Friday, April 30, 2010

Should You Obey Road Signs?

Should you obey road signs?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Risk of giving a helping hand...

Do you always have the urge to stretch your ‘helping’ hand…….



As I walked down the busy sidewalk with my wife, knowing we were late for Mass, my eye fell upon one of those unfortunate, ragged vagabonds that are found in every city these days.  Some people turned to stare.  Others quickly looked away as if the sight would somehow contaminate them.

Recalling my old pastor, Father Mike, who always admonished me to "care for the sick, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked," I was moved by some powerful inner urge to reach out to this unfortunate person.

Wearing what can only be described as rags and carrying her
treasured worldly possessions in two plastic bags, my heart was touched by this person's condition.My wife kept walking...

Yes, there where some people that saw only rags, I saw a true, hidden beauty. A small voice inside my head called out, "Reach out, reach out and touch this person!"



So I did.




I won't be at Mass this week

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Congratulations...



To my good friend, congratulations on getting your new posting. You deserve it. After all, you are definitely a class above your peers in your field. 

Congratulations!


Greenpeace Commercial

video

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Your Government Doesnt Want You to Know on Google



I dont know the answer to the question. All I know is various governments have made request to have certain information withheld from searches and also request for information.

Picture above showed that the Malaysian government had made less than 10 request to remove certain documents off Google's server but Google hasnt responded to any yet.

Check the information yourself at http://www.google.com/governmentrequests/


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Darn,...



There goes my days of using the North-South Expressway as my Formula 1 circuit.

With the recent news that the Road Transport Department (RTD) is intending to increase the maximum traffic summons from RM300 to RM1000, I can't afford to get booked anymore. I just got booked two weeks ago for speeding from Penang to Kuala Lumpur. They clocked me at 152km/h. Yet to pay the fines.

I guess I have no choice but to start driving like how old men do, 110km/h.

Poor me.


Quote - End of The World

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia .." 
-Charles Schultz


To Make a Women Happy...

To make a woman happy ..... 
A man only needs to be: 

1. A friend 
2. A companion 
3. A lover 
4. A brother 
5. A father 
6. A master 
7. A chef 
8. An electrician 
9. A carpenter 
10.. A plumber 
11.. A mechanic 
12.. A decorator 
13.. A stylist 
16.. A psychologist 
17.. A pest exterminator 
18.. A psychiatrist 
19.. A healer 
20.. A good listener 
21.. An organizer 
22.. A good father 
23.. Very clean 
24.. Sympathetic 
25.. Athletic 
26.. Warm 
27.. Attentive 
28.. Gallant 
29.. Intelligent 
30.. Funny 
31.. Creative 
32.. Tender 
33.. Strong 
34.. Understanding 
35.. Tolerant 
36.. Prudent 
37.. Ambitious 
38.. Capable 
39.. Courageous 
40.. Determined 
41. True 
42.. Dependable 
43.. Passionate 

WITHOUT FORGETTING TO: 
44. Give her compliments regularly 
45.. Love shopping 
46.. Be honest 
47.. Be very rich 
48.. Not stress her out 
49.. Not look at other girls 

AND AT THE SAME TIME, MUST ALSO: 
50. Give her lots of attention, but expect little yourself 
51.. Give her lots of time, especially time for herself 
52.. Give her lots of space, never worrying about where she goes 

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT : 
53. Never to forget: 
* Birthdays 
* Anniversaries 
* Arrangements she makes 

BUT
To make a man ! happy .. ... 
A woman only needs to : 
1. Leave him alone


Monday, April 19, 2010

Penang's War Museum



A relatively unknown place in Penang is its War Museum

The War Museum is the old abandoned British fort that was occupied by the British and then taken over by the Japanese when they invaded Malaysia during World War II. The old buildings are still there. 

What I found interesting was the pictures of those time.These framed pictures could be found everywhere in the site.





Sunday, April 18, 2010

Calling Home From 30,000 Feet

Have you ever called home from 30,000 feet up in the air?

Well, if you’re rich, you could have used the Skyphone that’s available as part of the ICE (Information, Communication and Entertainment) system most airplanes have.

