I See Fatherhood Differently Now
When I was younger, I used to imagine how my kid(s) would look like. Imagined how I’d changed their diapers, teach their first word, read bedtime stories and a many things a father would do. Yes, I am one of those few boys who love kids. I was the strange one.
Despite having a soft spot for kids, I never wanted to own the responsibilities of raising a human being. It was too much to handle for me.
But God have His way, we were blessed with a beautiful child.
The tiny chores, changing diapers, patting to sleep, teaching words, washing off the poop were nothing mystical. It is easy when you’ve done enough to break your noob-ity. Like Miyagi said, everything is impossible if you did it the first time. Some how I enjoy being able to do this and bachelorhood seems like a thing of the past.
Now, I come home to two tired ladies, one needed an evening nap, the second couldn’t wait to have her dinner. For once, I feel needed. I feel like I finally belong somewhere and that without me, they’d miss me like crazy. I have Allah to thank.
Happy 1st Father’s Day to Me.
Written on 16 June '14 under Aisyah and Me
What Killed Blogging? And 3 Ways to Fight Back for Traffic
Blogging used to be fun, especially when you received comments, whether it’s funny, thought provoking, witty, shitty, including the plain boring yes-sir-what-ever-you-say-is-right. All these comments are makes a blog lively.
Now you’ve got to compete for attention, popularity and time. I have facebook, twitter, instagram and whatsapp to blame for that. And 3/4 are owned by facebook.
What does that tell you? The limited attention that people pour in to reading blogs.
But the trend are subsiding, people tend to ditch mainstream. People are looking back for quality content to put them out of misery. Someone they can relate to. Something they can share a passion with. Some means of making additional money. Whatever it is, everybody is looking for something.
So here are 3 points that will make your blog spring back to action.
1. Focus on Title & Content.
If you write like a robot, you probably end up reading your own content. Even Siri can perform humanly response, you can do better. Readers naturally spend 5 seconds (or less) and decide to continue reading and the next 5 seconds for the intro. So make that 10 seconds count. Never EVER EVER EVER (3 times) write a misleading title. If you were caught once, you’re doomed. Nobody likes to be cheated.
2. Simplistic Design.
Let me tell you something, people hate banner ads. HATE as in you being handed out flyers as you reach the ground floor from the 1st floor escalator, you tell yourself to just throw it away no matter how cool the design is. More banners = more people hate it. Indirectly, this will affect how they feel about your blog. Mobile friendly is no longer an option (NH is not mobile friendly *knocks on head*), it’s a must.
3. Speed of Loading.
The judgement is, does your title suck? If no, proceed. Then is it too much clutter (filled with banner)? If no proceed. The last, is it slow? If no then read.
As always, good luck. Do let me know if you have further points to add. Would love to hear your input.
Written on 5 June '14 under Serious Matters
The Amazing Spiderman 2 Review (No Spoilers)
I am a sucker for super heroes movies, I guess most boys are. The new Amazing Spiderman 2 landed on a perfect day, labor day.
We watched ours at MBO Subang Parade. Normally we could just walk in and get good seats, anytime anywhere any movie. That was the beauty of MBO. Since they changed their logo, website and cinema experience, they start to pull in more traffic. I remember those days it only cost RM 8 for MBO (vs TGV at RM 11), now it’s RM 14 for box office movies. The seats were nice and roomie, but since we had to accomodate Sara, we got the couples seat, RM 30 for a pair.
Spiderman – Andrew Garfield version is a lot better than Tobey Maguire’s version. The effects were nicer, scripts were relevant, the setting and the casting was near perfect. Both Emma and Andrew played their roles really well. There was 2-3 moments that really struck me, I could feel dust in my eyes. Having real life couple on set makes a lot of difference.
There were a few people commented on my Facebook Timeline saying it was boring since a lot of talking involved, personally it stroke the perfect balance between action, comedy, drama and romance. I strangely wanted to see more of drama and romance instead of the actions. I bet the kids wants nothing but actions all the way.
