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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Back from Penang!






I'd been bored to death in Alor Star for nearly a month after my STPM, thus I'd decided to join 2 of my cousins for a 3-day, 2-night stay at my cousin's rented apartment in the Pearl of the Orient by bus. We alighted from the bus at a bus terminal in Butterworth and went on to aboard a ferry for the island. This was my first time riding a passenger-only ferry and thus it was a brand new experience for me.


It's hard to miss the island's most significant landmark --- KOMTAR (situated on the photo's far right), even from a distance on the sea.

It'd been months since I last visited the island. Our first stop --- Prangin Mall. I wanted to get my mobile phone's faulty charger repaired at the authorized service centre located inside this shopping complex, besides having my phone's firmware reflashed. But I was damn malang as the Internet server was down that particular day due to the recent Taiwanese earthquake (another December disaster!) that had disrupted many regional countries' Internet connections. :sigh:


KOMTAR
Penang's tallest tower up close

Later at night, we went to savour the fabulous Fondue at Häagen-Dazs. It was an awesome treat after a tiring walk in the mall for hours. The dessert was delicately embellished with colourful fruits, cookies, cake cubes, wafers, and of course, cute-looking ice-cream balls! The middle of the tray was a pot divided into 2 parts: one containing melted chocolate, the other roasted almond nuts. You just have to dip whateva that's on the tray into the rich chocolate followed by a shower of roasted almond nuts. I was in heaven the moment I put it into my mouth. The feeling was so overwhelming!


Fondue
Culinary masterpiece!

Dippin' frenzy

The finished product

Have I made you guys drooled now? XD Don't forget to order yours on your next patronage to Häagen-Dazs! It is enough for 4 servings. This dessert will definitely sweeten your day! :)

On the 2nd day, it was another shopping trip again. We went to Gurney Plaza this time.


Christmas trees changing their lights!

I'd managed to get myself these from MPH bookstore:


TIME magazines & my first ever English-language Bible (King James Version)!

Our legs were aching after 2 days of intense shopping. At night, we went to GSC Gurney Plaza to catch this hilarious Christmas movie:


Night at the Museum

The movie told the story of a divorced guy (Ben Stiller) who went to seek a job as a night guard at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. What he didn't know was that the exhibits would all come to live every day at night fall! The T-Rex, woolly mammoth, lions, monkeys, cavemen, Mayans, ancient Romans etc roamed the entire museum and turned it into an utter chaos. His job was to keep all these roaming exhibits from escaping the museum besides using his wits to stop 3 wicked retired night guards from stealing the valuable items, among them was a 24-carat gold ancient Egyptian tablet responsible for all the museum's nocturnal magic.

It's a must-watch if you guys are fond of comedies. I simply love the Easter Island Statue which was so freakin' cute in its speech (yeah... it talked)! And it loved bubble gums too! So funny huh.

Here are some views from my cousin's apartment:


OMG! A Chinese cemetery!

I could spot the beach!

On our last day in Penang, we went to the island's largest and latest shopping attraction --- Queensbay Mall.




It was definitely huge! Due to time constraints and the massive size of the mall, we had to leave before being able to finish our tour inside.


Sayonara Penang!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tribute



Life's frail, yet we should never ever forsake our only hopes of survival even though we're on the brink of death. Do not be afraid to cling on to our hopes. Be brave. Move on. There's light greeting us on the other side. Head towards it.

In memory of those who lost their grip in the 2004 tsunamis. Peace.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Xmas!



Merry Xmas everyone! May you guys have a great Christmas this year! :)

Sadly, my Christmas is well... an unmerry one. Something unexpected just happened, so early on Christmas Day! :sob: I don't feel like talking about it. Thus, I hope you guys can do me a big favour --- please don't ask me! =.=" I'd really really really appreaciate that.