But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could now use my own cell phone on the plane, at 30,000 feet!

 

Using my cell phone while travelling 30,000 feet up in the air with Emirates

 

This is part of Emirates’ new communication system. I sent and received a text reply from my sister back home. What I don't know is how much it cost. I will know soon once the bill from Maxis arrives.

Cool isn't it, being able to use your mobile 30,000 feet up in the air.

According to my colleague who travels a lot, Emirates is one of the very few airlines which is constantly innovating and bringing in new services for its customers. Its a far cry from what KLM offers apparently.

But on hindsight, would you want a bunch of chattering crowd up in the air? I quite enjoy the peace and quiet I get in the air, when the window blinds are down, the lights dimmed and me reading a nice book while sipping on white wine. After all, I paid dearly for such a comforting experience, why would I ever want it disturbed?

Nevertheless, well done Emirates.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Flights Grounded




Expats stranded in Lagos. Flights to Amsterdam, Paris and Glasgow all not flying because of Iceland's volcanic ash cloud.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Book Recommendations.

At MPH today and I picked up a few books which I have always wanted to read but never had the time. My current book is Brian Green's Fabric of the Cosmos - simply an excellent book about space, time and reality.


Another book which I loved was A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. Bryson describes graphically and in layman's terms the size of the universe, and that of atoms and subatomic particles. He then explores the history of geology and biology, and traces life from its first appearance to today's modern humans, placing emphasis on the development of the modern Homo sapiens. Furthermore, he discusses the possibility of the Earth being struck by a meteor, and reflects on human capabilities of spotting a meteor before it impacts the Earth, and the extensive damage that such an event would cause. He also focuses on some of the most recent destructive disasters of volcanic origin in the history of our planet, including Krakatoa and Yellowstone National Park. 


Back to the books I picked up today at MPH:


1. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
2. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
3. For One More Daby Mitch Albom
4. Malaysia at Random


I am looking for more interesting books to read in addition to the four books above. Any recommendations? I am keen on science, auto-biographies, spiritual and sometimes political. I tried reading Shakespeare but never could get past page 1. Philosophy sounds interesting. My uncle, Derek Gomez, is a master philosopher but he's books are way beyond my intellectual realm. I need something dummed down.


Suggestions welcomed.





Saturday, April 03, 2010

Coming Home

It was supposed to be a routine trip home. So routine that we didn't even bother to carry any hand luggage with us other than our laptop. The 16-hour plane ride is something I try to avoid as much as I can but with the client delaying vital information for me to proceed with my work, it was decided that its best for me to take my planned break and then hope that the client would have sorted out their mess in my 2-week absence. The ride to the airport was in the super huge Toyota Sequoia. It was a joy to ride in this beast. Our driver was Nicolas, the safest driver among the lot.

 

toyota-sequoia

 

The check-in at the airport was a terrible hassle. The big police officer at the airport entrance tried to play magic with us, calling out my name and saying he knows my name by just looking at me. He thinks I didn't notice him looking at my name written in large letters, pasted on both sides of my luggage. He tried his best to get us to part with some Naira but with a crowd of visitors behind us, he eventually let us through. Then the bell boy said he could get us to cut queue if we gave him N5000. We smiled. He smiled. He walked away. The queue was long. Then another smartly dressed, mute guy came over and looked at our check-in slip and asked us, with sign language, for N1000 to bypass the check-in queue. We agreed. N1000 was reasonable. Then he rolled our bags out and half way through, he stopped and demanded another N1000. I knew saying No would have made us walk to the back of the ever—growing long queue. So I paid. We got through to the Customs official. Hoisted one bag up, the lady looked in, then looked at my wife, then gave me a nice smile. When she saw me putting my hand into my pocket, she closed our bag and ushered us to move on. We paid her N500. Then we waited in a chaotic queue in front of the ticketing desk. It was total madness. Everyone was cutting queues, no one was paying attention to anything. After around 20 minutes, it was our turn. Our bags weighed in a 1kg below the maximum allowable weight. It only took us less than 4 minutes for the lady to issue us our boarding pass all the way to KL. Holding the boarding pass and the immigration form, we walked towards the departure gate. There, another officer looked at our boarding pass and then asked us, “Master, today is the weekend. What do you have for me?” He said it quietly when there were people around. We pretended to not know what he was saying. By then my wife was pretty angry. She bluntly asked him, “What are you asking us for? Money?”

