April 2005 Archives

X-Tend Dupont Habanos Lighter

They say if you really want something (or someone, for that matter), Fate has a strange way of making it happen. Something i've wanted for a really long time suddenly dropped onto my lap yesterday.

xtend-4.jpg
Limited Habanos Edition, ST Dupont XTend Lighter

Blessed be. Many cigars are going to meet their timely end at the hands of this beauty! More pics here.

A gem, a gem!!

I love stumbling across "gem-blogs": wonderful snippets of how powerful personal publishing can be (and is!).

For all you Star Wars fans out there (may the Force be with you, live long and prosper, and all that), Darth Vader's super-hilarious blog is a must read!

"It was not a rebel trap. It was a mining colony. A non-unionized, untaxed mining colony catering to the underworld: Hutts and primitives, scoundrels and libertarians. The administrator of the facility was a quaking fool in expensive fabrics, introduced as Lando Calrissian.
I took one look at his satin shirt and disco hair and I knew he was a weak specimen, and would prove easy to bend to my will. He tried to smile while he bartered for his life, and I picked through his jellied mind at my leisure. His smile faltered. "Lord Vader, with all respect, what is it you want from us?"
"I don't know," I told him, rising from my chair. "But you will soon find out."
I have a feeling this man Calrissian has a role to play yet." -- gosh, that last bit is so damn funny! reference to Lando blowing up the 2nd Death Star.

Sepet Reviews Online

I watched Yasmin Ahmad's "Sepet" recently and loved it; a bundle of laughter and tears all rolled into one.

I noticed many bloggers have actually watched and reviewed Sepet on their blogs, and i was wondering whether it would be possible to compile all these "Sepet-links" into one page, to make it easier for others to find a listing of reviews.


Click to enlarge

I've created one such list on my Wiki, and i invite any and all (good or bad reviews) to contribute. Thanks loads!

Perfection

There are very few better ways to spend a vacation than this, eh?

Vacation
All that you need on a beach in the middle of nowhere

Not suitable for Muslim viewers

On my recent trip to Borders (pics), i saw "The Passion" on DVD for sale. That in itself was an interesting find considering the fuss our Government made about partially banning its screening at the theatres. But what really, really bothered me was the "sticker" i found on its front cover.

bordersKL-46.jpg

bordersKL-47.jpg

Need to sleep over this one. More thoughts on this later, but generally, i'm apalled at the religious polarization this demonstrates (and subtlely promotes, i'm sorry to say). The NEP polarized us racially, and its things like this that will finish off any effort to unify us as a society. Perhaps, its better to ban it altogether rather than allow it with such blatant conditions.

Further reading: Passing the Mantle: The New Leadership for Malaysia (PDF)

"These leaders aggravate racial polarization... And after a generation of preferential treatment, Malays feel no more competitive." - Bakri Musa

Working hard, my ass!

Its a pet peeve of mine when people tell me that they are "working hard", "working around the clock" (which is true), and "doing all they can do", to get the job done.

For God's sake -- you're not being paid to "work hard" -- you're being paid to get the job done.

Bottom line, if it ain't complete, who gives a flying f*** how hard you're working.

A death in the family

The Hustler Diaries was perhaps one of Malaysia's more "colourful" blogs; a recent burst of controversy led to many ill feelings being exchanged, and, ultimately, the closing of the Hustler.

We've lost blogs before, some of them very, very good (the ol' timers will be able to name many). So the Hustlers' demise is not unique in Malaysian blogging history. But still it stings, painfully, almost like a death in the family. RIP, Hustler's Diaries.

The VOI Wiki

Guess what? The VOI now has a WIKI.

"A Wiki or wiki is a website that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content. "Wiki" also refers to the collaborative software used to create such a website (see Wiki software)."

Some interesting times ahead, foundations laid, and plans are in motion.

Something new

Dear Readers,

A good day to you! Notice anything new about the place? :)

I figured if the NST could do it, why not me too?

