Monday, 31 August 2009

Expensive Wan Tan Mee.

Took the family to Sunway today...and had one of the most expensive wanton noodle in our lives so far. Otherwise, the two precious enjoyed themselves during the outing, particularly Dylan, who walked all over the places (like bird being release from the cage).


Today is the 52nd anniversary of Merdeka. And here are some selections from the 1P Malaysian Filmmakers Showcase special collection of fifteen shorts called 15Malaysia. For the rest and more, visit their website

Ho Yuhang ~ Potong Saga, starring local rapper Namewee.

Yasmin Ahmad ~ Chocolate.

Linus Chung ~ House.

Amir Muhammad ~ The Tree, featuring Tuan Guru Dato' Haji Nik Abdul Aziz, PAS Spiritual Leader.

Liew Seng Tat ~ Halal, starring one of my favourite actress, Abidah Noor.

Desmond Ng ~ The Son.

Kamal Sabran ~ Lumpur.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Chloe and Mickey Mouse stickers.

Nothing fancy, but I kinda surprise at Chloe's ingenuity of applying the sticker on the bedside lamp which is kinda nice...until she promptly took it off and stick it somewhere else. Chloe has developed a taste for stickers where she would immediately took everything and stick on anything, including my forehead whilst I am asleep...

Chloe and tortoise.

Chloe and Suetch, as well as Dylan (not pictured), had an opportunity to get acquainted with a Sulcata tortoise.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Chet Baker.

Chet Baker (December 23, 1929 ~ May 13, 1988) is perhaps the most leng chye West Coast, cool jazz trumpeter and singer ever. His most interesting output is when he was with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, circa 1952, which gave us the amazingly relaxed yet with tinge of melancholy version of Rodgers and Harts, My Funny Valentine. Subsequently, his drug addiction would spiral out of control, indirectly led to the "scarring" of his leng chye-ness for the later part of his life, as well as his demise by falling down from his second-story hotel room in Amsterdam.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet ~ Take Five.

Admittedly, some jazz purists recommended albums are kinda "difficult" at times. Cos they are sort of "turbulent" like, up and down feel, like "waves". As such, almost obligatory re-listening is required for most time in order to "understand" the superb work presented. Jazz ain't melodious. At least not the muzak-like, elevator type music which mainstream pop radios churned out back in the 80s and 90s. That is, until I heard this album by this quartet. The Dave Brubeck Quartet is a West Coast cool jazz quartet featuring founder and pianist Dave Brubeck, saxophonist Paul Desmond, Bob Bates on double bass and Joe Dodge on drums. Within their breakthrough, unconventional time signatures applied album, Time Out, contain perhaps one of the most recognisable and melodic jazz tune of all time, called Take Five, which is composed by Desmond and named after the unusual quintuple (5/4) time.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Busy Days Ahead...

For the past few days, had been attending product trainings, going in and out of government offices for licensing related matters, managing and sorting out the contractors on shop renovations and payments, liaising with the building management on what to be done and what couldn't, argh!!! Basically I am so exhausted that I slept throughout the evening and woke up only late night...Esther is not pleased at all, for missing out spending time with her, Chloe and Dylan.

Gundam Fix Figuration.

...and the rest of the collection, sans the yet to be assembled "Deep Striker" and "GP03S Stamen" (one of these days, maybe). Some parts are missing in action (I just love to tinker with them), mostly their Star Wars like light sabres. Back then, I foolishly embarked on a journey in trying to collect an archive of these releases, strictly based on the Universal Century (UC) timeline as well as the "involvement" of the primary protagonists/antagonists from the original series (namely Amuro Ray and Char Aznable), to "trace" the evolution or advancement of the Mobile Suits. I couldn't...partly because of cost but mostly due too many variants. Thus what I eventually owned in the end would be MS Gundam ver. Ka, Mk II, Z Gundam, ZZ Gundam, ν Gundam, Hyaku Shiki (百式), and finally, Ξ Gundam. Like all Fix Figuration line up, usually one can assemble two variants from each set, thus I ended "experimenting" the accessories on each final assembled version.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Gundam 30th Anniversary.

