For once the weather was cool. I put the alarm to sleep and clambered out of the bed. Nesa was still snoring away. I would wake him up when i come back from shower later.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
For once the weather was cool. I put the alarm to sleep and clambered out of the bed. Nesa was still snoring away. I would wake him up when i come back from shower later.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Malaysian Artiste for Unity
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Blogging indeed is an incredible experience. The opportunities it offers are just immense.
I spent 2 days toiling continuously to write an entry for a blogging contest before coming back to Penang, inventing a superhero that blogs and accidentally dumped Mace Slammit in the sea(the quality of which did not justify the time spent, unfortunately).
Before long Nuffnang throws good stuff our way again. This time it's 2 tickets to the Gala Premiere of Prince Caspian on the coming Monday. Thanks Nuffnang!
I did not enjoy 'the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' that much. But i gather it probably just paled in comparison to 'Return of the King' of LOTR trilogy, which was still fresh in memory then. It certainly did not help to have a name that sounded slightly ridiculous.
But that was in year 2005.
After a slew of movies that flaunted high tech gadgetry recently, I yearn for a Fantasy movie which stimulates my imagination, and not just more of the same. Prince Caspian, a movie that is full of magical elements certainly will make a refreshing change. Petals taking a human form, and the water that roars to life. Damn cool.
And i can't wait to watch the battle scenes where hundreds of thousands of soldiers stand in perfect formations (that make little sense to me, but that's besides the point) across the plains, hurling boulders across incredible distance. It is just so, intense, so much so that I get goose bumps every time i watch the trailer.
The trailer looks rather convincing. I shall tell you guys how the movie turns out to be after Monday.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
(taken from here)
My brother eased the car to a gentle stop and the deceleration roused me from sleep. Rubbing my eyes i felt my neck was aching from the bad posture i assumed in my sleep. It had been a tiring day thus far.
Waking up at 5.30am, i only managed a mere 2 1/2 hours of sleep. I had to get the earliest bus from JB to KL. My brother would pick me up from there and together we would drive home to celebrate Mother's Day with my mum. If there was any delay we would not be able to make it back in time for dinner.
The fatigue was worsened by the condition of the bus that i took. The polished exterior of the bus (named as Yakin Bagus which means Certainly Good) belied the true nature of a bone-shaker. I should have suspected something was amiss when i saw the seat in front of me that resembled the Leaning Tower of Pisa, easily besting 3.97 degrees of the famed tower.
I could get no good rest from such a bumpy ride, and to make matters worse, the air conditioner (which was making the bus perfectly fit for Eskimos when i first boarded) suddenly decided to give up battling the Malaysian sun. Without any effective ventilation, the full fury of the Equatorial descended upon us, and gave us a lesson on Greenhouse effect.
Sun ray penetrates the huge glass windows and beat on us relentlessly. All passengers became warmer as a result of the baking sun, and we in turn warmed the air inside the bus by emitting infrared radiation. The temperature in the bus continued to rise so long the air remained trapped in the confines of Yakin Bagus.
And then i saw the one thing that bound all Malaysians together, regardless of skin colour.
We all had a sheen of sweat all over us.
Same idea, but those were a lot less desirable
Anyway, I arrived safely at Puduraya Bus Terminal in KL at 1.30pm. My brother picked me up and after a while we stopped by this rest station in Tapah, along North South Expressway.
Alighting the car, i stretched all my limbs, as if it would drive the fatigue away. It didn't.
First we performed the customary (at every rest station that you arrive at) peeing at the rather roomy but poorly designed toilet.
Our glorious role in the Water Cycle
The urinals were placed in such a manner that after you have performed your duty in completing the great Water Cycle, you would get an unhindered side view of a fellow pee-er as you turn back, without the benefit of a urinal separator. That was rather embarassing.
Anyway we managed to move on to our next task, which was to obtain nourishment. We went to this section that sold local produce, which in Tapah's case were Guava, Jambu air (Water/Rose apple? never heard of these names), and Mango.
But the experience totally blew us away.
