August 31, 2006

Merdeka 2006 & Festivities

It's Malaysia's 49th Independence Day. I'm tempted to say Malaysia's b'day but then, that would be absolutely inaccurate. Malaysia was born 16th September 1963 but we obtained our independence from the British on 31st August 1957. I believe not many of you know that brief little factiod... (^__^)

Anyway, I didn't do much this Merdeka. Usually, my Dad is absolutely addicted to the National Day parade and every year, he'll watch the parade on the local channels. I'd guess since he was a pre-Merdeka baby, this day would be very special for him. I used to watch it with anticipation to watch out for my school's brass band. (^__^)

Today, our family went down to Seremban to visit my eldest uncle, who has just shifted house. Getting to Seremban wasn't a problem but getting to his house was a different matter all together. THERE WERE NO ROAD SIGNS LEADING TO THE HOUSING ESTATE WHERE MY UNCLE LIVED!!!!

You can imagine the nightmare of us getting to the place. *sweat*

My cousin-in-law (my cousin's husband) asked us to call him whenever we reached a major landmark so that he could lead us to the house. (-___-)|||

Anyway, we got there safe and sound, and Snoopy was very relieved to reach the destination.
My other uncle soon arrived and we had a ball of a time. Here is just a sample of our day...

NOTE: My family's PRIMARY activity is EATING.... (It's a proud Malaysian tradition)

My dad & eldest uncle dissecting the durian fruit.. Notice the cleaver... ^_^|||

If you're wondering what or how a durian looks like, have a look at the following pics... **slurp**


Note that the chinese words I've decided to use is actually durian in cantonese, i.e. "lau lin"... (^__^)

The fruit in all its spiky splendour

I was very tempted to take a photo of my relatives in action, digging into the fruit but then, that would scare my blog readers away... Kekekee... So, I'd better spare you from the horror... LOL!!!

My eldest aunt also prepared some yummy non-durian based food as well. She had some "yong tau foo", glutinous rice and yam cakes made for us as well. A few more pics... (^__^)

White tofu stuffed with minced pork, Glutinous rice

Fried Tofu stuffed with Minced Pork & Stuffed Fried Tofu Skin

Meatball stuffed with Dried Mussel

Boy.. It was a BIG meal for us. We even had other fruits besides durian as my mom found a fruit stall just after the highway toll as we came into Seremban.

I took a few more pics of my relatives, including my mom.. Kekeke...

My 4th uncle, Dad & eldest uncle

As you might guess, I'm Hokkien. Frankly, I'm mixed, because I'm part 1/4 Hokkien, 1/4 TeoChew, 1/4 Cantonese and 1/4 Nyonya + Others... So, if this phrase is wrong, then please forgive me. LOL!!!

My 4th uncle currently resides in Melbourne, Australia, a place which I call my 2nd home. I do intend to go back there someday but not now. Not until I become more experienced in the IT industry and so, could command a higher position and salary when I make the big leap over the sea and ocean. (^__^)

My other uncle, the youngest one, wasn't in any of the pictures I took as he was feeling unwell with his sinusitis. Our family seems to be rife with this and it is a gene which I inherit as well. :(

Anyway, here is another pic of my uncle and mom.. LOL...

Uncle Hock: Smile!
Mom: **Exit: Stage Left**

All in all, it was a busy day. My sis' boyfriend did the driving to and fro KL-Seremban, so he's really exhausted. He had little sleep as they had a party up until 2am this morning.

My youngest aunt failed to turn up for the festivities as she had to work. Anyway, we will catch up with them the next time around. Once in a while, its good to keep in touch with relatives even though, we're busy. I do wish that I could catch up with my uncle since his trip was so short this time around. Seems that he might come back next year in August/September so that he can catch the durian season again.

Anyway, before I forget, I'd better say, Selamat Hari Merdeka!!!!

August 29, 2006

Don't Laugh At People Who Have Mumps...

I wonder why I posted this as "Funny" as there is nothing funny about this... Nevertheless, since we're here, we might as well write something about this.

I've been pretty caught up with work lately as there is a number of things to achieve by the end of September. *Sigh* Anyway, it shouldn't be a problem... GAMBATEH!!!

Anyway, the problem started on Friday afternoon after I had a pretty good lunch with my colleagues. We decided to have "ikan bakar" that day I think and so, after I got back I decided to have my Fruitybix granola bar as dessert.

A horrible pain started to grow from the left side of my face and extended throughout the jawline. I felt a large swelling and it didn't seem to want to stop. I sort of panicked and decided to check myself in the mirror. However, since I'm so fat, I can't tell the difference if my face was swollen or not. In the end, I began to feel for the gland near my ear (where the origin of the pain/swelling was) and it was puffy. So, I called up my good friend, EV (Emotion Vampire).

