Monday, July 30, 2007

A Surgeon-General Warning.

Surgeon-General Warning: Hanging around with your 21-year old nephew may be hazardous to your hearing!

Syahrul Aiman, Din's son and needless to say, my nephew, has completed his degree in the US and is back in Malaysia. Since his return, I have been car-less, letting him use my car for his job-hunting thing and what ever. On top of that, the family car was stolen several weeks ago. Thus, he needs the wheels more than I do. Further, as he is a Computer Engineer graduate, I figure he would be able to assist me in some of the problems I face with my (darn recalcitrant) PC.

Like last night - while we were out sending Hanin, his sister, back to college - there was a blackout in my area. Somehow, the blackout caused a high voltage power outage which caused quite a number of electrical appliances within the area to experience a burnout. My house was no exception, though fortunately, it was only the TV, a Standing Fan and my PC monitor. I do not know what he did but, Aiman did twitch something and my monitor is functioning again, alhamdulillah.

I treat him like a friend and though I notice that at time it does make him uncomfortable, I just couldn't be bothered. I mean, he's 21 years of age and he should be treated as an adult! Have to admit though, there are times when I laugh by myself watching him feeling that way.

2 weeks ago, I introduced him to a new social-welfare club where I am a volunteer to. Since I too am new to the club, I had to ask permission from the President to do so and alhamdulillah, had her blessings with strings attached - Aiman must accept appointment as a committee member to a free concert the club is planning. The appointment took him by surprise but he seem to accept it well.

We talk a lot every time we're together. It was during one of those moments I found we share quite a number of common interest including music. Aiman finds it a bit surprising that I can listen to music of his genre as much as anything else. Little does he know that I can and do listen to just about any music though the matter of preference can be a different matter. But here's the thing: when you sit in a car with your young nephew and/or niece, make sure you use earmuffs. Otherwise, when you step out of the car, they can literally say that you are an old man who's hard on hearing! Aaargh!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Breakfast at...

Heavens, no! It certainly can't be breakfast at Tiffany's! For one, I do not even know where or what Tiffany is; do pardon me. And the other, its going to be at Kota house, to be exact. Come to think about it, breakfast has always been there. Unless I'm off to somewhere.

Anyway, with Emak now leaving her poor 44-year young over-grown baby quite often to fend for himself, it left me with no choice but to pick up my long lost culinary skills, one which I had locked in the far corners of my mind some many, many years ago, and had the keys thrown away in the other far corner. Thus there I was, in the other far corner of my mind, rummaging through items and memories some of which I have no recollection of their existence! Its like living in a twilight zone and does get pretty scary, mind you. But never mind that. Let me introduce you to some delights which will make a woman go wild!

Now, where are those keys? Ah...there they are.

Ok, pretty much like every one else, I start my day with a good cup of coffee. Used to drink them black, but Emi taught the family to use milk. Thus, every once so often then, I make coffee the way I like them: strong! And I call it Pitch Black Coffee. Off course, I had to use large spoonfuls of coffee to drown any hints of milk! Not possible, you think? Think again, then.

Now, after lubricating my inside, the next thing we need is some good food! My favourite then would be beef sausages, fried eggs, mixed vegetables and toast. Off course, there was a time when I put everything together in a pan and fry them. Then I learn, ok, that's not the way one makes omelet. Gee, who was it that said growing up is easy?

Now, the main dish, beef sausages - has to be beef as chicken is too soft - is a real masterpiece. I'd cut the sides so that the heat would cook the whole thing evenly. Once they seem well done, I get to work on the eggs - sunny side up! Hmm...I'm salivating already.

The mixed veges was easy - throw them in a sieve and pour hot water. Its the toast which is tricky. But ever since we use a toaster-oven instead of a toaster stand-alone (think that's IT terminology), I think I've come to making a perfect toast: heat the oven full-blast for 5 minutes, then chuck in the toast. Wait 1 full minute, then yank them out as fast as you can. Oh, a word of warning: make sure you switch off your smoke alarm first.

Once the food's done, I just lay the table and prepare myself for a feast.

