Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Camera is Finally Ours

After much thoughts, we finally jumped on the DSLR bandwagon and bought the camera. The camera comes with a camera bag, a 5 foot tripod, 2G memory card, screen protector and 3 years warranty for the camera and the lens. Great isn't it? You are looking to a freebies sucker here :p
My bf, on the other hand, is a gadget freak. He would play and experiment every single buttons and functions of the camera. I have no problem with that because I know, the benefits of having gadget freak around you is the time you can save from troubleshooting and reading manuals. I am just an innocent epiphyte.
As amateurs, we operate only by using the basic items. Since lighting is essential in photography, I sensed that we will be needing a flash for better outcomes and tell you it ain't cheap! My other wish lists are wide angle and telephoto lens, which will usually cost more than the camera itself. In my sleep, I even dreams for the lenses :p
The photos you see below were captured by the hand of a novice. Since he was so busy snapping for himself and did not aware that he wasn't even in some of the photos. Tsk tsk tsk.

By The Hand of A Novice

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Photo taken while cruising on Perahu Dondang Sayang at Cruise Tasik, Putrajaya

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Behaving well at Clash of Times

Friday, November 23, 2007

Clash of Times - Fed-Ex vs Pistol Pete, Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam

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I purposely enrolled myself for "Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" at the Company's course center, so I am obliged to leave early on that day. Leaving early means to dismiss at 5 on the dot, which sounds irrelevant if I were in the office (in KL!). Our strategy was to skip the traffic jams and arrive no later than 8PM in Stadium Malawati for our big date. You see, I am actually applying Habit # 1 : Be Proactive and Habit # 2 : Begin With the End in Mind on my effort of becoming effective. I highly recommend you to read Covey's book for better understanding on the 7 Habits which could probably make your life more meaningful. Okay I should stop on 7 Habit because this is ain't a marketing blog.
No word can describe how excited I am to see Federer and Sampras live on action. Although it was only an exhibition game, it's an one-off event to experience the live action at RM83 okay! (The cheapest that you can get). There were few empty seats at the RM253 tiers so we sat leisurely for a few minutes until we were being washed out by the seats owner (politely) HAHA. Not much difference being in RM83 tiers to RM253 tiers, so I feel no regret for investing on two RM83 tixs for myself and my bf. It was a special treat for him since he loves tennis so much. And it was a special date since both of us share the same interest on the sports.
Federer emerging victorious after wining both sets on tie-breaks in the over 90 minutes game. Sampras however awes the audiences with his blistering 200++kph first serves. The highest I saw was 212kph! Few days after that, Sampras post his first win in their three-game Asian exhibition series at their last pit stop in Macau.
Sampras lamented that players nowadays are lack of powerful serves and crafty volley and are only taught to hit the ball as hard as they can. This of which reminds me to start hitting the ball again after being in bed rest for 6 months and save my serve and volley from extinction!

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The East Zone of Stadium Malawati

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Kamal Hazim I envy you

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

DSLRs versus Point and Shoot

I have been using a compact point and shoot digital camera and I would like to upgrade to a DSLR camera. I like having both because I do feel they compliment each other and each suited for different situation. My preference in terms of quality of shots is with the DSLR but for convenience the point and shoot sometimes wins out.
DSLR is generally more expensive thus I would only invest when am financially stable. It could be somewhere before June 2008, happens that I voluntarily offered free photography services for someone's wedding, as a start...
On 2004, I bought my second digital camera and has been using it since then. Unfortunately, few weeks ago, I accidentally dropped the camera and now it doesn't work anymore. The problem was stuck lens. The camera housing is also all scratched up.
Considering that later on I'd invest on a DSLR, how would I solve the digital camera dilemma?

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Canon EOS 400D

Should I pay RM480 0r RM780 (installment of brand new lens -RM480 and housing - RM300) for this old lady OR

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Sony DSC P150

Should I just forget the old lady and go for this cute little birdie?

