26 February 2006

Another one bites the dust?

This weekend (actually, last night), I received some rather good news - one of my best friends (Jun Kit) is getting married at the end of this year with his long-time sweetheart (Mei Hoon).

With a couple of friends already married and a few more getting married this year, I'm really staring to feel kinda old...

Aaaanyway, we all headed to Bangsar for some drinks - to celebrate this joyous occasion.

I also brought along this Canon Powershot S80 that I'm testing. As it turns out, it's rather good at taking movies.

More to the point, I managed to capture this little gem of a conversation on video.



Click here to download "Jun Kit's Confession" - approx 7.7MB.


NOTE: The video has been reencoded into H.264, which requires Quicktime 7

Maybe I should go into indie filmmaking... -_-

25 February 2006

A sea of change?

While looking around the Nikon D70 Forums on dpreview, I came across this hilarious shot that was supposedly taken during the Winter Olympics (wonder why everyone's wearing shorts, then?):



From this image, you can sort of see the current trend in the professional DSLR market - a sea of Canon EOS 1D Mark II cameras, with a few Nikon D2X/D2H cameras littered around.

The reason for this, of course, is that Nikon currently doesn't have a very capable sports camera in its lineup. The D2H has amazing performance, but its 4.0-megapixel LBCAST JFET sensor doesn't provide enough resolution, while the D2X is really more of a studio camera (much like the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II).


Aaaaanyway, what I found rather silly is the over-ambitious idiot holding up a camera phone at the bottom of this picture. I'm sure he got some pretty good pictures... ^_^

Is this the beginning of a sea of change? Or is this guy simply lost at sea...?

21 February 2006

Day trip to Melaka...

I dread weekends.

I dread the fact that, unless I've properly planned out a weekend, I'd probably end up wasting it away by sleeping, playing videogames or seeing friends. Yes, I'm supposed to relax - but how could I, knowing that I really should be doing something useful.

Like finally cleaning my room. Like changing the water in the fish tank. Like delving more into my game programming hobby. Like...

...wait, this is starting to look like my New Year's Resolutions.

AAAanyway, last weekend was a little less mundane - after all, it's a trip to Melaka.

Now, I've been to Melaka many times before. As a tourist, going to all of the historical sites, museums and so on. And if there's one thing I've learnt from those previous trips, it's that all of the culture and history and Portugese stuff is really just an excuse for what most people really come to Melaka for:

To eat.

Which was exactly the plan was for the day. Which is why i found myself awake at about 6:30am, driving to Mel's house to pick her and a friend (Marilyn) up - so that we could arrive in Melaka just in time for breakfast (about 9am).



And we did (it was a one-and-a-half-hour-long drive). Along the way, we picked up another one of Mel's friends (Elaine, a native of Melaka), so she could bring us to all the nice restaurants.




    NOTE: It's always good to have friends from Melaka. Especially if you like to eat.




We had Bak Kut Teh. Mmmm.... Actually, it wasn't really all that fantastic - but it was nice.

After our meal, we had about a couple of hours to spare before thinking about lunch, so we walked down Jongker Walk (is that how you spell it?)


It's basically an overglorified faux-heritage site now - it's too touristy, with too many trendy restaurants and clothes shops.

But the good news is that it's also full of antique stores. I like antique stores, like this one:

It even had really old Nihon-tou (or Katanas/Japanese samurai swords) dating back to World War 2 - during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya.


Each of them are going for more than RM20,000, which is waaaaay to pricey for a rather dull Japanese sword. But, they've apparently been used before, which is kinda cool. And spooky... -_-

At about 12 noon, our breakfast had evaporated, and it was time for lunch. Good. We went to the famous Chicken Ball Rice stall - the dumpy-looking one that's nearest to the small bridge Melaka river. No, I can't remember what it's called, sadly.



Chicken Ball Rice ROCKS!!!

If you're not sure what a Chicken Rice Ball is, just imagine your standard chicken rice (with white chicken), but with the rice rolled up into balls. Yes, it's a cheap gimmick, but it works for me!

After lunch, we walked around for a bit - pretending to be Singaporean tourists. And after running out of things to do, we headed back to Elaine's house - it would be about 5 hours until dinner time. Boo.


And of all things, I learned to play Mah Jong! The beauty about Mah Jong is that it's not half as complex as it looks, and it's damn addictive. Well, it kept us occupied for 5 hours...



Yup, we had some Sweet Potato soup for tea. Which was a good thing since the Mah Jong pieces resemble Kuih Lapis (layered Malay cake), which was making me hungry, which was driving me insane.


And this is what it looks like from my side of the table (L-R: Marilyn, Mel and Elaine). Yum.


Next thing we knew, it was time for dinner - and off we went to the Satay Celup restaurant.



If you've not eaten Satay Celup before, it consists of two things - meat on a stick (anything from seafood to poultry and things that go "moo!") and a boiling hot vat of peanut curry sauce at the centre of the table. Just dip the stick into the curry until its impalee/stabbee/skewee (the meat) is sufficiently cooked.


Basically, it's best not to think about hygiene while you eat. The sauce in the pot is left over from the day before, by the way - they just top it up with more curry.

