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Vol II: The Mis-Adventure Continues
Funny stories, witty encounters and serious reflections from Malaysia as experienced by a vegetarian struggling to understand the world.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Tai (neck)ties

See anything nice?

Yes, I wear those ties to work everyday. It took me years to collect them.

However, wearing such ties is not without its share of problems. I have been used by trainers as an example of ‘how NOT to dress’ because it 'makes a person look like childish and unprofessional'.

15 years ago, maybe.

At a time when everyone wants something done yesterday and where having a BSc (Hons) is not that uncommon, you need to stand out and be different. We are at a time where everything seems ‘usual’. Mobile phones? Everyone's got one these days. Nothing unusual. Traffic jam? Not unusual. Potholes on almost every road? Nothing new.

So, it a world where a person's attention span is like a mere 5 seconds, you need to be special. Sometimes you also need to be 'loud'. Only then can you get another extra 5 seconds. :)

Which one would you give a second look or like to stare at for another 5 seconds? Mr. A or Mr. B?

In any case, the ties do make wonderful conversation starters.

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On 1/19/2007 01:13:00 AM Blogger Jacquelyn said:
Hmmm... bugs bunny tie! My friend has one too :)Different pose of bunny on that tie though
On 1/19/2007 07:01:00 PM Anonymous lady said:
I'll know what to buy for you for Christmas Present...I didn't know u as a person who collects those cute designs. Well, at least i discovered something different about u...:)
On 1/21/2007 10:34:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
lady... hahaha... that's cause you have never seen me in office wear... :) i try to stand out from the crowd.

i have actually seen the ties that is shaped like corn (jagung), beer bottle, etc... but, in my opinion, they were too costly. so din get them. most of the ties i got is less than rm20 per piece. mainly from HK and Thailand.

anyway, guess no one noticed something else...
On 1/22/2007 09:32:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said:
Interesting ties you have. Standing out, huh? It never crossed my mind to use ties to better project oneself. Some women says, the choice of ties tells about the person. Becareful when you meet women :D
On 1/22/2007 10:18:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
its ok...i couldn't bother about what other women think.

to one girl (now my wife), i 'stand out'. that's all that matters.

anyway, for me, ties should always stand out. otherwise, why wear one? in fact, i'm still puzzled as to why we need to wear a tie (or how did the tie come about). anyone?

i have seen many people wearing the tie that has got the similar colour as the shirt (see Mr.B). For example, shirt is dark blue in colour. The tie he wears is also dark blue in colour (maybe a slightly different blue tone). then what's the point? :)

for me, dark blue shirt... then maybe a white (or yellow) tie.
On 1/22/2007 03:11:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said:
Not much information in the web.

I think the neckties and bowties are meant to look good only. Currently, I only have two. Time to buy new ones I think.
On 1/22/2007 06:37:00 PM Blogger Agent Magenta said:
Wow, you put my collection of ties to shame, I only have a couple (and they are boring!).
On 1/31/2007 08:12:00 PM Blogger lonnie said:
Will me the Bugs one!!
On 2/02/2007 11:49:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:

i've got two Bugs ties. both?

i would think you would have no problem sourcing for these kind of ties. :)

anyway, i guess no one noticed something else... ;)
On 2/02/2007 05:56:00 PM Blogger Jacquelyn said:
Er... the cards?! :)
On 2/22/2007 04:01:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
jacq... wrong. never mind...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Maxis and Sony Ericsson nightmare

What started as a 'present' to my wife is now slowly turning into a nightmare!

Just a month ago, I had bought two units of Sony Ericsson K618i as a present for myself and my wife. I'll write about the phone in a week's time as the review of the phone is only half complete.

As both of us are on Maxis (012), I had also taken the opportunity to convert my wife's P75 plan to the Family Plan as we were told that "everything remains the same" for myself and my wife needed to pay only rm50 (minimum) as compared to rm75 currently. What more, we would enjoy (limited) free talk time and sms. A wonderful deal, right?

My nightmare started a few days back when I had a look at my phone bill. It came to rm230+ when usually it is not more than rm120! Even though we converted middle of the billing cycle, I am sure we didn't call that much (on top of the free calls to each other). Also, I had at least rm80 carried forward from last month's bill (I am using the P138 plan). So why so much?

