Sunday, 25 February 2007

sawasdee moshimoshi part 2

for those who have just joined us, this is a continuation of the entry that i had posted yesterday. you might want to go here first before reading this entry.

i am feeling really good tonight. it must be the late dusk rain that had brought the cool breeze with the frogs croaking and sounds of crickets around the house that really lifted my spirits when i was inhaling the damp fresh air with a bit of nicotine outside the house. oki dokie then, back to the trip.

it must have been the lethargy of early morning activities of scaling, uploading, rearranging and preparing the slideshows of the photos that made me missed stating the obvious fact that it was not the best time for us to travel. out of the three generations of my family travelling together, ironically the fittest and healthiest people during those days were my 60 odd years-old parents. amelya and alyssa caught the flu one week before the trip. and my antibodies who had been going strong for the past thirty four years had finally descended of their plateau with me going in and out of fever 2 days before the trip. wifey, is as usual with her headache, not the ones used to excuse her from unwanted advances in the middle of the night but the ones that occurs almost without fail whenever she is exposed to extreme heat and/ or sunlight.

neither have i failed to emphasize the stress impounded on me upon the unfortunate event of me dropping my four-month old videocam. my latest manly-playthings just refused to abide to my command to record the moving beautiful moments that we were going through with an error message of video recording disabled but still allowing me to view the ones already imprinted on the silverish disc and snapping happily with its 4mp still impressions. hence, when we prematurely ended our first half day adventure with amelya sleeping soundly under the protection of a tuktuk and the demands of the senior ones for a riceful of midday servings in our hotel rooms skipping our highlights of the day, the grand palace, i hurriedly ventured out around the vicinity of our abode in search of a new silverish disc to ascertain the culprit of this disloyalty. while i was confounded by the price that i had to endure for such nobility of a commoners item back home, i caved in and dastardly went home humbled.

to my utter amazement and delight, the crux of the problem lied on the silverish material and my equipment were back to its original humility, following every order that i issued henceforth.

* note: alamak, penat la tulih camni, it is just going to make this entry longer so i'll go back to simple english *

but the afternoon heat is just too much for us and i was worried that it will worsen the healths of the children so we stayed back at the hotel until it was nearing dusk (their maghrib time is at around 6.20pm) before we ventured out to pat p0ng for the night market retail therapy.

we had been advised before by people and taxi drivers that the prices in those area will not be very competitive but i wanted to take every opportunity of going out since we have had little activity since we came back to the hotel room at lunchtime so off we went.

after walking for about half an hour in pat p0ng, the fever started gripping me and since i don't fell sick very often, i would be totally incapacitated if i were. while the videocam were working well, i was not. i could only last about 45 minutes of walking and the only thing that we purchased that night was tim burt0n's corpse bride dvd which is not really a bargain compared to back home. originally, we wanted to buy some princessy dvd for alyssa but since they didn't have any in stock and alyssa won't let us off the hook if we have promised to buy her anything, i chose that one since i love all tim burt0n's movie and we haven't had that one yet.

another side note: can anybody recommend me any good (read free) dvd ripper? couldn't rip the files out of the dvd that i recorded or i could have posted a video or two if i had one.

so, we went back to the hotel relatively earlier. or so we thought. despite the map that we have shown to the taxi driver who spoke almost no english and apparently doesn't read roman alphabets either, we got down the taxi almost nowhere around our hotel (but at least around the neighbourhood) after so many rounds of looking for the hotel while the meter was running! i thought of walking back to the hotel but luckily managed to grab another taxi which still could not find the hotel with the map and just zoomed past it. luckily my father spotted the hotel and we just couldn't be bothered to ask the taxi to go around and got lost again and we still walked half a block to the hotel room and ended our first day in bangkok.

scary masks on saledried flowersall sorts of figurinesspoilt for choices

the plan for the second day was to spend the majority of the day in the chatuc@k market which we almost did. and thank to god also that everybody was finally as healthy as we could wish. the taxi driver that took us to the market was reasonably friendly and fluent with english. while i was contemplating on the plan for the third day, he suggested us to to the safari w0rld for quite a reasonable fee. since i would like to at least leave an impression of the trip for the kids whom had been trudging to all the adult places that bore no interest to them, i agreed to his suggestion.

