Friday, October 31, 2008

At least I'm not carless.. but what really caused the fire?

This white Latio is my new car..

No, not really.. it is a temporary car for me to use. My poor car will be out for a week or two due to the freak incident. So i have requested for a replacement car from Nissan. At least the GM is nice enough to grant me this. So now I'm driving a Latio 1.8, which is bigger and more powerful than my March.

Now, what's happened to my car? Why did it the battery wiring burst into flame? And do I get any compensation bearing in mind it's a new car (five months old to be exact).

All these questions, which were a mystery last night when the incident happened, are still inconclusive. But now I was told by the car technician from preliminary examination, it was not manufacturer defect but was caused by human error. He said that the harness and wires (I think that's what they're called) fastening the batteries were not even tight thus over time, the battery positioning had moved and finally when I turned that corner caused the hot wires to short-circuit and thus the fire and smoke..

But even before he told me this, he had asked about whether i changed my car battery which I told him affirmatively no. Then as I was on my way to the service centre, I suddenly remembered something. Besides sending my car for servicing twice, there was this one time in between the two servicing that I went and bought a honk (ya, I didn't like the weak sound of the original honk) and got the accessory shop workman to install it for me there and then. I had bought extra honk for all my cars before. In fact for the last car - the RAV 4 - I had inserted the honk and then removed it cos it was too loud! Thus I never thought there would be any `danger' in doing this.

I was honest and told the technician about this and I don't know whether this has created a perfect `scapegoat' for them or it was just the truth, he was almost blaming the battery short-circuit entirely to the car accessory workman. As he said for servicing, the workmen would not touch the battery nor the wires..

So if what he said is true, that means they are not liable at all and I became the one that has `breached' the contract of warranty. :( And it is useless to go back to that car accessory as they would not claim responsibility as there was also no prove of what they've done - that was at easily 3 months plus ago i think.. :(

But again, we are still just making deduction and speculation. This morning, the technician and workmen only looked at the surface `evidence' as they had not done thorough inspection on the car..

As the GM passed me the `courtesy car', he said he would try to help me but he also said point blank confidently that it could not be a manufacturer effect. Someone must have inadvertently done something to the wiring and it's very likely to be the person(s) installing the honk..

Sigh, I have not much a case cos even deep down, I feel and fear that's the case. So what I could do was asked him to help if they could absorb the cost for repair. At the same time, I still want a thorough investigation as to exactly how that incident happen.

In the mean time, at least I have a car to drive.. for the next three days I really need a car to go around!!

Happy Birthday Mom!!

It's mom birthday yesterday - Oct 30. This year, she requested that instead of us treating her out for dinner, she would like to eat at home - help us save some money and she's also a bit tired out from her recent trip and singing rehearsals!

And she wanted me to cook dinner.. and of course I was happy to!

I'm not a great cook but I enjoy it and have done some okay dishes. I enjoyed Western cooking more than Chinese since we eat Chinese daily at home..

So after some thinking, here's my menu for the evening: (I have a wedding rehearsal at 8pm so we have to eat earlier thus I thought not something that complicated)

1. Fresh tomato and basil soup
2. Fresh dill and salmon pasta with spinach
3. Grilled Portabello mushroom with garlic butter oil
4. Cooked young asparagus and carrot
5. Pan-fried eye round steak with garlic salt seasoning.

They don't have fancy names like restaurants cause they are quite straight forward stuff. It's only the pasta that i followed recipe. As for the soup, I had to modify the recipe as I ran out of time and got wrong stock!!

Anyway, here's the finished products!

Dad bought a lovely little cake..

after we sang, mom making a wish - for quite long - and then puff! blew just the one solitary candle!

Since we were eating at home, we all looked pretty bad.. :p But mom, without a trace of make-up, was sporting enough to allow me to take photos - she loves to take photos anyway.. You wont see me in it because the only photo of me and mom were a bit blur and I looked really bad too with my messy half-dried hair!

I think mom is most happy with my birthday present for her this year! When my aunt and my sis called to wish her happy birthday, she stressed to them that she is having a very nice dinner, cooked especially by me! ;D

Happy Birthday again mom - may you have a happy, healthy and blessed year ahead!

p.s. any guess how old is my mom? ;p

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My new car's first freak `accident'!

It's not really an accident as in there's no collision of any kind. But what happened earlier tonight (Wed night) was pretty freaky and shook/shocked me quite a bit!

I had spent close to three hours in Bangsar Village, buying some stuff and also went for manicure and pedicure (since there's friends' wedding on Sat which i'm playing a role in..). I had to be in town for choir practice at 8pm so I left about half pass seven. I came out of the carpark and everything was normal with my car. I took a slightly longer but less traffic route via the further end of Jalan Ara back to Jalan Maarof (sorry if u're non KL-ites) . I saw the traffic light turned green as I descended the hill and I went a bit faster to turn right to beat the light that was about to turn amber. This is something I have done many times on that junction.