EV: Harlo? What you want?
Me: Eh, last time you had your mumps, was it swollen near your jaw?
EV: Yea.. Yea.. It was painful beneath the ear. Why?
Me: I think I may have mumps.
Me: ...
EV: Are you sure or not? Maybe its your toothache or something?
Me: I think its the mumps, I should probably go home and see the doc.
EV: Wahhh.. Like that also can. Go see the doc now-la!
Me: I'll go see my family doc, he has my medical history
EV: Up to you-la... Eee. So, you look like a pig now!! HAHAHAHA
Me: *Sigh*... Yea, goes to show, cannot laugh at people who have mumps. Sure you will kena next time.

I did go check out the doc and he said that I've got infection of the parotid glands. I didn't have fever but I was feeling a bit tired lately.

I wonder why I caught it. Probably it’s due to this very bad ulcer at the left side of my mouth which took a while to recover, causing it to be infected.

Anyway, I've to avoid certain foods and take any medication to reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by the virus.

No, you can't kill viruses with antibiotics. If your doctor gives you antibiotics for a viral infection, you should reconsider getting another doctor. (-__-)|||

As of today, the swelling has gone down and now, I'm feeling a whole lot better. (^__^)

Anyway, more info about this can be found here. The image was taken from the United States National Library Of Medicine.

August 20, 2006

It Has Begun... 2006/2007 Season...

The wait is over...

World Cup 2006 came and went...

We saw Ronaldo "wink" and Rooney being the bigger man to back up Ronaldo...

We were shocked to see Zidane act like a bull when he should have been calm as a stalking tiger...

After the frenzy, a full month and over to recover from the frenzy of football, only to start over again...

United, United, United.. FOREVER!!!

August 13, 2006

Pikom PC Fair 11-13 Aug 2006

There are few events which will rock the "geek" in all of us... One of which is the PC Fair, held twice a year in various parts of Malaysia (Penang, KL, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Sabah, Sarawak...), it allows us "geeks" and "geeks-wannabes" to head down to a big space to gawk and grab some PC stuff.

Anyway, I've been to a few of these many years back and what put me off was the manner in which it was organized. It was really a marketplace for people to just buy stuff, usually cash-n-carry for PC stuff at bargain prices. It was hot and sticky and when you did manage to grab some stuff, there were chances that some parts were defective and had questionable warranty.

Years have passed and now, this event is held in a proper venue and reorganized to give bargain hunters and observers a chance to see the latest stuff as well as grab some cheap items. Yup, for the past few years, we've seen the "display-chick" around microprocessor display cases, lugging around whole laptops and other gadgets. It feels like I've gone to the KLIMS (KL International Motor Show) instead of PC fair, where instead of model-chicks hanging around cars, I see them hanging around PC parts.. (^___^)... ~~~Whatever sparks your "lightbulb" buddy~~~

This time, I went to the PC Fair with my colleagues, which was a lot of fun...

Team Lead: Awrite! Everyone has their assignments?
The Team: Yes Boss!!
Team Lead: Ok!! Move out!!

** Following the crowd. Notice the barriers and how the personnel are directing the traffic... **

Me: Geez, its like a marathon here...
Team Lead: Yeah...

(( Feels like we're being herded... like sheep to a slaughterhouse... where's the slaughterhouse --> bargain stalls ))

Team Member 1: This one looks good...
Team Member 2: What you mean? The "size" of the breasts looks good?
Team Member 1: Yea...

Typical... You walk around guys, they approach the gals handing out brochures and stuff and these are like model-chicks! So, you can imagine, I'm sure that they had their pics taken by these geeky fanboys.

** Back at the office **
Team Lead: Awrite! How was the assignment?
Team Member 1: I think the Samsung girls look the best.....

Anyway, jokes aside, I was looking for some stuff. I decided to head back after work during dinner time to get my stuff. So, as I walked along the last exhibition hall, I noticed the large Corsair booth and they were not just selling or showcasing the gaming RAM but also one of the most sought after gaming machines ever............. The ALIENWARE.... (o____O)

I had passed the booth earlier but we were rushing to get back to work that I didn't get a chance to really take a look at it. Anyway, take a look at these couple of pics...

What a beauty!!

Have a look at the side profile of this bad-a**...

Oooo... BAABBYYY!!!!!

There are only so few things in life which make us drool over such creations and certainly, ALIENWARE desktops are just one of these things. And you'll definitely drool over one of these babies as you can't get them locally through your local DELL supplier. (-___-)

If you're wondering which model this little beauty is, its one of the Aurora series, though I'm not very certain which model it is from. So, go over to ALIENWARE's website and just drool over these babies for a bit.

So, what did I get from PC Fair this time around? Well.. I got a number of essential items, as shown in the picture below...

Eeee.. My new toyys!!!!

If the picture is not very clear, I got the following,
  • A new webcam by V-Gear
  • Kensington Laptop Lock
  • Logitech Mini-mouse
Well.. I figured that I needed a new mouse because the one provided by the office was just too bulky for me to use and carry, should I move about during project works and so, I decided to get one which had a wrap-around cord for easy transportation. I contemplated a wireless optical laser mouse but then, thinking about taking care of the batteries and etc, I had to say "no" to that. :(

Here's a lovely close-up of the mouse...

