A Matter of Taste

Stuck in the Jam: A Matter of Taste

Whee! A webcomic! Based on a true story, even. Which happened earlier today. Director’s Commentary mode on (since most of the text is in Malay): Normanis isn’t a standard Malay-Muslim name. I’m guessing it’s an allusion to names beginning with “Nor” (or “Nur“) which is Arabic for “light”. Suddenly there’s a Malay word there “manis” which means “Sweet”. Therefore Normanis is literally Sweet Light. Of course, I’m assuming it’s a female name since I’ve never heard it before. To square off the quip, “tawar” for the conjectural husband and “pahit” for the eventual daughter respectively means “tasteless” and “bitter”. I have nothing against your name Normanis, whoever you are. But thanks for being the subject of a side-splitting off-the-cuff joke while we were stuck in a traffic jam which will no doubt be lost on readers of this entry, and I have only one excuse for all of you: “You […]

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In a galaxy far, far away… Southwestern Road Trip Day 5

We spent the night at the Hampton Inn in Kayenta, Arizona, a very small town that boasted 3 hotels and as many restaurants. Seriously – we thought Sitiawan was small when we were growing up? Kayenta takes the cake. What we in Malaysia used to call a “cowboy town”. The reason that they even had 3 hotels in town was because of their proximity to Monument Valley Tribal Park. Which was our first destination of Day 5! So after the complimentary breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and headed off north towards Monument Valley. [[image:us200.jpg:22 miles from Kayenta to Monument Valley:center:0]] As we drove north to the border (Monument Valley itself is in both Utah and Arizona), we saw interesting rock formations: [[image:us197.jpg:Rock formations:center:0]] [[image:us196.jpg:Red rock formations:center:0]] If you are sitting there thinking “Monument Valley…what’s the big deal?” here’s the big deal. Aside from being a gorgeous geological wonder, […]

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It's Uncle Sree

Early Morning Raid at the PC Fair

Well, to be honest it wasn’t that early in the morning. It was about 10AM. And it wasn’t a raid as it was us moving slowly through the computer exhibition picking out stuff to buy after we, for the first time ever, have the budget to buy computer-related thingamajigs at one of these PC Fairs. There were no tablet PCs sold as far as I can see. Before the PC Fair opened we had a picnic at the KLCC park with the takeaway nasi lemak which we bought at the LRT Corner outdoors restaurant near the Tenth Floor Headquarters. Irfan had little to eat – just some curry puffys and teh ais. He didn’t seem to mind hunger when the super duper playground was within striking (and spitting) distance. And here’s Irfan’s favourite playground in the world, as well as a few other worlds. He calls slides the “Wheeee!” for […]

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In a galaxy far, far away… Southwestern Road Trip Day 4

After a good night’s sleep at the Hampton Inn in Durango and the complimentary breakfast, we headed west from Durango towards Cortez, CO on the US-160. Just 35 miles west of Durango is Mesa Verde National Park, the site of ancient cliff dwellings (back to the Ancestral Puebloans). We would spend half the day at Mesa Verde and head towards Kayenta, Arizona where we planned to spend our next night. [[image:us195.jpg:Route from Durango, Colorado to Kayenta, Arizona – note the meeting of 4 states in the middle of the map:center:0]] Mesa Verde, here we come! I wasn’t sure what to expect but cliff dwellings sounded very interesting. We saw some tepees on the road, inviting us to go into Native American crafts stores along the road: [[image:us155.jpg:Tepees and giant Arrows:center:0]] We saw this huge mesa from far away. Turns out, we had to drive off the main road for about […]

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Networked to the Lantian database

Tablets Seem Fun To Work With

Tablet PCs, used by the personnel of Stargate Command’s Atlantis Expedition (particularly Dr. Rodney McKay) seem to be cool little gadgets to work with. I wish I can buy one around here. Are there any being sold here in Kuala Lumpur at all? Perhaps the PC Fair at the KL Convention Centre coming up next weekend?