Then as I turned right onto Jalan Maarof, suddenly the car cannot be controlled!! It suddenly hit me that the engine has shut down totally!! But thank goodness on the left was the carpark of a bungalow shop-house so I just did my best to manuever my car to the side so that I won't stall in the middle of the lane! I managed barely before it totally stalled and the engine couldn't be restarted. My first thought was that the battery had died (but it was only 5-month-old!?)

But no, as I stuggled to put on hazzard light, I saw dense smoke coming out from the bonnet, particularly from the left side. Two security guards who I think witnessed what happened came over and I got down the car.. another guy came out from the shop - it was Nike Golf - and asked me to open the bonnet. As they opened it, lo and behold! The battery top was on fire!! I was stun shocked a while as the few of them blew and did something to put the fire out. I also noticed the flame had burned and `scarred' a small part of the bonnet..

I was quite shocked and just blabbered as to how and why this happened!? one of the shop supervisors said the flame was most likely caused by wire short-circuit, as there was no prior warning of any problems before hand. He also kept saying that I was so `lucky', as he said the car could have exploded! Later as I just played back what happened, I felt I really was `lucky' - or rather I believe it was God's protection. It could have happened on a busier road and that my sudden stalling of the car could have caused accident.. and now the car actually stopped at a place where I had help by two guards and two shopkeepers. I even joked with my friend later that it could not happened at a better place then in Bangsar....

No way was I going to drive the car after this.. so I called got the Tan Cheong tow operators through the car salesman who sold me my car. I also called my dad - actually I already called him immediately after the incident but he was having dinner in town, then I called my choir director - a bit upset I couldn't make it as I was to sing in a group of 8. While waiting for the tow car to come, I also called a friend to tell her about what happened and I've escaped unscatched.

I was thinking of calling a cab home but remembered my friend who lives just up the road. She was just finishing her dinner nearby and said she could come and fetch me home and she arrived even before the tow truck came.. It took almost a whole hour for them to arrive!! There was one point the man started the engine to just drive the car up onto the truck (it's not towing it but carrying my car!) And that means my engine was ok...

So now my poor car is taken back to Nissan showroom/service centre.. I was told to call them tomorrow as the car technician would have to have a thorough check up. What happened was really unespected and dismaying to me as it was a brand new car and I have only used it 5 months and promptly sent it for servicing twice already. It had not given any problem at all... and then suddenly this!!!

I really hope there's nothing major that can't be rectified. In fact my friend who sent me home was so angry for me that such thing could happen to my new car and said I should ask for a replacement of a new car altogether!! but hmmm..the thing is this was the last unit! I personally feel if it's not a serious manufacture error, I think my car should deserve a second chance.. I really like it.

Fact is, whether it is people or car or anything, freak accidents do happenen. While I was a bit shaken and also a bit upset of what had happened to my car, I am actually more thankful that I am safe and sound.

It could have been much worse....

(ya, you can tell i am an optimist..and so if you're wondering, I'm feeling perfectly okay by now!) :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

For the love of ME - a narcissist's fantasy?

Presenting.. the FAMOUS ME - in the limelight around the globe !!
...or rather, a girl is allowed to have some narcissistic fantasies....

My photo is placed on this huge banner on the wall..

On the cover of Vogue!

I am the face of a new perfume

Seen on neonlight advertisements..


Featured in Andy Warhol paintings..

Look I'm just everywhere!!

Even on this huge billboard in the middle of nowhere

On construction site even..

Could be a fan who did this!!

Mmmm... am the object of desire (ok, this looks superimposed!!:p)

Yup, i'm so famous even the dollar note features me!

This is more subtle.. I love B&W photo

I think I broke this man's heart...

I'm an exhibit in the art gallery

Am the `apple of the eye'...

Oh i even made headline news in a foreign paper

Am I a wanted person - by this old man?

Look, even David Beckham has me as his tattoo...

Maybe because I am the President of this country

A portrait sketch

The nice finished work..

But I can't really recognise myself as Marilyn Monroe..

Errrr.. and I definitely look odd as Monalisa!
Such photos can go on but i think I've spent too much time on it. It's just sooo fun for a narcissisist like me. Ended up uploading these pix in my Flickr, Facebook phtoos and even use one of them as my profile pix! :p

Interested to try it out for yourself? check out

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Give me Justin anytime over pretty boys Fahrenheit

Ever since I first heard him sing on a TVB show on Astro about three years ago, I was pretty taken by his voice and his songs. At last, there's a promising new star who could actually sing, as well as write pretty good music too!

I have bought all his albums (except the latest), I have had the chances to watch him in concerts - his first solo in Malaysia as well as with other artistes or as guest artistes, and I have had the privilege to meet him and interview him during the course of my work as an entertainment journalist. Even had a pix with him - that was taken about two years back shortly before I quit my job.

So how could I miss the chance to watch Justin Lo in concert after almost two years later - and I was sure he has matured more in performance skills!

But since I hardly cover concerts anymore, I had to make use of my previous working relationship with the people from Genting, and ya, they were nice enough to give me two comps!

