Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Google adds cheer to the various major festivals and holidays.

If you do a Google search right now, you will see this Halloween image on the landing page.

Happy Halloween to You who celebrate this festival. Who are you role-playing this year?

Friday Frolics - MythBusters Quiz

Have you heard of the MythBusters? It is a tv series, starring American special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, who use basic elements of the scientific method to test the validity of various rumors, urban legends, myths and news stories in popular culture.

They have drawn up an Animal Myths Quiz to test our knowledge about animals. I am sure you have some of your own. For this week's Friday Frolics, let's do this MythBusters Quiz and see how much we know about animals.

My result? It says:
Great job! Adam and Jamie would be very, very proud.
You did so well, there's really no reason to take this quiz again. Unless you want to...

Let's see how well you fare on the MythBusters Quiz

Other Fun Quizzes

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Taking the Train to Hawaii

I suppose every trade has its line-up of jokes, things that we poke fun at and roared out in laughter just because we are not in that profession. Come on, admit it. You laughed long and hard too. Anyway, here are some from the travel trade. Apparently, some Geography lessons may be in order here.

Actual stories from travel agents but source unknown.

- I had someone ask for an aisle seat on the airplane so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window.

- A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost information, she asked, 'Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?'

- I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with 'I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Cape Town is in Massachusetts.' Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, 'Cape Cod is in Massachusetts , Capetown is in Africa .' Her response was 'click'.

- A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, 'Don't lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state.'

- I got a call from a man who asked, 'Is it possible to see England from Canada?' I said, 'No.' He said, 'But they look so close on the map.'

- A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20am and got into Chicago at 8:33am. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois , but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!

- A woman called and asked, 'Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to who?' I said, 'No, why do you ask?' She replied, 'Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I'm overweight, is there any connection?' After putting her on hold for a minute while 'I looked into it,' (I was actually laughing) I came back and explained that the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

- I just got off the phone with a man who asked, 'How do I know which plane to get on?' I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, 'I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them.

- A businessman called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China . After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. 'Oh no I don't, I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those.' I double-checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, 'Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express.'

- A woman called to make reservations, 'I want to go from Chicago to Hippopotamus, New York.' The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent asked, 'Are you sure that's the name of the town?' 'Yes, what flights do you have?' replied the customer. After some searching, the agent came back with, 'I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a Hippopotamus anywhere.' The customer retorted, 'Oh don't be silly. Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!' The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, 'You don't mean Buffalo, do you?' 'That's it! I knew it was a big animal!'

While we are on the subject of travel, ever thought about space tourism? I mean going to space as a tourist?

US$30million. That's about how much it takes to be a space tourist on a 10-day stay on the International Space Station.

Below is a picture of the Russian Soyuz space capsule smoothly landing near Arkalyk, in north-central Kazakhstan Friday, Oct 24, 2008. It carried an American and two Russians back to earth and touched down on target in Kazakhstan.

On arrival, search and recovery crews buzzed in on Mi-8 helicopters and extracted Richard Garriott, Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko from the capsule, which landed on its side on the brushy surface under a clear sky.

"What a great ride that was," said Garriott, an American computer game designer who is the son of Owen Garriott, a retired NASA astronaut who flew on the U.S. space station Skylab in 1973.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Discover America Postcards Photo Contest

I am sorry, I am late in telling you about this Postcards Photo Contest. It has been running since the beginning of this month, October. But it is still not too late to submit your entry as the deadline is Oct 31.

The contest requires that you send in a photo of a place in America - North, South or Central America - to Discover America through Postcards Photo Contest. The image should contain enough beauty or curiosity to urge viewers to want to learn more about the place.

Four finalists will be selected based on originality, composition and technical execution. Three finalists have already been selected. Each of the four images will be made into a postcard featured on the Postcards from America website. The Grand Prize receives USD100. The winner will be announced on New Year's Day 2009.

Those of you who have been reading my blog long enough may be able to recall the previous years' winners - 2005 winners, 2006 winners, 2007 winners.

Below are the current three finalists:

Blue Water Bridge, Port Huron, MI
Twilight accentuates the twin-span Blue Water Bridge over the St. Clair River. Designed by both U.S. and Canadian engineers, this twin bridge -- one, a cantilever truss, the other, a continuous tied arch, connects Port Huron, Michigan to Point Edward, Ontario. It's one of the busiest routes between the two nations.

Petco Park, San Diego, CA
A view from the bleachers of an empty Petco Park. Unlike retro-styled red brick baseball parks with green seats, this modern sandstone-and-stucco stadium was designed to reflect San Diego's sandy beaches while its dark blue seats evoke the Pacific ocean nearby.

Height of Land, Franklin County, ME
The Height of Land overlook is the centerpiece of the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway, an area belonging to Massachusetts until 1796 when James Rangeley purchased it. The scenic road follows the ridge line of Appalachian Mountains, presenting grand views of two Maine lakes: Mooselookmeguntic (Abnaki for "moose feeding place") and Upper Richardson.

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monty Python - Spam

This is a video on SPAM. Thanks to Pandabonium for the link in his comment on the earlier post on SPAM. Enjoy the video!

What you got there?

Well, there's

Egg and bacon
Egg, sausage and bacon
Egg and spam
Egg, bacon and spam
Egg, bacon, sausage and spam
Spam, bacon, sausage and spam
Spam, egg, spam, spam, bacon and spam
Spam, spam, spam, egg and spam
Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam baked beans, spam, spam, spam and spam


What Are You Doing?

Most of you who are reading this are bloggers but if you are not and find blogging too tedious but would still like to try blogging someday, you could.

