The painting is about done. Bedroom #2 has been cleaned and is now ready for painting. I have decided to change the colour of one wall in the living room and the other wall in the dining room. Why? The current colour came out too light and there's no contrast to make it stand out. Once this is completed, will share the photos of the completed living room and dining room area.
Hopefully the colour contrast will be correct this time.
Over this past weekend, we went to hunt the wall lights for master bedroom, dining room and bedroom #2. Ended up buying an additional light to replace the current hanging light in the master bedroom. I will share the before and after photos once the new lights are up.
In the meantime, enjoy the slide show of the on-going renovation of Desa Bella...
November 2008 Moving Dad ...
Dad has finally retired and will be moving back to Penang!
So...for the month of November, we are busy renovating the apartment. It needs a new coat of paint. Dad chose Soft Mint for the master bedroom...which will be his room. I chose Wildflower for bedroom #1 and #2. The rest of the place will be in Lavender White - the living room, kitchen and dining room. All the paints are DuluxPearl Glow except for Wildflower which is from the Light & Space catalogue selection. The painting of the place is on-going. I hope the painter will complete the paint job before Christmas. Since the water pipes are old and rusty, we had the whole place re-pipe too.
Check out the initial photos below.
Dad is also getting older, and I didn't want him to climb in and out of the bathtub, so we tore up the bathtub and re-tiled the master bathroom. We also put in a new shower system with a RAIN SHOWER head! I always wanted that...Dad likes it too except he complained that it is not powerful enough. I told him it is called RAIN SHOWER...and not torrential-thunderstorm-flood-causing pelting rain type of shower head. Anyways, there's a hand shower that comes with it, he can use that or replace that with the type of shower head he wants later on. Hahahaha!
The new wardrobe for the master bedroom will be installed (hopefully) this Friday...I am not getting the standard wardrobe. Since Dad is a compulsive horder, we are going with the open concept wardrobe. Hahahaha! I am hoping this will curb his habit of hoarding. Luckily, he liked the idea of open concept wardrobe...more so from his sheer laziness of folding clothes...so he sees this as opportunity to hang all his clothes instead of folding and putting some of them in chest of drawers. hehehehe!
We have also started to dress the main balcony with potted plants and flowering plants...it is looking like a mini jungle already. The balcony is also sporting a new hanging light. Recently, I bought another hanging light for the second balcony from bedroom #1. I also bought a nice-looking wall light for bedroom #1. Sorry, no photos yet.
No furniture yet for bedroom #1 and #2. Since I am not staying there yet, we can furnish these two rooms at a later stage. I really hope Dad will not turn the bedrooms into store rooms! I hope he will be proud of our home and keep it tidy instead of the rubbish-dump of a place he has in KL. Waaa....can really pengsan-lor if you were to visit his KL home.
Click the images below for caption
October 31 2008 HAPPY HALLOWEEN
Halloween weekend came and went this past weekend. Momo, a club in Upper Penang Road had a halloween make-over competition. It was really good. The horrific contestants paraded up and down the little cul-de-sac where the club is located. The parade was a hit with the tourists and locals...me included. I didn't take a lot of photos since my model, Steffie didn't want to get too near some of them. Hahaha! Now she regretted for not taking photos with all the horrors.
Anyways, the weekend was also the Christian Cheng Beng weekend...All Soul's Day-lah, which causes a minor traffic jam in Western Road, the road leading up to Penang Botanical Gardens. No photos of the christian cemetary to accompany this post since I don't know of anyone related buried there.
Upper Penang Road - Halloween Oct. 2008
Upper Penang Road - Steffie & Nurse Horror
Upper Penang Road Oct.2008 Halloween Have a Baby Horror
Starview Restaurant, Penang
October 12 2008 Changes in Penang ...
The Starview Restaurant in Penang is moving!
Another iconic food joint is moving from it's current location in Jalan Burma to New World Park. This restaurant is very very popular especially if you want to host a dinner function for your family or friends or office workers. Their specialty is the Lay Hoo (Fish) Steam Boat with onion and shallot sauce, and not forgetting their roast duck with jellyfish. If I am not mistaken, their choon piah (fried fat-skinned spring rolls, not those skinny ones) is also quite good.
Hmmm...looks like after the announcement of Georgetown being added to the coveted Unesco World Heritage List, there's quite a few changes in Penang. Let me go take a few more photos to share here on the changes that has been going on in Penang. Are all these changes good for Penang? Will it attract more tourists to the state? I hope under the stewardship of the new gomen in Penang, the Pearl of the Orient will shine once more...and also the mentality of the people of Penang.
September 28 2008 Penang Bridge Widening Progress...and What do I hate about using my Aifontriji ...
Check out the progress of our Penang Bridge widening project...Goodness, it is really taking a long time to get to where we are now. The result? Well, judge for yourself from the pictures I took from the bus on the way back from a wedding dinner sometime back. Sitting on the executive bus/coach helps, especially a double-decker bus. With the height, I can see the progress of the widening project. As you can see, not much widening is there? Well, hopefully this will turn out to be a dedicated lane for the motobike riders instead of them currently competing for space with the other four wheel or urmm..six-wheeler vehicles, and being a nuisance...
What do I hate about using my Aifontriji... 1. Cut-and-Paste functionality - there's no feature available to perform this task. Shocking, isn't it, for a state-of-the-art phone. 2. Bluetooth functionality is crippled! There's no way you can transfer photo to another BT-enabled phone. 3. No way to forward SMS. 4. No way to send MMS...I am not sure if I can receive MMS either, but this feature is no big deal for me, since I can use Wi-Fi. 5. No way to make video calls either since there's no application to perform this task. 6. Not able to display my contacts by category 7. Not able to have preset sms text messages, like I am in a meeting, I will be there in 10mins... - saves typing mar.
September 18 2008 Bus Trip, Wedding Dinner & Aifontriji ...
Solly no update until recently. I was busy mar...got new toy gadget. Check it out below - unboxing of my much-in-demand toy gadget, especially in Malaysia ... my Birthday present lar from my sister, ML, who came back from Singapore.
Wooo Hooo! Love her v.much !!! This trip back home, she not only bring my present but she became an amateur papparazi too!
BUS TRIP & Wedding Dinner I went on a bus trip over the weekend...well last weekend. The bus trip was down to KL to attend my ex-colleagueS's wedding dinner. Yeah! ex-colleagueS with a capital Sssss at the end. You see, both the bride and groom are my ex-colleagues...well the bride, MK (see picture below) was reporting to me but not the groom (not in picture, you can see him here), but all of us worked for the same company once. Well, I am still working for the same company since then but not the bride and groom now... Hahahahaha.. so chong-hey, right? Never mind lar...this is my web diary mar. I went down on the Plusline coach (see picture below) and came back on Aeroline...well I took another coach/bus company, because it had rave review from my Mum. Hahahaha, so must try lor.
Waaa...the Aeroline-ah, comes with cabin crew ler, just like flying...their motto is The Convenient Way To FLY, Serious! Their service is like flying lor - got cabin crew ONE coach/bus steward, got seat belt, got light meals - provided by Subway Sandwiches! Got announcement....Announcement for pit pee stop - 10 minutes. Hahahaha, but as usual lar...the pit pee stop is slightly longer than 10 minutes...because got old elderly citizens mar. Oh yah...got in-flight in-bus entertainment somemore - they show movie lor, but the second movie cut short - arrived in Penang bus terminal before the second movie end. They were screening Troy.
CHOooOP! It is late, I am tired. I am going to bed now ... To Be Continued ...
August 26 2008 A visit to Tenggol...
I am going to dive Tenggol from Aug 30th to 1st Sep (3D2N) with 6 Dives...over the Merdeka weekend.
