30 September 2006

Buka Puasa Random Photos

A flurry of chores

This morning I woke up and immediately glued myself to my PC. Can't help it, really. After being without access to the Internet for 1 week, I was desparate to surf the net! Like Ws said; we are so dependant on technology and when it fails we become so miserable without it. Case in point!

With the new Linksys WiFi adaptor I purchased last weekend, I was enjoying faster download speed and I found myself browsing and viewing movie trailers. Some trailers that caught my eye are:

1. Children of Men
2. Babel
3. Curse of the Golden Flower
4. James Bond: Casino Royale
5. The Queen

Then I went about with my chores: changing the bedsheet, clearing up some clutter in my room, cleaned Bunny's home and finally settled down to my breakfast that consisted of a coconut bun, a cup of coffee and a banana. Flipped through the papers when I noticed a tick crawling out of Milo. They've got a serious case of tick infestation and my Mom applied an anti-tick solution she purchased from the vet on both Milo and Phoebe. It works I tell ya, the ticks were all crawling out of their skins. So there I was, combing Milo for ticks after my breakfast. I caught 13 from Milo and 1 from Phoebe.

I dropped the ticks into a small tub of water where they will drown helplessly and sink to their watery graves. I hate ticks!

Going to head out soon to KLCC with M to do a spot of shopping!

09 September 2006

I want a camera!

I am suddenly wanting to get a Nikon D50 for myself. The price is pretty affordable now and after familiarizing myself with probably 20% of the camera's features, I think it'll be a great idea and possibly time to own one of my own. I will be heading down to KL to check out the prices first and then sit and think if I really do want to own one.

M wants to upgrade to the D80 soon, I could buy her old D50 off her!

Decisions, decisions.
Decisions versus temptations!

08 September 2006

Dinner on Fridays can be very intimidating

Today is Friday.

There was a dinner for Sy's belated Birthday. This was proposed by Ws who missed it when he was still in Washington. I was lazy (YES READ: LAZY, Sy) and so took up Sy's offer to come pick me up from work before heading to Sticky Fingers along Jalan Mesui in KL. Good thing Ek was in the car already, so there wasn't any delay in timing.

The roads were unbelieably packed. I rained in the evening (why does it always rain in the evenings?) and this made traffic even worse. I am so glad that Ek drove and I did not drive to Sticky's myself. I would have lost my left leg to cramps from operating the clutch of my car. Thanks guys! We were boxed in by cars, buses, vans, motorcycles - anything with wheels and moved. So much so, it got a little claustrophobic!

We arrived in the restaurant first, Ws and M arrived shortly after. The restaurant was thankfully quiet today. However, the standard of the food today didn't seem to be on par with what I experienced with Sy and M a month or so ago. We ordered starters: mushrooms in chilli and salt, mushrooms in garlic aioli and potato wedges. For mains? Pork ribs all round, please! M had the aglio oglio. They ran out of mangoes (I suspect) and the waiter came back to me and apologized that the Tango Smoothie I ordered was unavailable. I sulked and ordered a Gym something instead (strawberry+banana - why must they name it with such weird names?).

The food came in trickles. The ribs arrived soon and I ate like there was no tomorrow. Sorry, I was hungry. It happens. Unfortunately, my portion of the pork ribs were a little lacking in the BBQ sauce. Thankfully the meat was still tender and juicy and this really allowed me to finish my meal in contented silence. When I was done, Ek was still struggling with his. I offered to take some of his ribs and he plopped half on my plate. I polished it off anyway. Ugh, no more meat for the next 24 hours, please!

Sy was presented with her presents: 1 from yours truly, M and Ws and one more from Ws himself. I won't say what they are here, in case she hasn't opened them yet as not to spoil her surprise. She was happy to receive them. :)

We chatted for awhile but this didn't last long as everyone was tired. We all came straight from work, braved the jam and had dinner! What did you expect? We were as fresh as a wedge of lime? I think not!

Ek and Sy dropped us back at my office where I got my car and drove home. It has been such a long day!

Of work

Hmm. Recently work has been rather quiet. With no new instructions from management, I find myself generating work for myself. It's the only way I can keep my sanity in check. Of course, it's also the only way I can keep myself from falling asleep (where a loud thud could possibly be heard as my head hits the keyboard and I wake up moments later with imprints from the keyboard on my forehead). You must be crazy if you can clock into work and be content not doing anything.

It's been challenging being trusted with pieces of work already when I still know so little of the bank's operations. Most importantly to me, I still do not know entirely how they access data from the sea of data stored in what they call data warehouses. There's a learning process allright, and it's a steep one at that. However, having said that, I think I've done pretty well in the first 3 months. I've not screwed up big time yet, my bosses are happy (so I think!) with my work and I am getting along well with my new colleagues.

