Monthly Archives: March 2006

Musician Fashion

Argh, I forgot to write this paragraph in my last blog entry:

We could make musician fashion. Guitar capos as hairclips. Imagine playing a song, then pulling a capo out of your hair for the next song! Guitar picks strung on a necklace (in lack of a better word). A 440 Hertz tuning fork as an earring. So when you hum or hear a pitch-perfect A note, the tuning fork resonates, and you’d know it’s an A. How’s that for pretending to have perfect pitch?

Third Stone From Jalan Ipoh

I live in a housing area in Segambut, near Kepong.

I use public transportation.

I am a guinea pig to the new RapidKL buses, that rolled out in North KL (Kepong, Sentul, Gombak etc.) I could say I was thrilled to be the first.

How does the new system work?

Take a bus from any one of the central stops (Maluri, Titiwangsa, KLCC, Medan Pasar (behind Central Market) or KL Sentral) to another central stop. In my case, Titiwangsa. I then hop on an intermediate shuttle bus that brings me to Metro Prima. Metro Prima is thus the bus hub for Kepong and Manjalara. From there, I take a bus to my housing area.

The buses that route the central stops are 5-10 minutes each. The intermediate shuttles come every 10-15 minutes, and the home-coming bus comes every 15-30 minutes. These are my observations, not something read from their leaflets.

On the downside, it is initially confusing, and you can’t sleep on the bus. I used to take one bus from Medan Pasar all the way to my housing area. I knew its exact times; it always left Medan Pasar at the 15th and 45th minute of every hour, except during peak times. I also knew that the last bus left at 11:15pm.

On the upside, it makes a whole lot of sense. Segmenting the bus routes will segment jams, too; a bus that used to go from A to B to C might get a jam at B. Now, jams delay only the B buses. People actually travel short distance, within a point in A to another point in A, so the jam in B doesn’t affect them. Shorter routes also let the buses be more frequent.

Oh, and the last bus is now 12:30am! Eat that, taxi drivers who charge midnight charge between 11pm and 12 midnight, instead of after midnight! (Oh, and midnight charge is 50% extra, not twice the amount on the meter, kids!)

Anyway, I got on the 2T3 bus from Titiwangsa to Batu Tiga, Jalan Ipoh, where I was waiting for the bus to my place. It was 9:55pm and I was not in any rush, and asked the conductor when the bus would leave. 10:20pm, he said. I took that chance to eat dinner at some roadside stalls nearby.

A chicken burger for RM1.80! Where else can you get that price? Decent sloppy burger.

Super old-school parking meters.

A busker stood in the mainly Chinese crowd and started playing. I went over, dropped a note and asked if he knew Bob Dylan. How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?

As I ate slowly, I saw THREE buses that were headed to my place, pass by. Not bad, not bad.

Inspired, I slung out my guitar. Notice that thing on my hair?

Yes that’s right – a guitar capo! I was shopping around for the spring-loaded one, but couldn’t find one cheap enough that I could afford to lose. Yeah, I tend to lose anything tying my hair, except plain rubberbands.

And this is for those who wonder what my sideburns look like after the 500th-day-haircut.

Anyway, if you don’t like using public transport, then go save up for your own car. Or convince your parents that you’re not traumatized by that road accident anymore. Or get a license. Or walk.

If you don’t have the money, come take the bus with me and I shall impart upon you my virtues of patience.

Green Eyed Monsters

What’s up with female bloggers and their obsession with other pretty female bloggers? About every urbanite Malaysian female well versed with the Internet, blogger or not, reads Xiaxue (whether they hate her or not) and JoyceTheFairy (whether they drink alcohol or not). Some bloggers even post pictures of their aforementioned idols on their blog. Some hate them.

Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

I just don’t see guys doing it.

Yes, society sets such strong pressure on girls and their physical appearance. But then, you don’t ever see the most insecure of guys talking about how they wish they were as good-looking as… uh…

Name me one Malaysian blogger you read because the author is sex on a stick jaw-droppingly handsome.