Try Twitter. To quote a recent WSJ article, Twitter is One of the hottest technologies in Silicon Valley is also one of the simplest.

Twitter is in a way blogging, micro-blogging, that is. Twitter prompts users to do one thing: answer the question, "What are you doing?" in 140 characters or less. You can keep friends and family in touch quickly wherever you are even as text messages. It is a quick way to get answers to your questions too.

Twitter is really simple. Look who's talking and to think that yours truly took a while contemplating whether or not to get on it.

The truth is, I didn't like the idea of sharing with the world what I do. I am sort of a private person, you understand. Yes, I am. In fact, I was like, why in the world would anyone want the world to know what he or she is doing?! That is so personal. Eww!! How narcissistic can one get! Besides, following another person is like openly stalking that poor soul. Double-Eww!! Anyway, I think differently now as I don't have to talk about myself, ahem.. I just update as and whenever I feel like it... mostly neutral, non-personal stuff. I think.

So, sign up already and let me stalk, I mean, Follow you, and you can follow me, if you like. No, I am not getting paid for this. I just thought it would be nice to have more of my blog-friends get on it.

Twitter has become quite a force in the Internet world. Let this article in The Wall Street Journal yesterday give you the details - Twitter Goes Mainstream.

These are the people who got Twitter started - Co-founders Jack Dorsey (left), and Biz Stone

Getty Images

Monday, October 27, 2008

KISS - I Was Made For Loving You / Deep Purple

Let's have a blast from the past, shall we? Eh?
So sci-fi..
So surreal..
So tickled..I am.. (Oops!)
by this video of KISS performing their uncharacteristic disco number I Was Made For Loving You.

So bizarre but so ahead of their time - heels, makeup and all - putting Boy George to shame? Co-written by guitarist and vocalist, Paul Stanley, and Desmond Child and Vini Poncia, this song was a conscious effort on his (Paul's) part to prove how easy it was to write and record a hit disco song. Enjoy!

I love reggae besides rock. Noticed the Jason Mraz video on the side bar? I've posted it here too. You know, I've been playing that over and over and over. It really grows on you. I'm a lost cause. LOL! Give it a listen, if you haven't.

After listening to that KISS number, we can't miss Deep Purple, can we? Hey, why don't we have a mini Deep Purple rock festival?! These are my favorite Deep Purple numbers.

This one is popular, Smoke On The Water.

Notes from the video:

The original Mark II lineup playing "Smoke on the Water" in New York, 1973. One of the final performances, this is one of the only videos of the band performing it in the 70's w/ Ian Gillan and Roger Glover.

Child in Time. I like their older versions, like those recorded when they first started out. This one was recorded in 1970.

Game for a rock mystery? In this clip, ( - embedding disabled) at 7:27, you will hear a loud popping sound. The news is someone committed suicide at this concert in Japan and the sound is one of a gunshot. Give it a listen and tell me what you hear. Is it a mike stand falling over? A guitar string snapped? Or what?

Here's a rare footage of some of Britain's most renowned music critics, giving the band their well-deserved due. Some great vocal gymnastics here too showing Gillan's amazing vocal range and Blackmore's awesome guitarwork.

Okay, time for Strange Kind of Woman

Highway Star

Let's tone down a little with Soldier of Fortune.

And this one has got to be my all-time Deep Purple favorite, Black Night. Too bad this recording is not that good, kinda like muffled, something quite like The Beatles' studio recording of Get Back. Oh well..

Ladies and Gentlemen, we've come to the end of tonight's Deep Purple concert. I hope you have enjoyed the show. Thank you all for coming.

........Deep Purple has left the building....

Diwali Greetings

Hi! To You who are celebrating Diwali or Deepavali as it's more commonly known here, let me wish you and your loved ones

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jalan Alor to stay

It’s decided - Jalan Alor will keep its name. Yes!! That is the decision of Federal Territories Minister, Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique.

The decision was made after listening to feedback from the public and City Hall following the uproar over the name change of the world-renowned street to Jalan Kejora.

The name Jalan Alor has been in existence for 35 years. Alor means groove or lane in Bahasa Malaysia, the local language, while Kejora means Venus.

Earlier yesterday, traders and residents of Jalan Alor embarked on a signature campaign to protest against the change in the road name.

Source: The Star

Related posts:
Jalan Alor no more
Jalan Alor - the Saga continues...

Jennifer Hudson's Mother & Brother Killed

The mother and brother of actress and singer Jennifer Hudson were found shot to death in their home on the South Side of Chicago on October 24, 2008 (yesterday).

If you are still trying to recall who Jennifer Hudson is, here are some Fast Facts to help you along:

Fast Facts
1. Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother, Jason, found shot to death 2. Bodies found in their home on South Side of Chicago
3. Found by Hudson's cousin
4. 7-year-old cousin missing, might have been kidnapped
5. Murder suspect: William Balfour
6. Balfour might have had a romantic relationship with Hudson's sister Julia
7. Hudson was a contestant on American Idol, co-starred in the Sex and the City movie
8. Won a best supporting actress Oscar for role in Dreamgirls


Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Frolics - An Autumn Quiz

Are we blessed, or are we not?
Seasons we have not, tis mostly hot.
Leaves always green, flowers in pots
Autumn leaves play no part in our thoughts.

Here's an Autumn quiz.
Yet another tease? Gee whiz!

HappySurfer's Autumn Test Results

You are a dynamic, vibrant person. You aren't afraid to pursue your passions.

