Friday, March 30, 2007


I’ve just upgraded my phone. Unlike last time when I was actually excited to get a new phone, namely the Nokia N70, this time I wasn’t actually thinking about it at all. Suddenly it’s like: what, it’s time for an upgrade already?

For those of you who don’t know, in the UK, after your initial 12-month contract with a phone company expires, you can upgrade your phone, meaning renew the 12-month contract and receive a new phone free or with a small charge depending on your tariff. Since this time I have no idea of what I want to get, I just went with the default setting: the newest Nokia, namely the N73. However, upon entering the store, the range of O2 blackberries caught my eye and I suddenly thought, why not have something different this time?

So this is what I got:

Pretty neat, huh? And yes, to somebody I know who sometimes read the blog: yup, it’s the same as your model. Don’t be mad at me, tee hee. Now, since this little monster has a few nifty stuffs in it, it might take me a while to get used to it. But I’m happy!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Auction Sniped 2

…except this time, I was the one doing the sniping.

Okay, so I went and checked eBay once more and what do you know, the first ten books in one of my favourite series! I’m so not letting it get away this time so I waited until there were ten seconds left and I put in my bid. The auction ended… and I checked the highest bidder… it was me… with somebody else! Apparently, the original early bidder took some precautions (which I should have done during my first time) and made a high maximum bid. Of course, nobody can see the maximum bid and when I put in my bid, his bid automatically increased to match mine and since he made the bid first, he got the books.

Oooh, lucky devil.

Oh well, no luck the second time around. Fortunately for me, there are three more auction lots which are similar to this one so I have at least three more chances to get the books. If you’re wondering, I’m being vague on purpose just in case one of you blog readers decides to be cheeky and compete with me on the lots, not that it takes much effort to find out what the thing is. Anyway, I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress, or lack thereof.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Auction sniped

Firstly, I just want to shout: I DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR MY FLIGHT TICKET. YAY!!

Yup, have to go to a re-orientation camp organised by my sponsor this summer, so they have to pay for my flight ticket, which is good because I intend to go back whether or not there is a camp. And considering the increase in airline tax nowadays, the price can be really annoying. Six hundred pounds! Goodness. My term always finishes at the end of June so I can’t go back during the cheaper ticket season.

Anyway, I was coming to the realization that I have not been doing much reading lately, so I decided to do something about it. Which is how I ended up in eBay. Now, I’ve never used eBay before, having always been buying books from Amazon. However, a friend once told me how he got this set of books for a really cheap price and I decided to give it a look. And indeed it is. Though most of the stuffs there are used, some of them are still in mint condition and there are a few gems which are priced at about one pound! I was like, wow! The delivery rates are mostly okay as well, unlike Amazon marketplace which has a fixed rate of £2.75 per book. Honestly, the delivery costs more than the book itself.

So I decided to give it a try, and ended up bidding on a Garth Nix book which I found once while browsing in Kinokuniya but didn’t buy. One pound with the delivery rate of £1.50. Not bad. Little did I know that I will have a lesson on ‘loads of theory cannot compare to a bit of experience’. Now, I know all about auction sniping and I was thinking maybe I should increase my maximum bid a bit more so as not to be outbidded. However, being the na├»ve and inexperienced person that I was, I decided that it was unnecessary since there are only five minutes left for the auction. I can always place a second bid again if I’m outbidded.

So I waited. Five minutes… four…three… two…one…thirty seconds… and during that thirty seconds I refreshed the page only to find that somebody has placed another bid. What the…?! Cheeky bastard! I quickly typed in another bid but it was too late and the auction was closed. Drat! Drat! Drat!

And that’s my first eBay bidding experience. That really drives the lesson home, huh? I was so angry that I bought the whole series from Amazon straightaway. Retail therapy, gotta love it.

