Guide to taking photos of girls

xx target

I have received a few requests to compile a general list of the techniques (also known as skillz, mojo) I use to create content for my XX Chromosome entry. It has come to my attention that a lot of my readers are curious pertaining my methods of approaching and persuading a female (see synonym chicks, girls) to pose for a photograph to appear on sixthseal.com.

The sixthseal.com Guide to XX Chromosome posts

Approach a.k.a. Target acquisition

target aquired

This is a very important, and often overlooked aspect of taking photos with strangers, especially girls. Your approach is key, since it’s the first impression you make. It helps if you don’t look like a stereotypical horny old man or gangster but even if you look like one, there are several disarming methods that can be applied.

Smile

A smile shows your friendly intent and Smashing Pumpkins sang “disarm me with a smile” for a reason.

Confidence

approach

Look like it’s the most natural thing in the world to be asking for, without being overconfident, pushy, or overbearing. It’s fine to be friendly, but it’s not okay to be assertive in situations like this.

Eye contact

Also related to confidence, always make and maintain eye contact when you see someone you want to put in the XX Chromosome category. Never break eye contact first, it’s one of the rules of dating and also a cardinal rule in doing this. It makes you look unsure, shy, and even weak, not particularly attractive traits for a male.

Pitch

ask

I tend to introduce myself first, touching the shoulder (the back and arms are fine too, but not other areas) to get the person’s attention if she has broken eye contact. I say something along the lines of “Hello, I’m Huai Bin, and I like the dress/uniform/shirt etc you’re wearing. You mind if I take a photo of you?”

chiew fong

It is important not to give misleading statements or potential minefields e.g. “I like you” but go for the non-animated stuff e.g. clothes, hair, eyes etc. I noticed that I have never gotten a “No” for an answer if I have already pulled out my digicam. It’s this thing about people and handshakes – it’s like how you never see someone NOT shake your hand when you’ve already offered it. It’s something of an automatic gesture.

Lead in

score

Take one or two photos of the girl and then grab a bystander and tell the girl something along the lines of “Hang on a second, I want to take a photo with you too” and give your digicam to a passerby and start giving instruction on how to take shots. All you have to do now is to stand next to the girl, put your arm around her shoulder (optional) and pose for a photograph.

Rejection

This happens, I’ve had girls says “I really don’t like taking photographs coz I look ugly in them” or something along that line. That’s not a straight out rejection, the model just needs some convincing, so say something complimentary like “I think you look great, let’s see how the shot comes out”. Most of the time, they agree.

I’ve also experienced one or two straight rejections. The thing to do is to take it in stride. Perhaps she’s had a bad day, is stressed out or just had an argument with her boyfriend. Don’t take it personally. Smile, thank her, and move on. She might be receptive the next time. Always be polite, and chill out, it happens to the best of us. :)

Optional:

dining xx

If you’re single and unattached and you see a lone diner that’s to your liking, sit down and make conversation. Who knows what it may lead into? You’ve gotta eat anyway, so might as well talk to someone while you’re at it. Make the most of every day, live it like it’s your very last.

Cheers from sixthseal.com and thanks for reading!

Happy Hunting! ;)

Guide to covering up a love bite

The midst of passion, sometimes love bites can occur at visible places e.g. the neck. This is usually not a problem for most of us. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of passionate loving going on.

love bite

However, it might be a bit of a problem if the hickey in question was done by someone other than your significant other. I would think that your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife would be aware of inflicting a minor hematoma on your neck the previous night, temporarily bursting the blood vessels under your skin. It would be…problematic, to say the least to explain away the love-bite so this is The sixthseal.com Guide to Covering Up Love Bites.

Method: Foundation
(Wrong)

love bite foundation

I had thought that using a flesh colored foundation would be sufficient to cover up the incriminating bruise. I got Maybelline Clear Smooth Aqua Gel Foundation in the Sand color (which is approximate enough to my skin color). It didn’t work very well. It can cover it up to a certain extent, but it’s still rather visible. There is also the need to constantly apply the foundation and it rubs off rather easily.

Method: Concealer
(Correct)

love bite sk2

This is the SK-II concealer that is probably meant for something other than covering up love bites. However, I had shared my predicament with Joyce and she kindly lent me her concealer. She told me that foundation does not and will not actually cover up bruises (or hickies) and using a concealer is the proper method of…well, concealing the incriminating mark.

love bite concealer

I tried using it and it works like a charm! It completely covers up the love bite. Joyce told me that the proper method of application is to rub the concealer on the love-bite and then using a heated finger (generated by friction from rubbing your index finger against your palm) to dab and pat the offending area.

love bite joyce

Joyce is a bit of an expert in these things, being the owner of Envy Health & Beauty. She’s my official consultant on things such as these. ;)

Concealer works very well, much better than traditional methods such as rubbing the love-bite (which sometimes makes it even worse). It passed the eagle eye of my ex-girlfriend, who didn’t notice it at all…and she has an excellent eye for detail. =D

The Weet-Bix guide to constipation relief

weet bix cereal

Weet-Bix is an Australian cereal that comes in the
form of unsweetened 97% whole grain biscuits. I used to hate the stuff
when I was a kid, but strangely enough, love it to bits now. I can eat
it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I suggest you do the same to
combat opiate induced constipation.

weet bix cereal prep

The Weet-Bix guide to constipation can resolve any constipation problems after a couple of days on this diet. You will require:

1. Weet-Bix cereal
2. Fresh milk
3. Swiss muesli (optional)

Preparation:

weet bix cereal biscuits

1. Use a large cereal bowl and fill it up with four (4) Weet-Bix biscuits

weet bix cereal muesli

2. Pour Swiss muesli over it until cereal bowl is nearly full

weet bix cereal layer

3. Take two (2) more Weet-Bix biscuits and layer it on top

weet bix cereal milk

4. Fill bowl with fresh milk

weet bix cereal done

The Swiss muesli I use has dried fruits, nuts, oats and bran and is
“an excellent source of fiber”. I layer it with the Weet-Bix for taste
and texture (the fruits adds natural sweetness and the oats and nuts
gives it the texture) as well as giving the mixture additional fiber.

weet bix cereal end

The amount of fresh milk to add is to taste – add more if you like
wet mushy cereal, add less if you like oatmeal consistency cereal. Soy
milk can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio with milk for a more watery
consistency.

It really is an excellent source of fiber (and it’s delicious too).
You should be able to resolve any opiate induced constipation problems
after several days on the Weet-Bix muesli diet. :)

Fray Bentos Chicken & Mushroom Pie in a can

fray bentos pie can store

I thought I’ve seen everything, but I chanced across a Chicken & Mushroom pie in a flat can
on the shelves of the supermarket (!). It’s by Fray Bentos and the
product is called Chicken & Mushroom Pie. It retails for RM 16.80
and it’s made in England.

fray bentos pie can

The can describes the Chicken & Mushroom pie as having a “New
Improved Recipe” and “Light Puff Pastry”. It’s supposed to contain
“Tender chicken & sliced mushrooms in a delicious creamy sauce
topped with light puff pastry”. I am doubtful that something that came
out of a tin will possess those qualities, but I decided to try it out
anyway.

fray bentos cooking directions

The instructions for the Fray Bentos Chicken & Mushroom Pie (in
a can) is pretty straightforward – just open the lid and chuck it into
an oven for about 20 minutes or so. It’s just like a microwave dinner.
;)

fray bentos pie can open

Unfortunately, opening up the can proved to be a bit of a
challenge…it took two different can openers, a knife and three cuts
(on me) before the can could be pried open. The pie looks interesting
once I managed to get the lid off though – it’s like a soggy mess. It
looks like Spam, even.

fray bentos pie raw

I was interested to see how this would turn into a Chicken and
Mushroom Pie, so the oven was preheated to about 180 degrees Celsius
and the entire open can was put into the oven with the timer set for 25
minutes (it’s a fan assisted oven).

fray bentos pie cook

This is what it looks like after the 25 minutes were up. The crust
wasn’t “golden brown” yet and my girlfriend insisted that it’s not
done, but being the stubborn mule that I am, I insisted on eating a
couple of slices.

fray bentos pie 8

Thus, I took the Chicken and Mushroom Pie out of the oven and sliced it into 8 slices (like a pizza).

