October 30, 2008


I looked up this morning and found the cloud formation to be really interesting...

Have a look at this series of shots.

The two antennas are not exactly working now. One of it is the regular television antenna, while the other one used to be the antenna used to receive the now defunct Metrovision; which has now been revived as 8TV.

These photos were taken before 8:00am...

I only managed to take these photos because:

1. Rusty the JRT woke me up at 6:00am so that he can go play/pee... (-__-)
2. I was on the late shift.
3. It has been dry for the past few days.

Anyway, I've still got a looonggg way to go to improve my skills...

Here's to a cool blue-sky weekend folks!! :-)

October 28, 2008


It has been nearly a month since I've started my journey into photography with my DSLR.

Well, I've just done a bit of comparison between my Nikon 5900 and the DSLR. Now, it's an unfair comparison since the DSLR can do a little bit more than a little point-n-shoot. However, my little 'old PnS was one level below the pro-sumer range of Nikon cameras some years back. ;-)

Macro shot of some bubbles...

Another shot of the bubbles...

Both pictures have been taken at a slightly different angle and from the colours, I've adjusted the white-balance of the photo before I took the shot.

Can you guess which one was taken with the DSLR and which one with the Nikon 5900? (^___^)

You can try to enquire the EXIF data but I believe that has been wiped off when I edited the photo to put in my usual "trademarks".

Anyway, another question; which one do you like more? :-P

October 26, 2008

Light Overcame Darkness...

Happy Festival of Lights

It's festival time in Malaysia again and this time, its Diwali or Deepavali!!

To all Hindu friends and readers, I wish you Happy Deepavali!!

May you enjoy the company of friends and family during this wonderful Festival of Lights!

To everyone else, have a great rest during this long holiday weekend.

October 23, 2008

Trying Out The Lawn by Marmalade @ KLCC

This little cafe has been around KLCC for a while now and I've visited this spot a few times whenever I'm "stranded" at work.

For the past few weeks, rain has been wetting parts of KL and causing some flash floods (despite having SMART; which isn't so SMART after all...) and so, I've been stuck at work. Not wanting to spend more intimate time getting to know my car more (as I've got a bad right knee); I've decided to camp stay back at work.

During such times, I have to pick out a location to eat and have been at The Lawn a few times.

I've tried Marmalade once and found the food to be a tad bit tasteless but healthy "tasteless". I love the cupcakes though...

This time, I decided to go healthy and try out a sandwich & fruit juice.

I've forgotten the name of the drink but it's a mixture of green apple, celery, mint and ginger. It's very refreshing.

As for the sandwich, I went for the pesto roasted chicken avocado on foccaccia. There was some home-made aioili which went nicely with the creaminess of the avocado. The chicken wasn't that dry even though the part used was breast meat. I love the freshness of the pesto and wished that there was more spread between the sandwich.

Close-up view of the sandwich.

After my sandwich, I felt I needed to indulge my sweet tooth. Since I was nuts about their cupcakes, I decided to try their carrot cupcake.

The cream cheese icing complemented the carrot cupcake. The size of the cupcake was just nice for me.

Quite a satisfying dinner. I didn't feel all that guilty after eating at The Lawn... Hehehehehe

Of course, the next day, I hit the gym and had a great workout. LOL!!! (^____^)

October 21, 2008

One of Those Days...

Rusty relaxing after MRDO 2008

It's just one of those dog-gone days where you wish you could just lie in bed the entire day...

Yes, I'm demotivated again after going through a stack of documents and application screen shots which the client insists that we change. The client is expecting that the change be done FOC (Free of Charge).

Tough shit!!!! (~___~)

This is because the changes requested are not that simple. It's not a question of changing a text label here or move a field there, it's adding/removing functionality, putting up a listing of data where you cannot manage the actual data itself (think of it as "ghost view") and stuff like logic change.

The biggest ick factor of this project I'm working on right now is the fact that the "common" application had undergone some major changes and they FAILED to inform us about the change.

