar amount of milk, but the milk would be less foamed, far more dense and more velvety.

espresso + steamed/foamed full cream milk = a proper cappuccino

A proper latte is served in cups no larger than 180ml instead as it does not need so much space to accommodate the foam. I ordered a cafe latte at McDonald's the other day and got a shock when the 400ml(?) cup arrived! The sins of commercial coffee...Hmm, i think i have an idea for my next post on coffee.

Living In The Orange Box

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Bubbly


One week into the holidays. Im still stuck in an orange box. I know I should go out and get some sun, but the desire to stay in the orange box is too great.

The holidays have been a blast so far. Got to catch up on the movies I missed in the past 3 months. Just watched two hours of pron this afternoon. Iron man is pretty much two straight hours of gadget pr0n. Damn I wished I could fly.

Finally got the Malaysian gang hooked on poker. Hashrul is now contemplating a chip set. In return they introduced me to LASER TAG. As a life long FPS (first person shooter) gamer, the experience was exhilarating. Im now contemplating a set of taggers.

The orange box is a collection of five games. Cost me AUD90, but it's worth every cent. Of the five games, Team Fortress 2 is the most interesting. It is a multiplayer online game where two teams battle to complete objectives. Fabulously designed game dynamics. There are different classes such as pyros, snipers and engineers. Love playing the spy. It's the most difficult class to play, but once behind enemy lines and disguised as one of them (yup, the enemy actually sees me as one of them), stalking my prey and backstabbing them is really fun. The game also features very advanced statistics as it is solely an online multiplayer game. So far played about 20 hours as a spy with a record of 18 straight kills in one life >:-}

Zeitgeibers

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I've been caffeine free for almost a week now. The exams are in 4 days. Making espresso is just too time consuming and i dont want to be reliant on it for the exam. One way I found helpful to reset my circadian rhythm (sleep cycle) was by using zeitgeibers - environmental cues that our bodies use to set our natural clock.

Zeitgeibers:
  • Leave the curtains open at night. Let morning light wake you up.
  • Darken your room 5 hours before bedtime.
  • Listen to loud, lively music in the morning.
  • Listen to soft, slow music at night.
  • Exercise in the morning to get your metabolism up.
  • Let your metabolism wind down towards the end of the day. Do not exercise at night.

Got Milk?

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"It's real Velour, let yourself go.."
- Zapp Brannigan


Smooth, luscious, rich and creamy. Textured milk made from lots and lots of microscopic bubbles. It flows like light yoghurt and tastes "sweet" as it rolls off the tongue. Made from full cream milk, it is extremely rich and satisfying.

It took me a whole month to learn how to perfect the technique. Here are some pointers i'd like to share.

Ezra's Guide To Steaming Milk:
  • Never use "frothing" devices. They make tasteless, stiff foam that looks like detergent out of the dishwasher.
  • Always use full cream milk. Lowfat milk is easier to foam but the quality of the foam is very low.
  • Angle your frothing pitcher so that there is a whirlpool of milk.
  • Bring the tip of the wand to the surface slowly until you hear a tearing/sucking sound. Pull in enough air to double the volume of the milk before the thermometer reads 35 degrees.
  • Spin the milk as throughly as you can to break down any visible bubbles.
  • Stop steaming when the thermometer hits 60 degrees.
  • Knock the pitcher on the table to get rid of any big bubbles that may have formed.
  • Fold the milk by spinning it around in the pitcher.
  • Leave to stand for 30 seconds before pouring.

This Boy

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... there is someone else in the picture.
on my mind.
i'm sorry,..



This boy wants to play,
There's no time left today,
It's a shame 'cause he has to go home.

This boy's got to work
Got to sweat just to pay what he gets to get left all alone.

I'm still here,
But it hasn't been easy,
I'm sure that you had your reasons,
I'm scared for this emotion,
For years I've been holding it down,

And I,
Love to forgive and forget,
So I,
Try to put all this behind us,
Just,
Know that my arms are wide open,
The older I get, the more that I know.

Well it's time to let this go.
I got to let it go
I got to let it go...

~ This Boy, by James Morrison

Of Death, Dance and Burgers.

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Hazelwood Power Station, Churchill.


Rural placement, second time around. Just after what was - both physically and emotionally - a very tiring weekend. The long drive to churchill was tiring and I did feel sleepy, but Zep and Charmaine were in the car with me so it wasnt too dangerous.

