31 January 2006

I experienced orgasm ...

Once all those were over ... relief ...

The open house is no more.

Notes to self:

  • Do not ever invite guests to arrive early. What happen if they do just that?
  • Do not ever tell the caterer to arrive on time. What happen if they don't arrive on time?
  • Don't let dad organize open house again ever. (Coz he tells guests to come early, but the caterer to take his time)
  • If angpow given exceeds RM5, attempt to answer questions about marital status with witty response, or simply dodge by turning the conversation to the incredibly delicious chicken curry.
  • If angpow given is less than a paltry RM5, pretend to be rushing over to help mum deliver the new kittens. How would they know we don't have pets?
  • Next time, don't need to draw nice maps on VISIO and email/fax/post to guests. Not like they know how to use them. Just direct them to a petrol station along a major highway. I'll pick them up. Even if that petrol station is in Perlis or Johor.
  • Patience ... you can't choose your relatives.
  • Patience ... you have a choice of who you consider as friends
  • Don't let dad be in charge of buying ice. Global warming is now delayed thanks to the amount of ice unleashed today. And I heard someone might sue because their darling son chewed on frozen Coke(tm).
  • Had so much fun I'll do it again next year !!!
  • If you, dear reader, have no relations with me, will swear not to question my marital status, you're invited !!

30 January 2006

Work and Chinese New Year ...

do not mix ... please tell my boss that !! And please tell my customers that too.

I missed some quality time with my Astro channels because I was catching up with my online courses, which for some archaic reasons, I had to complete by today in order for my to qualify for a training in Singapore. It better be a good training ! If I don't come back from the training with newfound skills that (1) makes customer suddenly love us and (2) makes my boss suddenly love me and (3) makes my family think I'm not just treating the house as a place to sleep in, I don't see the point of attending that training.

If I ever think I should be happy working on regional wide briefs, please let this day remind me I should be careful what I ask for, and that happiness is fleeting, and relative ... a project is going into production in Tokyo today, of all days, so instead of spending 8 hours of my CNY glued to my sofa, eyes on Astro, I spent 8 hours of my CNY glued to my work desk at home, eyes on my emails and cellphone. *Sheesh*

Today, I managed to dodge the million dollar questions, thanks to my "work committment". It's acceptable to hole yourself up in your room, only pop out to make the obligatory CNY greeting, then take your angpow and then hole up in the room again when you use work as an excuse. I love my family :) Some families have been known to drag members of a marriagable age for questioning in front of a family gathering ... worse, some actually try to match-make oso ...

Tomorrow will be not so good ... open house. And I no longer have any excuse to hole up in the room - online courses done, Tokyo is in good hands now. The list of relatives and interested parties (middle aged folks whose sole mission in life is to question youngsters why they are not married yet) who will attend tomorrow's open house is bulging .... arghhhhhhhhhhhhh ....

*Sigh* Happy Chinese New Year - someone pointed out to me I never officially wished you folks Happy CNY woh, maybe because I didn't do that, instant karma dictated that I had to work loh .. if that's true, I'm doing something about this now.


Top Ten Responses to “When Your Turn to Get Married?”

It's Chinese New Year time, which means a lot of makan, yamseng, yu-sang and relatives and friends visiting. Time for merry making, really.

Chinese people do greet people differently. Traditionally, the Chinese way of greeting is to ask "Have you taken your meal yet?" instead of "Howdy, mate" or "How are you?". This is because in the past, most Chinese folks live very difficult lifes where food is not a certainty. OK, point taken.

However, the one question that is starting to piss me off real bad is "When are you getting married?". Yes, I'm eligible. Yes, I am good looking. Yes, I'm gainfully employed and have a nice, stable job. Yes, I am compatible with your daughter, but WTF does that have to do with you ... ? Nowadays I forgo the angpow income to avoid these questions, but while you can avoid all relatives sometimes, and avoid some relatives all the time, you can't avoid all relatives all the time. And the angpow income just cannot be ignored as well ...

Which is why I've compiled my own list of Top Ten Responses to "When Your Turn to Get Married?" ... for my own reference and use la ... and maybe for you too ;-)

I hope they will help some of you who face the same dillema ... and I hope to hear from you folks too what your responses might be.

  1. “Oh, as soon as I’m cured of all my STDs I’ll get in the market again.”
  2. “Your daughter and I are happily living together and we see no reason to get married anytime soon.”
  3. “Yeah, we want to get married too, but unfortunately, in Malaysia, same sex marriage is not legal leh, uncle. Cannot register.”
  4. “Once he returns from Thailand … he hor, he’s converting himself to a she. So sweet ...” *blinks*
  5. “Once your divorce is finalized, uncle. I can't tell you how happy I am you granted her a divorce ... thank you. I'll name our first son after you.” *shakes his hand vigorously*
  6. “When’s your turn ha?” (For best effect, use during a funeral).
  7. "Can't chose which one of your four daughters I should marry la, all oso I like. How?"
  8. “I need to end the messy affair I'm having with your wife first. Can you do me a favor and start treating her nicely, so I can end it with her without feeling so much guilt?”
  9. “You mean your daughter haven’t told you she’s pregnant with our child yet?”
  10. “We wanted to, but your daughter said you say kenot woh ... must wait first ... until she finish college first ... ”
:P ... I hope you don't have to use any of these bombs, but they come in handy, don't they?

Of course, you should excersize discretion when using these la, don't just simply pick any and use. Some have better effect when picked and used at the right moment ...

28 January 2006

Woo hoo !!! I'm Blogs Malaysia certified !!!

Wah lau ... recognition at last ... *tsk* *tsk* ... I noticed lately a teeny weeny surge in traffic from Blogs Malaysia via my Sitemeter (I don't have any traffic, remember?), so I decided to snoop and see what's up, since I haven't been pinging there lately (simply forgot).

Turns out that my blog on Chinese New Year Open House do's and don'ts have been picked up ... like ages ago, without me realising it.

Thank you, Thank you. I'd like to thank my parents, for their unconditional support, I'd like to thank my English teacher at school, Mrs. Gurusamy ... *perasan* ...

Just a word though, ... I think Blogs Malaysia ought to have a system whereby they notify the blogger mah ... leave a comment, flame the bugger, do something la .... so he doesn't get selected and dunno about it.

But still, I do not bite the hand that feeds me ... thanks to Eyeris for submitting my entry, thanks to the folks in Blogs Malaysia who approved it. View the Blogs Malaysia entry here.

A big angpow to all of you. Of course, I'm simply pledging the angpow first. Wait until I get married first la before you get the real deal.

My Chinese New Year memories

Chinese New Year ... the time when spring returns, when warmth takes over the bitter cold of winter ... when families flock together again after a year apart, when acquantances are renewed and friendships reaffirmed.

My Chinese New Years are normally spent with family, and I normally appreciate the refuge and solace a long holiday affords me.

Here's a quick flashback at the Chinese New Years, then and now ...

My first memories of CNY center around the really fun and adventurous journey home from our Puchong home to my dad's hometown in Malim Nawar, Perak. Malim Nawar is just south of Ipoh, if you take the KTM train from KL, it is the last stop before Ipoh.

For as long as I can remember, I've always had first dibs on the passenger seat on my car's old Datsun 120Y, where I get to play 'co-pilot' on the way back to my grandparent's place. Dad always asked me for directions, although he knew perfectly how to get home. And I'd always be looking out for signboards, and tell him how far we are from grandma's. (My grandpa died when I was very young, so I had very few memories of him). In those days, signboards are few and far in between, so I'd be looking out for marker stones. They are really rare nowadays.

