Thursday, May 29, 2008

When the going gets tough..

This thug meant serious business
He has no respect for people and even wanted to clobber the female photog

I've been lugging the camera as a means to earn my daily bread for 17 years. The first five years was intense. Not as I would imagine these days with the turn of events and our political climate. Yesterday, I got news that a few Chinese Daily photogs were walloped by thugs at the Mahkota Cheras - Cheras-Kajang highway intersection.

In my humble opinion - violence begets violence. You reap the seeds you sow. But with the pressure to get the most out of a situation at conflict areas, I feel bad for the front-liners like photogs who usually take the shelling first. See the pix and you'll know what I mean..

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ika sashimi and okizuke at Ryota's

Ika sashimi

Wah! Another week bites the dust! Michelle and I including Eddie and family were at Ryota Hazishume's joint last weekend to savour our freshly-landed ika (squid) and his special recipe preserved squid in sake, shoyu and mirin.

The sashimi was awesome and from a rating of 1 - 10, I'd give it a full 10! Not only its sweet, the squid flesh was also very crunchy! Now, the okizuke was something else! Its a different animal! With a squeeze of lime, it tasted good and with all good things said and done, I am actually planning another squid trip in mid-June to complete my sashimi and squid experience..

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This Cold Steal..

I don't think highly of Cold Steal knives. But this one, priced below USD$30, kinda attracted my attention. With its built and finish, I think its gonna be one helluva field knife..

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Strider AR 15th Anniversary model..

Fuah! I am as happy as a clam this morning! After three months of waiting and accumulating my money to pay my dealer, I finally got to own my 15th Anniversary Strider AR! Its a whole lot lighter than the original AR.

Opening is smooth and the lock up is solid! What I like, is the grooved Carbon-Fibre scales. You won't find this on any other production models in Strider knive's stable. At a price of USD$400.00 a pop, I'd say that its my money well-spent!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Slow start for the squid season..

Ryota-san with his first haul
I landed this table sized squid after an hour of jigging
Eddie and his first catch
Yanai worked overtime for his sashimi haul

Ahhhh!!! I got back from Kemaman, Terengganu yesterday evening. Had a decent haul, not as much squid as I would've expected. Anyways, they guys have had some real fun and I must say that sea conditions were a tad too rough to do any serious jigging. The boat was yawing and rolling which made it rather hard to get a good footing. I was knocked out towards the later part of the day and caught up with some jigging again the following morning. On the whole, we did quite allright and will be back on June 14 for a follow-up trip..

Friday, May 16, 2008

This is it!

One year of waiting, finally, tonight is the night! I am going squid-jigging with Eddie 'nice guy' Chua, Ryota Hazishume and Yanai Toshiyuki in Kemaman, Terengganu. Hopefully, the Gods will be smiling at us...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pistols with polymer grips..

A 'blast' from the past - Steyr M
Firing a Glock-19

I first shot a Steyr-M some years back. It was a sucky pistol. With form and practise, I wonder if the cops, who got theirs as standard issue - can hit anything within 10 metres?

Then came the Glocks. I must say that they are suweet and accurate straight out of the box!

Strider AR : 5years:3months:24days

The AR and some of my daily carry items
There's plenty of meat and belly on this knife!
When it comes to tough - this is it!

I blew about RM1,650 for the meanest, most badassed folding knife ever made! And I recall contacting Matt Donohue through the USN and made a deal to get the knife sent over from Virginia (Matt is an authorised dealer). Well, first, one might ask : "What is a Strider?". Now, that's really interesting. Cos some years back, I wasn't into high-end handmade knives. And a Strider in that case, was handmake and the trademark is the namesake of Mick Strider and Striderknives which is based in California.

My first brush with the Striderguys was in New York. I musta walked past their table a coupla times without taking a second look. And sometime back in late 2001, a visitor came from Hong Kong. He brought some knives and one of the very rare sight, was a Strider GB tanto folder. I am no fan of tantos, but if you give me a spearpoint knife, I'll be as happy as a clam!

