The Race

OK, so I got bored while I was drinking my cup of coffee and this idea then came to me and it slowly grew from there until my trip to Labuan a few days ago.

"You did that to me again!" the Lady shouted to the man

He was getting out from his car as she came towards him. "You did that to me again!" she shouted. "Huh? What did I do?"

"Everyday! Every morning! When I see you on the road, you always beat me!" the Lady vented at him. Looking closely at her, then at her car, the Man realised what it was all about. She has a very nice looking Purple 1.6Litre Toyota Vios. Yes, every now and then, he would see that car on the road. And usually, it would disappear from one lane and then all of a sudden, it would in front or next to him. And she drove quite fast too.

"Look, Lady. I am not racing with you. I just drive to work, that’s all"

"Drive to work? DRIVE to work?!", "What do you mean by that? Hah? Tell me! You always beat me!" she raised her voice. By now, there was a crowd building up. Like typical curious Malaysians, this is entertainment to them, and a nice one too since there is nothing else to do after a nice breakfast on a Saturday morning. But this is also the same entertainment which makes traffic slow to a crawl on a typical Malaysian road.

"Lady, how can I beat you? I wasn't even speeding. You and I both know how heavy the traffic are in the morning."

"Not even speeding? Look at your car! Look how you modify it!" and all eyes stared at the Man's car, which is nothing more than a normal 1.3Litre Proton Wira.

"Where is your car? Too broke and sold it off, eh? Or did you crashed it?" sneered the Lady

"No, if you meant that car, it is at home. This car belongs to my wife, which I use to fetch her to work" explained the Man.

"Oho! Now you're a taxi driver is it? Are you trying to save money on petrol? You typical men!" the Lady attacked

"Sigh. If you must know, she is pregnant and my car's suspension is too har.." the Man responded.

"Well, I don't care!" The Lady interrupted. "I don't like you at all! I am going to make you go away". Clearly, the Man is visibly annoyed, "OK, how are you going to make me go away?" he asked.

"Simple, I will challenge you to a race. The winner who crosses this line wins and the Loser will have to park far away. And if the Loser sees the Winner on the road, they have to give way. Ha ha ha!" She laughed as she drew a line on the road to mark the Start and the End of the race.

The Man looked at her in disbelief. "You want me to race with you? Lady, you're nuts."

"What? No balls because I am a Woman?" She taunted him, "Then, I am better than you!"

After thinking for a while, this might be a good change to ge rid of her. So, he agreed but with the following conditions:

1) He chooses the route

2) The race counts on who is the fastest and does not necessary have to be a side-by-side race

3) Whoever crosses the Finishing Line first, wins the race.

"Go ahead, then, I will still win! My car is so nice, compared to yours." She boasted. So, it was set that at 10 in the morning, they would race all the way, from Jalan Kepong towards Bangsar Shopping Centre, and then back to the Starting Line. "Whatever", said the Man as he walked away for his morning Nasi Lemak

He sighed. Somehow, the delicious iced coffee he took everyday feels a bit bland today. If he won the race, the Lady would complain that he bullied her on the road. And also, he would not be seen as a Gentleman for winning the race as well. Even though they are using cars, the effect was as good as striking her in the face and using brute strength against the fairer sex was never seen as being Gentlemanly. Although this is the modern age, old values still prevail. But on the other hand, if he had lost the race, then he would be seen as weak and he is very sure Lady would make his coming days miserable whenever she sees him. Which, again, is the same as not lifting a finger when a woman kicks you in the groin. Although the response is Gentlemanly, however, the Asian society would think he is a wimp. "Ah, this is so difficult" He stared on, "This is the problem with Ego and Society. If I win, I lose and if I lose, I still lose". Sure, in his younger days, he would not have given this race any second thoughts. His prized possession; a 1.6Litre 3-Door version if his wife's car. He had the engine running with extra kicks, suspensions upgraded for those tight turns and cornering and a nice set of tires. But those days are gone and he tried to forget his wild and carefree days. This is the now. The Man is now happily married and his very reason for living now, was his precious but naughty one and a half year old daughter.

By 10, both cars were lined up at the Starting line. One of the bystanders volunteered to start the race. And with a simple wave, the race began.

Within seconds, the Vios peeled away from the Man as he sighed and shifted into First gear. "No need to stress the engine like that" he gritted his teeth as he mentally scolded the Lady for mistreating the Vios. The first traffic light saw them entering Jalan Kepong. As there was a small traffic jam, the Man use it to his advantage and caught up with the Lady at the second traffic lights. And there they were, head to head again, waiting for the lights to turn green in their favour.

Between here and the next set of lights, there would be a very sharp "S" turn. The Man wished he was in his souped up car for that. He loves those corners set up by the construction company which has been at the site for more than eight months now. It was his daily morning thrill.

But as the lights turned green, the Vios has the advantage which the Lady took without hesitation. Although there were some motorcyclists in front of them, she managed to squeeze through leaving a trail of beeps from the infuriated motorcyclists. The "S" curve is a bit of a challenge, not in the sense of the layout but in its unpredictability. Pedestrians and cyclists like to run to the middle of the curve's plastic dividers thinking that it will protect them from oncoming cars when they're crossing the road. Apart from that, and the minor problem with the floods, the curve is a beauty. It would then be a simple matter of how fast you want to go into it. Luckily, an old lady managed to avoid the speeding Vios which nearly went into the trees. "I am a Supergirl! See me fly! I am invincible!", as she steered her Vios crazily on the streets.

The man drove his wife's car slowly into the curve because he does not want to wear out the tires and suspensions prematurely. "These things costs money to repair", he reminded himself and there is no way he can pay for those repairs. For months, he has carefully saved most of his meagre salary for his wife's deliver which is next month. Sometimes, he is unhappy on how much he can take home every month after leaving the very company has worked with for so long. And his current pay is not even that close. There were no more incidents after the third traffic light as they both know that it would be straight roads from there to Jalan Kuching until Bangsar and back again.

This would clearly put the Man at a big disadvantage but he is not bothered. It was then when the Lady decided to enter the ramp into Jalan Kuching. She saw on her rear-view mirror that the Man did not follow suit but instead, took the roundabout beneath the ramp. "Ha ha ha ha! He missed the ramp! What an idiot!", laughed the Lady until she immediately realised that there is always a traffic jam at the downward exit of the ramp and her face changed to horror as it became fact.

As the man took the roundabout in his usual speed, he has made up his mind. It was something the Lady said earlier which changed the whole race into his favour, even before they started. "Well, this is it!", he told himself as he exited from the roundabout and back to the direction of the Starting Line.

Swearing and horning each car to make way, the Lady became more and more impatient. Her thoughts are about winning the race. It does not matter if the Man's car is behind her or side by side. As long as she is in front, that is all that matters. With each passing minute, her scowl face slowly twisted itself into a menacing facade. As the traffic jam clears, she managed to get into the new ramp which will take her to Jalan Duta and straight into the uphill slope of Jalan Damansara. "I am still ahead! I am Supergirl!", she laughed to herself. Her car is now speeding towards Bangsar Shopping Centre and at the traffic lights, she turned right into one of the roads. After a quick U-turn, she sped back to Kepong. She could have made an illegal U-turn there and then, at the lights but she thought to herself, "No need to embarrass myself and give that stupid man something to laugh at"

The drive back to the Starting Line was mostly devoid of cars since it was a Saturday. And everyone is going into town. Still, the Lady pushed her Vios even faster. But by the time she arrived at the Starting Line, she was surprised to see the Man’s car already there. There was a table set up near the line and judging from the emtpied cups, the Man had arrived quite some time ago.

She was shocked. Coming out from her car, she walked straight to the man. He was sitting there, drinking his usual iced black coffee. As he saw he coming, he stood up and offered her a drink. In her fury, she slapped the drink away, which fell to the road, shattering the glass. “How the hell did you come back here so fast, you stupid man!”, she shouted at him.



“YOU must have cheated!”

“Yeah, you must have cheated because I did not see your car throughout the race!”

“You cheater! You chea..”

The Man held up his hands to the Lady so that he could speak. “I did not cheat, my Dear. I just won”

“No! You cheated! Let everyone see him! This coward cheated on the race! And just because I am a woman, he still wants to cheat me! How low can you go! Look at him! LOOK AT HIM!” All eyes stared where the Lady pointed. In crowd, you can see their faces ranging from bemused understanding to bewildered suspicion.

“Remember the rules we both agreed before the race?” The Man asked her.

“The Rules were stated that whoever crosses the Finish Line wins”. The Man continued, “But the Rules did not say, how”

By this time, her face was red with anger, “You! You..”

“And although the Rules also stated that we make our way from here TOWARDS Bangsar and back again. It did not say we have to REACH Bangsar”

“So, I just did a U-turn after I made my way towards Bangsar and crossed the Finish Line."

"I won” he reminded her as he walked away.

And the crowd cheered and clapped their hands at the Man’s wits which left him off the hook. So, with that, he walked back to his office, with is head held high. He cannot wait for the evening to come so that he could go home and tell this story to his daughter.

He wanted to feel happy but instead, felt his chest slamming to the road. His last vision was that of the small pebbles in the tarred road rushing towards him, before the Vios's tires crushed his skull. The Lady did not stop her beautiful Vios until she has reversed and hit the Man’s body a few more times, splattering blood everywhere.

“Even if you win, you lose” she cackled uncontrollably as her car headed straight into an oncoming lorry where metal met metal. She tried tried to stop the car but the brakes were wet and slippery with the Man's blood. She never had an accident before and this is something new for her. And for the first time in her life, she now knows how it feels to be Supergirl, flying straight out of the her beautiful Vios’s windscreen and into the lorry's hot radiator.

This is a Google Earth snapshot. Click to enlarge. Its quite big, though

The Mechanical Monster

I was bored. Waiting for five hours is torture. I cannot get a taxi just to go back to town to buy whatever stuff that I do not need and I am not even sure if the Cinema is open in the afternoon (because I forgot to check the schedule). So, there I was, sitting on the chair, listening to the wonderful sounds of mechanical induced stress concrete. OK, I forgot to pack my headphones for my iPaq.

Anyway, I wherever I went, there was this tremour on the ground which (after two hours or so) made me curious. I traced the source to a machine which is slowly breaking the concrete stairs leading to the carpark.........

This was the shot I took earlier and I did not notice it.

Grrarrr!!!! Me hungry! Me monster eat!

Stop disturbing me, puny human!


See my powerful jaw!

Yam! Yam! Yam! Steel wires!

Now see me eat bricks!


On the way home ...

My flight was 1525 in the afternoon and after one last visit to the customer to make sure everything was A-OK, I headed for the Airport. Suffice to say, the flight was delayed until 1815 due to some "technical problems". Luckily, this was my only destination, unlike last time when I need to go from KL to Kuching to Bintulu to Sibu to Miri and then to KL again. One delay too often can jeopardise my whole schedule.

So, when the plane did arrive, one would know if the Captain is in a hurry. Yeah, the quick exit to the runway while the Air Stewardess was doing her thing and the suddent thrust to reach airborne. When we landed, there was another problem, this was with the AirAsia coach. The guys at the luggage claim was taking too long and by the time we got our stuff and reached the bus, it was already full. So, we had to wait for the next one which was due in 30 minutes. Luckily, it was ahead of schedule by 22 minutes. Ha ha ha ha

There was another incident because someone apparently had forgotten to load the luggage belonging to another passenger in the earlier bus. So, throughout the whole journey, I can hear them arguing over the walkie-talkie about the mistake. The poor family had to sit through one and quarter hours at Sentral. By the time I reached home, I was already past eleven, five unecessary hours wasted. And Kristine was up to her usual tricks of not going to sleep until two in the morning again.

The screen suffered and error and had to reboot.
Yeah, it was running Windows XP

Once it was clear, the dreaded "DELAY" word came up
I hade to wait for five hours at the Airport

Oh look, our plane was drawn by Lat!

Its so beautiful

Heh heh heh

This is how it looked inside the plane

And this is how it looked when landing
I wonder why they need to switch off the lights

"What do you mean, you forgot to load the bags?"

Trip to Labuan Part IV

After my breakfast, I decided to go around the town for some shopping at the Duty-Free. I needed to get those miniature bottles again for my colleague which is takeila and some ciggies. All the shops I went did not have the bottle I needed. In the end, since it was almost time, I quickly bought the box of cigarettes and a pack of sweets for the Office.

This temple looks nice

Most of the Duty-Free shops are located in this stretch of road

The don't have that takela here.........

Nor here.......

Nor here.......

Nor even here.......

So, I gave up

There is Kentucky (Fried Chicken) and then,
there is Chantucky Restaurant

Star Trek Alternative Commbadge

I wonder if its possible to make a Commbadge prop like
the one I designed here? Tap on it and the blue line will
light up briefly. Maybe for Section31. Ha ha ha ha ha ha

The Tamiya clone that copied Auldey

So, I was minding my own business (still in Labuan) and I was on my way back to the Hotel when I stopped by one Super(mini)market. I found that there is another manufacturer that has almost the same concept as Tamiya's original Dangun Racer.

It followed Auldey's concept of using shiny chrome bodies which will definitely attract. And what's more, they even put in a set of batteries and some gears which is ready to play once you tear open the box.

And best of all, its much much cheaper:
Tamiya (RM45.00)
Auldey (RM19.90)
Xin??? (RM8.90)

Will it get the market it deserved?
I am not sure but I got suckered into it, though. Then again, this is the best of the lot

The box is the same for all of its different models
And I threw it away to reduce space in my bag

Free batteries, a gear and extra tires

From here, it looked quite nice. That is, until you
look closely and see that they have put on the
stickers in a rush. Everything is either peeling
off of badly aligned

Here is one near the Batman-type fin (on the right) which
is already peeling off.

Then the battery contacts are starting to rust

Now I know why they closed up the rear in the box.
So you would not see this lousy design at the rear.
Using plastic nut to secure the two body halves are
so, so 90's. And the wheels looked so anorexic too

Overall, the design of the chassis follows Tamiya's
original Dangun Racer and while the body shell is
of their own design, its quite ok.
But the wheels......... sigh
Still, one day, when I have the time, I am going to
modify it with better wheels and peel of those shiny
chrome bits.

Trip to Labuan Part III

Coming out of the Airport, it was under renovation. So, I decided to walk to my customer since (OK, I was told, and also, from the Google Earth) it was just a short distance away (Hardy ha ha)

This is a very nice sculpture of a swordfish at the Airport's Roundabout

On the left of the main road, there is a nice little Waterfall

I can only imagine that it would be beautiful come nightfall

The water then flows all the way

Through these little cute bridges and rocks

And on until it reaches the main entrance

And on the right side of the main Airport road,
its the same as well but a little bit drier since
there is no waterfall

So, what you have instead is a 100metre long reflexology path

After completing my tasks in the evening, I checked in at the Pulau Labuan Hotel where they only have one room left. The customer was kind enough to drive me there and also, took me to a Duty-Free shop. Since I could not find those Tequila miniature bottles for my friends, I bought two bottles of what I thought was some orange/mandarin flavoured wine coolers.

This is the first time I see a car radio in the room

And luckily, I am alone as there are no shower curtains

Went for dinner nearby called Chicken King
Here, they're trying make my Honeydew drink

The Fragrant Rice n' Roast (RM4.50) and
the Honeydew juice (RM5.80)which is not even full

They even have a Cineplex

And the shows are Poseidon, X-Men III & Da Vinci Code
I went back to the Hotel and watched HBO instead as I
was dead tired

Not before I bought some Pineapple juice & some
Japanese White chocolate

Not bad at all. Unfortunately, the Pineapple juice
gave me sore throat for the rest of the night

I am so stupid. Those were not wine coolers
at all and even if they exist, the do not come
in these bottles. What I got was some stupid
43% vodka which I can't even drink without
getting stone. Let me see whom I can give it
to. I think FireAngel will most probably stone
me with it since it is so little.