Friday, August 31, 2007

Blog Day 2007

Blog Day 2007
Today is BlogDay. On BlogDay I am supposed to find 5 new blogs that I find interesting.

One blog that I discovered recently, and found really interesting is Moonlight and Roses. The blog author goes by the name of U.Lee and his blog is filled with stories of his past. I was especially moved to tears by his story of a certain woman who went back to Malaysia to look for her mother after not having seen her for about 30 years. It was a moving story with a happy ending.

Another new blog I find interesting is written by a young mother who only just started blogging. Her blog is called Asiana. She writes about her family, and her personal experiences like the day she went for a job intereview with a private radio station for the post of a DJ. She never got the job because she froze and didn't know what to say to the GM when interviewed by him, despite having passed the voice test and could actually talk very well in the radio announcer's booth. :-)

The third blog I'd like to share here belongs to a group of people who call themselves the Kuala Lumpur Lunyung Club. I always enjoy looking at the pictures of the activities they have done together. They are a close knit group bound together by their cultural heritage and the need to come together while living in the big city.

The next blog is by Rita Ho called I'm making notes. I've known Rita for a while now through a forum where Malaysians living overseas gather. I'd only recently discovered that she had a blog. Rita writes really well and her posts are always interesting and entertaining. Her latest post called 50 Reasons to Celebrate Being Malaysian is really special because it reminds me why I am proud to be a Malaysian too!

The final blog I'd like to share on BlogDay is by Daphne Ling called Aphasia Dysphasia. She works with kids with all kinds of disabilities. Her writings exude compassion, a virtue not very many of us have. Her work reminds us that there should be more of us doing this kind of volunteering work.

So these are the five blogs that I am submitting for BlogDay 2007. :-)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

British Gas Launches Greenest Energy Tariff

9 August 2007: British Gas has announced it is launching two new green energy tariffs, Zero Carbon, which will be the greenest tariff available on the domestic market and Future Energy. British Gas has launched the tariffs, in response to the increasing demand for green energy products.

Householders signing up to the Zero Carbon tariff will:
• reduce their household energy carbon emissions to zero through Kyoto compliant offset schemes which will meet the new Defra requirements
• help fund a direct increase in investment in renewable energy generated in the UK
• contribute to the new British Gas green fund which will:
• invest in developing new renewable technologies such as wave power
• oversee a programme to help schools in the UK reduce their CO2 emissions

Gearóid Lane, Managing Director British Gas New Energy said,”Our new tariff responds to consumer demand for truly green energy solutions. It is essential that customers have confidence in green energy tariffs and that their credibility is not damaged by tariffs that claim to be green but in reality do not deliver any incremental environmental benefits. Green tariffs are moving from niche to mainstream products and we’re leading the industry by offering a tariff that will do more for the environment than any other product currently available.”

Under the government’s Renewables Obligation (RO), electricity suppliers in the UK are already required to produce an increasing percentage of their electricity through methods such as wind farms which, unlike traditional power plants, produce zero carbon emissions. For 2007/2008 this figure is set at 7.9%.

In a recent report, the National Consumer Council (NCC) raised concerns that some energy suppliers are packaging electricity which is produced under the RO scheme as “green”, yet it delivers no additional environmental benefits. The NCC called on energy suppliers to take steps beyond their legal requirements and offer green energy tariffs that provide genuine additional environmental benefits, in particular CO2 emissions reduction.

British Gas worked with Global Action Plan and The Climate Group’s “We’re in this Together” campaign to develop Zero Carbon which goes further than any other green tariff in meeting these requirements offering consumers the only zero carbon option on the market.

The tariff carries a premium of £84 per year, reflecting the higher cost of producing energy through lower carbon emission schemes.

Virginia Graham, Chair of Global Action Plan, said, “The British Gas Zero Carbon tariff delivers on all three of the essential requirements of a green tariff which are: additionality, transparency and verifiability. As such it is a very welcome new offering in the market. Consumers signing up to the tariff can be confident that they are getting 12 per cent more renewable energy than they would otherwise have got. The carbon emissions from their electricity and gas will also be offset with emissions reductions from projects accredited by the United Nations.”

Zero Carbon is one of the first initiatives launched through the ‘We’re in this Together’ campaign, which was launched in April 07 as an alliance of some of the UK’s biggest brands who are all working to help their customers reduce their impact on the climate.

Dr Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group and founder of ‘We’re in this Together’ said, “We’re committed to offering people ways to make a real impact on climate change through We’ve worked with British Gas to ensure that Zero Carbon is a genuine step forward in delivering more environmental benefits than any other tariff currently available.”

British Gas’s second green energy tariff, Future Energy, offers an alternative green electricity tariff at a premium of just £20 per year. Customers signing up to this tariff will contribute to a green fund which will provide solar panels and other renewable energy technologies to UK schools. Money from the fund will also be invested in development of future renewable technologies and sources.

To sign up customers can call British Gas on 0845 604 0055 or visit

Face Mask: The Ultimate Weight Loss Program

Some people go for lap band surgeries to help them lose weight. Others try all kinds of diet pills or take diet supplements like Fat Burners, Hoodia or drink diet tea to try to lose weight. But there is yet another way to losing weight, and I think if followed as directed will help a person lose weight without any surgery or the taking of diet pills or supplements. I consider it the ultimate weight loss program! :-)

Patent #4344424 -

"... object of this invention is to provide a new and novel device which is worn on the head of the user for preventing the ingestion of food, which is simple and inexpensive in construction, which does not interfere with transmission of speech or breathing by the user and which may be locked in place on the user's head to prevent removal while at the same time permitting removal under emergency conditions."

Patent information can be found here.

Inside Every Woman

I am not much of a reader of self help books or of books written specifically for women on how to achieve success. But this book for women called Inside Every Woman by Vickie Milazzo is changing my mind about self help books.

Vickie's writing style is easy to read and the Five Promises she outlined in her book are practical and can help a woman get out of a dead end job and choose a career that she can truly be passionate about.

The 10 Feminine Forces that Vickie writes about in this book will surely open our eyes on what we women have within ourselves to achieve the career and the life we want.

The real live stories from other women that Vickie shares in this book will no doubt motivate and encourage us to take that leap from being merely an employee to a successful entrepreneur.

If you are interested, you can get a free "Inside Every Woman" bookmark by emailing your request to

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Can you identify this tree?

These are pictures of a tree that is found in my parents' yard. In fact there are a few of these trees in their yard. The leaves of the tree remind me of the leaves of the guava tree except that is is larger. At night the leaves "close", that is fold inwards length wise. It can grow quite tall and has that distinctive yellow flowers found at the tip of the top branches. It is known by two names locally in Sarawak, but right now the names escape me. :-(

What makes this tree special is that the leaves can be dried and smoked over a fire for a while, to rid it off any residual moisture. Use the leaves like any tea leaves. Put about 8 - 10 leaves in a kettle or large teapot of boiling water and let is sit for a few minutes, and then drink it like you would any tea. The tea is mild and quite flavorful.

