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The Death of SMS

Three weeks ago my mobile phone decided not to send SMSes on my  behalf. If you sent me an SMS, I would read it and compose 160 characters of wit just for you… but you would never receive it.

What a pity.

hddThen the unexpected happened…

I would call you instead!

You send me an SMS right? And I’m like KAZZAAAAM!!! HELLO!!! And you’re like WHOA SLOW DOWN BOYO, but I’m like YOWZAAA!!! MY SMS IS BROKEN SO TALK TO ME HONEYBUNS

This would happen with every SMS that demanded a reply.

I started talking to more people.

And people talked back.

Profound?

I wish I could tell you how I now have deeper relationships with the universe. But no. It has made no noteworthy difference in my life.

I guess I’m still noting it down, because I never imagined a lifestyle experiment involving not sending any SMSes for 3 weeks.

I mean, what if you couldn’t send SMSes for 3 weeks?

Try it.

You’ll see what a pointless exercise in frustration it is. I’m getting my phone fixed this week.

Side observation:

Mobile phones and me = Women and me

They look good at first, but after a couple of months they start to act strangely. Guess I pressed the wrong buttons.

The sketch you see is “hdd”, from my gallery of digital doodles

You met me at a very strange time in my life

I watched Fight Club for the second time. It was my birthday gift to myself.

Untitled-1

Given the trajectory of my life right now, I thought it was apt to invite The Pixies to lullaby me to the sound of collapsing buildings…

Let me give you the lowdown.

Over the past month, my life has taken a huge-ass detour. I stopped for directions, but disobeyed it. I only got a rough idea as to where I’m headed, but I really don’t care. All I know is I’ve shifted gears, and the wind in my face makes me feel alive.

And I’ve been clinging on to dear life ever since.

In the past 12 days itself I have been on an exotic all expenses paid 5-star getaway with beautiful strangers, experienced death and resurrection by dancing, felt a few mini paradigm shifts brewing, and captured some really good sleep.

As usual, new business ventures are in the works. But this time, I’m doing things differently, to make sure the magic happens.

I guess I should also mention that I am no longer working with the beautiful people at MindValley. We’re still great friends and we’ll be there for one another. Let me blog about this later.

Where am I headed next?

Let’s see… I’ll be on a plane to Singapore till Sunday to mix business with pleasure. When I get back I have a list of people to meet, a RM150,000 grant to apply for, a parking lot of dreams to vacate, and new life to live.

A roadmap would be handy. You know, lend a pattern to the chaos. But I don’t have one. Nor do I feel the need for one right now.

All I have are different pieces, slowly taking shape. When they come together to make a picture, I’ll tell you more.

For now, I trust everything will fall in its right place.

And I’m going to let it.

How to combat snatch thieves and robbers

I just got back from the Police station.

It was a long night.

Nika’s friend had a friend visiting from Poland, it is her first night here in KL. She was walking in front of Bangsar Permai apartments on Jln Tanduk, Bangsar, when 3 men leapt out of the car, armed with a giant curved parang.

She got robbed, in front of the guard house of the apartments!

DSCN9851

Being the courageous hero manly man I am, I was in Nika’s apartment hanging out, drinking some sour Polish soup they made.

As soon as Nika’s friend stumbled into the apartment in tears, my spider-like reflexes prompted the extension of my muscular arm into my pocket, initiating crucial contact with the police department.

Then my shirt…

I could go on.

But let’s not dwell in the past.

This blog post is about solutions!

If you think about it… everyone you know, knows someone who got robbed or snatched or whatever. Right? Don’t know someone? Well, you know me, and it’s happened to my mom, my ex-girlfriend’s sister, and even I got robbed! Twice! (Both times the robbers got caught / humiliated but that’s another story.)

Gah! Bah! We have to stop these crimes!

Since I want to avoid any real confrontation, here’s the plan.

