Thursday, November 29, 2007

CustomPlate: Late Entry

This is a late entry to my custom plate proposals. Ian suggested this and I really, really like it. The number one in the front is a lot more meaningful than if it were located at the back.

1 PUTERI. It does have a nice ring to it! :-) There is only one Puteri in this family right? Haha.

A New Year's Eve Party

Some of you know, because you too have been invited, that U.Lee has invited me to join him and his wife to a New Year's Eve party and cruise on board the Queen Mary 2.

To say that I am excited and looking forward to the party and cruise is an understatement! :-)

Just look at this strapless dress that came with the invitation! A black strapless Calvin Klein designer dress! What woman would not be thrilled to wear this creation?

Hmm? What do you think? You know, I still have about a month to get into greater shape so I will do justice to the dress! Yes, I will have to go on a high fiber diet so that my flabby tummy will not show when I wear that dress. And yes, I will do 500 sit ups a day to tone that tummy!

I will have to do some shopping too. Since the dress did not come with shoes, and handbag, and jewelry to match, I will most definitely need to shop for those items! I love beaded and glittery accessories so I have in mind a black with pink clutch purse to go with the dress.

I think this stunning Gucci purse will go really, really well with that black Clavin Klein dress! Woohoo! Beautiful!

How about shoes? I have trouble wearing high heels because they hurt my feet. Who wants to put up with hurting feet when there's dancing later on?! I am not going to miss a dance with Antonio Banderas! Did you know that I will be sitting at a table with Anotonio Banderas? I hope I won't swoon just at the sight of him!

What the heck! These Jimmy Choo shoes are too beautiful! I'll wear them and pay the price. I'll just have to go for a massage after the party! :-)

Ok, jewelry next! Since I design and make jewelry myself, I will wear ear rings, a necklace and a bracelet that I design myself. I will use lots of glittering crystals in my design. I'll be sure to use black, pink, and gold crystals as well as gold findings to match the purse.

How about perfume? Since I will be sitting next to Antonio Banderas I'll have to be sure my perfume will be subtle yet alluring. I will make him forget who Melanie Griffith is! How about Estee Lauder's Pleasures Exotic? Yes, one of my favorite scents!

Ah yes, the handsome and delectable Antonio! I can see myself doing the Paso Doble with him! Doug who?

Can you imagine how alluring and ravishing I will look in that black dress, shoes and accessories! Aiyo, U.Lee will be suitably impressed! Save a dance for me, U.Lee after that dance with Ruby! What? I've got to wait till you're done dancing with Pi Bani? And J.T. and Jamy? Aiyo, good thing Antonio Banderas will be there!

Zawi and Akmal, you two guys better not run away from me when you see me coming! I want at least one dance from both of you!

Ahh, don't be deceived! Underneath all that feminine appearance this mama will be packing heat! Yes, I found the thigh holster! Ooops, since I will be carrying a concealed weapon, I think I should stay away from dances that will require any high kicks. No point carrying a concealed weapon when all and sundry can see it! It might even spook some who have hoplophobia!

Oh yes, one other possible problem about being on a ship. Seasickness. According to U.Lee the Queen Mary 2 is so huge that you can forget you are in a ship. That sounds assuring. I like his suggestion better though. To get my mind off seasickness, I should try some target shooting on deck with Antonio Banderas! Sounds good to me! Well, U.Lee better speak to the Captain first and get his permission! We don't want to freak out the other passengers on the ship!

Oh yes, I am indeed looking forward to the New Year's Eve Party. Oh, gotta go now, need to fix an appointment with a spa and my hairdresser!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Custom Plate

It seems that I can't get the custom plate I want. PUTERI is already taken. PUTERi ♥ is also taken. ♥ PUTERI is also taken. I AM disappointed! :-(

Too bad, I really like the look of the above plate! Somebody beat me to it!

How about this one? It is another way of saying Puteri's.

Since I can't put a heart in the front or the back, Doug suggested I put the number 1. What do you think?

I replaced the letter "I" with the number "1". Looks close to the real thing. I quite like it.

How about this one? Put the number 3 instead of the letter E. What do you think?

I can't think of any better combination. Since I can't get what I want the next best thing is when someone looks at the alternative plate, somebody automatically sees PUTERI. Does any of the above do that?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Puteri on Google Search

Some of you know how upset I was over the loss of PageRank of this blog. Today was the first time I googled the name Puteri since I switched to a custom domain name for this blog.

I was pleasantly surprised! My name Puteri came up second, third, fourth and fifth after the TV drama of the same name in the Google Search. Not bad at all and three of my blogs appeared in the top searches. One other blog appeared on the second page.

One post I did yesterday and one post I did today appeared on the top search. That is good news indeed because that means I did something right with my webmaster's tools! :-) I am glad that even with the new URL Puteri's Musings still appeared at the top of all my blogs on the search engine.

I have to remind Doug again about getting that custom plate for me! The application can be done online, and he keeps forgetting to do it!

Here's Zainal Abidin singing Puteri. Not about me, of course! Heheh, I wished!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas Mood

So how do you like my new Christmas logo? :-) It could still see some changes. I still haven't decided if I want to stick with it. For now it'll stay.

