30 March 2011

El Meson

Once thing I have realised in myself in the past couple of months is how unmotivated I am when it comes to taking photos and also how lazy I am. I would lug my heavy camera around and end up maybe take 1 or 2 uninspiring photos.

Once such occasion unfortunately is during Steph's 2011 Birthday Celebration which we all gathered at El Meson Bangsar for a feast. Sorry Steph for not taking more pictures. 

Anyway we all gathered there all 15 of us and surprisingly all of us were relatively on time considering it was a week day and it was during rush hour. As we sat down and the menu arrived, we were considering should we order individual or something to share. That was our first mistake because as we were doing that the chef came out, said hello to us, introduced himself and told us since we couldn't decide he will order the entire dinner for us.

All of us were drained physically and mentally from work and the jam, so collectively put our menus down and said ok. He began to tell us what was installed for us and he said for starters he will bring some tapas out and as we are having out tapas the paella will be cooking and finally to top things out a whole suckling pig. I think the majority of us thought hey that sounded really great and even I thought it was a great idea.

It was all good till the unlimited amount of tapas started coming out and man there were alot of tapas. We are talking about maybe 7-10 variety of tapas and maybe like 6 or 7 plates of each to be shared by the 15 of us. I guess the chef thought we had the appetite of the Ang Moh. We decided to cancel the suckling pig, much to my dismay because I was looking forward to that.

So we ate, we drank and talked and laughed and basically enjoy each other's company. Steph initially didn't want to drink but seriously how can you be the Birthday Girl and not have at least one drink?

Ju Kuang wanted to cam whore as well. So had no choice but to take a photo of him where he is the subject and not the foreground.

The chef must have known that it was a birthday celebration as he asked us who's birthday it was. With that we also got a "free" choc cake. Which surprisingly I don't think I got a taste. Then again small slice of cake shared by 15 people.

While we were enjoying ourselves, suddenly Steph called my name and said I need to take a picture.

It is Mei Foong's acronym but unfortunately it was the sign for the toilet. After all the food and the drinks, before we left we have to have a group photo.

One thing about the mangkuk-itis group is we can never keep a straight  face when taking a group picture. Check out De Way and the Tho-Tans.

It was a great night of good food, drinks and good company. It is days like this that my cholesterol level takes a battering. :) We had 27 plates of tapas and 3 huge plates of paella (Seafood, Meat and Mix) and a heck alot of drinks.

28 March 2011

Massive Weekend

I have not had a massive crazy weekend in a long long time. The last massive crazy weekend I had was a good 4 or 5 years ago. This is what happened.

Thursday: I walked into office and my boss tells me to drop everything you are doing now and create a demo which we need to show TOMORROW. That night I worked till 5am.
Friday: Woke up at 8 in the morning and was back to office at 9am and worked all the way till 6pm and it was a successful demo. I waited up for my bro to come back from penang and he got home around 11.30pm. Instead of hitting the sack both of us stayed up and watch Sponge Bob Squarepants the movie. We laughed our arses off that night.
Saturday: Woke up bright and early to go for my cousin wedding ceremony which finished about 2pm. Right after all that I went with my bro, my cousin and my bro's friend to Sunway to look for some modified car parts. 7pm we went for my cousin's dinner and finish the day around 1am.
Sunday: Woke up bright and early again and I went with my family and my cousin's family for breakfast. Obviously no one had a hang over and right after that I met with some friends and we went go karting. After Go karting we had lunch, talked till like 4pm or so and I went home and went into coma.

It was one of the best weekends I have ever had and till today I still can remember each and every detail of the data. I haven't had one of those weekends in a long time.

This weekend however comes quite close to that weekend.

Thursday: I got a last minute call from Steph to buy me dinner for shooting her event for us. We went to this place called Andes to have some pork burger. The burgers were really good as the patties were made from ground beef or pork depending on what you ordered and it was a good 2 inches thick. The pork burgers were stuff with cheese. I had the Aussie burger wrap which was beef and a piece of bacon on top. This is so not going to help with my cholesterol. After that we went back to Steph's place as we mucked about with her new TV and sound system.

