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Showing posts from 2007

Writer's Block

Ever since I moved to Facebook, I blogged less. Even in Facebook. I guess, one needs some kind of anonymity to be able to blog. Having friends and acquaintance you knew reading your entry somehow stifle creativity. Would this herald the return of Ringgit? Who knows :)

Partition Wall

Life State

When I do my morning prayers these days, one of my prayer objectives is to bring forth the Buddhahood within me. In other words, I really want to elevate my life condition. Buddhism believes that there are 10 states of life that a person moves about. You can read more about the 10 states here.

Why is elevating life state important? When you are in a higher state of life, you view things with a different lense. You view problems and challenges with wisdom and compassion. A real example: A girl came back from work. Her mother cooked fish for dinner. She gave her mother a pat on the shoulder, thanked her for a hard day's work - basically showing appreciation for her effort.

Her sister, in a bad mood that day due to work, came back, saw the fish and started complaining that the fish stinks because it is too fishy, why do we always eat fish, fish are making a mess of the kitchen and dining table.

If you look at it, the fish is not the problem here. It is just a fish. But look at the the e…

Project 50

Last weekend and the upcoming 8 weekends, I will be participating in Project 50. Project 50 is a request from out government to Soka Gakkai Malaysia to perform a group formation and gymnastic in the upcoming national milestone, the 50th Merdeka Day this Aug 31. Soka Gakkai Malaysia is recruiting 1,400 young men and women for this event. There are 2 practices each week on Saturday (4pm-9pm) and Sunday (8am-4pm), in open field, under the sun. It will be physically tough. It will be difficult. It is going to be a huge challenge to each participant.

People who have participated in events like this have shared their testimony. It turns out that the physical challenge plays only a minor part. Participating in activities in a social environment creates opportunity for people to overcome their own personal challenges: it is the process during these two months that is challenging - some have to challenge their work, health, financial, family and time (some members travel from as far as Ijok, Ba…

Daishonin Buddhism

After years of being a free thinker and not having any spiritual growth, I have decided to take on a faith. I have started to practice Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism, the same faith as Anne, naturally. It is difficult for a lost soul, one that hungers for spiritual food, to resist the goodness that was showered continuously and patiently by one's mate. And I am glad that I picked on a faith for I could feel that I am a better person already :)

The essense of this Buddhism is human revolution through chanting a specific mantra, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. The whole idea is to bring forth the Buddhahood within all of us so that we can then have the wisdom and courage to face life's challenges.

As a child, whenever I fill a form, I would check "Buddhist" in the Religion box without understanding what is Buddhism. I used to wish that I could find Buddhist text that are written in English so that I could understand the teachings.

Years later, I finally found one :)

Living in fear

Since I have moved to my new house, I have been living in fear of house break-ins, no thanks to an over imaginative mind and recent unfortunate events.

My friend's house in TTDI was broken into. His family lost jewelries, cash, gadgets. My colleague's immediate neighbour's house in Kepong was broken into, the maid was raped. My current neighbour told me about a house 3 blocks behind mine that was broken into and kept on reminding me to get an alarm.

You see why I am living in fear? And I hate that feeling! I mean, I still sleep well at night but I worry a lot more. 2 out of 3 incidents I cited above was daylight burglary. The bad guys now entered the house in the morning when everybody is at work.

What is the police doing?

Is our economy going downhill? Because theft and break-ins are an after effect of a downturn. Was it due to too many illegal immigrants? 2 out of the 3 incidents I cited above were performed by Malaysians - Indians and Chinese to be exact.

What is going on?

Venezuelan Week

Today I attended the official opening of the "2nd Venezuelan Week 2007" in Wisma SGM in Jalan Imbi. The event was launched by some Datuk fom some Ministry and the Ambassador of Venezuela in Malaysia.

Excerpt from tbe brochure: "The first Venezuelan Week held in Malaysia in July 2006 allowed the Malaysians to get to know the Venezuelan culture and at the same time to enjoy a festive atmosphere on the occasion of the 195th Independance Day of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

"In 2007, the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela together with Venezuelians living in Malaysia would like to join Malaysia in her 'Celebration of 50 year of Nationhood' by holding a second Venezuelan Week...

