Sunday, April 09, 2017

Call for Fatwa against terrorism

Was shocked when I read about the church bombings in Egypt which have left 43 dead and more than 100 injured.
I am tired apologising for these misguided people who keep doing these horrendous acts in the name of Islam. They are going against the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet pbuh - Islam prohibits targeting innocents and houses of Worship.
The illustrious scholars in Al Azhar, Islamic authorities and other centres of Islamic learning all around the World should not only condemn these acts but come up with fatwas declaring these people as non-Muslims or Kafirs, unless they repent. There are so many fatwas for deviationist beliefs in many Islamic countries and I strongly believe that these acts are clearly devistionist as they go against the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet pbuh.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Renting a house - the only option for now.

Sometimes I find that many from the Baby Boomer generation are quite clueless with some of the issues that the current generation face.
Quite recently I was having a chat with an uncle and he was shocked when he learnt that we were paying RM2000/pm as rent for our house. He asked why I did not buy a house instead. The house I stay in has a market price of about RM1 Mil. Paying about RM2000pm, I can only afford a 2+1 condo costing about RM400K in the outskirts of the city with a down payment of around RM40K + extra charges around RM20K upfront for lawyer's fees, etc.
I guess most of them do not realise this because many of them already have a house which they bought a long time ago when owning a landed property was not a dream but something you could achieve with a bit of hard work.
Now, if I wanted to buy a landed property around PJ, I would have to cough up around RM6K every month for nearly 25 years. More than half my salary and I will be probably be retired long way before the end of 25 years.
In other words, I can only dream of a house in Kelana Jaya, PJ. So renting is the only option for now unless I come by some good fortune.

Found this great link which asks you: "Are You Financially Ready To Buy A House In Malaysia?"

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wondering about the ancients - nine planets, flying chariots and WMDs

Yesterday my daughter was complaining about her boring history classes and asking me tips on how to remember dates and names. She was also wondering why we have to learn about history in the first place.

"What is the use of learning about people that passed away and events that happened long time ago?"

I was explaining to her, that we need to learn from history so that we do not make the same mistakes again and also to learn from things that went right. I also told her that I was in our school and University Quiz teams and was an extra reason I had an interest in memorising the details of things that happened in the past.

However, today morning I was pondering about our conversation while reading an article about ancient Indian. Thousands of years ago, the ancient Indians believed that there were nine planets and even worshiped them as Demi Gods. I even wear a pendant given by my Mum which is called Nav-Ratan in Hindi (9 Jewels) and Graha Mapan in Manipuri, which represents the 9 planets.

We know this to be a fact today and even there were some debate on whether there was a 10th planet and the removal of Pluto from the list of planets for a while.

The question that bristled in my brain was how these ancient people knew there were 9 planets when there is no evidence that they had telescopes.

Or were there advanced civilizations which had access to telescopes and other scientific equipment  and I then think about all the ancient Hindu epics with their flying chariots and weapons of mass destruction and wonder whether these were actually faced on facts.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

End of year road trip

We recently went on one of the longest road trips I have ever driven.

First we drove up to Lumut to pick up my daughter who had been in a camp at Pulau Pangkor. It was a distance of nearly 200 KM.

From there we then drove to George Town, Penang, which was approx. 180 KMs. We stayed a night at The Northam All Suite Penang on Gurney Drive. A "luxury hotel|" which did not really live up to our expectations. Bit dated decor, old TV with bad reception and a jacuzzi that did not work. I don't know why but I did not complain despite the fact that it was one of the most expensive hotels I had ever stayed in. Maybe I was too tired or because it was the among the few places available during the holidays.

On the bright side we did not stay much in the Hotel and the highlight of the trip was a drive to Batu Ferringhi and dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, Penang.  My daughter was quite excited as it was her first visit to a Hard Rock Cafe anywhere.

It was crowded and we did not have any reservations but as we were about to drive away, the guy at the gate directed me to staff parking which had a few spaces. It was packed and we were asked to wait. We left our contact details and went to their shop to browse around. And as usual ended up buying a lot of their branded merchandise.

We then drove up to Kuala Perlis (approx. 180 KMs) and took a ferry to Pulau Langkawi (about 1 hour and 15 minutes) .

At Langkawi, we met up with my my in-laws who had flown there. We stayed at a house together. Not very comfortable but it was OK. Did some sight seeing and also discussed some potential future investment.

The highlight was the boat ride to the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park (Kuah). It was the first time I saw a monkey swimming in the sea (getting peanuts thrown by tourists). A money actually climbed into our boat and the kids were feeding him peanuts. Also saw the sea eagles after which the Islands are named as well as some bats in a cave.

