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In-Between Points



This is a blog about me going places and the things that I do in between. I may not be travelling much but even going to the backyard is a travel between points, hence the blog title...



Updated: 2011-01-15T00:19:08.271+08:00

 



I Wonder...

2009-04-19T20:39:27.823+08:00

I wonder if it is worth resurrecting this blog. I wonder if visitors are still coming by. I wonder...



Jaxons.Org

2008-05-08T11:33:03.153+08:00

Dear friends,
When I started this blog sometime in October 2004, I had no idea for how long I would be blogging here. I knew I could keep on blogging but I knew also that someday I would stop updating this blog and move on.

That day has come. That day is today.

I now welcome you to my new home, Jaxon's Review at www.jaxons.org, which I started in July 2007.

I've made a lot of friends from this blog over the years and I want to thank you now for the friendship. Let's now move over to my new playground and continue our respective blogging journey.

I shall no longer be posting here, barring unforeseen circumstances.

But this blog will remain alive, however.
Regards,
Jaxon S



Diversify, And Consolidate

2008-04-24T08:43:37.184+08:00

I guess, it's time to consolidate but I'm not sure yet. I've been diversifying haphazardly in my blogging activities and maybe it's time that I take stock of the situation.

And that would mean, stop blogging here in In-Between Points and merge this blog with my other self-hosted blog.

I don't know yet but I'm seriously considering this option. I need a few more days to think about the pros and pros of moving to the new blog. ;)



Son's Attempt At Computer Graphic

2008-05-10T16:33:46.188+08:00

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I guess it's in the blood but in my case, I stopped pursuing my interest in art very early in my life.

But things were different then. During the time I was growing up, the society around me did not consider art as part of what can be considered as "education".

Things were simple then

The approach to learning was simple -- read textbooks, pay attention in class, finish homeworks and read more textbooks and score high marks.

So I gave up my interest in anything related to drawing and tried to read books and learn whatever there was that could be learned.

History repeating itself

But it looks like history is repeating itself all over again. My 14-year-old son is very keen in arts, especially line illustrations.

Enough of all those creatures

However, instead of giving him encouragement, I've been telling him to stop wasting time drawing all the strange creatures and concentrate on his studies instead.

Then I realised this should not be the way. The least I could do was to prevent from discouraging him from developing his talents.

So I told him, if you really want to pursue this interest of yours, then do it properly and seriously and hold on to it till the end while at the same time try also to excel in his studies.

I guess history is meant to be repeated to give us the opportunity to do it differently the next time around.



When RM300 Is A Small Price To Pay For The Things That Did Not Happen

2008-04-18T10:21:02.285+08:00

Of course RM300 is a huge amount to spent on nothing, but considering the things that did not happen to me recently, it is not a big price to pay.

Foul mood and late to work

To cut the short story shorter, I was driving and was already late to work, and was somehow in a foul mood.

Things went on okay in spite of the foul day, until I reached a traffic-lighted intersection where I was to turn right to take the main road towards office. From 50 metres I saw the lights turning yellow and as I was just about to make the turn, they turned red.

But it was too late to stop the momentum of the heavy 4WD truck so I floored the accelerator instead as I swung the steering wheel to the right.

On a collision course

To my horror, the motorcycles on the opposite side of the road had also begun to race forward.

And going by the looked of it, we were set for a nasty collision -- me on a 4WD truck travelling perhaps at 70km per hour on the 90 degrees turn, against a dozen or so motorcycles which had just raced forward, the way they always did when the lights turned green.

There was no turning back now, for me or for the motorcycles. In a desperate attempt to avoid a crash, I stepped on the brake pedal but decided to let it go as I was losing control of the truck and it might overturn if I forced it to stop.

Reaction time

Thankfully there was still a small distance left between me and the two-wheelers to allow for a quick reaction time on the part of the motorcyclists, and magically, they slowed down and let me pass, no doubt with their high pitch horns blaring in unison.

With my heart pounding, I continued with the journey, pledging never -- ever -- do such a stupid thing again.

Didn't you see the lights?

But that was not the end of the story. A traffic policeman apparently witnessed the whole incident. He caught up with me and signalled me to pull over, and promptly issued the summon.

I was still shivering when he handed over the piece of paper.