".. include events such as Salsa Concert.. Venezuelean Gourmet Festivals, Charity Gala Dinner.. "
If you are interested to check out some cultural stuff, click here.

Fun with Picasaweb

I am having so much fun with Picasaweb - trying to tag all my pictures to the location they are taken. For instance, the picture I took at Hatchesup Temple in Luxor - I have now mapped it to Google Earth.. so you can see how far we have travel from temple to temple in Luxor. Niceeeeee...

Picasaweb

Picasa is a photo organizer software from Google. It is a freeware. I use Picasa for a couple of years and have not turned back since.

Google has also launch Picasaweb to allow user in Picasa to publish their photos to the web. All it takes is just one click.

Today, Picasaweb launched a "Google Earth" integration. That means, I can now point out in Google Earth where this photos was taken. QUITE COOL!

Take a look at this test gallery and start tagging your photos to Google Earth!!

The Fly Part 4

I wanted to talk abt The Fly today. I have not met up with him for almost 6 months. Thank goodness for that. Last week, during the so called house warming-get together, I invited him to join the gang.. and regretted EVERY moment of it.

The minute he came into the house and saw my Dell 2407WFP, he said he wanted to buy one also and that the price is cheaper now. I nodded and asked him to go ahead and buy. Then he saw my wallpaper, running Earthview and he wanted it also. And then he was looking at my PC at the games I have. I don't have much games because I was clearing up my PC to prepare for Windows Vista and he saw this one game called Fate. It's a Diablo-like game and he wanted it!

OH MY GOODNESS! PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE!

Baliant asked him, why don't you continue to play WoW? He said what game is that though he has been playing that game for 6 months. Baliant said World of Warcraft!!!! He said oh, I called it Darbelew-Oh-Darbelew and no WOW.

OH MY GOODNESS! PLEASE HELP ME!

Malaysia

Last week, I invited a group of friends over to my house - some sort of a house warming. We met at my place and then went to Italiannies in The Curve for dinner. The topics that we discussed turned out to be Malaysia - our politics, policies, security and economy.

What surprised me was that most of my friends has this very negative feeling abt the country. I mean, there are some things I don't like about MY but my friends took it to a new level. You can see anger and hatred seeping from their skin!

If I were to take a neutral stand and analyse the state we are in, I'd say that we are at a much better state than our fathers. In the last 30 years, MY has really improve. Standard of living is high but it has improved tremendously compare to what our fathers live through. At my age, my father stays in a 400sq ft flat. He drove a 3rd or 4th hand Toyota. He had 2 jobs just to feed the children.

30 years later, the situation has improved by leaps and bounds. People are working from home…

Favour

Sometimes, doing kind things to someone will bear a pleasant and unexpected returns. Note to self, be nice to people :)

Back in 2000, I went to London with anti-ringgit. Someone in office, a fellow colleague, asked me to buy a pig soft toy from Kensington for his friend. It's a huge soft toy but I like the guy and I helped him out.

He remembers this favour and today he returned in kind by helping me on something.

Simply amazing!

Washington Potrait

Yesterday, Anne and ringgit went to SS2 to hunt for bridal shootings. We found a shop behind SS2 police station called Washington Potrait. They gave us a very good deal - rm2,500 package which includes 2 albums with 40 different poses, outdoor shots, wedding gowns, evening gowns, costumes, etc, etc. The best part about this deal is the fact that our family members could also come and be part of the album - something new that we requested, which the shop manager amicably allow. What this means is that instead of 40 different pictures of just Anne and ringgit in our album, we will have pictures of our parents (maybe their modern wedding photos, ka ka), Anne and her sisters, my sisters and I, a group family photos, etc etc. This is probably the first wedding photo albums that includes the whole family. Hmmm.. I hope the album will turn out fine.

It goes without saying that the family was thrilled at this idea. And we imagine that the other relatives and friends will be laughing and joyful…

Subway

I love sandwich, specifically turkey ham sandwich. And I love Subway. I wish we have cheap sandwich in KL. This evening, I spent RM11 on a 6 inch Subway sandwich. What a rip off. But what to do, I needed to eat sandwich.

