Parking Ticket Technology

A week ago, I received a fine for parking my car in a spot without putting a ticket on my dashboard. Why didn’t I pay for the ticket? Well, the parking ticket machine wasn’t working, so I couldn’t get a ticket from it. Since I was going for a quick lunch I decided to chance it. After all, I was only going to be 20 minutes. Turns out, that was enough time for a cop to issue me a fine. I paid off the fine yesterday, so I’m in the clear.

Today, I parked my car again in a public parking spot. Guess what? Another broken ticket machine. Didn’t feel like picking up another fine so I purchased a set of parking coupons. Paying for parking is not an issue to me. I believe in paying for convenience – like using tolls and not having to park 10 streets away just to hike to your destination. But when the process of paying for parking is such a hassle, that’s when I get annoyed.

We’ve got Touch and Go. We’ve got credit cards. We’ve got smartphones. Why do we still have to scratch pieces of paper (a few if you plan to park for longer than an hour) just to park our cars? If you want to charge for parking, the least you could do is keep those machines maintained. Or let us leave money under our windshield wipers for the cops to collect. How about billing us directly? After all everybody has an e-wallet tied to their MyKad and all car license plates can be traced to an owner.

In the UK, they use cameras to capture your car plate number when you drive into the city. When you’ve arrived at your destination, you can just login and pay the charge within two days. No fuss, everybody wins. Also, you don’t have to carry bags of change around with you. Why haven’t we come up with a proper parking system yet?

And I know, this issue isn’t just in Malaysia alone – a few years ago when I was in Singapore, I had to do the same thing when I left my car parked for a day. And man, it cost a fortune. Also, a lot of time was spent poking holes in the parking tickets and making sure they fit properly on my dashboard.

View this post on Instagram

parking in Singapore

A post shared by NATIONAL GEORGEGRAPHIC (@goodnewsgeorge) on

We’ve already made advancements in malls, most of them allow you to pay with Touch and Go now. It’s 2017, I think we should have the same for outdoor parking spaces. At the same time, maybe revamp our toll systems. Or make Smart TAG batteries last longer (I’ve seen way too many people getting stuck in Smart TAG lanes on the morning drive to work, I use the Touch and Go lane – no battery problems). The technology is available, we just need to embrace it.

Biggie and Pac

I’ve been on a rap documentary watching spree recently, it started off with me watching All Eyez On Me – a biopic about 2Pac’s life. It led me down a Googling spree, looking for more information about the unsolved murders of 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G. I then watched Biggie and Tupac (2002) and Who Shot Biggie and Tupac? (2017). It’s amazing how these murders have remained officially unsolved since they were both huge celebrities and were involved in high-profile killings.

Both rappers also had huge entourages, so there were bound to be witnesses or people who know what really went on. However, according to the documentaries, nobody wants to come forward because nobody wants to be a snitch. Fair enough, since snitches get stitches but it also seems so childish at the same time. If you can rap about shooting up cats and doing drugs, why not come forward with information?

Continue reading “Biggie and Pac”

A pot of tea

Chamomile tea is not something I drink very often. But I saw it on a menu today and decided to order it. I’m familiar with the name because it was in one of the Professor Layton games on NDS. There were also a bunch of fictional teas you could brew for bonuses but I never bothered with that. I got my NDS many years ago from a friend who decided to give it to me as a birthday present. That was nice of him. It had an R4 card which allowed me to load it up with ROMs I downloaded from the internet. Because of that, I played many games on the device. However, I never finished a lot of them. My favorite games on the NDS were the Castlevania series and Mario Kart. I think the last game I played on it was Pokemon Black. I didn’t finish it either, getting only a couple of badges in the game before I put it down for good. I used to be a big fan of Pokemon games. I remembered finishing the Japanese version of Pokemon Green because I didn’t have the English version on my Gameboy. It was pretty tough not knowing which techniques I needed to cut some trees to proceed. I didn’t even have the light technique so I finished the cave section of the game by bumping up the brightness and fumbling my way through the cave. I think I spent a few days on that section alone. These days I’ve only been playing a handful of games – mainly Dota 2, Hoplite and My Little Town (the latter 2 on Android). I’ve got a few games on my PC that need finishing (Fallout 3, Cuphead etc) but I find myself loading Dota 2 and playing it instead of other games. I don’t know why, I guess it’s addictive and I’m addicted to it. Like cigarettes. I smoke daily. Not a pack, but I make sure I have at least 2 cigarettes a day – one in the morning and before I go to sleep. Which is weird because cigarettes are supposed to keep you awake. But as far as I can remember, I have found myself passing out before my last stick whenever I’ve been drinking a lot. Maybe it’s because of all the alcohol in my body already, the cigarette didn’t really matter – it is probably the act of me sitting down and relaxing, which lets sleep take over my body. I’ve been sleeping a lot recently, starting my days in the afternoon because I can. Sure, it’s not the best use of my time, but it does feel good. I think it’s good to give in to sloth every now and then. Maybe not. Sleeping too much does make you feel lethargic when you finally give up. Which is what I’m feeling right now. I guess this Chamomile tea isn’t helping either, since it’s supposed to help you sleep. Probably that’s why I don’t drink it very often.