I could almost see and hear the image and sound of a collision -- the sound of motorcycles crushing under the truck, of helmets smashing by the side windows, of ribs cracking as the truck runs over the fallen riders, of dozens or so bodies lying on the ground with limbs twisted at awkward angles, of children riding pillion thrown to the roadside from the impact of the collision... of everything, in slow-motion, thus amplifying the details of the impact.

Grateful for the RM300

I accepted the summon without a single word. The next day, I paid a total of RM300 -- the maximum fine for such an offence -- at the Kajang Traffic office.

A man who had just paid his summon saw me handing over the RM300 and told me I could have appealed for a reduction.

I told him I would pay the maximum amount. I did not tell him I was just too grateful for the things that did not happen on that fateful afternoon.

The RM300 is a small price to pay indeed.



Decluttering In-Between Points, Google Ads To Stay

2008-04-10T11:57:52.467+08:00

I've removed some of the page elements on this blog, particularly the Borneo poll series, Flickr badge and several others to make In-Between points less cluttered.

This blog should load smoother now, slashing the loading time may be by up to five seconds on 56kbps dial-up or one to two seconds on 512kbps broadband, the speed I'm currently using at home.

Google ads to stay

The Google ads block, however, will stay where it is for the time being. It has brought in a very small trickle of income almost each week and I'm replicating this model on my other blogs.

This is one thing about Adsense. If you know how to make, say, a dollar a day or even a dollar a week, you can replicate the model on other sites and make several dollars a day or dollars a week.

Replicate, replicate, replicate

That's a small change but hey, the keyword is "replicating". You can replicate the model on new niche sites if you have the energy to maintain them.

And you do learn something as you experiment with ad placements and niche sites that are likely to bring in the bigger trickle.

Adsense ads work better on niche blogs

If you experiment with niche sites long enough, you would gain some knowledge on the type of niche where Google ads are likely to succeed, so that in the end you can have several niche-specific sites that you can really rely on to bring in the larger trickle.

If you learn enough, you can change that small trickle into larger trickle, and then into a small stream. If you learn and replicate enough, that is. Let's not talk about a larger stream yet as I have not seen it happening to me.

In-Between Points is not a niche blog

When I talk about niche blogs, I'm not saying In-Between Points is one of them. This is just a mix-of-everything blog, so it won't likely make for a productive blog in terms of ad revenue.

But like I said, I'm experimenting and learning, and one of the ways to learn is by trial and error.

Targeting search engine surfers

So the ads will stay for at least a couple more months. This blog's regular visitors might not use the ads at all, and that's okay. The key is to target those who come to this blog via search engine.

Search engine surfers do so to look for specific information on the web and when they come to your site via a specific blog entry, they would also be presented with relevant ads that correspond their search.

So they are more likely to use the ads because they are related to the information they have been looking for.



Chickening Out On Cold Turkey... Quit Smoking Update 2008

2008-04-06T09:54:32.246+08:00

Sometime on the night of 31st December 2006, I finished my last stick of cigarette and told myself I'm gonna quite smoking for good. Well, 2007 had not been a clean year.

I managed to stay smoke free for the first eight months. However while on an assignment in Sydney in September last year, I succumbed to the temptations after a can of beer. It's the beer; it's always the beer.

So for one week I had been drawing smoke Down Under, inhaling deep, enjoying the rush of nicotine and at the same time hating myself for doing what I was doing.

But I told myself there would be no more of that after Sydney. However, the addiction stayed after Sydney and friends had been offering free cigarettes, which took without hesitation.

So, I smoked for about two more weeks after Sydney and then, realising that I was being pulled deeper and deeper into my former chain-smoking self, I steeled my resolve and said enough was enough.

I managed to halt the decline just before sinking below the point of no return. From there, I crawled back out of the addiction pit and had not tasted a single stick ever since.

Click here for a complete story of my quit smoking attempt. For the record, I had been smoking heavily for over 20 years prior to the 2006 quit smoking attempt.



Less Worries For Online Merchants With Ashop Commerce Solution

2008-04-03T00:04:39.256+08:00

(image) If you want to set up an online business -- or if you already have but the cranky shopping cart software lets you down -- you should be happy to know that one of the most important aspect of the business -- the shopping cart solution -- is now the least of your worry.

That is if you decide to choose top-notch shopping cart software from Ashop Commerce.

One of the leading name in shopping cart solution in the United States, Ashop Commerce, provides a wide arrays of service covering a complete solution for merchants to sell online.

