31 December 2005

December 31 2005

Today marks the end of 2005. What a year, filled with events and the biggest one would be that I started this blog. Started this blog in July this year and I have clocked in over 117 postings (inlcuding this one) and also a photo blog. No a bad achievement.

2005 also saw my two daughters taking their big examinations PMR and SPM. The result for PMR was out but the results for her isn't too satisfactory but that's the best she can do (that's what she claimed). Let's just see how it goes for the next two years before she encounter her next big examination the SPM.

For me, the normal challenges of work prevails, when I mentioned "challenges" it meant obstacles that I faced from people "poking" my back and "playing" with me. I don't give a damm what other people said or what ever their intentions are. What I care is that I have done my best and for the benefit for my organisation (the one who pays my salary).

Looking forward to 2006... well... to me another year is just another continuance of days from the previous year. The only resolution I make year after year is to stay healthy and to see the days (and years) as it goes by.

Getting emotional already... but what the heck I only do this once a year... oops .

Happy New Year 2006 to everyone.

Before I end, I would like to leave this SMS message that I have received and which I have also forwarded to all the people who are only phone contact:

I'm going away from your life
I won't be coming to your life anymore
As I am going to die within a few days time
I don't know whether you are happy or sad

Yours loving 2005

26 December 2005

What's your Japanese name?

My Japanese Name Is...

Keiji Saionji

The New Honda Civic is already launched in Bangkok

I have been writing on the new Civic twice in September and November.
Today I received and e-mail on some images of the new Civic and decided to forward to some of my friend. To my surprise, SooHK replied that he has already sat in the new Civic in Bangkok. The 1.8L version cost about RM78K for a manual and RM83K for an Auto(894K Baht and 934K Baht) while the 2.0L version cost over 100K. I replied to him that it was not fair that Bangkok gets the new Civic so early and Malaysia will only get it probably by year end 2006. But what to do, Honda made so much investment (well not only Honda) in Thailand, they sure gets it first. I still think it a good looking car that's why I wrote about it so mcuh and now I want to put more photos of it here.

For those interested, you may visit the Honda Civic Thailand site to have a better feel of the car.
To add on, the tuning specialist for Honda, Mugen, already has the Civic Dominator, a super version of the Civic which will be featured in January 2006 at the Tokyo Motor Show.

To Thiagarajan R, start your booking and replace the old Peugeot of yours!!!

24 December 2005

Merry Christmas

Well today's Christmas Eve, I would like to wish all my visitors a Merry Christmas.

Especially for visitors outside Malaysia (especially the one from Aberdeen), Merry Christmas and get ready for the new year!

Christmas gathering at USJ

Christmas around the corner, I got a call from my friend Mr Dewitt Chai. Well, Dewitt is my senior, a senior and successfully man. He has his own insurance agency for Great Eastern Life and at the same time he is also an agent for Lonpac Insurance. It has been a long time since we have met and the call from him was a real surprise. He invited my family over to his office for a Christmas gathering and at the same time he had invited the carol group from his church to add to the Christmas joy.

We reached his office in USJ and was greeted my his family. Food was served which was mainly steamboat but the usual Christmas turkey was also available. An other of my colleague from IT, Jonathan Tan and his family was there too. Another surprise, he introduced me to his son-in-law, Liew , who is also a staff of the Bank. Liew is from Finance Division and working in the same building but I have not have the chance to meet up with him since our scope of work does not involved each other.

The carol group arrived. It was a Chinese carol group consisting mainly of girls and 3 guys. They sang a few Christian and Christmas songs in Mandarin. The group really made the feeling of Christmas felt.

The family was restless after that and wanted to go home.

Thanks Dewitt for inviting us to your Christmas gathering. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

How's Your Maths?

From a strictly mathematical viewpoint it goes like this:

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%.

How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:


is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%


1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%


2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that...

While Hardwork and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the BullShiT and Ass kissing that will put you over the top.

19 December 2005

You would know that Christmas is around the corner!!

I have been on annual leave (to clear the year's entitlement) since last Wednesday. For yesterday and today, well I got the feel that Christmas is just around the corner. Why?

