30 May 2010

1, 2, 3...Viva Algerie!

After a good feed at a place called KO (strange name for a fast food place), we headed straight to the RDS. Kick-off was at 7.45 so, to allow the mixed grill and pilau rice to settle, we decided to walk the whole way. By the time we got there, it was already about five minutes or so into the game.

We were sat right beside the stewards on the left with the Algerian fans. Yayyy!

The tickets I got were for unreserved seats on the South Stand so being late didn't help. We realised that the stewards were still trying to organise the two fans into the assigned sections of the stand but when it came to us two Malaysians, they were a just a bit confused. We were eventually lumped in with the visiting Algerian fans. 

After getting ourselves seats (and being shouted at by dudes with thick French/Arabic accents), I was horrified to find out that my camera had ran out of batteries! Imagine that? The first half went by pretty quickly after that. Other than new boy Paul Green's goal, there wasn't much to the game. Fortunately, that got the crowd going and as neutral as I was, I wanted the visitors to score just to put a smile on my new-found North African buddies' faces!

I eventually found myself batteries for the camera at the break but paid the price as I missed the second goal.

Duff gets taken off after the second goal. He didn't seem a 100% anyway.

The stadium at this stage was already a third less than at the start but was certainly louder with Ireland comfortably in the lead. Obviously I'm not an ardent follower of the Algerian national team but at the rate they were playing on Friday night, they'd surely get their collective behinds walloped by England, Slovenia and the US.

Anyway, here's the rest of the pics from the match...

Kevin Doyle - although a foot shorter than the Algerian defence, caused them a world of pain with the long balls that kept being pumped through.

If not for the Algerian No.5's (Rafik Halliche) good work, they could've been down by a lot more. I aim to find out his name at some stage.

Ireland get a late penalty and naturally, Robbie Keane gets a go at it.

Naturally, you'd expect Robbie to score. Seen here celebrating in only the second shirt he's been in longer than 3 minutes!

28 May 2010

What do Algeria and Iron Maiden have in common?

Working where I work has its benefits. No, we don't have Playboy Bunnies running around semi-naked or anything like that. We do however always have free (or discounted) tickets for events up for grabs. The problem is, I'm never fast enough to reply to emails so, I tend to miss out on the more glamorous events. As an example, the last tickets I got were for Iron Maiden a few years ago.

I managed to get these tickets not because I had the fastest fingers in the West but only because no one else in the office had heard about them. Some thought this Iron Maiden concert was just a tribute band because,

Surely, all the original band members would be dead at this stage?

Or, they just weren't too keen on watching ugly steel-working girls from say, Sheffield putting on a show. There were even some who thought that Mydin Mart were hosting an event to celebrate the grand opening of their Dublin store. Yes, those people were definitely disappointed...

So, fast-forward a few years and another non-glamorous event pops into my inbox. The replies were slow as people were equally slow to grasp who Ireland were playing against on Friday night.

Oh yeah, they're the lads that beat Egypt weren't they? We had a few lads driving around Ranelagh that night waving they're flags...So, that's where they're from!


Isn't that where Zidane's from?

No, Zidane's from Marseille but yes, his parents were originally from Algeria.

So, they must have a half-decent team then, eh?

I suppose. Needless to say, I'm now the proud owner of two tickets to watch the Republic of Ireland v. Algeria game tonight. My first proper international game. OK, I must've watched Malaysia play at some stage but seriously? A Malaysia v. Bangladesh game wouldn't actually count now would it?

26 May 2010

Where's the buzz?

The World Cup is just a few weeks away. Normally, I'd be all excited about the prospect of a whole month's worth of football but for some reason, not this time.

Could it be the fact that the Cup is on, far away in South Africa this time around?

I don't think so. The 2002 edition was even further away in the Far East and that didn't ruin the atmosphere. Well, you could argue that the buzz most certainly would have been there in 2002 since Ireland were in it and thanks to Mr. Va Va Voom himself, are missing out on a trip to the Southern Hemisphere in 2010.
Well, to be fair, Ireland didn't actually make Germany 2006 either and that World Cup definitely had a good feel to it.

Maybe it's because I'm getting older and the fun element isn't there anymore? OK, I don't actually go out and get the latest Panini sticker book and swap player stickers but that's no real excuse.

It could be because of the teams that are there. There's just none of the traditional favourites worth rooting for.

