Thursday, December 30, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lebuh Raya Pasir Gudang dinaik taraf

Ok, so expect takde lori lah, kat lebuhraya Pasir Gudang ni tak lama lagi untuk 'sementara'. Dan jem lagi, selama 'sementara' itu...
All the more reason to RTW.
------------------------------
Lebuh Raya Pasir Gudang dinaik taraf
Oleh ZULHISHAM ISAHAK
JOHOR BAHRU 14 Nov. - Kerajaan akan menaik taraf Lebuh Raya Pasir Gudang daripada empat menjadi enam lorong pada tahun depan dengan kos RM150 juta bagi menyelesaikan masalah kesesakan lalu lintas.
Ahli Parlimen Pasir Gudang, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin berkata, kerja-kerja menaik taraf itu akan dilakukan secara berperingkat dengan fasa pertama projeknya membabitkan kos RM40 juta.
"Lebuh Raya Pasir Gudang akan menjadi tiga lorong di setiap hala yang sebelum ini hanya mempunyai dua lorong di sebelah kiri dan kanan.
"Melalui projek naik taraf ini, kesibukan dan kesesakan di lebuh raya itu akan dapat diatasi," katanya pada sidang akhbar selepas merasmikan Program Komuniti Polis Daerah Seri Alam, di Dataran Alhamra, Menara Aqabah di sini semalam.
Turut hadir Ketua Polis negeri, Datuk Mohd. Mokhtar Mohd. Shariff dan Timbalannnya, Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman.
Pada Mei lalu, Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak semasa melawat Pasir Gudang berjanji yang kerajaan akan menyelesaikan masalah kesesakan di laluan tersebut.
Khaled berkata, apabila kerja-kerja menaik taraf bermula, semua kenderaan berat boleh menggunakan Lebuh Raya Senai-Desaru dan tidak dibenarkan menggunakan Lebuh Raya Pasir Gudang.
Beliau yang juga Menteri Pengajian Tinggi berkata, langkah tersebut adalah untuk sementara waktu bagi mengurangkan kesesakan sehingga projek menaik taraf siap sepenuhnya.
Terdahulu dalam ucapannya, beliau meminta penduduk di sini supaya memberikan kerjasama penuh terhadap program itu untuk memastikan kegiatan jenayah dapat dibanteras.
Katanya, ini kerana bilangan penduduk Pasir Gudang bertambah setiap tahun dan pihak polis tidak boleh berada di setiap tempat untuk menjaga kesejahteraan dan keamanan.
Sementara itu, Mokhtar berkata, indeks jenayah di negeri ini dari Januari hingga bulan lalu menurun sebanyak 24.25 peratus iaitu dengan mencatatkan 5,942 kes.
Bagi tempoh yang sama, katanya, indeks jenayah jalanan turut menurun sebanyak 38.62 peratus dengan bilangan 5,942 kes.
"Kadar jenayah bagi tempoh tersebut yang berjaya diselesaikan ialah sebanyak 42 peratus atau 7,678 kes," katanya dan yakin melalui program itu kadar jenayah di Johor dapat dikurangkan lagi.
SUMBER : UTUSAN MALAYSIA

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nubhan's Album is Out Now

Ada dalam email inbox aku pagi tadi:
Subject: DAPATKAN ALBUM ;LANGKAH NUBHAN' SEKARANG!!!!
 
Dearest Nubies,
Eksklusif untuk Nubies dan fans, anda boleh mendapatkan album sulung Nubhan iaitu 'Langkah Nubhan' sekarang dengan harga RM24 yang telah ditandatangani oleh Nubhan dan disertakan bersama poster sekiranya anda membeli melalui Nubhan FC.
 
Untuk mendapatkan album ini, anda boleh menghubungi AJK-AJK Nubhan FC di bawah dengan memberi nama, nombor telefon dan alamat (jika memerlukan penghantaran terus ke rumah). Bagi Nubies atau fans yang berada di sekitar Kuala Lumpur, Selangor atau Negeri Sembilan yang ingin mendapatkan terus album ini tanpa penghantaran ke rumah, anda juga boleh menghubungi nama-nama di bawah mengikut kawasan:
 
1) Harney (012-6341952) - Seremban
2) Kak Kikey (012-2444290) - KL
3) Angah Ruzi (012-3201819) - Puchong, Subang
 
*Bagi Nubies atau fans, yang memerlukan penghantaran ke rumah, anda boleh membuat pembayaran di akaun ini 164017119309 - Shamsida Mustafa (Maybank).
 
*Kos penghantaran RM 5 (Semenanjung Malaysia) & RM 10 (Sabah/Sarawak)
 
*Sebarang pembayaran yang telah dibuat, hendaklah diberitahu kepada salah seorang AJK di atas.
 
So Nubies & Fans, apa tunggu lagi, jom dapatkan album Nubhan sekarang, eksklusif untuk anda melalui Nubhan FC. Selain mendapatkan album ini melalui Nubhan FC, anda juga boleh mendapatkannya di pasaran mulai minggu depan dengan harga RM 25.90.
 
Sekian, terima kasih. Teruskan menyokong Nubhan! :)
Amacam? CD edisi bertandatangan dengan poster, RM29 termasuk penghantaran.
Aku dah order kat Mak Ngah Rozi tadi.
Nak rip? Takyah lah... beli aje. Sehari singgit, sebulan dah cukup $ dah.
 
