Friday, June 30, 2006

The Calling

Wow, the extent that the automative industry will go to in order to get our attention. Believe me you that the following video is an advert from Pirelli, starring John Malkovich and Naomi Campbell. Details at Top Gear.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke That Thunders)

If I ever have the money to get my own muscle car (Ford Mustang or Dodge Charger or even the Vauxhall Monaro VXR), there is only one name that I'll call it: Mosi-oa-Tunya, a name given by the locals in Zambeze to Victoria Falls. The name says it all: The Smoke that Thunders!

Victoria Falls

Ford Mustang

Dodge Charger

Vauxhall Monaro VXR

Mr Over-committed

In F1, you sometimes hear the commentator mention that a driver over-cooked the corner and crashed out. In football, you always hear of a player over-hitting the ball and rockets it towards the sky. Well, I've just realised on reflection that in terms of relationships (you know what kind), I'm an overcooked f1 driver or an overkicked footballer. Hmmm, that didnt come out right but I think you know what i mean.

I think 1 major contributing factor to why my past two relationships have not worked out fine is because I always have the tendency to go into it with guns' blazing only to end on a whimper. In short, I tend to overcommit in my relationships thus far. I always over-care in the beginning, got myself so stressed out mentally, emotionally and physically that after a certain point, I started to think that maybe such a relationship may not be worth it after all.

I wanna thank the Lord for giving me the wisdom for finally figuring this out. (after 2 relationships in 8 years, guess I'm not as fast as a learner as I thought:)). It's my prayer that by God's grace, when I finally meet a person whom I love, I will be in it for the long haul. Not that I'll be lukewarm but more so of applying wisdom in all that I do, so that my relationship with her will be balanced, healthy and forever growing. Lord, help me! Amen!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Macbook at work

Haven't gotten a digicam yet. So had to take photo of my MakBuku with my trusted camera phone:

Hehe, the deco with the sleeping bookshelf was copied from Shawn's old room.
Never had aesthetics and functionality come together so nicely before
Mac OS X beats any Windows offering any time any day.

First Post from a Mac

The macbook has been good so far (2 days and counting:P). Sharp screen, nice keyboard touch. The magnetic power adapter isn't as flimsy as reported. The click sound it makes when it's attached to the macbook sounds satisfying. The magnetic (why is Apple suddenly so obsessed with everything magnetic? Must be Job's North Pole suddenly sending out gravitational signals) lid closure seems ok as well so far. Of course, I must mention again. The iSight camera and Photobooth software is pretty entertaining. Don believe me? Check out the fun i've been having with taking self-portraits:))

First try at Redbox sunway. Kaku a bit

With better lighting in Starbucks, I'm happy:P

Then I got home and went berserk with the effects:))

I'm a mean bull-boar

Just another typical music album cover:)

Do I have the X-factor or Do I have the X-factor?

Did some space-traveling as well

and landed in planet Tree-face

Went back to planet Earth and tried to pick a fight with myself

Realised suddenly I wasnt wearing a shirt. So I quickly slipped back in decency:P
And I managed to look pretty decent for a while, in a dreamy-way

But I spoke too soon. My dream had become a color nightmare!

As my vision became blurred...

Then bang! I was suddenly turned into a llama:))

The end!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A celebration of White


I've changed my blog to reflect a few changes in my life lately. In view of God's provision of such an amazing scholarship for my masters, I've decided not to cheapen my website (thanks to the brilliant suggestion by Casey Liew) by putting all those ads. From now on, it should be used to reflect my thoughts on my passions and nothing else.

I've also changed the theme of the blog to white cause white is a cool colour. It's also the color of my sparkling new Macbook:) It has finally arrived! I've collected it on Saturday before going for a karaoke lunch session with colleagues. Love everything about it, especially the iSight camera and Photobooth. Photobooth is a software that uses the built-in iSight camera on the Mac to take your own photos or photos with friends/family, well, just like what a typical photobooth does:). Having a lot of fun with it. The Macbook is just so irresistibly cool. Do I regret not getting a black one? Well for extra RM700??? I don think so. I love white;) from now onwards:P

Monday, June 19, 2006

Fairytale (Tong Hua) - Road Trip Version

Just went to Pulau Perhentian last weekend with 5 other crazy dudes/dudettes. We've even gotten ourselves group t-shirts and group theme song. It was none other than Michael Wong (Guang Liang)'s very very very over-famous song, Fairytale (Tong Hua). If you wanna see our version of this song, complete with music video (don worry people, no one dies in this version), please click Play:)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mak Buku, Oh Mak Buku, mana Engkau? (Macbook, Oh Macbook, where art thou?)


