Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
It's just heavenly, I don't need to get up early today to go to the office. As planned, Ray and myself headed for the consumer's tribunal office at Bangunan MRCB in Shah Alam, Selangor today. It's quite near our home actually. What a surprise when we got there ... there were a number of people there to lodge their complaints too. Looks like this is a common thing happening ... and we thought we were unlucky!
Anyway, the officer in charge told us to fill-up 3 forms and instructed us to attach all the proofs of our claim in 3 copies too. Arghhh ... what a fun time writing the complaints 3 times manually. At the last set, my writing was the worst scribbles. Handed over the officer who duly process the forms and assigned a hearing date. I did not expect the whole process to be so smooth and speedy, considering the kind of perception we have of our public services. The officer returned a copy for my retention and another to be handed over to the shop that cheated us. Luckily we could send by registered mail. For sure, if by hand, the shop will refused acceptance!
All done by lunch-time ... had ourselves a hearty meal and hope for the best. If at all the shopowner knows what's good for him, he should just refund us the RM500 we requested and the whole matter will be resolved without any further hassle.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
THE STANDARD CHARTERED KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL MARATHON!
Needed to beat the parking rush since there were so many people anticipated for the marathon. Late means we'll have to park 2 or 3km away! It started to drizzle alittle while we headed for the city and by the time we reached, it rained. We kept our fingers crossed, hoping the rain will subside soonest as it was already 4.45 am and the marathon will be flagged off at 5.00 am. Thank God, the rain halted to a slight drizzle. Hmmmmmm ... could'n't show off my new Nikon D5000. So my first few shots had to rely on my faithful old HP Digital camera.
The rain stopped completely by the time the 21km run was flagged off. The weather was perfect all the way till 12.00 noon. By the time I reached home at 2.00 pm, I was already dead tired. The length of time Ray took to complete his full marathon, I had been on my feet the whole duration, a full 5 hours plus. I am so glad that Ray managed to complete the whole 42.68 km within the qualifying time of 6 hours without any physical setback. My eyes were rolling when he was so gungho about preparing for the next London Marathon.
All in I took 612 shots during the marathon. It was chaos! After the 10km run was flagged off at 7.00 am, I quickly rushed Nick to the 30km mark for him to take pictures of the marathoners. By the time I managed to rush back to the starting line, the winners of the full marathon and half marathon had already crossed the finish line ... shoot!!! I missed their pics.
Anyhow I got to positioned myself at a strategic spot just before the finish line. I had such clear view of all the runners rushing in. Ah ha! I can display my new camera now!
It was so messy. All the 3 categories were arranged to finish about the same time. 10km, 21km, 42km and even the family run came in together causing large crowds almost at the ending line. The 21km and 42km runners had to zig-zagged their way, not only to avoid the 10km runners but the family run participants with their stroller and all. I could actually notice hints of frustration on the faces of some of the serious runners coming in. With the large crowd, it also hampered photo-taking. It was difficult to isolate our Kota Kemuning Pacers runners that I decided to just take my shot at every minute. Who knows, I might just capture our runners anyhow. In the end, I was kinda dissappointed since I failed to capture some of our runners' hour of glory. Whatever was caught can be viewed here.
One thing I did learn from the whole experience ... next time I'm not going to give a damn to be selective ... I'll just SHOOT every runner who rushes in to the finish line!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I am not running in the marathon ... neither am I running the half-marathon category ... worst, I'm not even in the 10km category either! What the heck am I shouting about the countdown for?
But ... But! Ha! The Kota Kemuning Pacers are running tomorrow ... the full 42km marathon, the 21km half-marathon and the 10km too. CHEER THEM ON!!! Their PASSION, their ENTHUSIASM, their DETERMINATION, their WILL POWER and not the least, the power of their SELF-BELIEVE!
I so share their excitement as well as their anxiety over the marathon of the year which has been organised for the very first time here in Kuala Lumpur. An estimated 12,500 participants are expected to converge onto Dataran Merdeka tomorrow morning.
