Sunday, January 29, 2006

Chinese New Year 2006

Finally, after two years of not being home for Chinese New Year, it has come and it has gone. Although the celebration lasts for about a week, the major days for my family are on the eve when we have our reunion dinner and the first day when our immediate relatives drop by for a visit. It has been a custom for years for everyone to gather at my house for Chinese New Year as my grandmother used to life with us and my dad is the eldest man in the family.

The day started out quite early despite me sleeping late the night before. Me and my second sister went to our local Mamak store to pick up our pre-ordered dishes that will be used to feed our visitors for lunch.

The first group to pass through our gates was my second aunt’s family from my Dad’s side. Then, the crowd grew bigger and bigger. It was nice to finally see all of them. I haven’t seen some for over two years and I never realize how old I was already.
We took turns at the dining table while most hang about in the living hall watching those typical live telecasts shows from Hong Kong on Astro’s Wah Lah Toi.

We soon started a small game of cards which I am never good at but joined in for the fun. Before we knew it, it was time for them to leave as everyone was feeling sleepy courtesy of the heavy meal we had.

Shortly after, my dad’s University mate came along with some of my childhood friends. We had quite a chat before my Dad’s colleague came with his family to join in the fun. After several cans of coke and my sister trying to catch up with whatever happened in the five years since we last saw their family, three hours had passed and it was coming to an end.

I immediately took a shower after that and straight for a nap. I woke up feeling hungry and we went out to Kayu for a light yet fulfilling snack. We came back and finish up our packing for our trip to Batu Pahat, Johor tomorrow. It will be a 7 hours drive from Penang but something we had done for years. If it shocking to you, it used to be 10 hours plus of driving by my dad before the North South Expressway was constructed.

I think that’s all for now. I will keep you updated on things and till then, take care of yourself and Happy Year of The DOG!!!!!!!

Benny Ong XXX

Monday, January 23, 2006

My Virtual Pet, Get Yours Now!

We live in a virtual world, don't we. Well I decided to give virtual pets a go and look what I have come out with. Visit the site now and get yours....




adopt your own virtual pet!

Add Fireworks To Your Website

Greetings everyone, this is just another review on mine that was selected as review of the month on several sites and read by thousands. It is about Fireworks MX although Fireworks 8 is out now. Enjoy.....

Fireworks MX is Macromedia’s image editing package. If you are unfamiliar with Macromedia, they happen to be a software developer company like Microsoft but however majors more in content editing packages. Some of their other major products include Flash, Freehand and Dreamweaver.

Macromedia Fireworks MX 2004 is the latest version of Fireworks designing program. It has improved tremendously with amazing add-ons and new user friendly features from Fireworks 4 but has not much difference with the MX version.

Macromedia says:
“Fireworks MX 2004 lets users import files from all major graphics formats and manipulate both vector and bitmap images to quickly create graphics and interactivity. Images can be easily exported to Dreamweaver, Flash and third-party applications.�

I have been using Fireworks for my image editing for years now and have always upgraded it when the new packages arrive and MX is the best so far.

I prefer Fireworks Image Editing to Corel Draw or Adobe Photoshop because of its simplicity and user friendly layout. It is great software for designing web graphics like background, banners, animated gifs and icons. I personally used them for all my web designing needs, the graphic site that is.

Creating animated .gifs with Fireworks could have never been easier. One may choose the amount of frames and loops per second and preview it before exporting it as an animated file. Although many programs do offer you similar functions but I find this one the easiest.

Fireworks is able to open Photoshop (.psd) files and edit them and besides that has a great integration with other Macromedia packages like Flash, Freehand, Dreamweaver and Director. You may import and export files with other packages running simultaneously. For example, an image that is being created in Fireworks can be exported to Flash and further editing can be carried on the image in Flash.

At times, I can be very lazy while designing a site and do it all in fireworks and save it as an html page. Fireworks will automatically turn it into a single HTML page that features a huge image file of what I have created earlier as the website. This is a quick way to get away with designing a site in minutes but it is not a good practice. The site that has just been created is just a huge image with the dimensions that fit a screen. This is not user friendly to some visually impaired person and can take quite a while to load under dial up internet connections. However, Fireworks do allow you to add HTML codes and Javascripts before exporting it as a HTML document.

