Is (physical) pain a necessary precursor to effective healing? Does your body/brain need the pain signal to speed up healing process, like an "urgent" signal? For instance, if your leg is cut, but you never feel the discomfort, would your body not rush to heal it as much as if there was a searing pain going through your leg? So if there's no pain, would your body not know it is supposed to fix something? Would there be, as they say, no gain without the pain?

If so, then does that mean all those pain relievers are actually slowing down the healing process? And the relievers then become a semi-tradeoff between comfort and progress.

It's been scorching these past days, and no doubt you've heard about those forest fires spreading across southern California. This past weekend, it hit the 90's again, and San Francisco broke its temperature record this late in the year. So what happened to autumn??

I'm actually looking forward to cooler weather. I enjoy being in t-shirts and jeans or shorts and all, but I miss those times when I had to bundle up a little bit. After all, I want the "Winter Wonderland" type of feeling that is supposed to come with Christmas! WHERE ARE YOU??

Imagine a situation that gets progressively worse as you describe it, like this.

I hate it when I have to pee really bad, and am forced to hold it. While drunk. And wearing button fly pants. Lining up at the public bathroom. And one urinal is flooded. While a precious stall is taken by a drunk guy puking. And another is rendered useless because his puke is oozing under it. Leaving one urinal for you. And the 8 people in front of you. After which, the two sinks are plugged and overflowing, and there are no papertowels left.

Now you write one.

I posted my first eBay auctions today, to sell two coupons for discounted Universal Studios admission. It's kind of exciting, since I'd never done that before.

Oh wait, yeah, I did -- I sold a Sony Minidisc player battery about three years ago! Never mind, then.

I used to track my expenses with anal-retentive prowess. Including cash withdrawals and payments, down to the penny. Of course, sometimes I would be off by ten dollars here or there, but for the most part I had accounted for all of my spending to see where I could cut it down.

Now there are five months during which $800 in cash has been spent without a trace. Not saying that I spent it all on heR (because I didn't), but I wouldn't mind knowing where it went: food, leisure, trips, whims, drinks, whatever. (I figure each night I go clubbing runs me $30 in drinks. It adds up.)

Yesterday, I got myself another paper pad -- I had run out before -- so I can continue this record of my spending habits. In the future, I will probably use my debit (bank) card more often, since those are automatically tracked when I download them to my PFM app.

Sudden Realization

Whoa, I think I still love her.

Just this past weekend, VWvortex updated their site design, which is all about VWAG stuff. I took a look at the galleries they had, and I remembered seeing this squatty little low-profile hamster (the Seat Salsa) and its hopped-up gerbil cousin (Seat Emocion). I actually really like the Salsa, but the Emocion needs some help. A little more toned down in harsh slants and angles is the Volkswagen Concept R.


She was the girl we dreamt of. She was Asian, 5'4", played volleyball, and did all the things that healthy UW college students did. This girl had a promising career in the making: studying finance, job in marketing, and stellar in both. She could swap jokes and insults with the guys, but could also be shy, demure, and innocent at the right times.

You didn't need to see a picture of her to know that this girl was most definitely cute; in fact, she was intentionally faceless. She had an active, flirty personality; how could she not, with a name like whipcream? And she always seemed to be online in the chatrooms at

Most of all, she was fabulously single and very eligible.

A lot of the guys were drawn to her, while the girls became green with envy and rather catty against the unwanted competition for online males' attention. And she had the widest breadth of knowledge that you had ever known from a person: she could draw on facts from topics she had no experience with. Because she wasn't just one person, she was four or five collective consciousnesses.

Whipcream was the fabrication of our minds, a pseudo-identity we created to kill time between classes, an elaborate experiment in human behaviour. She was often the projection of one driver (key typist), one front-seater (backup), and possibly an amused audience behind that PC. When necessary, the backup would be able to research other topics -- for instance, the name of a particular building at UW that she is supposed to have classes in -- in order to continue the facade.

(Yeah, we had too much free time.)

