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Rehearsal Box - Search Drive The Sensation's History and Posts!

Monday, 31 December 2012

The Beginning

"Arrow holes, they never close from Cupid on a shooting spree"
Battle Scars - Lupe Fiasco feat. Guy Sebastian


Where have I been? I'll tell you where I've been. Cracking my skull at home. The stress levels for December have become unbearable.

Dear Princess Celestia,

2012 has been a mess. there are so many things that I started and never finished. However, that does have a positive side. I know I have a tendency to not finish things. However, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. When you know you're that kind of person who doesn't complete everything that they start, the idea I have is to start a truckload of projects. eventually, the effort will be worth the experience and I even get something done eventually!

DriveTheSensation.com turned five years old on the 27th of November this year. There was an update but time just got a hold of me and I couldn't drop an update. I just put my mind to getting one last post up for 2012 before I leave this year behind. My workaholic side kicked in right after my finals and I have been working on the LiNES server that crashed on the week of my finals. Things were har and it was an uphill struggle, but it was surely worth it.

LiNES hasn't been adopted well. The listener count is low and my glorious university has been pushing it to the side for years. I have no idea why I'm so motivated to keep it running.

I missed my alarm on Thursday morning and missed my final exam. It was a terrible feeling that hooked me in the balls all month. I've been trying to get over it, but i fear that if I do I might seem like the douchebag whom can't learn from his mistakes. I'm not a morning person, but then again it is entirely my fault that I didn't wake up for this. After frowning at people who walk into the exam hall late before, I can finally understand what it feels like to be in their shoes.

Anyway, I best be off. I'm spending New Year's on the swing with my dad.

Your loyal subject,
St. Pinkie

If you're celebrating alone, then celebrate with me on the LiNES Podcast! Download the New Year's Eve episode here: http://lines.drivethesensation.com/2012/12/episode-55/ and play it at exactly 11:45pm to countdown with me!

Love,
D.A.niel

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Pendulum Swings

"Her magic will not last forever. I think we can do it but we need to work together. We have to get this right, we have to make them see."
The Ballad of the Crystal Empire - Daniel Ingram

Dear Princess Celestia,

It took me a long weekend out with my father to bring to my mind a very, very important lesson about time.

No, it's not about schedules, deadlines and appointments. Those are silly things that rape us of our freedom and spirits. I've desensitized myself from rigid scheduling and I find myself with more time to be myself rather than to be what this world wants me to be.

I heard a terrible story from one of my father's friends whom we visited. He had just come back from burying someone else's father who passed away earlier this week.

What's so terrible about that, you may ask? Well, he collapsed and drew his last breath at his daughter's wedding reception. Tragedy struck the poor girl on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life.

It didn't get to me so fast, but as I lay in bed after coming home it hit me like a train. What have I been doing? November will soon pack up and the final stretch of what is thought to be the final year of our existence will be running full swing. There isn't much that I have achieved this year. I pretty much lost my job due to the price hike and inflation (no pun intended). I found my place in podcasting but in this sad capitalist world, it isn't going to take me far. Sure, I've learned a lot from it, and I will learn more as I go along. However, I can't be doing it all the time.

Other than that, studies have taken their toll on me. University life is a real dream killer, especially with our local (Malaysian) education ministry's stubborn insistence on the presence of traditional exams. Even the industry experts who provide us with our knowledge have requested for the removal of the written exam, but they rely too much on the paper qualification to make that change. The result? We suffer. Students like me are put under the gun. Pass and you survive, fail and you're material for the fabled Cloudsdale Rainbow Factory.

To put a cherry on the cake, everypony wants to be a Twilight Sparkle. Everypony wants to be the best and come hell or high water, they're going to make it or die trying. The saying that no one has ever died from hard work is no longer relevant. Ponies have died from overwork. Everyone wants to be at the top. those who don't want to try will either never make it or will find their way by dirty means while tho who are willing to try sacrifice their existence to make it even if it means trampling their own peers.

As much as we appreciate the magic of friendship, this world puts us on the spot. Everyone is your competitor. Everypony around you is a threat to you being able to reach for the top spot. Trust me, your highness. I've seen people deny friendships to reach the top. It's not about personal gain. It's about survival. When your existence is at stake, regardless for the short or the long term, you will deny everything that you ever cared for except for your family and the people whom you guard with your life.

The way we work and the way we have come to this has really made realize how much freedom and time university life has robbed from me. I have lost hours of quality family time to assignments and coping with deadlines. I've turned down calls and requests from friends who want nothing more than to catch up with me on what they have been missing out on. I'm severely sleep deprived and under high deadline pressure to produce the result of half baked assignments handed to us. The craziest part about this is that I'm writing to you at this late hour, when I should be asleep. However, this has reached too critical a stage to sleep over and wake up as if nothing has happened. I had to pen this down to you.

In the dead silence of the night all I can hear is my wall fan and a clock in the other room, ticking time away. It is at times like these I feel an uncomfortable vibe flow through me every few ticks. I believe that when you can hear a clock tick, it's because something is wrong with your timing, and it his case I haven't been spending enough time with the family. It is in my hands to do something before it is too late. Happiness can be ripped out of our lives at any time. A loving family is the only thing more magical than friendship. The power of love has proven to be more powerful than all of the elements of harmony combined, and it flows in all of our hearts.

Speaking of which, I sorta want to visit the Magic Mirror Pond. Copies of me would sound like a darn good idea to get things done faster with the same amount of passion I have for what I do, though it would be hard to cope with copies of me in the same house!