Okay, maybe everyone reads Kenny Sia. But is it because he’s good-looking, or because he’s funny? (And he meets chicks, which falls back to previous statement.) If he was that good-looking, I’d turn gay. But no. Girls have admitted that Joyce is so hot they wish they were lesbian.

I guess the only male bloggers who bother to camwhore consistently are gay. And straight guys don’t admit to reading gay blogs.

For the record, lest he’d never send me games for my future handphone, smashpOp doesn’t take enough pictures of himself to show off how cute he is, and he’s not gay. I don’t post pictures of myself which don’t prove a point, be it modelling a hair clip for rockers, infrared eyes or showing off which hot female bloggers I met.

Homecoming, Bloghopping

So Asian Hottest Blogger nominee, Agent Ching and I went to KL Performing Arts Centre one Sunday to watch The Homecoming, a twisted play about a man who brings his wife to meet his dysfunctional family. There’s real actual kissing on stage, so if you’ve never seen it in a play, this would be the chance. Plus, Loo Jia-Wei is hot.

We then adjourned to the swings in Sentul Park for some camwhoring but uploading that, I leave for later. We found out too late that Kenny Sia was in the vicinity too! By then, he was already in The Curve, so out of lack of dinner plans we decided to steal his. Dinner plans I mean, not dinner.

We also knew that he was with Jasiminne, so we rushed over to see how hot she was. Neither of us had commented on her blog nor linked to her, so we could still pretend to not know who she is.

But the truth is, we bloggers are also professional stalkers researchers. I recently discovered that non-bloggers are getting just as skilled in research, so HELLO THERE! Here’s a cookie for you!

Upon meeting them amidst borders made of bookshelves in Borders, Kenny said, “Hello Cheesie!” and they hugged. He then said, “Hello Albert.” While it may be presumptuous to assume that nobody reads my blog, I did feel a pang of pride being… recognized by a big man with big coconuts.

Then, Jasiminne said “Hello Cheesie!” and they hugged. She then turned to me and said “Hello peacock!” Damn shy I tell you. She’d only know that nickname if she researched, and she said she preferred the original color, when it was freshly metallic blue, which would mean further research into my archives. *gasp*

I know my statistics! Most of you don’t read my archives, and don’t bother clicking when I link to older posts!

However, to reveal such technical tracerouting is monologuing of sorts already, and I shall attempt to stop revealing my methods, lest bloggers around assume that I have done my research when I haven’t. Being acknowledged by a famous blogger gives you a sense of accomplishment, because it means you have become famous in your own right. And damn, I’ve become old and grandfatherly. I’ve already started telling people how I met Minishorts before she even had a domain, or how Paul Tan and I used to sleep stay overnight at the office singing Californication.

I also know six CLEO Bachelors this year, of which I have two phone numbers.

I think I’ve been reading too much Lainie (who is now linked), hence the jumpy paragraphing style.

Anyway, how do I jump back to the original intended mood of my post, which was based on these pictures?

I should win the Asian Hottest Blogger award!
But you’re not even in it!

Me with that rare pimp smile.

Troubadours International Womens’ Day

Yes, people will berate me for this, but at least I posted this in the same month. Here comes pictures from the Troubadours International Women’s Day gig, on the 5th of March 2006 at La Bodega KL.

Again, I was lazy, so I’ll chuck them all in one picture (to save bandwidth) and list them, left to right, top to bottom:

  • Ida Lisa Zahran, or whatever you call this acoustic singer-songwriter.
  • Jasemaine Gan sounding confident in this cosy setup, with a small crowd.
  • Rhapsody, bestest ever undiscovered jazzy duo.
  • Zalila Lee and Jerral Khor (yes he is male, and he did a fantastic cover of Dave Matthews Band – Ants Marching. Plus he sounds like him.)
  • Khai Lee (also male) explaining what Project Bazooka is about.
  • Jaclyn Kee reading a story about a little red riding… clitoris. Gotta dig her shirt though, it says, “I like my boobs“. She was also at the last Paul’s Place Press Conference about the raid.
  • Melina of Tempered Mental on acoustic. A must-see! She plays all the memorable riffs from her progressive rock band while singing effortlessly! Her voice is confident, clear and defined when distorted guitar and drums have been cut away. The only other band I can think of that sounds just as great on just acoustic guitar is Duan of Seven Collar T-Shirt.
  • Finally, Jaz reads us some moving poetry.

