Owning a telephone in Hong Kong (and China)

I own a couple of mobile phones. Two of which have a local Hong Kong SIM card in them — others are just for testing, I just use WiFi on them, but I digress. That’s not the point. I don’t have a house phone, however. Or an office phone. Which seems to annoy, for some reason, people who think they have to have a landline number for me. Like banks, the government, and others, intent on emptying my bank account. Sorry folks, I can only be reached, if at all, through one of my mobile phones.

It just so happens that one of the phones I own, with a SIM card in it, is not really a phone. At least, I don’t see it as a phone. Hello Magritte. Ceci n’est pas un téléphone. This is a 3G-enabled micro tablet. No mi amor, sorry ah, gomen ne, not a phone. I know, it has a phone number, and technically, this number could be called. And is, by plenty of people I never heard of. Except. This old Nexus S has a nifty application called Firewall, and it is set on “Block All Calls”. Yup, all. Plus, the dial icon is hidden. As I said, not a phone. A micro tablet. Yupskies.

Now, on the subject of calling, and expecting me to answer. MWAHAHAHA! Really. Apparently my phone numbers (including the one that I never pick up because Firewall just hangs up on them) have been sold multiple times by everybody and Mrs Chan, their mother. And they’ve been sold to everybody and Mrs Lee, their Auntie. Apparently. And they think they have a right to peddle their crap to me, through calls and SMS.

The problem is compounded by the fact that I have a phone with THREE phone numbers in the SIM card: HK, China, Macau. The Macau number has not been sold to anyone apparently, for I never get any phones calls from Macau — just the usual avalanche of Casino-related SMS every time I arrive in this cesspool of gambling and prostitution. But I digress, again. On the other hand, I get a bazillion of phone calls on the HK number, and calls + SMS on the Chinese number.

Some of the Chinese SMS are hilarious: love letters from “my wife” (they call me 老公, so that’s my wives, right?); people giving me their (updated) bank account so that I don’t forget to send them the money I apparently owe them (I always feel like sending them a goatsee pic entitled “receipt.pdf” but so far I managed not to…); announcements for various exhibitions and events.

I picked up a couple of calls from China, just for kicks, but they weren’t much fun. No spweekee Engriss. And most of the time 唔識講白話 either. So now phone calls from Big6 are treated like other calls:

  • Unknown Number: nofanks.
  • Number not in my (very large) address book: nofanks.
  • Number in my address book: depends. Maybe, maybe not. Probably not, though.

Also, my phone doesn’t ring. Yeah, the one that actually accepts calls. It doesn’t vibrate either. It’s set on silent. Permanently. When I get a phone call — assuming I haven’t turned the network off and just kept WiFi on of course… — the screen display the call and info, and that’s it. No ringee. No vibree. Terima kasih.

Of course, since I spend a large fraction of my time on the phone — mostly emails and chat applications though — I miss (involuntarily) very few calls. And the ones I do miss, so what? They can call again — they’ll have to, as I don’t have voicemail, despite the fact that some people think I do: they heard some Chinese and a beep. Well, learn yerself some Chinese, buddy, for that message was not a voicemail announcement: it was telling you that I am not unavailable, and to try again later. Woopsies.


The things you learn in Chinese newspapers…

駟 Cantonese: si3. “Team of four horses”.


(Yeah, the dude next to me is reading 賽馬 rags…)

鳳儀亭 (2)

宮室築成以後, 董桌強選民間少女八百多人, 充作宮娥彩女. 至於從民間搜刮來的財物更是不其數, 僅囤積的糧食, 便足夠食用二十年.

成 sing4, seng4, cing4. finished.

When the palace was finished,

選 syun2. to choose, select.

民 man4. People, citizen.
間 gaaan1. space, interval.

–> citizens

少 siu3/2. Few, less.
女 neoi5. girl

–> young girl

八 baat3. 8
人 jan4. Man. Person

–> 800+ girls

Dong Zhuo selected (forcibly) eight hundred young girls or more

充 cung1. to fill, full, supply
作 zok3. to make, work, perform.

–> supplied to work as

娥 ngo4. beautiful. good
彩 coi2. colour(ful).
–> 彩女 (lower-rank) maids in the palace.

And sent them to work as maids in the palace.

至 zi3. to reach, arrive
於 wu1, jyu1. in at oon.
從 zung6/cung4/sung1. from, by, since, whence, through
–> as for

搜 sau2/1. search, seek; investigate
刮 gwaat3. shave, pare off, scrape
–> plundered, seized

來 loi4/6, lai4. to come, return.

財 coi3. valuables, riches, possessions.
物 mat6 thing, substance, creature.
–> resources/property

更 ga(a)ng1. ang1. further, more.
是 si6. this. yes.

其 kei4. that, his/her/its.
數 sou3/2, sok3. number, several.

As for the property/resources seized from the public/civilians, they were innumerable.

僅 gan2/6. Only, merely, just.

