Monday, January 31, 2005

Background of CNY

I have been celebrating Chinese New Year (CNY) for all my life but I do not really knows the background except that its start of a new year. Click on the link below to read a bit of CNY background.

http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/tlresources/units/Byrnes-celebrations/Chinese.html

Wonder Years

I just saw the news of the coming PS2 or I am not sure will they call it PS3 and it’s a very expensive toy. Society is moving forward, the previous generation works hard to give a better future to the next generation. In the olden days, the toys for kids is those plastic toys. I still remember I have a box full of them, it was my price possession. I think those who are my generation could remember it. It is the soldier figurine. It is always in green colour. I have over hundred of them and it is in various positions. There are also some tanks to go along with it.

During my generation, these are the things that kept me occupy. I have simulated the "World War 1 and 2", “Dessert Storm”, the “Falklands War” in some interesting place. I use the blanket, pillows and bolster to make up the mountains, the lake, and the terrain for my soldiers to fight in. The only thing I could not simulate it’s the rain, the sand, the blood and the water hahahaha. It kept me happy when outside is raining and when my parents is not around.

There are also playing cards that we play, card games that involve cars, football players and etc. It is quite interesting; you actually play it like normal cards and distribute it among the players. Everyone will throw a card out in the center and if the players that throw the “cars” that has the higher CC will take all the cards and keep it. The player who has the most cards in the end is the winner. I miss those wonder years…….

Saturday, January 29, 2005

My Cowboy Suits

10 more days to go before Chinese New Year (CNY), most of us will have start to prepare for this once a year celebration. Now when you open the radio you could already start to hear the CNY songs blaring away, “Gong Xi, Gong Xi” “Dong Chang Dong Chang”. It lifts the spirit; it builds up the holiday mood in most of us.

I think a lot of people have started its CNY house cleaning. It’s quite a chore. All the usual rubbish that has been around for past year will need to be thrown away. During my days, we will need to take out all the cups and plates that was store in the cupboard and clean it. I am not sure why as after cleaning it will goes back to the cupboard and be kept for a year waiting for it to be clean again. I think it’s the ritual, that at least once a year cleaning, the atmosphere that everybody sits around the table, cleaning and chit chatting.

We will also start to clear our clothes cupboard, the old clothes or not so fit trousers will be given away. This will ensure new clothes will be bought for us, hahaha. I still remember that there is one year my most unique shirts or shall I say cowboy suit. It was one of those suits that have like string or stray of clothes on both shoulders. The material is the shining type. I have also bought a tall boots to complete the cowboy image. I have actually persuaded my mother to buy it for me although my mother said it will not be worn often as it is the shining type which is hot. I am not sure what makes me decide to choose it for my CNY.

After I came out to work which is my early 20’s, I have actually tailored my pants. During those days, there are a lot of tailor stores that operates at 3rd floor or the cinema floor in sungai wang. A month before CNY, we will put in our order and it will be ready a week before CNY. Normally I will make at least 4 to 5 pairs of pants which will last for a year.

When I reach end of 20’s and now, I no longer tailor my pants. I will normally buy from departmental stores when there is a sale and if it’s nice I will keep it for CNY. However I could not remember any of the CNY clothes except my cowboy suit which I wore for a few times only.

Don't count the years , count the memories

When festive season arrive, you will normally think of your love one. I will not be celebrating this Chinese New Year as my dad passed away 3 months ago. Chinese tradition says that there should be no celebration for a year. My family now consists of only my sister, my wife and myself. My mum passed away since I am 21 years old due to tongue cancer. I myself was diagnosed as having kidney cancer in Aug last year, now I am left only with my right kidney.

I normally shop at Jusco xxxx. I will always walk the same way every time I am there. When I walked pass the counter that is selling Polo T-shirts, it reminds me of my dad. I always buy him some polo t-shirts for Chinese New Year. I used to call him “So Fun” as he is a happy go lucky guy. In Chinese there is a saying “Treat it as blanket if the sky drop”, that’s how my dad always look at things, no matter what happened he will look at it in a simple manner. He seldom get angry, in fact I do not remember the last time he is angry. I guess me and my sister are the hot headed one.

I guess it’s hard sometimes to let go. I remember when my mom passes away it takes a while for me and my sister to move on. Now I am 16 years older, the pain and the feelings of trying to let go still remains the same. The only difference is that when my mom passed away I felt relief and happy for her initially as she was having quite a “painful” few months before she pass away and then follows by emptiness and sorrow. My dad “departure” was a shock to us, it happens just within a day.

