Australia Day 2008

[Australia flags] – V’s Flickr, 26 Jan ’08.

It’s been a year since I first came to Australia, and once again it’s Australia day! Today (aka Saturday) is the official day, but Monday’s a public holiday as well heh heh, good for everyone on a 5 day week.

Before we headed inside, last year.

Before I headed inside, this year. Thanks again to the guys who came down this year; thanks x2 to those who came both times.

Been hit pretty hard right by reality right after I came back, barely had time to sleep so heh, here’s a weekend post. How have you people been this week? I hope you guys are enjoying the weekend as much as I am. Enjoyment here means being able to have time to laze around at home and tidy things up, rather than going out.


Stoning at Perth, international terminal. The bottom right picture’s a representation of stupidity, because I stuck my old Aussie SIM inside (I’ve switched to Virgin Mobile since) and expected it to work.

It’s a really bloody hot day today; signs of a scorching summer day include flies buzzing around you, and actually feeling sweat crawling out of your pores. I’m happy enough sitting at the computer, listening to music and enjoying chilled watermelon. This is how a hot summer’s day should be spent : ) Shade and slurping cold refreshments, out of the blazing rays.

Last year’s Australia Day was spent at V’s auntie’s place, clueless totally and struggling to find a place of our own. A year later we’re in our own apartment, comfortably settling down with a better idea of the future. Slow and steady does it, methinks.


What my house looked like on the day I touched down aka WW3: it’s improved noticeably in terms of tidiness since.

We’re planning to get (get aka buy) our own place, but that’s gonna be like a year or so later in the future. Meanwhile, I’ve got to pray that my work visa comes sooner.

Here’s some shots that I took of the parade just now; it’s supposed to showcase the different nationalities that make up Australia these days.



Lousy shots due to the distance, as you can probably tell.


I like this shot for some reason or other.


It was so hot, I wore my singlet out.. and still sweated.


Flinders Street aka I am Legend mode: where’d all the people go? (There’s still a few of ’em to the left though.)


Random shots of the workers nearby.

And here’s several shots of the flags that were waving around on Bourke Street:

That’s all for the day; I’m feeling a little sleepy now. I’ll go look for food once the Windows updates are done, and maybe take a nap. V’s dozing off on the sofa now, and watching her sleep makes me feel sleepy too.

Related post:
Househunting Thursday

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Building passive income, stage 2

[muney] – andydarock14 on Flickr, 28 Oct ’07.

Here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few days.

Recommended reads:

Current things to improve on for the blog:
Content
To be more focused on every post, so as to provide content that is easily digested (and less random).

Aesthetics
Think about ways to improve readability. There are quite a few aspects to this.

  • Font: size seems fine, type is legible enough as well.
  • Colors: a black/white contrast usually offers the best contrast. I’m still thinking if a white/black scheme would be better though.
  • Layout: this is the neverending discussion. I’m tempted to display the full posts in the main page to allow easier reading, but this kills off the space needed for my ads, and the navigation sidebar as well. It’s not a life-threatening issue anyway, I’ve seen worse layouts before. Need to add image verification to my comments form to lessen the damn spam as well.

Suggestions? (Other than getting rid of Hemingway.)

Status updates:

  • bux.to hits $5.38 today.
  • Google Adsense has gone way beyond bux.to at this point.
  • Added Nuffnang to the sidebar for individual posts. The banner’s not displaying anything yet, and does not seem to be aligned properly. Odd.
  • Google Sitemap plugin – via Quick Online Tips’ suggestion. This is useful, as submitting the sitemap allows Google to properly index your site, and provides Googlers to have a chance to come across your site on searches.
  • Added the Related articles plugin, but it doesn’t seem to work properly, bah. This provides readers with opportunities to view similar articles in their area of interest, which of course improves pageviews as well. Think of it as a win-win situation for both the reader and yourself.
  • There is this other thing that I’ll like to try out, but I’ll keep it under wraps for now as it requires money. The money from bux.to and Adsense will go towards funding the capital for this, and we’ll see how this works out before I announce it.

Related link:

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The cover, featuring Glaedr.

*Alagaesia has announced the title of the third Inheritance novel to be Brisingr! Estimated release date: 20th Sep 2008.

“BRISINGR is one of the first words I thought of for this title, and it’s always felt right to me,” said Christopher Paolini. “As the first ancient-language word that Eragon learns, it has held particular significance for his legacy as a Dragon Rider. In this new book, it will be revealed to be even more meaningful than even Eragon could have known.” – quoted from press release on Alagaesia, dated 16 Jan 2008.

Post-2007 thoughts

[New Year’s Resolutions] – ianturton on Flickr, 2 Jan ’08.

