Tuesday, October 30, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 2:09 pm

When I was studying in England, I spent the first year there (out of two) living in the university accommodation, which was a basic apartment block. I purposely chose to stay with non-Malaysians as I want to meet people from other countries. Well, I got stuck with a guy from Hong Kong, one from Singapore and 7 Brits. I became quite close to one of the Brits (he's Welsh) and we decided to stay out the next year. After some cycling around and house hunting, we finally settled on a double-storey linked house in a nice housing area.

What I liked about English houses is their furnishing, which is really cosy. The use of heavy curtains (mostly floral), plush sofas and the compulsory carpeting is so different from what we have back home. What I do notice is that most of the lighting used matches the interior decoration, unlike some homes here in Malaysia which still uses the traditional flourescent lamps. Whilst flourescent lamps are not necessarily bad and do function well, they do not enhance the beauty of a house.

Hence, it is not uncommon to see nice lightings (some Victorian even) in these houses in England just like those supplied by Quoizel or Sea Gull Lighting. It is no wonder then that the current lighting that I use in the living room of my apartment is a mini chandelier type of lamp.


Friday, October 26, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 12:43 pm

This is not a paid post and there are no affiliate links here. I just need some advice.

I just discovered that Elahost has probably one of the cheapest hosting packages available at $2.95 per month! The starter package comes with 1 gb diskspace, 10gb bandwidth, up to 3 add-on domains and up to 10 parked domains. Payment is annual but you get 16% off. And you only pay $3.95 for a domain name. Full details and features can be seen here.

The said package is giving me the itch to give Elahost a try. Anyone out there using Elahost?


Thursday, October 18, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 10:06 am

A lot has been said about the paltry sum Malaysian employers pay to their foreign maid, especially Indonesian maids, which range from RM300 to RM500 per month. Maids from other countries get a better deal such as those from the Philipines who are paid more than RM800 per month (with Sunday as an off-day) and the latest news report which states that maids from India are to be paid a minimum sum of RM1,400 per month (on top of a pre-paid mobile phone, bank guarantee of RM9,000 and other perks). Read the full scoop here.

Don't get me wrong. I think maids deserve a decent salary and protection from employers who do not pay their dues. I also think that paying a small sum for a basic personal insurance policy to cover the maid is also nothing much to argue about. These rules and regulations which are slowly being drafted to protect foreign maids working in Malaysia at least tries to put the country nearer towards what other countries are doing for foreign maids working in their midst.

Now, my gripe is, what about the employer? It is common knowledge that foreign maids do not come knocking on the doors of prospective employers inviting these employers to employ them. Rather, the employer spends money (a considerable sum at that) either sourcing the maids in their home country or engages a recruitment agent to get one. Like any contract of employment, the employer takes a big risk employing any maid which seems to fulfill the employer's requirements, as far as biodatas are concerned. But ask any employer and chances are, a majority will tell you that the biodatas are nothing but pretty statistics and information which do not translate to reality. More often than not, employers find that the maids delivered to them do not even know how to sweep the floor properly, let alone using a vacuum cleaner. I am sorry to say this but from my numerous conversations with employers of foreign maids, many lament the lack of basic hygiene being practiced by such maids (especially who have no prior working experience). And the list goes on. Perhaps, it is a clash of culture or civilisation, I don't know. Maybe I should give them the benefit of doubt.

So, what happens if the maid does not perform or refuses to perform or decides that she does not want to work after a short period of employment? It would be fruitless to ask her to continue because her mind is set on leaving. At least you are given prior warning of her intention to quit. It would be worst is she just leaves the house and leave you in a lurch.

Sad to say, there isn't much option or protection for the employer when the maid decides to quit halfway. It would be pointless to sue the maid for breach of contract (for not completing the contract). Monies will have to be spent again if the employer chooses to recruit a new maid. Not to mention precious time as well. Whilst many say that foreign maids are working under perceived or real "threats" from their employers (eg. withholding of salaries, etc), the silent suffering of genuine and good hearted employers go unnoticed.