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

Continue reading “Latent Rage”

The SMOrc Supper

“We’re not sorry.”

Those were the last words I heard from my parents before they walked away from me, moments before my death. I was lying in a pile of filth of my own doing – blood, shit, and sand – waiting for my last breath.

A large group of people had already crowded around me. Some were filming me, broadcasting my final moments before I left the world. Some were on the phone calling for help. Others spoke in hushed tones among themselves.

For once in my life, I felt regret. If I could rewind the past 5 minutes of my life, I would. Alas, I’m no time traveler. Just another teenage boy who refused to act rationally during a row with his parents.

Have you ever been told by your parents that you were worthless and would amount to nothing? And if you died they would cry tears of joy? Well, that happened to me earlier today. It started when I told them about something I had done earlier that morning while we were on a roller coaster ride at the local amusement park. They weren’t pleased at all.

So, like any other childish teenage boy, I wriggled my way out of the safety harness and jumped off the cart at the apex of the ride, just before the first plunge. The fall was quick and hurt like hell.

As my vision blurred and started to fade, on the side of the water storage tank tower in the middle of the theme park, I caught a glimpse of my magnum opus. A parody of the last supper, with Shrek taking the spot of Jesus. From the ground I could hardly see the artwork, but from the top of the roller coaster we would have had the best view.

Writing Prompt from Reddit: Flash Fiction Challenge! Location: Amusement Park | Object: Graffiti

My first time doing one of these! It was hard sticking to the max 300 word limit.

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.

Continue reading “The case against third-party antivirus software”

I used to be invincible, so damn sure of everything

I discovered Hit The Lights many years ago when I was getting into pop punk and their album This Is A Stickup…Don’t Make It A Murder was a random album I decided to check out while scouring the internet for music to listen to (RIP emotorrents). From the opening notes of The Call Out to the closing chants of the acoustic hidden track, I knew I had stumbled upon a gem of a band.

They had everything I enjoyed in a pop punk band – clever lyrics, palm-mute verses, guitar chugs and catchy choruses. The fact that they also featured Just Surrender’s vocalist (one of my favorite bands then) on Talk Us Down was just icing on the cake. The album didn’t have a single bad song and was worth listening on repeat for months (I still put it on from time to time when I want something upbeat and fun).

Hit The Lights – Talk Us Down

Continue reading “I used to be invincible, so damn sure of everything”

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!


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:

Do Nothing

“$100,000 for doing nothing. Sign me up!” I thought to myself as I hit submit on the form after giving them my name, email address and phone number. That seemed like the perfect thing for an out-of-work person like me (or as some people say ‘in between jobs’. I then returned to my routine of browsing funny pictures of dogs and cats on Reddit.

It was less than a minute when I received an email address from the company, aptly named Company X, about this curious job. You will be receiving a phone call from us within the next few days confirming your application. “Sweet!”

A few days had passed since I signed up for the ‘do-nothing’ job, and I was doing my usual internet browsing at a cafe near home. I had already written off the dream job I signed up for (they must have had a shitload of applicants) and was just going through some job sites looking for work that tickled my fancy.

Most of them were boring, uninteresting jobs that paid terrible. There were a few high paying jobs that caught my eye (alien hunter and stray cat rescuer) but I had second thoughts about applying for them. Mom didn’t like me risking my life for money, and the reason I needed work was to take care of her anyway. No point risking my life for high-paying jobs if I couldn’t finish them to give her any money.

I was about to pack up my laptop and head for dinner when I received a call from an unknown number.

Continue reading “Do Nothing”