Nee Sern is...

really really sleepy

Friday, May 30, 2008

Awareness to Action

I was very fortunate to have been nominated by my boss to attend the GOAL leadership training organized by 361 Degrees Mind. This company has a unique approach towards training: they call it Meta Training, or "beyond training". Basically, the philosophy is that the learning should not stop in the classroom only. They believe that awareness should be converted into action, so that we can learn and retain the knowledge we gathered in the classroom through actual participation.

Well, from the 2 days live learning session (which I thought was fantastically facilitated and participated as well), the one take home message I got is:

Awareness to Action

I believe that this is what we strive to do in our IXPs as well. Instilling awareness is important. But far more vital is the call for action. It's a clarion call to ensure that the IXP participants commit towards a certain transformational action that will hopefully improve their lives in myriads of ways. I see now that it is also vital that we apply what we learn from these training sessions in our work environment and our personal lives.

Awareness to Action

This is the key point of the day. I hope to be able to convert some of the knowledge I've learned over the past 2 days into concrete actions that will deliver some positive results.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

More of the Lambency

Here's how the diffused flash light from the Lambency looks like in the various possible configurations.

First, a direct flash with dome attached. The light source is bright, but of course the full blast of direct light is reflected by the mirror, causing much flare and thus reducing contrast. This configuration would be useful where there are no ceilings or walls to bounce from.
Incidentally, this sort of light source reminds me of the home made flash diffuser I made last time.

OK, up next is the bounce with dome configuration. This configuration still gives a good forward light source, but it's not exactly all directed to the front, as the dome spreads out the light in all directions. As a consequence, the bounced light to the ceiling is probably not as bright compared to the light coming from the without dome configuration. Nonetheless, this could be useful it the ceiling or wall is too near to me, and having a direct bounce will result in harsh light.

Finally, this is the configuration for bounce without dome. The forward light source looks less bright compared to the with dome configuration. This will be useful if the ceiling or wall is a considerable distance away, and the bouncing of the flash light will create a large light source without resorting to the usage of the dome. This also saves considerable battery power and can be considered the general purpose use of the Lambency.

I'll be trying out the contraption in the coming days in the 29idc.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Defines You?

Many people go through life without knowing who they really are. For those who are stuck in the proverbial rat race, they go through their days lamenting about how busy they are at work, no time to do the things they like, no time for family, etc. But, think about it for a moment. If work does not define you, then why do you spend so much time on it? Why spend half your life doing things that do not inspire your passion?

For instance, Fooch is a self professed workaholic. The word "workaholic" brings about many negative connotations, coming from people who expound on "work-life balance". But, when I talk with him, all he can talk about is his work, and his passion for work! It's amazing to see that he's really inspired by what he does, and he doesn't treat his work as a chore. Rather, he treats it as his hobby, as his life's purpose. To Fooch, his work defines him.

For me, I don't think my work defines me. I think my Buddhist work, and my involvement in music is what defines me. Of course, that doesn't mean I do not strive to further improve myself in my career. But when people ask "Who Are You?" to me, I do not answer "I'm a Network Optimization Engineer in the Telco industry". Because my job title does not define me. Rather, I'd probably answer "I'm a practical and simple Buddhist dedicated to the inspiration of Dharma through the revitalization of Buddhist music".

So, the question to all you readers out there: What Defines You?


Sigh... the car craze has returned to me, but this time it's not for the Honda City.

Rather, it's for this beauty:

Yes, the 2007 Honda Stream! *DROOL*

The price tag: RM150K for this beauty. That's almost double the original dream for the Honda City, which retails at RM86K. Dream on lah...

New template

How does my blog look with the new template?

Of course, it's nothing special. It's a standard Blogger template which I just changed by going to the Layout page, Pick New Template, then choosing "TicTac Blue" as my new template.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Apartment @ The Curve

Sorry. No photos here, because nobody brought camera. The food portion is so small. The music started off as some pseudo techno music, but luckily they changed it to soothing easy listening music. Then the water is not being refilled!