You got an experience with a maid to tell?


posted by PabloPabla at 9:49 am

Whilst there are many bloggers out there who advocate the benefits of having only one blog outweight the benefits of having numerous blogs, established bloggers like Lilian Chan, Sabahan and even Problogger show that they can manage numerous blogs and be successful at the same time. Of course, one can say that these bloggers are professionals in their field but then again, they were not born with blogging skill ingrained in their brains. It takes learning and experimenting over a period of time.

Taking cue from their success, I think tis' the season to get more dot.coms. And what better way than to go online shopping to search for the best deals available. I heard that Dotster Deals giving away 15% discount for purchases are fast expiring. Meanwhile, Blue Host coupons entitle the purchaser to web hosting for $6.95 per month with a free domain thrown in. Domains now cost in the region of $10 nowadays and the free domain is like a discount given. So, anybody wants to give me an early Christmas present? Buy me a hosting package through the coupons above ;)


Wednesday, October 17, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 12:26 pm

You meet a stranger and you introduce yourself. You exchange a few questions and share a few things about yourself. Before you know it, you are conversing with the stranger as if you are both long lost friends. You both promise to get back to one another and the relationship grows from there.

You have a friend whom you have been conversing and sharing things about yourself for a period of time. Then, due to some extenuating circumstances, you don't get to meet that often or get in touch as often as you did. After a period of time, the getting back together feels awkward as you both seem to have no topic of conversation. It's like meeting a stranger.

How sad it is when it is the latter. When a friendship which has been growing suddenly becomes awkward due to the effluxion of time not being together.


Friday, October 12, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 2:24 pm

Paris Beaverbanks sent me an assignment to be completed just before the Raya holidays. It's all about 4s. I think I owed her 3 previous tags and therefore it seems appropriate that I get this no. 4 done pronto!

4 Jobs I have had in my life :

  • Waiter
  • Shoe seller
  • Surveyor
  • Isetan sales promoter

4 Places I have lived :

  • Johor
  • Sabah
  • Sarawak
  • Leicester City

4 Countries I have been to on vacation :

  • Singapore
  • Scotland
  • France
  • England??

4 of my Favorite food :

  • Sarawak Laksa
  • My own cooking
  • Kuey Chap
  • Kolo mee

4 Places I would rather be right now :

  • In Paris reminiscing my previous trip
  • In Italy enjoying authentic pizzas
  • In New Zealand doing nothing
  • Anywhere with my wife

4 Friends I’m going to link love: (you can do the tag if you want)

Tenth of March
Wayne Liew

Have a good weekend! Oh, in case you were wondering, the title means 1, 2, 3, 4 in hokkien dialect.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 12:22 pm

Dr. Who? Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, who will today at 9.22pm local Malaysian time, make history by being Malaysia's first astronaut (and some say cosmonaut whilst local people say Angkasawan). I know there are so many blog postings out there discussing the merits (er, not that many actually) and demerits (too many to read, in my humble opinion) of this project to send a Malaysian into space. I was quite appalled to read some of the postings which even give names like "sending monkeys into space" to play with "children's games" and the like. Makes me wonder who the real monkeys are and who is being childish by name calling.

This post will not attempt in any way to discuss whether the project to send a Malaysian into space is worth the money expended by the government. Even if we are to discuss it, it makes no difference because monies have been spent and barring any unforeseen circumstances, Dr. Sheikh (who is a really good looking guy, I must say - definitely looks far better than a monkey) will be shooting to space on board the Russian Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft.

Why does he deserve my congratulations? Well, for starters, he will be one of the select few men (and women), elite some say, to get a chance to experience travelling in a rocket and doing stuffs in space. Again, let's not debate about the childishness or unchildishness of the things he will be doing or whether the experiments he will be doing will make a difference to mankind or not. This post is not about that. Not only will he be travelling in that state of the art rocket, he will be travelling free. He is fortunate indeed. Space tourists have to pay a ridiculous amount just to get to fly (if they pass the compulsory physical, mental and other tests too).

