Arborists At Work

A Typical Work Day For An Arborist

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

Right now you’re probably thinking: what is an arborist? 

I’m glad you asked!

Arborists are tamers of trees, workers of wood, lovers of lumber, guardians of the grove, faithful protectors of forestry – essentially they are tree surgeons.

The role of an arborist is to maintain the health of trees, largely within an urban setting. In order to keep trees healthy, they have to sway between pruning back a tree and giving a tree space and time to grow and develop.

The part that you will see the most is the tree lobbing, since tree growth isn’t exactly the most entertaining thing to behold. And bear in mind these are full-grown trees we’re talking about, so they go at it with a chainsaw; hence the title of tree surgeon.

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

There are several reasons arborists get to have fun with a chainsaw: for the safety of human residents; to enhance and encourage the growth of trees in an appropriately urban fashion through trimming; and because it’s pretty rad!

Here is one such arborist of the state of Penang:

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
Like a proud father gazing up at his big children

Of course that’s not all arborists do.

Apart from hacking and slashing, arborists have to assess and document the health of trees under their guardianship.

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
Tree health assessment
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Angsana Blood Sap
Imagine seeing this in the middle of the night
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Angsana Blood Sap
Blood red sap is very characteristic of Angsana trees
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Angsana Blood Sap
We all bleed the same
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Angsana Blood Sap
If it bleeds, we can kill it

Arborists are also involved in the transplanting of trees that need to undergo a change of address.

Also, they have to clean up the scraps and make sure there aren’t tree parts lying around willy-nilly.

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Grinder
Grind!
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Grinder
Only trained arborists are allowed to lean that far in

Arborists employ a wide range of tools and equipment apart from the trusty chainsaw. Due to the nature of trees being – well, a big part of nature, they require certain heavy duty machinery to help arborists access and excise unnecessary foliage and unwanted parts of the tree (or other organisms living on it).

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Union School
Back to school!
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
Get to the tree chopper!
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
The arborist speeder

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

They’ve got big lifts and shifts and more manly machines!
Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

The cool arborist moustache salute

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
I can see your house from up here!

Here are some of the key arborists in Penang that keep the heritage trees alive and well:

Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees
The arborists who make things happen

On the left is Mr. Nizam, and Mr. Izahar on the right.

These are the people who coordinate the conservation and cultivation of the remnants from our colonial past – the trees planted by the British.

Footage of Arborists in Action

Appendix


Arborists At Work Penang Heritage Trees

Our video guy mourning the passage of some tree limbs

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Blade Runner 2049 Wildest Review Ever

blade runner 2049 harrison ford

Blade Runner 2049 Review Time

I hope you enjoyed the movie, because everybody dies!

Oh wait…was I supposed to say spoilers alert first?

I’m just messing with you – they’re Replicants; they never die. They just…retire.

Now it just occurred to me that a large part of the premise of Rockman X (Megaman X, for those reading at home) is very much based on the concepts from the Blade Runner universe.

Let’s run through some similarities (glaring as they may be), shall we?

blade runner maverick hunter
They’re like, totally identical, man!

It’s make-a-list time!

So Blade Runner and Megaman X are similar in that they:

  • Both have lots of guns. Pew pew! (Egads! The violence!)
  • Are set in dystopian futures (and not too distant, mind you)
  • Both involve artificial humanoids or very closely human-like robots – Blade Runner calls their artificial humanoids Replicants, Megaman calls them Reploids. Both are capable of human thought and emotion; both are stronger in most physical regards compared to weak, fragile humans
  • Both have stories centred around those who seek out and destroy rogue Replicants and/or Reploids
  • Both involve lots of flying and jumping around in futuristic craft
    Megaman X Ride Chaser Speeder
  • Both have mad geniuses that engineer countless artificial beings and then sic them on each other
  • Both have amazing futuristic visuals and graphics
    Megaman X City Waste
  • Both have protagonists that have yet to be subjected to a Turing or Voight-Kampff test
  • Both have nerdy fanboy followings (and surprising mainstream ones too)

Well, that list kind of fizzled, but you see my point.

Wait, what point?

The point that I played nerdy computer games! Ya happy?

On To The Review

Now that I got that out of the way, Blade Runner 2049 is a strikingly vivid cinematographic orgasm of moist grim dark.

