Random shots

I woke up early on Sunday and with no camera, I decided to use my Wife's Nokia 6300....

Kristine still sleeping.......

Kaelynn thinks the disk drive is a good place for
a lot of circular objects.....


Today, Mommy went to Kristine's Kindergarten to get everything sorted out and came back with some uniforms for Kristine. And everyone was in a happy mood. So much so, Kaelynn also wanted a uniform and Mommy fitted one of Kristine's on her. But we're not going to start her off straight away on 2nd January due to some technical problems.

Both girls with the uniforms. It was weird when Mommy asked
the Kindergarten ppl, if the zip should be in the front and they
said yes. Anyway, Kristine wore hers at the back while Kaelynn
wore hers as "instructed". Yeah, its going to be a weird place and
we cannot get our deposit moneyback.

I told Kristine to hold her sister and she
went for the neck and started to sing
instead. Haih

Medicines vs Child

Giving medicine to a child is not as simple as it seems. There are a few ways to get the medication into them and doing this every day is a chore:

1) Injection.
This is very painful and expensive. You also have to drive to the Doctors for this.

2) Tablets
The most common way. But you'd waste more when the child has trouble swallowing them. Never mind the fancy-wancy table cutters or crushers. They're just a waste of money. You can crush them into powder form and mix them into their favourite drink but this is only effective for the first three times (if you're lucky) before they discover the ruse.

3) Anal tablets
I am not sure what they're called but they're not cheap either. Not only that, you'd have to fight the child and stick it up there at the same time. Unfortunately, depending on the sickness, alas, the medication in this form is not vey common.

4) Syrups
Although they are sweet, it is still not effective enough in masking the smell. They come in either clear syrup or milky goo. Still, a child can sense when you're going to give them medication straight away. Mixing them into drinks is also an effective way but you'd also run the risk of wasting a lot if they do not want their favourite drinks all of a sudden.

That is why whenever Kristine or Kaelynn is sick, it is torture for us. On average, it took us about an hour to get Kristine to take her medication. We'd have to persuade her, we have to play the "Good cop, Bad cop" routine, we have to become wrestlers and so on. We even have to beg too. Haih.

During these ordeal, how I wished that they would have invented the method of putting medication into plaster patches or even those injectors you see in Star trek. Just hold the injector to the skin and "psssh!" its done. No pain involved. And with the plaster patch, all we have to do is wait for her to fall asleep before using it on her.

And just after she swallowed the medicine, the most infuriating thing is, three seconds later, she would change to a happy face as if she has accomplished something phenomenal and that the last hour never happened. So off she goes, happily jumping about, leaving the two of us exhausted on the floor.

I could show you her suffering face but then, my camera broke.
Man, talk about kids.

[Update: 31/12/2007]
Here are some shots I managed to take with my Wife's Nokia 6300

This goes on anything from 15 to an hour before
Krsitine calms down. And it won't work with the
syringe trick (below). So, its the usual cane, words,
"Good cop, Bad Cop" routine for Kristine.

While Kaelynn just took hers without any fuss
We gave her a syringe to "play" with, and then
slowly insert the medicine bit by bit until she
does it herself.

Goodbye, Fujifilm Finepix s5500

So, again, my camera is dead. This is my second digital camera. The first was the Fujifilm Finepix 2800z. Now, the Fujifilm Finepix s5500 is gone. I am not sure what to do with it. It seemed like these cameras lasts about three years in average in my hands before falling apart. The s5500 was already a goner when it refused to focus correctly last year. And then, it lost its sound, no beeps, no click. Sometimes, it comes back and most of the times, it does not. Then this year, its CCD flickered and later on, the flash went nuts. And recenly, with the plastic door to the memory card broke, it was the last straw. Just this morning, it refused to switch on, even when I put in fresh batteries.

And if I am not mistaken, the same problem happened last year just when Kaelynn was born and it cost me more than the camera's buying price to get it replaced. So, if I got it repaired again, its just not worth it. Sigh. Maybe its time I give up taking photos............

But I can't. So now, I am trying to see if I can convince the HM if I can get another one. Maybe the more robust Olympus 950W, the DSLR Nikon 400D or even the Olympus s-510 (I think). But these things cost money and right now, there are no promotions such as trading in your old camera for a price reduction.

