Monday, November 28, 2005

Wedding Party

Finally, a wedding dinner with a difference! My wife's colleague had her wedding dinner on Saturday at Saujana Golf and Country Club, and it turned to be a party instead of the usual dinner. And what a party it was! First off, there was none of those "wait for the bride and groom" stuff, dinner was served buffet style from 7 pm onwards. Booze was free flowing - beer, wine and spirits, you name it, they got it.

The happy couple came at about 8 pm, by which time the band was playing, people were dancing, it was like Saturday night at a pub :) The bride and groom went around separately mingling with the guests, making sure they had a good time. They were given permission to party till 6 am the next day.

By the time 11 pm came, I didn't want to leave and had to be dragged out. And Arsenal was playing that night!

Thanks, Jessie and Vincent, for a really good time :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Idiotic Customer Service

Lately my Astro has been on the blink, so tonight I finally called them. To my surprise, the call centre system has been changed, and now I can't be put on hold! I have to press 9 then 7 to try again, and after doing this for the 30 minutes I lost patience and decided to send an email. This is what I got:-

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your enquiry/feedback which is receiving our
We wil revert to you within 5 working days.

Subscriber Management Division, ASTRO

FIVE WORKING DAYS!! Are they going to refund me for being forced to wait FIVE DAYS?? I don't think so. Short of trying 24 hours to get through the phone or going straight to their head office in Bukit Jalil and banging on someone's table, it looks like I'm going to be Astro-less for another week minimum.

What sort of idiotic customer service is this? They used to be so good, I used to get great service over the phone from them, what happened?

The most ironic (and irritating) thing is that their email is, it was through gritted teeth that I typed out the email address on my Yahoo Mail. We Care? My foot!!

Sunday, November 20, 2005


I notice more and more folks brandishing Ipods on trains and LRT's nowadays, I think it'll just be a matter of time before I give in and get one, too.

To prepare, I've been doing a long term project to build up my mp3 collection, which entails converting my CD collections, searching and downloading them from the net, and last but not least getting them off the pasar malam. I find that I have been searching for songs which reminded me of each of the years of my life.

Surprisingly, there were none for the years when I was courting my wife, a fact which still irritates my wife to this day. Sometimes when I go "Oh, that song reminds me of 1986" in the car, she'll go, "Well, what song reminds you of us, dear?" and I'll be "err, err...".

So, theoretically, I can relive all the years of my life just by arranging my playlist chronologically:-

1980 - Do That To Me One More Time; Please Don't Go; YMCA

1984 - Beat It; Telephone; Karma Chameleon; All Night Long

1985 - Everybody Wants To Rule The World; Wild Boys; Cheri Cheri Lady

1986 - The Sun Always Shines On TV; There'll Be Sad Songs; Life is Life

and etc.

At the moment, there's about 600 songs in my project folder and still growing.

One of the biggies I'm still looking for is the Animalympics soundtrack, which was created by Graham Gouldman. But its out of circulation and an enthusiast's effort to convert an LP of it into mp3 hit legal issues.

Animalympics was a cartoon based on the Olympics created back in 1980, but some of the things from it still remain refreshingly relevant today. Take Rene's Song, sung in the movie about a goat, who, in his pursuit of Olympic glory, left behind everything:-

I've always run away
From things that tie me down
My life I love
But love's not for me

I see my goal ahead
With nothing in the way
If love should come
Then I'll run away

I've always been the type of man
Who's dedicated to his cause
And it's a lonely road I run
But I'll stay faithful to my course
There's only one direction

There comes a time when you must choose
About the path you're gonna take
And you must take it win or lose
And if you lose it's your mistake
There's only one direction

So when the race is won
And there's nothing left to do
Alone again but where are you
Alone again but where are you

I first heard this song back in 1986, and it still haunts me to this day.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Feeling Better Today

Woke up this morning and felt like shit. Didn't feel like going to work, I thought of calling in sick, but .... what to say ah? In the end, I decided to go anyway.

At the Kelana Jaya LRT, I started having this massive stomach ache. Oh oh, I thought, must be pyschosomatic, I must have wished so hard that I was REALLY getting sick.

Still, made it to work in the end. Checked my email, the partner and the customer were very magnanimous, they all said, lesson learned, let's all move on. But boss is still angry with me, I guess he will take a few days to cool down.

Anyway, things moved quite fast today, had a few bugs, but by 4 pm all were solved and we were back on track.