Thousands of novice and professionals alike have benefited from Ashop Commerce who not only get to enjoy the wide-ranging features, but also the ease of use -- despite being comprehensive -- the software has to offer.

Security is also one of the most important aspect that could make or break consumer confidence towards businesses, either online or offline.

But in the case of Ashop Commerce's ecommerce solution, it has 128 SSL checkout security feature as well as fraud alerts.



Five Reasons Why Malaysian Government Should or Shouldn't Save Sufiah

2008-04-02T22:35:03.726+08:00

So the Malaysian government wants to save Sufiah Yusof, the former child maths genius, who metamorphed into a 23-year-old 130-pound sterling an hour hooker.

Newsreports quoted Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying that the Prime Minister's Department and the Malaysian Missionary Foundation (Yadim) will try to assist Sufiah Yusof and help the gifted girl to return to the right path through the "Save Sufiah Programme".

Five reasons why the Malaysian government should save Sufiah:
1. Her mother is from Malaysia;
2. He story receives huge media coverage in Malaysia;
3. We shouldn't be just bystanders to her plight;
4. If she returned to "the right path" she could become the right example for "troubled" teenagers in Malaysia; and
5. It really is the right thing to do.
Five reasons why the Malaysian government should not save Sufiah:
1. It is not the business of the government to save hookers abroad;
2. Sufiah Yusof is not a Malaysian;
3. Malaysia has its own hookers to save, hundreds of them possibly;
4. It involves huge cost to fly a team of moral rescuers to Britain; and
5. The programme smacks of hypocrisy.
I rest my hook.



Water

2008-03-21T12:00:16.595+08:00

Picture is taken at the compound of National Museum in KL. If you passed by this fountain you might want to test your camera against the speed of the spouting water.

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Nice Blogger Templates

2008-03-20T09:25:05.084+08:00

I've decided to reactivate some of my dormant old blogs on Blogspot, some of which are more than three years old but have not been updated for over a year. My aviation blog is one of them which I started in 2005 but has not been active since last year.

It just occurred to me that that blog is important for me personally to enrich my knowledge in that sector. It is meant to discuss the fear of flying but I've since decided that I should change the concept and discuss aviation in general.

Furthermore, I kind of seeing myself as having some form of knowledge about aviation issues, having covered the sector quite extensively during my stint in the Lion City.

But I wouldn't want to reactive it with the same template so I scoured the Net and came across some very nice Blogger templates on Blogcrowd.

(image) So I change the template (like the one this picture) so that it doesn't look too Blogger, and guess what, it comes out quite okay although there still some tweaking needed.

All you have to do is to copy the HTML code and paste it on your blog template, save the changes and you are done.

But be warned, because you'll lose all your sidebar widgets and add-ons when you do this; and you'll have to reinstall them one by one if you still need them. This can be quite frustrating if you don't have the time to tinker with the template or if your the Internet connection is slow.

But you'll be able to back up some of the widgets and put it back once you've installed your template of choice.

Gecko & Fly is another great resources for Blogger templates although one or two the templates had cross-browser compatibility issues.



Ducks Were Once Chickens...

2008-03-10T09:23:30.137+08:00

In the era of The Big Bang, in the final moment before the giant asteroid hit the earth, a terrified chicken pointed to the sky and said, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

But it's too late. The massive rock from the sky hit the earth and all the chickens could do -- well, at least some of them -- was to duck. And duck they became until today...



Borneo Blog Poll Series

2008-03-10T11:47:18.702+08:00

Hi all, as you might've already noticed, I've slapped a poll widget onto the sidebar of this blog, the first of several in the Borneo Blog Series I'm planning to conduct this year.

I see some of you have voted in it and I thank you all. The poll will run until it reaches a critical mass in terms of the number of votes.

Those of you who have voted will be able to view the results each time you visit this blog from the computer that you have used to vote. Those who haven't voted, will be able to see the results once they have cast their votes.

Opps... sorry guys, I'm still BUI -- blogging under influence -- of the just-concluded general election, hence the phrase "cast their votes". I didn't vote in the election -- my polling centre is too far from where I'm now -- but I still couldn't get over the effect of the election.

The Borneo Blog Poll Series on tourism attractions in Sabah will run for at least two months, or until it reaches 200 votes, which ever comes late.