I am really in the Christmas mood now. Some of my neighbors already have their Christmas lights up, and also I love watching those huge blow up Christmas stuff, like the Christmas Santa, Christmas Globe, the Grinch etc.

I have been playing Christmas songs since before Thanksgiving. I even borrowed two Christmas CDs from the library. One is by Clay Aiken, not a bad Christmas album actually, and one is by Mitch Miller and The Gang - Christmas Sing-Along with Mitch. Mitch Miller's album is an album of Christmas songs sung by a choir, and it reminds me a lot of when I sang at my church choir back in Miri. Clay Aiken did a good job singing, Mary, did you know?

I picked up a country Christmas Album for $5 at Big Lots last weekend. I love Martina McBride's version of The Christmas Song, and Lonestar's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Lest we forget the Reason for the Season, here's a beautifully done video using clips from The Passion accompanied by a choral version of Mary, did you know.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The secret to a long, happy marriage

An old man was talking to a young friend. He told him he had been married for 66 years.

"That's amazing!" his young friend said. "What's the secret to such a long, happy marriage?"

"Well," the elder man replied, "It's like this. We decided together when we got married: The man makes all the big decisions ... and the woman makes all the little decisions."

"Wow!" the young man responded. "Does that really work?"

"Oh yes," the oldster said proudly. "It's been 66 years and, so far we haven't had one big decision!"

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving 2007

This morning I was listening to part of the Dennis Prager show. He wanted his listeners who had immigrated to the US or were children of immigrants to call in to his show. I was tempted to call but I was quite busy and usually people are put on hold for quite a while before they get their turn on the air. Sometimes people are put on hold, and never get to be on the air! :-)

Dennis wanted to know what immigrants were most thankful for about life in America. The first thought that came to my mind was liberty, the liberty to talk about issues that affect our lives, the liberty to criticize our politicians and government without fearing being arrested for doing it. In Malaysia there is no talk show like Dennis', on the radio or TV.

In Malaysia the air waves are mostly controlled by the government. The few that are private have to self censor themselves in order to keep their licenses.

I am thankful to be living in this country, not perfect, but still plenty to be thankful for. I am thankful for my loving family, for the home that we have, for our health that allows us to make a gainful living. I am indeed thankful for all of God's blessings.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Thanksgiving turkey. I used Jamie Oliver's recipe.

The grub at the Thanksgiving meal.

The menu: Turkey, roast beef, green beans and asparagus, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, potato casserole, baked oysters, champagne and pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! ♥

Monday, November 19, 2007

Season of Giving

Last night my family and I attended a church function. It is an annual function called Season of Giving.

When we arrived at the place where the function was held, I realized that my camera was not in my bag. The camera case was in my bag but not my camera. Urrghh! So because of that, I do not have pictures taken during the evening's event. I forgot to use the camera on my phone.

Each family attending had to bring a main dish and a salad enough to feed eight people. I brought baked chicken, and baby spinach salad.

It was a well attended function and there were lots of food! Very tasty food! So much food that I brought back my bowl of salad. It was one of many bowls of salad that never got served because there was already more than enough.

I think this year the food choices were so much better than in previous years. Some guy even brought his rather large bar-be-cue pit and served tri tip bar-be-cue at the potluck. Yummy!

The real reason for the gathering, besides the fellowship, was for church members to pick a name or two from the Giving Tree. It is actually a Christmas tree with cards with names of needy children in our town. Each child named on the card had a request for what he or she wanted for Christmas.

This is the card I picked. This girl's request for play make-up reminds me of Denice. Denice would love to put play make-up on if I let her!

About the gifts, we are told to keep the limit to between $40 - $60. I am sure some people will want to give more, but it would not be fair to the other kids who will see that some others seem to get better gifts.

We will have to turn in our gifts by December 12, and our church will organize a special party for these kids where they will get to collect their gifts.

I think the Giving Tree is a very good idea, and I have seen in previous years, several other places doing something similar.

P.S. I had baby spinach salad for lunch and a piece of chicken that was a leftover from last night.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Duncan goes target shooting

I've been meaning to upload this video for a while now but had trouble editing it. I finally figured it out and managed to trim the video down to 1 minute and under 100 MB, which is the maximum file size allowed on Google Video for each upload.

When we went target shooting at my in-laws ranch last September, Duncan my 4 year-old son, came with us. He wanted to shoot a gun so much that he cried asking us to let him shoot a gun Finally my husband allowed him to pull the trigger to a rifle and also a handgun. This video is of him and daddy firing a Rossi .22 calibre pump action rifle. Of course Duncan found it thrilling.

Many people fear guns especially guns around children. Doug and I want to take the mystery out of guns and have started doing so with Duncan so that he doesn't have to sneak behind our backs to satisfy his curiosity. We allow him to touch guns, tell him what guns can do, and most of all teach him about gun safety.

I have written a post called The Equalizer on my blog Puteri's Musings 3. That was a follow up to the comments I left on Jamy's blog post called Guns and Liberty. Please check out my blog entry and leave your comments.

Related Articles

The Equalizer
Target Shooting
Gone Shooting
Doug and Friends Go Target Shooting

The Equalizer

An armed society is a polite society - Robert A. Heinlein

Do you know what Hoplophobia is? It is defined as "fear of firearms." Colonel Jeff Cooper who claims to have coined the word stated that "the most common manifestation of hoplophobia is the idea that instruments possess a will of their own, apart from that of their user."