2007 was a great year. Having a great time living in a bright new land, studying in a cosy university campus and living with my other half. Working in a job with no fixed hours, and relaxing in the laidback environment. A year of many firsts. Snowboarding, building my own snowman, experiencing the turn of the four seasons, cooking my own meals, driving long-distance, university graduation, and loads of other stuff (I’m sure I missed out a gazillion others).

And I’m thankful for the new friends I have met, the friends who’re still around for me back home, and for the ones who once were.

No regrets at all, and let’s have another good year this time round as well! My main wish is to survive the year in one piece, period. What kind of wishes do you people have? Here’s me wishing that all my readers stay in good health always!

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Current favourite song’s from The Click Five, titled I’ll Take My Chances from their first album, Greetings from Imrie House. Have a go at it and see if you like their music. I can listen to their music for hours on end without pausing heh.

http://media.imeem.com/m/fkj2dpknn7/aus=false/

The Click Five is interesting, as they’re the only band I know of that changed vocalists between their first and second albums, from Eric Dill (who went solo; checkout Dill’s MySpace) to Kyle Patrick. In my opinion, changing vocalists is a risky venture akin to remaking the style of your music, and subjecting yourself to the whim of the market all over again. Although I prefer Eric Dill’s vocals, Kyle Patrick isn’t too bad too, as he brings an edgier sound into their music.

The music transcends the transition of vocals indeed.

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Addendum:
– Checkout this super duper 62-in-1 card reader, whew. And it handles Firewire, USB, and SATA as well; is there anything that it can’t read? – via USBfever

– New PCMech article out on how USB 3.0 promises to blow Firewire out of the contest entirely, with its blazing fast 5GBps throughput. (Firewire’s next new standard promises to deliver 3200Mbps, or 3.2Gbps.) – via PCMech

– Interesting article about the story of the iPhone’s conception, and its impact on the market. – via Wired Magazine

– This Inter-Sections article about how you could recognise a good programmer has quite a few valid points inside. I’m inclined to agree with it, simply because I was trained to do programming, but lack the passion i.e. career programmer. (That’s why I’m *not* a programmer.) – via Inter-Sections

Building passive income, stage 1

[Little things add up] – Unhindered by Talent on Flickr, 9 Apr ’07.

I’m in the mood to blog these days, so let’s make the best of it for now. It seems like a burst of energy comes on for different things at different times.

The Cisco certification hierarchy via koenig.

A few months ago, it was Cisco certification; first passing CCNA, and later beginning on CCNP‘s Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks. Lost steam when I came back, so it’s taken a backseat for awhile.

Now I’m kinda engrossed in reading up stuff on affiliate marketing, forex investment, blog aesthetics and advertising; mostly passive revenue generation. News has come about work back in Melbourne, and things look better than they were before. Nevertheless, it’s still important to build up sources of passive income; iron rice bowls aren’t as indestructible as they were back then, and money without you doing much work is always good.

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Last night, I was trying to find a white coloured three column theme that resembled yongfook.com, his layout is seriously good stuff. Clean, with minimal clutter and pleasing visuals (i.e. font and graphics). The single full post leads right down to the rest of the unclicked posts, so you can read ’em one by one.


yongfook.com – ideal for now.

But after about two hours of digging, I gave up; couldn’t find anything close to it. Better luck next time, let’s stick to my mod of the good ole Hemingway for now.

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I managed to get Google Adsense setup on the blog today as well, which generates revenue when the advertisements are clicked on. The advertisements are pretty unobtrusive, being black and out of the way (you only see them when you click on each post to read).

Hopefully the clicks will amount to something, and help pay the hosting fees for keinism.com eventually.

And yes, it’s been five days since I started on the idle clicking game that’s otherwise known as bux.to: the account balance stands at $2.50 now, for those who’re interested. The more people who sign up as a referral under my user ID keindall, the faster the earnings grow, since every website clicked by my referrals earn me $0.01 as well.

So if you’ve got nothing better to do and can spare ten minutes of your time everyday, help me out and give bux.to a try.

Onwards, to the $10 goal!

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楊宗緯 (aka Aska) of the sensational Taiwanese singing competition 超級星光大道, singing Stefanie’s 雨天 – nothing but emotional. Look at all the downcast faces out there, whew.

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Addendum:
Timothy Ferriss writes about how you could outsource your life; interesting read. I wonder if it’s practical for us to do that, hmmm. Outsourcing our household chores, perhaps? – via fourhourweek.com

Pi‘s article, titled Confessions of a Linux Fan: 10 Things You Might Want To Know Before Switching Over To Linux talks about things you might wanna think about before actually making the jump to Linux. I’m pretty sure that not knowing the command-line is a definitely a big ouch; it’s kissing your ass goodbye if the GUI ever screws up on you. – via Think Thick

– Anyone interested in investment? Jubak’s Journal gives regular tips, and his stock picks might give you a hint or two about where you should bet your money on. – via MSN Money

A long long road (and the return of Hemingway!)

[THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD] – Edward Dullard. on Flickr, 13 Oct ’07.

(V‘s leaving for Melbourne tonight, and she got a bump up to business class!)

I like to call this serendipity. On yet another night of endless clicking around for new articles to feed on, I came across lawrencecheok.com aka A Long Long Road. Recognising it as the name of an SAF officer from my NS unit, I took a closer look and what do you know, it was him.

I’ve since added him on Facebook as well, and took a couple of hours out reading his articles. His blog’s really impressive, I must say.

  • A simplistic blog layout, coupled with a writing style that’s easily understood,
  • and diagrams to further illustrate the case in point. And it looks like self-drawn diagrams at that.
  • Focused issues on every post (unlike mine which ramble on and on randomly) i.e. self-improvement, financial management and relationship-building tips that I feel are really helpful to the average guy out there.

So I’ll really recommend giving his blog a go; do check it out : )

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Finally took the time to fix my old Hemingway theme; previously there was a stupid error which prevented the blogroll from being displayed previously, which looked like this:

“WordPress database error: [Unknown column ‘cat_1′ in ‘order clause’]

SELECT * FROM wp_categories WHERE cat_ID > 0 AND link_count > 0 ORDER BY cat_1 ASC

And I did a bit of Googling, and here’s the fix:

Go to hemingway/blocks/blogroll.php

Change the code inside, from:

get_links_list(1, ‘<h2>’, ‘</h2>’);

to:

get_links_list();

Well, it doesn’t sort the blogroll in the order you like, but at least it’s displayed in alphabetical order. Thanks to Andrew’s comment at 4u Style for working this out!

*I still can’t use widgets with Hemingway though, since the dynamic sidebar (or bottom bar in this case) isn’t coded into the .php file yet. We’ll leave that for anther day.

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Here’s a teaser trailer of A Man Once Superman, which stars Jeon Ji-Hyun 😀 Woot! – via Iz Reloaded

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Addendum:
– The Cableyoyo from Bluelounge is an interesting device that winds up your messy (and usually tangled) wires neatly.

A simple solution to an everyday problem.

– This has been around for quite awhile, but the Optimus Prime iPod is way cool. (It’s a pity I don’t have an iPod in the first place.) Soundwave looks good, but loses out to Prime heh. – via autoblog

White is cool : )

– General knowledge article, on why Australia doesn’t have unlimited usage plans for their internet. Pretty enlightening, and makes sense as well. – via MacTalk

– Take a look at The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard. It’s a 20 minute video that talks about the process of consumer goods, from production to disposal. It may be a little long, but offers food for thought on how twisted our lives have become, and the overwhelming obsession to shop, shop and shop that’s dominating our lives. Are we actually helping our environment by our mindless and nonstop purchases?

Do you actually need that new dress, or that pair of sneakers? Or how about that new 80GB MP3 player? I don’t know about you guys, but it’s definitely made me think twice about buying things that I don’t need.

Random writings, random ramblings, random links

[Random*] – imapix on Flickr, 19 Jun ’06.

I’m getting bored too : )

Had a meetup with some HOTL mates today; Adri, Aloy, Andrew and FL. Kenny Roger’s chicken, endless gaming talk (what would you expect from a bunch of gamers? V was intensely bored lol), and a pool session with Andrew which saw a 6:0 trashing. (I was on the receiving end unfortunately, blah.) Still good nonetheless, to have friends that you can talk comfortably with.

Last night saw an attempt to resume my long abandoned writings. I recently reorganised the contents of my hard disk, and created a folder titled Story ideas. Half-baked literary inspirations are kept inside, in the faint hope of seeing the light someday, fully fleshed out with details, plots and all the nitty gritty bits that make a coherent story.

Here’s something I idly wrote last night, and stopped about an hour or so thereafter:

(There’s no working title yet.)

Life was perfect. At least, as perfect as it could be. He had a job that he liked; he wasn’t exactly in love with the boss, but that wasn’t too bad as far as things went. A wife who loved him with every fiber of her being, and took good care of the house.

A capable housewife she was, but Elise was absolutely hopeless when it came to cooking, as Jon realised early on in the marriage. A week’s worth of dinners that were either burnt or raw taught him that. A month of tentative experimentation in the kitchen soon proved that he was the better chef, and that was the way things came to be in their little home. Jon prepared their meals, and Elise ran everything else in the house with a firm hand.

They had no children of their own, and Jon had been talking about adoption. He loved kids, and passionately believed in imparting the proper values to “the next generation who will inherit the earth”, so he always said with a twinkle in his eyes.