among the sights in the market were above. while the two options of taking care of both of the children while they were playing in the inflatables (which i do not have any stills, only video) and went another round shopping with them were both not favourable, i chose the former, only to find out that they took too much time with the kids out of their sights. thankfully, i spotted a tourist information centre nearby and both of the kids were sleeping soundly in the airconditioned room when finally the shopping adults came back to their senses and discovered us there.

you could say that after what happened the day before, we could have better luck with the taxis. not wanting for history to repeat itself, i requested the english speaking tourist guide to write down the route to the hotel in siamese for the direction to the hotel while showing her the map.

while we secured the taxi easily, we noticed a disapproving head-shake of the zero-english taxi driver when i was showing him the note. after about one kilometre of drive, he stopped by the roadside on the pretense of checking out his tyres. then, with the vigorous shake of his head and possibly the only word of english that he knows, he said no with some signals that i gathered could only mean that he was not willing to carry four adults and two children in his brand new taxi. so, again we got off without paying anything of course and hailed another taxi which thankfully carried us back to our hotel room uneventfully.

still not satisfied with their collection of the day, i have to bring them to go around the hotel for more shopping after about 3 hours of rest. while we did not spend the whole day at the market, they must have had an overdose of therapy should they be looking for one that day. :rolleyes:

on the fourth day, we made our way to the safari w0rld which is about 50km from the city centre. it was an uneventful journey. around the safari w0rld, there was a golf course and the richer side of bangk0k with spanking new bungalow gated developments which according to the taxi driver easily costs in excess of 7 million baht. i also managed to catch this modern looking under construction building with a huge buddh@ overlooking the main entrance of the building which i think i rather unique in its elements.

the children had fun there as much as the adults with the orangutan, sea lion, dolphin and beluga whale shows, feeding the tropically acclimatised polar bears and watching the free-roaming animals in the safari ride.

purple elephantsea lion showfeeding the polar bearssafari ride, who's watching who here?

i thought that we were going back to the hotel room at the end of the day but again, i was wrong. apparently, the adults was still undernourished in their quota of their therapy and we ended up going to another shopping place, the praturn@m market area. on the way back when the sun had almost set, i spotted this golden temple which had a good contrast compared to the surrounding grey and white concrete jungle. if only we were back like 15 minutes earlier, it would have been a better exposed photo but i am putting it in this entry nonetheless.

our flight home was at 9.40am the following morning. when we were coming into bangk0k, i had estimated the traffic-free travelling time would be around half an hour. add another half hour for traffic jam, 1 hour margin should be enough to cover all eventualities. even then, i thought of the worst and added another half hour so our ideal time to go out of the hotel was 7 o'clock. i even asked 2 taxi drivers of their opinion and both agreed with me that we would have plenty of time to reach the airport.

we got into the taxi going to the airport even earlier at 6.50am. as we stepped into the taxi, i even asked the third taxi driver whether we could make it on time and he said we would have plenty of time. unfortunately, the infamous traffic jam in bangk0k was trying very hard to prove that one uninformed tourist and 3 bangk0k taxi drivers were wrong.

we were still stuck in slower than snail-pace traffic to get into the highway at 8:00am. and the last 1km before getting into the highway must have been the one of the longest half hour that i have experienced in my life, with flashes of deja vu on the very occasion that we missed the first ever flight that i took of the everyone can fly airline. but thank to god always, we finally managed to enter the free flowing highway at 8.10am and i just watched in silence as the taxi driver lugged the huge suv body at 140km/h, scaling the 35km highway in mere 20 minutes. and with 15 minutes of spare time before the check-in closes 45 minutes before flight time, i was not in the mood to re-enact the incident that my former school mate went through in catching his last breath while rushing to check into a flight. then finally, all was well and we were heading home while i managed to immortalise the last view that we saw entering the new airport's boarding lounge before going into the red aeroplane.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

sawasdee moshimoshi part 1

before somebody look for my phone number demanding for the photos, this is the entry describing my recent trip to bangk0k. if you want to view all the 60 plus images, i'm afraid you have to do it the hard way because i have uploaded all the images into one site which does not allow me to compile all the photos into one slideshow. but you will make my sleepless night in preparing these images worth the effort by going through the images. first i am going to give you the links down here, mostly in chronological order.