 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An hour with Hazami

I sent an SMS the other day:
Hazami,
Would like to purchase your albums Nyata and dbl album Yang Pertama/Running to complete my collection. Surfed your website, but no online purchase facility.
Akmal Hizam
That was replied by a call from him, and we ended up chatting for an hour (and a little bit). Such a pleasant surprise.
 
It has been more than 15 years since A-Level years, and that hour was filled with trying to locate the whereabouts of my 12H classmates, and talk about the things during those 2 fantastic, crazy years (being with a bunch of crazy people). Well, my memory still serves me good. Of course, if I have facebook access it would be much easier.
:)
 
He's not sure if Nyata is still available, and he doesn't have a copy for me to buy but he has copies of the double album. However, he would not accept $ from me if I were to get it from him.
 
Now there's my dilemma. The reason for me to buy from him is to get a signed copy, and to support local artiste*. If I get it from him, I would definitely get a signed copy, but surely I have to keep my $.
Hmmm...
 
Anyway, to grant a man's wish, I sent another sms to him with my home address.
:)
 
 
*artiste (in my dictionary): at least singer songwriter. usually able to play musical instruments. ability to dance or act merely a plus e.g: Reza Salleh, Mei Chern, Yuna.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Haji: Mari Mengumpul Duit

harga pakej haji THTS 1431H/2010M
 
Borak-borak dengan Mak pagi tadi, aku tanya dia berapa harga pakej untuk dia pergi kerjakan ibadah haji tahun ni.
Katanya, "dalam 10,000 camtu lah, hotel dalam 200 m (dari Masjidil Haram). Satu bilik 5-6 orang gitu lah".
 
Lepas tu Mak menambah, "itu tak termasuk (Bayaran Haji) yang Tabung Haji tu".
 
Bayaran Haji: Info kat laman web TH tahun lepas ialah RM9,980.Ada juga yang letak RM7,704. Apa pun, maknanya, tanpa guna kalkulator (mesin kira), lebih kurang RM20,000 jugak lah nak kena ada tu.
 
Ulp! Dah naik RM5,000 berbanding 5 tahun lepas...
 
Aku cuba juga tengok-tengok kat internet, betul ke macam tu. Betul lah tu, lebih kurang. Sebagai perbandingan, aku letak harga pakej yang Tabung Haji Travel & Tours letak untuk tahun ni (1431H/2010M). Ada kat atas tu (harga pakej dah termasuk Bayaran Haji). Link kat sini. Itu kalau nak kerjakan ibadah haji & umrah dengan selesa lah. Untuk pakej-pakej lain yang ditawarkan, rujuk sini.
 
Boleh saja kalau nak ikut muassasah, cuma lebih kurang RM10,000 dah boleh kerjakan haji & umrah dah, termasuk dalam kuota. Kira basic aje lah, dan keselesaan tak terjamin. Itu aje. Tapi kalau nak 'add-on' perkhidmatan khas di Arafah & Mina, ada disediakan. Rujuk muka 8. Apa pun, itu cuma minima. Kena juga standby duit untuk mereka yang ditinggalkan (termasuk lah rumah dan kereta - masih kena bayar tiap bulan juga tu), dan juga belanja runcit-runcit bila kat sana tu.
 
Pendek kata, mengerjakan haji & umrah itu memang kena ada duit puluh ribu punya. Tak murah. Dan, aku yakin kita mampu, kalau kita letak niat dan mula tabungan.
 
Dengan niat yang ikhlas dan bersungguh-sungguh tu, akan datang rezeki yang tak disangka-sangka. Tapi bila dah dapat tu, kena sendiri mau hingat le, jangan joli beli/hapgred beskal (atau kereta, renovate rumah) pulak.
 
Kewajiban haji
Rukun Islam yang kelima.
Wajib bagi mereka yang mampu.
Kupasan bagi 'mampu':
1. Berkuasa membayar segala perbelanjaan bagi mengerjakan ibadat Haji sehingga selesai dan kembali ke tanah air.
2. Ada kenderaan pergi dan balik.
3. Disyaratkan mempunyai bekalan yang cukup untuk saraan nafkah orang yang di bawah tanggungannya.
4. Tidak mengalami kesulitan teruk semasa berada di dalam kenderaan.
5. Aman perjalanan.
Manakala bagi perempuan pula ditambah: Terdapat kawan perempuan berserta wanita Islam yang boleh dipercayai.
 
Makin lama umur bertambah, kederat tak tentu lagi. Dan yang hampir pasti, kos makin meningkat.
 
Selamat beramal, serta mula pasang niat dan menabung.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Photography Contest II

Okay, nobody submitted anything for the first contest.
 
How about this one:
 
Title: karipap sardin
 
You are to submit a photo of karipap sardin from any Bazar Ramadhan.
Only those which shows distinctively the sardine, packed full without any room for air in the karipap pastry.
Oh, and the percentage of onion shall be less than 10%.
Preferably showing the price RM1 = 3
 
How about that?
I have yet to find one.