fray bentos pie chicken

There are some generous chunks of chicken inside and the pie crust
was flaky, but just on the top layer. It’s sufficiently cooked IMHO,
and I ate two slices before putting it back into the oven for another
10 minutes (coz my gf won’t eat it in that state).

fray bentos pie cooked

This is what it looks like after a total of 35 minutes in the oven.
What did it taste like? It tastes like a soggy reheated pie…out of a
can. :p

Guide to eating a Top Off coconut

top off coconut array

The Top Off coconut experience is commonly available in food
courts…it’s the shrink wrapped coconuts at the drinks counter with
the top partially serrated for easy opening. It’s a very user friendly
coconut.

top off coconut

It comes in several varieties – a fully green one (skin on) which
tastes a little tart, a mostly skinned white one which has a sweeter
content, and the Thailand variety which is a small, fully skinned
coconut. I have had all of them, and my personal preference is the
partially skinned one.

top off coconut unwrapped

The whole coconut is covered with shrink wrap – including the top of
the coconut. You need to remove the shrink wrap before the coconut can
be consumed. The removal of shrink wrap goes according to user
preference – I tend to just tear off the top of the shrink wrap.

top off coconut open

Next, you use the side of the provided standard spoon to remove the
“cover” of the coconut. The easy way to do this is to analyze the
partial factory cut top for the largest point of possible entry and
wedge the side of the spoon (the thin side) down, before using leverage
to “scoop” the whole top back up.

top off coconut opened

It should look like this after that step is completed. Do not, under
any circumstances, allow the top of the coconut to fall back into the
coconut. It should also be noted that this is the most difficult part
of the process, as there is a distinct possibility of causing a faux
pax by twisting too hard and spilling coconut juice all over the place.

top off coconut top

The user may proceed to use the spoon to separate the coconut flesh
from the now separated top for consumption. The flesh of the coconut is
edible, and the top of the coconut contains a significant amount of
coconut flesh…this should be appreciated by eating said coconut flesh
from the top.

top off coconut drink

The next step is to insert the (provided) plastic straw into the
open coconut receptacle. The coconut juice can be sipped straight from
the coconut. Optionally, the spoon can be used to harvest more coconut
flesh from the inside of the coconut. It is important to remember that
the entire internal circumference of the coconut is coated with coconut
flesh…which is edible.

top off coconut scoop

The coconut juice should appear as a clear liquid, unless the
coconut has been disturbed in any way (e.g. internal flesh scooped for
consumption, vigorous stirring etc). Do not be alarmed if the coconut
juice turns murky. This is perfectly normal and the coconut remains safe for consumption.
The color change is caused by cross contamination from the coconut
flesh, but this is not as bad as it sounds…since the flesh is edible.
Certain connoisseurs also appreciate murky coconut juice. I reiterate –
murky coconut water is perfectly fine.

top off coconut ice

There is an option of adding ice to the coconut for a chilled
coconut drink. The user does this at the risk of diluting the coconut
juice. Coconut connoisseurs frown at this practice, but it is
widely…er, practiced for a colder drinking experience.

Enjoy your coconut.

Carmelle dessert

original carmelle box

Carmelle dessert with caramel sauce! I love these things! I was
surprised when I saw a box of Carmelle on the supermarket shelves. I
thought this wonderful product has been discontinued! It looked similar
to the ones that I remembered – it has the familiar green packaging and
the unmistakable upturned custard with caramel sauce picture on it. I
used to eat heaps of these when I was in primary school. They came in
individual serve packets then, about 10 to a pack, instead of one large
portion that it comes packaged in now. Otherwise, it all looks the
same, right down to the brand name. Sweet nostalgia! :)

carmelle sachets

This is what the Carmelle box contains – there’s a pack of custard
yellow powder and a sachet of thick caramel. It’s officially called a
vanilla flavored dessert mix with caramel topping, but it tastes like
custard with caramel topping. It’s ingenious really…the caramel is
sticky and thick and when the heated custard liquid is poured over it,
it slowly melts and becomes a topping, instead of mixing into the
liquid.

carmelle milk

All it requires is some milk, and we’re good to go! It’s just like I remembered…

carmelle caramel

I made this with my girlfriend yesterday, before I came back. The
caramel sachet was squeezed into two bowls instead of one to make it
set faster.

carmelle hot milk

The milk was brought to a boil…

carmelle stir

and the custard sachet emptied into the boiling milk, taking care to stir semi-vigorously for about two minutes.

hot carmelle

The boiling custard mix was then poured into the bowls (which already has the caramel in it) and left alone to cool.

Once an appropriate amount of time has passed (this can be done by
doing the “jiggle test” – basically, gently agitate the receptacle your
custard is in and watch the movements of the custard to infer the
solidity ;)), the bowl was overturned into a plate.

carmelle

This is what Carmelle looks like – custard with a caramel topping. I
like to have it semi-solid, it goes down better than way. Carmelle is a
quick and easy dessert and it tastes great!

carmelle eat

Happy eating! I love creme caramel!

EZ needle lighter modification guide a.k.a. "Why does my lighter have a syringe in it?!?"

real syringe lighter

This is How to make a needle lighter for Dummies. ;) The original document
[sixthseal.com], which describes a more “orthodox” way of making a
needle lighter*, is deprecated by this revision for the more apathetic
(or chronologically conscious, depending on which way you look at it
really) ones amongst us. It is a heavily truncated and modified version
of the original guide using different starting materials as a shortcut
to producing a functional needle lighter. All credit goes to my friend
who described the methodology of this variation. This one can be
assembled within seconds, without prior experience with origami or
childhood time spent helping mom bake in the kitchen.

* Please correct me if I’m wrong, for needle lighters are new to me
since I’ve never felt the urge to slow the combustion process down by
using a low heat flame (we tend to go hard at the expense of mileage
here on sixthseal.com ;)), so I’m not sure which came first – the
needle or the foil.

syringe lighter sharp

It also puts the “needle” into “needle lighter” – literally. This
needle lighter really has a syringe needle in it – note the bevel on
the tip of the needle. Thus, caution MUST be exercised when this
lighter is used in a group setting, since needle stick injuries can
happen, especially when jittery hands attempts to light the needle
lighter at the needle point with another lighter to start it up. Please
maintain extreme vigilance when this lighter is to be used by people
other than yourself – treat it as a syringe, coz it is a syringe.

That said, the shopping list for this easy to make needle lighter is short and sweet:

1. Syringe needle

syringe lighter syringe

This is available at your friendly neighborhood pharmacy outlet.
You’ll want a lower gauge needle for optimal results. The gauge of a
syringe rating specifies the diameter of the syringe, the higher the
number is, the “thinner” it is. I’ll go for at least 27G and 23G seems
to produce the optimal (in my humble opinion) results. Don’t ask for
insulin syringes, those are 29G needles meant for IV use. It’s
generally too frail for this purpose. Unless you’re planning another
route of administration, get the needles separate from the syringe
body, since you won’t be using that anyway.

Syringe needles may be a restricted item where you live. If that is
the case, there are no shortcuts for you, unfortunately. However, I’ve
never had problems getting syringes over here – walk in confidently and
tell the pharmacist specifically what you want. There are two possible
ways to get it – by asking nicely and through intimidation. Naturally,
the first option is the preferred method. It is possible to get it from
pharmacies in Malaysia, though YMMV.

Personally, I get mine by a combination of the two – the Guardian
pharmacy here is staffed by a skeleton crew at night and I go in first,
without any attempt to pretend to look as if I have any valid reason to
be buying syringes. Upon reaching the prescription counter, I will ask
nicely for the items I’m purchasing in English, using the appropriate
terminology where it applies. This is probably when the pharmacist will
give you the Guarded Guardian (TM) look.

It will seem like a cross between a dubious look (so that’s why my
mom always tells me I look like a junkie) and a half surprised look
(which is where the local pharmacist is trying to comprehend the
paradox of a junkie type who speaks English AND apparently knows what
he’s talking about). This is where your (loud) friends come barging in
and generally creates a disturbing atmosphere that would make normal
shop proprietors speed up the transaction to avoid undue discomfort for
the other customers. It helps if your friends don’t look like choir
boys.

This is probably superfluous, but it does wonders in eliminating the
annoying Guarded Guardian, Protector of the Universe (TM) look. Please
remember not to let things get out of hand, you want to establish a
relationship with the pharmacy so that future purchases will be
unquestioned. You’re not here to ju tio (wreck havoc), you’re
here to engage in commerce. I can get injecting equipment alone just
fine, but the trademark expression Guardian Pharmacy teaches new
trainees irks me something awful, so I particularly like to go to
Guardian Pharmacy in a sadistic desire to witness the various possible
permutations (it seems to be indefinite, by my latest count) of the
Guarded Guardian (TM) look.

