Blogger Mahathir

He’s probably the world’s first ex-Prime Minister to become a blogger. This is his blog, which is maintained of course not by him, but someone who is good in this business. Apparently his blog has just reached one million hits! Credit to him, I don’t think there are many bloggers, if any, who can get so many hits in less than a month by just plain blogging (no fancy videos, no flesh flashing pictures etc). Looks like he’s still relevant in Malaysian politics after years of stepping down as a Prime Minister. And he definitely has his agenda behind all this blogging, to bring down the existing PM. Is it in all Malaysian’s best interest that he does this? I doubt it. Mahathir of late is not his usual self. A lot of things he has done in the past when he was Malaysia’s fourth PM has come back to haunt him. In much the same way as Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe who has done some great things when he came into power, remaining in power for too long has corrupted him. Both are now scared of being exposed and punished for what they have done wrong in the past, thus want to cling on to power for longer, albeit in different ways. For Mahathir’s case, he certainly wouldn’t want the opposition to get into power, as that means that Anwar will become PM, and he’s doomed, for what he has done to Anwar back in 1998, sending him to jail on grounds of sodomy.Malaysian politics is getting more and more interesting by the day. Follow it from here, it’s like a best-seller 🙂

Free Internet access at Costa Coffee

I’m supposed to watch some ads on my web browser before I’m allowed to get free Internet access at Costa Coffee. However my PC and web browser settings are so hostile to ads that nothing shows up, yet here I am using their service. Looks like this type of business model is not very effective when they have users/customers like us 🙂 Advertisers when know about this will probably not be too happy about the money they have paid. I think it is likely that service provider, Anacapa in my case, will count my access into their statistics regardless of whether I’ve been properly served ads, not to mention that I can open a new tab and start browsing straight away without watching the ads. I mean if the Hotspot provider is already providing free service anyway then there’s really nothing to lose for them. In fact they will get a cut of the advertising revenue, which is good for their otherwise free service. How effective it is for advertisers to advertise in this manner I’m sceptical.Anyway to think about it this model definitely works very well for people with a Wi-Fi capabled device, allowing them to get free high speed access at public areas. I’ve been longing for the iPhone to massively drop down in price, as it is indeed a very sleek phone, equipped with Wi-Fi interface. However the iPhone’s touch screen is not great for typing, unfortunately. If only they have a Blackberry keypad 🙂

Compost bin

Compost bin

Ordered a compost bin three weeks ago, yet it’s still not arrived. Have considered buying a wormery like this one, but now looking at it again I also couldn’t quite remember why I’ve gone for the wooden compost bin. I thought it was too expensive, but looks like they are actually about the same price! Anyway I think the wooden compost bin will look much nicer at one corner of my backyard (in fact I’ve done some measurements to make sure that it will fit nicely at the corner!), with a more environmental friendly look as well don’t you think 🙂 And I suppose I can always throw in some garden worms to help decompose the stuff if I want to?! The idea is we’d also like to recycle some of our food waste.

Think I remember why I didn’t go for the wormery now as I thought it is unlikely that we’ll be recycling meat waste and a “normal” compost bin will do. Oh god my memory is getting worse!

More Robin photos

These are photos taken two days ago when the lighting conditions were better. Roger had been very cooperative, posing for me to do the photoshoot for more than a quarter of an hour 🙂 This was of course because I had not given him all the food he was hoping for in one go. He’s a clever bird. He knows that I will give out food and so had patiently waited for me, while tidying his feather at the same time. A very cheeky bird indeed.

RobinOriginally uploaded by arctanck


Upgrading WordPress

After years of using the same old version of WordPress, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and upgrade it to the latest version. I’m always cagey about doing such thing, not least because I’ve not done it before, it’s that I’m worried I’ll someshow mess up the posts that are stored in the MySQL database. Although I’ve made two different backup copies, one backing up the database and the other the whole working directory, I’m all too wary that it will take me a long time to put things back together should something went wrong during the upgrade process. Luckily for me everything seems fine and I don’t think you can see anything visibly different from what it used to be, as all the plugins seem to work too.Over the next few days I’m planning to change the look and feel, or the theme, of this blog. Hope it’s not going to be too much work.

Trip to Germany 2 weeks ago

Once again, uploading travel photos is just too time consuming. It put me off every time I thought about having to filter out the photos, resizing them and then upload them to the Flickr website. Took me over an hour to get all these done. No, I’m still yet to label and provide some descriptions to the photos! How annoying!It was a good trip though. Only the second time I’ve been to Germany. The first time was to attend the World Travel Market fair at Berlin. I was there for 2 nights, and most of the time I was in the exhibition centre. So didn’t get to see much of Berlin. This time I had more time to stroll around in Hamburg and Bremen with L. And the weather was lovely, unlike the wet weather we are going to go through this weekend, grrr. We haven’t really planned anything for the trip to be honest, but turns out to quite a pleasant one. So we are very pleased with this trip, much better than the trip to Seville. And of course W’s German friend’s wedding at Syke was very pleasant as well. Cosy and almost everybody gets to know each other after the wedding. So different from the banquet we have back home in Malaysia where wedding couples quite often don’t know half the people who attended their wedding :)Anyway hope you like the photos.

RathausOriginally uploaded by arctanck


Nincompoop

What an interesting word! 🙂 Meaning – a fool, a stupid person whose incompetence or naivety is quite apparent. Often used to describe people of a much lower social ranking, and with some describing an unpopular or incompetent leader as an “utter nincompoop”. It’s just a shame that nobody seems to quite know the origin of the word for certain.

If I don’t enter hell, who else?

Raja Petra escorted by police in handcuff

A picture tells a thousand words doesn’t it? Blogger for Malaysia Today, Raja Petra, was charged under Malaysian’s Sedition Act 1948 for the piece he wrote on Altantuya’s murder. For those who don’t know, Altantuya is a Mongolian lady who was murdered and with her body destroyed by C4 explosives. Rumour has it that Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Najib was involved in the murder, but eluded justice through his political power.It is upsetting to see righteous person like Raja Petra being charged and sent to jail for upholding his belief in justice, something which is clearly lacking in Malaysia, for someone he doesn’t really know. He’s a true boddhisattva in my view, in Buddhist’s term. And a true Muslim who is doing his duties for the community, one of which is to oppose all forms of evil, as explained in his article “What is Islam“. Educated people, people with wisdom, don’t really buy into ritual practices that are quite often needless and which are passed on from generations ago. Submission to a greater figure/being like God or Buddha makes sense to me, to keep us humble, to maintain our well being etc. But if one becomes a follower of a religion, by way of practising just the ritual, to hedge against a difficult after life or what have you, then one is really missing the point.Anyway, Raja Petra knows he’s walking a fine line, and is prepared to accept the consequences. Hope we will see reform in Malaysia’s justice system in a not-too-distant future.

Great day out bird watching

It was a great day on Saturday. Weather was good, and we spotted many birds along our walk to Burghfield. Even the Robin knew that we’d have a good day and told us about the good news via our friend J (well it is a little joke between P and J that she knows how to intepret a Robin’s message :)) Here’s the list of birds I reported on the Berksbird website. One of the highlights was spotting a Grey Heron attacking a big fish and then later swallowing the fish. The fish was so big that we could see a kink in his neck! Fascinating. Another highlight was spotting a Kingfisher flying past us at close quarter. P suspects that the Kingfisher has a nest nearby, as he later showed us some Kingfisher nesting holes on the bank of the river where he spotted Kingfishers in the past. All in all a very fruitful day.