Mmmm…Only Cuppa Coffee

l1020310-1-1

Mmmm…Only Cuppa Coffee

Buy me a cup of coffee. I love coffee. I drink coffee 24 x 7. More so, when I write articles. Donate $5.00 for a cup of coffee. You can buy me a cup of coffee once, or once a week, or everyday for that matter. This could inspire me to write more. Any money leftover from the cost of a cup of coffee per day and other expenses; will be donated to buying someone in need of a cup of coffee, a meal or food groceries. We care. We share.

$5.00

BMW 507 (1956) scale1:18 : FOR SALE

A car that definitely won’t go un-noticed if you were seen in one today – BMW 507.

This beautiful, beautiful example of motor sporting luxury, started it’s very short career (1956 -1959) with the hopes of reviving BMW’s sporting image. BMW had the intention of pricing it at $5,000, much lower than the Mercedes Benz 300SL.

By the time it got off the production lines and into sales showrooms; it’s sales prices was too expensive – far more expensive than the 300SL. It almost bankrupted BMW.

Though it was considered a sports car, this 3.2l engine was supposed to deliver a top speed of 135mph but could only muster up 125mph.

Only 256 were built. Among the famous celebrities that owned one of these fine desirables was Elvis Presley.

Drivemag.com

It looks like the 507 aged with grace. It has become more sexier and desirable. It was reported that one of these from the 256 that were built, auctioned off for $5 million. (4)

This scale 1:18 diecast model is for sale.
Still in its box on its platform mount. Comes with its rooftop (in the box).
I purchased this in Perth, Western Australia in 2005. Condition is 10/10.
Colour: Blue
Price: US$130.00 (excluding shipping)
RM400.00 (excluding shipping) Malaysia

BMW 507 (1956) 1:18

This scale 1:18 diecast model is for sale. Still in its box on its platform mount. Comes with its rooftop (in the box). Color: Blue Condition 10/10 Mounted on stand. In the box.

$130.00

Price in Malaysia, RM400.00 (excluding shipping)
You can choose to make payment via:
MAYBANK
Alan Ian Atkinson
Account Number: 114299048159
email to: alan@leatherpotato.com your
1) payment receipt
2) name
3) address
4) contact telephone #

Hot coffee and Chee Cheong Fun?

Jeannie and I were on our way back from PJ (1) last evening. I had just picked her up from Jaya 33. Her long time colleague and buddy, SK Chan; had just dropped her off there after the both of them bought the famous (in Malaysia, any food that is nice is “famous”) Section 19 Chee Cheong Fun.

Chee Cheong Fun while drinking, hot Lavazza coffee

Jeannie said, “Let’s have coffee at one of our favorite bakery cafes with the Chee Cheong Fun we have.” I thought it was a good idea since it was about dinner time.

Result. Chee Cheong Fun banjir-ed with hot 🔥, spicy chilli and hot Lavazza on-its-own, coffee; does not mix. No, no, no! Hot Lavazza coffee is not a thirst quencher for fire-spicy food.

NOTE:
1. PJ or Petaling Jaya, is a city in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.
2. “Banjir” is a Malay word meaning flood.

Pushin’ and Slidin’

It’s my usual siesta time…whenever I get a chance. Which is rarely…which is usual. So how does it become my “usual” siesta time? Does more than once constitute it as “Usual?”

So, what am I (“was”, since I am reporting this hours after) doing at my usual siesta time? For one, Malaysia has public holidays aplenty. Great breaks for those who work really hard. Tough for those guys who look forward to going to work to get a break from all the holidays.

Anyway, in the wee hours of Sunday morning (after 10.00am); we (Jeannie my wife, and I) were looking for a joint we have not been to before for our coffee fix. Over the last two weeks; we were sipping coffee, having lunch and eating cake at cafes that were leafy green decorated – surrounded by plants and such (an article on this topic is on my ideaSketchpad).

Our plan was to chill, while our time away and do almost nothing. This is near impossible for either of us. I would whip out my Fold 3 and get on with writing something…anything…or working on any of the topics on my ideaSketchpad. Jeannie would be on her usual, “Business development market survey”.