Yesterday (Sunday 18 December 2005), I got to send my daughter to Mid Valley Megamall to attend a luncheon at Cititel. Well driving down the highway from Taman Connaught just before reaching the turn off to Old Klang Road, the long queue of cars occurred. I though it was the routine queue just before 12.00 p.m. where the crowd will start flogging to the Mall. I joined the queue but the annoying thing is that people cut me from my right side. Feeling frustrated, I decided to make a U turn at Old Klang Road to go to the Mall. To my surprise, the queue was much longer. The queue started at the U turn right up to the mall. I then thought that there might have been an accident. Well, no... the jam was caused by the many many cars that were going into the Mall. Pulling my car my the inches, I was still caught in the in famous "vicious" roundabout jam of the Midway Megamall. My daughter was late for the lunch date so I asked her to left the car and walk to the meeting (read about how she felt when I asked her to take the walk) place just to be there in time. I told here I will meet up with her in the Mall after getting a parking place inside the Mall. Fat hopes, the long queue did not budged at all. So much so I told my son who was in the car with me that we should go to 1 Utama instead.

Another surprise was installed for me at 1 Utama. I spent 45 minutes rounding here and there in the car park (it was raining) and could not find a place to park. I was really fed up of these, first it was Megamall now 1 Utama. Got out of car and paid the parking fee and left the parking lot. In the end, I parked my car by the road side at Bandar Utama and walked all the way to 1 Utama.

People and people walking everywhere. Everyone was shopping and shopping. That's the feeling I sense... Christmas is just around the corner and everyone was rushing off to get their stuff before the eve of Christmas arrive this Saturday.

Today, my wife suggested to go somewhere to get cloths for the kids for the Chinese New Year. It's only the priority that the children gets new cloths for CNY. I suggested Sunway Pyramid since there are ample clothing stalls there and to get there and back home would be much easier.

Reached there at about 3.45 p.m., same old story, tons and tons of people walking around (mind you it's a Monday, many people are already on leave) with shopping bags. Many of them were youngster (compared to me lah!).

The whole shopping spree ripped me off almost RM500-00 plus the "dinner" at Genki Sushi.

Well tomorrow, it;s back to office and no more annual leave till next year. Heh.. next year is just around the corner too.

Well Merry Christmas to all who are reading this posting.

17 December 2005

World Debut of Ferrari FXX

The Bologna Motor Show features the first public showing of the Ferrari FXX, the Ferrari Enzo track car.

Performance? How about 800 hp, custom Bridgestone racing slicks, a full telemetry and data acquisition system, and 40 percent more downforce than the stock Enzo.

For this extreme performance edition of the Ferrari supercar, the company has defined an entirely new type of customer - the Client Test Driver. This lucky individual (And wealthy. Goes without saying, really.) gets more than just a car, he gets to particpate in a Ferrari-sponsored series of track events in Europe, North America and Japan, a personalized driving course at Ferrari’s Fiorano Circuit, and custom fitting of the seat and pedals by Ferrari technicians. The price? A mind-boggling $1,720,000. Plus tax.

The first of 29 limited edition cars was delivered in mid-November. Full press release and more pics after the jump.
Bologna, December 1st 2005 - The Bologna Motor Show provided the venue for Ferrari’s world unveiling of the FXX, a car aimed exclusively at a selected group of its most dedicated and passionate Clients, and around which a truly innovative technical client constructor collaboration programme has been developed.

This prototype, of which just 29 have been built, is the most technologically advanced GT car ever to emerge from Maranello. It will be used exclusively on track as part of a specific ongoing research and development programme featuring the first ever group of Client Test Drivers. The FXX has not been homologated for road use or racing.

The FXX is the culmination of Ferrari’s expertise in building special limited-series sports cars combined with its unparalleled racing experience. The FXX will provide the basic framework on which the specifics of future extreme models will be developed. The exceptionally powerful FXX delivers absolutely blistering performance: it is powered by an imposing 6262 cm3 V12 engine which develops over 800 hp at 8500 rpm. The gearbox is the result of the transfer of F1 technology and delivers gear change times of less than 100 ms. This is almost as fast as the F1 cars, themselves the absolute pinnacle of current technological achievement. The FXX has a dry weight of 1155 kg with a power-weight ratio of 1.44 kg/hp, and completed a lap of Fiorano in under 1’18’’00 - a time which gives an indication of the sheer power and performance of this magnificent car.