2. Cigarette lighter

syringe red lighter

Like in the previous guide, please get the transparent ones where
you can see a single white tube running down one of the two columns.

How to make the EZ-needle lighter:

1. Detach the cover of the lighter to expose the inner workings.
This can be achieved by leverage applied to the gap opposite the gas
release button. Your fingernail will serve this purpose just fine.

2. Remove the needle from the syringe lock (the part that connects
to a syringe body) by pulling away that bit. It should look like the
photo below after you’re done with it.

syringe lighter strip

3. Push the base of the syringe needle into the valve that looks
like a mini volcano. Depending on the lighter manufacturer, it will
either miraculously fit like a glove or require some manual pressure
(controlled insertion, don’t jam it down) to get the bottom of the
syringe into the lighter valve. It has been tested on various models
and the common ones have standard valves so those would work fine with
the syringes. Please note that it needs to go into the valve, not over it.

syringe lighter fit

4. Since this is supposed to be a minimal hassle way of producing a
needle lighter, it should be noted that it’s possible to manually
maneuver the flame intensity control bit so that it’s lodged against
one side of the lighter, as shown above. The purpose of this is to make
the gas release button obsolete, since the proper use of this will lift
the gas release lever on the other side to be always on. Please take
note of the way the intensity control piece is manipulated to be lodged
under the gas release lever, making it release combustible gas
automatically. It needs to be stuck in the lever for the continuous gas
release. Test the needle lighter by lighting the tip (be careful not to
touch the syringe tip, this goes for everyone). The needle lighter will
automatically produce a flame if you did the jamming trick correctly.
If the lighter does not ignite, depress the gas button and then light
the tip with another lighter. If this results in a flame, it means your
jamming trick did not produce the desired results. It’s important to
note that you need to really jam the flame intensity rubber bit so that
both “flaps” of the lever is lifted. It may require some dexterity to
get it right…it’s easier to do one side of the flap first by lifting
the level and stuffing (hard, if needs be) the rubber bit in and repeat
with the other flap. The nub will optimally be twisted up to rest on
the side of the lighter as this bit holds the whole contraption
together. You should be able to directly light the needle lighter now.
It’s good practise to make sure that the syringe base is securely
inside the valve – when in doubt, push deeper.

There you have it – a real needle lighter which can be readily
assembled with ease. The needle lighter is not recommended for ages 3
and below due to small detachable parts (and sharp bits). Management is
not responsible for off label use. These contraptions are meant to be
used as a device for instigating the conversion of solid matter into
liquids and then gas. It has come to the attention of the company that
our fine scientific product is being used to smoke methamphetamine
crystals!

syringe lighter use

It should be noted that this is a perfectly acceptable use of this
instrument as it falls into the intended operation purposes.
Methamphetamine crystals can demonstrate this state change wonderfully.
However, extreme care should be taken so that the vapors are not
accidentally inhaled. These vapors can result in unwanted side effects
which includes, but is not limited to, extreme euphoria, “body rushes”,
and general CNS stimulation. Should accidental inhalation occur while
working with this sample, the subject should be allowed to enjoy the
experience. Effects will subside within a few hours.

Tip: You may have several lighters (either modified or
unmodified) lying around which has been depleted of the liquid gas. It
can still be used to light the needle/syringe lighter – the spark
produced by the flint would get the job done, you don’t really need a
functional lighter with a flame. This is good to keep in mind as you
would not want to be driving out to buy a lighter while you’re tweaking
hard.

Guide to making a needle lighter (cigarette lighter modification)

needle lighter

I have recently learned how to make a “needle/syringe lighter”
(slang may vary in different geographical areas) by a friend and fellow
tweaker. All credit goes to him for patiently showing me the procedures
involved and explaining each step in this cigarette lighter
modification. However, I have to admit that my first reaction when he
described what a needle lighter is was sheer incredulity. Why would
someone want to drastically reduce the flame output of a lighter?!?

To tell you the truth, I’ve never even heard of such a contraption
before. My friend learnt about how to make a needle lighter from the
locals in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, during the time he spent there. It
seems that the difficulty and/or hassle of acquiring injecting
equipment, coupled with the high bio-availability of smoked syabu/shabu
(methamphetamine) leads to Sabahans thinking up innovative ways to
smoke methamphetamine. Malaysia Boleh! ;)

Anyway, I later realized that there are various applications where a
needle lighter would be much more preferable to an unmodified lighter.
veritas will be posting about one of the common uses for a needle
lighter in his blog, since the content is more suited to that site
instead of this one. This post is meant as a general interest article
and a step by step guide to making your own needle lighter. It’s not
hard to make, except for the “needle” bit. I must reiterate that I do
not take illicit substances, but I’m always interested in “new”
(meaning different) methods of administration, thus, I was there to see
how needle lighters are made.

Needle Lighter shopping list:

One cigarette lighter

alladin lighter

Just get the cheap RM 1 ones, like Alladdin. It’s important that you
get the transparent ones where you can see a single white pipe going
into one of the chambers, instead of the solid color ones. A lighter
with flame intensity control (most of them have it) would be nice.

Scissors or equivalent

nailclipper

You probably already have one at home. I don’t own one, so I used nail clippers instead. It’s just for cutting excess foil.

Aluminum foil

diamond alum foil

These three items can be easily found in your local supermarket.
Heck, you probably could find all of them around the house somewhere.
Please note that the items stated above are the required items that is
necessary to make a needle lighter.

Steps for making a needle lighter:

1. Cut off the “starting bit” (the jagged end) if it’s a new roll of aluminum foil.

2. Fold the strip of aluminum foil back about a size of a pencil
(roughly 1.5 – 2 cm). Please ensure that there are NO creases or any
defects. Repeat till you get a mint condition strip of foil. Ensure
that the foil has a nice firm side so you can rip it off the rest of
the roll without ruining it.

3. “Flatten/straighten” the piece of foil by running it through a
business/name card (or something equivalent) which is folded into half.
This can be easily done by holding on to one end of the strip with one
hand and apply firm pressure while quickly pushing the folded business
card along the length of the foil with the other hand. Repeat several
times until it’s very straight, no defects should be visible to the
eye. Don’t worry about it if the strip of aluminum foil snaps while
you’re doing this, you’re not likely to use the whole thing anyway – if
the longer part of the two is about a cigarette lighter’s length, you
can still use it.

needle alum strip
It should look something like this, but yours had better be crease free. ;) This is just a fudged strip.

4. This is the hard part…start by folding one end into something
like a triangle (folding in) and then start rolling TIGHTLY, with
pressure maintained all the while to ensure a solid construction. The
“glossy” side of the aluminum paper should be “outside” when you’re
rolling it. The beginning you started with should be the smallest in
diameter, VERY SLOWLY increasing in diameter. The end should be bigger
than the beginning, but only VERY SLIGHTLY. The “needle” should be so
tightly wound that it would look like a single wire when it’s done. I
just pulled out a couple of my hairs as reference and it shouldn’t be
more than 5 human hairs, but this is so variable due to the differences
in hair diameter amongst humans. Just look at the line going into the
cigarette lighter from the bottom and ensure that your wire is thinner
than that. Remember that the wire you’re making is supposed to have a
hollow core despite the tight binding you did, due to the triangle
shape you folded before starting to roll. The hollow center would
probably not be visible to the naked eye if you binded it tightly, but
the outside will look like a spiral design if you look closely,
indicating that the rolling has been done correctly.

needle wire

5. Please note that you can make a wire as short (though at least 5
cm is recommended due to the place the wire would be placed) or as long
as you want (though longer wires may have a tendency to have a blockage
somewhere). You can fold up the whole strip or just a bit. It’s up to
your preference – I like short ones so it’s closer to the lighter and
easier to use. Use scissors or another sharp object to cleanly sever
the end when it’s reached the length you want.

