31 December 2010

2 hours before the new decade. I am not going anywhere tonight. I am staying at home. At 30 years old, New Year, Merdeka or any other public celebration is already behind me. I'm too old for those kind of shht. Wishing New Year or anything is overrated. New Year resolution is lame. Just fricking do it already. Most of you never finished your previous resolutions anyway. It's been like that for what, 20 years already?

Wonder why I'm so moody and demotivated. Is it life? work? Liverpool FC? global warming?

30 December 2010

Early this morning we went out and stoped by My Mydin to buy a school shoe for Adam. Believe it or not, we couldn't find a shoe his size in the whole of Tesco Puchong last week. Lucky for us My Mydin opens as early 7:00 AM. After dropping off Mia and a quick breakfast at Thoiba we went straight to SK Taman Universiti. Before today we had no idea where Adam will be going to school next year. You see we submitted the transfer application form to that school last week. Somehow the teachers or the clerk at the school took their own sweet time to submit the application to the district education office. By the time they sent the application last Monday, we found out the 200 students quota for the new school has already been filled.

Lucky for me my Mom happens to be a deputy headmistress (Penolong Kanan) in a school in Serdang. She pulled some strings and called her buddies (and former colleagues) at SK Desaminium to get Adam admitted there. I can't thank her enough for her favor. Still we didn't find out until this morning that Adam had already been accepted there at the new school. So this morning instead of sending Adam through an orientation, we only had to pick up his text books from SK Taman Universiti. The queue was at least a hundred meters long but we're just glad that Adam get to go to a school very near to our place. After Taman Universiti we head on straight to SK Desaminium to check out the school and confirm Adam's name there. Sure enough Adam had been accepted to the school and his real orientation starts tomorrow. I'm just happy that this is all sorted out finally.

29 December 2010

There was tears of joy all over the country this evening as Malaysia has the AFF Suzuki cup for the first time after a 4-2 aggregate win over Indonesia. It's something considering we were never favorites at the beginning of the tournament. To be honest I don't harbor any hopes of the national team winning anything in any competitions. I guess we are so used to losing that winning would be the exception. Anyway congratulations to Malaysia and the national team. The PM even declared tomorrow as a public holiday after being coaxed in Twitter. Winning this Asean-level cup is good and all but defending it is another thing. Consistency is key. I will only true believe in the national team if we keep this up all the way to the highest level. Let's see if we can qualify for the Asian Cup next.

Meanwhile halfway around the world, Liverpool, yes the 'mighty' Reds lost again this time to bottom of the table Wolves. Right about this time I am not the least surprised who beats us anymore. Liverpool under Roy Hodgson can only be good enough for a mid-table team if not relegation dog-fight. Honestly I don't care anymore as long as that loser is our manager. I cringe at watching any Liverpool games these days. Mortified at the possibility of us losing again for the umpteenth time. I'd rather sleep than bother staying up late in the morning than watch us lose to some small clubs. Really, Liverpool has gone to the dogs.

28 December 2010

For this 5 months checkup we finally get to see the gender of our future family member.
And I am delighted to say that it looks likely to be a girl, again! Well, that's what the sonogram looks like anyway. We can only be sure in our upcoming check up or when she finally comes out. Now for a nice baby girl's name.

24 December

You know I don't believe in imaginary white-bearded old man or some rusty old lamps with magical properties. Still if I could be granted a couple of wishes right now, here's what they would be...

1. Woy Hodgson leaves Liverpool FC (by mutual consent of course) and replaced by none other than Rafa Benitez (or somebody better).

2. My company does a Petronas and give us 6 months bonus (amen!).

3. Apple accidentally sends me a 27" Core i7 iMac tomorrow.

4. Those Nigerian email scam that I occasionally get is like for real and I will recieve 2.5 million in my bank account soon.

23 December 2010

Yesterday evening I found of from Adam's nursery owner that today will be the last day for standard 1 registration at the SK Taman Desaminium school which is like around the corner from our place. Previously we have registered Adam at SK Taman Universiti because we heard the former school won't be open till later next year. So this morning we rushed to the school before going to work to work out the registration details. The clerk in charge told us to write down Adam's name and our home address and that's it. She told us to check back in a couple of days.

Later today my Mom called saying that I had to submit Adam's birth certificate, our IC copies, marriage certs, utilities bill, Puspakom inspection form, EA form and whatnot to the school because apparently our transfer request was rejected by the education dept because of the incomplete documents. WTH? Lucky for me my Mom knows this things. I spent the entire lunch time plus 30 more minutes waiting for the school office to open and submit the documents. Even then I don't know for sure whether Adam will be accepted to the new school.

Parenthood is though.

22 December 2010

After 25 days being part (which felt like eternity) we are finally reunited with my little precious kids today.

Mia looked like she gained some weight, perhaps she had a good time back home and maybe overfed as well. She stopped wearing diapers now, at least during the day which is a very good news for us. Think of all the diapers we would save. Adam, well Adam is still Adam. Still playing a lot of games, computer, Facebook. He got a new tricycle scooter from his Atuk and Matok for his birthday. Still demand his very special birthday present from his Mom. Welcome back kids, we missed you.

17 December 2010

Today my colleagues and I worked together to clean the office, you know the usual stuff, throw away unwanted things and paint the wall here and there. Some people say my company is cheap and these are a job for cleaners and certainly not suitable for someone who studied like crazy for 3 years to get their 1st degree. They've got a point there. If my wife's company were to do something like this, their union will be up in arms threatening legal action to protect their fellow employees from such nonsense.

