Friday, March 30, 2007

Tell me a story...

To the viewers of this blog, yes all four of you, I have updated the settings so that comments could be easier. Just click the link and fire away in the pop up window. Based on all or any of the pictures above, tell me a story. It is not mandatory, but might be fun. Actually, I just want to add a bit of colour to the rather drab previous posts.
Go ahead, tell me what you see.


... marks the spot. This one I found guarding my front door. Don't know what type it is but by the weird way its legs forms an X, I would suggest that it my be poisonous. It was there for a couple of days, gone now.
Oh, to Doc, yes, if I have the 105mm VR these pictures will be sharper..... my birthday is coming soon.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Alone amidst the crowd.

Everyone is entitled to their day of angst, similar to Warhol's popular "15 minutes of fame" only its the nadir instead of the zenith. Most do not realise, but once you reach nadir the only way is up. Going down is no bed of roses....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

NOT Dome.

In contrast to the post about food at Dome below, the pictures in this post is taken on my recent weekend cycling with Dennis. It was he who recommended me to take these pictures as he prefers photos with human stories.
There's this couple of kids, probably brother and sister, sitting in the culvert and using the small walkway across it as their table. On which they have a bottle of black coffee, another bottle of, perhaps Milo and some buns. They were still enjoying their impromptu picnic when we arrived. As I pulled out my camera the brother stood up and tended to the fire, making sure that it creates smoke which is crucial for keeping the mosquitoes away.
Oh, to those self righteous personalities who might view this as child abuse, rest assured that their mother is tapping the rubber trees within a few metres from them. This is how the other half who can't afford baby sitters and Kumon classes live.


A friend missed my food pictures. So here's some to drool over from the recent brunch with the kids at Dome. Heavenly espreski something or other consisting of ice blended coffee with honeycomb chocolate, banana burst for Akmal, which he ordered but ended up not drinking due to the weird taste. If my wife is with us, he will surely be nagged to finish that costly drink.
I had the catch of the day. Its some fish which I am sure have been caught weeks if not month before and "catch of the day" meant whatever they caught out of the freezer, some prawns, rice and veggie. A tad salty but not bad at all. Akmal had his favourite Dome gourmet chicken and mushroom soup while Amani had the junior penne bolognaise.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Run for fun.

Approximately 2 parents for each kid, do the math for a couple thousand who registered...

Determination pushing towards the finish line.

Sweet fancy dress runners strolling along.

Small kid, big leap.

Organised by Astro Ceria. It was an excellent event as far as I am concerned mainly because I get to be home by about 10am, well before the sun goes into its baking mode. The kids enjoyed it tremendously. Thank you Astro.

Dawn & Dusk.

My favourite time of the day, the transition of day to night, light to darkness. Silhouette and colours mingling with each other, also the time when you see things differently...

Friday, March 23, 2007


Its been dark and stormy with rain lashing mercilessly on the office window pane for the past couple of days. Normally towards the end of the day when its time to go. This sets a certain mood of gloom and doom. I left the office a little late yesterday after waiting for the rain to let up a bit mainly because the rain pants that I bought in Singapore has a slight leak problem. The leak is very slight, more water penetration through the fabric than an actual leak. But, the location of the leak is a BIG problem. It is right between my legs so much so that the first sensation would be of an unnatural cooling of my balls. My head would be dry, the upper part of my body would be dry, the lower part would also be dry, the crucial bits are not.

As I entered the lift, there is a girl standing right at the back and staring at the floor. As the lift starts descending I heard her humming (very soft and melodic) the theme song to a popular Malay horror movie. The atmosphere and the song gave me goosebumps. Spooky. Luckily it was only 6 floors....

BTW, if you would recall some time back I posted on an opportunity to do good. I made a call to just check on how he is doing. His health has improved and he is able to move unassisted. He is in the process of withdrawing from his EPF and currently waiting for the hospital report which will enable him to do this. He is truly grateful for the assistance as it was a real life saver, for his kids. Now, hopefully the hospital can come up with the report soon enough so that he could get his EPF and move on, perhaps to start a small business....

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What U' lookin' at ?

Feisty little fella who doesn't scamper away like the rest. It actually came out of its comfy hole and just stared back into the lens.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Have you ever had to walk on asphalt at mid afternoon in 42 degree Celsius atmospheric temperature on bare foot ? If you ever do, only then, at the moment that the heat is transferred from the tarmac to your bones through the sole of your feet, will you appreciate the existence of the humble flip flop popularly known as "selipar jepun" here in Malaysia. But that's another story.
Today, I am reminiscing back to primary school where one of the all time favourite essay topics, be it in English or Bahasa Melayu is to write as if you were an object, say a pen, a pencil or my personal favourite a one ringgit note. It provides for an interesting read when young innocent minds inject soul and feelings into an inanimate object. Usually with a sad ending with the object being discarded after being replaced with something new and shiny.
It has been said over and over that a child's perspective is always the absolute truth. And so it is is, isn't it ? Their essays put to paper what they subconsciously know all along. In life, there is a cycle to all things. Each created for a purpose. Each will be discarded once its objective is fulfilled. This point brings to mind a little financial advice I gave to a young couple who will be getting married soon. More to the future groom really, I said, whispered actually, that he should have his own emergency funds which in essence contradicts my earlier advice for them to be fair and equitable with each other as far as money is concerned. Why ? Because you never know, in the worst case scenario, if you were thrown out then you will have something to fall back on.
I apologise for seeming to put a dark shadow over what should be joyous, but that's just me being me with those within my circle. Why ? Because I have received a phone call late at night from a close friend asking to pick him up from, of all places, in the vicinity of the Lake Gardens. Turns out he has been thrown out by his wife. This coming from a couple who were deeply in love for years so much so that they would rather not eat so the money could be used for their phone calls. Its a long story. They are divorced now. Bottom line, at the beginning each needed the other but the time will come when the need is overcome.
It applies to all of us doesn't it ? No matter how useful you think that you may be, one day the time will certainly arrive when that usefulness is no more.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

From the 10th. Floor...

