Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The vending machine

Japanese Hotel Service
A Canadian salesman checked into a futuristic hotel in Tokyo Japan ..
Realizing he needed a haircut before the next day's meeting, he called down to the desk clerk to ask if there was a barber on the premises.
'I'm afraid not, sir,' the clerk told him apologetically, 'but down the hall from your room is a vending machine that should serve your purposes.'
Skeptical but intrigued, the salesman located the machine, inserted $15.00, and stuck his head into the opening, at which time the machine started to buzz and whirl. Fifteen seconds later the salesman pulled out his head and surveyed his reflection, which reflected the best haircut of his life.
Two feet away was another machine with a sign that read, 'Manicures, $20.00'.. 'Why not?' thought the salesman. He paid the money, inserted his hands into the slot, and the machine started to buzz and whirl. Fifteen seconds later he pulled out his hands and they were perfectly manicured.
The next machine had a sign that read, 'This Machine Provides a Service Men Need When Away from Their Wives, 50 Cents.'
The salesman looked both ways, put fifty cents in the machine, unzipped his fly, and with some anticipation, stuck his manhood into the opening. When the machine started buzzing, the guy let out a shriek of agony and almost passed out. Fifteen seconds later it shut off.
With trembling hands, the salesman was able to withdraw his tender unit......which now had a button sewn neatly on the end..

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Toyota makes good cars.
My family had owned a few through the years and with the lingering recession and inflation, I can never afford a car by this manufacturer.
Through time, Toyota became the top car producer in the region including Malaysia.And with any successful Asian companies that are right there on the top, the people who contributed to this phenomenon also ride on its achievements.
Hence, the bragging rights that yields some really ugly traits such as attitude and arrogance.
With the economic climate, Toyota managed to ride it through and remained as the country's top car dealership.
I recently took a trip to one of their showrooms and made some enquiry about their 2010 model Camry.
While I was there, I stood there like a fool about 15-minutes.
A salesman walked up to me and asked if I need any assistance. I said: "How much is the new Camry?"
His response was: "Oh, sorry, we are fully booked. There are no more cars left.."
Without saying a word, I just turned around and walked out of the showroom.
I guess this also implies that the salesman was not interested in taking questions.
And for a car that is worth roughly about RM60K, we are paying way over our heads just to ride the hype.

That said, if the retarded salesman is out on the street wondering why, I won't feel sympathetic for him. You get what you give.

My conclusion on this is that most salesman are retarded and the only thing that motivates them are commission and perks.

When reality sets, its not easy to take money out of the hands of a wise consumer.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Project fatso

I went to the doctor today for my monthly prescription.The blood pressure reading was off the charts. My doctor told me that regardless of external factors, the medication should be
stablizing my BP readings.So, he put me on some new drugs and ordered a follow-up in two week's time.That said, the only thing to do right now, is to shed the fat."Sweat all the salt out," he said.Since we had a great time in the US, overindulge with food and all the good stuff,
its time to give back the body its dues and bring back our physical shape to its
prime condition.Easier said than done, I guess that'll be our challenge for the months to come
before the year comes to a close...


A model posing with the camera during the GF-1 launch..

I've been trying to get hold of Panasonic's customer service for two days.Finally, after ringing their number a coupla times, I managed to get hold of them
today.My mission was to enquire about the Lumix DMC GF-1 digital camera. They had a
splashy launch with the product some weeks back and seeing as it is, the goods
might have been sold on the shelves.I've checked with the dealers without any luck and made the call to Panasonic's
customer service for more details.A voice on the other end asked for my phone number and I gave them a fake one
because I don't want telemarketeers to bug me.And when I laid down the question, the customer service consultant said: "I cannot
help you because we don't have any details on this product."But I know for a fact that we have publicised it on the newspaper and advertised it
as well."The response had put me off and for a customer service hotline, my first
impression is that Panasonic is being runned by a bunch of morons.So, that said, I might as well hunker in with the rest and wait for the GF-1 to hit the

