Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nokia N82 fun!

The N82
Me and Wireless Adventure II team mate Sadat Foster
My Grinchskies
Hakka noodles
Sir Naughty in a pensive mood

Picked up my first Nokia cellphone earlier this month. Wasn't a big fan of Nokia and I must say that the first phone I purchased for my wife really SUCKED! Anyways, it was a controversial thing with the PR company who handled 'media' sales of the cellphone. They offered only a few and asked media folks to sign up for it. No assurance of getting the deal even though one would actually pay for it. And best of all, the discounts SUCKED. I made a note on this in my gadget review column and got sodomized by the firm for telling my story. To sum it up, I stayed away for a long, long time. Personally speaking, the Sony Ericsson phones are much better. But they are simply overpriced. So, I settled for the cheappie Motorolas and used three in a period of two years. That's cheap for you.

So, enter the Nokia N82. I was sent to cover the Nokia Wireless Adventure II : Soul of the night race. Well, since it was a job, I had to do what I had to do. Purely a professional thing. There were eight teams and each participant was given a cellphone. Yes. You've heard me. So, there was a contract and best of all, everyone's a winner. That said, I got my first Nokia. And no, I wouldn't pay for it cos it was simply too pricey for 'just a phone'.

Anyways, what's so good about this 'multimedia computer' as the technogeek would put it.. For starters, its got a built-in 5MP camera. Carl Ziess lens punya! I have got no faith in these little buggers cos they are inferior compared to a real digital camera. So, I tried snapping some shots. Actually, not bad. Resolution wise, its purty decent. And since its sensor is up to 5 Megapixels, there plenty you can do with it. The only nemesis for the N82 is a Sony Ericsson. Frankly, I'd love to sink my claws on the K-850i. But it was too pricey. And I believe its much cheaper now. And outdated. On the whole, the image quality can really fool a non-photo saavy person.

Next, its got a built-in Global Positioning System. Cool but I don't think I'll ever get to fully utilise it. Nice mapping software, solid graphics and purty accurate with the A-GPS thingie that uses radio frequency to triangulate your location.

Its 3.5G ready. I got a Celcom Prepaid 3G account. So, its matching lah! But I don't think I would ever utilise this function. Better get the laptop to surf the net. If the N82 can be used to push Emails, all the better...

There are other functions on this phone that you won't get on a cheappie RM300 Motorola. So, I'd say that all the running around to get news as well as being a full-fledged participant in the Wireless Adventure II race actually paid off!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Back to El Caruncho...

Ugh! Four days of freedom over. I started work on Sunday which was a very relaxed weekend.. Got loads of pages to fill and the state stories are not coming at all. I've called them and slow-talked a bit to get things going, so, hopefully, things will look up. Down to my last RM40 for the rest of the month.. It SUCKS!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Forum Knives 2008..

Both are framelock folding knives
Fuahhh! I am very happy to deliver this project..

I picked up a batch of 26 knives - M-TYPE and HYPER from my engraver yesterday noon and I am happy to report that they are looking good! For RM195 and RM170 a piece -- one cannot complain about the fit, finish and quality of the M-TYPE.

Guess who's coming to dinner?

My cellphone screamed this morning and the message read : "dinner with Mr and Mrs _ _ _ , please call Alan for confirmation and venue." I was barely awake and thought to myself : "Ummggghh.. Not worth my time." Then, got my shuteye for a coupla hours before heading off to collect the Forum knives from my engraver.

Do I miss having dinner with my former peers? Nope. Neither did I felt being left out with their guest from Australia. I'd probably be asked to pay my share for food I don't like in a shitty place. Good money shouldn't be wasted on people who are not worth my time.

So, I took out the left overs, warmed up the vege curry, stir-fried some cabbages, okras with my Thai turbo chillies and grilled some Ramly beef hotdogs. Time well spent with the wife. I must admit, my circle of friends had shrunked. Some people, I have written off. For good. Others, I keep dearly and close. With the exception of few, most of my ex-school mates have became materialistic and oppulent in their ways of spending. I for one, was particularly unfavourable of a company that discriminates and constantly insist that they are right. They can take their inner-circle thing and shove it up their ass.. No love lost..