囤 tyun4, deon6. grain basket.
積 zik1. accumulate, store up.
糧 loeng4. food, grain, provisions
食 sik6. eat, food
–> the accumulated/stored up provisions (food)

便 bin6, pin4. convenient, expedient.
足 zuk1, zeoi3. foot; enough.
夠 gau3. enough.
用 jung6. to use.
年 nin4. year

Just the accumulated food was enough to last 20 years.

鳳儀亭 (1)

董卓強迫獻帝遷都長安以後, 強征了二十五萬民夫, 在離長安二百多里的地方, 另築郿塢城, 建造宮室, 規模和京城不相上下.
董 dung2. Supervise. Surname.
卓 coek3/zoek3. Brilliant.
–> Dong Zhuo, died 192. Dictator.

強 koeng4/5, goeng6. Strong.
迫 baak1/3, bik1. Coerce. Busy.
–> Forcefully installed.

獻 hin3. Offer, present. Display.
帝 dai3. Emperor
–> Emperor Xian. Puppet of Dong Zhuo.

遷 cin1. To move, transfer.
都 dou1. Capital
–> Changed the capital to:

長 coeng4. Long.
安 on1. Peace.
–> Chang’An

以 ji5
後 hau6. After.

After Dong Zhuo installed Emperor Xian on the throne, and moved the Capital to Chang’An,

征 zing1. Invade. Conquered.
了 liu5. Past particle.
–> Captured.

二 ji6. 2
十 sap6. 10
五 ng5. 5
萬 maan1. 10K
–> 250,000

民 man4. People.
夫 fu1/4. Man, adult man. Those.
–> Men.

He captured 250,000 men,

在 zoi6. At.
離 lei4/6. Depart. Separate.
百 baak3. 100
多 do1. Numerous. Several.
里 lei5. Distance unit. Village.
–> At 100+ li away.

的 dik1. Genitive.

地 dei6. Place.
方 fong1. Region.
–> Place

另 ling6. Another. Separate.
築 zuk1. Build(ing).

郿 mei4. County in Shaanxi.
塢 wu2. Enbankment. Low wall.
城 sing4, seng4. Castle, town.

–> Meiwu (name of the new city)

建 gin1. Build.
造 zou6, cou3/5. Build. Begin. Prepare.
–> Build

宮 gung1. Palace. Temple.
室 sat1. Room. Place.
–> Palace

規 kwai1. Rules. Law.
模 mou4. Model, pattern. Copy.
–> Size, format.

和 wo6/4. Peace. Harmony. And.
–> with

京 ging1. Capital city.

不 bat1. Not.
相 soeng1. Mutual. Each other.
上 soeng6/5. Up/top, superior. Go/send up.
下 haa6/5. Bottom, below, inferior. Send down.
–> comparable, equivalent

sent them to a place 100 li or more from there, and had a new city built, Meiwu, and a palace comparable to the one in the capital.

Starcraft II Terran Build Order

While I am by no means a pro player, I have 1,300 wins, so I do know a thing or two about SC2. I only play Terran, and have refined my strategy some. Here’s my standard build order:

* SCV x 2 – mining
* SCV to build depot
* Depot is built – build refinery
* SCV x 3
* Refinery is built – build Engineering
* Divert 3 SCV to gas mining
* More SCVs (I’ll have 21 by the time I’m full speed)
* Engineering is built, build depot
* More SCVs
* Depot is built build second refinery
* Base upgrade to fortress
* Refinering is built divert 3 SCVs
* the SCV that built refinery goes to build 2nd base
* Divert one SCV to start building Barracks
* Divert SCVs to build turrets by the truckload, while building more miners on my bases.
* Build Factory, then Armory.
Upgrade tech as often as possible.

In the end I’ll have 2 bases (or 3 if opponent is a slow, strong building type), 2/3 Barracks, 1 Factory, 2 Spaceports. And maybe 2 Engineerings if I hv the time. I’ll build 50 infantry units (mostly Marines, Thors, tanks mostly for defense), 20 banshees, sometimes some Battleships. I might skip banshees for a change and go Battleships all the way. Or if the opponent is Terran and builds Battleships, Vikings by the truckload: 2/3 spaceports building 2 Vikings each simultaneously. Amazing how 20 well upgraded Vikings can tear apart Battleships…

There are adjustments made to this strategy depending on who I’m fighting — not just the race, but the actual person. Some dudes I seem to see a lot and know how they fight. So I have a better idea of what (not) to do.

Code that just works. Bleh.

dda$ ./editrocket 
[LaunchRunner Error] The main class "load.EditRocket" could not be found.
[JavaAppLauncher Error] CallStaticVoidMethod() threw an exception
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NullPointerException
	at apple.launcher.LaunchRunner.run(LaunchRunner.java:113)
	at apple.launcher.LaunchRunner.callMain(LaunchRunner.java:51)
	at apple.launcher.JavaApplicationLauncher.launch(JavaApplicationLauncher.java:52)

Starcraft 2. Move along. Nothing to see :)