I've placed an advanced booking for a White Macbook with the 2.0GHz Core Duo processor on May 27th. It has not arrived as of today, 11th June. I've called Gallant IT where I did my booking and they've told me it's still pending Sirim's approval. Now, who can tell me, in the name of all that is right and holy, whether Sirim can do a better job than Apple itself in assessing a product's electrical/electronics reliablity. We cannot even replace a bridge connecting our neighbouring country and yet we think that the local "FCC" can do a better job than Apple, a billion-dollar company that has been making amazing products since the 70s. Heck, we still cant even build a proper car despite being a car-making country for 20 odd years. Pfft!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Find out what's your personality DNA

Was influenced by a Considerate Leader to take this interesting personality test and found out I'm a Benovalent Leader with such personality DNA profile (mouse over to see traits):

Agree with everything except the high femininity part:P

Friday, June 09, 2006

Erasmus Mundus Scholarship

After 4 years of anticipation and looking towards the Lord, I'm gonna get the chance to do my masters! Thanks to the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship program. More importantly, thanks to the many many prayers that I've been getting from my friends! By God's grace, I'll be leaving this September and will be spending 2 years in Europe studying Net-Centric Informatics.

The Journey

I first heard of this Erasmus Mundus program when it came out in newspapers August 2005, I think. What really caught my eye was that it was gonna offer at least 40 places to Malaysians in 2006. And so with great anticipation, I went to the Erasmus website for Malaysia. I was not disappointed. They outlined very clearly how much they were gonna spend in 2006 and years to come. This program is really amazing. Every year each student will be given €21,000 as living and traveling fees besides the opportunity to really experience the European education system thoroughly.

They have several courses available. The application is sent directly the respective instituitions and I chose to apply for the European Masters in Informatics (EuMI) program, which was being driven by 3 very prestigious universities, University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Aachen University in Germany and University of Truento, Italy. Since it's a two year program, I get to choose 2 universities out of the 3 to study in. I chose Edinburgh as my main university as I've always wanted to take up my masters in the UK and Aachen as the partnering university (because I've heard great things about this university from an engineer from Sun Microsystems who came to Malaysia few months before and also because the opportunity to try out the Autobahn:P).

Everything was done online. I had to scan my certs and upload them to the server and sent hard copies via post later on. I've also applied for the British Council Chevening Scholarship as well but I guess competition for that was just too great and I didnt make the cut. But no matter, because in April 2006, I got news from EuMI that I've been tentatively selected for the program and my fundings are pending approval from the European Commission.
And finally on May 30th, I received this short email from EuMI:

Subject: European Commission - decision (they don even wanna give you any hint as you first open your email)

Dear Students,

this e-mail is to inform you that the European Commission has approved your names for the scholarships for attending the Erasmus Mundus Master Course in informatics. In the next days we will contact you in order to give you more information about the program (mobility plan, curricular, information about the visa procedures and ecc.).

Best regards EuMi school

Less than 50 words and yet it meant the world of difference to so many people. And so, I'll be going to Europe with 65 other Malaysians (65 because out of the 85 places mentioned in the article, 20 were for last year and the rest for this year. I know because I immediately emailed the EC delegate to Malaysia for clarification after reading that article:P) to pursue our dreams in various fields. I know at least one more Malaysian who is going on the same program as me. And so another phase of my life journey begins September 2006. I must admit that I have mixed feelings now. On 1 hand, I feel very elated at the opportunity of experiencing the European education system. On the other hand, I cant bear leaving my parents, family, friends, church members, colleagues in Shell (whom I've just begun to build up strong relationships) ,old colleagues from Open Source Systems and the work I'm currently doing in Shell.

