Friday, August 31, 2007

Uploading a whole bunch of photos in my flickr account from my trip to Tawau. Too lazy to link it to here. Maybe do that later.

If you want too, you can go over to my flickr site and have a look at the pictures. It's mostly pictures of Semporna and the seaweed farm I visited. Nice place.

Just finished watching the Merdeka eve countdown on TV. Was too tired to go out and watch the fireworks. Been out shooting the whole day in Klang.
I've been doing all these Merdeka day preparation since last day at work... and it all boils down to me sitting at home watching it live on TV. All I managed to do was to stand up when the national anthem played.
I ran up to my balcony but my nephew was already on the way down and he said I already missed the fireworks over Ikano. Damn. Usually we have a good view of it from my house.
Oh well, happy 50th Merdeka!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More random pictures. The first one I saw on someone's blog. Before you read this, make sure you're seated because the risk of you hurting yourself while rolling on the floor laughing uncontrolably after looking at this picture is quite high.

Okay, now that you've stopped laughing... on a more serious note, this is why we need sex education in Malaysia. You get this poor guy trying to do the impossible and his poor wife just accepting it. Funny to us, painfully embarassing to them.

I walked into the editing suite one day and the producer of Bersamamu showed me her external Hard Disk. She asked me how come the PC didn't want to recognize it. I took a sniff at it and right away I knew what was wrong with it. I unscrewed the Hard Disk inside and put it in my casing and it worked. That means that their external casing was burned out. I could smell melted soldering. It's a cheapo external casing. Not advisable to get something like this if you're going to leave it on for hours. Good thing the Hard Disk didn't burn up along with it!

Ah... I just had to take a picture of this for keepsake. I know, I could have just exported a frame from the project timeline but taking one of the TV is all the more real! Somehow seeing it on TV makes me feel a little better about all the stress I when through (and I'm still going thru!)

One of the factories I when to shoot at brought me to lunch at a place called Bumbu Bali in Puchong. The food's quite good and comes in large portions. I like how they cook the meat, it's barebequed but it's also soft and chews easily. Nice.

Supposed to be doing editing today. I'm behind by 2 episodes already. I have to finish what I can before I fly of to Tawau, Sabah for the next shoot on Sunday. I hate staying in hotels, probably because they just seem so lonely if you're going there for work. Please some hotels give me the creaps.

Once I stayed in a humongous suite in Sabah and it was right by the sea. The hotel gave each of us a room. At night I could hear the waves. I have a very active imagination and I kept imagining some sea creature or pirates coming out to get me.

I hope everything goes well there. I've already spend all the allowance money even before I got it on buying a bag for my equipment. Damn company doesn't even have enough cameras, have to use my own!

Didn't have time to upload some of the other pictures I took over the past few days. Finally had time to sit down and relax for awhile.

I when to Azizah's wedding with Chui Yan. I was curious to know what was the service going to be like at the hotel she was having her wedding at. It's the same hotel I paid a huge deposit to have mine too.

Surprisingly, the waiters were quite good. Food was Malay so its not exactly a good gauge of what we're going to have at ours... however it was edible. I was hungry. I only have two settings when it comes to food... edible and non-edible. So when I say its not non-edible... trust me, you wouldn't want to eat it. There's a lot of things in my edible lists too that most people wouldn't consider eating. Like microwaved potatos; candy that was dropped on the floor; fishball that rolled down a table; food that was already in my nephew's mouth.

Anyway... back to the wedding. Theirs was in the ballroom. Mine was going to be in a much smaller function room. The hotel recently renovated the ballroom so it looks nice. The chandelier looked great.

There were more "pakcik-makcik" photographer's than the usual press photographers. I thought it was quite funny. I'm used to seeing people stop Azizah and take photos with her, but to see this at her wedding was even more amusing. I guest you can't escape from your fans.

I see Azizah every day so sometimes I'm jaded and forget how pretty she is. Even without makeup Azizah is someone who can dazzle you with her looks. For someone her age, she still has it.

