Biker girl

I wanted to take pictures of Kristine and her new bicycle (from her Fav Aunt) but never go to it until this evening. She was riding the bike, sporting a nice safety (read cheap polystyrene) helmet as well.

And so, here she is. In the background was her
first bike (or tricycle) which is now Kaelynn's

Somehow, I felt that she has not
mastered the art of balancing.

Yes, the bike was really leaning and
it was not the photo. However, as I
looked closer, the metal for the left
training is weakening and could snap
off any moment. This was caused by
her leaning on it and all of us bending
it back repeatedly

Da girls, them are a-growin!

Well, its qutie some time now and when I took a real look at them, I realised that they have grown a lot. Kristine for example, have become quite think and well, tall. But on her last outing with her classmates, she still looked tiny. And as for Kaelynn, Wife claimed she is about 3 inches shorter than her sis despite being two years younger.

If you looked at this picture, you'd think
Kaelynn is the eldest.

You know, the same Kaelynn whom I suspect
of breaking the toy golf golf club.

And my Wife told me, they said Kaelynn is
growing up to be more beautiful than her
elder sister. To me, both are beautiful.

Making my Bengmobile Hornier

Sometimes, in Life, when you least expect it, wonderful surprises do happen. I do experience a few but never to do with money (ahem). For example, while I was in Pasar Road today, (Yes, today's trip is an "Official" one which I need to scout for some 30meter VGA cable prices), I spotted a Stebel horn.

At first, I did a double-take because one, its a Stebel and two, it might or might not be a fake. But once I opened it, well, whether its a fake or not, I could not tell since I am no expert in this horny business. For those who did not know, Stebel Horns are loud, as in VERY LOUD. And days ago, I was searching all over the Internet for this horn, which is the Nautilus model. Anyway, they girl tested it for me and in hindsight, I walked 10-15 feet away from the horn. I did not expect much until she said in a loud voice, "Horn Test!". And with that, she plugged the Nautilus into the 12 volt battery.

And the Nautilus is loud. Imagine standing next to a horn when it goes off. Now, imagine the same sound when you're standing 10-15 feet away. I was so happy that I did not ask for a discount and happily paid for it, with my ear still ringing. Still, there are some things I need to modify in the car as this horn cannot be used always as a main horn. Its best kept for "special occassions" such as slow drivers, those who open car doors without looking, and also, casual jaywalkers. Ha ha ha ha!

On the left is the cheap RM20.00 alarm horn which
I did not expect much from it. And on the right is
the RM78.00 Nautilus. Is this the real deal? I am
not sure but the sound is convincing enough.

Not only that, its bulky and heavy too. I am not sure
how this horn works but seems like the metal tube
holds a motor to blow some reed (sound) where
the shaped red horns amplify them.

Apart from the the metal lug, there are not other
point to mount it. Oh, the instruction also says not
to mount it this way but upside down.

Lighting the PKD Part II

It seems that getting a nice file is almost impossible to find in most hardware stores. Either I have a nice quality file but too wide a width or I get a crap file which is just the right size. When I mean crap file, they're just a set of uneven criss crossed lines on a metal bar. But the time I searched the fifth hardware shop, it was no go until the one next to my office offered the so-called jeweler's set which I took it. I could not ask for a jeweler's discount since he did not charge me a jeweler's price. Heh.

Anyway, with some free time tonight, I got started on both the PKD bottom covers. One is metal and the other is light plastic. Tonight's exercise is to get all the holes sorted out and to glue the switch to the metal cover. Oh, and also its going to be my first time to try a JB Weld.

RM8.50 for a set of rusting Made in China
files. But they're quite OK.

So, if I wrap some paper tape onto the handles,
I won't have to get tetanus shots from the Doc.
You'd be surprised at how I can cut myself, even
with an innocent looking file......

As the JB Weld instruction says, clean the surface
from any oil, crap, grime, etc. So I just filed away
the surface of the switch and scraped a bit on the
PKD cover. Strange that this metal scores easily.