In those days, you really travel the tough way. There was no North South Highway, so you took single lane roads almost all the way from KL to Ipoh. Overtaking was hard, and difficult, but bless those lorry drivers who gave us signals when the road ahead was clear for overtaking.

We'd always leave in the wee hours of CNY eve, and reach grandma's place just around lunch time, sometimes later, depending on traffic. Once there, we would meet up with the rest of the clan (we're not very close - there's some history in that ...) and have the reunion dinner. Then, we'd leave for home the same night.

In the past, we'd always have a ceremony welcoming the God of Prosperity home at the stroke of midnight on CNY, followed by the compulsory firecrackers. And I'd get a HUUUUUUGE angpow. God bless my parents for that :)

We'd do that year after year, until grandma passed away some years back. Since then, CNY has been at home mostly.

One time, we actually visited my other grandma (maternal grandma) at Kluang, Johor. And since we were all the way in Johor already, we took the short hop over to Singapore. That remains the only holiday overseas where the whole family was present. My parents have a thing against all of us flying together. I can't remember the ocassion, but it was probably to coincide with my grandma's 60th birthday, methinks.

We stayed at an aunt's place, went to the requisite Singapore attractions, Sentosa, Haw Par village, Mt Faber, Orchard Road, Chinatown and East Coast Park. It was still one of the more memorable Chinese New Year.

Last year, I took my mum for her first ever aeroplane experience ... we went to Bangkok for a holiday. I was working in Bangkok, she had never taken any holidays, always trying to save money for us, so I told her how much I was earning (for the first time EVAR), her eyeballs fell out, and she came with me to Bangkok.

I hope I showed her a good time. Short of a foot massage, she tried everything there was to try ... and saw everything there was to see. Her stamina surprised me - she actually had more legs in her than a certain Fern Taylor (you hear me, Fern ?). We did the touristy circuit - Grand Palace (Wat Phra Keow), Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), Wat Po (Reclining Buddha), Royal Barges museum visit, shopping at Chatuchak, visiting the shopping districts near Siam Square and MBK.

This year, aiya, I'm expecting pandemonium ... hell should be breaking loose ... I'm having an open house ... *sheesh* ... let's hope insurance will cover the damages ... *praying* ...

What's your favourite CNY memories ?

26 January 2006

Gong Xi Fa Sau ...

37.1 in the morning ... later became 37.3 ... now 37.2 ...

Got a fever today ... and a tummy purging itself like mad ... thus GONG XI FA SAU lor ...

So, no blogs today ...

Spring is back !!!

The water lilies at home springs to life ...

Just wishing everyone GONG XI FA CAI. Ang Pows are most welcome. Questions about my marital status / low-paying job / non-existant life / new car should be directed to my secretary.

The KLCC Chinese New Year house is a throwback to the New Village days ..

Drive carefully, don't drink and drive and eat sensibly too. And those invited, see you on the 3rd day !!

Why you so like that ?

I'm a little emo today ... so this is a rant ...

How are you, buddy? Why you so like that?

I don't owe you a living. I don't want to owe you anything. I don't want you to feel like you owe me anything either.

I don't have a problem with you. I don't want to have a problem with you. I don't want you to have a problem with me.

I'm not always right. I don't think you're always right too. I don't want you to act like you're always right.

Grow up, buddy. Be mature. Stare at your demons. Confront them. Admit them. Destroy them.

Listen up, buddy. Be open. Listen to them. Think about their words. Accept and Embrace them.

Open up, buddy. Be man. Accept your faults. Every man has theirs. Yet they thrive. And you don't.

Clean up, buddy. Be strong. Admit your past. Clean up your present. Enjoy your future. Think Ahead.

Is it right when only you think it is and all around you, people say it isn't?

Is it hope when only you feel it and all around you, people give up on you?

Is it true when only you think it is and all around you, people say it's not?

Save that little bit of dignity you have been afforded. Please.

Why you so like that ?

25 January 2006

Dummies Guide to Malaysian Driving

Malaysia is well known around the world for a number of things. Petronas Twin Towers, the food, the islands on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the Malaysian driver, the verdant, lush forests in Taman Ne…. Hold it right there. Malaysian driver?

Yes, the Malaysian driver is right up there as one of the most famous Malaysian icons. While we’re no where close to those in India in terms of blatant ignorance of traffic laws, and we’re not merely as aggressive as the cab drivers in New York, we’re pretty much up there.

Now, tis’ the season of mass vehicular migration in Malaysia. This twice annual migration, which coincides with the Hari Raya and Chinese New Year, is a time frought with peril and danger. If not that silly driver who keeps driving at 30 km/h on a highway, it’s Mat Polis Trafik with his speed gun. It’s just dangerous, which is why you should be aware of the rules of survival on the Malaysian Road:

The Big Car has Right of Way

On Malaysian roads, right of way is really determined by size. At the bottom of the food chain are the motorbikes, followed by carts cars such as Kancil, then the Satria, and you work your way up to pick up trucks. But carts cars are mere mortals on the road. Drive an express bus or a shipping container lorry. Now you rule to road.

Going uphill? Top speed only 40 km/h? Some more spewing black toxic fumes? Fear not, you can still overtake with confidence on a two lane highway. If cars get stuck behind you, tough luck. If they really don’t like you, they are welcome to try and nudge your rear end. I’m sure common sense big car will prevail.

Speed Limit is a Suggestion

To the average Malaysians, the speed limit on the road merely serves as a suggestion. It’s like the pictures you see on the Maggi Mee packaging. Read the fine line and you’ll see a disclaimer that goes: *Serving Suggestion. With their super duper zoom vision that can pick up things others don’t, they can see the fine line appearing on the speed limit signboards. Yes, that’s right, folks, there’s a little disclaimer that says: *Speed Suggestion Only.

That’s why so many of us actually never follow the speed limit. To some, it’s actually the minimum speed to drive.

Next time you’re on the road, slow down every time you drive past a speed limit sign. You might just read it. Not kidding - really can see one.

Malaysians are excellent multitaskers

While our productivity isn’t exactly a hallmark of Malaysians, we are not slouches either, you know. That Malaysians are excellent multitaskers is none more evident when you look into the typical Malaysian driver.

Driving while discussing the latest big issue on sms chat, telling your dahling you will be late, checking the 4D results slip you just bought at the last traffic light and finding that &^(% 20 sen coin you dropped under your seat WHILE driving is the minimum a qualified Malaysian driver can do. Some even find time to make up lost time with their girlfriend/boyfriend and update their blogs while driving.

With such advanced brain functions, it is a surprise to many why Malaysians don’t spend more of their time and life in their car. Probably coz most of them have cars that are falling apart.

Flyover/Bridges/Pedestrian Bridges means SLOW DOWN

It’s somewhat amazing the government spends so much money on Safe Driving campaigns, when the most effective speed limiting mechanism has been around for ages. It’s called a flyover/bridge/pedestrian bridge. My driving instructor told me, my dad told me, my best friends still tell me and my mum swears by it.

A flyover is actually a really big speed limit signboard. An effective one too. If you’re going 250 km/h on the NS highway, it’s actually perfectly legal. As long as you don’t see a flyover/bridge/pedestrian bridge, that is. Imagine the typical Malaysian driver:

The moment you can see one far, far way in the horizon, automatic reflexes will kick in. At this moment, the Malaysian driver will register danger. Sighting of flyover/bridge/pedestrian bridge now confirmed. Car speed: 225 km/h.