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the mother of all mechas, Gundam. The original TV series, Mobile Suit Gundam (written, directed by acclaimed Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野 由悠季), debut in Japan back in 1979 and produced by Sunrise), arguably started the by now a norm trend of sci fi anime sets within realistic settings. Robots are no longer singular, super powered being to save the day ala Mazinger Z. But instead, they are part of the numerous, standard war machines use by each side to achieve often pyrrhic victories. The focus instead is on the often emotionally flawed characters, political intrigues and manipulations, the effect of war on the participants etc. The series and its subsequent sequels (same/or different timeline) are also well known for its realistic application of scientific and technical aspects. Admittedly, I am not a die hard fan of this series. I only watched the series in the late 80s, from the original to its subsequent sequels, the last being Char's Counterattack. But by mid 90s, the MS 08 Team series caught my eyes and mind, and remain one of favourite OVA until now. Maybe it is due to, comparatively, the animation is more "up to date" and the storyline is more "down to Earth" perhaps. It also explain why I die die also must get a Gouf Custom under the Gundam Fix/Zeonography series.

Monday, 17 August 2009


Sleep in our eyes
Her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake
I let precious time go by
Schoolbag in hand
She leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye
With an absent-minded smile
I watch her go
With a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm loosing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
There's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt
I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
Well some of that we did
But most we didn't
And why I just don't know
Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time

Dylan - Walking.

Pics taken around mid July 09, Dylan has become even more "rambunctious" ever since he began to walk. Climbing chairs, sofas, beds and then tumble on to it. He enjoyed all the activities even more if Chloe is around to accompany him, although, sometimes he would get pushed to the floor by Chloe and particularly, Suetch. But I observed he is now adapting to the situation and is capable of retaliating back at them, usually by raising his voice and show displeasure by feigning a cry. Occasionally, Dylan would even attempt to hit them back. Of course I discourage such acts from them, and would exasperatingly explain to them that it is not right to fight or push each other. But it could be difficult at times. Dylan also picked up quite a number of words, although coaxing him to express those words may be futile at times. He prefer to surprise Esther and I by saying it out of the blue or only if he sees a particular object of which the word is associated to. Gosh, Dylan and Chloe grow up fast, it seems like only yesterday that I held both of them in my arms at the delivery room. Sniff Sniff...

Esther's Knitted Bag.

Another time consuming yet simple and nice knitted bag by Esther. For Mom. Another one in progress.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

LVC ~ 501XX 1917 version Amoskeag Denim.

