Sunday, September 30, 2007

Recurring Dreams

Salian has a blog entry describing a dream she had where she lost her luggage. I left a comment telling her how vividly she remembered her dreams.

I don't remember my dreams very well, maybe because on a typical night I have several dreams and I usually remember the last one just before I wake up. Well, not the dream in its entirety, just some of it.

But there are two dreams that I have had several times before.

The first is about being late for an exam because I didn't know where the exam room was. The strange thing about the dream was that the people in my dream were my classmates from secondary school, and college mates while I was at college. There had been times in my dream where I spoke to myself, "I hope this is a dream, because those groups of people shouldn't be in the same room!" When I woke up, I was relieved that it was only a dream. I would hate to think that I had missed an important exam!

Salian has a book on dreams and their meanings, and according to the book the meaning of my dream is: “A feeling of powerlessness to shape our own destiny may be behind a dream in which we hurry - often late - to…the examination room.”

I can so identify with that meaning! I never graduated from college because I just couldn't get over the final two papers. I must have tried at least four times but each time I failed and the results only got worse! There have been times that I regretted never having completed my course of study, but at other times I consoled myself by telling myself I was not cut out for corporate life, unless of course I was the boss and telling others what to do! The other thing is, I would not be where I am today, if I had completed my chosen course of study and went on to climb the corporate ladder.

As I told Salian, I have moved on to other things in life, and there are opportunities available to me now if I am at all interested in furthering my studies.

The other recurring dream is about being spied upon while in the shower. When I was a teenager my family lived in a housing area provided by Shell, and the last house that we lived in was by a road that was used by many people living in the Malay kampung nearby. The house was quite a large house with two bathrooms. However the window to each bathroom was quite low and anyone could easily push it open and peep into the bathroom. Besides the window with the frosted window panes, there was a fixed "window" with wooden louvres. If you had a mind to, you could peep through those louvres even when the louvres were slanted downwards. I am pretty certain that I was a victim of a peeping Tom or two, and I am pretty certain that I was a victim more than once!

According to the book of dreams that Salian has, the dream “…suggests our anxieties about being ‘found out’ - a common neurosis whether or not we genuinely have anything unpleasant to hide. In Freudian terms, the dreamer may also feel frustrated at not finding a proper opportunity for greater creativity.”

Haha, I don't know about being anxious about being "found out", but I do know the emotions that come with being the victim of a peeping Tom especially while you are taking your shower, are embarrassment and anger at the violation of your privacy!

There is one other dream that I often get when I feel cold. That is being in a body water and feeling cold. For me the dream is merely a translation of the state that I was in. I was not warm enough in my bed, and that led to the dream of being in a body of water. I don't want to read anything more into that!

How about you? What sort of recurring dreams do you have?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Make Money Blogging

I have a friend who works part-time. The rest of the time she is at home with not much to do except maybe do some cooking and housework. She doesn't drive herself any where because she is visually impaired.

I have been trying to get her to start blogging and try to make some money through blogging. She was quite incredulous when I told her that you can really make some money blogging. She wasn't aware that there is money to be made through blogging. Not that I am a good advertisement about how much you can make!

I was impressed that a fellow Malaysian and a fellow Postie is making a handsome income through writing paid posts, writing reviews and placing ads on her various blogs. Of course she can command a lot more from advertisers, than a little blogger like me can, because she has blogs that have high Google PageRanks and high enough Alexa rankings.

Anyway, the point is, once you have a created a blog and has it up and running, you can begin to start earning some money. Of course you can't expect to immediately make those big bucks but with time and effort, you can. Creative and attractive content will bring in readers and once you have established yourself in the blogosphere you will start making the money.

There are many blogs out there who offer you the tools and tips to help you get started. It is always good to learn from those who have the experience and the pocket book to show their success!

To my friend, yes you who live in Florida, get started with that blog! :-)

I won a watch!

I wrote a paid post for Fellins Gifts and Jewelry on August 22 right here on this blog. The post was about the company giving away a ladies' or a man's watch to the winner of their September Giveaway Contest. It was an easy contest where the blogger was to write a short entry about their contest with some relevant links to their site. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity of winning a $195 watch and entered the contest!

This morning I received an email from them telling me I had won the watch!! When I first saw the heading on the email, I thought it was a spam mail but then the content also had a copy of the email I had sent them notifying them I had entered the contest and including, in the mail, the link to my blog entry.

They're sending me the watch by priority mail this coming Monday. Woohooo! I love blog contests!

Rita, maybe my luck has changed! Haha.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Brain Eating Amoeba

Don't we already have enough to worry about, like terror sites offering videos on how to fly 747s, and wondering if the next time we get on a 747 there could be terrorists on board who had learned to fly such a plane from videos found on terror sites?

Do we now have to think twice about taking a swim in the lake for fear that an amoeba might eat our brains?! Eeeekk, doesn't that sound like a scene from an Aliens movie?

PHOENIX (AP) - It sounds like science fiction but it's true: A killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.

Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it's killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future.

"This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."

According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER- ee-uh FOWL'-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases—three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the 1960s.

Full story here.
P.S. Yes, it is true that people don't normally learn how to fly planes from videos or flight simulators alone, but with the terrorists, they only need to know how to guide the plane to their intended target or just crash it so they can kill themselves and everyone in the plane. Not a very happy thought especially for someone like me who is always very tense when I have to fly any where.

Two headed turtle

This conjoined turtle sure looks freakish. I guess the stronger of either will be the one forcing the direction the turtle is to go.

I supposed Jay Jacoby, manager of of Big Al's Aquarium Supercenter, is right in that the turtle is not likely to survive life in the life.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - A two-headed turtle captured by a turtle collector is a rare example of a conjoined-twin birth, its owner said.

The turtle would have likely died in the wild because it swims awkwardly and would be an easy target for predators, according to Jay Jacoby, manager of Big Al's Aquarium Supercenter in East Norriton.

The store bought the tiny turtle from the collector for an undisclosed price and will keep it on display, he said.

The 2-month-old turtle, known as a red-eared slider, fits on a silver dollar. It has two heads sticking out from opposite ends of its shell, along with a pair of front feet on each side. But there is just one set of back feet and one tail.

Read full story here.

Love and Marriage

Doug and I celebrated our 8th Anniversary last August. He took half the day off work so he could take me out to lunch. I received a romantic anniversary card, two dozen red roses, and a new pillow. A pillow? He knows my quest for the perfect pillow and thought this new pillow would be the one that will end that quest! How thoughtful of him!

After seven years of marriage and two young children, romance is something that we have to work at. It is easy to get caught up in the daily business of making a living, raising the children, and spending too much time on our individual hobbies instead of spending time nurturing that relationship that brought us together in the first place.

However, I am blessed with a husband who, though not overly romantic, does know how to keep a woman happy. He never fails to give me a kiss before he leaves for work every morning, calls me daily from work, remembers all the important dates, brings cards and flowers, and takes me out to dinner whenever I don't feel like cooking. He shows his affection by giving me hugs and kisses, holding my hands even while he's driving, which I remind him to refrain from doing, and is very considerate when I say, "I have a headache." :-)

Coming from an Asian culture where the women serve the men, I appreciate my husband's help with the dishes, with bathing the children, getting them ready for bed and most of all, his philosophy of marriage being a partnership, each partner mutually serving each other, both working towards a marriage built on trust, respect and love.

Road Construction

There's some road work, and drainage clearing going on on our street. They've been at it for three days now and this morning as I drove out of my driveway, I had to wait for a few moments for one of the road crew men to move a front loader off my driveway.

On my way home after dropping the kids at their school, I also had to wait for a few moments because half the road was closed as there were construction vehicles blocking one half of the road on each side.

I couldn't help noticing the crew men though. Three men were in the ditch holding some tools for clearing the ditch, but they don't seem to be doing anything at that particular point in time. Three or four others were either directing traffic or just standing around doing nothing in particular. And these men were husky looking men, none looked scrawny at all.

I was amused because it reminded me so much of the Road Works Department in Malaysia. Unless they are working on a very busy road where work has to be done quickly, two or three would be working, and the rest would just stand around and watch those who work!

I guess whether you live in a country like Malaysia or here in the USA road construction crews are the same!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Driving while female

Wajeha al-Huwaider of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, co-founded a group urging that women be permitted to drive. The group sent King Abdullah a petition with more than 1,100 names. (By Faiza Saleh Ambah -- The Washington Post)

In Saudi Arabia, women are not permitted to drive. One of the reasons for not allowing women to drive is that it would lead to Western-style freedoms and an erosion of traditional values. *Rolling my eyes.*

"Allowing women to drive will only bring sin. The evils it would bring, mixing between the genders, temptations, and tarnishing the reputation of devout Muslim women, outweigh the benefits," wrote one man to the al Watan newspaper in response to an article about a group of women who are petitioning King Abdullah to let women have the right to drive.

Saudi women are forced to rely on hired drivers or male relatives to drive them to places. Taxis for an unaccompanied woman is not safe either. For some, hiring a driver who is usually a foreigner, is beyond their means.

We take our ability to drive our car wherever and whenever we want for granted. It is inconceivable to think that, at this modern day and age, there are women who do not have the right to drive. Women all over the world are marching with the progress of time but in Saudi Arabia, they are still stuck in the mindset of men ruling with 7th century laws.

Read the story about Saudi women petitioning their King their right to drive here.

My Desktop Free View

I hadn't chosen a background for my new desktop so when I got tagged by Angie, I quickly chose a picture from my target shooting taken last weekend. :-) Go ahead, Punk! Make my day!

I now tag, Nightwing, Mr Green, Cuthess, Borneo Guy, Hooi Imm and Cat Cat.

Note: Copy Starts Here! My Desktop Free View Instruction:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun. You can do a screen capture by:

Going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key).

Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).

If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of Icons, things like that.

C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

D. Add your name to this list of Free Viewers with a link pointing directly to your Desktop Free View post to promote it to succeeding participants.
iRonnie - I Set No Corner
Thess - Thesserie
Rebecca - Skippy Heart
Knoizki - A Dialogue With K
Beng - Kauderwelch
- domlawrenceOSB
- bluepanjeet™ OTWOMD™

Marie @ Vanidosa Marie and Vanidosa at blogspot
and Ems @ Just Let Go and Pieces of Me

Angie The Daily Matters and The Simple Times In Life
Puteri @ Puteri's Musings, Puteri's Musings 2 and Health and Beauty Notes


Do you believe Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he said, "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don't know who has told you that we have it."

If he is right then Iran must be the only country in the world where there are no homosexuals! All homo-phobics should move to Iran where there are no homosexuals to bother their sensibilities!

How about what he said about the treatment of women in Iran? "Women in Iran enjoy the highest levels of freedom." All feminist organizations in the world should rejoice over this fact!

"If the Holocaust is a reality of our time, a history that occurred, why is there not sufficient research that can approach the topic from different perspectives?" he asked. No amount of proof or research will ever be sufficient for a well-known Holocaust denier and an anti-semite like Ahmadinejad.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Paid to do surveys.

I signed up with a couple of places where you get paid for filling out surveys. After doing a few surveys, I feel that I am ready to give up! I don't mind the short surveys but there is one that seemed to go on forever! There are pages and pages of it, and I still have not seen the end of it! I just had to call it a night. :-( I don't know if a few cents or a dollar is really worth all that time!

We'll see if it is any better tomorrow. I received an email notifying me that I have been credited a dollar into my account for completing one survey. I don't even remember which one it was! :-(

Sheesshh, it seems not all the online money making schemes are worth my time!

Ham Radio

My in-laws are ham radio enthusiasts. Last Sunday they hosted a bar-be-cue for their local ham radio club at their home. Doug is also a ham radio operator but he is not as qualified as his father is. He hasn't had much time lately to really pursue this interest.

The ham radio club members who were at the bar-be-cue were mostly older folks. There were only a handful of younger members. One of the younger guys who came wasn't a ham radio operator but he helps them put their antennas up on their roof tops. And this same guy entertained the folks at the bar-be-cue with his guitar playing and singing. He is in fact one of a trio called Still Evolving who performs at a bar-be-cue place in town. So he does know how to sing!

How do you know that a person is a ham radio guy or gal? By the custom plates on their cars, of course!

This is my father-in-law's call sign. My mother-in-law has her own custom plate on her car too.

The above are just two cars that belonged to the members who were at the bar-be-cue.

A guy from the Red Cross came by at the bar-be-cue to show off the communications trailer that the Red Cross has. The trailer is equipped with communications equipment, so that was of interest to the ham radio folks at the bar-be-cue.

During an emergency, like a hurricane, or an earthquake where most conventional communications have been damaged, the ham radio operators have always filled in the gap. In many communities or neighborhoods there are restrictions as to what you can put up on your property, but communication towers or antennas for ham radio are exempted. On my in-laws roof there are several antennas. You can tell how serious they are about their hobby!

Body Jewelry

If you are into body piercing and would like to find a wide selection of gold nose rings or other high quality body piercing jewelry then you need to check out

At not only can you find the basic body jewelry like the captive bead rings, barbells on all shapes and sizes and gauges possible, but also other body jewelry like the belly button/navel rings, eyebrow jewelry, nose rings, barbells and tongue rings, as well as flexible body jewelry.

All the jewelry is beautiful and trendy, and made of titanium, surgical steel, hypoallergenic acrylic and even 14 KT white gold, and that means there is bound to be an item or two that meets your taste. If you are new to body piercing you can find useful information on their Frequently Asked Questions page. offers free shipping on orders of over $25. Also there are weekly discounts and coupons offered where you can save further on your purchases if you sign up to be their Newsletter member. If you open an account with them, you get a 10% discount every time. could very well be the only store you need for all your body piercing jewelry!

Questionable Art

Should we let artists follow their own instincts even though the subject of their art could be considered obscene or pornographic?

It is reported that Elton John's private collection has been "seized by police from a gallery on suspicion it may have breached child pornography laws". The collection was seized because there was an image of a naked young girl photographed sitting down with her legs wide apart.

I have a few photos of my kids naked but not in any poses that one might call provocative. They are mainly of them in the tub, covered in bath bubbles. If someone takes a picture of a young child naked and the image that it projects is intentionally provocative, then I would be leery of the intention and innocence of the art. I would object to that kind of art because I think that kind of art is exploitative.

A follow-up article on the subject by Richard Dorment suggests that it is not the job of art galleries to censor the work of artists. Instead they should put up signs warning visitors of what they are about to see.

