The Human Instrumentality Project

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I will self-justify after all. =)

I don't know what I've been thinking for the past year. Either that I had firmly put an end to the previous chapter, or that the beginning of another chapter will naturally put a full stop on the old one. Sadly it doesn't work either way. And all that clumsy fumbling has brought us to today. And now I don't know whether the case is that I have run out of time, or that I have been given more time, but it is only now that I see how the end of the old chapter might be. The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

I have no right to ask for patience. All I can do now is what must be done, finish my chapter and slay my dragons, and for the rest, que sera sera.

And this shall really be the last last thing I say regarding this whole mess. Because nothing more I say will make any difference. <:-)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Anything else I say is just another attempt at self-justification for all the compounded mistakes. All that's left for me to do is to learn from my mistakes (hopefully) and bravely accept whatever comes.

Take That - Patience

Just have a little patience

I'm still hurting from a love I lost,
I'm feeling your frustration.
That in any minute all the pain will stop.
Just hold me close, inside, your arms, tonight,
don't be too hard on my emotions

'Cause I, need time.
My heart is numb, has no feeling.
So while I'm still healing,
Just try, and have a little patience.

I really wanna start over again,
I know you wanna be my salvation.
The one that I can always depend.

I'll try to be strong. Believe me,
I'm trying to move on,
It's complicated but understand me.

'Cause I, need time,
My heart is numb has no feeling,
So while I'm still healing,
Just try, and have a little patience, yeah
have a little patience, yeah

'Cause the scars run so deep,
It's been hard,
But I have to believe.

Have a little patience,
Have a little patience,

Woah, Cause I, I just need time,
My heart is numb has no feeling,
So while I'm still healing,
just try, and have a little patience,
have a little patience,

My heart is numb, has no feeling,
So while I'm still healing,
just try, and have a little... Patience

Friday, July 27, 2007

My table is halfway there already.. =P

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do." - John Ruskin

Let me add that what we feel is, too, of little consequence. Except for people who do what they feel like doing. Which describes, erm, pretty much everyone? Everybody some of the time? Some people all of the time? =P

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I suppose it doesn't matter how I feel. But then, I think that it doesn't matter that it doesn't matter how I feel. Because so what if it matters? Hmm, I don't know. Rather than wishing that it matters, maybe I should wish that it didn't have to matter in the first place.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Cooked lunch today, as part of my preparations for the rest of the year. Recipes written in a high-level language take only 3 lines, but there's a ton of work involved. "Cook pasta", for instance, is definitely not as simple as it sounds (though still quite simple la, once you've done it once before). Pity my mum has no love for any cuisine that's non-Asian, or more specifically, anything not Chinese or Malay. Cooking is actually quite fun, quite relaxing (when it's an easy dish, I suppose), though it's preferable to have an appreciative diner.

I feel a lot better now that I understand why I'm upset; before this I was upset at being upset for no apparent reason and was feeling pretty bad as a result (and had to use this blog as a spittoon for all the bad vibes that I coughed up). Now at least I know that my upset is somewhat justified, at least to myself if to no one else, so I do feel better, comparatively. Therefore it seems that my response (or lack thereof, depending on your point of view) is also appropriate -- so no need for me to be upset over it, either.

I just want to add that I would like to understand why things are like this but have no way short of asking some very pointed questions and *hopefully* receiving pointed answers. But that's a move I am very hesitant to make because confrontational tactics are more likely to make things worse than make things better. Especially considering the sort of person we are.

PPS: Right after I pressed 'Publish' I saw this comic which serves as evidence of comic timing in real life.

Finally took the time to sort out my hamster photos, taken using my new Canon A570IS. So here's a selection of them:

The baby hamster must have been a panda in the past life -- Tare Panda (趴地熊).

The whole family adores this little one. And although it's not very young already, it still takes its cues from its mother, and does everything that the mother does. It is timid and hyperactive and is always scrambling some place or other. It is even scared of food, and will scramble away from pieces of fruit that we put in. My mom calls it 'xiao ding dong'.

The little one is used to leaning against the mother when it sleeps, and without the support it'll topple.