Love,
D.A.niel

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Whatchu' Gonna Do?

"You can't tell a lie, which sometimes makes me want to cry because then you would get in far less trouble"
Back to the Apple Orchard - Doomwad765

Dear Princess Celestia,

Please give me a moment while I address an issue here that is going out of hand and that would definitely need your attention. I'm sorry I haven't been writing to you much lately. I'll try to keep up.

Your Faithful Student,
Daniel Anthony

--

Ladies and Gentlemen, please direct your attention to this post:
http://prpltnkr.tumblr.com/post/32769821751/cgslander

Now I'm definitely someone who engages in a lot of idle gossip. I talk a lot of nonsense out there but here's one thing: I know when to be serious.

As some of you know, a brony convention called Canterlot Gar\dens took place over the weekend. The panels were awesome (I wasn't there but I was watching an online stream all the way on the other side of the world). I fell in love with Andrew WK, learned a lot from the Everfree Radio staffers and saw some of the best bronies alive. Heck, I would give my leg up to party next to people like Silva Hound!

However, there is always a bad side to events and I do not want to miss it. Life's sad and I've become pessimistic like hell.

Simultaneously, there was a little event over the weekend called Tink in a Box done by Purple Tinker (purpletinker.com/TinkInABox), the founder of BroNYCon, the world's biggest and most successful Brony convention. Being a transsexual, she put herself through a gruelling 72 hours of isolation with nothing but food, water, books and a camera looking at her and broadcasting what she was up to (unless she's attending to her sanitary needs. Let's not go there.)

But then, "horror" struck at Canterlot Gardens. Somepony suddenly, out of nowhere accused PT of being at the convention in possession of a knife and high on methamphetamine. Not only that, information went bouncing around that she was arrested after trying to murder a musician she's not on good grounds with.

Quick question, sir, how did this happen when she locked herself in her room under the supervision of THE OPEN INTERNET throughout the entire duration of the con?

And better yet, why am I talking about this?

PT is a technological genius and before she entered the box, she set up a system where her computer would be constantly monitoring her and streaming over the internet. Not only that, there would be a set of speakers in the room that would read out the names of those who pledged towards the Tink In A Box as they happen.

It so happened that I'm a genius too. Overexcited little me donated BEFORE the whole thing started. Right after I hit "Confirm" I heard my name (a little on the loud side) coming from the speakers, and you should have seen the look on my face when I realized that I just had that read to an empty room.

So after PT got in I sat around with the stream open and she spoke to whoever was watching, just quickly briefing us on the whole thing and how it works before she went to lie down. It was by a stroke of luck that I didn't close that tab. The audio was still playing softly in the background.

Moments later, she got up and asked "Hey you who donated that five dollars, can you increase it to five dollars and one cent? I wanna test the speakers."

I got right to it. The odds were in my favour that evening. So after hitting the pledge button I heard it again. "DANIEL JEYACHRISTI ANTHONY", right from the speakers.

So to those of you who are still insisting that Tink in a Box was a fake, try debunking this:


(click for full size)


Her stream is recall enabled and you can re-watch the videos of the whole event. Just hit up twitch.tv/theoldgreymare or justin.tv/theoldgreymare. It's all there.

In all seriousness, don't lie. If you know me personally you know that I can't tell a lie. It shows on my face. I think even a blind man can tell if I'm lying and I'm proud that I have this gift. There's no reason to lie. Really, it'll only lead YOU into more trouble. Lies are usually covered up with lies and yup, the grave will just get deeper.

Love,
D.A.niel

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Where's The Balloon Party?

"And in your eyes I see reflections of the good in me. We need both the sun and the storm to grow to our best and strongest form."
The Moonlit Garden - Scarlett Peace


Dear Princess Celestia.

Its been a crazy semester at University and I am so glad that it's over for a while. Life as been one big mess for weeks. If you received my last letter, I think you'll know why. Let's just put it like this. Doing something you hate within the field of something you love defeats the purpose. I love a lot of what I do and I put my heart and soul into it. It'll be a shame if it all goes to waste, no?

I've seen the Canterlot library and I must say, I'm fascinated. The books and scrolls that pile up leave me in awe. It's such a pity that we haven't discovered magic here in this realm. It would probably be my first choice to study.

Surveying friendship here is a mystery. Of late I've seen things, terrible things. When two ponies disagree it can be quite catastrophic. Heck, nations have gone to war over trivial matters. Looking at what happened, I feel bad for Queen Chrysalis. She could have done a better job and saved a lot of trouble, but I think power got the better of her. Needless to say, your sister was like that too once. All it took was a little trouble to ask. I'm sure some diversity with changelings wouldn't be a problem and if it becomes one, a little intervention would prove to be the right way out.

I frankly don't like talking politics. I'm easily disgusted at how the system here works, but I'll be honest. I don't take too kindly to the system of a monarchy either. However, you do a damn good job of taking care or Equestria and keeping everything in the delicate equilibrium that should exist. Furthermore, you've been at it for more than a thousand years! This world would kill for a leader of your caliber and responsibility but until we can find a candidate who can even come close, the number of people who would give up everything to live in Equestria will continue to rise by the day. I know of some who have even contemplated suicide with hope that your glorious kingdom and what lies beyond it would be what awaits them.

