Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Longhorns and Rockets

The Longhorns missed their chance to play in this year's National Championship game Presented by Fedex by losing to Texas Tech on the very final second. It was a real heartbreak as I was hoping that Texas can win it all this year. However, they made up for the snub by winning the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State though only by 3 points. Well a win is still a win no matter how you look at it. Now let's hope we can get a high enough rank next year and hopefully the defensive unit would be way better next year. 

Now about the Houston Rockets, what's up with them. They started strong and was at 1 time the 2nd best team in the West. With all the injuries that they're facing, it was really an impressive feat. However, things have been going downhill since them. They're sinking faster than T Mac can dunk a ball and has been losing to sub .500 teams. They're playing like they've never met before and it's  a shame for a team that's starring 3 star players to play like that. 

I'm losing faith on the Rockets for this season and maybe the next 1 too. Until they get their attitude straight, don't think I'll even be following their game anymore...

Upgrading Yellow Tiger

I've been continuously upgrading my Yellow Tiger since I bought it in November. Here's the list of parts that have been upgraded:

1. Stem - Kalloy to used Jamis stem
2. Seatpost - Kalloy to used Scott seatpost
3. Shifter - Shimano Revo Shift 6 Speed to SRAM X7 9 Speed
4. Rear Dearailleur - Shimano TY 18 6 Speed to SRAM X7 9 Speed 
5. Cassette - No brand 6 Speed to Shimano 9 Speed
6. Chain - No brand to Shimano HG compatible 9 Speed chain
7. Hubs - No brand hubs to Shimano 9 Speed rear hub and Scott components front hub (both disc compatible)
8. Rear Rim and Tire - No brand to Mavic X138 V Brake compatible rim with Kenda tire

The list ends there for the time being but I can foresee more upgrade coming soon. My wish list would be as follows:

1. Front rim and tire - Mavic X138 and Kenda tire
2. Seat - Selle Royal
3. Front derailleur - Shimano Deore/LX or SRAM X7
4. Crankset - Truvativ Stylo
5. Fork - RockShox Tora

When would I be upgrading to these components? Only time would tell (and not to mention how gafiL would react to me spending tons of money of my bike hehehe)...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Yellow Tiger

WOW!, I've been really lazy to update my blog. I would blame that on Facebook and the people who influenced me start Facebook'ing in the 1st place :). 

Anyway, I've restarted an old hobby/interest of mine. Way before I started playing volleyball, basketball, golf, going diving and many more hobbies/interest that I currently have, I was an avid cyclist. When I was 11, I was accepted into my state's cycling program after I finished 3rd in the annual cycling event that was held to identify up and coming talents in bicycle racing. But that did not last long as I went to boarding school 2 years later and had to leave everything behind. 

Frankly speaking, up to 21 years old I owned only 1 bicycle. And it was stolen after a week or so :( back when I was 9 years old. Afterwards I shared my brother's bicycles and when I was training I was lucky to be loaned 1. I remembered that it was a Colnago, though I'm quite sure it's a replica. Fast forward to my college years, I bought a bicycle to make it easy for me to go to classes and have a quick stroll around town. Bought it from Walmart and it was damn heavy not to mention pooly built. Following the Lance Amstrong craze as he was from Austin and can be seen around town sometimes, I decided that I wanted a road bike and I actually built 1 (will post the pictures once I can get a hold of them). However, due to the lack of experience, I actually bought a frame that was too big for me and decided to sell if off before returning to Malaysia. 

Now, 3 years later, I found out that some of my diving friends are also avid cyclists. Since I won't be diving again anytime soon due to various factors (too many that won't even explain them here) I guess, why not pickup cycling again. Some consulatations and countless hours searching online, 1 fateful Sunday afternoon I came back home with this


It's a T-Blaze and yes it's a Proton so I now drive and ride a Proton. I named it "The Yellow Tiger" as the color scheme that it came with is actually named Yellow Tiger. Question is Why Proton? Well the main reason would be that since they're going out of the bicycle business, they're unloading all their bicycles for cheap. I didn't do myself much of a favor by getting the T-Blaze as it's just a few hundred bucks cheaper than the higher spec T-Bolt but I prefer hard tail bikes. Also since it's cheaper, by any chance should I decide cycling is no longer for me, I would be able to unload it or just keep it and would not lose too much money. 

