Our first date

Our first date in a long-long time that is. It's been so long since Linda and I went out together. Yeah maybe we left Adam at her nursery once in a while to do our groceries shopping but that didn't count. We wanna go out, just the two of us like the good old times. So we decided to do just that last Thursday.Coincidentally we already made an appointment with the Seri Kembangan clinic for Mia's monthly check up. Today we arrived very early, just before 7:30 AM and we were the 6th person in line. Still we had to wait for over an hour (from the usual 2-3 hours) to finish our check up and everything. I heard from somewhere before they wanted to cut the waiting time to an hour or something? Yeah right. Mia received another immunization shot for today. She cried for like 5 seconds and then she continued sleeping. Such a strong girl.Oh did I say we left Adam with her aunt at home? He was still asleep when we left this morning. After the clinic, we dropped Mia at her nursery and went straight to Jusco Cheras Selatan for our 'date'. First we had a late breakfast at Old Town White Coffee. This is my only second visit ever and Linda's first time eating there.Previously, every end of the month (i.e pay day) we will usually give ourselves a treat at one of those fast food joints. I think everybody in my family grew tired of that by now. So from now on I think we gonna try all the local franchises instead. And let's face it, the food like the ones served at Old Town here is so much healthier and cheaper too. I had a javanese mee for breakfast today while Linda had a tom yam mee with crabstick. That + 2 glasses of iced coffee + taxes costs us only RM23.00.Then we went to get Linda a present for her birthday. Before this we used to surprise each other with presents but one day Linda bought me a shirt (I think) for my birthday and I didn't like wear it and everybody gets upset in turn. Therefore from then on we decided to give each other subtle hints just before our birthdays so that we get an idea of what to buy and everybody's happy! This year for example, Linda kept reminding me about her broken watch. I know this B.U.M watch is not the most expensive or beautiful watch out there but the important thing is she liked it very much and it's from me... The reason we went to Jusco Cheras Selatan in the first place was to watch a movie at the TGV outlet there. The last time we watched any movie at a cineplex was 4 years ago, before we got married and before Adam was born. After that we've been pretty much preoccupied with our kid(s) and work. We watched the movie Get Smart this afternoon, starring Steve Farrel and Anne Hathaway. The movie was not bad but that's beside the point. We just wanna spend some quality time together that's what matters. Gosh we forgot how cold it is in a cinema. Next time remember to dress warm.Next we went to Tesco Extra in Cheras to do our monthly groceries (hey, somebody gotta do it, some time!). Before we go home we bought some train tickets at the Serdang train station because...... we wanted to send 'Batman' here and his aunt back home to Tanah Merah. It was Adam's turn to have conjunctivitis and before he infects her mom or anybody else (or worse, Mia again), we've decided it's best that he goes back for a while. Anyway, he's really excited about the trip and he can't wait to see grandpa and grandma again.

Although Adam only left us yesterday and he will be staying there for just over a week, we do miss him already (especially his mother). You take care now dude and get well soon.

Aaah. I think this is the most fun and eventful day in my life so far this year. I think we should definitely do this more often right Mama?

(the dating thing, not the sending Adam home thing of course ;))

Get Smart movie review

Last Thursday I had the chance to catch a movie at a cinema (whoa!). There's was not much good movie to choose from that Thursday morning so we decided to watch the least sucky one, i.e Get Smart starring Steve Farrel and the ever so lovely Anne Hathaway.
Get Smart is about Maxwell Smart, the top analyst of USA intelligence agency CONTROL, who hopes to become a real Field Agent, but despite scoring extremely well in the acceptance tests Max is denied the promotion because the Chief of CONTROL (Alan Arkin) thinks Max is too valuable as an analyst. This changes when CONTROL headquarters is attacked by their arch-enemy, the evil KAOS organization led by Siegfried, and almost all of CONTROL's Agents are exposed and killed. Max becomes Agent 86 and is partnered with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), whose recent plastic surgery has protected her identity.

Max and 99 then travel to Russia on a mission to determine how KAOS has been getting nuclear weapons. Along the way, Max slowly proves to 99 that despite his inexperience and clumsiness he is actually a good field agent. That's where their adventure begins.

