Scaling new heights

Last month the ceiling fan in our living room broke down and stopped working altogether. So I bought a new controller (thinking the old one might be broken) and asked the favour of one of my colleagues to set it up. He tried for 2 consecutive days, even bought a brand new capacitor but still the fan wouldn't budge. That's when we came to the conclusion that I need to get a brand new ceiling fan. A few days later I went to an electrical shop in Seri Kembangan and bought myself a ceiling fan. Since I have no prior experience in installing fans myself so I asked my colleague to help again. Actually I don't like to bug my friends all the time like that but sitting in the living room without a ceiling fan for nearly 3 weeks is no fun at all. I wish I have a family handyman that I can call at a moment's notice but unfortunately I don't have such luxury. When my friend came up with excuses after excuses, I got the notion that he's unwilling to help me this time. Besides, he did say he'd never fixed a fan before.

Then after a while I thought, hey why didn't I do this myself? It's not exactly rocket science or something and if other people can do it why can't I? Plus, what's the worse that could go wrong right? Well, actually I can came out with several things that could go wrong (like the fan falling of the ceiling) but the point is I'm tired of depending on other people to do errands for me. I'm tired of waiting and sometimes I hate myself for not knowing stuff you know, fixing stuff around the house.

So today I've decided to do it all myself. Today I went to Tesco and bought a step ladder and some electrical stuff and decided to fix the freaking fan myself. Heck I found out Tesco charge a hundred ringgit to fix new fans at their customer's homes. There's no way I'm gonna succumb to such extortion. After that I went home, say my prayers and do it all myself. Take out the old fan, assemble the new one, put the new one up there, mess around with the wirings, screws, bolts and nuts and after an hour or so I'm all done! The new fan is up and running and the most important thing is I did it all by myself.

I know this might sound rather trivial to some of you out there. I fixed a new fan, so what? big deal! But it's a really big deal for me alright. Today I stopped being too dependent on others and started believing in myself. Fixing a fan may be a small step for mankind, but it's a giant leap for one Afif!

So now that I'm a certified ceiling fan installer, if you ever need to fix a fan you know who to call :)

Some tips to behave in office

In this highly competitive and extremely challenging corporate world today we don't necessarily need to work hard all the time to succeed in our career. Sometimes we only need to work smart in order to give a good impression to the management. Here's some excellent tips on how to behave in your office:

1. Never walk without a document in your hands

People with documents in their hands look like hardworking employees heading for important meetings. People with nothing in their hands look like they're heading for the cafeteria. People with a newspaper in their hand look like they're heading for the toilet. Above all, make sure you carry loads of stuff home with you at night, thus generating the false impression that you work longer hours than you do.

2. Use computers to look busy

Any time you use a computer, it looks like “work” to the casual observer. You can send and receive personal e-mail, chat and generally knock yourself out without doing anything remotely related to work. These aren’t exactly the societal benefits that the proponents of the computer revolution would like to talk about but they’re not bad either. When you get caught by your boss - and you *will* get caught — your best defense is to claim you’re teaching to use new software, thus saving valuable training expenses.

3. Keep a messy desk

Top management can get away with a clean desk. For the rest of us, it looks like we’re not working hard enough. Build huge piles of documents around your workspace. To the observer, last year’s work looks the same as today’s work; it’s volume that counts. Pile them high and wide. If you know somebody is coming to your desk, bury the document you’ll need halfway down in an existing stack and rummage for it when he/she arrives.

4. Voice Mail

Never answer your phone if you have voice mail. People don’t call you just because they want to give you something for nothing - they call because they want YOU to do work for THEM. That’s no way to live. Screen all your calls through voice mail. If somebody leaves a voice mail message for you and it sounds like impending work, respond during lunch hour when you know they’re not there - it looks like you’re hardworking and conscientious even though you’re being a total slacker.

5. Looking impatient and annoyed

Always try to look impatient and annoyed to give your bosses the impression that you are always busy.

6. Leave the office late

Always leave the office late, especially when the boss is still around. You could read magazines and storybooks that you always wanted to read but have no time until late before leaving. Make sure you walk past the boss’ room on your way out. Send important emails at unearthly hours (e.g. 9:35pm, 7:05am, etc.) and during public holidays.

7. Creative sighing for effect

Sigh loudly when there are many people around, giving the impression that you are under extreme pressure.

8. Stacking strategy

It is not enough to pile lots of documents on the table. Put lots of books on the floor etc. (thick computer manuals are the best).

9. Build vocabulary

Read up on some computer magazines and pick out all the jargon and new products. Use the phrases freely when in conversation with bosses. Remember: They don’t have to understand what you say, but you will sound impressive.

