About Me

My photo
We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Last Day of 2014

Dear Self;

2014 has been a rather shitty year for you but as with everything else in Life, there is a good side too.

You have fought hard through the dark clouds, endured through the storms and for that, you really deserve to give yourself a hearty pat on the back. Troubles don't last forever but strength and resilience built up sweat by sweat will stay with you for as long as you be. They can even grow.

Time to close the door behind you and it's almost time to open the new door right in front of you which you've waited a year for to reach. It is now within your reach.

Open it and go forth to a better year and a new adventure ahead.

Sayonara, 2014.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy Birthday To..


My Lioness made me my favourite lamb chops for dinner along with french fries and Western chicken soup. You are a very blessed man if your mate is a great cook and my gosh, she IS an excellent cook.

My stomach, along with the rest of myself, belong to her since her cooking was just one of the ways she has conquered me through. She kept mum about that cheesecake she was hiding inside our fridge until I've almost finished my dinner. She can be pleasantly sneaky like that and I won't have it any other way.

Just for the record, it's been quite a long while since I've had lamb chops and fries. I watch what I eat since I don't wanna grow fat, you see. But whenever I allow myself to chow down on food I've put on my 'Only Once In A While If You Don't Want Your Waistline To Hate You And Vice Versa' list, I'll enjoy them. Besides, since I've already reached the point where I can't eat too much anyway, I view such enjoyment as safe in my non-fiction book. '七分饱' is a mantra I'm living by.

She asked me whether I've observed that the older one gets, the smaller birthday celebrations become in terms of the number of people participating in the celebrations. My reply to her was: "Rather celebrate with just someone who truly cares about you and vice versa instead of with a crowd of people who don't."

I don't mean becoming selfish or anti-social. We've all heard it before but what I'm getting at is that quality is always something worth much more than quantity.

I suppose the reverse exception is true if you happen to be a zombie during a zombie apocalypse. Speaking of which, did you know that 'zombies' exist in real life? You see them everytime you come across folks who spend all their time and effort living for approvals from the frivolities of societal circles just to belong and fit in without the capability to tell who their true friends really are or the lack thereof.

I wonder why Facebook suddenly pops into mind. Nevermind.

I can't speak for everybody and I certainly can't stereotype every younger person but it seems to me, at least, that as one grows older, one gravitates more towards only allowing the things and people that truly matter into the more intimate and deeper parts of one's inner circle while filtering out everything else.

As one grows older, Sturgeon's Law begins to have more and more of a concrete substance, it seems. I don't know, perhaps as one becomes older, Time seems to look shorter and when things are starting to look short, you begin to feel you shouldn't squander whatever you have and waste your life on frivolous things that won't matter in the end. Perhaps it's a subconscious thing.

On the flip side of the coin, I've seen people on the contrary side of the fence. I make it a point of reminder to myself not to end up on that side of the fence whenever I see 'drifters' - folks who waste themselves away, having forgotten that Time waits for no one. Absolutely no one. Now that's one of the scariest things I know.

Being human, we all make mistakes and there were and will be times when I forget the significance of Time. It's ok as long as you bother enough to pull yourself out of the pits you've fallen into. The trick is not to not make honest mistakes but rather, taking the effort to make things right for yourself and the people you care about to the best of your abilities everytime you do.

Where was I? Oh yeah, birthdays.

You look at age right in the eyes when it comes to birthdays. Age can seem like a scary thing when you see it getting inflated in numerical value with each passing year. The best way to deal with it is to make the most out of every single day you have to the point where you can crack a smile of satisfied fulfilment when you look back.

And if you focus only and solely on just the things you can't take with you when you bite the dust and exclude everything else not within the same category for your fulfillment, you are making a grave mistake. Pun very much intended.

And for what it's worth, allow your mind to age at a rate faster than that of your body's while always holding on to the inner child within you and never letting it go. As for your heart, it should always be held within the palms of the child in you.

Boy, that cheese cake was yummylicious.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Healthy Eating In Modern Times

I've always wanted to blog about how I think it's absurd having to pay higher prices for natural healthy food, as opposed to eating cheaper and unhealthy processed food things that kill you slowly. Perhaps I'm missing something regarding the economics between the two but as the situation has always stood for me, there's something illogical about the whole affair that doesn't taste right.

Can't help but deduce that us modern humans have gotten it ass-backwards and as it happens, I just came across the following cartoon strip which took the words out of my unhealthy food-ingesting mouth regarding the issue while my wallet is giving me smug looks:

WTF, right?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Birthday, Big G

Happy birthday, Google. You may be a teenager but you've been raking in the kills towards domination ever since Jellybean when you were 15.

Puberty and raging hormones are good things, they energize you; while on the contrary, those running out of steam spend most of their time hanging around in the courtrooms trying to jerk off to rectangular patents with rounded corners.

Keep staying horny for the mobile tech industry and Rock On.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Oh Look, The Phones That Make Lawyers Rich Since The Galaxy S3

Watched the new iPhone 6+ bend test video this morning and came across the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ in the shop.

The voice in my head tells me:
"It's costly. It's supposed to be premium.. It apparently bends rather easily. Premium."

So I was tempted to do my own bend tests right on the spot with these 2 mofos:

But I decided not to get into trouble and ending up contributing directly or indirectly to the coffers of a sue-happy company so that they could have more ammo for more rectangular patents with rounded corners and impede the tech industry further via lawsuits.

It's nice walking away with a clear conscience. Worth it too, considering 2012 is so history already.

That's not to say the iPhones are bad phones, they are still basically good at what they do, albeit iOS being still a limited walled garden even though Apple has decided to open a couple of doors with iOS 8.

But in my non-fiction book, using that which is playing catchup means going backwards in time but that's just me. Your mileage may vary and that's fine. Just deem me wrong if so, I can live with that and we can agree to disagree. More power to you if you find that your iPhone serves you well.

I actually have nothing against the iDevices but as far as I'm concerned though, I just refuse to feed the mobile industry's biggest patent troll. They who try to trip others from moving ahead usually end up behind the race.

But hey, make no mistake, Apple is still gonna be making load$ of dough with the new iPhone$. I think I've mentioned somewhere before that Sturgeon's Law is still very much alive and operational.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Humanity Lately In A Nutshell

ISIS. Genocide. Racism. Suicides of famous people whose lifestyles and financial powers others wish they had. Self-imposed global warming. iPhone queues that give rise to brawls and fights. Wars. Domestic abuse. Animal abuse. Selling one's organs just for a muthafucking iPad. Dictators. Politicians who lie through their teeth. Redistributing used cooking oil from the sewers (地沟油) and poisoned baby formulas for quick bucks.

