Archive | 2008

2008 – The Year That Was..Let Us Welcome 2009

Well it’s that day again – December 31st! Time to usher in a new year and bid farewell to the year that has gone by. It’s been quite a year for me, good and bad – ups and downs.

In all honestly it’s not been a great year, especially the latter half. I’m fully hopeful however that 2009 will be much better.

I’d like to wish you all a happy, healthy and very prosperous 2009!

My first post of 2008 was part of my photography exploration with Krystal at KLPac – a great experience for me and a marked improvement in my portrait skill and processing (in my estimation anyway).

Krystal - Mystique

Last year I spent New Years Eve at the MidZone Countdown Party 2008 which was pretty fun. This year we’ll be taking it easy though at a friends place playing Jenga again 馃榾

MidZone 2008

In February I got involved with Malaysian Dreamgirl as one of the official bloggers, my coverage started with the MDG 2008 Auditions where I spotted most of the finalists.

Alison - MDG

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The Final Morning at Labuk Bay Resort & The Trip Back to Sandakan

So after our previous day in Labuk Bay Resort we got up early for breakfast and glorious sunshine.

Labuk Bay Resort

Yeah it was real hot!

Feeding time was around 11am, we already had plenty of pictures though so we just enjoyed the natural habitat. The turn-out wasn’t as good as the previous day anyway (it wasn’t that bad – they just didn’t come close) and there were a few extra (and noisy) visitors. Took a bit of time to play with the wide angle and the CPL.

Super Wide

Mom was busy practicing taking macro pictures of some ants with her Panasonic.

Mom Taking Pictures

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Merry Xmas Everyone! Have a Wonderful Day

Merry Xmas everyone! Have a great day with your friends, loved ones and family.

It’s a time to love and be loved and of course most of all for everyone to be happy!

KY’s party last night was good, much better than last year…puke count was high, passed out count was high, gift exchange was funny and everyone was much drunker this year which of course make it much more fun.

Good presents today, had a light lunch and off out for dinner tonight – no cooking this year.

All I want for Xmas is YOU! Enjoy

Merry Xmas!

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Movie Review – Bangkok Dangerous – Cheesefest

Bangkok Dangerous

The life of Joe, an anonymous assassin, takes an unexpected turn when he travels to Thailand to complete a series of contract killings. Joe, a remorseless hitman, is in Bangkok to execute four enemies of a ruthless crime boss named Surat. He hires Kong, a street punk and pickpocket, to run errands for him with the intention of covering his tracks by killing him at the end of the assignment.

I was really looking forward to this film, maybe a revitalisation of Nicolas Cage’s career after the dogs he’s been in like Ghost Rider. The poster looked good, the concept familiar, directed by the Pang Brothers, the location exotic and the action assured..

Well so I thought, I don’t even know how it scores 5.4 on IMDB – a lot of generous people I think.

In a way the movie reminds me of one of my favourite movies of all time, Replacement Killers…it’s just about 1/10th as good. I love Nicolas Cage in The Rock and Face off (My second favourite action movie EVAR!).

Nicolas looks kinda old and out of shape, and his acting seems to be getting worse as he gets older. Why the love story with the mute 40 years old HK actress? WTF was that about – how lame.

Nicolas Cage in Bangkok Dangerous

The majority of the movie was slow, trudging along with no seeming sense, no character development and far too long between the far too short action sequences.

The plot itself was extremely dubious (ok let’s say non-existent), the setting was ok – didn’t really see much of Bangkok.

And OMG was it cheesy, what’s with the final look on the motorbike to the mute lady? Funny much? Even the action scenes managed to be cheesy, it was almost trying to be arty and stylized like a HK movie but failing really badly.

*Sigh* when are we going to be treated to a good quality action movie with a little bit of brains – the heyday of action films was definitely the 90’s.

I give it a tragic 4.5/10 – for the few action scenes, don’t watch it unless you’re willing to laugh.

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Squarepusher (Tom Jenkinson) – Crazy Man, Crazy Music

Now I haven’t really talked about music much on this blog before, but I thought I might…and well now I’m going to. I’m actually a huge music fan, especially in the electronica genre and especially in Drum and Bass. I was into hip-hop early on (Wu Tang Clan when it was Liquid Sword, Onyx, Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle still one of the best albums ever made and so on) then when DnB was born I was fast into that around 1994 – I was a big time Junglist.

I’ve seen most of the great DnB and hardcore DJs play around the UK and met quite a few of them too (DJ SS, Carl Cox, Goldie, DJ Rap, Grooverider etc.). Recently there has been a renewal in the DnB scene – some great new acts coming out of Hospital Records and the too-urban, too-male, too-hardcore vibe is being replaced with some beautiful new melodies. This has firmly renewed my interest in DnB and the scene as a whole.

Today however I’m not talking about DnB, although I will in another post.

Today I should like to introduce Squarepusher – just because he’s so crazy. I think only a Brit could come out with such whacked out songs and gain so many fans. He has a genre which is a sidestep from Drum and Bass called Drill and Bass…because it DRILLS your head.

