Thursday, December 29, 2005

What will it be for next year?

We are at the tail end of 2005. What will it be for us next year? Let’s look into my crystal ball….Oh! my crystal ball is made in Malaysia, its still does not have a good roaming capabilities, hence most of the forecast is local contents. So here is a list of prediction as below, just for fun.

As you walk into an electrical shop you could see that most of the TV that is on display is either an LCD TV or Plasma TV. I could foresee that by end of next year, LCD and plasma TV will fully replace the conventional TV in electrical shops. This is due to my anticipation that LCD TV price will drop further. Now you could get a branded 32 inch LCD TV for Rm8,000, by end of next year it will goes down to Rm 5,000 to RM6,000. I have seen a 3d version of LCD TV in Bangkok. I guess this will be introduced into our Malaysian Market soon, most likely for advertising purpose.

Mobile Phone
The just announce proposal to reduce the cost of SMS, MMS and mobile phone calls will be a driving force for mobile service provider to branch out to other services to brings in the money. 3G has been introduced for some time but it has not been fully exploited and use widely as the cost of owning a 3G phone is still high. However I anticipate that the mobile service provider will subsidize heavily and drive down the cost of owning 3G phones as their earning depends on the usage of such services. Hence they will put a carrot in front of the consumer in the form of cheap 3G phones. Once the consumer bought it and starts to use it, it will be a stable flow of profits for them. It will be the case of I fork out Rm100 once but after that you will give me back Rm100 every month. Another reason it’s the size of 3G phones. It’s big and heavy that is a disadvantage as it has alienated almost half of its potential customer, the ladies. I guess next year will be a year whereby smaller 3G phones will be introduced.

PDA phone will also going to be a hot item. As PDA phone starts to pack in the capability such as mega pixels camera, Wireless or WIFI connection, it will at least have a strong following in terms of the StarBuck patron. I foresee next year the major players might join in the fun and more new PDA phone will be introduced. This will result in a lot of Starbuck patron bringing out their PDA phone to surf instead of a 5 pounds notebook.

Petrol Price
Will most likely increase further as the government is finding ways to fund the country, be it new projects or revive whatever sensitive projects or other subsidies. I guess it will increase for another 15 to 20 percent by end of next year.

War or Major Terrorist Attack
Will there be another major war such as in Iraq now. Or will there be another 9/11, Bali Bombing, Embassy Bombing, underground station, or ??? Very hard to say, my crystal ball is not clear on this as it does not have roaming facilities but I can safely say as long as there is differences in terms of view on issues such as political, religion, distribution of wealth, feeling of discrimination and etc. There will still be unpleasant events happening in the world. The world will only achieve peace when all its occupants lives as one which is as humankind.

Is there anymore? Let me think first, in the mean time I am dreaming of an interesting metal in black...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Waves from Hell

A year has passed since the big waves hit the shores; kill thousand of human & animals, ruin infrastructures and etc. In what way does Tsunami affect you? When I first heard about it, I have no idea how bad is it, that is until I saw it on TV, waves swamping in dragging along all things on its path, a sense of disbelieve crowded my head. The most heart wrenching of all is the video that was captured in Sri Lanka. It was at a bus station, as waves after waves of water rushing in filling up drains, water levels inching up in unbelievable speed and gathering speed, a group of commuter were seen clinging on to a pillar, which has suddenly turns into a lifeline.

An unexpected event has brought this group of strangers together. In a normal day, they probably sat beside each other, not talking to each other, everyone putting up a “shield”. On that day they share a common goal, all of them wants to get out of it alive. As they stole glances at each other, one of them starts to struggle, her grip loosens, slipping away, the wave carries and dragging her along its path of destruction.

On this 26th, this scene and others was shown again, for some they relive the pain of losing someone close. For those like us, we wonder is all this coverage of an anniversary of a sad event necessary. I do not want to relive the moments of seeing and hearing the footsteps of the nurses and doctors rushing around trying to resurrect my father…….