What’s New?

Well, there are a list of new features in this version but I will only cover a few main features.

1. Start Page
This is a new window that will open every time you start Fireworks. It gives you the option to access the program immediately or use the available tutorials to learn about the software. If you do not like the start page, just change the setting to not see it when you start the program.

2. Auto Shapes
This is one brilliant new addition of other shapes to the program. Users can now create primitive shape that will correspond smartly to the mouse movement instructions in transforming. My favorite shape is the spiral and other shapes like Square, Circle, Donut and star are available.

3. Send As E-mail
You may immediately with a click of a button send your creations as an attachment in your favorite e-mail program.

4. Save in Original Format
Besides being able to read a wide range of files, Fireworks now allow you to save it into its own original format after editing.

Quick Tip: Exporting an Image

Use the Export Wizard function that will chose the best format that you image should be saved as by asking you a series of question. It will end up opening a preview window of the saved image if you are unhappy with the result, you can switch through other formats and see the results in real time. This is a great tool as it even shows the time the image will take to load on screen from a website.

Ease of Use

Depending on your proficiency dealing with image editing packages, you may find it hard at the beginning dealing with Fireworks but the more practice you have on it, you will get use to its interface and settings. I have been using lots of image editing software and Fireworks has almost the same layout as any image editing suite with the main toolbar on the left and the frames/layers tool on the right. Among all the other packages like Photoshop or CorelDraw, I find Fireworks the easiest to use and the best for creating images for the web.
System requirements
Before installing Fireworks, make sure your computer is equipped with the following hardware and software.
- Microsoft Windows
• 300MHz Intel Pentium II Processor
• Windows 98 SE, ME, 2000, or XP
• 64 MB of available RAM (128 MB recommended) plus 80 MB of available disk space
• 800 x 600 pixel resolution, 256-color display or better
• Adobe Type Manager Version 4 or later for use with Type 1 fonts
• CD-ROM drive
- Macintosh
• Power Macintosh G3 Processor, running OS X version 10.1.5 or later, or 10.2.6 or later
• 64 MB of available RAM (128 MB recommended) plus 80 MB of available disk space
• 800 x 600 pixel resolution, 256-color display or better
• CD-ROM drive
Installation

Depending on your computer, the installation of fireworks can be fairly quick. Just run the installation file and follow the on screen instruction.

Help Files

Fireworks come with a well compiled help file Click on the help or F1 key and a searchable library window will pop up and you will be able to put in keywords on the topic that you are facing problems with. Listings of answers will appear and you can click on the corresponding files to find the solutions.

First Time Users & Available Tutorials

Don’t worry, learning Fireworks is very easy and plus support is not far away. Instead of just the help file, there is a link to Macromedia online tutorials. You must be online to access these tutorials. It is very easy and even comes with diagrams. Fireworks also have a huge online community in the form of forums, user groups and websites that will be able to help you with learning the software.

There are also books available that may help you as well. Just do a search for them on Amazon or go to your computer section of your local bookstore and dummy guides for it should be available.


I have just created a quick tutorial for you to mess around with Fireworks MX which is as follow:

Creating Wallpapers with Fireworks MX by Benny Ong

A) Depending with the resolution of your screen or the wallpaper you wish to create, set the new image size in pixels to either with the background color of your choice.

i) 800 width x 600 height
ii) 1024 width x 768 height

B) Right click on the image and chose magnification followed by 50%. This will shrink your image to half the original size so that it will be viewable without the need of scrolling around. It makes your designing job much easier.

C) Either do your own designing by adding text or geometric shapes available from the left menu bar or straight away import images like photographs into it. Mess around it and place it in random order or how you wish to view it on your desktop.

D) When you are done, export the image as .gif if it contains lots of text or as .jpg if the image contains lots of pictures. You may chose to preview them in either format before saving them.

E) You are done! You have created a wallpaper and just click “Set as Desktop Background� if you are on Windows XP on the image to make it your wallpaper.

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

Buying Options

Fireworks can be bought as an individual package or bundled together with Flash, Dreamweaver and Freehand in the Macromedia Studio Package. I would advise you to go ahead with the Macromedia Studio package if you are a professional webmaster or does a lot of web editing and interactive web designing. If you want a fairly high end graphics editing tool, then you should just go ahead with getting Fireworks MX by itself. This is because the other bundled software will be of less use.