10.Have 2 jackets

If you work in a big open plan office, always leave a spare jacket draped over the back of your seat. This gives the impression that you are still on the premises. The second jacket should be worn while you are slacking around elsewhere.

11. Don't let your boss read any of these!

(Tips received by e-mail, Apply at own risk)

Best birthday present ever

Having Internet connection at home have always been one of my wettest dream since forever. I was first introduced to the Internet exactly 10 years ago and only today that I finally got myself one at home.

After learning that my application for Maxis Wireless Broadband was unsuccessful, my dear wife went there and applied for one herself. Of course I'll have to foot the monthly bill meself but that's okay, the important thing is I've got Internet at home baby! 100 ringgit and 24 hours later my Maxis Broadband is up and running smoothly.

We selected the Advanced package (640 kbps / RM78 per month) instead of the Starter package which is 10 ringgit cheaper but half as slow at 384kbps. In the package we get the standard ZTE MF600 WCDMA modem, network cable (CAT5e), power adapter plus a home phone thrown in as well. I can return the phone should we decide not to use the Home Voice service.

Set up is pretty straightforward. I just plug on the network cable to my pc, turn on the modem and (usually) I'm connected to the Internet in less than a minute (though sometimes it took me up to 4 minutes to get connected but that rarely happens). Be sure to clear all your tcp/ip setting on the network card because the modem will automatically assign IPs for you. I also recommend you place your modem near doors or windows for best reception. Although the package stated up to 640kbps, I rarely get past 140kbps for download and less than 100kbps for upload. Understandbaly my home (Taman Universiti) is without HSDPA or 3G coverage so I'm guessing the above speed is by using GPRS reception only.

Well GPRS is good enough for me. Like I said before I only want to read/update a few blogs and check my e-mails at home. Forget about online multiplayer games or torrent downloads, they're not available in GPRS reception. Nevertheless I expect Maxis to expand their 3G or even HSDPA reception here sometime in the future. It could only get better right?

Internet at home. The possibilities are endless .Expect more great things to come.

Thanks honey, it's the best birthday present ever! Okay I'm off to change my pants.

Today in history

November 24 is the 328th day of the year (329th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 37 days remaining until the end of the year.

Several important events has hapenned today throught history such us:

- Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species in 1859
- The Apollo 12 spacecraft splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to the moon in 1969
- Freddie Mercury, Lead singer of rock band Queen died in 1991

Apart from that, Australians will vote in their Federal Election today and it is also Teacher's Day in Turkey.

Oh, and before I forget it's also singer Awie's birthday today together with my cousin Mohd Faris (happy birthday man!).

Emmm that's all. I had to work today cause it's the 3rd Saturday of the month. Nothing special today.

And what's this picture of Kuala Lumpur General Hospital doing here? Beats me.

Last weekend

Last Saturday was the 3rd Saturday of the month so it’s our day off. All the same, some of my colleagues went to work anyway cause they’ve got some very important job to finish. Bujal and Safuan for example had to go to Puncak Alam to install a brand new server there. It’s not everyday I get to learn how to install an entire server system and I’d tag along too if I didn’t have an appointment with a masseur at the same time.

You see, I sprained my left knee when I took part in that tug of war game last time. I tried to ignore it at first but the injury got worse and worse by the day. It hurts when I run, climb stairs and especially when I’m driving. All those pain for a lousy runner’s up plaque? So not worth it. Furthermore a good masseur is hard to come by these days and I had to ask around a dozen people before I found one. According to my friend, uncle Bidin’s* house is the 3rd or 4th house of the UPM mosque roundabout, the one with the green curtain on his porch.

So I went to his house that Saturday afternoon and waited for my turn to be massaged. I had my reservations at first cause this pak cik had a brand new Honda Civic parked on his porch you know, don prey-prey wan. I mean don’t tell me he could afford to buy that car just by massaging alone! Like, will he charge me a bomb to get my leg fixed?

My fears were soon allayed when uncle Bidin said I can pay how much I want to, he never fix any price for his service. Which is very clever of him cause all those grateful people would pay him at least 15 to 20 ringgit per massage. And for RM20 per person, he could easily get a hundred ringgit even if only 5 people visits him a day. Hmm maybe I should consider venturing into this massaging business. For starters maybe I can massage girls and women first? Anybody interested? Mwahahaha!

Anyway uncle Bidin was fixed up my leg really good. He knows which part of my leg hurts just by running his fingers over them. He knew which muscle to squeeze and which nerve to press. And after like 10 minutes of suffering, my legs are almost as good as new.

Last weekend also I tried to register for Maxis wireless broadband at the Mines Shopping Fair. Emm my application was rejected cause apparently I have a few unsettled bills with TM Touch. Sheesh, it’s not like I owe the 6 billion or something. I thought TM Touch don’t exist anymore? So much for my internet at home dream. Damn hormones.