3G? I had to admit that the new phone is feature packed and having heard how fun 3G was, I just had to try it out. I just didn't realise that 5118KB (or 5MB) of download would cost me rm51.18!! Ack, that does it! No more surfing from the phone! But that's only about rm50.

Time to look at the breakdown...

After numerous calls, the last one just about 1 hour ago, this is what I found out about Maxis and also the new Family Plan:
1. The double-charge is indeed an error and they will refund me in the next bill.

2. Although I had talk-time of rm173.57, I could not really use the current month's amount of rm89.03. That means I only have last month's rm84.54 that can be deducted from this month's usage... So much for "everything remains the same".

3. So, why only deduct rm72.70 from my bill and not the total usage of rm150.31 (or at least the max of rm84.54)? That is because rm72.70 is the amount BEFORE I switched plan.

4. Now... This means this month's usage is NOT deducted from any of my 'talk time'. Why they never use the rm48.97 (the portion of the bill after I switched over) is something I can't answer (and I don't wanna bother finding out).

5. Because I only used rm72.70 from the available talk time (from PREVIOUS month, if I may add) of rm84.54, so there is a balance of rm11.84.

6. So what happens to my rm89.03 that I paid for this month BEFORE the switch? It gets refunded to me much later (and the bill don't actually mention this!).

7. It takes a rocket scientist to figure out the Maxis bill, and even then, there are still some parts of the bill better left to Fox Mulder. Maxis bill is bl00dy confusing and mind boggling.

8. You lose your Advantage Savings (I have rm30 rebate for my loyalty) when you switch to this plan. Can someone explain to me how this can still mean "everything remains the same"? Their reasoning is because they are already providing free calls and free sms to the family member... Hello?!? That's my wife! I see her everyday. Do you think I still need 200hours of talk time with her each month ON THE PHONE (especially in exchange for the rm30)?!

9. Maxis Customer Service is still one of the better Customer Service I have encountered (must also use the right tone, though). They are able to help me solve the problem.

So, what was the outcome? I told them to reverse everything and put us back on our original plan which was P75 for my wife and P138 for myself. And I want back my rm30 Advantage Savings! After I spoke to their manager and highlighted all the problems they seem to have with this plan (stupid billing system and not really a wonderful plan... h3ck, I personally think this plan sucks for me), he was very nice enough to allow us to go back to our original plans with no 'administration' charges.

I have dealt with Customer Service from many organisations and usually, I don't get such professional service and attitude from them... Even when I was being very polite. The Customer Service always seem to imply I'm stupid and it's my fault (try calling Streamyx hotline). Not so with Maxis. They admitted their weakness and said they will look into it. And they were very polite even when I was at the point of screaming at them!

This brings me to the Taman Tun Dr. Ismail (TTDI) Customer Service Centre. This is NOT the first time I'm having issues with them. It is bad enough that we had to wait for an hour for my turn that day when we wanted to switch over to the Family Plan. They didn't inform us about the billing 'issues' like not really having talk time for the month, losing the Advantage Savings, etc... I guess saying "everything remains the same" is easier.

I also remember about a year ago when my wife switched to P75 plan from her pre-paid plan. I had called their hotline to explain about wife's plan to switch to post paid and was told it can only be done at their Customer Service Centre. The nearest would be TTDI so I ask what time the TTDI Customer Service Centre closing time. I remember that we managed to arrive with at least an hour to spare. I dropped my wife off while I looked for a place to park my car (stupid place... always difficult to find parking). After I found a place to park my car, I went to the Service Centre and was surprised to see my wife waiting for me outside saying she was told that they cannot do the switch for her as they cannot entertain the request one hour before closing.

WTF?!? I had to search for a bl00dy car park to find out their hotline gave me the wrong answer?!? I was NOT in a good mood. I called the hotline and was about to yell at someone... Again, they were still very professional on the phone. They asked me to pass the phone to the person at TTDI office. At the same time, I also spoke to the branch supervisor... Issue settled. The 'operator' just wanted to call it a day much earlier and had tried to give my wife the BS.