So, after deliberating for a year, I decided to take the plunge. Scored my first custom folder from Matt D and was again - as happy as a clam! Years later, I set on a quest to acquire a hollow-ground AR (spearpoint Strider folder) and managed to secure on from a good friend Bobby G. It was the pinnacle of my AR quest and it landed on my lap about one week later after I settled the payment in full. I couldn't have asked for more! Its built like a tank and took plenty of beating in the field..

M-Frame.. No, not Oakleys..

Size does MATTER!
This baby is suweet!

Aaaahh.. A blast from the past! I remember firing my first .44 magnum from a S&W M-Frame. It was suweet!!! Kicks like a horse and has the stopping power. You don't see too many of these babies around!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Burger Wars

Chilli, fries and the burger - all RM14.50
The chilli was yummy minus them crackers that Wendy's used to give out
I think the burger buns are the winner.. The best so far!

I vaguely recall chilling out at Wendy's burger in Sungai Wang Plaza in the mid-80s. What I would deem as the best days of my life. The salad and chilli was my favourite and back then, it won't cost you your left kidney to have a decent meal there. Then things took a turn in the late 80s, which spelt the demise of the Wendy's chain starting from the closure of its first outlet in Sungai Wang Plaza. Like Popeye's fried chicken, Long John Silver, White Castle and Burger King - They vanished when the country's economy went South in the 86. Not until recently, Wendy's resurfaced with an outlet in Sunway Pyramid.

I was there to catch 'Iron Man' and kinda planned my lunch at the outlet. Ordered a burger and a bowl of chilli. Inclusive of the set meal that came with french fries and a regular cup of Coke. I accidentally spilled it and it was embarassing. Immediately after I left, the worker rushed to clean up the mess. I guess that'll me my last visit. At least till they have forgotten about the spilt Coke. I bet the roaches will love it..

My New Balance 901

I had Saturday off and one of the many places that I checked out, was the New Balance sports shoes outlet at Sunway Pyramid. Saw one particular shoe that caught my fancy - the model 901 walking shoe.

New Balance was my natural pick since I wore them in my late teens. They are comfortable and offered 4E width on top of its good sizing. I found their prices to be very decent and the shoes durable. Its a whole lot better than Nikes, Puma and Adidas - All whom I found problematic when it comes to fitting.

As for the NB 901, its promotional pricing was reasonable at RM199 a pop. I immediately took a liking at the design and it kinda reminded me of my Red Wings that I had for years. I replaced the shoes with a pair of Rockport which I bought at a super bargain price. Its wide and has plenty of cushioning - making it very comfortable for daily wear and extended hours too.

I had nothing bad to say about the NB 901, the only beef I had, was the 2E width. I would have been superb if it was a 4E which means comfort ALL day long! So, tomorrow is a day for full field trials. I think this shoe, although 2E, will pass with flying colours..

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Eagle ROCKS!

The Eagle Tactical Courier Bag
Its roomy interior is a plus factor for lugging my gear around
I love the size!

Just picked up my Eagle industries Tactical Courier bag yesterday and man, its simply AWESOME!!! I waited about six monts for this and every second, minute, hour and day was worth it...

One more week to go!

I reconnected with squid jigging in May last year
My largest haul - an Egi
This trip inspired me to do a coupla follow-ups in 2007

Fuahhhhhh!!! I cannot imagine.. Been a year since my last squid jigging trip and this time round, I am set to go with my new team. Two Japanese buddies, and Eddie the old hand.

My jigs are all ready and well, with so little cash on hand, I am actually considering a new ABU baitcasting reel for the special squid rod I commissioned from custom maker earlier. He still owed me an order and well, been almost a year. Anyways, all good things said and done, I have to endure six more days before heading off to Kemaman! Yeahhhhooooo!!!!

Novatac 120-T

The HDS-42 basic and Novatac 120-T
This light is paired with my Boker CLB M-TYPE

Tactical flashlights just got better. I have been using the HDS-42 basic LED flashlight as everyday carry for the last three years. Never felt it needed replacement till one fateful day, it went diving onto the marble head-first. The coated glass lens was cracked and it had a bad ding on its crown.

I've been using tactical illuminators for a coupla years, had the Surefire L-1 as my favourite daily carry till I ordered the HDS-42 directly from a dealer in the US at USD$95 a piece inclusive of shipping. It was shipped here twice cos the light never reached here. Since I got it, it has seen plenty action in the jungle including overseas trips. I have yet to retire the light and am currently using it as a bedside light.