Watching Get Smart I couldn't help but compare it to James Bond and Austin Powers and it fails miserably to live up to both films. It is filled with cool gadgetry or action-packed like Bond and it's not even half as funny as Austin Powers. Although Steve Farrel tried to be funny, he just can't. I didn't laugh at any of his attempted jokes. Anna Hathaway performance is quite ordinary too. Honestly, I'd sleep and snore in the cinema if I didn't already paid to watch it.

Overall, I give Get Smart 50% freshness rating (a la Rotten Tomatoes). It maybe no 1 at the U.S box office but if you ask me, I won't waste my RM8 to watch this one at the movies. This movie also features Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura of Heroes) playing a minor supporting role. If you do want to watch this movie, agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson) is the double agent ha ha!

Happy Birthday darling

Especially to my

wife ~ mother of my children ~ girlfriend ~ partner ~ confidante
best cook in town ~ shoulder to cry on ~ pillar of strength ~ buddy
loyal fan ~ banker ~ roomie ~ co-pilot ~ discipline teacher
back up crew ~ deputy commander in chief ~ queen of my heart

Happy Birthday!

Let us grow old and senile together, forever and ever.

New routine

Earlier this month my wife started working again after 2 months of maternity leave. Having a baby again sure changes our daily routine. Looking after a small child is a full time job and we have little time left for ourselves or to do anything else.

My wife usually woke up around 6 in the morning while I got up half an hour later. She already prepared the kid's stuff the night before but still there's much to do every morning. Adam had to wake up much earlier now that he had to shower and prepare himself before going to kindergarten. We tried to leave the house before 7:00 to avoid traffic. So far, traffic condition around Seri Kembangan is fairly smooth mainly because of the school holidays. Once school start, it'll be jam, jam, jam day in, day out. Sending both Adam and Mia to their nurseries took approximately 10 minutes and by 7:40 I said goodbye to wifey at the Sungai Besi LRT station. After that I drove straight to Sri Serdang to get my regular breakfast fix from Kak Na's stall except on Mondays when they're closed. If Kak Na is closed, I will get my breakfast from the Kakak's stall in front of the Ruselia flats instead. I arrived at my office at Bandar Putra Permai around 8-ish and usually I will eat my breakfast at restoran Nizam nearby.

Since Fiza left last month, I was tasked to do the daily data center check up. It's not that hard to do but after a while it became quite tedious. I have to make sure everything is up and running, report any problems that arise and do all the necessary backups. Then only I can fired up my notebook or PC to check my e-mails. After that I'm off to do my job all over Klang Valley but mostly in Shah Alam vicinity.
Our new kindergarten and nursery operates from 6:30 AM till 6:30 PM. If we pick up our kids later than that we have to pay for overtime amounting to 3 ringgit per hour. That's why I always try to finish my job around 5-ish and pick up my kids before the 6:30 deadline whenever possible. Once I picked up my kids, I usually have little time to do anything else. My wife normally works until 8 or 9 in the evening. Yeah her boss still make her do overtime almost everyday despite her permanent status. At home, I had to bath both of my kids, change them into their evening clothes and feed them dinner. Then I wait till my wife call me to pick her up at the train station. We only got home around 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening. Only then I can chill for a while before I retire to bed. Sigh, nobody told me being a parent is so tiring.

A (girl) friend for Bujal

Once upon a time, there was a girl working at CIMB Auto Finance (i.e where my wife works). She is single and she is very available. My wife being the kind person that she is (ahem) tried to hook this girl up with my friend Bujal. Of course she warned her that Bujal is no Brad Pitt and he weights nearly as much as a baby elephant but Suzanna Shariff didn't mind that. In fact she likes big, burly guys some more.
So yesterday I gave Bujal her number which I got from my wife. 24 hours later, I don't know what happened but apparently Bujal didn't reply her SMS (apart from the first one). Maybe Bujal has a very high taste or maybe he's just gay shy but at least have the courtesy to reply to Suzana. I mean you have a girl who's actually interested in you here! I bet you don't get that everyday. But then again if you're not interested then what to do. We'll tell Suzana to look for somebody else then.

ProCurve Networking workshop

Yesterday Bujal, Sapuan and I attended a ProCurve networking workshop for half a day. For the uninitiated, ProCurve, a division of HP is one of the top 3 networking hardware manufacturer in the world apart from Cisco and Nortel. The workshop was conducted by Convergence Networks Sdn Bhd at their HQ in PJ. The aim of this workshop was basically to teach us the basics of ProCurve networking.