They wanted to portray that even though he is invincible physically, he was emotionally frail. Much like my tagline, “even heroes have the right to weep” and this spidey did just that. The emotional tension and asking himself why do this, should be set as precedence to our daily life. It does echo really well in this movie, especially towards he end.
Everyone is a hero, so let’s act like one.
ps: Sara had her first movie today!
Written on 1 May '14 under Aisyah and Me
I Never Thought Jungle Trekking Was Hard, Until I Tried SkyTrex
I am big fan of outdoor activity, jungle trekking is nothing more than a stroll in park for me. #SkyTrex hit me, how hard can it be? It turns out, it was really hard.
Few months back I PM-ed Azlan, the marketing manager for SkyTrex and asked him to accommodate bloggers. In return we will blog about SkyTrex. So he agreed to give SalamMedia (my marketing startup) some free passes to the Extreme challenge, the most difficult route. I did call in last minute to downgrade to Big Thrill, but Azlan insist we have ‘fun’. His definition of fun is definitely messed up.
Here’s some pictures of the awesome activity.
Safety first! The harness does hold up the sack really well.
I went first. Flying fox looked easy, yeah because this is the practice version.
There’s a limit to number of people per platform. 1 monkey per tree.
This is about 20m from the ground and we had to climb that!
Flying into nothingness. I did imagine what if I stopped half way. That’s my fault for having a fat lazy bum. Thankfully it was one of the most memorable flying fox I have ever done in life.
or what if I missed the platform, slipped and fell? I can feel the movement in my bladder when I saw this picture taken by Abdus
One of my favorite route, I call this the hammock. Reminds me of Sara’s baby hammock.
Monkey bar, only for the weak. I took the easier route, glide on the ropes. Haha
This V shaped string requires a lot of balancing. I did mess this up while trying to do too much in a single leap. I ended up almost loosing my head when the rope strangled my neck. Thankfully a hero doesn’t give up easily. I pulled myself up and retraced the step. For the moment, it did feel like defusing a timed bomb.
Ammar decided to sleep, programmers sleeps at dawn. Can’t blame him for being sleepy all the time, their sleeping habits is all over the place!
This was the easiest, if you know your way around the ropes. Noticed one glove? Yeah, I dropped one while trying to fart.
The pulley is made in France, land of Peugeot and Zidane, it’s very sturdy for flying fox. The carabiner is also solid.
Some camwhoring with ‘le wife.
Every time I took a challenge, I enjoyed the scenery. It was breathtaking and downright beautiful. The guys at SkyTrex really planned the route well.
Aisyah nearing the finishing line. I was a bit sad to see end. I really wanted another hour.
The monkey swing was the last challenge and it almost broke my back!
They even provided a hashtag for SkyTrex.
If there’s one complain from me is the plastic pipes which are being used extensively in the challenge. I guess because it’s cheap and strong hence the extensive iterations of it. Those pipes are slippery and sometimes too big to hold. It does require and additional effort just to grip it properly. Despite that, I am still giving SkyTrex a 5 star.
The SkyTrex Brochures
Overall, SkyTrex nothing but awesome. I could feel my adrenaline rushing up and down my veins while writing this blog post though it happened sometime last March. The greenery was perfect, the staff were really helpful and playful, which was good. They gave moral support and never wanted us to quit half way (but some participant did, age is really a factor).
My best recollection of #SkyTrex was the flying fox. It was the only avenue for me to be lazy, to enjoy the scene and for the first time, it felt like I kicked my acrophobia in the nuts that day (fear of height). I walked out a taller person, knowing that I’ve conquered my fear. If there was a stress meter, I’m sure it was down to zero.
Who is this for? Young executive, students, family, couples, Ranjits, Kumars, Chins, Alis or whoever wants quick escape, nerve wrecking, eyes squirming, lose bladder control or scream your lungs out, this my friend is for you. My advise, do wear long pants to avoid blister, bring your own gloves for better grip, and seriously, take your time doing the challenge, enjoy the scenery and don’t focus on completing it soonest.