I said, “We have two main choices: one was to look for a cafe we have not been to, which could be in a shoplot on its own, where we could sit and relax for a few hours…drinking coffee and eating cake or pastries.

The other choice was to have coffee in a cafe located in a shopping mall. We could drink coffee, eat cake and pastries. Then, walk around all the stores and shop…..then, to another cafe…drink more coffee, eat more cake and more pastries. Generally, we still do keep watch on our calorie and sugar intake. Which means, working off the extra calories on my daily 15 kilometer walks.

Of course, we all know the outcome of this. Though I love my coffee fix, I am not one who can sit for hours in one place, then get up and go home. This is so (so? Like, like so not “English” English?) not me. Ok ok. Throw the brickbats, coffee, mugs, kitchen sink, an S22 Ultra 18gb ram with 1 Terrorbite of storage, all your boxes of unopened chocolate (just had some milk chocolate from Germany. It was sssooooo ss-mmm-ooo-th and divine) at me. As for the chocolate, I like the ones with hazel or mixed nuts, better (hint, hint).

Oh yeah… the outcome was: we went to a shopping mall – Mid-Valley shopping mall. We drove to the carpark and parked our car; finding an empty space fairly easily without having to loop the carpark several times. Ours is not one of those self-drive, electric vehicles. From the looks of things, the upcoming new models may be able to “twit” as well.

When we got in the shopping area, it hit us like the “matrix”. There were like (like?) a kezillion people. It was crowded. It was like this on all the shopping floor levels. I did not see people carrying their portable printing presses to print cash if they ran short. I suppose now is the day of plastic. But that’s on its way out, too. It is pay by scan.

Jeannie and I headed to KFC for a quick bite as I had not had lunch yet. The meal was good. Then, we braved our way through the crowds again. This was not what we had envisioned for a nice Sunday afternoon… coffee, cake, pastries, relaxation, shopping, coffee, cake, pastries. When I say, “relaxation”; I’m with my fold 3, in my ideaSketchpad💡; “writing” / tapping / swiping / keying – working on my articles.

We spent about an hour window-shopping. Jeannie went to her favourite – “Zara” store. She spent a bit of time at Metrojaya, too. I popped in to the various IT shops – TMT, Logitech and Samsung. Samsung’s premium store does not promote many of their accessories like watchbands for the Watch 4 & 4Classic, cases for the Fold 3, etc. It would be good if they do as they will be able to reach out to a broader base of customers.

I went to Skechers, too. Skechers is Jeannie’s and my favourite brand of footwear. They are the most comfortable to wear, especially for long periods of time. We find their “air-cooled, Goga Mat” inner soles the most comfortable. The soft outer soles completes the comfort. I was looking for a casual, sort-of-formal pair – dark tan leather top, with a white or off-white outer sole. They did not have such a pair.

We left within an hour to an hour and a half after arriving at the mall because the crowds did not make it comfortable for us to shop. I had a couple of rough “bump-offs” by two oversized (and I mean oversized) people who may believe they are God’s gift to mankind, because they did not even apologise.

So, making our way back home was a capital idea. When we got home, I made a “Super” Rich 3-in-1 kopi ice. Very nice. Not too sweet, not too weak, either. This is my new “try-out”. After a cup of this coffee, I go back to my usual all-black coffee, strictly plain and rather “kau”, too.

There are helpful instructions on the back of the packet, for you to follow to make this coffee. That’s if you can read them. It’s in 0.0001pt font size.

The thing about being back home is I have all my creature comforts, big screen monitor, laptops, tablets and phones and I am back working.

DAD ARRIVES AT 90, NEXT TARGET: 100 YRS

Either we are moving too slowly and time has caught us off guard, or time is moving at a relentless, breathtaking pace.

