Big Bad Thursday

I spent 6.5 hours from 9.00AM to 3.30PM at Puchong Naza Kia service center, wasting time because I didn’t realize they have free wifi.

As planned, we rushed to the Big Bad Wolf book sales at Amcorp Mall. The traffic was moderate, but Amcorp Mall was packed with people. Arriving at the outdoor parking space we can already see people carrying boxes and plastic bags sporting the Big Bad Wolf logo. When we reached the 3rd floor we were relieved to see that there are still pile of books ready to be taken away.

It wasn’t easy to go through the crowd, and it was even more difficult after office hours that day as there were an even bigger crowd. We managed to go for lunch after the first session, and came back for the 2nd session.


Here are the results of the first visit. 41 books altogether, plus one for a friend. I only got myself 3 technical books which are dirt cheap at RM15 each compared to the shelf prices that may reach more than a hundred ringgit. And I don’t have any favorite author either. The last fiction I read was the 4 books from Dan Brown and I am waiting for the paperback version of The Lost Symbol to be published. It’s just too tiring to stay there too long. I am getting old.


The interesting thing is that when we return home to look at the website at the site was suspended because it went out of resources. Too many visitors perhaps? It was back up on Friday, though.

Things didn’t change the second day when we went there with a niece, except for there are less management books available. We didn’t see any change for the children books either. They have added more technical books, but most are references for outdated technologies.

I didn’t get any books for the second visit but my better half and niece found theirs.



Estimated off the shelf price for both days: RM2000

Spent: less than RM500

This does look like reckless spending if you don’t read, but for book lovers this is the best you can get. They don’t get any cheaper than this.

The sales continues until 2nd December at Amcorp Mall. Although they say that they unbox new boxes everyday I am not sure what is available at the days approaching the end. Look for them in Facebook. I hope there will be more books for me the next time they organize the sale.

Italiannies Sunway Pyramid

This is an overdue post that I wanted to write right after I came back from there on Tuesday, but I couldn’t.

That day, I went back home earlier than usual as my other half was craving for pasta. Pizza Hut and Kenny Rogers pasta were also candidates but we like the Carbonara at Italiannies best because of the full flavor. It was our second time at Italiannies Sunway Pyramid, as the first was on Father’s day where I enjoyed a free Grilled Salmon Oreganata (that is a RM44++ meal gratis). I like the branch in Sunway Pyramid better than the one in The Curve as the restaurant is bigger, the air conditioning is a lot cooler, and the environment is much calmer. Plus, the service in Sunway Pyramid is superb.

If you have been following my posts, you will know that I am easily annoyed with bad service. I was annoyed at first with the weird, hard to understand accent but it faded away when they gave their best service. The first time I went there they helped me carry the stroller up the stairs (we used the wrong entrance by the pub to the smoking level). This time, they brought a pillow for my kid’s back support when they saw that I had to use one of my hand to support the kid’s back on the considerably large high chair. They paid good attention and gave help without the need to be asked. I felt so grateful I almost shed some tears but fortunately I didn’t.

If tipping is practiced in Malaysia those two servers would get a fat tip from me. Well I would still tip them if I feel like I have money to spare but not right now. Maybe some day, hopefully soon.

Italiannies in Sunway Pyramid consists of two levels – the lower level is the smoking level and there is an entrance near the pub (I can’t remember the name). If you’re coming from inside the mall, the entrance is at the back of TGI Friday’s. Yes, you have to enter TGI Friday’s, go left and straight to the back where there is a door waiting for you. I personally prefer this entrance.

I will go there again, to try the Sicilian Pizza. I ended up having the salmon again since they were out of ingredients for the pizza (it was quite late in the evening).

So what about you, do you like Italiannies and what can you recommend to have there?

The Power of Assumption

When it comes to personal life, “assume” or “assumption” is the ugliest word. My good friend Ijoy has written about assumptions in his blog, most probably after someone assumed something that is not true about him.

