Friday, January 30, 2009

Aunties Pun Ada Peer Pressure

A The conversation between older women with daughters of marriage age.

Aunty A : Eh, you know Ah Lian’s daughter got married last year

Aunty B : Yes ah?  How much is the dowry ah?

Aunty A :  I heard ah, her daughter’s husband gave RM1,000.00 only! So kiam-siap!  If me, I wont marry off my daughter to him!

Aunty B : Eeyer, like that wan ah?  But this Ah Lian memang like that wan, so stingy.  Like mother, like son.  Everything also cincai.  You know Ah Peng’s daughter last month got married and the son-in-law gave her RM 10,000.00 dowry!  And dinner, jewelleries all pau ka liao, she no need to pay a single sen!

Aunty A :  Last time my first son in law gave me RM 12,000.00 for dowry.  And he so nice, some more book hotel rooms for our relatives. 

Aunty B :  Whoa, like that I must ask for at least RM8,000.00 for dowry.  My eldest daughter is a university graduate, I raised her till big, sure must ask for more.  Cant give my daughter for free. 

 

So youngsters, if you think peer pressure is only for the adolescent, hehe, you’re wrong.  Coz aunties also need to outperform each other or else no face lah.  Afterwards the whole morning market or tai chi gang knows that aunty’s daughter got married to a poor man.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

To all my dear readers, Gong Xi Fa Chai.  Selamat Tahun Baru Cina.

If you are driving home, do drive safely and DONT cut in the emergency lane.  I was told that the cops are on the move and have been actively summoning drivers who drive on the emergency lane.  But then again, it takes only RM50 to settle on the spot. It’s RM270 btw.

And to all my kawan-kawan who did not return home for CNY, erm, do enjoy your holidays wherever you are while I indulge myself with CNY foodstuff (like bakwa, hehehe).  I promise you, I wont blog about it so that you guys will not feel homesick k.  Kekeke.  But that depends on what photographs I managed to produce tonight ;p

Anyway, I dont want to talk so much, its about time for lunch and I wanna cabut adi.  So…yah, forget about work, forget about war and now, it’s time to celebrate!

Cheers!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bryan Adams



Singer. Professional Photographer. Truly admire his works. Still going strong after 30 years.
Do check out his photography here:

http://www.bryanadams.com/index.php?target=photography

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Other Side of Gaza

This was sent to me via email a couple of days ago and I thought it would be of interest to those who are seeking to hear from both sides of the wall.  Like I have mentioned  in an earlier post (just a few entries before this, so don't be lazy to scroll down k) that I believe in hearing from both sides of the coin instead of making very biased judgments based on what is reported in our already biased media.  When injustice is being done to our brother, we will go all out to ensure justice takes place.  But if a stranger or enemy is being mistreated, do we extend the same empathy and action, or just close one eye because its none of our business?  It takes two to tango, and it takes two to create a war.  I hope we as Malaysians will learn not to be emotional but to be rational when reading the papers about the Israel-Palentine war.

Anyway, I dont want to waste your time any longer with my long winded thoughts, so here’s the story from Israel’s side. (With occasional  notes from me in green)

“Written by Joel Rosenberg, founder of Joshua Fund, a relief organization. (Note: I googled Joel Rosenberg and found that he is a real person and he writes about terrorism, war and stuff like that.  You may checkout his webpage at www.joelrosenberg.com/)

(SOUTHERN ISRAEL, Wednesday, January 7, 2009) — Forgive me for not writing for the past few days. I flew to Israel on Sunday and arrived Monday morning, joining several colleagues in southern Israel to assess the situation and help direct The Joshua Fund's relief efforts. It's been an intense 48 hours, and it's currently 5:54am Wednesday morning Israel time. Allow me, therefore, to make a few brief observations, and I will write more later.

