Monday, June 29, 2009

Booze, drugs and your neighbour

First, they came in small numbers. After years of being vacant, the house next door became inhabited by a bunch of people from East Malaysia.I spoke to one of them who told me that he was from Keningau, Sabah.Everything seemed allright till a month ago where I can hear a few guys and their women singing away from
midnight till early in the morning.I am a very patient guy and can take almost any kind of shit thrown at me.Lately, my neighbours have been acting out of line.They sang loudly and can be heard screaming.This morning, the line was drawn. One of the married man was restrained by a woman after he thrashed his
home.The ladies were screaming hysterically and crying. They spoke in Kadazan and some broken Malay and as I was leaving for work, I can see some really violent act
erupting as a result of booze and taking uppers all night long.When one of the ladies was grabbing to the guy, I can see that he don't have the guts to go all the way. Its all in
the eyes.Its just tough luck that my neighbourhood is surrounded with assholes. And at the mean time, I'll have to put up with the gong-banging singing shit from East Malaysian natives.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


'Taken' by Pierre Morel was my much-anticipated DVD release for the month.I picked up a copy and spent the entire Saturday evening watching it.Liam Neeson who played an US Government ex-operator in this flick was AWESOME!I love the simple storyline that shows that a father's love for his child knows no bounds.Throughout the flick, the action scenes were seamless. I love the part where the lead character tortured an
Albanian bad guy in the basement by sticking two nails in his thigh.Man, that was painful! What got me rewinding the DVD back and forth again was a scene where 'Brian' the character Neeson played
had put a few slugs into a pimp's body towards the end of the scene.The cinematography was awesome and what I love about this movie -- was its cool leading man who wasted no
time in culling the bad guys one-by-one.

Transformers: Revenge of the fallen

I was invited by an old friend to attend his son's company function on Friday night. It was a party to fete the business owner's clients plus a special screening session for Transformers: Revenge of
the fallen.After I was done with the PR and catching up, the movie was shown.Having seen the first instalment, I'd say that the second Transformers outing was kinda cool.I never like the franchise's cartoon series which debuted in the early 80s. But this live-action flick was so well-done, it got me coming back for more.Love the non-stop action flick and hilarious moments with John Torturro who reprised his role as a Section-7
agent Simmons.The Autobots of course, were awesome. My only beef with this flick is that the 'descendants' of the Cybertron
inhabitants looked like the Lego Bionicle robots. Especially the Primes who resembles the Makuta villian of Mata Nui. Otherwise, the action sequences were cool. Spare the storyline, Transformers: Revenge of the fallen would be a
revenue owner for Paramount Studios this year!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Parang and knife review..

A colleague of mine came up to me yesterday to ask about some rust proof knife.
He said it was written as a product review in Rod and Line magazine.
I knew that they had someone doing stories on knifemaking, parang know-how and knives.
So, out of curiosity, I picked a copy at MPH bookstore today. The knife section was in page 64.
Naturally, I skipped everything to catch a glimpse of what was the hottest topic in the mag.
And well, it was no surprise to see an old face and a name that I will never forget.
The guy had put on so much weight, he was hardly recognisable. Anway, it was a review on the Spyderco Pacific Salt.
Funny it seems because I may be wrong all this while about the knife. If I read it correctly, the writer described the Pacific Salt as a 'hybrid' knife.
It was an intensive review with plenty of pictures and technicalities. From a glimpse, this guy was not easy to please.
In relation to that, he has started making knives and a mutual friend who supplies steel and other knifemaking materials to him had mentioned about kydex sheath making and a sackload of stuff.
I can only wish him luck with the job. Seems that a niche has been carved.
Its never easy to write about knives. You have to gain plenty of knowledge on the subject that stretches from legality to metallurgy.
Funny thing was this, a couple of days ago, I received a call and was asked if I have any knives to dispose to a guy by the name of Lawrence Tan.
I've never met him nor have any previous dealings with the guy.
With the US trip looming, I thought I could earn some extra cash.
And boy, was I wrong. I called the go-between and asked if the guy is a user or collector.
"No lah, he just want to buy your knives and ask the maker to copy it."
I told him that I have an obligation to safeguard the intelllectual property of the maker who did my knives and said that the deal was off.
It was like selling out your soul to the devil. That said, the go-between too has been moved to my shit-list.
Seven years ago, the same guy who is know a knife columnist for Rod and Line had stiffed me by complaining to Spyderco about not getting any media support in Malaysia.
I made a decision to let the issue die by backing off which still haunts me till today.
As much as I enjoy collecting and using knives, my knowledge was gained from interacting with other people around the world on the topic.
Rod and Line is negligible because its a small market. Its just that I had a hunch that so much is wrong about the knife and parang page in this mag.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A good break..

