Thursday, June 29, 2006
Meanwhile, for your entertainment pleasure, check this out:
pretty awesome and its free!
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
My present and new location
Alberta is at the bottom left hand side of the country next to British Columbia.
Alberta itself is pretty big (642,000 sq.km) . It’s bigger than Thailand (514,000 sq.km) or almost twice the size of East and West Malaysia combined (328,0000 sq.km). Whew…imagine all the driving to do. Also notice on this map, eastern Alberta is pretty flat. Conveniently, Lake Louise is on this map.
So in Calgary (population, almost almost almost 1 million, its like 998,000 or something), I’ll be at that black dot inside that circle, more or less. Note this is not GPS calibrated. Notice also it’s next to that green u shaped patch which is Fish Creek Provincial Park. Lots of hiking , biking trails, camp grounds, swimming and fishing places. I’m already eyeing the mountain bike I wanna get …
Also near is Deerfoot Trail, which is the main expressway running north to Edmonton and south to the US (that black bordered light blue line, squint a bit, you can see it) through the city. The airport is that big orange patch in the north-east, where most of the chinese are living.
End of Geography 101.
PS: Do you know that the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park flows to 3 different oceans, the Artic, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
Monday, June 26, 2006
One Year Later, How Time Flies
1 year, 6 days ago, having flown all the way across the pacific. Some 14,000km across most of Asia, the Pacific Ocean and a couple of mountain ranges. I arrived at Lake Louise, unsure, vaguely excited, wet and cold. I had arrived in the middle of the worst storm to ever hit the Alberta area in the last 100 years. So they said. It was so bad, the main highway, the TransCanada was flooded and impassable to traffic just outside of Calgary. Fortunately, the flooding cleared the day I landed or was it really fortunate?
So I got to work, play and live in the land God made, for a whole year. Yippee.
Seen Elk, Bears, Pine Martens, Chipmunks, Tree squirrels, Giant Ravens, Robins, Swallows, Hares, Rodents, Cows, Horses, A Bald Eagle, Eagles, Rams, Mountain Goats, Deer, Kamikaze ground squirrels, Foxes, Coyotes. Haven’t seen a Wolf or Cougar yet. Damn.
Now, exactly one year later, I’m moving again!!!! Weird eh, the timing. It’s started to click again. A whole new adventure is coming up. A whole new moving experience. A whole new everything. I’m gonna be living in the middle of Gwai Loh country in the South East of Calgary. The Chinese prefer the land
I’m looking forward to making new friends, being able to go to the movies anytime. Start or rather re-start the stuff I used to like to do, like golf, toys and maybe even TKD sessions thrown in for fun. Let me see if I can still touch my toes (yes! I used to be able to do splits and I still can, I think).
Hooray . . . .
PS: Do you know that, thanks to a snail like internet connection, it can take me almost 2 hours to read through and post comments all those on my blogroll?
Sunday, June 25, 2006
This weekend, I had planned to catch this movie Click, starring Adam Sandler. Having seen the trailers, I thought I might be a funny movie to watch and to boot, it was featuring my number 1 favourite celebrity to date, Kate Beckinsale.
However things took a big turn Friday evening, when call #8 arrived as a voice mail and asked me to call back.
Now I have been very much on tenterhooks for the last 2 weeks. After I got my contract package, I had found out my job offer was very much a conditional one. Being a bank and I being from overseas, they wanted to check back to the last 3 years of my employment history, so needed the work references (meaning they will call the company, yes, long distance to Singapore) plus the usual background checks. There was actually a line in the letter of offer that said “please don’t resign until after we’ve cleared your background checks”. Wah lau!!! The last time I worked for the government also not so strict and now this big headache.
Three years ago, I was in a big mess. I was moving from part time job to part time job after having been drummed out (and almost everyone else) because I had the fortune to just start work for a hotel and SARS came along. So I had been flitting between many jobs during that time. Good grief, I can’t even remember some of the exact dates I was working. So I figured if this bank is picky, because I gave a poorly remembered work history, chances are my offer would go flying out the window.
The voice on the voice message was rather nonchalant. By this time, I am already prepared to look for and do other jobs. Even if it meant cleaning toilets for a start. Whatever it takes.
So this morning, I was in Calgary and I returned the call.
Call #9: “Hello, can you start on the 6th of July?” (Another 6!)
I was flabbergasted. After worrying for the last 2 weeks, searching for other jobs, getting a pad (meaning $$ paid out and no job confirmed yet) and now this.
Strangely, I wasn’t jumping up and down for joy. My reaction was very very muted. I wasn’t quite sure whether to laugh, sing or cry. Anyways, I treated myself to a Dim Sum lunch. Drove around town a bit, somewhat aimlessly, checked out some cell phones and then caught the movie.