So, when it came time for UAT (User Acceptance Testing), of course the test(s) failed.

We had asked previously about any documentation or contact to liaise with in regards to their "common" application but we were greeted with blank stares or just "no, no, no, no..."

My question is, if you do not share information or knowledge; how will the other party know what is right or wrong?

I am not God. Though, at times I wished I could be. (^___^)

*sigh*... It's only Tuesday??? @#$@#!!@##!#!@#

October 17, 2008

Feel Good Friday - Loco Roco 2!!!

One of my favourite PSP games will be released soon!! Loco Roco 2!!!

The game is addictive and is quite innovative as you move the "blob" using the L1 and L2 controls on the PSP.

I played this game non-stop for a few days just to get through the levels to see the end. The music was great too. It reminded me of another few great games from Namco - Katamari series (Katamari Damacy, We love Katamari, Me and My Katamari).

So, I'm patiently waiting for this game to be announced... (^__________^)

Have a great weekend folks!

October 15, 2008

How Many Times You Pee/Poo Per Day?

This piece of news is just a "flush of genius"... - ‘Pay for water waste’ plan on the cards (The Star)

Yes, we have to pay for our water here. It is a shock to some folks from other countries that we have to pay for clean water while some countries are getting it for free, i.e. treated and clean. While, over here, we have to pay for our own water to be treated AND yet it is still not clean enough to be drunk straight from the tap.

Now, we have to watch what we eat/drink because, we will need to pay each time we pay homage to our Royal Throne at home or work or play.

Energy, Water and Commu­nications Minister Datuk Shaz­iman Abu Mansor said that his ministry was at the early stages of looking into a “Green Tariff” which would require consumers to pay for wastage they incur.

“The Green Tariff is a volumetric-based tariff that combines the tariff for water and waste water into a single holistic tariff.

“Whatever water is used, it almost entirely ends up as waste as well. It’s still at a very early stage. We are still studying the issue,” he told the press after launching the Fifth National Utilities Summit here yesterday.

Gawsh, first of all, I'm wondering how much will it cost me, the poor taxpayer how much $$ it will take for the ministry to conduct the study. Second of all, when will this be implemented? I need to know so that I can also plan my exit.

“We are looking to see what would be a fair way of charging consumers, meaning you pay for what you use.

“It will not be a flat rate system,” he said.

OMG!! That means that if my entire family has diarrhea a particular week and assuming that we have to visit the bathroom > 10 times per pax.... I will be screwed for that month's bill...

BTW, aren't we all paying $$$ to Indah Water already? Why another tariff?

I have a strange feeling that some genius out there will start another "night service" like those in the good 'ol days of people collecting your waste at night. So, you might hear lorries with people yelling "URINE LAMA, KENCING LAMA.."

LOL!!! Gosh, I usually write nonsense stuff on Fridays... I'm two days early. ;-)

October 14, 2008

Crappy Shots from a DSLR Newbie

I finally took the plunge... Went Canon instead of Nikon. *MUAHAHAAHHA*

Noooo.. You didn't??

Well, it made sense 'coz most of the "sifus" (experts) in the office were Canon DSLR users. So, that means learning about the camera and trying out equipment so much easier. Sometimes, it is hard to be that lone voice in the wilderness.

So, am I saying goodbye to my 'ol Reliable? HELL NO!! It's a great camera and although the MPs were not high, it had a lot of features I could play with which is important in my DSLR adventures ahead.

Anyway, here are some shots. I've saved the EXIF info as well. After so many years of editing my shots, I realized that the EXIF* data was loss!!

*EXIF - EXchangeable Image Format

Tried to get as close as possible without being stung...

For now, I'm trying to learn to play around with the different settings and my garden is my photo "studio" for now. Of course, I have 2 willing camwhore victims to play as LIVE subjects too. But, it's hard telling two Jack Russells to sit still while I fiddle with my settings.

