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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Come Back, Bill (Remembering Calvin & Hobbes)

I have all of Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes books. There are about six of them, not including the treasuries. I have been a huge fan of his work since the Star started running his strip in the mid-80’s. As most of you know, Bill stopped the series about 10 years ago, due to personal reasons. At that time, the strip about the six-year old and his stuffed tiger was the most successful and widely published comic strip in the world.

The reasons for Watterson’s retirement were well-documented: He had been increasingly disillusioned with the publishing world’s rigid demands, fights over merchandising rights (he was against ANY kind of merchandising), and most of all, he felt he would not be able to maintain the high level of standards for the strip.

In one of his collections (“The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book”), Watterson shared many things about his life – his obsession with privacy, his heated rows with publishers and newspaper execs, his love for old-time strips like Krazy Kat and Peanuts, and his frustrations with piracy.

In the immediate years after his retirement, there was a clamour by US dailies to find the next “Calvin & Hobbes”. So many were hyped, but none even came close to its popularity or level of humour. One of the heavily-touted ones was Liberty Meadows, but it soon fizzled and succumbed to the all-too-common diseases of comic strips – lack of ideas, repetition and banality.

But none of them will ever be like Bill Watterson, because just like Charles M. Schulz, he is irreplaceable.

Stupendous Man. Spaceman Spiff. Suicidal snowmen on the lawn. Calvin-ball. Susie Derkins.

Come back, Bill. We miss you.

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Friday, April 29, 2005

9 Classes of Malaysian Drivers

KL city drivers are a diversified lot. Some are insane, some are arrogant, some are suicidal and then there is the silent majority. But by and large, however you react to someone one cutting in on you, we all adhere to an unwritten hierarchy system of drivers. It’s all here from Class 1 to Class 9. The law of nature is simple, a lower class driver must give way to a superior class, and don’t ask any questions. Failure to do so can be very detrimental to your health and wallet.

Class 1
Royalty and ministers in their motorcades, with the usual 20 police outriders.
The outriders go ahead of the black Mercedes/Rolls Royce to clear traffic first, failure to do so can be suicidal. The VIP motorcade usually consists of many cars, (as you know car-pooling is an offence), all with hazard lights switched on. Make NO mistake, everyone must give way.
Tell-tale signs – colourful registration plates, small flag on front bumper, black-tint windows, opportunistic losers trying to tag along behind motorcade to beat traffic.

Class 2
Police cars, ambulance, fire engines and other emergency vehicles.

Since lives are stake here, everyone willingly gives way. In bumper to bumper traffic, they will squeeze between lanes or on the road shoulder. However, please note, they are NOT the highest class, they are to give way to Class 1 above (I’ve seen this happen before).
Tell-tale signs – wailing sirens, usually on main roads.

Class 3
Bus drivers, lorry drivers and taxi drivers
Commands the highest right of way among civilians. Never, ever trifle with them.

Class 4
Businessmen, politicians, tycoons, CEOs in their limousines.

Big cars, usually Mercedes, BMW and Volvo. Since their time is far more important than ours, they MUST have the right of way.
Tell-tale signs – Number plate with single digit or 8888, found on the roads after 9am or before 5pm. ‘Ahmat’ driver wearing uniform, usually doubles-up as bodyguard/assassin.

Class 5A
Rich man, contractor boss, spare-part shop boss, etc.
Usually drives his own luxury car (Civic, Perdana, Sonata) or SUV (X-Trail, Pajero). Cuts in and out of traffic like they own the road. Usually born without the ability to patiently queue up. Glares at you or show the ‘finger’ if you, in any way, appear to slow you down.
Tell-tale signs – Cutting queue at toll or traffic jams, always talking on hands-free, smartly dressed, gold chain & bracelet, etc.

Class 5B
Wife of Class 4 or 5A above.
Same as the above, but drives CRV, RAV4, Rexton, Matrix, etc. Makes appearance at non-peak hours in suburbs only.
Tell-tale signs – Unbelievely arrogant on the road, uses horn at every little instant, wears Valentino sunglasses and upside-down jacket on their arms.

Class 6
Mat racers and Ah Beng racers.
Mat racers (in their modified Wira/Iswara) and their Chinese counterparts (in their loud Honda Civic/City VTEC) are well documented in my earlier post.
Tell-tale signs – you know, the usual. Black rims, boot lettering removed, loud techno music on stereo, muffler, black fake leather seats, car sticker like RECARO, HKS, Tuned by RAZO, Sparco, etc. Usually found at night.

Class 7
I hate it when they horn at you whenever they have to brake. Will squeeze and snake around your cars as if every inch of space is worth millions. Most liable to scratch your car or break your side mirrors.

Class 8
Uncles and Pakciks.
Driving old beat-up cars, as if they’re on an evening drive on the beach. On the right lane. Never responds even if you horn or flash. When you overtake and glare at them, they pretend not to see you.
Tell-tale signs – They still think they are driving in Bentong in the sixties. Eyesight not fit for driving more than 12 years ago.

Class 9
Poor, law-abiding, bottom feeders like you and me.

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I Want My Coffee

Just like nsds3, I can’t start my day without a cup of coffee. If I don’t get one first thing in the morning, I’ll be cranky and uptight for the rest of the day. Woe to any clueless supplier and telemarketer who calls me on those days.

I think it all began the day I started working. I’m not a morning person. Coffee helps me wake up fully. My first job, our tea lady made this killer pot of Nescafe for us every morning and afternoon. So much so I always had 2 or 3 cups of it. Those days I could drink up to 5 cups a day. I know many people who drink up to 8, but 5 is enough to make my pee smell like Arabica beans.

I’ve tried to cut down my intake over the years, with some success. These day I drink 2 cups max, most days only one. I think the caffeine withdrawal symptoms are starting to show.

And today’s gonna be a bad day, I just know it. The coffee is trying its best to brace me for it.

Maybe today at lunch I might quietly sneak in a glass of kopi-kau at the canteen (yeah, I know, I can be a coffee-slut). No one will know. My blood circulation will thank me for it.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

10 Things NOT to Say to Your Boss

Ten Things Not to Say to your Boss (by Simon):

  • “Yeah, sure I have a blog. And the topics about you are the most popular!”
  • “Hey, did you know you look just like the pointy-haired boss in Dilbert?”
  • “My appointment letter did not specifically say I can’t call you a ‘moron’.”
  • “Please note the company server will be down Monday while I install the World of Warcraft patch”.
  • “Is this a picture of your daughter on your desk? Whoa, hot babe! Is she 18 yet?”
  • “The term ‘lunch hour’ is SO subjective. It can also mean ‘a few hours’, right?”
  • “I’m so jealous. You stare at your secretary’s legs all the time, but you never give me a second look. Is it because you’re not into men?”
  • “Say, that woman you were with last night at the company dinner – was that your wife or mother?”
  • “Heheh, I figured out your login password – it’s your mistress’ birthday, right?”
  • “I couldn’t help reading your personal outgoing mail – I know where to get those ‘male performance enhancement’ drugs easily… for a price…”

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Simon's Guide to Doing Taxes

Ladies and Gentlemen, the closing date for submitting your tax forms is 30th April, this Saturday. Judges decision final, no late entries will be entertained. Proof of postage is not proof of receipt. Winners (and losers) will be notified by post some time later this year.

As late as yesterday, the 27th, some people I know are just starting to fill out their forms. Talk about cutting it close. But I suppose it’s the Malaysian-culture of doing everything last minute, and then blame it on insufficient time given by the authorities.

Despite what you hear, filling out tax forms is actually very easy, especially if you’re an entry-level employee (where most people start). Things start getting knotty when you’re income rises. Then you’ll need ways to cut down on the deductible income – EPF, life insurance, medical bills, book receipts, etc.

