So, I have this recurring dream. It’s the same scenario played out in different ways each time. It’s kinda terrifying, but at this point, I’ve had it so many times that I know it’s a dream while I’m dreaming. But I can never get out of it until I wake up.
Here’s my dream last night: I’m at home, in my old house in Happy Garden. The doorbell rings, I open the door to see who’s outside. It’s a man with a gun. Now the right play would be to quickly shut the door and hide behind a wall – bullets don’t go through walls right? I never do that. Dude outside threatens to shoot me if I don’t let him in. I refuse. More people from his gang show up. They all have weapons. Soon, my front porch is overrun with men with weapons. By this time, I shut the door and try to exit my house through the back door. But these guys somehow surround my house and are waiting for me there too. So I’m stuck in my house, with nowhere to go, panicking, worried about my life. When one of them manages to enter my house and is about to attack me, I wake up.
This dream (nightmare?) has occurred many times in the past. It’s always me, in my Happy Garden home, and the men are trying to get into my home to attack me. The other bits change. It could be day or night time, sometimes they have knives or parangs, the men look different. But I always wake up when one of them enter the house and is about to kill me.
It feels pretty terrifying at times (I wonder if I yell out in my sleep), but I don’t do anything different. I’m not sure if I even have the option to. It’s like a movie that repeats itself now and then. I’ve become accustomed to having it, and have stopped looking for any meaning. But if there is a point to it, I wonder what it could be?
On another note – why do you wake up just before you are attacked or killed in a dream? Is it a coincidence? Do you happen to dream right before you wake up? Does your body know that you’re going to wake up? Or do you only remember bits of the dreams before you wake up? Does dream time work like in Inception (where hours in the dream world could mean only seconds in real life)? What is my mind trying to say?
I shall start with a disclaimer: this is purely anecdotal. It’s what happened to me over the past two years with my ASUS Zenbook (UX430U).
As you can see from the image above, that was the icing on the cake of my terrible experience with this device and ASUS Malaysia’s service center. Let’s start from the beginning.
I purchased this Ultrabook after leaving my previous job as I needed a laptop to work on. I only had an old Linux machine at home to use with a dying battery and keyboard (despite be replacing the battery and hard drive earlier, it didn’t help much). I know I wanted something slim, lightweight and powerful enough for me (I hate slow laptops, there’s never an excuse for it). I didn’t need to game on it, so an ultrabook with no discrete graphics card seemed right up my alley.
After doing some research and shopping around, I settled on the ASUS Zenbook UX430U. It had everything I wanted, and the price tag wasn’t unreasonable. Bought it, and started using it daily. I loved the weight of the machine and the performance I got out of it. It was a joy to use – until the first problem reared its head up less than a week in.
1) The laptop’s charging port stopped working for no discernible reason. It just stopped working, and I couldn’t charge my laptop. Now, you might say this is a case of bad luck, but the fact that I couldn’t get a replacement laptop on the spot was annoying. They wanted to send it to the service center to get it checked up and fixed. It only took about a week and was good to go. I was unemployed then, so it was acceptable to me even though I was unhappy about it, but I should have taken that as a sign of things to come.
2) Fast forward to about a year into having the laptop – everything was fine and dandy. Until I noticed something odd about my device – one of my USB ports wouldn’t charge my vape when I plugged it in. It could read files off drives and my phone fine, but it wouldn’t provide any charge. This bothered me as it was a laptop with limited ports (only two USB 3.0 ports and a USB C port), I had to make sure they were fully functional. I sent it to the service center to get checked out and fixed, which resulted in me in not having a laptop for a couple of days.
3) When the laptop was fixed, I noticed something odd with its display. It was randomly showing grey dots and lines on the screen, which was especially noticeable on black/dark backgrounds and images. It took another trip to the service center and a week to be fixed. This time the laptop took another week to fix.
4) My laptop’s speakers stopped producing sound. I normally listen to music using headphones, so this was something that took me a while to notice. I had to send it to the service center again, and they got it fixed within a few days. They said there was an issue with some connection.