WARNING: This is a partialy emotion driven post and should only be read by the open minded. Continue at your own risk.

Continue reading The Power of Assumption

SpongeBob SquarePants

I have been working from home for almost a month now, and to cope with loneliness from the lack of company and with the noise produced by the work next door I always have my TV turned on while working. I used to hear about SpongeBob and I know what he is but never bothered to watch it. I stumbled upon the cartoon series once in a while at 5.00pm at TV9 (dubbed version) so I decided to watch it. Although I usually hate dubbed versions I have to say that for this series they did it pretty well.


And now, I have learned to love Spongebob. If I have nothing important to do at 5pm everyday I will switch on TV9 and watch the yellow little guy with his friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks, his colleague Squidward Tentacles, his boss Eugene Krabs, his pet Gary the Snail, and the unsuccessful rival of Eugene Krabs’ – Sheldon Plankton.

SpongeBob cartoon series is fun to watch, as the funny elements are intelligent enough in contrary to some cartoons (local and international).

And yes, in history it will be known that my first post for 2009 is about SpongeBob. SpongeBob is my hero, he made me laugh and this suppresses my desire to commit any kind of crime.

Spongebob names in other languages:

  • Спондж Боб (Spondzh Bob) (Bulgarian)
  • SvampeBob Firkant (Danish)
  • SpongeBob Schwammkopf (German)
  • Μπομπ Σφουγγαράκης Τετραγωνοπαντελονής (Mpomp Spouggarakhc Tetragonopantelonhc) (Greek)
  • Bob Esponja (Spanish)
  • SpongaBobo (Esperanto)
  • Bob l’éponge (Bob the Sponge) (French)
  • 네모네모 스펀지 송 (Ne-mo Ne-mo Seupeonji Song) (Korean)
  • Svampur Sveinsson (Icelandic)
  • スポンジ・ボブ (SuponjiBobu) (Japanese)
  • SvampeBob Firkant (Norwegian)
  • SpongeBob Kanciastoporty (Polish)
  • Bob Esponja Calça Quadrada (Portuguese)
  • Губка Боб Квадратные Штаны (Gubka Bob Kvadratnye Shtany) or simply “Спанч Боб” (Russian)
  • Paavo Pesusieni (Finnish)
  • SvampBob Fyrkant (Swedish)
  • Sünger Bob (Turkish)
  • 海綿寶寶 (Mian Qiu Fang Kuai) (Mandarin)
  • BobSfoge Michnas Meruba (Hebrew)

So in Malay language he should be “SpanBob SeluarSegiempat” ?

Welcoming 2009/1430H

2009 is very near, and I am writing this post earlier for the fear of getting arrested before 2009 actually comes. 1430H arrived yesterday. Happy New Year!!

2008 was a very good year with a new job, new son, and new house purchase. The new year of 2009 is supposed to be the best new year for me and my family but it seems that now the house next door is going to spoil it for me. As I have previously mentioned in my previous post they are making so much noise that I feel really miserable. It’s gonna be the worst new year for me and my family.

On the good side, my report to MPSJ about the unbearable noise has been recorded and I have received the usual “your report has been received and is being processed for action” note.

If I manage to avoid arrest, I hope I will be a better man in 2009. A better father and husband, a better Samaritan, a better Muslim, a better Malaysian, a better employee, and a better human in general. There is no specific resolution for me except to put a strike to the word nicotine on the tag line (to be super honest removing the word nicotine has been on my mind for the last several years). And oh yes, who does not want to be a millionaire?

Take good care people and enjoy life. I hope all your wishes come true in 2009. Happy new year, and thanks for being my reader.

More Than 48 Hours Offline

It has been a while since I spent time at home without going online. As a matter of fact I don’t remember at all when such an event has occurred before.