Sounds complicated? Not really. Here’s a simple step by step flowchart for doing your taxes:

Step 1
Check the following questions:

  • Do you make more than the minimum taxable income (I think its RM2,500pm)?
  • Do you hear annoying ads on the radio rapping with words like ‘berdikari’, ‘berbakti’ and about submitting taxes?
  • Do you see your colleagues fumbling through blue-and-white forms when boss is not around?
  • Is it the last week of April yet?

If you answered YES to all of the above, then go to Step 2. If not, keep waiting.

Step 2
Has your company issued the EA form yet? This applies to ALL the companies you worked for last year.
(By the way, if you worked for more than 2 companies last year, that makes you a job-hopper…)

If the answer is YES, then go to Step 3. If not, go back to Step 1.

Step 3
Have any of your efficient friends/colleagues done their taxes yet?

If the answer is YES, suck up to him/her big time and get him/her to guide you through it. Then go to Step 5.
If the answer is NO, then looks like you’re on your own. Go to Step 4.

Step 4
Do the following (and do it again before asking any dumb questions):

  • Read the attached handbook (they didn’t send it to you for fun).
  • Read the FAQ on the LHDN website.
  • Try out all those spam e-mails with attached ‘automated tax calculator’ spreadsheets.
  • Attend any free seminars by audit firms/churches/YMCA/self help gurus/fortune tellers on how to do your taxes.Some can even teach you to save million of dollars. (But seeing that its already mid-April, these all would probably be over by now...)
  • Dig all your files, drawers, rubbish bins, trouser pockets and hamster cage for receipts, accounts, acknowledgement slips, etc. The more of these you find, the less you have to pay in taxes.
  • Or if you’re lazy like me, get your wife to do all of the above.

When you’re done (hopefully, it’s still not May 1st yet), go to Step 5.

Step 5

  • Check your calculations. With a calculator.
  • If, like me, you owe them some money (you poor sod), curse, swear, gripe, moan, then write a check and post it to the collection centre (or direct transfer from the ATM).
  • If they owe you money, curse, swear, gripe, moan and bitch about it.
  • Go to Step 6.

Step 6

  • Complete your form. Keep a copy (and try not to use the office copier).
  • Post it.
  • If it’s the 30th already, drive to Pandan Indah and drop it in yourself.
  • Then wait for your Borang J sometime in September.

Finally, forget about it until April next year again.

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    Wednesday, April 27, 2005

    You Know Its Time to Change the Channel When...

    You know its time to change the TV channel when you hear the following:

    • “The umpires want to look at the video replay one more time before they can decide…”
    • Nampaknya belum ada gol dalam babak pertama aksi Liga Super Malaysia antara Bank Pertanian dan pasukan Bomba…”
    • “Stay tuned for the live telecast of the thrilling Lawnbowls championship from Bukit Kiara…”
    • Datuk Seri, what can you comment on about the current diesel shortage?”
    • “We take you live to the White House for President Bush’s press conference on the latest search for WMD in Iraq.”
    • Masuk! Masuk! Smash yang cukup hebat! Ataupun keluar… Nampaknya Wong Choon Hann ketinggalan sepuluh mata…”
    • Harap maaf, rancangan tergendala.
    • “Looks like Schumacher has just crashed out of the race leaving Alonso unchallenged 2 laps ahead, with 47 laps to go…”
    • “Paul, in your opinion, what do you think is the greatest impact of Abrahamovich’s investment into the EPL…?”
    • Harap maklum, nampaknya anak bulan belum kelihatan lagi…”
    • “We interrupted this programme for some breaking news. We bring you live to the press conference by the Minister of Foreign Labour…”
    • Persembahan Koir RTM ini dibawakan khas oleh Saluran Infortainmen…”
    • “Next, on Star World, ‘Wildest Police Car Chases!’”

    • “Looks like we have to wait a little longer, it’s still black smoke, friends…”

    Like I said, it’s been a slow day…

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    "Bennifer", "Monica-gate", "Brad-nifer"...

    US supermarket tabloids like to give nicknames to celebrity couples or their famous court cases that grab headlines. The most recent is "Bennifer", referring to Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s botched engagement. Bill Clinton’s affair with his intern is dubbed "Monica-gate", named after the infamous intern. Clinton’s illegal land sale investigation was nicknamed "Whitewater-gate", after the name of the said property. Or George Bush and his "Iraq-gate".

    Here are some suggestions I can think of:

    • "Bennifer" - Ben Affleck & Jennifer Lopez’s botched engagement.
    • "Bennifer II" - Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner’s planned engagement.
    • "Brad-nifer" - Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston’s sudden divorce.
    • "Manly Fur" – Elton John & his gay partner’s planned wedding.
    • "Arm Pitt" - Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt’s alleged affair (yeah, I know it's lame but couldn't resist it).
    • "Mark Anthony & J'Leopatra" - Marc Anthony & Jennifer Lopez’s unlikely marriage.

    Here are some more unlikely ones:

    • The recent defamatory court case involving Siti Nurhaliza & Sharifah Aini - "Beauty & the Beast"
    • Charles & Camilla’s royal wedding - "Charlie & the Oleo-Factory" or "Donkey & Old Maid"
    • Britney Spears & Jason Alexander’s quickie marriage & annulment - "I Seriously Thought He Was That Loser on Seinfeld"
    • Britney Spears & Kevin Federline’s unexpected wedding - "This one lasted for more than 72 hours" or "I thought I was marrying Roger Federer"
    • Paris Hilton & Nicole Ritchie acrimonious split - "The Bleached Blonde & the Blonde Bitch"
    • Michael Jackson & numerous un-named little boys – "The Wanna-See-my-Billie-Jean Scandal"

    You can see its been a slow day for me…

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    Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    Simon's Top Five Reasons Why...

    Top Five Reasons Why CSI is so Popular:

    • We just love gory murders and corpses.
    • It’s compulsory viewing for Med students in IMU (4 hours credit).
    • There is hardly anything else good to watch.
    • All Astro subscribers have AXN for free (and Star World sucks)
    • Amateur serial killers watch it to learn how NOT to leave clues.

    Top Five Reasons Why Smallville is so Popular:

    • Kristin Kreuk
    • Kristin Kreuk
    • Kristin Kreuk
    • Tom Welling
    • Kristin Kreuk

    Top Five Reasons Why Reality TV is so Popular:

    • In reality, our own lives are really boring.
    • Hot babes and six-pack abs.
    • These people have an uncanny talent to instantly cry, bitch, swear, backstab and gloat on-demand in front of the camera.
    • Same reason why Malaysians stop and examine road accidents and causing huge traffic jams…
    • If somebody is dumb enough to eat scorpions and reindeer’s balls, we gotta watch it…

    Top Five Reasons Why TV1 & TV2 is NOT Popular:

    • Gerak Khas
    • Most of us don’t understand or need “infortainmen”.
    • They still show the same Popeye & Pink Panther cartoons from the 70’s.
    • Endless re-runs of crap 80’s Hong Kong movies starring Eric Tsang/Alan Tam/Raymond Ng/Ng Man Tat/Sandra Ng/Kenny Bee.
    • I suspect a lot of us aren’t big fans of “Telenovela Latin Amerika”.

    Simon Finally Goes To Borders Bookstore

    Yeah, I know I swore not to step foot into Berjaya Times Square again, but I’d make an exception for Borders. I read a few blogs saying that it was quite a disappointment, but I went to see it for myself. It was quite nice actually, not as big as I envisioned it to be, seeing all those empty shoplots at that place, anyway.

    Comparisons will inevitably be drawn with Kinokuniya KLCC and MPH Midvalley (or 1 Utama new wing). I won’t go into the details, but I feel that Borders in still in the setting-up stage, they would probably fit in more shelves and sections in the near future. Well, let me list down some pros and cons based on my observations:

    • Some sections are quite impressive: Art, World History, US History, Science Fiction, etc.
    • Spacious


    • Store assistance fooling around while me & some customers wait for them to help us.
    • Most books not exactly new, probably ex-stock from Singapore.
    • Not that many places to sit and read; not cosy and inviting.
    • Price is roughly the same as Kino (which means MPH would be generally cheaper)
    • Tiled flooring is so passé.
    • What the heck is World of Feng Shui doing in the shop?!