5) The straw that broke the camel’s back. A couple of weeks ago my laptop was having issues with my SSD. It was an issue that I had encountered in the previous months, but it was usually fixed with a reboot (sometimes multiple). My laptop would somehow stop recognizing that I had an SSD installed and give me the BSOD while I was working. Sometimes during boot, it would fail to recognize that I had an SSD and throw me to the BIOS. This time around, restarting the laptop wasn’t doing the trick, so I had to send it to the service center again.
I informed the staff of the issue clearly – verbally and by writing it down. The lady at the ASUS service center acknowledged it. I passed the laptop to her and went off. I received a message the following day telling me that my laptop was ready for collection. I thought that was strange because I’ve never had a one-day turnaround from them before.
Reached the service center and asked them what the issue was – they told me that they formatted the laptop and it should be fine. I was distrustful of them. I told the lady that this was not a software issue, why would a format fix it? She just told me to go back and use the laptop and to come back if there were any problems. She also told me that one of the screws holding the bottom case of my laptop was missing. No shit, Sherlock. Why did you tell me that instead of just putting in a new screw? Were they short on screws?
Anyway, as I expected, the same SSD issue happened again. I even sent them photographs of the problem (at their request). Drove my ass to the service center, passed them the laptop again, with an “I told you so” look on my face. The lady apologized and said they’ll get it fixed as soon as possible.
About a week later, I collected the laptop from them. I turned it on at the shop (it was on sleep mode), and everything seemed normal (the missing screw was still missing). The lady told me that they replaced my SSD to solve the issue. Everything seemed normal to me until; I got back and rebooted my laptop after updating some drivers.
The first thing that pops up on the action center is Windows Defender telling me that my machine was infected with a trojan. I did some digging through the Defender logs and noticed that it wasn’t the first time the trojan was detected. There was a backlog of when the warnings started appearing, and what files caused the trigger. Turns out that Windows Defender detected the trojan on the thumb drive that was used to install Windows updates on my laptop.
This meant that whoever was installing Windows on my laptop was clueless or had a complete disregard for basic PC security. I’m pretty sure it is completely unacceptable to be using an infected thumb drive while working on a customer’s machine (correct me if I’m wrong). That technician had also deliberately ignored Windows Defender’s warnings and continued installing files off that infected thumb drive. What kind of fucking moron does that? I’m pretty sure I said “are you fucking kidding me?” aloud to myself. I was furious.
I sent photos of the message to ASUS and told them that they had an incompetent technician. They had the cheek to tell me to just restart the PC. Holy shit, whoever ‘fixed’ my computer deserves to be fired and be hit by a car on the way home, with their box of belongings in their hand.
If by some chance you’re reading this, technician, fuck you.
Instead of sending it back to them and risk my machine falling into the hands of another idiot, I fixed this problem myself (created a bootable Windows 10 install on a USB drive, and wiped the SSD before installation).
For almost two years, I’ve had to visit the service center way too many times. This is not okay for a device that you rely on for work daily.
In the future, I’m not going back to ASUS if there’s an issue with my laptop I can solve on my own, and I’m not purchasing another ASUS laptop. They’ve taken more than enough of my money and my trust. I still have faith in their hardware like graphics cards and motherboards (haven’t had issues with those yet) but their laptops are a definite no from me. Based on my experience, I will never recommend an ASUS laptop if you need something reliable.
Side note: in addition to all the time spent waiting for the laptop to be fixed, there was a lot of time and fuel spent driving to service centers, paying for parking and tolls, and loss of productivity from not having a laptop to work with. Oh yeah, I had to back up all my files and remove my logged-in accounts every time I sent it to be serviced (huge pain in the ass).
Also, if you remember, I purchased a tablet to serve as a working machine during the various times my laptop was out of commission and it’s been a lifesaver (it’s still running great btw!).
Ever since my blog was attacked multiple times last year, I’ve done a lot of things to improve its security (except switching away from wordpress because I didn’t want to bother learning a new blogging platform) and I’ve become aware of how much my blog is being targeted.
Every day I get notifications about attempted logins to my blog (that have been successfully refused), along with attempted injections and so on. Previously, I didn’t have any security and wasn’t aware of any attacks.