By now, you can make out the advertisements on the flyover/bridge/pedestrian bridge. Then the brain sends a signal to the driver’s leg. The leg immediately goes off the gas pedal. It takes just a split second, and before you know it, car speed: 180 km/h already.

The leg will then press the brake paddle. Car slows down. Car speed: 150 km/h.

You hit the magic speed: 105 km/h just before you get to the speed limit sign board flyover/bridge/pedestrian bridge.

If the Malaysian driver doesn’t see a policeman with a speed gun, he cusses the missed opportunity. Damn, could have been 200 metres further down the road you know. That roughly translates into 15 seconds earlier arrival.

If the Malaysian driver sees a policeman with a speed gun, he expresses relive and makes a silent promise to go to the nearly place of worship. And ask for 4D, since it’s a lucky day today.

One Man’s Accident is Another’s Opportunity

In Malaysia, the accident is a spectacle. Now, we feel for those caught in one, we feel for them when they wreck their car. That’s why there is a traffic jam in every known direction when an accident happens. Foreigners sometimes think that Malaysians are a nice lot, people who emphatize and are concerned for their fellow Malaysians. Yeah, right.

Actually, it’s all about cashing in on accidents. We don’t slow down to feel bad, to reflect on the accident or to even spare a single cycle of thought about the accident. Who are you kidding, man? It’s all about 4D … we just wanna see if the number plates are in any way visible to the naked eye. But no worry, since Malaysians have super duper zoom vision, they’ll see it, unless, of course, the number plate is broken.

What they fail to see is that if you can really strike it rich via 4D number obtained from an accident source, why all the tow truck operators are still, well, towing?

Now that you’ve read about the Malaysian drivers, take care, drive carefully on your way back to the kampung, and back. Make sure your car is in good condition, make sure you plan your journey, and don’t let your family and friends down la … get home in one piece.

And then come back to leave a comment once CNY is over. :)

24 January 2006

KL from Level 70, KLCC

Bloggers block today. Headache / w*rk combo is a sure bummer.

Here's a scene of KL from Level 70 in Petronas Tower 2 at night, what I see when I look out the window when stuck at night in the office.

Here's reason why I sometimes miss the office when I'm overseas. There's some more photos in the vault, but that's all for a rainy day. KL is a lovely city, really.

I wish I have a bit more time to see sunsets on a beach instead of being stuck in the office, but this ain't too bad a substitute, eh?

23 January 2006

Just who the heck are you, Moz?

Ever since I started blogging some time back, I realised reading my own blogs that I don't quite know who I am. Maybe its because I wear many hats, and learn to fit into different situation. Maybe it's because I am anyone to everyone. Maybe because I'm confused. Heck, I don't really know.

I can't tell you who I am because, like most people, I am biased towards, and in the same breath, against myself. I have traits I probably don't see and I probably deny certain bad habits attributed to me. You'll have to ask my family and friends just who the heck am I ...

But here's somethings you should know about me ... in an exclusive interview ...

Who are you?
I'm a Malaysian who's been travelling quite a bit the last 5 years of his life. I've been working now for nearly 8 years now. Oh, I'm 29, going on 30. And I'm dreading the big 3-0. I'm normal - I work during the day, refuse to sleep during the night. On weekends, I have nothing to do, on weekdays I fantasize about what I'd do during the weekends.

Why call yourself Moz? Why not give out your actual name?
If you're attentive, you'd probably find my real name somewhere. I previously blogged using my real name, but later, I felt it was probably not such a good idea because I'm actually working, and some of my blogs do touch on subjects that might be a little sensitive to my work. So I've stopped blogging on my first blog, and now I'm full time here.

Ok, so why the nickname Mozilla Monster?
In my previous job, my company was a Netscape implementor/reseller. I was implementing Netscape stuff all over the place. The Mozilla Monster was Netscape's mascot, thus my nick. I'm passionate about Netscape, and I still miss the ol' place - we were all a bunch of young, energetic people who worked off each other's energy and enthusiam. That's why most of my friends today are folks from the old place.

Ok. You sure you have a day job?
I have a house and a car to pay for. Google AdSense don't pay no bills, so yes, I do have a day job. And I intend to keep it. Maybe if I get an earth shattering offer from another company, I'll move. But yes, I'll still work.

Where did that 'what talk you?' come from?
Direct translation of "Lu cakap apa?" or "Kong Meh, lei?" - the Malay and Cantonese equivalent of "What are you saying?", I guess. It's a term some of my colleagues would identify with, since that's where I got it from, at work. People there always poke fun at me for my ang moh accent I can turn on whenever I speak with my counterparts from US. Whenever I speak in ang moh accent to them, they just use "What talk you?" to shut me up.

Surely you can't be just blogging in your free time, right?
Right. I eat, sleep and watch TV too. LOL. Actually, I play a bit of golf, and I also love to take photographs with my trusty Nikon Coolpix 8700. Every once in a while, when the bank account looks healthy and my manager thinks I'm too stressed out, I make the odd trips to destinations I dream off.

No kidding. Where do you go for your holidays?
Believe it or not, while I've been to every continent except Africa (and Antartica if you want to be anal about things like these), I've only had a single overseas trip for my holiday that wasn't an extension of my work assignments. That was Bali last year. I've been to places in Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, US of A, India, Philippines, Singapore, France and UK. All for work, except Bali. Sheesh.

Back home, I've visited every state except Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu. I know that's a bit embarassing, which is why I plan to rectify that very soon. I have 40+ days of leave to burn this year, thanks to some new draconian HR policy.

So I heard you spent a lot of time overseas.
Oh yeah. One year into my first job, I was sent to Taipei for almost a whole year. That's when I was caught in the Sept 21 1999 earthquake that devastated much of the country. In 2000, I joined my current company. They told me I am supposed to be looking after Malaysia. Guess what? I've been everywhere but home since. The last time I renewed my passport, the officer asked me in jest if I still want to keep my Malaysian citizenship.

That's sad.
Uh huh. I'd agree.

So, what's the last assignment?
Bangkok. Spent just about 13 months there, doing firstly out largest project ever in this region. Then I got a small project just before I came home. 13 months in Bangkok was a smash in terms of career development and also in terms of the personal fun I've had.

Personal fun? Bangkok? I'm joining the dots here, you know ..
If you're thinking what I'm thinking you're thinking, stop. As a golf fan, Bangkok is godsent. As a photography fan, Bangkok is full of subjects. The people are so nice and lovely, the food is amazing, there is an outstanding club scene, I have a 20 minute, jam free commute to work (via the Bangkok sky train). What's there not to like about Bangkok?

OK. I stand corrected. What about the other places, what's you favorite places?
I've always found something fascinating in even the most depressing places I've ended up in. The fact is that if the place is nice, I tell myself I'm a lucky bastard I'm able to see the sights, and to be thankful. If the place is downright depressing, I tell myself I'm a lucky bastard I'm not actually living there, and to be thankful.

See, it's actually all ok, if you put a positive spin on things.

Surely you must have favorites.
Ok, I absolutely loved Bangkok, the reasons I've stated earlier. I like Singapore because it's mega convenient, but it's a little drab and everyone looks like the other - there's little originality. I absolutely love France despite the people's ability to be so rude they put some Malaysians to shame. It's just a beautiful place. If I take a girl there for a holiday, I tell you, I'm getting serious with her.

Enough with the geography. What are your sources of entertainment?
Plenty. I like to read blogs, I absolutely love David Letterman, where my top ten draws from. I enjoy Whose Line Is It Anyway? And I'm into most sports show, like many full blooded Malaysian males.

