Silent emotions

Imagine this and imagine it vividly in your mind as best as you can:

You sitting in your chair in front of your computer and books.
You stopping whatever you were doing and turning your head towards the large window to your side, while one arm supporting your chin as your gaze drifting softly at the scene beyond the window.
You watching the continuous stream of traffic on the road across your vision field, hearing the muffled sound of vehicles zooming pass as people move on with their lives and realising you with yours.
You noticing the distant sky scattered with clouds and the sun shying away behind the thick still clouds.
You barely knowing what is in your mind at the mundanity of the moment and being oblivious that you are caught in a tranquillising trance.
You holding in this position in the physical and mental sense for minutes and minutes that when you snap out of it you realise perhaps 10 minutes has gone pass.

This is how I lost presence in this world. This is the melancholy in me emerging spontaneously at random times. This is one of the moments in life that I feel most calm and become deadly quiet - almost everything seems so crystal to me as I observe a snapshot of the world outside my window moving with time while my body is held in time stasis.

Speaking of time, I realise it is a waste, but I simply cannot help it.While in this trance, a great concoction of feelings comes splashing in an overwhelming force and these feelings are often the most difficult things for me to describe. Is is sadness? Longing? Helplessness? Frustration? Or is this what melancholy really is?

Perhaps I will never know the answer. But the answer does not matter to me. The whole experience means so much more to me. I consider it one the pleasures of life, actually.

You might raise an eyebrow to that last sentence, but I consider experiences and savouring emotions as ways to live your life fully. I thinks I would miss out on a lot if I didn't get to experience as many different kinds of emotion. It's just a waste to live without tasting them. (Okay, I think I'm starting to not make any sense, so I'll stop talking about it. But if somehow I do make sense to any of you, maybe you have found a mate!)

Although my melancholy can be brought about deliberately (which isn't very common of me), it is oft most triggered. By music. (Not again)

Here's one:

Just click on it. Three minutes of audio data is hardly a permanent damage to your monthly internet quota.

Out in the garden where we planted the seeds
There is a tree as old as me
Branches were sewn by the color of green
Ground had arose and passed its knees

By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top
I climbed the tree to see the world
When the gusts came around to blow me down
I held on as tightly as you held onto me
I held on as tightly as you held onto me...

Cause, I built a home
for you
for me

Until it disappeared
from me
from you

And now, it's time to leave and turn to dust...

Rarely you come across such powerful lyrics. Good songs are truly difficult to come by nowadays.

P.S. I may be misinterpreted by you as being "emotional" (the term as defined by people to describe certain difficult-to-handle people, as in "You're soooooo freakin' emotional!!!"). Those who truly know me would know better than to say I'm that kind of emotional.

P.P.S. Maybe I just simply miss home.

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Humans are humane? Chicks will disagree.

This is a baby chick.

In case you still didn't get it, this is also a baby chick.

Attack of the chicks. Please tell me that you get it already.

Oh, I knew very well what you are feeling right this moment. Go on, feast your eyes some more at these precious photos of cute, charming little chicks with their awesome cuteness that capture their pure innocence cutely.

I remember when I was about 12, my family had a small chicken cage-- no, scratch that - a relatively large chicken cage considering the population. It was the size of four moderately sized washing machine put close together, and it housed three adult chickens (one male, two females) with their little chicks. During the day, we let them out to roam free around the house. They especially liked to dance on the soft, green grass.

I watched the chicks grow up right from their hatching up to adulthood. Man, chickens do have a super swift biological development, and I sometimes wished they would stop growing at day 4. That is when they are cutest (see attached pictures).

Then today I watched something very, very disturbing. Too disturbing indeed that I had to share this with other people - yes, that means you. But this is not because I find it entertaining (read: NOT akin to spamming other people's inbox with stuff that is considered to be hilarious) but because I think the chicks would definitely want the world to know and take some sort of action.

Embedded below is a short documentary recorded at the world's largest egg-laying breed hatchery in Spencer, Iowa. I urge you to watch it immediately. I can guarantee that it is VERY disturbing to anyone, so don't say I didn't warn you. But you still have to, should, and must watch it. (I think I just contradicted myself)

If only Americans knew.

I don't know how exactly it is done here in Australia, but for the poor chicks' sake, I sure hope Aussies have a more gentle and humane story. A true chicken soup for the soul, if you will. (Was that a pun?)

