Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Been busy

I've been really busy the past few weeks. I have quite a few things on my mind at the same time.

I have a few editing projects on going at the same time. Also, I've been really stressed out over losing my Iphone headphones set. I think I lost it at the office. Damn it. That just so ruined my day. I'm hoping I lost it at home and it might turn up soon. To buy another one cost 29 pounds. Can you believe how expensive that is? That's like the price for a second hand phone already.

My colleague in London says all the 8GB Iphones that were on sale in the shops are sold out. Damn, some of my colleagues here wanted a few. I guess they'll just have buy it here in Malaysia then.

A street in London near Oxford Street. It's almost impossible to find parking in Central London during office hours.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pictures from London Part 2

When ever we go shooting outside of the Klang Valley, we always bring along masking tape. It's a fix-it-all tool. You never know when you'll need it. Like fixing a pair of boots that fell apart.

When I arrived at KLIA airport to catch my flight to London I walked and just after I walked through the main door, my the sole of my boots came apart from the top part of the shoe. It just had to die on me just before I left.

I had to tape the bottom up and hold it together with masking tape. When I got to London, the first thing I did was to buy a new pair of boots.

I had this old pair of boots for a very long time. I think the last time I wore it was almost 10 years ago! I was a student then in the US. I think because I haven't worn it a long time, the glue hardened and gave way. Anyway, I put it in the new box for my boots to trow away.

This are my new boots. It was on sale. Took me an hour to pick them. I was spoilt for choices. You can't find nice boots in Malaysia other than leather ones. I prefer these, they're made for winter.

Saying goodbye to the old ones! I gave everything to the guy at the counter behind me and asked him to trow it away. I was wondering if I could fix them with glue but damn it, it wasn't worth bringing them back home with me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pictures from London part 1 - British National Library

I have to go to the office in awhile to edit. It's an ungodly hour but its the only edit suite time we can get, between 12AM and 6AM. I hate it. Anyway, I have sometime to upload some photos.

Okay, photo time. I have a lot of photos of London in my flickr account. I'll just highlight some of them.


This was one of the shooting locations in London, the National British Library. It's in Central London. The building is relatively compared to the rest of the buildings in London, build in the 70's if I'm not mistaken.

This I took with 2 photos stitched together. I saw a beautiful postcard in their bookshop that was shot from the same angle with a wide angle lens. I decided to do the same only, with a panoramic stitched photo instead. It was a clear and beautiful day.


The library enforces a bag check so everyone who wants to enter has to stand in line. Not sure what they're looking for, probably explosives?

Behind the library, you can see an imposing building. It's a hotel with a Renaissance architecture under going renovation.

I bought some posters and postcards from the library. The posters are old hand drawn maps of London and the British Isle. I didn't get to browse the whole library because we had a pretty tight schedule but I got to see parts of the library the public doesn't have access too.


I can't show the other pictures because of copyright reasons but I can show you this. It's a copy of the Sejarah Melayu kept in the library's vault. I had a chance to flip through it for a few minutes. I've never held the history of my country in my hands with more trepidation!

*I just remembered, this picture of the Sejarah Melayu book is actually from the School of Oriental & African Studies at University of Central London, not the National British Library.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Over the River Thames

I don't know why, but I keep wanting to listen to Julie London's 'Cry Me A River'. I have it on my Iphone's playlist. It's supposed to be a sad song but I'm filled with glee every time I listen to it. I feel good when I listen to it. Maybe it's because every time I listen to the song now, I remember one of my favourite movie, 'V for Vendetta'.

Anyway, still haven't listed any pictures from London but I did have time to photoshop two panoramic pictures.

Gerard took me for a walk in the evening around London. We ended up at Hungerford Bridge over the Thames River. I took 3-4 shots and stitched it together. On the left, you can see the ferry terminals. The White building that is brightly lighted on the right is the Royal Festival Hall.

After many years of not experiencing wind chill, I almost forgot what it was like until I got unto the bridge. I was standing there and my face was stinging from the cold. I had a sudden urge to just retreat of the bridge and get out of the cold. At that moment, I started to remember why I hate winter.

This picture I took down river on the Wesminster Bridge a few days later. You can see the Hungerford Bridge in the centre of the picture. The Eye of London is pretty obvious. It features prominently in London disaster movies now. I saw it getting swept away in Flood. I think some Londoners hate it, they probably think it's an eyesore.

It was also chilly when I took this picture. The weather looks clear in this picture but it's deceiving. I think the temperature was between 5-10C when I was standing there.

