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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shana 'Scarlett' O' Hara

Something that's not considered rare, but yet not easy to find, the Scarlett O' Hara is definitely much sought. There are quite a number of people on the lookout for it and they usually grab it whenever they see it.


Here's what one looks like:

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Now for me, that's a keeper. That's why..


I'm keeping it.



p/s: this doesn't mean I'm starting to collect G.I Joe action figures. As it is I don't like most of them anyway. Who knows, maybe Scarlett will feature in one of my Star Wars stories. =)

Monday, November 23, 2009

a Big Box

of something is always intriguing.

After work, I was walking through Cold Storage at KLCC and something caught my eye. It wasn't a particularly product, but what was used to make it attractive really caught my eye. Being as bright as it was, it wasn't difficult to spot:



I think you'll agree with me that SpongeBob really fits this look since he's so 'boxy' in his natural form. I really think this one's a keeper. Whoever takes this home should be pretty happy with it. It's something nice and bright, though it may a look a bit striking laying somewhere around the house, but it's all good. With this SpongeBob tin filled with popcorn, you could certainly have a good time relaxing on a movie with your hand dipped right in there.

However, if you think think Spongebob is a little too childish or 'lame' for your liking, you could get this instead:



Its really simple, but still attractive..The question is, is it really worth it? Cold Storage KLCC is selling this for RM 60 minus one cent, is that value for money? The product does peak my interest, but not enough for me to dish out RM 60. Still, its something nice to look at.

What did seem worth it to me though, was when I got myself a Shana 'Scarlett' O' Hara. Now, you're wondering, what is that? A fruity cocktail? Find out in my next entry on Living thoughts... Simply Loud. Stay tuned, it'll be up pretty soon.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

fire In Drill & body In Sick

There were rumours about it, and it was finally confirmed when we had the briefing. On Tuesday, the floor safety manager for level 24 called for a meeting for all the staff on the floor. It was the first time I've actually seen everybody on the same floor gather together. This didn't happen even when Strategic Planning hosted their Hari Raya open house on our floor.


Literally everyone was there, CBD, SP, BIM, Admin were all present. You'd see the newest junior staff right up to the most senior management personel present. Its pretty interesting to see some of the people who in my mind are the 'legends' around, senior management staff who've been around for a few gazillion years probably. Its a privilege to see them day in and day out really. Its true I don't get to talk to them, but you will always catch something from a person observing their posture and how they talk to the people around them.


Back on point, our briefing was obviously tailored to the 24th floor. Like most people, we would have to walk down 24 flights of stairs, which I found out during the exercise itself, was relatively short. Only people that were tagged as 'special cases' would be allowed to use the emergency lifts. Its quite interesting as there are three emergency lifts, each one for different tiers of each tower.


I'd actually thought of taking leave the next day because I suspected it would happen on Wednesday but I thought it'd be too late to apply for leave the next day. That would also be in addition to me being lazy enough not to bother about it so much. The thing was though, that towards the end of the night of that day, I had one of those moments where you'd know you were going to fall sick pretty soon.


The next day started as normal and expectedly somehow, there was plenty of talk going round that the fire drill would happen today (Wednesday), but it still begged the question of why must it be today? I was chatting with Jason and he said, "My floor safety manager started getting everyone ready already."


As I was chatting with him, the time being approximately 9.30 a.m., the alarm went off. Mind you, it wasn't one of those typical alarming sounds you would expect to hear like those you would observe in movies. The fire alarm wasn't more than an annoying buzz followed by a very calming announcment that an emergency situation had been identified in the PETRONAS Twin Towers and that an immediate evacuation was warranted for.


I had enough time to wish Jason goodbye over google talk before locking my computer and taking off my tie before heading down the stairs. One of the brand new staff even had time to bring along his working bag and his tumbler, hahaha! Not within my anticipation but hardly surprising was the fact everyone was moving slowly down the stairs so I wasn't really a tired person on my legs to be fair.


The stairs would actually lead to a short underground passage that would exit just outside the side of tower 1. From there, you would see absolutely everyone from the twin towers walking towards the park, whilst passing the Mandarin Oriental, which is part of the fire escape route to the park where the head count would be done.


