Thought of the day

I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. ~William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Government's promises are like the Ringgit, they depreciate with time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Calathea Lutea

2 Months ago...
After moving in for a year, CM and I finally saved enough house fund for some DIY landscaping. We consulted our interior designer, Mr Chow back then and he encouraged us to plant some plants which match the "feel" of our house architecture - modern tropical. And we can either plant some Philippines yucca or nako (resembles yucca with softer foliage and not spiky). Plants with super big leaves like Calathea Lutea are forbidden in our compound. What?

The thing is, I am a big fan for humongous leaves, sort of like a fetish. And it's our home anyway and we CAN PLANT ANYTHING THAT WE FANCY, right? So after a year, with sufficient fund, we scouted around for quality Calathea Lutea due to the following reasons:
  • The plant is majectically tall and can go up to 3 metres. Big is good. Size does matter. It will form shades for Thor & Tease during the daytime.
  • It has this large paddle-shaped leaves held by long stalk and can easily form graceful clumps, which will be a dramatic evergreen display all year long at our side foyer. 
  • Easy maintenance, just need frequent watering.
  • Cheap: RM38/plant bag for smaller stalk, RM68/plant bag for taller stalk. There will be 3-4 stalks per plant bag. 
We have learnt a trick or two from the nursery in horticulture. And the elixir to strong, healthy and fast-growing plantation is - chicken shit! Yes, the pungent tahi ayam is the all time favorite for any plants and it can be sourced from almost any plant nursery and chicken farm, at an economical price. Now, just compare the difference of the same plants two months ago and now. 
The transformation of the well-fed Calatheas is satisfying and overwhelming at the same time. They remind me of Dr. Bruce Banner, a sci-fi character from Marvel's comic, who turns into a green giant (The Hulk) after he was exposed to gamma rays during an experiment. 3-metre is the tolerance guys, and please stay this way forever. If you grow any bigger and make my compound look like the Amazon rainforest, you guys are going on a diet.

Now, the next thing in my mind is to find a way to propagate them for my balcony. Adios.

Keywords: Calathea Lutea, Cigar Calathea, Cuban/Havana Cigar, Pampano, prayer plants

TITANIC: Romantic not Erotic

"No handphone! Silent your mobile, please!"

When you go to cinemas these days, they have this ad before the show starts, to request audiences to switch off their cellphone. This is to prevent some mindless folks from disrupting the vibe of the movie simply by answering their calls and start bitching around. Even the ringtone itself can ruin the whole movie. 

Imagine when the movie reaches its climax, e.g when Tom Cruise attempts to jump off from Burj Khalifa in Mission Impossible 4, suddenly some Doraemon ringtone permeates through the air, "An an an...Tottemo Daisuki...Doraemon..."

Damn potong stim, right?

But other than the no handphone sign, I seriously think that we need another sign in cinemas.

CM and I went and watched Titanic 3D yesterday before the screening ends. All went well, we managed to reach the cinema early after work, secured the tickets, had a simple dinner and proceed to check in. We were pretty excited and had prepared to feast our eyes upon James Cameron's classic production. (My Heart Will Go On playing in the background.)

Shortly after the show started, a pair of couple made their way through and occupied the seats in front of us. And instantly they put an end to our beloved Jack and Rose epic. Reason being, the guy in front of us has this super tall spiky hairstyle, which effectively formed the silhouette of an iceberg in our view. Yes, in our version of Titanic, the iceberg appears right from the start till the end (it's 3D somemore), and we wondered why the Titanic crew had failed to notice it.
This is the beginning part where the submarine is exploring the Titanic wreck. Wait, is that an octopus ready to attack the submarine? (Jaws classic music in the background.)
Yucks! Old Rose has so much nose hair...eewww.
I sincerely hope that is not Rose's armpit gawd, need to throw up already.

