Friday, March 30, 2007


That's it!

The next person that asks me when we're gonna' have kids is getting it. I'm gonna' ask them when they're planning to have sex next and see how they like it.

Here's me being silly.

If my wife's family is my extended family and my family members are considered to be her family members and vice versa. Technically, isn't my wife like, y'know, my sister-in-law also which is like my sis?


Couldn't they come up with a better word than brother-in-law, parents-in-law, etcetera?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Venus fly trap.

I was standing on the train travelling to work this morning when my eyes caught sight of this dude who was sitting down. I don’t know why I was looking at him but it’s one of those moments where you have to park your eyes somewhere and try not to make weird eye contacts while in a crowded place, especially when I was on the part of the train where the passengers sat facing each other.

Anyway, this guy looked really focused on what he was reading. It was kinda’ like he was heading to an exam or something. My mind started drifting while my eyes checked him out. I don’t know why I did it but I definitely don’t swing that way (not that there is anything wrong with that). Bear in mind that this was pre my morning caffeine hit so maybe it explains my awkward behaviour.

I noticed that he had really cool glasses on. He wasn’t wearing sunnies or anything. It was just a pair of nicely shaped rectangular spectacles. I wonder where he got those. Then, my eyes started wandering lower. He could use a workout judging from the obvious overhang of the mid-section but nothing too serious to hinder his mobility.

Then moving further south, BAM! My eyes widened and alarm bells started ringing in my head with a big neon red sign that reads, ‘SNAKE ON THA’ MOTHAF#$%ING TRAIN!!!’. The guy had the Venus fly trap manoeuvre happening. He probably couldn’t see it because his gut was in the way and if his Bruce Banner had turned into the Hulk, I would’ve had to resist the urges to pan it back down like one of those games you see at fun fairs or amusement parks.

I was a split second away from telling the poor guy but a thought flashed through my mind. What if he says, ‘Thanks for noticing’ as gratitude and somebody hears it? I don’t think I can take that kind of embarrassment. Furthermore, he would probably ask himself what I was doing looking there in the first place. I know I would. So, I left it at that. It was a windy day so he’d probably feel it sooner or later. For his sake, I hope its sooner.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

NBA players cash in on daily allowance of $106 during trips

I love the NBA. If I were living in the States, I'd definitely be a groupie to the players.

Here's an interesting article...

At first glance, Jamal Sampson's statistics are minimal, averaging 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds.

But when it comes to saving money on the road, the Nuggets center might have the top numbers on the team.

"I'm the Subway king," said Sampson, prouder of that crown than some have been after being named player of the week. "I don't do room service. I'd rather walk."

Sampson, making $798,112 this season, makes hitting the pavement in an opposing city profitable. NBA players receive $106 per diem on the road for meals and incidentals.

When the Nuggets show up at the airport today to begin a five-game trip, each player will be handed an envelope by athletic trainer Jim Gillen containing $799 in crisp bills. That's for seven days and a prorated day for dinner at $57.

Players can use the money as they choose. They can order room service at a ritzy hotel, which could set them back more than $80 for a meal.

Or, like Sampson, who figures he pockets half his per diem, they can take to the streets.

Then again, it's not out of the question some players could see a large chunk of their per diem vanish before the plane lands tonight in New Jersey in preparation for the game Tuesday against the Nets.

"Man, we gamble away that money right away on the plane," said Nuggets guard DerMarr Johnson, referring to high-stakes card games. "We put it right into the gambling pot."

But Johnson, making $932,015, has his limits. He said he pulled back on a recent trip, not wanting to play for money with some of the higher-salaried players.

The average NBA salary is $5.5 million a year, and the good life doesn't stop there. The teams stay at hotels some marketers now say are six-star. The per diem is $21 more than baseball and hockey players receive.

"It's a nice little benefit," said Nuggets center Marcus Camby, whose salary this season, including bonuses, could exceed $10 million. "They take care of us. But in those fancy hotels, that per diem is probably enough for a breakfast."

Camby is exaggerating a bit. But Nuggets forward Reggie Evans recently dropped $85 for a room service afternoon steak at the swank Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco.

Portland Trail Blazers center Jamaal Magloire spent more than $80 last week for a room service steak at The Westin Tabor Center.

"It feels like free money," Nuggets guard Steve Blake said.

Sometimes it is. Meals are served on team planes and spreads often are available in the locker room after games.

The man Nuggets players love to see at the start of a trip is Gillen.

Before each month, he determines how many nights the team will be on the road and sends figures to the accounting department.