It is said that the tea has bad cholesterol lowering properties. These are anecdotal stories but my uncle swears by the efficacy of the tea. He was diagnosed with high LDL levels and started taking the tea. By his next medical check-up the doctor was surprised that his bad cholesterol level had gone down quite significantly. My uncle credits that lower LDL to the tea that he took.

I brought some of the tea leaves back with me to California. Just a gallon sized zipped bag full. I drank it 2 days ago, and that night I was quite sleepless! I drank the tea at night. I'm not sure if there is caffeine in that tea. Now I know better, just avoid tea at night, herbal or otherwise!

Are cows the main cause of pollution or a source of alternative energy?

Compare these two stories about the cows. First story, not good for the us and the cows.

(NewsTarget) Rising gas prices and global warming issues have spurred an increased interest in clean cars, but a report by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization suggests that the real culprit for the latter problem isn't the car but the cow.

The 400-page report, entitled Livestock's Long Shadow, states that the world's surging cattle herds are the No. 1 threat to the climate, forests and other wildlife, as they cause environmental problems from acid rain and the introduction of alien species to the poisoning of drinking water and the destruction of ocean life. The pollution from cattle ranching washes down into the sea and causes "dead zones" where there is no ocean life. Up to 8,108 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico is such a zone due to beef production wastes washed down by the Mississippi river.

Second story - There is something redeeming about the cow. Who isn't interested in alternative energy? Of course we all are!

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say cows might one day help meet the rise in demand for alternative energy sources.

Ohio State University researchers used microbe-rich fluid from cows to generate electricity in a new, small cellulose-based microbial fuel cell.

Doctoral student Hamid Rismani-Yazdi, lead author of the study, said experiments showed it took two of the new cells to produce enough electricity to recharge an AA-sized battery. That power was produced from the breakdown of cellulose by a variety of bacteria in rumen fluid -- the microbe-rich fluid found in a cow's rumen, the largest chamber of a cow's stomach.

To create power, researchers fill a microbial fuel cell with cellulose and rumen fluid.

"Energy is produced as the bacteria break down cellulose, which is one of the most abundant resources on our planet," said Rismani-Yazdi.

The research -- led by Professors Olli Tuovinen and Ann Christy -- was reported this week in Boston during a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Evening Gowns

There have been times I wished I owned a lot more formal evening wear. I do own a few, but how many times can you wear the same dress or gown to a function especially when the people at that function have seen you wear the gown or dress before?

I just looked at which features unique designer evening dresses. The Evening Gowns and formal dresses available there all look beautiful, elegant and stylish, and best of all the prices on the dresses are pretty reasonable. That means whatever my budget, I can still find something sexy and stylish without breaking my piggy bank. I definitely could have done with one of those formal dresses at an evening wedding I attended recently!

If you're looking for a formal evening wear, look no further than because right now they have a store wide evening dress sale. They also offer free shipping on all their products and a 120% Low Price Guarantee.

Bitter Melon Tea

My father has been on oral diabetic treatment for many years and it has adversely affected his kidney function. He is now on insulin treatment.

I suffered from gestational diabetes and since I have a family history of diabetes, I am afraid that I am a likely candidate for diabetes.

I am interested in natural solutions for diabetes. I have known for quite some time now about the benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre in lowering blood sugar levels. I have a bottle of it which I got from my online food supplement store. But the thing with this tablet is that I am supposed to take it about half an hour before a meal. And I keep forgetting to do it!

I have recently discovered that bitter melon (peria, in Malay) also have some benefit in lowering blood sugar levels. There has been in fact a study on the effects of bitter melon (Momordica charantia) on serum and liver triglyceride levels in rats.

Yesterday I was at my favorite Asian supermarket, and bought myself some fresh bitter melons. I was quite surprised to find bitter melon tea at the tea and coffee aisle in the supermarket. Naturally I bought some! I don't really like bitter stuff but if it helps my health, I will take it! I even bought a small teapot for my tea. :-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Karl's Blog

One of the things that I enjoy doing is to check out other people's blogs. The ones that I enjoy most are those that have some real personal stories to tell, and especially those that contain inspirational stories.

One of those blogs is by Karl More. He is the CEO of US-based media group White Cliff, and the founder of the WCCL Network, consisting of over 150 retail websites and 15,000 affiliates.

He is also the author of the two best-selling books - “Karl Moore’s Visual Basic .NET” and “The Ultimate Code Book” which are available around the world.

In his blog called Karl's blog he posts inspirational messages to his blog daily, messages designed to inspire and help individuals in their spiritual growth.

I like his post called An Imperfect World. I especially like these lines, "I realized during a recent argument with a friend that my views were incredibly halcyonic -- and that, realistically, the world really wasn't as rainbows-and-lollipops as I'd have hoped.

But we can always look to change.

We can always try to be the change we wish to see in the world."

How true, Karl! Change is something we can always look forward to and be the change at the same time.

On a Monday, he also posts a "Random Act of Kindness" and on a Friday, he posts a "Friday Factoid." Did you know that Agatha Christie claimed to have received most of her inspiration whilst eating apples in the bath? Yup, that was something I learned from Karl's blog!

Check out Karl's blog and be prepared to be inspired and entertained!


Today I received notification that one of my paid posts was approved. That would make it number 10. Wooohhhhoooo! :-)

With 10 posts already approved that means I can submit another blog to PayPerPost. I have three blogs that would qualify in terms of the 3 month old and 20 existing posts requirements, but unfortunately one is in Iban, one is too politically sensitive, and the other is a blog on faith which would be the wrong place to put a paid post! So I will have to wait till November before I can submit one of three other blogs that I started in early August.

I like the idea of being able to submit one other blog so I can spread the paid posts around and my readers won't have to put up with too many paid posts in between the personal topic posts. For now, just bear with me, ok!

Thanksgiving Deals

It's August and I do not think it is too early to think about and start planning for those Holiday shopping. Many stores have had their Christmas in July sales. But for many of us we prefer to wait till the day after Thanksgiving sales to get most of our Holiday gifts.

For my husband and his father it has a become a ritual for the two of them to join the crowd in front of their favorite electronics store at about 5.00 in the morning. There are two items that I am interested in this year. A computer and a big screen TV. For my kids I'd like to get them each a bicycle. I think it is time for them to upgrade from their tricycle.

This year however, my husband and I will not have to wait for the Thanksgiving ads to check out the thanksgiving deals. At I can start looking at the Thanksgiving ads now. The cool thing about this site is that I can sign up for their e-mail alerts. These e-mail alerts will let me know about new Black Friday ads that are posted to the site. That is a great help because then I will have plenty of time to check out all the different merchants and compare prices for the items that I may be interested in.

There are some great Sears deals and one that I am particularly interested in is the Toshiba 42HP66 42" Widescreen Plasma HDTV for $1,199.99. Well at least now I know what the TV costs at Sears, and I can start checking out the other merchants on the site like Circuit City and Best Buy who carry similar items and see who has the best deal on a big screen TV. I can do the same for my kids bicycles and also for the computer I plan on getting.

How is it that we never knew that a site like exists before this? Imagine the time we could have saved! I guess it's a case of better late than never.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Beautiful Morning Glory

I really enjoy looking at my morning glories in the morning. The various colors are so beautiful and striking.