Darjeeling from Darjeeling

My office mate Kartini handed me the nicely packed Darjeeling tea yesterday morning. Her husband went to India for a short stint for a project he's attached to (yes, 3 months is considered short), so I asked if he could bring back some Darjeeling for me. Although it's not what I wanted (loose leaf), I treasure it because it's authentic India Tea from Darjeeling. The brand is Golden Tips Tea.
 
If not for Ramadhan, I would have made a cuppa yesterday, right then. Eventually I made some for Naza and I to sample last night. She boiled the water and I prepared the tea.
 
Perhaps I put too little of the tea leaves in the water, it's not quite as black as I wanted. However, the body is there, and I like the aroma. Darjeeling is touted as the 'champagne of tea' by aficionados, but I think I have yet to attest to that. Well, I favour tea nowadays compared to coffee for a beverage, but I have yet to sample the whole spectrum of teas available, except for Earl Grey which I love (only from Twinings, though) and our (Naza and I) current favourite - Boh Cameronian. Will make some more, and perhaps I'll try the tea recipes too.
 
Did I mention that Tini refused to take $ from me for the tea?
Thanks, you both.
 
More info on Darjeeling tea:
 
See also:

Monday, September 06, 2010

Minum Air

Adam: Saya minum air sebab tadi saya dah korek hidung dalam sangat
 
Alhamdulillah, tahun ini Adam lebih banyak berpuasa penuh berbanding tahun lepas, terutamanya masa hari sekolah. Masa cuti hari minggu aje gagal siket lah, agaknya pasal mudah nampak makanan kat area dapur tu.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

26.08.2010 - Umar is 1!

Alhamdulillah, Umar is one on Thursday. Time really flies. He was born early Ramadhan last year, and he turns one in the middle of Ramadhan this year.
 
Not much of a celebration on Thursday night, just a small gathering and we shared the small cake bought from Jusco.
 
I pray that all my children would grow healthy and bright.
Dan mendengar kata.
 
Happy Birthday, Umar.
We love you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

TI is closer to home

Not only the local club I'm joining is close by my house, the First Vice-President is also closer to home.
Congratulations to Sarawakian John Lau for the appointment.
 
***
Quoted from The Star, today:
 

S'wak politician does Malaysia proud

KUALA LUMPUR: A politician from Sarawak, John Lau, has done Malaysia proud by being the first Asian to be elected to the coveted post of First Vice-President of Toastmasters International. He is now in line to head the organisation in 2012.

Toastmasters International, established in 1924 with members in 113 countries, specialises in communications and leadership skills development and has so far groomed and helped four million people.

Lau, a supreme council member of the PPP and a businessman, has been a toastmaster for 20 years and has held many posts in the organisation before his election.

He said Friday that he was excited with his new role and would do his best to assist the organisation in further developing and grooming future leaders worldwide.

He added that he would also help project Malaysia's positive image abroad. - Bernama

Friday, August 13, 2010

DFP 2010/2011

I received the latest MPO concert brochure in my snail mailbox yesterday (okay, I'm not that green).
 
Flipping through, a few that caught my interest:
Amir Yussof - 21st Feb 2011 (Mon)
Reza Salleh - 27th June 2011 (Mon)
Age of Elegance Baroque Bon-Bons (it features Pachelbel's Canon) - 21st & 22nd May 2011 (Sat & Sun) 
 
It'll be a huge effort on my side to attend. I'm really hoping to go for the AoE in May, though. Perhaps a musical date with the missus.
Hopefully there won't be a bike event clashing with that date.
:)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Finally, a CC

Last Thursday I've completed my 10th speech project for the TI's Competent Communication manual under its Communication Track. With it, I'm no more merely Toastmaster Akmal Hizam, but Competent Communicator Akmal Hizam. Quite a mouthful, but I'm happy with it. The rest of the club members and I would have to adapt to this, I would say. Amazingly, I'm the first member of Seri Alam Toastmasters Club to be a CC. There were two CCs back in the days of MMHE Toastmasters Club, but then we have evolved to be SATC since then.


Being a self-paced program, it actually took me more than 4 years to complete. Hehe... talk about procrastination... For the record, my first speech was on the 17th February 2006. Here's my timeline: 5 speeches in 2006, 2 in 2007, 1 in 2008, nothing in 2009, and 2 in 2010. Well, I'm like wine, perhaps.


So what's next? I'm forging on with the Advanced Communication Manual and be an ACB - Advanced Communicator Bronze. Take that, a much longer salutation! Wish me all the best, and lesser procrastination.
:D


Oh, and for the club, I hope that more would follow suit. This is just the beginning.


photo from TI website

Friday, July 16, 2010

What's Your Favourite Classical Piece?

I listened to Symphony 92.4 FM last night, and it was playing a piece from Johann Pachelbel. Dubbed by the DJ as the one hit wonder by the composer, Canon in D.
 
It has been quite a while since I last heard it on the radio. Has been my favourite classical piece of all time, it was a love at the first hearing. I heard it first during my A-Level years, from a Baroque collection cassette (okay, that was back during the dino age) produced by EMI (can't remember it was played by which orchestra). I bought the cassette in Ipoh during a short stay at my buddy Akmal Hisham's place (yes, Akmal Hizam's buddy is Akmal Hisham aka Imam).
 
