Monday, February 26, 2007

Outdoor Photography

Was over at Yen's house in Bahau over the weekend. These photos were taken in the morning when I was experimenting with the different light sources for my K800i. To be honest, there's so much features for the Cybershot that I don't even use all of them. But after trying out the few different functions, it does take very beautiful pictures. Take the example of the bug that I took on a leaf, the focus on this thing is really remarkable. For a camera phone, it does put a lot of other digital cameras to shame with the quality of the photos that this phone can produce.

There was a pot of yellow hibiscus that was planted by Yen's mum. It looks rather fascinating and I thought I'd take a picture of it. Upon closer inspection, there was a small spider on it and I managed to get a close up of the little critter before he went into hiding.

We went back to Bahau on Saturday morning. It was a slow and easy drive, not much traffic. I guess most of the people are either back in KL or have decided to come home only on Sunday night. We arrived slightly after noon. First thing we did was have lunch. After that I was a little tired from the drive and decided on an afternoon nap. Woke up a few hours later and we had tea, Banoffee pie from Ms. Read. Since there was no Ms. Read in Bahau, thought it'll make a good gift for her parents. Plus, they come in these nicely packed boxes. I made sure I picked them up on Friday evening after work. I went straight to Ms. Read and took 4 pieces. They had 5 left and while the waiter was packing the Pies, he dropped one flat onto the table. He cringed and I thought, "Please, don't drop either of the last 4". Eventually he managed to be more careful with the remaining pies. His co-workers laughed at him, either he is going to have his pay deducted or someone in the kitchen will have a whole lot of patch job to do. I hope it was the first rather than the latter.

Basically, it was a short trip as I needed to rush home this morning to attend the BMW Instructor's Academy interview. It was pretty tough, a lot of Q&A that I had to explain on some technical terms and how I rated myself as a driver. I took 8 and YS Khong, yes the rally legend said why I thought I was that good. He was quite insistent on why I said I was better compared to the other drivers in Malaysia, of course I'd say courtesy. What else? Duh! Like Rudy put in one of his blogs, there was this car that cut into his lane like a cicak. I don't doubt that there are good drivers in Malaysia, just that there aren't many of them.

So I've been out the whole day. Yen's been there to support me and waited for me to finish with the interview. After that we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to Merv's for a small CNY session. Yes, profits were good. Thanks Mr. Lee Wan Yee for your contributions. Well at least most of it came from Uncle Lim, so it's all good.

Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

BMW Training Instructor

Managed to get my hands on the application for the trainer in BMW's Driver Academy. Basically it's an 11 day intensive training course on how to train a driver for the academy. There's a minimal requirement, just 5 yrs driving experience and have a clean record. Since tehre's not much commitment, thought I'd just email them my application.

Called them up yesterday and they informed me that it is not a full time position, it's something that I can do over the weekend. Basically there are two types of qualifications, one is the attendee and the other is a certified instructor. Of course being a certified instructor you'll paid to conduct training sessions over the weekends in Sepang over the coming months. According to the ad, you'll be well compensated for your time.

The only catch is that once you have passed the interview, you'll need to commit 11 days to atttend the training camp, which will be held in both Cyberjaya and Sepang. I would dread the classroom lectures, but gimme the practicals anyday. Saw some pics and it featured a skidpan with slalom course, which means sideways action. It's been a long time since I've gotten behind a rear-wheel drive car and this would seem like a good time to get re-acquainted. To think that you'll be able to do it with a BMW, it gives me more motivation to take the course.

The downside however is that I'll need to be taking a 6 days leave. Which is kinda a waste of my leave, but come to think of it... if I make the instructor's qualification, then I'm gonna get paid for this. What more can you ask for? Who's gonna give you a few hundred thousand Ringgit car for you to trash around the track?

Pictures taken from James Deakin's website:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Here are two pics that I managed to take after the reunion dinner. We headed for my aunt's house in Menglembu. When we arrived my cousin was busy lighting up crackers, literally!

They were in a shape of a small ball. One larger and the other smaller, and of course the bigger one was one hell of a popper. It's basically enclosed in a small plastic shell, probably packed with so much gun powder, if you held it your hands would probably be spattered all over the floor. When it explodes, the plastic shell shatters and is sent all over the place. If it hits your leg, it kinda stings. I had hearing problems after a while.

After a while, my cousin took out this huge rocket that looked like a match stick. Yes, that's exactly what it looks like. The shape of a match stick, that was large enough for a BFG (Big F-ing Giant)! I took a snape shot of the rocket and had a close up to one of my niece's tricycle for you to picture the size of the damn thing. Well, my cousin took out a metal pole, stuck it to the ground and shoved the rocket into the pole. He lit it up and I was half worried that the pole would fall off balance from the soft sand that he shoved it into. What's the worst? The damned thing could have headed in our direction, won't be a pretty sight if it shot at the direction that I was standing at.

In the end, the rocket made it up there and lit the sky beatifully. I was too slow in getting the picture. Damned auto focus.

