31 December 2006

New Year Message to all my friends

Last year I created panic among my friends when I sent out the following SMS as a New Year greeting:

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

Some of them called me to ask what happen and why am I "dying". I told them to read the message carefully, the one "dying" was not me but "2005".

This year I do not want to create the same panic again and have sent out the following message:

28 December 2006

Happy Birthday Esther

Today we celebrate the birthday of my second daughter , Esther. She's sweet 16 today. She was the baby girl of the family.

Just the usual stuff for birthday, another cake from Secret Recipe. However, I have got her everything she wanted ( hand phone, cloths and shoes) but I just feel that a birthday is not a birthday without a present. So while I was walking back to the car park after taking delivery of the cake, I saw a cute green bear at the display window at Memory Lane. Green is Esther's favorite colour and I bought the bear for her. The bear was cuddly and cute (I wish I have one too!!). She and her sister has not come back when I reached home with the cake and I decided to place the bear on her bed just to surprise her.

When she came back, I was outside her room at the PC and expecting a screen of surprise from her immediately when she enters her room. Instead, no sound came. About 10 minutes later, I heard screen with surprise running out of her room with the bear. She asked me whether I was the one who bought it and I acknowledged. She was jumping happily on the gift that I bought for her.

Here are some pictures of the bear and the birthday ceremony.

27 December 2006

Spectacular view from Kodanadu View

Here are two more shots from the Kadanadu View.

With a close up look, you can see a waterfall coming from the ridge of the mountain.

Here a picture taken further away, you can still see the waterfall.

Trees at the tea plantation

I just love the trees that were growing at the tea plantation. The trees were hugh and healthy. I could not help but to take pictures of the trees and here are some of it:

25 December 2006

Faces of India

We managed to trek into a tribal village where we were suppose to see some Indian tribe that are residing in the village. As I have mentioned earlier, nothing primitive was found except the temples of the tribe. The people there are dressed in the modern clothing. I could not help to snap photos of this child who was sitting with two ladies (one of which I guess would be the mother of the child) who were busy sewing traditional patterns on a piece of cloth. The child eyes were very captive and here are some shots of her.

The sacred temple of the tribal people

Adventure in India - Part 2

Continuing my story on my journey to Chennai.

17 December 2006

Reached Chennai taking the 10 hours train ride from Coimbatorne. At 6.30 a.m. in the morning, the Central Station is busy as ever. People getting on and of the train. Outside he station, tuks were waiting to ferry the people back to their home. We managed to get on board a mini bus which ferried us back to our hotels (One team at the Mariot while I was staying at the Taj Coromandel).

The busy Central Railway Station of Chennai

In the afternoon, one of the girls SMS me to take a trip to T.Nagar where they are going there for shopping before their journey home on the night flight.

I took a tuk to T.Nagar where I found out that the place was like our Petaling Street of Kuala Lumpur. There were selling mainly clothing and Indian ornaments. I am not too keen in getting anything there, I just wanted to see how the place looks like. In the end I bought a Tamil Nadu guide book which cost Rupees 160-00 which I will be using to plan my trip the next time I am there.

The tuks of Chennai running wild on the streets

18 December - 20 December 2006

I have to extend my stay in Chennai while the rest of the team from Malaysia and Singapore flew back on 17 December 2006. I spent much of time time in the office in Chennai and was only back in my hotel in the evening. Nothing much to do anyway. I felt homesick after being away from home for 1 week and not seeing my family.

I packed all my things and got ready for my journey home on the night flight from Chennai at 10.25 p.m. Since the flight from Chennai to KL will take 3 hours and 15 minutes and the time difference is 2 1/2 hours, I reached KLIA at 4.40 a.m.

By the time I checked out of the airport and board my taxi, I was home at 6.00 a.m. in the morning

21 December 2006

Woke up at 9.30 a.m. and prepared myself to get back to my office in Malaysia because I have to meet up with my new staff. My eyes were still sleepy but I have to get to the office.

24 December 2006

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

It's the time of the year where Christmas is here and the New Year is drawing close. It has been an eventful year for me and I hope it was the same for you too. To help me spice things up I have invited this beauty to wish all my readers and friends a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.
P/S Let me know if you want to see more of her picture!!!

