Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A1 Team Malaysia

Here I am writing again. Have been busy lately with some part-time work ( I have to make money too, cause my blog doesn't pay me, at all). I just wanted to say how proud I am to be a Malaysian. For once in a very long time, I found myself cheering for the Malaysia team. It is such a different feeling from the previous games that I have watch before. It was always an embarrasment to watch the Malaysian football--soccer or is it sucker..:)--team, similarly, it was such a dissapointment to watch the badminton players, and it was such a humiliation to watch the sepak takraw team. The effects of it can be seen when MU played againts Malaysia football team, we have Malaysians supporting MU instead of sad. But we have lost faith on our own players, our own people, our own country.

But this time, its different. This day, Malaysia has a chance. A chance to be a winner among the 24 participating countries. A chance to be a world champion. For once, I can bravely cheer for my Malaysia without secretly snickering that they have no chance of winning. For once, I am not alone in hoping that Malaysia could win. Hundreds like me, all with the same glitter hopes in their eyes, wearing the cheap bright yellow t-shirt sponsored by Berjaya to support the Malaysian A1 team. It wasn't a fancy t-shirt, it didn't matter who sponsored it, the color and texture alone tells you that its trite and cheap. But we wanted to be as one, to represent the color of our Malaysian team, to make a presence to the world that we are fast, we cannot be ignored and we are champions. We wore it brazenly, with pride and dignity of our beloved country. We stood that day, with colors of our Malaysian Flag and the yellow color of our team, believing and witnessing a soon to be adage, "Malaysia Boleh"......and always will....

Congrats team A1 Malaysia, even though they failed to win 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in the race, they still managed to be the top 5 winners. Alex Yong and Fauzan Fauzi managed to bring back more then just 5th place. They brought back the hopes of fellow Malaysians, inspired the future kids and aspired future athletes for many future Malaysian champions. Malaysia certainly boleh, not now, but we are pretty damn close.....and we just hope that there will be a time where our sports can make a name for the Malaysian people, Malaysian companies and the country. Imagine Telekom will be as popular as Vodafone and Tongkat Ali ginseng will be as popular as 100 Plus, maybe then if we can't get hired in our own country, we can get hired in UK....(just like how Malaysian people like to hire whites just because of.....wait, nobody really knows, must be the post-colonial thinking we still have that whites are better)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Korean Porn!!!

Who likes korean porn? Alright... now....., you don't have to show hands. You can put it down now, I'm not going to get head counts. But I'm sure this posting got your attention....

So sorry to disappoint all of you. But this weeks segment is more about jokes.
This is probably a joke that the engineers in Ssangyong decided to play on their Management.

Below is a picture taken from a Rexton. If you noticed, I have marked to red circles. Indicating the word porn ("P" or "N"). They could have word it any other way, but the engineers, or whoever who was responsible for it, decided to display this part of the intructions just like this. And from afar, it looks like porn. I wish someone can tell me what it says in korean, I'm just curious.:)

I wonder what they were thinking then....Maybe the management asked them to put this silly comment on the gear box. And of course, someone decided to be naughty. Or maybe I am just dirty minded, or was this deliberately done to spell out PORN????? hmmmm....

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I need someone to fund my PhD.

I now feel that my dreams to do my PhD. might stay a dream for much a longer time or even forever. My enthusiasm have never been lower, after yesterday's interview with the Uitm Intelligent System's faculty members from the Faculty of Science Technology and Quantitative.

A few weeks back, with excitement and eagerness, I wrote my Research Proposal for my PhD. to prepare myself for the Uitm Tenaga Pengajar Muda (Young Lecturers Skim) application. The skim will help fund my education, with of course the agreement that I will have to work for Uitm as a lecturer for the next 10 years. But that didn't matter, cause I just want my PhD. I was very excited that they actually called me for an interview after submitting my application. I thought that I might have a chance, since I've chosen a unique topic that was concentrated to researching Bilingual use of English and Malay to be fed into an AI engine for experts systems (at least, I thought it was unique). I am utterly discourage after yesterday's Uitm Interview and am now trying to pull myself together and not discourage myself to find other means in finding ways to fund for my education.

They told me that the Interview starts at 9 am. Knowingly that Professors hate students who are late to come to class, I made sure I was there at least 30 minutes before the interview. I centainly don't want to make them pissed-off by reminding them that students who are late are irresponsible. When I arrived, there were people by the hundreds waiting for their turn for an interview. Some for Master's, others for PhD and some for different fields of study--other than Intelligent Systems. For Intelligent Systems, there were about 25 Master's candidates, and about 10 PhD candidates.

They started the Interview with Master's candidate. Each candidate had a 30 minutes chance to convince the Panel that they should be selected. It was terribly hot waiting at the corridor for my turn and being formally dressed with a tie doesn't help at all. I want to look good during the interview. After three hours of waiting, I'm starting to look like a sweating pig. And that made me even more nervous, and I'm worried that I might have the BO smell when I get into the interviewing room.

Finally, the Panel showed their faces at about noon and told us that the interview will continue after lunch at 2 pm. I made a few friends while waiting for my turn. A PhD candidate Zul from Melaka, and Azmi a guy from Bangi. Both are smart and have been in the academic field ever since they were a featus. and after talking to them, I realize that my research ain't so unique after all. Everybody had a unique Research Proposal and some of them even took 6 months to 1 year preparing for this moment.