  1. the first 10 images, mostly views around hotel

  2. the second batch, while we were walking on the first day

  3. the third batch, the golden mount and temple below

  4. the fourth batch, chatuc@k market

  5. the fifth batch, safari w0rld

i am just going to say it all here so be forewarned that this will be a long entry.

i must have uploaded more than 60 photos. don't know which ones i missed in the slide show but at 1.50 am, i am just too tired to go through all of them. *sigh*

if you have seen the photos, you might have noticed that i went with my parents. here's a photo of alyssa sitting on the bags while waiting for our outgoing flight. we took the airline that shouts now everybody can fly and this is the second time i'm taking it. the first time we took it four years ago, it was a almost a disaster because we missed the flight due to flat tyre en route to airport. this time thankfully we made it on time, very early indeed.

but we totally forgot that free seating arrangement and took our time to board the plane, only to find that we were not royalty enough for somebody to reserve a full row of empty seats for us. so we ended up sitting separately and thankfully enough, one soul was kind enough to offer his seat which was next to an empty seat so that wifey and the children could at least sat together.

by the time we arrived, it was dark already. so it was only dinner and good rest before trudging it out the day after. unfortunately, alyssa and amelya have not fully recovered from their fever and runny nose contracted the week earlier. so the travel planner had to drastically reduce the itinerary. the views around the hotel

rama viii bridgeview from balconycanal in front of hotelvery precariously perched projek terbengkalai

the rooms came with continental breakfast. the main issues about travelling with my parents is food. 2 main criteria were and will always be rice is always necessary and never go near anything that has the slightest hint of mixture of halal and non-halal cooking. fortunately, after long-winded convincing that the hotel is owned by muslim with every room labelled with qiblat direction, my father agreed that the food served for breakfast was halal without doubt. but what about lunch and dinner? just to simply put it, the only restaurant that we savoured food from was only the restaurant that gave us breakfast everyday. either that or we eat the canned food that i would not even bat an eyelid at home.

first day after breakfast, i thought of bringing everybody to walk the one and a half km to the grand palace. one big mistake that we made were planning but forgetting to bring the stroller. while my mum who's approaching 60 and my 65 year old dad have no problem walking, those two normally energetic devils were simply not cooperating by refusing to walk. hence many long breaks and many pictures taken.

wide walkwayafternoon napshopping with diapersdemocracy (?) monument

the driver suggested for us to go to the golden mount and some other places including some silk and jade factory outlets before going to the grand palace. the factory outlets were definitely not in my agenda but i just caved in out of the frustrations of getting those two girls walking and me dropping my four-month-old video camera which suddenly refused to record videos anymore. i was not going to let the videocam spoil my mood so i was just refusing to think and obliged to the suggestions.

initially the tuktuk drivers brought us to the golden mount temple. nice temple perched on arguably the highest point in bangk0k. some of the photos we took.

they're happy climbing upbells to announce our arrival?leader of the packand the followers

i am just too tired now. thought of finishing this trip's entry in one round but it is already 3 a.m. i guess this has to be continued. and i need to add part 1 to the title.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

jalan-jalan cari penat

if anybody noticed that i have been in hiatus with the exception of one or two comments i made in my own entry for the past 5 days, it is because i (and we as in the whole family) went for a holiday in bangkok, huurrrrrayy!!

lots of things to tell. but to just sum it up, missed the grand palace again ~X( , not the best time to go because everybody not in their best of health, but still managed to cover some touristy places and did more-than-i-would-prefer retail therapy and alhamdulillah, nothing untowardly happened to any of us and we are all home free.

no chance to upload photos yet because we reached home 12.00am yesterday and i am working today @-) . no choice because my one and only subordinate is on leave for the whole week (and he happens to be chinese too so can't say no to that).

will post more later. finally managed to clear all the alerts and post this entry.

Friday, 16 February 2007

everybody loves lists

while i went outstation for merely two days, i did a lot of things and a lot of other things also happened. makes me wonder why all these things had to happen when i am not around. the list goes as chronologically close as it could be.

[ this is added later. didn't know that the list is going to be this long so beware ]

  1. sent the two kids in the morning: this is what i normally do anyway

  2. broke the speed limit of wifey's car: don't tell her! managed to clock almost 170km/h and would've been faster if those road constructions didn't get in the way. must have been the adrenalin remnants of the bachelor days. normally don't drive fast when kids are around, so being alone was like fire away those engines. which reminds me, normally i would go to rilek[dot]com[dot]my to check the summonses but now it seems that service always not available. where else could i go and check?

