Sunday, August 31, 2008

30th August

I'm now sitting here at KLIA waiting for my 2AM flight. I've got a tall glass of Carlsberg and was just going to bitch about something inane. But...

I just realised that today my Grandpa would have turned 102 years old. I wrote about him last year but this year I was planning on hunting down some pictures of him to post. With all that's been going on recently, I TOTALLY forgot about his birthday. Sorry Grandpa.

He was a good man. NO BULL or sentimental cr... um...sentimental feelings. I don't give compliments willing so yeah go buy number now! He was strong, principled teacher, mentor, father and grandfather to us all. A stern learned man with a hearty laugh that came from deep within his heart and soul.

For more on my Gramps go HERE from last year's post.

I'm not sure weather you'd approve or not about me drinking but somehow I think you would say "go ahead just make sure you don't take more than your body can handle". I'm just going to down this Granpa and I'd like to wish you "Happy Birthday from all of us still here!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Randomness

When You're Late

Just got back late last night from Singapore. Day trip again and realised that:

When you're late the queue for the cab will 3 miles long.

When you're late you end up giving wrong directions to the cab driver (AirAsia DOES NOT fly out of the Budget Terminal in Changi Airport. Head straight to Counter 10 at TERMINAL ONE)

When you're late some fuker will give you wrong directions to the aerotrain (because you ended up at Terminal TWO because the bus from the Budget Terminal stopped there only)

When you're late and manage to convince the nice check-in counter lady to let you through you get stuck behind a flock of passengers from India at immigration. (I've nothing against you folks from Indian but why is it the immigration dudes seem to give you grief over your travelling documents all the time to almost all of you?)

When you're late - there is a counter on the far left at Terminal One immigration that lets you go thru ahead of the rest if you can show that your flight is boarding already.

NICE PEOPLE RAWK!!!

Word up Mister Yap at Shell Station USJ Service Center!!! Again Mr Yap showed that there was hope for nice guys to survive in this shite hole - I had to service my car. Left it at Mr Yaps. He offered to send me back home since I was car-less! When i realised that i had to take a cab to pick my car up today, I called him to try my luck if he could pick me up. In exactly 20 minutes as he promised one of his staff was knocking at my door. He also fixed my dodgy indicator light FOR FREE!

Anyone in the Subang/USJ/Puchong/ Kelana Jaya call Mr Yap at 012 6179099 for great Seremban style friendly neighborhood car servicing. He also does brakes, suspensions and minor repairs.

The Nice Lady In Singapore (cannot mention names because of trade agreements!) I used to buy stuff from her for a friend's little store. After a while the store's business was overtaken by much larger competitors and my friend stopped buying from her. That was a long time ago. I dropped in when I was there to say hello the other day and she greeted me with a beaming smile and talked to me as if we just met each other the day earlier. When I bought some stuff for buddies back home, the staff asked me if I was a member. She overhead and said firmly, "No he's from our dealer network" and continued to explain to me that I would get the wholesale price for my measly purchases and also how I should get the GST rebate at the airport when I was there.

This chick is cool. A former tuition teacher she has started a little business based on principles and professionalism in a field that was dominated by fly by night mavericks, many of them now out of business or moved onto other fields. Good person. And doing very, very well. Kudos Nice Lady From Singapore.

OFF ON A JET PLANE (AGAIN)
Tomorrow I leave (well its 2AM Sunday) for London. I arrive in the afternoon on Sunday, have a beer, go for one meeting on Monday and take the 10pm flight back to KL the same day. All this compounded with some work related stress that I'm going thru now. I haven't done this crazy schedule in a loooooong time so am not sure how this body will react. As long as I don't come back to KL with a pink beard or a third testicle things should be all good. Yeah, please ignore the dramatics. I need to get that coffee now...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Level of Service

It doesn't really matter where you go nowadays. The mamak, Sri Paandi, Kanna Curry House, Bangsar, Eden.... you're going to get served by somebody from China, Myanmar, India or Indonesia.