Only in Malaysia, especially Penang, my hometown, you will see the following scenes being played out. This year with the petrol hike causing everything to be expensive, many setup such as these are not as grandiose as in previous years. The chinese roadside play which tells stories of old are getting very rare these days...In time, I think the following scenes will become a rare sight, or extinct. Oh yah...as the hungry ghost month comes to an end...we will be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival where mooncakes will be served and exchanged. We will also get to see children carrying lanterns...and lantern making competitions.
August 5 2008 Thinking of moving my digital real estate...
I can't believe it! My digital real estate @ number 205.178.xxx.xx, CA(CANADA)-ONTARIO-TORONTO is coming close to 10 years old. Yeah...didn't you know that my digital estate is located in Canada? Hahaha! Neither did I. I bought this digital estate in January 2002. It was not until around June of the same year that I look into building my digital home, my website, my webby home. It wasn't until just a few years ago that I started to furnish my digital home. Yeah, it took me *that* long to start "furnishing" my webby home.
Anyways, how's the traffic around my digital estate? Let's go check what Alexa says...
Soon.name has a traffic rank of: 26555546,377,090 Speed: Not available Other sites that link to this site: No Data
Reach for Soon.name: Percent of global Internet users who visit this site
1 wk. Avg.
3 mos. Avg.
3 mos. Change
Traffic Rank for Soon.name: Alexa traffic rank based on a combined measure of page views and users (reach)
1 wk. Avg.
3 mos. Avg.
3 mos. Change
Page Views per user for Soon.name: The number of unique pages viewed per user per day for this site
1 wk. Avg.
3 mos. Avg.
3 mos. Change
Not that impressive, right? Anyways, with the recent problems with TMNUT's Streamyx services, it got me thinking about moving my digital home-lor. I am thinking of moving closer to my birthplace...Shall I give this digital estate up? Shall I go invest in a closer-to-home digital estate?
Anyways, before I end this post...here's the latest addition to KSB...meet Best, the yang to the ying (Lady):
It has been a while since I last update this website...and one of my readers buzzed me about it. She wanted to know about my last trip. Welllll, I am lazy to write about it. So, this will be a quick update - I will be going to Dungun to dive Tenggol this coming Merdeka weekend. Aahhhh...it will be nice to visit the Blue again.
On the work front, I am back to being busy again. This time at least I will have a colleague to share the challenges with...Hahahahaha! We are called the Intel Duo...
On the home front, my mum will be going for her second eye surgery in a week or two - August 7 2008.
Lastly....arggghhh...this Internet connection is so blardy slow!
Your results: You are Spider-Man
You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky and have great power and responsibility.
Not beneath the blue this time...going on a land tour instead. Going to see some ruins where my house-maid comes from - central java. I am going to YOGYAKARTA or JOGJAKARTA, the city in Java Island that is also called by her simple name as Jogja or Yogya. I will be away on a Jogjakarta MAS Golden Holiday guided tour. Being a Penangite, we love food...glorious food, so my house maid says must try Gudeg, Mbok Berek, Kipo, Jadah Tempe...she said she'll write me a list of food to try
Day 01 June 6 Arrival Jogjakarta and off to visit Prambanan Temple (Hindu temple)
Day 02 June 7 Leaving for Dieng Plateau to visit Borobudur Temple (Buddhist temple) Aiks! It says EARLY morning departure, but, but, but I am not a morning person. I hope this is not going to be a SUNRISE tour...it is, then leave time is 5am!...that is FIVE AM! 0500 hrs!!! I guess to miss the crowds, one must sacrifice sleep.
Day 03 June 8 Back to YOGYAKARTA for a Yogyakarta Tour. Visit Kraton (Sultan Royal Palace), Ngasem Bird Market, Water Castle (Taman Sari), Batik Home Industry and Silverwork at Kotagede. Lunch at local restaurant. Back to hotel. The rest of the day is free or in the night use your time to enjoy the Ramayana Ballet in Prambanan (optional program). Hmmm...I wonder if the ballet is worth the money to watch.
Day 04 June 9 Hmmm...I wonder what's the plan? Maybe go for a Volcano Tour.
Day 05 Bye, bye Jogjakarta..Hello KL (transit), HOME - Penang!
That got your attention huh? Lady is ONE year old...and my mum thinks she needs panties to protect her...most likely to prevent having to clean up after Lady. Kinda like protection or pad, my mum said. If not, we may need to clean up blood trails in the house. This is also to prevent Nike, the old timer from "splitting" Lady. Kakakakakakakakakakaka!
What are you looking at?
Lady - 1 year old
March 30 2008 A visit to the Penang High Court-Supreme Court Buildings...
Today I went for a site visit with the Penang Heritage Trust to the Penang High Court-Supreme Court Buildings & Logan Memorial in George Town, Penang. The visit was also co-hosted by Arkitek Urbanisma with approval from the High Court. The tour and powerpoint briefing was conducted by AR Nik Rahiman Taib, the architect consultant of Urbanisma.
A brief history lesson - the high court buildings were constructed in 1905 as the Supreme Courts on the site of the original courthouse buildings from 1809. The impressive government buildings were designed by the colonial engineers of the Public Works Department.
Today, a new multi-storey building, an annex to the main building has been built to compliment the main building. They have also completed restoring the main building. Did you know that a "gem" was found during the restoration of the building? Have you ever wondered what is under the dome of the building? Roll-over the image below to get the answer...
The Logan’s Memorial, dedicated to James Richardson Logan, used to stand at the western end of the courthouse grounds. Today, this memorial has been relocated to the front of a modern seven storey block next to Dewan Sri Pinang. This is on a piece of State land across the street from the main high court-supreme court building.
I am back! I saw a manta ray and leopard shark! Unfortunately, the whale shark eluded us this time around. I guess, we will have to settle for a mummy whale and calf on the way back. WoooHooo! That made the experience of staying and living off this boat for 5 days worth it with the following crew mates. Thank goodness! The sea is kind and we didn't ended up like the crew of the S.S. Minnow as in Gilligan's Island.
There is a reason why I mention Gilligan's Island - there's really is an actress, well-known Thai soap opera/drama series actress on board. She is a diver too with matching dive suit, bag, and dive alert sausage, which is PINK! Talking about sausage, another well-known Thai actor was also with her on this trip. They were filming an environmental awareness film on this trip.
Anyways, I will upload a short movie clip as soon as I get the photos of the mummy whale and calf. This is because the photos were captured as stills by a fellow diver. I am going to stitch those photos together to make a short movie clip.
This video on the left I made below is an attempt to emulate Cloverfield...what do you think? Is it a good imitation?
One of my favourite picture I took on this trip. It was taken during a night dive in ummm...hmmm...I think it was at Koh Tachai...Shoots! I can't recall which island stop it was, but anyways, this picture was definetly taken during a night dive for sure. As for when my next dive trip will be?...Perhaps Pulau Tenggol, end of August with LongTW and WW.
With the CNY festivities over, I am now looking forward to my vacation. I am off on a cruise to Andaman Sea from March 8 to 12. I will be sailing to Mu Koh Similan, Marine National Park. I will also be stopping by Richelieu Rock at Mu Koh Surin, one of the world's top listed locations for sighting WHALE SHARKS! WooooHooo! However, this rock is in open seas, and I am kinda worried about the strong currents. Along the route, I will also be stopping by Koh Bon and Koh Tachai.
Check out this affordable luxury boat, called the M/V PP Harmony (Length: 25.0 m, Width: 5.5 m). She has a crew of 6, dive leaders, and 1 cruise manager.
Waaa...These pictures reminds me of those we see in a not-so-long-ago TV reality show called, Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous. Hahahahahaha! So, watch out for the next post after my trip, on whether the experience was indeed like those we imagine of the rich and famous when they go sailing on a luxury boat.
