Wednesday, November 25

Tasik Shah Alam

On a very boring Monday, we decided to have a picnic at Taman Tasik Shah Alam with sandwiches, cakes and everything. Actually Zareef somehow tricked me into promising an outing - kesian jugak dia cause all the other kids are on holiday but his particular smart reader school semester goes all the way till mid December (i'm not complaining , Zareef is). Although we sprang the idea to the wife right after she got home (tak sempat duduk pun lagi), she was all sporting about it and layan kerenah jelah. Thank you dearie especially sebab I know your normally tired after work.

We did a lot of stuff at the tasik. We had our simple picnic/dinner ala sandwich o'briens (my speciality) while playing at the playgrounds. The kids were particular lavished especially after tiring themselves playing. But the highlight of the outing was our boat ride. Ahhh so nostalgic, I believe I was Zareefs age when I went out on my first boat ride at the very same spot we went that day (I used to live 5 minutes walk from the spot... good times, really good times). I have to share that Shah Alam really looks different when your on the lake. Very photographic and serene.

So that I dont forget how sometimes things are just as 'cool' at our own back yard as it is in the travel channel (i know i'm stretching it a bit), so here are a few things I appreciate at Tasik Shah Alam.

  1. There are several not-so-bad maintained playgrounds all around with cool designs
  2. Ample free convenient parking spaces
  3. Nice scenary with old big trees, people enjoying themselves and Shah Alam 'skyline' view (I really love the view of Masjid Shah Alam especially if its all lighted up).
  4. Cool and naturally shaded
  5. Lots of park benches and tables
  6. Rent a boat or canoe to go out onto the lake. Plus the boat rides (the one we took)
  7. Romantic for loving couples in a very Malaysian way - but the Jais/Jawi will always spoil it for you like all Uitm students and pekerja kilang shah alam knows.
If you have time and just want to enjoy a simple outdoor excursion I suggest have it at Taman Tasik Shah Alam. Just watch out for the nyamuk and mud puddles.

Monday, November 23

Late night hangouts

Late nights is my time for socializing. I really love the fact that I can chill out with my friends until the wee hours in the morning while enjoying good food and sharing stories (more like bad-mouthing other ppl or cracking jokes).

But the best part is my very understanding wife. I really love her for this. She doesnt mind me hanging out at nights. This is very veryyy cool of her. I even brag this fact to other friends. All married man with tight leashes are naturally jealous. I'm guessing shes cool about it because i get stressed out at work a lot and I do my part in the house especially being a dad to the kids. I also learned to make everybody happy first - bawak taman, makan pizza ke, mandikan budak2 or anything before I go out.

Here are some pics from my lousy camera phone where I went out with my best buddies Shahrul and Wafi at Williams (Wafi's favorite stall). Anybody who has been to Williams (nama kedai takde but people call the place Williams cause its the name of its big fat owner), the place is really lousy (tepi longkang, smelly, lipas and all that) but the food it really good. The portions are big even though a little pricey but really good value for the money. The menu is ever changing and different. Since Wafi goes there all the time, Williams will always entertain us. Giving us ideas on what to order or making special dishes for us. He never says no to what we ask for. Just look at my Teh o'. I asked for the biggest glass. If it was beer people might mistaken it for October Fest.

Fashion sense?

We were going out. While waiting for the parents to get ready (mamanya make-up too long) the kids were playing around with their hair, baju2 and posing with the camera.

I really liked Zareef's hairdo. He looks all stylo and bad boy especially sebab dia tiru rambut ayahnya :p. His unstyled hair looks kinda nerdy and flat like any other kid. Unfortunately the shape of his hair doesnt really last although he uses more hair wax than I do. For instance in this particular case, once we drove out of the house it was back to geeky Zareef.

As for Zara, her hair was only half way done or the hair band came off. Either way she came to me to fix it to ikat the other tocang. After failing for the umpteenth time, I declared it was more fashionable to have as it is. Zara didnt mind. She never minds when I turn on the cartoons or uses a camera to divert her attention.

