Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas Eve Mayhem in Bangsar, KL

For Christmas eve dinner, hubby and I thought we'll go for baked kurau (sorry, I'm not sure what's the name of this fish in English) at The Ship in Damansara Utama. It was a mistake from the very beginning. 

Not only was the LDP jammed, but the restaurant was full, and a long line of customers were waiting for their turn to be seated when empty tables were available. We looked at the register of waiting customers, and if everyone currently inside the restaurant just ate and left and don't sit there chit-chatting away, it would take another hour before our turn to be seated.

We decided to switch our attention to Puzzini, a little nondescript eatery down the block. It claims to be a Swedish restaurant, owned and managed by a local Chinese. Despite the many newspaper clippings displayed at the entrance of the shop, it did not inspire much confidence in me. But we decided to go ahead and try it anyway.

We ordered the set meal, which came with a French Onion soup, Stewed Beef with carrots and onions, and a glass of Iced Lemon Tea. The verdict? The food is mediocre at best.

For the same price, we could have a  refined cuisine Italian set meal of Cream of Pumpin Soup, a choice of main course and Iced Peach Tea at Bel Pasto, Kepong. Which was what we had the next day, for our Christmas Day lunch.

But I digress. After a less than palatable dinner, we adjourned to Bangsar, a former happening place, for the Christmas Countdown Party. Nightlife has since moved to the city centre, but on Christmas eve, Bangsar came alive again.

A 'devil' with blinking horns hard at work on Christmas eve


The crowd is building up on the street


On the stroke of midnight, those who had bought foam cans started their foam fight.

There was mayhem as passers-by were not spared. Cars were stopped and had their windscreens and windows covered with foam. Hubby and I were caught in the 'cross-fire', too.

In the midst of this mayhem, a truck carrying 3 SYT (Sweet Young Thing) drove by blaring music loudly. The girls and the crowd had a roaring time 'attacking' one another. The girls must have enjoyed it very much, as they came back again and again, until the crowd ran out of foam power. :D

View the video here.....



Sunday, 21 December 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

DEAREST FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS & READERS, 

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS 
TO ALL OF YOU
AND HAPPY 2009!!!!
*muacks! muacks! hugs! hugs!*

Below is a video dedicated specially to all of you. Enjoy........!!

And below...specially for cats & dogs lovers. Enjoy...!!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

How To Take Better Night Scene Photography

While doing research on digital cameras, I came across several tips on how to maximize those particular cameras. While I would not be buying those cameras, it didn't seem to hurt to pick up a trick or two. Of course, not all the tricks might work, especially if you are like me, and own only a point-and-shoot camera with not much manual control. Still, it doesn't hurt to know, right?

So, as and when I'm in the mood, I shall be posting some of the tips here. These tips are not absolute, so if any of you are good at photography, please give some input, ok? It'll be greatly appreciated. :)

First, the question that I am always asking myself - how to take better night scene photography.

1. Long Exposure Time
One of the tricks to taking a clear, crisp night photo is to increase the exposure time. The longer the exposure, the longer the camera absorbs the low light that is available. Try decreasing the shutter speed to 1/15th of a second or longer.

2. Try Not To Use The Optical Zoom
If possible, avoid using the camera's optical zoom as it increases "camera shake". The higher the camera's optical zoom magnification, the longer the lens has to extend to shoot a photography, thus causing the camera to be especially sensitive to movement.

3. A Tripod Is Essential
Use a tripod when taking long exposures for night photography.

Tip no. 2 makes sense to me as I have noticed that if I use the zoom for night photography, the camera shows a "camera shake" icon on the LCD screen, and most of the time, the picture turned out grainy.

Well, until the next tip, happy shooting.  :)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Rocicrus Foundation Supports No-Kill Shelters

Rocricrus Foundation is a program founded by Clement in Penang to support independent no-kill shelters. The name Rocricrus was derived from the founder's three miniature Schnauzer, Rocky, Ricky and Rusty.

Millions of shelters like SPCA and PAWS kill the animals placed in their care to make room for new animals being surrendered. They also kill very young animals, under the belief that no one wants to adopt such a young animal that requires care like a human baby. 

I had made the mistake once, to surrender a 2-week-old kitten that I rescued from a garbage dumpster to one of those shelters, and after issuing me a receipt (a donation is requested for the animal that you surrendered to their care), the lady-in-charge told me that they would put the kitten to sleep as it was too young to be adopted. 