The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company was a textile manufacturer which founded Manchester, New Hampshire. Its name was derived from Pennacook Indians, who called the site Namoskeag, meaning "good fishing place" which is in turn a reference to the Amoskeag Falls in the Merrimack River. In May 1807, Samuel Blodget completed a canal and lock system beside the Merrimack River at Derryfield. His enterprise allowed boats traveling between Concord and Nashua to bypass Amoskeag Falls, opening the region to development. Blodget envisioned here "the Manchester of America," a water-powered textile center comparable to the Industrial Revolution English city he had recently visited. Benjamin Prichard and others incorporated the Amoskeag Cotton & Woolen Manufacturing Company. He and three brothers—Ephraim, David and Robert Stevens—had purchased land and water power rights on the west bank of the Merrimack near Amoskeag Bridge, where they built a mill. However, it proved unprofitable and the mill was sold to Olney Robinson, with capital from Samuel Slater and Larned Pitcher. But Robinson could not turn it around. Slater and Pitcher then sold it to Dr. Oliver Dean, Lyman Tiffany and Willard Sayles. They managed to turn it into a profitable business from then onwards. From modest beginnings in near wilderness, it eventually grew throughout the 19th century into the largest cotton textile plant in the world. At its peak, Amoskeag was unrivaled both for the quality and quantity of its products. Eventually up to eleven mills would be built. Gingham, flannel, and ticking were company specialties, although numerous other fabrics in cotton and wool were produced. Amoskeag would supplied its fabrics to nearly every markets in North America. Freight cars would supply raw materials, particularly cotton from southern states, then carried away finished fabrics to markets around the country. Demands during that period were so great that facing labour shortages, women, immigrants and even children would be hired to work at the mill. Amoskeag peaked by World War I, supplying the Federal government with materiel. However, by the early 20th century, the business failed in adapting to the a number of changing economic and social conditions. First would be recession, whereby orders begin to decline tremendously in short time. Following that, workers salaries were reduce which led to strikes. Subsequently with the introduction of new energy sources like electricity and petroleum, cotton could be processed and woven where it grew, saving transportation costs to New England. With aging technology, it became increasingly difficult for Amoskeag to compete. Northern labor costs were higher than in the South, which had new factories, layouts, and automatic looms. The South also did not have inventory taxes unlike in New Hampshire. In an attempt to remain competitive, Amoskeag made the mistake of adding more mills and spindles to reduce the costs of making fabric, at a time when the textile industry had excess productive capacity. Then the Great Depression arrived and more labourers were laid off which led to more strikes, including sabotages of its machinery. One by one, the mills were closed down and by 1935, the company filed for bankruptcy and liquidated by 1937.
During its peak period, one of its customers would be Levi Strauss & Co., which purchased its fabrics for their then patented riveted waist overalls from the beginning in 1873 up to the early 1920s model. All fabrics were supposedly using natural, vegetable dye, and as such, would give off a greenish tint as it fades.
I got this made in japan model from Super Rag, a Rakuten online store in Japan. This 501XX is a reproduction from the year 1917, which is the year recognised as being the oldest jean found in Japan during a Levi's old jean search in 1995. There is no differences in specs between this version and the 1901 as well as 1915 model as far as I could tell with my squinty eyes. Historically, 1901 represented the first time a four pocket model is made. This means there are now two back pockets instead of one. The inseams from 1915 onwards are felled instead of "mock" felled. I did not check so I am not sure whether this is reproduced faithfully. It was also around this period that Levi's won the "Highest Award" in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. Some previous models (such as 1922, 1927 and 1933) come with the tag announcing the award and my favourite Levi's ticket but this one doesn't. At the same time, Levi's began to buy fabrics from Cone Mills in North Carolina. I suspected that this was also the same period as Amoskeag began experiencing its decline. The 1917 version is not new. It debut last year with Cone Mills spec red selvedge denim. This one comes with all white selvedge representing a transistionary period before Cone denim (now still reproduced by International Textile Group after taking over Cone Mills in 2004), whereby Amoskeag denim was still used, and reproduced by Kurabo mill, which I think is the same as the Nevada 1880s version. As far as I could tell, the fabric is pliant, soft to touch, even in raw as I have yet to soak it. The 9oz denim is also not "hairy", unlike other pairs I owned. The indigo hue is lighter comparatively with the Nevada 1880s. The top rivets are "flathead" with lightly stamped company name I suppose. The back rivets are without the patent announcement after it went public in 1890s and instead are stamped with the company name. The tag comes with all leather which is standard but darn, it sure feels nice.The back pockets are with exposed, pure copper rivets, with buckle back cinch, suspender buttoms all round and without belt loops. The back pockets shape is also curiously much squarer but then again it might be due to my failing eyesight. The arcuates are flatter, single hand stitched. It is chain stitched on the waist instead of full selvedge like the Nevada 1880s. The top and rest of the buttons are as per Nevada 1880s. And comes with the crotch rivet of course.

Friday, 14 August 2009

District 9.