Mrs Samo, me and Wei Loon, my colleague at a media appreciation night in the Tavern at Guinness Anchor Berhad's brewery recently

Nine days of break was over and it felt as if things just went off in a flash.
Now, back at work! I have nine more working days to cover before June ends and its looking good so far.
I've had a decent week off mostly rotting at home and getting some chores done and with the month of July looming ahead, its time to get my US Visa application done.
Hopefully, there won't be much hassles and if everything turns out well, Michelle and I would be on our way to Nevada and California in late August..

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beef Samonoff..

I tried a recipe given by my buddy Jake.
Its a soupy dish that requires some fresh meat, carrots, onions and potatoes. 
Way its done, its simple and tasty. But first, you'll have to get some good quality beef, which was a good excuse for me to clear up the freezer.
I sauteed the beef with the veges on a wok. Butter was added for its aromatic flavour and after stirring the mix for 10-minutes, I added some beef stock and let it simmer for 45-minutese under low heat.
And the results, a modified beef stroganoff - beef Samonoff. There a generous dash of sherry and plenty of onions - just the way I like it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Projek Direkt

Sometime back, I corresponded with knife designer Chad Los Banos about a knife project.
Basically, I was not happy with the 2009 forum knife project on the Malaysia Knife Forums.
A maker, who initially agreed with supplying the knives had backed out. As a contigency, I discussed with a member who is also a moderator on the forum to use a common and affordable folding knife to replace the custom order.
As a direct result, we came up with the Malaysia Knife Forums Spyderco Tenacious. It was aptly priced at RM170 a piece.
A local on-line retailer sells it at RM330. To the members, this is the benefit that they enjoy.
And like most earlier projects, I didn't have to to much. I was also accused of profiteering and running a monopoly on sales of the forum knives.
Since its a open economy, I invited others to take the challenge. Most of the folks only understood a part of the process which is pay.
To get something like this off the ground, its plenty of legwork, skills and knowledge.
And I do not charge anything for the work and the extra income that was generated from the sales covered my transportation to lazer engraver.
I have to taker orders, process them, remit payment to Chad and take risks.
This is what I do best and I get things done.
As for Projek Dirket, the results was a resounding success.
There are many things in store, but as I see it, it will have to wait.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The job..

A message was passed to me on a stick-it note yesterday.
Some old fogey by the name of 'Bobby' wanted someone to write a profile about his group of bird lovers.
"The government will evict us from our present spot. We wanted a new place and someone to take pictures and write a profile about.
"We are willing to pay."
Now, that kinda struck me as interesting. The place this fogey had mentioned - is in Kajang which is quite a distance away.
I agreed to help. But had some after thougts about this whole thing. First, he mentioned about paying in lieu of services.
Today, I rang him up and gave him the low-down. I told him that he wanted three things: photographs, a record in writing and correspondence with the authority.
I can do it and offered him my professional service. He gave me details on how to meet him in Kajang.
Before he could finish with his sentence, I laid down the word. I told him that he expects a lot from a stranger and asked what kind of budget he had.
"We are senior citizens, we can't give much and its up to you."
I was firm and told him that I called him not as a reporter, but a hired gun. I will do the job professionally.
The old man was adamant. He wanted things done and from the vibes, it sounded like he wanted to be jerked off for a song.
I told him that for a job like such, its gonna cost him $5K or more. And that was the turning point.
He was in a rush to terminate our conversation and from the sound of it, this guy is running for his life with his tail tucked between his legs.
I don't think I will hear from this guy again despite his: "I will call you" response.
Why did I slap him with such a high price tag? Its simple. I don't want to get ripped off by some old people who use symphaty as a leverage.
Being sceptical and jaded, I can feel that even if I went to Kajang and did everything, this guy is going to stiff me and hand me a $50 note. So, fuck it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

And now, squid for dinner..

I have about 10 kilogrammes of squid and frankly, there's much to do about it.The jigging was fun, but wait till you get to do the cleaning and cooking! There are many ways to cook the squid,
but one particular style really caught my fancy.Its the mamak way of curried squid that inspired me to try out cooking the squids in whole. But one thing that is
lacking is the know-how and ingredients.I am seriously in the dark about this and tried an easier method - that is using and instant blend of spices to cook
the squid.So, having thought of that, I bought a pack of spicy tamarind gravy and prepared it with some chopped onions.
This is a good combination cos the onions made the sour gravy sweet.It doesn't take much effort to prepare this dish and once ready, it goes well with a plate of hot rice. My wife loved
it but my mother in-law said it was not spicy enough.Next, there's the curried squid which I cooked last night. The taste was just right but the vegetables that I used
has melted into the gravy. Note to self - add veges at the very last minute.After the tamarind and curried style, grilled squid is in order!