'Leng chai, you mm you Jambu ar?' -cantonese version of Handsome, want Guava?
'Shuai ge, yao bu yao chi shi liu?' -mandarin version of Handsome, want to eat Guava or not?
'En tao eh, ai jiak jambu boh?' -hokkien version of Hey Handsome, want to eat Guava?
'Eh handsome, you want to taste my Jambu?' -english version
Ok i admit, i added the last line myself.
But there must had been 20 young
Drowned in the sirens call, my feet guided me to this particular stall that...
The magic, unfortunately, ended there.
The stall was totally unremarkable to a fault. I bought one packet of Guava and another packet of Jambu Air. And in spite of me saying that i only wanted light sprinkles of sour plum powder, she coated them with so much powder that puts chinese opera artiste's make up to absolute shame.
(taken from here)
Petrol from KL to Penang: RM100
Toll fee: RM 60
A packet of Guava: RM 1.50
A packet of Jambu air with too much sour plum powder: RM 1.50
Levitating in unabashed glee from 20 chicks calling you handsome at the same time: PRICELESS
So, go to Tapah rest station today!
*Above quoted figures are purely guess-timate (really bad ones) except for the RM 1.50 items and of course, the PRICELESS one
And while we are at it, do enjoy some other PRICELESS pictures here.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
*This entry is for Singapore Superhero Blog-tastic Contest. The prize for the best entry is an acer laptop.
**Be warned, this entry may be twice as lame as my superman joke. Can't help it, lameness takes over where humour is lacking. Super long too.
***Summary of my superhero is at the end of the entry
'Ma!' David exclaims and frantically tugs at his mother's shirt. Fear manifests in his big brown eyes.
'There's... someone out there...' He points his finger weakly beyond the glass window, stuttering as he speaks.
The MRT screeches to a complete halt at City Hall station.
A middle age Chinese man jolted into the middle of the carriage, overtaking an older lady, and promptly squeezed his ample bottom into an empty seat between a Malay lady with upslanting thick-rimmed glasses that belonged to the last millennium, and a disgruntled-looking Indian that wears a shirt that announces PCK Private Limited.
The Chinese's considerable beer belly peeks at the outside world from gaping pinstripe. He is evidently pleased with himself for beating the crowd to win a prized seat at this rush hour madness.
Taking a peek
He wipes his balding crown, glistening from droplets of sweat. He scans the surrounding with a smirk. His satisfied smugness however vanishes when his eyes found the PCK's employee staring at him annoyingly. He suddenly looks weary, as his air of pompousness deflates. He stops looking around, and slumped on the seat. He saw David pointing a finger in his direction, wide-eyed.
Self-consciously he caresses the last remaining strands of hair with his short stubby fingers. Relieved to find them still around, he mutters something inaudible at David irritably, thinking that David is making fun of his baldness.
'Stop being so rude.' Sarah snapped at her boy while pushing his hand down. 'This train is in a tunnel, and no one can be in the tunnel other than train passengers.' She nods apologetically to the bald Chinese.
David hasn't been an easy kid to raise, Sarah sighs. 'I will have to consult Dr Yeoh about topping up the Ritalin dosage when i see him next week', she silently talks to herself. Ritalin, the medicine David is taking for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, has become less effective lately.
'But ma, there's really someone there!' He raises his voice to lend some credence to his claim. It's funny how some adults still retain their childhood practice to this day.
She looks beyond the window just to reassure David that there is indeed no one there.
'There is..' she stops in mid sentence, confused. She feels as if she has stared into someone's eyes, and a chill runs down her spine. But reasons regain its foothold in a split second, deciding that she must have been mistaken. How can there be anyone standing outside the train in an underground railway tunnel?
'I will say it once more, there's nobody out there ok?' She instinctively caresses David's head to calm him down, pressing his face against her tummy.
The train slowly picks up momentum and leaves the City Hall station. With his head pressing against his mother's tummy, he apologized for imagining things.
Sarah turns back to take one last glance, wondering if she too had imagined things.