Where to Buy?

The best way to obtain a copy of the software is online. You may choose to download it straight from the website or get it in the form of a CD. There are many online software vendors that are currently selling this package for different prices. It is also obtainable as an off the shelf product from leading computer stores such as PC world.

WARNING: Online Software Buyers Beware!

If you see a listing on an auction site or cheap software selling site, do check for its authenticity. There happen to be many pirated software or cracked versions circulating around. If it is from an auction, do ask clearly for the details from the seller before bidding. If it is a website that you are buying it from, do check for its reputation and guarantees offered.

Registration/Activation

Depending the package or license your bought software is, you may require filling in an optional quick online registration form. The information is just kept as a record by Macromedia. I did not register my software and it works just as fine.

Try It First!

Well, don’t just take my words for it! Download the 30 days trial version first at Macromedia.com and test it. Once installed, you will be able to use the full version software for 30 days and it will automatically expire if you do not upgrade it. You can easily upgrade it by just registering and paying for it online.

30 Days Money Back Guarantee

I just realized that Macromedia offers a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee for this software if it is purchased online from them. So, if you are unhappy with the program within 30 days, they will refund you the money you have paid in full. Please refer to the website for more details.

My Conclusions

This is the best image editing program made for webmasters. It is an all in one suite for webmasters to create, edit and optimize images for the web. The toolbars are easy to use and one can learn it quickly unlike programs such as Photoshop and Coreldraw that are much more complicated.

Useful Links

Macromedia Official Site: http://www.macromedia.com
Macromedia Online Tutorials: http://www.macromedia.com/go/learning_fireworks
Fireworks Page: http://www.macromedia.com/software/fireworks


I look forward in receiving constructive feedback and comments. If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave them in my guestbook and I will get back to you a.s.a.p.

I hope this helps.

Have A Nice Day!

Benny Ong

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Not So Solid After All

For about three years now, I have been contributing review on ciao and various other websites for fun. I have decided to compile all of them together on my blog. I will post them on the site periodically under the category of Reviews for your reading pleasure. I hope you enjoy it.






This review is about Solid Harmonie's debut album released in 1998. Here we go:

Greetings everyone,

Guess what I am back with another classic pop CD review. I am again doing some annual cleaning before Chinese New Year and this CD is what I dug out. It must have been one of the few CDs I consider worth keeping, that's probably why I still have it.

By the way, if I were to mention Solid Harmonie, most of you might have not even heard of them unless you were really into pop during the starting days of Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys sometime back in 1998.

Well, I am here to give you a little lesson in Pop history. Solid Harmonie is made of four girls named Beki, Elisa, Mariama & Melissa. They were under the wings of Lou Pearlman, the person who brought you the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync. Solid Harmonie were considered to be the less popular version of the Spice Girls although they did receive quite a good response and frequent airplay in Asia. I am not too sure what cause the break up of the band and I soon saw one of the members, Mariama joining the trio of the R&B group Honeyz.

I just did a quick search about them on Google and discovered that apparently remaining members Beki & Elisa with another new girl are back touring as supporting acts still using the name Solid Harmonie. So, the band is back although I have yet to listen to any new materials.

The CD

Released Date: 30 March 1998
Record Label: Jive
CD: 1
Total Running Time: 53:13
Total Number Of Tracks: 13

Track Listing & Individual Review and Rating

I am actually listening to the CD on my computer right now as I am writing this review.

1. I'll Be There For You
If I am not wrong, this is the first single on this album. It did make a massive impact for the girls and indeed became the Solid Harmonie theme. It is a very typical pop dance track as it has a slow start before a melodic chorus. One can easily grasp the lyrics for this song as it is practically the same words repeating over and over again. It also had a video with the girls dancing to it which I can vaguely remember. This track earns a deserving 8 out of 10 for being a good track in introducing the girls.


2. I Want You To Want Me
This should be the second single I guess. Once again, it has simple lyrics to it and everyone can easily sing to it. No vocals ability were tested or demonstrated with this track. This song did have a video with featuring the girls in front of the mirror applying make up and getting ready for a performance. It rates a fair 8 out of 10 for keeping the unique Solid Harmonie trademark in their tracks without being too similar to I'll Be There For You.