He is afterall, the one who was finally selected after undergoing various tests and examinations ranging from physical to mental to skills (and others which I am probably unaware). Well, he's an orthopaedic surgeon and that is one skill I don't profess to have and I respect him for acquiring this skill in university and serving as medical doctor and teacher for that. He is the chosen one. Nevermind whether the debate about the transparency of the selection process. That's a different debate altogether. Just concentrate on his personal abilities. I believe he does have a great range of abilities which impressed his selectors. He ought to be respected and commended for his abilities.

He will go down in history as the first Malaysian to go to space. You can't take that away from him. This is the opportunity given to him and he is the chosen one. At least I get to witness this historic moment. I was not even born when the first man landed on moon. But at least I am present to witness this moment and be proud of Dr. Sheikh.

Why take the glory from him? Why ridicule him for being given the assignment to conduct certain tests? From the outset, you and I know that the chosen one will have to do certain things up there in space. He decided to give it a shot and applied for the selection process and he succeeded. He is merely doing what his obligations are. For all you know, the experiments which he will be conducting may very well benefit mankind. Do not condemn until the results are out. You might end up having your own foot in your own mouth later.

No, I do not wish to talk about the merits and demerits of sending him up there. I have made up my mind as far as election voting is concerned. For now, I just want to congratulate him for being the chosen one. It's not an opportunity for anyone. He's blessed indeed. Now, Dr. Sheikh, you go there and make us proud of you! It's your moment of glory!


Thursday, October 04, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 9:49 am

I collected my Avanza this morning and the roaring sound which was present at the rear of the vehicle is now gone. It seems kinda strange to drive it without that sound but it is pleasant nevertheless. I think the rear seat passengers would have a more comfortable ride from now onwards.

As for Toyota, what can I say? The collection of the Avanza was done fuss free and efficiently. I just needed to sign a form to say that I've collected the vehicle. Apparently, apart from the changing of the rear axle, they also needed to change the differential oil (whatever it means). So, the job definitely costs more than RM5,000.00. It is indeed comforting to note that the warranty given was honoured and satisfied in a most professional way.

By the way, if you want to know which service centre I went to, it's the one at Balakong. Wing Hin Automobile, which is an authorised Toyota Sales and Service Centre. Good service deserves credit.


posted by PabloPabla at 9:27 am

When I was in kindergarten, like most boys my age, playing "Combat" or small soldier figurines was the rage. You can spend hours after hours with a couple of soldiers imagining that they are in the middle of some war and have the soldiers shoot or get shot, die and live again. There were times when I would play "Combat" (I think this term refers to a particular tv series) in the house garage. I know garages are for cars but for a little boy, it is a big playground. I remembered that next to the garage was a spot of garden and sometimes, my little soldiers would climb tiny hills which I mold at the garden. It's funny how your imagination can run wild at times when you are a kid.

Such bliss of spending hours in the afternoon with no worries at all.

Bringing back the old days sponsored by CarGuyGarage.Com


Wednesday, October 03, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 3:48 pm

Our Toyota Avanza is now almost 2 years old and for until last month, we thought that the slightly loud roar which came from the back of the car upon acceleration was normal. The thought of a 1.3 litre engine pushing a cabin big enough to fit 7 adults gave us the impression that roaring loud is a sign of machoness with this people-mover of ours. We were, however, alerted to possibly abnormality with the sound sometime back in June when a friend of ours who also owns an Avanza sat in our Avanza and remarked that the sound seems a little too enthusiastic.

So, last month during its routine maintenance schedule, we asked the mechanics at Toyota to check out the sound. It appeared that the rear axle was a little too loud for its own good. And so, as promised in its warranty, Toyota agreed to replace the rear axle for us inclusive of labour. No ifs, no buts and definitely, no questions asked. The rear axle costs in the region of RM4,800.00 + and if labour was included, I was pretty sure it would exceed RM5,000.00 to replace it on my own.

The Avanza was sent to the workshop this morning and it was ready by noon. I will only collect it tomorrow morning and I just can't wait to "hear" the difference.