Tuesday, June 26, 2007

two farmers

lately i've been worried by a certain change. after living in an environment where u'r surrounded by japanese-speaking ppl all day, having to speak, write, LIVE in japanese, i've found that my ability in other languages hv degraded to the point of being physical. yesh, im actually losing the ability to speak clearly in english n chinese...!

not saying dat i was ever a bestowed wif crsytal clear speech, but im sure no 1 ever had trouble understanding me unless i was spouting gaming jargon. nowadays, my speech is so seriously slurred n full of mangled syllables dat sumtimes i pause n repeat myself juz 2 assure myself dat i can actually pronounce those syllables right. n sumtimes indeed i cant!

its all the fault of the pronounciation structure of the japanese language. they hv so few syllables dat if u speak almost exclusively japanese for days on end, muscles used in pronounciation of other sounds will eventually deteriorate. at least, thats my hypothesis (Shao Thing's Rule)

well anyway, gotta sleep soon. so, the mean topic of the post as follows:

2 farmers, Ah Seng n Ah Beng. Ah Seng is hardworking, Ah Beng is seen by some as a slacker. Ah Seng works hard on his plot of land, consistently watering the crops, weeding, taking care of his crops from morning till night. however, the crops seem sickly n do not flourish as expected, despite Ah Seng's best efforts. meanwhile Ah Beng doesnt do anything wif his plot of land. then one day, Ah Seng gets fed up wif all the hard work and abandons his crops. Ah Beng, seeing an opportunity, comes in n takes over the plot of land. within a few weeks, the crops matured n Ah Beng had a good harvest, despite only taking care of the crops for a few weeks compared to Ah Seng's months of sweat n toil.

now, a smart aleck wans 2 noe, does Ah Seng or Ah Beng deserve the harvest? Ah Seng DID put in tons of hard work, but gave up the crops in the end (understandably he wudnt b too happy if he found out dat Ah Beng took his harvest tho). Ah Beng was lazy n slacked off on his own crops but it was his intervention that prevented the crops from dying after Ah Seng abandoned them. n perhaps he had better agricultural talent as he managed 2 achieve good harvest in a short period.

oh, one last thing: apparently the crops kenot b 'split equally' or indeed, split in any way. they must b ALL harvested by one person only.

now, its a lame metaphor for sum stuff (read: drama) dats been going on here in japan, but im not d one who came up wif this story/riddle, n im not endorsing it or anything. juz feel like hearing d opinions of d masses....heheh. opinions, comments, questions etc welcome (adds sum life 2 my blog too :P )

Saturday, June 16, 2007

customer service in japan

is extremely good. as some of u might hv heard, i was quite pissed off at my camera a few months back becuz of sum dirt that has sumhow made its way into the lens (no amount of blowing wud remove it). so for a while (quite a long while in relation to the period of time since i bought it) i had speckles showing up on the screen whenever i zoomed in wif my cam.

to cut a long story short i finally decided i had enuf of it. i mean com'on, i paid 38000 yen for this camera (it was top of the line when i got it), n i was taking inferior pictures....no, not juz inferior, totally SPOILT pictures....cuz of the disgusting black splotches that faithfully popped up whenever i used optical magnification. so i took it to the Canon Service Center in umeda (thats the osaka equivalent of shinjuku btw) a few weeks back (i was in umeda attending a dinner at which our prime minister...yeah, the big Pak Lah! was present...hehe...actually he held that function for all of us malaysian students in the kansai region of japan).

(desire to blog fades off....)

so i left it at the service center....din dare 2 ask how much it wud cost, although it was still within the 1-year warranty period.....n today went there again 2 pick up the camera, n hey presto! good as new. most importantly, the repairs din cost me A SINGLE YEN! well, considering i had to travel to n fro by train, it cost me about 500 yen....way less than the repair shud! according to the repair description, they actually replaced the entire optical unit, which wud explain y the scratches on the outer lens i made when attempting to fix the problem myself were absent. btw, it turned out that there was nothing wrong wif the lenses, but rather the dirt got itself stuck to the CCD unit inside the camera.

funny thing was, such repairs were explicitly stated as NOT being covered by warranty as they involve (usually) carelessness on the customer's part.

duno if this is related or not, but i remember dat even shortly after i got the cam, it was already showing odd splotches whenever i took pictures of distant objects at night wif flash. as in, the flash doesnt quite reach the object so its not illuminated, but instead the dirt on the lens/ccd shows up bright as day. juz a random thought, move on.

anyway, kudos to canon customer service, n in fact customer service in japan in general. malaysia has lots to catch up in this regard....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

tada......computer art at its finest

created wif: mspaint, logitech g5 gaming mouse n lots of talent ;-)
suggest a title, any1?