It came with a very low end group set and cheap parts, the frame itself is the only consolation. Right now I'm just planning to do some recreational cycling so the low end groupset and components should do it for now, but if i ever got serious, I think everything need to be changed. Anyway for the time being I'm just replacing some parts to make the bike fit me better since obviously I can't do anything (well except for maybe to lose some weight) to fit the bike. 

I'll post more pictures of the up an coming upgrades to the bikes and any rides that I would be doing (if i ever do any that is) so stay tuned!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Omar


"A CLEANER, who climbed into the enclosure of three Sumatran white tigers on Thursday was set upon and mauled to death. An Australian couple, who did not want to be named, said that they heard a splash and saw the worker making his way across the 10 metre-wide moat at 12.15pm."  

"Waving a broom and pail, he approached the big cats, each weighing over 100 kg.The largest tiger lunged at him and he fell and quickly recoiled in a foetal position while trying to cover her head with the pail. The horrified Australians and other visitors at the enclosure thought it was part of a show until one of the tigers bit Mr Nordin's back and started dragging him to the tigers' den."


Pic from our previous Spore trip...





Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Backplate and Wing BCD for SALE (OMS wing with Oxyceq SS plate)

Yup, I'm putting my BCD up for sale. It's not that I'm going out of diving, it's just that I'm thinking about buying something else that would fit my diving needs better. Details as follows:

- OMS 32lbs wing 
- Oxycheq Stainless Steel backplate with hograthian harness
- Plastic Cam buckle
- Should fit anybody 6 ft 220 lbs and below (hogarthian harness can be adjusted to fit your body)

Price: ~Rm1500 (negotiable)
Freebies: Deepoutdoors pocket

Pictures:



TQ

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2 Trips in 2 Weekends


The last time I went for 2 dive trips in 2 weekends was last year when I went to Redang to complete my AOW course. This year I have not been diving much and I really thought that the Sipadan trip last March would be my only trip. 

After the Redang trip last weekend, I was already cleaning up my dive gears and ready to store them away for next year's trip (wishful thinking :)) but I somehow got coaxed into going to Tioman. The trip was just a short 2 day trip but it's really worth it as the viz at Tiger Reef was stunning and I had a wonderful time around Labas with all the swim throughs. I think I'll just do a 1 post for both my Redang and Tioman trip later but unfortunately for me this time, I got no underwater camera thanks to a broken latch! 

Stay tuned...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Making Laksa Mee the Traditional Way

(I wrote this last week but didn't manage to post it as somebody persuaded me to go to Tioman)

I got the chance to see this Makcik making Laksa Mee the traditional way when I was visiting gafiL's grandma back during Hari Raya. 



She told me that the brass Laksa Mee maker was inherited from her grand parents and thus it's really old! It's really heavy and take considerible effort to spin around. 





She took just RM2 "upah" for each kg of Laksa Mee that she makes, you need to give her all the flour and other ingredients, and for me that's way cheap considering all the hassle that she has to go through. 



Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm going underwater again

Yes! finally after almost 7 months being dry, I'll be going underwater again tomorrow. Unfortunately don't have my camera this time as the casing is broken. Will update on the trip when I got back.....

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Honey

Tomorrow's Honey's b'day. Though we won't be able to celebrate it tomorrow since she's already back home :P ..maybe Sunday :) 


The Archies (Sugar, Sugar) Lyrics


Sugar, 
Oh, Honey Honey. 
You are my candy girl, 
and you got me wanting you. 
Honey, 
Oh, Sugar, Sugar. 
You are my candy girl 
and you got me wanting you. 

I just can't believe the loveliness of loving you. 
(I just can't believe it's true). 
I just can't believe the wonder of this feeling too. 
(I just can't believe it's true). 

Sugar, 
Oh, Honey Honey. 
You are my candy girl, 
and you got me wanting you. 
Honey, 
Oh, Sugar, Sugar. 
You are my candy girl 
and you got me wanting you. 