What a way to spend a quiet Sunday. I'm off to pat myself on the back with a congratulatory cigar. It was time the VOI received a facelift.

Greed R Us

I eavesdropped on the conversation in the table next to me during lunch in McDonalds; they were speaking loudly and the topic of their conversation was banal enough to provide adequate distraction as i munched away.

Boy: "I prefer Burger King because i can sit there for hours and drink as much as i want; free refills maah."

That got me thinking: are Malaysians that cheap?

During our Ministers' Raya open houses each year, we see people going with their tupperwares and plastic bags, filling them up with the free buffet spreads. How pathetic. People stacking up their plates with a ton of food, too much for any one person to consume, only to leave them unfinished. The flies (and sore eyes) are feasted on such wastage. The people who visit those promo booths we find in supermarkets to sample the free food. Then, they go around the aisle, and come back for more. And again, and again, shamelessly.

Its shameful, pathetic and very much part of the "loser" mentality that is plaguing the Malaysian mind, the mentality of greed and gluttony, the very reason why our leaders are susceptible to "free lunches" and the "biasalah" attitude generally directed towards corruption and excess. Why are we like this, is the question i pose to you.

Its that painful time of year again

There are two things in life we can't avoid: death and taxes. God willing, Death is still some way off for me, but... taxes, there is no escaping that! Just did my income tax calculations with the nifty IRB Online Calculator. It works a treat! Mr IRB -- your cheque is in the mail.

Still

I'm still longing for this, the one on the left. Sigh. So mahal.

Sex in our schools

The New Straits Times reported some interesting news recently: "Draft on sex education ready for Cabinet study".

"Among the topics covered are human development, relationships, marriage and family, interpersonal skills and sexual health and behaviour."

The whole report was terribly vague, without answering some of the most pressing questions related to the sexual health of our teens:

1. Contraceptives: how, when, and why?
2. Teenage pregnancy
3. Dealing with Sexually Transmitted Diseases
4. Debunking the social stigma of sex in the Asian society

The closest the syllabus seems to come to these important topics is:

"And older schoolchildren will learn about reckless sexual behaviour and the dangers of sexually-transmitted diseases."

The tone and wording of this tends to suggest the syllabus will focus on promoting abstinence (which it should, rightly so); however, such an approach, if left too narrow, can only be described as myopic at best and irresponsible at worst. Young Malaysians are having sex, regardless of what we tell them. In addition to educating them of the perils of their choices, we should also teach them on how to manage the outcomes of their choices.

A mature approach to sexual education will assume that some children will choose abstinence, and some will decide to have sex. Teaching our children about sex means dealing with both choices.

Faithful

Sometimes your most faithful companions are the ones you pay the least attention to.

That's a shame.

Just a breast

A breast is just another organ, and a bra is just another piece of clothing. Not my words (sometimes, mothers do know best!), but i totally, fully agree. Why do people get all embarassed and shy about these things? Sheesh.

UPDATE: This is an interesting read, "The Purpose of a Bra":

"A mistaken popular belief maintains that wearing a bra strengthens your breasts and prevents their eventual sagging. But you sag because of the proportion of fat and tissue in your breasts, and no bra changes that"

Gosh. Those lying, somofbitches, money-greedy, torture-inducing, bra companies!

"Over 85 percent of the lymph fluid flowing from the breast drains to the armpit lymph nodes. Most of the rest drains to the nodes along the breast bone. Bras and other external tight clothing can impede flow. The nature of the bra, the tightness, and the length of time worn, will all influence the degree of blockage of lymphatic drainage. Thus, wearing a bra might contribute to the development of breast cancer as a result of cutting off lymphatic drainage, so that toxic chemicals are trapped in the breast."

A serious issue to this; bras increase the chances of breast cancer? I've never heard this before. Something to ask a doctor one day.

Petaling Street blues

I was walking along Petaling Street during lunch (the real one, not the cyber one), and at least half a dozen touts came up to me and said, "Lang chai, oi tai ham tai mo?" (Hey handsome, you wanna see some porno?)

