TimYang.com ::: The Geek Blog

Wednesday August 18


Please don't use this one on me. I have a deadly fear of rejection.

Give them anyname@papernapkin.net (or paamail.com, to be less suspicious), tell them it's your address, and when they write you, they'll automatically get a response telling them how badly they've been rejected.

Funny thing is, this kind of service is extremely easy to set up on any hosting account. Hell, i could have done this. Wish I did.


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Shows you the search results for any search term from both Yahoo Search and Google at the same time. So you can analyse and compare the differences.


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Anonymization.net is offering a brilliant free extension for Firefox. The extension allows you to surf anonymously from a toolbar whenever you enter a url into the toolbar. Totally excellent!


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Tuesday August 17

Argh! Too much protein!

I finally invested in a cheap USD19 drink mixer. I used it on Sunday night (before bedtime) for my patented protein shake. Get this: I have not taken this protein shake for months. I'd normally take cheap but effective muesli bars, 2 raw eggs, a litre of milk and yoghurt on a daily or bi-daily basis. So here I was with a tub full of the whole mix with 4 raw eggs and protein powder thrown in.

Yup, you guessed it: I got protein heart burn.

My body spent the whole night depserately digesting the mix. I just couldn't get to sleep. My body clock got totally warped and that's just going to ruin the whole week.

I'll have to take the mix more regularly to get my body used to digesting it normally. Lucikly this time, I didn't get protein fart too. (Digesting cassein protein creates wind, didn't you know?)

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New snorkel mask and tube

Just invested RM380 (USD100) in a new mask with prescription lenses and a snorkelling tube. Going to be away from Thursday for a week to Perhentian Island. I will head for Kapas Island on my way back from the east coast to see what it's like. Haven't been there yet.

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Increase your pagerank

A quick and dirty way to attempt to increase your pagerank -- add yourself to all these blog search engines.

Blog search engines

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I was playing around with Multiply.com for a few days. It is what might be described as a meta-personal-network. It allows the import of Friendster and Orkut profiles and combines them so you don't have to use both networks at the same time. Just use one: multiply.com. This is the next obvious step since we have way too many of these networks already.


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Saturday August 14

Why does this always happen...

You're at the counter and the cashier rings up the price of the item as RM15.91. You have the change, but you take out your credit card because:

You know that it's rude, so you check behind to see if there are any customers who would object. Hey, whaddaya know. The store is empty.

Then, as soon as the cashier accepts your credit card, suddenly there are ten (count them!) TEN customers in the line behind you and they're all burning a hole in your back.

ARGH! Why!

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International party

Went to another of the international parties last night at Roman's apartment. I spent part of the evening talking to Andreas from Namibia. He was telling me about Namibia, the bushland and the desert, the diamond mines, and his father's 700 head of cattle and about the winter problems they have with inadequate heating for them. I got an open invitation from him to Namibia's Independence Day celebration next February, tentatively at the Hilton in KL.

I was tempted to ask if he had an investment plan and needed some funds to free more funds from government jurisdiction... but I kept quiet about that. Good thing too. Because Namibia, I quickly realise, is not Nigeria...

I also got the numbers of Marie, a Swede who is interning at Sweden's trade commission in KL. And I got the number of Martin, a Swedish student in KL who wants to intern at the trade commission. I spent half the night trying to convince him that he could pad his resume with skills (which he didn't have) like "fluent Malay", until Marie had to spoil it by telling him that the Swedish trade ambassador does speak Malay. Darn.

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Friday August 13

Hey, dude, where's my bus?

I ran out the store at exactly 10.30am today and my bus was nowhere in sight. I'd left all my stuff on it. I ran to the ticket master and asked him if he could call the bus driver and have him turn around. Instead, he managed to get me a lift from another bus driver and told him to take me to the next stop where my bus would wait for a few minutes to pick up more passengers.

Funny thing was I was thinking at the time that I should have told Grace and Jasmine, two South Korean girls who were on lay-over to Seoul after spending a month and a half in Turkey, that they ought to try and catch the early bus. Bus tickets tend to disappear very quickly in small towns. But I didn't. So I hope they manage to figure out to head for Ipoh, the next major town, and grab a bus to KL from there instead of waiting round for a direct bus to KL. Seems buses also have a tendency to disappear quickly around here.

I was just in the shop to pick up a few interesting items. It was a naval surplus shop -- Lumut, the town I was in, is the home of Lumut Naval Base. I got a Submarine Corp cap and a army belt. I've always had a thing for submarines ever since I watched Das Boot.

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Thursday August 12

How to get a tan

I have worked out two theories to the successful tan. Both of them revolve around a posit I learned in body building.

The human body exerts growth with a sufficient stimulus is applied to it. In body building, this period when sufficient stimulus is achieved is called the "point of intensity".

Which method you use depends on whether you intend to fall asleep on the beach.

Method One: Slap on the minimum sun block (i.e. SPF 15) and soak rays for the whole morning and afternoon, not forgetting to turn over at noon. This is the slow burn method and has an elongated point of intensity.

