Tag Archives: Sol

“The Truth is Charity is a Lie” [Rant]

So… my own honor was called out today.

My own family demanded to know what happened to my Blackberry Curve. I had asked “Why? What’s up?” and got the “Oh… you could give it to one of us in the family or we could sent it to Vietnam” response. I found this odd because of a few factors:

  1. My parents and my sister don’t like smartphones. They have always made fun of me for my love of smartphones. “Why is it like a mini-computer? Isn’t that foolish from the small screen size?” They never shared my passion of being able to have life prioritized all in my finger tips.
  2. Most of the Vietnamese public has gone gone ga-ga over the iPhone so phones like Blackberries and other phones have gotten the backseat from how everyone there wants one. I’d assume my Blackberry would not be appreciated and well… It wouldn’t be cared for by someone who’d honestly kill for a good phone.

I had intended to give it to my cousin Sol, ’cause his Sony Ericsson P910a had not been to kind to him with dropping text messages and other. I like being charitable to Sol, because to me… He’s not just my cousin, but he’s one of the closest friends to me. So on mentioning my intentions of giving Sol my old Blackberry Curve 8310 so he could have a decent phone…

Apparently, thinking that Sol is like blood was bad form. My family decided to remind me that even cousins, aunts, and uncles can’t be trusted and the schism they had with my uncle and aunt back in the day… I have told them that Sol and I have been friends through thick and thin… but that got me into the “You’re a foolish idiot” mess.

Maybe I was from my past covered in the sins of my foolish choices… Maybe I still am from the fact I am willing to climb mountains to become a full fledged pharmacy student. Maybe I am a fool for being so kind to a world that has had enough mercy to let me live. Maybe I am an even bigger fool to give my own life even if it meant that my friend could live just another day… In my opinion, I owe this world a big favor and I haven’t paid my dues so I don’t mind this “foolish” path. I know that this path is one that only a beggar would choose… but for me, it absolves me of my flaws from the past. It makes me happy that I have to fight hard to go further, because that is how life is to be!

So the ultimate result… Comparisons to peers I can “never surpass” and I will never succeed to anything. My charity is “misguided” and it will get me “killed”. That ended on the sour note of “Charity is a lie… it doesn’t lead to anything good”. Maybe that’s a cynical view of life… but for me… I believe that sometimes charity is the one sign that I haven’t given up on this cruel and ugly world.

Mark my words and maybe my grave… Charity is something I believe in and Sol will get my Blackberry! I will not die with the name of “Faithbreaker”.

New Article at BerryTastic is Up!”What to do, What to do?”

The article is up for everyone’s enjoyment, if you want to see it… it’s here at this link: “What to do, What to do?”

For those of you who are a bit lazy at link jumping… click the “Read On” link here to check it out!
Continue reading New Article at BerryTastic is Up!”What to do, What to do?”

The Asian Infestation at The Saigon Mall Opening!

So, my family had heard the Vietnamese community clammoring about the opening of the new Saigon Mall strip out in Garland, Texas on the AM band radio station how there were sales and giveaways. Naturally… They wanted to go. I was about to evade going, but when Sol said “Dude, I am going too!” that changed my mind. We would take my father’s jade colored chariot to the market center and be graces with a scene that looked like this…

Continue reading The Asian Infestation at The Saigon Mall Opening!

Oh My… I think I am going to hate Sol for the monster he’s created…

After struggling to hasten installation of World of Warcraft’s installation by copying the patch files over from Sol’s computer… I would finally see an inkling of things picking up. I had to download the final big patch that brought me from v2.0.1 to 2.4.0 which was a hefty 1GB download that started when I got home from Sol’s at about 6:30 and the patch completed by about 12:10am. From there were the quick patch-ups from Blizzard that were 5MB and 15MB each respectively.