Chris Reeve Sebenza

The CRK Large Sebenza with doggy paw print

Michelle browsing through Plaza Cutlery's table at the USN show in Las Vegas

IT took me more than 12 years to finally sink my paws on a Chris Reeve Sebenza
folding knife.I found Mr Reeve's knives to be plain and functional and my first CRK was a
Shadow III survival knife. It has a hollowed handle and was a trade I made with another knifenut from the
United States.I've been keeping the Shadow for more than five years and had been putting off
the intention of acquiring a Sebenza for a long time.Not until my visit to Las Vegas recently that I kinda rekindled my interest with the
knife.And this one was very special because its a limited-edition 'doggy paw print' large
Sebenza offered by Dan Delavan of Plaza Cutlery.I think its been around for almost two years and since I don't have access to
acquiring the knife, the visit to USN's Gathering in early September kinda sealed
the deal.The paw print Sebenza was high on my want list and when I handled it at the show,
it immediately dawned on me that this was the knife that I have been searching for.Sebenzas are highly reliable for its sturdy construction and simplicity to operate in
any given conditions.Its also a subtle gent's knife that fits any occassion. And given the special price that Dan of Plaza Cutlery had offered, I took the plunge
by acquiring the folder.Michelle also helped by chipping-in some funds.The paw print Sebenza is dedicated to Sir Naughty, my four-year-old Siberian
Husky and is now my current everyday carry folder.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

LaLa and his publicist..

I first came to know about a seafood makan place in Subang called 'LaLa Chong'
more than nine years ago.Its a small and cosy outlet that serves some really good dishes and at the time
when this eatery was up and coming, prices were reasonable.The owner, who calls himself LaLa (razor clam in Cantonese), was introduced to
me by my fishing buddy Ah Pan.I wrote a piece about the place and patronised it for some time. Until recently, an interesting email had surfaced on our server.This time, LaLa has his own publicist.And the person behind the write-up was no other than a disgraced Editor who was
the third most powerful man in the oldest newspaper in this country.I learned that the said person had gained some inroads into LaLa's good books. They became fishing and golfing buddies and due to the nature of their good
relationship, LaLa Chong is now a sponsor of a golfing tournament.The seafood towkay had made it. I once told him that he should be wary of the snakes and crocodiles that surround
him and that they are there only for the good times.But again, people would only learn when its too late.I guess that for all the free food and beers, the publicist had decided to mobilise
his contacts in the media to inform the public of LaLa's new outlet.And the signature mark of this disgraced ex-Editor was to ask for a byline for his
rehashed efforts.I have nothing against LaLa. Just fear that somehow, he's being exploited.He's a good natured guy, naive at most times and seeing as it is, the truth hurts as
he is being surrounded by fake people who are taking advantage of his

Some new four-thirds..

Pretty retarded: the Olympus Pen EP-1

Panasonic's challenge: the GF-1 four-third system camera

The advancements in digital photography hardware amazes me.Its the pace where new toys are being churned out every quarter that raises my
eyebrows.Recently, Panasonic announced their latest four-third camera with interchangeable
lenses - the GF-1.No price point was given and my conservative estimate for this is around RM3.9K
or more.Here in Malaysia, the electronics manufacturer announced the GF-1 during a
media launch.None of their products are readily available at retail stores and word had it that the
first batch of these cameras are sold out before they hit the shelves!Talk about economic downturn, photography enthusiasts sure have some spending
power.My first Panasonic Camera was the Lumix L-1. It was compact camera which I
had loaned to one of our cameraman when I was posted to Johor. He lost the battery charger and assumed ownership of it after I made it clear that
he was completely unreliable when it comes to handling other people's stuff.And I don't have a really good first impression of the camera. Its user-interface
sucks.I can't say much about the GF-1 which has come a long way. Its closest rival is
the Olympus Pen EP-1.Which in my opinion, is a retarded camera. I handled this one and was not
impressed with its layout and styling at all.Worse still, its price point is higher than an entry-level Digital SLR camera.I can only wish Olympus the best because I don't think this camera has what it
takes to sell.As for the GF-1, one of its unique selling point is the Leica lenses. This is
something that I would watch closely in the months to come...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Now, back to the crunch..

Yeah, the holiday's over..
Been more than two weeks since I am out of the loop and tomorrow is the day.
Thankfully, it's still a public holiday here in this part of the world, so, no need to join the morning rush to the office.
I anticipate a slow day unless something big breaks.
First thing in order, is to clean up the mess on my desk.
Someone has been using my terminal to work and last time I've seen it, there were paper scraps all over.
Its gonna a week of work before the month of September ends, so, technically-speaking, I have about six or seven days of work to endure.
Otherwise, it has been a good month. All rested and ready to face the last quarter of the year..