On partial days, players are paid about $57 for dinner, $30 for lunch and $19 for breakfast.

Gillen gets the envelopes for each player before a trip. With 13 on the roster, that adds up to $10,387 for this voyage.

"They put their names on (the envelopes)," Gillen said of the accounting department. "I take it to the airplane, and they have to sign for it. I give them the envelope, and away they go."

Gillen keeps two.

Forwards Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony request all their per diem at the end of the season. So Gillen locks up those envelopes until the two are ready.

A Nuggets player going on each preseason and regular-season trip would finish with 26 envelopes and the total take would be about $7,500, though taxes must be paid on about 40 percent of per diem.

Martin, out for the season after undergoing right knee surgery in November, and Anthony, suspended for 15 games earlier in the season, haven't gone on all trips.

"I give them to my nieces and nephews," Martin, making $11.8 million, said of what he does with his envelopes. "They got the price on them. I take it out and count it and give it away."

Martin isn't the only high-salaried Nuggets player willing to part with his per diem. Camby gives envelopes on some trips to guard Yakhouba Diawara in exchange for certain chores performed by the team's only rookie.

Diawara, making the rookie minimum of $412,718, carries some bags and sometimes brings meals to Camby. It doesn't sound as if Diawara buys much for himself.

"There's nothing over a $10 meal for 'Kouba,' " Sampson said. " 'Kouba' will walk three miles. He'll walk around the whole city just to save some money."

Diawara scoffs at Sampson's claims. He said there are days he has only $10 remaining from per diem and spoke about having a $24 breakfast and $40 lunch on a recent trip.

Sampson, though, is proud to be regarded as the team's most frugal player.

"Subway. Quiznos, I'll go to whatever sandwich shop," he said.

Call Sampson the Subway king or the Quiznos king. It might depend on which is giving back the most change.

Per diem through a sampling of NBA players:

• Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony felt like a kid when he joined the NBA in 2003 and was told the per diem amount. "It's kind of like allowance," he said. "One-hundred dollars a day. That's crazy."

• When guard Chucky Atkins played in the Continental Basketball Association in 1996-97, he received $25 per diem. "It was Burger King, Subway, IHOP, Waffle House, Denny's," Atkins said of his restaurants of choice. When Atkins, now with the Memphis Grizzlies, made the NBA in 1999-2000, he continued those eating habits but soon learned from veterans. "They told me you've got to fuel your body with some good food," said Atkins, saying the advice has helped, and he now uses the bulk of his $106 per diem.

• As the Nuggets' only rookie, guard Yakhouba Diawara has added duties. But don't think he's not compensated. "Sometimes I give it to 'Kouba,' " center Marcus Camby said of his per diem. "He doesn't have the big contracts like a lot of us. I take care of him. I've bought him suits, PlayStation and an iPod." For Camby's generosity, Diawara sometimes carries bags and gets food for Camby. But it doesn't sound like he's overworked. "I just help him out, nothing too much," Diawara said.

• Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is making $12.5 million this season. When he was out for 2 1/2 months earlier this season because of a broken right leg, he was asked by a Houston Chronicle reporter why he went on a certain trip. Yao quipped it was so he could get the "road trip per diem."

• Forward Eduardo Najera is perhaps the Nuggets' most energetic player. He makes sure he doesn't waste his energy on the road trying to save money on food. "In my first two years in the league, I'd go to places like (Denny's)," said Najera, who broke in with the Dallas Mavericks in 2000-01. "But I learned from the veterans it's better to get your rest rather than go walking around. It's an investment to stay off your feet and get (hotel) room service and pay the extra money so you can perform better."

• Money for food? Yes. But New Or- leans/Oklahoma City Hornets guard Devin Brown uses his per diem for a lot more. "DVDs, video games, batteries, headphones. Stuff like that," Brown said.

• A lot has changed in a year for Rockets rookie forward Steve Novak. He played last season for Mar- quette. "We got a $110 check every two weeks," he said. "That's about the same as we get in the NBA for one day."

• So do players dislike two games in two days? Not necessarily. "I love it when we have a back-to-back," Nuggets center Jamal Sampson said. "That means we get free breakfast." If the team's second game of a back-to-back is on the road, the Nuggets have a breakfast meeting at the hotel instead of a shootaround.

Source: Rocky Mountain News

Friday, March 16, 2007

Hoo boy...

School's in again.

I skipped the first lecture last week because of the move thinking it was going to be the usual introductory crap but after 2 hours of - 'What the fuck is she going on about?', I don't think I'll miss anymore classes from here on in.