Hey, how did curiosity kill the cat?

I figure it probably was curious and wanted to see what would happen if it pushed a lit Zippo closer to the stick of dynamite fuse. And at first, it was mesmerized by a bright fizzly light and sound ...

In the past three months, a huge wave of responsibility clouded over me. This wasn't pressured by anyone or anything external ... it's just me by myself realizing that I'm way behind. I know it's not a "race", but if it isn't, then why do I feel so "behind"?

I feel like I need to start taking my future, my life, and myself more seriously. I need to be considering the future of my wife-to-be and kids-to-be when those come into play. (You may have seen remnants of this attitude in my discussions about what car to buy.) At some point, I'm going to have to be a provider of things -- food, shelter, clothing, guidance. I can't be conducting myself in the self-centered, irresponsible lifestyle I've had so far; doing things (or not) just because I "feel like it" (or don't).

The really messed up part is that if someone brought this issue up to me about themselves, I would simply tell them not to worry about it, that things will fall in place and they're still young (no matter the age). But I don't believe it myself, and I worry about it. I worry that I'm almost 30 (clearly 5+ years behind my original Grand Master Plan). I worry that I can't even make mortgage payments, let alone a down payment. I worry that my next purchase is a vehicle -- a necessity -- which will inhibit that real estate purchase even further.

Somehow, though I seem busy all the time, I'm just not "getting anywhere". Which is why I must be "behind".

No more dreading that conversation! No more uncomfortable confrontations! No more expensive lawyer fees and paperwork! Now you can just do it like this (first paragraph)!

Sudsy Residue

So now there are all these antibacterial liquid soaps with scents and everything. (I personally have a favourite -- Target brand melon scented antibacterial liquid hand soap -- but that's irrelevant.) The thing is, soap is there to wash the crap off your hands, but when you're done, you're not just left with your own clean hands; you have your own clean hands and the (albeit pleasant) scent of fruits or teas or berries or something.

Does that mean the soap has left something on your hands? So aren't you just swapping crap for something else (soap additives)? Sure, with moisturizing soaps, that makes sense (and I assume the moisturizers know to stay, while the soap part knows to bugger off with the dirt.) How do they do that, to design soap that goes away, but leaves pure clean scent without residue??

Dear Harvey Newman. Hello, how are you? I am fine. I would like to ask you for a favour so that my webserver and FTP server will be faster, and so that I can download movies and music quicker. Thank you.

On Saturday, we went to Paramount's Great America with M's nephew (C, age 9), niece (E, 14), and niece's friend. (We did not pay the regular-priced $45 admission, whew.) The most shocking observation of the day was how mean E was to her little brother C.

One example: just before the park was closing, we all went to browse the gift shop. C wanted a hat, and E rushed him so much that she didn't even let him find his size. And he was powerless in that situation, so he just bought it. I saw him wearing it as we left, and pointed out how large it was for him. (M and C headed back into the shop to exchange it, but it turned out to be a one-size-fits-none.)

It was just really disturbing to see that obvious an abuse of pecking order, though I guess all kids tend to be mean towards their younger siblings. M told me later that she was even meaner to one of her nephews (2-year age difference).

Anyway, I hope I wasn't that mean to mine. So to my brother and sister, if I was, sorry.

You know, canker sores suck big time.

And "canker sore treatment" doesn't do anything to heal it -- it's just some light benzocaine (10% to 20%) to numb out the pain while providing a "patented protective layer" so you don't irritate it further. The rest is inactive ingredients like filler, menthol and other stuff. And it's really hard to administer properly, no matter what the packaging says! And you get third of an ounce for $6 USD -- that's almost as expensive ancient Chinese herbs!

So what heals canker sores, then? It's starting to interfere with my enjoyment of eating!

I think in California, the best time to go top-down in a convertible isn't the summer: it's autumn and spring (and sometimes winter). The summer sun bears down too hard and hot around here, making it very uncomfortable to drive with the top down (ie. without effective use of A/C); the climate in the other seasons is tempered, and the topless experience becomes more enjoyable.

