Sunday, December 28, 2008

Change of Guard

I am very happy with the management decision to appoint a new VP for the HR group recently. The reason that I am elated is that the present thinking to elect someone for a higher position is no longer on the basis of age but rather competency and suitability. On top of that, I am also very happy because a technical person has been appointed to that position and with this I am pretty convinced that the current management is very serious indeed to put competency ahead of seniority and I hope this thinking will spread like wild fire to other positions in the company.

Speaking about seniority, I know very well now how delicate a situation is to manage a group of people particularly when many of them are senior in terms of age than I do. There were times when I feel that few still cannot accept the fact that I am younger and yet I am the one who gets to call the shot. However, the way that I was brought up by my parents help me to become more patient and stronger in this situation. I always believe that respect is earned and not commanded and we must always respect others first before we can be respected. I know that I may have gained respect now compare to a year ago but I still believe that there is still work cut out for me to really unite people under my responsibility.

Comes January, it is going to be one year since I acted on my current position. My wish and doa for the new year is to get confirmation on this position so that I can focus more on the work rather than thinking if I ever going to get the confirmation or not. Should the management decided against this, sincerely speaking, i will not know what will I do and maybe for the best of all, just remain calm and and let Allah guide me on my next move. Nonetheless, I always believe that if we have done our best and pray a lot to Allah, we will get the answer sooner or later. The answer to my prayer to Allah may not be a Yes but it will be surely the best indeed.

I also hope that next year is going to be even a better year for me and my family. I just hope and pray it starts with a good one...Salam Maal Hijrah and Happy New Year for all readers of my blog. May Allah bless us Always !!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Visit to Taman Tamadun Islam

This year we decided to spend our Hari Raya Haji Holidays in Trengganu. Actually I could not really recall when was the last time we spent our Eid Holidays, well, at least the first day, in KT. As usual, going back to KT is more of a family obligation for us but this year our eldest daughter won't be able to join us as she is spending her first Eid in Jordan.

During this trip I took the opportunity to catch up on my photographic hobby and I did just that when we visited the newly open Taman Tamadun Islam near Losong.

This park exhibits several well-known mosques around the world such as Masjid Nabawi, Alhambra(Spain) and others in scale miniatures. Although the idea is quite noble, I can only lament that the finishing work of the miniature mosques are quite disappointing. Perhaps, the contractor were rushing to complete the park before the SUKMA 08 in Trengganu. One good thing about this park though is it's entrance fee is quite reasonble at RM10 for adults (you get rebate of RM3 for food) and RM5 for kids. Visitors have the choice to either just walk the park (about 1KM walk) or ride the buggy with some fees. We decided just to walk as I thought that we can enjoy the view more on our leisurely pace.

The following are some photos I managed to get during the visit...Enjoy!!!

I also took few pics of other places we visited such as the Kite Seller at Pantai Batu Buruk and also the boats near the Pasar Payang terminal.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Birdie Shots...

Today I had the oppurtunity to snap few pics of birds flying and perching on top of the tree branches in from our home. Luckily I was carrying my DMC-FZ28 with me having just returned from our almost routine Saturday eat out breakfast with my other half.

I was probably 10m away from those birds but the zoom capability of the DMC-FX28 enabled me to snap quite clear photos of them as if I was just 2-3 feet away. Sadly, I am not able to name those birds as I am not into birding or have any special affinity towards them.The picture quality is ok but of course could not match the quality taken using my Canon with 70-200mm L lens as below..

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Superzoom and Wedding...

On Sunday my other half and I were invited to a wedding reception in Antara Gapi near Serendah. It was my cousin's daughter wedding and for him this will be the first time that he organizes a wedding reception for his family. My late father and my cousin's mom were siblings and that made me and him close relatives although in reality we are not that close that I would like it to be maybe because we seldom meet each other. Nonetheless, we are making a lot of effort to narrow the gap between many distant relatives and attending occasion like this one is one of the many ways possible. My children were not going and stayed at home as Gondai Jr was still recuperating from his circumcision event last week.

I decided to use this wedding reception to test out the superzoom quality of my DMC-FZ8 and the follwoing images were the results!

I am very satisfied with the photo quality of the DMC-FZ28. Leica lens is a very good lens indeed. Although the overall images are not quite very close to a DSLR zoom as per my Canon 70-200mm, it's lightweight and smaller size sort of compromise in the image quality area.Now, I can travel light and not miss good oppurtunity to snap great moments from afar...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lumix LX-3 First Outing..