It’s literally raining all the time, and although I didn’t see any flaming smokestacks this time, it has that same dirty, polluted, overcrowded vibe with gaudy neon banners getting all in your face.

Ryan Gosling plays a sullen, straight-shooting, soft-spoken Blade Runner that suits his style of acting. I mean, for crying out loud – I’m sure the guy has range, so why do you keep giving him these roles!? And why do you keep taking them, Ryan? Why?

It’s like I’m watching Drive all over again.

Long pans of cityscape; cruising in sleek rides all over town; sudden outbursts of action and gratuitous violence (but also quite gratifying).

Hey, let’s make a list to comp-ok fine, let’s not.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy watching an expressionless robot speed around with acid rain streaking horizontally across the glass, and get mind raped a few times over. But replicants are supposed to have some proper emotion, man!

The dude didn’t even cry when that really, really sad thing happened!

He just sat there and stared.

It’s like I’m watching Drive all over again.

Whining aside, I honestly did enjoy this installment of the Blade Runner franchise and I agree it did justice to the original.

Some people may have found it rather draggy and slow, but I felt the pacing was in a way homage to the classic style of movies. It also gives good breathing room to the audience in between all that story and action.

And all the settings have such character!

blade-runner-wallace-corp-indoor-setting

Very artfully done locations and picturesque places, albeit intentionally stale and depressing.

blade-runner-wallace-corp-indoor-setting

And the music! Oh, Hans Zimmer I knew thy touch upon each dissonant shred of thine unique brand of high. The music is simply mesmerising and combines so well with many of the quieter moments in the film.

All in all, Blade Runner 2049 is one of those movies where you should not go in expecting to see a whole lot of whiz bang action and nonstop firefights. It’s one of those films where the people that made it want you as the viewer to appreciate this magical, futuristic universe that they’ve concocted; to bask and linger in the strange yet uncannily familiar sights and sounds.

All you need to do and stay awhile and listen.

Does it hold up to the original? Only time will tell.

But it’s definitely worth the watch (but be warned it’s almost 3 hours long).

 

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Touring With The VIPs Across Kampar


Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Why all the extra long bikes, you say? These are tandem bicycles, for two people to ride! And we’re here to set some records in the Tour de VIP, right here in Kampar, Perak!

Led by some of the most seasoned and solemn local marshalls this part of the world has ever seen!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

I guess they can be a bit goofy sometimes.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
The arrival
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
From the tallest hotel in Kampar

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Briefing time
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Tandem bike check

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

We had some time to kill, so we decided to take a look around the town of Kampar. Turns out they’re famous for their lakes – they are literally covered in tonnes of them!

Kampar Tour de VIP Lake
The immense lakes of Kampar

Kampar Tour de VIP Lake Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Gazing out across the cyan shoals
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Cameraman hard at work

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

And they’ve got little fishies in them, too!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

And of course, it wouldn’t be quite right without some crazy shenanigans.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar has some lovely cafes and eateries, all within walking distance of the Grand Kampar Hotel.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Not the best way to carry a cat

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Time for a smothering!

Before we knew it, it was the morning of the event. Nice and early, as usual.

Have to get in an early breakfast and get our gear ready before the sun even peeks its head up.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
We’re awake…we’re awake
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Everybody squeeze in!
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
What’s that in the distance?
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Last minute recap
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
You need a bike, mate?
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Ready for takeoff!
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
And awaaay we go!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Man aboard!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
The happy marshalls that are both safety and morale boosters!
Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
Marshalls – assemble!
Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
I could do with a Mentos right now

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
Feeling that sun

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
Say hello to the KL tandem riders!

