Archive for Random Thoughts

How Often Do You Check Your Water Tank?

If you own a home or stay in a house, you will have a water tank somewhere in the roof.  I’m sure you are aware of the water tank because in days where no water flow to our home, there is still water to cook, bathe and wash.  And yes, this water comes from our very own water tank.  But how often do you check your tank?

If you have not seen what’s in your water tank, let me tell you this; it’s filled with sendiment and jelly like substance.  Seriously, after seeing my water tank once, I have this resolution to clean the water tank at least once every six months.  I can imagine that I have been bathing and drinking this stuff.

You only need to check your water reservoir for your toilet bowl and you will see what I mean.  Good luck…

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Should Congestion Charge Be Imposed in Kuala Lumpur?

I am writing this post in response to a letter written by a reader in the New Straits Times.  The letter says:

TRAFFIC congestion is a daily and almost day-long occurrence in Kuala Lumpur city centre. It is worse during the weekend, when a motorist can be stuck in a jam for as long as two hours.

In such a situation, it is often advisable to call your date/client to cancel any appointment you may have made.

It is for these reasons that I fully support the implementation of a congestion-charge (CC) system in Kuala Lumpur.

We should model our CC system on that implemented in London, where they have successfully reduced traffic congestion.

Motorists wishing to enter the city centre should pay a reasonable fee, which, it is hoped, would discourage them from going into the city alone in their vehicle.
The collected congestion-charge fee could be used to improve the public transportation system.

However, the CC system should only operate during certain times of the day, for example, from 8.30am to 7pm.

Exceptions must be given to people whose homes are within the congestion-charge area, and to taxis and buses.

Although it is not cheap, I believe that such a system can help reduce city-centre traffic congestion significantly. On the first day of the implementation of the scheme in London, there was a 25 per cent drop in traffic.

It is sad to think that although we have one of the best road systems in Asia, we cannot enjoy them because of the horrendous traffic conditions in city centres. We must act now.

Though I myself would love to enjoy traffic-free driving, we need to stop a bit and do some thinking. Before we start copying London’s congestion charge, do we know what London’s public transportation is like?  Let me tell you about London’s public transportation; from their black cabs and red buses to their underground tube; it’s a maze of easy getting around.

In London, you need not negotiate with the black cab drivers. No need to wonder if they are going your direction or not. No need to worry if they are going to use the meter or not.  Back in Kuala Lumpur, (generally) it’s the reverse of what I experienced in London.

In London, the buses are aplenty and keeps to their schedule.  In Kuala Lumpur, you will sometimes have to wait for an hour and the elusive bus is nowhere to be found.

Take a look at the above extensive reach of London’s Tube.  In London, their tube stretches 50 kilometers in 6 zones. We have a long way to go before we reach their kind of rail system.  As a comparison, take a look at Kuala Lumpur’s rail map below.  See the stark contrast?

Therefore, before we start being a copycat, let’s give those affected an alternative. Not just any alternative but reasonable, workable, convenient alternatives.  In this case, Kuala Lumpur needs to have not a good but great public transportation first before we consider imposing congestion charge.

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Learn About Wine

If you think that the word Merlot is one of King Arthur’s aide, you need lots of help; about wines that it.  In fact, many of us need wine education simply because we were not exposed to wine until recently.

In Malaysia, as far as I can remember, wine drinking was not a norm about 8 to 10 years back. In those days, brandy and whiskey bottles filled dinner tables and adorned family closets.  These days, wine has found themselves a more popular choice as the occasional drink.  However, many of us including moi, need help in terms of wine appreciation.

Wine Bottle

If you have watched some documentary, you will see wine connoisseurs testing the wine through sight, smell and taste.  They inspect the wine in the light, swirl the glass, smell the wine and sip the wine.  After all that, they will be able to provide a rating.  Given the chance that I do all that, I will not know what I’m doing.

To really know wine, it is best to check into a wine class and start learning.  It will cost you some money but it’ll be worth it in the long run.  Besides wine classes, you can join wine tasting events where wine experts are there to advise you. After all the learning, you’ll definitely appreciate wines better and you will discover that Chardonnay is not a celebrity’s name. ;)

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