Sunday, January 30, 2011

...

This morning, we wanted to go for a bike ride along the GCE -- Guthrie Corridor Expressway. Unfortunately, it started raining and it hasn't stopped since. So now I'm stuck at home, bored, with no idea what to do.


I just had a yummy lunch my mom cooked. Hehe. Hmm. If the weather doesn't let up, I might try and convince Mama & Abah to take me for a haircut. I need it badly. I don't like having long hair. I tried. Heh heh.

I also need to confirm with Mama whether I can go to Mid Valley with Liyana & Sofea tomorrow... Hmm. Suddenly there are things to do. Sort of. I think I'll curl up for a nap.

Au revoir.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bittersweet, Nostalgic, and Chance

Over the months and years, I have made lists and lists of all kind of things. I like to do lists, for some reason. Places to visit, things to do, things I want, etc. Well, 3 things I can cross of the list of "Things I Want" is a road bike, a DSLR and a pair of Converse/Puma/whateverelselookslikethat. Last year, I got a road bike Well, 2 actually -- each at half price. So for the price of one full bike, I got 2. A miracle, really that one. Finding even one road bike with 50% discount is a rarity. Let alone, 2. In the same store. If that fact alone wasn't enough, let's go over some details, shall we?

They were technically still the latest -- the 2011 versions were just about to roll out and they were 2010 models. They were brand new -- as in not second hand. And the cherry on the icing -- or rather, the final nail in the coffin -- is that they were both top end models. Even as we were making the payment, people were still ogling it. Hehe. I got them during the official opening of Rodalink's Putrajaya outlet.

The story behind the DSLR is bittersweet. Lue was still here at the time -- about 2-3 weeks ago -- and the Antipest guys came for the regular spray. I was downstairs, kind of busy compiling a CD to give Lue as a parting gift. Lue was outside reading. The guys weren't the regulars. Our still-new digital camera was upstairs. After that, we noticed it was gone. So, after that, Akid pushed for a DSLR and even paid for it out of his account. We're taking very good care of that one. Practically never out of our sights. I've taken some good pictures with it. I still miss the camera we lost. That was an awesome digital camera. Sometimes I still half-hope it'll turn up somewhere in the house, the battery dead but otherwise perfect. I had always wanted a DSLR myself but I never pushed for it because I knew I would have to pay for it myself and that didn't bother me but I was saving my money for college. In the end, I decided that, I would put off the DSLR until I could get it myself.

The Converse is rather interesting. This one is more nostalgic, really. Yet at the same time, bittersweet too. My dad used to have a pair of black leather, high top Chuck Taylor All Stars. He got it in the US and it meant a lot to him. He was living on his own, in college, and he saw this pair of lovely shoes. He bought it and even his classmates were saying "Nice shoes!". He is very careful with money and prizes what he does own. He and my mom moved back to Malaysia and one day, the shoes were stolen. So in part to help my dad get it back and in part because I've secretly always wanted something like that, I got a pair of brown, tumbled leather Chuck Taylor All Stars. Since both my dad and I wear the same shoe size; whenever he wants to, he can wear them as well.

I suppose, I kind of wait until the thing I want will have some sort of significance before I get them. The bikes were a once-in-a-lifetime deal, the camera was bittersweet and the Converse nostalgic.

Split Courses

I passed my Computerized Test in one go! I'm glad I was able to. But you know what was weird? My score. Before I elaborate, the test is split into 2 'papers' with the first being a vision test and the 2nd the actual Law or Undang test. The 2nd part is split into 3 sections; the first 15 questions -- Part I --, the next 25 -- Part II --, and the final 10 -- Part III. The parts difficulty transition from easy, hard to medium. I scored 15/15 for Part I, 25/25 for Part II but 5/10 for Part III. Heh. Go figure, eh? Well, I was still able to get the passing mark so I'm happy. I got 45/50 which is 90%. Woohoo!!

After that, I decided to go straight for the 3-hour Theory course. Unfortunately, the classes were full for the 3-hour Practical course so I'm taking that one next week. A week after that, I'll get my 'L' license or Learning Driver's License -- LDL.

Hmm. What to do in that week before I get my LDL? Hehe. Hopefully I can hit PCP by myself or something. Hehe! That would be fun. Abah said if the office is empty-er, I can hang out at the office after PCP. We'll see how things go.

This Sunday, we're planning to ride the Guthrie Corridor Expressway -- GCE. Abah, Akid, and Mama want to ride their mountain bikes. I want to ride the road bike. I really want to do GCE on the road bike. Abah said that the TCR is so stiff. I kind of like it. Then again, I haven't really clocked that much time on the Defy. Oh, by the way, TCR and Defy are the two road bikes we have. Heh heh. Sorry for the confusion. Was kind of talking to myself.

That's all for now. A short post in comparison to my previous post. Hehe!

Listening to You've Got A Friend In Me by Randy Newman. What? Toy Story is one of my childhood Disney classics. I -- almost literally -- grew up with Toy Story. A lot of history with that movie...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mountain Biking!

As the title says, this post is going to be about mountain biking. Yes, I'm bored.