Now networking is big business in the IT world because almost every organization from small to huge multinational companies must have computer networking in one form or another. And these heavy duty switches which control endless incoming and outgoing traffic on daily basis don't come cheap either. Each one of them costs from as much as RM10000 onwards. There's big money to make in computer networking and IT professional who are expert in Cisco or similar networking systems are highly sought after in the job market. If you're a fresh graduate and you happen to be really good in networking, you don't have to look for a job, they will come looking for you!
Anyway back to the workshop. We arrived in PJ at exactly 10:30 AM but the guy in charge said they we're expecting us since 9:30 AM. I guess there must have been a little mis-communication between Jeb (our IT consultant) and us. There were supposed to be 8 of us that day but two people from another company didn't show up (and didn't have the courtesy to inform us). We wasted about 20 minutes waiting for those two.
ProCurve networking is quite difficult to grasp especially for people who have no prior experience in high level networking (like me) so I had to say I was rather lost for most parts of the workshop. You definately can't learn how to configure a switch in half a day. I bet even the all powerful Safuan took weeks to learn every nook and cranny of switch configuring right?So the lunch time came as a relief for me and Bujal. Lunch today was provided by the organizer and I must say the chicken curry was simply delicious. Later on they even handed out goody bags some more for all of us. I like!
Uh don't get me wrong, I gave my full attention to the workshop, well at least before lunch. However towards the end of the session I found the free WiFi access to be a little be err distracting.

Overall I say this brief workshop succeeded in giving me a basic insight into ProCurve networking although I have to admit I have much to learn abou them. While this basic workshop is free, the real training for ProCurve networking with certification would cost around RM5000 per person so I think this will be the last networking training we'll be attending for a while. Safuan said he thinks the Cisco system is much more powerful and easier to configure than ProCurve. To be honest, I have to disagree with you on that one dude. To me 3COM switches IS the easiest to configure by far, period.

p.s: Trevis is the straight guy who handles the workshop.

10 things I hate about you

1. I hate it that your ministers dismissed talks of fuel hike and you yourself hinted that there will be no increase until August. Then BAMM!! You lied through your teeth yesterday and increased the fuel price by 40% and gave a few millions motorist in Malaysia less than 7 hours to fill up at petrol stations, creating chaos and massive traffic jams everywhere.

2. I hate it when you say that the price increase is inevitable since it's a global crisis when we were all aware that this country is a net exporter and the global oil price shouldn't have made much effect on local fuel prices cause we should have enough fuel for ourselves. And stop comparing us with oil importing countries like Thailand and Singapore, who do you take us for? Idiots? People in Thailand can own cheaper cars than we do and they don't have to pay road taxes and tolls. Singapore have the best public transportation system in South East Asia and they don't need to subsidize their fuel.

3. I hate it when you promised to improve the public transport last time you increased the fuel when you have obviously not. The buses is still far from reliable or punctual, the taxi drivers still refuses to use the meter and charge exorbitant rates as they please and the LRT and Komuter service is packed like sardines 6 days a week.

4. I hate it when you told the people to change their lifestyle when we can clearly see you and your party members have not change theirs. FYI most of us the common rakyat do go around town with a dozen police escort or live in lavish homes, jet set on government paid (read:people's money) planes and go holiday overseas with their wives every other month. What do they say? Lead by example? You should take a page out of our Tok Guru Nik Aziz's book. He's very afraid to use the people's money for his personal matters. Heck he even prayed in the dark at night at the mosque not wanting to waste on electricity bills. Now that's one leader we should all emulate.

5. I hate to know that we could have avoided all this mess if the government didn't waste billions of tax payer money on unnecessary projects (many of which turned into white elephants), pay overinflated price for family members and chronies plc and worked harder to promote transparency and eradicate graft bla bla bla.

6. I hate it that despite of all your flip-flop decision making, weak governance, gross incompetence and unfulfilled promises and other shortcomings, people in Perlis, Negeri, Malacca, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Sabah still vote your party into power. Okay, you people in the aforementioned states CAN NOT complain about the fuel price. You asked for it! I don't care how Anwar will do it, I just want the fuel price to go down dammit.

Yeah I know I said 10, still thinking of the next 4. Stay tuned.

First day at kindergarden

Nah he's not sad or anything. In fact he can't wait to get inside.