  3. have lunch at my parents: this is what a momma's boy would do anyway, right? the hotel is like 5 km away from my parents. despite them providing the hotel food for lunch, i preferred to have it in momma's house instead.

  4. irritate the consultant: it was supposed to be a refresher course/ training so we knew each other quite well including the mat salleh trainer. i asked too many questions that he could not answer up to the point of irritation so i just stopped asking questions before it got ugly

  5. my own car broke down: the almost-one-year-old car that i have been driving day-in-day-out decided to break down when wifey was on the way home. so, i had to frantically called everybody related (car customer service, aam, and wifey called my brother-in-law who live fortunately quite nearby and an ex-mechanic). in the end, it was a big party of people (about 6 7 of them) and four cars attending my stricken car because the highway assistance people also decided to join the party. turns out that battery had run flat and out of liquids (my bad) so had to jump-start the car and switched with bro-in-laws car so that she could safely get home risk-free

  6. wifey called somebody to pick up alyssa and amelya: thanks to the stranded car, she couldn't get to them in time. thankfully, this one couple who is like family friend to us work around my office and lives around my area. so, they have always been the contingency people to pick up those kids in emergencies like this. wifey thought of this and credit goes to her despite her upsets and nagging in the phone.

  7. my car gets its shower on the inside: due to the super-flat condition of the battery, wifey was advised not to turn on aircond and wound down the windows. while on route to bro-in-law's house to switch the car, asked her to stop by a petrol station to buy saline water to top up the almost nonexistent water in the battery. miraculously managed to buy and top up the water (without turning off the engine, of course). but while reversing to get out of parking lot, the car died, again. had to again wait for b-i-l to jump start car again (he went off to pick up his kids from school). another miracle happened. it rained cats and dogs during this super hot dry season and the battery was too weak that even the power windows didn't work so there were puddles of water inside the car.

  8. alyssa cried in the phone: wifey finally picked up the kids at 9.30pm. alyssa's cough and fever was not getting better (thankfully not getting worse either). so, she was just sobbing and couldn't talk to me on the phone. maybe she said something like missing me and asking me when i would be back

  9. alyssa cried again: just couldn't resist calling them before bedtime. alyssa started crying again (refer above).

  10. slept alone: to rotidua especially, i did sleep alone that night. asked my parents whether they wanted to stay overnight since nobody would pay to stay in a hotel 5km away from home but they just dropped by and left by 12.30am.

  11. amelya caught the fever: when i woke up in the morning, received one message from wifey. finally, amelya succumbed to the virus and she also had her share of fever. wifey had to take emergency leave to bring both of them to the doctor. while alyssa is a super strong girl, amelya had the tendency to have fit attacks if she has a fever which thankfully she haven't had any since she was one year old.

  12. rushed back to check out the car: was planning to drop by my parents' house before going back to kl but cancelled that one. rushed to my sister's after lunch to check out the stranded car. tried to charge the battery in the nearby workshop and told to come back within 3 hours.

  13. went home to meet the people: needless to say, alyssa was especially happy to see me. then, we all went to sister's house again to return their and hopefully can bring back my car.

  14. bought new batteries: even after charging for 3 hours, the car just refused to start. i was going to claim for a new battery when planned to send the car for service the day after. but i just hate to see an unresponsive car and just swallowed the rm230 for a new maintenance-free battery. * add to the most hated things: driving a stranded car * huh, don't need to worry about the water level anymore with that maintenance-free battery.

  15. went home peacefully: with a brand-new battery, the car was eager to get moving. finally we got home (again) at around 8pm. my stomach was still stocked up with hotel food so i didn't really have proper dinner that night.

  16. check out the blogs: finally, at 9pm, life resumes to normalcy and i could check out the blogs again. hence the comments here and there and slept tight with alyssa's condtition getting better finally

there you go. it is a long list indeed. if you're still reading this, you either have nothing better to do or are almost bored to death. it is amazing that so many things could happen within the two days i was not around. makes me think twice before going again.

Monday, 12 February 2007


warning for the manly men and the stone-cold-hearted; this entry is a bit mushy so you could leave now should you decide not to proceed reading.

i told alyssa over dinner that i will be outstation tomorrow and will not be coming home for the night. the last time i went outstation alone was sometime last year and we are a bit worried that she'll misses me too much especially now that she has not fully recovered from her fever compounded with runny nose that comes with the additional unwanted benefit of coughing. they have always followed me whenever i went overseas (which does not happen often nowadays) except for a one week trip that i had when she was barely 10 months old.

she just nodded.

later on, i asked wifey if alyssa had mentioned anything else. kesian ayah, nanti tidur sorang-sorang. (pity my father that he has to sleep alone) hmm.

nobody melts my heart like she does.

ok. *clicks and whirr*. back to manly man mode. harrrummpphh!!!

