M203 Diary

Thursday, March 30, 2006

M203 Blogroll

I've updated the links of the M203 Bloggers on the sidebar with the addresses that I have. If I missed out any, please let me know, and I'll add it.

For those of you who want the M203 Blogroll for their blog but don't want to get their hands messy with (much) coding, you can get the code here. Just insert the code into your sidebar and it'll appear there.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Prompted by attempts by other bloggers to elucidate criticism, I've made up my very own Nohari Window. It has a list of negative personality traits that you can use to describe me. If you're wondering where my Johari Window (with positive modifiers) is, it ain't there. It's a way to pick up cheap compliments, so it really isn't as much fun.

Go do it. Tell me who you are and how much you hate me.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"I'm so far away.."

Another weekend goes by my dull, anti-social life. Eating dinner all alone is no longer a shocking revelation, rather a common occurrence that I’ve come to terms with. I’ve learned that it’s a lot harder to make new friends if you can’t drink. My excuse is that I’m gonna be writing an appraisal on clinical guidelines known as ‘snap’. ‘A’ is for alcohol, and I still don’t see a reason why they threw it in there; this is Australia after all. Then again, when it comes to catchy mnemoncs, ‘snp’ just plain makes no sense.

Short of predisposing myself to acute pancreatitis, there’s really nothing I can do to change the situation. So I’m left with improving what I’ve already got. Which ain't easy, when all you've got is a laptop and slow, fast Internet access.

That slow/fast thingy might have been confusing, so allow me to clarify the situation. I’m on broadband. At the moment, it’s the slowest broadband in the world. Fittingly, they chose to advertise the reason it would be so, in the smallest print in the world.
... ..... ...... ....... ... .....
(Which, upon magnification, states: Disclaimer: If you can read this, you can see through clothing. Watch out for kryptonite. If you die, we can’t rip you off.)

Thankfully, I’m not paying for it yet. But I’m stuck with it for the remainder of the month, until I can change my plan from the measly 1Gb bandwith (that’s up AND down) those misers at Optus offer at inflated rates anyway. Because after you exceed the limit, you get pulled down from 512kbps to 28.8kbps. For the uninitiated, that’s like a modified sports car versus a skateboard with three wheels.

To be fair, the housemate who tossed the free connection to me had already used a massive chunk! Here’s a breakdown of my usage:

10% Surfing
10% Chatting
73% Data of unknown etiology
7% Housemate (Damn that housemate..)

I exceeded my limit after 5 days. This prompted a suggestion in my head that I had been taking Malaysian broadband for granted. But then I realized that it would be like saying that I had taken Malaysian piracy for granted. I took nothing for granted, because I milked that Malaysian cow for all it was worth. And, like anything else in Malaysia, it was worth nothing like it is over here.

What I really need to make my life better is an infusion of the vice I used to get back home. I don’t think I could ever get used to the local equivalents; getting piss drunk and shagging people at random in the dark.

Who’s coming to Newcastle soon? Bring me a piece of Malaysia. And none of that handicraft crap.


Public Service Announcement: Alumni

Some of us are in Aus, some in NZ, some in M'sia, others going to UK and Canada and US really really really soon... and let's face it, no matter what kind of "Ok, I'll write!!!" "Sure! We'll email!" promises we make, when we're really busy, we'll most likely forget about it and before you know it, the email address or phone number or snail mail address you have is already outdated.

So what greatgreatgreat(...) grand seniors did was that they set up the IMU Alumni, with it's own Alumni Website. Right now, there is an Alumni committee, made up of alumni lah, duh... and IMU SAD helping out as the secretariat. What this means is that while people disappear into ulu-ulu-places-with-no-internet-connection, IMU will be around (and contactable) for a long period of time, as such (ala Dr T), there is now a permanent portal to faciliate our staying in contact.

OK, I'm done with being longwinded, the message of the day is...

Please sign up with IMU Alumni


Monday, March 13, 2006


After the whole thing about me posting too much, I gave Anonymous a reminder about anonymity. This obviously led to a hunt for the corresponding post that would reveal the error in all clarity, so that (s)he might see the error in his/her ways, and be filled with a renewed sense of purpose to seek redemption.

Anyway, as I trenched through the copious amounts of information that has made up M203 diary, I found myself more than mererely skimming through. At the end of the day, I had read through all 50 or so of my glorious posts. Yep, just mine. You know, like how you watch a great movie on TV and skip the ads.

I love the way I can make myself laugh at myself.