... of the Primula, Kuala Terengganu.

Bikers; BEACH.

Got these shots on the beach at Kuantan. Photographically its pretty exciting as these are my first ever action shot with the D200. The second one capturing blurry movement is my favourite.
Socially, these guys are idiots acting irresponsibly. It was a weekend, beaches in front of resorts are teeming with people, mostly kids playing on the sand. I am a biker too and I do understand their need to enjoy their machine but come on, at least slow down when passing heavily populated areas of the beach. Imagine if a kid is knocked down. What then, apologise profusely to the parents ? Imagine further if its some foreign kid - god forbid an American or a Brit - good job at tarnishing Malaysia's image. Real idiots, notice in the second photo he's looking at the sky ? Imagine the gall of it, going full speed with kids around and taking the time to look at kites.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My lucky charm.

I have always found the presence of spiders to be comforting. No, Spiderman is not my hero. I much prefer the cool Mystique with her ability to transform into whatever she touches....
Deep within me, they are a sign of good luck, protection from evil or whatever. Its not something I learn or cultivate, its just a feeling that I have always had. Usually these are associated with the common tiny ones that you can find in Malaysian homes and its surrounding. Not these monsters. The ones in this pictures are huge and the size alone is threatening. But they are beautiful...

This last picture attempts to put their size in perspective. Can you spot that there are three of them ? If you can only see two then the other one might just be lurking under your desk heh heh heh....


Not 'that' vista, but the real deal. A beautiful morning by the beach in Kuantan. The cool air is still and the waves laps the beach lazily letting the water play hide and seek with reflections of the glorious sunrise on the pristine and shiny sands. For me this is the stuff that feeds the soul. Just the stuff to remind me to take stock and re-examine my perspectives in life.

The photo above is of my son perhaps examining his life's perspective. Well, maybe not, he's just looking at seashells and hermit crabs. It really warms me up that he is willing to wake up at dawn and follow me on my trek to the beach. It was fun.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Losing ground.

My cycling area is getting smaller and smaller. This is the lament of mountain bikers now. Development (destruction of nature) is slowly but surely encroaching into areas of green. Displacing plants, insects and critters with concrete and trash.The second picture is a proposed bridge which collapsed most likely due to erosion resulting from sand mining close to it. It has been left like that for months if not years now.
The third picture used to be secondary jungle fringing the rubber plantation. All is gone now and I don't think its coming back.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Met a bird last night, well travelled, divorced, no kids and in great shape. She came all the way from the land of the rising sun. Most importantly, she is also a fellow Nikon user. She's a photographer with the Japanese delegation. I have been eyeing her equipment (photographic... not what you were thinking, well...) throughout the conference as I was curious as to where her D200, 18-200mm and SB 800 was made. Years ago all Japanese products meant for local consumption is made in Japan.

As luck would have it, she sat next to Nizam and me during dinner. She speaks good English too. We made small talks which turn into big issues. About youths, about commuting, about life in general. I was aghast when she tells me that there are 30,000 suicide in Japan annually. Mainly committed by young people who appears to lack the energy to live, I think she meant desire to live. In turn she kept asking about polygamy. Whether Nizam or me have 4 wives and such things. Hmmmm....

Anyway, turns out that her equipments, similar to mine is made in Thailand with the SB 800 made in China. According to her things have changed and in general Japanese does place much emphasis anymore on where a product is made. A bit sad really, bowing down to economic consideration at the expense of their national pride.

It was a good dinner with the Asika Group engaging the guests. Everyone had a good time.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Interesting creature in the same family of the lizards. Much smaller than monitor lizards but bigger than common house lizards. These are abundant in my cycling area. They normally come out at about 1000 hrs. Just when the sun begins to warm the earth. Also about the time I come to a stop for a breather. When these babies arrives on the scene you can be assured that the snakes won't be there. The snakes will come out for their bit of warmth slightly later.
So, if you happen to be in a rubber estate or palm oil plantation between the hours of 0930 and 1130 be aware of your surrounding. If the geckos are there, then the snakes won't be. If you can't see any, most likely some species of snakes (most likely cobra's) will be in the vicinity. Err, don't take this as hard and fast rule though, just something I observe after all these years of cycling in estates and palm oil plantations. In most cases, the snakes will be as terrified of you as you are of them. If you see them, just stop and let them get on their way.
For a bit of fun with a cobra, get a long stick (at least 2m long), preferably wet, as the cobra rises to assess you just threat it with the stick. They will hiss and spit. This venom is visible as it travels along the wet stick. However, if it rises to a height that is approximately the same as you, stay very still and back away slowly. Do not provoke it, at your height, it can strike far and accurate....