The Rammifications of Thought

So what's on your mind?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hoegaarden Grand Cru

If you're a reader of Fireangel and Suanie's blogs, you're bound likely to come across some references to alcohol as a weekly supplement. And who doesn't know Fireangel's favourite brand of beer after that famous (F-word loaded) videocast she made.

So I decided to try out the much-touted, highly-recommended Hoegaarden beer after finding it on sale at Prangin Mall's Giant. Thus, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...

Hoegaarden Grand Cru

It was the only Hoegaarden on sale so I had no choice but to sample this one first. Only later in KL did I find the original white beer, also at Giant's.

So let's see, from the label itself I noticed a few recognizable words...namely "Brussels", "beer" and so on. Heck most of it must be written in Belgian or some other language so that was beyond me. Conclusion: this is a beer from Belgium.

"...naturally cloudy appearance....contains yeast sediment." Didn't sound too good based on the description on the label.

I found the taste to be a bit different from other beers (I'm a noob at alcohol so don't ask me further). It sort of tasted like there was a bit XO mixed into the beer, and it left a funny aftertaste too, instead of the usual bitterness you get from commercial beer. Maybe because the alcohol content is 8.5%.

Anyway, I guess it's not my type of beer. And it cost me RM9.99 too. Next time hope to try out the other variety...maybe in a pub?

I'm starting to feel like an alcoholic already.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Countdown of sorts

For the world and everyone else...

For me...

I will officially start work in the city next Monday!


Monday, May 29, 2006

Pearl of The Orient

I was here last weekend.

Me and my family went up north to visit mom's hometown, Penang. It's been ages since I've been there, and even longer still together with the family considering my last two visits were with friends.

When I was a kid, I used to go there during the year-end holidays. Those days we'd drive our old Proton Saga and brave the 400 or so kilometres to enter the Pearl of the Orient via the majestic Penang bridge, and sometimes by ferry. I always enjoyed the view from the bridge, even more during the days when there were less cars.

Someone decided to play bumper car in the middle of the bridge, resulting in this.

Before the rents skyrocketed some time back, my grandma stayed at this ancient shophouse at the corner of Penang and Burma Road. We'd put up at her place everytime we visited. It was a noisy place where cars would pass by even in the middle of the night but I loved the sounds of the city. The floors were wooden, and I miss the creaking sound the boards made when we stepped on them. The house was filled with antiquities, not real ones but actually goods that were stocked there (my grandpa owns a souvenir shop). We used to play hide and seek, hiding behind the boxes trying to elude the seeker. The toilet and bathroom were downstairs and I'd try not to be frightened while bathing since it was almost pitch dark down there.

Since grandma shifted years ago to live with my uncle, we stayed at the Crown Jewel Hotel at Tanjung Bungah. It's located just near the beach so we spent some time at the seaside. The seawater was nothing to shout about (it's the Straits of Malacca ok) but walking in the sand was fun nonetheless.

Had my name crafted into the sand. Beats a sandcastle anytime.

Attempting to do a Smashpop jump but ended up looking weird.

Ah the lovely beaches of Penang.

I was glad to see my maternal grandparents again. I just love my grandma, although I only speak a smattering of Teochew. Somehow the dialect puzzles me, unlike Hokkien which I'm more used to listening (and that's very seldom too). That's why most of our communication requires mom as a translator. It's good to see them healthy and doing well.

Since Penang is known as a haven for foodlovers, we didn't miss the chance to sample the gastronomic treats there. Besides filling ourselves up with delicious 'chang' made by my aunt, we tried the food at some of the more popular hawker centers.

Hawker stalls along Newlane.

By 'hawker center', I mean that the stalls and tables can be anywhere. Inside shops, along the five-foot-walk, and even by the roadside, sometimes on BOTH sides of the road. The waiters, scurrying here and there, must have an amazing memory to be able to recognize the faces of customers.

Since we didn't know which stall produced the best dishes, we simply ordered. The food turned out to be nice overall. Mom said never to bring children for meals at these places; according to her, they were unhygienic and unhealthy.

Food...glorious food.

We also paid a visit to Komtar. Most people might know it as the former tallest building in Malaysia. To me though it was a lot more. I used to roam the 'alleys' inside the shopping center when there was nothing to do at grandma's home. It was like a huge labyrinth of passageways and trying to find your way through wasn't easy. There were a variety of shops too, enough to keep you busy for a full day browsing through the various items on sale.

Komtar used to be the premier shopping complex in Penang, but ever since malls like Gurney Plaza and Prangin Mall popped up, it has never retained its former glory. The place now appears to be dodgy with homeless beggars roaming the area.