What do we do? I'm not too sure myself. I don't think I will go vegan (as recommended at the end of the video) but at least I found something useful from Daily Finance website. Maybe we can do something after all. To quote:

Addendum: Many commenters have suggested that buying organic or free range eggs is the answer. While that is certainly preferable, it is not the answer; the chicks raised by Hy-Line and other hatcheries using instantaneous euthanasia can and do go to farmers who raise organic and free-range eggs. If you buy your eggs from a grocery store, they are almost certainly the fruit of this broken industry. I realize now that even the chickens I keep in my backyard for eggs (and treat extremely well, in a way incomparable to factory farms) were probably born in a hatchery only to see their brothers head toward the grinder. The answer is to buy chickens and eggs raised by very small, diversified farms. They're probably the ones at your local farmer's market, and they probably charge prices I've mentioned; as much as $5 per dozen for eggs and $6 per pound for meat. Talk to them, learn more about their practices and beliefs, and thank them.

P.S. If you were eating chicken while reading this entry, I apologise for the trauma I may have caused. If it makes you feel any better, the chicken in your hand was probably very well taken care of.

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"We bake our own iPhone"

When countless technologies are condensed into such a small device the size of roughly a short stack of business cards, it becomes extremely difficult not to bring said device everywhere you go. If you own such device, you might say, "I bring and use this incredible device everywhere simply because it makes me a productive person," and you continue to ramble on with reading online news, typing notes and ideas, and organising schedule. Perhaps more often than not you just want to look cool and be the subject of admiration among aspiring, trendy teenagers. But whatever, the reasons don't really matter.

What matters is that you do bring the magical device literally everywhere as if it is actually surgically attached to your body. That includes bringing the device to a dark storeroom to shine your way around, and to a kitchen to look for a French recipe (stupidly ambitious, considering you don't even know what tarragon is).

One day I carried my iPhone with me for a visit to the toilet in my own house, thinking I might as well be "a productive person" and read some news while I'm at it (or maybe I just wanted to look cool, not that anybody is there with me in the toilet to admire my coolness). After I was done and all and had flushed the toilet, I was punished. My iPhone slipped and "splash!" it went straight into the toilet bowl.

My iPhone must be so proud to be honoured as such.

It took me a full two seconds before I decide to fish it out from the (thankfully flushed) bowl. After patting it relatively dry with some tissue, my medical knowledge told me to sterilise it in some makeshift way that I can try in my house. I sanitised it with a liquid disinfectant (read: Dettol) and dried it again. My iPhone screen was dark and blank, as if the brief swim had taken its poor soul out of it - you could pretty much call it a diePhone now. To be honest, I'd probably be left soulless myself if I had that kind of a swim.

The whole process seemed to turn my iPhone off unintentionally. I didn't dare to turn it on immediately in fear of short-circuiting my iPhone in case the water had already went deep into the electronic circuitry. Operating under the assumption that the worst case scenario has happened, I thought of ways to dry it.

I placed it in front of my room heater switched on and left it there overnight. Then I used my hair-dryer a bit (I can't believe I just said that). There was still some water underneath the touchscreen, but I was somewhat confident that most of the moisture had evaporated from the circuitry, so I tried turning the iPhone on.

(A partially chomped off apple appeared on the screen)

My iPhone survived the horrible ordeal, but the water underneath the screen was a massive annoyance to me as I didn't need a less-than-sensitive touchscreen and I certainly didn't need an abstract artform to permanently shadow the screen. I needed a way to drain those moisture out.

After doing a bit of research in numerous forums (turned out I wasn't alone after all - I'm so happy), I found out some really rad and crazy methods of drying an iPhone (or any other electronic devices for that matter). I switched my iPhone off, took out my baking Pyrex, filled it with uncooked rice, and buried my iPhone in the middle of the rice. Supposedly, rice is just inherently thirsty, even going as far as sucking toilet water to quench that thirst. To speed up the drying process, I needed to raise the temperature. Since a microwave would just fry any electronic device and render it useless, I opted for conventional oven, as professionally recommended by some random people in forums. Setting the oven up on low temperature (about 100-120 degrees C; you don't want to melt your iPhone as I suspect it won't be very nice), I literally baked my iPhone for 9 hours.


I just LOVE the sound ovens make. This time around, however, it sounded even more pleasant than usual. I took the Pyrex out of the oven and digged for my iPhone. I turned it on to find that it worked perfectly fine and the touchscreen was devoid of water! It seemed that life has once again returned to the soulless device. Who knew a baked iPhone can make a man happier than a baked lasagne?

I know any normal person would now be traumatised enough to not bring such a device when visiting the toilet next time. Once is quite enough.

But since I'm not normal, I still keep bringing my iPhone to the toilet. What? I like to be "productive". Go away. (flushing toilet sound)

P.S. What do you think happened to the rice?

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