Spent a day at the GP clinic which was awesome. Like 50 PCL cases squished into a day with a GP as my dedicated tutor. Also spent a day at Latrobe Regional Hospital and had a taste of the life as a medical officer. Dr Sanjiv and Dr James guided me through the patients in the Critical Care Unit where I was stationed. It was quite an eye opening experience. People get into that unit for a variety of reasons. There was one guy with multiple organ failure. It was interesting to see the way Dr Sanjiv, the supervising CCU consultant told his (adult) children that life support was about to be ended. He was in a semi lucid state and there wasnt any obvious sign of distress. He was quite bloated from renal failure (aneuria). I felt pitting oedema for the first time. He was given morphine for pain relief and adrenaline to hold his blood pressure up. That afternoon, they started decreasing the infusion of adrenaline. He has likely passed away by now.

Doctors deal with death more often than other professions, and are constantly reminded of their mortality. Perhaps that is one of the factors that shape doctors mindset and personality. The so called "perfect" human being simply isn't. Pretty much everything that can go wrong will go wrong. We try to make the most of the cards we are dealt, but no matter how hard we try, life's still a game of russian roulette. Those with the genetic predisposition to cancer and heart disease simply have more bullets in the revolver.

I spent a day at the old folks resort as well. Hazelwood House was like a 4 star hotel. Spoke to a 87 year old veteran of the Normandy invasion. He made it a point that we should all travel as much as we can while we are young. He was bright and cheerful, but for a moment, his mood changed as he spoke about the most depressing aspect of living in an old folks home: Seeing those around you slowly deteriorate, lose their dignity and independence, then die.

Ok, rural placement wasnt all grim. Went for a retro party at the Gippsland campus where we were staying. I was on the dancefloor when i felt someone rub against me. Turned around and used my tie to reel her in. (!!!) Suddenly i realized that her bf was just beside her. Steph who was next to me couldnt stop laughing. Overall, rural week was all good. It felt more like a holiday than an actual placement. Expanded my culinary knowledge abit. Making belacan fried rice and tandoori chicken for 12 people was quite an experience.

Got back on friday night. Driving 200km that day was quite tiring. The guys wanted to go to Nandos that had just opened nearby, but it was too crowded so we ended up going to a diner on Scott's reccomendation. We all had an AUD15 burger (picture). But i say it was worth every penny. It had at least AUD5 worth of meat in it, and 6 slices of beetroot (yes i counted), along with bbq sauce and mustard. Balanced flavour despite having so, so, so much meat. None of the sauces were overpowering like the cheap tomato "sauce" they put in the McD burgers. The patty just melts in your mouth. It is served with curly fries done right, along with a salad to balance the flavours. Hmm, i feel like making my own gourmet burgers now. Man food. Hell yeah.

A Fleeting Moment

Sunset, St Kilda Pier


Late Sunday night, the clock was ticking ever so quickly. The day had come to an end before we finally found a place where we could be alone. A metal bench offered little comfort from the cold. But we had each other...


(The sound of silence was broken)


I want to stop looking.

... I dont want to hold you back.

(somberly, she looked down and shook her head slowly...)

I wish I could foresee the future but I could not.

...

you look like you are going to cry.

Couldnt we at least work towards being together?

I want to plan but i cant foresee the future... so why plan?

Promise me you'll let me know if you've found someone else...

(Nodding subtly) I promise I'll let you know too.

Come down and visit us some time...

I will..

A fleeting moment in my life.

Happy and at peace, sans lust! The awareness that the moment was so fleeting brought me sadness and insecurity - the reflection of which permeated through my elation. I wasnt about to cry. I was just so happy and sad at the same time I didnt know what to think or say.

90km later.

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as the trip ended


It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. The last stand up comedy act at the Fox Hotel was supposed to start at 5pm. They didnt accept bookings so we turned up early at 4.30. The place was quiet. Apparently, the last show ended the friday before!

So we went sightseeing instead. It's autumn and it's slightly chilly. Talking against the wind, I answered an unexpected question...

~
Why do you think people want to be attached?

Well girls want the sense of security of knowing they are with someone... or ya know.. just to show off to the other girls. The guys just want to get laid.

(giggle) ya know, that's kinda true.

(we crossed the road)

You know, as you start to be on your own, independent from your family, you lose that sense of closeness you once had as a kid. You want that sense of intimacy...
~

I was surprised at my own reply. In that two minutes waiting at the traffic light to cross the road, i had reflected on something I've never given much thought about. Looking back, i realize that as a person matures, it becomes awkward to have a certain type of emotional intimacy with members of your family.

It feels great to be independent - but it comes at a price. It does get lonely sometimes. Friends distract you from the loneliness spawned by the void of emotional intimacy - but at the end of the day the void is still there...