The giant and the midget

RECENTLY, there were rumours that a cold-storaged guy from the oldest daily in the country would take helm of the
newspaper.This was followed by a guy whom the daily had sued who wrote in his blog, that he was very keen in getting back
to lead the oldest afternoon paper in the country.Both are buddies from a business newspaper that is now a pullout in the daily. One's a midget, the other, a giant.The midget is well-known as a columnist and was sent to the shelves when he fell out of favour with the powers
that be. And during the long harsh winter, the midget waited, and waited. Till everything thawed out to reveal a large and
lush grazing ground. After being in slumber for so long, the midget was elevated to helm the oldest daily, with blessings from the
gods. As far as I am concerned, this midget lacked in many things. One of the glaring qualities that he so needs - is
communication skills. Now shortcomings aside, its been proven that short asses do get their break with each change of regime. Its time for a change and I hope the new boss can do something to remedy the daily's weakening position in
sales and reach.The giant, on the other hand, is a stand-up guy. Although he allowed wine and women to screw things up, he
does have a heart.After living an exile in cyberspace, finally, he was given a chance to take lead of the afternoon paper that he once
helmed. During his lead, the paper did prosper. But the joy was shortlived when a god of war took over. Many were
slaughtered in the takeover bid.As for the giant, I hope he too can factor change in the afternoon daily. For the past year, it has been running on
rehashed stuff under the watchful eyes of a washout who tried to make a comeback to the scene.Well, the usual practise as with any change of environment - is the removal of deadwood and 'problematic' folks
who are the voice of defiance.Some will live to suffer this changing landscape while others who waited and aligned themselves with the Giant
and the Midget would prosper. For the time being..

Japan's Knives mag

I spend an average of RM100 monthly on magazines.The only titles that I source for, are topics of interest such as knives, outdoors and some gurly ones. Titles such as 'Blade', 'Backpacker', 'Outside', 'Bark', 'Dog Fancy' and 'Toyfare' are US-published mags that fill
up my coffee table. Well I do get Japanese mags for visual reference and the ones that interest me are outdoor and fishing mags.
Recently, I bought an issue of 'Knives', which not new to me as I've seen their previous issues.There's not much that I can ingest from this mag's editorial cos of the language barrier, but they do have some
kickass photos!For June, they featured the Striderguys and some custom work from their shop. Truly amazing photos and story written by Japan's top knife writer Hiro Soga who is also known as 'snatchshot'
on the Usual Suspect Forums.But when it comes to pricing, this mag costs 1,050 Yen (RM37.50) but is sold at Books Kinokuniya at RM63.40
which is double its price.Spare the editorial, what made it interesting - is the pictorials. Someone I know also buys the mag for visual
reference. This obsessive compulsive disorder dude with a bad hairdo swears by the mag's pictorial.Meanwhile, I'd rather stick to Blade mag for the trend watch in the US knife market rather than Knives that has
more traditional stuff.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ingrown hair - bloody pain in my face!

Two weeks ago, I thought I had a zit on my left lower jaw.So, I used a 3M acne patch to remedy the problem. But this stubborn zit just won't go away. Infact, it became hardened as if something was trapped underneath my skin. And to make things worse, it
started to hurt each time I run my hands over my face during shower.Then, upon closer inspection, I noticed that there was a hair trapped underneath the skin. That was the cause of the constant pain because the hair follicle was already infected. I had no choice but to use a needle and dig into it to remove the hair with a tweezer. And man, what a relief!!There were some dead tissue oozing out from the follicle which explains the constant pain and feeling of
tightness on the skin.Now, what's left is some scabs and a new scar!

Oh what a great weekend!

Aaaahhhh... Another weekend gone! We set out to Terengganu for squid jigging which turned out to be a great outing despite strong winds and
choppy seas. Michelle, Vincent and I charted a boat and spent more than six hour at sea in search of squid and we've
achieved our objectives by landing some 60pcs of large and medium sized squids.On the whole, it was money well-spent and also our first time going out with another group. We decided to call it
a day at 10pm after the weather did not improve.And it turned out that the very next day, heavy rain hit the shores of Pahang and Terengganu. After a hearty
breakfast in Kuantan, we shot off to KL and arrived at home at about 5pm.The kidz were smelly and yesterday, they had their bath. I had some chores to do on Monday, so, the off day was
kind of a blessing. Squid season ends in late September and next month, we'll have our last outing in Kemaman before breaking for
other projects for the year.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Its bachelor time!!!

