Wednesday, July 30, 2008

King Lear

King Lear is the huge dog at my first host family's home...a lovable Mastiff who drools everywhere.King Lear is ruler of Britain. He is a patriarchal figure whose misjudgment of his daughters brings about his downfall. Shakespeare's masterwork...

but lets forget royalty and talk about this big puppy...

here he is lovingly mauling me...
see his paw size in relation to my hand?
and if you think he's big....see these pictures of other mastiffs...

http://www.brumax.com/neapolitan_mastiff_dog_2.htm www.purerock96.com/.../karen/mastiff.jpg

I'd like to have a Mastiff someday...here's how big he is...I've bent down to show you what's his size in relation to myself....
video

and here he is sleeping...but then again...maybe I should think twice...his fart is a killer....




Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just a little bird that taught us how to fly...


Sorry I missed blogging for abit...life has been hectic as I preparing to leave my work to my poor partner in crime genius in the making and take one month and twenty days off work...and fly away...among the destinations...Mexico(the jungles) San Diego(heard about the zoo since I was young) Seattle(paying respect to one of my great heroes Bruce Lee's grave) Yosmite National Park and Grand Canyon(Testimonial to God's greatness!)

The flight from K.L. to Newark(New York) took 22 hours and bypass Afghanistan. Here...there was great amount of sand and mountainscapes to be seen from the sky...and where man has began agriculture you see interesting cubic formations in otherwise formless sand.It made an interesting sight. I also kept peering out of the window for two other reason...

1) I wondered if there is a way to water and greenify the area...it'll make an awesome jungle if trees could grow...

2)Trying to see if I can spot Osama Bin Laden as the reward the US offered for him now stand at USD26million.


Stockholm, Sweden. Land that gave us IKEA.This is my third transit in Sweden without ever stepping foot out of the airport...but staring out of the window, sweden looks like a beautiful country with many greens, sparsely placed cottage style houses with much desirable landspace all around surrounded by many river estuaries which shimmered in the sun. I had a penpal in sweden when I was young...here name was terese blomquist...wondered where she is now...

By the time I reached my first destination New York...I was already feeling a little dizzy and having a slight temperature...for one used to running around crazy...flying and being confined to a chair and the length of the aisle in a metal tube for 22 hours is not easy at all.But the one thing I really really really love about about flying...is peering out of the window...and being in the presence of all the wonder and sights. Everything from the sky is so small...cars becomes dots moving slowly, humans barely visible. Sometimes you just feel how insignificant things sometimes really are...though without this broad sight...life sometimes seem overwhelming...

As we landed...things began to become bigger and those dots gradually had more detail...first a dot, then a sunglass, two flourecent batton ...and then a person doing traffic control at the airport...without him I wouldn't have been able to fly...it was then I realised again what I already knew...as small as we really are, we are part of the broad tapestry that is humanity...I marvelled how we are all part of a great design...knowing I am the one significant dot that makes the whole...made me smile.

This journey will really severe my bank account...goodbye savings...but it's all worth it... I love to travel...it's the one luxury I wish for all of us...to wander God's great Earth...being breathless in all it's awesomeness...and also being swept by how little wonders pepper our lives and make it all count....


as we were approaching the terminal building...a little bird landed on the wing of the massive wing of the plane, a sweet end to the sights and thoughts I had during my flight....it said to me wonderfully...

"...it was afterall...just a little bird that taught us how to fly..." =)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

60 Leech Bites and Blood at Jeram Perlus

Jeram Perlus, Ulu Langat Area, 1 hour drive from K.L
This is Jeram Perlus...HOO-HAA...it is an awesome waterfall as you can see...use me at the right side middle part of the picture to gauge the size of the falls...but what I didn't like about this waterfall is the foliage around it...the folliage were more like weeds than beautiful native plants...and I am not sure but I think the water is also not pristine water as the algae growing were brownish while life and growth in the pool right beneath wasn't lush...as you swam around... it just didn't give you that sense of wow... breakfast and bonding...or friendly funny bitching....
As usual,the trail tracker team started out with a customary team breakfast and hello for the day...i was the joke of the day unfortunately...but hell, we all get our turns....just you wait dumb spider and kungfu panda!
The trail started on a farm where there was a pet porcupine...and being the crazed animal lover me and dennis was...we immediately jumped into its enclosure. I so wanted to pat the guy...and even took my bread for lunch out to attract him close to me but as hard as I tried...I didn't dare at the end...because i don't want to get bitten or worst become a prickly pear before the start of a trail...

