The Rammifications of Thought

So what's on your mind?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sony Album T

The day after the BERSIH rally was held, I was up early to catch the launching of the new Sony Album T digital camera (also known as the DSC T2). Earlier on I was already informed that there would be an early bird promotion for buyers.

I had hoped to get a bargain but nearly lost the intention when I saw the length of the queue, despite reaching at 9am. Some came as early as 5am, and I heard the first person in line (who got the camera for RM11.11 by the way) had camped since the afternoon before! Really nobody can beat Malaysians when there's a good deal up for grabs.

So after standing in queue for more than 4 hours (and without a toilet break), I finally got my hands on the shining new camera at a price of RM888.80. Heck it wasn't as cheap as I expected but it's a good number no? Still it was a good deal as the retail price would be RM1399.

Blue is my new favourite colour

At this price, you get a 8.1 megapixel CCD along with the standard 3x optical zoom for a compact in this price range. It was also nice to have a 2.7 inch touch screen and Sony's Super Steadyshot thrown in. With the intuitive touch screen interface, using the camera was a breeze. No more buttons to confuse you.

The feature that sets it apart however must be the built in memory - a total of 4GB of space on board! With that amount of memory, a memory stick would be needless as more than 1200 photos at full resolution could be stored internally.

One of the features I found nifty was the 'smile shutter' mode. When the camera is set to this mode, the lens will automatically detect when a face is present and the shutter is depressed automatically when a smile is detected.

It was really quite fun trying out this feature for the first time, though I doubt I would use it often. After all, what's taking a photo without the classic "1, 2, 3, smiiiiiiiile" tagline? It would be useful however if your subject wasn't paying attention, hence saving the work of repeating the whole process.

Apart from that, you can also edit and add drawings to photos stored in the camera using the stylus. Another nice feature although I'd still use Photoshop for editing.

Sample photos that were taken turned out good when viewed from a PC monitor. The anti-shake function was superb too, maybe even better than my old Panasonic.

I thought Sony could have improved on Playback and Scrapbook buttons though. These two buttons are only one of the few that you can find on the back, and yet I did not feel comfortable at all using them. The buttons were tiny and too deep in so people with large fingers might find it hard to press down.

Overall, the Sony DSC T2 is a very classy, elegant camera and it comes with all the features that one would expect from a compact camera, even with some extra nice touches thrown in. At the price I got it, I would definitely say it's a good buy.

Technorati tags: , , ,


Monday, November 12, 2007

Independant journalism

After reading (or rather, not reading) what was published in the Star yesterday and today, I decided to subscribe to Malaysiakini.

Even though I was not able to attend the BERSIH rally, I'd say some good came out of it.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Comeback rant

I know I haven't posted in a while, and I didn't intend to actually. I just couldn't resist venting out my frustration and anger over all the stupid tactics the government used to prevent people from turning out for the BERSIH rally.

If you have no idea what the rally is about or have't even heard of it, I strongly suggest you throw away your usual reads (ie mainstream papers/news) and start to get educated on INDEPENDANT news.

As it turned out, I left home after lunch today to head back to KL, one and a half hours before the march to Istana Negara was supposed to start. I left a whole 1.5 hours earlier as I thought it would be just nice for me to reach the KJ station and hop on a train to the centre of action.

But no, as if the rain was not causing enough trouble (there was a pretty serious accident involving some vehicles on the Karak Highway), those dumbskulls who call themselves the poh-lis decided to crash in on the already-bad congestion just before the Gombak toll.

Vehicles were caught in a near standstill, about 10km from the toll booth. I was inching along, cursing under my breath that this could not be a worse day for me. After nearly an hour stuck in the jam, I finally saw ahead of me a police block set up to check each and every vehicle that went through the highway.

The traffic congestion was inevitable, since those morons had closed off two lanes and creating a bottleneck in the traffic flow. And the strange thing was, I did not notice them flagging people down for speeding (I would've known as I was going 110 on an earlier stretch), nor were they checking for road tax.

After reading some articles about road blocks being set up in various parts of KL, particularly the main entry points in the city, I came to conclude that the men in uniform were actually keeping an eye out for people who were attending the rally. I could not confirm this though as I was not wearing a yellow t-shirt when I was driving (I'm pretty sure they would have asked me to pull over and interrogate me if I was).

So to poh-lis at the Gombak toll booth, I salute you! I salute you for creating the worse jam I have ever experienced while driving on the Karak Highway. I salute you for coming up with ingenious ways of putting traffic to a standstill. I salute you for causing a delay to my scheduled trip to Dataran Merdeka. I salute you for driving me mad enough to post this rant on my blog which I thought I would never update.

Replace the words 'I salute' in the paragraph above with the word fuck. Now that makes perfect sense, eh?

Anway I heard the rally went well. As George Lucas would put it, the Empire strikes back.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's alive!

Yes this will be a short one, just so you know I'm still alive. It's so brief, I'm going to put it in point form.

  • I went through a 3 day detox programme. 76 hours without any solid food at all, just so I could experience the famine so widespread in Africa. Kidding! It was for my own personal health reasons.
  • I watched the latest Harry Potter movie. Kinda sucked like the book. I read the 7th book too. downloaded for free off the greatest resource known as the WWW. Hermione and Ginny didn't die yay!
  • A large piece of one of my premolars got chipped off while I was enjoying some Ipoh heow-piah. The cost - 3 visits to the dentist, a crown and RM880 out of my wallet! Damn those biscuit makers.
  • I got caught up in the heath craze. Went out bought a pair of dumbells, some nutrition supplements and a copy of Men's Health. I'm feeling as motivated as ever to get that ever-eluding six pack!
  • I have officially dropped off the Malaysiablog rankings, which mean I must be somewhere beyond 300. The price of not blogging too consistently.

