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Reflection

Dogbone gave me a desk calendar every year. I have been using the calendar since 2000 (I think) and every year, during the last week of December when things are pretty quiet in the office, I would flip through my desk calendar and look at what had happened in the past 12 months

This year was an interesting year. I started the year in Dallas, and came back on the day before CNY. Spent CNY with the family (mine and Anne’s).

In February, I went for a all guys trip to Penang with the old school friends: Loochomus, Baliant, Whitedruid. In March, I made a LANparty trip to Cameron Highlands with Zipd, Dogbone, Droolman and Gayric.

In April, I started hunting for a house. I saw a gadzillion houses – some are pretty good, others were disappointing.

Attended Monica’s wedding in May. In the same month, I saw Grease, the musical in KLCC Convention Center.

June marked the month where I was promoted to a managerial position. In July, my company moved to a new building. I started to look and hire in July…

Christmas at Monica's

That's the Christmas tree at Monica's house this year. Very quiet Christmas. From the 6 Friends, 3 were around this Christmas: Anne and myself, Phoebe and of course Monica. Everyone was sober. It reminds me of Season 10 of Friends - everyone is grown up or married or attached. Things are just more serious and not-fun. We don't have a fun-Bob (if you have seen the Friends episode on fun-Bob, you will know what I mean) anymore.

Monica's mom's fried rice and jelly cocktail drink is still as delicious as ever.

BU12

So I received my keys last Friday and went to inspect the house again. To my dismay, I discovered that the master bedroom is filled with stinking cat poo! There's so much of it that I suspect that my bedroom must have become a nesting place for these "miang" cats. GRR.. so last weekend, my father and I had to clean up the place. So smelly.. yucks...

After a few cans of Lysol and air freshener, the place smells like new :)

Stealing Thunder

In one episode of Friends, Monica was upset with Rachel for stealing her thunder i.e. stealing the attention Monica is supposed to get - it was her birthday I think.

This Christmas eve, we are all going to Monica's house to celebrate Christmas. It's a yearly event and we have been doing this for years. This time though, Anne will be going to Monica's with me. A lot of colleagues will meet Anne for the first time. I hope that we don't steal Monica's thunder - she will be very upset :P

Looking back on some of the happenings around me, I find that I tend to steal people's thunder... like the other day, I stole Joey's thunder when his farewell dinner turned into Ringgit's birthday dinner :P

The Love Diamond

Have there ever been a time where you are absolutely thrilled with a purchase you made? A time where your choice was validated again and again that it was the right purchase and you were positively happy that you trusted your feelings and followed your heart? Well, it happened to me tonight.

I talked about buying a LD in this post. LD is actually The Love Diamond. Yes, I bought an engagement ring. I wanted to propose to Anne when I was writing the post and in fact, as of 19 Nov, I already have. However, that's another story for another day.

In this post I wanted to promote The Love Diamond. The boutique is called The Love Diamond and the diamonds they sell are named Love Diamond. This boutique is owned by The Carat Club, a prestigious diamond retailer in Malaysia. Ross, Monica and Phoebe went with me to hunt for an engagement ring. Our first stop were in Sunway Pyramid as we met there to try out the new Tony Roma's ribs. Sunway Pyramid has only 3 jewelry stores. Monica suggested…

Busy busy busy Bee

It’s been a busy November month. I have to chase people at the insurance company, lawyers and what not to ensure the loan for the house is processed on time. Then there’s so many wedding dinners/events that I was involved in. Of course, there’s WOW in the equation and year end staff assessment. So many balls to juggle and what dropped – mamak/brunch session with friends. Ai.. can’t be helped. Sorry guys.December is not any better – there’s hiring and there’s American guests dropping by. Lots of time spent here too. Of course, age is a factor – somehow I can’t stay up as late as I used to. So much things to do. So little time and energy.

PoTo

As I was surfing this morning, it dawned on me that I have not talked abt the upcoming Phantom of the Opera musical in Singapore. PoTo is coming to Singapore in March 29th. Phoebe, Monica, Anne and I will be making a trip in April to see PoTo. We will also have the opportunity to see rotitelur's baby at that time. I am so looking forward to this trip.

This reminds me of my first musical in Singapore. It was Miss Saigon. People say that one usually have fond memories of one's first musical and it is such a true statement. As I was surfing, I was listening to Miss Saigon's music in iTunes. What beautiful tunes.

It is my opinion that Miss Saigon and Les Miserables are two of the greatest musicals
ever. PoTo is not even close.. and you know why? It's not because of the costumes nor the settings - it's really because MS and LM are stories about human struggles against an oppressive environment. The fact that these are tragic stories proves that they are so real and easier …

MidValley

Monica, Phoebe and I went to Midvalley and collected LD. We went for Nandos and then a cuppa at Starbucks. As Phoebe said, "Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah" which is true. And they are all part of it. It was nice to just catch up and gossips. Heh...

The last time we came to Midvalley was 2 weeks ago to order LD. Mah Lau was there. We ate at Tony Roma's in Sunway Pyramid before adjourning to Midvalley for our mission. I am glad we came here though it was out of the way. Good choice.

World of Warcraft

I have been busy playing WoW lately. I have no time to blog.
Fortunately, I am still able to balance life, work and WoW. It is tough but it is possible.

I just have to do some sacrifices, namely blogging, chatting in MSN during weekends, surfing, the works. LOL!

GTG...

Prestige

This weekend have been a busy one. I saw World Trade Center on Friday night in Cineleisure Damansara. This is the first time I have been to Cineleisure and I was surprised that it is a shopping center cum cinema. I always thought that it is just a cinema complex. I wonder how this center is going to survive with The Curve, Ikano and 1 Utama so near to it. Anyway, the movie, WTC, is very disappointing. I don't know why it get good reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. It's kinda dry and "expected".