What's your goals?
In the long term, I'd like to retire early, probably by 45. Then I can put time into things that I really care about.

In the short term, I'd like to stop procrastinating, and visit Tibet. And get more sleep.

Tibet? Hmm ... you mentioned you wanted to retire early to work on things that matter to you. Like what?
Environmental issues. I'm dead serious about the topic of conservation. Poverty eradication and equal education opportunity. The gap between rich and poor keeps increasing - it's going to take a lot of effort to bridge that. I know it sounds cheesy, you'll just have to take my word for it.

What are you like in real person? How would you describe yourself?
Personally, I think I'm a little shy. I have an air of confidence that sometimes rear its ugly head and make me arrogant, I can really intimidate in conversations, and I take a while to warm up to people. The last part's because I have been duped a bit too much in my younger days, so I treat people I just know as guilty until proven innocent, if you get what I mean. I think that' the traits of a person born in the year of the dragon, like me.

Are you straight? I mean as in straight vs gay.
I thought that's a no brainer. I love women. The problem is they don't find that attraction mutual. Maybe because I'm not very chatty before I really know someone. All my ex were first friends. I can't go into a disco, and pick up a girl. It's just not me, and really, even if it is, I look in the mirror every morning. I don't think I'll pull it off.

Name me 3 things you can't live without.
Oxygen, water and food ... ?

Besides that?
My iPod mini, my car and a very fat bank account. I don't have that very fat bank account part, but I'd really like to.

Seriously, nothing much. I'd lived my existance in places where very little is needed to keep me going. Just the thought that I can maybe see a sunset the next day has been known to keep me going.

Ok. What do you hate most?
Parents who go about shouting and scolding their children in the public. I always thought that's disrepectful at the children, and it's not good for their confidence too.

I dislike politics, but I can play that game when I get sucked into it. I'm working for an MNC, for heaven's sake.

Last thing I dislike are men who treat their woman badly. No kidding - I simply think that's wrong. And the other way too. I'm an equal opportunity fella.

Now, your favorite food.
Look at me and my big belly. I love to eat so many things, maybe I should just let you know what I don't eat. I don't take beef, I normally avoid lamb and I don't eat much fish. I absolutely love my oranges, my durian and raisins. I eat at least 2 oranges daily. While my appearance might suggest otherwise, I actually love veggies.

You drink? What's your favorite?
You should look at my private stash in my wardrobe ... actually, I've stopped drinking. One time in Bangkok, I was so stoned I threw up all the way home, so says my drink buddies. I honestly remember little, just the first throw up. I had a whole bottle of Glenfiddich to myself in 1.5 hours. After that, I just stopped. I still keep a whole lot of vodka in my wardrobe, but at the going rate, I'll need another 4-5 years to finish 'em all.

What about your favorite movies.
I don't watch many movies since I work long hours, and I haven't been up to date on the latest Hollywood shows, so my favorites are older movies. I absolutely loved Forest Gump. And on the Hong Kong side, I like Storm Riders. I don't care if you call me Ah Beng.

Your favorite songs?
I'm probably going to surprise many when I say all my favorite songs are in fact Chinese songs and 2 Thai songs. Most Jacky Cheung songs make it to my faborite list, and I love a few from Julian Cheung Chilam as well. Lately I have been getting into Jay Chou music too. From Thailand, Thongchai McIntyre's "My Love oh La Nor" and Seenahoy's "Aep Ngao" are my favorites. You'd probably find the Thai selections strange - I just love them, no reason why. For Western music, I'm really not into that thing, really.

And finally, what are your plans for the blog?
Nothing specific. Just keep blogging as long as it takes my mind away from work and gives me something to do in the spare times I do find. I hope to make some friends thru blogging and hear comments from readers. One day, I hope to wake up and see 1000 visitors in the same day ... then I can die happy - not. Just to keep blogging as long as I have something to write about.

I got tagged ... 5 weird habits

Run down and haggard from an entire weekend dipped, immersed and nearly drowning in w*rk, w*rk, w*rk and w*rk, I was pleasantly surprised to get a me-me from the contagious Pelf. It's interesting how a me-me can cheer up a dreary droid like me.

Yeah, w*rk is suddenly a four letter word that requires self-censorship. You'll understand when half the world is out for Chinese New Year shopping and you're stuck at home having conference calls telling your boss why his idea won't work and yours will, and a ton of documents to write because he realised you're right. Sometimes I should just keep my thoughts to myself.

Ok, less sleep is suddenly not such a bad idea, since I have something other than w*rk to do. :-)

I am supposed to list my 5 weird habits. I'm definately a creature of habits, but weird habits? .. Hmm.. that takes a bit of searching, since I've always considered myself exceedingly normal, as far as habits are concerned. Let's see ...

You asked for it :-

  • I absolutely must take at least 2 oranges a day - without fail since as long as I can remeber. But only when I'm home. My urge to have oranges mysteriously disappear when I'm away from home. I have a picture of me biting into an orange when 18 months old ... scary how many oranges I must have eaten.
  • I can't sleep without three things: my iPod mini, a blanket/comforter and a bolster/something to hang on to. It seems weird, but take any of these away and I'll actually be tossing about in bed all night long.
  • I fanatically support Liverpool FC, but I never watch their games live, because I somehow (stupidly) believe that my watching the game will make Liverpool lose. Now, it's not entirely without basis, since the last 3 times I watch their game, they lost :-(
  • If I have to w*rk through unnatural hours (much like this weekend), I must have raisins for snack. I picked this up from a vegetarian colleague, who considers raisin a part of his daily meal. Failure to find raisins will render me immobile and unable to proceed with my w*rk, so I usually stock up. Else, come what may, I'll be shopping for raisins. Yes, when the battery runs low, a sugar high is essential.
  • I talk to myself all the time. Sometimes I rehearse conversations I want to have at w*rk, sometimes I simply pretend I'm a radio DJ interviewing myself, sometimes I simply discuss with myself before I make decisions. Bottomline, I talk to myself a lot. Yes, I told myself I'm weird. And then I responded to myself that I'm not.

So, how weird am I really?

As for the tagging part, well, I'm kinda new to the blogosphere, and I don't have 5 other folks to tag, so I'd end it here instead. All the people I wanna tag, they've already done this me-me. Really.

Now that's my 5 weird habits. Now that I thought of it, I've got more, but your reading pleasure and experience really won't be enhanced by me revealing them ;-)

21 January 2006

The Templer Park Country Club Experience

My friends often mistake golf as a boring and siong dang (expensive) game. Well, if you watch golf, it deadly boring, I tell you that. If you play golf (as opposed to watching it), it's actually like chess played out on a 6km walk, which is kinda good IMHO (exercise body and mind). And it's not that expensive, considering all the work that goes into maintaining a golf course, and the fact that we really, only get to play maybe twice monthly ....

Here's one such golf trip ... hope you'll realise it's not too different, from say, a road trip to Kuala Selangor to photograph the monkeys or a road trip to Klang for your Bak Kut Teh ...

Sometime in mid-Dec 2005, me and DP took a day off from work, since we all had leave to clear, and we took the short roadtrip north to the industrial town of Rawang. The destination? Templer Park Country Club (TPCC) for a round of golf. Cool. Plus I get to eat my aunts wantan noodles (her shop in Rawang ma ...)

TPCC had been on our list of 'to-play' clubs for sometime now. DP's cousin-in-law (got such word one ah, cousin-in-law) is the Asst. GM at the course, and he'd been asking DP to turn up for a game there forever.

DP looking for his missing ball in a beach bunker fringing the lake that it sort of a center piece. There must be 4-5 holes that wrap around this lake.