The FXX’s aerodynamic design is also particularly innovative - with a 40% increase in downforce compared to the already impressive Enzo. Ferrari’s F1 tyre partner, Bridgestone, developed a specific 19” slick tyre for the FXX., and Brembo created a special brake pad and cooling system for the 398 x 36 mm Composite Ceramic Material discs.

Another unique feature of the FXX is its sophisticated telemetry system which monitors and provides feedback in real time. The instrument panel, supplied by Magneti Marelli, is specifically designed for the FXX and incorporates a new data acquisition system. A video camera is also installed on the roof of each of the cars, pointing towards the rear, with a special TFT display on the dash removing the need for rear view mirrors.

The FXX package also includes participation in a series of 14 track events organised by Ferrari on various international-level circuits over the coming two years in Europe, North America and Japan (meetings at Spa and the Nürburgring have already been confirmed for 2006). On these occasions, an official team of technicians will be on hand to provide any assistance and support required by the Client Test Drivers. In addition to these unique official events, Clients will also be able to take their cars out on the track independently during private sessions. If Clients wish to leave their car at Maranello while not in use, they will be transported directly by Ferrari to the various European circuits for the scheduled events.

Given the car’s exceptional performance and the unique nature of the package, delivery of each FXX also includes an advanced driving course with tuition provided by the best professional drivers. Courses take place at the Fiorano Circuit where Ferrari conducts its F1 single-seater testing. After the seat and the pedals have been individually moulded for each driver, there will be a traditional “shakedown” followed by a training session to introduce the Client Test Drivers to test driving methodologies. The first FXXs were delivered in mid-November and the last will be with their owners by the end of April next year. The FXX and the relative package cost a total of 1.5 million euro (excluding taxes). Applications to join the programme were evaluated by a special inhouse committee.

Extracted from http://autoblog.com

16 December 2005

KL Bird Park

After the brief stop over at the Royal Palace, we reached the Bird Park. This is our first time there (same of us being KLites and not going to such a good place). Stop by the booth to buy the entrance ticket. Adults ticket cost RM12-00 while the child ticket was RM6-00. So RM30-00 gone (2 adults, myself and my daughter and 1 child, my son's).

Lots of birds to see and the brochure provided stated that the Bird Park is the "World's Largest Walk-in Free-Flight Aviary". I was at Jurong bird park way back in the seventies and that place was hugh, so now I got to see whether what they claimed is true.

An illustrated guide of the KL Bird Park

The park is divided into 4 zones and really, it's big and I was impressed by the layout of the park. Navigation around the park was easily and you would ot get lost at all. The plants and landscaping is matured and very well kept. Most of all the range of species of birds to see at the park is worth the RM12-00 ticket. The park has a special aviary where they featured a few different species of Hornbills. We managed to see a Hornbill flying freely around blowing off his(or her) trumpet loudly. We even saw one where the beak was placed through the fencing of the aviary where it was caged. At first we wondered why did the Hornbill placed it large beak at the fencing. We figured out later that since the Hornbill has a large beak, it might have been too heavy for its head to carry and resting it on the fencing would ease it burden and stress on its neck.

A pair of Mandarin and Wooden duck. They are always seen together in a pair
The loud Hornbill that I mentioned above
The proud but lovely peacock

We spent about 2 hours there walking and snapping photos. Some samples of the photos are here while there are more at my photoblog.

KL Birk Park - Stopover at the Royal Palace

As the school holidays "progresses" on, my son was growing very restless by the day. To kill him time, he has indulged himself on the PS2 and already reached the second last stage of the Burnout Revenge. But still he said that he is getting bored at home.

I managed to show him some photos that Uncle Chuah has taken of the KL Bird Park. He was impressed by the birds that were shot by him and mentioned to me to bring him there. Since I am on my annual leave (have to exhaust my leave before the year ends). I agreed to bring him there.

