27 January 2007

It's Flora Fest again

I woke up early this morning to go to Putrajaya for the launch of the Flora Fest 2007 in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 celebration. The ceremony was officiated by the Agung and lasted for about 2 hours. Most of the flora floats were represented by the State Governments and there was only one participation by a corporate which is QSR Brands Berhad the franchisee holder for Ayamas, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

I got tons of photos to post which I have divided it into 3 categories:

  1. Putrajaya in the morning - Sights of Putrajaya in the morning. If you remember I went for a night shooting at Putrajaya not so long ago. The pictures really turned out different. The night scenes and the morning scenes. Click of this links (A) and (B) to see the night photos that were posted earlier. All the photos of Putrajaya in the morning are posted here.
  2. Flora People - Pictures of people that I have shoot.
  3. Flora Float - Pictures of the floats that were paraded during the ceremony.
Click on the individual photos to see a larger size of the photo.

My favourite photos are displayed here while the rest can be viewed at my photoblog. Click on the link of my photoblog to see more photos.

Putrajaya in the morning

Flora People

Flora Float

23 January 2007

I Dream of an iMac

My kids and I were at Mid-Valley on Sunday to catch the movie "A Night At the Museum", a very enjoyable movie for the family both young (that's me) and younger (that's my children). Then it was lunch at Madam Kwan. My son choose the restaurant because his favourite store is just outside the restaurant - Toy "R" Us.

Just before we leave for home, we hung out at MacWorld a store which sells all Apple products. I was always interested in an Apple because of it uniqueness in hardware design and operating system. What kept me away from owing an Apple is due to lack of cheap software contribution by our helping "pirates". Another factor is the cost of the hardware. The cost of an Apple is fixed where ever you buy it from, the price is controlled. The cost of the lowest end iMac with a 17" screen cost RM3,999-00. Unless Windows based PCs, I can pick and mixed the type of configuration that I want for the PC, the Apple does not allows me this flexibility.
However, after handling a iMac last Sunday, I dream of owning an Apple. Why you may ask? well, I saw the photos of the Florothon that were posted in my blog.... the picture turned out to be more vibrant, sharper and I could not believe those picture shown on the iMac were taken by me!!! A review of the price of the iMac of RM3,999-00.. ehhh the price is costly but that's the price to pay for being unique and the price is not much higher than a Windows based notebook. With everything built into a single casing, it saves a lot of space. I have also read an article written by Ken Rockwell on why professional use Mac which managed to convince me the advantages in using a Mac.

My children also love the iMac. They were having a wonderful time using the software called Photo Booth. With the use of the webcam which is installed in the iMac, they capture and create the weird photos using the software.

Here are samples of the photos that they have captured using the software.

For now, owing an iMac would just be a dream and a wish of mine.

20 January 2007

Change of Blog Template

My blog was moved to the new version just recently. Unless some blogs where Blogger has managed to be upgraded promptly, mine took a long time maybe because there are many postings and photos in it. With the introduction of new features, I decided to change my blog template.

I can see that the blog archive and the label guide as a useful feature to enable easier navigation of the my blog postings. It come in handy as the number of posting in my blog increases. With the introduction of the labels, you can go directly to postings that I have labelled (there are many postings where I have hot placed the labels).

Other than the above, the blog's background is now white with black font where you can read my postings and see my photos better.

So enjoy and if you don't like it do let me kne.

More photos from Florothon 2007

The clock tower

The oldest person in the Florothon

Little chefs of Malaysia

Real flowers

Balancing drink race

The floral mermaids from Aquaria Kuala Lumpur

Tagged by Selba

I got tagged by Selba, this is the first time I got tagged and what a long list of question... 70 questions. Wow, I will try to answer all of them to the best of my knowledge.

The 70 questions:

1) Are your parents married or divorced?
Married for the past 45 years

2) Are you a vegetarian?
Nope. I get hungry fast without meat.

3) Do you believe in Heaven
There's a Heaven, but I rather be in Hell where all the fun is!!!

4) Have you ever come close to dying?
Yes. in 2004, I was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia.

5) What jewellery do you wear 24/7?
My diamond ring.

6) Favourite time of day?
No favourite time, anytime is a good time.

7) Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
Yes. Why is this question asked??

8) Do you wear makeup?
Only when I go to bed!! No way....

9) Ever have plastic surgery?
Not yet, but I wonder which part of my body would I want to perform the surgery on... huh my lower body???

10) Do you colour your hair?
Yeah, it's dark brown now because the white hair came because I am under under employment stress. Thinking to change my hair to blond but my boss will asked whether I am an Caucasian or Chinese.