My wife was upset coz it made her look like she was so easily bullied... heh heh...


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On 1/17/2007 11:05:00 AM Blogger Shin-Yee said:
i screamed at streamyx hotline stupido and told them to stop reading from their caller SOP and they refunded me 3/4 month worth of access fee..
try it. you'll like it!
On 1/18/2007 09:20:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
like that also can?!?

wah... i'm going to yell at someone tonight and get a refund! :)
On 1/18/2007 07:18:00 PM Anonymous Fida said:
Good GOd! I better start scanning thru my bills properly from now on!!
On 1/18/2007 07:35:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
to be fair to Maxis, this probably happens only when you switch plan. but yes, it is a good practice to go thru the bill each month. i do that.

this is one reason why i never like to do direct-debit. in cases like this, it is too late to dispute the charges coz they already billed your credit card company.

if you do manual payment, you can opt NOT to pay until the 'dispute' is settled. :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The free 1000000 Air Asia ticket

The promotion is back... So what are you waiting for...? Grab your free seat!!!

So much for member's 'pre-sale' since booking starts 9th Jan and I got the email on the same day!

Just like last year, it will probably take lots of patience and luck, but once you get it... :)

For me, last year it was HongKong. This year? Hong Kong again, I guess...

Hmmm... I can fly there for free... But can't seem to be able to find FREE return tickets... :(


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On 1/12/2007 04:08:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said:
i have been trying to find to book for return ticket for more than 50 times!!! and the server always congested...at last no hope to get a totally free round trips. i surrendered! air asia pls stop advertised this kind of promotion anymore....
On 1/15/2007 08:56:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
hi anonymous,

i dunno, maybe you selected the 'wrong' dates. i have found many return tickets but because the dates were not right for me, decided not to proceed and book the tickets.

i have also heard from many friends who have gotten free tickets this time around... :)

i dun work for AirAsia nor am i getting paid for this. i'm just speaking objectively. :)
On 1/15/2007 03:23:00 PM Blogger Phenom said:
Still having jet lag man.. moment I see the word 'free ticket', I wanna puke..
yesterday slept at 5am...
On 1/15/2007 10:10:00 PM Anonymous Taiko said:
I read somewhere that says it's free without tax...
On 1/16/2007 09:01:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
i have not tried this time around so can't really confirm. but based on the last free ticket i got, i had to pay for the airport tax, etc...

this time around, i expect the need to pay for fuel surcharge as well. coz airport tax dun go to air asia and if they absorb this cost, it means they actually 'rugi'.

The uncle in the Kenari with hand signal

I was driving home last night and as usual, the minute I pay the toll and get into the Sprint Highway in front of Eastin Hotel, I get stuck in jam. It amazing how the jam starts only AFTER you pay rm1.

Anyway, my car was moving very slowly when I noticed that the Kenari to my right was slowly getting too close to my car. The Kenari was like just 2 or 3 inches away from my car. I looked at the uncle and he looked back at me.

Then he started to raise his hand and pointed frantically in my direction...

Oh, I see... Uncle wants to come into my lane. Eh, hello... Uncle. Use the bl00dy indicator la. You think everyone so free to look at the driver and hand signals. Plus, hand signal these days usually mean the middle finger.

If the car manufacturers ever need to find a way to cut production costs, they should look into removing the indicator lights. Malaysian drivers have a very bad habit of not using the indicator lights when they want to turn or change lane. We can't really blame them... Cause I have personally experienced it before. When I use the indicator light, somehow, all the cars at the other lane will go into Warp Speed and you will never get a change to get into their lane. D4mned if you use the indicator lights, d4mned if you don't.

The other thing car manufacturers can remove is the brake lights and leave maybe only leave the 'third' brake light. The rest can be removed. Most Malaysian drivers love to tailgate. So no point having the brake lights since if you slow down your car even a bit, the fella at the back will already have his car stuck to yours like a Siamese twin.

Sheesh... This reminds me of my ex-colleague. She was once caught by another colleague for driving her Kenari at night without her car lights on. We thought that she being a new owner, did not know how to turn on the lights. The next day when we asked her, she said she didn't turn on the lights cause she wanted to 'save power'.