    Despite trying my best not to buy something, I fell hook, line and sinker for their “Buy 3 for 2” gimmick. I got the following for about RM76:

    • John Le Carre’s “Absolute Friends
    • Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
    • Ian Caldweld & Dustin Thomason's “The Rule of Four
    • Spelling book for my kid.

    I would say the place was alright, but it would take a few more trips to really explore the whole inventory. Too bad about its location, though…

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    Saturday, April 23, 2005

    Anyone Wanna Lend Me These?

    Can’t wait to read these books. But won’t be able to buy them yet, I just made a cheque out to Income Tax for RMxxxx that will keep me broke for at least 3 months. Even though I’m going to Borders this weekend (despite some negative comments from friends) to check them out, I’ll probably just stand at the aisles and flip through them (while trying to blink back the tears when looking at the price tag).

    Anyway, if any of my good friends are reading this and just can’t think of what to do with their money, you know what to do…

    • Lirael by Garth Nix (yeah I know its light stuff but since reading Sabriel I’ve been hooked)
    • Abhorsen by Garth Nix
    • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    • Life of Pi by Yann Martel (still trying to read it for free…)
    • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
    • Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction by Sue Townsend

    Better stop the list here or it can go on for two pages…

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    Friday, April 22, 2005

    A Malaysian Chinese Remembers the Nanjing Massacre

    (Disclaimer: This blog entry deals in a very sensitive and gory account of history. Reader discretion is advised. Anyone of acute racist sensitivities should be forewarned – Simon)

    The China-Japanese relationship has hit the rocks again in the recent textbook revision fiasco. This time both sides are accusing each other of ‘un-neighbourliness’, with South Korea joining in for some mud-slinging. Meanwhile the street protests, flag burning, embassy-pelting, and product boycott continues in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and all over Japan.

    I’m a Malaysian ethnic Chinese, born long after the war. My grandmother disliked Japan and Japanese products. She didn’t hate them, just disliked them, just like how some narrow-minded Malaysian Chinese dislike Indians (yeah, I know quite a few like that). But of course, she also didn’t like me, so she didn’t talk to me much (she already had 4 grandsons before me, so I was a little inconsequential).

    My dad lived through the war and Japanese Occupation, but he never discussed it with us. All he said life was hard then, they had to live on sweet potato and sometimes hid in jungle. But my dad was an exemplary Christian, so I suppose he would not speak ill of anyone.

    All my life I’ve been a little apprehensive about the Japanese. I only know about the war from what I read in the media, our history books, and personal accounts of survivors. But the recent political furor has spurred me to find some facts of my ancestral past.

    I did not find much on the Malayan Occupation that I didn’t already know. But I did find out about the Nanjing Massacre from many sources (this is a good one). Summarized here are some of them:

    During the Nanjing Massacre, the Japanese committed a litany of atrocities against innocent civilians, including mass execution, raping, looting, and burning. It is impossible to keep a detailed account of all of these crimes. However, from the scale and the nature of these crimes as documented by survivors and the diaries of the Japanese militarists, the chilling evidence of this historical tragedy is indisputable.

    The Tragedy at Yangtze River - On 13/12/37, a large number of refugees tried to escape from the Japanese by trying to cross the Yangtze River, but were trapped by the Japanese Army and killed. A Japanese officer estimated that more than 50,000 people were killed.

    Annihilation in the City - Japanese troops fired at more than 100,000 refugees or injured Chinese soldiers in the streets. Dead bodies covered the two major streets of the city. The streets became "streets of blood" as a result of the two-day annihilation.

    Mass Execution of Captives – TheJapanese arrested anybody who was suspected to be a Chinese soldier. Many were arrested and sent outside of the city to be massacred, from several thousand to tens of thousand at a time. The captives were shot by machine guns, bayoneted, burnt alive or gassed.

    Scattered Atrocities With Extreme Cruelty - Japanese soldiers invented and exercised inhumane and barbaric methods of killing including shooting, stabbing, cutting open the abdomen, excavating the heart, decapitation (beheading), drowning, burning, punching the body and the eyes with an awl, and even castration or punching through the vagina.

    Raping - An estimated 20,000 women were raped by the Japanese soldiers during the six weeks of the Nanjing Massacre, most were brutally killed afterwards.

    (Some of the descriptions for that last item were so brutal I won’t reproduce them here. Read the article for yourself for the details.)

    Somehow I can imagine what happened to the Malayan Chinese were not so different than in Nanjing. It is no wonder it is often called the ‘Forgotten Holocaust’. Novella once sad ‘War is hate, anger is king'.

    My conclusion? I don’t know what to say. But I am reminded of Romans 12:19:
    Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

    I can understand why my grandmother dislikes them.

    (For further reading, you may want to try Iris Chang's The Rape of Nanking)

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    REALLY FUN Earth Day Green Tips!

    Today is Earth Day. I didn’t know about it until I heard it on morning radio. Not to be confused with Secretaries’ Day, or Very Good Public Holiday (yesterday). Nope this is Earth Day. When for one day, everybody (ok, not EVERYbodysome people) get all politically correct and 'environmentally conscious' and try to do something ‘eco-friendly’ and to impress their friends and ease their guilty conscience for the next 364 days.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think far more than anyone else I know, my family recycles / saves / reuses / repairs / salvage / scavenges for the environment (or rather more for austerity purposes…). But being green is a daily, life-long effort and consciousness, not just one day in a year.

    OK, before it descends into a rant, let me highlight a few REALLY FUN things everyone can do today for Earth Day (for a start) to celebrate… even if you don’t give a damn about the environment...:

    • Don’t come in to work today. Tell your boss you don’t want to pollute the air with your car exhaust fumes. Especially if you have an old junk car like mine that looks like a chain-smoker impatient to get cancer...
    • If you’re already at work, don’t fret. Turn off the air-conditioning to cut down on gas emissions that burn a hole in the ozone. Then get all your colleagues to sit outside in the park/canteen/video arcade/Borders/mamak and sleep the day off or whistle at passing girls.
    • Recycle water. Pee into the potted plants in your office’s waiting room/foyer. Try to resist the urge to mix some into your boss’ chrysanthemum tea (especially if you’re yeet hei or 'heaty').
    • If you’re a lady (and can’t pee into potted plants), get all the girls to coordinate their toilet trips, and flush once only after everyone has used the toilet. And use paper from the office shredder instead of expensive tissue paper.
    • Make a compost heap next to the water cooler or fridge or microwave oven. Dump all shredded paper, used coffee bags, tea leaves, fingernail clippings, dead cockroaches, cat droppings and other biodegradable stuff into a plastic container and continuously keep it wet or moist. After a few days you’ll see the worms and maggots will appear and voila! You’ve got a mini compost heap! You can then put this natural (and wonderfully fragrant) fertilizer into those retarded mini-cactus plants on your colleagues’ desks.
    • Recycle paper. Many types of paper can be recycled for the office use, especially the fax machine. Cut up used mahjong paper into A4 size (with all the financial calculations). Or use junk mail or flyers you get in your mail box. Just make sure your boss read the CORRECT side of your report, not the side advertising for escort services/slimming centres/feng shui masters/plumber/4D predictions.
    • Companies spend thousands every month on eco-unfriendly toner cartridge replacements. Collect used engine oil and use it as liquid photocopy toner. It works just fine…just don’t be around when the technician comes around to service the machine. If your machine uses dry powder toner, mix a bit of dark coffee powder or stubble from your electric shaver. Your faxes won’t look so great, but you’re saving the environment, remember…?

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    Thursday, April 21, 2005

    What I've Been Doing All Day

    This is what I've been doing all day...

