Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - the year that didn't suck..

The Samos in Vegas, September 2009

So, here we are, at the very last day of the year.
And what did I do?
Slog at work to see to it that there's news tomorrow.
That said, 2009 has been a solid year.
Done plenty of squid-jigging, actually went to the US and attended the USN Gathering in Vegas!
Job wise, things has been very smooth. No assholes breathing down my neck and uncooperative co-workers.
Making the switch from the NST to The Star was the best choice I've ever made in my career.
This year alone, there's really nothing much significant on the job other than my promotion.
I hope to maintain my course and am not putting any high hopes on what's in store.
As for family, things are also very smooth.
Not till the last month of the year that I lost my dad. May he rest in peace.
So, let's hope that 2010 would be a better year..

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 - in restrospect - Knives and Tool

2009 has been a good year for me.

In restrospect, I received an average of one knife every two months.I planned the purchase of two Strider fixed blade knives and took delivery of them
sometime in the third quarter of the year.

Apart from that, there has been some regular shipment of production knives from
the US such as Spydercos and other brands.My benchmark knives are the Chris Reeve 'paw print' Sebenza and Umnumzaan -
scored just months apart.I guess in 2010, there will be 'lesser' tools and toys as preparations are being made for Blade in June and G2 in September.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The inevitable change..

AFTER 18 years, I guess its time to move forward with my photography.I hanged up my SLR camera for the last time back in 1995 and never looked back.Since then, I relied heavily on my Konica Hexar 35mm F2.0 rangefinder for most of
my work.Back in 2001, I progressed to the Canon Powershot G-1 compact digital camera.It was a bliss because if its state-of-the art features which made my job relatively
easy.From the G-1, I gradually upgraded to to G3, G7, G9 and G10. Seeing as it is, compact cameras, despite its high-end features -- are limited in
terms of optical clarity.With the recent introduction of the Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR, I guess its time to
move on.My mission is to record my family's activities including the dogs and use the EOS
7D as part of my work.There's much to be done with the acquisition process, but nevertheless, it shall be
on my hands in the months to come.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Our fifth wedding anniversary..

DECEMBER 19 marks five years on our wedding annivesary.I am very fortunate to have found Michelle as my soulmate and over the years,
she had put up a lot with me.We decided on sharing our life together after going out for two years. And so far, things have been really good cos we are nice with each other.That said, here's to more years to come cos Mrs Samo is one woman I want to
grow old with..

Thursday, December 17, 2009

CRK Umnumzaan

The Umnumzaan's glass breaker
I found the blade geometry to be excellent

The Sebbie and the Um

My CRK folders

WHEN Chris Reeve Knives announced that they are introducing a new folding
knife called the 'Umnumzaan' last year, I was the least excited.As a matter of fact,I have put off plans to get a CRK knife for some time. For me, there are many makers out there who built their knife as tough as a tank
and the CRKs appeared to me that they are more suited for a less-hostile
environment.That was until I visited the USN show in Vegas where I picked up a CRK Sebenza. The knife I wanted was a limited-run 'paw print' large Sebenza.Having owned a few framelock knives, I noticed that the CRK folder is built simple
and for years of use and abuse.My attention began to focus on the Umnumzaan and finally, after waiting for a
while, I scored one from Dan Delavan of Plaza Cutlery in California.Now, how does the Umnumzaan stack up compared to a Strider SMF? I'd say that the Umnumzaan is much more solid and has a less tactical appearance
than the SMF.Both are very solid knives which is also purpose built.What I like about the Umnuzaan is the fact that its made for general and utility
chores and can take a beating when the time comes.Many features on this tough folder are not found on the Sebenza.It has a thumbramp and its pivot design is out of this world.A perforated washer makes opening smooth with less need for lubrication.Howabout cutting ability?I've been carrying the Umnumzaan for nearly three weeks and so far, it held its
edge after much cutting.Every morning, I pop the plastic binder of a newpaper stack. Its an easy chore for
the Umnumzaan and frankly, it held up very well.I'll be bringing the knife for more of my field trips next year and hopefully, Plaza
Cutlery will release a 'paw print' Umnumzaan soon!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cheong Ngie Wah (1936 - 2009)

I received a phonecall on late Saturday evening informing me about the inevitable.
My dad, Cheong Ngie Wah had passed away at the age of 73.
The only surviving member of the clan, my aunt Lorraine was shocked and confused.
My dad died in his sleep on early Saturday morning after a long bout with diabetes, hypertension and a bad heart.
As long as I can recall, my old man was a person who had his own idea of life and how things should be.
Eearlier, he lost his partner of 20 years and was left in the lurch.
I offered my home as his refuge, but he had declined.
Instead, he chose to live his remaining days on his own.
After a few failed attempts to resettle, dad finally signed up with a retirement home.
There, everything was taken care of.
A simple prayer ceremony was conducted for him followed by a cremation.
His ashes was scattered over a hilltop area.
During his final days, my old man said he didn't want to trouble anyone in his family.
His passing was a great loss to me personally.
I can say that during the days when I was out on a limb, my father gave me some very sound advice.
He told me to be proud of my craft and never to depend on other people.
This became my principle in which many of my personal achievements were met.
For what he is, God was with him during his final moments.
My dad didn't suffer as he passed away peacefully.
Travel well my father, you will be missed and God bless you.