Brazil are definitely no samba heroes while Dunga's at the helm (although they'll probably end up winning it anyway - just look at their back four!). Argentina is being led by a mad man while France suffers from guilt and will probably get knocked out in the first round.

With all due respect to Del Bosque, Spain look like they're going to revert to their pre-Aragones days and just disappoint everyone. Ditto with Holland unless the manager can somehow squeeze the combined creativity of Sneijder and Robben while somehow keeping it tight at the back.

Having lived in Ireland for the better part of a decade, I'd know better than to show any allegiance to England even if they do stand a good chance of winning it with Don Fabio in charge.

So, yes. Maybe, it's for that reason, this particular World Cup isn't getting me all excited. It's either that or the prospect of watching live football with those annoying migraine-inducing vuvuzela being blown in the background. And I thought all the whistling at the Ali Sami Yen was hell.

Anyway, I watched this Nike ad at the end of the Champions League final and thought it was brilliant. If this ad doesn't kickstart the old World Cup feel, I don't know what else will. Just love the Rooney-caravan-Ribery-on-billboard bit as well as the pouty Ronaldo statue...

Oh, and that Dunga is definitely a brave man for leaving Ronaldinho behind. I'd say the Nike execs are just a tad bit pissed off with him for not bringing along their Brazillian poster boy. Stick it to the man, Carlos. Good for you.

24 May 2010

Mallorca near Magheramore?

28 degrees Celcius. That's a temperature you just don't get too often around these parts. So, what does one do to celebrate such warmth?

Why, head down to the nearest (decent) beach for the day of course!

OK, we didn't actually get on the Lear (which just happened to be parked in my back garden, beside my Vespa) and fly down to Spain, we just stuffed everything into the Peugeot, mobilised the army eh, I mean family and headed south down the M50.

A colleague at work who lives around the area recommended Magheramore which is seemingly a surfer's haven and a bit more off the beaten track but I opted for the safer, more touristy option, Brittas Bay.

Brittas Bay is about an hour's drive from Dublin, if you don't switch your brain off and blindly follow your pal who in turn, is blindly following his prat nav (damn little things!). Getting lost and ending up at the back of people's farms aside, we still managed to get there early enough to be the first on the beach!

It also meant that I managed to scout out routes to Brittas Bay if ever the urge came around to pop down there on the good ol' Vespa. It'd definitely make a good run any good weekend.

A good swim in the sea (in still freezing and I mean freezing waters), a few Nasi Lemak plus Tandoori Chicken and a decent enough tan later, we left for home. An absolutely exhausting but brilliant day out.

22 May 2010

A Guide to Driving in Malaysia (One of Many)

There's a Malay saying which roughly goes like this

Bagaikan kacang yang lupakan kulit...

Or in English

Like the peanut that has forgotten its shell...

Or more accurately

One who has forgotten his origins...

Being away from Malaysia for so long, I do sometimes feel that I'm one hell of a forgetful peanut when it comes to all things Malaysian. And believe me, there are things about Malaysia one would want completely erased from memory. Knowing how to drive in Malaysia particularly in KL, is not one that you'd want to rid yourself of, if only to help you survive Malaysian traffic hell.

Here's a quick summary:

1. Roundabouts
The British can probably proudly claim to have introduced this simple yet effective road innovation into Malaysia (and wherever else they colonised). Unfortunately, its effectiveness has been diminished in Malaysia where no one seems to understand this circular thing they face in the middle of the road. To the average Malaysian, roundabouts might as well be crop circles that had been embedded on the land by some peace-loving alien species which, the local JKR crew just happened to pour some tar over.

Remember, don't bother to stop when entering roundabouts in Malaysia. Ignore that lorry heading your way, close your eyes and step on/twist the accelarator. Leave it to the Force, and that Death Star will blow-up, that kinda thing. It's either that or face the humiliation of being honked to death by the traffic behind you (grannies in Kelisas included) and have helmets swung at you by rampaging rempits. Such is the ultimate fate of a roundabout loser who gives way to others.

2. Indicating
This is a key skill to have when driving in Malaysia. The purpose of indicating in Malaysia is NOT to courteously let those around you know where you are heading. The purpose of indicating in Malaysia is to gain the upper-hand in traffic. It is a fine art that involves excellent timing and deceptive tactics.