If you want more information, check out the official site.
I Wish I Knew the Price of Kawasaki ER6N Tyre Before Owning One
Before I bought my Kawasaki ER6N (nick name “Mutu”), I never bothered about the total cost of ownership of the bike. I did ask around, mostly responded it would cost as much as maintaining a car, I told myself I can live with that, I was wrong.
The tyre that came with the bike is worn out. I can feel it twitching when I try to give it a little torque. On dry days, riding to and from office is easy. It got worst when it rains. Pakcik going to mosque laps quicker than Mutu.
I deliberately delay the change because a MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 set of wheel costs RM980. Yes, That’s enough to change all 4 tyres on Jenny (my Gen2). But that’s not all, through wear and tear, a car tyre can potentially last 2-3 years, motorcycle tyre last about a year. Mutu is about 15,000km (not really far).
MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 – ER6N size is front: 120/60/17 and rear tyre: 160/60/17
Why is it expensive? Well, a motorcycle tyre is made of 3 to 5 compound, soft-medium-hard. Soft gives you grip but wears out quickly. Hard gives you the endurance but lacks the grip. Mixing this compound is only natural. Normally, hard is place in the center and softer by the side. The shape of the thread also plays an important role for wet or dry.
I did search at Mudah.my just to familiarize with other options. Due to the nature of Mudah, some tyre are not longer displayed. So I Googled, it was very specific, thus making it harder to find. To be honest, I didn’t know what exactly to find, I just keyed in “Tayar ER6N”, a lot of links selling the bike instead of the tyre. I also didn’t know the size of my tyre nor the brand (I couldn’t see on Mutu’s tyre). So I went to Facebook and found a nearby shop.
(Note: for brick and mortar shops, it is really important to have Facebook page or Mudah Niaga.)
I went there with my car for two reasons, 1. I didn’t want to be conned/pushed to purchase. 2. I wanted to see how they treated the bike and customer. The staff was really helpful, explaining stuff I didn’t even consider. I got the price for MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 brand new for RM950 after bargaining but it proves to be to steep for me. Hey man, I can buy an iPad with that money (what an iFag!).
I walked around the shop (they were pretty happy to see me exploring the shop) and my eyes were fixed on used tyre. I was really surprised to see the condition of these tyre. The kid told me, sometimes bikers change tyre because they hated how it handles, some wants better grip. Well, one mans trash is another man’s treasure. It did feel like I found a unicorn. After negotiating, I got the MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 for RM 690.
They carefully put on paddock stand and extract the old tyre.
The front tyre was wobbly and the wear is uneven making it harder to control during raining season.
Personally, it didn’t really matter whether is new or used, I just need one soonest before I go crazy getting stuck in traffic jam commuting to work.
How does MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 handle? Well, as a noob biker, I say it does take a while to adjusting to the new one. Because the tyre is so round, it felt unbalanced when it is slightly tipped to the side. On straight line, better grip. Giving additional torque does make it feeling doing a little wheelie. Corners are fantastic, entrance is easy and exit is the best. I have rode the ER6N for 2 years, I have never done anything above 70kmh while cornering, on MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2, I did 85kmh and it felt natural.
I would to reemphasize that I am a relatively new biker and comparison was made against the OEM tyre.
So to those who are still dreaming of owning big bikes, I seriously urge you to consider this, the tyre cost change annually RM 1k, Road tax and insurance about RM 1.5 k, maintenance RM 600 (every 4 months or mileage). Now, you need an additional RM 3,100 per year just to maintain the bike. For starters go for 250cc bikes.
Hence the reason of buying a big bike is critical. The parts aren’t exactly cheap, the oil change isn’t too, accessories costs your pinky finger, helmet maybe a bomb, safety and yara-yara. If there’s any advise I can give to fellow riders or aspiring rider and this has been passed on to me by other riders is, “Ride within your means”. Budget, speed, guts, safety and reason. I ride to escape the traffic, therefore I don’t have to ride like a maniac
Written on 13 April '14 under Biking