Even if they don't kill the animals surrendered to them instantly, those animals have an "expiry shelf-life". If they are not adopted within, say a week, they will be killed. This is to make room for "more adoptable" animals.

They use the word "euthanasia" to cover up what really happened in the shelters. Genuine euthanasia is a medical decision and is always done in an individual animal's best interest. Below is the definition extracted from The American Heritage Dictionary.

"Euthanasia n. The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment. The American Heritage Dictionary"

In those animal shelters, the decision to kill reflect the operating interests of the facilities, not in the best interest of the animals.

Rocricrus Foundation aims to support independent no-kill rescue programs. To find out how you can help contribute to the foundation, please visit : 


This Made My Day......

Today was just another busy day all over again. These days there seems to be endless things that require my attention. *sigh* When, oh when, can I have my normal days again, when I could just relax in front of the computer and chat with my cousin? 

Anyway, in the midst of all this hustle and bustle, a pleasant surprise awaited me in my mailbox....a very cute Christmas card from my cousin & her husband. 

This is the card. Cute, isn't it?

How I wish the gorgeous kitten in the mitten would come alive, step out of the card and come live with me. Thanks so much for the cute Christmas card, S and B! *hugs*


Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Cameras, cameras & camears

Time flies when one is busy. It was with a shock that my numbed, sleep-deprived brain registered that the last post was written 8 days ago. Gosh, I'm 8 days older and I have nothing to show for it, other than more wrinkles....is it any wonder that my hubby asked me for a show cause letter???.......LOL!!!

Ok, here's my show cause letter. 

Let me see, what have I achieved in those 8 days.....nothing really, except that I'm slightly more knowledgeable where cameras are concerned. You see, I've been doing nothing but research after research on cameras, online and offline. 

And this is what I learned, from a professional photographer, none the less.  

I was lucky to bump into him at Wide Angle, a camera cum photographic shop in Brem Mall, Kepong, after a very stressful, jammed packed, and people-packed day at the recent PC Fair last weekend. 

But I digress. Back to the topic. Now, what Liong the photographer told me was, the better, more reliable brands for compact cameras are Nikon, Canon and Panasonic. Canon?? Isn't my current camera a Canon?? It wasn't very reliable, was it, if if had a design defect?

According to Liong, Canon is not the only brand affected. Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic had similar design defects, too. But as Canon had captured the biggest market share at that time, the numbers of complaints were more, too. Yeah, it's back to numbers and statistics.

But since then, Nikon, Panasonic and Canon have made technological advances in their designs, and have addressed this problem. And, if it is proven that the lens and shutter in my camera had failed to function due to the sensor defect, Canon will replace those parts free of charge, despite an expired warranty.

He advised me to send it to the Canon service centre in Glenmarie, and if it's not due to the design defect but to wear and tear, then Canon will issue me a quotation for the repairs and I can then decide whether to repair it or purchase a new camera.

He also taught me a host of photographic tricks, like how to overcome the glare of a lamppost that's in the forefront of a night landscape scene using a compact camera that has no lens filter. Just hold a black card and wave it in front of the lens. Yup, it's as simple as that. He demonstrated the effect in his studio, and the black card did not show up in the photo at all. Instead, it cut out the glare.

Thanks, Liong, for the nifty trick. 
 

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Canon A430 Powershot Digital Camera Has Design Defects

For the past 3 days, I've been having problems with my camera. I've had it for 2.5 years. It's a Canon A430 Powershot.

During the day, photos turned out "overexposed". Below is a shot I took of the yard of my home during the day. It was quite gloomy & dark at the time the shot was taken. Instead of appearing dark and underexposed, the result was an image of too much light! 


Notice the horizontal lines on the photo


The shot below was taken inside my living room. We bought this sign for Blackie's room yesterday. The background was a beige colour, but the result was anything but beige.

Again, notice the horizontal bands

I googled to find out what the problem is, and discovered that worldwide, there are many people with similar problems when their camera approaches 2 years. It seems that it's a lens and shutter problem, where after x number of shots are taken, the cable snaps and the lens & shutter malfunction. It also appears to be a "design defect". Their video is clear, just like mine, too.


It also looks like it costs almost the price of a new camera to replace the lens and shutter. *sigh* Does this mean I have to buy another camera? Any recommendations, anyone? I love to take night scenes, so a camera that produces excellent night shots is a must. 