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ocean World Bangkok

A quick roundup on my trip to BKK last week, my normal routine in BKK is an escape from my daily routine in KL. I will spend most of my time in the house, lazing around, surfing the net. This trip I spend some time at my wife office as I was in BKK on working days and my wife is busy tying up loose end as her project has just been implemented. The place was quite dusty as they are in the midst of touching up and completing the construction. It’s a new building. My main purpose of this trip is to visit a new shopping venue that was opened early December. It’s called Siam Paragon.

For those who know the location of Siam Center, this new place is just situated on the right. Previously the place was occupied by a hotel. The hotel was torn down and replace by Siam Paragon, an upmarket shopping venue. The place is quite huge; if I am not wrong it could compete with 1 Utama back here in KL in terms of size. One of the key tenant or attraction is Ocean World. It was reported to be the biggest “Aquarium” in South East Asia (if not in Asia).

I was there on Sunday together with my wife, her sister, her sister husband and nephew at 9:00 am. The place opens at 9 am sharp. If you ever planned to go to such place, go there as early as possible as once the place is fill up with people, you could see human backside more than fins. The entrance is located in the front, furthest right, with glass wall (refer picture above). There is a big “Ocean World” sign pasted on top of it. Once you walk in, just keep to the left as there is an escalator going down to the main entrance of Ocean World. The entrance cost is a bit steep as compare with KLCC Aquarium, 450 baht for adult and 280 baht for child. There is only map and a booklet with a brief explanation on the various types of fish or inhabitants of the ocean, no interactive CD compare with KLCC Aquarium.

If you are those who likes to listen or watch things like shark feeding and etc, below is a schedule for you.

When I went in, my first impression is that it feels bigger; it could be due to that we are the early birds. As I moved along, the exhibits, it does seem to be more. Guess what, I am the one who spends the most time in each exhibits as I am the camera man who will capture the visit in bits and bytes as remembrance. As usual, I have taken over 100 photos; most of the good shots are taken with flash. There are some good ones taken by putting my camera on the space in front of the exhibits but it’s has limited views. Below is some clear shots for your “digestion”. Higher resolution photos will be posted on my photo blog. My verdict is that Ocean World in Bangkok looks and feel better and has more exhibits than the KLCC Aquarium....

Monday, December 26, 2005

Prelude to another fishy tale

A prelude to my next post, I just came back from Bangkok, a bit tired and I am ready to prepare my lunch for tomorrow but I thought of posting a interesting photo of an outing in Bangkok….its going to be another fishy tale…

Friday, December 23, 2005

In BKK, a cold BKK

A quick update, I am in Bangkok. I flew in yesterday. On the way back to my home, a thermometer found in a building on the side of the road displaying a value which I rarely seen. It shows 24c. A value I see frequently in Genting Highlands.

I took a hot shower when I reach home and my body starts to shake, a way to tell me that it’s cold. My wife and I decided to have natural air instead of compressed cold air. This morning when I woke up and walk around the front of the house, I could feel the cold morning breeze going into my lungs.

It feels colder than last year, it was reported that it will drop 2 to 3 more degrees during this weekend. A cold Christmas in BKK….

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

All they want for Christmas.

I was reading this article in Star under the Metro Section, page 4, after reading it I felt an urge to do something. Lately I have been wary of passer-by asking for donation, purportedly for certain charities or organization like Kidney Foundation, Old folks home and etc. I have actually stopped donating or buying items from this passer-by, I guess it could be due to the reports that only 10 percent of the amount going to the charities or the organization/foundation. I also felt in a way “dupe” when I do not actually see, read or heard much about the millions of $$$ that was donated by our fellow Malaysian during Tsunami.

As I read this article with the header “They Don’t Know it’s Christmas time at all” and “All they want for Christmas”, I felt here is something that we all could do. And we personally could see that the donation be it gifts, grocery, rental, beds, or etc is put into use. The first article was on a home for the mentally retarded. Most of the statement is directly taken from the article. They need donors to settle their monthly rental or take up or pay some their utility payments such as water or electricity. The rental is RM3,700 while their monthly water bill is RM360 and RM320 for electricity. The home also needs adult diapers. For bloggers or surfers from Malaysia who stays near Ampang, Selangor, you could go out and buy a few bundles of adult diapers, drop by at this place and donate to the home. If you are willing to spend some $$$ and time, below is name of the home, place and contact number to call.

Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Terencat Akal Selangor,
118, Jalan Wira Due, Taman Perwira Dua,
68000, Ampang, Selangor.
To help the home call 03-42513955 or 019-7304779 (Rajamanikam), 012-3560155 (Susilah).

Under the article header “All they want for Christmas..” they are more homes, shelters and etc that you could help. I picked 3 of them. For the rest you could click on the picture for details (from The Star).

Phillys Caring Home
(Home for the old folks).
19 Jalan 12/12, 46200 Petaling Jaya.

Needs: Mosquito netting for its room, cushion covers, curtains, stove, adult diapers and daily provisions like rice, sugar and foodstuff.

Contact person: Home founder and manager Phyllis Nathan, 03-79560799.

Shepherd’s Centre Foundation
(home for orphans and the terminally ill)
23 Jln Besar, Tmn Hiew Piew,
Semenyih (main foster home)

120 sets of bed sheets, blankets, pillow cases; cutlery, crockery, refrigerator, washing machine (10kg).

Contact person: Founders Pastor Jacop and Pastor Bridget, 03-87231213/6770.

Rumah Sayangan
(Home for underprivileged, abused and orphaned children)
14 & 16 Jalan Siput 3, Taman Billion, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.

Needs: A small car or van to send the children to school, fruit blender, water filter, food freezer, wall or table fans, schoolbags, writing materials and exercise books, sandals and slippers as well as milk and canned food.

Contact Person: Susan Looi, 03-91314339 or 019-2583747.

I suggest calling the contact person first.

So lets wear a red suit and become Santa Claus this year instead of just hanging our big “socks” and wait for our gifts.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Jingle Bell Tag

I was flipping through the comments in my blog, when I saw this “BTW, I've tagged you, go check my blog ... Hehehee” and on the side, the profile picture of a Santa Girl wearing all red, with a V shape and low cut jacket, showing a see through laze….umm oops just dreaming, Lynne actually Tagged me with this. No there is no picture in her profile. I call this the Jingle Bell Tag.

It’s just 7 days before the Red, Big Teddy Bear comes down and gives everyone a gift for behaving well. Every department store is already broadcasting all kinds of Christmas songs. You could see that if a sad looking person walks into a department store, they will exit with a smile on their face.

Although I am a “Buddhist”, I love all kind of celebration especially those that can bring cheers and happiness to kids and adults and everyone around. That what Christmas is to me and here are the tag rules:

* State the Great Person that tagged you
* List who you want your Santa Claus to be (the bearer of the gift)
* State the Gift you wish to get
* Then invite a few Friends to join the tag, and inform them by dropping a comment in their blog.

The Great Person: Lynne, click to see a picture of her. I spend a lot of $$$ to get it. She lives so far away and she is closely watch by her bodyguards, especially the security head Mr Baker. I got this picture via Satellite. I hired a hacker to tap into the CIA and this is what I got.

The Santa Claus that will deliver the gift. I would love to have the real santa claus. As the gift that I want, I do not think anyone on this earth could deliver it except those who lives up there.

The Gift, fulfilling my wish, to have a christmas dinner with my wife, my sister, my dad and my mum in a fancy restaurant. Five of us sitting, laughing, enjoying ourselves.... just an hour will do.

An Update, it might not be a "Gift", but that is my thought at this moment. As I think a gift is normally a tangible thing.

Friends, I would just like to pass to Shiaulin. The CEO of a well run home.

If those of you guys who wants to join in the fun, copy and paste onto your blog.

M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S !

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Intimate Job

My sis was reading the Star today and suddenly she burst out laughing. She show me this particular Job Vacancy. It looks fine until at the bottom, “Only short-listed candidates will be intimated,”. What does this means? Umm, maybe it mean to get more acquainted…… If someone knows please let me know ya....