There are many people, educated Malaysians included, who fear guns. Guns are weapons that can cause death by people who want to cause death, and therefore should be rightly feared. But people should not fear guns in the hands of law abiding citizens.

My father owns a shotgun that he uses for hunting and he has owned it for as long as I can remember. He put it in the closet and at no time at all when we were younger were we tempted to handle it. We had a healthy respect for that shotgun.

My son is 4 years-old and we are teaching him to respect guns, that guns are not toys, and that guns can hurt people if mishandled. We are trying to demystify guns so that as he grows older he will not try to handle guns behind our backs simply out of curiosity. Demystifying guns to young children, in a household that has guns, is the first step to preventing accidents. We are teaching him about gun safety so that he knows that with ownership comes responsibility.

My husband grew up around guns and he fired his first gun at age 6. He and his father are lifetime members of the National Rifles Association. My husband has quite a collection of pistols and rifles, and I now own a handgun too.

Before I came to America, I too had the impression that America had too many guns and that too many people died needlessly because of those guns. That was when I was still ignorant about the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. The 2nd Amendment states that "A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

This is a right that should be protected and not given away lightly. A government that has an armed citizenry will think twice about becoming a tyrant. Someone commented in a friend's blog that since America is not living under a tyranny, why should people continue to have guns? Duh!? Once the guns are taken away, how are you going to stop the government from becoming one?

Me, firing a Rossi .22 rimfire pump action rifle

There are many laws regulating gun use in America. Contrary to popular beliefs, especially with those living outside America, gun related deaths are not out of control in this country. Accidental gun deaths is not the number one killer of children under 14 in this country. Mass shootings like those you hear in the news recently are not as common as are made out to be.

It is a fallacy to claim that less guns mean less crime. Switzerland is a country that best illustrates this fallacy. In Switzerland National Service is compulsory and the men keep those guns including assault rifles that they use in their national service training in their homes. You don't hear much news of gun crimes in Switzerland.

In countries where guns have been taken away from the citizens, like the UK and Australia, crimes are not down, and neither are homicides. Criminals will always get their guns, legal or not. The only people left defenseless are the ordinary citizens.

Consider the following situations.

Police said that two men forced their way into a home on the 1900 block of Sachtjen Street on Madison's north side, near the Dane County Regional Airport, just before 3 a.m.

A couple was home in bed at the time and a woman was pistol-whipped by one of the assailants, who fled without taking anything. The woman is being treated for injuries.

Full story here.

If you're faced with intruders in your house, in which situation would you rather find yourself?

Bleeding and weakened from the bullet wound in her chest, Susan Gonzalez aimed her husband's .22-caliber pistol, the one she hated, and emptied it into one of the robbers who had burst through the front door of her rural Jacksonville home.

Those shots ended the life of one robber, led to a life prison term for another and became an epiphany for Gonzalez, a 41-year-old mother of five who runs a photography studio.

Full story here.

My home is still my castle, and if a person enters my home intending to cause me harm, he'd better be prepared to meet his Maker.

Be not afraid of any man
No matter what his size

If ever in fear, just call on me

And I will equalize

Engraved on the cylinder of a old West "Peacemaker" Colt .45 revolver.

Yes, a firearm is a great equalizer.

Related Articles

Duncan goes target shooting
Target Shooting
Gone Shooting
Doug and Friends Go Target Shooting

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Unusual gift ideas

When my son, Duncan, was about one and a half years old, he burnt his forehead on the hot glass door of our gas fireplace. He had tried to take a closer look at the flames and his forehead touched the glass door. Since that incident we have never turned on the gas fireplace when the children are around.

With the Vat 19 Ambient Fire Video Fireplace DVD we can now enjoy looking at a video of a fireplace on our TV screen without having to worry about the children getting hurt. I think this is a great video especially when we are entertaining during the holiday season and with the Christmas music playing softly in the background.

My daughter loves the Smencils Gourmet Scented Pencil made of recycled newspaper from Vat 19. It reminded her of her favorite bubblegum.

I know what I can do with the Insta Snow Fake Snow Powder from Vat 19. I am going to put a live potted pine tree near the front door and decorate it with lights and some fake snow. We don't get snow in this part of California, and my children will certainly love the look of fake snow on the tree!

There are other great gifts from Vat 19 and one of them is a Talking Photo Album. You can record a 10 second message on each page of the album. What a great idea to have your favorite pictures accompanied by personal messages describing each picture!

Do check out Vat19.c0m for more great and unusual gift ideas!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Licking a toad to get high?

Inhaling gas from fecal matter to get high was gross enough but how about licking a toad? Yes, a toad!

The toad in question is a Colorado River toad (see left pic). The toad is dangerous to young children or animals who ingest them because it is poisonous. It appears that the venom from the toad acts like a hallucinogenic drug.

This is how describes toads in general.

Toads have enlarged glands (called the paratoid glands) on the side of the neck, one behind each eye. These glands secrete a viscous white poison that gets smeared in the mouth of any would-be predator, inflaming the mouth and throat and causing nausea, irregular heart beat, and, in extreme cases, death. Toads pose a danger to pets, which may pounce on and bite them. Humans should take care to wash their hands after handling a toad, and to avoid touching the mouth or eyes until having done so.