One of the 'alleys' inside Komtar. Notice the disabled man on the left? He's been there since years ago, selling prepaid phone cards.

Super Komtar supermarket, near empty and trying to clear its remaining stocks.

The latest addition to the landscape is a sculpture created by a famed Japanese sculptor not long ago.

Batu Ferringhi was on our list as well. It was already night time when we reached so we visited some of the stalls there. Foreign tourists nearly outnumbered the locals and it is THE place to be if you wanna hook up with a caucasian guy/gal.

I don't know if I'll ever regret giving up the chance to pursue a career in Penang. But now it's time for me to stop procrastinating and get a place to live, before I end up sleeping on the streets of PJ!

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The Da Vinci Code movie review

I'm doing this entirely for the sake of my sister. Only she knows why...

The Da Vinci Code revolves around Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks who goes on a quest for the famous Holy Grail, long thought to be a chalice. In this adventure-thriller, he is aided by agent Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) whose grandfather was allegedly the grandmaster of a secret society that protects the secret of the Grail.

In the movie, Neveu's grandfather is murdered by the albino, Silas (Paul Bettany), who is bent on recovering the Grail for a character called the "Teacher". Ian McKellen stars as historian Sir Leigh Teabing / the Teacher, who turns outs to have a lot more to do with the murder. As Langdon and Neveu race on to the uncover the puzzles and clues left by Neveu's late grandfather, a thrilling adventure unfolds with the albino right at their heels.

Tom Hanks is subdued as usual. He seems cool and calm while playing his role of Langdon. His portrayal of the academic leaves much to be desired though. At times, the scripting is rather shallow and does not enable Hanks to put on his best. However, it is not entirely his fault as character development in the movie is flawed as well. Tautou fits perfectly as the attractive and intelligent cryptographer Neveu. She exudes grace and beauty on screen, a commendable effort for her debut on a mainstream English movie. Ian McKellen is excellent as the eccentric Teabing, while Bettany puts up a good performance as the spooky albino.

The cinematography was well done. The breath taking shots of the historical buildings showed that the crew did put in effort to make it a blockbuster movie. The movie is not Ron Howard's best though, perhaps it being an adaptation of a popular book. We are led from one clue to the next without much time to take a breath and the journey is interspersed with characters sharing various points of religious history.

Overall, the film was well made with the usual atmospheric score by Hans Zimmer. Those who have read the novel might find it a tad boring since there is not much deviation from the original plot. For those who haven't, they will probably enjoy the thrilling sequences as well as the revealing of some interesting (and widely controversial) facts about the Christian religion.

There you have it. I tried to sound as professional as possible so don't go nagging on me later on. And by the way, most of it is original material, not some copy-paste review. As a personal note, I think the movie didn't live up to expectations. And Tom Hanks' hairdo was even spookier than Silas. You'd be better off just reading the book.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Beating the jam for X-Men

I spent nearly three freaking hours caught in the notorious KL jam today. What a taste of the life that's about to come. Three hours of my life...gone, just like that. Must've taken a very powerful witch doctor to concoct a jam of this proportion. Or some very dumb politicians.

Worse still, I was driving a car with manual gear shift. Now I'm desperately massaging my thighs and bum with hopes of them having some feeling again. I swear that my next car will be either be an automatic and I'll be chauffeur driven for the rest of my life.

The good that came out of today's tragic adventure was that I caught X-Men: The Last Stand at the cinemas today. There may be some spoilers ahead so skip the rest of this post if you've yet to watch it.

Triple X...I mean X-Men 3.

X-Men 3 was a quite a good movie, compared to the sinking Poseidon and the weird Tom Hanks hairdo in The Da Vinci Code. Nevermind that I had to endure the traffic, it was well worth the watch with some superb performances from the cast. Storm's got real battle-worthy (check out the lightning-from-fingers scenes) and Wolverine is forever cool, plus Jean Gray reappears with some serious rage issues. And I'm glad pretty-boy Cyclops got disintegrated early in the movie, never really liked him. Throw in some new characters with uber cool powers and you get a perfect mutant movie.

The one thing that really surprised me was that they killed off Professor X and 'cured' Magneto's powers. I mean, how could they? These two were probably THE most important characters in the movies, though I didn't take a liking to the kind professor during the first two installments. Ian McKellen though shines as always as the I-like-to-play-with-cars-Magneto. The show-down between Ice Man and Pyro, and between Storm and Callisto are also to watch out for.