3. To Love Once Again
Don't be fooled by the sentimental or slow start of this song. It slow merges to a cool background beat. The chorus still holds the unique pop sound of the girls and indeed holds an easy listening quality to it. It rates 7 out of 10.

4. Come And Get It
This is pop song with a slight influence of hip hop with a brief rap start. There is slightly a higher base on this track than any other songs on this album. It also has a sudden slow bridge before climaxing into the chorus. It rates 5 out of 10.

5. Walk Away
I would say this is the slowest track on this album. Finally, a proper sentimental track on this album. This track is about letting go of someone you love and remembering the good days you had. Ah… I am getting all emotional now, stop the track and let's move on to the next one. It rates 7 out of 10 because I think most listeners can somehow relate to it.

6. You Got The Flava
An MC Hammer style track except replacing the loud rapping with melodic girls voices. Another track that everyone can dance too and somehow it reminds me of one of the Backstreet Boys song but don't blame for that because they do tend to share the same producers. It rates 4 out of 5 for lack of creativity from the producers.

7. He's Playing Hard To Get
This song starts of with the classic conversation before someone starts singing. It once again reminds me of the Backstreet Boys. The song is very flat and probably one of the most dead tracks on the album. Maybe this is because all the previous track has a little bit more pop dance influence in it. It rates a disappointing 2 out of 10.

8. Forever I Do
Another sentimental love track from the band that did not fail to impress. I believe it is a cover version of someone's song but I might be wrong. It arrived at the right time as I was about to stop the CD. It rates a 6 out of 10.

9. I Wanna Love You
This is one of the girls single. I can remember the video to this song very well as it features each of the girls in a different forest scene. This was unfortunately the last video I ever saw of the girls. It has a very different sound than the rest on the album. It rates a 7 out 10 for being the farewell track for the band.

10. Fantasy
A very weak track which was meant to be another slow song on the album. It did not stand out although having a nice flow to the song, I felt it was very predictable. Some may like it but not me. It rates a 2 out of 10.


11. I Gotta Get My Groove On
A song that reminds me of the starting days of Aaliyah. They were more of reading out the lyrics than singing. Another weak track from the girls. It rates 3 out of 10 for being a weak track.

12. When We Kiss (Missing You)
This track has male back vocals from who I believe is the writer and producer. It involves the girls reading the lyrics to the beat and the male vocal as the chorus. It rates 4 out of 10 for being different but not the best track.

13. Live A Little
This is the bonus track for this album which they shouldn't have even bothered putting in the album. It lacks quality. The lyrics were very plain and not strong. I wasn't sure what the message of this song was. It rates 1 out of 10.

CD Covers and Inlay

The CD cover for mine was actually a postcard featuring the girls posing with two sofas with a red brick wall background. The front cover of the CD inlay features all the girls once again dressed in hip hop style with a more bluish theme. The booklet was a one that would fold out into a slightly larger than A4 paper size fully color printed. It has individual pictures of each of the girls with their personal messages and also lyrics and producer information for each of the 12 songs. The pictures I would say where not the best quality. It could have been better and the fonts used for the lyrics were far too small for reading and the color scheme for the page would definitely cause problems for people with vision problems. This matter has been overlooked. Girls, if you are reading this, please don't repeat this mistake in your next album!!!

Websites

There are a few websites set up by fans which are still online. Just do a quick search to find out more.

Where To Buy?

Unfortunately, if you want this CD, most stores are not stocking them anymore. I guess the best places to get the CD are from Amazon's Marketplace or online auctions such as ebid or ebay.

Other Recommended Listening

If you like music of Solid Harmonie, other CDs that you might consider will be from artists such as S Club 7, Spice Girls, Girl Thing, Girls Aloud, Cleopatra and All Saints.

Conclusion

I might to be too harsh on the review comparing it with current productions. It might have been of good quality when it was release back in 1998 and more suited for people's listening pleasure back then. This CD is typically made for fans of pop music especially from the days when Boy Bands and Girl Groups rein the charts. If you are not a pop fan, give this CD a miss.