When you are happiest, you are calm. You appreciate tradition and family. You enjoy feeling cozy.

You prefer change to come slowly. You need a long transition period when your life changes.

You find solitude to be the most comforting thing in the world. Being alone with your thoughts feels very peaceful.

Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, and you appreciate a routine.

You tend to live in the moment. You enjoy whatever is going on, and you don't obsess over the past or future.

Other Fun Personality Quizzes

SPAM, the food

SPAM or luncheon meat as it is popularly known here is a popular food item among non-Muslims, especially the Chinese. It is prepared in a number of ways - in stews, steamed, commonly deep-fried in a batter of eggs and garlic, diced up for fried rice, in sandwiches, etc.

For a long time, it was just the Ma Ling brand that was on the shelves but these days, a lot of other brands have entered the market. The SPAM sold here normally comes from China.

I received a well-meaning email yesterday about the Ma Ling brand. Thought I'd pass it on here for your info.

Tarikh: Selasa, 7 Oktober, 2008, 12:03 AM

There goes the world's yummiest luncheon pork.

Banned Can Food!

Cancer-causing antibiotic found in popular luncheon pork

SINGAPORE- The agent of a popular mainland canned pork product has initiated a recall and suspended sales after tests showed a sample contained a cancer-causing antibiotic.

The Centre for Food Safety yesterday revealed this after laboratory tests showed a sample of Shanghai Ma Ling B2 340g pork luncheon meat (less sodium) was found to have traces of nitrofurans.

The batch number is B2 5 for the product, which carries a best-before date of December 26, 2009 . According to the sole agent, the canned pork was imported on only two occasions - last December and January this year. The scare spread when Singapore 's Agri -Food and Veterinary Authority detected carcinogenic traces in a consignment of canned pork from Ma Ling and Gulong food processing factories.

These brands have been banned from entering Singapore since August 2007 for containing nitrofurans( an antibiotic for pigs)

Chinese Malaysians pls be cautious !-
Including Portuguese Malaysians who enjoy this Luncheon Pork.

Wikipedia has some interesting trivia, quoted verbatim below.

Spam luncheon meat is a canned precooked meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation. The labeled ingredients in the Classic variety of Spam are: chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, sugar, and sodium nitrite to help "keep its color". The product has become part of many jokes and urban legends about mystery meat, which has made it part of pop culture and folklore.

Name origin
Introduced on July 5, 1937, the name "Spam" was chosen in the 1930s when the product, whose original name was far less memorable (Hormel Spiced Ham), began to lose market share. The name was chosen from multiple entries in a naming contest. A Hormel official once stated that the original meaning of the name Spam was "Shoulder of Pork And haM".[citation needed] According to writer Marguerite Patten in Spam – The Cookbook, the name was suggested by Kenneth Daigneau, an actor and the brother of a Hormel vice president, who was given a $100 prize for coming up with the name.[4] At one time, the official explanation may have been that the name was a syllabic abbreviation of "SPiced hAM", but on their official website, Hormel states that "Spam is just that. Spam."

According to Hormel's trademark guidelines, Spam should be spelled with all capital letters and treated as an adjective, as in the phrase "SPAM luncheon meat". As with many other trademarks, such as Xerox or Kleenex, people often refer to similar meat products as "spam". Regardless, in practice, "spam" is generally spelled and used as a proper noun.

Nutritional data to pay attention to..
A 56 gram (approximately 2 ounce) serving of original Spam provides 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of fat (23% US Daily Value) including 6 grams of saturated fat (28% US Daily Value), and over 170 calories. A serving also contains nearly a third of the recommended daily intake of sodium (salt). Spam provides very little in terms of vitamins and minerals (0% vitamin A, 1% vitamin C, 1% calcium, 3% iron). It has been listed as a food that is a poor choice for weight loss and optimum health and as a food that "is high in saturated fat and sodium". [6]

As of 2003, Spam is sold in 41 countries worldwide. The largest consumers of Spam are the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea.

In the United States, the residents of the state of Hawaii and the territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) consume the most Spam per capita. On average, each person on Guam consumes 16 tins of Spam each year and the numbers at least equal this in the CNMI. Guam, Hawaii, and Saipan, the CNMI's principal island, have the only McDonald's restaurants that feature Spam on the menu. Burger King, in Hawaii, began serving Spam in 2007 on its menu to compete with the local McDonald's chains.[8][9]

In Hawaii, Spam is so popular it is sometimes dubbed "The Hawaiian Steak." [10] It is traditionally reheated (cooked), resulting in a different taste than Spam eaten by many Americans on the mainland, who may eat Spam cold.[11] One popular Spam dish in Hawaii is Spam musubi, in which cooked Spam is combined with rice and nori seaweed and classified as onigiri.[12]

In the United Kingdom Spam was a popular addition to the menu of fish and chip shops[citation needed], where slices are battered and deep-fried and are known as 'spam fritters', However this tradition has faded out in recent decades.

Spam is popular on camping or fishing trips and is sold quite regularly in Australia. It is popular with breakfast, particularly with eggs or barbecued and served with barbecue sauce. Due to the fairly large Asian and European community, Spam is often prepared in an Asian or European way, e.g. with eggs and rice or deep fried in batter and served with chips or in a burger; however, sometimes it is simply sliced and put into sandwiches or salads.

In Okinawa, Japan, Spam has become very popular for much the same reason as in Hawaii. Spam is even used in the traditional Okinawan dish chanpurū, and there is also a Spam burger sold by local fast food chain Jef.

