Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Di pagi Hari Merdeka yang ke-48

Rakyat Malaysia mempunyai satu sebab besar untuk bersyukur kepada Ilahi iaitu nikmat hidup di sebuah negara yang merdeka dan aman. Seperti nikmat-nikmat lain, nikmat kemerdekaan akan hanya benar-benar dihargai apabila ianya diambil semula oleh Empunya segala nikmat. Sebelum masa itu tiba, bersama-samalah kita mensyukuri pemberian ini dengan memanfaatkannya untuk lebih lagi mentaati segala perintahNya serta menjauhi laranganNya.

Semoga nikmat ini juga dapat dinikmati oleh peduduk negara-negara lain yang sedang atau yang kini berada di simpang pergolakan. Mereka juga ingin melalui hari-hari mereka dengan aman, tanpa digemparkan dengan bunyi bedilan mortar serta ratapan insan yang kehilangan orang yang mereka kasihi.

Negara secara zahirnya sudah merdeka. Tetapi adakah kita rakyatnya sudah benar-benar merdeka?

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Slow reading

It's been over a month since I bought Bird by bird and I still haven't finished reading it. It's less than 300 pages long, but the American cultural references in it are beyond my knowledge making it a less than smooth sailing for me. Aside from than, I think it's an honest and wonderful take on writing, worth your time reading if you are looking for any good reasons to start writing and becoming a writer in your own right.

I hope I can finish it in a few days so that I can move other books as well my courses' list of required readings (i.e. the textbooks, notes etc.). I truly marvel at people who read their textbooks and course materials like it is a brilliantly written, life altering book that stirs your soul, lifts you from the ground and flies to you places foreign yet familiar and aquaints you with people strange yet comprehendible. I have yet to read a textbook that has that effect on me. But then again, textbooks are said to be written by brilliant people and if you really read your textbooks and do well in your studies that can lead to some sort of life altering consequences.

Perhaps that's why I'm never on the Dean's List or the Honour Roll or the list of nominees for the 'Student Who Shall Elevate The University's Name To Greater Heights Than Where It Already Is When He or She Graduates' Award.

Maybe if I boil my textbooks and...

Friday, 26 August 2005

"Jauh jawapan dari skema"

Oh tidak!
(Fuuka, dari Yotsubato!, terkejut besar)

Tentu pernah dengar peribahasa "jauh panggang dari api", kan?

Ini pula peribahasa baru yang tiba-tiba muncul dalam kepala saya semalam ketika pensyarah perakaunan saya sedang rancak membincangkan jawapan (atau lebih tepat lagi, skema jawapan) untuk ujian pertengahan semester yang diadakan Sabtu lalu. Satu peribahasa yang tak mungkin diiktiraf oleh DBP.

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

Them crazy days are over

The dust has finally settled. My cousin's wedding is over. My mini family reunion is over. My mid-term examinations are over. My convocation day is also over. Which means that my days as an undergraduate student are over. So are my days being around my comrades, trading anime, borrowing computers games and going out to mamak stalls for dinner. They too are no longer.

Time to return to life as usual. I have a presentation and term paper due as well as possible job offers and a class that I'm suppposed to teach on how to use Powerpoint but it seems to be postponed every time I asked about it that I wonder if there is going to be any class at all as the final examinations are just around the corner.

Anyway, congratulations to all IIUM graduates of the recent 21th IIUM convocation that ended last Monday on receiving your 'files' (instead of the usual scrolls, which I think is a good idea as it helps prevent the female recipients from getting their 'air sembahyang terbatal' due to 'accidents' involving the some Sultan's or male VIP's hands). The recipients on the first session were the lucky people who got to bow three times, in front of three royal dignitaries: the Sultan of Pahang (IIUM's Constitutional Head) and the Sultan and Sultanah of Johor, who were there to celebrate their anakanda's, the Puteri of Johor, graduation.

Everybody had a wonderful time, especially the parents and the parents of the award winners. I had the chance to meet some of old comrades like Mior and Che, and we talked for while. And as I left the campus grounds after the ceremony was over, my mind kept wondering when will I ever get to see my comrades again.

I think I'm gonna miss them crazy days.

Thursday, 18 August 2005

Good news, bad news #1

air mata air terjun
(A scene from Yakitate!! Japan, a hilarious anime about bread making.)

Good news: my accounting examination, the one that's slowly turning my hair grey, is postponed to Saturday morning.

Bad news: my cousin's getting married on Friday evening. In Melaka!

Sorry la, Abang Nasrul. Looks like I won't make it to your wonderful wedding. I've just earned some extra study time, but at the expense of not going to your wedding, where our pakcik-pakcik and makcik-makcik and cousins will be gathering. It's almost a family reunion, something we've haven't had in ages. Believe me, Abang Nasrul, that on the inside, I look like the picture above. I also hope that during your moments of joy, you could at least spare a thought or a supplication for your single cousin who will be grinding his brains trying to solve mind-boggling accounting problems while the rest of his family partake in generous spread of wonderful food that your family have kindly provided for all that are present on that day. I wish all the best of things for you newlyweds and may Allah bless both of you.

Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Quarterlife crisis

This never occured to me before. We've probably heard of midlife crisis, but quaterlife crisis? Apparently it's the transition stage that twentysomethings go through from after graduation to life in the "real world."