On Saturday, I saw The Prestige with Anne and Bahija. Now, this is good movie! Very interesting set up, lots of surprises along the way, very "The Sixth Sense" like - the type of movie that made you look back to the beginning of the show to make you go "Ohhhh... no wonder.. now I see it!"

After the movie, Anne and I went to a dinner in New Paris, near SS2. This was a gathering of old school friends and their wives and partner. One of my friends, TaiLo, wanted to …

You're Pitiful

Have you heard of Weird Al Yankovic?

He's an artist who sings parody out of popular songs.
He made his name back in the 80s when he started singing Michael Jackson's "Beat It" as "Eat It", depicting fat people in his music video, eating it. I love some of his songs, particularly one called "The Saga Begins" sung to the tune of Madonna's "American Pie". "The Saga Begins" tell the story abt Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars.

Anyway, he has released a free song called "You're Pitiful" - singing about a 42 year old gamer cum Star Trek fan who still stays with his parents and smells repulsive:

"You eat chips, of your chest, while playing Halo 2. No one is classier than you.. lalalalalalala Loser..."

This song is sung to the tune of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful".

Absolutely hilarious!!

Watch the video in YouTube. Or download the mp3 from the official site, linked above.

Things I did

So what have I done in the past 5 days?
1. I saw World of Warcraft in ZipD's PC and I must say I am TEMPTED to play the game. I told Loochoomus and Daniel about it and somehow they are interested also despite having no pc, no internet connection and having to fork out rm200 for the game. I think they do not realize how potentially devastating this game could be to their lives or perhaps they are just curious after reading about it in the papers.

I also saw the 7 adorable puppies in ZipD's house.

2. I finished Lost 2. Really nice and interesting TV series.

3. I started playing CoH. It was fun. I played around 6-7 levels from the campaign and has started to get bored. I bet the multiplayer would be interesting.

4. I installed the Pentium 3 PC upstairs for dad to use. It has wireless. Don't play play.

5. Visited Anne's cousin brother who was hospitalized. Poor chap skidded and crashed into a lamp post in Jalan Damansara before Victoria Station restaurant (just before Help Insti…

Time Flies..

Mon, Tue and Wed is a public holiday here - Deeparaya. It's already Tuesday! I just wasted 4 days doing nothing and time flies! There's still so much to do...

Seriously though, I was bored. I wanna go back to work :P

Tech Stocks...

Tech stocks seemed to be pretty bullish for the past couple of weeks. I hope this uptrend continues till end of 2006. I could do with some moolah for the new house... Go tech.. gooooooooo!

Haze: How Much Longer?

Playing Host

Last weekend, I played host two an American executives. She's visiting the team here. Naturally, playing host cost money - money that cannot be claimed. SIGHHHHH... Anyway, that is not what I wanted to say in this post.

This evening, in 1 Utama, my host was intrigued by the OSIM iGallop, an exercise machine which one rides on it, as though riding a horse. My guest was thrilled by it and she realized the "implications" to the naughty minds. She was excited, claiming that she has never seen one like this in the USA. But that is not what I wanted to say in this post.

What I wanted to say is that as I was watching the salesman pushing the iGallop to her, something occur to me. I do a quick math in my head and was horrified to realize that what my American executive made in a month, converted to RM, is what this salesman make in TEN years! Can you imagine how disgusting this is? This poor chap, talking enthusiastically to sell her the iGallop, can talk for 10 years and still co…

Mental Friends

This afternoon, Monica, Anti Ringgit and I met for lunch. I learned about the term “mental friends” from AR. He claimed that we have been demoted to be a “mental friend”, someone whom he only thinks about. Can you imagine that? Celaka.

So, the priority, according to AR is: Mental friend -> Acquaintance -> Friend -> Friend Friend -> LoverLOL!

Australian Post

Chat with Anti Ringgit who is now in AU..

Anti R (2:05 PM) then many other cerita lah
Anti R (2:05 PM) my ATM oz bank tak send lagi
Anti R (2:05 PM) hilang in post
Anti R (2:05 PM) now no money to pay bills
Anti R (2:05 PM) unless i go back and withdraw at oz bank counter
Ringgit (2:05 PM) Aiyo.. how come hilang in post? I tot only happen in POS Malaysia
Ringgit (2:05 PM) AU Post also same???
Anti R (2:06 PM) i dunno what happened
Anti R (2:06 PM) so when they dun give me ATM ..i cannot withdraw out there
Anti R (2:06 PM) i m relying on my own past income
Ringgit (2:06 PM) Can I post this part of our conversation abt AU Post in my blog?
Anti R (2:06 PM) drying soon
Anti R (2:06 PM) i dunno who's fault
Ringgit (2:06 PM) So AU is not exactly very efficient
Ringgit (2:06 PM) :D
Anti R (2:07 PM) a bit slow i hv to say
Anti R (2:07 PM) open an account need to set appointment
Anti R (2:07 PM) can u imagine
Anti R (2:07 PM) it's not like u walk a…

Haze is back

.. again...

Did you know that we have sufferred this intrusion from irresponsible Indonesians for 8 years? 8 freaking years!!!

If you have a child who is 8 year old, he probably thinks that it is an annual event - like Christmas or CNY. Can you believe this?

Discrimination

I went for a 2-day class today and learned something interesting. It's about diversity in workforce.

This is one of the most requested programs in FRONTLINE's history. It is about an Iowa schoolteacher who, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968, gave her third-grade students a first-hand experience in the meaning of discrimination. This is the story of what she taught the children, and the impact that lesson had on their lives.

Watch the video: (Official website here)

See it in YouTube.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJLUQzwCFIo

Panasonic

For months I have been looking for a good land-line phone so that I could take teleconference from home. I wanted to look for a phone with good voice clarity, ability to mute and to have speaker-phone capability. I have failed to find any - not that I really tried.