So the venom that is naturally smeared on the toad's body is licked by the people who wanted to get high. What a way to get your high! And a dangerous one at that!

Video: How not to flip over a car

Every now and then Doug would send me a video link. Sometimes I check it out, sometimes I don't. This morning he sent me a link with a note that says, "You'll enjoy this!"

With that kind of note accompanying the link, of course I had to check it out. :-) I invite you to check out the video too, and tell me what you think of it!

How not to flip over a car.

Make sure you don't have any liquids in your mouth while watching it!

God Answers Prayer

Tues., Nov. 13, 2007

ATLANTA - Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue stepped up to a podium outside the state Capitol on Tuesday and led a solemn crowd of several hundred people in a prayer for rain on his drought-stricken state.

“We’ve come together here simply for one reason and one reason only: To very reverently and respectfully pray up a storm,” Perdue said after a choir provided a hymn.

Georgia and its neighboring states are caught in an epic drought that threatens public water supplies. Perdue has ordered water restrictions, launched a legal battle against the release of water from federal reservoirs and appealed to President Bush.

Full story here.

The above news was on Tuesday. And the following news was two days later. Co-incidence?

Of course not! God does honor prayers of the faithful. The governor and the people of Georgia believed only a higher power, God Almighty Himself, can change the weather patterns.

Was there even a hint of rain forecasted before the governor led the prayers? Only a slight possibility of rain said meteorologists.

Praise God, the God of the Universe! He can make a slight possibility into a storm, resulting in an inch of rain!

When his hour-long prayer vigil for rain ended with the sun shining through Tuesday, Gov. Sonny Perdue made a bold proclamation.

"God can make it rain tomorrow," he said.

Just like Perdue — and the National Weather Service — said, it was a rainy night in Georgia on Wednesday.

The rain was triggered by a cold front coming through, and it was expected to last until the early hours of Thursday morning.

"It will tease us a little bit," said Lans Rothfusz, meteorologist in charge at the Weather Service, "but it will come nowhere close to breaking the drought. The ground is so dry, it will absorb everything that falls on it."

More than 250 faithful Georgians joined Perdue outside the Capitol to ask for divine intervention to end the historic drought.

Full story here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cameron's out

LOS ANGELES - All those red-eye flights finally ground soap opera star Cameron Mathison down. After working to become the consensus most-improved celebrity on "Dancing with the Stars," Mathison, who spent the season shuttling between Los Angeles and New York (where "All My Children" is filmed), was eliminated Tuesday night.

"In five seasons, no one has traveled as much, or has had as much on their plate, as you have," host Tom Bergeron told Mathison moments after the elimination was announced.

Full story here.

I'm a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars, and I think this is my first entry on this blog about the show! :-)

The results of this season have been full of surprises. The most consistent dancer, Sabrina Bryan, was booted out in the sixth week, and tonight, it was Cameron Mathison's turn. I was so sure that this week it was going to be Marie Osmond who would be voted out. I was wrong.

I am sorry to see Cameron leave. I enjoyed watching him dance with his chest revealed every week! Heheh.

I think this season, it is the lady's turn to win the competition. The men had won all the previous seasons' competition except for the very first one. But then again, Helio Castroneves, Indy Car Racing champion, has shown tremendous improvement.

Looking forward to the last few weeks left of the show.

Sarawak Laksa

Last week I made Sarawak laksa and as always it is a hit with Doug. Of all the Malaysian dishes that he has tasted, he thinks Sarawak laksa will do well in San Luis Obispo, which is a university town in the central coast of California. I don't know why he would think that, but I guess it is a simple meal, and rich in flavor. The kind of flavor that you can grow to love.

The soup base for Sarawak laksa is made from a paste which consists of spices and shrimp paste. I find this particular laksa paste (pic above) the easiest to use. You only need some chicken stock and coconut milk to complete your soup. Salt has already been included in the paste.

I still have about three cups of the paste left, and pretty soon, we'll have to wait for our next trip to Sarawak to get more! :-) Unless some friend from Sarawak decides to come and pay us a visit and of course we'll make sure they bring some laksa paste for us! :-)

If you've never tried Sarawak laksa before, make sure you give it a try the next time you visit the state.

Here's wikipedia's definition of Sarawak Laksa -

Sarawak laksa (Malay: Laksa Sarawak) comes from the town of Kuching in the Malaysian state Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. It is actually very different from the curry laksa as the soup contains no curry in its ingredient at all. It has a base of Sambal belacan (shrimp paste), sour tamarind, garlic, galangal, lemon grass and coconut milk, topped with omelette strips, chicken strips, prawns, fresh coriander and optionally lime. Ingredients such as bean sprouts, (sliced) fried tofu or other seafood are not traditional but is sometimes added.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Custom Domain Name is now :-)

I had wanted to get a custom domain for this blog for a while now but I was afraid of losing my Google PageRank. You do lose your PageRank with a change in the URL.

But since this blog got spanked twice in two weeks by Google, and its PageRank dropped to 1, I thought this is as good a time as any to switch to a custom domain. I have one other blog which has a PR2, and is approved by PayPerPost which I can still use for the opportunities that require some PageRank.