I look forward in receiving your constructive feedback, please feel free to leave them here or message me. I wanna hear your stories from during your pop infested days or if you know Solid Harmonie, just leave me a message. If you are the girls themselves, I do look forward to hearing again from your band.

That's all folks!!!

Have A Nice Day!!!!

Benny Ong XXX

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sudoku Solver + Painter

Greetings everyone!

I am so proud of myself, I just solved my first sudoku a couple of minutes ago today. I finally realized how fun it actually is. Well, I did not like the paper version, so I played an online version. I will try to add a sudoku page on my site shortly, maybe even later tonight.

Well, the repainting of my house has finally completed today. So, it is goodbye to the two hardworking Bangladeshi worker and less stress for my mum who supervised the whole project. There are indeed leftover paints which I am planning to use for my own touch ups of parts of the house.

Now all that is left is to get new flower pots for the decorative plants outside of the house. I shall attend to that issue at about lunch time tomorrow. The house will be looking spanking good for Chinese New Year. Since we are on the subject of Chinese New Year, I haven't been home for the occassion for two years now. So, it is a good idea that I did this time around. That is a partial reason why I stayed back for a MCSE and CCNA course that should last six months. I am now about a month into it already. Boy, time does fly.

I have been working on several projects at the moment including the design of a new corporate site for Velocity Spark Network. It should be ready in early February. A redesign of Soscili.com is to follow after that. So, if you are reading this, please send me some ideas or feedback on the sites ok.

That's all folks....!

Benny Ong XXX

Saturday, January 14, 2006

All In The Timing

Well, here I am again at my desk at about a quarter pass 12 midnight in my room that severely needs a quick tidying due to a huge mosquito colony that keeps attacking me at night.

By the way, I just got back about two hours ago from Sheraton Penang watching a play my sister Adeline Ong was in. I will tell you more on that in a bit.

Today, I started my module 1 on my part time MCSE course. It is a very interesting module as when I complete it, I will be an expert Windows XP Administrator. The downside was that the course lasted 4 hours. However, it was something very typical for me to do as I want to get things done fast. Not always the smartest thing to do but I do try my best to get it done properly. I have yet to receive my complete set of books for my course which I have waited for roughly a month now.

After finishing my class, my mother picked me up and we headed for Sheraton. Since we knew the actress, we got the best seats in the house. Did I mention that there was a dinner buffet along? Well, it had the best mushroom suit I have ever tasted. Emmmmmm…..

Well, back to the play that my sister was acting in. It was another production by Penang Players called All In The Timing. The play was a combination of three mini plays called “Variations on the Death of Trotsky�, “Words, Words, Words� and my sister was acting in the last one called “Sure Thing�.

Sure Thing was about two people meeting in a café and was followed with numerous combinations of scenarios involving conversation and interaction before achieving the perfect ending of both falling in love. The scene required my sister to memorize scripts that I would have never been able to. If I did, I would have forgotten it on stage. She did amazingly well. Credits also had to be given to other casts and crew of the successful production.

I am so proud of her performance and can fully understand the effort and how serious she was with her acting. However, I felt that she could have done so much more abroad where the theatre scene is much bigger, hence the opportunity. Although one must say that the competition would be tougher but I rather place my money on her going abroad.

Well, I am starting to get my hands itchy now on a little bit of designing. I will continue the coding of my new company site due to re-launch in early February.

Till my next post, take care!

Benny Ong XXX

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Call Center

I got this e-mail a couple of times. I am not too sure of how genuine it is, whatever it is, it still provides some good laughs.

True Telephone conversations recorded from various Help Desks
around the U.K

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Helpdesk: What kind of computer do you have?
Customer: A white one...
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Customer: Hi, this is Celine. I can't get my diskette out.
Helpdesk: Have you tried pushing the button?
Customer: Yes, but it's really stuck.
Helpdesk: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note ...
Customer: No ... wait a minute... I hadn't inserted it yet... it's
still on my desk... sorry ....
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Helpdesk: Click on the 'my computer' icon on to the left of the
screen.
Customer: Your left or my left?