It's difficult trying to hold on to faith in humanity in the midst of murderous chaos and senseless follies. But hold on we must, since Sturgeon's Law has always been alive and well. 10% is not much but having 10% of hope is better than having 100% total crap.

The good and better things in life truly come few and far between. If you are still breathing without pain and tomorrow will come for you, consider yourself fortunate already.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."
Matthew 7:13-14

God bless you, dear gentle reader. Keep your chin up.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Passage of Time Unveils More of Death

The mystery of Death - From Life's viewpoint. Like any other mystery, we may not fully understand death but we all need to start coming to grips with it at some point in our lives.

My childhood buddy Lim told me his dad has just passed away in the hospital where they have been fighting to sustain him for several days.

It took me awhile to think about what I should say to Lim; not because I didn't know what to say but because I couldn't straighten out the 'how' of it, since I had trouble formulating my thoughts into words properly because I was shocked and taken aback at the news. In the end, I just kept it straight and simple and told him I was sorry to learn about his dad's passing and I asked if he could cope.

The older I get with the passage of time, the more I hear about the deaths of friends and people I know, like the secondary school classmate who drowned years after we graduated. I didn't keep in touch with him but I knew about it because another classmate from the same class told me so during a class reunion - he became a cop and he happened to be the one who pulled the body out of the water.

The older you get, the more you also get to hear about the deaths of people you know about but who might not have known you; like the super stars, for example. Folks like Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, Kurt Cobain, Michael Hutchence, Robin Williams.. The same goes for dictators who were the personifications of evil: People like Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong IL, etc. Regardless of whether if it's by one's one hand or not and irregardless of social standing, no one can be spared from the endpoint of one's life journey - which is death.

I understand the title of this blog post seems diabolical but even so, just because the truth is ugly doesn't make it any less true. I believe in an almighty God and I believe in the spiritual. As such, for me, death of the physical body doesn't equate the death of the soul. Being pronounced clinically dead earns you the death certificate but what happens to your soul and consciousness?

I wonder if the scientific theory that the amount of energy in the universe is a constant and so, energy cannot be created or destroyed but rather, gets transformed to another state applies to the body and the soul. Actually, I do think so. Upon death, the physical body breaks down and either gets transformed to ashes or worm food but what happens to the soul?

Thoughts, feelings and imagination are intangible things but one can never deny their non-tangible existence which affects every aspect of our lives and decision making. I think the same can be said regarding the soul and I don't think they are just products of 'chemical reactions in the brain', even though it's not unreasonable to think that the process of thought involves chemical reactions in our heads, since the intangible is tied to the tangible while we are alive and so, one affects the other.

Ugh damn it, I'm not a biologist, a chemist nor am I a neurologist but suffice it to say, I believe that upon destruction of the tangible, the intangible breaks free from the tangible as well as the physical laws that limit the tangible, which probably explains why the so-called 'spirits' can seemingly defy the laws of Physics by passing through walls and appearing out of thin air and disappearing into thin air and..

Oh nevermind. I wasn't talking out of thin air there though, since I've encountered and seen.. things that my eyes had trouble registering as accepted normalcy and which made my brain scream the word 'impossible'. I really ought to blog about those experiences one of these days.

Whether you believe in the spiritual or not, the point I'm trying to make here is: the increasing cases of deaths you see around you or hear about as time flies by and as you get older and older is a reminder that each of us have to make the most out of the days we have.

Time doesn't wait but death sure as heck waits for everybody. Since such is the case, the trick is to rest when you must but never stall your life to a standstill. If you allow that to happen, then 'death' has come early for you before your time is actually up and you join the ranks of the walking 'dead'. They do exist, drifting through life without purpose, without energy and without aim or meaning.

Let's see now: We spend huge chunks of our lives sleeping, schooling or working, so how much time do we have left to stop and smell the roses, spend time with our loved ones, see the world, learn and excel in the things we've always wanted to learn and do the things that make us not just happy but fulfilled? Why not start now while you still have the time? As long as you still have breath in you, you have the chance.

Let Death remind us about the value of Life and cherish it.

Blessed is the man who can look back on his days while on his deathbed with peace in his heart and fulfillment on his mind. Along with that, I hope to God that when my time is up, it will be painless for me.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Galaxy Note 4 Unveiled

The Galaxy Note 4. Boy, it feels like Christmas already.

As someone once said, the pen is mightier than just finger-tapping and much more creative than a sea of just icons. Actually, nobody said that and I'm the lousiest liar I know but what the hey, can't wait to get home to stream IFA 2014.

Later, after a nice looong shower..

I personally like describing the Note device as 'The Writer's Phone' but that just scratches the surface when you study the entire breadth of the things the S Pen can really accomplish - which lots of Note users I've come across would get a F grade for, unfortunately.

So the whole point of the Note device is the capabilities of the S Pen as well as the multitasking, which unfortunately, is a point lost, forgotten or very much under-utilised by most folks, making it the most underestimated of all mobile devices.

It's time for me to upgrade my phone and chances are that I'll be getting the Note 4 but I'll wait for the display sets to hit the stores and go hands-on and play with one first before making my final decision.

And thank goodness the Note 4 comes with optical image stabilisation, a feature that Sammy didn't implement on the Note 3. October ought to be nerdgasmic.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Multitasking and Men

So I came across the following small (and smug) poster pasted above the urinal in the Gents':

I'm not sure about the validity of the message on it which proclaims men to be poor at multitasking and at the same time, I wonder about the credibility of the so-called study which brought about the conclusion.

Screenshot Rebuttal

I guess some sexist attempts at humour can end up being as dry and rather.. inept like a certain mobile operating system. I wouldn't be surprised if whoever made this poster turns out to be an iOS user, considering how multitasking seems to be a concept alien to him or her. Poor thing. Shrugs. I'm a guy who multitasks and I consider myself to be quite good at it, so I guess I oughta know.

Er, I hope he or she can take a joke should he or she ever come across this post. Or at least pretend to - just like how I forced a chuckle out of myself regarding this. You know, basic courtesy and all that, despite how rather lame you think some things mentioned to you seem to be.

Anyhoos, it wouldn't have been that easy taking a leak while bursting into laughter at the same time.