Its interesting to see how perepared the drill was because halfway through our journey to the assembly area, people were on hand to provide us bottled water, not to mention KLCC security directing the human traffic to the correct place.


Anyway, we arrived at the place and it took eons before they could clear the head count exercise and allow us to leave. In fact, plenty of people were leaving way before the annoucement was made pleading for people to stay and not re-enter the office. Me, playing the role of a good boy didn't go back in although I was tempted to have an early lunch and a quick look at Toys R' Us. Not being too well though, the heat started to get to me.


My fears of falling sick were confirmed later as I found myself blowing away scores of tissues towards the end of the day. I even left fifteen minutes earlier because I just couldn't take it any more. The next day would just have to be a day off.

As to date, I'm still sick. Recovering slowly, hopefully I'll be fit for work, not to mention my trip on Friday.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall

It is no secret that there are things in our lives we want to achieve but we can't, because something stands in our way. It stands tall and wide, there is no way to go around it.

You can try running from one end to the other, tyring to find a gap, a loophole. We run and we run, but there seems to be no end to it. At the start, a sense of desperation pushes us to try and find this small gap somewhere so we can squirm through. As time passes, that resolve fades and we resign to accept the blockade in front of us. We don't like it, but its there.

The same was true for East Germans many years ago who were dealt with a wall right in front of them that created a divide between them and West Germany. The Berlin Wall literally divided a nation already troubled by a divided governance (democracy in West Germany due to French, British & American occupation and communism in East Germany due to Soviet occupation).






A wall stood there, dividing families, blocking opportunity, preventing the formation of a united nation. Many tried to escape, many did successfully, but many also died trying. As the wall was strengthened, there hardly remained any way to escape it. In all of this, a fundamental problem remained. The wall was still standing, and it stood in the way for change needed to create a united Germany.

I was watching the German Chancellor speak to Congress live on CNN about a week ago, being able to understand through the live translation.




German Chancellor speaking to joint meeting of Congress on November 3, 2009

She spoke in German,"Ronald Reagan far earlier than others saw and recognised the sign of the times when, standing before the Brandenburg Gate in 1987. He demanded............."


Ronald Reagan delivering the speech in Berlin.


The translation paused for a moment as she exclaimed in English, "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate... Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

The whole of congress stood to applaud that significant statement that would later be a catalyst for people to jump to action and finally break through the great divide that had caused much pain and heartbreak for Germans for 28 years.

Germany has come a long way to progress as much as it has. After the wall was destroyed, both East and West Germany were unified and this has led to the development of the strong and respected nation within the European and international community that we see today. On the 9th of November this year, Germany celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and has become a symbol of a breakthrough to freedom.

What I believe, is that whatever prevents us from going to the next level, we need to break through it. I did not say, under or around, but through it. Sometimes, we can't even see the wall in front of us. Invisible it is sometimes, and that's where we need to reflect and find out what it is, so that we can shape up to prepare and completely destroy what stands in our way from going where God wants us to be.

I'm at the stage where I need to sit down and think about the obstacle in front of me, the thing that blocks me from moving further from where I am. Once I know what it is, maybe just then, I'll be able to break free.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

another Perspective

If you haven't read this and this, I'm not sure if you'd really bother reading the rest of this post, if you do have an idea however, maybe reading this would be a little worthwhile.


Now before, I start sharing my views and beliefs, I think its only fair to let people know my background. I'm a UTP student that entered in July 2006, and have been around long enough to notice or hear about certain matters pertaining to Rakan Masjid (RM) that perhaps not many are happy about. Other than that, I am not Muslim, a Christian I am, and happy to be one I may add.

Now, Jared basically said that RM is a body with the objective and responsibility to reach out to Muslims and non-Muslims with the values of Islam. They would be compelled to lead those who they believe are lost back to the teachings of Islam, but not to impose themselves upon others of other faiths or religions, let it be Buddhism, Christianity, or even an atheist. However, there are people who feel that RM has crossed that boundary excessively on numerous occasions, especially when it comes to having public events for the university.