I was pleasantly mesmerised right from when I heard the opening of the track, with the low notes subtly heard and progressively joined by other strings and it goes up and down and sort of the strings are having a relax and joyful conversation on a splendid summer evening.
 
It almost seems like it started with a simple 'Hi, how do you do?', and followed by a string of conversation (pun intended) between strangers about things; not too complicated, just plain subjects that everyone would agree upon, instilling harmony in the breezy air. That experience was in Imam's car on the way back to Shah Alam. Well, who doesn't listen to Baroque music, anyway?
 
Canon is actually quite popular, I'm sure you've heard it too without realising it. It's also the inspiration for numerous other songs, including rap and even rendered in rock, too. Basically because it is quite simple, and being a piece of Baroque music, it is widely acceptable to the 'commoners' ears.
 
You can find a list of songs derived from Canon in here.
My favourite among them: Coolio's C U When You Get There, a soundtrack from the movie Nothing To Lose (1997).
 
I heard it live played by string quartets at least twice. One was in front of Boots store in Manchester (at Arndale Centre) with Naza, and another was in London with Amri and Ibu nearby a market. Really breathtaking moments, they were. Goosebumps on both occasions. I bought the self made CD from the London string quartet ZHL String Ensemble, and that's the only Canon I have on a CD. However, I still think the piece rendered by the orchestra in my lost EMI cassette was the best I've heard so far.
 
Whoever took my Coolio CD single, please return it back to me. You're already forgiven.
 
links for sheet music, and the electric guitar rendition video clip in Wikipedia's page.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Family Portrait 2010

left to right: Nazahiya, Akmal Hizam, Marsya, Adam.
sitting: Umar
 
copyright Disney/Pixar

Thursday, July 08, 2010

CD: Maher Zain - Thank You Allah

album cover from Inteam Mobile site
 
Bought it online from Inteam Mobile last Friday, and it arrived yesterday (Wed) via poslaju. All in all, it took 4 working days counting from the day order placed.
 
How did I get to know about this bloke? Well, my colleague Syed Idrus introduced me to him about a month ago, and another office mate Hidayah shared a few of the music videos with the whole office last week.
 
I was hooked with Insha Allah and Open Your Eyes, right from the first hearing. The same feeling as Dawud Wharnsby Ali's The Veil and Madinah Tun Nabi. Another favourite is Hold My Hand.
 
I googled after viewing the videos, and a link brought me to Inteam Mobile's site. They have it online, in local currency and accepts payment through Maybank2u. And so...
 
Pricing:
Subtotal: RM27.90
Postage & Packaging: RM3.63
Tax: RM0.00
Grand Total: RM31.53
 
I don't mind paying the postage, plus the 5 days waiting, considering that I'm not spending as much $ on fuel if I were to go to the music store. Plus, I'm not sure if it is sold in just any music store. Of course, there's also more saving on the highly possible impulse purchases next door to the music store.
:)
 
More on Maher Zain here:

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Toyota Supra for sale

carbon fibre hood and spoiler, 21" OZ superleggera rims, bodykit, the works. interested?
 
My lunchtime ride, now for sale.
Single owner, race proven, excellent condition.
A bit dated, though.
 
Thinking of getting a Skyline.
 
image snapshot from EA's Need For Speed Carbon

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Keep Out!

Pasted on Adam's door last night after a small fight with his sister.
Can't help but laugh about this one with Naza.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Re: finger dance II

My speed test result. Quite miserable, I would say.
:P
 
Wanna know how fast (and accurate) you're typing?
Head on to:
 

Interestingly, there's an alternative keyboard layout other than the normal (QWERTY) ones that we're using. It's called Dvorak. I only knew it now.

Dvorak keyboard layout:
 
Dvorak keyboard
the keyboard designed by August Dvorak in 1936, an efficiency fanatic, a professor of the University of Washington, and a cousin of Antonin Dvorak - the composer.
 
Dvorak arranged letters according to frequency, placed common letters on the home row and made the stronger fingers do most of the work. It significantly reduced fingers movement which is the reason for increased comfort and speed and diminishing RSI syndromes.
 
Rough typing rhythm is supported by placing vowels on the left hand home row and most common consonance on the right hand home row.
--------------------------------
 
More on Dvorak here (Wikipedia).
I for one won't be adding that skills in my arsenal for sure, unless if I'm bored I'd try it for fun.
 
Go to http://www.freetypinggame.net/ for interesting ways to learn typing online.
If you're adventurous enough, google 'online typing tutor game' and explore. For now, I'm lessening my mistakes by practicing (or type very slowly).
 
Sheesh...
 
Interesting note: the alphabets in TYPEWRITER are located on the top row of a QWERTY keyboard.
 
See my previous entry here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weekend (and more) Travel - 5th - 8th June 2010

whoa! in my draft box for quite some time already
 
School holiday.
 
Kids were pestering,
"Ayah, cuti ni kita tak pergi jalan-jalan ke Ayah?"
"Ayah, nanti kita pergi rumah Aunty kat KL jumpa Byron tak?"
 
I have registered for a ride in FRIM on Sunday 6th June. It's about time for a visit to Senawang (to see my parents, not the bike shop).
 
Wifey wanted to go to Kluang to sample the coffee at the railway station and Ayer Hitam to 'visit' Claytan factory outlet. Plus, I wanted to have the Ikea meatballs with her.
 