Anyway, do click on the pictures for a clearer view.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

London Photos

I've been really jet lagged since I got back from London. My sleeping schedule is really messed up. I haven't had time to put the pictures I've uploaded into flickr here yet but if you want a sneak preview, go ahead and click on my flickr account to see the pictures.

I'll try to find some time to that soon. In the mean time, I've also been playing with my new Iphone. Yes, after weeks of wanting one, I finally own one. I bought it in London.

I also bought Chui Yan one. Part of the wedding hantaran.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A foggy day in London town

It's not foggy here but chilly but this song keeps going through my head. I couldn't find the Julie London version but this Judy Garland version is just as good.

Yesterday, I when to the British Library and the British Art Gallery at Trafalgar Square. I got to see some very rare documents at the library. At the Art Gallery, I must have spend two hours just standing there looking at portraits. Standing in the gallery reminded me of those portraits that they have in the Harry Potter movies. They look so life like, as if they were staring back at you.

I saw Van Gogh's sunflower painting and some Monet paintings. It was a lot larger than I expected. When you see it on the internet and in posters, you don't see the texture of the paintings. It does look very different in real life.

Trafalgar Square was a lot smaller than I expected. I was thinking of something you could drive a few tanks through and stage a revolution, but I guess not. It's more like the size of Dataran Merdeka.

At first I thought I might have a hard time understanding their English, as I once had a hard time understanding English in Chicago. English is spoken differently in every country. Luckily, they could understand me very clearly. In Chicago, I called a hotel once and the lady on the other end sounded like she was speaking a totally different language. I had to tell her to speak very slowly so I could dissect what she was saying.

Here in London, I can hear people speaking French and other EU languages. Very interesting. I also see a lot of Koreans, Japanese and Chinese... besides the Africans and Indians / Pakistanis. London is full of people from their previous colonies.

If you only spoke Hindi you could probably just get by living here. The other day, while we were shooting near the Big Ben, we got stopped by their 'community police'. I think their cameras picked us up. We had set up a tripod to shoot with our cameras. They came over a few minutes later to ask us what we were doing and took our details down. They were extremely polite. Polite cops, fantastic. Actually, they're not real cops, but close enough.

I only have GB40 left. Wonder what else I have to buy. I still have to get some cheesy souvenirs with the word London on it. Personally, I don't like it when people give me these type of things. I rather have something a little bit more specific. Something that says the British Library or the British Art Gallery would be better.

I'm leaving tomorrow already. Will I miss London? Maybe... I'm not sure. I miss driving everywhere but I'm also enjoying taking the tube now. London is a city of pedestrian. Looks like Ken Livingstone, their mayor is going to be raising the congestion charges again.

I also miss shopping at 9PM. Over here, most of the shops close early. I wonder what people do at night. Central London is almost dead at night. I think TV ratings are really high here in the evening.

The previous evening I spend the night walking in their red light district, Soho. They have interesting bookshops which were actually sex shops. They have sex toys I've never even heard of. Most amusing. People walked in and were shopping as if they were buying groceries. I saw couples shopping together.

Later today I'll be meeting Kelly and Steve, they're coming all the way up from Portsmouth to meet me. I wonder if we can catch a play in time.

Anyway... as they say it here, cheers!

Film Studies in London

I had to take a break. Trying to read and re-write my friend's paper on film studies like reading a direct Google translation from Mandarin to Chinese. The words make sense, but the sentence doesn't make sense. You try to read it really fast in one go without stopping and hope that your brain is able to stitch everything together to form a coherent message.

Film Studies is not what some people assume it to be; an easy to study subject. It should be but those who love to break it down into complex blocks and theoritical analysis make it very hard to understand.

Take for example the movie Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock. It's an easy movie to enjoy; a psycho killer kills a girl in the shower and he has a mummy for a mother. However film study critics love to analyse every aspect of the film, like the use of the bird elements in the film. For me, that just spoils the fun of the movie already.

That's how I feel now. I'm looking at a paper that is trying to break down a film genre and it's meaning. Why can't these buggers just enjoy the movies for what it is... a movie.

Cold in London

In London now, it's early in the morning. I woke up at 6AM to help someone finish their paper. It's on film studies. Something I haven't done in a long time. Sitting here in the chilly living room in a foreign land suddenly reminds me of when I was a student 10 years ago. Waking up early to write a paper; braving the cold; and missing home... those were the times.