  • First and foremost, the situation is very intense here. Hamas has fired more than 500 rockets at innocent Israeli civilians over the past ten days or so. They are coming in at 40 to 50 rockets a day. More than 500,000 Israelis live within range of these instruments of terror, and many are traumatized by the fear of injury and death, not only for them but for their children as well.
  • Six Israeli soldiers have died in the fighting so far. Israelis throughout the country are mourning their loss, name by name, family by family. That said, Israelis are also overwhelmingly relieved that their government is finally taking strong action against Hamas after some 2 1/2 years of doing virtually nothing.
  • Some 1.5 million Palestinians who live on the Gaza Strip are being held hostage by Hamas. Hundreds are dead and thousands have been injured because of Hamas' evil reign of terror that finally provoked an Israeli response. The latest example came Tuesday when Hamas fighters fired mortars at Israeli forces from a U.N. school. This forced Israel to bomb the school to suppress the attacks. In the end, some 42 Palestinians — including the terrorists — died, and more than 50 were injured.
  • Where is the world outrage against Hamas? The Palestinian people desperately want and need to be liberated from Hamas, and would privately welcome Israeli success against the terror leaders. (This, I have heard from a someone close who has been to Israel himself and spoken to the locals, though not to people under Hamas confinement)
  • Rather than mounting pressure on Hamas to stop the rockets, international pressure is steadily and aggressively mounting on the Israeli government to agree to a temporary ceasefire before the Hamas leadership and terror infrastructure in Gaza are crushed. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday, teaming up to push for a ceasefire resolution they hope will end the fighting immediately. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice immediately said the U.S. supports the Mubarak-Sarkozy plan .
  • Hamas is increasingly desperate for a ceasefire. Its top leaders are being killed. Scores of its best trained fighters are being killed. Its arms depots and government buildings are being bombed to smithereens. So are its vital smuggling tunnels along the Egyptian border. Reports the Jerusalem Post : " Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip said on Monday that the general feeling was that Hamas does not exist any longer as a governing body. 'All their government institutions have been destroyed,' said a Gaza City reporter. 'The Hamas leaders are now behaving like al-Qaida's Osama bin Laden and [his deputy] Ayman Zawahiri. Their only public appearances are through recorded messages aired on Arab TV stations.'"
  • Preciously for this reason, now is no time to let up on Hamas. Israel should absolutely refuse to agree to the Mubarak-Sarkozy plan. As currently drafted, the agreement does not even suggest — much less mandate — the creation of an international force to prevent Hamas from re-arming. Even if it did, why should Israelis believe such an international force would be effective? The U.N. force in southern Lebanon is doing absolutely nothing to prevent Hezbollah from re-arming. To the contrary, it is now believed that Hezbollah has more than 30,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel, far more than ever before.
  • The Israeli public has been duped by such international nonsense before, and thankfully they want no part of it. A new poll here by Channel 2 news finds that 81% of Israelis believe their government has done the right thing by sending ground forces into Gaza to stop the rockets and crush Hamas, and a stunning 60% of Israelis oppose talking to Hamas to obtain a cease-fire .
  • That's certainly the sense I have after talking to Israelis here — they want victory and they define victory as the destruction of the Hamas military and political leadership and the liberation of southern Israel from the constant threat of Hamas rocket, missile and mortar fire. Anything less than the accomplishment of these goals, they tell me, would make the situation worse because it would effectively be a victory for Hamas a defeat for Israel. Israelis don't want to see a single soldier of theirs die, but they believe now is the time to intensify the attack on Hamas, not let up.
  • Regardless of how the public feels, however, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government may very well accept a temporary and premature ceasefire. They accepted a premature ceasefire in Lebanon in 2006, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak signalled from the earliest hours of this conflict he wanted a quick ceasefire. The next few days will be critical to see what kind of resolve the Olmert government has this time around.
  • In the meantime, I can report that The Joshua Fund continues working with Jewish and Christian allies on the ground here to care for Israelis caught in the crossfire. Two days ago, we were able to help evacuate a bus filled with more than 40 Israelis from the southern border town of Sderot. We have moved them out of the war zone, up to a more secure location in the North of Israel, and are paying for their lodging and meals while they are there. We are working around the clock on the logistics to move more Israeli families out of harm's way. We are also helping several organizations prepare to deliver more food and relief supplies to elderly Israeli shut-ins in Sderot. I will have more to report on these efforts soon. If you would like to make an secure, on-line emergency contribution to The Joshua Fund to help us help care for Israelis in the war zone, please click here.
  • We are also actively seeking ways to provide humanitarian aid first to followers of Jesus Christ in Gaza, and then through the Christians to Muslim Palestinians living in fear and terror of the Hamas-triggered war. Thus far, however, it is not yet clear how to help. We are in direct contact with key Arab Christian leaders. But there are reports that Hamas fighters are stealing aid that non-Christian relief agencies have sent in . And the violence is so intense right now it is not safe for aid workers to take in new relief supplies. (That’s the spirit – help everyone in need, not just your kind)

