Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mr. Anonymous

Dear Sir,

I'm terribly sorry I spat on your food. I feel humiliated and utterly ashamed of my behaviour. Trust me, it was an accident!

I, infamous for butter fingers was handling your food when you requested it to be recook/realtered for the uptheemth time. On the way to the kitchen a spider ran across my path and I'm terrified of spiders (can't explain why). I freaked out and your food dropped on the floor.

In my hurry to pick it up, i accidentally stepped on it. (your food, not the spider) But all's well because nobody saw me and I flicked off the dirt of it.

The fright of the spider sent chills down my spine, and activated my urinatory glands. So I rushed to the washroom to answer nature's call. I had to place your food on the floor because I broke the plate (spider) and you don't expect me to single handedly solve my problem at hand do you? (It got caught in the zipper once and it hurts like hell)

Don't worry about the hygienic level of our washroom floor. I mop it every night. ;o)

After that, I realized that it had been 7 mins since I fetched your food from your table. Being the responsible waiter that I am and respecting the "7 mins rule of waitering", I decided to return your food to you.

I tried to get some tap water to wash away the speckles of dirt but all the taps were occupied. Tissues don't work cause they leave bits & pieces everywhere. So I did the next best thing and spat on it.

And returned your food to you.

Have a nice day.

Your's sincerely

Your responsible waiter.

P/s. Don't mess around with us. We are your waiters, not some low life that you can fuck just cause you had a lousy day.


I've been really busy at work now, but it's all good. ;p

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Photography Session with Jenny Sun

On the 25th September 2008, the wife and I met up with Jenny Sun, for a engagement photography shoot.

The duo in action

We had engaged her services 2 months back and were slightly worried if the weather would hold out. There's is no greater wet blanket than pouring rain.

Bright Orange Background

Sydney has tons of beautiful places for outdoor shoots. But after discussing with Jenny, we finally decided to select "The Rocks" district for our shoot. Initially, we pondered over a beach shoot idea but we had a shoot at "Coogee Beach" thanks to YM.

Sitting on steps

We were both excited yet apprehensive. We had been following Jenny's blog for quite some time now. She makes it known that she's very bubbly & talkative during her shoots and we were afraid that we would be a bore (we being the non-talkative bunch)

Leaning against each other in the alley

She brought along her friend, Joyce who's a hobby photographer/student currently in her final year of fine art photography course.

"So Jenny, is Joyce your apprentice?" I enquired.
"No, no. She's just a friend."
To which Joyce replied to us, "You have no idea how many people want to shoot with Jenny and it is such a good opportunity."

Jenny demonstrating how to pose

From their conversation, we could see instantly that Jenny was a very humble person. She's gaining recognition in the photography world but she's not Louis Pang's standard in terms of status, NOT YET at least.

However her photography standard is definitely on par with Louis Pang's.

Wooden door background

During the 4 hours shoot, we walked through every possible nook and cranny in "The Rocks" area. Jenny particularly likes shooting in alleys and other people's houses, which will be shown in later pictures.

FYI Jenny carries around 2 cameras on her shoulders and 2 other lenses in her camera bag. What a heavy load for such a tiny frame.

Bright contrast

Initially I expected the shoot to be all natural, where we'll just stroll around and do our own stuff as she shoots away. All the photos on her blog were so natural.

Outside someone's house

But the amount of posing that we had to do was tremendous. "Close your eyes" "Lean closer" "Stretch your legs out" etc etc

This shot was taken outside someone's house. I'd imagine the owner to get a fright of his life if he opens his door then. haha

Look at her on the ground photographing the wife's engagement ring

Jenny Sun is a really professional photographer, who ain't afraid to get down and dirty as shown in this shot above. She goes to extreme measures just to get the right lighting and exposure so that the pictures will turn out perfect.

Remains of an old house

She was also able to maintain an amazingly high level of energy and enthusiasm throughout the 4 hours. Her ability to lead her subjects (us) through the different shots and poses really prevailed. She kept assuring us that the photos will turn out great.

Tables & Chairs remains

Stairways to someone's house - AGAIN

This is another shot outside someone's property. She'll tell us how to pose, then ask us to creep up the stairs quietly which she remains on safe grounds. Then after a couple of quick shots we quickly went back down.

Feels like having an affair. haha

In the park

After much sneaking around we ended up in a lovely park overlooking the harbour bridge. We were never up here before and it was a lovely place to bring your dog for a walk and to have a picnic.

Lying down on the patch of greenery

Amazing view

Turning around like in a Bollywood movie

She made us chase each other around and turn around and around and around. Only element missing is a Bollywood tune playing in the background and some trees for us to play hide-and-seek.

Gazing into the sun

Risking our lives

It wasn't a very busy road but it was a road, nonetheless. She made us to sit down in the middle of the road for this shot. haha

Last shot of the day

To be frank I was very glad it was finally over. The 1st hour was pleasant and exciting and everything in between. As the clock ticked past the 2nd hour, it started to feel tiring and the muscles on our faces started to tense up.