I had just returned from Taipei, and wanted some warm weather; both of us didn't feel like teeing off in one of our normal courses, so ... TPCC was selected. We ruled out Staffield (actually, they ruled us out - no more flight time), and I didn't wanna play at Bukit Unggul (sian, always play there) ... and we both didn't want to face the cowgrass paradise at UPM (commando course, need to have strong arms and maybe a cangkul or two).

DP teeing up at a picturesque par 3 where the ball must carry the lake. As usual, my water phobia meant that this very playable shot resulted in 2 balls drowning ...

We always knew TPCC was one of the better maintained club in Malaysia, but we weren't ready for just how good is was ....

The clubhouse is nice and cosy - the locker room had a lot of Japanese influence (the club has Japanese owners) - there's a Japanese style public bath besides the standard shower stalls. And oh, cannot wear shoe in the locker room, which is a first.

The restaurant was simple and featured local Malay, Chinese and Japanese food - a fair selection for a golf course. Of course, the nearby Templer Perangsang is more known for its F&B, but this place holds its own.

Bukit Takun is a prominent feature of the course. The course plays right next to this limestone hill in the 2nd nine.

The course itself blows you away. The fairway are mostly generous in both length and width, with the 1st nine just a teeny bit longer than the 2nd nine. Every hole - let me repeat this - every hole actually has some form of hazard or bunkering right before the green. You either challenge the bunkers (or water) or lay up and hope your wedge shot goes close.

The course itself is largely flat, no major undulations. However, there are many man-made mounds thrown in to spice up the stray shots.

If you drive badly, watch out ! The rough, even just off the first cut, is punishing. You'd wanna forget a day like mine, when I consistently hit a slice off the tee. After a couple of shots, the caddie just told me to aim, like 15-30 yards to the left ... coz she knew the ball will fly off tangent.

And the scenery is to die for ... you always have something special to view. Bukit Takun - you know - that hill that is prominent on the way from Selayang to Rawang - is actually right beside the course. It's a beauty.

The caddie we had (it was compulsory ... normally, we don't play with caddies) was great to talk to - knowledgeable about the course, and was able to read the putts well. One thing here is that they give you one of those 4 seater buggy instead of the normal 2 seater buggy, so the whole flight can fit on a single buggy instead. Good for the business golfer, I guess.

The greens were in great condition, as were the fairway and the rest of the course.

Being an old course, there are plenty of mature trees - which is a unique experience - much like Clearwater and Royal Selangor. The bunkers are all strategically located ... I hit some darn good shots by my standard, but they were all swallowed by the bunkers. In the end, this course is all about risk-and-reward golf ... where fortune probably favors the brave.

The last hole ... which I guess is a signature hole is a classic risk-and-reward hole. Off the tee (we played the white tee) you either attempt a 200 yard carry over a lake, which leaves you with a shorter 2nd shot, or you can take it all the way down the right, taking water out of the equation, but with a longer second shot.

DP being the long hitter challenge the water, and just about made it. I didn't take any chances, not wanting to drown more balls, so I bailed right.

Since I took water out on my first shot, I had to cross it on my second - and there's another problem - a few Road hole type - deep and steep - bunkers jealously guard the approach to the green, so I either lay up, or got brave. I laid up, to around 50 yard, stuck a wedge to 10 feet, and stupid 3 putted. Double - and it could have been par.

DP ended up on the beach bunker just after the water, overcooked his approach and like me, ended up with a double bogey. Shit.

OK - my score that day was nothing to shout about. DP, as usual, beat the crap out of my living daylights. Thank God I just enjoy the game.

For a round of golf which included the green fees, our caddy, the buggy rental, 1 meal coupon per person .. it set us back around RM160 on our weekday game. That's a good deal, considering the course condition and the facilities.

After the round of golf, which was played in good weather (cloudy, but not windy), we sat down, had our lunch and the compulsory beer :) and then we smiled as the rain came. For some silly reason, when both me and DP plays, it never rains on us. The rain ALWAYS come immediately after we finish our game one. How?

We love this course because:
- nice environment, facility and caddy
- good weekday package
- amazing scenery - the whole course is centered around Bukit Takun and some amazingly clear lakes/ponds
- sparsely played - we were never really chased by anyone, nor did we tailgate anyone

We hate this course because:
- in Rawang - have to drive far far to get here
- haiyo, this place ah, a lot of bunker, I tell you. Bring a cangkul. Better still bring a tractor.
- and also a lot of water. Normally not in play, but just in case you hit the odd slice / hook, balls will drown.

Read the Wikipedia golf glossary here so that u don't get wu tiong tiong with the terms.

Top Ten Signs You Live Near a Dumpsite

Lately, the environment had been suffering ... illegal toxic dumps have been found, 'unfound' illegal dumps that are blatantly obvious all over (how many of us have NOT seen rubbish/waste/containers indiscriminately dumped at some roadside?), infringement into forest reserves, development proposals at beaches ... there seems to be no end to the damage mother nature has to put up.

Eventually, all that is left are those 'Maxis transmitter' trees, stretches of barren housing estates and only palm oil and rubber plantations. Heck, I won't be surprised if someday in the distant future, trees are only found in museums.

Hey, polluters, remember ... everything you eat, drink and wear comes from the good earth ...

Anyways, today, we are trying to see if you are actually leaving near an illegal toxic dumpsite. I mean, it might be what's causing you to turn green everytime you become angry lately ....

  • The mosquitos in your house have been fighting back lately by using pepper spray against you when you try to spray them with your Ridsect
  • You have developed the ability to pluck hairs from your body and turn them into an army of monkeys. ( Yeah, I know that could be Monkey King, but that's all just fiction ... )
  • The trucks that dump 'harmless construction material' are manned by people wearing Bio-Hazard suits carrying Hazmat kits.
  • Lately you have been able to recite the entire collection of Beatles songs' lyrics. Backwards some more. Funny thing is you don't even know English ...
  • For the last 2 years, your diet is comprised entirely of empty plastic bottles. Preferably, used Pepsi bottles.
  • Your life long dream of playing piano is now a reality, thanks to the 4 additional fingers you have grown overnight.
  • You've been wearing your underwear outside, and you can fly faster than a speeding bullet ... hey ... no, that's a sign you're Superman ...
  • Thanks to your newfound ability to inflate yourself after getting squashed, you have been hired to become the stunt double for Wile E Coyote of Road Runner fame.
  • Those contractors who have been dumping 'harmless construction wastes' nearby have all turned green and have tomatoes growing off their butts. (How I wish ...)
  • Those wings you've grown on your back is making it very difficult for you to sleep. And your new compound eyes make you dizzy.
Well, that was a light hearted look at a very, very, serious problem, really. We can all afford a little smile about this now, but I think we really outta think about this seriously. Find out more about the state of our environment and how you can be a part of the effort to make things better. Click here for Malaysian Nature Society. And here for WWF Malaysia.

It's never too late to start conserving ... wouldn't you want your world to be a better place for you and all your loved ones?

"The world we live in is one we borrow from our children. Return it to them as you had received it." - African saying

20 January 2006

Dragon in a Doggy Year

If in the past, All Roads Lead to Rome, and now, All Malaysian Roads Leads to Tolls ... the cyber roads often links to a single source ... after coming across blogs after blogs taking their CNY horoscope from Wingz, I've decided to be copy cat oso ...

Not being a very firm believer in horoscopes, I decided to check out my own 'destiny' this year. People I know all tell me I'm hopeless with the horoscope. And that's true, since I have no interest in them, and therefore don't follow them.

