Sunday, August 31, 2008

Browser Compatibility issues

I discovered recently from a few of my readers that my blog has been loading differently in Firefox than in Internet Explorer. In Firefox, my main post is disjointed with my sidebar appearing at the bottom of the page. Since I always use Internet Explorer, I had not realized that such obstacle could be existed. I should have been checking browser compatibility in the first place, particularly since more users are switching to Firefox.

The best free solution to test your browser compatibility is All you have to do is enter the web address of your blog, select the browsers for which you’d like to see screenshots across multiple operating systems. It is not necessary to check all those browsers and it will be pretty time consuming if you do.

First of all, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the chart and click on None to uncheck all the boxes. Then select the browsers that you want to test. Wait a couple of minutes (sometimes longer) for your results. You will be able to see exactly how your site looks in different browser versions. Aside from this, you can check out the Total Validator service to validate your pages for technical analysis. As I 'm not a pro webmaster, I might as well get some professional help to solve my multiple problems.

Lastly, thanks to WildApricot for a great browser compatibility blog post. Hopefully you’ll find it useful too.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Independence Day Malaysia!

Today is the eve of our Independence Day. We will be turning 51 years old. Malaysia has indeed gone through many twists and turns under the British colony and Japanese occupation to a peaceful and harmonious multi-racial nation that's rich in culture and heritage.

Are Malaysians feeling the patriotism of Merdeka this year? I used to look forward to the celebrations every National Day, during my younger days. Previous National Day celebrations in Malaysia was always celebrated with plenty of fun and full of enthusiasm.

Speaking of patriotism, the joyful spirit and merry atmosphere is just missing this year and I just feel like any ordinary weekend as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps, it has got to do with the the current political scene and the bumbling way they handle the national issues, from social to the economy of this country.

My fervent hope is that there will be drastic change for the better soon. I just wish that nothing untowardly will happen on Merdeka Day and we all can enjoy a safe, peaceful holiday. Politics aside, let's take a moment to celebrate this auspicious occasion.

And last but not least, I wish all my Muslim friends “Selamat Berpuasa”.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Got a pirated copy of XP? Expect to be Nagged

Microsoft has recently introduced a new version to its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) system. This new notification tool will aim to stop the stolen and pirated versions of software being circulated using new Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) which comes into effect this week.

If your copy of XP is found to be pirated, the software will turn your back ground to black each time you log on. Users will be able to replace the desktop wallpaper they desire but the black screen will reappear every 60 minutes, before another blackout occurs. I guess there's no point of changing the background back to your favorite picture.

The other feature is Microsoft puts a translucent banner at the bottom of the screen informing the user that the copy of Windows is not genuine. Apparently, that’s just the start of Microsoft’s nagging until the users buy a legitimate copy.

Anybody who pirates this software is probably smart enough to get around this by turning off the automatic updates.

SOURCE : TheStar

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Nation in Distress???

There is a campaign by a group of bloggers to raise Malaysian flag upside down to symbolize a nation in distress and had called upon their readers to fly the Malaysian Flag upside down. The initial call was said to be have been made by Kelantanese blogger Sheih aka ‘kickdefella‘ .

This is indeed a sad thing. No matter how much I hate the political situation, hoisting “Jalur Gemilang” in that manner is total disrespectful and an insult. It only shows our immaturity in distinguishing the real problems in our beloved country.

I feel and sense an emptiness to this year's Merdeka celebrations. There are a few more days before we celebrate our Independence Day but yet there is no “Merdeka Spirit” in the air at this time of the year unlike previous years.

Our distress is due to some political issues and not our country. An upside down flag is the international symbol for distress. I guess the nation needs a miracle to get itself out of the major crisis and problems that are facing us today.

Regardless, I think the flag should be retained as it is , not inverted. It is the symbol of our freedom and be proud of it.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Beijing Olympics Closing Ceremony

Beijing Olympics finally came to an end with an amazing closing ceremony. The fireworks were stunning but I think the closing ceremony wasn't as spectacular as the opening ceremony. After 16 glorious days of an amazing journey into Beijing, we say goodbye to another year’s Olympics. China also won the greatest number of gold medals(51) and the United States came second with 31 gold medals. England will be hosting the next Olympics in 2012. It is going to be interesting to see how London manages the opening ceremony. It may be the end of this sport phenomena but nothing could dampen the athletes' spirit who will definitely be prepared for the next Olympics in London.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Potty Training

My first and second children were potty trained at age 4 months old, and they 've been co-operative. Needless to say, the bones of the baby's still delicate which requires you to gently hold them at such young age. Now my third child, Ennis who is now 13 months old–let's just say, I don't have any issues on potty training her too. Lucky for me! Whenever I put her down on her potty she cooperates. I guess it's a matter of a routine she has to get used to.