For me, I think this "reciprocal assistance" or gotong-royong thing helps to build a sense of belonging and camaraderie among the staff. Why waste money outsourcing the job to someone else when we can do it all by ourselves? It's not that big of deal anyway. Don't we all like clean our own homes once a month at least? Today we can see who's really hardworking and who's the lazy slob. Besides we are only a small company of 50 and we don't have any unions yet.

16 December 2010

If you haven't notice, I gained a few kilos recently. Some say I had a really good appetite while I myself believed it was because of lack of exercise. Lucky for me I found this new hot exercise cum diet regime called the Kangoo diet. This diet is really simple and easy to follow. You just have to make sure the air conditioning unit of your vehicle is broken and don't fix it, that's all.

When you drive around in your car especially in the afternoon, the temperature inside your car will become really hot and you will sweat it out like a fig. Meanwhile in rainy weathers, you still need to wind up the window or else you may get really wet. When you do this, the temperature inside will get really hot as well and again you will sweat like you're in a sauna except that this one is free. All this sweating will eventually burn your calories and fat and in 2 weeks you may lose up to 3 kilos easily. And the best part is you don't have to spend a penny or lift a finger! All you need is window up and air conditioner down!

Testimony from a satisied customer:

I tried the Kangoo diet  yesterday and it worked like a charm! I almost loss 500 grams just by driving 45 minutes to Puncak Alam. Just make sure you don't follow any garbage trucks cause boy they do stink!

 -Rizal Isamil, Seri Kembangan

15 December 2010

Yesterday a French man came to my office to promote something, a product or service. When it was time for him to leave, he tried calling a cab but after 20 minutes no cabs arrived (or wanted to come). So I offered to take him to the taxi stand in Equine Park knowing that there's always a couple of taxi drivers hanging around there. When we arrived, all 7 taxi drivers refused to take him where he's going - Jalan Maarof in Bangsar. Exasperated he said back in France you cannot refuse to take a passenger or they will revoke your license. Sorry to say monsieur Herve but taxi drivers in Malaysia can get away with pretty much anything. They can refuse to pick you up, send you anywhere they don't want to and especially refuse to use the meter and rip you off at every chance. The law is there but the enforcement s severely lacking.
In the end I offered to drop him off at the Serdang train station where I told him to take a train to Mid Valley. In Mid Valley he should have no problem getting a cab to Bangsar. Was I embarassed by the whole incident? Of course! But then sadly that's the norm here. We are still light years away from being a developed country judging by the attitudes of some of us. I'd like to say not all taxi drivers are like this but I know I can't. Most of them would do exactly the same. But you can't really blame them because everybody knows how bad traffic is at 6:30 in the evening in downtown KL. One would be crazy to head on there at that time for no concrete reason, taxi drivers included. Au revoir monsieur Herve. I Hope you won't bad mouth us too much when you get home. Most Malaysians are not that terrible but taxi drivers here, they're the exception.

Sent from my iPad

10 October 2010

Hi friends! It's that time of year again to report my not-so-interesting academic achievements! Does anybody cares? Maybe. Well, to summarize my grades gone down a bit compared to last semester. For semester 3 I got 3.48 down from a high of 3.82 last semester. I must admit that this time it's a lot tougher than the 2 previous semesters.

The lecturer for English for Academic Purposes for example is one of the most fussiest and strict English lecturers I've ever learned with. Her attention to detail and standard is unbelievable. Our essays and assignments must be impeccable and outstanding and just ordinary would not do. I don't remember the last time I got anything other than A for an English subject but this time I got B+. I seriously think I'd had a better chance getting an A studying under Shakespeare than her. Human Communication in Information Agencies meanwhile is all theories and unless I had a photographic memory, it would be humanly impossible to remember all 9 chapters. Plus the lecturer didn't exactly give us a lot of clue or hints what might come in the final paper which is a killer paper by the way. I actually spent the 3 whole hours in the exam hall cracking my brain and yet I got just a B.

The other 2 subjects were okay although I'm quite surprised that I managed to clinch an A for Islamic Information Management. Management of Internet Resources which delves with HTML, CSS and creating a website is right up my alley so there's no surprises there. Okay enough about last semester. Registration is opening now and I must challenge myself to do much better next year.

8 September 2010

Monday I had a cold, a common cold - nothing serious. That morning I went to a site office to replace my colleague whose on leave. There I had to sit right beneath the air coniditoner unit and there's now way I can control the temperature. By evening I was hot all over and my cold had turned into a full-blown fever.

So yesterday I went to a local panel clinic nearby and the doctor found my temperature was a warm 39 degrees. He gave me a jab on the butt, half a dozen of pills and a day off tomorrow. But after leaving the clinic I was 57 ringgit poorer. WTF, 57 RM? Next time I'd rather queue and suffer for 3 hours at a government clinic than waste my money there ever again!

3 December 2010

Steve Jobs must personally thank me because I just made him even more richer yesterday.
After weeks of saving up and doing evening part time jobs, I managed to save up enough to buy my dream tablet computer. It didn't come easy I tell you, I even had to let go of my precious iPhone to afford this one. So is it worth it? Absolutely! Review coming next week.

2 December 2010

Imaginary no more :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

28 November 2010

This school holiday we've decided to let the kids spend some quality time with their grandparent back home in Tanah Merah. Although my home town is actually in Pasir Mas but we send them back just to Tanah Merah because there's nobody to look after them in Pasir Mas. My little sister has very little experience with children and my grandma would not have the energy left to tend to those kids.
In Tanah Merah however, they've got their aunts and other grandparent whose more than willing to look after them for the next few weeks or so. We took the train to Tanah Merah on Friday and return home by bus yesterday. My wife was already teary eyed and crying at the bus station, on the bus and also when she returns home to find our empty apartment. Duh, whose idea is it in the first place? I have the feelings the kids would be home really soon.

