30 November 2008

One fine day @ FRIM

It was quite a relief to see the clear morning blue sky wide open in the horizon after a week of continuous downpour. The heavy downpour in the eastcoast has not disappointed the keropok lekor-nation to celebrate their annual event of "maing boh". I purposely missed the event this year as last year I had a very wet experience. I was stranded in Kuantan for two days during that watery festival.

So this morning we head to FRIM as planned for our family gathering. For a season traveller, FRIM is quite wellknown as a popular stopover especially for naturalist. You can still find big trees and green jungle with nice waterfalls for a nice dip. It took us 20 minutes to reach this place from our house, so by Kay El driving standard it is considered a very close picnic destination. I am quite sure many Kay El inhabitants don't really aware the existence of this nice place. I am not sure though, if the glamorous wedding of Maya Karin that took place in this serene habitat has in a way ring a bell to these Kay El people.

Kids seemed to really enjoying this outing. They didn't really mind soaking themselves in the water for hours until their toes become numb. My bum was also starting to become numb from spending hours sitting on the rock watching them splashing and wading in the pool. After some serious persuasion to get them all out of the water, we finally packed up and head back home with a minor sun burn on the skin.

29 November 2008

I met the real double 0 seven today at TESCO

While I was escorting my other-half for our usual weekend shopping spree this morning at our favorite and friendly shopping mall, TESCO Mutiara Damansara, I got a real glimpse from an action sequel of the legendary 007 movie. At first I didn't suspect anything, but when a burly in-house security personnel and several bouncers confronted a man I suddenly realised something big was going to happen. There was however, no gunshot or tyre-screaching car chase in the scene, but what followed was a small commotion between both parties. It turned out that the unsuspecting man was actually an employee of a rival shopping mall, Giant which has just opened nearby, doing his routine espionage work on his arch rival business. The funny thing is, this Daniel-Craig wannabe didn't seem to bother to cover his identity at all, because he was wearing a shirt with big Giant logo on it and taking photos on the price tags like a National Geoprahic photographer on assignment. Now I have to be more cautious as the "mata-mata gelap" could be anywhere. What a bugger!

From time to time, I will receive some discount coupons from these giants, persuading us to buy their products ranging from nail clippers to 50 inch plasma TVs. Apart from that, one of their ingenious way in adding our collection of non-biodegraded plastic cards, was a loyalty card.This is to encourage us spending more of our quality time at their place. I know, in 20 or 30 years these cards will be a collectible item, that if Ebay is still around.

The good thing is, the price war is here. This is good for us, the customer. Eventhough I've just found out that my baby's pampers is cheaper by RM0.70 in a nearby sundry shop run not by a local but by an Acheh, but I still go to these hypermart because of their ambience. Sounds classy isn't it. Ambions. It seems that these Acheh-run grocery shops are flourishing like mushrooms nowadays and you will most likely bump into them even in the public toilet. Initially I thought they were washed ashore after that big tsunami, but I got a feeling they were attracted to the smell of "tempe" a delicacy which was very popular in Selangor once.

27 November 2008

Friends are forever

Can you imagine how life would be if we don't have any friend at all in this entire world. I don't think I can live with that. Life will be so meaningless I presume. We might as well become deaf or blind and live in our Jurassic life.

I am a person who enjoyed good companies, good laugh and good camaraderie. I am glad that I still have friends who value our friendship until now. I still have regular contact with some of my friends of whom I 've known for more than 20 years. These are my friends who do not judge the book by its cover, do not come to your BBQ gathering because you drive a flashy bimmer, do not bad-mouth you at the back and do not mind at all if you want them to queue for you to buy an icescream. It was simply and purely for the sake of sharing the mutual friendshipness.

As I am a very simple and cool gentleman, I don't send out application forms for the prospect of getting ideal friends. Anybody which came out to this world thru their mother's womb can be my friend as long as they honor the value of comradeship. Regardless of what color they sprayed their hair to cover the white one, where they spend their night with their wife or wives, how they have cheated in their exam to get to where they are now or when they get their driving license is not of my concern. Everybody with good intention is most than welcome.