I don't feel any better but my Hulk is becoming incredible. Is that normal?

It's going to be a tough semester...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dollars and sense.

I went to a seminar last night. It was a presentation on the upcoming changes in the superannuation (known as employees provident fund (EPF) in Malaysia) legislation which will take effect in a few months. The speaker was talking about how much tax people are going to be saving once they hit the legal retirement age and how to take advantage of the changes.

Hey, if it’s tax we’re saving, I’m all for it but the catch is, contributions to superannuation can’t be accessed until retirement. So, all those baby boomers out there that are nearing retirement will most likely be engaging a financial planner and dumping shitloads of money into their superfunds to take advantage of the change. That’s all good and well but asking a 20 or 30 something to throw money into something they won’t see for decades just doesn’t sit well with me. Even if it means tax savings.

If I have a lazy million lying around, then I’d most definitely do it but there are a lot of ‘what-ifs’ along the way. What if I need the money now? What if I want to help out the family or friends? Does being financially prudent mean one doesn’t need to have a life or have fun? Does it mean one has to be a stingy bastardo or biatch?

I dunno. Maybe some people can do it. At this point in time, superannuation is probably the last thing I’ll think about when it comes to investments or tax savings. I’ve heard the funniest and weirdest stories about friends and relatives who go to extremes to save a buck or two. I’m not saying that being thrifty is bad. Heck! I probably have ‘complimentary’ towels, soaps, stationery, basically everything that wasn’t nailed down, from every single hotel I’ve stayed in. The point is, saving money for a rainy day is good but saving money and not being able to use it when you need it most is just silly. I probably know how those paper millionaires feel now. Having magazines quote their worth when in reality, they might be flat broke.

I keep thinking that by the time one has access to the war chest, one might feel too old to want to do anything with it. All of a sudden, that round the world trip that you planned to have 20 odd years ago just seems too difficult and tiring.

I understand that superannuation is to provide for the retirement years where we can't live from paycheque to paycheque but I just feel that there are other avenues to accumulating wealth other than super for the 'younger' people. Granted that the speaker probably had his presentation geared towards the older crowd when the majority of the audience last night was around the late 20s/early 30s, it just felt like he's saying, 'put all your savings into super otherwise you have shit for brains!'

I’ll revisit this when I’m 45. I’d probably be milking my kids to contribute to my super. Muahahahaha!

Oh! One of the 3 people from the firm that made the presentation looked like a sexier version of Christy Chung. She was in a business suit but imagine if she was in a Lara Croft outfit. HOT DAMN! No wonder we were all wide awake.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Another milestone.

February was pretty eventful. One of my proposed resolution for MMVII was to curb my indulgence in retail therapy but it looks like that thought's been blown to smithereens.

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Ok, Chinese New Year was a great excuse to dodge the guilt seeing that it's one of the things one do to usher in the new year by getting new stuff right? So, technically, even though if I didn't mean to buy them for the new year, it still passes as an excuse correct? If not, I'll just say, it's an early birthday present from me to

Yeah. Perfectly normal.

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I just couldn't resist these two pairs. They're weird and ugly but it's like they had tractor beams locked onto my wallet. Plus, throw in a 50% discount on the LBJ IVs, I'd be having sleepless nights if I let it slide. It was a darn steal!

The blue Penny Foamposites however is a monster. That's a good thing. They're so hideous, they're beautiful.

Ok, that didn't make sense.

Anyway, February was a blur. Everything came thick and fast but I don't think I'm regretting on any of the purchases. Jordan Olympic jersey's a must and I heart those J 3s long time.

Then there was the phone.

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Always loved the K800i ever since I saw them. I'm not into gadgets as much as some people but I needed one because I gave my mum my Samsung E700 and have been using an old Nokia in the interim. I hate Nokias.

I managed to hustle my company to package the phone and they threw in the bluetooth handsfree thingy (notice the non-techie vocabulary)for free which was sweet.

The Mardi Gras was in town last night. We saw a few weird ladies wearing very little wandering around in preparation for the big party. My eyes were working overtime with some of the amazing costumes they cooked up. Wait, I think it was just mainly skin but nonetheless, amazing! Leaving nothing to the imagination is a good thing cos' imagination's overrated.

We were there to celebrate IV.III.MMVII in one of my favourite Japanese restaurant. Nothing fancy, just good satisfying tukka. Stuffed myself silly and was very proud of my effort. Hello toilet bowl!

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