Monthly Archives: February 2010

Poor Baby…

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Talk about scary window shopping!

Was walking in a mall one day when I noticed this horrific looking window-shopper model ad for a baby-car seat carrier, complete with a sad-looking baby mannequin model! Notice how gruesome the model baby is placed in the car seat?! Do the manufacturers even expect to bag any sale from this scary pose? The car seat doesn’t even look safe at all! :-p *shudders..*

Makes you feel sad for the mannequin baby, doesn’t it? :-p

PutraWOWjaya

Picked up this interesting piece of news today from the Star Online that there are PLANS to create the ‘wow’ factor in Putrajaya in an effort to make it a more vibrant place for social networking and community activities (read: so that it won’t look like a dead town at night..)

Some of the the planned projects in store for Putrajaya over the next few years include an Auto-City, a hotel (what? Hard Rock Putrajaya?!), a museum (oh yeah…BIG wow factor here!), В hypermarket (another one?!), etc.

Sounds interesting? I don’t know about you but the only skip in my heart is the concern over the lack of ideas of the powers that be. Sigh. Here are some of my personal suggestions of putting that Wow factor into Putrajaya…

1. Instead of the dull and boring Auto-City, why not create an AutoBOT city…now, THAT’s crackalackin’!

2. Have fun boat rides to those Alcatraz looking islands all over the Putrajaya lakes. Better still, make each island a theme-related island, like one Jurassic Park Island, one Lost island, one Pulau Batu Puteh…:-p

3. So many bridges built leading into Putrajaya and the developers forgot putting in ONE draw-bridge?! Sigh.

4. Bring the EYE of Malaysia to Putrajaya…saves time over state squabblings too…

5. Petaling street franchises along the main Precint 1 road?…those nights will sure be vibrant then!

6. В One casino next to MoF….hmmmmm.

7. Hot-air balloon rides!

8. Night Go-Karts around the precincts!

9. Turn the lake into a huge man-made beach…for Putrajaya Full-Moon parties! Yeah!

10. Conduct Saturday Night Live-type performances in the Courthouse Areas. Hmmm…sounds apt too. :-p

What would you do to put that WOW factor in Putrajaya?

Thumbizy

What is it? An Instant Website Thumbnail Generator
What’s the URL? www.thumbizy.com

For people managing blogs, I’m sure you would encounter times when you needed to add in a thumbnail of a particular website to enhance your blog posting or page. If inserted correctly, it will really make your blog posting looking classy and professional.

When I was developing my blogs, I went around searching for such sites and/or even freewares and was quite disappointed in some of the ones I found. Then I came across this beta version of such a site called Thumbizy which I found to be fairly easy and intuitive to navigate and use. This is how the site looks like:

(Medium, 250px width; No Effect; Full Page)

One just needs to go to the Thumbizy site (it’s only a ONE-page wonder!), key in the URL of the desired website/page you want to make a thumbnail of, customise the look (ie. size of width, rounded corners, shadow effect, etc.) and finally click GO! and wait while for Thumbizy to generate the HTML codes or other popular embedding codes for you to share or paste into your blog. Really easy.

These are samples of my other sites using Thumbizy‘s various customisations:

Small (180px width), Round corners, Visible Page

Medium (250px width), Reflect Effect, Visible page

Big (360px width), Shadow Effect, Visible Page

Very Small (100px width), No Effect, Visible Page

Simple and neat eh? Perhaps my only grouse is that the generator may not be as smooth and fast as I’d like it to be, and I’m not sure if the loading speed of a page with such generated thumbnails would be slower or not. Sometimes, the thumbnail even fails to generate. Hmmmm. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend this nifty tool/gadget it to all bloggers. :-)

Review

ProsCons
Easy to use, Cool customisationsOccasional failure to generate thumbnail, Seems to slow down page loads
Rating
80.0%

Overall Rating:

Microwaved New Year…

This year, it’s not only the cookies that are causing the heatiness…

It has really been a ‘hotter than usual’ CNY so far! It’s like a natural microwave phenomenon out there! Clothes hung out to dry seemed to get burnt within minutes, clothes hung inside the house could also get dry within a few hours! And I could have sworn I saw some people bringing out their cooking apparatus outdoors…

Anyway, despite the heatwave, it has been quite a fairly eventful CNY todate, and as usual, when laziness takes over, I let my photos blog for themselves…

Our reunion dinner feast - fully bloated after that..
Collin ushering in the New Year with banging the drum!
A Kodak moment for the kids with their Ah Kong and Ah Ma
Squeezed in a simple pre-birthday celebration for Collin, who will turn TWO this Friday!
Caitlynn's first CNY - "Oh my! the red packet's almost as big as me!!"
Ahh...nice decor which lights up the night!