Anyway, I have decided to stop looking. My handphone has all these capabilities already. And with maxis' 132 option to dial USA for just 20 sen a minute, why would I bother with a land line.

Yay me!

Why Some People Have All The Luck

Why Some People Have All The Luck
By Professor Richard Wiseman, University of Hertfordshire

Why do some people get all the luck while others never get the breaks they deserve?
A psychologist says he has discovered the answer.

Ten years ago, I set out to examine luck. I wanted to know why some people are always in the right place at the right time, while others consistently experience ill fortune. I placed advertisements in national newspapers asking for people who felt consistently lucky or unlucky to contact me.

Hundreds of extraordinary men and women volunteered for my research and over the years, I have interviewed them, monitored their lives and had them take part in experiments.

The results reveal that although these people have almost no insight into the causes of their luck, their thoughts and behavior are responsible for much of their good and bad fortune. Take the case of seemingly chance opportunities. Lucky people consistently encounter such opportunities, whereas unluck…

Ramadan

Today is the first day of Ramadan, where Muslims all over the world fast for a month - to remind them of the hunger and loneliness that a huge number of people have to go through everyday. It was 2 years ago, around this day, that AR, Bahija, Miss Peace and me went for a tour to Egypt. Time really flies. I have not been out for a overseas holiday since. Looking at the state of financial commitment I am having now, it will be a few more years before I go for another hols. I am glad that I made that trip to Egypt back in 2004. Very memorable and enjoyable trip.

So much has changed since them. AR migrated. Bahija found happiness and nourishment to her soul by adopting the Christian faith. Ringgit has a new and happy life with Anne. Miss Peace owns two beautiful Golden Retrievals.

Everyone progressed to the better. Let's not forget the less fortunate and take this opportunity to reflect and be grateful for what we have :)

Remember, complaints erase good fortune. Grateful prayers build ha…

Yet Another Team Lunch Saga

I know we are all sick of hearing this. And I am sick of talking about it. Yet I could not resist. I didn't realize that it was already 3 months since I took the team out to the Japanese buffet restaurant in 1 Utama. Time flies!

So, this quarter, I decided to try to keep the budget in control. Hey, I am not paid enough to keep on sponsoring for other people! I have a house and life to sustain, you know. Anyway, so I decided to take the team to a Nyonya restaurant in 1 Utama.

All was well.. nobody was complaining, except this one lady. Let's called her Seller, as she came from the sales background and loves to tell people she's a seller. Seller has problem with her boss. Often, she would talked to me over dinner and asked for advice. I usually gave her very good advice - so she feels that she could trust and be close to me.

When she heard that lunch was at the Nyonya restaurant, she wasn't thrilled. She started telling me that on that same day, the business consulting grou…

BU12 Part Deux

This afternoon, I arranged with the agent for another viewing of the house I bought. My mother, sister and Anne's parents have not seen it. The general consensus of everyone after viewing the house is that it is all THUMBS UP! Mom was very excited about it. She thought it'd be a very run down place (for the price) but after she has seen it, she felt much better. It is new and clean, is all she said the whole afternoon. All of them like the "pinkist" tile that the owner did upstairs. I didn't really like that very much but they all agreed that it is nice and it would be a shame (and expensive) to tear it down. So all of them have some idea or two of what needed to be done to the house.. I am glad that everybody's happy.

When I think about it, most of my house buying has some areas that we are not completely satisfied with. You see, I'm not rich. Because of the limited amount of finance I could afford, there are not many places I could see. Unless I wanted a…

Apple Pro Keyboard

The Apple keyboard is really nice to type. Very responsive. There's a very good feel about it. Makes me wanna type more and more blog just to feel the thing. Highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a keyboard. The only thing that is missing is the PrintScreen button because it is relabelled as F14. I used a small little program called SharpKeys from RandyRants.com to change the Windows Registry to map F14 to PrintScreen. Simple and elegant.

Complaints erase good fortune...

"Complaints erase good fortune, grateful prayers build happiness for eternity"

These are words that Anne have drilled into me for many months. After dating her for around one and a half years, I must admit that there are some truth to this statement. Most of my friends would probably attest to the fact that I complained less and less these days. And you know what, I do find that a lot of things in my life has improved - relationship with colleagues, managers, friends, families and even "acquaintances". A lot of things go very smoothly when the "people" relationship improves.

So, people.. don't complain. You will find that life will be much better than before..

And if you could truly say grateful prayers.. and I mean truly grateful.. you will find happiness. I still have not achieve this level yet.. LOL. Anne said that sometimes when she pray, she will be so grateful for whatever it was she's grateful at that tears fall down her face.. Hmmmm... She sa…

Dell 2407WFP - 24" of goodness

I have ordered a Dell 24" Wide Screen flat panel display. Hopefully there won't be any dead pixels like what I had experienced previously.

Wish me luck..

Because 24" is really huge, I don't think I need to use my ol' faithful Sony 17" monitor. Since I still have a Pentium 3 collecting dust beneath my table, I plan to recycle the P3 with the Sony monitor. I am thinking of getting a wireless PCI card to install it onto the P3. I could then put the P3 upstairs so that the family could also use it. My sis and father could be able to use the Net during the weekends when I am hogging the PC.

So, all I need is a mouse and keyboard..

And this morning, I bought an Apple Pro keyboard. Amazing little thing.. very nice to type (dare I say that it feel even better than a ThinkPad keyboard?) - well it does.. there are two USB port behind the keyboard and I could charge my iPod. This is *totally* cool :)

The keyboard has a volume up, down and mute key just above the numeric key…

iTunes 7 is out!!

... and it is damn, damn cool:
1. auto download album art from iTMS for songs that you do not have album art

2. ability to browse your song as though you are flipping through CDs.. really nice..


3. new interface when I plug in iPod.. very cool

4. ability to burn mp3 CD from playlist (previously, you can only burn music cd) .. now I can burn all the songs in my fav playlist to Anne. Last time, I had to locate individual files from my hdd to copy to her.

