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Kathina day @ Dhammavijaya Meditation Center, Dengkil (15 Oct 2017)

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A routine life makes time pass by relatively quickly. Before you know it, even annual events such as these seem to come around once again. Briefly, the Kathina day marks the end of the 3-month Vassa (meditation retreat) period observed by Buddhist devotees. Usually starting sometime in July and ending in October (referencing the lunar calendar, hence the slight change each year).

Looking at the planned agenda for the day, I noted that we'd have to be there by 8.30am. Based on experience, it would be a 1.5 hour drive, assuming ideal traffic conditions. Leaving at 7.00am, most of the people would still be in bed or at the breakfast table, but due to the Deepavali holiday on Wednesday, plus the entire week being a school holiday, it's anyone's guess how many vehicles would be on the road.

Fortunately, it was an uneventful, smooth journey, with my kids resuming their briefly interrupted sleep in the back of the car. We arrived comfortable on time with some minutes to spare. T…

DIY laundry @ Xpress Laundry, Bukit Katil

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One of the trends these days is self-service laundry, which are now popping up all over the place, especially in high-density housing estates and near apartments / condominiums. Never really gave one a try, until today....


We had a total of 6 curtains that needed some washing. Due to the absence of a back up set, they had to be washed, dried and re-installed by tomorrow in preparation for an upcoming event. Now, we could have loaded them into our washing machine, but we don't have a dryer at home. Hence the idea to try out the DIY laundry. My wife and I dropped by Xpress Laundry, somewhere in Bukit Katil, and took some time to get our bearings. Neither one of us had done this before, so to the other people there, we must have been one odd couple.



It was good that the instructions were clearly written literally on the wall. The 24 hour establishment was essentially open at both ends, with a row of 9kg and 14kg washing machines taking up the first third of the shop lot, in the middl…

Hiking through the Bukit Beruang trail

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Been busy at work in the past couple of weeks, so once again, my blogging momentum hits yet another speedbump. Doesn't mean I spend ALL available time while awake at the office though. On this fine Sunday morning, I and my colleague, L, decided to go for a hike through the famous Bukit Beruang (aka Bear Hill).

We met up at the start of the trail (GPS co-ordinates : 2.242120,102.280092), which was in the housing estate of Taman Dahlia. Depending on your normal routine, 8am may be either early or late. Either way, there were already many people there, as there was a distinct lack of parking near the foot of the hill. Ended up parking some 200 meters or so away (at least I get an effective brisk walk as a warm-up exercise).

I've been up and down the asphalt road all the way up to the Telekom station on many occasions, but there was more to Bukit Beruang than just the "easy trail". Today, we planned to go "offroad" through the forest trail would take us throug…

Volunteering as a helper at the Relay For Life Melaka 2017

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Some time at the end of last month, my old highschool friend, EF, contacted me  to ask if I'd like to help out as a volunteer for the then-upcoming Relay for Life Melaka event. Now, to be honest, I believe I had never heard of such a thing before, but as long as it did not clash with any of my other plans (and did not require me to actually do any running), I was otherwise more than happy to help out.


For those of you who (like me) are new to this, briefly, the Relay for Life was an overnight charity event aimed as raising funds, awareness, supporting and remembering those who have themselves or know someone who has had an encounter with Cancer. Organized by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, the event generally involves a continuous relay of participants around a track. This year, the event was held at the Dataran Pahlawan field in Melaka Raya. Participants need not run - walking was fine. The goal is to ensure at least someone is still going round the track at any given t…

Smurfs : The Lost Village - IFX Movie Day

It was the Melaka Historical City day last Saturday. A fine weekend with family and friends (who work at the same Great Place as I do) at the GSC Aeon Bandaraya Melaka, for another Movie Day organized by the IFX executive recreation club, Club81. This time round, the movie of choice - Smurfs : The Lost Village.

As mentioned in my previous post (http://marvinchong.blogspot.com/2017/04/beauty-beast-outing-to-gsc-aeon.html), originally I had in plan to watch the slightly-controversial-awhile-ago Beauty and the Beast. With the rest of the movies offered being somewhat unsuitable for kids, this was basically the only feasible choice left. I try to keep the rest of this post spoiler-free.... :)

Where Beauty and the Beast was a live-action remake of the cartoon, Smurfs : The Lost Village is a fully animated show. Seems to be a reboot of the movie series, as the earlier 2 movies from Sony Entertainment Pictures was a live-action + CGI combo. While there was no practical way to make a Smurf an…

Demerit Points System (Kejara) goes online in Malaysia

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Significant news for all drivers in Malaysia. Some say good, some say not, depending on what kind of road user you are. From 15 April 2017, the Kejara Demerit Points System goes online nationwide, and ushers in a new era of traffic law enforcement. Ultimately, aimed at increasing road safety by taking action (by means of suspension and even revoking the driving license) of frequent traffic offenders.

Now, for those new to the topic (or need a refresher), Kejara is short for KEsalahan JAlan RAya (or traffic offences, in English). Under this Demerit Point System, each driver will be "awarded" points for each traffic offense under the Road Transport Act 1987. For the initial phase, the main focus will be on (but not limited to) speeding and running through red lights. More will be added in due course. 23 in total, to be exact, planned by the end of the year.

A quick search on the JPJ website reveals the following information on how various offenses are "scored":

Look…

Event - 3D 2N Camping @ Berkelah Waterfalls, Gambang (off Kuantan, Pahang)

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Fresh from the recent hardcore 4x4 adventure to Selancar (http://marvinchong.blogspot.com/2017/03/upcoming-event-hardcore-off-road.html) and Blood donation campaign (http://marvinchong.blogspot.com/2017/03/upcoming-event-blood-donation-april-2017.html), the Puma 4x4 Club is organizing the next camping off-road event to Gambang (off Kuantan, Pahang).

This trip will take place during the 3 day weekend at the end of April 2017 (as Monday, 1st May is a public holiday due to Labour Day). Actually, the plan is to assemble at the Puma 4x4 Office / Club House @ Malim Jaya at 2.00am on Saturday, 29 April 2017. Yes, you read it correctly - 2.00am. So, it' essential to get everything prepared and catch some sleep early the night before.

Entry fees are RM150 per non-member and RM100 per member. If there's any one of you who would like to join, more information can be found at the Puma 4x4 event page : https://www.facebook.com/events/606312219648551

Unfortunately, this trip also clashes w…