Anyways, you must be wondering what type of cruise is this? If you know me, I am into recreational scuba diving, so this "cruise" is a Liveaboard (LOB). This will be one exciting experience for me as I have not done a LOB before in my diving history. There'll be a total of 14 dives whilst I am sailing on this boat. The dive sites are:
Finally, the lau-juak 15 days of CNY, of visting and eating...and more eating is finally over. Well that's what we all did, didn't we? Being a little piggy, all those yummy chinese new year cookies, like peanut cookies, khuey-bang-kek, khuey-ka-pek, pineapple tarts, YEE SANG! Simply irresistable! Yummy!
Feeling kinda sad when the CNY decorations are been taken down and stored away. It means the final curtain call to signify the culmination of festivities since December 2006 has finally come down. Back to work, everyone!
February 6 2008 Another poignant commercial from Petronas...
Today is the eve of Chinese New Year, and Petronas delivers yet another poignant commercial for this festive season. The commercial is directed by Yasmin Ahmad, acclaimed director for directing these heartrending local movies, Sepet, Gubra and Mukhsin. Prior to this commercial for CNY, Petronas's commercial for Raya was also very heartwrenching way back in 2006...
This year's commercial is titled "Nobody's Child" with a tagline, "Many would give anything just to experience the joy of a family reunion. Please be home for the reunion dinner, if you can." It is only 3 minutes long. There's a write up about the man behind the storryboard for this commercial in The Star.
Keong Hee, Keong Hee Huat Chai. May the year of the rat brings you much joy, success and abundance!
The preparations to usher in Chinese New Year has reached fever pitch. Many chinese homes are now getting ready with all the last minute shopping and decoration to usher in the new 12-year cycle of the Chinese animal zodiac. 2007 was the Year of the Pig, which is the last animal in the Chinese animal 12-year cycle zodiac. So...in 2008, a brand new cycle begins. It is the Year of the Rat. The first day of Chinese New Year officially starts on Feb 4, which in traditional Chinese Culture, that is the start of spring, BUT following the Gregorian calendar, first day of chinese new year in 2008 will be celebrated on February 7 2008. We have decorated the front-door. We also hung lanterns and lights around the pillars. Decoration @ Main Entrance
Getting ready for the BBQ...Oh yah...for the Chinese Reunion Dinner - we have decided to hold a BBQ instead. Yum Yum!
Check out the munchies, drinks and fruits! YUM YUM!
Thaipusam, a Hindu festival has come and gone. This event is one of the many highlights of Penang. The event can be compared to the mardi gras or the street carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Here are some photos below which I have captured before the event. A day before the event and after the event, massive traffic jam in Penang! Anyways, there's more pictures in my friend's blog. He is quite excited about this event and has quite a few entries in his blog - part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5. See...I told you he is very excited over this event. Imagine! 5 blog entries!
The round-about at Gurney Drive has a make over. I think it is depicting the sea waves since Gurney Drive is by the sea...but if you look closer, the surrounding area now looks like a mangrove at low tide - full of mud. Hmmmm...those the metal birds should be painted black! Why? Well, do you see any seagulls around Gurney Drive? No, right? But lots of crows!
TMNUT's streamyx is not behaving again. In the past few days, I have no internet connectivity...well I did have the connectivity then it stopped working. The connection is not stable at all. Not only did I have Internet issues, but electricity failures too! Anyways, this is just a quick entry post from workplace to explain the silence. I will be back shortly when I have consistent electricity and Internet connection.
May the dawn of 2008 brings you much joy, abundance and accomplishments. Happy New Year!
Time appears to be moving faster than I would have liked it to be. It is just like yesterday that we celebrated Christmas and now the new year is upon us. Before we all know it, in a month's time, Chinese New Year will arrive, ushering in a new cycle. You see this Chinese New Year will be the Year of the Rat, the first animal in the chinese 12 animal zodiac cycle. It is the dawn of the new era. 2008 will also bring the Olympics to Beijing, China. Looks like 2008 is going to bring lots of unexpected changes and hopefully they are all for the better
Christmas has come and gone. So, what did you get for Christmas? Something surprisingly good I hope. Anyways, my Santa was my sister, ML. She sms'ed me to wish me a Merry Christmas, and to inform me that my Christmas present is an ice-silver PSP! In the picture below, it is the one on the right. Wow, OH Wow! A brand new Sony PSP 2000 Console! I am feeling lots of love since it will be a gift from my wish list! Alas, I can only see it when she comes back home for a visit in Jan. 2008.
Oh yah! Before I forget, what do you get if you mate the dogs, Casper (male) and Blackie (female)?
You will get my bearded LADY...SURPRISE! She is neither white nor black, but...
Dec. 22 2007 Another Wedding... December is a busy month for weddings. The wedding is between my colleague, Simran and Jaspal. They were the couple who gave this rascal to me. Of all the weddings which I have attended so far, this particular wedding is very rare, especially when I don't have many friends or colleagues who has "Singh" or "Kaur" as part of their name. This wedding is a Punjabi or Sikh wedding. A Sikh wedding is a long affair, three days as I was informed. Anyways, I went for the formal religious wedding itself at the Sikh Temple in the morning. This is where the prayers and Laava are being held and then off to Langar, which is the Lunch. This is the only opportunity to observe my colleague following her traditional roots, which is so unlike her. LOL! As with all weddings, there is no exception to this wedding - the Luncheon started late! To remember this day, I have captured a few photos...
Dec. 06 2007 Christmas is approaching As Christmas approaches, so does the end of the year. Well if you recall my previous post about my Christmas wish list (see Trackback below)... I have bought myself a new graphic card. My old graphic card is on the left and the new on the right. Goodness! The graphics are being rendered beautifully fast! How fast? Well, the 3DMark06 score is 9286 for 1024x768 resolution and 8905 for my LCD's native resolution 1680x1050. The benchmark results roughly shows that I am getting ~2x return in terms of performance. So you bet, when it comes to playing games like Hellgate London...Beautiful! So SANTA! If you are reading, I already got myself the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB graphics card upgrade for my computer rig!
Nov. 19 2007 A letter from SPAIN! Today I received an interesting snail mail with a stamp from MADRID. OH WOW! All the way from SPAIN! I was wondering who I knew from Spain. The stamp is quite nice, and the stamping ink was labelled CORREOS. NICE! Anyways, upon opening the letter, SHUCKS! It is The-Big-Big Lotto letter scam! Since I don't have a scanner, I will troll the internet for a sample of the letter to share with you. *trolling* *trolling* Here you go...
FROM: THE DESK OF THE MANAGING DIRECTOR CALLE DON CARLOS 11 NO 145 INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPT 29090 ZARAGOZA, ESPANA REF: EL/6013343856/04, BATCH:5648/BT TELE & FAX:0034-685-279-780 ATTENTION: [My Full Name] 12 November 1007
RE: AWARD NOTIFICATION/ FINAL NOTICE.
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Spanish Christmas Lottery PROGRAM which was held on the 16th of AUGUST 2007, due to mix up, names were finally released on the 12th of NOVEMBER 2007. Your name attached to a Ticket Number 025-11464992-750 with Serial Number 2113-05 drew the Lucky Numbers 02-03-13-38-42-07-08, which consequently won the lottery in the 1st category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of EURO € 585,510. (FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY FIVE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND TEN EUROS) incash credited to the file REFERENCE NUMBER: EL/601334856/04 and the BATCH NUMBER: 5648/BT. This is from the total cash price of EURO € 9,953,670.00 (NINE MILLION, NINE HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED AND SEVENTY EUROS) shared among the seventeen international winners in this category. Congratulations!!! Your fund is now deposited in an offshore bank insured to your name. Due to the mix up of some numbers and names, we advice that you keep this award from public notice, until your claims has been processed, and your money remitted to your nominated bank account, as this is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking advantage of this program by the general public. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 25,000 names from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America as part of our international promotions program, which we conduct twice every year. We hope that with part of your prize, you will part-take in our next high stake promotion agenda of € $13, 000,000.00 (THIRTEEN MILLION EUROS). To begin your claims, please contact your claim agent DON MARTIN ALEXANDRE, foreign services manager ,payment and release order department, CORREDOR DE SEGUROS S.A. on TEL:0034-695-338-267 and FAX: 0034-685-445-107 for processing and remittance of your winning fund into your designated bank account Congratulations! Note: All prize funds must be claimed not later than 22th OF DECEMBER 2007. After this date all funds will be returned to the MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y HACIENDA as unclaimed fund. In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please endeavour to quote your Reference and Batch numbers in every correspondence with your agent or us. Furthermore, should there be any change in your address, do inform your claims agent as soon as possible. Congratulations!!! DON GILL PINTO (VICE-PRESIDENT)
They also attached a nice form for payment processing with the letter. Oh well, I got a nice stamp from Spain to be added to my stamp collection. Hmmm...where is my stamp collection albums anyways?!
p.s. If you look up "Spanish Christmas Lottery Program" in Google, you will be surprise to find that it does exist. BUT DON'T BE FOOLED by the The-BIG-BIG elephant! To you scammers, please be more considerate for mother nature - SAVE THE TREES! SAVE POWER!
