Monday, October 29, 2007

Taiping Trip

Been to Taiping last Saturday. Stayed overnight. Went in two cars, 8 of us. It was about to rain when we reached the hotel. The view of the mountain with clouds crawling over the tip was owesome. I snapped this photo from the window of my hotel room.

Actually we all went there to do some fund raising for the construction of our church's new sanctuary and education centre. We met the pastor and church leaders of Taiping Methodist Church. Taiping people are extremely friendly. We started eating, correction, they started feeding us with food from the moment we set foot on this place, all the way till we call it the night and went to bed at 11.30pm. Can't sleep. Too full.

Spent the whole Sunday morning (7.15am till 12.30am) at the church and a chapel, attended 3 sunday services all together. Went 'makan angin' around Taiping before we return home to Kajang.

We dropped by at the Taiping lake. Just amazingly beautiful. The trees cross over the road to reach the lake on the opposite side, as if they were trying hard to have some drinks using their branches.

I got excited as I finally got the chance to put the Sony A100 into real test. I'm kinda satisfied with the quality, though sometime the focusing took ages. I think that would probably be the biggest weakness of Sony A100. The potraits below were taken with the 75-300mm telelens. I forgot to bring along the tripod, so some of the photos are not as sharp as I wanted them to be. The photos are of (in order) Mr. & Mrs. Josh, Tambi & wife, The Wan family, Pastor and Mum-in-law.

Looking forward to have more photography sessions. As I said, I need more practices.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hari Makan Sedunia

Makan, makan, makan and makan.. This is what happened today. We (I car-pool everyday) reached office at 8am. Rush off for breakfast with 4 other colleagues. Sebab lapar sangat. Takleh kerja kalo tak makan. Gi Kopitiam Pak Li at Seksyen 7. I ordered mee-hoon sup, while the aweks (tiga bini orang, sorang lagi bakal kahwin hujung tahun ni. Dahsyat kan saya asyik gi makan ngan bini orang je) ordered nasi lemak (bila sorang order nasi lemak, sumer tiba tiba mengidam nak nasi lemak jugak, er.... sumer mengidam ke?).

Minah ni pernah cari makan kat sini. She was caught in the act, and her photo was posted on the wall. Patut ler ramai yang datang.

We (the whole department) were invited to a jamuan raya at 11am. Makan lagi... lupa bawak kamera. No photo for the eating frenzy (am I using this word too often?). They served rendang, lemang, soto, nasi briani, fried vemicilli, cakes, punch, cookies & many others. I can only go for one round. Some of my colleagues had purposely skipped breakfast to save 'space' for the food. I can't do that. Skipping breakfast is just like stripping me naked, I'll feel cold and erm, erm.. never mind, wrong description.

Makan, makan, makan. Terbongkang saya kat ofis after that. Tadi makan bawang... sure kentot bertubi-tubi nanti.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gossip Time

Time time raya ni sure ada banyak gossip. Ye lah kan, dah lama tak jumpe ngan kengkawan dari department lain. If you were to stand beside a group of people and pretend as if you were enjoying your food, you'll be sure to 'catch' some gossips. But it's interesting, its the gossips that make this jamuan raya so 'muhibah'. Gossips flies around disregard of race or religion. Once you have 'gossip hangat', this is what u get.... semua ternganga mendengar citer tu..

I'd managed to catch up with some friends. There had been much changes in other department without me knowing it. And got to know some that i'd never met before, or I'd never got the chance to know them. Bagus la tu.

The gathering was also a show case for some. Ni haa... kasut saya yang berbunga ros ni, matching ngan baju saya tau. " Fuyooooo.... Chantheekkk..."

Kuih-kuih ni saya yg makan sumer, tinggal satu je (taklah, tiga). Oh ye... saya ni orang bujang.. nak tapau untuk kawan kat rumah (betul ke tu?).

She has been reading TT's blog, and got to know that i'd gave TT and Ad a treat in a Japanese restaurant. Dia kata tak aci..

