Monthly Archives: April 2005

Trouble! Shoot!

This is a post in optimism. Really. This was also meant to be posted before my last entry as the Thursday entry. The (Minus One Bummer) bits are where I am annoyingly optimistic.

So I was to fix Leech‘s computer. I took the KTM Komuter to Subang, and that was delayed by 15 minutes. (Bummer Number 1) No matter, as she lagged too. I called her, and I ended the call upon spotting her in Carrefour, but she proceeded to walk blurly. “I was looking for a place to have breakfast.” (Remember this, this is part of this online contest.) Breakfast, on her. (Minus One Bummer)

My sense of direction around Subang wasn’t great, and we got out on the New Pantai Expressway, a dashing RM3.20. (Bummer Number 2) Even better was how I forgot that I didn’t get to reload the Touch N Go the day before! (Bummer Number 3) Fortunately there weren’t any cars behind. 🙂 (Minus One Bummer)

So we finally reached my quaint little residential area, where the operation was to take place. Her Windows XP installation was unable to start, and there was data inside yet to be backed up. And so, I transplanted her hard drive in my computer and copied out the files. Meanwhile, I ripped CDs that I didn’t want on my other computer before passing them to my free-CD-loving friend.

She was done copying, and I looked over (my computers are side by side). “Heyyy are you lowering my Spider Solitaire average score? Lemme show you how it’s done.” And so, I did…

And after about two suites, the power went out. Yo. (Bummer Number 4) At least we were only playing Spider Solitaire and not doing anything important. (Minus One Bummer)

So we took a stroll down to the KFC nearby for lunch which she paid for (Minus One Bummer), where the rest of Taman Sri Sinar seemed to wait for the electricity to come back on! Later, my sister called, notifying me that the electricity was back on. (Minus One Bummer)

Technical part follows:

And so began the reinstallation of Windows… which failed at 50%. Tried again. 20%. Again. 3%. Tried two different CDs; neither went all the way. The CD writer was wonky, I thought, so I swapped my secondary computer’s CD writer. No help either, and much worse, the BIOS would not detect the CD writer and hard disk… until I swapped around the IDE cables, master/slave positions and drive jumpers. Many times. When it did work, I tried installing again, and failing that I rebooted and again the BIOS didn’t detect the drives till I shuffled everything around randomly again. (Big Bummer Number 5)

I managed to catch a glimpse of the blue screen, so I instinctively removed one stick of RAM to see if either was faulty.

5 different combinations of two sticks in two slots and we got an entrancing ASCII pattern. We could not even get into the BIOS. If we were lucky, we’d get the good ol’ DOS screen blinking cursor.

I tried installing Windows with the hard disk being in my computer, and it worked! (Minus One Bummer) Therefore something was up with the IDE controller or BIOS. The motherboard was struck by lightning before, so it would be odd that only the built-in Ethernet controller was busted (a previous technician installed a new network card).

Google said there was a chance in Response Number 7, but by then it was getting late, so we headed to Midvalley for dinner (plus she knew how to get home from there).

As what the great Lionel would say to me:
You have failed me again.

Yes, I failed. 🙁 And now, her blog readers will continue missing her because I didn’t manage to fix her computer. 🙁

We missed the turning to Bangsar and U-turned at Bukit Kiara. (Bummer Number 6) Contrary to what Leech has said in her blog, she is not a bad driver. She just should not honk in anger at vans who overtake her as men with knives may jump out. (Nevermind that my mom drives a van.)

Oh and ironically Friendster‘s Joint Horoscopes said we’d have a good day.

Now for the little online contest; winners will get a free mention in my blog and get a link. Yes, if you are linked from my main page you will get loadsa hits. If you walk into a club you will get loadsa hot-people-of-your-preferred-sex because I mentioned you. So anyway, I am happy because I:

1) B_ A C_ H_. She inadvertently met my whole family.
2) I had B_, L_ A_ D_ with the same chick.

Too Far Gone

I will omit Thursday‘s long blog entry to make this following chunkalunk of a blog entry easier to read and remember.


I got on a Metrobus, and they had this LCD screen that was supposed to play ads and music videos. Instead, it showed the Active Desktop error ala Microsoft Windows. Maybe they should invest in a DVD player instead; it’s cheaper and they don’t have to pay Bill Gates.