Oh, and Umar needs a high chair - Ikea's Antilop is quite cheap.
 
Okay, then, seems like we have enough reasons here.
 
***
 
Friday 4th June
At midnight I stuffed the car with Umar's pram, my bike and riding paraphernalia, and left ample space for 2 luggages plus more.
 
Saturday 5th June
As usual, we went out an hour (plus more) later than planned. Detoured to Kg. Melayu to get some murtabak for Ayah and Akak/Azeem. Unfortunately, the favourite outlet was closed and the other not so nice outlet already ran out of dough. So we went straight out to the PLUS highway, destination Ayer Hitam.
 
It was a short visit at Claytan, just looking at what they have in store, and for Naza to weigh the options for her dream stoneware stock. Me, I bought a big bowl and 2 serving dishes for Ibu. Ok lah tu.
 
Went to Kluang heading for the railway station to have a taste of their toasted bread with kaya, and of course, coffee. Not our luck, we were there at 1.30pm, their break time. Resolved to revisit on our way back to JB, and we moved on to Senawang.
 
Reached Senawang in the evening, and stayed only for a short while. Amri was also there shortly after we came, and it was quite merry. Wanted to stay longer, but have to move on to the final destination - Kuala Lumpur.
 
Wanted to go to Ikea for dinner, but instead we went to Jalan Gombak to sample Uzbek dishes offered at Le Chateau de Puah, as it was already late. It didn't take long for our food to be served, and they're delicious, all of them. The ambience of the place is nice too. Relaxing. Oh, and they've got this one big orange tabby too. Always a plus to have a cat lazing around at an eating place.
 
Took a turn to Jalan Sentul after leaving Kg. Puah, for a brief visit to my primary and secondary schools to feed Marsya's curiosity. My oh my, the area is now very different from what it used to be. The school itself, it looks like a prison from the outset.
 
The next destination was Akak's place to stay for the night - nearby Jalan Kuching. We headed there via the Sentul Link. Also for me to know how far I walked to school during my day, so I showed the kids my walking route from school to home in a drive tour. It was nearly 2 km one way. If my memory serves me well, it was about 15-20 minutes walk, sweating and chat with my route mates. Reached Akak's place and settled down for a good rest quite close to midnight.
 
Sunday 6th. June
Went out in the morning for my mountain bike ride at FRIM in Kepong. The event ended at about 1pm and I headed to a friend's place in Taman Melewar to say hello and check out his new small bike shop - basically a small area in his house.
 
Back to Akak's place to fetch Naza and kids, and we went to Legend Hotel KL. It was a very short drive, and we checked in our room in a whiff. The room is spacious, and the upholstery is nice. I love the bathroom. Big.
 
After a proper bath and solat, we headed to Ikea for our dinner and 'therapy'. Bought a few household items including Umar's high chair, and that's it. Back to the hotel for a good night's rest. I really need it.
 
Monday 7th. June
I woke up early and got ready for the much awaited breakfast (yay!). Packed up things while waiting for the others to get ready. We went down to the dining area around 9.45 am. 45 minutes for a good whip of buffet breakfast. I have to say that I'm quite impressed with the friendliness of the staff. I had a wonderful breakfast. The dishes are delicious, especially the sambal for their nasi lemak (considering for a hotel, that is. Ibu's sambal is the best, still). Managed to sample everything, including the made to order omelette. Oh, they have tosai booth also.
 
Bottom line, I'll check in into the hotel if I have the opportunity next time.
 
After breakfast, went with Marsya, Adam and Umar to the pool. Well, I'm babysitting Umar on the pooldeck while Naza prepping up our stuff in the room before we check out in the afternoon.
 
We checked out eventually at 1 pm and went to The Mall for a quick stroll. Nothing much to see, but Naza was in a wonderland down in Cold Storage at the basement. Good selection of fine foodstuff there.
 
After that we went to USJ for me to fetch a collection of unwanted old bike mags. Planned to have our lunch in Subang Parade's food court. When we arrived, Umar and the others were sound asleep. So I left them in the basement parking and get the food tapau. It must have been quite some time since my last visit there, and much to my dismay, SP don't have food court (read: cheap food) anymore. Food are available from a comprehensive collection of 'branded' eateries decked out on the ground floor, though. I settled for Chicken Rice Shop, and headed out to USJ 11. While I was in USJ, I went also to Rodalink outlet in Taipan USJ. A good outlet, but not knowledgable staff.
 
After solat Asar, we headed to Senawang, the transit before final destination JB. Ayah called and informed that he prepared soup for the children's dinner. How thoughtful; and made me thinking: would I be like that with my grandkids?
 
Reached Senawang around dinner time, and I was a bit tired by then. That's when I decided to stay for the night, much to Ayah's delight of course.
 
Tuesday, 8th. June
After breakfast we headed out to Kluang. Need to be there before 12 noon if we were to sample the coffee and toasted bun. Not to miss it again this time, so we went out early. Well, ti was around 10.30 am when we left Senawang. It was drizzling when we arrived, and alhamdulillah we got a nice parking spot within the small parking lot at the train station. Unfortunately, many of the items in the menu were already finished, except for the main attraction.
 
