27 February 2010

Another live Search video

OK, after struggling to coax this video out of my camera, I finally managed to get it up on to YouTube (after about three attempts).

The video is pieced together from two or three separate shots so, there might be some pieces missing in the middle when my camera died on me for no particular reason.

Now, here's hoping that the Orang Kita crowd make some decent money out of this so that we can continue to enjoy more of the same in the near-future.

25 February 2010

Irish Motorbike and Scooter Show

A couple of things: At this stage, there are still quite a few people asking about when exactly this year’s show will be. Understandably of course since this time last year, we were only a couple of weeks away from the 2009 edition of the show.

Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that the show is actually a biennial event rather than an annual one. The next one being in 2011. Boo!

On the other hand, I’ve managed to dig up some pics I took at last year’s show that never got to see the light of day, until now.

And, considering it was initially just a Motorcycle Show (scooters were a much later addition), here are pics of some bikes.

Towards the end of the show, a mate of mind said he wanted to borrow my camera to take some more pics. He was into Space Cop Gaban-type Jap bikes and the like. So, I assumed he was going to take pictures of those. Little was I to know that he was up to no good...

23 February 2010

Scooter repair and servicing

Where do Dublin-based scooterists go to get their rides repaired, serviced, etc.? Every time the question pops up, Carl at M and C Scooters gets mentioned. They don't have a website really so, I thought I'd do Carl a small favour by giving his place some web presence!

The place looks a bit rough at the moment but
he's just moved in. Should be sorted in no time.


M and C Scooters
Modern and Classic Scooters
Spares and general repairs. Paint work from Crash to Custom. Scooter sales.
1A Thomas Davis Street West
(off Emett Road)
Dublin 8
Tel: Not there yet
Mobile: +353 (0)86 365 2823

Now, before you think I've gone all mental and put up a dodgy address that's way across the other side of town, relax-I've got it right. They've moved to the new place right after the new year. So, don't bother looking at the old place in Arbour Hill (and start ranting on about people being lazy, not wanting business, etc.) and scoot yourself over to Inchicore instead.

Oh, and before the conspiracy theorists among you get any ideas, NO I'm not affiliated in any way to M and C Scooters nor will I earn any commission (or any similar monetary benefits) on this. Like it says on the tin, I'm just giving the place some well deserved online space.

Update 24 June 2011: Modern and Classic Scooters logo added

21 February 2010

Damn this global warming

As I type this entry, snow is falling heavily in Dublin. Well, at least Blanchardstown as far as I can see and through reports on Facebook. Only about an hour ago, I was happily riding on my Vespa to get some groceries and some petrol to last me for my commute next week.

Damn you Global Warming!

Now, it looks like all that petrol is just going to have to sit in the tank for the next few days. The snow will also probably mean I'll have to pop over to the local Spar and get myself a 5-day bus pass. Even worse than the thought of having to endure public transport once again is the possibility of having to wake up at least an hour than I normally do.

A good-looking fella like me needs his beauty sleep you know.

Of the small minority that would welcome the snow are Search, Hujan and their entourage who I believe are somewhere between London and Liverpool at the moment. Presumably, like most Malaysians, they would have little or no experience with snow so, the whole thing would be as magical to them as it was to me when I first saw snow.

Here's wishing the two bands all the best for their last gig in the UK and hope they get the best of this weather without having to face its dreadful drawbacks.

To the rest of us plebes, spring can't come soon enough!

19 February 2010

Search live in Dublin

There’s been a growing trend of Malaysian celebrities popping over to Dublin lately. It might be a quick trip to buy the latest season’s designer handbags (with your beloved old Dato'), visiting relatives or playing the odd gig. The people at Tourism Ireland must be doing some good work over in the Far East, eh?

Anyway, to add to that ever-growing list, Search (the Malaysian rock legends and not some search engine rival to Google) flew over to Ireland last weekend to do at least two of the above. While I didn’t join their wives and entourage shopping around Grafton Street, I did get to go to their gig in Temple Bar. Here's the band performing one of their hit songs that night...

I was right at the front and centre throughout the gig. So, until Astro or Melodi come out with their official coverage of the whole thing, this is as good as it gets.