We just cleaned their cage and they like the clean wheel so much they've taken to sleeping in it:

The poor father got segregated, because we didn't want any more babies (out of 8 batches, only that 1 survived. Even my mum got sick of the heartbreaks). We try to keep it company more. Here I opened its toilet to get a better shot.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It might not make any difference initially, but it's better in the long run to reject people straight than to send them away with a barrage of excuses. Disappointment is a given, but nobody likes being lied to -- it really smarts when the truth is revealed. The prevarication then becomes an acid: it lingers and it keeps burning. A relationship with rock steady foundations can withstand it -- my dad always lies to me about the time, to get me out of bed he'll say it's noon when it's only 10.30 -- but otherwise...

清宫风云 is shaping up to be a really interesting show. Court intrigue never ceases to entertain, with its spider web of 恩恩怨怨. Pity I'll only get to watch the first few episodes.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Getting home at 5am after a whole night of activities is something I should not be doing too often, at my age. I slept both before and after lunch, and I'll probably head back to bed after dinner as well.

So I just woke up to Windz's latest post, and it got me a little angry, and I posted a comment on that.

PF said last night that if you think a person is worth it then you have to wait for them, for as long as it takes for them to accept you. I agree with that in basic principle but I insist that the line has to be drawn somewhere, that there has to be some point beyond which waiting becomes silly. The next question, therefore, is: where to draw the line? For that I refer to one bit of pure wisdom that my granddaughter shared with me: When you love someone, you'll just keep doing things for him/her, and even if you get nothing in return you won't stop until the day you don't feel anything anymore. And there's no point trying to make yourself stop because you cannot help yourself.

Well actually it's possible to make oneself stop, but there's a lot of pain involved. Because the feeling cannot be made to stop. But that's another topic for another time.

I don't know why my brother has to mod every single game he plays, not to make it more realistic but to make it easier, to allow him to make a uber character with which to pwn the world. To each his own, I suppose, but it ruins the fun for me when he then happily shows me his pWnXoRs game where everything in sight gets wiped out in seconds. It makes me seem silly, spending hours and many tries to accomplish something that he does simply with the hack of a blade or the blast of a laser. And I have no one left to show my achievements to, either, because he ain't impressed at something that is, to him, effortless.

Yet another case of people doing things I don't agree with but no, PF, I don't ostracise him because of that (hehe I just had to say that =P). OK, maybe just a little bit..

Friday, July 20, 2007

Stumbled upon this thread while I was searching for an explanation of 秋风词. This particular entry made me lol:

Anyway the explanation for 秋风词 can be found here.

More when I get back from dinner, maybe. Hmm will I be late enough? =P

Haha I actually got so worked up over something so minor. It's just the wind howling; it doesn't mean anything, ultimately (even though the Chinese say 空穴来风 but that's beside the point). But now my hands are back under my bum and that's how I'm gonna sit for... as long as it takes. And even if the wind continues its complicated howling I'm just gonna sing "LALALA" at the top of my lungs.

Hmm that imagery seems so ridiculous that I'm half-tempted to try it for real and see what that feels like.

Oh yah I found a source for Dilbert too so yeah. =)

I found a source for Zits! So I can post these from now on:


And Baby Blues, too! =D

Thursday, July 19, 2007

If my parents' utter lack of tact is genetically inheritable, I'm not going to have any children. Um, lemme add their utter lack of empathy too. Now I remember why I hared off to hall in the first place. I mean, it's not like I'm dangling raw nerves all over the floor, or that I've got a stack of chips on each of my shoulders, but they fire nerve-seeking, chip-seeking missiles that can hit at any time, over the smallest things. I think it's better for everyone if we see each other just once a week.

P.S. lemme just clarify that I love my parents. They have always done their best for me and my bro and often treat us like princes. But some of the things they say are just plain silly and absurd. And 3 months of it is about as much as I can stand, and I can't wait to be in Sweden.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

People see only what they want to see. The world is dyed red by their coloured lenses. To them, everything happens for a reason -- their reason. Blue is just a darker shade of red. So they judge. And they condemn. And then they, oh so nobly, attempt to set things right. Set things their way, more like. And by their futile antics things normalise to a common state. The state defined by everyone, regardless of lens colour, as wrong.

Yeah I'm probably guilty of it too, although I try my best not to be. But, extending the analogy further, maybe human brains cannot handle seeing things in such a rich spectrum. Therefore, internally, we simplify it to 256 colours, maybe even less. So we put our foot down and say, "this is blue. that is red." Even though that might actually be reddish-greenish-purplish-yellow and this, is turquoise. Beyond this the analogy breaks down, but basically don't jump to conclusions, don't make snap judgements; it's like TCM where a cough might be caused by one of a million things, which might in turn be caused by a million and one things, and to cure it drink this and don't ask what's inside. Basically there's no one medicine for all coughs.