25 November 2010

These are the boring days. I find my time stuck in traffic or waiting for something to be quite unbearable. I used to watch movies or TV series while stuck in traffic or read my RSS feed or surf the web while waiting for my wife shopping. Today I can't do any of that. I just sold my iPhone today.
It was not an easy decision really. I find my iPhone to be an inseparable item in my daily routine. Like I almost can't leave home without it. Then again I think it's time to move on because I'd like to have something better. No, not an iPhone 4, that's way too expensive but I'm saving to buy a magical and revolutionary device next. Yes you guess it right, an iPad. Now I only need to find another 800 ringgit from my dream machine. Boss, you have any 2nd hand iPad you wanna let go?:)

24 November 2010

At three-zero I am still blissfully married to my lovely wife for 6 years now, I have 2 wonderful children and another one on the way, hopefully 5 months from now. I have been at the same company for the last 4 years, have our own car and our very own little apartment. Yes there are always good and bad times but that's life. And yes I wish I had fared better or be able to give my family and myself the best of everything in life. But the important thing is, I must be very grateful for all that life has given to me and count my blessings, which are too many to count. Always remember that there's still many people out there fighting a harder battle. Alhamdulillah for everything.

This morning my colleagues sang me happy birthday during briefing. I was so embarrassed that I became absolutely speechless. I don't remember them doing anything like this for anyone else. I also got several text messages wishing happy birthday and a few dozens more on Facebook. Thank you very much guys, I really appreciate it.

22 November 2010

I want...

1.Window blind ($69)
2.GORM shelving unit ($160)
3.Homeplug ethernet ($180)
4.Second hand Mac Mini ($699)
5.Camcorder ($499)
6.iPad ($1760)
7.iPhone 4 ($2300)

The first and second is what I should be buying but number 4 and 6 is what I would really like to have the most. The others are on my wish list but not really essential. Of course after 29 years of living I know better than to wait for them to magically fall on my lap. Chances are I had to work really hard and save for it while balancing my other priorities.

16 November 2010

Yesterday evening Adam said that today school and nursery is going to be closed. Funny, I don't remember anybody saying anything about that. When I called the kindergarten, true enough the place is closed today. They said they already printed it out in Adam's Parent Notebook but we found no such thing.

So we scrambled to find someone to look after the kids today. My Mom unfortunately had to go to school as usual, our backup baby sitter had gone back to her home town already so apart from leaving them with total strangers, we had nobody to take care of them. And since my wife had just taken an emergency leave last week, I had no choice but to miss work today, seriously.

You think looking after 2 super-active kids is easy? You wish. I'd rather go to work.

12 November 2010

Baby X video number 2. See how active she/he is.

7 November 2010

Have you ever like known a person online for ages already but never really had the chance to meet him or her alive in the real world? Well, I did with Kak Tin until this morning. She sent out a distress signal for me to save her PC which is dying of blue screen of death. That's the first time I get to see her in person.

Kak Tin lives with her husband and 4 lovely children in an apartment in Petaling Utama. I only get to see Najihah & Fatihah today and the equally famous Mr Nahar who seemed to missing a lot. Anyway the problem with her PC, I suspect is all the dusts collecting inside the PC, blocking the air ventilation causing the motherboard or processor to overheat hence the blue screen. It might be also the out of date Kapersky antivirus which caused the bad pool header BSOD or maybe because some bad drivers that needs reinstalling or updating. I cleaned up all the dusts, deleted 8 viruses and 5 malwares using McAfee and removed all unnecessary programs from startup. Her Dell Inspiron PC now boots up in less than a minute and shutdowns in 15 seconds. That's something if you're using Windows Vista.

I hope her PC is okay now. If it still doesn't the final recourse would be to perform a clean install (format). If you have any problems with your PC or Mac, be it hardware or software just give me a call alright? I do these things sometimes after office hours and on weekends. You can contact me via Facebook or Twitter, anytime.

6 November

Major festive celebrations in Malaysia have one annoying thing in common: fireworks. Be it Raya, CNY, Deepavali, even Christmas, somebody, somewhere out there will have some fireworks to burn. I don't mind them celebrating and shit, just don't do it next to my ears please. Lucky for me since I moved here I was spared the horror. Although I can still hear the explosion now and then in the distance, it is tolerate-able at least, compared to last time.

Staying up burning the midnight oil last week for the finals had cost me my health. As of now, I'm still recuperating from my cold & fever. They always come in pairs. Been catching up with my television series and movies collection. Just finished watching Amélie. Good movie. If you're into French. That picture above was taken with Instagram, a free cool photo-sharing app made exclusively for the iPhone. I can't stress enough the importance of investing in a good smartphone. If you're about to lavish over 2K for a phone, might as well aim for the best. And I don't mean Nokia, Sony-Ericsson or Samsung. There's only one phone that is worth buying and using out there.

5 November 2010

To tell you the truth, I don't like Indian or Hindustan movies and songs very much. I find them predictable, stereotypical and downright boring. The last time I watched an entire Hindustan movie was Khabi Khushi Khabie Gham and that's only after my ex-girlfriend turned wife made me do it. I sat there for 3 fricking hours at GSC Mid Valley, it was pure torture.

But this song from the same-titled movie is different. 10 years ago I just got in college and stumbled into this exciting and wonderful new world. New environment, new friends and of course girls. At that time this movie was really-really popular that even I got hooked to it. I actually watched it more than twice. And the fact that I was in love, okay, more like syok sendiri for this girl at college made it even more special. Once my friends and I went to Sunway Pyramid and one of us bought a soundtrack from that movie and we would immediately play the cassette at one of the mini hi-fi on display at the departmental store. People watched and pointed at us, but we didn't care. Aah, those innocent and carefree years.