As the movie ends it seems like peace has been restored between mutants and humans, and everyone lives happily ever after. There's a little surprise though right at the end, where Erik (the now human Magneto) shows that he still has some of his powers left. And we're left to wonder if the professor will ever return with a scene after the credits (yes, don't miss that like I did).

Highly recommended.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Friendster spam

I was checking my mail the other day after weeks of neglecting it. Being a Hotmail account, I expected it to be swamped with junk mail. The usual penis enlargement ads (what, no boobenlargement?), online gambling (I'd rather contribute to Genting, which incidentally pays its taxes to my hometown) and tons of other stuff with subject titles I never even bother to read.

Guess what, this time it wasn't the usual commercial junk. I think they'll have to create a new term/category for this - it's Friendster junk mail! Yup, I was being spammed by Friendster, or more accurately, a certain user of Friendster who happens to be on my friends list. Well let me first clarify that I don't really know this 'friend' of mine; it was she who added me first and since we were from the same hometown I thought what the heck, I'd add her. Just in case you think I'm this friend-flogging, blog-bashing asshole who can't take some light shit from friends.

If the picture is too small for you discern the contents, all the new mails scream "XXX has just updated her Friendster blog!!!"

I wouldn't mind if I received some reminders about updates to me friends' blogs. But when you get nearly 70 or so of these filling your mailbox to the brim, I bet you'd be as pissed as I was. And it was from the same person too. Either this girl must be a very prolific blogger-wannabe, or Friendster must have somehow gone nuts and accidentally spammed my mailbox. So out of curiosity, I gave this blog a visit just to see what was posted on it.

Well, nice layout and all but when I checked the posts, it surprised me to see what this friend of mine was writing. Ahem...let me translate some of the titles here. "Examining the 5 Lusts of Women", "The Secret of Foreplay - Letting Her Lean Back (or some shit like that)", "7 Sins You Don't Want to Commit in Bed" and so on.

An excerpt from one of the posts...

"When you've identified her secret garden, instead of stimulating her clitoris directly, why not use a finger or two to give her labia some special treatment. Slowly, patiently caress the two sides of the labia...inadvertly arousing your partner."

I know it's a crappy translation, but it makes me wanna hump a dog now.

Sigh, things people put on their blog nowadays.....


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Internet addiction

You know you're addicted to the Internet when:
  • You see anything resembling a computer and feel like you've just met the most beautiful woman in your life; you just wanna go up to her with hopes of turning her on and getting connected.
  • You constantly bug a friend (whose place you are staying at) to get you to see a friend of a friend, who's an aquaintance of his friend just so you can use his PC to get online; otherwise you'd label him a neanderthal and would never visit him again in your entire lifetime.
  • You hear voices in your head asking you to get a gun so you can rob a bank in order to get a broadband modem, not to mention to hold up some hostages at the nearest Telekom office, requesting that Streamyx is installed or else everyone dies; exorcism won't work and you know it's something more powerful than the devil himself.
  • You come up with all sorts of excuses to your girlfriend who's crashing at your place that you need some 'alone time'; usually happens late into the night when you're sneaking off to get your dose of Internet instead of performing your manly duty of tucking her into bed.
  • You experience withdrawal syndrome which usually presents itself in occurences of mutterings of the words 'net', 'blog', 'email' and 'msn', in no particular order; coupled with clicking and typing motions when the nearest mouse and keyboard are 20 miles away.
  • You actually start writing a diary cos you can't access your blog.

Thank God I DO NOT have all the symptoms above.

PS: Will be back to blogging soon.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Filler update

After four stops of non-stop eating at the food haven Ipoh, I have resigned myself to post an entry at this uber cool cyber cafe.

I have nothing to write actually, but I'm posting this just for the sake of not wasting the money that we're paying for the one hour rate.

Probably going on a hiatus for these few days. Going on a tour of Perak...yay!!!

Teaching - An Experience

Somebody once said to me that teachers are the engineers of our souls.

Three years back I took up a summer job as a temporary teacher in my alma mater. My responsiblities were supposed to be looking after the class with minimal teaching involved. But as some of the senior teachers there knew me, they asked me to teach a couple of science stream subjects as well. Being a first time teacher isn't easy. The day before I started my job, I kept thinking about my 'opening speech' to the class.

Would I be the 'nice-and-warm' teacher? "Hello everyone, I'm replacing Pn. XXX as your Physics teacher starting from today. So I hope everyone will enjoy the class and do call me out for 'yum cha' sessions if there are any. Oh, and all of you look so smart today. I like your hair...ooh and your dress, was it custom made?" Not too suitable I'd say, I would be dead by mid day.

