This is why I have trust issues.

All too often, the world is a disappointing place.

Too many times, people cannot be counted on to put their best foot forward. It stems from a lack of ownership, an excess of DGAF (don’t give a f***), a lack of professionalism and ethics, among many other things (incompetence being one of them). It feels like my definition on a job well done, differs greatly from the rest of the world.

All of us are imperfect beings, so I guess that is to be expected. What else can we do, but use these imperfections the best we can, and move forward?

Is that all it really is about?

So, that’s pretty much it, as far as GE 2015 goes.

Euphoria from SG 50, gratitude from the esteemed founder’s passing, and a goodly dose of “trust-in-us-not-them” won the fight. I’m glad the WP retained Hougang and Aljunied, but the swing in pro-PAP votes was surprising. I’d hoped that people would be keener to have in place, a budding alternative voice that could point out flaws in proposals, or at least be a voice for debate. Hopefully even engender transparency in government workings, and a more tolerant perspective when it comes to issues like LGBT rights and freedom of speech.

Not a government-in-waiting with ministerial-level candidates that could replace the PAP as a new ruling party with an immediate positive impact, obviously. To think that something like this could happen without transition is just silly, and let’s not forget no other party has fielded enough candidates to form a 2/3 majority.

Alex Au summed it up best, really.

The bottom line is this: This election result, when read against the 2006 and 2011 results, is very revealing of the Singapore electorate: one that is very comfortable with trusting an over-dominant government to steer the way and find solutions to immediate problems. It demands solutions, but is uninquisitive as to the details of the solutions, the modelling used, the price (in side-effects) to be paid, or whether these solutions store up problems for the future. This electorate will protest when it feels pain, but is easily pacified with short-term fixes.

I’m a believer in pragmatism and “whatever works” as much as the next man. But is that really it? This mentality reminds me of the general atmosphere of political apathy that existed in my younger years. It’s a little disappointing, to say the least. Well, here’s hoping trust isn’t misplaced and the PAP prove themselves worthy of the mandate.

The BSOD-ed laptop.

So I bought a spanking high-end Asus laptop this year. 16GB RAM, i7 processor, the works. It was supposed to facilitate self-learning for virtualisation, but I slacked off and it ended up as a host on which I ran a Windows 7 general purpose VM.

Sidetrack: it’s honestly an elegant solution, because it avoids me having to install the same shit on my laptop every single time. The downside? Periodical reinstalls of VMware Workstation.

A few days ago
Windows rebooted the VM after the usual updates, and promptly hung the damn laptop thereafter. Slightly inconvenient thing to wake up to in the morning I must say. I attributed it to being a wonky laptop of shifty manufacture, since it wasn’t the first time this had happened. So it was the usual power-off power-on procedure, which unusually led to a BSOD.

W. T. F.

Trivia: now, BSOD. That’s the dreaded Blue Screen of Death for you folks, something every Windows user hates because it means your computer is having experiencing some serious shit.

After a few tries to capture the error message — using my mobile phone’s video capture nonetheless, primitive I know — the answer was clear: I had an UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. This meant my hard drive was seriously fcuked, and I had to run diagnostics and find out how bad the damage was.

Short answer: I had to run chkdsk (or something similar) to fix the file system. Being empty-handed at home, I had to wait the day out impotently while Stan lugged his DVD collection home.

Unfortunately: the installation DVD did not work (bah), and
Very fortunately: Stan’s all-purpose utility CD (Hiren’s BootCD) had ViVard, which managed to mark the bad sectors and move the data over to working sectors on the hard drive.

It took a few hours of grinding and eyeballing, but the problem was finally licked. I moved all my data off the VM as soon as I could, and it’s off to the damn service center for the laptop soon. Damn Asus.

I’m suspecting the intensive HDD R/W operations from the VM contributed to the hard drive’s early demise though, so it might be fair to say that half of it is my fault.

Ah well, time to switch to an SSD?

Using Facebook to share Twitter posts – not exactly ideal.

