Sunday, February 28, 2010

Seeing Red over Wedding Blues

As my so-called wedding day draws near, temperature starts to rise – literally. It has not been raining for the past few weeks and according to the national Met-Geo department, it’s going to stay that way until the change of monsoon winds in later months. And I don’t think that will sink in very well with many people because when temperature rises, tempers will flair faster than you can throw a flaming match stick on a pile of kerosene soaked leaves.

Of late there have been many questions about my preparation for my “big day”. The majority who asked was only asking for the sake of asking. And I truly thank them for their kind thoughtful gestures… you know who you are, I don’t have to spell out your name. However, there is a hand full of wizards and witches who tried to cast a spell or two into my wedding broth. At this point, any opinion given will not make a big deal as most of the job is done and decisions decided. YET, there are some who thinks they can use CTRL-Z (Undo) on anything that’s not to their liking.

I don't understand why can't the bridal couple make arrangements for their own wedding and everyone else just comply quietly. Unless the couple makes ridiculous demands and absurd wishes forcing parental intervention which of course is another case all together. Modern children would find most of the traditional ceremonies "outdated" and worse still, over priced. Look at the modern stuffs on the Internet. Anything sold with the word "Wedding" on it gets a price boost of 50% more. Good for supplier, bad for customer. So why compel to outdated procedures when it's nothing more than a waste of money?

Secondly, no body likes to be compared, not even siblings. But I guess this a common practice for desperate housewives who have nothing better to do. From dowry to banquets, everything gets scrutinized and compared who is generous and who is stingy. On a personal note, there is no need to compare because everyone's economic status is different! So no matter how you look at it, an apple can never match an orange. Even twins are not exactly the same.

Thirdly, everyone is different, so their beliefs are not the same, right? If not everyone believes the same thing, why bother convincing the non-believers? I'm not a religious fanatic nor am I superstitious. So why try to convince me that by doing a certain action, I would be guaranteed a happy marriage? Isn't a happy marriage the results of hard work from two people? If one believes that praying to God(s) and deities guarantees a lifetime of happiness, by all means, I will not make any statement regarding your belief and you are free to practice your beliefs. BUT if you think you can persuade me into believing it, I will have no mercy in criticizing questioning your belief. I have no means to insult but when it comes to personal preference, please respect others. However, if your belief includes something solid like "sex is good for marriage" then I'll agree with you whole heartedly.

Whatever it is, I'm currently on ignoring mode. Ignoring comments, suggestions and any statement related to my wedding. It's probably the only way to keep my sanity without unleashing my wrath and put this entire event to an eternal halt...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Toying with Greed : Part 2.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed”
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
It's been over 2 months since I've posted about the Coke SMS scam I've received but there is no word from from the Fraser & Neave Holdings (Malaysia). It's anyone's guess why they have not reply.

I checked my Feedjit and was quite surprised to find that many had found my previous post - Toying with Greed via Google. At average, it's one search a week. So there's a constant flow of people actually typing "DT2547" in Google's search engine. Based on the information provided by Feedjit, this search is mainly made by those from Peninsular Malaysia. So I'm guessing that this only involves Malaysians. Has anyone fallen victim? I hope not. Anyway, as long as this SMS is going around in circulation, I won't be surprise if there will be a constant search for these two blog post on Toying with Greed.

In addition to the Coke scam there's another scam I received too. A local health beverage company Power Root was abused by these greedy individuals. The message was sent by a local mobile number +60178951240 with the following message: -

TAHNIAH No.SIM-card anda telah terpilih dlm undian & B'jaya Menangi Hadiah RM10.000.00'dr; Prm. POWER ROOT NO.Siri_f2e57c Utk maklmt Hub; +6012 819 2760 MOHD.ISKANDAR

which translated to English would read as follow: -

CONGRATULATIONS. Your sim card is selected in a vote and you have won MYR10,000.00 prize from Power Root. Serial number f2e57c. For information contact +60128192460 [person name] Mohd Iskandar