In their drive to keep costs low eateries are opting for foreign (OK i don't like that word, I switching to 'international') workers. The level of service of course sucks. NOT because these workers are incompetent but they just don't bloody speak English although their basic Malay is passable. This language insecurity hinders them from performing with confidence and professionalism no matter what their employers expect of them.

Go to some of the new bars in Bangsar or other upscale places and order a Salmon Sashimi and see the slight look of panic on the face of the waiter. Worse if you add "hold the salt and I want my wanker bottled water with thinly cut lemon NOT lime." He has no frikkin idea what you just said. His mind is still reeling from "samonsashimi-hodesaut..." which in Myanmarese could potentially mean "I think you have lovely calves". That's before your other friends placed their orders!

Again, NOT their fault but owners of eateries who want to charge inflated prices better get with the program. If you're going to charge me 3 times more for O2 than hopefully the level of service I get will not be that of a mamak stall. Training folks. Training!

Worse fuking space cadet waiters:

1. Sri Paandi - the one that sandwiches the OTHER Sri Paandi in Section whatever, near Crystal Crown hotel. Orders are taken but not acted on, order a coffee and TWO arrive in it's place, ask for mutton curry, the waiter bobs his head in agreement and keeps on talking to his buddies...

2. Kanna Curry House - I don't care that they may understand Malay but they're just a bunch of stoners who keep adding in extra stuff to my bill and hoping that I don't notice!

3. Eden at the Curve

On another note, the management of my apartment just replaced my bunch of international security guards with a local bunch. I liked my international blokes. They were attentive, greeted me happily, rushed to open the barrier when they saw me from far and actually patrolled the perimeters diligently.

The current bunch of local boys AFTER ONE FUKING MONTH still stare at my car like its a pole dancing camel. My sticker is prominently displayed on my windscreen but still they just seem to be confused that this metal things on wheels that pulled up to their little guard house. They see my car (if they're not sleeping at their post), peep out the window, look lost as I slow down, peer harder as if expecting my car to transform into an Decepticon, and then when I impatiently stick out my head they stare at me like I've got a tattoo of some one's butt cheeks on my forehead. Now I'm embarrassed to say I just glare at them and bark out "Apa?" and they scramble to open the barrier for me. Damn, it feels good...

They walk around the apartment grounds listlessly and do not look like they could handle a drunken gold fish let alone some dudes trying break into some one's home.

Looks like I'll have to get me a pet Chihuahua or a Harry Potter room alarm real quick. They would be more effective than my current bunch of 'security' at my apartments...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nissan GT-R - Clarkson Review


"I dare say that if Michael Schumacher were to find himself in the eye of an Arctic blizzard, escaping from an exploding volcano, he might discover 10% of this car’s abilities. But you? Me? Here? Forget it.

Nissan, then, has done something odd. It has built a car for a time and a place and a species that simply don’t exist. " - Jeremy Clarkson


I'm not a car person. Cars are meant to get me from point A to B without complaining too much if I accidently side swipe a Kanchil driven by some blur accounts clerk. But a good review is a good review and Jeremy Clarkson was in his element when he waxed lyrical about the next year's monster, the Nissan GT-R.

For the entire article go HERE. Trust me, it's a good fun. He touches on his observations on Japan, the industy and little cars that fit in your pocket.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Need Some Help Ladies?

Ad for Brazilian waxing.

Go HERE for the services (in Singapore though).

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good to be Second?

Sure he was lacking in every department. The dude across the net was faster, stronger and most importantly, hungrier. And from a female perspective from a friend who does not care for sport, the other guy was cuter too. sigh, women....

Anyway...

Why was he playing like a nervous school boy? Where was the fire in his belly? Foo Kok Keong, limited in his ability, would at least have fought all the way as if his balls were on fire.

Maybe because we made a big fuss that we guaranteed ourselves a silver. Maybe he thought that silver was good enough. Maybe he thought that HE WAS ONLY GOOD ENOUGH FOR SECOND PLACE.