Posing by his concert poster outside Arena of Stars - actually this was taken after the concert. My companion refused to have her pix taken :p

Our seats were the second cheapest - about six row right from the top left side! Oh well, beggars can't be choosers.. I shan't complain.. But all I can say is the photos shown here are really lousy - just to show how the stage and Justin looked like from way up where we were seated. Thank goodness for the screens else I couldn't see how he looked like at all. It was a pretty good turnout - from observation, at least 90 per cent of the 6,000 seats were occupied!

This is the best photo I took - also I didn't bother to take much - firstly knowing the effect would be bad, secondly, there were workers walking around instructing people not to take photos! Although the minute they walked away, cameras were out again and this girl in front of me even videod half of the concert!

I really enjoyed many of the songs he sang - in particular his well known ballads like `Good Guy', `Tough Life' etc.. There were some `PG13' parts - where he and his female dancer did some steamy routines and the girl even put her hands in between his thigh! hmm..

While I enjoyed most part of it, what I couldn't really relate to was the `rock segment'. Ya, he tried hard and his voice was pretty powerful, but he's just not a rocker by nature and the sound was loud and jarring.. didn't know the words he was singing too!

However, when he just stood there and crooned with his powerful and pure voice those emotional ballads, it was when he really shone. This could be seen by the way the audience responded.. And sometimes when he attempted those softer and mellower tunes, both my friend and I just closed our eyes and let the beautiful music and singing bring us to a place so beautiful and surreal..

Ok, i know I'm not good with such description but you get the idea.. it's the quality of his singing plus some of the better Cantopop these days.. And really, to me it's a treat to be there listening to Justin's singing his music.

Gosh, it poured when the concert ended.. so we delayed our journey home for an hour. Even with all the effort of driving up, finding parking, braving the rain and driving back in the dark.. I was glad I came. Some more I have nothing to complain since I didn't have to pay for the tickets!

During the drive home, I put on Justin's CD again and I think even my friend who didn't know much of his songs, was quite impressed with his voice..and some of his music.

So that was Saturday night - my `date' with Justin. ;)

The day before, I covered Taiwanese boy-band Fahrenheit's press conference. The group - consists of Wu Chun, Calvin Chen, Jiro Wang and Aaron Yan (I was still learning their names just before they appeared!) is so big and their album selling so well that they are arguably the biggest boy-group to emerge since F4.

Many of their fans out there would be so jealous that I was just sitting a few feet away from the guys for group interview.. (I can literally touch one of them! :p)

To be honest, I've reluctantly attended some PCs and meet-the-fans sessions of few of these dudes, and saw how the young girls went wild!! I also had heard their albums (given free to me) but never really felt there's anything special about their voice or their music..

ok ok, guess I'm way too old to be even their target audience let alone their fans.. but the thing is, I really don't see what's so great about them besides their good looks? But maybe I should give them the benefit of doubt as I have yet to see their live concerts. I heard from some people that they are pretty `keng' - again I wonder if that's just some gimmicks and fluff over substance?

Before i get booed by any Fahrenheit fans out there.. let me stress that I've nothing personal against them! In fact they seem amiable and `sweet' enough at the PC and duly answered all questions albeit it's one of the shortest Q&A sessions I've ever seen due to time constraint we were told.

Just that I hope they will prove me wrong with their first ever concert in Malaysia next month. I will be given comp tix but I'm still thinking whether I should go... Maybe first I should listen to their albums again to know at least a couple of songs.. or I should say, I hope I am able to find a couple of songs I like!

Well, I'm sure their concert will be a hit - and attended by more than 10,000 as the venue is Bukit Jalil National Stadium..

But for me, give me Justin any time..

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My two Js are so unfit!!

I know I'm pretty unfit - although I'm fitter today than I was 10 years ago due to gym training.. But because of traveling, busyness and plain laziness and lack of motivation, I haven't been to gym for a month now! (It doesn't help that my gym is about 17km away from my home and need to find parking and all...)

Anyway, this afternoon, since it was not too hot and sunny (before the rain came) I decided to jog around my housing area... and decided that my two overweight dogs need some exercise too!

So I took them along on a leash while I jogged! I think the whole distance - including quite a lot of stairs as we have a path around our gated community - was probably just about 1km or more..

It was much easier bringing Jojo as Jelly likes to stop at her fancy - either pee/poo or simply smelling something. I felt they were panting quite heavily.. although I was getting a bit tired myself. So after one round, we went home and stopped for a while - gave them some water, and then came out again and did just very short run...

Then it started drizzling so it was really a very short work-out for me..

While I already recovered my breath and all, the two dogs looked drop-dead tired, and panting heavily, and kept sticking out their tongues for air of course....

I couldn't help but take these photos - and this was like at least 20 minutes after they had stopped exercised!!

Gosh.. my dogs are so unfit!! I think I should bring them out to exercise more..

Jojo panting away by his water bowl...first standing and then `collapsed'!

Jelly too.. and is even too tired to chew her bone!!

Not easy to take photos with the Two Js, but I managed this time.. haha

This is such a funny pose - actually Jelly was lying slightly further away from Jojo but for photo sake, we push her gently closer and they actually just lied there for a few minutes like this - cos they are both too tired to move!!