Monday, December 31, 2007

Marking the passing of time...

Another half hour or so and 2007 will be no more. The new year beckons with new hopes and promises. As I sit here in front of the new wide screen LCD watching a concert telecast live, I can't help but wonder, where have I been and where am I going ? Blergghh, too deep that it gave me a headache.

2007 has been a year littered with personal markers the most significant of which being the fact that I forgo the safe and secure salaried life to delve into the commercial world. It was and still is a scary proposition. Why did I do it ? There was a push factor, there was a pull factor and then there was also a bit of escapism thrown in for good measure. All three factors contributed to the change.

It has been a quarter year and I am still grappling for a secure foothold. Hopefully 2008 will see me finding that secure footing. What else ? Hmmm, 2007 has also shown me how unpleasant it was to be the object of an obsession. The bitterness of unwanted adulation and attention.

My plan to write is still on hold - even the update of this blog is sporadic. My photography is also on hold. There just isn't the luxury of time to indulge. On a positive note, I did manage to sweat a bit more, though the mountain bikes are still gathering dust.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Farewell gift from 2007

Woman drivers.... what can I say ? My dear wife says that the gate post came at her too fast that she did not have time to react. The gate post is definitely to blame !!! Luckily no one, especially the kids were hurt in this mishap. Oh, and she is definitely not getting the keys to the GTI...

Temporary measures to take it to Ah Chiew's workshop in Subang Jaya. Nice guy Ah Chiew, good workmanship and reasonable price. He repaired the bumper, replaced the grill and painted the thing for RM1,000.00. A new bumper from Honda would cost twice as much, to seek one from the cut shop is nigh impossible as its a relatively new model.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

From there to here

This photo was taken in 1984 if I am not mistaken. The year when I decided to leave Malaysia in pursue of a career travelling the world with a salary that has no limits - yeah right, great advertising by MISC. Originally there were 23 of us but only 18 completed the one year course and sailed as cadets. Now there are only a handful left at sea.

Maybe one of these days I'll run down a list. Would be interesting to dredge up the old memory and see where it leads.

Can you guess which is me ?

That is what I looked like more than two decades ago.

It has been good nonetheless.

Picture courtesy of Petra and his new Nikon D300 + Nikkor 18 - 135mm. I love the tone it produces, if only I have the time to use it....

Friday, December 21, 2007

Got the time....

...but not the words nor the pictures to post up here. So much going on, so much to ponder yet so little time to translate it all from mere thoughts to words.

May the new year be a better one for all of us.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Back to basics

Recently I had the opportunity to impart some basic navigation knowledge to a group of seafarers on Mahsuri's island of legends. A diverse muddling of men with the need to acquire a piece of paper officiating them as legal seafarers. Ironic when you realise that they spent most of their breathing moments with the sea yet somehow all those experiences does not count - a piece of paper does.
45 men registered with 43 turning up. From late teens up to those reaching their 6th decade. Some can't read, some can't see (but refused to wear glasses), some can't speak proper English or Malay and one who came in an "S 320". It was challenging, yet their enthusiasm carried the class on till past midnight. Imagine two days to teach buoyage systems, rules of the road, basic chartwork, first aid, safety, seamanship, stability with a touch of Malaysian law.
6 of them failed the mandatory oral exam. I am sure, not for lack of knowledge but either the inability to express themselves or becoming overly nervous when facing the examiner. They should be able to re-sit the oral exam with a nominal fee. Good luck guys.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Some macros...

Some shots culled from last month.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Taking responsibility for yourself...

Phew, things have been so hectic that I have had to ignore my blogs. I did not even have the luxury of taking photos. Missed quite a few photo op, Penang, Langkawi, Melaka not to mention the numerous eating places and glorious food that I gorged on. The camera was there, yet the situation does not permit...

In the middle of this, a little bird whispered to me saying that people thought I have changed and am no longer the person I was before. That friendship to me is a tool to move forward, once used to be left behind if not discarded. Then it flew away before I could ask what the @3#@^?* this is all about. Lucky it did or it might end up stuffed and hanging on a wall somewhere...

