Disappointing result, but we'll get over it

Well, we got handed our first loss of the season. Looking at the bright side: at least it wasn't to a newly promoted side.

It was going so well too. I may be biased but we dominated the first half. We took the lead later on when Arshavin put a beautiful long-ish distance shot pass the keeper. Just before the goal we had a valid penalty claim when some red-shirt clattered into Arshavin in the box but it was not given. Overall we ended the half on a bright note.

The second half too started brightly. Arshavin ran into the box from the left and played the ball to van Persie for a tap-in but it was saved. And then it all went wrong. They got a penalty when a red-shirt fell over Almunia's outstretched arms. I am still not convinced that it wasn't a dive — it looked like he was falling long before there was any contact with Almunia. But apparently a keeper cannot stretch out his arms when trying to take the ball off a player's feet, except for when he can.

1–1 then. Nothing we can't deal with.

But a few minutes later Diaby scored. An own goal. It's bizarre really. Some red-shirt whipped in a ball across the penalty box (was it open play, or freekick? I can't remember) and it looked like he deliberately headed the ball behind him but not high enough to go over the bar. Maybe he misjudged his position, thought he was higher up the pitch, or something. *sigh* And just like that we were behind.

We had chances to level the game but nothing came. And to be fair to Diaby, he tried very hard to make up for his mistake. In the very last minute, we had a van Persie goal ruled out for offside and Arsene was sent off. I am not sure why he was sent off. Maybe he said a bad word that offended the officials' delicate ears. The red-shirt fans were a disgrace though, but that's nothing we don't already know.

Aside from those two moments I believe we were the better side overall. We threatened to score every time we had the ball and defensively we were solid-ish. It got a bit shakier when we went behind but that was always going to happen when you're chasing an equalizer. Diaby needs to get his defending training up though. An own goal like that should never happen again. I am satisfied with our performance but pissed at the result.

Now we've apparently got two weeks of boring internationals to go through and our players will probably come back all injured. Stupid internationals.


Never compromise

Yup. What happened was appalling but now the ISA is useful? "Never compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon."
That tweet by @andrewkjs pretty much sums up my position on the protestors threatening violence over the construction of a Hindu temple.
My complaint about them is strictly about their threats of bloodshed — which is evil and just plain uncivilized. In my opinion they can gather and voice all manner of vile, hateful things about anything to their liking without threatening or actually doing violence. Just let them be prepared to accept that others will have differing opinions and may voice them just as loudly. That is what freedom is about.
Calling for their detainment under the ISA would be blatant hypocrisy.
They do seem well prepared with their professionally-printed banners and wireless mics though. Not to mention a dead cow. I wonder what an investigation into who supplied these items would turn up?
And what the hell is up with this?
“Khalid Ibrahim wears a mask of a Muslim, but in truth he is a liberal. PAS stands to lose out as a result. I voted for PAS as well as Khalid in the past elections,” Mahyuddin claimed.
Is there something wrong with being a liberal? Is it against Islam somehow? Can you not be Muslim and liberal at the same time?


Arsenal 3–1 Celtic. And yeah, he dove …

I am sure that Eduardo dove for his penalty (and that was wrong of him. Bad Eduardo!) but I disagree that that was the turning point in the match. For it to be called a turning point the match needed to, well … turn. But from what I saw Arsenal had a pretty tight hold on the match all the way from beginning to end. Yeah sure it feels a bit dirty that he took a dive but it did not change what Celtic had to do to win the game at that point: score 3 goals. The fact that they never threatened to do that (and that we scored twice afterwards) makes the point moot.

What really struck me about the game last night was how it seemed to light up when Arshavin was subbed in. More of that please! Here's to a good weekend.


You're still a fucking idiot

I have come to a realisation of some things about myself. This may come as a surprise to some but I have a very low self-esteem. ∴ When someone fails to understand things that I grok, I tend to get very short with them. I believe the reasoning that happens in my head is: "Even I can understand this, why can't this fucking idiot get it." Note the emphasis on "I".

So the next time I snap at you, just remind yourself that I most likely have a lower opinion of myself than of you.

But you're still a fucking idiot.


We got 2 lucky goals. Yay!

I saw Arsenal's game against Celtic this morning. We won 2–0 and the commentators were saying that we were lucky. And we were — nothing wrong with that. The point is we made our luck and got the two goals.The first one was in the first half when Fabregas's free kick got deflected off a ducking Gallas into the goal. The second came when Diaby who just came on as a sub broke free and fed the ball to Clichy who crossed it into the box only for some Celtic dude to put it in the goal. Oh, just watch the video!

