Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Monday, June 30, 2008

And so it begins...

Seriously, I love killing demons.

And it looks like there's more to kill now. You guessed it, Diablo III was announced over the weekend after lots and lots of speculation. The website is here, and the nifty cinematic intro and 2 gameplay videos are embedded below.

At first look, I'm excited by the 3D environment (finally), and the fact that the gameplay looks virtually unchanged from Diablo II. Yes, that's right. I actually think Diablo II got the fundamentals of the game right with some very good levelling and skills mechanics so much so we saw pretty much the same thing in World of Warcraft. So yeah, keep that - add new classes, monsters, items, etc. - and give us a whole new game to fight evil in.

The downside is, with no official dates announced, some people are already saying it won't be out for another 3 years. Oh well...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Digital shift makes radio like never before

The music industry just isn't what it used to be decades ago. In your dad's time, an artiste asking a radio station to pay royalties was unheard of and would promptly result in the artiste disappearing from radio waves and seeing CD sales tank.

Today, CD sales are tanking anyway. And the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) wants radio stations to pay up. Simple logic really. It used to be that both the recording industry and radio stations had a symbiotic relationship. Radio stations get to play songs for free and make money off selling ads. The recording industry got free publicity from radio stations and sold CDs to make money.

Radio no more? - Share on Ovi

In about 40 years, this has changed. Today, CDs are not the only way people buy music and radio is no longer the only way for people to hear about a great act. The internet means word-of-mouth is much more effective and distribution doesn't have to be physical.

So, along comes the RIAA with the idea that since it no longer relies on radio to make CD sales, and since, this essentially means the radio stations are making money for free off their content, they should get a cut of the advertising revenue. Genius!

This has stoked quite a lot of debate, and while its a sad situation for radio, I do think that industries do need to adapt to the realities ANY social shift incur upon them. In this case, the internet, the proliferation of personal media players and the digitisation of music have put the radio stations in a spot. But if the old business model breaks, then the new business models must come on.

My suggestion would be that radio stations start thinking about how to disassociate proprietary content from music. Funny hosts, witty scripts and the opportunity to interact is what makes most of the charm of radio. With music now being such a personal thing, and iTunes helping people sample and enjoy songs much more than ever, radio stations need to think of making relevant content.

What about a couple of talk show podcasts? Quality content people can listen to anytime, anywhere. Or branching out to video?

We're certainly seeing that now in Malaysia with the effort Media Prima puts behind developing gua.com.my but there's definitely a long road to tread. Still, with the ruckus the RIAA is creating in the US, it'd be wise for radio broadcasting industries in other countries to start preparing for the inevitable - when a media consumption format starts to go the way of the dodo.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

About PR people dealing with bloggers

Sometime ago, Text 100 (that's the name of the agency I work for...there, it's out) conducted a survey in Asia Pacific amongst bloggers. Today, the survey results are out and if you're interested in reading the results, click on here.

I'm going to cop out, be a bit lazy, and post the below points taken from the Text 100 Social Media Release (click to see videos, pictures etc.) that's going out along with the survey:

  • In what is believed to be the first survey of its kind conducted in Asia Pacific, this survey highlights the similarities and differences between bloggers across APAC and their preferences for working with corporations and PR agencies.
  • In a positive sign for the communications industry, 84% of respondents welcome contact from public relations practitioners and the corporations they represent.
  • Electronic communication is king for APAC bloggers: 58% preferred email, followed by online comments on their blogs, as the preferred means of contacting them.
  • Similarly, emailing of press releases and interviews or discussions ranked in the top two as the preferred formats for receiving content (67% and 60% respectively).
  • APAC bloggers are not particular about who they engage with, but prefer to talk with active bloggers and whoever is closest to the story – not necessarily the traditional spokespeople.
  • Two thirds (67%) of respondents spend less than 8 hours of their working week on blogging.
  • Bloggers concerns included receiving unsolicited spam from PR agencies, and were frequently critical of the content they received, feeling it was inappropriate and unusable.
  • While most bloggers ignore traditional press releases, 88% were aware of so-called Social Media Releases and indicated they were in favour of using elements such as videos, quotes, pictures and links from these releases in their posts.
  • Text 100 surveyed bloggers it knew and those referred by friendly bloggers, not wanting to spam people it didn’t have a relationship with. Text 100 feels the views of the survey’s sample pool are a fair reflection of influential news, technology and bloggers across Asia Pacific.
My personal two cents on the survey and its findings goes like this:
  • The survey is not conclusive and it doesn't claim to be. But it provides a useful and interesting perspective on communicating with the blogosphere. Personal experience tells me that personal experience is still king. Different bloggers vary vastly in how they'd like to have you communicate with them - if you're a PR person like me, its your job to figure what's the best way.
  • There are a lot of the opinions in the survey shared verbatim - they could be from one, two or ten bloggers. You cannot generalise these opinions, but you should make note of them as there will be bloggers you meet who may share or disagree with these opinions. Again, I personally think the fact that the blogosphere is vast, varied and plural means that there's definitely going to be difference of opinion, and often, a very sharp difference.
  • What Shaolintiger said is useful. Above all, bloggers are human beings and the best way to treat a blogger (like myself and yourself) is to ensure you do so with a good dose of respect.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I never thought I'd miss Windows this much