And that perfect life came to a screeching halt one day, when Jon did not return in the evening. It was so unlike him to be late without a call, and Elise waited patiently. If he was held up, it had to be something important. She sat waiting, the minutes ticking by as the dinner slowly grew cold on the table.

The evening shadows lengthened, and turned into nightfall.

Still, Jon did not return.

Something did not feel right, and Elise longed to see him walking up as he usually did, with his rather tuneless whistling and a weary smile from the day’s chores.

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ohmmmmm.

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“Waii.. hello.. this is Henry Chow. I am rapping for you today.. somefing about a hard life. because my life is hard.. very hard.. like a rock.”

Hilarious ;p

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Achmed the Dead Terrorist by Jeff Dunham, seriously funny shit.

SILENCE! I KILL YOU!

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Addendum:

Facebook has an application called Secret Crush, which turns out to be spyware instead of harmless fun. Might be good to get rid of it if you did install the thing : ) – via Network World via PCMech

50 Things Men Wished You Knew. (An upgrade of the article in the previous post, so it seems.) I am a total convert of point number 6, which reads “6. Shopping is a chore, not an activity.” Amen : ) – via Men’s Health

– There’s this new Gundam anime series out which looks to be pretty good; check out the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 wiki. Pretty dumb robots, but awesome plot methinks. Intricate politics combined with pitched mecha battles *and* dysfunctional characters, how cool is that? It’s standing at episode 13 now, so watch ’em while you still can catch up!


Exia of the Seven Swords – via dannychoo.com

Mayday‘s Ashin aka 阿信 (陈信宏) designs tee shirts as well, woot. There’s not too many designs yet, but take a look at Stay Real! – via SH


Here’s one of the tee shirt designs. – via JUMP! with Mayday!

2008: yet the start of another great year (I think)

[Boredom] – Kristian S. Solli on Flickr, 21 Sep ’07.

Two weeks before my return to Melbourne, woot. The air ticket’s finally booked, but it’s gonna be a killer flight. Transit window of 5 hours at Perth, I’m not too sure exactly what there is to do over there yet.. but it’d better be entertaining enough for 5 hours! I’m already mentally prepping myself to watch like two movies on the laptops; that should kill at least four hours ;p It’s gonna be a 13 hour flight, all in all. I can only hope for enough energy to crawl home after the flight.

2008 here we are, and I have no resolutions yet; my only goal is to survive this year because my predictions are making it look like a total shit hole so far.

And today’s the day for my IPPT again; I’d decided to retake for my silver (extra $100!) but somehow the motivation’s been steadily faltering. I just feel like skipping it today. *rolls eyes*

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Being extremely idle now, I signed up on bux.to a few days ago, and started clicking away on websites to earn money (at least that’s what the website says.) No money required to signup, and there’s only like less than twenty websites to view everyday so how hard could it be? USD$0.01 for every website viewed (one at a time), and you have to keep the window open for like 30 seconds in order to get the money. That’s not even ten minutes of your time everyday, since you can only view the websites once every 24 hours.

All I’m doing right now is:

  • Open website and leave it.
  • Continue surfing.
  • Check back in a bit, close the window once it’s done.
  • Open another website.
  • Rinse and repeat.

The downsides are that:

  • It’s extremely slow and takes ages to get to the profitable stage, especially if you do not have referrals. Referrals are friends that signup and acknowledge that you were the one who pointed them in the way of bux.to. When they click on the websites, you get paid USD$0.01 as well, which is good if you have alot of referrals.
  • You gotta have a PayPal account to get paid. Well I don’t know if it’s just me, but in Singapore I can practically count the number of friends who have PayPal accounts and not get beyond five; it just doesn’t seem that useful to us I guess.

So anyway, if you spend alot of time idling away on the computer, help me out abit and add me as your referral if you ever signup; my user ID’s keindall.

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Here’s another advertising plug for a friend’s online retail store, otherwise known as fashiontaitai.com. Freshly out from the oven and still improving, do take a look at the ladies’ apparel available there, and feel free to recommend it to your friends!

Come come, the Fashion Tai Tai beckons : )

Come come! See my beautiful dresses!” – The Fashion Tai Tai

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I’ve never been a real fan of Avril Lavigne, but this cover of Adia at the Roxy Theatre blew me away. – courtesy of hemmy.net.

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MV of 擁抱 from my favourite band 五月天 aka Mayday! Simply beautiful lyrics.

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Addendum:
Ten things women should know about men: I think this one is pretty true, especially point number 8 *coughs* – via associatedcontent.com

– Now you know your computer isn’t having an arty fart if it starts playing classical music out of nowhere. – via systemadministrator.com

– New theory that says God’s face is in Leonardo da Vinci’s works. – via telegraph.co.uk

– Interesting (and probably enlightening post) about why nice guys are losers. Reality call, people! – via Heartless Bitch International