Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Game of Life

Long before I entered formal education, at the tender age of 6, I had already enrolled myself in Football’s School of Life ( or school FOR life, rather..). Armed with only a tiny Ladybird book guide and scorebook given to me by my father and immersing myself in my very first World Cup in 1982, these were some of the things I had learnt from this school called football. I learned about…

…Geography. with so many countries from all over the world participating and nice maps found inside my Ladybird book, I learnt about countries like Algeria and Egypt were from Africa, where New Zealand was, capitals of such countries, countries with unique names like Hungary…and even more unique players like Lazlo Kiss…till today, much of my geographical knowledge stems from my football knowledge.

…History. I learnt about the World Cup having been called the Jules Rimet trophy in the past, how it was stolen and then retrieved by a dog named Pico. I learnt that the first edition started in 1930 and was made aware there a was this major thing called the World War II that halted 2 editions in the 40s.

…Fashion. I saw through pictures how the shorts of football players evolved over the years from very long to very (obscenely) short, and then slightly long again. Even football jerseys looked like windbreakers in the past…which evolved to skin tight stuff of today.

…Math. The World Cup taught me how to count in multiples of four, which became a good tool, since I could re-use this knowledge with the Olympics too. It also taught me how to calculate points in the soccer table. Good knowledge to have.

…Community. I never really understood it back then but now as I read about how Malaysians donated and paid to see some matches to be telecast LIVE in 82, it taught me how strong a community is when driven by a united goal.

…Health. watching Maradona being sent off was a real heart breaker…as was watching the thrilling Italy-Brazil match which warned me early on this game is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

…LOVE. In 1982, even before the World Cup began, I had already fallen in love with Argentina. It was something I couldn’t really explain or reason, but there was this attraction that was so compelling and mesmerizing. At least, that would be my definition love at that age. Yes, Argentina came years before Man United and will always be my footballing love no. 1

In years to come, football will come to teach me more things like the dark arts of diving and simulation, time management, how mexicans love waving, and other things.

Are you ready for the World Cup this year? How has football touched or shaped your life?

the tiny book with a big influence on my life. 😀

Sudah Potong!

Image from discoveryeducation.com clipart

No, the blog title doesn’t suggest that I have joined the P1 bandwagon.

I have finally managed to terminate my ‘idle’ credit card which I’ve been meaning to do for a long time now. Did it just in time too, before they billed me for the addtional service tax..haha.

When it was all said and done, I was quite surprised I didn’t do this sooner. After all, after filling up the basic details in the form, all it took was a mere 15 seconds for the officer to verify the card, tippity tap tap on her keyboard and it was done.

Sure debunked my earlier thoughts that terminating the card was very much harder than applying for one. haha.

Have YOU terminated your ‘idle’ credit cards yet? 😀

Impressive Gomen Services

Recently, I was particularly impressed withВ two of our existing Government services (I kid you not.)

First was our MyEG Roadtax and Insurance renewal service. All it took was a simple phone call (too bad their online system couldn’t process my insurance renewal the day I tried). Within minutes, the quotation was sent to my email, complete with a PAY now link. Doing it online with MyEG also came with some discount on the roadtax price. A quick comparison with the quotation from an existing insurance company shows the prize quoted by MyEG as the middle person is actually cheaper! Cool! A click here and there later, my transaction went through.

Within 2 working days, the dispatch came a-calling with my road tax. Super efficient. Two thumbs up there. I remembered the first time I did it with MyEG, I was a bit skeptical and so I did it like 1.5 months before my roadtax expired. To my surprise it took them only like 2 weeks to bring the disc to my doorstep. In the following years, their turnaround time improved to one week to 5 days, etc…so I was pleasantly surprised to see they have imrpoved well this year to just 2 working days.:-D

Secondly, I was also impressed with our LHDN boys. About a week after I submitted my e-Filing last month, I received notification (via snail mail) that my documents has been received and they were all in order. About a week after, I received another snail mail from LHDN stating that they have confirmed I have overpaid and they now owe me X amount of ringgit. Another few days followed with another letter telling me my cheque was being processed and I should eb receiving it within the next 5 working days. I think it was 2-3 days later, my cheque from LHDN arrived. Impressive. Of course, I thought they could further improve by just sending text messages or emails to notify us of the updates. Too many snail mails still do kill trees. :-p Anyhow, my hats off to LHDN…you’ve certainly made the income tax period more pleasant and bearable.