For example, if one had the intention of turning left into a junction, don't indicate left. Indicating in this manner is logical and so predictable. Yes, like stopping at roundabouts, indicating is so lame and so like last season. Indicate right to throw that motorcylist behind you off the scent and then, at the very last minute, with split-second accuracy, swerve left into the intended junction. Hooray!

3. Road positioning
Arriving in Dublin via the city's airport, you'd notice a lot of the same signs when driving out of the airport. The signs remind drivers from around the world to drive on the left-hand side of the road. Like Malaysia, cars here are right-hand drive and are driven on the left-hand side of the road. Nothing too complicated.

Well, except for in Malaysia that is. Driving on the left-hand side of the road is strictly for plebes. The untouchables of Malaysian traffic. For people on motorised two-wheeled contraptions. For those on four wheels, it's right in the middle of the road. That way, they'd avoid potholes, roadkill and running over the odd motorcyclists. Oh, and it gives the car in the front the upper hand. There's no chance in hell anything's going to overtake it.

There's a few for a start. I need to dig deep to get back those memories that I've intentionally blanked out.

On second thought, maybe they should just stay there at some dark inaccessible corner of my brain...

20 May 2010

Shight Rider!

Geddit? Like the great Hoff's Knight Rider, only shite. That's it. You've probably heard of the Knight Rider's computer brain thing called K.I.T.T. Well, in Shight Rider's case, there would also be an onboard computer thing, a sort of Garmin prat nav contraption called...you guessed right...S.H.I.T.T.

OK, we're veering into La-La lad here. Why this sudden obsession with an 80's TV show starring a young, non-swimming trunk wearing and hairy-chested Hoff?

Well, because one bright but wet morning as I was making my way to work, I was called one. No, I wasn't called the Hoff (surely, I'm not as good-looking as him).

I was called a Shite Rider. Not to be mistaken with the above-mentioned Shight Rider but it rhymes, and that's about it.

You see, it's coming towards the end of spring and heading into good old summer. And with less rain (I wouldn't classify the Irish summer as dry), the roads are suddenly beginning to be filled with strange beings not normally seen in harsher weather: Amateur Cyclists.

Not the normal lycra-wearing variety you see in all types of weather. These professional/hardcore-type cyclists  actually know the rules of the road, they just refuse to abide by them. No, the ones I'm talking about here are of the chubbier variety. Yes, some of them do wear ill-fitting luminous lycra but most if not all of them ride almost new bicycles they only bought because of that Bike To Work scheme that's been offered at the office.

So, because these cyclists think they're doing their bit for the environment, they think they're entitled to road-hog, cycle on pedestrian footpaths and beat red lights. That's all fine if they don't annoy anyone else. It's even fine by me if they decide to go plunging to to their deaths into the side of a forty foot lorry. But, when these same cyclists complain that this car cut them, that pedestrian shouted at them or in my case, almost ran them over, it just gets that bit more too much.

It does. There I was going into a roundabout. I knew I was going to take the second exit i.e. to go straight. Like a good scooterist, right after the first exit, I indicated left. As soon as I made it into the second exit I heard someone shout behind me.

I looked back. There he was, Mr. Chubby Amateur Bike to Work cyclist. He was going to cut me on the left (at a roundabout?) and got angry that I didn't slow down or stop to make way for him. Seriously, WTF man?

He didn't fall or anything so, I went on my way. I felt a bit confused at first and then, a tad bit pissed off. Honestly, if it was just the one idiot, I'd be forgiving enough. The thing is, there's just too many of these idiots in spring/summer that it becomes as dangerous as riding a Vespa on  an ice-covered road in the middle of winter.

Yeah, it's great that the powers-that-be are encouraging people to cycle to work and all that but there's a big difference between cycling for fun in a park or around your neighbourhood and actually cycling on congested city centre streets. A big difference.

Maybe some sort of start would be to make appplicants for the Bike to Work Scheme sit some sort of mandatory rules of the road test. It won't get rid of the more hardcore idiots on the road but at least it'll reduce their numbers.

So, until this idea gets implemented, ride safely people and beware the chubby idiot on a bicycle coming behind you...

18 May 2010

Which Scooter?

You've wanted one for a while now. You've seen the pictures. You might even be lucky enough to have a brother, sister, cousin or friend who has one and already had a go at one. So, now that you've finally got the chance to get one for yourself, the lingering question is bound to be:

Which scooter do I get?