So we started out journey there. Before I start on my story of our trip to the Bird Park, we would pass by the Royal Palace before reaching the park. Everytime, we pass by there we will be able to see the tourist coached parked and the tourist would take their photos with the palace guards and also the horses there. Since, we have not tried stopping there before its worthwhile to have a feel how a tourist feels like when they are there.

luckily for us, there were not many tourist around. The group that have arrived earlier were getting on to the coach and ready to set off to their destination.My son and I in front of the palace guard and horse
The palace guard without a horse

There majestically positioned at the front gate of the palace were a pair of guards on horses and at the same time there were also a pair of standing guards. We took some photos there and while that was happening, fours horses with riders came, well we we lucky to witness the change of horses and guards.

Changing of guards and horses
No fight when you compare with the change of guards at Buckingham Palace

Well the whole thing was nice but not as elaborate as what the Buckingham has to offer when there's a change of guards. I still remembered it from my trip to London. My wife and I waited for an hour standing to wait for the change of guards. The most memorable thing that happened was upon completion of the change of guards, there were four sweeper vehicle which came out to sweep off the horses shit. Well you won't find this happening at the KL Royal palace.

11 December 2005

Taiping War Cemetery

There are so many places that you can visit when you arrive at the Taiping Lake Garden. There's the Malaysia's Best Public Toilet, where I have mentioned it the other days, Maxwell Hill, the Taiping Zoo and Night Safari (I wonder who goes there at night) and the War Cemetery.
[ All the photos for the places mentioned (except for the zoo) are available at my photoblog]

The War Cemetery is located just before the entrance to Maxwell Hill. I stopped by for a while there for some photo shot and just to a look at the place. What I like about the place is that it is very well maintained. The grass, the tombstones and monuments were so well kept as if they were only done up yesterday. Just a bit of history of the war cemetery.

At the time of the Japanese invasion of Malaya, Taiping was on the British line of retreat down the west coast. Its normal garrison of one Indian Infantry Battalion had been augmented, a casualty reception station organised, arrangements made with the civilian authorities for the provision of 500 beds for military patients, and 20 Combined General Hospital (Indian Army) had been posted there.

During the fighting the Indian 6th and 15th Brigades used Taiping as a rest and re-fitment centre for a few days; and, as the withdrawal southwards developed, numerous Indian Army medical units worked there for short periods before each in turn had to move towards Singapore with the fighting forces.

Taiping War Cemetery was created by the Army after the defeat of Japan for the reception of graves brought from the battlefields, from numerous temporary burial grounds, and from village and other civil cemeteries where permanent maintenance would not be possible.

There are separate entrances to the two parts, the plots of Christian graves lying on the south-eastern side of the road and the Muslim and Gurkha graves on the opposite side. In the Muslim and Gurkha section the Stone of Remembrance stands in front of a high bank which forms the north-western boundary.

The two small shelters in the cemetery have been constructed of local stone, and a low stone wall flanks the road on each side. There are now over 850, 1939-1945 war casualties commemorated in this site, more than 500 of whom are unidentified.

I also managed to get hold of the site plan of the War Cemetery.

One more good lesson learned from my trip to Taiping. I am still gathering facts on Taiping Prison and Maxwell Hill where I will post them up very soon.

Taiping, first for many things

While the Taiping trip is fresh in my mind, I have been scouting around the internet for information to write more of it. I managed to gathered the following information on Taiping from a site.

It seems that, Taiping had the first for many things like the 1st railway in the country, 1st hill resort, 1st telegraph office, 1st turf club, 1st golf course etc etc.

Below is a complete list.

