Thursday, July 24, 2008

Using bridal galleries VS doing it yourself

I did my pre-wedding photo shoot. At first I was going to rent the gown for her but after considering the cost, it was cheaper to buy it. I bought a shirt from Raoul. It was a shirt I've seen in Bangar Village but it didn't have my size. I walked into the Raoul in One Utama and they had one that fits me perfectly.

We got her gown at Melinda Looi and I used Anna-Rina to shoot our photos. The makeup was done by Laila from my office. I think the total cost was almost the same as going to a bridal gallery. The benefits if you do on your own from the way I see it is:

1. You get to choose your own photographer which is very important if you don't want the same generic wedding shots everyone else has. In Bridal galleries, they always use the same location and the same poses. Corny isn't it? I prefer working with the photographer who would talk to you and you can figure out what themes you want. Anna-Rina was recommended to me by another photographer we originally wanted to use but he already left the country. Anna was fun to shoot with. Its important to find a photographer who has a full set of lenses. Its the lenses that makes the difference. Anyone can buy a DSLR camera and copy posses from bridal magazines; finding a photographer who is original and has a full set of equipment is hard to find.

2. We get to keep the gowns! I actually bought two gowns for her. The other places we when too wanted at least 1K to rent one gown. We walked into Melinda Looi and we saw two that she really liked and we got it of the rack at RM850 each. Buying of the rack helps. I liked her evening gown, she looks really good in it. If you want one that is specially designed, it would go for at least RM1500. The veil was a bit pricy at RM280 but I guess its quite simbolic. It goes quite well with her white gown. We also got new shoes. I bought a new pair of shoes from Hush Puppies on sale at One Utama. Its really comfortable, I think I just might start wearing it to work.

3. I got my own makeup artist from my office. Laila has been doing makeup for many years and she does the wedding makeup for quite a lot of the staff too. She did an excellent job for our photo shoot. I won't reveal the price because mine was a special price but all I can say is that its much cheaper and better than using an outside one. Laila also followed us around during the shoot to touch up the makeup. In outdoor shoots its important to have the makeup artist follow as the makeup starts to wear of. In one shot, I was asked to kiss her and I got lipstick smudged on her lips (the lipstick was from her lips when she kissed me). Luckily Laila was around to fix it.

4. You get to pick different locations no one has been too before. From what we've seen at the bridal galleries, Putrajaya is quite popular now. Using some lalang field seems quite popular too. I used the hotel where my wedding reception was going to be held. They let me shoot for free in it and I got to use one of their suites to shoot in too. We shot on a Friday so there wasn't many people around. We even managed to take some outdoor shots in the park. We got stuck in traffic so by the time we got to Taman Rimba in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail it was almost dark already. We only started shooting at 3:30PM so all in all, the total shoot was actually 3 hours minus the one hour we got stuck in traffic.

Oh yeah, if you have money, try shooting at Carcosa Seri Negara. For a half day shoot there, they wanted RM1500. Its RM2000 for a full day shoot there. I thought it was way too much. I used to shoots there for work for free. It has a wonderful colonial architecture. I wonder of Bukit Tinggi charges money for Bridal shoots too. I think that would be a nice place to shoot at too.

I don't have the pictures from Anna yet. Still waiting for her to photoshop the shots. We're going to do our own photo book. She recommended a website, It's a website that lets you set pictures into a template you can download and the email it to them. They would mail you your photo book in a week. Quite cool. Gives me a chance to play around with photoshop too!

Overall, if you like planning every detail do it yourself. If you're not into the details, do it at a bridal house. My whole career has been about shooting and asking people to pose for me. I just couldn't stand how the Bridal houses did it. I wanted someone who I knew would be good and I can work with.

Thanks to Sim and See Ming for tagging along also!

Broken car key

In my office, we have a jockey service. There are more cars with parking stickers than parking space, so its first come first serve. Those who can't get a parking spot, have to use the jockey service and they'll double park the cars next to the other cars.

So far I've used the service without problem, until today. They called me and told me that my car key broke off inside the car door lock. I was shocked, it must have taken quite a lot of force to actually break of the key in the damn lock.