OK lah. Other than that, it's a novelty to have this place modeled after an apartment. Bedroom, kitchen, light room, etc. But otherwise, the food is nothing special.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lagi barang mainan baru...

It's been a long time since I got myself some new photography toys. So I logged on to Yamiya eStore and bought myself a Lambency Flash Diffuser! I placed the order yesterday evening, and the package arrived today. Quite good and prompt service! So now I can use this in place of my flimsy and unprofessional homemade flash diffuser.

It arrived well packed in bubble wrap

This product is made in China

The diffuser cup and translucent white dome

The assembled device

The setup with my camera

And here are some sample shots:

Top-Bottom: Bounce with dome, Bounce without dome, Direct with dome

I hope I'll have more opportunities to test this gadget out. It's been a long time since I held a camera in my hands!

Friday, May 23, 2008

PAS makes more sense!

Hahahaha! Padan muka :P

Yet another bunch of tower-fearing people...

Residents of Putra Heights Section 9... please don't complain if you don't get good mobile network coverage or quality. Don't complain if your Maxis line or Celcom line or DiGi line only got 1 bar or even no line. Don't complain if you can't hear what the person on the other line is saying. Don't complain at all.

Because you didn't want the towers to be built.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Plug for BuddhistSound

BuddhistSound is a locally established website setup for the purpose of promoting and retailing Buddhist music and other related media via the Internet. It is established by Brian and Roland Lee from the Messengers of Dharma (MOD), and carries MP3 tracks of various popular Malaysian and Singapore based Buddhist songs.

While most of the stuff is actually for sale, there are also a few freebies which can be downloaded at no charge. One of the gems I found from the website is this e-book, which gives quite a detailed introduction to the world of Buddhist music. I found it to be quite informational, but I've only browsed through it, not really read it word for word.

Do download it and check it out!

Wow... Khir Toyo is speaking "live" as the Opposition Leader!

Updated 12.45pm:

Despite the massive lagging of the streaming video, from what snippets I managed to listen to, I am now confused whether BN is still the state government, or the state opposition, and whether PR is the new state government or still in opposition mode.

Still debating about trivial stuff, focusing too much on the past, and unfortunately unable to look forward and chart a new future for our state. Talking about exco village lah, then talking about wrongdoings of the BN government lah... wtf?

Where are the debates on education? How about transportation and traffic? Over development? Protecting green lungs? Where's the intelligence???


I bet he didn't see this coming at all. For all his boasting of a zero opposition state, he is now sitting in a position that he predicted would not even exist!

View the live proceedings of the Selangor State Assembly here.


God. I can't believe that some people actually have the time to think about this type of things. It just goes to show how shallow some people can be.

Seriously, I just lost hope again. Is this what a progressive country should be thinking about? Looks to me that this "National Islamic Students Association of Malaysia" is stuck in the Zaman Jahiliah with their holier than thou posturing and downright insulting suggestions. They should be thrown into the museum of antiquities and left there to rot.

"It becomes a distraction to men." Perhaps it becomes a distraction to the men in the group only. God... I still can't get over the stupidity of it all!

*NBTD = Nothing Better To Do
*THMYC = Tak Han Mou Yeh Chou

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Star Trek XI teaser!!!

This trailer was playing before Prince Caspian actually started. I didn't know at first glance what movie it would be for. Then, those timeless words:

"Space... the final frontier"
Fuyoh!! Keng man! Makes me impatient to watch this movie!

Indy is back!

I'm so eagerly awaiting this one :D

Gerakan calls for 2nd vote in Federal Territories!

Can you believe this? I thought that Gerakan was virtually wiped out after the General Elections, but I suppose they are trying to remain relevant.

If this proposal goes through, it will be a breakthrough in local governance. The other states will be pressured to return the 3rd vote to the raykat. This will auger well for the people, especially after being mistreated by local councils for the past 50 years.