We celebrated dad’s 70th birthday. That was not too long ago. Then, his 80th came along and we all celebrated with him. All his siblings were with him. Aunty Maureen and Uncle Ronnie (& Aunty Maryjane) in Malaysia. Uncle Pat, Uncle Al and Aunty Val, all residing in Perth, Western Australia; made the trip for that very special occasion. At the end of his celebration on that day; we said we will look forward to his 90th. Phew! That seemed like (like?. Oh no… my English is like getting infiltrated like by the looks of things) only yesterday.

Dad, at around a year old; with his parents (my grandparents), Charles (left) and Julia Atkinson. Uncle Arthur Atkinson (Right), went missing during World War II.

Childhood years were spent growing up in Ipoh (1). A lad of St Michael’s Institution, he was known for his skills at cricket.

1950s – In England.

In the picture above, he was already in the army and was doing a stint in Sandhurst.

Trip down memory lane: This was home in Ipoh, for Grandpa (Papa) Atkinson and family in 1955 and before.

Their Silibin home (the picture above) was their last home in Ipoh before they moved to Kuala Lumpur (2) in the mid-1950s.

Their move to Kuala Lumpur was not without fanfare from what I hear from his cousin, Percival (Percy) Reyes and my cousin, Dato’ Seri Jeffrey Raymond.

The Atkinsons moved in with the Reyes on Lorong Hicks, next door to the Gomes residence. Uncle Gerald Reyes (Percy’s father) was my grandmother’s (dad’s mother) youngest brother.

On several meet-ups with Percy and Dato’ Seri Jeffrey separately, they would fondly reminisce on the past when they stayed in Lorong Hicks. Percy would have been in his teens at that time. Jeffrey, much younger; is the son of mom’s elder sister, Aunty Flory. Now, Percy and Jeffrey most probably have not met up for decades, even till today. But they both talked fondly about this young army officer in his spruced up uniform that would stop the world in its tracks whenever he came home from his postings.

Hence (a very old English word), mum and dad got married in 1956. If that did not happen, then my siblings and I won’t be here. Naturally, the Gomes family approved of him immediately because he had a couple of aces up his sleeve – he could sing and read music. I think that was more important to them than knowing the ABC alphabet, as “music” and “Gomes” were more often than not, in the same sentence.

Mum & Dad
(Third from left): Dad. Mum (Standing. 2nd from the right). Dad’s father (my grandfather) stands on the far left. This is what I believe to be part of the Church of the Assumption Choir in the 1960s in one of their fun gatherings.
A programme page of a musical that dad acted in.

In mid-1981, celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary with mum; with us, their children: Jennifer seated next to mum. Standing left to right: Malcolm, Terence, Nigel and me.

Jennifer, Nigel, Terence, Malcolm and I; grew up with music almost 24 x 7. Classical, western, rock n roll, choirs, music bands. And music is very much with Laura (Jeannie’s and my daughter) and her cousins, too.

With his siblings. In front: Uncle Ronnie (#5) and Uncle Al (#3). Seated on the chair, left to right: Uncle Pat (#2), Aunty Val (#6), Aunty Maureen (#4) and dad (#1 – eldest).
Dad and Mum, with Laura, Jeannie and me; celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary and mum’s birthday which was 2 days earlier.

On the steps of St Michael’s Church; Ipoh, Perak. A gathering of most of the Atkinson clan on a trip down memory lane.

Fast forward…. May 10, 2022. Dad’s 90th birthday. Dad turned 90 today, marking the beginning of his 91st year. Papa (my grandfather), dad’s father; always looked at birthdays that way.

The fourth generation Atkinsons (the grandkids); organised a birthday celebration last Saturday (May 8th) at dad’s & mum’s home in Klang. Aunty Maureen, Uncle Ronnie and Aunty Maryjane joined in the celebration, too. Terence was not well, so he and Mabel could not make it. Latest update today: he has almost fully recovered.

Dad wanted to have a picture of me with him in this shirt I was wearing. He has always commented that he liked this shirt. He said on that day, “I want a picture of you with that shirt before it fades or you stop wearing it”. So, here’s the photo, dad.