Watching the train leaving the station, Ivan, or more popularly known as the Wind, resumes sprinting down the tunnel. Now that he can’t fly, he has to make do with running. At least he is easily as fast as the MRT.
80 Nangs - I took picture with the Wind
76 Nangs - I spotted the Wind flying! (With photos!)
57 Nangs - The Wind signed on my face!
45 Nangs - How to increase blog traffic the IFMF way! by IFMF 2 hours 45 minutes ago
32 Nangs - Kennysa I love you!
How it should look like
‘Yes!’ Ivan exclaims. The blogs about him are all dominating the Top 10 Most Popular Blogs listed on Nuffnang’s Innit. He can’t contain his pride and and wears a silly smile.
Even his personal blog at IFMF.blogspot.com claims one spot above kennysa.
‘I Owned Kenny! Haha!’ He mumbles to himself, not quite believing himself to have beaten the mighty kennysa in blog popularity.
Every blogger tend to forget about their other identity. Even if it's a superhero.
For all the villains that he knocked out today, the old ladies that he saved from snatch thiefs, all the kids that he saved from buses' wheels, he is still more concerned about worldly matters such as Uniques count of the day.
'Hmm 20000 on average for the past one week, not bad huh. Oh... Most of them are from Singapore and Malaysia, some from Russian Federation? Interesting...' he muses to himself.
Scratching his feet with one hand, he moves the mouse lazily to click on 'Adsense' on his Favourites tab, eager to find out just how full his coffers will be today.
Dr Ivan Foo Muen Fye used to be a scientist based at B*MOON. I have since forgotten what it really stands for, but the university kids all call it Bureau Made of Obsessive Nerds. According to Google it is a governmental organisation dedicated to charting the course for Singapore’s science and technology.
He is in his early thirties, wearing thick glasses that made his eyes look comically large. He is a nice guy, always polite and ever-willing to teach, but too often he drifts into his own world that runs tangential to ours. Colleagues shun him as an eccentrics. Students find him oppressively boring. All in all he is a huge nerd, and nerdiness is a big no no in Singapore.
Anyway, Ivan's special interests in research lied in none other than his female graduate students. However none has ever reciprocated. Even those who relented and agreed to dine together invariably find an excuse to escape early.
Desperate for companionship, he even enlisted the help of bride agencies. Three brides had run away on the nights of the Wedding since then.
With no social life at all, he channeled all his energy into his research. He has since accumulated 1000 patents to his name, an impressive figure for any scientist, more so in his case as he is just in his early thirties. But he is still poor a church mouse, since none of the 1000 patents have any obvious commercial value.
Take one example, he has successfully modified human gut bacteria genetically, producing a new strain that is capable of producing 1000 times of gas when the subject ingests onions. The moment he hit success with the research, staffs of the entire building had to be evacuated for noxious gas contamination. The director of B*MOON ordered an immediate termination of the research.
There were notable ones as well, such as the muscle optimiser. It’s again a genetic manipulation that promises superhuman muscular functions. He experimented on a hamster once, and the poor thing ended up running so fast in the hamster wheel that the wheel melted from heat. The Ethics Board simply refused to grant permission for a human trial.
Frustrated with his career that isn't going up the ladder, isn't earning him any cash and isn't winning him any ladies, Ivan began to feel disillusioned. He decided that he should leave the academia, but he was unwilling to part with his brainchilds that he had invested thousands of hours in.
Frustrated when can't move up
In one drastic decision he decided to carry his legacies within himself.
So the night after he handed in his resignation letter, he sneaked back into his research laboratory, and using himself as the subject, he injected himself with everything imaginable, and in a fit of frustration, even the super efficient gut bacteria.
That spelled trouble for the next one week as the different properties of his inventions were having a hard time harmonizing with his own physiology. He fell ill for almost an entire month, staying at home nursing high temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and you name it all.
He was bed bound most of the time, surviving on a diet of canned food and white rice. Eventually he ran out of canned food. Too weak to venture out of his bachelor pad, he cooked white rice, throwing in anything that he could find. Ginger, garlic, onions etc.