Went with Ray this morning to Dataran Merdeka to collect their running bibs and numbers. The weather was sunny and getting hotter and hotter by the hour. There were queues lining up for the different categories. HOTTT!!! The queue has not reached me yet and I'm already drenched ... my bra's even soaked wet and my mascara's smeared ... darn it, should have applied the waterproof one this morning. Some of the sponsors' stalls were already up and running while more were still in progress. The contractors engaged were busily setting up the stage, sound system and road barriers before the whole locality is off-limits at 6.00 pm. While we were there, we also signed up 15 runners for the Olympic Run organised by McDonald's on 12 July 2009. Oooooo ... after tomorrow, there's practically a run every Sunday for the next one month odd before the Muslim's month of Ramadhan arrives.
I'm so excited to be part of all these excitement where a group of people from various backgrounds and of different races are joined together through one passion, RUNNING. My joy will be the opportunity to capture their HOUR OF GLORY on my new Nikon D5000 ... the timeless expression on their faces when they cross the finish line.
To all the runners taking part in the respective events tomorrow, no matter you're a Malaysian or from abroad ... TRY YOUR BEST!
A woman was helping her husband set up his computer,
and at the appropriate point in the process,
the computer advised him that he would now need to enter a password.
Something he will use to log on.
The husband was in a rather amorous mood and figured he would try for the shock effect to bring this to his wife's attention.
So, when the computer asked him to enter his password,
he made it plainly obvious to his wife what he was entering by stating each letter out loud as he typed:
His wife fell off her chair laughing when the computer replied:
**** PASSWORD REJECTED.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The pop icon is no more … taken away from us at such a young age … 50 is just not that old … there’s plenty more he could contribute to the world … it’s just to soon for him to leave us! He was on the verge of such a big comeback with his scheduled concerts to begin next month … in fact, I was looking forward to his coming success that will restore him to his glorious days.
He will always be my number one favourite performer and to me. He will always be one of the most brilliant and creative minds in the music industry … a genius who had churned out 13 number one hits on the Billboard charts! Wow! Do you still remember … ‘Thriller’, ‘Beat It’, ‘Man In The Mirror’, ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Black & White’ and list goes on … the most memorable and influential one I believe, would have to be ‘We are the World’, a 1985 charity single that raised an estimated $50 million for famine relief in Africa and ushered in the era of celebrity philanthropy. I just loved all his songs that always carried a message.
In reflection, I can still remember watching him on TV as a cute adorable 5-year-old performer way back in the 60’s performing and singing ‘ABC’ with the Jacksons 5.
It is so sad that his fame had been dampened by so many controversies and allegations. It is so sad that he had died during this darken period of his life. It is so sad that his life had ended, just as he was embarking to redeem his career. However, the fact remains … his legacy can never be erased as his music and performances shall remain historic and forever engrained in our hearts.
I offer my sincere condolences to his children, parents, siblings and other family members and to his friends and fans.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tried my best to cheer Ray up as I looked forward to getting a refund from Tarita without any hassle or any need to bang table.
Woke-up Monday morning with a sore back due to the massage and running from previous evening. No choice, I had to take medical leave for the day. After returning from the clinic, I quickly called up the authorised dealer for Sigma lenses. Enquired about the prices for the different units and looks like the horror just doesn't seem to let up. Our unit could be purchased from the authorised dealer at only $788 on cash term.
Next tried to contact the bald salesman, Andy. Called and called, no one picks up the phone. Managed to get through to their Administration Office and I took the opportunity to double-check on their listed price for our unit. The lady who answered my call quoted their selling price at $1199 while the APO unit was $1200. Asked for possibility of a discount, the lady suggested to bargain with the salesman. What else can I say ... I'm sure I can purchase my lens with further discounts, right? So isn't $1300 very excessive?
Anyway, after several tries, managed to contact the bald salesman. Spoke to him calmly, highlighting that he may have charged us at the wrong price. Oh no!!! He had the cheek to turn around and claimed that we were difficult customers, going around comparing prices. That's a consumer's right, darn it! Further, he claimed that Ray was the one who offered the price at $1300. Does not make sense, right?
Obviously, the situation was not going to clear up any sooner. After my warning to report the shop to the consumer tribunal and also posting about their cheat on the various online forums, he offered to refund $200 only which I refused as he was still excessively overcharging for our purchase.
