Archive for May, 2005

Why did the chicken

May 29, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

From, master purveyor of ridiculous news:

Jaywalking Chicken
Jaywalking chicken ticketed, no fowl play suspected

I like how stuff like this always makes it to their front page.

Some Darth goodness

May 29, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Darth Vader Made Me Cry A wonderful little tale about how evil the Imperial Dark Lord truly is.

I quite enjoyed ROTS. Peter David has a review that neatly summarises what I liked about Episode III (and, true to form, quotes Python on that one amusingly Holy Grail-esque bit). He also writes about how Episode IV matches up from the end of Episode III here, which makes me sorely want to rush out and buy the DVD box set. Argh.

Oh yah, that music thing

May 28, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

I made a mental note to do that musical baton whatnot (from Better Living Through Buttermilk, who quoted Garth Ennis’ Hitman in his title, and who am I to refuse anyone who quotes Jean de Baton Baton?), and promptly forgot, and now here I am, the last person ever to do this meme, struggling to keep this sentence as long and as incomprehensible as I humanly can.

Fine. Here goes. I haven’t posted anything under “Listenings” for the longest time, anyway.

Total volume of music files on my computer:

5166 songs, 14:13:44.44 total time, 22.91GB

The last CD I bought was:

Album cover Thunder and Consolation, by New Model Army.

Song playing right now:

Album cover “Broom People” by The Mountain Goats, from The Sunset Tree.

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:

  • “Neighborhood” by The Arcade Fire, from Funeral. Yes, I cheat and include four songs in one.
  • “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service, from Give Up.
  • “Walking Alone” by Green Day, from Nimrod.
  • “Camera One” by the Josh Joplin Group.
  • “Silent Sigh” by Badly Drawn Boy, from the About A Boy soundtrack.

Five people to whom I’m passing the baton:

Siao ah?

More Comics This Indeterminate-Time-Frame

May 26, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Finished a couple more. Soon enough I’ll get around to tackling the 10lb Love and Rockets monsters, Palomar and Locas by the Hernandez brothers. Sure, they’re 30% of the price on Amazon compared to here, but carrying them back in my luggage: ouch.

“The Authority: Kev” (Garth Ennis)
Garth Ennis and Glenn Fabry of Preacher fame take on everyone’s favourite ridiculously over-the-top authoritarian (sorry) superheroes in this compilation of the two miniseries. Ennis fails to shock anyone who’s read his other work, and some of his jokes feel just a little recycled (the cabinet minister with odd bondage fetishes even looks like the meat dude from Preacher)… but he still made me laugh even with the most predictable jokes (British dude to over-sensitive Midnighter: “fag?” Midnighter: “WHAT?!” British dude: “Do ye want a cigarette or not?”; caption: “The Carrier. Flub-flub-flubbity flub-flub.”). Good enough for me.

“Daredevil Vol. 11: Golden Age” (Brian Michael Bendis)
Yet another volume from the prolific Bendis/Maleev team. The art’s spectacular as always, especially the flashback bits, but Bendis’ magic seems to be wearing off. The story was very well set-up for an exciting climax that never materialised, instead resolving all too suddenly and conveniently. Unfortunate. Pretty pretty art, though.

“Lost At Sea” (Bryan Lee O’Malley)
Yet another Bryan Lee O’Malley graphic novel, this time less light-hearted than the previous one I mentioned (but then, it’s not too hard to be less light-hearted than the combo-dancing-fighting-mania that was Scott Pilgrim). A simple tale about a girl who’s taking a road trip with some newfound friends, only she doesn’t have her soul. She thinks a cat stole it. A little Murakami-esque, no? With the cats and all. Suitably surreal, too.

Comics This Indeterminate-Time-Frame

May 25, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Bought a few harder-to-find Oni Press books at a store off Divisadero and Haight (I think), a ten-minute walk from my friends’ apartment. Slowly getting around to finishing them…

“Too Much Hopeless Savages! Volume 3” (Jen Van Meter)
Not nearly as enjoyable as the previous volume, Ground Zero (last mentioned here) — I just don’t like Christine Norrie’s art as much as I did Bryan Lee O’Malley’s — but still good fun. Speaking of Bryan Lee O’Malley…

“Scott Pilgrim Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life (Scott Pilgrim Volume 1)” (Bryan Lee O’Malley)
When the story starts, everything looks relatively normal: Scott Pilgrim is a 23-year-old in a rock band dating a high school girl. At some point, though, he meets a rollerblading delivery girl who blades through his dreams and whose seven evil ex-boyfriends show up to fight Scott in elaborate song-and-dance video-game-style fight sequences. WTF?! Utterly lovable nonsense.