Strangely, I've adapted to London quite fast. It's a very metropolitan city. I hear many languages on the streets. The ladies here are very beautiful. I look at the posters of models in boutiques like Top Shop and Debenham and the clients who walk in, they look alike.

Now I get it. In Malaysia, when I walk around One Utama and look at the banners in La Senza, its just a caucasian pretty lady. We just assume they got someone pretty to model their clothes. In London, the La Senza customers actually look like their models!

I think the reason I can adapt so well to London is because of the British influence in Malaysia. We share the same road systems; language; and legal system. Here, if you have a Malaysian driving license, you can drive on the roads already. It feels like Malaysia is left behind in time when you see the advances London has made in terms of transportation and the road management system.

They have CCTV's everywhere here. They also have really expensive parking charges here. 2 pounds for an hour of parking! Thats not including congestion charges. If you go into the central London area, you have to pay extra to use certain small streets. I wonder if something like that can ever be applied in KL.

Shopping in London doesn't 'wow' me, mostly because I'm not a gal. I think the ladies would have been salivating over the number of shops they have there. The whole of London is one giant shopping Mall. In Malaysia, we have shopping mall clusters like One Utama and Pavilion. Over here, almost every street is a shop you can visit.

I bought a pair of boots. My old boots came apart at KLIA just before I boarded the plane. I had to fix it with tape. 44 pounds for a new pair. I've been wearing it around town. It hurts a little as it's still new and still needs to get worn in.

I also bought me an Iphone, the 8GB model. I got it for 169 pounds. Much cheaper compared to Malaysia. I was sitting in Top Shop waiting for an old friend and someone gave me a free newspaper. I flipped through it and there was a full page Iphone advert. I walked out of Top Shop with my friend Gerard and lo and behold, the shop that had the Iphone on sale was right in front of me. They'll only sell it to you if you have a local bank card. Good thing my friend had one.

Now I have to find a way to unlock it.

I remember what wind chill is like now. My lips are cracked and my legs are itchy. When ever I'm freezing outside, I silently thank Gerard for loaning me his winter jacket.

Anyway, time to get back to work on the paper!

A foggy day in London Town
Had me low had me down
I viewed the
morning with alarm
The British Museum had lost its charm
How long, I
wondered, could this thing last?
But the age of miracles hadn't passed,
For, suddenly, I saw you there
And through foggy London Town
The sun
was shining everywhere.

A foggy day in London Town
Had me low had me
I viewed the morning with such alarm
Your British Museum had lost
its charm
How long, I wondered, could this thing last?
But the age of
miracles hadn't passed,
For, suddenly, I saw you there
And in a foggy
London Town
The sun was shining everywhere.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Travelling to London

I'm going of to London now, not sure when I can update this. Probably not until I get back in a week's time. See ya!

Stay here, wait for backup

Have you ever watched a movie where at the ending just before the climax, the hero says to the heroine or sidekick:

"I'm going in, stay here and wait for backup"


"I need you to stay here, I work better alone"

Now usually, the heroine or sidekick is either:

  1. dumb
  2. doesn't understand instructions
  3. thinks hero's life less important than her curiousity
  4. is a dog and hasn't learn the sit command yet
The heroine or sidekick sneaks in and follows the hero and usually gets the hero into trouble, giving the bad guy a bargaining chip over the hero. Either the bad guy takes the heroine hostage and puts a gun to her head and the hero can't shoot him out right or gets beaten up badly by the bad guy.

Take for instance the remake of Planet of The Apes.

In the ending, Mark Walberg tells a boy to wait behind while they ride out to bait the apes into a trap. The stupid boy rides out too and for no apparent reason, the dumb horse he was riding on falls down and traps his leg.

Mark Walberg has to run out to rescue him. Just after he pulls the boy out from under the horse, the dumb horse gets up and runs away. I have a feeling the horses were up to their own animal revolt. After the apes revolted against the humans, the horses probably wanted a piece of the action. Making the boy fall was just a way for the horse to get back at the dumb humans. Anyway, if the boy had listened to Marky in the first place, the movie would have been shorter by 5 minutes.

Sometimes I find myself in these type of situations too. I tell my nephew or nieces to stay home while I take my mother out to buy something. They will make a fuss by crying and wailing and want to follow.

It's so irritating. I know if I bring them along, they'll just be running of somewhere and they don't understand instructions!

Another situation is when I want to go out and do some actual shopping instead of window shopping at shopping malls. I don't like to have people hanging around me when I buy stuff. I'm deep in thoughts when I pick stuff and I have my own wierd sense of judgement that I don't want to explain to people why I choose A over B and C.