I like the suit the groom is wearing. My colleague asked me to get one for mine too. I think it's out of my budget. I asked if I could get it at half the price. She laughed at me and said probably not the same material. What... tree bark material for mine is it?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Looking for something to do while I'm waiting for a file to encode from premiere pro to AVID. Might as well write something while I'm waiting.

Last few days has been hectic as usual. I did manage to find some time to go look for the missing screw on my camera. After calling a few people, I discovered that there was a shop in Jalan Ipoh that specialized in hard to find screws.

Advance Bolts & Fasteners is behind Public Bank in Jalan Ipoh. I walked in there with my camera and showed them an identical screw on my camera. The guy took it to the back and came back with another type of screw. It wasn't exactly the same. It was longer by half an inch and was chrome instead of black. However, the tread size was the same. I bought 5 just in case some other screws decided to go missing on their own. All 5 screws for RM1!

The day before that, I was in Panasonic service centre in Shah Alam. I showed them the model part number from my camera manual. They weren't even sure they had that specific part. They checked their system and came back with a different part number from the one that was printed on the manual. The lady asked if I was a Panasonic staff. I said no, but I knew someone. She said it was RM104 but if a Panasonic staff ordered it, it was RM64. Damn... so expensive. Plus, I had to wait 3 months for it.

I think I'll just make do with my 20 cent screw for now. If I can find a metal saw, then maybe I can saw of that extra length.

I did have the chance the other day to drive on the Pantai Express Highway. There was two RM1.60 toll to pass thru but it sure beats the jam on the Federal Highway. Quite scenic as the highway is elevated most of the way. Took pictures with one hand.

This one is just a random picture of the clouds over Petaling Jaya that I took. I adjusted the level on the picture to give it a more dramatic effect. Would be a bit freaky if we actually had clouds like that over us everyday.

Today is my niece's birthday. I didn't even get her anything yet. Probably drop by One Utama later to find someone for her. Something that's quiet and durable that will last more than a week.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm so pissed today. One of the screws on my camera is missing. The worst part is, it gone missing while I was using it at work. Don't think I can get any compensation from the office for this.

Not quite sure when I lost the screw. Most probably from my shoot in Lumut onwards. It was a wierd screw, it was jutting out akwardly from the handle. I always thought one day it might go missing and it finally did.

The camera still works but the screw holds another add-on part of the camera to it. I haven't used the add-on part in awhile so that's why I didn't notice the missings crew.

I looked back at the pictures I took in Nibong Tebal and the screw was already missing. I circled in red where the screw should have been. Damn.

I'm going to try my luck and go to the Panasonic service center tomorrow to see if I can order that screw. Knowing Panasonic, its going to cost quite a lot.

My office has the exact same model camera and a cameraman broke it. Everyone's really piss the cameraman broke it. The track holding the battery was broken, the LCD panel couldn't close and the jog shuttle was broken too. Looks like the camera got whacked pretty bad somehow. Miraculously, the camera was still working.

Panasonic makes some pretty tough camera though some of their parts don't hold up to heavy use. I've seen the Panasonic DV's that my office has. From the 102B to the DVC32. Some of the parts are missing or broken but it still can record visuals. They've been to desserts and harsh winters and still work. I just wish they had sturdier parts.

My other option is to find a screw that's of equivalent size. If Panasonic can't find me the parts for the missing screw, I'm going to go down to visit Ace Hardware to find a compatible one. My camera model is already out of production... keeping my fingers cross they might still have some parts lying around in Japan.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pictures from my Nibong Tebal trip

I did manage to take some pictures from my Nibong Tebal trip. I had fun shooting with Fadli and Roslan. They're a great team to work with. We left my office at 7:30AM. We were supposed to leave at 6AM but everyone woke up late. I like driving early in the morning because there's always a beautiful sunrise to see. Malaysia is blessed with beautiful clouds.

