Tuesday, June 28, 2005

met up with pastor loke

Well.. met up with pastor loke from fcbc. He's a nice kind of guy I guess, seems approachable. I guess I'll slowly see about getting myself integrated, and slowly ask the questions I want to ask. How do I say though? I'm not entirely sure I'm here at this church to stay, is it a bad idea to start visiting with their cell groups?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A series of unfortunate events

Caught the show today with Key and her friend Chunhui. Heh, I loved it! It had such a cute side-ways look at things, very Tim-Burton (Big Fish!) and the siblings were soooo cute. Sunny, the biting baby, especially. And I liked Jim Carrey's role in the show. After Mask, I found that I didn't like most of his shows.. whether they were things like Bruce Almighty, or Ace Ventura. Somehow, his straight out comedy hasn't been fantastic. But this.. now this was very good! heh..

A new kind of game...

It's not a coincidence, right? This interest of mine in these online puzzles. Starting with that silly nonsense show "Nemesis Game", then that website with Escape from Crimson Room that Key introduced, and then that notpron site where I'm currently at level 19 (of 135), and today, while I was surfing http://www.fictionwise.com for more free e-books for my Axim, I come across "The Beast" due to a link to Sean Stewart's e-book.

What's the Beast? A reality computer game.. they left pieces of dialogue and stuff all over the net and all over real life and the community at large tried to make sense of it. It seemed to be based on the AI movie so it's a long while now.. old hat maybe, but I'm going to try to figure it out. Seems like an informational site at http://www.cloudmakers.org, and one of the founders wrote a perfect introduction here.

This seems to be the kind of game I'm really looking for.. something challenging and difficult, involves real life, I can pause anytime I want. And most importantly, a good storyline to work out, some kind of conspiracy that I have to discover, or a picture or series of perspectives that makes things clear. That's what I liked about Viridian room over Crimson room, which was the sense of completion in the ending, when you go like, "ohhhh..." And it helps when the individual stories are good stuff too, like this part of the Beast storyline. (Note to self: remember, truth is about internal and external consistency. With these, who knows?)

Anyway, while I go searching for more of these, it seems like there's one to investigate now. Avant games seems to have come up with a game "I love bees", headquartered at a blog and puppetmastered by Jane McGonigal. It happened during the US presidential election I think, so I'm way behind, but at least Jane offered a way to jump into the game. Heh. Well. Off into the rabbithole, and who knows? At least this seems more like what Neo should have done to escape the matrix, rather than being approached..

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Escape from Crimson Room. and Viridian Room. and Blue Room.

Got this from http://takagism.net/, recommended by darling Key! It's quite cool, a puzzle to solve, like maybe one of those old Gabriel Knight games but in a really compressed one-room package. Did Crimson Room first, that was quite easy except for two silly non-intuitive things. Then Viridian Room, which was tough, and really had a good ending to finish off the Crimson storyline. Blue Room was a letdown, it seemed like a chicken-feat early version of Crimson Room..

Anyway, try it! I'm still looking for more puzzle pages like this, it's quite cool to play. I was watching Nemesis Game at Key's place and wondering if there was a website with riddles all around, and wondering if I could do such a site..and now this pops up. Looks like it's all been done!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"Where are we going?"

Hee.. sister, bro in law and mom were all overseas on separate trips (wow!) so I was supposed to fetch Erin to and from school for two days. Today, when I was taking Erin up to the place, I blur blur walk past the entrance to the school, cos not very familiar with the place. End up, as we're walking past, she say, "Jiu jiu, where are we going?"

Sooooo cute!! hahahaha...

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Care for Children

Was at FCBC for the first time with Key.. heh. The speaker for the day was someone from "Care for Children" (info here), which is a group working to bring kids out of orphanages and into adoptive foster homes. It's apparently a very successful program, driven in particular by the weird demographic of one child per family. That basically means that many many families have raised one child, and sent him or her to school, and now the parents have a child-shaped void in their lives. I think that makes for a fantastic environment for the kids who have grown up in the orphanages deprived of parental love.. :>

strawberry cheesecake... mmmm....

My sis bought the new strawberry cheesecake flavor of Ben & Jerry's. I can't remember the exact name, but it rocks! The sweetness of strawberry, but mixed nicely with the creaminess of cheese, in a delicious ice-cream blend.. Wow!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Alpha course?

Key mentioned to me that she's interested in attending an Alpha course, and was asking me about it. I'm quite happy.. heh, even though the attachment has made it more difficult for us to spend time together, but her time with Joanne is really good for her.