Dad, Aunty Maureen, Uncle Ronnie and me.

The grand Prince at 90. You know this is the work of the grandkids.

Dad gave an articulated, off the cuff speech. His mind is sharp. He thanked all of us, especially the organisers for that evening, for being there on that day.

Now, into his 91st. He still phones his siblings here and in Australia; us – his children, our spouses and his grandchildren; regularly, to find out how we are faring. He may not be able to waltz the whole ballroom away with mum, now; but I won’t put it past him, that he may do the famous “Eustace Atkinson twist” if prompted to.

We, his family; are looking forward to his 100th. Cheers, dad!

NOTE:

  1. Ipoh is a city in the state of Perak, Malaysia
  2. Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia

“Goooddd times!”

“Alan, don’t send the stuff yet bcos the nurse said I can go home for the rest of my quarantine and that op will be done by Jabatan Kesihatan (1) near me.”

Ok.

“I was told that since mine was Stage 1, I  had to go home to make room for those who were in Stage 4 or 5.

So, the only problem is how am I to go back with the pink bracelet on? The nurse suggested  that someone drive my car to the hospital and leave the keys at the reception. They will send the keys up to me. Then, that someone could follow my car till I reached home.”

I called Shirley and asked her to get his car ready. I would be over in half an hour to pick it up.

I was kind of nervous as to how to deal with this matter when I got to the hospital.  On one hand, I did not quite like the idea of handing the car keys to a stranger at the hospital reception. On the other hand, I only had my 1st vaccine jab; my second was over a month and a half away. I did not want to have direct contact and be exposed to the virus myself and possibly spread it to others that I come in contact with. 

I parked his car as close to the designated entrance / exit for covid-19 as possible. I left the car keys on the top of the car and waited for him.

As he came out of the exit, which was like a side door or rear of the hospital (this section of the hospital was specially cordoned off as a unit to receive and discharge patients in relation to the treatment of Covid-19); I was happy to see him. We kept a distance of about 5 metres apart and talked for a bit. “I am getting a ride back from Ganesan, (who was parked a couple of cars away). We will follow you back to Subang Jaya to ensure you get home safely, I told him.”

All this took place on July 29th, 2021 – the second last time I would see him. At this time, he was sporting a pink hand band; not by choice but a requirement to identify people with Covid-19.

A few days later, I realized that the Discharge Note from the hospital was still with me. I texted him to let him know that it  was with me.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021; was pink-band removal day. Mid-morning, I get a phone call. “I am at the KMM (3) centre in Shah Alam. They want the hospital Discharge Note as proof of when I was discharged from the hospital.” He sounded quite irritated. I told him that I was at home, that he could come over to pick up the Discharge Note.

He was at my gate in twenty minutes. I put the Discharge Note in an envelope and placed the envelope on the top of the gate’s pillar. Then, I stepped back from the pillar. I did not hand it to him directly as we were maintaining a safe distance between us. He took the envelope, showing his irritation that he had to wait quite a while at the centre before he was attended to; then to be told that he needed to provide this Discharge Note before he could have the pink band officially cut off.

As I watched him walked to his car and get in, I noticed that he grimaced with pain. As he drove off, I never would have guessed that it would be the last time I would see him…ever.

Celebrating his birthday last Sunday (April 24th) in a small way, was special for Jeannie and me. Nigel loved family gatherings, and he loved simple food with a condition – it had to be local and savoury. So, we celebrated his birthday at Tokyo Secret, a restaurant in Mid-Valley Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur (5).

Tokyo Secret is known for their Hanjuku cheese tarts. I deliberately did not use that phrase “people say that it is …ok ok, I will say it “famous”. Who are these “people”? I did not think much of the cheese tart, but that is just me. Nigel would have liked it, after he had his nasi lemak.

Happy Birthday, Nigel! We can hear you say “Goooddd times!” We celebrate this occasion with one of your favourite songs.

Nigel, at his 61st in 2021.