When we arrived at Nibong Tebal, it was already 12PM. Took longer than expected because we had a few detours.

Fadli's a better director than I am and both of us have almost the same directing style so I didn't have to worry too much about his visual treatment. I gave him a camera and set him loose while I worked with the cameraman. Roslan has a PD150. While I'm not a fan of Sony DV cameras, they get the job done. Roslan has a pretty good tripod which he used to use for his beta camera.

We finished the shoot at 6PM. I was supposed to follow the cameraman to Taiping but in the end, we had a change of plans so we drove straight home instead. We stopped in Bagan Serai to have dinner. I used to stay in this small little town for 3 years. I didn't get stop to visit because we were in a rush. We stopped at a Petronas there to refuel and I managed to take a picture of this beautiful sunset.

The manual white balance on my camera was set for my face but the background came out really warm. Anyway, the picture with the sunset only makes for a great wallpaper.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yesterday, I when to Nibong Tebal for the day to shoot a factory. We left my office at 7:30AM. On the way there, we saw a terrible accident. My cameraman stopped to take some footages of it while I drove on. We were in the company's car with the logo and everyone standing at the side of the road was probably wondering why we didn't stop.

Later in the night when we watched the news then we saw how terrible it was. Today, I read The Star and it looked even worst. According to my cameraman, he interviewed the Rescue personnel there and they said there was a motorcyclists following behind the bus. The motorcyclists saw the bus swerve a few times before driving of the road. I didn't see any brake marks on the road at the accident site. It was a straight road and it was very low traffic. The accident happened at 5.45AM. I think most probably the driver fell asleep or he had some mechanical malfunction on the bus.

From today's The Star
TAIPING: One of the country's worst road accidents, which occurred in the wee hours of yesterday on the North-South Expressway near here, was a disaster waiting to happen.

The driver had 13 traffic summonses - some still outstanding - and two warrants of arrest against him while the 20-year-old bus, which also had 19 summonses, did not even have the permit to ply the route.

The passengers of the bus, bound for Alor Star from Malacca, never stood a chance against such a poor record - 19 of them were killed along with the 37- year-old driver. Nine others including a three-yearold boy are in hospital, some in critical condition.

The bus company has been ordered to cease operations immediately.


1. Siti Sophia Ismail, 23, Alor Star
2. Teoh Kee Song, 34, Padang Temusu, Kedah
3. Zaiton Bachik, 56, Malacca
4. Nur Sharul Miza Mohd Khairi, 27, Sungai Petani
5. Tea Choon Joo, 36, Padang Temusu, Kedah
6. Zuliani Buang, 25, Tanjung Keling, Malacca
7. Shahril Afendi, 22, Alor Star
8. T. Krishnan, 46, from Taman Haji Muslim, Kuala Ketil, Kedah
9. Fadliz Ahmad, 22, Jalan Penaga, Taman Maju, Jasin, Malacca
10. Express bus driver Rohizan Abu Bakar, 37, Lorong 1/2, Taman Sri Petaling, Kulim, Kedah
11. Josli Arshad, 39, Jalan Dang Merdu, Jambatan Duyong, Malacca
12. Nazri Nordin, 35, Desa Baiduri, Jalan Ru 1, Bandar Baru, Ayer Itam, Penang
13. Pang Tee Min, 58, Jalan Ong Kim Wee, Malacca
14. Mohd Yazid Md Yusoh, 27, Jalan Kolam Air Utama, Fasa 4, Taman Maju, Jasin, Malacca
15. Kamis Said, 62, Batu 22 1/2, Pasir Gembor, Tanjung Bidara, Masjid Tanah, Malacca
16. Md Basri, Kampung Pulai Darat, Merlimau, Malacca
17. H. Abu Bakar, 37, from Medan, Indonesia
18. Sri Asiah, 32, Indonesian female - believed to be mother of a unidentified three-year-old boy in ICU
19. P. Sunderesvarar, 31, Kedah