I'll start where I started out myself when I made the same decision. I didn't have a clue about how geared scooters worked back then so naturally, my inclination was towards the then, all-new Vespa ET2 which was closely followed by the Aprilia Habana. Both were automatic, had enough of the retro look about it and being only 50cc, the insurance wouldn't have set me back a lot.

A few years and a few more pounds later, I still wasn't a proud owner of a scooter but my views on what I wanted had changed slightly. The scooter I wanted wasn't limited to a big boy's toy for fun on bright and sunny weekends, it had to be good enough for my daily 15 mile or so round-trip to work.

The PX200 having a reputation as the workhorse amongst all the Vespa models was top of my list. A good blend of performance and reliability. Unfortunately, the cost to properly insure a 200cc machine was just too much so, the PX200 had to be parked aside (for the moment, I hope).

Eventually, I settled on the scooter I have now. My Green Vespa. A PX with a 123cc engine. Mostly standard and good enough to carry those extra few pounds on me comfortably over a hill.

Of course, I've got no regrets with my Green Vespa but if I had known what I know now, it might have changed my choice ever so slightly.

As an example, to stick with lowest insurance band, I could have stuck with a 50cc scooter although to maintain street cred, I could've gone with the many 50cc geared Vespa on offer like the 50 Special or PK50. I'd eventually get bored of the small engine but these days I'm told, there are lots of options out there to change that. Wink, wink!

OK, maybe riding a smallframe Vespa wouldn't suit me that much seeing that I'd look like a gorilla on a kid's tricycle on the thing. So, as an option, I could get myself a vintage largeframe Vespa like a VBB, Sprint, GL, etc. that's had a PX engine transplanted into it. That way, I'd get the best of both worlds i.e. the curvier look of the older Vespa and the well-known reliability of the PX.

Seeing that these hands are more used to the laptop and calculator rather than the screwdriver and the ratchet, I'd say the more reliable the choice, the better. That's strictly a personal choice though.

As with the Vespa a transplant could be done with a Lambretta as well, with a new SIL engine thrown in or with an upgrade to an electronic ignition system. Not a bad option but unlike the Vespa, parts aren't actually as readily available and even when available, they can be at a premium. A good option if you have the money.

So, there you go. A quick summary of the options available. Hope it helps someone out there in their search for their first scooter. Good luck!

16 May 2010

Why I want to become Batman

I’m on my Vespa normally five days a week. Having never been on two-wheels for any significant length of time until about 3 or 4 years ago, I was absolutely delighted with myself for making the switch.

But on weekends, my vehicle of choice changes from the Vespa to the family car. OK, not by choice but more out of necessity because believe me, if it was legal to drive my family around on the Vespa, I would. It’s quite easy really and definitely not entirely impossible as shown by the many brave (read: deranged) motorcyclist back home in the 80’s.

A combination that would suit my family would consist of Mummy and Daddy riding two-up legally as normal and sane people would. Of course, this wouldn’t do for me because I’ve got three kids. So, the eldest who’s seven, can sit behind Mummy and our 3-year old boy has the pleasure of being squeezed between Mummy and Daddy. Naturally, this is for “safety” reasons as the boy clearly has a weaker grip and the sister, who has a far superior sense of balance, a better chance of surviving any awkward turns.

The youngest at one year-old this month can either try to fit into the glovebox or stand on the frame while holding on to the legshields. As an added “safety” feature, I could tie a piece of rope around him and have that fasten on to the helmet hook. Genius!

Now, you might ask why I would risk the lives of my family members, just to get on the Vespa every day of the week? Well the short answer is parking. In a car, especially on weekends you’d spend half your day looking, searching endlessly like zombies across plains of tarmac for that Lottery-winning equivalent – a free parking spot. Even if you’re lucky enough to find one, they’d be at least two other cars laying claim to the spot which is a different story altogether!

Thankfully, in civilised Ireland (and in certain pockets of sanity in Malaysia), shopping centres and other places of interest have Parent and Child parking spots that in an instant reduces the odds for finding a parking space. If you have kids, you’d understand how important these designated spaces are to your mental well-being.

Unfortunately, very much like Gotham City, Dublin particularly has its fair share of psychotic individuals although these ones don’t overdo it in the make-up department and normally, wouldn’t even fit into tights or penguin suits. Like zombie hordes, these people (if you can call them that) are determined to convert parents all around the world into equally psychotic versions of themselves.

