It seems like ages ago that I've even looked at my blog. I guess it's just me and my lack of focus. I thought having a blog would help me focus but obviously I was wrong. Coincidentally, it's almost exactly 1 year since my last post. So much has happened since then. We've moved into our 'new' house. Unfortunately with the rush we only manage to paint some of the walls with the outside not yet repainted. Hopefully we'll manage to do it next year. We moved into our house on 8th August 2009 which in the chinese calendar is the 18th of the 6th lunar month. Making it even more meaningful that our house is no. 8. It was made even more exciting because the night before, Jenny tested positive on the home pregnancy test. It would have been nice to share all the moments we had moving into the new house, painting it, buying the furniture. All tiring and stressful yet fun and enlightening experiences. 9 months later our baby boy Ethan was born weighing at 3.25kg at birth, big since Jenny is quite petite. 2 months later he weighs 5.8kgs almost shocking if not for the fact that he feeds every 2 hours or so compared to maybe 3 or 4 hours for other babies his age. We thought it was because he doesn't nap much in the daytime. We were actually worried that he'd not grow much because we've been told that babies who doesn't sleep well will have their growth effected. So much has happened in the year, but I guess I'll just stop there for now and pray that I'll post more updates.
OMG, I'm addicted. TOTALLY addicted. I was invited by a 'good' friend and accepted cuz he said I only needed to accept the invitation but didn't really have to do anything after that. So, I did! Man was that a bad move. Now I'm addicted. It took awhile before I tried it but when I did, I immediately got hooked. MAFIA WARS, that's what I'm talking about. Now I can't stop. I was playing some other games on Facebook as well before MW but now all of them are taking a back seat from MW. I used to log in to FB probably once or twice a week now I log in daily. This is not the first time. It was the same with the Blood games (for those who Facebooked since last year you'd know). I'm pretty sure the Blood games led Facebook to make some changes on the rules for game apps on FB (like limiting max 'friends' in game tasks/quests/jobs or whatever they're called in the games). Come to think about it, it may also be the reason that FB lagged so much when the Blood games were so 'hot'. How far have I got in MW is still nothing much to shout about. I'm 70th in my family and at lvl 38... the top guy in my family is like lvl 300++ how'd he get to that lvl??? Doesn't he have anything else to do? Sadly, this is another reason that's gripping me to the game. It's almost like an online RPG I guess. In the sense that players help each other out with jobs and collections and stuffs (for the record I'm not and online MPRPG player if that's the right acronym for it :p). Whoa, a scary thought just came across my mind. The next super power in the world would be in control of the internet... and it may not even be a physical country?!? Something to explore next....
I wonder if it's too late to be writing a blog on this. Hopefully the last minute boost in promoting this worldwide event will help a little (if there is any :p). What's Earth Hour? Earth Hour 2009 has been made into a global election between Earth and Global warming. How do we vote? With our fingers on our light switches. To vote for Earth, we just need to turn off our lights for one hour. It may not be a big thing to do but imagine millions of people in the world keeping all their lights off for 1 hour. That's a lot of energy saved. To know more about Earth Hour please visit the website : http://www.earthhour.org/home/ It's interesting to note that this year's target is going to be 1 billion. Starting from a humble 2.2million in Australia and now only in the 3rd year, they're targeting to have 1 billion people join this program. I suppose the point in this isn't just switching off the lights for 1 hour and saving that 1 hour of energy. The fact that we're working together to clear the way for a more sustainable future brings everyone together towards one single objective; saving our planet. I wonder if it's viable to expand that hour into an Earth Day, where everyone really goes back to basics and not use any energy besides their own physical strength (not for lighting though). Well, to everyone and anyone reading this, let's all join fingers and switch off our lights this Saturday 28th March 2009 at 830pm for 1 hour.