I was pissed, I've used the car for so long and I've never broken the key before. They must have been really rough with the door lock. I had to drive to the mechanic and change the lock. I took the old lock back and after using two paper clips, I managed to pull out the broken part of the key. I drove back to the mechanic to ask if they can still put in the old lock. He said the old lock was damaged already. It wouldn't turn fully and it might jam the next time. I think they must have turned the key so hard it jammed the lock when it broke inside.

Now I have 3 keys. One for the ignition; the driver side car door lock; and one more car door key for passenger, booth and fuel tank. One more extra key to put in the pocket. Damn!

They only gave me one key for the new lock, I better go make a spare ASAP before I loose it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How to make free phone calls from your handphone

My father just showed me something really cool, how to make free calls to land lines from the handphone. He bought a new Nokia phone, E51 which had WiFi and could also make SIP calls. His friend recommended he use, a SIP provider.

So what's a SIP provider? Basically, they allow you to make calls over the internet to a phone number. What's interesting about voipstunt is that they all you to call land lines in Malaysia and a few other countries like in the US, United Kingdom and Australia for free. Just sign up and you get free 60 minutes the first time. Buying credits get you more free land line calls.

Now most phone won't be able to make SIP calls on their own so you have to download a program to make VOIP calls. I use Fring on my Iphone and it works for a variety of phones too like my father's Nokia E51. I downloaded the Fring software onto his phone and signed in using his VOIP account.

The nice thing about fring is that you can also chat and do voice calls to friends on your MSN Messenger, Yahoo messenger, Skype, ICQ, Google Talk and a variety of other messenger services. There is a dialer in there that lets you call any phone number either through SIP or Skype so you can choose to use your SIP or Skype account. I tried calling a friend in Canada with the skype account, it worked. Connection was a little dodgy at times but other than that, it worked quite well. I spend 30 minutes on the phone talking to someone in Canada for almost free! (I have to pay for my Wifi connection at home after all).

So now, if I go to anywhere with wifi, I can call a Malaysian land line for free. So I can call lets say my office from my handphone at home for free. Cool right?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Funny Jedi Academy Movie

Shit, this movie is really funny. Check out the ending.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

today was the second time I when to see the doctor in my office for my sore troat problem. This time she put me on antibiotics. I should have just started the antibiotic when offered me two days ago. Being stubborn I thought it'll go away but its always the same. I get a sore troat then a running nose followed by a bad cough. I'll be like that for 2 weeks before I get well. This is terrible.

The medication makes me sleepy and I'm a zombie at work. Don't feel like talking to anyone at work. All I want to do is just lie down somewhere and doze of.

I'm using the free wifi at one utama now. Just had lunch at the chicken rice shop. Not only do I have a soretroat, I have a
soretroat in the back my mouth. Irritating pain.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sore Troat

Damn it, coming down with a sore troat. I hate it when that happens. My troat starts to hurt, my nose starts to run and it'll be a few weeks of before I get better.

I blame those idiots who smoke in the office!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Funny Thailand TV commercials

If you ever seen TV commercials from other countries, you'll see the vast difference in the creativity, especially in the humor used. So far I think Thailand and Indonesia has some of the funniest commercials in the region, the Thai's being the most creative.

Lately I've been watching some Thai commercials on my Iphone through Youtube out of boredom and almost every one that I watch made me laugh really hard. Here's one that was really funny. Surpringly its for a facial wash product. Really funny.

It's 4 long commercials edited into one long take. By the way, this video repeats itself twice. Not sure why the guy edited it like that.

The lady who sells the product is really funny, she's also in their other adverts as a repeating character. Here are some of the others in the series.



"Brand X"

"Everyday Use"


"Boring face"

This one doesn't have any subtitles but it made me go WTF?!

No subtitle here also but this is cute

This one is not the Smooth E brand, its totally different but it's really funny... yougurt hahaha

This one I think is the funniest.

This one is the best I think, the song is really catchy. It's not really funny but the song sticks in my head.