Needless to say, the food turned out awful. But that wasn't the point. He started passing so much gas that a neighbour called in police to find out if he was decomposing in the apartment, much to his embarassment. The police advised him to reduce intake of onions, all the time holding his hankerchief to his nose.
But he simply has eaten too much onions in his desperate hunger. Coupled with the super bacteria, he would have many more days to pass gas. He succeeded in holding his gas, but that gave him a severely constipated frown.
Deciding he had to do something in his life and stop making a fool of himself, he sat in front of the computer and trawled the internet for job opportunities. But nothing interested Ivan at all. Feeling bored, he decided to try his luck at blogging, something that every one of his graduate students seemed to have one.
Instantly he found success! Free from the burden of his loser identity, he had a second chance to start it all over again in the blogosphere. No one had any preconceived notion of him, and no one shunned him. He was surprised that so many people actually found his mundane daily experience interesting. He gained a huge following that continued to swell.
IFMF.blogspot.com became a runaway success.
'Ha choo!' He sneezed really violently. His pathetic studio apartment had not been dusted for a long time. The room shook and he passed out.
He finally regained consciousness. He was lying on a floor strewn with debris. The air was permeated by a strange but familiar scent. But he was just typing a lame blog entry when he sneezed, thinking to himself, wondering what had happened. Looking up he saw a circular dent on his ceiling the size of his head. Instinctively he went for his skull. Apart from some concrete debris all over his hair, he wasn't hurt. But the dent was directly on top of where he was sitting in front of the computer.
'Hey Ivan, can you please don't fart so much and so loudly, it really stinks up the whole place! Especially not when the Developer is here for the en bloc talk!' Screamed the perpetually dissatisfied Ms Tan next door.
En bloc? Argh I am going to be the only one not wanting to move out. That's why they didn't even bother asking me. Lamenting his ill fate of needing to move to a new place soon, it suddenly dawned on him what had actually happened.
The scent that lingered in the air was his own fart!
He finally understood. As he sneezed, and the resultant increase in intra-abdominal pressure overcome the threshold of the anal sphincter. A sudden jet of fart propelled him vertically, just like a rocket!
He scrambled to his computer and wiki-ed 'rocket'.
A rocket or rocket vehicle is a missile, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust by the reaction of the rocket to the ejection of fast moving fluid from a rocket engine. Chemical rockets work by the action of hot gas produced by the combustion of the propellant against the inside of combustion chambers andexpansion nozzles. This generates forces that accelerate the gas to extremely high speed and exerts a large thrust on the rocket (since every action has an equal and opposite reaction).
He was delighted! He had never foreseen this application of those genetically-modified gut bacteria!
He spent the rest of the week trying to learn the nuances of, er, rocket thrusts. Eventually he could hover over the ground with the greatest precision, flying at will. He also started reaping the benefits of superhuman strength and tremendous healing potential, and disconcertingly acute hearing and eyesight.
And as he overcame the learning curve of 'jet' flying, he had thwarted two en bloc negotiations as the developers were turned off by the onionish smell that permeated the entire neighbourhood.
Now he just needed to work on the unpleasant smell...
And perhaps an outfit.
He has just bought a new studio apartment in downtown Orchard with his earnings from blogging. It's amazing how much more he is earning while doing so little, compared to the days when he was cracking his head in B*MOON. And it is a profession that suits his superhero role seamlessly. He has the flexibility to rescue the world, or rather Singapore, any time he sees a breaking news from ChannelNewsAsia or from the blogosphere, either on his brand new iMac or his PDA phone.
He subscribes to Broadband on Mobile, and uses his phone to check comments on his blogs (rather obsessively) and to find out just how many dollars he has earned from Nuffnang and Adsense while on the move. You know, with a daily traffic of 20,000 loyal readers, there can be quite a lot of comments to handle.
But the phone had saved countless life as well. Once there was a blog posted by a damsel in distress, saying that her kitten had climbed up to the highest branch on a tree in East Coast Park and didn't know how to climb down.