On the left is the whole advert and on the right its a zoom on the sentence in red rectangle, click for a bigger picture.

Friday, December 16, 2005

You know, I know.

Now is the time of the year, whereby sales sign is seen everywhere and there is a lot of company doing their evaluation process. I just evaluate 7 staffs and I feel like I was running a marathon. I could write down a few reasons why but anyway I would not like to discuss this in a blog. I was at KLCC today and as usual I bought Newsweek and Times. The big Christmas tree has also been put up at the concourse. I was reading an article found in Newsweek, there is this company, Whole Food Market which has a very unique management style.

The company practise an open book concept, whereby everybody salaries is known. As long as you are an employee of the company you will know your managers’ pay, your boss pay, your peers and your subordinate pay. As I read on, I found that the reason given its quite rationale. I believe most of us has in the past or even present speculate, gossip about a colleague pay. He/She has been buying new car, house, LCD TV and etc and you start to wonder, how much is he/she getting. “I have been putting in more effort than he/she, how come I am still stuck with my old piece of metal with 4 wheels and my 4 concrete walls with a roof.”

When you are young, have you ever kept any secret from your parents or anybody. It could be when you play truant to go and catch a new movie, catch fish or it could be that your auntie gives you more angpow money. When there is a secret it means there is something you wish to hide because its unfair, not right or ???. If our salary or our colleagues is fair or justifiable why is there a need to keep it as a “secret”? Does that means that it’s “a secret because there are significant injustices and the company prefer people not know about them” (this statement is taken from Newsweek).

If salary is an open book items in the company, when a salary adjustment is made to a staff the boss will really need to have a good and valid reason for it. As he/she will need to justify to everybody the reason why hence this will prevent the toss a coin or I like your face or you have been patting my behind type of adjustment. By being open about it, will it create a better working environment or will it become worse or is it better to keep it as a secret.........

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Big Boy Toys

When I am in my early teens, my favourite past time is to visit the arcade shop with my dad to play pin ball. The shop is less than half a kilometre away from my flat. We would normally be there during weekends for our round of pin ball. I am not sure why I am hooked to it. It could be the challenge, the challenge of keeping a single metallic ball on a enclose board tilted 45 degrees. The longer you can prevent the ball from falling into the hole and the more targets you hit along the way, the more points you will get. Or it could be the fun of playing an hour plus of pinball with just 20 cents. Every 20 cents will buy you 3 chances. The reason is I am quite good at it, hence I will always get “free” balls every now and then by hitting the 100k points mark.

Actually what joy does one gets from playing pin ball? It beats me but when I played my body will sometimes sway excitedly from left to right when the flipper hits the ball. Flipper is the 2 “little things” that is control by the players. It is the only thing that is standing in the way between the ball and the hole. There are a lot of games and toys that I played during my teens, example Atari or those interesting electronic games like Popeye, Octopus and etc. I bought myself a PS one during my working days but it was stolen by someone when my house was broken into.

And for this Christmas and New Year, I have bought myself a toy. A slick and a small black wonder with an incredible screen and of course the capability of surfing the net wirelessly. I got myself a PSP. I am not sure if it’s a spur of the moment of purchase but I was attracted by its look and its display and what portable game console could allow you to surf the net, compete and play the games with a group of people wirelessly, listen to music, view pictures and see video. Why a “going to be 40 years old man” goes out and buy a PSP? Ummm, I guess I am still a small little boy trap in a man body. I guess nothing beats the feeling of becoming the champion racer, great kung fu fighter that can knock out a big guy with a single punch, treasure hunter and etc. Although all this is done and simulated in a little black rectangle but the feeling of achieving and accomplishing something is one thing us human loves. Oh someone is calling me, “Ok Michael, I am coming, rev up your engine and wait for me”…..

PSP with all the items in the value pack and seen with the screen visor from logica.

And I got a free leather organizer for slotting a certain amount using my mastercard....

