Monday, July 30, 2007

If only the world is wireless

I hate wirings. What's the benefit of having a laptop when you need to move around with it an external hard drive, a mouse, a pendrive and possibly a webcam? Not to mention the access bridge to online and the power supply...

So frustrating.

If only wireless technology is mass produced NOW...

Friday, July 27, 2007

My photo is in the uni website!

I just discovered that my photo is on the official university's website! Even though it was quite an old photo (taken last year while my face is still full of pimples), it is still cool to see my own face there! It has my profile also..

Click on this link to see my photo.

Happy reading!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Weekly spiel

The week that was...

Seems the only time I had to update my blog is on Thursday nite.. I had such a hectic but fun week!

The week of firsts...

There are a lot of personal firsts that I had 'achieve' the past week. Literally one for everyday..

Friday night - played Dota from 10.00 p.m. till 5 a.m. in the morning. Never this mad before.. but in retrospect, lucky did it coz Thow Kong's computer broke a few days later.. means no Dota this weekend. Sad.

Saturday night - went for my first ever Karaoke in Melbourne. Was there from 8.00 p.m. till 4.00 a.m.! Coz well, it is $40! For this price sure must sing till hoarse lah...

Monday morning - went for my first ever focus group session. Basically just sit there with a marketing agent and discuss why no one buy the uni's student community card. Free lunch and a $50 shopping voucher for just one hour of doing nothing much. That was fun!

Tuesday afternoon - first time ever made an announcement in the lecture theatre in front of 100+ students. What's more, it was recorded (coz the lecture was recorded) and I can hear myself speaking again and again (and also the clapping afterwards)

I was down there on Tuesday

Wednesday - played chess during lunch break (PISA event) and then had fun making yummy lamingtons and played Jenga, Scrabble, Bluff etc (Global Friendship Series). Tons of fun. Wish uni was this fun every day. Oh ya and I still wonder why a lot of people elect to go home after uni..



Thursday - skipped my first ever lecture for the year coz: (1) I had only that lecture for the day, (2) it is on 8.30am, (3) it was recorded anyway.

And yeah..I also managed to squeeze enough time reading the final book of Harry Potter.

What I felt after reading Harry Potter..

1. I dislike the guy named Harry Potter: he is stupid and hot headed and only know how to get others into trouble. Actually, I started to dislike him since the last book - always using the fact that he has 'no parents' as an excuse for doing stupid things.. If not for Hermione and Ron..

2. Snape is really really an unfortunate guy. He is really caught between a rock and a hard place. Manipulated by Dumbledore and used by Voldemort and despised by the rest while he is actually a good guy.. I felt for him..

3. Why so many people have to die (like flies).. did it serve any purpose?

4. The ending sucks. It didn't answer the question I wanted to know most. What is Harry Potter's occupation? Did he become an auror or just living off his parents' money?

But all in all, it is a good book. Mesmerising and a definite page turner. J.K Rowling is brilliant.

P/s: For those of you in the dark, lamington is an Australian icon. It is basically chocolate icing coated spongecake with a layer of dessicated coconut on top. Sweet and yummy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

To motivate, just add water

Tammy van Wisse is a name I never heard of before tonight; and it is a name I will never forget after tonight.

She is this fantastic marathon swimmer who currently hold an astounding six world record. She event beat the men in some of the events she took part in! During her lifetime, she had swam a total distance of 60,000KMs. And luckily for me, she was just in University tonight to give a talk entitled "To motivate, just add water".

It was very inspiring to hear her talk. Her achievements are spectacular: she had swam over huge distance and theacherous waters. What is more inspiring is the background work involved. I am sure it is very often that we see and hear people's achievements and thought that they had it lucky being born with a talent or being pick out to star in whatever they excel in. What we often didn't realise is the amount of work they put in. For Tammy, she swam 25km laps for two sessions per day seven days week, went to gym 3 times per week, and jog for the other 3 days. And that didn't include other preparatory work like mapping the location of her swim and organising sponsorships and support crews. She talked a lot about leadership - and her talk nearly moved me to tears. Like how leadership is about asking people to join in and have fun. Or how she use her fame to highlight environmental issues. It was just fantastic and motivational. For more info about her, check out her website here.

Her talk lead me to contemplate on the event PISA is going to hold soon. It is gonna to be a huge scale entertainment night and I had my reservations about it going to be a success, because we never done it before and it is so big. After her talk, I guess it is better to fail gloriously rather than never try at all. Going to have revived enthusiasm!

Anyway, her talk is part of a memorable night organised by the University's Foundation. The Foundation basically functions to get money for the university and ensure the students have a bright future - so all these leadership things like tonight's event. There were also a panel of pharmacy movers and shakers who answer questions from students. After the event, we even got time to mingle with them. It was fun talking with all these high achievers, they have such a sense of humour and so many advice to offer. Too bad I'm going back to Malaysia after my 4-year stint here....

