Latent Rage

A couple of months ago, I was in my car on the way to work when I encountered some obnoxious pedestrians. They were trying to cross the road while they were wrong. Here in KL it’s a pretty regular occurrence, and I don’t have any issues with it because those people usually know that they are wrong. But if there’s one kind of person that’s more annoying than the wrong pedestrian, it’s the wrong pedestrian who thinks they’re right.

It’s kind of difficult to put into words what happened, so I’ve illustrated a diagram to make things clearer:

Full image

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The case against third-party antivirus software

Every time I get a new machine, I like to get rid of preloaded software I don’t use. One of the most common software you’ll find with a new device is antivirus software. I don’t use any third-party antivirus software because I find that it is unnecessary and causes performance issues on your computer. While it is useful, it becomes another app that you have to keep updated in order for it to function properly. Also, a lot of new devices come with trial versions or limited subscriptions, so they become useless very quickly.

There really isn’t a need for it if you know what you’re doing on your machine and you don’t easily fall for traps. Windows’ built in solutions (Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials) do a good enough job of protecting your machine – best of all, they are free. All you have to do is use your computer wisely.

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Finishing Friday

I’ve spent the better part of the day typing away in front of my laptop today. In case you’re wondering why, it’s because I haven’t been updating my blog for the past week due to me being busy with life. I’ve got 2 coffees and 3 beers in my system, there’s a Na’vi vs Mineski match going on right now (let’s go Na’Vi!) that I’m not watching, and I’m still typing away.

Last week, I found it quite difficult to keep up my writing, but today I seem to be on a roll. I guess like everything else in life, you just need to open the floodgates to get started. After all, it takes less energy to keep an object in motion than it is to initiate the movement. This, my friends, is momentum at work.

I don’t know why I’m writing all this nonsense. I guess it’s just good to see words from my mind formed on a page. Also, if I go along with Nanowrimo this year, I need to turn it into a habit.

Yesterday I played a miserable set. In addition to being unprepared (I’m still rusty as a nail…on the Titanic?), all my songs were downers. I mean, I guess I don’t have any particularly happy tunes in my repertoire, but even I bummed myself out playing those songs. I guess I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll never write a happy song without sounding too cheesy.

It’s important to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone, but I’ve also heard advice from the other end of the spectrum – keep doing what you like or are good at, and you’ll eventually find your audience. Now I don’t claim to be good at writing sad songs, but it’s just something I do naturally.

Is there a point I’m supposed to be getting at, it’s lost on me. It’s just a typical Friday night where I sit and drink coffee and write. Nothing out of the ordinary.

I guess I’ll just head home and give my dog a bath.

Maybe I’ve run out of words for tonight, the train has stopped.

Also, in case you didn’t know: the difference between that and which. Something I learned today.

See you next week, curious readers!

(dis)connected

Despite us being so connected in today’s world, sometimes it also feels like we’re so disconnected from each other. I recently found myself knowing so much about someone when in reality I knew nothing. I came to this conclusion after hearing some recent news about somebody’s plight. Based on that person’s social media, I didn’t think anything was wrong with that person. In my head, everything was fine and dandy. Sure, I haven’t been the best of friends and never bothered to find out how that person was doing on my own – I made the assumption based on the posts I read on their social media accounts.

How wrong I was.

I guess even though it’s so easy for you to update everybody around you about what’s going on with your life, you only share things worth sharing (though there are some people who behave otherwise).

At least that’s how I use my social media accounts. I share things that I think people will enjoy checking out. I don’t really share negative things, so somebody who isn’t close to me but relies on my social media accounts for updates on how I’m doing might think I’m doing fine, since I’m not complaining online. I mean, I could or could not be fine, nobody really knows. After all, I could be depressed and sharing uplifting stuff at the same time. What you see online isn’t indicative of what’s going on in my life – it’s what I choose to let you see.

Anyway, this leads people to think that a lot of people are living better lives than they really do. Probably that’s why you see a lot of happy couples and mushy photographs/status updates, and you rarely see posts about the opposite.

On the flip-side, don’t rely on social media if you need help. Reach out to your close friends or family if you’re feeling down. A status update can be easily missed or ignored by people who have too many things going on in their timelines. Better to get help sooner than later.

Also, worth a watch:

Keeping myself busy

If there’s one thing I think I’m great at doing – it’s keeping myself busy. I don’t remember the last time where I sat alone in my room pondering my existence and wondering what I should do next. I know when I told people I was going to resign without a job lined up, I was told many times that I’d be bored as fuck and that I’d be longing to work again. So far, that hasn’t yet. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a chance to properly relax for the longest time and now I’m finally getting to do it. Or maybe it’s because I haven’t been jobless for long enough.

