Eid celebration at Ministry

Back at office
Hon Minister gives speech
Today, we are invited to attend our Ministry's annual Eid celebration. This is something I make sure I don't miss because the food buffet style is generous and the variety gets more and more as years go by. This year they had the buffet outside the office building so the place was swarming with people and I would expect a few great crashers too as this place is more open than before. I would too if you saw what they had to offer. Simply delicious and guests are sincerely invited to take whatever they please.Incidentally, other than a similar white national dress, that is the same sampin (the mid-gear) I wore when I got married and this is the only time other than that when I wore it because this particular sampin is rather delicate, a precious hand-me-down from my mother who got it from possibly, grandma.


Beefing up the Peugeot 407: Phase 1

I have the privilege of driving the CKD version of the Peugeot 407 which apparently is better than the CBU version. The key reason was found out that the gearbox oil compartment of the CBU version is rather small for the likings of the hot and humid Malaysian climate which led to much gearbox problems. In the CKD version which came out much later, I found that the gearbox oil compartment could take 4 litres of gearbox oil with ease on par with its engine oil compartment. I  found the car to  be surprisingly economical especially for highway driving and because of it's weight and size, a great grand tourer. But there were times when I was too lazy to drive and preferred sitting in the back with the rest of the family that I found that comfort in the back seat was 3 *** compared to the front's 4****. This was most noticeable when the car takes bends fast, something which I ahem-ahem happen to do often. As I am have a preference for sporty driving, I just had to beef up the car but being on a shoe string budget, things will have to be done in phases.

For phase 1, I invested in a complete set of 5 stabilizer bars specific to this model. It cost me slightly more than RM1000. In that sense, the car is no more a stock car but it now handles superbly that I give it 5***** when I sit in the back seat. Now I love taking corners and release the accelerator pedal as I enter the bend then let the weight of the car grip the road. Passengers now hardly ever experience any hash body roll as before. My brother-in-law recently borrowed the car to return home for Eid festival and the everyone in their family were impressed by the smoothness and comfort of the new ride as they have been on the car before this modifications. They all gave their thumbs up. Together with my family, I can easily say that it was a good investment because not only is the car more safer at handling corners fast but it now offers a more comfortable ride, something anyone with big back sides will appreciate. What's for phase 2? I'll keep you guessing until I get that done. Coming soon...


Lessons learnt from 200K service

At 193,000km, my KIA Spectra was nearing its 200,000km general service. My son said the car had shown signs of difficulty in changing her autogear from 2 to 3 and there were signs of gearbox and engine oil leakage. For a car well run and 10 years old, I felt minor leakage was acceptable so long as it was not like a puddle. Anyway, the car was sent to our regular mechanic (not the authorized car service centre) whom by now I had faith in having previously observe him service the car. Components I brought were:

Semi-synthetic engine oil, 4 litre    RM00
Gearbox oil , 4 litre                        RM00
Engine oil filter                              RM00
DOT 4 brake oil, 2 litre                  RM00 
A regular set of 4 spare plugs       RM00
Total                                    RM210

I usually diffuse the gearbox oil like using a dialysis machine per 20,000km, so far so good. But this time I forgot and and it reached the 33,000km mark. My mechanic said to change the gearbox oil per 20,000km or at most, per 30,000km. Because of the minor engine oil leakage, he concluded that the gearbox oil should be dirty with engine grit. After gearbox oil change, everything was back to normal and no engine oil leakage.

It was found the gearbox oil stalk was not properly closed and that caused gearbox oil to splash around the engine bay thus gearbox oil leakage. Closing it properly solved that problem.

It was found that the brake oil was dirty because it was only topped up not frequently flushed. A complete service including bleeding the brake hoses brought back the bite to the brake system.

Although engine coolant was not flushed but regularly topped up, my mechanic advised to continue topping up the coolant as against flushing the coolant as he said that was not good for the car. That saved me some money!

One of the windscreen nozzle had problem squirting water. I was advised to prick it with a needle but in the event it was still blocked, the pump should be faulty. After my son serviced the nozzle with the needle, I was not happy because it still could not function properly. However, upon checking the left nozzle, I somehow pushed the left hose back into the rear nozzle because there was a clicking sound. That brought both nozzles back to generously squirt water as they were designed to. Phew!

Labour charge                       RM80

Site Visit: The Haven, Tambun

What was an ex-mining land cum small agriculture holding was transformed into a high class condominium which saw its property almost triple in 5 years although at first this property was under-valued. If a site is properly developed and made to blend with the environment, it will be in harmony with nature. There were some criticism that the natural beauty of this place especially a natural outcrop adjacent to the pond which was used for fishing is now a private property on the other hand was given proper planning permission so no rules were broken. Well as for me, I liked what I saw (but the photos look a bit elongated in mobile mode).


