Saturday, December 31, 2005

Gameboy Advance Micro 20th Anniversay Edition

Not that I want one of these as I am not a Game Boy fan but it's just that I saw the new Game Boy Micro in Fry's the other day and I was instantly impressed how the have scaled this thing much further. It's basically the same as Game Boy Advance but in a new packaging. And the 20th Anniversay Edition brought a smile to my face. It's removable faceplate is designed to resemble the old Game & Watch. Does anyone still remember Game&Watch? Donkey Kong? Donkey Kong Juniour? Octopus? What else? There's one where people jumped out of a building on fire and you played the firemen below using a trampoline to bring them to safety.

Nice design Nintendo!

Less than 24 hours

.. and I received an email stating that my package is shipped via FedEx.
I should be getting it soon.
I am so excited...

I am also extremely impressed by the speed and service. I mean, I have engraving and yet the product was shipped in less than 24 hours.

WOW..

Friday, December 30, 2005

Everybody has it...

and I want it. My precious, my preciousssssssss..............

On Christmas day, I saw it in Best Buy. I pick it up and try it. It is indeed what they say it is. It's just so beautiful, so perfect. The texture, the feel, the smooth curves and those cute little sound it made. At that point, I have decided that I want one but alas, there was no stock available. Not in Best Buy, not in Fry's, not in Target, not in the whole Grapevine Mills Mall, not in the whole Dallas! People I know asked me to check out the website. I did and for the past 3 days, it's not available! It's sold out! The whole of USA have it. Everyone I know is carrying one. Except me! 2-3 business week, the web Store said. My hopes dashed. My spirit broken. I gave up...

Until I made another attempt today. And guess what? The store reads "3-5 business days" Wooo hooooo! I picked up the phone and dial the number. I know I could not order from the web because they needed a valid US billing address.

I talked to Ray. He said that "it's 2-3 weeks shipping, sir."

"But your website said days, not weeks. You might want to check it again because yesterday it says 2-3 weeks. Today it said 5 days."

" Really?", Ray asked.

"Yup.."

"Golly, you are right! You know more than me. I'll have to throw in a free Shuffle for you then..."

Of course I made up the last line. Anyway, after 10 minutes of giving my details and insisting on a free engraving, I have it! The order number placed on 12/29/05 - 01:25 PM Pacific Standard Time. I will get it in a week's time.

WOW!

The guy on the phone told me that next time I wanted anything from the web, I could just put the US city that I am shipping to in the credit card section and that will fool the system. Heh... dirty fella...

So I am a happy man... though deep down I know this will turn into a white (heh heh) elephant but who cares. It'll last me a year.. I hope.. and if I were to get the accessories (and I TREMBLE at the thought of this), I may just extend it's usefulness... like maybe in a car.. or home stereo.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Sunny Christmas

Seems like the sun is not going anywhere. It was sunny today when I went to my colleague's house for Christmas lunch. She said they don't get such a nice weather during Christmas. Heh.. Lunch was a typical American lunch she said, whichs made up of ham, turkey breasts, whipped potatoes, salads and ice tea. To me, these taste pretty standard. Nothings special here. She heats them up and "fixed the food". My other colleagues, who is from India, likes to tease her American friends. She said Americans don't cook. They buy pre-packaged stuff from the supermarket and "fixed" them. That's why we hear Americans saying, "you want me to fix something for you to eat?".. Heh.. funny, that.

Anyway, I went for a movie after the luncheon. Went to see Memoirs of a Geisha. It's wasn't great but it's still a good movie. I guess the fact that Michelle Yeoh, someone from home, is there in the big screen, is reassuring since I am watching this movie alone. When she made her first appearance, the lady beside me exclaimed, "she's beautiful". I am like, huh? She's old! Zhang Ziyi is beautiful!

I remember my manager telling me that Dato' Michelle Yeoh were her classmate during secondary school. When she came back to Ipoh a couple of years ago, they had a reunion and she emailed her. She came and later my manager went to her hotel for chat. She said Dato' is still very down to earth. Imagine that.

Back to beauty... perhaps one of the reasons why Dallas is so, so boring is that, there's NO pretty girls around here. I mean, where's all the hot chicks we saw in TV or movies? All I see everyday are HUGE people. When I say huge, I mean really big. Their thigh is as big as my whole body. It's disappointing, really. I want to go home!

The following day, the day after Christmas aka Boxing Day, I went to Fry's and Best Buy at 10am. People say that Boxing Day is where the REAL sales is! They say that I have to go early and grab the stuff. People say that the Asians, particularly Indians, will camp at 7am to wait for the store to open to grab USB drives, disk drives, printers, etc.

These people are LIARS! Fry's and Best Buy were so quiet. There was no long queue. There was no sales! But they did condorn a huge area in anticipation of returns and exchange. That's it? Disk drives were not on sale. Printers were not on sale. I wake up early for nothing!

Anyway, I watched another movie - a Steven Spielberg directed movie called Munich. It sucks! What a boring show. I don't know.. is it me or is the quality of movies are not as good as last time? The previews all made up for it. I saw preview of M:I:iii (Mission Impossible III), Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster's Inside Men and one Harrison Ford movie which I can't seem to recall the title. Next year, we will have X-Men 3 also. Wow... good year? Or is it going to be flop?

I did end up buying a Logitech notebook mouse for $9. It's a really cool mouse where I could wrapped the mouse cable around the mouse for storage. Check it out.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Dry City

I was invited to a colleague's house for Christmas lunch tomorrow. I wanted to bring a bottle of wine. I went to Kroger and could not find any wine nor beer. I asked the customer service and guess what? There's no alchohol being sold in the city of Irving! An American city. No alchohol! WTF?

Some Pictures

The first two pictures show the inn where I am staying. The next two pictures show autumn trees with falling leaves. Aren't they beautiful? Look at the bright, sunny sky...

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to my dear readers in Malaysia ... It's still Christmas eve here so I still have 12 more hours to go.

Christmas eve in Dallas is boring.. no white Christmas.. no fireworks..
Oh well.. I am going to the Galleria (a high class shopping center) later so I will see if the deco is as nice as they say it is.. Will take more pix.

Car

Another thing that really makes sense in USA is the car-related designs. Little things about the cars which I'll explained below made so much sense it boggles my mind why we didn't adopt it in MY. For example, the remote control has the same features as our car in MY - lock, unlock, unlock trunk and warning (red). As you walk to the car and press unlock button in the remote, the headlights, in-door light and back lights all lit up for 10 or 15 seconds. Only the driver door is unlocked. The passenger door, the two back doors remained locked. This is a safety feature as only the driver can get into the car. Press the unlock button the second time and all the other 3 doors will be unlocked. Makes sense? This is especially useful in dangerous Kuala Lumpur.

Inside the car, when you closed the door, there is a pleasant beep sounding to remind you that you need to buckle up and that the hand brake is up. If you start your car and get into gear and move with the handbrake on, this beep will sound again. Make sense?

You reached your destination and get out of the car. You press the lock button and the car is locked. Pressing the lock button again will cause the car horn to honk once (and the lights lit up). This is useful in two count - one it is an audible sound to let you know that your car is locked in case you are not sure if it's locked. Also, when you want to locate your car, you can press this and the car honked. I know we can always press the red button to cause the alarm to go off when locating your car but why do you need the whole alarm to sound when a simple honk and light suffice (especially in a shopping complex)?

Finally, handbrakes and gear. The modern world is all about automatic transmission. So, why in the world do we still need the damn gear in between the driver seat and passenger seat? It's auto, you don't need it there. The Ford that I drove has the gear in the place where the car light stick used to be (i.e. just behind the steering wheel). The hand brake is just a pedal on the far left. This free up the space in between the driver seat and passenger seat so you have more space if you want to. Currently, they put in a hand-rest with a "container" for your drinks and keys. This hand-rest can be pushed up so that you have more sitting space if you want to.

Doesn't all this make sense to you?

If so, why aren't we using it?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Random Ramblings

Every morning when I drive to work, I usually made many observations .. or I reflect back what happened the previous days. I thought I should share some of my observations with you.

I found out that the reason the phone charger did not work is because US has a different voltage requirement. They are the only country, as far as I know, that uses 110V, where as the rest of the world, including Malaysia, uses 220V (or is it 240V?) .. anyway, that’s US for you – everything have to be different. I’ll have to find either a power converter or someone in the office who has a Nokia who happens to have a charger too. And I believed I have found someone who has it!

Having said that, perhaps there is a reason to be different. I find that the traffic/road system in US makes a lot of sense. For example, and I am putting this in a Malaysian context, when you are in a cross junction with traffic lights and you wanted to make a left turn, you could do a left irregardless if the traffic light is red or not as long as there are no cars coming from the right. Makes lots of sense right? Why would you want to stop when you can turn if there are no incoming cars.