Friday: We have made plans with another makan gang to go out for makan and single malt. We ended up at Damansara Village for some steamboat and the night came alive when out friend Chong turned up with a bottle of single malt. This is what it looked like at 8.30pm.

2 hours later and a whole beer tower finished this is what the bottle looked like.

The funny thing is we had a medical checkup the next day and we can't have anything after 10pm. We were chugging down satay and single malt like there was no tomorrow. I was super drunk that night from all the alcohol we consumed. So much so I couldn't finish my last cuppa single malt. Yea I know it is not good to waste good alcohol but if I finishes that last cup, I wouldn't have made it home. The last time we did my medical last year we also met up with this group to makan but it was after we took the medical. This year was before and still we had a great time. Next time guys we need to go for PORK!!!!!!

Saturday: We woke up bright and early at 745am to get ready for our medical checkup scheduled at 8.30am. As again I forgot I had to pee in the cup and first thing I did when I woke up was head to the toilet. Lucky Amy reminded me and I chugged down a whole load of water. We were done with the medical by 9.15am and we drove to Steph's place for some tennis.

It was such a success this time around as we got 8 players instead of the normal 4. This time we also got the Tho-Tan, Mei but not the Mon, Wen without the Way and out tennis professional Ju Kuang. Today was the first time we were treated to Marks tennis growl instead of a grunt. We had a solid 2 hours of tennis in the scorching sun before we adjourned back to Steph's place to shower and clean up. For lunch we went for some Bak Kut Teh in Kelana Jaya and we all went out separate ways after that. I went home to catch the F1 qualifying where Vettle completely blitz the competition and after the F1 I caught my bro's cat napping.

Amy, Steph and I met up again at around 6pm where we went to walk the Kiara Hills trail to prepare ourselves for our 10km Standard Chartered run. After that we met up with Wen-Way and Bee Chin for dinner at City Star restaurant where we had.

I saw the photo of this dish on Steph's blog and I told her we need to go have it. It didn't disappoint and we had a full dinner that night. After dinner we again adjourned to Steph place for movie night were we watched the fight scenes in 300 to get out bloods pumping, then we watched Italian job to get another type of blood pumping (at least for De Way and I) and finally finished the day off with some comedy with White Chick. We finally go home around 2am.

SundayVettle blitz the field and Massa got what he got for pulling such a lousy trick. Button had to serve a drive thru penalty and still ended up in front of Massa. After F1, I sent Amy home and then went for badminton in the sweltering heat where we found out we only had 5 guys on the court with no girls at all that day. We played a solid 2 hours of badminton where only 1 guy rested while the other four played. We were completely dead at the end of the 2 hours. I went back and scanned my laptop because I thought it had some bad sectors.

Does this indicate a dying Harddisk? Time to backup my stuff I guess. At 10pm I was so dead that I went to bed.

Looks like the cat had a full day as well as she slept on my mum's blanket. Someone is going to get a hurting when mum finds out and it ain't me. :)

Thanks everyone for a fantastic weekend. I really had a great time and we should do it more often. Aaron this is what you are missing out and when you get back, we should clear our schedules and go mad again. We all can't wait.

17 March 2011

Sun Rays

One thing I have always been fascinated by but can never really capture well is Sun rays. Sometimes when the sun is behind a cloud, you will see some sun rays from the clouds. It is caused by some section of sunlight being blocked by the clouds. However for some reason I am not able to capture it nicely. It should be pretty simple because to see sun rays, you need some high contrast between the sunlight has been blocked and the sunlight that is coming through. 

Unfortunately I have yet to master the technique to capture them. This is my last attempt which to me for some reason is still not great.

It so happen that there were some power line pylons and the sun rays are shining directly into it. Need to go find out how to take better sun ray pictures.

16 March 2011

Anson Coffee Shop

2 weekends ago Amy and I were driving around SS15 looking for a place to have lunch and finally we spotted this nice little cafe called Anson Coffee Shop.

We didn't have any expectation of this place because this was the first time we went there. We weren't that hungry because we had a pretty filling breakfast so we ordered light. I decided to go super old school and order a piece of U-tiow and a hot cuppa Kopi-O.