48 hours is strictly speaking, because 50 hours ago I did check my Gmail for 5 minutes. The truth is that I have not gotten online since Sunday. So this is it, the only thing that can prevent me from getting online is the little guy who revealed himself to the world on the Eve of Aidiladha 🙂

And I am online right now just to check out some forms and making sure that all that is needed has been paid. I am going to stay and work from home most probably until February. However I’m gonna stop by the office for a while tomorrow to send in some documents.

Oh yes BTW I’ve got to mention that I had the best experience at JPN (National Registration Department) Putrajaya on the 10th. It took me less than 30 minutes to settle the registration. That is really really cool and deserves a good mention.

It’s a totally different world for me now… exciting and scary at the same time. Wish me luck!!!

Thanks a lot for all the text, instant message, and email messages. I’m sorry if I missed to reply some.

I am not sure when I will be able to get online next and update this site but I will try to find time.

Busy August

Looks like August is another busy month for me. Earlier this month I went to Terengganu for my niece’s wedding. It took a lot of work to be the organizing party. One niece married, 2 nieces, 3 nephews, and a son to go.

I took a 3-day’s leave (thanks boss!) during the first week and spent 5 days there. It was tiring especially because I had to go to work on Monday. But it was worth the hard work and money spent. Here’s a photo from the event:

For those who are not familiar with Malay customs, this is the table where the bride and groom have their special lunch. The menu is a little different from everyone else. Accompanying the bride and groom is the groom’s family since this is the bride side of the wedding. At the groom’s side it depends on the custom of the state and family. According to our Johore custom (where we originally comes from) the groom’s party is as big as the bride’s party. But since the groom is from Terengganu it’s different.

Back to real life in Selangor I have many things to settle. The house purchase matters and EPF has just been settled on Friday. And my external client is facing some problems with their mail infrastructure. I’ve just finished a script for them to maintain Postfix aliases since they have a lot of groups. I utilized SQLite and perl to achieve something like a menu system for maintaining users and alias groups. I am also very busy at my day job, since there are a lot of release issues to attend to.

This weekend I have to go shop for baby stuff again especially I heard IKEA is having a sale. What else… oh yes I just came back from watching Wall-E. It’s cute and nice but far too simple for me but I don’t expect more. It’s fun.

If I have time tomorrow I will also do a summer cleanup before the fasting month arrives. The baby’s coming out soon and we really have to do something about the junk that is cluttering our home, and think about moving plans. That is why I was thinking of an attic earlier :-D.

That’s all as an update for now I have to wake up early tomorrow!

The Most Expensive “Baju Melayu” I Ever Had

Or frankly the title should be “The Most Expensive Baju Melayu I will have” because I have just sent the fabric to the tailor a couple of hours ago at Wisma Yakin near Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. The thing is I am unsure whether I will get a more expensive ones later in life.

For those who are wondering what it is, go here for Wikipedia page on Baju Melayu.

I am not getting this one especially for the coming Eid ul-Fitr, but for my niece’s wedding ceremony in August. And since it is pricey I will also use it for Eid.

The fabric is RM200 and the tailor charge is RM120. It maybe normal for certain people but since all of my previous Baju Melayus were tailored by my mom and using normal fabrics this is the most expensive one for me.

The reason I didn’t go for ready-made ones is that they might not fit well, and the ones I found are either too cheap (equals bad quality) or too expensive. The turquoise Baju Melayu will be ready during the last week of July, just in time for the wedding on August 8th.

US Visa Collection

It has almost been a month since I wrote my last post. I’ve been busy, yes. Busy enough that I didn’t have the chance to write.

I have been away to the United States and back. While there I was tired more than normal simply because of the commute to work and the different weather conditions. I’ll post some pictures from Boston in the next posts.

Back to the collection of US Visa in Wisma MCA in KL. The procedure is there is not that cumbersome. One quite important thing if you want to spend the littlest time there is to come early. 2.30pm is considered early for next-working-day pickup of the Visa and your passport (if you are picking up a Visa applied weeks ago you can come in the morning). The US Visa office have a lunch break time (compared to UK Visa office which is closed at 3pm with no lunch time).