I had played for about 1 hour before I had tired out from exhaustion and required sleep. I got to a major city and Sol was trying to add me to his guild [Rejects] but due to the trial account, that wasn’t possible. Trade has been disabled as well due to the pervasive nature of people who would gold farm the game in exchange for real world cash… Which Sol understood naturally as he was hoping to try equipping me a little better for the hell that he could. Even for running the game on my sad machine, it ran rather tolerably… I can’t say the same for Guild Wars for the many times I have attempted to run that on my laptop Suzaku in failure. Though it was interesting to see that in 1 hour’s time, I managed to get my character ZeroXR, a human Alliance mage to level 3 and 75% close to hitting level 4. The battles make sense and I can already somewhat understand how the game can be a rather fun time sink. The interface, I will comment makes me feel ADD with so many meters and bars to gawk at while watching my skills, HP, MP and etc regenerate and/or cool down.

I am probably going to want a new machine for sure before I partake in playing recreationally as when the spammers go ballistic in a major city, it gets rather chaotic and things begin to lag from my poor integrated graphics card begins to beg for mercy. However… on reading Blizzard’s article on why the chat seems so sparse, it seems that I don’t even get the full chat functionality anyhow. Though it is good to know that even with my trial account, all the items I earn will still be available for me should I choose to buy into the mess.

Dropping the Loot and Honoring the Gods and Deities.

My family decided to take their jade chariot to to the Buddhist temple and participate in festivities to delight the spirit. I figured that it was in Sol’s neighborhood, so why not join them in their journey and bring my prize and Suzaku with me.

At the temple, I was at least able to make peace with the gods and deities who have gotten me thus far. I would run into Sol and we’d hang together while partaking in lunch and prayer. To eat Vietnamese Buddhist cuisine was something I had not had in the last few years… It made me realize how far I have come with regards to humility. If anything I have been far too merciful on myself and have not given myself enough credit. After reciting my prayers to the statues representative of their gods… I would make my way to Sol’s home to deliver him the Jawbone.

On dropping by Sol’s house… When I would pull the loot from my bag to pass it to him, the following image was his reaction…

Sol going "OMGZ!!!"

I close out by saying that a day of repentance and prayer with a dose of ZeroXR fun is always a good time!

“Zero?! Why aren’t you as studious with your updates?!” – Anonymous

Lately, I have had some of my fans a little upset that I haven’t been hammering away articles like a relentless machine… A lot of things have happened that I have had to “realign” myself and even balance out my mind. A good deal of people have been rather supportive of me which has helped expedite the process of rebalancing and realigning. My thanks this week goes to Sol, Rei, my Twitter fans, Yamcha, and my newest outspoken fan, Pistol. They all have kept me laughing, smiling, and most of all… having a great time!

Monday, everyone heard about me taking my aseptic training final. I was so sorely reminded of almost 3 years ago when I took the PTCB test… I took the 20 question test and finished it within 15 minutes. It scared me like my PTCB event… I walked alone but instead of waiting for the anticipation of my scores turning out in 3-4 weeks, I was able to get instant gratification knowing I passed. The night ended it a few rounds of celebration with Yamazaki.

Tuesday, I actually decided to go to extremes with my phone. I had grown rather fond of the _Alex_ ROM based in Windows Mobile 6.0 on my phone, but I couldn’t deal with the fact that sometimes the system was just awful slow at times. I wanted to have my phone as streamlined as possible but also have the cool “tricked out” features like the HTC Home screen, TouchFLO, and the HTC Cube. So I decided to do the most insane phone hacker thing in the history of my ownership of phones… I was going to build my phone completely from scratch. Naturally, I would have to get a “foundation” to build from… Thanks to the folks at XDA Developer’s Wiki on the Kaiser/Tilt, they had a link to the newest OEM ROM build for the HTC TyTN II using Windows Mobile 6.1. I would take that ROM and begin streaming the build into my phone… However, I had a snag that almost turned my phone into a paperweight… The ROM flasher utility had a hick-up and there was a warning that I needed to obey specific instructions to save my phone from being dead. I abided and given the blessing of whatever electronic deities were watching me. Eventually, the upgrade would finally finish and it would be grand. Everything from the unbranded HTC TyTN II was all there, but even though there was a tinge of the HTC TouchFLO control it was not quite my vision of the phone I had. I would have to add in the hacks and tweaks to give myself the HTC Cube, increased TouchFLO sensitivity, and even “steal” some elements from the wonderful HTC Touch. After finally getting that all set-up, it was time to restore use of my TomTom Navigator 6 to finally get a phone that is completely minimal of extra “features” for a device that simply works.