(Update from the future: For some reason, the poster got removed from where I found it. Good, now I can relief myself there without having to feel like being on the receiving end of sexual discrimination that tries to be funny. How very.. relieving.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

When 'Babies' Do Metal

What Girls' Generation? Ha! That which works more effectively than 10 energy drinks combined:

Boy, adrenaline rushes caused by fast & furious music can leave one hungry after. Say, need a bite?

Feeling weird that these kids can rock it out to head-banging, guitar distortion-riddled music injected with thunderous drumming on aural steroids instead of singing that which is supposed to be politically-correct music?

I'll take the head-banging over wimpy aural political-correctness any day; One treads a unique path lesser travelled and sets itself apart while the other jumps on the main bandwagon like sheeps to the slaughter. Sturgeon's Law makes for a great guide in Life.

*Drama Mode Off*

Nah, that was a little too heavy (no pun intended) handed, just enjoy whatever music you like listening to. I still think one Babymetal song is a lot more interesting and exciting than an entire Girls' Generation concert. Cough.

-De Lion Speaks

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Alternative Way To Fighting Fire?

My job takes me places, so I get to spot some.. strange things out there while almost everyone else is holed-up in their offices, which is one of the things I love about my job as I travel about the country's wild wild west.

Spotted this one at one of the train stations, tucked away almost hidden from view behind this pillar at one end of the train platform. Yeah, I like corners cause I'm allergic to crowds unless I'm at a concert or in a club.

Apparently, the management head here is either one tough mutha or of course, I'll wager that some waiting passenger with a bright idea has made a suggestion here with a scraping tool or something with a smooth and thin hard edge to bring the 'ass' out of 'glass'.

I wouldn't take his or her advice if I were you.

-De Lion Speaks

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Weary Body's Worst Enemy: A Mind That Refuses To Stop Playing

It's past 1a.m.
Company meeting is at 9a.m.

Dear insomnia, the best thing about you is that you give me time to anticipate questions and prepare for their answers. The worst thing about you is that by the time the questions come, I'll be so spaced out I'll either fumble on, or forget my answers.

Zero sum game. Why even bother.

There is no kill switch to shut off the mind; not even in slumber, not even in death. One can destroy that which is physical and tangible but how does one go about destroying that which is intangible and which resides in the mental realm?

It's like energy and if you didn't play truant during your Science classes, you know that energy cannot be created nor destroyed; you can only transform it from one state to another - Which means there is a constant total amount of energy in the universe.

Darn, that didn't work. Maybe if I go watch some soap opera on YouTube.. Oh gosh, having nightmares would be just as bad. And counting sheep never works for me since the subjects I've always hated the most since my school days have always been mathematics and statistics which I really suck at, ugh.

It's odd how my counting abilities will suddenly seem like my best expertise everytime I tabulate my work commissions though.

Insomnia has always been all in the mind for me. I love it during the weekends but I suffer from it during the weekday mornings unless I happen to be on leave.

The mind can be like an unbridled and untamed wild mustang that likes to run in the opposite direction your body is telling you to go and yours truly is stuck in the middle and getting ripped apart between the two, right here and right now.

Since my mustang still wants to race and gallop away and it's insistent and persistent about it, I might as well hang on to it and enjoy the ride. I guess I can only truly rest when my horsie itself becomes tired - which the body has pretty much nothing to do with. Yeehar.

-De Lion Speaks

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Mac Pro in 1 Minute And 11 Seconds

Apple? No.

Not every video carries a great punch at the very end. Yes, you should dump your cigarette butts into ash trays. You shouldn't feel bad about using shells that house crippled and limiting tech which ties up your hands as ash trays - especially when they DO resemble ash trays.

And when it comes to technology, one shouldn't give one's money away to feed lawyers in the service of those who are all too happy to impede tech's progress because they are now playing catch up and who think they invented and own everything under the sun. That would defeat the purpose and eventually, boomerang right back atcha - walled gardens can end up as prisons and ecosystems can be quicksand in disguise.

We've all heard of people who can't break away from the Apple ecosystem because of money invested. To make themselves feel better about it, some shut their eyes and minds to alternatives and convince themselves on a level no different from self-hypnosis that the prison they are trapped in is the best of all prisons. There are others who stay willingly because they genuinely like it and that's cool. It's the former group that is pitiful.

Apple? No. That is all.

-De Lion Speaks

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Something Amazing This Way Swings

Fuck Yeah \o/ That's like only just a week away and to think that my friend Lim had the cheek to tell me it's already screening in the cinemas. I wonder if he has switched to smoking bleach.

Anyway, considering that they ought to be screening the preview a few days earlier, that would make it less than a week. We'll see. And I very much prefer The Amazing Spiderman as compared to the Spiderman movie series acted by Tobey Maguire.

Why? Because Tobey's hairstyle is far from Peter Parker's original hairstyle from that of the comic's and the back-combed flat pancake hairstyle is so old and stale ever since.. ever since.. maybe 上海滩. Gosh, that's old as spoilt bread and an utter waste of hair cream. Hell, even Brylcream-esque hair cream has gone the way of the Dodo.

With all due respect to guys sporting this hairstyle, you need to get with the times. Anyway, if you see and hear a guy standing on his cinema chair and cheering whenever Peter Parker changes into Spiderman, it ought to be me. I need my kicks and cheap thrills.

Spiderman is my favourite super hero because he is just a struggling average Joe when he's out of his costume whom we can all identify with and he talks witty, as opposed to other super heroes who don't talk much and think that just flexing muscles tickles the mind of their audiences. Perhaps this is why I've always thought that Rambo was a himbo. Hey, that rhymes. Not sure if Rambo's considered a super hero but whatever.

Muscles are cool but the tongue is still mightier than hardened meat, just like how the pen is mightier than the sword. It's best to have both though. But if you can choose only one, don't choose himbo (muscles missing wit and conversational skills, that is).

Counting down the days till the web ball hits. I pity the cinema seat I'll be booking already.

-De Lion Speaks

Friday, April 11, 2014

To Clementi Arcade: A Little Discovery Trip

Most of the jobs I've done, including my current one, take me places and that is one thing I really love - provided the weather doesn't throw tantrums. The sense of freedom that comes with the travellings is strong but so is the sense of responsibility and the need for self-discipline and time management; considering I'm the only guy who can ensure I get my job done by the end of the day, since I travel solo to my customers' outlets and my timing is in my own hands.