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The joy of arriving at a rest stop!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Tandem in action!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The medics working their magic
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
A quick scolding. Just kidding, he’s a pretty cool guy
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Two guiding hands

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
You take water, no photos!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Beep beep!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The jolly marshalls
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Takes a lady’s touch to appease them

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The shy kids from the hood
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Ninja
Ninja rider caught on camera
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Flying with ease
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Cow
Mmmmove it, punk!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Upon the big tree
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Fellow peloton riders!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Over the flyover!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Last rest stop

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Dedicated water bearers are a life saver
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Ready
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Set go!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Walk that heat off!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Quick regroup
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Power boost!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Boost into the sky!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
It’s Larry!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The final rest stop
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
That’s quite the bumper sticker
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Say cheese, ladies!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Nadrah
The ever-smiling Dr. Nadrah

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Testing the tandem
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The boys are ready to roll!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Zombie approaching!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The man on the motorbike
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Taking all the shade we can get
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Perak
The amazing hills and skies of Perak

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

 

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Say hi to Kumar!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Mmm…ice. So close yet so far
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The final leg

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Arriving home

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Brothers in arms and wheels
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Cool as ice, yo
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
The Grand Kampar Hotel rewards richly

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
The happy masses

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Yes! We did it! Now can we go back to sleep?

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Champion marshall
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Happy record breaker
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Time to go home, boys!

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

And here’s a wacky video of it all:

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Construction of the Millennium Falcon

It’s going to be Star Wars season soon, so get you your very own Millennium Falcon – the sexiest spacecraft since the U.S.S. Enterprise!

Well, that and X-wings. Nothing gets those dicks harder than locking those S-foils into attack position.

Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
First step – the mini satellite dish
Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
Look familiar yet?
Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
It’s a satellite dish!

Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee

Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
Almost there!

Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee

Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
Tada!
Millennium Falcon Construction SamShee
And away we go!

And that, kids, is how the Millennium Falcon was built!

Millennium Falcon Space
Millennium Falcon away!
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VIPs On Wheels

Do you know what the trending use for the acronym VIP is around here? It stands for Visually Impaired Person.

Not that they aren’t important, of course.

Here are some snapshots of these VIPs out and about on two wheels:

VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike

Garden of St Nicholas
In the gardens of St Nicholas Home

Garden of St Nicholas

Garden of St Nicholas
It stares back
Garden of St Nicholas
What’s that hiding there?
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Riding To Bagan Serai

To Bagan Serai & Beyond

Penang Permatang Tinggi Church Cycling

In September of 2017, we decided to explore the townships of Bagan Serai and Kuala Kurau in the northern Perak region.

We started off in Penang, from the Butterworth ferry terminal, and made our way south along the old trunk road.

Bagan Serai Cycling Sam Travels Map
Woooah, straight down!

You end up passing a lot of little towns and palm plantations.
Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling

The roads were straight and the traffic low, and the locals probably weren’t as accustomed to hordes of cyclists passing through.

Bagan Serai Malaysia Cycling

Bagan Serai Malaysia CyclingAnd this is where my back tire went flat.

I hobbled my way to the nearest hardware store; thankfully this town appeared well accustomed to servicing passing vehicles. However, these vehicles tended to be of the larger variety, so I had to MacGuyver together some tube levers and a patch from keys and some decent duct tape.

Fortunately, the hardware store had a powerful pump and soon I was off on my merry way.

Bagan Serai Malaysia Cycling

Bagan Serai is a relatively simple town that I suppose is known for food, apart from being a hub town for the surrounding area.

Nothing much to see there, really. Lots of shops though.

After Bagan Serai, it’s a quick 15km jaunt over to the coastal town of Kuala Kurau.
Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling
Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling

Now Kuala Kurau is much more interesting.

Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling

Kuala Kurau is a bustling little port town by the sea, with some quaint little bridges spanning the delta.

It appears to be a town with some history – old, weather-worn buildings; typical salty fishing shacks; new, stone temples and bungalows.


Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling

And just out of town was where our true destination lay: My Homestay 21.

Located literally in the middle of a palm plantation, deep in Kampung Lian Seng, is a large expanse of pomelo orchards and sturdy houses with a thriving Chinese population.

Kualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling Adventure

So we came along to feast on the pomelos, but stayed around to support (morally) the kind medical doctors that were there to offer free medical check-ups to the local residents.

Kualau Kurau Palm Perak Malaysia Cycling Adventure
Kualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling Adventure

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Beneath The E-Gate Skies

Some creature live above us, and some below. But there are some creatures that are destined to live in the in-between, hovering endlessly in the interface between sky and land.

I don’t think I’ve reached the recommended word count, but I don’t care! Here is what you came for. Oo-oo-oo-oo-oh, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooh.

Or you can always hover over to my YouTube page.

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