There, I said it. I never thought I'd miss Windows this much. The XP variety, that is.

About a month ago, I was really all fired up about Ubuntu - and rightly so. From the horror stories of how complicated Linux is, Ubuntu's real-world experience (and looks) were amazingly great. Of course, then I realised that despite how great the open-source community was, it still had its limits. And the cruncher for me was that the email application, Evolution, didn't quite agree with the wierd resolution on my Eee PC.

So I ventured into loading an old copy of Windows I had lying around onto the Eee. It wasn't as simple a process as I had thought. Simply borrowing Kelvin's USB external CDROM drive wasn't enough as somehow, my Eee PC refused to boot from the CD. Resignedly, I had to search up instructions to install XP via a USB stick. Follow the instructions step by step and you shouldn't get into trouble.

After the install, I realised just how capable a machine the Eee 900 is for Windows XP. Boot up time is a respectable 18 seconds, even if it's not the 13 seconds promised by nLite (I ended up not using nLite). I've done manual cleaning and disabled stuff I don't believe I'll ever use.

I gave it a test run with Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Office 2007 and it works great. Documents open pretty fast (about 2 seconds) and the browser didn't stutter none. It might be because I have 2GB of RAM.

Shifting back from Ubuntu to XP, I realised just how under appreciated Windows is in general. Sure, a lot of times, we think it's the most boring operating system out there - wowed by the Mac OS and fancy Linux builds. But in its own way, XP is elegant and simple too. For one, I found the launch bar at the bottom (a la Mac, which I insisted on having in Ubuntu) was more pretty than useful. The Windows Start Bar method still appeals to me.

Also, maybe I'm just a noob, but I understand how applications ,files and folders work on XP a lot better than I did on Ubuntu. There's a certain logic to how Windows works and, maybe its because we were mostly brought up on Windows but, it DOES make computing simpler.

The one thing I loved best about the whole process? The untouched, unsullied desktop. I'd like to see how long it lasts :)

Finally, Windows XP on my Eee

The fruits of a long, 8-hour install process. More later. Need to work now, lunch break over.

Windows XP on my Eee PC!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Does Cristiano Ronaldo make you want to buy chips?

Just a random thought that struck me about sponsorships:

Mr Potato

Does sticking Cristiano Ronaldo on the packaging of Mr. Potato chips make you want to buy the product more? Don't get me wrong, I love Mr. Potato chips and would buy them (on occassion) anyway, but I'm just wondering if printing football stars pictures on the packaging would actually make consumers more likely to buy the product? Or would it make you want to purchase a mobile phone plan even more?

This isn't a rant actually about Mr. Potato (I love their chips and buy them regardless of who's face is on the packaging) but just a musing about how sponsorships are quite, very rampant today. And that sometimes, in the rush to be associated with the latest and coolest, a lot of thinking on relevance gets left behind.

Then there's the audience. I'd like to think that the majority people still make sensible purchase decisions based on what they are getting for what they are paying instead of the mug that gets printed on the packaging.

Yes, sometimes, "special edition" items do get a higher emotional value rating like that red iPod a couple years back from U2, so there's actually a science to how sponsorships can make products worth more than the sum-total of its parts.