Finally it was time to go back. However, we were way too tired as the traffic back to KL from Kuala Perlis was really bad and at some places we actually did not move for several minutes. We then decided to take a break at Ipoh (approx. 280 KMs). My wife booked online via her mobile phone and we stayed at the Impiana Hotel for the night - again quite dated but quite comfortable.

Called room service and my food was delicious but my sis-in-law was quite annoyed that her chicken was not fully cooked and we complained. The hotel refunded us the cost of that dish when we checked out (but only after my wife had a "long chat" with the lady at the reception.

We finally set off and reached our house about 2 and half hours later - a distance of nearly 195 KMs. Fortunately we set out in the morning and missed some terrible traffic jams later the same day.

I have to say, after more than 1000KMs, 3 hotels and one home stay, it was amazing to be back home and to sleep on my own bed. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Seiko SNKN01K1 watch unboxing

Note: This article was previously posted on on 01/01/2016.

Wishing all visitors to my blog a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2016. 2015 was a busy and eventful year for me and I did not even have time to update the blog regularly. As the year came to a close, I decided to reward myself with a watch. If you are a regular to our blog, you are probably aware that I mostly blog about awesome yet affordable watches and I put myself a very low budget of around RM1000 (approx. US$232 / £158 at the current exchange rate).

The condition was that it had to be a mechanical/ automatic watch. I went to Lazada, my favourite shopping portal here in Malaysia and pulled up all the watches I had put on my watch list. All the Swiss brands were beyond my budget and I narrowed my choice down to two - a dressy Orient Bambino CER2400/ CER24005W/ ER24005W (at a discounted RM599 with free delivery) and the retro inspired Seiko Recraft SNKN01K1 (RM539). I already have a Tissot which I usually wear to formal occasions and I did not really need another dress watch.

Orient Bambino

So I finally decided to go for the SNKN01 - a watch I could wear everyday. The delivery was very fast - I bought it on the 26th and it was delivered on the 30th.

The SNKN01 is powered by a self-winding movement (7S26 movement with 21 Jewels, runs at 21,600 vibrations per hour) housed in the retro style stainless steel case with calf leather strap.

It has a screwdown see-through caseback. The watch is water resistant to 50M.

The sunburst dial with clear hour markers was what really attracted me to the watch with the day/date window at the hour 3 marker.

Though I love the new watch and I have been wearing it continuously for nearly a week now, it could have been better. First of all, the watch is not lumed - not the hour markers nor the hands, which means that I cannot read it in the dark. Further more it cannot be wound up and it does not hack (i.e., the second hand does not stop when you adjust the time). Seiko has other movements and I wonder why they used the 7S26 instead of say the 4R36 which does hack and can be hand wound. I answer would be that it would not cost only RM539 anymore.

Some of you may be wondering why having these features are important but for a lot of watch collectors, these are absolutely essential when they look for an automatic watch. I am not that concerned. The 7S26 reportedly has a power reserve of 40 hours when fully wound and I guess I will have to shake it a bit eveyday even when I am not wearing it. Or maybe I could get a watch winder.

Here is the unboxing video:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I want Happy Ads

I have had a pet peeve for quite a while but I cannot keep in in any longer.

Can all the big companies stop with all the weepy, sad, sentimental ads for every festive occasion - Hari Raya, sad ad. Chinese New Year, Sad ad. Deepawali, Sad ad. I am sick of these ads. We are already depressed with all the crazy stories in the news, stress at work, inflation, economy and so on.

I blame the late Yasmin Ahmed. She was an amazing film maker and I liked her ads but she started a trend which shows no sign of ending.

PLEASE, PLEASE make happy, funny, uplifting, motivating ads the next festive season

Please share if you agree.

The only funny festive ad in ages

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Why I like vintage watches?

This was a question in Quora which made me think about the watches I collect.

I cannot really explain but there is a certain charm about old watches - even the cheaper ones. It depends on your taste but I like the hand winding steel watches with doomed plastic crystals. I also like the unique and eccentric watches like the Tissot stone watches and brands that do not exist anymore like Favre Leuba and old Indian HMT watches. I like reading about their history and sometimes wonder about the guy who once used the watch to tell time.

When I was a kid, my father used to wear a cheap solar powered Bular watch and I really liked it. It is now in my collection with the crystal all cracked but I really like it because of the sentimental value.

I have also noticed that there is a nostalgia among people for everything vintage or classic and have noticed the classic Casio gold digital watches on the wrists of a number of stylish millennials. Of course, the watchmakers have realised this phenomenon and many including Seiko, Omega, Tudor, Tag Heur among others have all recently reintroduced many of their old designs, of course with a modern take.

Coming back to the question, different people like vintage watches for different reasons. Many collect them as investments, some collect them for aesthetic reasons, others for sentimental reasons, etc.


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