Since I did not have anything resembling a spatula
handy, I used the next best thing. No ear wax were
used in this recipe.

And so, I am going to leave it for 24 hours even
though the instructions say 15 hours.

Finally, after locating the right drill bit, I made the
four holes from the "plastic". Strange they *ahem*
gave way so easily. Here is me testing the fit for
the switch and the 3mm LEDs. For the plastic, I
will have to use a different kind of glue, most
probably, another epoxy since I am not
confident enough to use hot-melts here.

Another Wireless Mouse

OK, so the mouse I got from eBay was bad. I am not sure what the problem was, because it keeps "disconnecting" from the Notebook. Everytime it comes out from Hibernation, I have to either take the battery out and put it back again repeatedly or, unplug the USB transceiver. Whats more, the second mouse, which I ordered from the same supplier, and was sent a day before the red mouse, got lost in the post. And after telling them about and they should be sending over a replacement, I am not too excited about it anymore. Its a very bad mouse.

And so, its embarrassing if I gave one to my Dad, which I have been planning to. But not anymore. So, it was while we're looking for some school shoes for Kaelynn's next year, I came across this mouse from the computer shop next door, across Section14's Digital Mall. I am still in the mood for stubby transceivers. The best mouse (so far) was the AVF from Jusco (RM89.00) but it had a big transceiver, almost like thumbdrive. Which is not a good thing given that the USB ports on my Dad's Notebook were located at the sides.

Presenting the red (crap) mouse and the AVF mouse

Presenting the blue mouse (RM65.00)

No, its not locally made

This mouse has an on/off switch which the salesperson
told me, is only required when the PC is on standby. Ha.
Anyhoo, I plugged it into my Dad's Notebook and its a
joy to use. Now, I have to wait and see how long the
battery will last eventhough on the box is says 3 months.

So, now the blue one is for my Dad while I, will,
regretfully, continue using my AVF mouse. As
for the red, it will be going to a special place with
a more deserving task, my model kit scratch
building bin.

Lighting the PKD Part I

When Kal told me to take my time, I literally took my time on this. Heh. Nah, its just that I was quite busy with getting my car up and running and also, with my other projects.

Anyway, let's have a look at this project. What Kal needed was to light up the bottom console of the PKD. He has given me two versions of the bottom cover; one made of metal and the other, a plastic cast copy of the metal.

OK, the parts are here and looking back at
the huge cables I used, its going to be a bit
of a problem to fit everything in there.

The first problem of the day is the placement of
the slide switch. I suspect that the rectangle at
the side wall where the switch is going to be, is
actually the ACTUAL panel of the original switch

As there is no room inside, I have to cut the
both flanges off the switch as there is no room
for even 0.25 millimetre. Its a tight fit.

And just to make the switch move smoothly,
I might need to file the rectangular hole just
a bit more, well, rectangular. The red area is
just how the hole should be as its a bit too
small on the left. Shame I don't have a file
today and so, I must remember to buy one

Test fit with the 3mm LEDs. So, after filing
it next week, I will get the chance to use
the JB Weld stuff.

The next piece, is the plastic piece which I would
have to get the correct drill bit as the one I have
is 1/8 or something which is a 0.0175 too big if I
compared it with a 3mm (0.3) drill bit. This is to
make sure the 3mm LEDs don't slip out of the hole.
But I'm also worried about doing the rectangular
hole since I am crap at modelling and also I might
not have the correct tools. I only have a cutter to
and a soon to be flat file to help me on this.

Test fit of the 12volt battery into the metal bottom
cover. I have to use the thin wires and since this is
metal, isolate all electrical joints, especially the LED
legs. Its a bit tight and so, the connectors to the green
LEDs might be a problem unless I can get a miniature
version or a different connector.

And so, this is how much the battery and the holder
jut out from the bottom cover, which I think is 5mm

Still, once I get it all done, there is a slight problem with connecting the green LEDs since they're on the PKD main body. I am not sure if the LEDs were connected parallel or in series. I think I would need to talk to Kal about getting him to pass me both versions of the PKD so I can work on it until its complete.