The coffee? Worth the visit. The toasted bun with butter and kaya? Reason good enough for a revisit.
 
After Kluang, we went to Ayer Hitam to get Naza's plates. One happy lady she was.
:)
 
Went towards Batu Pahat for our late lunch after that. I read about Bisik-Bisik, and tried to look for it. There it was, on the right side towards Batu Pahat about 12 km out from Ayer Hitam. It was only us and 3 other people patronising the outlet. A very nice place, but the food could be improved (a lot) much better.
 
Finally, that's the last stop of our journey. We went home straight from there and reached home at night.
 
All in all, when I looked back at it, yeah, it does make a difference to go out and travel once in a while.
Leave the $ factor aside, though :)
 
Photos are here.
 
Thanks for your visit.
Have a nice day!
 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

DSLR

DSLR = Digital Single Lens Reflex (camera).
 
Senang cerita, kamera yang saiz besar tu lah, dengan lensa bear tu; bukan jenis kompak yang muat nak masuk poket. Mengikut pengamatan, kalau pergi kenduri kahwin sekarang ni dah merata orang gunakannya; bukan sahaja oleh jurufoto profesional yang dok ambik gambar pengantin dengan bersilang kurang-kurang 2 bijik di bahh, bahkan termasuklah awek-awek (selalunya model yang basic aje lah). Macam mudah digunakan pulak.
 
Sekarang ni harga dah mampu milik agaknya, ataupun rakyat dah makin berkemampuan. Alhamdulillah. Harga untuk permulaan dengan kit lens lebih kurang separuh pakej umrah yang basic, ataupun boleh beli mountain bike yang agak hebat spesifikasinya. Ataupun boleh bawak famili pegi bercuti sakan di hotel/resort lima bintang.
 
Bukan tak berminat. Cuma tak boleh nak masuk dalam poket, dan tak senang untuk dibawa semasa berbasikal (boleh tu memang boleh, macam brader ni). Amat sesuai untuk merakam peristiwa penting dan tempat menarik semasa percutian (dan umrah).
 
Tapi tak apalah, buat masa ni aku tak perlukan lagi. Bukan boleh nak ambik gambar sendiri pun. Lagipun it's merely a tool for art. What's important is the composition.
 
Cheh... konon. Sour grapes la tu.
 
 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

DVD: An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

I was on duty for MMHE's booth for Iskandar Malaysia Career Expo a few Sundays ago. My first time taking part in such event, and it was quite a good experience. A chance to contribute something for the company, while my riding Sunday being compensated justly (at least for me) in various ways. The expo was held in a spacious exhibition hall sited next to Danga City Mall in Johor Bahru. Not many participating companies; less than 50. Many visitors, though understandably most of them are fresh graduates. Enough to make the booths busy, I would say.
 
 In my day-to-day in the office, I'm sitting most of the time. Standing at the booth for at least half the day, my 9 to 5 duty ended with me feeling a bit exhausted. Not eventful, but not boring either.
 
I took the chance to browse around the mall after the expo wrapped up. Found a charity shop selling second hand items. Also a nice second hand book on level 4. I must have spent more than an hour in there browsing the shelves.
 
Curiously, the books are arranged by the authors' names. Normal? Nope. For they arranged it alphabetically using the authors' first names.
 
Besides books, they also have dolls (Barbie & Ken with accessories), magazines, CDs, DVDs, Coke collection (cans, bottles, other Coke items), and selected second hand collectibles (for those who collects old junks).
 
I found a 2006 original DVD without a price tag in its original packaging sitting lonely on a CD rack. The plastic cover has frayed, though. I took it to the counter, and the shopkeeper inspected before deciding that the price for me to pay is RM5. That's just great, an original 'An Inconvenient Truth' DVD for only a fiver.
 
Only a few days after that I managed to watch it. Quite dramatic, eye opening, and it shows the whole picture of what's Global Warming is all about.
 
Sneak peek of what's inside: melting ice (why, how, where), global temperature arising consistently with CO2 level in the atmosphere, Katrina (how, effect), extreme rain and drought, propaganda, and many more.
 
If you'd like to know what's happening to the earth with Global Warming, and have 95 minutes to spare for watching a presentation by Al Gore, I can lend the DVD to you. I assure you, GW won't be a cliché anymore.
 
Oh, I love the credits at the end. They presented tips on how to help with GW. I smiled when 'ride a bicycle' is mentioned.
 
Like I said, the Sunday was compensated in various ways, and this DVD is one of them.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

My Name is Red, Pirate Latitudes and Famous Five

I went to MPH City Square JB last Sunday to get Marsya's Famous Five book; to fulfill the promise I gave her for getting good results in her exams. Well, originally it was for the morning school exams, but she compensated for the Sekolah Agama's results instead.
I spent quite some time at the Junior Readers/Series collection shelves looking for the book, before I finally went to the query counter and asked the girl to check if there are FF books available in the store.
Duhh!

