Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve Dinner @ Seoul Garden, Penang

Christmas Eve Dinner

Lin Kooi, Pik Jian, Yih Chaur, Lin Hu + Me

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Penang Pesta

Penang Pesta

Picture With A Monley Lantern @ Penang Pesta

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Month of Weddings

Rico + Sew Wei

Picture with Sew Wei and Rico (The Husband)

The Wedding Couple

Derrick + Sally, The Bride and Groom

Thursday, December 14, 2006

PHP on Windows XP

Just got back from Crowne Plaza Mutiara hotel in KL after visiting my dad. If you are curious on what I have been up to lately, I have decided to design my own Wordpress template for this website and might be distributing it for free when I am done. As this is my first time undertaking such things on my free time, I believe the template should be ready latest by February next year. You might say that it is too long of a time to get it done but I believe that it is reasonable with the spare time that I have got.

First and foremost I just installed Xampp to get an Apache server with PHP and MySQL running on my Windows machine. This will allow me to work locally without consuming bandwidth from my servers. The above mentioned program is handy whenever you which to test PHP scripts on your local machine.

After the installation of the server was completed, I proceed to install the latest version Wordpress which I am planning to upgrade my blog into.

Well, that’s all for the moment, I hope I have manage to share some valuable tools that you can mess around with. I am planning to come up with a list of recommended free tools in the next upgrade of my blog maybe in mid 2007. We will see how it goes, till then, take care.

Benny Ong XXX

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What Does BAT GSD Do

It has been countless times that people ask me what does the company that I currently work in do and my answer will be a shared services company. Sure after, the question regarding what a shared services company will pop in. I would then need to explain what the whole thing is about.

This time around, I found an interview conducted by ZDnet with Dominic Holland, the head of BAT GSD which I believe will be useful for anyone who wants to know more. Click on the link to find out more.

Benny Ong XXX

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Last Day @ London

I woke up this morning with the same feeling about a year ago when I was about to leave London. I was not ready to leave. I do not know why but I believe that there is still so much to do and places to see which might just be a personal preference. You may want to challenge me that I do not like my home country but you are wrong. I love Malaysia to bits and it is where I will always call home. I would eventually spend most of my life in Malaysia and it would be a struggle if I do not love my home country.

One of the key attractions I have for London might be because of the life I experienced there both as a student and when I first started working. Looking back, I have no doubt enjoyed my time but I would not relive those days again as that chapter of my life is over. If I were to get a chance to work there, I would not hesitate but it needs to be something different.

Kensington Palace

Me, Soon Shuen + Song Yia @ Kensington Palace

Enough of me spilling my personal feel on the subject matter. I accompanied the girls in the morning to Buckingham Palace to see changing of the guards before walking through Hyde Park to Kensington Palace. Shortly after we had Taza kebab on Queensway where I use to live. It was soon for me to make my way to the airport when we headed to service apartment to collect my luggage before boarding the Heathrow Express from Paddington.

The airport was as busy as usual and since the failure of the recent terrorist attacks, we were not allowed to bring water through the security checkpoints and certain liquid products such as gel were only allowed in small portions placed in a clear plastic bag that they provide.

After clearing security, I did some quick duty free shopping before boarding the 6.05 p.m MH0007 flight back to KL.

Benny Ong XXX

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006

Last Day in The Office

BAT London Office

The Main Entrance of The Office

Chairman's Cocktail Party

Chairman's Cocktail Party

Reunion @ Buzz Bar

Daga, Margeritha + Me @ Buzz Bar

Reunion @ Buzz Bar

Roberta, Daga, Me + Robert @ Buzz Bar

Reunion @ Buzz Bar

Loreto, Me + Robert @ Buzz Bar

Reunion @ Buzz Bar

Eva + Me @ Buzz Bar

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Spanish Food for Dinner

  Tasos and Eleni are part of my Greek family. I met Tasos in University as he was my flat mate at McLaren House unit D-15 of London South Bank University. It was a great time to catch up with him because I last saw him about a year ago when I left London. We met up for dinner where Eleni suggested that it will be a good excuse to try out the Spanish Diner nearby which we did. I ordered Pasta and we shared a jug of Sangria. I took the tube home to the service apartments and called it a day.


Spanish Food for Dinner  

Spanish Food @ El Molino with Eleni & Tasos


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Team Dinner @ Globe House

Today is particularly a huge day for me as it is one of the highlights of my visit to the London office. I was required to present the findings and progress of a joint management trainee project. It was something that has been haunting me for about a month since I knew that I will be going to the UK.

The slides that have gone through countless rework and modifications will finally make its debut to a crowd that will probably eat us alive if we did not know our stuff. Luckily enough, I will be presenting with three project team members. The diversification of presenters we believe will make our findings more credible.

Smoking Cigars

Smoking Cigars

The time of the presentation was at 2.00 at Savoy Hotel just off the Strand. We have spent the whole morning on mock presentations which did not go on as smoothly. All the words we uttered and mumbled did not make sense and was indicating being incompetent. It is not usual for all of us to be like that. I was puzzled to see how pressure can affect our presentation skills. We never ever realize this seeing each of us presenting countless of times previously. It might be that we never did a presentation of this scale before to an audience who might not even know we existed in the company.

