Monday, November 30, 2009

the perfect camera

to all camera devotees who want :

1) the brightest F2 lens,

2) the sharpest defination,

3) the widest dynamic range,

4) AND the FASTEST AUTO FOCUS.....................

here is the PERFECT CAMERA with it all.....

(click to enlarge)

**this image is taken from promotional material for the olympus E3**

Saturday, November 28, 2009

free medical check-up?

i just received a strange call 5 mins ago. someone from Pantai Medical Centre in bangsar called to ask if i'm interested in a free no-obligation check-up tomorrow, sunday 29th nov.

i imagined she was red-faced when i told her i myself could give her a free no-obligation medical. heh, heh! she did apologise profusely & admitted that she got my name & number from an outsourcing company.

anyway, i asked if i could refer some people who might be interested in her offer & she readily agreed. so if you're in the KL/PJ area, call Shy (that's her name & she spoke with a strange accent) at 012-2617290 from the Preventive Health Centre at PMC.
if you call now, she might be able to arrange for tomorrow. if not, there will be further sessions next week.

as a disclaimer, i can't tell for sure if this is a truly genuine offer or if it's conditional, or even a sales gimmick, but call to find out for yourself.

good health to all!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

a hazard of air pollution

i was naive when i thought the problem with air pollution is that it affects only the lungs - aggravating asthma, causing breathing difficulties or even lung cancer (read here). now, a new German study has shown a link (read here) with early dementia, & in new zealand, it seems that more people died from emission fumes than from motor vehicle accidents. (read here)

what prompted me to write this is that recently i read in someone's blog where he posted a picture of the view from his condo & it was obvious the condo was located just next to a major highway. others who may be affected by the pollution from motor vehicle fumes include highway, car park & petrol station workers.

unfortunately, for most of us, we don't have much choice to the place of work or stay. most times, the job pays well or the dwelling is affordable, or it's just a matter of convenience.

what can we do if we are constantly exposed to exhaust fumes? well, nothing much, short of changing jobs or shifting out. using face masks daily at work is not practical & ineffective, & leaving the air-con on for long hours at home is expensive, not to mention also environmentally unfriendly. the only other option for damage control would therefore to maintain an otherwise healthy lifestyle, eg. balanced diet, enough sleep & regular exercise away from those fumes!!

(sigh!) the bane of city living.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

prelude to an empty nest

the girl has gone for a youth leadership camp for a week. so it's just the 3 of us at home. i don't feel it so much as i'm at work most of the day but the girl's absence is beginning to affect the wife. she's stopped working the day the girl was born & has looked after her from day 1. so that reaction is understandable but i reminded the wife of the verse that the girl herself quoted the day the decision was made to study in singapore.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11

life still has to go on but we trust the Lord will teach her & instruct her in the way that she should go. amen.

Friday, November 20, 2009

why adults need to be IT-savvy.

I was having trouble with my computer so I called Richard, the 11 year old next door whose bedroom looks like Mission Control, and asked him to come over.

Richard clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong?'

He replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.'

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, 'An, ID ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.'

Richard grinned. 'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?'

'No,' I replied.

'Write it down,' he said, 'and I think you'll figure it out.'

So I wrote down: I D 1 0 T

I used to like the little @#%&!! rascal!

**thanks, YO, for the email**

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

he pulled through!

you know the school year is ending because the SPM & STPM exams start this week. the UPSR results will also be announced on thursday.

for the rest, it's report book time.

when we made the decision to send the boy to a chinese-medium school, we recognised that as non-native mandarin speakers, we couldn't help him in the language except to send him for tuition classes. as the main objective for the enrollment is for him to learn to converse, read & write mandarin, we readily accept that he may not excel in school overall, & should he find it difficult to cope, we will re-enroll him into a national-type school.

however, we were pleasantly surprised that he handled the language much better than expected. no tantrums & certainly no i-hate-school tussles. now, he even reads & writes better than us, & we could get a decent conversation going.

oh yes, he was 12th in class in mid-year & improved 2 places for the end-year.

and he thinks he deserves a vacation!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


this must be the most anticipated disaster movie of the year.

let's face it - we are curious to foresee what the future holds, even calamities & events that will cause untold misery & perhaps destroy the world as we know it.

but the irony is that we do not heed the warning signs, least of all from an outdated mayan calendar.
celebrated evangelist billy graham's daughter, anne, was interviewed on The Early Show some years back, & jane clayson asked her, how could God let something like hurricane katrina happen?

anne graham gave an extremely profound & insightful response. she said,"i believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are. but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, get out of our government & get out of our lives. & being the gentleman that He is, i believe He has calmly backed out. how can we expect God to give us His blessings & His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis & diseases all have left a trail of human suffering but no one knows for sure when the world will actually end.

certainly not Dec 21, 2012.

however, the apostle peter has cautioned us:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives. 2 Pet 3:10-11

now, we HAVE been warned.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

free private healthcare?

the operation theatres at the district hospital are undergoing repair works. so all emergency surgical cases seen at the hospital are sent to, & will be managed at, the private medical centre i'm attached to, under an agreement with the min of health.

that's why of late, we have had a sharp spike in the volume of surgeries - painful abdomens, broken bones, lacerated tissues, etc. the govt will foot the whole bill while the patients pay the usual govt hospital rates.

so, if you're in or around the segamat district & in need of urgent medical care, you now know how you could actually get (almost) free private healthcare.

but this is for a limited time only.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

double duty

it had been a hectic time. my colleague had on leave with his family & i covered his duty for a whole week. naturally, it was good for the pocket but the stress level also went up a few notches.

he just came back from the gold coast. he flew by air asia X & found the 8-hr flight bearable despite the seats not being able to recline. he probably could bear it, given his small physical stature. however, a few of the taller passengers found the seats uncomfortable, also because of the narrow knee space.

yes, now everyone can fly but i wonder if flying air asia X to london would be torture??

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Dec 20

out of the blue, the pastor asked me last week if i would like to give a message to the church on a sunday. i knew a day like this would arrive but it was just too sudden. he was going on leave with his family & preferred someone from within the church to speak. i felt like Moses when he was tasked to speak to the Israelites:

Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." ex 4:10

like Moses, i had a hundred excuses at the tip of my tongue but lest His anger burned against me, i deliberated on His reassurance:

"Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." v 12

at one fell swoop, He also inspired a message - the crossing of the red sea.

watch this space.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A+ is a G-grade idea.

hasn't it been said that if it ain't broke, don't fix it?

can anyone elaborate the advantage(s) of the move by the ministry of education to overhaul the grading for the SPM exams?
read here

from next year, an A could be an A+, A or A-. why do we require an extra A-grade? why the need to attach merit points to the grades? what was wrong with 1A & 2A? or, during my time, A1 & A2?

if there are just too many straight As students, just increase the cut-off mark for the 1A grade, which was set at 87 & above when i sat for the MCE (predecessor of today's SPM). when my results were released, there were less than 10 students who achieved straight A1s.
err, no, i wasn't one of them ;)

& you know what? in order to help students pass, a retired teacher friend who used to mark SPM papers revealed the pass mark was lowered to 20 for the maths paper. 20 MARKS!! now you know our current standard of education.
so, isn't this regrading a G-grade (ie zero merit point) idea by the ministry of un-education?

unless there's an agenda we are all not aware of.