There are also videos at Lainie‘s and pictures at Cheneille‘s blog.

V For Victory

Why, in general, do English-educated bloggers frown upon, and make fun of girls (and boys, especially boys) who act cute and flash the peace victory sign in pictures?

Is it because we are predisposed against overly cute things?


It is because, of all the poses overused when taking pictures, it symbolizes that the person using the gesture is harmless. If we make fun of you, we can get away with it, because you will not come and kick my ass. (Unless you can claw someone to death.)

If you are male, all the more we will make fun of you. “Oh look a pansy, let’s make fun of him!

Yeah, we could make fun of the kids who make the Devil’s Horns gesture, but they’ll kick your ass. They’ll smash a beer bottle and shove it up you. It is not wise to assume that they learnt it only from Avril Lavigne.

We could insult angsty people with their middle fingers in the air, but they’d come back and flame us.

So what are kawaii cute girls going to do? Make you claw your eyes out with their cuteness? What if they’re not that cute to begin with?

Of Pictures And Text

Why don’t I add text to pictures?

Quite simple.

I don’t have a lot of fonts, so Photoshop loads faster, and if I typed “Pink Honda Jazz” in the picture, instead of typing it out in text, I would not be able to do a text search on it.

I don’t like watermarking my pictures either, not that I’m encouraging that people steal, but often I see great pictures plastered with alpha-transparency text, obstructing the beauty of the picture. If your girlfriend was a model, you wouldn’t tattoo your name on her cheeks would you?

That said, I don’t hate watermarking people, just the bad watermarking. A logo in a corner is better.

There are also different levels of Photoshopping.
1) Resize
2) Resize and auto-levels
3) Resize, color balance adjustment, contrast (at this stage all adjustments are done on the entire image, not specific parts of the image)
4) Resize, color balance adjustment, contrast, sharpening
5) Resize, color balance adjustment, contrast, sharpening and retouching (actual color adjustment, surgical enhancements)

I usually do 1) when the picture is perfect, 2) for normal shots, 3) for darker shots and shots where I want to put emphasis on a certain object, or isolate by mildly desaturating the background, and 4) for when it’s blur. I take pride in the fact that my pictures look plausible, given the right settings. At most, I am merely covering for exposure/color mistakes done when taking the picture.

I’m relatively good at retouching, but I abhor it. I respect the purity of the image as it was captured, and step 4) is just to adjust the picture to what your eyes would see, or your brain would see, like a white paper in a yellow-lighted room. Also notice that the human eye has very big aperture (I did an experiment) and it is hard to focus on two objects far from each other at the same time. When you want to look at the other object, you have to refocus on the other object.

If taking a picture back then meant stealing your soul, then I can see why we like to steal souls. Guys with cameras, I know, want to take a hot chick’s picture with their own camera. Sure, they can probably stalk her on Friendster and download and save pictures, but it’s not the same. You take her picture, it’s like you snapped a bit of her soul. You feel proud. A conquest. A capture, even if the methods were sneaky. All the more to be proud if you are in that same picture, so you can show off to friends. “Look I’m in the same picture with her!“, you beam.

Okay, now that you’ve braved my text, I shall reward you (sic) with pictures.

Left: A man is hard at work pumping. Argh motion blur! Right: I flash him, and he flashes me back.

One morning I didn’t sleep through the night, so I took my tripod out to the porch at 6:20am and took this stitched shot. (Picture has been turned to monochrome for clarity.)