I'm going to stop here because it's late and I'm starting to ramble.

Monday, July 16, 2007

And for those of you who play Oblivion, there's a new mod that promises some hilarious moments:

and the mod thread on the forums is degenerating into one bad pun after another:
"If you nail someone really hard with an exclamation mark will they fall into a comma?"

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'm reposting this because I suddenly realised how profound Susie's words are. When you feel like you've been chewed by a dog, sometimes all it takes is a meal with some 同类 (i.e. friends) to make things better.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


“相思无用 唯别而已 别期若有定 千般煎熬又如何 莫道黯然销魂 何处柳暗花明 秋风清 秋月明 落叶聚还散 寒鸦栖复惊 相思相见知何日 此时此夜难为情”


李白 - 《秋风词》




Thursday, July 12, 2007


Wonder if Hobbes might actually enjoy it? =)

Wonderful Korean dinner at Crystal Jade Ginseng Chicken and BBQ today, thanks Mystiara for treating! For pics of yummy food, see her blog after Saturday: that's when I'll return her her computer, all properly fixed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sometimes all we need is a little affirmation, a little encouragement, the proverbial maiden's handkerchief, priest's blessing, before we embark on our quest to slay dragons (big or small, literal or metaphorical). That's why kings of ancient Greece sought the Oracle for advice. That's why fortune tellers have such good business. Truth of prediction is actually a bonus.

The hand grips the rose tightly. The thorns pierce the skin and the hand bleeds. Yet the hand does not let go, it does not even loosen its grip. If the hand was someone else's, I will advise it to let go. Why hold on to something that hurts you so? No beauty and fragrance is worth the blood price. But if the hand was mine, will I let go? I will hold on stubbornly, and shake my head and smile at the dissenters. It reminds me of these lines from a song: "春风再美也比不上你的笑 没见过你的人不会明了"

Oops emo again. It's just idle musings lah, because I've seen so many things happen to people around me. And then I wonder why put themselves through so much, for so seemingly little in return. And then I think maybe I understand why..

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Oh I just saw this.. Hilarious! =D

Now, on to the feature of the day:

[Disclaimer] This has no bearing on actual events.

The Stairway with No End

The sage was taking his daily walk through the nearby forest park. Using his infinite wisdom, he has just decided that it was time to head back home for dinner. As he strolled along the cobblestone path, he suddenly spied a staircase leading to the left, half hidden in the bushes. "That's odd," he remarked to himself, "In all this time I've never noticed this staircase before. I wonder where it leads." The sage walked over to the head of the staircase and peered down. "Why, it appears to be a shortcut to my house! How.. quaint." It makes things doubly strange because he's never noticed the staircase on his way out from home, either.

Just as he was pondering whether to try this interesting new route out, or to take the usual leisurely and roundabout route home, his stomach made the decision for him -- it gave a gentle rumble. In his infinite wisdom, the sage decided that he had better take the fastest route home. Feeling very pleased with his wise decision, the sage whistled a merry tune as he strode down the first steps of the staircase.

The staircase passed through dense forest and, within two dozen steps, the surrounding had turned dim and cool, and the air was refreshingly crisp. The sage headed merrily down the steps, taking in big lungfuls of the fresh, oxygen-rich air, heading towards the bright exit ahead. In the middle of a particularly deep breath, the sage was startled when the exit was suddenly shrouded in darkness. As he coughed and tried to get his breathing normal again, he realised that the road ahead is now dark as a moonless night, and he could see barely 5 steps ahead. Suppressing his panic, he turned his head behind, and saw with relief that the way back was still clear. In his infinite wisdom, he decided to head back up the staircase.

When he reached the top of the staircase, breathing heavily from the exertion, he turned his head back and saw that the darkness had cleared, and he could see the other end again. He made a quick count and estimated that he was barely twenty steps from the exit when he turned back. Sages, in their infinite wisdom, shouldn't swear, but he was tempted to right then, especially when his stomach chose to remind him then that it was almost dinnertime. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, counted to five, and then decided that he should give the staircase another chance, because, well, he'll still end up at home earlier than he would normally be. So he opened his eyes, and, with a loud "Harrumph" set off resolutely down the staircase.