I made my decision! Got my Panasonic LX-3 Compact this week albeit it was not under my original scrutiny. Reason?..well it's purely due to it's big Aperture (f2.0) and sleek design. On top of that, this camera received excellent reviews on most camera critiques out there on the net. This camera is in fact a great camera for low-light photography and reasonably good bokeh under strong lighting condition. Although it's not design for superzoom type as it only has 2.5 zoom (24mm-60mm), what matters the most is it's image quality almost resembling my DSLR with Tamron Lens. On top of that, it's smaller than my previous Canon G7 as shown below.

I have not had much time yet playing with it but the following images were taken this week in early morning sunlight.

Macro capability of this camera is also quite impressive and with Optical Image Stabiliser built-in, macro work is quite fun to do !

The wide-angle of this camera is also good as I could not observe any obvious barrel distortion and the sharpness is end to end.

My preliminary assessment is that this camera is a winner although I have not yet explored it's myriad of options. This is one camera that I should not leave home without especially if I am attending any indoor function!..What about superzoom needs? well, I also have my DMC-FZ28 :-) and maybe later will post few pics from this camera as well. Syukur to Allah for blessing me with all this gadjets!!! Ameen..

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Day to Remember...

My son participated in the mass circumcision event organised by the PTA of SK Bukit Jelutong on Saturday 16th November. There were more than 20 children aged between 8 to 11 participated in this event and I would say that it was quite an event for any moslem boy to remember for the rest of his life. I salute the PTA of SKBJ for organising such event because judging from the programme, it was quite well planned and well thought off for many months before. The event started with a simple procession complete with Bunga Manggar in front of the school by the participating children. Parents of the children were also asked to join in the procession and so I did. At this point, I could see that most kids were quite happy and smiling albeit deep in thier hearts we could feel how nervous they were on what lies ahead of them in the next few hours. Most kids were smartly dressed in thier Baju Melayu complete with sampins and it was such a joy to see all of them feeling proud yet apprehensive of what they were about to undergo.

The kids were then ushered to the school hall and were seated on a nicely decorated platform complete with Bunga Telur as if we were in a Malay Wedding event. The organizing chairman of the event which is also the president of SKBJ PTA gave a short welcoming speech to all of the parents. I could not agree more with him on the fact that that such event should be made as annual programme of the school because apart from helping parents to get thier children circumcised, we will also help restore the Malay tradition of helping each other in a real spirit of camaraderie. Yes, we had pulut kuning and also some other food served at the school canteen and this really reminds all of us that the spirit of kampongness still exist in BJ! Besides, a mass circumcision can help alleviate the fear and nervousness of a child about to be circumcised.

After a simple briefing to the parents on the use of Smart Clamp method by the appointed Medical Officer , the children were then asked to proceed with Acara Bersiram. By the way, the Smart Clamp technique is a new technique in the circumcision process as it does not require stiching at all. You can read it here for detail. Personnel from the BOMBA unit were also present to give the children a big splash of Acara Bersiram using the standard issues fire-fighting hose, much to the joy and laughter of them all.

After the wet and wild moment, the children were later asked to put on thier sarongs and wait in the waiting room for thier turn to be circumcised !!! At this moment, the atmosphere became more somber and you could almost feel the heartbeat of most of them. Gondai Jr did not seem to be nervous at first but I know he is very good in hiding his emotion. I could also see some parents counseling thier nervous children and I could also see kids still running around oblivious to the fact that this is going to be an event of thier lives !

After waiting for more than 3 hours since the programme started, Gondai Jr's turn finally came. He was number 20 from the list and at this juncture you could only tell how nervous he was. However, besides the usual screaming of pain Gondai Jr was successfully circumcised with my other half and my two daughters closely beside him during the entire process. Well, he was given three anasthetic jabs and each jab actually represented one big scream! Nonetheless, we was not scared to lay down on the operating table unlike several kids before him..alhamdullilah..

One more things to be done is to remove the clamp at the designated clinic. I received a phone call from the clinic telling me to bring over Gondai Jr on Wednesday to remove the clamp. Now, he is asking me whether this process is going to be painful and I reassure him that the worse is over now and removing the clamp will not be painful at least I am telling the truth this time :-) ...Ameen

Monday, November 10, 2008

In Need for A Bridged Camera..

It's been quite sometimes since I did my last purchase on anything related with camera. With the progress of camera technology in the last two years, my collection of photograpy paraphernalia may be a little bit outdated and probably requires timely upgrade!