Tommorrow we are going to FRIM, our usual family hideout for our regular family reunion. I hope it is not raining tommorrow. People says diamonds are forever, but it seems our bond is stronger than ever.

Dedicated to my fellow botanists of 1990

One thing that I like most when I joined Botany Department at UKM (1989/1990) was their endless trips to so many beautiful places in this planet. I love nature and that gave me splendid opportunity to get a close encounter with my passion. Looking at the colorful diversity of plants, their symbiotic relationships with the ecosystem, how importance their existance to our life etc., can sometime make you closer to the Maker.

Searching for the elusive Tasic Chini Dragon.

Posing with Berhaman, Syed, Lister and Rahim after a tiring walk along the Rasa Hills.

Walauweee...so romantic. I can't remember what Husaini was trying to console me for. Guessing at my face it was probably because I missed my morning pee. Tioman Island.
At ground zero - Cameron Highland

Scaling the highest peak of Pulau Tinggi - just to have our lunch up there.

In many of our audacious field trips, one of the challenges was to accept offers by locals to taste their exotic foods. Look at the coffee, dark as charcoal but taste as good as any coffee at Starbuck or Cofee bean.

26 November 2008

How would I look like 20 years from now?

A friend of mine told me that my batch of 1990 was featured in the net. I laughed and almost fell from the chair when I looked at the photos. How things changed over that period of time. Many fonds memories kept flashing back. We were young, energetic and there was nothing much to worry about except of what to do everythime after we have finished our exam. It was quite unfortunate that I have lost contact with all of them. Except a couple of years ago I met Rahim at Jalan TAR (he was teaching at the time) and Siva Raj (a banker) at R&R Awan Besar. I am wondering where are they now?

25 November 2008

My UDM make-over

There is one thing with having to own, in my opinion one of most awesome car that I can afford so far, and joining a bunch of crazy people in a motor club that from time to time keep poisoning your mind with mod after mod. After a while, the temptation become so unbearable, I let myself loosed and start to jump the bandwagon.
It was actually started with some minor cosmetic upgrade on the headlamp. The white CCFL angel-eye. But during the installation I saw one original M-Tech rear spoiler laying helplessly on the shelf gathering dust. When I asked the workshop owner, which happened to be the president of another motor club, he made me an irresistable offer.
Once you were bitten then it is hard to heal. The mod bug then spread sporadically and out of my control. Then came the original M-tech Bodykit (front and rear bumper plus side skirting), of which I have dreamed so long to put on my 328. The total make over then continued with a coat of new deep-blue paint which will blend all the new bodykit with the body. The final touch with the exterior make-over was to fit a chrome ACS exzos tip. What a stunning beauty - a 'syiok' sendiri statement. Along the same time, I have made soem interior make-over as well such as M-tech hand-brake lever, M-Tech door lining and M-Tech brake pedals. I managed to get my hand on this interior gagdets with the generous help of my contact my Siam-connection.
Even though there was a big hole in my pocket by taking this journey, the satisfaction overshadowed my guilty conscience (lol), and my sweet other-half always confort me by saying "as long as you are happy darling". What a sweet melody. My contribution to the domestic economy has not gone un-noticed. Now I can sit back and enjoy the ride more in hoping that I won't be bitten by the bug anymore. But I doubt it :)