And a 2–0 win away in European competition is not to be looked down upon. The centrebacks especially were good. Gallas of course got that goal, but more than once he and Vermaelen made important interceptions in defense. I hope their form continues for a long, long time and I'm very much looking forward to our next game.

I do have one complaint about the Celtic fans though: You'll never walk alone? Seriously? Really guys, find a new song.

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Race: __________

So we don't have to fill in the "Race:" field in official forms now. Good isn't it? Well it's a step in the right direction, right? Well except for a teensy caveat:

However, it is understood that some forms will continue to have the category in relation to special privileges for Bumiputras.
What this says to me is: "We don't really need to know what your race is, except when we do." And let's not kid ourselves: Most of the time, we can tell from the name. There has been no change in the policies of our great nation. It's business as usual. I can't even honestly describe it as a step in the right direction. More like a glance, and maybe a wink? But I guess that is still good thing. *golfclap*

Reminder to self: You have quit WoW

Remember kiddies: World of Warcraft is evil. *puts video on repeat*


Quietly optimistic

I am resolved to being quietly optimistic about Arsenal's chances in the league this season. However I must say the sound of football pundits pedaling backwards is music to my ears.

Do you hear that? That my friends, is the sound of quiet optimism: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!


I want to see District 9 again, and again, and again …

Remember when I said movies this summer was disappointing? Well, I may have been just a little bit hasty.

I went into the cinema knowing absolutely nothing about District 9 other than that it had aliens in it and slums were somehow involved. I hadn't even seen a trailer.

District 9 is old-school science fiction. You will see none of the shiny, clean lines that most people think of when they think of sci-fi. It's gritty, often very violent. When I first saw Wikus Van Der Merwe (he's the main character person), I was struck by the casual cheerfulness with which he did evil. He doesn't see himself or his acts as evil of course – he was just following the rules. There was a scene quite early on when Wikus was asking an alien to sign an eviction notice and the alien refused. Wikus then threatened to take the alien's child away due to "unsafe living conditions". Pure evil. When the shit hits the fan though … well no, he's still evil, but the shit does a very good job of hitting the fan.

The plot of course is predictable but you don't see this movie for the plot twists. You see it for the commentary. How bureaucracy can be evil. How the aliens are treated as sub-human scum. How the strong preys on and devours the weak. Still, I don't think one viewing is enough to do justice to this movie. I'm sure there are things I've missed and I look forward to seeing this again.

EDIT 22/08/2009: Listen to The /Filmcast review of District 9. It's very good but there will be spoilers.


Battlefield 1943 is great — Welcome to July!

I've been playing Battlefield 1943 on and off between bouts of Fat Princess for the last couple of weeks and it has been really fun. It is also (as far as I can remember) the first first-person shooter I've played on a console — Fallout 3 doesn't count. Now, I haven't played FPSs in a long while and my last one was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on the PC. But comparing those two games directly wouldn't be fair to BF1943. CoD4 was a full-fledged game with a single-player campaign and a multiplayer aspect with modern weapons. BF1943 on the other hand is a completely multiplayer experience with one game mode on three different maps (well four if you count the Air Superiority map, but I never play that).

You get to choose between three classes: a rifleman, an infantryman, or a scout. As far as I can tell the only difference between the classes are their equipments. The rifleman is armed with a bolt-action rifle, a grenade launcher, grenades and a bayonet. The infantryman has a submachine gun, a bazooka, and a wrench that lets him fix things. The scout is your basic sniper armed with a scoped sniper rifle, a pistol, and dynamites. You can switch classes between respawns. You can also pick up a dead soldiers backpack to change classes.

You can also use several vehicles in the game: cars, tanks, and airplanes. What I love most about the game is the tank, sure it's big, slow and pretty much an explosives magnet. But usually before you inevitably blow up into a million tiny pieces, you can do a hell of a lot of damage. And that makes me happy. The planes on the other hand … I've never been able to fly them properly and I probably never will.

But that doesn't matter. Not really. The bottom-line is the game is fun and that is why I play it.


Kubuntu Netbook?

I asked which version of Ubuntu Karmic Koala I should put on my netbook on identi.ca and 3 out of 3 recommended Kubuntu Netbook edition. Which kinda surprises me, really. Pretty much all I know of the Kubuntu Netbook edition is that (1) it is Kubuntu, and (2) it uses Arora as the default browser. I've always had it in my head that KDE 4 especially is kind of heavy and not suited for netbook and this came about from the tortuous hour and a half-ish I spent with Kubuntu Jaunty on my Dell laptop. Can someone please enlighten me?


Summer movie round-up

In one word: disappointing. Out of all the movies that I saw between May and these first few days of August, only two I can honestly say I enjoyed – Star Trek, and The Brothers Bloom. And Trek wasn't even all that good, just a solid reboot to an old story.