Yesterday was interesting as I got a business call from South Korea. The caller could possibly be my distant cousin as he shares the same surname as I. As I already know, the team in South Korea are going to implement the module I manage and called to ask for some guidance on what needs to be done during their implementation phase. Wow, suddenly I feel so important! :D

Today work picked up again. Which is good! I welcome it with open arms!

06 September 2006

A photo blog of Saturday morning baking apple pie

Nice Granny Smith apples!

Peel the apples.

Slice them up.

All of them!

Cook them for a bit.

A spockle of flour.

Get them hands dirty (I washed my hands).

Voila! Pastry dough!

Pop it in the oven.


What happened over the weekend? Part 2

[SATURDAY, 1 September 2006]

Today, as anticipated, my entire morning was allocated to baking an apple pie for Sy and Ek's pot luck. It was tiring, but fun at the same time because it has been a very long time since I've baked or cooked anything in the kitchen. In fact, I still owe M her Pina Colada muffins which I promised I'd bake for her, oh, about 1 year ago :D

Once the apple pie was done. I took a short rest before heading to M's place to bring her over to my place. I had a quick lunch and took a short nap.

After my nap, I went on to prepare the second dish which is a nice salad with grapfruit pulp. I picked coral lettuce leaves and another lettuce leave (I forgot the name!) and paired it with rocket (or arigula) which gives off such a nice solid nutty flavour. The tart grapefruit should balance the taste of the nutty salad. For the dressing, I whisked some extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, grapefruit juice and salt/pepper to taste. I made the mistake of using extra virgin olive oil because I found that the flavour from the oil was too overpowering, clouding the rest of the ingredients I added. This resulted in a very faint taste of lemon.

With the salad out of the way. I made jelly shots! Rum jelly shots to be precise. Just get a packet of jelly (I chose lime because rum goes well with lime - like a daiquiri!), prepare it according to the instructions printed on the little carton and add rum to your heart's desire! Chuck it into the fridge for at least 2 hours for the jelly to set.

Ok with my share of food that could probably feed 4 people, we headed off to Sy's place only to find out that we were the latest! Doh! There was plenty of food! Fried rice, portabello mushrooms, curry chicken (which everyone avoided, hee hee), fried tofu, cheese & ham rolls, buffalo wings, chicken breast and eggrolls from Chilli's, tong suey, my apple pie and salad and semi fredo for dessert. Packets of fruit juices and green tea to drink. I'm very sure I missed a food item or two.

With dinner stored in my stomach, we proceeded to play a game with the jelly shot I made. Each one gets a card and puts it face open on his forehead. The idea is to push the timer up starting from a base of 5 seconds in increments of 1 seconds by whoever is playing. The person with the lowest card value will be penalized by doing the jelly shot for the duration of the timer set! Jf and I did not even touch a drop. B, Kl and Ek did all the slurping. Alchoholics! I didn't even had any and I so wanted to lose badly :p

Next on the agenda was watching SATC with M and the girls while the guys played mahjong. Surprisingly, I quite enjoyed watching the episodes especially when it was accompanied by "Aww"s, "Umm"s and "I want a boy friend like that (coming from married people, yeah?)".

Time went by pretty quick and before you know it, it was already 1am. Time to go home!

The night was a blast, wished it would last; but there are not enough hours to keep and I need my sleep!

05 September 2006

What happened over the weekend?

Here's what happened over the weekend!

[FRIDAY, 31st August 2006]

I took the Friday off so I had a super long weekend. 4 days! So on Friday M went to the nearby hospital to undergo a health checkup. You know, those normal packaged health plans. Registration was easy. But the first thing the nurse said was, "Do you have an appointment? Now very long. You need to wait." My reaction was "Oh boy...".

Surprisingly, 3/4 of the medical tests on the list were done pretty quickly. Like x-ray scan, blood sample extraction, etc. The longest wait was the remainder of the tests as it was lunch time then and it was a Friday (long lunches!). We had our lunch there in this little corner where they served pies and chicken chop and other food. It was so-so only. We walked about to while the time away and eventually decided to sit. So there I was there reading my book and M dozed off while waiting for the doctor to return from her lunch.

By the time all the tests were done, it was close to 3pm! By now I was already officially 62% in grumpy mode already. 5 hours spent in the hospital!

With whatever energy I had left. I dragged myself to Ikano to pick up groceries for Saturday's pot luck get together at Sy and Ek's. I wanted to watch Tiger Dragon Gate and was wondering if they still screened it today. So I dragged myself and M to Cineleisure (which is so crappy I don't know why I went there - they have such limited movies!) and the movie isn't being screened anymore. Sulking a little, I went to Cold Storage for shopping.

Struggled with the shopping trolley at first and then I started to cruise the grocery aisles. Finally went to the check-out to pay and AGAIN I break my budget for grocery. Why do I always do that?

With groceries in hand, I loaded them into my car and began to head for home. M said she wanted to go to the optician to check her eyesight. Sigh. This day never ends! It was close to 5pm already. Got to the optician and just sat there staring at the myriad of pharmacutical goods stocked in the shop (the optician plies her trade in a pharmacy).