Nov. 13 2007 All I want for Christmas is/are... Christmas is just around the corner. Gasps! Goodness! This also means that the New Year and the Chinese New Year is just around the corner! SO, all I want for Christmas is...here's my wish list!
PSP Slim & Lite Playstation 2 or Playstation 3 Xbox-360 Premium
A nice NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB graphics card upgrade for my computer rig OR
Attended a wedding today hosted by the bride side, who is my ex-colleague from work. Ahhh! The nice thing about attending a Malay wedding is that you don't have to pasang kuat kuat for the event nor do you have to worry about having to arrive on time, which is before the arrival of the bride and groom. The event is very lively and informal with a feast to boot. The feast and preparation for the wedding is usually done in a gotong-royong (cooperation) style among friends, family and the entire kampung. However, in modern times, these tradition way of gotong-royong has given way to modern simplicity - hired help and caterers!
Even though the feast is lively, free and informal, as with any events where inconsiderate human beings are alive, there will be wastages. It is most unfortunate that this event is also not spared. See the picture I took below - food wastages. Goodness! If you cannot finish in the first place, why help yourself with so much food. Sheeeeze...some humans are so damn inconsiderate!
Finally, the first trailer has been released for the much-awaited animated version of the Dragonlance Chronicles, by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman. The Dragonlance Chronicles consists of three books, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Spring Dawning, and Dragons of Winter Night. This animation is produced based on the second book, Dragons of Autumn Twilight. More information go to the Official Dragonlance Movie website.
I may think I am an asshole or a bitch, but the truth is I am a good person at heart. Yeah sure, I can have a mean streak in me, but most of the people I meet like me. Take the Asshole/Bitch Test @ FualiDotCom
I am feeling much much better now. I am still getting use to my newly acquired surgical scar though. Ahhh...Mr Sritharan can be an excellent tailor too, his stitching skills are very good. Anyways, I have returned to work for 2 weeks already. Boy! Time sure flies. As we approach the end of the year, festivities galore are coming...First up is the Raya holidays - we will all be enjoying an extended weekend, Saturday until Tuesday! Wooo Hooo!
The Hari Raya, usually two days, is a time where Muslims celebrate the festival of Aidilfitri, to mark the culmination of Ramadhan, the holy month of fasting. It is a time to forgive and forget, a time to seek pardon for past quarrels. It is also a time for many "open house" where yummy Raya food, like beef rendang, satay, lemang, serunding and curry chicken are often served. Yummy, yum yum! During this period, coincidentally, the Taoist faith festival, Kew Ong Yeah or Nine Emperor Gods Fest starts. The devotees will go on a 10-day vegetarian diet. You can read about it here and here. I am sure my friend, Francis will have more details on this festival in his blog.
I have spent the entire morning at the hospital to get my final post-surgery follow-up checks done. Look at my uroflowmetry report below, the results are very good! Mr. Sritharan, my consultant urologist performed an excellent job in reconstructing my plumbing. Oh yah, there's one last thing he had to perform before sending me away - he had to remove an irritating and painful stitch for me! It was a relief after he removed that pain-in-the-a**-hole (literally) stitch that seemed to refuse to dissolve by itself.
He also gave a me a stack of capsules to consume for my kidney stones. They are called Urocalun. The supply is for a month, and he advised no strenuous or amorous activities for the next one month. Oh man, better put away my p0rn... Yaaaaay! No more tests until my next appointment to see him in a month's time.
I am on the road to recovery. Yesterday, I got my X-Ray done. Good News! No leakages was seen.
My catheterization has been removed. So, I am now going through rehabilitation in using my own plumbing for the next few days....and I am now able to sleep in any position I want without having to worry about the tube. Yaaaayyy! My pee pee also doesn't look like a "Balitong" stuck with a tube anymore.
I am still not fit for work yet. Got another appointment to see the doc again on Monday Oct. 1 for more tests. Goodness! The recovery time from this type of surgery seems to be taking around 18+ days and counting
It's been a week since I came back from the hospital from my anastomotic urethroplasty to continue my healing process at home. I can't wait for tomorrow, where the doc will finally remove my catheterization. Hmmm, I hope I remember how to wee wee without it. I'm also worried about the removal since I kinda got used to the tube being in there. I said kinda...that is because in the mornings, it is not something you will want to wake up to, especially when he tries to crawl up the tube!
So, what have I have been doing during my times of recuperation? Since I can't go anywhere, I have been resting...not quite, the workaholic in me just can't resist logging into the company's email. Oh yah, I have also been busy writing my very long post below. My sister, between her flights, dropped in to see me. Dad is also in town to give me moral support. My second belly button is healing and the stitches are also healing. At least I am walking normally now instead of walking like an old man or a pregnant woman. Hahahahaha! Some parts are still sensitive to touch though. Hmmm...I hope when I can start to wear underwear, the underwear better not chafed the sensitive areas, else OUCH! Anyways, tomorrow will reveal more of how successful was the surgery and also how my own healing abilities have been performing. Keep me in your prayers and pray that the reconnection of my hose has connected and healed wonderfully with no leakages!
There's a reason behind my online silence lately. It has nothing to do with me going on a long vacation or being a workaholic. In actual fact, not long after my "Baby" arrived and also not long after my birthday, my "plumbing" feels blocked. My pee pee flow is as if someone is slowly turning off at the mains. It got to a stage where I started to have excruciating pain whenever I try to pee! It is as though someone is shoving a spiked-dildo up my ass, or it felt like as though I am trying pass out many, many razor blades!
Ow! Ow! Ow!
Anyways, the night before, and this is on Sept. 4, I have started to feel feverish. This is not a good sign. So, early next morning, I have decided to drop by the hospital to see my urologist before going to work for a check-up. I went early around 8:30am-ish to register myself. Goodness! How long must I have to wait to see the urologist? Whilst waiting, I have started to get the chills and also feeling feverish. This is really, really not a good sign. It got so bad that I had to request the nurse to give me a blanket to keep warm. Finally after what seems like ages to me, I get to see the urologist to explain all my symptoms to him. Immediately he informed me that I will have to be admitted for antibiotic treatment. This is because the symptoms I have described shows that I am having some sort of bacteria infection in the bladder. Hospitalization, again? I was quite adamant that I do not like the idea of having to be admitted into the hospital yet again. Not so soon after my last stay! This will be the second time within a month or two. The last time I was admitted was after I came back from my diving trip to Lembeh Straits. Upon returning, I was down with viral fever that refused to go away. I had to stay in the hospital for about 5 days to have the antibiotic administered intravenously.
This year is really not a good year for me as predicted according to the Chinese astrology studies. Gosh, the hospital is starting to be like a second home. Called my boss to let him know that I will be taking medical leave for the day.