6. Now that the hard part is done, remove the metal or plastic cover
from the lighter top. It’s the piece that begins after the gas release
button and covers the round flint spark thing. It may seem unyielding,
but you can actually remove it with very little pressure. Look for a
little ledge above the lighter flame settings and use a fingernail to
flip it up.

needle lighter remove

You don’t need to keep the cover, unless the activities you’re going
to do with the needle lighter is short. The cigarette lighter will run
out of fuel if you use it constantly in less than an hour.

alladin valve

7. You should see something like a valve…it’s the thing that has a hole and looks like a mini volcano.

insert valve

8. Insert your needle wire, smallest end first, into the hole.
You’ll have to redo the whole thing if it’s too big to fit in there…

depress gas

9. When the needle is inserted, depress the gas release button.
Don’t worry, it won’t explode and kill you or something absurd like
that.

10. Observe how far up the lever opposite the gas release button
thing goes up. We need to force the lever to release the gas by pushing
it up.

insert wedge

11. Use folded up aluminum paper, or whatever’s around to keep the
gas flowing by stuffing the area between the lever and the lighter
flame controlling nub. Basically, you’ll see the lever rise when you
depress the gas button. Stuff the area in between when the lever goes
up, and keep that wedge there – it will provide a permanent gas flow,
and thus, a flame that’s only limited by how long the gas lasts. You
have the option to pull the wedge out if you want it to last longer.

12. Test your needle wire by using another lighter to light the gas
coming out from the top of your own wire. If all goes well, a flame
will automagically appear at the top of the wire you made. Otherwise,
something went wrong in your process flow. It would be necessary to
start from the beginning.

test wire

13. If you see a flame appearing on top, congratulations! You’ve
made a needle lighter. It’s not very hard per se, it’s just the
aluminum foil folding that usually causes problems. My first few
attempts were all duds – they didn’t draw gas up, it wasn’t hollow. I
was never good at origami anyway. But you get the hang of it after a
while though. You can change the flame intensity using the dial
control, but you might have to remove the wedge which is responsible
for supplying constant gas first and putting it back again. You’ll
probably be disappointed if you’re hoping for a large plume of fire,
this contraption is not meant for that.

It is called a “needle” lighter due to the abilities of some experienced people to make their aluminum foil wires very
tough – it feels like a real needle and it can really piece the skin,
though it’s likely to be a papercut type wound. Basically, the needle
lighter is just a normal lighter which had its fire delivery system
replaced manually with a smaller, easier to control and handle
“chimney” that won’t extinguish unless you expel air (that’s a
pretentious word for blow ;)) at the top of the wire or remove the
wedge. It’s relight-able, of course. Just use another lighter to light
the top of the wire.

me

However, this DYI permanent lighter would probably be nothing to
write home about for most people. I like lighters that burn fast and
hot myself. It would appeal to certain people using it for specific
activities though. The good thing about the needle lighter is the
always on flame, which Zippo already has, but a Zippo flame is hardly
suitable for most things. Now, this needle lighter, it has finesse! It
can be set to the lowest settings to automatically produce a steady and
continuous delivery of heat, unlike normal lighters.

New and related post on castitas.com:
Needle lighters reduce wasteful excess smoke while smoking methamphetamine (or heroin) on foil [castitas.com]

Warning: It’s a little dry compared to the usual veritas posts. I suppose you could already tell that from the title. ;)

Guide to HIV testing in Malaysia

gribbles bob
My ELISA results from Gribbles – HIV negative (HIV 1 & 2 antibodies: Not Detected)
This means I don’t have HIV (the virus which causes AIDS)

Warning: This is a very serious post.

It doesn’t seem like there is a wide awareness about HIV and AIDS in
Malaysia, especially in smaller towns. There’s this phrase – “When you
fuck someone, you’re fucking every single person that person has ever
had sex with”. Granted, the chances of infection via a single exposure
is nowhere near 100% but it is still a very serious risk. HIV
tests, which some people incorrectly call “AIDS tests”, checks for HIV
antibodies. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Contrary to popular
belief, most HIV infections are transmitted though sexual activity and
NOT (safety conscious) injecting drug users.

The “data” the government publishes is skewed since prison inmates
and drug rehabilitation center admissions are subject to mandatory
testing, while there’s no mandatory HIV testing for people caught
patronizing brothels. There is also no mandatory testing for every
citizen of Malaysia (which I assume would be unconstitutional). The
statistics are further fudged since inmates convicted with a drug
related offence and/or fails a drug test who tests out to be HIV + is
recorded under “injecting drug users”, even though the vector of
transmission could very well be sexual contact. Feel free to question a
prison administrative officer if you doubt the veracity of my claims.

The presence of HIV antibodies (antibodies detected) means you
should start writing your will, while the absence of HIV antibodies
(antibodies not detected) means you can breathe a sigh of relief. Thus,
if your HIV antibody test results come back as “Not Detected”, you’re
HIV negative (meaning you don’t have the virus – a Good Thing (TM)).
Some of the people I know have such a low awareness and an almost
nonchalant attitude towards this very serious condition, which worries
me, as I feel that there may be an epidemic going around on a scale
that can’t be measured, since not many people go for HIV testing.

Let’s digress a little and talk about why this issue concerns me so
much. I’ll be honest here – I’m fucking scared of HIV/AIDS. It started
from my childhood, I guess…I read a lot about HIV since I was born in
1981, and that was the year this disease made the media. I started
reading on an advanced level at a very early age and my mom kept all
these books about STD’s (they used to call it VD for Venereal Disease
then, but Sexually Transmitted Disease is the preferred term now)
around the house.

It scared me to death. I was so afraid of that book I didn’t want it
in the house. It had graphic pictures of end stage AIDS patients and
long lists of potential symptoms. It was definitely not suitable as
childhood reading material. Bear in mind that I was only 9 or 10 around
that time and I had read lots and lots of HIV/AIDS articles and
research papers. It was like a morbid fascination. It scares me to read
it, yet there was this dirty and retch inducing urge to read about it. I spent many hours each day thinking about STDs…

That’s when my phobia about STD’s, and more specifically HIV
started. It was a real phobia – I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I
would accidentally bump into someone in public and worry that somehow
lacerations invisible to the naked eye on both our bodies would
transmit the disease to me, even though I know that’s unlikely. I would
make my parents bring me for HIV testing when I touch a public toilet
door lock and accidentally touch my genitals while taking a piss, even
though I know it doesn’t spread that way and I know how long the HIV
virus would survive outside the body (not very long).

But like I said, it’s a phobia and phobias are irrational by nature.
I was young (primary school age) and I didn’t have a medical counselor
like first year med school students had, so it overwhelmed me. I guess
I’ve never blogged about such a personal issue, though I’ve hinted at
it in my veritas posts. I can’t have sex with people who have not gone
through a HIV test under my supervision. Yup, you can all laugh now,
but it’s no laughing matter for me. It scares me every single day, even
though I don’t engage in high risk behavior. Like I said, phobias are
irrational.

I’m no virgin even according to Bill Clinton’s definition of sex, so
there’s nothing wrong with my equipment. My family jewels are perfectly
fine, thank you very much; it’s just the irrational psychological fear
of being exposed to HIV that manifests in the most efficient way – me
losing my erection. I simply can’t maintain an erection during
penetration unless I’m sure it’s absolutely safe. It’s like my brain
associates sex with HIV, and I just can’t do it (literally, try
stuffing a prune into the slot in a piggy bank) unless the receptive
partner takes a HIV test and it comes out negative.

I usually go for HIV tests every 3 months. That might seem like
irrational behavior since I don’t engage in high risk activities, but
phobias are irrational by nature. I take both the ELISA and Western
Blot, and I’ll go for the RIPA (damn expensive, it should be called RIPA hole in your pocket)
and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction – instantly makes your wallet
significantly slimmer) too if I have the money. Here’s a short
explanation about the tests, this is from memory, so please correct me
if I’m mistaken, but I’m pretty sure I’m not since I’ve been following
this issue with morbid fascination (the kind that attracts and revolts
you at the same time) for a long time.

First, here’s two terms you should be familiar with:

False Positive (FP) – Test came out as positive, but you’re really HIV negative.
False Negative (FN) – Test came out negative, but you’re really HIV positive.

The first one means that it’s a false alarm – ELISA (and some
others) is highly sensitive, which has the potential to induce heart
attacks. ;) The second one is the one you should fear, that’s why
paranoid people like me go to three different pathology laboratories
every time just to make sure no one fucks up and returns a FN when
you’re really HIV +. It’s an expensive phobia to entertain…

Tests:

These are the two common ones available in Malaysia.

Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)
This is the most common and cheapest (around RM 20) test available –
it’s highly sensitive and it’s what most people refer to when they
mention HIV testing. I’ve never gotten a False Positive (FP) before,
thank God, but ELISA has been associated with that, as well as False
Negatives (FN), so beware. It is better to take the Western Blot
together with this. Some laboratories would give you a strange look,
since people usually only take the much more expensive WB for
confirmation if ELISA returns a positive, since ELISA is highly
sensitive. Insist on Western Blot anyway.

Western Blot (WB)
This is a more accurate (precise) test but it’s damn expensive.
Gribbles offer ELISA + Western Blot for RM 250 here. ELISA results come
back quickly (3-5 days max) while Western Blot takes longer (YMMV,
since blood samples in Kuching are sent to KL for WB since there are no
such facilities here). However, be prepared for about 1-2 weeks for
your WB results to come back.

Other tests:

I’ve only seen these in Australia.

RIPA
This is a test that’s much more expensive than ELISA and Western Blot.
I’ve only taken it twice due to the obscene charges, but it’s worth it
if you’re a hypochondriac. The doctor might ask you why you want to
take this, due to the price, but no one would stop you from taking the
test. They’re probably just puzzled about why someone would opt for the
full battery of HIV tests.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
This one deals a real blow to the wallet. It’s a highly specialized
test that can detect someone who’s just recently infected. That’s the
good part – it’s able to detect HIV antibodies faster than ELISA and
Western Blot. This is due to the incubation period, which I’ll explain
later. I’ve only taken PCR once since it’s too expensive.

HIV has an “incubation period” and it does take some time (3 months
is usually quoted, though there are cases where 6-12 months are cited)
before HIV antibodies develop. Thus, you will test as HIV negative if
HIV seroconversion hasn’t occurred. Now, this is an important concept
to grasp. HIV seroconversion can happen anywhere from 2 weeks to
several months after the initial infection.

HIV seroconversion comes after the “incubation period” –
seroconversion is the term for the time when HIV antibodies start
replicating. It can be accompanied by fever, malaise (tiredness),
flu-like symptoms, lymph node enlargement (as your body tries to fight
off the invasion unsuccessfully) and other general indicators, though
some people do not experience these symptoms during the seroconversion
period.

This is meant for people who’re not aware of how HIV/AIDS works, so
excuse me for explaining things which may be obvious to people who’re
already aware of it. HIV positive people have “AIDS” to use an
incorrect, but easy to understand statement. Basically, if you’re HIV
positive, it will develop to full blown AIDS (you will have AIDS) after
a dormant and symptom-less period (6-10 years is usually the figure).
It is important that you understand the difference between the terms
“dormant and symptom-less period” and “incubation period”.

It is also very important to know that you will only test as HIV positive AFTER HIV seroconversion occurs, which can take up to a year.

Example:
Dick is HIV positive (HIV +) while Sharon is HIV negative (HIV -). Dick
has unprotected insertive sex (“bareback”, or “fucking without a
condom”, to avoid too much jargon) with Sharon. It is statistically
easier for a male to infect a female with HIV. Thus, in this example, Sharon becomes infected with HIV.

Sharon wakes up the next day with one fuck of a hangover and
remembers the previous night’s shenanigans. Dick has a reputation for
sleeping around so Sharon is worried and goes to a pathology lab the
next day to request for a HIV test. The test results came out a couple
of days after that and Sharon burst into song with joy since the test
shows that she’s HIV negative (HIV antibodies not detected).

She throws a big party for everyone and vowed not to have
unprotected sex ever again. Sharon is under the mistaken impression
that she’s HIV negative. HIV seroconversion has not occurred yet and
thus, the results did not detect any HIV antibodies. She went for the test too soon.

Two weeks after that, Sharon came down with a fever and exhibits
flu-like symptoms. She went to a doctor, who gave her some medication
and she went home, still happy as a bird that she’s HIV negative.
Wrong. She has already been infected with HIV. The first test she took
did not reflect that coz it takes time for HIV seroconversion to occur.

Three months after the Dick affair, Sharon met David and they
started going out. David suggested that both of them take blood tests
for HIV before they initiate any sexual contact. Sharon did not mind at
all, as she did not know about the incubation period and had mistakenly
put the Dick affair behind her after her first test results came back
negative.

David and Sharon went to a pathology lab together and samples of
their blood were collected for HIV antibody testing. Two days later,
the lovebirds went eagerly into the pathology lab in the morning to
collect their results. They had made big plans for the night – dinner,
movies and (finally) their very first sexual rendezvous.

David collected his ELISA results. It says “HIV 1 and 2 antibody:
Not Detected”. Wonderful news! The couple kisses. The nurse however,
had an unreadable expression on her face. She politely asked that
Sharon come with her to see the doctor. “It’s probably a mix up of some
sort”, thought Sharon and trotted with David into the consultation room.

The doctor breaks the news to Sharon. “Please be prepared for what
I’m about to say. Your HIV test results came back positive both times
on the ELISA and we ran the Western Blot on it for confirmation. The
Western Blot result confirms that the blood sample taken from you
tested positive for HIV antibodies.”

Sharon was stunned. David was equally shocked. “I don’t understand…there must be a mistake…”, Sharon managed to squeak out.

“I’m afraid not, the samples are carefully labeled and tested on
site. Please understand that HIV is a chronic but manageable condition
with the advances in modern pharmacology – it is not uncommon to live
for 10 years or more before it develops into AIDS. We have counselors
here if you would like to speak to them. I know this is a big shock to
you, and I hope that this counselor would be of help. She’s very
experienced with people living with HIV and AIDS”, the doctor replied
while scribbling a name and number on his notepad, tearing it out and
handing it to Sharon.

Sharon left the building in a shocked daze. David was surprisingly
uncommunicative and did not offer any words of support or comfort. The
couple drove home in silence. David stayed in his car while Sharon got
out, still in shock and denial about her HIV positive test result.
“Aren’t you coming out?”, Sharon asked in a puzzled tone. “I’m sure it
was just a mistake, I’ll take the test again tomorrow and it’ll be
fine, you’ll see!”, she added cheerily.

David was avoiding eye contact with her. When he finally spoke, it
was in a hushed, flat tone. “I think we should stop seeing each other”,
David said, all the while sordidly looking straight ahead. “I don’t
understand…it was just a mistake, you see! The pathology lab just
mixed my results up with someone else’s that’s all!”, Sharon pleaded.

David remained silent for a minute and said with finality – “HIV is
a death sentence…your health will slowly deteriorate as you reach
critical HIV viral loads. When that happens, your compromised immune
system would be very susceptible to any infectious disease. I don’t
want to die with you. I’m sorry Sharon.”

Sharon watched shell shocked as David drove away from her porch. She
was found three days later lying in a warm bath with both her wrists
slit. Her left hand was still holding the razor blade and the bathtub
was filled with blood. The forensics team found an inscription finger
painted in blood on the wall of the bathroom. It reads:

HIV – It’s the gift that keeps on giving…but mine ends here with me…

Oops…I think I got a little carried away with that story. :) I was
practicing my creative writing skills…the ending is cliche, I’ll be
the first one to admit that, but I reckon it was a nice ending. What do
you think? How’s my fiction writing skills? It’s cheesy but it’s a very
likely scenario. What would you do if your partner in a relationship is
HIV positive? Would you continue to cherish and love them or dump them
like an…er, AIDS infected person?

On a serious note, and back on topic, there is a lot of debate even
amongst medical professionals about the incubation period, latency from
initial infection to HIV seroconvertion, and post-seroconversion life
span. It’s all variable according to the individual’s heath, whether
they’re taking an effective regiment of medication to lower viral loads
and many other affecting factors. Nevertheless, HIV/AIDS is still a
death sentence, in the sense that you will eventually die (but then
again, life is a death sentence as well, but that’s digressing) unless
some breakthroughs occur in this area of research.

Anyway, I’ve seen some doctors who do not even know what HIV
seroconversion is! The ignorance and misinformation surrounding
HIV/AIDS is appalling. You can either choose to listen to those
doctors, or listen to paranoid me. I humbly suggest the latter, even
though I’m not a trained medical professional, since my methods ensures
utter peace of mind.