It's bachelor time again and this year is the umpteenth year Cleo magazine is running their 'Top 50 most eligible
bachelor' contest. I found this to be highly entertaining because I came across one of the contestants when they ran this contest
some 15 years ago.The dude turned out to be one of my seniors in school. He didn't win anything cos he looked like a toad. So,
having seen him posing for the magazine and saying really stupid things, I came up to him and asked: "Ey friend,
are you bachelor number 25?"His immediate reaction was: "Why yes!". So, I told him that my auntie and grandmother thought he could have
won the man-pageant. As a matter of fact, that was the first time Cleo magazine had started their bachelor hunt and most of the
contestants were awful looking losers. One of them was even 'recycled' (divorced) and stuck out like a sore thumb. But I guess with public pressure and
the drive to get better and fresh bachelors, Cleo had turned to the sub-30s group.While I was at the clinic awaiting for my monthly fix, I browsed through the April edition of Cleo mag. And lo and
behold! The bachelors are back!This time, they had a 24-year-old lecturer, 27 year-old banker and some really pretty boys. Two of them were
fugly and at least half the lot looked like retards and faggy dudes.To spice things up, Cleo mag also put up a contest where winners can date four of the bachelors. *hahahahah!* Way I see it, all the guys featured are not even 'eligible' in the real sense. Got looks, no money, got money,
looked like a toad.Anyways, if you are in a salon waiting for your wife, they might stock up the Cleo mag, just pick one up and get
some laugh out of it. I knew I did.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Let's get squidding!

Two days and counting.That's in squid days and well, having done all the groundwork, all is set for my second squid jigging trip for this
year. I will be shooting off to Kemaman on Saturday with my wife and brother in-law. And as usual, the guy whom I
supposed to hook up with from Penang had given me the no-show. This means, he'll be struck off the list from July's squid assault with Ryota and Yannai-san. We'll be doing some
wrasse fishing as well in the reef area off Kemaman's water. In my previous post, some guy asked for the boatman's contact number. I gave him the info and half-way through
the correspondence, this dude asked some really stupid questions. Squid jigging is less strenous than offshore outings and based on experience, the fishing is done near the
shoreline which means less time spent on moving around the seas.The guy was kinda freaky when he asked about lightning strikes and being speared by a sailfish. But by the feel
of it, I'd say that I am dealing with an amateur that has very little exposure to the outdoors.Morons aside, I hope that this week's outing would yield some results!

Farewell senor El Supremo..

One my old buddy posted some pictures of his big bosses' farewell on facebook.
The guy in question: was the third 'Group Editor in Chief' of Malaysia's oldest newspaper.
His departure was viewed with mixed feelings and as always, the appointment for the big Chief is politically-linked.
From my experience, the first Group Editor in Chief was tyrant who was hated by nearly everyone in his tenure.
A mere mention of his name would trigger vile and venomous remarks.
His successor was no better. During the second Groupo supremo's rule, some reporters were sacked.
And while he was at helm, he used company funds for a holiday to the Antartica, courted lady reporters and made a fool out of himself at wine and fine dining parties.
Like the first supremo, both were told to leave by the God-like numero-Uno man in the country. The third man in line was a fluke.
He ascended to his position by default and maintained it that way till his very last day. Personally speaking, the third supremo was a well-liked person.
Why? Because he has good public relations skill. But as a leader whose role in developing the newspaper's business, his worthiness is questionable.
If you put three and six together, power corrupts. With a big paycheck in hand and plenty of freebies queued up, its hard not to resist temptation.
These guys are flirted with the devil and at the same time, tried very hard to maintain a Saint-like image among their peers and subordinates.
To sum it up, the first supremo was remembered as an omipotent asshole who used his power to fuck other people while his successor was a drunkard and dirty old man.
And this soon-to-be ex-supremo was seen as a man who did nothing but enjoyed the health benefits that the company had provided for his multiple heart by-pass surgeries.
As he slowly fades away into the has-been list of who's who, he better has a solid plan as the years to come won't be paved with freebies and invitations to attend high-profile parties by Kuala Lumpur's rich and famous.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Five years and going strong!

Oh man! Its hard to believe that I have been married for five years!

Thanks to Mrs Samo and her unquestionable support, we managed well over the years. Since we've settled down, there's hardly any arguments or bickering.
There's plenty of give and take, tolerance. I am a flawed person and am happy to say that my significant half has accepted me for what I am.
And I am proud with the fact that my wifey is doing well on her own. Its not easy to be an engineer manning a small firm with jobs all over the world.
To me, Michelle is more than just a wife. She's my soulmate, beer buddy and makan kaki. Here's wishing the Samos more happy years to come!