Whatever the reason is, it doesn’t really matter, I’m not bored at all. I’ve been spending my time catching up with friends, watching movies and shows, performing at gigs and playing games (Cuphead rules). Next month, I’m going to attempt Nanowrimo again, so that should take up my whole month. I’ve got some ideas for my next novel but haven’t settled on one yet. Also, my last novel remains unedited, but it’s okay, it doesn’t need to be read by the public haha.

I’ve got some song ideas that I want to work on and I want to head to the studio to record my second EP. I’ve also got a gig standing in as a bassist for the Propositions next month, so I’ve got plenty of things to do (in addition to writing for this blog). I also have Inktober to catch up on, which I’ll do this weekend. Also, I want to start my first game which I’ve put on the back burner for the longest time.

I’ve been keeping myself busy.

Unlucky

Last week I mentioned that my laptop was having issues – I couldn’t turn it on without plugging it into a wall socket. This was terrible for me since I couldn’t work on a computer out of the house. I like my coffee and cigarettes without having to take a break from the keyboard.

Anyway, I brought my laptop to the service center on Sunday and got it back Tuesday – pretty good service IMO. According to the salesman, the laptop I bought was a flagship product, so it supposedly had a higher priority when it comes to servicing. Not sure if he was spewing bullshit since the other salesman told me that my laptop was eligible for a 1:1 replacement if there was anything wrong within 2 weeks (which turned out to be false). Even the rep at the official service center told me he was surprised at how new my laptop was. He also mentioned that it was the first time they had received the device for servicing since it was a brand new model (almost 2 months old when I bought it).

But whatever, I got it back and it seems to be working fine for now. Hopefully I won’t have to take it back to the service center anytime soon. Apparently there was a problem with some battery connector or something in the laptop. They reattached it properly and it’s fixed.

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Day Tres in Strawberry Land

Sitting here alone in this dimly kitchen, I wonder to myself, was this really necessary? Did I really need to get away from the city. What was the point of the trip? Do people really ‘find themselves’? Why do they need to travel so far? Does the distance help? Or is it just the act of going away that’s enough. Is it symbolic? Would things have been any different if I stayed in KL and just locked myself in my room? Maybe.

Maybe not. Being completely by myself for the past 3 days has made me realize I can live alone. I don’t really need to talk to anybody – it’s okay being by myself. I mean, sure, I respond to texts and Instagram comments, but that’s about the limit of my social interaction. I haven’t felt the need to talk to another human being in person. In fact, it feels good not having to deal with anybody right now. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the company of other people. It’s just nice to do things all by yourself every now and then.

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Still alive

Day 2 of my Cameron Highlands escapade. Nothing out of the ordinary, really. The only difference between here and home is that it was really cold last night and there was nothing I could do about it besides crawl under more layers of clothing. I’m starting to believe I’m really not cut out for living in cold weather (as evident in my previous posts).

I did wake up to some bad news though. I was thinking of using my laptop on the bed, but it died as soon as I unplugged it from the wall socket. I thought that was pretty weird, seeing how it was fine yesterday. I tried turning it on and it wouldn’t respond. I reconnected the power and it turned on fine. When Windows started, I checked the battery and apparently there was no battery present (impossible since this laptop has a built-in battery). I did some troubleshooting, and now Windows detects the battery but says that it isn’t charging. Computer still refuses to boot up without being plugged in (I’ve tried rebooting many times). I guess I’ll have to stick with pen and paper when I’m outside. Hopefully I won’t be having anymore problems. Am definitely going to take it back to the store since it’s not even 2 weeks old. Bah.

The rest of the day remained cold and started warming up towards the evening, which was good. But I’m guessing it’s going to be another cold night today – but I’ll be prepared for that. Ran out of toilet paper today (there was hardly any left to begin with) so I had to make a supply run. Also stopped for some lunch at Old Town because I wanted to see if it was any different from what we have in KL. It was the same thing, just a smaller menu. Food was still delicious (or I was hungry, I’m not sure).

After that I went to a tea plantation to drink some strawberry tea – that is some good shit. I’m probably going to start drinking it more in the future. Did a bit of writing and came back to the apartment. Messed around with the guitar and came up with a new tune, now I just to put in some words.

Had dinner earlier, walking distance from this place, substandard fried rice, but the food on the other tables smelt delicious. Came back home, and now I’m writing this entry while waiting for water to boil so I can make some coffee.

It might be too early to jump to some conclusions but I feel like this trip hasn’t been the best use of my time so far. I mean, sure I get the peace and quiet and nobody to bother me, but I’d get the same thing too if I was in a cafe in KL. The only difference is I can’t just pull out my guitar to start jamming whenever I felt like it.