Their modus operandi: take up all the Parent and Child spots around the city or even worse, park their cars at such an angle as to take-up two parking spaces at the same time. How these people manage to do this even with a Mini or a Fiat 500 is beyond me. Truly, the work of the dark arts I tell you.

Anyway, unlike taking up a space designated for the disabled (yes, they are a good few out there who commit this evil deed), it’s not actually illegal to take up Parent and Child spots.

Since vigilantism seems to be all the rage this spring/summer, I’d like to join in the crowd and play my part by avenging all the parents and children who have suffered at the hands of the evil hordes that take up their parking spaces and selfishly take up two parking spaces (bling bling Hummers and Escalades included)!

I might not wear grey lycra tights and my black underwear on the outside. I might consider wearing a cape or a hood to cover my real identity. Considering the world we live in today, I might have to reject applications from any young male teens to tag along with me in my adventures (especially those who have a tendency to run around in green Speedos).

But, what I will most certainly do is SCRATCH the cars that commit the above non-civic deeds to parents and children around the city, the country and the world! Like Zorro, I will leave a mark of shame on these vehicles so that they will know that they have committed a crime against civilised human beings. Unlike the famous swordsman, they’ll be long scratches, visible enough to the naked eye yet nothing too drastic to require a re-spray. Just plain annoying to the car’s owner.

Beware evil-doers. The ChipMan is here!!!


14 May 2010

The future of scooters: A Vespa Concept

Here's a good looking Vespa concept I found during one of my online travels...

The fictional Vespa is from designer, Daniele Pesaresi who I think has done a brilliant job on delivering a really modern and aggressive but at the same time, retro-looking Vespa. It's certainly doesnt't stray too far away from the newer GTS models available these days so, in a way, is also quite realistic.

Very, very nice.

Unfortunately, the thing with concepts is that it's just that. A concept. Even if Piaggio decide to hire Mr. Pesaresi and take up his design, concept designs are normally just limited to trade shows and would usually never see the light of day anyway.

Ah well, we can always hope can't we?

12 May 2010

My secret hobby

I like gardening. There. I’ve said it. It’s like my secret hobby on top of the more obvious interests. OK, the gardening in question is not the rose-planting, flower-picking variety but more of the macho type (if there ever is one).

The macho gardener is the destroyer of weeds and hacks away at unwanted climbers into his garden. He mows the lawn on a regular basis and as a requirement of doing so keeps his lawnmower in tip-top shape, ever ready for the next grass cutting exercise. Manly grunts all-around!

As an example, here’s the type of plant Mr. Macho Gardener would be into:

It’s a plant. Really. OK it’s seen better days but this Dicksonia Antartica or tree fern as its more commonly known as, is my favourite plant. The harsh winter took its toll on the fern and at this stage, I’m not even sure whether it’s dead or alive. There are definitely no signs of life that I can see.

If anyone knows on how to check whether this fern is still alive, do let me know. Please. All I can do now is water it on a daily basis and hope for the best.

I’ll give it to the end of autumn or else it’s bye-bye tree fern! Favourite or no favourite, I can’t have a dead stump from the Southern Hemisphere sitting in that shady corner of my garden for too long.

10 May 2010

I died at 15

Yes, I could have been dead by the age of 15. Not once but countless times. That’s the reality of living in Malaysia these days. Here’s a story most if not all Malaysians normal human beings can relate to...

It’s just past midnight on Friday night. My tummy’s grumbling. My own fault really. Being the rebellious teenager, a hunger strike was in order. Needed to stamp that authority with the parents, you know. Show them who’s boss and all that.

Bad idea.

Tummy’s grumbling even louder. Can’t sleep. Bored. HUNGRY. How I’d kill to get some roti canai or a nice hot plate of Maggi goreng. Dammit. Need to get out. I peered out of the room, headed downstairs and picked up the phone...

Bosanlah. Jom keluar. Your car lah. Aku mana reti nak bawak keta bapak aku...

OK. Setengah jam. See you then.

My phone-a-friend was my only escape route. In fact, it was my ONLY escape route until I was 20, I think. My Dad’s car was an old Peugeot 504. A great rallying car in its day but all it did for us was overheat and breakdown in the middle of monsoon rain ever so often. Nope, not an option.

What about walking you fat git? No chance. The house was surrounded by neighbours that must’ve had millions tucked away in the corner of their houses. They had guard dogs that looked like that could’ve eaten a full-grown adult easily enough. Too much of a risk. I was afraid of dogs anyway. Still am.

