2010: The Year of the Chilla!

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It is almost the start of the new year with only tomorrow being the last of 2009. Much happened in this past year that I don’t actually know which part to write on. In fact, my mind is so full of 2009 happenings that it is a whirlwind of insurmountable blurriness. I can’t share a single story of 2009.

Why should I discuss 2009 anyway right? We have 2010 to look forward to!

But before that; yesterday was me and wifey’s 2nd year anniversary and I would like to write a few words on it. I know we didn’t actually remember our anniversary this year until about 7pm yesterday when it suddenly struck me like a fish straight from the ice box in the wet market (I’m not sure what this means but that’s what I think of it) but nevertheless, a 2nd year of marriage for me has seen us strengthen the bond that we created only 2 years prior (hence 2nd year anniversary). I foresee this marriage going nowhere but up from here on end.

That’s all, no sentimental, romantic thoughts on it. Saving it for a very special day some time early next year.

So 2010! What do I look forward to the most? Well I’m actually looking forward to a very prosperous year filled with activities. Yes, next year won’t be like 2009 where life was bogged down by tormenting work experience, inability to travel around much due to our love for our incompetent newborn child (all newborn child are incompetent so this does not mean I degraded my own child), having to relocate ourselves so that life would be much easier with more money in the pocket, using our non-existing money to buy essential things only to accumulate debts (which thankfully I’ve cleared...phew!) and trying to actually settle down after a tornado-like 2008.

For 2010 I’m looking forward to, first of all, staying clear of financial ruins. Finance is part and parcel of everyday life, more so for young married couple with a child and nothing to begin with. So, having gone through 2009 with careful financial planning and precision implementation of financial policy, 2010 should be an easier year financially. Doesn’t mean we would be splurging our money (next big aim is a family car and a comfortable house) but access to our little family fund would be slightly more lenient this coming year.

Next would be work. At the moment I’ve found my forte, so to speak. Not only is it something I can do but it is also something which I can enjoy (75% of the time). Anyone can tell you that if you can do something which you enjoy even 51% of the time, then that’s a good enough job for you. So, in 2010, I look forward to continuing what I’m doing now whether it is in the same organization or moving up in the world at another organization. I’m not actively looking elsewhere, but if the opportunity arises, I won’t not consider it. By the way, I’m doing Corporate Affairs/ Communication work (in case head hunters happen to read my blog).

Also in 2010, I’m actually looking forward to my child talking and behaving more like a little kid. Right now things are great with her, but sometimes not knowing what she wants can be a little bit frustrating. In my mind, I see her drawing, reading books, building things and having proper conversation with us in 2010. She’s already doing all that right now, but without any real skill or understanding.

Since 2008 is about building a new life just the 2 of us, moving in to a new home together and 2009 is about getting a new car and other essentials, 2010 might not be as grand or monumental in our life’s brief history. Thus, it should be less of a worry and a lot more fun. We are planning to go on a family trip to perhaps Melaka and visit our kampong more (doubt it really). We might also have more family outings and have occasional night out at slightly pricey and yet affordable restaurants.

In 2010 also, I’m looking forward to dive into photography a bit more. I’m thankful for the fact that I had extra income this end of year to purchase some camera equipment for my beloved Brooke II (my camera). More promoting is needed I know but I’m too lazy. But that’s 2009. I’ve gained more experience throughout 2009 and 2010 would be a great year to kick things off.

Wah already too long an entry. By the way, these are not resolutions or anything. It’s just what I envision for 2010. With resolution there’s more pressure to actually do it all. But envisioning is already seeing it happen (I know a load of crap, but save myself my own sorrowful pity if I don’t get to do what I want for 2010).

Who knows 2010 may also offspring a few surprises from the oven...wait, what does that mean? And why did I use the word 'offspring'? ahak...ahak...

Chilla!!!!! (someone used this on Facebook and I thought it’s nice way to end my entries from now on...annoying I know)

Gadis Armada

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I have the coolest wife ever! First of all, this entry is not about my infidelity or any impure thoughts whatsoever. So if you do manage to plough through this entry and have second thoughts about my loyalty, then that's entirely up to you. But rest assured, I'm not thinking of doubling my expenses any time soon (or ever), if you know what I mean.

Okay back to "I have the coolest wife ever!". I recently went to a training course for something, you know, related to my work. The training was held at Armada Hotel, PJ. I won't mention anything about the course because, well it's insignificant to this entry. In fact that whole sentence was insignificant because I can just not write the whole "I won't mention...blah blah" and people still wouldn't question what the training was all about because it has no bearing on my entry at all.

So anyway.

The great thing about going through all these training is that, even though it's expensive I don't have to pay for it. But then I get all the perks like gaining knowledge, making contacts, lunch, tea breaks, refreshments, off from work, hotel food, hotel mini pizzas and hotel buffet...good stuff.

However, something unxpected came my way during lunchtime, another plus side to the whole training. A very cute lady, a worker at the hotel, showed me to my seat for lunch. She wore a christmas outfit, she's either santa's helper or santa's wife, not so sure. Does Santa's wife wear the same outfit as Santa's helper? If yes then why is it that Santa get to wear really warm clothings and yet his helper/wife wear loose outfits out in the cold?

So, this girl right, she was cute. Really fair, nice biddy eyes, cute smile with an imperfect teeth - sometimes imperfection is attractive.

I texted my wife and told her of this cutie which I refer to as Gadis Armada. She texted back with the following: "ha pi la ngorat, tgk la die layan ke x awk 2". Wuhuu~! Of course I didn't have the guts nor the utmost desire to go for it (note: utmost).

I know she said what she said mainly because she knows I'm not up for it. But even if I did walk up to this cute lady and say a few words I know for a fact, my wife wouldn't mind. She has already given me the go-ahead to marry another and she knows that I'm writing this blog entry (of course she thinks I'm focussing it on Gadis Armada, hence the misleading title - to mislead her).

I won't hurt my wife's feeling over another lady of course. But it's nice to know that my wife trusts me in addition to the love that she has already poured on me.