Waving Flag (World Cup 2010 Theme Song)

After my recent close encounter with the World Cup, my excitement for this global event has increased tremendously by the day! It was that same day that I was heavily exposed to the World Cup’s catchy theme song, Waving Flag – a upbeat, reggae-styled number by K’naan that is sure to catch your attention and put you in the right mood as you prepare for the actual kick-off of World Cup 2010 in South Africa this summer. My blog post today is all about sharing, so please put on those shades, sit back with ya pina colada in hand, and enjoy the World cup 2010 theme song!

So, with CNY coming up, many of you would be travelling, right? How about downloading the song into your iPod, MP3 player, CD, etc and move along to the beat all the way home to your kampung! Guaranteed to keep В you tapping your feet and fingers and in the process keep you wide awake in your journey!

Psst…by the way, if anyone is free enough to edit the song into a mobile ringtone clip, pls remember to share it with me, ok?!! :-p

Waving Flag – K’naan

Waving Flag (K’naan)
When i get older, they’ll call me freedom
Just like a Waving Flag.

[Chorus]
When I get older, I will be stronger,
They’ll call me freedom, just like a Waving Flag,
And then it goes back, and then it goes back,
And then it goes backBorn to a throne, stronger than Rome
but Violent prone, poor people zone,
But it’s my home, all I have known,
Where I got grown, streets we would roam.
But out of the darkness, I came the farthest,
Among the hardest survival.
Learn from these streets, it can be bleak,
Except no defeat, surrender retreat, So we struggling, fighting to eat and
We wondering when we’ll be free,
So we patiently wait, for that fateful day,
It’s not far away, so for now we say[Chorus]

So many wars, settling scores,
Bringing us promises, leaving us poor,
I heard them say, love is the way,
Love is the answer, that’s what they say,
But look how they treat us, Make us believers,
We fight their battles, then they deceive us,
Try to control us, they couldn’t hold us,
Cause we just move forward like Buffalo Soldiers.

But we struggling, fighting to eat,
And we wondering, when we’ll be free
So we patiently wait, for that faithful day,
It’s not far away, but for now we say,

[Chorus] 2x

(Ohhhh Ohhhh Ohhhhh Ohhhh)
And everybody will be singing it
(Ohhhh Ohhhh Ohhhhh Ohhhh)
And you and I will be singing it
(Ohhhh Ohhhh Ohhhhh Ohhhh)
And we all will be singing it
(Ohhh Ohh Ohh Ohh)

[Chorus] 2x

When I get older, when I get older
I will be stronger, just like a Waving Flag,
Just like a Waving Flag, just like a Waving flag
Flag, flag, Just like a Waving Flag

Learning the ABC$…

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Ever wondered how much our kid’s toys have evolved these days? Look no further…check out the ABCs rubber mat play-thingy that was given to Collin as a present recently…

Not only have the manufacturers built in the required ABCs like they were supposed to, they have also ingeniously managed to squeeze in an element of survival in today’s world for the kids of this generation, right there in the bottom right corner – $…. ’nuff said. 😀

One for the Saints!

AP Pictures, Yahoo!

What a shoot-out in Florida between the top two seeds this year! SuperBowl XLIV is finally in the books! I was rooting for the Colts but in the end, I guess I have to admit that they came up well short in this big game, and the Saints played like they wanted it more. Sigh. Congrats to New Orleans anyway…they really deserved it.

Final Score: New Orleans Saints 31 Indianapolis Colts 17

These were some of my personal notes from the game:

– Both QBs played efficiently with pass protection coverage at its very best, it was no wonder Brees and Manning totaled up more than 60 completed passes!

– Turning point for me was in the 4Q when Indy decided to shoot for a 51-yard FG when leading by 1 point. WHY?!!!!

– Superbowl Stat: No team with an intercepted TD has ever lost…very much highlighted when Manning’s only interception resulted in a 74-yard TD which sealed the game

– Gotta give credit to Saints coach for taking big gambles on a big day. Starting off the 2nd half with an on-side kick (which they recovered for good position), going for a 2-point conversion after a TD in the 3Q gave the Saints a 22-17 lead (which was converted), going for lot’s of 40+ FG attempts to help the Saints stay with teh Colts in the first half.

– Garrett Hartley can really punt the ball! How many 40+ yarders did he put in between the posts on Superbowl-pressure soaked matchday. Whoa.

Here is the Yahoo! Sports’ quarter by quarter breakdown with key stats and plays:

FIRST QUARTER

MIAMI – The focus was on Dwight Freeney(notes) all week long. But in the opening quarter, it was teammatePeyton Manning(notes) commanding all of the attention.