Half an hour passed by. I slowly made my way out of the house and right to the front gates, up a stone wall where I sat on the look-out, like an overwight Batman. The timing was perfect. About 200-300 metres away, I could see a car at the top of the street turn off its lights quickly followed by its engine. Gravity did the rest as the car rolled downhill towards me.

I jumped off the wall and ran towards the moving car and then jumped into the front passenger seat. A few more metres of rolling in the dark and we were off to the nearest mapler for a much needed evening feed. Happy days!

That was way back in the 90’s where after a few hours out, I'd be back home safely right before dawn. Most of the time, I'd be caught by my light-sleeping mother but that's as much trouble that I'd get.

These days, having no driving licence and being out in the small hours of the morning would be enough for a teenager to be liable to the death sentence – gangsta style. Although in Malaysia, it’s not actually gangsters that spray your car with bullets from automatic weapons and leave you for dead, it’s the police.

Yes, I could’ve been dead by the age of 15.

If the teenager’s shooting wasn’t bad enough, what’s even more disgusting was the ridiculous attempt by the police to paint a picture of Aminulrasyid Amzah as a hardened criminal who was involved in a whole rake of recent armed robberies. Yes, this was seemingly enough to turn public opinion and justification enough to shoot a person in the back of the head.

The sickening actions don’t actually end there. When the truth slowly crept out and the police’s initial story was revealed to be as true as Santa Claus, the Police Chief, who was now in a tight corner came out fighting and threatened the public. Either the public support the police or the police would stay in their barracks.

Seriously? WTF Musa?

Of course, like any half-decent cover-up there’s always a need for some “expert” opinion on the matter. Cue some associate professor in some private college who backs-up the Police Chief (probably an attempt to clear-off those few speeding fines to his name).

So, being overworked and underpaid is a good enough excuse to kill teenagers, eh?

I’m underpaid and sometimes overworked. Can I go shoot that annoying teenager, Dr. Teoh? Can I? I’ll just say I was aiming for the tyres and then shoot the sorry fella at the back of the head. OK? Can ah?

Oh, and that’s not even going into the idiotic and condescending statements made by government politicians. That’s just another whole stinking can of worms. But wait. That's an insult. To the worms.

Malaysian police image by Deucrox99

08 May 2010

The New 2010/2012 Liverpool Jersey: A First Look

It's finally here! Actually, a few days ago but I've only got a chance to post up the pics last night so here goes...

As expected, the jersey was delivered with a gym bag and a gym towel. One of the benefits of pre-ordering the jersey from the official online store. There's nothing really special about the two extras so, as soon as it was out of its plastic wrapping, my 4-year old son and daughter took possession of the bag and towel.

Yeah, the kids have been trained well.

What about the effing jersey itself, I hear you say. Well, to quote one Rafa Benitez, the jersey is Quality. OK, I might be just a wee bit biased but it actually is. Even the ClimaCool polyester seems of a better quality than the usual Adidas stuff that's out there. I can't explain it but my initial impression was that it feels heavier, in a good way.

My fears of a body-hugging Kappa/Canterbury-style shirt was somewhat laid to rest after I had tried it on. Admittedly, it is tighter than last year's home shirt but nothing to be too worried about. Basically, there's no need to go up a size to be able to comfortably wear this shirt, even for fat old me here.

As you can see, I've opted for the short-sleeve version (as opposed to the long-sleeve one I was looking to get at first) which, funnily enough is longer than usual - the sleeves sit right above the elbows so, either Adidas did this intentionally or I have very short arms. Whatever the reason, I think it looks good.

Now, for the constructive criticisms. Although the jacquard-type pattern is subtle and adds to the shirt's retro feel, I still think that the shirt could do without the gold piping. The piping doesn't add anything obvious to the shirt AND more importantly, accentuates the gut area which is not good news for most fans.

There's also the LFC crest itself. I'm not sure what other clubs do with their shirts but the one on this shirt looks like an iron-on job to me. The way I see it, if I'm paying what security guards in Malaysia get paid in a month, I'd want a bit more quality. If Adidas could properly embroid their logo on to the shirt, why couldn't they do it with the Liverpool crest?

So, to wrap things up, great jersey. I can't wait now to see what sort of job they do on the 2010/2011 away jersey. In advance of the game against Hull tomorrow, I bid this season farewell and good riddance. Here's hoping for a far better 2010/2011!