Sunday, 11 February 2007

the manly man

ballcork systemmy main water tank in the house has been bleeding water due to the defective ballcock system for the past two weeks. while ideally the repair should have been done immediately, i didn't do it due to other commitments that i have at home (read malas). wifey had also suggested calling a plumber to fix the problem which i spontaneously disapproved, dismissing it as simple as purchasing and replacing the parts d-i-y style. boy, i was wrong.

the stop-valve system is similar to the one in the diagram (for the uninitiated). basically how it works is that the water level will raise the ball filled with air and if the water level and the ball is high enough, it will close the valve (zoomed in figure 2). the system in our house also came with an additional feature of an overflow outlet that will drain excess water into the bathroom. it will prevent water from spilling over the water tank in the event of failure of the ballcock system and the excess water will be drained into the bathroom instead of falling all over our ceiling.

the dreaded holeso, on one fine saturday morning, i dragged my feet (drove really) to a local hardware store to find the replacement parts that cost merely rm10 without going up the dreaded hole which requires me to perform some kind of acrobatic moves and chin up to heave myself above the ceiling. that was the first misjudgment that i made. when i finally manage to lift up the water tank cover with required a superhuman effort due to its sheer size, i found out that parts that i have bought was too small to fit the gigantic pipe supplying the water tank.

at least the solution was simple enough. i have to go back to the hardware store, buy the appropriate-sized one, climb up above the ceiling again, fix the new parts and i should live happily ever after. unfortunately, the live happily ever after did not immediately come after fixing the new parts.

during the testing and commissioning of the system (to avoid going above the ceiling again and enjoy the not-so-pleasant sauna in the searing heat trapped between the ceiling and roof), i found out that the overflow system was not constructed properly. ideally, the outlet should be placed higher than the maximum water level or else it will be a never-ending loop of ballcock system filling up the water tank and overflow system discharging "excess" water into the bathroom. the workaround done with the defective parts was to bend the rod connecting the ball and valve downwards which should reduce maximum water level below the overflow outlet.

shouldn't be a problem, right? all i have to do is take it out and bend the rod. which i did with the brand new parts and discovered that either i'm too strong or it's a shoddy copper that it easily snapped into halves. daymn!!

super stained langkawi tee and shortsso, for the third time running, i trudged into the hardware store, begging for new parts. by that time, wifey already insisted on a plumber which again i stubbornly refused out of pride and anger. i was definitely not going to let a simple mindless system like that defeat me. to ensure that i won't break another one, i asked the hardware store apek to replace the brand-new rod with the bent one from the original defective one.

my fine handsand with a bismillahirrahmanirrahim (which i forgot to do before), i went up above the ceiling again and finally, it was as easy as i thought it should be. in the end, it doubled the cost of fixing it for buying the same part twice but undoubtedly cheaper than calling up a plumber to fix such a simple problem like that. i finally lived happily ever after, fixing the ballcork system with my own hands. however, the same cannot be said with the 1angkawi souvenir tee and shorts that i was wearing.

Friday, 9 February 2007

phone photos

alyssa is not well. she doesn't fall sick very often. she had only been admitted to hospital three times within her five years of life, after her delivery due to jaundice, one micro-surgery to fix a half-an-inch tear on her earlobes when she fell of into a dry drain and one bout of dengue fever. generally, all admissions were not due to her general state of health. but she has a fever now and woke her mama up last night at 2 am while her father was sleeping soundly beside her. so, as a treat to cheer her up, we decide to try out the newly-opened pizzapondok (thanks gartblue) at our place because she loves the soup there. like the father, she is always so manja and in much need of tlc when we fall sick :D because it doesn't happen very often.

while we were there, i had the chance to try out the different modes in with the phone 2 mpixel camera (wifey's not mine, i am still using the sexy phone) in the brightly-lit restaurant.


first, i tried the portrait mode (without flash, of course) and these are the results. i would have to say reasonable at this size but for printing or full screen viewing it is definitely not up to mark.

