Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Tired as I was, I was glad to catch up with M.Rajoli during the event.

I am giving a virtual hug to everyone who worried about me. I am alright. I have a bad cough though. My friends assured me that coughes are not usually fatal although one guy died because of a cough. He coughed in the closet that he was hiding in and one irate husband shot him.
I took a forced break from blogging because I accepted an Event Management job on a very short notice. In my Event Management classes, I warned my students not to take such jobs because the chances of bungling them are very great. I took this particular job to help a friend keep his job. As with all rush jobs (even without film stars and other prima donnas involved like this one), we had to work extra hours which left no time at all for blogging and most anything else. My student-helpers practically camped at my house, sometimes sleeping in a vertical position. Even now, I am still completing one part of the job. I am taking a break from tweaking web pages so some of you will not pout anymore.
To make matters worse, the left lense of my glasses fell off while I was teaching. One of my students drove me to an optician to get a temporary pair of glasses. It took 2 weeks to get my multifocals back. My optician (in Penang) had to "special order" the lens. During that time, I was not able to read the numbers off my phone, let alone the pc screen. Then my old Pentium 3 PC died on me.
I am pleased to let you know that the event was a success thanks to my students and my family. The same cannot be said for the Bloggers Omnibus Project. So far only 3 people responded. Probably the Project needs to be reappraised. What says you SK?


Monday, September 12, 2005

At just after 9 am, the parking lot is still empty.

By 10 am, the cars start arriving.

By 11, the parking lot was full.

I apologize if anyone looking at the above photos has a permanent squint or blurred vision. The camera in my PDA is not good with long shots.It is not hot with medium shots either. I would have tried the new Nokia 6020's camera but I doubt the pictures would be better. Besides, I cannot possibly transfer the pics from the phone to the pc until Farris delivers the Irda cable.
The pictures above were of yesterday's Autovision 2005, organised by my Special Events & Risk Management students. The event was basically a competition for car modders. The published time was 9am to 6pm. It didn't start at 9am or end at 6pm. It did test my patience at first but I learned a few things about the modders and their passion for modifying their cars.
The 50 cars that entered the competition yesterday weren't ready to be judged the moment they rolled into their designated spot. First they have to move forward so that a mat or a big piece of cloth can be laid out. One creative owner used a camouflage netting. Then the car is reversed so it sits squarely on the mat/cloth/netting. Then the doors are opened to reveal the interior, the bonnet (or hood, if you are American) is raised to reveal the engine. Some opened the boot (or the rear door) to reveal their speakers. One van had a total of 12 speakers. The owner tried to drown our PA System. When he succeeded and we could not make any announcement whatsoever, we politely told him to point his array of woofers and tweeters in the opposite direction. I am sure his collection of rap songs can be heard all the way in Genting Highlands.
Back to the modders. The next stage is to polish the car and to wrap engine parts with aluminum foil. Polishing the car is allowed but apparently the aluminum foil is not. Also discouraged is the use of stuffed animals to decorate the roof of the car. I saw one red crocodile dumped on the ground. A couple of stuffed tigers suffered the same fate.
Judging could not be done until 2pm. even though the last registration was at 1.30. The judges had a tough time. The cars were judged on their paint work, safety and interior. I haven't seen so many unique Kancils and Protons. Even the Tiara were transformed into Cinderellas on wheels. A few cars had double sunroof. One even had a plastic roof on the bonnet. Curious, I asked one of the judges if any of those got melted by the heat of the engine. The answer floored me. Those cars are rarely driven. Usually the owners have other cars.
You might think that the owners are rich people. They are not. They are ordinary working folks. Some are mechanics (ordinary mechanics, not overly rich ones with Harleys and power boats.) One of the winners is a bus driver. Whatever they are, they share something in common - the passion of transforming a bread and butter car like the Kancil into something sporty and exciting. Something that they lovingly care for and show off whenever they have the chance. You can't help but admire their handiwork.