Similarly, if you are at the cross junction with traffic light and you wanted to turn to the right to the opposite lane, they have a special traffic light for that. In this traffic light, it has two green light. One is just green. There is a sign that says if Yield when green to turn. This means that when the light is green and there is no incoming cars, you can turn to the right. If there are incoming cars, you yield and wait. After a while, the other green light will lit up. This light has an arrow. When you see this light, you know FOR SURE you can turn and don’t have to yield. Again, makes so much sense and alleviate a lot of traffic woes.

Then people here actually adhere to speed limits and if they do, certain parts of the system works. For example, every morning I have to pass through this road where there is school. Over here, the limit is 20mph.. around 30 km/h. So there are cars which will turn into the school to drop their children and then they turned back out and drive over to the opposite lane. Now any incoming traffic has to go at 20mph which allows these cars to drive over to the opposite lane. If people don’t adhere to the limit, there’s no way these cars can come out of the school, thus causing traffic jam. Fortunately, people here do adhere and cars just move in and out like a breeze.

Actually when I think about it, a lot of these traffic rules depend on the people’s mentality. I believe it will not work even if it is implemented in Malaysia because Malaysian drivers do not yield. LOL.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sun

I cannot believe that I am saying this but I am so glad to see the sun today! It's a beautiful day. I don't think I have seen the sun for 5 days! The office is brightly lit. It's nice. I'll post pictures later..

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My inn

I am staying in one of those inns or suites that are pretty common in Dallas - perhaps because they have many big companies who have many assignees (read Indians) who came to United States for a few months to learn the ropes. The inn's setup is usually like this:

They have one main building where the reception is located. There are many satelitte buildings behind or adjacent to this main buildings. In the main building, you find the reception and this lounge decorated like a house's "living room". This lounge has sofas, nice oak tables and chairs and a huge fireplace. This is the place where I eat my complimentary breakfast every morning. I'd love to take a picture of this lounge but I had no opportunity currently because every morning, there are many kwai los having breakfast there and I don't want to look jakun.

Behind this building are the satelitte buildings. They are all built like homes and it looked like a huge mansion. Inside these buildings are the hotel rooms.

The rooms usually have a small living room with a sofa and TV. There's also a kitchenette with dishwasher, fridge, microwave oven and a dining table (see the picture above). There will be a bedroom and a bath, all tastefully placed to make this place cozy and homey like.

Both pictures were taken while I was standing behind the entrance. The second picture shows the bedroom. I have a huge King size bed. Nice! Oh ya.. in my room, just above the TV (if you zoom in) you will see a game controller. I could play Nintendo Gamecube game for a fee. It's expensive.. $6 per hour. Celaka. Anyway, just thought I should mention it.


The picture on the left this was taken from the bedroom to show you the dining table and the entrance. So it is a pretty nice room for US$71 per night. I find the price pretty reasonable especially since I get free broadband. In comparison, Mariott Seoul charges US$200 per night and no free broadband. Broadband in Mariott Seoul cost US$21 for 24 hours. Crap!

Shopping

Today is my 3rd day in Dallas. My Indian colleague advised me that I should do some shopping like buying chips and drinks and bring them to office instead of buying them from the vending machine. She said Americans love to bring food to work so they save money that way. Otherwise, eating out is very expensive.

Wise words..

So I went Target to do my shopping and I bought a few stuff.. one of them is this miniature 6-pack Diet Coke shown here.

I am not sure if you believe me but the Diet Coke in USA taste much, much better than the Diet Coke (aka Coke Light) in Malaysia. Not sure why but it really taste better. However, I usually can't finished a can and this miniature Diet Coke just fits the bill. Behind the Diet Coke are Starbucks coffee. I bought two boxes - one box contain 4 bottles. The black label is Mocha Frappucino. The green one is Minty Mocha Frappucino Limited Edition. I bought a few boxes of Tamales for Mystic Grey.. bought a dozen miniature Pringles and Lays Potatoes chips. Bought a few boxes of microwave food.. All in all, I spent around US$40 on food, chips and drinks. I hope it is money well spent.

Anyway, the reason you see 7 bottles of Starbucks coffee is because as I was transporting the bags of stuff from the trunk to the hotel room, one bag slipped my fingers. Of all bags, it was the Starbucks coffee bag that fell and one of the bottles broke. Celaka.. didn't even get to drink already tumpah...

Winter

I like cold weather. I hate the hot sun. But you know what? I hate winter too.. not because it is cold but because during winter, it gets dark really fast and you can't really do anything when it's dark and too cold. It's something that affected me psychologically. It's 5pm now and already it has started to get dark. I don't even feel like going out to shop. I wanted to buy my winter clothes as winter is approaching but I don't have the mood.

I like to analyze things. I am trying to see if my reluctance to go shopping is due to the dark winter nights or if it was due to the fact that I have to shop alone now. I mean, a year ago, I probably don't mind shopping alone. A year with Anne and I can't bear to do things alone now. How le?

So, let me assure myself by saying it's not Anne who's the factor here. It's the darn depressing winter chills and winter nights.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Warm Seat

Sometimes the kwai los amazes me with their ridiculous ideas. I sat in my colleagues pick up today and guess what? Her car seat has this button that when depressed, will warm the seat! So as you sit in the car, the seat gets warmer and warmer and when it reach one point, it will stop heating it up.

I mean, why would one need such a thing? Do we want a cold car seat back in MY? That would add more cost to the car.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Heavy Heart

I am now sitting here, in my PC room, waiting for the cab driver to come to take me to the airport, countless thoughts running through my head. It's weird. For the first time ever, I feel such reluctance from leaving the country. Anne play the biggest part in this, no doubt, but there are some other things that contribute to this. One of them is the fact that when I return, it will be Loochoomus' turn to leave the country - this time to Bangkok, probably for a the next 5 years. I had a mamak session with him just now and while he looked forward to the new life in Bangkok, he's also feel that our friendship will go the way most friendships divided by distance go - they just fade away. It's bizarre how life always take such a turn. Due to my skeptic nature, I am prepare for events like this - I always tell people that friends come and go - but when one of my best friends and companions are starting a new life in a "galaxy, far, far away", well, it's just affect me in some ways. Guess I am still human.

Anyway, I will miss Anne a lot. This will be another blue Christmas and New Year. And work in Dallas, which I forsee will be full of challenges and pressure, is not helping one bit.

Wish me luck.

Monday, December 12, 2005

3 years

Back in 2003, I started this blog to chronicle my trip to Dallas. This weekend, I will be making another trip there and back at the end of Jan 2006. 3 years. Wow!

Congratulations, Lil' Sis...

My sister married on Saturday, Dec 10.

It was a good wedding, albeit a hectic one for my family.

My thoughts on wedding still stand true, though.

This time, instead of being bombarded with questions like "when are you getting a girlfriend?" or "when are you going to Australia?", I have a new, more friendlier, question: "when's your turn?" in which I gave the response "still too early to tell" and people would leave me alone. Phew. I tell you, it's a good change. At least, I am not so stress during weddings and CNYs anymore. Ha ha..

I'll write about it later.. I hope I have the time.. Very busy with work these days.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Harry

My dog Harry is totally usesless. I don't mind if he's useless, but he's also very stuck up. He's like a cat in a dog skin. Have you heard of dogs who ignore their owners? Only a cat does that. Dogs adore owners. Well, not my dog.

Something hilarious happened yesterday night. It was a cool night after a heavy downpour. The wind was blowing and I decided to open the front door to let the cool air into our living room. I left the door open and continue playing Space Rangers 2. Suddenly, there was a loud bang. The wind blew my wooden door shut. I came out of the room to open it again and saw a cat in the living room. The loud noise woke Harry up and he saw the cat and stared at it for a minute. The cat flew upstairs. Harry realized it's a cat and started barking. The funny thing is, he didn't see that the cat ran upstairs. So there he was, running around our furnitures in circles, sniffing and barking non stop looking for the cat. I think that if it wasn't for the noise from the slamming door, the cat would probably be scratching Harry's balls and he wouldn't have known it. What a hopeless dog!

Just the other day, my sister caught him barking at this drain for almost 15 minutes. He just barked and barked and barked. My sister went to investigate. When he saw my sis investigating the drain, he slowly crept towards the drain. When he found that there was nothing there, then he stopped barking and quietly go back into the house. I mean, he must have caught a rat or something in the drain and without using his brains, just barked non stop even though the object of his attention were already miles away. He has no balls to even walk towards the drain and bark. See la? Hopeless or not?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

NLK

I used to eat lunch with a fellow colleague. She works in accounts. During lunch time, she loves to talk about her husband. She would go.. "my husband is such a nice guy. He would do such nice things for me". Or "my husband is so funny. Yesterday he would .. bla bla.. , "my husband decides to change job..." and so on. It got so bad that I asked other people like Bahija or Emily or Anti Ringgit to join us for lunch so I don't have to suffer alone. Later, all of us gave her a nick name. We called her NLK, which stands for Ngor Lou Kung (My husband). Since then the nickname stuck. She doesn't know about this of course. As the days go by, I began to get bored of NLK and her incessant promotion of her husband. I began to avoid lunches by making up stupid excuses. And as times goes by, we see less and less of each other.