* One dead still not identified

1. Express bus co-driver P.Veeraman, 36, Taman Sri Merbau, Kulim, Kedah
2. Quang Ngol Hung, a male Vietnamese
3. Mohd Fauzi Hassan, 26
4. Chhatrapati Ejam, 24, a male Nepalese
5. Zurina Rashid, 23, Kuala Kedah
6. Mohd Zahidi Che Ahmad, 22, Klawang, Langkawi
7. Ngu Yeh Hui Vinh, 27, a male Vietnamese
8. Siew Ken Ming, 20, Malacca

* One injured still not identified

After we saw the accident, I was talking to my crew and I told them that it was actually the first day of the Hungry Ghost Festival. I explained to them that it was when the ghosts came out to wander the earth for a month. Some came to wreak havoc, that's why the Chinese have opera shows to entertain the spirits during the month.

I was wondering how mythologies like these develope. Could it be that in this month that there were more accidents that were likely to happen? What could cause it? Could it be the heat that makes people more careless? I wonder...
Peter, Paul & Mary - Leaving On A Jet Plane

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go
I'm standin' here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye

But the dawn is breakin', it's early morn
The taxi's waitin', he's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

There's so many times I've let you down
So many times I've played around
I'll tell you now, they don't mean a thing

Every place I go, I think of you
Every song I sing, I sing for you
When I come back I'll wear your wedding ring

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

Now the time has come to leave you
One more time, oh, let me kiss you
Then close your eyes and I'll be on my way

Dream about the days to come
When I won't have to leave alone
About the times that I won't have to say ...

Oh, kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

And I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

But I'm leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
(Leaving) On a jet plane

I get emotional everytime I hear this song. When John Denver wrote this song in 1967, he was sitting at an airport, not so much that he was missing someone but longing for someone to love him like that. The poor dude really did leave us in a plane when he died in an airplane crash (piloted by himself).

When ever I hear this song, I always thing about the time when I was leaving St. Cloud for the last time. I was sitting in the small little jet plane at the St. Cloud airport. It was summer and only my closest of friends were there to see me of. I was looking out of the window as the plane was taking of and I almost cried. I was sad to leave such a wonderful place but also excited about finally going home to Malaysia.

I've been listening to a lot of Peter, Paul & Mary songs lately. Their songs are really haunting. Their lyrics really strike a cord with me. I wonder why I like all these melodrama folk songs. When I was young, my mother used to listen to these on the radio. When I was young, my family used to drive long distances. We would listen to the radio and it was always songs like these that was playing over Radio 4 (now Traxx). Later when I was in the US, I studied music history and I learned about folk music. One of the first few things I did was to go out and buy a folk music CD.

Folk music that was around in the 60's and 70's had the most emotive lyrics. When the Americans were going of to Vietnam and protesting the war, that generation came out with a lot of anti-war songs. I still find these songs relevant today. Songs that were written so many years ago still ring true. They sang about love, family and doing the right thing.

Now the time has come to leave you
One more time, oh, let me kiss you
Then close your eyes and I'll be on my way

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I read this article in The Star today

