Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Flickr Testing

Sydney City
Sydney City,
originally uploaded by jnlk.
Apparently one can upload blog entries via flickr. Testing to see if this works and also discovered I never shared my Australia 2007 photos on my blog! How remiss!

Aw man, that is such a pathetic size.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Poor Man

Still on MJ (watched his concert last night on 8TV) and was trying to take note of his signature looks and moves. I gave up trying to keep count. There will be no other.

Anyway, I was remembering the first time I got to know who he was. I was about 4-5 years, staying in this rented place in Alor Setar which we just shifted into. My family was gathered in front of the TV watching Billie Jean. The glowing steps he took fascinated me and the part where he flipped his coin into this begger's folornly resting cup and made him all aglow made me comment:

"Mum, this Michael Jackson must be so poor. He only has 10 sen to give this begger!"

Everyone laughed and Mum said, "Oh no, he is a very rich man. See how successful he is?"

How ironic that he had to chalk up so much debt after that.


Just a short update that PayPal has managed to get my refund from the ebay-er who sold me the U2 tickets. I'm just glad that they have concluded the case in my favour and hope that I will never encounter such a stressful purchase again.

Thank goodness that I did win the U2 tickets otherwise I would not have known the seller wasn't going to send me the tickets.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gone Too Soon

The whole world stood still today as the shocking news spread all over the globe. Here in KL, most radio stations played his songs from the moment they knew, at the crack of dawn. What a way to wake up to a Friday.

Needless to say, I am one of the billion people in the world who grew up with his music, dance moves... Although I knew he would never regain his Thriller glory nor create another Moonwalk, he had already achieved legendary status, no matter what else he did after that.

KS and I were trying to figure out who could be more popular than him. My colleague said Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. I don't quite agree. Ask a child from a third world country, ask the oldest person on earth.

I love his songs and to me, they would be evergreen. I wince to think the next generation will look oddly at us just like how we struggle to appreciate Elvis. We are a privileged generation that has been blessed by his art.

Here is one song he never recorded and not many people know of this song. I accidentally caught it on TV live back then. Ladies and gentlemen, here's Michael Jackson performing You Were There for Samuel Davis Jr's 60th anniversary.

You will continue to live in our lives for a very very long time, Michael.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Internet Purchase Phobia

Now that our trip to London/Paris is less than two months away, I'm starting to search for hotels and transport to and fro London/Paris. I understand THE way to travel is via EuroStar but the pricing has fluctuated over the last couple of weeks with huge price difference. Right now there's an offer at 59 pounds each for a return compared to over 100 pounds a couple of weeks ago.

However, as my mouse pauses over the button to confirm my bookings, I'm wrought with the fact that my internet purchases recently has left me uncertain. Late last year, I purchased the shark hand puppet via amazon.com. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out to be what I had imagined plus there was a slight tear.

Then recently, I purchased the U2 tickets (before I knew I had won) via ebay. Trying to sell them off hasn't been easy as we haven't been able to find anouther Malaysian couple crazy enough to want to fly all the way to London for U2.

I ended up asking the seller to sell it off for me. He replied, "I'll see what I can do". That was about two weeks ago. Last Saturday, I wrote to him and got an instant emailed reply which said his PayPal account had been frozen therefore he considers all purchases null and void since he can't get the money out.

Immediately, I called PayPal yesterday and filed for a refund. Was told that I had just managed to meet the 45 days insured period and that if I had not received my ticket as promised (the seller said he would only send the tickets 6-8 weeks before the concert - July 09), I would not have been able to file a dispute.

I'm still a bit stunned that:
If I had not won the AirAsia contest:
1. I would have lost my money if I had waited for the tickets in July or hadn't been in contact with him.
2. By now, I would have purchased my air tickets, accommodation etc all for U2 but then in the end, not go for the concert.

If I had managed to sell off my tickets to someone else:
1. That would have created a larger mess for the parties involved, third party seller, buyer who might have bought tickets to London too by now...

So at the moment, I'm a bit wary of purchasing anything on the internet. At least, I'm now hoping I'll get my refund. The other option is that the seller would send me the tickets once the PayPal investigation goes underway, which I'm hoping he won't.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dad & The Breadmaker

I recently stumbled upon ready mixed wholemeal bread flour at a shop selling baking goods and purchased it on impulse. My poor breadmaker hasn’t seen light for many years now so it was a good excuse to get its’ clockwork working again.