School holiday and PSP 3000

Now the most anticipated even of the year has come. Nope... it is not the Monsoon Cup that brought Michele Yeoh and Jacky Chan to the once-sleepy town of Kuala Terengganu. It is the Year end school holiday, when your kids spending their time mostly at home pestering you and your wife. The other thing that I noticed having significant effect during that gestation period of their schooling time is the number of trafic on the road. It reduces drastically. Sometimes it makes me wondering why this mind-blowing phenomenon is happening. Does the parent dutily send their children to school themselves and then dashing back to work after that? Or is it their habbit to have breakfast and bid farewell to their children first before going to work? Mind you, global warming has so many explaination to it, but this phenomenon I have yet to find the answer. Anyway it is good because I can drive my car flawlessly on the road and along the way it save my brake pad and my pocket as well.One and a half months is a long time. So I have to think of ways to occupy them with quality activities. At the same time I have not really rewarded my kids for being so nice and obedient to me all this while. A little pampering will do. You take some, you give some. One thing straight away cross my mind. The most talked-about (of course among their peers, because I don't think my peers give a damn!) was PSP 3000 that was just being released in October 08. After some googling about (yes I am good at doing that now), I found only one shop in the entire nasi-lemak-nation that sell the latest model. The shop was in the S&M Shopping Arcade Center along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (I should get a comission for this free ad from the shop). The shop owner was quite surprised when I approached him and he later told me that I was the first customer to their shop asking for the model. This could probably mean that I am the first official customer that bought PSP 3000 in malaysia. Cool. With slimmer design, antiglare screen, built in speaker, skype and other cool feature comes with it, I am poorer by RM950. And it comes with one original game, of which one of my all-time favourites, Final Fantasy VII. Since it is still consider new in the market, modding is quit impossible. But with Malaysia-Boleh spirit, I don't think our elusive home-grown hackers in Low Yatt or Imbi Plaza won't take that long to unlock the code.

googling over the cyberspace

I am a cool person. People that I talked to told me that I am cool too. So at least I am right thinking that I am cool. I feel cool when I am eating ice batu kacang, looking at my bank account during paytime, taking a ride in my UDM after spending a day doing detailing and even cooler if I have to cope with bosses that had no sense of humor at all - pity them.

Yesterday, my old and trusted buddy, Badrul shared some of his old-kept secrets on how to get our posting listed on search engines. For some IT geeks this may sound so trivial, but not for me, a fourtysomething cool-guy. He revealed to me every steps, every trade secrets and tips that he has gathered over the years at The University of Durham (the same university that I read my MSc/PhD). After of some pinging here and there, I started to see my blog listed on Google, and to me that was cool. Looking at how knowledgeable he was, make me thinking that this guy should in the first place becomg an IT consultant instead of spending his entirely working career handling test tubes and playing with plant hormones than can shrunk his manhood. I can see the sincerity and passion in him. How I hope that others have the same 'badruism' in them. These species are a rare breed now and in the brink of extintion especially in my workplace of which I called a heaven. Cool!

24 November 2008

Hole in one at Monterez golf academy

After having spent numerous hours, watching ASTRO channel 815, and many pack of Ngan Ying ground nuts littering the carpet, I finally decided that it was time to put some theories into practices. I managed to persuade my two boys from their video-game marathon activity, to be enlisted in one of the golf clinics run by local instructor. The chubby instructor fondly known by the kids as Uncle Lim, was a retired colonel army who doesn't take discipline very lightly. Which I think very good. Kids need good discipline so as adults.
The training regimes consisted of 10 modules from the very basic like the correct way to hold the club, swing drills, bunker shot, putting and a little bit on course management. The last part of the course was to really put the skill into practices i.e playing a 9 holes in the actual green.

After they have gone throuth the whole agonising modules (according to them) I can see that both of my kids has got their swing quite right or at least they got the "gaya" right. My kids did enjoy the training very much. But I don't think they enjoy the game as yet because everytime I ask them to join me in the driving range, they will give me thousand of excuses. Their PSP seems got more charm than going down to the green.

So Tiger Wood, you better watch out! Malayan tiger is coming after you.

23 November 2008

Publish or perish

I always encounter this problem when I want to do some write-up. The problem is when to actually start it. The pen or pencil suddenly becomes so heavy to move on a piece of paper. Or is it because we are no more doing that basic scribling thing that we used to do when we were a child and instead we are now tap-dancing on a keyboard, a skill only recently we learned. But when I managed to overcome that hurdle, the "ilham" comes non-stop and spilling over even in my dream. What a nightmare that can be.