Just felt very sleepy from lack of sleep, gonna try and catch up during the weekend. And also watch all the Episodes of Amazing Race Family Edition that I missed. Thanks, Media Queen! ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Just had my first major screw up in the new company that I moved to five months ago.

I don't know what happened to me, I just completely forgot all those risk management skills that I so painstakingly learnt in the last three years and made a number of ASSUMPTIONS which, as Murphy's Law goes, will definitely go wrong and bite you in the ASS.

And bite they did, my boss went and told everyone that's its the other party we are integrating with that's at fault, and finally, finally, after three nights of hard digging and sleep deprivation, I found out that its OUR problem!!! Crap.

But, oddly, it felt good that I was the one who found the problem. The developers from all sides couldn't find the problem, in the end it was the project manager (me) who found it.

Depressing day :(

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Speaking of Wedding Dinners ...

If you're Chinese, you tend to attend wedding dinners, as opposed to actual weddings, which is more of a Christian thing nowadays. There are the occasional few non-Christian ones where we get to join in the bride collection process (corrupted by tricks learned from Hongkie serials), but invites to those have been almost zero since I got married (Married guys don't qualify, you see).

Over the years, wedding dinners have been a blur of the same things - the long wait, the happy couple's entrance, the salty food, the Powerpoint presentation, the Kenny G music, but there were occasions when I got something different:-

1. Best food - my wife's ex-room mate's dinner in Kampar back in 2002. The ikan bawal was to die for. A distant second was JW Marriott KL, 2004 - distant cousin's wedding - he didn't have too many relatives in KL and I had to make up the numbers.

2. Longest wait - another of my wife's ex-room mate, in Federal Hotel 2001. We started dinner at 9.15 pm and finished at 11.30! I wanna see someone else beat that.

3. Fastest dinner - the same one that won the best food award. Started sharp at 6 pm, finished sharp 8 pm. Who says quality has to take time?

4. Most punctual - and Kampar wins again! Yay!

5. Most environmentally friendly - Klang 2004. This ex-colleague of mine actually put a note on every table explaining why they decided to replace the usual shark fin soup with herbal chicken soup instead.

6. Lousiest food - Hope my good friend and ex-colleague won't mind, but this has to be his hundred table banquet held at Palace of the Golden Horses in 2002. Everything was sloppily done.

7. Most expensive - 1000 bucks per table, see no. 6. Oh, the irony of it.

8. Best service - JW Marriott, distant cousin's dinner 2004. They struck the right balance between thoughtfulness and fussiness.

9. Best Powerpoint presentation - this has to be the two done by Simon, a good friend who did two very funny yet touching cartoons of the happy couples' stories. Way to go, Simon!

10. Best live presentation - a live rendition of one of Ah Niu's Hokkien songs to the happy couple, with modified lyrics, church friend's wedding, 2001.

11. Most drunken - The Gurney, Penang, 2000. After the dinner, the couple invited a group of 20 friends (yours truly included) to their suite to help themselves to two cases of hard liquor. No one was able to hold their food for the next two days.

Another Wedding Dinner

I hope the bride doesn't mind me mentioning this, but a major reason I'm looking forward to this tonight is meeting up with the guys and gals from the ex-office. I think the last time was I caught up with them was during the farewell for two pretty ladies back in August.

Can't wait!

Monday, November 07, 2005


It was my dream to visit Arsenal's home ground, so off I went last Saturday to Highbury. There was a home match against Sunderland on, so at 2 pm I set out from Central London towards Arsenal station.

The first thing I noticed was how crowded the train was. Then I realised almost everyone was wearing Arsenal shirts. Being the coward that I am, I couldn't bring myself to take a snap of them.

When I came out of the station, I realised that Highbury is smack in the middle of a residential area! I pity the residents, having to deal with 40 thousand plus people trampling through their streets on match day. To add insult to injury, there's a large police presence, and all of them were on horses, and horse shit was everywhere!

I was dying to get a ticket, but quickly lost my appetite when a scalper offered me one for 120 quid (about 800 ringgit). The match was officially sold out, so I had to make do with soaking in the atmosphere and snapping some pics:

The official Arsenal shop :

More pics :

So this is where Osama lives ..

I woke up from my sleep on the plane to see my fellow passengers staring out the window. So, being the typical busybody Malaysian that I am, I looked out, too, and saw these:

Its Afghanistan, and if you look carefully at the pictures, you can actually see villages! Makes you wonder why people would choose to live in a place like that, but I guess different strokes for different folks....

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