Wah banyak panjang.  But its a good read, apart from reading the lopsided newspaper.  Now we can weigh and rationalise what the situation is like over there and decide if we should continue to condemn Isreal and glorify Hamas, or we should empathize with both and hope for the best for both parties.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hmm…Short Notes

1.  Property Investment – Is it a good time now or should I wait further?

I received an email about a new apartment which is about to be launched for sale soon.  But being a company project, sales is open to staff first, so I thought, hmm, why not?  It’s relatively cheap, around RM 143K onwards, located in Cheras near amenities, major highways and roads, and close to UCSI.   That’s a bonus coz there will always be supply of tenants so long as the college doesn't relocate.  Of course renting to students means I have to be prepared to refurbish the place after several years (as students have the reputation for destroying the house).  But at that price, I think its a good buy.

But the thing that I feel kinda uncomfortable is, the outlook of the apartment which looks somewhat low cost.  But then again, for the price + built by a reputable contractor  & developer + pretty good location, how bad can it be? 

What say u?

2.  Who Said Oranges Are Dry?

Geez, I always wonder how come some people can eat oranges in the office while working?  I was told that oranges are ‘dry’, therefore it is possible to snack on the fruit during office hours.  But I disagree.

Oranges are juicy.  And they squirt sticky juice when peeled.  I hate to get my fingers all sticky and dirty especially if I need them for something else other than eating oranges.  Maybe I am a messy eater.  I have never been good at keeping my hands dry while eating juicy stuff.   

IMHO, keropoks are the still the best snack to satisfy my hunger pangs.  Cheap, cheerful, crispy and convenient.  =)

3.  We Are Forced To Be Generous

By giving away ALL the mandarin oranges given to us by our subcontractors.  And who gets our oranges?  Head Office people like the fighting oxen (pun not intended, this happens to be the year of the ox) from finance, and others deemed impotent ‘important’ to the project.  Well, I guess we still need to give some ‘protection’ money to safeguard our interest and to ensure that those people will always lookout for us.  After all, they control the money, and we, need the money.

So we the project team will have to settle for less oranges this year.

4.  What I Have Been Listening To Lately

1. You Can Do Magic – America.  This is an 80s hit which I almost forgotten of its existence until lately when I heard it again in LiteFM.  This band is not so famous lah, so for those who have not heard America’s songs, well, they sounded a little like Johnny Hates Jazz.  Itupun if you have heard of the band la.

2. Imagination – Just An Illusion – This is one song that till now, I still, STILL dont know who was the singer.  But damn the song is catchy and never fails to give me that chilly ‘ooo…is this real?’ feel.  Like I have been mysteriously transported into a revolving purple-colored tunnel ala James Bond’s famous us ‘in the gun barrel’ opening montage.  The fantasy-ous feel.  Me likey.

3. Cry Baby Cry – Carlos Santana ft Joss Stone & Sean Paul – I never liked rap and black R&B but this one, is just one notch up from the rest.  I think its the Santana riff la.  And Joss Stone.  Actually I was never a fan of Joss Stone- I always thought her songs are weird.  Tak sangka she can do club hits too.  This song makes me want to dance (though i am but a kayu dancer). 