Finally lunch time was over, and I was there waiting again in the hot corridor together with Zul and Azmi and other PhD and Master's candidates. The panel suddenly decided to change the interviewing style--3 candidates at a time. I was shock, cause now I'll be exposing my not so unique research paper with 2 other strangers. Finally, my turn came and I had to enter the room with two other women candidates. I passed my credentials and Research Proposal to the panel of 3 people. They flip through my credentials and just took a 2 second look at my research proposal. In a round robbin manner they asked us about our credential. About our research and after 10 minutes it was over. They didn't even bothered to look at our Research Proposal in depth. The Proposal that I spent the whole night trying to make it better. The Proposal that I've been working to make sure that everything was in place.

All of us left the room with perplexed feelings. What was that all about? Was that an Interview. It was more like an Interview for a job as a sales rep. in Giant supermarket. I guess there goes my chances to get Uitm to fund my Phd. Sad but not discourage, I'll have to look for other options now.....

But the good thing about that day is that Emil got 5A in his UPSR exams. I'm really proud of him for doing soo well. He also said thank you to me for teaching him science. I told him that I never really thought him science that much. Then he said, he remembered me telling him that science is not like other subjects, where you read, memorize, practice and understand. In science it starts with "Imagination, then one will understand.". I guess that had a strong impact on him. And I am glad that I got a little credit for his success. Though, most of the credit goes to his mother, my sister, Leilanie. Read all about it in her blog....

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Should have not been an engineer!!!

Most of the time, we engineers feel so unappreciated.
It's normal, I feel it too.....
First of all, let me get rid of the the stereotypes.

"We are not boring people, we just get excited over boring things"

And for bosses, "If you think you don't understand what we are trying to say, its probably because you can't. Try listening and asking questions to make yourself understand better. Don't even fool yourself of thinking that there is something wrong with our english, or we are just socially retarded."

It's not engineer appreciation day or something, but I found a qoute that really describes people like us....

"It is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer's high privilege.

The great liability of the engineer compared to other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like the doctors. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned......

On the other hand, unlike the doctor his is not a life among the weak. Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer, quarrels are not his daily bread. To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort, and hope. No doubt as years go the people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew. Or some politician puts his name on it. Or they credit it to some promoter who used other people's money....But the engineer himself looks back at the unending stream of goodness which flows from his successes with satisfaction that few professions may know. And the verdict of his fellow professionals is all the accolade he wants."
--Herbert Hoover

Anyway, here are some good jokes for fellow engineers.....

And if you have a friend or a love one who is an engineer, consider these items as gifts...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Eid Mubarak/Hari Raya

Finally, Eid Mubarak is here. Which means the end of my one month fasting and my secret trips to Mcdonalds drive through, oops. Guess it's not a secret anymore.

Hari Raya is as usual. we spend the night before Raya cleaning up the house, decorating the house and the most fun part is weaving the ketupat casing--while watching Battlestar Gallactica. My dad made sure that we continued the tradition of weaving the ketupat casing, a skill not many urban folks knows these days.

The next day, it was the trip to my home town, Seremban. We left early about 6.30 in the morning to reach there in time for Raya prayers. Of course after that we made the traditional "minta maaf dan ampun", "asking for forgiveness" for the sins that we might have done to our love ones. Of course, Raya morning won't be complete without a family picture. And here is the Mohd Nor family taking their Raya morning family picture:). Hope everybody had a good raya too. Selamat hari raya to all.

The rest of the Raya update are illustrated further in my sister's blog. Go check it out, at

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Going to the Country, gonna get me a lot of lemang!

I'm not totally lost when it comes to the art of kitchen science. I'm proud to say that I can boil some eggs and maybe even cook curry for myself when I'm really desperate. But traditional cooking is something totally different. About 2 days before Eid Mubarak or Hari Raya, I decided to help out my friends in their lemang business and learn about making lemang the traditional way. So I drove to Kuang, Sungai Buloh to see what's so hard about cooking lemang. All of us had limited experienced in cooking lemang. You can just imagine the havoc of clueless people trying to act like experts. I know nothing about cooking lemang, and the last cook book I read was Perl Programming Cook Book, which had nothing to do with cooking or that sort.

To make it short, Lemangs are glutinous rice, cooked with coconut milk in bamboo sticks. The ready made lemang will have glutinous rice ready in a cylinder shape. Then you have to crack the bamboo open to serve the glutinous rice.

Kuang, Sungai Buloh is about 30 minutes away from Shah Alam. It was the closest suburban town that they could find, and it was the best location to have an open burning fire without the authorities bothering us about it. The moment I arrive at they production house, I saw one of my best friends Ayen in the production pipe line. He was in charge of filling the bamboo sticks, filled with glutinous rice with coconut milk. Inspecting further, it looks like they have successfully made some lemangs yesterday and are now in full force of production.

My other best friend Syirman was mostly in charge on Marketing the lemang. He was busy that day doing some quality control work and making sure all the lemangs was ready to be distributed to strategic areas in the city.

After a short chit-chat about their lemang production process, I found my niche in the oven section. I made sure the fire was up and burning to right temperature by adding optimal amount of dry logs. Then, I stack the lemang on the sides and made sure it was turned every now and then. It was fun for a city folk like me to be in the country experiencing traditional cooking. It feels as if I am a host in a show from the travel channel. The only thing lacking is the English accent and my cameraman crew.

I've managed to bring back some ready made lemang for myself that day:)
Out of four lemangs that I brought back, Only one was perfectly cooked. I guess my friends and I still need to practice more to master the art of lemang making. And because of our inadequate experience, the lemang business only managed to cover our cost of production. They didn't managed to make profit this Raya season, but we all managed to have priceless fun. And that's something mastercard can't buy....