Equestria may not be perfect, but it's close. It is much closer than anything we can get here. Thank goodness we don't have to wrap up winter. Even when small community projects take place, one cannot shake the feeling that they're either going to get robbed or conned somewhere along the line. Just imagine the chaos of a full-on town-wide winter wrap up where we have good and bad people among each other, some hell bent on causing chaos. It only takes one grain of rice to tip the scale. Unless we can shove our personal, profit seeking instincts aside and focus on a greater good for everypony, it's hard for things to work out.

Of late you've probably heard of the numerous conventions around that have gathered people like me together to talk pony. There are just so many of us all over the place and everytime an event like that happens, it's sold out. Those who are fortunate enough to make it make the best of it while the rest sit and watch at the other end of a video stream, cheering everyone else on. It's what dreams are made of, and it's where dreams come true.

Our worlds are so different, dear Princess. If you spent just a day here you'll know what I mean. I'm sure you watch over all your subjects with utmost care and we salute you for it. For all that it's worth you are my personal inspiration. A powerful yet loving leader who puts her people before herself and doesn't even let the gut wrenching though of banishing your own sister get in the way of your ultimate responsibility. That said, I am proud to be one of your loyal subjects.

And I know. I really should write to you more.

Love,
D.A.niel

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Little Toy Shop

"By something really strong. It seemed very weird and wrong. It just doesn't belong like it came out of this world."
September - The Living Tombstone & Mic the Microphone

Dear Princess Celestia,

I've noticed that you don't talk about family much. Other than Luna and Cadence, everypony would love to know who your parents were. A family history is nothing to be ashamed of unless it's full of abuse and hate. A good history is one to be proud of, and a rough history is one you can be happy to have survived. That's just a little food for thought. I learned that appreciating your family is important no matter how they treat you. Never bring hierarchy into an argument. A family is a unit of people who should love one another not because they must, but because they know and accept each others' differences.

I haven't written to you in a while and I apologize for not doing so. It's been a busy week and there is so much that I have learned.

Let me just start by saying how things have turned over in the past few weeks. I've basically lost my social life since I became more interested in the magic of friendship lately. I'm not blaming you or anyone else, but I have some advice to offer since you're principal of your own school for the most gifted of unicorns.

Gifts certainly are half the battle. When you discovered Twilight's gift, it was really lucky. You happened to be around to see the drama. I'm sure a lot more things happen during entrance exams that may have gone unnoticed, but a dragon through the roof must have been something out of the ordinary. Needless to say, some ponies have more talent that others. That's the whole idea of a cutie mark, isn't it?

I've been bitten by the competition bug. University life is hectic and I can understand how Twilight needs such a concise schedule to keep up with it all. I do wish education here would be like that. What used to be a pursuit of knowledge has now turned out to be a mess of information. Nopony cares about what we think any more. Instead we've gone deep into a system where we have to believe in what others' have written. It's like the library has become our new god. Don't get me wrong, dear Princess. I don't condemn the works of the previous generations and how much work they've put into the pursuit of knowledge. If it wasn't for the scholars like Star Swirl the Bearded, much of today's magic in Equestria would have been yet to be discovered.

The competition bug changes the game. Knowledge is no longer top priority. Nopony cares if you're truly into the game just to be good at it. Nopony cares about how much passion you have to be inquisitive. Why? Because we're in a race. We're fighting with one another.

Grades were probably once thought to be a foolproof way of negotiating where we stand. Instead of honoring the diligent, it created a divide. It's divided us into groups that almost cannot mingle with each other. Thus we have superiority and inferiority. Those who are technically "Smart" become successful and on the other hand, the ones who fall into the "Stupid" range are failures and will never make it far in life.

However, The reason I am put into university isn't because my mentor is putting me on some lifelong learning journey. Instead of venturing into a new territory and learning new things, we're put onto a beaten path with twists and turns that lead to dead ends and traps. My job isn't to find new things or to seek a new, undiscovered road. The job is to get to the end first without running into any booby traps or dead ends. Finish the race. Nothing else counts.

The best part about all of this is that we can't get out of it. Starlight and Crescent Sparkle must have forked out a lot of money for Twilight to study in your school, but I believe that is one of the best investments possible. Here, we're given a rank. It isn't about how much knowledge you leave your degree with, but rather how well one can follow instructions.

All I can say, dear Princess, is that you don't let this happen in Equestria. Canterlot University may be prestigious, don't let it create a divide between ponies. Even the already existent racial divide among pegasi, unicorns and earth ponies is staggering. Sure most of it was overcome during the Hearth's Warming, but it's still there. It may be interesting to take a stroll around in Canterlot town square or the Ponyville marketplace. Ponies are still divided in a sense. A transformation scroll from the Star Swirl the Bearded wing of the library may help, since I recall one of my friends bumping into one when she was there.

Division is a bad, bad thing. It's what divided ponies once and even though we may have gotten over racial differences to an extent, it doesn't necessarily mean that nothing else can divide us. Unity, diversity and harmony are essential to make the magic of friendship come alive. It takes more than just magic to keep up together. Once again, it all boils down to accepting one another. Yes you're hearing it again. We're no longer here to put aside our differences, but to embrace them as what makes us who we are and to make up for each others' weaknesses with our individual strengths.

I'm sorry if I wrote a little too long this time and I hope this finds you well. Sending letters via candlelight isn't as quick as dragon breath so I've heard, but It's all that I've got.