But don't you guys let that mishap spoil our festive mood! I'm here to wish y'all a happy holiday season ahead! Enjoy your Christmas! :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Silent Night 平安夜

One of my all-time favourite Christmas tunes, Silent Night 平安夜 is always magical to me. The melody is so calm and soothing. I just simply love it.


Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from Heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia
Christ the Saviour is born
Christ the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth


平安夜,圣善夜
万暗中,光华射
照着圣母也照着圣婴
多少慈详也多少天
静享天赐安眠
静享天赐安眠

平安夜,圣善夜
牧羊人,在旷野
忽然看见了天上光华
听见天军唱哈利路亚
救主今夜降生
救主今夜降生

平安夜,圣善夜
神子爱,光皎洁
救赎宏恩的黎明来到
圣容发出来荣光普照
耶稣我主降生
耶稣我主降生

A Christmasy tiMes JoUrNaL!

To create a festive ambience here in tiMes JoUrNaL, I've decided to give my dear blog a Christmasy new look. So don't be surprised when you hear a soothing Christmas tune (remember to turn on your speakers) while reading my blog! We all wish for a White Christmas, don't we? Thus, I've created this snowy theme for my blog. What do y'all think? Hopefully it doesn't look crappy. =.="

For one whole week, this shall be the theme for tiMes JoUrNaL. Hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas ahead! :)

Netdisaster!

In conjunction with the disastrous December, here's a cool site where you can unleash the force of nature on any webpage you want! Click here.

The steps are very simple:

  1. In the Target field, type in any webpage's URL that you wish to destroy.
  2. In the Disaster field, pick any of the disasters from the list.
  3. Hit Go!.
  4. Finally, just sit back and watch your evil plan works its magic!
Ain't it cool? Muahaha... IMHO, the coolest disaster has got to be Flood. You'll see your targeted webpage inundated with water within seconds! How cool! If you are fond of some squiggly effects, try Worms. It's cool no doubt, but it could be disgusting to some. So my piece of advice to you guys is: try at your own risk! XD

Have fun everyone! :P

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Disastrous December

It's a disaster month again! I still remember vividly I'd commented in last December that whenever Christmas is near, something very bad would happen. Seems so true huh.

Let's look back on the December disasters in recent years:

In 2004, many nations bordering the vast Indian Ocean were severely hit by a series of devastating tsunamis triggered off by a big magnitude undersea earthquake off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, which claimed over 275,000 souls and left millions more homeless.

In 2005, the northern states of the Malay Peninsula and Southern Thailand were hit by floods. That also includes my hometown, Alor Star, mind you. My memory is still fresh with those flood scenes. Thank goodness my house was not hit by the gushing waters! In case you don't remember, you can read back some of my blog entries about the floods (with valuable journalist-style pics some more! XD) in the December'05 archives, here.

This year, 2006, it's the southern state of Johor and Singapore's turns to be hit by the damn floods. The conditions are as worse as last year's. If you look back on last year, you'll notice that the floods happened in the same week as this year's! Pretty scary huh.

Poor them! I guess they couldn't celebrate the Christmas season with joy this year. They have to wait for another year, and not forgetting to pray for a peaceful and uneventful December to arrive next year.


Addendum: I've just read a news on Yahoo! that Indonesia is also hit by the floods. Furthermore, it's the worst-hit nation among the 3. Several people were killed and thousands more were displaced in the disastrous Acheh province and Northern Sumatra --- the exact regions that were hit by the devastating tsunamis 2 years ago, in which they were the worst hit.

The Simple Life: Xiaxue's style

If you guys have been an avid blogger or blogder (wateva you call it), you should be very familiar with this gal --- Wendy Cheng, or more famously known by her blogger identity, Xiaxue. Yeah... She's probably the most prominent blogger in Singapore, if not in the whole of Asia. For those who don't know much about her, go wiki for her details here. As for her blog, you can find it easily under blogosphere's Global subcategory on my blog's left column.