Ooh! After all that. We were finally home! Hit the bed and I dozed off immediately. The balance of today can wait. Dinner included.

03 September 2006

Not gone yet!

I'm not dead yet! Just not in the mood to put anything yet.

I will put in a fat post soon!

I'm toying about the idea of getting my own hosted website for this blog. Stay tuned!

31 August 2006

With half of Merdeka day gone...

Here's a little post on what we did this Merdeka morning.

I went to M's place after refueling my car (RM52.XX, GASP!) and we headed for the National Monument. It was 8:00am then. I was already busy snapping photos of the surroundings. Sy and Ek arrived soon after and we met at the site of the monument itself. It was still early and the air was still cooling and crisp. In short: pleasant!

There's a commemorative obelix (sorry, I don't know what it is called) before the National Monument that commemorates the brave souls that have fallen during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. I gladly snapped up some photos of this obelix.

The National Monument is huge! It's the first time I've seen it up close (I normally see them in pictures and on the TV screen) and it has a nice little pond in front of it that shoots out jets of water at timed intervals. The monument was erected to commemorate the fall of Communism in Malaya. Good thing is, the monument isn't crowded with people. Then again, I think to myself, "Does it even get crowded at all?". The photos I took of the monument were'nt that impressive after all as there was not enough sunlight cast on the monument itself. In front of the wide open podium of the monument, you can actually see Le Meridien and KL Hilton in the skyline. If you maintain this orientation and look to the right, you can see the Millenium Tower in Bukit Damansara.

Exhausting all possible photo opportunities at the National Monument. We made our way to the Lake Gardens. The skies were overcast. The air temperature was getting a little warmer as the hour went by. Already the gardens were packed with picnic-goers and families too. We parked our cars and made our way to the central area of the gardens were the main body of the lake was. I've recently been to Lake Gardens about 1 year ago with M and visiting it again this round, I realised that there were many new features built! The path we trodded on for example, was just a beaten tarmac path then. The dinosaur park (er, yeah, it's there, go see for yourself if you don't believe me. A little sad looking, though.) has a huge playground area in the middle of it! There are more tables and more benches and weird little patches of land made into little sub-gardens. Along the way, we were taking photos. It's just too bad that the sun refuses to wake up this morning. All the photos will have a tint of gloominess to it. To counter this I adjusted the camera's white balance setting to "Cloudy", just to inject some colour into the photos.

The main of point of coming to Lake Gardens was to create Mentos Fountains. What's a Mentos fountain? Well it is simply:

Diet/Light Coke + Mentos = Mentos Fountain.

The chemical reaction between the candy and the drink releases alot of gas (I'm suspecting CO2, but let's not go there) thus creating a "fountain" of Coke! Sy spent last night threading the candies (or ammo, heh heh) together. Thanks!

We were hungry and decided on a free table to setup our gear and finally eat! I had my V-Soy (the best!) and I bought 4 packets of nasi lemak from the petrol station earlier. Sy was nice to make us salami buns and ham sandwiches. They were nice! I had an extra helping of nasi lemak to remedy my hunger.

With breakfast out of the way, it was time for our experiment! We made three attempts. Sy was the sacrificial, er I mean, OFFICIAL Mentos releaser for the first and last attempt. M was tagged for the second. We had official photographers for the experiment too. Ek and me! (By the way, I took a shot where Sy was running for her life as the Coke bottle erupted with Coke! RM2.00 gets you one ;) )Here's a listing on the outcome of each attempt:

Attempt 1: A narrow nozzle was fashioned out of the bottle cap. This yielded pretty ok results.
Attempt 2: No cap this time. The fountain was kinda sad.
Attempt 3: The big Kahuna! Full load of Mentos and nozzle in place. Nice!

Sadly each attempt lasts for only 5 seconds. When we were screaming in glee (I wasn't, I was maintaining my professional composure), other park goers nearby were watching us. Whether they were amused or thinking we were mad, I don't know. ;)

After the fountains, we packed up and headed to the playground and ate ice-cream. My lychee popsicle sucks. Blegh! Here, I was forced (forced! Not ever coerced!) into posing for humiliating photos as Sy and M snapped away. Sniffles...I will not go into details.

Finally at about 11:00am. We went back to our cars, said our good-byes and drove home. Man, was I tired! It was fun though! :) Not bad, I took about 100 photos!


Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile


Dear blog,

I didn't really sleep well this morning. I remember having a strange dream. Then I woke up. It was probably 4:00am. I could hear my brother coming back. Then I think I went back to sleep. I woke up again automatically. It could be 5:00am or 6:00am.

I don't feel rested at all.

I'm up now and soon I'll going to the National Monument soon for photo taking.

I have to keep reminding myself to have a online photo gallery to put in my favourite photos I took.

Suddenly I want to go back to sleep.