It's not his fault. Really. Looking at the coach sitting quietly when his charge was getting ass whooped in front of millions was sign enough. Do you think he would have lost as meekly if Mourinho, Scholari or heaven forbid, Ferguson was sitting on that chair?

No sir, he wouldn't. He may still have lost but he would have taken a piece of Lin Dan with him.

Maybe we will celebrate this silver. Maybe they will get bonuses. But maybe we all need to believe that we can win or at least die trying.

For a re-cap go HERE.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Anticipation

This has been sitting in my inbox since January! Decided to get it out of my system so rewrote some parts here just in time for a weekend post.

You're just returning from that date. When she smiled, rainbows blossomed all over the restaurant, when she spoke animatedly about her pet corgi poo-ing on her lawn, her eyes sparkled with the constellations of a million stars. You were in your element, slick, smart and funny.

You kiss her politely on the cheek good night and drop her off. You just can't meet up in the next couple of of days because of work commitments and you can't wait to see her again. In that void of absence your mind starts to get up to it's nonsense.

While you're sitting on your throne in the mornings your mind sends you a message that she is/will be/could be a great cook and loving girlfriend who would make you breakfast every morning and peck you on the cheek before you go to work. - In reality she probably snores in her sleep like a hungry bear and is as grumpy as a menopausal mother in-law.

While you're stuck in the traffic jam, you imagine her getting along great with your friends and in the heat of the mid day KL sun among the rest of the idling cars you picture her regaling your friends and family with funny stories and jokes. - She's probably an elitist prat who will only speak to your rich friends and secretly think your mum's dress sense came from Doink the Clown.

When you imagine her in that low cut dress that she wore on that first date you wonder at all the chapters of the Kama Sutra that you will be exploring together with wild abandon - in reality having sex with her would be like shagging a piece of steamed fish on a cold rainy night.

An idle mind is the devil's workshop as my momma used to say. Anticipation makes us fill in the blanks with our own fantasies in these situations often leading to disappointment, disenchantment or just plain "how the fuck didn't I notice that Adam's apple?!!!!"

So, difficult as it may seem, we the children of the atom must throw away the yoke of romance and spur of the moment magic and jump into relationships as cold and analytical as Spacial Ops commandos with the full support of army Intel and reconnaissance so we do not build castles or giants or white knights or princesses out of daydreams.

This is a must I tells ya, a MUST!!!!

damn, I really need some coffee...

Official Watchmen Trailer

The best comic book ever! in screens 2009!

Kid Rock - All Summer Long

Ah, tribute to Skynard? Great for a boring monday!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Star Wars:Clone Wars Review

Wah, Ah George, you must think this is a REALLY special movie when your own distributors don't seem to want to promote it as aggressively as they expect the fan base to lap it up just because its STAR WARS.

It was an early screening and by the way the RELA members flocked outside the movie halls for cameras, phones with cameras and anything that looked like a camera AND patrolled the aisles WHILE the movie was going on you would think this movie was worth the movie pirates sneaking in to record it for re-distribution. Well they shoulda stayed home if they did turn up.

This movie essentially:

1. Is to sell more toys.

2. Build up to the upcoming cartoon series that is supposed to run in November this year so that they can sell more toys.

3. Reach out to a younger audience who will buy more toys.

4. Revolves around Anakin and his protege Ashoka (no one wants Ani toys)

5. Tries to make the clones look cool so you will buy more clone toys in as many colors as possible.

Watch this ONLY if:

1. You're the mother of all HARDCORE Star Wars fans and need a fix from the Force.

2. Your idea of sex is playing with your Special Edition Master Replica Darth Vader EP4 light saber.

3. You've watched the Gendy Tartakovsky series on Cartoon Network way back in when. I forget, was it in 2003?

The Star Wars franchise is just nothing more than a blatant commercial machine that is loosing the heart and fun it was built on. Sure there were some cute bits but I left the hall thinking, "So what?"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Road Trip: PENANG!

