Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Tempting Apple

Finally, finally, the Apple iPhone has officially reached Malaysian shores two weeks ago. Maxis made a killing by making it exclusive to their services so they went and rented a hall normally used for expos just to sell the darn phone with services. And sure enough, it was packed!

As soon as I got the notification of it’s availability, I checked out the prices and dang, it is a darn expensive phone. So I consoled myself by reminding myself all the bad reviews given by previous owners who snuck it in from Singapore. Things like, you’d have to memorize the phone number of the person you’re texting to as there is no function for you to search in your address book. So I discarded it from my consideration.

But now, I’m just wondering, it’s been several generations since those reviews. Apple would see to fixing all these bugs by now, wouldn’t they? Dang. It’s a darn sexy phone. Sexy and ridiculously expensive as it is coupled with Maxis 3G services.

I need to go test one out to abate my curiosity and hopefully extinguish my desire to own one immediately. (Note the word “immediately”, because I can be patient and wait years until it becomes affordable, if it ever does).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Old Identity Card

Mum was rummaging through some old stuff and found this:

Holy Mollies! This is a copy of my first IC when I was 12 years old! It is about 11cm x 7cm, with my thumbprint on both sides of my photo (Side story: I still remember Karen being very sad for not having a right thumbprint as she had the habit of sucking her thumb until this IC made her stop), with the words “NEGERI2 TANAH MELAYU, MALAYSIA” at the bottom. Whoa! I am not THAT old to have lived before Malaysia was born yet they still used the word Tanah Melayu.

With its weird size, I wonder how people carried this important document with them at all times. The piece of document/paper is laminated with a very simple machine. Often, the lamination would split and the document inside would get soaked. I think I kept mine pretty well and it was still intact by the time I had to surrender it for the newer card version.

Also, check out the back of it, my details were handwritten!
I’m sure one of the criteria of working in this government department was to have a clear, legible handwriting. But imagine the job of writing these details on a daily basis. It would be especially challenging if, say, a whole family came with the father’s name Syed Abdullah Nooraziz Mahathir with an equally long first name who’s address is six lines long! I’d feign cramped fingers after the first person.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kuala Selangor Outing

Last Saturday, some friends and I thought we'd do something a little out of the ordinary and drive to Kuala Selangor, over 50km from Klang Valley for a seafood lunch. Kuala Selangor is famous for it's kelip-kelip or fireflies. It also has a historical garden, Bukit Melawati, with a lighthouse perched on top of the hill amongst other historical artefacts like cannons that were used in the war.

We pushed off at noon (no thanks to Alex who overslept!) and reached at about 1pm. Thank goodness the place was not yet packed and we managed to grab a table beside the sea. The food we ordered was way too much for five people but the chef knew just how much to feed us but reducing the portions to balance the meal.

Still, we successfully brought meaning to the word gluttony and stuffed our faces and stomachs with these amidst laughter:

The first dish that arrived was sambal sotong. Delicious.

When the butter prawns arrived, we thought they were a bit kiam siap with the portions, just about one piece per person. We later discovered they took into consideration the portions they'd be serving us and thank goodness they did or we would have really overstuffed our faces!

O chien, or oyster supposedly fried with egg but it was more like a pancake-ish flour mixture rather than egg. The least favourite dish.

This sea creature is called "lai liu har" or prawn mantis. Live, these creatures are sized between large prawns and crayfish, with many, many legs. They remind me of some insect, or worse, the striped cockroach. Still, served like this where all the legs are removed and the meat is chopped, is fine by me. The dish was so so.

A seafood meal is never complete without crabs. Seen here is one of the two crab dishes we ordered, called fresh milk crab. To a lactose intolerant person, it not only doesn't sound appetizing, it also spells trouble. However, unappetizing it was not and I soaked the mun tau buns in its gravy. I couldn't digest properly for the entire weekend because of that.

This other crab dish was the Marmite crab. I gave this one a miss because I just couldn't be bothered digging into crabs after my first two pieces from the other crab dish.

I surprised everyone by insisting we had a veggie dish. Of course, what other veggie do I eat? The kangkong belacan was good but average.

Finished off our meal with a sweet surprise, ice cream wrapped in a spongecake-like shell, deep fried to give a crisp and hot contrast to the melting ice cream center. Yummy!