Go download it..

Bought!

I finally bought a place in Bandar Utama for rm415K .. yay!

I am happy. That is a very good price.

The owner is an Indian lady doctor. She stays in Damansara Heights so she must be loaded. Anyway, her daughters are furthering their studies in the USA and they needed the cash which was why they wanted to sell the house. I have done some homework prior to putting down the money. Have spoken to 3 neighbours and asked them if there are any problem with the house.. you know, like those "dirty" stuff... they said that the house has always been tenanted and they have not heard of any dirty stuff.. I guess that's good enough for me. My immediate neighbour validated the "daughters studying overseas" story. She said that the owner told her about this and asked her to help sell.. at that time, they were asking for almost rm500k but no buyer.. and they get desperate.. so.. I am very lucky!

Now I have to find money and banks to help me finance the house.

Some people have all the luck

My colleague is quitting. Her husband, who is working with an international bank, managed to get an assignment to London, United Kingdom, for a minimum of 2 years. My colleague is following her husband to UK. They planned to go there in Nov/Dec.

This evening, I heard that my colleague went for a phone interview with my company's UK branch and was offerred a regular job! In one interview! She was jumping with joy. This colleague is a high performer. It's no surprise that she is able to secure a job. I am happy for her!

The strange thing is that just this morning, I interviewed and offerred a job to a Peruvian through the phone and I could also hear the joy of happiness over the phone cables.

I am happy that I could make someone jumped with joy, thousands of miles away. I probably made his day.. and probably changed one chapter in his life.

Now, if only I have such luck...

Register

Yesterday, during breakfast, my mother nonchalantly declared that it was good of me to start looking for a house because I could also start planning for my marriage. I grunted indifferently. She then pressed on and asked me when I am getting married. I said next year is a good year, I guess. She was quite insistent because the third time, she suggested out loudly, why not register first? I was surprised at that statement. My sister was sniggering in the breakfast table.

I looked at her and she burst out saying that my mother and her went to visit Twar Ee (eldest aunt) recently and Twar Ee is trying to influence my mother to get me hooked asap. She said, don't wait for him to decide, if need be, you call Anne's mother directly.

"Wah lau!", I exclaimed, "So desperate meh?"

"With your temper, I scared Anne run away from you," she defended. "Since we are at this topic, I find that she's a really nice girl. She respect old people, she's soft…

Sold

Last Saturday, I was supposed to make deposit payment for the house in BU12 at 3.30pm. At 11am, the agent called me to tell me that the house was sold. It was sold for RM455K, RM10K more than my offer. Sigh... Perhaps this house is not meant for me.

Mad

I am staying in Menjalara and the area around this quiet township has been going through major development. Opposite my house, just across the road is Desa Park City and Sunway SPK - huge development projects, When Sunway SPK first launched a few years ago, a 2 storey house cost RM550k. The 2.5 storey house cost 690K. A 2.5 storey Southlake house in Desa Park City is selling for 880K. Gives you an idea of how property prices has boomed in this part of Kepong.

A few days ago, I saw what used to be a nice cluster of rubber trees being cleared. This huge piece of land is opposite the 7-block Menjalara condominium. It is also directly opposite Nadia houses of Desa Park City. On the signboard was a simple "Cadangan membina 196 unit rumah dua tingkat" (Plan to build 196 units of double storey houses). When I saw it, I was excited. A new housing development. Please let it be reasonably priced. The board did not say who is the developer. I am holding my breathe.. hoping to see some f…

BU12

Last week I went to Bandar Utama to look at a house. It is in BU12, a nice secluded area just opposite Sony, on the other side of the road. The house is huge – 22x75 with a built up of 2,200 sq ft. This is a big built up for a 22x75. The asking price? RM470K. It’s relatively cheap because BU houses are 500K and above. I am tempted to get the place. There is one reservation: the house is the 6th house from the corner. Opposite the end lot, is an empty clearing. Checking with the developer, this clearing is reserved for MPPJ to build a mosque. The land is already given to MPPJ since 1991. They have not built the mosque for the past 15 years. They will build a mosque.. just that we don’t know when. I am torn. What should I do? My friend PCS said that he’s love to stay in BU far exceed the bad points of having a mosque next door. So he does not mind. What about me? I do mind a mosque but I just cannot believe that I could stay in BU for RM450K!

Gerik

Last week I went with Anne and her family to Gerik, to visit her maternal grandfather. We left KL on Friday evening and spend the night in an aunt’s house in Simpang Pulai, Ipoh. Went for breakfast the next morning and left Ipoh at around 2.30pm. We reached Gerik at around 5pm and spent the night in her grandfather house in Gerik.

Gerik is a small town and like any other small towns in Malaysia, it is quiet and peaceful. There are a few rows of shophouses and recently, there’s a Fajar mall. I was surprised to see Fajar – it’s huge by a small town standard. I am not sure if it will survive.

Anne and I spent the evening wandering around the village. It was a really nice and cool evening walk. I notice that people don’t lock their houses here. It must be nice to feel so safe. Anyway, I heard from her grandfather that lately there has been a couple of break ins. There were some construction (they are building a new highway to Kota Bahru) so the townsfolk suspected the Indonesian immigrants …

123456

Wow.. When I reached home after Jim Brickman's concert, I looked at my speedometer and saw that my car has clocked 123,456 km! (well, it was 123,456 just at the mosque near my house but I was not able to stop the car to take a picture. I took the picture when I reached home, which is another km away).. nevertheless, it was a coincidence! 123,456km for a 7+ year old car. Not too bad, eh?

An Evening With Jim Brickman

Yesterday, Anne, my mother, sister and I went to Genting Highlands, to spend an evening with the American pianist, Jim Brickman. My sister has 3 free tickets courtesy of her friend. We bought one ticket from Genting.com so mom can go and I must say that we enjoyed ourselves tremendously. There were 3 guest singers: local "diva" Fauziah Latiff, Philippines singer, Phoebe and an American male artist, John Trones.