Every one of us will have to go sooner or later; this life is just mid way to another life. I am not sure when it’s my turn and how but I hope that I will go the same way as my dad, fast and easy. In one of my previous post, there is a good wording, “Don’t count the years, count the memories”. I will always remember the good ones, so long "So Fun", thanks for the memory.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Snapshots and live traffic condition in hongkong

I got a kick of seeing this snapshots and some live web cam showing some places in hongkong. Click onto the webcast picture to see the real time condition. Last year before I went to hongkong I took a look at this site. At least get to feel the weather condition, or at least to see if its raining or not, hahaha. You need a high speed connection and real player to see the real time feed.

http://traffic.td.gov.hk/selection_e.htm

Lup Ngap and Lup Cheong

When coming to Chinese New year, there is a lot dish that is special. One of the dish, which is quite different is steam “wax duck” or in Cantonese we called “Lup Ngap”. I remember my mum (passed away since I am 21) loves it. She used to steam it. I could not really remember the exact taste as since my mum no longer around I have not touched or eaten it. What I do remember it’s the plasticky and oily feeling. It seems only in china that this is produce as it needs the winter wind to dry it and its only sale once a year somewhere before Chinese New Year.

Another interesting dish or raw material that we also use is sausage or I should call it Chinese sausage. In Cantonese we called “Lup Cheong”. It is similar shape to sausage but its redder. We normally use it to fried rice, it’s the unique taste that gives it the special ommph or I should said the oil that squeeze it way out from the sausage that gives it the special taste. This reminds me of the Yeung Chow fried rice back in Eaton in Jakarta.

You could click on to this link at the star paper that shows a picture of the wax duck and also the sausage at the background.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2005/1/21/nation/9959571&sec=nation

Curve that educates the mind

I have not been active this past few days, I am not sure why. Maybe it’s the weather; the sun has been coming out almost full force daily in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My brain seems to be in dire straits. Nothing interesting lately, except for some funny news on certain government officer (from public accounts committee) that cancels their study tour to Cairo. The reason being there is one officer that decline to go which cause “a lack of quorum”.

The interesting part is that the officer that decline to go cited that in the tour which is suppose to be a study tour consists of belly dancing while cruising down river nile , site seeing to museum and other interesting places. This officer being a “good apple" decline, saying that it’s a waste of taxpayer money and its looks more like a sight seeing tour rather than a study tour.

As the trip was cancel, now the remaining officer requests the “good apple” to pay the cancellation fees as they are now blaming the “good apple” for wasting taxpayer money. It seems the belly dancing; museum visit is good to learn some accounting tips. It helps them to calculate faster. As the dancer swerve on a rocking boat in river nile, they will need to concentrate hard on the dancer belly to count the number of swerve. This will help them sharpen their concentration and increase their calculation speed. So in the end this will result in higher job performances which finally translate to savings in taxpayer money.

Ummm… I think I will request my boss to send me to cairo also as lately my concentration is quite bad, I need some mental workout, left, right, ohhhh those curve sure its educational.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Japan TV

There is also this TV station called So-net, below is the link. Once you reach the web page, just click Enter and wait for a while (less than a minute plus)

http://www.so-net.ne.jp/broadband/#

There is also this channel that I guess talks about the share market as below. Just look for the play at the left corner.

http://www.daiwatv.jp/

I am not sure all this is live, maybe our fellow blogger from Japan could comment


Live Malaysia TV1 and TV2

For Malaysian who works in overseas and hunger for some live malaysian TV, you can visit the site below for streaming live TV1 and TV2 from malaysia. You need realplayer and high speed net access. Enjoy!

http://www.rtm.net.my/english/web/users/login.php

Monday, January 24, 2005

"Want Face"

There is an interesting topic that was discussed in this morning 988 radio show. It was talking about “Want Face”. I think a lot of us in regardless of races, country and etc do practice some “Want Face” act in their life time. Some do it routinely, some occasionally, and some rarely and etc. I am not sure is there a word for it in English but maybe the example below could help to explain its meaning.

This “Want Face” act is much rampant especially when festive season is around the corner. Chinese New Year (CNY) is coming in around 2 weeks time, there could be some who try to have their house renovation finished early just in time for it. Some of them are willing to spend additional cash, to ask the contractor to work late or overtime to have it finished on time.

Some plans to buy Car or new house or new handbag or new hand phone or new wife (hahaha joking) or etc. For what purpose? As during festive season, relatives will most likely come and visit OR some of us will go and visit relatives. Over here we call it open house. As most of us are working their heads off day in day out, we seldom have the chance to meet our relatives for the whole year except maybe during wedding or annual festive occasion like CNY.

As usual when you meet your “long time never see” relatives, the conversation will start with “so far how, got big bonus, big increment?”. So sometimes with a new car, new house or newly renovated house, that is self explanatory. Just imagine, you visit your relative with your new shinning Mercedes S320 gliding in front of your relative gate as compare with the beat up “Proton Tiara” last year. The conversation will definitely be different and it means “this past one year I have make it on the who and who list”, hahahaha.

