Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Christmas Wishlist

I want:

1) 8 Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries + 4-bank Charger

It's for a certain future use which I will not disclose, yet =)

2) 1G RAM + 120G HDD + wireless keyboard + wireless mouse + 17' flat monitor. (I accept the items separately)

3) Or better still, get me a new laptop. Dont mind brand, but must be of good specs and fast. Please also install for me Adobe Photoshop CS3.

4) Jusco vouchers worth RM 200.00 at least.

5) An oven, please. I've been wanting to try out so many baking recipes but was hindered by the lack of oven at home.

That's all I can think of. See, I am not greedy, I'm just poor =} I know nobody is ever gonna give me those, so I wrote this just for fun. Haha.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And Suddenly I Became Poetic...

I swear to you I've never written ANY single poem before. Except for malay pantuns which I admit, I was very good at in my school days. But not English poems or the distant cousins of any form of poetry. Even my days of writing malay pantuns are long gone.

But I wrote a peom today to promote my company's New Year Party. Yes, I WROTE A POEM! And it rhymes pretty well too, though I'm sure Joshuaraj could have done a better job =).

Here's how it goes.

2007 started without us realising,
And in a blink of the eye, the year is ending,
What should we do when 07 turns 08,
Of course we'll party, dance and celebrate!

Where should we go this time around?
Uncle Chillis, Hilton is the place to be found,
If you wonder, when the party will be,
Mark your calender, its 4 January.

So register yourself by 27 December,
And brace yourself for a night to remember,
Scroll down this page for more information,
Our committees are ready to answer your questions!

How? Not bad for a technical person, eh?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Water Disruption

I am glad to have:

1) A friend like Petrina who took me in her house at 11.30pm to bathe and wash up for the night. And she even offered me to stay over just in case the next morning the water disruption has not been rectified. Good thing I stayed over, coz indeed, the tap was still dry the next day.

Until now. It's been 2 days. I wonder what SYABAS is doing.

2) A gym membership. Going to Pet's house is great but on weekdays, I dont think I want to trouble her (coz I wake up really early for work) so the best place to bathe and clean myself would be the gym. And thank God the gym is so near my house I dont have to travel far to bathe. Water is free and so are other things =)

I hope the water supply is back this evening.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Still Can't Decide!

Which camera to buy. Life's full of choices, and choices are not necessarily the best partners with limited cash and a frugal account book.

After toying with thoughts of the Nikon D80 and the tempting Canon 400D (tempting in the sense that the kit costs only RM 2800++), I finally came back on earth and stop daydreaming of something so not in my budget at all. There, began my real quest for a proper beginner's DSLR.

Options are Canon 350D, Nikon 40x and Pentax K100D Super. All below RM 2500 for body + 18-55mm kit lens + other standard accessories. If I bargain further, I believe I can pull down the price even further. But the real problem is, after much scrutiny, I really dont know what should I buy.

I was and am still not a big fan of Canon. I know Canon is famous and great photographers like Micheal Yamashita lives by a Canon. But after reading so many mixed reviews on the 350D, I really dont think it's that good a bargain after all. First of all, it doesnt even have any special function, not even a sensor dust reduction system (unlike its bigger bro, the 400D) and the kit lens is nothing to shout about (although it's a Canon). I know I can get just the body and a separate lens, say a better Canon or even a Tamron, but since I am looking at something that I can carry around and is multi-function, I reckon, what could be better than to bring around the kit lens which if is a good one, would be sufficient for my needs for the time being, no?...

The Canon 350D, from my survey at a shop near my office, is currently selling at RM 2099 (kit). Tempting, but at this price or lower, there are other cameras which I feel, will be a much better buy than this.

Enter the Nikon D40x, an upgraded version of the D40. I dont mind either one, really, and both have received excellent reviews in terms of image quality (partly thanks to the kit lens) and the camera functionality. But what refrains me from jumping into the D40 is the fact that the camera was not built in with focus drive motor, which means it can only auto focus with very, very limited lenses. If I were to stay contented with my level of skill and will not upgrade in the future, perhaps, I would consider this a fantastic deal, RM 2088 body + 18-55mm Nikkor lens + other standard accessories. But I cannot deny the possibility that I may, upgrade in the future and the D40 will not be able to cope with the changes and I will be plagued by the dilemma of having to sell off the D40x and to fund another camera body on top of the new lenses that I might want to buy.

Money is a scarcity and should not be spent without wisdom and proper planning yah.