I would die in embarrassment if that were to happen today.Happy Diwali to Wan.

3 November 2010

This morning I sat for my last exam paper for this semester. Felt like a heavy weight had just been lifted from over my head. Past few months had been hectic. Work, assignments, exams, family, life.

Apologies to readers of this blog (if there are still any). As I said I've been quite preoccupied with life. Blogging would take a sizeable time and effort and I just didn't have that luxury, until today. Blogging on Afif PLC for example would take from an hour to 3 days. Here on Chronicles it's 30 to 45 minutes minimum. My latest blog at Posterous however takes only 5 to 10 minutes to update. My Twitter accounts meanwhile took 30 seconds to 2 minutes to update. So it's not surprising I've only been updating the last 2 accounts these days. Hopefully since these exams are over, blogging services will resume as usual.

1 November 2010

Dear @adamfarihin. Do you remember the time when you was six years old and you complained why we never celebrate your birthday at school like everybody else? Well, your birthday falls on the 12th of December when the school is closed so that's why we didn't celebrate your birthday at school before.

But since this year is the last time you go to school at Tadika Cahayaku Seri Nilam, your mother decided to do something special for you. Although your birthday is still a month away, we've decided to have it early so that you can celebrate it with your friends. That's why yesterday she spent close to a hundred ringgit on cakes, crackers, sweets and goody bags for your little birthday party today. Bear in mind that a hundred ringgit in 2010 is a lot of money. She'd do almost anything to make you happy. Remember that.

6 October 2010

Baby No 3 World Premier. 8 weeks young. Actually I cannot see anything yet except for a little black lump.

4 October 2010

It's days like these that I wish I had 68 hours per day. Assignment, work, family,exam, even more assignment!

1 October 2010

There are days in your life that you feel that you need something to motivate and encourage you to get on with life. Something inspiring and just plain awesome. It could be anything, a lecture from your Mom, a piece of advice from your wife, a new car, anything.

We I didn't really get any lecture from my wife or Mom but I did bought this brand new, shiny and super slim/sexy Apple keyboard. I know - I know the costs a fortune but without this keyboard, I don't think I would ever finish 3 assignments, 1 website and update all 3 of my blogs in a span of 6 days. Amazing, what a little bit of motivation could do for you.

FYI this keyboard is not full compatible with your Windows system so you'll have to use something like Auto Hotkey to get it all to work seamlessly.

26 September 2010

Today we had our first mini open house/house-warming/get-together-with-family at Casa Riana apartments. We have thought about doing something like this since we moved here. It's only now that we got the chance.

It's nothing major really and we purposely didn't invite everybody because we meant it to be a family/neighbours affair. Besides, we couldn't possibly accommodate everyone had we done so. Still, nearly a hundred people came by today, mostly family and relatives. I really had no idea we had so many relatives living hear in Selangor until they all came by today. Thank you guys for coming.

25 September 2010

This Hari Raya season we didn't get much open house invites, surprisingly, unlike last year when we couldn't even cope with the overwhelming invitations. Today my company had our own Raya open house at the boss' place.

Although nearly a quarter of the staff were absent, that didn't damper the mood of the occasion. There were lots of food and everybody looks forward to the hampers lucky draw. I didn't give much hope to that because I'm like the most unluckiest person in the whole world when it comes to lucky draws and stuff. But today though is my lucky day because I won the biggest hamper in the house. I'm sure that won't likely repeat again in the future. It's like one in a millionth thing. Next time I win something like this is when an asteroid hits the earth.

9 September 2010

I have half a dozen empty green Raya packets but no money to fill them in.

Well, it could have been worse. Think of all the poor people with no home and things to wear in flooded Pakistan. Or the folks in New Zealand who were affected by the recent earthquake. Count our blessings. At least I have my family to celebrate Raya with.

Selamat Hari Raya.

8 September 2010

In a fortunate series of event, the doctor at Putrajaya Hospital decided that my brother Faiz is now much better and he can after all, go back home to celebrate Raya. And although my Mom & Faiz is now without any means of transportation to go home with, lucky for them Izni's husband offered to give them a lift for Hari Raya today. So everything is fine and dandy now.

My Raya holiday starts today. We left KL around 7-ish and didn't arrive until about 11 and a half hours later in Pasir Mas. Traffic is quite smooth from KL up until Kuala Lipis since we took all the alternative routes. In Kuala Lipis and Kuala Krai however, we were stuck in up to 10 mile crawl at one time. Needless to say my poor legs are numb & sore with fatigue. But what matters is we got home safe and sound.

5 September 2010

My brother Faiz has had fever since last Wednesday. So he went to the Serdang Hospital to get himself checked. He waited for 2 hours for his turn to come but they never did. So angered and exasperated, Faiz drove all the way to the Putrajaya Hospital next. It took him less than 30 minutes to see the doctor who also took his blood sample for further tests.

Today Faiz got admitted into the Putrajaya Hospital because they suspect he's been infected with dengue. My family members from near and far came to visit him today who looked really weak and can barely talk. To say that Hospital Serdang suck would be an understatement. I have heard numerous complaints from many people who had some kind bad experience or another there. Top of the list would be the ridiculously long waiting time. I took my 2 year old son there once because he sprained his shoulder and we waited for nearly 2 hours to see the intern. First class infrastructure but third world mentality would best describe Serdang Hospital.

3 September 2010

Although I still thinks buffets for any occasion is a huge waste of money and food, if somebody treats us with one and we don't have to spend a penny, bring it on!