Deja Voodoo Spells album launch, 26th January 2006: This is where I tried to sneak a shot in The Actors’ Studio Bangsar. The band played, with hot dancers in between each song. Whoa. First of its kind.

Here’s a customary shot of the KLCC Twin Towers. But it is just so pretty.

Left to right, top to bottom: Davina is truly a space cowgirl; sticky melted honey sweets stick to your teeth; lobsters in the lower ground floor of Starhill sing, “I Want To Break Free“; Starhill toilets feature a complex, nifty old-school mechanism to activate the tap, more Starhill ornaments.

Left to right, top to bottom: I can play without even touching the grand piano at J.W. Mariott; more Starhill ornaments; interesting lights arranged in a pattern; interesting bricks arranged in a pattern; I couldn’t believe my eyes, she looked so real from afar; trees project a shadow on the fog.

Left to right, top to bottom: The rope and the hole that broke Kevin‘s arm; the secret passageway underneath; the by-invite-only special screening of Khai‘s full-length movie, Ciplak; Khai the man giving a speech.

Ciplak features about everybody close to him in the scene, including the otai putih Peter Hassan Brown in a juicy role. There were elements of British humor, and while the introduction does try to slowly educate you on piracy, it quickly picks up into a very fun, accessible chase movie, with Khai the hero trying to get pirated DVDs to save his life, while spewing his trademark wit.

The only complaints I had were technical issues, like the camera going in and out of focus in the darker scenes, greenish white balance and horrible digital noise from an expensive camera. I’d say, better with fake lighting then, than to have a okay-lit but noisy scene. As for the greenish tint, it wasn’t in the trailer, so I blame the projector, or Paul’s Place’s lighting. 😛 But hey Khai, if you could sort those niggles out, it would make a subconsciously better quality film to watch in GSC International Theatres. If the quality could be fixed, it would be a heck more fun to watch than Sepet. The story doesn’t indulge in indie-film style, so the only thing indie is the film quality.

Left to right, top to bottom: Waterfall, duh; the rich versus the poor (okay, okay, so Astro dishes need to face one direction, I know); freaky green-lighted bus stop; caused by a pedestrian traffic light.

And now, for some obscenely big infrared pictures of me and my pupils.

I hope nobody steals this for Friendster.

Cut Back To School And Face The Music

The last time I had a haircut was on the 11th of October, 2004.

People were bugging me about my sideburns at the 1 year 3 months mark, but I didn’t want to do anything at such an unceremonious interval.

And so, I waited, 500 days later.

On the 23rd of March 2006, I got my sideburns cut by the best housemate ever. She does cooking, cleaning, laundry, and gives me a ride.

And now, for some filler:

I got tagged by Cheneille.

One song… from your early childhood.
The Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody.

One song… you are associating with your first big love.
Who is my big love? Or rather, what is my big love? Here’s a hint: Stan Bush – The Touch.

One song… which reminds you of one of your holidays.
Nothing really reminds me of Singapore. 😛 Unless you can count Parking Lot Pimp, from Singapore.

One song… you like, but you have problems confessing to.
I like Search – Isabella, but I always could never confess my feelings to it, y’know? What’s the point of confessing, when you know it’s just a song, and you’re supposed to relate to it, and not it relate to you? But really, if I like a song from an artiste I hate, I’d confess it, no biggie.

One song… which accompanied you, while you were love sick.
You know what, I’m hardly as emo as the target audience of this meme. When I’m sad, she comes to me. Okay, really, I only remember listening to The Rasmus – Dead Letters album at that time. Then my MP3 player died and I never got repeated listening of any album.

One song… you listen most often to in your life.
According to Winamp’s Most Played, it’s The Beatles – Yesterday, but that’s because I’ve been trying to tab the string section for eBow. Below that, Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody, and the super funky basslined Sly And The Family Stone – If You Want Me To Stay.

One song… which is your most favored instrumental.
Eric Johnson – A Song For Life.