You Penang people are lucky sods! Seriously, you might be historically a bunch of cheapskates but bloody hell you've got one of the most special pieces of real estate in the world! Seriously now, dont fuck with me when I say - KEEP IT TOGETHER! KEEP IT FOR THE FUTURE! PLEASE!!! DONT FRIGGIN' LET PENANG CHANGE!!!!!!!!

Bart August and I managed to get our Road Trip Series re-started when he managed to get his hands on the latest Suzuki for a test drive last weekend. Since he hails from Penang we decided to test out the fuel consumption and to get in some hiking at Penang Hill. Something I've missed and Bart promised me a new route up the hill plus more food than an episode of Sopranos.

Accompanied by the lovely and bubbly LC who had this weird fetish for moving automated windows, we took off for Penang on Friday evening. After some great sounds from Skynard, Young MC, Marky Mark, Tears For Fears, Musical Youth, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Steppenwolf, Van Halen, and others on a mix CD we finally got to Penang and both the Penangites and I headed for a round of steaming Soup Ekor and Soup Kambing with Roti Bangali (only in Penang you get such a politically In-correct name for a bread). I can wax lyrical about the food but I'll leave it for another post as Penang food shares no space with anything or anyone!

Saturday morning Bart and I got up early and headed for Penang Hill. Bart took me up the trail that started from the Youth Park. We got stuck behind half the Penang Girl's High School road race but made good time about the quarter mark. We made it up to the half way rest stop and took another trail that brought us to the Botanic Gardens which is as Bart noted, the best maintained gardens in the country! I particularly love the quaint rest stops scatterred along the the various trails and roads where strong black Penang coffee and biscuits are served out free to all who seek out to bond with nature.

Penang - I love the energy of the old aunties and uncles walking along the roads and trails at Penang Hill and and hanging out at the various makan stalls around Penang. I love the food, the beautifully maintained old buildings, the sense of history that permeates every stall, alley, mansion, temple, mosque and tree lined road. I love the teh tarik stalls by the beaches, the challenging terrain that whisper seductively to me and also some parts of the island that haven't changed since a since a past long thought forgotten by the island's younger generation.

I think the preservation of Penang lies in how the older generation treasure it and share it with their kids. The more the younger folk loose sight of the treasure they have in Penang the faster the island will dissolve into just another featureless copycat lifeless state of devastated natural resources and lost sense of legacy in the years to come. I'm not going to go into detail. Penang needs chapters. Hopefully we'll stick to our plan to get more trips up there and i can break it down to Penang's specifics. In the meantime here are just some pics to journal the trip.


The very nice QE2 at the Penang Marina. Nothing like sitting down for dinner as the evening tide comes in, eating wood fire baked seafood pizza, washing it down with ice cold beers and watching the glowing lights that from the port across the sea at the mainland while Penang ferries come and go at the pier next door.


The Bartmeister at The End of The World at Teluk Bahang. I just love it. Simple - The End of the World - all the mystery and wonder in a simple name. Pity they've moved the End of the World Restaurant. It's now replaced by a spanking new Penang National Park HQ. I need to hike up to the light house at Muka Head on my next trip as my last pictures turned out crap.


Bart doing a Hancock to save a colony of ants at Penang Hill.


Lovely preserved shop lots at Bangkok Lane.


A banyan tree in the Botanic Gardens.



The tram up to Penang Hill was spoilt so the 4x4s were working overtime to take workers and folks up and down the hill.


One of the trails from the half way point of Penang hill and ending down at the Botanic Gardens.

The very cosy Tropical Spice Garden nestled into a lush forested hill just before Feringgi Beach. It overlooks the sea but the view is partially blocked by the shady trees. Perfect for early morning breakfast or tea. Lunch also can la...Open 9am-6pm.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Clark Quay, Singapore


View of Clark Quay from my room at the Novotel

Damn, it's getting expensive visiting Singapore. I spent a day there last week and had to cough up a pretty penny. Luckily still for corporate rates but rooms down South are running North of S$250 a night. That's RM600! That's a flight to Hanoi! And S$250 prob gets you a little dump badly in need of refurbishment with complimentary musty smells.