Festooned with balloons, tables covered in coloured cloths, chalk lines being drawn in the fields ... it's Sports Day today at the elementary school I pass on the way to work!

I remembered that I was never really into sports, and so sports day was really just a day where we didn't have to learn stuff, and I did whatever the older volunteer kids told me to do. "Put the egg in the spoon, hold the spoon like that, and run down there around the pole and come back without dropping it!"

For the shaving contest, I was always the "face kid" -- the one with the shaving cream on his face while team members took turns running and swiping it off with the spoon. After all, I have a competitively advantageous small face, which means less to have to shave!

What I wouldn't give to not have to come into work one day, and spend the whole day outside doing sports and shaving. [sigh]

Today is the first day in a long time that I've gotten to work before 10am. It's quite the rush to be here this "early", but it sure makes the day feel longer.

I can barely count the times I've ghetto pee'd since moving down here, mostly related to clubbing (which is when I'm actually up in the city).

- in an alley off Market Street (SF)
- by a white house (So SF)
- by a residential construction site (Redwood City)
- off the dock around Pier 51 (SF)
- behind the Best Buy by Folsom and 12th (SF)
- in the garbage depot around my apartment (couldn't make it home)
- just outside a lovely residential complex (SF)

It also doesn't help that I need to pee every 30-60 minutes because of how much water I drink, and the drive to SF is roughly 45 minutes long. D'oh!

Fast Company has its own blog! I guess blogs are showing themselves a useful format for commercial publications as well, as shown by FC Now. Interesting.

Chinese Takeout Day

You know that stereotypical image. The tacky Chinese restaurants with that wedgy brushstroke-y font. The silly name: China Palace, Panda Buffet, Oriental Feast, Wong's Eats. The food that is all sweet and sour, deep fried, and served with that funky red sauce, finished off with the oh-so-NOT-Chinese fortune cookie. Ching chang chong.

Just recently, I read about a local artist, Indigo Som, in the SF Chronicle. She went on a interstate trek to find these elusive Chinese icons. I think it's fantastically interesting! Eventually, all this data -- menus, photos, stories, impressions, experiences -- will be compiled into a great work. For instance -- got this from Indigo's blog -- did you know that February 21st is Chinese Takeout Day?

Do you disinfect your towels? You wipe yourself (all those "parts" of you) and then you let the towel sit there to slowly air dry. Over time, it must get nasty -- same with facecloths and hand towels. So how do you clean the towels of any bacteria? Is throwing them in the washer (bacteria and germs love warmth and moisture) and dryer enough, really?

My mom used to boil the facecloths and hand towels in a pot on the stove for a long time, to make sure all the nasties were killed. I figure that's great for those small items, but what do you do with a large bath towel (many of which are even "oversized")??

I just noticed a new velcro design on the latch for my Lion King DVD sleeve!

Normally, Velcro has one side with little fuzzy loops ("velour") and one side with little hooks ("crochet"). And that's the kind I've always seen (more or less).

But I noticed that both sides of this fastener had little mushroom-shaped plastic nubs! So when they were pushed together, they "clicked" into each other! What a great idea!

The only drawback is that they only have a single "level" of attachment (you can make normal velcro stick hard or light, depending on how hard you push the two sides together), and that level has limited strength (probably just enough to hold the sleeve flap on securely). Still, it's a good idea. I wonder if it infringes on the Velco patent, or maybe 3M makes it as well.

Cheap Thrills

Ah, the little pleasures I derive in life! Just yesterday, these things made me happy.

- Halloween trick-or-treat bucket ($0.79). It's a cheap, orange jack-o-lantern, which I plan to put a tea light inside of to give our apartment a slight seasonal feel.

- Organic, fat-free marinara sauce with mushrooms ($1.79). I'm just looking forward to making some pasta soon when I can chew again).