This post is not a defence, just a little rant to give my side of the story. Not specifically for you but for me, perhaps in time to come I would look back to this and learn a thing or two. First and foremost, everything changes, even time. There is no reverse. You age, you wrinkle and you die. Its a human fact. With that progression, other things change too. I weigh a bit more, my hair is beginning to have speckles of white in it, I can't eat as much and I sleep less. So, yes, I have changed. But that statement about friendship being a tool is something that I definitely cannot accept. I have been used as a tool but I have and never will be a user. If that is what you thought of me, I am sorry, not for you but for myself. Its sad to think that people I accepted as friends thinking of me that way.

Anyway, you might ask, what has this little rant got to do with the title ? Well, in a round about way, what I am trying to say is that, we should each look at ourselves first, examine our actions and habits before we point fingers and start saying so and so is a snob, so and so is getting arrogant, you get the drift.

Finally, I am still here (errr, in Malaysia...for now) so call me. If I don't answer, SMS and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Otherwise lets just get on with our lives and see if time will bring us back together.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Raya Candid Shots

The recent raya afforded me some breathing space. It felt good to be able to look at things through the lens again. Capturing a moment in time which will be gone forever. Though these are not the greatest of pictures, these are the main reason that I took up photography in the first place.

While the adults were busy catching up the kids were at play. Bliss ignorance letting them enjoy the moments as it happens.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Aidilfitri 2007.

Ramadhan is fast coming to a close with Syawal just around the corner. Just in case I do not have the opportunity to blog before Aidilfitri, Selamat Hari Raya to one and all. I sincerely wish you and your family a joyous celebration and in the spirit of the month seek forgiveness for all the wrongs that I have, may have or imagined to have done. If there was any then it is definitely unintentional, if it was intentional I am certain that you'll know about it... he he he...

I digress, sorry. Semoga Allah memberkati ibadah kita.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Selamat Berbuka 3.

Openers and starters.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Selamat Berbuka 2.

Just dates washed down with iced cold water followed with plain but succulent roast chicken and finished with some sexy fruits ;)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Selamat Berbuka...

Another 5 hours before the sweet cool sirap selasih drench your parched throats. Hm mm.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Call me...

That's what most will say but never do...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Busy Days

Trapped in the sands of time. 24 hours is never enough. Plan your days better. Need two pair of hands and everything else...

Have just been sooooo busy for the last couple of weeks and I expect it to be so in the next few weeks too. No matter what others say, you have to be in the thick of it to really appreciates what's going on.

Anyway, receive a rather sad SMS this morning. Dick and Jane calls it quits. Dick felt terrible for failing to uphold the marriage that he has been trying so hard to maintain for the past decade or so. I am at a lost for words. All I can say is, lets go and eat tonight, just the two of us. Hopefully he'll make it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

ISO 1600

It was late at night. The men and their machines came in a thunderous roar. Disturbing the tranquility of suburbia. Window panes cracked open, curtains slowly parted allowing querying eyes to witness the ruckus. Somewhere a baby wails from disturbed slumber. A feeling of uneasiness blanketed the once peaceful neighbourhood until...

..they saw that its only the contractors coming to mend and upgrade the roads in front of their homes.

While I was taking these pictures, an elderly Indian chap approached, I thought he was going to protest me taking pictures of them working. But as he got closer, it appears that all he wanted was some drinking water. He brought two empty mineral water bottles with him. His face and posture projected his weariness. I took the bottles away from him and gave it to my son to fill up. The bottles were returned full of warm water as we do not keep cold drinking water in the house (the kids are coughing and wheezing due to too much cold stuff...) and I apologise for that for I can imagine what pleasure it would be to quench one's thirst with ice cold water. He just gave a weary smile and walked back to his machine.

That sets me thinking, here is this man working late in the night to feed his family. I pray that his sons and daughters appreciates what he is doing. Oh, his wife too and hopefully she doesn't nag him too much on the household chores that doesn't get done when he is home for he deserves his break.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A woman's scorn

I received a disturbing phone call early this morning. A cry for help and desperate need to share her troubles. It came from Sim, a character whose story I posted some time back. I thought that after all this time, things would have settled somewhat. I was wrong.

He has another woman, an Indonesian whom he showers with money. I can't keep this to myself anymore. Please help me.

Huh ?

That old bastard is two timing me. I thought he is just getting bored with our lives but no, he is enjoying his other life. He ignores us, ignores his daughters, seldom comes back. We are reaching our twilight years. We have shared so much together. This should not be happening. When he didn't visit me in hospital I thought he was busy, when he didn't join the kenduri, I thought he was busy. It was with that bitch. What should I do ?