I began to wonder if this is a phenomeneom of the newly wed. Does the bride loves to talk abt their husbands just like some men like to talk about their wives performances in bed? I think it could be true because lately, my good friend rotitelur started telling me all about her husband D. It would be D this and D that. I stopped her one day by reminding her of NLK and she said that it was natural for women to talk about the man they loved. I said I understand the need to talk but I told her that the audience is wrong. A woman should tell all they want about their husband to ANOTHER woman. Not to a man. Just like a man would talk about the performances in bed to another man. It would be inappropriate to talk about their sexual position to another woman, would it?

Rotitelur thinks that the audience does not matter. Women just love to talk abt their husband to anyone who listen, be it a guy or girl. Hmmm... comment?

I hope roti is not offended with this post or with me for telling her to stop talking abt D.

I bet if Anne knew about this, she will say I "small heart" and that I should show more emphaty... aiyoyo...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Good things..

Weather's cool. It has been raining for the past few days. It's wonderful when it rain. It's more quiet and serene.

What better things to do than to go for a nice massage. So, Alpinesis and I decided to go to this Holistic thingy in Bangsar for a massage. It was very relaxing. While I was day dreaming, an old conversation with an old friend came flashing back to me:

Old Friend: "Why wanna migrate? Malaysia not good meh?"

me: "What's so good?"

OF: "Ai.. you don't know how to enjoy.. good things are cheap here.. like, for example a good massage. It's rm60 here. Try to see how much it is in Western country. IT WILL KILL YOU. Anything labour or services cost a bomb there. Do you want to fix your own plumbing? Or assemble your own furniture? Or, gasp! fix your own car?"

me: "Well, at least their food and groceries are cheap."

OF: "BOLLOCKS!... can you get a nice cup of tea for a dollar? I am not talking about those crappy 3-in-1. I am talking about a nice teh tarik with milk and sugar. What about movies? Have you even tried EATING OUT in USA? The tip itself will turn you pale!"

me: "um.. um.. car is cheap!"

OF: "Petrol is not"

me: "Public transport is efficient"

OF: "Try walking to the train station in winter"

me: "There you go! 4 seasons!"

OF: "You have a/c in Malaysia and with the right technician, you can *cough* cut your lektrik bill by half"

me: "FREE MEDICALLLLL"

OF: "40% TAXXXXXXXX"

I give up.

So, something positive about Malaysia in my blog eh?

Perhaps it is the nice rainy weather.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Compliments.. from Bonnie!

Bonnie you know
ringgit ?
Bonnie i think this time your hair cut is nice
Bonnie make u look good
ringgit wow.. two compliments... Thanks..
Bonnie better MUCH better than most of your prev hair cut
Bonnie which makes u look fat
Bonnie :))
ringgit wellllllllllllllllll
ringgit yat fan ching yat fan for
Bonnie ooo meaning?
ringgit last time i stopped going to my regular saloon because i wanna try this Express Cut in Ikano
ringgit express cut = rm12
ringgit but after 4 cuts i didn't like it
ringgit so i went back to my regular lor
Bonnie how much
ringgit rm36
ringgit plus wash
ringgit express cut no wash
Bonnie WAH
Bonnie 36 bucks????????
ringgit ya lor
ringgit so yat fan chin yat fan for
Bonnie so ex
ringgit so maybe i alternate next time
ringgit LOL!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Bonding

This week is relaxing week for me. I took 5 days off from work. Anne took 3 days off. Among some of the activities we did together were a lot of bonding between my family and my friends with her. She came over to my place and we did lunch with my family. Later, she met up with Loochoomus Prime. Yesterday, she met up with Bahija, Anti Ringgit and Miss Peace. All in all, a fruitful week, I must say :)

The 5 days just flew by... I can really understand the phrase "how time flies". It did! One more day and I will be back at work. Sighhh...

Les Mis

I went to see Les Miserables in London in 2002. Les Mis was shown in Palace Theatre, London West End. Palace Theatre hosted Les Mis for almost 18 years. I read somewhere last week that they have changed the venue to another theatre in West End. IMO, this is a sign that Les Mis popularity has dwindled. It was taken off from Broadway. Now West End has changed its venue. Will it be taken off West End one day? If so, then you had better buck up and see it. It is a masterpiece.


p.s. I am testing this picture blogging from within Picasa. From Picasa, choose a picture and click BlogThis! and voila.. I could quickly write some short story based on the picture I chose. Posted by Picasa

Update: I saw in http://www.lesmis.com/ that this year, Oct 8th, Les Mis is celebrating 20th Anniversary. 20 years! WOW!!! Here's the 20th Anniversary picture from the website:

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia

This afternoon, Anne and I went to the National Library. We thought we could spend some quality times exploring The National Library. It was my idea actually. When I was a little boy, father drove me to the National Library every week. I would borrow 2 books each week.. especially books by Enid Blyton. It was a joy and very exciting time for me. My love for reading and to books were cultivated that way.

The old National Library was in this building opposite Plaza Hotel in Jalan Tiong Nam in Kuala Lumpur. It is very accessible. All major buses will pass through this building as it is located in one of the major roads to the city. Then, the library was a big place. There were lots of people going to the library. It was like the next best thing at that time because we didn't have a lot of stores selling books. The most prominent book stores at that time was Antonio Book Stores. How many here have been to Antonio's? There was a branch in Jalan Brickfields and another one in Wilayah Kompleks. I bought lots of Famous Five books from these book stores. With such a limited number of stores, it was not a wonder that the National Library was popular as it was the only source for good English Books.

Then, the government decided to relocate the library to a bigger building. It was moved to Jalan Tun Razak - which is near Istana Budaya (the Cultural Center) and Balai Seni Lukis (Arts Center). I know it makes sense to grouped all these cultural and intellectual buildings together but at that time it was a stupid decision. There are NO buses going to Jalan Tun Razak. One need a car to get to the National Library. How could students like me, then 15 year old, get to the library? It's not even within walking distance.

The number of readers to the library dropped. Nobody bothers to go there anymore. People just don't read anymore. Luckily, there were other bookshops popping up - Times and mph. But books are too expensive. Only the middle class and above could afford them. What did I do? I joined the British Council as they have a very good library. British Council is located near Daya Bumi, again at a major road to the city with lots of busses.

Just last week, Anne and I passed through the National Library. The building is huge. It must hold lots of treasures. I was curious. I wanted to satisfy my urge to see what the old National Library that I used to hang out looked like. So I suggested that we go visit one day.

And so here I was...

I could sum up my experience in one word: DISAPPOINTMENT.

The National Library is a disgrace! It's like over the years, they have not had any new books. The place was huge.. yes.. but the number of books it hold were so small in comparison. I mean, even Kinokuniya or Borders houses more books that Malaysia's National Library!!! When I walk into Kino, I have the "wow.. I could spend the whole day here!" feeling. Walking into the NATIONAL LIBRARY, I had a "there's nothing here to read! I want to be out of here asap!" feel.

If this is the state of the National Library, I can't imagine how the school library looks like.

Malaysia (and fellow Malaysians), I feel so sad for us...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Nokia 6021

I have been using my old blue screen Nokia for 3 years. I bought the 6510 in Oct 2002. That phone is a true business phones. It has a lot of capabilities - Folder management, lots of SMS storage, lots of Address Book storage, GPRS, FM Radio, compact size. I never had a reason to change until yesterday.

I bought a Nokia 6021 for rm600. It has all the above plus TRI-BAND, 65k colour, polyphonic and Bluetooth (well.. minus the FM Radio). I need this phone when I go USA in December so I can still keep in touch with Anne. And I hate camera phone. Nokia saved my dilemma by releasing this Nokia 6021. It has all the features of a true business phone, minus the camera and thus, making it affordable. If you wanted a no-frills Nokia, get the 6021. It has a nice solid case with a leathery-no-slip case at the back so this phone feels tough and classy.

Update: Just wanted to say that there is another version called Nokia 6020. It's the same design. The only differences is that 6020 comes with camera and NO Bluetooth. 6021 comes with Bluetooth and NO camera. Nokia is catering to their customers' needs (at last!) .. :D

Monday, October 03, 2005

Nu Skin

In year 2003, I went to USA for business and pleasure. I spent almost 7 weeks in USA. When I came back, I noticed that the side of my face, just below the ears, started to develop acne. It became bad. My friends asked what happened. AR claimed that it is the dryness of the country that contributed to this outbreak. He recommended a famous skin doctor near where I work. This skin doctor has treated AR, bahija, rotitelur and a lot of our friends. I went to see her. The doctor said that I have oily skin and that I should stop using whatever cleanser I was using (at that time, I was using Dove and Kao Biore).