Thinking back to that day, this bald forty-somethng salesman even had the galls to seek business from our friends! What sent our friends to be slaughtered by him? Once bitten twice shy, baldie!
To all my friends and readers, please help to forewarn all the 'photo-kaki' (photography enthusiasts) out there about this shop 'Tarita Photo AV Trading Sdn Bhd' (also known as 'Onesto Photo AV Trading Sdn Bhd') located on the ground floor of Sungei Wang Plaza, Kuala Lumpur.
Beware! They are truly blood-suckers!
I immediately lodged my complaint to the consumer tribunal and have been advised to visit their office as soon as possible. Looks like our day off next Monday will be spent with the consumer tribunal officer filing the papers over this cheating incident.
Never mind, the truth always prevail. I'm sure the consumer tribunal will see through to their wayward tactics. Judging from the tribunal's historical cases, complexities and ambiguities will not hinder their judgement over what is rightful.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
With a new hobby in photography and having just purchased a new camera Nikon D5000, Ray and myself happily went shopping for extra accessories to compliment it last Saturday. We wanted to be ready to capture all the actions during the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur International Marathon. Ray had checked his stuff over the internet forums and knew exactly what he wanted.
Off we went to the city, headed first to Pertama Complex in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. We wanted to purchase a Nikon flash SB60 and a carry case there. We successfully got the items at the price we wanted.
We were also looking for the Nikon 55-200mm lens as well. Unfortunately we could not close the deal at the price we wanted at this outlet. So off we went to Sungei Wang Plaza at Jalan Bukit Bintang, which is on another part of the city. No problem, we had time to kill anyway because we had a late evening appointment for a traditional massage on the opposite side of the city, Setapak.
Upon reaching Sungei Wang Plaza, we headed straight for the shop that sold us the Nikon D5000. Checked and unfortunately again, we could not get the lenses at our preferred price. We went around the complex, checking from one outlet to another, until we came to Tarita Photo & AV.
Andy, a bald-headed forty-something salesman there attended to our initial enquiry of the Nikon 55-200mm lens. Their price wasn't right for us either. However, Andy suggested that we try the Sigma lens for 70-300mm instead. He claimed it to be better if not the same as Nikon's lenses since they are from the same manufacturer. We tested the lens on our camera and found it to be working beautifully. He quoted his retail price at $1500 and gave us discounts to lower the price to $1420. Being a newbie and as we have not checked on this item before, we were apprehensive to commit to the purchase. We wanted to check around first but Andy pushed on and gave further discounts. Against our better judgement, we actually went ahead and bought the Sigma 70-300mm DG Macro lens at $1300.
Horrified could not possibly described our feelings when we unintentionally found another shop selling the lens at $500 cheaper. This shop was selling a Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro unit. We went back to Andy immediately to check with him on the difference between APO and our unit that's non-APO. With an air of confidence, he claimed that the other outlet's APO unit were old models and that the unit that we purchased were the better unit. Surprisingly, he could not provide a satisfactory answer to the technical difference between APO and non-APO.
We left Sungei Wang Plaza with a sense of uneasiness, hoping that Andy had been a trustworthy salesman. Judging from his looks, if he turns out otherwise ... well, I guess it's true with the saying "Do not judge a book by its cover."
After our painful traditional massage in the hands of a 60-year-old 'Makcik' and a hearty supper of 'durians'and 'nasi lemak', we went home eager to check online to validate our purchase. We immediately checked Sigma website and to our regret, we found that our purchased model were indeed the older model compared to the APO units. All the online photography enthusiasts were only recommending the APO unit and at prices that were way below our purchase price in the range of about $800. We actually do not have any technical complain about our purchase, only the price. We were beginning to feel cheated.
Next morning, Ray checked the internet forums and called several other camera shops to enquire about the price. It was such a disturbing Sunday when he found that the actual price for the non-APO lens should range between $750-$800. One shop even offered him at $600. Since it was a Sunday, we could not get hold of Andy nor could we contact the authorised distributor. It was quick becoming a moody Sunday.
I assured Ray that we will find an amicable solution. What happen has happened. We just need to confirm the price with the authorised dealer on Monday and approached Andy for a refund. I am still giving Andy the benefit of a doubt that he just probably quoted and sold to us at the wrong price. There is always a possibility of human error.
