Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dreaming a little dream...

Music: Mandalay - Not Seventeen

After reading an inspirational post this morning that was written sometime in the last few weeks I figured I'd share something that I keep seeing in my dreams.


You may ask how I can see reality in my dreams if they're in a dream. Have you ever had a deja vu experience? The moment something happens can you pin point the exact time and place when you experienced this before? I can.

For some reason, every once in a while I will dream something but I won't remember any of it when I wake up. There is only a momentary recollection of shapes and objects, just enough for me to question what I was dreaming of. After a few moments pass and my mind has had a chance to fully wake up, all of the tiny memories of the dream are erased.

I might be walking down the street when I have a momentary flash, think of it like Ted (of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure) standing in your head saying, "Whoa!".

Its at that point in which the dream comes flooding back to me, and I begin to put the pieces back together.

There was one time I was in my friends yard playing baseball, I threw the ball and my friend swung at the bat.

While he was swinging, I saw him hit the ball to the right and hit my other friend in the face.

Then he hit the ball, and to my astonishment, my other friend got it in the face.

Most of the time, there isn't as much detail when the even happens. There are times when I just get a sense of being there and watching it all happen as if I were someone else, which is nowhere near as exciting.

Its really hard to explain how it happens or what it feels like when it does happen. The only thing that I really know is that it doesn't happen as often as it used to. At one point I was experiencing it once or twice a month.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hong Kong

The adventure continues in the essential coolest city on the planet. Why do I call it the coolest city? Where else in the world can you see blocks of 40 storey skyskrapers lining the water front while lush green mountains are a minutes drive away?

We landed in Hong Kong around 2:30 and encountered the strangest turn of events ever. After standing in line for about 45 minutes to clear immigration and get our awesome NINETY day visitor visa we headed to customs.

For a comparison, no matter who you are when you enter Canada you proceed through immigration and customs to declare your goods and all of that other fun stuff. Same goes for Brunei, you can't enter the country with out going through a rigorous customs check.

When you enter Hong Kong, you have two options:

1. “Something to declare” - this is the area you enter if you have ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms) in your luggage that you want to tell them about.
2. “Nothing to declare” - this is the area you enter if you have nothing to tell them.

We didn't have anything in our luggage that they needed declaration so we went to the “Nothing to declare” option and rounded the corner and to our sudden surprise we found ourselves.... in Hong Kong.

That was it. Nothing to it. Made me feel like trying to smuggle something into the country without having to tell them about it.

Our next line standing adventure continued after we found our hotel transfer desk (which was B2 and not B3 like their own website mentioned.) we paid for our transfer $130 each [but thats in HK dollars = $17 Canadian]. They told us to go over to the sitting area and wait for the bus which was leaving in 25 minutes. We waited.

A fellow in a bright orange shirt came over and got 30 or 40 people and said “'Tention please. 'Tention please. Follow me.” and turned to walk through the mass of people packed into the arrivals terminal to take us to the bus.

Once we reached the other terminal he pointed us towards another set of benchs and said, “Wait here.” Over the next 20 minutes they proceeded to call people by their hotels to a number of buses, about 5 in total. We, naturally were on of the last hotels to be called.

Then the adventure really began. When we first landed in HK I had taken close to 50 pictures the entire trip. Since getting on the bus, I have taken close to 200 pictures, with the promise of even more tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Who could be so cruel?

Sad lonely eyes looking up at the world from the side of the road, wondering why no one will stop to say hello to me. Watching a million people walk by blissfully ignoring my presence in the world as if I were nothing.

Waiting for the perfect opportunity when someone would give me just a little, I've been hungry for days now. I'm beginning to see the world as a dark and cruel place, it wasn't that long ago when the world was my oyster, and I could have anything I desired.

What happened to those days? Did I do something wrong to deserve this? If I could say I'm sorry to the people that I loved I would, if I could say anything I'm sure someone would stop to help.

I put my head on the ground and wait. I wait for my turn. Someone will have the courage to help me.

Finally someone comes near to me, I lift my head up in hopes that they'll stop and pay some attention to me. That after countless hours sitting patiently in the sun I'll get what I need.

Again, I go unnoticed as the tall stranger zooms past and into the shop. The person does a double take as they enter the shop. Were they looking at me?

They turned around in the door and look out at the world from the safe confines of the shop. Is it time?

They wave. I look around and see another person on the other side of the road wave back.

Putting my head down again, I feel alone and rejected.

A small child comes towards me. They're always so friendly and caring. I begin to stand to greet them when a large person accompanying they yanks them out of the way.

Looking up at them I can only see an outline of a figure with a halo of light visible around their head as if they were blocking out the sun. Are they the person of my dreams who has come to rescue me from this life on the street? Are they an angel sent from heaven to take me away?

The person raises their hand to the sky in a gesture to bring it down on my head.

I cringe in fear, waiting for the inevitable moment when that blinding red pain will light up my world making it hard to concentrate, to see.

It doesn't come, instead I hear a shrill of laughter as the person can only pat himself on the back as he saw the fear in my eyes.

Why do people have to be so cruel? Would they find the same enjoyment if they were huddled in a corner on the sidewalk while so many people passed them by?


This story is inspired by the dog that I saw today while I was having breakfast at a little cafe here in Brunei.

Before we left the cafe one of the other shop keepers chased him away. I can't imagine someone being so cruel to an animal who's only looking for some food and love. I could never live here, I would have a house full of dogs all of which I see on my daily commute to work.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Worst Day Ever!?

Music: The Klaxons - Magick

Today has just been one of those terribly aweful days which just kept getting worse as it progressed.

For starters:

I discovered that most of the music on my computer wasn't playing, it would play fine in one type of player but not in the one that I use the most often. I went to my second most favourite player, still not quite. Some more would play but others were still messed.

We went to our usual spot for breakfast. I got the usual, noodles. It was terrible today, the sauce that they normally put on the noodles just wasn't cutting it. It was salty and thick.

Then we got to work. I've been working on a way of getting two servers to communicate nicely so that our end users won't have much to worry about. We're deploying this for an IT department and lets just say that my mother has more of an IT sense then they do. In a meeting they were worried about something, which is a fundamental part of IT. If they had some intelligence then they'd know the answer and wouldn't have anything to worry about.

I've spent all day tearing my hair out of my head trying to get these two servers figured out. And nothing. Not a fucking stitch.

After about 7 hours I decided to work on my MP3 problem as a bith of a change in pace. I randomly decided to re-install the software for my sound card. Voila! Done! Sweet.

After another hour of face on desk, I decided to start fresh, for the 13th time that day to make sure the settings were all correct. I copied information from one location to another and made a couple of setting changes like I've been doing all day long.

Then, out of nowhere, instead of typing out the URL I pasted it from one location to another when I found the problem.

ALL fricking day long I've had one server trying to connect to the wrong location. There are two lines in a file that I needed to modify, one was correct, the other not.

Everything on the web is case-sensitive, which means connecting to is different from

I realize that absolutely noone gives a shit about this, but I figured what the hey!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ugh... F*ck

Music: The throbbing of my own head.

Warning: This post contains explicit fucking language.

I haven't been this hung over in.... so fucking long... last night a few of the guys (and by "few" I mean: me, the other Canadian, and Stinky) came home from the mall and had a few beers.

As the night progressed we got more inebriated and began to carry on.

Around 9 in the evening, I casually mentioned that I could use some Pizza to go with the beer, Stinky ran to the living room and ordered us up a Pizza and garlic fingers from Pizza Hut.

He said he ordered the "largest pizza in Brunei" which turned out to be a 12" pizza. I think he's full of shit.

The garlic fingers turned out to be 3 pieces of garlic bread with a bit of cheese on them. A little disappointing.

When there were three pieces of pizza left Stinky had the bright idea of having a Tabasco-challenge where we'd put Tabasco on the pizza and then eat it. Needless to say, he didn't fair too well as he kept saying "more, more, more" when we were putting it on.

Then we started teaching him Caps.

For those of you who haven't played, here is a summary. You take you beer and put it in front of you, and put the cap on it, the other person then throws a cap and tries to knock it off. When they do, you take a drink.

Fairly simple, right? Well. Lets just say that Stinky didn't do too well with it.

In actuality, he got own'd!

He loved every minute of it though! At one point he started pushing his bottle closer and closer so that he could drink more and more. It was pretty funny.

At the end of the night, Stinky and I went bottle for bottle on our last ones of the evening. I drank twice from mine when his was empty, though I would occassionaly drink from mine anyways cause I was bored and thirsty.

Needless to say, everyone is hungover this morning. If I were back in Canada I'd still be in bed and I'd be taking a mother fucking sick day. Our host actually asked us if we wanted to take a sick day but neither of can as we have alot of work to do today to be ready for the end of our trip.

I won't be touching any more beer for a few days, thats for sure.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happiness, not guarenteed

Music: John5 - Sin

As of this particular moment in time, right this very second. I'm not happy.

There are a good many things that I'm not happy about, most of then I'm not going to share here as it would cause a great many people to hate me and think that I was an asshole.

Lets work on cheering me up. Tell me something happy, that will make me feel better.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Days off in Brunei

Music: Praxis - Inferno/Heatseeker/Exploded Heart

Today was my first official day off in Brunei, its Sunday. Want to know what we did?

Went to the office and worked. Yeah, we're losers. Though we only put in a grand total of about 3 hours before we went to lunch and then went shopping.

The shopping was pretty good. My colleague wanted to buy a new watch for himself and his girl, so we went to a girl we're working with-cousin's shop. It was pretty cool. He gave us 20% off everything in the store.

I bought a fountain pen for $160 Brunei dollars. I had a really hard time justifying spending that much on myself, but I managed to convince myself that its worth it.

I also looked for a set of ear-rings for my wife but didn't see anything in the store that I liked.

[Note: That should read, I didn't see anything for under $1,000 Brunei Dollars.]


Did you ever have one of those friends whom you really want to help, but don't know where you should step in? Ok, its not "my" friend, she's my wife's friend - but I view her friends as my friends.

She's going through a difficult time at the moment, and by difficult time, I actually mean dating an asshole.

Lets start from the first time that I met him. It was about 3 or 4 weeks after I met her and he showed up to her party after he got off work and he was loaded. Fine, so was everyone else. He'd make stupid comments about sex and didn't really pay much attention to her or be nice to her at all.

After most of the people at the party had left we crammed 6 people into our hatch back and went to Subway so they could have a drunken snack. While we were ordering a couple of police officers came in and he started to chat them up.

Normally, this wouldn't be a problem but he began asking them if they'd ever been tased and that they should because they shoot people with tazers. He began ranting at them, his girl looked at him and told him to shut up but he wouldn't. After getting his order he then went to his seat and continued to bash them and call them "douche-bags" all the while his girlfriend was in tears. I should have popped him one, but then I might have gotten arrested.

Anyways, that was my first impression.

My subsequent impresssions were not any better.

She sends me a message on Facebook last night (yesterday morning for everyone else) asking where my wife is because she really needs her since she was breaking up with him. I was near giddy with excitement.

The last we heard she was going to go talk to him .... and then there was silence. Its been 14 hours since our last contact with her. I'm beginning to get worried.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Landlord from Hell

Music: Skinny Puppy - La Human8

So, I've been here in Asia for a few days now. I've been away from home for 6 days and within those 6 days my old landlord has become a complete Asshole!

Lets start from the beginning:

Our last apartment, was in a house downtown. It was a great little spot, cute and cozy. With neighbours from hell. They smoked pot all the time, which doesn't bother me except when the house was old and drafty and we ended up getting more pot then they did. They also had no control of the volume of their stereo, they though that turning the bass booster off would mean that there would be no music, only words.

So, we moved to another house a little further from downtown but closer to my work. The landlord was very approachable and very nice. We signed the lease on the spot basically, and moved in shortly thereafter.

We had an arrangement with JW which would allow us to use our damage deposit as our last months rent since he wasn't going to give it to the Rentalsman [Essentially, the peace keeper between tenants and landlords.].

We'll move ahead a 6 months.

I had just gotten back from Brunei, when I saw JW in the driveway. He hardly said two words to me and didn't look very happy. The next day his wife started acting weird towards me as well. Did I do something to offend them while I was gone? Were they getting a divorce?

We tell him that we're leaving when our lease was up. We essentially gave him 4 months notice, but told him it would be more beneficial to rent the place for the first of September instead of the first of October to get more lookers.

Within 2 days of the place going on the market he had it rented. Which was awesome, he then came to us and asked up if we'd be able to be out for the middle of August because thats when the new tenants wanted to move in, we told him we'd be out the for the first of August to make the transition easier.

It was agreed.

Then he decides on a whim to try and change our agreement about lasts months rent without discussing it with us. Why? Because he's turned coat and become an asshole. He mentioned it to me on the phone while he was out of town and I protested, alot. He told me he'd call me back on Monday and we could talk about it more. He never did. So I assumed he was going to stick to our original agreement.

We found a place in the next town over that we were going to take and slowly move things over the month of July and then officially move when I got back from Brunei.

We called him just before the beginning of July to tell him of our intention to get our Puppy. (Did I say anything about the awesomeness of Fergus yet?) He went ballistic on us, so we said that we'd give him to my wife's mom for a few weeks until we moved out.

In the back of our minds we decided to find a new-new place, not in the other town, where we could move sooner instead of having to wait for such a long time.

JW went on vacation and we moved while he was on vacation. Was it intentional? No. We just needed to move before I came to Brunei, so thats what we did. Nothing personal. (He obviously took offense.)

He came back, and we were pretty well gone, just a few loads of odds and ends (microwave, toaster, etc) that needed to go in the car. We brought the puppy with us one morning just to get him used to being in the car. JW sees him and has a conniption, I swear he had an aneurysm.

He yelled at us about having the dog in the house; What if the people are allergic, he says. Our dog's hypo-allergenic, we comment. He yelled about the cats; we "lied" to him about them when we first moved in. And that he has a problem with a dog in the house period, not just visiting.

He then tells us that he's going to cash our check for rent for the month, we didn't say anything because if he was going to be an ass then he deserved the NSF charge. (We weren't worried because we closed the account altogether 3 weeks prior.)

The apartment was mostly emptied when I came to Brunei, which made me happy since the only dealings we had left was to clean it and then give back the keys.

My wife gets a telephone call on my 2nd day in Brunei from him and his wife threatening us with lawsuits because our check bounced and the apartment wasn't cleaned, they wanted their keys back, and were going to call back every day until it was rectified. Thats right they entered our apartment without our consent, and told us they were going to harass us. How nice of them.

We ended up calling the Rentalsman about the situation, and told him everything that was happening. This is a summary of what the rentalsman said:

Since your landlord broke the law and didn't give the damage deposit to me; there is nothing stopping us from using our Damage Deposit as our last months rent. And that we have done nothing wrong. He emphasised that fact and told us to change our telephone number if he calls us again.

After this, my wife gets another telephone call from him and he starts yelling at her again about the same things, all the while his own wife is in the background saying things like: "You give it to her.", "You tell that bitch how it is."

In the middle of all this my wife breaks out the news that he broke the law and we'll give him the keys "when we're f*cking ready".

I smiled when she told me this as it had literally made my day.

We haven't heard from him in a couple of days. Maybe he's gotten the fact that he fucked up.

Hello, from South Central Asia

So, I'm back in Asia again. I'm not really happy about being here this time either. Wait... let me rephrase that.

I'm not happy with the way in which things were dealt with for my trip here. Things have happened over the past few weeks which have been underhanded and not very kind. I've commented on it before, and nothing more needs to be said.

My last trip here I was jetlagged for a few days before my body adjusted to the time and I was perfectly normal again.

This time is a little different, its day 4 and I've already been up at 5am everyday since I've been here. Not very good, if you ask me.

Everything is like I remember it. Nothing much has changed. They boys still like to drink, though the whisky seems to be lasting alot longer than when I was here before.

Since I'm here with someone different, I think, just think that I might be able to some touristy things so that I could get some pictures. We went and had supper last night by the water front and you could just see the "Water Taxis" zooming by taking people from the city to the water village.

[And by "Water Taxis" I mean Speed Boats.]

The only other thing that I have to say right now is that its frickin' warm, and I'm bored.

Thats right, I don't have near as much to do as the last time that I was here so things have been going rather slowly for me around the office. Though, I'm not complaining, I like being able to take my time while doing some tasks. Its refreshing and a change of the ordinary.

One funny story from this trip. I was drinking beers with the guys in the back yard when a girl arrived who knew a bunch of them. She started talking and I near pissed myself. This petite Asian lady spoke near perfect English.... with... get this.... a thick British accent! It was awesome, and made my night.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Finally, something written.

I'm sorry I've been sucking at this lately, it really wasn't my intention at all to let this fly by the wayside.

Whats been going on lately?

1. We got a puppy. I've never had a dog before, he's just as much work as a kid actually. He's very cute, I'll put picture up soon.

2. Work has been very hectic, I was training last week and next week I'm going to fucking Brunei again, ask me if I'm happy. Go ahead... ask. Stupid fucking work.

3. I'm moving. Yet again we find ourselves moving, and this time to a building we've already lived in, funny how that works actually.