Making Light of Things

August 2004 Archives


The most terrifying day of your life is the day your first one is born. Life, as you know it, is gone. Never to return. But they learn to walk, to talk, and they grow up to become the most delightful people you will ever meet. - Bill Murray tells Scarlet Johansson in Lost in Translation.

There are times, especially like these, watching Lost in Translation alone at night, when I lose it a little. I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I will be a good father like everyone says I will. I don’t know if I am ready to move away from this life. I’m still missing life in the States. Having late night suppers at the Student Union with Matt, Emitt and Justin after a midnight game of basketball at the Rec.

Sometimes I want to move backwards in time, but now I find myself propelled forward. I can’t wait, but I can’t look.

Live lives worthy of your blogging

Life is not Livejournal

In the same painfully glaring light, the lack of good blog entries can be attributed to:

  1. you are so busy with fulfilling activity that you have no time to blog
  2. you are so busy with unfulfilling activity that you have no time to blog
  3. you have time, but your life is filled with activities so unfulfilling it’s not worth blogging
  4. your neighbour downstairs wises up and sets an encrypted password for his wi-fi network

R too D too

It is easy to drone on and stay in the comfort of security. I feel way too young for this.


The path that I have trod has brought me nearer God
Though oft it led thru sorrow’s gates
Though not the way I’d choose, in my way I might lose
The joy that yet for me awaits.

Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go
For who am I that I should choose my way
The Lord shall choose for me, tis better far I know
So let Him bid me go, or stay.

The cross that I must bear if I a crown would wear
Is not the cross that I should take
But since on me tis laid I’ll take it unafraid
And bear it for the Master’s sake.

Submission to the will of Him who guides me still
Is surety of His love revealed
My soul shall rise above this world in which I move
I conquer only when I yield.

Shall Not Live By Brad Alone

Mena wrote not too long ago that if she had a chance to go back in the past and choose differently, she would have spent more for help and worked less (can’t seem to find the particular post). That was all I needed to know that I would be staying with Six Apart. Though we geeks have the tendency to be biased towards open-source software, I knew that my familiarisation with MovableType meant that I had in my hands a pretty robust CMS to start work on. And now that Ben and Mena weren’t “doing it all”, MT would be headed upwards.

Just when you thought the boatload of talent had all disembarked unto Six Apart, Brad Choate steps on its shores. I’m sure there are a whole lot of us who have named a directory after him in the dark shadows of our cgi-bins.

My prediction for 6A’s next hiring: Jay Allen’s G5 will come with an invitation to join 6A.

Baby Bear

When we used the off-the-counter pregnancy test and discovered that we were having a baby, it was a very surreal feeling. Faith looked and felt the same, yet our lives would be forever changed by an individual with whom we would be very intimately linked, yet hardly knew at this point. We actually had to consciously remember that we were expecting our first child.

I came back late yesterday after a game of basketball. I spent some time talking with the bunch off tweens (twenty-somethings) who lived in my neighbourhood. When I got home, it was 11:30 at night and I expected Faith to be asleep. Instead, I heard the growl of this half-sleepy, very hungry bear my wife had become.

“I’m dying”, she says, refering to her hunger. I offer to buy some food back. “I want sweet-sour pork ribs”.

Gee. That’s a tall order for anyone at this time of the night. Somehow I instinctively put on my shoes and started running. It didn’t seem like a ridiculous request at that time.

Thank God I was able to find exactly what she wanted at a small eating place near our house. Making a judgement call, I ordered a large rack of ribs to go. She looked like she could eat a cow.

When I got home with my triumphant rack of ribs, she took to the food like a supermagnet. When I stopped her mid-munch to give thanks for the food, there was this whimper of childlike rebellion. I kept the prayer short and watched her tuck in.

She had barely begun when she looked up and proclaimed that she was done with the meal.

Just as well. I helped myself to the food. And while my head was down and I was defenseless she said, “I feel like green peas for lunch tomorrow”.

We had no green peas in the fridge. I doubt anyone sold frozen peas at midnight. That was when it hit me. We’re really having a baby, and it’s going to change our lives forever.


Faith wrote: “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog This sentence uses all letters of the English alphabet.”

She took a test.

She passed.

Go 4th And

Multiply looks like a piece of interesting social software.