Love,
D.A.niel

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Echoes of Equestria

"He's pretty cool but there must be something wrong with him. I don't know if he's cursed or if it's something with his brain."
I Like Trains - Todd Bryanton a.k.a. "Lil' Deuce Deuce"


So you see it. One hell of a banner up there. It's been long overdue and well, this one is going to be here to stay.

Maybe you think that I've completely lost my mango being like this. I'm neck deep into the brony fandom and I'm 120% proud of it. There's more to life than just daily routine and boring crap. Besides, I think exploring the magic of friendship is a great way for me to stay in the loop.

So expect more letters like this. I'm sure you'll find them entertaining.

Dear Princess Celestia,

Today I learned the true meaning of "Friendship is Magic" (Faust, 2010). Even though it's "a special connection" between us (Sparkle, 2011), there is much to it. Just like how there is darkness and light, magic has good and bad incarnations too. From extremely dark statements like "The night will last forever!" (Moon, 2010) to the kind, caring nature of "being able to spread love" (Sparkle, 2012).

Every bit of magic has its virtue, as do curses and illegally brewed potions. In the same way, friendship can also be a blessing or a curse. Nopony ever said that having friends is a bad thing. It isn't even a bad thing to start with. However, should we be able to say that having friends comes with a responsibility?

You see, here things are different. We have classified our friends by how close they are. There's nothing wrong with that at all, but when we neglect the less important ones to spend time with the "closer" ones, it's like gently saying that some people are not worth your time. Are we really meant to do that?

Friendship can be a blessing as much as it can be a curse. Maybe we can't see it but I believe Twilight has been in such a position before. Mediation can be a really taxing and heartbreaking activity when your friends fight. In the essence of all the blabber about knowing who our friends should be and forgetting about those who don't matter, we sometimes forget tour responsibilities and that is to care for people whom we believe matter to us. People here call others "jerks", "idiots" and so on for all sorts of reasons and then label others as "undesirable". The sad part is that it ends there. There are so many "undesirable" people in the world but almost no one is bothered to help them.

Of course, if that person knows what qualities make them "undesirable" and can't be bothered to help themselves then it's like trying to reach past a locked door. It is nearly impossible, and whatever factors make it possible are things that would hurt someone on either side. It can be very heartbreaking to lose a friend. Nopony likes it and the worst part is that nopony can do anything about it. When Discord wreaked chaos and hell in Ponyville it was a really painful job for all the Elements of Harmony. I can hardly imagine what it would have been like to be in their places.

Dear Princess, friendship doesn't come with no strings attached. We have to be responsible to some extent. Friends will always look to us for help and support and when they do we have to help them to or best. It's not easy but it's worth it. It becomes much easier to understand when you believe that you would want the same treatment when you need help.

And yes, your prized pupil has taught me well.

Love,
D.A.niel

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I Won't Black Out

"But it's not as wasy as it sounds and that waiting's hard to do. So we test our talents everywhere until our face is blue!"
The Cutie Mark Crusaders Theme - Daniel Ingram

I've been ignoring you for a while huh. I'm sorry. It's almost June and I thought it'd be a good thing to update. This post has been opened, autosaved and transferred in and out of other apps almost a hundred times.

So I'm back for a peep (yes, at a very busy time). It's another all time high with assignments and time is scarce, but there are frustrations that have built up in me that I just have to let go.

There's a new fear that grips me these days. People are watching me on Facebook more than I think. Of late things have been a total mess. The only thing that has pull through and I dare say, has been a success is LINES. LINES, if you're wondering, is an unofficial podcast that I run for Taylor's University. Sadly I haven't gotten all the credit I hoped for but I'm not letting it go. It's not all rainbows and butterflies working in the studio recording episodes every week but I still love doing it.

I wrote a while back thinking that I've become a masochist. Why?

University life. Ahh. I've missed you.

Every single moment doing those assignments in the wee hours of the morning, tuning in to each radio station and listening to all the morning DJs first words of the day, looking out the window at constant intervals and noticing the sky getting brighter and brighter by the minute...it's been a while.

Oh hell no. It's anything but fun. University life is tough, but it's well worth it. The applause you get after a successful presentation (especially after  whole night of no sleep), the look on your lecturer's face when s/he opens up your carefully written paper and takes a look...It's priceless. Absolutely priceless.

I've never been the cream of the crop. I've never been the top student, but heck I don't need that top spot. Sure I'll try to reach for it but hey, I'm happy with what I get. If I feel I can squeeze out more then I'll argue and fight my way for it, but most of the time it's not that worth it. After all, this will only result in a bunch of numerals and a piece of parchment at the end of the line.

There's only so much a University can teach you. Organized education in this piece of crap called a "system" isn't necessarily the best way to go. However it became so built into society that we all must have one to survive and thus, Capitalist ideology ensues.

Think about it. The whole world is Capitalist. Forget Democracy, forget Socialism, forget Communism. The whole damn world is Capitalist. Money makes the world go round and while we hipsters and bronies try to tell the world to love, forgive and forget, it's still the coins that jingle-jangle in our pockets that make things happen. Even in Equestria, money is a essential part of the community. Like it or not, that's what the world has gotten itself into. You can argue that it's not the case but heck, it's become the case.

Nobody really cares about how much you know. Surely you'll turn heads but people will think you're a snobbish bastard for showing off. Others will just think about how to use you.

Use you. What for? It'll eventually boil down to money. This is why we can't have nice things.

I need to go now because I've got a shitload of things coming my way. I'll update soon. Promise.