The final contender is the Pentax K100D. Everything is right for this camera, the price of RM 2200 for body + 18-55mm Pentax DA kit lens + standard accessories, the cam has functions that not any other budget cameras have, like the built-in sensor shift image stabilisor AND dust removal technology. Even the Pentax kit lens had some credible qualities in it, unlike other famous brands that gives chepo quality kit lens. Someone somewhere on the internet even quoted that Pentax is a poor man's Leica and we all know that Leica lenses are one of the best in the world. The camera would have been a perfect buy if only it doesnt run on AA batteries.

Now, i've had bad experiences with AA batteries in camera. My first digicam, the Oly C350Z used to eat batteries like cookie monster devouring Christmas cookies, barely 10 shots and I found myself running out of power. And I was using GP 1800 rechargables! I remember the trouble of having to carry the camera, 8 AA batteries and 2 bulky chargers for every trip I made with the camera. I dreaded the experience and from then on, I told myself, no more AAs for me.

But how can I resist the K100D Super? I've done some research and people actually recommend using Eneloops which apparently has a very efficient self-discharge rate. Price is OK but problem is, its not easy to get those from a proper and reliable shop. But it's not really a big deal, just that it's got to worth the hassle that I have to go through just for the batteries alone. And from my past lesson, i better get 8 batteries at least. Once bitten twice shy. The savings that I get can be pumped into getting an external flash (2nd hand perhaps) and a polarizer filter.

But then again, Pentax is not exactly a very famous brand for the novice; say Pentax and everyone will go 'huh?' and immediately conjures the image of some plasticky looking rejected toy camera from the 80s. Pentax makes very very good lenses but the only problem is the BRANDING. Why is Canon so famous? Just say Nikon and everyone will go ooh-aah. Branding. Both brands have very famous ambassadors but not Pentax. They have aggresive marketing too. And because Pentax isnt very widely marketed, other lens makers just dont quite bother to make lens with Pentax mounts. Hence, people shy away from buying a Pentax at the prospect of not having compatibility with other cheaper and good lens. Just my two cents worth.

So in the meantime, I will look around for better deals, and new launches. But in my heart, I think I have more or less decided on .........

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's The Time Again

This is the time of the year for:

1) Vacations and going for that annual leave clearance frenzy. Which brings forth a whole lot of dominoes effect to the office.

Bosses take long leave, hence they wont be around to sign off important documents. Nobody to sign, means the document will be pending. Pending means, the subsequent documents cannot proceed. So work at the 'small fish zone' becomes slower...Haih.

I, too, will be taking a few days leave for Christmas. It's been a long time since I last went home. Gonna take this opportunity to kick off my new photojournalistic project. I haven't prepare anything for it yet, but planning will take off this week. I've got 5 days only to do up this mini-project and I hope things will turn up the way I want it to.

Oh, but before that, I've got to settle my latest project (of a different nature than the one mentioned above) which is to plan for a blasting New Year Party for my company. That is one big headache as I've yet to receive any feedback from RP. Haih.

2) That annual appraisal. I am still fearful of appraisals although I've been through it like 3 times already in my 1.5 years of service with the company. Maybe I still dont feel that I am an excellent worker, although I dont think I am bad either. But then again, it cant be that bad, after all there are far worse tak boleh pakai cobra kings in my office...

One thing I've learnt so far, that is, no matter how bad you think you are, do NOT disclose too much of your weaknesses to your boss. They might not even notice it in the first place. And more importantly, blow your own horn as loud as you can and take no shame in doing that! If you dont put up a perasan thick skin, you'll never get the increment that you want.

That was what I did. But of course, being an Asian, I was never taught to be boastful of myself, so, yah, I restrained a little....

3) Freebies to roll in. Calenders, diaries...Though these are common stuff, but at least, they're FREE and I dont have to spend a single cent on these items! So far the department has received diaries and calenders (but yet to be distributed), and for myself, I've been given pens and a digital clock. My collection will continue till next year...Hehe.

Unfortunately, the company doesnt give out diaries, calenders and pens to the employees of executive or lover levels. So, sorry guys, no diaries from me.

4) Christmas!

It didnt dawn on me that Christmas is like thiiiiiisssssssssss close in the calender until yesterday when the Church sang 'O Come Let Us Adore Him'. A beautiful song with beautiful words that just suddenly clicked on me that it's gonna be my Lord's birthday!

I've not done any Christmas shopping and might not be doing any shopping at all. Perhaps, only a change of hairstyle will do. But I certainly would want to have a greater Christmas than the years before and I did actually thought of hosting a cozy dinner with my friends who are not going home for Christmas say, on the week before Christmas. Just for a good time of fellowship la before I balik kampung to spend time with my family for this joyous occasion.

And btw, my sister and I bought a new 4-feet high Christmas tree. Hehe...Will put up a picture of it once the tree is fully done up!

In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!