There you go. Elaborations upon request only. Yeah, I'm not dead :D


Friday, July 27, 2007

Memories in Cambodia (Angkor Wat) - Part 5

On the third day, we were glad to visit somewhere other than temples, so that we didn't catch the dreaded NABTS (Not Another Bloody Temple Syndrome). So we set out to the floating village of Chong Khneas.

It was quite a distance from Siem Reap town and we were lucky we went in a car. This was because the road conditions there were simply disastrous. For most of the second part of the journey, we were travelling through muddy terrain. According to our guide, the roads would get flooded once the rainy season came.

After the bumpy ride, we reached the river bank and got on our own private boat.

Not far from the jetty we saw numerous buildings, built floating on the river surface. It looked like a real town, complete with residential huts, sundry shops, schools, a basketball court (!) and so on.

One of the few schools in the floating village.

A floating Catholic church - fancy praying on water?

Believe it or not, there was also a pig sty built on water. Cambodians really can't go without pork.

All the buildings here are easily relocatable, depending on the water levels. We saw a family 'moving house', being tugged by a small motor boat.

Check out the picture below. Anything strange about it?

Yup, the loos are open air. Boat people can see you peeing, how about that!

The entire tour took about one and a half hours and we were back in town after that.

After some lunch, we headed on to the silk farm operated by Artisans d'Angkor. There we were given a tour of the silk production line, free of charge. They also had a shop selling goods made of silk. The silk here is purportedly one of the best in the world.

On the way back from the silk farm, we stopped by one of the rural schools run by the government. There were only 2 classrooms, with students from both classes taught by one teacher. The education sector must be seriously understaffed.

We went in to say hello to the teacher and students. Since she didn't speak english, our driver acted as a translator. Apparently, english is only taught in certain schools in the suburbs or town area, while rural schools mainly use the Cambodian language as a medium.

The conditions there were frankly quite miserable, but I guess there are schools like these back in our own country too. The students were shy when we tried to take some pictures with them. Things changed though as my friend started a math pop quiz and gave out candy to students who managed to answer the questions correctly.

We also gave out some pencils which we purchased in town earlier. Many of these children are too poor to even afford proper stationery.

This practically rounded up our Siem Reap and Angkor. There were other mini excursions as well that I have not blogged about, but I'm feeling this has kind of been dragging on. So this concludes my post on the great journey to the land of the Khmers.

PS: Did you read about the landing gear scare which happened to an Air Asia aircraft when it was trying to land in Siem Reap? Think twice before flying Air Asia!

Technorati tags: cambodia, , , ,


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Walk on air - Air Max 180

If you're a long time reader of this blog, you probably know I'm a Nike fan when it comes to shoes.

After one a half years using the Air Max Candela, I decided it was time to get myself a new pair of trainers. This time, it was the Air Max 180 TR.

The Air Max 180 is sort of like the little brother to the full-fledged Air Max 360. As the name would suggest, the difference is in the length of the air-sole unit which is only covers half the shoe. Why didn't I go for the 360?

a) It's damn expensive, 600 bucks per pair ok (but this doesn't mean the 180 is half the price of that)
b) This pair was on sale :)

The shoes are quite a comfortable wear, despite the air-sole units not being as soft as I'd expected. I'm just hoping the air units won't deflate like my old pair - there's always the risk on Nike shoes.

Ah I love my Nikes.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Memories in Cambodia (Angkor Wat) - Part 4

After exploring the Bayon, we went on with our tour of Angkor Thom, this time to the temple of Baphuon. Since restoration works were going on within, we didn't really get a chance to go in.

There was this long, elevated walkway right in front of the main entrance. My guess is it served as a walkway for the king when entering the premises.

'No admittance except on business'. I wonder what is considered as business here. Selling coconuts?

Best drink around Angkor Wat. Nothing like a cool coconut after a hot day's walk.

Gurl with my trusty Jansport backpack. I bought it with the purpose of travelling here, but it has served me well on other trips too. At this point where the picture was taken, we were standing on top of a high, flat wall. Interestingly, it is named Terrace of the Elephants.

I had to stop and plaster up my foot due to friction with my sandals. Walking around Angkor Wat is nothing like a stroll in the shopping mall.

We then headed back to Angkor Wat for a second visit, this time to go further into the building and explore it's many galleries. There are four sides to the building, each lined with intricate carving depicting scenes mostly from the Ramayana epic.

Many carvings were of women-like figures in various poses. These are apsaras, supposedly heavenly nypmhs who dance in the palaces of gods. Notice certain parts of their bodies shining like marble, caused by constant touching. Yes we humans are very curious indeed.

After a while it started to rain. We were trapped inside the temple complex while waiting for the torrents to stop. This dashed our hopes of viewing the sunrise, but nonetheless we were given a taste of Cambodian rain.

So ended our one day tour of Angkor Wat. It was a great experience and some of the views were just breathtaking. Pity it didn't get into the final 'New 7 Wonders', I guess Cambodians are too poor to vote for their national pride.

Next up, our tour of the floating village and other places in Siem Reap.

Technorati tags: , ,


© The Rammifications of Thought 2006 - 2007. Template by Caz.