Love,
D.A.niel

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

"I have waited one thousand years. Why won’t the city gates open?"
One Night in Beijing - Bobby Chen

I'm gonna be at this happening streetparty in KL. Maybe you've heard of it? It's called Bersih, and it's back with BERSIH 3.0.



I'mma hit the sack now. Stay tuned to this space for the lowdown (if my freaking phone works tomorrow!)

Love,
D.A.niel

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Moving At The Speed Of Light

"It doesn't really matter What they thought of you before. By the time that I am done, nopony will ignore. You, little you, now a great big superstar, Stick with me baby, and I'll make you go far"
Picture Perfect Pony - Mandopony

And it's April, almost 1 month since my last update and way more than a month since my last REAL blog post. Time sure flew fast.

I'm back in University and I couldn't be happier. Taylor's never looked better than this. 5 months of holidays have come to a pretty unfruitful end. There wasn't much direction, and just like all the projects I run during my semester breaks, all of them get me all hopeful and suddenly fall like they were made of salt and splashed with water.

I can't count the amount of projects I have shelved. Other than some really select few like the LINES podcast (which I have been really, really busy with), nothing else has made it past the drawing board.

We got our first assignment on day 1 and it was the same old drill: give our lecturer a 1-2 page biodata of ourselves so that she can gauge our writing skill. It seems to be the same with all the lecturers who teach something to do with writing. It's probably one of those things that gets passed around all those seminars that lecturers attend. After all, who wouldn't want to gauge their students' writing ability while at the same time get to know them better?

One thing I have noticed is that my biodata never seems to stay consistent. I honestly do not think that I have a split personality. It might just be how I present myself to others. It only hit me recently after nights spent on 9gag instead of doing profitable stuff that I don't have as much talent as I think I had. It's pretty damn discouraging but at least I got it from a source that's like a friendly version of the real world.

I'll say it again. Time flies. Time. Freaking. Flies. No matter what I do to hold on to my memories, they will always drift away from me and eventually disappear into this repository at the back of my head where they only get invoked when something gets me going. It's basic psychology. All our memories are stored in our subconscious, only to be revived when absolutely invoked by a direct stimulus. It's the basis of phobia and philia, though I wish it wasn't.

And I wish I knew what to call this month. The laptop is under repair so I can't access my design powerhouse. Being away from my fonts and design settings really makes using the same software on another computer feel really alien. As for now, I'll just go with April - The Month of Fun.

Love,
D.A.niel

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

I SOLD.MY Soul

"You've got opportunity in this very community!"
The Flim Flam Brothers' Song (Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000) - Daniel Ingram

You probably already know that I'm a sucker for cheap stuff. The good news about this? Imma let you in on how I get some of my stuff. Some of you have even seen it before - the super-giant balloons I use for my decorating job, my awesome red snuggie blanket I use in the Taylor's library, the HTC phone I got before it hit the market and a few more cool things.

I'll be honest. The prices of all that are way lower than you think (well, maybe except for the balloons, since that's part of my weekend job). Sometimes it pays to bypass the middleman in transactions, but what if I told you the middleman in this case was the one that slashed the price so low that even the cheapest of China-made alternatives can't compare?

You better believe it.

Meet SOLD.MY, the auction site with amazingly low prices.


I know what you're thinking. This is too good to be true huh? Well these things come cheap, but they don't come as easy as you think. However, nobody said that they're not gonna help you! *ahem* That's what I'm here for!

DriveTheSensation.com's Guide to SOLD.MY

Step 1: Register

No this isn't an anonymous site (duh). They gots to know who wins and where to send your stuff! And yes, you have to be 18 and above to use SOLD.MY. So head on down there by clicking here!

Step 2: Grab some tokens

Hold it. You're probably like: Wait. What tokens!? Simple. Each time you slam a bid into the system, it will cost you one token. Ever played at a funfair? Same concept.

Tokens go at RM1.50 each. You can purchase tokens via the website and any payment gateway of your selection. Even if you don't have a credit card, you can use services like Hong Leong Connect, MayBank2U.com or RHBNow to get your bids and also to pay for your loot when you win.

Step 3: Find your item

There are about 20 or more items simultaneously going on sale at Sold.My, so you're gonna need to focus. I personally had the same experience: the "WAH EVERYTHING SO CHEAP!" mindset that led to


No. Stop! You can't have them all! (You got to give people like me the chance to win too!)

The site's not lying. The things there are real. They've sold a ton of cool stuff from Sennheiser headphones and Jawbone speakers to Samsung Galaxy smartphones and Blackberry phones. Admit it. There's definitely something you want right there!

So I strongly suggest you set your aim on ONE item. Just one. Look around and see something small, or if you want to turn down the heat, look out for these:


Notice the little "L"s that look like the plate that was on the Kancil you took your driving test in? That's what it stands for too: Learner. These auctions are restricted only to those who are yet to win an auction, meaning that it's a good place to start!

Something caught your eye? Good. Let's move on!

Step 4: Set your timer

If your smartphone doesn't already have an app for timing stuff, it's about time you get one. There's FinalCountdown for Android (which I personally like),  Timer+ for iOS and definitely a timer app for whatever phone you use, even the older Java phones. However, if you're the type with a phone whose battery needs charging more than you need the toilet, then you should snag a small pocket timer. They cost about RM5 to RM10 and can be bought in dollar shops everywhere. I have one on my set of car keys:


But wait! If you're on the PC, don't go all over the internet looking for a timer app. Chances are that it'll probably be infected and buggy. Instead, try this! Take a look at your auction and note the timer:


So the auction ends in about 36 minutes. Now switch to your favourite media player (or use Windows Media Player if you don't have one) and snap together a playlist.


