31 December 2010

Are you man enough?

As the year draws it last curtain, I am feeling excited and contented at the same time. This however has nothing to do with the recent success of our courageous Harimau Malaya smack-downed the Garuda or the prospect of having another year with loads of meaningless meeting.

This is partly about my relentless urge. In January 2009, I had a resolution. For a man who used to play golf at least three times a week and almost alternate day spending time on the golf range, a two years hiatus was among my biggest achievement. Now I have to agree with some of my earlier critics, G.O.L.F -Golongan Orang Lupa Family. Not that I am discouraging this wonderful sport. Everything is good if done in moderation, golf included. But with many "kaki hantu" around you, it is not that difficult to be possessed.

As the clock is ticking and the new Christian calendar is approaching I am feeling a bit worried and my anxiety running high as well. This mixed feeling has something to do with the yearly mass pilgrimage of our younger generation to the many hot spots around our city in Bolehland for a celebration. Of course there is nothing wrong with congregating among friends and watching dazzling firecrackers on display, but usually some chemistry will spark and chain reaction will follow. If the randy pubescent hormone is not balanced properly we are going to witness another catastrophic consequences in the next eight or nine month later, in fact in the next thousand years. The result from the same phenomenon we had already experienced this year. Some even believe that this is a fertile breeding season for our own species. I really hope not.

This is just a reminder. A reminder is also a fardhu kifayah (unlike fardhu ain, fardhu kifayah is always misunderstood as fardu-tak-payah by many).

Anyway, with positive attitude I am really looking forward to the new exciting year. I hope this new year will bring many more happiness, self-improvement and success to us, the nasilemakeating nation.

Inflation, fuel price hike, no bonus, everything naik....who cares anyway. We the nasilemak nation are man enough to face all those small hurdles in life. We are the ONE maaaa...

p/s: ...too excited rambling about my re-solution and the breeding season I forgot to write something about the photo. Next time kot...

27 December 2010

A usual suspect with an unusual request

If a man wants to live an easy life, then it is sensible to steer clear of certain issues or particular behaviors. Getting involved and bogged down with many demanding 'cawangan' for example is obviously not a very stylish lifestyle these days. Your bill will be mostly spent on Paracetamol I suppose.

But the greatest taboo of all is having to fulfill a promise you do not wish to promise in the first place. It is a landmine only politicians having gut and talent to navigate through safely.

The question is. Is a man judged by his deed or by his words?

As I was having my leisurely cuppa one afternoon my luvly-jubly significant half secretly approached me from behind and whispered romantically to my ears. Was it a primal hint? It was still quite early I thought...or was it Friday already?

"Dua-dua anak kita dah tunaikan janji dia darling...bila nak tunaikan janji kita pula?"

I smiled and not to be accused of trying to give lame excuses, I tried to compose suitable options. Actually, I didn't remember giving any promise in the first place.

"Ada ke kita janji" - now it sounded a bit stupid. If anything a man always tend to forget, promises top the number one in their easy-to-forget list. So under no circumstances, I don't want to argue on this.

"ye le... Dulu masa bagi motivasi dan semangat yang berkobar-kobar sebelum exam, macam-macam janji..." my luvly-jubly significant half tried to invoke back my faded memory. The blissful marble cake almost choked me.

I am a scientist and not a politician ...and never want to be one.

"... Tengok lah. Insyaallah kalau gomen bagi bonus 12 bulan". As far as I could remember, that was the most creative answer I've ever come up with.

But no worry my dear sons... Deeds, not words shall speak to me.

21 December 2010

I found the cure for mouth ulcer

To be honest, during my entire adulthood budu has never become the main menu in my daily staple diet. That was until a few months ago, out of a sudden I found this ancient fish chowder started to get intimate with my tasteful palate for no obvious reason. I am getting hooked. That in a way is quite worrying because my food consumption almost double than normal which obviously shows around my belly.

My recent love affair with budu has nothing to do with global warming or endemic political turmoil that has no end. I am dedicating this special entry to this special product from the sea because recently I discovered after intensively consuming budu without fail for weeks, my mouth ulcer cured faster than ever. That was possibly a coincidence but it worth some further scientific exploration. If I could I would educate myself further in this unique kampung culinary and would love to delve deeper into the secret lives of this fermented anchovy to reveal the secret.

Coincidentally, Budu is high in protein and uric acid content so naturally it is not recommended for people with gout problem.

To the keropok lekor nation's perspective, this fermented fish broth is not just a condiment to amplify one's taste bud or a complimentary accessories to an elaborate traditional dishes to impress the moody mother-in-law. It is a civilization. Probably the evolution of mankind started with this simple dish but yet so satisfying. This blissful side dish is part of collective history that bring friends and families together.

