Friday, August 27, 2010

BigSqueak close up

Nothing comes between BigSqueak and her sunflower seeds. See how intent she is. How she'd survive in the wild, I have no idea. Even if the predator comes, she'll refuse to stop gnawing. Luckily for Squeaks, they escape extinction by being cute.

This is their favourite cubby hole. Both Squeaks like nothing better than squeeze together inside. Unfortunately, they have greatly increased in size under our loving care, and Big Squeak alone fills up almost the whole tube now, as she curls up into a fur-covered ball of muscles. You can imagine the squeaking and squabbling when poor little PipSqueak tries to push her way in as well.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Only Black?

This isn't a new toy.

It is merely my new utilitarian travelling companion. I shall be honest here. If not for Audible audiobooks, which run on Creative devices, I wouldn't have bought another Creative mp3 player. As a serial customer of the company, I can't help noticing that there are some fatal weaknesses in the way the products are presented. It is very well to have technically sound models, but a company can fumble so easily on simple, superficial matters, and suffer unnecessarily for them

This is a Zen. It is very cheap, thank goodness. Notice that it is black, and there wasn't really a choice, only between different black patterns. So I closed my eyes and picked one. I asked for a case, and got the above. In this era of cool, jazzy iPhone skins, my poor country mouse of a Zen is wearing an ill-fitting black (again) case that slips off every now and then. It doesn't even close properly >:I

I understand of course that mp3 players are a waning industry, so less effort is invested in this department. But this nevertheless is a Creative product and I am a customer, even if I paid only $89 for this item. What sort of message is conveyed when design of such indifferent quality is allow to flaunt the Creative brand name?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We invent new words all the time, and when we don't, we are busy using words in new ways. I have no idea why, but people love using nouns as verbs:

Let's journey together
Can you loan me a pen? and grrr...
This impacts our country.

Frankly, I think this betrays intellectual sloth (stone me if you will!) We just can't be bothered to think of the correct words, and why must 'lend' take on so many forms? Lend, lent, loan...who cares?

But today I am ranting about the abuse of a different word. Somewhere, the word 'lever' finds its way from the science textbook into financial jargon, in its noun form 'leverage', where it is used as a verb.

I leverage my capital to increase my income.

In this new disguise, it then slips into everyday use, thereby usurping the function of its mother verb 'lever'. But the worst offence is, people then develop the habit of tacking on an extra preposition to this (no!) verb

I leverage on my skills in cooking...NOoooooo, why have 'leverage on' if you only need 'leverage', and why use 'leverage' if you mean to say 'lever'?

If you insist on using the word wrongly, at least, use it wrongly in the right way! Arh, now even I am confused.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Squeaks

Meet PipSqueak. Little Fish took an unexpectedly good shot of her, though sadly, the resolution is too low. Isn't she adorable? She looks so timid! The other picture below is her feeding.

This is BigSqueak. She's trying to come out and play, but we are teasing her by pushing her back into the cage. See how far she's stretching her neck! Eventually, we did let her come out in her ball, and it was as usual, difficult to persuade her to leave it after that.