She gave me a cleanser and an acne lotion. And her cleanser was not those expensive ones that most of the girls used. My cleanser cost me RM20 and it lasts for 3 months! How’s that for economy? It’s even cheaper than Kao Biore.

Within a year, I was healed!

I remember thinking to myself that I don’t have to use the acme lotion anymore. I remember putting the spare lotion aside.

Then something happened. My friends noticed that I had dry skins on the cheek and the jaw. They claimed that it is the cleanser I was using. It’s too dry they said. Bahija and Miss Peace tried it before and they were horrified that it was so dry.

Then Alpinesis also commented that my skin was peeling. He sells Nu Skin part time and recommended me the moisturizer and a scrub. He has been trying to ask me to try the products but I always say no. I mean, in my mind, the skin specialist, a doctor, should be a better judge than these multi-level pyramid scheme salesman. Right? I mean, people studied to be a doctor… what’s more a skin specialist (which meant a few more years of study and practice). I told him that the doctor said I have oily skin. Why should I need moisturizer. He said trust him. He quoted many of his customers’ testimonials. Bla… bla...

But, after hearing all these negative things, I succumbed to the multi-level-pyramid scheme product.

I tried Nu Skin moisturizer for a month. Instead of moisturizing me, the damn thing causes outbreak! I was healed except for some dry skin. Now, I am back to 2003 era. Pimples are popping out at the side of my face!

Quickly I stopped using the product and consulted the skin doctor. She reprimanded me for using the moisturizer. I said but I have dry skin. Obviously it could be your cleanser too. She said the dry-ness is due to being in hot sun or being in an a/c room, not the cleanser. I believe her.

I curse the day I succumbed to a multi-level product. Say NO to Nu Skin! Celaka product.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Cast of characters

I believe I should have a cast of characters of the people whom I talked about frequently in my blog. I will also put a link to this post to the left so whenever you wanted to know about them, just look it up.

People whom I worked with
1. Bonnie
She appeared in a few posts. She made her debut in this post titled, appropriately, Bonnie. She bought a Christmas tree for the department which is a nice thing but it later turned into a major, major fight fest in Past the Point of No Return.

2. Mr Hog
I have a colleague who just wants everything even though he's not interested in them. Read all about him here.

3. Mr Miser
This guy is big size. His hair is full of dandruff. He has no fashion taste. He should be wearing size XXL shirt but instead he wore size S shirt with holes to work(!). He eats 2 bowls of mee for lunch. His apetite is probably costing him so much that he decided to work in Malaysia, instead of Singapore. He's highly paid but he's damn stingy. Read about his debut here where I learned about him in a cybercafe, then proceed to this post where he hoped that water is free and finally, here, where he kept on submitting entries to win rm50 in a competition.

4. NLK
She was given this name because she loves to talk about her husband. NLK stands for Ngor Lou Kong, which in Cantonese means My Husband. Read about NLK here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Look alike

It's scary how some acquaintance or shopkeepers often mistaken you for someone else because they find that you and the other person look alike. For the past few days, I have had 3 people mistaken me for, OF ALL PEOPLE, Anti-Ringgit! I mean, if they mistaken me for Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp, I can still sleep but to think that anti-ringgit and I are somewhat related is giving me nightmares. Of all people! Come onnnn! I feel so embarrass!

Just today, I went to Optic Cinta, an optometry shop, and the owner stared at me and said "wow.. you have a belly already. Did you start drinking beer?". I answered, "No wor, I am always, um, big size." He was puzzled. Then it dawned onto him. He said "Ohh.. I thought you were the other guy.. he's your brother ah?" I knew who he's talking about and quickly replied, "He's so yong sui.. how do we even look alike?". We both laughed out loud.

Last week, in the lift, this guy from Accounts Receivables asked if I still travel like mad and I told him he has mistaken me for Anti Ringgit! He smacked his head and said oh ya.. you are right! I was thinking about AR.

I am like... DUHHHH! How can you mistaken Andy Lau with Anti Ringgit?

And lastly, the Uncle who owns a yee mee stall in Restauran Yong Leng asked if we were brothers! I told him I have more hair than him.

I don't know.. do I look like AR? Comment please!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

No Name

Apple Computers has a cult following. We know that. Everything Apple does is "The Next Big Thing". When the mac introduces the cool Aqua theme in Mac OS (OS 9, I think), the world was on their knees, oogling on this deliciously good looking theme for an operating system. Then Aqua was replaced by Brushed Metal in OS X. Brushed Metal is very chic.. very industrial-like looking. It was in Mac OS X, it was in iTunes 4.x

Now, iTunes 5 has a new look. This theme has no named yet and people are liking it already. Perhaps Brushed Metal is being replaced? Perhaps not.

Here's a very hilarious account of how Brushed Metal feels being ousted out of a popular application. Read it. You'll be laughing your heads off.
http://daringfireball.net/2005/09/anthropomorphized

Here's an excerpt
(Brushed Metal is the ex-superstar theme while Mike is his Hollywood-like agent):

Brushed Metal: Whatever happened to “Once you go metal, you never go back?”

Mike: Times change, my friend.

Brushed Metal: Who did they go with for iTunes? Not that Unified Title and Toolbar cocksucker…

Mike: No, they got someone new.

Brushed Metal: New?

Mike: Yeah, and he’s hot. Very hot. He looks like Unified with a tan.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

iTunes version 5 and iPod nano

Today Apple launched a new iPod, called iPod nano to replace iPod mini. There won't be any iPod mini for sale anymore. iPod nano is REALLY cool. Check it out in apple.com.

Oh.. please download iTunes 5. It is a major iTunes release!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Shameless Miser

I have talked about this Mr Miser in my department. He rear his ugly head again today. See, as part of the company's drive to improve process simplification, the company has a monthly event. Anyone from any department who could write what he has done to simplify the complex processes can win a cool RM50 cash.

Our Mr Miser, who is dying for the cash, has been submitting entries. Each month, he would have 2 or 3 entries and he would win RM150 cash. This is all nice and fine except that a lot of his entries are activities initiated by other people, which he claimed to be his!

For example, he submitted an entry where he said having weekly informal meeting among the team helped to get messages across. Now, according to people in his team, their informal meetings are just a simple thing of Miser asking each of them if they have any updates. If they don't have updates, Miser would just return to his workstation and sent an email to people that there's no updates. They don't even gather around to meet at all! It could hardly be called a meeting!

Informal meeting was something I started in my team and we usually have really good discussion especially on bringing out issues faced by the team members. I have had feedback from my team that they appreciated this quick 15 minutes meet once a week. It foster teamwork and a feeling of belonging and understanding what the team and department, as a whole, is doing. This is real stuff.. not the "do you have updates?" fake stuff!

Some people said that it's my fault that I didn't submit an entry to win the rm50 price. That's a fair argument.. but why would Miser win the prize for something which are hardly effective in execution?! This is really ridiculous. Bonnie is complaining to the organizer that they are giving out prizes without verifying the effectiveness of the action. Is that simplification then?

Bonnie submitted an entry before on one process which I simplified for the department. She won the rm50 prize. And she donated the money out to buy junk food for the team. Now, that's teamwork. Miser, on the other hand, kept all the money for himself - and he's winning it because it's other people's work.. or other people's ideas!

The funny thing is, the bosses felt that he doesn't deserve it too :P

Update 10/1: Somehow, he must have felt our jealousy and felt real bad so he decided to buy some snack for the team. To his credits, he's generous. He bought the whole team a packet of 10 Mamees..

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Google Talk & Google Desktop Search

Google launched a new instant messaging program called Google Talk.





In addition, check out Google Desktop Search version 2. You will NOT regret installing this!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Express Cut

Someone recommended me to go for this Express Cut in Ikano. It cost rm12 for a hair cut. This concept came from Japan. The idea was that you could have a quick and hygienic haircut in just 10 minutes.

This morning I went to the shop. I have no time for a hair cut and I thought of giving this a try. It’s a small shop with a few hairdressers. You have to line up and wait for your turn. As I was sitting there, a lady came in. She was the rich aunty type. I thought she was coming for a rm12 hair cut and I laughed to myself. It turned out that her maid was having the haircut, not her.

A few minutes later, another aunty came with her maid. Then a nerdy and bespectacled student came. A while later, an old man. Okie.. I said to myself. Obviously I am really out of place here. I felt kinda cheap. I mean, here I was, dressed for work and now I am waiting in line with maids, old man and student. I wished I could just disappear! But I am next in line so I gave it another minute.

The cut was not that bad. It’s cheap and fast.. but the waiting and the take on my dignity is just not worth it.

P.S. This blog was written on MS Word and the Blogger Toolbar for Word. It works like a charm!

Manager's Birthday

Last Friday was my manager’s birthday. The team decided to surprise her. We started collecting money. On that day, we bought 5 stalks of sunflowers and decorated her workstation with balloons. I brought camera to capture the event.