When I first started contemplating chasing Key, I resolved not to try to be the influence that is bringing her to church, until she feels compelled to be Christian just because of me. Coupled with my own questions and problems with faith, I haven't been really able to be much of any kind of positive influence.. But Joanne has really been a blessing in her life (and by extension mine!) I guess Joanne's much better able to explain her faith to Key then I am.. and I'm glad for it!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

sgblogconspiracy: It's cool, d00d!

Right.. just following mrbrown's idea.

1) Tomorrow.sg's WHOIS is registered to an IDA bigwig (from some blog )
2) Woodlands Library is hosting the Singapore Blogger's Convention
3) Shine! is paying for refreshments there.
4) Straits Times is putting out news on blogs like there's no tomorrow.

General conclusion
Govt is going to link your blog to your NRIC Rank and Name you, and if you make the wrong comment it's going to nerf you!

My version

(somewhere in some gahmen office)
List of cool things to make Singapore cooler
Skateboarding and Rollerblading (check)
HipHop (check)
Amazing Races around Singapore (check)

"Hey, what's this 'blocking' thing ah?"
"Can we get in on this? You know, so we can be cool too!"
"Yah, we should organize it, and sub-committee it. No no, must decentralize, get non-govt people to do it! Get the community leaders to take charge!"
"Must have conference! Visible reports, and lots of news coverage. Let the whole world see that we're cool and happening! Also that we have lots of free speech! Don't let that AcidFlask get us down!"
"Hey, I think your key board must be spoilt. What does d00d mean?"

Hmm. Dunno whether to go for the convention or not...

Hell is the Absence of God

hmm. ruminating in the shower about my life and God.

Thing is, it's hard to read sci-fi the way I do and not recall some book or story that has its own interpretations on the issue.. One of the topics sci-fi writers like to touch on is the issue of God, more specifically, how does God fit into any kind of technological future? Especially since most sci-fi assumes we'll eventually get off earth, or that there's alien intelligence, both topics on which the bible appears to be silent.

And, I like those that deal with this issue particularly much. Three particular stories.. Isaac Asimov's "The Final Question", Jim Cowan's "The Spade of Reason", and Ted Chiang's "Hell is the Absence of God."

The Spade of Reason is my favorite story, ever.. I'm not sure if it's about God, about mathematics, about God in mathematics, or just about insanity.. but I found myself thinking about Hell is the Absence of God.

I first read the story in a bookstore, browsing through Ted Chiang's collected series "Stories of Your Life and Others", mostly because I'd loved "Story of Your Life". But Hell is the Absence of God was the first story and so I read that..

In the story, Neil Fisk is living in a strange world where the God of Abraham has manifested himself. 'Angels' manifest themselves, (and these angels are proven in the sotry to be Uriel, and Gabriel, and so on..) and people who die are seen to go to heaven, and more importantly, people who die are also seen to go to hell. Hell isn't fire and brimstone though.. It IS down. People can see into hell, right beneath their feet, and basically, it's just mundane life, just like the normal world, except that there is no God.. or Hell is the Absence of God. And since hell is for people who don't love God, and heaven is for people who don't, it seems a perfect arrangement all around.

The problem for Neil Fisk is that he loves his wife, and she loves God, but he doesn't. So when she dies, she goes to heaven. And he finds himself confronting the thought of eternity without his wife. Desperate, he tries to love God, but can't. And in the end, his one hope is this -- all the people who have been caught in the instant when an angel returns to heaven after manifesting, are burnt out, eyes blinded by the glory of God, hopelessly in love with God, and inevitably go to heaven when they die. So he starts chasing the angels, which is basically like chasing a hurricane. But when he finally catches one at the leaving point, he happens to get in an accident, and dies on the spot, and promptly finds himself in hell -- but with that hopeless love and longing for God. In a place which is fundamentally defined by His absence.

Thing is, I think I'm kind of like Fisk at the moment.. I want to love God, but I don't, not really. more like, in the mode where "even the demons believe, and tremble!"


Forgotten birthday? Faux pas...

Hmmm.. was hanging out with the basketball club for dinner today. I haven't seen them in a while, but managed to make time today. Seemed quite a good thing, that I did... Weijie's birthday celebration today. I was sitting next to Yuka.. funny thing is, I guess I try to make him comfortable, so I try to talk to him more -- it's not easy to be the only Caucasian in the club, and that he's here only for exchange doesn't help -- and after we broke out the cake, he was like, "Oh, it was my birthday two weeks back!" To which, I could only offer a stunned oops and "Happy belated birthday!"

Still, as Key reminds me, I should just have told everyone as well, but isn't it kind of embarassing? Ah, stupid me with my low EQ...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Do movies imitate life?

Was watching Infernal Affairs II on tv, and suddenly found myself wondering: Was life really ever like this in HK? the gang wars, killings, police moles in crime gangs and crime moles in police gangs, etc?