Call the Civil Defense, will ya?
Yes instead of calling for Civil Defense, she blogged about it. That's how pervasive the blogging culture is in Singapore.
Anyway Ivan saw the blog the minute it was published, and flew to East Coast Park to save the kitten at once. All everyone there could feel was a mighty gust of wind, and the kitten was found safely on the damsel's hand. Everyone clapped and cheered in reverence of the mighty Wind as the man in white and red spandex flew away.
Everyone enjoyed the gusts of wind that always accompany the mighty Wind, especially when Singapore is such a hot and humid country.
If only they have known...
Singapore being Singapore, there is really little crime that requires the intervention of the wondrous Wind. Most Singaporeans are so marvelously law-abiding that there is actually no need for a superhero.
But it is always good to have an inspirational superhero waiting to rescue the world, isn't it? Especially when he is in spandex.
In time of peace Most of the time Ivan sits in his cozy Orchard studio apartment typing entries that sounds just like a rebellious teenager with lots of angst. Somehow his readers enjoy it tremendously. He can't really understand it, but if it's a winning formula, there's no need to dwell too much on it.
However too long a time of peace can be detrimental to the Wind.
As long as there's no villains around for him to exert his superhero role, he feels constipated. He needs to fly regularly to relieve the pressure that builds up in his, er, rectum. The bacteria never stop working you see. Therefore protracted period of non-activity leads to protracted period of high pressure gas build-up, thus impeding venous return of the cushions...
The whole blogosphere was buzzing with activities on that day.
Mace Slammit, the most dangerous villain Singapore has ever known, had just escaped for the Detention Centre in Whitney Road.
Everybody's blog title had Mace Slammit's name on it. Everybody was puzzled. How could a detainee escape from Whitney Road? A place well guarded by the fearsome Gurkhas.
Well, for Ivan a.k.a. the Wind, it's THE opportunity.
It had been ridiculously boring for a superhero when the crime rate is so low. Finally, he can see some action. He flexes his muscles in anticipation. Opening his hidden closet, he put on his superhero outfit.
With Whitney Road just 2km away from his Orchard Studio, he has plenty of time to spare. He decides that Singapore's superhero must looks his best saving the country from the most dangerous villain.
Looking at himself in the full length mirror, he admires at how much he has changed since he stopped working for B*MOON. He exudes a newfound confidence from both his superhero attributes and his successful blog. He notices every lady turns back to steal a look at him every time he walks past. Oh, he tells that from the subtle but characteristic rustling noise that ladies' hair made when turning back their head.
He works out daily now at California Fitness, a stone's throw from his studio. Not that he needs it, but he needs an excuse for the muscles that gradually became pronounced and toned despite doing nothing.
His once greying and thinning hair is replaced by lustrous, jet-black locks. When he is saving the world, he too prefers a single twirl falling over the middle of forehead.
Thanks to Hui Min for the excellent drawing
What Ivan saw in the mirrow was a Superman in Singapore's flavour, minus the cape. The cape would betray the origin of the mighty Wind. He wears a white spandex outfit, but true to Superman's spirit, he wears a red underwear outside. Across his chest was emblazoned with The Wind's insignia.
Satisfied that he looks as good as his childhood idol, he took off from the balcony. It took only 30 seconds to reach Whitney Road, but he chooses to stay at 50,000 feet altitude, and uses his acute eye sights to spot the whereabout of Mace Slammit, from an aerial vantage point.
Aerial view from 50000ft of the crime scene
Immediately he sees three figures crouching near Mt Pleasure Road, inching cautiously to the main road. Behind them there are lines of soldier sweeping the bushes in formation. There's a car parked on Mt Pleasure Road.
Zooming in on the targets, he recognises Mace Slammit in his prison attire. He contemplates on the options he has. He can tackle all 4 of them at once easily, but there might be more accomplices on their way. He can tackle Mace Slammit and leave the rest to the soldier's closing in fast. He made up his mind.