Note how long the playlist runs for and try to match it to the timer. Then delete your SHORTEST song off the playlist. This gives you a moment to prepare for the auction. Don't forget to switch off your Repeat and/or Shuffle All setting!

With this, you'll know when to switch your browser to the auction page. As soon as the music stops, it's time to get serious.

And now, the real fun begins!

Here's how the site works. Every bid steps the price of the item in question up by 15sen. When the timer reaches zero, the highest bidder takes home the goodie for the winning price. However, you should know that besides bumping the price of the item up by 15 sen, each bid also adds 20 seconds to the timer.

My friends, you are about to see how valuable 20 seconds really are.

To get my experience in this, I was lucky enough to be in for an exclusive media-only event for bloggers and writers on the last day of February (the 29th, folks. It's a leap year). SOLD.MY had a lovely little dinner all planned out for us at Gecko Bar, PJ Trade Centre.



For me it was a real treat. I had no idea what I signed up for until I got there.

The launch of the event was really cute. What better way to launch a media event for an auction site than with a giant hammer?



And this isn't any cheap pasar-malam inflatable hammer. This is the real deal!


The two lovely ladies to the right are Angeline Tham and Tian Qiuyan, the co-founders of SOLD.MY and SOLD.SG, the Singaporean counterpart to SOLD.MY. SOLD.MY was created in November 2011, a little over a year after the success of SOLD.SG.

They gave us a LIVE demonstration of how the whole system works by getting bloggers to bid on the spot on a demo auction.


You'll be amazed at how fast these people are with the mouse. There's a good side to playing fast-action video games, you know.


Y U NO BID!!?

Of course, there was a lovely dinner waiting for us to replenish all the nervous energy that built up while watching the timer dance around the final 20 seconds.



And that's where I learned all about how the awesome system works. To perk things up for us who were there, they even gave us 50 tokens on the house and 10 specific MEDIA ONLY auctions to play with. Ready to hear how to do it? Here are some tips from me as to how I play my cards on SOLD.MY.

1. PLAY FOR THE 1%


I'm a hipster and I'm proud to be one. So you'll typically know that I would go for the weirdest of things or sometimes, the most unusual of stuff. You can probably tell, people would pile up on the big end items (like phones and laptops). So keep out of the heat and play for smaller auctions. Trust me you stand a better chance!

2. NAIL THE SPECIALS


Go for the learner auctions I told you about earlier. The heat is a little lower there and will be a great place to start too!

3. SET YOUR SIGHTS

Here's the tricky bit. There's a little feature called the auto bidder that will (literally) do your bidding for you.


Basically it works like this. It will kick in when the price of the auction reaches the minimum price you set and continue to deploy as many bids as you allocate or until the auction breaches the upper limit of the price you set.

HOWEVER, if more than one person uses it, it will kick in simultaneously and the auction price and timer will spring all the way to what the auction would look like if all the bids are used. The Auto bidder will bid at random in the final 10 seconds of the auction so be ready!

The Auto-bidder is great if you have to take a moment off your computer for anything from a toilet trip to a night out with friends. Think of it as an autopilot for SOLD.MY.

4. KNOW YOUR ENEMY

Yes, but don't tear him/her to shreds! This is just so that you can get ahead of the game.


Be aware of how the other players are bidding. If you see a few people persistently outbidding each other, don't go and join in the brawl! Take a step back and let them fight it out before you step in and take your place in the ring.

Also, note that the Auto-bidder can also be very persistent. Don't fight the auto-bidder with your auto-bidder because you will never know how the person on the other end set his/hers. Remember that automatic bids kick in RANDOMLY somewhere in the final 10 seconds of an auction so if you see the price NOT going up as the time reaches the final seconds, it's about time to slam in your bid!

Finally, enjoy the adrenaline rush when you get into the final 10 seconds of an auction...


...and the explosion of joy when you get this screen:


Trust me on this, you would never have known your heart could beat that fast.

So step into the world of SOLD.MY here and start your new awesome shopping experience.

Lastly, a great big Thank You to Advertlets and SOLD.MY for having me over to get a taste of something different from my usual eBay life.


It's HAMMERTIME!

Love,
D.A.niel

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Nopony Can Be Uncheered With A Balloon!


"You're like a shot of pure gold, I think I'm about to explode. I can taste the tension like a cloud of smoke in the air. Now I'm breathing like I'm running cause you're taking me there. Don't you know? You spin me out of control!"
Jessie J - Domino

So yes, Valentine's day was last week. What did you do?

I decided to spend it watching ponies in HD. It was pretty mufch the best thing to do considering that I'm single and all. That was until I found out that I wasn't the only kid in town who had that agenda. So to make things a whole lot better, we decided to do what we wanted to do all along, together!