I do notice this change from time to time, I remember when most of our relatives who is in their end 30s’ the “Want Face” items is different. As during this period most of them are struggling working adult with children that just started pre-school or still in primary. So the common question could be “your son got number what in class, mine oh! Got first in the class and get some rewards from the school”.

I have encountered some of the worst “want face” cases. I have asked about the price of a bag, the amount he paid, the place that sells it and when did that person buys it. The answer I got it’s a Mark Up price and he fails to mention the 60 percent discount. How do I know? I was at the same place and I am interested in the same bag also, hahaha.

On CNY eve, normally there is a get together dinner whether cooked in the house or eat at restaurant. This morning radio was talking about the price of the “get together dinner” offer at some restaurant in China and Taiwan. Some of it offered a ten course meal with almost the price of $100,000 (already convert to Malaysia ringgit) per table. Some dish has some interesting ingredient like Old and big ginseng chicken soup or Bloody Bird Nest soup and etc. It was advertised in most major newspaper. According to the Radio DJ, the idea is to make sure most of us will know about the price. And when certain relatives said I will treat you to this so and so restaurant, this will be a “Want Face” item. As the Radio DJ put it, the “Want Face” tradition it’s in the Chinese blood, the restaurant owner sure knows how to make some money out of something they themselves practice.

I think I might not be able to afford a S class but I think I can afford a Camry but not this year maybe next year or the year after or maybe another 3 years, hahaha.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

My house in Thailand

My house in thailand is a 3 storey link house. It's at the corner but there is no land available.


Left Pic, is taken from inside the house. Right Pic, is at the other angle which is near the fence of the next house. You could see some available space which leads directly to the kitchen. In both pic, you could see my wife cleaning the place.

Left Pic, this is taken at the corner of the house whereby there is some space which we intend to have a small library or working space. Right Pic, taken outside of the kitchen.

Left Pic, this is shows the small library/working place. Right Pic, Kitchen.

Left Pic, this is taken from the second floor which I am thinking of making it as a family place whereby the family could sit annd enjoy the wind from the window. Right Pic, First Bed Room, which my in-laws will eventually be staying.

Left Pic, this is the second bed room at the second floor. Right Pic, this is the door that lead to the master bedroom and toilet at the third floor.

Left Pic, this is the third bed room at the third floor. Right Pic, this is the master bedroom taken from the door.

This is the master bedroom taken from near the window.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Wow, land of smiles and beautiful women

I was reading one of my colleague blog, he is currently in Beijing. I think sometimes its fun to work in different countries and experience different culture. Back then there is no such thing as blog, no digital camera and even email is not so rampantly use. When I read his blog, it bring back some of those memories that I have in Thailand. I remember when I was told that I was assigned to Thailand, it was a feeling of “Wow, land of smiles and beautiful women”, hahaha.

Some of my colleagues also have some weird ideas and impression of Thailand. They have the impression that Thailand is a wild west whereby most of the citizen carries a gun and goes around robbing and kill people. They actually suggested to me to wear a worn out and torn shirt to work, this is to ensure that I will not get robbed. They also said keep my rolex watch (I do not have one) and take out my casio or swatch, carries only enough money to survive one day. If I can afford, buy and wear a bullet proof vest.

At that time, my relative was also saying that there is a lot of disease running around. Disease like hepatitis, aids, sexual disease and etc, I was advice to go for a hepatitis vaccination first before I go there. I was advice not to use public toilet as it might lead to some sexual disease if my body get in contact with some unwanted contaminated bodily liquid. They also remind me, that I should stay away from bars, massage parlor and abstain from doing anything that a small kid will not do, hahaha

That was nine years ago, since then I have worked on 3 projects in Thailand. I am married to a beautiful thai lady. Together with my wife we have bought a house in Thailand. Over that period, I have travel to quite a number of places; I have endured below freezing temperature in the mountains area of Chiang Mai. That was really the first time I felt cold until my whole body was shaking beyond control. I have been to a lot of interesting places and learn some interesting culture.

I remember there are times that I was tick off by my wife as I was crossing my leg and back then my calf is big so my foot will dangle in mid air and it will point to another person sitting beside me on the bus. In Thai culture it is rude to point the foot to someone, there are times it result in fights and the perpetrator will end in death. Of course another interesting culture is the “Wai”, the pressing of both palm (like praying) and put it near your heart or chest. I also understanding the height or placement of the hand depends on the person that you “Wai” to. If the person is an elder, monk, royalty, the higher the “Wai” should be.