As you can see, this dickhead is practically blocking our view throughout the movie. Why la comb this hairstyle to a movie? Maybe he has serious esteem issue with his height, hence the spikes to add a few inches. Sorry for the foul language, but I really beh tahan when some dickhead turned a romance epic into an erotic blue film. And dirty-minded people like me tend to be distracted. But frankly, this is the first time I had so much fun snapping pictures in a movie.

But seriously, I think we can't blame this dude after I took a serious look at the ticket this morning. It seemed that CM and I had purchased the wrong ticket. We were not watching "Titanic" afterall, it was ----"Tit nic".  No wonder.

So, other than the prohibition to use handphone in cinemas, can we add one more restriction please? - "No Dickhead Allowed!"

Thank you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jurong Bird Park

This is Google's doodle today to commemorate the Father of All Zips, Gideon Sundback's birthday. And if you click on the doodle, the giant zipper sort of runs down the centre of Google's homepage. Cool huh?

Not when it runs down by itself, and it's certainly NOT COOL when it runs down by itself on YOUR PANTS, despite the fact that you will feel cool down below the waist! It's been happening to me more often now on my one and only pair of jeans, and it's branded somemore! 

Yes, it's Levi's.

Coincidently, it is the Father of All Denim Jeans, invented back in the 1850s, for gold miners and it is dubbed the toughest pants. They even have a "Two-Horse Brand" leather patch on each pair of jeans, showing the garment being pulled between two horses to prove its strength! But why the zipper kept coming loose on me? Why?

My humorous friend told me that I can't blame Levi's because they have actually declared upfront that the zippers on their jeans tend to open by itself. There is a hint. If you look closely at the "Two-horse Brand" leather patch, you will notice that the zipper is loose. Haha, very funny. 

So, it's satirical when I have an answer for each of Levi's marketing slogan below:

A style for every story.
This is my story, and an embarassing one.

Have you ever had a bad time in Levi's?
Almost everytime when my fly is wide open.

Quality never goes out of style.
Yeah, whenever I feel the breeze down under, I want to sing "I Believe I can Fly" in R Kelly style..

So when you people see this poster below in any Levi's store, trust me, don't challenge it, wear underpants please. Remember, slogans are meant to sell, it's not for real. And Levi's, seriously, you should change your zipper supplier. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Oil Palm

Excerpts from some of Mr Koon Yew Yin posts on

I consider the safest shares to invest are undervalued oil palm shares. The reasons are:-
  1. The production cost for CPO is about Rm 1,300 per ton and the average selling price has been more than double the production cost in the last 10 years or more. The average CPO price for 2011 is more than Rm 3,000 per ton. Which business can offer such big profit margins?
  2. The demand and profit are sustainable due to population increase. Moreover, both China and India who are our buyers have been improving their economy. The financial problem in Eurozone and US has little or no effect on our palm oil market.
  3. A palm tree will start fruiting after 3 years. It will continue to bear more fruits until it is about 16 years old after that age it will begin to bear less fruits. Only after about 22 years a palm tree needs replanting.
  4. The land always appreciates in value.
  5. There is good profit growth prospect and sustainable profit
If you look at the first quarter results of plantation stocks, you will notice that almost all of them have made more profit than the corresponding quarter of last year. Moreover, you can see that the average selling price of CPO was around Rm 2,600 per ton and average CPO price has been above Rm 3,000 for this year. You can also see in the Star daily that the CPO price for the next few months is above Rm 3,100 per ton. Basing on these information you can safely assume that almost all plantation companies will make more profit this year than last year.
The above was in June/July 2011, and recently the CPO future has been trading at close to RM3,500 level...hmm...better late than never.
Some of the plantation stocks to lookout for:
  • KLK - M'sia
  • TWSPLNT - M'sia
  • BKAWAN - M'sia
  • TDM - M'sia
  • IOICORP - M'sia
  • Wilmar Int - SP
  • Golden Agri - SP
  • Mewah Int - SP
  • First Resource - SP
  • Indofood Agri - SP
  • Bumitama Agri - SP (Recently listed on SGX)
Disclaimer: This is not an invitation to buy or sell. I do not guarantee the accuracy or validity of the information above. Do your own due diligence before investing and invest at your own risk.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kyoto Dwarf aka Mondo Grass

