Friday, August 13, 2010


How far I've come. I'm now a scuba instructor!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ding! Dong!

12th July 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009


Right. Big news of the day, Michael Jackson has passed away. A little bit of a shock there. Now all the speculation and the tributes will come pouring in. And no doubt blogs all over will have something to say.

No doubt also from those quarters which not too long ago were so delighted to crucify him.

I had always thought that he had lead an impossible life what with his eccentricities and how the media had portrayed him. He was strange no doubt but I have only always thought of him as a brilliant singer, songwriter, composer, dancer, choreographer and producer. With emphasis on production. The one massive talent he had that most people fail to recognise. As for his private life, well, it's his private life. I never cared. Not that there was much very private about it. He could have just simply given a massage chair a try and the press would be screaming he sleeps in one or more likely that he gets his rocks off from the chair.

He couldn't fart without anyone knowing and without someone trying to get it into a bottle.

Never mind the abuse scandal. That was weird. The press would have trampled over little old ladies to get their story and the devout fans would have lynched anyone who declared him guilty.

Now everyone will be gushing what a loss, what a tragedy and all that shit.

To gain the love, respect and even adulation he craved, perhaps the best thing he could have done was to die.

Rest in peace.

Gain the peace you never had while you walked this planet.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stupid question

Nat and I went diving at Sipadan again. I got a few photos of the Napoleon wrasse. I've remembered that I've posted a picture of this magnificent creature before. Here it is.

And this is the picture I took at Barracuda Point.

Which picture do you think is more pleasant to look at?

Bear in mind. The Napoleon aka humphead wrasse is endangered.

As a footnote, it's strange how things happen. Nat and my own turning point in diving came at Barracuda Point in Sipadan when we got into all sorts of trouble and culminated in being swept off the reef. I blogged about it so it's somewhere here. At this point, Barracuda Point is the dive site we have dived the most anywhere and we absolutely love it.

Oh hullo

Oh hullo.... you might have noticed the gap between postings. You might also have noticed I am not using my own domain name any longer. I have allowed it to expire.

I have moved up another notch in the PADI ladder in my quest to achieve Divemaster level. I am not rushing it though. There are just some things which are so much better done with experience.

I am now trying my hand at underwater photography.

I am also about to get married.

Monday, October 13, 2008

US of Arrogance

Speaking of diving forums. Here is a posting of mine:

"I came across a discussion on a primarily American forum regarding diver limits and park fees for Sipadan. Mainly divers complaining about how risky it is to go to Sipadan when it isn't guaranteed that they'll be able to dive there. Anyway, it got kinda interesting from a Malaysian's (esp. a Malaysian diver's) point of view in the end. Here are some quotes:

"All that will do will ensure that access to this special place is further limited to those who can afford a substantial extra cost, which isn't fair at all."

"Fair? Is it fair to Malaysians that a precious national resource is being trashed by (mostly) American and Japanese divers to put pocket change into the hands of a few dive operators? Is it fair to Malaysians that many can't afford a dive trip to Sipadan and when their children can, it won't be worth going to? Malaysia has no obligation to be fair to foreign divers--their obligations are to preserve their national heritage and to exploit their resources to their maximum benefit."

"I would argue that Sipadan is in better shape as a dive destination then it ever would be as an unprotected site-- fished out, dynamited, exploited. That doesn't excuse poor stewardship of the park, which cannot be sensibly improved by charging a lot more for access to the park (please note that I am completely in support of park fees, just not ridiculously high ones). The solution of capping numbers and operating on a first come, first serve basis (which is the way I think Sipadan was supposed to be operated) is still better than charging more money. Charging more money will absolutely ensure that many Malaysians won't be able to afford it."

"The fact that most Malaysians can't afford to go to Sipadan is due to bigger issues than how much a daily entrance is to Sipadan--and even if the daily fee was waived for Malaysian citizens probably many would not be able to afford scuba equipment."

"But this highlights my point--which is that increasing fees to a very high amount will only serve to limit the opportunities of those who happen to make less than others."

Take it with a pinch of salt. rolleyes.gif


I must remember to work harder and to pick more coconuts to sell to foreign tourists. That is, when the tiger goes away and I can come down from my treehouse. Even if eventually I can't afford scuba gear and to go to Sipadan, it is my hope than I can pick enough coconuts so my children can. laugh.gif"

If you want the full thread, which I posted to as well before the references to poor, backward and inferior started, it's here.