4.  I Thought I’ve Seen Everything – Bryan Adams – Bryan is THE MAN!  Always love his voice, love his songs, love his music.  Cukup rock and cukup kaw!  He always sounds energetic and he plays darn good guitars too!  I think he can live up to his ‘18 Till I Die’ lah, already 50 but still looking good and strong. FIY, Bryan’s alter ego is a professional fashion and portrait photographer so that’s ten brownie points for him.  Me likey men like that – can sing, can play guitar, body also fit,  lagi is a photographer….*drool drool* kekekeke 

5.  This Entry Takes Two Days To Write

Not two solid days, but inspirations from two consecutive days, at different times of the day.  Ah. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good Morning

Been feeling a little lazy to wake up these days.  There is always a battle going on in my head everytime the alarm goes off at 5.00am.  To wake up and hit the gym, or to continue with my slumber for another hour or so.  And the two sides of the mind will continue fighting until I eventually get up 45 mins later coz I cant sleep in peace anyway.  The good side prevails over evil.  Ah.

Working out in the morning is a good habit everyone should adhere to.  My Dato CEO goes jogging every morning before work.  The ex-Deputy CEO used to hit the gym before work.  So I pun terinspired to follow their footsteps.  Makes me feel like I’m part of the league, hehehe.  Perasan betol.

Anyway, all I want to say is, I must, MUSTI discipline myself to exercise and eat right everyday and this entry serves as a reminder and motivation for me to go on waking up early and hit the roads before the crazy morning rush begins. Ah, that is also one of the preps of waking up early.  I can drive on the LDP, Mahameru and Tun Razak at 120kph.  Muahahaha.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Seafood And Beer

I like both.  Shelled seafood is such a compatible match with cold beer.  Coupled with good company and a beautiful weekend, life feels like heaven.  OK, maybe not exactly heaven la, but this is the kind of hangout I like.  What? Sounds like apek?  Haha.

 

But the seafood and beer that I am talking about now, was not savored together this time.  The seafood dinner was a family outing, thus no beer, while the beer was bought in Brussels, the new beer cafe at Jaya One.  Much have been talked and blogged about that place, so I am not going to copycat what other have said.  Im different ok.

 

1.  Seafood at Subang Airport- dont remember the restaurant name but there’s a big lobster at the entrance.

P1060046A

Hmm.. Belakang masuk, kekekkekekek

 

P1060042A

This creature that looks like something that is used during belakang masuk sessions is called Geoduck.  The first time I saw it was in one of Ahmad’s forwarded email a few years ago.  Then I saw it again in Andrew Zimmern’s Bizzarre Food.  I think this creature tak laku, coz it looks weird and we Chinese dont know how it should be eaten.

 

P1060052A

O MIghty Crab!

 

So that’s all about seafood.  Or sea animals.  You thought I’m going to show u pictures of kamheong crabs and chilli prawns?  Haha.  Again I said, I’m different =)

 

Btw, just a note, we didnt eat either of those sea animals that I feature here…

 

2.  Beer at Brussels.

 

Before you proceed, if any of you Christian brothers and sisters who are stumbled by me, please stop reading now.  But before you leave, please take some time to read what I got to say about drinking beer.

 

For me, drinking beer is not a mean to sin, or to lepaskan sadness and sorrow. Drinking and appreciating beer is an art.  You sip, feel the texture, and slowly swallow it down.  I drink with control and with conscious.  Because in art, you have to take time to appreciate.  And I don't drink everyday or even every week OK.

 

Chewah, macamlah I’m some kind of connoisseur, hehe.

 

Anyway, the Happy Hours at Brussels is only happy for the draught.  Which has a few options, like Stella Artois, Leffe, Carlsberg Extra Cold, Beamer Stout and Hoegaarden.  Since there were two of us, we ordered 4 mugs of different beers.

 

Round One:  Hoegaarden and Stella Artois.

P1060106A

Hoegaarden is smooth and is easier to down between the two.  But it’s too mild and too sweet to my liking and it feel unsubstantial like drinking juice only.  Still, if I need a mild thirstquencher, I’d consider the hoegaarden.