So...with kungfu panda, his spanky new GPS(this is the second trip with the device,the first being banana falls) and off into the jungle we go...honestly, we were expecting a long 2 hour arduous trek for this one from prior research but hey we are suckers for pain...It wasn't really a hard trail...pretty clear path...slopes did make it a little bit of an uphill test of endurance but so far so good. We had to chop through and jump through some fallen trees but hey...that's the territory...

and then the little blood sucking slinkies leeches are of course expected in the jungle...one or two bites are not uncommon and I let them bite me usually too...come on, you're guess in their home...you should bring a courtesy fruit basket(in this case blood). So while the rest of the group pick off leeches I always allow the leeches free reign on my legs...but on this trip it got ridiculous...

very ridiculous...my feet looked like that of an abuse victim!!! suddenly...aurelius wearing leech socks wasn't sissie anymore...but on this trek even I felt I could use them...Everyone were bleeding, complaining and the leeches seemed to come from everywhere...and even got deep inside shoes and socks...it was crazy...our walks were punctuated with stops to remove leeches which seemed to come from no where...but were everywhere....

Getting to the waterfall though...we had a slight reprieve

but there was still the trip back out...which was just as arduous filled with leeches...but this time after an hour walk, it rained moderately heavy...and the steep slopes that were were ascending just now became very slippery slides that were not that easy to negotiate at all...we were skating our way out for almost a good one hour... before it rained ascending was not a problem but when it rained...this turned into quite a slippery slope to descent.
To everyone credit...though we were tired and uncomfortable...and everyone(me included) sweared at the leeches...and the hoo- haa at the end was reduced almost to a drab...hoo haa...everyone did have a look of content and smiles were still shared...smiles and lots of swearing at the leeches...

oh yeah...and on a count...I had about 60 leech bites on my legs...most of the others with shoes and leech socks averaged 20 to 30. Fortunately for me...I bleed but leech bites just dissapear after a day of two with almost no ill effect...unfortunate for some it brings on an allergic reaction with a swollen foot with oozing puss...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bring on the Bananas!

as usual...trail trackers...HOO HAA !!!
I ran...I jumped right in...then I waddle towards it...a thunderous wall of water comes down at me...yet it was serene and an immense feeling of exhilaration as you're enveloped by the water... and as you look up...all you see are streaks of light that shone through curtains of water...I immediately shouted everyone...come in...come in...and setup my camera...everyone started coming in...even those initially not wanting to get wet... then in their faces I see bursts of excessive happiness...my shouts of hoo-haa was greeted with an enthusiastic riotous response...
there was an addictive energy all around to just smile, shout and just be crazy happy.We were at banana falls on sunday.It's a relatively approachable fall as compared to the others we've been to.

The walk to the fall first involved jumping into water at a pump station and then up to land again walking through some weeds before emerging to see that we are walking on the side of a highway retention wall....then there were big storm drains that we have to walk straight into...

Inside the storm drain...it was pitch black except for the exit on the other end...but it was very clean and walking through it wasn't a problem.We began to play with echo and the general tings one do for fun when crossing a storm drain...After the storm drain, we entered the jungle.This jungle path didn't have as many undergrowth and was relatively clear and a very easy walk.The main challenges posed by this walk would probably be alot of exposed tree roots that required someone negotiating through them to have at least a moderate sense of balance. That aside...there was alot of mud but the path was largely undisturbed and clean.
Then there it was...pisang falls...despite being a relatively small fall that doesn't really take your breath away...it was an interestingly beautiful one with a mix of folliage and rockface almost illuminated like it was a stage with light and shadows...

But being an easy walk also meant that this waterfall was the first that wasn't exclusively ours.
We suddenly had a whole bunch of kids storming towards us as we reached the waterfall...
Being the nice guys that we were...we let them have the spot under the falls and climbed up a path to an upper pool...it was quite accesible and safe to reach the top of this waterfall so instead of the typical photo with only crazy me on top of the waterfall, this time the whole group went up and had a photo. I told everyone to pose like me...I thought it be funny to see all of us posed that way...but only timmy was fun enough to follow...the classic model strut =P

The top pool was relatively small but it had it's fair share of fun with some small streams of gushing water that you can sit in and just relax. we spent most of our time here...until the kids are gone and we went down to the bottom pool...

the core proffesional cam whores....the core group of trail trekkers.
where we cam-whore in delight! =)

Friday, July 04, 2008

I have two left feet = (



1…2…3…5…6…7…1…2…3…5…6…7…what ever happened to 4 ? She smiled over at me with a very comforting smile and answered “ 4 is when you take a break.” “ Relax your arms…you’re too tense….now feel…there is a flow…between us…feel me pushing you and now pulling you…retain the tension and that’s how two different connect and lead one another…and dance.Now…step…step….step…

Beverly was a pretty girl and patient too. As she tried to guide me…I managed as best a smile I could…but I think it was more of a sheepish grin….a mixture of shyness and embarrassment that I just cannot dance. “Most people here have between 9 months to three years experience in dance.Take it easy…you feel shy because you are not with people of the same level as you are…”she added. I just felt so useless as I tried to remember the steps.