Born in: 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000

Personality :
Magical, shrewd, intuitive, artistic and very lucky. Alternately, can be stubborn, irritable and impulsive. Can also be rather worldly and hard to get close to. Full of vitality, self assured, bright and master of success. Somewhat proud and quick-tempered, the Dragon personality is always attractive.

The mighty and magnificent Dragon of mythical folklore never ceases to enchant or stir the imagination. The Dragon person is magnanimous and full of vitality and strength. To him life is a blaze of colors and he is constantly on the go. Egotistical, eccentric, dogmatic, whimsical or terribly demanding and unreasonable, he is still never without a band of admirers. Proud, aristocratic and very direct, the Dragon-born establishes his ideals early in life and demands the same high standards and perfection from others that he has for himself. [moz: Did I read this right? It's saying I'm a bitch ... right?]

The powerful Dragon is difficult to contest, at times even impossible. He tends to intimidate those who dare challenge him. An angry, spurned Dragon could be like the big bad wolf at your door. He'll huff and he'll puff until he blows your house down.

In spite of his volcano of emotions, the Dragon cannot be said to be sentimental, sensitive or very romantic. He takes love and adulation for granted: they are his just due. But while he maybe stubborn, irrational and overbearing when irked, the Dragon can forgive you the moment he gets over his outbursts. And since things are supposed to work both ways, he expects your forgiveness for his errors, too. [moz: This one is REALLY true !!]

The Dragon likes: Festivals, Control, Wealth, Comfort, Concerts, Antique and Decadence. [moz: how come I never had any of these luxuries one ... ? Decadence somemore ... ]

The Dragon dislikes: Boredom, Cold, Dullness, Hunger, Hypocrisy and Quietness. [moz: It's true I can't stand hunger, but I actually like it cold]

Your Luck In Year 2006

Overall Forecast
Dragon will be in conflict with Tai Sui in year 2006. The assembly of so many unfortunate stars will definitely bring low luck. The only thing you should do is to keep calm and be patient in your doings and wait for a breakthrough of the difficult situation. Beware of injury or traffic accident.

Financial problems may arise and you should save some money for rainy days. You will have to solve certain family disputes and treasure the conjugal relationship with your spouse. [moz: me still get angpow, me no conjugal relationship ...]

Health is quite moderate but may get worst in February, April and second half of the year when accident will easily happen. Do some exercise and control your diet. Take care of the aged members in the family.

Due to the low luck brought by the unfavourable stars, you will encounter obstructions to your career and work. Keep calm and patient in dealing with matters. Businessmen are advised to do things step by step and do not involve in illegal transaction for quick money. [moz: this means I have to stop peddling pirated DVDs or what ... ?]

Young Dragons are not encourage to start a relationship in early age. Married couples should show concern to their family members. Be careful of ex-martial affair which will ruin the family. The singles should handle emotional problems with care.

You will have steady income but be careful in handling your finance in order not to be in debt. Do not attempt any investment in September. [moz: Steady income ... it's really the nice way to tell you you're not getting any increment, right ? Right ?]


If I believe in what I just read, I'm in for a down-and-out year, and I should just be patient.

The good thing though is that I've never developed a believe in superstition ... I merely consider these to be generic readings that might not apply to me. And that's true ... how can you cast a net over 6+ billion people and categorise then into 12 different types? I've always believed that I make my own destiny through my own actions ... so I've always looked at things from a more positive perspective and I'll cross bridges as they come.

A friend pointed out to me that while none of the predictions might come true, knowing in advance what may be could be useful, if nothing, just in prepping oneself for the eventuality ...

Let me say this, all of the prepping oneself up prescribed involves being positive, staying patient in that moment, to use what's between your ears rather than going emo, to cherish a loved one, to be careful when investing, to eat sensibly, etc. etc. ... really common living sense ...

Goodness, if you go out and live positive, stay cool, know and love your friends and family, not be greedy and look after your own health, gosh, every year, month, week and day would be a good one, despite the occasional problems.

That was an interesting read, I'll let the year unfold ahead of me - I love surprises anyways, and come what may, why should I not do my best each day, and let the trainwrecks and rosy days come - I'll take them as they are ...

19 January 2006

LRT is actually therapeutic

The City VTEC's down in the workshop, getting the windscreen replaced. It's developed a tiny crack at the bottom right corner, so I took it back to Honda, who decided that yes, it was something that I can claim under warranty. So, I put the car in the workshop for today (only pick up trow noon).

So, I got dad to send me to the Sri Petaling Putra LRT station, where I hopped onto the Putra for the first time.

Lemme say that it's therapeutic ... yes, it's rocky, yes, it's bumpy, and yes, it's very far from comfortable. So, how can be therapeutic one?, I hear you ask ... don't you just get train-sick?

Haiya .... when I don't have to be behind the wheel, when I get to sit on a corner seat, iPod mini with music in my hands and can just close my eyes ... it's like heaven ... really stress free. Now I know why some ppl get married ;P ... can share driving duty with wife ....

I actually had time to put some thoughts together, and I had the opportunity to also start thinking about some of the things that I want to do this week and the weekend too. I made a CNY shopping list in my mind, and I've also worked out the CNY open house guest list ... that's a lot of thinking I managed to put in.

I enjoy the train ride not so much because of the comfort, but more coz it's really freed up a little bit of my time. I might just want to do this more often ... but I already hear my City VTEC getting jealous, how?

Now, I just have to figure out how to get home tonight ... I'm thinking some cab driver is going to tiok me oredi.

Top Ten Signs Your Girlfriend Is About to Dump You

It's always hard to part with loved ones, especially if you've invested a lot of money, er, I mean, time into the relationship, such as the one with your beloved girlfriend. Or is she really your beloved ... ?

Guys in love are sometimes blind ... they walk on water, survive on a diet of mushy conversations, and mumble sweet nothings ... they are so blind they actually can't spot the tell tale signs that they're about to be booted out, that their best friend might soon be their left/right hand. Hell, some guys are perpetually blind.

It's a known fact that women actually pick up body language, subtle and obvious, much better than guys do, which really explains why some girls can tell right away if you think her butt is fat, if you are looking at that other girl fiddling with her laptop 2 desks behind her at Starbucks and when you were really out for a drink at TGIF watching EPL but told her you were at a friend's place giving moral support over his dead pet hamster ... but appreciates the fact that you lie anyways ... (or do they ?)

Guys? Not all that good at the body language department. I'll be the first to admit I'm one ... it's like don't you know when Yes is Yes and Yes is No? See? Can't tell the difference leh .... ha ... or when No is No but No is Yes ? Also cannot tell right? Which is why you've been taking her to the mamak stall on her birthdays when she told you you didn't need to do anything special .... or when you thought she was really happy to get a pet Colombian cockroach as an anniversary gift because she gave you a limp smile ... which is why you're about to get dumped ... and you still think you're a stud ...

In case you've been mistaking the oncoming train as the light at the end of the tunnel, I'm putting out the Top Ten Signs Your Girlfriend Is About to Dump You ...