I think that is one of plus side of working in another country, we get to explore interesting place and expose to unique cultures the “local way”. For those who is interested in reading something in regards in working in Beijing you could refer to my colleague site which is http://leecheensiong.blogspot.com/ he has just been transfer to beijing. In the mean time, I still feels “Wow, land of smiles and beautiful women” when I am in Thailand.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Intel Sonoma Platform

The 2nd generation of centrino notebook chips is going to be launched today. The technology is changing very fast, it changed when we blink our eyes.

Refer to Cnet Asia......

http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/hardware/notebooks/0,39001749,39210101,00.htm

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Samsung's Motion-Recognition Phone: SCH-S310

What it is going to be next? This new Hand Phone allows you to make calls without pressing anything on the phone.

http://www.slashphone.com/102/1293.html/

My Bluetooth HeadSet

Below is my Bluetooth HeadSet that I have bought a month ago. I have returned it once before as the battery seems to last only for a day. I got a one to one refund, so far this new one is ok. It last for 4 days plus (open from 9am till 10 pm). However I am not so used to putting it on my ear. It feels a bit funny, my wife also is having one and someone comments it looks like a kid penis, hahaha


My sitting place in IBM plaza

For those of you who wonders where am I hidding, I am now at IBM Plaza, mezzaine floor (second level) and I am sitting at PC-D0935. Sin Jiun is at PC-D0943 and MAKLC is at PC-D0952


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Tiger Cup and That Feeling

I am now at my wife office, there is an implementation on trade finance system. I was browsing at the STAR for the result of yesterday match between Malaysia and Myanmar. Malaysia won the third place in tiger cup. I did not see the whole match as I was down shopping with my wife at the departmental store for my sister GL bag. At least we did win back some of the pride that we have lost during the semi-final match with Indonesia.

I did see the starting of the second half; Malaysia shows some of the style and game plan that gives them the win over Thailand. They close the opponents quite fast in their half, like bee smell honey for the first time. I think to be competitive in sport we need to have that feeling, the same feeling when we first hold hand with our girlfriend or boyfriend. The enthusiasm, to feel the bone out of their hand, hahaha. Does anyone of us still remember that feeling?

I think it’s the same in any thing we do, if we have that feeling, it will be like we are driving a car on gear 6 or 7. It provides the adrenalin that pushes us to the limits of our capability. If we lost that feeling, the things we do will be mundane; it will be a bore, just a daily chore that we need to do. Just like eating our daily meal, we eat to survive and not eat to enjoy.

Does anyone of us loves to search for food? Most of the time when we drives for almost an hour in search of the “Famous Ah Ching Bak Kut Teh” or the “Famous Minn Kee Grilled Sea Food”, we will always feel that the food taste good as compare with “Restaurant Ah Ming” across the street from the house. I think it’s the journey that allows us to feel the anticipation, the build up, the ride with our family or friends, the environment which is difference from our norm, that made the food taste much better. I think the people that stay somewhere near “Famous Ah Ching Bak Kut Teh” might find “Restaurant Ah Ming” food taste superb.

If we looked at things at different perspective everyday we will find our lives more enjoyable, instead of the now mundane task that we perform everyday. I know it’s easy to say than actually doing and feeling it. There is always one question that a lot of relatives, my sister, my friend ask, that is do I feel bored eating the same type of food everyday, steam fish and stir fry vegetables and occasionally some soup due to my medical condition. I do not actually always feel bored, there is some occasion that I miss my oily Hokkien Mee, Butter Prawn, Nasi Lemak, WanTon Mee and a lot of other dish but so far so good, today I will be eating Juraporn famous plain fried Rice with fish for lunch. Ummm, it taste good!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Bangkok and Switzerland

I just came back from the World Trade Center. We took BTS until chidlom station and then we walk. Today the weather is quite cold, I have checked the temperature from the net it’s around 21 Celsius. I am a frequent visitor to Bangkok and I used to work here for few years. This is the first time, I felt cold and this is around 3 pm.

It makes me think of the vacation I have in Switzerland, it was fun. The difference is the quality of the air. In Bangkok you could still smell a bit of petrol that is emitted from the tons of cars that are crawling in the streets. The air in Switzerland was like having a big air filter, it was cold and fresh. I was staying in the mountain areas near one of the ski resort. It was fun. I think the only foul smell you can smell is the cow dung that litters the mountain. I remember there is one time the temperature dips below 5 Celsius. It was quite sunny in the morning but when we reach the city, it was raining; hence the temperature was dipping way below the morning temperature.

Once I step out from the train station, I felt the chill from the winds that blows towards us. It was like having the fridge open up and there is big fan blowing. It was dead cold. I ended up going into one shop and bought a sweater and wear it immediately. It was one of those moments that you will not forget.