Most of the week was spent toiling about homework that I had to take care of at the office. I can assure you it was very boring and time consuming. I savored being able to put aside my homework to relax at the offices of ZeroXR, believe me.

Friday, Sol and I had quite a fun lunch. We hit up BJ’s Brewhouse in Dallas for some good Chicago style deep dish pizza and ice cold, hand made, draft root beer. We decided to do things proper with getting what I called the Death Pizza! I will say, it was quite savory and even meritted a laugh! The root beer was delicious and made the heat index of 95F feel like nothing.

Continue reading “Zero?! Why aren’t you as studious with your updates?!” – Anonymous

The Hack Attack Continues! Injecting DD-WRT into a Linksys WRT54G v6!

Many of you will remember my post detailing on how much I loved my router after doing the Tomato firmware injection for my aging Buffalo router. Today was a charity challenge that I took upon myself. Sol was back in town and we were due to hang out together with regards to family… so I would spend some time with family and him. When we arrived back at his home residence, I wanted to check out his router and see if it was a possible candidate for the Tomato Router upgrade.  To my dismay… He had a Version 6 of the WRT54G router.

I was in dismay, but I remembered that the folks at DD-WRT had their own custom firmware of their own. Much like my Buffalo router, the WRT54G v6 router does not want to play nice with custom firmwares unlike any of its siblings from v1-v4. The DD-WRT community is rather good with resources, so they have this helpful link from Bitsum on how to inject the firmware into the router. To sum up the steps:

  1. You have to download the VX Works “Prep”, VX Works “Killer”, and DD-WRT Micro firmware
  2. Throw the VX Works Prep to put the router into “Management” mode via a firmware update and let it proceed
  3. After the router is in “Management Mode”, upload the VX Works Killer firmware and let that do it’s thing.
  4. Inject the DD-WRT Micro (Generic) Firmware via a TFTP command (Windows folks, use this: ftp://ftp.linksys.com/pub/network/tftp.exe if command line scares you)
  5. When the injection completes, congrats you have a  poor man’s equivalent of a $600 Cisco grade router.

After I did the injection… Sol noticed a slight increase of his internet speed. Obviously, the next step was to hook him up with OpenDNS to protect him and my auntie from phishing sites and other malicious attack sites as well as speed up the backbone of his connection. The procedure only took 5 minutes over all and once again was totally worth the effort. My hack attack urge was satisfied and the best part… I got to make Sol’s return a fun one. Hopefully his online gaming addictions or even YouTube addictions much easier to palate for his connection.

For those about to do the jump to inject DD-WRT to their compatible routers… Just take a note from me when I did the Tomato router hack about the MAC addresses. Take down the MAC addresses for your router and keep them on hand, the DD-WRT hack does change your MAC addresses so you will have to “clone” them to restore them back to the original ones so you don’t have to fool with calling your broadband provider to have them release your “old” router’s address.

Staking in for the Blind and Showing of Hands – Texas A&M Commerce

So today I took a journey to Commerce, Texas and take a gamble on my academic fate. A friend needed me to be navigator, but also found out that Texas A&M Commerce has a pre-pharmacy program. I figured “what’s the harm of sitting 1 hour in a car to navigate?” because ultimately, it could benefit me. If the event was a bust, then it wouldn’t be like going “all in” but rather folding my hand of cards. It wasn’t much something out of the ordinary, as I arise at 8am… but with torn glutes, quads, and hams… It makes for a difficult task to want to get out of a warm bed.