In China, Spam is also a rather popular food item, being served as a sort of Western cuisine. It is often used in sandwiches.

In Hong Kong, Spam is commonly served with instant noodles and fried eggs, and is a popular item in cha chaan teng.

In the Philippines, Spam is a popular meal, especially when eaten with eggs and fried rice, often for breakfast.

In South Korea, Spam (Hangul: 스팸; RR: seupaem) is popular in households as an accompaniment to rice. A television ad claimed that it is the most tasty when consumed with white rice and gim (laver seaweed used for some type of handrolls). It is also an original ingredient in budae jjigae (lit. "army base stew"), a spicy stew with different types of preserved meat. In fact, Spam is so popular that according to "Why Does Popcorn Pop?" by Don Voorhees, Spam is used more often as gifts than chocolate.

Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oil Prices Slip As Demand Decreases

I was told that we can expect a gas price reduction end of this month. Oil price dropped to below USD70 (USD69.85 to be exact) a barrel - for the first time in 14 years. So, if this holds up or should the price go down further, looks like our (Malaysian) current price per litre of RM2.30 may be reduced.

Oil prices peaked at $145.29 a barrel in July but have since been falling as oil consumption has slowed significantly in Western countries as people take public transport and drive less or for shorter distances.

As consumers pay less to fill up their tanks resulting from less usage, the decline in oil prices could provide a form of stimulus to the economy. Some analysts expect oil prices to keep declining, perhaps to as low as $50 a barrel in coming months.

What triggered the decline in oil price was a U.S. government report showing domestic crude oil stockpiles that rose more than expected as Americans use less oil.

Oil producers are now seeing a problem with the drop in prices. According to Deutsche Bank estimates, Iran and Venezuela both need oil prices at $95 a barrel to balance their national budgets, Russia needs $70 and Saudi Arabia needs $55 a barrel.

Global oil demand is undeniably slowing down, particularly in developed nations. Japanese oil consumption tumbled by 12 percent in August over the same month a year ago, while in the United States, demand fell by 8 percent in September.

Consumption is still growing in developing nations, however, but at a slower pace than in recent years.

Oil is a depleting commodity. Perhaps this reduction in usage could be what we need - to stretch its availability.

NY Times
.. What’s Really Wrong With the Price of Oil
..Oil Prices Slip Below $70 a Barrel

Jalan Alor - the Saga continues...

Jalan Alor is indeed famous. The renaming of Jalan Alor has invoked flak from Malaysians, particularly traders and residents in the area. Even tourists are not happy about the move.

Just out of curiosity, I did a search of the three popular search engines and found that Jalan Alor yielded

- 147,000 results on Google;
- 1,180,000 on Yahoo!; and
- 223,000 on MSN
which add up to a grand total of 1,550,000 results!

In Singapore’s The Straits Times online, the news made it into the Top Ten most popular read stories yesterday. The issue has also appeared in online versions of other foreign agencies such as AFP and France24.

Popular search engines such as MSN, Yahoo and Google posted the story on their news sites as well, so did information portals such as AsiaOne. It is also still being actively discussed at various online forums and blogs, like what we are doing, eh?

The good news is, the authorities (the Federal Territories Minister and the Mayor) are now relooking at the renaming exercise.

Source: The Star..Jalan Alor’s renaming becomes hot news in cyberspace

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Way Back Into Love

The other day, I accidentally caught this movie on the telly. Couldn't remember the title but now I do. It's Way Back Into Love and with a catchy song of the same title too. Did you all know that Hugh Grant can sing? Okay, but not as good as Colin Firth. LOL!

Hugh Grant has never been on my fav list but Drew Barrymore is so, I managed to sit through the movie. Besides it's a love story and I'm a sucker for romantic comedies. Hey, the world needs more romantic fools (like me), okay?

Here's the video. Enjoy it..

Way Back Into Love - Haley Bennett as Cora Corman, Hugh Grant as Alex Fletcher

And I found the lyrics too.. so we can all sing along..

Way Back Into Love
I've been living with a shadow overhead
I've been sleeping with a cloud above my bed
I've been lonely for so long
Trapped in the past, I just can't seem to move on

I've been hiding all my hopes and dreams away
Just in case I ever need 'em again someday
I've been setting aside time
To clear a little space in the corners of my mind

All I want to do is find a way back into love
I can't make it through without a way back into love
Oh oh oh

I've been watching but the stars refuse to shine
I've been searching but I just don't see the signs
I know that it's out there
There's got to be something for my soul somewhere

I've been looking for someone to shed some light
Not somebody just to get me through the night
I could use some direction
And I'm open to your suggestions

All I want to do is find a way back into love
I can't make it through without a way back into love
And if I open my heart again
I guess I'm hoping you'll be there for me in the end

There are moments when I don't know if it's real
Or if anybody feels the way I feel
I need inspiration
Not just another negotiation

All I want to do is find a way back into love
I can't make it through without a way back into love
And if I open my heart to you
I'm hoping you'll show me what to do
And if you help me to start again
You know that I'll be there for you in the end

What Makes A Malaysian A Malaysian

This is really good. Very Malaysian. I'm sorry I don't have the source of this great observation but if you do know, please leave a comment here so due credit can be given.

See how many can you identify with. Enjoy..

1. You can name all the players from the English Premier League,
but ask you to name one football player from Malaysia, one name also
cannot come out.

2. When StreamyX come, you complain StreamyX too slow. When Maxis Broadband come, you complain Maxis Broadband always disconnects. When WiMax come, you complain Wimax too expensive. In the end, you say StreamyX still the best lah.