I think the temperature will drop below 20 Celsius in Bangkok tonight. I even suggested my wife to goes out tonight and enjoy the cold weather, I have never thought of saying that in a place like Bangkok.

This photo is taken outside of world trade.


80's and IPOD

I did not manage to buy anything at World Trade Center. However I was quite interested in IPOD, it is around 18,000 baht. It is the 40 GB version. It looks cute, hahaha. I was thinking well since I do not carry my notebook to the office hence it was quite troublesome sometimes to work on documents in 2 places. So the idea of using it as a storage device crop up. Of course primarily is the sweet sound of music that got me interested. Anyway I did not buy it as it still expensive, with the VAT refunds is still around 17,000 baht. I think it’s cheaper than Malaysia; in Malaysia it should be in the range of 1,900 RM.

When I was in my teens, I am addicted to music or songs. During those days there are shops around KL that provide service in recording singles into cassette. I think it is illegal in duping the singles and the shop is at the back of my school. I used to drop by the shop every day and check out the top 40 UK hits. I take the list as a guide for me to record the singles. The higher the song is in the list, the young mind of mine will get more interested. I was into UK hits only, I am not interested in the US hits. It was in the 80’s whereby groups and artiste such as U2, Spandau ballet, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Visage, Queen, Hair cut One hundred, Hot chocolate, Yazoo, kraftwerk and etc rules the airwaves.

That was also the time I was hooked into short wave radio, as listening to songs from UK is like drinking an expensive wine. It’s very rare to have UK songs broadcast in the local radios. I am not sure why, it could be that the tunes are a bit “abnormal” than the US hits. It’s the era of new wave and Punk. I even have quite a punk and spiky hairstyle. Overall my hair is short but there is a few strand of hair in front, that is around 8 inches long. Hahaha. I used to borrow Video Tape to just watch the Top of The Pops, just imagine that. Sometimes across the straits, Singapore there is a weekly broadcast of Top Of the Pops, so I used the short wave radio for this purpose.

Until now I still love the 80’s and its music.

Good morning Thailand

I am now in Thailand, it has been 3 months. I will be here over the weekend. This time around I felt different, physically. I felt tired, I think I am no longer the old me. I almost dose off in the airport, hahaha. This could also be due to the reason I have been rushing something for the office back in Jakarta. As Friday I need to goes off early to go to the airport, so I concentrated in completing my last assignment for the week.

This morning weather in Bangkok is a bit dull. The air is a bit cooling and a bit of misty, I am not sure if its the mist or dust. The sound from the busy streets below fills up the corridor. The heavy breathing churning out from the worn out bus, speeding tuk tuk, cab, pedestrian walking around doing their daily marketing. The photo below is taken from the apartment at 9 am.



As my wife is preparing my lunch, songs from Green Wave Radio are in the background, soothing thai sentimental songs. It will be fried organic fish meehoon and 0f course with organic vegetables. We will be going around the World trade area doing some window shopping.




Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Shhhh.....One Minute Silence

I was reading at today Star paper, an article talking about the origin of one minute silence. Below is an extract from it.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It was the origin of the moment of silence and what really is its significance?

Today, many attribute the creation of that concept to an Australian journalist named Edward George Honey.

After World War I, there were plans to hold major celebrations for the first anniversary of Armistice Day, the day WWI ended. Honey, who was living in London at the time, wrote a letter in the London Evening News on May 8, 1919, to appeal for a five-minute silence during the celebrations to honour the dead.

Honey, using the pseudonym Warren Foster, wrote: “Five minutes only. Five silent minutes of national remembrance. A very sacred intercession ? Communion with the Glorious Dead who won us peace, and from the communion, new strength, hope and faith in the morrow.”

However, for five months after the letter was published, no one took to the idea. Then on Oct 27, 1919, a suggestion by South African statesman Sir Percy Fitzpatrick was forwarded by his friend to King George V’s private secretary, Lord Stamfordham, for a moment of silence in every country under the British Empire on Armistice Day.

The King was apparently so stirred by the idea that he adopted it immediately. It has been said that no evidence exists to show that Fitzpatrick was inspired by Honey’s letter; instead, Fitzpatrick was said to have been inspired by a moment of silence that was observed at noon in Cape Town, South Africa, to commemorate the heavy losses suffered by the South African Brigade on the western front.

But both Honey and Fitzpatrick attended the rehearsal for the moment of silence at Buckingham Palace with the Grenadier Guards. Yet five minutes was thought to be too long for the ceremony, and so it was subsequently decreased to two minutes.

On Nov 7, 1919, the King issued a special message that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, everyone should observe, in “the brief space of two minutes, a complete suspension of all our normal activities? So that in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.” The King continued: “I believe that my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of that Great Deliverance, and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it.”