Guess how much the bill came up to? Only RM24 each! It was so cheap! Not shown here is our large coconut drinks. If you love eating seafood (honestly, I don't know what really good seafood is as I hardly eat it) and want to eat till your heart says stop, Kuala Selangor is highly recommended. The only seafood dishes I really liked were the prawns, sotong and the milk crab.

As we made our way out of the restaurant, we were caught in a massive jam. It was ironic that we were experiencing a jam out of Klang Valley in the small town of Kuala Selangor. Alas, it was a nasty accident and we were close enough to see the body laid out and covered beside his vehicle. The ambulance came and they wrapped him in a body bag. It was horrible.

In a slightly more sombre atmosphere, we made our way to Bukit Melawati. Instead of seeing the historical sights there, we sat at an open hall and played Guesstures until evening, which picked up our mood. The place was teeming with monkeys and since SK and I aren't fond of them, we were careful not to make too much rustling sounds with our bag of chips.

Guesstures, a sure way of spending a laughter-filled afternoon.

We made our way back and again, saw another accident which, thank God, no one was hurt. I can tell you I drove as carefully as I could and we reached safely in the evening.

All in all, it was a fun outing and we had a great time of laughter.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Acne Outbreak

I don't know why I'm experiencing a massive outbreak of acne all over my body, with a high concentration on my face - about 10. They're behind my neck, at the back of my knee, behind my waist, on my thigh... All within the month. Stress? Heaty?

I'm considering a facial but if it's all over my body, I doubt if it's a surface issue. (Cue from Ron: It's because you don't eat veggie). Ish.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Ang Ku Returns
After three weekend missing in action, we thought we'd lost Ang Ku for good. Then one morning, as we just returned from brunch, her meowing was the most welcoming sound to our ears as she greeted us at the door. Skinnier and more
manja, that's all that changed.
First Offerings to the New Office

Brought my first batch of home made choc chip cookies to the office. Good reviews all around with a few strange comments like "My mum bakes better than you", "You made this? As in, from the instant cookie dough where you just add eggs?" which earned a fairly sarcastic return of "No, everything came separately, you know, like the flour in one packet and the sugar in another".

There's only a few more pieces left after 3 working days so I take it as a good sign.

Hair Change
I just walked into the saloon, said I was tired of my long hair style of 5 years and voila! A lighter me!


Feels weird but I like it because it's just different - after 5 years.

Greetings from the Toilet Bowl
Urgently rushing to the toilet upon reaching the Klang house today, this is what greeted me from the toilet bowl. 'Scuse the muck.
Wonderful. Thank goodness there's more than one toilet in the house.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Delayed Postings

This is so weird. Just read from KarenCheng's that she was blogging about her pregnancy 3 months behind time. So instead of delivering her 3rd baby in 3 months, she's due any time now.

What's strange to me is that I don't think I could ever blog in advance and then only publish it 3 months later. The longest I've done is one week in advance but even then, it felt weird and made me stop thinking about what to blog next.

Anyway, this is just some random posting so to add some entertainment, here's a YouTube video. Check out the "And by du way, by du way..."

Ah, since I'm in the mood for sharing YouTubes, here's another one. I've been rather obsessed with this soundtrack piece but it's driving me insane because it builds up beautifully into a crescendo and then it ends so pathetically! The finalé is just so unsatisfying!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

No Line On The Horizon

U2's new album came out earlier this week. Reviews were bad but I refused to read them. I panicked, "If it's that bad, how can I realize my dream to catch their next world tour and not enjoy the songs they'd be playing?!"

KS got the album anyway and we're immersing ourselves with it. I must say I do enjoy some songs, but like all albums, it's not every song that will resonate with you. And as usual, some of their songs sound better live. So yeah, my dream is still alive. Thank goodness for YouTube in the meantime!

Heck, if you're a U2 fan out there, just go get the album.

They performed on David Letterman for the whole week and participated in the famous Top Ten list on David Letterman. I love The Edge's lines! I just realised how small sized they all are! Check out Larry's platforms. But then again, David is over 6 feet tall and smaller people tend to make more noise.

Check it out:

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Of Earrings

My skin usually rejects any lesser metal than gold, with raging rashes within a couple of hours of using cheap metal or turning silver black faster than milk turns sour. But it’s so jang (old fashioned) to wear gold in this era of fashion. Platinum? White gold? Sure, but think of the many pieces I can get with the same amount if it were made from another material. (Okay, not really. I’m just not an accessories person so I use that as my excuse not to buy them.)