Of durians and speed traps

Last week, I returned home from Ipoh but not before stopping by Gopeng where under a shady tree outside the market, D24 durians were sold at RM10/biggest plastic you can get hold of which could hold 3 normal size durians that sell for RM60 in Klang Valley. I bought RM30 which ended up in 4 plastic bags and to me was a bargain and I planned to distribute them later. I travelled in air-con style and by the time I reached Rawang R&R, I stopped to relieve myself. Leaving the R&R, the smell of the durians inside the car by then was too strong so I decided to pull down the windows and brought the car to 110kph hoping to quickly extract the odour. At about the same time, I came to the Rawang flyover. I still kept to 110kph as the smell was overpowering only to see a traffic cop aim his speed gun on me. If that were an 80kph area, I had it. And to think that 95% of the time, I was driving at 100-110kph as time was on my side. :-(

Visit to UM's training centre in Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan

The weekend had just passed by where on Saturday, I had to Google Navigate wifey and her 2 coach full of students to a place I myself have never been before some distant place north of Kuala Kwalang, district capital of Jelebu to Universiti Malaysia's seminar centre so in that respect, it was an adventure for me too as it was my first experience on LEKAS highway which if you drove a supercar, you could do 250+kph as the highway was straight and had not much traffic.

How to root a Sony Xperia TX?

At last, I managed to root my Sony Xperia TX thanks to Techbeasts. Whilst I am familiar in using a root smartphone, I do not know how to root one, my previous smartphone, a CSL mi5 was rooted by my son. I eventually found out that to root a smartphone, one has to choose the specific firmware, in my case "9.2.A.1.215". This was the crux of my earlier root hiccups was not choosing the proper procedure of the specific firmware for the smartphone that I currently used because I thought any root apps that could root a smartphone. I was wrong. So following techbeast's step-by-step procedure, I gave it a try and found it easy to understand.

Firstly, TowelRoot.apk was downloaded then installed
Next, SuperSU was dowloaded and installed

Then Rootchecker was downloaded, installed and run
Lastly ROM Toobox Lite was download, installed and activated

After a few tries, I opt for "SuperSU" instead of "SuperUser" because for some reason, maybe I fumbled, the former more compatible. The Root Checker mentioned that my smartphone was already successfully rooted but I still could not delete apps especially some default apps. Refering to my son, he downloaded and installed ROM Toolbox Lite which he uses and said it is actually under the App Manager of the ROM Toolbox Lite that one can select and uninstall apps. Yes, It works fine just as my son said so. What can I say?  My son made me root the smartphone the hard way i.e. without his help except for the ROM Toolbox Lite so Techbeasts, you made my day! Thank you very much. Lastly, I went over and installed KK Launcher which I think is real cool! Overall, it is worth the effort.

Don't be mindset

After being exposed to Facebook for some time, I've decided to come home to Blogger where I started blogging. The reasons for this migration is obvious, then again, it is quite hard to get away from everything associated with Zionism as they have done their homework well. If there are alternatives, I will consider them as better options and in some cases as I have found out that to be true as in the case of Telegram of which I have migrated from What's App.

Yes, Telegram is a messenger app exactly like What's App and as some of my friends who tried it out agree it is faster, probably because the number of their clients is comparatively less and this is in favour of the clients like me. Not sticking to a second opinion, I gave it a try uploading a photo to my brother and yes, it is indeed fast. Telegram's FAQ stated that it is more secure than What's App so this is another plus point and another friend said that it can handle .pdf files which What's App cannot but I have yet to confirm this. The point of all this is that, if you are too mindset, you may lose out on better things which incidentally could be free. This brings me to the subject of Open Source Software (OSS) which I am a total convert since 2008 when Ubuntu introduced their Hardy Heron's Version 8.04.

It is only when you install a dual-boot computer with Windows and Ubuntu aside each other then compare them in use that you realize that Ubuntu is the faster operating system. Web sites visited or U-Tube files are definitely slower when surfed using Windows and unless you're prejudice, common sense will tell you Ubuntu is the better choice, not only that, it is also easier to maintain and no updates or scanning to think about as it is not being vulnerable to Windows virus and Malware attack. Not wanting to be trapped by the mindset of popular softwares, I ventured deeper and deeper in OSS, I eventually found Quantum GIS (QGIS) and gave it its full support as I am a town planner by profession and it was an excellent way to save government (private agencies too) much money, probably in in RM Million if one utilizes more than 100 units. QGIS, although it's root is OSS, by the way, is multi-platform and can run on Windows, Linux, Mac and BSD (coming soon, Android).

I guess that's all I have to say for the time being. Some people advocate certain things at their blog. For me, this is where I mentally blabber my way though on subjects that hit my mind as my blog site says "Thinking Aloud". Other than that, it is also a cyber place where I jot down the experiences of my life.