I'm ashamed to say that Fauziah pales in comparison to the Philippines and American artist. She sounded awkward, unable to bring the song alive and worst, she has to read the lyrics from a book, as though she was not prepared. During a duet, instead of staring into John Trones' eye, she was staring at the book. Shame on you, Fauziah! In one incident, Jim Brickman told the audience that she'll let Fauziah introduce the next song that she's going to sing. Fauziah said that the song she's singing is in her new album - this song is called Perjanjian and…

Disturbingly Attractive

I find this photo of two Swedish World Cup fans distubingly attractive...

Busy

Looks like everyone in my blogsphere is a busy bee.. myself included. Managing 15 people is no piece of cake.. so I am getting very much challenged here. I had my first group motivational talk today and I think the team is abuzzed with enthusiasm. Anti-R said that they have no choice because I am their superior. I'd like to think they have a choice and that their choice is to respond positively to me.

So, yeah.. I am a busy bee... and I am hiring... any potential candidates?

Happy Birthday Mozart

Yesterday Anne and I went for free concert. A group of youth celebrated 250th birthday of Mozart by playing a few pieces of his popular orchestra piece. These guys/gals are probably still studying and boy, they are good! They play violins, trumpets, saxophones, piano, drums, etc.. almost a mini orchestra. I feel so cultured, ha ha.. it was fun.


BRP

I am in a dilemma. Looks like I am always in a dilemma. Today’s dilemma has to do with my quest for a house. Let me get one point straight. I, like many other potential house buyers, would really LOVE to stay in Bandar Utama, Damansara Jaya, Mutiara Damansara, Bandar Sri Damansara, Sunway SPK, Desa Park City and what not. Who doesn’t, right? Unfortunately the price of real estate in these areas are exorbitant. The prices are too expensive for the design and built up of the house.

Take Desa Park City for example. Anne and I went to check out the Southlake Terraces, a newly developed sub-area in Desa Park City. This 2.5 storey house is nice but there are some “artistic” design to the houses that made certain rooms extremely small. The kitchen, for example, is a quarter of my kitchen size. It is extremely small. And this house cost RM800k.

I have also looked at a few houses in Bandar Sri Damansara. The houses are small. The ceiling are low. A typical 22x75 house with a built up of maybe 16…

"Change the Whole Cast of Characters Also It Is The Same"

Mr X is not Habibi. Ha ha .. Bahija thought Mr X sounds like the Habibi we know. Now that she mentioned it, hmm.. there are some similarities.

I told Mr X about the lunch where I was being “wat”. I told him that I am not the stingy type. I buy friends lunches, dinners and drinks. However, I hate it when I am asked to do so because I don’t owe people the lunch/dinner/drink. To me, if you have the balls to ask me to treat, that means, you feel like I am obliged to buy you lunch/dinner.. and why should I do that? The reason why I am so disturbed by the whole incident is because I “em kum yuen” to pay because I feel obligated/ “wat” by the people.

Anyway, Mr X told me this. He said that I write the script of my life. Today, it is my colleagues who “wat” me. If I change the whole cast of characters in my life, ie I don’t know any Bonnie or Mr Miser or NLK.. but instead I have Tom, Dick and Harry.. I will still feel the same. I will still feel like I was “wat”

So it is important for me to ch…

Team Lunch - What Mr X says..

I just IM-ed Mr X... he said:

X: i dun see it as accumulating good fortune just by giving money away.......it is more of the intention.....
X: ie...a rich bad person may contribute to charity...
X: but he will not accumulate good fortune..
X: but if a poor lady, sell her hair and use the money for the sake of others (poorer than her)...this is an act of compassion... and will be rewarded in return....see..the intention is important here...

Does that mean I am doomed? WU WU WU!

Team Lunch

The company allocates a mere rm25 per person for the manager to take the team out for a lunch/dinner every quarter. This rm25 covers only for regular employee. So, the other day, to "celebrate" my promotion and of course to use this fund, I took the team out for a lunch in Shogun, a Japanese buffet in 1U, Bonnie being very enthusiastic about it. She has been bugging me non stop about taking her out to lunch because of my promotion. Bonnie's skin is harder than Superman's skin, so there was no surprise there. I usually just smiled at her. One day, I just can't stand her greedy nagging. I stare at her and with a conspiratory tone to pique her interest, I whispered in her ear - did you take me out to lunch when you were promoted last year? Her face paled, she said no. I looked at her with a satisfied look and walked away..

So I took the team out to Shogun. In my team, I have contractors and IT Trainees. These are people who ate whom I cannot claim. The damage? I ha…

X

I'd like to tell you about X. X is the type of person you read in books; the Gandhis, the Martin Luther Kings, the Mother Teresas, the Florence Nightingales. He's the person that motivates you to be a better person. He's the one that inspire you, the one that brings out the best in you, the one who made you feel good because he treats you with respect, the type of person your parents wished you were. X is the type of person who so pure in this world of anger, hatred and sadness, that you wonder if he was from another planet.

I said that X inspire people. I am sure you have met people who are good at motivating a whole lot of other people. Most of the times, though, these people are religious leaders or CEO of a companies or the successful diamond-level multi-level marketing genius. These people have the type of charisma to mesmerize you in their talk, to inspire and motivate you to do better in your job, to sell one more lamp/ling zhi/whatever. But really, two days after th…

Wireless

I am typing this from my bedroom upstairs - and that's because I bought a 4-port wireless D-Link modem/router from LYP for rm280.