And it's really nice being able to determine your own lunch hour as and when you like. My usual practice is to have my chow outside of official lunch hours (either before 12 noon or after 2pm). You know, avoiding the lunch mob so that I can always get a table easily and eat in peace and quiet with enough elbow space to work the cutlery. I skip lunch if I'm not hungry, since there's no point in putting extra pounds on myself when I don't need to.

I've always liked my past and present jobs this way, since I'm not the type of person that likes being confined to a chair for the entire day and live a regimented office lifestyle and my travellings keep me in good shape.

Um, that's with all due respect to those of you working indoors in offices. Look at it this way: Whenever the haze season hits or when you look outside your office window and see that it's pouring out there, or when you can see summer's heat waves frying everything outside, you can throw a smug grin my way. I can live with that.

Today, my job takes me to Clementi Arcade, a place I've never visited before. Clementi Arcade is situated in the Sunset Way vicinity; a little place in the western part of the city state.

Towards Clementi Arcade
Alighting at the bus stop as directed by my street directory app and getting myself orientated towards the correct direction, I begin my leisurely walk towards Clementi Arcade where I'm supposed to service one of my customer's outlets situated there.

Judging by the map opened up on my phone, it's going to be quite a little walk that takes a while, so I'm telling myself to soak in the environment with a spirit of discovery since this is one area I'm not familiar with. Despite the rather irritating slight drizzle of evening sky pee, it is still nice having a little discovery trip even if it should turn out to be one that awakens buried memories, since there is a faint hint of familiarity about the place I'm at. I probably came here before when I was a kid or something.

The canal comes into view after a short walk and I halt in my tracks to marvel at it, which soon got upgraded to a stare before I realized it. It's just a canal but I don't know, there's something beautiful about it in conjunction with the big and long white bridge spanning across it where I'm now on.

Walking along the pretty bridge to get to the other side of the canal where these blocks of residential buildings stand (which I have to pass through to get to Clementi Arcade), I stop to take a moment about halfway across the bridge to snap a photo of the canal from one side of the bridge.

By now, the slight drizzle has started coming down just a tad bit harder. How irritating. Why can't a man be left alone to take his camera shots while admiring the scenery around him and remain dry in the process? I guess I shouldn't linger on for too long. Nope, I don't have a brolly on me and I don't think I sport a good wet look.

Off in the distance further along the length of the long canal, I spot another bridge which, from the rusted look of it, ought to be a really old weather-beaten bridge. For some reason, the longer I study it visually, the more World War 2 comes to mind. I can't help but wonder just how many years that old bridge has been there, a silent structural relic and witness to the development of the whole vicinity through the years. If old bridges could talk, each of them would probably be screaming for a ship container's worth of WD-40.

For all I know, that bridge could probably even be much much older than me. It sure seems that way judging by its weary appearance. I wonder if it creaks loudly when one traverses across it. Nah, I guess I won't be finding that out just yet, since I just remembered I'm not here as a tourist and I actually have a job to complete before the day is over. Bummer.

Having just passed through the blocks of residential flats and asking this friendly Chinese dude with an American accent (an authentic sounding one, as opposed to the forced and fake sounding ones you sometimes hear here by some wannabe folks who think that just by rolling their 'R's and slurring quickly automagically give them the American tongue) in order to check with him if I'm heading towards the correct direction, he tells me: "Oh, Clementi Arcade is just on the other side of the tunnel ahead of us. You are almost there."

Thanking him, I begin to walk towards that short tunnel and I'm thinking to myself that it ought to be the shortest tunnel I've ever seen. In fact, it seems to be so short that if it was any shorter, it probably wouldn't qualify itself as a tunnel.

By now, the irritating slight drizzle is starting to grow to the midpoint between a drizzle and qualified rain (drizzain?). It seems like I'll make it to my destination just in the nick of time, for now that I've made it to the other side of the midget tunnel, I can see my customer's outlet just metres ahead on the left-hand side of the road.


The current weather condition is cooling and coupled with the strong air-conditioning inside my customer's big store, every pore on my body is tingling with delight since I like it cold. What's making me even more delighted though, is my Lioness' reaction to the photo I just sent her of the canal I took earlier. I'm making a mental note to bring her here with me someday, since the ambience of the place seems nice enough for some relaxing and peaceful chilling out with a loved one.

Don't be expecting a wide area for exploration though, Clementi Arcade is more along the lines of 'a nice quiet little place to sit down to wine and dine and chit chat.' There are not even many shops here to begin with. Clementi Arcade itself has a Cold Storage supermarket, a small restaurant pub, a nursery and a handful of shops. That's about it for this small building but there's a calming and relaxing vibe about the whole place that I really like.

As to what's around Clementi Arcade, the vicinity consists of landed property houses and I can see Caucasians and Japanese going about the area. I'm drawing the conclusion here that this place is mostly inhabited by foreigners. Well, at least it does seem to be that way from the looks of things.

There is a staircase leading up to a second floor of the Clementi Arcade building but I'm not exactly sure what's up there, since considering that it's now already past 6pm, I better finish my work here quickly at my customer's place on the ground floor instead of going on a little exploration trip up those flight of stairs. Time to hustle, I don't earn overtime pay in my line of work since I'm supposed to oversee my own time-management out on the road and in the field.

After-Work Chillout

The workday has finally come to a close and it's a Friday evening.. If you are thinking what I'm thinking, yeah, it's a good time for some beer now, yeah?

So the quiet little restaurant pub here at Clementi Arcade is called 'Bather's Bistro'. I'm now sitting at their outside table (and there's only one single table out here) with a pint of good old Heineken before me. Always have been a Heineken man when it comes to my choice of liquid gold. Carlsberg would be my second choice and I never liked Tiger, since it leaves the most bitter after-taste in my mouth.

A few minutes earlier when I went inside Bathers to order my beer, I asked one of the staffs in there as courteously as I could whether I could snap a photo of the bar and the good man consented after giving me a brief momentary WTF look, complete with raised eyebrows and agaped month.

The things I have to go through sometimes just to obtain photos for my blog posts. An innocent and cheery "Oh, I would just like to recommend my friends to come check out your turf here" from me got me the green light to play photographer - and that wasn't a lie because I am recommending Bather's Bistro here in this blog post; if you are looking for a relaxing and peaceful little restaurant pub that's quiet enough to hear yourself think.