After brushing fangs and forgetting to mix my whey protein shake for breakfast, I’d make a beeline to my friend’s house to rendezvous with them for our trip. For once, traffic in Dallas was favorably nice! I had never been out to East Texas, so seeing the real country side was interesting. The amusing part for me was seeing a Carl Jr’s out on I30 East as that restaurant was a mythical restaurant that didn’t exist in the south, until today. The boring nothing was spontaneously broken up with scenic views of lakesides and the nice overcast sky with the clouds peeping out. The journey took an hour, but traffic was not as bad as my friend had predicted. Being avant garde made us extremely early, because our tour was scheduled at 2pm and it was 11am. I’d throw in my application and just inform them that I was going to have my school submit my transcripts via fax or mail. They have a policy of not eating the application fee unless acceptance is confirmed.

The next phase was to do “logistics” and locate shops for provisions. There was a Wal-Mart across I50 from the school. There are some fast food restaurants not too far away. The funny part is that there’s a liquor store about a short walk from the campus. An O’Reilly’s is about a short distance from the school, should I need car parts on short notice.

After eating a quick lunch and ratting around Wal-Mart for logistical reasons… We wandered back to the campus to prepare for the tour. It was brisk tour in the 40F cold with gusting winds, so it was not a pleasant for an experience. Our guide was great and quick… I was impressed by the facilities. The recreation center looked vast, but we didn’t explore there. The overview of the facilities revealed something very slick, a rock climbing cylinder! Something I’d kill to tackle after getting my arms back in shape… Most of the buildings are either being built or being upgraded, though some of the new buildings (1-2 years old) look great! The sciences building (where I will probably spend the bulk of my studies) looks like a pleasant environment to be in. After looking into things like transfer requirements and what essential courses I need to polish up on.

I like the campus, dearly. To be isolated in Commerce, away from the buzz of Dallas and the suburbs will keep me from wanting to spend a single dollar locally on weekdays to minimize my expenses. That and to be separated from “civilization” will allow me to concentrate on my studies. For once, I could care less about civilization and the metroplex. The big break from my family to be able to concentrate on my school work is the biggest incentive. The final hurdle is my coursework which I hope I just touch the 2.0 minimal GPA, after that, it’s more on me to pray I can get federal aid or loans for the $6,000 – $8,000 tuition.

For now… I hope that things work out for me, because I want to excel high. I would like to keep this as a surprise to my family if I get accepted… because I know right now, they see me as a “failure” or a pathetic buffoon. To be fair to myself, I have been slaving at my toiling to succeed. With fighting my personal demons, academic redemption, and debt, my mind has not been able to vector on progressing further with my education. I know Sol has witnessed me fall and pick myself up from shambles… With my supportive friends, they have helped mend and sew me together. I will fight on, because I know that I can succeed. I savor success and crave victory… I just wonder if family will cheer me on if I am accepted. If they do, then good. If not, then I shall hold myself high and stand proud.

Pictures are now online via my Flickr, enjoy! – ZeroXR

Pale Solar Flare
Pale Solar Flare

Expanse of Nothingness
Expanse of Nothingness

Gloomy Horizon
Gloomy Horizon

Commerce Sign
Commerce Sign

Excelsior Times with my Cousin Sol

So my cousin Sol has been back in town since a few weeks ago and it has been great to see him. We have had fun when we have met and that is a great thing. This Thursday I had taken him out to Krystal’s out in Carrollton to devour quite the smorgasbord of food. To anyone curious, here was our list of destruction:

  • 18 Krystal Chik’s, plain and dry
  • Krystal Sackful Combo
    • 12 Cheese Krystal burgers
    • 2 Medium Fries
    • 2 Medium Drinks
  • 4 Chili Cheese Pups
  • 4 Corn Pups

The introduction was funny as hell… but as soon as we were getting full, the momentum began to slow. The funny stuff would happen towards the end as we would begin to reflect more on the little things from our childhood as kids. Eventually it would lead to us packing up and calling it a day.