I went to Telekom Malaysia today to return the modem that was included with my streamyx package. I plan to upgrade my 512kbps line to 1Mbps. I figure since I have this D-Link, my father and I could use the Internet at the same time. Also, I can work from my room. To my surpise, the upgrade of the line is as simple as filling out a form. The line will be upgraded in 5 working days.. and because I have been a loyal subscriber, TM asked me to keep the old DSL modem! Cool! Now I have a backup in case the D-Link got fried.

Bash

This afternoon, my colleagues gave me a 'surprise' birthday bash. I quote the word surprise because they wanted to do something for me but the organizer sent email to the team, including me! So I knew abt the birthday bash and what not. However, they were very creative. Since I apparently knew about the birthday celebration, they asked people from outside my team, friends that I have made in the company, to bring the cake in and sang the birthday song. That, I was not prepared for. It is nice to see Alpinesis, his gf and Sean coming into the office with a nice birthday cake. Monica, NLK and Emily were invited but they all are stuck in another meeting. Nevertheles, I thought that was creative.. there were almost 40 or 50 people who came! Can you imagine that! I think this is the biggest crowd ever for a birthday party. I am happy. Didn't know I was so popular. Hmmm...

The team brought me a Borders gift voucher because they know I love to read. When I saw that, I commented t…

No Tips. Learn on the Job.

I wrote about NLK before. This morning, she sent me an IM. She asked me if I am keeping something from her. I knew that she heard about my promotion so I think she's playing with me. I told her you must be asking about my promotion. She said "ya lor.. how come never tell?" I said, well, it was just announced. Then I asked if she has any tips. She said "No tips. Learn on the job!"

Somehow I felt offended by that remark.

And I thought about what I heard from the rumour mill - about how unpopular NLK is, as a manager. At one time, she had a very high staff turnover and some other managers were asked to counsel her staff, to act as a middle person, to find out what happened.

I am glad NLK didn't share any of her "tips". It would not have added any value :P

Updates

I have been pretty busy lately. It's hard juggling all these balls, trying to keep them in the air: work, girlfriend, family, friends, colleagues, health, IM, gaming, blogging, etc. Some of these balls, I have to drop. So I dropped the rubber ones - those that will bounced back later - IM, blogger and gaming. I still make time for the rest so I think I am doing good so far.

Some quick updates:
1. I celebrated Anne's 28th birthday. I ordered a dozen of roses and sent it to her office. She did not expect this at all - coz I used to surprise her once a while by sending flowers, even though there are no special occassions so she told me one time, point blank, that it is a waste of money and asked me not to send her any. She did not expect that I'd send them to her on her bday (DUH!)... anyway, she had a good time. Lots of colleagues dropping by her office in envy.

I took her for a nice dinner in our favourite sushi restaurant. We had a good time. It may not be as good as last yea…

Kicked Out

Today, I removed Anti Ringgit from my speed dial #5. I hardly call him these days. He's being replaced by Anne's office number, her mobile number being speed dial #2. Poor AR getting unpopular these days, eh?

Google Browser Sync

Google has a  new Firefox extension called Google Browser Sync. It is pretty cool.

From Google blog:
Google Browser Sync is a “Firefox extension that keeps your browser settings for all your computers in sync. Google Browser Sync unifies your bookmarks, history, saved passwords, and persistent cookies across all the computers where you install it. It also remembers which tabs and windows you had open when you last closed any of your browsers and gives you a chance to reopen them. We think you'll enjoy how it handles sync conflicts and "just works," enabling you to bring your browser with you everywhere.”

Nike+iPod

For those who goes to gym and are OCD about statistics:

http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/

"You don’t just take iPod nano on your run. You let it take you. Music is your motivation. But what if you want to go further? Thanks to a unique partnership between NIKE and Apple, your iPod nano becomes your coach. Your personal trainer. Your favorite workout companion. Introducing Nike+iPod."

"The Sport Kit allows your Nike+ shoe to talk to your iPod nano. The sensor uses a sensitive accelerometer to measure your activity, then wirelessly transfers this data to the receiver on your iPod nano."

"Sync up after you cool down. Just as seamlessly as it syncs your music, photos, and calendars, iPod nano also syncs your run. Simply connect iPod nano to your Mac or PC, and your workout data syncs to both iTunes and nikeplus.com, where you can see your runs, set goals, and challenge friends. The Internet is an open road."

Blog vs Reality

Conversation with a friend in a coffee shop:

Ringgit: Have you read my latest blog entry?
Friend: No, what is it about?
Ringgit: You read first, then we discussed..

As I utter the words above, it struck me that I should not use blog as a means to replace actual human to human conversation - this explains the lack of entries these days - because I interact with people more and more...

Or is that an excuse for not writing?

?? - Friends

I know some of my readers have been waiting anxiously for my write up on CK. I know I promised to write about it but one week after the incident, I just don’t feel like talking about it. It was a sad affair. I cried my balls out. On the day of the funeral, the band played some of those oldies song that we all love during schools and those are major tear jerkers. The song was chosen by CK’s wife. She said it’s his favourites: Beyond’s ???? (Hoi Foot Tin Hoong), Alan Tham’s ?? (Pang Yau, Friends) and as the last song, she dedicated “Yat Lou Soon Foong” (not sure who sang the song but it means “have a safe journey”)… wah lau… seriously, with those songs playing during a funeral, it’s hard not to cry.

Many of our school friends came – even those that we have not kept in touch for a long, long time. Loochoomus, Daniel, The Fly and myself went all 3 days. We are CK’s closest friends. WSL came for the wake and the funeral. She was our Form 6 friend and our badminton kakis. Daniel lit up a cig…

Sangria

Sangria is a popular drink in Spain. It is very easy to make. I learned about Sangria during CNY when one of my colleagues who is from South America showed us how to make that drink.

To make Sangria, all you need is a bottle of red wine, a bottle of F&N carbonated orange soda (soft drinks and not the usual syrup), some fresh fruits – oranges, pears, apples or watermelons, and ice.