Going back to Gadis Armada. If you do read blogs and happen to come across this one. I'm one of the many hotel guests that ate at the cafe. I'm about 5'7, skinny and kind of fair. I was there the past 2 days. You glanced at me a couple of times because I stared at you constantly. Do drop a comment and we'll see where we go from there.

Hihihi...wah tomyam for dinner. Thanks wifey!

Television

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I've been observing, over the past few days, on the effects of television in our daily lives. Television or TV or tele or magic box, to some, is perhaps the greatest invention since sliced bread. Some internet/computer freaks and/or geeks might defer but let's just ignore that for a moment.

Like my friend said, you surf the net, but the TV is blaring nonsense at the back. When I go to restaurants, I observed that those who go out on a date or go out with a bunch of friends, if the restaurant has TV (which all restaurants now have apparently), their view would at one time or another focus on the TV. Weird but that's what's happening at the moment. TV = life.

For me, TV has always been my companion since childhood. I don't have brothers and sisters to play with so the TV kept me company. This is lie as I have 3 brothers and 1 sister. And this para is just a waste of space.

Moving on...

Back when I was in school, be it primary or secondary, TV have always been the focal point in my life. It goes; wake up in the morning, turn on the TV. Arrive home from school, TV is on, so I'd casually sit or lie down in front of it. Go out in the evening for some healthy activity, play football and what not whilst discussing shows that we liked or disliked (depending on the level of gayness*) and then as I reach home with sweats still dripping off my forehead and mud stuck between the nails, I would turn on the TV for a warm-down. That's life back then.

*gayness = everything in this world can relate back to your degree of gayness (personal opinion)

In University, not so much TV. Not that I didn't want to watch it, but, I just can't. But then downloading TV shows and movies became common, thankfully, and therefore TV watching became possible via computer (1 point for the computer geeks ~clap clap~).

Now that I'm working, TV is just a night activity to water down the effects of work. But then I realised, by me watching TV whenever I'm with my child (i.e. everytime I got home from work) I'm giving my child no choice but to watch TV.

Sure there are other activities which I still do with my child like reading books, go to the playground, sing and dance with her but for majority of the time, the TV would be on. Is this something I want her to be comfortable with? To have the TV on all the time? Is this good for her? That's when an article in The Sun came along and sure enough, research shows TV can't be good for a child, especially ones who are below the age of 2 years.

Read this article last week, came home from work and decided, okay no more TV for Sofeah (at least not on weekdays). See, when we let Sofeah watch TV, it is because initially we wanted to distract her while me and the wife can run errands and do some house chores. So in a way we force her to watch TV to ease our own burden. This is understandable, of course, because we are 3 people in a house and we need to do things for ourselves and for the house without having our daughter in the way.

But is that a good reason to let her watch TV? Initially we thought, of course it is. But now that I've brought sense and logic into the argument...not really.

After making the decision to halt TV watching things got a little bit hard on Sofeah. She can't take it. For 2 days she acted a little bit like a brat (sorry to say but quite unpleasant), kicking and screaming wanting to watch the TV. We stuck by our decision and did other activities with her to try to distract her away from the TV. Of course her focus would eventually veer towards the television and at which point she would cry. But we remained steadfast (I wanted to turn on the TV so badly).

That happened for 2 days straight. It did not help that she was recovering from a fever as well when we made the decision.

But on the third day, everything was calmer. She was ready to try other activities. Reading books to her became easier and she explores the world around her more. She starts playing with everything around her and try out different things as well (which can only be good). Even at restaurants and other places she's now behaving better and listens to us more. She's not as aggressive.

The way I see it, the less TV watching, the more we can interact with her. The more activities we do with her hands on. She gets to explore new things more rather than sitting quietly in front of the TV with eyes fixated on colorful objects and not really understanding what's going on. TV might well be good for her one day but now is probably not the time.

I know full well that in some cases we can't avoid letting our kids or ourselves watch TV. There are a lot to learn from watching TV shows (discovery channels, informative TV shows, educational cartoon series) but these are all things which I think we can gather from the world around us. Why the need to let some cartoon animals and purple dinosaurs teach our children to read and write or be good and be nice? Can't we teach them the same?

Similarly for us adults. I feel that sometimes we're missing out on the good things in life by submitting ourselves to moving images on the magic box. Friendly chatters at our favourite hangouts are taken over by status updating on facebooks and twitters. Book reading are substituted by TV watching.

I myself haven't read a book for quite awhile. Need to change that. [abrupt end to this entry]

Good luck to me

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I've not written for so long. Hate myself for that. One of my passion in life is to write but where has that gone? I've lost my passion for music as well. I've not written a song for so long and have hardly touched my guitar.

All of this isn't so bad. I can do without playing guitar every other hour like I used to. I can do without writing songs, blog entries, letters to the media like I used to. But what I don't want to lose is my passion.

I don't want to miss out on missing doing all those things.

At the moment though, I really do miss it. I blame myself for it. Why am I not as passionate about all those little things in life anymore? Woody Harrelson said in Zombieland, "you gotta love the little things". Sometimes it takes a crazy character from a wacky movie to make you realise all these things.

So I'm trying to make a comeback. I'm setting a target for myself.

Work life is killing me. I find no joy in my work. I can't find any reason why I should look forward to working 5 days a week. Work life is killing my passion. But I'm not going to blame my work for what I've lost. It's part of life and I'm not the only one whose passion is starting to wither away.

I'm determined though, to fix this.

Good luck to me.


Movie about Sofeah's First Year

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My daughter's first year in video...with my favourite song as theme

Husbandhood: I Know I Can Be A Jack**$

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Every father wishes they can go home everyday from work on time, so that they can spend time with their child(ren). I'm sure there are those who don't care much but I'm not going to bother about them because their heartless attitude deserves no mention here (just mentioned them).

But, every father would also encounter the inevitable - all of us would one day come home a little bit late just in time to put our children to bed, or not even enough time for that.

For me, I've experienced this several time since fatherhood. It's definitely not the greatest feeling in the world. The feeling is especially worst when I see my daughter alone at her nursery (her mother is never at fault for this).

To make matters worst, when I come home late, hungry and tired, I get a little annoyed by everything. I become an instant jackass. Jackass in a cup. A pack of jackass. Jackass and the beanstalk. Jackass and Jill went up the hill...(I can go on for days).