February Productivity Report

2008-03-07T20:52:51.816+08:00

In January, it was 50 blog posts across six blogs; it's 57 altogether in February despite the shorter month.

And In-Between Points is PR Zero, just days after reaching its old PR 3. Hmm... this can't be good.



Lama Sudah Tidak Ke Ladang

2008-03-04T03:57:02.694+08:00

Rakan-rakan saya mempunyai tafsiran sendiri terhadap peribahasa Melayu, "Lama sudah tidak ke ladang".

Tak tahulah apa yang mereka fikirkan tetapi sebut sahaja peribahasa itu, ada yang akan tersenyum kambing dan ada juga yang tergelak beruk kerana mungkin ia mengingatkan mereka terhadap... ladang.

Ladang Bahasa Melayu

Ha, ha. Sekali-sekala, seronok juga menulis blog dalam Bahasa Melayu, atau dulunya dikenali sebagai Bahasa Malaysia. Sebenarnya bagi saya, Bahasa Melayu lebih tepat kerana bahasa ini memang Bahasa Melayu. Bahasa orang Melayu.

Bahasa Melayu, bagi saya, adalah ladang yang sudah lama saya tinggalkan.

Kecuali tiga atau empat tahun lepas ketika saya sibuk menyiapkan memoir kisah perjalanan di selatan Filipina, saya hampir tidak pernah menulis dalam Bahasa Melayu sejak itu.

Bukan merajuk dengan bahasa ini. Sebenarnya saya sengaja meninggalkannya kerana tidak mahu memudahkan pilihan untuk berekspresi -- supaya saya tidak terlalu bergantung kepada bahasa yang secara teknikalnya "lebih mudah" dikuasai berbanding bahasa Inggeris.

Kononnya mahu terus memaksa diri berbahasa Inggeris tak kiralah bagaimana sukarnya berekspresi dalam bahasa itu.

Ladang Omputih

Sebenarnya, ada faedahnya juga. Sekurang-kurangnya saya kini tidak lagi menulis "I did went to the market yesterday" atau "I wish I have bought it when the price is still low" sepertimana empat tahun lepas.

Sebenarnya, saya benar-benar mahu mempelajari Bahasa Inggeris, tetapi bukan mudah bagi orang dewasa untuk menguasai bahasa itu, kecuali agaknya jika dia berada di negara yang bahasa pengantarnya ialah Bahasa Inggeris.

Hari ini saya cuba berkunjung semula ke "ladang" Bahasa Melayu yang saya tinggalkan dan saya dapati rumput sudah meninggi melepasi lalang. Padi entah ke mana.

Rasanya saya perlu berusaha sekali lagi untuk berkomunikasi lebih lancar dalam bahasa ini. Saya rasa, saya boleh melakukannya jika saya bersungguh-sungguh.

Bak kata pepatah orang putih, biar putih tulang, jangan putih mata. Suatu hari mungkin dapat juga saya menuai hasil dari kedua-dua ladang ini.

Cakap tak serupa bikin

Ah, sekarang ini musim pilihan raya. Banyak orang akan berucap di sana-sini dan berjanji di sana-sini.

Tak apalah. Satu sahaja harapan saya, janganlah cakap tak serupa bikini.

Ada juga musuh politik seseorang calon yang cuba berbuat baik dengan pihak yang dimusuhinya supaya dapatlah dia mendekati rahsia dan strategi calon lawan. Ah, biarkan mereka menjadi mustang berbulu ayam.

Oklah, cukup dulu sampai di sini kerana malam sudah menjelang pagi. Mengantuk pula rasanya mata ini.

Bantal menunggu disorongkan orang...



Back To PR3 Now

2008-02-29T01:21:12.137+08:00

Sometime a few months back, this blog was demoted to PageRank (PR) 2 from PR3. It seems that it has now been promoted again to PR3. The question is, will I ever reach PR4, here?



Puzzled Expression

2008-02-26T23:07:37.355+08:00

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I'm Your Brother

2008-02-23T08:59:45.799+08:00

If you've been following this season's American Idol, then you've seen this Renaldo Lapuz guy. If you haven't, and if you've got good Internet connection, you might want to watch the Idol's finest moment yet this year. ;)

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And here's the remix version you can actually dance to:

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Dry Leaf

2008-02-17T22:36:21.427+08:00

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Mathematical Problem

2008-02-17T12:28:07.756+08:00

Here are two actual questions I came across recently which I would like you to think not the answer, but other issues such as whether we are doing justice to the subject and the students who learn the subject in school.
Question 1: A tap flowing at the rate of 500 ml per minute, took 5 minutes to fill Tank A. Tank B, which was twice the volume of Tank A, was already 4/5 filled. If some water was poured from Tank A to Tank B until Tank B was completely full, how much of water was left in Tank A?