On my right, I've put my second cup of coffee. I'm about to sit down but somehow I keep thinking about roti canai. But never mind, that will be for lunch. For now, my 'All-Blacks' (not the rugby team, mind you), is ready, and its called 'Cinder Black'! Hmm...perhaps its time I learn how to use the cooking oil.

AC Di Sini...

I do not know about every one else, but I surely do hate watching chat shows such as 'AC Di Sini' and what ever title the rest go by. There's nothing worthy at all in these shows except for gossips on the entertainment world - a world they have created for their own personal glorification and have the audacity to claim it as a 'perjuangan' or struggle! If it is truly a 'perjuangan', then with whom are they up against?

Apologies! Apologies! I do not mean to berate about them; to each their own. But woe you should you step into my world, insyAllah.

Ironically though, the title I use today is a reflection of a call I just only made this morning - I had just called Raja Petra Kamaruddin and asked whether he would like to put his detention by the police on webtv8. Surely, I told him but not in the exact words, viewers would like to him from the man himself. He agreed, and insyAllah, we will meet sometime early next week.

It was when each of us had put down the telephone did I realise this: had we not known each other(professionally), I would need to introduce myself proper. And when I think about it, "I'm from webtv8" does sound like "AC Di Sini...".

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Dream of...

Well, certainly, I would not dream of a Genie! The old TV series is just a rehash of an old lore, one that gives false hopes to people who have nothing better to do but…daydream. Off course, then, as a kid of what, 9, I too was a daydreamer. Now, as a kid off 44, I’m beginning to learn not to daydream. Then again, may be not…

Earlier today, I followed Wak to cover the Anuar Ibrahim Club and Young Bloggers Meet at Shah Village Motel in Petaling Jaya. Not the kind of thing I would like to cover, but…I am trying to learn to be a team-member. Alhamdulillah though, there was a bonus for me.

I have been following – rather loosely – the police detention of Nathaniel Tan. It would, I thought, make a good story. And there he was, the young chap himself; fair, slim, good-looking, and quite chirpy. Thus, even before the meet begins, I asked him for his time after. He was willing and soon later, webtv8 had his story on tape. Pretty good scoop, I thought. But…here’s the sad part – I am not part of the editing team and Nat’s tale may be just that if the chief editor doesn’t like it. It has come so that I’ve resigned myself to: Hell! If it comes on, swell! If it does not, can’t help you there babe!

It got me so that I now have a dream…

I would very much like to run own Internet television station.

Honestly, I have not been able to catch other Internet TVs’ for some reason or the other. Those few that I do know of, seem unable to lift themselves to attract more viewers. For one, I think they fail to understand viewers’ discretion to view matters which affects them directly. Off course, the hot Malaysian political scenario is a boon, but it means hoot to many people on the street.

There’s also the entertainment part which is being neglected. No, certainly not Britney Spears or Gwen Stephanie, but moderate and modest music can help to boost viewer ship, along with the likes of Amin Iskandar and Akhil Hayy.

Let us not forget talk-shows which once helped webtv8 garner a sizable audience. But let’s add simple religious stuff and matters concerning our daily lives. There are people out there who want to reach out for help, but are either afraid or ashamed of doing so.

This station would have to be truly non-partisan to be able to reach out to not only the masses, but also to government agencies – let not the people be afraid to come to us, but let us be afraid of them not doing so – a truly no-holds bar station similar to Islam Channel, which I have yet to see (shame on me).

Off course, one would need a good crew, even if they’re volunteers such as yours truly. The trick to have a good crew or team is to assist or guide them to the direction we want. Easier said than done, I agree. That’s where one would need a good people-skill manager (I’m not) and a guideline such as mission statement and what not; similar to the small handful I did for webtv8.

The station would also need advertising and promotion to create awareness. A simple A&P campaign via the many Yahoo! and Google groups would suffice for the initial stage, one similar to what I did on my own for webtv8.

Off course, inadvertently, to do all these, one would need some financial assistance. Now, that is the part I’m dreaming of.

Needless to say, the station would be more of an ‘amal’ project rather than profit oriented. But, which Internet TV is (profit oriented)?


The day before, a friend promised to pick me up at 1 past noon on Saturday. We had the intention to meet some people at 2. As he is known not to be punctual, I sms-ed him at precisely 1 for his whereabouts and to confirm to myself the lee-time of 20-25 minutes I gave him. His reply was almost immediate, saying he was about to leave. I figured the lee-time I gave him was correct as he is a slow driver and I took my own bloody time to get dressed.