Lunch with my aunt..

Peter's place
The price list
Lunch crowd - that fatass with the striped shirt used to ran a fruit business back at Jalan Haji Hussein. He's got only one eye.
Choy sum with oyster sauce
Curry fish head with extra shrimps and squid

Went back to Setapak yesterday to do the usual thing on my off days. Took my aunt out for lunch at 'Peter's curry fish head' at Taman Furlong. As usual, the place is packed with people.

Saw some folks who used to run a fruit business back at the Jalan Haji Hussein wet market. Snobs. Not worth my time. Anyways, coming down to the crunch, we had a small serving with additional shrimps and squid. The gravy was a little bit salty for my taste but nevertheless, the portions were adequate. We also had the blanched veges so, everything came up to RM41.25. Its purty standard considering the fact that Peter's place needs no introduction...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Scraping the bottom of the barrel...

Wah! I have to do my part for the family. Visit my auntie and drop some cash off for my old man. And the cash till is not looking that healthy... Another six days or more before the next paycheck comes and man, its really like skimming on thin ice!

I'll have to catch up with some buddies later in the evening and follow up on some matters. Again, the need to spend $$$! The going is tough.. Hopefully, my situation will improve by next week..

My day off..

Tropical Equipment guys Kelvin and David
Benchmade knives Lydia showing off the Ti-Pika
Everybody loves H&K
Walther's High tech semiauto pistols
Robin and Jason from Sheares

Four days actually! Yeeeeeehaawwwww!!! My mind had gone to mush handling the Metro Southeast pages. And best of all, I learned that everything I know in the business can be thrown out the window. Again, humility rulz! I mean, I can write without giving the person who is going to clear my copy much pain. But when it comes to clearing other people's work, that's something else. You are dealing with a different kind of animal. My mastery of the English Language, grammar and re-writing abilities were put to test with copies coming from the Southern and East Coast states. Never did I expect such bad copies even after they were cleared by the respective bureau chiefs.

Tension ran high cos I came in without much preparation. The first few days, I got some shelling from an old hand on the desk. Seems that he likes gurls and praised one or two reporters from the stateside. And I must say that the guy in question ; is a good teacher. He gets grumpy and shows his emotions easily. But hey, when you are running out of time, shit happens. Took me a while to realise that I've got to get into his 'rythm' of doing things and when it works to his advantage, its smooth sailing all the way. Again - humility is observed..

So, after slogging for nine days, I finally got my days off.. So, the first thing I did, was to hook up with some old friends at the DSA 2008 show. I wanted to do a story on the what's new part. But when I got there, I'd simply lost focus. Saw Kelvin Yong and my old friend David Lim at the Halls, caught up with them and chatted with the Benchmade knives reps at the US pavilion. It was great. Then, I took off to get my Forum knife project going. The knives are at the mercy of my engravers now.. Anyways, three more days of rest before I head back to the crunch. At least now I know what to do...

Battling the bulge..

This sandwich and coffee combo cost me RM15! Ugh!
Char siew for the soul
Tofu glorious tofu and uric acid too!

Okay, I must confess. I am a fat guy. Cannot deny the fact that my face looked like a balloon. Why? Meat, fat, more meat and fat food. Fried chicken, beer, meat, siew yuk, char siew, fatty stuffs, burger and bla, bla, bla.

I musta put on at least 30kgs with all that food. Seems like my stomach has a bottomless pit. So, what do I do? I started by replacing the usually heavy rice lunches. Anyways, at the new workplace, a plate of chap fan is about RM7. It sucks! Occassionally, I go to a cafe opposite Menara Star that serves a decent fare of fried rice. Also very affordable compared to all the sucky chap fan stall around.

Now, its sandwiches. Yes. I make them instead of going to Jaya 33's Subway. Its cheaper and you have control over your food. Thinking of narrowing down only to veges. Tactically speaking, I am able to reduce one or two kgs. The toughest part is abstaining from alcohol. My doctor said if I lose a few kgs, it'll also do good for the blood pressure. Now, I am depleted of my medication which I have became dependant on for the past 6 years. Time to replenish and the present health plan SUCKS!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Furminator is here...