3. When toll price increase, you complain. When petrol price increase,
you complain. When you go Starbucks buy RM10 coffee, NO COMPLAINTS.

4. When you cannot find parking in a shopping mall and have to walk
very far, you complain. When you go inside the shopping mall and
there's SALE, run from one end of 1Utama to the other also NO

6. You are always late. And the excuse you give when you're late is
always either: (a) traffic jam (b) no transport or (c) cannot find

7. You have a parent who force you to take science stream in high
school, study engineering in Uni, then when you graduate, they ask you
to forget everything you learnt in Uni and do commerce.

8. You know someone who can specially develop an angmoh accent when speaking to a American / British / Australian.

9. You complain against the government in kopitiam, you talk loud
loud. Leave anonymous comments on blogs, you also talk loud loud.
Attend ceremah by DAP, you shout loud loud. Then when Opposition
organise a protest and ask you to go, you dun wan. Scared later kena
tangkap by ISA.

10. Every year on the 30th April, you are one of the people below
queueing up last minute to submit your tax return at the IRB.

11. When you pay RM10 for something that costs RM1, you blame the Chinese.

12. When a government service is too slow, you blame the Malays.

13. When a building is not good and collapsed, you blame the Indians.

14. When a Chinese student won a scholarship, you say 'Wah! Very
clever hor?' When a Malay student won a scholarship, you say 'Aiya! Of
course lah! He Malay mah!'

15. When an angmoh stranger kiss you on the cheek to say hello, you
very happy. When a Malaysian guy kiss you on the cheek to say hello,
you slap him.

Source unknown

Jalan Alor no more

Malaysia has a fondness for changing street names. History of the nation is being wiped out slowly but surely. The latest casualty of this history-wiping exercise is Jalan Alor in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The street name, Jalan Alor, has been around for decades.

This street that runs parallel to yet another famous street, Jalan Bukit Bintang, is well-known by locals and foreigners alike. Jalan Alor is a food street and when night falls, the entire street comes alive with both human and vehicle traffic.

Jalan Alor serves one of the best Chinese food in Kuala Lumpur and some of the food-stalls and restaurants have been here for more than thirty years passing down the business from generation to generation. (The word Jalan is local for Street or Road.)

Yes, the famous Jalan Alor has been renamed according to The Star on Saturday. It is now known as Jalan Kejora. This change renders foodstall and restaurant names with "Jalan Alor" or "Alor" irrelevant. The owners of Nasi Lemak Alor Corner and the Alor Kai Yik (chicken wings) are among business-owners who are unhappy with the change.

The Star again headlined this issue today highlighting that Yahoo! returns more than 900,000 results. Indeed, it is that famous.

Yet, Kuala Lumpur City Hall is adamant that changing the name to Jalan Kejora - a move that has sparked a public outcry - is the right thing to do.

.....Another one bites the dust!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Warren Buffett says "Buy American. I Am."

Warren Buffett is now buying American stocks and in his New York Times editorial, he is urging people to follow his lead.

Would this apply to other bourses as well since the other markets look up to the US market for direction? Advising against holding cash, he said cash is a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value.

Buffett says he's been buying stocks in his own personal account, in which he previously owned nothing but United States government bonds. If prices stay attractive, all of his personal holdings will be 100% U.S. equities.

Why is Buffett taking this strategy?

"A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned investors."

Buffett emphasizes that he has no idea what the market will do in the short term but equities will almost certainly outperform cash over the next decade, probably by a substantial degree.

There you have it, insight from currently the richest American.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Man United beat West Brom (4-0)

As much as I am a Manchester United fan, I was only able to stay awake until halftime of last night's game between Man United and WBA (West Bromwich Albion) and it was still goalless when the whistle went off. There were nail-biting moments.

But, am pleasantly surprised by the 4-0 result, in MU's favour. But, of course! Here's the scoreline. Imagine a goal at the 90th minute! Now, what or who was in my dream at that time? LOL! Nah... no such luck. What I mean is, no memory of any dream. Slept like a baby..

56' [1 - 0] W. Rooney

69' [2 - 0] C. Ronaldo

71' [3 - 0] D. Berbatov

90' [4 - 0] Nani

We are catching up... slowly but surely.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Frolics - Are You Boring or Interesting?

Psst... let me tell you a secret. I have always thought that I am a boring person, but hey, the result of the quiz doesn't say so. Would that change my perception? hmm..

You Are 92% Interesting

Believe it or not, you are a very fascinating person.

You're probably too busy being interesting to realize exactly how interesting you are.

You have a rich, full life. You are curious about the world, and you are very open to new experiences.

You have a lot to talk about, and people find you to be an amazing conversationalist.

And most importantly, you are truly interested in other people. How could anyone find that boring?

You truly listen and learn from others. You're not self absorbed or shallow.

Other Fun Personality Quizzes

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Beached Whale Dies on Malaysian shores

Yet another whale has been beached on Malaysian shores. This time it was found on the beach in Pahang, east coast of Peninsula Malaysia.

The 3.9 ton 10-meter long (about 33 feet) Bryde's whale was pulled back into the sea by Marine boats during high tide late Monday, but by Tuesday (Oct 14), it was back on the beach. Villagers kept it cool by sprinkling it with sea water and covered it with wet blankets and a mattress. Unfortunately, it did not survive the ordeal.

The autopsy showed the female had swallowed a black plastic bag, a rope and a bottle cap, which clogged its intestine.

The state's veterinarian department will continue to examine the whale, which will later be buried near the estuary's jetty.