For awhile I have been thinking to get a good all-round bridged camera that fits my need for wide-angle and telephoto capability during the time when I need to travel light without having to lug around my DSLRs. My superb Canon G7 is no longer with me as I have given it to my eldest daughter before her departure to Jordan several months back. It is a very good camera and considering the quality photos it can generate, I would strongly suggest it to any aspiring photographer. Recently Canon has announced even a new G Series model called Canon G10. I have a chance to play with this camera last week when I visited the Camera shop in Pertama Complex and these are soem highlights of the camera.

* 14.7-megapixel digital camera for the highest image quality
* 5x optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer plus a 28mm wide-angle lens
* New DIGIC 4 Image Processor improves Face Detection, adds Servo AF, Face Detection * Self-Timer and Intelligent Contrast Correction
* Red-eye Correction provides 3 options for removing red-eye in flash pictures.
* Full range of shooting and recording modes including RAW + JPEG
* Large 3.0-inch PureColor LCD II

Price wise, I m still not very sure but I guess I can get it at about the same amount with the price of my previous G7 model.

The other bridged camera that I am seriuosly considering is the Fujifilm Finepix S100FS. This camera has won several accolades including the 2008 TIPA Award.The lens covers focal lengths of 28mm-400mm equivalent and aperture stop settings. Because of the composite body and lens structure, there is no penetration of dirt and dust onto the CCD of a bright F 2.8 (wide angle) or F5.3 (telephoto).

A feature set borrowed from the S5 Pro incorporated some of the FinePix S5 Pro’s features that have been most appreciated by professional photographers, including film simulation modes and settings that expand the camera’s dynamic range. The FinePix S100FS has an extended dynamic range (100, 200, 400 percent ) that is similar to that of negative film, thanks to the newly developed 2/3-inch, 11.1-megapixel SuperCCD VIII "HR" and the new RP Processor III.

Another prominent features is the Dual Image Stabilization to ensure clean, sharp and blur-free images, even in low-light conditions. This combines image stabilization through a mechanically stabilized "floating" lens element to reduce blur from the photographer’s hand-shake, with Fujifilm’s Picture Stabilization Technology, to reduce blur caused by subject movement, for the ultimate in stabilization technology. High-speed shooting Reliable high-speed performance is possible through Fujifilm’s newly developed Super CCD VIII "HR" and the new image processor RP (Real Photo) III Processor. At 3-megapixels, a maximum of 50 continuous shots at 7 frames/second is possible. .

Movie Mode Movie mode with sound at 30 frames per second in VGA quality, and zoom capable with manual zoom ring while in movie mode.

xD/SD/SDHC-compatible slot The FinePix S100FS features an xD/SD-compatible slot, which accepts not only Fujifilm’s traditional xD-Picture Cards but also Secure Digital (SD) and SD-High Capacity/SDHC cards too.

2.5-inch tiltable LCD The FinePix s100FS features a tilting 2.5-inch LCD that makes it easy to frame shots from a variety of shooting positions.

The retail price of this baby is around RM2500 and I think it's a bit pricey for a 3/4 DSLR camera. However, many reviews that I read put this camera among the best of the 3/4 DSLR and this definitely justify the price...

The other camera under my serious consideration is the Olympus SP-570UZ 10MP camera.

The most prominent feature of the Olympus is the Dual Image Stabilization which enables users to take crisp, clear pictures in virtually any shooting situation. Olympus’ mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the CCD to compensate for camera shake, which often occurs when zooming in on your subject and in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower. Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds that prevent blur caused by a moving subject. The street price for this baby is RM1450 and with this price tag it's sure will catch my attention a lot !

The forth bridged camera that I reviewed is the new Canon S10 IS 10MP camera. The specification of this camera almost similar to the G10 except it has only 10MP and 2.5 inch swivel LDC screen. The plus point is it has 20x Zoom which is four time higher than the G10. This is equivalent to 28mm-500mm lens. WOW!!

Price wise, the Canon Sx10 IS is about RM300-350 cheaper than the G10 and again with this price tag, It is sure to be a luring attribute for me to get it soon...


Although the Fujifilm Finepix S100fs is expensive, it is obvious by now that this is the bridged camera for me. However, I might want to wait for a while until the price drops to below 2K. In fact in the states, the price is something in the region of US600 and I won't be surprise that this price can also be obtained here locally. My second choice would be the Canon SX10 IS simply due to its telefoto capability. Really, the G10 is only a winner to SX10 due to its larger pixel of 14.1MP and 3 inch LCD which can be traded off for other features.