* not his real name

TestDisk saved our lives

Last week while I was trying to teach my colleague how to transfer data back from another hard disk, something terrible happened. All of a sudden the hard disk accidentally slipped out of his hands and fell onto the hard cold cement floor. FYI, the hard disk is the most fragile part of the computers system. Hard disks we can buy, but the data inside; they’re simply irreplaceable. And it’s not just anybody’s hard disk. It’s the deputy director of the UiTM 2 project. We could have caused a minor crisis should he loose all his 2 years worth of data.

The back up hard disk that contained the entire deputy director’s data had somehow turned into a dynamic drive and became inaccessible. I know it’s not my fault but I just couldn’t let my colleague take all the blame, it just doesn’t seem right. So I tried attaching the hard disk on another computer, turning it into a slave, change the jumpers, even attempt to retrieve it with a Linux live CD but all to no avail. Time was running out and my colleague was already thinking of sending it to a professional data retrieval firm (which gonna cost him a couple hundred ringgit).

After trying for nearly an hour, I almost give up hope too until I stumbled into this nifty little software on Google. TestDisk is a powerful free data recovery software, primarily designed to recover lost partitions caused by faulty software, certain type of viruses or just plain human error. TestDisk can run under DOS, Windows, Linux and Mac OS and also help recover lost partitions in those file systems.

In the end I managed to recover all of the deputy director’s data, my colleague treated me for lunch at Secret Recipe, potential disaster averted and everybody’s happy! My hard disk that fell to the floor crashed a few days later but that’s okay, at least we get to keep our jobs the UiTM 2 project goes on on schedule. Sigh.

Download TestDisk here.

p.s: All of these wouldn’t have happened if Mr. deputy director hadn’t surfed porn sites in the first place, picking up all those nasty viruses.

Music of the day

Hujan - Pagi Yang Gelap

Lebih tua dari ku harap sabar menunggu
Kepulangan mu ku tunggu
Bukan maksud ku mendiam
Tiada niat menyimpan dendam
Hakikat nya rindu yg mendalam

Jalan inikan membantu
Hari esok siapa yg tahu
Kata ibu dengar sahaja
Cerita hanya kita berdua

Pagi yg gelap kini sudah terang
Aku adik mu
Dan engkau abang
Ku amat merindui kan mu
Pagi yg gelap kini sudah terang
Aku adik mu
Dan engkau abang
Ingin ku ulang kemasa dulu

Tak akan putus
Hubungan kita
Tarik nafas lega kerna aku tak apa apa

Jalan inikan membantu
Hari esok siapa yg tahu
Kata ibu dengar sahaja
Cerita hanya kita berdua

Pagi yg gelap kini sudah terang
Aku adik mu
Dan engkau abang
Ku amat merindui kan mu
Pagi yg gelap kini sudah terang
Aku adik mu
Dan engkau abang
Ingin ku ulang ke masa dulu


Visit Malacca year 2007

Did I say I was tired? Well, tired as I was, we decided to go to Malacca town anyway since were so near. But first we stop by Linda’s friend place in Taman Bukit Rambai en route to Malacca for her Raya open house.

I had this delicious nasi kerabu for breakfast. I was impressed that somebody not from Kelantan can cook nasi kerabu so well until I found out that all the food stuff was catered. No wonderlah.

Malacca town is only about 45km from A Famosa Resort but since we took the trunk road the journey last nearly an hour because we had to stop at like a million traffic lights.

Actually I’ve never been to Mallaca town proper although I’ve passed through Ayer Keroh a dozen times and even joined a Rakan Muda camp there once.

It took me an hour sometime to locate the A Famosa and the surrounding historical area since it’s my first visit there. All you need to do is find Jalan Parameswara that leads to Jalan Kota where all the red coloured buildings are situated. What directions? Real men don’t ask for directions. I mean Parameswara didn’t have to ask for directions and neither do I.

We were greeted by a bunch of super-friendly trishaw riders at the entrance. They offered us a ride around the A Famosa vicinity for 10 ringgit which we politely decline.

First we decided to climb up the steps to St Paul’s hills which proved to be a huge mistake. My knees still hurts from yesterday’s game and poor Linda was panting like mad when we finally got to the top.

Near the top we encountered a really unpleasant episode where this beggar guy here peed nonchalantly at the spot marked with yellow arrow. His urine sprayed everywhere on the steps and we watched several unsuspecting tourist walking on the stained steps. Ewww that’s totally gross!

On top of the hill are the ruins of St Paul’s church. Here you can find the courtyard still intact and several ancient stone slabs. Pretty boring stuff really.

You can see a lovely view of Malacca town from the hilltop including the old Malacca harbour and seaside.