I've never had a good reason to become a jackass. I just am. It happens when I'm tired. It happens when I'm hungry. It happens when I don't get what I want. Sometimes it can even happen when my football team loses. It just happen.

When it happens, then and there, I know I'm a jackass. Any effort trying to control it would be to no avail. I end up blaming everything that moves. My wife gets the brunt of it and I would feel sorry in the end (I'd apologise). But how I wish I can skip the temper tantrum. But it's not like I break stuff, hit my wife or scream at her or anything.

My reaction is psychological. I give her the silent treatment. I do house chores just so that I can start comparing efforts after doing it. I say things that I don't even understand (thanks to law school). I do the shunning. Yes, the shunning.

How I wish I can control myself but I can't. I can, but somehow when it happens, I don't want to. To this I say, sorry wifey, it was't me. It was some crazy guy who comes home every now and then, looking like me, talking like me, but really isn't me, me. You know, it was crazy me. You've met him.

Ignore him for he is crazy. Just as you see that crazy Ramli Sarip look-alike under the flyover in front of the school, ignore me as you do him. Much like you ignore politics, ignore me. You know how the US is trying to stop other countries from being more developed than they are and how most of us wish that our leaders ignore the US and their egotistical ways, yeah do that, ignore. I'll come back to life in like an hour or two, in the meantime, you can always use the internet to search for things on ebay. Remember, ignore me, search ebay.

Fatherhood: Pre-Fatherhood and My First 11 Months

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The plan was clear since day one. I really wanted to be one and after a brief period of uncertainty and doubt, the news crept in my dubious mind like a divine revelation. Looking back at to that fateful day I couldn’t have reacted better – a gleeful smile is probably the most appropriate. Of course jumping wasn’t an option in a room full of people.

Looking back, should I have doubted myself? Who said I can’t possibly have a child at such a young age? Who said I can’t possibly take care of a young family? Who said things would be hard and somehow I would regret things later? No one did. These were just doubts. After hearing the news, I was happy. No more doubt. Hungry though, had a light lunch.

9 months after that revelation, the same unwelcomed questions came to mind the moment I carried her. Why am I doubting myself? It has already been done. I can’t turn back time. She’s there. She’s not going anywhere without me. She’s next to my darling wife. It took a lot of my wife’s energy bringing her out to the world. She already looks so cozy next to her mother. She’s so cute, must take it from me.

I know being a father has its ups and downs. Being a father is not exactly the problem though, being a young man with a big responsibility is. People sometimes do not believe that we are capable of having a child to raise on our own. But the element of surprise has never deterred people from watching sports before. Why it should it deter me and my wife from being independent parents? Why am I comparing sports with my daughter?

I’m new to this world and so is my child. Sure we’re not in the same bracket when it comes to being “new”, but both of us need each other – she needs me to take care of her, I need her for encouragement. I just started this thing called a “career”; I don’t earn that much and I live in a city that struggles as much as I do to take away my money – of course I struggle to earn it – how am I going to afford this? Hmm maybe I’ll splurge on new clothing this month, I can always start saving next month.

Can’t believe 11 months has passed without me and my wife having any trouble taking care of our daughter’s needs and at the same time our own needs. Of course I’m not saying no trouble at all, but financially, physically, mentally, we are still damn fit. Thank Allah my wife is down to earth cool. Sure we want the best for our daughter. We buy her products of the highest quality and the best brands! She’s our first child! Even if it is second hand items. We know where we stand in reality. We can’t afford the best, we buy the best second hand.

It’s great having a daughter. Look at her, so cute and adorable. Which human being wouldn’t want one? 11 months have passed by so quickly. This little girl can’t even carry her head up just 11 months ago. Now she’s carrying sardine cans for fun (then dropping it on her toes and crying her lungs out). I must say, I sure have got the best of the bunch. Smart, cute, obedient, active but at the same time well behaved. Can’t ask for a better child – wouldn’t all parents say the same thing?

I know I haven’t been the best of husband, the best of son or the best of friend, but I sure do make a good father. That’s only because I have the best daughter. Here’s looking forward to another 100 years of being a father to Nur Alya Sofeah - if we survive that long. Happy 1st birthday my daughter! (of course her birthday is not until the 30th of October but I’m way too excited)



Fea's Progress - Dia Dah Berjalan

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Hari ni Sofeah officially boleh berjalan dah...hoho!

Dia dah lama berjalan 2-3 tapak tapi hari ni dia berjaya jalan 10 tapak and more! ho-yeh!! Haha

So kira umur dia 10 bulan la dia boleh berjalan. Ikut kata mak saya patut the moment dia pandai menapak dah kira official, but
dengan Sofeah ni kena la aim high sikit. hehe.

sofaeh memang kuat senyum and happy go lucky

Dah lama tak buat entry berkenaan Sofeah and maknya pula busy bagai langsung tak update blog dah berbulan lamanya. Okay kesian juga kat mak dia sebab kerja agak busy and hectic...rupanya mengajar ni bagi orang yang baru agak hebat cabarannya.

berdiri memakai swimming suit

So anyway, apart from Sofeah dah boleh berjalan banyak lagi dia dah boleh buat. Dulu dia boleh lambai tapi dia buat kadang-kadang je sebab dia penyegan (or sombong, depends). Sekarang dia lambai setiap kali someone balik or dia sendiri nak beransur pulang.

Dia juga gemar menepuk tangan setiap kali lagu (tak kira lagu apa) didendangkan. Lagu paling dia minat ialah "tepuk-tepuk amai" yang biasa dinyanyikan oleh umminya.

Sofeah juga suka swimming. Dulu masa kami duduk di Condo kami (sebelum pindah 2 minggu lepas) ada swimming pool so on the weekends kami bawalah dia turun untuk swim. Happy dia. Dia memang suka mandi pagi dan petang tapi bila swimming tu dia extra excited (of course baby kan, sama je semua).

fea's first swim

Sofeah ni despite being cute (tak kira!!) dia juga sangatlah garang. Bila dia garang? Bila kata nak babab dia, dia pun tunjuk motion nak babab balik. Dia juga suka marah binatang (so far kucing dan anjing mangsanya). Bila dengan binatang je dia akan buat bunyi, "haish!" dan "uumpphh!!" lepas tu dia akan angkat tangan dia cam nak babab. Lepas tu muka garang dia (memang comel) sangat apparent in her eyes bila dia dah start.