I’m aware I’m not some big time blogger or anything – it’s probably just random bots scouring the internet looking for websites with vulnerabilities they can exploit. Regardless, I’m glad I’ve made the changes to improve the blog’s security.
You know the feeling of using a computer after a fresh format? Or a brand new laptop after you’ve uninstalled all the bloatware? (speaking of, I’ve got a rant about ASUS laptops I’ll publish in the future) That’s how it feels like to have a website that’s completely safe to visit. Feelsgoodman.
Also, to anyone out there thinking of hacking this blog – there really is no benefit for doing it. You’ll gain access to my 30 or so daily readers (thank you guys) who probably wouldn’t even care if this blog died. I’d be inconvenienced, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
I would be bothered because I have years of writing archived on this space. Tons of thoughts, memories, ideas, and all sorts of random shit. It’s nice going through them, like a stroll down memory lane. Except that it is more accurate than a memory because my words don’t change (unless I intentionally change them, which I don’t – however I have updated an older post that still gets traffic – yes, don’t ask me why people still find my blog when they search for whorecraft – it’s still one of the most common search phrases people use to get to this blog).
This post was written a few months ago to celebrate my blog’s anniversary – but I had forgotten that I renewed it for 2 years the previous year, so the reminder to renew my blog didn’t come in this year which resulted me in forgetting to post it. Today, received a spam comment on my blog which reminded me about this post.
Even if the comment was legit, no I’m not interested in monetizing this blog. No thank you. Anyway, happy belated birthday to blorgy.net – 12 years and counting. You’re almost a teenager now!
Funny story: saw a comment on reddit saying that my URL was blocked at a person’s workplace – probably due to orgy in the URL. That was the first time I thought about changing the domain name of my blog in a while. After all, it was a reflection of who I was many years ago when I first registered it. I don’t think I’ve matured much since then.
If there’s one thing I learned the importance of a long time ago, or something I know very well – it’s that momentum is a real thing. Once you start something, it’s easy to keep going. But when you take a break for whatever reason and you walk away from it – coming back to pick up where you left off is a difficult thing to do.
There are a lot of things I wish I was doing, but I don’t bring myself to do them because it’s so much easier to be lazy and indulge in video games or watching shows. It’s already 7 months into 2019 – and have I accomplished any of my goals for the year?
The main issue about taking a break from something for a long time is that it’s difficult to pick up and resume where you left of. Before you say, George, “You’re just being lazy!” Yes, I am aware of that. “There’s no such thing as momentum, it’s just your lack of willpower and discipline!” I wouldn’t argue with you about it. But this is something that I’m not the only one who struggles with. It’s a common thing. However, that doesn’t mean it’s something that I should accept. Regardless, it didn’t stop me thinking about it, after all – momentum is a very real thing (and it exists not just for physical objects, but in the metaphysical world as well).
For example, there have been countless moments in video games like Dota 2, where a team that has been doing poorly at the start of a tournament, picking up steam in the later stages to win the whole thing. On the other end, there have been teams on hot streaks who then have a day off (because they’re in the winner’s bracket) and lose their next match. Even on a lower level, some games are won by momentum because one team keeps its cool under pressure better than the other one. Winning one team fight despite being very far behind turns into winning two, three more, and then the whole game.
Reeling it back in to something more relatable – is this why some bands find it so difficult to follow up their debut albums? After spending so long on their first one and releasing it, they’ve expended all their creativity and energy, they can’t pick it up for the second release? Or is it why some bands churn out hit records after hit? Or maybe it’s a different reason – in that time between the first and second release, you’ve changed as people, and don’t create the same sort of art as before. You don’t have the same thoughts, you’re no longer in the same head space, maybe you no longer have the same struggles, maybe you have a different set of restrictions this time around. Who’s to say? Not me, I haven’t released an EP since A Million Different Weddings (which remains unfinished til this day if you remember my promise of creating album art for it).
I’m sure it’s just my lack of willpower.
Momentum is important. I remember last year when I was blogging on a daily basis – it was easy to keep up. I wrote something everyday, I forced myself to do it. Sure, it hampered the quality of my writing (to be honest, it wasn’t that great to begin with) but at least it was consistent. These days, I find myself looking at the calendar and going – oh, it’s been a week since my last post. I guess it’s time to write a new one.