Or the 'super-fierce-discipline-crazed' teacher? "Attention everyone! I'm your new Physics teacher. And whether you like it or not you WILL stay in this class and you WILL pay attention to me. Those who flaunt these rules will be sent to the gallows! Make no mistake, I will FAIL you for any fault you make. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR??" Hmm...would probably cause a rebellion, and that wouldn't be good for the school or for myself.

Or maybe the 'I-don't-give-a-damn-if-you-listened-or-not' type of teacher? "Class, I'll be teaching your Physics from today onwards. Now I don't expect everyone to understand or even listen to what I'm saying. Frankly, I don't care about your results either. If you want to get a good place in society, by all means try to pay attention. If not, you can go to hell and it's not my responsibility." A bit too rash for a teacher newbie huh...won't do.

So in the end, I took a little bit out of everything and tried to share my knowledge as well as I could. Before the next class, I would do my own research on the subject and also prepare the OHP Slides. Sometimes I'd throw in some interesting facts or real-life applications of the subjects that were taught. Most of the time, I was the one doing all the talking; trying to initiate a response from the students was like trying to get a table to talk to me. I never really knew how well they were coping with the subject, but I had a good guess that most of them must have thought I was speaking in Swahili during class. Perhaps it was my lack of skills and experience. It was a bit frustrating at times when they showed their gratitude to my efforts by projecting blank, inanimate faces at me. Well, what can I say, I tried my best (and failed).

What I really enjoyed though was the experiments that were conducted. Back in my secondary days, we'd only stand aside and see our teacher carry out the experiments without any hands on experience ourselves. It's still the same nowadays, only the roles have been reversed. Now I'm the teacher trying to start the electron projector without getting my hand burnt. I did offer the students to have a go at the instruments too, but of course not everyone got the chance. At times, the teacher-student boundary was blurred and we shared some riddles and jokes together. Some of them were my pals' younger siblings so I'd ask them how they were doing. I even had extra classes for some of the weaker students and I really hoped that they got some benefit out of it.

Teaching was a good experience for me, an eye-opener too. I finally realized that being smart in your field of teaching is not the only thing that makes a good teacher, but personality and attitude counts as well. I still remember receiving cards from some of the students during Teacher's Day celebrations that year, and it really touched me that they appreciated my work. I don't know where most of them are now, but I hope they're doing well.

Today is Teacher's Day, so Happy Teacher's Day to all the teachers out there (including my mom and dad). Without you, we wouldn't be where we are today.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Of Urinals and Toilet Bowls

Warning: This post may be deemed gross to some. You have been warned.

Not too long ago I heard that the Japanese are doing away with urinals. Their reason is, men are simply too embarassed to be peeing into a little bowl in full view of other patrons of the toilet. Well, maybe not in FULL view, but as any man can attest, it does feel that all eyes are on you while you're doing your business. (Remember the time when boys used to compare their little bros' sizes during toilet break? Some people can't get over the trauma, it seems.)

I'm not a big fan of urinals either. Partly it's because of the reason above, but the thing I hate most about the bowls are that sometimes my pee seems to splash onto my pants when I'm at it. You walk into the washroom praying that your bladder won't burst, find the nearest urinal (no time to wait for the toilet cubicle-hogging morons), fumble with the zipper, point, and shoot. Whoosh...what a sense of relief. Only when you've done emptying that bladder of yours that you realize something amiss: you looked like you had wet your pants. There's liquid splatter all over the groin area (a la CSI style), and you know it isn't the morning coffee that you just had. Embarrassed, you try to wipe it off with that stained hand of yours, but all it does is wipe your hand clean and make the pants get worse. Damn, where are those liquid-absorbing cleaning cloths (as advertised on TV) when you need them? So you hobble out of the washroom hoping no one notices that little tell-tale stain you got on your pants.

Guys, familiar with that situation? I dunno but I seem to fall victim to those evil urinals from time to time. Is it something wrong with the flow of my pee? Maybe being tall is the reason, like, you know, when you pour water from the second floor and the splashing is much greater compared to pouring water a few feet from the ground. Add one point for the midgets short people. But then I'm not an expert at fluid mechanics so I can't really say. Or maybe it's because of the design of the urinal itself? The splashing phenomenon doesn't always occur, I must stress. Some urinals are fine with me, but I'd definitely avoid certain ones like those along the NSE. Again, I'm no mechanical engineer here so it remains an enigma.