- Lion King, Platinum Edition DVD ($15.99). I love Disney! Though it kind of reminds me of where my Beauty and the Beast Special Edition DVD is. :-(

- Windows down, sunroof open, cruising in the sun. In the middle of October, that means something!

- Shopping at Ranch99. Whenever I'm in there, I see all the foods and brands that my mom cooks with and uses ... it's almost like having my family around again, like being home.

- Playing with babies that are not mine (key point). They're so much fun and so cute, and when I'm done playing with them, it's back to their mommy's problem, hahaha ...

I have made some progress (I think). I have installed Apache 1.3.28, ActivePerl 5.8.0, mod_perl 1.0, and MySQL 4.0.1. But I don't know -- in fact, I highly doubt -- that it's properly configured. ( seems to work, which implies Apache is working.)

Of course, my terribly rusty understanding of Perl (which was limited to programming as it was) and complete lack of SQL knowledge is not making this any easier.

You know, "splendid" doesn't get used enough anymore. It's such a nice word: it's splendid! I know there are a lot of words that have fallen out of normal English use, but should be re-inserted ... suggestions?

A few disjointed thoughts from today's dentist appointment.

1. My dentist put my two upper wisdom teeth (freshly extracted today) in a little envelope for me to take home. Why would anyone want to take them home? As a souvenir? I took them anyway. Who knows, might come in handy one day.

2. Dentists should take extra care in their facial hygiene, paying particular attention to nasal hair growth. After all, their best clients spend considerable time with that view.

3. When you can't chew, there are very few things you can eat. And most of them are very high in carbs.

4. They have a 360-degree x-ray machine with an x-ray gun (and sensor with film opposite it) rotating around your head. How does it get a good picture of your teeth without it being blocked by the obstruction of the spinal cord and/or skulls in the way?

5. A dentist appointment like this on a Friday entitles me to the rest of the day off. I'll go enjoy it now.

Last night, I reinstalled Apache and Perl, and did a loopback test in MSIE -- it came up with the Apache "yay it worked" page! Except ... I don't know where it's coming from. I set it up (or thought I did) so that "domainname/index.html" reads from "F:/_httphome/www/index.html", but I already modified that file to look a little different, and the one that came up was the original!

I even did a search on my PC, but couldn't locate the original file being read! D'oh! Anyway, my DNS hasn't updated yet (typically takes 1-3 days, they say), so I can't test by using domainname yet.

Oh well, more tinkering this weekend.

(Warning: for the next little while, many of my posts will be detailing the move from Blogger towards a webserver and Movable Type.)

I found this great site, which details specific steps on how to set up your own webserver. Most of the examples are with particular businesses (, for example), but the instructions are still very very useful.

So far, I have signed up for a free trial through ZoneEdit (for DNS services) and switched my DNS servers over from DotEasy to ZoneEdit. I'm a little concerned that switching the web hosting over to be handled by ZoneEdit will also mess up the POPmail/webmail that I'm enjoying with DotEasy -- that is non-negotiable because my NPG colleagues depend on that service.

I also found another distribution of Perl from ActiveState, which seems to be geared towards a Windows UI. But the Win32 perl I have right now says its source code is from ActiveState anyway, so I think I'll stay the course.

Consider two people, A and B, living in two different cities, where A is north of B. They're talking, and B invites A over to his place.

"If you get a chance, you should come up here sometime!"

But B is south of A! Should he not have asked A to "come down here" instead? In my reference basis, north consititutes "up" and south is "down" ... like you're holding a map (right-side up). And yet, I so often here people use "come up here", where "up" refers to their own location or city. Perhaps it's a subconscious instinct for people to assume that wherever they are is up or higher than wherever else.


Here's how my network setup is right now. My domain is registered and hosted at and I have POP mail and webmail handled there. Other people use those emails, so I don't want them on my PC, but now I do want all the HTTP stuff on my home PC.

I have Dynamic DNS at pointing "" to my router (which updates my DDNS if my IP ever changes). So I told doteasy to point my domain traffic to "", which was the quickest and dirtiest way I could think of for now. My router/firewall routes non-standard ftpport to my PC for FTP purposes. Port 80 (standard http) is supposed to be routed to my PC too, but seems to get ignored instead.