Now back to the topic. I've just watched Wendy's hilarious Girls Out Loud on YouTube, a reality show reminiscent of Hilton-Richie's The Simple Life. If I'm not mistaken, it's probably her first ever TV début in Singapore, and is currently on air on Singapore's Channel 5 at 10 p.m. every Monday. She is doing the show together with popular Singaporean radio DJ Rosalyn Lee, aka Ros.

When I first stumbled on her blog, my first impression of her was: 'OMG! This girl is so crude in her language!'. But then, I found that all her blog entries are very humorous and interesting, just like Kenny Sia's. After watching her show, I must admit that she's freakin' cute! Her actions and speeches are damn funny! I was laughing so hard! And not forgetting to mention her accent. It's typical Singlish, and I find it very cute too! If she was to speak in the Queen's English, that would certainly make her very serious-looking and lose some of her appeal. Hey... She's not that bad after all, right? She's got her very own personality and style, and I like it! :)

Ros, the model-like radio DJ, looks absolutely stunning and fabulous! I think she will be equally successful if she's decided to run a modelling career. Her height, her charisma, her charm... She certainly has what it takes to be a model! And I love her accent! :P

I know you guys are damn lazy to search for the video clips, so here's the link to all the current episodes of Girls Out Loud on YouTube. Do check it out and don't forget to check for new episodes in the near future! If you're a self-proclaimed biggest fan of Xiaxue, be sure not to miss it!

Monday, December 18, 2006

An owl's grumbles

I think I've gone sot lately. Not that I haven't had it in my lifetime before, it's just that my sotness has become worse, especially after the stupid STPM examinations!

I used to go to bed very late at night, probably around 2 a.m. on school days, and 3 to 4 a.m. on weekends, public holidays and even the night before each paper during my exams. I would only wake up not earlier than 1 p.m. the next day. This weird lifestyle of mine has been going on for years, till now. Thus you can conclude that except on those school days, I haven't got the chance to greet the morning Sun, nor do I have the chance to savour my breakfast. Furthermore, I used to take my breakfast not in the morning, but in the wee hours (mostly between 2-4 a.m.). That's because I tend to get very hungry during these hours, not to mention that I couldn't resist the idea of eating.

When one thinks that he could actually go to bed early after the damn STPM, the effect has gone otherwise. I now sleep at more peculiar times: several days ago I slept at 5 something, two days ago at 4 something (if it wasn't due to my dad's rumbling, it could had been much later), and yesterday it was 7 a.m. (blame all these on my Streamyx! XD)! And never has these days after my exams that I slept before 3! Gosh... I actually feel that I'm living according to the European or American times! Hmm... Maybe I should really consider moving there for goodness sake... :P

I don't know why. I just couldn't get myself to sleep early. It seems to be a norm that I've got used to all these years. In case you don't know, I've never been to bed earlier than 12 a.m. since Standard 1 (excluding a few negligible nights lah of course). Woah... That was 12 years ago! I guess my health would definitely deteriorate in the long run. But hey... There's one great advantage: I can help my family to keep watch at night! XD

Sigh for an owl's grumbles...

My pay!






Today, I woke up and was surprised to find a letter which bore my name on my computer desk. I was guessing it to be my pay for my first ever job after my STPM.

After opening the letter, my instinct was proven right. There was a cheque enclosed with a blank letter. Gosh... I was so excited! I've been waiting for it these days. Guess I could sleep soundly tonight huh.

Let me tell you the nature of that job. It was a simple-yet-not-simple (what da hell am I talking about?) task which you could complete it within a day without even leaving your computer desk. That's right. It was done using only my PC at my home's comfort. How nice is that! I had to translate a short notice from English into French and German, then posted my translations on 20 different French and German travel forums.

You: What??? When da hell did you learn to speak, read and write in these languages? I'm very (infinity times) sure that you don't, except those basic greetings!
Me: Why? Cannot meh? Are you bohsong with me cos I know these languages?