I have butterflies fluttering and bees buzzing in my garden ever since flowers start blooming. Besides the morning glories, the gladialos are blooming too.

I might want to put up some humming bird feeder in my garden some time soon. I have only seen a humming bird in my garden twice before. I'd love to see them around more often in future.

A garden in bloom is such a pleasant sight!

Moving Things Around

Ok, I have decided to move things around a little bit. This is the third Puteri's Musings. One is on Blog*Spot, one on its own domain but located in a sub-directory which isn't the best of places, and this one on blogger platform but with its own custom domain.

All my blogs have been crawled and indexed by google except for the one located in the sub-directory of a hosted domain. Google is having trouble locating the files on! That is pretty frustrating! I cannot put that blog on the top level domain because there is already one Wordpress installation on the top level domain. I did not want the first blog to be connected with Puteri's Musings 2 and that is why the second Wordpress was installed in a sub-directory. In that position, my google page ranking for Puteri's Musings 2 will never go beyond 1 or beyond low.

I don't think I can find a better solution for the problem other than start another blog without having to pay for additional hosting. Registering a domain name and having it point to my Blog*Spot account is the cheapest way to go about it. Now that I know how to go about using a custom domain for Blog*Spot from my other blog's experience, Health and Beauty Notes, due to the excellent tutorial by, I decided to just go with the custom domain for Puteri's Musings 3. The only downside with Blog*Spot is that when it goes on maintenance, there's not much you can do but wait around for it to come back online. The good thing is that the down time is usually not very long and bloggers are usually warned in advance.

So far this blogger hosted blog is working for me.

Little dogs

What is it with people and their little dogs? Paris Hilton has her little dog, and I guess it has become trendy for people to bring around their chihuahuas all over town.

I was shopping at Joann this evening when out of the corner of my eye I saw a baby stroller. Stroller=baby. I love looking at babies but it wasn't a baby in the stroller. It was a frightened looking chihuahua, shivering every now and then.

This is not the first time I'd seen a chihuahua shivering around people. Why does it do it? Is it afraid of the crowd around it? I watched in fascination at the chihuahua and even waited for it to pee in the stroller out of terror. That was what I thought the reason for the shivering!

I don't have any pets, and even if I were to have a dog, I don't think it will be a toy dog like a chihuahua.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cute Puppy Story

"How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie's for sale."

A Chihuahua puppy born in Japan with a natural heart shaped pattern on his coat has captured the hearts of animal lovers around the world.

Heart-kun, as he has been named by owner Emiko Sakurada, was born on May 18, 2007, one of a litter of puppies at the Pucchin Dogs shop.

His natural heart-shaped markings on his fur have made him an instant star in Japan. And it was a case of puppy love across the world as the tiny dog made television appearances worldwide.

Shop owner Ms Sakurada got the surprise of her life when she saw the birthmark heart markings in the fur of her tiny pooch.

She said it was the first time a puppy with these marks had been born out of the 1,000 animals that she has bred.

Since Heart-kun was born, he has brought a lot of luck, according to Ms Sakurada. He sister got lucky on the lottery and won a concert ticket.

Heart-kun's owner has been inundated with requests from people wanting to purchase the unique puppy. But they can keep their paws off him, she says, for her little four-legged friend ain't going nowhere!

Source: That's

Looking for Skateboards?

My son is four years old, and already he knows what skateboarding is all about and wants me to get him a skateboard. I think not, just stick to his tricycle and motorized jeep for now.

But if you are looking for a one stop place that offers the widest selection anywhere of skateboards and all at the lowest prices, than is for you. What makes this store unique is that it is owned and operated by skaters who care about their customers' satisfaction, and even the novice skateboard shopper will feel comfortable shopping here despite the massive inventory. In each product category, the current best-selling items are featured across the top of the page to help you choose what's "hot."

There are thousands of brands of complete skateboards like Barfoot, Girl, Element, Almost, Enjoi and many more to choose from.

But if you already own a skateboard and think you only need some replacement parts than you have a wide selection of decks, wheels, trucks, or bearings, and all from popular brands like Bodega, Blockhead, Bacon, Alva, Black Label, Bullet Blackout, Grind King, Krux and hundreds more different brands.

You can even build you own custom skateboard by selecting your own choice of, by brand of course, deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, hardware, grip tape. There is a form on the website where you can fill in the selection or brand of your choice. This is good because when you buy a ready made skateboard not all the components may be to your satisfaction. That is why the ability to build your own skateboard is a big plus when shopping at SkateboardWarehouse for your next skateboard.

Head on over to for that skateboard you have always wanted for yourself, or for that child of yours who has been bugging you for one for the longest time. And while you are at it why not check out the skate gear like helmet, pads, and clothings?

WarehouseSkateboard offers free Domestic U.S. Ground Shipping on orders over $150.
Everything you see on the website is in-stock and orders are usually shipped within 24 hours. Online ordering is secure, private, and easy.

A Pedicure and a Massage

I just got back from a pedicure and a body massage. I go for a pedicure at this nail salon at least once a month, but the massage was only the second time I had with them. Besides doing nails, they also offer massage services.

I have no complains with their nail services but as to the massage services, it could be a lot better. The last time I had a full body massage was at an aromatherapy massage parlor in Kuala Lumpur. Now that was a very satisfactory massage!

The Vietnamese lady who massaged me asked me if I wanted some hot Chinese oil on my back on my back as well. Being Asian myself, that is not a strange offer. Naturally I said yes. The oil was not as hot as I had imagined. Then I smelled a familiar smell. I lifted my head and took a look at the bottle of Chinese oil. Hahaha, it was that green oil with the strong sweet smell! If I had known that was the oil, I would have declined the offer of the Chinese oil. I have friends who said the smell of the oil makes them sick!

Anyway, I just had to try the massage given by this particular lady. My previous massage was done by another younger lady who no longer works there. If I can find some place that offers a better massage service I'd like to give them a try. Today's massage, it's better than no massage at all, and I felt like spending some money on a massage! :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Alzheimer's Memory Walk for Charity

Memory Walk

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder affecting more than 5 million Americans. The symptom most people notice at the onset of the disease is forgetfulness and as the disease progresses, other symptoms include confusion, trouble with organizing and expressing thoughts, misplacing things, getting lost in familiar places, and changes in personality and behavior. There is no current cure for Alzheimer's disease but treatments for symptoms, combined with the right services and support, can make life better for the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk, which is held annually in hundreds of communities across the country, is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Since 1989, the Walk has raised more than $225 million.

The Memory Walk cannot succeed if there are no volunteers willing to participate in this fundraising effort. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Right now, Team Captains are urgently needed for the walk, and their main responsibilities are to organize a team of volunteers and to raise funds for the cause.

Anyone interested in being a Team Captain and forming a team can find tools at the Alzheimer's Association website, tools like a Captains Guide, how to recruit team members or co-captains, and setting team goals. There are also tools for raising funds, and for spreading the word of this good cause.

A typical Memory Walk is a 2-3 mile walk held on a weekend morning in the fall. Please team up with the Alzheimer's Association for the Memory Walk. Together we can move closer to a world without Alzheimer's. Together, we can MOVE a nation.