Still, I'd like to think consumers are getting more and more intelligent and the simple printed logo or character image doesn't mean as much as it used to.

What do you think? Would you be more likely to pay more for a bag of chips with your fave football star's picture on the packaging?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Going back to Windows XP

After a month of living with Linux on my yet un-named Eee PC, I've decided to switch back to Windows XP and give it a go.

Yeaps, I brought the Eee PC with me to Gold Coast

There's really only one reason for this and its that some applications on Ubuntu - particularly the Evolution email client - don't work well with the customised 1024 X 600 screen resolution on the Eee 900.

I'm hoping to see if Outlook or Thunderbird work any better on XP.

One thing that I did like about Linux was the fast boot times and faster shut down times. However, I've discovered nlite and a guide on how to install Windows XP without all the fat. The guy even claims a boot up time of just 17 seconds on his Eee PC. That, I'd like to see!

More reporting when I've done this - hopefully this weekend.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Unique cyberspace identities - an impending conundrum?

For some reason today I went and activated my myspace account again, and tried to claim my own unique myspace URL.

Barely, crossing my mind, I typed in: "http://www.myspace.com/davidlian" I tense up for a moment in anticipation... and am greeted with the reply - "URL taken."


What? Now, I'm not necessarily a narcissist but I guess I've come to take for granted that the cyber-moniker davidlian would be uncommon enough to be automatically mine. It's not like it's as common as John Doe, right? (anyone actually called John Doe out there?) But fact as it is, there are many other Davids out there, and Lians, and apparently David Lians too!

Here's the conundrum. As more and more social networks, internet services and things-to-sign-up-for pop up, do you find yourself more and more often using the same username / login? Do you start hearing people call you by your "callsign" / online-username / identity / cyber-moniker? (ST or FA anyone?) Have you come to identify with that one name?

If it's yes, yes, and yes, then you're just one more person that's part of the unifying-internet-identity trend. With open-source projects like OpenID, corporate driven unification programmes like Microsoft Passport or the YahooID, and alliances like Google's OpenSocial being drawn up, it seems everyone is driven to having just one ID and one password.

Here comes the cruncher, what happens when you aren't the first davidlian to sign up for that brand new OpenID account? Or that new OpenSocial account? Yeah, you'd end up adding numbers to the back of your username (like davidlian82 for my MySpace) - but you've lost the pristine-ness to your online name.

Will this lead to people then signing up for just about every service there is "just in case"? I just might - heck, the davidlian in OpenID is mine already. Will there be cases of ID-squatting just like cybersquatting?

Will this then lead to stricter policing of "dead" IDs? davidlian on MySpace hasn't logged in since October 2007. I haven't logged into my Friendster for ages. Should unused accounts that age for more than 3 years, be de-registered so that other people who may use the same ID can have a shot at having their preferred one?

On another note: does anyone realise myspace always tells you the person whose page you're visiting is in your extended network?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I got a tweet sometime yesterday saying:

PuppyL0ve @davidlian Hey David Lian hahahah, guess who this is?? GIVE UP? j/k I just saw your page and wanted to know if you would Follow me?
Okay, so I mused a bit and for the sake of curiousity, I clicked "follow" and checked out her profile a bit. There was a link to a manifesto on her site, and here's an excerpt:
Well; since many of my fellow twitters thought I was some kind of spam bot here is the YOUTUBE code I promised.

Now BEFORE I START - there is a difference between being efficient and being a spammer. I would like as many followers as possible, and in turn I will follow those people. I post interesting and helpful information about how to get exposure on the internet for FREE! No catch, no sale, no pitch - just providing helpful information.

So if you haven't yet "FOLLOW ME" and the tips & info will keep coming.
If you want to read the rest of it, click here.

It occurs to me that socialising today now more than ever is a numbers game. When I was a kid, the sole objective of school was to see how many friends you could get. Infantile gangs were formed to play 'catch' or 'police and thief' during recess.

Today, my friends have grown up to form gangs on Facebook so they can bite each other whilst at office or throw Jedi mind tricks around. And then you have the Fight Club where the more socialised you are, the better your chance of winning.