This party was definitely not for the aquaphobic… or chocolate-cake-on-face-phobic. Corinne, this is what you’re missing! (The crowd was mostly her ex-collegemates from IACT.)

I met Izal, bassist of One Buck Short there, where he just returned from a gig at the International College Of Music (ICOM). I hitched a ride with Corinne’s friend’s car who dropped me off at Hartamas. Thankful I am that I did not take a taxi straight back from Ikea, because I bumped into a Sunday-school-mate at Hartamas Square.

For Friday, I had:

Plan A: Check out Ben’s B***hes at ICOM.
Plan B: Instead of drunken rockers, I’d go see the CLEO Bachelor party at Zouk, where I could meet Davina and pass her a CD.
Plan C: Instead, I forsook being bachelor #51, and went for a pool party instead.

So it would be ironic then, that the not-so-pious-now-haha! friend of mine, and her hot friend, were at the CLEO bachelor thing! (Plan B) Apparently it started at midnight (instead of 9pm) and the bachelors made 2-second appearances. Even cooler, was that her friend was from IACT as well, and when I name-dropped the names of people at the party (Plan C), she knew them all well! (And was surprised to know that the person I hitched a ride on had a boyfriend.) Oh, and Izal was at aforementioned ICOM gig (Plan A) and told me that Ben and gang were asked to get off stage.

Am I eye-flutteringly complex now?

I then bumped into Zack (dude in the middle), super-mega-rock-star-guitar-player from Cosmic Funk Express! He was also super-mega-drunk. Funny indeed, Zack is part of One Buck Short when they need a second guitarist, but not this time; he was busy amassing groupies at Mont Kiara International School, where he strutted his guitar virtuoso-ness.

The last time Zack and I were here, he was struggling to finish his glass of beer (it didn’t help that strong drinkers were pressuring him). So uh, I liberated him of the alcohol.

Now, he was a strong Korean drinker. Cheers mate. You can now hold your own, and you can even do math and pour beer evenly while dancing along to Benny Benassi’s Satisfaction! Alda, have you seen him drunk?


No, not keyboard; digital piano! Miss Kanako Kumanomido shows off Roland Digital Pianos, with voices much better-sounding than MIDI realizations. Ask me for the video! Interesting modulation effects on trumpet and backing ‘vocals’. I saw this at Pearl Point when rushing to grab a bite before the Soft Touch EP launch at Paul’s New Place.

Mr. Harooon from Rock The World fame! Well I’ll be. He’s still as clueless a commentator. Maybe he should work as a sports commentator. Oh wait, he works for AMP Radio’s Infozone. Oops.

Saerze sings Nirvana – Rape Me and Jamiroquai – Love Foolosophy. The bass was too punchy for the latter song (and maybe the other niggling factor was that it was a bit off tune…) I wonder how she got her name cards in the ASTRO office waiting lounge though.

Lied and their angry alternative rock. Angry indeed. The way rock was meant to be, anyway. Here, Adlin does the emo-chicken-pecking-at-microphone stance.

Cats In Love rocked. From classic rock to bluesy wanderings, the Malaysian Mark Knopfler wowed the crowd.

It wasn’t until they introduced the band members that I realized why the guitarist’s guitar (what, were you expecting the guitarist’s bass drum?) was so familiar. It was the Fender Telecaster that N. Rama Lohan reviewed in The Star. It was N. Rama Lohan! Turns out the bandmates are from The Star, too. No wonder they’ve got an excellent synthy-keyboard(s)-player (who also did a mouth organ bit.) And hey! Didn’t they review that SX bass too? Cheap bas…

(Edited 6th June 2014: This was Cats In Love’s first ever gig!)

This picture does not do justice to prove exactly how cute and charismatic D-Va’s lead vocalist is. (…oh yeah she also sings, plays guitar and keyboards well.) She dances and prances like it was her bathroom, except she’s got clothes on and she’s not soaking wet. Dammit.

Double-sized picture for Soft Touch, because it’s their EP’s launch event. And because Peter Hassan Brown (the old-looking dude) finally rocks out or “fools around” (in his own words) to the hard rocking riff of Listen 2 What U C. Yes he was actually headbanging to this one, and he even walked over to his guitarist and made like a guitar duel.