All information regarding the Memory Walk including forms for participating in the Walk can be found at the The Alzheimer's Association website at

Second Anniversary

Puteri's Musings turned two yesterday. I don't know how I missed the date yesterday when I was so looking forward to writing a post about the occasion!

In the two years, the template for Puteri's Musings has undergone a number of changes. Call that the fickleness of a woman! It is just like shopping for shoes. You have enough shoes, in fact more shoes than you can wear, but yet you feel the need to get more shoes! It's the same with templates. I see something I like, oooh, won't that look nice on my blog? Heheh.

The content of Puteri's Musings has also undergone some changes. I used to write a lot more on political and news stuff but ever since I signed up to do some paid posts, I have to write about a lot of different things. PayPerPost does not allow consecutive paid posts. It must be interspersed with at least one personal post, so I have to rake my brains for something to write about.

Also, since I started with Google Adsense, I have to write about a variety of things so that I can get a variety of ads showing on the Adsense. I learned that some ads have higher value so if someone clicks on them and looks at the advertisers' sites, I could be paid more for that! :-) And the way to attract good ads is to write something that uses the relevant keywords. Errr, I still don't know all that much about the higher value keywords!

Puteri's Musings is just the first of several blogs that I maintain. Yesterday I registered a domain name for a blog primarily dealing with health news as well as some beauty and fitness news. It is still waiting to go online, it takes up to a couple of days for the " whatever", to propagate on the internet. I don't really know the mechanics of that!

Anyway, I am glad I started blogging. It is a good outlet for my creative writing energy. Also blogging has allowed me to befriend all kinds of good and interesting people.

Happy (belated) birthday to Puteri's Musings.

Kids and Money

As a parent of two preschoolers, there is much that I need to learn about parenting. My kids have started playing with change (pennies, nickles, dimes, and even quarters) that their daddy has left lying around. I don't know if that is a good idea to let them play with change because I am afraid that they might think that money is easy to come by.

That is why I am glad to have come across a blog like Chores and Allowances ( This blog is quite the resource for parents who need some help on dealing with kids and money. It is hard to deny my kids what they want especially if they beg and plead. And when the time comes when they realize what money can get them, I'd better be ready on how they can earn the money they need!

Chores and Allowances also have some good advice on getting your kids ready for the start of the new school year, investing for kids, whether or not to give your teens prepaid debit cards, and even some advice on banking.

Go over to for some ideas on how to help your kids with earning the money they need.


I like to stay up late updating my blogs, replying to comments on my blog and also writing the paid posts that I have managed to snag.

One of the reasons I started staying up late is that I am quite the insomniac. There have been times where I just couldn't fall asleep till it was two or three in the morning. I have resorted to taking an antihistamine to help me sleep. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

This week my kids started going to school an hour earlier and that means I have to get up an hour earlier too. Boy, it was difficult to get up an hour earlier than usual! My kids have the same problem too. They have to learn to go to bed about 45 minutes earlier than their normal time, and they also find it difficult to settle down that early. Daddy has to stay in bed with them to encourage them to go to sleep. Last night they managed to fall asleep within half an hour of going to bed.

Wine makes me sleepy and so I thought a little wine might do the trick. Two nights ago, I finished what little was left in a bottle that had been opened maybe about two week ago. Bleaarrhhh! It tasted horrible. It tasted like it was only fit for cooking! :-) It didn't help me sleep probably because I only took a few sips of the bad wine! In the morning, I had a really bad stomach upset. Could the bad wine have been the cause?!

My friend, Kathy, suggested exercising. I am not much for exercising but maybe that is what I should do. She goes to a gym twice a week, and maybe I should join her. I know if I were to do it alone, I would not be able to stick to the exercise routine.

Do you know of any remedies that will help and insomniac sleep? Herbal remedies perhaps? Do let me know!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Win a $195 Watch

I love blog contests and have taken part in a few. I haven't won anything yet, but that won't stop me from entering in more contests!

Here's a contest you, the blogger, might be interested in. Fellins Jewelry and Gifts is offering a choice of a man's watch or a lady's watch valued at $195 in its September Giveaway Contest.

It is not a difficult contest to enter because all a blogger needs to do is write about the contest in his blog with links to the products available in the store.

Speaking of products, Fellins Jewelry and Gifts have college graduation gifts for the college graduate in your life like a personalized glass photo frame or a personalized desk clock.

Do not miss out on this opportunity to win a two-tone stainless steel, heavy gold plate man's watch or a heavy gold plate over stainless steel lady's watch. I know I will be entering the contest myself!

Check out for more information on the contest.

Weird News of the Day

BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A wild bird is little worse for wear after being hit by a car while crossing a road, then spending two days trapped behind the car's grille. Connie Ankli said she unknowingly drove around with the bird, believed to be a quail, inside her vehicle's front end. "Oh, I love grilled poultry. But I usually buy it at the store," she said.

The bird was recovering from its experience at the home of Frank Filmore, a technician at Kepner's Precision Auto Krafters in Berrien County's Benton Township, about 175 miles west of Detroit.

Ankli said she was taking her daughter to her piano lesson Aug. 13 when she saw an animal on a road in Royalton Township.

"I didn't want to hit it, so I straddled it," she told The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph. "When I was just about on top of it, it moved. I heard a thump, saw feathers out the back window, but no bird."

Two nights later, she said she noticed movement in the front of the vehicle.

"I bent down and looked," she said, and saw a bird "peering out from behind the grille."

Auto shop manager Tim Markham said the bird had broken through the honeycomb-style, plastic grille, which then bent back and trapped the bird.

Markham said the bird would be released or turned over to a nature center.

Source: AP from The Herald Palladium

P.S. Doug and I lived in St Joseph, Michigan for 4 months in late 1999 and early 2000. Benton Harbor was where Walmart and a few other box stores were located. We loved to shop there. Never had any accidents with wild birds! :-)

RU 486

WASHINGTON, ( -- Misleading conclusions are being drawn in news stories based on a study that has indicated that the RU486 abortion drug is no more dangerous than surgical abortions.

"Reporters are drawing the erroneous conclusion that this study means RU486 is completely safe. That's not what the study says, and nothing could be further from the truth," said Operation Rescue Senior Policy Advisor Cheryl Sullenger. "Women are dying at an alarming rate from RU486 abortions and its widespread misuse in the abortion industry. That has not changed."

The study indicates that future pregnancies are equally affected by RU486 abortions and surgical abortions. However, it is a leap in logic to say that either are safe when the study simply shows that the risks to future pregnancies of both abortion methods are equal.

"Women who have had abortions have greater risks of miscarriage and infertility than women who have not had abortions. It is no accident that the study refused to compare these two groups of women, because we know they would have found that abortion hurts women, and that is obviously a conclusion that they did not want to reach," said Sullenger.

RU486 is a drug approved for abortions in pregnancies under six weeks. Three office visits are usually required for this kind of abortion. Some reports indicate that RU486 has a 15% failure rate, meaning that many women who receive the drug must also have a surgical abortion to completely remove the pre- born baby and other pregnancy tissue.