 

The Stella Artois, on the other hand, has a rougher texture, somewhat like Tiger Beer.   But its not a bitter as Tiger and tastes a little more bearable than the conventional beers, although it still tastes conventional to me.  Probably on the higher side of the scale.

 

My verdict for Round One :  I’d say the Stella Artois.  But really, the Hoegarden is not bad too, just too mild for me.

 

Round Two:  Beamish Irish Stout and Leffe Brune

 

P1060110A

 

Beamish:  It’s smooth and tastes pleasantly bitter like any other stouts that I have tasted before.  The foam is super creamy and the consistency is just right.   Not too watery or too thick.  Just right.

 

Leffe Brune:   I have tasted both Leffe Brune and Blond before, but that was a long time ago I cant remember how they tasted like.  But this time around, the Leffe Brune was a little too fizzy for me.  But the taste is OK, somewhat like coke minus sugar plus kilkenny or what la.  Pleasant still to me.

 

So my verdict for Round Two is, I prefer the Beamish than Leffe’s.

 

My overall Choice of The Day is…..

 

P1060118A

 

BEAMISH IRISH STOUT

Blogging with Windows Live Writer

Ah.  I finally managed to download the new Windows Live Writer after hearing so much about it.  But it still feels weird to draft my entry with Live View, meaning I get to see live how my blog will actually look like after posting.  And I think it looks boring, hahaha.  Maybe its time to change the template la. 

 

So what is good with this Live Writer?  Well, first of all, you get to write/edit your entry with live view and greater flexibility (bigger screen, yeah), no need to suffer with that small limited screen in blogger’s page.  Secondly, you can insert your pictures like how you could in Microsoft Word and Excel, can drag and drop, lagi can enlarge.  Wa sukak!  Now I don't have to complaint about how the stupid blogger will by default, shrink my pictures and affect my image quality! 

 

coconut

 

In fact, this whole proggramme has an uncanny resemblance with Microsoft Words.  Seriously.  If I spell wrongly, the jiggery red line will appear below the word.  If I right click, There is a list of suggestions for me to pick to replace the wrong word.  Nah, show you the print screen. 

 

 Live Function

 

Now I can say goodbye to unintentional typos!  Hehe….

 

And then, I can still categorize my entries based on the list that I have in blogger..

 

Live Function2

 

 

Whoa!  Just need to click only.  Cekap!!!  If I want I can even tag my entry with Tehnorati, LiveJournal, Flickr dan macam-macam lagi.  Should I?

 

Actually there are more functions that seems interesting but not very useful to me at the moment like Photo Album (I might use this though), table (good for comparison, I might use this too), Map (hmm..), Video (I am not a video person) and Plug-In (lagi la don't know what to do with it.).  In fact, I think there are MORE functions which I have yet to explore and fully utilize.

 

 

So my verdict is a 9/10 on first day.  No more typos, better control over images and the layout and everything is so simple like Microsoft Word.  Total bliss to blog now.  Me likey this proggramme very the muchi. =D

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In The News

1. Isreal-Palentine Saga



I have to admit here that I am NOT that knowledgable in issues like this, therefore am not qialified enough to comment much about the happenings between the two ruling regime in that little strip of land at Gaza.



Here in Malaysia, there have been many words of condamnation to Israel, hate emails and messages flying around and even politicians instigating the rakyat (including young schoolchildren) to hate Israel as 'Israel kills innocent Palestinians, poor Palestinians are saudara kita, so we must stop our musuh jahat from killing our saudara'. Wah, suddenly feel our country very 'yee hei', brother in pain, we protest so that they will pain no longer. Somehow or rather, I feel (note my choice of word) that most (not all) protester groups in Malaysia are not fighting against war, they fighting against opposers of their brothers in religion. Of course it is not wrong to speak out on behalf of the weaker brother, in fact it is the right thing to do. But, let's put it this way, if the cruelty was done on the neighbour who is of, say the Christian faith, would they, put a foot down and speak the same? Maybe, maybe not. I dont know coz in this country, the good or the sufferings of any religion other than the official one seldom gets highligted. Religions have been politicised and so are the news that we get every morning.