Against the Grain

Chen Kenichi wiped the sweat off his brow. Ever since he joined the consortium of rice farmers, he has had to follow the orders of the chairman. The chairman had a good grasp of economics. Through careful manipulation of the supply, he was able to maintain the price of rice at a premium, barely affordable by the masses. Chen and the other rice farmers didn’t agree to the practices, but were resigned to the fact that they knew little of how to run a successful business, and that the chairman probably knew better.

The only problem now was the new memo the chairman had put up in the village square. They were going to raise the price of rice again. Chen and the others were to cultivate a smaller portion of their farmlands in order to stifle supply and jack up the price. This effectively meant an easier life for the farmers: they would have to work less and still be paid what they were already earning.

The villagers would starve. This weighed heavily on Chen’s heart. He sought the thoughts of the rest, wanting to find out if what he felt was the result of an over-sensitive conscience. The rice farmers gathered, all of them feeling they were made to betray the villagers. They now had two choices ahead of them: it was the safe life or the hard life.

Which should they choose?

All About Oil


We found Osama at Compasspoint shopping center.

In the Grand Schema of Things

I recently purchased OmniGraffle. After trying out their one-day trials (you can download one everyday if you’re that cheap), it was easy to come to the conclusion that the software was worth every cent of its purchase price.

I don’t do schematics very much now in my job, but I still do the occassional freelance gig, and properly printed schemas make work look more appealing, both to me and my clients.


You know the feeling you get when you’re at the apex of a roller-coaster ride? The moment hangs there and you’re breathless because you don’t know whether to look up or look down, to catch a breath or to let it go, to clench or to relax?

This is one of those times.


I fell in love with a surfer-girl over the weekend. Long brown hair tied in a ponytail; loose strands that were tossed by the ocean’s salty breeze and kissed by the sun when they flailed upward. She came across as exciting and dangerous, and was an absolute adventure to be with.

I married a schoolteacher. Faith isn’t the most adrenaline-inducing girl; not the kind who’d throw caution to the wind. I tried to get her to surf on the first day, but after two tumbles she decided to pass on it.

She must have been taking some of the ecstasy those touts were trying to sell us, because on day two she was riding the waves like a speed junkie. It was exhilarating seeing her little head of brown hair swvoosh away, barely visible above the wave she was riding.

She never ceases to amaze me.

Grown Up

Min technically graduated yesterday, having served her jail term as an intern with two companies, working two jobs daily.

The feeling hasn’t gone away, despite it being more than a year removed. I still feel like I should be there in Tucson whenever I talk to her online or look at her stuff lying around my parents’ place.

We unpacked stuff she sent over yesterday. Just the physical realisation that these were things she handled so many miles away and so many days ago struck me. We truly were very, very far apart. Even the crumpling of plastic bags from Tucson sounded familiar of another life I once knew.

My little sister’s all grown up.

On the home front, my littler sister is hurtling towards adulthood at the speed of light. She’s watching The O.C. on TV, reminiscent of 90210 and Melrose Place which were the prevalent television trash of our time. She no longer wraps her fingers around my pinkie when we cross the road. Heck, she’d scream her lungs out if I held her hand.

I’ve always had the fortune of being surrounded by beautiful women. It’s truly something when you watch them grow up.

Year Due

After slightly more than a year of being married, we’ve finally found some time to get out of town on our own. We’re headed to Bali this afternoon and coming back Tuesday.

It has been a busy time. On top of redesigning another entire site at work, there have been projects coming through the door, none of which I have finalised, but all of which I am very excited about.

I can say this: there is a buzz in Singapore. People are wanting standards-compliant sites. We stand on the threshold of something big.

In Surmount Able

I’ve been thinking “redesign” for some time now. Not too long ago, I used to jump into it, working things on the fly. Now older, wiser (and tireder), I let ideas settle and take root before putting my hand on the plough.

I was at an acapella concert two days ago and learnt something about design. When you ask your audience to clap along, don’t change the tempo on them later in the song. The guys that kept clapping gave you the most support; it’s not right to let them down later.

This in mind, I know that there are some of you out there who still use my older stylesheets. I also know that you’re probably the ones who’ve been reading my rather unexciting life for quite some time now, and that it would be wrong not to cater to you just because I felt like some change was good for me.

What’s good for me may not be what’s good for you. But what’s good for you is good for me. That is, if you like it here, you’ll stay. And you staying is a good thing because I’m going to put Google textads all over the place I really hate to lose friends, however ethereal the nature of the relationship.

So I will be continuing my support of my previous stylesheets, right up from my first CSS layout, as much as I can.

If you have any good ideas or points of inspiration for a new design, drop me an email or leave a comment.

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