This year another one of our kind supplier treated us for break fast at Hilton Hotel Petaling Jaya. Some 20 of us braved the mad rush hour traffic to get to the hotel this evening. The food at PJ Hilton is quite good I must say. A refreshing change from IOI Mariott hotel that we've been going to these past 3 years or so. I must recommend this hotel if you got money to burn. Thanks again supplier!

1 September 2010

For my concerned friends & colleagues who wondered why I shaved my hair again, these reasons might answer your questions. Pick any one.

a) I was abducted and subjected to inhumane experiments by aliens
b) An old man with white robe and long beard told me to do so in my dream
c) My dandruff problem is getting out of hand
d) I started to look ugly with this hair do
e) PERKASA lodged a police report against my hair (for not being Malay enough)
f) My budget for conditioner, shampoo and hot oil treatment has gone overboard
g) Paul the psychic octopus predicted that I would shave my head

9 months. That's the longest I've been without a hair cut.

21 August 2010

A few weeks from now many of us we'll be going back to our hometowns to celebrate Raya. Therefore it is prudent that we get our cars serviced before making the long return trip. As usual I went to my Proton Savvy specialist workshop in Puchong Perdana, R.S Auto. This time we got the timing belt kit replaced apart from the usual service. The towkey was quite surprised that we waited until the car clocked past 100,000KM before changing the belt. Usually people change that thing after 70,000KM. If it snaps while we were driving, say good bye to our engine. Scary stuff.

R.S Auto may not be the best or comfortable service center that I've been to. There's no air-conditioned lounge to relax in or comfy sofa to sit on. No free flowing drinks, magazine or WiFi to hook up to. However one thing they are committed to is not to rip you off. They tell you what is actually wrong with your car and only replace parts if only absolutely necessary. Like when I service my car there, they didn't replace the spark plug or air filter cause they're still good and usable. And most of the spare parts and charges there is a lot cheaper than what they charge you at Proton service centers for example. The timing belt for example is RM200 cheaper than Proton. Honesty and value for money, two things you'll be hard-pressed to find these days.

15 August 2010

Did you know? Studies have shown that apart from public speaking is the second thing that people feared the most even more than death at second place?

A few weeks ago my classmates and I had to present a speech in front of the class about something. Save for one or two, I think we were all terrible speakers, me included. That's why I don't become teachers or politicians.

11 August 2010

Yesterday Muslims all over the world started to observe fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, my family not excluded. Maybe he's a little bit excited but Adam said he wanted to fast too, just like his Mom and Pop. So we said, "then you'll have to wake up for sahur early in the morning". And so he did. Woke up around 5:00 AM yesterday to eat with us. Mia who happens to wake up as well, joined us.

So later in the evening I asked, "Did you eat or drink anything today, Adam?". And he said "No I didn't eat at all! Except for a drink when I was so thirsty". Later when pressed on by his mother he finally said "okay la maybe I ate a couple of biscuits in the afternoon, but that's all!". Well, we didn't expect you to succeed fasting on the first day anyway. We'd be surprised if you did. You willingness to begin fasting is good enough. You're only 6 years old by the way. It's a good start.

1 August 2010

There is a time in a young Muslim's life where one started to learn to recite the Qur'an. We feel that time is now for Adam Farihin. Fortunately for us, there happens to be one Qur'an reading teacher at our surau downstairs. So we just bring Adam for his learning sessions every Monday and Wednesday.

The Ustaz or teacher is actually a real school teacher who does this after school. Apart from teaching the young ones, he earns some extra income as well. There are about 10 students in his class for now. So far Adam did quite well. Thanks to his kindergarten who taught him some basic Qur'an reading in the past 2 years or so.

26 July 2010

Earlier today, Mia had her final check up at the Seri Kembangan community clinic. Thank God for that. After dropping the kids at their nursery we went to Mutiara Damansara to catch a movie. Inception has been receiving glowing reviews from film critics the world over therefore I simply must see this film.

I don't want to bore you with the details but this is without a doubt, the best movie I've seen this year. Hell lot better than Avatar, Iron Man 2 etc-etc. I was glued to the seat the entire 2 hours of screening. Yeah it is that good. Go see it!

Afterwards, we visited Tesco nearby to do some groceries. But before that, I stumbled into Fahrin Ahmad the actor at Cineleisure - with his brand new girlfriend! She's definitely not an artist or celebrity because I've never seen her anywhere before. And after Linda Onn & Sharifah Nor Azean, this one looked refreshingly ordinary. A change of taste there buddy?

Anyway I didn't stop by to take pictures or anything because I really needed to go to the restroom at that time. Wait, since when did I stop to talk or take pictures with celebs? That's right, neverrrr! They're just ordinary human beings just like you and me. Besides, I'd like to respect their privacy.

That's all for now. You know you love me.


Gossip Guy

18 July 2010

Today I started the first class of my 3rd semester at UiTM, pursuing my PhD in rocket science. 8 semesters feel like forever! As usual I left early meaning to catch a decent parking spot. Come late and chances are you'll have to park by the roadside and risk being clamped by the overzealous college security.

In the afternoon, I hung out at my sister's place at nearby Jalan Betuk. Yes there is such thing as free lunch. I can only go there when her husband's mood is good though and today he's pretty cool. He tried to sell me a taser but I politely declined. He always does that, try to sell me stuff.

First seminar of the semester and already we have tons of work & assignments. Well, we didn't come here to chill did we? There 3 less members of my class this time. Some decided to adjourn their study until next year, some just didn't do enough to make it. In everything you do, it is imperative that you give your fullest focus & commitment to them.