Sekarang Sofeah a little bit underweight tapi sebagai one half of her parents, saya tak kisah sangat. Sebabnya, dia sangatlah aktif, dia juga sangatlah sihat dan genetically, logic jugalah kan - ayah dan ummi dia tak lah besar sangat. Lagipun dia makan banyak je (apart from her meal time dia juga akan cuit makanan kami apabila kami makan).

Sofeah memang progress dengan baik. Mesti bijak bila dah tua (scientist in the making...hehe).

Ummi and Sofeah sharing a light moment together

When People Question Our Parenting Skills

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Wife and I went to the parenthood expo yesterday to check out some stuff, you know, for the wife. We went there with hope of finding this lactating pill thingy and we found them easily. We decided to go back home since my mum’s taking care of Sofeah so we want to get things done quickly and go back.


We walked around for a bit and I texted my friend - who was expecting a baby in November - to inform him about the expo. He was there at the time. I decided to go back and search for him, just to see his wife’s progress and to talk to him a bit. We entered the expo for the second time (have to go through health check all over again) – big mistake.


The moment we entered the place a man courted us and we were suddenly dragged to the side of this booth selling what look like books for kids – but there were other stuffs there too. They offered us seats and this one woman started to sit in front of us.


I thought to myself “damn, a saleswoman trying to sell us things that we know is very useful but won’t buy as yet”. But being a diplomatic and reasonable person I listened( I don’t know how to get myself out of things like these). She showed us activity books which we can use to teach Sofeah and other playcards and stuff for her early childhood education. Though I’m very interested in all those things I’m afraid RM2000 for the whole set is a bit much – even if I can pay in installments.


Then I was made to feel guilty for not investing in my child’s education. When the saleswoman suggested that I’m not placing my child’s education as priority and not willing to sacrifice for her education's sake, the saleswoman has crossed the line – a very thin line I might add.


Sure I spent more for a DSLR camera (also by installments), but I’ve been longing for one since my university days and I can’t be at fault for wanting to capture my family’s most precious moments in still images since moments can be lost forever. Plus if I play my cards right I can make extra income for my family with a camera.


Sure I did thought about this when she went on and rambled about how parents are more willing to put money in insurance instead of education and that, according to her, should not be the case. I argued what if the father dies the next day (as anyone can die at any time), wouldn’t insurance coverage help at that particular time? To be honest I don’t have an insurance for my child and wife but I’m just arguing for argument’s sake since this saleswoman has started to get on my nerves.


I agree wholeheartedly that education is the most important thing– even at our adult age education is still important. I have never defied that fact when arguing with her but when she inadvertently suggested that I’m not doing enough for my child’s education, because I do not invest in her company’s product, that’s just stoking the fire – she really needs to choose her words carefully.


Does she know me personally? Does she know how I educate my child or whether or not I have been educating my child? Does she know my plans for my child? I can’t take ignorant people who are willing to insult me and my wife’s parenting skills just because we didn’t want to buy her company’s product – because we hardly have money at the moment and to pay RM200 as downpayment would be too much since I only have Rm19 in my bank account at the moment and my wife only has Rm50 in her main bank account.


She may not be intentional in saying things as she did but it is not an excuse since it is her job anyway. We parents can be ultra sensitive when it comes to people questioning our parenting skills/efforts/initiatives and she’s supposed to know that, doing what she does. Since it’s Ramadhan I really tried to keep my cool, but I have limits as well – especially when she keeps on implying that I’m not educating my child enough.


I told her off, “you’re insulting us” and I asked her whether she has a family of her own and all. She retorted that she has a husband and a kid as well. So I told her that then she should understand how we young working families are. I started from scratch and having recently moved to a new house (renting) financially we’re quite weak at the moment. She then said something baffling, “at least you’re both here, my husband’s at home and I’m here working”. What has that got to do with anything? Me and my wife are working too and it just so happen you have to work on that particular Sunday. My wife works 6 days a week and I sometimes work outstation as well. But again, what has that got to do with anything?


She doesn’t seem to understand anything I’m saying and ‘diss’ed me and my wife again with her, if you don’t take the initiative to educate your children now then when are you going to actually do it? We have been educating our child since she was in my wife’s belly. Everyday we talk to her and explain to her things. It’s not as if your book and your playcards are the only thing which can stimulate my child’s brains. If that’s the case then I’m surprised that I’m even writing this entry because I certainly didn’t receive those types of education when I was 9 months old - neither did my parents.


I agree that the company’s product looks good but to be honest it’s no different than any Rm25 book that I can get at some cheap used book store and the playcards and information book is something that I can print out of the internet - It won’t be a hard cover but I can still bind/laminate and make them look as nice and it would cost 10 times less expensive at that.


Sure I probably won’t do it; but if I'm determined to spend Rm2000 on those products, I’d rather put more effort at making it myself and spend the Rm1500 on things which I can’t create myself - also for my child. Plus education doesn’t have to be about having the right product, it is about having the right approach. In which case, I’ll take my chances of not buying your product, thank you.


I now officially hate salesman (woman).


Another poster!

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(click for better viewing)

Love doing posters...

Prelim Photography Poster

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(click to view it better)

Somehow blogger doesn't really do justice to my already unsatisfying work...

My Photography Packages! / Maxi Cosi Midi for sale

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I thought long and hard about going into wedding photography and I've decided to follow through with it with much vigor and determination (I need money). Therefore, I've conjured up this event packages ad which is not final but at the moment will do. I don't think I want to focus on weddings only and I'd also take up bookings for other events like birthdays, aqiqah, family photoshoot or whatever (subject to my liking).

click the image for a better view

As you can see my charges are way below market price (Rm1,200-Rm5,000) but that's because I lack the experience and I don't think it's fair to charge more. But I'm quiet confident about my ability and I've covered events before for free.