Method Two: Slap on descending levels of SPF and hope to god you don't get burned before you run into the shade for a cooling off period while slapping on the next descending level of SPF. This is the slap-happy method with several points of intensity but they last extremely short periods.

I used to do Method Two, but I think Method One now has more merit in it due to the fact that I consistently get a tan, and consistently avoid getting instantaneous skin cancer. Also I manage to avoid having to lug every level of SPF from SPF 15 on down to SPF 2 in my bag

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Wednesday August 11

Pangkor #3

There is actually no such thing as English cuisine. Nor Irish. Nor Scottish, for that matter. Since time immemorial, the cooking for the residents of the British island have always consisted of anything they can fit into a pot of boiling water. Whatever they've learned about cooking, they've learned by taking away. Indian takeaway. Chinese takeaway.

The English breakfast, however, is all English. Because nobody in the rest of the world could possibly conceive anything so vilely fatty and inedible. And nobody would eat it either. Except me. I eat it every day. Just goes to show my taste in food.

* * *

I've realised a strange thing about myself. Whenever I read a book, a voice in my head reads along with me. And the accent is invariably British. Oxford English, to be precise. It doesn't matter whether the character or the author or the context of the book is American, Australian or French, the voice is always English. It's even more perplexing when you also know that your own accent is American to begin with.

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Monday August 09

Pangkor #2

I've taken to taking books from the libraries of the chalets.

A lot of travellers leave books behind at each resort, and they're immediately contributed to the resorts' library. I went to the Seagull Beach resort and pinched a couple of German magazines I liked the look of. And I got a 1986 hard cover edition of Robert Ludlum's Bourne Supremacy from TJ's and Carl Hiaasen's Lucky You from Mirzam Resort.

Hey, if no one's reading them, I say don't let them go to waste.

* * *

Met Elke and Johann from Germany who biked (as in bicycle!) here from Singapore and plan to bike all the way to Bangkok. And then plan to bike into Cambodia. I think that's bloody madness. Good luck!

* * *

Why did I talk to him why why why.

I met Maz, a Brit of Bangladeshi origins, who has been on the island for almost two weeks. And came to Malaysia because he was depressed in London. He never fully recovered after being the victim of an armed robbery and had been on Prozac for several years until a year ago. Now he's depressed. And he's also taken to hanging around me, asking me if I've ever been depressed. This is depressing.

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Sunday August 08

On Pangkor

I brought with me:

I shouldn't have brought:

I did not bring:

* * *

At the luggage storage office at the Pudu bus station, a girl was ahead of me collecting her bags. Red-head, cropped close, with colourful tattoos across her back and shoulders that were visible under her drab green singlet. She was thin and had pale skin to match her greenish eyes and red hair. She was a walking cliche.

"Let me guess," I said, "Irish, right? And... a writer."

She stopped, surprised at my forwardness. Her dangling silver nose piercing shook with "incredulity". But it was obvious she was also "offended".

"What?", she said with an American accent.

"You look like," and I pause, and I change the first thing that came to my mind to say.

"You look like someone I know."

* * *

I'm encumbered with the habit of looking for hidden cameras when I stay at chalets or hotels in Malaysia. Malaysians, starved of sex in their media consumption, often contrive elaborate ways of voyeurism. Fueled (or rather, ideated) by recent controversies in the local media of "hidden camera" porn videos, and by the cheapness of web cams from Taiwan, the hidden cameras of lacivious Malaysians are an increased likelihood.

* * *

While waiting for the bus at the Shell station, I noticed a very beautiful woman waiting with me. Beauty is always noticeable. Dark, perfectly coiffured neck-length hair with a wave over her left cheek. She wore a light green traditional Malay dress from which I took that she would be visiting relatives (the pious humble look was in). Large eyes, gorgeous large eyes.

When we alighted from the bus, I smiled at her and introduced myself. I asked her if she was visiting her home town. When she spoke, her teeth showed slight gaps between them and as I stood facing her, alarms started going off in my head. She was 5 feet tall. And she was 13! (Why hadn't noticed THAT earlier!) Good lord, I hope no one saw me talking to her!

She of course was far more sensible than I. She excused herself to step into a store to purchase something. And she never came out again.

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Popularity of weblog tools

This list of the top 15 blogging tools in terms of popularity is culled from link backs to the main site in Google. Not very accurate, but it gives a good idea in terms of popularity. It is enlightening to note that Typepad, a hosted service that costs USD$60 a year, beats a free hosted service like Diaryland by twice. I'm also surprised Greymatter is still on the radar.

Popularity of weblog tools

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Cocoa client for del.icio.us

Cocoa (i.e. for Mac OSX), always looks good. But this client only allows posting to del.icio.us and sorting of posts. Wish it also had a del.icio.us RSS reader built in.

Cocoa client

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CSS Optimiser

Drop your CSS file here and it outputs an optimised CSS file -- it studies your CSS file and shortens all the markup into shorthand.


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