Source from the Star (Malaysia)
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


If all human being in the world actually stops at the same time and day and observe a minute of silence wouldn’t it be great. However it’s quite impossible due to different time zone, culture, characters and all.

I think nowadays we are just moving too fast, yesterday my cousin sister was just commenting that people in HongKong, ladies in particular speak in lightning speed. It could be due to their environment/culture, whereby every second, there are opportunities for them to grab, so even lunch time is not spare. She was in HongKong for a few months as her husband was seconded there due to his work commitments.

You could compare the actors and actress in HongKong and Hollywood, when they are in demand, you could see their face in almost every movie or drama that was feature and shown in a year.

In Malaysia is less prevalent but you could still feel the pressure of staying update, I have heard comments that if you were to take leave for a week and if the company can still runs well, then its time for you to leave the company.

At the end of the day we still goes to the same place empty handed same as the day we come.

Wouldn’t it be nice that we start now and have a minute of silence everyday, to cleanse our soul, to free our mind of dateline, to escape to a world whereby there are no worries?

Shhhhhh………

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Organic food and microwave oven

I was at 1 Utama today, after the extension, the place is huge. I was there for close to 2 and half hours. I think to fully walk and look at the whole place needs around 4 to 5 hours. I went there due to 2 reasons, the first is to look at Mark and Spencer shop for a jacket, as the air-con is quite cold back in the office. I was at KLCC Mark and Spencer last week but I did not manage to get any as there are only size medium, which is ok but not comfortable enough.

The second is to look for my Soya base spread. I manage to buy both. I bought the spread at the country farm organics shop at Lower Ground. They sell fruits, juice, vegetables (not much variety), biscuits, tea and etc. The most interesting thing is they also sell some cooked “organic” dish. Volcano Chicken Fried rice at Rm5.90, wholesome beta carotene rice at Rm8.90, Wholesome Dry Curry noodle at Rm8.90, Wholesome Nasi Lemak with DQ chicken at Rm8.90, Wholesome tomyam brown rice meehoon at Rm5.90, Eight boosters rojak at Rm5.90, Wholesome Vegan Fried rice at Rm5.90 and Organic soy ice-cream with 3 flavours i.e. Vanilla, Chocolate and strawberry.

They claim their food is cooked using stainless steels cookware and there are no aluminum pots and no microwave oven. They commitment to the customer is that there is no genetically modified (GMO) food ingredients, all organic and/or natural ingredients, no preservatives, no artificial colorings, no artificial flavorings, no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, no MSG, no bleaching agent, no heavy metals, no growth regulators and no antibiotics (they sell chicken which are naturally fed for at least 6 months). They use reverse osmosis (RO) water for all purpose of cooking.

I took some pamphlets stating the hidden hazards of microwave cooking. According to one Dr. Hans Hertzei research, any food eaten that has been cooked or defrosted in a microwave oven can cause changes in the blood indicative of a developing pathological process that is also found in cancer. Significant changes were discovered in the blood of the volunteers who consume foods cooked in the microwave oven. These changes included as decrease in all hemoglobin values and cholesterol values, especially the HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) values and ratio.

It also seems that there is some research also done by some Russia forensic teams that microwave meats sufficiently creating cancer-causing agent Ingestion of microwave foods caused higher percentage of cancerous cells in blood due to chemical alterations within food substances, malfunctions occurred in the lymphatic system, causing degeneration of the immune system. Micowave foods showed a statistically higher incidence of stomach and intestinal cancers.

Russia once banned microwave ovens in 1976 however the ban was lifted.

Source is from the pamphlets taken from Country Farm Organics, lower ground of 1 Utama shopping complex.

Maid and Lovers of Hakka

Today I have just hired an Hourly maid. They charge roughly Rm12 per hour. I have requested 4 hour per session, one session per week. The maid came as early as 6:30 am in the morning and she will leave at around 10:30 am.

My sister asked her about her working hours, she said she has no time to eat. She will normally eat during the time she commutes around the customer. Like today she will be going off at 10:30 am she will eat her brunch in the car. She will reach her next customer at around 11:00 am. This session will last around 3 hours. Her work will continue until 7:00 pm. I am not sure how much she will get per session, or per month. I consider this as services, so I think she should get her income based on the number of session she has and work in.

Today I read the star newspaper, on Sunday there is a page called Dear Thelma. It features issue, problem, concern raised and answer by Thelma. There is this piece by 42 year old married woman (her pseudonym is Hakka) with 3 young children. She stated that she does not love her husband anymore. She is currently having affairs with 2 other married men and it seems she has strings of other affairs before this also. She feels guilty about all this.

