Monthly Archives: May 2019

“The Real Thing” For The Real Fling

In the mid-1950s,  the US aeronautical engineers and designers were struggling with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.  That is, no matter how hard they tried, they could not get their latest fighter aircraft, the F-102 Delta Dagger, to break the sound barrier.

The shock waves encountered in the transonic realm proved too formidable…..until someone re-visited the theory of The Area Rule.  That simply meant that the cross-section area of the aircraft had to progress smoothly from tip to tail, without abrupt changes.

In practice, it meant that the fuselage had to be “pinched” in to takr on a Coke-bottle shape – in order to compensate for the cross-section area of the wings. 

Once they had “The Real Thing” designed in, everything went smoothly – the re-shaped F102 easily slipped past Mach 1,2 and they had a real fling from thence on. 

Letting The Cats Out Of The Bag

Today, I will reveal a secret to all – it may upset some, though.

In my kampong days, we kept a couple of cats, Tom and Tabby. Before we knew it, they produced 3 kittens, and then another 3…and soon our house and compound began to look like a mini Safari park.  The young ones were very cute and playful.

But then the home stank…with all the cat-a-poo and cat-a-pee, and the  situation was near catastrophe. 

So we decided to put half of the tribe into a bag and took it to a far-off place, about a mile away and let the deportees out.  Problem solved – so we thought.   

Meow! About a week later, all 4 of them showed up at the house …. Amazing.    How did they do it?  Folklore said the felines could smell their way back!!

Rice & Rise Of The Big Stick

Probably everyone has eaten the Nasi and savoured the various mouth-watering lauk pauk, but have you ever seen that big stick?  I would venture to bet that Millenials have no idea what that is.

Come with me to the early days in Penang, when Nasi Kandar was a poor man’s sole proprietorship, with two big baskets (containing the goodies) slung from a long wooden pole of flattened elliptical cross-section.  That pole was made from a special wood, that had a high elastic modulus. 

Our family had one such kandar stick in our old kampong house. It was about 2m long.  Apparently the olden Chinese folks also wielded the Big Stick, for a variety of tasks.

Nasi Kandar has come a long way and now occupies a pole position in the Malaysian F&B industry – Syabas to the Indian Muslim community.

Beginnings Of Narcissistic Tendencies

Up to the ripe old age of 25, I did not own a camera. Mainly, it was because I had never felt I looked good enough to warrant parting with a substantial percentage of my hard-earned income for a “frivolous, narcissistic” activity.

All that changed, when my GF came into the picture.  One of the first questions she posed to me, “Why don’t you buy a camera?”  I replied, “I was waiting for you to show up”.

And since then it was  Happy Snappy — till this day.

That first camera was a rangefinder – Ricoh 500G.  At that time, I knew little about photography, so it was literally just point-and-shoot. 

The rest was history – one of acquiring at least 20 other cameras (various models) in the last 39 years.  6 of those are still with me, including the latest Olympus OMD EM10 Mk2.