Now, the Novatac, a better evolved light arrived at my desk last week. I bought it from a Bro in the USN who shipped it over via Express mail. Was very impressed with the fit and finish including its performance. 120 lumens packs plenty of punch and when needed, it gave a three stage lighting capability. The light saw action today in the basement when a female colleague of mine had called for help. In short, I am very happy with the lil flashlight that sits in my pocket unobstrusively...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The jigfest begins..

I had a blast atthe jigfest last year!
Eddie with a double hook-up
Our haul
These criters are big and tasty
Our former boatman Pak Kamal who has since retired from the business..

Its May and oh yeah!!!! Squid season has arrived... I made plans to head off to Kemaman, Terengganu to try out some new lures given to me by Ryota Hazishume, a friend. This time, there will be four of us travelling from KL to TG for the jig fest. If things turned out well, we will hook-up for another session in June. I need to plan my off days in advance so that I could rig up the trip and coordinate the rv time with my boatman. Sadly, Pak Kamal, our regular had given up the business. Its all up to Pak Ibrahim who has his own boat at Kemaman to lead us out. Squid season begins in late April through July and peaks up in October. The best time to go is during full moon! I had at least three successful runs last year and hoped to make it up this time with proper planning

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Smithsonian Randall

This is one big mutha!
When it comes to Randall-made knives, their leather sheaths are second-to-none.

Okay, retards and name calling aside, a post on the USN by a friend Bill Yester kinda cheered me up. He has for sale, a coupla Randall-made knives. First on the block was a small knife which I was not really interested. Next, the Smithsonian Bowie. Now, this one got me creaming in my pants. Yeah, Kareeeeeeemmmm in my pants. You heard me! Its big and well, big! I don't think there are many made and the asking price of USD$650 (RM2,300) for this piece is not too much. After watching 'Seraphim Falls' last night, I kinda rekindled my love for the Bowie.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

One angry bugger!

I don't meet angry people everyday. Let alone, kids who watched too much movies. Here is a prime example of a response from an article which I wrote last week. BTW - I don't get that many fan mails, once a while, its fun and educational. Especially profane ones. Enjoy!

Dirk Kuyt
hide details
2:30 am (11 hours ago)


May 5, 2008 2:30 AM

Kehleng Mui Laksa Fun. --> That’s Racist!

To Sam Cheong, ‘Food Trail’ columnist for the star newspaper,

In your article titled, ‘Trailing the past’ that ran on page 22, starmetro, the star, Thursday, May 1, 2008… you stated in the second last paragraph of your article, ‘Kehleng Mui Laksa Fun’.

How the hell can such a thing be printed?!!!

Samo, understand that its not you that I’m directly furious at (though you should have had the brains not to promote a stall with such a racially insensitive name by WRITING ABOUT IT!). Rather, it’s the fucking racist swine stall owner that I’m incensed with.

The cheek of this inbred swine to use such a term! Is the fucking shit-for-brains stall owner just begging to be brutally (and most justly) savaged by a group of Indian youngbloods?!

I have a good mind to assemble such a warparty myself and hunt down this racist motherfucking pig personally!

And as for your moronic editor, he should have the godamm brains to catch such a massive fuck up like that. Does the moron of an editor realize that letting such a filthy, colonialist-era word like that slip in is tantamount to triggering a huge racial issue particularly after the whole hindraf fiasco. What is your retarded editor going to let slip next? Signboards for restaurants proclaiming, ‘Warung Melayu Babi Bodoh’ and ‘Restoran Cina Babi’?

Would your bloody editor dare let that be printed? Stupid brian martin! You’re not fit to be an editor.

You best warn that whoring, son of a prostitute who owns that stall to change the sign before its lodged permanently up his ass.

Phatman luk-luks...