I usually placed her favorite toy around the potty so she will get one each time she does her 'little business' in the potty. It certainly saves time cleaning up the little messes which is a huge perk! Ennis has started wearing underwear when we were home and pull-ups when we were out.. Early potty training can reduce the use of diapers drastically and help the environment. And getting kids out of diapers helps reduce the rashes too. Overall, potty training requires patience, consistency, determination and time to make things work.

Ennis has this habit of passing motion after her meals. So I will let her sit on the potty and make some "emm emm" sounds.

some of the essential potty-training tools INCLUDE toys, dolls, books, which can be used to help make potty training fun and easy.

For those of you who want help with making potty training a positive experience, check this cool website:Infant Potty Training

Have a good day and a great weekend.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Petrol price down by 15 sen

After much speculation, Malaysia will cut petrol prices from RM2.70 to RM2.55 per litre, a reduction of 5.6%. The new rates will take effect on Aug 23. The last we read was that petrol prices will only be reviewed by September 1st!! Unfortunately, I don't think that with the decrease of 15 sen, it will ease the people's burden and further reduce the inflation rate. I suppose the reduction is another sneaky move for the sake of some upcoming by-election??

This insignificant decrease of fifteen sen compared to the much higher increase in many essential items do not mean much now. It is easy to bring down the fuel price but it is an uphill task to bring down the prices of other goods.

Perhaps, a little is better than none. Of course we hope there'll be more further reduction.

Source: The Star

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Portuguese Egg Tarts, anyone?

Portuguese egg tarts with the slightly charred tops

I had this sudden crave for portuguese egg tarts of late and if you've never had this dessert before, you're missing out on some sweet, mouth-watering, delicious egg aroma.

When my husband and I travelled to Macao a few years ago, we had the most AMAZING Portuguese Egg Tarts from a street vendor. The crust was flaky and creamy and the custard was smooth and warm. I never had an egg tart that I loved so much!

I think there are many who would favour portuguese egg tarts from one bakery or another. However, no other portuguese egg-tarts in Malaysia can beat those in Macao.

I bought these at Just Bread in Kedah

So far, the ones here are said to be the best in town and despite being a bit pricier, the portuguese egg tarts sell out as fast as they arrive at the shop. Better still, when it's sold between 7a.m. and 11a.m. daily, it is fresh and warm from the oven.

The difference between a Portuguese egg tart and a normal egg tart is that this one has its delicious flaky pastry and the fragrant egg custard while the chinese tart at times crumbly and less flaky. I prefer the Portuguese style egg tarts to the chinese egg tarts.

Great as a tea-time snack, as well as an after-meal dessert, you can never get enough of this delicacy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blog Explosion is My Biggest Traffic Source

If you're looking for more traffic for your blog, Blog Explosion will help your traffic explode. I've been trying the service for quite sometime to see how it works. It's pretty amazing to see how easy it is to receive traffic.

It will take a while to approve your blog, but once they do, it is a pretty decent site. Mine took about two months, so be prepared for a wait. You can earn credits while you wait though, which is good. You surf other Blog Explosion member blogs and in return you generate traffic to your blog at the same time. You need to earn credit by randomly visiting other people's blog for at least 30 seconds. Thereafter, you can proceed to the next blog by clicking on a number in the upper left corner.

This service is worth checking out. You can add multiple blogs to your Blogexplosion account to maximize your traffic. Aside from this, this source allows you to add banners to promote your blog with clickthrough reporting! Your banner will then be rotated across the top of all the pages of BlogExplosion giving you even more opportunities to generate additional traffic to your blog sites.

There's also a convenient pinging tool in Blog Explosion where you can ping your website once every hour and BlogExplosion will ping the following major blog search engines for you at a click of a button. I used to ping my blog with Technorati on its own but ever since I discovered BlogExplosion, I use this service to save a lot of time by pinging to many other services as well.

Enjoy Blog explosion, it’s another great way of wandering around the blogging community.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lee Chong Wei LOST to Lin Dan

It's silver medal for Lee Chong Wei. It was such a heartbreaking moment and I'm sure it was even more heart wrenching for him.

Lee Chong Wei failed in his quest for an Olympic gold medal when he lost to Lin Dan 12-21, 8-21 in straight sets. Looks like Chong Wei was not in his top form tonight. Obviously he was under tremendous pressure but he has delivered his best performance.