    Image hosted by

    Well, it's a public holiday, I've also been watching EPL a bit...eating goreng pisang (fried banana fritters)...but mostly doing that thing in the picture...

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    Simon Finally Tries KFC’s Curry Crunch

    I wanted to try it 2 Saturdays ago, but after reading this blog on PPS saying it was crap (can't remember which blog), I decided to have my lunch in good ‘ol McDs. But the craving was getting the better of me, so yesterday I had a go…

    But before that, I must say here and now that I don’t go to KFC much at all, since all my few visits there in the last 10 years have pretty much been disappointing. When I was kid, going to KFC was like a treat, since it was all we had in my hometown. But coming to the city to work, I was more of a McDs/BK guy…. KFC’s chicken started getting smaller and smaller…and the idea of cheap, foreign workers preparing my food was quite a turn off.

    So I kind of stopped going there, anyway their Original Recipe seem to get worse everytime I tasted it. They started introducing wave after wave of novelty gimmicks, all of them pretty crap – Colonel’s burger, Zinger burger, Original Recipe fillet burger (what a rip-off), cheesy wedges (just looking at it makes me feel like regurgitating), popcorn chicken (one pack is not even enough to feed a hamster) and Chocolate Chips 'N Nuts Cookies (what, were they baked by the domesticated chickens?).

    And they never had cool toys to collect. And like for like, McDs always seemed cheaper than KFC.

    But enough about that. So I bought the Curry Crunch chicken for me and my wife. No, actually I bought ONE set of the Curry Crunch and ONE set of original recipe – just in case the curry chicken tasted like crap.

    So the verdict? It was actually quite OK. But nothing spectacular or fantastic. Just some flavouring on the fried skin. Of course it doesn’t justify all those OTT ads we hear on the radio and on TV. Just OK, another take on the traditional way to fry the dead bird.

    But I think by taking the Hot & Spicy off the menu to promote it is annoying what few loyal customers they have.

    I’m wondering, what other gimmicks are they going to come up with? Satay chicken? Rendang chicken with rice? Friend chicken porridge? I’m not holding my breath…

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    The Most Famous Malaysians on the Internet

    As always, I’m looking to increase the journalistic value and integrity of my blog (AHAHAHahaha…!). So yesterday I decided to do a survey to find out who are the Most Famous Malaysians on the Internet. What I found out was quite interesting (albeit a little subjective...).

    But before that, some qualifications on the 'research':
    • Using Google, I search the names with inverted commas (“...”) to get exact names.
    • I used the most common base names (e.g. "Mahathir Mohamad"), to aggregate the different permutations due to titles and different spellings.
    • I recognise that many people may have the same names, thereby some searches may yield more sites than it should, but i reckon most of it should refer to the person I'm looking for, and the margin of error is negligible.
    • Due to Google’s search constraints and nature of their names, I couldn’t search some Malaysians such as Datuk Lat (too common a word), Jeffrey Ong (too many people with the same name), etc.
    • For some strange reasons only known to Google, an identical search returns different results from different IP addresses, and at different times of the day. So to make all things equal, I made the searches at one particular time and place.

    And so without much further ado, here it goes:

    The Most Famous Malaysians on the Internet (by Google search results)

    791,000 for "Michelle Yeoh" (international actress)
    139,000 for "Mahathir Mohamad" (former PM)
    112,000 for "Siti Nurhaliza" (singer)
    73,400 for "Anwar Ibrahim" (former DPM)
    59,000 for "Ziana Zain" (singer)
    38,000 for "Tunku Abdul Rahman" (16,600 for "Tuanku Abdul Rahman") (first PM)
    31,400 for "Abdullah Badawi" (current PM)
    31,500 for "Alex Yoong" (former F1 driver)
    24,100 for "P.
    Ramlee" (actor/singer/entertainer)
    12,700 for "M. N
    asir" (actor/singer/songwriter)
    12,700 for "Jeff Ooi" (blogger)
    12,500 for "Hussein Onn" (former PM)
    7,210 for "Lim Kit Siang" (politician)
    6,620 for "Najib Razak" (current DPM)
    8,640 for "Samy Vellu" (politician)
    6,860 for "Wan A
    zizah" (politician)
    6,250 for "Chandra Muzaffar" (politician/activist)
    5,830 for "Nicol David
    " (national squash player)
    4,800 for "Karim Raslan" (writer)
    4,570 for "Yasmin Ahmad" (director)
    4,270 for "Ong Ka Ting
    " (politician)
    3,750 for "Ning Baizura" (singer)
    3,740 for "Hadi Awang" (politician)
    2,210 for "Halim Saad" (businessman)
    1,780 for “Reshmonu" (singer)
    1,400 for "
    Lim Goh Tong
    " (businessman)
    1,400 for "Shalin Zulkifli" (national bowler)
    1,370 for "Ramli Ibrahim" (choreographer)
    1,060 for "Hans Isaac
    " (actor)

    Below 1000, there are too many that to be found, such as Imuda (822), Karpal Singh (804), Wong Choon Hann (780), M. Jegathesan(587), Ananda Krishnan (523) and Sharifah Aini (512).

    Did I miss out anyone?

    Back to main page.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    Giant Weird Sculptures At Malaysian Roundabouts

    The other day on the way to Cherating, we were at Malaysia’s one and only “Persimpangan Bunga Cengkih”. Yes, you read that right, there IS such a thing. How did I know? There were signs in all directions telling us about it. And sign from 5km away preparing us for this ‘special’ landmark, as if it’s the world’s biggest durian.

    For those of you wondering, “Persimpangan Bunga Cengkih” is a direct translation of a ‘cloverleaf junction’. It’s an American traffic engineering term (I learnt this is college). Malaysia boleh, man. Why stop there? Why not have signs for every “Persimpangan Batu Intan” (diamond interchange) or Persimpangan Separa Terompet at Permukaan Datar (at-grade partial trumpet interchange)?

    Which makes me wonder, why do Malaysians put weird, weird things at road junctions and roundabouts? Giant durians, giant mangosteens, giant groundnuts, giant congkak-boards, flowerpots big enough to bathe a cow, giant flowers with accompanying giant insects and giant butterflies (but no giant bird droppings), strange ‘artistic’ carvings that look like crap when its faded and rusted, etc…

    I hear somewhere in East Malaysia there’s a giant white cat. But that’s acceptable, since it really blends with the name of the city. (On a side note, the council staff must spend a lot of time every morning clearing the area for giant buried cat droppings. And giant fish bones littered all over.)

    But it isn’t all bad. Sometimes these ‘landmarks’ serve a good purpose – as a ‘landmark’! “Yeah, OK, you go straight, aa? Until you see the giant Siti Nurhaliza billboard, aa? Then you turn left, you know, until the roundabout with the giant orang-utan, aa? Then go 3 o’clock…”

    But one word of caution. Make sure all these works of art are adequate protected by railings and kerbs. Over the years I’ve seen dozens of ‘mat racers’ smash into the center of the roundabouts or junction islands during their midnight drag races.

    We wouldn’t want the beautiful giant durian wantonly damaged, do we? How will we ever find our way without them?

    Back to main page.

    Scenes That You WILL NOT SEE in Star Wars Episode III

    I can feel the force of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith starting right now. First the media is going to play it up on all fronts, followed by endless teasers and montage clips on TV and the Internet, then the merchandising and Happy Meal toys, etc.

    I just watched the trailer on Astro. It doesn’t show much, but most of us already know the main story since 1983 – Anakin seduced by the Emperor to join the Dark Side, Anakin fights it out with Obi-Wan, all the Jedi exterminated by the Sith, leaving only Yoda and Obi-wan, Amidala dies and twins separated, clone army become the Stormtroopers. Then there is the top-notch CGI, battle on land and space, lightsabre duel, anti-hero fighting his inner demons, yadda yadda yadda.