Back in December 2006, a Bryde's whale was stranded and died in eastern Sabah state in East Malaysia. It's not a surprise that both are Bryde's whales as these whales are found in tropical waters.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Ferrari Maranello, A BMW Z8,....

I simply have to repost this. What's a girl to do on a rainy day, for some lightening up, eh? ;)

Going through my site stats, noticed I got hit by an enquiry on "maranello bmw".


Eye On Malaysia

Ticket to Ride, this one..

Ticket to ride the Eye on Malaysia, that is. This is an awfully late post. I apologise.

Ticket prices - a lot cheaper than rides elsewhere, I believe

These are the rest of the shots. Click to enlarge image. As you can see, there is a lake nearby. This is a man-made lake, named Lake Titiwangsa. I'm not too sure but I suspect this lake could have been from those tin-mining days of Kuala Lumpur.

Lake Titiwangsa is just a small part of the park that it is. It is popular with city folks as a recreation ground where it is used in the mornings and evenings for activities like jogging, walking, cycling, roller- or inline-skating, a game or two of badminton, tennis, even kayaking.

And when it comes to dinnertime, why not head on over to the Lake Titiwangsa Seafood Restaurant for authentic Malaysian cuisine. There is ala carte, buffet and steamboat dinner. This is a popular place with tourists and locals alike as dinner comes with a cultural show entertainment.

The park is in the city itself and is located next to a number of landmarks which include the newly-built Istana Budaya (Cultural Center) where the forthcoming Mamma Mia musical will be staged. The Istana Budaya is the blue-roofed building in the bottom row picture, second from right.

Other landmarks include the National Art Gallery and the National Library. Also in the same vicinity is the National Heart Center (a hospital), Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, a private hospital (Tawakal Hospital) and the Bernama news agency.

You would also have noticed the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur Tower in the background. The former is just a 10-minute ride away while the KL Tower may take another ten minutes or so.

Unfortunately, the aerial shots did not turn out well as the glass is heavily tinted. Plus, there was a slight drizzle.

The Eye On Malaysia was supposed to be in Kuala Lumpur until Dec 31 of last year but it was extended to August this year. If you'd like to enjoy a ride, you would have to go to Malacca as the Eye on Malaysia is now located permanently in historical Malacca to boost tourism. Did you know that Malacca has recently been designated a World Heritage site along with Penang Island?

This picture source is The Star

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Of Weather and Recession...

Yesterday's heavy downpour over the Klang Valley could be an omen that all's well again? If only things are that simple.

The bank bailout by the British government may have relieved some pressure on the world economy, allayed some fears, changed some stats. Like this one, beating Bill Gates, Warren Buffett has become the richest American on the Forbes 400 list. This is on paper, of course, until the dollars are in physical hard cash. Still. A feat no less and imagine how much sponsorships that could take care of, not that he is not sponsoring.

The Star reported that Asian markets rallied and KLCI picked up 19 points. However, analysts say the coast is not clear and volatility is expected. Everyone is watching Dow's reaction. Whatever gains or technical rebounds there are can evaporate just as quickly as they came.

Malaysia is not in danger of slipping into a recession, our Prime Minister assured us. But will this stand the test of time?

Back to the weather. Weather forecast for Kuala Lumpur says partly cloudy which was the similar forecast yesterday morning when I checked but it switched to thunderstorms by afternoon. Hope the good weather holds up today. The downpour the past few days caused some flooding in the Petaling Jaya area and yesterday's caused some roofs flying off from an apartment block in Rawang. As a temporary measure, a huge canvas is used to protect the homes while the authorities figure out which party should be fixing the problem.

Here is a shot I just took. Funny how clouds are always hovering over the city center. There is a scientific explanation, naturally, but we won't go into that.

Here is another part of Kuala Lumpur. Look at those lovely white clouds. These days, I am into cloud-watching, haven't you noticed? It's hard to miss them when they are looming right in front of you in your office.

It's not only clouds that catch the attention. These are shots taken yesterday after the rain and before the sun quietly gave way to the stars.

...and, I leave you with something for your listening and viewing pleasure, "Vincent" by Don McLean and beautiful artwork by - Vincent Van Gogh. Thank goodness for such beauty. Enjoy..

Monday, October 13, 2008

Teacher by day, hooker by night

The other day, this article in the papers caught my attention, Teacher by day, hooker by night, which got me wondering, is it anyone's business what one does for a second income?

In New Zealand, a primary schoolteacher has been found out that she moonlights as a sex worker. What's interesting is that she can't be dismissed because the current Labour-led government has made prostitution a lawful and legitimate occupation.

To penalise somebody holding down a second job that is constitutionally lawful can be seen as a violation of that person’s civil right.

Apparently, this is the first of such in the country whereby a schoolteacher is involved though two years ago there was a case of an Auckland policewoman who got into trouble with her bosses for moonlighting as a sex worker at a top massage parlour. She earned up to $500 a night working in the parlour, on top of taking home at least $43,000 a year as an officer.

The policewoman got her job back.

So, what do you think? Should the primary schoolteacher be allowed to stay on as a schoolma'am?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Where the U.S. dollar hasn’t been hammered yet

Tourism rakes in a substantial chunk of foreign dollars to any nation. Countries like Malaysia is a popular holiday destination because most tourists are from countries with higher value-currencies.

If you are holding greenbacks, the world is really your oyster except for the euro which is top of the heap right now.

If you are from the US, there are five places where you can be sure your money’s worth will stay constant.

Panama has been using the U.S. dollar as its own for more than 100 years.