John Mayer: Something's Missing

I'm not alone, I wish I was
Cause then I'd know I was down because
I couldn't find a friend around
To love me like they do right now
They do right now

I'm dizzy from the shopping mall
I searched for the joy but i bought it all
It doesn't help the hunger pain
And a thirst I'd have to drown first to ever satiate

When autumn comes
It doesn't ask
It just walks in where it left you last
You never know when it starts
Until there is fog inside the glass around
Your summer heart

I cant be sure that this state of mind
Is not of my own design
I wish there was an over the counter test
for loneliness like this

Friends (Check)
Money (Check)
A well slept opposite sex (Check)
Guitar (Check) Microphone (Check)
Messages waiting on me when I come home...

Something's missing
And I dont know what it is
Something's missing,
And i dont know how to fix it

No I dont know what it is
Somethings different
And I dont know what it is
No I dont know what it is.

A Bit About Booze

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smirnoff tarik!



...And we grant you nourishment from the fruit of date-palms and vines: from it you derive intoxicants as well as wholesome sustenance -in this there is a message indeed for people who use their reason. (Q.16:67)



It started with wine...
The wine industry rejoiced when studies showed that drinking wine was good for the heart. It single handedly increased wine consumption globally, and all of a sudden everyone was doing studies on the benefits of alcohol.

A few years of marketing bliss later...
Follow up studies showed that substances previously though to be beneficial in wine werent really beneficial at all, or were present in levels too low to have any effect on cardiovascular function. This was a bad thing for the wine industry, but few people ever learnt about it because the wine industry spends alot of money in advertisements. Later it was discovered that the active ingredient in wine was alcohol itself.

The epidemiological grapevine...
Alcohol is a very tricky stubstance to research. No ethics committee would approve a randomized controlled trial where half of the participants are given a fixed dose of alcohol while another half were given a placebo. Even if they did, how would you design a placebo for alcohol? Hence, most studies are based on evidence from the field epidemiology (statistics). Statistically at least, people who dont drink at all die earlier than people who drink moderately. People who drink alot die much earlier than people who dont drink at all.

The problem with the statistics...
Early studies grouped lifelong abstainers with people who have quit drinking for up to six months. That was a problem because people who quit drinking usually did so because they had some kind of disease (caused by too much alcohol, such as cirrhosis) and were more likely to die young anyway. This statistical problem, along with a few others, were corrected and adjusted for in further studies. The results are clear now.

So what does research really say about alcohol?
Alcohol literally kills your heart in large doses and you can drop dead from sudden death brought on by death of heart muscle. In small doses, alcohol appears to be good for the heart after all. However, research has only proven this to be true in men over 45 years of age. Early research also shows that people who drink one standard drink a day are 30% less likely to get type 2 diabetes (1). It also increases the proportion of "good" HDL cholesterol and reduces the amount of clot inducing "bad" LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.

A bit about culture..
Here in australia, it is culturally acceptable, and even "cool" amongst youth to get drunk. An hour's of work at the supermarket pay about AUD16. Four litres of cheap low proof wine (30 std drinks) costs only AUD8. Ok, that's really vile stuff, but for AUD16 you could get five bottles of premium beer, each containing 1.3 standard drinks. The human body only eliminates about one standard drink an hour. Five standard drinks is enough to make a person drunk. Since one standard drink is not very much, it is really easy to drink too much. It is much less than what people typically consume in one sitting. A can of mid strength beer is about 1.3 standard drinks. 30ml of 38% spirit is considered one standard drink. How many people take only one beer at the pub?

My pseudo-opinion: Positive effect of low risk drinking ( less than 1.5 std drinks a day)
It is quite clear that people who drink moderately do derive health benefits from alcohol. The human body is incredibly complex and researchers are still unsure how alcohol does the things it does. Cardiovascular disease is essentially an inflammatory disease whereby the linings of the cardiac vessels dont function properly. Stress naturally causes the production of hormones that function to help a person get through a period of stress. Blood clotting factors are primed for use and the body is put into a state of tension. In the good ol caveman days, that was a good thing. Your body has to be ready to run away from the sabertooth tiger, and you had to stay awake at night if you sensed a predator in the bushes. In modern times, the same stress responses that once provided the human body with an edge in survival are now activated frequently by things such as work deadlines and lack of sleep. Alcohol helps dull that stress response and makes people more relaxed. That alone could be one of the reasons behind the health benefits of alcohol. A nip of whiskey before bed calms a persons nerves and makes him/her less anxious/stressed. It is not surprising that some cultures, such as the french, have successfully integrated alcohol into their lifestyles. Moderate consumption at the dinner table is a good thing.

The BIG picture.