    But the details and side stories are still pretty much unknown. But I can tell this much, I definitely WILL NOT SEE these scenes in the movie:

    • Any serious acting or Academy Award winning script-writing.

    • Amidala and Anakin doing a Bollywood love song-and-dance routine in the forests of Dantooine.

    • Any appearance by Vulcans, Romulans, Klingons, the Borg or the Dominion. (No wait, on second thoughts…)

    • Comic relief scene featuring Jar Jar Binks and a bunch of drunken Ewoks.

    • Han Solo making an appearance. (Darn. He’s the coolest Star Wars character ever)

    • Ditto for Jabba the Hutt. And his lesser known cousin, Pizza the Hutt.

    • Any technical explanation by starship engineers on how they managed to induce artificial gravity inside the space crafts.

    • How Anakin finally designed that poofter / ghey Darth Vader outfit.

    • Male bonding scene between Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader with the former WWE wrestler Vader.

    • Anakin finally gets an inspiration for his Dark Side name when he visits a Malaysian banana leaf rice restaurant. (“Dey, macha, can give 3 pieces of dat vadir, aah?”)

    Back to main page.

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    The Most Beautiful Waterfall in Malaysia

    IMHO, anyway. It's the Sg. Pandan waterfall near Sg. Lembing, was there yesterday. It's much higher, couldn't get it all in one shot... Thanks, Mike for taking the shot and sending to me...

    Image hosted by

    Survival Guide to Malaysian Rural Towns

    I just came back from a holiday trip to Cherating, and will explain to my readers why my blog was not updated for a few days. It was a fun trip; 10 of us living it up in the sun, sea, sand, turtles, seafood, sandflies, waterfalls, etc. There will be probably be 2 weeks’ worth of blog entries from that trip, but I’ll start with this one.

    Over the years while participating in dozens of motorized treasure hunts, I’ve seen my fair share of villages and small rural towns: Ayer Tawar, Kemaman, Damar Laut, Parit Jawa, etc. Don’t get me wrong; I love the rustic peace and slow-paced life there, and when I was growing up, my hometown was semi-rural. And most of my classmates came from outlying villages. However, a lot of people are city-bred, so you may not get a little culture-shock. So here’s a helpful guide to all those urban-sesat folks:


    • Keep within the speed limit. Knocking down some old makcik on a bicycle or running over someone’s stray chicken will get you in big, big trouble. A flash mob will congregate in seconds, baying for your blood. This rule applies especially if near the morning market, bus station or 4D shops.
    • Most petrol station attendants will pump the fuel for you. This isn’t like the city, where you have to do it yourself.
    • Don’t honk the car in front of you if he doesn’t immediately start moving when the traffic light turns green.
    • Every town has at least one coffeeshop with lots of old people drinking slowly. Go in and try it. They probably have best coffee and toasted bread you’ve ever tasted.
    • Don’t provoke the local boys on their illegally modified motorbikes. They don’t fall under the Malaysian traffic code.
    • Forget about firing up your notebook for some WiFi at the coffeeshop. Your best bet is for some internet connection is at the local cybercafé. And try not to let the Indonesians using Wartel or counterstrike deathmatches disrupt your surfing.
    • The Store or Bintang supermarket is the biggest place there is to buy something. Don’t bother looking for a 7-11 or Guardian.
    • When communicating with the locals, speak clearly and listen carefully. Their version of BM may differ very much from yours.

    Back to main page.

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    7 Movies that Truly Defined the 80's For Me

    Seven movies that truly defined the 80’s for me:

    E.T. (1982)– It’s was more than a year after it was released in the US that I finally got to watch Spielberg’s superb film about a docile finger-pointing alien in our local wooden cinema. This was back then, when films where good family fun, without any swearing, mindless violence and gratuitous sex. Sure, Predator and the Borg could kick E.T.’s ass, but the final bicycle chase scene sure stuck in our minds… And Drew Barrymore was such a cute kid back then.

    Top Gun (1986) – Ah, yes. Tom Cruise in the ultimate cool movie of the decade. Propelled by one of the greatest soundtrack of all time, this movie shot Mr. Cruise to superstardom. Suddenly everyone was wearing gold-rimmed Ray-ban sunglasses and green Navy jackets (even in bloody hot Malaysia). Yeah, and everyone wanted cool nicknames like Iceman, Goose, etc. And what was the real storyline? Who cares?!

    The Original Star Wars (1977-83)– Yeah, I understand the first movie was actually released in the 70’s, but by the time it came to Malaysia and the craze finally kick in, it was already the 80’s. Like most purist, I feel the original series has its place in history – it was so mind-blowing, there was nothing like it in the whole decade, and it really changed the way our generation looked at movies, science fiction, story-telling and how the good guy finally wins.

    Mannequin (1987)– It wasn’t very big here, I caught it on video. But it was so cool and funny. I just found out the girl is actually Kim Cattrall of ‘Sex and the City’, she looked different then. As with all good movies, then it had a great soundtrack. What a great love story to give hope to all those with broken hearts and broken dreams to find the one you love…

    Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – It was swashbuckling adventure, it was funny, it had the expendable bad guys, it had a heroine and it had a good looking hero we all cheered for. For me, it was the first Western movie that followed the HK-Jackie Chan style – action and humor from start to the end. Most English movies I watch before that were booo-ring ‘talking’ movies.

    Romancing the Stone/Jewel of the Nile (1984, 85) – yeah, sure, they couldn’t be taken seriously, but it was fun. That’s the whole point of movies, isn’t it?

    Back to Future (1985) – For obvious reasons. The premise of it all was so exciting (back then), and the whole Oedipus complex was thing was irresistible. An 80’s kid caught in the 50’s. Spawned too many copycat movies after that. The sequels should never have been made.

    Notable mentions: Empire of the Sun ('87), Gremlins ('84), Ghostbusters ('84), Spaceballs ('87), Top Secret! ('84) and Ferris Bueller ('86).

    Back to main page.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    Sempit III – Malaysian Love Gone Wrong

    (This is a continuation of the blog love story... newcomers please read parts one and two here...)

    Johari – Eh, Raymond, come lah we go to mamak Mydin… I’m hungry.

    Raymond – Dowan lah. You go ahead, lah.

    Johari – I say man, Raymond. Dun be like dat lah. Everyday got no mood wan, lemah semangat only I see you. Its been 2 weeks already lah.

    Raymond – Don’t worry about me, man… you go enjoy lah…

    Johari – What OK. Its been 2 weeks since you broke up with that Vijaya Kumari anak perempuan Samuel Govindaraj… Ask you go watch movie, you dowan, ask you go clubbing, you say no mood… Cannot like that la brader...

    Raymond – (long sigh…)

    Johari – Everyday you sit at home in your underwear listening to Celine Dion-lah, Brian McKnight-lah, Michael Buble-lah, jelaklah aku lagu jiwa-jiwang macam ni. Everyday you eat cup noodles (afters get cancer then you know), play minesweeper, watch that Sepet VCD and sigh the whole day...

    Raymond – Joe, this is girlfriend problem you don’t understand one lah… Very complicated…

    Johari – I know I dun understand, (my last girlfriend dumped me when I was 13) but what’s the problem? I see you and Vijaya are very special. Other people can only envy the love you have. You just can’t sit here and lose it all. This love knows no boundaries. Like Charles and Camilla. Like Neo and Trinity. Like Squall and Rinoa. Like Jason and Juliana

    Raymond – Who’s Jason and Juliana?! And besides, it’s too late. In exactly 2 hours time Vijaya will be boarding a plane to her new life in London… Her father has sent her away from me…

    Johari –Then you MUST STOP HER! Go to the airport now and tell her you love her!

    Raymond – Are you sure?