Friday, September 11, 2009

Off to Los Angeles

Been more than a week since we've hit the US and its time to head for the last leg of our journey.
We've gone without internet connection for the past two days.
So, there's much to catch up.
The journey to LA will take about an hour and we are expected to get there by the evening.
We'll spend three days and two nights there before heading back to KL.
I really missed the kidz...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grand Canyon

Its been a week since we left KL for the US.
We missed the kids and are in the last leg of our tour of the Southwest and the Grand Canyon was awesome.
I had no idea this place was near to Pheonix, Arizona.
Anyways, the drive from Las Vegas to Tusayan, one of the small towns outside the Grand Canyon was rather tiring.
Not only that, on the way in, we've got pulled over by a trooper for driving into the white lines.
That was never an issue back in KL, but here in the US, it can be a serious thing.
Michelle was issued a warning and the second time we got pulled over by the officer, well, we were told to drive faster.
At this point, something funny had happened.
I told the officer that his fly was open.
Jokes aside, we spent the first night in Tusayan with a good steak dinner at the Yippee-ai-eo restaurant.
On our second day, we went to the Grand Canyon and did some light hike on the rim trail.
There's lots to see and that said, we spent the entire day in the location.
Today, we went to the Cedar Ridge hike, something that Michelle had planned.
We spent four hours on the hike and later proceeded to the Desert View and the Tusayan museum.
Our day ended with the screening of 'Grand Canyon's hidden secrets' at the IMAX theatre in the National Geographic's visitor centre.
Tomorrow, its gonna be a long drive back to Las Vegas where we will spend two more days there..

Saturday, September 5, 2009

An awesome time in Vegas

Its been four days since we've arrived in Vegas and man, its awesome!
I had the privilage of meeting some of the finest people in the world and their sincerity and hospitality made me felt right at home.
Although we missed our kidz, the good vibes and awesome company kept us from being homesick.
We might have missed the first day of the show, there's a lot to catch up today and we hope to round it out as much as we can.
On Sunday, we leave immediately for the Grand Canyon which will be a five-hour drive.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sin City

There's really no fun in long-haul excursions especially when you have to travel to another continent with a different time zone.
Yeah, we spent more than 18 hours on flights and transfers and finally, on Sept 2, we've arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Its been nearly 10 years since I last set foot in US soil and I must say that some things have changed.
Now, the Border Security would take finger prints and snap a mugshot when you arrive at LAX and when we boarded a flight to Vegas, we have to take off our shoes, get the laptops scanned and a jimbang of things.
And the waiting part can be frustrating. I'm glad that Michelle had planned it so well. Everything was seamless from the moment we boarded in KLIA right to the LAX tranfer to LVA.
There's so much to do in Vegas and so little time, so, we are going to make the best out of it..

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The journey begins

Michelle and I barely slept.
In anticipation of the long journey ahead, we planned out many things.
The kidz managed to get their walk in the early hours of the morning while we sort out the need to dos and chores by our in-laws who generously volunteered to look after our homes for two weeks.
By far, the Vegas trip is the longest vacation we are going to have in so many years.
Our kidz did sense that something was brewing, but with some coaxing and some treats, they kinda settled in well.
Two bones was what it takes to divert their attention.
We checked-in early at the KLIA and Michelle secured a place to chill out at the MAS lounge.
Since everything is on the house, we don't have to spend a single cent.
Boarding is at 09:40am, so, we have some time to kill.
Loading pix onto the internet, updating the blog as well as forums will occupy most of our time at the lounge.
First up, the flight to Taipei where we transit and the rest of the journey will be to LAX in California.

The long haul..

The day is coming to an end as I am speaking.
Earlier, I went around doing my personal chores like banking and getting treats for the kids.
High on my priority list -- are souvenirs and foodstuff that I have to lug across the pond.
One of the suspects asked if I can get her some local coins.
I took the task one step further by getting collectibles.
Apart from that, I bought some pewter keychains and a couple of ornaments for the guys when I meet them in Vegas.
Tomorrow, we have to check-in at the KLIA at 7am and board the flight to Los Angeles at 09:40am.
It will take more than 18 hours to get across the pacific to reach the US West Coast.
I felt heavy hearted to leave the kidz behind for two weeks.
My hope is that they can hold on till we come back.
It took us more than a year to pull this off and hopefully, we'll have a good break..