Come on, we have talked about this before. At this age, with his looks, do you still want him ?

He is mine. How can I let it go just like that ? He ignores us and now he only gives me RM20 per day for expenses. Why should I suffer like this ?

I don't know what to think or say, just seek solace from god.

Please find someone (witch doctor) who can help me. Just destroy them. If I am to suffer then he should too. Please, I have my savings. Use that, just help me to find someone who can do this for me.


She was crying at certain parts of the conversation. I could feel her pain and desperation but what can I do ? Even if I could, I don't think I would like to be involved. I am just an observer and Sim is just paying for her deeds. I still fail to understand why she still wants him. Why keep something that you already despise, that bring hurts and pain whenever in sight ? Would it not be easier to just let go and get on with whatever life she has left ? I have told her this, but my words seems to be hitting a brick wall.

Please, don't tell me about feelings, its only so much that feelings could fulfill. It won't stave your hunger would it ?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Miss You Guys

Went over to a dear friend's blog this morning. It just crossed my mind, wondering whats going on in her life. That particular post of hers about a recent visit to Seremban made me really miss their company. They started out as my then girlfriend's chums. Back when I was still in tight jeans and many kilos less. As me and girlfriend's relationship worked out to marriage, they became my good friends too. Somehow as the years go by, we became constrained by time. Me constantly travelling, my wife jumping from job to job, kids growing up, family and relatives demanding attention. It robs us of the precious weekends that could be used to hang out with those guys.

I miss those times when all we would do is eat, watch TV, gossip, laze around and relax. At first I was saddened by the fact that we were not invited for this recent Seremban get together, but then reality kicks in. Even if we were, it would be nigh impossible to fulfill. I suppose after one too many decline, they might just as well let us be. Perhaps one day, when we get our time back, I'll make sure that my wife and I will hunt them down again. In the mean time, take care guys.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Street Traders

The touristy bits that we see.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dick & Jane

For lack of a better title...

What makes a woman listen to gossip monger, refused to listen to reason and sacrifice the happiness of a child to throw her husband out of their home ?

What makes a man let his wife stomp all over him like that ?

I fail to understand such situation. Then again, perhaps I do. Communication is essential. Give and take is crucial. Understanding and tolerance is mandatory. Most of all, the initial reason of the co-existence and co-habitation must be pure and true, not because of external pressure or for show to the outside world.

Hence the title, Dick in name only and Jane, she has a lot of soul searching to do and a lot to learn instead of letting her emotion rule her behaviour.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Against Instinct

Should have followed my gut feeling, should have listened to my instinct.

This morning after sending my wife to her class I drop by a relatives house, sort of a post umrah visit - going against my instinct which kept prodding me not to. The kind of uneasy feeling that came when you are about to go somewhere or do something. The little voice that never speaks but just let you feel. Anyway, looking back it was just a trivial matter which somehow upsets me greatly.

I arrived and proceeded to manoeuvre my car in the tight and only available parking spot on the road in front of the house. As I was carefully doing it - wife's new car - I was honked at aggressively. It was my relative. My first thought was that perhaps he did not recognise the new car and was angry that someone is taking his spot. I planned to laugh with him about it once I parked the car but his honking became incessant and his approach aggressive. I rolled down the window, poked out my head and waved at him. He did not back up so thinking that perhaps there's something wrong with the spot, I moved on up the street, made a U-turn and as I passed him - already parked in the spot, he pointed towards a tight space on the opposite side of the road. That space will not be long enough for my MPV but will fit his 2 door car. I moved further down the road and stopped right before the junction, at which point, I decided that perhaps its better to listen to my instinct and just left. It was raining, I have kids in the car and my cordial mood is gone.

Two things bothered me, first, its not so much about the parking spot but the fact that as a potential guest, I was treated badly. Second and most importantly, I am angry at myself for taking it for granted that I will be accorded some sort of special treatment just because if it was me, I will make sure my guest can access my house as easy as possible - including giving up my parking spot to them. Well, there's always new things to learn and discover, I suppose.

On the way home, the relative - his wife - called asking why I left. I said, the car is parked too far, it was raining and maybe I'll come by next time. Yeah right...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Monochrome in Haram

Some of the things that I see.