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In a galaxy far, far away… Southwestern Road Trip Day 3

After getting to Taos, New Mexico after dark, we were pretty exhausted from our excessive sight-seeing. We were really glad to find the Hampton Inn in Taos. We spent a quiet night in Taos and bright and early in the morning of Day 3, we headed to Taos Pueblo. Taos Pueblo is a thousand-year-old, still lived in traditional pueblo. Unlike Acoma, it was right by Taos, the city, and we didn’t have to go searching for it for long. We paid our entrance fee into the pueblo, and paid a mere $5 per camera to take pictures of the pueblo. After Acoma Sky City’s $10 per camera, it felt like such a better deal! And they charged a group fee for the 4 of us that was cheaper than the advertized $10 per person rate. Already, I warmed up to Taos Pueblo. 🙂 The day was bright and sunny, clear […]

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Ya want a piece of me?

What Transpired In Pakistan

Like DSA 2006 back in April, we were at another defence exhibition only this time in Karachi, Pakistan. My apprehension was soon laid to rest as the local organisers as well as the other foreign exhibitors who were great folks whose company I enjoyed. Whenever we got together, there usually was loud chuckling and sometimes there were incredible belly laughs, which I believe began for the first time when we tried to figure out what the acronym “CIP” actually was. Nope, ain’t tellin’. There were Barry and Martin from Australia, John from England, Bernard from the Czech Republic and sometimes we were joined by Jean-François from France, who was our neighbour in the exhibition booth next to us. All of us were ably and excellently cared for by our Pakistani attachés (so to speak) Shah, Shamir and Arsalan. I was chained to the booth most of the time because the […]

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In a galaxy far, far away… Southwestern Road Trip Day 2 (Acoma Sky City)

So, after we left El Morro, we went east on the NM 63 until we hit the Interstate I-40 again. And we went on for a short way, and decided we would visit Acoma Pueblo, and then look for some lunch. For your convenience, here’s another look at the map of New Mexico. [[image:us63.jpg:Review Map of New Mexico:center:0]] The plan for the second half of the day was after Acoma Pueblo, we would drive to our next hotel in Taos, New Mexico. So, we got off the I-40 by Acoma and took the road into the pueblo. Acoma Pueblo is also known as Acoma Sky City because this thousand-year-old still lived-in traditional pueblo is situated on the top of a mesa. So the people who lived in the pueblo were able to defend themselves from invaders, from other native american tribes to the Spanish conquistadores. They lived on top of […]

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In a galaxy far, far away… Southwestern Road Trip Day 2 (El Morro)

After a relaxing evening at the Hampton Inn in Gallup (Mak and Abah ate their tar paued mexican food, and Vin and I went out briefly for a quick bite), we had a good night’s sleep and hit the road at 8:00 AM again. Gallup is a lot colder than Phoenix so everybody was bundled up for the 40+ Fahrenheit (about 5 C) weather. [[image:us63.jpg:Map of New Mexico:center:0]] On our itinerary for the day, from Gallup, we would get off the I-40 and head south on the NM 602 then east on NM 53 a little ways to see El Morro National Monument. After El Morro, we would take the NM 53 north east to the I-40 and then stop at Acoma Pueblo. We took so many cool pictures I’ll divide Day 2 into first El Morro, then Acoma Sky City. The weather was a little overcast and cloudy. Here’s […]

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In a galaxy far, far away… Southwestern Road Trip Day 1

So on October 27th, the four of us flew from Dayton to Phoenix where we planned to embark on an ambitious tour of the Southwestern USA. We arrived in Phoenix and rented a car. Armed with our guidebook and a roadmap of the United States, we thought we were ready for everything. We had a half-planned itinerary, and some hotel reservations along the way. The rest we would make up as we went along. We arrived in Phoenix late in the evening of Friday October 27th, so we got our rental car and drove straight to our first hotel in Phoenix. We planned to spend the night and in the morning we would hit the road. [[image:us32.jpg:Map of Arizona:center:0]] From Phoenix, we planned to drive north on the I-17 and at Flagstaff, head east on the I-40. We had reservations at a hotel in Gallup, New Mexico (just east of […]

