If you landed here, there’s a high possibility that you are, like me, frustrated that you have to play your BioShock Infinite from a starting point again and again without it saving although it indicates that it AutoSaves from time to time via the top right hand corner of your screen.
My problem was that my XBox lost its connection to the outside world and therefore the times were all wrong.
When starting the game, don’t hit “Continue” when you load the game but rather “Load Chapter” – there you will, hopefully, find your latest Autosave and continue on your merry way.
Of course, reset the time on the XBox so you don’t encounter the problem again.
My body clock’s alarm rang and I stirred this morning round about 7am. Reached for my iPhone as usual to check the time and saw two notifications from the NY Times App which accelerated my ability to awake fully. “22 People Dead” it said, “Shooting in the US” – I clicked through the Notifications to read the full details of how a young man walked into a school his mother was teaching in, shot his mother, shot her very young students, shot the Principal and other members of staff, before taking his own life.
This is nothing short of a tragedy.
As I reeled from the effects of the journalistic words of the NY Times article, I, like you, started thinking of reasons this could have happened. Was the young man’s mother overworked? Did he hate his mother for not being there for him? Did he misunderstand that his the care and attention that she showed her students brings home the bacon? Why are there still guns in public spaces in America? Is America the only Western Democracy to still allow weapons that freely? What are the solutions, if any, that can be deployed in this instance? An outright ban of weapons in the States? A witch-hunt of all young men whose mother teaches kindergarten?
As my mind raced ahead and came back to explore different rabbit holes of thinking, and raced ahead again, I have two solid points I keep coming back to:
1. Archaic Rules
The right to bear arms, I understand through my 30 years of experience watching Hollywood movies, is in the American Constitution. I bring you to the attention of (Wikipedia) why this amendment was made in the Constitution:
“In no particular order, early American settlers viewed the right to arms and/or the right to bear arms and/or state militias as important for one or more of these purposes:
– deterring tyrannical government;
– repelling invasion;
– suppressing insurrection;
– facilitating a natural right of self-defense;
– participating in law enforcement;
– enabling the people to organize a militia system.
Besides “facilitating a natural right of self-defense” – I don’t see how carrying a handgun could, for example, deter a tyrannical government, or say repel an invasion in this day and age.
This, fundamentally, is an archaic rule for an archaic time. I am in no position to judge as I do not fully understand the workings of the American legal system, but, fundamentally, this, in my opinion, is an outdated ruling.
2. Weapons and Community
Another point I want to make is that weapons, if you want it to be effective, need to be owned and used in a safe, disciplined and regimented environment. The people of old (circa “right to bear arms” era) were bound by religious and cultural norms (not to say that that was particularly effective), martial arts students are bound by discipline and highly organised competition outlets of their power and skill, soldiers are trained to be highly respectful of their weapons and even gang members are bound by a strict code of conduct,. In all of these cases, access to a weapon is not given until the member of the particular community has reached a certain level of maturity and trust – sometimes taking decades of going through the checks and balances.
In modern life, these checks and balances are eroding. The family unit is breaking apart and there is minimal supervision given by parents. This is the fault of society and our own greed, culminating over the past century, addicted to accelerated growth. Being so engrossed in work, just to survive, is being used as an excuse by parents – “Day care will be good enough.” – “Surely the school will let me know when my child is misbehaving.” Sadly, when the warning bells sound, it might just be too late.
Do I think that guns are dangerous? Yes.
Do guns cut short people’s lives unnecessarily? Yes.
However, I don’t think that guns in itself are the problem here. If you take away the guns, there will be something else used – you don’t have to kill someone to take their life. What motivates a human being to murder another human being? Hate. Hate is the only thing that will motivate a person enough to even consider taking someone’s life. So if hate is the reason these shootings keep occurring in whatever form it may be – hate of society, hate of “the system”, hate of people close to you, what is the solution?
The opposite of hate. Love. Genuine love. Care. Concern. A genuine interest and desire to help, assist people. A selfless act, for the greater good. A sense of belonging, a sense of community and true communication – a sense of my voice matters in all this. A sense of contribution. A sense of actionable change, and a sense of, “Hey, I made this change happen.” These, and many others, acts and characteristics rooted in love, is the way forward.
This is the solution.
Its almost 4am Sydney time. Its only 12 hours ago that I took the pictures above, as I waited to board SQ242 to Singapore from Sydney. I am tucked into bed with my MacBook Air on my lap, accessing the hotel’s free WiFi network; occasionally sipping freshly brewed tea. Alas, few parts of the past 12 hours have been this comfortable.
Yesterday started frantically for me. Half a day of work was spent briefing colleagues about handing over of my accounts for the next two weeks of my time away from work. I’m reluctant to call it a holiday cause in a sense it’s not. In my head, I have labelled it a “two week trip”. A holiday is where you visit a new country and get to relax and to not think about anything in particular. This trip is essential and purposeful, a meeting of the in-laws. Yes, yes, Meet The Fockers style. That is the sole purpose of this trip, to prepare for the next big change in my life. Marriage.