To cut the long story shorter (for the sake of the growling stomachs), midway down the staircase, the road ahead became unnaturally dark again, and the sage pressed on stubbornly. But after 3 more minutes had passed and the end was not yet in sight, the sage began doubting his infinite wisdom. 2 more minutes of stomping down the stairs passed before the sage finally decided that it might be better to head back.

By the time the sage reached the head of the stairs again, his stomach had given up its patience, and his legs and lungs were whining also. As he leaned on the staircase railing and panted he happened to look down the stairs, and he could still see his house in the distance, dimmer now in the fading light. He thought of his dinner, cooling in the evening air by now, and of his massage chair, which he'll need tonight especially. He thought of how he'll be home now, with a full tummy, sitting in his massage chair watching TV, if not for the stupid shortcut. Angrily, he picked up a pebble and hurled it down the staircase. It bounced, thrice, then landed right in the middle of the path that leads to his house. It seemed to smirk at him, sitting right where he'd expected to be half an hour ago.

Even the sage, in his infinite wisdom, couldn't stand such an insult. Even though his infinite wisdom counselled prudence, it was now, to him, a matter of principle. No way was a silly staircase going to fool around with him. He stomped his way down the staircase...

That was fun. Don't fall asleep reading it. =)

OMGWTFhAx0rz! That's the reaction as I read, card by card, what this reading from Salem Tarot said; I couldn't have picked better cards if the deck was face-up! It only remains to be seen, whether the 3rd card is as apt as the 1st 2..

These are the cards that the Tarot has drawn for you. You may want to save or print this page if you would like to ponder their messages later.


The Past position in the reading refers to recent events and challenges that just took place, things that lead up to the present situation, and your role in them.

The Tower

The Tower is the seventeenth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 16 to indicate the conscious mind represented by the Magician (1) faced with the breakdown of the unity found in the Lovers (6). Atop a craggy peak, the once-crowned Tower begins to crumble. Fire and Lightning ravage it from within and without. Two people, calling to mind the man and woman in the Lovers card (but clothed, indicating concealment), plunge to an uncertain fate, as flames erupt from the explosion. The destruction is devastating, but there is a purpose behind it. The walls of the Tower have been constructed by the materialistic Ego, and the force of chaos has come to tear them down in the name of spiritual development. The small, tear-shaped flames are symbolic because they resemble YOD, the first letter in the Hebrew name for God. They represent the spark of enlightenment that will brighten even the darkest hour.

When The Tower appears in your past, it indicates a time of turmoil. The phenomenon that “bad things” happen in threes, or other multiples, is a reality, and you may have felt the rug of life being pulled out from under your feet. Like the Tower, you felt you had been struck from out of nowhere. From this experience, you learned that sometimes, a fire is needed to clear out dead wood, and clear space for the fresh seedlings that will someday be a great forest. You came to the understanding that you only became stronger by surviving these trials.


The Present position in the reading represents what is happening right now. Typically, this is what triggers you to seek out a reading. This card can often help you to understand what steps to take next.

Four of Swords
The Four of Swords represents an inner retreat that you are currently taking. Your present situation is very difficult and you may be in the midst of much turmoil. A temporary truce seems to be in place, and you are now seeking recuperation within. The swords on the wall symbolize your previous battles, and the sword at your side represents your current conflict. You will soon take up the sword again. The battle isn’t over, but when you return to it, you’ll be invigorated and able to formulate a mature, effective response. When combined with the Eight of Wands or the Six of Swords, this card can also mean that some kind of an actual trip may take place, one intended to bring you peace of mind.


The Future position in the reading describes what is just around the corner. It’s an official “heads up” about where the situation is heading and how you may navigate through it towards the best possible outcome.

Knight of Cups
The Knight of Cups, dressed in blue to denote his sensitivity and emotional nature, signifies a dreamy, caring, loving individual in your future. This Knight will pursue his thoughts and fantasies, and intuitively attune to the needs of others. He may signify a lover who will not wish to commit, who is attractive, but passive. He will do what he believes in, and will be considered a charmer...someone you will meet, or could this be you?

Illustrations and images from the Rider Tarot Deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright © 1971, 1982 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. The Rider Tarot Deck ® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc. The world's largest source of tarot and cartomancy is U.S. Games Systems, Inc. A catalog may be obtained by contacting the company at 179 Ludlow Street, Stamford, CT 06902, Fax: 203-353-8431 or call 1-800-544-2637.