One song… which represents one of your most favored bands.
I have over 20GB of songs, so it’s not easy. But I like Faith No More – Epic.

One song… in which you recognize yourself or through which you somehow feel understood.
The White Stripes – I’m Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman. 😀

One song… which reminds you of a certain occasion.
Avril Lavigne – I’m With You. I remember bringing up flowers a flowerpot to her as she sang on stage. It was wet so I brought it back down. Thanks a lot dudes for the prank.

One song… you like which belongs to the Hip Hop/Rap genre.
A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It? Okay, fine, I don’t know the lyrics or listen to it much, but knowing A Tribe Called Quest makes me loads cooler than all you Black Eyed Peas fans.

One song… which is the best for you to relax.
Do people on average have all their vital songs on one audio CD? I’d say anything by Jamiroquai. He makes you dance happily and spin in your chair with funky tracks, then brings you to the lounge with his Stevie Wonder impression. (No, Stevie Wonder is too soppy for me, or rather, we don’t hear his upbeat songs like Higher Ground often.)

One song… which symbolizes a great time in your life.
Wow, let me think back when I was having a great time. I’m a happy person, so uh… I’d say, when I stumbled upon a massive collection in the office, including extensive works of Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne.

One song… which is your favorite song at the moment.
Eric Johnson – A Song For Life. I attempt to learn more of it each night.

One song… which you would dedicate to your best friend.
Queen – You’re My Best Friend. I don’t have one, though.

One song… where you have got the feeling that no one besides you likes it.
Good Charlotte – Festival Song. I heard this song on MSN Radio before anybody else had heard of Good Charlotte, and I don’t like their newer songs.

One song… you like because of its lyrics.
Spinal Tap – Big Bottom.

Who shall I tag? Anybody with more than 20GB of songs.

Syefri also tagged me, for school.

How many schools did I go to?
I was in SRK Sri Damai for primary school, and SMK Sultan Abdul Samad PJ for secondary school. Yeah, that gangster school.

Was I the studious nerd, or the last minute hero?
I looked like a studious nerd but was really a last minute hero.

Was I the class ‘taiko’ or the teacher’s pet?
I was a wallflower.

What was the biggest rule I broke in school?
I skipped school assembly to hang out in the computer club room. Nope, none of that juvenile stuff. I’d have to cross a football field to get to the bad side of school.

Three subjects I enjoyed.
English, Modern Mathematics (because it was easy compared to Additional Mathematics) and Physics, with the great Ms. Foong.
English, Sejarah (enjoyed sleeping in it) and Komputer.

Three teachers that inspired me.
That great Ms. Foong, some other teacher who came in to save our souls on Additional Mathematics, and the late Mr. Lee who said many times as we were caught hanging out in the computer club:
If you’ve got nothing to do, don’t do it here.

I tag anybody who reads this who was ever in the same school as me.

Thou Art Spammed

I got this in my email:

Dammit, since when was spam preachy? This might be God’s way of countering Penis Enlargement spam. Coz God knows, there are loads of virginal goody-two-sandal church-going pretty radiantly-glowing-in-the-sunshine-of-His-love girls who are waiting to be… uh… married.


I bought a short tripod today, for macro photography. Two of three legs can swivel. The head is mounted via a ball socket, and is tightened by a knob to its side. Of course, for only RM19 at a camera shop in KL Sentral, it couldn’t fully tighten, but it was tight enough to hold the weight of the camera in place. (This picture was a long exposure, with a lamp moved around the subject. Future macro shots may feature this move-lamp-and-kill-shadow technique.)

All three legs can be extended, for creative control over the tripod’s angle and elevation.

This is its specialty – it can be used to hold filters in place. Featured is my old Canon Powershot A400, with a circular polarizer held in place with the tripod’s legs. It is easier to position, the nearer the tripod mount is to the lens. If the upcoming Fujifilm F30 still doesn’t have a lens adapter, I might have to resort to this. If I get it, that is.