Sunday August 12, 2007
Malaysians are patriotic but some just don't show it
SEREMBAN: Malaysians should not question their fellow countrymen’s patriotism level, said MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
He said people who did not openly display their patriotism should not be judged as being less patriotic.
“Accusing one another of being unpatriotic will not do us any good. Some may not be good at showing this but their love for the country has no bounds,” he said.
Without referring to any episode, Ong said compelling communities to accept changes against their beliefs and principles was also wrong.
It was important that Malaysians continued to be progressive in their thoughts and actions, for the benefit of all communities.
Ong said this when launching the 50th Merdeka Carnival celebrations at the SJKC Ma Hwa at the Rasah New Village here Sunday.
Ong, who was greeted by lion dancers, Indian classical musicians and a kompang troupe upon his arrival, said Malaysians should not only cherish but also be proud of their uniqueness.
“We still have very strong bonds now. This unity in diversity has been a beacon of our friendship for the past 50 years,” he said.
Ong said Malaysians should always treasure the spirit of independence.
“We cannot be shallow in our thinking or be swayed by political rhetoric.
“We should abide by the provisions in the Federal Constitution which is the supreme law of this land whose foundation stone was laid together by us,” he said.
Ong said Malaysians should also not be suspicious of one another because of the actions of one or two individuals.
“Don’t judge a community due to the wrongdoing of one or two individuals.
“We have had our fair share of differences in the past but this had always been solved amicably,” he said.
Asked on the Negaraku rap video posted by a Malaysian student Wee Meng Chee on Youtube, Ong said the matter could also be easily resolved.
“We will help resolve this. As some issues can be sensitive, we would rather solve it than bring it in the open as it may cause unnecessary tension,” he said, adding that although this was not a party problem, the MCA was already working on it.
Wee, a mass communications undergraduate at Ming Chuan University in Taipei, posted a six-minute video of himself singing the national anthem interspersed with rap on the popular video site.
The Merdeka carnival was organised jointly by Petronas Gas, Rompin Enterprise and Success Care Enterprise in collaboration with several government agencies.

Hehe... that's how I feel about patriotism. I don't like flying the flag on my car. The reason being, I think it's really disrespectful to the Jalur Gemilang. Why do I say that? Well, first of all the flags that they sell to stick on your car is of low quality. After a few days flapping in the wind, it starts to tear. Soon, you get a Jalur Gemilang that is greyish and tattered. How degrading.

For my, I rather fly a large Jalur Gemilang at my house that someone gave me a few years ago. It's larger that the normal sized flag. To me patriotism can be shown in many ways... it's not wears the most red, blue, and yellow or sing Negaraku the loudest. Patriotism to me is doing service to your countrymen. Making their lives better is much more fulfilling.

The other day I was watching Primeval. It's a movie about a team of documentarians who go to Africa to capture a killer crocodile. It's got the usual stereotype characters. It's got the alligator expert; the smart mouth cameraman and the hot babe reporter.

The movie was barely interesting because the story has been done before. However, for someone who knows about camera... I found it really funny in how Orlando Jones who plays the cameraman handles his Sony HD camera. In most of the movie, Orlando is never seen with a tripod... I'm thinking, wow now this is one dude with some pretty steady hands man!

Plus he never carries a bag for his tapes. What... the guy shoots the whole documentary with only one tape? Damn. I shoot a 30 minute documentary and I use up 3 tapes.

The Sony HD camera he uses also goes through some pretty rough stuff which makes me want to laugh. I've seen and used the camera before, it's not as durable as how the film makes it out to be. In one scene, Orlando is running for his life carrying the camera through a river. He dips the camera into the river as he makes his escape. In the next scene, the camera is actually rolling again. I was laughing really hard. If that camera even touches a few drops of water... it's pretty much out of action. Orlando must have gotten the 'special' heavy duty Sony HD camera not sold on the market!

Anyway... end of the movie, Orlando gets eaten by the croc. So much for being a smart ass cameraman.
Spend the afternoon in the office editing today. Was cloudy and raining most of the day. I often walk out to the office's lobby while I'm waiting for a tape to transfer or something to render. I like walking out to look at the flags fly or just the clouds drifting over the horizon.

They're flying the Jalur Gemilang at the lobby for the 50th Merdeka celebration. It's going to be a year long celebration. For me, there's no Merdeka... it's more work!

This is my little 'cell'. The AVID Newscutter suite. Not the best of the AVID range of non-linear editing suites but it gets the work done. Personally, I wouldn't buy this with my own money. I'm more of a Adobe kind of guy. AVID only works great in a broadcast television station. Anyway, I usually like to spread all my notes all over the table when I edit. It lets people know that the room is occupied if I leave it for awhile. I can't stand working at a table that's too orderly either. I like it a bit messy so at least I don't feel the pressure to keep things tidy. I know, it's wierd.