alyssa in close upamelya in close up


still in the potrait mode, i tried taking a macro picture and since i hate digital zooming, the camera is so close to the subject that it produces a cross-eyed view like this one. i think i also used the tungsten light colour correction thus the greenish images.

we ordered a cny special meal for two which comes with one regular-sized pizza, two soups, 4 bread sticks and 2 ice lemon tea with no ice and top it off with 4 chicken wings. then we found out that because those orders exceed rm30, we could get a free children meal, a small pasta and soft drink. i was so hungry before because i didn't have lunch at all but wifey brought back a burger she hasn't touched at all from her lunch which i happily devoured in the car en route home. since the two main eaters of the family are not really in the mood of eating anymore, there were leftovers and we tapaued the leftovers.

since that didn't work either, had to think of another strategy. had to take an angled photos and specifically asked these models not to look into their camera which is like 2 mm away from their faces. turns out to be like these.

basically i am not too happy with the camera. it really needs so much luck and ideal conditions to take great photos and restaurants are not considered so ideal even with the bright lights. but i have been lucky once and i manage to capture a reasonable image like this one. i want my dslr!!! ::-( .

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

chinese mosque? i'm all for it

what is this non-issue about building a chinese mosque? i thought it was a long foregone conclusion already? unless it is an economic issue i.e. these people cannot find enough money to build one.

i am not a religious scholar in any way except for my very scarce readings on the subject but at least i understand this little fact.

maybe these old school people needs a little reminder

muslims are not equal to malays are not equal to arabs

but if you want to define it the other way round, it's fine by me.

[p/s: maybe they forgot that chinese in china embraced islam much earlier that we did in malaysia ]

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

for the love of the game

while the title is borrowed from a type of a physically challenging sport which uses one spherical ball being chased after by 22 men (or women but rarely both), the game i am talking about is the one that requires nothing more the extreme dexterity of fingers and the occasional ducking and swerving of the body which does not in any way have any impact on the end results. yup, it is another passion of mine which requires a significant chunk of my very limited time apart from blogging and clearing out those alerts namely video games.

while i am not going to bore you to death if you are not a gamer (gamers can discuss about tips and tricks, hidden
treasures and cheats for hours non-stop), i am going to give my opinion why
this favourite past time of mine is still mostly male dominated domains. videogame is such a big industry nowadays that it involves politics (href="">Peru's 'Vladi-videogame' sparks controversy), world cup tournaments, availability of this kind of facilities (Videogame
addiction clinic opens
) and even with the extreme end results (href="">S Korean dies after
games session). and yet, while the percentage is definitely increasing, not
many women plays games and the one who does don’t called themselves gamers.

below are my thoughts on why is that so. while i have never been involved in market research of games market, who knows somebody in those industry reads this entry (not very likely though) and it
adds one item into my resume.

time: this topic deserves an entry by itself. but my concept of time is basically defined not as something that you have but something that you make. which means that while everybody is given the same amount of time (24 hours/ day whether you like it or not), it is mostly up to your choice how you spend it. when people say that they are busy to do something else like putting up a new entry into their blog, it means that they have found a more meaningful means to spend their time. similarly, many women, young or old, would find more “productive” use of their time than spending hours glued in front of the tv or pc playing games. can’t blame them though. while single girls would be very busy thinking of how to best get dressed with whatever they have in their wardrobe while fending off those unwanted advances, wives and mothers would be very busy withthe domestic chores such as feeding the husbands who are glued to the tv or pc trying to explore new levels that has been achieved or killing that impossibly difficult big boss just to advance to another level.

money: the female species practically spends all their money on beauty sessions and beauty products like threading, slimming sanctuaries, moisturisers, masks, manicures and pedicures and long list of stuff that goes on forever. while beauty is definitely not the top priority to many gamers of whom not many are endowed with one anyway (if you see any smartly dressed, properly shaved and pleasantly smelling gamers in the thick of the action, please tell me) they prefer to spend their money on buying super controllers, driving simulators, memory cards and extension panels that is guaranteed to bring more satisfaction than those pointless, going-to-nowhere dates in fancy restaurants.

satisfaction: it bores down to one simple statement, the female species are hard to please, in many ways. while many men are thrilled and triumphant by fact they managed to being first in crossing the chequered flags, solve the puzzles and riddles, gathers all the bonuses and defeated that very difficult bosses to advance, little pleasures like that is simply not enough to excite women. they would just
snigger at such accomplishments and brushes aside such achievements with a mean “so what?” statements.