Jamie Woon from the UK! With his DADGAD-tuned guitar, he crooned and melted hearts. He also played with soft-loud dynamics and tapped harmonics ala acoustic guitar heroes like Az. Except that Az doesn’t sing.

Lunarin from Singapore with some pretty progressive rock. The biting bass tone of the female vocalist complimented the hard-hitting drummer. Add a guitarist, and you have Singapore’s answer to Tempered Mental, just not as diverse and tempo-manic.

A funny scene was Saiful, the first gig otai (slang for old-timer, usually commands great respect) I met, paying cover charge to Ahmad, the first gig-regular-who-wasn’t-in-a-band buddy I met. Ironically, the situation would have been reverse every other time. I hitched a ride with Saiful, and he dropped me off at KLCC, where I took a cab, and it was ironic too that I’d meet a former mat rock taxi driver. He asked what college I was, and for some instinctive reason he asked where he could do sound engineering! I told him about SAE and ICOM. He told me how he was going to be signed to a label in 1987, but his parents disapproved. Heck, if he did, he would have been famous for a good decade. “Bila XPDC baru nak belajar double-pedal, aku lama dah buat lah…” I then told him where to pick up gig-goers and meet Md. Nor Hendrix. Rock on, mat-rock taxi driver!

Blistering Blues

The past mornings have been extra bright. This shot was taken at 8 am, when it wasn’t too hot yet, but everybody in the bus stop was facing away from it.

White and silver cars literally glow.

This shot was taken at night. Screw my camera’s night mode; ISO 400 and +2 exposure values, pointed out the highway got this shot. No, my Canon Powershot A400 does not support manual shutter speeds, so it’s a wonder I got this shot.

I took a walk to Midvalley from the Bangsar PUTRA LRT station.

Looking over the highway, I saw this; do Malaysians have an equivalent of Smokey Bear? What would Sang Kancil say?

Along the same stretch I took this picture. Now that’s what I call a passionate fisherman! He’s not doing it for the fish.

The Guitar Collection opens at Midvalley, near the cinemaplex.

While waiting for Frus to join me at The Loft, Zouk for our fix of Twilight Action Girl, I went to Berjaya Times Square Hotel’s lounge on the 14th floor and saw this man tuning his guitar. Could it be…

Hendrix lives!!! I saw Md. Nor Hendrix in an issue of ROTTW which said he played in Berjaya Hotel. Sadly, he played Eric Clapton and Gary Moore’s Still Got The Blues, songs you would hear on the radio. I summoned the courage to go up to him and ask, “hey Joe, could you play some Hendrix?

He fiddled around with his laptop (I suspect the drum machine was there or at the keyboards). Frus and I cheered as he said, “and now, for a blues number, on special request…

There’s a red house over yonder, that’s where my baby stays.

He was feeling it, all much much more than when he was playing Eric Clapton’s licks or the famous, searing Gary Moore A-minor solo. Before this, he was a weathered lounge performer. Now, his face scrunched up, the same way Jimi did.

Now if my baby don’t love me no more, I know her sister will.

He then played Hey Joe, sadly interrupted by annoying waiter. I missed the solo and the chance to take a picture of him playing with his teeth at the end of the song! He also made like a double-locking bridge and abused his whammy bar to no end.

He came over and shook our hands. We went into guitar geek mode and he let us touch his Fender Stratocaster 1969! It was very, very different from a modern day Strat. For one, he put 5 springs in the back, and his frets were low and action looked high but it felt smooth and easy!

Heck, even the nut looked tiny. The back plate on the neck joint was V-shield-shaped instead of the regular rectangles we see. The pickups had cracks on them, but they were not changed.

The coolest thing about the neck was how thin it was. This picture does not show the scale; its super narrow neck looked like an Angus Young Gibson SG! And yet, it felt different at different points of the neck; it wasn’t flat, and it was chunky and yet felt small. No wonder Jimi loved thumbing basslines. It felt more like a C shape than a D shape to me.

