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Interests: feeding my fat cat, making it purr like a purring machine, writing crap on my xanga site, spreading rumours on the world wide web, jumping up and down, [ click here to add more ]
Expertise: feeding my cat
Occupation: Livestock Smuggler
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What comes to mind when someone says fishing or angling? Boring? Sports for retired people? That's what I thought too initially but ah, that perception is about to change.
I've never gone angling on my own before and previously only followed angling experts like Osbourne and Yau Keong to fishing ponds. It was only this semester that I registered myself to take up angling as an extra curricular activity.
The first 3 weeks involved stuff like identifying the different parts on a fishing rod, how to assemble the rod, knot tying, casting and more. If you were there, you'd probably be in stitches watching us practice casting our line in the field. Some ended up on trees while the more seasoned anglers reached their target. Thank God nobody got hooked!
4th week and beyond we were basically on our own. We used baits like earthworms, bread and chicken feed but I didn't seem to get anything for the first few weeks. It was frustrating but it all changed one magical evening when my fishing rod started twitching! Something was on the other end of the line! I jumped to my feet, ran to the rod and quickly started reeling! The fish didn't really give a fight and moments later it was on dry land. My first ever fish turned out to be a Peacock bass! Not a big one but not too small either. I carefully removed the hook, took a picture and released the fellow back into the pond. Casting the line back into the pond and within a minute or so another fish chomped on the bait! It was unbelievable! Haha. It was another Peacock bass and the same procedure all over again. Unhook, take pictures and then release. Angling just became more exciting! At the same time my throat was getting drier due to the scorching sun and I didn't have drinking water with me so I left my rod by the pond and drove out to get a drink. On returning to the pond, could you believe it? The rod was twitching again! And in came another Peacock bass haha. It was like magic that evening I tell you. This is only the beginning of BIGGER things.
Following weeks were Peacock bass after Peacock bass and it was getting mundane. Some of the seasoned anglers were getting big ones like the Pacu and Patin! I told myself I must catch one too before the class ends at the end of the semester. I usually stay on after class up to about 5pm in the evening. Class starts at 8.30am and ends at 11.30am, so that's an additional 5 hours. I was so engrossed that I sometimes missed my lunch. Big fishes have taken my bait before but it all ended up in broken lines or missing hooks due to my inferior skills.
On a Friday, I went to the pond to practice because there was going to be a tournament the next day. There was this guy by the name of Aiei who knows alot about angling and competes in tournaments regularly. He approached me and asked if I'd like to catch bigger fishes and I jumped at the opportunity right away! When he bit off the sinkers, swivel and hook, I was thinking 'What the heck was he doing to my line'? He then took out the a HUGE hook from his tackle box and tied it to my line! Producing a rubber seed from his pocket, he cracked the shell and hooked the soft contents. No sinkers, no swivel, just a hook and a bait. He produced another 3 or so rubber seed and flung it into the pond and lo and behold, 2 or 3 fishes almost immediately snapped the rubber seeds! Aiei then immediately cast the line and within a short moment, the line was being tugged strongly the we could see the line racing towards the other end of the pond! He quickly grabbed the rod and proceeded to reel the fish in. After reeling in a few times he handed me the rod to try it out for myself and boy, was the fish strong! My arm was getting tired and my lack of reeling experience contributed to the problem. A few minutes later the line broke! Argh! It was so close! We tried for another 3 times using my rod and all attempts ended with a broken line! My line was simply too weak to handle such a strong fish. So Aiei used his own rod and after waiting for an hour or so, he finally got the fish again and reeled in this 7kg Pacu:
During the tournament itself I only got a small 190g Peacock bass but it was good enough for 16th place and I got a fishing rod bag. There were more than 100 participants and 30 prizes were up for grabs but only 25 people caught fishes. The biggest fish, a 3kg Patin was caught by a lady, shame on the guys haha. All the bigger fishes were probably hiding haha.