Conversation With The Voice In My Head

Speaking of hearing yourself think, I'm now thinking about the state of my current job as I take swigs of my beer. These is no such thing as a perfect job but to me, the close to perfect job is a job which I can be, say, 70% percent happy for the most part. That's not too much to ask for, is it? We all need to go through life with a yardstick anyway and my own home-brewed work happiness index is an important thing to me, especially when it comes to long-term commitments like one's career.

Yup, 'Long-Term' is something that we cannot afford to underestimate. If we do, then it's at our own peril. When it comes to career, that is something which occupies most of the waking moments of our lives. Heck, it can even eat into the moments when we shouldn't be awake. So it stands to reason that if you are miserable for the most part in your career, you are going to lead a miserable life for the most part, yes? It's a directly proportional relationship situation.

For me, if I find myself miserable for the most part, I'm not gonna switch myself to masochistic mode, take the punches lying down and do nothing about it and live the rest of my life just sucking it up as a corporate vacuum cleaner. The prospect of that horrifies me.

Unfortunately, looking really hard at it and being honest as well as transparent with myself, I have to rate my current work happiness index as wayyy below 70%. That's a definite fail in my non-fiction book and the result is that I can only view what I'm doing now as a job, as opposed to it being a career. The former makes you drag your feet to work while the latter gives you something worthwhile to strive towards. Really major difference here between drudgery and motivation.

If I could change and improve my situation, my less than desirable work happiness index wouldn't have bothered me as much, since I could have done something about the temporal situation. But if the associated misery is actually the nature of the beast when it comes to the industry you are in, then you can either try to constantly swim against the tide and risk drowning or, take the self-initiative to go look for a tributary with a boat that gets pushed along with the current and heading in the direction you wish to go.

Of course, there are good aspects of my current job amidst all the shitty mess; just as with everything else in life; so saith Yin and Yang, but when the bad far outweighs the good till the balance of things becomes seriously lopsided and mega fucked up to the point where I will lose more than I will gain if I stick to it and tough it out, that would be like investing in a business going downhill with a broken brake pedal. Why should I invest in long-term losses? It's a world of opportunities out there and I don't see why I should trap myself in a well, Kermit.

So the conclusion I'm drawing here is: I'm gonna hold out as best as I can manage to while starting my hunt for better options. I'm the one and only person owing that to myself. No one else.

Going Home

Now that I've finished 2 pints, paid the bill and am done having a conversation with myself between my ears, I begin to proceed to the waiting point for the shuttle bus that will take me to the Clementi train station. The waiting point is just across the road directly opposite Clementi Arcade, thanks to the lady staff at Baestro who told me about that earlier.

The waiting point is made up of just a pole with a small sign attached to it, so it isn't very obvious from a distance. So if you should come here for the first time and thinking of taking the shuttle bus to Clementi central from here, then yeah, Iook for a pole by the side of the road just opposite the Clementi Arcade building.

After waiting here for some time, I can now see the red shuttle bus approaching and it's actually looking like a tram. I like that, how European-esque.

Hopping aboard and choosing a seat for myself near the back, this uniformed man approaches me and tells me matter-o-factly that I need to purchase a ticket for the ride. So he's the bus conductor and for a second, I was taken aback. You see, I didn't know the ride isn't free and the last time when a bus conductor in this city state asked me to manually purchase a bus ticket from him, it was when I was a kid. The shuttle bus suddenly seems like a time machine on wheels.

Ok, so I dig out my wallet from my bag to give him the $1.30 for the ride and he passes me a ticket. I feel Iike I've gone back to my kiddy past in a nice nostalgic way. Sniff. The young bus conductor explains to me that the shuttle service is privately-owned and thus, they have to charge for the service. No problem with that, since I've just demonstrated to him what a cooperative and law-abiding citizen I am in the form of a dollar and thirty cents now jingling away in his conductor bag.

That's ok, really, considering no state-owned public buses come through this area anyway. If you would like to take the cheaper public buses out of here instead, you have to walk like 5 minutes or so to the main road - just go back through that little tunnel mentioned earlier and continue going straight ahead, following the road past the nearby residential blocks with a row of shops under them until you hit the T-junction where the bus stops are, one on each side of the junction. Cross over to the bus stop on the opposite side if you are heading towards the direction of Clementi.

It looks like the drizzle is back. Just like the shuttle bus I'm in is taking me away from Clementi Arcade, I've decided to take myself away from the job I'm currently in in due time and move on to something better. I can't tell when that's gonna happen just yet but I sure as heck do not wish to do what I'm currently doing for the rest of life.

If you don't do something about misery, then you have to live with it for as long as you allow yourself to live with it. So I'll take the former option, since my job is not the one and only job that exists in the world and the world is a really big place. A broad perspective can do wonders. I guess I'll just have to time things right and make sure that my pursuit of happiness doesn't end up as another misery.

As for my virgin trip to Clementi Arcade today, it made me feel like a tourist going on a little discovery trip but in the end, I discovered more about not just myself and my aspirations but it also reminds me just how important it is to be transparent and honest with oneself.

Quiet times with yourself are your mirrors, make good use of them.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Google In The Neighbourhood

Here's something I wanted to blog about since last month but haven't gotten down to doing so.. Till now. So as such, I hereby beseech thee that thou can go exile thyself out of my presence, Procrastination.

There is this newly-constructed building at the tail end of a highway just behind and across the street from where I'm staying. Said building is situated at the fringe of one of the remotest and smallest estates in the country's western corner. My buddy Lim happens to be staying in this little estate, so us both cowboys in the remote west have been really curious as to what the new building would be used for ever since they started its construction.

Now we know. More accurately speaking, we found out on the night of the 11th of February last month that the new building (which is now operational) is one of Big G's data centre. Pardon the moniker which I like to use on Google; by 'Big G', I was referring to Google there.

Rumours were already flying around in the neighbourhood for months that the new building was supposedly Google's but since there have been no signages placed on the exterior of the building, we couldn't be sure, though Lim told me he spotted a group of folks dressed in Google t-shirts having lunch at the nearby coffeeshop on one occasion.

On the night of the 11th last month, Lim and me took a stroll and as were walking along the street opposite the front of the building, sure enough, we spotted a big 'Google' signage inside the main lobby on the ground floor. We could see it even from the distance where we were opposite across the street.

Boy, Big G has always been kinda low profile about themselves, haven't they? No signage outside the building? That's like Natalie Portman trying not to draw attention to herself while walking about in public. Actually, that just happens to be one of the characteristics I like about Google - just shut up and let the products and services do the talking.