Dear Princess Celestia,
While some among us have a very special somepony, some of us, well, don't. But no matter what happens, we will always have our friends by our side through thick and thin. Sometimes spending quality time with our friends is better than just sulking about being alone.
How was your Hearts and Hooves day? I'm sure you especially cherished raising the sun for your beloved subjects as you watched them show how much they appreciate each other. My friends and I just met up at Sugarcube Hill to hang out and have fun. We were late as ever as it was our first time going there, so we got lost on the way.
Dinner was simple and delicious. We did not order food, instead Pinkie arranged for some yummy home cooked food to be served. It was lovely. 
Oh yes, I did learn something too! It is true that sometimes we tend to miss what is right under our nose. I find myself thinking that I'm all alone in this world that I tend to forget that I have wonderful friends all around me.
Pinkie and I thought of having this Hearts and Hooves dinner just about a couple of days before it actually happened. Some of the friends who we invited couldn't make it on such notice, but we still went on with the party. We even had a couple of friends pop by because they were around the area. They were a little lost but despite being in a rush to get home and finish some work, they took the trouble to come and spend a little time with us.
As for me, I decided to throw in a little bit of fun into the night by bringing some heart-shaped balloons from Sugarcube Cloudsdale. Everypony went home with a balloon to remind them about how lovely the night was.
I don't have much to say about calling this event a success or a failure. All that actually mattered on a night like that was that everypony went home with a big smile on their faces, just like how Pinkie Pie would want them to and surely no matter how much stress we went through getting lost on the way and all, we all went home with something more and that was a much closer herd of friends.
Your loyal subject,St. Pinkie

Note to my readers: Ok. Maybe you find it a little cheesy that I'm writing to Princess Celestia about life and all, but then again I do this for a reason. I don't leave my seat after every episode of My Little Pony empty handed. I always learn something new and most of the time, it's about friendship.

Friendship makes the world go round. There is much to learn about it as well. Some of us think we know what it's like to have friends and even worse, a lot of people are stuck up in the myth of having 4 figures of friends on Facebook. The truth is that every adventure we have with our friends serves to do something to the bonds we have. Mind you, they don't always strengthen them. Sometimes knowing each other a little better can make you drift apart but when you have true friends, you won't be afraid of being honest while your friends will listen to you because they know for sure that you have their best interests at heart.

Love,
D.A.niel

Monday, 20 February 2012

Brighter Than The Sun

"It’s true, some days are dark and lonely and maybe you feel sad, but Pinkie will be there to show you that it isn’t that bad! There’s one thing that makes me happy, and makes my whole life worthwhile."
Smile, Smile, Smile! - Pinkie Pie Daniel Ingram

I'm back with my super-ponified life! Have a Friendship report!


Dear Princess Celestia,



Today was an especially special one. I learned that the magic of friendship transcends even our age and gender. Never before have I and my friends been invited to parties where little fillies and colts had fun. Usually by norm they think it’s awkward, but true friends are willing enough to be there for you no matter how awkward he situation is.


My job was simple. I got to Sugarcube Hill a little earlier. Pinkie and I helped each other to blow balloons up for the party. Our cutie marks really do represent our talents because ponies have told me that I may have a talent that I don’t like, but what sets a cutie mark apart from just a talent is that cutie marks represent what we love. I’m sure you love raising the sun for everypony just as much as Pinkie and I love balloons.

When the clock reached 7, most of the fillies and colts started to arrive, many of them were anxious to meet our friends who arrived a little later. As the place filled up, an entertainer arrived to help keep the colts and fillies entertained. Although Pinkie Pie is great with foals, she could always use a little hand  when there are many of them around.


The birthday filly looks up to Rarity as her inspiration. So because of that, Pinkie ordered
a cake that looks exactly like Ponyville’s resident fashionista.





The cake was delicious and I cannot lie, it was hard to cut a cake so beautiful.



 Of course, a fair share of our friends shared with us the talents that they had. Just as how the cutie marks of Pinkie and I were reflected in the balloons all around, some ponies shared with us their ability to draw and they do it really quickly too! There was another pony who could make videos too! He showed us how he took extra caution in every step of the way to make something beautiful. He is known by many other ponies as the one behind this masterpiece: link



Another thing i learned today, Princess, is that when your friends are better at you in something, it doesn’t mean that they outshine you. If we all glowed in the same colour, it would look boring, but when we all glow in our true colours we become even more pretty than a rainbow.



The magic of friendship really showed in the meetup. The elements of harmony are not just locked up in Canterlot Tower. Wherever there are true friends, there the elements will be. All of us were so reluctant to leave that Mrs. Cake had to ask us to while she closed up. Pinkie also didn’t want to see us go.


Before we left, Pinkie wanted us to take home a little something that reminded us of the night. She brought out a box of vanilla cookies that were pony shaped and gave one to each of us. We all went home with something more that night. Everypony had a little more friendship in their hearts that kept us smiling all week and that, for sure, filled Pinkie Pie’s heart with joy and sunshine!

Your loyal subject,
St. Pinkie


So no you all know what I'm up to these days. I'll update more soon! No worries!

Love,
D.A.niel

Thursday, 2 February 2012

You've Gone Big, Now Go Home -Part Two- The Energy Beneath

Witness, I got the heart of 20 men. No fear, go to sleep in the lion's den. That flow, that spark, that crown, you looking at the king of the jungle now."
Good Feelin' - Flo Rida

So I hope some of you picked you your cameras and got to work on that photography competition!

I threw in my little bit. I suck in photography and all but there are some things that can survive my hand. I took about 300 shots with my DSLR to get something like this:



Maybe you can take a better shot than me (if you can, you should enter the competition! It is still open!), but all I have is this and the very reason I submitted this picture is simple, It made me reimagine energy.

I grew up in a fantasy world of my own. My head was always high up in the clouds and it would usually take a lot to bring me back down to earth. I believed that lion dances were actually done by creatures like those. I believed in these creatures which perform extreme acrobatic stunts to the sound of drums.