Ecuador also uses the dollar as its own currency. The land is best known as the home of the Galapagos Islands. A little digression here. Studies have shown that the Galapagos Islands are constantly moving eastwards nearer to the South America landmass and in time to come they will merge but it won't happen tomorrow or next ten years, of course.

It is interesting to note that Ecuador gets its name from the equator passing through, but much of it is not all that hot because of altitude: this is the one spot where you can find snow on the equator-on Volcán Cayambe at nearly 19,000 feet.

Belize's exchange rate hovers around a constant 2:1, i.e., 2 Belize dollars for every 1 American dollar.

Caribbean and Atlantic Islands
There are several Caribbean islands and clusters of islands that peg their currency to the greenback.
- Barbados -- trades at a stable 2 to 1 with the dollar
- Bahamas or Bermuda -- you have the option to use their dollars or your own as the value is the same
- Turks, Caicos and the British Virgin Islands - the exchange rate is stable
- Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands - the U.S. dollar is the principal currency

Argentina may not be a permanent example as their currency has improved but Argentina's high inflation makes it still a bargain place for the U.S. traveller and Buenos Aires is the best substitute for a visit to a European city.

Buenos Aires

What about the Malaysian Ringgit? Let's not even go there..

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Frolics: The Umbrella Test

Do you own an umbrella? Given our weather, most ladies here do. If you were out shopping for an umbrella, would colour be a priority and if so what colour would you choose.

Would you just grab one, any colour, doesn't matter? Or would you pick a colour that is pleasing to you or pick a colour that matches something you already have though it's totally irrelevant to the whole equation?

From the previous colour quizzes that we took, we know that our colour choices do tell on our personality. Let's do another quiz on colour, this time an umbrella test, and see what it says about us, shall we?

What Your Green Umbrella Says About You

When faced with adversity, you try to calm down first and act second.

You can approach things from a fresh perspective, but you have to relax first.

You are a very insightful and perceptive person. You offer up interesting critiques.

You have amazing levels of concentration. You can focus completely on any problem until it is solved.

On a rainy day: you take time to nap, day dream, and relax

Other Fun Quizzes

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Put Your Records On

Give this a listen. Be careful though. This kind of music can make you really, really laid-back...

Good morning!

Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae
Three little birds sat on my window
And they told me i don't need to worry
Summer came like cinnamon, so sweet
Little girls double-dutch on the concrete

Maybe sometimes, we got it wrong, but its alright
The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same
Oh, dont you hesitate

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead, let your hair down

You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow

Blue as the sky, sunburnt and lonely,
Sipping tea in a bar by the roadside,
(Just relax, just relax)
Don't you let those other boys fool you
Gotta love that afro hairdo

Maybe sometimes, we feel afraid, but it's alright
The more you stay the same, the more they seem to change
Don't you think it's strange?

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead, let your hair down

You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow

Just more than I could take, pity for pity's sake
Some nights kept me awake, I thought that I was stronger
When you gonna realize that you don't even have to try any longer?
Do what you want to!

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down

Oh, you're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Am What I Am

Don't hate me but getting caught in the traffic jam is really not all that bad. At least, you get to listen to some good music. I'm not sure what programme it is around the time I am on the road but this evening's selection had numbers by Take That, Roxette and this other lady who sang a very catchy number, one I have heard a number of times but had no clue what song that was.

You've got to love YouTube. It's Gloria Gaynor and the song is I Am What I Am. Not sure if hers is the original version but it's the best version IMO. If you need a little uplifting in the self-esteem department, this is it. I should probably make this my theme song. Yeah! *singing* I Am What I Am, And what I am needs no excuses. I deal my own deck, sometimes the ace sometimes the deuces.....

This would be a great number for your high-impact aerobics to work up a good sweat and get that cardio-vascular workout. Great for dancing too.

Btw, lyrics included below for singing along. Learn it up for your next karaoke session. Eh?

Ready? Hit it! (Gloria Gaynor's version, vocals only:)

And this version by Karen Mulder is not bad and with great theatrics. Check it out too.

I am what I am
I am my own special creation
So come take a look
Give me the hook or the ovation
It's my world
That I want to have a little pride in
My world
And it's not a place I have to hide in
Life's not worth a damn
Till you can say
I am what I am

I am what I am
I don't want praise I don't want pity
I bang my own drum
Some think it's noise I think it's pretty
And so what if I love each sparkle and each bangle
Why not try to see things from a different angle
Your life is a sham
Till you can shout out
I am what I am

I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the ace sometimes the deuces
It's one life and there's no return and no deposit
One life so it's time to open up your closet
Life's not worth a damn till you can shout out
I am what I am

I am what I am

I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck sometimes the ace sometimes the deuces
It's one life and there's no return and no deposit
One life so it's time to open up your closet
Life's not worth a damn till you can shout out
I am what I am

Oh I am
Oh I am
I am, I am, I am good
I am, I am, I am strong
I am, I am, I am worthy
I am, I am, I belong

I am

I am

Ooh ooh ooh ooh I am

I am, I am, I am useful
I am, I am, I am true
I am, I am somebody
I am as good as you, ah ha
Ah ha, ooh ooh ooh ooh yes I am
Ah ah ah ah

Doo doo doo doo I am
I am, I am, I am

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! the movie is doing its rounds in cinemas/cineplexes in Kuala Lumpur right now. If you are here and would like an hour plus of some song and dance, or if you are a fan of ABBA's, you have got to see this movie. It's a great musical with a wonderful cast - Pierce Brosnan (the ex-Mr James Bond, Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada), Colin Firth (the boyfriend in Bridget Jones's Diary), Amanda Seyfried, etc. - and they sing too.