By the 3rd hour we started experiencing cramps (joking) and started feeling fatigue. On several occassions I was tempted to tell Jenny, "Look why don't we call it a day and I'll give you a discount of 1 hour?"

It was definitely one hell of an experience. But I can't help but think, if I'm feeling so tired after 4 hours, how am I going to survive our wedding day next year?

It had been 2 weeks now and I can't wait to see how the photos will turn out. Fingers crossed.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ayam Goreng 99 Indonesian

Ayam Goreng 99

Located just down the hill from our place, Ayam Goreng 99 is an eatery we passed by often but never ventured into.

We finally decided to give it a shot after Fung's recommendation.

Narrow but compensated in length

The shop was quite narrow, only just fitting 2 normal sized tables at it's widest. But it stretches all the way in till we reach the kitchen. Must be quite an exercise to be a waiter here.

We arrived at about 12+ pm and the place was packed.

The concept of ordering is similar to taiwanese eateries where you jot down your orders on a piece of paper and pass it to the waiters.

Teh Botol $1.50

Famous indonesian drink. Tasted in Batam before and was quite good. This particular one in paperpack version had a strange odour in it. (Like toilet smell) haha

Bihun Goreng $9.00

A lot of customers ordered this dish so we decided to give it a try. That's normally our tactic to figure out what's the best dish around, by observing what other customers are trying.

It's quite tasty and the rice vermicelli was tastefully prepared. Topped with fishballs and vegetable, it was steaming hot when it arrived. Felt it was slightly overpriced.

Ayam Panggang - BBQ, Java & Goreng $5.50 each

Each of us ordered 3 different varieties of Ayam Panggang (grilled chicken). When it arrived, we just starred blankly at the waiter. "How to differenciate the 3? They all look similar."

As it turns out, the waiter pondered over our question and wasn't sure as well. Only after affirming what our orders were did he manage to pinpoint the culprits. Luckily he didn't have to make sure by licking them. But I suspected that he wasn't very sure.

After tasting our chickens, the waiter was right! "I apologize for doubting your waitering abilities."

BBQ & Java was quite nice but the Goreng was quite normal. The indonesians really know how to bakar (burn) their chicken. ;o)

Pepes Ikan Bilis $4.00

We wanted the mushroom version but they were out so we chose the anchovies instead. It comes wrapped in pandan leaf, consisting of various bits and pieces not recognisable by our taste buds.

The taste resembles "lemang", a similarly pandan leaf wrapped breakfast snack sold in kuching markets.

Overall the food was delightful. Prices were reasonable but portions were quite small.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Central Locking Installation

Black Widow Kit

Couple of weeks back I got my hands on a DIY 4 door central locking kit for our car. The used car we got doesn't come with central locking and it's really a hassle (call me lazy) to manually lock the doors.

The kit costs $69.00 and includes 1 master and 3 slave actuators, a whole lot of wires and 2 remotes.

The electrical diagram

Before I got the kit, I did my research online and found that it's quite easy to fix it up. But I didn't read the fine print (a certain level of understanding of electronics is required).

So I was quite stunned when I saw the electrical diagram. Even the guy at Strathfield where I got the kit from advised me not to do it unless I know what I'm doing. Leave it to them he says, but he probably just wants to earn my money.

It costs a ridiculous $65 per door to have it fixed. That's $65 X 4 + $69 = a whopping $329

All the wires from under the steering wheel

There are so many wires at the drivers kick panel that I'll be 80 by the time I identified everyone of them. I also risked electrocuting myself (slight exaggeration but 12V does hurt) and messing up the car's electrical circuitry.

There wasn't much chance for trial and error as I didn't want to end up with a few thousands dollars worth of scrap metal just for the convenience of central locking.

The various equipments needed

Taking off the door panel

Another main obstacle was removing the door panels to which I'm proud to say I'm an expert at now. haha It took us 2-3 hours (me & roy) to remove our first panel, which we did in the dark with a fumbling torchlight.

All the wires lead to a central control box

After installing all the actuators at the separate doors, I linked the wires under the carpets to the main controller under the steering wheel.

I was able to locate all the main wires except for the headlights, which will blink to indicate the remote has been activated/deactivated.

After an exhausting search (turning your head upside down and searching in a cramped environment), I finally gave up.

Fixing back the door panel

Everything works just fine now, without the indication. I am so proud. haha

It took me a total of 3 days spread out over 2 weeks to complete. Now I can include "Central Locking Kit Installation" into my resume.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cocolo Restaurant Randwick

Cocolo Thai & Japanese

During the weekends we went over to "The Spot" for dinner. It's about 5 mins drive from our place and it's like the local entertainment place, complete with a small cinema.

We seldom dine here due to the inflated prices, and we could get better value for our money just a couple of streets down the road.


After browsing around the different eateries and being flabbergastered at the $25 noodles and $35 steak which is obviously inflated many times over, we finally chose Cocola with it's reasonable prices.