I am so used to taking an average of at least 10 shots a day and now, without a camera, I feel like I mssing things or events in life which I cannot record.

The trip to Kemaman

This is the trip to Kemaman, which was actually pushed ahead by one day. So, we were in a loast minute rush to complete this. Luckily, I had installed the system weeks ago and now, its just a matter of locating the wiring, connecting them, plugging in the phone and then some minor programming. Another time saver is that the staff have used Toshiba before and so, there is no need for a briefing. By the time we came back, we're all feeling like zombies.

I hate the computer guys for this. We installed the phone system and
then they had to place the Server Rack next to it. And not only that,
Telekoms team ripped out the extra cabling for their own ISDN line
test. Then they complained to us that we did not connect it properly

And I also hate the furniture guys who love to do this to us.
Luckily the tables are still empty

On the way back, we stopped by at Kuantan and I hate the
autodialer guys to does this. The moment the customer
opens the door it will wear out the cable. Or when they
forgot the cable was ever there, they will trip and then
rip out everything plugged to the wall. And then we
get the blame. I was asked if they could share the
one powerpoint (used for our phone system) and
I said no because this could affect the system's
performance if anything should go wrong.

On the way back, sadly, this is the only one clear shot
I could get from my camera before it went dead
The rest of the shots are all cacat one

The 40-minute Gundam

I got in early this morning at 0700 as we're going on a loast minute outstation trip to Kemaman. So, while waiting for my technician to arrive at 0800, I decided to finish my Gundam if possible. All was well except that after a certain step, I did not look at the instruction sheets anymore and therefore, ended up with a backside Gundam. Precious minutes were wasted to correct that.

Not only that, while I was balancing it (on the partition wall), it fell and broke a part from the rifle. In te end, I just laid in on the office carpet and took the shot.

Heads and legs are pointing the right way, except for the torso
Here's showing my Butt to you!

Minute 25, almost there.....

OK! Done!

But the gun was damaged (bottom left), the part which
I liked the most. Cheh. But now, I have a few ideas I
would like to implement (if I have the time, that is)

The 10-minute Gundam kit

So, this morning, I snuck in the model kit to the office and by my calculations, I have about 10 minutes before everyone comes in. (OK, so I overslept by an hour). The way I figured it, I think I can complete this model before 2008. Hopefully, this would be something that I can say, I completed a project 100% in 2007. Ha ha ha ha!

I am not sure of the instructions as they're in Japanese but looking
at the instruction sheets, its as if they parts can be taken out of the
sprues without using cutters, etc. that is, just pull it out. Ha ha ha
Upon closer look, I think it is possible but I still used a cutter/blade

This is my result after 10 minutes. I got the torso and
the head done. Note the ingenious use of the PVC
joints for the arms and in fact for almost all moving
parts. I jsut love armoured Gundams!


At first, if you do not succeed
Crash and crash again until you burn


[This was a draft] 23.03.2008
I got this drink from 7-11. Its an Energy drink.

Twist to open. Now, that is fun because you can only
see these bottles in a TV series

I forgot how I tasted but I can tell you
that its shite.

Christmas Lunch @ Janbo

Yeah, I know, as a family unit, when it comes to eating out, we do like to try something new. And we know a lot of good places for great food in KL. And I still believe in the tooth fairy.

Nothing much here as SOMEONE did not inform us about the lunch but instead got himself ready and sat his fat ass down to watch Astro until the time came. And so, my Mom had to come up to tell us about the lunch. Knowing that we would need at least half an hour to get ready, we let Kristine follow them in their car while we rushed like mad to prepare Kaelynn.

Nothing much exciting about the lunch this time as it has become routine to me. But what made a difference was that Kaelynn allows her elder sister to hold her hand and lead her. Although it was a small matter for everyone but to me, this is a big difference as they are now really getting along despite their increasing inconsistent mini cat fights.

First, Kristine asks for permission to go for a walk and
at the same time, wants Kaelynn to go with her

Yep, she holds her hand and pulls her smaller sister along
And Kaelynn allows that.

At the fish tank, both girls did their best to annoy the fishes

Kristine telling her sister not to touch everything
that she sees as Daddy would scold them both.