I wheeled my Samsonite up to King Street and remembered my body starting to warm up under my sweater. Winter is waning, I remembered thinking. I waited about 45 seconds in 3pm traffic and waved to a cab to enter the side street so I could load up away from traffic. He concurred and flashed a big smile and a big friendly, “Hi!” This is going to be a great cab ride I thought to myself. He was friendly and nice without being overbearing. We chatted about the airport and the trip and the conversation started to wane as I was focused on conserving the battery on my iPhone for the impeding 8 hour flight. The cab was getting exposure to the sun too and it heated up pretty quickly. I didn’t really mind it, bit of training for the tropical weather I put it down as.
28 dollars later, I was at Sydney’s T1, International Airport. I checked in within 30 seconds and enquired about the TRS (Tourist Refund Scheme). The friendly Toll contractor told me sometimes its busy, sometimes its not. 5 minutes later, I saw the verdict for myself. Another 5 minutes later, I was out of the TRS area, couple of hundred bucks credited into my credit card. Its smart that they don’t do cash (unlike Singapore’s TRS which gives you cash in hand) to cut down on potential fraud. Nothing in the Duty Free area really interested me and Airport salespeople are generally unmotivated at the best of times, in my opinion.
Anyway, because there was no queue for the TRS and I allocated queue time for it, I was left with about 45 minutes of playtime. I tried to people watch but there was really, no one interesting in the airport. Couple of middle-aged travellers, another group of business travellers and that’s about it. What did catch my eye was this 30-something year old couple. They had matching “Australia” branded backpacks, Amazing Race style! I afforded a chuckle to myself.
Soon it was time to head to Gate 53 for boarding and that was when I used my MacBook Air as an external battery pack for the iPhone. It works pretty well actually! Expedia also provided free WiFi in Sydney airport and I think that has definitely generated a big ROI for them, awareness wise. Love it when companies are smart like that!
Ah Gate 53; was entertained by a large group of young Japanese girls. Loud. Loud, young Japanese girls. Nothing like those kimono-wearing soft spoken geishas you see on TV. LOUD. Remembered also this approximately 28 year old guy who had a 90s centre-parting hairstyle. Bespectacled. Buttoned up shirt and jeans. And talking to someone on the phone via handsfree. Seriously, who are you?
Anyway, 20 minutes after the Business Class people parked their bums on the satin sofas of SQ242, I moved into the queue. See if you time it right, the Business Class lane will accomodate Cattle Class and fast track you into your designated pen on the plane. A high majority of the people on the plane were Muslims, on their way back for the annual Ed ul-Fitr, the celebration at the end of the fasting Ramadan month. I am not sure if I’m used to domestic no frills flight or what but I found the food service on SQ242 extremely slow. My finished dinner took them probably 30-45 minutes to clear. You know how annoying this is when you have limited space on the plane already! But no dramas, the food was as good as airplane food gets and service not really lacking in any department in particular, maybe except speed.
So the next important thing is how to kill time on the plane. The 3-inched size screen is probably in dire need of upgrading in the SQ242. Resolution was probably 600×400 at best and sound quality was dismal to say the least. That made my watching of “Water For Elephants” forgettable during some parts but somehow my mind filled in the gaps and I really liked the movie. I tried to watch another one but was just too distracted by the quality of the entertainment unit that I gave up. Watching something longer than 20 minutes actually took effort. Singapore Airlines if you are reading this, please upgrade your entertainment system.
The flight went by pretty quickly actually in between attempts of yours truly on iPhone apps – Paper Bridge, Incredible Machine and Simple Physics. Paper Bridge makes me think that I have a very low IQ, I couldn’t even get past the first level! If anyone’s an expert in it, any tips is highly sought after from you.
The plane landed with a jolt and the obligatory side-to-side force which almost always conjures images of the plane skidding on its wing and breaking apart in my head. I did think of standing up at one point in the flight just to see what the flight attendants would do but thought, what does that achieve? Yeah, precisely. Nothing.
I shot out of the plane and onto the travelators, floating past the majority of SQ242’s passengers, eager to get out of the airport. I was first in the line at the immigration choke point, I mean, check point and stood in line with the Business Class people to get my luggage off the carousel. I picked my luggage up and walked past the pilots, still waiting for their luggage. Remember George Clooney in “Up In The Air” and his tip about following Asians in airport queues? Yeah, that.
Taxi stand was my next port and as I looked back at the queue just before I boarded the taxi and 3 Business Class passengers were in the second row of the maze-like queue. Rough estimates would be that they were 10 customers behind me. I know I might seem like I’m picking on them but I’m not intentionally doing that, good on you if you want to spend thousands of dollars on an evening flight in Business Class on a Friday night. But honestly, what is the point? Wouldn’t that money be better off spent somewhere else? Starving humans in East Africa would be a good place to start.
Anyway, maybe they did and I have overthought and misjudged them. All I know is I’m checked in now in my favourite hotel in Singapore and it is almost 5am Sydney time now. Time for some shut-eye and hope you had fun reading my blog. I had fun recalling events in the past few hours and will continue do so as I afford the time for this activity called blogging over the next two weeks.
Thanks for reading and if you have any protips on traveling feel free to leave a comment.