I have to confess that Lin Dan was clearly the better player tonight, suitably aggressive, powerful with his smashes and ripping Chong Wei apart mercilessly. I kinda expected Lin Dan would win as he was seen to be dominating the game from the beginning. He truly deserved every inch of that gold medal. Nonetheless, nobody expects the battle of the titans to end in such a way. The whole game was just practically painful to watch. It was all over in 39 minutes. But hey, whatever we may comment, this is not the time for criticisms. Chong Wei performed far better than any of the other athletes we sent to Beijing.

Despite failing to get the gold medal, Chong Wei is set to obtain RM300,000 from the Government for winning the silver medal. Congratulations Chong Wei!

Friday, August 15, 2008

School Holidays and Olympics fever

Finally, the school holidays are here and this is what my kids have been looking forward to. Woohoo! They are enthusiastic and the grins and cheers are fun to hear. I thought of planning some activities to keep them preoccupied instead of going stir crazy at home. However times have changed these days, with the modern, fast paced world, many kids are more eager to hang out at home and play indoors with their computer games or watch TV.

That said, I already have plans for the entire weekend laid out for me. It involves sitting in front of the TV and embracing the Olympics, watching my favourite events! LOL! Having to work on week days, I hardly have the chance to catch a glimpse on the live events, so I only get to watch the highlights at night. Sorry kids, the TV's all ours this whole weekend, you can watch your favourite TV channels after the Olympics end.. hehehe.

I recalled growing up as a kid and counting down the last days of school like crazy until school holidays started! It was totally unplanned, unscheduled and plenty of fun. I honestly can’t remember doing one planned activity in my school holidays, apart from when we went on family trips.

Meanwhile, my eldest daughter, Eunice will be preparing for her UPSR exams. The extra tuition classes will be conducted during school holidays. There’s a flip chart at school reminding the kids the countdown to the exams are drawing near. But the kids these days aren’t nervous and feel intense like us. They hardly worry about their exams.

In fact, she can’t wait for the exams to start so she can get it over soon. Yeah, me too, so I can stop worrying.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

OLYMPICS Opening Ceremony Singing Scandal

It was disheartening to read about how Lin Miaoke (girl on the right) was lip-synching 'Ode to the Motherland' during the Olympics opening ceremony. The whole lip syncing issue has sparked a public outcry. It's a shame the face wasn't put to the voice.

Yang Peiyi (girl on the left) is a child with a beautiful voice in every sense of the word. In the first place, she should have been up there singing that song for real and getting the glory and recognition that she deserves. The individuals responsible for this are not being very good role models. It seems they are encouraging everyone that it's okay to be fake.

It is an awful statement that Yang Peiyi is not pretty enough and has some crooked teeth to represent her country. It must be so hurtful to her pride and self-esteem but amazingly, she’s taking it positively. The promoters of the Olympics got it wrong. China should be proud of this cute little girl's amazing talent and not put up a deceptive show.

Damages have been done to both the girls. What's been done cannot be undone! The target should not be the children but rather the organisers who make this senseless decision. China should put this right and allow Yang Peiyi to perform at some stage during the closing olympics. Otherwise we'll never forget that China is a FAKE !!!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Camera Upgrade

My hubby bought a new digital camera (Panasonic DMC-FZ18) last weekend after hunting over various models for weeks now. This new camera will be his second purchase.

We currently have a Sony DSC-H1 digital camera with 5 Mega Pixels, and a 12x optical zoom. It has served us well over the years. Four years ago when my hubby bought it, it had the highest mega pixels and zoom available. However, he wants to upgrade to more MP and zoom. It will also be fabulous to have an extra camera as a back up or for the personal photography I do, such as on vacation and of family and friends.

This new camera is not too large and bulky to carry around like a Digital single-lens Reflex (DSLR) camera with lenses, and still covers quite a range (28 -504mm). I was especially fond of the 28mm. Normally the zoom tends to make the picture look blurry but not with the Lumix.

The feel is pretty good, cool grip and it feels really comfortable in your hands. The thing has too many features to even talk about. I have not read the manual but was able to figure out to use some of its features pretty quickly. It's not the perfect camera, but no camera is.