It seemed quite odd paying €25 to see Search in Dublin when about a quarter of a century ago, I remember being dragged by my Pak Ngah to the annual Pesta Pulau Pinang to watch them play live for around 5 ringgit (around a euro these days and probably a lot less then).

Fortunately, although ticket prices have gone sky-high since the Pesta Pulau Pinang days, Search has remained at their semi-stoned, face-melting, rocking best!

Also, worthy of a mention are Malaysian veterans to the UK gig scene, Hujan and Dublin-based M. Nasir protégés, Dub Apokalipto. Hujan definitely exceeded my expectations of them. They're so good that I'm working on getting all their CDs as I write. To put this into perspective, as far as I can remember, the last time I've bought a CD was probably close to 10 years ago!

17 February 2010

On the origin of the (Vespisti) species

Sometimes, I do get that guilty feeling and head off to the gym. The guilt largely stems from the fact that I've got a €40 or so Direct Debit hitting my bank account at the start of the month rather than the excess 20kgs that's been on me for the past few years!

So, you see, I don't really like going to the gym. Some days I feel like a puny little Vespa surrounded by the more muscle-bound, horsepower loaded bikes around me.

I blame my bad back though for making me dislike the gym. Seemingly, my back bone is badly mis-aligned because of a fall I had when I was 7. To cut a long story short, I fell head first into an open monsoon drain. The drain was about 6 feet deep and as you can imagine, the fall caused a big gash in my head.

I eventually made my way out of the drain thinking that everything was all good until I heard the horrifying screams from people around me. I was 7 and thought it was way cool to look like some Zombie from Kampong Pisang scaring all the other school kids away!

My Mama disagreed though. After getting over the blood gushing out of my head (and obviously making sure I wasn't a real zombie), she gave me a stern look and told me to wipe that stupid smile off my face. I duly complied.

Anyway, I think I was given the wrong medical explanation for my condition. I blame the Vespa. Due to its inherent design flaw, I believe scooterists the world over have had to adapt. To evolve.

I think one of my ass cheeks is bigger than the other!

PS: Went to Search's gig in Dublin last night. More on that over the next few days...

15 February 2010

It's Thursday nights now

I like the usual football banter that I have with my colleagues at work. Although a diverse bunch of football fans (including decent United fans), I'm fortunate enough that they're not the type that merely regurgitates the bile that's being spewed out by the likes Sky and the written press (well, at least most of them).

So, most of the conversations are decent enough and don't start off with idiotic and baseless comments like, That Rafa is a twat...Rotation doesn't work...zonal-marking is stupid...blah...blah..blah.

Most chats start off with the likes of, Who are you guys playing next/this weekend...

Then, in a nutshell, we'll get into analysing the two teams, tactics and predict a result (sadly, I was correct when it came to our game against Arsenal including that Diaby would score!). On this particular occasion, when asked the standard bi-weekly question I automatically replied.

We're playing on Tuesday or Wednesday night. Can't remember who against but I'll look it up...

At that moment, it dawned on me. Liverpool weren't in the Champions League anymore. We're in that tournament no one ever watches except when they go channel roaming to find something decent to watch. The tournament that no one really cares if you lose it or win it. Liverpool are in the Europa League!

Errr...actually we're playing on Thursday. Against Unirea. Some club from Romania.

I quickly corrected myself.

Thursday night? That'll ruin my weekly routine. From now on, my footballing nights will be on Thursdays? Eh? I'll need to explain that to the wife. It'll clash with her late night shopping. It'll clash with Lost (OK, I know no one else watches this any more but I just have to see what happens in the end!). I'll have to refill my Vespa on Wednesday night instead-when the tank's not even empty. Utterly disastrous.

No, it's just too much hassle. Liverpool will have to finish in the top 4 this season. Nothing less.

13 February 2010

Vespa recovery

So, my Vespa's clutch cable snapped a few nights ago. I eventually got the scooter home safely. Temperatures were just above freezing that night so, it was decision time.

Do I brave the cold and get my scooter sorted myself or wait until the following morning to bring the scoot over to the local mechanic and have him sort it out for me in 15 minutes (it would have taken me at least an hour!)?

The decison was pretty much made for me when I realised that I didn't have any spare cables lying around the house.

I rang my insurance company and sorted the recovery details the following morning. Credit to the recovery guys, a van was over to my place in about an hour after I called.