Christmas Eve @ Teluk Intan

Under the orders of the Home Ministry, I took leave for the trip. Yep, we had to clear some stuff up there and bring it down to Kay-El. We planned to start the trip early (0730) so that gives us a lot of time to finish whatever it needed to be done there. Not only that, it would be the first time my MIL (which she later suffered neck pains) and my wife (who suffered from body aches) would follow us in the van. I am not sure why, maybe I am used to driving long distances on vans, cars, etc. by now.

Coming back to the house brough back some memories but for them as this was the house where we started our courtship. But to them, its just an old house, which means, its time to move on. Anyway, the whole day was spent clearing the unwanted rubbish, packing old clothes and 30 year old textbooks for giving to charity, etc. And when everything is cleared, it goes to the van. Unfortunately, this would also mean one of the many trips to come. And unfortunately too, since we ate so much, we did not feel like packing back some chee cheong fun.

The van was packed with a lot of stuff
You should have seen the first load, which
was meant for charity. I was afraid it might
break the van. Still, the steering felt heavy

And there were more stuff inside too since my
Wife insisted on bringing back a glass coffee table

My reward for the trip. Any unwanted junk I can have.
Most of the items were never used when they bought
their own cars.
See the small aeroplane? Its a broken laser pointer which
I will take apart later on.

Another Weird Dream

I had another dream this morning and like the ones before, I could not remember much since I am typing this out in the afternoon (where I have a fre minites of free time), most of the events have been lost in my head. It has something to do with one of the companies I was working for, moving into an office just next to one of my Universities's Mechanical Department. The funny thing is, we're in Malaysia. And today, my cousins are visiting.

Since the girls all came in a group, I decided to meet up with them. But they had other plans, which is to go roaming about. And after a few shops, I lost them. Many things happened and when I crossed the road, we're in Australia.

But one thing I do remember is that my "friends" and I were shown three funny fish creatures, all gave us a weird expereience. I can only remember the second one;It was some sort of a shellfish. Its shell was actually a rough marble cone and in the middle, was its mouth. It has a rows of sharp teeth lined around and anyting gets into it, well, its like putting it into a blender. So, we tried with some meat, and then I used a pink plastic knife (borrowed from Kristine's Birthday cake) to push the meat in. The shelfish shattered the knife and ate it up as well. Because it was very hungry, it wanted more and we panicked. So, one of my friends, pulled its tail from the back and fed in into the mouth. Within seconds, there was a lot of black swirls and then, the fish died. We felt sad for senselessly killing such a horrible thing and walked off.

And when we turned to the shellfish's back, there was a huge fan/motor aplliance connected to the dead "shellfish". Wait a minute............

Christmas weekend @ The Curve

I had to get up early so that I could go to The Curve today. I am not taking any chances as this is the last weekend before Christmas which means, there would be a horrible jam by last minute shoppers. I am looking forward to going there as I have not been to that place for months. And its a good time to catch up with friends and news. Not only that, its a good excuse to charge my Satria's batteries (and take it out for a spin too). Anyway, by the time I arrived, it was already half-past twelve and the parking lots are already filling up.

And things did not go well from there. And I look stupid clutching a bag full of electronics parts, like some on-the-spot IED Terrorist

The SFTPMS did not have its usualy gathering and Lester was not sure if they are coming since he did not receive any news. So, I waited. And waited. And waited.

By three in the afternoon, I was pretty sure that there is no SFTPMS. And with Richard running up and down, he did not notice me there for hours too. He was busy organising the Santa versions of Aliens vs Predator booth outside. And there were quite a crowd at the foyer because 8TV was having some Superstar auditions. And I thought I saw Chelsea Ng but I am not sure if its her, so I am not posting her photo here.

There were a lot of "cute" girls lining up for the audition and listening to their "Karaoke" sessions nearly spoilt my lunch at The Outpost. I could go back home but I decided not to since I fought so hard for my freedom for that day (Ha ha ha) just to be away from everyone and everything.

I decided to walk about CineLeisure and stopped by Shioktoys to get an item (which I won't tell you yet) I have booked for months. I nearly went on a splurge as they did have some 1/6 Aliens spares such as the smartgun and some armour but no helmet nor the Pulse Rifle.

The 8TV auditions for the next Superstar. Lots of cute girls who can't
sing, lots of interviews and lots of lining up.