That's not very prudent from a politically-correct marketing point of view but hey, show offs can be a turn-off from my non-prudent point of view and I happen to hate politics in every form it comes in.

What am I getting at?

Compare Google and Apple (or Android and iOS if you will, since mobile tech is arguably a much hotter topic than Natalie Portman these days). See? One of them is like the industry's whore flaunting its attention deficit disorder (diminishing market attention, accurately speaking) by trampling on the toes of others in an attempt to make themselves to still look relevant in this day and age. Sailors in a slowly sinking ship claw at what's around them in desperation, leaving unsightly lawyers-endorsed scratch marks all over.

Rectangles with rounded corners, which is an industry standard, still holds onto the same cake as the most ridiculous patent attempt I've ever heard. Heh. If you didn't catch on the iMotive, it's called M.O.N.O.P.O.L.Y. If you have been surpassed, you slow your competitors down by getting them caught up in the quagmire of litigations as you try snatching the reins from them, see?

Aye, business is business and businesses employ tactics against their competitors but when a business entity attempts to obliterate everybody else by gaining ownership of industry-wide standards, it's just cheap - especially when they didn't even invent the rectangle shape with rounded corners. Makes me picture the very first baker centuries ago who baked a loaf of bread twitching in his or her grave and I certainly don't think he or she even invented the shape.

I call it D.E.S.P.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. and desperation is a sign that you have already started slipping downwards - probably not in terms of sales revenue (yet) but in market share and keeping pace with competitive technological advancements. So as such, the fruitloop has already gone passé to me since personally, I don't see why I should feed the industry's biggest troll who has gone behind the curve with my hard-earned dough.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against iProducts (they still function nicely for what they've been designed to do - if you ignore their OS's limitations in comparison to what competing OSes can achieve, that is) and I have nothing against iUsers, I just won't support Apple as a company anymore.

I suppose if you are not a big fan of mobile tech, all these shouldn't even bother you one bit but if you love tech as a whole, I don't know how you can say you do on one hand while on the other, consciously supporting the industry's biggest troll who is impeding the industry's progress with dubious ownership and invention claims.

Just saying, since I happen to love mobile tech and so, I aim my flamethrower at that which impedes it. We all tend to be protective over that which we love, yeah? By the way, I heart Natalie Portman regardless of what's trending now.

Anyway, when Lim and me spotted the Google signage in the building's lobby from where we were across the street, the both of us just stood rooted to the spot as we gazed at the building while imagining ourselves working in there with our names on Google's payroll. I've read about how Google has one of the best and fun working environment, you see. I once saw a group of people rollerblading and enjoying themselves within the building's compound one night.

For Lim, he likes and admires Google, which explains his part of his starry-eyed trance as we both stood there just staring at the building. Lim is still in search of a job with a company he can enjoy working for, which adds to the stars he was seeing in his eyes right there and then.

Speaking of work, I'm now doing sales and merchandising in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) industry and I service the major supermarts and hypermarts in the western sector of the country. From a formal work wear Sales & Marketing Executive in the Pharmaceutical industry to a FMCG Sales Merchandiser who goes about in take-it-easy smart casual clothes.. I'll talk more about my current work next time but for now, let's get back to that new Google building.

As Lim and me stood there staring at Google's new building, we cracked silly jokes like how working in there ought to give us the benefit of getting our Android software updates faster and such. Underneath the silly jokes though, we really wondered how nice it would be to be working in that data centre - we could sleep longer and get home faster since the building is within such a short walking distance from where we are staying, which also means zero transportation costs and avoiding the peak travel hours tired corporate zombies in the public transports.

I took the opportunity to tell Lim about how I could piss a cabby off in the event that I happened to be working in that building, oversleep and finding myself running late for work, book a cab and then tell the cabby to just drive across the street behind my block to the data centre and finish the journey in a few seconds. I've mentioned our jokes were silly but I haven't mentioned yet that they were stupid too.

But for me, working in that Google building has to remain a fun imagination for now, since I happen to like and enjoy my current job. So this blog post also serves to let it be known that I'm currently doing fine in my work life, since I realised I haven't talked about what happened to my work life after I left the Pharmaceutical industry a year ago.

If you are looking for a job you can be happy for the most part with ('for the most part' because there's no such thing as a 100% happy-all-the-time job), dear gentle reader, don't give up and don't settle for something you find yourself completely miserable working for. Keep your chin up and keep looking. You can't find if you give up seeking.

If you happen to be working in that mentioned Google data centre in this blog post, I think you have the starry-eyed admiration of the residents staying in the vicinity - you sure as heck have mine. Keep rocking.

-De Lion Speaks

Friday, February 14, 2014

Celebrate Love

It's Valentine’s Day when Cupid gets on a full shift. Lots of dudes with flowers in their hands making self-deliveries and lots of smiling girls and women with bouquets or kawaii soft toys in their hands on the streets today. It's a lovely sight that is making me smile.

Takes a deep breath..

  • For all my exes, I wish all of you well and hope that every single one of you is already happily married. Thank you for the experience and for having helped me grow. I hope I've helped you too.

  • For the women who could have had a relationship with me but didn't because the lack of communication eventually drifted us apart, thank you for auto-filtering yourself out of my life so that we didn't have to waste anymore of each other's time. I wish you well too.

  • For the women I've dumped, I'm sorry. I didn't think I was good enough for you or vice versa, thus the call for initiative. No longer anyone's fault by now and I hope all wounds have healed. Peace. And be well.

  • And for the woman I love and who loves me too and who walks and skips with me every step of the way, I love you more than alllllll the posts spam that exist on Facebook. Don't bother counting, you just can't - It would be as impossible as trying to count the stars in the night sky. Speaking of which, I think everyone should move on from Facebook unless you happen to enjoy getting mentally numbed by frivoulous social nonsense. I think my Dungeon Master would be in approval of my attack of opportunity.

Happy Valentine's Day :) Have a wonderful one.

And if you are not attached, remember: If you can love yourself and then extend that to someone else, you give others a chance to love you too.

Always start with the person you see in the mirror and learn to give while you take, for a relationship that works is always a 2-way street.

-De Lion Speaks 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Taking Vertigo To New Heights

I have a fear of heights (and I'm a tall dude, go figure). So to me, these guys are taking all things dizzying beyond the extreme:

From 2:50 onwards, I could feel my balls rising upwards toward my throat. Just wait till you see the part when they reached the end point of their climb. Your mileage may vary but this is just fucking insane. At the same time, hats off these guys.