"Women aborting with RU486 can pass their babies anywhere. This has created a lot of emotional trauma for women who do not expect to come face to face with a tiny baby complete with arms, legs and a recognizable face," said Sullenger.

"The reputation of RU486 has suffered recently because of the publicity generated by a number of abortion deaths related to the drug. The media distortion we are seeing is a simple case of public relations damage control," said Sullenger. "Hiding the possibility of RU486's life-threatening dangers from women really shows that there is more concern for selling abortions than for protecting and informing women. This misinformation campaign is really a horrific thing when you think about it that could needlessly cost women's lives."

Read more here.
When I was younger I was quite ambivalent about abortions. One of my neighbours when I was a kid did not practice any kind of birth control. When her children got too many she resorted to abortions to reduce their number. One of her kids was born without fingers and toes, and I believe that was a result of a failed abortion.

I think there are worst things in life than being pregnant. Whatever reasons that are given by those who have had abortions, it all boils down this - having a child is an inconvenience. I do not buy the "mental health" reason for having an abortion. Except for a serious risk to the mother's life, abortion should be banned. Rape and incest, give birth to the child, and give it up for adoption. Two wrongs do not make a right.

A woman's right to privacy ... what a lot of bull! Abortion is sanctioned murder.

The Christian Samurai

There are many passages in the Bible calling Christians to be servants of God. One of my favorite passages is "Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God."(1 Peter 2:16) What this passage is encouraging the Christian to do is to live a life that is in total obedience to his Master, the Lord God Almighty.

But how does a servant show his obedience to his master? Paul Nowak has written an interesting book called The Way of the Christian Samurai. One would not normally associate a samurai with Christianity but the term samurai means "one who serves" which is what a Christian is called to do.

In his book, Paul Nowak draws from the writings of the ancient samurai to provide reflections and advice for the modern Christian. To quote a passage from the book, "The samurai saw suffering as part of their pursuit for perfection - a goal that we Christians must have as well, for our Master has commanded us, "Be Perfect, therfore, as I am perfect." How do we pursue perfection? By practicing our faith: reading the Scriptures, consulting and sharing with one another, and constantly trying to improve the way we live out the Gospel in our daily lives."

Find out more about 'The Way of the Christian Samurai' if you are as intrigued as I am about using the Samurai ethos for help and advice on living out your Christian life

Wordless Wednesday 2

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Angst over paid posts

I was at Pretty Knitty a few moments ago, and read a comment by a reader. The reader was upset that Kitman had started posting things that were not related to knitting, and even said that she (the reader) would stop reading her blog.

The reader has the right to read or not to read any blog. Nobody is forcing her, right? And Kitman, the owner of the blog, can do whatever she wants with her blog, right? If she wants to include paid posts on her blog, that is up to her, right?

I suppose it is harder for bloggers who have niche blogs where their readers have certain expectations on the content of the blogs. For a blogger like me who writes about anything and everything, it doesn't seem too obvious if the blog has some off topics.

I have also started doing paid postings, and I know those of you who read my blog usually skip those posts, right? I hope you do! Unless of course there is something in the post that might be of interest to you. I try to take posts that I know about or can learn about. But sometimes the choices, for a blogger with my low ranking, are very limited and you get what you can!

Anyway, I enjoy the prospect of making income from writing paid posts. I received my first payment from Smorty last week and my husband joked if he can retire now that I am making some money! ;-) Hahah.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Obese Pets

Isn't it sad that our affluent lifestyle has also affected our pets? The cats and dogs that my family had when I was growing up were never fat. They ate leftover food and if they don't like it, too bad for them!

According to this news story, half the cats and dogs in the UK are overweight. The health problems affecting obese pets are similar to humans. "Whether your pet is obese or slightly overweight - it matters. A weight problem can affect a pet's quality of life and lead to straining of the joints, causing arthritis, as well as internal illnesses like diabetes, liver disease and heart disease," said Joe Iglis, a TV vet.

The first time I heard of an animal suffering from arthritis and diabetes was when I first visited England in the late 80s. I couldn't believe that animals had that kind of diseases! I guess because we never brought our pets to the vet, we never knew what exactly caused their death.

There is even a website in the UK called where pet owners can get help and motivation to keep their pets on a diet. I guess this works like weight loss support groups like weight watchers! :-)

The only pets we have right now are some gold fish and twelve geese. There is no danger of them getting overweight!

Help for the Obese

Being obese is no fun. It increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and some cancers. Losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases. But for some even losing 5 percent is a struggle. Dieting and exercise do not seem to work.

This is where a medical procedure called lap band, Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding also known as LAGB, can be of assistance for those who are struggling to lose weight. It is a unique tool that can help you achieve and maintain significant weight loss, improve your health and enhance your overall quality of life.

The LAGB or the LAP-BAND procedure is also the least traumatic and the only adjustable and reversible obesity surgery available in the United States. It doesn’t require cutting, stapling or rerouting of the stomach or intestines. That means lower risks with the surgery and less serious long term complications. The procedure can be performed in an outpatient (day surgery) setting and offers a shortened recovery period.

If you have been considering this medical procedure and want to learn more about it, then you need to check out They have facilities conveniently located in Los Angeles LA, Houston Texas and Tampa Florida.

Summer Harvest

This is what we got from our gardening efforts this year. We harvested 7 cantaloupes, and some corn ears. There are still some corn ears on the corn plants because they didn't seem to have grown at the same time.

The cantaloupes were juicy and quite sweet. We sliced them up and refrigerated them. The cantaloupe tastes sweeter eaten cold. The water melons are not ready yet. The pumpkins are turning really orange, and we still don't know when exactly to harvest them! Probably they are already over ripe and only good for making Jack O Lanterns.

Home Security

I live in the country and I always believe that living in the country is safer than living in the big city. But recently my neighbors had their homes burglarized and one had his new motorcycle stolen. In fact, the burglars even tried to steal our truck parked in our driveway but fortunately they weren't able to drive it away because we did not leave the key in the truck.

We thought maybe we need fierce dogs on our property. Better yet, install some security cameras on our property. But how do you go about choosing the type of security cameras that will work for you? Do we want to install the type that are hidden but secretly capturing the movements outside the house? How about installing them where any would-be intruder can see them and thus deter him from trying to break into the house? If I had the security cameras installed how do I effectively monitor them especially when I am not home?

It is with great relief that I found this site where I can learn about what an Internet Security Camera can do. It is wonderful to know that with certain internet security cameras I can monitor them from virtually anywhere in the world! From a designated internet site, I can actually move the camera's pointing direction from my browser and actually zoom in to any area where the camera is aimed at.

The most amazing aspect about an internet security camera is that I can actually access my internet security camera on my internet equipped cell phone! This ability will help ease my mind about leaving my home unattended for any extended time.

There is a lot more that I need to learn about home security and I am glad that I can learn more about it at

Wedding Jewelry

Christina, maid of honor and big sister, at Monica's wedding. She's wearing the black organza ribbon with different shades of pink fire polished Czech glass beads necklace that I made. The ear-rings are not that visible because it was made with black artistic wire with pink fire polished Czech glass bead.