It’s kinda difficult to write when you’re not doing it everyday (work doesn’t count). Like my comic. Animal Bus – I haven’t been working on it for some time – we’re way past the December launch date I set for myself last year, and I’m nowhere near the state I want the comic to be before I release it. My game – no progress, ideas. Songs – I’ve managed to write something new, but I haven’t branched away from my usual acoustic guitar, 4-chord song structure nonsense.
I guess I’m making excuses for myself when I don’t need to. I’m not even on a deadline, and nobody is holding their breath for my stuff. What I’m trying to say in so many words is that I haven’t accomplished anything this year. What’s new?
When Keyhive announced the UT47.2, I was immediately interested: a hotswap staggered 40% keyboard kit for $38 (group buy price – excluding shipping, switches, keycaps and case) – what more could you ask for?
I purchased the optional 3D printed low-profile case since I wanted more protection for the PCB than the default kit provided, and I’m more than happy with it. Despite the case and plate being 3D printed, I had no issues inserting switches into the plate, which lined up with the PCB and case perfectly. Assembly was a breeze.
Kailh Box Pink were my switches of choice and after using them for a day, it’s safe to say I’m in love. Box Pink is my new favorite clicky switch. It makes me wonder why nobody is talking about them? They feel like a slightly heavier Box White switch with a much deeper click – similar to how a Box Navy sounds, but softer! I’m definitely picking up more of these for future clicky builds. If what I’ve said sounds like what you’re looking for, give them a shot. You won’t regret it. Great job, NovelKeys!
After testing out the switches, the next step was putting the keycaps on – which took more time than putting the board together, I kid you not. Major props to Keyhive for the wonderful experience. Keycaps are DSA Granite, which was what I had on my (sold) Vortex Core. They couldn’t have asked for a better new home.
Flashing the keyboard was straightforward – just remember to set your QMK Toolbox configurator microcontroller to atmega32u2 (something I missed initially), and you’re good to go. I’ve been using 40% boards for a while now so I already knew what layout I wanted on it – there was no need to experiment. For this keyboard, I used a combination of my Planck and Kumo (Minivan) layout. If you’re interested, you can preview it or download the .hex and .json here.
While there is a lot to praise about the UT47.2 – I do have some minor complaints (none were deal-breakers for me, but I thought I’d point out). Firstly, it uses a 1.25u (enter) key on the home row. This isn’t an issue if you’re using flat profile keycaps like DSA, but on sculpted profiles (i.e. Cherry), it’s going to be difficult finding keys for it in the right profile (almost impossible if you want the correct legends). A handful of upcoming keysets will be addressing the need for this extra key. But if you plan to use an existing sculpted keyset with this board, you’re going to have mismatching profiles for that 1.25u key since most 40s kits in the past only have one of those (usually with the Tab legend).
The kit didn’t come with stabilizers for the 2u space (unnecessary, but supported by the PCB and plate), rubber bumpons (also unnecessary, but something I appreciate) or a USB-C cable. Those are my only complaints.
If you’re interested in picking up one for yourself and missed the group buy, fret not. Keyhive has some extras for sale here ($50) and you can purchase the optional case here ($25) – Keyhive has tons of different designs. SpaceCat also has the UT47.2 on sale here.
Conclusion: the UT47.2 is one of the best staggered 40% keyboards I currently own. If you’re thinking of trying out the form factor, on a budget and not looking to solder – this keyboard is right up your alley!
I’m the king of procrastination. Believe me, there’s so many things that I wish I would finish and haven’t gotten around to it yet. One of those things was cleaning out my room. Despite starting it in January 2018, I finally finished it last weekend. And if it wasn’t because of certain motivating factors, I bet my room would have stayed unclean for the rest of the year.
What motivated me? Believe it or not – mosquitoes. Yes, those pesky flying blood suckers. Last week I had the worst bout of mosquito attacks in my room. I’d wake up every day with new bites on my legs or arms, and when I was awake, I would notice them flying around the room. Despite my constant spraying of Ridsect every time I went out for the day, and tubs of mosquito repellent I left around my room – they still wouldn’t leave me alone.