(This was supposed to be yesterday’s post, but the damn scheduler stuffed up again.)

(I was doing some testing this morning on this process, so I figured I might as well document it.)

So I had a Twitter account for Celtics Down Under set up last night (@CelticsDownUnd), and it was configured to push tweets to the Celtics Down Under Facebook page.

My expected flow was this:

  • Publish new post on Celtics Down Under – site readers see the post
  • Twitter automatically tweets about new post (via site) – Celtics Down Under Twitter followers see the update
  • I manually retweet the tweet using my personal account – my Twitter followers see the update
  • Facebook page automatically publishes link to new post (via Twitter) – Facebook page fans see the update
  • I manually share the post via the Facebook page – My friends and subscribers see the update, notice the Facebook page as well.

The process is a little convoluted, but I figured that was how I was going to broadcast my updates.

The problem
I had expected the last step (aka my Facebook share) to display the “via Celtics Down Under” link, which would increase exposure to the Celtics Down Under page, and hopefully encourage a few clicks to the page.

What actually happened, was that it became a generic “via Twitter” share instead. Not a link to the Twitter account, just a backlink to Twitte That wasn’t really what I wanted, which sucked.

The workaround
I had to do a double post, basically reposting the same post manually on the Facebook page, and then sharing that update via my personal Facebook account. This is a bit clunky, but it’s what I’ll have to do for now.

The end of the Big 3 era, goodbye Ray.

via They Say A Picture’s Worth… on CelticsLife

I had a bad feeling when I saw this picture.

And it’s finally happened, Ray Allen has walked out of Boston.

And into Miami, home of the reigning 2011/2012 NBA champions.

And its if Adrian Woj has it right in his article, it was due to a mixture of:

  • trade bait dangles from Danny
  • bad vibes between him and Rondo
  • being kicked to the bench and supplanted by Bradley
  • feeling less loved by the organisation in terms of salary, contract (and trade talks)
  • and to top it all off, the super sales pitch from the HEAT, plus the great Miami environment

Check out the fiery thread in CelticsBlog, lots of un-love there.

I’m feeling rather disappointed in Ray, always thought he was a team player. That being said, I sort of felt this was coming and understand his unhappiness, especially all the shit with the trade bait. I reckon the chances of him staying would have been higher, had he not been continually strung along and made to feel like he did not have job security in Boston.

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said of the scenario. “But I don’t want to go into this season, like I have in past seasons, worrying about whether I was going to be traded or not. At this point we want to ride it out, take this thing to the house, and not have the instability of not knowing whether today or tomorrow something is going to happen.

“For all of us, you deal with that over the course of your career, but wherever I end up after this summer, that has to be the No. 1 mandate. At this time I owe it to my family to be ultimately selfish, because I’ve been a very unselfish team player, and I’ll always do that. But when it comes to myself and my family, I have to make sure that I don’t rock their worlds or put them off kilter in any fashion.”

– via “Future still bright, if not Green for Ray Allen” on Boston Herald

Going off to any other team would have been fine really. Bulls, Sixers, Clippers even, take your pick. To go to the effing Miami HEAT who took us down repeatedly in the playoffs to chase a ring, is just.. sigh. Words fail me. I wonder how the rest of the team feels, especially KG and PP. Some fans are calling him a traitor, sellout, ring whore even. I’m not going to that level yet but boy does it really sting.

But according to a league source, Allen’s request from the Celtics went beyond the pale — reportedly a demand for a three-year, $27 million contract. The Celtics, according to the source, were in the process of attempting to talk Allen down from $9 million to $6 million per year.

– via “Ray Allen spurns Celtics, picks Heat” on The Boston Herald

And he was asking for a bigger package than the Celtics were willing to offer, so it made sense if the HEAT was giving a better deal to him. But no, they actually offered way less.