I do not condone killings of the innocent, but I believe in justice. Justice means we should also HEAR the other side of the story. What I see reported in the news is only the sob stories of the Palestinians, but have we given any opportunity to the Israelites to explain the reason why they did what they did? Its like hearing a schoolboy crying for being bullied in school, immediately felt injustified by the brutal act of the bully and immediately confront and label the bully as the bad guy without knowing that probably the so-called bully beat the schoolboy because the boy stole his book in class? The bully is not right la to retaliate in such a way, but the schoolboy is also wrong for reporting only the side of the coin that favors him. I am not trying to accuse Palestinians for starting the fight (like I said before, I am not that knowledgable in this matter), the gist of my idea is, no one is all bad or all good. I dont believe Israel is 100% bad, or Palestine is 100% good. It's a grey area, and taking sides is childplay. True justice is to hear from both sides, study and investigate the history and statements and decide on our own, what is right and what is not.



So my kata dua sen is, we must be wise not to simply join protests, learn to discern facts from exagerated fictions, love instead of hate even your enemies, do not generalise and pray for world peace. After all, the two nations are our saudara, from the same father (Abraham) and Father (God).

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

To Do In 2009

Since our friend Ah Chong made a list of what he wants to do in 2009, I also feel inspired to list down some things I should do this year. Though its already the 7th today, nevertheless I shall still write what I want and should do in the next 348 days.


1. Take leave on my birthday. This I have not done ever since I started working in my project.

2. Try everything possible and make up my mind on the path to take after Independence Day in 2010.

3. Think, act and BE positive! Always remember that God made me wonderfully and beautifully. (This, I always forget everytime I am emotionally bruised)

4. Dress up better and spend a little biiiit more on girly stuff like new cloths, makeup, skincare products, etc...

5. I have sensitive skin, therefore I shall try not to scratch whenever some bugs bite me, or anytime I feel itchy. Instead, I shall use the best invention of all time..... MOPIKO!!

Damn Mopikos are so expensive these days- RM 5.90 for 10g!

6. Spend more time with my camera, take more photos, be more rajin to process my pictures and post up here! In other words, I must improve my skills both in taking and processing photos. Hopefully I can start making money from it the following year, who knows kan?

7. Trust God more. Doubt Him less. The past year had been very spiritually turbulent for me, I had been down a lot, been asking God why things happened the way it did, where have I gone wrong, why He didnt react the way I wanted and why did He take me out of this emotional abuse I face everyday. I dont think I have been smiling a lot last year.

But this year, I want to change my paradigm on life and I realised that, there is no better start than to look to God for a change. I can work, but in the end, God decides what's best for me. I have to learn to surrender. After all, He's my maker and how can the creation knows better than the creator, right? This is common logic also.

8. Read more! Last year I wanted to read a book every month which of course, I ended up with only a quarter of a book for the year! Actually, until now I still havent finish the book! FIY, it was Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey, which, to me, was a good book. Seriously. So this year, since I cannot commit to thick reading matters, I shall read magazines instead. My target : 2 magazines per month, one on photography and another yet to be decided.

And also, finish up that book that I began last year...

9. Make more friends, meet new people, hang out more with my old friends.

10. Live a healthy lifestyle. Hit the gym in the morning again (mental note: must wake up early, must dicipline myself!!!) and eat less at night.


Actually the list is longer but those are personal stuff I wont share to the whole world...So this 10 would be something more general that I should do this year. Please, wish me the best and remember me in your prayers.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I Was Thiiiiiissss Close

...to getting my first summon in two years.

I dont usually talk on the phone without loudspeaker function (coz I am too stingy to get a handsfree kit) but today, I was just too confident that the police will not be around so I just picked up the call like normal, put it to my ear and chatted away. Wasnt much of a chat la, baru say a few words and then I realised that the cops were just behind me. Damn.

What to do in situation like this?

The usual practise in Malaysia is either:
1. You man up and take the ticket, or
2. You offer to settle 'undertable', or
3. You beg and plea for the officer to 'kasi chan laaa'

So what do you think I did? Let's check out the options one by one..