She was struck speechless when she came into the office to see all the decorations. Later we went for Italian lunch and at 3pm we sang birthday song and had two birthday cakes. Someone bought a really special candle. Upon lighting up, the candle blossom like a flower into 6 little candles and it played the “Happy Birthday” tune. It’s really cute.

On our birthdays, boss will always get a cake. It’s almost like a culture. What people do not know is that these expenses come from her own pocket. She can’t claim from the company. So, when it is her turn, we wanted to do something special for her. Unfortunately, not everyone was cooperative. My manager used to manage two teams. This year, she manages our team. For her birthday, we asked for rm20 contribution from people from both teams. Unfortunately, her previous team mates refused to contribute so much. They rather buy their own gifts. Cheaper they said. That made buying present, flowers and cake difficult. A few of us have to top up. Sometimes, I really wonder.. how come people don’t return the favour that other people do for them? Is it really the manager’s responsibilities to buy cakes for your birthday or is it really out of her own kindness? Sometimes, our manager will have party and barbeque in her house. Again these are expenses from her own pocket. I don’t know why but there are colleagues who just like to take things for granted. What a bunch of cheapskate.

Oh well.. there are different kind of people in the world eh?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Blogger for Word toolbar

NEWS! for the paranoia among you who wanted to blog in the office but is afraid to let people know - now you can pretend to type a Word document but you are actually typing a blog. LOL.

What's more, you can use Word's spelling and grammar check to ensure your blog has no spelling mistakes ;)

"Google released this week a Blogger for Word toolbar that lets people post musings directly to their Google Blogger sites from Microsoft Word.

Blogger for Word is a free downloadable plug-in that enables users to easily save a Word document as a post to their Blogger blog without having to open a browser, as well as save drafts of blogs and edit their work offline for later posting.

You need to have a free Blogger account and be using Windows 2000 or higher and Word 2000 or higher."

First Impression

Doctor Love asked about first impression. Here's what I commented in his/her website:

Let's see.. I had had many dates and I personally feel that 1st impression is very important. I am sure the ladies will vouch for this.

Of course, I'd make sure I dress well and proper. No jeans and round neck T-shirts. I would also bring the girl to a really nice restaurant. What's important is that we have ample time to talk.. so the restaurant has to be the atmospheric and quiet type of restaurant where we could talk to find out about each other.

Normally, some couples will go for movies during their first dates. As for myself, I don't believe that we should go to movies. Years ago, I read in the papers that some people went for movies because they have nothing much to talk about during first dates and movies are a good place to escape.

For me, I'd rather much find out about each other than use a movie to mask the fact that we don't have much to talk. Movies can be a 2nd date thingy.

How do I feel during the meeting? Well it depends on the partner and the liking level I have on the girl. If I like her a lot, I tend to be very kan cheong (anxious). I'd try to please her by thinking of interesting things where we can talk about. Sometimes, I lost interest and at those moments I'd be bored.

Do I call them again after our first date? Definitely? I usually give us at least 3 dates to get to know each other before deciding.. That's how it is.

Heh heh.

'Twas a beautiful evening

It was a beautiful Friday evening. As I drove to KL to pick up Anne, the sky turned dark due to an impending thunderstorm. And yet, the sun shone brightly. This contrasting dark sky with a bright sun made all the buildings in KL shone like a shinning star in the midst of a dark cloud. Look at the picture to the right. You can see how beautiful the city is.

Looking back to a week ago when we were all choking at the dust particles from the forest fire in Indonesia, this view is a welcome sight indeed. Makes one appreciate a clear and sunny sky.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Haze blown over to Ipoh

This morning, KL is free of haze... but it's not gone from Malaysia. As you can see, it is now in Ipoh... I hope Droolman bought masks in preparation for this. After a week of being shrouded in perpectual brown-like mist, it is strange to finally be able to see clear sky and beautiful white clouds. Sort-of put one in perspective of the things we took for granted, such as clear air...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wader

So I was eating in the lounge area because it was just too hazardous to eat outside. Opposite me was this Malay lady on her cell. What struck me as strange was her weird accent. Was she trying to be American or British? Or was it just a Malay trying to sound like a foreigner. I mean, come on.. if you want to pretend, show some class. Otherwise, please speak English like a normal Malaysian.

This reminded me of the good old days when I used to laugh at my ex-colleague Joey. Whenever he talked to an Australian on the phone, he would speak in his acquired Australian accent. Instead of water, he said "wader". Instead of Good morning, he said "G'day mike". It has been a source of debate between the two of us. I cringed at the pretentions. He claimed that if he doesn't speak like them, they don't understand him. I am like, whatever.. coz how come they understand me perfectly? At least Joey only puts on the fake accent when he talks to an Australian on the phone. In any other conversation with his local Malaysians, he speaks like a true-breed Malaysians.

Numeronean, on the other hand, puts on the accent irregardless of who he's speaking to. Numeronean is an old friend of mine. He has stayed for 7 years in Australia (for school). Then he came back for a few years but now he's in Australia for good. During the few years when he came back, he'd like to speak with that accent. I remember one particular incident. We were in this restaurant, not very high class but it is an air cond restaurant so it's not too bad. The waiter was a Malay. Our friend asked for a napkin in that "Oh waiter, do you suppose you could get me a napkin, please?" tone. Our waiter looked at him and blinked. He obviously did not understand a word he said. Numeronean repeated the question, this time with a tinge of indignation. The waiter stared again. I interrupted him and said to the waiter "Tissue, please!" He brightens up and went to get us what we wanted. Numeronean started to complain about the sad state of command of English of the waiter. I looked at him and said this is Malaysia. We speak like Malaysian, not Australian. Why do you have to be so pretentious? He said he can't help it. I thought it was just pure bullshit.

I have many friends who studied in other countries for years. Not all of them came back with an accent. They could put up one if they want to. Most of them did not. What about you?

We Are All Going To Die

The haze has worsen. My company is giving out 3M mask to everybody. Even someone as vain as I am is already wearing it. I kiasi...

To give you a perspective.. I went to buy lunch just now. I was standing at the Celcom shop. I almost cannot see the KFC sign/restaurant at the end of the block. That's two blocks away.. almost 300 meters. From Celcom, I could see that the building I worked at is shrouded completely in haze.

We are all going to die.

The mask does not really help. I could breathe in particles even with the mask. My eyes are stinging even though I have been staying indoors. It's not safe indoors because the damn smoke seeped through the doorway into the office.

HELPPPP!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Cough Cough

The haze is worsening. Visibility is almost 1km. Everybody is coughing or on medical leave. Heck, even in the office, a fully air conditioned environment, we can smell the dry, dirty, particles in the room.

I used to think that the haze in March 2005 was bad. Imagine, it was just 5 months ago!!

Today's haze is the worst of the lot. In March 2005, I could barely made out the IKEA signboard from LDP. This morning, I could not see the signboard! Not even the shape. From Penchala Link, I could not even see Anti Ringgit's row of houses! That's like maybe 1km away.

I don't remember hearing about haze when I was in secondary school. Now it's a twice yearly affair! How could life and situation worsen instead of improving?

God, please help us.

Anne's Songs


I'm still sending songs to Anne.. here's the latest updates.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Updates

I feel like I have to write something - at least to update my fellow fans on what's been happening lately. Believe it or not, I am actually busy at work! In between work and Anne, my days seem to fly by. I don't have time for games much less to go out for drinks with friends.

I have bought 3 games in the past 3 months. Original games mind you because we need original games for online play. I have Splinter Cell which I bought to play coop with ZipD. We had fun. But now I should be playing the single player campaign but I just didn't have the time. Recently I bought Battlefield 2, due to urgings from ZipD. Unfortunately I have only spend like an hour in this game. ZipD, the Devil himself, have not been playing too. Celaka. RM100 down the drain. And finally, I bought GTA: SA from amazon. It's with bahija now. Waiting for her to come back. I do hope I can find time for GTA. I love this game.

I have another hobby and that's watching movies. For the past few months, I have watched only 5 movies! I know, I know, I am dating and so why weren't we watching every the movies in town? I have no ideas. I guess we enjoyed each other's company so much we don't have time for movies. LOL! It's ok though. I did watch all the summer flicks.. so I am still up to date.

Somehow or other, for reasons unknown, I have been having a peaceful 2 weekends from The Fly. Phew to that. I don't miss him at all.

On the relationship front, Anne and I are getting along real well. I guess the word is stronger so yeah, our r'ship is getting stronger. She is the one :) She's a really nice girl. I said in one of my previous posts that I wanted to dedicate a post on her. I guess I don't see a point. Words can't describe how wonderful she is. So we'll just leave it at that currently, k?

What else?

Looks like that's all there is to update.