I knew that there was one thing left to do: I had to clean my fucking room. And so I did. I took me two days to go through the boxes of stuff I had (things I had been hoarding for over ten years), packing them into trash bags and other boxes. I threw out tons of stuff. I turned off sentimental mode. I didn’t care that it was a book of drawings I did as a kid – they were rubbish anyway, I threw them out. After that, I gave my room a complete wipe-down, getting rid of dust, dirt, hairs, and whatever left that was lying around.
The mosquitoes haven’t completely disappeared – I’m sure there are some left for me to destroy, but the bites have stopped. On the plus side, I now have a clean room and boy, it feels good. Also, it felt great to finally finish something that I started back in 2018. At least this year wasn’t such a waste. The next step is maintaining my room’s condition.
“I’m sorry,” said an unfamiliar voice. I looked up from my seat to see Lisa standing in front of me. My mind raced – “What the fuck? She speaks?”
Everybody thought Lisa was a mute because she refused to speak to any of us. Ever since her first day at school, she had never uttered a word. We knew she wasn’t special needs or deaf because she raised her hand during roll call and did the same homework as us.
We’d invite her to join us for lunch, but she never accepted – declining by smiling and shaking her head at the same time. After a few weeks, we figured she was either mute or introverted. Regardless, she was a part of our classes – except when it came to discussions. The teachers would never pick her. I believed they knew the reason behind her silence and refused to tell any of us. We left it at that.
And now, on the very last day of school, Lisa decided to speak to me. Of all people.
“It is time for me to say goodbye,” she continued.
“It’s time for me to go.”
“But I don’t even know you, why are you telling me this?”
“Maybe I’ll see you again.”
“I don’t understand,” I replied. I looked around the classroom – nobody seemed to notice that I was having a conversation with the mute girl. They were in the midst of making plans for the summer, drawing dicks on year books, and snapchatting farewell posts.
Lisa turned around and walked out of the classroom. Immediately, I rose to my feet to follow her out of the room.
“George, where are you going?” my teacher asked as I began to open the door.
“I’m going after Lisa!”
Silence fell over the room as all eyes focused onto me.
“Lisa, the mute girl?”
Everybody was looking at me as though I was crazy. Low murmurs of students whispering to each other began to filter into the air.
The teacher got up from her seat and walked towards me. She put a hand on my shoulder and said, “George, you better sit back down.”
Writing Prompt from Reddit: [WP] Everyone thought that one student was mute, though no one knew why. Today, on the last day of school, she speaks to you.
It’s been a while since my last show. I think I say this too often. Probably. But I’ve finally decided to get onto the stage again, with two shows for the coming week! If you’re on a long raya break, no excuse for you to not show up! Join me for some chill tunes and cool beer. Details below:
Time: 8 PM – 10:00 PM Date: 3rd June 2019 Venue: Ploy at Clearwater [Google Maps]
The PLOY (at Clearwater) Open Mic is our 2nd longest running open mic night which happens every Monday evening just outside the palace! Each installation features one of our finest musicians, with this one featuring…
SARAH DANIELLA started singing at the age of 10, influenced largely by gospel and soul music. Her love for the blues developed later on as did her love for rock. She blends these influences to create a unique fusion of music.
Over the years, Sarah has been a part of a few musical groups and bands. She has more recently begun to focus on her solo project, Sarah Daniella Music. Joined by Ravi Shankar on drums and percussions, the two of them perform a mix of original songs and familiar standards by acts such as The Beatles, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Madonna and the likes.
She is no stranger to the stage and has performed at events such as Tun Siti Hasmah’s retirement dinner where both Tun Siti Hasmah and Tun Mahathir Muhammad graced the event, Filem Festival Pelajar 2014 (FFP), Multimedia University Convocation Dinner 2012. She has also performed in many other livehouses and performance spaces such as Merdekarya, Pisco Bar, PLOY at Clearwater, The KL Journal and many others.
She sites Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Etta James and Joan Jett as her biggest vocal influences.