Here's Kathy talking to Oscar the new son-in-law wearing the pearl ear-rings that I made.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Summer's Wedding

Pretty in Pink! The ribbon necklace and matching black with pink crystal ear-rings were made by yours truly. :-)

The newly weds, Oscar and Monica.

Doug and I were at an evening garden wedding ceremony and reception yesterday. It was a beautiful day and the delta breeze was blowing. Sunny and cool by California's standard.

The wedding ceremony was beautiful. The bride looked radiant and beautiful, and groom looked dashing. They each read a letter to each other, and exchanged a self written wedding vows. The bridesmaids were gorgeous in their pink with black organza sashes dresses. The black ribbon necklace around their necks and their matching earrings looked lovely. :-)

When the sun went down, the night got cool. Too cool in fact. I felt sorry for the ladies who wore their strapless dresses, or their spaghetti strapped dresses. It was the first night that I'd actually spent that number of hours out this summer. I brought my silk shawl and that kept me from shivering that night. A little dancing warmed up the blood a little too!

The wedding party was at its liveliest when we had to leave. Doug had to take the baby sitters home and we didn't want to keep them up for too long. But all in all, it was a beautiful summer's wedding.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Teen Rehab Center

Echo Malibu is the premier Teen Rehab center for teens struggling with drug abuse, alcoholism, or emotional and behavioral challenges.

The treatment program at this teen rehab center focuses on Emotional Health, Physical Health, Social Health, Spiritual Health, Family Health, and Educational Services.

Upon admission all participants are given a complete psychiatric evaluation by a Board Certified Adolescent Psychiatrist, and a comprehensive and on-going psychological evaluation by a licensed clinical psychologist.

All participants in the drug and alcohol treatment program are provided with an individualized plan specially designed and implemented by licensed clinical professionals who not only focus on the behaviors that result from addiction, but identify and treat the underlying causes of the addiction.

Among the treatments and interventions implemented at Echo Malibu are Individual Therapy, Group Therapy, Animal Assisted Therapy, Expressive Art Therapies, and Music Therapy.

What makes Echo Malibu the premier teen rehab center is that it believes in empowering the participants and their families with knowledge, skills and support systems required to reclaim their lives and live free of chemical dependency. It also believes in helping and teaching the participants make healthy choices, instill hope in their lives, and help the entire family of the participants use the crises in their lives as opportunities for growth and change.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger Award

I have been awarded the Rockin' Girl Blogger award by Pr3tty* Knitty.
I feel honored because this is my first award ever!

I would now like to award Feli, a talented blogger who loves crafts like jewelry, bags, cards and other artsy craftsy stuff! :-) You deserve it, girl!

Cheesy Soft Pretzels

This recipe is taken from And Miles to Go. The picture of the pretzels was so tempting that I had to snag the recipe and give it a try myself! :P

Cheesy Soft Pretzels

1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 TSP baking powder
1 TSP sugar
3/4 TSP salt
2 TBSP cold butter
2/3 C milk
1 egg, beaten
coarse salt

In a bowl, combine flour, cheese, baking powder, sugar,, and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk until just moistened.

Knead on a floured surface for 1 minute; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12 inch by 8 inch rectangle; cut each into 8 inch long strips. Fold strips inhalf, pinching edges, and twist into pretzel shapes. Place on greased baking sheets. Brush with egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.

source: unknown--on a piece of chicken scratched paper

Conversations with a 4-year-old Part 2

"Mommy, why water not go into my tummy?", trying to drink from a bottle with the snap cap still on.
"You have to open the cap, Duncan."

"Where's your sandwich?"
"In my tummy."

"Why are you hiding from me, Duncan?"
"Because me like it!"

"Mommy, you count, me hide," pointing at mommy and then pointing at himself.
"One, Two, Three, Four ... Ready or not, here I come!"

"Look Mommy, me hot dog!" standing naked in the bathtub with his arms straight down his sides.
"Me hot dog with two nipples!"

"Pick me up, Daddy."
"Why do you want me to pick you up?"
"Because it makes me feel good."

Gay Church in Malaysia?

Muslim-majority Malaysia will block a plan by the country's first and only openly gay pastor to establish a church embracing homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals, a minister said Monday.

Reverend Ouyang Wen Feng, an ethnic Chinese Malaysian ordained in the US, caused controversy after saying he wanted to set up the church by 2010.

The government would block the plan, Tourism Minister Adnan Tengku Mansor told AFP, adding the country had always sought to portray itself as a "family-oriented" holiday destination.

"We have no intention of being portrayed the same way like other cities such as Bangkok or those other cities in that league," Mansor said, apparently referring to the Thai capital's sex industry.

"We are here to be seen as a multicultural country with people who are good, excellent followers of their respective religions," Mansor added.

Homosexuality falls under a Malaysian law prohibiting sodomy, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and whipping.

Ouyang's plan to start the church had stirred anxiety, Reverend Wong Kin Kong, the secretary general of Malaysia's National Evangelical Christian Fellowship, said last week.

This was "because Christians do not want others to assume they condone such a thing," he said.

But Ouyang remained unfazed and urged a congregation of about 80 people -- including his male partner -- to "reclaim faith and celebrate our sexuality" in an underground mass Sunday.

"For some of us, especially our gay brothers and sisters, we have experienced first hand that Christianity has been used to persecute minorities," Ouyang told the mass, according to press reports.

Source: Yahoo News

Why do you think Ouyang was quite brazen about starting a church in Malaysia even though he is a practicing homosexual? Is it because he was trained in the US where homosexuality and same sex unions are acceptable in some Christian churches?

I won't be surprised if that was his primary motive. He has become one of those liberal Christians who choose to ignore clear biblical teachings about sexual purity, and sodomy. Listen to what he says about Christianity being used to persecute minorities. If he thinks that emphasizing biblical teachings and wanting your flock to adhere to those teachings is persecution, then is it persecution too if the church admonishes its unmarried members from abstaining from sex before marriage?

I don't know what Bible Ouyang is reading but my Bible does not teach me to "reclaim [our] faith and celebrate our sexuality". The only celebration of our sexuality that the Bible clearly teaches is within the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3

How true!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Interracial Dating

Interracial dating which can naturally lead to interracial marriages is becoming more common place in our diverse society. One famous interracial couple is Tiger Woods, who is half African American and half Asian, and his blond Swedish wife.

If you are interested in meeting some interracial singles, go to, where you can sign up for free. Once you have signed up you might want to fill in a very comprehensive profile form about your appearance and situation, your taste, your personality, you views of the world and on other things that might best describe the person you are. The reason for this comprehensive form is so that you can be perfectly matched with some other members at the site. The more detailed the information you give, the better the chances for finding the perfect match.

You can also browse through the photos of the other members there. You can send messages or flirts to any of the members that you might be interested in too. There's also a Search feature where you can find members living in your area or close to where you live.

It is advisable that you upload a photo or photos of yourself if you are a member because members with photos have an 85% chance of receiving messages from other members. Now won't it be great to have an over-flowing mailbox, filled with messages from people who are interested in you?

If you are interested in interracial romance, check out It could be the best thing you did today.