Outside Cineleisure, its business as usual but it was a bit too
crowded and humid for me. Yeah, I was not in a social mood

Something nice hidden at Gamer's Hideout
I was so tempted to smash the glass and run
away with it. But since I am fat, I won't go far.
So, I'll just have to wait for McFarlane's figures

Bought this at The Outpost for RM23. This is a
1/100 scale Gundam (approx 15cm) which is for
beginners. I wanted the HG version but it will not
arrive in Malaysia for another few weeks. Still, I am
happy with this. Something for me to do while Life
falls apart around me


Saw this Jeep and I so wanted it! Looking at the way the
wheels are placed, this vechicle is meant for climbing or
traversing steep slopes/ravines. For me, it just looked so
nice. I can dump the kids at the back. Ha ha hah

The Tenth Dr. Who's Sonic Screwdriver

My friend just came back from UK for his Wedding and being a good friend, he got me some stuff. Hee hee hee. Anyway, these are Dr. Who's Sonic Screwdriver from two different toy companies.

First things, first. I hate Doctor Who. They are so boringly British and with so many actors playing the Doctor, it soft of gets confusing. I mean, even looking at their boring faces, I am sure the show is the same too. Well, not until I caught the lastest (the tenth) incarnation Dr. Who played by David Tennant which made piqued my interest.

So now, whenever I can, I will watch the episodes with him in it. And his assistant/sidekick, Billie Piper looks sexy as hell. Ha ha ha ha. Ahem.

The sonic screwdriver is a tool for the Doctor to open any lock, repair things and even being an offensive weapon. In essence, the sonic screwdriver is very much an icon for the Doctor. Like claws to Wolverine, like Tricorders to Star Trek, like lightsabers to Star Wars, etc. Well, you get the picture.

Anyway, after getting the sonic screwdrivers, I did some comparison. According to the Wikipedia, the Character Creations version of the toy is more robust to the original prop (but larger) that they bought the molds to reproduce it for the show. So now, I am holding an actual prop and it belongs to me! Muahahahahah! Maybe I should ask him to get me more when he goes back again.....

[Top] Here are the two sonic screwdrivers, the top is by Wesco and the bottom is by Character Creations.
[Bottom] Character Creations version comes with an interchangeable UV ink pen (wrapped) and a small notebook. Because of the size of the box, my friend had to ditch it for the flight home.

[Top] A closer look at CC's interchangeable pen tips
[Bottom] Size comparison. According to WIKIPEDIA, CC's sonic screwdriver is very accurate

[Top] Wesco's smaller sonic screwdriver only has a white LED while CC's is a UV LED.
[Bottom] You can't see much detail but the UV light picked up many signs on the ringgit note.

[Top] Remove the square piece that hides the screw, unscrew it and slowly pull the business end to reveal the whole electronics. The circuit board is located after the three LR44 batteries. As for the speakers, it is a small one located near the base of the tip, just after the round part.
[Bottom] You need a small screwdriver for this. Once its removed, you will need to twist the tip until it is loose. There gently knock the other end until the small black rubber hose that holds the three LR44 batteries slides out.

A 1995 Toshiba DK16

I was at a customer's place today and was troubleshooting
their Toshiba PBX. They have bought this system for a
very long time due to the amount of dust inside. Well,
this goes to show that a Toshiba PBX lasts for a very
long time before it starts to break down a little

Corny Soya

I know they're trying to get more people to drink soya milk
by mixing it with different flavours because in the original
flavour, if you drink too much, you sort of get sick with
that soya taste. I wonder what other flavour they have

How to take children mugshots

Since Kristine is about to go to "school", I was ordered to take some ID photos for her (or else) so that we can save some money compared to being taken at the studios. Not only that, we cannot predict on how she would react in a proper studio, so, its best to try the DIY method first.

Anyway, here are some basic tips which I find it useful when I started portraits long ago. Ha ha ha ha

Step 1: Make sure the subject warms up to you. Do not make the subject too comfortable or give them any form of sugar. Or else they will move too much and you will end up with a lot of blurred images. And waste hard disk space.

Step 2: And when you need to take photos, try not to use flash or else everyone else can see things like dimples, acnes, etc. Try to take in a natural light and never do close-ups. You can use software to create close-ups.