    Johari – Yes, go! Don’t let her go without knowing how you feel… I’ve watched dozens of movies and airport scene always have happy endings

    Raymond – You know what, you’re right! I’ll rush to the airport now! Hopefully I can make it! But I need to borrow RM500 for taxi fare. Taxi from PJ to KLIA not cheap

    Johari – Don’t take taxi la, dungu. You want to pokai izzit? Go to KL Sentral and take the monorail la!

    Raymond – Aiyo friend, I go to KL Sentral now it will take me 4 hours in the jam la. By the time I reach there Vijaya would have touched down in London already aa…

    Johari – I say, you’re right. Here’s RM800 for taxi fare. The extra RM300 is for the midnight surcharge and toll…

    Raymond – OK, I’m going to reclaim my love! Wish me luck! I hope I can make it!

    Johari – Yes go, brader! Make sure you use your RM100 note to flag down a taxi! I’ll will feed your jealous goldfish for you…

    (Raymond changes his SpongeBob Squarepants underwear and rushes to reclaim the love of his life… To be continued…)

    Previous in the series:
    Sempit: A Malaysian Love Story

    Sempit II: Some More Love Story

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    Not So Relevant Malaysian Facts

    Two words that have a naughty connotation in Malaysia but not anywhere else:
    • Spender
    • Steam

    One word that has naughty connotation everywhere else but not in Malaysia:

    • Rubber

    Two letters that does not exist in the Malay language:

    • V, X (it only appears in words borrowed from English)

    Some Malay words you probably don’t use in everyday conversation:

    • Senak, mahligai, keterampilan, arakian.

    If you can speak English:
    …you’ll probably understand a lot of words in Bahasa Malaysia.

    Two English TV shows that had to be renamed in Malaysia due to negative connotations in their titles:

    • Xena the Warrior Princess
    • Mighty Morphin and the Power Rangers

    Some English movies that had to be renamed in Malaysia due to negative connotation in their titles:

    • Hellboy (renamed to “Super Sapiens”)
    • Barney’s Big Adventure (renamed to “Pontianak Sundal Malam”)
    • Ring 2 (renamed to “Samara: Oh God Not Another Scary Movie”)

    Some Malaysian gameshows that probably would not be syndicated overseas:

    • Sendaloka Bersama Singer
    • Tekaria
    • Kuci-Kuci Pampers Hey

    New Product: Alien Abduction Prevention Device

    During my research for my two blogs regarding alien abduction (read it here and here), i found this site selling a new 'Alien Abduction Prevention Device'. Strangely no details were given.

    Eh? Is it like a Kryptonite Pepper Spray? Or a device that continuously play annoying Backstreet Boys' ringtones?

    For USD$5.25 only, I'm tempted to try it out...

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    Some Random Events over the weekend

    Streaker at the Royal Wedding

    Yeah, I know it was passé, but I watched a bit of it. Nothing like Diana’s wedding 24 years ago, and ol’ Charlie must have been pretty annoyed the Pope and prince Rainier ruined his week.

    But the best bit must have been the streaker being taken down by the bobbies. The mounted cops did their best to hide him from the camera. And get this, the cops had time to stand and pose for a group photo with the half-naked guy, as if they were on a sight-seeing tour…

    Why don’t we see any female streakers?

    Second best bit – when Charles and Camilla fumbled to grasp each other’s hand during the church blessing… Definitely a Kodak moment.

    Make a Difference

    My church is helping OM in their Cambodia mission. We are collecting items for a health pack to be distributed to street children there. The pack consists of 6 items: comb, soap, shampoo, small towel, small toothbrush and small toothpaste (all new). Our church children will pack them up together if the items are donated separately.

    This campaign is part of a long term effort to make a difference in Cambodia. We first try to teach about personal cleanliness, then about spirituality.

    If anyone has any of the above items lying around in your house (especially if you stay in hotels a lot) and wish to donate, mail me and we will do the rest. There’s a need for 1200 packs a month, we’re targeting 6 months first.

    Canaries beat the Devils

    Pay attention, Sir Alex. Doesn’t do your team any good if you get humiliated by basement clubs. Last year it was Wolves. Next year when you’re playing Ipswich or West Ham, try not to send out your reserves in gross arrogance over-confidence. (BTW, I am NOT a MU fan...)


    Bought Dunkin’ Donuts on Saturyday. Haven’t eaten it for years, walked by their shop and succumbed to their buy-5-free-1 promo.

    Mmm…Glazed Double Chocolate Donuts

    Saturday, April 09, 2005

    A Mother and Her Son

    In one of my previous jobs, I was working in a construction site in the Klang Valley where some of the foreign workers stayed in an on-site kongsi (labour camp).

    Our drainage sub-contractor had a Bangladeshi man working for them, his wife and little son stayed with him.

    The wife was quite heavily built, the son was no more than 4 years old. Their kongsi was half of an old rusting steel cabin. With no running water and no electricity. Everyday, they stayed in that burning hot steel oven baked by the unforgiven sun, with no fan, no lights, no mosquito coils.

    Every morning and evening, the wife carries her naked son about 500 meters away to take a bath at the water tank we use for construction purposes. The workers have erected a makeshift toilet under the HDPE tank using plywood and scaffolding. After the baths, she carries her son and a pail of water back to the cabin. The path is dusty, dangerous and hot, just like any other construction site.

    Once or twice a week, I can see her bring her son and walk about 3 km out to the nearest sundry shop to buy groceries. Then its 3 km back again. Sometimes it so hot she stops and rest in the shade of the parked dump trucks under repair. The hyper active son never gets any sweets.

    Twice a day, the wife and son wait patiently outside the cabin for the Indonesian guy on a motorbike that comes and sell packed drinks and kuih (local cakes) to the labourers. Twice a day, she buys a packet of iced water for 20 sen. Before she finishes the packet, she always gives some to her son.

    The son is always smiling, and loves to play near the stockpile of timber and rubble stones. He doesn’t mind the heat, and always smile and run away when I pass by.

    Burning heat. No water. No electricity. Mosquitoes. Dengue. Dust. Smoke.

    A bleak future.

    Sometimes life is hard.

    (5xmom is organizing a gift collection for less privileged mothers and children around the Klang Valley. Please help if you can. Click here.)

    Secretaries' Week: What About Me?!

    I’ve just found out that Secretaries’ Week is on 24-30th April. Secretaries’ ‘Week’?! Why do secretaries get one WEEK when Fathers and Mothers only get a DAY? We have Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Teacher’s Day, Same-Sex Partner Day but secretaries get seven times more celebration than the rest of us.

    Never mind that they work 40-60 hours a week only and get paid for it. Parents looking after children work 24 x 7 = 168 hours a week and get zilch. Only heartaches and high blood pressure. Furthermore if secretaries dislike their jobs or bosses, they can resign and find another one. For parents, children are mostly non-refundable and non-changeable. All sales final, no correspondence will be entertained.

    Yeah, yeah, I know all these ‘holidays’ are created by the retail industry to boost their sales during low seasons, etc. But ONE WEEK?! How many times are you going to bring your acid-tongue, ungrateful, back-biting, gossip-mongering secretary to see Ning Baizura perform at the New Federal Hotel luncheon-cum-high tea (RM32++)?

    I just googled it and found that Secretaries’ DAY is actually the 4th Wednesday of April, that would make it 27th April. But some genius marketing staff had probably had this brilliant idea that most people have 7 secretaries and that they might need a whole week to bring each secretary out to see Camelia perform at the Grand Concorde Hotel luncheon-cum-high tea (RM39++). This exec figured that entry level managers should have at least one secretary, the higher you climb on the corporate ladder, the more secretaries will be at your beck and call, so the MD or GM of a multi-national corporation would have seven. That explains why I don’t have one.

    The only time I’m going to get a free luncheon-cum-high tea (RM40++) at Istana Inn to see Harith Iskandar perform is the day they introduce a “Khe-Leh-Feh Day”. Or better yet, “Khe-Leh-Feh Month”.

    (For those who don’t understand Cantonese, Khe-Leh-Feh is slang for lowly employees, that make coffee for bosses, photocopy stuff, clean toilets etc.)

