Sunday, July 31, 2005

Melbourne Bloggers Meet

The rendezvous was at Max Brenner QV at 2pm. I managed to be late.

Max Brenner is an upmarket chocolate shop of sorts. They sell a variety of chocolate drinks with chocolate drizzled this and chocolate drizzled that. Business is really good- they even have the cheek to charge a 10% weekend surcharge. A $4.50 drink becomes $4.95 during the weekend. Ta ma de. What next? Up to date supply and demand optimisation? “Current surcharge: 4.3%. Next update in 4:32 minutes.”

I was late for the meeting because my phone flashed me with its “battery low” warning just as I was ready to move. It was not very good since we had no way of identifying each other except by a 10-digit string of numbers that uniquely identifies a phone and thereby the person. And so a charging plug was shoved up a little hole at the bottom of my phone, and left inside for about 15 minutes. That would explain why I was late by 15 minutes.

There were 5 of us (in alphabetical order):
Yee Wei

I didn’t talk very much (no surprises there), which was probably a good thing since many of the issues raised were very much beyond my katak di bawah tempurung field of view. There were discussions about Malaysian politics, the NEP, distribution of wealth, the general mindset of Malaysians towards government inefficiencies, architecture at Lim Kok King Institute...

We sat on one of the tables set up outdoors of Max Brenner; they do not have indoor seating. At about mid afternoon, a breeze picked up it started getting uncomfortably cold. Hands disappeared into pockets, and the jackets got zipped up a bit higher. We moved out of Max Brenner into QV’s food court soon after.

It would appear that most bloggers are into photography. David, Diana and Jean have their own SLRs. David has a beautiful Olympus E-300 and posts weekly (Mondays) photographs on his blog, Diana has 2 film cameras (at least one SLR, Canon EOS 300v) and a digital prosumer Canon A510, Jean has been playing with SLRs since form 3 and co-founded her secondary school’s photography club. [correct me if i'm wrong] Myself, only a decade old Olympus iS-1000 ZLR (an SLR but without the removable lens assembly) and no digitals to speak of except for frequently borrowed ones.

3 out of 5 are hardcore photographers! Probably not hardcore porn photographers though. No chance of me visiting shoots in the near future...

A few interesting points I picked up (and still remember):
Never, never, never condemn anyone to the Lim Kok Wing Institute. They do not deserve it. Your enemy can’t have done anything to require a re-education at Lim Kok Wing Institute; the Institute does not deserve more income in form of tuition fees.

Apparently, Lim Kok Wing himself used to be a man down on his fortunes. Nonetheless he kept his Jaguar from his previous high. And, he would beg his friends and acquaintances for the odd RM50 to pump petrol.

The British found tin from Malaya attractive during the colonial era because tin was a commodity in great demand. It was in demand because it was used to package canned food. Canned food was very popular in North America at that time since soldiers were too busy to cook a decent meal and had to resort to cracking open cans of precooked mush. It was the American Civil War.

The political fiasco at SRJK(C) Damansara was the result of politicians trying to use/lever the situation to their advantage, thus screwing over the general population. An insider says that certain parties had been creating trouble. It’s really bad.

It was an interesting one. Hopefully we can meet again sometime in the near future. And no, I wasn’t bored stiff even though I did not talk a lot.