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Helpdesk: Good day. How may I help you?
Male customer: Hello... I can't print.
Helpdesk: Would you click on start for me and ...
Customer: Listen pal; don't start getting technical on me! I'm not
Bill Gates damn it!
--------------------------------------------------------------------
(THIS ONE KILLS ME!)
Hi good afternoon, this is Martha, I can't print. Every time I try
it says 'Can't find printer'. I've even lifted the printer and
placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he
can't find it...
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Customer: I have problems printing in red...
Helpdesk: Do you have a color printer?
Customer: No.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Helpdesk: What's on
your monitor now ma'am?
Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me in the
supermarket.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Helpdesk: And now hit F8.
Customer: It's not working.
Helpdesk: What did you do, exactly?
Customer: I hit the F-key 8-times as you told me, but nothing's
happening...
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.
Helpdesk: Are you sure it's plugged into the computer?
Customer: No. I can't get behind the computer.
Helpdesk: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.
Customer: OK
Helpdesk: Did the keyboard come with you?
Customer: Yes
Helpdesk: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there
another keyboard?
Customer: Yes, there's another one here. Ah...that one does work!

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Helpdesk: Your password is the small letter a as in apple, a
capital letter V as in Victor, the number 7.
Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters?
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A customer couldn't get on the internet.
Helpdesk: Are you sure you used the right password?
Customer: Yes I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it.
Helpdesk: Can you tell me what the password was?
Customer: Five stars.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Helpdesk: What antivirus program do you use?
Customer: Netscape.
Helpdesk: That's not an antivirus program.
Customer: Oh, sorry...Internet Explorer.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has
placed a screensaver on my computer, but every time I move the
mouse, it disappears!
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Helpdesk: Microsoft Tech. Support, may I help you?
Customer: Good afternoon! I have waited over 4 hours for you. Can
you please tell me how long it will take before you can help me?
Helpdesk: Uhh..? Pardon, I don't understand your problem?
Customer: I was working in Word and clicked the help button more
than 4 hours ago. Can you tell me when you will finally be helping
me?
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Helpdesk: How may I help you?
Customer: I'm writing my first e-mail.
Helpdesk: OK, and, what seems to be the problem?
Customer: Well, I have
the letter a, but how do I get the circle around it?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Love Story

"I received this e-mail a couple of days ago from my eldest sister and I think it earns the right to be place on my site"

Sometimes we are blind to see the goodness of our spouses and deaf to hear
their kind words for us. A nice story to share......

My husband is an Engineer by profession, I love him for his steady nature,
and I love the warm feeling when I lean against his broad shoulders. Three
years of courtship and now, two years into marriage, I would have to admit,
that I am getting tired of it. The reasons of me loving him before has now
transformed into the cause of all my restlessness. I am a sentimental woman
and extremely sensitive when it comes to a relationship and my feelings, I
yearn for the romantic moments, like a little girl yearning for candy. My
husband is my complete opposite, his lack of sensitivity, and the inability
of bringing romantic moments into our marriage has disheartened me about
love.

One day, I finally decided to tell him my decision, that I wanted a
divorce. "Why?" he asked, shocked. "I am tired; there are no reasons for
everything in the world!" I answered.

He kept silent the whole night, seems to be in deep thought with a lighted
cigarette at all times. My feeling of disappointment only increased, here
was a man who can't even express his predicament, what else can I hope from
him?

And finally he asked me:" What can I do to change your mind?" Somebody said
it right, it's hard to change a person's personality, and I guess, I have
started losing faith in him.

Looking deep into his eyes I slowly answered : "Here is the question, if
you can answer and convince my heart, I will change my mind, Let's say, I
want a flower located on the face of a mountain cliff, and we both are sure
that picking the flower will cause your death, will you do it for me?"

He said:" I will give you your answer tomorrow...." My hopes just sank by
listening to his response. I woke up the next morning to find him gone, and
saw a piece of paper with his scratchy handwriting, underneath a milk
glass, on the dining table near the front door, that goes....

My dear, "I would not pick that flower for you, but please allow me to
explain the reasons further.." This first line was already breaking my
heart. I continued reading.....

"When you use the computer you always mess up the Software programs, and
you cry in front of the screen, I have to save my fingers so that I can
help to restore the programs.

You always leave the house keys behind, thus I have to save my legs to rush
home to open the door for you.

You love traveling but always lose your way in a new city; I have to save
my eyes to show you the way.

You always have the cramps whenever your "good friend" approaches every
month; I have to save my palms so that I can calm the cramps in your Tummy.