Overall I’d say picture quality with this camera is good, though not outstanding in comparison to other cameras. I personally think that the best pictures still come with experience. Despite all the technology with better techniques, most picture quality has to do with the photographer and not just the camera.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fish Curry, My Style

I’ve always been a fan of hot and spicy food and really wish I had time to experiment more frequent with it. This fish curry is one of the most appetising dishes at home. My hubby is a sucker for this dish. Believe me, he could just eat platefuls of rice with just the gravy. Apparently, you can prepare this with any kind of fish, but most of the time, garoupas and pomfrets are preferred. It took me less than half an hour to finish cooking this dish.

This gravy is very easy to prepare. I just make use of ready made BABA’S fish curry powder and mixture with A1 instant curry paste. I love both mixtures of the fish curry paste's tempting aroma. Everyone has different tastes and expectations though. If you like a spicier gravy, simply add more curry paste.

Here goes my recipe of fish curry:

Ingredients (serves 4-5):
1 large pomfret (500kgs)
Garlic: 5-6 flakes
Small onions - 8
3 stalks of Fresh Lemon Grass (smashed)- remove all the hard outer leaves until you have only the soft inner core.
2-3 sprigs of curry leaves
2 tablespoons of Baba's fish curry powder (mix with 2 tablespoons of water to get the curry paste)
2 tablespoons of instant curry paste
1 cup fresh coconuts or 1 cup coconut milk
10 pieces of ladies fingers/okra (steam for 5 mins until tender, keep aside)
2 tbsp of assam jawa (tamarind paste). Soak this in 1 cup of warm water. Extract juice and keep aside
Salt & sugar to taste
Oil - (5-6 tablespoons)


Clean and marinate cut fish pieces with little salt. Heat oil in wok and add garlic, unions, lemon grass and curry leaves. When translucent, add in curry paste, 3 tablespoons of coconut milk and continue frying until the aroma rises,
Now add in the rest of the coconut milk and a cup of water.
Add in the tamarind juice, fish and about 1 cup of water.
Be sure the tamarind juice that you added isn't too sour. if this happens, add in more water to make it less sour.
Simmer on low heat until the fish is cook,
Add in sugar and salt to taste,
Now add in the okras,
Don't boil the curry for too long as it will overcook the fish.

Serve hot with rice or bread. The one I made was a mild spicy curry.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

How Boyish or Girlish Are You?

This is pretty much true! I guess I'm truly feminine in my actions. As girlish as a woman can be but still got my boyishness though. This was proven when I took this quiz.

You Are 30% Boyish and 70% Girlish

Even if you're not a girl, you're very feminine.

You're in touch with your feelings, and your heart rules you.

A bit of a emotional roller coaster, one moment you're up and the next you're down.

But no matter what, you try to be as cute and perky as possible.

I came across this quiz over at Thoughtprints's Blog.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The P8wer of 8

Today marks a special day as it is the day of the triple eights 08.08.08. The last time it took place was a century ago. This is the only chance in our lifetime to see through 08.08.08. Why so much fuss over the particular number? The Chinese are especially fond of the number 8 because it is associated with prosperity. It goes without saying that the world has gone mad with 8s today.

Today is special in another way as it's the opening day of the much awaited Beijing Olympics. It's undeniable fact that China has been hit by disasters through out the year and that many are hoping a successful Olympics will break this trend.

China's National Stadium, a.k.a the Bird's Nest, is the venue of the opening ceremony today (Photo:Xinhua)

Yao Ming will carry the host nation's flag at the ceremony

8 W8nders - No number dominates like 8 which can be found everywhere

88 Minutes-The Movie

Have a memorable 08.08.08!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Feedburner hacked - Inflate your subscribers

The guys at TheNextWeb has recently published a video showcasing us how easy it is to hack your Feedburner subscriber count. It doesn't take more than a minute or so to add a few thousand subscribers.

Basically, all you need to do is create an OPML file with the same feed copied and pasted as many times as you want and then import this into your NetVibes account. By using this trick any one can show fake feedburner subscriber stats for their blogs. Anything is possible nowadays but that’s not cool. I bet that there are a few bloggers out there who will take advantage of this opportunity.

This loophole is really something Netvibes and Feedburner will need to seriously fix soon so that people stop gaming and faking the feedcount system. It will be really interesting to see which blogs loose bunch of subscribers.

This video explains how it works :

Monday, August 4, 2008

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

This is the first time Avon Walk will take place in Malaysia. The charity walk, aimed at raising awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection and treatment of the disease, is part of a global effort by Avon to mobilise people all around the world to focus on breast cancer education and raise funds for the cause.