That's me holding up a plate of my favourite Satay Celup thingy: Cockles (aka kerang or see ham, depending on what language you speak). Yes, it's proabably really unhealty, but what the hell... It tastes absolutely fantastic. Oh, and that's Mel next to me.


God bless the Satay Celup store.



And that was it, my trip to Melaka. I'll probably go there again when I'm hungrier than usual.

16 February 2006

Book reviews: part 1

I did a little shopping a couple of weeks ago and ended up buying two funny books from Borders. Nothing serious, really - more like coffee table books. Anyway, here we go:



Eats, Shites and Leaves

Author: A. Parody
Price: RM39.30
A book by some fella called A. Parody (right...), it's basically a collection of bullet points - about crap English and examples of English going wrong. As well as just some interesting and not-so-interesting points about the correct use of English.

The problem with this book is, while it's quite funny and interesting in the beginning, it gets really repetitious. By the 100th page, you'll notice a trend in how the book (and humour) is structured.

After completing the book, I started thinking about various ways I could've spent my RM39.90 instead. It's not that bad, but neither is falling down the stairs...

And breaking your teeth...




The Idler book of CRAP HOLIDAYS

Edited by: Dan Kieran
Price: RM59.90
After going through the previous book, I was seriously worried that I had just thrown another 60 ringgit down the toilet.

The good news, though, is that CRAP HOLIDAYS isn't totally rubbish. In fact, I'd say that it does it's job as a coffee table book rather well.

It is a compilation of 50 horror stories from some western travellers (mostly British), as they set out for their dream vacations - only to end up living a nightmare.

Some of the stories are trully hilarious, although the majority are just bad (in a good sort of way, for the reader). There's quite a lot of variation in the stories - some are concise accounts while others are long-drawn epic disasters.

Apart from the horror stories, the book has some sections with some interesting facts too, like how a visit to the Galapagos Islands is in fact one of the most environmentally damaging things you could possibly do. (Which is a shame because I'd really like to go there some day...)

So yes, I kinda like this book. And yes, it's exactly the sort of book I'd want to read while waiting for my dentist to prepare his big, sharp pokey things... But is it worth almost 60 Malaysian Ringgits?

Erm... no.



==========================

Lessons in life: don't buy coffee table books - read them at other people's houses. Or at your dentist.

13 February 2006

Simply REPULSIVE!!!

Q: What's worse than having to wait in a jam for about 20 minutes?



A: Having to stare at THIS for about a couple of minutes.


Seriously, I don't think Motorola could've chosen a more repulsive face than this to market a new phone.

I mean, I don't mind if they'd gotten a seriously ugly girl (or dude), but the problem with this chick is that she looks like the sort of smart ass who'd go "Oh, the floor is wet, by the way..." AFTER you've gone flying across the pavement and into a busy street (with cars, bikes and shit).

And then, she'd shake her head and smile at you as if you're a dumbass who didn't take her 'advice'...

ROT IN HELL, YOU PIG-FACED ORANGUTAN!!!

Ah... I feel better now.

And seriously, did Motorola have to put her face there? Why not face the billboard the other direction - towards the forest and hills on the other side - just to piss off whatever forms of wildlife that still remain (Probably just a couple of monkeys. Or drug addicts).

02 February 2006

Singaporean joke...

Heard this joke recently:

    One day, an Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean were touring the Middle East when they were captured by Arab militants.

    The three of them were sentenced to 50 lashes for their 'crimes'.

    However, it was the militant leader's birthday and so he offered to grant each of them one wish.

    "I'll grant you anything, except for your freedom or exemption from whipping," said the leader.

    First up was the Indonesian. He looked around the room, and saw three pillows lying in the corner.

    "I wish to have a pillow tied to my back," he told the leader.

    And so, the militants tied a pillow to his back and proceeded to whip him. By the 25th stroke, the pillow disintegrated and the Indonesian was subjected to the full force of the remaining lashes.

    As they dragged the blood-stained Indonesian away, the Singaporean looked at the two remaining pillows, did a bit of mental calculations and said:

    "I wish to have TWO pillows tied to my back."

    And so, they tied two pillows to the Singaporean's back and proceeded to whip him. After 25 lashes, the first pillow broke off and on the 50th (and final) stroke, the second pillow fell to the ground.

    Having escaped brutal torture, the Singaporean smiled smugly at the Malaysian.

    "So, what do you wish for?" the leader asked the Malaysian.

    After thinking for a bit, he replied: "I'd like you to tie the Singaporean to my back."



^_^

01 February 2006

Mickey Mouse mathematics

Ok, here's the deal...



We went for karaoke last night at Red Box and each of us had to pay RM50 for some sort of membership card so that we wouldn't have to pay money at the end of the day or something like that (not really sure how these Cina companies work - seem like they're always ripping you off whilst making it seem as if you're getting a good deal).

Anyway, all of us paid for our own membership fee, except Adrian who got Alex to pay for his too.

Just FYI, the other ppl there were me, Jun Kit, Hanif and Rose.

At the end of the karaoke session, all of us had to settle a bill of about RM50 (total, not individually). Adrian paid the bill.

And by Alex's logic, everything was already settled since Adrian had already paid him back.


???

Seems to make sense, but I know it doesn't! If Adrian paid Alex back, how did our RM50 bill magically pay for itself???

GAAAH!!!! Can't figure it out. My poor brain... :(