So just to introduce my fellow readers to the realm of mountain biking. I'll do my best to include photos so you kind of get the idea of the different bikes and objectives of each form. Before I start, let me introduce very briefly on what categories I will be elaborating on about below. First of all is Cross Country, the very roots of mountain biking. Afterwards I will explain on All-Mountain/Enduro. Following that will be Downhill. My personal favorite. Following up on that part will be Freeride/Slopestyle. And last but not least, Fourcross.

This is the most popular form; Cross Country or XC in short. XC mountain biking was one of the first forms of mountain biking. It was pioneered by a group of friends in the early to mid-80's. I could go into a long-winding talk about that alone but I think what I've written suffices. If you want to know more, just look it up. The internet is a HUGE library. XC bikes tend to be hardtail. A hardtail is a bicycle with only front suspension. There are of course full-suspension XC bikes. Full-suspension means it has both front and rear shock absorbers.

XC Riding

XC Hardtail

XC Full-suspension


If you notice, the 2nd bike has what appears to be a small piston located beneath the top part of the frame. That is the rear suspension. What sets apart mountain bikes really is the amount of travel the suspension has. For example, XC bikes typically have between 80-100mm of travel. The word 'travel' refers to how much the shock absorbers will compress. A sub-category of XC is known as Trail. These bikes tend to have between 120-150mm of travel. Otherwise, they're pretty similar in terms of geometry and purpose.

The next category of mountain biking is known as All-Mountain or Enduro. It's basically the same thing. Enduro is a relatively new segment of mountain biking and All-Mountain bikes -- as the name suggests -- can go all over the mountain. All-Mountain bikes are the most versatile of all mountain bikes because they can be adjusted to do virtually every form of mountain biking. Of course there are set backs such as weight and efficiency but getting a bike under this category is much cheaper than a bike for each category. Obviously. These bikes tend to have between 160-180mm of travel. Enduro events are similar to XC but they are faster and rougher, hence the longer amount of travel. Bikes under this category are always Full-suspension.

Enduro event. Note the knee guards.

All-Mountain/Enduro bike.


Ah, Downhill or DH. The roughest, wildest ride you'll ever have on a mountain bike. It's difficulty and danger is rivaled only by it's sister category, Freeride. Downhill bikes are ALWAYS full-suspension. A hardtail is practically suicide. Try riding any hardcore DH track with an XC hardtail and you're likely to break the frame. DH bikes typically have between 180-200mm of travel. DH riders have to suit up like motocross riders with all the guards, helmets and such. Here are the pictures. Going airborne in DH is expected. My parents aren't too keen on me participating in DH. Understandably, they're just worried for my safety.

Some of the guards worn by DH riders

DH rider

DH bike


Freeride/Slopestyle/Urban. The madman's sport. It's like BMX but on a mountain bike. Slopestyle is also abbreviated as SX. The guys who do it are nuts. This category is my little brother's favorite. He aspires to be able to ride like them. Freeride bikes tend to be slightly smaller and lighter than DH bikes. This allows them to be trick-able as the term goes. It allows the riders to do tricks. SX bikes come in both hardtail and full-suspension. They also tend to be single-speed though that is in not a definitive way to identify a Freeride bike. Some people setup their bikes to be brakeless, one rear brake, both brakes, etc. I notice that bikes in this category have the most variation in terms of geometry and set up. Despite the hard impact of this form of mountain biking, the bikes tend to have very little travel because the riders want maximum power transfer when jumping. Less shock absorbers means a higher jump. These bikes are also ridden in BMX bowls, vert ramps, etc because of their similarity to BMX.

Rider doing a backflip

Hardtail slopestyle bike. This one is more towards urban riding

Freeride bike. Designed to take big hits and pull of big tricks


The final form of mountain biking I will be talking about is Fourcross or 4X in short. This event is somewhat like a slalom event where multiple riders -- typically between 4 and 6 -- start off and race to cross the finish line first. Races under this category are similar to the BMX Supercross as well as the Motocross Supercross events. Riders in this event also pad-up similarly to DH riders due to the nature of the event. 4-6 riders racing side-by-side on a tight course and everyone is competing for the best line around corners and through obstacles. Crashes are common and the tendency is, when one rider goes down, at least one other rider behind him/her will go down.

Ladies 4X event

4X bike.

I know it's a lengthy post and probably quite boring to most of you but if you read it thoroughly and made it this far, my sincerest thanks for taking the time to read it. And if you skimmed through, I don't blame you. Hehe.

That's all for now.

P.S.
None of the bikes above are actually mine. I grabbed them off the net. Most are from the bike manufacturer, Specialized. The last 2 bikes are from KONA.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Last Weekend

Lue has left back for Canada. :(

This past Saturday, we went to watch Gulliver's Travels. It was a fun movie. Jack Black really likes his rock and roll. Hehehe! Of course, I'm not complaining, the guy can actually sing.