Monday, 8 December 2008

A Day At The Local Race Course

Yesterday TC, hubby and I went to Equine Park for bak kut teh (pork ribs soup), the dry version. TC had mentioned before that he has never tried the dry bak kut teh, so hubby decided to take him to one of the two shops we know that sells dry bak kut teh.

After lunch, we decided to visit the Race Course nearby as we had never been to a live horse race before. I wanted to find out if our local horse race is anything like the Derby, the annual horse race in Surrey, South London. 

At RM6 per person, the entrance fee was not too expensive. But the parking fee is a tad on the high side, at RM6.50 per entry. 

The spectators were mostly race horse pundits and bookies, dressed like they were in their own home instead of in the public.......in dirty-looking shorts, T-shirts and slippers. And to think TC was afraid of being denied entry for not being appropriately attired. Local version of the Derby it certainly wasn't......hahaha.

We spoke to some of the regulars there, and learned that there are about 10 races each day. There are 2 race days a week, on Saturdays and Sundays, and the races take turns to be held in Penang, Perak and Kuala Lumpur. 

After the horses were paraded for the pundits to view, the floor became as noisy as the trading floor of any healthy stock exchange. Orders were shouted and taken down, with the bookies calling for placements of bets on popular horses. Some, however, prefer to place their bets in a more dignified fashion and went to queue up at the betting booths. (No, we didn't bet as we couldn't figure out which are the better horses and jockeys.)

We also learned that as a horse gets more and more bets placed on it, the prize money drops. For example, yesterday, horse no. 1 was the favourite, and as bets were being placed, the prize money displayed on the score board continued to drop. 

So, if you want to make a killing at the race course, bet on the least popular horse and the prize money will be quite hefty. But of course, the least popular horse usually means the chances of it winning the race is pretty slim. However, that is not to say the favourite horse is a sure winner, as yesterday, horse no. 1 did not win. When I commented on that, one of the regulars said that the horses have bad days, too. ;)

Bang! The race has begun...............

Monday, 1 December 2008

I'm Going For A Sex-Change

Awwh...I've been tagged again, by Zee this time. It's quite hilarious.  Do read till the end.  :D

RULES:-

Do the "Letter MEME". Tag no less than 5 other people, and leave them a comment, informing them that they have been tagged. Then copy the "How-to" Letter Meme, and finish your Journal entry.

-> How you do the Letter Meme:

Dear ________(the last person who left a comment on your blog/journal):

I don't really know how to tell you this, but 
___1___. I think I realized it___2___ ___3___ and I saw you ___4___ ___5___. I'm sure you're ___6___enough to understand ___7___. I'm returning ___8___ to you, but I'll keep___9___ as a memory. You should also know that I ___10___ ___11___ .

___12___,
-Your name-

Just fill in the blanks on top based on the answers you are gonna choose below.

*My results are at the bottom of this post*


1. What's the color of your shirt?
Blue - Our romance is over
Red - Our affair is over
White - I'll join the monastery
Black - I dislike you
Green - Our horoscope doesn't match
Grey - You're a pervert
Yellow - I'm selling myself
Pink - Your nostrils are insulting
Brown - The mafia wants you
No shirt - You're a loser
Other - I'm in love with your sister


2. Which is your birth month?
January - That night
February - Last year
March - When your dwarf bit me
April - When I tripped on sesame seeds
May - First of May
June - When you put cuffs on me
July - When I threw up
August - When I saw the shrunken head
September - When we skinny dipped
October - When I quoted Santa
November - When your dog ran amok
December - When I changed tennis shoes


3. Which food do you prefer?
Tacos - In your apartment
Pizza - In your camping car
Pasta - Outside of Chicago
Hamburgers - Under the bus
Salad - As you ate enchilada
Chicken - In your closet
Kebab - With Paris Hilton
Fish - In women's clothing
Sandwiches - At the Hare Krishna graduation
Lasagna - At the mental hospital
Hot dog - Under a state of trance
None of the above - With George Bush and his wife


4. What's the color of your socks?
Yellow - Hit on
Red - Insult
Black - Ignore
Blue - Knock out
Purple - Pour syrup on
White - Carve your initials into
Grey - Pull the clothes off
Brown - Put leeches on
Orange - Castrate
Pink - Pull the toupee off
Barefoot - Sit on
Other - Drive out


5. What's the color of your underwear?
Black - My best friend
White - My father
Grey - Bill Clinton
Brown - My fart balloon
Purple - My mustard soufflé
Red - Donald Duck
Blue - My avocado plant
Yellow - My penpal in Ghana
Orange - My Kid Rock-collection
Pink - Manchester United's goalkeeper
None - My John F. Kennedy-statue
Other - The crazy monk