1. Pay the summon- Dei, its RM200! I might as well buy the handsfree kit! Or the many other items in my 'non-priority' list.

2. Bribe - Jesus wouldnt do that.

3. Kasi chan - This is the only viable option, rite? So I change my mode from 'fierce and daring female driver' to 'the dumb and innocent girl' and talked my way out of the situation. After several 'bang, kasi la chan sama saya, saya cuma cakap beberapa saat saja, saya promise takkan buat lagi', he pun let me go lah.

I wont say that I bluffed my way out, I am grateful to the cops for letting me go. I think I will not repeat the same mistake for a long time. And certainly, I will get a handsfree kit soon.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Questions

1. Telemarketing- To trust or not to trust?

Recently, a friendly and persistant lady called me to enquire if I am interested to subscribe to AIG's Home Guard Plan. I was interested but then since the entire deal had to be carried out SOLELY through phone and I dont even have a proper number to call back in case anything bad happens, I decided to pull out from the whole idea of getting that policy.

Thinking back, I think I made a wise move. It could be a scam, you know how real scams can be these days. If I wanted the policy, I might as well just call up AIG and surely hoardes of salesperson will eagerly sell me the policy with freebies to offer.

So what do you guys think about telemarketers and telemarketing as a sales strategy?

I'd say, it's not the most effective method to promote any product or services these days.

***************

2. Halal Food In KL.

An old friend of mine dropped by KL city for 2 days en route from Genting to Spore. And along with her is her Indonesian friend who is Muslim. So I, again, am being given the task to look for good and cheap halal food in town.

Halal is seldom a concern to me when I go for meals so I kinda took for granted which restaurant is halal and which is not. So this is issue nombor satu.

Another thing to consider is price. For me, its OK lah to spend a bit more once in a while, say RM 30 or so for a decent meal with a friend whom I rarely meet. But my other kakis would rather not spend that much for food. So again, this is another problem.

Most of the group wont want mamak or malay food. So to be safe, I'd say fusion food is best. So halal, cheap and cheerful mamak is out.

For me, I'd restrict the locality to somewhere in Bukit Bintang. Near for all of us. If only my friends live in PJ, I'd gladly take them to Murni.

So here I am, at 6.20pm, an hour from the dinner and still fairly unsure where to take them out for dinner. I've suggested Pavillion, of which I think fits the bill (figuratively and literally) but somehow I still feel tak puas having to settle for something conventional in a mall....


I should start keeping a log of halal fusion food lah...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

One of the preps living at the convergence of two effluent and happening areas is the crowd-free and clear view of new Year's Eve Fireworks.


Armed with a borrowed tripod, full charged DSLR, the infrared remote and a black card, I was all set to capture fireworks for the very first time.


Practical lessons learnt tht night:
1. Set the lens and camera to manual focus. Else, the camera will be hunting for focus point and you lose time and precious photographic opportunities.
2. I used a 50mm lens on a 1.5 crop body. Big mistake. Should have used something wider coz the fireworks aint very far away from me.
3. F22 is toooo small. Should have stopped down to F16 or so instead. The background were dark though the fireworks were OK.
4. Essential: Standby at least 15 minutes earlier than YOUR clock. I set my alarm at 11.50pm only to hear that the people were already counting down 22, 21, 20.... Luckily, I already had my tripod set and orientated at 9.30pm. But still, the last 22 seconds didnt give me much time for readjustments and for composition...I was like huru-hara frantically trying to catch the fireworks.
5. Exposure time and the black card thingy- I must learn to control and estimate better.


All in all it was OK, not too good but here are my best shots. They look good in full scale photoshop but whn uploaded here, the color macam not so bright anymore. Will figure out what's wrong another time.


This is the only full scale fireworks yang jadi. The rest are either too small, or overexposed. Frankly speaking, this is not my favourite shot because only can see one colour.
This one is almost there...I like the green and red. But unfortunately the top part was chopped and the stupid building and tower crane sorta spoil the composition.
Hopefully my next attempt will be better.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!