Huh...? Are all Kenari drivers that weird?!?


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On 1/15/2007 03:15:00 PM Blogger Phenom said:
Wah seh... only Kenari? All cars in sg are like that..
On 1/15/2007 04:07:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
you included (since you also in a SG car)

Monday, January 08, 2007

To www or not to www

I recently wrote to CIMB Bank to give my feedback on their website. I had just signed up for the internet banking service and was trying it out. When I entered the URL cimbbank.com.my into my browser’s address bar, I had gotten an error message.

I was puzzled. Was the server down? Then I tried again, this time I entered www.cimbbank.com.my (note the www in front). This time, I got through.

Most of the websites I know would allow the mainpage to be displayed even when you do not enter www. ‘www’ is considered a sub-domain. This usually means that it is just another folder on the server. The html files would be normally be placed in this folder. And usually, there would be a ‘re-direction’ to this folder in case there are people who type in the URL without the 'www' in front. Come to think of it, how many actually type ‘www’ when you enter the URL? Do let me know...

Anyway, the idea of subdomain is so that you can section your website. For example, I have the domain adriantai.com. I publish a lot of stuffs on this site. I have a section for my friends called Friends of Seaport. I also have a section for my online photo album. So, to make it easier for my visitors to go directly to the page (and make it easier for them to remember), I create subdomains. If my visitors want to see my photos, they can just type photo.adriantai.com. Everything inside that section or subdomain would be ‘photo’ related. If I decide to have further subsections (or ‘folders’ within the photo ‘folder’) such as one for my honeymoon photos and one for my bachelor night party, I could actually have photo.adriantai.com/honeymoon/ and photo.adriantai.com/bachelornight/ (by the way, these two folders don’t exist, ok?).

As for the section for my friends, I have the subdomain seaport.adriantai.com. Typing just adriantai.com would bring you to the main site – www.adriantai.com.

Take blogspot as another example. To access the main page, you type blogspot.com (which will redirect you to blogger.com). But if you want to view, say, my blog on blogspot, you type adriantai.blogspot.com. The adriantai subdomain means that anything within that subdomain belongs to adriantai. To view Dean’s blogspot, its deanarif.blogspot.com. There is no need to actually type ‘www’ in front.

Anyway, in my feedback to CIMB webmaster, I wrote:
website shows error message when the address cimbbank.com.my is typed into the address bar. it would be fine when www.cimbbank.com.my is typed it (‘www’ is typed in). perhaps a re-direction can be done as sometimes people do not type www in front.

A few days later, I got this reply:

Huh...? What does ‘banking purpose’ have to do with this? I have no problem typing sbb.com.my when I want to access Southern Bank’s website. SBB, in case you didn’t know, is now part of the CIMB group. Does it mean they have different policies in the bank? I have no problem typing publicbank.com.my when I want to access Public Bank’s site as well.

Another fine example of how you can really screw up with subdomains is this:


Note: www.streamyx.com.my will redirect you to the tm.net.my site, that's why you see www.tm.net.my instead of www.streamyx.com.my

I believe the first was not supposed to point to bluehyppo website since bluehyppo has got its own URL www.bluehyppo.com. But its ok for TMNet to screw up on this because this would not be their biggest screw up anyway. Plus I’ve never had high regards for TMNet...

Back to CIMB Bank... I’m just puzzled because I honestly do not know what that reply means. Was it a reply from a non-technical person? If so, I can understand... But if its from the technical person, I would definitely get worried worried.


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On 1/08/2007 05:09:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
replied to the webmaster, pressing for understanding and got this reply:
Thank you for your email and suggestion.

We wish to inform you that, we have highlighted this suggestion to the respective department for their further action.

ok... i'll probably try it out in a week's time.
On 1/08/2007 08:25:00 PM Anonymous Taiko said:
I think they don't really know how to reply to you. The latest reply is much better.
On 1/09/2007 08:23:00 AM Blogger Dean Arif said:
You still want to bank with them? They can't even get the basics right!