Of course, this pee splashing phenomenon isn't just limited to urinals, you get it when you're in the cubicles too (those with old school squat toilets). When you're ONLY peeing, that is, and I assume most guys do that standing. Only this time it's your feet/shoes that get hit by the warm flowing liquid. If you don't aim properly, it gets worse and you might end up having to wipe or wash your feet when you're done. Of course, if you've got a pair of shoes on, and you don't mind staining those shining Hush Puppies with human excrement, this won't be a problem at all.

So I guess there's no running away from this universal, natural phenomenon. Whatever you output in the toilet, some of it will come back to haunt you (for guys anyway...girls, like to share?) Maybe we should take a cue from the ladies and start peeing while SITTING ON/SQUATTING OVER the toilet bowl. If only our public toilets were cleaner......


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

I reiterate: It feels REAL good to be home.

My daily routine now is pretty much explained by the pictures above. Eat, watch TV, sleep and repeat the process, with some computer games thrown in between. Extremely exciting huh? Gosh I'm afraid I'll be running out of topics to blog about with the laid back lifestyle. But still, I love the life here. Stress-free, work-free (except for some chores), food free...everything's free.

The only gripe is the lack of broadband here. And for the whole afternoon I was totally cut off from the virtual world no thanks to the ever competant TM Net. Guess I won't be updating that often until I get back to civilization again.

Today's the second Sunday of the month, so a big HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to my dear mom and also to all the mom's out there. You've been the greatest mom and we love you. Coincidentally, it's also my sis' birthday today, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS!! We'll kill two birds in one stone by celebrating together :)

Will be going KL tomorrow to accompany sis back to college. Tuesday I'm headed for Ipoh for our graduation trip. Well it's not as fantastic as we imagined it do be, but at least we're going somewhere.


Saturday, May 13, 2006


It feels good to be home.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Driving on Malaysian roads

One trip home is enough to remind me how sick I am of drivers here in Bolehland. It's nothing short of a miracle that I'm home in one piece without a dent in the car.

I was driving on the NSE when this retard in a national car pulled up behind me. His car must have been 2 feet away from mine and we were going a little over 110 kmph. As if nearly eating into my butt wasn't enough, the fucker started to flash his high beams at me, which I presumed meant he wanted me to give way cos he was on his way to being reincarnated (as the chinese saying goes).

Normally, I would've cut into the left lane, but the thing was, right in front of me there was a series of cars, going at the same speed as me! The retard didn't seem to notice this and kept flashing his high beams, at one point even keeping it on for well over tens of seconds. This fella must be fucking mad, I thougnt. So what if I gave way to him? He'd still be stuck behind all those cars anyway. It's not like he couldn't gone any faster. Well maybe a few seconds. But what's a few seconds unless he's having a pregnant lady in the car who is about to give birth?

The government should seriously consider handing out driving licenses to people with an IQ of less than 50. Fuck, these people should be sent to mental institutions for all I care. Let them loose on our roads and all we get are rising accident rates not to mention the flourishing of tow truck companies and hospitals. These phychos should be put in jail instead of given a ticket which they can wave around at everyone. YB Chan Kong Choy, you should take note of this. Of course, you can thank me later for it.

The traffic cops aren't doing to help with the situation either. I was nearning the Pagoh exit when I was forced to come to halting stop. No screeching tires to make it more dramatic here, but it was a dangerous situation. Guess what, a road block had been put up in front, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY!!! Thank you, you stupid assholes, for obstructing traffic and holding up all the cars. And I bet you were happily accepting bribes all along...

This crazy mentality behind the wheel is too much. Not like I've had any driving experience overseas, but look at our neighbours the Singaporeans. Yeah so they do drive like nutcases when they're on our roads, but at least they're courteous when driving in their own country. Malaysia drivers don't give a shit, even if they're driving in their own backyard.

I should consider giving up driving altogether. Get myself a chauffeur and all that. Maybe a flying license. Anything to get away from the mindless lunatics that roam our Malaysian roads.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Last Farewell

After some back-breaking tidying and packing up, 5 years of clutter is reduced to this.

Which were stuffed into my car like sardines in a can.

I hope it won't break down cos of overloading. Users of NSE: Beware of red Iswara on the road.

Goodbye, house. You've served us well for the past 2 years.

Farewell UTM. I will miss the mosque where we had most of our exams...not.

So long Skudai. I will miss eating the food in Taman U...not.

Sayonara JB. I will miss the dodgy areas where crime is rampant...not.

Adios friends and coursemates. I will miss you guys...some of you anyway.

Other than that, I'll probaby miss everything else.

Damn it's tough being sentimental.

This is Derek signing off.