  1. She starts to label everything in the apartment as either “Mine” or “Loser’s”
  2. Lately, she has been claiming to develop rashes if you hold her hands. Or kiss her. Or hug her. You get the point.
  3. She’s been looking up the “Chasity Belt” section of Victoria’s Secret catalog.
  4. Her new foreplay routine involves you getting tied to the bed while she sleeps thru the nite. On the floor. In the living hall.
  5. "For the love of heaven, will you please wear something that won't make you look like Hillary Clinton?"
  6. She tells you she still couldn’t see you this weekend because she’s still queuing up to get her free MyKad. And it’s the middle of January already!!
  7. Moved out of the room to sleep in the hall because she claims her lame Feng Shui master told her it’s her new “Prosperity Position”. And, oh, same lame Feng Shui master told her your "Prosperity Position" is at your old room at your mum's. (Hint, hint)
  8. She emptied her savings account to buy the entire series of "Chicken Soup for Those About To Be Single Again" ... just for read read only, she tells you ...
  9. Recently, her love letters always start with "Dear Useless Jerk, ... "
  10. "Yes, honey, your butt is fat ..."

Hope this will help guys who're hopelessly in love ... wake up !!! She's leaving ... and you're gonna be looking for me soon ... to have breakfast/lunch/dinner/movie/concert ... see the signs now, start buying her flowers and designer shoes that matches with her 49 handbags ... take her on a day trip to somewhere nice ... make her breakfast in bed ... give her an oil massage ... surprise her with a candlelight dinner ... do something, don't come to me !!! Arghhhh ... leave me alone !!

(Dedicated to you ... P-Man, don't let her walk out ... - seriously, she's the one, your Ms. Right ...)

17 January 2006

Leave me out of this ...

I got some unexpected hate comments on my blog, and I've traced it back to me leaving a comment on Kimberlycun's blog ...

Lemme say this, I'm not pro-anyone, or anti-anyone either. As a free person, I surf around and read blogs as I wish. I leave comments on blogs that I identify with, or when I want to express something. With one exception - I left a hate comment back at the hate commentators' crappy site - I've never left any hate comments.

I don't understand what my blog has to do with Kim's ... I'm not affliated, I don't even post her link, and I don't write pro-Kim articles too. So leave me alone ... let me write my blog ... if you don't like what I write, leave a comment about the contents. If you some issues with Kim, get help, talk to her, confront her, whatever, but leave me out of it. If you're beyond help, well ... you're probably beyond help anyways.

Get yourself a life before it's too late.

Don't tell me which website I can visit, and which I can't. I'm pretty capable of making those decisions on my own.

I really don't want to say more about this. I'm turning comments off for this article only, since this is all I have to say about this topic.

Error ... does this happen to you too ?

Lately, when I try to access my own site (yes, I'm vain ... I'm even Narcissist ... cannot meh?) ... I've been coming across this same error message once in a while. It's not often ... but it does happen.

Now, if it happens to me, it must be happening to you, right?

#$%@ ... don't have permission to access MY OWN BLOG !!! The cows must be jumping over the moon !!

Let me know by leaving comments here if this had happened to you before ... I'd like to know how often this is happening, and I'd like to solve the problem .. I'll write to blogger.com, then write a petition and send it to the US Congress, write to my MP, create an on-line campaign against website loading errors ... NOT !! Not, really, but I'd still like to know if this is happening.

Crap, I hope this is not a sign my life's falling apart .... frust, can't even see my own blog.

The remedy so far has been to reload (Ctrl + F5). Worked every time.


On another note, the City's windscreen had developed a tiny crack at the bottom right corner. I'm sending it back for replacement. It's not serious, but I'm not very pleased this is happening ...

If you see a City with a tiny hairline crack, please DO NOT throw stones at it. If the windscreen shatters, my heart too, will crack ...


Yes, I think my life is indeed, falling apart ... I need a shoulder/pillow/bolster to cry on ...

Top Ten Signs You're At A Bad Chinese New Year Open House

Chinese New Year time is a time for merry making, eating mandarin oranges, tossing yu sang and the time honored malaysian tradition of open houses.

Most of us must have been to at least 1 or 2 of those open houses where we're thinking ... "What the hell am I doing here ?"

In case we have people who've been living in a well or under a coconut shell, here are the Top Ten Signs You've At a Bad Chinese New Year Open House ...

  1. They are out of Mandarin Oranges, so this year, they are serving coconuts hoarded for Thaipusam.
  2. They make you sign a form to waiver all responsibility and legal claims against the open house organiser before they let you in.
  3. Instead of tossing yu sang, the guests are busy tossing chairs and mahjong tiles at each other.
  4. There's Black Metal music in the background. And everyone's head banging.
  5. You need to show proof of Hepatitis A, B and C immunization at the entrance.
  6. First, they take a few drops of blood from you, then your hosts insists you drink some blood from the bowl that's being passed around, after you offer prayers to Kwan Kung.
  7. The hosts called you in advance to remind you to bring a photocopy of your IC and RM3 for insurance.
  8. Everyone wishes you Merry Christmas, then sits on your lap and whispers their Christmas wishes to you.
  9. The loser at Chor Tai Tee has to do nude squats.
  10. You're told to make a run for it if you see police coming.
You've been warned now ... hope you have an exit strategy in case you're in one of these. :-)

And there was more I had in the idea pool, but it's a Top Ten list, isn't it ?
  • They're lame dangdut music and the cheap disco ball gave it away.
  • It's hosted by moz monster.
  • They pass you the Dummies Guide to CNY Open House 1 week before you attend.
  • You're not allowed in because your Amway membership had expired.
  • Since they can't find any firecrackers, guests are asked if they have brought any hand grenades or dynamite sticks.
  • The sign outside that requests you to remove your shoes, socks and pants before entering.
I hope you don't run into one of these really bad open houses ... keep some angpow for me ...

Yu Sang = fish salad. Popular Chinese New Year dish in this part of the world
Kwan Kung = a Chinese God.

16 January 2006

Homemade bomb explodes in Penang killing one

Bollocks ... what's going on now ??

From The Star ...
Homemade bomb explodes in Penang killing one

I hope this isn't a terror attack, or not a spillover from the situation north of the border ...
this is a nail bomb, from what I gather, so hopefully, it's not a sign of things to come. Let's hope the security situation is not going to get worst ...

I'm hoping the cops will actually find the animals behind this el pronto ...

The Honda City VTEC Report Card

Jay Chou music, check. Initial D T-Shirt, check. 2 Fast 2 Furious soundtrack, check. It's time for the Honda City VTEC on the road test !!

Side profile gives the car a nice streamlined look. The flowerhorn look's obviously no more ...

I've taken delivery of the Honda City VTEC for just under a week; I resisted the temptation to write a review about the car earlier because it's so easy to just fall in love with a new car and gloss over everything else. But now that I've had it for just under a week, I thought it was time to stretch the car's legs a bit, take it for a spin with a friend who knows his cars and can tell nuts apart from bolts, and a hard suspension from a bumpy road.
I took Sean for a drive from Puchong - Damansara Perdana - Putrajaya and back home - the entire loop planned with all sorts of conditions and traffic in mind - a good blend of some congestion (near 1 Utama), some urban highway driving (along the LDP) and then some highway driving (to Putrajaya and back).

Result? Fabulous. If you time the Initial D soundtrack to start just as you are driving on the LDP, you'd find that you are really in the right mind for overtaking, and some piu yi (drifting) - not that I can do any drifting - but I felt like doing it anyways. Anyone can teach me how to drift ah? Looks so darn cool man ...

How this car looks
The car itself is gorgeous IMHO. While people do have some comments about the City's curves, sorry folks, as a driver, I spend all my time in the car, behind the wheels. Can't really be bothered how it looks (and it actually looks really good). And you call it aerodynamic anyways. The 2005 MMC (facelift) City, which I got, had a more tapered look up front, and
softer lines at the boot. I guess that's Honda on reaction on the feedback with regards to the look.