Budu comes in many different visual and taste forms to suit one's creative mind. My father's favorite would be a combination of budu with tempoyak durian of which never had short of supply in my mother's kitchen. I am not a culinary expert or a food connoisseur but this budu has it owns kick. My personal ideal budu version would be more meaningful if enjoyed with ikang singgang (Ganu fish soup) or just deep simple friend fish. Blissful!

For some, budu is simply part of their life. For them having nasi without budu is just like having a blind date with a blind. It's another fine art to appreciate life.

09 December 2010

Pimp up your ride

With four superb superheroes actively seeking for adventures at home during their school holiday, I have to crack my brain and probably my wallet too in coming with some ingenious plans to satisfy their holiday craving. I know the idea of going for a picnic, having a BBQ that ended up with charred chicken or a family-friend get together having a cuppa and lamenting about the recent fuel hike won't appeal to them. The plan has to be sophisticated, exciting and bullet proof.

So I thought the Kuala Lumpur International Motorshow (KLIM 2010) might be the answer to their quest for an adventure and pacify their boredom. We went there last Tuesday and as expected there were loads of automobiles with advance technology and huge horsepower on display. In fact the display was quite diverse. I think the visitors were a bit distracted with unholy sighting of the other natural beauties and it seemed they were cemented to the automobiles as body kit or their optional accessories. The more that natural accessories attached to or hung around the automobiles the more visitors aka photographers attracted to the automobiles and appreciated the technological wonder - it was a huge magnet.

Frankly speaking, there was nothing much to be mesmerized with despite all the hype and huge display that occupied 4 halls in PWTC. There were few hybrid cars from our locals but they looked more like a half cooked steak - quite raw. International big boys hadn't much muscle to show off either. There were some exotic Italian power-trains exhibited but they were not new and already in the market for quite some time.

I expected to see at least some futuristic innovation in motoring industries such as a car that can also wash and dry clean my dirty curtain, or an MPV that allow me to chuck in all my scientific data into their OBC (on-board-computer) and fulfill my KPIs with some good scientific papers, or better still a supervan that can swallow all whistle-blowers and backstabbers in my office and make them disappear into oblivion.

The crowd was huge. At least I can easily say it was more than the crowd watching our boring Piala Merdeka tournament. Probably the prospect of winning one of the hybrid cars in lucky draw contests was one of the reasons for the big turn up. Most came with some sort of camera and some with a full fledged camera kits in a big bag that can bend you shoulder.

I think going to this event was not the kind of activity that suit for the whole family. With pole dancers showing off their impressive bumpers and skimpy dressed young lasses pimped up the cars, this automobile showcase should be labeled as 18sx! Our friends who have just come back from performing haj are strongly advised not to come either.

This is the closest photo that resembles a car I can safely and confidently share with you without being labeled as a pervert paparazzi. Most of the cars on display were either fit with an artificial body kit or equipped with supercharged engines.

This was actually the main reason why my family went to the show. A full-size Bumblebee that I thought could replace my foreign maid and do many daily chores at home. If you want to get a picture with this Autobot, you have to pay RM15. This cybertronian knows well how to live in our Bolehland. There is no free lunch and everything here doesn't comes that cheap anymore.

This Batmobile was another star attraction to the show. Luckily this Batmobile didn't has any body kit or supercharged engine attached to it, thus I can happily share with you the whole photo.

LED is another good invention by humankind. It safes a lot of energy and looks cool too. But an invention is meaningless if it cost a bomb.

This prototype looks more like an oven to me than a van. I thought it will fit and sit nicely on my kitchen cabinet. You can dump the whole lamb parts after the Qurban into this cute prototype and 20 minutes later you will get a nicely cooked lamb kuzi for the whole family. Cool isn't it?

This is ingenious. The only thing worth coming to this show was to see this very practical and clever invention. A green transportation. The body of this car (?) is actually made from jute - a natural strong fiber that is so strong it can harbored a big tanker to the shipyard. The practical part of it, if you live in a rural area and work in a paddy field, you can fill this car with rice and store it safely even during flood as it is so light it will float.