My dream of a big fish hasn't been realised yet and the hunger was greater than ever! So yesterday I went hunting for rubber seeds next to the Chinese cemetery in UPM and got quite a number. After getting enough rubber seeds, I headed straight to the pond and set up my rig. Throwing a few rubber seeds into the pond, I didn't have to wait long before the fishes came to gobble it up. It was a good sign and I cast my line immediately, this time with a stronger line(12lbs) courtesy of Aiei. There were 2 weak attempts by the fish to bite my bait and only at the third attempt did the fish really chomp hard on the bait and my line started to race across the water! This was it I thought. So I quickly reeled the fish and kept the reeling tips by Aiei in mind. Slowly but surely the fish was reeled to the bank. After about 5 minutes, the fish was exhausted and it was lying on its side by the grass. Not having a net, I immediately called the pond caretaker for help and he rushed to the pond with a net. Slowly he climbed down along the bank with the net but as the net was about scoop the fellow, the fish suddenly flipped and swam back into the water, bringing the hook together. The line broke, again. Argh! It was frustrating but I didn't give up so I cast the line again and waited once more. An hour later, Aiei and Afiq(course mate) turned up at the pond. We were chatting away when suddenly the something tugged the line hard and fast again! This time I'll get it for sure! It was a long battle lasting about 10 hard minutes. It kept on swimming back to the middle of the pond as I reeled it to the bank but it got exhausted after a while and Aiei scooped the fish out of the water. The line didn't break this time and at last I got the elusive fish! It was a Pacu and was estimated to be 6kg. As usual, we carefully removed the hook, took some pictures and released the fish back into the pond. What an experience!
Broken lines, twisted lines, missing hooks but I didn't give up and it was worth the time and effort. All I can say is that the 13 weeks spent angling was indeed worthwhile. I got tanner but it's all worth it. Bigger biceps and triceps too? Haha. Aiei once told me that anglers are usually people without any partners because no lady wants to spend their time by the pond all day long! Haha.
Sports for only retired people? No way! :)
The closest I ever came to experiencing the feeling of being buried is probably when my brother playfully(or was it for real?) smothered me with a blanket. It got me panicky and I had to kick around to free myself. Well, that was many years ago.
Buried was released 3 days ago and my friends watched it before I did. Reports came back saying it was boring and one of them literally slept in the cinema. I was curious. It can't be that bad if the movie is getting favourable reviews even from hard-to-please critics, right? Well so I decided to watch it to decide for myself!
The movie is about someone who well, gets buried alive. But why? Oh you have to watch it to find out. Telling you why will probably spoil the show for you. Lets just say I left the cinema with mixed emotions. Buried will make you take a look again at the things you take for granted in your everyday life. I see Buried as a subtle poke at the current political situation regarding the Middle East conflicts. And oh yeah, if you're expecting lots of action and CGI effects, you'll probably need to look elsewhere.
Buried goes both ways. You either love it or you hate it. I absolutely loved it and I give it a suffocating 8/10! Do I see an Oscar award? You bet!
I don't know about you but I am sometimes fearful of taking elevators especially when the place is deserted or unfamiliar. When I have to go up many levels, I keep thinking what if it stops in between and 'nobody' comes in? Or what if it suddenly malfunctions and the emergency brakes fail? Okay I admit it's more of the paranormal reasons. Haha. Oh what irrational fear.
It got me all excited when I got to know that another movie by M. Night Shyamalam was to be released soon. According to word of mouth and online reviews, his recent one, The Last Airbender was forgettable. Another chink in Night's armour. I don't know why but his last few movies were rather disappointing.Devil was probably quickly released to cover up the failures of The Last... whatever. Ah, but we are all forgiving people right? So I decided to give the Devil a shot.
Devil is basically a movie about 5 people in an elevator. Yes, an elevator. So what happens when you gather an ex-serviceman(Afghanistan) who is also a mechanic, a grumpy old woman, a pretty middle aged woman, a burly guard, a crafty salesman together in an elevator and one of them is not what they seem to be? All hell breaks loose, literally.