Time: 8 PM – 10:00 PM Date: 6th June 2019 Venue: The Swimming Club, KL Journal Hotel [Google Maps]
The Poolside Open Mic is our 3rd longest running open mic night which happens every Thursday evening right on TOP of The KL Journal! Each installation features one of our finest musicians, with this one featuring…
Eloise Lau is a folk-pop singer-songwriter who has written songs in the full range of the emotional spectrum, from not wanting to get our of bed to wanting to watch a person burn and fall. An experienced performer, she has graced the stages at both local and international venues – as the only Malaysian representative at the 2013 ChildAid Asia concert in Tokyo and most recently at Urbanscapes2017’s #rediscoverKL. In 2016, she embarked on an ambitious song-writing project as a part of her thesis in her final year of university, which gained recognition from local press. She was also nominated as one of the best College/Uni acts at the 2016 VIMA awards and was interviewed as a featured guest Astro VBuzz which was aired exclusively on local TV. Expect to see more of Eloise Lau in 2018!
I spent my weekend being quite productive, I must say. I organized my keyboard spare parts into plastic boxes, and threw out a lot of cardboard boxes and plastic bags. Now I have extra space in my closet for more keyboard stuff.
I’ve mentioned about having thoughts of recording my own podcast in the past before, and while that hasn’t taken off, I managed to do the next best thing: by being a guest on a podcast I regularly listen to! Over the weekend, I took up Don’s invitation to be a guest on The Board podcast and it was a lot of fun. I was expecting a lot of awkward silences and dead air, but conversation flowed pretty well. I had never been interviewed about keyboards before, so that was fun. I get to speak about something I’m interested in.
The audio quality of my microphone is pretty terrible, I should have recorded locally so he could merge the files but it’s listenable. If you’ve ever wondered what I would sound like on radio, feel free to listen to the episode. Thanks again to Don for having me on! I’ll be up for another episode down the road if the opportunity rises again!
I think my body might be telling me to quit drinking. Last night I was out for some beers and I noticed that every time I took a sip of beer, my jaw started to hurt for no apparent reason. It kept happening throughout the night. However, whenever I took a swig of water, my jaw was fine. No pain at all. I’m not sure what the cause is and googling doesn’t give me anything useful. Hopefully it was just something fucky in the air (or drink) last night because it would suck if my jaw hurt every time I drank alcohol.
In addition to drinking beer, I had a lot of water which helped my body immensely the following day – I didn’t have to sit on the porcelain throne for most of the day (something which usually happens after a night of drinking). I guess I know what to do whenever I go drinking in the future. Water = good.
If you’re like me, someone who is always on the hunt for new music, you end up listening to a lot of mediocre artists. But once in a while, you’ll encounter an artist that blows your socks off, and makes the hunt all worth it. You sit up and question yourself, how many bands out there are this fucking good and just waiting to be discovered? For me, this happened last week with the band Mike Mains & The Branches.
I was listening to Matt Carter’s podcast, Labeled: “The Stories, Rumors, & Legends of Tooth & Nail Records” when during one of the ad rolls, there was a song by Mike Mains being promoted – Breathing Underwater. I instantly fell in love with the hook of the song, looked it up on Youtube and listened to the song in full, many times.
Coincidentally, the next episode was a feature with the lead singer/writer of the band, so I listened to him talk about songs that inspired him, and how he went about his songwriting process. Towards the end, they shared a bit of the song called Swamp and holy shit, I was blown away. From the poignant opening line sung over the somber piano chords, the build up, to the way Mike (the vocalist) belted out “Everyday feels like waking up in a swamp”. I knew this band was special.
After the episode ended, I immediately listened to their latest album and grew enamored with each track. I kid you not when I say every song on When We Were In Love is fantastic. I continued checking out their discography (which stretches all the way back to 2010) and was not disappointed.
While, in my opinion, the band isn’t artistically ground breaking like Dance Gavin Dance (also – completely different genre), they remind me a lot of California Wives, Walk The Moon, and a hint of later Taking Back Sunday. If you’re looking for some chill, indie pop rock, you can’t go wrong with these guys.