Some building across from my room.

Even shops need umbrellas!
Ah, Clark Quay... I have fond memories here among the old converted warehouses. We used to stay at nearby Havelock Road whenever we had projects in Singapore and would regularly walk along the river past Robertson Quay and end up in Hooter's with our staple diet of Tiger and Hooter's chicken wings before heading across the bridge to wash it down with some home brewed goodness at Brewerkz.

It's changed a lot since they changed it into it's slick incarnation of a party hub with the Ministry of Sound being it's main attraction. I miss the quaint little shops selling cheap silk ties and lingerie and of course The Cannery building which had at least 10-15 toy shops in it. Clark Quay back in the day was dragging my tired ass out of a cab after a long day of meetings or running an event, immersing my self among thousand of toys and meeting up with the gang in Hooter's and then walking back the hotel along the riverbanks in as a wind from sea blew in. Nex of course would be indulging himself in Katong Mall with his 'prudent' spending habits...

I don't really like the new Clark Quay as it's lost in quiet charm compared to the bustling Boat Quay further down and what used to the the clubbing hub of Robertson Quay/Jalan Sultan. But I do find a reason to walk down the river once in a while and have a cold one at Hooter's just for old times sake. Seriously the chicken wings are fantastic! Good with beer. Just got to time the visits when the US Navy in not in town else you'll be ignored by the now slightly aloof waitresses for the horde of loud crew cut Americans.



The impressive fiber glass canopy that now makes it easy to move about Clark Quay in rain and punishing sunshine.



The buildings along Clark Quay with their spanking new colorful paint jobs.

I actually wanted to take a picture of the tunnel beneath the road just to show how friggin' clean it was compared to it's Malaysia counterpart which would be pissed stained, rubbish decorated with the odd junkie sprawled at the side. Then I realised that with the flash off it actually looked like I was in the Viper Chute of the Battlestar Galactica! Frak!

Friday, August 8, 2008

08-08-08

Wah good luck wan. Triple Good luck! Quick buy 4 -digit numbers! Ask her to marry you! Go ask for a raise! Get those entries in for that Shell free fuel contest! Take bets that your boss will fall asleep before St Kitts and Niven's turn during the Olympic 'live' telecast of the opening ceremony later tonight!

Do something today! ANYTHING! Luck is in the air!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Low Cost Passengers

Got back last night from another day trip to the island republic. Again flew AirAsia. From check in to the departure, three, read that as THREE motherfuckers cut in front of me nonchalantly as if I was nothing more than a teeny little pimple on their ass. I've always been pissed off with these species of passengers as I've been alternating regularly between Full Service Airlines and Low Cost Carriers and the diff between the passengers can sometimes be a large divide.

My Top 5 type of Low Cost Passengers that I've experianced flying on AirAsia.

1. The Queue Jumper. This can be broken up into 3 species:
- The huge ass family that includes the 2 year old bawling toddler and the family goat. In a somewhat coordinated attack they spread out among the lines in the various queues (if there is more than one queue to a destination).

The key is any one of them represents the entire family so what you're going to find out is, if YOUR queue is moving the fastest, and you THINK you're the next one in line BUT Hicktown Harry is standing in front of you DON'T think you're going get away that easy. Once it's his turn the entire flock of seagulls will descend upon him with gleeful whispers and pleased chuckles, jostling you further back as Harry checks in the whole 20 of them in together.

- The Thick Skinned MOFO - just cuts in front of you and stares at you even if you make protesting sounds.

- The Automated Passport Reader Jumper - they sway from side to side in the front of one queue but dart into whichever Passport reader opens up, oblivious even if there as an army of Martians standing in the next queues.

The Stampeding Herd
Normally those tour groups follow some dude with that little flag. With all eyes transfixed on the flag they crash through queues, run over bags, little children, bawling babies and the family goat.
A sub category is the individual stampeder who just barges into a queue with his/her trolley because they are too lazy to go AROUND the queue.