I'm learning to compose my pictures as well. This is a skill which needs to be honed. It helps to have some inspiration and drooling over looking at other brilliant photographers' works is making me "work" harder at my skills.

I've decided to learn a little bit on *HDR techniques to my photos too. Somehow, the slippers here look a bit eerie after I've darken some tones. Yep, these days, besides being able to take a good photo, you need to know some post-processing techniques as well.

*HDR - High Dynamic Range

Anyway, will be posting some other photos up whenever I have the time. ;-)

October 12, 2008

Oh Mamma Mia!!!!

=====Dedicated to all readers who were alive during the 70's... Oh Gawd... I'm such an old fart!!!=====

Mention the name "ABBA" to any adult aged late 20-something and above and you'll get a reaction of sorts. Either they start jiving to "Dancing Queen"; burst into song, singing "Thank You For the Music" or just shake their head to think that they lived through the Disco age somehow. Perhaps for some of us, we couldn't believe that we have been wowed by these people who wore clothes with so much sequins that it literally blinded us.. back then.

I FINALLY caught Mamma Mia! yesterday with my parents who are big ABBA fans. We never went on a road trip without our ABBA tapes. My sister and I would try to sing to "Honey, Honey" or "I Have A Dream". Yes, ABBA was drummed into us at an early age.

The movie was fantastic! It was what I really needed to feel happy after going through such a crappy week. Nothing is more uplifting than jiving to the song of "Dancing Queen" - a song about having the "time of your life". The last ABBA-related movie I watched was Muriel's Wedding and that was a pretty good movie with some ABBA songs in it.

Sure, some of us would like to make fun of ABBA music but deep down, I'm sure some of us can't help tapping our feet to the music or humming their songs. In fact, the Swedes have this joke about their country's biggest exports were Volvos, IKEA and ABBA... (^___^)

The best part I liked about ABBA's music was that their lyrics were simple, and so easy to sing to. They had a variety in their music too, where they didn't just stick to a particular tempo. Perhaps that was what is so appealing about them.

Anyway, for an inspiring song, try "I Have A Dream"... Listen to the lyrics carefully.

Now, I can't wait for the musical to come down to KL!!!

And yes... I have a feeling that I'll be singing more ABBA songs at the Christmas Karaoke this year... LOL!!!

October 05, 2008

Fish Food... Comfort Food...

The Raya break is coming to an end... *sigh*

wished that I could have taken a longer break to recuperate back home. I'm wondering if I should take advantage of the next holiday towards the end of this month to take a long break.

Anyway, it has been 3 months since I last fed the fishes and this time, EV decided that she was brave enough to go try the Fish Spa treatment... Provided, I would be there to help distribute the "feed".

EV found a nice fish spa called Garrafura Fish Spa in Bangsar @ Jalan Telawi, just next to the Al-Radjh Bank. She read about it in the papers and told me that the fish there were slightly different from the ones at Kenko Fish Spa. Hmmmm...

Well, since we had the time and wanted to try something different than hang out at the shopping mall; we went to Bangsar. Besides, I DID promise her that I would go try out the fish spa some moons back. I happened to break my promise when I joined a group of colleagues after a farewell gathering at Pavillion.

I brought my camera along to document the expression on EV's face the moment when she feels the first bite... **MUAHAHAHAHAA**

Our feet after EV has gotten used to the ticklish nibbling of the fish

To my surprise, EV felt right at home here!! She did not squirm or tried to kill me when more fish started to nibble at her feet. Then... I remembered, EV is quite immune to tickles... *sigh*

The fish here are a bit more gentle since it was the smaller variety and although a lot of fish were at my feet, it felt pretty relaxing. It kind of reminds me of having a foot massage with tiny massagers all around my feet. The difference is that fish are eating your dead skin cells.

There are two ponds at this place and I suspected that the smaller pond had a different species or larger fish.

Lovely deco..

Wash your feet before and after the spa treatment!

The deco here is soothing and the spa played some relaxing oldies from The Carpenters. I found myself humming or singing to the song "Top of the World" to keep myself from giggling too much.