    Friday, April 08, 2005

    Some Really Freaky Hang-Ups

    People can have really weird and freaky hang-ups. What’s a hang-up? You know, you have to do a certain things a certain way for no specific reason. They just have to, don’t ask why. Or they CAN’T do a certain thing because of some personal 'pantang' (taboo). For example, some people I know sleep only on the left side of the bed – no reason whatsoever. If they’re forced to sleep on the right side, they probably toss and turn all night and wake up like a zombie.

    Here are some more examples from people I know:

    My friends’ sister won't enter a room if it has fluorescent light. She will only make an entrance if it’s a yellow light. Says it's bad for the skin. (She probably spends a lot of time standing outside in the dark...)

    A primary school classmate of mine must sleep with his back against the wall. Because he's afraid of a toyol (kind of Malay ghost) will sleep behind him. (But what about the toyol sleeping in front of him?)

    A lady friend of mine must eat papaya every day at lunch. Or else she won't be able to pass motion. (Try not to think of it when you’re eating your papaya...)

    Speaking of passing motion, my ex-colleague's ex-housemate can only do his business if he's smoking. There was one time when they were staying together in UM, this guy had the urge to go. But he's run out of fags. So he had to get on his bike go like 10 miles out to the nearest shop to get his Dunhills, and ride back, then only on to the toilet... (thank goodness it wasn't a case of serious diarrhea.)

    A former colleague always got us to buy back mixed rice (tar pau chap fan) for him for lunch. He sleeps during his lunch hour. But he must have steamed yellow eggs. Or else he won’t stop complaining for the rest of the day. ("I'll meet you outside at the carpark. Be discreet, don't let that guy see you going out for lunch!")

    A contractor I know MUST eat everything with garlic. ("I don’t care if this is McDonald's, I want some garlic!!!")

    My ex-colleague's wife can't sleep with the fan switched on at night. Even if its 40°C during the Annual Malaysian Heat Wave, and the husband is soaking in sweat in bed. My friend sometimes sneaks off to turn the fan on after his wife is asleep. (Why that cheating no good son-of-a...)

    Another lady friend of mine religiously washes her hair twice a day. And doesn’t go ANYWHERE without her faithful hairdryer... (don’t tell her I mentioned this, okay, Pat?)

    Thursday, April 07, 2005

    More Alien Abduction 'Truths'

    Wow, a lot more people are still interested in the alien phenomenon than I initially thought. After yesterday’s blog about alien abduction statistics, I did further research (google again) on the subject. This, coupled with the feedback from my regular readers (yes, all two of them) and a lifetime of research on TV alien shows, I managed to find out more interesting facts and statistics.

    (I must qualify that anything printed here is does not necessarily represent the views of this blogger. And I do not appreciate any mail from former alien abductees spamming me for making fun of their anal probe experiences…)

    Twinsmom was right. 76% of abductees are Americans.
    Why this is so is great mystery. Is it because flying saucers are gravitationally attracted to North America (but not WMD missiles?) Or are aliens really convinced by those “Aliens, please land here!” signs put up by them? I will update you after more research.

    Furthermore, you are more likely to be abducted by aliens if you are a fictional character in an American TV show.
    Don’t believe this? Watch X-Files. Roswell. First Wave. Taken. Dark Skies. Why does it always happen on those shows but not in Pandan Indah? Don’t get me started about The Twilight Zone.

    This statistic is even higher if you are in a low-budget American day-time soap opera.
    Amber one day finds her boyfriend Dakota missing. In her grief, she finds comfort in the arms of Ridge, Dakota’s evil twin brother who has just awoken from 2 years of coma. One day, Dakota appears back in Amber’s life, and confesses that all this while he has been ABDUCTED BY ALIENS!!! Amber faints and knocks her head on the chair, resulting in amnesia…

    10% of pregnant American women abductees claim to have had their fetuses strangely removed by aliens during their abduction.
    Fascinating, but the numbers of published accounts support this fact. However, whether this is only an alibi for abortion of unwanted children remains unproven…

    68% of reported abduction and alien sightings were reported in trashy American supermarket tabloids such as National Enquirer, Daily Star, US Weekly, etc.
    Two-Headed Alien Probed and Molested Me’, ‘Elvis seen inside UFO Flying Saucer: Eyewitness’, ‘E.T. Fathered my Triplets, says Woman’, ‘Watch More TV to Improve English, Gomen Says’, etc.

    Not all Aliens look the small green man.

    This is common misconception: not all of them are small green men with big black eyes. Some look like the Predator. Others look like E.T. Some even look like Chewbacca. There is also at least one that looks like MJ, and only abducts little boys…

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    The 'Truth' About Alien Abductions

    I’ve always been mildly fascinated by the alien phenomenon, even before the show X-Files came on telly. I read quite a few books on the subject, and the area that was especially intriguing was alien abduction. There are probably tens of thousands of documented cases, some credible and some, shall we say, less than credible.

    So today I took it upon myself to research this matter (read: I googled it). Without much strain on my mouse-hand, I dug up some interesting statistics from this site. Acording to them, these facts are ‘believed to be true’! (Err, what’s a definition of a ‘fact’?). Anyway, here is what they say, with my comments:

    92% of all "alien abductions" are at night and dusk.
    Ninety-two percent?! That’s high man. Is it because aliens are nocturnal creatures like owls, bats and mat racers ? Or maybe because the daytime sun blinds them so their flying saucers crash land on other planets? This is all very confusing.

    70% of the people who've been abducted are women.
    No-oo, really?! Whoa, that makes one thing PERFECTLY CLEAR… 70% of aliens are male! Either that or women are more likely to wander around aimlessly alone in cornfields where aliens like to hang out. “Wow, check this out, Kreego, hot babe, 9 o’clock, coming this way, woo-hoo! Get out your Abductor-tron K2000!!!”

    88% of people who've been abducted say their abduction wasn't pleasant.
    Gee, you don’t say. Getting a metal probe up your anal tract isn’t pleasant? What were you expecting, Bali Four Seasons?

    91% of people who've been abducted believe they have a tracking device implant. Metal objects of unknown origin have been removed from some of the people who've been abductor's bodies.

    I saw this happen to Agent Scully on X-Files. A small tracking chip was removed from the back of her neck. It supports the whole theory that the aliens are tracking the abductees movement. “Look, Kreego! Human Specimen #3425A3E is now sleeping. Now he’s eating. OK, he’s sleeping again. Now’s he’s eating. He’s going back to sleep. I’m beginning to see a pattern emerge, Kreego…”

    87% say their abductors were the famous grey alien.
    Just reading that makes me laugh. But seriously though, there’s a few possible explanation. One: There’s actually only one alien abducting everybody. No wonder he’s famous. Two: All alien looks alike. Three: There’s one famous alien, and the rest are his fans that took plastic surgery to look like that celebrity alien.

    88% of the people who've been abducted are abducted more than once.
    Well, you know what they say, give good service and they’ll come back.

    5 out of 1000 people believe they have been "taken" by aliens.
    That would mean 150,000 Malaysians (out 30 million) believe they have been abducted before! Somebody MUST have some kind of evidence…videocam footage, camera phone photo, English-Klingon dictionary…

    12% believe that theirs was a one-time thing.
    Last night was magic, Kreego, but it was just a one night stand, baby…”

    Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    My First Payday

    I just watched this McDonald’s advert on TV. It shows young guy smiling, with his tie loosened out and collar unbuttoned, holding his first paycheque (swaggering in Mont’Kiara). Then it shows his mother, his bills, and other things that he needs to pay. Then the ad ends with him holding a tray McDonald’s McSaver meal and smiling. The whole premise of the ad is that no matter what financial difficulties you’re facing, you can always afford a McSaver.