Alcohol is bad for society. Period. The Australian Medical Association plainly states that alcohol leads to "an unacceptably high level of sickness and social disruption". It is estimated that in Australia, roughly 80,000 life years were lost as a result of drinking in 2001. This was contrasted to the estimated 61,000 life years gained as a result of moderate low risk drinking. The bottom line is that alcohol consumption costs taxpayers about AUD500k (RM1.5mil) a day in healthcare, emergency services and motor accidents.


They will ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: "In both there is great evil* as well as some benefit for man; but the evil which they cause is greater than the benefit which they bring." (Q.2:219)



(1) Koppes LL, Dekker JM, Hendriks HF, Bouter LM, Heine RJ: Moderate alcohol consumption lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. Diabetes Care 28:719–725, 2005. -and- Howard AA, Arnsten JH, Gourevitch MN: Effect of alcohol consumption on diabetes mellitus: a systematic review. Ann Intern Med 140:211–219, 2004.

Outpinged Lives Again!

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Sleek...

I finally got down to building my own computer. Last year, my workstation was very cluttered (click) and unergonomic. This new desktop let's me save space and have a much more ergonomic workstation (click). Last year, I had used my notebook connected to a display as my workstation. Little would i know that it would affect my posture quite badly (i actually had the initial signs of scoliosis but that's another story). It affected my ability to play sports and even walking became annoying.


The Tale of Outpinged

Once upon a time, there was a warrior, a trained sniper who totally owned at the legendary battlefields of 2fort5 in Teamfortress for Quake II. He was a veteren of combat who had experienced many other battles in Duke Nukem, Quake and Doom. Yet, he was unable to fulfill his maximum potential. He was limited by speed. Using an ancient 28.8kbps modem, he struggled during intense moments on the battlefield, trying to pre-empt where his enemies would be a split second later. The delays (pings) were sometimes outrageous, lasting about half a second. Some people are outrun on the battlefield. Some people are outsmarted. He was, "Outpinged*".

He had his fair share of leadership commanding armies in Warcraft (I,II,III), C&C and Starcraft, but the battlefield was where his heart was. He clocked more than 300 hours on counter-strike on dated equipment.

As time slowly crept upon Outpinged. He found himself increasingly disadvantaged by the limitations of his gear. That limitation has now been removed.

The last gaming rig:
  1. 0.6Ghz Pentium III. 10 million transistors
  2. Riva TNT2, 12 million transistors, 16mb RAM
  3. 64MB RAM
  4. Rolled iron and Plastic case
  5. 350W power supply.
  6. 17" CRT monitor
  7. RM5500

Gaming rig, 2008:
  1. 1.8Ghz Pentium Dual Core. 230 million transistors
  2. Geforce 8800GT, 666 million transistors, 512mb RAM
  3. 2048MB RAM
  4. Brushed aluminium case.
  5. 650W Coolermaster Real Power (19A x 3 @ 12V)
  6. 22" Widescreen LCD Panel.
  7. RM4600

*Ping is the delay it takes for a computer to communicate with the server.

The Grind

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Stand after going low to pass a hurdle...


Classes start at 8am and end at 5pm on Mondays - with only an hour of break in between. To add icing to the cake, the faculty decided that monday was the day we also receive our weekly presentation topics and patient cases. The tuesday breaks are about to be no more in a few weeks...

Im starting to feel alot of pressure. Last year, a record 100+ students out of a cohort of 300 students were forced to sit supplementary exams. 9 students actually had to remain in first year! Unbelievable. This year there are even more exams and hurdles to cross.

...yet i dont feel stressed! It's an awesome feeling; the pressure is nothing. I can take it! I dont feel like im last in anatomy class. I've refined my method of distilling knowledge. I can take it! I can take it now! I suffocated last year. This year, i can finally breathe...

Moving fast,
hurdles pass,
never last,
sadness past.

Steer

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I arrived on the 11th of February. Little would i know that the following few weeks would herald a new stage in my personal development.


The Prequel of Empathy

It was a cold rainy night on the 13th of february. The halls were deserted. I went to the guys house on Panorama street to pick my stuff up. They were still in Malaysia so the house was empty. It was dark, raining and windy. I felt a chill as i opened the rusty door. It took me about 2 hours to move all my stuff back to the halls. The cold, gloomy drizzle was depressing.

Isolation makes one sensitive to the presence of others.


O-Week, 2008

Orientation week proved to be very meaningful to me. I put a conscious effort to interact more with other people - yet a simple truth of human nature still eluded me.