After making some space in the van, my Vespa was loaded up and secured in a couple of minutes. Just in case any of you're wondering, the cost for the recovery was FREE. It's included in my insurance cover. Like an AA/RAC membership thrown in the insurance premium.

Anyway, after about half an hour or so in rush hour traffic we were at M and C Scooters in Inchicore. The place normally opens at 9.30 but Carl was running late and sent me a text to say so. Just as well. I was late too being stuck in city traffic on the recovery van.

As soon as he got in, he started working on the scoot. It was sorted in less than 15 minutes.

Carl had just bought himself a machine that fits tyres on tubeless rims. Quite a novelty in Dublin as only a few other places are willing to work on the smaller scooter rims. I might bring my tubeless rims into Carl later this month to have them sorted out.

11 February 2010

When the cable snaps

A few days ago, the inevitable happened with my Vespa. The clutch cable snapped. It's not like the first time it's happened. It's just the first time it's happened when I'm miles away from home AND didn't have any spare cables or tools with me.


So, there I was in the middle of Phoenix Park doing half-wheelies in the dark trying to get a move on while roaming herds of deers looked on. 

Thank God, I made it home safely. Like my Vespa, ALL the lights were green on the way home (or maybe it was just me imagining red as green!) and there weren't any grannies being extra cautious at junctions.

Note to self: don't leave tools and spares at home. They're no use there. A torch light might also come in handy these days...

09 February 2010

I want one for my PX!

Spotted this on the SIP Scootershop site which links to Blog LX.

It's got to be one of the coolest Vespa LX seats created-ever! If somebody made one for the PX (preferrably not in white), I'd snap it up straight-away. Anyone out there? Please?

07 February 2010

Liverpool FC and I: Mamak Knows Best

It wasn’t an all-important game or anything, from Liverpool’s point of view. It was already May and as best as I can recall, Liverpool never stood a chance that season with the mess that followed Gerard Houllier’s appointment as joint-manager with Roy Evans. The club’s season was all over but we were still determined to cause as much nuisance as possible to United’s chances of winning the title (they won it anyway-damn it!).

The match itself was a blur but all I remember was that the game was played in Anfield in the evening so, it must have been in the small hours of the morning in Malaysia. That might have explained why my flatmates and I were kicked out of the nearby Mamak stall. It was either that or the fact that none of us, being skint students, were actually buying anything from the stall that night other than Ais Kosong and a Teh Tarik shared between 10 of us!

Anyway, robbed of our chance to watch the game in proper Mamak stall surroundings (big screen TV, red plastic chairs, greasy tables, etc.-everything a young man would ever want), we watched it in our flat instead. The living room was cleared of any form of furniture so that most of the 50-odd students could fit in and get a clear view of the tiny 14” mono-sound TV. One side of the room was filled with those disgusting, no-good-for-nothing, glory-hunting, prawn-sandwich-eating poseurs while the other half was filled by Liverpool fans, a sprinkle of Arsenal fans and the odd Chelsea fan (the latter two clubs were still in the title race at the time).

I don’t really remember who scored first but towards the end of the game, United had a 2-1 lead. The United fans in the flat were jumping up and down with joy while goading the rest of the room. I remember sitting there, red-faced and staring at the telly hoping for a miracle of sorts.

As with most of the game, I don’t actually remember the details but what I do remember clearly were the last few minutes of the game. Paul Ince celebrating like a madman, running into the crowd in the stands after he’d scored the equaliser. The telly was a sea of red and boomed with the sound of the Anfield crowd. There was a split-second silence in the flat. Then, as if the Kop itself stretched its arms out halfway across the world, the flat erupted with joy (personally, it think was more relief than anything else).

That was THE moment. I have been a Liverpool fan ever since.

No, it wasn’t Ince’s goal that impressed me nor was it Liverpool’s history, rich as it may be. It definitely wasn’t Houllier’s brand of park-the-bus-pump-it-to-Owen football either.

It was more the fans’ passion and commitment to the club, no matter what the situation was. I’ve never seen anything close to it at any other club around the world. So really, I’m a fan of Liverpool FC’s fans, if that makes sense. I wanted to be a part of that and if the fans are considered the physical embodiment of Liverpool FC then, I suppose, I am a proper fan of the club.