JB Food Log - Taman Sri Puteri Nasi Lemak

Since I'll be going back home tomorrow where there's no broadband, I'm on a marathon posting spree here. So here's another one to add to my JB Food Log.

This time the place is a bit closer to Taman Universiti, which is good for the food-deprived students of UTM. There's no name for the stall actually but it's quite recognizable. It's located at the end of a row of stalls right after the Caltex petrol station in Taman Sri Puteri, and it serves the best nasi lemak in the area.

Nasi lemak again? I know I did a post not long ago bout 'fatty rice', but hey, the food is damn nice so I'm doing this.

The chicken served here gives you unhealthy thoughts about Chicken Little...

Of course, what is nasi lemak without the rice? It is GOOD!

The stall is run by a malay couple and business starts at around 6 up til 9 something.

I guess this will mark the end of my JB Food Log since I'll be leaving here for good. Sad to know that I'll be tasting all these wonderful food probably for the last time until I come back for my convo in August. Too much food, too little time...

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

JB Food Log - Dragon View Porridge

Last Saturday when Gurl and I got back from Singapore after church, we decided to have dinner at JB. It was already 10pm when we crossed the Causeway over to JB and our stomachs were already threatening to go on strike.

So we stopped by at Dragon View Restaurant (龙记) near Kompleks Lien Hoe (Taman Sentosa area). This restaurant is famous for its porridge dishes. Their specialty is frog porridge (宫保田鸡粥) but they do serve other types of porridge dishes as well.

Being a little short on cash after the Singapore trip (everything there is damn expensive...even MRT fares), we opted for the fish porridge (宫保鱼片粥) rather than the frog. The frog porridge dish costs RM11 per person while it costs RM7 for the fish. Plus you get more chunky pieces of fish meat instead of the meagre flesh on the frog.

Gurl waiting impatiently for her meal.

Dinner is served...

Close up of the fish. It's cooked 'gong bao' style so it tends to taste a bit salty.

But when mixed with the porridge, BEST!!!

Other types of dishes include prawn porridge, but I'd recommend the frog as it is very delicious especially on a chilly day. For those who don't eat frog, you can try out the fish instead.

The place is open up until a little past midnight if I'm not mistaken. Good place to fill up for dinner or even supper.

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Filthy rich

I had lunch with the director of a KLSE Main Board listed company today.

Boy it sure feels good to be rich. People serving to your whims and fancies, flashing their best fake smile at you, trying not to step on your shoes and most importantly, they treat you with respect. Sincerity is irrelavent. The thing is, YOU feel respected and that's it.

Now before you label me as materialistic, ask yourself this: Would you feel better, or experience a surge in confidence, if you had a million bucks in your pocket? Would your life be better off if your personal worth is a six-figure number? Would you say no to that Visa Platinum that comes with unlimited credit? Don't give the shit like money can't buy friends, or health, or money isn't everything.

I, for one, wouldn't mind being filthy rich.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Thesis: Done

I got my bounded thesis back today. Believe me, 60 bucks is a small price to pay for the overwhelming relief that gushes through you when you know that you've accomplished what you've set out to do.

I'm not exactly proud of my final year project, but I did complete my thesis in 3 days. 78 pages in 72 hours, maybe less, is an accomplishment itself, IMHO.Not the best of my efforts of course, considering that I coughed it out in such a short period of time.

But hey, I'm not complaining. All I wanted is to get it finished.

And guess what, it is done.

Now I'm praying that my supervisor isn't having one of his menstrual cycles (which happen like...a couple of times a week?) and get all cranky on me. To be sure, I'll probably bring along some syringes filled with hormone treatment drugs with me.

If all goes well, I'll be leaving for Muar later in the evening.

So have a nice week ahead, folks.

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

100th post has finally hit the big 100!

To mark this this memorable event, which might be even bigger news than the fact that Malaysia lost the chance to regain the Thomas Cup (again! duh...), allow me the privilege to bore indulge you with some details of my blogging roots and how I came about with this blog.

It all started out on the 10th of September 05 when the blogging craze struck and I decided to try setting up my own blog. At that time none of my close friends blogged but I'd heard a thing or two about this phenomenon called blogging. (I just found out after watching I NO STUPID 2 that bloggers are known as 博客 in chinese, which sounds more like 'gambler' to me. But I digress.)

So my blog was officially created using Friendster Blogs. At that time I didn't think of blogging seriously but rather as a pastime, and I'd post whenever I felt like or had the time to do so. I picked the name "The Rammifications of Thoughts" cos the word 'rammifications' sounded cool. Apart from that I didn't want to get stuck with lame names like "My Thoughts on Stuff" or "Derek's Dairy" which sound as gay as much as they are passe.

