6th Day CNY: Visiting the NIL (Number One in Law)

Weekends are here and this would only mean one thing: Work starts next week.

Already we're disorientated with so many days off, we kept thinking today is Tuesday or tomorrow was Thursday and so on. And the things I wanted to do with the time off never materialised with the girls now wilder than ever. Haih.

Anyway, judging by past experiences, this would be the last family gathering for the moment. And so, all of us end this one with the visit to the first Sister in Law. We're going there for lunch and since its a potluck lunch, Wife wanted to get some cooked duck instead of making something in the kitchen. Its less messy and faster this way. And because its a day after the Nokia Maps 7-day trial license expired, the GPS now looked more like those tracker system in TV/Movies, where the red dot (as in, you) shows where you are while the map scrolls about. No more routes or voices nagging you to turn left or right, etc.

So far, with the GPS guidance on Nokia Maps, it is quite a useful tool as it can really get me where I needed to be. But because its a trial and with no other supporting software, I doubt I can edit my own maps or get it to learn alternative short-cuts. Just today, going to my in Laws in Sg. Buloh, the routes to their house is virtually non-existent; just a blank area on the map. GPS is useful but its not that everyday we use it. I can see that most of the time I would just log the coordinates as POI (Points of Interest) and see it show up on the map whenever I go near these places. But that's just it. I am not the kind who would go Geo-chacing or even be some guy who maps out new routes in my travels (OK, maybe I would if I have a good GPS software by then). But until then, I have the following choices:

1) Nokia Maps
Yes, I could go nuts and pay for a year's subscription (RM4-500). But its not a good idea since I would only use it about a few times a month.

2) Garmin XT
This is a good alternative. However, in its latest version, it is only applicable for Symbian phones which do not have touch-screen by actual physical buttons. And so, if I wanted to get it, I would also have to download the software virtual-keys. The good and bad is that it will work, and maybe I'll get a MalsingMap to go with it but I won't be able to search for any places properly. Oh, the original Malaysia Map for Garmin is USD129.99. And if I am not mistaken, you can use MapSource to edit the maps.

3) Sygic McGuilder v7.7
From the reviews, this is another nice alternative. However, after searching the whole night, I cannot locate the Malaysia/Singapore maps for it as the older maps/files does not work, I think.

Right now, I have to contend with it just being a basic GPS, like those you see on the TV/Movies where the maps scrolls all over the place but you (represented by the red dot) are stuck in the middle of the screen ...

The girls with their new dresses

This was taken next to while Wife was
waiting at the Duck King at JayaOne.
Never knew this place existed. But then,
I never go to this area often

The fountain at the car park is quite nice but since I "accidentally" I
paid the parking ticket, there was only enough time to get them
together for this shot. There are better scenery behind.

What a surprise! Wendy's is here! So, based on long forgotten reflex,
I went in and ...

Got this tub of Chilis. (Chili con Carne) which is great as a dip
But because we're rushing, I forgot to get a pack of tortilla
chips or any other chips. So, for lunch, I ended up eating most
of it since everyone have no idea what to do with it sans chips

Oh, its RM6.30 after all the tax, et al. I loved it and I farted non
stop until the next morning. Ha ha ha ha!

After the lunch, the girls started to play around which is not a good thing
as there were a lot of fragile things about. Here, Kristine is showing who's
the pushy one.

Then their other cousins showed up. And so, kinds being kids, all of
them crawled about.

Bored, they then turn their attention to the Hamsters, jumped onto the
chairs and started to knock on the glass. Imagine if they fell...

One of the four escaped hamsters. Note the bulgy front.

After catching it, I let Kristine pet her.

And not forgetting Kaelynn. Remember the
bulgy front, its the food stored in its mouth.
Here, it "vomited" everything onto my hand

As the afternoon progresses, the girls started on their new
game; fighting

Of Omnitrixs and Energy Swords

After last night's events, I 've completely forgotten about this until this morning when I remembered there was another plastic bag I forgot to bring into the house. This was during our trip to the GM Plaza that I stopped by one of the Toy suppliers on the way to Plaza Damas. I brought Kristine there hoping to score on the working Ben10 Omnitrix which costs about RM129.90 on the streets. But we were disappointed since they only have the static imitations ones, which costs RM6.90. After going to another store (a few doors away) I got it for MR6.00. And then, that was where I discovered something new. Apaprently, they got in some Storm Hawks toys. It was the energy swords. Further searching for items like action figures and also the humongous Condor battlecruiser proved disappointing.

And so, for RM22, we got two Ben10 Omnitrix and one Battle-Ace
Energy sword.

There were two versions but I got Aerrow's

Kristine was pleased as pie with her new
Omnitrix. But it was too loud.

And so, the girls played with, and
enjoyed their new toys, including
my Energy Sword, which I was
hoping to make it as my,well, er,
ah, I also dunno what. Haih

Here, the downside is, Kaelynn realised the Omnitrix cannot
activated via a smack on the palm just like in the cartoon
Kristine tells her she is the "bad guy" and Kaelynn must
use the
Omnitrix to defend herself .... oh-oh.

Halfway, they stopped to eat some nice stuff....