3. The I Want to Be A Pilot While I Take A Piss Passenger
How often have you seen this? Some aunty or uncle or person who has never flown before (no fault of theirs) starts banging and jangling the lock on the door to the cockpit mumbling to themselves "lampu hijau megapa tandas masih kunci???"

4. The I've Never Used a Button Flush Before Passenger
Sometimes you know you're in trouble when the passenger comes out from the toilet and makes a sign that there is no 'handle' for the flush and that someone must have broken it and that their entire lunch of whatever they ate a a couple hours ago is STILL sitting in the pot smouldering away...

Again, no fault of theirs but tell them that's what the button is there for. Trust me they will be grateful and might just give you the family goat as appreciation for your kindness.

5. The Its A Race For The Best Seat Passengers
As soon as some sign says its time for boarding they launch themselves into whatever is the start of the queue looking like that extra effort will get them a seat with a jacuzzi, a goat and Pamela Anderson. They wait. And wait. They look around. And look around some more wondering how come they are not boarding NOW, at that very moment they got into the queue...

There are others of course. Honorable mention:

1. The woman who checked in her handbag and then realized what she had done and had to get the staff to stop the conveyor belt and get the baggage handlers to find it and hand it back in.

2. The Debaters - people who just seem to have a fuckload of questions to ask the check-in staff. They just stand there, talking out of their ass, nodding their head, pointing around... Not sure if they're asking where is the ATM or debating the high fuel surcharges or just trying to pick up that big Indian feller behind the counter.

3. The Happy Old Folks - I love 'em. Seriously. They're loud. In the lounges, in the plane, through immigration, they're a cacophony of chatter and laughter. They pack food into the planes, some even buy whiskies and chips from duty free and proceed to get pissed on the plane. They're as excited as little kids when the planes drops down from the sky onto the ground of a land they've never set foot on. They've got their retro hats and stickers on their cloths and it all seems to blend into a vision of happy energy. Living is forever eh?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Heads Off

What's with all these decapitations in the news? The perfect-horror thriller-script-worthy tragedy in Canada (Go HERE for more), the news of the recent convictions of the dude from Australia who used the head as a bowling ball,(Go HERE for more), our made in Malaysia decapitation committed last year in London and sentenced last week (HERE for more) and even on the idyllic isles of Greece (HERE for more)!

All this sentencing and crimes all committed within what, a 2-3 week period? Is it the weather? prices of petroleum getting to folks? Owing money to Ah Longs? Or just too much processed foods making our brains all wonky?

It can't be easy, what with the spinal column to cut through. So the basket case would be seriously hulking up on some adrenaline (except the premeditated case) or probably booze in the pub assault although the last thing I'm feeling when I'm pissed is all Superman like.

Looks like there'll be a lot more awake passengers on the express buses to Singapore from now. on...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dusk By Handphone

I was walking around Manchester around 8.30pm and it was still light out. Just took some pics with the little camera phone.

The picture above is the City Hall building in the evening. This shot does not do justice to this magnificient building. My fav classic building in Manchester. It's just imposing. I can only describe it as a 'powerful' building'.




The Urbis Exhibition building near Hard Rock Manchester. Space age cool.



The Manchester Eye.




8.30pm at Arndale Mall area.




OK not really a dusk shot. I took this the day earlier at about 8am. The weather was rubbish with overcast skies and light drizzle but I just wanted a shot of the Castlefield ruins. The Hilton building and the ruins of the Castlefield Roman fort's grainary in the foreground.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Little Tolerance Goes A Long Way

Finally! Equality for ALL sexes! Fair play to all and kudos for waking up to the reality of a situation.


A school in Thailand added an extra 'trans-gender' toilet when they found out that 10% of the boys felt uncomfortable using the little boys room. Thus the creation of the Little 'Happy' Room where the future trannies would be able to relieve themselves in peace and comfort.


Go HERE. for more