Line down! Line down!

By around half-past two I have seetled the problem of the "blue screen" on the Notebook, which I suspect was due to the halfway downloading of the Windows update stuff. And so, since it was a Saturday afternoon, I decided to go back home.

And halfway, I got a call from the customer who asked me to come over because their phone lines were out. I told them I would be coming before four (since I was already halfway home and wanted to have something to eat anyway). I hated going to that area after office hours since it was all jammed up. But luckily, it was not. The streets were clear of cars and there were no obstruction.

Turns out that not only was their ISDN line
out, so were
their analogue lines, fax and
Internet connections. I asked them to call
Maxis again since
all the lines were from
and I have checked everything and
not to take the usual,
"But the lines are fine from our office" crap.

After that, I was deciding whether to visit Miniature Hobbies to have a look at some plastic models but I decided not to push my luck. Moreover, it rained heavily minutes after I got back.

Toshiba Satellite L150

And so, after much hoo-haa, we finally got a Notebook. Well, we had to get one before end of January anyway. I mean, I can't lend them mine since I could be using mine for other things. And yes, its a Toshiba.

I have been telling my Boss to get a Toshiba. Nothing else but a Toshiba. We have tried Dell and after it worked for more than 4 months, it crapped on us. There is a very good reason I chose Toshiba, which my Boss now came to realise despite me telling him repeatedly. Its not because of sentimental reasons since we came from there but a more pratical and solid reason.

Anyway, I offered to pick it up but no, Boss wanted to go there all the way and pick it up himself. I know time is running out but there is really no need to rush. Moreover, the person he knew was out of the office and I have a feeling, things will go nuts. Which I was right. Because on the Christmas eve, he came back with the Notebook, tried to install Windows OS himself and failed. Instead, he worked himself to a right temper, thinking my friend screwed him since HIS friend was not there. And one simple call cleared everyhting up:

His friend was out and told my friend to take care of my Boss. My friend expected me to be there but my Boss went instead. Since my Boss called and did not get through to my friend, (he defended that he called) and my friend said no one called him, my Boss got the staff counter to pickup the CD from the table of my friend. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, its the WRONG CD.

Anyway, there is nothing to be done now, and I am not in the mood to screw my Boss since he was so emotional and started to think bad things about my friend. But he knows that he should have listened to me since I know how the "system" works in there. And I hate it when he goes into a temper, thinking all sorts of nonsense which is only fueled further by his Ego.

Since the Notebook we bought has no OS in it, we
cannot just slot in the Windows XP CD.

For this is what you would get. And yes, we Law
abiding citizens are using Ori discs. With so much
hologram patterns on the disc, I am not surprised
if there were wording to the effect, "Thank you for
buying this overpriced piece of software, fool."

[Update 25122009 20:20]
My friend came in the evening during Christmas and passed me the correct DVD. Hows that for service?

And so, on Boxing Day, I slipped in the DVD and within minutes, the Notebook as up and running. So, for the rest of the day, I had to install the usual drivers, anti-virus, firewalls, etc. My Boss was surprised how I got it up and running when he couldn't. So, I told him my friend passed the DVD to me on Christmas evening."Why didn't you tell me?", "Because you were busy talking (crap)."

Thanks, TY.
Finally, the Notebook is ready to use but there are
some software which I need to show them how to
install and recover. I think I will tell my Boss on
Monday morning to hold all calls while I teach
the technical team.

But I did notice one thing which, for the past two months, I have been quite calm about things and reminisce on the days ever since I started work in this line. Oh, and also, I am quite forward and assertive now, when speaking strongly to my Boss about certain matters regarding the technical team which long ago, sounded like a peep.

Merry Christmas

This is Shloppy the Snowman.