Anyways, back to my story, I was then given panadol for the fever and was sent for blood test as well as an ultrasound. Oh boy...this is the beginning of my torture! Since I have to go for an ultrasound, the prerequisite is that one needs to have a full bladder for the ultrasound to work correctly. OH MY GOODNESS, a full bladder! First of all, I am already struggling to pee and also trying to hold my bladder without embarrassing myself. So, a full bladder?!! This marks the start of one of many tortures to come.
After the blood test, and the torturous ultrasound, which by the way found 2 campers in my left kidney, approximately ~4-5mm each and another one in my right kidney, about 5mm. The initial prognosis of why I can't pee properly could be that a stone could have dropped down into my "saluran kencing" (ureter or urethra). Hence the pain, the inability to pee or hold my pee in properly. Oh by the way, there's a difference between ureter and urethra. A short science lesson - ureter is one of the two tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. On the other hand, the urethra is the narrow tube that carries the urine from the bladder to the outside of our bodies, and it also serves as the channel which lets out the sperms in males. In 'tar-por' the urethra is a bloody long hose, as it starts from the end of our bladder until the top of our KKC. For 'char-bor'-leh, it is much shorter. Anyhoos, since my blood test was not back in time, the doc sent me home for lunch and to return at 2.30pm to get the diagnosis. I went home feeling miserable cause my bladder feels full most of the time. I also can't seem to hold my bladder, and the loo beckons frequently. Ow, ow, OWWWwwwww!
Packed my book, toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, spare T-shirt and a pair of shorts ... I am checking in!
Dear Hospital Diary,
Day 1 Wednesday 5/9 - It is now afternoon. They have checked me in to Room 513-1. A two-bedded ward. An IV drip has been inserted in my left hand and the first dosage of the antibiotics treatment has been administered. The feeling of as-if-someone-is-shoving-up-a-spiked-dildo-up-my-ass whenever I try to pee is very much less now. However, I am still finding it very difficult to pee. The pee-flow is getting slower too. Anyways, some good news from my doctor, my kidneys are ok, prostrate is ok, but my bladder appears to have foreign matters swimming inside as seen in the ultrasound. SO...the doc informed me that first thing first, he will have to treat my bladder infection or UTI, then to find out what's really causing me not to pee properly and lastly, my kidney stones. Time to call my boss to let him know that I am now hospitalized for the rest of the week. Day 2 Thursday 6/9- The antibiotics treatment is progressing well. However the vein where the IV is located has started to show signs of redness and swelling. I think they will be taking it out and inserting another one soon. The loo is now my torture chamber. News of my hospitalization has started to spread in the office. Day 3 Friday 7/9 - The IV has been taken out from my left hand. A new one is inserted in my right-hand. I had a surprise visitor today. My HR manager who is in town, came to visit me in the hospital during the lunch break. So sweet of her. My handsome doc came to let me know that on Monday, he will have to perform a cystoscopy. Arrghhh! During the night, my right arm started to ache like hell. The bloody air-con is blowing directly onto my IV drip making the solution cold. That could be causing my shoulder to ache so badly. I wish I could get a nice warm mitten to cover the solution bottle. I didn't sleep well. Day 4 Saturday 8/9 - My doc is not in town. He has gone to the capital city and will be back to see me on Sunday. I am starting to get restless. The substitute doc informed that if I wanted to, I could get home leave but come back for my antibiotic shots. Going to pee is now an agonizing task. How I envy how some people can pee so easily.
Day 5 Sunday 9/9 - My doc is back. Yahoo! I get HOME LEAVE. Well, it is like being on parole for like 5 hours or so, since I have to return to the hospital by 7pm-ish for my antibiotic shots. My uncle is in town, so we went out for lunch in my Baby. I get to drive Baby. Time sure flies by quickly. Damn! I had to get back to the hospital. I can't really get a good rest in the hospital. This is because the nurses on duty has a routine to follow - they must check the patient's blood pressure and temperature every now and then. It so so annoying especially when you are about to doze off, here they come wanting to take your blood pressure and temperature. Pluuuzzzeee, gimme a break! Oh yah, one more thing, why on earth must they always wake the patients up so bloody early ~5-6am-ish. It is worse than waking up going to school or work.
Day 6 Monday 10/9 - Scope-Day. Here's how the torture device looks like
In the morning, they had me changed into the hospital gown for the procedure. I was wheeled down to Level 1 in a wheelchair. First up, I had to go through a urodynamic test, where a uroflowmeter automatically measures the amount of urine and the flow rate—that is, how fast the urine comes out. The result of this test will then help to determine if the bladder muscle is weak or whether the urine flow is obstructed, or whether a previous stricture has returned or not.
So, on with the scope story, the nurse clean my KKC around the urethral opening and apply a local anesthetic through my one-eyed dragon using a syringe. OMG! I can't really describe the feeling in words as the anesthetic goes in, but it is really uncomfortable. Once the anesthetic takes effect, this is like after an hour or so, the doctor was called. The doctor will gently insert the tip of the cystoscope into the urethra and slowly glide it in. There's a camera attached to the scope and I get to see it live on the TV too. It is very fascinating to watch, and thus, it alleviates any discomfort I may have felt. We were all shocked as the scope snakes in, to find instead of narrowing, the passage-way is totally obstructed by a wall of fibrous tissue! OMG! No wonder I can't pee properly. There's only a tiny pin prick of a hole that can be seen. The nurse captured four shots as reference.
So, what's next? The doctor had to perform suprapubic cystostomy! This procedure is one really scary procedure for me. I am awake for the duration of procedure! On a positive note, what a relief I felt when the procedure completed. Finally, I can really clear my bladder. I don't feel bloated anymore. After that ordeal, I had to go through another torturous experience - a retrograde urethrogram (X-ray diagnostic test) to determine the position, length and severity of the stricture. The retrograde urethrogram involves insertion of a contrast dye, some sort of sticky clear fluid to our naked eye, but can be seen very clearly on an X-ray; into the urethra at the tip of my KKC. Another injection of this contrast dye goes through my SPC (suprapubic catheter) as the nurses called it at the same time. The contrast injected from below fills the urethra up to the injured area, and the contrast injected from above fills the bladder and the urethra down to the stricture. When these two films together, they allow the surgeon to determine the gap between the two ends in order to plan the surgical repair. This procedure is another agonizing and torturous experience I have ever experienced in my life. This is because the bloody X-Ray machine malfunction whilst I was going through the procedure. Torture, torture!
Day 7 Tuesday 11/9 - Rest Day! The result of the X-Ray came back. The length of my stricture is about 1.5cm long, and it is located at around the bulbar urethra area, just before our actual wee wee section (penile urethra) starts and end at the tip of our wee wee (meatus). According to urologyhealth.org, the bulbar urethra, penile urethra and meatus make up the anterior urethra, which is nine to 10 inches long! Today is the day before my anastomotic urethroplasty, which means open reconstruction of a short urethral stricture to remove the stricture and to reconnect the two good ends.
Time for some reflection...how did this occur? According to the doctor, it could be caused by bicycle-straddle injury trauma. The stricture of the anterior urethra would have occurred without me realizing it. Anyways, according to the doc, there could have been a tear then, and as with any tissue tearing or cut, scar tissue will form. So, basically the scar tissue grew and sealed my hose on the inside.