My experience include sports event for my company (I've covered about 3 and they were pretty satisfied), family birthday parties and my brother's engagement. All went well and I managed to pretty well (I would say) even though I lack the equipment. So far I'm using my camera and that's it. No flash, no cool lens. Planning to buy them in the near future especially if I get a booking. Again, my service is very cheap (there may also be discounts).

visit my photography at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wunr

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On another matter, my wife and I would like to sell this car seat as we already have one. It's quite cheap since it's a branded item (and the brand is very expensive). The item is in great condition, the color is just a little bit faded but looks very good still. It's actually a toss up really because my wife likes the condition of this one better than our other car seat but the other car seat is more expensive (we go for value rather than look...sad). So yeah, this one is for sale at a price of Rm270 (negotiable).




Believe me, it is worth the price (market price could fetch up to more than Rm1k for a new one). No editing was done on the pictures to make it look better.

Toy Story - Kisah Permainan Sofeah (In Pictures)

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THE END

Abangku Sudah Bertunang! / Konflik Yang Tak Diundang

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Ye abang aku sudah bertunang! Akhirnya...Sebab bukan apa, aku ni dah berkahwin and satu anak pun whilst dia baru nak bertunang. Orang selalu jugak kata macam, owh adik dah ada anak satu abang dia bila pula (sedangkan ada seorang lagi abang atas dia yang masih single and also tak ada orang kata pun benda-benda tu tadi...kot)

So anyway...Dia nak kahwin dengan orang Sg. Besar, nun hujung Selangor sana. Drive ke sana 2 jam lebih sebab lori la apa, plus konvoi kan so tak boleh nak bawa laju sangat kereta. Aku ni dah la buta jalan.

Sebelum nak pergi tempat pertunangan tu ada konflik sikit la sebab aku ni rasa macam kena pergi sebab abang sendiri and nak jadi photographer la. Wife pula ada kursus satu hari and then anak nak letak mana? Aku boleh je bawa tapi end up bukan aku jaga sangat so kesian la kat mak aku.

Mula-mula dah set ibu mertuaku jaga tapi disebabkan wife ada kursus and akan habis petang, so agak susah la nak hantar ke Bangi, dah aku dari Sg. Besar pula tak tahu habis pukul berapa so nak ambil dia pukul berapa pula? Risau pula wife kan.

Lepas tu jadi isu pula in-laws nak bawa Sofeah berjalan ke rumah saudara yang walaupun tak jauh tapi tanpa kehadiran ummi dan ayah dia dia tidak pernah berjalan ke rumah orang lain. Dia pula dah mula kenal orang and sekarang agak sensitif la sebab orang tegur dalam lif pun boleh meraung. Aku suka je dia tak people person sekarang sebab tak ada la dia nak kat orang lain dan men'danger'kan diri sendiri. Biar la dia masuk tadika umur 5-6 tahun nanti baru nak people person sikit. Dia baru 7 bulan.

Then, tak nak bagi bawa dia berjalan tanpa parents dia memang dah tersemat dalam jiwa aku dan isteri so memang tak boleh la. Lagipun aku ni first time father (begitu juga wife adalah first time mother) so kami amat risaukan tentang hal anak ni. Aku rasa nak tinggalkan tu dah susah ni kan nak biar dia berjalan. Aku sanggup hari-hari tinggalkan dia untuk pergi kerja pun sebab aku tahu dia selamat di rumah and bila aku balik dia akan ada di rumah. Tak kira la betapa experience pun si penjaga, bila ia anak aku, aku kalau boleh nak cara aku. Mak aku 5 bulan jaga dia pun agak restricted gak (tak apa mak, bulan depan hantar nurseri dah! hehe).

Eh, cerita dah lari tajuk permulaan. So anyway, majlis berjalan lancar. Details tentang pertunangan tu aku tak boleh nak bagi sangat, tapi yang confirm ialah, wang hantaran agak spiked sikit dari yang dijanjikan mulanya. Tak apalah, itu kehendak pihak wanita. Aku cuma boleh doakan kebahagian mereka.

So inilah gambar-gambar yang sempat aku ambil, edit dan buat apa patut. Actually gambar ni boleh dilihat di flickr aku kalau nak banyak sikit. Ni yang kat atas tu aku bagi satu je, teaser orang panggil.

Flickr aku under set "pertunangan arul-lin" eh. (klik di situ)

Salam!

My Daughter My Model

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Since getting my new DSLR camera, I've been trying all sorts of stuff with my pictures. The old techniques I used to use with my SLR doesn't have the same effect in a DSLR. The methods are different, the quality is different, everything feels different.

However, even though I kinda miss using my SLR, my 450D is great. I can really learn a lot. Editing it is a blast and I can try different sorts style.


Best of all, I have my daughter as a model. Full grown human beings are good subjects, but babies are just natural. They act natural and they are always cute anyway. My daughter seems to know when I'm taking a picture - even though I doubt she can comprehend exactly what's going on.


She is now at a great age of discovery. Everything is n
ew to her and everything she does surprises herself. From only being able to turn just last month, two weeks later, she's sitting. Not long after that (about 2 weeks also) she's already crawling. Now she's crawling everywhere and discovering new things.

In a way it makes it easier for us because she doesn't want us to carry her around all the time - like she used to. Now if we lay her down, she'll sit up
and crawl anywhere she wants to. If she gets tired, she'll crawl to her Ummi and start crying (I think she's saying, "pick me up, I want milk!").

But the bad part is, she's crawling everywhere and she's not 100% stable so she'll fall once in a while. We have to really keep a look out for her.

In any case, at this ripe old age, taking pictures of her is wonderful. Plus these moments ends so fast I'd wish I'm there to take pictures of her every move - but that would be too much right?

So here are some of her pictures:

That's her gold fish look

She does smile a lot now

More of them can be viewed at my flickr page under the set "My Daughter My Model"
(Click). I've also uploaded pictures of her crawling!

Enjoy!

