The pics are smudgy because of the Kodak Waterproof cam we used. I guess they were meant for underwater shooting? It's got this hallo effect, somehow. Also, it was difficult to snap photos when you were supposed to paddle, so, you know, I would like to believe the most daring stunts weren't captured, like Andrew, Deborah and Lyn Pei flipping over into the rapids when their raft overturned. :-)
The river spat us out... by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - March 25, 2007 Posted: 1:56:38 PM EDT
I'm tired with sore shoulders, after the rafting down the Slim River yesterday.
It was an experience the savour. While the water level was a little low, I had fun rafting. I think the others enjoyed themselves too though I was not sure about Hui Sheng. He didn't look too excited about the whole thing. He would have much preferred coding a complex algorithm in front of the PC than handling a paddle on a raft, I know.
We were joined by a bunch of spirited strangers and our rafts were captained by Orang Asli guides who helped us embark our exciting journey from mid-stream and ended our adventure downstream nearby an Orang Asli settlement about 3 hours later.
Along the route, it was heart-warming to see Orang Asli kids waving at us along the riverbank. Tell me, when was the last time you got waved at by kids in the city?
I think city kids aren't that interested in people :-).
It was also something of a memory jolt to see again how simple life can be, as it is with the Orang Asli. I saw a simple human habitat that consisted of thatched huts with walls made of split rattans. It was surrounded by patches of corns, groundnuts and young chilli plants, overrunned by chickens that can sprint faster than Ben Johnson on steroids. Yes, I tried chasing one...so I know.
The Orang Asli, they look happy. They were sitting together in their homes, talking to each other. I saw a young mother craddling her baby, surrounded by other family members. There's a stillness on their faces which I liked. In comparisons, our lives in the city are closer to those of the frantic chickens hunting for the next worm. Have we found fulfilment and happiness in our frantic pursuits in the city, I wonder? Now I have an inkling of an idea why Kit Lee trekked into the rainforest and refused to come back since.
I will post pics when we get our 2 Instant Kodak Waterproof cam films developed. I am making mental notes to go to Gua Tempurung, Perak for a caving experience next. Or to the Hotsprings of Sungai Klah, Perak to boil some eggs? ;-)
The Voices/Wisdom of Web 2.0 by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - March 23, 2007 Posted: 1:24:46 PM EDT
'The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, first published in 2004, is a book written by James Surowiecki about the aggregation of information in groups, resulting in decisions that, he argues, are often better than could have been made by any single member of the group. The book presents numerous case studies and anecdotes to illustrate its argument, and touches on several fields, primarily economics and psychology...
The book relates to diverse collections of independently-deciding individuals, rather than crowd psychology as traditionally understood. There are parallels with statistical sampling theory—a diverse collection of independently-deciding individuals is likely to be more representative of the universe of possible outcomes, thereby producing a better prediction.
I Can't Tell You Why by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - March 15, 2007 Posted: 12:27:40 AM EDT
I remember when I was about 15 years old, (1980 thereabout) I heard this really cool song called 'Hotel California' over the radio. Then I got to know the name of the band, The Eagles. And almost everytime there's a pesta at the padang organised by the Majlis Daerah Kulai, the mat-rocks, with a wooden plank stage built on top of neatly arranged oil-drums, will always play the song. None of them ever sounded like Don Henley (I didn't know his name then) but the guitar licks and the bass runs were a rush to listen to.
And then one fateful day, while I was walking the pasar malam in my neighborhood, a cassette pirate (they weren't called them that then, it was 'almost legal') was playing this really cool sounding music over his big black Sansui speakers. I thought the voice sounded somewhat familar. And when I picked up the casette, I saw that it was the new album of the The EAGLES. It was called 'THE LONG RUN'
And on the album cover, I saw this really cool but intimidating photo of the group members in black and white. To recall what it was like, I googled up the photo with some difficulties. But what I have got now seemed split into 2 halves. I tried piecing it together as I'd remembered it but I can't.
Here was what I saw on the album cover that day some two decades ago.
From L-R, Glenn Frey, Don Henley & Joe Walsh
From L-R, Timothy B. Schmit and Don Felder
I remember in 'The Long Run' album, Don Henley (think Hotel California) had a more dominant vocal presence over Glen Frey (think Tequila Sunrise), its previous lead singer. The album was intense and dark and its sound was slightly rough on the edges. Of all the songs, I most remembered a song called, 'I can't tell you why'. For those of you who have seen the 'Hell Freezes Over' concert on VCD/DVD, you must have seen Timothy B. Schmit (yeah, the guy with the long hair) singing this brooding, deeply introspective but immensely melodic number.
Yesterday, while I was youtubing songs for my bored 5 years old son (he loves Bryan Adams' Summer of 69), I stumbled upon this 1979 MTV of the Eagles in the studio, recording this classic. (The encoding isn't perfect so the voice synch is slightly out).
They look young here. Check-out Henley and Frey's looks especially. Timothy looks almost the same, Fender has a beard and Walsh is well, quite different with moppy hair and Sgt Pepper moustach.
This song is tagged to so many of my memories that watching them perform in this MTV along with seeing the clothes they wear is, well, painfully deliciously.
The other great song in the album was 'The Sad Cafe'. You can check it out later but for now, watch the MTV below. Enjoy!
UGH!!! The pulled down the video right after I youtubed it into my blog. I guess we'll have to view to the 'reunion' version below.
I am going CAMPING?!? by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - March 13, 2007 Posted: 4:20:53 PM EDT
The last time I slept on anything less comfortable than a bed was about 25 years ago. Me and my friends used to hitch-hike during the school holidays and then sleep on bare floors or thin foam-rollouts wherever we fancy.
And now my kids are attempting to blackmail me to take them camping at the seaside. I can do it all over again I think (yeah, it's going to be hard), but them city-kidos roughing it out in the open???
Am I in trouble or what?
Imagine sleeping in a tent with 2 kids beside the sea. It sounds great you say???
OK try this.
What if they say;
'Hey papa, I need to pee!'
'I need to let go a big one!'
'I want to watch TV!'
'I'm bored, I want to go home now!'
'What's that sound, is that a tsunami coming?'
'The sleeping bag is uncomfortable, can we check into a hotel?'
'I want to eat KFC! No, I want to eat Pizzas!'
'I think there's a tiger in the bush! Ooooo noooo, I want to go home'
'I miss my pet tortoise, can you go pick him up and bring him here so that he won't be lonely?'
'Waaaah, I only have 10 toy cars with me. It's not fun! I need all my toy cars inside the store-room!'
'I want to ------- insert more mind-boggling requests!'
'I miss being online!' ...alright, this isn't the kids talking.
Attention Web Programmers & Webmasters! by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - March 6, 2007 Posted: 1:49:11 PM EDT
We are currently looking for bright and hard-working people to fill our vacancies for programmers and webmasters. Write to us (email@example.com) if you want to be a part of a team that's doing great things together and having fun at the same time.
I am partial to people are capable of intellectual honesty. After moral courage, I think intellectual honesty comes second as the main ingredient for the makeup of a true leader who can stand the test of time.
I'm sure I am asking a lot from people. I like to keep it that way as long as I can.
Because the alternative, I think, would be like building a city on shifting sands.
An alchemist of the Internet and marketing strategies, leading the
charge to put our creative and software talents into serving companies
who are out to slay the global giants. Also known as Chief of Caffeine
Consumption and hallucinates between projects. Yes, that accounts
for his “giant slaying” stuff.