Oh yeah! I have been struggling with my kid's fur shedding and its driving my wifey bonkers! Ordinary wire brush don't do much and since my friend Nadia Halim offered to organise a purchase from Singapore, I immediately took the dive. Hopefully, it will yield some results when I pick it up from Husky Club prez Deby Chor!

Monday, April 21, 2008


The mouse that roars: CLB designs HYPER
This folding knife is new to the region and made its debut at the SHOT show in Vegas earlier this year

Yeeeeehaaaawwww!!!! After three months of waiting, the final batch of Malaysia Knife Forum knives are finally here. I picked up 11 pieces this afternoon and man, they are really IMPRESSIVE! So, the next itinerary, is to send them to my engraver for the lazer engraving process..

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Murphy's Law...

Expect the unexpected and when something goes wrong, it's all the way brother! I went in search of a new wash basin that my wife broke. It couldn't have happened on a better time. So, I found one and paid RM78. Well, guess what? It couldn't fit! The new bowl had to be retrofitted by Maniam, our regular contractor had fixed it for RM90. His gain, our loss.

I also went out in search of a new hot water shower for the guest bathroom and fuah!! Them prices are rediculous.. I mean, who would expect to pay RM600 for a brand new shower that came equipped with a pump? The search led me to Putra Heights and Shah Alam.

Yesterday morning, our main fridge had gone kaputt! Whaddaya know? It was evaporating like hell cos I didn't close it the previous night. Michelle had to empty the fridge and transfer all the perishables to our mini fridge and restart it again. Thankfully, the machine was able to function, allaying our fear that its not salvageable.. Otherwise, more $$$ down the gutter..

The dead pup..

I read this thread by Swang, a member of the Husky Club about a dead Husky pup at the NKVE highway, near the shell station layby. What the hell? How on earth did the puppy got there? Highways are no place for dogs. Just any dogs.

Similarly, I watched as the life of a puppy was snatched right before my eyes. It was knocked down near my house when I was going to work. The dog's carcass had spun a few rounds after a Perodua Kembara had hit it. End of the story. Other than that, I've encountered countless of roadkills while I slave through the heavy traffic to work.

Its sad to lose a pup especially if its your pet.

Don't worry...

Ah, that Bob Marley song! Just finished watching : "The Pursuit of happiness" over ASTRO and oh man! What a movie! Wanted to catch it on the big screen but I kinda gave it a miss...

And that Will Smith, boy can he act! I think not many people can relate to a feel good story like the character he portrayed and I know what it feels like being down and out. The least I can say is that if you can embrace humility, the only way is up...

On a similar trait, I am going through my second month review at the new workplace. And boy! What a tough week! Think its going to crank up really tight as my boss prepares his set of review papers next week.. Don't really know how much I scored cos the earlier one was about 51/70. I'd say that expectations are high.

Today alone, my patience and skills were tested. One virtue after another. Being sloppy on the job has a cascading effect. I was challenged on my decision to use file photos. My stand was firm. I told the support guy that if anything goes wrong, its my call. I've made misakes and I've lived up to it. Similarly, it happened 17 years ago. Made the call, paid the price. It was senseless at it seems, but was a hell of a learning time. I feel the pain of Chris Gardner whom Will Smith had portrayed in the flick I saw earlier.

Lighthing striking twice? I don't know.. Simply because I felt that I had a long way to go. All of the sudden, I felt that what I have learned and gone through was just a small speck in the ocean. After being insulted earlier at the workplace, I took it cool. One thing at at time. Its all I have and to win, patience is the virtue. The man can say whatever he wants, even bitch about it. I have a job to do and it'll be done in my best interest. If I face the fire, I'd take it like a man. No two ways about it.

So, that said, its one more month to go. Before May 18 -- the deciding day. I don't know if I'll make it, but I surely tried...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Strider MT

MTs past and presentMT-L, MT and MT-MOD10
Solid overall and a performer!
Early knives bear the Bos stamp
The jump sheaths are cool!