My Frienster Blog was pretty rudimentary and straightforward; no knowledge of HTML needed and all you do is just write and publish. I've noticed though that the layout's gotten worse now, with ads and all that filling up the page space.

My old blog....still retaining the pinkish layout to commemorate Valentine's Day.

I tried to post as often as I could initially, but the steam just went off. I had 8 posts during the first month, and zero for the next. In the third month, November, I posted a grand total of one single entry. I guess that's what people call "hangat-hangat tahi ayam"...inconsistency at its best.

The turning point came after I joined the PELTAC Camp. I dunno why but after posting about that event, I caught the blogging bug again. Somehow the experience during the camp spurred me to continue with the virtual jottings of my thoughts. I've tried to vary my style of writing since, picking up a few tips from known bloggers such as Suanie, KY, Kim, FA, kennysia and the lot. Yeah, you have been my inspiration and I worship and kow tow to you gods and goddesses.

I officially migrated to Blogger on 28th of February this year, and was born. It was a pain in the ass moving all my earlier posts to my new blog, but it was worth it cos Blogger proved to be more customizable as I picked up some noob HTML skills to tweak the layout. I also joined a few blog-tals such as PPS, which I have been pinging since.

My Blogger blog before the makeover.

Since then I've been faithfully posting, as Kenny Sia once put it, sometimes for myself, and also sometimes for the readers. Of course, who doesn't like new readers? That's the whole point of a blog...if it doesn't get noticed, why put it up on cyberspace? Might as well stick to the old paper diary that lies yellowing in your drawer.

Blogging to me has now become a ritual. My blog is a place that I use to jot down the happenings in my life, as well as to give my occasional two cents worth on issues. I might sound sarcastic, cynical or crude at times, but that's just a part that I don't usually show in public, and which I'm sure, is present in everybody's personality. It gives me a chance to vent my dissatisfaction with life when all channels are exhausted, although it might not be the best way to do so.

Sometimes when I look at my blog, it gives me a funny sense of satisfaction. I love it when people give comments on my posts. Or even drop by and say hi in the Shoutbox. And there's always the thrill when I see an increase in visitor traffic. Which proves that the narcissist in me is still alive and thriving.

As I continue to 'grow' in the blogosphere, it is my secret wish to someday meet up with some of the bloggers listed on the side panel. Well, it's not so secret anymore so I'd better start plans to stalk them personally.

After all, it is much easier, isn't it?

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Desaru Trip (Part 2)

Here's the second and last installment of our trip to Desaru.

So after a 'good' night's sleep which lasted no more than 4 hours, we were up at 6am the next morning. 6am/0600 is like a magical number for me...I've never seen those digits more than a few times in the past 5 years. Should've tried my luck at 4D/Toto that day though I'm not into gaming.

Why the early rise? Beats me actually...I was just following orders. 6 would be too late to view the sunrise, and it'd be too early to have some decent activities that required sufficient light. I was experiencing fatigue (being one the drivers the previous day), and could barely get up without any protest from my aching muscles. But then you don't complain about those when you're on a group trip right? The sentence for complaining is total isolation and potential boycott from the gang. Oh well, since I was already up, I joined them for a morning walk on the beach.

My efforts to crawl out of bed did not disappoint me. Indeed the beach at dawn looked wonderfully serene and calm. The tide was low though, and the shore line was further than usual. We took off our slippers and strolled in the wan light of the emerging sun. Treading on the fine, blackish sand gave us a rare sense of satisfaction. The sea water was a tad warm and it surprised me as I expected it to be freezing cold.

The gals, victorious beyond the rising sun.

We look like we're holding the sun in its huh? I really like this pic.

All this while there were still some guys left sleeping in the chalet. After much difficulty we managed to wake them up, though one remained stoned in the bed. Must have wanted to maximize the 23 bucks he paid for the accomodation.

So we gathered at the beach again to play some games. Sam and Gurl were the gamemasters and they came up with a few interesting games to keep us occupied. One of them involved balloons and butts. Basically the guys were to blow the balloons and the gals would attempt to squash them with their posteriors as fast as they could.

Why do us guys always have to do the hard work?

Anyway we switched roles later and it was our time to have some fun bursting balloons. A soccer match followed, with Shin Huey scoring the solitary goal thus giving our group victory over the other. After that everyone was pretty much spent but not wanting to waste the time, we continued with 'monkey catch ball', a primitive game that most people have played in their primary days (except for those with a deprived childhood).