Comments? Ideas?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Belief and Faith

What is the difference between belief and faith? That was one thing I remembered clearly from this week's Alpha. An example was given: there was this guy who has the remarkable ability to walk on tight rope. He has this rope across the Niagara Falls and he could just walk on the rope, cooked egg while on the rope and even wheeled a wheelbarrow across the rope. He was so popular that even one of the famous Dukes in England went to see him perform. So, he pushed the wheelbarrow on that tiny piece of rope and the Duke was amazed. He asked the Duke if he believed that he can do this again? The Duke said he believed. The master-walker said "then hop in".

And this is where the difference between believing something and having faith. Faith is taking the next step, taking an action, doing something.

Today, Loochoomus told me about this shares in KLSE that he's eyeing. He told me all the analysis he made. He asked me to go on this shares with him. I believe him.. but do I have faith in his judgement?

Well, I sold some of my shares and go into this one :D

Monday, July 25, 2005

Yahoo! bought Konfabulator. Giving it out for free!


Good news, fellow readers! Yahoo bought Konfabulator and is giving it out for free.. Now there is NO EXCUSE to not using Konfabulator.

Read about my reviews of Konfabulator.

Go to http://www.konfabulator.com to download version 2.1 which will not have the nagging shareware code.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Alpha

I attended my first Alpha class yesterday. Nicky Gumble's video is really nice and thought provoking. I didn't really like the break out session though. I thought it was boring to hear other people talk and boy, the people in my group loved to talk. The worse thing was the moderator did not know how to moderate and allowed people to yak non stop.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Fly, Part 2

Today, The Fly reared his ugly head again. I am about to loose it if it's not because of being pacified by Loochoomus. I was driving home from Klang when he called me. He said that he has not seen me for a week (I was in SG) and wondered if I wanna come out for a drink. He was with Loochoomus. I said I am driving - besides, I'll be seeing Anne later, so I'll pass. My friend Daniel who was sitting at the passenger seat was sniggering and said that I should have told him off. He said you don't have to let him know your plans. Oh well..

I'm meeting Anne for dinner later. It was 3pm when he called. I still have some time and I decided to go for a drink with ZipD. I wanted to pass the cigarettes that I bought in the airport to his sister. So, we went to Lum Kee for drinks.

We were happily sharing our Battlefield 2 war story when The Fly and Loochomus came into the coffee shop and hit me on the shoulder...

"I thought you said you are looking for Anne?", The Fly accused.

"Later mah", I defended.

"Is this Anne?", he pointed at ZipD. "When has he changed name to Anne?"

I refuse to comment.

He looked at ZipD and asked if he changed his name to Anne.

Both of us did not response.

I wanted to retaliate by saying "do I have to report my doings to you"? but had second thoughts about it because... because... I don't know how why... perhaps I didn't wanna cause a fight between friends because of small matters like this. Perhaps it is really trivial. Perhaps he's lonely and I have pity for him as I know how it feels to be lonely (or do I? Hmmmm..)

But there's bound to be a threshold.

I hope he'll never cross that line.. and that I will never blow up.

Am I being mean? Am I too good, as Daniel has put it? "Em sai tiu hei ge", he said., when he asked me to tell him off.

AI...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Indians

I am going to talk my experience with some Indians. I was going to SG for training this week. I boarded the plane on time and as I was leafing through the Krisflyer magazine, suddenly a young Indian lady stood beside me and said 'excuse me'. I sat at the isle seat so I politely stood up and let her in. Nice pretty girl with big eyes and good figure. Without saying anything, she unslung her bag and gave a feeble attempt to reach for the top compartment where we put our bags. She's almost 5 feet 8.. kinda tall but she didn't really try hard to reach at the compartment so I said "let me help you" and offered to open it for her. She did not look at me nor said anything and then she just passed the bag to me. I looked at her.. she looked back and then just went into the window seat. What the? I threw her back into the compartment and sat down in disgust! What a rude girl. I continued to leaf through and before I knew it, another Indian lady came over. I assumed it was her mother. Again, I stood up, she said nothing and before I could sit back down, the father came and said loudly "can you take this seat?" and pointed at the seat in front. I hesitated, the word "No" is at the tip of my tongue but decided not to make a scene I sat in front. I looked at my colleague and he gave me a "wtf" look.

So I took a nap and the plane took off and at one point, we came across a turbulance. The captain put on the "put on the seat belt" sign. Everybody returned to their seat, except, you guess it, the Indians. It seems there are more than 3 of them. They Family is scattered all over the planes. All I need to do is to look up and I see Indians standing or talking loudly all over the airplane. It's like they own the air plane or something.

This reminded me of the trip to Egypt where a family of Indians made a scene during dinner and almost end up fighting with a couple of Caucasians. I believe that was my first encounter with Indians. Seems like they like to travel in a big group and think that they own the world. My other bad encounter with Indians was the day I was watching a movie with Anti Ringgit.. we were lining up to buy ticket at TGV. Guess what? An Indian couple (and I am not talking about Malaysian Indians here), just walked right up to the counter, cut the whole queue and started buying! It wasn't a long queue and the couple who was supposed to be next was busy chatting to notice so nobody said anything... but I was aghast at their audacity and rudeness!

Anyway, back to my story. So these Indians were yakking and shouting from the right window across to the other window. I'm amazed that nobody complained. I guess it's because the trip to SG is short and nobody wanted to make a scene. So, all of us sufferred in silence.

As the plane started to descend and the seat lights belt is on again, our friends are still standing around. The air stewardress called to them, "Sir, please sit down." The man sat down and then 5 seconds later, he stood up again. The plane is about to touched down. "Sit down, sir" shouted the air stewardress as she unbuckled and came towards him. He sat down and stood up again. Did he has piles or something up his ass, I wondered out loud. The air stewardress gave up. The plane touched down and a few of our friends started to stand up to open the compartment. Can you believe it? The plane just touched down like 5 seconds ago!! Goodness!

The stewardress was probably pulling her hair out as she shouted from behind again "Sir, please seat down and wait for the plane to stop before taking your things." The man finally sat down. His family started giggling and laughing and talking out loud. I don't know what to say. I try to think that I am not a racist, but I can't help to think that this is somehow their culture. Those Indians who could travel are rich and therefore they think everbody is of a lower caste.

As I was recovering, I remembered that I have to meet rotitelur and her Indian husband on the same night.. I really wonder how rotitelur can stand Indians... :D

Friday, July 08, 2005

Can I ask you a favour?

Yesterday Bonnie came over to me and, I quote, said "Can I ask you a favour?". Woooo hooo.. See? I told you so. She wanted me to help her buy Avent baby products because I will be going to Singapore next week. Mua hahahaha.. Of course, I will buy it for her. I am nice... but it's just that somebody is eating their own words. LOL.

Google Earth

Google's Labs have been coming out with lots of cool tools lately: Blogger, Gmail, Desktop Search, Google News, etc. I was fortunate enough to be able to download their newest tool, Google Earth (there were too many downloads for the past few days so Google have stopped the download request).

Google Earth is a tool for you to type in an address and it will be able to zoom in from the globe of the earth down to the actual building. Imagine being able to see the places you have been or the places you are staying (at least for USA and UK currently) down to the actual building! It's amazing.

Take a look:

There are more sites at Google Earth such as the Golden Gate bridge or Grand Canyon. Beautiful.
http://earth.google.com/sites/

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Fly

I have a friend who loves to look for me. He could have stayed miles away or in a faraway land and yet he would still drive all the way just to ask me out for a drink or breakfast (he stays in Sentul for those who are familiar with KL areas). Previously, he used to come early Saturday morning to my house, waited for me downstairs for half an hour or so, just to do breakfast together. How ghey is that? If he's not married with a kiddo and is expecting another one, my parents would have thought us a couple.

The worst thing of this strange relationship is that I have ZERO topics of interest to talk to him. Whenever he come, I'd make sure Loochoomus or someone is around. Otherwise I'd die of boredom. Seriously, there is nothing to talk. And his bored face will demotivate even the most excited child. Think of the kind of effect it will have on me. Everytime we met up I wish I would just disappear. I started hallucinating. I wish I am on drugs so I can be at least a little bit happier - yes... it is *that* bad!

Like ZipD said, at least DogBone has topics to talk. This guy is totally boring! I think the word bore is actually an acronym of his real name.

There were many times I avoided him, you know, not picking up the calls or not returning any missed call. He just didn't get it. I even told him off to his face. Nada. No result. Sometimes, going out breakfast on Saturday, I would put on a real pissy face just to show him how reluctant I was to be woken at 9am on a Saturday morning. Nothing works.

Then I met Anne. I thought I was saved. I thought he would at least understand. But that fucker went and quit his job and from being bored at his life (with a full time job), he's now almost bored to death because of too much time at home. Really.. imagine someone who has ZERO interest in life (no hobbies, no interest, no life, bla bla) and now he is at home 24x7! Of course he's bored. Of course he'd start calling me.. now EVEN on week days! Wo de tian ahh!!!! Someone please help me.