I will constantly update this post with phone numbers of these unscrupulous individuals for the world to see.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Scrap Booking with Adobe Photoshop

Last month I published my digital scrap book on my blog and now here's a simple tutorial to create a single page with Adobe® Photoshop® CS. You will need the following:-
  1. Pictures of you and or loved ones.
  2. Adobe® Photoshop® CS or later higher.
  3. Digital Scrap book materials. You can Google them or follow the links via my earlier blog post.
Firstly create a new page (CTRL-N) with standard dimensions of 600 pixels by 400 pixels. Resolution at 72 pixels per inch is good enough. If you plan to print this project, my suggestion is to change the PRESET option (currently set at CUSTOM) to a common page size (ie, A4 size) and set the resolution at 300 pixels per inch. This is going to be your canvas; your end product is on this white paper.

Now I’ll assume you’ve already downloaded the scrap book materials. For easy work, I’ve merged all my resources together and sort them out by categories – paper, frames, boarders, buttons & brads, tags & labels, ribbons & bow, and finally miscellaneous embellishments. This way, I can find my stuffs easily when I’m looking for something specific to match my project

First, select the background design you want and open that image file in Photoshop. Now, select the entire image (CTRL-A), copy (CTRL-C) and then paste (CTRL-V) on your canvas. Sometimes, you may like a certain pattern or design but you don’t quite like the color or maybe it doesn’t match. If you wish to make it opaque (imagine placing a semi-transparent film over the paper), click the OPACITY section (circled in red) and drag the cursor (default is at 100%) to the left to decrease the opacity. If you wish to change color, go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > HUE/SATURATION (CTRL-U). Drag the Hue cursor (default is 0) either rightwards or leftwards to get the color you like. For this case, I’ll leave the image alone.

Now, for most scrap book projects you would surely use more than one paper pattern. So you add more by repeating the above. By default scrap book papers are 3600x3600 which is huge enough to be printed on a 12inch x 12inch paper. In this project, 600x400 is only small enough to print 3R. So when you copy and paste the paper onto your project sheet, it’s quite huge actually. To resize, right click and select free transform (CTRL-T). If you can’t see a square line with boxed edges, it’s just probably your paper is larger than your canvas so you’ll have to zoom out by pressing CTRL-(minus “-“button) to zoom back in press CTRL-(plus”+” button). Click on the edge (red circle) and drag the image to fit your canvas. Alternatively, you can be a little more precise by keying in the size in percentage in the green circle section. The blue circle section is the coordinate of the image’s centre point. You’ll need this most when you add on embellishments. The black circle is the degree on how much you wish to tilt your image. So if you have a paper with straight vertical lines, title the paper at 45 degrees and you get slanting lines!

If you wish to crop the image, use the marquee tool (M) from the top left corner of the tool box to make a selection. The marquee tool gives you 4 options, rectangular, elliptical, single row and single column. Right click on the marquee tool to make your choice. Now make a selection on your image and press delete. Oops! It wasn’t the result you wanted! You wanted to retain your selection and remove everything else, to take one step back click EDIT>UNDO (CTRL-Z) or look right on the HISTORY tab and select the previous step you wanted to revert back to. Now make your selection again, right click to select inverse (SHIFT-CTRL-I) and click delete. Below the HISTORY tab, you’ll see the LAYER tab; it’s to show which image is on top of which image. To move a particular image to be on top or below another image, click on the specific layer and drag downwards to send it back or upwards to send it to the front.

Once you are done with the papers, you can continue adding boarders, frames and embellishments. At this stage you’ll be using free transform (CTRL-T) most, followed by color saturation change (CTRL-U), and probably plenty of “edit undo” (CTRL-Z) also. Don't worry if you don't get things right the first time.
Good luck!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Holidays

For the past week, Internet connection has been very poor. Not only I had problems paying bills, but also problem accessing my blog. I have a few stories I wish to share on my blog but that will just have to wait since the Lunar New Year is this Sunday and I've got a massive shopping list to compile before my shopping spree in KL next week.