Well meaning as they might be and think they are, from here all I see are large caucasian nostrils.


Incidently, I posted that in a Malaysian divers forum. At first, they didn't get it either or didn't want to reply. Then a couple discussed the Sipadan situation and nothing else. Finally someone posted that I had taken offense to the American divers' comments. No shit Sherlock.

And then, I get chided for being petty.

What are we Asians frightened of? That they won't give us Levi's and Britney Spears anymore? Fuck you backward, inferiority complex, village idiots. Pick coconuts and live in your tree house.

Please watch this

You might think it's a typical, useless and ineffective public awareness program. Another one. Yes? No? It probably is. Chinese people are tragically more impressed by showings of wealth and prosperity. If they could eat hummingbird tongues, mermaid tails and unicorn horns, they would.

In the video you see a Napoleon Wrasse being taken out of holding pens on the sea and the swimming in an aquarium in a restaurant. Don't be fooled. That's not a fish farm. Some time back someone posted a picture of a large Napoleon Wrasse in an aquarium in a shop on a dive forum. I felt I had to reply to that particular thread.

The picture in question is from the Malaysian Underwater forum and posted by a member with the nick 'arrifin'. I hope no one objects to my using the picture here.

You might have seen this fish in a restaurant. It may appear big but it is a young fish. They grow slowly and live long. Up to 6 feet in length and an average of 30 years. This fish is just a juvenile. I have seen this fish while diving (Mid Reef, Sipadan). It is a beautiful and magnificent fish. Leave it where it belongs.

It is said that most divers end up eating farmed fish. I've already commited to it a while back and I don't eat sea food at all.

This is what I posted:

"I seriously doubt this is a cultivated fish. It matures and grows slowly to 2m/6ft and has a long lifespan, about 30 years. This fish is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Conservation action has been taken by a number of countries including Australia, Indonesia, China, Philippines, Palau and Papua New Guinea. How effective, I don't know. However, Malaysia is not on the list. Basically, a Napoleon Wrasse's hope to stay off the dinner table is to live in marine reserve parks and perhaps popular dive locations.

Below is an edited excerpt from the Napoleon Wrasse's entry by the Species Survival Commission.

Wherever it is fished, even if only moderately, density quickly declines to 25% or less. It is particularly heavily exploited in key supply countries for the live reef fish trade, Malaysia and Indonesia, and out of Palawan, its stronghold in the Philippines. In these countries all available fishery-dependent and trade-related data suggest declines over 10–15 years in exploited areas of 10–fold or more with fish now considered rare in areas where once it was common. Buyers of this fish are continually having to source new areas as numbers decline and the pattern of fishing reported is one typical of rapid serial depletions. Much of the capture in all major source countries for live fish are of small fish, mainly juveniles, according to all reliable accounts. Moreover, juveniles are the preferred size range for retailers of live Humphead Wrasse. Such is the concern for this species that it is one of the only reef fish protected by name (i.e., species name) across a range of countries. Some spawning aggregations have been noted to decline or have disappeared in eastern Malaysia and Australia.


An extensive series of underwater visual census surveys at more than 30 survey sites around Sabah (the major supplier and source of this species in Malaysia) found that, after extensive and uncontrolled fishing had occurred, only 2 sites had more than 1 Humphead Wrasse per km squared with only two reproductive sites identified. Population declines determined from these surveys to have occurred since 1974 were 99.91% in Humphead Wrasse numbers, when compared with similar unfished reefs. Sabah is the principle source of Humphead Wrasse in Malaysia, and a location central to the geographic range of the species with habitat suitable for the species (TRACC 2004). It is also thought that spawning aggregations may have eased in the area as a result of overfishing (T. Daw, pers. comm., based on WWF Malaysia Project Report 2002).