Zaza - Superheroes

Lately the kids have been watching too much TV as you can see from the pics. Like everybody, they tend to get influence on what they see. They are into superheroes now. I doubt Zara really understands but she just follows what Zareef does and she naturally gets a kick from dressing up anyways. Zareefs pulling out names such as Ben-10, Superman, Batman, Spiderman and all but the best part and really means a lot to me was when i first asked him about his favorite hero:

Ayah: Zareef, who is your favorite superhero?
Zareef: AYAHHH lahhh!! (without coercion or manipulation, real honesty)
Ayah (feeling absolutely proud and high): Zareef, your my hero too!

Zara's kuku tercabut

Sometimes you'll be amazed how resilient kids can be. They can sometimes withstand pain and shrug it off. Thats what happened to Zara when her kuku/toe nail came off. She cries even more if Zareef blows on her. As for the toe, hopefully it will grow back on although shes perfect as she is.

Tuesday, November 17

An excuse for not going to school

As we were driving back from Zareefs school...
Zareef: Ayah, I dont want to go to school tomorrow.
Ayah: Why suddenly? I thought you liked going to school.
Zareef: Beeeecaaaause teacher wants to relaxxxx..!!!

Not bad for an excuse. Shows a little sympathy and sacrifice like his doing someone else a favor. But no way.. he still went the following day.

Alexis Gardens Nov babies celebration

Last Saturday the usual yuppies went out to celebrate Nov babies birthdays at Alexis Gardens. The VIP's were Amru, Lisa, Bo and Wafi. Unfortunately Siti Farah and Shah couldnt make it but we had fun nonetheless. The event was also attended by the ever beautiful Maz, well body shaped Zul, Dato Shahrul, Datin Su and princess Shania, Preggy Aza, Youthful Siti, well groomed Fariz Helmi, Nearly non bachelor Jazdee and the ever beautiful Soraya's family - Nana, Yaya, Chacha + Razlan.

Alexis Gardens was amazing. Couldnt ask for a better setting. We called up in advanced and they gave us a private section/room. It was posh (to my humble standard) but affordable yet service was tremendously great. The staff was all malay and very cool and professional not at all the warong type. The food was good but I wished it had a bigger potion for the price. We all will definitely go there again. I recommend romantic couples have a go at it. But make sure you know where it is because they dont have any big signs at the restaurant just a small title sticker on one of its windows.

After dining and all, there was the traditional birthday cake and presents. They were flowers, shirts, cards and so forth. Funny when guys get flowers no doubt they are mat bunga (over-romantic) anyways especially Bo and Amru. I am guessing they wont even share it with their girls expect Wafi who as far as i know does not have a romantic bone in his body. I bet 10 bucks wafi still left his flowers in his car. A lot of pics were taken by Amru as usual. So for more pics do watch out for it in his blog.

ps.. I hope the Bday guys had a good time and felt appreciated.

Sunday, November 15

Scrapperocks with real rocks update..

I'm back!!!! Red with sunburn and aching muscle.. But I had lots of fun in Borneo. It is just what I need, to increase my technical knowledge and also to refresh myself, kinda like a week away from reality. Our first stop is at Labuan, which is a nice small island off Sabah. A very peaceful island, and it took us only 2 hours to tour the island. The outcrops in Labuan are cool.. most of them are along the beach, so it was nice to walk along the beach, cooled off by the refreshing sea breeze.

Then on Wednesday we flew to Miri, and took a 4 hours bus ride to Bintulu (supposed to be only 2 hours but the bus is sooo slowww). In Bintulu, the outcrops are along roadside, so no more sea breeze to cool us down. But the weather is on our side. All 5 days, it did not rained when we were out in the field, and at the most exposed stops, we had clouds protection. In Bintulu, we had to wear a very glaring safety vest, so that every time locals passed by, they looked and stared at us like we are some kinda crazy people. "Jakunnya, apa best sangat batu buruk tu".. hehe..

As predicted, I got sunburn even when I was covered all over, even my face! I looked like a "penyangak" (bad guys) or an Arab nomad, wearing handkerchief over my face. That's the price of having this very sensitive skin. But it's OK, it was worth it. Food was great, we had lots of cheap seafood every night, especially when the company is paying.. hehe. Overall, it was a good trip. The hiking is minimal (nothing compared to US field trip), and the outcrops are amazing. It's great to mingle with my office colleagues outside the office (lots of yummy gossiping) and it's always good to get away from office once in a while.. :)

The Chimney... Labuan's landmark
Our final stop in Labuan.. nice view, nice rocks (yes, in that sequence).. Notice the rock hammer Aziz had on my head.. haha
Chillin' by the seaside..
Content after yummy and tummyful dinnerSimilajau National Park near Bintulu.. nothing much but a beach with mangroves and crocodiles, and not to mention lots of hungry mosquitoes..
At the beach..
World-class tidal rocks exposure.. Our instructors convinced us that this is the best in the world, and due to weathering, it wont last long :)
The class with our glamorous safety vests..