Whether you live in Kuala Lumpur, there’s a walk coming your way. The walk, to take place at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa on Aug 10, is open to the public. Participation is at a minimum RM20 and participants will receive a Reebok T-shirt worth RM90 and an Avon goodie bag worth RM50. All proceeds will be channelled to the PRIDE Foundation (Pink Ribbon Deeds), a charity body that aims to enhance awareness and improve accessibility to treatments and care of breast cancer at all levels of society.

I guess the idea of losing their breasts scares a lot of women. Not an easy proposition for any woman to face. Naturally it could make them feel incomplete. It's rather difficult when someone you love has cancer, not only breast cancer. It changes the whole environment of the family. We must all be well informed to survive this.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A little bit of everything

This has been an exhausting weekend for me. My youngest precious daughter, Ennis was down with a fever since Friday night and last night particularly, a night of little sleep and musical beds for all three of us. That's only because her phlegm and colds were troubling her. She's been very fussy yesterday morning and had a lot of sneezing and nasal congestion making it hard for her to breathe. I treated my toddler with some paracetamol, nose oral drops and cough mixtures but she seems to HATE those medicines--they're way too sweet for her. Obviously, her appetite was affected, was on the verge of tears most of the time, and was just so miserable.

I was watching her while she was taking a nap this afternoon. Thank goodness, her fever had subsided by the evening. Luckily, she was able to munch a biscuit or two between intervals which showed more positive signs. Being cautious & not taking any chances, eventually I took her to consult our family doctor to make sure it wasn't her ears or anything.

You would think that twelve years of motherhood would have prepared me for this but sadly, no, I was not. My toddler refused to be sponged and woke up most of the time for two nights. I have two other kids and I remember how fragile and helpless I felt each time my kids got sick. Whenever a child fell sick, the mom would get the stress and deprived sleep, it's just the norm. No thanks to the hazy and humid weather here as well.

I'm so glad Ennis's doing so much better now, and that everything went well! Thank goodness for great doctors. It is scary when anyone gets sick especially my toddler who is still small, it makes it much worse. Naturally, when the kid is happy, everybody's happy.

I'm pretty tired and worn, both emotionally and physically from the last couple of days. Somehow deep in my heart I know, these days are what make my bond with my girl so special. I get to be her supermom when times are not easy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Decreased in petrol price

Effective Sept 1 2008, the retail price of petrol will be based on the average monthly market price of world crude oil, more precisely world gasoline prices, with the subsidy rate mantained at 30 sen per litre.

The present government is messing up everything. In the first place, the petrol price shouldn’t have been increased overnight by 42%. This is hasty and poor planning. It has obviously created severe problems of inflation, economy downturn and untold misery for the nation. A lot of retailers have increased the price of their goods and it will certainly not be that easy to ask them to review the prices again. Don’t expect the prices of foodstuff etc to decrease. We have gotten so used to hearing that the prices keep going up.

Let's just hope that the price will continue to slide down, not only for a greater relief to motorists, but also to further slow down the inflation rate and the rise of prices of goods.

Read more

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cigarette butts

One of my biggest irks is people who simply throw their cigarette butts as they drive along. It is annoying that they think it's ok as it's another environmental threat to the planet.

It's a matter of changing the mindset and making conscious efforts. Most people who litter their cigarette butts don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions. These butts will end up in the waterways and help create blocked drains, floods and sewerage problems. It might seem a small matter but it will accumulate to create a huge impact.

I think very few smokers throw the butts in dustbins. Having said that, I have no problem with people smoking - if that helps them to relax. It's just their attitudes about litter. The sheer volume of cigarette butts litter isn’t just ugly … it’s health hazardous. If you are going to smoke, please put your cigarette butts in the trash—not out the car window, streets, beaches, playgrounds or other public places. Find an ashtray. Smokers need to be careful while disposing off a cigarette. They should be eco-friendly.

With the dry spell expected to continue in the next few weeks ahead, all it takes is just a careless flick of a cigarette butt to trigger a fire.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are you a good liar?

There are certain people that can tell when someone is lying. There are certain people that do not know how to lie. Some can be an accomplished liar who can flash a variety of personalities as well.

I used to be a pretty good liar, something I’m not particularly proud of. And while there are the occasional unpleasant moments with being honest, I have to admit I feel so much better about telling the truth than I do about keeping secrets and lies. After all, honesty is the best policy.

Take this quiz to learn the truth.

are you a good liar?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

All Eyes on Olympics 2008


The Olympics is approaching and excitement is in the air. All athletes from around the world will gather for this awesome event, the Beijing Olympics 2008. This year's theme slogan is: “One World, One Dream”, truly reflects the essence and universal values of the Olympic spirit - Unity, Friendship, Progress, Harmony, Participation and Dream. I just can’t believe another 4 years have passed by. As you grow older the years start to really go by quickly.