Cocola is an establishment that serves both Thai & Japanese cuisine.

Tom Yum Soup

The wife decided to go for the Tom Yum soup, which isn't spicy eventhough we requested them to rev up the spice factor. It's always the case for thai eateries in Sydney. Tom Yum doesn't really taste that good if it doesn't burn our intestines and make our lips swell.

But spice apart, the taste was reasonably good. Just they should probably serve it in a bigger portion. (and they shouldn't charge extra for rice)

Grilled salmon Bento Box

I ordered the Bento Box which was quite value for money. It included grilled salmon, rice, soba noodles, seaweed, tempura, adegashi tofu, 2 slices of sweet egg and miso soup.

Grilled salmon was quite tasty for a dish that's apparently designed for a value picker diner like myself.

Overall it was quite enjoyable to dine out and just to enjoy the evening out. =p

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Blue Mountains

Couple of weeks back we decided to head out to the Blue Mountains, about 2 hrs drive west of Sydney.

Honeymoon Lookout

We've visited this area last year but we couldn't see a thing due to the unrelentless fog. This time around, the weather was gloomy and thunderstorms were forecasted. But we decided to give it a shot anyway.

Queen Elizabeth was here

See how blue the mountains are

It doesn't portray in the pictures but the mountains really had a strange blue hue to it, hence the name "Blue Mountains". It remains a popular tourist destination and a holiday to Sydney would be incomplete without a visit here.

Three sisters (background)

The Great Ocean Road has the 12 apostles, and blue mountains has the "three sisters". It's basically 3 rocks that are strategically located in a pristine environment.

Legend has it that the 3 sisters fell in love with 3 men from a neighbouring tribe but the marriage was forbidden by tribal law .... link.

Close up

Some would claim that it's nature's creation. But to be frank, a rock's a rock, no matter how grandeur the name may seem. =p

The previous time we were here the fog was so bad that we couldn't make out any sisters and had to pose as the 3 sisters ourselves. haha

Gateway to the 1st sister

Steps going down

Now this is where we could actually climb/walk over to the 1st sister. It was quite scary for me (who's afraid of heights). The last time it wasn't that bad as the fog covered up everything. The clear weather today ensured that everything was in sight, all the way down below.

Walkway to the 1st sister

Entrance to Scenic World

Naked statues outside the Scenic World

The old me would had taken a shot like that as well, but considering that my status is now "Not available" I decided against it to prevent conflict. Besides, the wife was just beside me. ;)

Next we moved on to Scenic World, where we paid $28.00 pp for 3 rides, the Cableway, the Skyway & the Railway.

The Railway

The railway was quite an exhilirating ride as the inclination when it descended was 45 degrees or almost that. Eventhough the ride only took about 1 min but it did feel like a roller coaster ride and set the hearts pumping.

Look at how steep it was

The rails

The tracks were used to transport minerals from the mines down to the towns. It's actually quite amazing that the tracks are still in tip-top condition considering that mining started in the 1800s.

The platform - I just wonder what'll happen if the brakes doesn't work?

Miners from faraway land

The mines

This is a replica of how the mines looked like in the old days. The only modes of transportation back then was horses and human legs. Moving tons of minerals without mechanical assistance is no mean feat.

Rest houses

Life back then was probably quite miserable. The climate here is much cooler than Sydney, even with all the green house gases. So one can only imagine how freezing it was back in the old days, when there's no heaters and electricity.

The Cableway

After a supposedly 10mins walk (ended up spending 45 mins walking around due to different detours - the worst being the treehouse thingy that took 10 mins to reach but was an absolute disappointment) around the old mining area, we used the Cableway to get back to the Scenic World entrance.

In the Cableway

The Cableway is a huge cabin that ascents and descends via the cable. It can probably take more than 50 people and the view of the waterfalls and the surrounding scenery while we slowly ascent was quite memorable.

The Skyway

At the Scenic World entrance, we then took the Skyway, which is a horizontally moving cable-cabin.

See-through glass

We were offered the view of an entirely different section. But the Skyway was unique in the sense that the mid section of the cabin consisted of glass that become see-through whenever the operator flipped the switch.

Wentworth falls

This place was actually quite amazing and we would have given it a miss was it not for Roy's persistence. It was just a small street located in the middle of nowhere, literally. And it took us more than half an hour to locate it.

It's still in the Blue Mountains area but its in one of the small towns.

The view was breathtaking

We knew of this place through a traveller's magazine. Strangely there isn't any sign whatsoever that pin-points the location.

The place was deserted

It was actually a good thing that they didn't advertise the place with signboards and stuff as it is very rare to actually find a nice spot with amazing views not swarmed with tourists.

Carvings on the stone floor

Someone carved a date on the stone floor everytime they were up here, once a year since the 1970s until it stopped abruptly in 1994 .....

Cars that went overboard

..... that's probably what happened in 1995 before they had the chance to carve the date on the stone floor.


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