What a poignant movie it is. Adam Sandler’s movies has always been about feel good and this was no different. Its very much a family values and what is really important in your life. And, sigh, Kate Beckinsale is still to die for. But Sandler is the star here. And it is funny! (And Christopher Walken is wackily likeable, despite his official ”title”, go watch)
After the show, watching the families leaving the hall, had me really reflecting about the movie (yes I cried a bit, sniff) and the whole day. Ok no spoilers but I really wonder about the effect Quantum Physics has. Or was it coincidence? Or….? I had caught the 7pm slot, the drive back to LL with the setting sun right in front of you has you in a certain mood. Very reflective.
Click, the movie.
It all really clicked together today. Amazing, the timing. I sit here, still rather dumbfounded. I’m still wondering why aren’t I jumping for joy. Maybe it will slowly sink in later. Now I gotta go start packing.
PS: Did you know – Kate Beckinsale is part Burmese?
PPS: I got me a new Peabo Bryson CD…what a voice!
PPPS: From previous post - Connie Selleca was the sidekick and love flame on America’s Greatest Hero. So sultry and demure. Still is! She’s also a former Revlon model and my adolescent crush :P
PPPPS: I’m still searching for the original song from that TV series.
PPPPPS: Yes, this is a confusing post. But I don’t really care.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Then Got Liued For 6
6 jobs I would stink at:
1. Walmart door greeter
2. Elevator operator
3. Grass grower
4. Paper filer
5. Paper stapler
6. Bonsai Grower
6 nicknames I made up for myself/or other people made it up for me:
2. Flying Bunny
3. Fly liuliu
5. Jeremiah Jones Wannabe
6. Karipap boy
6 movies I can watch over & over:
1. The Battle of Britain (1969). Spitfires, Hurricanes, Messerschmitts, Heinkels, planes, planes and more planes. The best WW2 Warbird flick ever.
2. M*A*S*H (1969). The book had me laughing so hard, it was difficult to walk straight. The movie was one of the rare gems that very closely followed the book. Hotlips Houlihan’s shower scene is unforgettable. Hawkeye Pierce’s irreverent character is indelibly forever etched in my psyche.
3. Star Wars (1977) Space adventure, Good guys, Bad guys, Light Sabers, Sword Play, X wings, The Millenium Falcon, Deathstars, The Force, A Princess, what kid couldn’t identify with Luke Skywalker?
4. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). James Bond, Beautiful girls, The Mediterranean and my first look at the Lotus Esprit Mk I. After Aston Martins, my second most favourite car.
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Tales of derring do. Indiana Jones re-invented the swashbuckler.
6. Romancing the Stone (1984), a nice old fashioned adventure, romantic flick with an unforgettable chase scene and soundtrack.
6 things I love to do on weekends:
5. Banzai drives
6. Photo taking
6 alcoholic beverages I enjoy from time to time:
5. Ice Wine
6 fantastic destinations I would like to go to on vacation before I pass out.
Gosh there are sooooo many places I’d like to go visit. Of the top of my mind, these 6 pops out:
1. The Inca Ruins at Machu Picchu in Peru http://www.exeter.ac.uk/~RDavies/inca/
2. Mt Everest base camp http://www.nepaltravels.com/ebctrek.htm
3. Truk (Chuuk) in the Federated States of Micronesia http://www.visit-fsm.org/chuuk/
4. Antartica http://www.coolantarctica.com/
5. Colditz Castle/Germany http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colditz_Castle
6. Florida – Disneyworld / Universal Studios / Kennedy Space Centre http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw/?bhcp=1 / www.UniversalOrlando.com / http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/
6 celebrities I would go on a Big Date with:
1. Kate Beckinsale
2. Rachel McAddams
3. Tricia Helfer
4. Zhang Ziyi
5. Audrey Tautou
6. Connie Selleca
(sorry no pics here, I got tired of downloading)
6 objects I could not live without:
1. My Sony Clie PDA. All my info/data is in it and its my MP3 player too, currently has 640MB, looking to get more memory stick cards.
2. My Rolex. My little gem, I like watches. I don’t have any jewelery of any kind.
3. My Victorinox Swiss Army Mini Knife, this little baby goes everywhere with me.
4. My Digi Cam, this little baby goes almost everywhere with me.
5. Cable TV/DVD player, to keep those boring nights at bay.
6. PC, this one has to stay at home, but I like tinkering with desktop pcs.
6 gadgets I do not have which I would quite like to have:
1. Aston Martin V8 Vantage
2. BMW 1200 GS adventurer
3. Supermarine Spitfire
4. Satellite Phone
5. Honda Goldwing 1800
6. Hummer H1
This is the toughest meme I’ve done so far. Cos’ it took so damn long to download the pics!! For those who don’t know/can’t remember/liuliu blur. My connection speed is 26.2kps. Fun eh? I think it was faster to watch grass grow.
