August 30, 2006 

Melvyn's Project for a Happy Malaysia!

Rakan-rakan sekalian,

Selamat Hari Merdeka!

This is my hastily written contribution for Vincent's Project Happy Malaysia. I had originally planned to write something by Monday, but due to exams until Wednesday, it was just too hectic to complete.

Well, this article is mainly about one of my rare experiences with a cab driver. It had happened many, many moons ago when I was still going for tuition during PMR.

You see, normally while I was at that age, my main mode of transportation(aside from getting my Dad to pick me up at night) was public being just the bus. I was admittedly quite miserly at that time, and as a rule, never took the taxi whenever I could take the bus.

So what happened one fine day was that my parents were outstation, and I had a replacement tuition class that was scheduled to end at about 9pm. Murphy's Law struck, and I was left outside the tuition centre at 10.45pm.

Now me, being the ever optimistic guy, was so smart that I only brought enough money for a bus and NOT a taxi. Shit, and walking back is not going to be fun at all, as it started drizzling.

OK. So I really have to take a taxi this time. No one to call coz, well handphones weren't that common those days and I didn't have the luxury of owning one. And the public phones...hmm...I guess 'cordless' is the right word.

Never mind, I know what I'll do. I'll take a taxi back home, then borrow money from one of my neighbours to pay the cabbie. Lo and behold, with that thought I flagged down a cab. This one was a little different from the rest I guess because the cab driver happened to have his 8 and a half month pregnant wife sitting in front.

Reached back home. I had kept my eye on the meter as to have a rough idea on how much to ask from my next door neighbour. CRAP! Remember guys, if it CAN happen, it WILL happen. Not one, or two, or even three, but all four of my neighbours were out, empty garage spaces just gaping at me.

For a minute, I was just standing there, stunned by my rather unfortunate turn of events. The fare was around RM8 something, I think it was RM8.60. And I had about RM3-something with me.

And just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, it didn't. The cab driver just gave me a sympathetic look and told me to go ahead, "Tak perlu bayar-lah, kali ini tak apa, tetapi jangan buat macam ini lagi ok?"- or something to that effect.(Can't really remember, it was too bloody long ago)

No shit! A KL cab driver letting me of just like that. Maybe its because his wife was in the car, or maybe he was expecting a kid on the way, I don't know. At that time all I could think off was not to look at a gift horse in the mouth, savvy?

Nowadays, there have been many reports in the media about cabbies ripping off customers and the like. Call me naive but hey, you hardly read reports on the good deeds that cabbies do.It only takes a few rotten apples to make the whole barrel go bad eh?

Anyway, thats the only story I can think about currently that I can contribute for this years bloggers Merdeka Celebration.

Selamat Hari Merdeka semua!

August 28, 2006 

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young...(Filler)

Ever since it was published in 1997 in the Chicago Tribune, everytime I read this essay it never fails to remind me about what is TRULY important in life. Many of you have probably read this countless times, but hey, is another time gonna hurt that much?


Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97... wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Mary Schmich , 1997

July 27, 2006 

In, Or Out: The Black Bunny

The Black Bunny from Luke Chueh
I find this quite interesting, mainly because it, in a certain point of way probably reflects who I am, as well as most people around.

Hmm. How many of you people think that this image reflects your own personalities, in one small way or another?

July 21, 2006 

In, Or Out: Semi Precious Stones for a Good Cause!



TIME: 10.30am – 4.30pm
03 062031823


KASIH HOSPICE CARE SOCIETY is a non-profit, non-governmental organization with a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses and volunteers offering emotional, spiritual and practical support to patients with life threatening diseases such as cancer and AIDS.

They serve clients of any ethnic and religious background, and provide services free of charge. Public donations is their source of income. Therefore the more generous the public, the more they can help people needing hospice services.


Come on guys, this is a great opportunity to buy some good stuff for the gals; and its all for a worthy cause. Even if you are not that interested in the stones, come on by and support this event, coz hey, this is for the elderly and we'll all be there someday.

July 10, 2006 

Are You In, Or Out: Took a Jap this me?

Answered this quiz during the half time break between the World Cup Final between France and Italy...while Shakira was performing. Bah..

You Are a Sarariiman!

Or "salaryman." Whatever. Treadmill off, treadmill on.
Most of the sleep you get is on Tokyo's extensive subway system, since you are putting in 14 hour days.
You're a workaholic who works hard for no overtime. And vacations? Forget about it.
You spend most of your trip hunting around for gifts to bring back all of your coworkers.

July 05, 2006 

In, Or Out: North Korea with missiles?

Just a personal view.

North Korea test-launched 3 missiles, 2 short range Scud-like and one long-range Taepodong-2, the launch of a fourth missile was being determined.

All during the Germany Vs.Italy game.


'North Korea test-launched a Taepodong-2 missile early Wednesday along with two short-range rockets, but the long-range missile apparently failed, U.S. officials said.

North Korea's preparations for a long-range missile test have been closely monitored for weeks. A senior State Department official told CNN the Taepodong-2, which some U.S. analysts fear could hit the western United States, appears to have failed in flight.

Military officials told CNN the long-range missile appeared to have failed less than a minute after launch.

Two smaller North Korean missiles were fired from a different site shortly before the larger missile was tested, U.S. intelligence and State Department officials said.

U.S. military sources said those two missiles landed in the Sea of Japan, one closer to Russia and the other closer to Japan.'

IMHO, although the official report says that the launch of the long range missile failed which indicates that North Korea is still years away from launching a proper ICBM(Inter-continental Ballistic Missile), I think it is just a short time before North Korea causes a major global crisis, looking at the way they stick their fingers up to everyone else.

Just something to ponder...

Edit: Italy won 2-0 in extra time. Tough luck for the Germans.