The numbers have crept up throughout the years. My meagre posse of eight in primary school days has now expanded to over three hundred people on Facebook and about a hundred or so on Twitter. Some of which I've never uttered a word to in person for over a year.

So have we turned the social into a mathematical race for increment? Quantity over quality?

Well, I've added Lisa Lange.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Update: Firefox 3.0 Final downloadable now (4 hours ahead of schedule?)

Update!!! 9:03 PM KUL Time

Thanks to Jayce Ooi for this. Apparently it's confirmed that you can actually download FireFox 3.0 right now. All you have to do is a simple switching of the URL to download the current Firefox 2.0 from http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/products/download.html?product=firefox- to http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/products/download.html?product=firefox-3.0&os=win&lang=en-US.

If you don't wanna know the technicalities, just click here.

Here's a screenshot, looks pretty much like RC2 / 3, except, for some reason, it appears cleaner to me:


FireFox 3 Download Day today (err.. 10 am PDT, 17 June)

Download Day - English

Hello everybody, in case you haven't already heard, FireFox 3 is right around the corner (about 15.5 hours away). For Malaysians, this will be 1:00 AM Wednesday.

In case you haven't heard also, there's a community marketing online campaign going around encouraging people to download FireFox 3 en masse today (17 June 08) in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for most downloads in 24 hours.

Personally, I'm wondering how the FireFox community is planning to keep its servers up because at current count, 1,422,008 people have already pledged to download FireFox 3 within the first 24 hours its available. And I'll be one in queue.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Geo-tagging and route-mapping in the Gold Coast

Before I left Malaysia I said I wanted to try out route-mapping in the Gold Coast with the help of the beta Sportstracker application. What I wanted to do was walk around the city, take some pictures, and have it recorded on a map so I could easily share some of that experience with you.

Click on the below picture to see the results:


Couple of notes I'd like to make here:
1. I turned on the GPS to get the initial lock and then for the most part of the rest of the trip, my N95 sat in my pocket. The magic is that with the initial lock, the application then uses the accelerometer to determine the direction and number of steps you took to 'map' the route. I did take it out two or three times again to get a re-lock, but as you can see from the route, the accelerometer was quite accurate.

2. I snapped pictures along the way and I think it's quite descriptive of what we did. Basically, this route was mapped when we to take a walk around to do some grocery shopping. Along the way, we passed some awesome sites and snapped a few pictures. There's another route that we took that I mapped with some pretty good pics as well. All the pictures snapped are compiled as media and geo-tagged to location by the Sportstracker application.

Overall, I had some fun doing this and it worked beautifully even without a Wi-Fi connection. Of course, the GPS took a little while to get the initial lock (about 4 minutes for me) without the help of A-GPS, but after that, the re-locks happened real quick. CNet's already predicted earlier this year that GPS-enabled cameras will be the next big thing and from my personal experience, they can't be far from wrong. What will rule, at the end of the day, is ease-of-use and the simplicity in getting the mass consumer to understand this new experience.

Okay, that's it for this update, I'm thinking of budget-travellers guide to Gold Coast as a future post but we'll see how that goes.

*For the sake of disclosure: I do work for Nokia as a consultant. However, the above opinions are purely my own, coming from the corner of my geek personality but probably influenced by my deep(er) knowledge of the technologies Nokia works on. Which often make me exclaim (cool!) anyway.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Back from Gold Coast

Just got back from the Gold Coast and am mucho sleepy, but I just wanted to let everyone know I'm back!

Yeah, the plane touched down at 3:10 p.m. on time, but a culmination of a very long queue at the immigration counters, slow transferring of baggage off the aeroplane and a long, long queue at the too-small duty free shop meant we only got back to KL about 6:30 p.m. (a whopping 3 and a half hours since we stepped off the plane!)

I read in today's Star about a story where AirAsia complained about them needing to move out of LCCT (at least partially) and I have to say I agree. With low airfares getting really popular, and an increase in volume of passengers, we need better facilities to cope.

Anyway, let's not sound to sour about the whole terminal issue, rather, here's a nice pic I snapped in Australia. And it's geo-tagged too:

Gold Coast Sunset

More pictures to come later.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Off to the Gold Coast!