By 1.30 I was ready and thought he would arrive soon.

By 1.55, I sms-ed him but he did not reply.

By 1.57, I sms-ed him again, hinting my annoyance at his lateness. Honestly, I was pretty much annoyed and had almost given-up as I hate being late – when I am, I would call ahead. Anyway, as I was about to step back into the house, he called and gave the excuse of performing the zuhr prayers first. That totally pissed me off!

No, I was not pissed off about the prayer; that is obligatory. But I was pissed off when he used it as an excuse! Zuhr begins at 1.21pm. In his reply to me at 1, he mentioned leaving his place. Couldn’t he have informed me that he would be stopping for prayers first before coming over? For the duration we were together for the day, I kept to myself, if anything, just to control my temper.

Later, when the meet was over and we were on our way back, I mentioned my annoyance at him and that this is not the first incidence. It was just a short less than a minute thing, but it must have made him feel pretty bad. Then, it was his turn to be silent…and me, feeling guilty.

Till early yesterday evening, I was still feeling guilty about having to tell him off. He is, after all, several years my senior. This incident may be just a hiccup in our friendship. One that occurs in many others and one that may keep repeating itself over time. But insyAllah, like the many others before and after, it will heal by itself. I certainly pray for that as I do hate feeling guilty.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Big Powwow

They were all there; all the big chiefs of warring tribes you could think of here. In lieu of the peace-pipe, a microphone was used to remind the tribes of the injustice brought about by yellow-legs. In the absence of the war-drums, Amin Iskandar @ Black and friends were invited to add spice to the occasion. They were good, but the crowd wants blood! (figuratively speaking).

For too long now, the yellow-legs and their judicial system have spread their lies and deception, bringing about wanton destruction to a land that is so beautiful. For too long now, the people have been lulled with firewater and other diseases that followed the yellow-legs. For too long now, the suffering of the people were draped with blankets that were used by other disease-ridden victims of countries many moons away. This, have to be stopped. It is time for the accursed yellow-legs to go!

The big powwow mentioned above was the Konvensyen Rakyat, held last night at the Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur. It, and other upcoming powwows which will be held throughout the country, is a prelude to an even bigger powwow tentatively scheduled for November 10, 2007. Come one, come all!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Emak's Guardian Angel

There's a frog. Its been a regular visitor to our house for the past month or so. Initially, we were rather frightened. Anyone would be I guess, especially when you open the front door in the wee hours of the morning only to see a dark-shaped object squat on the ground. But over time, we've gotten use to it. In fact, I look forward to see the frog each morning, rather opposite from Emak; she find the frog irritating, especially when she finds a soft, oblong, organic matter right outside the door - yup, the frog's er, dropping!.

Since Ana and family return for holidays in Malaysia, Emak has been spending several nights at Emi's house simply because his house is bigger and can accomodate Ana. Yup, Emi can be patient as a saint. And when ever Emak's there, the frog's does a disappearing act, only to return to his sentinel duty when Emak is around. A regular guadian angel, it is.

Hey! Before somebody gets the wrong idea, I'm not writing about me! Truly, there is a frog here!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Family Feud

Nope, the title has got nothing to do with me and Ana, my elder sister. Just as I was about to write this, I was reminded of the old US television game in the late 1980's. Sort of liked the show, if anything because it was then new. Don't think it made it to our shores though.

Now what trigerred the memory of Family Feud was this: earlier this evening, we had a family gathering minus Din and family - they are out of town, and this gathering was late in planning. Anyway, I had a chat with Rashid, Ana's youngest son, asking him about himself and well, all the kind of things an uncle would ask. Fine young chap, he is, and has his father's IQ, I think. The chat came to a rather abrupt stop when I found out Sofian - Rashid's elder brother - is not in Tokyo as I thought he was, but somewhere in Sydney. Now, I know he enlisted in the US Navy, but just did not know exactly as what. My jaw dropped when Rashid informed me that Sofian is serving in a US Navy Acircraft Carrier, the USS Kitty Hawk, to be exact! MasyAllah!