11) What do you wear to bed?
A T-Shirt and a short.. what's underneath my short do I need to tell?

12) Have you ever done anything illegal?
Yeah, buy pirated software, DVDs, speeding... so on

13) Can you roll your tongue?

14) Do you tweeze your eyebrows?

15) What kind of sneakers?

16) Do you believe in Abortions?
Yeah...sometime it is required for the right reason.

17) What is your Hair color?
Black basically bit coloured to dark brown

18) Future child’s name?
No more child for me.. the factory has been closed.

19) Do you snore?
Yes, my wife complain that I snore like my father.. very loud.

20) If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
Everywhere where there is no war going on and where the temperture is not below 0 degrees celcius.

21) Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
I have a stuffed penguin.. the one from the movies Madagascar, he sit on my bed post.

22) If you won the lottery, what would you do first?
Resign from my job and travel around the world.

23) Gold or silver?
Gold.. I turn silver black when I wear it.

24) Hamburger or hot dog?
Hamburger.. Mcdonalds and Burger King.

25) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

26) City, beach or country?
City and country.. I still do not know how to swim!!

27) What was the last thing you touched?
My chopstick that I used to eat pasta for lunch before answering this tag.

28) Where did you eat last?
At home.

29) When’s the last time you cried?
Real crying.. a few months ago when I have to give a good scolding to my daughter.

30) Do you read blogs?
If the content is interesting and blogs that are posted by mt friends.

31) Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?
Did not the chance yet to do that.

32) Ever been involved with the police?
Yes, traffic summons and the last time my house was broken into.

33) What’s your favourite shampoo conditioner and soap?
Shampoo: Pantene
Soap: Liquid soap any brand (currently using Lux)

34) Do you talk in your sleep?
Sometimes, that's what my wife told me.

35) Ocean or pool?
Both are OK.

36) So, who has the original missing questions? #36, 37, 61, and 62.
Oh…the questions in here aren’t original?

37) Who would you take on a ménage à trois for a dirty weekend?
A bunch of horny chicks..

38) Window seat or aisle?
Aisle, I can get out the plane easier and I will be the first to be served by the air stewardess.

39) Ever met anyone famous?
Nehh.. don't bother much about them. They are human, why let them be so special.

40) Do you feel that you’ve had a truly successful life?
Looking back in life I can see that I have a successful life but looking ahead, there's still a long way to go.

41) Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?

42) Ricki Lake or Oprah Winfrey?
Nope, they talk rubbish and get tons of money for that.

43) Basketball or Football?
None, I am a Formula 1 fan.

44) How long do your showers last?
On the average about 10 to 15 minutes. Longer time when I have to do my long call at the same time.

45) Automatic or do you drive a stick?

46) Cake or ice cream?
Both!!! But ice cream comes first.

47) Are you self-conscious?
Yeah, obviously.

48) Have you ever drank so much you threw up?
Yeah, during my younger days. I remembered once that I got so drunk and I could not go home my wife who was my girlfriend then had to call my mun where my mun advised her to let be drink water from the drain to keep me sober!!!

49) Have you ever given money to a beggar?
No, most beggar in KL are fakes which are placed there by syndicates.

50) Have you been in love?
Many times before and after I got married!! Before marriage was with my wife and after marriage is with my children.

51) Where do you wish you were?
Here in Malaysia.

52) Are you wearing socks?
Yes when I wear my shoes. Make me feel naked if I do not wear socks with my shoes.

53) Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Yes, when they have to transport me to another hospital for a CT scan.

54) Can you tango?

55) Last gift you received?
Farewell gifts from my colleagues when I was transferred.

56) Last sport you played?

57) Things you spend a lot of money on?
Gadgets, hand phones and camera equipment.

58) Where do you live?
Kuala Lumpur

59) Where were you born?
Kuala Lumpur

60) Last wedding attended?
A fried of mine called Wong Mei Foong.

61) Spit or swallow?

62) Favorite position?
Doggy style.. if this is what the question is about.

63) Most hated food(s)?
I do not have any hated food because I only eat food that I like.

64) What’s your least favourite?
Least favourite of... ?

65) Can you sing?
I sing for myself, but I do like singing.. not a very good singer.

66) Last person you instant messaged?
Using Skype in the office for chat with my colleagues.

67) Last place you went on holiday?

68) Favourite regular drink?
Coffee and water.

69) Current Song?
Only Yesterday - Carpenters.

70) Tag 3 friends:
I think I will stop it here.

Florothon 2007

One of the events for Visit Malaysian Year 2007 is the Malaysia Flora Fest 2007 which starts from 29 January to 4 February. To kick of the flora fest, a Florothon was held today. What's a Florothon you might ask.

