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May 31, 2012

Shark is not a Fish


The biggest tiger shark ever found was longer than 4 surfboards lined up together... The average size is as big as a car... 

So, if attacked, even if u survive, u should still lost a limb or two...

Though sharks actually don't like the taste of human flesh... Attacks happen because they mistakenly thought surfers who wear tight swimming suits as seals...  

One way to fight off sharks is to deliver a strong blow to its nose... It's their weakness... 

May 23, 2012

Remembering the Dead

On my way to the office today, passing along the bridge of Paka, I recalled the accident that happened yesterday... The accident happened right on the middle of the bridge and caused a massive jam... I didn't witness how it went but I was caught in the jam and I did saw a couple of wrecked motorcycles and my wife saw a body being covered... I guess that one of the motorcyclist died out of it...

Then it struck me... It could be me lying on the road, covered with newspapers... Bleeding... Injured... Dead...

I praised and thanked Allah for not taking my life yet until today... but I'm not sure what will happen tomorrow and the next day and the next next day... I wished with all my heart that He won't make it soon enough and I would still have to time to at least grow old... 

My thought shifted to remembering the faces of people I knew and had died... 

The first person came to mind was Pak Kaya - wifey's uncle... I met him just last year at my wedding and then we got more acquainted as I visited his house at Putrajaya a few times... The last time we sat together and chatted was during a wedding reception at Penang... He was ill at that time and the same illness brought him to death's door recently... 

I recited Al-Fatihah to him and hoped that he'll be placed with those who were pious...

Before I could finish the recital, my thoughts have gone to recalling my grandmother - Dad's side... I could remember her face clearly however I failed to recall the sound of her voice... I recognized her as a caring person who always always always generous with advice... Though, as a child, I couldn't comprehend her kindness and thought of her acts as nuisance... I felt bad for that... I wished I was matured enough to realize how loving she was... 

Another Al-Fatihah...

My grandfather - Dad's side - didn't spend much time with me... Not because he's not as kind but he spent most of his time in bed... He was really old... Every time we met, he always tried to hug me and hold my hand... But but but but... I was really young and seeing him all weak and bedridden made me afraid of him... Stupid me... He went before my grandmother after a few years spending his time being bedridden... Now I'm sad for him...

My parents seldom talk about him and express how they wish that they won't have to suffer the same condition because they don't want to burden me and my brothers... I wish that they didn't say that because no matter how bad the condition is, of course we would be willing to take care of them... May God grant them best of health until they pass away...

Amin

My grandmother of my mommy's side is still well and alive but grandfather had passed... Hmm... He was a kind and gentle man... I think he's a lot like me... Soft spoken and a man of few words and loving... I remembered the time when I sat on his lap while we hanged out on the stairs of his house... That piece of memory made me smile

One particular customer came to mind... A drug addict and a good friend of dad's... Abah often advised him to abandon his bad habits and think of his wife and kids but the addiction was hard to beat... He used to always come to our grocery shop when he needed food but got no money... After his death, Abah erased all of his debt and said to me, "Kita halalkan la semua hutang dia..." 

No matter how much the debt is, Abah always 'halalkan' after the person passed away... 

I realized that I haven't suffer much permanent and damaging separation as much as some people... I still have my parents and my wife and my siblings and my close friends... Though I also realized that time is ticking and the sand of hourglasses would run out sooner or later... I just hoped that when the time comes, I'll be strong and be able to manage their funerals personally... 

Maybe I would be the one who go first...

How ever it is, I hoped to be remembered nicely and be given lots of doa and Al-Fatihahs... That would be nice... 




On a related note, once, my wife told me how she thought about death for quite a period... I told her that my ustaz said that those who think of death often may be granted with a long life... She countered me with an eye opener - "Kalau hidup seribu tahun sekalipun, kalau tak beribadat, tiada gunanya..."

I love you honey

May 20, 2012

Transformasi


"The ceremony was rather small but it can be a start of something good..." 


That's what I thought of today's event happened at Dewan Besar PSMZA where I was given the role of an usher for VIP guests... In case the picture above isn't clear enough, the ceremony was about the signing of treaty of cooperation between PSMZA and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP)...

While waiting for the ceremony to start, I took a glance at a few posters put up on the walls of the hall... One of them caught my interest because it was about the transformation plan of PSMZA and its future plans... 

Apparently, PSMZA is aiming towards major upgrades and the goal is gain the title of Polytechnic University by 2015 which is about 3 years from now...

I have to say that it's a very excellent transformation plan and I'm hoping that I can be a part of the transformation... The cooperation with UMP would certainly be an advantage in the process... Both institutions can exchange knowledge, expertise and facilities for greater good...

However, I would like to comment on something which is relevant to the transformation plan... From my observation as a lecturer, I can easily say that the facilities available for teaching and learning are in need of major upgrades...