Let’s get the facts out of the way first. Having unprotected sex
with someone who is HIV + does not necessarily mean that you will catch
the virus, the statistics are admittedly low, but this is one disease
you don’t want, so just don’t take the risk. Bleach won’t kill HIV in a
vacuum type environment (eg a syringe), so NEVER share syringes or ANY
injecting equipment. I can provide sources (understanding pharmacies)
who can supply single use insulin syringes and sterile water in KL,
Kuching and Sibu if you email me. Please title the subject as “Injecting equipment – (either KL, Kuching or Sibu)” since I have a strict spam filter.

There is circumstantial evidence that circumcised males have a lower
risk of infection. Females have a higher risk of getting infected
compared to males due to the nature of the plumbing. That said, it is
still very dangerous to have unprotected sex with an untested
partner. Please don’t ever do it. Oral sex can transmit HIV as well, no
penetration is required. Safer sex (condoms) lowers the risk of
transmission, but it is NOT 100% safe!

Which leads us back to HIV testing…if you’re in a new
relationship, insist on having HIV tests together before any sexual
contact is initiated. IMHO, if the other party refuses, there’s
something very wrong here. Common excuses are:

1. “I’m insulted you even suggested that! Who do you think I am?”
2. “I will not take the test because it’s an invasion of my privacy!”
3. “Are you suggesting that I sleep around?”
4. “I’m outraged! You should trust me!”
5. “I’m afraid of blood/needles…”

In the case of 1-4, you can try telling your partner that doing this
is actually GOOD for the relationship, since there would be peace of
mind when sexual intercourse inevitably occurs. It works both ways.
It’s not about trust or privacy. It’s just a necessity in this society
where your partner probably has one or more sexual partners in the
past. If the partner objects, that might be a sign they have something
to hide, so personally, I’ll pass and move along (quickly).

Excuse #5 should be easy to rectify, if that’s the truth, i.e.
they’re really afraid of needles/blood and not trying to hide anything.
Some gentle assurance that the procedure won’t hurt might be beneficial
and it’s important that you go with him/her and provide emotional
support eg holding their hand, talking soothingly etc while the blood
sample is taken.

Benzodiazepines works wonders in calming people down – I suggest
alprazolam (Xanax) for its fast acting and strong anxiolytic
(anti-anxiety) effects. PLEASE EDUCATE THE SUBJECT ABOUT
BENZODIAZEPINES AND THEIR EXPECTED EFFECTS BEFORE THEY CONSUME IT.
Never force or emotionally coerce someone to take anything. It should
ONLY be taken by a willing adult, fully knowing the effects and what to
expect.

hiv xanax

I suggest (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, just a person experienced
with benzodiazepines) 0.5 mg – 1 mg alprazolam for non-benzodiazepine
tolerant people (PO, SL is a bit hard for new people to handle due to
the bitter taste). 2 mg or more would only be justified in non-reactive
person(s) or people with a severe phobia for syringes and blood. The
point is to slightly sedate, not knock out, the subject. Again, I must
state that this should be agreed to and willingly taken by the subject.

The maximum anti-anxiety effects should kick in at around 10 – 30
minutes after the initial dose, but the time may vary in different
people. Just ask how they feel eg “How are you feeling now?” to
establish the peak plasma concentration time. That would be the optimum
time to walk in for the blood test, and make sure you’re there for
support.

Here’s a totally irresponsible bit of advice on how to get
benzodiazepines if you don’t have access to any – please understand
that I’m only saying this because I would like to create HIV/AIDS
awareness and promote HIV testing:

1. Go for the HIV test yourself first.
2. Come in 2 hours later and act all strung out and scared shitless.
3. Claim you’re REALLY worried about the results and would appreciate anything to help with the anxiety.
4. Mention that you’ve been prescribed alprazolam (Xanax) before for anxiety and it really helped.
5. Leverage the 1-3 days results turnover to get a reasonable amount. It helps if you’re experienced with doctor shopping.

I managed to bum 2 blister packs (strips) of 10 x 0.5 mg alprazolam
(Xanax), 2 blister packs of 10 x 5 mg clorazepate dipotassium (Sanor 5)
and 5 x 2 mg clonazepam (Rivotril) in my latest HIV test (shown above).
That’s 10 mg of Xanax, 100 mg of clorazepate and 10 mg of Rivotril, but
I’m experienced with doctor shopping and can be a good actor if I want
to, so YMMV. Nevertheless, any self-respecting doctor would prescribe
some form of benzodiazepine to you, since its short term and perfectly
indicated for the situation. I strongly suggest alprazolam (Xanax) as
it’s perfect for this situation.

hiv benzos

I actually tried to squeeze more out of the doctor – he had a drawer
FULL of benzodiazepines, and I was like a kid in a candy store, going
“Can I have 10 blister packs of that, 10 of these, 50 tablets of that
etc” and he laughed and said “No, I’ll only give you four strips and
you can have a couple of clonazepam tablets if you want”. Smart, this
one. Has a sense of humor too. :)

Now that we’ve taken the hard part of the equation out (convincing your partner to take the test), here’s veritas’s guide to HIV testing in Malaysia.

There is only one rule.

Remember it.

Rule #1 – Your name is Bob.

It’s Bob. It’s not (insert your name here). My name is always Bob
when I go for tests. I’m not Poh Huai Bin, my name is Bob. I always use
my real name in Australia as they provide confidential blood tests but
remember this, and listen real carefully:

Don’t ever give out your real name in Malaysia.

Malaysia DOES NOT provide confidential HIV testing. If your results
shows you’re HIV positive, the doctor is OBLIGED to report you and give
your personal details to the Ministry of Health who KEEPS A DATABASE OF
PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV AND AIDS. They WILL conduct periodic checks on
you if you get into that database.

There’s an addendum to Rule #1 – NEVER donate blood unless you’re sure you’re HIV negative!
This is because the blood bank will contact you if your blood tests out
to be HIV positive. The usual procedure is to ask you to come in for
another test due to “unusual results”. They will do a Western Blot if
you fail the ELISA twice. You are not anonymous when you donate blood.
You WILL get into that database if your Western Blot returns positive.

Please note that I am TOTALLY AGAINST people who are HIV + and
continue spreading the virus. You will die a horrible, miserable death
and burn in hell for all eternity if you continue having sexual contact
after knowing your HIV status. It is also ILLEGAL to knowingly infect
others and I hope you go to jail and die inside there.

The reason I’m for anonymous testing is because I’m against the
unconstitutional database of people living with HIV/AIDS in Malaysia,
which is a major privacy infringement. The way I see it, if you’re HIV
+, you can either do one of two things:

1. Suicide (if your religion does not prohibit that).
2. Live with it and NEVER have sexual contact or other activity which could transmit the virus.

I strongly encourage people to go for HIV tests since I believe
there’s an epidemic waiting to happen with the trend towards
indiscriminate sexual exposure and a general lack of education about
the severity of HIV and AIDS and common vectors of transmission. I’ve
heard shockers like “Using a condom makes sex unexciting” from both
males and females. I’m quite sure the reported HIV/AIDS figures in
Malaysia are totally incorrect due to the lack of mandatory HIV testing
except for Muslim couples in Johor.

Here’s a scenario for you. John Doe seems to be a well educated,
intelligent and HIV aware person. He only has one sexual partner (let’s
call her X) in the past and she seems to be HIV aware and careful as
well. X has 10 sexual partners in the past. Each of X’s partners has an
average of 5 previous sexual partners. Fucking John Doe means you’re
essentially fucking 50 other strangers you don’t know.

This is just the calculations for 3 degrees of removal. In real
life, the number would be much more. Let’s assume that X had a stroke
of bad luck and one of her 10 partners infected her with HIV. X did not
know about this and unwittingly infected John Doe as well. Now, you
come into the picture and fuck John Doe. Oops. You can’t tell if
someone is HIV positive just by looking at them. I’ve heard this
shocker from a DOCTOR who said “I don’t think she’s HIV positive”, just
by LOOKING at the subject. May the Lord save his soul! There is no way to tell if someone is HIV positive without going for tests!

How to take anonymous HIV tests in Malaysia

1. Go to a new (one who doesn’t have your medical records) doctor
who offers this service. Ensure the doctor does not know you because
usually doctor-patient privilege means jack shit in Malaysia. Also,
make sure the pathology lab they outsource tests to is reputable.
2. Tell the nurse you want to see the doctor for a blood test. Here’s where they ask for your IC (Identity Card).
3. Politely refuse to hand it over and decline to reveal any
information and say that you just want to be known as “Bob” due to
personal reasons.