Dear readers,

Just dropping a note to tell you I'll be off to the Gold Coast, Australia with my wife for a long awaited second honeymoon kinda thing. This means I'm not entirely sure when I'll be posting again - it all depends if I can find some free Wi-Fi over in OZ.

Like now. Amazingly, our Low Cost Carrier Terminal has free Wi-Fi! So, I can share this parting picture with you.

Off to Gold Coast Australia!

At the very latest, this blog will resume usual service when I get back next week. I plan to do some really geeky stuff over at Australia like geo-tagging my routes and such so I'll blog about it as and when I can.

So, till the next post, have a bash!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Internet Explorer 8 and thoughts on web browsers

The browser wars are here again. With Firefox 3 just around the corner, Flock rolling out version 1.2 just weeks ago, Opera letting the world know 9.5 is "coming soon" and Safari...well, let's just say they are "in the running"; Microsoft's announcement earlier this week that Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 will come in August seems to indicate that the time has come yet again for the browser wars to ignite again. This time though, the audience has changed and the focus along with it.


In the last round, security issues took centre-stage and underdog Firefox scored big against Microsoft's Internet Explorer thanks to this.

This round, we're looking at kids who've grown up on the internet, are immersed in the new-fangled web 2.0 world and want, above anything, a powerful browser that puts all their favourite social networking tools at their fingertips.

Witness Flock, social web browser extraodinaire, whose key selling point is the built-in interfaces it has for social networks like Facebook, Flickr, Blogger, Twitter, MySpace etc. Undoubtedly, Flock should be the winner, right? Err... no, not in my opinion. My brief test of Flock quickly showed me how having too many features and too much integration can be problematic in itself - the direct result being a cluttered interface.

So when I heard of the Microsoft announcement, I thought to myself "it's probably time to check out what the folks at MS have up their collective sleeves." And off I went to download my copy of Internet Explorer 8 beta 1.

Thoughts on IE8

Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 comes with two shiny new toys that more tightly integrate Web 2.0 activities into the browser. The first of these, which I happen to like very much is Web Slices. Essentially, a Web Slice is like a graphically enhanced RSS feed, or a frequently updated portion of a page, cleverly coded, so you can preview that portion of that page without actually surfing to said page.


So, for example, the above picture shows a small 'slice' of the StumbleUpon homepage (the 'internet buzz' section) without having you to surf over to StumbleUpon to check out what has recently been 'stumbled'. Quite intuitive. You could also cut a 'slice' of your Facebook homepage and have it update you on your friends' latest updates.

The second key feature is what Microsoft calls Activities. What it really means is "stuff you can do from the right click menu." Okay, so actually this feature isn't really new and you can already do many things off a right-click with the appropriate plugins in FireFox and / or Flock. And to be honest, most of the couple of Activites in Microsoft's current line-up are just boring stuff tied to their services which no one uses (Blog on Spaces anyone?) There are useful ones, like "Share link via Facebook", which lets you instantly share the page you're on by posting it up on your Facebook page.


But still, I applaud the inclusion of functionality like Activities into Internet Explorer 8 simply because it validates the shifting of the web towards iteration 2.0. It validates what all of Microsoft's competitors have been doing. Who are we kidding? Internet Explorer will probably still be the web browser the majority of people will use because it's the one they find installed on their PCs. And by integrating Web 2.0 functionality into IE8, soon web-behaviour will shift towards the Web 2.0 dream the geeks and geekettes have been having.

Future of the browser

It's clear that the new frontier for war on the browser front will be waged on how well web-browsers can integrate Web 2.0 functionality. Each combatant manages this differently. Firefox gives you very base functionality, but has a fantastic plug-in system that let's you customise almost indefiitely. IE8's slices and activities show's some innovative thinking from the software giant. Flock tells me too much of a good thing can be bad.

What people will soon have to consider though is how much more heavy these browsers will be thanks to this new functionalities. I've heard horror stories of FireFox 3, and even the latest release candidate 2 is considered bloatware by many. To the uninitiated, this simply means that your computer slows down every time you open up an internet browser. The more it slows down, the "heavier" your browser is.