Also just bought a couple of days ago (woot, 20% discount at Kinokuniya):

“Powers Vol. 8: Legends” (Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Avon Oeming)
Great story that ties well into previous stories, tying together some continuity that was rather lacking in the last two volumes. The powers ban and its effect on law enforcement, as well as the superhuman turf war, make for some very interesting developments (and a shocking and grisly end to a supporting cast member).


May 23, 2005  |  Tags: ,   |  

Ooof that was a long trip. Many thanks to ML for pointing out that the site was rendering incorrectly in Firefox — something to do with HTML comment tags. Hopefully it’s fixed now.

Also, the “listenings” page and the album listings on the side are currently unupdatable due to incompatibilities between Tiger and Recent Tunes (the software which posted to the website what I was listening to, and unfortunately is no longer supported) — I’ll leave the outdated listings there for the time being while I figure out some Applescript workaround.

I’ll write more when I have the energy to do so. Meanwhile I need to sleep for a couple of days.

Instead of packing

May 17, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

No, not going home yet — stopping over in Korea for five days before finally making it back to Singapore on Monday. I do leave from SFO in about eight hours, though, and I’m tired of packing so I’ll blog a little.

What’s gone on since the last post:

Went with Tansuwan to Castle Rock State Park in the South Bay for a 4.7 mile hike. Reading the description on the page before we left, we were told the hike was “moderate” and that “a trekking pole (or two) is definitely recommended.” Trekking poles? Two trekking poles?! Also, “If you stop and sit on this rock, or any other, be careful not to fall off the side of the hill!” Woo! Fun!

The 1000-mile elevation change was definitely tiring, but the weather was great. Here’s a small selection of pictures:

View from the path View of the hills from the path

Blue hills Blue hills, great day

Large freakin rock Must I really climb up there

Not much else, really — more weekend ridiculousness in various bars and clubs around the city, some sightseeing and general wandering around the city. On the way to the MOMA with some friends, we passed by some storm troopers outside the Sony Metreon.

Storm Troopers Can I see your ticket, please

Ah, and there was Vegas, of course. I may have been back from there for more than 30 hours by now, but I’m still not certain I’ve fully recovered from the weekend. This trip was with the drawgroup (most of it, anyway), so things didn’t bode well for my liver from the very start. My last two trips were relatively sane, considering the company: once with JC friends, the types who are substantially less likely to develop serious alcoholism problems than those I went with this time, and another time with family.

This time, there was an unreasonable amount of gambling, and an equally unreasonable amount of drinking. I ended up down a little at the blackjack tables, but what I lost more than paid for the free drinks. I think I averaged about ten drinks a night, not that I could really count by the end of each night. And by “end of the night” I actually mean “8am in the morning”, which was when we tried to stumble back to the suite at the New Frontier hotel without getting hit by cars or puking all over the morning joggers. Who the hell goes to Vegas to jog in the morning on the strip?

So that’s all I have for this (part of the) trip. I realised that I actually started blogging on a few days before I left here after graduation to go back to NS. Feels nothing like that now, of course (ORD loh!!!, almost), but I’m sure I’ll miss all these crazy drunkard friends all over again after I go.

Sitting around and taking up space

May 7, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Uh, hello, I’m still alive. And I still have internet, as my friends who keep seeing me online and asking “why the hell are you online so much while on holiday?!” can attest to.

I’ve been in San Francisco for close to two weeks now, and apart from spending a lot of money, I really haven’t accomplished very much in terms of real travelling, but that’s alright — I think I deserve a sit-around-and-do-nothing kind of holiday. Even if I did pay over a thousand dollars of airfare to sit around and do nothing (except take up space) in Toru and Sasank’s apartment.

More interesting activities:

  • Snow Patrol and Embrace in concert at the Warfield. Very enjoyable, even if I got my ticket kindof late and ended up nearly as far back from the stage as humanly possible. Snow Patrol’s excellent live rendition of Run definitely made up for that, though.
  • Bright Eyes and The Faint in concert at the Concourse Exhibition Centre. Bright Eyes was pretty decent (they mostly played from Digital Ash, the less popular of their two new albums), but The Faint was just ridiculous. Infectious energy, catchy tunes, clever animations, great performance. Definitely overshadowed the main act, in my opinion.
  • San Francisco International Film Festival: Caught three movies at the AMC Kabuki in Japantown: Phil the Alien, Boxers and Ballerinas and Mad Hot Ballroom.
    • Phil the Alien was stupid but amusing — think Napoleon Dynamite but lower budget. I did laugh out loud a couple of times, but I can’t remember about what.
    • Boxers and Ballerinas was a documentary on Cuban youth boxers and, well, ballerinas; more specifically, it was an examination into the contrast between those who stayed in Cuba and those who’d defected. Interesting for its subject matter, but not so much the actual delivery, I thought.
    • Mad Hot Ballroom, however, I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. Partly because it’s about ballroom dance, partly because it’s about schoolkids and teachers, but mostly because it’s so well-made. It’s one of those movies where I suffered from the Grinning-Like-An-Idiot syndrome throughout the entire movie. I hope it makes its way to Singapore, I definitely want to see it again.
  • Went to a SF Giants game courtesy of Jess’ company tickets (I’m not sure how you get free tickets after you quit, but let’s not question that), which unfortunately got rained on. Giants won, at least.
  • Visited campus for a day, crashing at Joakim’s little Rains apartment (a situation I’m not altogether unfamiliar with, crashing at Rains). Just in time to see the prospective freshmen show up on campus for ProFro weekend. They’re so… small. I felt like I’d step on a couple if I wasn’t careful. And they’re class of 2009?! When the fuck did the numbers go up so quickly?!
  • The best part about being here, of course, is just meeting up with friends from college times. It’s good to see everyone again after a prolonged absence, especially also since I doubt I’ll ever be able to do this again (or at least, bum around on holiday for so long).

Otherwise, the food’s good (though expensive, now that I’m earning in Sing$), the drinks are cheap (hence making my friends into semi-alcoholics on weekends, it seems), the weather’s alternately craptacular and fantastic, the futon I’m crashing on is very comfortable, we’re going to Vegas next weekend, and I’m with some of the best friends that a lost anti-social international student could’ve asked for in college.

Good times.

Safari RSS hackery

May 1, 2005  |  Tags: ,   |  

Thanks to Nigel, I managed to get OS X Tiger pretty early (an hour after its launch — the amount of time to get from campus to SF). Set it to Archive and Install, then went out for the night and it was nice and installed by the time I got back (at 2am, stuffed full of In-N-Out, desperately needing sleep but unable to resist the urge to tinker with the new OS).

While trying things out in Tiger, I noticed a couple of nice changes in Safari RSS, and hacked something up to get it to behave. Thought I’d share them.

First, Safari now seems to support Cmd-Opt-Arrow for switching between tabs, in addition to Cmd-Shift-Arrow. At least, this seems to be the case, since my user-defined Cmd-Opt-Arrow shortcuts in the keyboard shortcut preference panes are gone, yet the shortcut still works. A spillover from my previous install, perhaps?

Second, and this one I thoroughly approve: double-clicking in the empty tab bar in Safari now creates a new tab, a la Firefox. Yay! I’d been wanting this feature forever.

Finally, and this one’s a bit complicated: Even though Safari RSS has actual “customisable” toolbar icons now (right click, customise instead of changing from the menu), it’s still lacking a “New Tab” button. Unfortunately, the old tip I’d used on how to make the “Add Bookmark” button into a “New Tab” button didn’t work any more, because of the new toolbar architecture.

This is how to fix it (disclaimer: the method here worked for me and I make no guarantees that it’ll work for you, even if it should. Don’t blame me if your shiny new OS X goes to bits because of this):

  1. Backup Safari.
  2. Install Xcode (from the OS X DVD). A bit overkill for that one button, yes*.
  3. Open Safari’s package contents (right-click, show package contents)
  4. Navigate into Contents, Resources, English.lproj
  5. Open ToolbarItems.nib (double clicking should open with Interface Builder)
  6. In the “ToolbarItems.nib (English)” window, double click on “First Responder”
  7. Press Cmd-Shift-I to bring up the Inspector window, if it’s not already open
  8. In the Inspector window, press Cmd-1 to make sure you’re looking at “Attributes”. Click on Add, and create a new item called “newTab” (without quotes)
  9. In the “Toolbar Items” window, click on one of the “torn pictures” and press Cmd-Shift-I to bring up the Inspector window if it’s not already open
  10. Select the one nearest the address bar (this should correspond to the placement in the “customise toolbar” menu), this is the “Add Bookmark” button
  11. Press Cmd-2 or choose “Connections”. Select “newTab” and click “Change Action” or simply double-click on it; there should be a round pushbutton icon next to it now.
  12. Save, quit and test.
  13. If it works, yay! If not, ummm, it wasn’t my fault. I hope you remembered step 1.
  • I suppose I could email you the changed file if you wanted. No guarantees it’ll work, of course.

Everyone else who reads this blog and doesn’t share my childish glee about installing the new OS X: I’ll write about my trip soon, really…