16 July 2010

Last night the Najib administration pulled a surprise 5 in 1 price hike for fuel & sugar by cutting the subsidies for those items. It's like pulling the rug under the people's feet. Don't give the 750 million savings bullshit. Yesterday the parliament was told that the Prime Minister's Dept budget had reached RM3.9 billion for 2010 alone. This doesn't even take into account the 946 million lost by Sime Darby that the government had also bailed out. And obviously Jibby has no qualms about paying APCO RM77 million a year just to enhance his image which in my opinion has failed miserably because of the APCO - Israel connections.

I don't know about you but I certainly don't deserve this government because I never voted for them. The rest of you, UMNO/BN supporters out there, you reap what you sow. Corruption and mismanagement is so rampant in this government that they had literally drain the coffers dry. And now they are turning to you to milk more money out of your hard-earned wages and salary. 5 cents might be pittance for some but for the poor folks in Temangan or Tebedu, the chain effect from the fuel price will inadvertently add for more hardship in their lives. Something which I'm sure those BN MPs and ADUNs in their 7 series, Cayennes and X2s doesn't give a hoot about.

The power is in your hands really. If you never cared to vote before, register now. You and nobody else decide your and your children's future. If you voted for BN or didn't even bother to register before, shut up and get on with your lives. You have no right to complain. You deserved this.

5 July 2010

Right in the heart of Taman Puncak Jalil, near the Esso service station you can find this little steamed rice stall beside the road.

Steamed rice is a true Kelantanese delicacy. Steamed rice with fried spiced chicken and a special gravy. It is one to die for. RM4.50 a packet with choice of chicken or quail.

Alterchart e#18

01 We made you - Eminem

02 Billionaire - Travie McCoy feat Bruno Mars

03 Kissin' U - Miranda Cosgrove

04 Alejandro - Lady Gaga

05 Waka waka - Shakira

06 Last of the American girls - Greenday

07 Let's just fall in love again - Jason Castro

08 Eanie meenie - Sean Kingston feat Justin Bieber

09 I'm awesome - Spose

10 OMG - Usher

4 July 2010

The 2010 World Cup is now in the semi finals. My team Spain barely got past a resilient Paraguay side last night to book a semis date with Germany. After that 4 nil thumping of Argentina earlier yesterday, nobody wants to meet Germany at the moment. South American teams had been seen as early favourites for this tournament after breezing through the group stages. However after the quarter finals, only Uruguay is left standing that is after winning on the lottery of penalties against Ghana.

So now Netherlands meets Uruguay and Spain versus Germany. My heart would like to see Spain going through the finals and going all the way but if Germany kept playing the way the did in the previous 2 matches, I think it's gonna be Netherlands vs Germany come 11 July. That said, this IS football and anything can happen. That's the beauty of this game. God knows it my be Uruguay vs Spain and the South American winning it!

For the record, I don't like Torres' new hair cut. That is why he's been invisible so far in this finals.

3 July 2010

We have a good community! This evening the folks at Casa Riana held a potluck/birthday party/get-together+World Cup viewing party down at the pool & the community hall. Residents brought along foods to the event and my wife made her trademark onde-onde which was a hit among the guests. The empty tupperware was proof.

This is the 2nd time already we had such gathering. The first time, we just moved here the day before so we were too busy to attend. Earlier in the afternoon there was another meeting with the resident's association, developer and some other folks. I missed it because I had some other matters to attend to. We here at Casa Riana is like one big kampung. Hopefully it'll stay that way.

2 July 2010

What you are seeing here is no ordinary sword. This is Adam's very special magical sword. It is made from a discarded Yu Yee Medicated Oil Can, part of formula bottle top, electric wire casing and some tapes.

He uses this magical sword to slay big bad dragons, those monsters from Ultraman and poke his sister and father. When the energy dries out, he will need to charge his sword through the USB port of his computer. And oh yeah, this sword doubles as a violin too.

Don't ever tease him about this imaginary very real sword because he's very sensitive about it.

1 July 2010

My 2 years plus daughter is addicted to sweets! There isn't a day gone by without her asking for some. First thing she'll ask when she met her Mom or Dad is for some 'lert' (chocolate/sweets). And if we didn't give her she would almost always threw a tantrum.

If she keeps up like this, she'll lose all her beautiful teeth in a couple of months. What to do?

25 June 2010

Today my company celebrated it's 10th anniversary in existence. We had some prayers and had a little party to commemorate the milestone. Did you know that it was previously name Cosmos Dynamic before it changed to its current name? Yes it was a dreadful name and I'm glad somebody decided to change it for the better.

10 years is quite an achievement for a small company. We've been through ups and downs and achieved so many things through the years and I'm proud to be a part of that. Almost 4 years to be exact. I'm the kind of guy who likes to settle down at one place and generally loyal to a particular organization. To me if a company treats me right with respect and rewards me accordingly then I have no reason to leave. So far I have no reason to. Here's for another 10 years, cheers!

22 June 2010

If my wife didn't have the time to cook in the morning, I usually had breakfast somewhere outside. As I said before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day for me. Can't start my day without it. Now finding a good place to eat around Bandar Putra Permai/Equine Park is not easy. Most of them serve so-so food that I easily get bored with. And since Kak Na is so far away now I rarely get to sample her delicious food anymore. So where can I eat? Certainly not Thoiba!

That was before KFC introduced their morning smart meal breakfast. I especially love their nasilemak with fried chicken meal. The sauce is spicy and they throw in a free drink some more. And at RM5.25 (including tax), it's a no brainer. These days if my wife doesn't cook, you can find me at KFC Petronas around 8-ish. Though bear in mind eating fried chicken everyday is bad news for your diet program.

