January 29, 2009

When To Give Up

Gong Xi Fa Cai to all!!

'Tis the year of the Ox and already, I'm working like one... i.e. Working hard to fix all the bugs and implement features which the client wants in a short period of time. I didn't quite enjoy my CNY as I was working all day and night (up until 3am) to complete the stuff.

Anyway, came across this video which is so funny! Love them Monty Python....

It's a great example of the sheer tenacity (and stupidity of the Black Knight). LOL!!!! You got to admire the guy....

Oh well, I'm not giving up!! I'm hanging on until this thing is complete!! GAMBATE!!!

January 23, 2009

Delicate Paper Cuttings @ MidValley Megamall

It's Friday!!! CNY is just 3 days away.

Although I'm currently rushing through a project, there's no denying the CNY spirit. Especially when you tune into MyFM and 988. Both channels are blasting CNY music with full gusto!


I managed to sneak a bit of time to get to MidValley last week to do some last minute CNY shopping. Of course, I can't leave my camera at home. LOL!

So, I took some pictures of the decoration around MidValley and Gardens. The decorations were quite elaborate at MidValley, where many lanterns as well as paper cuttings were hung from the ceiling. It really invoke a feeling of being in China.

Ain't it pretty? :-P

I really take my hats off to the folks who manage the decorations around the centre court. It must really take them some time to string up all those lanterns! Each lantern has a light and I believe it will look very beautiful at night.


Since MidValley was decked out in red, Gardens went for the softer pink colour. Cherry blossoms and longish lanterns were hung around the mall. It was simple and tasteful.

Both MidValley and Gardens had loads of events at different times of day. These include the usual lion dances, and fashion shows. They also invited an acrobatic troop from China to perform as well.

If you have time during the CNY holidays, do check these places out! Hopefully, the crowds would not be too large as most people would still be back in their home towns.

So, before I forget again... I wish you all...




Happy Year of The Ox!

January 22, 2009

Will Be Busy

The CNY mood is all around me.

However, I feel the exact opposite of the current mood.

If you must know, I'm currently rushing something out for a really fussy client who has changed his mind so many times as the number of grains of rice in a bowl. I'm really fed up. This client suffers from amnesia and short-term memory loss. He forgets what he has told us 24 hours ago. He takes down no notes but offer to remember it all by heart.

That is no way to convey your requirements to your vendor.

We are at his mercy.

Besides that, he's not Chinese nor is he Malaysian and hence, does not know about the Chinese New Year festivities. Thus, he does not give a damn about our holidays.

Anyway, I'll be busy for the next few days. Hopefully, I can celebrate what is left of CNY. I will most likely attend to the reunion dinner, visit 1 relative's place and then, head back home to work.

I know. It sucks.

But then, what to do? In this economic climate, would you dare to go say "FU" to the client back? ;-)

I just hope that the company can get some $$$ out of this piece of sh*t project.

BTW, 恭喜发财!!!!

January 17, 2009

Year of The Ox @ 1Utama Shopping Centre

I can't believe it! Chinese New Year (CNY) is literally at our doorsteps!

Another round of holidays, binge eating and drinking with friends, colleagues and loved ones. The festive spirit is catching up to me although my team is in the midst of rushing the completion of a project. It is hard to ignore the festive mood as the shopping malls are "dressing up" for it.

At 1 Utama, the new wing's Oval was decorated with an elaborate stage, where the main prop was at least 3 stories high? The stage resembled a giant doorway which serves as an entrance to large Chinese buildings. The roof was decorated to look like the horns of the Ox, which is the zodiac animal for 2009.


Small stalls were set up around the stage. The crowd was not as large as I expected but probably because everyone flocked to the mall's shops to do their shopping!!


Lanterns were hung above all around the oval and it added a nice touch to the decorations. If the lights were dimmed, the atmosphere around the oval would be just magical, transporting us back to China...


There were also urns of "fire" placed around the stage and scattered across the mall. It's quite nice but I'm not sure what it means.. Anyway, I'd guess the fire is supposed to warm us up as spring time in China is still quite cold as the season changed from winter to spring.