Ah. So that's why I'm feeling a highly displaced quantum entity in a sea of solid unknowns for the last few months. Or like the fly that accidently fell into the ice cube tray and ended up being frozen in the freezer.

Quarterlife crisis, eh?

Sunday, 14 August 2005

Exam week

Finally, they've arrived. My 'D-days'. Please pray for me and may God repay your kindness. Thank you.

Thursday, 11 August 2005

SD Gundam subjected to amateur photo shoot session

A relative of mine has just bought a digital camera. I'm trying it out and this is (one of) my first subject(s). It's a 2-inch tall plastic figurine of an SD* Gundam given to me a few years ago by my good chum, Muhammad Nasiruddin, who's now studying in UTM. All the best with your studies and project, mate!

As you can tell immediately, I have much to learn about digital photography.

*super deformed, as in cutely re-proportioned, or its Japanese term chibi

Wednesday, 10 August 2005

Hazy preoccupation

Malaysia is currently experiencing a haze that was caused by the fire in Sumatera. And it's slowly turning us Malaysians into Brits.

The British are known for their constant concern with the weather, so much so that it has infected their neighbours the Scots and the Irish as well, although to a somewhat lesser degree. They would talk about everything that other people would talk about, but they would never forget to add the subject of weather to the conversation. And if they have nothing in particular to talk about, they would always turn to the weather talk.

With the haze hanging in the air, most of us have gone British. The weather has become our main preoccupation for the past few days . Most of us are wondering when will the haze be over or it is safe to go jogging/power walking again or could the haze be responsible for the unceasing sleepiness that I seem to be suffering from lately especially during the day?

We may not talk as frequently about the weather as the Brits because our weather normally alternates between hot and wet only. The weather in Britain changes according to the seasons and that can have huge effects on their daily activities.

As for me, I'm inclined to believe that the weather has something to do with my inability to write anything for the past few days. But it's easy to blame something than to blame yourself. I do see a lot of people who are at the their normal production level, despite having the haze shrouding the atmosphere. Perhaps their noses have a special haze-filtering mechanism that prevents them from slowing down in doing their work. I wonder if I have it or not.

Let's hope and pray that the haze will be over soon, insya-Allah. (Now why do I suddenly crave a plate of fish and chips and warm cup of tea? Crickey, the haze's gone to me head!)

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

Al-Fatihah: Ahmad Deedat

Most unexpected news for me, but most certainly He has His own plans and reasons. Ahmad Deedat passed away yesterday, 8th of August. Al-Fatihah.

Thank you, TasTE Of LiFe and Profar, for the info and SMS message.

Many thanks

Without these people's help, I wouldn't be able to finish updating my layout. The title banner is partly the result of their effort.

Tom Coates, who created and shared the font Coates.ttf, which he created with his colleagues using Fontifier. Judi Seiber a.k.a. akkia, of Union, Ohio, for sharing the picture of my favourite thing to find on the table in the morning. The banner title and the picture of a lovely cuppa (I can almost smell it) was edited using The GIMP and hosted at Flickr.

My heartiest thanks to all of you.

Saturday, 6 August 2005

Read the labels

[ Acme Label Maker ]

Friday, 5 August 2005

Colour play

This is ultra-cool, a digital designer dream come true.

Play with the slidebars and see what colours matches with which. Almost endless inspirations for updating blog templates, finding background and font colours for Powerpoint slides or designing websites.

[ colorblender ]

Thursday, 4 August 2005

Online Islamic resources


Some of my latest findings during my recent Web-crawling hours.

Quranic recitations in MP3 and Real Media
A collection of digital recordings of Quranic recitations listed by the surah. You can select from a long list of reciters and hear various style of recitations.
MP3 Quran Online

Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Considered as one of the foremost and widely accepted source of Quranic interpretation and written by Ibn Kathir, the content of the kitabs are now available online for your research purposes. Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Quran and Hadith search engine
It's a Quran and Hadith search engine!

Sorted under: ,

Tuesday, 2 August 2005

ClearType Tuning

Do your eyes a fayour. If you're using Windows XP and you want to improve the readability of your monitor screen, then try ClearType Tuning.

Part of PowerToys for Windows XP, this small utility program is actually intented for LCD displays but also works fine on normal CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitors. The ClearType technology enables fonts to look as sharp on LCD displays as they do on paper. And I have the screenshots to prove it, taken from Garret Dimon's site/blog.

Before ClearType tune-up

After ClearType tune-up

There is also a wizard (not Mr. Potter, though) that helps you pick the best setting for your display.

Notice how smoothen out the fonts are? The contrast level is amazing, though fonts can appear a tad blurry depending on the setting you chose. I took me a while to get used to how things look now but it's the closest thing to owning a RM800+ LCD flat panel display, I reckon.

Very highly recommended.

Monday, 1 August 2005

Pausing moment


The arrival of a new week often makes me wonder what is coming for me in the following days. It also means that another week in gone off the semester calender and the mid-terms are near and I should be spending more time going through my notes and materials.

I'm planning to write a long post on a rather controversial subject and it's still in the draft state. Hopefully it will be out this week. It may also strike a few nerves with some people and for that I must urge all to look beyond what is written and instead dive deep into the ramifications of our decisions and actions, regarding to the topic that I will be posting.

It that a "hah?" I hear? Well, please look forward to it in the next subsequent days, insya-Allah.
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