And to think they needed to climb all the way down again which ought to have been even more harrowing, considering what's left of the energy expended for the climb up and they had to look all the way down every step of the way.. The drop downwards means certain death, you see. Stare into the abyss and the abyss stares right back at you and freaks you out.

No harness, no safety belt, no parachute.. Good grief, I wouldn't have the nerve to do this even if you paid me half a million bucks. The ONLY way I'd be willing to do this unwillingly is if somebody points a gun to the head of a loved one and forces me to do so. But you can be sure I'll fucking frag the muthafucker's ass when I'm done and bury him alive by puking my vertigo all over him from head to toe.. If I manage to survive, that is.

Oh bloody heck, why am I thinking such thoughts? Goodness forbid! It's amazing and uncanny what a video can do to your head. More accurately speaking, it's the evocation of your inner fears by just watching the video that throws you off center. I can't decide here if both are probably just as guilty as charged. Well, at least one of them is the accomplice of the other.

Gotta mention that I liked the first-person point of view in the video when they started the climb, it reminded me of playing Half-Life and I was half expecting those hands to pull out an MP5 with a grenade launcher attached ala Gordon Freeman style.

And I'm not exactly sure why I would label this one under 'Entertainment'. I guess it's probably because I'm mighty impressed despite the vertigo.

In other news: 4 more days to my freedom bird back to Taipei - Gotta replenish my wardrobe and escape the furnace and the shit we have for weather here in the tropical belt to enjoy yummylicious cold weather again. My annual therapy.

-De Lion Speaks

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Rocking With The Ditto Note 3 ROM

On the 11th of January, I flashed the Ditto Note 3 ROM (also known as 'DN3' for short), which is the ROM which supposedly comes with the most number of non-hardware dependent features (and some extras) of the Galaxy Note 3 for the GT-N7100 and GT-N7105 versions of the Galaxy Note 2.

I figured just like how wine becomes finer with the passage of time, almost a month of heavy daily usage on a ROM is enough solid time for me to give a fine (hopefully) take on the ROM in question.

Oh, that wine analogy sucks, you say? Well, not until you've figured that a week in the realm of mobile technology is equivalent to probably a year or two in the wine world, considering how shockingly fast mobile tech can evolve. It's sorta like how the comparison between human years and canine years goes. There's constantly always something new and more advanced rushing down the tech pipeline at breakneck speed anyway.

Just to get it off my chest so that there are no repressed thoughts between you and me: Actually, I don't drink wine and I know zilch about it, which means my analogy probably does suck without me even realizing it myself. The only thing I know about wine is that it doesn't make you high as quickly as beer and liquor do. You can keep your stones, wine connoisseurs. 不知者无罪嘛。

Anyway, I consider my Note 2 a hybrid Galaxy Note '2.5' ever since the day I started rocking with the Tigra ROM, considering the latest 4.3 official firmware for the Note 2 (at the time of this blog post) has held back on the Note 3 features, heh. XDA moves at a pace faster than your official gallops, Uncle Sammy, I think you need to giddyup.

Before DN3, I was running Tigra ROM, which was stable and didn't give me any problems at all (after the initial FlashBarService issues got ironed out) but battery life on DN3 has been noticeably better and this factor alone is certainly a big plus over Tigra for me. Minor plusses include the fact that emojis come coloured on the Note 3's keyboard on DN3 while the one on Tigra doesn't.

DN3 also allows you to choose either multiple transparency levels for the Multi-Window panel or you can leave it as default opaque from within Aroma Installer when you flash the ROM. Don't forget that you can choose to forgo installing whatever you consider as default bloatware while tangoing with Aroma.

You can also kill off any bloat stragglers with Titanium Backup at any point in time after you've flashed the ROM. Watch it and don't be too trigger-happy and end up shooting the innocent dead though, since some system processes happen to be essential and indispensable for things to work properly. If in doubt, just flick the safety on. It doesn't have to get more complicated than that.

Quad View Multi-Window

I did mention that DN3 comes with some extra features and its Quad View Multi-Window is one such, which is a feature the Note 3's own Multi-Window doesn't have. You can have 1, 2, 3 or up to 4 windows opened simultaneously as depicted in the pic on the right.

However, I'm not so sure that the Quad View is such a great idea. If you've studied the photo closely, you ought to have observed how the elements in each of the 4 apps seem to be kinda compressed in a squeezed sort of way. Have only 2 apps shown as per normal though, and you won't see this squeezed effect.

If you have 2 apps opened in the Multi-Window and you pull in a third app, it won't replace either of the 2 already opened app windows, it creates a third window for itself instead and that's when the squeezed effect happens between the 2 apps placed horizontally side by side next to each other. Pull in a 4th app and every window starts looking like that fat Michelin mascot squeezed into a test tube.

I very much prefer the original Multi-Window which allows for only a max of 2 windows to be opened at any one time that doesn't bring about the squeezed effect and you can still toggle between different multiple apps within each window via the 'Switch Application' function anyway. I can understand that the devs wanted to bring more to the table but if more makes things look out of place, then less which looks right would be the better option, in my humble opinion.

Definitely not trying to diss the devs there, I certainly appreciate the good work they do. Afterall, it's impossible for anyone to please everybody at the same time and there are DN3 users that actually like and appreciate the Quad View feature. So the problem is not with the feature itself, since despite the squashed look, the apps within each window are still very much functional. As such, I think the problem lies in my own preferences instead.

Floating Windows

Now here's something cleverly implemented: While you are at the Homescreen (as opposed to within an active app currently onscreen), if you pull out an app from the Multi-Window panel and drag it to, or near the center of the screen, the app gets launched as a floating window which can be moved around, maximized, minimized, closed or resized.

If you need to open the app in fullscreen mode instead (again, while you are at the Homescreen), just drag it towards either the upper or lower areas of the screen. Either way, there will be a blue highlighted area that lets you know where on the screen your app will open when you release the drag.

Freaking brilliant.

The devs call these 'Pen Windows' though, but I'm calling them 'Floating Windows' here instead just for the sake of differentiating them from windows opened directly via the Pen Window feature proper. They behave exactly like Pen Window windows, actually. In fact, in essence and in functionality, they ARE Pen Window windows. If only I got awarded 50 bucks for every mention of the word 'window(s)' within this paragraph.