6. What do you prefer to watch on TV?
Scrubs - Man
O.C. - Emotional
One Tree Hill - Open
Heroes - Frostbitten
Lost - High
House - Scared
Simpsons - Cowardly
The news - Mongolic
Idol - Masochistic
Family Guy - Senile
Top Model - Middle-class
None of the above - Ashamed


7. Your mood right now?
Happy - How awful I've felt
Sad - How boring you are
Bored - That Santa doesn't exist
Angry - That your pimples are at the last stage
Depressed - That we're cousins
Excited - That there is no solution to this
Nervous - The middle-east
Worried - That your Honda sucks
Apathetic - That I did a sex-change
Ashamed - That I'm allergic to your hamster
Cuddly - That I get turned on by garbage men
Overjoyous - That I'm open
Other - That Extreme Home Makeover sucks


8. What's the color of your walls in your bedroom?
White - Your ring
Yellow - Your love letters
Red - Your Darth Vader-poster
Black - Your tame stone
Blue - The couch cushions
Green - The pictures from LA
Orange - Your false teeth
Brown - Your contact book
Grey - Our matching snoopy-bibs
Purple - Your old lottery coupons
Pink - How awful I've felt
Other - Your memories from the military service


9. The first letter of your first name?
A/B - Your photo
C/D - The oil stocks
E/F - Your neighbour Martin
G/H - My virginity
I/J - The results of your blood-sample
K/L - Your left ear
M/N - Your suicide note
O/P - My common sense
Q/R - Your mom
S/T - Your collection of butterflies
U/V - Your criminal record
W/X - David's tricot outfits
Y/Z - Your grades from college


10. The last letter in your last name?
A/B - Hate your guts
C/D - Never will forget
E/F - Always wanted to break
G/H - Never openly mocked
I/J - Always have felt dirty before
K/L - Will tell the authorities about
M/N - Told in my confession today about
O/P - Was interviewed by the Times about
Q/R - Told my psychiatrist about
S/T - Get sick when I think of
U/V - Always will try to forget
W/X - Am better off without
Y/Z - Never liked


11. What do you prefer to drink?
Water- Our friendship
Beer - Senility
Soft drink - A new life as a clone
Soda - The incarnation as an eskimo
Milk - The apartment building
Wine - Cocaine abuse
Cider - A passionate interest for mice
Juice - Oprah Winfrey imitations
Mineral water - Embarrassing rash
Hot chocolate - Eggplant-fetishism
Whisky - To ruin the second world war
Other - To hate the Boston Celtics


12. To which country would you prefer to go on a vacation?
Thailand - Warm regards
USA - Best regards
England - Good luck on your short-term leave from jail
Spain - Go and drown yourself
China - Disgusting regards
Germany - With ease
Japan - Go burn
Greece - Your everlasting enemy
Australia - Greetings to your frog Leonard
Egypt - Fuck off now
France - In pain


Dear Cazzy:

I don't really know how to tell you this, but I'm selling myself. I think I realized it First of May  with George Bush and his wife and I saw you sit on my best friend. I'm sure you're masochistic enough to understand that I did a sex-change. I'm returning your love letters to you, but I'll keep the oil stocks as a memory. You should also know that I always will try to forget embarassing rash .

Good luck on your short-term leave from jail,
Blackie007


The friends I tag are........
3. Sillylupie....oops, she got tagged, too.  Celena
 


RULES:-

Do the "Letter MEME". Tag no less than 5 other people, and leave them a comment, informing them that they have been tagged. Then copy the "How-to" Letter Meme, and finish your Journal entry.

-> How you do the Letter Meme:

Dear ________(the last person who left a comment on your blog/journal):

I don't really know how to tell you this, but ___1___. I think I realized it___2___ ___3___ and I saw you ___4___ ___5___. I'm sure you're ___6___enough to understand ___7___. I'm returning ___8___ to you, but I'll keep___9___ as a memory. You should also know that I ___10___ ___11___ .

___12___,
-Your name-

Just fill in the blanks on top based on the answers you are gonna choose below.