Remembering Elvis

I don't know how you feel about Elvis Presley, or if you even cared who Elvis is, but this week is Elvis Week. Today is actually the 30th anniversary of his death.

In Memphis, Tennessee, Elvis' hometown, there are a whole range of activities to celebrate Elvis Week. For example today, there's an Elvis: Walk A Mile In My Shoes Tour Series by Sweet Magnolia Tours, Jerry Hopkins - The Once and Future Elvis: A Conversation, D&N's Pre-Elvis Concert Dinner and Humes Benefit, for those who can't be in Memphis there's the Elvis Day on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). I will try to catch at least one Elvis movie on TCM this week!

I have never been to Graceland in Memphis. I would most definitely not miss the opportunity to visit Graceland if I were in Tennessee.

Elvis has a unique voice, what you might call "big". I sometimes wonder if his kind of voice would make it big in today's pop charts. I don't know of any current male singers who has Elvis' kind of voice. Do you?

Some of my favorite Elvis' hits are Are you Lonesome Tonight, Love Me Tender, Heartbreak Hotel, Can't Help Falling in Love, Always on My Mind, Jailhouse Rock, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me and the one I find most sentimental is My Boy. Unchained Melody, how can I forget that! Elvis also recorded some gospel songs, and my favorites are He Touched Me, Put Your Hand in the Hand and Amazing Grace. I love Blue Christmas too!

Did you see the Celine Dion and Elvis Presley duet on American Idol? That was simply amazing technology!

I think Elvis died before his time. I don't know what his health problems were, but I remember the day the news broke about his death, and the world lost a gifted singer the day he died. Elvis may have died, but his music lives on.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Home Furniture

Furniture From Home is an online furniture room store which carries a wide selection of dining room furniture and bedroom furniture. They also have some really beautiful home office furniture sets, living room furniture including sectionals, game room furniture, bar stools and a selection of beautiful leather furniture. Besides furniture there is also a modest selection of area rugs and carpets.

The Furniture From Home website is one of the better looking online furniture stores that I have seen. It could be that I am partial to the color scheme of burgundy, tan and peach with white fonts.

The home page's navigation is simple and easy to use. The categories of furniture are laid out very clearly on the left side of the page and all I have to do is click on a particular category, for example bedroom, and a page with a whole array of bedroom sets comes up. The choices of bedroom sets are beautifully arranged in groups of three for each row with a brief description for each set. I like this because I don't have to look around too many pages to see what is available. If I see anything I particularly like, I click on the picture and a new page opens where I can see a bigger picture of the furniture set, and all the information associated with the product, including the price for each item in the set.

I wanted to look at storage beds and entered "storage bed" on the Search box. That search yielded three results. But when I entered "children's bunk beds" it yielded zero result. I remember seeing bunk beds on the site! I tried again, this time I entered "bunk beds". It still gave me "Your search for "bunk beds" has 0 results". Ok. Let't try "bunk bed". That got me 2 results. I think Furniture From Home needs to improve on the search option results. As long as at least one keyword matches the items that they carry, those items should appear on the search results.

The other thing that I find could be improved is the horizontal navigation bar at the top. I know the space is limited but when I am already on one page, say looking at sleeper sofa, and now I want to look at TV Wall Units, I will have to go back to the home page, and click on See All Rooms and then choose from a whole range of options before I get to the page on TV Wall Units. I suppose that is where the Search feature comes in useful. Apparently TV Wall Unit is not the same as Entertainment Centers. They later produced more results than the former!

If I am serious about looking for furniture and comparing the choices, I will look at every page that is available at Furniture From Home. But if I am looking for a particular set or style or piece, I will have to be very specific with the words used on the Search feature. Otherwise, I will think what I am looking for is not available and move on to other sites.

Overall, I will give Furniture From Home a high score because they have a wide selection of furniture. I will not mind going through every page to see all that they have since they are all beautifully arranged.

Wordless Wednesday 1

Morning Glories

Copper Crystal Bracelet

This bracelet is made with five 12 mm Swarovski Cosmic crystal copper beads, two 8 mm round swarovski copper crystals, some sterling silver spacer beads and three Bali style beads. I love how they come together, and copper is my current favorite crystal color!

Kathy's Pearls

Kathy's outfit for her second daughter's wedding is champagne colored with pretty little pearl beads around the neck area. I made this white pearl and champagne colored pearl dangle ear-rings to go with her outfit. The findings are sterling silver.

This two-strand two-toned pearl bracelet completes the mother of the bride outfit. To go with the ear-rings and bracelet Kathy is wearing a white pearl necklace which she got from her eldest daughter.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Can you be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time?

Is it possible to be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time? That idea is both illogical and contradictory, if not heretical! Apparently it is not illogical or contradictory for the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding a clergy woman of the Espiscoplian church of St. Mark's in Seattle, Washington.

In Islam, Jesus Christ is merely a prophet, even lower in esteem than Mohammad. In Christianity, Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, and this doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and salvation through Christ only is totally incompatible with Islam.

But then the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding is one of those liberal Christians who rejects the divinity of Christ and the Trinity. It is therefore not surprising that she can embrace both Islam and Christianity.

Rev. Redding should be thankful that she was a "Christian" first before she decided to embrace Islam at the same time. If it had been the other way around, I doubt her Muslim superiors would be as understanding if she had decided to embrace Christianity while remaining a Muslim!

I agree with Dr. Emir Caner, dean of The College at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, when he described Redding’s faith conviction as “an extraordinary illustration of what has become Postmodern Christianity in America.”

Further Readings:

Christian Theologians: 'Episcopal Muslim' Faith is Illogical, Contradictory

An Episcopal Muslim?

Pray to Allah?

The Bishop of Breda, Tiny Muskens, wants people to start calling God Allah. He says the Netherlands should look to Indonesia, where the Christian churches already pray to Allah. It is also common in the Arab world: Christian and Muslim Arabs use the words God and Allah interchangeably.

Speaking on the Dutch TV programme Network on Monday evening, Bishop Muskens says it could take another 100 years but eventually the name Allah will be used by Dutch churches. And that will promote rapprochement between the two religions.

Read the rest of the story here.
I understand what this bishop is saying, and why he is saying it. I understand the "what" but I cannot agree with the "why".

I come from a background where the word "Allah Taala" is used to refer to God Almighty. And I do not refer to God as "Allah" because I want to promote rapprochement between Islam and Christianity.

What needs to be emphasized here is that the word "Allah" has been in existence long before Islam. The word "Allah" when referencing to God cannot be exclusively used by Islam even though Islam would like to claim the word for their own. In Malaysia, the bible in the Iban language was banned for a time because of the use of terms that are found in the Qu'ran. The reason for the ban was that the Iban Bible might confuse the Muslims, which in my view, is a ridiculous claim.

When Christians in the Middle East, Indonesia and Malaysia use the word "Allah" to refer to Almighty God, they are most definitely not referring to the Muslim God. This is where I dissent with Bishop Muskens. He makes no distinction between the Christian Allah and the Muslim Allah when he encourages people to start calling God Allah.