I think I can fix myself a sandwich and I have a good mind to do that. I believe RM20 could probably satisfied my sandwich hunger for a few days if I were to get the 'ingredients' myself from Jusco. Any tips from my dear reader on how to make good sandwich?

AA

When I travelled to Dallas, I used American Airlines. I liked AA because it was a direct flight from Tokyo and it reached Dallas on a Saturday morning. If I slept in the plane, that meant I would be able to adjust to the timezone very quickly. The stewardress left you alone, which suited me fine, and they were genuinely friendly (or unfriendly) - there's no fake stuff you see in an Asian airline.

Anyway, I collected a fair amount of mileage but never had a chance to redeem them. American's mileage had a 3 year expiry so I wasn't worried.

Lately, they changed their policy. Unused miles will expire in 18 months! That's a bummer. What am I supposed to do with my 40k points that I have? I can't change to any domestic flight nor hotels because I am not in USA.

I started exploring my options and to my delight I found that I could convert my points into amazon.com gift certificate. 40k points entitled me to US$185 gift cert! WOW! That's almost RM650 worth of stuff I coul…

Best Denki

I had the impression that Best Denki, an electronic retail giant from Japan, is a state of the art store, a store that would surely beat local wannabes like SenQ or HSL. Recently, they had a sale and I bought a 500 liter Panasonic fridge and 13kg Panasonic washer from them. From the moment I bought the appliances, I knew something was wrong. The clerk took almost 20 minutes processing my purchase – everything was manual. From writing manual sales memo and issuing handwritten Delivery Order to writing down the delivery schedule on a piece of paper backed by a hard board. All of these were done with pen and papers!

My nightmare begins when I changed my mind about the washer. I bought the appliances on Monday with the shipping date on the following Saturday 5pm. I went back to the store on Tuesday to change the washer from 13kg to 9kg. It is not a problem, the clerk said because they have not shipped it but he took almost 40 minutes to hunt for my D.O and sales memo. He looked into files …

Bluetooth and GPRS

I don't have an internet connection in BU. I heard from colleagues that they could surf the 'net using their GPRS mobile phone as a modem to the internet. Today I managed to set it up:

Notebook <---*1---> Nokia 6021 <---*2--->INTERNET

*1 - Notebook connects to the Nokia mobile phone via Bluetooth
*2 - Nokia connects to the Internet via GPRS

The best thing is, I don't need a state of the art mobile phone to do this. My old phone can achieve this wonder. It is slow.. but it is better than not having Internet connectivity! woo hoo! See you guys tonight!

A week

Wow.. I survived a week of living all by myself!

And whilst you may think it no big deal, know that I survived without TV nor Internet nor Anne's company (she was away for business in Singapore last week).

Wish I had a camera to show you my partially furnished house. LOL!

York

You know, I bought York a/c .. I like the fact that I can register the warranty card online vs snail mail them and have since received a warranty certificate by email once they processed it. Damn cool!

MOVED!

I moved to BU12 on Sunday. Been busy with cleaning up and running around getting those little things that I missed out. Parents and sister helped me to move, then they went back to Kepong in the afternoon. They would be back to stay the night in the new house. Seems that mom said that we should stay a night as a family in a new place.

On Sunday evening, I had to do dinner by myself. I was thinking of asking friends out but when I think about all my kakis, all of them are in Kepong, right after the LDP toll! I don't have any friends in PJ! This is so sad. I ended up eating by myself. And that was where I first tasted the loneliness of being independant.

I have never stayed by myself, away from home. During college times, I studied in Setapak and took 2 hours bus from home to college to home. I was never away from home. The longest I was away was during my business trip to Dallas. Back then, I felt the same loneliness but that is expected because I was travelling. And travelling is te…

Dr Cinta

Dr Cinta has a new name and it is Kiasu-Ching...
I enjoyed Kiasu Ching blog because it has a lot of practical tips to be kiasu - something all of us can relate. I hope he is able to keep his blog alive with more tips.. perhaps localized it more to Malaysia tips instead of international - not many people is a high flyer, you know?