Oh dear! And here I was thinking of joining the Toliban! Or perhaps HAMAS. I'm kidding off course. But it does give one some rather 'entertaining' picture, one where perhaps Mel Brooks would like to produce.

I mean, you can just imagine this: I'm standing on the pier with a slingshot in my left hand and some pebbles in a pouch attached to the belt at my waist. In then comes the Kitty Hawk to dock with her crew lining the deck all dressed in white. I take a pebble from the pouch, put it in the sling, and draw it as far back as I can while at the same time taking aim at one of the sailors on the deck. I then release the sling and watch the pebble fly straight towards the poor sailor.

"Ouch!" cries the sailor. He look down from the deck and see me looking up at him. Our eyes meet and...wa lah! It is Sofian! Uncle's and nephew's gaze each other in recognition. But then, not to be outdone, Sofian rush out of sight for several minutes, only to return with a wet-looking thing in his hand. He throws it and it lands on my forehead. Shoot! It's a fish! And it bloody smell like one too! So I take another pebble and sling it at him and he takes another fish and throws it at me. This went on for quite a while till he runs out of fish, and I, pebbles.

Well, its not exactly HG Wells War of The Worlds, but one, nonetheless, Mel Brooks or even Orson Welles may want to enact for their upcoming project, War of The Kindreds! That would be lovely, wouldn't it! Anyone out there know who I can get in touch with either one?

Monday, July 09, 2007

An Unexpected Encounter...of

An Unexpected Encounter...of the Third Kind.

Hmm...something's wrong! Either my connection is bad, or there's something amiss with Then again, perhaps its my pc. What ever it is, I can't seem to put my text aproper to the title.

Anyway, the thing I want to write is this: had an unexpected visit from a childhood friend yesterday. For certain reasons, I will only name him as Aie. And believe me, Aie is a dear old friend.

While we were talking, I received a call from Wak Kasiran, my partnet-cameraman from webtv8. They received a last minute invitation to a dinner cum political ceramah, and needed someone to be the on-the-scene reporter. Sigh...well, yours truly said ok but only if could bring Aie along. It was agreed and soon there we were, just after Maghrib, at the new Puteri Restaurant in Taman Tun.

Ok, the Guests-of-Honour is none other than Tuan Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the Menteri Besar of Kelantan, and Dato' Seri Anuar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. Oh wow! I mean, I was not fully briefed about this! But sadly, the chance to meet Tuan Guru did not materialise as he is recuperating at home from work fatigue. Still, there's DSAI, and the lucky decision to bring Aie along.

Now, we shall not concern ourselves with what transpired during the dinner. Rather, it was the after dinner thing that had me nearly in stitches.

When we arrived at the restaurant, Aie had a pleasant surprise. Among the guests that had turned up, and rather unexpectedly, was Aie's uncle, an Encik Zainal Yassin. Thus while Wak was busy with the camera and I mingled with other reporters, Aie spent some time with his uncle. It was only later towards the end of the evening Aie rejoined my and Wak at the exit, in our hope of catching DSAI for a short interview.

As soon as DSAI finished his speech, he walked out the restaurant to head to another ceramah in Ampang. On his way out, he noticed Encik Zainal - they are old friends during DSAI's ABIM days - and talked briefly. But in the brief moment they talked, DSAI managed to ask for Aie's identity, as he had noticed both of them being together. So, Encik Zainal mentioned Aie's father and DSAI turned around and offered his hand and said: "You're Dato's .... son? Goodness! No wonder you look and move quite like him! Dato' ... was my friend in UM!". Surprised at the turn of events, Aie could only afford a sheepish grin and was blushing as heads turned towards him. Somehow that scene already had me tickled.

Now, while DSAI rushed off to Ampang, his wife, Datin Wan Azizah, stayed behind till the end of the dinner. As she stepped out of the restaurant, I rushed towards her which had her taken aback. Then, someone whispered to her about Aie, and she was beaming a wide smile.

Datin: You're Dato's...son? Do you know that it was your father who managed DSAI's very first campaign in Permatang Pauh?(her voice was loud enough for more heads turned towards AIE again). I remember your father very well and DSAI and I will always remember him! (Now, the next sentence or question had Aie stunned!)