As a footnote, I just loved these University organised events because they usually provide us with fabulous food and drinks. Just had a glass of red wine, white wine and a bottle of Heineken as well as tasted 10 different kinds of cheese...yummy!

Heard during PISA meeting: "Looking for sponsors is fun. What else can you do where you got a chance to flirt with people and walk away with prizes after that?" But yeah I still don't like looking for sponsors coz as someone else pointed out " but you can't keep the prize..."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

10 Things to do in Rainy Adelaide

For those of you who would like to visit Adelaide in the winter in the years to come (like us), here's my suggestion on things that you can do:

1.Search for rainbows

There are lotz of rainbows to see in Adelaide. And they are huge - spanning the entire road. I think I saw at least a rainbow everyday. Pretty sight.

2. (Listen) to free lectures

This is Elder Hall in Adelaide Uni - and it is very beautiful and warm. Great way to get away from the rain and you can spend the time admiring the architecture while the person in front drone on and on...

3. Take (watercolor) photos

I don't mean painting - nowadays there's the camera to do it. Just be creative and take photos of the reflection of the scenery on the wet pavements. Looks great.

4. Sit on the 'flying bus'

Experience being Harry Potter in Hogwarts by sitting on the 'flying bus'. Day-dream while the unassuming normal-looking bus suddenly transforms into a train and travels on rail at unbelievable speed in the middle of the journey. The journey to and fro took around 1 hour. Tats a good way to enjoy a rainy day.

5. Make sand art

Find a deserted beach right after a rain and walk on it. Then retrace your steps and photograph the path you had just took. This makes beautiful photos of 'footsteps' art that you can transform into postcards for friends or put as your display pic on msn.

6. Visit Wine Cellars

There are lots of wine cellars in Adelaide. So when it is raining, hop into one, pretend you are a wine connisseur and try all the different wines available (for free). The wine will make you warm real fast.

7. Drive around in a car treasure hunting

Wonder around aimlessly around Adelaide Hills and you may chanced upon unlisted tourist attraction like this secluded castle. This is one eerie castle coz when we went there it seems like there is no one in it-and the whole place is set-up for a lavish banquet and a real fire is burning inside a real fireplace..

8. Eat

Mouth watering food is always the best medicine for any bad weather. Just find a buffet place and tuck in and you will forget the rain outside. This is what we have for one rainy night - satay, marinated seafood, hot soup, roast meat....

9. Visit churches

Adelaide is officially known as City of Churches. So it is only appropriate ifyou just pretend to be interested in the churches. There came in many shapes and sizes, and best of all, they have a roof.

10. Take photos of yourself

Rainy days are also good photo opportunities coz you stay in a place longer. Can take more photos of yourself with beautiful sceneries as backdrop. Although I didn't do that (I'm a guy, duh).. I think it is highly recommended activity for girls..or you can go shopping.

So there's my Top Ten. Have fun!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sights of Adelaide

I just came back from a 4-day 3-nite trip to Adelaide - the so called City of Churches. It was a memorable trip and Adelaide has lots to offer, contary to the popular belief that it is a dull and boring city. You just have to know where to look.

St Peter's. One of the many churches in Adelaide.

I took around 360 amazing pictures of the place. I would loved to put them all in this blog, but due to the various constraints.. blah blah blah... So in conclusion, will just put some of the more significant/memorable or interesting pictures here with a summary of the trip.

Day 1: Road to Adelaide

There are actually two roads from Melbourne to Adelaide - and Woon Pang, Danny and me went there via the 'hill-lovers' route - the one that travels inland via Ballarat, Ararat and Horsham.

Map of Melbourne to Adelaide.

We started off at 6.30am and reached Adelaide at 3pm.

On the way there are lotz of breath-taking scenery, including this taken at Tailem Bend, a town just before Adelaide. The river is the Murray River.

View of Murray River from Tailem Bend.

At Adelaide, we settled our accomodation and hit the town. The first port of call is this Adelaide Riverbank. It is as beautiful as the waterfront in Melbourne. We also wandered around the town and had our dinner at Adelaide's small Chinatown. Then it is off to bed coz there is nothing going on at night in Adelaide.. even on Friday or Saturday...

Adelaide scenic riverbank.

Day 2: City and beach

It was a rainy day (again). Started our city tour on Rundle Street, the main shopping arcade of Adelaide.

Rundle Mall. The pavements have embedded coins and there are pigs milling around.

Then visited the University of Adelaide as well as the City Library and South Australia Museum (due to the rain).