Day 8 Wednesday 12/9 - This is the day, SURGERY DAY! Goodness! In order to prepare for the surgery, I had to clear all my bowels. Last night, I was given a concoction of Fleet and some pills. Fleet was really really really URRRgggGGHHhhhh!!! It was worst than taking asphalt salts. According to the surgeon, the surgery was going to take ~3 hours. I was wheeled in to the OT around, I think 1.30pm-ish. I was given epidural anesthesia and also a GA. The GA is really smelly. I was totally knocked out. The actual surgery I think only started around 3pm-ish or perhaps 4pm-ish. This is because according to my mum, I was not back at the ward until around 7pm-ish. She was so worried. I only gain full awareness when they were moving me from the after-surgery bed to the ward bed, ready to be wheeled back to my ward. Oh boy! Don't really know what was happening, but I was shivering uncontrollably with teeth chattering. I must be one hell of a sight to whoever was there to greet me at the ward. Anyways, I am very thankful to see familiar faces when I came to. You guys know who you are! Thank you for being there! Day 9 Thursday 13/9 - Recovery time with painkillers. My back aches like hell! I have quite a few visitors to cheer me up. Flowers were delivered to brighten the room. Shucks! I should have taken a photo of the flower bouquets. I have also named my two bags, "Prada" and "LV". "Prada" being the suprapubic catheter (SPC). There's also one other tube, some sort of post-surgery drainage tube attached to me. All-in-all, I have 3 tubes, no, make that 4 tubes, I have forgotten about the IV, attached to me. Day 10 Friday 14/9 - Day 11 Saturday 15/9 - I have started to sit-up. The doc also advised me to move around the bed bit rather than lying down all the time since this may lead to trombosis. They are removing the IV and "Prada" today, well only the urine bag. They are going to clamp the suprapubic catheter, just in case. They have also removed the post-surgery drainage tube - OOOOOOOooowww! The removal hurts a lot Day 12 Sunday 16/9 - Moving day! Moving from room 513-1 to 512-1. I have started to feel much better already from the surgery. My stomach is no longer full of wind. Have been farting quite a bit too. This is usually a very good sign after surgery. Doc said he will removing the "Prada" on Monday and I can go home with "LV", that is the other catheterization-lah (CBD). "LV" will be left in for two weeks and will only be removed after an X-ray is performed to ensure healing of the repair. Day 13 Monday 17/9 - Second belly button! They have finally removed "Prada". My dressing for my stitches was also removed. Whew! What a relief! I was feeling quite hot down there. The nurse also taught me how to drain "LV". Ahhhhhhhh! Healing is in progress cause late, very late, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I know my wee wee is working because it work me up not once but twice tonight. Bloody Hell! As it try to stand on attention, the pain, the pain! It gave me a bloody headache too! Nurse! Some pain killers, pleeeeaaaseeee! Of course the bad news is that I didn't get a good night sleep. I must remember to inform the doctor tomorrow before he sends me home to continue my recuperation at home. Day 14 Tuesday 18/9 - CHECK-OUT TIME! HOME! Finally I am leaving my second home with many caring ladies, for my first home. I am still stuck with "LV", oh well, I will get used to it eventually. Here I end my hospital diary with some post-surgery pictures...
These are my friends since my sign language class days in YMCA. We have known each other since 199x. We went out for a lovely dinner today in one of the new eatery located in the new Sin Sei Kai (New World Park) in Swatow Lane. It was wonderful day since it has rained much earlier, driving the humidity away. Anyways, as we finish our dinner, it has started to drizzle once again. So, after dinner, we went for coffee and cake at Sixty-Two. The slice of chocolate cake was very good. As for the tiramisu, I had better. I am so blessed with wonderful friends.
Shucks! I have made a boo-boo during my experiments to change the layout and design of this website. Thank goodness for Google! I was able to retrieve my past entries from its cache! Yay! I have managed to salvage what I thought was lost forever in the digital trash. This taught me a lesson to backup my website first before I start experimenting.
Anyways, I gave up experimenting trying to change the layout and design. There's not much choices when it comes this web host. I was trying to make full use of the white-space on the right you see, but the damn web host is not allowing me to.
Do you remember Hawkeye? ... My Honda Civic-lah! I have decided to trade her in exchange for a larger version of her...sort of. I was informed that Hawkeye's replacement should be arriving next week. I hope she will not share the same fate as Hawkeye when Hawkeye first arrived in KSB. Well you know-lah poor Hawkeye suffered under the hands of my Mum during her first week at home. Anyways, what's past is past. So now go check out my cars in the slide-show below:
A relative waaaayyyy over the pacific ocean has requested to see more of the KSB make over. Your wish is granted. From white walls with maroon lines in the front; and white walls with yucky-brown lines in the back of the house to sun-flower yellow walls with white lines on all sides. I present you the KSB Make Over Part II...
As you know, I left my office for Lembeh Straits from May 25 to June 4, so here's my trip in pictures and short movie below. I know, I know, this report has been long overdue after I got back. What's my excuse?...Well, there's so many pictures to upload to Flickr! So be patient if the photo gallery takes a while to be created :P
Besides, I was not feeling well after my trip and was admitted to the hospital for 3 days because of some viral and bacterial infection. It must have been the food and/water, since I had the runs whilst I was diving in Lembeh. It was because of the runs, I had to forgo 2 dives - one morning dive and a night dive. Oh well, this means I must visit Lembeh Straits again sometime in the future ;P.
Sunset - leaving Bitung for Lembeh Resort
Lembeh island is beautiful, serene, and relaxing! To reach the island, we have to make our way to Bitung from Manado via van - about 2 hours away. Bitung is a shipping dock yard, with boats, container ships, containers and cranes. We have to make our way to the police jetty furthur up from the busy Bitung port to set sail towards Lembeh island. The experience reminds me of Butterworth, Pulau Jerejak & Penang.
Doesn't this reminds you of the view of Butterworth from Penang?
At the police jetty, it reminded me of the marine police jetty in Penang. The only difference here is that the water is so clear unlike our waters around Penang island - full of mud!
I am leaving my office behind for Singapore and Lembeh Straits, North Sulawesi from tomorrow until June 4 2007. I so so glad to be taking a break from the office. I need this rest to recharge. Work has been mentally exhausting. Too many new people joining the team - as green as the lushes greens, which requires patience and this is mentally draining...and let's not talk about the stress! Anyways, enough biatching about work.
Let's talk about my coming trip - Singapore as a stop-over to visit my sister - Melody. Time to check out Singapore sights and sounds before my trip to Lembeh. What am I going to do in Lembeh? Scuba diving of course, and also opportunity to master the art of underwater photography. Lembeh Straits is known as God's Dumpsite for underwater photographer enthusiasts. This is where you get to see the normal, the bizarre and the more bizarre creatures. I am hoping to catch my first glimpse of pygmy sea horses (hippocampus) on this trip. I will be staying at the Lembeh Strait Resort. BEAUTIFUL & SERENE!
All the festivals has finally ended, and now the mundane has begun. The mundane are things like WORK, and more WORK, to earn those pieces of paper which somehow has numeric values attached to it for us to survive in this world.
Anyways...the start of the year has always been very "lau-juak", that's Hokkien dialect for lots of fun! Actually, the festivities starts from Christmas from the previous year as we approach the new year. From Christmas holiday to ushering in the New Year, and then followed by Thaipusam, and finally it will culminate with the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations in February.
Reunion Dinner 2007
Ahhhhhh...CNY, very very very lau juak, long holidays, with lots of people returning home to celebrate with their family and loved ones. If you want to know a little bit more about the traditions and what we do during CNY, and before CNY...head on over to my friend's blog - Francishng blogspot, to learn more. He is very passionate about preserving the traditions, which is good, since without people like him, the traditions will be lost. This year, the year of the piggy, KSB CNY celebration is very low key since, this will be the 1st death anniversary of my Kong-Kong - that's Hokkien for grandfather. My youngest cousins, all three of them, will be spending a month in KSB with my mum playing host to them. Ahhhhh...the sounds of children, which always brings warmth and joy to any home.
As for me, with the festivities ending, I am back to being a workaholic! I have this new project, which I have been working on since November last year. Woe is me, as I have predicted, my working hours are now being downgraded to that of a production line operator - working the 12 hours shift model! Thank goodness, the hours are not like 3...wait.. 4 years ago where I had to work from 10pm to 10am! Now, it is the usual at a more reasonable time, 7am to 7pm...HOWEVER, the only bummer thing about it is that the work location is now in another state - Kulim, KEDAH! This means, I had to get my butt out of bed by 5:30AM, shower, have some very light breakfast, which is usually a cup of Milo and leave the house by 6AM to make it to work on time. Have to set an example to my employees-mah eventhough I am not a morning person, but rather a night-owl. BUMMER!