The first thing I have to do when I get to the editing suite is plug my hard disk into the PC. I bring my own hard disk now. Too much risk of loosing data when I used the share data server. Things just get deleted on their own by 'ghosts'. I like the casing I got for my portable hard disk. This Hard Box is really durable. The hard disk inside is actually the C drive from my old PC before I upgraded it. I formatted it and it has 150GB of space in it. Currently standing at 24GB of free space. Time to clear some junk.

The other things to do when I first get into the editing suite is check on the digital beta deck. It's old 70's technology but still being used by my office. This one in particular has a jog shuttle that drives me nuts. I have to slap it really hard to change jog modes.

The old machines have a habit of chewing up tapes and not liking even the slightest bit of error on any of the tapes. If the tape condition starts flashing red... you know you're in for a hard time.

Sometimes when I stare at the controls of the deck, I imagine this is what the control panels of the Starship Enterprise looks like. Checking the audio levels; checking timecode and what not. First time I saw this deck, it was the most complicated piece of machinery I've ever seen. I still don't understand most of its function. It's like secret levels of a computer game.

Now I hardly edit deck to deck (linear editing). I used to be really good at deck to deck editing. There's still quite a lot of people in the office who prefer linear editing. It's pretty archaic by today's standard already though some see it as an art form.

At work I try and promote non-linear editing but for certain things, linear editing is still the best and fastest!

Friday, August 10, 2007

I was standing outside my office at the lobby when I saw the flags they had hung up for the upcoming Merdeka celebrations. I saw them blowing in the wind with the clouds billowing in the background.

I was waiting for some visuals to download to the editing system and I had some time to take some pictures of the flags. As I was taking the pictures I thought about what does patriotism mean.

Recently, a Malaysians student studying in Taiwan did a music video with the Negaraku spliced into his rap song. Namewee, the student is quite a talented guy. Before this I've actually heard of him before the politicians started chewing him up in the press for being unpatriotic. I find this to be a cultural clash.

Take for example, in Japan. It's considered polite for one to slurp their soups and noodles while eating. In Malaysia, it's disgusting. Now take for example, the particular culture and background that Namewee came from. Most of the message that he puts in the song such as racisms rings through for him. It's his way of expressing it through music.

To him, using the Negaraku as an excerpt in his song didn't seem wrong to him but to others, especially the politicians it certainly did. I feel sorry for the dude. I symphatize with some of his complains in his lyrics (but not all). In his song, he complains how graduates from chinese secondary school in Malaysia find it hard to get placing in local public universities as their certificates are not recognized. That is quite sad, to be sidelined by local policies like that.

He sings about how Malaysian Chinese are going abroad now to study, adding that the real reason why the government has these policies in place is so that the Malaysians can gain experience before coming home. I too felt like that once.

Before I when overseas, I was quite sarcastic about government policies, especially of the media. Mind you, I've always knew from the start I had wanted to come back to Malaysia to get started in this industry right away. My parents encouraged me to stay on in the US after graduation to get a job. I decided to come home anyway. No place like home.

Deep down, I told myself if I was going to get a job in the broadcasting industry in Malaysia, I was going to be a gatekeeper and make a change for the better. Looking at where I am know, I know I've at least accomplished what I wanted to do. I know I made a change for the better in the lives of my viewers by sharing with them useful information.

This to me is my version of patriotism. This is my country. Negaraku.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Really stressed today. I got a call from my manager yesterday saying that the client had some complains. I spend the whole day today fixing things. The worst part was, most of the problem wasn't caused by me. Sometimes I feel like a janitor cleaning up after a mess.