You Are Not Welcome Here.
Thanks to the mysterious Machine God, this blog seems ok after all. Went and watched District 9 at where else but nearby GSC Summit USJ. Directed by newcomer Neill Blomkamp, and produced by the incredible shrinking director Peter Jackson of LOTR trilogy, it has been reported that this movie is a thinly veiled reference to apartheid. Indeed, throughout the entire movie, various level of allegories can be observed. Blomkamp supposedly contracted to make Halo but the project is shelved for some unknown reasons, and D9 is made instead, based on Blomkamp and lead actor Sharlto Copley's sci fi short film, Alive In Joburg, of which D9 is loosely based upon. District 9 referred to and based on the actual event of forced relocation of 60,000 occupants in Distrik Ses in Cape Town during the 70s by the apartheid regime. The movie begin with various snippets of interviews with individuals back in the early 80s (based on the date recorded by the "camera") when an alien spacecraft stalled just right above Johannesburg, South Africa. First human contact on board revealed a race of alien occupants barely alive. The world governments thought that either the aliens are hostile or a technology transfer may occur. Neither happen. It seems that the aliens are refugees of some sort, and they are workers, very much like insect hierarchy. But the leaders or drones, are nowwhere to be found amongst them. Listless and without aim, the aliens pretty much do not prove much "value" to the governments. Thus a camp called District 9 near the city is built for the aliens. The proximity of the D9, as well as different behaviour of the aliens make the local inhabitants uneasy and experience literal "xenophobia". The aliens are also called "prawns" by them, a derogatory term based the behaviour and physical aspect of it (the aliens love to rummage through garbage for foods, favourite being tinned cat food, rubber, and beef. They looks like crustacean on two legs). Due to the lack of food, a Nigerian warlord and his band of marauders seize the opportunity to conduct a barter trade with the aliens within D9. The aliens would barter their weapons for cat food and beef. The warlord is obsessed with getting the "power and strength" of the aliens, would randomly kill them and eats their flesh as advised by his shamanic priestess. As violence and riot begin to flare around the city, MNU (Multi National United), the private corporation contracted by the governments to run the by now slum like shanty town D9, is asked to relocated the aliens to District 10, a newly built camp site 240 kilometers away from the city. The movie begins proper on the day of the "relocation", about twenty eight years later. Shot in hand held documentary style, thank goodness it is not as shakey stevens as Blair Witch or Cloverfield but not as sophisticated as Children Of Men either. The protagonist, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), is appointed by the chief of MNU, who conveniently also happens to be his father in law, to carry out the serving of "eviction" notices and getting the 1.8 millions aliens to "sign" on the consent forms, which of course is just a fallacy and clear abuse of any "rights" the aliens supposedly have. Guarded by MNU security forces as well as a group of contracted mercenaries lead by an over enthusiastic leader, Wikus walks door to door to serve the notice, until when he accidentally sprays some alien liquid on himself. Wikus appears to be borderline nerdy sort of persona but he loves his wife tremendously. After the incident, Wikus begins to vomit and bleeds "black stuff". Not Guinness but yucky looking liquid. His nails also begin to fall off. As the movie verge on being "The Fly", it takes a turn and from here onwards, becomes an action movie. Wikus experiences a blackout and is hospitalised but to the horror of the doctor, his left hand (injured earlier) has transformed into the likeness of those aliens. He is then taken to MNU lab, which resembles an alien abattoir, where he is prodded with electric shock to test the alien weapons. He then becomes literally a God sent walking prize for MNU, who wants to cut him "to the bones", with consent given straight from his father in law. You see, the entire idea of MNU running the camp is with one sole objective, technological transfer of the aliens weaponry. Welfare can take a backseat when billions of dollars worth of arm contracts are in hand. But to operate the weapons confiscated from the aliens, their DNA is required, something which MNU has failed to replicate. Wikus DNA is being altered by the liquid to that of an alien, and when he is at the lab, his body already contains 50% alien DNA. Wikus manages to escape but the hunt is on. Here, the documentary style shot mysteriously disappear and becomes more like a normal kind of sequence. Wikus runs to D9, where he meets "Christopher", who happens to be a drone in hiding from the humans and is responsible for the creation of the liquid which Wikus confiscated earlier during the eviction. "Christopher" explains (the aliens and humans understand each other language well enough...hmm) that Wikus will soon turn into one of them if treatment is not sought at the spacecraft. He also explains that the liquid takes twenty years to develop. Thus Wikus and "Christopher" storm MNU offices to retrieve the small canister containing it. But all is not smooth for both of them, and soon both MNU as well as the Nigerian marauders would be in the hunt for Wikus until the climatic finale. The movie contains lots of gore and blood. It also marked the first time a locally screened movie carrying completely uncensored "f-word", which are aplenty in all its booming THX glory. Perhaps the movies censorship butcher boys did not understand the rather thick accent of the South African english? :P. The board also did some poor editing, like some scenes ended rather abruptly, interrupting the flow rather akwardly. But all in all, D9 is surprisingly a good movie from this year. Although it some how reminiscence of the 80s Alien Nation, D9's strength is the rather engaging storyline, which as it nears the ending, can be quite emotive and heart wrenching, as well as the characterisation of its lead, Wikus. I could not help but wonder after the end credits, whether "Christopher" comes back for Wikus and the others after three years? Hopefully.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Blogspot Getting Blocked?