The hourly or permanent maid provides relief and eases the housework burden of some families. Lovers? Do they provide love to those who are short of love like Hakka? Do they ease and relief the feeling of loneliness of Hakka? For some of us who has spent a lot of times apart from our spouse, they are times we feel lonely. We knew what loneliness is. Maid and Lovers of Hakka have the same characteristic, they provide a sort of relief and helps in certain way but somehow it feels morally incorrect. Why?

P/S: HaHaHa, I would like to clarify, I do not support extra marital affairs nor did I ever participate in one.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Check for toilet paper first before dumping

On 1st Jan 2005, all petrol stations have implemented the Chip base machine for credit card. It’s a progress, one step forward in making more secure transactions.

I was at the petrol station yesterday but what I see is not progress, it’s not one step forward but it’s a step backward. What happen? The petrol station has yet to install the chip base reader in the petrol pump. All the users will need to line up and pay at the counter. When it’s my turn that is after sometime, enough time for me to breathe in some petrol fume, enough for my system to shrug with disgust, I put forward my strip base credit card thinking that I could use it in the counter as I thought the implementation is only at petrol pump outside. The cashier said “Sorry sir, only chip base”. My immediate reaction is all the !!@@%%&# ran through my mind.

As my rational and patient part of my mind takes over, I dig in my wallet and bring out my chip base credit card and pass to them. I thank my lucky star that I did have a chip base credit card with me, if not, its not I who drive the car, its I push the car scenario. So what on earth did someone implement this when only a few is ready. And why do they bar the user from using the strip base credit card then if they are not ready?

This morning I was listening to 98.8 on the airwave a listener said, it’s the strategy of the petrol station owner in not installing it. They want you to goes inside to their store, enough time and feeling bore lining up, for you to see those big tasty chocolate bars on sales there. And hope you will buy them, without this chip base credit card implementation, they have problem enticing the customer to browse their shop. Ummm! They are comment from some listener saying it’s the same as MyKad implementation, the feature and advantage it’s for the future, the near near future.

There are comments also saying that some credit card provider or banks is charging user to upgrade their strip base to card base card. Umm! that is one good way of making money.

Again there is a tendency for some of us to “Jalan first” and hope everything its ok. It’s the same for those the people that are used to goes to toilet ready to do some “big business” and after satisfying by dumping it all out, they realize, oh shit, there is no more toilet paper to wipe the ass. So they scream and hope someone outside could hear and bring in the cavalry in the form of pure pulp toilet paper. In this or some instances there is someone who fills the vacuum and provides some assistance.

So check for toilet paper first before dumping.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Bravian the new brand of mineral water

For the past few days, a word has come across my mind a few times, “Trust”. There are few instances whereby this thing called “Trust” comes across my mind. In all the things we do if there is no trust, there is no progress. We have only 2 hands we cannot do all the things by ourselves. There is a limit to all the things we do.

We trust our spouse. We trust our staff. We trust our doctors. We trust those people who donate goods in aid of tsunami to donate something useful but what I read from the newspaper makes my hair stands, my temperature boil and I feel shy being Malaysian. There are people who donate name cards, trophy, year book, torn bra and some totally unusable goods. It seems 20 percent of the goods donated cannot be used. Why there are some human behaves this way? What is in their mind?

I believe all humans are born pure and kind. Have you ever seen a baby behaving badly? I guess when they are growing up they see what other human does. They imitate, they absorb and they follow. I guess those who donate those rubbish might have absorb, imitate and follow someone. Your guess is good as mine who they follow.

Or they know something we do not know like the trophy used to collect rain water. The torn bra will be use to filter particles from the water. The name card and Year book could help to make the bon fire burn longer so that the filter water will boil. This will finally translate to torn bra filter boil water for the victim. Who knows they might start a trend like evian water. They could outsold evian one day and they might called it Bravian.......


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Moments in Life

I receive this encouraging words from a friend that I would like to share.
There are moments in life when you miss someone
so much that you just want to pick them from
your dreams and hug them for real!
<<>>
When the door of happiness closes, another opens;
But often times we look so long at the
Closed door that we don't see the one,
Which has been opened for us
<<>>
Don't go for looks; they can deceive.
Don't go for wealth; even that fades away.
Go for someone who makes you smile,
Because it takes only a smile to
Make a dark day seem bright.
Find the one that makes your heart smile.
Dream what you want to dream;
Go where you want to go;
Be what you want to be,
Because you have only one life
And one chance to do all the things
You want to do.
<<>>
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet
Enough trials to make you strong,
Enough sorrow to keep you human and
Enough hope to make you happy.
<<>>
The happiest of people don't necessarily
Have the best of everything;
They just make the most of
Everything that comes along their way.
<<>>
The brightest future will always
Be based on a forgotten past;
You can't go forward in life until
You let go of your past failures and heartaches.
<<>>
When you were born, you were crying
And everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so at the end,
You’re the one who is smiling and everyone
Around you is crying.
<<>>
Don't count the years - count the memories

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Malaysia Lost

Malaysia lost 1 to 4 to Indonesia. I watched the match Live at NTV7. Malaysia plays football for first 50 minutes before they decide to play watch the ball. At least it got me chanting “Malaysia Boleh” for 50 minutes. And Indonesia plays foot more than football.