*My results are at the bottom of this post*


1. What's the color of your shirt?
Blue - Our romance is over
Red - Our affair is over
White - I'll join the monastery
Black - I dislike you
Green - Our horoscope doesn't match
Grey - You're a pervert
Yellow - I'm selling myself
Pink - Your nostrils are insulting
Brown - The mafia wants you
No shirt - You're a loser
Other - I'm in love with your sister


2. Which is your birth month?
January - That night
February - Last year
March - When your dwarf bit me
April - When I tripped on sesame seeds
May - First of May
June - When you put cuffs on me
July - When I threw up
August - When I saw the shrunken head
September - When we skinny dipped
October - When I quoted Santa
November - When your dog ran amok
December - When I changed tennis shoes


3. Which food do you prefer?
Tacos - In your apartment
Pizza - In your camping car
Pasta - Outside of Chicago
Hamburgers - Under the bus
Salad - As you ate enchilada
Chicken - In your closet
Kebab - With Paris Hilton
Fish - In women's clothing
Sandwiches - At the Hare Krishna graduation
Lasagna - At the mental hospital
Hot dog - Under a state of trance
None of the above - With George Bush and his wife


4. What's the color of your socks?
Yellow - Hit on
Red - Insult
Black - Ignore
Blue - Knock out
Purple - Pour syrup on
White - Carve your initials into
Grey - Pull the clothes off
Brown - Put leeches on
Orange - Castrate
Pink - Pull the toupee off
Barefoot - Sit on
Other - Drive out


5. What's the color of your underwear?
Black - My best friend
White - My father
Grey - Bill Clinton
Brown - My fart balloon
Purple - My mustard soufflé
Red - Donald Duck
Blue - My avocado plant
Yellow - My penpal in Ghana
Orange - My Kid Rock-collection
Pink - Manchester United's goalkeeper
None - My John F. Kennedy-statue
Other - The crazy monk


6. What do you prefer to watch on TV?
Scrubs - Man
O.C. - Emotional
One Tree Hill - Open
Heroes - Frostbitten
Lost - High
House - Scared
Simpsons - Cowardly
The news - Mongolic
Idol - Masochistic
Family Guy - Senile
Top Model - Middle-class
None of the above - Ashamed


7. Your mood right now?
Happy - How awful I've felt
Sad - How boring you are
Bored - That Santa doesn't exist
Angry - That your pimples are at the last stage
Depressed - That we're cousins
Excited - That there is no solution to this
Nervous - The middle-east
Worried - That your Honda sucks
Apathetic - That I did a sex-change
Ashamed - That I'm allergic to your hamster
Cuddly - That I get turned on by garbage men
Overjoyous - That I'm open
Other - That Extreme Home Makeover sucks


8. What's the color of your walls in your bedroom?
White - Your ring
Yellow - Your love letters
Red - Your Darth Vader-poster
Black - Your tame stone
Blue - The couch cushions
Green - The pictures from LA
Orange - Your false teeth
Brown - Your contact book
Grey - Our matching snoopy-bibs
Purple - Your old lottery coupons
Pink - How awful I've felt
Other - Your memories from the military service


9. The first letter of your first name?
A/B - Your photo
C/D - The oil stocks
E/F - Your neighbour Martin
G/H - My virginity
I/J - The results of your blood-sample
K/L - Your left ear
M/N - Your suicide note
O/P - My common sense
Q/R - Your mom
S/T - Your collection of butterflies
U/V - Your criminal record
W/X - David's tricot outfits
Y/Z - Your grades from college


10. The last letter in your last name?
A/B - Hate your guts
C/D - Never will forget
E/F - Always wanted to break
G/H - Never openly mocked
I/J - Always have felt dirty before
K/L - Will tell the authorities about
M/N - Told in my confession today about
O/P - Was interviewed by the Times about
Q/R - Told my psychiatrist about
S/T - Get sick when I think of
U/V - Always will try to forget
W/X - Am better off without
Y/Z - Never liked


11. What do you prefer to drink?
Water- Our friendship
Beer - Senility
Soft drink - A new life as a clone
Soda - The incarnation as an eskimo
Milk - The apartment building
Wine - Cocaine abuse
Cider - A passionate interest for mice
Juice - Oprah Winfrey imitations
Mineral water - Embarrassing rash
Hot chocolate - Eggplant-fetishism
Whisky - To ruin the second world war
Other - To hate the Boston Celtics


12. To which country would you prefer to go on a vacation?
Thailand - Warm regards
USA - Best regards
England - Good luck on your short-term leave from jail
Spain - Go and drown yourself
China - Disgusting regards
Germany - With ease
Japan - Go burn
Greece - Your everlasting enemy
Australia - Greetings to your frog Leonard
Egypt - Fuck off now
France - In pain

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