There are a whole lot of other funny Thai commercials in youtube you can check out on your own. Unlike in Malaysia, we hardly ever surf the internet to find a commercial, we rather avoid it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Me and Mahathir

Interviewing Mahathir

Does this mean I'm now in league with Mahathir or does it just mean I have a picture with him?

I had the opportunity to film a private interview with Tun Dr. Mahathir at the Perdana Leadership Foundation. He was nice enough to oblige me with a picture. It doesn't mean he knows me well, it just means I have a picture with him.

Taking a picture at a location or with someone just means you were there at the same time as the other person. It doesn't say whats your relationship is.

How do you like the huge ass watermark? I'm still learning how to get the watermark right here...

Vigilantes of the Truth

Everyone knows what a vigilante is. It's someone who takes the law in his own hand to correct a perceived in-justice. It could be someone who beats up a snatch thief before the cops arrive or someone who guns down gangsters like the comic book character The Punisher. Those are the common examples, but there is another type of vigilantes... the vigilante bloggers. These type pursue a different type of justice, they want to spread the truth, or what they think maybe the truth.

The problem with these type of bloggers is the same with vigilantes, society in general may not agree with their methods but they agree with the outcome. Some bloggers say they're brave; to hell with lawsuits and the privacy of others... the truth must be exposed! However, there is a problem with that... what if someone innocent got hurt along the way?

What if the snatch thief the mob beat up was the wrong suspect? The mob melts away when the police arrive leaving behind a badly injured innocent victim.

What if the person who was slandered on line by the blogger was really innocent after all? The blogger disappears into anonymity while the reputation of someone has been destroyed. What if the privacy of an innocent bystander was violated in the interest of exposing this so called 'truth'? Too often, editors and bloggers say "we did it without malice, we were just pursuing the truth".

Those who were hurt along the way were just collateral damage in the bigger picture. In university, one of the hardest class I ever took was Mass Media Law. The professor who taught us was an experienced print journalist who had practiced journalism for many years. He was the drill sergeant for all of us aspiring journalists. The passing rate each semester was really low, only less than half the class passed. I was lucky enough to pass the first time with a C.

There was two things that I remember him drilling into us, Shield Laws and Privacy Laws. Shield Laws are basically laws that protect the journalist from legal action such as not having to reveal their source when reporting. The trust between a source and a journalist is one of the most important assets of a journalist, it is the crust of their credibility. With it, journalist can always say "trust me, I'll protect you".

The other laws are privacy laws, some states in the US have privacy laws that protect people from the media. The media cannot reveal the identities of certain type of individuals, for example rape victims, children in criminal cases, etc.

I always saw it as if Lady Justice was balancing privacy on one hand and the sword of truth on the other. The press should be pursuing the truth but must also have rules to obey by. The rules are there to protect the innocent, to prevent 'collateral damage'. In large media organizations, every fact that they print has to be verified by at least one or even two sources. It doesn't matter if the source is anonymous, as long as they are credible. Bloggers on the hand don't live up to that exacting standards. An army of one often cut corners.

Bloggers who don't follow the rules are these new media that the public turns to now. While the traditional print press follows the rules, blogs with sensational claims and 'news' only feeds the public hunger for conspiracy theories.

I blame the government for pushing the public to these bloggers for their news. Their original intention of controlling the press was to prevent public disorder was well intentioned but the implementation was bad. Now the more sensational the unverified claims of the vigilante blogger, the more unrest there is.

There is a famous ethical question I often ask in times like these, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" which means "who watches the watchers?" or "who guards the guardians?". The answer is this:

The question is put to Socrates, "Who will guard the guardians?" or, "Who will protect us against the protectors?". Plato's answer to this is that they will guard themselves against themselves. We must tell the guardians a "noble lie". The noble lie will inform them that they are better than those they serve and it is therefore their responsibility to guard and protect those lesser than themselves. We will instill in them a distaste for power or privilege, they will rule because they believe it right, not because they desire it.

Yeah, another reason why journalists are poor hacks who love their jobs as gatekeepers of the truth.