I still remembered most of what I'd written before, but it seems bizarre to me that I should even laugh at my own absurdities, let alone do so after all this while. My personal favourite of all time happens to be my write-up about the Family Medicine Posting debriefing (the 1st one we had). What makes it more valuable to me is how personal it was, because nobody who wasn't there could possibly understand what was going on. That felt like a really M203 dedicated post.

I also remember the post that took the most time to prepare, if only because it was rather recent, but also perhaps because it had the slightest of chances of making it into the convo mag! Then Raj called it off, blaming it on amateurish illustration and a better submission from some moron called Nomorespacela. It was my write-up on eluding security, and I'm still so proud of my creativity.

Comments about the way I phrase my posts ranged from "You're a good writer" to "I don't understand what the heck you're writing". Both comments tend to apply in tandem, because sometimes I'm so good even I don't understand what I'm writing. Sure it's nice to be told you're good at something. But an incomprensible blog doesn't make for good reading. Then again, when any material is volunteered, you tend to question its quality. Because of that, I like to think that the stuff I dish out is worth more than a free perfume sample.

I guess that's why I write the way I do. I don't cater to the complexity of others, only that of my own. I'm such a selfless angel, don't you think?

I should gradually have less time to write in the future, because one subspeciality a week is really getting to me, and its tough to play catch up with a course that seems to defy both gravity and time.

At the moment, there's too little time to look back. But at least i'll know that it'll never be out of reach.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

'Tis a rare time of the year that KenJ is more productive than I am.

This post mysteriously disappeared from my blog, probably went to the same place socks go when they go missing from the washing-machine, so here is a re-write.

2 days ago, I had my 1st stint as a volunteer at the Miri Red Crescent Dialysis Centre. I was supposed to assist a nurse, who was transfusing a patient with chronic renal failure at Columbia Asia private hospital.

That is the fancy title.

My real duties only entailed taking the patient's BP. On a DIGITAL monitor. Every half-hour. After the 1st 3 demonstrations in the 1st 15 minutes, my afternoon went as follows:

Attach cuff to patient's right ankle.
Press "ON" button.
Press "START" button.
Wait for BP & pulse rate figures to flash on screen.
Write numbers, including respiratory rate in patient logbook.
Press "OFF" button. (Which, incidentally, is the same as the "ON" button.)


Admire my new black shoes.

Watch blood drip from bag into filter.

Repeat BP-taking, stoning, admiring & watching.

Repeat BP-taking. Vary order of stoning, admiring & watching.

Repeat BP-taking. Read patient's records, then resume stoning, admiring & watching.

This went on until 5:00pm! By 4:30pm, I was ready to SQUEEZE all the blood out of the bag into the man's system, if he didn't already have cardiac enlargement & IHD on top of his CRF.

I KNEW there was a reason most medical books are pocket-size. And there is always Terry Pratchett.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"When I leave Malaysia, I'll miss.. absolutely nothing.."

Two things are happening:

1) I'm moving out
2) I feel isolated

These two events aren't really related. Moving out means i'm nearer the uni. But it also means i'm left to fend for my spoilt and clueless self. Which is bad because i've never really lived out on my own before. But its good, because staying two half-hour bus rides away from uni is keeping me further away from the things I want. And I think I stole that line from a movie.

Isolation isn't necessarily a bad thing. It gives me time to reflect on events in days past, and catch up on gaming. As things stand, i'm not entirely anti-social, though i've found myself caught up in a worrying trend, that dates all the way to my early days in IMU.

After some reflection (during one of those "autistoid" moments that i get), i've come to realize a vast majority of people i'm familiar with are female. It's probably because more women are penetrating into the field, though i'm largely unwilling to submit to the notion because female penetration is against the nature of nature. Then again, it's either that or I'm gay. I could be discriminating against homosexuals here, but I only know what I see in the movies.

I dunno why I'm worried really, because it isn't a bad thing at all. But sometimes I feel like its really hard to break in. I guess I finally know how resit students felt, going into a different batch. You don't really know if you're welcome, and it gets really hard sometimes, when you look left and right, and everybody is talking to everyone else. Everyone, except you.

One thing I've noticed is how I start talking to a local that has an accent, and start to feel self-conscious, and jump into an accent of my own. It seems so unnatural. I'm probably only just pulling it off, but I wonder sometimes if they can understand me when I speak the way I always have. Somehow I know they can, because anyone who can understand the Thai dude down the street trying to "lent out his looms" can definitely understand me.

I miss M203. A little.