To tell you the truth, visiting old ruins and ancient buildings is not really my favourite past time. Truth is I’d rather be spending my time at some seaside resort frolicking on the beach. Heck, even visiting PC Fair or Low Yat plaza is more fun than this.

But then again you can’t say you’ve been to Malacca until you visit this old ruin. You’ve probably seen A Famosa from the front right? This is how it looks from the rear. Inside you can find a couple of really bored looking musicians and painters.

There’s about half a dozen museums near A Famosa but we didn’t have the time or energy to visit any of them. So tired already climbing them hill.

Instead we took pictures near old planes and trains.

Right next to A Famosa is the brand new Dataran Pahlawan shopping mall. Brand new ke?

Dataran Pahlawan is comparable to Mines Shopping Fair lah I think. Got Starbucks, Guardian etc etc.

Okay I've ran out of things to write...

Yak yak yak yak.

“Oooo magic faraway tree, please give us good 4D numbers”

These two policemen are just for show only. Don't come to them if you get robbed or anything.

“Museums? But teacher, we only want to see Barney & friends!”

Around 5 o'clock we decided to call it a day. My knees is hurting like crazy and I have another 100 km to drive back.

Adam and his mischievous look. When he grins like that he must be up to no good.

We didn't buy any souvenir from Malacca but the guys from MPMB were kind enough to give us one in the form of a parking ticket. Since I never-ever pay my DBKL summons I'd like to ask the folks from Malacca, do I really need to pay that ticket?

A Famosa Resort weekend getaway

Last weekend my family and I went to CIMB Auto Finance sports carnival / family day at A Famosa resort in Alor Gajah, Malacca. We left on Friday right after work. I incidentally finished work around 7 pm that day and after picking up wifey from KTM Serdang we had only about an hour to pack our stuff and everything.

95 kilometres later we finally arrive at the resort after an hour’s drive from Seri Kembangan. Actually we rushed there so that we get to choose the best room there.

We were placed at the D’Savoy condotel along with another married couple with their baby kid. The Badrul couple rarely came out (if ever) of their room to chit chat or socialize. Maybe they’re just too pre-occupied with themselves mwahahaha!

But that’s okay. I get to conquer the living room all to myself. Well, actually all to myself and Adam.

Our house has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, dining area and a living room. Although not exactly posh, all the basic amenities were there and I’ll give the condotel 3.5 stars out of 5.

I love this bathtub. I’ve got to have one of these someday.

The sports carnival doesn’t start until the next day and was held some 15 kilometers away at UiTM Lendu.

Breakfast and lunch were provided by the organizer. There was some procession by the delegates in the morning and several sports were played later. This inaugural sports carnival involves CIMB Auto Finance department from all over the country. There were at least 1500 people present that day.


Even though it rained several times that day, the sport and games goes on nevertheless.

I didn’t play in any of the except for the tug of war game. Originally my name was only put in reserve but since her boss personally asked me to play, I didn’t have the heart to decline. Anyway we did get into the final but we eventually lost to another team. Not surprising lah since the other team got Mr. Eko on their side. Yes they’ve got a huge African man about twice my size. Huh,talk about fair play.

We left immediately after the tug of war game and get a few hours of rest before the dinner in the evening. Naturally after months of not exercising and suddenly getting into such intense physical activity, my poor body started aching all over soon after that.

My muscles and joints hurt like every time I move and how I wish I didn’t have to go to the dinner and just lay on my bed and rest.

But since my wife insists that I do we did go to the dinner in the end. Lucky for us we arrive early for the occasion. Those who came really late had no tables left to sit and had to stand around for a while.

Adam, obviously tired after so much activity during the day and choose to sleep throughout the entire dinner.

We were served a decent 7 course mostly western dinner with a couple of seafood delicacies. Comedian, Salleh Yaakob was emcee for the night. There were some performance from the delegates and I get to receive my runners up trophy on stage.

But the main reason I drag my tired butt to the dinner is none other for the lucky draw. There were some 500 hundred items up for grab, mostly electrical goods including a 32” LCD tv. Linda and I are usually unlucky when it comes to lucky draws but we did manage to go home with a (really expensive) toaster that evening.

Although super tired we had a jolly good time at the resort and also the sports carnival. A Famosa resort is a nice place to bring your family to during weekends or school holidays. There are a lot of things to do and see here (although I didn’t get to see any of them). But then like so many other resorts and theme parks, there’s a price for everything. On the down side the prices of food and beverages here are still cutthroat and there’s several unfinished buildings which are a bit of eyesore to see. Yes we enjoyed ourselves during the stay but unless it’s another sponsored trip, I don’t think I’ll be gong there again in the near future. Yeah I know I’m a cheapskate but A Famosa? Maybe not.