1 Open tin mining activity in the peninsula (1844).
2 Hill resort - Maxwell Hill (1844)
3 Swimming pool - Kolam Renang Kemahkotaan (1870).
4 Mosque - Masjid Tengku Menteri (1870).
5 Rest house (1870).
6 Artillery warehouse (1870).
7 Magistrate court (1874).
8 Balai penghulu (1875).
9 Resident's house (1877).
10 Port - Port Weld (1877).
11 English school - Central School Kamunting (1878).
12 Police force team (1879).
13 Government offices (1879).
14 Telegraph and post office (1880).
15 Lake gardens - Taman Tasik Taiping (1880).
16 Hospital, private and government (1880).
17 Club - New Club (1880).
18 Railway station and warehouse (1881).
19 Museum - Muzium Negeri Perak (1883).
20 Market building - Taiping Market Square (1884).
21 Prison - Penjara Taiping (1885).
22 Railway track - from Port Weld to Taiping (1885).
23 Turf club - Perak Turf Club (1886).
24 Anglican church - Old Saints Church (1886).
25 English girl's school - Treacher Girls' School (1889).
26 Clock tower - Menara Jam Besar (1890).
27 Esplanade - Padang Esplanade (1890).
28 Malay newspaper - Seri Perak (June 1893).
29 English newspaper - Perak Pioneer (July 4, 1894).
30 Tamil newspaper - Perak Verthamani (1894).
31 Armed Forces - Malay States Guides (1896).
32 Teaching college - Maktab Perguruan Melayu (1898-1900).
33 Ceylon association (1899).
34 Punjabi association - Khalsa Diwan Malaya Association (1903).
35 Indian association (1906).
36 Recreation park - Coronation Park (1920s).
37 Airfield - Padang Kapal Terbang Tekah (1930).
38 Golf course.
39 Library - Perpustakaan Merdeka.
40 Fire brigade.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Well the hyde over this movie finally arrive with its premier on 8 December 2005. My family and I managed to catch up with the movies last night. As usual, this movie is much requested by my children but I was also quite eager to watch this movie after viewing all the trailers and also the making of the movie.

The movie was based on the a series of fantasy novels written by CS Lewis for children. The series is by far the most popular of Lewis;s works. The story describe the adventures of a group of children, the Pevensies siblings consisting of 2 brothers (Peter and Edmund) and 2 sisters (Susan and Lucy) who visit a magical land called Narnia.

The storyline was good where it teaches how siblings should worked and respect each other. I hope that the story would be able to educate my own children on the importance of stick together and respecting each other whether they are the elder or younger siblings.

Much of the movies depended on computer graphics and effect. Just before I went for the movies, I managed to watch the making of the movie at TV3. The lion, Aslan is not a real lion but a totally computer generated image acted together with human.

Overall, the movie is good and worth my money (the show was more than 2 hours long). My advise, go watch it.

10 December 2005

Food Poisoning

Yesterday (Friday 9 December) I was not feeling well. Actually, the day after coming back from my trip from Taiping, I had some stomach problem. Purging and going to the toilet much often than usual. It did not bother me much because I thought it was a slight disturbance to my digestive system.

The real problem came on Thursday night when my hands and feet were feeling cold and I was sweating and was tossing around on my bed while sleep. On Friday I felt very tired and had no appetite, fell asleep at every place I rested. By afternoon, I took my temperature measurement, wow... 39.3 Celsius.. high fever.

Next thing, quickly rushed myself to the clinic and the doctor said that I have food poisoning. He gave me some medicine and I felt much better in the evening.

Where did I get the food poisoning? Well I would suspect from the food I took during my trip to Taiping either from Kampar or Taiping (I have to a bit careful on pin-pointing the right location, because I have a alot of readers from Taiping) because these are the two places that I stopped for food. As for dinner, I had it with my daughter where she was OK.

08 December 2005

Best Public Toilet In Malaysia

When I reached Taiping Lake Garden (TPG), my bladder was already full waiting for discharge (sound awful isn't it?). That's because all the way from Kampar to Taiping I have yet to make my "pit stop".

I was scouting around for a public toilet at TPG when I spotted one where I could also parked my car. The public toilet required a fee of 20 sen, which is reasonable. However, I noticed that there were caretakers at the public toilet in which they treated the area like their home. I did not suspect much and started to enter the toilet. To my surprise, the layout and design of the place created as if it was not a toilet but like a home. The place was clean and does not have any smell (maybe it was because my nose wasn't working that day.. I had a blocked nose).

The standing toilets were and clean and guess what, there were no graffiti on the wall, the basin were all clean and in good working order.