My last blog entry didn't have a good shot of the fish as I went to the spa at night. This time round, I managed to get a good close-up of the tiny workers who were so busy at my feet!

Whoa, now that is a big fish!

The fishes are getting very personal with me...

After a while, EV was curious with the fishes at the other pond. I suggested to her that if she wants to have a more intense sensation, she should try the other pond.

EV videos the fishes in action

She was quite scared at first because the fishes at the other pond were bigger!! The nibbling sensation was stronger as bigger fish had bigger teeth after all.

I couldn't see the fish very well as the pool used darker stones but I noticed that the fish were dark brown/green - indicating a different variety? For my second time, this experience was certainly a tame one. I think I might want to try Kenko again just so that I can try the bigger fish there! :-)

We used up our 30 minutes and I asked EV how she felt. She said, "It's normal-la!". I asked her if she felt that her feet was lighter or smoother or whiter... She said she felt it was normal. Later that night, I got an SMS from her that she felt that the skin on her feet was really smooth and soft! Wow, so our RM38 was really worth it after all!

We walked back to Bangsar Village to see if there was any place to have some tid bits when EV noticed signs about the newly opened Theobroma Chocolate Lounge. Being a confirmed chocoholic, she said she must try the chocs there.

I ordered an ice-blended drink - Snow White Frappe while EV had some tea. Since she was hungry, she had a quiche first.

The frappe had a very strong milk taste and was not all too creamy. It did have a hint of white chocolate which I love and the dark chocolate shavings balanced out the sweetness of the drink.

For dessert, EV ordered the Ice Cream Crepe with Caramel and it looked amazing!

Reminds me of a Paper Thosai

Oozing Milk chocolate sauce... Slurp!!

I was glad that we didn't order the fondue or Mud Pie as the crepe was quite large. Within the crepe, there were chopped nuts and sultanas. Quite a nice treat but when you're at the Chocolate lounge, shouldn't we go for dessert with more chocolate?

I think I will be returning to the Lounge soon with some other chocoholics.

Sigh.. When is the next long weekend again?

October 04, 2008

What I Did During Raya - KL Bird Park

I had too many photos to show in my last blog that I had to break it up into two posts.

After spending a few hours at the Butterfly park, we headed down to the Bird Park. We were shocked to find a lot of people were visiting the place. Then again, it's the school holidays as well. So, many families were making a day trip with their kids there.

We purchased our tickets for RM15 per pax. For foreign visitors, the ticket costs RM39 for adults. It's not a bad deal considering that the park was rather huge. We hoped that the price of the tickets were worth it...

As soon as we passed the entrance, a peacock somehow had flown up on to the canopy and decided to spread its feathers. This is a sight to behold! Of course, the next thing which occurred to me was, could I manage to avoid its poop... Hmmmm...

The park had an artificial waterfall and from the looks of it, was very well maintained. It seems that the artificial waterfall was just newly constructed.

Dude, I told you that you needed deodorant...

Although the park is a walk-in aviary, there were some cages to house other birds which were rare. Some of these birds took advantage of the tall cages to make some sort of a nesting ground. Now, birds of a feather, DO flock together.

Monkeys!!! Yes, Yes... They are relatives to certain high ranking officials... (^_^)

Another surprise in the park were monkeys. There was a troop of monkeys looking for food in the park. Monkeys love fruits and there are plenty of feeding stations around the park for the monkeys to "steal" food from. When we drove around Bukit Aman, we spotted a section near the Tun Abdul Razak Memorial which had fruits and nuts placed there for the monkeys living around the hill.

There were plenty of peacocks around. I wasn't lucky enough to catch them spreading their tail feathers but they were making a loud crowing noise to indicate their locations. Yes, when the birds are up in the trees, I tend to look up to avoid... the "surprise"...

Chick: Ma, why we walk like that? Mother: So that the human can take a cute photo of us-loh!

