Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy 51st Birthday, Malaysia!

It has been 51 years since Malaysia gained its independence.

The motto for this year's Independence Day celebration is "Perpaduan Teras Kejayaan" which translated (by me!) means "Unity is the core to success".

Indeed when we are of so many different colours and beliefs, unity is very important. However, shouldn't this be a motto for the leaders as well? Shouldn't the leaders put their differences aside and unite to a better Malaysia? ... or are we up for more soap operas?

So Malaysia, you are 51 years old today. Are you older and wiser?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

PhotoHunt: Beautiful

Like the beautiful lotus that grows in murky water, but rises up and blooms without being tainted; may I too rise above the defilements and sufferings of life.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Magic? certainly is magic. The magic of mathematics!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Matchstick Heaven (火柴天堂)

This is a very old song which I really love. It's composed and originally sung by Panda Hsiung (熊天平). I wonder whether he is still singing now...

If I am not mistaken, this song was inspired by the story "The Little Match Girl". I may be wrong but the meaning of the song seems to suggest that.

pinyin lyrics
火柴天堂- 熊天平
huo chai tian tang- hsiung tian ping

zou zai han leng xia xue de ye kong
mai zhe huo chai wen bao wo de meng
yi bu bu bing dong yi bu bu ji mo
ren qing han leng bing dong wo de shou

yi bao huo chai ran shao wo de xin
han leng ye li dang bu zhu qian xing
feng ci wo de lian xue ge wo de kou
tuo zhe jiao bu hai neng zou duo jiu

you shui lai mai wo de huo chai
you shui jiang yi gen gen xi wang quan bu dian ran
you shui lai mai wo de gu dan
you shui lai shi xian wo xiang jia de hu huan

mei ci dian ran huo chai wei wei guang mang
kan dao xi wang kan dao meng xiang
kan jian tian shang de ma ma shuo hua
ta shuo ni yao yong gan ni yao jian qiang
bu yao hai pa bu yao huang zhang
rang ni cong ci bu bi zai liu lang

Repeat *

ma ma qian zhe ni de shou hui jia
shui zai wen nuan hua kai de tian tang

PhotoHunt: Wrinkled

Need I say more on how my entries relate to this week's theme? ;-p

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Greener Pastures

Within the period of 2 weeks from tomorrow, I know at least 3 of my friends are leaving their companies to join new ones. One of them is my current colleague.

Tomorrow will be her last day in the company and her absence will definitely be felt. Our number seems to keep dwindling for the past year and I feel that it has come to the point where we cannot dwindle any further. What made it worse is that there are only the out-goings and no in-comings.

Anyway when I talked to 2 of these friends, I couldn't help but to feel excited for them. I bet the feeling is like jumping out from the frying pan... Well, as long as it's not towards the fire!! Anyway I have been there, done that. Then again if you don't try, how will you ever know?

Thinking back on my previous job changing "experience", I feel the most enjoyable time is the holiday that you get while waiting for your new job to start. It's like you can really enjoy that time without worrying about those things that you were unhappy with in the previous job; and at the same time knowing that after the vacation, there is a new job waiting. Yeah...I know there is also the nervousness about the new environment and new colleagues... but for me I will try not to think about those things until the last minute.

Okay, okay... I really need to snap out of it!! You have to excuse me for having all these thoughts. I am on my 24 hours technical support duty again this week... that's why I start thinking about all these things again.

Anyhow, I want to wish my colleague and my 2 other friends who are stepping into greener pastures "All the Best". Also, remember me if there is any "kang tao" hoh? ;-p

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Star Wars - The What Wars??

Star Wars "The Clone Wars" seem to be an interesting movie, even so if you are a Star Wars' fan. Although I am not really one, but CGI movies usually capture my interests.

When I turned on my TV this morning, 8TV was showing the making of this movie. It definitely looked very interesting. After the commercial, they resumed the show and that was when I saw something on the screen that got me scratching my head a little and laughed aloud.

Do you see what I saw? No? .... let me help.

Hmm..."The Colone Colon Wars" .... now I am really considering whether I should be watching THAT movie!

PhotoHunt: Colourful

A lot of people would say that you haven't been to Pattaya, Thailand if you miss the world famous Alcazar Cabaret Show.

This show has been around for over 20 years and it's really a feast for the eyes with the beautiful artists, dazzling costumes, awesome stage and entertaining performances. All these make the whole show oh so colourful!

Oh, did I mention that those ladies were previously men?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Go Kart

We had a half day outing from work yesterday. Although everyone is damn busy with our assigned tasks, I thought it was a great move to take us off the hustle and bustle of work for a little while. After a chicken buffet lunch at Sunway Pyramid, we headed to Sunway Extreme Park for Go Karting.

I know this Extreme Park was quite popular sometime ago but it sort of went off the radar for a while. Many of us thought they have already closed shop. Well... they are still there, but did look rather isolated and empty though.

To get there, we had to brave rough terrains of the Sunway South Quay construction site. My colleague's car was almost fully coated with dust when we reached the Go Kart area.