 

“No, I just said Master.”

 

“But what does Master mean? Passport”

 

“Yes”

 

“Then why didn't you say so?”

 

We gave him our passports. And then he chipped in.

 

“It’s not good to raise your voice to an officer. If you treat us well, we will treat us well.”

 

This banter went on for a while until he knew he wasn't going to get anything from us. My wife was pretty fired up against this fool. We grabbed our boarding pass and passports and walked into the check-in lounge. If this guy was humble in asking for money, we would have given him. After all, we did give to all those who had asked us earlier, those who had the courtesy to ask politely. But this guys was utter arrogance. To those that we had paid earlier, they did something for us – the first one cut our waiting time by a large margin; the customs official didn't check our luggage, saving us valuable packing time. But this guy, all he had to do was to check that people had a valid boarding pass and passport. He couldn't have helped us in any other manner. But yet, he had the cheek to be arrogant in demanding some bribe from us!

 

After this, everything went on smoothly except that while queuing to board the plane at 1.50 pm (plane scheduled to leave at 2.50 pm), the computer network went down. We stood in line for about 2 hours, only boarding the plane at 3.50 pm and the plane eventually took off at 4.30 pm. Everyone was grumbling about missing their connection flight to other destinations. We knew we would definitely be missing ours as we only had a 1 hour 20 minute window between our flights. Our flight from Dubai to KL was scheduled to leave at 1.40 am Dubai time, which was when our Lagos-Dubai plane landed. The next flight was 4 am but the lady at the counter said even if she could have fitted us in, our bags wouldn't follow suit. They would only come on the 10.30 am flight. But she was kind enough to give us a hotel room at the Millennium Hotel for the night. I was expecting a good sleep but after doing the math, it turned out that we could only sleep for 3 hours before packing up and heading back to the airport. Nevertheless, it was great to finally be able to take a shower with excellent water pressure, compared to the pathetic water pressure at our Somerset Hotel. Below is our visa on demand. The good thing about being a Malaysian is that we get a one-month entry visa automatically. Shown below is Immigration control at Dubai airport and our on-demand visa. The men in white are the security officials.

 

Immigration Control at Dubai airport

 

On demand visa once we arrived in Dubai

 

The Millennium Hotel is a 3-star hotel. At a rate of USD170 per night, its priced to similar to the Somerset Hotel which we’re staying in Nigeria. We had complimentary sandwich and drinks at our arrival, and breakfast was served the next morning. Shown below are the taxis at the airport at 3 in the morning.

 

Taxi's outside the airport at 3 in the morning 

 

The cafe at the Millennium Hotel. Every worker we saw was a foreigner. I wonder what the locals work as.

 

Millennium Hotel Cafe

 Millennium Hotel Cafe

 

Our cozy hotel room. We squeezed cozily into one bed.

 

Millennium Hotel Room

 

Millennium Hotel Room

 

Next morning, after having a delicious breakfast, we headed back to the airport. This are the photo’s of Dubai that we managed to snap.

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Dubai

 

Seven and a half hours later we landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. We landed at 10 pm Sunday after, 8 hours later than expected. Finally, on home soil and delicious food.

Brand New Flat Tire

DSC00059

 

Just changed all four of my car tires the evening before and the following morning, after coming out from the bank, this is what I saw. Apparently this is quite common in Kepong where people target all those they think that might come out of the bank carrying cash. The care before me was a black Mercedes but I guess he didn't catch the nail, which my Jumbo did. Luckily the leak was pluggable and my tire was usable despite having its side wall crushed.

Hazy Penang

Time to head up North. Wasted a whole week of my holidays trying to get my visa sorted out. And it still isn't. Left Kuala Lumpur at 7 in the morning and it was a hazy ride all the way up North.

 On the way to Penang

On the way to Penang

On the way to Penang

On the way to Penang

On the way to Penang

Finally, on the Penang bridge.

On the way to Penang

Home sweet home on the island.