Tonight while I dating, the fucker called me. I silenced the phone. He called again. I switched off phone in disgust. And guess what? My sister told me he called my house! How ghey is that? People are dating, so stop calling, you prick! Before I move (to the new house), he would even come to my place without calling in advance. He'll just ring the door bell. I become traumatic when I hear the door bell. It's him.. no no no no no.. it's himmmm!

So, sometimes he would show up, right? And I'd be playing online games with ZipD or playing a single player game. He would sit beside me and just stare at the screen. Then he would put on a bored face. He would stare and be bored. Then he would move a bit here.. a bit there, as though being uneasy and uncomfortable and trying to tell me to stop playing so we could go out. Sometimes I feel bad. But when I think that going out = getting 10 times as bored at mamak, I put on my "ignore mode". I tell myself I am alone in my room. He's invisible. Let me play my games in peace. He will go away soon, oh please do go away.

My friends said I am cruel. You are single and have all the time in the world. So, accompany him a bit lar since the rest of us have family and have no time. Fine. I can accept that. I have endure it for so many years, after all. But the situation has changed. And I draw the line tonight! Seriously! Fucker.. STOP CALLING ALREADY!!!!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Religious Freak

Dr Love's blog is getting very popular these days. There were lots of hits and many people were pouring out their heart. There's this particular person who called himself Religious Freak who seemed to have an exact dilema that I had. Dr Love and Bahija thought I AM Religious Freak. I am not. I don't have to. Anne and I talked about this even before we started and we both agree that this will not be an issue. In this way, I am way luckier than Religious Freak, whoever you are.

Good luck man...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Blogger Images Part 2


I found this picture in My Pictures directory. Now, while I still remember the popularity of the teddy bear, I can't, no matter how hard I try, recall this particular toy. Who did it belong to? How did that person receive this toy? Perhaps rotitelur can help me remember. Or maybe Anti-Ringgit since he was still with our department at that time.

And if you are wondering what the heck am I doing with these pictures, there's a short story behind all this. Back in 1999, my company bought a webcam. I was experimenting with the webcam and were looking for appropriate models. What was more suitable than all these toys lying around people's desks? So we 'kidnapped' these toys and force 'em to pose for the camera. Heh heh heh.

So please enlighten me on this particular toy. Thanks.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Blogger Images


Blogger has a new button to easily upload image on the Compose window. We don't need the program Hello anymore. It is as simple as creating a link. Take a look at the quick tutorial here.

This will make picture blogging more fun! With just one click I can even determine if the image should appear on the left, right or center. For the purpose of this test, I uploaded this image to the right of my text. Notice how my text are appearing on the left of this image, much like how one would lay it out in a newspaper.

This image was taken using a webcam back in 1999. The teddy bear belonged to an ex colleague, Joey. His trainee gave him the doll when her assignment with the company ended. This doll, I don't remember her name, was an instant hit among the ladies. They would all come to Joey's workstation to marvel at her, gushing incomprehensible, adoring words and drooling all over her. I sometimes wonder if they were really drooling at the doll or at Joey. She was a hit among the guys too. We would peek underneath the dress (OF the doll, not the ladies.. hehehe) . Sadly, there's nothing to see.. LOLZ :D

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Alpha and Synchronicities

Sometimes synchronicity scares the shit out of me. Bahija talked about her personal experience here.

This evening, I attended Alpha course to gain some "heart knowledge". Today was the Introductory session. I bathed and was ready to leave the house when mom told me I have a card. I looked at the card - familiar handwriting, USA postage, 80 cents ... connected the dots and voila, it was from bahija! Came one day early! What timing. Thank you bahija. So, your smallest credit card charges ever was to buy stamps for this? Wow... :D

That was one synchronicity.

I reached the church and the priest was asked to give an introduction. Father Simon looked like Habibi with retro hairstyle and 100 pounds more. It's uncanny. It's unbelievable. This is the other synchronicity.

Sometimes, I am just so humbled.

Probably bahija is the only person who understands today's post.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

postsecret.blogspot.com

Every once in a while I stumbled upon blogs that are just so amazing. Postsecret is one of them. In this blog, people send home-made postcard with their most deepest secrets written on it to this guy, Frank, who will scan the postcards and put them on his blog. His blog is made up of artistic postcards of people's secrets, so it is very easy to read. It's astounding to see all kinds of deep secrets people have. What are yours?

Ross (anti-ringgit), maybe you wanna send a postcard of your secret to Postsecret.. Oh on second thought, don't bother. We all know what it is anyway.. :D

Friday, June 17, 2005

What M$ Didn't Tell You

Do you know that you cannot have the font effect called strikethrough in M$ PowerPoint?
Something as simple as that is not available in PowerPoint. WTF?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Medical Leave

As a team lead, I am always the first person my team contact whenever they could not report for work due to being sick or given the day off by the doctor. I work with a team of 12 people. Normally I would get a SMS or a phone call by the person who could not make it to work.

These days, whenever I hear the standard Nokia sms tone, I'd start guessing who's the person who could not make it. Most of the time I was right. There seemed to be a disturbing trend, especially among the Malays, to call in sick. In my team, we have 2 Malays. The number of medical leave these 2 took over the past 6 months is twice as much as the combined medical leaves of the 10 non-Malays. I am not being racist or anything. The facts speak for itself. I am sure most Malaysian will understand the context I am coming from.

Today, the Malay man told me he had a bad cough and was taking cough medicine so that was why he could not make it. How lame is that?

In retrospect, some of my kwai lo colleagues have the weirdest ailment too. Some took the day off because their dogs puked all over the floor. Others have dentist appointments. Yet others are taking the day off because the plumbing failed. I don't know about you but when I go see the dentist, I do it on the weekends. When I have plumbing problems, I fixed it myself or if the plumber have to come, I'll arrange for him to come on a Saturday.

But see, the kwai lo-s.. while they are "lazy", are efficient when they do come to the office to work. They are focus and they produce results. I can't say much about my two "medically" ill colleagues.

Sometimes, it is no wonder why Malaysia is so slow in our progress when compared to the other countries Down South and Down Under. Can we achieve developed country status by 2020? Looking at the number of medical certificates on my table, I can bet you my ass that we will never reach there because most of the people would have died due to common flu. Ha ha haaaaaaaaaaa.. Good luck Malaysia.

Monday, June 13, 2005

World of Feng Shui

Based on my birthdate, here's what WOFS.com says about me - that I am a male Ox with Water Element:

"Your animal sign is Ox
Your year name is Kway Chou

The Understated Ox Gentleman.
Hard and tough, strong and silent, a planner who plots his stratagem, you are the man who thinks before speaking. You are very sure of yourself and clear about what you want out of life. At times, you would come across as unfeeling and your sense of disdain for others too apparent. Your serene composure and modest exterior makes others misjudge you, as you are brilliant and easily able to assume leadership mantle. You are not very chatty, less flashy and visible though you know what you are talking about because you are widely read and intelligent enough to understand what you read. You are not particularly warm, loving or sentimental with matters of the heart but you are loyal to those you love. You also respond positively to intelligent and knowledgeable people. You like people who are sure of themselves and can communicate clearly. For you, actions speak volumes. You dislike possessiveness in a mate but you are very protective or your family.

The Water Male Ox
First impression may project you as uninteresting, slow and ponderous but your Ox character shines through with grand designs and less determined force. You are more laid back than your Ox brothers but you are more realistic and sensitive to other views. "

HMMMMM......... to people who know me, do you think this is accurate?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Anne's Birthday

I wrote this blog a few days ago after Anne's birthday but I hesitated to publish it. I guess I'm afraid that my friends will get all "cold" and "geli" - that's the type of feeling one gets when they hear some lovey-dovey story. Some will even puke. You know who you are :D

I received numerous requests (well, if you considered 2 as numerous) from mystic and kimmikanuyi to reveal what I did for her birthday. Again, I hesitated but after hearing feedback from people that it's not laughing material but that it was a sweet of me to do what I did, I decided to post it today.

Can't wait to hear your comment. LOL!

******* start *******

I am not working today. I took Monday as the replacement leave for Agong's (the King) birthday. You see, whenever a holiday falls on a Saturday, I have a choice of taking a replacement holiday either on the preceding Friday or the upcoming Monday.

Today is also Anne's birthday. She could not take the day off because she has the books to close. The due date is tomorrow and she absolutely have to finish the report by today. It sucks, I know, but what to do. Anyway, I'll be celebrating with her later in the evening.

I spent the whole morning watching Friends Season 9 DVD which I bought a month ago from amazon.com but never had a chance to see it. Friends is still as hilarious as ever. I laughed until my eyes watered. I will miss these guys.

During lunch, an idea popped into my head. I would like to give Anne the card with just a stalk of a really nice and big red rose. But then, would one rose be too cheap? Should I get her a bouquet? I have done that before and getting another bouquet may not be so original anymore. So, what else can I do? Then something struck me. It's brilliant!! I spent the remaining mid morning/ afternoon in Kepong shopping for:

1. 20 beautiful roses from a florist in Kepong Desa Kompleks.
2. Six pieces of mahjong papers.
3. Birthday card and gift (well.. I bought these a week ago.. hehehe..)