22 December 2006

People of the tea plantations

Images of the workers of the tea plantation

21 December 2006

Panoramic View of the hills of tea plantation

The above panoramic view of the tea hills was merged from 4 photos.
Click on photo to see more details

Daily happenings at Chennai

Sorry folks that I have been away for the past week and was not able to access to the Internet to upload my posting. So here are the daily events that had happened during my Chennai trip which I have prepared earlier on:

13 December 2006

My flight from KLIA to Chennai was at 7.45 p.m. and touched down at Madras Airport at about 9.00 p.m. after a flight time of about 3 hours. On the arrival hall I was greeted by the hotel staff who escorted me to the hotel limousine which was waiting are the car park. Just like in China, there were so many people waiting at the airport welcoming back their relatives and friends from the flights that arrived the same time as mine.

The ride from the airport to the hotel was another great experience. The Indian drivers are great drivers, they were able to maneuver themselves within the traffic by sounding their horns and flashing their headlights. The traffic consists of lorries, cars, scooters and the local three wheeled “mini taxis”. I had a hell of fright going from the airport to the hotel.

The hotel I was staying was the Taj Coramandel which is a 5-star hotel in Chennai and I would not like to reveal the cost of the room. Upon arrival at the hotel, I was lead straight to my room where the room registration was done. This is the first that I have ever experienced having to register at my hotel stay in my room. The registration process was done by the executive butler.. talking about service man!!

14 December 2006

The next morning I had my breakfast the same floor of my hotel room. Took my sweet time for the breakfast, put on my office wear and ordered my transportation from my hotel to my company’s office in Chennai.

When I arrived, I heard someone called me. I was surprise that there are people in Chennai who know me. Well actually, I had earlier on sent my photograph of myself to all recipients of the e-mail that my boss had used to introduce me to the Chennai team. They can easily recognize this “Chinese Man” from the photo that I have sent. It feels great that the team knew me but it took me some time to remember who is who since the Indian names are rather long.

In the evening, I and the others from the Malaysian and Singapore teams were required to get ready to go on a train ride to participate in our Team Building Workshop. I did not know where the place is except that I come to know that the place is called Mist’ea Valley located in a place called The Nilgiris.

We were packed into a van which transported us to the Chennai Central Railway Station. Wow, it has been a long time since I have taken a train ride not to mention that I need to spend the night in the train itself. The train ride was a 10 hours train ride from Chennai to Coimbatore which is a 492 KM journey.

15 December 2006

The train started its journey at about 10.00 p.m. and we reached Coimbatore at 6.00 a.m.

Coimbatore railway station at 6.00 a.m.

We were then loaded up into 2 vans and a four wheel drive for a 2 ½ journey up the hills to the Nilgiris where are camp site is located at tea plantation. The view of the tea plantation was lovely. The weather was sunny with cool breeze blowing. Feels just like Cameron Highlands. I do not want to elaborate much on the workshop activities as it’s the normal routine sort to activities.

Great view of the hills are the tea plantations

When the night arrives, the weather turned from cooling to really cold. At one stage I was shivering even though I sat next to the bonfire. I have to climb into the tent and into the sleeping bag. The sleeping bag was able to keep me warm through the night until the next morning.

Spectacular sunset view of the hills

16 December 2006

The next day we prepared ourselves to a journey out of the camp site to the Kodanadu View Point where we were able to view the valleys and plains of three Indian states bordered Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. The view was breath taking.

Ridges, plains and hills from the view point overlooking the three borders of Tamil Naidu, Kerala and Karnataka

After the visit to the view point, we were off to a jungle trekking to see some “local tribe” who was staying in the area. Nothing much there to see because the “local tribe” has move with the modern era and has embraced the “modern” was of live.

Coming back from the jungle trekking expedition, we were welcome to a lovely picnic lunch in an open area. The cool breeze was blowing and it was a great outing having lunch with the natural surrounding.

After lunch, we have to make our journey back to Coimbatore to catch the train back to Chennai. We had dinner at Coimbatore where the restaurant serves the biggest tosai in the world (see the photo).

It was another long train ride back to Chennai on the train and we managed to safely arrive back at about 6.00 a.m.