Cut the fruits into small blocks. Pour red wine and soda together.. more soda than red wine so the drink is sweet. Put ice cubes. Serve.

YUM!!

CK

I have known CK since he joined our class in Form 2 Ferrum. He was 34 year old this year. Yesterday evening, he passed away due to heart failure. It was very sudden. All of us were shocked to our bones. He worked very hard - perhaps too hard - it was his work which caused his departure. He was survived by a young wife and a 6 month old son. His son does not know the father. I am saddened beyond words but I just want to say that CK was an honest man with lots of principles. All his life, he was one of the first to extend a helping hand to friends, family and colleagues even though it meant going out of his way to do something. Very dependable guy, very hardworking, very thoughtful and considerate. Sometimes, it is hard to accept that someone like him would go - just like that.

The wake is tomorrow. I'll write more later.

Readers

It just occured to me that having people you know reading your blog stops you from writing which defeats the whole purpose of a blog. Bummer.

I am sure many of my fellow writers would agree.

LOL.

Dead Pixel

So yesterday my new Dell monitor arrived... and guess what? One dead pixel, this time, at the lower right. This dead pixel is pink, instead of blue. It could only be seen on a white background. The previous Dell monitor's dead pixel, which was in the middle of the screen, was blue in colour and could only be seen in a black background.

I am not entirely satisfied with this LCD, but I am also too tired to return it. I can't imagine myself going back to CRT after a wonderful experience with widescreen LCD. I am guessing that dead pixel would appear anyway (dead pixels are caused by failure of individual transistors) in the future.. so returning it may not help. Who knows, maybe if I returned it and buy my third monitor, I may get another lemon with 3 dead pixels or worse!

Anne thinks I should not return it. She said that I may get another lemon like I did with this second monitor. She claimed that there is "no absence of beauty, just lack of discovery". She said I will d…

Inclement Weather

I learned about this word two years ago. I called a someone in Canada and I was told that their offices are closed "due to inclement weather". Checking the dictionary, I learned that inclement weather means severe weather. Yesterday, KL, especially Section 17 PJ faced one of the worst weather we have ever seen. Roofs flew off, trees uprooted, the glass door in front of my office's lobby shattered. I don't think Malaysia has ever seen such wrath.

If you notice, weather has a roundabout change this year. What used to be a humid and hot Chinese New Year month in February turned out to be a rainy day. Just last month, Subang faced a major storm that uprooted many trees. Then Shah Alam and Giant hypermart was flooded.

Yesterday night, my Taman was shrouded in mist... almost like Genting Highlands.

I have been bitching about hot weather and haze almost every year. Is this the answer? Hmmm... albeit all these chaos, it has been pretty cool and 'breezy' and good-feel. H…

Kash

I need a hair cut. Badly. I have been so busy that I have no time to go to my usual salon in Mid Valley. This evening, I decided against my will to go to this salon across the road from where I work. I have been to this salon twice and I had a bad experience. That is why I have not returned. But I am desperate. So, I took a gamble and went today.

At the counter, the girl asked me if I have any specific "sifu" that I wanted. I said I don't have preference. I just wanted someone who could give me a normal haircut. The reason I said this was on both occasions I was in this salon, they gave me a young punk-Jinjang-Ah Beng hair style. Once, I actually commented to the "sifu" that I think she overdid it and she exclaimed that this is the "in" thing and that I look good. I said no, this will get me into trouble at work. No one goes to work in this hairstyle. She just pooh poohed my comment and sort-of give me that "don't be ridiculous" look. I w…

No Movies

Do you know that the most recent movie I saw was "Inside Man", a movie by Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster? And the movie before that was Jennifer Aniston's Derailed. Between these two, I have missed out so many other movies! What's happening? Where did all the time go?

(I meant this post in a very good way, of course)

Study Room

My work table...
There is a defect with my widescreen LCD monitor. There is one dead pixel in the screen.

Of all the places in the entire monitor, the single dead pixel had to happen right in the middle of the screen. It's irritating and I am disatisfied with it.

So, I contacted Dell via email. The girl was very helpful. She said that I was not able to exchange the monitor because the company policy states that any LCD monitor with less than 5 dead pixel is not considered a defect. If there are more than 5 dead pixel, I would qualify for a one to one exchange.


I told her that I would like to return the unit then. In Dell's Total Satisfaction policy, I could return any purchase within 15 days from the invoice date without question asked. She agreed and kicked start a process where by DHL will come and collect the monitor. I have to pay the shipping and handling though - it cost me rm80 and I agreed to it. What to do? I rather lost rm80 than have a dead pixel. Such is life. LOL.

Retu…

Widescreen Gaming

Widescreen Gaming
After 6 hours of using the Dell widescreen LCD, I have been pretty happy with it. It was a different experience, both when playing games and when surfing/using Windows. The fact that I could be reading a blog and monitoring all my chat windows while checking my download status all at a glance AND running my email program on the old Sony so I could also keep an eye on it, was an exceptional experience.

The Dell widescreen LCD shipped with default brightness set to 50, out of 100. When I first plugged it into the PC and Windows started, I felt that 50 was too bright – my room is dimly lit, by design – so when I surfed the Internet for 2 hours, my eyes was strained. I proceeded to reduce the brightness to 15. Ahh.. much better…

However, the lower brightness level affected gaming. As usual, ZipD’s critical eye saw the washed-out textures. It was really due to 2 reasons: the low LCD brightness and the higher in-game video brightness (80% in the slider). This combo causes da…

Widescreen

Dell is damn efficient. One day after I ordered my widescreen LCD, it shipped! I am now looking at this in my new Dell 2007WFP. Damn nice.. I shudder to think of gaming and watching DVD in widescreen. More updates later..

Hardcore

Zip said I upgrade PC because of a particular game. He said I am more hardcore than he is.. Hmm.. let's see..