I do enjoy the weather (when it’s not freezing) but Cameron Highlands feels like the kind of place people go to to die. Might just be this part of the highlands, but I’ll do more exploration tomorrow. So far, all I’ve seen are really old people or children. No one in between. Then again, there really isn’t anything for young adults here. I’m surprised there are schools though. And tons of Oppo shops. Also, I saw a Mary Brown and KFC on the drive up, no McDonald’s here (not that it matters – I’ve eaten enough McDonald’s for the month collecting the Adventure Time toys).

Welp, gonna get back to finishing my new song this evening before I call it a night.

Tringkap means window

So, it’s been a while since my last getaway. When was that? I don’t even remember. If you’ve been following me on Instagram (shameless plug), you would’ve noticed that I’m not in KL anymore. I’m still in the country, just currently located in some place where strawberries grow. Yes, that’s right, I’m in Cameron Highlands.

What in the world are you doing there, George? Beats me. I wanted to get away from civilization so I could focus on some of my hobbies I haven’t been able to spend time on – namely writing and music. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I should head to somewhere quiet, away from distractions at home. I remembered that Alvin had a place available in Cameron Highlands, so I asked him for the keys. He gladly obliged (thanks dude), so here I am.

The drive took slightly over 3 hours today, mostly uneventful – I passed by one accident on the highway but that’s about it. It rained lightly, but I was traveling in daylight so it wasn’t a problem. I didn’t speed at all – going as fast as 110km/h, which was the speed limit for one of the highways. The roads going up were winding and some paths were terribly bumpy. But for my first time driving up here, I think it wasn’t too hard.

When I arrived in Cameron Highlands, it took me a while to locate the apartment (I think it’s been ten years since I was here last). I had to ask for directions to find the unit. Came in, unpacked my shit, cooked some dinner (had enough of driving for the day), setup the ‘studio’ and started noodling on the guitar.

I would say I had a semi-productive day – I managed to come up with one song based on some old lyrics I had written. It’s not something I’d call a finished product, but hey – at least I didn’t waste any time coming up here.

On the drive up, I noticed quite a lot of stores, but most of them were closed. I’m not sure because it was considered late, or they aren’t open on weekdays. Anyway, I shall do some exploring during the day to find out more. Hopefully they aren’t weekend-only places.

I haven’t got a strict time-table set up for my time here – heck, I don’t even have a rough schedule of what I want to do. Not sure if it’s a good idea to be this organized – I’ll just try this out for now. If necessary, I can make plans for my next retreat. Also, it’ll probably be somewhere closer like Genting.

The weather is pretty good at this hour, though it was hotter than I liked when I arrived. I brought my hoodies for a reason! Come on, weather, get chilly for me ( ?° ?? ?°)

Anyway, this was a pointless blog entry, just wanted to write something for the sake of writing. I haven’t gotten back into the writing habit yet. Hopefully this getaway shall revive that part of my life. I brought my drawing tablet too. Maybe I’ll participate in Inktober – I’ve only got 4 days to catch up on.

You know, I’m kinda surprised that there’s 4G connectivity here, considering how many times my phone showed ‘Emergency Calls Only’ on the drive up. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of data left until it renews next week, so I’ll have to use it sparingly. In the meantime, I’ll focus on being productive.

Tilian’s Patient EP is the perfect soundtrack for this place.

The Internet

The internet is a wonderful tool. Because of the internet, I can work from anywhere. From the office, from home or from my favorite cafe. In a car, bus or plane – the internet allows me to get my work done. I just get online and I’ll be able to download the files I need to work with. I can send out emails on the go, all I need to do is get online by connecting to my phone’s hotspot or a public wifi network. It’s wonderful – when you realize that you need to make some changes to a document while on the commute to your next meeting, or while taking a shit in the toilet. The internet makes all this possible.

No more expensive phone calls when you need to speak to colleagues or clients who aren’t in the same country. If you want videos or photographs to make the message clearer, that works too. Just launch your camera and hit send. The internet makes it all possible. I can work from anywhere.

The internet is a wonderful tool. Because of the internet, I am expected to work everywhere. Even while I’m on holiday a thousand miles away from the office. If there’s a deadline, it doesn’t matter what time zone I’m in. The recipient will be able to read what I send them immediately because they’ll have access to the internet on their phones too. In a car, bus or plane – the internet requires me to get my work done. I’ll get online and send them the files I’ve been working on, no excuses. If there’s no internet connection where I am or I don’t have access to a local SIM card, there’s a thousand free wifi hotspots I can access to make sure my work gets sent out on time. It’s wonderful – when you realize in the middle of a nice dinner that you’ve forgotten to make some changes to the last revision you sent out. You can easily change it and send it out again. The internet makes all this possible.

No more expensive phone calls means that colleagues or clients will want to get in touch with you, even when you aren’t in the country. And there’s no reason to miss a call because you’re always connected. You also have videos and photographs to make your message clearer. The internet makes all this possible. I am expected to work everywhere.