Keywords: Kyoto Dwarf, Mondo Grass, Fountain Grass, Monkey Grass, ryu-no-hige (dragon's beard), ja-no-hige (snake's beard), Ophiopogon japonicus (Scientific Name

This is one of the plants I like best due to its adorable appearance. It has glossy dark green blade-like foliage which grow in clumps. Clean and sleek, excellent as indoor and outdoor ornaments. Some internet sources mentioned white and pale lilac flower and blue berry fruits, but I have yet to see any from my pot.

Another advantage of the Kyoto Dwarf is its low maintenance and hardiness. This is definitely a plus for lazy owners like me who would water the plants only whenever I remember, and fertilize once in a blue moon (How often do you see a blue moon?). We bought two small clumps back in March 2011 and it has been in the plant bags for more than a year, yet they still prospered rain or shine. 

It's only till two months ago, when we intend to transfer them into a decent pot did we realized that they have multiplied. So now we have about ten different clumps, a really good return on investment in less than two years...haha.      

Friday, April 20, 2012

Beh Tahan Hairstyle

I really fancy his hairstyle.

Overtaking Addicts

No matter you're on the left or right lane on Malaysian expressway, there will always be some douchebags cutting in and out like nobody's business.

These days, everyone will be hogging the fast lane on the right, while vehicles can actually go faster on the left lane. So people start to overtake via the left lane. Isn't this funny?

And frequently, when I am already cruising at almost 120km/hour on the fast lane, somehow it is still not fast enough as some pseudo-F1 driver will be flashing his headlights at me while he rapidly close up behind my car. Walao, everytime I felt like jamming the brakes instantaneously. And if I survive the crash, I will definitely knock some sense into the fellas brain with my baseball bat steering wheel lock. I really regretted for not joining the Yakuza or Hung Mun triads, else I will be able to teach these buggers some lessons.

You maniacs out there are really lucky my Dad send me to school for proper education instead. Hmmph.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

So Sick (Ne-yo) by Justin Bieber

I must say, Scooter Braun really has good judgement to dig out this superstar, by accident, from this youtube video.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recipe for Sale!

In a city like Singapore, anything can be valued and sold for a price.

Like this couple below who wants to sell their Cantonese roast recipe for a whopping S$2 million! And be prepared to pay an additional S$1.5 million if you are interested to take over the business. Then, Betty and her dude will be on their way touring around the world in 90 days.

Famous Kay Lee Roast Meats selling eatery and recipes for $3.5m

Barely a month apart, another couple follow suit with the intention to forgo their beef noodle recipe for S$200k.

Tai Fatt Hau Cuisine beef noodles stall and recipe for $200,000

Now, I have a recipe for sale too!

During my childhood, I invented my own ice cream recipe using just two simple ingredients: ice cubes + Milo.

First, you fill a quarter of a mug with Milo powder. Next, throw in the ice cubes. Normally 3-4 cubes will be sufficient for a sinful treat. Lastly, sprinkle more Milo powder on the ice cubes.

Voila! There you have a homemade Malaysian style chocolate ice cream.

Damn, now I can't sell it since the secret is out, can I?

Extra lanes.

Sometimes Most of the time in Malaysia, a dual-lane road will become more than two lanes. No?

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Finale

Thanks to my sister's gift, I am able to control the slides effortlessly.

6 modules, 3 seminars, 2 journals, 4 conference, 1 competition, countless experiments and data crunching, and after today's oral defense.

There's still one last thing to be done: revised my thesis according to reviewers comment for one last time.

Thanks to Prof A.T, Prof P.V. and Prof KCT for their time and guidance. Curtains drawn.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Impatient and reckless driver

It's a gated guarded community. I slowed down as I approached my house, signalled to indicate a right turn as I opened my autogate.

My autogate opening.

I prepared to turn right, a car tried to overtake and honk at me. Startled, I slammed the brakes.