Shortly after my last post just now, it seems some "ghost in the machine" is at work. First, I could not upload any photos. Then it can after I clicked on HTML format instead of "compose" but only one photo. After trying again, it worked back normally. Then, whilst browsing through favourite blog sites, suddenly I was blocked from entering my own blog. No amount of re-entering the passwords or re-starting the connection would change the situation. Some funny alphabets with numerals appeared and requested me to contact Blogger Support or Help Center or something like that. Being first time occurrence, I followed their instruction which was basically a merry go round kind of thing. Let's just say it wasn't very helpful. Now, after trying to calm myself down with a ciggie, I tried and worked once more. But I have a nagging feeling it is just temporary relief. So, this might be the last post from this blog and if there were no longer any new posts, it means I have decided to revert back to the old method of keeping my memories for the two precious via a good old hand written journal...midori's travelling journal maybe?

John Coltrane ~ A Love Supreme.

“Elation. Elegance. Exaltation. All from God. Thank you God. Amen.”

Like most jazz masters, it is impossible to sum up the career of tenor saxaphonist John Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) in its entirety. Although his main works spanned twelve years, Trane had been involved in other pivotal jazz sessions for his peers prior to that, including Miles Davis masterpiece, Kind Of Blue. Trane is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of modern jazz and helped reshape it, which in turn influenced countless other jazz musicians in the process. One of his most well known masterpiece is the four part suite A Love Supreme (1964), of whereby an increasingly more religious and spiritual Trane gave his thanks to the "spiritual higher power". Coltrane can be heard chanting or repeating "A Love Supreme" towards the end of the first part. This cd copy contains two discs, the original album recorded together with his quartet, as well as the only known live performance of the suite, from a July 26, 1965 performance at the Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, France,

Monday, 10 August 2009

Chloe - Knitted Cap.

Today is Siti's birthday, so Esther thought a mini celebration for her tireless effort should be carried out. She bought Siti a cake and gave her an angpow as well. Mom cooked lam mee as usual. Chloe got a new, knitted cap, courtesy of Esther who did it purposely for her when she saw a newsboy cap at one of the local kids boutique. She wanted it to be "floppy", but we thought it looks nice on Chloe, like a skull cap. And of course, Dylan and his by now infamous smile in the household.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

John Hughes : February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009.

Dear Mr. Vernon,

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong, but we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us... In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...Brian Johnson
...and an athlete...Andrew Clark
...and a basket case...Allison Reynolds
...a princess...Claire Standish
...and a criminal...John Bender
Does that answer your question?...

Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.

As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
When you walk away
~ Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds.

Candles in the window,
shadows painting the ceiling,
gazing at the fire glow,
feeling that gingerbread feeling.
Precious moments,
special people,
happy faces,
I can see.
Somewhere in my mem'ry,
Christmas joys all around me,
living in my mem'ry,
all of the music,
all of the magic,
all of the fam'ly home here with me.
~ Somewhere In My Memory, from Home Alone.

John Hughes, writer and director of teen flicks and comedies such as The Breakfast Club (1985) and Home Alone (1990), passed away on 6th August 2009 of heart attack at the age of 59.