06 December 2010

Ilham tercalar

satu langkah menapak
lesu mudik hanyir kehidupan

remang hidup menggapai suram
berlegar ligat kehadapan tidak
menyonsang zaman menongkah arus
layu waktu
menyapa sekilas bayu
selerak keluh di dinding dahulu

pandang memandang mata tiada terpejam
mengintai di luar jendela
terang hati tersuluh nyata
melihat lukisan di dalam lukisan
biar rasa yang penuh
ada luka berlalu
menopang pilu dilontar waktu

dua langkah menapak
dunia bercabang tiada kesudahan

nota : dinukil kedua kali setelah kelam idea makan 8 course dinner di Crown Mutiara Plaza

01 December 2010

Virgin no more

While I am almost certainly sure by the end of this year our virgin forest which covers 21% (3.78 million hectares) of our Bolehland will still become a safe heaven to many jungle inhabitants, the same thing is less than convincing to a large patch of green area in the disputed but most sought after piece of estate in Sg. Buloh. The recent announcement by the higher authority as part of Greater Kay El plan has caused a considerably concern to me. (This however has nothing to do with the active jungle exploration by our younger 'peneroka' during the New year celebration on their virgin territories, which is also another serious issue at hand).

This expansion plan with its intention to give more breathing space to the urbanites (and to spearhead the local economy) will also translates into some possible environmental issues. As by 2015 which is 5 years from now, it is expected and quite inevitable that 3000 (three thousand) hectares of lush rubber planted area which is also a green lung - a natural engine that is obediently providing free oxygen and continuously absorbing harmful air pollutants will cease it operation and converted into tonnes of lifeless concrete jungle.

This is where the problem lies. When we chop down all the trees (rubber trees) which are also a water catchment area, a filtration system and an important buffer to the ecosystem, we are actually disrupting the natural equilibrium that all this while working very hard to maintain the balance harmony between humankind and nature. I am also almost certainly sure by the time our beloved Bolehland become a fully develop nation or if there is so little green zone left, this country at the end will be inhabited by no more than retarded hare-brains, exposed with so much air-borne pollutants further accelerated by devoid of precious oxygen. The human-wildlife conflict is also expected. Monkeys might someday become our next-door neighbors.

Doing a little bit of homework I found out that Bolehland is actually one bless nation with 62% of its land is still covered by forest, even greener than Brazil (61%), US (32) and UK (12) . Rubber plantation and rubber forest contribute significantly into the greening or our Bolehland and provide good quality air for us to breath in. Recent years we have seen a lot of natural catastrophes with direct or indirect consequences from our environmental degradation. Many more natural disaster are expected in the near future. Some even predicted the D-day. That's actually just nature's way of explaining why we should leave them alone and start to treat them with respect.

Recent months I have also seen and experienced how the rubber trees in my area started to become petulance and grumpy probably after hearing the exciting news. Mind you, plant is also a living thing and has it's own soul. A main road beside the rubber estate (that is my playing ground) leading to my office has started to turn into a small running stream even with a slight drizzle. On a dry day that stretch of road has load of dimples looking as if peppered by meteorites. This has caused a considerably traffic congestion during peak hours. It is quite fun if you are driving a 4WD or into a Camel trophy adventure sort of type, but my old and battered jalopy is not built for that. This is also becomes quite annoying as my punch-card if not monitored closely will be dented with an awful mixed of red and black colors.

Actually I have no problem at all with the ambitious plans to develop our Bolehland as this will surely help our nation to prosper. But it must be done with extra caution (pembangunan lestari). I am sure the authority has by now engaged the nerdy scientist to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) when they first came out with the idea and make sure my neighborhood won't be submerged under tones of flash mud-flood in the near future.

I believe a place without a tree is a place without a soul. As it is, rubber tree is also part of my soul.

Rubber is a monoculture plantation, plantation of a single - exotic species. Rain or shine, these beautiful trees will stand proudly and anticipate patiently to be exploited. When rubber trees bleed, the secreted latex becomes the lifeline to most of our aging smallholders , but when our rubber industries bleed and the elastic commodity stop to bounce up again, the whole nation will most likely start to weep.

The scars on the rubber tree tell a lot of stories. They bleed the white milky sap and quietly sob but willing to give away and ask for nothing in return - just like a candle. This sap from the humble rubber tree is the one that make sure the whole nation prosper and hedges our economy when the whole world collapse.

The conspicuous and distinctive pattern on each of the rubber seeds is a clonal variation. It is just like our fingerprint .

All three embryos inside each fruit have to be fertilized in order for the seeds to succeed and the fruit become viable. Otherwise the rubber tree will naturally abort the fruit. Nature's way of purifying their future progenies. Science is a divine way to understand God's creation.

Rubber inflorescence deserves more appreciation and seldom becomes the subject of much attention. Probably because they are being overshadowed by the foul latex smell in processing the factory or less glamorous profession of rubber tappers. The scent of these rubber flowers is distinctively pleasant and can rival any upmarket perfume on one hot sunny day, when they bloom beautifully twice a year.

Disclaimer: This is my personal thought based on my personal concern and it doesn't represents any individual or any organization especially the one that provides me with means to make sure my kitchen is continuously smoking.
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