Anyway, when you arrive at Wisma MCA you have to register at the lobby – mention that you want to go to VFS. The “receptionist” will swipe your card at the computer and produce a slip. Once you reach the floor, you’ll report to the security guard and form a queue at the corridor in front of the office. I was the 5th in line. Write your name and contact number at the back of the yellow card you obtained at the embassy.

Your turn in the queue is important as this is the order they will call you once you are in the office. I was out after 5 minutes the office started processing. They were quick.

Try not to bring a big bag or important things as you’ll have to leave everything outside. Just like when you were in the embassy you’ll have to switch off your handphone here too.

The bottom line is to be early. At least half an hour before the office opens. I guess this applies the same if you come in the morning. It’s important if you want to spend 30-40 minutes max there. Believe me, the line was very long.

Room To Breathe

As you can see I have just been granted with some room to breathe. 3 full posts in a row is a lot for my schedule, and hopefully more coming to this blog.

To my plugin users who have requested for enhancements and bug fixes, thanks for your patience. Work shall commence soon on upgrading the plugins.

Changes In Life

Believe it or not I can now feel the aging process creeping into my life. Body functions aside, I am seeing things from the psychology point of view. These days it is incomplete if I don’t watch or read the news. I wake up early even on the weekends. I cry when I read life stories in Reader’s Digest – especially the ones that involve fatherly love.

Having no experience of having a real father, I have always been scared of the commitment of being a father. Last week 2 tester sticks yelled at me saying that I should now be prepared to be one. I know this day will come, and I am glad it did.

I am beginning to feel changes in my life. It’s kinda an automatic thing.

  • I used to like to speed when driving especially when I am alone. Now I drive at speed limit, thinking that I don’t want my kid to be an orphan.
  • Spiritually, I used to be lazy when it comes to executing my religious obligations. Not anymore.
  • I think of quitting smoking a lot more frequently than before.
  • I am going to execute a well planned exercise plan to get healthy and reduce my unhealthy weight.
  • I feel less intrigued on the ideas of spending my money on my expensive toys.

One thing that amazes me the most is that when I went out for dinner at Alamanda earlier, I feel that kids I saw were cuter and more adorable than ever before. This is very amazing because I used to dislike kids and think that they are annoying.

I am worried, but I am very happy. I may not be jumping with joy like most first time fathers do (I was raised in an inexpressive family) but I am very happy.

God, please give me strength to go through life. I really want to be a good father.

Fender Bender in Subang

I was involved in a fender bender in Subang yesterday, caused by a motorcycle. He was crossing a road divider (to save distance WTF) and slowly cruising in front of me so I had to slow down.

A car behind me (a Proton Wira) saw this and in turn he slowed down himself. But, an old lady behind him driving a 5th Gen Honda Civic didn’t slow down and hit the back of the Wira. It was a nasty blow and it ripped off the Wira’s rear bumper. The Wira grazed my Perodua Kelisa‘s rear end, caused some paint transfer and some dent. His left side near the tire, however, was dented quite badly and even effected his front passenger door. (So was it the super effect of Proton cars absorbing the impact, or whether it’s the bad material I don’t know).

Since I was in a hurry, I went to discuss with them and asked them what they were going to do. I don’t care, as my damage is tiny. We suggested the old lady check her own insurance, and how much her NCD was. If it’s a lot and not worth claiming maybe she could use her own money and save years of NCD.

In summary however – it was a nice accident. Everyone was very cool about it, and there were no finger-pointing or blaming each other. Well, we blame the idiot on the bike who escaped unhurt and nowhere to be seen after the bang occurred. It was a healthy accident. Everyone knew that the accident already happened and there is no need to make the situation worst.

After 10 minutes I was driving to Pelita Nasi Kandar in Subang to have lunch, as we all decided not to make a report and no insurance was involved. Those two unlucky drivers went to the workshop nearby to get an estimate.