This picture of a pea hen and its chick is quite cute. It's as though the pea hen and chick were walking towards somewhere.

Contrary to what everybody thinks.. Flamingos are actually white in colour. The reason why some flamingos turn pink is due to the food it takes. The flamingos doesn't fly around the park. They mainly stick around this pond.

We finally found the Rhinoceros Hornbill, which happens to be the mascot for the park as well as being Sarawak's state bird. This bird was found in another part of the park - where the exotic and endangered birds are kept. EV was quite excited to see this bird since she's from Sarawak and is very proud of this bird.

Sadly, these birds are also endangered in the wild - due to loss of its natural habitat.

EV and I stayed on to watch the Bird Show and was very impressed with the way the birds were trained to perform tricks.

I was quite surprised with the cleanliness of the park. You won't find a lot of bird droppings left unattended and the grounds were kept quite clean from the mess. The only part which I didn't like about the park was the area where the monkeys were. The monkeys have left their excrement in certain places after stealing the birds' food and somehow, that portion of the park wasn't well maintained.

It is worthwhile to visit this park as it offers a unique experience of being around nature in a closed setting. While at the park, you feel as though you're in a different part of the city, despite the park being located near one of the busiest part of KL.

October 03, 2008

What I Did During Raya - KL Butterfly Park

It has been a long time since we had some holidays and so, I took the opportunity to go to some of the sights around KL. Actually, I was cajoled by EV as she complained that she was bored with the usual activities of going to shopping malls or just jalan-jalan to cari makan.

I decided to bring her to the sights around the National Mosque or Bukit Aman to visit the Butterfly and Bird Parks. She didn't know the area and so, I asked her to drive. Hehehe...

Anyway, going to the parks would give me an opportunity to practice my photography skills. I wished I got the DSLR first but then, skills are more important. Without the skills, any photos taken even with the best camera can turn out to be crap.

EV needed to be fed and so, on such a rare occassion where she didn't needed to feast on blood, we went to the local Mackers (McDonald's) for some brekky...

I like to sprinkle lots of pepper on my eggs. No salt, it is salty enough.

Mackers didn't have any strawberry jam but they had grape jelly; which tasted sweet with a hint of artificial grape flavouring... Might as well have used sugar on those muffins.

We made our way to KL and EV realized that the park was quite near her office! When we got down, I decided to test my camera settings first since the sky is a bit overcast with enough sunlight that morning.

The view of the city from Bukit Aman. You can see two landmarks - KL Tower and KLCC. Hidden behind the tree is the large flagpole at Merdeka Square.

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, 4 other cars loaded with passengers went to visit the park as well. It was the school holidays and so, many families brought their kids to visit these places.

I started snapping away as soon as I got there. I've decided to post the following photos which I deemed were the best of the lot.

Paku Pakis Unfurls

Hanging orchids - I had to wait until the wind died down so that I can take this shot of the orchids hanging from an arch.

This was my second dragonfly shot for the day. The first one was quite blurry. EV was trying to hurry me to take a look at some yellow-coloured butterfly. I'm glad I ignored her.

I also managed to take a few good butterfly shots too. Of course, it would have been better if I had a DSLR with zoom lens but my little compact camera did well too.

We spent a long time at the park as I wanted to take some photos with varying degrees of light. I converted this photo using some photo-editing software. It's quite hard to find a good black and white shot while at the park.

The park costs RM8 per entry for Malaysians with an additional RM1 for your camera. I found it weird that the park should charge people for bringing their camera. Hmmmm.. Probably a policy they had since it first opened.

Needless to say, it was a good learning experience. I didn't manage to learn a single butterfly name but I learned to take some good shots. :-)

October 02, 2008

Weekend Makan-Makan

I spent last Saturday going around town trying to find some stuff to eat. I've not participated in such an activity for a very long time now. (^__^)

After trying to look for the Little Dim Sum Place around Sri Hartamas (apparently it has closed down or moved out), I ended up at Jarrod and Rawlins for a very late lunch, i.e. 3pm.