Konfabulator 4

Konfabulator 4 is out. It has this nice little dock that shows all your widget at a glance. Really cool. GET IT! (Of course you can configure where you want the dock to be - left, right, up, bottom of the screen).

The widgets I have running, which also display a minimized version in the dock, are:

1. analog clock
2. calendar
3. iTunes companion
4. memory gauge
5. picture frame
6. Yahoo! stick ticker
7. Yahoo! weather

Bedroom set

Anne and I was hunting for furniture and we saw this bedroom set.. Full solid rubber wood. Full solid, as in, even the interior is made of rubber wood, not half solid like some other furnitures (of course, this is what the salesman claimed). The set is made up of a queen size bed, 4 door with 2 drawers wardrobe, 2 side tables, 1 dressing table with a stool and 1 so-called TV cabinet. If we have no use of a TV cabinet, it can be pushed into the dressing table so the dressing table will have extra drawers. Anyway, every piece of furniture is made of rubber wood. Really nice.. Really solid.. the type that you know will last your for years and years and the type of furniture your children will wish they owned.

How much does it cost? RM3,300.

AIIIIII.. should we get it?

Eye On Malaysia

So, today I took a visitor to Eye On Malaysia, EoM for short.

This is a ferris wheel build beside Tasik Titiwangsa and supposedly will give you a beautiful view of the city. My expectation was that this would be something like London Eye, a similar concept by British Airways built along River Thames, to give visitor a view of London.

The view of London was breathtaking from the Eye, mostly due to the fact that the London Eye is a huge, huge structure. Eye on Malaysia, by comparison, was smaller and puny... really, it felt like going atop the fun fair ferris wheel. It's a good try, Malaysia, but it's embarassing nonetheless.

By the way, there was no Mat Sallehs in Titiwangsa. I am not sure if our Visit Malaysia 2007 is successful or not. My visitor joked that this must be for Malaysians to Visit Malaysia :)

Now that I think about this, who says Visit Malaysia 2007 is for foreigners? It could very well be for the people from Perak, Penang, Kelantan to visit Malaysia.. right? er.. or…

Summer Movies

There are so many movies coming this summer. Can't wait to see them all! My movie kakis, please get ready!

Spiderman 3
Die Hard 4
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Ocean's Thirteen
Shrek The Third
Indiana Jones 4

Hmm, all of them sequels..

WikiMapia

I am having so much fun with this wiki, which shows a Google Earth map of KL and in which you can edit any location that you think was spelt wrongly by other users.

See if you can find your own house..

Wikimapia.org

BU

A year ago, I decided to get my own house.
A year later, here are some pictures of my newly renovated house:

Click on individual to Enlarge (though the file size/resolution is kinda big)

This picture is taken from the entrance of the front door. One of the things I like about this house is that it is designed in a square with no pillars, walls and crooked corners, giving the living hall a big expanse feeling.

You see two ceiling fan in this picture but actually I have 3 ceiling fans! This will give you a perspective of the size of the hall, though some of my friends commented that 3 fans are an overkill and it made the place looks like a coffee shop :P I plan to partitioned the hall either with a cabinet or a "pin foong", a kind of olden Chinese partitions which people used to change clothes.

The down side is that if you are sitting on the living room, you can see people eating at the dining or cooking in the kitchen.

The kitchen is beyond the 2 windows. It is separated by a glass…

Turtle

Anne shared with me a conversation she had with her senior in faith. The senior shared a recent experience with a fellow member. This member, a girl, is someone who always wallow in self pity, feeling sorry for herself and thinking that the world is against her and that she's powerless against it. The senior in faith likened the member to a turtle with a huge rock (aka daily problems in life) in front of its path. Here's what the senior said:

"everyday u stick out ur head and hope that the STONE in front of u would dissappear. So when u wake up & still see that it's still there, u stick back ur head in to ur back (shell) again... hoping tomr it will be gone.

"then u do the same thing again everyday till now. cos i said u know why? becos u did NOTHING to change it, u neither turn ur back, move left or right or even ask help from ppl to help u overcome that stone.

"which methaphormically means no seniors in faith to refer, no family or sisters to ask, no Sens…

Reduce Income Tax

A couple of ideas:
1. buy medical insurance or term insurance with critical illness. 60% of the premium paid entitles you to tax relief. Max relief is RM3,000. Why not pay some money upfront and get better insurance converage.