I personally have encountered this malady when I were finishing my study, especially when it comes to write a chapter. My hand seemed to rebel me and have its own thought. But when I received an email from my immediate boss who were so concern about my wellbeing - "you finish it or don't come back", I managed to finish writing the whole theses in one month! What a superb motivation.

In a place where I earn my living, people seemed to be shy away from doing these basic requirement of which writing and publish articles in journals. This has become a common disease now and the epidemic is not only spreading in my place but also in other places also which include our local alma maters, I was told.
I am however not very surprised at all. Somehow it has something to do with human psychology and also the basic needs. People do things and most of the time they want to be rewarded or at least acknowledged accordingly. But in most instances, this was not the case, at least in the past few years. This has lead to creating a new breed of worker resemble a zombie, where the body live but the brain is dead. This symptomatic disease is so predictable, starting with brain-drain that polluted the system and then people start putting down their pen somewhere else, places like this blog, just for satisfaction.

And the people sitting up there has to learn to recognise the syptoms very fast.


Whenever I have some spare time, I will attend my garden. In my motherland, spare time is a very precious comodity and hard to come. It is so important to me that I will trade in with my golf clubs if I have to. Anytime.

Somehow, back in my motherland it seems that I am always busy. And I noticed that my fellow friends, colleagues, neighbours and especially my bosses have the same problem. I am not that surprise if somebody tell me that our politicians are busy. Because they have many important jobs to do such as having fun bullshitting people in parliments, attending official ceremony in golf clubs, making policies that only a bunch of people would undestand and presumably managing their bank accounts in Geneva.

Having that thought in mind, it makes me a bit nostalgic. Ididn't have this problem when I did my PhD in the distant land not so long ago. Despite my very busy schedule of spending my time in the laboratories, in search of scientific breaktrough, hoping that one day I could become the first keropok-eating nation for a Nobel laureatte (and of course a Datukship for that as per our tradition), I still have plenty of time for my family, friends, hobbies, sightseeing and even things that I don't fancy much which is shopping.

If anybody ask me why, I am still figuring it out myself the reasons why, we the nation of roti canai, char kue tiew, and cappati having such a busy lifestyle. Probably because we are so materialistic, conditioned by circumstances and along the way denying ourselves our own quality life that we ought to have. Who to blame? "Bukan salah ibu mengandung".
Back to the original story. Ah yes the orchids, of which belong to the family of Orchidaceae. I think my professor in botany will be very impressed if he ever read this blog because I still can remember the takson very well. At first I don't really fancy keeping these species in my garden as it will only mess up with the theme of my garden.

And yes, as if our life is not complicated enough, garden also has their own themes. Amongs the popular themes of the gardens that was not taught to me by my professors and solely based on my years of observation is the "Kampung theme" of which will consist of "bunga tahi ayam, bunga raya, kemboja, melur" and other plants families that will contribute in their daily used as cooking ingrediens or as medicinal plants. ".

The other theme is of course the "City theme". These gardens are normally decorated by flashy designers and planted with exotic and erratic plants with names that only the retarded can pronounce very well. Can anybody pronouce these plants properly? Digitalis purpurea, Pisum sativum, Paticerium platilobum, Cucurbita moschata etc. Sounds so scary even pests won't come nearer.

But for now, I will try finding time attending my garden. Looking at the lush green, vibrant colors and the diverse symbions in these small ecosphere have some soothing effect on me. Theme or no theme I am contributing to the greening of our planet.

21 November 2008

Time flies

People says time flies. Time flies very fast and more so if you are having fun. Today while I am transferring my old files to a new PC I came across some photos of my youngest son. He is 2 plus now. Man....he grows very fast. I have lost count now of how many sleepless nights I have to cope with or how skillfull I was to change his dirty diaper. It was a priceless experience to me. The experience that all fathers should have not missed.