There's a legend that says that when the devil comes to collect a soul, he disguises as a human to test the person by tormenting him and those around him.
The movie doesn't waste much time gathering these people into the elevator. A day before, I was joking with my brother about how a big part of movie was probably going to be filmed in the elevator only. And boy, did it turn out to be true, haha. But fear not, watching 5 different people from different backgrounds in a small and stuffy elevator can turn out pretty exciting! Or maybe not for those who are claustrophobic. Things quickly turned awry and weird things started happening in the elevator. It was a mixture of suspense and a bit of awkward comedy relief as well with someone even offering his name card just in case the other person needed to buy a mattress.
Throughout the movie, it keeps you guessing who's causing this weird things to happen. When you think you've got it, it quickly creates a doubt in you by introducing new elements into the movie. Another thing I liked about the movie is how graphic violence is omitted from the movie. You see something bad about the happen but only the aftermath is shown. I guess good movies don't depend on gore to keep you glued to the screen. There were some blood here and there but it was nothing compared to the standards of Rambo.
Other characters like Ramirez(security personnel) who is a devout Christian also provided some light moments to the movie when he somehow knew what was going on the elevator. One of the scene reminded me of Seven Pounds and I couldn't help but notice that one of the actors looked like Lionel Messi, in the dark from a certain angle. Maybe it's just me, haha.
Knowing Night's style, we always expect for twists in the movie but twists were absent in his few last movies. So is there a twist in this? Well, I'll leave that to you to find out. I can't really write much more without accidentally letting out important details that can spoil the movie for you but overall it was highly entertaining and kept me glued to my seat. Sixth Sense is definitely Night's best with The Village trailing in second while I would place Devil as his 3rd best. Nothing really groundbreaking but worth your time and money. You'll probably think again about taking the elevator after watching. I'll give Devil a chilling 7/10. At the mean time, I'll take the stairs. Go watch it now!
Image Source: Devil (2010)
|While there there is nothing wrong about participating in the Earth Hour event yesterday, and it is indeed a noble way to create awareness among the younger generation that preserving the earth is vital for the future generations, to what extent is the effectiveness of the campaign? Is it merely a once in a year hype where everyone gets excited and then the next day everyone forgets about what they learned and life goes on as usual?|
From my observation most participants are sincere about their intentions of participating in the campaign but there are also certain parties who attempt to exploit the situation. They use it to boost their business and how can celebrating the event at a night club save the earth? The loud music stops and everyone stops dancing for an hour? Then the party continues after the hour ends? Oh please save me the humour.
If people are serious about the saving the earth, they should start saving electricity NOW, not just 1 hour, once a year. Turn off all unnecessary electrical appliances(as well as those on standby mode like the TV), use water sparingly, throw all rubbish into dustbins and not onto the floor, reduce or avoid plastic usage when purchasing stuff, separate trash into different categories for recycling and these are just some of the many simple steps you can take to save the earth. All it takes is common sense! You don't even need to waste money to organise big campaigns just to save the earth.
Malaysia may have one of the tallest buildings in the world, an F1 team, a 'smart' tunnel but if we continue to behave like this we do not deserve to be called a 1st world country anytime soon:
With all the education you expect people to know better right? But no, the dustbin to them is merely another decorative item. I guess educating people on how to use the dustbin is the first vital step in saving the earth. The second step would be to provide dustbins(as well as ones for recyclable items) at strategic locations.
See what I mean? All it takes to save the earth is your common sense.
|Producing newsletters the old school way may be tiring but it sure is fun! By old school I mean hand-written/drawn, cut and then pasted on A4 sized papers. These completed templates were then sent to the shop to be photocopied. Labourious but fun.|
Believe it or not, I still have the templates from 5 years ago. Thanks to the weather-resistant plastic bag, they are still in good condition. We only managed to produce 5 issues but we're pretty sure our newsletters were the best, haha.
If you'd like to get a copy of the cool Alpha Times, do drop me a note. We accept credit cards too.