So anyway, now I’m keeping an eye on another lot, the first eight books of one of my favourite series, with a starting bid of just one pound. Hope I won’t make the same mistake again coz I really want this one. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Easter Break This Way comes

Right, first off, I think I should apologise, because I did mention that I was going to snap some pictures during the open day and post them. Well, I didn’t. I did brought my camera to the event but somehow or rather, maybe because of the scheduling, I didn’t get to leave my post long enough to wander around. I didn’t even get to attend the infamous chemistry lecture that was part of the event. That was one program of the day that people have to book in advance in order to attend. I got the impression that my experiment’s lead demonstrator will not be too happy if I left for one hour to see the lecture. Oh well…

To recap, it was a busy day. I was demonstrating an experiment about autocatalytic reaction, but we gave it a fancy name of “The Oscillating Reaction”. Basically, we mixed some solutions in a beaker and it changes colour from clear to yellow to blue and back to clear every five seconds, hence the oscillation. The kids were like “Wow” and “Mommy, mommy, look!” Okay, not all, but lots of them reacted that way, especially the little ones. It was a cool experiment, I suppose, but the novelty wears out after a while, and after six hours of watching a solution change colour, I was about ready to tell them to go home already so that we can clear up.

A funny thing about the demonstration is that I don’t really take chemistry as a subject, so my knowledge of inorganic chemistry is rather nonexistent, and the lead demonstrator only explained the experiment to me once in a very simplified version. Hence, I was pretty sure I’ve been talking crap the whole day when I explain it to people, since I myself don’t understand it properly. Guess it’s a good thing nobody actually comes up to me and ask for the specific details.

Anyway, that’s enough about chemistry for a month or so. Yep, it’s the Easter holidays, for five weeks until the 24th. If you have an Easter break as well, then have a good holiday. If not, then too bad. Ha ha ha!


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Waiting For Sunday


A bit occupied at the moment. My lectures ended last Tuesday but I still have a lab report to hand in tomorrow (Friday). Now, I usually don’t have any trouble writing a lab report but this one kinda went awry. I remember saying to somebody that no matter how bad your results are, if you can explain why it behaves that way then the report will be fine. The problem with this one is that it does the exact opposite of what the theory predicted it to do and I can’t offer any explanations at all. Grrr…

So yeah, I’m waiting for Sunday when it’ll really be a holiday.

But what about Saturday? Aha, the Good Samaritan in me has decided to poke its head out and volunteer for the Chemistry Open Day in conjunction with the science festival. I did it last year and it was really enjoyable. There were kids running around rampant in lab coats and goggles carrying green bubbling chemicals in beakers. Okay, not really. But still, it was nice. I’ll be sure to bring my camera and snap a few pictures.

Yaz, the chemistry volunteer.

Monday, March 12, 2007

In Today's Paper

Wanna have a laugh? This made my day.


Thursday, March 08, 2007


Last year, there were about six hundred people in my natural science course. I'm pretty sure one or two of them are Malaysians but our paths don't intertwine, so I don't know who they are, if any. This year, though, we have only about fifty people in the chemical engineering department, in which four, including me, are Malaysians. Hence, I sometimes get the chance of hearing the Malaysian English accent being used.

So, what brings this about? I was just discussing the Malaysian accent with a friend this morning, but when I tried to demonstrate it I failed. It made me very frustrated. The thing is I realised a long time ago that I don't have a Manglish accent, and never will, no matter how I tried. Sometimes when I speak with the Malaysians they tend to slip into using the accent while I continue using normal English. Yeah, that felt awkward.

A funny thing is that I probably have a better Northern Ireland accent than a Malaysian accent. That comes with living with a Northern Ireland girl for two years. And having an Irish lecturer helps too.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

In The Water

During winter the punts of Trinity College are not in use, so they are kept on land. However, I noticed recently that some of the punts are back in the water. This can only mean one thing...

... the punting station is back in operation!

Yay! Now I just need to round a few people up, prepare the strawberries and cream (without the champagne) and start punting. Any volunteers?


Friday, March 02, 2007

Minister Visit

The Experience Islam Week is coming to an end. Just now we had a Friday prayer that was open so other people can see what’s going on and hear the khutbah.

Apparently, tomorrow (Saturday) in Cambridge there will be a visit by the Malaysian Deputy Minister of Higher Education. Seems like he’s interested in holding a dialogue session to collect views about Malaysian students abroad, especially (quoting the e-mail that I received) at the centre of excellence. Tempting as that may be, it will be for two hours, and it clashes with my practice, so I might not turn up*, hee hee.

* Yeah, you can see how well organised my priorities are. Kids, don’t be like me**.

** So much for the centre of excellence.

Oh well, I’ll make it up by studying harder. Promise.