If you are among those that are lucky enough to be attending the Olympic Games in Beijing, you are most likely excited, but maybe a bit stressed out as well. After all, there are a lot of stuffs to arrange and prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games. It should be a spectacular event to watch though. I have always enjoyed watching the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics. I plan to watch quite a bit of the games - but at home in the evening with my family. Some of my personal favorites include the diving, tennis, swimming events, badminton, gymnastics, and the track and field races.

If you happen to be in Hong Kong next month or so, you can check out the amazing Lego Sports City at Grand Century Place between now and August 31, 2008. The whole lego sport city includes the famous Bird’s Nest, Swimming Cube and Olympic Village. Further information is available at the HKLUG blog (Hong Kong LEGO User Group).

Be sure to explore all the options available to you before choosing your preferred method of getting from place to place and enjoy your Olympic experience!

And for those wanting a wider view of Beijing, check out my related posts:

Day 2: Temple of heaven

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I love weekends!!

How I love weekends! And Fridays. It's always been great to unwind after a long and tiring week.. Why can’t the whole life be like a long weekend.? A great weekend is a simple as doing nothing, or a great weekend is complicated as a couple days packed full of activities.

The weekends that I love most are those which are normally spontaneous, easy, and not heavy on planning. These are happy weekends. Hanging out with friends during Saturdays probably belongs to the past now that I've experienced the thrills of parenting. Thus, even if I decide to do nothing out of the ordinary and just hang out in my pajamas with the kids on a weekend morning can be a valuable relaxation and bonding time. Unplug the TV, have a nutritional breakfast, teach my kids to read the news and laugh can be just an enjoyable thing to do. Everyone needs quality time with loved ones, especially children. They need to know how important they are and how much they are loved.

Other than that, weekends are the time when we can go visiting, normally to my parent’s house and do our biweekly groceries shopping or just go to the market. All in all it was a pretty low key weekend but I had a wonderful time with the kids.

I hope everyone had a good week!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Shanghai REN Building

The REN building in Shanghai. Certainly spectacular - just like the Bird's Nest Stadium for the upcoming Olympics in Beijing .

The REN Building is a proposal for a hotel, sports and conference center for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai . The building is conceived as two buildings merging into one.

The first building, emerging from the water, is devoted to the activities of the body, and houses the sports and water culture center. The building becomes the Chinese sign for 'The People', and a recognizable landmark for the World Expo in China.

The second building emerging from land, is devoted to the spirit and enlightment, and houses the conference center and meeting facilities. The two buildings meet in a 1000 room hotel, a building for living.

This building is going to be a real wonder, even more iconic than Shanghai's Pearl Tower or Grand Hyatt.

China was going through a string of bad luck recently. Being the host of the 2008 Olympics, it was thought this year was the year to shine but it proved otherwise. As Beijing Olympics is starting next month, already there are some stories of controversies, such as whether political leaders should boycott the opening ceremonies and athletes failing drug tests. Only time will tell whether China will pass this very delicate test.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Children died after forgetful fathers left them in cars

This piece of tragic news just makes me so sad. The wrongful death of these toddlers could have been avoided with better attention to the safety of the children. I bet these folks will never forget or forgive themselves. A car can heat up quickly even when it's relatively mild outside. Obviously, the simple act of leaving a child in a hot car can end an innocent life.

My children are the most important things in my life. I feel terrible for those people that forget, but I just can't imagine it. How can they not be aware of a life living and breathing in a car seat behind them? If that ever happened to me, I seriously would kill myself, because I wouldn't be able to live with that. I think this is the first time I've ever said that.

Adults should be considered capable of knowing and remembering basic and important things like these. They should be charged when their children die this way: it's negligence. There's no excuse for that kind of negligence. Any stranger can see a child in the car and find a way to get in that car and drive away with the child.

If you really love your kids and want what's best for them....Bring them in with you or don't bring them at all! I always make it a point to “look before I leave” routine whenever I get out of the car, every time. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR LEAVING A CHILD IN A CAR FOR ANY REASON!

Source: Times Online

Mind Your Language

An Arab was interviewed at the US Embassy for a U.S.A. Visa.

Consul : What is your name?

Arab: Abdul Aziz

Consul: Sex?

Arab : Six to ten times a week

Consul: I mean, male or female?