I think you can open as many windows as your RAM can handle. I once opened 6 or 7 windows concurrently and everything still operated smoothly without any sign of a slowdown. I could have gone on opening more windows but I tend not to do unnecessary things I don't happen to have a need for doing and end up feeling as dumb as I would have felt after babbling bad wine analogies.

Finally, since the Note devices are designed for multitasking, don't forget to get your mitts on the hacks which allow you to place any selected apps of your own choice for use with the Multi-Window and Pen Window. I'm using the Wanam Xposed module which you can download for free from within the Xposed Framework as well as Pen Window Manager which you can download for free off the Playstore for these two features respectively (for rooted Galaxy Notes only).


I've encountered only the following 2 bugs so far:

  1. Trying to choose a notification ringtone for the stock email and pasting anything directly into it crashes the email (pasting from the clipboard via the keyboard works fine). However, after flashing the email fix, everything started working without a hitch. Happy ending.

  2. Just like how it was for me on Tigra ROM, I initially encountered the FlashBarService (which is the process governing the Multi-Window) crashes brought about seemingly randomly when I sometimes tried to launch Pen Window while the Multi-Window was already activated.

    And just like how it was with Tigra ROM, the problem went away after some time. I'm not sure if this has something to do with certain conditions or processes being activated after a certain period of regular usage which eventually stabilized the FlashBarService process? I'm still scratching my head over this one and leaving nail marks all over my poor scalp.


So yeah, the Quad View Multi-Window aside, I'm happy with DN3 overall. If you would like to try this ROM out for yourself, the devs as well as some users have recommended flashing the MJ5 bootloader for best stability. I'm including the direct download link for the bootIoader for the GT-N7100 model here because trying to hunt it down even from within the official DN3 thread on XDA would probably make you end up popping a Paracetamol pill.

So flashing the MJ5 bootloader was what I did via Odin and you can skip Dr Ketan's WiFi fix if you flash the bootloader, which is the better option.

Happy flashing if you have a rooted GT-N7100 or GT-N7105 Galaxy Note 2 and would like to have the non-hardware dependent features of the Galaxy Note 3 running on it. Bring your Note device to the next level till you can enjoy it even better - just like enjoying sips of finer wine.

Thank you for reading this and do have a good day ahead, dear gentle reader. You have my admiration for having the endurance to put up with bad analogies thus far.

Update on 10th June, 2014: I'm now running on the new Ditto Note 3 version 5+, which combines the Note 3 features with some S5 elements since a few days back. No bugs encountered so far and everything is just better. And oh, hooray for no quad view multi-windows. Finally. Let's just say it's like having a brand new phone.

-De Lion Speaks

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Catch Me If You Can," Taunted The Music. So I Did.

So I was walking by this little wine bar when I stopped in my tracks - the soft song playing in the bar sounded real lovely and the singer's voice was angelic. Since I'm a sucker for heavenly things, I pulled out my phone and fired up the Shazam app - you know, one of the few available song identification apps.

Some asshole drove by and revved his engine real loud right when Shazam started launching. "No way in cacophonic heck is it gonna catch the tune," I thought to myself as said asshole still seemed to have his foot permanently stuck on his accelerator pedal.

But Shazam caught the tune in like 3 seconds right then and there on the spot:

I've used Shazam many times already and this was the first time I tried it in an environment where external noise seemed to drown out the song and the song happened to be soft music. Uncanny, to say the least.


If you are thinking of trying out Shazam if you haven't already, then I gotta let it be known here that it can only identify songs playing in your surroundings or through your phone's external speaker.

It won't work if the music is playing through earbuds, earphones or headphones. In such cases, just plug them out and let Shazam do its thing.

And by the way, one of my many definitions for asshole include someone speeding through a narrow alley road with other cars parked at the sides. Mofo could have gotten into an accident or knocked someone down just for showing off. Fair enough for the definition, right?

Now do excuse me as I go get myself serenaded now by an angel rescued from all the din of the road.

-De Lion Speaks 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Come What May On The Morrow

I can't tell exactly what tomorrow will bring or if things will turn out nicely as I have planned. But today is our insurance for tomorrow, so seize the day and make the most of it.

Cause and Effect is the name of Life's game anyway if you ignore the unanticipated and unexpected surprises. But then again, surprises are themselves effects of causes too beyond your control.

Gosh, how I hate Mondays sometimes.

-De Lion Speaks 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Launching Air Command Without The S Pen

For those of us rocking with the Note 3 features with custom ROMs on our Galaxy Note 2s and for those of you rocking with the Galaxy Note 3:

Perhaps there are times when you wanna use Air Command but one of your hands is preoccupied and you can't unsheathe the S Pen (never try using your teeth and end up discovering the S Pen actually tastes like a thermometer. Don't ask).

The solution lies in the free GMD Air Command Shortcut app which allows you to place an Air Command icon on your Homescreen. Tap the icon (or use gestures once you've gesture-set the app) and out pops Air Command. Look ma, no S Pen.

Go to the Play Store on your Note 2 and you either can't find the app or you will get that 'Your device isn't compatible with this version' message thrown in your face (unless you happen to have a certain Xposed module installed). But here's the XDA link to the downloadable APK.

You can go ahead and click on the Play Store link above if you are using the Galaxy Note 3. No rooting is required for using this app on the Note 3.

I've tested the app on my Ditto Note 3 and Tigra ROMs and it's working without a hitch (except for Scrapbooker which can't function with fingers by default, courtesy of Uncle Samsung, as mentioned too by the developer). This app oughta work on other TouchWiz-based ROMs with Note 3 features.

So do take note (pun not intended) that this app won't work on TouchWiz-based ROMs that doesn't give you the Note 3 features and the same goes for AOSP and AOKP ROMs.

If you are using the S Pen, you can launch Air Command from absolutely anywhere, even from within apps but since this Air Command app is itself an app, it can only be launched from either the Multi-Window (yes, it can be placed in there), from its icon placed on the Homescreen or from within folders and the App Drawer.

No biggie, if you are within another app without your S Pen already out, it just means your Home button gets a +1 to getting mashed as you exit to the Homescreen to click on this Air Command app to launch it.

Sure, one can argue that without launching Air Command, you can still launch some of its associated apps by clicking on their icons. Yeah, just try taking a screenshot with only one hand or try summoning Pen Window without the S Pen and without this app and you tell me ;)

So yeah, you can use the functions of Air Command using just your thumb or finger. Give the middle one to Apple - Don't feed the patent troll and don't make their iLawyer$ any fatter than they already are.

-De Lion Speaks