So had the Celtics actually buckled under and given that contract he wanted, does getting more money actually make up for all the earlier unhappiness about Rondo, trade bait, game minutes, bench lineup and all that? I’m always of the opinion that money does not equate to happiness. If he was thinking that way, I can only say he was way off (so bloody off), and I would be happy for him on this decision, since he wouldn’t need to take money and feel unhappy for another effing season.

And with that, the Big 3 era ends. Goodbye Ray, I have always loved your work ethic, your shots, your professionalism. Free agents are free to go anywhere, nothing’s owed. I just hate the fact that you walked off in the middle of a reload with the other guys still around, and went over to the HEAT for the chance at a ring and a bunch of sales talk.

“The one thing that bothers me the most is guys taking big pay cuts for a year to go down there and try to win a championship,” Bird said. “There’s a lot of guys who like to ride the coattails of the best, and they’ll take a pay cut just to have an opportunity to win that ring.”

– via “Bird weighs in on LeBron and the Heat” on the Miami HEAT Index

It’ll take a while for this irate anger and disappointment to wear off, but I’ll always remember #20 as the consummate sharpshooter in green with 2561 and numerous clutch shot moments, and the one worked his ass off despite having bone spurs, despite not having lift to shoot the usual jumper, and the one who was shedding tears in the recent postseason loss, about how he “wanted it so bad.”

Not as the one who went over to the red “to ride on the coattails”, as Larry so aptly put it. I just wish he could have made the decision to stick around until the Big 3 era ended, or even left in a classier fashion.

And on to the continued free agency, where we have limited options on the budget to get more guys into the team; vet minimum or bi-annual, take your pick. Fingers crossed.

The tale of Lumo and the meter read.

Very hard apparently. It’s been three appointments and two days of leave, and I’m still uncertain about whether the deed’s been done.

I’m a Lumo Energy customer, so what actually happens is:

  • I tell Lumo about my new place, and that I want them to be the supplier.
  • They get instructions on the appointment, and forward the request to Citipower.
  • Citipower gets someone out to read the meter.

Sounds easy isn’t it?

Here’s where the caveats come in.

  • Lumo sends a default request, with case notes added for visit time and contact details etc.
  • For default requests, Citipower sends out a guy anytime within the next three working days, from 0700hrs to 1900hrs.
  • For default requests, Citipower assumes that site access is available anytime.
  • Citipower meter readers, apparently are not expected to read the case notes.
  • For sites where access is limited, an appointment has to be made specifically with the meter reader. This was advised by Citipower, and has to be done via Lumo.

So the problem here is, my energy meter is inside the building, which requires swipe card access. And the meter reader does not read the case notes, waltzes up to the building and cannot get in because I did not know he was at the door. Poof, appointment failed. Lumo assumes case notes are read, and blames Citipower. Citipower wants Lumo to follow their system of doing stuff.

Who do you think is at fault? Obviously, I need Lumo to send the right request in to Citipower but it seems like they are incapable of doing so, from what I gathered from my last call with Lumo. I’ll try again the next day and failing this, go to the ombudsman for further action. It’s really annoying when I think I understand what needs to be done, but cannot get both parties to work together on it. Just get the damn meter read FFS!

Updated: Apparently the meter read was successfully done yesterday one way or another, just got off the phone with Emma from Lumo who confirmed this. Amazing but anyway whatever works. If he managed to get into the building I’m not fussed about how he got in.

The other interesting bit I got was from my earlier call this morning to Lumo, where the lady (missed her name) said my property’s meter read was handled by SP Ausnet and not Citipower. WTF? Am I confused or are they confused?

First night in the new stronghold.

New place is pretty good but not as good as we expected it to be. Contractors to meet on Monday morning, time to scream and whine about building faults here and there.

Best part so far: nearly flooding the bedroom carpet while taking a shower. Floor is bloody sloped the wrong way obviously.

And yes, writing this from 3G and the trusty N9 again, slumped on a beanbag with chips and Coke plus Skyrim on the TV. I can tell it’s gonna be a good night already.

*Posts are usually written the night before and published the following day, which is why this one will sound odd.