But I do know I will be leaving with all my loved ones' blessings in my heart and that for me, is such an amazing feeling!

[update] Just received an email with finally some details. It came attached with an acceptance letter which I am supposed to sign and fax back to EuMI. Excerpts from the letter:

accepts the Erasmus-Mundus scholarship for the Academic Year 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. The beneficiary is aware of the fact that the Erasmus Mundus scholarship consists of 16.000,00 € (a monthly instalment of 1600,00 will be transferred for a period of 10 months), plus 5000,00 € as partial reimbursement of travel expenses and fees, for a total of 21.000,00 € per each academic year (total amount for two academic years is 42.000,00 )."

Most important statement, without which, everything would come undone:)

"accepts the curriculum in: Net-Centric/Media Informatics
and the mobility scheme which foresees period in:
University of Edinburgh (September 2006 – May 2007)
RWTH (June 2007 – July 2008)
<-- (Aachen, Germany)
University of Edinburgh (August 2008 – September 2008

Oh cool, I thought I was going to Germany first since in the previous email, they put the mobility as Germany and Scotland. Or maybe they've just changed their minds. No matter:)

"The beneficiary is also aware of the fact that the tuition fees for the Master’s Programme are 6000,00 € for the first year; the amount for the second year could be increased in relation to the current inflation rate." Reminding me not to spend all my allowances and keep 600a month for fees:P

[End of update]

Sunday, June 04, 2006

KL International Motorshow 2006 (KLIMS06)

Went to KLIMS06 on Tuesday with Farul, my ex-manager and soon to be colleague again at Shell. Had to wake up at 6.00am to start work at 7.00am and skipped lunch to finish work at 3.00pm for the show. Borrowed an Olympus 10x from a church member to take some photos. The rechargeable batteries finished their by the 10th picture. Had to pay exorbitant price for batteries at the counter. Lost the camera bag and had to buy a replacement one. So the experience? Worth it! Would do the same thing again if given another chance! Especially since I also received my scholarship results that same night! But enough about me. The photos:

First, concept cars:

Honda's FCX Concept Car... 4-door Lambo-wannabe?

Volvo's 3CC - 3-seater Coupe with very cool wing doors

Nissan's Sports Car Concept - Nothing special really

Our very own Proton/Lotus APX - it'll probably the only car that Proton wont sell locally:P

Cars you dont see on the road everyday or most likely none at all:P

I'm a very ugly Frog 430 but I can go from 0-100km/h in 4.0sec

I drove this before ...err in a game. Love the speed and handling. It's a bit scary even in a game:P

Lamborghini Gallardo - My 2nd car ... err in the same game. Fantastic handling! Love it!

I've confirmed scientifically that a 6-footer will not be able to sit properly at the back of a Mercedes CLS. At least not without bumping his/her head at every pothole. No worries. Most Malaysians are 4-feet tall anyway:P

Black Mclaren SLR - sleek and silky. Sigh!

Bentley Continental GT - The cabriolet version has already been sold out for a year even before entering production. There are that many rich people who can afford a RM2million car in this world. Double sigh!

Something a bit more realistic - The Ford Focus ST, £17k and comes with a turbo-charged 2.5L engine. Very desirable except for the name (ST could possibly stand for Sanitary Towel:P)

Pagani Zonda - If you buy one of these, you'll get a personal delivery from Mr Zonda himself, who had dedicately handcrafted this car for you;)

Ferrari F60, or more normally known as the Enz0. It's a legalized F1 road car actually:P

Speaking of F1, if you buy one of these ...

... it comes with its own personal bridgestone "tyres":))

Since we're on the topic of "tires", check out the usual car babes. Not really my focus that day, just took a few for my Shell friends:P
Volvo babes

Toyota babe

Nissan's sales lady - I kid you not:P

Last but not least, check out the Volvo C70's amazing roof that goes down/comes up in 25secs.

Not much space for a golf bag if you "let your roof down". The FCUK model was purely unintentional:P

Almost forgot, more photos at Flickr.