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Sony Latest Releases - DSC T2

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tiara Beach Resort, Port Dickson

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Organized by the Young Professionals, the Away Day was a day full of activities exclusively for the staff and families from the Department. The event took place at Tiara Beach Resort in Port Dickson, famously known for its 5 acres man-made water theme park.It was heaven on earth for the kids. 30 X 10 feet water inflatables, high mountain inflatables, children hippo slide, children obstacle inflatables and many more inflatables at the beach park. There were also sand castling area, children's playroom and games room. The maximum depth for the pool is only 1.2m so it's safe for the kids.
Nevertheless, it was a real dismay for a beach lovers like me. I am missing the sound of waves, the laying on a white sand, the sun set by the beach, which is no where to be seen. Sigh.

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This is our (Suhana and I) twin bed studio. Singletons were to share rooms. Those with families were entitled for family suite. It seems that I'd be sharing rooms for the next few years HAHA. Up to my standard, the room was quite a disappointment. No ASTRO, no bath tub, no carpeting with a breathtaking window views of a palm oil plantation nextby (not!). Only one elevator per apartment, which was way far from my wing and made me climb on my own feet up to the 5th floor. And for that matter, the water pressure was struggling making it's way either.

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At least the telematch was fun. Colleagues came with spouses, children, babies and families. A time for networking and get to know who's who. We played futsal and beach volley. It was also the time to find out that your serious and workaholic Principal or Staff Engineers was in fact a great footballer.

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The main gala was the Hari Raya and Deepavali Celebration Dinner. Food, could have been better. Suhana and myself shared the same table with a close colleague of mine, a Korean and his best friend, an Indonesian and few others. Along the way, the audience were entertained with a Karaoke competition. Nothing much to elaborate on a Karaoke competition isn't it? And no word could ever explain when self confidence overriding the singing skills. A total chaos. So there we were, enjoying the music and the food. Luckily, the Draw saves the day. All the anxiety vanished for a while when I was announced as the 1st Lucky Draw winner. Man, that was my first ever debut in Lucky Draw arena, in my 25 years of living. I was expecting a digital camera, which I so desperately need at this moment of time. But it turned out to be a petrol voucher. Boo hoo.
TBR's weekend specialty was movie screening, from 9AM until midnight. That evening it was showcasing Transformer, I'd love to join the crowd but was too tired and walked back straight to the apartment.
On the second day, there were another round of telematch and the climax was Tug of War between every Section in the WATER!
The other 3 Sections were represented with men in big sizes whilst our Section was the only section with 2 girls below 50kg. Modest is size but not in courage ok!
We won the second place.
Coming after that was the closing ceremony and then we checked-out.
Even though TBR was a bit of a dashing hopes, the Away Day was indeed exhilarating.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Land Down Under : Day 4 and Day 5