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jamuan Raya

The Jamuan was held in the office today. Our department decided to have a party and invited colleagues and friends from other departments. Pictures can speak louder then words. So here are the pictures. Cater je, takde yg masak sendiri, except some kuih raya and cakes.

We'd decided to wear baju Melayu for the guys and baju kurung for the ladies, regardless of your race. I had got only 1 set of baju Melayu, in which i'd been wearing for the past two years. Hm... it's time to buy new one, next year. Actually, the one that I have now was a gift from a dear friend (thank you D.).

Since everyone was in their 'best' look, photo taking was like a frenzy. I managed to get few shots with some colleagues. Sempat jugak ambik gambar ngan dua mak buyung. Laki hensem yang kat sebelah kiri tu tak buyung tau!

And yes, catching up with friends and colleagues from other department is always fun. Ramai yang datang. Saya pulak sibuk ngan lecture sampai tengahari. Sempat ler jumpe dan sembang ngan tetamu jemputan. Oh Ya, I makan rendang dan satay, sikit je... hehe.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sibuk! Sibuk!

I had a long 'to-do' list today. Lot's of paper work to be submitted to various people, lectures, meetings, snap colleagues photos and print them to be placed on the organisation chart ( Thanks to Yantod and Sue for their help. Lupa, Emi and Mang ada jugak tolong), and some lecture notes for tomorrow. Giler.

I'd been wondering how can an academician excel, let alone producing research papers for publication if they were all pulled down and exhausted by these heavy load? This is not for a day or two, I'm talking about FOREVER like this. Yuh, right, talk about publish or perish. Oh, by the way, there're lots of management and marketing work on top of the 'load'. Hm..... they're driving me up the wall sometimes. Unlike our friends who're working in public institution, our work load is double to theirs, with much lower pay.

Sound like I'm complaining... tak lah, cuma kekadang tu tension giler. Nak luahkan perasaan yang tertekan ni katakan. I'll be ok.

Besok ofis ada buat open house. Satu hal lagi yang buat kita sumer sibuk. But it's gonna be a fun one. Tunggu saya update ngan gambar besok.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Beethoven & Mozart Concert

This is not something that I do often, I went for a classical music concert last night. I enjoyed the concert tremendously. It was a superb performance by Yin Qi choir and some of the reknown soloist in the country. The conductor Elaine Pao shared her view on the two composition: Mass in C by Beethoven, and Requiem by Mozart. The soloist are Armando Chin, John Tan, Anna Koor, Cecelia Yap and Angela Chok. Their voices are just heavenly!

The ticket was sold at RM70 per seat. very cheap considering the quality you'd get. I'm not rich though, that's why I don't do this often.

Don't get me wrong, I love contemporary musics and pop songs too.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dinner with TT and Ad

TT and Ad joined me for dinner at Midori last night. The food was good (both look and taste). With the right company, even an ordinary dinner (though this one was not ordinary)will turn into an enjoyable one. I didn't bring along my camera (left it in my car), so no photo for this entry. TT took some. Click this to see some great photos in his blog.

It's amazing to see how TT and Ad took photos here and there, this and that. I got some 'revealation' from TT, about his school, his gym thingy, his diet... hm...

Eventually I got to know that I'd attracted some attention in TT's blog. My look? Don't know. Probably it's TT's photography skill, turning an ordinary Joe into a Hong Kong Prince (TT told me so, betul ke tu?). Oh, wait.. some of the photos in his blog was taken by Ad. Hm... kamera changgih tu kot..

I'm pretty sure I'll be having dinner with both of them again in the future. TT kata nak belanja.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Seronok Beraya

A number of my colleagues are back in the office. Masing-masing bawak kuih-muih dan makanan special dari kampung. Ani senget brought some keropok lekor from Terengganu. This sweet and helpful gal from Terengganu got the name 'senget' after a few hilarious incidents at work. She's gonna get married at the end of this year. Tahniah!
At about 11.00am, during a discussion, a colleague suggested, "jom kita gi beraya kat rumah Sue." Hm... it's office hour (Boleh ke keluar waktur kerja?). Almost in an instant I replied, "Jom!" (Bos, in case u read my blog, kali ni je, musim raya)
Ani was in the 'senget' mood. Snapping around in my car using her handphone. I couldn't help but to snap her in action. No, the car was not moving, and I wasn't really driving, yet.