Step 3: Do not threaten the subject or else they will refuse to smile or worse, cry. This will spoil the whole day and you will be force to use the expensive services of a professional studio.

Step 4: Never direct or force the subject to smile, turn their heads and so on. This would create a very "forced" look.

Step 5: When you're coaxing the subject, never let a third party interfere as this would confuse the subject. And never let them stand behind you either as you can "accidentally" kick them and this would also spoil the whole day. You will still have to fork out for professional services.

Step 6: You must always be ready and wait for the subject and not the other way round. Always plan ahead on what everyone needs to do before the shoot so that last minute changes would not create images like these.

Step 7: Be sensitive to the subject's needs. Take as much break as possible so that the subject would never look tired.

Step 8: Make a few jokes and tell funny stories to calm the subject

Step 9: Slowly, they will warm up to you and this is where you can start taking photos. Do not let the camera make clicking or whirring noises that will distract the subject. Just be as quiet as you can.

Do's and don't's of basic potraiture
1. Do not direct the subject. Instead, tell them what you want them to do or, what needs to be done
2. Never ever tell them to smile. You can obviously see the results
3. Do take as much candid shots a possible for possible blackmail in case the subject refuse to cooperate

Kaelynn's new hairstyle

Its the school holiday and what better than to let loose the two girls on their favourite cousins. When I arrived, they tied Kaelynn's hair with rubber bands. Its kinda cute but well, now she looked tomboyish. But sometimes, in a different angle, Kaelynn looked very grown up.

Reminds me of those olden days, where the servants
or students tied their hair with double ponytails.

Ha ha ha ha. She looks so funny!

Happy Birthday, Kristine!

So, Kristine is officially three years old and we decided to celebrate her birthday along with her cousins. She was singing the Birthday Song the whole day after we told that today was her birthday. And she was in a jolly mood too. So, we got her a nice Blackforest Cake and some pizza to go with the party. Everything went well, until....

This is the cake before the incident. We set up the cake with
the candles. And as soon as Kristine saw the candles burning
she got scared. And refused to cut the cake so Mommy had
to do it for her.

In the meantime, Kristine was hiding behind her Winnie.
No coaxing could get her to come out. But as soon as the
candles are out and everyone starts to eat the cake, she
came out and starts to eat all the cherries.

And before you know it, Kristine was in her jovial self again.
Eating cake and pizza like nobody's business

And then, after all the excitement, Kristine was zonked out.
Later, as we came home, she opened all her presents and
she did share some of hers with Kaelynn. Well, as I said,
she was in a very very good mood today.

Happy Birthday, my dearest Kristine!

My Playmate tricorder

OK, I have to admit that my first Playmates Tricorder built with Gerry Mros's circuit is gone now. It won't even come back to me (even if it did, it would not be in a very good state). This will teach me a lesson not to be too forward in helping friends even with good intentions. They will always take it for granted, and lose them as well.

Damn. That Tricorder took me years to search for it and also I had to save up to buy the circuit boards. And now its gone because someone does not appreciate things in their care. Luckily, I have taken back most of my props for display there.

I am so pissed about it. And its missing for months with no news. So, its time to let go.

And then, one day, I found the other Tricorder, which was my very first prototype. Looking back at it, brought me a lot of sadness. Not because of its condition but on how I approached it. For you see, I want it to be the "best" Tricorder and in my fanatical quest, I overlooked many things, mainly the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method and also to challenge myself with new technology.....

So, now I am starting to try with this Tricorder again. And hopefully, after so many lessons, I will get my Tricorder working again. But it will be at least tow years away unless someone pays me lots to stay at home and do stuff like these. Ha ha ha ha

In front, it looks OK, but once you open the covers...

You can start to see when I went wrong. For example, using a two-part
epoxy for the LEDs which now has turned brown. The strong magnet has
pried itself loose and is rusting somewhere.

This is the part which is the most embarassing. Because of the
"natural" battery holder, I refused to think about other source
of batteries and went on to try reduce the voltage to fit the 2AA
batteries and not the other way round. And if I used those SMT
LEDs and a thinner PCB, it would have solved my problems

This is one thing I hate about clear resins, plastic and epoxies
because over here, as time goes by, they will turn brown or
worse. even the gray plastic is turning brown too