I know that throughout the day, we had discussed about the troubling times in his life and how it somewhat parallels my life. It’s a pile of crap to deal with, but for him, it has lead to him lacking a car. I know that’s one of his main wishes, the ability to drive his own car and finally get self reliance rather than asking for the assistance of others. I am praying for him, because of all the people who deserve a wish, he’s probably the one who could use a car the most right now.

To end this on a happier note, I’d like to link to pictures of the carnage from this Thursday. Enjoy!

LifeHack Exercise: 4 Facets of Prosperity

On my RSS feeds this morning, I saw this really good post on LifeHack called “20 Questions to Help You Reflect the Past Year“. It looks more like an exercise on evaluating on how things went in the last year as well as gauge possible things that could be improved upon. I want to put out my thoughts on the past year and possibly leave my life open to readers who wish to add their thoughts and input to the mix.

Material prosperity

  • Did you achieve your desired net worth?

No, I was unable to attain my net worth due to repayment of my debts as well as resolving my financial standing.

  • Did you achieve your desired income level?

No, but my employer has their tiered income level system that I am subject to and I do not have additional certifications to merit me a higher income.

  • Have you built the habit of being able to spend less than you earn?

Slowly, but surely… The only thing hindering my ability to save money has been my family turning into loan sharks rather than a “bank” by demanding a higher repayment rate. I typically end with $100 – $200 left after each month from this, so the ability to grow is hindered. I have been scouring “second chance” deals or Craigslist for any technology items should the “desire” to spend pang away at me.

  • Have you been able to eliminate debt?

As far as debts go, most of it is gone. If you count the last 2 debts I am paying out of pocket for, my parent’s loan, and my car note together, my negative equity would be about $13,000. I plan to resolve most of this for the next 5 – 6 months by sacrificing school to increase repayment to my parents while steadily paying off my other obligations.

  • Have you built the habit of saving?

Saving has been much better towards the end of this year, save for the hindrance of my loan sharks. I can say that it is nice to see $100 – $200 at the end of the month instead of $0 by the end. Hopefully with increasing my work load for the next term I can hold a nest egg for once in my life.

  • Has your career progressed as you wanted to?

l have actually taken a course I never expected to in my career: ascension to a leader. With my seniors gone to their own paths, I had big shoes to fill. I had learned to step up to my actions and take accountability for the results of my actions. I tried to groom one subordinate into a skilled partner for me, but that ended in failure from their lack of aptitude, poor maturity, and lacking desire to be accountable for their actions. One of my new subordinates, their growth is not progressing, but stagnating even with all the push for learning that I have tried to emphasize. The second of my subordinates, they are progressing very well and may possibly be my successor if my wild gamble pays off by June. I never expected to have to take the reins and help assist my superiors, but their guidance has really helped me polish up how I stand in my career.

  • Have you reduced your spending on some unnecessary expenses?

Actually, I have done well in this sector. On moving back home, I have learned the value of a home cooked or hand made meal as eating out really did some damage on me financially. Especially when a simple thing like a burger combo at a fast food joint cost $5 – $6 average versus a hand made sandwich or lunch ran a marginal $1 – $2. Bargain shopping for tech items has considerably saved me from spending much more than I desired. Even bigger savings were found when I would research potential items I wished to purchase only to find the thoughts of other users dissuaded me from dropping lost cash.

Spiritual Prosperity

  • Have you found your life mission?

As far as my “mission” in life, it is to be a healer of others and to repay the world for giving me a second chance to live. My profession has given me small chances to impact the lives of others and that has only encouraged me to chase that mission until the end. I have been thankful for being able help render aid to others in my own way at the office and I hope to ascend higher for much more responsibility.

  • Do you feel fulfilled?

Fulfillment is still a distant journey for me. After taking a journey into the bowels of Hell while being cast out of Heaven… I know the extremes of being pure and being a sinner. After that powerful journey, I realized that being a devil or angel was not for me… but I needed to refine myself as human being before I can say that I am ready to ascend to the ideals of an angel. I am honored by people saying that I have polished out into a saint, but I can’t accept that until I am fully able to live up to that title. Until then, I will try to seek fulfillment of myself until I can understand my own humanity.