Sue brought some cakes from Sarawak. The cakes are amazingly beautiful. Sarawak's cake are quite well known with their colour and 'design'. The layer cakes and batik cakes came with different colour, taste and shape. Just awesome.
Kita bersembang sambil menjamu selera. Sedapnye....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Silent Mode

It's the first day at work after Raya. Reached office at 7.45am. Straight into my room and start working on writing up a project proposal. Went for breakfast at 8.40am. Continued writing after that. Skipped lunch. It's 3.00pm, only to realize that not a single word had been uttered from my mouth since last night 10.30pm. I was in 'silent mode' for more then 17 hours. Mouth zipped.

I'm alone in the office. Foreseeing another few hours in 'silent mode' till I got home, or meet someone.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A fruitful day

I spent the whole morning (after having my breakfast with friends at Cheras) and afternoon at home. Managed to get some paper work done. They had been piled up on my office desk for weeks. I'm not the kind of person who like to bring home office work. But this raya holiday was exceptional. If I didn't do that, I'll be dead meat by next week (dateline).

Suddenly, I felt like doing some exercise. Went for jogging in the evening, with friends. Well, to be frank, it was not sudden. I went shopping yesterday and bought a pair of jogging shoes. The evening jog was planned yesterday. My body had not been functioning well not long after i stopped exercising. I got hypertension, high blood pressure (believe it or not, though I may look healthy). The news shocked me too. My doctor adviced me to stay cool, manage my stress properly and be active. Here I am, jogging.

Why not swimming? Erm... I can't find suitable swimming pool near my place, or within 30 minutes drive from my place. There are many swimming pools around my area, but all of them are of 'resort' style, or condo style. Kecik la, tak syok renang.

Reminder to myself: Keep active, your body is changing shape.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Something From The Past

Me swimming in freestyle
This one in butterfly style

I found these old clips in my computer. Taken years back (year 2002 if I'd not mistaken). Sorry for the blurry quality. It was taken using my friend Danial's old model sony digital camera. This clip reminds me how active I was in swimming during my post-grad days. I used to swim daily. And I had to keep an eye on a few 'students' to make sure they all practice their swimming too. They all are good swimmers nowaday. Danial, Hock, Leng, to name a few (Lengloi Larling was not counted as she'd only joined us once and had never turn up again, takut air katanya). Danial continue swimming today, even during his stay in UK (and became a 'guru' himself). That makes me proud. hehe.

I stopped swimming ever since I started working. Not that I've lost the interest, but the long working hour and the time spent on the road (travelling to and from office) had burnt me down. I know I should'nt stop exercising, but somehow i'd never re-start the active lifestyle either. I need some people to push me (or nag me if possible).

Oh, wanna see a photo of me in swimming trunk? keep dreaming. hehe.

Note: Thousand thanks to TT for his advice on how to upload video clips into my blog. This post was supposed to be published weeks back but i din't know how.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Not Second Hand

I thought I remember that TT got the Sony DSLR from someone. I browsed through his blog. It's from Abang Im. So Abang Im is the first user, TT second. I'm the third one. Hm....Not bad, the camera 'survived' the 'turmoil' of changing masters. Still functional and giving good quality photos after all these years. Talk about durability.

Hm... looking forward for the Raya open houses, when all my friends and colleagues come back from kampung. I love rendang.

Lots of paper work to be done. Not really a holiday.