Manning engineered a pair of first-quarter scores – the second an 11-play, 96-yard drive that ended with a 19-yard touchdown reception by Pierre Garcon(notes) to give the Colts a 10-0 lead.

SCORE: Colts 10, Saints 0

Key play: Marques Colston(notes) lost his concentration at the wrong time. On second-and-7 from the 50-yard line, Drew Brees(notes) found Colston for what should have been a first down. Instead, the ball went through Colston’s hands, hitting him right in the helmet. Another incompletion led to a punt, which resulted in the Colts’ touchdown.

Key injury: Freeney was regularly on the field, but seemingly had no impact as Brees had time to look for his targets.

Key stat: Total yards (Colts 154, Saints 36).

SECOND QUARTER

After two non-productive first-quarter possessions, Drew Brees and the Saints found rhythm in the second. Unfortunately for New Orleans though, the increased offense led to a pair of field goals.

New Orleans got on the scoreboard with a 46-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley with 9:34. However, a later drive into the red zone ended with no points.

SCORE: Colts 10, Saints 6

Key play: After Mike Bell slips down on 3rd-and-goal from the one, Sean Payton opts to go for it instead of kicking the sure field goal. On fourth-and-goal from the 1, Brees hands off to Bell, who is stood up by Gary Brackett and dropped for no gain. Colts get the ball at their own 1 with 1:49 to go.

Health watch: Freeney made his presence felt, sacking Brees on third down with 10:09 left in the quarter.

Key stat: Total yards (Saints 143, Colts 15).

THIRD QUARTER

New Orleans’ failure to score on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the second quarter didn’t deter coach Sean Payton from making another risky call.

The Saints caught Indy off guard with an onside kick to start the second half. New Orleans’ recovery was the start of a fast-paced third quarter that saw the teams score on three straight series.

SCORE: Colts 17, Saints 16

Key play: On the opening kickoff of the second half, New Orleans goes for the onside kick and Saints’ reserve linebacker Jonathan Casillas recovers the ball at New Orleans’ 44. Six plays later, Pierre Thomas scores on a 16-yard pass from Brees.

Health watch: Freeney went back to being a non-factor as Brees had an abundance of time to seek out his targets.

Key stat: Manning: 7-of-8 passing, 65 yards

FOURTH QUARTER

The Saints captured their first Super Bowl title by knocking off the Colts 31-17. New Orleans rallied in the fourth quarter, sparked by another big Sean Payton decision and huge play by the defense.

Following Jeremy Shockey’s two-yard scoring reception with 5:42, Payton challenged the ruling on the field that Lance Moore did not catch the two-point conversion. After a booth review, it was ruled that Moore did indeed maintain possession.

New Orleans sealed the outcome with an interception return for a touchdown on Indy’s ensuing possession.

FINAL SCORE: Saints 31, Colts 17

Key play: With 3:24 left, the Colts faced a third-and-5 on the Saints 31. Tracy Porter intercepted Manning’s pass intended for Reggie Wayne and returns it 74 yards for the clinching touchdown.

Key injury: Saints defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove left the game at 3:24 with a left leg injury. However, he returned on Indy’s next possession, drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty.

Key stat: Saints outscore Colts 15-0.

Unbored Games?

Check out the ultra-cool ‘remake’ of everyone’s favourite classic boardgame – Monopoly. Should be an instant hit with today’s generation! Here is the news extracted from Yahoo:

Image from Yahoo!

Hasbro has unveiled the design of the new 75th anniversary edition of their classic board game, Monopoly, set to hit stores in fall of 2010. “Monopoly: Revolution Edition” is slick and round instead of dull and square, with debit cards and an ATM instead of paper money and a banker, clear plastic representations of the classic tokens (bye-bye, little boot!), and clips of popular songs (like Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day,” and Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”) that play after certain actions.

Monopoly’s changes will undoubtedly appeal to the 21st century’s techie youngsters. For one thing, the adjusted-for-inflation prizes are more impressive.В В Players can collect $2 million dollars for passing “Go” instead of a mere $200 — practically what the average kid gets for losing a tooth these days. But it’s bound to annoy die-hard fans of the comforting classic version, who might send it directly to jail come next fall.

So far, the Internet echo chamber’s biggest criticism focuses on the new version’s tight security.В It seems that when it comes to Monopoly, half the fun comes fromВ cheating by stealing from the till when nobody’s looking, a loophole the new version closes with its fancy electronic banking. (However, an electronic banking version has actually been on the market for years.) Surely our nation’s tech-savvy youth will somehow find a way to game the “Monopoly” system, assuming they can be pried away from screens long enough to start a game.