2. for the folks who contribute to their religion society, spend RM1,000 on religious books. Then give these books to the poorer family who can't afford them. In a way, you contribute to your religious society/church and also help spread the gospels to the poorer folks who want to read but can't afford.

Income Tax

I filed my income tax online. This year, I have to pay inland revenue dept RM1,900 in tax even after all the huge deduction they took from my monthly salary!

RM1,900 can buy a refrigerator!

Niamah!

Does this look too cheap?

I wanna get a low end but comfortable sofa.
I thought this one in IKEA looks decent.. Question is, does it look too cheap?

Spiderman 3

Check out this 7.5 minute, never before seen preview of Spidey 3! Thanks, ZipD.

Note, for those who is not familiar with the black costume of Spiderman in the movie, I suggest that you read about it here to get some background. It will improve your movie experience a lot more :)

The Fly Part 3

I talked abt Mr Fly a while ago. Click on his name to read about it.

I really don't know how to describe this guy. He just like to imitate what I do. I mean, it is flattering that he's following the games I play, the notebook I use, the place I stay but sometimes he does it to the extreme it is beyond comprehension.

He learned about me playing World of Warcraft (WoW) months after I played the game. I was level 35 when he decided to follow the MBS friends' footsteps of playing in WoW. That's fine by me, the more the merrier, right? He was diligent with playing WoW.. levelling up all by himself. He turned away any help that we wanted to render - just soloing for what it's worth. WOW is not a a game to play solo. It is a massive multi player online game!

He's now level 35 I believe. I am 49. I didn't have much time to play due to work and life. I decided to stop the game. I cancelled my subscription and emailed all my friends that I am cancelling. Next thing I kn…

He's here, the Phantom of the Opera!

Came back from Phantom last weekend. Phantom of the Opera was excellent. I am glad I went to see it again.

Even though I know the story, it was refreshing to see the play at a different angle. I first saw Phantom in 2002 in West End. At that time I had a very good seat in the front. I remember it was perhaps 5th or 6th row from the stage. At that time, I didn't know what to expect so it was wow-factor though I was lost in some of the scenes - thick British accent, you see.

This time, having seen the movie version (and DVD) several times, I was very familiar with the scenes and all the songs. I know what to expect. Yet, it was still refreshing to see how the scenes turned out. I was able to appreciate all the little details even more. I think I'll not get bored of Phantom :P

We were very lucky. The seats I chose turned out to be a box-side seats. You know how those special "balcony" at the side of the theater? The one where Richard Gere and Julia Roberts saw the Italian …

Niamah

A friend recommended Patrick Teoh's blog. Patrick is a celebrity of some sort in Malaysia. Check it out. It's hilarious!

http://niamah.blogspot.com/
Those little things, good and bad, that happen everyday that make us want to go, "Niamah!!!" Go on. Say it out LOUD. It's therapeutic.

Mute and Deaf

As part of Anne's religious activity, she takes care of members of her society in Sg Buloh. Last week, she met this new member. She's 18 and she's a mute and deaf person. I believe she's born that way. Her parents sent her to a disabled school and she learned to read and write basic Malay. Anne told me that she conversed with her mother in Malay - it is strange to see a Chinese mother speaking to her mute and deaf daughter in Malay - the main reason is that many of the schools for disabled are run by the government and many of them are run by Malay people.

Even though I have not met her, I felt very strongly about helping this girl. Everyday I encourage Anne to give her English lessons. I feel that being mute and deaf is not as bad as say, blind. If the girl knows how to read in English, I feel that she will be open to a whole new world - there are so many English literatures - non fiction books - religious, inspiration, history, you name it.. and of course novels. What…

Readers

I'm curious.. how many people actually read this blog or am I just having a conversation with myself and Bahija and MG (two person who constantly provided comments - thank you!)

Drop a comment if you have been reading this blog recently.

Discussion

Busy weekend again. Sat morn - breakfast and haircut. Sat afternoon, went with Whitedruid and Loochoomus for a session of WOW. Sat evening, steamboat dinner at Anne's place. Stayed till late because I was helping her with her work.