I am here at the Malaysian Salsa Festival, I am organizing the video event coverage for them. Due to budget constraints and lack of camera crews it’s a tad tiring as we had only two crew covering the entire event during the day plus setting up wireworks for the MCP. However I wouldn’t complain as in between work it was all good fun and my client and boss Roslim was a great example by getting down and as dirty as we got. He was personally screwing down floorboards and checking that the dance floor was safe with no potentially lacerating screws himself before the event. The whole event was a family affair…husband, wife, family and friends(people who shared the love of salsa) from all over the world…seriously, there were people from Dubai, USA, Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia among others...but though it’s a family affair it was well organized…we got our hotel rooms quick…workshops start on the dot…meals were awesome feast…

But back to the dance floor. Psychedelic spiraling spot lights…a pounding music beat….and everyone moving to the music…my two hands... were being held by this girl who also made dancing so effortless…and I was just hopeless…a moment back…a nice elderly lady Jan asked me why I was not dancing…and brought me out to the dance floor…she danced better than me and was smilling while immediately I froze in a loop of the same fragmented steps just like how I am freezing now…”it’s muscle memory she told me…slowly…you’ll get it and get better at it…

That I am sure….because I don’t want to ever caught in that darn situation again just looking at awe at people dancing and enjoying themself…while painfully unable to myself….now as I try to dance…I am still a hopeless newcomer silly and reducing dance to almost mathematical equation in my head….

  1. … okay move your hips
  2. …now shake shoulders
  3. …now step left step right….
  4. …you look like a fool…
  5. ….ignore…ignore…
  6. …who are you trying to fool?
  7. sigh….sigh ….sigh….

Salsa lesson commence after my trip to mexico…hopefully then I can ask someone…will you care for a dance…then and just enjoy the company the music and the dance…for now…I’ll just sigh with two left feet. Beverly, James,Joanna,Jan….thanks for trying to teach me the steps…is it hopeless??????

Wait…there’s hope….spider is as bad a dancer as I am…..muahahahaha

And salsa aside...there was wonderful sunrise to be shared at Pulai Desa Rhu resort too…

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cemperoh: Part 2

The Trail Trekkers gang or otherwise CAM whore united

Okie...so my promise of having a new posting on cemperoh in two days delayed to a week...sorry...really meant to post this up but then I went to upgrade my internet service and was told that it be down for 6 days for the upgrading process.After the six day, I was in Johor for a salsa festival(more on this in two days...this i promise) Anyway...cemperoh... is this waterfall...

Cemperoh is a really cold waterfall which probably meant that the water source is really good and fresh...climbing up to perch on top of the waterfall is really not as difficult as you think...but the hard part came in climbing down...because by then you had a good splashing and your knees are knocking from the cold...and going down on slippery rocks is always harder than going up because going up is largely reaching out as far and getting a grip before pulling yourself up bit by bit...where as going down is err...shit...how did i get up here....and now how the hell do I lower myself...but...being on the waterfall...and looking downwards and just enjoying the tranquility of water splashing down, the warmth of an afternoon sun and how rooted you are to nature is all so worth it....


The journey to cemperoh is actually rather short one but it was one of the most challenging yet...seriously because for a good 2/3 of the trip you are walking through half cultivated half deserted farmland. Jungle paths are actually very good walks because very often in jungle it's about tall trees...with fern and various algae undergrowth...it's actually quite beautiful, serene and most importantly it's comfortable with a moist cool feel and the thick leaf litter is cushioning to your feet.... however, when a land is cleared...for farming and then semi abandoned....it becomes hard while some parts start holding water and become muddy. no trees surround you so it's hot...and in place of pretty ferns...you've got annoying weeds like 'touch me not' with very sharp barbs. so it's walk walk walk...ouchie!!!! or as dennis put's it..."oh you fu*king tree!!"

as dennis put's it..."oh you fu*king tree!!"

Can't you clear the way? I hear you ask? Well...a parang doesn't help much because it's heavy and meant to cut branches...the weeds just sway and you hardly cut anything with your parang...even when you swing like crazy...guess why they invented a sickle even though there's a parang....also it's very tiring to be a human weed whacker....so the only thing to do is to just trail on...trail on....


The second half of the trip was much better...with the only annoyance to some being leeches...but i really don't mind leeches...so it's all good....infact leech bites are a form of therapy in some part of the world(much like fish massage) but for melah...the others were screaming to say the least and having leech socks...but cleared land with secondary undergrowth and the original lush forest are a world apart...we should all start preserving what we have...

Nature is always worth it...



kung fu panda for one believe in it's wonderful cam whoring opportunities!!!


However...on this trip...i must sayI was very annoyed...because the new comers of the group didn't really jumped into the waterfall or have fun...they came...cam whore and were nagging to go home...so those of us...spider and me especially who found so much to explore and enjoy were more than a little annoyed....I was that close to spilling blood with my parang! =P







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Living Life to the full...I hope to live by the principle that success doesn't mean making a tonne of money though I am blessed that i do make a decent sum...but success equates to appreciateing all the God given wonder this world has to offer before my time is up...