You like to stay indoors, and I worry that you will be infected by
infantile autism. I have to save my mouth to tell you jokes and stories to
cure your boredom.

You always stare at the computer, and that will do nothing good for your
eyes, I have to save my eyes so that when we grow old, I can help to clip
your nails, and help to remove those annoying white hairs. So I can also
hold your hand while strolling down the beach, as you enjoy the sunshine
and the beautiful sand... and tell you the color of flowers, just like the
color of the glow on your young face...

Thus, my dear, unless I am sure that there is someone who loves you more
than I do... I could not pick that flower yet, and die.."

My tears fell on the letter, and blurred the ink of his handwriting... and
as I continue on reading...

"Now, that you have finished reading my answer, if you are satisfied,
please open the front door for I am standing outside bringing your favorite
bread and fresh milk...





I rush to pull open the door, and saw his anxious face, clutching tightly
with his hands, the milk bottle and loaf of bread.... Now I am very sure
that no one will ever love me as much as he does, and I have decided to
leave the flower alone... That's life, and love. When one is surrounded by
love, the feeling of excitement fades away, and one tends to ignore the
true love that lies in between the peace and dullness.





Love shows up in all forms, even very small and cheeky forms, it has never
been a model; it could be the dullest and boring form... Flowers, and
romantic moments are only used and appear on the surface of the
relationship. Under all this, the pillar of true love stands... and that's
our life... Love, not words win arguments...





"A soul mate is the one with whom you could sit with without saying a word
and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you have ever had
"

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Welcome 2006 ! Goodbye 2005!

I was woken up early this morning by my mother. Being reluctant to get up, I somehow manage because in my mind I was aware that there was a function to attend. I spent most of my time late last night sending my friends in the UK text messages from the website rokstudent.com wishing them Happy New Year. I was glad to receive their replies.

Yup, back to where I was. There was an annual ceremony that I have to attend back in my father’s estate. It is an annual event to thank the gods for taking care of the farm like a harvest festival and of course a good excuse for a celebration and a feast. The function takes place in a shrine just about hundred metres from the entrance of the estate dedicated to an Indian god. It has been there for many years. I believe it to be founded by the estate workers that used to work there. Like most Indian temples, it has a large tree overlooking the whole shrine.

The ceremony has been an annual tradition years and years ago, long before my dad owned the estate. I remembered being there when I was about 10. There will be offerings to the god and the smell of incense everywhere. However, it did not turn out like what I had in mind. The function which used to be attended by mostly Indians estate workers (bare in mind that it is an Indian god) turned out to be more of a family function for the caretaker of the farm we called Ah Pek. However, I did feel happy to see people enjoying themselves.

Soon after, we headed home. Later that evening, I headed to Prangin Mall in town. The last time I was there was more than a year ago. I remembered it to be just a modern version of what the Bazar Aneka in Komtar used to look like. I had some stuff to buy in mind like a new motherboard which I blew up the last time I tried to fix my computer. After getting one, I was introduced to a cool store called Coco by my sister Adeline that sells very cool gadgets at great prices. I remembered seeing some similar stuff in Gadgetshop which is now of non existence but at very valuable prices. I did not hesitate to get a digital table clock (something I have been looking for) which displays the time, date and temperature in three different circle LCDs. I was already contented to get a digital clock at that price but surprisingly, it has a list of functions to boasts like displaying the temperature, time and date in various formats and multiple version of the snooze alarm. Only thing missing at the moment is illumination so that I can see the time in the dark. Well, with the price I paid, I can live with that.

Back home, we were waiting the return of my other sister, Xin Rong which was in KL for about a week and a half. There was The Village showing on Star Movies, so why not jump into the opportunity to watch it as I have never seen it. I did not even budge to go welcome my sis home because I was afraid that I would miss any important part of the movie. My conclusion of the movie was it did not turned out as bad as I thought it would be. If I can only direct my own version of that movie, it would include a signing of a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the villagers and those who we do not speak off and encourage trade between the two. An immigration and customs department will be set up. Well, that’s all I have got to say at the moment from what my version of the Village is concern.

And here we come to an end of another day in my life and the first day of the Year 2006. I would wish everyone reading a Happy New Year!

Benny XXX