I hate sitting in the editing room the whole day. It just stresses me out. It makes me feel really edgy. Everytime I came out of the editing room, there was someone asking me for something. I just told them I didn't have time to talk. I have to get my priorities right now. I used to stop and help, but now I can't. If I did, I'll just get more stressed out.

I think tomorrow I'm going to take the whole day of to relax.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It's 5 in the morning. I woke up at 4:30AM. Actually, I was up much earlier tossing and turning. Couldn't really sleep. I when to bed at 11:30PM.

I'm supposed to be in the office at 6AM. I have to be at Ayer Keroh, Malacca early in the morning. Not sure how long it would take but I have to be in Ayer Keroh by 10AM. I hope there's no crazy jams along the highway. There's a company making body armour there.

My best estimates is it will take 2 hours to get there. However, knowing how the company drivers drive... could be faster.

Here I sit listening to Rossa before a long day of shooting. The peace before a storm.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I just added a visitor tracker to my blog. After one day of tracking, I checked it and there was already 7 visitors. Hehe... okay, low traffic but then again I don't write this for others to read.

The surprising thing is, there were readers from the Midwest US... the red dot looks too small, but I think it could be Chicago. The damn dot covers too much ground, can see where exactly it is. The rest of the viewers are in the Klang Valley.

Hrmm... I wonder if anyone in Iceland is going to read this?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I when to watch Harry Potter, The Order of the Phoenix yesterday at GSC, One Utama. I had bought the tickets a few days earlier. I could only get the morning show at 11:45AM. I rather watch in the morning then the evening, finding parking after lunch on a weekend at 1U can be really stressful.

The movie was okay, I've forgotten the background of most of the characters already. Since I didn't read the book series and the damn movies comes out only once a year, I hardly ever keep in touch with the Harry Potter world. Who the heck is Sirius Black already? I remember seeing a Mad Eye Moody but what was his role in the previous movie? I just realize how insignificant this Harry Potter movie series is... none of it when into long term memory.

Anyway, after the movie, Chui Yan wanted to do some window shopping. I when to check out tripods. I walked into my favourite camera shop. I was debating on whether to spend RM1,000 to get a good tripod or get a cheapo one. The reason being, even after heavy use, the head of the good tripod will wear out just as same as the cheapo ones.

In my office, we have some pretty expensive Manfrotto tripods and they all have some pretty crummy tripod heads now. They all have shaky pans and tilts. My current tripod was a cheapo one too and the only reason I'm getting a new one is because one of the foot broke of. I can still use it but it's an inch shorter on one leg. Plus, I can't use it for any pan or tilt shots either. The head has worn out... no more oil I think.

Anyway, this is what I got...

The Slik U 8000 model. Sounds like a cool ultra hi-tech name doesn't it? Actually I was quite surprised by the smoothness of the 3 way head. It pans and til really smoothly. This I tested on the display model. Normally the display model would have been heavily abused already but the shop owner says so far of all the tripod he sells, this one is pretty good.

It doesn't have any water levels so I can't really tell if the camera is balanced unless I have a horizon in my camera viewfinder to look at. Then again, the water horizon on my old tripod didn't work very well either. The quickshoe requires a coin to screw it into the camera. In my old tripod, there was a latch I could just use my fingers to turn and release the shoe. Now I have carry a 20 cent coin everywhere.

It's made in China for a Japanese company. Since China was having all this food safety manufacturing problems at first I was quite cautious. However, it's just a cheapo aluminium tripod so what the heck... I paid RM200 for it.

I hope this one last me for at a year!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

On Friday I had to wake up really early. My manager told me I had to appear on a morning talk show to talk about the new program I was doing. I drove over to Glenmarie and got there just in time to meet up with the client who was also going to be on the show.

Was really sleepy. I had to bring the press release with me to make sure I blurted out the same thing. The host was an old friend so that was a pleasant surprise for her I guess. After all these times of running my own live show, I finally get to be a guest on a live show!