If you are doing paid posts, a blog with its own domain name gets a lot more respect! Meaning, there are advertisers who only want bloggers with their own domain to write their paid posts for them.

The change to a custom domain name is a win-win situation for me. The domain name is paid for (under $10 a year), and the hosting is still free. :-) This blog is still hosted by Blogger.

I would encourage those of you who do paid posts and your blogs are hosted by Blogger, to spend $10 or less on your own custom domain. You don't have to pay for web hosting. A real win-win situation. The only drawback is you will lose your PageRank. But if your PageRank is still 0 or 1, you might as well do it. Your PageRank will go back up when Google goes around doing the PR think again in 3-4 months time.

If you have linked to my blog, you can change the link URL, or you can just leave it as it is. That old URL still works. Blogger does all the re-directing. Great, isn't it?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A pony for Christmas

We were at Walmart last night and this is what we saw.

A pony that can "chew" on a carrot. It can also move its head, swish its tail and neighs and snorts when patted! It thrilled Duncan so much that he wanted me to buy it for him!

Haha, it costs a couple of hundred dollars, and of course I will never spend that kind of money on a toy pony! So I told him, "Ask you Nana. Maybe she'll buy you one." Haha.

Actually he saw a Ford truck for kids that was for sale as we entered Walmart. I had to quickly walk past the truck otherwise I would have to hear him repeat himself over and over again, "Buy me that, Mommy". He said it once or twice, and I said,"Ask your Nana to get it for you." :-)

Friday, November 09, 2007

I need a new mixer!

I have a small hand mixer that I use occasionally. I don't do a lot of baking but when I do, I will take out this hand mixer. It works for most of what I do, but there are times that I wished I had a mixer that stands on its own and comes with a bowl, like a metal bowl. For example like the
Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer which is an all metal stand mixer.

I have two preschoolers in the house, and they use the bathroom at the most inopportune time! Imagine there you are mixing your favorite banana bread recipe, and someone is screaming from the bathroom for you to come and clean him up! You will have to put down your hand mixer, attend to your child, wash your hands thoroughly and go back to mixing your banana bread!

These are the times when I wished I had a Hamilton Beach® Mixer! You can leave your mixer to do its own thing, attend to your child's needs, and come back to where you left off. In fact I have been looking at these stand mixers at the stores but have not made up my mind as to the size and the brand.

I do have some other Hamilton Beach products, like the juicer, and have been very pleased with it. I will most definitely consider getting the Eclectrics® Mixer, especially now in view of the upcoming holiday season where I will be doing a lot more baking than I normally would.

Here's the banana bread recipe that I got from a fellow blogger recently, and which turned out really well when I made it. My children love banana bread and since we often get some over ripe bananas, banana bread has become the family's favorite baked item.

Ingredients :

1 1/2 cup of flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of melted butter (1 stick)
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas - mashed
1 tsp of vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp of milk
A handful of chopped walnuts

1) Pre-heat oven to 325 degree F and lightly oil a loaf pan.
2) In a mixing bowl sieve flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3) In another bowl, mix melted butter, sugar, bananas, eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon zest
4) Fold the flour into the banana mixture and mix well. Add in the walnuts.
5) Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 45-50 min until the bread is done.
6) Allow to cool for at least 30 min before removing from pan.

I am pissed! Again!

I had thought Google was done with their PR thing. Two weeks ago, this blog dropped from a PR3 to a PR2. Well what do you know?

Last night I got a nasty surprise when I looked a my PR and Alexa toolbar at the bottom of my browser. It showed a PR1! Waahhhhhhhhh! Arrgggghhhh! I am pissed! So PISSED!

I thought I was doing something to stem the tide of the downward PR spiral. I went back to my Google Webmaster tools, did my sitemap, verified my blogs (again!) and put "no follow" tags to all paid posts that were over 30 days old. A lot of good that did me! :-(

Last night I had the weirdest dream. I dreamed that some dogs had crapped on my blanket. What the %#@?! I tried cleaning the stinky mess but couldn't quite get it cleaned enough. In that same dream, I was dreaming about removing all outgoing links on my blog, so that Google will not penalize me for the large number of outgoing links. It was almost like an impossible task.

What do you think this dream means? Someone suggested that those big dogs were indeed crapping on me! Crapping on all my hard work! Those big dogs being the big "G" who seems to delight in smacking me down, no matter how hard I tried at improving my blog! I am not happy that other bloggers who do paid posts are also getting the same treatment. :-(

PISSED! I am mightily PISSED!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My Way

Is there anyone out there who doesn't know the song "My Way"?

How many versions of "My Way" have you heard. Sure, Frank Sinatra made it famous. After all Paul Anka wrote it for him. And yes, how many of you knew that it was Paul Anka who wrote it? The melody is an adaptation of a 1967 French pop song, Comme d'habitude by Claude François. Paul Anka thought it was a "shitty record" but he thought there was something to it. So much so that he bought the publishing rights to the song. The rest you might say is history.

Shirley Bassey has recorded the song. So has Nina Simone, Gypsy Kings, and even Elvis Presley. I've not heard Sex Pistols 1978 version of the song. I'm afraid to hear it! Have you heard The Three Tenors version of the song? It was great! I also like Il Divo's version. Another great rendition of the song.

