elb's hovel of thoughts

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Malaysian UK Bloggers Meet?

I am bored, and since Vish has decided to make herself conviniently available in London the coming weekend, why don't those of us at London have a little meet? That is, the 1st or the 2nd of October. Or is a few days too short notice? I was also thinking that it might be the best date besides around Christmas, especially since half the universities haven't reopened yet.

Please don't appoint me as coordinator or something for the time being at any rate, since I have no Internet connection (I'm currently at a friend's somewhere in the country) for the time being.

So erm, yea. :P

Update: Due to uncertainties (like me having no proper Internet access, and lack of notice), this idea has been postponed temporarily. Vish shall keep you posted. However if you're in London and wanna meet for a drink or two, just let me/ us know!

Update: It looks like it is probably on 22nd October. Come come come!

Suggested venue: Rendezvous @ Leicester Square. Good cakes and ice cream aplenty!

Thursday, September 22, 2005


My apologies for not having been able to post at all for the past few days. I have returned to London with no Internet access at all, and would only get it early October.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Subnotebook LCD screen crack

A couple of weeks ago, I bought myself a new subnotebook for my academic purposes, a Fujitsu Lifestyle 7011S to replace my old laptop. Its not much, you don't get terribly a lot of features for the price compared with say, Toshiba. However, its solid in comparison; and it has biometric security features inbuilt (that alone is worth the bragging rights) :P

Its great, sitting down at the Ming Tien in Taman Megah and using the free WiFi; but even more exciting is going wardriving with a friend. I don't think there are more innocious activities that can get mixed up with suspicious behavior than wardriving. After all, half the time you spend your time seated in your car and trying to access various networks while the other half is spent circling around neighbourhoods.

But much to my horror, when I opened it two days ago for maintainence, the top right of the LCD was cracked:

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Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Barely three weeks old and hardly used!

My friend told me that she thinks that its a manufacturing defect; sure enough, the store I bought it from told me that I had to go directly to the distributor/ Fujitsu itself. Sigh. I'm leaving this Sunday, and I need it to come with me. Argh! Fingers crossed that they will give me a one-to-one exchange.

UPDATE: They repaired the cracked panel for me, within 24 hours. Very pleased with the service!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Restaurant Hanabi

Situated along Jalan P. Ramlee somewhere in between Nouvo and Modesto's, we chanced upon a Japanese restaurant, Hanabi. We thought of heading down towards Wisma UOA for their buffet (we could see it in the distance and because Hanabi looked kind of posh!), but as it was running late (1.40pm) and because I saw something I really wanted, we decided to stick with Hanabi.

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Picture taken of a lighted signage inside the restaurant.

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The entrance to the restaurant.

Being lunch time, there were white collar workers and executives in comparison with us, dressed in t-shirts and bermudas. That was not a deterrent though, we slipped into out seats and appreciated the delightful interior.

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G picked the chicken teriyaki set at RM19, while I ordered what I came for.
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The chicken teriyaki set. Well worth the money, G judged.

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Kobe beef! I've been dying to try that for years! And I like the tea cup too :)

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A close up of the beef, all 60g of it, along with some shiitake mushrooms, okra, carrot, pickle, asparagus and spring onions (some of them cropped). Miso sauce and soy sauce on the side for dipping. RM80.

Such delicate beef doesn't need much cooking, just a little bit would do. If you want to have well cooked beef, you might as well go and buy stale beef and cook it.
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We also ordered ourselves a portion of Ishiyaki garlic rice. It came in two bowls, one of them from heated stone. An egg was cracked into it, and the garlic rice mixed along with it and served by a SYT. A house speciality, but I found it average.

And as an afterthought when last orders were being taken, we ordered steamed gyoza as well.
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I can't personally say anything about this because it was my first time trying it. RM10. G said that everything was 'ecstacy' though! We enjoyed ourselves, eating slowly and savouring every bite until they finally chased us out at 3pm. A must go!

Trekking along Jalan Sultan Ismail

Arguably one of the busiest and longest roads in KL city centre (and not to mention one of the weirdest traffic flow systems around. [Traffic goes in two one way routes from either end, meeting around the middle at Jalan P. Ramlee, and you need to swap between the left and right sides of either side to get to a building across the road]) is Jalan (Jln) Sultan Ismail (SI). It is guarded by Jln Imbi and Jln Kuching on either ends, with other important roads like Jln Bukit Bintang, Jln P. Ramlee, Jln Ampang and Jln Raja Chulan. KLzens should know what I'm on about.

We decided to transverse the entire length of it on foot, to see what photographs we could capture, and basically to take a closer look at the typical life in the Golden Triangle. Because let's face it, on the road you'd never really bother, or have the time to take a closer look around, especially with the difficulty finding reasonably priced car parking facilities.

The starting point was Berjaya Times Square (BTS), parking RM4 total. I spent a fortune there later in the day buying several books from Borders, and a worthless lameass DVD boxset. The goal was to walk all the way until the Shangri-La hotel at the Jln Kuching end and return, either by monorail or by foot.