Putera Caspian

The first half of the movie was sooooooooooooooo boring!!! The storyline reminded me so much of Eragon. Then, Aslan appeared. In a #$&#$%^ dream!

Thankfully, the fighting soon arrived. At least there's some action in this movie! Unfortunately, the battle scenes are so short and... incomplete. When Aslan appeared for real, he did nothing except say some cryptic phrases, and roar loudly, causing large trees to destroy the Telmarine's catapults. Hmm... where have I seen this before? *COUGH*ENTS*COUGH*

Totally a waste of 2 hours plus. If you had 10 bucks to spare, go watch Iron Man again!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I walked for world peace and harmony

Yesterday night, I joined Nalanda's Wesak Procession for World Peace. It was a short procession around the area where Nalanda Dharma Center is situated. But we walked slowly, mindfully, quietly. The distant beats of the drums, chimes and bells guided us. The sedan on which the Buddha rupa sat was carried with utmost respect and dignity. The nagas flew to and fro, providing the blessings and motivation to carry on. And throughout the procession, I was chanting "Peace. Harmony. Peace. Harmony."

The crowd which turned out was amazing, but of course won't match the sheer scale of the procession organized by the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields. However, I feel that the Nalanda procession is much more meaningful, and indeed feels more spiritual than the Brickfields one.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

An evening with Fooch

Yes. Fooch is back. For just about a week sorting out his work permit. We had drinks yesterday over at Old Town. I'm now on caffeine overdose, and now sitting in Starbucks sipping yet another coffee of the day. Fooch is currently an Associate over at Squint/Opera, which is an award winning architectural/film design studio. A lot of his work is really beyond my comprehension, but a quick look at the portfolio really impresses me.

Sorry Fooch, I'm "stealing" your photo in Facebook :D

Well, I'm glad that he's doing so well in his passion. And it's a pity that in Malaysia, the multimedia design industry is not strong yet. We are still in the industrialization movement, churning out commodity in electronics and services. Only when we as a country can mature and become self sustaining, then perhaps there will be positive development in the artistic sector.

It's quite ironic actually. He's actually the one friend who's so far away from home, and so rarely do we get to meet. And yet, when we do meet, he's the one person whom I will feel connected to in a meaningful way. And no, we're not ghey...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dysfunctional family song...

Ling ling-a-ling-a-long
Ling ling long
Ling long-a-ling long ling long
Ling ling-a-ling-a-long
Ling ling-a-ling-a-long
Ling ling long
Ling ling long!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A letter which is hard to swallow

This letter was published in Malaysiakini today, referring to the recent death of an NS trainee. The author of the letter condemns politicians who exploit the death for their own political gains. He goes on to argue that deaths are inevitable no matter where you are, and it is not practical to station medical doctors at every nook and cranny of the country.

I still have not gathered my thoughts over this response. I feel a certain anger towards this kind of "dissing" and yet there is some sense of truth in his writings. I need some time to think it over before formulating a proper analysis.

In the mean time, go read it and formulate your own opinions.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I watched a French movie yesterday...

... actually it was more like 18 French short stories crammed one against the other over a span of 2 hours. Possibly the longest 2 hours I've experienced recently.

Some individual tales were actually not too bad. Some quirky humour, touching moments, and surprising twist. But the majority of the stories turn out to be nothing more than wannabe artists who cater to the movie critics instead of the average moviegoer. No doubt, this will win them awards at Cannes, but then again, those movie reviewers usually got their heads in the wrong place.

I even forget the name of the movie. And we had a scare because the first 10 minutes of the movie played with only Chinese subtitles on screen. Disgruntled audience had to scold the projectionist, and moments later, English subtitles appeared below the Chinese subtitles. Tsk tsk...

So anyway the movie is not recommended for the average moviegoer. But artsy fartsy types will love it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Quotable quote...

Sincerity is no guarantee of morality...