Sun morning, our parents met up in Summer Palace for dim sum. Today's the day they discuss about our future - LOL! It's not a coincidence that I picked the 15th day of CNY aka Chinese V Day to discuss this - it is an auspicious day and of course, it is also a good day to treat Anne's parents and sisters.

The thing is, I think they didn't really eat enough. I guess they are trying to save my pocket because on the previous night, her mother told me that it is not necessary to eat in Tai Thong. But my thoughts are, don't tell me that we do the dowry discussion in a mamak? Or a hot Chinese coffee shop, right? So while I keep on ordering the dim sum, they keep on stopping me saying that they have eaten enough. Sigh... but I am glad - any ri…

CNY FLEW BY..

CNY came and go in just a blink of an eye. I was out of the house almost every single day. There's just so many visitations to do. I think I've grown old as I appreciate all these visits more than I do last time. Previously, I don't see a point in these visits. Now I appreciate them. Boy, I am old.

I gambled less. This year, I only visit ZipD's parents house. Didn't go to any of his other uncles and aunts place. On the other hand, I met more relatives (both mine and Anne's) so I guess that's a good thing.

Today is the second day at work and I am already swamped to the neck.. I don't even have time to breathe!

The reno has started on the house - just paid a small deposit to the contractor this afternoon. He went with two Indo guys and started the "drilling ceremony" - hacking the wall or floor to mark the start of work - the superstitious person in me believes that I need them to start work on a certain day - for prosperity, I guess. He called it …

Bathing in cold water

Anne has this theory: the Malays do not exhibit the "heat" syndrome such as sore throat, pimples, feverish, etc as often as a Chinese despite eating more chilis because the Malays took cold bath every morning. When I think about my Malay friends during school and those in office, it is true, they do take cold bath when they were young in the morning. Chinese are too spoilt, we either take warm bath or don't take bath at all. Which is why pimples and sore throat are very prevalent among the Chinese in Malaysia.

This morning I had a revelation. I don't think it is the cold bath that is the trick. I think it is because the Malays use cold water to wash their anus after doing "big business" everyday. You know, if a baby had high fever, the doctor would poke something up his ass and the fever would subside very fast! Similarly, washing your anus with cold water will reduce the heat of the body.. not bathing in cold water! I am sure bathing would help but I am no…

V Day

So, I was just talking to a fellow colleague about V Day. He's from Korea and he said he does not have to worry abt V Day. In Korea and Japan, he said, the girl buy chocolates and do all the romantic arrangements FOR the guys! The following month, March 14th, is called White Day or something like that and it is the guy's turn to do something for the girl. He joked that the guy can see what the girls are doing first before the return the favour. HMMMMMMMMMM...

Lou Sang

Tomorrow the friends will be going to Summer Palace to Lou Sang. This used to be a tradition for some years but we have missed out for the past two years. It will be good to continue this tradition - aside from the food, it is really the fellowship of friends getting together before the New Year. Looking forward to this.

Unbelievable!

Wow.. this is truly bizarre!

In my previous post, I said that I have migrated the old Blogger account, ringgit, to a new Google account. When you migrate the blog, you have to create a new Google account or tied to an existing G account. I decided to create a new Google account and I typed ringgit@hotmail.com. Happily I submitted and the following day, I found out that I have typed someone else account! I don't own ringgit@hotmail.com!

Trying all sort of troubleshooting steps documented to recover my a/c was to no avail as every documented steps will send an email to ringgit@hotmail.com for verification. I even logged a support call with Blogger - no response, naturally.

Finally I decided to email ringgit@hotmail.com. I hoped that it was not an old email account that is not used anymore. I hope there is someone who constantly check this email. To my surprise, there is a person on the other side and he responded! The man helped me reset my password and emailed me the new password - an…

New Blogger

Ok.. I have not been posting for a month! When I logged in to Blogger today, I was pleasantly surprised with the instructions to migrate my blog to the new Blogger. I was hesitant coz I remember that rotitelur lost her blogs when she migrated. Fortunately, mine was pretty smooth.. so, drum rolllll, presenting the new 0.02 Ringgit :)