This species is found in marine protected areas (MPA) of peninsular Malaysia (e.g., Pulau Payar, west coast) and, in a survey of Sabah, was noted from Mabul Is., Bodgaya Is. (Semporna district) and Sipadan Is. (A. Cabanban, pers. comm.; G. Allen, unpublished data; World Wildlife Fund, unpublished data). The Humphead
Wrasse is nowadays rarely seen by divers in much of eastern Malaysia, where most of the country’s coral reefs are located. Exceptions are at Pulau Layang Layang where an estimated 350 fish measuring 60-120 cm TL were noted, and west of Sabah and Pulau Sipadan where an estimated 70 fish were recorded in the late
1990s) (TRACC 2004). These locations are protected by the Royal Malaysia Navy and by dive resorts, respectively. The TRACC study around coasts of Sabah yielded only 2 sites with more than 1 fish noted per km with most fish in the immature size range (TRACC 2004).

However good it may taste, I'm not having any. It's no damn different from shark fins. I bought that t-shirt too."

Nat bought me a book entitled Reef by Scubazoo, a team of underwater videographers and photographers. I met one of them, a friend's husband, some years back in Kota Kinabalu. He mentioned in the book that he tries to portray the true nature of sharks while he is photographing them. I think I know what he means. He photographs the large predators, the tiger sharks, the altantic white tip and the sand tiger to name a few. People ask him if being so close to such predators and proven man killers frighten him. As wary of the shark as he may be, he's seen and filmed the slaughter of sharks. He's filmed a sea bed littered with shark heads and unwanted parts discarded after the fin harvest. Fearsome predator it may be but it's actually very very vulnerable.


Abort, Retry, Fail?

No idea why went offline.

Quite likely bloody eternal solutions' (the pricks my domain name is registered with) name server crapped up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My 2 cents

If there's a male equivalent to Paris Hilton, it has to be Kevin Federline.

Thank you.

Good night.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nouveau Riche

Nat and I had dinner in Delicious at 1 Utama recently. I have to say though that we wouldn't ordinarily have eaten there. Nat had vouchers for the place so we decided to use them. I don't quite like these places. It is my opinion (you don't have to agree with me) that such places are more flash and not much substance.

This is what I think of the place. It has really nice decor. Obviously a lot of money went into sprucing up the place. The staff is not well trained. For the bucks one has to blow, I fully expect the staff to be professional, well trained and polite. Rude foreign bitch, what can't really understand and speak English, was getting on my nerves when the supervisor noticed and stepped in. The food is at best, ordinary.

This is the age of bling-bling. We're still in it and I bloody well hate it. Nothing represents it more than a teenaged black American holding up his $100,000 diamond pendant with both thumbs up to the camera. Usually it'll have some fucking dumb statement on it written in diamonds.

My theory is of the nouveau riche. The ones who made good in the economic boom. The ones who never had so much money before. The ones who don't know what to do with the money and how to spend it. I don't begrudge anyone from making as much money as possible. It's anyone's right and it's what keeps the economy going. It's the fakery and the flash and the pretense that I disagree with.

Since when were we happy to pay ten bucks for a cup of coffee?

Anyway, at Delicious I had something I can blog about and bitch about. Hey, it's what I'm good at no? It's not the place itself. I already said it's all flash and no substance. No no no. Here's what I saw to get the bitchyness going.

I saw a young couple. They'd been shopping. For her. Lots of bags. Expensive labels. She was very well dressed. I'll also say she is very very pretty. Nice clothes. Nice watch. Make up very nicely done. Nothing really to gawk about you think? Well, she could not have been any older than 16.

What kind of school girl dresses up like that? Wears make up? And I certainly hope she paid for her own shopping. If not, I certainly hope for the boy's sake that she's an absolute whore in bed and that he's getting some.

There's a new lifestyle to be had. I've heard about it but I hadn't really seen it with my own eyes. It's called the heiress lifestyle. I prefer to call a spade, a spade. I call it the prostitute-myself lifestyle. It's kinda stupid. Girls aspiring to be spoilt rotten and to have all their wants and whims satisfied. Funny bit is, I don't think many of them have billionaire parents.

I don't really know what's going to happen when the crash comes and believe me, it is coming. Rich kids still asking for their thousand a week pocket money when dad's looking at letters from lawyers because they can't understand that money doesn't grow on trees. What it might do is create children of the great depression like they had in America. A new age of tight fistedness.

I don't know which is worse. Young rappers showing off a very large and expensive diamond encrusted ding-a-dong or that little tramp.


Is this next line familiar?

I blame goddam Paris Hilton.