Don't you just find this sexy? Don't you just want to date the driver? (only straight females should apply .. watch for application form later .. ;-P)

To some, this is the ugliest view of the car. But would you just look at the muscular lines, and the chrome exhaust pipe ...

What the car has
2 Airbags, ABS, EBD, Electronic Power Steering, Leather Gear Knob, Parking Brake handle and Steering Wheel, CD Player (w/ MP3 and WMA support). It's got a 1.5 litre SOHC Honda VTEC L15 engine, producing 110 PS of horsepower with a maximum torque of 14.6 at 4,800 rpm (don't ask me to explain the last part ... impressive as it sounds, I think all it's really meant to mean is that it's got POW-AH). The VTEC has 15 inch alloy rims and a lower profile tyre.

What it feels like inside
Comfortable. If you have to choose between this car and the Vios for any drive longer than an hour, and you're of average height or taller, get this car. I'm not a tall guy, I'm around 1.7m. At my height, I can sit at the back seat with another 4-6 inches of clearance between me knees and the front seat. And there's so much headroom, I can seriously consider dating Marge Simpson again.

The noise, vibration and harshness ratings are good, and I agree with the raters. It's really quiet in the car, and only the noisiest lorries, mat motor and modified/beng-ified Mitshubitshi Evos break the silence.

The bumpy back suspension I reported earlier was nothing more than too much air pressure at the back tyres - once the right pressure was put in, the ride was smoother. Still, probably due to the height of the car, there's a bit more lateral roll than I'd like. I'll ask the Honda service guys to look into this when I send it for the 1000km servicing.

The 3 dial dashboard is compact, and informative. Takes a bit of getting used to the fact that its always lit up, unlike most cars.

What the driver feels
I feel like I own the road. Really - CVT technology means this thing don't have gears - thus you'll never feel the 'jerk' associated with some auto transmission cars. The steermatic thingy - where you can use buttons on the steering wheel to shift your gear, was a little hard to master, but once I got the hang on it, it took the driving experience up another notch. I'll drive up Genting using the steermatic instead of the normal D mode, since I have more control over the car using steermatic.

Acceleration is good, a little noisy when the RPM goes near the red zone, but I expect that anyways. Overtaking is now simple - you decide the car ahead is too slow, you make up your mind to overtake, step on the accelerator, and you've zoomed past the slow car. No more "What if I don't have the power .. ?"

Handling at corners is also good - I can hold the line even at speeds that would have flipped the old Wira. I won't do this often - it's a test after all, but it's good to know I can take corners at high speed.

And I often hit speeds of 160 without inducing any noticable strain on the car - the engine hardly complained - as long as I accelerated smoothly. You tekan minyak like your dad owns Petronas then of course the noise will come la ... I don't normally do anything over 160, so I didn't find it necessary to push it any higher.

Sound System
You don't buy a car because of the sound system, really. But any self respectin' Ah Beng would at least need something respectable in the package. The car comes with Kenwood 1 din single disc CD Player, with MP3 and WMA support. Of course have FM/AM radio la. The VTEC has 2 front speakers located at the front door, and 2 rear speakers positioned just behind the rear headrest. It's decent.

Car theft is serious stuff in Malaysia. I've once lost a car before (and the thieves actually returned it too !!), so the fact that this car has Cobra alarms with Immobillizer gives me some peace of mind. The engine is immobilized 4 minutes after its turned off, and can only be restarted using the alarm key. There's another 20 different things I can do with it, but I'm still not done with the manual yet. It's obviously an improvement over my Proton. The Wira of old only really does 2 things - lock and unlock.

Cucuk rating
Haiyo ... ini kereta ah, cucuk orang boleh la ... orang cucuk ah, takda jadi punya. It might be me, but this car can magically remove slow cars from the fast lane. The old Wira would never have been able to do this. I actually managed to cucuk an Evo !!! Hehehehehe ... :-)

The only car that came close to cucuk-ing me was this BMW 5 series near Putrajaya. If I can beat a Beemer at high speed, straightline driving, I must be dreaming - of course, I gave way and let the Beemer thru.

Please give way when you see this view on your rear-view finder.

Fuel economy
Ha - this one I'm a little disappointed. At the end of the road test, I clocked nearly 400 kms on 33 litres of petrol, averaging just around 13 kms per litre of petrol. That's good by many people's standard, but I was expecting more of 15 kms per litre. Sean told me it might be because I had been driving around with wrong tyre pressure, and probably the stop-start driving lately due to the rainy season and the fact that I work in the KL. I've topped up the tank, and I'm going to see how it is again at the end of next week.

Boot Space
If you have a girlfriend/wife/mother/mother-in-law whose specialization is shopping, and you don't want to encourage them, please don't buy this car. If you are a pirated DVD peddler who always likes to carry full stock, then this is the car for you. The boot has SPACE. If this car was sold in the 30s, Al Capone would buy it coz the Honda sales guy would have pointed out the fact that you can keep 2 corpses in the trunk with space for the kerosene, a few magazines of bullets and also the stash of money from the other mobsters.

Well, I simply refuse to believe there are any cars that don't have any downsides. I mean, where got perfect one, right? Even your new found girlfriend would have traits you find objectionable, but put up with anyways.
Seriously, this car isn't meant for people who need loose change ... I don't find any convenient places for me to put my coins, so I gabra when I approach toll booths. You'll need to get yourself a Touch'n'Go card. I'm currently investigating if Honda (or it's subsidiaries or holding companies) have any stakes or links with Rangkaian Segar, the folks who sell Touch'n'Go. There must be some evil, top level conspiracy.

Black color car = strong arms muscle. I chose the black VTEC because it has that cool look about it. It screams 'sporty' and it's seriously menacing when going at 110 km/h down the NS highway at night. However, stupid people like me often forget that when you sayang your car, you do stupid things. Me? I keep trying to keep dust and dirt off the car. In vain la, of course - I've noticed muscle mass build-up along the major muscles involved in the car polishing and water wiping motions. Maybe it's not such a downside, after all ;-).

Feels a little 'float'-y. It's the lateral roll. On bumpier roads, such as every road in KL, most major highways in Malaysia and all roads which I think are flat, the ride is a wee bit bumpier than what I would like it to be. It's really not that noticable, but when you're driving around looking for faults, you'd notice little things.

Value for money: At 89K, many will find it expensive, but this car has features you'd probably find in cars 1 class above.

Kesimpulan (Conclusion)
Sayang .... **cuddles VTEC** .... for the 89K I've paid for it, I'll say I feel like I got my money's worth. I'm sure the higher end cars would bring handling and comfort up a couple of notches, but for this Proton-worn butt, this sure feels like ecstacy. Highly Recommended - probably the best car in this price and capacity range.

So, there it is, my own review on the car. Overall, I'm all for it - I'll say that if you want a sporty car with decent interior and comfort, this car has it all. If you don't need to cucuk just about every car on the road, the i-DSI version actually gives you more bang for the buck in terms of fuel economy. Plus, the i-DSI version has ULTRA seats - those seats that can be folded in, like, 829 ways (or something like that) so you have more space. I think you can now transport shitloads of IKEA furniture and save yourself the RM65 delivery charges with this car. 65 bucks of petrol on this car will buy you something like 460 kms of fuel in urban stop-and-go traffic. I call that a real savings.

On the VTEC version, you get glove compartments under the back seats too ... that makes 4 glove compartments in the car (2 in front), 2 under the back seats. Anyone with a glove fetish must seriously consider this as the ideal automobile of choice.

I'd like to hear from anyone who's also driving the City VTEC ... oso feel bumpy ah? Or anyone else, for that matter ..