Especially when I'm editing, I don't like anyone else watching over my shoulder. That's one unspoken editor's rule. Never sit behind someone while they're editing.

Avid editing suite

It's very irritating. When you're in your mojo, editors don't like to have to explain themselves while working. It's like having a back seat driver, only 10 times worst. When I'm editing, I always lock the door.

So the next time someone says to you, "stay here"... it means "stay here", not "come on, I love it when you get me in trouble!"

Of to London

I just got back from Kota Bharu. This was my first time getting air sick. I took the Firefly flight back to Subang airport. This was my second time flying Firefly, the first was the flight to Kota Bharu. I don't know why but I was fine the first half of the flight as I dozed off.

Half way through the flight I woke up and looked out the window and then I started to get really sick. I was breaking out in cold sweat. I saw a kid in front of me holding an air sickness bag wanting to puke and that just made it worst. I think looking out of the window just made it worst. I closed my eyes but everytime I did, I imagine the view outside and that made me want to puke more.

I think the reason for this could be the windows of the Firefly planes. They're lower than the eye level and that made me stoop to look out of the window. The flight wasn't particularly bumpy but stooping low made me nauseous in the plane.

Anyway, I'm leaving for London tomorrow evening. I still haven't packed yet. Everyone says it's very cold, however I was watching BBC and the people there don't seem to be dressed too warmly. Heck, I even saw a African Masai warrior jumping up and down next to the Thames river in London wearing only his traditional garb. If the guy can do it, so can I.

I'll survive. I hope.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Of to Kota Bharu & London

I'm packing right now. I'm of to Kota Bharu in a while. It's the first time I'm trying the Firefly airline. I figure its easier to use than Air Asia as Firefly's airport is in Subang while the Air Asia airport is in Sepang.

I'm going to take a cab to Chui Yan's house and then we're going to take another taxi straight to Subang airport. Hopefully, everything is on time. I know traffic is going to be pretty bad later as it's rush hour. I've called for a cab to come at 6PM to pick me up, I figure I'll get to her house just before 7PM.

I'll be coming back on Saturday, Sunday I'm flying of to London for a week. I'm going to be shooting at the British National Library and The School of Oriental Studies. Both are notable world class research institution.

I hope I get to meet up with some old friends there.

Travel, travel, travel... I hope its over in the blink of an eye. I hate the thought of travelling but I suppose I'll enjoy it when I'm in the moment of it.

Me and Macgyver

I was surfing through wikipedia and I looked up my old university, St. Cloud State University. Guess what... Richard Dean Anderson used to study there! I when to the same uni as Macgyver!

Macgyver, my hero!

Everytime I find myself in a hard situation, I would ask myself "What would Macgyver do?", "How can I improvise?" The only reason I bought a Swiss Army Knife was because of watching Macgyver. I still have one which I keep in my car.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

This one goes down to 9

still trying to recover from my flu. No more nasal congestion since I started taking this decongestant. However, I have a slight cough and sore throat. I've been sitting in my air conditioned room, so maybe the air is dry and giving me the sore throat. Not good.

Yesterday, my colleague said to experience what 9C-15C (the current temperature in London), I should set the air conditioner in my room to 9C. I said my air con only goes down to 19C, he replied his goes down to 9C. Damn!

Shit, I was wondering what kind of air con he has at home... he has like the Spinal Tap's air conditioning... "This one goes all the way to 11!".

If you never seen the Spinal Tap documentary before, the lead singer is showing a reporter around his speakers. All the speakers goes up to 10 in the volume except for one that goes up to 11. He boast that its the most powerful speaker there is, which the reporter replies "why not just make 10 louder in the other speakers?"

The guy is stumped and paused and finally answers "but this one goes up to 11"

This makes me wonder if the reason my colleague bought his air conditioner was because it could go down all the way to 9C. Must be like the air conditioning unit for a freezer room. I can't imagine anyone would find 9C as a comfortable room temperature. Mine is a York and its set to 27C or 28C.

My mother can't find my old winter jacket, so it means I probably have to get one. I do have a warm fleece jacket I bought from FOS, I wonder if that would do. I've survived running around at 5C with just a fleece jacket before but that was a long time ago when I was ready for the weather.

I'll have to go shop and buy a pair of gloves, a scarf and also something to keep my head and ears warm. I have my old boots but I might not wear them there. I hope it doesn't snow again. I don't want to fall flat on my back from slipping on ice on the sidewalk. The last time that happened, I needed an ambulance for my pride. Very embarrassing.