When I kissed you girl, 
I knew how sweet a kiss could be. 
(I know how sweet a kiss can be) 
Like the summer sunshine 
pour your sweetness over me. 
(Pour your sweetness over me). 

Oh pour little sugar on me honey (sugar) 
Pour little sugar on me baby (honey honey) 
When you make love so sweet (Yeah Yeah Yeah.) 
Pour little sugar on me (oh yeah) 
Pour little sugar on me honey 
Pour little sugar on me baby 
I'm gonna make love so sweet (hey hey hey) 
Pour little sugar on me honey. 

Ah sugar. 
Oh honey, honey. 
You are my candy, girl, 
and you got me wanting you. 

Oh honey (honey, honey, sugar, sugar) 
Sugar, sugar 
You are my candy girl.

Monday, September 15, 2008

gafiL got a new one


not it's not mine heh :)....gafiL got another niece last month...

i just don't understand

WOW!...it's been ages since i last updated my blog. well frankly speaking i've been lazy of late and same goes to gafiL. she kept on pushing me to update the blog with something that she wanted to write but she's too lazy to do it herself (sorry honey heh)

anyway it's been more than 3 years now since i moved to KL and to continue with the trend of moving every Ramadhan, i've moved again, now from Cheras to the City Center (previously i moved from Damansara to Cheras). the reasons why i moved again are listed below:

1. want to live closer to work
2. contract expired
3. my new home not ready yet
4. STUPID MANAGEMENT!

well here i would like to highlight the 4th point. it was also 1 of the main reason why i moved from damansara to cheras initially. well lets just forget about old stories and focus on the current 1. i'll let the notice below explains part of the story


i've been living in cheras for the past 1 year and was living happily. that was until about 2 months ago when the management of the apartment was supposedly handed over to the residents/owner by the developer.

anyway without any meetings or whatever, suddenly the announced all sorts of new rules that was making life miserable. they even hired somebody who definitely has no management experience to handle the management office. having no experience is 1 thing, having no MANNERS is another matter altogether. oh well since this is Ramadhan, i don't think i would want to go into details about that.

so lets focus on the notice in the picture that i posted above. if my memory serves me right, when we live in a apartment, we do pay a certain sum of money monthly that's called MAINTENANCE FEE. and the purpose of the maintenance fee is to pay for the operational aspect of the premise and that includes cleaning up the premise, cleaning clogged drains etc. up to now i still can't comprehend the logic they use to punish all the residents in the block that drains got clogged. it's just like living in the dorm at high school where if the dorm is dirty, everybody need to clean it up.

well i guess that's what happened when you hire somebody who have a high school mentality to run a management office at a used to be well run apartment. lucky me i'm out of there......

notes :

a) Hempuk meja depan pompuan sebab tak bagi lorry masuk after 6pm.
b) Jerit2 marah his workers (bukan dia jd boss pun) at 9 am Saturday morning.. bising gile!
c) membebel pasal kerja dia padahal dtg nak bayar bil air jek... 1/2jam nak dgr dia meroyan
d) visitors parking = jd parking dia (ni plg marahhh....)
e) cat pili bomba to red colour, n depan pili buat parking berbayar (rm 30/month).
f) hire 2 "geriatric" guards utk take care of the apartment

Sorry dear, "Mr Satan" in me yg suruh tulis tu.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Durian with Mus

This was suppose to be posted late last month but I've been very lazy so I'm just posting it now.

Anyway Mus (a fellow Longhorn) came all the way down from Houston and was in town for a week last month for his "Balik Kampung" and South East Asian tour. I was competing in KKP 08 when he arrived and I was surprised to found out that nobody took him around as everybody was either away or busy for the 2 weeks he was in Malaysia.

So I took the initiative and took him around town (which is kind of ironic since he's actually from KL) and he told me that he wanted some to visit Pasar Malam and wanted some Durian since all those frozen Durian that can be found in Oriental Shops around Houston tastes like paper. So I took him near my place and we bought some Durians that are selling for RM 10 for 3. I have no idea whether that's cheap or expensive, seriously heh....