I knew the drill about going to the makeup, putting on the mic and all that, but I never actually done it. When the makeup artist put on the lip gloss on my lips, I said out loud "hrmm, nice flavour". The makeup artist laughed and I was a bit red faced. One of the production people came running by with the wireless microphone and was going to teach me how to put it on. I was going to start laughing myself because this was exactly what I use to teach every guest... how the wear the mic. Their mics were a little bulkier then ours. Different brands.

I walked onto their tiny set and the show was already into its first half hour. It was the first time on their set. I was more interested in their equipment. They had some pretty good studio cameras. Cool. Too bad not much cameraman.

The next thing I knew, I was ushered onto their sofa with my client sitting next to the hosts. I was going to look at the cameras but then I realized that was going to look wierd on TV. So in the end, I just looked at the hosts.

They told me it was going to be 10 minutes and I knew 10 minutes is really short. Probably only 6 plus questions. I caught myself repeating the same answers a few times and I had to pause to remember to add other information about the show. I ended up doing most of the talking.

After the show, I drove back to my office. It was still early and I saw some really cool cloud formations on the way back.

Sunrise over Glenmarie

I'm getting a little bit more apprenhensive since they started rolling the promos for the show. I'm really nervous how the first episode will turn out. Even though I had totally nothing to do with the first episode, it's still my responsibility. Stress!

Later that night, when I was with Chui Yan, she took a closer look at my face and asked if I had done something to my face as it was smoother. I realized I forgot to take the powder of. Hrmm... light and breezy makeup, now I know what the makeup commercials were talking about!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I've been busy as usual over the past few days. Monday was the launch of the documentary program I was doing. The launch was in the morning at the office. I was wondering if I was just going to wear jeans & T-Shirt as I shoot later in the afternoon or a suit. Chui Yan made me choose the suit. So I when the office wearing the suit with my jeans and T-Shirt in a plastic bag to change into later.

I got to the launch and one of the bosses came down wearing only the company shirt and when he saw me, he said "hey, how come you're wearing a suit... you told me to wear company shirt only!". I said, you made your own assumption on what to wear. Anyway, there was no dress code.

After the launch, we had a press conference. In all my career, I'm usually the one asking questions at a press conference, this time the tables were literally turned on me. Through out the whole thing, I was just sitting there listening to my boss talk. However, at the end of the thing, one of the reporters asked a question that stumped him and he passed the microphone to me. I just poured out the bullshit because I didn't even know what the question was about.

One of the news reporter said she had some questions so I asked to see her questions before the press conference started. One of her question was so silly, and right away my career flashed before me. I could see myself in her shoe 7 years ago when I just started. I too must haved asked such a silly question. I told her gently as possible, this question you shouldn't ask as it was not relevant. I took the time to explain why it wasn't relevant. I hope she didn't take it the wrong way.

Many a times, I just got the cold shoulders or the evil eye for asking the wrong question during an interview early in my career. I didn't want her to get that during the press conference, especially when the big bosses were there.

Today, I had to go to Sungai Pelek (It's near Sepang, Selangor) to do a shoot. The guy who owns the factory there was really nervous. However, half way through the interview he said "you're really good, made me feel comfortable". Wow, that like really made my day! Rarely has anyone ever praised my interview skills. Damn, I was in cloud 9 then.

One thing I really hate is people who call me when I'm in the middle of a shoot. I try to explain to them I'm shooting and they don't understand. It's like calling someone when they're in the loo doing number 2! Really distracting. I want to turn my phone of but sometimes it could be an emergency so I have to leave the phone on.

I when for dinner in SS2 earlier. When I came back, my car battery was dead. I forgot I left the headlights on. How careless of me. Luckily there was a mechanic opened late at night right across the road. Cost me RM200 to change the battery. My brother came to have a look. Good thing I wasn't stuck someone in the middle of no where. I still have to go to my regular mechanic tomorrow to check my car. My tyre's been making squeaky sounds ever since I've been driving it to far of places like Banting and Sepang.