I checked back to my hotel room and the first thing I did was to fill up the bath tub and soaked myself in the warm water.. I did not mention.. the weather was so cold in Nilgiris that I have not had a bath for the pass two days.

To be continued.....

09 December 2006

Unable to view the pictures?

Don't blame me if you cannot view the pictures that I have posted. It's not my fault!!! Blocking access to Blogger.com is really a shame to allow people to share their thoughts and pictures. For organisations that block access to Blogger.com.. this the wrath!!

Is this how the Honda Accord will look like in the future?

The Honda Sports 4 Concept is built on the Honda Accord platform. Here are some photos of the car. Could it be the design direction for the next Honda Accord?

Cicakman - Watch the trailer here

Wow, what a week!!!

Time really fly, by the time I knew it, it's the weekend again.

I reported to worked on Monday (4 December 2006) to my new company. I have posted what had happened on the day earlier. For the rest of the week, it has been running up an down most of the time sorting out my resources to enable me to settle down.

My notebook and access password was only fully available to me on Wednesday where I can begin my induction courses and filling up all the personal data into the HR database. I also have to get my account number into the system to enable my payroll to be credited. Since, Christmas is around the corner, the payroll payment date is made earlier and there was a deadline for submission of savings account number.

My boss who is based in Chennai called me from Singapore on Tuesday and requested me to make the arrangements to fly over to Chennai next week. She told me that she will meet up with me on Thursday to discuss my roles and duties.

She arrived on Thursday and I was informed that I will take charge of a team of people who will be based in KL where I would report to her in India. However, the team has not been set up yet and she is in KL on Thursday and Friday to conduct interview of potential candidates. At the same time, she has invited me to sit in the interview session since, the candidates would be working with me in my team and it would be good that I can pick and select the appropriate candidate.

Wow, the 4th day into the new company and I got this great chance of selecting my members and also going over to Chennai.

The interview session went well where we meet up with 7 candidates and finally we found 3 suitable candidates. It's now up to the HR side to make the offer to these candidates to join me.

Next week, I will have to prepare myself for my journey to Chennai. I will be staying there for a period of 1 week. So watch out for more news and happenings. My blog postings may be delayed as I will be off to the mountains for 2 nights for a Team Building Workshop which is far far away from any Internet access.

05 December 2006

Items from Cameron Highland

For the last weekend, my wife and the kids (plus my mother-in-law) were on a holiday in Cameron Highlands leaving me alone at home. I could not join them because I have to attend Mei Fong's wedding luncheon on Sunday and I have to report to work on Monday.

The family returned home on Monday evening (minus my mother-in-law who wanted to take a break in her kampong house) with bags of clothing, maizes, strawberries and flowers bought from Cameron Highlands.

This morning I notice a pot of beautiful orchid with fully bloomed flowers placed in the kitchen. I told myself that I will shoot those bloomed orchid with my wonderful new lens. When I came back home in the evening, the kids have placed the roses they bought into vases that they bought at the shopping mall today.

I took my camera and here are some shots of the photos where I make full use of the zoom power of the lens to turn it into a macro shot. Click on the photos to see more details.

The blooming orchids

Three different colour of roses - red, yellow and pink... which is your favourite?

Don't ask me what is this called!!

04 December 2006

First day at my new company

Today I started work with my new company. The office is located in Petaling Jaya and that's the very first time I have even work in Petaling Jaya. I have always been a KL guy (since I am also born here). The company would invite in intakes to come in on Mondays if the first date of the months does not fall on a Monday.

I was the first new intake to reach the office at about 8.45 a.m. . I sat in the leather chair in the reception waiting for the HR staff to greet me. After a whiles, a few ladies arrived, then a bunch of Indian and Pakistani arrived.

The representative from GR arrived and guided us to the Board room. Man, the room was cold. The HR relations staff briefed us on the necessary information and later we were lead on a tour of the office and the various teams of the company. I was LOST because the place was big. I later came to know that there are 600 staff working in the office consisting of two floors at different buildings. Due to expansion requirements, a new floor is being renovated to accommodate the new intakes. However, I will not be located in the new renovated office but will take up an existing work station. Since the renovation will not be completed u til January, I do not have a permanent work station at the moment. Apart from the HR briefing, we were also handed out stationery pack, a thermos mug and a souvenir which consist of a set of pen, pencil and a letter opener from he Head of the company. I love the greeting that was attached to the souvenir which reads as follows " Have a fun and rewarding journey with us in XXX". Wow what encouraging words... I am gonna like working here!!!