Anybody have a clip of THAT goal and Ince's celebration, can you post a link here. Thanks!
PS: Fantastic result against our neighbours yesterday!

05 February 2010

No poo in the loo?

There are times in your life where you come across something or a situation so profound, it just stuns you. It’s as if Captain James T. Kirk had just blasted you with his photon laser pistol thingamajig and you’re stuck in your tracks.

But then some days, you merely bump into something SO stupid and immature, it actually makes you laugh. You don’t really want to laugh because your mind keeps reminding you, this is stupid, this is childish but you laugh anyway.

The picture was taken in the toilet (obviously!) of the local Starbucks. To those of you who aren’t actually eagle-eyed, here’s what the sign says:

Please only put toilet tissue down the toilet

And, the Banksy-esque reply:

What about the poo?

Classic. I literally pissed myself laughing. Indeed, genius does come in various guises.

03 February 2010

Liverpool FC and I: Anything But United

I won’t lie. I’m not one those Liverpool fans that can honestly say, hand on heart that they’ve supported the club since they were 4 feet tall with everyone in the family being a fan. My route was the unorthodox route for most but seemingly quite natural if you were a young man growing up in tropical Malaysia.

I went to school not having an affinity with any particular football club. I just enjoyed watching football and always rooted for the underdog. It was a lot more fun. Serie A football was shown on Malaysian television back then. So, instead of being a glory-hunter and pinning my allegiance to AC Milan, I went for a while with their city rivals, Internazionale who just couldn't win anything. Napoli was out of the question. I didn’t like Maradona. I didn’t know why though. Maybe his shorts were too short or something and he constantly looked like one of his ass cheeks were about to creep out, forever ruining my innocence. Yeah, something along those lines.

As I grew up, the English Championship (and later the Premiership) began to regain its popularity among football fans in the country. And the start of the Premiership saw the dawn of Manchester United’s rise. It was easy for me. United was Goliath and I didn’t want anything to do with it. I was firmly entrenched in the ABU (Anything But United) camp. A Dalglish-led Blackburn looked promising as an option with their blue and white McEwan’s Lager shirts but I just didn’t connect with the Rovers.

Then, in 1994, Oasis released Definitely Maybe which was quickly followed by (What’s the Story) Morning Glory. I was hooked on the band. The Gallaghers were mad into Manchester City and to this day, the City jersey has been the only other English football shirt that I’ve worn other than Liverpool’s.
I never took a liking to City though and their shirt was always worn as a tribute to Oasis rather than to the club itself.

Soon after, Arsenal introduced their new manager. He was a strange looking fellow. He had glasses that were too big for his head, his suit made him look like one of MC Hammer’s back-up dancers and to top it off, he’s last club was Nagoya Grampus 8, who no one had previously heard of. What could this guy possibly have to offer? Little was I (or anyone else for that matter) to know that this man would almost single-handedly crash the United party and make Alex Ferguson’s life a misery over the next two years.

The Gunners played some fantastic football even back then and I was more than impressed. Fortunately, by that time, I was in college and was surrounded by Liverpool fans. Proper ones too. They taught me all about Liverpool’s history and traditions. Not that I didn’t know them already but more as gentle reminders to nudge me on to their side. It must have had some sort of influence on me in the end but if I were to pick a defining moment where my allegiance to Liverpool was set in stone, it would be that night (or was it morning?) in 1999.

To be continued. Liverpool FC and I: Mamak Knows Best

01 February 2010

Green Vespa in the dark: under the 30 kmh speed limit

As I was riding back home from work a few days ago, I just realised that I don't have any night pics of my Vespa. So, as the traffic was (strangely) light enough that evening, I decided to stop on the side of the road and snap a pic on the mobile.

Coincidentally, the same spot is where the all-new Dublin City Centre speed limit begins. The speed (if you can call it that now) limit, which is set at a ludicrously low 30 kmh (you read right: kmh NOT mph) officially came into place today.

Seemingly, Dublin City Council decided to introduce the limit because: dangerous and inappropriate speed is contributing to road fatalities. So, it looks like the Council's own research shows that Dangerous and Inappropriate speed is the main factor i.e. NOT speed itself. Duh?!?

I just think it's another sly way for the Government to balance their books in these recessionary times...
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