Just kidding lah! :P Do you guys know that there's one amazing and useful thing called a translation tool on the Internet, and it's free to use? XD

So... Sounds very simple right? Nope, not at all! Despite having the translation tool with me, you still have to correct some of the sentence structures and words so that the translations wouldn't sound awkward. For example, the word apply has several definitions, and you must ensure that the translated word bears the definition you want. One of the tedious parts of the job was to look for 20 French and German travel-related forums. They were quite hard to find since they were not so ubiquitous as the English ones. Plus, it was tough to navigate around these forums since I didn't understand a word they were saying. French was quite easy to me, but German was absolutely not. Another tedious part was the need to register in all these forums, followed by accepting the confirmation letters sent to my e-mail before proceeding to do the copy-and-paste job. The whole job took me approximately 10 hours to complete.

So you bunch of kepos guys are curious with the amount paid to me huh. Not much actually, since this job could be easily done within half a day. Just see for yourself:



Yeah... I'm pretty satisfied with the pay. Initially, they offered me RM10 for posting on each forum, but they later changed to RM5 for each instead. Their maximum budget for this job was RM100, thus I had to do 2 times the initial work-load. But one thing for sure, they said they already had me in mind should they need someone to do translations in the future! :P

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Galerie d'image I






Monday, December 11, 2006

Sketches!

To cheer up your day, here are some of my sketches when I was in Form 1 and 2. Yeah... Pretty old (and lame) sketches! :P


Empty canTreeWaterfalls

Veggie Me

KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Kenny Rogers Roasters, hamburgers, hot dogs, seafood etc, have been blacklisted by me for over one and a half month. It's probably the toughest decision I've ever made in my life so far, especially for someone who loves to eat, eat, and eat! What's more, I've never ever thought of this before. But now I'm proud to declare that I'm one today, at least for the time being, a vegetarian.

For those who've known me for years, don't drop your jaws please! Is this a big surprise to y'all? I bet. :P To be frank, I'm pretty impressed with my feat. Really. I've never thought that I could actually abstain from meat for so long. Before this, no meat for a day was enough to have me killed. But not anymore. I've been able to curb my lust for it not for 1 day, not 1 week, but 1.5 month!

Getting it all started was really tough for me. I still remember I forced myself to tear a Kenny Rogers Roasters rebate coupon into tiny bits on its deadline! Do I regret for it? Nah... I'm actually proud of myself. :) Temptations, temptations! :P

Come to think of all those poor creatures which are slaughtered every single day just to gratisfy mankind's incessant lust for meat cuisine, do you still have the appetite to savour their brutally slain dead bodies on your dining table? I really do mean it. Where's the compassion and mercy we all should have? Oh forget it... We humans are killing each other everyday on battlefields, so what are these inferior creatures to speak for their rights to live?

Just a piece of reminder here: If any of you guys would like to treat me to a meal in the future, do note that I'll only have veggie meals. And day-dreamer, I truly hope that this post would answer my comment on your previous blog entry (hopefully you still remember it). :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A belated birthday card...




Gosh... I just realized that my blog's 1st anniversary has past for one whole month! Damn... What a forgetful person I am! Nevermind... Here's a belated birthday card to the one and only tiMes JoUrNaL!

And also to my dad... Happy Birhday to you today! May great health brings you immense wealth!

FREEEEEDOM!!!

Finally... I'm tasting it! Nothing is more pleasurable in this world than a taste of freedom. After 3 weeks of immense torture, I'm finally freed from my lonely cage. For the time being, torture has become history. It's history baby!

I feel rejuvenated for being able to breathe fresh air and to smile again. Yeah... I'm smiling again! I feel like yelling on the summit of Mt. Everest. Too bad I couldn't do it right here. People would send you to psychiatric hospitals if you ever do that. :P

It's time to make a nice plan now, but I just couldn't think of what to do at the moment. My mind has been used up in STPM, my goodness! I think the first thing I have to do is to recharge my brain juice till it's full!

FREEEEEDOM!!!