Someone though he is made of snow

However, he tasted of marshmallow

And he's bleeding, the poor fellow

(Hey, its Christmas and I'm down with flu, ok?)
(So, I don't have the mood to draw Rudolph the Red-nose reindeer)

Christmas Dinner

I just found out that it is not easy for me to just curl up and die in this house without someone barging in halfway. With the Wife and kids staying the night at 6th SIL's house, I thought I could just weather my cold/flu/asthma in the room alone.

But no. Just as I was about to surf for some por..... er, Internet, my Brother knocked to deliver my share of the pizza. After thanking him and continued onwards to, Internet, my Mom came in and shoved me a cup of Ice Cold Coca Cola. You would think I would be very pissed off by now and lock the door, right? I am so sick, I can't even push the lock without injuring more parts of my body. I mean, I just don't understand how hard it is to lock a door with the ball of a foot while holding the pizza and the cup of Coke.

So, here I am, sitting and wheezing, waiting for the third knock (usually come in threes) which never came. Which spoilt my whole evening because to tell you the truth, I am extremely hungry and I do not want to be caught squatting and eating the darn thing like a starved prisoner who has never seen processed food.

Argh. To heck with it. nyam... nyam... nyam...

Canadian Pizza 2for1. Much better than Pizza Hut.
Trust me. Oh, I just love their small packs of chilies.

Earthing in the rain

If you think that we have nothing better to do on a Saturday, you're wrong. We have tons to do as the business is sort of picks itself up at one moment and also, falling flat on moodier days. Instead of transferring my vast knowledge to my tech, I had to oversee an Earthing project where the customer is complaining about their punctuality.

Right away, I can see there the fault lies as the tech had to go to PJ to purchase the raw material and use the van to fetch it all the way to Shah Alam. And he had to do this before 11 in the morning. Which is not possible because no one had taken into account the delay caused by the supplier since he had to place the order and get them from a nearby manufacturer....

The first thing that needs to be done is to create
a hole for the Earth Chamber (concrete box
on the right). This means opening up all the
bricks and digging a trench for a pipe.

All these bricks, although heavy, are easy
to remove. Just that you have to make
sure there is space for you to put your
finger/screwdriver in to loosen it up.

There. All done! The next task is to dig the hole
deep enough for the Earth chamber to go in.

Unfortunately, it started to rain and after
a few moments, we had to stop work.

When the rain stopped, we quickly dug the hole
as fast as we could....

Before the rain continued...

And spoilt our work

And it got heavier and heavier. We could do
nothing else but to sit back and wait the rain
out. Yes, its very depressing while the rest
of the Saturday afternoon is "wasted".

But we can't complain as there is a job to
be done and I know my techs well, they
will get it done no matter what.

Our work schedule was pushed further back when
we discovered some cables underneath. This
means we have to dig a little to the left now.

So we dug, and test fit and then dug again
to make sure the Earth chamber is sitting
nicely among the tiles and does not sink.

At the same time, we got the trench dug and
the plastic pipe put into place. And then it
rained again...

Its getting to be kind of really depressing to
watch our work being flooded because its not
a nice feeling to scooping the water out. Its
like an eternity doing it as the water just keep
coming back in (all the water from the tiles
just keep coming into this hole).

Much much later, after we've covered the tiles,
we continue to hammer the copper rod into the
Earth Chamber. This time, we did not remove
all the water as the soft earth makes the rod
enter the earth easier. There and then, my
tech admitted he gets sick easily when his
head is "hit' by rain water. I did not say
much but he found his own solution.

Once that is done, we need to scoop out the
excess water since its not receding much.

This is because we need to connect the cables
to the copper rod and the connector is deep
inside the chamber.

Once that is done, we cleaned up and closed
the chamber with loose sand and soil as its
not a good time to use the cement since the
rain will continue again.

And so we cleaned everything up while some
of us tested the Earthing. From my meter, I
got roughly 100 Ohms, which is still too high.
The ideal is under 10 Ohms or better, 5 Ohms.
All this in under slightly three hours......