Question 2: A lift goes down 2 floors a second on a 56-storey building. Melissa wants to go down 56 storeys. How long will she take if she use the lift?
Question 2 is taken from a homework given to Form Two students at a secondary school in Malaysia while Question 1 is taken from a test given to Primary 5 pupils at a primary school in Singapore.



Bad Credit, Good Credit. Are You Credit Worthy?

2008-02-17T13:34:32.666+08:00

(image) How's your credit worthiness going? Mine is staying just above the water.

I manage to scrap through each month and pay every single bill and loan. Which is excellence from the lenders' point of view because I have never defaulted on any of them.

I'm sure many of you are wise enough not to get yourself encumbered with loans you have difficulty servicing. But there are other factors affecting our credit worthiness. Like friends who defaulted on their loans of which we are the guarantor.

Ah, that, my friend, is painful. I know how it feels to be paying thousands of ringgit for loans defaulted by others.

Things like this will plunge our credit worthiness from excellent to bad in just overnight and we would find it difficult to obtain another loan eventhough this has got nothing to do with our ability to repay the loan.

In the US the number bad credit consumers are growing but there are still credit facilities available for them in the form of bad credit loans.

BadCreditOffers.com provides an online guide to bad credit consumers on credit offers available, from credit cards to housing loans, personal loans to credit repair. They could also rebuild their credit worthiness by making payments on time.



Election Wishes

2008-02-16T05:17:01.763+08:00

To all my friends who will be contesting in the March 8 Malaysian general election, I wish you all the best. Keep the fire burning, if you will, but do keep the cool also. As for me, bros, I won't be voting this time.

Got to work on polling day. And besides, my polling centre is too far from where I am now that it would be impractical for me to rush back to vote.

I know some of my close friends -- friends I can talk to on first name basis -- will get to contest in this election. Wishing you success, my friends. Hope after your victories we can remain on that first name basis.

A president of the land of the free once said, "There's no greater calling than public service". You have been called, bros. Now walk the path and follow the light... and shine bright!



We Might End Up In Care Centre One Day

2008-02-09T10:30:39.137+08:00

Have you ever thought that one day you might end up in a care home centre? I do. And the more I think about the possible scenario of my twilight years, the more likely it is that I might end up spending the remaining years of my life in a home -- or shall I call it sanctuary -- for the old folks.

If I lived until my twilight years, that is.

The thing is, I couldn't see myself going anywhere as a frail old man. By that time, I don't think there's anymore place for me to return to or to go to.

I believe most of those who did end up in care home centres did not plan to end up there. But there they are, living the life of old men and women; as persons who have long past their primes.

The thing is, it can happen to me, and to you and to everyone else. Even if it doesn't, it is likely that at one time or another, some of us will have to grapple with the issue. If that being the case, why not wrestle with it now?

Thanks to the Internet, you can obtain numerous information about care homes at the comfort of your own space.

At bettercaring.com you can participate in forum discussion, read real life stories about men and women who have come face-to-face with the inevitable issue of care.

You can also read daily care news and receive tips on from care experts, including from the legal point of view.

It also provides information on finding care homes; however this only applies to those living in the United Kingdom. This may not be applicable to Malaysians, but the issues discussed are. It can serve to make us better informed and better able to make decisions when the time arises.

And oh, one more thing before I forget. I do hope that when my time comes, the care home management will allow me to maintain a blog. Because by that time, this travelling Jack may have already stopped travelling and In-Between Points might have come to its final point.



Macro Photography Blog: The Journey So Far

2008-02-05T01:15:52.505+08:00

If a picture paints a thousand words, then it can perhaps paint it up close...

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Fly Macro

2008-02-02T00:48:22.941+08:00

Was playing with my new macro lens recently when this fly flew by and set itself on a wooden plank just within the shooting distance of my camera. It stayed there for a few seconds, the seconds I needed to frame this shot...

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Looks like one of the legs is injured. For more macro shots, go over to Macro Photography Blog.