I think I will finally take Windz's advice. I think I've done all I can in search of an alternative, and I've dragged my feet far longer than I should have. It's high time I gave everyone involved a chance; after all, I think what that note said is actually pretty true, just that extended metaphors are never spot-on.

So according to him I am wrong la, cannot practise what I preach. Eh, I try ok, just that sometimes I land short of the opposite ledge.

Today's teatime talk was all about nostalgia. All of us literally grew up watching TV, specifically Channel 8 drama serials, and all of us were totally spooked by 迷离夜, and its haunting theme song. It wasn't really an excellent show - if it is shown now, those who have not watched it before will think it's awful, even worse than the fare that they dish out these days. But for those of us who've watched it huddled on the sofa, and who've had nightmares afterwards, it is a show we will re-watch with relish, because it carries with it memories and feelings of a time when we were young and innocent and easily spooked, a time when things were simpler and emotions were really transient, a time I think we all secretly miss (except me, I'm openly missing it now =P).

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ack Windz beat me to 500 posts. So, uh, congrats! Even though I think I started my blog before his, but I've got 1.5 years more of NS than he does. Well, whatever.

Anyway it is impossible to know what is happening just from reading blogs, especially blogs like yours and mine, that weaves the words into a screen, that blurs reality for public consumption. So I told D and PF once, that I do not assume people read my blog.
And it doesn't really make a difference even if they do.

And since it doesn't matter, then it doesn't really matter whether I blog or not. Because I did have something to blog about in the morning, before the family went to the park, but now I can't get the feeling across right.

Anyway, it's impossible to convince oneself to be happy or not. When things happen to make one happy, then one is happy. What makes the difference is how we react to the bad things that happen. 常言道:知足常乐, when we are content with what we have and what we can get then we do not feel sad, then we will only enjoy happiness. Whereas if we let the bad things get to us, sometimes to the extent that it overwhelms whatever happiness we do feel.. Hence the talk about convincing oneself to be happy: things happen that make us happy, but we're so engrossed in our sadness that we think our happiness is artificial, and in a way we hate ourselves for feeling happy (as in "发生了这种事你还笑得出来") and everything goes downhill from there.

It's a sign of maturity, I feel, to be able to take life's many disappointments with equanimity, not just in appearance, but in the heart as well. It's something that I doubt many people are able to do, regardless of their age. It's another sign of maturity, when we do not let life's bitterness numb our senses to life's sweetness, that we do not let ourselves wallow in self-pity and misery, that we do not turn turtle whenever we suffer a prick, but continue to make our way through the world with our heads held high (of course, be smart enough to do something about it, like wear some armour or something).

Friday, July 06, 2007

Some time ago my mum told me the story of how 一切都是最好的安排. It's a corollary of how everything will work out all right in the end, and whatever will be will be, etc. Recent events had me wondering how it could all still work out to be "right", and I was troubled with how to take things into my own hands and set it to my definition of "right". But now I've got an idea of how things might actually be as they should be, and I know what I must do. So I will make use of this lull to continue slaying my dragons and levelling up, and I will know when I've done enough of that.

I realise how easy it is to mistake possessiveness for love, and how even some of the most clear-headed people I know can suffer from myopia. Someone once shared with me, years ago, that when loving someone, to "think not of what she can do for you, but what you can do for her". But 当局者迷, and when viewing the situation through a miasma of pain, it is all too easy for the self-defence mechanism to kick in, and to start taking unilateral measures and make selfish statements. Instead of wallowing in hurt and self-pity, try to take a deep breath, take a step back and analyse one's own behavior and feelings.

And, on a lighter note, here today's "All in a day's work":

- L was complaining about the way Sharapova plays tennis. About how she grunts and shouts with every single swing (which remind me of Animal Farm, oddly). J quipped that she gives a whole new meaning to "tennis racket"

- L then said that he wouldn't mind if she only grunted when making power shots. Adn happily rejoined with "Every shot is a PowerShot(tm)", which ironically, Sharapova did say.

- J and L were discussing travel insurance, and J was talking about his, when X had a question, "Does it cover both legs?" "No, only the left leg! Heh heh heh"

Only 6 more days of fun and laughter.. well, hopefully, 4 more years of the same after we graduate and come back to work proper.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I wanted you to open the door let me in, but I was actually the one inside, not you. Now, where did I put the key..?
But I'm sure I gave the key away.. and never got it back.. Isn't it with you?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

My friends

Sheares Hall Acers


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