The books are currently out of stock, being ordered, and would take some time to arrive in the JB outlet. Asked how long, she returned "about 1-2 months". Well, knowing Marsya, she certainly wouldn't be able to wait that long (and I'll suffer the unending nagging). Instead, I asked the girl to order cases 1 and 2 (2 mystery cases in 1 book) from other MPH stores and have it delivered to JB for me to fetch it later on. It'd take 5 working days, and I guess Marsya would be okay with that. Hopefully.
Okay, so I browsed around, after placing an order for the FF book...
First to the 'buy 3 pay for 2' selection; none caught my fancy. Then to the magazine racks. Flip upon unwrapped cycling magazines, and drool over the latest sexy road bikes and monstrous mountain bikes. RM30+ is a bit too pricey for me. I've got the cheaper local cycling magazines at home, anyway... So...
Aha! My eyes saw Crichton's Pirate Latitudes on the New Arrivals shelf. The paperback edition is finally out. Two versions, actually. One is the international edition, and the other one is (I guess) the normal edition. I chose the slightly thicker 'normal edition', solely for the quality and feel of the paper.

Three things made me buy the fiction:
  1. It's a Crichton's novel; and I've been waiting for quite some time for the paperback edition.
  2. 20% discount for MRC member, making the price down to less than RM30.
  3. Comparatively cheaper than an imported mountain bike magazine
:)

The day before that I went with Naza (and Umar on tow, of course) to Harris (Popular) bookstore in Jusco Tebrau after sending Marsya to Ulu Tiram for her motivation camp thingy.
Was hoping to get her FF book in Harris, actually, but they don't stock them at all. I browsed around and was contemplating for quite some time if I should get that Orhan Pamuk's book My Name is Red. I know a few friends in Goodreads Malaysia who are reading it, and also Uncle has read it. Plus, it's by a Nobel laureate. The novel seems to be good, so I thought why not. It has been quite some time I haven't read a fiction, anyway; other than Crichton's, for that matter. I got myself the paperback edition, of course (read: cheap).
There were long lines at counters in Harris, I managed to finish a chapter (a few pages only, actually). Well, it's quite good. The storytelling is something I haven't experienced in my lifetime. It's different. Okay, I read a bit of Sidney Sheldon, too, besides MC. Orhan's style in MNIR is something new. I continued at home, and am up to my 6th chapter now. I'm enjoying it, albeit only a few pages at a time.
read more:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Punctuation and Spelling (plus cats) at theoatmeal.com

I bumped into these pages the other day on theoatmeal.com, a brief stop at Khairul H's blog (a friend from Goodreads Malaysia).
 
I love the comic illustrations and also example sentences.
 
Have fun!
For cat lovers, while you're there, check out these posters too:
  1. How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you
  2. 17 things worth knowing about your cat
Hehe...
 
Thanks for stopping by. Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Gurgling

I was feeding Umar last night, and he was wriggling his hands and legs while repeatedly throwing his body to the back. This went on for a while, and it was quite hard to feed him.
 
While the food was in his mouth, he discovered something new as he was trying to squeal: gurgling.
 
Umar seemed to enjoy it, for he gurgled and experimented different variations for some time. Hehe...
 
Of course, the messy feeding session was cut short but continued later, by his mother (the best person to do it, it seems...).
:)

Friday, March 12, 2010

16 more bags

Out of 50 of Tesco Finest Earl Grey teabags, I have 16 more to go to.
Have to endure this one, for I don't want to waste it. If you'd like to help me out, I'm glad to share with you some of the 16 bags. Come around my office for a cuppa.

I'm switching to Twinings' next. Much better aroma and taste than Tesco's. If you have Dilmah's Earl Grey, can I buy one teabag from you for a sample?

There are mixed reviews for Tesco's Finest Earl Grey. Compare the two links I'm providing here:

Me, I'm not buying Tesco's anymore.
Oh, darn it. I have a few more of Tesco's at home, too. Come around this weekend, we'll have a chat over a cup of Earl Grey. Bring your own biscuits.
:)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blowing Raspberries

Umar's favourite thing to do nowadays, since last week: blowing raspberries.
He does it very intently, complete with wrinkly forehead.
Fun to watch.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nasi Ayam

Marsya: Adam, awak dah belikan untuk saya lead 0.5 tu dekat bookshop?
Adam  : tak, saya tak beli...
Marsya: kenapa? kan saya dah bagi duit dekat awak.
Adam  : dah tak ada... saya dah beli nasi ayam...

Tickling Without Hands

It's genuinely uplifting when Umar giggles squeakily when I made funny faces.
Especially because he laughed without me having to tickle his ribs.
:D

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My FOUR Birthday Cakes

the 4 yummy birthday cakes, from Naza and kids.
clockwise from 12 o'clock: custard pudding wrapped with sponge layer, earl grey with walnut, walnut choc and blueberry-vanilla.
yes, it's earl grey!
My mailbox was overwhelmed with notifications from Facebook on my virtual wall yesterday. It started on Monday with a birthday wish from Smé (thanks heaps, bro). Until today, the birthday wishes kept coming in. Thank you, everyone.
I didn't really celebrate my birthday, to be honest. It was a normal day as usual. Albeit, I was elated with the birthday messages that I received from friends through Facebook, Google Buzz, Geni and SMS. Hmm... all digital.
At home Naza prepared for a nice celebration with the kids. She went to Jusco Permas Jaya with earlier in the evening. Adam relayed this as soon as I entered the door to bring my bicycle in after the ride from office.
"Ayah, we went to the Body Shop just now, mak was looking for massage oil", he excitedly quipped. I managed to maintain a straight face while smiling inside.
After Maghrib, I set the nice looking cakes on the plate and we ate them together (after I shot the photos). It was simple and nice celebration.
True enough, Naza gave me a nice box from Body Shop. There's a massage oil (no surprise there), a tub of Kistna hair and body wash, and a bottle of Kistna EDT. Marsya gave me a key chain, wrapped, with a small card that she made herself . Adam bought me a cheese loaf which I brought to the office this morning. Umar gave me a sweet smile when he saw me, awoke from his sleep.
Couldn't ask for more. Thank you, y'all. I appreciate it very much.
Now, if you do want to give me a birthday present... hmm...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cow