It musta been like six years or more since I last took out my large blade and gave it a good knocking. I remember oogling at one when I was living in Setapak with a 14.4kbs dial-up. Strider knives at the time, were crude and not known in this region. I was, at the time, purty fixated on building my understanding on production knives, hence the massive stash of Spyderco folding and fixed blade knives.

When I cruised the Strider table at the NYCKS back in late 2000, I hardly gave them a second look. Now, that changed when I scored my first folding Strider, an AR. After giving it much thought, it was back in 2002 when I purchased my first knife. I paid about RM1,400 for the piece. Later, I acquired the MT-L (large blade) from a guy called Barry Cole in Bangkok followed by the smaller MT-MOD 10 which is purty nippy. Lastly, the regular sized MT joined the fray.

When I switched jobs, I needed cash, so the MT-MOD 10 had to go. It went to a very good friend in Brunei.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Knife Forum projects : Year III

This year's Forum Tee Shirt project was a blast!
Year One : the Boker SUBCOM was in honour of our very own Chad Los Banos

Fuah! Its coming to three years already! I formed the Malaysia Knife Forums when I found that the present facility owned by the New Straits Times was not the right place to discuss about knives and such. That was history. No point harping over it.

In June 2006, my efforts began to bear fruit with members from the Bladeforums.com slowly filling up the gap. As a matter of fact, I have to cull many inactive and dubious account including the sacking of two members for misconduct.

I started the first forum project by getting some help from my buddy Chad Los Banos to use his 'SUBCOM' folding knife as the first forum project. It bore fruit when I delivered 24 pieces without a hitch. Then came the 2007 anniversary and forum knives. Members have also increased as well orders outside Peninsular Malaysia. And the orders were running well over 30 knives for both projects.

This year, I took an order of 28 knives for the 2008 project. Funny how it seems that one of the forums mods had brought up the subject matter of profiteering. I opened it for discussion on the forums and well, was surprised to find that none of the members had come forth to explain the situation fearing reprisal..

With all good things said and done, I am looking forward to close this year's project with delivery of the CLB Boker M-TYPE and HYPER which was chosen by me to represent the Malaysia Knife Forums.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The kidz are not eating..

My lil gurl can be wierd at times
This shot was taken when she was about 10 months old
She's very naughty!
A recent shot of Queenie

Aiya! My gurl has developed a liking for roaches, snails, lizards and bugs. She's been skipping her meals and the spine area on her back has protruded.. Unlike Sir Naughty, Queenie is really independant.. To coax her, I add some wholemeal bread onto the kibbles and it works! Nowadays, she's also very sticky. Nudging her muzzle at us, Michelle my boss has grown very fond of her despite the dog destroying all her plants and pots at our garden...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I dream of Greenies...

The Millie
Endura 4 FG G10

Yeah, yeah, yeah.. Procastination SUCKS! I've been drooling and oogling over Spyderco's new CPM-D2 Millie and their new Endura 4 foliage green G-10 handled knives.. Should be able to score them in a coupla months time with the funds coming in.. *heh-heh!*

Some shots of my new G9

My spanking new pocket camera
same old dial which I am used to..
The auto ISO feature is awesome lah!
Three inches of terror!

I had some time to toy around with the G9. Simply amazing. Its got some new features not found on the G7 and I must say that the 'flash control' function is something that I am really fond of.. :D

Some shots with the refurbed G7

My favourite shot - Restoran Padang
Jalan Dang Wangi
Ummm.. Nasi padang
Jalan Dang Wangi zoom shot

I picked up my repaired G7 from Canon Malaysia. The chief techie was very nice. No charge. So, without much hesitation - I shot my 'Food Trail' column pix at Jalan Dang Wangi... After using my old Powershot S80, I was amazed with the G7's zoom lenses' focal length.. Simply incredible and responsive!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The G family portraite.. well, sort of..

My G7 which is now retired as a backup field tool
G-generation : G7, G1 and G3
Well, there ya have it. The congregation of G's. I'll miss the G3 which gave its life to other sick G3s out there. She will be cut up and salvaged for parts cos Japan could not supply any. Good bye G3, sayonara and have a good life. See you on the other side..