Any other Govt services that has brought a smile to your face lately? 😀

Krusell: A Case in Point Worth Carrying Away

When I decided on getting the Omnia 2, the next thing on my list would be to find it a suitable shirt, ie. casing. My internet research showed me the numerous and typically default leather cases like Viva ( quite old-faashioned in my eye) and Capdcase (plastic sides may scratch the phone). There were also a few others with the belt holster that needs to be worn with the belt, and provided no flexibilty of removing the phone only. I was also quite shocked at the variety of cases and casings that has been designed for the iPhone. Sigh.

Anyway, as fate would have it, I was browsing through a shopping mall in Singapore for micro SD cards when I chanced upon this strange unheard of brand for leather cases called Krusell. (I later found out they are one of the leading manufacturers for leather cases in the world..)В Intrique, I called for the salesperson to take it out for me to have a look and also to test to see how my phone looks and feels inside of it.

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Whoa. This Swedish company had obviously produced one lovely case – almost completely smooth genuine leather, stitched to perfection along the sides (no scratching there!), with the button holes correctly positioned. And more, the hole at teh back where the speaker was also came with a mini-net to filter out dust ( I suppose..haha, nice touch). But best of all, the top part of the leather case completely blanks out the phone brand, which tends to remind me of Chelsea..

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The model in my hands also came with this unique featured called the Orbitflex, which enables me to ‘tear’ apart the portion of the case with the strap, so that the phone can be used more freely, especially for games and texting. Ingenious. The portion with the strap also comes with convenient slots for small pieces of papers, receipts, etc, and two pockets to hold and SD card and a microSD card. Kinda reminds me of those cup holders in cars. haha.

Apart from all those things, what sets Krusell cases apart from its competition is that it come with an international lifetime warranty! Cool. It just didn’t strike me back then when I snapped up the Krusell case was that logically speaking, who actually needs a leather case for a mobile phone that would last a LIFETIME?! Heck, I won’t be using my Omnia 2 forever, would I? Anyway, I thought it was a fantastic assurance of Krusell’s quality that helped me make up my mind easier.

Latter did I know, I got to put their lifetime warranty claim to the test about a month later… You see, after usingВ the case for just over a month, i somehow managed to tear apart not only the case portions holding only the phone, but also the plastic device Orbitflex that held both the case portions together.В Bummer.

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At first I thought I needed to locate some Krusell distributor store in Malaysia, and make my claim there, but as I browsed their website, I realised all I needed to do wasВ to file my claim online, together with a picture of the defect, receipt of purchase and my requestВ would be duly processed.

After my submission, I promptly received a notification that my case (pun intended)В has been received and is being processed. A day or two after, another notification came to say my claim has been approved and I should be receiving the replacement unit within 5-10 working days.В And as if by clockwork, my parcel arrived within their client charter with my brand new Krusell unit…all the way from Sweden. I had only expected them to send me the bottomВ portion of the case but was really impressed of their speed and graciousness inВ sending me a brand new unit. 😀

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Thanks Krusell, for giving me such a wonderful customer experience. This is one brand I wouldВ definitely highly recommend to all other mobile and PDA users.

Sticking with Maxis

After a few weeks of trying it out, I’ve decided to stick on with Maxis broadband….for now.

Whilst the quality of coverage isn’t as fantastic as I would want it to be, I found it to be relatively more stable and consistent compared to my previous line with Celcom which fluctuates from near zero-coverage to no coverage at all.

On good days, I could get average speeds of around 600kbps, whcih is pretty good for my area. Of course, I will still shoot Maxis a mail to request for them to improve their coverage here. Becoming my specialty (or curse..) I guess..Heh.

On bad days however, the speeds drop horryfyingly to around 100kbps…which still is faster than the fastest speedsВ I could squeeze out of Celcom.

Only thing I didn’t like about Maxis is their Auto launch of the Maxis Launchpad site whenever I connect. I could just imagine the total size of stuff being downloaded as the page reloaded there. So, I would just quickly close the Launchpad window to save my monthly threshold quota.

Here’s hoping for better broadband coverage from Maxis in the next few months..:-D

Bruised and Battered

Got a shock of my life last night when I witnessed one of my dogs, Rotti being dragged down our street likeВ a rag doll by a bigger, meaner, dog….sigh. A pity he hasn’t been eating enought o beef up his muscles…:-(

Putting the pieces together, it must have been the season when they are in heat, because Messi was erm, humping on Rotti after that…and besides, we can easily tell when the dog’s on heat. So I figured Rotti must have wandered off looking for some love and since there aren’t many female dogs in the neighbourhood, these street fights are bound to happen….sigh…

Thank God, he could still wobble home, the skin of the forehead all fleshed out….he was just licking his wounds the whole night long. After getting some quick advice from our vet, I applied yellow solution to his open wound. It was really sad and painful seeing him grimace and yelping as the solution dried over the wounds. Our vet will be coming to assess the situation over the next couple of days. Sigh.