Arab : both male and female and sometimes even camels

Consul: Holy cow!

Arab : Yes, cows and dogs too!!!!

Consul: Man,........isn't it hostile?

Arab :Horse style, dog style, any style

Consul: Oh..........dear!

Arab : Deer? No deer, they run too fast!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An attempted snatch theft

It's not my usual practice to carry handbags these days as I live in a place with a high crime index rate of snatch thieves. Sadly, there have been a few serious injuries to the victims, fell into a coma, some of which led to death. All these happenings make us women feel so unsafe. No thanks to the increasing number of snatch thieves who have imprisoned our freedom. These thugs will strike when the opportunity arises. As fuel prices soar, the crime is even more tempting for thieves to rob.

I was on my way to work this morning when I witnessed an attempted snatch theft. The fast motorbike whizzed pass, coming out from nowhere, attempted to grab the handbag of a lady by the sidewalk. The lady screamed her lungs out and the suspects fled without obtaining anything as her handbag strap got twisted off its hinge and most of her belongings got thrown onto the ground. Thank goodness she wasn't hurt seriously in the process... just fell on the ground.....I couldn't dash out from my car as it was inconvenient to leave my kids behind at that moment. Hopefully that she will get over the trauma quickly.

As a word of advice to you guys and gals out there, be careful and always be alert of your surroundings. Always take notice of any motorcycles or people talking behind you. Don't keep important documents in your handbag and always walk against the traffic. Most guys and some girls will place their wallets in the back pocket of their jeans or shorts making them an easy target for pick pockets; so change your habit and place wallets in the front pockets or perhaps buy a bum bag.

The good old days are gone. I wish the police would patrol these crime prone areas often instead of issuing summons to motorists for parking offences or not wearing seatbelts. Fighting crime should be our country’s main priority and it still should.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Breast Feeding Protest

Breastfeeding seems to be the most natural, beautiful exchange between mother and child I could ever imagine. After all, God created the breasts just for this purpose.

I came across this news article on breast feeding protest that caught my attention. Now, here's my opinion: it depends on the place as well as the person involved. I have no objection to women breast-feeding their babies in a public place, more power to them, not weird at all, but how it's being done is also a factor. The mothers just need to be discreet and not expose their breasts. I breast fed all my three children, my last until she was six months old. There are moments when it can be inconvenient as it is a private intimate thing to do and I don't want it to be done in public unless a last resort.

Sometimes the baby will choke and you have to overcome with that first and not the spray of milk from your exposed breast, I definitely don't want to see that happen .........but don't get me wrong! I am not anti breast feeding! It's a truly beautiful thing symbolizing the perfect bond between mom and child. I'm just pretty shy about exposing myself and I'm not good at nursing in such a way that you couldn't tell what was going on. So it's either in the car or restroom for me and my kiddo. It's just that there is a time and place for everything.

I understand that many people are extremely uncomfortable with women breastfeeding in public as well. Seeing women breast feed their child in public “freaks” out some people.

Maddie Reynolds, with daughter Sophie, was asked to leave for breastfeeding

Mum power: The friends from ante-natal class converge on McDonald's for the feed-in. Maddie Reynolds is fourth from the left

Saturday, July 19, 2008

DVD review: Lust, Caution

Last night, I finally saw a DVD of Lust, Caution, the Ang Lee thriller set in Japanese occupied Shanghai during World War II. It was one of those character-driven movies all about romance, betrayal, loneliness, loyalty and patriotism. Initially the film was rather slow-moving, but as it progressed I became more interested but ultimately not an amazing film.

The story, if you're unfamiliar with it, follows a university student who is convinced by her thespian classmates to play the role of an upper-class woman in order to seduce a Chinese official collaborating with the Japanese occupation and lure him into an assassination. The initial plot fails, but after several years, she encounters one of those students--this time officially working with the resistance--who recruits her for the same plot.

You probably should be warned about the sex scenes — they are intense and graphic. Most of them have been censored from most distributions. Ang Lee’s previous movie, Brokeback Mountain, gained attention due to the nature of its sex- the movie portrayed a tragic affair between two gay men (in case you’ve been living on a desert island and didn’t know). Lust, Caution gained publicity for the sheer intensity of its sexual acts. Anyway, it was quite shocking, and I didn't think I'd be shocked since I'm married and all.

Most men will ooh and ahh over Tang Wei (the lead actress). She is truly amazing here. The reaction of the woman who is raped and tortured, and cannot flee because of her commitments is breathtaking - she hates it and yet she is consumed by it.