When I finished my "assignment" and walking out to the enterance , I was surprised that there was a sort of a Balinese garden inside the toilet. I couldn't help but to take a picture of it.

I have never been so happy and amazed going to a public toilet and would like to vote the Taiping Lake Garden public toilet, MALAYSIA"S BEST PUBLIC TOILET.

Day trip to Taiping

Wow it's been so long since I have made a new posting. Noting much to write mah!!

OK , this time around I had some spare time on my hand and have decided to travel to Taiping yesterday (7 December). Why Taiping? well, there are various reasons:
  • The rest of my family was off to Genting, I have been there so few time and I have got fed up of that place.
  • Taiping was always mentioned by our fellow blogger Chuah Lye Hock
  • Taiping is the hometown to a few nice people that I know
  • Taiping has not been visit by me for a long time, hearing and reading about the changes at that town made me curious for a visit.
  • Taiping can be reached in a day's travel, have fun and come back without having to spend a night there.

So off I go from my house just before 7.00 a.m., fill up my petrol tank and the first stop was Lata Kinjang. Where's this place? Well if you are traveling along the North South Highway after Tapah, you would notice a waterfall on the right side of the road. I was always curious about that nice waterfall which look magnificent but did not have the opportunity to visit it.

To reach the waterfall you have to turn off at Tapah and go to Chenderiang village and you will reach the waterfall. The waterfall is 800 feet high and one of the two highest watefall in Malaysia. The water was constantly splashing down with its roaring sound. No one was at that place when I reach there except the orang asli who were staying around that area. As usual, the ugly Malaysian littered the surrounding area of the waterfall with rubbish.

Next stop was Kampar where I had my breakfast, it was my father's hometown and in my younger days, we used to stop here to visit his aunt. But all of them are either dead or have moved to KL, no one in Kampar to visit now.

From Kampar, it was straight to Taiping. The last time I visited Taiping was during my audit assignment there which was in 1995, 10 years seem not so long a go because the condition of the town looks almost the same the last time I left there. Panaroma Hotel, which is the hotel that I stayed was still there, Fajar supermarket there, BCB branch next to the clock tower was still there. The only major changes were, the flyover just after Simpang, the big Public Bank branch which was converted from Public Finance Taiping. I took a drive around the town just to reminisce the last time I was there.

A must visit place in Taiping is the Lake Gardens. I noticed from the sign board that Taiping Lake Garden is the oldest lake garden in Malaysia. One thing that I like about the place is that it is very well kept by the town council. Another thing was the lovely old tress that have matured in this garden long before I was born.

Then off to Maxwell Hill or Bukit Larut which is now known. This my first time there. There are two ways of going up to the peak of the hill which has an elevation of slight more than 1,000 meters, walking up or take a ride on their Land Rovers. I took the latter instead and wow, what a ride. I have been to Cameron Highlands and Frasers Hill where you can drive up in your car. At Maxwell Hill, the road can only accommodate just one vehicle at one time and it really require a skill drive to drive up. Why? There are a total of 72 tight twisting hairpin corners leading up the high. The hairpin corners are almost 300 degrees turn and coupled with the slopping turn, even Micheal Schumacher will find it difficult to maneuver up this road. it took half an hour to reach the top and wow, the place is great even though there are not many houses or bungalows there. Took some photos there and waited for the next ride down the hill. The weather was cool and was foggy which blocked off the view of Taiping town from the hill. Then as usual, being the wettest town in Malaysia, it started raining.

Next lunch in town where I was recommended by Chuah to have the fried koey teow at stall 78 at the casual market. I was there slightly soak wet and cold. When the food was served, the taste was great where the warm reached my mouth and into my stomach on a cold, wet raining day in Taiping.

After the meal, it was already 3.00 p.m. where I have to start my journey home. Non stop rain all along the highway. Guess what I was driving down the highway at 120 to 130 kph on the wet highway. No problem, it was thrilling but I do know the danger. Once in a while I have to raise the adrenalin in my body to keep me excited.

The heavy rain took its toll at the roads of KL where I was stuck in a jam from Jalan Duta right up to Jalan Cheras before reaching home at 8.30 p.m.

For more photos of my trip please visit my photoblog.