Sunday, December 11, 2005

All that Jazz

I am actually a music lover who loves all kinds of music. Some may say I am a bit odd or some may say I am just plain music collector. Just open my entertainment cabinet in my living room, there are rows and rows of CDs. It ranges from rock, pop, punk rock, heavy metal, new age, jazz, blues, rap and etc. There are CDs that I bought it, listen to it once and then it will be in the cabinet, filling up the empty rows slowly. Most of my CDs are all “Tulen” (genuine in English) and it’s not from night markets that sell in MP3 format. I do have 15 odds one that is “cloned” in which I bought from bazaar in Jakarta.

Once in a while I will have a sudden urge in buying CDs and for the past 2 weeks whereby I was on a hiatus from blogging and cyber space, that urge came and out comes my credit card. My first conquest is Emi Fujita, Camomile Blend, this is my first Emi CDs. I bought it with high expectation as a lot of colleague especially Lee Cheen Siong loves it and I came to believe that Emi voice is rated as one of the best. After listening to it, I shall say that it’s not what I expected. It could be that the songs are not original, it is originally sung by artiste like Police or Cyndi Lauper or it could be the pronunciation of certain English words. It actually reminds me of a Japanese Singer by the name of Seiko Matsuda. She has a beautiful voice, I love her Japanese Songs but her English version is just average.

Or it could be due to another CD which I have bought almost at the same time. It’s by Janet Seidel, its called comme ci, comme ca (French). When I first listen to it, I have the same feeling as when I listen to Norah Jones first CD. Her voice has that kind of “pull”, that will drag you in. I felt as though as I was standing there singing with her, feeling the emotion and each words drift across the air and lingers in my head. Try it guys. Oh before I forgot, the music genre is Jazz.

I have also other conquest, like Depeche Mode, Stefanie Sun nd Ronan Keating. Depeche Mode still belongs to the “Dark Side” of electronic music, their latest called playing the angel. I could feel Dave's emotion on this one. His road from hell and back. Stefanie and Ronan is more commercial pop songs……… I have another surprise in my next post. I have just bought myself a gift for Christmas and New Year. Its black in colour and its fun, my wife is sitting beside me now and enjoying herself.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A quick update

A quick update, I understand some of my colleague and friends are quite worry about me. It looks like I have been missing for almost 2 weeks from cyber space. There is no blog update or whatsoever. I did log on the net though but somehow most of us did not see each other online on MSN or Yahoo Messenger. I have also changed my MSN id as it seems I could not use my old ID to chat with my wife.

Since 19th November, I have been quite busy, work wise as most of the resources have been “discharged” from the project. I do not want to delve further, all I could say is that its have been a hell of busy and busy time. I also do not feel as well as I wish to although my wife might disagree but my body told me I am not my old self.

I went to Genting on 20th November. It was quite cold up there. It hovers around 22 degrees in the afternoon and at night it dips below 15 degrees. The first photo below was taken on the way down from the escalator from first world hotel. The second is taken just outside of resort hotel near the mini Japanese Garden. Again the mist almost swallow up the surrounding area, I could feel the moist on my face.

In fact it was so cold, that I ended up buying a jacket at one of the many stores available up there in Genting. Why did I buy it? I did not realise that it was so cold until I was shivering. It was all due to a gulp of water. I was outside enjoying the cold and clean air and I was a bit thirsty. Hence I decide to take a zip of water. Thats when my mouth starts to crackle, noise from my teeth knocking each other, shaking. The photo below shows my “new” and cheap jacket that cost around Rm39.

My sister was also away in Shanghai for 8 days hence I was preparing my own lunch and breakfast by myself. Hence I am bit tired also. Below is some of the things my sister bought. On the left is a pair of dolls and on the right is some lucky charm according to chinese zodiac.

On the left is a silk pillow is famous in Suzhou and on the right is "Wan Pin Kuo" a type of cake, very famous in Shanghai.

I was in Bangkok last week and I was sick most of the time, having a bad cold. However I still manage to get some christmas tree photo and some fireworks photo as on monday they celebrate the king birthday. I am still having problem with air pressure in my ears due to my cold, creating imbalance to my brain, wook wook.....

This firework display was taken from my bedroom.
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