Then it suddenly hit me, were the cops going to lay low during this festive period? They seemed to be on a rampage lately catching that bunch of hooligans riding on motorcycles a.k.a. Mat Rempits. According to my cousin, he said if the cops came, deny everything. "Of course you'd be busted, what did ya think?" Kinda relaxing when my aunts were playing mahjong. The thought of being hauled into the station and being shaved balled wasn't exactly inviting. So instead, I just sat back, watched the fireworks and mahjong. Gambling on first day, ZERO!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Reunion Dinner

This year, the traffic jam on the North-South Expressway was exceptionally bad. We made our journey to Ipoh at 1230hrs, and just moments entering the Duta toll, traffic was already at a standstill. The thought of crawling through the long queues was dreadful and the stupid message from the Transport minister Chan Kong Choy did not help much either. It kept looping between a few messages telling us to be patient on the roads and to keep tempers at bay.

As we crawled through the heavy rain, I suddenly remembered some stuff for my mum and grandma that I have left at home. Dammit, I had to make my way to the left lane to turn off to head towards Damansara. The jam was caused by idiots squeezing in from the left lane to make it through to head towards the right interchange to head up north. Stupid drivers, where the hell are your patience?!

So I managed to squeeze through to the emergency lane and made my way to head towards the Damansara interchange. At this point, there was no use in trying to rush for time. Thankfully we left around noon, so even if it took 6 hours, we'll still make if for the reunion dinner. So I sped all the way back home, collected the goods and rushed off again. This time, I took the Guthrie corridor, don't mind paying the extra RM 4.20 in toll, as long as I do not need to go through that crawl in Rawang.

Once we cleared to Rawang, another surprised met us head on. Yes, the crawl was just as bad passed Rawang. Traffic was backed up all from Tanjung Malim. It turns out that heavy rain plus reunion dinner rush... was a combination for disaster. You see, the root cause of the jam on the Expressway was not because of idiot drivers. It was sure not the rain, well... partly to blame. The main cause of the whole bottle neck was that each rest area was so overflowed with people and cars and buses that people were parking all the way out to the emergency lanes heading into the rest area. It was that bad!

Message to PLUS, please build more toilets along the route, I'm sure you'll solve the bottle neck that you faced this year and every other festive season. Heck, hire portable loos for that fact, just plunk them into the grass beside the expressway and I'm sure people would rather hold their pee rather than go into these "death traps". Yes, take a pee, if you dare! With all the idiotic drivers around, people would probably die in the loos being rammed by a driver who's fallen asleep behind the wheel.

Then, the blame as we know it would be pushed to the police to solve why their Ops Sikap figures are going higher. Yes, a brilliant thumbs up for the police force or that person behind the desk who came up with the idea of lowering the speed limit on the trunk roads. Who's got proof that speed kills? It's negligence! Do some homework before you burden drivers out there.

It took me a damned 5 and a half bloody hours to get to the Simpang Pulai exit. Normally I'd have done it in an hour and a 45 minutes. With a 1.8 turbo on that thing that Proton calls their Wira shell, I'd done it in an hour fifteen. Looks like it's going to get worst every year, so why are we still continuing to pay for toll?

P/S: Pic taken from

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Le Meridien

Here's a panaromic view of the lobby of Le Meridien. It's a lot more quiet as compared to the busy Hilton, KL next door.

Whisper In Your Ears...

This picture was taken by Wan Yee. It reminds me of one of those Little Devil/Angel moments. It kinda looked like Andrew was appearing as Azuan's conscious and telling him what to do. Azuan's in deep thought...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Baskin's "What's your Flava?"

Here's a picture that Yen took while we were enjoying the ice-cream at Baskin Robbins. There was a promotion in the Sun newspaper that had a coupon entitling you to one free scoop of the flavor of the day ice-cream. So, all in all I think I went to Baskin 6 or 7 times in January alone. Yumz!


Yesterday was my first encounter with the Wii. Andrew's Wii to be precise. I've read a lot of reviews and have seen a lot of promos on X-play and various Tech Channels and I must say this is one hell of a machine that Nintendo has come up with.

These are a few of the pictures that I've taken when we were at Andrew's place putting the little machine through it's paces. It's remarkable, I would not disagree with every review that I've read. To play it hands-on, it's one heck of a party piece. Best played with a big screen as demonstrated here.

I had a little problem with the bowling as when your Wii remote misses the ray's sensors, it will tilt the ball a bit. Yes, Merv made a comment that it's the same way I bowl in real life. The curve ball tactic. Most of the time it turns too early and ends up in the gutter.

Then there was tennis, and this is one fun game. Where else can you enjoy a good game of tennis, in an air-conditioned environment and still move your body, whilst getting a good workout?

Yes, the Wii is indeed a wonderful machine, it has real time news channels, shopping channels and of course the weather channel. I mean, I'm still a Sony die-hard fan, but a Wii is a must have for those days that when you just feel like letting your hair down and play a game that does not require much thinking. Just follow the hand actions and you'll be going, "Wiiiiiiiiiii" as well.