Then, as part of the orientation, I was obliged to watch a presentation done by the university to promote healthy lifestyle choices. The comedian cum motivator was pretty good, but at one point, he said something that echoes in my head till this very day.

"To be sociable means not to be interesting,
it means to be interested..."

Staying in the halls has provided me with an excellent opportunity to expand my interpersonal skills in a neutral, multicultural environment. As preconceptions and prejudices were destroyed by the voice of reasoning, I finally removed the last few buckles of the mental straitjacket that had once threatened to destroy me.

A 180 degree turn in my interpersonal relations soon followed. I quickly noticed that interest in others is always reciprocated (ok, there are exceptions, but reciprocality is the norm). That set the tone for my interactions with others during the course of o-week. Interacting with lots of new faces, i put the basic principle to work. It works!


Physical Reverberations..

I now feel compelled to divert resources from typically self-centered luxuries to those that involve other people.


Ethreal Reverberations...

To see another person, and not only recognize his/her name. To seen individuals. Where they are from, their background, their likes and dislikes. The mental effort to remember comes naturally with genuine interest to know more about other people. This is something I have yet to gain - so yes, i do have to put some mental effort when interacting with people. I hope that one day this would come more naturally to me.



Feel it falling off like clothing
Taste it rolling on your tongue
See the lights above you glowing

Oh and breathe them deep into your lungs


It was always simple, not hidden hard
You've been pulling at the strings playing puppeteer for kings

And you've had enough


But the search ends here

Where the night is totally clear

And your heart is fierce

So now you finally know that you control where you go

You can steer


So hold this feeling like a newborn

Of freedom surging through your veins

You have opened up a new door

So bring on the wind, fire and rain


It was always simple, not hidden hard

You've been played at a game called remembering your name

And you stuffed it up

'Cos you've been listening for answers
But the city screams and all your dreams go unheard

You get out of the box and step into the clear

'Cos now you finally know you can steer


~ Missy Higgins, Steer. ~

The Rustic Bookshop


The Rustic Bookshop

Shelves surround,

she who's fair,
not a sound,

still air.


Warmth rises,

i breathe,

heavenly scent,

brief.


Next glance?

november i believe,

a fleeting chance,

my next reprieve.



Happy Valentine's Day!

Year 2 Resolve

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Second Year, Melbourne.


Im surprised at how fast I managed to settle down at the halls this year. Last year, i was a freshie, a total noob. It took me ages to feel settled and comfortable in my room. This year, I took only two days. Arrived late Monday night. By the end of wednesday, my empty room has been transformed to a reasonably comfortable pad. A fan, soft lighting, and a more ergonomic workstation has been set up. Last year, it took me 8 months just to get a fan! I feel at home now, and im sure i'll be able to devote more real effort to my studies in this environment. Food woes are no more. I've been having McD, Subway, Chicken and Chips and Fish and Chips for the past two days. Got to get back on a healthy diet soon. Had oats, cottage cheese and bread for dinner. Probably toss a salad later. I just unpacked my cooking utensis and im looking forward to trying some new things in the kitchen. Badminton, swimming, running and weight training shall all resume soon.

Year two is going to be awesome. Many of the issues that bothered me in the past have been solved - from apparel to study approach. I am also more efficient at getting things done and wont get caught up preparing meals etc. I brought back a number of books from malaysia this time. I am well equipped this year and dont really have any excuse not to excel.

Tomorrow i'll be one of the team leaders for Summer Swoop! O'week starts next Saturday. It's gonna be a busy week ahead.


What's up for 2008.

First, a forecast:
  1. Year 2 will be a challenge. No more slacking. No more Pass Grade Only (PGO).
  2. Better financial management. Aim to save some real cash this year.

Quantitative goals:
  1. Wake up before 8.30am each day.
  2. Put more mental effort into my work.
  3. Put on another 7kg of lean mass.
  4. Exercise every other day - cardio 3 times a week / strength twice a week.
  5. Have a 5,000 AUD bank balance by year's end.

Ultimate Goals:
  1. A Mediterranian pseudo-backpacking trip.
  2. Build a diverse social circle and strengthen existing ones.
  3. Macbook air! It's just so dead sexy i have got to get my grubby paws on one... If my wallet permits.

The Melancholic Gaze...

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~The Pale Yellow Moon, Ezra I. Limm 2008 ~

The clock is ticking.
yellow lunacy,
pale and fading,
i cant foresee.



~Konspirasi Bising Internasional, OAG. ~

Benarkah teorimu?
Fenomena menakjub.

Logikkah reaksimu?
Melankolik Matamu.

Konspirasi gadis curiga,
mimpi ku resah tak terkata,
panik dunia,
panik semesta.