I don't have a problem with that except when it concerns images of children in questionable poses. Child pornography is becoming mainstream, what with the unrestricted access to such pornography on the internet. I don't need art galleries to be promoting child pornography. I don't think images of children in sexually provocative poses will ever become "innocuous" to the next generation as Richard Dorment suggested in his article. As long as there are parents and people who object to adults exploiting children for sexual purposes, images of naked or semi-clothed children in suggestive poses will continue to be objectionable.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Target Shooting

The day started off all cloudy and with a slight drizzle. Fortunately by the time breakfast was over the rain had stopped. However, Doug had a lot of things to do before we finally were able to leave the house and make our way to Los Osos where the ranch property is located. We made a stop at Walmart to buy some ammo for my Beretta 85 .380 calibre semi-automatic. :-)

This is the view from the top of the ranch. That's Morro Rock in the distance. Morro Bay is a popular destination in the summer especially for folks who live the baking hot areas of Fresno. It's hard to get a hotel room there in the summer.

That's the neighbor's horse ranch property adjoining the family property.

The picture above and below is how the landscape looks like in the summer. It does look very dry, but in the winter where there is a lot more rain the whole place will look green.

Doug and I hope that maybe some day in the future we'll get to live here! :-) Keeping our fingers crossed!

We chose a gully to do our target shooting. It was a pretty windy day, but it was slightly better in the gully. Right over head are these high tension wires, crackling with electricity! And I do mean crackling! The first time Doug brought me up to the top of the property beneath the high tension wires, I had this fear of getting electrocuted! The source of the electricity is the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

Doug and Duncan walking towards the bottom of the gully. Duncan had all kinds of weeds and stickers on his clothes! I didn' t wear any socks so I didn't have any stickers on my socks but some managed to get into my shoes.

I did the first rounds of shooting with my .380 calibre semi-automic Beretta 85. Doug had brought a piece of cardboard and drawn a bull's eye and stuck some sticky notes with Xs on the board.

Not bad for someone who hadn't fired a shot in many years! I manged to shoot one in the nine ring and 5 others were on the board. Two must have gone in the dirt. :-) The Beretta's recoil was stronger than I liked.

Doug had his turn with the Beretta.

Dwight is a friend of ours who lives on the property. He helps us look after the barn that Doug has there. Here is Doug firing Dwight's Iver Johnshon .32 calibre revolver. That revolver is about 75 years old. Dwight said, " I love the smell of gun powder!" Haha.

Here's Dwight showing me how to handle the .229 calibre Rossi pump-action rifle. Put your cheek agains the stock, lean your face towards the gun, and use your fingers like a tripod to help stabilize the gun.

I love firing this rifle! The act of pulling back the pump and pushing it forward to load the cartridge was the most fun part. Makes me want to say, "Go ahead, Punk. Make my day!" The Rossi was also a very accurate shoot.

Here's Dwight firing his 75 year old revolver. When we met him at the ranch, he already had his revolver in a holster on his hip. I asked him why he had his revolver with him. There's a guy living nearby who is quite the trouble maker, and Dwight doesn't want to be caught off guard.

Duncan felt left out and wanted so much to fire a gun. Of course I said, "No!" He cried and sulked and Doug let him pull the trigger of his .22 calibre Ruger Mark 12. Made the boy's day! Duncan also "pulled" the trigger to the Rossi rifle. I have a video of him doing it.

The last pistol I fired was Doug's Ruger Mark 12 .22 calibre sem-automatic. I did not fire Dwight's old revolver.

Dillon, Doug's 15-year-old nephew, came with us. He was the only left handed person in the group. I don't think he has ever fired a real gun before but he was the only one in the group to hit the bull's eye! Dwight was really good too and his shots were only around the nine ring. Besides shooting at the board, we shot into the hill side just to see the dust being stirred up by our shots! Heheh. Ammo is cheap!

Now I'm thinking I should join an indoor shooting range and learn to fire more accurately with my pistols. Ahemm! :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gone Shooting

“A Canadian is sort of like an American, but without the gun”

This weekend we are going to visit my in-laws. They live in the beautiful San Luis Obispo area in the central coast. It is about a 6 hour drive there and I don't think we have been to visit them at all this year. They have been to visit us though at least twice this year. My father in-law had hip replacement surgery about 2 months ago. He still can't drive very far, err, but I think they did drive to Las Vegas last weekend! :-)

That's my sexy hand posing with a Beretta. :-)

Anyway, while there, Doug hopes to take me shooting at his parents' ranch. The ranch is somewhere in the hills and there are places there where we can shoot our guns. It has been years since I fired a gun. Doug and I talked about going to a shooting range here in Sacramento but with young kids and having to arrange for a baby sitter every time we want to go any where by ourselves is such a hassle. The other problem has been time. Doug has been really tied up with home improvement projects since the beginning of the year.

I was talking with my elderly neighbor three days ago and asked him if he was going to the Neighborhood Watch meeting at the police station that night. He said, "No." There have been a rash of burglaries and suspicious activity in our neighborhood the last several months. I often leave my windows open when I go to the store or drop the kids off at school. Now I am afraid to do it in case some burglars try to break into my house. My elderly neighbor said he leaves his windows open all day long and said if a burglar comes into his house, he doesn't know how the burglar is going leave the house. I understood what he meant and suggested, "In a stretcher?"