Now, what should you do when you see a car in front of you slow down and signal to turn right? Should you overtake?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Invest with Fundsupermart. It's easy!

Fundsupermart has revolutionize the unit trust investment industry. Now you can easily sign up and register an account and start investing.

No more agent service fee and you can manage your portfolio anytime, anywhere!

Here's a good introductory to Fundsupermart by KCLau, plus the guide to register an account and initiate regular savings plan!

Happy investing!

ps: Fundsupermart site

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kaya Butter Crackers

I still remember the times San Yi (3rd maternal aunt) prepared those delicious crackers when we were young. She would first spread a layer of Planta's sinful margerine butter on the crackers, then bring those crackers to Grandpa's grocery shop, take a pinch of sugar and sprinkle on the buttered surface. Within seconds, we would each run off with a piece and happily nibble away. All those joy cost almost nothing but a few Malaysian cents.

Fast forward to today, four pieces of kaya butter crackers cost a staggering S$1.60 (~RM3.90)!

This my friend, is a simple lesson to Inflation :p


As can be seen from the image above, there has been recurrence where visitors recklessly parked their car in front of my house, obstructing my gateway partially when there is suffcicient and decent space to accomodate the length of a vehicle between houses. I don't understand why. Maybe, I didn't fork out enough moola to 'touch up' the exterior of my house, like coating the wall with a layer of Balinese sandstone wall tiles plus a majestic 3-metre high stainless steel gate. Or perhaps, it's my lousy bazi or fengshui of my house. Should I consult Joey Yap or simply place two stone lions on both side of the entrance?

Two weeks ago, couple of vehicles pulled up one evening and a Toyota Hilux parked in front of my house, with the rear of the pickup partially blocking. Knowing that my parents would be on their way back, I intend to ask the particular driver to move his truck out of the way.

"Sorry, whose vehicle is this?" I asked the crowd, not knowing who the owner is.

A woman in her mid-50s, wearing a shade and carrying a designer bag replied in a lofty tone, "It's ours, why?"

"Hmm, could you move your vehicle right up a little bit?"

"Why? Anything wrong?" Apparently, she wasn't aware that it's inappropriate to park like this.

"Er...It's blocking my way and we own two cars, the other car is returning." I said.

She raised her pitch, "It's just (blocking) a little bit. Is there a problem?"

Normally, my face would go red and I would start to give her a moral lesson in a thunderous voice. But I was extraordinarily calm that day, and I reasoned what I could have done.

"Lookit, I could sidle up and scratch your vehicle and you wouldn't have notice."

"Or, I can pretend that I am unware of your vehicle outside and simply hurl a flower pot over the wall and smash your windscreen, and then come out to apologize for the 'accident'." This is one trick my buddy taught me on facebook.

"Of course, the legal way is to call the police to give you a summon or tow your car away. And I don't have to risk offending you." My friend actually did this when a car parked in front of her house during the recent Lunar New Year.

"But, I chose to communicate with you instead. Despite only blocking my way a little, do you think it is RIGHT to park your vehicle like this?"

She was silent.

"Now, do you still think there is nothing wrong? This is not a problem?"

She remained wordless.

Her husband then tried to relief her from further embarassment, sort of asked her to back down. Shortly after, she and her husband hastily got into the truck and drove off, without apology.

Now, I am not trying to demonstrate how good I am in arguing. What I would like to point out is that people nowadays have utterly lost their manners. People are willing to commit mistakes and act recklessly, for the sake of their own. And to my chagrin, they don't feel accountable for their misdeeds, don't feel no guilt, and still have the cheek to retaliate when confronted.

There is a saying in Malay, "Berani kerana Benar, Takut kerana Salah", literally means that we are brave because we are right, we are afraid because we are wrong. These days, it becomes "Benar kerana Berani, Salah kerana Takut", meaning we are right because we are brave, we are wrong because we are afraid. Ironic.

I can't help but to think that this demoralization of Malaysian society is due mainly to the examples set by our leaders. Don't you think?