Lust, Caution
is not a film for everyone. The problem is that at 2 hours and 38 minutes, it’s way too long for the underlying story. I didn’t totally love this movie, and I would say it’s not the kind of thing a lot of people are going to like, but it is worth seeing if you like movies from this period. It received an NC-17 rating for the sexual content, so if that sort of thing bothers you, stay away.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Capturing the Precious moments

It’s not easy being a working mother. Some women are good at it, some don’t have an option, some choose a middle path and some don’t even try it. There is the pressure to be competent and efficient on the job as well as at home as a mother and a wife.

My husband often says, I always spoiled my kids. Perhaps, I often succumb to my kids' demands very easily because I feel bad for not having enough time to spend with my children due to my hectic schedule.

I really would like to budget my time and if possible be able to balance everything. I hope to get the best of both worlds, and have more money to play with (or maybe just pay bills LOL), which is one thing that would come in handy for me, I like to shop. I’m not a workaholic but I love having my own income and not having to depend on my husband’s money. Not only that, the cost of living is mounting high nowadays, and even though my husband has a great job, it doesn’t pay enough to cover all the bills and mortgage. Working, having kids, all of it.. keeps me preoccupied!! Still manageable though! Despite having to juggle my busy lifestyle as a wife and mother, I'm still having a great time.

Thank goodness! I don't work on weekends because that's the only period I get to spend time playing with my kids. Infact, it is easy to get infected with their happy smiles. While there are moments that kids get upset, you find that you can learn a thing or two from them about forgetting their anger just as quickly.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Finding My new banner

I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of banner I want to use as the header for this blog. Since I didn’t like the picture banner that was included in the theme, I opted to upload a new picture for the banner.

And in case you were wondering, I came across the tips for new Bloggers template in Sweet Jasmine 's blog. The templates embody many useful features. For many new bloggers who are unfamiliar with coding, I hope you'll find these cool features handy which will give you better control over the various elements for your blog. I'm totally paronoid when it comes to embedding the html codes. If you’re not the tech-savvy type, you may find this tutorial rather useful as the instructions are easy to understand. All you need to do is to follow exactly the instructions provided. Even for those who are tech-savvy, it serves as a handy reference especially with its well-organised layout.

Hopefully with a good measure of patience you can make a smooth transition to the new Blogger system.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Spaghetti Bolognese

If you’re like me, it's either you don’t have the time to cook daily or you don’t want to take the time to cook at all. I've to confess that I prefer to eat rather than cook but cooking is one thing and cleaning up is another! :-) However you’ll have to take the time to do your cooking at some point, so when is the best time to do it?

Normally I do my cooking for the week on Saturday and Sunday. Since I learned how to cook 13 years ago, I’ve also learned how to polish my cooking techniques.

My kids simply love spaghetti. It also happens to be the most favorite pasta dish in my household. My hubby will eat whatever I cook though and it is such a great sense of accomplishment whenever my hubby compliments my cooking.

Spaghetti Bolognese

I didn't follow any book recipes for this spaghetti. I've been experimenting a couple of times cooking my own style of spaghetti with various sauces and so far my favourite is Bolognese sauce, my family's all time favorite. You know, sometimes, when you come across so many recipes that you don't even know which is which anymore. Anyway, I would not recommend it when preparing for a crowd, but for a small lunch for three or four, it seems no big deal.

This is my version of spaghetti bolognese (serves 3-5)


  • Olive oil
  • About 200g of mince meat/chicken/beef
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • Spaghetti- 3/4 portions, cooked according to instructions on the packet. Coat with a little bit of olive oil.
  • handful of herbs- basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, whatever goes
    chicken stock or water
  • Parmesan cheese- to sprinkle on top
  • 3 tablespoons of black pepper sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of Pasta sauce (Prego brand)
    1 capsicum (diced)(optional)
  • salt and sugar to taste

Methods (cooking the sauce):

heat the olive oil in a pan, saute garlic and onions until light brown.
add in the mince meat- cook for 5 minutes
add the mushrooms - cook for 1-2 minutes
mix in the pasta and black pepper sauce
add a little bit of chicken soup or water
add in the capcicums
let cook for another 5 minutes, medium heat fire
salt and sugar to taste

cooking the pasta:

boil water
add 2 tbs of salt and 2 tbs of oil
put in the pasta
cook for 5 minutes in medium heat fire
drain the pasta under the cool water
mix olive oil to avoid sticking up

serving suggestion: sprinkle with loads of parmesan cheese. garnish with handful of herbs.