Doug shooting his Firestar .45 automatic when he went target shooting with friends last year.

That is why I need to be handy with my gun. Sounds extreme, doesn't it, but better to be safe than sorry. I have young kids in the house and having a loaded gun around is also not safe. Doug is teaching the kids about gun safety and telling them the difference between a toy gun and a real one. He's teaching them not to point a gun, even a toy one, at anyone even in jest. But it's hard to get Duncan to understand that because he loves to play with his toy "boom boom" and trying to shoot at things. He got all excited when his dad shot his BB gun at a dog that strayed into our back yard. He didn't hurt the dog, just wanted to scare it away from the back yard.

Hopefully the weather stays dry this weekend during our trip. Some rain is in the forecast. I won't be firing any guns if it is wet and muddy at the ranch! :-)

Soccer better than jogging

Those of you who jog to keep fit, maybe you should switch to soccer for a better workout and better muscle mass! I don't do either, so I won't be changing any exercise habit, or lack thereof! Ahhh, Tai Chi, now that is a different story!

Very soon I will have to start driving my kids to soccer practice! I can see Duncan playing soccer but Denice? I don't think she is the kind who likes rough and tumble sports. But dancing, now she'll love that! She is forever imitating Angelina Ballerina's (cartoon character) moves and telling everyone she is a ballerina.

Here's the story that says soccer is better than jogging when it comes to exercise.

Each period of exercise lasted about one hour and took place three times a week. After 12 weeks, researchers found that the body fat percentage in the soccer players dropped by 3.7 percent, compared to about 2 percent for the joggers.

The soccer players also increased their muscle mass by almost 4.5 pounds, whereas the joggers didn't have any significant change. Those who did no exercise registered little change in body fat and muscle mass.

"Even though the football (soccer) players were untrained, there were periods in the game that were so intense that their cardiovascular was maximally taxed, just like professional football (soccer) players," said Dr. Peter Krustrup, head of Copenhagen University's department of exercise and sport sciences, who led the study.

The soccer players and the joggers had the same average heart rate, but the soccer players got a better workout because of intense bursts of activity. Krustrup and his colleagues found there were periods during soccer matches when the players' hearts were pumping at 90 percent their full capacity. But the joggers' hearts were never pushed as hard.

Full story here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Busy Day

This morning I went to the flea market where on Wednesdays it is produce day. I bought some exotic vegetables that we Asians love like daun ubi (tapioca leaves). I bought some last week, but felt like more! I also bought some bananas for banana fritters, kangkong, some ginger and some ground nuts. I felt like eating some kacang rebus.

When I left the house it was cool but usually it gets warmer later in the morning but this morning it was windy as well and so it remained cool. I didn't expect the cold so I wasn't wearing a sweater or a light jacket. I hurried with my shopping and drove home immediately.

When I got home I went online for a while and then I started with the banana fritters. Mmmm, lovely! Been a while since I made banana fritters!

Then I decided to set up the new computer that Doug bought me. I cleared some table space in my studio. I got everything working but when I tried installing the driver for my wireless adapter it refused to install. Arrrgggghhh! It was not compatible with Windows Vista!

And then it was a hurried lunch. After that, I went back online and updated two other blogs that I have. Once I was done with that, I called up my Malaysian friend in Florida, who's also married to an ang moh, and chatted with her for a while. I have been encouraging her to start blogging. She works two days a week and the rest of the week she stays at home and does nothing in particular. She is visually impaired so she doesn't drive herself any where.

Next, I started setting up the quilt that I promised a customer I'd finish in two weeks. Today is exactly two weeks since she dropped off her quilt and I'd only started with it! It's a hard quilt to work on because of all the appliqués on it. I had to think of how I was going to work around the appliqués. I prefer where all I need to do is quilt it edge to edge. Nothing to think about, just follow the pantograph pattern! I haven't progressed very far with the quilt. I did about a yard of it and decided I didn't like what I'd done, and so I started ripping off the stitches. And that is where it remains today.

Chicken cooked with daun ubi and coconut milk.

At four p.m., I started preparing the daun ubi for dinner. It was going to be chicken with daun ubi cooked with coconut milk. Quite a bit of work because I had to tutuk (grind it with mortar and pestle) the daun ubi. Fortunately Doug decided to leave the office early today and so I asked him to picked the kids up at preschool on his way home from work. The house was stinking up royally when they got home. I had fried some onions, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and some belacan for the chicken in daun ubi. And to add to the stinkiness, I fried a salted fish (ikan masin garupa). Yup, the house still stinks! Right now I've got a scented candle going. Hopefully some of the stink will dissipate. :-)

It's after dinner now. The kids are back in the house after playing outside in the cold. Now I am ready to put them in the tub and let them sit in there for a while.

