Monday, August 31, 2009

Merdeka and 1Malaysia

In a week’s time, we will be celebrating another yet another year of freedom from the British rule.  In many ways, I wouldnt say that having being ruled by the British was a bad thing, of course there were a few bad eggs here and there, but generally, I think we must not forget that it was them who brought trade, education and public facilities to the country and in peace, we asked and they gave us our independence.  So it is wrong to hate the British masters for what they did to us, but rather we should look back and recognize that it was part of our nation’s history and heritage, for better or worst.  And we should also appreciate the works of our dear Tunku for negotiating independence from the Brits.  God’s timing is always good, and He has carved the path for our nation into where it is now.  Yes, despite the few rumours of murder and scandals.  It is not our calling to judge, only to vote and pray for the nation.

Anyway, our new Prime Minister, who has been in office for a few months already, has coined a new theme for the country, called 1Malaysia, or Satu Malaysia.  If this 1Malaysia is the idea that I have about being one nation, then I think I will like this new theme very much.  As for the implementation, it is a different question altogether but let’s give our PM the benefit of doubt and let him run the course before judging on the effectiveness of this 1Malaysia thing.

I would like to see our countrymen living as one, no Malay, no Chinese, no Indian, no dan lain-lain.  When we tell others who we are, we don’t refer to ourselves as Chinese, or Malay, but rather, we are  Malaysian.  I want to see the day that Malays no longer feel intimidated of the Chinese for their growing wealth, the Chinese no longer feel suspicious that the Malays are going to Islamize their children and their culture will be lost, and the Indian no longer feel marginalised and left out in the social and economic world.  I want my future children to play field football and climb trees with Ali, Ah Chong, Arul and Alan, and not only stick to their own race. 

Also, I would want our people to be matured enough to decide for themselves on sensitive issues and not be swayed blindly and easily by the flaming words of the Government, or the Opposition.  Politics can be dirty, but we should not get entranced in supporting one side so much that we trash the good of the other side.  Focus should be on the deed, not the doer.  I would want to see both parties stop their petty arguments on ‘look what I found in your dirty closet’, ‘it was them who did it’,’come jump over to my party’ etc etc, and start to work together for the benefit of the people.   Mat Rempits are still ruling the streets.  Snatch thefts and daylight robbers are still roaming housing estates, still not enough street lights and there are still, many people living in poverty.  So much to do, yet nobody is doing it.  What is justice, fighting on the streets for so-called ‘freedom’, or freeing your fellow neighbors from the fears of criminals?   

Lastly, I want to see Malaysia being a fair country where everybody wants to live here and feel safe raising their kids in this land.  I have too many friends who have migrated overseas because other countries are more ‘condusive’ to live and have better prospects for their children.  While I am tempted to follow suit, I felt that my heart is not ready to leave the country.  This is home.  And I want fellow Malaysians to feel like home too.  I hope with 1Malaysia, things will change for the better.

Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan.  Hidup Malaysia and God bless our country!

Thinking Things Over

For the longest time ever, I took 2.5 days off to unwind and recalibrate my mind and soul.  Things that came to light recently, which I shall maintain shush about it, and some other stuff need some shaking off from weight of my brain.  I am tired.  So I went home, back to the mountains, the rain and the cozy weather of Taiping.  Oh, and the local food too.

And I had time to write and rethink of what I want in life and to prepare myself mentally, for the things that are to come in the near future.  I need to flush the unforgiveness in my heart so I can open up to accept the wrongdoings as a past and not harbor any hatred towards another person.  It is important to me, to be at peace with people, even though I may be the person who was wronged.

Misty Maxwell

The clouds must go.  If it stays, you’ll never know how high you can go, what lies behind the mountain.  The rain has passed, the clouds are clearing, and so, I must move on.

God, give me the strength and wisdom to carry on.  And yes, walk with me. 

The New Hotel In Town

There’s a spanking new hotel at the lake gardens which is setting the sleepy town abuzz.  It’s called Flemington Hotel, and I’d say, though it is yet another 3 star hotel in Taiping, the decor and concept is way better than any other hotels in town and even, Ipoh *ahem*. 

Oh, and they have a skybar too, which is beside the pool.  The  idea of having an open air rooftop bar is plausible, but unfortunately, the lake gardens are not lighted at night, so nothing can be seen from there.  But still, I like the open concept.  And the flat screen TVs too.  Good for football nights with beer.  =)

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The lobby lounge. 

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The lobby lounge from another perspective.

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The skybar.  OK, I confess, I forgot to set the ISO to the minimum, and went straight on shooting with slow shutter at ISO 640 and the image suffered some severe noise problem.  But thank goodness NeatImage came to the rescue, albeit a faint effort and some loss of sharpness in some areas. 

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The pool.

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The pool view from the skybar.

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The poolside.

I did not take other parts of the hotel due to time and other constraints.  Perhaps another time.  Maybe I can saja-saja book a night there and have a feel of the room and service of the hotel.  Keke.

Why I Love My New Handbag

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The D80 attached with the 50mm fits beautifully into it!  And not to mention, I can still fit my purse, my keys, handphone, compact powder, lipbalm, nasal decongestant, comb, sunnies, tissues, and whole lot of other ladies’ stuff.  Stealth is my new name =)

With the new discovery, I am seriously thinking of getting a used D40 to replace my Panasonic Lumix, which is aging, ailing and starting to show signs of flares and focus inaccuracy.  Next bonus, maybe?  Hehe.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Miss The Good Old Days

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Suddenly, I feel emo and sentimental after listening to too much of ‘Better’ by Boyzone and ‘Over You’ by Daughtry.  And a little uninspired to write. 