The Lobby of The Office

Mark Chow, Chris, Me, Brian Lane and Soon Shuen

The good news was the presentation went really well. Although we did not escape without questions, I believe the team handled it very professionally and calm. After the almost 2 hour session, we headed back to the office for fine dining dinner on the eight floor of the office building. I tried Dunhill’s cigar for the first time after dinner where a lady was walking around offering them.

After Malt Whisky Session

At the Pub after trying Malt Whisky

The night continued after that when we headed down to a pub close to Trafalgar Square for Malt Whisky on the rocks. I took three of them with increasing level of alcohol each time. I honestly did not like the taste as they were too strong. I use to mix my whisky with coke but according to them, those ones are cheap and the expensive ones are meant to be drunk the way they are.

We stayed quite late chatting the night away until everyone else left.

It is certainly another memorable day for myself.

Benny Ong XXX

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Gourmet Burgers for Dinner

If you had read my blog a day earlier, you might have realize just pictures being posted and not the accompanying write up like this one. Well, a quick report to wrap up my third day back in London.

Work went well for the day and Chantal from the Amsterdam’s office invited us to join for dinner at a place recommended by one of our Leadership team, Darren Eastland. The place is called Gourmet Burger Kitchen. According to him, it is a great place to dine and there is only one way for us to find out which is to try it out for ourselves.

Dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Chantal, Jasvin & me @ Gourmet Burger Kitchen

We decided to walk there from the office where we first made a pit stop at Thistle Charing Cross to drop off Chantal’s bag. It took us about 15 minutes of walking before we arrive at the restaurant. All of us feeling famish after a hard days of work were delighted to hear that dinner will be on Darren. All five of us took our time to scroll through the menu before ordering different burgers and drinks which included 4 flavors of Milkshake and 3 portions of chips. I settled for the Chicken Camembert & Cranberry burger with a Vanilla milkshake.

All of us chatted away and struggled to finish our burgers. Due to the huge serving, it was tough to hold it in our hands like how people usually have their burgers. Like most of the time, I manage to make mine look like a huge mess.

Feeling guilty on eating that much for dinner, we took a walk back to our service apartments.

Benny Ong XXX

Monday, December 04, 2006

Day 1 @ Globe House

Day 1 at Globehouse which is the london office, I did not know what to expect. Although I know the whole day will be packed with a workshop, I still did not know what to expect. Seeing my other friends who are on assignment there definately did lift off the stress. We took a cab from Marlin apartments and reached the office at Temple Place.

Once I got myself signed in, I started exploring. My department was located just on the first floor and it was nice to see a huge part of the management team at their desks. Usually, I will only see them when they are visiting the KL office and not in their working environment. I settled down and went to much spoken about company restaurant on the ground floor for a full english breakfast and some exploration.

Shortly after, the meeting of the day started. I went into a room with about 5 others and stayed there till lunch. I have to admit that it was a very good and productive meeting. We left for lunch at noon which was once again served at the restaurant I mentioned earlier. The food was of abundance although we are ethically entitled to one main course.

Dinner @ The Oldest French Restaurant

Dinner @ Monplaisir

Meeting resumed till the end of the day when we were further invited for drinks and dinner at a place near Covent Garden to complete the evening. I was struggling to stay awake during dinner most probably because of the Jet Lag.

That's all for now and do await my next few posts.....

Benny Ong XXX

Report From London

Today is day 2 that I am back in London. Having met less than half of the friends that I have made appointment with, I still have a week to finish that all. Busy busy busy week ahead!

I woke up at 3.00 a.m. London time this morning to go through all my templates and presentation slides that I am due to use throughout the week. I have this nature where everything never seems to be good enough but we will see the outcome later when I will be presenting my work on Wednesday afternoon in Savoy Hotel.

I brought my camera with me but haven't taken much pictures really. Most of the pics are on Sasha's camera which I will post up here once I get a hold of them.

Well, I need to end my quick post here but I promise I will be constantly updating my blog throughout my stay here.

Take care.

Benny Ong XXX

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Free Wifi @ KLIA

The time on my status bar shows 10:33 p.m. and I am seated just outside gate C32 of KLIA where I will be boarding plane MH002 on a 13 hour plus flight to London. I am obviously excited as most of you may know that I spent two years of my life in the 7 million population city.

I can't help it but feel stress at the same time as I will be there to finish up some work. If you are unaware, I am back in London not on leisure but on assignment. My company is sending me there for just a little over a week. One cool part of this trip is I will be able to meet up with another 4 of my Malaysian colleagues. It is more of a coincidence that we are there at the same time as we are on different projects.

There is now a queue in front of the gate after the announcement of the opening of it. I will just sit till the queue dies off.

Well, I have made arrangements with heaps of people and I do hope that I will be able to keep my appointments when I am there. Whatever it comes to, work will have to come first this time around as I am there for work rather than leisure.

That's all that I need to get off my chest for the moment. Well, as the title says, this blog post is courtesy of the free Wifi at KLIA.

Take care and I will keep you updated from the service apartment that I will call home for the next 10 days.

Benny Ong XXX