Datin: Say, are you the son who married the late Senator Salmiyah's daughter?

Aie: Huh?, er (blanked face Aie coulnd't utter a single word!)

Luckily someone intervened and mentioned that it was Aie's brother and not him. Aie, very much like me, is still on a search mode, if you get my drift.

Anyway, because of Aie's presence, I managed to put some questions forward to Datin.

Later, I could not help but tease Aie, a 'can-do' guy who became tongue-tied at a pretty woman.

But I must admit, Datin Wan Azizah certain do look pretty, and certainly young for her age. It sort of makes me wish Nurul Izzah, her daughter, is still available :)

Press F1 for help...

Well, I didn't! Instead, I watched it - the race - for some sure excitement! And what a race it was, the British Grand Prix! Though Raikonen won, to me it was Felippe Massa who shone.

Having had a nightmare engine failure just before the race begins, Massa had to start from the pit! Literally, this meant starting from the last position instead of the 4th placing he qualified for! But what a race he drove! Massa fought his way up the ranks and managed an impressive 5th place! What a drive!

What a driver!

What a race!

Without wanting to take credit away from him, the only thing missing from the race was the presence of Niki Lauda and Alain Prost; they were team mates par excellence with equally excellent cars and team support, the McLaren-TAG. They were mean racing machine with a mean support team, and 2 drivers with mean ambition to win. What a team they were! What incredible racing lines they drove! What spectacular victories they won! How I miss watching races of that era. Massa, brought reminiscence to that.

Massa started of as a test-driver for Ferrari and had been with the team since Schumacher days. In the year that Schumacher suffered a broken leg due to an accident, Massa was given the chance to show his mettle. He took the bull by the horns, and managed some credible precious points for Ferrari. Since then, I had been waiting to see him win the Championship. InsyAllah, he will.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Regular Cats and Dogs

Saw this film 'The Usual Suspect', and like it a whole damn lot. There was something appealing about the movie. Then again, any film where Kevin Spacey acts normally does. But that's not what I want to write about.

There's a lyric to a song which I do not know the title, nor who sang it. But the chorus goes like this "Oh, oh! We're in trouble..." Yup, that line especially, its singing by itself in my head. Guess, it has pretty much to do with Ana, my elder sister.

Ever since she was 13 and I, 12, we never got along well. She was the jealous kind and very much full of spite. Things took a worse turn one day, when that stupid cakapaje bloke was able to solve her add maths problem while staring blank at his own! (stupid fella!). Ana never took it well and from then onwards, we were just like 2 parts of a broken ship, each sinking deeper into the abyss of darkness and further from each other. Hell! In the darkness, we could have been inches from the other! But the pride in her and the stupidity in cakapaje, we never communicated, never communicate.

Last week, after a year of silence, Ana phoned emak to say she'll be back in Malaysia. When exactly she'll be coming nor with who, was never relayed. Wednesday - yesterday - Emi, my eldest brother, called emak and said Ana will be arriving today with Bustamam(hubby), Soleha(eldest daughter) and Sofian (eldest son) at his place and asked emak to come over. I didn't like the tone already! I mean, a daughter or son is supposed to come running to his or her mother and not the other way around! Some respect my siblings have for emak, eh? Memories of how she treated emak in US still lingers clear in my mind.

An old malay proveb goes "fallen, only to have the ladder fall on you" - dah jatuh ditimpa tangga :) da! Well, that's exactly what I'm feeling right now for on Friday, Ana is supposed to come over to this house with the retinue...oops, family. Can things get worse? Predictably yes! As siblings relationships go by, Ana and cakapae are your regular cats and dogs! Hmm...perhaps I should add ayam and itek as well, but never mind.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

New Kid(s) In Town.

3 of them to be exact, 2 boys and a girl, all children to the tenant next door. Yup! The house Sandra used to live in.

The new neighbours are moving in now even as I write. Have not had the chance to meet the man-of-the-house yet, but did meet the wife, her father and brother. Wow! The brother is helicopter pilot trainer at a private school in Ipoh. As we got to know each other further, found out the wife is an educationist in Putrajaya while her hubby is in the travel agency. They look like a nice family to have as neighbours, insyAllah.