Birthday Anak Buah!! (Asyik Birthday Budak je)

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Last Sunday we celebrated my nephew's birthday. Icky namanya (actually Rifqi). Rifqi ni semenjak kecil memang dijaga oleh my family and now dia agak rapat la juga dengan family my mom kan. So my mom decided nak buat a little birthday gathering la kerna kasih dan sayangnya dia pada cucu dia tu.

Mula-mula dengar cerita and plan macam just a small gathering yang melibatkan immediate family. But then tiba-tiba disebabkan my mom rapat dengan akak-akaknya and oleh kerna terlanjur kata, invitation tu extended to other family member. What was initially a small gathering turned out to be a full fledge birthday party (without all the gimmicks la kan...except cake, mesti ada).

So bagus la. Since dia pun dah 4 tahun dia boleh la jugak appreciate birthday celebration kan. I bought him a hot wheel scooter but dia lebih minat dekat remote control car. Tak mengapa Icky, uncle ingat sampai bila-bila. hehe.

Birthday boy Rifqi Isyraf



My daughter having a blast




Cake Ben10 adalah trend terkini



Other pictures can be viewed in my flickr page under the set "Rifqi's Birthday!!" (click).



Arianna's Birthday Celebration!!

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Last week walaupun cuti, agak hectic jua. Jumaat pergi Janda Baik, sabtu pula ada birthday party anak orang and then ahad nak settlekan hal rumahtangga.

But seronok juga sebab boleh bawa anak jalan-jalan dari duduk terperap dekat rumah. Sofeah ni the kind yang suka keluar. Setiap petang pukul 6 nanny dia kena bawa jalan dekat kawasan condo ni sementara tunggu ummi dan ayah pulang dari kerja.

So hari Sabtu tu birthday Arianna (happy birthday!!), anak ka
k Betty yang sudah masuk umur 7 tahun. Boleh tahan juga party dia ada khemah, performer, artiste untuk conteng-conteng anak orang and makanan dia sedap (siap boleh bungkus bawa balik so that wife tak perlu masak malam).


So pergi party saja bawa kamera baru for fun (dekat event camtu la nak suka-suka tangkap gambar and sharpen skill yang teramatlah tumpul ni kan). So memandangkan tak ada official photographer, maka jadilah guest photographer (walaupun tak ada experience tangkap gambar event). Ok la overall tapi sebab masih baru lagi guna DSLR (SLR dah 3-4 tahun guna so lebih mahir sikit).

Hasil-hasil seni (tidak seberapa) itu bolehlah dilihat di laman web flickr saya under set "Arianna's Birthday Bash 2009!!" (klik).



Saya bukanlah seorang pakar fotografi dan saya tidak terima bayaran untuk khidmat (penuh kelemahan) yang diberi. Tapi kalau nak saya cover event boleh je (for free pun) sebab nak exposure.

Sekian!!


Of Nur Alya Sofeah!!

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Last Friday was historic for this family, we got ourselves a camera. A good one but with slight defect considering we don't have enough money to buy certain equipments. We bought a Canon camera, EOS 450D (a.k.a. Rebel XSi if you're Japanese and other weird countries with similar gedikness).

So I've test it several times and we're lucky that the store had the camera in stock ready for us just before we went on a trip to Janda Baik with my wife's family and relatives.

After a brief trial and error, my review of the camera would be that it's quite good. Satisfactory. But considering that before this I only have a Yashica SLR camera which is old, so this camera is great! (of course we haven't yet paid the full amount). So next item on the list is a camera flash thingy (the built in flash is highly annoying) and a better lens (the kit lense has its limits).

So here's a collection of some of my earliest tests - "of Nur Alya Sofeah" (click the name)

Haven't yet got the time to upload the Janda Baik pictures.

Well, we're off to a children's birthday party and more picture taking!


Sofeah's certainly happy

To Nursery or Not To Nursery

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Asyik-asyik fikir pasal duit. Sekarang isu rumahtangga adalah; nak hantar sofeah ke nursery ataupun tidak. Bukanlah tak mampu, tapi sekarang punya arrangement jauh lebih jimat. Mak datang rumah pagi, sign-in, salin baju nanny dia, jaga fea and then pukul 6 petang saya dan isteri balik dan mak boleh salin pakaian dia and sign-out.

Banyak benda boleh buat dengan duit lebihan yang diguna untuk bayar nursery. But then, nursery ni elok, facilities memang top notch, fee memang jauh lebih murah berbanding standard yang diberi.

Lepas tu, diorang ni ada limited space untuk baby and setelah meletakkan nama fea dalam waiting list untuk 3 bulan, diorang dah ada ruang untuk fea. Also, mengikut kata owner tu, sekarang ni ada one batch of 6 months old babies - isteri suka sebab dia kata nanti diorang ni grow up together lepas tu akan ada adventure together macam rugrats. Merepek.


Owh itulah dia hakikat kehidupan. Terlalu banyak pilihan terlalu kurang sumber.

Money and...How Did We End Up Here?

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Me and wife used to have no money and no income. We learned to cope with it by, you know, mooching off my in-laws, living with them and what not. But, we weren't comfortable.

We had to make do with whatever money we have. But since I st
arted working (given that the pay was pretty good) we saved here and there so that we can live on our own without needing to mooch off no one. But still we had to borrow from my little sister (who is still studying) just to make ends meet for a couple of month. Sad!!!

Of course, some things we just can't let go. We had to "borrow" my in-laws' car for awhile till we get enough money to actually buy our own. Which by the way, took a lot of maintaining so even though we borrowed t
he car, it wasn't cheap. We also had to "borrow" my father in-law's cheque book so that we could buy a refrigerator (I pay him back monthly, don't worry).

Since our monthly rent payment is quite steep for people who
does not have a lot of income, we really had to save a lot - and subsequently ignore of a lot of our desires (suppress is more like it...I would cry inside).

The worst of our worries were for our baby. Back then we planned and planned but it seems that everything is off budget. I thought dealing with money in life would be easy. I was mistaken. Money is cruel and life won't make things easy for you. Huh.
But! Thanks to the internet and all its glory...we saved quite a lot - especially on baby stuff. Okay buying furniture and all wasn't easy. We had to travel near and far (around Klang Valley) to get the right product at the appropriate price. My wife was pregnant but she braved through every furniture store (sitting on comfortable pricey couches along the way) just so she can accompany me (or else she would have to do nothing at home that has no furniture - nor do we have TV back then).

