Lex Petros: July 2006

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ahoy there matie... !!!!

(Warning... the contents of this posting may contain ... will contain spoilers for those who hasn't watched the Dead Man's Chest)
"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--
..Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest--
..Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

Dead Man's Chest

Had the oppotunity to watch this one last Saturday...

I hate anti-climatical endings in movies...... why does Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has to face such an invetiable end, leaving the audience to speculate for another year or two... especially with the sudden appearance of Geoffery Rush at the end of the screening... reprising his role as the rather undead undead (if you know what I mean) he still after that dang cursed Aztec gold again???

And what's the deal with the Black Pearl, Sparrow's beloved ship whom he had commanded for 13 years...and then, nothing more can be said about the impending conjugation between Will Tuner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), which in my opinion is overcast by Elizabeth's abrupt attraction to Sparrow.

The only trully character driven member of the entire movie was Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), whom I thought played a really convincing 'grim reaper' sort of soul collector, commanding a submersible ship with a host of undead, sea-life-assimilated hands on deck (which I thought was very Alice-The-Wonderlandnish)... not too shabby for a villain...suffice to say... a vivid departure from the norm...

Suppose this is ala Matrix Trilogy... the writer's attempt to expand the epic into a 3 parter... with the tail end leaving a trail of suspect and dubiousness in all. Seems to me that the Black Pearl saga should have been canned in the Curse of the Black Pearl...because it seems rather wasteful to have that infamous 3-mast ship ploughing the oceans for over a decade and playing the vessel to dead pirates... only to be destroyed by the almighty Kraken in this instalment (something akin to the creature from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea)...

All in all, the humour was satisfactory, though rather cliched at was refreshing to see the lights of 'Bootstrap' Bill Turner (Stellan SkarsgÄrd), Will Turner's father...but nonetheless, this movie boasts a continuing and hopefully, concluding end to the Sparrow chronicles...

Question... if there be pirates... where is the looting and plundering???

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Let me introduce the newest member in my flashlight collection... the Surefire E2E 'Executive Elite' incandescent flashlight (ala CSI). Built from aviation-grade aluminium and finished with a rugged olive drab hard-anodized body, this 4 1/2 inch robust handgrip light boasts weather resistant capability and most importantly, its intensity is blinding 60 lumens! This model is a good seachlight with a medium throw capability, quite similar to my Longbow ECO (another flashlight which I have). However, at 60 lumens and despite using two Surefire 123A litium batteries (3 volts each), this baby has a limited run time of about 1.25 hours.

Hence, my next Surefire purchase would be the L2 Lumamax LED flashlight, equipped with dual-power output, 15 lumens with a run time of 18 hours and 100 lumens!! with a run time of 60 minutes. This beauty is regulated internally by a chip and should be able to pull as much amps from its power source as it is supposed to do. This one has a more medium spread throw as compared with my E2E. Low power would be good for reading in the car or on the airplane and the high power setting comes in handy especially when a good spread of light is needed.

For related topics, you could check out my previous post last month (27th June 2006) of the Blackhawk Night Ops Tactical flashlight.

Oh more thing... did I mention Surefire's products all come with a lifetime warranty? :)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Memorabalia ala Superman

This blog is dedicated to my island-bound friend on the island of Male, Republic of Maldives. Hey Aindhy, you know how you're quite a memorabalia freak... well... I've got good news for you...

Besides the official graphic novel adaptation of Superman Returns and Brian Singer's Superman Returns Prequels (from DC comics), I have recently acquired a cool Superman Returns CD wallet for ya... picture a 5.5' by 5.5', 10-disc storage compartments, embossed with the pinnacular "S" and on a matte silver setting.

Hang on... I will try to get ya the original DVD rendition of the Man of Steel when I come over... about 36 days to go!!!! Currently, I'm trying to find a CD shop which carries the Superman Returns official soundtrack by John Ottman. If I manage to find it, you will get your own copy...I know it's really difficult to get this kinda stuff over there without unduely waiting for it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Riblee's Restaurant & Bar

I must really thank Francis and Asther for introducing me to this establishent of cullinery delight. My first order on the menu ever was the Spring Roast Chicken (1/2). Just one bite, and I knew this place was very different from the rest.