Day 4 - 10th October 2007
The ATW workshop ends on the noon of the 4th day. At that moment of time, Farinda and her boss were already on their way to the airport. They left early. As for the rest of us, we still have 1.5 days before waving goodbye to Perth.
Today we embarked on another journey to discover the Perth city. At first, the boys had agreed to go to Fremantle but diverted the destination to Perth City as they were more fascinated to shop at cheap prices in the Duty Free shops. That means no Fremantle. No Fremantle Markets – markets with over 150 stalls selling seafood, gourmet items, clothes, jewellery, fruit, vegetables, antiques and souvenirs :(
Since we were travelling in a bigger group today, we opted for the train to go to Perth City. All shops in the heart of the city were within walking distance and it was fun walking around the busy yet friendly city. On our way to the Duty Free shops, we dropped by to London Court, a unique retail walkway displaying 38 specialty outlets, set in an architectural style similar to that Tudor England. A place where you can shop for souvenirs, jewellery, quality cigars, clothing and even collectible doll and bear shop! For not getting my Fremantle, that was really curing!
London Court souvenirs were bit pricey, that was a right decision to bargain everything in Oleh Oleh on the day before. Faizal, on the other hand, was still halfway on completing his shopping mission and was at that time stucked at Mission # 4 : Shopping gifts for the wife.
He had no idea what gifts to buy for the wife, yours truly could not help either for not knowing what the wife likes. Thank God there were these beautiful set of pearls (of necklaces and earings) and that’s what the wife got.
Shopping gifts more me is easier. I don't burden love ones with confusion on what size of shirt/pants/shoes to choose. Items that come with free sizes such as handbags/bags/jewelery would do. Preferably, the items are the country's own specialty. Now you know what to shop for me when you are in oversea :)
Mission # 5 (Faizal's) was Cricket Bat. Tsk tsk tsk. He spent on few hundreds for the cricket bat at the Downtown Duty Free. He seems to do it everywhere he goes, before Perth was Pakistan. Keith bought stock pile of liquor for the coming Christmas celebration and En Hamid splurged on chocolates for everyone at home.
When every of them were carrying a bulky cricket bat, a big bag of liquor and boxes of chocolates, I was only carrying a thin envelope of 2008 Australian's Marsupials Calendar bought for mum. Sigh. I guess being camera less had turned off my mood for shopping. And I wasn't in the mood to survey for camera either. Faizal was recommending all sorts of camera but none was captivating. Man, Faizal do shops like a girl :p
It was nearing to break fast when the mission finally completes. For berbuka puasa, we stopped in Insan's Cafe, a Malay cuisine restaurant located at Murray Street. I had my nasi lemak and root beer. The food - not that bad! Definitely a must-visit cafe for sudden cravings of Malaysian food while in Perth.
At the cafe, we bumped into another group from the Company; they were in the process of negotiating on the Company’s new assets in Africa. Previous to the employment in technical line, I used to serve the management line and be in the negotiation team. Great opportunity and valuable experience, get to travel around the globe too. I learnt a lot, especially on networking and the art of mingling. I kind of missed CBD sometimes, no doubt bout that. But first thing first; now I have to master the technical experience before deciding to pursue on technical or management line.
After the catching up and chit chat session, we took a train and headed back home. It was raining mildly when we arrived and I was shivering. At 9PM, we were already at the hotel.

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In between of St Georges Terrace and the Hay Street - London Court

Day 5 - 11th October 2007
We requested for late check out so while waiting for 12PM to come, I leisurely sat in the room and wrote some notes on the workshop. I could had utilize waiting time and embark on another journey to Fremantle but could not bear the boringness and tiresome of travelling alone. At 12PM, we checked-out and took a cab to Perth International Airport.
At the MAS check-in counter, there were few other Malaysian, going back home for Hari Raya, of course. After checked-in, we paid another visit to the Duty Free for another bottles of liquor for Keith. And finally, I ended up buying a cheap disposable camera (with 27 exposure only duh!) for AUD9 and managed to snap a few photos outside the airport. I should have bought the camera while I was at the Perth City yesterday. And for everyone at home, I bought 3 boxes of Australian's famous macadamia chocolate.
(Photos will be uploaded later . Current status : 12 exposure snapped out of 27 exposure)

The cabin was not even full. I were again in Boeing 777, however this was the first time for Keith and Faizal to enjoy the in-flight movie. I kept myself occupied with my movies while Keith, on the other hand, intoxicated himself with cans of beer. I stopped counting as he reaches his 12th cans.
We were crossing the Indonesian oceans when the cabin crew announced the time for break fas. It was 7.09PM, similar to Malaysian time. The chicken mushroom served looks nice but didn’t taste how it supposed to be. Cabin food, what do you expect right? After the meal, my stomach was happy and ready for another movie i.e Mr Bean - The Holiday. I didn’t sleep at all. I wasn’t eager to go back, wasn’t even eager to leave Australia either. The camera less disease was still affecting me and had made me so monotonous. Pity me.
We landed safely at 10PM. After wishing Selamat Hari Raya and waving good bye, we dispersed.

Interesting fact to capture : This seems to be out of topic but every guys (or Faizal) may what to know that ... Diamonds are women's best friends.