Lunch was on the house at the pantry area for all new intakes...that's a great start. I do not remember being served any meals on my first day of work.

All new intakes then adjourn to their respective section. Since my post is a managerial post, I told them I do not know who I am reporting to. The HR relation officer then went to check and gave me a surprise... I am suppose to report to a lady whose office is located overseas!!! The I remembered... she was one of the person who had interviewed me on 31 October 2006.

Other thing did not turn up well:
1. I still cannot use the access card that was assigned to me. So I was "stuck" in the office and could not go anywhere outside the office area, for example the TOILET!!!

2. The notebook which was supposed to be assigned to me could not be configured on time till the end of the day. Without the notebook, I am paralysed!!! I could not access to the intranet to read the staff guides and rules and also to complete the submission of my personal particular including my payroll account number.. so no payroll account number no pay for the month!!!

At the end of the day, I left the office at sharp 6.00 p.m. (my working hours are from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. five days week). While I was driving, my "Head Hunter" called. She asked me how I feel on the first day of work... this was my answer "LIKE A VIRGIN!!!"

03 December 2006

Congratulation to Mei Fong

Congratulations to my friend Wong Mei Fong who is happily married to Sam Choon Yau.
The wedding luncheon was held today at the Royal China Restaurant in Jalan Ampang today and was attended by many of their friends and relatives. Since the the luncheon was served at a non-halal restaurant, our Muslim friend were not present at the luncheon.
Upon her request, no photos are posted.

Once again congratulations to Mei Fong and Choon Yau on this joyous occasion.

02 December 2006

Macro Shots

With the new lens, I was able to shoot macro shoots using the zoom option. Couple with the use of the VR, the shoots were sharp and spectacular. Here are some examples of shoots that I have done today.

My long service award - the Gold Coin

Looking for greener pasture, that's what I am looking forward to now.

The water pressure meter of my water filter

My son's Dragon Ball character toy

01 December 2006

Finally I got my dream lens

I have dreamed to have the Nikkor 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6g IF-ED AF-S DX VR lens for my camera for a long time. I have seen the lens in action in magazines and also photos that were shot by Flowsnow (my friend TT). I also found out that my friend Lye Hock has also recently bought the lens. Well today my dreams finally came true. I am pleased to announce that I am a proud owner of the lens!!! Here the events that lead me in getting the lens:

Today was the first day of the PC Fair which held at KL Conventions Centre. I was there just making my rounds. I did not have any intentions to get any stuff except for some storage medias like thumb drives or CF cards. The exhibitors were busy distributing their brochures but I kept declining to take any from them because I know that I will throw the brochures away later on.

I finally reach the last section of the exhibition hall where this time around the organisers have dedicated a section just for digital cameras. I was browsing to some of the booths and stopped at the Pentax booth where I wanted to feel a Pentax DSLR on my hands. Not my tasting because I could not hold the camera well due to the poor design of the hand grip of the camera.

I moved on to the Nikon booth where there were D50, D80 D70s and D200 and other compact cameras being displayed. I saw a unit of D200 which was mounted with a Nikkor 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6g IF-ED AF-S DX VR lens. I asked the sale personnel there whether the lens was on sale. They said the lens is available for for. I asked for the price and was quoted at a price which was higher that the price that Lye Hock had paid for. I knew that the lens was well sought after and it was very hard to get the lens since all camera shops that I have visited since that they would have to place an order for the lens and would have to wait for at least 1 month before stock arrives.

Here I am standing at the booth where they have in stock 3 units of the same lens for sale. I thought if I do not get the lens, I would have to scout around for the lens and may not be able to get it on the spot. At the same time, this is the lens that I have always wanted. Finally, I made up my mind... BUY IT!!!

So here is the picture of the lens mounted on my camera which was taken my old faithful Nikon Coolpix 885. and the bottom are 2 shot taken with the new lens without the use of the flash gun.

My son's artwork shot with the new Nikkor 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6g IF-ED AF-S DX VR lens

Here's another shot which show how sharp the lens is