Fight World Hunger

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Motorola HF850

After a routine round at the gym yesterday, I instinctively headed towards the juice bar for a regular wheatgrass shot, only to find that there were none. Perhaps it was in due course that the popularity of its health benefits would soon take its toll on the scales of supply and demand, but I had already foresaw that from the beginning.

The shop beside it though, sold accessories. I'd read the papers in the morning that material things do not buy happiness, and wondered what all the fuss was since I had nothing left to buy anyway. At least for now, it was then that it struck me. For someone who has nothing to buy I sure do have a long 'get stuff' list. And lo and behold, as they might have used centuries ago, lay the Motorola HF850.

Not everyone knows what this device is, or what it is capable of. Few in the industry have even heard of its existence. But I began a personal search for it many days and moons ago. Sure you had to put up with strange stares and persistent sales people trying to sell you an entirely different product because they were programmed to do just that, sell you stuff. The thing about marketing and sales people are if they were good, that meant they can sell you anything, whether you need it or not. And if you couldn't find what you wanted, they'd sell you something else. Sometimes they don't even know what they're selling, but they wing it anyway.

The HF850 is actually a car handsfree kit. As opposed to the ear handsfree kit that seems to be quite popular these days. 'Em late adopters. I figured that realistically I only use a handsfree in the car, and talking with the supposed 'handsfree' function on the phone seems pretty strange. If your hands are supposed to be free then why are you holding the phone in the first place? A lot of laws imposed on us creates this whole new generation of features that simply doesn't make sense, but was created to abide by the law. How is talking while holding the phone going to cause any less accidents than if you held it to your brains?

On the box it says 'Professional installation required'. I opened the box to be presented with various components and wires of different colors in a dazzling array of electronical gadgetry. I love this kinda stuff, but at first glance it overwhelmed me. Reading through the manual and corresponding it to the car manual to check only strengthened my suspicion that yes, I can do it myself. But yet I was not confident. I wasn't a certified electrician. So I sought professional help.

The first stop was at the wiring technician that I know. He took a look at it, and said that it wasn't his thing. So I engaged in a rather deep conversation about Amperage, and fuses, and electrical wiring. We ran a couple of what-if scenarios, and I came out that little bit smarter. Apparently I could've done it myself, and wing it because the packaged wires came with individual fuses in case fools like me decide to hook it up to the wrong outlet.

Second stop was at the audio specialist, and the routine repeated itself. They questioned their abilities too, I think, but I had a fairly good idea what to do. The young lad who would undertake this task flipped through the manual, and lost himself halfway through. I said lost, not to be confused with immersed, for confused he was. So I broke it down to him, I need you to hook up these 3 wires to the ground, the ignition, and the constant fuse on the car. Only 3 wires, I said in the best cantonese I could muster. I knew he'd done this hundreds of times but after he started work on it only then did I realize he was wondering what on earth he was hooking up to my car. He did everything that I imagined I'd do. Its strange isn't it? To want to place blame on someone if they screwed it up, but the other way of looking at it was, I simply brought it to the store to assemble, and I knew what needed to be done. Whether they screwed it up, with or without my research before that, would have been irrelevant as someone would still be held liable, wouldn't it?

And so it was. Now my car has wires running all over the front, and I'm happy. Why? The technicalities are figured out, thats why. All I have to do now is to secure the various components, tie up some loose ends, conceal as much wiring as I can and I'm good to go. The controls for this kit is so small, so well designed that I want to just look at it. It seems to be the case with almost any new thing I buy. Does that mean happiness? Well, I am happy. So I guess money does buy happiness.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Destiny's little hands

The air swirled with a nasty addiction, with every swirl the echoes of abstinence. I sat there looking at the world I chose to leave behind and progress forward but at the same time curious of its current development. We never really leave. We merely relocate, but yet we are the same.

Its this similarity that drives us to make the same decisions each and every time albeit in different forms but essentially they are the similarly themed ones. Every time. Its like a bad dream that one can only dream about running away from but don't know how.

Method; derived from various sources, self-help books, know-it-all friends, or the occasional cynical one would offer suggestions on how you always should make the other choice. Its perhaps the only way they stay in business, by telling you why the other option is the better one. Sometimes it makes me sick reading about people's opinions on life. My life especially, or the lives of people around you. People seem to have such colorful descriptions on life! While mine is forever looped in a faded technicolor that seems to be making a comeback. Its so pretty to look at sometimes, I can stare at it forever, even though it may just be an imaginary technicolor loop.

My fingers shivered at the thought of tying up loose ends. Some things were better left in their vegetative state but what I am not one of them. Perhaps it was due to my naturally carnivorous personality that I wouldn't allow it to become so. The origin of meat, in any form whatsoever; diced, sliced, minced, sauteed, broiled, fried, comes from the a live source. The more backtracking you do, the more you become vegetarian. I have my vegetarian states at various points in my life. Its funny how weak I get, its not even really funny and you just want to bite into a cow. Maybe that would be a bad idea, I heard they smell pretty lurid.

250 minutes to go before it'll happen. When you think about your life in terms of time, it seems to become more significant. Every second wastes away in decadent thoughts as you wonder what your next minutes will be spent doing what where. When faced with a difficult crossroad no trigonometry professor will be able to solve, the wisest decision will come from a fool, who will tell you to 'get off the damn intersection' coz you're holding up traffic.

If a fool makes sense, then what of me? I ponder as I gracefully sidestep into the darkness. For what lies beyond may not make much sense to me now. What of fate? and what of destiny? If we altered our fate by taking chances, would it lead us closer to our destiny?

real Bat

Like many little boys, I'd always been fascinated with Batman. Perhaps it was the epitome of mystery and the fact that most little boys had at one point or another, wanted to be the world's greatest detective, and look cool doing so. But times change and eventually these little boys grow up to be men, and the question here is, how do you keep the idea and fascination of Batman alive, years later?

It is here that Batman Begins shines brightly. Set in realistic Chicago as Gotham city, it is a far cry from the cheap amusement park sets of the earlier Batman movies that we've loved at that time. The new Batman is dark, gritty, and most of all, real. There were doubts in my mind about how Christian Bale was to pull off the role of Batman, but he does it marvellously. I remembered at one point I thought Michael Keaton was the best Batman ever, and Val Kilmer was not nearly as good, but this is by far the best performance ever.

Its surprising for a long movie that I haven't encountered moments of boredom due to its lengthiness as the storyline flows rather nicely, and at least the relationship between Katie Holmes' and Bale's character is solid and believable. The fact that she figures out that Bruce Wayne is Batman is a plus point from the usual Hollywood horsing around that leaves me sick and frustrated. Point to note was Spiderman with his wimpy 'I love you but I can't tell you because I want to protect you' nonsense. Then again I have little tolerance for petty behaviors, the worst being Frodo's whiny, 'Oh I can't go on...its so difficult.' Makes me wanna smack him, and Spiderman.

And finally, without giving too much details away, the Batmobile looks like something I'd make. Ok, well, design. It's furious, its tough and it'll run over things and destroy everything in it's path. That's real good fun! Finally they make something that you'd say, 'Man, I wish I had one of that,' because every element in the movie was created with realism in mind, so everything from the Batsuit to the cool metal Bat shurikens to the Batmobile can actually be in production if you have the time, money or effort, that itself captures the enduring spirit of Batman.

I just wish I can see the technical drawings and specs of the Batmobile, I wonder how many horses it has under the hood, though.