Squarepusher is the performing pseudonym of Tom Jenkinson, an English electronic music artist signed to Warp Records. He specialises in the electronic music genres of drum and bass, musique concr脙篓te, and acid, with a significant jazz influence.

Squarepusher - Tom Jenkinson

He has a lot of trippy work and has a lot of jazz influence, he makes his own sampling hardware from weird stuff and makes the most CRAZY tracks you’ve ever heard – he also plays the Bass guitar himself. Come on My Selector is one of his more typical Drum and Bass tracks, if you want to really feel the Drill and Bass thing you gotta listen to this and preferably the whole of the 1996 album Big Loada.

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Labuk Bay Resort – Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary – After Lunch

So after a short rest from morning feeding (time to copy the pictures to my Nexto PSD) it was off out to another location for lunch.

We headed out in the muddy yet reliable truck, you can see the storm in the distance that we drove into..

Muddy Truck

The place we had lunch was really in the middle of the plantation, the view from where we were was something like this, you can see the rain started already.

View From Lunch

Lunch was simple but nice, trust me when you are up early and out in the wilderness you get damn hungry.

Lunch

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We Ate This Updated – The Friday Wine Lunch @ Chinoz on the Park

A delicious Friday lunch at Chinoz on the Park in KLCC accompanied by wine from the Wyndham estate and conversation from the Chief Winemaker himself – Nigel Dolan!

The Friday Wine Lunch @ Chinoz on the Park

Definitely worthwhile for the RM100nett.

More at:

The Friday Wine Lunch @ Chinoz on the Park with Wyndham Estate

BTW please leave your comments over at We Ate This and not here – Thanks!

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The Problem With Thunder Thighs – New Jeans!

My family has an unfortunate genetic trait, thunder thighs! I guess most families have something – big heads, flabby arms, balding problems, buck teeth, acne etc.

Ours happens to be large thighs, we are all ‘blessed’ with them. It’s not much of a problem apart from when it comes to buying trousers/jeans/shorts etc – especially if I don’t want to buy those super over-sized obese man jeans..which is not cool! I usually have to have a size or two bigger than my actual waist size just to get them to fit my thighs.

The irritating part about this is all my jeans wear out in the same way…not at the normal places like the butt, or the knee or the pockets – but under my balls! Which whilst providing a nice breeze…does cause some embarrassing moments.

Anyway I noticed the pair of jeans I was wearing was exhibiting signs of wear when it starting getting drafty down there..it was my favourite pair of Renoma! I have two favs, the other is Calvin Klein which I got in the Curve on massive discount (if not there’s no way I’d be able to afford those).

They are in quite an advanced state of wear..

Renoma vs Thunder Thighs

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Labuk Bay Resort – Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary – Sandakan, Sabah

So we arrived in Sabah to rain sadly, we got there quite early in the morning direct to Sandakan from KL and were picked up promptly by our first guide Adam – a very knowledgeable local tribal guy from the Sandakan area (I forget which tribe he was from, but he said they were river people often farming the flood plains surrounding rivers and estuaries).

The weather wasn’t great so I didn’t really take any pictures on the way there and it was raining and muddy as hell so the ride (once we got off road onto the plantation roads) was pretty crazy…something like the rollercoasters at Blackpool. So we basically hung on for dear life for the hour or so it took us to reach the resort (we got stuck a couple of times but Adam had some l33t driving skills and got us out of there).

There was hardly anyone at the resort when we got there, actually I think for the morning feeding time we were the only people there and there was a fantastic turn-out of both Silverred Leaf Monkeys (Lotong) and the Proboscis Monkeys (Monyet Belanda) we went to see.

Proboscis Monkey Group

If you don’t know about the Proboscis Monkey they are actually an endangered species and if you haven’t seen them, you should! People come from all over the world to visit the wildlife in Sabah and Sarawak. You can read more at Wikipedia here: Proboscis Monkey.

The other monkey we got very close to was the Silverred Monkey or the Silver Langur/Lutung which LOVES to eat long beans.

Silverred or Langur/Lutung Leaf Monkey

They have the cutest little orange juveniles too, even though this mother was too busy eating her beans..and almost lost her baby.

Silverred or Langur/Lutung Leaf Monkey

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The Planning of the Sabah Trip – Costs and Itinerary

Earlier in the year I went for a 5 day trip to Sabah, you might remember I posted a picture of Jackie the Orang Utan when I got back.

Well now I think it’s time I started writing about it.

We started out by asking around for a good agent, as we had a limited time and the places we wanted to see were quite far apart it made sense to get a good agent to arrange the accommodation and a knowledgeable local tour guide. I found out an agency based in KK that could help me about, the company is named Labuk Bay Nature Tour Sdn. Bhd. They also own the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary which we wanted to visit.

We went back and forth a bit sorting out the options, my Mom (as usual) was pretty clear about what she wanted to see and what she didn’t want to see. Plus there were a few times we didn’t feel the need to spend so much time there, and some we wanted to spend more time.

The finalised itinerary looked like the following, it comes in two sections – Sandakan and KK.

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