20 June 2010

Today I attended our first resident's association meeting. They've had a couple of meetings before. We haven't moved in yet so obviously I didn't attend.

The security firm and representative from the management were present. We discussed a lot of things, security, parking, cleanliness, security, mainly security. In fact the first hour and a half was all about security. Not surprising since there were already 4 break-ins here at this apartment. All of them in block A. I know stuff happens but what are all those security guards doing about this?

After that they also selected several new committee members for the resident's association. I was elected as head of the fifth floor at random. Wow, now I'm head of something.

15 June 2010

While sorting through my emails this morning, I received one from the UiTM Academics department. It was my exam result! I don't remember they ever doing this, sending exam results to students but it is pretty impressive considering their student portal website is almost always down this time of the year.

So how did I fair? As you can see below I did quite well this semester, even better than the last. Principles of Management was never easy and I think my average mark for my assignment affected the final score. Next time remember to do it with the top student in class (that's you Mrs Rock!). Islamic Civilization was quite tough but I got an A as well for that. As usual, thank you everyone for your help, my family, friends, lecturer, employee who gave me that 3 days leave to take these exams. Well, this is just the 2nd semester and we still have 6 more to go. Long way to go and I must continuously improve my results. You know I won't post them here if they were bad right? :)

All this week I'll be working at a client's office in Subang, replacing my colleague who is taking some time off this school holiday to be with his family. Is it just my feelings or does everybody have like 30 days off a year? Cause everybody seemed to take leaves every other week (not counting M.C and E.L). After my sister's wedding, Hari Raya and next semester's exams I will have like -2 days left of annual leave. Sigh.

13 June 2010

My initial plan is to set off early for KL, arrive early there and have the evening off to rest and recover. But then you know how it is with women and children. We only left Tanah Merah around 12:30 in the afternoon. Add that with 4 stops and some traffic jam, we didn't get home until 12 hours later. School holiday or not, the highway will always be jammed with traffic especially when entering the city. Lucky for me I took the Sertik-Mempaga alternative route to the Karak Highway which is void of traffic but super-creepy and lonely at night. You don't want to drive alone down that road. At least we arrived safe and sound.

Hey what do you know, the World Cup is here! It's been here since last Thursday but I didn't catch much of it because I was pretty much occupied with Izni's wedding. Plus we didn't have the sports package back home. I'd like to say I don't have favourites but then I would be lying. Spain then England for me. I am also rooting for the underdogs as always. So Korea (north & south), Japan and USA all the way! Argh those vuvuzelas is driving me nuts. They should ban them from the stadium.

12 June 2010

Have I told you that my camera, that cheap digital 7 Mega pixel Kodak camera is broken? I can not turn off the camera. The only way to turn it off is to wait 1 minute for the lens to come in and pull out the battery. So you can imagine how short the battery life is with this camera now. And I won't bother to get it fix cause I imagine the cost would be more than 200 ringgit when I bought the camera online for mere RM250 some 2 years ago.

At my sister's wedding yesterday, I managed to snap a few dozen pictures before the battery completely dried out. Then I can only take pictures with my phone's camera which is obviously not as good as quality as the digital camera. Unless some kind soul out there is nice enough to buy me a new one, it would be some time before I get a new camera, sigh. Till then, camera phone it is.

Today we returned home to Tanah Merah and got news that my mother-in-law's sister, her son died. You can read all about it here. It's all over the papers. Rumours has it that the deceased has had some mental depression and he probably jumped into the well by himself. But then nobody saw it happen so you can never be sure. Anyway we visited her house today in Kemubu, Kota Bharu to read some prayers and offer our condolences. May his soul rest in peace.

11 June 2010

Today is the reception ceremony at the groom's place in Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu. Although my digital camera is broken, I did took a lot of pictures with my phone's camera. But somehow when I synced it to iTunes, it magically removed the camera app along with all the pictures inside. That's what you get for downloading pirated apps. Instant karma! So no pictures in this post.

Izzat's family is really nice, friendly and warm. We were greeted with some fireworks display that evening. His father, the retired army Major was especially nice. You can find him chatting away with my Dad all evening.

10 June 2010

My little sister Izni got married today. About time too, she's 27 this year if I'm not mistaken. All of my family member is in town for the big day, Lina & family and also Faiz with his recently wedded wife. Uncle Dib and Uncle Din had to spend the night at Aunty Yati's place because our house can not possible fit all of us together.

My Dad is here too of course. After all he is going to be the wali (marriage guardian) for Izni. I wish he had worn something more proper than that blue denim shirt. A baju melayu would be fine. Then again I too wore a green t-shirt. Anyway during the formal lunch, my Dad and Mom didn't sit together at the table with the bride and groom. They have this long and complicated history between them and until today they can't see eye too eye. Well I think my Dad is pretty cool with everybody, it's just my Mom. She rarely forget things, especially those which hurts her the most. But now that all of my siblings are married, they have no reason to see each other ever again after this. I hope that is not the case. Although separated and well apart, we are still family.

But today is about Izni and her new husband. I don't know him that well, nobody in my family does but I hope he would be the man to take care of my sister well and make her happy for the rest of their lives together. Only time will tell.

9 June 2010

Today is the first day of my 3 days off from work. As much as I would like to rest at home, I have a wedding to attend to some 500 KM away. Although some people might find it strange to have weddings on a Thursday, it is not really that uncommon actually. It is now the school holidays and my sister and her future spouse must have some really good reason to hold it that day.

Anyway first we went straight to Kota Bharu to visit my father-in-law who's about to have a minor surgery to remove something in his bladder. They told him to fast before the surgery and then kept postponing the procedure until about 30 hours later. Imagine his hunger and pain. That is what you can expect from government hospitals.