Flowers and lime trees were also placed around the mall. I have pics of those but I screwed up the white balance and so, will need A LOT of time to fix the colours. However, I doubt that those photos should see the light of day.... *sigh*

January 14, 2009

Some Gears...

This is somewhat of a filler post as I'm still doing some post-processing work on some pics I took over the weekend.

Anyway, I got this "pressie" some weeks back as a surprise. I never expected to get this thing but now that I do, I believe that I will have to put the gift to good use. And posting about it is one of the ways. LOL!!


Yeap, it's my new DSLR lens - Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 MkII!! It's one of the cheapest lens to get out of the Canon range and a good addition to a budding gear collector.

With an f/stop of f/1.8, you can imagine that the aperture setting is wide enough to capture some really creamy bokeh pics like this:


I took this photo with nothing more than my fluorescent table lamp as the light source in my room at 1/8sec!! Of course, I didn't use f/1.8 but at such low-light conditions at ISO 100 or 200, this lens was really amazing!

As my first prime lens, the focal length of 50mm makes this useful for taking portraits due to the optics involved, i.e. less moving parts. Hence, the quality of the pics taken are often a lot more superior to those taken with zoom lens.

I've actually had my eye on the 50mm compact macro lens but when I saw the price tag of RM1XXX, I'd figure that I can temporarily set aside my love for macro while I build up my basic skills. So, I'm quite content to play around with this for a while. (^.^)

Nevertheless, my gears list grows everyday... And I plan to get the following:
  • 1 spare battery
  • "Walkabout" Zoom Lens - 55-250mm/18-200mm
  • External Flash
  • Wide Angle Lens for those lovely architectural and landscape shots - 10-22mm
  • Filters - Neutral Density, Circular Polarizer
  • A solid camera/laptop bag
  • A steady tripod (least important as I got one free with my camera)
Yes, some friends remarked that this is an expensive hobby but it's a very fulfilling one for the soul but not the hip pocket, I'm afraid.

January 10, 2009

Chinese New Year @ Suria KLCC

It just seems that the festivals are pilling up one after another. It was just a few days since the Christmas season has passed and now, in a couple of weeks; we'll be enjoying another round of festivities again.

Gosh, this is going to put havoc on my diet and exercise regime! Anyway, I'm lucky to have supportive friends and family members who understand my regiment and so, they try not to force food on me. However, I'm getting lots of advice on how to lose weight!! Good, or bad, I thank them for it.

Anyway, the shopping malls are hard at work to setup stages, decorations and arrange for cultural performances in light of the Chinese New Year festivities. Suria KLCC is of course, no exception.

Fridays are my photography days and after lunch, I usually bring my camera to take photos around this area.


The center court had been under preparation for the last 3 days and finally, the stage is ready for CNY performances. Soon, the stalls will be brought in for folks to buy CNY goodies. I can't wait for that. :-)


I'm not an expert in Chinese classical music/instruments but I believe the performers were playing music on the flute and Chinese "pi-pa".


Suria KLCC has hung up some lanterns all along the mall, as well as a couple of giant lanterns above the center court.


The lanterns hung around the mall... I like the symmetry of the lantern arrangement.


The decorations at Suria KLCC are at best modest. It does invoke the Chinese New Year mood as the shops start playing "tong-tong-chang" music (^^) as well as hanging up red decorations to invoke good fortune.

In times like this, the retailers need all the "red luck" they can get.

January 09, 2009

The Tenji Experience

Colleague 1: Pssttt.. Check your e-mail...
Me: ???

Colleague 1: Got damn good deal for Japanese buffet!! Looks like another Jogoya!!
Me: **shock** **opens e-mail...**

Wahhh... After reading the post from Precious Pea about Tenji @ Solaris, Mont Kiara, I forwarded the mail to a few colleagues as we were looking for a new place to meet up besides Rakuzen. We often meet up at Rakuzen for the Sunday "all-you-can-eat" lunch and to tell you the truth, we are a little "bored" with the menu. However, we love Rakuzen's Sencha ice-cream... **slurp**


We noticed that there was a large crowd outside Tenji at 11:30am!! The buffet starts at 12pm and because of the lunch promotion of RM29.90++ (until 15th January), the queue started early.


