Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year, everyone!

Ok, year in review..

2008 is the first year as married man. It's a year of 'doing everything together' - more so now than during courting time. It's the year of spending lots of time with the family (hers and mine). We went to UK and Paris for honeymoon. We tried and succeeded in conceiving a baby. We had our differences and we triumphed over them and became closer soulmates as a result.

It's a year of being more serious about my Buddhist practice. I spoke to two people about Buddhism and they started chanting - which is a good thing. I am praying that they will find happiness out of this practice for self and others and I pray that they come out victorious in life.

It's also a year of trials - as I worked with a new boss and a new team and a lot more focus and visibility to my role.

It's a great year.. although not as exciting as 2007 (*) but definitely different, a year of learning and self discovery.

(*) I realized I didn't blog about 2007 at all.. it was a truly busy (with work) and exciting year (with wedding and furnishing the house). It's not a surprise that there was no update in the blog.

I am insane!

Yes. I admit it. I AM INSANE! I just could not resist the Steam Sale. I bought Trials 2 for $2.50 after reading this review and seeing this YouTube video:




More on Trials 2 here.

P.S. I don't even know why I blog about gaming here, knowing full well my readers have no interest in games.. what the heck.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Can you believe it?

I can't believe that Steam is having a sale! Everything at a discount! There are just too many good deals there but just not enough time to play! The kiasu-ching inside me is screaming BUY BUY BUY - fortunately I am more sane than that. I didn't get anything this time. I can always wait for next year's sale :P
But seriously, there are some really good deals! Bioshock and Portal for $5 each! Rainbow Six Vegas for $18. Mana mau cari???

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You know times are bad when...

... you hear a group of people singing "Happy Birthday" in Jusco Food Court!
Normally, a group of friends would celebrate another friend's birthday in glamour diner like Friday's, Hard Rock Cafe, Modesto's or even Secret Recipe. This afternoon, while eating at Jusco Food Court, I was surprised to hear a bunch of people singing Happy Birthday and clapping loudly......... hmm... I guess, it makes financial sense to eat "chap fan" for birthday lunch..

Monday, December 22, 2008

Succumb to sales

The female species is a sucker to sales, especially year end type with loads of discount. When my friends heard of sales, they acted as though they were possessed.. all they see are %, % and $, $.

My own weakness is when there is a sale on top games... just like this weekend. There's 75% discount on 2007 Game of The Year. It cost US$5 - FIVE bucks! I just can't resist! I feel so weakkkkkkkkkkkk!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Followers

I just added a gagdet on the right of this blog called "Followers" (it's below the Archives) .. if you are my fan, please click it :D

Facebook or not

Humans are social animal. We can't live like a hermit. We need to have friends and people. But the strange thing is, we shun away when there are too many friends and people. Case in point - one of the challenges of blogging in anonymity is that you can't share personal stuff like photos because what is the point of sharing these with strangers. When I found facebook, I stopped blogging because I could share so much more with people I know in FB.

Then came the new found friends in FB. Acquaintance and people from work start adding you. Even people whom you don't really know but whom nod your head when you see them on the walkway in the office add you as friends. My FB is now almost like a public forum and I just don't feel comfortable "doing things" in FB.

For example, I can't say in my status updates that I am playing games.. or I bought this games, or I am addicted to that games because, come on, let's face it - there are subordinates, colleagues and even managers who are in my Friends list. What would they think if Ringgit has so much time that he spent playing games instead of logging to work from home - yes, I know my private time is my own, but why invite trouble?

So I have reduced my updates in FB and instead came snuggling back to the comfort of being anonymous. He he

Anniversary - Revisited

Two of my friends commented that they attended my wedding dinner on Dec 29th last year. So how can my anniversary falls on 18th Dec? Very good observations, I have to say. Dec 18th was the day we signed the document at Registra of Marriage in PJ. Dec 29th was the dinner, Dec 30th was the ceremony. There are so many dates to remember that we agreed to use Dec 18th as our official date - since it is a legally approved date. So that's the explanation :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

1st Anniversary!

Wow.. time flies! Today is our wedding's first anniversary! Can't believe how one year just flew by! It has been a blissful year, all things considered. Can't wait for the new addition to the family. I bet there will be more colours and joy :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What I have been playing


Baby girl

I'm happy to say that we will be expecting a baby girl next May! The recent scan from the doctor confirmed that. Of course, the doctor said that it's not 100% accurate and she could turn out to be a boy but it is very likely.

Every time I tell people about the gender, the response is "is this what you want?". Well, for me, I am ok with both but I personally prefer a girl as a first born. A girl would be able to take care of the family and the siblings in the future. And a girl is closer to her father (I know, selfish reasons.. LOL). But I also know, my duty as the only son in the family, would be to have a boy, to carry on the heritage. I wonder if my parents would mind? Don't know for sure. Nevertheles, my secret wish has come true.. he he he..

So what should I name her? Anne?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

GTA 4


On Dec 2nd, I had to pull strings to get a friend to send me this game as a Gift via Steam. If she bought it before it was officially release on Dec 3rd, I get Grand Theft Auto: Vice City free. I have to teach her how to order the game online through a series of screenshots. The things I do to get original copies... looks like this year was a year I spent a lot on original games! I think it should last me till next year :) I upgraded my PC in July solely for this game. I didn't expect it to be ported to the PC this year. What a pleasant surprise! Gaming bliss!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Left 4 Dead


I am hooked to this game.

I have not even finished Fallout 3 and now I am hooked to this one! This is different from Fallout 3 in the sense that it is a cooperative multiplayer. You play online with 3 friends and shoot zombies. Very tactical. Very fun.. and it's by Valve - so you can expect the quality of a Valve game.

Reviews here.

Yuen

Hmm.. yesterday I posted the importance of 'yan yuen'.. yesterday evening something funny happened. Let me share.

I do lunch with Monica. Sometimes she would asked her team members to join us. There was this new team member that we went out lunch two or three times. Her name is Eunice (not her real name).

Yesterday morning I met Eunice as I was walking towards my workstation. I said hi, she said hi. Later in the evening, on my way back, we bumped into each other in the lift.

"Eunice.. what a coincidence!", I exclaimed.
"I think it's not coincidence.. more like we are both hardworking", she sighed.
"Actually maybe we have yuen (fate)".

After I said that, there was a tense silence. There were people in the lift but I don't think they heard us talking or anything.

The lift came to a stop at Concourse. Eunice turned to me, face red and said "I think it's not yuen because you are married already..". I was caught by surprise and said "Friends also can have yuen what".. I think she didn't hear me as she dashed out of the lift.

Hmmm.. funny or not?

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Yan yuen"

Mrs Wong told us that aside from praying for a happy, healthy and smart child, we need to pray that this child will have good "yan yuen". "Yan yuen" in Cantonese means have a good relation with people. She thinks it is very important for a person to be able to build good relationship naturally. She cited one 5 year old kid at her school - he came from a poor family - therefore this child is very dirty, dressed shambily, dark skinned, skinny and not good looking or cute.. and yet, despite all these, he's the favourite among all the teachers. It cannot be explained, this "yan yuen".. so it's very important we pray for our child to have this trait too.

Speed Dial number 6 available...

Going once..
Going twice..

he hee..

Now I have to choose a friend to populate speed dial #6 since my good friend emigrated to Singapore. As I combed through my phone book, there's none at the moment. Looks like it will be empty for a while..

Family

I figure I needed a new tag, called family. The reason is obvious. Anne is expecting and this new journey deserved to be blogged and documented. We don't know the gender of the baby yet. Many would ask if I prefer a boy or a girl and my answer would be that the gender doesn't matter. The baby is still part of the family regardless.

Yesterday we visited a senior uncle and his wife. They are my parents-in-law's good friend and fellow faith-mates. I like Mr and Mrs Wong. They are very wise and often in conversation with them I learned a great deal.

One of the things that's been bothering me is what should I converse with my baby? Should I speak Cantonese (a pasar Cantonese since in Malaysia, we hardly speak in proper Cantonese) or should I converse in English? I am not good at either. My English is not the Queen's English and my Cantonese is pasar. What would my child turn out to be? Would he/she turn out to be another one of those kids who speak broken English or worse, one who speaks a mix of two languages.

Mrs Wong, who has been teaching kids for 15 years, gave a very good suggestions. She said a baby could learn up to 6 languages at a time. She gave an example: A Japanese father and a Korean mother. The father would speak to the baby in Japanese and the mother in Korean. The baby would be able to understand and response to both languages. When he/she sees his father, he would automatically associate these sounds/intonations/language to the father. When he speaks to his mother, he would use this other sound. The baby may not know that he's speaking Jap or Korean but he knows the intonation he should use on a person (father or mother). Mrs Wong said they associate person/face with a language. If they had a maid, the baby would use Indonesia with the kakak. Similarly, a baby would also speak to his grandparents in their dialect.

The secret then lies in the fact that one must be consistent in the choice of language when speaking to the baby. Mrs Wong suggest that if I use English, I must use English throughout. And if Anne use Cantonese, she should be consistent. My mother should use Mandarin and be consistent also. Then, when the baby sees my mother, the baby would automatically use Mandaring to converse. The danger or confusion arises when I use Cantonese AND English when speaking to the baby. That is when the baby will have difficulty grasping and will have a problem expressing himself in the future - when talking to his father, should he use Cantonese or English???? Mrs Wong told me not to worry about the broken English. She said as the baby grow up they would learn that about grammar error and will naturally correct themselves. But if you use a combination of Canto-English, then the baby would not know how to correct himself.

What a relief.. now, I know what to do :)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fallout 3

It's not all work for me in 2008. I have been catching up on my gaming as well. Bought a new PC, finished Hinterland a couple of times, finally finished Half Life 2: Episode Two and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. Both are great games. My only regret is that I didn't play most of Episode Two in my new PC - nevermind, one day I will play again.. one day I hope.

But this post is about the greatest games release in 2008 - Fallout 3. I bought the game through Steam and didn't regret it at all. It's all I wish it to be and it's been a while since I have had the pleasure to play a good RPG. So I am enjoying every moment I could spend on this game and would highly recommend anyone to try it out. Just google it if you want to read the numerous positive reviews. Be prepare for a perfect 10 score from all these glowing reviews.. :)

I worry...

I worry when people asked me if I am ok because they thought I have lost weight. This is not the first time I get comments like this. Actually, I feel good. I sleep well. I eat well. I am sometimes tired - not physically weak but I think it's probably because I am bored. And I am not sure why I am bored. I have enough to keep me going.. maybe it's because at this moment, my life state is low, I'm not uplifted enough or maybe I am weak spiritually! Ah, I think I need to chant a lot more!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wayarles

I saw in a TM Net advertisement bunting in a shop 1U.
"Percuma - modem wayarles"..

I can only gasp and shake my head at the utterly shocking term used. I hope it is created by the shop and not by TM Net because if it is, it's really embarassing. You can just take a English term and tried to Malaysianized it. Or can you? These days we see words like telekomunikasi, harmoni, wayarles.

LOL

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Exodus

Today, one of my good friends told me that he's migrating to Singapore. His wife has a transfer and they are moving their family there. This year, people I know are emigrating: 3 families moving to Australia and 2 to Singapore. That's a total of 10 working adults, professionals in their respective area. Don't you think this brain drain is alarming? Or, is it opportunity for us in Malaysia?

For me, it would be an opportunity if Malaysia is a safe place and that the standard of living is high. At the rate of how things are these days, we are regressing to Ice Age. And that does not spell opportunity to me. What's the use if you have the best job and the best pay but you live in fear and your money can't buy you stuff anymore?

What do I do now?

*exodus - n. a going out; a departure or emigration, usually of a large number of people: the summer exodus to the country and shore.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Car interest..

Read in the newspaper today that the interest for car loan shot up! Bummer.. looks like less and less chance of me owning a new car :(

Unlocked iPhone 3G in HK

Rejoice! Apple in Hong Kong is selling official, unlocked iPhone 3G. That means, no need to be tied to a carrier.. or having to have a contract. But it cost HKD5400 :(

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Appreciation

I was out in my porch when my good neighbor started to chat with me. Her neighbor just finished renovation and is moving in in October. I asked her if she knew how much her neighbor paid for the house and she does not know. She said the house was on offer for 600K but there were no taker – so it was probably sold at a price that’s lower than 600K. She said one can’t find a house at the price that I bought and it really is my good fortune to buy one at 415K.

I’d never imaging that I could live in one of PJ’s most sought-after address. I still remember starting my first job in an office in PJ. At that time, property prices around that area was already booming. A typical double storey house in Bandar Utama would cost RM300K and above. I remember thinking that it was so high I’d never be able to afford a place there. My colleague, Mr Lim, said he bought his house when it was first launched at RM190K and he was extremely delighted that the price has jumped so much. He expected it to go much higher, at that time.

It’s true that from 1996-2006, the property around One Utama, Mutiara Damansara and Kota Damansara has been escalating. Every new launch is definitely about 350K or 400K. I still remember when Boustead launched Mutiara Damansara, the houses were sold through balloting and a typical 22x75 double storey would start at 400K. My friend, Ms Teah, balloted successfully for one unit and now, that unit is selling for at least 550K.

So, to be able to secure a place at 415K in Oct 2006 is indeed a great good fortune. It’s not easy – lots of hard work from the agent and lots of house sightings but my dreams have come true. And less than 2 years, the same unit I bought is sold for 520K*! Not that I am going to sell mine, but to know that the house you worked your ass off for has appreciated is very comforting.

It’s a blessing and as such, I am truly grateful. Dreams can happen…


*this afternoon, the new neighbor came for a chat. She bought her unit at 580K and she said it was fully renovated and furnished and she was thrilled to buy it at that price. She said she has been eyeing the other house beside her current one (i.e. 3 houses from mine) but the owner asked for 520K and refused to budge. That was a basic unit, she said and she almost went for it but was lucky that she managed to find this one, which were fully renovated, at 580K. Anyway, that unit was now sold, so we are guessing it could be at 500K or 520K.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Neck and shoulder ache

So both Anne and I have developed this neck and shoulder ache. We think that it is due to our mattress. Yesterday, we saw Dunlopillo having a 50% sale and we went to the shop. The promoter, a nice gentleman, thinks that it is the pillow and not the mattress. Bad mattress gives you back ache (near the love handle) and not neck/shoulder. We listened and bought two latex pillow from him - not even Dunlopillo brand.. I'm very happy because instead of spending thousands on the mattress, we spend a couple of hundred on 2 pillows. After trying it for a day, it seems to work! Is it physchological? I don't know... hmmmmmmmmm.. We'll have to monitor more...

Friday, July 18, 2008

3G iPhone

3G iPhone is out! I want one.. but I can't afford one. I blew my savings on a PC and on a Diamond filter... BOO HOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
I need a second job!

Core 2 Quad

Early July sees me treating myself to a great birthday present - a brand new spanking PC - with Core 2 Quad Q9450, 2GB RAM, XFX GeForce 9800 GTX (Extreme Edition), Centurion casing, AcBel PSU .. all in all, a hell of a beast! Crysis runs at High setting smoothly on my beautiful 24" Dell monitor. I am a happy camper..

Too bad I don't have much time to play... Boooooooooooooo..

So normally I upgrade for a reason. This time though, it is purely impulsive. There is no need for one. The only game I really want to play is GTA4 but it's not out for the PC yet .. perhaps next year. So why the sudden kiasu-ness? I have no idea.

Having said that, this PC would open a whole new world of gaming again that I have missed because my older PC couldn't support it. YAY!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hello World

Hey, I am back!

There's so much to talk about and so little time - and skills. The mood to write is not there anymore... What to do? What to say?

Don't WhatsApp /SMS when driving

This morning, we received news that one of Jane's classmate passed away after fighting for her life for 4 days. She was cycling in her A...