Privacy & the media

There are some things best left unsaid. Like the private lives of people, no matter how big a personality they are. I don't read gossip mags because I hate how it intrudes into their private lives, I always imagine if it was me that they was reporting about... how would I feel. So that's why I don't read them. Unless of course, they were doing a misdeed that involves corruption.

Malaysians are really busybodies. They just love to intrude into other's private lives. Take for example, the girl Sufiah Yosuf. The trash newspaper News Of The World did an expose about her being an escort. For a few days, the local press had statements of people who were shocked at what she did and how she 'ended' up like that.

Then, the News Of The World did a follow up interview with her. She said she was happy and enjoying what she does. I say, let her be. She's happy and content and it's a free world. Unless she contracts some STD, she's okay.

Basically, she's not even a Malaysian. The only link Malaysians have with her is that her mother is a Malaysian. Other than that, she's a British national and she has every right to do what is legal in UK. The Malaysian moral police should look elsewhere to police.

Malaysians in general are just so uptight about sexuality. The media is opposed to homosexuality; nudity; free sex and any other form of sex that is not describe in a holy book.

Local media always adopt the holier than thou approach. The former health minister rightly mentioned this after he was secretly video taped having sex in a hotel. To me, he did a pretty good job as a Health Minister, having an extra marital affair didn't affect his job, just his family. Did it affect his integrity? Maybe, probably... I don't know. What I do know is that the Media had a field day crucifying him. The Malaysian media... enforcer of the social norms. 'Don't conform, get out' seems to be their motto.

Well, what about the integrity of the local mainstream media? After their performance in reporting the general election, I think we all know how well their credibility stands. Who are they to tell others what to do, if they themselves can't hold the highest standards?

While they might not write editorial pieces on condemning the ex-minister, they sneakily interviewed other 'experts' and had them do the crucifying. I'm sure they could always find someone to crucify anyone, but what about a fair and balance report? What about those who stood up for him? Where were their soundbites and interviews? Buried in a small paragraph in the next few pages?

Anything you do behind closed doors in the privacy of your own home should remain private, unless it affects others. If you're having consensual sex, no one should have the right to intrude on you 'to find out' if you should be having sex with that person... unless you're making too much noise and bothering the neighbours.

Monday, April 07, 2008

making tissue wantan

I've been making tissue wantan the whole day. My nose wouldn't stop running... and I think I'm coming down with a cough.

It all started when I got greedy. I was at Sunway Pyramid on Saturday and I bought some grapes. I finished the whole bag in one go and I got a sore troat. I thought it was nothing, so I just took some Strepsils. The sore troat's gone but my nose is acting up now. Its been running non-stop.

I bought a cocktail of medication earlier to take. I'm determined to get better by tomorrow!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

victory lap around the sun (my birthday)

So how did I celebrate my victory lap around the sun? Woke up early at 7AM. Yeah, 7AM is early for me. Lately, I've been waking up at 8:15 or 8:30... barely make it to work in time.

When out for dim sum with family and brought along my grandmother also. Haven't seen her in awhile. I think she gets out more than I do.

When home after that, slept of until 3PM. Yes! That's the best part of having your birthday on a weekend. Getting to sleep the afternoon of. I didn't want to wake up until just before dinner but I saw that it was going to rain, so I thought I better leave the house before it starts pouring.

I when to look at kitchen cabinets with Chui Yan. It was a new showroom that was having a sale in Damansara Utama. We're meeting them again tomorrow to get the measurements.

After that, we when jalan-jalan in Pyramid and ended up eating at Zen, a Japanese restaurant. I like the setting and the service there. Not much choice on the noodles part but their sushi's are really good.

I had the cold chosoba noodle. You're supposed to eat it with raw quail egg. Quite gross. I poured it into the bowl of soup and stirred it in.

My birthday I usually have fish, so instead of the normal Chinese steam fish I have at a Chinese restaurant, I opted for sushi instead. Raw fish! Makes you feel like a man, eating raw food... before humans invented fire!

This one is a weird dish. In the menu, it looks like an omelet with Unagi (grilled eel) fillings. It turns out to be a watery omelet. It's sweet and salty at the same time.

California Roll. They all taste the same where ever you buy it from in Malaysia... except for the ones in Carrefour and Tesco, their sushi is awful. This one in Zen is fresh and yummy!