Even after a few years and a few cheaper lion dance shows where I actually saw the people inside who were operating the lion, I still didn't lose faith in the lion that I once knew. The truth was hard to accept and follow but now, almost 17 years after seeing my first lion dance, it's become clear to me.

People who do lion dances make me think about how they unite under the skin of the costume to put on a show. It's almost like 2 people becoming one with the costume and focusing its energy on the dance. Just like how Petronas reimagines energy, I see things in a whole new way today and how sometimes it's better to take a step back to see the full glory of something.

And with that, it's FEBRUARY! I hope you like the new header!

Love,
D.A.niel

Friday, 20 January 2012

You've Gone Big, Now Go Home -Part One- Reimagining Energy™


"Ever since I was boy I swore to the Gods above I would rise above the adversity and show em love."
Been Dreamin' - Mike the Microphone


The phrase "Go Big or Go Home" was pretty popular around the internet during my early teenage years and I am quite sure it kinda still is.


I believe that a lot of us are trying to go big. We're all trying to live the dream. Some of us are already there while some of us are trailing behind. Nonetheless we are all trying to attain the dream.


I've talked enough about dreams in my life and no, these aren't the dreams that Leonardo diCaprio can enter and turn upside-down. I'm talking about things that you wanna do and who you want to become.


So if you're not already aware, Chinese New Year is right around the bend. It's gonna be the year of the Golden Dragon very soon. You can usually see the signs: Shops are extending their opening hours, banknotes are being exchanged for new ones in the financial institutions, mandarin orange seeds are being launched out my car window as I drive and many more. The hustle and bustle is crazy.


But come Monday, which is the first day of the new year, this town is gonna be dead. You can plank on the road during rush hour and there won't even be a motorcycle in sight. You'll most likely be at home with your family - the people who love you mutually.


By now you may be packing your bags and gearing up for the weekend. Chances are you've set course for home. Your story may be different but I've mentioned it before. We all have different ways of describing home. Home isn't necessary the house where you eat and sleep and become mayor of on FourSquare. Home can be anywhere.


To me, home is where love is. Home is where the people whom I love the most are. For me, that would be my family. I call Malaysia my home because I [sincerely] a proud to be Malaysian. I've changed from my old self.




This Chinese new year, a special message comes from a party that is most likely the one that takes you home. The company that gives life to the automotive that will carry you to wherever you call home. This video is touching to say the least. It's a great clip to show your overseas friends, especially Malaysians.




Datuk Mohammad Medan Abdullah, the Senior General Manager of the Group Corporate Affairs Division of Petronas gave us the explanation of the message behind the Television Commercial (TVC). Honestly, I can always relate to Petronas commercials. I've been a Petronas customer all my life especially after the launch of PriMAX95 Xtra.


I'm infamous in my family for running the petrol tank in the family car to rock bottom. I can't seem to do that anymore with PriMAX95 Xtra. Seriously, the mileage is so much better.




This year, Petronas wants to wish you a happy Chinese New Year in more ways than one. In the true spirit of Reimagining Energy™, it's time to disseminate our diligent side and put in more effort into going home to our family. Malaysians are a unique bunch. We want to advance and see the future while staying true to our roots and that's what we're famous for and this is not only for those who celebrate. It's a public holiday and most schools take an entire week off. The national spirit of togetherness that surrounds us is manifested at the dinner table at the family reunion that happens once a year.




Yes. Especially during the Loh Sang.


In reality I might just be a little too ambitious. Not all of us may have this habit, but there's one thing I know for sure - that sometimes in life, all we need is a little push -a little reminder.


I almost flipped when an invitation to a press conference arrived in my mailbox. It's not every day when I get something like that and for me, this was something really different. It wasn't a corporate product launch or some wild publicity stunt. It was a message that was close to my heart.




They even had a really unique lion dance. When was the last time you saw a lion dance that moved over 3 stories in a shopping complex?




Plus, notice the kompangs on the ground. This was a really interesting addition - A lion dance with both traditional Chinese AND Malay instrumental backing. It's just another way of Petronas showing their spirit of Reimagining Energy™.


Being a company that stood strong since establishment in 1974, Petronas is a body that reflects the spirit of resilience that lies in our hearts - the spirit to excel in whatever we do.


My home is here in SS2, where I grew up. It's only after this when I began to see the true spirit in this town - the energy that brings it to life 24 hours a day. I truly understand how Reimagining Energy™ can bring us to the future while letting us stay true to our traditions.


It's now your turn to capture this spirit. While I sit here and write, you're most likely better in pointing and shooting. Don't lie, your phone has a camera which you use for every other thing.


Petronas in partnership with Leica have RM2000 up for grabs for whoever can capture the spirit of Reimagining Energy™ in a photo and yes, everyone can enter: Amateurs, Professionals, students and even Petronas staff!


So what's your excuse for not sending something? Go out and anywhere, anytime you see something that reflects this spirit, just point and shoot.


Submit your photos here: http://www.facebook.com/petronas1?sk=app_354326444581364. After submission your photo will be queued for submission approval. When approved, you have 3 days to send the high-resolution picture to petronascny2012@gmail.com.


Happy Chinese New Year y'all!


Love,
D.A.niel


Credits to Petronas for giving me this experience and reminding me of what's important - home :)


Reimagining Energy™ is a registered trademark of Petroliam Nasional Berhad.

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