Anyway people say pictures tell a thousand words so I'll let pictures below do the the of the story



Let's eat some Durian


1 done, 2 more to go!


Houston guys enjoying his Durian


The aftermath! Pay close attention to the tummy area :)

Thanks to gafiL for the pictures as I was busy eating Durian and was so bloated afterwards hehehe....

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Recent Fuel Price Hike and its Effect on My Life

Reality bites. Realizing that my Gen 2 was almost out of fuel today, I went to fill up at my neighborhood Shell station. I fill about 20 Liters of fuel and it costs me RM55! Filling up a full tank would now cost me around RM100 assuming that the fuel price won't go up anytime soon. TV Smith has a good one on the recent fuel price hike which you can see here.

I still remember that when I started using my car, a full tank was only around RM60 and now it's up by almost 40%. Now being used to filling up at market price back during my student days, I definitely understand the effect of the recent global fuel price crisis on the price of fuel over here. But what I don't understand is, what happened to all the money saved during the low oil price days?

The cheapest gasoline price I ever encountered was USD 0.78/US gallon in Florida back in winter 2001 which translate to around RM0.78/Liter using the previous USD 1 = 3.80 currency exchange that was still in effect that time and 1 US gallon = 3.78 liters. At that time, we were selling petrol for around RM1.30/Liter which is about the same price as the gas price I found in Texas. To make it even more perplexing would be the fact that the gasoline price in the States already included all the taxes that makes their roads free and their public transportation cheap.

OK now, enough politics as looking at the Malaysian political culture, transparency is at the bottom of the list and lets examine the fuel price hike effect on my life. Using the old fuel price, I spent close to 15% of my monthly salary just for transportation charges (fuel, parking, tolls and car maintenance). With the current hike, it's likely to break 20% and that does not include the expected food and services price increase. So in summary I'm getting poorer by the day as any salary increment that I get would be greatly offset by the fuel price hike.

I've put off diving for close to 3 months now since my Sipadan trip in March and looking at the current situation, I think it'll be put off even longer now. Now, I'm just hoping that I would be able to squeeze 1 dive trip before the end of the year and the only way to get as many dives as possible in a trip would be by going for an LOB trip (Kaleebso anyone?). Any unnecessary traveling also have to be put off for a while pending budget review.

So now, how to survive in this challenging time? 1st and foremost, I would need to reduce the usage of my car. However, since busses and LRTs are not an option unless I'm willing to go out to work at 6.30am to travel less than 9km to work, I would still need to use my car. Lucky me gafiL is moving back to KL for work so at least we can now car pool and she gets free parking, so at least now we can utilize only 1 car and thus saves on fuel and maintenance cost. 2nd, I would need to travel more as company traveling claims can be of substantial amount :). 3rd, I guess it's time to eat less and outside of KLCC. It's good for health, and cost less. A nasi lemak ayam in KLCC used to cost RM5.50, can't imagine what's the price after the hike. 4th, keep and eye on AirAsia and MAS free tickets promotion. "Balik Kampung" trip costs RM500-600 with the old fuel price. With AirAsia and MAS free tickets, I can get return tickets for only RM100/person and that's just 30% more than a bus ticket but saves traveling time by 80%.

Some long term solution would be to move somewhere closer to an LRT line (which is unlikely as I'm moving to my own place later this year), get a motorcycle (which gafiL strongly oppose) but seems to be a good option now, fit my car with NGV or buy a more fuel efficient vehicle. However, the last 2 options I think would have to wait as our government seems to change their mind constantly and like to implement new measures in a flash that might effect the feasibility of the options.

So there you go, some thoughts about the recent fuel price hike. Lucky me I'm no soccer nuts and I dont' have Astro to watch the NBA finals, so at least I'll be saving electricity bills from all those late night TVs :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

.....


Since I do actually have an SLR now, I guess I'll be posting pointless photos in my blog. I'm just too lazy to setup fotopages account.

As with the pictures of cats in the previous post, this picture is from my recent balik kampung trip...