Ciáo for now! :-)

P.S. U.Lee, so now you know why you beat me to it with the new entry! Heheh.

Cool Day

The readings in this picture is in Celcius. Not Fahrenheit!

I was at the Flea market today and it was cold and windy! Well, cold by California's standard, anyway It is almost fall and elsewhere in the US the weather is much cooler but here in California fall weather comes a bit late.

Usually what makes it cooler in the Sacramento valley is the ocean breeze. It was quite breezy and the wind was strong enough to blow some of the tents about at the flea market. I knew it was cool when I left the house but usually the weather warms up a little bit more once the sun comes up a bit higher. So I wasn't prepared for the cold and did not wear an outer clothing.

I had to rush the shopping a little bit because it was getting too cold for comfort. I got all the vegetables I wanted and rushed back to my car. Next time, I'll remember to leave a jacket in the car in case the weather is cooler than expected.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tai Chi

I don't like to exercise but recently I discovered that Tai Chi can help lower high blood pressure in older adults. Older adults here mean folks over 50 years old. I am not in that age group yet but I might as well be one if you take into account my physical condition!

I decided to borrow a Tai Chi video specifically aimed for older adults. I don't know what makes me think that Tai Chi is easy! I got my video last Saturday and today I started learning the first basic steps of Tai Chi. My goodness, all that bending at the knees is hard on certain leg muscles!

I think I can follow this Tai Chi video for older adults. The movements have been adapted for older adults in mind and there are not that many to begin with. I think for me, this is a good start. Tai Chi with its deceptively slow movements does help in stretching all the muscles that need stretching which is a minimum kind of exercise for anyone who wants to stay fit. That is not the only benefit of Tai Chi. Practicing twenty minutes a day dissipates stress and reduces stress-related debilities, increases stamina, and strengthens the body and will.

I have already put another Tai Chi video to the queue of videos in my Netflix subscription. :-)

Phantom Ringing

Did you say you heard your cell phone ring? You did? But your phone does not show that you missed a call? But you swear that you heard it ring? You felt it vibrate too? Huh.

You must be suffering from "ringxiety"! Oh yes, there is such a disease now. I know U.Lee will never suffer from this disease because he doesn't own a cell phone. I know I won't either because usually my phone only rings once a day and that is from dear hubby! :-) I can count with one hand the number of times I have used text messaging. And that was when I first got the new phone and wanted to try if my text messaging feature was working all right.

A new study found that two thirds of the people surveyed, reported hearing their phone ring or feeling it vibrate when it had not actually rung.

The phenomenon has been termed "ringxiety."

The more frequently a person uses their phone, the more often they reported hearing a phantom ring, the study found.

These participants (67% of the people surveyed) had higher monthly charges, used more minutes, sent more text messages, and showed higher levels of impulsivity. They were also younger. (participants ranged in age from 18 to 86).

The study also shows that some people rely on their mobile phone to regulate moods and maintain social connectedness. Those people who prefer to use their phones for text messaging, rather than talking, evidence higher levels of loneliness, social anxiety, and problem phone use.

Source: Science Daily

Home Improvement

Home improvement is a subject near and dear to my heart. We've started working on the front and back patio, building fencing around it and have even built a pergola on the west side of the house where we hope to put a hot tub under it some day.

Another addition to the house that I'd really like is a conservatory. I have some orchids and other tropical plants in the house and I can just see myself relaxing in a conservatory with my tropical plants around me.

Building a conservatory is not as simple as building a fence or a pergola. I will need to look for a company who has had years of experience building one. Fortunately, there is such a company around. Anglian Home Improvements has been providing high quality home improvements to UK homeowners for over thirty six years.

Among the ranges of conservatories available are, among others, The Regency, The Edwardian, and The Elizabethan. The one that suits my idea of a conservatory would be The Garden Room Conservatory. I think for the finish I would choose the dual option of white and oak finish to the building so it'll complement the rest of my house.

What's great about Anglian Home Improvements is that they have a Conservatory Price Promise where they will match the lowest price out there if you can find some other place offering a lower price for a conservatory that matches all the features and benefits that they are offering. But you have to do in within 7 days after you have talked with them.

If you are thinking about building a conservatory or replacing your windows for a more energy saving kind, why not give Anglian Home Improvements a call at 0800 500 600 or check out their website at ?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Andrea Borcelli's Besame Mucho

Turn up the volume of your computer speakers and let's reminisce and sway your body to the music. This song is dedicated to U.Lee, story teller extraordinaire. I'm sure he can write a story or two relating to this song! :-)

Bésame Mucho

Bésame, bésame mucho
Como si fuera esta noche
La última vez
Bésame, bésame mucho
Que tengo miedo a perderte
Perderte después
Bésame, bésame mucho
Como si fuera esta noche
La última vez
Bésame, bésame mucho
Que tengo miedo a perderte
Perderte después
Quiero tenerte muy cerca
Mirarme en tus ojos
Verte junto a mi
Piensa que tal ves mañana
Yo ya estaré lejos
Muy lejos de ti
Bésame, bésame mucho
Como si fuera esta noche
La última vez
Bésame, bésame mucho
Que tengo miedo a perderte
Perderte después
Bésame, bésame mucho
Que tengo miedo a perderte
Perderte después
Que tengo miedo a perderte
Perderte después