So how do I get this setup to be nice and clean (and working)??

Not having fun. (But it was cool to be going through a .conf file and making manual adjustments again ... sure missed that from back in the Unix days!)

This is just tiring.

I just spent the past 35 minutes cutting and pasting past comments into XLS to start preserving them, in prep for MySQL database. And I'm only at mid-May. Wish there was a better (and more accurate) way, ugh.

So I tried installing Apache 2.0 and then Win32Perl, and got myself all confused, because I ended up with two copies of Apache in there! The Win32Perl bin executable seems to have both Perl 5.6.1 and Apache 1.3.27 in it already, which I got from here!

"Installation" is merely an unpacking of the libraries and files it comes with; I didn't see any interaction with the registry (but I could have missed it). I'm going to uninstall it all again tonight, and then try it all over again. My planned approach is to:

1. install Win32 bin package (Perl 5.6.1, Apache 1.3.27)
2. configure Apache
3. configure Perl
4. fail at each step above, get frustrated
5. skim the manuals / readme files
6. call Mike for assistance
7. quit for the evening and watch Futurama

Looks like I have my work cut out for me! Any pointers before I start tugging my hair (what little I have left) out?

Congratulations to Arnold as governor elect.

Can't say I didn't expect it, but I am somewhat surprised still to see it happen. But most of all, I am disappointed that the people of California would be swayed enough by his public image to have this happen. That said, wasn't this already predicted as a stepping stone to his presidential victory in "Demolition Man"?

I'm so smart -- I do my grocery shopping during work hours now. Shopping is quick, now that Albertson's has a self-checkout thing (which lots of people are reluctant to use, so no line-ups). I just go in the afternoon, and count that absence as breaktime.

I can buy frozen foods and bring them back to leave in the freezer (for eating at work). Refridgerated foods are kept in the fridge until I go home; if I'm off to the gym, I pack my cooler with some ice packs to store the food until I get home.

And yes, I could do my grocery shopping on my own time, but that requires a trip in my time. Plus, the two main stores I go to -- Albertson's and Ranch 99 -- are 5 minutes from work! No Safeway near near here, though, too bad.

Haha, I got back about 10 minutes ago, and my CEO was watching me walk in with my bags; he seemed rather interested in what was in there, but didn't ask. What, is he going to fire me? Hahaha ...

So far, my adventures in webserving have been smooth -- just looking for the resources and proper versions of software to download. Please let me know if I'm on the wrong track with any of these!

Apache 2.0.



Movable Type.
Movable Type Plugin Directory.
RSSfeed Plugin.

GirlieMatters' Tips.

I'm planning to take this weekend to set this all up.

Yeesh, so much for that healthy Mexican fast-foods, eh? Not that reading this article will stop me from eating at Chipotle -- I love that place -- but I cut out the cheese and sour cream anyway.

Oh, and carnitas (pork) is the oilest one of the meat choices because however it is they cook it. Chicken is likely your best low-fat choice. And corn salsa. Yum.

The stupid "Draft" and "Change Time & Date" features on Blogger suck ass. They don't always work properly.

I hate Mondays.

Today was a wonderful day. The weather was sunny, temperature was perfect for T-shirts and shorts (without being too hot), a slight breeze wafting across the apartment complex. I went for an energizing run on the treadmill, while watching one of my favourite episodes of "Follow That Food". I made my own roasted garlic (first time ever) and bought great steak seasoning, and have my most successful BBQ ribs and chicken ever.

So why am I still so unhappy today, then?

Looking back on my blogs, I've noticed that I have some kind of sick fascination with all things bowel. Do I think toilet humour is funny? Absolutely. But is this getting out of hand?

So far, I've blogged about fresh underwear, toilet seat protectors, splashless techniques, a drain gurgle, boxers, spicy food, a little white house, urinal marking, the underwear hole, toilet seat placement, dark pee, and urine control!

