Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ghost Busters

Do you believe in ghosts? Well some people do and they were at pains trying to convince the masses that ghosts do exist and they bring up photographic proofs to back their claim. I have seen many photos these restless spirits and while many are indeed mysterious and intriguing, the following 'ghost photos' should probably be viewed while having a 'laugh track' within easy reach!

Photo 1

The sender said that this is a photo of ghost taken at a local factory. He claimed that this is a ghost of a foreign worker who died in a freak accident at the factory......Well the only truth in this photo is probably the line about the foreign worker! This just merely the result of 'shaking' at the moment the photo is taken!

Photo 2
A ghost is said to have walked behind this kid. Well I guess it's more of motion blurring plus a bit of magic from good old photoshop!

Photo 3

Take a look on the right side of the photo. Just above the rightmost kid, you can see a girl in tudung. The sender said that it was another ghost caught on camera. Looks to me it's more like someone who got caught 'entering the frame' as the saying says!

Photo 4
The ghost is said to be the physical manifestation of the devil. So it's natural that it makes the 'devil' salute...hahaha! Again there is some blurring and perhaps this is a result of multiple exposure function of modern cameras!

Photo 5

Just like Photo 3, this is another case of someone caught 'entering the frame'!

Photo 6
A ghost was caught on film you say? Then if it that truly is an apparition not present when the photo is taken, then how come there is a gap between the girl af the guy furthest on the left? More like some idiot moved the picture was snapped!

Photo 7

 Kithoga from the movie The Relic Motion blurring plus someone with bad teeth!

Photo 8

Ghosts do come out in daylight Bloody someone or an object dressed with a wig and white sheet. 'Nuff said!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Plastic Bag Blues

Starting from the 1st of January this year, major hyper/supermarkets and certain other consumer outlets have started their 'no plastic bag day' on every Saturday as per the Government directive. While not considering myself a tree-hugger, I welcome this move by the government (OK, granted that it was actually the PR-led state governments who started the campaign a number of months before that, but let's just leave politics out of the way). Even though many lauded this campaign , a number of others were not impressed - plastic bag manufacturers included, haha!

I have read number of SMSs in the Readers' Column of  local newspapers who argued that such a move only gave profit to the participants - they now can cut down the cost of providing free plastic bags. Indeed a supermarket operator in Penang confessed that he managed to save around RM1000 off his overhead. Anyway, we need to look it in a holistic way. Sure the operators make some profit but would the ringgit and sen can be compared to the mountains of plastic bags at the dumpsite, or for that matter, lying and flying around on the road, pavement, on the river banks and floating in the river? I usually shop at TESCO and while their 'green' bags cost me RM12 (I bought two), I believe they  will soon repaid that sum many times over, intrinsically of course. Ever since the campaign was started I have made a point of keeping the 'green' bags inside my car boot to avoid awkward moments when shopping on Saturdays, buying large number of items and having them rolling around the boot!

Nevertheless the awareness level, at least around Kedah (perhaps all over Malaysia), is still low. Too few of the shoppers brought their own bag or purchased the green bags. They'd rather have their groceries rolling around the boot and making more trips from the car to the kitchen once they got home rather than spending 20 sen per plastic bag or RM6 for the green bag - which can be used over and over again. Or perhaps we should go back to the 70s where shops packed the customer's groceries inside paper bags, which nowadays can be made from recycled paper I guess.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Uh...Is That Right?

Recently my mum and my brother's family went to Melaka for the weekend, well more as my brother's treat for our mother's birthday. Anyway they did their touristy things there. As many have already known, one of Melaka's attraction was the beca ride. The becas are brightly painted and for the most part, outrageously decorated. Anyway, as with most individuals in the tourism industry they need to be conversant with the tourists and can be tour guides in their own right.

So my mum told me about this particular pakcik who brought her around Bandar Hilir, pointing out the various landmarks around. One of the landmarks there was the pedestal mounted ex-TUDM Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer STOL transport. Originally located at Muzium Negara, it was transferred to Melaka a number of years ago. My mum told me that this pakcik confidently told her that that particular plane was the one used by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman for 'Rombongan Merdeka' in London in 1956. Even though my mum basically doesn't know much about airplanes, even she was bemused by the pakcik's claim!

I laughed rather hard at that and told my mum that that pakcik definitely didn't know what he's talking about. The plane used by Rombongan Merdeka was the Malayan Airways' (the forerunner of MAS) Douglas DC-3 (there are photos of Tunku boarding the plane); basically the standard airliner of the early 1950s (something like today's Boeing 737). The Twin Pioneer was waaay to small for such long-haul flights. Even  the larger DC-3 could not make a continuous flight from KL to London - Tunku would have to make a number of transfers on his way to London. My mum said even she finds it almost impossible for such a (relatively) small plane to hop all the way to London while carrying dignitaries in much discomfort!