Trying out the Sony A100 DSLR

Woke up into a beautiful morning. The morning glare pierce through the curtain. I couldn't help but to jumped off the bed, rushed downstair, grabbed the Sony and straight to my garden for some photo snaps. My model? the beautifully bloomed (or blooming) flowers in my garden. Tried the standard lense Sony 3.5-5.6/18-70mm. Didn't quite like the shots. I wanted some close-ups. Switched to Minolta AF 1.7-22/50mm lense. Still didn't get the result I wanted. Dashed to the store (as if I was running out of time) and digged out the old Canon EOS accessorries. None of the lenses fit (of course) so I took off the macro +4 filter (Cheap way to snap close-ups without spending hard-earned money on macro lenses.)from the lense and tried it on the Sony lense.

Can't fit into the Sony lense either, even if it's the same diameter of 55mm. The resolution? I had to hold the filter with one hand, while trying to focus, adjust and snap using the other. Here's the result (Some croppings here and there).

Carnivorous plant from Cameron Highland

The don't-know-what's-the-name flower

Another unknown flower. (I'm not a botanist, mind you)

Rose lateral bud.

Purple lily, close-up and cropped. Not really clear. This is the best I can do.

White lily.

Lastly (this is really testing my skill), a self-portrait. How did i do that? Secret. Here's the photo of me. Not bad, considering that I have to do the focusing without the subject.
Tadaaa... ok ah?

I'm hungry. Go for breakfast.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I'm All Alone in The Office

It's the eve of Hari Raya Eid. As usual, I go for work early to avoid the traffic. As I reached my office at 7.30am, this is what I saw (photo taken with my handphone, low quality):

I had the normally packed car park to myself.

Working in a majority Malay (muslim) workplace would make you feel that you're entering a haunted building with no one else but you during festive season like this. I'm not the one that afraid of ghost (not that I don't believe in the spiritual realm) and I actually enjoyed the quietness in the office. The quietness allows me to accomplish a few paper work in just an hour. Impressive.

I had a moment of pondering this morning (Did'nt expect to reach office that early, the traffic was amazingly clear.). I came to realized how much I'd missed the wonderful moments of fasting month in the previous years. Though I'm not a muslim, fasting month would also mean that I'll be fasting (hate having meals all by myself) together with my colleagues and friends. In the end of the day, we would go for 'buka puasa'(breaking fast) together. I used to get alot of invitation for 'buka puasa' and I cherished the wonderful moments. This year was different. Everyone in the office was extremely busy. No 'buka puasa' together. And one of my best friend (malay) had just left last month (to further his study in the UK). In fact he left during puasa month last year and came back this year for summer holidar. We used to go to various places to try out the yummy 'juadah' or sometimes would just drop by at 'pasar ramadhan' and buy some delicacies and had the 'buka puasa' at my place. I missed those moment, really.

It's Raya tomorrow, I would like to wish all my muslim friends and colleagues a Joyous and Memorable Hari Raya Eid. Maaf, Zahir dan Batin.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Bought a Second-hand Sony A100

I saw the advertisement on TT's blog, he'd put up his DSLR Sony A100 for sale, good bargain. I wrote him an email immediately to ask if the camera was still available. The reply was prompt (I'm impressed), it's still available. I met him this evening after work. First time meeting him after reading his blog for years. He is as good looking as he is in the blog, perhaps better. I checked out the camera, still in good condition, though some scratches here and there. Had a serious thought before making decision to whether buy the Nikon D40x(brand new) or the Sony Al00(second hand). The Sony offer came together with 3 lenses, and TT was offering the 2GB memory stick for free (oh, and a need-to-repair Sigma flash too) with the price at RM2,400. Irresistable. I grabbed the Sony.

I used to be active in photography years back when I was a post-grad. But by then, i was using manual SLR, a Canon EOS 300 and Canon EOS 50. The poor cameras were 'jailed' in my store room eversince the digital camera came into the market. I bought a compact Sony Cybershot and used it eversince. I put this hobby aside as I started working. But it's time to pick it up and start polishing again.

I thank TT for the good offer. Hm... might ring him up and give him a treat after raya, if I got the chance.