Anyway, I had a blast at the Pikom PC Fair this time around... Note that all the pictures were taken by my new Sony Ericsson K750i and I'm really impressed by the macro-closeup features of this camera phone. Hahaha...

So, it was $$ well-spent... (^____^)

Its Alive!!!

Ah well... The Astro decoder enjoyed some life temporarily for a while but it finally decided to give up and just die after a couple of days.

So, in the end, my parents decided to call some Astro guy to give the decoder away, to be "destroyed" or "cremated" and put in a new one!! (As shown below...)

My colleague told me that the new Astro decoders are much smaller and was silver in colour. I didn't realize that it was really tiny!! Wow, compared to the old monster, this new decoder is really "portable"!!

The new decoders (the AstroMax) out in the market are very much TiVo-like where you can rewind, fast-forward and store some recordings from Astro (via satellite) onto the hard-disk of the decoder. We didn't want to subscribe to that since most of the shows kind of repeat itself after a few hours. Besides the darn thing is > RM1K... (>___<) The main point is, my parents can now sleep better during their afternoon nap because the Astro is back... (^___^)
Please take care of me...

August 09, 2006

Lady NOT In Water...

It was a pretty highly anticipated movie from M. Night Shymalan as it was based on his book for his kids. I enjoyed it except for the fact that some idiot sitting behind me was snoring away. Guess he was just too tired but he didn't have the decency to cover his freakin mouth when he yawned.. (>__<)

If you're watching this because you thought you might "see" something about the woman in water, let me explain this... THE LADY IS NOT IN THE WATER WITHOUT CLOTHES, OK??!!

It's not a bad movie. Some people thought it would be a horror/thriller movie, but its more fantasy than anything. So, an older kid may watch this with parental supervision, of course... (^_^)

Anyway, more details here...

NOTE: It may be dull at a start, listening to the conversation is critical....

August 07, 2006

My Astro REALLY Died.. (>___<)

It finally happened... The Astro decoder really died... (=__=)

Not sure what to do........... It was fine before...

Here's the conversation which took place between my mom and myself when I got home from work today...

Mom: Geline (yes.. yes.. we've established that its my home name), the Astro decoder is spoilt.
Me: *** jaw drops *** Really???
Mom: Yea. I called up the people and reported to them that the Astro wasn't working. They told me that they will send a technician over. To check the thing would be RM50.
Me: *** eyes widen *** Aiii??
Mom: Your father asked if it needs replacement, how much will it cost, and they said that its RM150.
Me: Hmmm...
Mom: Then your father asked if they could just send the replacement unit over and they said that they can't. They have to come over to check.
Me: *** Looks thoughtfully ***.... So, they plan to make RM200 out of us, no matter what... Hmmm...
Mom: Is there anyway to get around this?
Me: I would suggest that you call them up and give them a piece of your mind.
Mom: No-la, the girl was very helpful... Nevermind-la
Me: *Sigh* So, I'd guess when the bill comes, let me know-la, we split the cost.

Conclusion: The Astro is now "dead". What next? In order to get the replacement unit, the technician has to come over and we have to pay RM50. So, in the end, you still need to fork out RM200. (>__<) So, in the end, you end up forking out alot of $ to Astro. (-____-) Well, being the largest (almost a monopoly) cable services provider in M'sia, looks like I would have to succumb to their wishes and fork out the $ to them or else, my parents would be walking around like zombies for the next few days because they can't sleep without Astro. What happened to the DVD player and books? Well, they still read and stuff, but sometimes, they wake up at 3 or 4am because they can't sleep and so, they tend to watch shows on Astro, i.e. sports or movies... Wait... I REALLY NEED TO FIX MY ASTRO!! EPL IS STARTING SOON!!!!!! OMG! OMG! OMG!!!

((((( COOL DOWN )))))

Ok.. ok... No matter what, I have to pay RM200 for the Astro.. (-___-) Hopefully they won't take long to diagnose the thing..... Or else....

August 01, 2006

Busy Bee...

Busy bee.. Not busybody... (-___-)

Anyway, it has been a pretty busy time for me as I've got a few new colleagues who joined my workplace today. I've been busy with a few things like liaising with my boss (the CTO) on an internal project to start our guys on, and also schedules to train up on the products we'll be working with.

Frankly, its not easy being a software architect. As I mentioned earlier, besides being technically sound, we need to play the roles of being a manager (managing team needs, timelines, schedules and reports) vs being a mentor to the team members. So, we have to be able to multi-task a lot of things at the same time.

So, as much as I would like to blog about Getting Starting with Hibernate 2.x, I don't think I'll have time to work on that until Friday when I can complete the blog on the necessary steps to take after downloading all the necessary softwares.

*Sigh*... Like I mentioned to someone today, "With a great title, comes great responsibilities"... (^___^)

Meanwhile, I'm currently thinking about durians.. Why?? Why?? Must be because of my next door neighbours who are eating them right this moment... (*___*)...

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