This was what we looked like after all the running, throwing and catching. Playing monkey sure ain't easy. Perhaps Darwin might have been wrong to assume that we evolved from the same family. We should've been categorised in the same family as sloths for all I know.

After showering and packing up our stuff, it was time to say goodbye to the beach. It was then that we noticed there were dozens of wild monkeys hanging out near our chalets. Maybe they were hoping we'd feed them but, sorry mates, sign says NO FEEDING WILD MONKEYS so unless you're on a leash I can't give ya any food.

So we bade farewell to Desaru beach and started the journey back home. There was an unexpected detour however, and it did delight us much. We made a visit on the way to Desaru Fruit Farm, a place promiting agro-tourism where you can tour the fruit farms and sample some of the produce there.

We opted for the buffet package which included a guided tour of the farm and a fruit buffet. Yup a buffet consisting of organic fruits, all for 25 bucks. It was well worth the money as we were fascinated by the farm and the facts that guide presented to us. Now I know how to pick the best jambu hehe.

Fruits, fruits, and MORE fruits!

There was a freeflow of fruits during the buffet, whatever we wanted was cut and served right away. The fruits tasted delicious though the variety is limited. Best time to visit this place is during July, according to the guys there, cos that's the fruit season period.

Random snapshots of us enjoying the buffet.

Gurls lips got a natural hue of red courtesy of the dragonfruit. They use the stuff to make lipstick, according to our guide. No kidding!

After spending 2 hours at the fruit farm, it was time to continue our way back home.

And so our trip to Desaru came to an end. I dunno bout the others but it was enjoyable time for me. A well deserved holiday, it was. In the end, it costs us only 75 bucks each for the entire trip; very economical and fun too.

Group photo before we left the beach. Finally I get to be inside. Thank God for camera timers.

Still recuperating from the fatigue now. After that it's time to pack up as I say a final farewell to this place I've known for 5 years.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Desaru Trip (Part 1)

After getting some long-needed sleep (like what...12 hours?), now only I have the strength to blog about the Desaru trip. It was my first time to Desaru actually. Yep, 5 years here and I only go when I'm about the graduate. At least I'll live to tell that I once visited the beach there.

It didn't start out very well I must say...we planned to leave at 2.30pm but in the end launch time was postponed to about 5pm. Wtf happened during the 2 and a half hours in between? That you'll have to ask those who were LATE.

Our first stop while waiting for the rest of the convoy (we went in four cars) was at McD's along Jalan Pontian. Those whose pictures are not in there take note, PUNCTUALITY IS A VIRTUE!! And I won't be inviting you to my wedding dinner.

It took us almost 2 hours plus to get to Desaru Chalet Resort, the place where we'd be putting up for the night. The guy at the reception counter wasn't very helpful and kept acting high almighty as if he was the king of Desaru. Fucker.....if it weren't for the cheap rates we wouldn't have been there at all. In the end we settled for 2 rooms (for the 15 of us) at RM160 each.

Needless to say, it was dark by the time we got there, so getting wet in the sea was a no no. And since everyone's stomachs were growling loud enough to attract the sharks, we wasted no time in setting up the BBQ pit.

So the gals prepared the food and the guys got the fire going. Being the egomaniacs, the guys were in charge of bbq-ing the food so that could boast about how good they tasted later. The gals, being gals, sat aside patiently fiddling with the uncooked sausages waited to be served.

Working with an empty stomach...still everyone looked cheerful.

Gurl even brought her ATP3's for some serious blasting. Just to liven up the atmosphere.

We had sausages, meatballs, chicken wings...the stuff you'd have for a typical BBQ that would make your voice disappear the next day. Plus some ikan pari, potatoes and otak-otak which, as weird as it seems, didn't contain any fish but mostly flour and flavouring. Thumbs down for the otak-otak, give me a Muar variety any time.

The chicken wings and fish tasted great though. I'd say both the guys and gals played their parts; the gals in shopping for the right type of foodstuff, and the guys for doing what they're good at best - roasting and boasting.

Savouring the fruits of our labour...

LIVE TO EAT....our motto of the day.

Group picture with nearly everyone in it. Again yours truly is sadly excluded due to the need for his photography services.

After satisfying ourselves with the food, we went for a walk along the beach. It was just in front of our chalets but it was dark as hell and our flashlights were our only source of light. The sky was filled with stars, making it a romantic (horny?) moment for the couples...

...who got caught in the act.

And also for the the rest of the gang...

The brokeback pair (names not revealed to protect the innocent).

After that all of us were too tired and hit the showers before going to bed.

(End of Day 1...will be continued if the broadband connection doesn't get cut)

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