English translation:

Kiss Me A Lot
Kiss me, kiss me a lot,
As if tonight was
the last time.
Kiss me, kiss me a lot,
Because I fear to lose you,
To lose you again.
Kiss me, kiss me a lot,
As if tonight was
the last time.
Kiss me, kiss me a lot,
Because I fear to lose you,
To lose you again.
I want to have you very close
To see myself in your eyes,
To see you next to me,
Think that perhaps tomorrow
I already will be far,
very far from you.
Kiss me, kiss me a lot,
As if tonight was
the last time.
Kiss me, kiss me a lot,
Because I fear to lose you,
To lose you again.
Kiss me, kiss me a lot,
Because I fear to lose you,
To lose you again.

I'm too cheap. I borrowed Andrea Bocelli's Under the Desert Sky (CD and DVD combo) album from the local library. I made an MP3 file of Bésame Mucho (cetak rompak) and if you like you can download it here. Right click and save link or target, depending on your browser.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Would you wear this hat?

Would you wear this hat? It looks like a wok turned upside down with frills on it! I will not even be caught dead wearing that hat! I think women who wear pretty hats look elegant but elegance is not a word I would use with that hat!

I learned to wear hats while living in Vietnam from 1996-1998. Everyone wears a hat or carries an umbrella while under the hot sun in Vietnam. Most people don't wear helmets while riding on their motorcycles but they do wear their hats. So if your hat is not secured properly you can be sure that it will fly in the wind while riding on a motorcycle! It never happened to me because I wore a helmet. :-)

If I have to be out for any length of time under the hot sun here in California I will wear my hat. Nothing fancy but enough to keep the hot sun from my head. In the winter, it is a necessity for me because I can't stand the cold on my head and ears.

I'd like to get a beret one of these days. Wished I had got some while I was living in Vietnam. They were cheap!

So what's your favorite hat style?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm a fan of PPP!

I have been doing paid posts with PayPerPost for slightly over a month now and about two weeks ago I started receiving payments for some of the posts that I had written. To date I have received $79 and will receive another $200.75 when the 30 days since I posted each one is up, provided of course none gets rejected! Is that great or what?

The money I have made so far has paid for two domain names that I registered earlier. I am thinking of using some of the money I have made as prizes for some blog contests that I am thinking of running on one of my newer blogs.

One of the benefits of becoming part of the PayPerPost community is that you can get to know fellow Posties , as they are called, who are very helpful people. For example, if I need some help in traffic generation to my blog or blogs that I am trying to get established, I can count on other Posties to help with the exchange of links or help review my blog or blogs. There are also different kinds of blogrolls going so as to help you with your blog exposure. Some Posties with PR5 or PR6 ranking are even offering free advertising on their blogs to help out Posties with new blogs. That is simply great!

Why not join me and be a Postie as well? :-)


I have a few pots of indoor plants and none of them is the flowering kind except for my orchids and Christmas cactus. My African violets have not flowered for a long time. I have never had much success with African Violets but I keep buying them when I see them at the supermarket!

I received my first pot of orchid from a good friend. It was a Welcome Home gift after an extended stay in Malaysia in 2004. Since that time my orchid has never failed to bloom at least once a year. If I am lucky it'll bloom twice a year. The amazing thing which I never noticed from my mother's orchids back home in Malaysia is that the flowers can stay on the stalk for as long as three months! The orchid in this picture has been blooming for more than two months now. After the flowers have withered, I will have to transplant it to a bigger pot. It has outgrown its little pot, the one it came in with from the store. I think I need to give it more orchid food so that in future it'll have larger blooms.

In January I bought two pots of orchids for about $10 each at Big Lots. One died from over-watering. :-( Now I know not to let the pot sit in a dish with water in it!

My Malaysian friend who is living in Florida was surprised when she saw my orchids. She didn't know that they can grow indoors. (Her mother has some really beautiful orchids back home in Miri too.) Well, you do have to put them where they can get some light, so I put my orchids by my sliding door which gets some morning sun. I water them using a spray bottle, so the whole plant can get some moisture. Seems to work on them.

Having the orchids in the house reminds me so much of home. :-)

My Favorite Digital Camera

I bought my Fujifilm Finepix 6.3 mega pixels digital camera two Christmases ago. I bought this particular camera because I was swayed by an ad I saw about that camera on TV. The feature that most attracted me to it was the camera's ability to take good quality pictures under natural light without my having to spend a bomb on a fancier camera.

I take a lot of close-up pictures of the beaded jewelry that I have made and I do not want to use any flash light when I take them. I want the colors of my jewelry pieces to come out as naturally as possible in the picture and I am happy to say that my Fujifilm Finepix does a good job of doing that.