Every birthday I buy something for myself... sort of a reward for surviving another year. I was supposed to get an IPhone but I decided to wait. So instead of getting that, I stopped at Shell to pump gas and I saw the Ferrari toy cars they were selling and in the spur of the moment, I bought one.

I chose the black one because it was the odd one out. I've been playing it on my bed and figuring out if I could film it flying over some obstacles. That would be fun. Toy car for my birthday... if I had a lego set for my birthday, now that would be awsome!

Another 20 minutes left for the day... I think I'll spend the time playing C&C 3 Kane's Wrath!

making a trip around the sun


I survived another trip around the sun today!

I hear some have made more than a 100 trips. I hope I still have the energy to make that many trips around the sun.

This time-space travel thing is not easy.

Friday, April 04, 2008


I saw this youtube on someone's blog. It's one of those TV shows where the magician walks around showing of his skills. This one is a Japanese one. Watch this first.

Okay, now so how does it he do it?

I have a vague idea. First of all, the plastic bottle. I have a feeling the bottle was planted. He just waited for those girls to walk by before picking it up. The bottle was already there with the cap inside. How did he get the cap in there? Probably used liquid nitrogen to freeze and shrink it just enough to push it in and wait for it to defrost or... have it specially molded. How did he hold it in place? Ah... now that's the tricky part.

I have a feeling the hand he was holding the bottle with had a magnet. The bottle cap in the bottle also had a magnet attached to it. So when he picked up the bottle, the cap was held in place, hidden behind the lable. He brought out another cap so people assumed that was the cap outside the bottle.

When he hits the bottle onto the cap, the cap doesn't jump up into the bottle. Instead, he releases the magnet and the cap inside falls down. He then hides away the cap that is outside with his other hand.

Same goes for when he removes the cap from the bottle. He catches the cap with the magnet again behind the label so it remains hidden and then 'reveals' the hidden cap he's holding.

As for the glass bottle... hrmm, I think he might have asked the waiter switch the ladies bottle with one that already had a cap in it. There was also a jump cut in the video, so there might have been something that happened in between, not sure.

Then the rest is still the same magnet trick. Notice the hand holding the bottle never changes and he never releases his grip on the bottle when there is no cap in it in the beginning. Also, notice how he places his hand on the backrest of the chair after pushing the cap into the bottle... I think that's when he hid the external cap. He probably had a small piece of blue tag stuck on the chair already after he sat down. Then he just stuck the bottle cap onto the blue tag. He of course removes everything when he leaves.

As for the jumping straw, the cup with the straw was brought in by him. I believe the straw was magnetized. He had a powerful magnet or solenoid he could activate hidden in his calf or knee. He only had to activate it by clicking his knees together and the reverse polarity of the magnet made the straw jump.

I wonder how close I am to his real trick.

Iphone & writing

I managed to lay my hands on an Iphone today. I was estatic!

I borrowed it from someone in the office. I was testing the WiFi settings in my office and it was fun. I used it for 2 hours and I think I drained half of its battery. It didn't have any movies or songs to test it out on. Too bad.

I loved the safari browser. It opened up most of the webpages with ease. I tried browing my own blog with it. I only had problems with the youtube's that I had in my blog. That's okay, I can just view that in the youtube widget it has.

It also has a problem viewing java in some pages. I couldn't open wikimapia properly. Not a plus point as it would certaintly help to be able to see areas tagged in wikimapia. I know they have a map in Iphone but it doesn't have a large users community like wikimapia.

It just felt so good to hold it in my hands. I know I'm just going to love holding one that I can call my own! 3 more months until they launch Iphone in Malaysia... I hope!

Typing on the keyboard was a bitch. I had to flip it to wide view so that the keyboard was wider. I kept punching the wrong buttons. However, if I type fast, without looking at the keys too much, I get better results. So it means I should use the 'force' and try not to focus too much on typing.

For those who hen peck their keyboards while typing, they might have a problem with the Iphone's keyboard. As for me, I type pretty fast on my own desktop keyboard as it is. All those time spend chatting on IRC has improved my typing skills.

One of the things I used to love to do was type out song lyrics as the singer was singing the song. It was karaoke keyboarding. I tried to see how fast I could keep up with the guy/gal singing while I type out the lyrics. I find I could keep up with oldies pretty easily with little error. For modern pop songs, I can't keep up. Not because I can't type fast enough, I can't hear the words in the lyrics. I often mishear what they're saying!

My typing is a lot better than my hand writing.