It started off alright, I almost got knocked by a taxi at the Jln SI/ Jln Imbi junction while I was standing in the middle of the road (the traffic lights were supposed to be red, but the damn taxi came anyway) finding an angle to take a picture of BTS.

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It was a process I repeated a couple more times as I stood in the middle of Jln Raja Chulan, trying to take a decent shot of the Standard & Chartered building:

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I love the architecture on this building!

More pictures:

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Central Plaza, frontal shot. I need to work more on getting a good center.

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Central Plaza, diagonal shot. Looking more familiar this time?

We popped by for lunch along Jln P. Ramlee. Review coming up!
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The Restaurant Hanabi

Oh by the way, if you look along the middle of the road where the monorail is, you'll see a very, very long advertisement courtesy of Malaysia Airlines.

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Can you decipher it? This is just one out of 26 similar adverts.....

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Monorail passing through!

Also, this signboard outside HardRock Cafe tickled me:

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No Kapchais allowed! Only Harleys etc etc ;)

We turned back and headed towards Bukit Bintang after we reached the Elevated Expressway as the sky didn't look very forgiving, grabbing some expatriate priced ice-blended stuff from Gloria Jeans @ P.Ramlee along the way.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Cheated of 'Original' DVDs

While at Times Square (Berjaya), we chanced upon a video store somewhere. I can't describe it here because I have no idea where the hell things are located at BTS due to its funky layout, but its somewhere along where they have this bazaar thingy. Somewhere around this area:
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So anyway, I was dying to watch the fourth season of 24. I have managed to somehow abstain from it for the past few months, in the aim of watching the season in a marathon run. And guess what, they had 24!

Hence I asked him how much it would cost.

Ah Beng: 90 ringgit. (he later claimed he said 95 ringgit, I don't know if he bullshitted me or whether I misheard.)
Me: Original?
AB: Of course
M: Oh okay. I'll be back later

-Fast forward several hours-

M: *Picks up box* I would like this, please.
*AB walks to a cardboard box* *Red flag alert*
M: Eh, how come the DVDs are like that? I've bought them before and they come in a nice foldable storage space.

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How my Seasons 2 and 3 boxsets look like.

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Look at this shit, it sucks in comparison. I later found out that the originals sold here are packed like that. Phhft.

AB colleague: Different company. *Red flag*
My mind: What different company? What the hell?

AB puts the DVDs inside the casings and into the box, and I gingerly pay for it. We go out, have a little discussion, and I return to ask AB to play the DVD for me. It looked to play normal, so I accepted it. He refused to give me a receipt. I almost wanted to return the fucking boxset there and then, but my desire to want to watch it somehow overrode logic.

A short while ago, I decide to start watching the first few episodes, so I popped the first DVD in. Holy fuck, the opening cinematic looked familiar! So I repeated it, and my face turned red as I recognized the opening cinematic from season 3. And so were the pictures used for the main menus, I recognized almost every single one of them. I shouldn't have been able to if I hadn't watched season 4 yet. WTF. I popped in more DVDs at random. The season 3 opener played and more season 3 pictures were seen!! And on top of that, some of the episodes opened with some TV logo clearly seen on the top left of the screen. KNNCCBMCH WHERE GOT ORIGINAL. And at least one DVD isn't working at all ($)&!*(#%&*!#%&, and the quality isn't what I have seen of the previous seasons.

I took a closer look at the boxset. URGH.

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Mistakes mistakes mistakes all over!

The Complete Four Season? What the heck? I should have seen that earlier! But I did not. And what the hell is that DTS logo doing on the spine of the plastic boxes? A check at Borders a while later showed that the four covers would form an image together. But this? What the hell!!

Take a look inside the box:
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Can someone tell me what the hell is wrong with the DVD print? And about how the DVDs are simply kept like that? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I am NOT happy. I want the original original. Maybe the AB thinks that all that I want to see are just the main clips. Fuck no! I love these series too much that I will give it the support it rightly deserves. I am going back in a day or so, and I hope I can resolve this and get my money back, receipt or no. Lesson learnt on my part though; it was too cheap to be true. Bah.

Update: I managed to get a return on it, in exchange for several typical DVD9 discs. I have also gotten my hands on a proper original copy of Season 4 from the UK.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Bergen Torget (Fish Market)

One of the things that you simply need to do while you're in Norway is to visit one of the fish markets. Of course, it would be better if you could perhaps visit one of the few places where they still catch wild salmon in the rivers. However, the truth is that a sizeable quantity of salmon in Norway is now farmed, with up to a fifth of it produced around Bergen.

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Fish wasn't the only thing sold here, there were skinned reindeer and seal rugs, as well as various souvenirs and clothes, both traditional and commercial.

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Rugs, rugs, rugs aplenty!

The highlight of the torget: salmon, in various forms and sizes!
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Not only salmon, but also some exotic fish too:
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And tons of fish roe:
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I bought one of these sandwiches from this young lass. It cost NOK70 (or GBP7, or RM50). Norway is bloody expensive!
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At least the sandwich was large....

There were also some interesting people, including this mate, who can be seen handling my packet of smoked wild Norwegian salmon.

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I think he looks more at home on board the Jolly Roger than sealing my fish inside a thermal bag ;)