A quick smile and a dimissive wave of the hand, and they left me alone; but it got me thinking of how different street touts are in each country i've visited.

In Thailand, "Hey Big Boy, you wanna have a f***? Big girl, small girl, white girl, Chinese girl, all i got." -- with a deft flick of the wrist he whips out a "menu" of women.

In Taiwan, "(Whisper) Hey, you wanna buy some Gucci handbags? Valentino? Dior? All i got, special price." -- he then leads you to a small back alley store room full of imitation designer goods.

In Cambodia (yup, been there too), "Hey Big Brother, you wanna get high?" -- a quick look into the insides of his jacket reveals a small bag of heroin.

In New York, "Hey man, what you looking at? Hey, hey... you wanna some speed?" -- he palms a small zip lock bag of suspicious looking pills.

In New Zealand, "Hey, hey... you look like you could use a sheep, mate." -- just kidding about this last one. :)

All manners of vice, you want to know what a country specializes in, the street touts will know.

Shafting

This is what i call a MAJOR SHAFTING. If half the things being said about Khir Toyo are true, he deserves to be locked up for a reasonably long time.

Man, maybe i should write a tell-all book too. I wonder whether someone will pay me a couple hundred grand to shut up.

Ieda's Wedding

An old friend, now a new bride. Ieda, you are one in a million, and your hubby is a very lucky man. Good luck, best wishes, God bless to your union.

Ieda's Wedding
Taken on 19 March 2005

NumaNuma!

This is a brilliantly funny video! Download it (1.6MB) for a hearthy, heartwarming laugh! Thanks to Najah for the link.

Email wars

Watching the Internet's big email boys have a go at each other is getting really funny: "mine is bigger than yours", almost as funny as watching our local mobile telcos try to one-up each other.

Google just announced 2BG, very quickly after Yahoo made theirs 1GB (where art thou Microsoft??). But at the end of the day, you just gotta ask: does size really matter?

Or will the final King of the Email Hill be decided on a different reason?

Rob and Amber

I beg to disagree! Rob and Amber are the greatest players to have ever graced the Amazing Race!

On a side note, Season 2 of the Apprentice started last night -- i already know who wins since i watched the season finale last year in Australia, however, its nice to go through the earlier episodes i missed.

Honestly, i think the show cast a very bad light on what is supposed to be a group of America's best executives. Last night's task was to create a new toy for Mattel. Both Project Managers were idiots -- allowing the group to go into brainstorming mode without proper preparation and forethought. This is what i would have done:

1. Define the target demographic for the toy (age, sex, price, etc.)
2. List out an item of Mattel's best sellers for the last 5 years based on those demographics. Extract a list of common characteristics that made each a best seller.
3. With this basic information in hand, use it as a guide for the brainstorming session.
4. Narrow down to 2-3 different ideas, then collectively decide on which is best.

Admittedly, the producers of the Apprentice probably edit out these parts of the show. But then, what's left paints a very inaccurate picture of how "top American executives" operate. Surely, America's best is better than that?

Women leading prayers

A old friend brought my attention to this article, a reply to the issue, "Female-Led Prayers: A Step Forward for Women?"

"For 1,400 years, there has been a consensus of scholars that men are to lead Prayer. As a Muslim woman, why does this matter? The one who leads Prayer is not spiritually superior in any way. Something is not better just because a man does it. And leading Prayer is not better just because it is leading. Had it been the role of women or had it been more divine, why wouldn’t the Prophet have asked Lady `A’ishah or Lady Khadijah, or Lady Fatimah—the greatest women of all time—to lead? These women were promised heaven and yet they never led Prayer."

Its a superb read, in my opinion, and puts things across very logically -- you don't have to be a Muslim to appreciate its ideas on gender relations, ideas that i personally agree very much with.

Read this for background, and this for support.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2005 is the previous archive.

May 2005 is the next archive.

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