Before the movie, Akid was kind of hunting around for a camera. We had bought a Sony Cybershot TX-9 sometime back but about two weeks ago, it got stolen. :(. I won't delve into the details. Quite disheartened by that incident. So he was seriously considering a DSLR which is kind of unfair because I've always wanted one but I never pushed for it because it cost so much. I guess I can be a bit more careful with money than my little brother.

We woke up early the next day because we needed to send Lue to the airport. :(. It was fun having her around. Everyone was sad at the airport. Heh. We had so much fun and 3 weeks went by so quickly. Huhu. After she left, we had breakfast at McDonald's then we went hunting for cameras around KLIA because it's duty free. Hehe. They didn't have the model Akid wanted so we left for the Gardens.

In the Gardens we went to the Sony Store and after some consideration, Akid agreed to forgo his preferred model and get something 'lower'. Lower as in instead of the Alpha 55, he opted for the Alpha 33. Heh. Well, if they had that one in stock, we would have got an extra lens for only RM100 more. I'd say a pretty good deal. However, after they checked their stock, they were out. Heck, the Sony headquarters was out. So back to the Alpha 55.

Now it's sitting in Akid's room. I took some pictures while Akid was in school. Hehehe!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Viva la Inpendencia!

That's the name of the performance that I attended at the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) yesterday. I know it's spelled Inpendencia and apparently, that's not a typo. It was a lot of fun. The entire performance was awesome. The whole reason behind it was because many South American countries had just celebrated their 200th year of independence. According to the maestro for the evening, those countries are Mexico, Argentina and Columbia. I think that's all. Although there were some music from Cuba and he apologized for that. I didn't mind. They were all very good. It was the first "happy hour" session meaning it wasn't too formal though you still had to dress smartly.

Akid and I were very excited for several reasons. Firstly, it would be our first time attending any of the MPO's performances, it would also be the first time we would get to go to take the public transport by ourselves and as it turned out, the first time just the two of us wandered around any mall.

After lunch, Akid, Lue -- my foster grandmom -- and I took the cab to the Kelana Jaya LRT station then proceeded to KLCC. It was a lot of fun! The show started at 6:30 and to avoid traffic, the three of us left for KLCC around 3 p.m. Lue suggested we split up so that Akid and I can do what we want and she can do what she wants. So Akid and I browsed through Adidas Originals, Adidas, Converse, Coolshades --an Oakley distributor --, Nike and Stadium -- a sports store like Studio R.

Mama and Abah joined us while we were having a snack at Burger King around 5:50 or so. The 1 hour performance felt so very short. Wish it was longer. :(

That's all for now. Au revoir!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Au Revoir 2010 and Bonjour 2011!

I have been so busy!! I haven't had time to post anything for the new year. This has happened to me, what 2 years in a row? Huh. Go figure.

Well, a lot has come and passed in 2010. Debates, public speaking, having fun with friends -- QM, Lina, Alliya, Sharanya, Divya, and Letticia who make up the debate team! --, lots of laughter, lots of heartache -- Add Math, I'm looking at you --, did my first downhill mountain biking run, did my SPM/O-Levels, just to name a few. Looking back, many of my friends were kinda sad on the last day(s) of SPM but somehow I wasn't too bothered. Yeah, I knew I was going to miss all of them but I didn't feel sad. Call me a heartless creep but yeah, kinda. Huh. Anyway, I certainly hope that everyone keeps in touch!

Another year, another new year's resolution. Before that, however, I want to look back at this year's resolution and see what I've accomplished

As I've said in the post Custom Order New Year's Resolutions,

So, I can cancel out numbers 1, 2, 5, and 7. Most of the red I can only know after the SPM results come out. Hehe! Insyaallah they'll be good.

My new year's resolutions for this year are.... Uh... Hmm. Let's see shall we?
  1. Stay fit. My 'workout regime' used to be quite integrated into my daily routine and I would say was rather rigorous for a daily routine. Now that I have stopped going to school I need to keep it up.
  2. Driver's license. Very important. Why? Because I want to drive, is there any other reason?
  3. Go to PCP more often. Complete the red DH track and do a lot more XC. Get very comfortable with the green loop. Not to forget the pumptrack. Tough little nut.
  4. Visit Singapore. Seriously, I've never visited Singapore. I'm sure many people will be "What?! You've never been to S'pore?!" But yes, it is true. I have never been outside of Malaysia's borders for 14 straight years of my life.
  5. Participate in a mountain bike event. Hopefully Fraser's Hill Urban DH. Hehehe!
  6. Elbow+forearm guards. Hopefully FOX Launch. Yeah, I know I dedicated a whole post to this amazing substance called D30 but somehow I still want that FOX guard.
6 objectives. Slightly more than half of the previous year's. Well, considering the yet-to-be-determined future ahead -- look out world! I'm carving my path and I'm going to f****** love every moment of it!!! *Ahem*. Anyway back to the point, considering the fact that many things remain to be seen, I'd say the 6 objectives are good.

Tomorrow will be the first time in long while where I'll wake up on a school day and not have to go to school. Until I find college. It's sort of sad not having to put on the uniform, strap on my helmet and pant-tie, pedal my bike to school, lock, have a smile plastered across my face the moment I see Liyana, have fun with the debate team, and learn.