There is one skill I learned when it comes to writing, to write without looking. When I was in film class, we had to watch films and take notes because we would have exams based on the films we watched. I had to learn how to write in the dark. I couldn't see what I was writing, so I just wrote blindly as fast I could on my notepad. Surprisingly, when the lights came on, my writing was pretty legit.

Now I can write without looking down. It helps when I'm copying something. It saves time looking up and down. At first, it always feels a bit unnatural, but when you begin to tell yourself its okay to make mistakes, just write... you'll find that you can do it naturally. Give it a try, you'll be surprised at the results.

Office pets and plants

I'm the first to admit I don't have a green thumb. When I was a kid, I tried growing some soya beans in a cup. I put some wet tissues over it and it sprouted some shoots. That was a good start, after that... it didn't survive past a few weeks.

A few years ago, I used to keep a small aquarium on my desk in the office. It was one of those cheap large plastic aquariums. I bought 10 guppies of different colour and put them in it. It was fun to watch them swimming in it. I also bought a small water pump for them. I think the pump was too damn strong because the guppies had a hard time just swimming against the current. It even had a little light in it! Changing the water once a week was a bitch but I still did it.

One day I came into the office and found all the guppies dead. The water pump had short circuited and electrocuted the guppies. I flushed it all down the toilet. That was the end of that.

Two years ago, I got a Christmas present from Midvalley Megamall. It was a batch of cactus plants. I gave out most of it to my colleagues. I picked one for myself, it wasn't a cactus plant. It looked more like a little shrub in a small pot.

It sat on my desk for 2 years, once awhile I water it. After 2 years of neglect look what happened to it.

All those brown stumps used to be green. Now, there's not much left. I think this poor plant is slowly dying. Is that like bad karma? It feels like it. When ever I go away for long periods, no one waters it for me. I'm going to be gone for another long stretch, I hope it survives until I get back. I don't have a pet, I only have this plant which I don't even know what species it is.
Either that, or get a new plant.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Cute Korean romance

I've been doing research on Hallyu, it means Korean wave. It's the spread of Korean culture through their TV programs. I found this on Youtube, quite touching and funny too. I love their TV reality shows. This one is very romantic

part 1

part 2

part 3

talented 5 year old pianist

I was going through someone's blog and I saw the link to this youtube video. It's from a talent show in Korea. It's very heart warming. Before you watch this, I suggest you prepare some tissues. Sure cry one!

Needful Things

I carry quite a lot of things in my pocket. The worst part is, I always forget what I need to bring along when I leave the house. When I get home, I just start emptying my pockets and drop it next to my computer... and it's already full of other junk next to it. By the time I leave, I just start stuffing things into my pocket again.

needful things

Check out all the stuff I can't leave the house with when I go to work. I need my

  1. phone
  2. wallet
  3. house keys
  4. car keys
  5. name tag
  6. thumb drive
  7. camera
  8. watch
  9. pen

Of course, this doesn't include the bag I bring to work which is also full of other stuff.

I wish there was a way to reduce the number of junk I have to carry around with me. The house key I already leave in the car when I drive out of the house. The name tag I leave in the car most of the time now, I don't bring into the house anymore.

As for the camera, it's a bit of a hassle. I need to wear a belt or have large pockets so I can carry it around.

Now I understand why ladies carry a handbag!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


In Alfred Hitchcock's movies, horror is never shown. We always see the girl screaming and the fear in her face as she contemplates the horror that is about to befall her. Our mind is great, as it imagines all the horrors that is to behall the victims.

In movies, our imagination are the best special effects. For example, we see a car driving of the screen and then we hear a loud crash. We all assume the car had crashed spectacularly. We don't have to show it, we just assume it.

The same goes for comedy. There is a joke I heard once while I was in college, it goes something like this:

2 scientist were debating how to stop pollution from the pig farming
industry. One of the studies they had to do was to see how much shit a pig could
hold in.

They had found a pig and stuffed a cork up its ass to literally stop
the flow. After one week, the scientist decided it was time to pull the cork out
and see the results.

They realized it was too dangerous to do it by themselves so they
trained a little monkey to do it. The monkey was trained on a dummy pig to pull
the cork out, everytime it pulled the cork out, it was rewarded with a

After another week of training, the pig was huge and bloated. The pig
was led into a field with the monkey. As the pig still needed someone to give it
a peanut, the first scientist volunteered to stay behind.