Paul Anka, one of my all time favorite singer-songwriters, recorded the song again, this time as a duet with Jon Bon Jovi. Ahhh, Jon Bon Jovi is my all time favorite rocker! :-) I really enjoy this duet which is found in Paul Anka's latest release called Classic Songs.

Here's Paul Anka and Jon Bon Jovi singing "My Way". This is a special dedication to U.Lee, story teller extraordinaire. We miss your blog, U.Lee! :-*

A play yard accident

Yesterday while at the school play yard, Duncan was fooling around with a long twig. He brandished it about and accidentally poked Jessica in the face, quite close to her eye. Poor Jessica cried because it did hurt her a bit.

The teachers had to leave an injury report for her mom. I did not know that this had happened when I picked Duncan and Denice up from school.

Later in the evening, I received a phone call. It was Jessica's mom. She told me what Duncan had done and how Jessica was hurt. I was surprised, needless to say, because I wasn't informed by the teachers that Duncan had hurt somebody.

Actually it was the school's policy not to mention a child by name if someone had been hurt by some other child. I guess they understood that the act wasn't intentional, and being kids there are bound to be some minor accidents.

Anyway, I felt bad that Jessica's mom felt the need to inform me about the matter. Of course Jessica knew who had hurt her and therefore told her mom. This morning Jessica and her mom arrived at the school about the same time we did. I took a good look at her face, and fortunately there was no sign of injury on her face. I told Jessica to tell the teachers if Duncan was holding a stick and brandishing it about in the play yard. I apologized to Jessica's mom again and to Jessica.

Doug and I talked to Duncan last night and told him not to brandish a stick around in future because it could hurt somebody. I don't want my child to cause any more injuries on some other kid!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Temporary Dental Repair

Some years ago, the crown on one of my teeth fell off after I had bitten into something hard during a meal. I did not have any dental insurance and I wondered if the replacement was going to cost me a bomb.

Moreover I had just moved into the area and did not know any dentist. Fortunately, I found a dental clinic not far from where I lived, in fact it was close enough for me to walk to. But the problem was I had to wait three days before I could see the dentist! Oh my goodness! Meanwhile, what was I going to do about that stump that used to hold my crown? I wasn't sure what kind of damage had been done to that bit of tooth where the crown used to sit on. Every time I had my meal I had to avoid chewing on that side of my mouth for fear of damaging the tooth further.

I wished I had known about a product called Dentemp OS. I did not throw away the crown, which was a good thing. I could have done with Dentemp OS which would have given me a temporary dental repair and thereby save me the worry of damaging what was left of the old tooth before my appointment with the dentist.

Dentemp OS would have temporarily held my crown in place and within thirty minutes I would have been able to eat on that side of my mouth! I mean, I had to wait three days before I saw the dentist! And not only that, when I went to the dentist, she asked me about the crown. I left it at home of course, and she told me to come back again the next day because I could re-use my old crown. That was one more day that I had to wait for my crown to be glued back in place! Where was Dentemp OS when I needed it most?

Ban on Hugs

MASCOUTAH, Ill. - Two hugs equals two days of detention for 13-year-old Megan Coulter. The eighth-grader was punished for violating a school policy banning public displays of affection when she hugged two friends Friday.

"I feel it is crazy," said Megan, who was to serve her second detention Tuesday after classes at Mascoutah Middle School.

"I was just giving them a hug goodbye for the weekend," she said.

Megan's mother, Melissa Coulter, said the embraces weren't even real hugs — just an arm around the shoulder and slight squeeze.

"It's hilarious to the point of ridicule," Coulter said. "I'm still dumbfounded that she's having to do this."

Full story here.

Hugs are banned in schools? But giving out condoms and birth control pills are okay?!

The kids at my kids' school love to give hugs to one another. When they see each other at the beginning of the day they give hugs to each other. And before they leave for home, they will hug each other too. There used to be a girl in Duncan's class who would come up to him as soon as he arrived at his class and would try to hug him. He ran away from her! Haha.

I think hugs should be okay. I don't like public displays of affection at schools either but friendly hugs, and hugs of encouragement should be okay. A tight hug between a boy and girl, now that's another story. Especially when there are sexual currents involved in that hug!

I agree with the student's parents. There should be clear guidelines as to what constitutes a public display of affection.

Global Warming: It is a SCAM

Global Warming: It is a SCAM. Most of you know that I am quite the global warming skeptic but those words are not mine.

Do you know who John Coleman is? He is the founder of The Weather Channel. Those are his words. But how can he say those words when there is a consensus among scientists that there is indeed global warming and that the earth in is peril? Al Gore even won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in creating global warming awareness!

Well, in John Coleman's words: I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct. There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.

There you have it. Just one of a few sane voices that is not heard enough.

We have been bombarded by the mainstream media about global warming. Even as I write this, the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is holding a hearing, “Youth Leadership on Climate Change.” Like Rush Limbaugh said today, these youths haven't lived long enough to know about any climate change going on around them!

Another dog and pony show in Congress. What a waste of taxpayers' money!

Romance in Relationships

I believe the majority of us who have been married for several years, find romance something that needs to be cultivated and nurtured because it is easy to lose that sense of romance in a marriage relationship due to the busyness of raising children and making a living.