I'm not so sure on the condition of engineering related equipment and facilities, but as an English lecturer, the classrooms here are not conducive for learning... Most classrooms are equipped with fans and therefore, windows must be opened at all times to make sure there's flow in air so that the temperature won't be warm... However, opening the windows invites so many distractions from outside of the classroom... For instance, whenever it rains or windy, I had to raise my voice in order for my students could hear me... It would be worse if there are people cutting the grass... WEEEOOOOMMM WEEEOOOOOMMMM!!! How can students learn peacefully with that much of distraction?

Furthermore, the fans are not helping with the scorching heat especially when the drought comes... I've witnessed students sweating until the back of their shirts were drenched while answering exam questions in the classrooms...

My suggestion would be to install air conditioners in every classroom to avoid the problems mentioned from occurring...

Maintenance is also important... I see so many classes with fans and lights left unfixed through out the whole semester... On Thursdays last semester, I taught in a dark classroom because it's 8.00 am and the lights weren't working...

Actually, the lack of maintenance doesn't just occur in the classrooms, but it also happens at my office... The air conditioners at my office often break down and that makes working uncomfortable... The wiring in the building is messed up judging from the occasional trips... My head of department had made complaints about it and urged the maintenance department to do something about the problems... However, only minor fixes had been made and the problem continues... It took the maintenance guys months to just come and replace the lights at my office, so maybe it would take years for them to re-wire everything...

Modernization has greatly evolved ways of teaching and learning and therefore, technology now is an important medium... I would suggest that computers and projectors are made available in each classroom so that lecturers and students can do presentations using Powerpoint Presentations, videos and digital pictures... So far, all classrooms are not equipped with projectors and therefore, lecturers have to carry them along with laptops from their offices to the classrooms... I pity the ones who are pregnant...

Computers at my office are limited... There are only 7 computers available and they are used by more than 20 staff... I have to wait for other lecturers to finish their work before I can print a single file...

There are no computer labs for students to use outside class time to do assignments and research... Though many have their own laptops, but there are a number of students who can't afford one...


Actually, there are more things that I want to comment on regarding the facilities especially on the use of library but from the lines above, I think my message is clear... Before gaining the title of university, PSMZA must do major upgrades to make teaching and learning process more effective...

All the best PSMZA!

I Miss Melaka

The semester break for students of Politeknik Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin (PSMZA) is here and that means no teaching for me for about two months... Most of my time now is spent looking for research papers for me to adapt, being in meetings, attending courses and... reading magazines and FB and Twitter and comix... basically anything to keep me occupied... 

Most people would embrace this moment of relaxation and so was I... That was until boredom slowly took over me and now I'm dying for a taste of entertainment... This kinda makes me miss being in Melaka...

When I was in Melaka, every time boredom tried to engulf me, I would start up my motorcycle, leave home (or work) and head straight to the malls... Dataran Pahlawan, Mahkota Parade and AEON Bandaraya Melaka were my favorite venues to stroll around, window shop and watch movies... I would spent hours just exploring every outlet, enjoying the cool conditioned air and watch latest movies no matter whether they're huge blockbusters or simply popcorn flicks...

Of course, I cannot enjoy that kind of pleasure here in Terengganu... The only mall available here is Mesra Mall which appears to be a thousand miles away from work and home... The outlets there are limited and so are the cinema's movie selections... 

Don't get me wrong, Terengganu is actually a decent place to live in... but that's the problem for me... It's DECENT... Despite originating from an isolated Felda area, I quite enjoy being in hustling bustling modern city... The fact that I'm quite spoiled can be a factor to that... 

Some of my colleagues who originated from other places seem to feel the same... For instance, there's this English lecturer who before came to PSMZA, taught at Politeknik in Shah Alam... According to her, the environment there is very different from here... The English department there often held gatherings at Starbucks and other numerous enjoyable activities in the malls and stuff like that... It was fun for her... Unlike here

I had a talk with my wife and also agreed to the fact that there are less entertainment here in Terengganu... We also came to an agreement to move out from here once we have the chance... not necessarily to Melaka... It can be anywhere as long as there are plenty of modern entertainment... 

Me iz young... What do you expect?

May 15, 2012

Dark Shadows (2012)


"You may strategically place your wonderful lips upon my posterior and kiss it repeatedly!"






Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) was cursed to be a vampire by a witch named Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) and caged in a coffin for hundreds of years... Accidentally released, Barnabas aimed to restore his family's legacy...






I saw so many talents wasted in terms of characters... Chloe Grace Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer and some other talented actors weren't given enough materials to work on... Instead, most focus was given on lead characters played by Johnny Depp and Eva Green... 

Every character in the movie was indeed unique and carried that signature style of Tim Burton... However, the supporting characters were underdeveloped and acted only as a medium for Barnabas to deliver punchlines... It's such a shame because I would love to see more from Chloe Moretz and her ridiculous teenage acts...

Johnny Depp was a star in this movie... His jokes and freaky antics made the character Barnabas lovable by fans... The audience was so entertained by Barnabas that they forgot that he's actually a ruthless blood sucking monster... His performance was matched by Eva Green who played Angelique the witch... Eva did a good job portraying crazy and sexy...