Just wait...once this project takes off, and stabilize, I am going to treat myself to a nice vacation by going diving Lembeh Straits, North Sulawesi from end of May till early June 2007. I will be staying at the Lembeh Strait Resort. Check out the resort's photos below!
This weekend has been quite a weekend. First up is the KSB Maid Boot-Camp. "Nor", the bible-reading plus-size elderly has been ejected from the boot-camp. She failed miserably in her duties since she needs lots of supervision. She has no initiative and her time management sucks big time. For the past few days prior to her elimination, I had to endure the daily so-called morning wake-up calls. Instead of morning birds singing, I had to endure loud reprimanding orders being barked off by the drill sergeant. Oh what misery it is for me during my times of recuperation for my eye.
Anyways, a new cadet has arrived to the boot camp. Lucy is her name. Hopefully, at the end of her boot-camp, the instructors will sing praises of "I love Lucy"...Hopefully, the boot-camp will not turn out to be like the comedy series of "I Love Lucy" with blunders galore. Hahahahahaha! Lucy is slim and young. The initial appraisals seems positive. The real test will be the coming Chinese New Year festival preparations. I really hope she will endure and pass with flying colours ... and it will be a relaxing CNY for me.
Ahhhhh...talking about CNY, this year, the first day will fall on Feb. 18 2007 SUNDAY! The animal host will be my birth Chinese zodiac, The Humble Piggy! Usually, the host animal will be very lucky, but alas, this year, due to the alignment of the stars and planets, the nasty quarrelsome star or planet Jupiter or something like that is also playing host. Thus, this makes the host animal not so lucky. I guess I have to arm myself with my Chinese zodiac allies, The Sheep and The Rabbit :P Pah! What did those born under the humble pig zodiac sign do, to deserve such luck.
The following week, on Wednesday and Thursday, will be very busy for the state of Penang. The Hindu festival of Thaipusam will descend on the island. To many, Thaipusam is the day of thanksgiving or atonement for wrongs. Along the usual route, Western Road, preparations has already begun. The various construction of stalls sponsored by the various multi-national companies from Bayan Baru has already sprouted along the route where the silver chariot of Lord Murugan will pass. There'll be thousands coconuts lining the route where the silver chariot will pass on that day. As the chariot approaches, typically pulled by pairs of bulls, hundreds of people, including a large ethnic-Chinese community, will be breaking the coconuts and trying to offer a platter of fruits, and other offerings to the priests on the silver chariot for blessings. I hope this year, we will see a return to more tradition roots where drums are used to beat out the trance-inducing rhythms, and wooden pipes playing the devotional tunes to create the carnival-like atmosphere, rather than the loud hip-hop music of recent times.
Changes in Penang for the new year With the arrival of the new year, another familiar landmark in Penang will disappear. The famous street food hawkers of Swatow Lane will be no more as soon as the complex behind them is completed and ready. This complex even though will be new for you and me, but to many from a long way back, will remember that at this exact location; this is where the state's premier entertainment centre once stood, the NEW WORLD PARK! It was closed down around the late 60s (I think), and was left abandoned until now. So, if you are returning or visiting Penang this year, the most famous dessert stall of Penang, the Lee's Ais Kacang or ang tau s'ng (iced red kidney beans) stall will no longer be trading by the roadside. They will be inside the new food & entertainment complex.
Dec. 14 2006 Another phase in life
Today, my mum went for her eye surgery to remove her cataract in her right eye. My sister and I went with her in the morning to the hospital. According to my mum, the surgery took about 20 minutes. Thanks to modern science and medical practice, the procedure was pretty fast. Anyways, since the surgery can be claimed under insurance, my mum will be spending the night in the hospital to recuperate.
Here's a picture of her after 3 days of surgery, her eye is healing nicely. She will have to go back to the hospital for a post-op checkup on Friday next week.
My mum post-op in her psychedelic sunglasses
Siggggggghhhh! Surgery to remove cataract, getting reading glasses, getting a beer belly stomach, getting more white hairs than usual, these are usually signs of age catching up. Really sucks when one reaches the big 3-0 and beyond. In another week or so, Christmas will be here. Oh boy! That means another year is coming to the end.
Goodness! I can't believe time fly by so fast. We will be ushering a brand new year, and the new Chinese zodiac year, it will be my year - Year of the Pig! Oink! Oink!
Thank goodness, I did not get the Atom Stealth when it debut. Come February 2007, we will be seeing O2 XDA Flame!
This beauty is going to be the first dual processor PDA phone and a very nice graphical controller - NVIDIA GoForce 5500! Drool! Drool! Drool! I wonder how much it will cost when it is released in Malaysia. The O2 XDA Flame will be manufactured by ASUSTek! Woo Hoo! The manufacturer is reliable! The detail technical specifications can be found on PDAdb.net, and for the cool cool pictures of this beauty, you can go see more on DinarSoft.
Finally, it is here! It is here! My latest computer game has arrived - Neverwinter Nights 2.
I have the original release of the game, Neverwinter Nights, and also the two expansions - Shadows of Undrentide (SoU) and Hordes of the Underdark (HoTU). Unfortunately, I didn't get all the premium modules. Did you know that Neverwinter Nights was released in 2002? For a game which is 4 years old, it is performing really well, commanding a strong fan-base. It was made popular because the developers of the game decided to include a toolset called Aurora for its community. What this means is that it allows the players, the game community to create custom contents for the game. How cool is that huh? The popularity of the game continues until today because of this ability to customise the game's content. Anyways, after a hiatus of 3 years, the sequel to the game is back. I can't wait to play the game with my mates from Asia Heaven Guild.
This year, we are lucky - it did not rain! Last year it rained during the festival. Loy Kra Thong is a Thai water festival where "lotuses" made of banana leaves with lighted candles, three joss sticks, and flowers are floated out to sea. Usually, a wish is made before setting these "lotuses" adrift out to sea.
These days, these "lotuses" are no longer made the traditional way, instead they are made of Styrofoam, not environmentally friendly these things, and pieces of crepe paper. This year the main procession started from the Siamese temple near my house in Perak Road, instead of the Reclining Buddha Temple in Burma Lane, P. Tikus. I heard that the two temples will rotate each year to play host to the Festival. This year will be the 7th year for my friend. He will make his own floating lotus or Krathong. I have made a collage of the festival below for your viewing pleasure.
October 21 and 24-25 2006 Happy Deepavali & Selamat Hari Raya!
During this long break, I have updated my website to include the ability to post comments. If you have noticed, I have also added a Flickr badge in this main page. There's also Flickr photo stream in the headers on my other webpages in this website. This Raya advertisement from Petronas is so sad. It makes me want to cry only. The husband is such a biatch, don't you think so? Anyways, if you watch towards the end, when their kids play masak masak, padan muka! Kids are such a treasure, with their innocent play, they are able to show adults the error of our ways.
October 2 2006 - Atom Stealth, and Coming Double Festival Celebration
Oh Wow! I am going to trade-in my O2 Atom for this beauty,Atom Stealth, when it comes out. In about 3 weeks, Malaysia will be celebrating a double festival celebration, Deepavali or Festival of Lights for our Hindu citizens and Hari Raya for our Muslim citizens. This will be the last of our double festival celebration, which started with Chinese New Year and Raya, called KongsiRaya. Both KongsiRaya and DeepaRaya will not be celebrated again for a long time to come. So, let's enjoy the moment of harmonious togetherness no matter what those politicians are saying!