To be honest, Akram replied out with a nice tone even if there are hints of the usual accusations towards the Western world. In the very least, he did not put RM as an organisation above all, and that it was still susceptible to mistakes like any other human entity to be frank.

While I'll say that Akram replied appropriately towards Jared's blog entry, when I read it, I just have the feeling its largely diplomatic, I'm not sure about you, but that's just how I feel. Perhaps it can't be helped by the fact there are a lot of critical eyes and that a single ounce of more than a 'generally acceptable' opinion would create an uproar.

To me though, and I'm not being disrespectful to either Jared or Akram, but I believe that the key issue here isn't so much about RM imposing their values or rules on anybody. I think its a little more relevant that the matter in question is a more fundamental one:



The freedom to choose



Guess what, this doesn't apply only to non-Muslims, but to Muslims as well. Hear me out.

I know, that being a human being, God never created me as an industrial machine. There is no piece of programming code in the depths of my mind that tells me I am only to do things one way. One of the wonderful things about God was that he loved us enough to give us the gift of choice. With choice, comes meaning. Also, with choice, there is power, and with that, responsibility.

Admittedly, no matter how righteous we are, wrong actions and decisions are made. This is regardless if there is a law or not. You would be correct to think that without a law, probably even more wrongdoings would occur!

God gave a law, with what reason? It wasn't a restriction, but a helpful guide, which basically says, "Hey, here's what you can do that can keep you on track. If you do, I can tell you, your life's gonna be really awesome one! It's not an easy way out, I'll tell you that, but I know for sure, its the best way. You'll know when you experience it."

Again, I say here that God gave us a choice, either to follow His plans for our lives, or we can choose our own too. As much as God could make us into robots, he lets us choose the path of our own lives.

What I find to be a cause of concern with some of the things RM is doing, is that they are in some ways trying to block this freedom to choose what one can do. Sometimes you get the feeling, that if they had the authority, that they just might ban anything that doesn't relate well to Islam.

I understand the need for law, trust me I do. We need a law in place that says people shouldn't murder, people shouldn't steal and so forth. These are very outright sins and don't beg the question of whether people should be allowed to do things like those.

However, when it comes to more personal and intricate decisions such as the clothes I wear, the music I listen to, the faith I believe, the character I develop, personal stands, the places I go to and so forth, it is a personal journey. Truthfully, none of these things can be imposed on a person by any law.

All these things come from personal conviction, and forcing a man to go against his personal conviction often ends up ugly. Why? Its because we choose to ignore who that person is and respect his decision. When we force, we are not doing it out of love, but out of our own personal pride and ambition to achieve something, whatever it may be.

I believe, that if I see a fellow Christian walking down a road he shouldn't, my role as a brother is to love him. I will speak the truth to him in love, to remind him of God's love for him. Even if he chooses to move away, I will still treat him with love, not to ridicule him. Who am I to tell him he must do this or must do that, when I myself am a sinner, saved by grace?

I will not engross him or flood him with theologies, theories, opinions and whatnot, but allow him to discover himself, to let him experience his own personal journey in life to discover what really matters, to discover what is right and what is wrong. As a Christian, my role is to encourage my brother, to pray for him and to hear him out, but at the same time, allow him to go on his personal journey.

I honestly feel that, this is the kind of attitude we need to take, and perhaps something RM may want to consider because if they keep forcing the hand, there's going to be a really big bite.

What I write here, is not to demean anybody, but to encourage those who feel this is relevant to them, that when you deal with someone, to treat them with love and not as a criminal. We are not holy beings after all. Let us give good advice to people who have gone morally astray, but let us also give them the choice to experience life for themselves.

Thanks for giving your time to reading this, if you've got this far. Cheers and God bless. =)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

a Very Interesting Read

There are two people who I deem to be very intellectual and very philosophical in UTP. There are probably more, but the two that I guess I've been exposed to a bit more are:


1. Jared

2. Henry


Jared came out with something the other day that I thought was very interesting and you really should read it. To be honest, I'll have to say I wasn't really following his blog, but I'm in the office today, and just decided to click on Jared's name through Khael's blog.