And I remembered during one of the boring and dreggy staff meetings, I drew a picture of my late grandparents house at Kampung Sultan, Kampar.  Beautiful wooden link houses with zink roof and cast iron grilles at the window.  Back then, balik kampung would mean going over to their place, which I really looked forward to as a kid.  The place has since been taken back by the Government and redeveloped, and kong kong and popo also had left us.  Though things have change, the fond memories I had at the house at Kampung Sultan, including the noisy Indian neighbour who blasts Tamil songs during Chinese New Year, the little tadpoles that I used to play with in the water tank (JBA water source was slow, so kong kong and neighbours would harness the water from the mountain for cleaning purposes), the open air kitchen, the faraway toilet with no lights at night, and of course, my late popo’s stir fry prawns, will never leave my memory.   If only I took up photography from young, I would have been able to preserve some images to show my children’s children how a kampung looks like. 

Do you have a kampung to remember?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

G.I Joe – No Spoilers (I Hope!!)

Only few words to describe how the movie was:

1.  Boring.  Damn, what was it about again?  The main actor wasnt good looking, so are the chics.  The only guys I remember now are the Imhotep guy whose name failed to register in my mind after so many installations of The Mummy, and a Wayan brother, whose first name also, did not stick to my memory at all.  Yes, the lineup was boring, the storyline was nothing great and the ending to it…also nothing of substance. 

2.  Nonsensical.  The weapons are way too futuristic to the point that it defies every aspect of logic.  I didnt get what the whole war was all about, and I cant even figure what era was this whole thing supposed to set in.  Also, what has the 1600 introduction got to do with the movie?  Sure it explains the ancestry of this James McCullen (you’ll know who he is when you watch, he’s the villain) but I really dont see the relevance of showing this part at all. 

3.  Overboard.  Having some salt in our food is good, but adding too much of it makes the food awful.  That was exactly how I felt about this movie.  The weapons were ugly, which is still an understatement btw.  Fugly was more like it, big, heavy, overly powerful and same colour.  The space ship-cum-plane looks like a bastard son of a father cicak and mother dugong, the underwater base camp reminds me of Futurama and the super suit looks like something from ‘Hancock’ (movie by Will Smith).  The fighting scenes were just pure kicking, punching and shooting, until I also dont know what was going on and why the fights went on for eternity.  Blah.

 

So overall, this is my review on the movie.  Please, I am not complaining, just writing what I feel about it.  You may disagree with me but this is what I feel.  My verdict is a one and a half star out of five; though I did not enjoy the movie, but at least, it is better than watching one of those sucky Korean/Singapore horror flicks, or Hong Kong slapstick movies.

Bwt, just in case you are wondering what G.I Joe stands for, well, it is Government Issue Joe (yeah, sounds lame, I know).  And yes, they have ancestries from Hasbro and Marvel comics as well (like Transformers).  Go watch it, if you have nothing else to watch now.  Otherwise, just save that hard earned RM11 and get yourself a good meal instead.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Beam Launching 21 June 2009

For the benefits of those who do not have any inkling of what ‘beam launching’ is all about, I shall take the liberty to explain, in my own words, what is it and what’s so great about it.

Beam launching is, as the name suggests, is the launching of a section of a beam, or a whole beam, depending on the size and requirement.  In my case, it was the whole beam, weighing a massive 9.8tonnes (slightly lighter than Optimus Prime, hehe), and being hoisted all the way up to where it should sit permanently at Level 24, using two tower cranes.  The coordination of the cranes were crucial, and many a times, one crane moved faster than the other, causing the beam to tilt dangerously.  But thank God, there was no untoward incident.  This beam was made of structural steel, and is part of the structure for our skybridge. 

OK, back to the event.  So I was quickly assumed as the official photographer simply because I have a DSLR, with a long lens that looks damn pro (actually it was only the Nikon 55-200 which I bought for RM600? hehe), and with the SB600 and the Bagman bag.  Pressure, you know, but the good thing about being the ‘most professional looking photog with style’ is, people actually make way for me to shoot! Haha.

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One of our Bangladeshi signalman.  Signalmen are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the tower crane operators.  The communicate with each other with walkie talkie.

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Workers fixing the slings to the beams.

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The arrival….at Level 24.  The background is Jalan Ampang.

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Pulling into position.  The beam is still suspended, just in case any of you are wondering.

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Watching…and waiting.

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Bolt to place..

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Techies discussing tech side of the beam.

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Screw it with care. Ha.

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Another angle of the bolt.

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After bolt, lagi must weld.  I took approximately 20 numbers of welding pictures, but only few turned out well.   Some were a little too dramatic to most people’s liking.  Hence, I will edit them another time.

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Maskman.

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Working on the suspended beam.  Takutnyer! 

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  Sitting, waiting.  On the beam, that is.  At Level 24 with NOTHING below.  But these guys are experts, they are used to work at height.

Yup, these are my selected few images on that day.  I have another album, and lots more still in RAW, but due to time constraint, I will leave them at where they are.

 

So kesimpulannya, there is no kesimpulan to this series, but a record of what occured on that day.  Working in the construction line may be tiring and stressful, but the site is a goldmine for photography, and I am still learning how to make eye-catching images at my workplace.  In the meantime, please do comment, and drop by my fotopic gallery at http://titaniumpictures.fotopic.net.  Goodnight.