Anyway, my ex-colleague introduced me to Rhodium coated earrings last year. I finally had the chance to go to the shop in Sunway Pyramid and got myself these:

And it also made me remember how I got my ears pierced. I was five, in Penang for the weekend at Penang Plaza (known back then as FIMA). There was a promotion at the foyer and Mum decided to have my ears pierced. Yup, right in the foyer, in front of a crowd of curious gawkers.

I remember sitting down on a plastic chair while the girl marked my earlobes with a pen. She sprayed something cool on my ear which tickled so I giggled. At the next instant, I saw her holding a gun and before I knew it, my right ear seared with excruciating pain. I screamed the place down, thinking I was shot, while attempting to cover my face from the audience with my Mum’s skirt as she was walking away.

Needless to say, my parents took me around walking after that, with a single pierced ear. I remember looking at my reflection as my Dad carried me. He tried to explain I look ridiculous with just one pierced ear, trying to cajole me to agree to having the other pierced. I don’t remember agreeing but there I was again, on the same plastic chair, with the horrible girl with the gun. Since it was late evening then, the crowd had thinned. But my reaction was exactly the same.

My parents must have been very glad there are only two ear lobes to be pierced.

So when in my teens, I was tempted to pierce a second hole in each ear in the heat of a fashion craze (I remember my friend's new piercings developed an infection and had to have her dad remove the earrings with pliers), thank heavens this vivid childhood memory stopped me from doing it again.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


On Saturday, I had to sit for an exam held in a high school near my office. The exam was held in Bahasa Malaysia and it was only 50 questions, multiple choice and the passing rate is 50%. Sounds easy, doesn't it?

Not when the last time I sat for an exam in BM was in 1993. Not when I had to translate every question into English first for me to fully understand it. Not when whatever I studied on did not come up in the exam. Not when, upon entering the class, I realised they never did provide pencils nor erasers for your exams. All I brought were pens and a mechanical pencil with a single lead and a flimsy eraser at one end. Dang. I'll let you know if I passed.

Anyway, stepping into the school was truly something. It is a grand old school. I imagined a throng of boys rushing up the stairs on their way up/down from their classes. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring a camera and only took photos with my camera phone. Plus, with so many people milling about, waiting for their friend/relative to finish the exam, I could feel stares as I hurriedly took these shots.
The image of childhood nightmares

People waiting to enter the exam rooms

View from the balcony. The bluish glass red-brown building at the background is where KS works. The other brown building peeking behind it is the KLSE. What a place to school.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Just Before Obama's Inauguration

This is what I spotted in a local pharmacy just before Obama's inauguration. This toothpaste slogan sounds very familiar...

Scientific Management (Taylorism)

I’ve been trying to put my finger on the correct term for an OCD that I have. Okay, maybe not an OCD but I'm a little more obsessed about it than the average person out there. I like seeing how I can do repetitive things efficiently such as:

1. Upon entering a lift, I will press the “Close Door” button first before pressing the floor level.
2. Whenever possible, I will multitask so as to shorten the time taken to do both tasks. This is also a possible reason why my computer always crashes as I usually have more than 8 windows open at once.
3. I will gently swing one side of the gate so that by the time I bring the other side of the gate to a close, the other side meets me in the centre.
4. Do a ten second countdown for every garment as I get dressed so that I'm focussed and faster.

Unfortunately, I tend to impose suggest these things to KS too often and he gets very ah, irritated, such as when I suggest the fastest lane to queue up at the toll.

And I have a strange interest on factories, especially the processes, in seeing the millions of thingamajig it produces in a specific timeline. How a process is designed so as to make production more efficient fascinates me.

Engineering? Operations? Geek?

So this week, while still doing my operational work, my colleague leaned over and introduced me this word “therblig”.

I excitedly shared with my colleague that if I could comb my hair and wear my shoes at the same time, I would. His response was to burst out laughing, "No wonder your hair is always so messy!". Gee, thanks.

From there, I discovered the word "Science Management" which excited the heck out of me. Yeah, I learned about stuff like TQM (Total Quality Management) back in school but never realized I have been practising it in my daily routine!

Fascinating. Now I can go study a Taylorism degree (if there’s such a thing) and make everyone around me into robots. Or conquer the world. Muahahahaha.

Ho hum. Back to my cow work.