Spending time with my kids is always a fun thing for me to do. Having to watch them growing up from a tiny-weeney-cute little being into a very adorable object is someting that I enjoyed very much. Sometimes, this obsession can be a very good remedy for me from some of our adult's many dread diseases. Stress can just fly away when I simply hug my kids.

Yes, time flies if our time is fully occupied. Suddenly my present in this planet has reached its fourty years of existance. Yes fourty years of colourful life. So I am going to paint my remaining lifespan even more colorful and God knows for how long, and enjoy my life to the fullest.

All the jokers and circus clowns around me....ahhhh...they are just part of the dark colors that will add on to my wonderful journey in this planet. I have my babies to cheer me up.

20 November 2008

salivating over

"Keropok" is one of my favourite past-time foods. Whether it is "keropok lekor" or "keropok gonde", they've never failed to satisfy my appetite. Probably I have eaten tonnes of this endemic food since I was introduced to this world. Such a simple ingredient of mainly fresh fish, sago and salt and probably sugar coz these people....errr my people are very well known for making the sugar industry a booming industry in Malaysia. In almost all of their cooking recipes, sugar will be one of the main ingredients. But so far, there is no scientific evident to link high occurence of diabetic patient among these kampung folks. Oh yes...it is also considered as one of the masterpieces, a signature food of Terengganu, of which is also my lovely home town.

I am not quite sure how this fascinating food comes to be so famous, but my theory is that the shape of it probably resemble something so synonymous to the man ego. I could be wrong. Men and equally ladies can become crazy over this food especially during the monsoon season when supply of fish is very limited.
Since this keropok is so well sought after, in Terengganu of course, it is not so surprisingly to find this dish almost in every marketplaces. But there are few local brandnames that have achived celebrities status. "Keropok Losong", named after a place where the food was thought to be originated from, was one of the popular one.
Talking about food always made my mouth salivating. It also reminds me of my beautiful hometown. Time to pack and head back to my motherland.

11 November 2008

Oh my...I'm in love!

By chance I fell in love with this bimmer. It was a E28 520. A superb car inside and out. It got a nice body kit too. I didn't pay much attention to it, until I looked at this photo again when I was back in K.L. It brought me to the most part of Britain without any glitches. I paid 800 pounds and sold it a year later for the same price to another enthusiast. I should have brought her back to KL with me.

My second love affair continued with this blue beauty. I was introduced to her by one of my business contacts. It was a E36 328. Supposedly a nice sweetheart, but with so much tantrum. Haven been given not much choice, our affair did not last very long. Three months later I divorced her for a better one.

I got acquintance with this beauty shortly after that. She has the same specs and nice curvature with the previous one, but she was a bit special. She was an ex-Datuk's. So a lot of pampering and TLC has been showered into her. Even though she was not a virgin when I first got her, but riding her is so orgasmic. She still gives me the same pleasure until today. I wiill keep her for sure.

After a year of having affair with UDMs, my other-half started to complain. A jealous woman should be handled carefully. So I though, I should be fair to her and I bought her a black stallion, a E34 520. Now my other-half is a very happy woman. I can now spend some time with my sweethearts...and my other-half doesn't mind at all.

Some say, BMW = Banyak Makan Wang. But for us, BMW = Banyak Masuk Wang.

Note: UDM = Ultimate Driving Machine

10 November 2008

Sticky business

Life can be so sticky. One day you can get obsessed with something or someone and the next day for no obvious reason you found out that you don't have the crave anymore. for instance, I for once have this craze and urge to start my own business. A business that is not only can fullfill my dream but also my bank account.

So I took that road and jumped into the bandwagon but after a while I realised that not everybody can be a towkey. Not for a fainted heart anyway. I almost abandoned my PhD in doing so. So I quit (the business). Luckily I did so.

But there is heaven somewhere. And I found my heaven somewhere near the "Bamboo River". But later, I found out that the place is not only a safe heaven for me, but also a sanctuary to most of my fellow rice-eating-buddies. So far I am glued to this place and I believe my other buddies are the same. Stuck for life!

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