So anyway, back to that internet thingy. Since we wanted the best for our baby, but our income would only buy her crap, we had to turn to the internet to get the best...but cheaper. Sure some stuff are second hand, but, if you search thoroughly enough, you can get the best second item money can buy
. Plus, our child wouldn't know if it's second hand or not anyway.

But seriously, people know how to take care of their stuff.
So if we really find a good one at a cheap price why not right? I would say, thanks to my wife's persistent blog hopping and forum threading efforts, we saved quite a lot. For a new family, saving money is probably the best thing to do.
A sterilizer that would normally cost RM400 was purchased at RM150 plus a bottle warmer! A play gym that would usually cost around RM359, costs RM100!! Her storage bottl
es which market price would be priced at around RM60 a box, we got for RM25!!! But best of all, a Quinny Zapp stroller that would cost around RM1200 at mothercare (standard price) we got for RM800 in Germany! And it's brand new! (thanks eBay and your majestic ability to lower prices for low income earners like me and my wife).

Those are just some of our fortunate purchases which all and all kept our budget pretty clean which leaves room for our dream item. Yes, finally after months of waiting and countless hours planning, searching and picking the perfect one, we have been able to purchase (oh by the way this thing moves people places and makes things easier for me and my wife)...









A walker! Look at her. So
happy in her walker. Did i say people? I meant babies. It moves babies around. We don't need to carry her all the time when she's bored of just laying on the ground.


Oh and yeah we also bought a car for us...





Since Hyundai have this offer for their cars we thought, why not? Getz is bigger than a Kelisa. The 2008 model looks nice. It did win tons of awards. Its performance is said to be top notched (by car reviewers including top gear). Its safety receives 4 Star rating and it has a 3 deck compartment at the back! (which influenced our decision a lot more than those other stuff ever could). Oh and there was a RM9,000 discount. Cool.


Yes this is my car on display. That lady back there is my personal assistant. We didn't get a proper license plate because Hyundai said we had to pay more for it (RM7000). If you don't know that I'm kidding then you'd better go for a check up. But the color is the same.

Those Who Can't Do, Shut Up

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I've not updated my life blog for quite some time because, well nothing really to tell. Plus I don't think my life is that grand anyway.

But I do want to touch on one thing; those who can't do, teach.

Getting an advice for something when you know that person have never experienced it her/himself is just plain ridiculous. To top it off, the advice is kind of rude and abrasive. It's borderline, provocative.

It annoys me that a person would do such a thing because that person really believe that he/she is better and knows a lot more than I/anyone else does. Annoying.

Well I've been through a lot in my life and though it might not seem like it, but it really is turbulent. It's not just the after marriage occurrences, it's also the ones before it. I seriously wouldn't want anyone to go through what I've been through.

Then to get an advice as if to say I'm not good enough, I'm not prepared and I do not know what I'm doing...that's just stupid.

Haha seems like a crazy ranting of a disgruntled person. Ah well...

In the words of Phantom Planet:

I can tell
After this there's nothing else
Nothing you can't solve
If you're such a knowitall

This lyric doesn't say much, but it helps...haha.

Quality Time With Sofeah

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Since my wife works on Saturdays (except for the 3rd Saturday of the month), I've had my fair share of quality time with Sofeah, you know, my daughter. I would have to say, it is quality time indeed.

Usually what happens is, I would wake up at around 0645 and then pray. Then I would prepare breakfast for my wife while she prepares for work. Since it's Saturday she doesn't need to go to work that early. We would then wake Sofeah up and my wife would feed her (BF as she would call it).

Then my wife would go to work and Sofeah is left all alone with me. No qualms since I'm used to taking care of babies and children since high school. Not that I did much back then but I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to observe the going-ons of child care (in fact I teach my wife most of the stuffs...hehe...ehem but she knows a lot more about the science of child care, like the theory of it all).

So that's about it. That's the routine for Saturday mornings.

What I really want to talk about is the golden moments you start to realise when you spend time alone with a child. All the crying, the giggling, the smiling and everything that a child would do really does bring out quite a satisfactory feeling inside me. Every inch of detail becomes apparent. How cute she is, the sudden realisation that I am a father, the tedious but must-do things, the tiring times and the happy times.

It's not like I never really spend time with her except for the 6 hours on Saturday morning, but the alone time is really the time that you get to see her because like it or not, I cannot take my eyes off my child.

The moment when my wife goes to work, I sense that Sofeah feels kind of sad. I would usually go down with my wife and Sofeah to the car and watch her leave. Sofeah now knows her mother. She knows her voice, she knows that my wife feeds her and is the source of her sustenance, she also knows when my wife would come home in the evening.

Bathing her is something that I would usually do in the weekend. During the weekdays, since my mum takes care of her, she does all the bathing and everything. Because Sofeah now knows how to react and bathing her is a lot more fun (but harder as she moves and kicks a lot). As she likes to take a bath she smiles and giggles a lot during this time.

As she now turns, rolls and can support her head up for a long time, she has become more playful. Putting on her clothes have definitely become more challenging than before. The cute face that she exudes everytime she turns and holds her head up is priceless. Then after awhile she would cry, probably because she's tired.

yoh...

Right now she's sleeping. Before that I took a walk with her around the premise of this Condo and let her touch all the stuff around her, like leaves, walls and whatever surface I can find. I can sense that everytime I do that, she appreciates the different feel each surface gives. But most of the time she would grab my finger tight as if afraid that I would let her go.

Check me out...

Putting her to sleep is not hard at all. She's one of those very good babies who would go to sleep when she knows it's time. Of course there are times when it's hard, but most of the time it's easy. I like the fact that she would smile everytime I sing her to sleep. It's heart warming (slightly sentimental, not manly).

Sleep praying...

She now really likes to talk. She doesn't just talk, she shouts. Sometimes even before sleeping she would talk gibberish with her eyes dimming slowly. Yesterday me and wifey went to buy a present for a friend's daughter (1 year old Ixora!) at Subang Parade's Toys'r'Us, so we thought it's only convenient for us to have dinner at the mall.