Someday, I shall bring Syefri and Alda here. Sure they’re both bassists but hey Syefri has an afro (plus he’s the guy who lent me a Hendrix CD…) Yes, Md. Nor even looks like Jimi. If you can’t squint, the text says it’s every night except Monday, 8:30 pm to 12:45 am (ending at 1:45 am on Public Holidays.) No wonder he was bored. Imagine playing the same tunes day in day out! (He doesn’t play Hendrix unless requested.) I figured I did both of us a favor; for me, I could relive rock moments when I wasn’t born yet, and for him, he could go wild on the guitar!

Frus and I left for Zouk, using the monorail. While queueing up there was this group of lost ticket-buyers. The cashier was flustered, and I tried to explain that they can buy and enter on any side, and then use the bridge to cross over to the other side.

Frus and I then crossed over, thinking that was the way to Bukit Nanas monorail; alas, it was not! So we came over and told the lost ticket-buyers that we’ll be joining them on the train. They were from Bangladesh and were heading back to Corus Hotel (which was opposite Ampang Park.) They looked formal, like they were here for a business trip. They also looked very naive. Frus said one of them looked very n00bish, LOL.

We got off and I pointed leftwards in the direction of Dang Wangi PUTRA LRT, where they could take the LRT to Ampang Park. They could also take a cab rightwards to KLCC. Thank you and goodbyes were exchanged. They decided to walk. Eeep. This, at 11 pm. Of course, we were heading in the same direction, so it was awkward. On the way to Zouk, we passed a construction site, when a disturbing thought came:

What if they were here to find a desk job, only to be set up and eventually coerced into becoming construction workers?

They looked built enough for menial labor. Imagine, the evil employers could set them up to go between a hotel and a public place like Bintang Walk, knowing that on the way there would be construction sites. Imagine if they were lost, and they saw a Evil Recruiting Agent who was a fellow Bangladeshi:

Lost Bangladeshis: Hey how do we get to Hotel Corus?
Evil Recruiting Agent: Oh now it is not safe and the train will be out of service. I’m going there tomorrow, you can come in my van. In the meantime you can come chill with us and stay the night.
(Fast forward to morning…)
Evil Recruiting Agent: Hey my van is busted. Could you help me roll this trolley of bricks over there? And see that cement over there? Could you help me build this wall? I gotta send my van for repairs.
Lost Bangladeshis: Ah no problem mate, we’re strong. Besides, you let us stay the night.

I felt bad for letting them walk, instead of taking them to Corus Hotel. Their families would never hear of them again!

On the way to Zouk we saw this Chinese-indie-scene dude carrying two guitars both smashed at the neck joint! He was carrying two Strat-shape guitar bodies and two guitar necks. What the heck had just happened?

We reached Zouk to see loads of people standing outside. The Loft was very empty, strangely. Even the friends we were supposed to meet weren’t there. And so, we walked the wrong way down Jalan Sultan Ismail! Must’ve gotten the blurness from the lost Bangladeshis.

We finally met up with the friends who were stuck in Bar Savanh, Asian Heritage Row. At least I saw my dream white Mazda RX-8; same color as my Transformer Alternator, Meister. I also saw dark blue and black RX-8s. For once my attention was drawn away from the hot chicks. :O

Guess what this is.

The next day Fazri and I were in Avenue K, and we took interesting shots with our cameras, like the picture above. Here, Fazri was sitting. You’d sit too, if you were on an escalator that spanned 3 floors.

Freeloading Is Bad For You

I was reading the papers and I shall now attempt a social commentary blog entry like every other blogger twice my age.

Members of the Parliament (whoa, Albert uses this word and isn’t referring to George Clinton and band) were discussing how to eradicate the drug problem. Pre-Independence opium islands, free drugs to quench demand… I’m not sure how those will help. If you had a choice to be departed to a happy land for free, wouldn’t you? Who is to say you’ve had enough? And when you have had enough, do they boot you off the island, and if so, where the heck can you go?

Will they reject my entry because I look drugged enough?

What about the casual users? People who go to a party and take a puff?

Jasmine asked me once (for a project) what the best drug prevention was – education, enforcement or parental guidance. Apparently enforcement doesn’t seem to be working. I’m sure you know someone who knows someone who can get weed. Or maybe you don’t know it yet. Heck I knew a supplier who went for National Service. Well at least they smoked the skema-ness out of the innocent. (Skema meaning the innocent naive sheltered kids.)