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What other boardgames (or bored-games, rather) would you like to see get a facelift too? Immediate picks that come to my mind were Snakes & Ladders, Ludo and Scrabble.

What are your choices?

Hotspot Spotted!

Have you heard of a place called Cyberjaya? Ever wondered what temperature is like in this industrial growing, knowledge-powered hub?

Here is visual proof of how HOT it is in Cyberjaya….even the cactus is wilting in the heat!!!

Yeah, it’s an oven in here alright…a real hotspot…literally..:-P

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My World Cup Adventure

It was definitely an afternoon to remember. My World Cup adventure began last Friday. Seriously.

When I heard that the actual World Cup would be travelling to Malaysia, I started to plot my scheme to view it up close and personal. Last Friday, I managed to coax Peter to be my partner in crime to rush down to Mid-Valley, KL during my extended lunch break, to catch a glimpse of this magnificent work of art. And boy was it worth it…

It was no surprise that the Friday jam going into Mid-Valley area was pretty bad. After all, I personally don’t think the Cup will ever be able to make its way to our shores, nor would we be able to even get a sniff at qualifying for the World Cup. So there we were, braving the noon jam towards our goal.

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When we managed to inch our way to MV, we noticed most of the car parks were already full, so we decided to take our chances in The Gardens where there was supposed to be ample car parking spaces. So, round and round and round we went up the Garden’s car park till eventually we found the FINAL parking spot on the rooftop! What relief!! it was certainly meant to be…:-p

Anyway, much time has been lost on the road so we quickly made our way to see how we could secure the tickets and lo and behold, Coca-Cola set up a carnival booth thingy that required people, okay.. fanatics to buy two 1.5L bottles of Coke to be eligible to ‘spin the wheel’ for a chance to get those tickets! *&*%^*(% The wheel has 10 sections with six of them offering the desired tickets and the other four some free gift. Some simple arithmetic told us at 60% probability, we would then need at least 5 spins to get TWO tickets. So we got into the human queue (serious!) to purchase 10 bottles of coke at RM 2.70 each. I told Pete that we should think of it as stocking up for the New Year…:-D

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When we finally bought our bottles, we zoomed over the ‘wheel of fortune’ and was immediately stunned when the first words that came out from the guy manning the wheel said , “How many tickets you want ah?!” *&^*^$*(^&(* It’s a SCAM! Sigh…anyway, we just spun the wheel out of courtesy, took our two tickets, three free gifts (coke bottle air horns…) and 10 Coke bottles (repeat: It’s for CNY, It’s for CNY…) back to the car in the Gardens; and hurried back to MV convention centre.

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“Got it!! Whew!”

We made it through the entrance flooded with hordes of people around 2.00pm, skipped through all the video game kiosks (sigh..) and patiently stood outside the ‘Refreshment Tunnel’ and waited our turn. You see, it is like a tour of sorts – you’d need to be guided through a path till you see the Cup at the end. Quite well organised. If this was done on a weekend, the crowd would be massive! The next highlight was a 10 minute video clip in 3D of highlights from past World Cups and also a glimpse of what the World Cup of the future holds. Pretty good clip. Only complain is that we had to stand throughout the video. Would the stadiums of the future be without chairs? Hmmm.

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The best host country ever!

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Look who won the Fair Play award? Who says Argentinians don’t play fair?!

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Argentina’s secondВ triumph!

Next up was a gallery of past World Cups that led us to the coveted World Cup. Of course, I made the required stops at the BEST years of the World Cup competition, ie 1976 and 1986. Didn’t even bother to blink at the scandalous 1990 and sad 2006 editions. Whilst each edition’s kiosks was quite well decorated with relevant info and the ball used in the competition, I was a bit curious as to the strange bits of info highlighted. For example, on the 1978 wall, the info went on and on about the Scottish team?!! Strange indeed.

WC Pic 2 with Pete

Up close and personal…

The climax of the tour came when we arrived at the World Cup display area. FINALLY!! It looked much smaller in real life though its value is definitely worth much bigger. It was securedly placed within the glass display and we weren’t even allowed to use our cameras or lean close to it or even touch it! Inches apart and I couldn’t even hold it up! Aaargh! Anyway, we were sort of rushed through the seemingly practiced routine of pose, click and leave. The polaroids were ready for pick-up at the exit.

Not really happy with the entire rushed through the trophy room thingyt but being able to stand so close to the real thing certainly made my day.

Toll expenditures – Rm 5

Traffic Jams – 30 minutes bumper to bumper

Parking stress – 20 minutes looking for a spot

Coke – Rm 27

Exercise – Approx 20 kms covered on foot

Lunch – missed totally because of need to rush back to office.

Standing inches away from the WORLD CUP – Priceless.

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My loot of memories..