It is therefore refreshing to find a blog called The Capitol of Romance: How romance powers relationships where the focus is solely on romance. You can find some interesting personal posts like Affairs?, and some good links to articles, for example, by a romance coach in Toronto.

Check out the blog at and learn more about how romance can power your relationship.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What do these women have in common?

Take a guess. Clue: They're all teachers.

One of you guessed correctly. One knew about it via Oprah, and one through the news.

All these women were teachers and they have had sexual relations with their students. The most recent story about these teachers was that of Kelsy Peterson (2nd left, bottom row), who ran off to Mexico with her 13 year-old student.

Mary Kay Letourneau insisted her relationship with the student (then 12 years-old) was love. She had two children with the student and they later married.

You have to wonder what were in the minds of these teachers when they committed these offenses. I have no doubt that some were paedophiles praying on the raging hormones of the teenaged boys. Others probably showed poor judgment and succumbed to their sexual desires.

Whatever the case may be, they are a disgrace to the teaching profession.

Monday, November 05, 2007

High on sewage stench?!

This info bulletin is legit. But I was doubtful about the subject matter. I checked out and they have a story about it. In fact Zambia's street children have been getting high on the gas from the fecal matter. Blehhhh.

Christmas already?

I was at Costco this morning and it was Christmas at Costco! There were several lit up Christmas trees, lots of Christmas cards, decorations and Christmas gifts like chocolates and dried fruit already on the shelves.

Then when we stopped at The Report Card, a school supplies store, there was a big wreath on the front of the building. Ooohh, Christmas is here! :-)

I told Doug, maybe we should put up our Christmas tree by Thanksgiving! Hahah, if we did have our tree up, that would be a record for us! I normally have our tree up a few days in December.

This afternoon as I worked on a customer's quilt I played the Christmas songs on my iPod! Ya, ya, I really got into the Christmas mood! Now I feel like taking out my Christmas lights and start stringing them! Haha. My children will be as excited as I am! Haha.

How about you? Do you see Christmas decorations in the stores?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

What to do when the shaking begins.

Last Tuesday there was a magnitude 5.6 tremblor in the Bay area. The shaking was felt as far as Lodi, which is only 10 miles from where we live. I have never experienced any tremblor in my life, and living in California it is expected that earthquakes could happen.

But if the big one does happen, I want to be prepared for it. I found the following information from the San Jose Mercury News. It was an info sheet provided by the Red Cross.

If there is any shaking my first instinct would be to run out of the house. But the info sheet says it is not the best thing to do. :-(


What to do when the shaking begins

Choose a safe place in every room — under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you. Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place.

DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON. Drop under a desk or table, hold on and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm.

If there is no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or furniture that could fall on you.

Be prepared for the next one

Teach children to drop, cover and hold on. Practice at least twice a year. Choose an out-of-town family contact.

Consult a professional to find out additional ways you can protect your home, such as bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.

Take a first aid class from the Santa Clara Valley Red Cross. You can register online at or at your local Red Cross chapter's Website.

Get training on how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department.

Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth

Having sensitive teeth can be quite a pain. Drinking something cold or hot can be quite an ordeal as well as brushing your teeth.

Quite some time ago I developed sensitive teeth. I don't know what triggered it but it got so sensitive that even sucking air into my mouth caused some pain. When I brushed my teeth, I had to be extra careful. I could only brush lightly on the spots that were more sensitive. And at that time I did not have sensitive toothpaste. I don't know if toothpaste for sensitive teeth would have worked but I wished I had tried rather than put up with the pain.

Recently I was given Biotene Sensitive to try. It's a tooth paste for sensitive teeth. I like the fact that it has a mild flavor and it is not too foamy. I know my children will like this toothpaste too because it tastes a lot like their children's toothpaste. They hate the regular toothpaste with the strong minty flavor.

My teeth are not sensitive any more. I don't know what caused it to stop being sensitive but it did. I can't say if this toothpaste works or not for sensitive teeth but I wished I had Biotene Sensitive to try when I had that episode of rather sensitive teeth. The active ingredient for protection against sensitive teeth in this toothpaste is supposed to relieve the pain and discomfort and over time builds increasing protection against painful sensitivity and not merely mask them as other toothpastes for sensitive teeth do.

I think I will want to continue using this toothpaste because it contains a formula that has complete dry mouth protection. Biotene Sensitive is supposed to be able to increase my saliva's protection against harmful bacteria and growth while at the same time reduce tooth sensitivity.

As one gets older the gum tends to recede which in turn can cause sensitive teeth, and it is better to start protecting my teeth now with a toothpaste that builds sensitive tooth protection.

My Favorite Hong Kong Actors

I have not thought about my favorite Hong Kong movie stars, stars that I adored when I was a young teenager, in a long, long time. But today a certain gentleman made me think of Ti Lung. You can't think of Ti Lung and not think of David Chiang! Ok, those of you who don't know who these guys are, that means you are way, way younger than I am!

I googled David Chiang and Ti Lung. Then I followed some links that took me to YouTube. What a lot of lovely memories those YouTube videos brought! David Chiang still looked as handsome as ever.