Since only my parents have time to eat bread in the mornings, I brought along my breadmaker to their house and encouraged Mum to bake it. Unfortunately, for a first timer, the instructions were too complicated for her. Instead, she relinquished the responsibility to Dad who took an hour just to read the breadmaker instructions and who didn’t know where all the other ingredients Mum had stored. I laughed so hard at the dilemma he was facing.

So anyway, last Sunday evening, I stayed over and made the bread. After I measured and placed all the ingredients into the tin, I called Dad to see if he wanted to know how to operate the breadmaker. I could tell that he was most interested in it because he actually abandoned the Federer vs Soderling match to watch me press the relevant buttons!

It was so funny, he was just so excited about baking bread, citing his hope that the bread would be nice before going to bed. My parents ate half the loaf the next day (I didn’t even have time to snap a shot of it!) so I can safely say it was a hit. Will certainly do this again and take photos next time.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beheaded Piglet

Recently at a friend’s wedding, we were served roasted piglet as one of the dishes. However, just as we were tucking in, the speeches started. So everyone stopped eating while listening to the touching speeches made by the respective fathers.

By the time tears were shed (yes okay, I did), we were served with our next dish. Since the piglet occupied a rather large dish, KS suggested to the waitress to transfer the unfinished pieces onto a smaller plate.

A few minutes later, the staff returned. She had bagged up the piglet into a conspicuous pink transparent plastic bag! She proceeded to plonk it on KS’ side of the table, leaving everyone at the table thinking he had asked to doggie bag it home! What was more hilarious was that she even packed the head which was slightly visible through the oily bag!

Despite our repeated explanation to our fellow table mates on the miscommunication, they had flickers of disbelief cross their expressions. Just kidding. They laughed it off with us and encouraged us to really take it home.

So it was one of our strangest doggie bags content so far. KS attempted to hide it as we went to say our goodbyes but we simply couldn’t hide it anywhere so he opted for the “nothing-to-see-here” casual attitude which, I think, worked.

Later, I was told that the restaurant also presented the bride with the remaining piglet heads from all the tables. This must be some strange Chinese custom.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What’s Your Favorite Photography Destination?

Got this question on my weekly digital photography newsletter today.

I've been to just a handful of places but I must say out of all the places, South Island NZ is still the best place for photography for me. Just snap. You gotta have special talent to take bad shots in NZ. My favourite photos are still my NZ ones even though it was taken with a humble Nikon Coolpix 4.0 megapixel.

Azure skies, crystal clear streams, turquoise lakes, crisp air, snow capped mountains... Absolutely breathtaking!

I'm so looking forward to what London and Paris can offer! This will be rather different from my usual shots as they should be mainly on man-made structures instead of nature.

So what's yours?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

In Every Sime Darby Employee's Home...

It is not uncommon to speak to a late 20 to 30 year old person in the Klang Valley who's father or mother worked in Sime Darby. In fact, in a quick survey with some friends a couple of years ago, more than half of my close friends had their parents work either in tyres, plantation... I can't remember what other subsidiaries were mentioned.

Anyway, this was brought to mind again recently when I met up with an ex-colleague and we happened to mention that our dad's worked in a subsidiary of Sime Darby. He then said, "I'm sure you had that tyre ashtray thingy in your home, didn't you?". I was surprised because since my dad was in the tyre subsidiary, naturally a tire ashtray didn't look out of place. I didn't think those in plantations would have received one.

We used this ashtray that is about 8 inches in diameter to place our house keys for decades. And my parents happened to find it recently after their shift to PJ.

So I'm wondering, is it really true that every Sime Darby's employee back in those days receive one of these?

Friday, June 05, 2009

Yuna Rocks!

Stumbled upon this local singer a couple of weeks ago accidentally when she was performing live over the local TV. As my TV is a really old one, the sound projected first before the image appeared. I certainly wasn't expecting a tudung covered local Malay girl to be singing like Norah Jones! Ladies and gentlemen, this is Yuna. Love the lazy Sunday feeling to this song.