Well it's a brisk 2 kilometer walk for the participants wearing costume with flora theme from Dataran Merdeka to Lake Gardens and back. There are other small events also held at Dataran Merdeka apart from the Florothon like a drink balancing race and a young chef contest.

The highlight of the Flora Fest would be next week where there will be Flora Parade to be held at Putrajaya.

The Ministry of Tourism did put up a full page advertisement of the Flora Fest listing out all the featured events during the festival but there were no time when the even would be held. The website of the Ministry also does not provide the timetable and the agenda of the events.

I took the opportunity to go to the Florothon to do some shooting. I arrived at Dataran Merdeka about 9.00 a.m. and lucky for me the event was at the ending session. Here are some photos that I managed to capture.

15 January 2007

Honda Accord Coupe Concept

I have posted some futuristic pictures of the Honda Accord on 9 December 2006. Before I knew it, Honda unveiled it's Honda Coupe Concept at the Detroit Motor Show 2006. The Honda Accord Coupe Concept carries Honda’s new trapezoidal grille on it’s nose. This new grille style first appeared on the new Honda Stream, and then a variation of it appeared on the new 3rd generation Honda CR-V.

Being an ardent Honda fan and a proud owner of an Accord, the concept car looks very sleek and futuristic. I think I can now start to save enough money to buy it when the sedan model is officially launch which by then my current Account will be due for replacement.

Happy Pongal to all my Indian Friends

Today our Indian friends celebrate Pongal. A colleague of our from India who is attending the same course as I am gave us some interesting facts about Pongal. Before this I knew Pongal was celebrated by the Indians as a mark of the end of the harvest season. They would celebrate it by cook rice in a clay pot. Indians celebrate Pongal just like how the Chinese celebrate the Chinese New Year.

However, when I found out more about Pongal from my Indian colleague.

Here are some of the facts that I gathered from her:

The first day of Pongal known as "Bhogi Pongal" is a day for the family gathering and is dedicated to Lord Indra, the king of the deities and God of the Clouds and Rains. It is also the beginning of the New Year according to the Malayalam calendar and before sunrise, a hugh bonfire of useless things in the home is lit that is kept burning throughout the night. The houses are then cleaned till they shine and are decorated with Kolams painted using rice flour. The harvest of rice, turmeric and sugar cane is brought in for next day.

The second day of Pongal known as "Surya Pongal" is dedicated to the Sun God. The granaries are kept full on this day and Sun God with his rays are painted on a plank as he is worshipped with the birth of the new auspicious month of Thai. Since the word "Ponga" means "to boil" representing plentiful and excess yield, a special dish is cooked on this day in a mud-pot that comes in innovative shapes and have artistic designs on them called "Pongapani". A colourful sugarcane market is also set up on this day. The special dish is called "Sarkkarai Pongal" and is offered to Sun God with sugarcane sticks.

The third day known as "Mattu Pongal" is dedicated to the cattle as cowherds and shepherds pay thanks to their cows and bulls, wash them, paint their horns and cover them with shinning metal caps. They are fed "pongal" and tinkling bells are tied around their neck. Cattle races are conducted and in the game called "Manji Virattu" groups of young men chase running bulls. Bull fights called "Jallikattu" are also arranged at some places where young men have to take the money bags tied to the horns of the ferocious bulls single-handedly and without the use of arms.

The forth day is celebrated as "Kanni Pongal" where unmarried girls cooks Ponggal wishing for wedding bells soon.

Long story huh?

To know more about Pongal check out this site:


14 January 2007

Time ready flies

I came to realise that today is 14 January 2007, that half way through the month of January 2007. It was long since if have done the following things:

  1. Joined my new organisation on 4 December 2006.
  2. Went to Chennai on 13 December 2006
  3. Celebrated New Year at the KLCC park on 31 December 2007
  4. Started a new year at work while the kids went back to school on 3 January 2007
  5. Started a 5 weeks course on the new banking systems of my new organisation on 8 January 2007

So far everything is going on fine but looking forwards to the coming days I will have to get myself ready, I mean financially ready because the Chine New Year is coming!!!

It is the time where:

  1. The kids need need cloths and shoes for Chinese New Year.
  2. Need to buy all the festival stuff like cookies and soft drinks.
  3. Make extra monetary contribution to my parents
  4. Prepare enough funds for the "hong pow" that I need to give out to my wife, kids, nieces and whoever deserves one.
  5. This year will be a bit special because we got my wife's uncle and family who will be arriving from Bangkok to spend the new year with us

Looking at the about list, it will easily cost be a bundle to get through the festive season. However, unlike other years with my previous organisation, I was paid a year end bonus of 2 months' salary. Since I have tendered by resignation, the bonus was not due to me. I do not think that I will be getting any additional funds (apart from my salary) from my new organisation. So now, I am scratching my head where to get the funds from to support the above usage for the festive season. Looks like I will have to dig into my reserve funds (which is not much... that's the truth).