  • Could you honestly say that you are happy?

That’s a question that is hard to pen down in stone. With the burden of debt and being known as the black sheep of the family, it really puts a barrier to the limits of my happiness. I know that things are turning around for me in my life, but it is the physical and material that seem to bar me from true happiness. I have been confiding in dear friends for guidance and that has softened the pain that it is not as intense anymore. Learning happiness is one value that I know I need to work on for the up-coming year.

  • Have you built the necessary habits for spiritual growth?

Meditation is something I have learned to combine into my life with things like listening to music, shaving or working out. From my meditations, I have learned a little more about myself and what I need to polish up to complete myself as a human. I should do some more dedicated meditation with music as it ends up being rather therapeutic and usually inspires great thought.

Physical Prosperity

  • Have you built the habit of exercising?

Since December 10th, I got a gym membership to the community run gym in my city and I have been working to tone up myself. I had very little chance this year to step up my physical training this year, but my hope is that this will help me better my health as well as myself.

  • Have you built the habit of consuming nutritious food?

I have changed my diet since moving back home with my parents. My metabolism has regained its speed again with a clean diet of home made meals that are low in preservatives and processed fats. With trying to better my financial status, I have minimized take-out or fast food meals to only social hang-outs only.

  • Have you had good rest?

This is one facet I am lacking on. I have been doing battle with insomnia and well, I just can’t seem to win. I am just too panicked on my finances and as well as the state of my office being a potential damage radius zone from one of my poorly performing subordinates taxing my great partner’s patience. I do need to relax and forget the world on my off days… I will probably be looking to trying to sleep more and not beat myself so hard on working out that it taxes my sleep.

  • Do you feel physically fit doing your daily work?

With as much running and dashing I do at the office just to make sure everything is done, I believe I am in fit shape. My mind, however is probably taxed to hell with the constant concerns racing through it ever day. Once I shut out my mind, I am sure everything will unlock itself and be well again.

Social Prosperity

  • Has your relationship with your spouse/girlfriend been as good as you wanted?

To be honest, when the ex broke things off… I was disappointed as I was never given a “fair” chance to try resolving things. Sometimes failure only means a battle has only begun. I can’t always win, but I have finally found what I wanted in a person. Hopefully my expectations will take my future relationships to a direction that I would like to progress to.

  • Has your relationship with your family been as good as you wanted?

This part is one that is really odd. Ever since the loan to get me out of debt… my relationship with family has become one more of business rather than family. We speak less and less like members of a family unit and more like a loan shark hassling me for repayment. My sister Alice, her opinion is hazy on me. Some days she sees me as “the enemy” antagonizing her to keep up her prodigal work. Then there are the days where she sees me as one of the infantry with her on the battlefield. My cousin Sol, we have been bonding closely as comrades in arms. He is basically living an “alternate reality” of my life and it freaks me out, really. He’s been the one family member I have come to rely on greatly as a confidant on family related issues.

  • Has your relationship with your friends been as good as you wanted?

Friends, I had another thinning of who are my true friends versus who were acquaintances after the break-up. I learned the true value of friendship and learned who to separate out of my life. I have been trying to develop better relationships with my friends so that I can be a better friend to them. As far as I know, things seem to be going well.

  • Did you make a lot of new friends?

From the Ubuntu Linux folks in Dallas, I made friends with them from being the former assistant leader to the group. This led me to making quite a few friends with other groups. One of the ex’s friend-of-a-friend’s really stood out as a very classy, stand-up woman and I was glad to have met her. To her, I would like to express my thanks to you for being there for me when I though I was insane. It is something that cannot be valued with a price because it is simply that valuable to me. My new found friends have become a strong support net to hold me up when I fell and I am very thankful for them.

  • Did you get to know people from more diverse backgrounds?

Mainly from my elderly clients and listening to the experiences they faced. I have found some of my friends to be saints with regard to what they fought. It has opened my mind that life can be intensely complex but at the same time… we all struggle with our demons.