The match has similar scripts as Singapore and Myanmar second leg. The difference is the ending. Singapore plays football and Myanmar plays foot. Singapore won and Malaysia lost. Myanmar players get red cards and indonesia players gets high five from the referee.

Anyway congratulate to the Malaysia team for coming so far in the tournament. Let’s hope Malaysia will play football for 90 minutes in the next match and keep the spectator longer in the stadium. Yesterday you could see the crowd start to leave the stadium when the score line tells them that it needs a few “Siu lam juk kau” or shaolin football team players to comes in for a come back. I guess its human nature to support the winner and leave the loser.


Monday, January 03, 2005

Tiger Cup and Malaysia Boleh?

When I was in Primary, I love to watch football. That was the time whereby Mokthar Dahari, rules the penalty area of an opposition and Soh Chin Aun rules ours. Back then the merdeka cup is the much awaited tournament. That was the time whereby you could actually watch team from South Korea, Iraq, Singapore, Thailand and sometimes China.

I am one of those who actually went and watch the match live in merdeka stadium together with my father. In most matches when Malaysia was in, the stadium will be full. Back then there is no “Malaysia Boleh” but you can feel the magic and the pull of the eleven yellow shirt players on the field. You would want to shout “Malaysia!” on top of the lungs to lift their spirit.

For the past 10 years, even with the birth of the slogan “Malaysia Boleh”, our football is not much to shout about. Even if we have 4 big JBL or Bose speaker blaring “Malaysia Boleh” in the stadium it cannot lift the players spirit, it just lifts their shoot above or past the goal post and not in between.

Recently I was hooked back to cheer the Malaysia team by the displayed of the current batch of players that represent Malaysia in the tiger cup. I think it’s that feeling, the real feeling of “Malaysia Boleh”.

Tonight is the second leg of the semi final match between Malaysia and Indonesia at Bukit Jalil. Will the “Malaysia Boleh”, really “Boleh” this time? I will definitely watch it on TV.

MALAYSIA BOLEH!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

I was looking at some photo, below is some vacation scenery photo in year 2004

Hong Kong



Victoria Peak and photo taken on a ferry

Langkawi


A peaceful beach and my father free as an eagle (now)




Langkawi skies and Black Sand beach


Koh Samui in Thailand






Grand Father Rock and Thailand Skies




Night View from Center Point


Saturday, January 01, 2005

Mark And Spencer sales

I was at Mark and spencer sales today at KLCC. Nothing much, manage to bought one T-Shirts. There are items on sales, but the good ones has around 30 percent discount only, which is still expensive to me, hahaha. There are some good sweaters for those who plan to go to some cold country for vacation.

Jakarta Mark and spencer sales seems to have more choices and the sales items is really up to 50 percent or so.

Love and Meet Joe Black

Yesterday was New Year Eve, it’s the same time when we reflect the past year events. The ups and downs, the sad and happy. Most TV channels show the sad faces of those who lose their love ones in tsunami.

I have come across an interesting thoughts in one of the movies or drama. Do we ever notice the photos that we have taken? It always shows happiness. The happiness that we felt during vacation, parties, gathering and etc. Have we ever come across a photo which shows sadness? Seldom or not at all. Even farewell photos show our faces grinning.

Yesterday night on TV3 there is a show called “Meet Joe Black”. I was tired but I stay awake to catch the ending. It was almost 12:30 am 1st Jan 2005, when the show restart after the news. This is my interpretation of the shows. It shows Anthony Hopkins or Bill Parish was in a way “bidding farewell” to his family as Brad Pit or Mr Death is ready to take his life.

Brad Pitt asks Anthony Hopkins, do you have any regrets in life? Anthony Hopkins said no, as he has the time to do the things he need to do. There is an interesting conversation between him and his daughter before that.

He has 2 daughters. As in most family, normally there is favoritism show towards one child as compare with others. The daughters, who did not get much attention from Anthony Hopkins, actually told her father that she knew that her father actually do love her.

We are sometimes good in presenting or putting our thoughts forward in meeting, demo and etc. Do we realize most of us fail to present or tell our love ones that we love them?

Do start today by telling your parents or children or spouse that you love them.
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