Author Archives: JH

Gratitude

I wanted to elaborate a bit on the #100HappyDays challenge.

There’s been an increasing negativity in Singapore with regards to standard of living. We’re currently the most expensive city in the world to live in which is terrible because wages aren’t increasing…at least not for locals. As a nation, we’ve always had some sort of foreign envy, perhaps due to our colonial past but I feel too that it’s due to a lack of self-confidence.  As a country, our best assets are our people because we have no natural resources and at only 49 years into our independence, I think we’ve come a long way.

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Happiness Day 1

I’ve been meaning to do the 100 Happy Days challenge so today’s as good as any other day to start!

For Day 1, I’d like to declare that I’m happy to be a unicyclist.

Giraffe Unicycle

I’ve met a lot of people who unicycle and I think the main trait that all of us share is that we’ve probably got a streak of masochism and OCD going on. I don’t know if I like cycling that much but I like unicycling because it’s very technical (we’re also very geeky people). There’s no ready mechanic you can consult and if anything goes wrong, you’re forced to learn to maintain your own vehicle and to seek help from others. I absolutely love having to read about gear/wheel size ratios and pushing my limits for speed and endurance. On a bike, the world blazes by but on a uni, even at your fastest, you’re slow enough to be able to take in the sights of the surroundings.

I think unicycling is a good philosophy for life. There’s plenty of things that seem impossible but you’ll just have to be patient and persevere and you’ll get results. If you can learn something as impossible as what unicycling seems, how can anything else be tougher? There will be people who’d point and laugh and mutter about how silly and stupid your endeavor is but ultimately, it’s about humility. If you set out to do something, why bother what anyone else thinks? It’s about broadening your mind and realising that there’s a lot more to life than just settling for the constants and the norms. I think that’s what I really like about unicycling and I’m happy to have sought out and helped build a community that loves the sport as much as I do.

 

(Edit: I’ll be adding the rest of #100happydays on Twitter because it’s easier to get photos in!)

Java-Fuelled Dreams

Some of you might know that if I do some coding before I sleep, there’s a good chance I’ll get these really bizarre vivid dreams.    Yesterday, I set up my Mac for Java and recapped some basic principles before bed.  I’ve decided to log these dreams because they’re sometimes pretty cool.

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I found myself looking in the mirror at my eyebags and for some reason, I pulled down my bottom left eyelid. There’s a pinhole that’s oozing some white goop and when I pressed down on it, the hole widens and more white goop squirted and oozed out. I tried emptying all of it and it stung a little. I then noticed this black wire that’s sticking out and decided to pinch it out. It somehow distorted my vision and all sorts of thoughts about how I  might go blind race through my head so I stopped and pushed it back in.

At this point, I noticed that the side of my eye where my cheekbone is had slight wrinkles from the extraction and the left side of my face was slightly slimmer than my right. My right has also become puffy and for some reason, I couldn’t close my jaw properly because my teeth didn’t align on my right. Any rational being wouldn’t leave it like that and I needed help. So I googled for what a wiry thing in your eye might be and THANKFULLY, search results indicated that it was probably ok to yank it all out. I went back to the mirror and extracted the wire bit by bit. At about 10cm long, the wire thickened and the wrinkle on my cheekbone started to look more like a very long keloid.

The opening in my eyelid could fit a pen but my eye stopped stinging which was very puzzling to me. I yanked on the wire a little longer, saw the bottom of my eye distort and suddenly, I yanked out some sort of tracking device (I knew instinctively that it was one). It was a box about 3x2x2cm, grey at the top half and black at the bottom, all covered in goop.

This is odd, I thought. My RIGHT eye has a bigger eyebag.

I woke up.

 

I Would Wisecrack But This Is A Punchline On Its Own

The Singapore Tourism Board has created a promotional video so terrible, it’s distracted Singaporeans from their #1 national pastime – complaining about the Government. It’s so bad the Tourism Board took down the video and issued a statement apologizing for their lack of judgment (and of course, justifying it by saying there were people who liked it initially… yea sure, supportive friends who want their jobs I guess).

The first time I watched it, I had it on mute and on a small iPhone screen, I couldn’t see exactly what the plot twist was so I actually joked that it was a pregnancy test. We laughed. Then I read the comments. We stopped laughing.

Because there’s really nothing more that hasn’t been said about it, I’ll pick the best quotes off YouTube.

Honey, pack your shit, we are going to Singapore.

They call each other ‘Honey’ and ‘Dear’ because they can’t remember each other’s names!

Plot twist : they are siblings.