    (Side note: Nobody gets a paycheque as a salary, unless you’re a freelancer, trainee or outsourcee. We get a payslip, which usually holds no significance as it’s always late. The correct Malaysian way is “let me go and line up at the ATM, I want to check if my gaji masuk already or not…”)

    Ah, yes, I remember my first month’s pay all those years ago. I was 22, and I remember the days leading up to payday, I was getting more and more desperate as cash was running low, and hutang (debts) was slowly mounting.

    But life was great, exciting and positive; I was looking forward to that special day - 28th of May. I even drew up a list of “Things I’m going to buy when my first salary”. Can’t remember much of that list, but getting a decent dinner was definitely one of them. At that time I was renting a room in SS3, had plenty of good friends living nearby, and hung out most of the time in SS2 area.

    So the day finally came. My colleagues told me that “money was in” at about 4pm (These old-timers had some kind of 6th sense…) So after work, I rushed to the nearest Maybank ATM and withdrew…my first salary… Woo-hoo! Man, it felt great. The first month of work was challenging, but it was all forgotten at that very moment.

    So I went back, set aside some cash for my parents, my rent, repairing my old junk car (is that going be another blog…), then went out for a ‘tai chau’ (‘good’) dinner with some of my good friends…
    The following Saturday, I took a No.12 minibus to Sg. Wang Plaza and bought a Sony Walkman for RM300 in a cheery yellow shop. It was the state-of-the art model at that time (Discmans were still too expensive then), single AA battery for 15 hours straight of play. The store guy ‘conned’ me into buying a special remote control headphones for an extra RM30 (which died on me after a month). Stupid remote control.

    So followed many, many hours of Metallica, Def Leppard, Manowar, Bon Jovi, et al for me.

    I bought a few other things with my first pay that week, but none as memorable as the Walkman. Even after my iPaq, Discman and hi-fi set, I still now use my old grey Walkman. My wife used them to play music for my two children while they were still in the womb.

    I was from kind of a disadvantaged background and didn’t have much in life, so the Walkman was very significant to me. I know what it meant never to ask or hope for anything while growing up, coz I always got nothing. But once in awhile, I fire up that trusty old Sony, and listen to James Hetfield say “…Never opened myself this way, Life is ours we live it our way, All these words I don’t just say, nothing else matters…” At that point in time, nothing else matters much.

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    Ten Dirty Words of the Internet

    In the ten years or so that I've been using the Net, the language of cyberspace has now been polluted with dirty words. So it is with much cynicism and world-weariedness Simon presents the Ten dirty words of the Internet:

    Spam – this would probably be the mother of all internet dirty words. Originally, it’s a brand of canned food in the US. But it has now evolved to mean unsolicited or junk e-mail. I get at least a dozen of these things everyday. How people can still hope to make money this way a beyond me. (See also Nigerian credit card scams, online poker, Male enhancement drugs, free online degrees, etc)

    Napster – not a dirty word for users like us, but one for those music corporations like Sony and Warner. Try to imagine a few Goliaths with WMDs taking on little David.

    404 – means you’ve reached a dead-end or a abandoned house on the information superhighway. Realistically, someone failed to update the link or the website your looking for doesn’t exist anymore. In real life when you move house, you would leave a forwarding address, right?

    Fwd: Fw: FW: Fwd: FW: You Got to Read This!!! – It goes straight to my trash can. Not the recycle bin, the TRASH CAN.

    Cyber-squatting – as with most of the dirty words here, it has something to do with making a quick buck. This is actually a darn good way, if ethics is beyond you. Step one: find a big corporation or famous name that doesn’t own an obvious domain name. Step two: register it. Step three: sell it to the rich sucker when he/she/they finally get round to making a website. Or face a long legal battle. One famous one was recently was

    Out of Office AutoReply – I just find this annoying. Hard to explain why.

    “Upgrade to Plus Package for only $50!” – oldest selling trick in the book. First you sign up for FREE package with the most basic features. THEN they tempt you to upgrade to a paying package with MORE features. How to pay? By credit card, of course. Man, is that going to open another can of worms.

    Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Fred Durst, et al
    – Look, I have nothing against these celebrities, but sometimes enough is enough. The acres of cyber-time and –space dedicated to them is horrendous when you consider that it could put to good use. Like Darfur. Like the Nias tsunami victims. Like Down Syndrome children. Like cancer research.

    “Send this to 10 of your friends and be blessed…” – How many times have you received those powerpoint shows of soppy clichés accompanied by retarded photos of flowers, sunset or Anne Geddes’ pictures of babies in flowers and animal outfits? Why do people actually spend time preparing these slideshows?! Either they have WAY too much time on their hands or they have some anal retentive issues they need to deal with.

    Windows – see blue screen of death, crash, unstable, patch version 524, etc.

    Saturday, April 02, 2005

    Simon Meets Liulian

    Hypothetically speaking, that is.

    To all my regular readers (yes, all two of you) you may have noticed I got an honourable mention in 5xmom’s blog here.

    Woo-hoo! The international fame! The big bucks! The paparazzi! The groupies!

    If you're wondering, the blogs about the Sempit love story and HK television serials that 5xmom is talking about, you can check it out by clicking the links at the end of the article.

    Anyway, for those of you who still have not checked her out (no innuendo here, please), she writes some funny stuff about her sons and Penang life.

    I don't read many blogs these days, maybe about 3 or 4 only. One one of my regulars has gone AWOL...

    Some of my blog postings mentioned:
    Sempit: A Malaysian Love Story
    18 Things I Learned From Watching HK Cantonese TV Serials

    Friday, April 01, 2005

    Pros and Cons of Studying Locally

    When I first started working, I met with and mixed with a lot of friends who studied overseas. One thing that really bugged me then was how when we in a big group together, they would go, “I remember when I was studying in London / Melbourne / Boston / Sydney / Baghdad…” or “KLCC is nothing, that shopping center in London is SO much better…”

    Yeah right. Then they would ask me, “So where did you study? RMIT? Sheffield?” And I would reply, “No, locally…” Then they say “Oh…” while giving me that-“Oh, dear me, this poor Jakun…”-look.

    Yeah, well, I’m damn proud to have studied in Malaysia. But before I go into a 2-page rant about it, let me just give you some of the advantages to have studied in Malaysia, plus a few disadvantages (yes, I’ll have to admit it’s not all a bed of roses).

    Top Ten Advantages of Studying Locally:

    • No need to learn to speak the local language – you already know it!
    • Who needs winter and autumn clothes? Your existing clothes can be worn in all 4 Malaysian seasons: Hot, Bloody Hot, Raining Like Cats & Dogs and Haze.
    • You can find roti canai and wantan mee any time of the day, anywhere you want.
    • During your semester breaks you can find good temporary employment at McDonalds/Kedai Ubat Tong Huat/roadside VCD stall/Kamdar without worrying about work permits.
    • Can act as tour guide to your foreign student friends during weekend holiday trips: “Don’t worry, I can bring you all shopping at the world famous Phoenix Plaza shopping centre!”
    • Why bother if you’ve never gone to Hyde Park/Trafalgar Square/Petticoat Junction/Harrod’s? Our very own SS2 Pasar malam on Monday nights is the best in the world!
    • My tuition fees : RM1700 PER YEAR. Room Rental : RM450 PER MONTH. Go figure.
    • No bomb scares, no terrorists, no transport workers union strike, no blizzards, no hurricanes, etc...
    • You can eat maggi mee everyday if you want.
    • Our fine tertiary education system is superbly poised to prepare you for a career in online journalistic publishing (i.e. blogging)

    Top Five Disadvantages of Studying Locally:

    • Your parents come and visit all the time. Worse still if you’re still staying with them.
    • Public toilets have no toilet paper. Not even the holder.
    • Some local colleges’ names are so uncool (“Kolej Olympia”? "Institut Goon" ?!!)
    • You have to eat maggi mee everyday if you are broke.
    • Lack of job opportunities make lead you to become a third-rate blogger.

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