The Kopi-O was top notch, nowadays with all the cheap brands of coffee they are selling at all those "fake" kopitiam, it isn't easy to get a good cuppa local kopi. One of the best I had was on our trip to Dungun where we stopped by Kemaman for their famous Kemaman kopi. This one is comparable to that place. The kopi was flavourful and thick and with just the right amount of sugar. Kopi-O needs to be drunk with slightly a little bit more of sugar to bring out the aroma off the coffee but not the full bitterness of it as well. The Yau Char Kuai (Oily Fried Devil) was just ok. I think it was fried in the morning and hence when I had it for lunch it was soft and not crispy anymore.

Amy had a little of a laksa craving so she went for the bowl of Anson Laksa.

To our surprise the laksa was seriously good. This place prides themselves on their "lai fun" and they put them in most of their noodle dishes and it is really good. It has a "springy" consistency and it doesn't break that easily. The soup was fishy and flavourful and has the right balance of sourness and also spiciness. One of the better tasting bowls of laksa and I don't even like laksa to begin with. To top things off, it only cost RM3.80 and when you put things in perspective a small bowl of noodles at a coffee shop will set you back RM4.

We also ordered the Anson Chee Cheung fun to complete the meal.

This is no ordinary Chee Cheong Fun, it actually has some pan fried sengkung and "hea bee" inside and instead of eaten with sweet sauce, it goes very well with some pickled green chili. This again is a winner dish, the fried sengkuang and dried prawn combo really lightens up the dish and combined with the slightly spiciness of the green chili gives all the taste it needs.

Now comes the best part, we had 1 Oily Fried Devil and Kopi-O combo, 1 bowl of Laksa, 1 plate of Anson Chee Cheong fun and 1 extra cuppa kopi-O...

All of that is for a low low low price of only RM12.80. Remember we are talking about a cafe style place in Subang Jaya. The place is cleaned and well A/C and the staff are friendly. They had one wall of old black and white pictures and I realised the little kids in the photo look like some of the people there. We finally asked one of the guys there and we found out they are actually a family business and most of the people working there are part of the family. Later we found out it was opened by one of our friend's uncle. 

We will be coming back to this place for sure because the food is good and still relatively cheap. I encourage you all to give it a try as well. They are located near the newly open Ipoh Nga choy Kai restaurant in SS15 and a few doors away from Gastro Cafe. If you know Secret Recipe and Herbs N Food in SS15, go straight down almost towards the end of the road.

Anson Coffee Shop
10, Jalan SS15/4B, Subang Jaya

10 March 2011

Mangroove Swamp

I didn't know but near my hometown of Sitiawan there is a mangrove swamp which has been changed into a tourist attraction. I was left wondering how can a mangrove swamp be a tourist attraction.

I didn't expect much of this place because usually tourist attractions in Malaysia are usually not well built, not well keep and usually pretty crap other then maybe the cable car and Gunung Mat ChingChang in Langkawi. However I was pleasantly surprised that it is very well built and it is not as dirty as I expected it. They have built concrete and metal grating on top of mangrove swamp to allow you to walk around the place.

The best thing about this place was that it was actually relatively cooling under the trees compared to the outside conditions. It was a very very hot day but walking under the trees, it wasn't that hot and I didn't sweat profusely like a pig. If you are vigilant enough, you can actually spot quite alot of wildlife around where you are walking as well.

On the way out, there is a suspension bridge that allows you walk slightly on higher ground over the mangrove swamp.

We didn't hang around the bridge much because they only allowed 6 people on the bridge and just as we were walking towards the end there was a group of chinese family who completely ignored the sign and just walked onto the bridge. Stupid Malaysian people.

Just before we left the place, I saw this broken down tree and I couldn't help myself to add to my black and white collection.

All in all it wasn't that bad a place to check out for maybe say 30 min or so. Check out how important mangrove swamp is to our eco-system.

09 March 2011

Milestone for Hog's Thoughts V2.0

It has been 1 year 1 month and 18 days since the first post in Hog's Thoughts V2.0. So far there is has been 164 post and this would be the 165 post. I have had 4000 over page views, but those are not the big milestone. The big milestone is...