We went to this little restaurant called Nyonya which is very small and narrow (good thing Sofeah's stroller is also small). She was asleep at first, but then we ordered and waiters were walking back and forth over head so she eventually she wakes up. At first, not knowing her surroundings, she remained quite. But after awhile she starts playing by herself while me and my wife eats. Not long after she shouts time and time again, not to cry or anything, just to talk.

Sofah's awake now. I've fed her milk but now she wants to play. Later!

Disgruntled, To Be Cured With A Little Smile

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Everyone needs to lighten up a little. Life's only bad to us if we want it to be bad. Life's only dragging if we wake up every morning with a heavy heart and a frown. Lighten up.

I especially hate someone who ruins the day for others. It's bad enough that you have to wake up early everyday, put on something which you know wouldn't be comfortable to last throughout the day, battle the demon that is the traffic and part with your loved ones just so that you can feed them everyday (okay this is not that bad a reason).

With all those negative elements combined, you sincerely hope things wouldn't be so bad at the office; great friends, cool environment, good enough pay.

Then, come one spoiler. A big one. Humongous would be an understatement. If there is a bigger animal than the whale, this guy's "spoiling" capabilities would be on the same level of hugeness.

He's not that bad if he walks past you with a smile, or with a friendly hello (or at least answers mine) or just wink a little (okay not wink that would be highly inappropriate). The fact that he cannot strive a little to do any one of these tiny gestures really messes up his chances of getting a raya card from me (I doubt he cares).

The whole "work hard, we are not a government office, all these backlogs must be cleared off soon" act is not cute...at all! Not that you're trying to be cute, I know. But it's not helping. We need a more relaxing environment to work in. The work is boring, it's pretty much routine and everyone seems to be good enough to stay in their cubicle to focus on their job. Give us space man!

If I wanted constant drilling, I would have chosen the army.

Okay you're the boss. It's your right to want us to do our job like everything else in the world doesn't matter for that 8 hours. But, smile a little. Say it kindly.

Where is this post going? Nowhere. It's just a typical ranting of a disgruntled worker.

Peace everyone, and smile a little.

Sofeah Wants to Balik Kampung

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Me and wife (and of course Sofeah) are planning on going back to Rompin-Pekan-NZ this weekend. It has been a long time since we’ve made that trip and so we are excited. Of course this would be the first time we do it on our own accord and also the first time Sofeah will travel that far.

We really are excited to show Sofeah our kampung and also to show our kampung, Sofeah. It really cannot come at a better time. She is so cute now as she is able to grasp the surroundings and react.

She is one talkative girl. If we say something to her she will answer back with long sentences that obviously won’t make sense, but cute. She now speaks with expressions. Sometimes she would say something with a serious face but most of the time she would smile and talk and also giggle at the end of her sentences. I just cannot get her jokes though.

Running up to the balik kampung this weekend hon bun caught a fever. Initially she only felt her body aching and also dizziness. But then she started to shiver and my mum brought her to the doctor. Since there are a lot of Dengue and Chikungunya cases in recent months, we were quite afraid of the outcome of her checkup. But good news, it’s just a fever. Pheeeww~ (well not that good, because she’s still sick…)

So anyway, another reason why we can’t wait to show our grannies Sofeah is because she just learned to roll over! The thing is she doesn’t even know how she did it. The first time she did it was in front of my eyes. She kicked her legs several time (as she always does because she is quite aggressive), and before you know it she jolted and rolled over. Her right hand got stuck under her body because she still hasn’t figured out the proper method yet. Her expression though is the funniest I’ve ever seen - she was surprised with her own ability. Then of course she did it again today while I was at work. Don’t know how it happened this time since my wife only saw her when she has already turned over.

Something that happened at the end of last week and still is the case today, i.e. the rashes on her face, is something that we are not too proud of. You see, if a child drinks from her mother’s milk, there is a chance that they will develop rashes if the milk is not cleaned off her face properly. Since Sofeah is an aggressive drinker, always smothering her face with milk, it’s kinda hard to keep it clean. So she got a bit of a rash but now it’s subsiding. I think she will be back to looking her cutest by Friday night.

Here's hoping that we would balik kampung and come back from kampung safely.

I Like Photography...But It's Expensive

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I used to have a hobby. Photography. It's an expensive hobby and at that time when I was into it, I didn't have money to spare. I wasn't making money at all and didn't look to have any source of income.

Now that I do have an income, I find that my priority lies away from any hobby. Even though I am still interested in photography, I don't think it's worth the expenses.

But! I'm slowly getting into it again. The thing is, I don't have those fancy DSLRs and expensive cameras. I only have my Yashica. My faithful Yashica FX-3. Here's a little known fact about that particular camera, it was produced in 1979! Therefore it is a manual SLR that requires films.

Films my friends, are expensive. Buying it is one thing, developing it is another. It's expensive!

Furthermore, with SLRs, you don't get to see your product until it is done. Thus, if you don't have the correct lighting, you set the whole thing wrong, you get the shutter speed or the aperture wrong, then you're screwed.

If for example you go to an event with the camera in your hand, eager and excited to take a picture, and have raised your hopes up high in taking beautiful pictures, but mistakenly you set the whole thing wrong - then that's it. The whole event might well be captured in a dark, gloomy and under exposed still images. Sad.

Nonetheless, I am still quite excited to take pictures. I see it as something that I can be passionate about. It is something that would take me away from all the troubles of the past, present and future. Something that hides me from the monstrosity of recent global events. With pictures, the images are still. Every detail can be scrutinized and every inch of a single beautiful image can be appreciated.

I've recently taken new pictures of my wife, my daughter, events and sights. Another problem with films is that, the pictures have to be scanned and saved into the computer before I can actually upload it. Since I don't have a scanner I have to do it at my mum's. But, passion should be followed up with sacrifice and hardwork right?

Well, here are some of my older pictures (taken 2-3 years ago).




Some of my other pics can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wunr/

I haven't updated it for quite awhile (same with my blogs...just no time no more!!). But I can assure newer pictures are available, just not scanned yet.