The other feature that is a plus on my little camera is the video function. With a 1 Gb memory card I can take about 14 minutes of video with my camera. The video function is useful because I can take short videos of my kids like on their birthdays or while they are at play outside. With additional memory cards, I can take more videos too.

When I am ready to get another compact digital camera, I'll find one where the video function is in the MP4 format. I can upload the videos to my iPod and also the video files are a lot smaller which make them a lot more convenient to upload to the internet for sharing with friends and family.

I'd love to own one of those fancier cameras like the Nikon D200 Digital SLR Camera. Won't it be wonderful to be able to take pictures with the quality of those taken by a professional photographer? I can just imagine how impressive looking my jewelry pictures will look! For now that fancy camera can only remain on my wish list. Who knows Santa Clause might even read my wish list this Christmas!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Would you drive this car?

Would you want to drive this car? It is the Toyota IQ and the world's smallest 4 seater car at 9ft 9 inches long - about three inches shorter than the original Mini.

I like small cars but this one looks awfully small and unsafe!! I can just imagine myself driving it on the highway next to an 18 wheeler. I will feel intimidated and imagine myself under the wheels of the truck! :-(

I think I'll pass on the small and green cars for now. I will stick to my minivan.

Today's Lunch

Stir fried daun ubi with anchovies

Beef masak hitam (last night's leftover) and daun ubi for my lunch today.

This morning I went to the Galt Market and found some young tapioca leaves (daun ubi). I must have not paid much attention to the vegetables sold at the market because before this I had never noticed daun ubi being sold there.

It was by chance that I saw the daun ubi because I started chatting up a guy who looked like he was Malay, and in his plastic bag were two bundles of daun ubi. He turned out to be Indonesian and he was buying stuff because tomorrow is the start of Ramadan. The vegetable vendor where the Indonesian fella bought his daun ubi had sold out all the daun ubi she had. But I found another vendor, with the help of this Indonesian fella, further down the aisle who had some.

As soon as I got home, I started preparing the daun ubi. I plucked the leaves, washed them and used my mortar and pestle to pound them. I stir fried the daun ubi with chopped garlic, thinly sliced ginger, sliced chilli, some ikan bilis and seasoned the whole thing with salt and pepper. Yummy! :-) I wished I had more than just a bundle because then I could have made chicken with daun ubi with santan - masak lemak. Maybe next week, eh.

Vacuum that car!

I have two preschoolers that I ferry to and from preschool every day. Can you imagine how filthy the interior of my car is? There are food crumbs all over their car seat and on the floor. There are candy and chocolate wrappers, papers filled with "artwork" that they brought home from school on the floor too, and worse of all stains from spilled juices.

Is the dirty state of the interior of my car all my kids fault? Of course not! It is as much the fault of their mother who considers cleaning the car, inside and out, not on the top of her priority list as it is the fault of her children!

However, if I had a car vacuum conveniently mounted on the wall in my car garage and within easy access to the car, I would be more likely to clean my car more often!

Banana Bread

I just had to give Chef Gertrude's banana bread recipe a try after seeing Rita's version of the recipe. I had some over-ripe bananas so there was no reason not to give the recipe a try!

The only problem with my attempt was that it was too moist. I knew when I put the bread mix into the baking pan that it could have done with just a little bit more flour. I used what was left of the flour that was in a bag, and it was just a tiny bit less than 1 1/2 cups. I had 2 other new bags of flour but just didn't want to bother with opening a new bag for just a tiny bit more. Arrggghhh.

Overall though, it wasn't all that bad. Denice didn't like it because she didn't like the walnuts in it. Duncan had a piece and he said, "Yummy". I liked it very much. Had some with my bitter melon tea as a midnight snack last night. :-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Time Tracking Book

My husband works in Project Management and he knows how important it is to work with the right software in order to track the progress, manpower needed or manage the budget of the projects that he is involved in.

If you own a business, or are a manager and needs to improve project estimates, profitability and management of you business there is a time tracking book that you might find useful. This book recommends time tracking through the use of a Software-as-a-Service platform, for example with a project, which gives you real-time data for informed decision-making by allowing your team members to enter project time and expense information from anywhere on Earth.

The book also teaches you how to automate payroll and billing, comply with government regulations, and also touches on the many technological advances such as SOA, Telecom and the Internet, and Web2.0.

To get the book, follow the link to Amazon at and save time and money on your next project.

Never Forget

Six years on, and the horror of that day has not diminished. I remember that day very well. When I woke up that Tuesday morning in 2001, I turned on the radio and there was a live coverage about the twin towers having been hit by two planes. I quickly turned on the TV and I was so shocked that all I could do was sit on my bed and watched the horror unfold on TV. The collapse of the two towers was all there on TV and I watched it live. It was unbelievable. It was a black day indeed.

I will never ever forget that day. I will never ever forget the enemy who perpetrated that horror.

Ne Obliviscaris!