Stay tuned for the rest of the episode after my call to the authorised dealer yesterday to get to the bottom of this unfortunate incident.
Jane pulls out a condom, cuts off the end, puts it over her cigarette, and continues smoking.
Arlene: What in the hell is that?
Jane: A condom. This way my cigarette doesn't get wet.
Arlene: Where did you get it?
Jane: You can get them at any pharmacy.
The next day, Arlene hobbles herself into the local pharmacy and announces to the pharmacist that she wants a box of condoms.
The pharmacist, embarrassed, looks at her kind of strangely (she is after all, over 80 years of age), but very delicately asks what brand of condom she prefers.
'Doesn't matter Sonny, as long as it fits on a Camel.'
The pharmacist fainted.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
By Wong Li Za
[Extracted from The Star ~The People's Paper on 18 June 2009]
Despite suffering from a bone condition Datuk Sim Ooi Hong went on to become a lawyer and was awarded the Outstanding Young Malaysian Award in 2001.
HAVING brittle bones is no deterrent to lawyer Datuk Sim Ooi Hong who was born in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor.
Sim, 40, was born with a congenital bone condition called osteogenesis imperfecta and fractured a bone for the first time when he was just 40 days old.
In his life, he has fractured his bones over 70 times.
As a child, Sim would move about by crawling on the floor using his hands and buttocks.
At the age of 13, he went for two major operations on his lower limbs where doctors inserted stainless steel plates into his tibia.
The operation helped him regain the use of his legs, fulfilling his first dream.
Despite coming from a poor family background, (his father is a bricklayer and his mother a housewife), Sim graduated from the University of London (External) with an LLB (Hons) in 1995.
He went on to obtain a Certificate in Legal Practice (Hons) from Universiti Malaya in 1996. After doing his chambering in Malacca, he set up his own legal firm in Banting, Selangor, in 1997 at the age of 26.
In 2001, Sim was awarded The Outstanding Young Malaysian Award and in 2002, the Taiwanese Government honoured him with the Asia Pacific Outstanding Young Person Award.
“I am glad to have the chance to inspire many young people with my story since winning the TOYM award,” said Sim, who has four siblings.
Sim has served as legal advisor to a number of associations, societies and temples. He has also provided free legal services and advice to the media.
He received his Datukship in 2003 and has since published an autobiography in Chinese entitled I Must Stand Up. Sim continues to give various motivational talks throughout the country.
“No matter how hard life is, don’t give up, and you can do better than you expect,” he advised.
Sim retired from legal practice last year to spend more time on charity work and also to indulge in his hobbies such as drawing comics, travelling, reading and tea appreciation. He is also chairman of the Shuang Fu Christian Association.
Currently, he is working on the second part of his autobiography and also hopes to help disabled people be self-sufficient by being involved in business.
Generally, we may have observed that happy people more often than not, are optimistic people. We may even noticed that most successful people have supreme faith in their abilities and believe that they deserve success.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live a life of optimism, unspoiled by negative thoughts and uncertain or anxious at what tomorrow might bring. We can if we set our mind to overcome this problem. Stop our mind from controlling us. Learn to reprogramme our mind so that it may serve us better towards positive living.
Reprogramming our mind takes a lot of effort both at the conscious and unconscious level. The following approaches can help us get on with positive living:-
- Know ourself ~ seek to understand our own strengths and weakness. Accepting our own weaknesses can help us cope and overcome our problems with maturity.
- A positive affirmation ~ tell ourselves over and over again that we can do it and slowly start to believe in the affirmation.
- Think positive ~ always find some light and reasons to smile behind every situation and react kindly. It’s alright to be alittle concern and overcome it with a positive outlook.
- Divert our thoughts ~ each time we notice dark or negative thoughts creeping up on us, make every conscious effort to divert our attention to a positive thought. Doing it repeatedly becomes a habit and positive thinking becomes effortless.
- Gratitude ~ appreciate of whatever we have and we will not be overcome by greed. Greed can never bring contentment but dissatisfaction and unhappiness that will deprive us of a loving life.