Hawkeye's tattoo was recently removed when I was away in Bali. It was my birthday present. Damn! Not even a month has past, to enjoy a blemished free Hawkeye. Now, she is wounded by my mother again! This time my mum didn't drive Hawkeye, instead she hantam Hawkeye with her old red Charade! My poor Hawkeye got the bruises and scraps to show. I will take a picture to show the bruises soon. I have not got a clear day yet, it has been raining quite a lot these few days. Aiyo! This definitely not a good way to end an otherwise good, make that, excellent month. I really dunno what my mum has against Hawkeye since the day she arrives. First she gave Hawkeye the tattoo, and now this bruise! AIYO! I really hope that this is the end of the assaults on Hawkeye.
My first diving experience in Bali goes all the way back to 2001. I was still contemplating whether I should dive Bali again when this trip first came up. I am hesitating because of my prior experience in 2001 - "rock-n-roll" beach entry, very fast underwater currents, swells, surges and lastly the icy cold water! Frankly, the state of fitness I am currently in, it is not the ideal fitness level for this type of activity. This is due to my office desk-job, I am not as fit as before. After some thinking, I decided to go ahead and dive Bali once more. One of the reason is that in 2001, I did not get to see Mola mola nor mantas -just cold water and lots of currents to tackle.
In case you are wondering, Mola mola is the scientific name for sun fish. They are oceanic fish that lives in the open sea and are usually found in depths of 180 to 360m! Deep-sea creatures they are. Anyways, in Bali, when the conditions are right, usually icy cold water, they will come up to about 35m or less to be cleaned, yeah like the movie Shark Tale, they will come to shallower waters to be "car-washed" :P. We saw one and then two to three in very cold water, about 25-18 degrees Celsius! Kind of scary to see it approaching. They look like a freaking mini bus or van approaching but there's more excitement than being scared.
You can check out my Bali trip as told in pictures, click on the following Candid Camera or ImageShack. Oh yah, I forgot to add, my sister, Mel, and her BF, bought me an underwater casing for my camera just before I left for Bali. This dive trip will be so cool as this will my first time trying out underwater photography. To see the result of my first attempts at underwater photography - check out my Flickr site or Photodex Album.
This rascal is lost. He ran out the front gate and didn't came back. He has ran away from home before, but he did find his way back home. This time though, the rascal didn't come back. I'm afraid he has been captured by the city council. Dumb dog! Doesn't he realized that they are not his friends? They are murderers. There's a report in the newspaper about the city council culling strays. It has been weeks, I believe the rascal has been culled. Dumb puppy-dog, we have a good home for you and you just have to run away from home.
June 23 2006 - Website DNA
Thanks to Sala, who programmed a Java applet-based visualizer called "Websites-as-Graphs", I can now see the DNA of my website. I have also included the DNA of a web-based forum called Asia Heaven, of which I am a member of. Looks pretty cool, huh?
DAMN! Hawkeye received her first tattoo, courtesy of my mother in her second month! She took Hawkeye to fetch her friends from the airport for their 40th reunion party. Hawkeye is lucky, the tattoo is not so obvious since it is located just where the trunk opens up. The tattoo looks like a wheel of a heavy luggage. See what I mean below. Anyways there's more pictures of the tattoo in my Candid Camera page.
Tomorrow will be the start of my week long vacation. May 12 is also Wesak day, an auspicious day for Buddhists. Wesak Day marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha. It is a day where most devotees will go to the temple to pay homage and to listen to Buddha’s teachings of understanding, respect and tolerance. Ahhh...it should be a good day to travel. I am heading to Xiamen via Bangkok using our budget airline, AirAsia. I hope the trip will be a joyous one. I haven't been to Xiamen, China before. So, it will be an adventure. Stay tune for photos from the trip soon. Arggghhh! It just occurred to me! I have to leave Hawkeye with my mum! Aiks! I hope she will take care of her and not abuse her with her way of driving! AND, I hope she will not instruct the maid to clean her! Knowing my mum! Her intentions are good but it will be a disaster if she does that. I hope this time around, she'll listen!
I have finally decided to part ways with my Wira, a Proton 1996 1.5l (PDP5300) after having her around for 10 years. I was a quite sad to see her go to her new owner after serving me for so long. Anyways it is time for a change. Now, meet Hawkeye, a Honda Civic 2006 1.8l i-VTEC (PGU2939). Picked her up late cause of the traffic. It was dusk by the time I picked her up. Once all the paperwork was done, it is night already and I had to navigate the night from the showroom to the petrol station for a full fill. Bummer! Shucks! I have only today, well actually, only a few hours to drive this new beauty on this day. You see, I have to get up early next morning to catch a flight down to HQ for a meeting. I don't even have time to get use to the car! As you can see, it is more powerful and larger than my Wira. A full tank cost me RM87!
Things at home are slowly getting back to normal, after the very busy and hectic two weeks. My grandfather is very bless. he has lived life to the fullest and had helped a lot of people. There's so many people who came to pay their last respect to him during the final service. There's so many flowers delivered to the house until we had no place to put them. The final service was kept simple as he had wished it. No elaborate Chinese funeral rituals. The funeral service was kept to Buddhist chanting only - monks chanting and religious groups.
The first day was pretty quiet since we have to notify all the immediate family members. Most of them are no longer living and working in town, so they will be making their way home. My sister had to make a turn around journey. She was here just a day before, and now she had to catch the next flight back to Penang. It got quite busy the second day onwards, when the final wake and preparation for the final service went into full swing. My partner was a great help. As usual, for a dysfunctional family like mine, tempers tend to flair a bit during the entire time.
What a start to the new years, both 31 Dec/1 Jan weekend and the Chinese New Year weekend, so many things have happened. Work Front - Recruitment, Recruitment, RECRUITMENT! It is that time of the year again, time for existing hires to leave and new hires joining. Training
starts all over again. I can't believe it, this time around, they are
leaving a few days apart from each other in all areas of operations! It
has been a nightmare trying to sustain the operations to keep it
afloat. Quite exhausting, really, but thank goodness, I have had helped
this time around. It is so hard now to find good people to hire. Apart
from recruitment woes, nothing much happening at work except the same
old same old. The company is progressing forward to fix "yesterday's"
problems. Anyways, hoping to hear good news later this month - it's
about BONUS! Yeah yeah it is kinda late but better late than nothing at
The late Mr. Tan Cheng Hock
Home Front - My goodness! A lot happened this month especially after the Chinese New Year. The grand-old-man of the family, my grandfather, Kong-Kong, was not feeling well and was admitted to the hospital. His children, my uncles and aunt with their family, were out here in Penang. My younger sister also came home this time to check on Kong-Kong. Well, he is 96 years old and on the 15th-day of the 1st Moon Dog Year, he'll be 97 years old! He was a tough grand-old-man! He lived to see his birthday. I was having lunch with my colleagues on Feb 21 2006, when I received the phone call from my mother. In truth, for the past week or so, I have been feeling uneasy whenever the my mobile phone rang and the numbers that flashes are from home. So on this faithful day, of all days, it had to be this day. Mum sounded upset over the phone and informed me that I need to get home and to the hospital because we need to bring Kong-Kong home. Kong-Kong soon passed away not long after we brought him home. I believe he knew he is home at last after spending about a month in the hospital.
is the car that I have read and seen in the automobile websites in
2005. The new 2006 Honda Civic, she's named. Isn't she a beauty? I'm
hoping to change my 10 year old car to this beauty this year.
January 5 2006
My My My! Where have the days gone?! I can't believe that 2005 just came and went just like [snaps fingers] that! I guess it all started from the long Christmas weekend we had, followed by this past long New Year weekend. Oh my - looking at the calendar, we will be having a holiday coming right after this weekend, followed by a very long weekend towards the end of the month! Oh WOW! So many holidays in such a short time. How productive we are :P Anyways, to start off the new year, I treated myself by trading in my old PDA phone. You might call me crazy, but I really needed that treat. After the holidays, and returning to work, it was no fun. To make matters worst, I received a resignation letter at work. What a way to kick-start the new year!
HAPPY FIRE DOG YEAR
It's a HOT DOG YEAR!
Wishing you a safe, happy prosperous 2006!
END OF 2006 ARCHIVES
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