Education? Smokers know the cancer stick is bad; that doesn’t stop them. “Hey come to Assunta Hospital and visit me lah… I’ve got bronchitis.” The next time I met her was in a cafe in Bangsar, smoking a cigarette. True story, kids.

Parental guidance? My parents never drilled anti-drug messages in me. It’s a wonder I’m so clean then. 🙂

This goes against my Malaysian freeloading spirit but hey, anything that can be bad for you should not be free.

Speaking of which, Celcom, a mobile phone service provider, has a new plan that lets you send SMSes for free between midnight and 6am.

You: Hey um I’ll be right back.

Are you back from the shop yet? Are you going to update me with your new number?

While this is infinitely cheaper than 1 sen per SMS, you’d find it a bother. Already I’m getting random missed calls from bored idiots on cheap prepaid cards. Now that you can SMS for free, imagine what you could do! Your friends not on Celcom 013/019? Well then, make new friends! You can afford to SMS any random 013/019 number until you get a response. 7 digits means 9 million numbers! Imagine if you got a 0.1% success rate. 9 thousand numbers. Supposing you asked them, “haizzz do u cum fr tmn cahaya ?? wanna go fr mamak ???

Supposing 10% were from the Klang Valley, and 1% of them were from Taman Cahaya. That makes 90 people. If 60 of them are bored teenagers who are locked at home, that leaves 30 people. If 15 were girls and they couldn’t walk out of their house fearing that they would be raped, or worse, their free-SMS phone would be stolen, that leaves 15 males. Congratulations, you have found yourself mamak buddies! Who needs Friend Finder now?

Me: Hey um I’ll be right back.

Oh and I was standing in a bus when this bleached jeans-wearing, blonde haired Ah Beng asked me, “would you like a seat first?” He then got up to let me enter the seat next to the window (he was on the aisle seat.) Most astonishing considering we were going to Bintang Walk, which was all the more reason for him to assume I could speak Chinese. How did he know that I couldn’t?

Paragraphs Went

Went to catch Twilight Action Girl again on a Friday night, this time featuring the deejay I knew. Too bad I didn’t bring my bag and thus lost my chance at making them rockers hear the seminal rock band, Spinal Tap. Made like a moshpit with Justin Guber. I preferred this week’s more American selections, what with them ending with Rage Against The Machine – Sleep Now In The Fire! (Or rather we left after that.)

Went home to find this:

Went in and jakuned. Joy! The days of adjusting the indoor RF cable’s connection to the surge protector are gone. Yay to clear NTV7 and 8tv! And yay to free ASTRO!

Went online, and found this gem. If you’ve got Winamp5, you will appreciate this plugin. Yes, it updates MSN Messenger 7.0 as well! (It’s not a beta version anymore!) Click on my MSN to see what’s playing on Winamp. Before this, only Windows Media Player could update MSN Messenger; I prefer Winamp though, for its Global Hotkeys (which means pressing Ctrl-Shift-Home pauses the song among other shortcuts.) Yep, I don’t need to Alt-Tab to Winamp anymore!

Went to change my links in my About Me! page to add Reta (who uh, has linked me as the Xfresh dude.)

April Updates

Thousand and two apologies for the lack of updates; things happen, like:

Albert rediscovers the Dvorak layout.

I did that to a spare keyboard lying in the office. I noticed that my productivity decreased greatly and I was even more less (more less?) likely to load MSN or reply emails in standard Albert-ic bombastic English. Hic.

I am somewhat glad that when I type on my home’s QWERTY keyboard, I type D instead of E. A sign that I’m getting used to Dvorak! Interestingly, I type words that start with S with O instead, and mash up E and O often. I still have not gotten used to locating the rarer keys.

Then when I get home I’ve a project to work on so yeah, no blog updates. 😛


That’s right kids; this is the band that does Beatles songs Metallica style. They play Metallica excellently; they’ve got the guitar tone, the And Justice For All era James Hetfield growl, everything… but throw in what The Beatles do (unconventional harmonies and chord progressions) and a rock and roll beat, and you get an entertaining (and funny) result. Yes there are places you can download the songs.