There are at least 50 varieties of meat and seafood items in a single serving
Dunking your skewered meal in boiling hot water is the way to savour luk-luk
Mussels - my favourite
Pig's nose, ya got to love it!
The Fat Man Steamboat stall at Lorong Kenari in Pusat Bandar Puchong

If ya had no idea what I am talking about, let me share about luk-luks (skewered hot pot items). I grew up eating these snacks in Chow Kit and one my fondest memory, is a the 'Kum Seng' or Golden City theatre which is now Dynasty Hotel. There is a stall selling skewered goodies and the usual morsels that you will find on a batang lidi or palm stick, is the pig's liver, kidney, intestine, processed squid, meatballs, fishballs, kangkong leaves, shrimps, cockles, teochew wantan and the list goes on. Luk-luks as they were called, was a common feature in the 70s. Right through the ages, the snack survived and in the 90s, stalls selling this kind of food had slowly dwindled.

Just overnite, their numbers shranked. And the very few places that you could find them are at places like Pudu, Seri Petaling and Cheras. These operators are now mobile. They either sell it from a sidecar motorcycle or from a modified van. Now, as time progresses, came this 'Fat Man Steamboat' that you can see in housing areas. At Pusat Bandar Puchong, they are now a common sight and as a matter of fact, Fat Man did have a stall there. Now at Lorong Kenari 3, you will find at least four stalls selling the same thing at night.

So, what is my favourite? It has to be the artery clogging 'Chee Thau Phei' (pig's nose) that is still cheap as dirt. I mean, where on earth would you find a piece of pig's flesh skewered on a toothpick with a cucumber? Its 50 sen! Artery clogging it may seem and cholesterol inducing -- I simply love em! Its cheap and deadly to certain quarters. Anyways, my choices are : raw mussels, kangkong, processed squid (this one is a killah!), Teochew wantan and fish rolls and the all-time favourite 'Ngao Keok Pau' or duck' feet wrapped in pig's liver, char siew and duck's intestine! Woooohaaaahhhh!!! That's what I call REAL FOOD! So, that said, I leave you with this thought : "You are what you eat!"

Saturday, May 3, 2008

'Lorong Selamat' Char Koay Teow..

A zoomshot from my Nokia N82 of the couple at work
Kopi-O peng and a fresh plate of Char Koay Teow
It can't get any better than this generous serving at USJ 14

If you have been following my work, I did mention of an elderly couple who sells char koay teow at USJ 14. They run a small stall in a coffee-shop and had a very good run from 8am - 11:30am from Mondays to Saturdays. The name of the stall is 'Lorong Selamat' Char Koay Teow and some dude actually did some legwork to get the lowdown from the uncle who helps garnish the meals once his wife is done frying it.

On a scale from 1 - 10, I'd say this stall scores an easy 8. Its simple and has all the ingredients one would expect. What I marvelled the most, was the uncle's eye for detail. He garnishes the fried noodles with pork rind. Or in simple Cantonese : Chee Yau Char. (not chee yuk char). The noodles are not too oily, dry and salty. This couple got it right and a big plate of koay teow mee (my favourite) sets me off at RM4.50. As a matter of fact, they did brisk business on weekends and the waiting time is about 25 minutes. I was patient enough to wait for my turn and the eating part didn't take more than 5 minutes. But the time the last shred of noodles went into my mouth, it was a done deal. So, was it worth it? Absolutely!

Car battery blues..

Last night, my two-year-old car battery went dead. My fault cos I didn't top it up with battery water. was told that two years is about the max life cycle of a wet battery.

And there I was, in my long sleeve, a tie and sweating like a pig in the basement. I managed to get help and at the same time, got a colleague of mine to help jump-start the car. It was in the nick of time cos I had to attend a formal function and another colleague of mine was waiting for me to hand him the table ticket.

I made it in time to get the whole shenanigan done with and reached home past midnight...

Anyways, since the battery was as good as gone and the car is my only way of getting around, I was ready to pay at least RM220 for a new maintenance-free batt.
Went to a workshop in USJ 19 which is purty trustworthy in terms of service and pricing.

Found out that the wet batteries are sold at RM180 a pop, while the dry cell type has an asking price of RM200, which is about RM20 more. Jumped at the deal cos I don't want to go about the chore to top up the casing every three months. My usage is purty heavy because I have an in-car charger for my Nokia N82.
Anyways, I got the battery installed and the old one, well, truly bashed up piece traded-in at RM15 a piece. So, its RM15 off the retail price. Total spent – RM185. The least I can say is that I'll have two to three years of uninterrupted use of the batt before a replacement is in place...