Friday, September 09, 2005
Come Sunday, my Special Events students will have their Autoshow at the college. Last Wednesday, after Pak Ya (budakkampong) gave a lecture on Contracts and Agreements to them, I found out that there were a couple of things not done. This was not altogether the students' fault. There were some last-minute sponsors who wanted certain things and permission have to be wrangled.
Looking at my students planning and organizing the event made me think of passages in Malay literature, something that I vaguely remember. It is similar to these lines in Adat Perpateh though:
Jikalau ia cherdik, hendakkan rundingan;
Jikalau maalim, hendakkan doanya;
Jikalau kaya, hendakkan emas;
Jikalau patah, penghalau ayam;
Jikalau buta, penghembus lesong;
Jikalau pekak, pembakar bedil.
( Clever, and we'll invite his counsel;
Learned, and we'll ask his prayers;
Rich, and we'll use his gold.
If lame, he shall scare chicken,
If blind, he shall pound the mortar;
If deaf, he shall fire our salutes.)*

I do remember something about people with ringworms being given the job of getting bamboos. They scratches a lot so it made sense to give them something to scratch about/around/for. Those not familiar with bamboo cutting should be aware that bamboos can make you very itchy and I am not talking hamsap here.
It is good management practise to use your people's strength although some of you reading the above might think that the Malays of old were using handicaps instead of strength. Or were they? Were they wise enough to exploit the weaknesses (or handicaps) of their people? Whatever it was, they put the the right person for the right job. This is something that managers and employers in Malaysia are trying to do. Hopefully, soon, we won't see parking attendants with constipated faces or blurred shop assistants.
See you at the Autoshow.

*(Excerpts and translations from this webpage.)


Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Ninety nine point nine percent of my friends do not read my blog. This is not a reflection of my shoddy writing but rather the level of computer-literacy of my generation. We are the kalam batu (slate stylus) generation.
Whatever generation you are, I am sure you have friends who would like to read some of your posts unplugged. Tell your friends the good news. Sangkelate will help publish a collection of selected blog posts as soon as a few things are settled.
First, we have to select the posts. All posts written by Malaysians wherever they are qualify.
You can help by telling me which posts deserve to be collected and preserved for posterity as hard copies in the traditional book form. Email Sangkelate or email me with your nominations. Please include Permalinks to make our life easier. We shall start with English posts first. Sangkelate wants the book to go global as well as further the use of English in Malaysia.
Then we will edit the posts. This is more of categorizing the posts and putting them in the proper chapters or sections rather than improving the grammar. If you have the knack for editing books, let us know.
Other than bragging rights, authors of posts selected will eventually be paid royalty from the sale of the book. Since the amount is expected to be very small, you can opt not to take the royalty but donate the amount to charity. More people exercising this option will make the amount substantial, hopefully.
The copyright of the works selected will of course remain yours. You will merely grant us permission to publish them. One of the lawyer-bloggers will draw up a (hopefully) simple agreement for this purpose.
Suggestions/nominations will be accepted until September 30th 2005. You can suggest your own posts.
Let's get cracking!


Monday, September 05, 2005
This blog is interrupted by mental constipation.
Regular service will commence soon.
Inconveniences regretted and apologies offered.

Happy Birthday to Elisa
(Luv ya!)


Friday, September 02, 2005
Pok Od arrived early Wednesday morning from Kuala Terengganu. He brought a plastic bag full of mas cotek leaves and some kerepok keping (fish crackers) samples.
Apart from the knack of putting me to sleep with his non-stop monologues, Pok Od is also a skilled masseur. He studied the art of massage from several masters in Terengganu and combined what he learned from books. He is so good at massaging that the cycling fraternity turned him from a coach to a physiotherapist.
The last time Pok Od was in KL, he brought along his new wife and he did not have time to straighten and tone my muscles. This time, Pok Od got tired too quickly and retired early. Yesterday we went shopping for a stationary bicycle that he wanted. I took the shortest route the gym section in Carrefour, showed him the bike but told him not to buy it yet but to wait until after lunch. Otherwise we would be lugging the heavy bike all over Mid Valley Megamall. He agreed and we set off to find something to eat. I did not get to eat that soon because Pok Od got distracted by a lot of things. He got held up in the hardware section, he tarried in the furniture section and had to touch every plant in the Gardens section. He even had time to tell a middle-aged lady the properties of a plant on sale.
We finally got to Ayamas where Pok Od told me that he was not really hungry. I asked him to choose between Black Pepper Chicken and Ayam Percik. He chose the more familiar Ayam Percik and I ordered two sets to go. We had to wait 10 minutes. We then proceeded back to Carrefour to get the bike. I decided rather unwisely to let Pok Od go in and buy the while I waited outside and read the papers. Half an hour later he came back to get a trolley and almost an hour later he came back with the bike, a towel and some bathroom accessories.
On our way down the ramp, we saw a familiar face coming up. Looked like a classmate of ours. He was with a very young lady. He saw me and then he saw Pok Od. He saw that we have seen the young lady and pretended not to recognize us. We had a good laugh and I told Pok Od to stop giving massages to the man.
By the way, massage is a very ancient art. Go here and read.