When I use "Allah Taala" to refer to Almighty God in my mother tongue I know which Allah I am referring to. I am referring to Allah the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who brought the Israelites out of Egypt. I am referring to Allah who is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I am referring to "Allah" the God who is the redeemer of my soul, the pioneer and perfecter of my faith.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Conversations with a 4-year-old

"Fish is dead, Mommy?" looking at the plate of deep fried sole.
"Who killed fish, Mommy?"

What's this, Mommy?" pointing to the nipple on his naked body while sitting in bathtub.
"That's your nipple, Duncan. How many nipples do you have?"
"One, two. I have two nipples!"

"How many balls do you have, Duncan?"
Quickly grabs balls, "Two! I have two balls!"

"We pray for our soldiers. We pray they kill bad duys (guys)."
"No, say we pray that God keep our soldiers safe."

"Make sure you wash your hands before you eat."
"Me will."

"Don't you punch your sister!"
"Sowy, Mommy," with tears running down his face. "Me pwomise, me won't."

Out of the blue, "Me love you, Mommy."
"I love you too, Duncan, very much."

Weird News of the Day

I first heard the following story a few days ago on the Tom Sullivan Show. Tom Sullivan suggested that it wasn't accidental that the woman sold the turtle containing the ashes of her husband's previous wife. I think it wasn't accidental either! :-) What do you think?
(08-07) 17:25 PDT Elmira, N.Y. (AP) --

A woman recovered a ceramic turtle containing the ashes of her husband's previous wife Tuesday after accidentally selling it for 50 cents at a rummage sale.

Anita Lewis of Elmira said she didn't know it held the ashes when she sold the turtle Saturday to a woman who had plans to use it as a cookie jar, despite being unable to get the lid open.

Terrence Lewis' previous wife had collected turtles, and the couple's home was full of them, Anita Lewis said.

When she realized her mistake, she began a frantic search. An anonymous caller's tip to the Star-Gazette of Elmira led her to a Salvation Army Thrift Shop in Horseheads, where she found the turtle.

Garage Storage Cabinets

When it comes to the garage, organization is always a constant thing. Having the right kind of garage storage cabinets can make the difference between a garage that has cars in it with everything else stowed away out of sight, and a garage that is full of clutter with no space at all for your cars.

For my garage I'd like to install the Ten Piece Garage Cabinets, preferably white. White makes the room bright and roomy. As to the choice, anything less than a ten piece garage cabinet is not going to accommodate all the tools, the extra odds and ends from the house that have spilled into the garage. I like the tall cabinets because I can store tall things like my 6 feet tall rolls of batting.

The rolling base garage cabinets make it easier to move them around as space allows. The top of the base garage cabinets can be used for storage too. Things stored in plastic containers can be placed on top of these cabinets.

At you can find other kinds of storage cabinets that will meet your needs.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Favicon on Blogspot

Did you notice the favicon next to the URL on my blog today? How many of you knew that you can add your very own favicon on your Blogspot blog? I didn't know that was possible until I read how you can do it on Tips for Bloggers. Tips for Bloggers is quite the resource for bloggers using Blogspot. I highly recommend it.

For my favicon (the image next to your url), I used Paint which comes with Windows, to create it. It is not that difficult to make it. Or you can use any image you like for you favicon. Look at the favicon on my Puteri's Hobbies blog. I have a handbag for my favicon! :-) Favicons are such small images that you need to use an image that is clear. The handbag favicon is the clearest (besides the one on this blog) I have on any of my blogs. If I find something clearer I will change those that are not that clear. I can do letters or colors but I wanted images that reflect the content of the blogs. When I said the favicon is not that difficult to make, I mean the letters kind!

Let me know if you have added a favicon on your Blogspot blog! I'd love to see it!

Friday, August 10, 2007

3 column template tutorial

My friend, Cuthess, wants to know how to install a 3 column template on her blog.

She tried doing it, and she must have done something wrong because now her blog has completely disappeared.

The choices of templates offered by Blogspot do not have any with 3 columns. If you don't know any coding, do not even try to edit any of the coding on the updated templates offered by Blogspot.

The easiest way to do it is to revert to the classic template and replace the template code with a 3-column code of your choice.

Here's how you do it. I have a blog where I test the templates on. This is useful because if you do mess things up, there is nothing in the test blog you do not mind losing.

Before you begin the process of switching your blogspot template to a 3 column template, you need to look for a 3 column template, that is compatible with Blogspot. You can find 3 column templates at The Blogger Workshop, and also at Gecko and Fly which have templates similar to the Blogspot 2 column templates except that they have 3 columns. Download the one or ones you like, unzip the folder, and save it in a folder somewhere in your computer. Now you are ready.

Log in to your blogspot account and go to the Dashboard. This how it looks like if you have the upgraded blogspot template.

Click on Layout, and this is how it looks like.

Click on the Template tab. And then click on the Edit HTML option.

You are now on the HTML page. Ok, pay attention to the Backup/Restore Template instruction. This is there for a reason! If you already have something on your blog, then it is wise to download the full template and save it somewhere in your computer, in your document folder, for example.

Once you have downloaded and saved your template (i.e. backed it up) scroll down to where you see this. Click Revert to Classic Template.

Click Ok, when this dialog box pops up.

Once you have done that, you are now looking at the HTML page. At this point, open the 3 column file that you have in your computer (remember where you saved it?) using Notepad. This is how mine looks like opened with Notepad. This is the file that I downloaded from The Blogger Workshop.

Then you are ready to delete the 2 column code that is on your HTML page (right click, select all, then delete). Once you have done that, right click on your mouse, select all, and copy the 3 column template code and paste it onto the HTML page. Click the Preview button to see how it looks like. If you are satisfied with the look, then click on the Save Template Changes button.

This will tell you that your new settings have been saved. Click on View Blog and you will see the changes on your blog.

What you won't see are the stuff you have added on your blog using the previous template, like your links, or the Mybloglog image etc. But you will see your previous posts, archives, and profile.

Your work is not done. You need to edit the left sidebar and fill it with the stuff you want on that side of the template. For example, a Google Adsense code. Replace the word "Something" with "Sponsored Links" or something like that. Then put in the adsense code between [p] [/p] (it should be < >). Delete the extras you do not need.

This is where you edit your links. Fill in the url between the "#". Remove # and add the url. Put a name to the link, by replacing "Link 1". You get the idea with the rest.

Once you have made all the changes you want on the template, remember to click on Save Template Changes. View your blog. If you think you need to make more changes go back to the HTML page and redo it. Below is a screenshot of my test blog where the left side bar has not been edited.

And this is a screenshot of my test blog where the left side bar has google adsense added to it.

REMEMBER, if you messed up this HTML page, you can always copy paste the code from your file onto the HTML page, and re-do it.

If you find other 3 column templates that you like better, you now know how to go about it! Just repeat the process.

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However, if you feel up to experimenting with the code, Tips for Bloggers is a wonderful site to help you along. I don't know any code but I can follow clear instructions! :-) You can find instructions on how to change or add to the code of a few of the more popular Blogspot templates into a 3 column template. Changing and adding to the existing code is a good way to make your template into a 3 column template because you get to keep all the widgets which make editing the look of your template so easy.

Here are three screenshots of my blogs. Two of them use the minima template. The other uses the Script template.