NOTES:

  1. Jabatan Kesihatan is Bahasa Malaysia for Health Ministry in Malaysia.
  2. Part of this article was written at the motor workshop while waiting for my e46 engine to be repaired. Something about another coil konking out, having replaced 2 coils earlier on. This time it was #2 coil.
  3. “Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia” is Bahasa Malaysia for Ministry of Health, Malaysia.
  4. Subang Jaya and Shah Alam are cities in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.
  5. Kuala Lumpur city is the capital of Malaysia.

Where Have All The Days Gone?

Dear Aunty T,

I am grasping at straws when I try to find the answer to where all the days in this year have gone? It is the tail end of the third quarter of the 12th day of April.

The old adage ” flash before my eyes” seems to hold true now.

As I try to grab on to a new day, it turns into fine grains of sand and flows out between my fingers or is blown away by the wind. Thank goodness for the wind over these past few days as it has helped cool the rather sweltering, humid past few days.

How have you been keeping, Aunty T? Carla and Megan will be visiting you soon, that’s what I hear from mum (that is if I am not mistaken). Hopefully the wires to my brain are not crossed. Otherwise, it will be brain-shorting (not brain sorting), haha.

The poor weather – a victim of our whims and fancies. We never seem to cease complaining about it. Either it is too hot or too cold, storming wet or desert dry, windy (though this – we compliment a little bit about) or the air is cautiously still.

I suppose this is how we while our time away, since most other topics of conversation don’t seem to interest us. Haha. There’s the $1.3 billion transport idea or the $2.25 billion energy loss talk – just that: talk under a tree – the usual square plastic folderable (if there is such a word) (1) $2.50 table with 4 plastic 95-cent chairs or 85-cent stools around it. No worry of brain-shorting here😁. Most times, over a tall glass (yes – glass, not cup, not mug) of coffee or tea; which could last for a couple of hours or more.

Lensia, Janet and I are fine.

The beautiful person, Marcia; who helped Lensia out in getting her passport renewed in New York last year, is down in Singapore. She went in place of me when our beloved government denied me the YourTicketOut, a travel application; 6 times. This is on top of a valid passport needed to travel.

Marcia, who lives in Nevada, arranged for the flights to and from New York, flew to New York and met Lensia there, accompanied Lensia to the embassy where Lensia got her passport renewed; then took Lensia on a sightseeing trip in New York.

I knew Marcia from 39 years ago when we participated in the same musical play, “The Apostle”. Now, Marcia is down in Clementi for about 3 weeks to help relieve her sisters in looking after her aged mum of 93 years, who just suffered a stroke. Marcia is now, as she was back then in 1983; an angel.

It was such a pleasant meet up with Marcia in person, after 39 years. She is still quarantined in Sheraton Hotel til Sunday.

Lensia is busy with her business – a project that she has to do as part of her semester assignment. She decided to start a business to help Singaporean students wanting to further their tertiary education in the U.S.

The U.S. has over 5,500 universities. There are a mind-boggling number of procedures and processes, an opportunity to apply for several scholarships that may be made available by universities and an opportunity to participate in a competitive sport (if the student is into sports) or an extracurricular activity.

Lensia applied to over 300 universities over a  2 year period, just to get the right fit university which participates in competitive athletics to complement the Business Studies that she wanted to do. She arranged many online meetings and interviews with coaches and other staff or representatives of the universities she applied for. The whole process was fun, exciting, challenging, daunting – to put it in a nutshell – overwhelming. 

Most students do not plan their tertiary studies two years in advance. Since Lensia has the experience and the know-how now (How now, brown cow?), she could save student applicants valuable time and unnecessary expenditure on making wrong applications. The whole idea is to help students get a right-fit university, without the stress in the shortest possible time.

Lensia will continue this business even after her semester ends.

For starters, she has a target set – that she has 4 paying student customers before the end of April.

Anyway, Janet and I are helping Lensia search for students that will register payment before the end of this month as Lensia has to submit her assignment. Lensia wants to ensure that her work will always be above board. Start off her business on a right footing with integrity. If you, and / or your daughters know anyone in Singapore that has someone wanting to further his / her studies in the U.S.; please recommend Lensia.