The affirmation that “We can do whatever we set our mind to” can only be true if we believe in it and make the necessary efforts to turn our mind around. Are you willing to change? Are you ready to do it? Most importantly, do you want to?
It's so unbelievable how our positive thoughts can attract so much more of what we want to focus our mind on. As I delved on this week's affirmation, time and again I came across a poem on Determination ~ Don't Ever Quit. I would love to share it with all my friends and readers at Totally Useless.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Father's Day is a day of commemoration and celebration for all fathers. It is a day to not only honour our father, but all men who have acted as a father figure in our life, whether as Stepfathers, Uncles, Grandfathers or even "Big Brothers."
Father's Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide but in Malaysia, it is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June every year. This year we will celebrate Father's Day on June 21, 2009.
The bee said, "What seems to be the problem"?
"I'm out of gas" the man replied.
The bee told the man to wait right there and flew away.
Minutes later, the man watched as an entire swarm of bees flew to his car and into his gas tank. After a few minutes, the bees flew out.
"Try it now" said one bee.
The man turned the ignition key and the car started right up.
"Wow!" the man exclaimed. "What did you put in my gas tank"?
The bee answered, "BP!"
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Well, that’s life. Sad as it may be at its moment but we must look past it and move on.
This afternoon, I just had a farewell lunch for 2 of my colleagues who will be leaving the company for greener pastures, so to say. Opportunities beckon them and I wish them all the best. They had been great comrades as we supported each other throughout the demands of our respective responsibilities in the office. As I had kept in touch with many of my ex-colleagues from my current employment as well as past employment, I’m sure I will remain in contact with them too.
Looking on the brighter side, I am grateful. With each friend moving on, I get to expand my horizon past my own. It will be an opportunity to explore life where I may never have the opportunity to do when we reconnect to share their new experiences in their new environments.
To my dear colleagues, Mariam and Sri Murni …
“We have touched each other’s life this once and it shall never be the same again. Friends forever and only time will beckon us together again. Stay positive, healthy and happy always. All the best to all your future endeavours.”
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Let me share about my good friend and ex-colleague, Lynn. I got to know her only about 6 years ago when she joined my organisation as an Accounts Executive. Throughout our friendship, I've known her to be a gentle person but with strong personality. She's firm with her decisions and at times, may be abit stubborn. But she's still an angel of friend and I love her for that.
Like me, Lynn do struggle with weight problems and we regularly share our frustrations about food cravings, our weighty problems and physical activities. Up till the time when she resigned from my organisation, I had not been successful at convincing her to join me for any physical exercises. She always turned me down because she claimed she can't run.
A week ago, I was lucky not to have fell off my chair when she messaged me to go for a run together. A big grin swept across my face. I was elated! A big step towards more to come I hope. We finally did our first run together yesterday night. We cover 2 laps around the Kota Kemuning Lake. Mind you, she jog two-third of the total distance of 4km.
See ... when she had set her mind to it, look at what she's capable of achieving. In time, she'll be jogging more laps.
The Law of Attractions works too! I had been visualizing about this opportunity for so long, it's finally manifested.
Friends, this is just a mural on the ceiling in a smoker's lounge. Doesn't it looked real?
Imagine ... had this been really really for real with the smokers looking from 6ft under, would they still be laughing out loud?
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Many of the regulars couldn't make it ... some had gone outstation, some were not well. The current dry spell has cause such a thick haze to envelope the environment that many were falling sick. To make it worse, there's the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus.
Anyway, my participation was double-edged. As much as I wanted to burn off those excess calories collected over the last few days' bingeing, I was out to prove something to Ray. That I'm capable of achieving a longer run than I normally do.
While preparing for the run yesterday night, I had voiced my intention to run 6 laps around the Kota Kemuning Lake this morning. Each lap being 2km. Ha! He gave me a COLD SHOWER! Ray commented that I was being ambitious. We'll see about that!
It's not always that I go for a long distance run or any further than 5km. Well, I'm so proud of myself today. I completed 6 laps as intended. All within 1 hour 40 mins and still standing. I would've added another lap had it not been because of the pain on one of my toes that was escalating.
YES!!! Ray, you know I don't like running but that doesn't mean I can't do it. So, next time, don't underestimate me, Dear.