Sunday, November 8

Gomo and Hobins Hooligans

Disclaimer: This entry does not intend to stereotype the majority of football supporters but targeting the bad apples specifically.

Last night I watched the Piala Liga Malaysia Final on TV. Kelantan vs. Negeri Sembilan . "Gomo Kelate against Jang Hobins " as the saying goes. Didn't expect much from the game but I was surprised at how many people showed up and their passion towards the team. Flags, banner, face paint and even scarfs (you never know when the stadium might get cold in a hot and tropical country like Malaysia) were every where. Its great I told myself: more money in the industry, entertainment for everybody, growth and all that.

The match was emm... not entertaining but their effort was commendable. Loved the pressure and tracking back the defending teams put in (better than even Real Madrid) but not enough flowing football to comment about anything else (kurang intelligent lah kita main). The most surprising thing I
realized (as somebody who watches a lotttt of football) is the number of tackles coming in, I reckoned more than half was obviously seriously missed time and malicious but the irony was that most of them was ignored. Maybe its just the Malaysian way. Gomo lah katakan. Ohh i forgot..the Indra Putra free kick goal was superb! (giving credit when its due)

I was brought back to earth why I hate Malaysian football (main takde ah terror sangat, kecoh je lebih) starting when I saw the supporters throwing objects to the player that was taking the corner. Thats just too much. It even physically effected him taking it (bola tak cun as before) something unacceptable in football. Tak sportsman like, fair and all that. The linesman was not even protecting him but keep rushing him to take it plus there was an FRU guy about 2 meters away that could have done something about it. Malaysian way lagi. Not to mention the mercun, fires started and the breaking in gates. Ingat barang2 murah nak repair. I dont get why they just cant think. Most other cases its mainly due to the influence of alcohol. I dont think its the case here. I think its the influence of stupidity and low mentality.

I hope they catch the buggers and make them pay to set an example to others.

ps.. Negeri Sembilan won 3-1 not that it really mattered to me.

Friday, November 6

Scrapperocks to see Real Rocks!

It's been a while since my last entry in this blog. My hubby accused me of abandoning this blog, and he's the only one updating it, which is quite true.. heheh.. Sorry dear, been busy with Scrapperocks! lah.. will try to be update more often.

I am off to a field trip at Borneo (Labuan & Miri) this Sunday. It's been a long long time since my last field trip, which is way before I had Zareef. After years and years working in front of computer, I forgot how it is to be a REAL geologist. So, this trip will be a great refresher for me. Sorry dear for abandoning the family again. I appreciate your willingness for me to go study rocks at the expense of leaving the family for a week. I'll be back before you know it. I'm sure the kids will be fine without me as you're a great daddy :))

Before I leave, here's a couple of my latest layouts.. both of the pearls of our life..

Transformers... MTMTE
Zareef's favorite in the whole world (for now). He has 2 transformers, Bumbleebee and Long Haul. He watched both movies hundred times, played online games, even named his shirts robot names, according to the colors. He tells stories about robots, everything robots. When he doesnt want to do stuff, he will say "Robot tak makan", or "Robot tak tido", or "Robot tak mandi". But when he's hurt, and complained to me, I will say "Robot mana sakit". haha

Our Cute Little Cubs
Here's a couple of pics taken at Amru's Enchanted Forest Studio. They just looked so cute in their tiger outfits with the life-size tiger prop.

Wednesday, November 4

Stupid Namewee on TNB

An as$hole posted something on YouTube condemning TNB. No doubt TNB sucks in more ways than others but this guy head is just too far up his as$. His the same racist guy that was involved in the Negaraku Song incident. Why we let him back in the country I dont know.

Tuesday, November 3

Sayang Itu Love

How time flies and it's already November!!! Another interesting challenge at Scrap-It-Lah. We are honored to have the lovely Wati Basri as our Guest Designer for this month, and she came up with a really unique challenge, which to do a layout with S-I-L in the title. I have to fork my brain out to come out with an appropriate title, and in the end, it's my husband who found the perfect title for my layout, Sayang Itu Love . A very cute title, don't you think so? Love this picture of the kids chillin' at the poolside after a day in the pool. We were at Pullman Putrajaya, running away from the hustle of the city.