As the time is now past 5.00am this Wednesday morning; I am going to end off here and go to bed. We have a full day ahead. Going to Robin Road in the morning. Then, buy Ais Batu Campur (ABC) [this is not Campbell’s alphabet soup😉] (3) and send it to Marcia at her hotel while she is still in quarantine. Then, we will be attending mass at 6.00pm in Redemptorist Church. After that, we will be visiting mum and dad.

I do hope you have a wonderful Easter Holy week. It has begun to rain quite heavily here, so we will be sleeping in much cooler weather (we hope) – Weather – the story of our lives.

Love, Al

NOTE: Fiction, and having fun with it.

  1. “Folderable” means collapsible😏
  2. “Turbo” as in the snail; is not a sport.
Movie: Turbo

3. Ais Batu Campur – Direct translation to English: Ice stone (blocks) mixture.

Food: Ice shavings, with nuts, small pieces of fruits, liquid brown sugar, rose syrup, Ideal milk, ice-cream

LIFE’S CANVASS

Gosh! I am either too tired or am in an incredible procrastination mode. I can’t decide which.

I know my essays aren’t as forthcoming as they should be, but I have been writing essays, speeches, business proposals; most of which are for targeted private audiences. – It has been a pretty busy schedule since the start of this year.

Is it me or is it this new keyboard? – I just acquired (nicer way of saying it or putting it [putting it?], instead of “bought” or “purchased”) the Logitech MX Keys keyboard. Can you tell? Are the words typed in a “Logitech MX Keys” way? Is there a special style that the words just plonk themselves on this white (soon to be grey when published) canvas?

Logitech MX Keys full keyboard, Logitech MX-3 Mouse, Logitech K-380 keyboard

I thought we were in the middle of March. Well, we were… when I started this essay. Now, March 27th has set itself on us. Where have the days of this month gone, I wonder?

While I ponder and reflect on those days gone by; I am very excited about this day, about each new day as they are fresh white canvasses – we imagine, we paint, we draw, what we want this new day to be for us.

Many of us would have planned or mapped out what the day is going to be for us. It is quite unfortunate for many who live in a “rubber-stamped, stereo-type, everyday is the same thing – day in, day out” type of day. These are the “drifters” in life. They only exist because well…they only exist because they exist. So, when they say, they are bored – can you blame them?

If they tell you the macro picture of their life, i.e.: Get born, go to school, go to university, get married, buy a house / car, have children, grow old, retire, look after the grandchildren, old folks home, then kick the bucket; you know they have fallen into a herd mentality group.

It is probably difficult to go against the masses, the grain, to want to be different. For some, they are truly drifters in every sense of the word.

Then, there are those few – the troublemakers. They are the smart alecs, the upstarts, sometimes the pain-in-the-behinds (a*s). These know-it-alls come up with fanciful phrases like “think-out-of-the-box”, “etc. etc., etc.” Where have I heard that before, “etc., etc., etc.”? Ah, yes; the movie, “The King and I”, starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. Yes, you know who you are.

These are troublemakers with a mission. They don’t go with the flow. They make the flow.  They are the attention grabbers because they cause the flow.  They are the flow. 

They don’t wait for things to happen. They make things happen.

They set goals, targets and deadlines to achieve them.

While they dare journey to new frontiers where no man has ever journeyed (ok ok – that’s Star Trek)… These are the risk-takers. They act on a hunch, a gut-feeling, with a panoramic view of all that could go right, little or no time to worry about what could go wrong. They use fear as their strength… something like the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic hybrid vehicles, where they harness energy whenever the brakes of the vehicles are applied and store this energy in cells that will power these vehicles for short distances, thus reducing the reliance of fossil fuels.

As planet Earth rises from from the disaster of Covid-19 which had dominated the last two years; let us all play our part in putting things back in order. Yes, that includes you, too – the drifters.

The Drifters – “Stand By Me”. Video shared by Jamie Leadbeatter