I ain’t tagging anyone, can’t think of one person who might do this.
maybe maybe Marita and Happily Hoppy!
Monday, June 19, 2006
Aston Martin DBS
Pictures of the new James Bond ride for Casino Royale is out!!
I first fell in love with Astons with the DB5 in Goldfinger. Of course at that time, being a scrawny 9 year old, I didn’t know what the heck it was, except it made my loins stir. Yes I lost my virginity to a car, I think. Many years later, 9 to be exact, a chance encounter in the basement car park of the Hilton hotel in Singapore. I was walking past and this incredible rumble started, my head started spinning and there it was, a 1982 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Gawd….what melody, Barry White on steroids, what noise! Now remember, in those days, a 1.6 litre Honda Accord was considered a big car. This was a 5.7 litre V8 starting and rumbling away with a roar ……sigh, even to this day I can remember that day and I lost my boyhood with that car. Many many years later, actually it was 2 years ago, I saw the same car parked at my mom's condo. Damn, where was the owner? I would have finagled a ride.
Now I’m in ogling heaven again. I’ve already seen the DB9 at a show room here and jaw dropping is an understatement.
Based on the racing version of the DBR9.
This is the Aston Martin DBS.
Just look at those curves, better than any playboy playmate.
And that interior! Suede, Titanium and Carbon Fibre. I think I can live in that car.
Somehow, Porsches and Ferraris never quite worked its magic on me. It’s still Astons.
Sigh, gotta wait till November for the flick. Never mind Daniel Craig, I'll be there to see the car. (But I hear he's a great Bond, edgy, closer to the original in the books, so say some)
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Highway 1A - Calgary to Canmore
I’ve been itching to drive the 1A from Calgary to Canmore and aha! Summer lots of light, started at 6.30pm reached LL at 8.45pm, took 45mins longer than usual. Stop take pics, ogle at the scene, cows. It’s a rather scenic drive.
Boy do I feel at home on this road, bits of it is so similar to Malaysia, from the condition of the road to the trees at the side. Look! No conical trees!! They are round!!!
Then, I spotted this. Blur, huh, I at the seaside or what??
Turns out it was this. Nice!
Then this is the BESTEST pic. I didn’t see the Coyote at the foreground, thought why are all the cows staring at me. AND………the Cow is PEEING!!!!! LOL
On the way home, big big rain shower, mountains looks like Ser Wu Kong’s hideout.
Damn, this drive would have been perfect on a motorcycle, on second thoughts, maybe not cos’ it rained!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
RPM by Les Mills is a very, very, very the cool version of Spinning indoor cycling classes. I had done the instructor’s course some moons ago, but as I was so damn busy doing personal training (how busy? I was working 7am to 10pm almost daily, business was good then…) I never got around to teaching any classes or do the follow up certification test, sigh, missed opportunities. But anyways, yesterday the cycle bug bit really hard and I hopped onto a standard gym bike and started pedaling. Now a Spinning cycle is VERY different to these electromechanical ones. For starters they are a lot smoother and more like a real bike, you can go fast, stand on them, and feels like a real bike, seats handlebars and toe clips in all.
A standard gym bike, sigh, is not very controllable, designed for people with probable back problems, i.e. you sit very upright and the seat is designed for comfort rather than performance. But, then over here, you can’t be choosy. So off I went, plugged in my headphones and did some 40 mins but finally I pengsaned.
Wah liao… I haven’t done a cycle like this for almost 1.5 years. God…..it was hard, sweated loads, the yucky bike didn’t help either….
Damn shiok! Saturday, I go again….
P/S: when I did the 3 day instructor’s course, I dropped 5kg, that’s how good it is…
Specially for Erika
The Eu Yang Sang version, similar to Malaysian/Cantonese style of BKT
This one also, personally I liked this one better.
If you prefer the Teochew version, which is not so dark and more peppery this is the one.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Another Day in Paradise
Then after dinner, went to san poh a bit, take a walk around the lake. Really eat full nothing to do, started to snap a bit here there. Didn’t feel like any hiking today, partly cos I slept late last night, like 2am and back to work at 8am this morning. Tonight sure crash…..but meanwhile around the lake shore
At 8pm it’s still so bright. Part of the staff housing complex at the Chateau
The access road leading to the housing complex
Sitting at the lakeshore, feeding mosquitoes. Yes with the spring and coming start of summer these critters are back. A whole nasty swarm of them. Not as nasty as the Singapore/Malaysian jungle, guerilla warfare-commando trained Aedes species of mozzies but still damn irritating and fat.
Then on the way back, spotted this Thunderhead. The weather forecast did say we’re going to get walloped by a storm today or tomorrow. Might be interesting, haven’t seen a single thunderstorm since I’ve been here.
Especially for Lormaikai Bond