The second scientist ran of to stand a few metres away. On cue, the
first scientist gave the monkey a peanut and the monkey pulled out the cork and
this was followed by a loud bang with shit flying everywhere for a few

As the second scientist ran up to check on the first scientist, he
found him lying on the floor covered in crap laughing with the monkey nowhere to
be seen. He asked him what was so funny. The first scientist replied, "you
should have seen the look on the monkey's face as it tried to stuff the cork
back in and pay me back the peanuts!".

Okay, so what was your reaction when you read the punchline? I find
that people who can imagine the little monkey trying to stuff the cork back in
laughing very hard. People who don't get it can't visualise the monkey.

Now bear in mind, I didn't put any pictures here. The whole thing played out in your mind. Those that have a strong imagination and found toilet humour funny would be giggling or smiling to themselves as they were reading through the joke.

I told it to a few girls in college, most didn't get it. I find guys loved it more.

Travel this year

In my old passport, which was valid for 3 years, there was only one chop in it... even that was for Kota Kinabalu. Goes to show I haven't travelled much in the last 3 years.

In my new passport which I renewed just before I when to Bali for my company's brainstorming session, Indonesia was my first chop. After that, it would be UK coming soon and then hopefully Korea!

Hrmm, I think I remember Joey Yap did say this would be a good year to travel. He said if you have any arguments or discussions, do it while travelling. Funny.

My mother found my old winter boots. It's an old Nike boots and there were salt stains on the bottoms. Other than that, it looks reasonable ok. I hope the size still fits. My winter jacket is still missing. Imagine that... the last time I wore it was almost 10 years ago!
A picture of me braving the Chicago weather in my jacket. Now what on earth happened to it?

Leaving the country

I thought today was going to be a slow day... until someone called me for a meeting at the end of the day. I thought okay, shouldn't take too long. I just finished writing a proposal so I had some time to spare.

Turns out everything turned topsy-turvy. At the meeting, we were discussing travel plans and suddenly my name came up and now I have to go along with the team to... hrmm, I can't mention the city but it's outside out of Malaysia and the flight is going to be damn long!

Part of me is looking forward to it, I've never been to that part of the world before. The other part of me is dreading it, I hate travelling. I was hesistant but they insisted I go. Okay, I won't fight it. I always wanted to go there one day.

I checked the weather, looks like its going to be cold. I've asked my mother to dig out my old winter jacket. Finally, I get to use it again. I hope its still around. I know the inner lining of the sleeve is torn, so I have to get that repaired. Other than that, I have a flurry of e-mails and phone calls to make; equipment to prepare... all the logistics is going to be a headache.

I did a mental calculation of how much allowance I will be getting, quite a tidy sum but after factoring the cost of living in that city, I don't think much would be left. Food itself is going to cost a bomb! At least there's public transportation over there.

Chui Yan is already estatic that I'm going, she's preparing a list of things to buy there. I don't even know I have time to do any shopping at all.

Speaking of shopping, I checked out the price of the Iphone over there. The unlocked Iphone in Malaysia is cheaper. However, the downside of the local unlocked phones is that there is no warranty. If I buy the phone over there, then I have to unlock it anyway so there goes the warranty too.

I when to visit Maccity at One Utama. I asked them when they were going to get their Iphones in Malaysia. The guy said probably in June or July. That's also when Iphone is getting the new version 1.4 software upgrade. Price estimate between 2000-3000. The guy said, if the US currency continues to fall, it could be cheaper.

Hrmm, now I know why the unlocked phones are going for so cheap. They're probably trying to clear their stock before the 'legit' ones come in. It was only a few months ago, the unlocked Iphones were still selling at RM2500 for the 8GB model. Now, its only RM2000.

Okay, I guess I can wait until July to see what happens. Looks like I won't be buying anything for myself this coming birthday. Its sort of a tradition where I always buy something nice for myself on my birthday. Maybe by July my interest in the Iphone would have worn of. I always get really excited about some new technology but 3 months down the road, its not new anymore and there's something else over the horizon.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

View from my apartment

One of the reason I bought my apartment was because of the view. It's got a fantastic view. It's in north PJ and on a clear day I can see all the way south to Summit!

Panaroma view of Petaling Jaya

You'll have to click on the picture above to get a clearer picture. I've labeled some of the landmarks. I wish I had a telescope now. That would be fun to spot things in the far distance. What I do now is use wikimapia and a compass to plot things. It's fun trying to figure out what building is in the far horizon.

I love taking panorama pictures. My Canon IXUS has a small lens but I can stitch together photos with Photoshop CS3 which does an amazing photo stitch job.