The Brothers Bloom on the other hand was a great movie. It was funny, clever, and at times weird. Amazing if it hadn't been for the people I had to watch it with. Kids! "Get off my lawn!" – and all that. I would have liked to watch it I again but apparently it was shown only in KL and I was only there for a day. Is the DVD out by the way?

As for the rest of them? I read the reviews for Terminator: Salvation but ignored them and saw it anyway. Regretted that. I was expected a movie with John Connor as the main character and what I got was a movie that is itself confused about what it is about.

I did not ignore the reviews for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen but I never liked the first movie anyway so no loss really. The reviews were hilarious by the way. If anything positive can be said to come from that movie the reviews are it.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was… bland. Oh, it's pretty and all – but nothing seems to happen in the movie. I spent the whole time just waiting for stuff to happen and when it does, all I can say is "That's it?" Dumbledore's death and Snape's reveal at the end just fell flat for me.

And I also saw Monsters vs. Aliens but that's not really a summer movie (I enjoyed it – which is the polite way of saying it was "meh." 3D definitely made it better).

I probably won't be seeing G.I. Joe.



My Whedon TV shows in order of preference:
  1. Firefly
  2. Buffy
  3. Dollhouse
  4. Angel
Dollhouse still has a chance to climb higher though. I have hopes after seeing Epitaph One.


I've been using Chromium and I like it

Wow it's been 10 days since the day I arbitrarily chose to use Chromium as my default browser! Well, it's not completely arbitrary – I've been having some problems with Firefox 3.5 being really slow especially on Google Reader and Gmail. And since those are the sites I practically live on on the internet the situation slowly became unbearable.

At first I thought it was because of the extensions and addons I used so I uninstalled everything to see if that fixed anything. But it didn't – not noticably anyway. I figured if uninstalling the extensions doesn't fix the sluggishness I might as well switch browsers for a while, at least on the netbook. Thus I grabbed chromium-browser off the chromium-daily PPA and apparently have not looked back since.

First thing I noticed is that Gmail and Google Reader definitely ran smoother. I don't have to wait ages anymore for the feed items to show up when scrolling down. Navigating through an article was not the chore it used to be too. And the extra screen real-estate — without extensions — was just the icing on the cake (I'm on a netbook so more screen space is always good).

I know that it's very much a "work in progress" at the moment but for my purposes, it is good enough.


Batman: Arkham Asylum demo

I downloaded the demo from PSN yesterday and played through it once today. Right off the bat one thing I have to say: The game looks gorgeous. I spent an embarrassing amount of time just staring at Batman.

The combat sort of reminds me of Assassin's Creed. You press □ to attack and △ to counter. Sometimes the game shows the action in slow motion which I totally do not understand why or how. Pretty though. You also have batarangs that you can throw at people. It knocks them out for a few seconds but they can dodge it if they see it coming (I think).

At the core of it though Batman: Arkham Asylum seems to be a stealth game — Batman doesn't use guns and directly facing enemies who have guns is suicide. Luckily he can use grappling hooks to climb up and swing around a room, drop behind enemies and silently take them out. And that's mainly the way I played the demo. It just seems to simple too simple to me and I wonder how they are going the ramp up the challenge as the game progresses. I hope it's not simply by throwing more bodies in your face.

From the scenes after the demo I'm assuming that there will be showdowns with the various supervillains they have as guests at Arkham so I wonder how these boss fights are going to play out. I wish they had a mini boss fight in the demo just to demonstrate that. Maybe just a slightly stronger than average doped up inmate, perhaps? But that didn't have that so I'm just going to have to wonder.

I wasn't really excited about the game before I played the demo and I remain so afterwards.

P.S: Yup, blogging about things you don't really care about. Thats what all the cool kids are doing these days. I tend to gush more about the things I like (or hate) at my identi.ca account.


Move to Blogger

So I moved my blog to Blogger. I had no particular reason other than laziness and cheapness. I originally wanted to move to wordpress.com but they charged US$10 for to point my domain name to my blog there plus it somehow broke my Jabber setup, so I settled on Blogger.

There are a couple of downsides though. One: the permalinks are broken. Two: Comments are lost. But I figured since this wasn't a big giant humongously popular site anyway, nothing of importance would be missed. Also, the comments aren't really lost – they're still on Disqus. I just can't figure out a way to show them on the blog.
OpenID seems to work right, but I think Blogger/Google still uses OpenID 1.1 since I can't add it as a plain OpenID to Facebook at the moment. Again, little was lost.
Other than waiting for DNSs to update the move was relatively painless and I hope some time passes before I get not lazy again.