With the swiftness of an eagle pouncing on its prey, he descended and kicked the accomplices into unconsciousness. Mace Slammit is determined to make it to the car, and breaks into running. He jumps in the car that just sprang to life one moment ago.
But the Wind stands in front of the car. With one swing of his mighty arm he flattens the engine compartment. White smokes fumes from the sides. The only remaining accomplice whipped out a handgun. Perhaps Singapore is not as safe as we all presumed.
A clicking noise tells the Wind that the Handgun has been cocked and it's miliseconds from now before he will pull the trigger. The Wind does not how well he can tolerate a gunshot injury. But he needn't have to find out. With one leap the Wind is already on top of the accomplice and crushes his humerus, leaving the limb limp. The Wind grabs the handgun and crushes it into an unidentifiable piece of art.
Now it's only Mace Slammit left. Out of nowhere he whips out a mace and started slamming it on the Wind. Ah now we know where the name came from. But he is no match for our great Wind. He caught the mace with one hand, and forces it backward to hit on Mace Slammit's head. That poor fellow falls on the street. So lame for the most dangerous terrorist in Singapore.
Picking Mace up over his shoulder, the Wind climbs up to high altitude to orientate himself and to look for the direction of Police Headquarters at Irrawaddy Road.
An Airbus 380 flies by, probably catching the Wind in action. More blog posts by the passengers later.
Then disaster strikes. The hemorrhoid that has been bothering him for the past one week suddenly ruptures (fortunately the underwear is not white in colour).
But the ruptured hemorrhoid changes the dynamics of Wind's flying ability. It's like a ruptured expansion nozzle of a rocket. He cannot calibrate the amount of thrust, and cannot control the trajectory of flight.
Losing control, his only safe bet is to strain as hard as he can, and aim for the open sea in the south. It's a precarious flight, but me makes it to the open sea.
He crash-landed in the sea, far away from any sea lanes. He then passed out in exhaustion.
By the time he regained consciousness, he was alone in the vast open sea. Mace Slammit was nowhere to be seen. Thinking that they probably have drowned, he began the long and arduous swim back to Singapore. He had a difficult time evading the Police Coast Guard, even as a superhero.
Watching the train leaving the station, Ivan resumes sprinting down the tunnel. Now that he can’t fly, he has to make do with running. At least he is easily as fast as the MRT.
The boy must have been terrified, he smiles smugly to himself. He is still relishing about his little act of prank when he suddenly yells, ‘Ouch!’
‘Curse the hemorrhoids’, he laments furiously, as he limps into the secret passage.
Another train approaches and the headlights lit up the entrance of the secret passage. The driver saw a silhouette and stopped the train in caution. Passengers in the train must be wondering about the train uncharacteristic stop in the middle of nowhere.
The driver rubs his eyes, satisfied that he was mistaken about the silhouette, kicks on the acceleration pedal again.
Through the secret passage he exits the tunnel, and changes his clothes. Walking out of the station, the entire street is plastered with pictures of Mace Slammit. A pang of guilt hits him. Mace Slammit probably had died, but Ivan can't be sure. No one had recovered his body from the sea. Meanwhile, the Goverment continues to be blamed for his escape, and numerous conspiracy theories abound. Except that there are no conspiracies. There's only our local superhero who tried to help.
Maybe the Wind should just stop being a superhero in an ultra safe country where his roles are largely saving stranded cats from trees. Maybe he should be contented being a blogger.
The Wind is gonna be busy
Superhero: The Wind
Real Name: Ivan Foo Muen Fye, in his early thirties
Profession: Blogger, formerly researcher at B*MOON
Abilities: Fly, enhanced muscle actiivities, super acute special senses (eye sight, hearing, smell), tremendous regenerative abilities, blog
Costume: Underwear on the outside, spandex and red. Otherwise just like Superman, minus the cape. And the Insignia is a single letter W in Georgia font size 1000
Headquarters: Studio apartment in Orchard
Enemies: Few, Singapore is too safe. Usually amateur crooks, the biggest so far being Mace Slammit.