Here's the links:

the Orignal Post (by Jared)

the Appropriate Response (by Rakan Masjid President, Akram)


It was well thought out to the point that the Rakan Masjid head himself replied in an interesting manner.

Of course, there were some responses, and Henry had an interesting one of his own. The reason I like the original article is that its got something to it that's just prompted responses from people, and I wouldn't say it was in the normal boring demeaning way, which at the end of things only proves that people are just being angry and not edifying at all. There have been some good thoughts here and there, although sometimes you can't help but feel annoyed by extremists.

I think I have a response of my own too. I'll need to gather my thoughts first though, but whatever I come up with next, you can be sure that I'll be as open as I can about it.

Good on you Jared. Well done.

Monday, November 02, 2009

the Weekend in Ipoh

It was one of those days where I wouldn't be in church on a Saturday helping out with NSt, but being somewhere far away to witness the wedding of a friend.


I went down with Chung Ginn, and we'd arrived at his house at 2.00 p.m. in the morning, leaving not long after CoUZ night, which was honestly really good, you could sense the tension and the fun at the same time during the session, lol.

Anyhow, despite arriving so early in the morning and not having as much sleep as probably a lot of other people, we still got to the wedding on time, largely thanks to Chung Ginn (I hope I'm spelling your name correctly, lololololololololololol).

I think a lot of people, especially university friends were quite surprised to see me since I didn't really tell anyone I was coming. I guess it was a welcome surprise though, didn't see anyone frowning as I walked in, haha!

The wedding went well, but there was a 'super potong stim moment' when the bridegroom kissed the bride on the cheek instead of the lips! I conclude two things, either he's seriously VERY SHY, or he missed, lol. If its neither, he doesn't know where the mouth is, laWLz.

I left my camera in the car, so I hardly have any shots from the wedding, but Ginn took a few photos of me with some of the girls from UTP:


Daphnee


Mei Le


Alexis


Mellissa

After the wedding, Chung Ginn and I went back to his house, where'd I'd be chilling for the rest of the evening. He'd stolen some lamb bones from the wedding and decided to make something out of it which I was totally in support of, hahahahaha. It wouldn't be ready until the next morning though, so we'd have something interesting for breakfast.

We went out for dinner at this place that serves noodles with the white chicken, and Chung Ginn ordered something special from there, some really nice chicken feet with a thick savoury sauce that I don't think you can find at too many places. I'd been to that place once, but I really cannot remember the name of the place.

After that, we joined Alexis and Vern to watch the Michael Jackson tribute movie, 'This is It'. Basically its a recording of his rehearsals and the production of the videos that would be shown on screen during the concert. From it, you can see that after all this while, Michael Jackson had mantained his musical talent very well. Nonetheless, I'm not over impressed by his talent, as much as it may very well be the best in the world for some time to come.

In the morning the next day, what Ginn had been working on was ready to be heaven in my mouth. Of all things that I would say I love to eat, the following wouldn't have been one of them:

Porridge! A concoction of BeatRice, carrots, potatoes, stir fried bacon and onions, not to mention lamb as well, haha!

BeatRice goes well with this by the way, if you don't know.


For a little more greens, we added this in as we felt fit.


After that, Ginn and I went to church, like the good Christians we are (yeah right, went in late some more). The pastor who conducted the wedding ceremony was speaking today as well, preaching about the unfathomable love of God revealed through the story or parable of the prodigal son.

We left, right after it ended as we had a schedule to keep, lunch, buy a few things and get back to his house to pack our things and go back to KL as soon as possible.



We had some white chicken rice for lunch in town this time:









After lunch, we went around to get a couple of things, among that was the famouse tau fu fa place, where Chung Ginn would have his desert, and me a nice refreshing Soya Bean drink. I'm not kidding when I say that place is famous, almost everybody goes there for the stuff.



A look inside the small shop lot itself, the premise of this thriving business.

After that, we stopped by another special place:






The main ordeal here was the kaya puffs which were great.

There's a lot more that can be mentioned, but I think this post is already long enough. Here's to a good weekend and a good host in a dear friend, Chung Ginn:


I was definitely a satisfied man over the weekend.