Not only that, their webmaster is also plain lazy! Do you think that their online banking security is up to mark?
On 1/09/2007 08:58:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
sometimes, it is not up to me to decide what bank to use... :)

anyway, not sure if its plain laziness, or the fella dunno technical stuffs (then how the h3ck did the fella get the webmaster job then) or the fella just hoping that i will believe the reason given (this means fella also a bit lazy la).

anyway, tried it out and seems to be ok. so far, i've only used it to check my account balances, etc... was told if its regarding transfer of funds (to other accounts), they will require you to enter the pin which they send to your mobile phone (this means you need to register your phone with them). i only tried transfer from one account of mine to another. ;)

but i have to say there's heading towards the right direction with their 'services'. the have a branch almost everywhere... each branch has for a Cash Deposit Machine, Cheque Deposit Machine and the usual ATM. so convenient now... 24hrs banking... Can pay bills, ccard, etc...
On 8/04/2008 04:24:00 PM Anonymous Tendouji said:
Mite be late to reply this, but in case u r a Mozilla Firefox users, u can just CTRL+Enter any names and it will add in the "www" and the ".com" for u.

Hey, no hassle!

Example, if you are looking for "visualmimesis.com", just type "visualmimesis" and hit CTRL+Enter, and voila, the url becomes www.visualmimesis.com.

If you want ".org" just hit CTRL+SHIFT+Enter.

Not sure about .net, etc... and won't work if there's any .my, .sg...

P/S: Visualmimesis.com is my site, haha.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A year that was and a year that will be...

If anything, I would say that 2006 was the year of change.

There were many changes in my life. I changed to a new web host. I changed the templates for all my sites. The focus of this blog also changed... In case you didn't know, this blog is in its second re-incarnation. My marital status changed from single to married. I also changed my mobile phone from the already quite disappointing Siemens CX65 to another quite disappointing phone - Sony Ericsson K618i. I'll write more about the phone later.

My outlook changed as well but I guess that's normal and what we would call 'part of growing up'. Well, my age changed as well... In 2005, it was 29. In 2006, it was 30. Now... It's 31. B4sket... Is the earth spinning extra fast these days?!?

Looking back at 2006, I can only remember it for the few events, namely...
- the Mahathir vs Badawi 'slugfest'... I have to say I'm on TDM's side.
- death of a very dear friend
- parts of Malaysia was flooded
- Saddam's death
- earthquake in Taiwan paralysed the net
- Nintendo Wii

Oh wait... Did we also have FIFA WorldCup in 2006?! Maybe this will also help you (and myself) remember other 2006 events.

2007... What can we look forward to it?
- Visit Malaysia Year (and the Eye on Malaysia ferris wheel erected in 2 months?!)
- Our Angkasawan making 'teh tarik' conducting last-minute thought-out scientific experiments in space (to be honest, I don't see how the experiments we plan to conduct will be useful since they are not our country's focus or core industry in the first place)
- Transformers (the live-action movie) and Ghost Rider
- new toll rates for certain highways, including a 60% increase for LDP (cr4p!!!)
- click here for more 2007 events...

On a personal note, 2007 would mean:
- trying to complete Okami
- more personal website projects
- spending more time with family and friends
- time for myself (self reflection & improvement)
- first year I give out angpows or red packets
any much more.

But one thing's for sure. One blink of an eye and it's Goodbye 2007 and Welcome 2008. Yes, that's how fast I expect the new year to go by...

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On 1/03/2007 01:24:00 PM Blogger Dean Arif said:
After reading 'ang pow', what I read earlier went blank... Cr4p, I also have to give DOUBLE ang pows this year!
On 1/04/2007 12:04:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:

yes, i guess its going to be a new experience for us this year... :)
On 1/06/2007 09:12:00 AM Blogger 阿佳 said:
Hihi...Happy New Year and happy beginning.

I saw your wedding photo from your photographer's site. :) Nice.

Reserve one angpow for me ya!
On 1/08/2007 01:04:00 AM Anonymous meekiee said:
Happy new year Adrian. Sorry I am a bit late to wish.
2007 is a greater year for you and your wife, i'm sure!

On 1/08/2007 05:13:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
achia... u want angpow from me ka...!? hmmm... ok la. come and collect, ya?

meekie, i do hope 2007 will be as you said... greater. :)

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