South Australia Museum: home to the biggest Aborigine artifacts collection.

In the afternoon, took the only tram in Adelaide to Glenelg beach, a popular tourist attraction. Due to the weather, the beach is virtually devoid of people.

Glenelg beach and jetty (and me).

In the evening, we took a bus to Tea Tree Gully just to sit on the bus- this bus is special coz it can travel on rail lines and reach a speed of 100km/h! It was very interesting. Imagine a flying bus!

Day 3: Port Adelaide and Adelaide Hills

The weather picked up a little in the morning as we journey to Port Adelaide. Like Adelaide, it was very empty - only a few people milling around. Nothing much to see.. but it was a quite pretty place.

Lighthouse at Port Adelaide.

Then we travel to Adelaide Hills - one of the most picturisque place on Adelaide.

Of rolling hills and winding roads and dry grape vines.

There are acres and acres of grapes vines and apple trees. We stopped at a mediaval castle (a suprise find - more on next blog), wineries, small towns, a chocolate factory, Bereenberg strawberry farm and the historical German town of Hahndorf.

Melba chocolate factory.

Me in historic (and rainy and cold) Hahndorf.

The next destination is Mount Lofty: a place where you can view the whole of Melbourne, that is if the sky is clear. Which alas, as you guess, is not the case.. the whole view was completely obstructed by clouds and mists.

The light house on misty Mt Lofty

At night, had dinner and met with Chang Yang, Xuan Ni, Wee Loon and Violet who were coincidently in Adelaide for a medical convention. It was a funny feeling meeting with Melbourne friends in Adelaide.

Day 4: Victor Harbour and home!

The last day of our trip - time to say goodbye to our hostel.

The three travellers: Danny, Woon Pang and me.

We travelled south to Victor Harbour and Granite Island. The highlight is sitting on a tram pulled by a solitary horse. Amazing power.

The one and only horse drawn tram.

Granite Island is also a very beautiful place (damn..running out of adjectives that are synomyns of beautiful. Anyway, you get the idea.. Adelaide is simply beautiful).

The view of Granite Island from Victor Harbour.

Reached Melbourne at midnight, travelling home via the 'sea-lovers' road - via Mt Gambier, Warnambool and Geelong.

It was fun. And Adelaide is beautiful. A 'must go' place.

More photos on interesting things and events tomoro.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A pause and a backward glance

And so it was July.

The second part of 2007 dawned cold and windy, but it didn't rain today. A few places in Melbourne are already facing flash floods, in stark contrast to the draught in summer.

After a 2 months hiatus, at last I had a chance to retreat to my favorite pastime: reading. It was a joy to be finally able to visit my local library and checked out tons of books, and then spending the whole day reading them.

Over the last few days, I had read two 400 pages novel:

1. Taming of the Beast by Emily Maguire, a quite disturbing and thought provoking Australian novel about the life of a girl after having a relationship with her teacher. A sad story really.

2. The Summer That Never Was by Peter Robinson, a classic who-did-it. It had been a long time since I read any detective stories, because none of them seems comparable to the mastery of Agatha Christie, who is my favorite writer of the genre.

Some books and movies that I had borrowed.

I had also watch a Japanese movie: "Crying out love in the centre of the world". It is supposed to be a tear jerker, the kind of love story where a girl and a boy is in love, then the girl unfortunately had to slowly expire after being diagnosed with the classic disease leukemia. Wonder why it is always leukemia. For me, it is disappointing because there are just too many movies about this kind of story. Can't feel their pain anymore. Immune.

Last semester was also the time that I finally conceded that my memory can't be trusted to be my personal diary anymore. There is just too many activities going on for my poor hippocampus to remember so for next semester I am going to write out all my activities and meetings and datelines on a paper and stick them on my notice board. Even before the semester had started, it was already quite full: with 4 extra curricular events on the very first week.. gonna be hectic.

My calendar of events on the right and things to do list on the left.

To tie all the loose ends of my first semester up, I spent the entire afternoon filing all my notes away. It was quite shocking that it ended up in a very big pile, which is as tall as my notes for the entire last year. Geez, I hoped that the results will reflect the amount of hard work I put in this semester.

My mountain of notes. Welcome to Pharmacy!

All in all, it was a very satisfying first semester. It feels great able to help out others and being involved in lots of activities in Uni. I had lots of fun being involved in Leadership and Public Speaking courses, having a try-out being a bartender and brushing up my photography skills, being there to organise activities, joining all the runs and playing badminton and table tennis with friends. I felt that this is the true definition of a all-round university experience: the studying, the extra-curricular activities, trying out new things, picking up soft skills and doing it all with friends. Juggling my time can be hectic sometimes, but it indeed can be done.

Hopefully the second part of the year is going to get better!