Zara's potty training

Zara is nearly two and can relatively communicate. So we decided to potty train her (more like the wife actually, i didnt mind another year delay). Personally, I dont like this part of the kids development. Yeah yeah.. i know i know parent duty and all that, I'll suck it up.

Its just that you wouldn't imagine how much poop and shee shee this small creatures have. Zara can definitely overcome even my 130kg brother - totaling more than 10 times a day. And the timing (in the middle of prayerslah, eatinglah, nappinglah) not to mention the location. Somehow Zara likes to target my favorite napping sofa and arrghhhh ...the clean-up. How come its always me (exaggerating for dramatic effect) that has to clean-up while the wife and bibik rather tend to Zara's washing leaving me feeling like the loser all the time.

I remembered one time during Zareef reign of toilet terror. He accidently pooped, scooped it from his pants and handed it over to me while smiling.... saying "Nah ayah/Here you go Daddy".


Ps.. sorry for the grossness, but that is how beautiful kids are. I wanted to post pics but let met get a really grossy caught in the act picture to freak you guys out first.

Book critics

We love to be entertained and enjoy a good story. Story telling has been a part of human life dating back to cave drawings. In this modern age the mass enjoy story telling through movies and TV. Somehow recently I am disappointed with unoriginal lame movies/TV shows. You really know when they ran out of ideas when the best movie (in my opinion) is a newer version of a stories being told decades ago e.g Transformers, Batman, Harry Porter, Xmen, Star Trek etc.

Due to my big appetite on unique stories, I turned to books a couple of months back. I have always enjoyed reading but was kinda slow on it for the past few years due to the young kids (you can always blame it on the kids). The only bad thing I hate about reading is after spending a lot of time on it, I get really frustrated if the story isn't just good enough. So here is my take on the books I read (personal opinion saje) so that you will know what to expect cause you cant really trust a professional critic (their limited to ethics and all that):

  1. Twilight Saga (4 books) - If your into romance, its great but a little repetitive. Forbidden love, unconditional sacrifice and all that. Suck you into an imaginary vampire + werewolf world but just not enough depth to keep me entertained.Could do more with the legendary creature stories and conflicts and less corny stuff.
  2. Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Ken Follett - Amazingly great books. Its very long but keeps you entertained throughout. You will feel like you were there cause its very detailed and tells the story from various version of the characters (the bad guy sometimes doesn't seem all that bad when the author tells it in his point of view). A lot of politic manipulation, scheming, power abuse and stuff like that. Gives hope and disappointments in life. Another great thing, it doesn't have any loose ends.
  3. The Alchemist - People say its a great book. I just don't see it. I feel like I wasted my time and energy on it. They story doesn't have substance. They say double meaning and spiritual effect and all that. I think its bullsh!t and full of pretense. Well you can say anything that. Example "1 Malaysia" - Najib says the meaning is this and that but go askLim Kit Siang or Karpal Singh. I bet they have another take on it.
  4. Lost Symbol by Dan Brown - What a letdown. Failed to live up to 'Angel and Demons' and 'Da Vinci Code'. It was even worse than 'Digital Fortress'. Ending sucked big time and stupid. It had 133 chapters and maybe one third of it is unnecessary . The only good thing was it had really interesting facts a puzzle. He just failed to make a story around it.I emphasize the ending is stupid.
  5. The Kite Runner - Absolutely lovedd ittt. I am writing this entry duly cause of it. Had to tell about how it intrigues me. Its all about honor, comradeship, family responsibility, enduring hardship, redemption and all honorably manly stuff which i think why I liked it a lot.. (yes I try my very best to be an honorable man (God willing) and its very important for me). It hits the bulls eye with a saying "All men wants to be admired by his children and all children wants their father to admire to".
So I hope others will also give inputs and suggestions on other good books. I for one suggest Kite Runner and Pillars of the Earth. I end this entry by quoting my teachers "Jadikanlah membaca itu amalan kita/Make reading a culture"

ps.. Thank you K and Amy for lending us books. I think books are just too expensive here but thats another chapter