I know the new year is a time for family union and stuffs but this year is just different. I'm having a wedding banquet this year (technically I'm already married... so I can't say I'm getting married can I?) and having tonnes of things to buy with so little public holiday left on my calendar, I'll just have to max out the entire week in KL.

Until then, take care. Drive safely. Happy Chinese New Year and to those not celebrating - Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chai Leng Park, Penang - Lok Lok Heaven

For many years Chai Leng Park is well known for their hawker stalks. One particular food that is commonly associated with Chai Leng Park is lok-lok. Lok-lok is like steamboat but the food is skewered onto sticks and the hot pot is actually a communal cooking pot where everyone dips their food in. I wouldn't get too worried about sharing bacteria because this cooking pot is kept boiling and water is refilled every now and then.
Most of the stalls operate by the road side and it isn’t really appealing to customers who set hygiene as a top priority. There is however one particular man who owns two stalls – one by the road side and another in a proper shop lot - Sim Corner Lok Lok. Surprisingly, there is no price difference between his road side stall and the shop lot!

An abundance of choices ranging from vegitables to sea food. The price for each stick is based on the color codes on the stem - colorless at MYR0.50 each, black at MYR1.00, red is MYR1.20 and the most expensive are the yellows and blues at MYR 1.50 each.

At a glance, there isn't anything special with lok-lok. Which is probably why there are over 10 competitors in this small area. But what sets this particular store apart is it's special sauce. 6 different sauce to test your taste buds. Personally, I only go for the sweet sour sauce because it's the only non-spicy sauce - perfect for the little ones too. For those who love spicy you have 5 choices - sambal, peanut (aka satay sauce), pound onions and I forgot the other two sauces. (sorry! gomenasai! minta maaf! 对不起!)
Ever since my hubby got the Panasonic GH1 it has been an eye opening experience for us. The response of restaurant owners towards us are incredible. The owner of Sim Corner Lok-Lok encourage my hubby to walk around their little store and take as many pictures we want. That 60 year old man knows how to promote his store. I'm not the first person to blog about this cheerful man and his 10 year old trade. His grand daughter has shown him some websites and blogs putting a few good words for this family owned business. At the end of the day, it's a win win situation. My hubby gets to take pictures and sharpen his photography skills, I get constant subjects to blog about AND the owner gets free advertising!

And everyone Eats Hapilly Ever After.

Monday, February 1, 2010

When you hire idiots - Another Maxis Rant

This is going to be one merciless rant.

I've been using Maxis Broadband for over one year and been paying promptly via my Mac Book (all bill payments have been done via my hubby's beautiful Mac. So for the past one week, I've been trying to pay my bills but my Small White a.k.a MacBook cannot find their payment server (When the error "Cannot find Server" shows, it means there's something wrong with THE BLOODY SERVER! Either the server is turned off or it has been overloaded with transactions OR there's a limit in user access thus we have to queue). So I called Maxis to lodge a complaint on their server.

Mana tau, that IDIOT on the other end of the line says there is nothing wrong with their server and it's my MAC's problem! And I should call Mac instead. It's like saying, there's no electricity to my house and I should call the housing developer! When there is no electricity, it means I have to call the electricity supply company and find out what's wrong (in Malaysia it's known as TNB) Why the heck should I call the housing developer?! Gosh! Talk about idiots to the extreme end.(Or maybe he didn't know I'm a computer science graduate so he thought he can try to make a fool of me...tsk!)

I guess this is what happens when most of the smart people have left the country and the majority of those left are the idiots and dumbbells...

P.S I just tried to access via Firefox from my PC... guess what? "Request time out" Meaning there's no response from their server. So don't just jump the gun and say I should try other browsers and OS. Because I JUST DID AND IT DID NOT WORK!