I fooled around with EV's mobile phone camera since it was one of those Cybershot ones. She didn't quite understand how to take macro shots and so, I decided to give her a few pointers.

I like this photo because of the sugar packets had that unique design. Kind of reminds me of the Wonder Bread plastic bag design... All retro-like.

I was captivated with the different kinds of wine served at the restaurant. It kind of reminded me to also check my home's stockpile. Hmmmm... Well, Christmas is about 2 months away...

Due to my diet, I've basically sworn off coffee and because I was still quite sleepy, and so decided to order a latte. This cuppa really had the balance of milk and coffee - just the way I like it. :-)

When it came to food, I couldn't decide if I wanted bangers (sausages) or a sandwich. In the end, I opted for the Black Pepper Steak pie which came with some mash (mashed potatoes) and some condiments - Brown Gravy with Onion and Yellow Mustard.

Not to worry, EV balanced out the meal by ordering an Avocado Mango Salad. The picture was too blurry to post since I was using my PDA phone camera.

Now, after all that food, we just had to walk it off. We walked a bit around Sri Hartamas and noticed that quite a lot of Korean restaurants have moved in the neighbourhood. Well, it has been nearly 4 years since I last worked there. Anyway, I'm curious about some of the Korean restaurants there and would certainly return there to try it out next time.

EV said that she needed to get some stuff from IKEA and off we went to The Curve/Ikano. I was a bit apprehensive as it was the weekend before Raya and so, we'll definitely meet a lot of shoppers there. We did our shopping - me, buying stuff for the dogs and she, buying stuff for her Dad's condos.

I even managed to sneak a peek at my prospective camera - Canon 450D... I drooled all over it. (So much so that when I returned to the shop yesterday, the salesman remembered me....)

After all that walking around; we decided to give the new US franchise Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Since it was still Ramadhan, we had to wait - for about 1 hour!!! We were both not hungry and decided to hang out at The Curve while waiting for the call from the restaurant. In case you can't recall, this restaurant is setup after the movie Forrest Gump which won some Academy Awards way back in the mid 90's...

This restaurant has a unique way to get the attention of the waiters. Here is how it goes...

There are two "license" plates placed on the table where, one is Blue with the words "Run Forrest Run"...

This license plates indicates that you still require service from the waiters, who will pop by to ask if you require anything - food, drink, napkin... Forrest Gump related trivia...

And, the second plate, is Red in colour with the words "Stop Forrest Stop"...

This license plate indicates to the waiter that you wish to stop eating/drinking and would like to get the bill.

Certainly quite unique and we both tried it. It was a busy night and the room was dark; hence the waiter didn't quite notice when we put up the "Stop" sign...

What did we order? Since we were both full, we decided to go for an appetizer and salad... (Yes, I'm trying to eat healthy... sheesh!!)

Tossed Chicken Cobb - RM 24.90

The salad was pretty ok, though both EV and I would have loved to eat more avocado... The vinaigrette dressing was quite sharp and tangy - perfect with the creamy avocado.

Cajun Shrimp - RM20.90

The cajun shrimp came in a dish with cajun spices in melted butter. This tended to be a quite salty dish because of the butter and spices. The lemon does cut the salt and it went well with the garlic bread. Though, I thought the garlic bread should have had more garlic on it.

The portions served at Bubba Gump is quite large and can be shared with a few folks. There are quite a number of good deals to be shared such as Shrimpers Heaven, where the shrimp served are cooked in a variety of ways - deep fried, deep fried in tempura batter or coconut...

For those who love shrimp or prawns as we call it here in Malaysia, go ahead and try out Bubba Gump; no matter how "franchisy" this restaurant is.

*Whew*!!!! After all that eating, I certainly feel guilty and would be hitting the gym after I've rested my sore knee. I'd guess the key to all this is to eat in moderation and certainly, quantity sometimes does not equal quality. ;-)
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