Get well soon, Rotti!

Bruised and battered...

Critters Creepers..

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Whenever I’m driving down the road off the Silk Highway, with the Mines Shopping fair on my right, this poster will always catch my eye.

Apparently, CritterlandВ is some sort of a giantВ playgym conceptВ or in my mind, a SUPER PLAYGROUND for kids! However, I don’t know about you guys but the poster still gives me the creeps. I know it’s supposed to be child entertainment but if you put up a huge poster with a kid hanging for his dear life with a tiger grappling on to his leg?!!! Gasp! Horror!!

Anyway, I recently read a blog review of Critterland and it’s a relief to read it is actually quite a cool place to hang out and have fun! Will definitely take my kids there some day. Just hope it’s a friendly tiger…:-p

Thomas Cup One-liner Reviews

Malaysia’s Thomas Cup adventure ended prematurely in the mighty hands of China two days ago. These are my takes on possible one liner reviews of different people with differnt perspectives:

Optimism says “We lost to the better team..”

Reality says “We were trashed because we were the weaker team…”

Media says “China has progressed to the Final…”

Psychologists says “Our mental strength is not strong enough..

Mathematicians says “The odds were never in our favour in the first place…”

Politicians says “We can build a new badmintion academy worth Rm 3 million if we get your votes…”

Fans at the stadium says “We want our money back!”

Fans at home says “Eh?…Did I press on the ‘repeat’ button?…”

My Omnia Affair…part 4/4

What is a smartphone without games, right? So much more so for the Omnia 2 – with a screen size that big, one would expect tonnes of cool games to be playable on this gadget. Overall, it surely doesn’t disappoint. These are my personal top 10 favourite games installed and played (and still playing) to date…again in no particular order…

1. Krazy Kart Racing – Although I also have other racing games like Ashpalt 4 and Ferrari GT installed, my personal pick for racing games has to be this cutie which features G-sensor accelerometer racing, loads of unlocks, weapons (ice-freezing, blackholes, bats!!, etc.) and challenging courses, of course! 

2. Guitar Hero Mobile 5 – Rock on!! Super cool game with rocking music to beat! Limited only by the fact that one needs an Internet Connection to download the songs to play..

3. Aces Texas Gold ‘Em No Limits – One of the best mobile Poker games I’ve seen. Challenging tables, realistic bluffs but above all, easy gameplay controls.

4. Scrabble – I’m such a sucker for word games, so I JUST gotta have Scrabble on my phone! Nice graphics and good choice of opponent skill and level!

5. Little Shop of Treasures – if you have played Prime Suspects, you will love this. Similar concept where you need to find hidden items all over the shop. Really cool and high on re-playability.

6. Mini Golf Wacky World – Another good game with simple Monkey Island-type graphics. Play mini golf on extraordinary golf courses! Good rounds will unlock more courses!

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7. Assasins Creed 2 – Platform RPG at its best! Roaming, swinging, killing in the streets of Venice!

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8. Roland Garros 2009 – Although I’m not a fan of playing sports on mobile (esp football, basketball, etc.), I just had to try tennis, and this game didn’t disappoint. Great graphics, excellent sliding on clay action, tough opposition!

9. Resident Evil: Uprising – A shoot-em-up RPG which will probably take a couple of weeks to complete…great gameplay and graphics though.

10. HAWX – Fighter plane shoot-em-up! Woo hoo! Although controls via touch screen (although refreshing), isn’t really the same with good old joystick and buttons..:-P

Other games I have in mind for future play? Hmmmm, let’s see..

–В В В В В В В В В  A nice Pool game

–В В В В В В В В В  Pinball for WVGA screens, anyone?

–В В В В В В В В В  Zenonia, perhaps?

–В В В В В В В В В  Other card games – Blackjack, perhaps?

–В В В В В В В В В  More word-related games…Boggle would be fun..:-p

In summary, the Omnia 2 IMHO, has truly made its mark as a serious player in the smartphone market. Rich in features and powered by a pretty decent processor, I think I’m really gonna cherishand enjoy this toy for the next couple of years…and I’m certainly looking forward to what Omnia 3 or even Win7 will bring…:-D