06 May 2010

Tubeless Rims Update

As mentioned in my previous post on the tubeless rims, I dropped the folks at ScootRS a quick message to see what I could get off them.

The next morning, I received an email from the company's Customer Service people.

We can send you 2, is this correct still?

A short reply. The exact one I was looking for. No excuses no legal mumbo-jumbo. Just straight to the point, here you go, here's your replacment parts.

If I was being a bit picky, I would've expected the valves to be in the post as soon as they figured out that they had a problem with them. But, to be fair to the company, at least they didn't give me the cold shoulder (which they could have easily done from a few thousand miles away)so again, thanks guys.

While on the topic of valves and tubeless rims, it seems the whole problem isn't actually limited to innovative Vietnamese products. In their latest issue, Scootering magazine reported some minor problems with the valves that SIP supply for their own tubeless rims.

Seemingly, SIP are actively trying to source more suitable valves for their rims.

On different note, I had in my hands this morning, my all-new Liverpool jersey! I could've had it a day earlier if only my wife had made it home a tad bit earlier after dropping my daughter to school yesterday. I'll post something up on this as soon as possible.

04 May 2010

Happy Birthday Scootering!

Finally, I managed to get my hands on the May 2010 issue of Scootering magazine. The magazine's 25th anniversary issue. The magazine hit the news stands earlier this week but I only managed to get it last weekend. Even then, it was actually the last copy available at Eason on O'Connell Street.

To be brutally honest, I don't think there's anything too special in terms of content in this particular issue. A bit of an anti-climax if you ask me.

The extras that came along with the whole pack was quite nice though. Having never seen issue #1, it's good that the magazine has clearly moved on from dull black & white to colour on all it's pages. Oh, and doing without the girls around the scooters is also something the magazine shouldn't go back to. Unless of course, the girls look as hot as those new Hunky Dory ads that have been the talk of the town lately!

Scootering's site does talk about throwing in a SIP catalogue in the pack but I was pleasantly surprised to find three SIP vouchers for free European-wide DHL delivery along with the said catalogue. If you shop regularly at the German scooter shop, these vouchers more than cover the €5.57 I paid for the magazine.

Whatever it is, Happy 25th Scootering magazine and let's hope the editors get some sense kicked into them so they'd hire some Sports Illustrated photographers to do some centrefolds for the mag! In the meantime, I'm off the get some crisps to go along with my copy of Scootering...

02 May 2010

Of Mackerels and Hari Raya

You know what would make BIG money in Malaysia these days?

I sat there, clueless. I was trying to second guess where my friend was going with his question. For a brief moment, something flickered in my mind and then it faded away. The deep-fried mackerel and sambal grinds the brain to a halt as the body’s energy is diverted towards the stomach which is focused on digesting the wicked but extremely delicious evening meal.

A good Hari Raya movie!

The enquirer came up with the answer to his own question, almost instantaneously. The blankness in my brain must’ve been so obviously reflected on my I-don’t-have-time-for-this face. The phuck man? You’ve had too much of my wife’s sambal.

Seriously, what’s the last good Raya movie you’ve seen? Tell me?

I was stumped. I certainly didn’t have a clue. I gave my wife, the expert on all things about Malaysian entertainment a quick glance. A shrug of the shoulders was as good as I got from her on the matter. Visions of the late Yasmin Ahmad and Petronas came to mind. They were certainly good although a tad bit predictable after a while.

They’re not movies, stupid! - I quickly reminded myself before blurting out an obviously wrong answer.

After a brief moment of silence, the matter was no longer up for discussion. There was no doubt among the people sat at the dinner table that night - a good Raya movie is like the Holy Grail of the Malaysian film industry. If one were to produce one, it would get played every single Raya (that’s twice a year) on every single half-decent Malaysian TV channel. That’s not even taking into account the amount of money it would make at the cinemas countrywide. They might even be a cross-eye inducing 3D version thrown it for the hell of it. Avatar, eat Raya movie’s ketupat!

In short, anybody holding the financial rights to the movie would be sorted for generations. To top it off, Malacca might also end up giving you a Datukship for alleged services to the state.

If you know anyone with a good script, you let me know, OK?

A good script, eh? I don't actually know anyone but I could give it a go myself. I’m definitely no screenwriter but really,in the words of Dr. Pepper - what’s the worst that could happen? I could post bits of the script on this blog and see where it goes from there. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t...

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