What am I talking about...why, RIBLEE'S RESTAURANT AND BAR, that's what... previously nested in Taman Sea, Riblee's has now moved to Sri's on the 1st Floor, at the end of the Malayan Banking Berhad row... (sorry bout the lack of address... I omitted to find that out... will be added into this blog in due course)

Apart from poultry, this place serves limited but excellent 'specials' from time to time...especially the lamb and steak preparations. Usually, the lamb fillet (with cheese) or the prawn pasta (believe it or not, this is the western version of the 'sang har mee') shown in the picture below

The picture on the top left is RIblee's Protugese Lamb Fillet, top with rich gravy, decorated by crisp and fresh garden salad.

Must say it taster succellent from bite to finish... I had a feeling that I was going to experience a palate overload when I was starting to indulge in the serving before me.

I recommend that a good starter to be the Honey Calamari, deep-fried squid, laced with honey and chilli- padi. Certainly would be a good way to compliment a beer or some whisky... After the main course, the best way to retire for the evening would be to share a serving of Oreo Ice Cream whilst sipping a cuppa....

From what I know, this occulent diner also boasts a fine selection of wine too....although I got this impression when it was at Taman Sea.

In any event, authenticity and ambience is hard to come by these days. Highly recommend that you try this place when your palate seeks to be stimulated. You won't regret it.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Superman Returns

Well, I finally watched it!!! The Man of Steel has finally returned to the silver screens. All these tiresome years of waiting for a sequel of the 70s and 80s instalments of Superman has really paid off. I must say that Brian Singer really deserves the credit. He as managed to preserve Superman's persona in this 2006 rehatch rather well. What did it for me that John Ottman preserved the score and the soundtrack from John WIlliams' original compositions... For years, I had waited for an eventual return of the son of Jor-El on the silver screen.
Then finally, as the credit's roled, reminiscent of the old cinema credits... and the 'whooshing' effects when the movie starts... so... original. I tell ya... I had a tear in me eye when it started... so much emotion ... have been waiting all these years...

A 2 hour 33 minute feature of this sort can be quite a tiresome task for those whole does not have the experience of the Man of Steel originally, but I would say that this is a good family-oriented, 'good vs bad', 'right and wrong' sort of movie that all ages should go for this one.
Oh, of course, the iconic romance between Superman and Lois Lane really takes a form in this rendition. I guess there had to be a continuantion of that aspect of the movie. Sort of like, "I have moved on since you're gone" kinda cliche though. But I felt James Marsden and Frank Langella were side-lined a little. Those 2 coulda carried on their characters better. And Spacey... well, he was overrated in this one... Of course, kudos to Brandon Routh (as in 'south') for portraying the character of the 'mild-mannered reporter' at the Daily Planet and the hero in the red cape so well. I'd say that he is only second to the late Christopher Reeve...For those who rooted for Christine Aquilera, you'd probably realised he (Routh) was a back-up in the music video, What A Girl Wants.

All in all, Superman Return boasts a well rounded written script and with good directorship.

Uncle Chee Tuck's Party

My second cousin, Leong Sek Kai had indicated for these pictures to be published on the blog. My father's counsin Leong Chee Tuck, my second cousin... I think... had organized a party on July 8th, 06 for family and particularly his ex-colleagues and staff in the civil service with whom they served together. The event was held at the Summer Palace Restaurant at Damansara Utama, opposite Damansara Intan, adjacent to Jalan Damansara.

I was delighted to meet up with my other second cousin, Michael Lai and his significant other, Tash. Evidently, Michael is also a diver ...albeit novice... who had extended his invitation to me for a trip this August. Unfortunately, i will be on the way to the Republic of Maldives by then... I would hope, however, to see more of my cousins, diving or not...