I borrowed Jason‘s original Sepet VCD. My mom the usual tearjerker-movie-sucker… didn’t cry. Neither did I. I thought it was alright though; the sound was alright despite reading complaints about that. I know someone so much like Orked in mannerism (and she’s even cute like her) and yet, I did not know if I could place her character in Ipoh. Then again, I don’t know Ipoh. Her family is urban in thought but it seems the rest of town isn’t. Some people criticize the movie for being inconsistent in the potrayal of the community, but we forget that there are urbanite bigots.

And now, on to time-based narration:

On Friday I met up with YK to buy more and more Transformers.

Treadshot seriously has style.

Planes in scale. Yes, this was Photoshopped and the planes are swapped. Standing from left: Skydive (Generation 2 recolor Aerialbot), Strafe (Generation 2 Cyberjet) and Treadshot (Transformers Energon Aerialbot).

We then headed to Bintang Walk to meet Syefri and Frus. Frus and I headed to The Loft, Zouk again to catch Twilight Action Girl. This time, we stayed for the dance floor.

It’s a bad thing when you don’t think that beer tastes bad anymore.

Perhaps I missed the chance to ask them to play something from the black album before they changed to early industrial and then something which was more techno than rock. “Is it too late to play any song from the Spinal Tap album?” “Oh chill lah, we’re changing back to rock now.

When they played Gimme Some Money, a herd of rockers left. 🙁 How can they not know Spinal Tap?!? At least there were some who appreciated the song’s poke at The Beatles’ enlightenment era. 🙂

I also bumped into Iszie, who bugged me to come the gig she was emceeing the next day. Yes you will notice that I am now talking about the next day. Yes I am using present tense which is so grammatically wrong.

Amantle The Sea. Yes! For this blog entry I shall have a theme for all gig-related pictures; they will all be taken without flash, preferably in red, and without any levels or color correction, to celebrate the beauty of a ISO400, EV -1 manual setting.

Lucy In The Loo rocked. No that’s not Lucy, and yes, I cheated by sticking on the stickers from a picture taken with flash.

Citizens Of Ice-cream was cool. Heavy soundscapes and no vocals can only come from a combination of two Chinese indie bands. They even get different colored lighting for their Floyd-ish escapes! On the right was what seemed to be a tape loop.

The Times brought their scene with them; Roots And Boots members were seen moshing frantically. The vocalist had this Britrock stance which was cool.

Telebury finished the gig. Yes again I cheated on the right-side picture, using flash to bring out the nice blue Gibson Les Paul. I mean, have you ever seen one of those in Metallic Blue?

Longdrawn 3 was the name of the gig, with the biggest turnout I had ever seen in The New Paul’s Place.

Okay I’m hungry. Let’s take a break and stare at the new KFC curry chicken. It has the zing of their Tom Yam experiment, but without the Tom Yam flavor. May this gimmick last longer.

Now teleport back to Paul’s Place, this time on a Wednesday, for Troubadours, the biggest singer-songwriter bigshot gig I’d ever seen. Pictured is a floating magnetic toy; a little invention by Paul (who used to design exhibits for the National Science Center!)

Ronnie Khoo was first, with some mellow-dy.

Izzy and guitarist Jeremy.

Warren Chan and Abigail. He had some interesting chords over more mellow stuff. Who from KLue doesn’t sing in falsetto all the time?

Ariff Akhir and Shahril the bassist. Now Ariff’s got the voice and the chords, but Shahril marginally draws more attention with his extremely fluid walking (and perhaps playing a game of Twister) basslines.

Peter Hassan Brown and Shahril the bassist.

Opie from Indonesia. She had soul, yo. It manifested in her diva-like vocals. And hey, that guitar is way too familiar.

Meor from Central Market. His aggressively-strummed blues were fun to watch.

Kartini which I suspect is also from Indonesia.

Kelvin from Singapore. Superb stuff; he shredded the blues to the intermission music. (Other bands would play the tuning song.) He then made a song on the spot about this here country. I have never seen a guy sing with more conviction; he strains, beats and dries the words that he sings.

Reza Salleh the heart-melter crooned over jazz guitar.

Sadly, I did not get to see Ben of Ben’s B***hes or Azmyl Yunor play as I had to leave. They would have been interesting.

In other news, Ed has lost it again; this time he has a 48-hour blogathon. So? 49 48 51 45, I say to him. 🙂