IF the nurse says they need your personal information, ask to speak
to the doctor. Explain to the doctor that you want to take a HIV test
and would like to remain anonymous. Most professional doctors will be
accommodating. If they’re not, go back to #1 and repeat till you find
an understanding one.

1. The doctor may make small talk eg asking where you work, what
your name is etc. You should not answer these questions. Reply with a
polite “I’m truly sorry doctor, please don’t take any offence, but I’ll
prefer not to reveal personal information”.
2. You will probably be given the ELISA test. You can opt for the Western Blot as well, if you have the money.
3. The doctor will swab you and insert a needle with a large gauge
(hole, if you will) after finding your veins with a tourniquet.
4. You will be expected to clench and unclench your fist for blood to drain into the test tube.
5. Once a suitable amount of blood sample is taken, you’ll be given a
reference number (if you’re not given one, please ask for it, since
you’re only “Bob” and you need a unique reference number to collect
your results).

Here’s a couple of photos of the HIV blood test procedure, this subject is “Jane”:

hiv syringe
The doctor registers a vein and starts to draw blood.

hiv blood
This is the test tube where the subject’s blood sample is transfered for HIV testing.

Now, listen to me carefully. The doctor is legally obliged to hand
over your particulars to the Ministry of Health if your results test
out positive. There is a stupid way and a smart way to get around this.
The stupid way (which is not recommended, it’s called stupid for a
reason) is to come in, gauge the expression of the nurse or doctor
(they will know your result, they are able to see it) – if you sense
something amiss, grab the results and run out of the clinic before they
have a chance to stop you. No one will stop you anyway, but this is the
stupid way, there is one loophole that allows a more subtle approach.

Now, please listen up, this is the only way to get anonymous test
results in Malaysia. This requires a truly understanding doctor, and I
have a recommendation if you’re in Kuching.

Loophole:
The doctor is obliged to inform the authorities if you’re HIV + and
give them your personal information. The doctor does not have your
personal information, Bob. :)
Negotiate with the doctor about test result retrieval. This is the only
way that allows the doctor to maintain his professional integrity and
stay on the right side of the law and yet allows you to remain
anonymous. Most doctors will agree to this, if they went into the
medical profession with an altruistic desire to help people instead of
other reasons.

Here’s the loophole – tell the doctor that you’ll be calling him to ask about your HIV test results.

1. Make an agreement with the doctor that if your test result is
negative, it will be conveyed over the phone eg “Hello, good news, you
tested negative on the ELISA”. If the test result is positive, ask for
the doctor to tell you to come in and collect your results eg “Hello,
your test results are back, please come in to collect it.”
2. Now, call the doctor from a public phone eg “Hello, this is Bob, and
I was wondering if the HIV test results have come in yet”.

If the doctor says “Hello Bob, your results came back – all clear,
negative for HIV” go in and collect the test result. You’re HIV
negative. :)

However, if the doctor says “Hello Bob, your results are in, please
come in and collect it”, don’t go in. You already know what your result
is based upon the previously agreed upon phrase. You’re HIV positive.
Sorry.
P/S – Please verify HIV status by taking more HIV tests in other
pathology labs before you jump off that building. It could be a false
positive.

To reiterate, you have to make an agreement with an understanding doctor about the procedure for collecting the test result.

The deal goes this way – if your results are negative, then the
doctor will tell you over the phone. However, if your results turn out
to be positive he’ll ask you to come in and collect it. Notice the
difference?

Do you see how this works now?

The doctor did not breach any ethical code by telling you over the
phone that your results are negative. It’s good news, he’s just
informing you about that to save you from unnecessary anxiety.
On the other hand, he has fulfilled his legal obligation by asking you
to come in to collect your test results if it’s positive, since he’ll
need to record your personal details. He has told you to come in, you
just didn’t go in, and there’s nothing he can do about that, he’s not
responsible for no-shows.

Most doctors will be happy to do this if you ask nicely. There you have it – anonymous and totally private HIV testing in Malaysia!

Please feel free to comment and ask for clarification if you have any questions about how this works.

gribbles jane
Jane’s ELISA results – also HIV negative. Remember that you’re “Bob” if you’re male and “Jane” if you’re female. ;)

I’ll be honest here and say that I’ve gone for many, many HIV and
other STD tests. I don’t need it, since I don’t engage in risky
behavior. However, I have an intense fear for HIV, which I blame on the
young exposure to age inappropriate material without a councilor to
talk to. Did you know that I secretly sneaked out to see a doctor when
I was in Primary 4 (10 years old) to test for gonorrhea coz I’ve been
reading about it and I was convinced I have it even though I haven’t
even had sex at that age. I told the doctor not to tell my parents, but
he did. Oh well.

That’s just the way I am…it’s like the first year medical student
syndrome – you start noticing and obsessing about having a disease coz
the symptoms all match (at least in your mind). Unfortunately for me, I
did not have counseling services at that time, so it really affected
me. I spend hours each day worrying about diseases. I’ll be a
hypochondriac for life if I don’t have benzodiazepines.

I’ll do things to make myself forget about imaginary symptoms. One
of my favorites at that time was stuffing my right fist into my mouth.
Try it and see how it feels. :) Your jaws are bent and aching, which
provides a brief respite from the anxiety in your mind. I also scrape
my knee on purpose by falling down intentionally. It helps to get those
nasty, scary thoughts out of your mind if you make a proper wound and
jab it every time you get paranoid.

One particularly bad time required me to swallow this one meter long
plastic toy sword so I can think about choking instead of catching some
disease just coz I accidentally bumped into someone. I didn’t like to
have physical contact with anyone then, I’m afraid they’ll somehow
transmit a disease to me (I have a very vivid and unstoppable
imagination). I still feel uncomfortable about physical contact, though
benzodiazepines help a lot.

I guess you can say that my childhood was a little unusual. OCD used
to play a dominant part as well. I won’t go into that since there’s too
many to mention but one constant manifestation is snapping my fingers
on my right hand, starting from the fore finger till the thumb to
“open” (or start, if you will) the issue. Depending on the intensity of
the anxiety and worry, the repetition can vary from one to 35 times
(for extreme moments of fear).

I would then think about the issue I’m afraid of, going through it
many times, usually an even number so it won’t happen again (coz if
it’s even, it’s settled, divisible by two). This can last from minutes
to several hours and if someone breaks my train of thought by talking
to me, I would have to quickly “close” the issue by snapping the
fingers on my left hand for the equal number of times that I did for my
right hand (so that it will be closed, if it’s not the same, it’s bad
coz it’s still open) and restart again.

This can happen many times a day…I would think “I think I didn’t
snap my fingers on that left hand hard enough that third time, so the
issue is still open” and I’ll have to repeat the process all over
again, using a higher number to “overwrite” the botched one. Well,
since I’m telling you all so much about my psychological history, I’ll
just tell you something that no one knows, except for my immediate
family and doctor.

Retracted penis syndrome…have you ever heard of that? It’s either
known as koru or kuro in Malaysia and it’s a psychosomatic condition
that would be diagnosed as panic attacks now. Now here’s the strange
thing. I’ve never even known that something like that existed until
recently. I’ve experienced it without even knowing about it!

There was this time where I worry constantly about my penis. I would
imagine that my left testicle seems lumpy and I was afraid that it was
cancer of the testicles but didn’t have the means to test (my parents
thought I was crazy anyway – “psycho” was the term my mom used) it
properly then. I did get my parents to bring me to a doctor, and he
pronounced that my testicles are perfectly fine.

But I only felt assured in the doctor’s office. I started worrying
again once I got home. What if that doctor was wrong? He’s just a GP
after all. It kept on worrying me till I was 16, I had always thought I
would die early of testicular cancer, till I finally managed to get a
proper test when I got to New Zealand. No malignancy anywhere, it’s
just natural for some veins to feel larger.

Back to my rather disconcerting experience with RPS, it was when I
was 11 years old or so. I still remember it like yesterday. I was
sitting on the bottom step of my stairs worrying about STD’s as usual.
I would go through the whole day, trying to remember if I touched my
penis after my hands were “dirtied” by touching something in a public
place.

I knew it won’t transmit STD’s…heck, I knew much more about STDs
than many people even at that tender age. Back to retracted penis
syndrome incident, I was sitting on the bottom step of the stairs at
home. It was night and I noticed that my short pants had some kind of
stain on it. In hindsight, it was probably pre-cum, but I thought it
was pus from some STD that I contracted by accidentally touching some
nasty things in the toilet.