Recession? We've been house hunting for months now and we haven't quite found the house that we like yet. Why "Recession?"? Well, Jenny and I have look at many houses, I didn't keep count but we looked at many. From so many houses that we looked at, we liked 3 houses. All three were taken before we were able to make up our minds. Hence, "recession?". The first one, we sure took our own sweet time to decide. Why wouldn't we? We weren't rushing to move into a new house, plus we're expecting property prices to drop. So anyways, that was a newer house (2 years old) so we thought maybe it's still hot for newer properties. Then we shifted our focus to slightly older houses (about 5 years) as I suppose they're off the radar of most 1st time home buyers, even upgraders. Saw 2 house that we like and wanted to view them again 2 weeks later because both Jenny and I were away. Alas, we were greeted with bad news for both houses. Again, "recession"? If you just look at these incidents, you wouldn't never have thought that Malaysia is experiencing a contracting economy. It's weird to know that jobs have been lost, profits have taken a dive and the share market has kaplunked. But still we weren't able to get the house that we like just because we're being cautious... :-s
Jenny and I have been house hunting for quite a while now and still haven't been able to decide. In fact since before the lunar new year (to be politically correct, as one of my 'ol friend said to me before). New launches for the 'standard' 22x75 terrace/link houses are going for 400k and up these days. I'd say these prices are quite ridiculous as this would basically mean an average engineer would have to pay more than half of his salary for the mortgage payments. Don't tell me I have my facts wrong as I've checked the average figures on internet job sites. Why is this ridiculous? Of course it is! As far as I know, the basic loan approval criteria is that the mortgage repayments shouldn't be more than 1/3 of a person's monthly salary. What's the problem with that? you may ask... just get houses which are further away from the city, they're much more affordable. That's true, I won't argue with that. However, with our present state of public transport and highway congestions, how many would want and/or be willing to live so far away from their jobs? Well I do know of people who drive for hours each day just to get to and back from work. Well coming back to my point, I'll prefer getting a house nearer to work even if it means paying more. Sighs. Add to that, the increasing fear of a looming recession gets my head spinning even more. What happens if I get a pay cut? What happens if either of us lose our jobs? What happens if the value of the house drops right after we buy it? (I guess this last point wouldn't really matter if we're going to live in it, but I'd feel that we've paid a higher price for it than we should have). I suppose in the end, it just depends on whether we like the place and whether we are able to afford it or not. For now, we're praying that we'll be able to make a decision, at the right time.
Look at that billowing smoke coming from a paper and plastics recycling plant at Telok Panglima Garang. It caught fire at 1am this morning (according to a source). I was told that the fire could not be controlled and was left to burn itself out. It was about 9am when I took the photo and it was still burning. I guess the fire only came under control at around 10am cuz the smoke started to clear up at about that time.
Today is exactly three weeks since our friend Ms. Chan made her complaint about her ATM card being 'telanned'. Yesterday, since she didn't get any news from the banks regarding her stuck ATM card, Ms. Chan made a call to her Hong Leong bank home branch. On the first call to the home branch, they told her that her ATM card was still not in their possession and that she should call Maybank to find out whether they have retrieved the card. Full of hope that she would at least know where her card was, she made the call to Maybank (I think the first call to Maybank was to the HQ or Customer Service Centre, sorry Ms. Chan, I missed some details here). This time, the person attending her call at Maybank tells her that she should call the branch where her card was stuck. At this point, you could almost imagine her blood starting to boil couldn't you? Two phone calls to two banks and we still can't find out where the card is. I wonder how many calls our friend needs to make. Our friend is still hopeful to get news of where her card is so she makes the call to the Maybank branch where the card got stuck. SURPRISE!!! The branch would have NO IDEA where her card is! They have a very logical reason for that. This is because no one from the branch would have even accessed the ATM, only those ATM personnel (i.e. those guards loading and/or unloading the cash or those ATM technicians would have access to those ATMs). Blood practically starting to boil she asks why in the world should the bank customer be made to call here and there to trace where her ATM card is when it wasn't even her fault that her card got stuck in the first place. Finally she was adviced to get her home branch Hong Leong Bank to trace her card for her. This time with an angry tone of voice she calls her Hong Leong home branch again. Good thing the staff taking her call isn't a piece of wood with a recorder stuck to it and he/she was able to sense that Ms. Chan does not have much patience left in her and agrees to help her trace her card for her. So Ms. Chan regains her calmness and leaves her contact number with the bank employee and was told to wait for their call once they are able to trace the card. I have lost track of how many dings and dongs have gone on in tracing just the one ATM card. I may have missed a few (or not) but I suppose this is good enough to give a pretty good idea how a small matter such as this gets thrown about. Are banks understaffed these days? Our story does end in a 'good' way though as later in the day Ms. Chan received a call from her home branch and was told that her card was already with them. What? you may ask. Well, she asked them the same thing too. How could they say they didn't have the card when she called earlier? It's pretty obvious that they didn't even know they had it and only started looking for it after she called. They even admitted that they only started looking for it after she had called. At least the three week estimate that they had given her was quite accurate. Now she'd requested her card to be sent to the branch near here. Let's see if it will get her by Thursday as they promise.