Secondly, most of these "social" browsers will collect private and personal information about you and insist that it's stored on your computer. Of course, you have the option of keying in all the passwords to your GMail, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, MSNLive, and Yahoo! accounts again if you like. But I suspect not very many people would. The danger in this is obvious, as we pander for the convenience having a socially-integrated web browser brings, we put ourselves at the risk of having much of our security information stolen. Sure, it's already happening now with saved passwords and cookies, but imagine a single browser piecing together your multiple identities on the web and then having all that data stolen? Even more dangerous, how about passing your laptop to a colleague to use and when he / she pops open the browser, he / she gets greeted by some very private Facebook messages?

Thirdly, with the rise of mobile devices, more and more emphasis will be placed on the "content" of the site and not the webpage itself. Sure, the browser will be relevant for a long time coming, but what about those mobile devices that basically let you browse what you want on the web without having to actually browse? For example, my client Nokia, has been developing some pretty cool S60 apps like Share Online which allows you to check out and comment on your own or your contacts Flickr photos without actually logging onto Flickr through a browser. Or Twibble, which I use as my main means of staying connected to Twitter without actually browsing over to Twitter. In fact, a lot of the integration of Web 2.0 functionality straight into the browser actually helps you get around actually "browsing" the page.

Just some thoughts to think about as we move into the next wave of Internetting. :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rising petrol price, everything else to scale?

If you're looking for a real, solid commentary on yesterday's announcements, click here.

If you'd just like to read my wild speculation and often, unreferenced common wisdom thoughts, then continue reading:

I'm actually happy about the price increase. Not because it won't hurt my pocket (it will), but because I think the rolling back of subsidies will eventually allow Malaysians to up our standards of living to be on-par with developed countries.

What do I mean by this?

For a long time, Malaysia has been cited as one of the countries that has a 'low cost of living.' This is artificially so because of all the subsidies we have been getting. Cheap petrol, cheap chicken, cheap sugar, cheap electricity, cheap water, the list goes on. The 'low cost of living' has made it very lucrative for companies to invest into Malaysia because wages are kept low and the cost of doing business is lowered.

Of course, to the middle class folk, you'll realise that when it comes down to consumer goods, we pay just as much as any other country. How much does an iPod cost in Malaysia? Just as much as it costs in the US and in Singapore. This means that while we survive comfortably thanks to government controls and subsidies on essential items, consumer goods are still costly for us.

The rolling back of subsidies gradually will also mean that the cost of controlled items can no longer be maintained, and they must surely rise too. Chicken might cost more, rice certainly has and we're not even talking about raw materials and power here. The next thing that must surely happen is that wages too must increase, and this means services will cost more too.

What happens?

Take an average fresh grad earning RM 1,800 (yes, still!). Currently, he pays Rm 400 for his rent, RM 350 for public transport and RM 500 for food on a monthly basis. This means he only has RM 550 left of disposable income. He can't buy a car, and to buy consumer goods like an iPod means he's got to save for 3 - 4 months to afford that new gadget.

If, with the rolling back of subsidies, we see wages increasing about 30%, then the fresh graduate now would earn about RM 2,400. Rent goes up to RM 500, Transportation increases 40% to RM 490 and food to RM 600 monthly. His disposable income would have increased to RM 810 and this means his spending power now is much higher because consumer goods don't scale with the rolling back with subsidies (unless taxes are imposed).

Of course, I'm no economist and this thinking is probably very, very flawed in ways I can't spot. Still, it was worth a thought.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Back from camp

The back ache has finally struck - the after-effects of Camp Transformation 2008.

You see, we had this interesting game where we pushed people beyond their limits by making them do a modified deathcrawl (clip below from the movie 'Facing the Giants') for an hour and a half. I don't have pictures of what we actually did, but I was one of the guys below and boy, does my back ache now.

Still, this was an opportunity not to let go of, because simply, the game is not so much physical as it is mental. One brother told me after the game: "I wanted to give up and just walk away because it was so painful. But then I looked at the person next to me and he looked to be in more pain than me, and if I gave up I would let the entire team down." Then he wept. There are few things better for building brotherhood.

On a lighter note, I have to be thankful for Yow Looi and Adam's kind advice and counsel throughout the camp. Many, many times difficult decisions had to be made and without their solid perspectives, we might have made the wrong ones.

If I thought I was tired, you should have seen Yow Looi right after the camp: