Thursday, December 24, 2009

Starbucks and Jusco

I just learned that if you flash your Jusco card in Starbucks, you get
10% off! Wow, this is news to me but I've already finished all my
Berjaya sponsored coupons :(
--
Sent from iPhone

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

My early Christmas/New Year gift from a friend is...........






(( drum roll....................... ))






















Woooo hooooooo!

My friend helped me to get this by pulling string with another friend who works in Microsoft who is able to get this at an employee store at employee price. I am not sure how close they were but it was still a big favour. I understand that asking favour is not an easy and nice thing to do, so I really appreciate this and is indebted to my friend.

The Windows 7 packaging is cheap. It consist of a plastic box (and it's the cheap plastic type, not the hard clear case that Windows Vista came with). This cheap plastic box is covered by a paper box that you see above. If it weren't for the hologram disc, I could have mistaken this to a made-in-China-bootleg copy.

I can't wait to go home and upgrade my PC! YAY YAY YAY!

The manual and the two installation disc - one is for 32-bit, the other is for 64-bit.

A pictorial view of the cheap plastic. Note the "Microsoft Company Store Purchase" sticker.

THANK YOU.. FRIEND!

OH MY GOODNESS!!!

My wallet and credit card is doomed!

I have already said that I don't have time to play games. But I have this OCD to collect games, in the hope that one fine day I will have the time to play. So I kept on collecting stuff from Steam Sales.

And now, they are having their annual store wide sales. HELP!!!!!!!

(I feel as helpless as a woman when they see a sale... gosh!)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kepong Restaurant

In the previous post, I posted a photo. I took it during a wedding dinner in a restaurant in Kepong. What amused me was the fact that the dishes are brought into the dining hall in a trolley. So one waiter will serve about 8-9 tables at the same time. This is a first for me, in a wedding dinner. I have seen this in a dim sum restaurant but not in a wedding dinner. I thought it was damn efficient! We finished the dinner in about 1.5 hours :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lunch @ Curve

Meeting up Bahija and Dragon Queen in The Curve for lunch today. He
he. Bosses are away so the mice starts to play. Here's a photo of
Christmas deco in the Curve.

Why am I blogging so much today? Don't know. Bored I guess.

OCD


Gosh - I have developed a new OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. When I see games on sale in Steam, I want to buy it.. even though I know I don't have the time to play them. Steam is a digital distributor/online games store. Whenever you buy a game, your account is tagged with that game. You can download the game from any PC and play it. It's also a social network platform. My friends will see me in a game. They can chat with me when I am in a game (or technically, since they know I am in-game, they shouldn't disturb me :P ) They will also know what games I own and can join me in a multiplayer game if we both own the same game.

And Steam knows about my OCD, which explains the reason it has weekend sale, mid-week sale and holiday sale. Essentially, I am paying US$5 or US$10 per game, every week, so that I can have the game listed in my account. Someone said it more eloquently than I could and I quote that person: "I realized I'm giving Valve money to put game titles on a list. I don't even download them, they just sit on my "My Games" list, and theoretically I own them, but I don't play them. "


I need help! :)


So what I am doing is being smart about it.. as much as I could. I made a list of games I want to play. I prioritize the list. Whenever I see a game in the list that is on sale, I will grab it. At least, it's a way to control my OCD.


Besides, potentially I will be out of job.. so I should not spend so much :P


Power

This morning I waltz into my favourite fish ball noodle stall only to hear the helper, an Indonesian maid, screaming "saya perempuan!" She said this twice and then the owner, who was staring at her, banged the table and scream "perempuan apa besar!". He almost hit her. Everyone in the restaurant was staring at the two of them. I backed off from ordering. I didn't think it would be appropriate to interupt and say "mai fan noodle please!"

This incident reaffirm my thoughts that maids bring out the worse in someone. This fishball noodle man is very polite, soft and always smiling when he takes my order. Sometimes we had some slight chit chat and he's a really nice person. I cannot imagine him smacking a fly, much less a maid. Something must have happened to cause him to bang table and screamed at the maid. I'm not implying the maid is right or wrong - it's the fact that having the power to lord over another human being bring out the worse in a person.

Be wary of this point when you are looking for a maid or if you are an employer.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cross Road

I am at a cross road now. I managed a technical team in my job today.

My boss wants to change the composition of a purely technical team to include sales, marketing and technical without additional headcount. This has a few implications:

1. I will have to redeploy some people to other areas i.e. help them find another job . To backfill them, I have to look for sales and marketing people instead

2. our existing services to our customers will be affected because I will have less technical people to do the work

3. my role will change from a technical manager to a sales/marketing manager.

My boss doesn't seem to care about the technical services we have rendered thus far, which explained why he could just change the set up of the team, just like that. In fact, during this change, we both agreed that I am not the right person for the new role he envisioned it to be. However, he told me he appreciated my contributions and would like me to take on a regional technical leadership role that he planned to create.

I am not so keen on that regional role mainly because I don't want to work for him anymore. The regional role will carry the same set of measurement I carry today.. maybe more.. but I have less resources to execute it. Knowing his style, he would delegate all technical problems over to me and I forsee that I will have a challenge to support it mainly due to lack of resources. I cannot hope to get guidance from him. Having worked for him for 1.5 years, I can only dream of any guidances from him. I could forsee me going to the monthly review with his boss and got shot at and he probably not helping much / or he giving suggestions which are not executable.

Two of my key leaders are affected by this and will be moving out. It shows how 'cold' he can be. It also shows how much he appreciated all the hardwork/success we have put in. He has no part in growing the team to where it is today but he exercised the power to claim it as his own and change how he envisioned it to work. Now, I will have to take on these two leaders' responsibilities, including daily execution and operations. Capacity would be a problem on my end. I forsee even longer hours. Which is not an issue if I were highly motivated or I feel it is worth to go through this for my boss .. Unfortunately I don't feel that way.

We are going through the transition. I need to ensure that my team transition successfully and manage any issues that are bound to surface. After this, I will need to look out for myself. I have to look for a job either internal in the company or external.

At the moment, I am not feeling at the top of the world. I need to pick myself up and continue to maintain a high life-state. These challenges are inevitable and I need to address them with a clear mind. If I wavered, you could imagine how the current staff would feel. So I need to be strong like an oak, even though I am fighting against a turmoil internally.

Wish me luck and success!

Strangers

Bahija and I had lunch in a coffee shop. The cina coffee shop type that has no a/c. Bahija came first and she could not find a table so she share a table with a man. This man looks like a blue collar worker. When I came, he was chatting with Bahija.. very friendly guy.

What surprised me was that he kept on commenting and interjected our conversations. He commented about food in this coffee shop, said it's nice.. and then started asking me personal questions like what do I do, where do I stay, am I married, how many kids and at the end he even asked me for my telephone number so that he can one day asked me out for yum char and consult me on PC related matters. On the other hand, we also learned what he do for a living (he sells spare parts), where he stays, the reason he's in this neighbourhood, etc.

The whole thing is kinda weird. How could one stranger asked so many things.. and he seems harmless but yet, why asked for telephone number. I have a suspicious that he's interested in Bahija and would probably one day called me and asked about her. Of course, Bahija doesn't think so and think that he's probably stalking me. Why would he? I am not as good looking as Anti-Ringgit - eh, AR, you are not the only person kena stalked ok! :P

Anyway, let's see what happened. I told Bahija that I'd probably not pick up any phone from him. Bahija seems to think he can be a potential 'prospect' for me to talk to him about Buddhism.. LOL .. who knows, maybe it is fated that way.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gatherings...

In the past couple of weeks, I had a couple of gatherings with friends and their immediate families. Bahija and I talked about this earlier this year, after one gathering during CNY, but I felt it more this time around. Somehow, I felt that these big gatherings (big is defined as more than 3 couples i.e. 6 people and kids) is kinda pointless - the crowd is too big to have proper and intimate conversations. And with the kids running about and seeking the parents attention, including my own baby, I wished that the dinner would end faster so that I could run back home to my quiet cave. The dinner felt more like a 'work' than an enjoyment. The environment was not relaxing at all!

So perhaps we can ditch the families when friends need to gather. That's the way I see it. Let the wife and baby stay at home (in fact, I am sure they would appreciate it too) and let us friends just hang out in a cafe or some nicer eateries so we can chit chat and catch up. That's the whole point of these year end gatherings, right?

As we grow in life, we are already losing touch with our friends as we are caught up at work and at home. We should be paying 100% attention to these friends during these rare outings. Otherwise, the whole point of the gatherings will become moot.

Agree/disagree?

Friday, November 13, 2009

"This Is It" Impression

I wouldn't call myself a big fan of MJ but I do like his songs. When he came to KL for a concert, it's like a once in a lifetime event and despite not being able to afford the concert ticket (I just started working) I bit the bullet, use the cc and bought the ticket. I have no regrets. His stage presence is amazing. I felt like I was hit by an unending electrical storm during the concert. And I remembered joining the crowd screaming his name in hysteric. Yeah... me doing that! LOL.

I know that This Is It is taken from shots during rehearsal. So I am not expecting it to be the full concert. It's not even a full dress rehearsal.

After I have seen the movie, I thought that this concert, should it happened, is going to be amazing. Much better than the one I saw in Malaysia. There are so much technology, eye candy, thoughts, quality, production value put into the show. No wonder it was a sell out!

But I also saw something - I saw that MJ is not really putting a lot of dance move himself. Maybe it's rehearsal and he's not exerting himself. Maybe he's old.. and is not doing all the long dance sequence by himself. I remembered in Malaysia, during Billie Jean piece, there was this huge canvas covering the stage.. and MJ is behind the canvas such that his shadow was projected onto the canvas, a bigger MJ shadow.. and he did a dance piece that last about 10 minutes.. and it was just jaw dropping. He did dance in the This Is It Billie Jean .. but there was no canvas, nor was there a 10 minute piece.. maybe a 3-4 minute piece.. and he was alone. Sure.. his stage presence was still commanding, his move was suave.. but it's just too little. Like I said, maybe he is old.

All in all, there is no question on his talent. And the message he was trying to drive through in the concert - Earth Song - heal the world - is very powerful.

I doubt any other artist could pull off what he is going to do.

His concert is really value for money.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Is It

I'm on leave today. Lots of games to play. But I think I'll go see
Michael Jackson's This Is It after reading recommendation from Kiasu
Ching. Will post impression later.

--
Sent from iPhone

Friday, November 06, 2009

Fine Gaming Moment


You know how you sometimes see a movie and if it was an awesome movie, you knew you just had one of your finest movie moments? I could think of many fine movie moments - Matrix, Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of the Rings, Titanic (cough!), Braveheart, Savings Private Ryan, Heat, etc.


I had my finest gaming moment yesterday. It's not something I experienced lately because I don't have much time to game - actually, in reality, there aren't that many quality games that captivated me. I missed these experience. Sometimes I wish I could be 'young and naive' and be surprised by this new game.


Anyway, I had that experience again yesterday when I took leave to play two games: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Braid. Both are very different game. And both blew my mind away! One with a unexpected twist in the plot while the latter with its sheer ingenuity in gameplay design (although, storywise, I am still lost and baffled)!
If you are interested in gaming, do give both a try.. Braid has a free demo.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Maid

I'm on leave today.

On an unrelated news, I read about a Singaporean pouring boiling water
onto her maid's genital and extracting her two front teeth with
pliers. Such cruelty and inhuman act.

Just yesterday, a friend proclaimed that she want to kill her maid.

I believe that maids bring out the worst behaviour out of someone. We
forget our humanity when we have complete power to lord over someone.
My friend is the nicest lady I know and yet her maid could turn her
into a monster.

That is also one of the reasons I'm not using a maid. To save myself
and also to discourage these negative learning by little sen.

--
Sent from iPhone

Monday, October 26, 2009

RIP Harry....

Our dog, Harry, was attacked and killed this morning by a neighbour dog. It's sad. He was minding his own business, going for his morning walk, on a leash, with my father when the neighbour dog attacked. My father tried to push the dogs apart, fortunately, they didn't bite him, but the evil dog leapt and lunged at Harry. He bled a lot and after 3 or 4 vicious bites at the back and thigh, he lied motionless by the roadside.

My father thought he's still breathing and rushed him to the vet. At 7am in the morning, no vets were opened so they went to the 24-hour vet hospital in Jalan Ipoh, near Pekeliling. By the time they reached the hospital, Harry's eyes and tongue turned black and he passed away. The doctor said that if he were much younger, he would have survived the bites but because Harry's so old, it's impossible for him to sustain the injury.

The neighbour was very sorry - not their fault, actually - she was reversing her car and had her autogate open at that time. Who would expect her dog to go mental and came for an attack? The neighbour came to our house to apologize and gave my parents an angpow and fruits. We returned the angpow. She said she will have to send her dog away especially since it has tasted blood.. the dog would be a danger to the community!

Harry's a good dog. He had his own's idiosyncracies, but he's harmless. He was a great companion and he brought fun and happiness to the family. He didn't deserve to die this way. I was hoping he would die through old age. Not by being attacked!

The last time I saw him was yesterday (Sunday), when I went to visit my parents. But because I was carrying my baby girl, I didn't bend down to pet him. I just looked at him, said hi and asked how was he. Of course he didn't respond back. Little did I expect that that was my last interaction with him - the last time I saw him too.

My father was especially devastated. He loved Harry very much and he felt that he could have done more to save him this morning.

Ahhh, such is life. I believe Harry would be reborn soon and I hope our paths will cross again... you were a good dog!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Windows 7 is out!

It's not going to have any of the problems Vista had. Trust me!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Read this in my email this morning:
(one of my readers need this .. hope she will read it and reflect)

This was a speech made by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Anna Quindlen at the graduation ceremony of an American university where she was awarded an Honorary PhD..

"I'm a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. You will walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree: there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk or your life on a bus or in a car or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank accounts but also your soul.

People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter's night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've received your test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my work stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the centre of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I am a good friend to my friends and them to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cut out. But I call them on the phone and I meet them for lunch. I would be rotten, at best mediocre, at my job if those other things were not true.

You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are. So here's what I wanted to tell you today: Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze at the seaside, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a sweet with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work.. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on excessive eating and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good too, then doing well will never be enough.

It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, and our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the colour of our kids' eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of to live.

I learned to live many years ago. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this: Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the back yard with the sun on your face.

Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived".

Monday, September 28, 2009

Genre Defining

There are games that changed how you play games. Ultima 4 changed the way role playing games are built and design. In Ultima 4, winning is not killing the big bad boss but winning is improving your own virtues of Honesty, Compassion, Spirituality, Valor, Honor, Sacrifice, Justice and Humility.




Grand Theft Auto 3 changed the open world gaming concept. It created Liberty City as a world so alive and full with happenings that other gaming worlds looked mundane and boring and repetitive in comparison. The sheer amount of things to do, the faction wars among the gangs all contributed in a living and breathing world.




Red Faction: Guerilla, the current game that I am hooked at, introduced destruction and mass explosion to the virtual world. In this game, you can destroy every building and man-made structure. You could chip the base away with your sledgehammer and the building would collapse on its own weight or you could plan denotation and blow the whole thing away. You could just drive a truck and rammed into a billboard, a big gas tank, a mining installation and these structures would break apart. You could blow bridges up and send the enemies flying. And the physics engine was just remarkable.

This game changed the way I look at other games – I bet you that I will wonder why I could not topple that phone booth or bashed through that four feet wall in future games. RFG has spoiled me!



P.S. there are a host of other games that revitalize the genre but I am just too lazy to write them up and I am a big fanboi of RF:G at the moment...

Off my head:
1. Fallout for breathing new life into an otherwise dying genre - the role playing games.
2. X-Com UFO Defense for introducing fully destructable terrain in 2D and for showing us how to make a turn based tactical combat.
3. Indigo Prophecy for showing how to make an action-adventure game.
4. Medal of Honor/Call of Duty series for bringing the action of a movie show into the PC games and making you feel like a WW 2 soldier.
5. Star Wars Knights of Old Republic for building confidence back in a SW game.
6. Planescape Torment for showing us how to tell a story.
7. Diablo for showing how to do an additive isometric fantasy games.
8. and lots and lots more!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fish Ball Noodle Part 2

Didn't realize my fans are also fish ball noodle fans.
wsl - you remember Lai Fong ah? We go there before Economics tuition.

Here's the direction to Lai Fong in KL.
It's very near Bangkok Bank, opposite Chinatown Entrance:


View Larger Map

As for the equivalent fish ball noodle soup, it's in Aman Suria, near my house. Follow the road to Tropicana and before the underground pass, turn left to go to Dataran Prima. The restaurant is before Dataran Prima, called Suncity and it faces NKVE.


View Larger Map

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fruitful Raya Long Weekend

Not a bad Raya weekend for games :)
Despite having a stomach and head ache and visitors, I manage to sneak in a few hours of games!

Thanks to little sen for behaving, wifey for her understanding and parents in law for dropping by to help out!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fish Ball Noodle

I love fish ball noodle. When we were younger, ZipD and I would take 2
buses from Kepong to DJ every week just to play a video game called
Crackdown. We would stop in KL and frequent this restaurant called Lai
Foong. It's beside Bangkok Bank. I always ordered to fish ball noodle
there.

Something about Lai Foong's fishball is really addictive. I
specifically love the 'flying saucer'.

These days you can't really find a good fishball stall. The Teo Chew
fishball chain just didn't do it.

Until one day I found a fishball stall in a restaurant near my house.
It's exactly like the one they served in Lai Foong! Taste the same. I
think I must have eat this almost twice a week. I just can't get bored
of it.

If you like fishball, let me know and I can show you the way...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

iPhone Photography

A blog about beautiful photos taken using iPhone!
http://iphonephoto.us/

Where's my time, dude?

Typical day:
6.00pm - left office for home

6.20pm - reach babysitter's house to pick up little sen

6.30pm - back home with little sen. Played and talked to her for a while..

6.50pm - go out to tar pau dinner. Anne will probably be expressing milk or cleaning up bottles, boil water - doing baby stuff

7.20pm - I come back.. hopefully sen is still quiet and enjoying herself... I'll start eating dinner while watching her and Anne would go bathe.. or it could be the other way round - I bathe and she eats dinner...

or.................. sen starts to cry for milk and dinner or bathe has to be put on hold. Normally, one of us would feed her, the other will have to take a quick bite or quickly go shower. Her feeding is about 15 minutes and the burping is an additional 10-15 minutes.

If she feeds, she would poo.. and it's changing diapers time.. add 10 minutes.

8.00 - 8.30pm - Anne's turn for dinner.. my turn for shower.

8.30pm - We do our evening prayers - gongyo and daimoku. This is about 10 minutes. Then, we take a break - or I go water the plant if I forgot to do so in the morning .. or tidy up here and there.. or do the dishes .. just doing stuff........

9.15pm - bed time for little sen.. activities include:
- cleaning her body with warm water.. (not bathing.. just towelling her)
- changing her into long sleeves shirts/pants
- dimming the lights
- patting her to sleep.. hopefully! and this is where it gets tricky! These days, she would just go to sleep by the time the lights are dimmed. Thankfully... but at times, something would bother her.. could be wind in the stomach.. or too hot.. or too cold.. or who knows why.. and she would start fussing ...... and this would take about 1 or 2 hours before she finally sleeps.

That's like 10pm or 11pm! By that time, we would be so exhausted.............. we would just brush teeth, get ready for bed .. and plop - it's dreamland....................... until............

1.00am - she wants her milk! Normally, I would be the one who wake up to fix her the milk. The rationale is that after this I could sleep till 7am... 6 hours of good sleep. Anne will wake up for the next feed, which is typically 5am .. that means she will have her 6 hours of sleep too.

5.00am - feed time again and changing diapers if she poo

6.00am - Anne will be doing morning prayers, cleaning up bottles, expressing milk, etc while I am snoozing..

7.00am - I wake up......... and laze around...............

8.00am - Baby wakes up for another feed

8.30am - send to baby sitter .. I am off to work!

REPEAT EVERYDAY (but adjust the timing because it is so unpredictable!!!!)

SO, where got time to play computer games?!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

You've got mail, Part Two: Waiter Rant is Here!

Look what came into my mailbox.. a brand new copy of "Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tips - Confessions of a Cynical Waiter". Yup, I finally bought the book! Readers of this website would know that I am a big fan of waiterrant.net, a blog by a waiter on, waiting business. The author is a funny writer and I often find myself LOL-ing when reading his blog. I have been following his blog for years and while he had always been anonymous, he decided one day to write a book. Since then, his cover was blown and we all know him as Mr Steve Dublanica.

I even put his ad on the right side of my blog. Click on that and you can read the first 20 pages of the book.

Ever since he released the book, I have been meaning to get my hands on one. But it's just too expensive. The hardcover copy cost RM96! So, I waited patiently and last month, the paperback version is out. Retail price was about RM59. No problemo. I just have to wait till it come to Malaysia.

Then last week, while browsing mph.com.my, I saw the book on sale! Buying it online with mph gets me a 30% discount ie it cost me RM30.03! Plus RM7 shipping, the total cost was RM37.03! Ordering was a breeze and they shipped via courier.

I will be slowing enjoying the book. I am pleased to say that the choice of paper quality and binding of the book are the type that doesn't break the book's spine easily.. not sure if you understand what I am saying - some books are binded with low quality cover which you can't bend and you can't open the books wide as it will crack the spine. This paperback are the type that doesn't. And usually, these type of quality and binding add additional cost to the book.. except this one. Bravo! Go get it!

On a side note, today's haze is really terrible!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

You've got mail

Saw this in my post box. From real estate agent trying to get
houseowner to sell their properties. What caught my eyes are the table
that recorded recent sales.


Doesn't look like the economy downturn is affecting properties in
Bandar Utama.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rose Cottage

Rose Cottage, Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands.

This is our favourite escapade. Although we have not done it for many years, I do yearn to have an escapade back to Rose Cottage in Cameron Highlands. What do we do there? We lugged our PCs and set up a LAN and play PC games ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT LONG.. and we ate Maggie Mee, junk food, drink Coca Cola, Nescafe, make our own Western Breakfast (luncheon meat, sausages, hard boiled eggs, red beans). Don't you think it's fun?

It's not a cheap cottage.. About RM500/night. But it's nice, spacious, cozy and more importantly, it's very private and quiet.. so we can scream expletives all day too! :)

Those were the days!

Hand in hand

Someone asked me to take a photo of my hand and little sen's every
month. They say I'll be amazed how fast she will grow. Here's a photo
I took last week. She's 9 weeks old.

iPhone Camera

Nice ah? Even though it is a 2.0mp camera, I bet you that the photos are much better than many other camera phones.. And the best things are that there are many apps available that you can download to spruce up your photos. Put some filters and special effects.. and your photos will turn out differently - just like what I have done here. So, what's not to like? :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Up, up and up!

Unbelievable! A friend who was house hunting told me that over the past 3 months, prices in BU, and Taman Tun have been going up like crazy! A basic house in BU12 is now selling for 560K! Just less than a year ago, my neighbour told me that she bought her place, fully renovated, at 580K. Today, a basic house is already 560K! My friend told me he saw, with his own eyes, the asking price going up month after month! He regretted that he missed the boat when it was 520K just a couple of months back! He's now wondering if he should bite the bullet.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Don't cry over spilled milk

I'm sure you have heard of this idiom but have you ever wondered why
they used milk and not other form of liquid? Why not water or soup or
Coca Cola? Last weekend, we knew why.


Anne was expressing milk from her breasts when it happened. Expressing milk is hard work. Lots of energy needed to press the
pockets of cells/ducts around the breast to squeeze milk into the tits to
assist the Avent pump she was using. Typically a session to express 6
oz of milk from both breasts take about 30 minutes.


So, you can imagine the blood chilling wail that she produced when she
spilled the container as she reached for the cover. All 6 oz and half
hour of hard work gone! Nothing can be done. I have to mop the mess
while she still 'cry'.


No point crying over spilled milk, indeed!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cabinets Part Two

This is in the dining area. Total damages RM5.3K. Ouch.

New Cabinets

This was what happenened this week. New set of kitchen cabinets.
Nyatoh solid wood (doors only). Am very happy with it. Now my kitchen
is more presentable.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

h1n1

Anti-Ringgit, the frequent flyer, is not observing self quarantine despite travelling to Australia and Philippines. My staff, Laila, asked me yesterday if she should self quarantined by working from home, because she's meeting her friend who just came back from Australia. One is indifference, one seemed to want to take advantage of the situation. Such is life.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sacrifice

I'm resting now, after 3 hours of sweeping, mopping and installing the
baby cot. Sen and mother are coming back to BU. We are very excited
about this because it will be us, our small family, on our own now. No
in laws or parents about.

Everytime I do things for sen, be it installing a cot or cleaning the
room for her or rocking her to sleep for 2 hours in the wee hours of
the morning or changing her dirty diapers, I can't help but think that
I'm not alone in this. All fathers would do the same. And I think that
my father must have done the same for me.

When I was cleaning every inch of the newly installed cot, rubbing
each rung meticulously with Dettol to kill germs (it's a hands me down
cot, btw), I was damn sure that my father would have gone through the
same ordeal for me.

As I was checking my bills and shaking my head over how expensive that
jab was (it was rm270 for a jab and there's more to come!) or how much
it has cost us thus far (just that 2 nights in the hospital giving
birth to sen cost a total of rm5k!!), I was sure my parents struggled
through the same financial challenge. It would be heavier for them as
their job then are not as highly paid as mine.

When I want to buy something I have to think twice and three times but
when it comes to stuff for sen, there's not a moment of hesitation.
It's not a wonder why my parents do not drive glamourous car nor live
in nice houses nor go for overseas tour. They simply can't.

It's easy to forget that our parents had done what we are doing for
our own children. How many times have you heard or seen people being
upset with their parents over how the parents treat their babies (ie
the grand children)? Or we begrudge our parents while we are holding
our child. How ironic is this scene?

We would take leave and fly to our babies immediately if they are
sick. But when our parents need to see the doctor we'll see if our
work schedule permits. Or we take them after work. Or we asked then to
take a cab. Or get the 'ahmad' to drive them.

I'm glad that I was able to constantly remind myself that my parents
had done the very same things that I am doing for sen. That means I
still now have time to return the favour to them. But it's not easy as
more often than not, I forget. We must constantly remind each other, ok?


--
Sent from iPhone

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Screenshot to the Top Ten Album

iTunes Top 10 Albums dated 27 June 2009

TOP TEN ALBUMS

Wow. I went to iTunes Top 10 album today and 9 out of 10 are MJ's
album. Black Eye Pea's The End occupied number 10. That means people
were buying MJ albums non stop!!!


--
Sent from iPhone

Friday, June 26, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

7 early 8 early I received an SMS from anti-Ringgit. It said "Michael Jackson died at 50. Cardiac arrest." I stopped and reread the SMS. Unbelievable. MJ. The King of Pop. Dead. At 50, such a young age! Why is it that people are dying young these days?

Later, when I read the NY Times website about this story, I found out that he is planning 50 comeback concerts in London. They were all sold out, btw. The first one is supposed to start July 8th but he postponed it to July 12th. At that time, there were concerns of his health - turned out to be true! I wonder if he pushed himself too hard during rehearsal or preparation for the concert. After all, he's well known to be a person who wants perfection on stage.

He was a great showmanship. I am glad I went to his concert in Stadium Merdeka. I still remember that it was expensive - but it was also an MJ concert.. and I just had to go. I went with AR and Julian. It totally blew me away! We joined the crowd in screaming his name like a crazed fan. But it was fun.. and a totally enthralling experience. Compared to MJ's concert, Mariah Carey's was shit. I think there's no one with as much stage presence as MJ. He will be missed.

R.I.P.

Edit: wow, I didn't realize the impact of his death:

Web slows after Jackson's death
Search giant Google confirmed to the BBC that when the news first broke it feared it was under attack.

Millions of people who Googled the star's name were greeted with an error page rather than a list of results.

It warned users "your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application".
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8120324.stm

Fans from Sydney to Bogota mourn Michael Jackson
SYDNEY (AP) — The news stunned nearly everyone, from the young man in Colombia who was named after the King of Pop, to Malaysians who named a soy drink for him, to a generation of people around the world who have tried to moonwalk.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jCguZxNeqLl4R-fKr5ZuuyVYw54wD9927GC80

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can't imagine...

After using the iPhone for 2 months, I can't imagine myself using any other phone.. and can't comprehend why people don't want to use an iPhone. It's like I am from Mars and they are from Venus or something like that. If you have not played with the iPhone, now is the time.

Edit: based on WSL's comment, I thought I should enlighten my reader on what I mean:
The iPhone strength is in two areas:

1. Internet browsing and capabilities - eg blogging, email, surfing
2. Applications! With over 50,000 applications, it's just mind blowing. Don't believe me - watch all the videos here. They have an application just for anything!
http://www.apple.com/iphone/gallery/ads/

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Holding Hands

This evening, little sen went to her grandma's house for dinner. She
met her cousin brother who is three weeks older. We put them together
for some photo sessions and look, they are holding hands! Awwwwwwww...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ta Fei Kei

I told you about Fei Kei Chai, my mother-in-law's term for mosquitoes. It sounds endearing until one day when I announced out loud that I will "ta fei kei chai". In Canto it means, beat mosquitoes but the perverted mind will read it as "beat aeroplane" which is a slang for masturbate. Gosh!

Monday, June 08, 2009

R.I.P. David Eddings

One of my favourite authors, Michael Crichton passed away some time late last year (or was it early this year?) Today, I read news that another author, David Eddings, passed away at the age of 77. Mr Eddings wrote the Belgariad series - I still remember that it was my friend Siham who introduced me to this series. Have been hooked to it ever since and even managed to influence ZipD to read.

Random rambling

Due to King's birthday on Saturday, I'm on replacement leave on
Monday. The morning was spent at the in-laws, spending quality time
with the wife and baby. Afternoon, I came back home. I need to get the
house sweep and mop. Have not been doing that for the past four weeks!
Ewwwwww! I know.

I'm now taking a break from the chores. Drinking a cold drink and
wanted to pen down a couple of thoughts.

First one is about house. Last month I had a visitor from America. He
made two observations that was interesting to me. He said that houses
in US has centralized a/c and heater. That means even if you are in
the living room, your bedroom, toilet, kitchen are all cooled by the a/
c. He thinks it's a waste of energy and money but that is how houses
are designed in the States. These are rules by the government. My
friend said that the expense is therefore very high and that's how it
is in the States. You may earn a lot but you spent a lot. That's what
makes the economy thrives.

He also observed that our houses are built with concrete and this last
for many years whereas houses in States are made of wood. Typically
people renovate their own homes every 10 to 15 years due to the
woodbase construction. And that's how it is also which again shows how
much people continue to spend in the States.

This is the first time I heard of this and it's pretty interesting to
me.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, June 05, 2009

Birthdays!

Tomorrow is Anne's birthday and one day before little sen's turned one month. So, it's kinda double celebration. What should I get for them? PANIC alert!

Geram

So this was what happened yesterday. Laila and Mohammad (not their real names) are two of my staff. Laila is a junior staff. Mohammad is senior. Mohammad is the jaded, experienced, I know best, I don't listen, I am above you - type of person. Maybe it is due to age. Anyway, he has some problems - everyone knows it. All the other managers who manages him gave up.

But I did not. I try not to. Everyone has a chance and everyone has good intentions. And Mohammad does have good intentions. His customers loves him. He gets things done. He's self driven, aggressive.. his problems is just in people relationship.

Recently, there was a bout of complains about Mohammad from the team and from people in the company. In a spirit of improving him, I fed back to him.

As per his usual self, he was self defensive. He asked me for some examples and I gave him. With Mohammad, if you try to be tactful and generalize, he doesn't get it. It's difficult to penetrate to him because he refused to listen.

After the discussion, he approached Laila.. he asked Laila to tell him what happened! Of every examples I cited, Mohammad chose to ask Laila - of course I know why. He wants to justify to himself that it was not him. And who better to ask but Laila, the most junior, the one who will not argue back.

Laila, predictably, said no problem. This morning Laila was pissed at me for sharing. In fact, she was rather rude at me. I looked at her point blank and I said "Laila, you kept on complaining about how Mohammad treats you. Now I feedback to him but when he asked you, you did not stand your ground and instead claimed that nothing happened. And then you come to me be mad at me for putting you in a difficult position! You are pissed at your manager but you kept quiet when your peer confronted you. What gives?"

Anyway, since she didn't want to stand her ground and tell Mohammad how she feels, I told her to manage the situation in the future.

As I reflect, I sometimes think that I am too nice and my staff forgets that I am their manager. Or perhaps I gives too much flexibility to them. Maybe I need to micro manage!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fei Kei Chai

That's the term my mother in law used for those pesky mosquitoes. It
literally means little air planes. An endearing term for something so
deadly.

One of the things that a new father has to master is to 'shoot' down
these fei kei chai. Kinda makes you feel like you are in the Air Force
except that you don't pilot another plane and dog fight them to death.
Instead I have to use a electric swatter, something like a badminton
raquet, to do the job. So,the feeling is like being King Kong instead.
Ha ha.

Have to have keen eye sight, fast reflex, accuracy and merciless.
These are the skills requirement for being a new father.

Sent from my iPhone

Blog via email

This is a test. I captured a picture and sending it as an email to blogger. In theory it should appear as a blog post. If it works,
another good reason for an iPhone.

This restaurant in Sg Buloh serves very good curry mee. One of my favourite hang out place whenever I'm at my in-laws. Great environment, superb teh ping and reasonable price. What's not to like?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New BU Police Station...

Photos from actual site. Work has already started.




Concept arts and photo, courtesy of JTan from BU11.

The new Bandar Utama police station will be built beside McDonald's at Center Point. Here's hoping that the presence of a police station will reduce the crime rate but I am not hopeful. SS2 has one of the highest crime rate and there is this huge police station in SS2. In fact, I recently heard of a case where someone was robbed outside Maybank in SS2. And opposite Maybank is the police station. Don't you think it was a joke? The robbers must be mocking the police. They must be shoving a finger up their collective ass for robbing the guy right under their noses. I am afraid that would be what's going to happen to this Bandar Utama police station - an empty shell of an empty instituition...

Monday, May 25, 2009

AdSense

Ringgit has added AdSense to his blog. He needs $ for the family. Please click on the ad!

(ha ha .. I wonder if it really works!)

Happy Mother Day Card


Bahija requested I take a picture of the Mother Day's card that little sen (daughter of Ringgit) sent to her mother on Mother's Day. See the pinkish card above.

Random HCMC-trip Notes

Well, I was in Ho Chi Minh City on a business trip and guess what I found out? There are no McDonald's in Vietnam! Not a single one. Asking the locals confirmed it but he doesn't know why. There's only one or two KFC in the city. I saw one KFC and was tempted to try it but I was in a taxi and just finished lunch and could not ask the cab to stop. But goodness.. no McDonald's! Is it because of anti-American sentiment or just that Vietnamese don't like burgers? I have no idea.

Coincidentally DroolMan is in HCMC too and he will be here for two weeks. What's bizarre is that we both stay in the same hotel! We didn't know about our trips and yet we stay in the same hotel. How about that for coincidence! I found out that he's going to HCMC from his FB status. We met up for breakfast every morning and if time permits and I am not too burnt out, we meet up for coffee at night. It's like the old times - mamak - but in a 5-star hotel under the comfort of air conditioning.

I love pho - it's Vietnamese beef noodles soup. We have pho in Malaysia too served by Vietnam Kitchen in 1U. What I found out in this trip is that the Vietnamese eat pho with yau char kwai. Yup, that oily pastry Malaysians (and Hongkies) eat with porridge. Vietnamese eat yau char kwai with pho. And it taste ABSOLUTELY delicious! They called it "yau char kweiii". The local thinks it's a Chinese influence. The first time I had pho was with Rotitelur in a Vietnamese restaurant in Las Vegas. She introduced me to pho with fish-sauce. It's strangely delicious. Hmm, maybe I should go for more pho tonight.

Oh, they use the same plug point as Malaysia - strange considering this was a French colony.. wait.. does France use the same plug point? I couldn't remember..

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pregnancy and iPhone

The iPhone is both a blessings and curse during the labour and after the baby was born.

Blessings:
1. When baby and mommy are sleeping, it's good to keep daddy occupied.. get to FB, surf Net, send emails, etc
2. Instant photo taking and sorting - granted, other phones could do this but nothing beats the experience of flicking and pinching your photos to zoom. And instant sending of photos as emails.
3. SMS was fun - it's so cool to see SMS as conversation threads. Makes the experience surreal.

Curse:
1. people expect minute by minute updates. Very stressful le :P especially when wife is in pain - I can't be tapping on the phone
2. The phone RANG! while Anne was pushing the baby up! I took good care to make sure it was shut off but it rang - because of the morning alarm! Alarm will ring regardless! Imagine the shock! LOL!

Ok ok.. I really cannot ramble. This post was put up due to peer pressure to write something! HA HA!

Last weekend

Wow.. last weekend, my baby girl was born.. and the missus and my life turned upside down. They say you will have sleepless nights. They say you will have joy and fear. They say you will have frustrations and helplessness. All very true. But in the end, it's all worth it.

Anne gets to celebrate her first ever Mother's Day last Sunday. I bought a card. Quite cute card. The cover says "To my mommy from her little girl". I was surprised to see such a card. It's like it's made for her! So in the card, I represent the little one and wrote to her mother - thanking her for the 9 months of carrying and taking care of her health; thanking her for the pain she has to go through during her 10 hour labour. Thanking her for being patient when she (baby) was demanding and unreasonable. Thanking her for chanting hours of daimoku for her safety and happiness.

I thought that was a nice touch.

So today I am back to work. We only have a measley 3 day paternity leave. My friend said in UK, they have 2 weeks paternity leave! That would be really useful.

Ok, too brain dead to write anything.. ciao..

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Google Map tracking spread of Swine Flu

I learned this morning that the swine flu is not the same as the JE virus outbreak that happened in Malaysia a few years ago. The JE virus originated from pig farms too but it's a different type of virus. Swine flu is flu - fever, coughm sore throat. JE virus caused brain damage and possible paralysis.

Anyway, I found this Google Map Mashup that tracks the spread of swine flu. It's pretty wide. Very worrying. I pray that it doesn't come to Asia - Asia has so many people (China and India has billions in population) and our healthcare/screening are not as sophisticated. If it ever happens here, the spread of the virus would be unprecedented.

Thank goodness Asians don't go Mexico for vacation... Use the "+" and "-" sign at the top left to zoom out and see the complete world map.
Pink markers are suspect
Purple markers are confirmed
Deaths lack a dot in marker
Yellow markers are negative



View H1N1 Swine Flu in a larger map

Monday, April 27, 2009

Advertisement

Rotitelur - I am not sure how consistent you would update your blog but nevertheles, I am advertising your blog here:
http://rotitelur-tehtarik.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The iPhone I have been waiting for is HERE!

Lookie - look what I pulled out from my jeans:

"MY PRECIOUSSSSSSSSSSSSS"



Yes, it's an iPhone 3G.. white back.. which automatically signifies a 16GB version - the best! Apple has two iPhone 3G models: the 8GB which comes only in black and the 16GB which has two colour: black and white. So, if you have a 16GB, it only makes sense to get a white - it's more exclusive.. and it is reminisence of an iPod - which originally made its debut in white. And typical of Apple, the black iPhone comes in a black box. The white one came in a white box (I didn't expect this, actually)...



Inside this handsome package is an iPhone, a USB cable for charging, a 3 way plug for wall charging, a stereo headphone with mic - so it doubles as a headset, instructions manual, Apple logo to be stick to cars/computers and a soft cloth for wiping the phone.



I really like the wall charger as it means I don't need to charge ths iPhone from a PC.I didn't get any casing for the iPhone. Looking back at all my previous mobile phones, I never had a casing. I guess my reasoning was that the phone was supposed to be mobile and all the Nokia models I owned have Express Cover - i.e. can change the cover anytime. So with that in mind, what is the point of having those hard casings or leather type casings? It defeats the purpose of Express Cover.

But with the iPhone, which doesn't have any "express cover", it's just too hard to bear seeing scratches on it. And yet, I also cannot bear seeing its beauty hidden behind some ugly casings. Like, what's the point of having a white iPhone when it will be hidden behind some black, blue or green casings? So what do I do? ZipD adviced me to get the InvisibleSHIELD, a military grade, 2mm thin, see-through shielding that is, um, invisible. It's so thin and yet so tough that it would never scratch. So I bought that and self installed. It was difficult to install and while I didn't do a very good job, it served its purpose. Now, I could put the iPhone inside my jeans and not worried about scratches. The InvisibleSHIELD also reduces fingerprint and smudges.. so it's definitely a good choice.

I have been having a blast with this phone (for the past one week) and could not imagine myself using any other phones. In fact, I could not imagine why on earth would people pay RM1200 for a Nokia when they could own the revolutionary iPhone for RM1500. I am grateful for maxis to bring the iPhone to Malaysia! Thank you! (yes, your service still sucked but it's ok, I forgive you :P )

Friday, April 24, 2009

Unfortunately...

This morning, Anne's colleague called her in a state of panic. She noticed that she has bloody discharge. This colleague was 1 month pregnant. She woke up this morning with blood - she described it as "like having period". Anne asked her to stay calm but go immediately to a hospital/clinic. 40 minutes later, she called to say she had a miscarriage. We are saddened by the news. It's not easy to conceive.. so it must be a blow to her. Her husband is outstation. I can't imagine the pain she has to go through.

When she first conceived, it was not very stable. She saw a doctor who gave her medicine and adviced her to rest a lot. Unfortunately, work demands her to work very later hours. She's also very stressed up with her job. We think this could be the main reason for her miscarriage.

At times I wonder.. is it really worth it? The job I mean? Back to my earlier post on Beauty, Good and Gain ... there's no beauty in a job that would cause a miscarriage! Sometimes, it's just not worth it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Beauty, Gain, Good

So lately I am having motivational issues regarding work. I start to have negative thoughts about it. I wonder if this is the right job for me? What is a right job? Do I have to go through this every day? I tried very hard to lift my spirit and have positive thinking - it's working some what but certain days when the shit hits, it's all down the drain again and I have to start picking myself up. Even an iPhone, which finally arrived, didn't help..

In fact, I was selected by a renowned petroluem company for a first interview. I don't know if I was successful - but I am seriously considering changing job/company.

I remember someone told me about the type of jobs we should look for. The job should give you 3 qualities: beauty, gain and good.

Gain is money. We work for a living. Every job must pay well. My current job does. So it has gain.

Good is where what you do is not bad to the society. Extreme examples are you are not selling drugs or you are not working in a company selling tobacco. The not so extreme examples are jobs typical job that people do everyday: managers, tech support, accountant, etc -well, um, accountants could have a bad job if they manipulate the accounts and therefore potraying a different sets of books which then mislead investors. Yeah - even typical job could be bad.. My current one is 'good'..

Beauty is the beauty of the job. Do you love the nature of the job, the company, the boss, the culture and environment? I live 15 minutes away from the office which means I have a lot of time in the morning to do my prayers, get bfast done and in the future, send the baby to the baby sitter. I don't need to work late every evenings (ok, once a while there are late night calls but it's not often enough). I have a good work-life balance. Boss is ok. Team mates are manageable although often I find myself gritting my teeth when working with them. So theorectically, I have Beauty. But it is the nature of the job, the pressure of management, that giving me this dread. I should overcome it - there are many more beauty than ugliness - there's no reason I should change.

Right?

What about you? Does your job gives you beauty, gain and good? Let me know!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Britain Got Talent

I first heard about this show from my friend - about this mobile phone salesman singing opera and winning this "American Idol-like" show. His name was Paul Potts and he was amazing. Go to YouTube and search for his name.

Today, I read about this:
LONDON, April 16 — Susan Boyle, who admits she has never been kissed, astonished the judges at the auditions for ITV1 show with her rendition of ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ from “Les Miserables”.
The clip of her audition has been viewed 2,485,245 times in 72 hours.
The 48-year-old charity worker from West Lothian announced from the stage that her dream was to emulate West End star Elaine Paige.


Actually, when I saw today, her YouTube video was seen 15 million times! I think that's the highest YouTube view EVER!

And it was simply amazing. I had teary eye!

Please click to view - you'll not regret it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Name

Ok, we still have not figure out a name.. there's some characters we have narrowed down to but we couldn't combo them to make it sound nice:
jin - for glittering eg glittering stars
ann - as in gratitude
si - as in poetry

It's hard thinking of a good name!


Reducing housing loan interest

Woo hooooo! Thanks to Bahija, Ringgit has pestered ING to reduce his interest rate from 6.15% to 5.35% and now to 5% (pending their management approval)... that's a savings of about 12K of interest! And if I upped my monthly repayment by RM800, I can repay the BU house in 7 years time!

I had to threaten them that I will refinance, show them an offer from PBB and only then do they agree to reduce. Lots of emails and faxes but hey, it's a lot of savings le!

Wow.. 7 years later and I am half a millionaire (if I sell my house, that is.. LOL)

Still.. I would urge all of you to write to your banks and get a reduction in interest rate. HUGE SAVINGS!

Steam Games I Wanna Play

I finished World of Goo (last Saturday) and Fallout 3 (a couple of week ago). I still have GTA4 to go. 

But I am already dreaming of new games I wanna play: Braid is one of them. Then there's The Path (although I have some reservation because it is a horror game). 

I still have Call of Duty 4, Mass Effect and Stalker to play. These are heavy duty stuff that probably needed more time investment .. but Braid and The Path would be pretty simple and fun. 

Let's wait for the Steam Sales.

At the moment, my attention is on GTA4.

Step One

So, yesterday I went for an interview. It was with faith leaders on my appointment to take on slightly bigger responsibilities. Bahija would relate. So I said that I am not ready yet. This guy told me something which I thought makes sense - he said, there are two type of person: 

The first being looking for the right time, waiting for the right feel, and then taking up the responsibility. It may take some time.. a couple of years, maybe five.. During this time, there will be a lot of excuses and reason that would prevent this person from searching - maybe a new job, new role in the family, new crisis to resolve.. or maybe.. it was a smooth, comfortable life in the next five years - no reasons to even step out of the comfort zone. As time past, the heart of the person grows smaller instead of expanding - the tendency of arrogance and selfishness easily come in... what are the chances of taking up the responsibility?

The second type of person could be someone who has the mind set of 'just do it'. He may have a mindset of not being a 'leader' but to really help his friend, whom today is doing this role alone, to take off some load off his shoulder. So as he participate and take actions, he will find that his faith deepens. It's always there but taking up this role will deepen it - and it will be more fulfilling.. and later, this second guy could find the feel.. the passion.. the spirit.

Hmmm..

Interesting!

WTF! maxis!

I still have no iPhone! The number one Apple fan.. the guy who pre ordered even before they launched on March 20th.. the guy who called maxis Customer Service numerous time.. has.not.received.his.iPhone!

They came to my office for a roadshow. That's where I could officially signed up and continued my corporate plan status. They said I will get the phone in one or two weeks time. Today is the second week. NO NEWS OF THE PHONE! When I emailed the account manager, she promised me this Friday. I have no confidence in her statement.

Maxis - you suck!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Busy...

Busy with work.. can't think of anything to blog about. I wonder how some people do it? How can they blog just about anything?

Malaysia has a new PM. I also wonder how could a person who are accused of a murder - whether true or not - it does not matter but the fact that he was implicated in the crime which showed that there must be some hanky panky going on... and yet, somehow, this guy is now our PM... gosh.. our leader! I feel so ashamed - wtf!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

yes to iPhone for me!

Like our Malaysia PM, my adventure with iPhone and maxis is a flip flop adventure. Yesterday I received a call from maxis to say that they now allow people in Corporate Plan to buy iPhone. And all I need to do is sign an addedum to the agreement. No penalty for me. The only caveat? I can't get it in KLCC during the launch time which starts tomorrow and ends Sunday. I can only get it on the 26th and from an assigned 3rd party vendor. I do hope that the vendor is based in PJ.. preferably the one in One Utama.

The best thing is.. I still get to call my co-workers for free! (here's hoping there's no flip flopping on this one)

Monday, March 16, 2009

254 days ago..

Sometimes conversation between Anne and I are funny:
"Have you eaten mah tai (a type of fruit) before?" she would asked one evening while peeling the skin off the fruit.

"Yes, I have"

"When was it?"

"Um, let's see.. 254 days ago.."

====

"So, did you go toilet this morning?" she would ask. I have constipation problems.

"Yes"

"How much?"

"Huge shit load!"

"Really?"

"Yeah.. if you don't believe, I will take a picture in the future as proof!"

"EWWWWWW!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

no iPhone for me!

I am disappointed.. I am not getting the iPhone, not because I don't want to but because maxis refused to let me to.

This morning, ZipD told me that he received sms and email confirmation for the iPhone. I wondered about mine. We submitted at about the same time.. ok maybe 20 minutes later for me.. but I didn't hear anything.

I called 123 to find out why and was told that I am currently on a corporate plan. I remember this plan. I signed up because it gives a free phone (for my mother).. and the best thing about this plan is that I can call all my coworkers for free! And what's more, Anne could call her sister (who works in the same company as I do) for free. She used my phone a lot for that.

So I am already on this plan for 20 months. It expires in June. According to the iPhone FAQ, when you are signed up to a plan and you have met min 20 months criteria, you can change to the iPhone plan. I reminded the Customer Care lady about this clause and she said "ya hor.. you are right". She put me on hold to consult someone and then told me that I could go to a maxis Center to change my plan to individual plan and then call 123 and sign up for iPhone.

So after work, I braved the after-office traffic and drove round the block for a parking to finally reach the nearest maxis Center. I consulted the guy at the front door on my issues and he gave me a number. I waited for my turn and the Customer Care consultant checked my info and said "sorry Sir.. you need to go upstairs since you are a corporate customer" - I wonder if the guy at the front door knew about this!

Nvm, get another number, went upstairs and waited for my turn. Talked to this Customer Care (do they really care for us, I wonder) consultant who then told me that I cannot change to individual plan unless I pay a rm120 penalty! What the ****?

I drove all the way here in order for you to tell me the same thing that your 123 guy said? So what was the reason that 123 guy asked me to come to maxis Center?

Why can't you waive this bloody rm120? After all, I am signing up for another 2 year contract for the iPhone .. and it's a more expensive contract and I lose the benefit of calling my co-workers for free, therefore, translating into more $ to maxis! In fact, with the iPhone's iValue plan, I can't call my supplementary line for free too! So, are you saying I have to pay rm120 penalty in order to give you more business? She can't answer .. or she couldn't be bothered - not her business.

CRAP!

So I called 123 and lodge a formal complaint - the consultant said she has to refer to her supervisor and will call me back. It's an hour already. No return calls. Like I said, do they even care?

So, I'll wait.

I have waited 2 years for the iphone.. what more another 4 months. In fact, maybe I should wait till they do promotion to corporate customers.. and I get to call coworkers for free and get an iPhone. In fact, today I read that there could be a launch of new iPhones by Apple in June.

Yeah.. but I can't help feeling disappointed!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I placed my order...

He he he ... I went online and placed my order. Am waiting for a confirmation SMS to say that my order is confirmed. It's been 20 hours.. no SMS. Maxis sucks! But, they were well prepared for the onslaught of enquiries. If you dial 123 to call maxis, there is a Option 6 just for iPhone enquiries.. cool...

Am I having buyer's remorse? Slightly .. not sure why - 10 years ago, I would not have blink much for getting a 1K phone. Now.. things were different. Maybe I am more stingy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

iPHONE in MALAYSIA!

It will be under MAXIS!
There's definitely a plan/contract you have to sign up.. one that includes data plan.

WOW! I WANT ONE! NOW!
I have waited for 2 years! It's FINALLY here!
There will be an official launch in KL Convention Center on 20th March.
I will not miss my current monochrome Nokia.
But I will miss my ringgit..
Click here for the rate plan:

Sunday, March 08, 2009

World of Goo

This wonderful game is on sale in Steam for US$5 after a 75% discount. I have been waiting for this sale for a long time. It's finally here and I am a happy camper!


GTA

I really like how games designers find new ways to do things. Take, for instance, GTA 4. Usually you get from one destination to the other through the in-built car GPS. That's nice, but what other ways could one innovate? For one, in a more expensive car, they have audio GPS - you know, the woman voice-over which would tell you how many yards/mile before your next turn.

Last night, in one particular mission, I picked up a guy and he instructed me how to get to the destination. That was refreshing. It's almost life like - he was unsure of his instruction, asked you to slow down so he could get his bearing better and would even make mistakes. That's innovation, IMO. I wish there were more of these innovations.

There was a couple of innovations in the game that I appreciate but it slipped my mind at the moment. I'll be updating this when I remember them.
Edit: the other innovation is one mission where someone would send me a MMS to my handphone. The MMS would have picture of a car. I need to look at the picture, figure out where it is and then drive around the city looking for the car.. it makes good use of the city environment and forced player to appreciate the details. Nice!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oscar

We saw Benjamin Button two weeks ago and then Slumdog Millionaire yesterday evening. I must say that between these two Academy Award Best Picture nominated movies, I enjoyed Slumdog more. It's not a feel good movie that Anti-Ringgit claimed it was but it is entertaining and exciting. Button was just too slow for my taste and too, how do you say, arty-farty. These days, not many people likes arty-farty show anymore.. I guess that's the reason why it only win 3 Oscars (out of 13 it was nominated)... If you have not seen Slumdog, I highly recommend it. Go see it in the movies.. the score was an excellent piece that moves and complemented the movie.

Tonight - I am going to watch Platoon - a war movie which won Oscar for Best Picture in 1986. I have not seen this movie before, so it will be a trip down memory lane...

Update: saw this in oscar.org:
These are the Best Picture winners... bold red are those I have seen..

2008 - “Slumdog Millionaire”
2007 - “No Country for Old Men”
2006 - “The Departed”
2005 - “Crash”
2004 - “Million Dollar Baby”
2003 - “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
2002 - “Chicago”
2001 - “A Beautiful Mind”
2000 - “Gladiator”
1999 - “American Beauty”
1998 - “Shakespeare in Love”
1997 - “Titanic”
1996 - “The English Patient”
1995 - “Braveheart”
1994 - “Forrest Gump”
1993 - “Shindler's List”
1992 - “Unforgiven”
1991 - “The Silence of the Lambs”
1990 - “Dances with Wolves”
1989 - “Driving Miss Daisy”
1988 - “Rain Man”
1987 - “The Last Emperor”
1986 - “Platoon”
1985 - “Out of Africa”
1984 - “Amadeus”
1983 - “Terms of Endearment”
1982 - “Gandhi”
1981 - “Chariots of Fire”
1980 - “Ordinary People”

Friday, February 27, 2009

Growing up...

Our baby girl is growing very fast in the tummy.. She's in her third trimesters and people are saying that in this 3 months, her weight will grow double or triple! It's like lightning speed! Anyway, her movement are more pronounced - yesterday night she decided to stick her buttocks out and you could see an odd shape protruding out of her mother's tummy.. and when she decide to do some kung fu moves, you could also see a bulge here or there. Now I know why pregnant lady can't wear tights - it would be odd to see bulges everywhere.

On a side note, still have not thought of a name for her. Any suggestions? Our plan is not to give an ang moh name but to have the Chinese first name that sounds like ang moh name.. Some popular choices which we are not considering are Kai Li for Kylie .. or Li Lian for Lilian - but you get the idea.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cineleisure

So I wanted to watch Slumdog Millionaire last weekend. I go to Google and type "cathay cineleisure".. the first entry came up and I clicked Buy Ticket.. somehow - and I think I was dead tired or blind - I just Page Down to the Slumdog entry and tried to buy the ticket. Fortunately the process failed - their servers down or something .. I then realized I was entering my credit card into Cathay Singapore!!!

Wow... the danger of Internet booking!

I almost kena charged SGD$20 for a movie I can't go see! PHEWWWW!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hot!

It's so hot these days.. not sure why. I feel like it's one of the hottest day in my life last weekend. Anne feels even hotter. Pregnant lady somehow produces more heat. I have not seen her sweat and last few days were an eye opener. It's so bad that she's getting rashes around the knees. We are putting on lots of talcum powder.. 3 more months and the baby is going to pop out! I can't wait :)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

CNY

CNY just came and went! 9 days of holidays flew past - in a blink of an eye! It was a very hectic hols. So many visitations.. so tiring.. and there's this huge drama among ZipD and Droolman. Wish I have time to blog .. hopefully one day.. and then, no time for games! I can't believe I have no time for games when I have 9 days of hols... it's amazing....................

Then again, better to be busy visiting friends and relatives than have no visitations - like my next door neighbour. I noticed that his cars did not move at all during CNY. It's like he and his family was at home for the whole 9 days.. ha ha .. of course they are still alive - I checked.

Then again, I could be wrong about their cars not moving - I wasn't home all the time either.. Maybe they did go out for visitations.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My New CNY Toy is..

.. a ThinkPad USB desktop keyboard! This is something I have been wanting to buy for a long, long time. I think the 'lust' started about 4-5 years ago but I didn't act on it until 2 months ago when my friend, Mr Fly, asked me about this and convinced me to buy together. It's not easy to buy this baby in Malaysia. I had to call Lenovo, who gave me a number so I can call their Malaysia reseller ThunderMatch. They asked for payment in advance and then would load the order. We had to wait TWO (2) months for it to arrive.. I received it yesterday! Just in time for CNY!

I have been using a ThinkPad* for 13 years! And the feel of the keyboard is unmatched by any other keyboard or notebooks. Of course, the TrackPoint (the red 'nipple' pointer) is second to none. So don't you think that I should be getting a ThinkPad keyboard for my home desktop? The convenience of the TrackPoint and the feel of the excellent keyboard is worth the more expensive price that I am paying!

There are two types of USB ThinkPad keyboard. One is just called USB ThinkPad keyboard, which I owned and is shown in the picture above, the other is called a USB ThinkPad Traveller keyboard. The one I own has the numpad but it is still shorter than the normal keyboard. If you compared to a normal desktop keyboard, you would notice that between the Enter and the numpad, the arrow keys and the "Insert", "Home" keys are missing from this ThinkPad keyboard. Thus, the shorter footprint. They are not so much missing as being relocated to the top and bottom of the keyboard - just like how it is in a ThinkPad notebook.

The Traveller keyboard which my friend bought is exactly the same size as a ThinkPad keyboard. It doesn't have a numpad and the cables are shorter. It's meant for engineers to bring along as they travel.

I chose the non-Traveller version because I feel that as a desktop keyboard, I need the numpad. Besides, some games use the numpad.

Both keyboards comes with two USB ports - so I could plug in my USB drive or camera to the keyboard without having to reach to the PC to install.

Most of the functions keys work, except the Fn Home and Fn End which adjust LCD brightness. There's an additional Fn "NumLk" in my keyboard which launches the Calculator.. cool!

I'm a happy gamer today!

* Let's see, I started using a ThinkPad 755, then 760, then T20, T40 and now a T60. Excellent machines - if I were to buy a notebook out of my own pocket, it will be a ThinkPad!

Update - April 2009: I begin to appreciate getting the full keyboard instead of the Traveller ones. There are games that needed the numpad.. eg Grand Theft Auto 4 when you pilot a helicopter.. so it was a good decision.

Oh.. I saw this video in YouTube:
(yes, it came in that ugly plain brown packaging)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Follower..

I am very sad.. only 1 Follower in my blog! Where are my readers???

Survey

Ringgit went back to EPF today. This time he had all the forms and supporting documents done. He got a number and was attended to in about 5 minutes of waiting. As the officer went through all his document, another lady came over. She looks like the supervisor. She kept on asking the officer if the documentations are complete. The officer nodded yes. She asked again .. can approve? The officer said yes.. Satisfied, the supervisor hand over a survey form to Ringgit to fill - to feedback on the quality of service. Ringgit asked - is it for THIS officer or for KWSP in general because his experience with KWSP YESTERDAY was not very pleasant. Oh.. the supervisor smiled sheepishly, "it's supposed to be for this officer but if you want to feedback about KWSP also can." Ringgit looked at the form and all the questions are about this officer! He wonders why no one gave him a form yesterday. What's the point of giving a form to a 'successful applicant'?

On a side note, I am very pleased with the online EPF portal. I could already see that my application is now Pending approval. Less than an hour and it showed on my online portal.. Nice!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

EPF

Ringgit is angry! He went to EPF today to process on EPF account 2 withdrawal for the house. He came prepared with the right documentation - he even called EPF hotline to confirm. But he didn't tell them this is a joint name house - he just assumed they knew because he withdrew before. This is a second withdrawal after all and he didn't need much documentation when he did his first withdrawal.

When it was his turn, he showed them the documentation and form and the lady informed him that he has to show that he's related to the two people in the joint name - as in, must show birth cert of everyone listed in the S&P. It's a new policy since Oct 08 - because of many fraud cases, they wanted proof that you are related to the person in the joint name a/c! Ringgit argues that he withdrew before and that they didn't tell him when he called. They said too bad - it's a new policy.

Ringgit is pissed!

Windows 7 Beta

Microsoft is letting user try Windows 7 Beta. Download NOW! Expires August 1st
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/beta-download.aspx

Monday, January 05, 2009

At least you are not drinking in a pub


I blogged about me asking a friend to help me buy GTA4.

Below is a short email exchange between us:

Kittie Kat:
I take it this is a pc game that (wife) does not approve off ;)

Ringgit:
It's not that she doesn't approve of this game.. she doesn't approve of me gaming :P

Kittie Kat:
I feel her pain...but then tell her at least you will be at home and not at the golf course or drinking in a pub.....
well i hope you are at home! :)


The exchange leads to me blogging today about this particular topic.

There are men who spent lots of time outside of home, especially the older generations - be it golfing with buddies, mamak with friends, drinking with colleagues or customers, going to arcade centers for video games/bowling (olden days), going to spa/massage centers and lots of other activities. Men are not known to be at home - they usually escape from the house because they just want to be out.

I bet you the wives of these men with interest such as above would complained that their husband is never around the house, not helping out with the kids and chores, not taking care of the house. Some even said that their husbands spend more times with friends and business associates than with them (wives).

And I bet you that they would give the world to see their husbands 'chained' at home.

Now fast forward about 10 years. Men these days are more accessible to video games and computer games and the Internet - mainly because computers are so easy to use and many games are designed for the general public, not hardcore targetted gamers. You hear a lot of people who didn't play games started to get an interest in computer games. I could name you many friends who have zero interest in games now playing them at home.

And so these men, including me, spend A LOT of time at home. We don't go out for drinks, mamak or spa. We stay at home - sometimes between gaming sessions, we helped out with the house chores .. and YET.. the women complains! And the complains are typically - we spent too much time on the PC, we need to go out more, help buy this, buy that.. etc.

You can never win with the women!

So, which is the lesser of the two evils? PC games or Golf/Drinking in the Pub?

Comment away in the comments...
edit: for the record - I played games, at most 1 hour/day. And only full day Saturday - provided we are not going out on Saturday.

Economy is bad?

Have you noticed that it is very difficult to get home improvement work done these days? My roofing (pergola, to be exact) had some problem ...