I was cracking my fingers in my right hand to start my scary
thoughts when it happened. I felt my penis shrinking. I was alarmed. I
checked and saw that it was shrinking. I screamed for help and my
parents came running and asked what’s wrong. I said my penis was
disappearing into my body and I was panicking and there was this
overwhelming feeling of impending doom – I was going to die if my penis
disappears into my body and I was trying desperately to pull it out.

I was terrified, I’ve never felt so afraid before and I was pleading
for help, it was getting smaller by the second and I’m going to die and
I was pulling as hard as I can and begging and praying to God to just
let my penis come back again. It was not my imagination as I saw my
father’s face when he looked at me desperately tugging at my phallus –
he was shocked and immediately pulled it with me to stop it from
completely disappearing.

It was just a nub at the worst point…and we were holding to it for
a full minute while I was hyperventilating and feeling faint. It felt
like the whole phallus was falling into my body forever and I would
die, I must pull it out. It did stop retracting after a while
and my parents took me to a doctor the next day who said that my
genitalia is perfectly fine. It was my first panic attack. I guess you
could call it that. Psychosomatic panic attacks…damn those mind
fuckers.

My point is, I’ve always had issues with chronic anxiety, which is
debilitating…one of my closest friends told me that he doesn’t
understand why I take drugs, because most people who take drugs are
from broken families and my family is “normal”. I consider him one of
my best friends and I knew he means well. I didn’t think I answered
that question then.

I’ll answer it now. It’s not just people from broken families who
take drugs, that’s a gross generalization. Drugs give me an outlet to
another state of mind, one that isn’t constantly worrying about one
thing or another. It’s an ephemeral escape into another state of mind.
I feel like I can be all that I can be on methamphetamine. I love the
emotional bonding that MDMA induces. I take magic mushrooms and LSD
because of some sadistic desire to induce bad trips. I smoke cannabis
because I’m bored. I drink heavily so that I can sleep. I heavily
self-medicate with benzodiazepines because it makes me sane.

I’m self destructive. I don’t care that my heavy daily drinking is
culling my brain cells and destroying my liver. I don’t care that my
benzodiazepine use is excessive, or that I would probably be on it for
life, because it gives me blessed peace. Everyone is pressuring me to
taper off benzodiazepines. I’ll be honest here and admit that I’ve
never even tried to taper. It was all a farce to make everyone happy.

But I don’t want to make everyone happy. I want to make myself
happy. I want to be free from anxiety and excessive and irrational
thoughts. I once thought I stepped on a syringe while walking. It
turned out to be a rusty nail but I was still irrationally worried
about HIV. I was franticly searching for the nearest hospital to get
zidovudine (ZDV).

I know this nurse (who requested not to be named when I called her
to ask for permission, and I have to honor that since she reads this
blog :p) who had a needle stick injury once. She was giving a patient
an IV injection and in a temporary lapse of judgment, used her right
hand to cap the syringe instead of docking the cap and inserting the
syringe into the dock tray (the safe way to go about it). She was
seriously considering zidovudine therapy while the pathology division
of the hospital she’s attached to ran an emergency HIV blood test on
that patient using a rapid HIV test that can detect newly infected
people (PCR).

There are studies that suggest post exposure use of zidovudine may
reduce the probability of you being infected with HIV. It’s kinda like
a pre-emptive strike – you have to take it immediately after exposure
and finish the course, which would make you as sick as a dog, but may
reduce the chances of you contracting HIV. The efficacy of this has
been argued by many medical professionals, and it’s not easy to obtain,
so you won’t be able to do something like have unprotected sex and go
on ZDV. It just doesn’t work that way.

The rusty nail incident happened several years ago. It was just a
rusty nail but I was frantic…I had already planned to jump over the
counter and resist security while I search for zidovudine if push comes
to shove and they won’t hand it over.

My latest HIV test (March 2004) came back negative, as always, but
I’m already budgeting for the next one. I’ve never talked about this
before, it’s kinda personal and people might think I’m mentally unsound
but yeah, now you know why I have issues with irrational anxiety and
the extent of my hypochondriac thoughts.

This is just one facet of it – my phobia about HIV. This is the
reason I don’t fuck around. I’m just too scared of contracting HIV that
my penis automatically balks and loses its erectile function as a self
defense mechanism before penetration, so you’ll never see me follow
through on sexual prepositions. I just joke around – I have a myriad of
excuses in my excuse bank to avoid actually doing it. My two favorites
are “Benzodiazepines have muscle relaxant properties and my heavy
benzodiazepine therapy makes me unable to maintain an erection, so I
can’t fuck you” and “I’m coming down so hard on methamphetamine, I can
barely stand, much less fuck”. ;)

I will only have sexual intercourse with someone who tested negative
consistently over at least a six month period with the whole battery of
available HIV antibody detection tests who isn’t sexually active with
anyone other than me. I’m not saying that I’m “holier than thou”, au
contraire, I’m just fucked up inside my head. I don’t engage in
behavior that would put me at risk for HIV infection, so a rational
person would not shell out this kind of money for regular and
unnecessary (for me) HIV blood tests. But as I’ve mentioned many times,
phobias are irrational by nature. :) I make light of things, but I
really do have many issues with chronic anxiety and I have serious
hypochondriac tendencies that can only be kept in check (somewhat) by
benzodiazepines.

I don’t know how much I’ve spent on doctors and medical tests…

Update:

gribbles wb envelope
The doctor’s Gribbles envelope which he gave me. I also managed to bum
some benzos off him in the process. Heh. He also gave me a book about
Christianity. *shrugs*

bob western blot
My Western Blot (WB) test results – all clear! =D

jane western blot
WB results for “Jane” – clean slate.

Doctors are always quick to try and get me to taper off benzodiazepines. I don’t want to return to all that craziness.

I know that a lot of doctors will sprout that the chances of HIV
transmission via sexual intercourse is relatively low, but do you
honestly want to take the chance?

gribbles hiv

Be safe. Be responsible. Go for HIV testing.

This is the first community service article brought to you by sixthseal.com :)

We like to provide quality content for all audiences, so here’s a new post at veritas’s domain:
Methamphetamine in Kuching, Sarawak [castitas.com]

P/S – The subject matter which my dear guest author* goes into is
not for everyone. Please don’t click the link unless you like reading
veritas’s posts.

* The terms “guest author”, “alter ego” and “pseudonym” means the same thing in my dictionary and is used interchangeably. ;)

"How to make a cracker" by CT

cracker.jpg

This is written by CT:

OK Guys,
This Is Easy Peasy, follow me:

1. Get one bulb, take it to Bunnings. Go to the plumbing section and find the copper fitings the look like those in the photos.
2. Find a Cap like the bit that unscrews (make sure its just the right size for the bulb to fit in)
3. Find the “middle bit” from the photos here (male to male adapter)
make sure its the same size as the cap so they screw into one another.
(also check the bulb fits into this snug (not so snug that it doesnt
have a little clearance on the sides).
4.Finde a “Male to Male” reducer (the bit on the end in the photo) this
should fit the bulb in it at one side but reduce to a smaller size at
the other end.
5. Now buy some nice sturdy screws with wide bottoms (the bit you stick a skrew driver into) make sure they are not to long
5. Buy some epoxy glue (you know it looks like a double syringe) Also some plumbers tape (the white stuff in the photos.
6.Put a screw in the base of the cap, put a bulb in the tube (male to
male addapter) like the screw up so that it consides with the part of
the bulb that you need to pierce. NOW DO NOT MOVE IT (blue tac helps
here) Now get your epoxy and fill the cap about half up with it. BE
VERY CAREFULL not to get the glue on the thread of the upper half of
the cap or you will reck the cap and need to get another.
7. Let this dry.
8. Get some wire (reasonable thick) and twist into a circle. Cut half
this so you have a half circle of wire (maybe even just cut a quarter
of the wire.
9. Force this down the male to male reducer (it allows the gas to pass
the end of the bulb. (i realy need pictures here, will talk to veritas)
10. Once dry you have a working cracer. “The Nanganator 3000” heheheh

Thanks for all the comments regarding my first time IV use. I’ll
reply everyone when I get back, I need to do something now. I’ll also
write Part II (of course there’s a sequel ;)) later – stay tuned! :)

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