(You may view this as a "flashback episode".)

So I did it. I bought software. Trillian Pro v2.0 for $25 USD -- it's not the first time that I'm a legal customer of software, but it's the first time I had to explicitly pay for it. (I am a registered user of WinXP, which came with my Sony PC.)

Be enlightened (the October 01, 2003 entry) about what kind of metrosexual you are. (Applies to males only, but probably fun for females to read.) I got 27.5.

1. (1) I do the mirror check at work after bathroom runs.
2. (5) Conditioner, facial soap, scented lotion, and I know what a loofah is (but don't have one).
3. (1) I don't have to make an appointment with my haircut place, but I call before I head there just to be sure.
4. (2) I'd do it once just for the hell of it, as long as the secret is taken to the grave.
5. (4) Max. I have a pair of Steve Madden Rascals that I bought just for one pair of jeans.
6. (2) My purchases are heavily influenced by shopping friends.
7. (5) Max. As in #5.
8. (3) Not really a current bestseller, but Harry Potter. And it was recommended. By everyone I know.
9. (2.5) Sometimes it's reluctant, and sometimes those movies just look like fun. I go to movies to escape and that's one way.
10. (2) Like Forrest Gump. Any movies where the protagonist gets dumped or rejected badly.
11. (0) Heard of it, never watched it.
12. (0) Heh.

"25-36: Closet Metrosexual. No need in denying what you are."

A positive article about jobs! Oh, please be true, please be true!

I just watched "Bridget Jones Diary" the other day (and paid attention this time). The movie has a number of intertwined stories of people leaving their spouses or significant others to be with flings, and they eventually turn around and come back pleading for a second chance.

I'm thinking, were I the one who was left while she explored other relationships, I don't know if I could forgive her. Ever. I wouldn't want let myself open to the opportunity of being hurt that badly again (hypothetically "again"). What's to prevent her from not having the same feelings again in the future? And why would she deserve something so gracious as a second chance, anyway?

Would you give that person another chance?

New toy: Gateway's Connected DVD. (Just for researching fun, since I'm too poor for a new toy.)

Here's my first impression: nice, but ugly. It's loaded in capabilities: plays SVCDs and CDR/CDRW, lots of audio outs, and takes almost every connection as input. The user manual shows that you create audio playlists on the PC, which you can pick from the DVD (like a radio station); but you have to import all the files that you want to have available via DVD player.

Major problem is that it only plays MPEG1 and MPEG2 video formats, no MPEG4 decoder. This means that the DivX and XviD files (which most downloadable movies are in) will be unplayable on this DVD player. This would have been the most compelling reason to purchase (for me), and was the single roadblock that discouraged a friend from buying it (before he realized that they're out of stock already anyway).

I'm not TOO impressed with the user interface (or rather, discontinuous behaviour necessary of the user), but I'm not sure how I would make it any better.

I suppose I would like to be able to "(Windows) Explore" the PC's HD and pick a file, and the PC (or some Gateway utility) would recognize it as being accessed (over LAN/WLAN) by the DVD player. Then, when the file is clicked (and is an appropriate format), the PC will uses whatever plug-in / app associated and runs it. Except instead of playing to the PC screen, it will pipe the output to the DVD player automatically, and gives the DVD player manipulating control (video settings, audio settings, play/pause/fwd/rwd/stop). Essentially, it's like remote admin for media playing, and eliminates the need for this importing non-sense.

I would probably also wait for 802.11g or higher throughput (unless PC is on wired Ethernet) because I don't know how taxing this is on the bandwidth.

So today is my two-year anniversary of employment at this company. No balloons, no well-wishes, no party, no pats on the back for my time served in this (seemingly life) sentence. One wonders why I've stayed here so long, under these conditions.

Look what I found on the net! "So ... would you?" Are you kidding me? Hahahaha ... all sorts of people in this world, eh?

I dreamt about her last night, and that there was still hope.