My wife commented, "I love the jokes but not the story..."... I do agree with her statement... The obvious strength of this flick is in the funny acts and Johnny Depp's freaky acting... However, there's no spectacle in the story as it's quite plain and predictable... Little background story was also given to the Collins family, leaving audience less space to either adore or sympathize with them...

One more thing worth praising is Tim Burton's work in making the movie seems so gothic and old skool, suitable to the original vampire theme... 


All in all, Dark Shadows is an example of a movie where design is more focused than the story (kinda typical for Tim Burton these days)... Audience shall only find delight from the jokes mostly contributed by Barnabas...


3 out of 5 stars~


May 8, 2012

Haunted

Yesterday, out of boredom because work was kinda dull for it's the semester break, I traveled to a deserted place my colleagues have been talking about... They kept mentioning about the place and the mysteries it holds that it triggered my interest to explore it... Alone...

Situated just a few hundred meters from Bukit Bauk, Dungun, an area with a few small buildings was found by the locals suddenly abandoned almost overnight... There have reports about the place crowded with people and then deserted just the next day... 

What really happened?? Many claims have been made but none was with evidence...






Long corridors as above pictures were plenty at the area... Going from end to end was an eery experience for me... It was like being stuck in a tunnel that has no ending every time I reached the middle...

Quotes of wisdom were all over the place suggesting this abandoned site was built for educational purposes... 



Besides that, most of the rooms of a few buildings were filled with arranged sets of chairs and desks... Each set was placed apart from each other suggesting that the former inhabitants left during an exam period...



As I was staring at the windows of a building, I could have sworn I saw a pair of eyes staring at me through one of them... However, as I approached the orange building closer, there was nobody there... It gave me the chills...




Above picture was taken inside one of the buildings... It seemed like an office for there were computers, desks and files... The lights were still working... 










A rusty old van was found near the fence bordering the area... The back tires were flat... Probably because it wasn't used for so long... Inside the van contained tools for repair and maintenance such as screwdrivers, gauges and an electric drill...


I entered a men's toilet situated at the far north of the area... It was clean but insects were crawling on its walls... Probably they were attracted to the the dim lights inside...





The garden has two small pools inhabited by schools of small fish and tadpoles... 





Vintage and broken vending machines were found at a few corners of each building in the area...



The only living creatures I found scavenging around the area were stray dogs... They ripped open garbage bags to look for food... 





I checked the cafeteria and found that there was a strong Wifi signal... It gave me a chance to check my Twitter...




This motorcycle was quite vintage and old school... I thought, maybe next time I can come again and take it? Hopefully it's not been owned by any supernatural entity... 




LOL~ Just kidding! Above are all pictures of my work place... It's the semester break, so there are no students here and most lecturers are taking their leaves... The place is so quiet now with less people around... 

I was bored...

May 6, 2012

Safe (2012)

"What the hell did you do, kid?"



Luke Wright (Jason Statham) was a former police and cage fighter... His life crumbled after he won a fight that he was supposed to lose - Russian mobster killed his pregnant wife and made his life a lonely hell... It all changed when he met Mei (Catherine Chan), a Chinese kid with a photographic memory... Mei was forced to memorize a code by a Chinese mobster... The code was a key to unlocking huge amount of money and something that could bring down Manhattan City's crime rings, the corrupted NYPD force and the mayor... 

So, in short, Luke Wright versus Russian Mob versus Chinese Mob versus NYPD... 


For me, Jason Statham is not an actor... He's a killer machine!! Let's face it, his ways of acting is the same in any movie he's in... Bald head, perfect stubble, menacing half smile and husky voice... The only variety he got to offer is 1000 ways to hurt and kill people... 

In this movie, he was not given just one whole group of enemies... Heck, he got to take down THREE!! So, if you're planning on watching this movie, expect good quality action sequence and loud gun shots from the start til the end... 

The director, Boaz Yakin, literally waste no time at all... Everything was immediate... The flashbacks and the background stories were cut into short clips and that made the pace fast and engaging... As soon as the back stories ended, Luke Wright just went into bad-ass mode and kill hurt hurt kill kill killl killll killlllll... Audience was not given a chance to be bored... at all...

The story was also interesting as it kept the audience guessing... What secrets did the code holds? Why was it so valuable to everybody?? It was not straight to the point and in order to get the whole movie, one must not leave one's seat... 

The only thing I would like to complain is, Y U NO LET STATHAM FIGHT LAST FIGHT? I was bracing myself for an epic showdown between two bad-asses at the end but something unexpected happened... Well, actually, when I think about it, yeah, it was kinda predictable... However, I was really excited about that fight and it was a bit disappointing when things didn't go like I wanted :-P






If you love Statham's movie Crank, then you'll sure love this one... Though Safe is not as psychotic as Crank, but the action sequences are at par... Statham sure lives up to his reputation as one of the most bad ass action movie... All thanks to Boaz Yakin for the awesome directing and story...

4 out of 5 stars~


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