So pakcik, I hope you can get the facts straight!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Adham and Mater

Ever since I bought a DVD of the animated movie Cars a few years ago, it has become a firm favorite of my son. He can watch it every day and is almost a permanent in-drive entertainment of his. I'm not sure why but I guess he was attracted by the character Mater, who is a dilapidated tow truck with two buck teeth and speaking in a Hillbilly-ish accent.

A few months ago I bought a him another DVD entitled Mater's Tall Tales. This is a collection of short stories where Mater tells his unlikely adventures as a daredevil (a la Evel Knievel), a matador (as El Materdor), a rock star, a private eye, befriending an alien flying saucer, an astronaut, a wrestler and even as a drift racer in Tokyo. My son was even more obsessed with this cartoon!

Anyway, one day we went to Tesco for our bi-weekly house provisions shopping trip (in this case, hunting for that oh-so-elusive cooking oil!) Besides, I have RM55 worth of vouchers to be used, cutting down the expenditures for this particular trip. However Tesco Alor Setar made the 'mistake' of placing the toys in the front aisles right next to the entrance. My kids have long recognised this and asked us the parents to go to that particular aisle. Usually Adham just picked a toy at random, and that toy usually ends up in the snacks aisle (haha!) whilst my wife distracted him and he usually forgot about that toy. However this time, I made the mistake of pointing a Mater toy (in his monster truck@wrestler disguise) to him. Uncharacteristically, he cried when I tried to put the toy back, I mean he really cried! Attempts to distract him a with a RM5 Transformers figure (another favorite toy of his) failed and I have to give in, besides the tag shows it costs RM27.

When I paid for the stuff we bought, I noticed that they cost us RM127 (less the RM55 voucher) It should not be that much. It was only then I realised that that toy was actually RM50! I told Adham that he won't be getting any toys for next month! 

Oh well, the lesson to be learned here is that always check the barcode at the price check station before you go to the counter!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Flogging A Dead Horse

OK this thing is so last year but I can't help writing it here. While eating a packet of nasi lemak for breakfast, I noticed a particular comment in a readers' column of a local newspaper (used as the nasi lemak packing material). It reads (translated):
"Diesel powered submarines use obsolete technologies which require scheduled and continuous maintenance and repair. It incurs a highly prohibitive costs in the long run as compared to nuclear submarines. A lot of problems will be suffered by the two Malaysian submarines. The government should have consulted the real experts before embarking on any projects - Marine Engineer"

So, using nuclear propulsion means LESS maintenance then? Are you sure Mr Marine Engineer? And if the diesel propulsion method is so 50 years ago, I wonder why the United States Navy, the Royal Navy and Marine Nationale are the only navies exclusively operating nuclear subs whilst the majority of the world stick with diesel-electric?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

We Are Not Elephants

You know, I think we Malaysians tend to have rather short memory, myself included. I sometimes can't remember what I did last week. But that's not the story here.

Sometime fourteen years ago, one particular gentleman said that he has the proof that this another particular guy is involved in some taboo hanky-panky. As usual no names were mentioned; just 'somebody 'high up', although people knew whom he meant. Then another fellow said he also has the same proof but he allegedly went one step further by giving names to that poor fellow. One year later, that poor fellow got fired by his boss because of his hanky-pankiness. Then suddenly that two fellows (and their friends) became bosom buddies with that disgraced gentleman. All their 'proofs' vanished into thin air and they changed their stance saying that the poor disgraced gentlemen was a victim of his former colleagues' (perhaps even his boss's) jealousy. Emboldened by this support, this guy has repeatedly tried to reclaim his rightful place (to him) until today.....and people believed him and his former accusers, forgetting the earlier accusations.

I wonder what happened to that original accusation. Were the two gentlemen accusers REALLY had that proof? If so, perhaps they should come clean and the truth can be truly revealed. If their accusation was just another power play, well, tough luck Joes, as it will definitely show that you guys are a bunch of LIARS!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A New Chapter

Yesterday marked a new chapter in my life, or rather my eldest child. She was enrolled in a local kindergarten - nothing fancy, just your basic KEMAS one. In the days preceding yesterday, she was quite excited especially when we bought her kindergarten stuff. However on that day itself, she was quite hesitant as she wanted her little brother to come along! Her brother also keep saying 'nak ikut kakak' - small wonder as both of them are really close. Anyway, I managed to persuade her not to cry citing new friends and things she could learn.

I took leave yesterday because of this matter and when we got home, we realised how quiet our house has become. Adham wasn't even his usual self, prefering to lie down rather than playing around. Even today when his cousins are around, it isn't the same. Oh well, perhaps he can overcome it soon. Anyway, the teacher told about one 'problem' with Nabila - she would not eat! I told her that she is like that - she's not into noodles and rice dishes - prefering bread or biscuits instead. Hmpphh looks like she has to bring food from home then!