imagination: it requires a huge amount of imagination to get excited about a blocky robotic images of a scantily clad, generously proportioned women in the computer generated movies as rewards for advancing to new levels and completing the games. women simply just don’t have that kind of imagination even the computer generated images are big time studs like brad pi11 or kean0 reaves showing off their skins.

responsibility: even in a double-income, maidless household that i am currently in, the role of the male species are reduced to the second grade, non mission-critical tasks in the domestic chores such as doing the laundry and dishes, cleaning the car and watering the plants. all those vital household activities such as putting food on the table, preparing the kids and making sure they are up-to-date with their homework are still largely within the wives’ domain. those plants are not going to die without one or two days of water, those dirty clothes are going to pile up anyway and let those ants and flies share the spoils of dinner on the floor or on the dining table. men can always procrastinate those tasks until they gave up trying to upgrade their weapons and bases, getting through those seemingly impossible obstacles and beating that nearly invincible bosses giving them the much needed break to think their strategies over while clearing up the
backlogged domestic chores.

those merely five points mentioned above are just some examples of the obstacles that games marketers and developers need to overcome to get those female species to migrate en masse to the gaming world instead of simple solutions like shopping games (yes, they do produce those type of games) and pink consoles. and as for me, i am glad that there is only one person who are into this sort of thing in my household especially to keep those midnight hunger pangs at bay while i figure out how to slay those
huge one-eyed giant that keeps swinging his gigantic club at me the moment i got
close to him.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

alma mater revisited

2 weekends ago (this entry had been waiting for its photos), some of the people including myself in our batch of sekolah menengah melayu jalan stesen had a casual teh tarik session in bukit jelut0ng mamak restaurant. why there? it was supposed to be easier for those people staying in usj, bj and sa area but in the end, only three people from those areas turned up so the venue for the next session would definitely go back to its original one in muti@ra damans@ra@ since most are staying around that area anyway.

in terms of the crowd, socially we had a good mix of people. mostly were married with children, two guys whom married twice (not second wife but second marriage) and one single guy. for those singles reading this and looking for a mid 30's, he is the guy in long sleeve black t-shirt with white stripes on the sleeves, women preferred. throughout the night, they were talking about him waiting for the 40-year old ella the singer resolution to get married and till the end i didn't know whether that was serious or they were just fooling around, met with silly grins of the incumbent. we also had one haji who had never set foot in s@udi but only because he looked like one when he was 16! if you are looking for me in the photo, i am in the foreground with the white t-shirt. (you could at least see my hand and hair that is thankfully still intact)

career-wise, we also had a good mix of people with multitude of social standing. mostly are slave labourers like me for various local companies glc's, international firms and private ones, there was also a cfo of a main-board public listed company, an i.t. entrepreneur working as a ceo of his own company and a fully-qualified uk doctor on his sabbatical to babysit his child turned short movies director.

while the projected hot topic was supposed to be about one guy who 'came out of the closet' and another guy who had lost quite a bit of other people's money and disappeared during the 1997 stock market crash, it didn't turn out to be.

while several of them are starting to be concerned about the readings on their blood pressure, the sabbatical-doctor-turned-director proposed an ingenious way to relieve the pressure by slicing open one of those major veins (preferably ventricular) to relieve some of the pressure before any major check up. he even stressed that veins are a better option than arteries despite the higher pressure in arteries due to the more efficient blood platelet mechanism in covering up wounds inflicted on arteries, hence less bloodshed.

the hot topic under discussions were mostly about this guy who has to bring several pak haji (real ones) clients to karaoke with some backup singers to go along, much to his distress of course. and another guy who just moved into his new house and got conned by the same contractor, twice. not much advice you could give there. another favourite topic of discussion was the development of fats around ones waist and how difficult one guy went through to convince his office mates that he used to play hockey for the school and district, after visibly putting on at least 30 kilos compared to when he was 17.

the good thing is that everybody stayed back until the end of the session at about 3am and i guess everybody was happy seeing each other again despite having less and less things in common to talk about. i will definitely do it again the next time they are having it, at least for old time sake. (20 years ago, i was in form three and panicking with srp?!!! daymn!)

[ note: this one added later, searched the oxford dictionary on the definition of alma mater (to make sure i got the correct spelling) and the origin of word is from latin meaning bountiful mother! hmmm ]