The picture above is the 2000th picture that was featured on Hog's Thoughts V2.0. I hope all of you have enjoyed the pictures I posted online. I hope to be able to continue to post better pictures only. Thanks everyone for reading.

08 March 2011

Super funny

Most of you may know how NOT an Apple fan I am. However I do admit their products have a certain pull to them. One of the best things about Apple product is of course the how shick their products are and they just freaking work no matter what you do with them. Well there is only so many things you can do with them anyway. Yes yes my Android side is revolting. Back Bad Android back. This is apple time :)

Anyway other then the fact their product look good and they work, they also have a seriously fantastic marketing team. Steve Jobs no matter what you say about him has created a dream team of people who just work around him. Remember the days when Justin Long and his Mac Vs PC adverts?

Well while checking out the net today I across more cool Apple adverts. I was watching it in the office, yes not really working and my Android side was dying to take over but since my brain cannot multitask and boot multiple operating systems, the iOS won out. Check this out.

Got to love the marketing department of Apple. Go Apple. iOS shutting down and Android booting up again.

Apple Sucks!!!! The Green Robot without any Thumbs ROCK!!!!

*EDITED*:  My bad, it might not be an official Apple video. However it is still seriously good.

07 March 2011

Kampung Danger

Funny enough I heard this story about Kampung Danger from a male masseuse that was pounding my back while he was relating this story to me. One day while we has on the bus, an old lady came onto the bus and asked if the bus is going to Kampung Danger. The guy said yes but it will cost RM2. However the lady said no usually she only pays RM1 and the guy says ok you pay RM1 and when the stop comes you let me know. So off they went and in about 10 min time the old lady asked the bus to stop and the bus driver said why you call this Kampung Danger and the old lady said that the signs says Danger while pointing to a TNB high tension wire sign. Don't ask me how true this story is but the same guy told me "Badan anda lebih sangat lemak". No shit Sherlock.

Anyway we go from Kampung Danger to Kampung Selamat. This is a real place called Kampung Selamat which is about 20 min away from Sitiawan town. It is a small fishing village beside a small river. Last time when we were young my dad used to bring us here and we would fish from the top of a small rickety old wooden bridge. While were in the sun my dad would be at the roti canai stall right beside the bridge.

It has been a while since we went back and this time during Chinese New Year, I asked my dad to bring us back there to see how things have changed. Well the bridge is gone, the roti canai stall is still there and for some reason the river looks bigger now.

When we got off the car, the first thing that caught my eyes was the abandon Municipal Hall. I cannot remember seeing this while I was young, however I think it has been there for quite a while looking at the design of the building.

They have shifted the hall to a slightly more modern building right beside this one which looks almost like a school hall building. The river was uh well dirty and smelly but looks like there are still fishes in there as we spotted this...

It is a Kingfisher and as it names suggest, it catches fish from the river as food. We walked a little till we hit the small fishing village.

The best thing about taking pictures at a fishing village is you always for sure have a "walkway" leading to the river. As a photographer, we can use this "walkway" as leading lines to a subject. Note that the "walkway" is made out of old doors which was pretty interesting. My parents, my bro and his wife walked in the other direction and I decided to temp fate by walking on the door "walkway" towards the river.

I am never a fan of black and white photos, I always think with the invent of modern camera sensors and displays why go black and white when we can have millions of different colors? However the setting of this place combined with the bright sunlight and shadows made me re-think about black and white photos.

While I was taking pictures of the fishing village, my parents, brother and his wife walked into a shed which was selling prawns.

They are actually selling prawns to be as bait for fishing. Check out the size of the prawns man. They are big enough to be eaten by normal human beings as well man. They must be catching some huge fishes on the river. This place had a very interesting outhouse as well. I couldn't bear to take a picture of it without puking. Basically it is 4 wooden walls, 1 wooden roof and a hole on the wooden floor. Looking into the hole, basically you see nothing but the river.

On the walk back to the car, spotted a wooden house sitting on its own.

It was a fun morning at Kampung Selamat, and although the bridge we fished on was gone but at least the roti canai stall was still there and man it was packed with people.