Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's Back to Ramadhan

My last entry to this blog was about me putting my old PDA to retirement. It seems like I'm putting myself to retirement from writing. I'm doing my best stay writing, ok?

And, by the way Ramadhan is back. The ritual of fasting doesn't seem too tough for me anymore. Perhaps it is because I'm so used to fasting already. It is not so tough on me anymore maybe because my metabolism isn't as high as it was when I was younger. Or maybe it is because I have been teaching myself to keep a steady flow of plain water consumption at night. Dudes, it should try it. Just keep yourself drinking plain water at the night of Ramadhan - rather than eating. You will enjoy fasting in the day.

Ramadhan always brings back memories of the food in my hometown Kota Bharu. Most of the kuih you can find in KB can now be found in KL also. But not all. Those kuih that you cannot find in KL are the ones that I really missed. There are two of them: Jala Mas and Sira Labu. These two are so delicious. Not only me who say this, so I don't understand why they are like unknown and never sold in Kelang Valley area.

Sira Labu actually can be found in Puchong Perdana. But Jala Mas, no where to be found in KL. You can Google for this kuih and you can even find a YouTube entry for the way to make it. This is how Jala Mas looks like:

And this is a YouTube entry demonstrating how it's made: (The video was made by a Chinese, but really, it is a Kelantanese traditional sweets.)

If you are one of those dudes who run the bazar Ramadhan in KL area, please try selling this; and let me know where to find you :-)


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Putting My Old PDA to Retirement

I'm gonna continue with the flashbacks soon. For now I have something to share about what I think of the cellphone shapes nowadays.

It occurred to me when I looked at the shape of my old made-in-China Windows Mobile Glofiish PDA. I took a look at the PDA - after so long being abandoned and collecting dust - as I needed to find an old phone number in it:

As I look at it I realized that it is really similar to Apple's iPhone. I remembered when I first showed that PDA to a friend he commented that the shape was too squared and it is not good looking. But now look at how popular iPhone is.

Obviously the square shape (or rectangle) is chosen as the phone is not only used as phone. It is also used as a small computing device which depends on a rectangular shaped display. So doesn't matter how ugly a square is, you have to accept it as the best shape for PDA or smartphone. I'm just proud that I was among the first to realized that fact.

This old PDA served me really good. I remember when I first arrived at Fairfield, Iowa, I actually mistakenly left it in the washroom in the Galesburg's train station, Illinois. I only realized it when I was on the train to Mount Pleasant. The train's lady chief attendant (not sure what's the right for that post) helped me to contact the staff at the station in Galesburg from the train and arranged for me to collect the PDA in Mount Pleasant station some time the next day or after. And, you know what? I had to pay USD30 to the guy who drove me to the station just to collect the left behind PDA. He was the same guy who fetched me from Mount Pleasant before.

This is how it looked like when it was still in active service:

I have just moved to my own room in UPNM. There is a nice shelf with glass doors which I turned into my own mini museum. That is where I put this old PDA of mine for its retirement:

Its job with me now has been taken by a new iPhone. Happy retirement, PDA.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

1 Utama is the Largest

As a bachelor, I like to hang around in shopping complex just to pass time. One of my favorite shopping center is 1 Utama [Wiki] in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia:

There are a few reasons for this choice. One of it is that I felt 1 Utama is the biggest shopping mall in Malaysia. Many people think another shopping mall in Malaysia, Mid Valley Megamall [Wiki], is the largest:

However, I think 1 Utama is the largest after they made the new wing extension. My intuition was confirmed by CNN after I saw this sign in 1 Utama:

You can read this link from CNN:
And please also read this Wikipedia entry. Wouldn't you be so proud being Asian as all the 11 top 10 largest malls in the world are all in Asia? And wouldn't you be so proud being Malaysian as 3 out of those 11 top 10 are from Malaysia? Read on:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Memory Lane - That Day I Took A Suicidal Walk

Yesterday, 5 years ago, it was my first Sunday in US. The sky was clear but it was really extremely cold. Later in the day I saw in the Weather Channel that the temperature was -16°C. Then someone told me that it usually coldest when the sky is clear because the clear sky is due to the dry cold air from north pole. It won't be so cold when it is snowing because the process of snow crystallization actually releases heat (exothermic).

Something I really remember about this first Sunday was that it was the day that I decided to take a walk to Fairfield's Walmart. It was 4 km walking round trip. I invited the 2 of my most recent friends - Murzal and Julian to join me. They followed.

Fairfield Walmart on Google Maps [Latitude = 41.005075, Longitude = -91.983485]:

You can compare with the location of MUM [Latitude = 41.017802, Longitude = -91.967338]:

It was so cold that we had to stop for shelter a few times including in a coin laundry shop. Luckily we were fetched - go and back - by a gentlemen driving his family to Walmart too. They told us the weather was so cold and it could kill and walking like that was suicidal.

Back at the campus I took this memorable picture in front of McLaughlin building, the building where the Computer Science Department is:


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Memory Lane - Is It Already 5 Years?

It is February 7th 2013. Today, 5 years ago, I arrived at Maharishi University of Management as a master student in ComPro program. Two days ago, the same year, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the consciousness based education university himself, died. How time flies.

I recall that it was late night of Thursday too. The next day, Friday, I first time met the two Indonesian super fast coders - Murzal and Julian - when I was walking in the snow looking for the Argiro Student Center for breakfast. We were looking for a place to perform Friday prayer too. I wonder where they are now. Too bad I have lost all those memorable pictures.

Realizing how time makes fools of us all, I remember another quote from the same website (http://simpledirectoryanalyzer.orbiter-g.com/):

Not only that this quote is good for students, it is also good for me who wishes to pursue the quest for Andalusia@West. May Allah swt layout me a way.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Will I Ever Have Time for Blog?

Two days more, one year ago, I wrote my last last blog post. It is amazing how time flies and how promises are hard to keep. As an academic, I want to write. But would I ever have time for this blog?

Earlier this week I happened to surf for a freeware on applications that can analyze directory content. I found this site:
I found the software that I was looking for, but I was also struck by a random quote that the page displayed when I saw it:

It occurred to me that I might not have put enough effort for this writing, and it might indicate that I'm lacking great mind. I pray to Allah s.w.t. give the time.

I have made my quest for Andalusia at West a lifetime pursuit, why not the blog too?