I bought my Pentium 2 in 1997 because of the superb 3D graphics of Tomb Raider 2.
I upgraded to Pentium 3 in 2000 - I don't remember upgrading for a particular game.
In Feb 2004 I upgraded to a P4 for a game called Gothic 2.

I have since been using this P4. It's almost 2 year old.

I am hooked to Oblivion now. Today I bought a Dell LCD monitor so that I could play this game in widescreen. I'd be lying if I said Oblivion plays no part in this decision but I'd also think that it is about time I get a nice LCD monitor for myself. That way, I could have two screens. Kiasu!

Cool

This is seriously cool: TuneBuckle. It's a belt with a buckle just big enough to fit the iPod nano. Who would have thought of using a belt buckle as a convenient place for the nano? The headphone jack plugs into the side of the buckle. Brilliant! Go to the webpage to take a look.











On another side note, BootCamp from Apple allows intel-based iMac and MacBook to boot Windows XP. Check out the cool disk partition software and the "alt boot" screenshot. Nice...


Press alt key when the Mac boots up to choose which OS to boot.


The disk partition software that came with BootCamp

Updates

I have been very busy lately. I have visitors, both from the States and from London. I have been playing hosts the whole of last week. Couple this with some recent house hunting and I am truly spent. What little time I had for myself are spent on a new game called Oblivion. So, yeah, very busy I was. And in case my avid readers are worried about me, don't. These are good things. It's not a good thing if I am blogging. It means I am too free :D

A couple of updates:

Anne are as wonderful as ever. I truly belief she's really my missing "bone". How could one girl fit me so perfectly is truly beyond my comprehension. I would not believe this compatibility exist a couple years ago... but it does! Yay Anne!

I am very pleased at the weather. It's been raining in the evenings and early mornings so it's very pleasant. It's bizarre, some said, because it's supposed to be a hot season at this time of the year but I think that perhaps the "El Nino" effe…

Dust Storm

Imagine vacationing in Cairo and getting dust storm! One can't even see the Sphinx nor the Great Pyramid at all!

Full story and pictures here.

Maggot @ Work

Two weeks ago, we discovered maggots in the ceiling of our office. These worms dropped into my manager's metal dustbin.. plooop! And then another one dropped... ploooopp! It's disgusting. We asked our maintenance guy to check the vent and they found nothing. Two days ago, our office is infested with flies! EWWWWWWWWWW!

Update: the finally found the cause. A dead bird!...................... what could be worse?

Out with the old, in with the new...

Canon called me yesterday, one day after I sent my camera back to their service center. They say my replacement camera is here and I could go collect.

I went today and to my pleasant surprise, they gave me a new model! The Digital IXUS i Zoom. I mean, I am really happy with my IXUS v3 already and now I am getting a completely new model, at no cost! The IXUS v3 was a 3.2 megapixel with 2.0x optical zoom. This IXUS i Zoom is a 5.0 megapixel (!!) with 2.4x optical zoom. It has the same Digic II processor but with a more advance menu function. One feature I particularly appreciate is the Timezone. When I travel next time, I could just change my "Fly To" (as opposed to Home) timezone and pictures taken in the destination will record the correct time and date. It has the same old solid feel of an IXUS.

In addition, I can now take video up to 60 minutes or 1GB in size, whichever come first. Video could be capture at 20 fps. The old camera could only capture 5 minutes of video. This i…

Canon

I am delighted with the service that Canon rendered to me today. As you know, my 3 year old camera failed when I was in US. After researching at Canon website and lowyat.net, it seems to be a known problem, a defect. Some people claimed that Canon replaced the camera for free. I wasn't so hopeful because my camera is 3 year old, after all. I thought I need to make a scene, to insist on the free replacement or maybe speak to the powers that be. Well, it turned out that I don't have to do a thing at all.

The Canon Sales and Marketing center is located near the Subang airport, somewhere near Hyatt Saujana. They are opened everyday from 8am - 8pm except Saturday and Sunday. I went at 5pm today, parked indoor (free parking, btw) and went to the service center. There was just one customer. I took my number and waited for 2 minutes. The technician, a Mr Tan, served me. I showed him the sympton and he inspected the camera. He said that something was wrong with the CCD and they will rep…

Bitching

What do people talk about during lunch and in water cooler today?
Petrol prices, of course. The “blardy govment” has increased petrol prices by 30sen. That’s a 18.5% increase for the year 2006. In the past year one year (from 2005), the price has increased more than 50%! This is RIDICULOUS.

But that’s not what I wanted to bitch today.

Flood, you asked? True, it is sad to see that a good area like Taman Tun Dr Ismail Jaya in Shah Alam being flooded because of heavy rain. I remember passing by that place when I went to ZipD’s aunt condo last year. I remember seeing billboard near that place promoting the place. It’s expensive. A house there cost RM400K and above. So an expensive residential area covered in flood. How embarrassing can that be? The Shah Alam Stadium car park is submerged!

But that’s not what I wanted to bitch today.

What was the hot topic during lunch was that our water drinking has urine smell or, as the newspaper and government called it, "a higher level of ammonia"…

Toyota Camry

This morning I drove mom to work. Traffic is bad but this post is not about traffic. My mother works in the city in a run-down shop-lot. Her office, which sells car spare parts, is a uncondusive place to work. It has no a/c, it’s old and poorly managed, it’s dirty and dusty. But she has been working for this company all her life and while she’s just a clerk, she has a lot of freedom to run chores and gossips.

Normally, my father would send her to work. This morning, I have to go to work early and my sister took our other car so I volunteered to send mom to work.

I don’t know why but as I reached the curb of her office, I imagined my father dropping her off in our old Charade Aura. It is such a small car for two adults. My mind started to wander and I thought about how nice it would be if my father was able to send his wife to work in a nice, shiny Toyota Camry. I imagine how my mother’s colleagues would be envious of the new car and how she would brag about the car that her son bought f…