Adam : Aunty, you're like a cow.
Aunty: Cow? Why, why do you say I'm like a cow?
Adam : Ya lah... you give Byron milk...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Google Buzz

A nice feature I added into my Gmail this morning.
Much like twitter and facebook's status messages, but with so much more - links, photo thumbnails.
I'm learning the ropes by using it, and to discover its features as I go along.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Battle of Cape Rachado 1606

Dutch VOC with help from Johor versus Portuguese (Malacca).
The lighthouse at the cape witnessed the fierce battle involving 31 ships with cannons and numerous hands aboard.
If the story narrated in the link below is true, I can imagine how precious the resources of this great land were during the days in history.
I wish to bring the family and pay a visit to the lighthouse in February during Ahad's Family Day insyaAllah.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

a baby's smile

such a wonderful thing
when he smiles innocently
to me

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

RM5 Chicken Chop, My Friend's Tom Yam & Kenny Rogers Roasters

I guess it was not a good decision to haul the whole family to Hutan Bandar last Saturday night. The aim was to sample the cheapest Chicken Chop in JB. While Confucius said, "good thing no cheap, cheap thing no good", I reckon this might not be the case, as the owner of the business is a hotel chef. High chance he would adhere to some decent standard, if not spectacular.
 
The place was featured in Utusan Malaysia a few days prior, and Naza too, has been telling me about it much earlier than that. Factor in Saturday night, and the open air dining over there was packed with no table to spare. We came at about 9.45pm, and I could easily park the car. Quite a surprise at the beginning, for there are not many parking space available. Looking at the tables full with patrons but only with drinks, then only I realized that people may have opted to go off empty handed (and stomach). Such was the case with us, eventually. Naza met a friend from Ulu Tiram who had ordered since 8.50 pm. It was around 10 pm at that time, and she still haven't receive her order yet. She went to ZZ Restoran for her dinner, by the way, before coming back to Hutan Bandar for her Chicken Chop to-go. So that was it.
 
Wondering where to go at first, we ended up at My Friend's Tom Yam Restaurant. Quite nice, as there were not many people around. Plus, we could order western menu if we really want to eat chicken chop... Naza ordered seafood tom yam (with crab), salted fish kailan, buttered prawn, battered squids, siakap 3 rasa, nasi goreng cina for the kids, and drinks. Mak ordered mi ladna for herself, and the waiter said that it would take some time. Mak didn't mind with that, for she really wanted to sample the dish.
 
In about 2 minutes, we were served with the white rice and battered squids. And followed by Mak's mi ladna very soon after. Not quite as long as I had imagined it would be, after all. For that, I awarded 4 (out of 5) stars for their quick service. In less than 10 minutes, everyone else's dishes were all ready on the round table. It impressed me straight away.
 
We ate (me, a bit later - babysitting Umar) and it was time for the bill. Total was RM107 for 3 adults and 2 children. Not too bad. Well, it beats dining at Kenny Rogers Roasters having Kenny's Quarters (RM15) and drinks (RM7) for each, plus taxes. At least for the variety of tastes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 - a new decade?

Mathematically, it's a misconception.
1.1.2010 is the beginning of the end of a decade. As simple as that. Not that simple? Read on.

I was quite disturbed to hear (well... mostly, read) people saying "Happy New Year 2010. Welcome to a new decade".

1st January 2010 is the first day of the year. But, it's not the first day of the decade.
A decade is a period of 10 years, a word from Greek 'deca' which means ten.

How do you count from 1 to 10? I have never heard people start counting from 0. Do you?
We count from one. 1 is the beginning.
Following the same rule, the first year of the decade should be the year 2011.
The first month of the year is January.
The first day of January, well, you get my drift now...

So, to state the obvious, the first day of the next decade would be the 1st of January 2011.
1.1.2011 - not that nice.
1.1.11 - much, much better.

As I said in the beginning of this entry, 1st January 2010 is merely the beginning of the end of the decade. Got it now?

2000 - the new millennium?
This was also a misconception. Ehm ehm... a miscalculation.

So the whole world celebrated the new millennium 1 year earlier than it should be. There were cries from people who knows how to count that the celebration was premature. But heck, 1.1.2001 as the new millennium? The numbers are not that tasty. 'C'mon, give us a break, you nerdy people', they said.

Anyway, democracy sometimes may mean that all the idiots are united.

By the way, 1.1.11 is quite catchy.
My prediction: come that day, marketing people will tout it as 'the beginning of a new decade'.
Surely, that day will see lots of weddings and newspaper headings like 'new decade babies', 'wedded on a new decade', etc.

We'll see...