My colleagues divided up the labour very quickly. One got the oysters and sashimi - the other took loads of coconuts for everybody. The sashimi were very fresh. The food at this station emptied very quickly. Once the oysters were reloaded, there was a queue to grab the oysters off the crushed ice.


There were many different stations ranging from Western to Eastern as well as standard Japanese fare, i.e. Teppanyaki, Sushi, Sashimi and Soup/Soba. We did cover most of the stations in our brief 2 hour "mission" but I would have liked to have tried their cold soba noodles.


As we sat near to the Teppanyaki station, we ordered quite a number of prawns. In fact, I think I may have consumed my two months worth of prawns in 1 day!! (~.~) It was yummy but then, I have to watch my cholesterol levels! *sigh*


My colleague ordered this lovely cod dish from the Western station. It is steamed cod with a lovely bean paste and creamy mushroom dressing. I'm drooling just recalling the taste of this dish!

Of course, let's not forget about the desserts! There is a wide variety to choose from but we couldn't try it all. However, you MUST not forget to take the ice-cream!! The ice-cream is from Hadgen Daaz and there are about 4 varieties offered. I went for my favourite sencha (green tea). I believed I took about 6 scoops!!

IMG_1007_ IMG_1024_

Towards the end of our gloriously satisfying meal, a waiter came with some grilled crabs legs courtesy of the Western chef. This came about 10 minutes before our 2nd hour was up..... We were quite shocked at their "generosity" but since we were a large party of 10 folks, they stand to gain an additional RM100 if we pass our 2-hour deadline...


Well, we attacked the crab with gusto and managed to get to the payment counter just before our 2nd hour was up! *Phew*!!

The quality of the food at Tenji was excellent. It was really worth the $$$ spent. The after-promotion price tag of RM77 (for lunch) and RM88 (for dinner) can be a little steep. But if the quality of the food presented is fresh, tasty and varied; the price is worth it. I've been to Shogun and Saisaki previously and enjoyed my first experience there. However, after a couple of visits, the food quality drops, i.e. the cooked food is cold; sashimi and sushi slightly warm. In fact, some folks have told me that they were unfortunate enough to get food poisoning after visiting such outlets!

Some of my other colleagues who heard about our experience has been trying to book a place for lunch but apparently, the place is fully book right up to the end of the promo!! WOW!! Personally, I don't like crowds as you have to jostle for food/space as well as that innate "kiasuness" behaviour would emerge - making you take everything in sight because someone else is just grabbing as much as possible!

I will try to go again with my other friends and family to gauge the quality of the food and services after the promotion ends... By that time, I think my stomach would have "rebooted" itself and my wallet has gained a bit of cash again. ;-)

Note: More photos of Tenji can be viewed at my flickr site.

January 08, 2009

Short Update

My blog started to be an embarrassment with all that Christmas deco still up. And so, have taken it down.

I've not edited my new template and done up a new blog banner as I'm busy with work. So, have decided to revert to 2008's design. LOL.

Anyway, hope that the first full working/studying week of the year has been good to ya!!

January 06, 2009

Slow Start for 2009

I'm still Christmas mood... If that is what my blog is saying... LOL!

6 days into the new year and I've yet to change my blog template. It has been pretty hectic so far as I'm in a critical project which will take me some time away from my blog for a while.

Nevertheless, when this blog comes back, the layout will be a bit better. Hopefully in 2009, the contents of the blog will be an improvement from last year's. We've always got to strive for the better than to just be content with our current achievement. 

So, what is my main resolution/goal for 2009? Pretty simply, its to live the best life I can (to borrow from Oprah's Best Life Week... kekeke)
  1. I'll go to the gym as often as possible - 3 times a week but will see how I can bump it up to 4 times in spite of the busy schedule.
  2. I'll try to get some more IT certifications - it's been a few years since I've taken any certification papers. Work experience is better but sometimes, you need a piece of paper to back up your skills. ;-)
  3. Be more patient, stay cool under fire - 'Nuff said.
I didn't put any dates yet but I will soon. No point setting lofty goals if you're not going to acheive it by a certain date, right? 
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