A big thanks to Pam Song for encouraging me to start blogging again. My last post was in November and since then, many many things have happened. A lot of my time (and thought) have been spent at work and improving myself in my knowledge of both theoretical and practical elements of my work.
It’s been challenging at times but the company that I work for has always been open and extremely encouraging in my continued development. The people that I work for and work with have been extremely gracious and generous with both their words and actions. I have always been a firm believer that once you’re unhappy in your current job or career, you need to change it. We spend a substantial time at work and to be unhappy in your job is definitely most detrimental to both yourself and the company you’re working for – this will then feed a feedback cycle. The opposite is also true, the happier you are in your job (or any situation for that matter) the happier other people feel around you and the positive feedback cycle starts to manifest itself.
Spiritually, I have learnt the quiet power of prayer and how prayer needs to be the bedrock of your faith. Without prayer and indeed, focus, on God from a day-to-day basis, it is extremely easy, especially for young adults like myself, to lose sight of the spiritual ramifications of our actions. Everything in the world is shouting for us to forget about the spiritual realm, to focus on the now and the imminent; the foreseeable and the predictable. No rewards are given for actions done “in faith”, no accolades for speaking the future before inheriting it.
But the spiritual realm is the very thing that we need to think about, need to focus on and need to base our actions on. Without God, everything is meaningless.
Relationship wise, my now fiancée and myself are starting plans for a wedding early next year. We have set a date but pending the preparations, will start to slowly release the news to our friends and family. I proposed in February last year but the fiancée chose to slowly let the parents know. I did ask but only informally and never got a really definite answer. It’s tricky, its not like the movies where the guy meets the parents and asks for the hand of the daughter – movies like this do not reflect Asian family culture… at all.
Anyway, we’re now more set than ever to settle down in Sydney and doing all we can to work towards this goal.
I hope this little update appeases the blog-gods and I hope to start reviving the blog to reflect a more personal angle to my life – and to go back to my roots of compiling my blogs as an autobiography in the future 😉
Please leave a comment if you’re still reading this blog; if not do give me a Tweet and say hello.
Filed under: RanDom
I had problems playing my Call of Duty: Black Ops for the past weekend but I’ve since found a workaround for it.
My problem was it kept displaying File Write Error “Call of Duty: BlackOps couldn’t write a file. The hard drive is probably full” when my hard drive wasn’t full at all.
It is definitely a Windows 7 administration “problem”. After much anxiety and countless hours of tinkering with the game and Windows, I am pleased to let you know that I’ve managed to access the game today!
What I did was create a separate Windows 7 login account as a Basic User (do it in your UAC – Control Panel > User Accounts).
Login to the Basic account
you’ve just created and launch the Steam Application by right clicking and then selecting “Run As Administrator”. I was prompted to enter the admin password and then it began… [UPDATE: Go to the Steam folder (e.g. E:\Steam\SteamApps\common\call of duty black ops) and just double click on BlackOps – It took about 20 seconds to load on my computer]
Now back to the game!
Leave comments and I’ll try to help as much as I can.
Life this past year I must admit has been busy and hectic. At times I’ve felt like giving up but being young and full of ambition, I knew that’s not an option.
I’ve always made choices and stuck with it no matter what the circumstances are. Be it family, love, relationships, friendships, work, activity, games, shopping – anything and everything for that matter. If I’ve made up my mind, nothing can change it – I will pummel through. I might be wrong but I will still pummel through. It might be tough but I will pummel. Some call it pride, I call it stubbornness and true strength.
Don’t get me wrong, I will cry at the drop of a hat and when I see things which touch my heart, no doubt I will show emotion. I think emotion and having a strong will is two entirely different things.
Anyway, so this past year have seen a lot of pummeling, a lot of what-ifs and a lot of I-don’t-have-no-choice. But you know what, at the end of that, it all paid off.
I read somewhere that Gen Y-ers start their career pretty late – I am one of those.
I just don’t see the point of rushing everything – life is meant to be enjoyed at this age (and at any age for that matter). I am glad I have spent this amount of time in a “not-real” job – I don’t think I would have it any other way if my life were to repeat again. The things I’ve learnt – the people I’ve met – the stories I’ve heard – the dresses I’ve seen – the pride, the humility, the hurt, the joy – meeting people this way has opened my senses to a whole new way of thin-slicing situations and people.
Without this experience, I don’t think I would be who I am today.
A job is a job. A career is the same. They may come quick and they may fade quick. Money. That too will come and go. But the only thing that we constantly have to treasure and keep are relationships. When you’re out of a job, out of money and diseased – what remains? Who remains is the question.
Nothing else matters when you have nothing – but that hand rested upon yours, crossed over your shoulders. You know that at the end another human will get you your heart’s needs.
The world is a social place and we have to understand that everything revolves around people. The finance industry is made up of people. If you take the humans out, the stock market will collapse.
The super important and essential part of our lives is relationships with people – and this is the key message for me for the past few years. The ability to build relationships – to learn and to refine my approaches. All this is crucial. I do not regret a single minute.
But now I look forward to start my career and in my new role in an equally new and exciting industry.
Thanks for reading and I hope to journal again soon.