5 June 2010

A few weeks ago my brother-in-law registered for his foundation program at International Islamic University (UIA) in Petaling Jaya. Today we visited him there. The entire campus was small and packed right in the middle of bustling section 13 PJ.

Actually he received 2 offers to further his studies. One from there and another for a matriculation course in Kuantan. I advised him to take the matrix course but somehow he chose to go here. In UIA, you'll have to be really good in English and Arabic which I doubt not many people do. Plus if you do not perform well in the initial test, you'll be there a year or two longer than your matriculation student counterpart who will only spend a year there. Besides, I don't think it matters anyway in the end which university you graduate from, as long as you have a degree to show for.

That said, I hope he can prove me wrong and do well there in UIA. Good luck to you.

4 June 2010

Once upon a time, I got bonus from my company and treated myself with a huge desktop table. That was before when I placed all my computers and stuff in our living room. But now here in Casa Riana my wife explicitly prohibited me from putting anything in the living room so I had to move them here instead in our bedroom.

I traded the huge table for this smaller one so that it can fit into our small bedroom. Small as it is, at least I got an outside view of the hills. No this hills don't have eyes and it is actually quite beautiful. I can't wait to start studying already!

3 June 2010

Did you know that you can listen to hundreds of Internet radio stations from all over the world through iTunes? How come I never knew that before?

I love these online stations especially the Bossanova and Classic ones. No need to download mp3s anymore. Just switch on iTunes.

2 June 2010

Check out our new IKEA Mawas Mavas entertainment center rack. We bought it from IKEA for RM369 and took it home the same day with our trusted Proton Savvy. Believe it or not but it actually fits that tiny car! That's the wonder of IKEA flat packs.

Assembling this thing is a real pain in the a** though. It required 26 steps of aligning, screwing, hammering and jumping through hoops. In comparison, the cheap Flarke computer table took 9 steps and our previous IKEA bed frame took 19 steps. But even if I didn't worked at IKEA for 1 1/2 years before, I still think I can manage to assemble this just fine.

That little PC down there is my very own HTPC (Home Theatre PC) running Geexbox. Sadly it cannot support XBMC or Boxee or else it'll be awesome. Still a lot of space to fill.

Alterchart m#19

01 Pelita - A.P.I

02 Muda - Hujan

03 Daus - Kenapa

04 Dan bila esok - Sofaz

05 Ku bukan aku - Tilu

06 Pemuja dari jauh - Ruffedge

07 Cuba lagi - Malique

08 Tinggal kenangan - Saleem

09 Doktor pakar cinta - Yusry

10 Yang - Wali Band

1 June 2010

When it comes to eating out near Casa Riana, you have several places to go. First there's this mamak restaurant called Restoran Malik Makmur. The food there is so so but it is also rather expensive. Then there is Makan-Makan at the opposite end of the shop lots which is open 24 hours and with even more expensive but average food. I had a fried rice once for 5 bucks. Next we have Firzana's Kitchen which part of the Firzana kindergarten, nursery and logistic franchise. This restaurant looked so high class and well decorated we felt intimidated to even go anywhere near.

Which brings us to d'Puncak Selera, a simple restaurant with an array of mouth-watering cuisines and inexpensive menus. We had breakfast and lunch there once and they were simply delightful. I'd recommend this place for everyone who lives in the vicinity. It's just 10 minutes walk from where I live and you won't miss it if you drive through Puncak Jalil regularly.

31 May 2010

I broght my kids to the swimming pool today. Adam has been there before with his uncles on the very first day but it was Mia's first experience inside one.

Obviously they had loads of fun. Most of the time the pool is filled with kids and teenages of all ages. Grown-ups like me, we wait until it's late in the evening or very early in the morning to dip in. That said you need to keep a close watch on the little ones.

29 May 2010

Friday was Wesak day and a public holiday here in Selangor and some other parts of Malaysia. I took this opportunity to wash my car for the last time at Taman Universiti. Living in an apartment, I don't know when I'll get to wash the car for free next.

Two days is definitely not enough to pack all our stuff. Although we've been steadily sending a lot of our stuff there all through the month, we still find there's a lot of things yet to be packed. The movers came around 10:30 AM while we're still busy packing stuff. There were altogether 3 of them with one 5 tonne lorry. Lucky for us since it's a huge lorry, we loaded most of our stuff in on the lorry for a one trip journey. Apart from them, my 2 brother in laws also dropped by to help. We finished the entire exercise about 3 hours later. As of tonight we are still unpacking and organizing our stuff at the new place. I think it might as well take a week before we are trully settled here.

Needless to say we're all so tired. Our 2 year old Mia was really stressed with everything, getting in everybody's way and knocking into stuff.

22 May 2010

As with every new home, one has to install lamps and fans and fix up wiring and stuff. Some of my neighbours here renovated their entire house especially the kitchen. Us, we'd start with some basic lights and fans first. I asked a colleague of mine who happens to be a chargeman for help with the wiring. His price was RM1300 for the whole house. Wow, that was like my entire gross pay for last month. Honestly, we just wanna install some lights, fans and a few power points, not turn it into a mansion. Thanks but I think I'll pass.

Then my father-in-law who was in town offered to help with the wiring. People sleepy given pillow, I accepted his offer with open arms. So all last week we worked together day and night. I did most of the hard work like drilling and screwing with his instructions. He did all the wiring and stuff. Never knew drilling holes in the wall is one heck of a job. After drilling like 3 dozens holes my hands and feet were all numb and there's a loud ringing in my ears for hours. No wonder people pay others to do this kind of stuff.

Anyway everything is almost finished now. We'll be moving in next Saturday.