I missed Mom's day party...

Why? Because i.gemz was performing for the Mother's Day Appreciation Dinner organized by the Sri Jayanti Buddhist Society in Sentul. We were personally invited by Chief Reverend Saranankara to sing for the event, along with MOD. We were given complimentary tables to dine, and we had the privilege of singing to a group of dedicated devotees and moms :)

But, of course, the downside being that I had to miss our party at home. However, my feelings were uplifted with the knowledge that our actions yesterday night have inspired many others. Besides, our voices were so rich and touching. i.gemz rocks!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The non apology

This bugger says he apologized "if you all have misinterpreted my meaning". Of course, this means that he's NOT sorry.

Kind of reminds me of the non apology of the "bocor" incident last time.

Why can't these "leaders" just eat humble pie and apologize dammit?!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Toll agreements to be revisited?

Is there finally a breath of good news from our "beloved" government?

On another note, the toll plazas which actually cause traffic jams should be removed and toll collection abolished. A prime example would be the Sunway LDP toll.

Orang Besi

Iron Man totally blew my mind away. And surprisingly, elsf also enjoyed the movie, I suppose due to the cool factor and the funny dialogue.

This is definitely a Must Watch movie of the year :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

McD's BU Centerpoint

I was there for lunch today. Lined up and made my order. The cashier was this lady named Kala. Well, firstly she was very unfriendly. Her face was frowning, it was as if she didn't have enough sleep the previous night. Also, the way she addressed me was terrible. No friendliness in the voice at all. Then, the worst part: she was either burping or hiccuping! I'm sure that turned off a few of the customers. And finally, the entire service line behind the counter was bitching and bickering. It was terrible.

Service in Malaysia is really sucky...

Tan Hong Ming

Actually, I didn't manage to catch this on TV last year. But I heard smatterings of this cute TV commercial for Petronas for the 50th Merdeka celebrations.

Well, Yasmin Ahmad's efforts have paid off: her commercial has landed several big awards in the international arena. Syabas to Yasmin!

Anyway, here's the link to the Youtube. It's just so simple and innocent :)

Some quotes to share

From the moment we are born, we are dependent on many people around us for food, shelter and clothing. As we grow and develop, we become independent from the people around us. We believe in self reliance. But as the years go by, we must become inter-dependent. We need people around us in order for us to be great.

People become people through other people.

We live in multiple relationships at the same time.

Monday, May 05, 2008

American Beef Cow

OK, so I missed out on the other performances during the Global Buddhist Conference on Buddhism recently held in Sunway Convention Centre. So many people raved about the singing monk "Heng Sure".

Well, I am impressed! Here's the Youtube.

Spiritual vs Religious

In the recently concluded 3rd INCOVAR Graduate Camp, Bro Tan Huat Chye mentioned the importance of having Spiritual Friends, as compared to Religious Friends. While the 2 words sound similar, the meaning of both are actually different.

What makes a person religious? If that person follows all the religious rituals and practices the form of the religious belief, then he is considered to be a religious person.

But a religious person is not automatically a spiritual person.

So what then makes a person spiritual?

It's the constant questioning of oneself. Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing enough? Am I thinking negative thoughts constantly? Would it be good if I helped the needy?

These questions trigger the thought process, and in the process of self reconciliation, he becomes a better person.

A spiritual person is not necessarily a religious person. He may not believe in any god or any religious teacher. But if he avoids evil, does good, and purifies his mind, then he is considered a spiritual person.

And it is these type of people that we should surround ourselves with.

Remember, @ INCOVAR, we can connect you to a network of spiritual friends, thus nurturing a Family in the Dharma :)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Flip Flop

What a bunch of cowards! After proudly proclaiming that 30 minutes of live parliament will be aired on national TV, the PM and also the Information Minister have both called for an end to the telecast after the shameful incidences of name calling and personality bashing.

At least there are still some brave souls in the Dewan Rakyat...