Here is a picture of the roses. Aren't they beautiful?
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So, after driving around and sweating in the hot afternoon sun, I reached home and started trimming the roses. I need some of the "batang" so I have to cut them. Here's the result of my work. Notice the mahjong paper and the birthday card.
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Then I started work. I spread the mahjong paper on the floor. I pluck the leaves off the roses and started to arrange them on the paper. The idea here is to make some really lovey, dovey words from the roses. After all, she made me this. Here's the result... the picture below is taken on the floor of my study:
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Do you feel puke-ish yet? Hang on there. You'll definitely puke later.

When the time come to pick her up, I put my work in my car boot. Somehow I have to think of some way to get her to open up the car boot. Here's the result of my beautiful artwork in the car boot. Did you notice the present and the nice purple candle on top of it? The idea is that since we would be stuffed after dinner, why not use the gift as a "cake" and let her blow the candle after I sing the "Happy Birthday" song to her. Am I a romantic or what?
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Needless to say, she was totally BLOWN away!!!!

Cost of roses = RM30
Cost of mahjong paper = RM1.80
The look on her face when she opened the boot = PRICELESS!!!! :D

She kept starring at the car boot for like, a good 15 minutes. I can guarantee you that this was the best birthday she ever had.

Now, how do I top myself next year? Suggestion please......

******* end *******

Blogging at KLCC



Blogging at KLCC. Anne is working today to finish up some report. I am also supposed to finish my certification package which is due on June 15th. My boss has been chasing me to death for these documentations. As a technical person, I hate documentation.

Anyway, so I decided to bring my notebook, sat in Starbucks KLCC to complete the damn thing. Knowing me, I was distracted. I have Internet access in KLCC. And it only cost RM5 per day! It's so simple. All I have to do is send a SMS to Maxis and they will reply me via SMS with a userid and password. With this userid/password, I could connect wirelessly through Maxis for the WHOLE day! Yup, the service end at 12am on the same day. It is FAST coz it is now a paid service (compared to a free service like in 1 Utama). It's cheaper than any cybercafe. Good old Maxis.

Boy, was I surprised when I logged into my gmail. I have so many comments on my blog from my friends! And rotitelur updated her blog after 4 months. I wish she could blog more so we know what is happening to her life too.

The picture above was taken a few months ago. The iPod belong to anti-ringgit. We wanted to take an iPod with KLCC as the background to be posted in ipodlounge.com's iPod Around The World gallery. Posted by Hello

Update: a kwai lo came over and asked if I am accessing the Internet? I said yes. He used his finger and did circle in the air saying, are you doing it wirelessly. I looked at him and I said yes it is on wireless (in my heart, I am thinking, do you see any wires? :P). He asked if it's free and I said well, some shopping complexes are free (like 1 Utama) but in KLCC it cost $5 per day. He asked if it's USD$5? I said no, RM5 for the whole day. He was blown AWAY. So cheapppppp? Then he thanked me and walked in daze. I bet he's kicking himself for not bringing his iBook over. LOL.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Ashamed of my friends...

A conversation with DroolMan (abridged):

DroolMan says:
ot questions
Ringgit says:
shoot
DroolMan says:
i have been reading your blogs, you really spend a lot of time on it
Ringgit says:
you do? oh. thx.
Ringgit says:
ai.. i dun write everyday lar.
DroolMan says:
and i was wondering, why have you *never* shown Anne to the guys?
DroolMan says:
even though you have been dating for so long
DroolMan says:
and seeing how Anne is so important to you
Ringgit says:
hmm.. i'm thinking.. is this a blog topic? lol
DroolMan says:
could be
Ringgit says:
well.. there is no reason lar
DroolMan says:
then?!
Ringgit says:
it's just that there's no correct timing
Ringgit says:
i dunno..
DroolMan says:
i mean, you have been dating like what, 4 months?
DroolMan says:
and in that period of time you didn't even bring her along with your outings with ZipD, Miss Peace, DogBone and YY??!
DroolMan says:
i was beginning to wonder if you are ashamed of show Anne who your friends (us "seniors") are
DroolMan says:
just like how ZipD refused to allow Miss Peace to drink with us at mamak stall in the early dating/marriage years
Ringgit says:
that's not true wor..
Ringgit says:
it's like this.. i dun see ZipD/Miss Peace as much anymore..
Ringgit says:
it's not like our younger days when we have more 'outings' / mamak sessions. everybody work late and it's kinda difficult to get the right time for everybody. What shld i say? "Let's all go out for a movie this weekend?" .. kinda strange and awkward.
DroolMan says:
yah but seeing your blogs, anne turns out to be THE ONE and usually this justifies a reason to show your friends who she is and also show anne your circle of friends
DroolMan says:
i asked Miss Peace have you shown anne to them and she said no, she asked ZipD, and ZipD being ZipD, it's his gf, if we are important to him to show, he will do it
DroolMan says:
the same thing he said about DogBone's engagement
DroolMan says:
which led to a fallout
Ringgit says:
hmm..
Ringgit says:
well.. i wanted to show her to our friends during Episode 3 but we couldn't make it
Ringgit says:
so it is not me being ashamed or anything but rather waiting for the right opp
DroolMan says:
so make it a point lah and bring her out to meet with the gang
DroolMan says:
i am sure if you ask them to meet, they will sure come one
DroolMan says:
some more everyone is in kepong
Ringgit says:
true.. i am guessing it is not a biggie lor..
Ringgit says:
i mean for me..
DroolMan says:
wei! biggie ok
Ringgit says:
but u r rite.. to ZipD, Miss Peace, DogBone, YY.. it may be a biggie
DroolMan says:
at least to us, we have been bugging you to find a gf and now you found your soul mate, we want to be a part of that process and see her also
Ringgit says:
u see, to me it is not a biggie because u guys already went through all these.. in fact.. u r in higher stages.. already like being father and such
Ringgit says:
so me dating Anne is like child's play in comparison
DroolMan says:
anyway, like i said, you cannot assume that just because we have gone through it, we are not keen to know about your progress
DroolMan says:
it is always a new perspective when someone goes through the experience of sharing love
DroolMan says:
take my word for it, make it a point to show anne to the gang, i am sure they will appreciate that you're sharing the news about you two with them
DroolMan says:
i am grateful that you told me about her at least when i read your blog, i could relate to your topics and appreciate your thoughts in the "stories" that you tell

*** end ***

Was I ashamed of my friends? I don't think so. I talked about them to Anne all the time. It's just that I've not brought her out to meet them. I brought her home to meet my parents, so why not meet my friends?

I have no answers at that time of our conversation. Today, I have put some thoughts into this and have analyzed my subconscious action. The answer is simple. I am a very private person and have always been. I remember one conversation I had with ZipD years ago. He complained that I never told him what I did or where I was going or who I met. All I said was, "I'm not free coz I am meeting a friend." No friend's name. No mention of meeting place. ZipD, on the other hand, will start telling you in details who he's meeting, where they are meeting, the exact time of the meeting, what they plan to do, etc. DroolMan would go into the same level of detail. That's why they could not comprehend why I didn't go into details and why the secrecy. Like I said, it's my private self. I have changed since then. I will tell him (and my other friends who called) where I am and who I am with but deep down inside I always wonder if they really care who I am out with or what I am doing.

My private self resulted in me not calling my friends or asking them out. If you know me, you would attest to this strange behaviour. The day I called you on the phone is like the day the moon turned blue. They know this. So they are the one who call or they are the one who stopped by my house and asked me out. I am a strange man. So, even after meeting Anne, I am still behaving like my own self - I still don't call people out.

Another reason could be due to all my failures in the past. Why bother to introduce the girl when it usually didn't work out anyway. Granted things are very different with Anne now but I am thinking that perhaps the ghosts of the past are still haunting me. So again, I work on this :)

I still also stand by what I said earlier that there wasn't any real opportunity to meet up. I mean, I can't ask Anne to meet my friends for the very first time in mamak where everybody is in their worn-out t-shirts and smelly shorts. It reminded of one blind date that Tai Lo wanted to set me up. Instead of having it in some air conditioned restaurant for dinner, he set me up with the date on a Saturday morning for breakfast! The venue was Restaurant Lim Kee, your typical coffee shop with 5 hawker stalls and lots of heat, grim and dirt. What sort of sane person would set up blind date like that? It spelled D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R right before I even meet the potential girl. That's Tai Lo for you. Insensitive!

Of course, like DroolMan said, it is an excuse. If I were to ask ZipD and wife out for a dinner in 1 Utama or Montes to meet up with Anne, they would have cheered. So, yeah... I'll work on it. OK?

What are the advantages of CarPlay over traditional Bluetooth?

Readers of this blog knows that I am a die-hard Apple fan - so much so as even appearing cultist and fanboism. They also know that the reaso...