My throat is so sore

Too tired to post yesterday after a whole day of singing and recording. There was yet another recording session for the same song. This time there could not be any mistakes or other problems as this would be the published recording. It was tiring and (honestly speaking) I don't feel like doing another any time soon.

Ai ping solo session....naah :D
Outside view

Not only is my throat over-worked but my DVD-writer decided to die on me after 3 months. I brought it back to AOnePlus in IT Mall and wouldn't you know it - warranty claims would take around 4 weeks ... *sheesh*. They could have offered a one-to-one exchange but they were out of stock for that particular model/brand and I didn't want any other brand 'cos I needed one that could easily be hacked to become region free (I have DVDs from every region except 5).

Things just kept getting worse when I received an email saying my DVD order from UK was cancelled due to stocking problems at the warehouse in Hong Kong. Oh well, at least I got a full refund (minus a few sen because of the US-RM exchange rates) plus a £2 offer voucher. Only problem is that it expires on 11th August and I don't know if I want to use it or let it pass (which would be a waste).

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Wierd Friday

Friday was 20072007. Attended my primary school-mate's wedding dinner at her house. She's a muslim who is now married to a chinese convert (congrats Mrs. Khoo!!) and considering that she herself is half chinese with her mother being chinese and her father malay. The whole night, it threated to rain heavily but never did and instead only a slight drizzle lasted the most part of 15 minutes.

Later on in the night, the news reports on local free-to-air TV announced that MPH, Times and Popular bookstores in Malaysia were withdrawing their copies of the long-awaited seventh Harry Potter book and returning them to their publisher in the States(reported to be around 53,000 copies). Anyone who pre-ordered the book can still claim their copies or ask for a full refund.

This last minute announcement was due to the fact that two hypermarket chains (Tesco and Carrefour) were selling the exact same book (adult and child versions) at vastly discounted prices. You can get a copy of the said book for only RM69.90 in comparison with the RM109.90 price in regular bookstores. Earlier volumes of the Harry Potter series are sold at even cheaper prices (from RM19.90 to RM24.90). Even with the 20% members discount and early pre-order, it is still more expensive than the hypermarkets and therefore instead of competing for readers, they've collectively decided to withdraw.

Book ad in in-store advert
This is the exact text email from Times Bookstores, sent at 11p.m. 20th July 2007.

Due to factors beyond our control, we regret to inform you that Times bookstores will NOT be selling Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows.

If you've already made a pre-order and paid for it, you may still pick up your copy from your pre-selected Times outlet (free tote bag given on a first come first served basis) from 7:01am on July 21. However, if you’d like a refund, we’d be happy to do so.

We apologize for this inconvenience caused, and thank you for your kind understanding.


Times The Bookshop Pte Ltd

While the following was posted on the respective bookstore's online websites in reference to the local publishing distributor for the books.

With effective from 21 July 2007, Harry Potter 7 will not be available for sale in the following bookstores nationwide in Malaysia:

1. MPH Bookstores
2. Popular and Harris Bookstores
3. Times the Bookshop

We will honour the sale to customers who have pre-booked. The book can be collected from the shops from 21 July 2007 onwards.

All activities related to the launch of HP7 in the above stores have been cancelled.

We apologise for the cancellation of the activities and any inconvenience caused. Any queries with regards to this book, please refer directly to the sole distributor in Malaysia

Penguin Books Malaysia
Lot 2 Jalan 215
Off Jalan Templer
46050 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7782 0466 Fax: 03-7784 1739

From the managements of:

And at the press conference earlier in the day

I'm guessing tomorrow might be another wierd day as fans might find it hard to buy the book since they are now only sold in the above mentioned hypermarkets, Kinokuniya and Borders only. The ads from Tesco and Carrefour are shown below. Amazing full colour ad from Tesco too showing the price of all seven books.

Tesco full page colour ad on the book

Tesco full page colour ad

Carrefour ad

Carrefour half-page B&W ad

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A unique 07-07-07

Today is a special day for many reasons. It's one of those days on which you get to live a once-in-a-lifetime occurence whereby it is 070707070707 (7th July 2007, 7:07:07am). To commemorate the event, there is a simulataneous concert held around the world under the banner of "Live Earth".

What I did was pledged in the Phillips exchange a bulb programme "A Simple Switch". For every tungsten bulb traded in, you are given an energy saving bulb in exchange. I got 4 and managed to change 3 before the day grew dark. Previously, those 3 bulbs housed 80W incandescent bulbs with a total of 240W/hr. Now they run at a lower 33W/hr but pump out equal (actually brighter!!) brightness. Best thing ... I've reduced my pollution footprint by a whopping 984kgs of carbon dioxide every year. Since the bulbs are too bright, I might be using even lower wattage ones (5W seems adequate)

Recycling paper is also something which is easy to me. In 3 weeks, I manage to collect enough leaflets, paper ads and flyers to fill up one shopping bag. Frightening huh? This is not even counting the newspapers which are still collected by the newspaper man :)

I still have a lot to go in terms of reducing my ecological footprint. I still need to travel in a gas guzzling vehicle for 82km each working day (approx RM50 a week). That generates a heck of a lot of CO/CO2.

But then what have YOU done for the environment lately?


Saturday was a tiring day. DN needed help with a recording to be done and needed a choir backing to the main vocals. The purpose ... It was the draft version of a theme song for a government agency. The song will be used in a proposal which will be tabled on Monday which is where most of the problems surfaced. The original singers were weak and extremely pitchy (esp the girls). So I had to call upon the kolej choir members to help.

I'm eternally grateful to the 7++ that turned up to help flesh out the parts and strengthen the melody and hoping it was a 'learning' experience for them as it is probably their first time in a recording studio ... or somewhere close to that. The recording was done in the recording booth at PKUM and although we were scheduled to start early at 3pm, the thing dragged on until past 7pm. Only a small group was required as their voices would be doubled (or tripled, quadrupled etc) electronically (i.e. cut + paste, delay and reverb!!) Tada! A choir of 50 voices. At least they're getting a monetary sum for their time and effort :D

Who knows? If the proposal is sucessful, there may be a second recording which would probably need more polishing and touchup. There is also a second song which I have previewed and is, in one word, AMAZING. I haven't heard a Malay corporate theme this catchy or good for a while. It features one singer (from AF3 hint hint!) and one saxaphonist. The sax player already laid down his tracks live and it only took him one continuous take. I can't wait for the melody tracks to be laid down.

If everything goes to plan, the songs should be up soon for everyone to hear.