Sek Kai, for example will be celebrating his wedding on the 26th of August. I trully wish him and wife all the best... as the old naval saying goes, "may the wind be on your backs"..

Saturday, July 08, 2006

3rd place or bust!

Germany vs. Portugal... The hosts vs. the only team that made it to the quater finals who has not yet won the World Cup... IF Protugal beats Germany...

I wait... with bated breath... and there will, undoubtedly, be a LOT of hair pulling and squirming in my seat involved... WHO CARES ABOUT THE FINALS?!?!?... ok ok... I do too... but still...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Portugal's Last Stand

As the seconds ticked by during the end of the 2nd half, I had a nagging feeling that my good buddy in the Maldives, AINDHY would be starting to tear his hair out!! My symphaties buddy!!... I was hoping your team made it into the finals... I can just imagine the emacipation and the suspense during those final moments when the goalie joined in the foray in a hope to score that 1 goal which could have made a diff...

The onslaught of the Potugese in the 2nd half of yesterday's match coulda brought tears to me eyes... I mean, they really tried. After France led 1-0 by penalty, I happenned to have stumbled out of my slumber and got glued to the idiot box, despite me not being a football sorta guy. But those suspense moments had me begging for a glimer of hope for the poor team.

France honestly did not show that much of an offence, although I thought they really marked Christiano Ronaldo very well. Our friend and his teammate, Simao really displayed the most agile performance I have yet to witness. At every turn, the Portugese hurled their fury at the French, only to suffer near misses... I was actually hoping that they'd equalise at some time....

Well, we have yet to see the beginning of the end of this instalment of the world's biggest football tournament. I hope ya pundits out there will put yer bets wisely... may the force be with you...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Alex & Grace...

Wedding bells are going to ding & dong. Doves will take flight soon (I think....). A beautiful venue in a garden setting and most importantly, the splendour of seeing loved ones and friends will be forthcoming next month.

Meet Alex Lam & Grace Tan (click on the names to visit their website, it's the most meaningful one I've ever chanced upon) two hearts walking with the Lord and two hands to be intertwined at the altar in holy matrimony! My fellow divers, whom I met in Tioman about 2 years ago have made a relationship which should serve as a role model for all the young lovers out there.

Alex Lam, founder and CEO of Integricity Corporation Sdn Bhd (yes, the man has big dreams to be the next Bill Gates... he's already expanded his operations already) a man whom I've had the privilege of knowing has been blessed with Grace Tan, a "visual storyteller" (as she describes herself in her blog) are a great looking couple... both passionnate about God ... both share a passion for the outdoors... and both, are now to be bound by the institution of marriage... yes... that holy and significant institution which, when God has put together,let no man may put assunder...

We got together last nite to meet up with the 2 love birds, together with their close friends at Nasi Kandar Penang, TTDI. We had finally gotten our invites. The card was 'cooly' designed, In any event, our RSVPs were done there and then. If you ever go there, try to satay and the meehon goreng (top it with satay sauce... excellent combination.... grin)

My heartiest congratulations to the both of you, Alex and Grace. May God bless you and keep you and make his countenance upon you....

Monday, July 03, 2006

Under the hood

5 long weeks, according to Francis Tan, a.k.a. 'Uncle', has his car been in the workshop getting its engine overhauled. Our friend, as he explained (picture on the left & right)

is getting a new 'MIVEC'** head over the block of this 1.8l engine. Incidentally, when we went over to Tajol's (name of Uncle's mechanic) place on Sunday nite (July 1st), his new intake manifold would be coming on Monday.

** MIVEC = Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system. (to read more about it, click please)

But I must say, the engine is looking pretty good... the repainted block in black, aptly contrasted with the newly painted oil sump (no angle in these pictures)

But take a look at the 'squeeky' clean valves... I could not resist taking a macro shot of it. Looks almost brand new... or are they?

I have taken out Uncle's car a few times... it should be a real treat taking this baby out for a spin when all is spick and spam... Uncle, you may wanna tell Tajol to 'step on it'! :)