And then I saw a video about Fu Sheng! Fu Sheng, how could I have forgotten about him! He was my idol! I had photos of him, and even bookmarks of him. He was the handsomest Chinese man I had ever seen! Hahaha. I saw every film that had Fu Sheng in it. Used up all my extra pocket money on Fu Sheng movies!

I was so heartbroken when he married Jenny Tseng. He was no longer a bachelor and the thought of him belonging to another woman .... blehhh. And then when he was killed in a car accident, I felt like it was my boyfriend who was killed. I was devastated. So, so sad for weeks afterwards. :-(

Anyway, it's amusing to think back about all the crushes on movie stars and singers that I had when I was a teenager. Oh, to relive those innocent times again! :-)


There are many people who prefer to do freelance work than be committed to a long term job. A freelancer has a greater variety of assignments to choose from, and also it allows him to set up his own schedule.

In today's internet world, the opportunities for freelancing have expanded greatly. Jobs like software development, website design, information technology, graphic design, and business documentation are usually outsourced to freelancers.

Companies and freelancers find the situation ideal as both parties are only contracted to a particular project. No long term commitment and plenty of flexibility, and most importantly the job gets done.

A Pose

Ta da! She dressed herself this morning and walked out of her room with her hips swinging. She begged Daddy to take her shopping. Daddy is busy today and can't take her shopping. Daddy thinks she wants to go shopping so she can show off her outfit! :-)

Normally on Friday nights we go out to dinner and then go shopping. Last night we opted to go to the local Denny's because both Daddy and Mommy were tired. All Daddy wanted to do was go home, sit on his bed and watch some TV. The kids were disappointed that we did not take them out shopping after dinner.

That is why this morning Denice was quite insistent about going out shopping. Maybe later in the afternoon?

Be Prepared for an Emergency

A few days ago there was a mild earth quake in the Bay area in northern California. Some people living in Lodi which is only about 10 miles from where I live, said they felt the tremors. One of the things about living in California is the constant fear of the "big one". It is just a matter of "when".

As a family, I don't think we are prepared for any emergency. We have no plans on what to rescue during an emergency, what to do, and much less have in our possession an emergency kit. I think it is time we put together an emergency kit.

How about you and your family? Are you ready for an emergency. Click here to get prepared.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Post Halloween Party

Today my kids and everyone at their school, including the teachers, got to put their Halloween costumes one more time. It was their post Halloween Party.

Coloring, face painting, lots of candy and a picnic.

Duncan had "lightning" painted on his cheek.

Can you see my face painting, Mommy? When I wiped his face, as he was eating his cup cake, he complained that I was wiping off his face painting! Of course I was not! :-)

Denice had a black heart painted on her cheek. She couldn't wait to put her princess dress back on this morning!

Some action songs while waiting for the few who still had to get their faces painted.

After lunch, the kids got to go on this bouncy thing. Err, what are they called? Good thing nobody threw up their lunch!

Duncan moved from the Dragon house to the Castle and back many times. He just had to play in both, even though I don't see any difference in what each offered! Kids!

As for the costumes, I am sure my kids will want to put them on again at home if I don't put them away! Maybe I'll let Denice wear her princess costume till it falls apart. :-)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Foggy Morning

I am glad that the kids' school is practically down the road. I do not like to drive in fog, and in heavy rain. Today visibility was about 100 meters and Duncan kept asking me how I could see the road. It wasn't really that bad. By 11.00 a.m. the fog had practically disappeared.

The geese haven't spent much time in the front yard recently. This morning they were out on the driveway and honked away when they saw us. I took this picture of them because I thought it made an interesting sight.

This is the road in front of our private road. The neighbour's house to the right of the picture was practically shrouded in fog.

Fog is this part of California can get so thick that driving on a foggy night can be quite hazardous. You practically have to open your car door and find the line on the road! I would rather stay at home on such nights.

I love autumn in this part of California. During the day the temperatures are in the 70s and many people are still walking around in their shorts.

What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Harvest Carnival

My church held its annual Harvest Carnival last night. It was open to the public and quite a lot of people from the around the city of Galt came to it. Denice and Duncan went on all the rides and they had a great time. They had their Halloween costumes on, and this year was the first time that I got them Halloween costumes. I didn't bother with it in the previous years.

One of two rides that was available last night. See Duncan's gleeful face!

Duncan would not leave till he had his pony ride. He was as thrilled as a kid could when he finally got to ride the pony. Denice did not want to ride the pony. She is afraid of it.

There were all kinds of games available. The prizes were of course candy, lots of candy. Even if you didn't win anything, you still get your candy!

That's Kathy manning one of the games. The idea of this game is to roll the balls one at a time into the holes. Duncan didn't really know how to roll the balls so instead he tried to thrown them into the halls. He managed to get one in! :-) It didn't really matter, because kids still get their candy, which was the best part for the kids!

Doug and the kids went on the hay ride. A tractor pulled a big trailer with people sitting on hay around one section of the church ground.

Duncan went into the patting zoo. He patted the chickens, the goats and the rabbits. Denice did not dare go in there. She is afraid of all animals, big or small, four-legged or two-legged, furry or feathery. :-)

When we got home, Daddy had to put away the candy bags. No candy before bed time! Of course there were squeals and protests!

How did you spend your Halloween?