MasterCard/Visa Promotion Fraud Attempt

What great way to start 2008 with a pile of money obtained from other people’s credit cards? I am writing to share my experience today.

I am lucky I am not that stupid although I didn’t realize an obvious bit earlier during the call. By the way the call came is as “Private”

Caller: Is this Mr. Ady Romantika?
Me: Speaking.
Caller: My name is XXXX from MasterCard and Visa customer support. You have been selected to receive a discount card for purchases using your MasterCard and Visa. You will receive up to 30% of discount. The reason we do this is to help make sure our good customers will not be burdened by credit card debts.
Me: I am lucky so please send the discount card to my house. What do you need?
Caller: We need to verify your details
Me: OK, shoot.
Caller: Which bank’s credit card do you use? (At this point I started to be suspicious)
Me: Bank A, Bank B, and Bank C
Caller: Can you give me the expiry dates of each card?
Me: XXYY, XXYY, XXYY (I was dumb)
Caller: OK can you tell me each card is Visa or MasterCard?
Me: MasterCard, Visa, MasterCard.
Caller: OK. For the Bank B card, it starts with XXXX right?
Me: Yes.
Caller: The next number is Y, right? What’s the next number, A or B?
Me: A (I know, dumb again)
Caller: And then? (At this moment I know she is going to ask me the whole credit card number)
Me: Right, so I can’t even authenticate you and you expect me to give me my whole credit card number. Next you’re going to ask me my 3 digit CV2 code?
… She hung up …

You see, even though the caller did know the first digit of my credit card number it does not prove anything. The prefix number of Visa is always 4, and the next 4 digits is assigned to the financial institution issuing the card. It’s no mystery.

In this case I should have realized that she is a fraud when she said she’s from Visa & MasterCard customer support. Those 2 are different organizations, so it’s not logical they share the same customer support.

Notice how she tried to be as technical, procedural, and as patient as possible to get me convinced.

I hope that I didn’t go too far by providing bank names and expiry dates! If anyone from Maxis (my provider) is reading this and is interested to track the call (if possible) I am more than willing to help. Maybe in the telco side private numbers are recorded? And since all phones should be registered it should not be that difficult to lodge a police report?

This kind of people deserves to be awarded some free years at the “big mansion”. Be careful people!!!

Work Life Balance

I have recently discovered that I am having difficulties to separate work and life. I am always worried about work which is good for my employer, but very bad for my household.

Since I also have sleeping problems, having to work in a shift environment doesn’t make it any easier for me. That’s what has happened to me lately, and that is why there is as much as 20 days gap between posts in this blog. My biggest weakness in blogging is that I need a relaxed mind to write.

I need some good example from other fellow bloggers who have a dayjob, and can still manage to separate work, life, and blogging 🙂


Buka Puasa & A Kid

On Thursday a close family friend invited us for buka puasa (break fast). We had a good time talking and enjoying the lovely food. As we were about to return home my better half mentioned Jaya Jusco and the family only little boy aged 2+ heard it and wanted to follow us.

I was worried because I have no experience with kids whatsoever. But we took him anyway with the permission of the parents. The kid name was Imran, and he’s such a nice little boy. At first we thought that he’s like every other kid and cry when the car started moving without his parents.

But he was indeed very serious. So since we made a promise (and it’s no good to break a promise to a kid) we brought him there. In the car he talked so much that he took my worries away. Once arrived he was so happy and as he promised he behaved like a very good boy! Amazing.

And I was happy he enjoyed every ride and machine he tried on (although we only let him play the safe ones). Not to make his parents worry so much, after about 1 hour we decided to bring him back and he didn’t resist much. Back at home he was so happy and jumped here and there it made me feel happy as well.

I actually enjoyed that 1 hour outing. After 4 years of marriage maybe it’s time for a kid? 😉