Let's just hope that I would get a windfall. who knows from where to ease my financial situation.

10 January 2007

My heart hurts

Even though after being transferred out of the department that I have been for the past ten years and even after leaving the organization that I have been for the past 25 years, I still in touch with my former staff who I have worked with closely. The way of communication is by way of telephones calls, e-mail and if I am able to squeeze in my time, I will pop over to have lunch with them (I have to travel by LRT from my current office to meet up with them). However, the feedbacks that I gathered from the staff that I have worked closely with were not pleasant. I felt sad and heart broken to hear about their current working condition when compared to days when I was there.

Remember the stories on how the children of stepmothers are treated? Stories like Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The abandoned child will be ill treated and were not cared by the step mother (and step sisters). Things were not like the days when the maternal mother was around to care for them and to love them.

Things were totally different in my former department after I left. My former staff was not happy working in the new environment where the atmosphere was not the same when I was around. They felt that the new “management” is too bossy and were slow in making good and effective decisions. They spoke of the current style of management compared to the time when the department was managed by me.

During my days in the department, I tried very much to work in an environment where every one has a share to voice their ideas. I “dirty my hand” my getting involved in their projects not because I do not trust them but it allowed me to learn about the project. I would as far as possible attend the meetings with my staff to support them and at the same time teach them how to be able to contribute positively in meetings with other departments.

I am not trying to say that I was a good leader or manager, but I proud to say that that people enjoy working with me (not for me).

After hearing all the feedbacks and happenings from my former staff, I felt like I am the sprit of the “dead mother” who is looking at how my own children have been ill treated and their unhappiness state after my “demise”. Like the sprit of the “dead mother” I could not anything but to watch on the side line hoping for the best but expecting the worse.

Even though I am glad that I made the correct decision to leave my previous organization, I cannot detached myself totally from my former staff. I cannot help to sympathizes for them undergoing their current predicament; I cannot help to jot down my feelings here in my blog. Even though I know that the “current management” may read what I have written, I could not give a damm of what they think of what I have written because they should realize that they are dealing with people who work with them and not for them.

06 January 2007

Countries that I have visited

Well I found out that I have visited 13 countries (5%) of the world.

Most of them are merely stepping my feet on tourist spots. For example, Canada, I was in Vancouver and Calgary only. While the countries in Europe, I have only been to the stops where my European tour has taken me. But looking at the figure... well its quite and achievement.

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

01 January 2007

Great start for a new year 2007

I started my new year 2007 with a BANG. I really mean a bang as I was shooting the fireworks display at KLCC.

Actually, my plan was to shoot the firework displays around the city from a hilltop called "Little Genting". I started my journey there at about 8.45 p.m. hoping to get a good spot to place my tripod and camera. Nearing the place, there was a traffic jam, I thought to myself that the crowd must be arriving at the hill to view the fireworks display too. However, I was surprised. There was police block at the foot of the hill. The lady police asked my where I am going. I said that I am going up to the hill to shoot the fireworks display. She said that I cannot proceed and I am to make a U-turn. I was very disappointed for not being able to go up the hill.

I decided to take my chance to go to KLCC to shoot the firework display. I did not want to go to Bukit Bintang area because I know that the place will be packed with people who will be spraying the colour webs. I parked my car near the French Embassy and proceed by foot to the KLCC park. There were many people there waiting to see the fireworks.

I set up my camera and tripod aiming at the fireworks target area which is just behind the twin towers. Ten minutes before 12.00 midnight, there were sound of firework explosion from the Bukit Bintang area. I could not see the fireworks because it was blocked off by the ExxonMobil building.

When the clock strike 12, the firework display at KLCC started. I set my camera to be shutter released by my remote control. As the fireworks shoot up, I was just clicking away the remote control. In the end I ended up with more than 150 shoots. The fireworks shot up high and loud and at time there were showers of sand and paper from the left over of the fireworks that were shot up. The display lasted just 10 minutes.

So that's how my explosive 2007 started.

The firework display shots are as the slide shows below. There are a total of 72 shots divided into two sets of 36 picture. Take your time to enjoy it.

It would be easier if you click on the "View Slide Show" tab to launch a new browser window to see the full slide show. Or you can see the photos at my photoblog www.caesda.blogspot.com

New Year Fireworks Set 1

New Year Fireworks Set 2