  1. Guys and girls walking around the city? Carry an ugly market-like plastic bag, and put vegetables in it.
  2. Make sure a cucumber, or a cabbage is sticking out, so it is clear that you are carrying a bag of vegetables.
  3. Place all your valuables next to the cabbage. Wallet, money, handphone, whatever. Wrap it up, place it in the cleverly disguised bag of vegetables.
  4. Carry your usual bag, the way you normally would, except you could place a home made booby trap. No booby trap? Place a couple of extra vegetables in there. Maybe a rotten one, too.
  5. In the event of danger, drop your plastic bag of vegetables (which contain your belongings) on the floor. Or throw it far away. And give the criminals your expensive looking bag (the one with the booby traps)

OK…ok… You may think this is a stupid idea.

38248548_e4816932ca_m After all, not too many people have real booby traps for robbers. Heck I was thinking time bombs but not everyone has time bombs.

You can also argue that a robber who goes home to find a bag of vegetables might anger him enough to go out and rob some more victims.

But perhaps, in the long run, if all of us implement my idea, robbers may get sick of vegetables, and try other stunts to get money, like becoming social entrepreneurs.

I guess, the idea has too many maybes.

Since this is a serious topic, allow me to suggest some alternatives.

  1. Resolve economic disparity through changes in public policy and the education system
  2. Increase employment opportunities and skills development for the urban poor
  3. Form a special task force to crack down on snatch thieves and robbers

But if you analyze the above solutions, and compare it to my vegetable bag trick, they are just as likely to get implemented, and have any real effect on the recent crime spree.

Seriously.

132543195_bf179b7f74_mBut I won’t complain about stuff here… Solution focus! Yes, yes! And if for some reason, the solution is beyond my pea-sized brain, I need your help.

If you have any real ideas on what we can do to stop this sort of crime, do share.

I promise to give the best idea a bag of vegetables. (I did this for a friend’s birthday once, so I’m not kidding)

Tell me your great idea for solving snatch thieves and armed robberies, and I will give you a healthy reward.

The Breathing Tree

breathingtree

Armed with a mouse and my laptop, I used to draw a lot of trees. I didn’t look at trees when I drew them. They exist in my imagination. A whole forest full of them.

Today, I give you one of my trees. This one was part of a collage of trees I called “The Impossible Forest”. This lone tree is called “The Breathing Tree”. Drawn in Sydney, on August 31, 2004.

My other pixel sketches are here.

Saturday Night Shoe DIY: Custom Slip-ons!

Okay, this was the first time I hacked a shoe (wrapped half the shoe in corduroy and spray painted a motif on it)

Loads of mistakes were made but the end result was raw and gritty the way I like it (pic above)

Just to share my fun, here’s how you can screw up a pair of shoes, too.

You will need…

  • Plain canvas slip-on. Preferably your own. I used a faded-green Everlast pair, RM39 from Sg.Wang.
  • Fabric glue
  • Sharp scissors
  • Spray can (the color I chose… dove grey)
  • Miscellaneous fabric (I keep a lot of junk fabric, leftover from the end of my pants etc)
  • A crafty, careful partner (I used Swen. She once made an Optimus Prime outfit for me and that rocked, so here she is again ;P)

STEP 1

Choose a pattern you like, and cut out a stencil thing.

This pattern was inspired by a poster I once designed for a band in Newcastle, Sydney.

Transferred to paper by the very crafty Swen (thanks hun!)

STEP 2

Prepare cloth cut-outs.

I initially glued them to the shoe before spraying the print on. But in hindsight I should have sprayed the print on the cloth before pasting the cloth on the shoe.

STEP 3

Spray very slightly!

Spray paint seeps into cloth, bleeds n blurs out (we learnt the hard way).

Depending on how prominent you want the motif to be, I guess you can apply layer by layer, waiting for paint to dry in between. I settled for a very subtle impression.

STEP 4

Blog about it and share your experience with others!

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Overall it took only about an hour and it was loads of fun… and I’ll be wearing my crazy invention tomorrow 😉

I might do this again another week.

Any ideas, experiences, comments related to canvas shoe hacking? Let me know.