The track didn't look as big as I would imagine. It was scorching hot during that time and I had the feeling that none of us were really eager to be on the track. Well... it was paid for and what else can we do, right? After the briefing, we were divided into 2 groups and off we went for our roasting session.

I have to say that although that was not my first go karting experience, I still felt awkward being stuffed into the tight seat. I didn't even know the proper way of getting on and off the kart. Each time my shoes just seem to be caught in something, causing me to wobble like crazy.

Anyhow once I got into the seat and started to race, it got really exciting. The whole kart shook like crazy and steering that thing felt like steering a heavy lorry. Didn't help that the steering wheel was so tiny. At times I felt as if my hands would tangle up when negotiating those sharp bends!

Then attempting to overtake can be rather frustrating when the person in front of you were swerving like nobody's business. Too bad the karts did not come with horns!

All in all, I had a really great time although I was sweating like crazy and smelling funky. I guess go karting will be the closest thing to F1 for me!

A "pro" driving without a helmet. Pros won't get hurt, is it?

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Hey, remember the story "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"? This is one of the famous Aesop Fables that I have heard and still remember. Forgot what it is all about? Well, maybe the video below can help to refresh your memory.

All these childhood stories do come with lessons to learn. They are supposed to teach children on certain good qualities to cultivate; or certain bad qualities to avoid. Too bad we tend to forget them when we grow up. Perhaps it's how the real "adult" world works that made all these lessons to be easily forgotten or harder to practise.

Well whatever the reasons are, we still have to be realistic and go with the flow. We still need to heed the "higher calling" even though it may sound like "Wolf! Wolf!".

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Saturday, August 9, 2008

PhotoHunt: Dark

When it gets dark in Ximending (西門町), it gets really bright!

Get what I mean?

Ximending is this neighborhood in Taipei, Taiwan. It is a very popular place among the youngsters in Taipei and is very Japanese influenced. This can be seen from the cute cute (kawaii ne!) shops and their decors there. Besides that, a lot of mini concerts by famous chinese singers are also held along its walkway.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Beijing 2008 Limited Edition Pins

To commemorate the Beijing Olympics which is starting tomorrow, here are some pictures of the Beijing 2008 Limited Edition pins that I bought when I was in Chengdu, China 2 years ago. I bought it at the Beijing 2008 shop in one of the shopping complexes there.

The Front Cover:

The Back. Really Limited Edition leh. I think there are only less than 50,000 of these out there, right?

The Pins!

Closeup of one of the pins. This one is with my last name.

Pin of the Beijing 2008 mascots!!

Now that I have shown off my limited edition Beijing Olympics pins, it's time to put them back into my drawer ...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Everyday Low Fares?

I love Bangkok. No matter how many times I have been there, I always look forward to visiting this city again.

So naturally when I saw the following advert in the newspaper, I got really excited.

Wah... MAS promotion of RM8 one way to Bangkok woh...very very cheap leh. Flight to Bangkok with AirAsia nowadays also at the lowest is more than RM30 (not considering the RM0 fare promotion which doesn't happen often). So surely this must be a really good deal!

Oh how terribly wrong I was! I went to MAS site and simply chose a date to depart on Friday and return on Monday as per my usual arrangement when travelling to Bangkok. Yeah..the fares are indeed RM8 one way, but when added all those tax, levies and surcharges...the total came up to RM723.00!!

I know I know. MAS serves food in their flights and they don't charge anything for baggage check-in. I flew MAS to Bangkok before using Enrich points redemption. Know what food they served? Sandwich, yogurt and snacks.

Anyway for comparison sake, I went to AirAsia's website and chose the same route and dates.

I picked the RM180 fare for departure and RM110 fare for return. I added in in-flight meals, baggage check-in and express boarding. The total cost came up to RM655. Still cheaper than MAS's "Everyday Low Fares" leh.

Some of you may say that you can't compare orange with apple. Well, in times like these... I really don't care which is orange and which is apple. What is important to me is which is cheaper.

Don't get misled by all these advertisements stating low fares. They usually come with an * and small small prints. Everyday Low Fares? Don't think so!

p/s No, I didn't book any of the flights above.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mouse Loves Rice

I was going through my phone and discovered this video I took of my niece 3 years ago. I must have copied it over from my old phone. She was 2 years old then. In it, she gave a very short rendition of the song "老鼠爱大米" which direct translated means "Mouse Loves Rice".

This song was HUGE in the chinese music scene during that time, with many versions sung by many different artistes. Actually I don't know who the original singer is, but if I am not mistaken it's a guy, right? Anyhow, I preferred a female voice for this song.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

PhotoHunt: Cloud(s)

For this week's theme, I would like to share with you THE picture that I am most proud of. It may not be much to all you professional photographers out there but to me, it is my best so far. Guess I was at the right place and at the right time to capture this magnificent sight.

As you guys probably know, this picture is "stitched" from a few pictures taken using my point-and-shoot camera.

I love the colour of the clouds, the buildings and the reflections in the water.

(Click to enlarge)

The pics were taken at Central Park, New York, USA in June 2005.