 

5 Reasons Geeks Aren’t All That Great

Everyone and their Pokemon these days are sharing these ‘geek love’ posts on Facebook proclaiming why they love geeks. Because I’m a jerk, I’m going to dispel all these fantastic, romantic notions. Before you accuse me of sour grapes, I’m probably as big a geek as you can imagine for the following reasons -

  • I know pi to more decimal places than probably anyone you know (because it’s funny when people ask for pie, hur hur).
  • I juggle.
  • I’ve read tons about quantum physics as a 13 year old (understanding it is separate).
  • I’ve been into coding since probably that age too and I majored in it in school.
  • I’ve been inducted into MENSA (but am still too cheap to pay for membership, I think it’s a huge fraud but only geeks would take the MENSA test so there.)
  • I can discuss videogame history like your neighbor’s bespectacled son.
  • I know how to convert your age to light years (because life is a long journey hehe, see, I make geeky jokes)
  • I actually own an autographed pic of Bill Nye the Science Guy
  • My first (sort of) legit job involves writing for possibly the geekiest company in Singapore.
  • I am Asian.

Anyway, the point is, I KNOW YOU GEEK LOVERS ARE ALL FILTHY LIARS BECAUSE I’VE NEVER RECEIVED THAT KIND OF LOVE FROM YOU GEEKS. Being geeky is cool? Bullshit. I’ve never been told how I should be the mother of anyone’s 42 children because I, like, know how to work my TI-82 calculator and all of a sudden, the internet spills over with 12938934 reasons why you should date/marry/copulate/be BFFs with geeks?

Dear Internet, I hate to break it to you but hey, here’s 5 reasons why you’re wrong about geeks.

1. You’re still superficial but you’re trying harder.

You like geeks because you’re trying to tell the world you see beyond the surface. Tough. Let’s be honest here. Most of us ARE superficial. I’ll tell you that I am in a lot of ways superficial. It’s harsh but at least I’m not a filthy liar. You think that geeks look like this -

jamesandBear

Bet he’s also telling you about the similarities about the DNA makeup between bears and humans

Or maybe they wear these cute little specs like I used to and got zero utility from because they’d steam up when you start eating and then I can’t see where you are and would look into the distance where I think you are and you’d think I’m weird because I’m staring into nothingness. Weirdo.

scarjo

I gained 100 IQ points by donning these hipster specs.

Fact is, we ALL would love people who look like these regardless of how geeky they are. Unfortunately, reality is a bit harsh and hey, these guys are legit geeks too. Come give them a hug.

badNerd1

“I’ll hug back after I overclock my CPU to generate enough heat to cook my cup noodles.”

2. He/She will NOT fix your problems

Cool, geeks are problem solvers so hey, it’s an easy ride out. WRONG. Look, if I’m so smart, then what can YOU offer me that I can’t get elsewhere? It sounds perfect (to dumb people) – date a geek and he/she will solve all your life’s problems. No, it doesn’t work that way. If you aren’t pulling your weight, why the hell would I stick with you? There’s no such thing as a free lunch and that’s why Wendi Deng is still playing the field and why Hugh Hefner got all those playmates, although I have to say that Mr Hefner IS pretty damn hot in his youth.

3. We annoy the fuck out of you.

See this guy?

The Big Bang Theory, Season Three

Well, if you want romance then let’s have romance. Oh look, there’s wine. Mmm, grape juice that burns! Now let’s gaze into each other’s eyes. You blinked, I win.

You think it’s funny when you watch Big Bang Theory and you feel all soft and gooey cos he’s a big geek and you think it’s cute. Imagine that in your life. When you aren’t sitting on a couch with your ditzy friends to laugh at the situational comedy that’s unfolding. Involving you. As the butt of the joke.

Not so funny now eh?

Well on the bright side, you probably won’t understand half the jokes so maybe you won’t be so annoyed… although everyone would still be laughing at you.

4. Surprise! Geeks have other hobbies too!

geekrun

Guy who’s probably not a geek, running.

I remember reading one of these reasons to love geeks pages and nearly died when one of the reasons was that geeks weren’t into sports nights. REALLY. I can list off the top of my head at least 10 people I know personally who can regale you with the stats on the latest sport of their choice. Remember, geeks hate people who stereotype and if you’re one of these people who think geeks can better relate to your hobbies because you’re too lazy to get some sun, well, remember, geeks realise too that we’re stereotyped as these people who’re low on EQ and we have no qualms about just leaving you at home for our soccer sessions because we know you’ll expect that from us. Statistics work both ways.

5. Geeks really won’t make you smarter.

It’s cool to be friends with geeks because you can steal their notes for the next big exam or you can learn oh-so-much from them. Uhm, well no because if that’s true, you’d be learning tons from your compulsory education as it is. If you’re stupid, you’re stupid, period. There might be some mileage from association provided you’re hanging out with the right geeks but take me for instance. If you’re hanging out with me for smarts, well hey, at least you have me for company, no?