Which happened to be the pistachio nuts and some muruku

Sadly, the Omnitrix's were forgotten......... wasted my money
summore. But never mind, once its completely forgotten, I will
use it for my (any) projects that comes to mind.

Unfortunately someone is eyeing my
Energy Sword and won't let go

The Parents & Kiddoes Gathering

OK, maybe I should not call it a gathering or even a TT (Teh Tarik Session ala AutoWorld NMT Forums). I should call it .....NMT Kid's Party! Yeah, that's it! A kids party where all the kids get to bring their parents along to eat all the fries, burgers and softdrinks as much as they can. Times have changed.

Anyway, although it was scheduled at seven in the evening, some of them were already there. And it was pretty cold due to the rain. Then again, this place was always too cold for me no matter whenever I went there. Still, moments later when everyone showed up, the place was warm. Warm with friendship.

In the old days, we would gather about in mamak stalls in the late evening, sipping teh tarik, Mikos and toehr beverages. This was indirectly, a way to see who is who since the Forum is quite faceless where nicknames are concerned. And also, this is another reason why you do not give yourself Forum names like Mickey Mouse, FatJack or other embarassing or unpronounceable names. Anyway, this is how the "TT" session came about. And you can call it a gathering too, if you want. But this time, its a bit more special because not only was this held during the Chinese New Year where other Forummers came back from HongKong, China, Ipoh, etc but also, this time, kids were involved. And everyone was amazed at how big the kids have grown since they last saw them, etc. But this is a nice time as there are things you can talk about without eMails or using the Forum, just plain natural face to face talk.

And so, at the gathering, everyone who is familiar on the Forum was
there. You can also see the kinds of food they eat in this picture.

I thought they were banned from the place but halfway through,
this shabby looing watch salesman fro Hong Kong came and
convinced a few Forummers to buy them.

Asking about the warranties, he claimed that as long as the
customer reads and understands the contract this thick,
there should be no problem. You can also study the manuals
in DVD-ROM form which, alas, was also this thick.

Meanwhile, in the danger roo....... er, play area, the kids are getting busy
knowing each other, fighting, pushing, biting and doing other things that
kids do, it was a matter of time before the heat generated in that room
was sufficient to power a few cities for minutes.

A brief moment to recharge their energy.
Its amazing how 2 cups of Coke and a few
strands of fries canpower kids for hours.

This unedited photo best describes the atmosphere inside the play area.
Its even enough to convice a parent to be to take a U-turn with the Wife

Again, there is this mysterious person who keeps
taking incriminating photos so as to bribe the kids
in later life. You can reconise this person via the
barcode tattoo located on the upper left armpit on
the thirty-eight hair. But you would problems taking
her to Giant to get a scan on the cades. It should
read, "Ham Kai Tau Sar Pau RM1.59"

See the sweat on him? They really play hard. By the
way, he's decribing the mountins of stewed brocoli
his Dad force him to eat since he could walk.

Kristine's hair is now really really wet and she does not care. Luckily,
we dressed her up in pants and not skirts.

Finally, someone caught the rabbit. Yes, I
can describe this akin to a rabbit farm too.

Plaza GM @ Jln Raja Laut

Wife needed more paper bags as the ones she gave was very beautiful and so, one of her sisters asked her to get it. And so, folks, that is a good excuse for us to go out and into the streets of KL. This time, its Plaza GM located Jalan Raja Laut. These places are now great to get stuffs you wanted in terms of fashion, jewellery, toys, etc. But stray too far, you'd also get something else. Anyway, Plaza GM is located in Lorong Haji Taib and for a straight tal building surrounded with not much parking space, I was not suprised Wife wanted us to go in the Hyudai instead, saying something about the lifts. Shame that I forgot to enter the GPS coordinates for this.

The moment Kristine woke up, the first thing she wanted was the bag
of pistachio nuts which I promised to keep it for her the night before.

Wife told me to turn into the building and we're faced with this sliding
door with lights.

Then, I realised why we needed the Hyundai instead of our normal car.
These doors leads to the lifts. The moment you drive in front of it, your
car will activate the lifts via sensors on the ground.
After a few moments, the doors slide open and this is where you drive
the car into it. Very very interesting.

And while you're inside the lift, it will automatically take you up to the
eight floor where the actual parking lots are located.

And when the door opens, it leads to the entrance to the parking bays.

But you'd have to take the ticket first, of course. Bear
in mind, the corners are very narrow and at least
one does not have the safety mirror.

Unfortunately, most of the shops are closed until this coming
weekend due to the CNY celebration. Its like waking in some
abandoned shopping centre but with lights and air-conditoning

Luckily, the shop was opened and so, we got as much as needed. But we
did go to other shops (from 7th to 1st to 5th to.....well, you get the idea)

The girls with their new bags

3rd Day CNY: Visiting the In-Laws

Today is the Third day of the Chinese New Year. And so, after making sure everything is ready and Wife is not so sick, we're ready to go. Its more like a big family gathering and as I have said, I really enjoyed these events. Finally, we got the Australian version of the Garmin Nuvi 250 working on Malaysian maps (using MalsingMaps) since they were selling them for USD119.99 which comes with a 4GB SD card, which is very ridiculous. But one thing I am surprised is that this unit more or less was able to receive the GPS signals in the house. Oh well. Lets see how she likes the unit. If not, *ahem* I could persuade her to sell it to me. But one thing for sure, it eats batteries too.