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Dust is ever-present and ubiquitous around here

Karachi is Sunny but Cool

Today Hikam and I took a drive around town with a tour guide / taxicab driver. The idea was that we’d tell him what we needed to buy on a souvenir hunt and he’ll know the best places to take us. Although we tried very hard, we couldn’t find a T-shirt that reads My Friend Went To Karachi and All He Got For Me Was This Lousy T-shirt. In fact very little T-shirts were sold at the souvenir stores. They mostly have leather and fur goods, onyx-carved trinkets, ornate metal-ware and beautiful cloth for traditional wear. Like Malaysia, there are lots of motorcycles on the streets but wearing helmets are voluntary. Other unlikely vehicles found on the streets of Karachi is this human-powered banana-carrying cart and the donkey cart. We missed an opportunity to take a photo of a cart carrying metal drums (stacked at least 10 feet tall) drawn […]

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Out of the airport

So There We We Were At Jinnah International

Hikam and I arrived at about 2025 local time via the Pakistan International Airlines flight. It was enjoyable. I think I slept four out of the six hours airborne. The inflight movie was Pirates of the Carribeans – Dead Man’s Chest. Luckily the hotel transport people were waiting for our arrival. One less thing to worry about. It’s now almost 1000 local time in the morning, and we’ve had some breakfast. Access to Wireless LAN in only in the lobby on the ground floor and on the 6th and 7th floors. So, here I am in the lobby trying to get some information down the internet tubes.

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So did Ahbau

First There Was Lunch, Then It Rained

Today, Teik Sing, Ahbau & I went out for lunch, just because. We had nasi lemak ayam madu and talked some. The restaurant is situated near the Glenmarie industrial park’s Petronas gas station. Across the street was the Federal Highway. On the other side of that was the Batu Tiga train station. I thought the nasi lemak was delicious.   Then it rained.

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Hishgraphics H

Next Week I Fly To…

…Karachi, Pakistan. The journey will be nested between the coming two Saturdays. Since the company is small I have to run around getting stuff done in preparation for the trip. Between this and the course assignment – that had me on edge for weeks until I finally submitted it one week late – I had no time updating this here weblog. Heck, I didn’t even have time to come up with some artwork which I promised myself I’d come up with for recreation time. A stand-out moment during the running around would be last Friday when the Airline employee looked at me (when she realised I was booking the tickets for myself) and asked with a tinge of disbelief, “You’re the one going?” Hopefully by two weeks we’ll have some photos of Karachi here. (And hopefully we’ll have internet connection at the hotel there.)

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Torchwood Is An Anagram, See?

Some TV stuff: [[image:captjack.jpg:Captain Jack is looking for a sex-addicted gas alien:center:0]]I’ve seen the pilot of BBC’s new Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood and I like it so far. The production design is leaps and bounds better and a far cry from the time Tom Baker was the good doctor. It follows the adventures of the Torchwood Institute branch dubbed Torchwood 3 which is based in Cardiff. Apparently Torchwood One in London was destroyed in a recent Doctor Who episode (which I haven’t seen), Torchwood Two is in Glasgow (with a “very strange man”), Torchwood Three are the protagonists led by Captain Jack Harkness a former Doctor Who companion and Torchwood Four is… missing. We get to see the weirdness of the investigations (which involves aliens and other strange things slipping through a rift in and around Cardiff) through the eyes of newbie Gwen Cooper. In other news, Heroes‘ Hiro has […]

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sudo apt-get install linux joke

Before the Deepavali-Aidilfitri vacation I had zero experience working with a Linux machine. Some time fiddling about with Ubuntu in Pasir Mas changed that. (Not by much, but some.) I wouldn’t have understood this joke before three weeks ago, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get it. When I saw this one on RPG.net it really cracked me up. I have no clue who made this or where it originated, though. Updated: The webcomic is xkcd.

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