June 16, 2006 

In, Or Out: Fast & The Furious - Tokyo Drift

Just watched Tokyo Drift, before the match between England and Trinidad and Tobago.

First of all, I would just like to mention a little about the previous installments. The first movie with Vin Diesel was basically the life of street racers that hijack some semi-trailers. It tried to concentrate on aspects of life as a skilled street racer and an undercover cop that is stuck in between.

Then we have 2 Fast 2 Furious. Aside from the first race and race for between the Mitsubishis and the Dodge Challenger & Camaro, it kinda lost its heading as a storyline, meaning that it almost had nothing to do with street racing. It felt more like a cop show with specialist racers.

Now Tokyo Drift. I would just say it has gone back to street racing, just in a new place (ie not in US of A). Overall I would call it definitely better then the 2nd movie and almost on par with the first movie. Gone are the NOS except for one scene and its all about rear wheel drive now. New cars are in, mostly Japanese with the slight feeling of inevitibility of an American car showing up in the form of a Ford Mustang for the 'American Muscle' aspect. Anyhow I don't think it was possible to put a Skyline engine into a Mustang that easily.

This show featured an EVO 9,RX-8, a few Fairladies, Nissan Silvias and a few others that I can't really recognise cause it just whizzed by. The characters were talking about a Skyline but I must have missed it cause I didn't see it. There was a Viper at the beginning and oh yeah, a familiar looking Camaro at the very end. I won't spoil it, but the last few minutes and the oh-so-cool cameo made me like this show a lot more, which kinda leaves it open for another Fast and The Furious installment.

Overall, nice to watch especially for the cars and the hot Japanese girls. The races are better(especially the first one) to watch except for the last race, where I think the Toyota Corolla AE86 in Initial D shows a way better performance. But, thats another story altogether.

June 13, 2006 

Another World Cup post....on Balls...

Why the new Adidas Teamgeist football is a bane for goalies?

'In the opening match of soccer's World Cup Friday, German midfielder Torsten Frings scored an amazing goal from 40 yards out. The ball started off straight and then tailed sharply to the right in the last 10 yards or so. It was an unstoppable shot, but with a different ball it might have been a simple save.

A scientist has explained why a new ball being used in this year's World Cup is frustrating goalies.

The new Adidas Teamgeist football, as it is called, has 14 panels instead of the 26 or 32 that traditionally create the hexagonal pattern.

Fewer panels means fewer seams, which will make the ball behave more like a baseball, says Ken Bray, a sports scientist at the University of Bath in the UK.

Complex whirls of air cause a spinning ball to drift toward the side that's spinning away from the ball's direction of movement. A ball that's not spinning can bounce around unpredictably. Pitchers rely on this physics when throwing knuckleballs.

A good knuckleball is crazy because the ball rotates lazily in the air and the seams disrupt the air flow around the ball at certain points on the surface, Bray said.

"With a very low spin rate, which occasionally happens in football, the panel pattern can have a big influence on the trajectory of the ball and make it more unpredictable for a goalkeeper," Bray said last week.

Bray suggests one way to watch for the effect on TV.

"Watch the slow motion replays to spot the rare occasions where the ball produces little or no rotation and where goalkeepers will frantically attempt to keep up with the ball’s chaotic flight path," he said.'

Hmm...I didn't realise this until watching the slow-mo replays of another game. Wonder who standardise these balls, and what is the criteria?

June 01, 2006 

In,Or Out: Books and readers...

Ever wonder why some people read loads of books and others just don't bother? And I'm talking about novels be it fiction or non-fiction, not those that you have to study for exams.

For me, I was definitely in the nerd/geek department. I still remember my primary school days, where I always sit at the back of the class reading a science fiction novel or fantasy book, either a Forgotten Realms, Star Wars, Raymond E. Feist and David Eddings. As a matter of fact, I still keep up with those books nowadays 12 years later when I have the time. To me its always a pleasure to escape into the realm of imagination. Although nowadays its more of Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy and Lee Child. (I refuse to mention Dan Brown; thats just a bandwagon)

Anyhow, remember there was a survey done some time back saying that the average Malaysian only reads about 2 pages of a book A YEAR! When I first read that I couldn't believe it, comparing myself at the age of 15, consuming loads of books per year depending on my pocket money and the availability of old paperbacks from 2nd hand bookstores.

But today, it still eludes me why the average Malaysian reads so little. No time, no interest etc all seem to be the most common excuse I hear but somehow, I just can't get it. But then, I'm just 23 years old, what do I know?

May 26, 2006 

In,Or Out: X Men 3

Definitely out...

There are some spoilers, but since its such a crappy show, you shouldn't worry much....

What the heck does it mean, The Last Stand? With all the hype, I was having visions of all the mutants in one big war with really cool fight scenes. I suppose "The Last Stand" probably refers to where the scriptwriters all line up in a row waiting to get shot.

Actually, aside from the Golden Gate Bridge being relocated, everything else about this movie is at the most, mediocre at best. The one thing I liked about the previous X Men movies was the one-on-one fight scenes between the superpowered mutants. This time round, it was all too disappointing. Storm kicking around some unknown mutant around, Iceman against Pyro etc, in a word, was ultimately BORING.

And the could they produce such horrendous material? I know, they are trying to get Wolverine to bring off the show, but at the expense of killing of major characters so early?

It feels like the writers are intentionally trying to get their fans to HATE this show. Its a wonder Stan Lee actually still wanted his obligatory cameo appearance.I guess Bryan Singer was smart to pull out of doing this one, though we'll have to wait for Superman Returns to confirm that.

Long story short, don't waste your money on this show. Save it for the 12% increase tariff electricity bill next month and the 2 hours reading random ramblings of other peoples blogs.