Kristine reacting badly to her new
Korean dress. Finally, we gave her
something pink from her wardrobe

Kristine and her cousin greeting the "new" member of the family.
He is at the stage where he can stand by himself and take a few
steps. But he prefers to crawl most of the time.

Meanwhile, Kaelynn is scaring the rest of her cousins because........

...of the delicious food. Yeah, she wants them all to herself. Ha ha ha ah!

Kristine had an unwelcome surprise halfway through the dinner

There are other photos I could show you but I prefer not to as they're
all related to the CNY vices. Even the ladies are into the whole orgy.

Fruits are good for you

Miss Kristine, sat on the floor,
With her bowl of grapes and all.
And she ate and ate, until no more,
She'll look at you, "I want more!"

More than One Million Nokia 5800 shipped!

I just found out via the Internet hours ago. And apart from that, I read somewhere about the impressive sales figures against the Apple iPhone (for the same time frame) and although I do not like the iPhone much, I agreed very much with the 20 reasons stated here. But don't get me wrong in this as the Nokia 5800 is NOT an iPhone killer despite what everyone tried to jump on that bandwagon. Its like comparing a MacDonalds Big Mac to a Burger King's Whopper. Its almost there, but not even close nor as expected. But the main thing I am concerned about is that if every user tried the Nokia Maps and liked it, Nokia would stand to collect about 8.9 Million Euros per month. Right?

Now, what if most of them are like me? Yeah, after seven days, One million Nokia 5800 users liked GPS and felt a bit disappointed that they need to pay for it. I am not sure what happens come this Friday, whether the program would stop completely, or the voice would shut up. But it does make me do something, which is to find another GPS software, which uses the built-in GPS and not any 3G, Wap or Wifi to assist it. Google maps perhaps? Or Garmin XT?

Personally, for me, I would like to have the GPS functions especailly when I am going outstation. But for the monthly fees commanded by Nokia, it is too much. They are already making a success with the 5800 but with the GPS monthly fees, a lot of people might think otherwise. Granted the GPS is useful but here, right now, in the Internet age, a lot of people expect things to be free or almost free while many still sees the Net as a money making venture, which after 2000, everyone woke up to find it isn't so.

2nd Day CNY: Doing the pre-Visit to the In-Laws

Today is the second day of the New Year and so, we went to visit our Mother in Law. The plan was a simple one, visit Mother in Law, then bring her to another Sister in Law's house. But by the time we arrived, some relatives have arrived a day earlier. And so, with so many people about in the house, Kristine and Kaelynn started their runing and shouting act again. For me, I like the feeling because as I have said, I like to have a lot of people around me. Makes me feel comfortable and belong.

And so, we had a lot of things to do such as trying to get some Malaysian maps for a new Garmin nuvi250 unit without the USB cable, chase after the dogs back in who love to run out of the house, chase after the girls in case they break something and best of all, use SIL's Notebook to surf the Internet. Heh. And although everyone was there a day earlier, today's visit does not coutn and so, we're going to go back there again tomorrow, which is fine by me. By I was informed Loctor was coming down to Ikea tomorrow, I feel like escaping for an hour or two just to hang out with him and the mystery person who-cannot-be-named. Ha ha ha ha!

As Kaelynn was nowhere to be found, Krsitine decided to
get Winnie to be her Ben10 sidekick until it was time to
get ready to go out.

Caught this facial expression just in time.
Something about it being very naughty
and yet cute at the same time. However,
Mommy does not share the sentiments.

The girls in their new clothes

If you see a girl with this kind of sinister eyes and smile, you'd
better keep an eye on the flowers or you'll learn the hard way
how flowers can be pressed with the help of human cheeks

Used the Nokia 5800's GPS again. Well, with three more days
before expiry, why the heck not? Anyway, the navigation
around Mid-Valley to Old Klang Road was not too accurate
Then again the route was done last year. I am beginning to
doubt the accuracy of the Nokia Maps if have to pay for them.

After they settled down, they decided to watch some Astro

A few minutes later, the realised there is no Cartoon Network
and this is where they start to tear the house down

I just hope that when she is 21, she would already have a
handsfree kit in the car. And I also hope that by that time,
car technology would not regressed to Flintstones style
or it would be Hell on the legs. This is not a good example
of bio-fuel technology.

Fortunately, we have Grandma to show
her the errors of her ways. And so, she
got "Saman-ed"

Meanwhile, Kaelynn was trying to open
doors with her new found keys.

Later on, I caught the girls putting rocks into the vase.
For the rest of the evening, with Kaelynn asleep and
most of the family doing what comes naturally during
the New Year, I had to make sure Kristine does not
cause any more trouble.

Everyone was tired by the time we came back home. As soon as energetic Kristine touched the mattress, she went out like a light. In fact, everyone did the same except me because I have to download the photos and update this blog. OK, now I can go to sleep. G'night!