Mamma Mia! is the feature-film adaptation of the beloved musical that has been seen by more than 30 million people in 170 cities and eight languages around the world.

The feature film adaptation of the global stage hit production brings the magic of ABBA’s music to the silver screen. With rising star Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper, alongside Hollywood heavy-hitters Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth Stellan Skasgârd, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski, the film features the stars’ versions of 17 ABBA classics in this celebration of a mother, a daughter and three possible dads.

Go watch the movie. I won't spoil it for you.... but then I can't resist showing you snippets of it. How to resist a good thing? How?

For some delightful moments in the meantime, visit the site of Mamma Mia! the movie.

Hear some of the best songs from the movie

See the ABBA Reunion at the Mamma Mia! movie premiere in Stockholm

And the World Premiere in London

By the way, Mamma Mia! the musical is coming from London to Kuala Lumpur from Dec 17, 2008, to Jan 1, 2009 at Istana Budaya.

Mamma Mia!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Are You Ready to Succeed? - Dr Srikumar Rao

Cool! Started the online day with some 48 mins of inspirational talk from Dr Srikumar Rao. Got this link from Twitter. Am beginning to realise that Twitter is a great source of information and new insights and a quick way to keep in touch, if need be. And I've got LB to thank for for that big nudge to get on in.

Hey, why don't you guys (and gals) get on it as well. Signing up is easy and you can follow anyone you find interesting or you are familiar with or simply want to keep in touch on a more frequent basis. I must admit I'm not too active on it right now but of course, that's by choice. If you have signed up and would like to follow me, my email address is

In case you are not familiar with Twitter, it's a form of blogging, microblogging actually where you can share your thoughts or experiences in mini-posts of less than 140 characters. Twitter is becoming a force in the Internet world. Lots of ordinary folks and corporate people are on Twitter for quick communication and info-sharing.

In a nutshell,
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

Here is a video clip of what Twitter is in plain English.

If you would like to know more about Twitter, there is a lot of info online. Check it out. Btw, I've just placed a Twitter widget up on the sidebar just below the video clip. I won't be going into explicit detail of what I do but it's not going to go stagnant, that, I'm pretty sure of.

Now, back to that inspirational talk. Dr. Srikumar Rao visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss his book, "Are You Ready to Succeed? Unconventional Strategies to Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life." Insightful and thought-provoking tips he shares here. Here it is:

Friday, October 3, 2008

What's the matter, old boy?

Okay, one for the road...

An old man was sitting on a bench at the mall. A teenager sat down next to him. He had spiked hair that was red, orange, yellow, green, blue & violet. The old man stared. Whenever the teen looked, the old man was staring.

Finally, the teenager said sarcastically : "What's the matter, old boy, never done anything wild in your life?"

Without missing a beat the old man replied :"Got drunk once and had sex with a peacock. Just wondering if you were my son."

Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend!

Friday Frolics - Do you Use the Internet like a Man or a Woman?

Hi! It's Friday again! Yay! Quiz time. Interesting quiz, this one.

So, you are a Woman; or a Man. But do you use the Internet as who you really are, or what?

My result makes me laugh. It says I'm hard to fathom. Psst... have I ever told you I'm quirky?! Still love me? LOL! Go on, find out about yourself.

(Uh-oh! I spoke too soon in my previous post. It's raining now! I should have known. Weather forecast on the sidebar indicates "T-storms".)

Happysurfer's Surfing Habits are 40% Male, 60% Female

There's no way we can tell whether you're a man or woman.

Of all the internet users, you are the most broad based in your habits.

You use the internet for research and your career.

But you also use the internet to keep in close touch with your loved ones.

Other Fun Quizzes

It's Such A Pretty World Today

It's a lovely day today - blue skies and fluffy white clouds. The picture below was taken around ten this morning. Driving to work this morning was such a breeze, so enjoyable. This smooth flow of traffic would last through until Sunday afternoon latest but come Sunday evening and Monday morning, traffic flow would get back to normal - busy and congested as people would have returned to the city after the long Hari Raya break.

Blue skies

Oh Look! A bird wanted to be in the picture too.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Walls of Fame

I always enjoy going to Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood or other eateries with walls and walls of pictures in various types of picture frames. Whether it's pictures of The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, or prints of Van Gogh's art, Monet's or other genres, the place evokes a certain cosiness or homeliness, if you will. And yes, the life music is a bonus.

One of my girlfriends has a print of Van Gogh's Sunflowers adorning her living room. The yellow sure brightens up the place.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hari Raya Open House

The Prime Minister said, Time to forgive. Abdullah also asked for forgiveness including on behalf of Jeanne and the family for any wrong they might have done.

Aidilfitri is a month to forgive and strengthen ties, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

In the tradition and spirit of goodwill and unity, Open houses are normally held by dignatories on the first day of Hari Raya, which is today. It is open to everyone. If you feel like experiencing an open house, why not head on over to any one of these as listed below. Click on image to enlarge it.

Source: The Star

Nine Emperor Gods Festival

Malaysia's multi-racial community makes our calendar of events very colourful and fascinatng where festivals are concerned.

Last Thursday was the start of the 9-day Nine Emperor Gods Festival. (Check out Wikipedia for this interesting festival.) During this period, we would normally expect much rain but this time around, it's rather dry weather with just short drizzles. Fire-walking that you may have read about originates from this festival. Devotees or temple volunteers who are involved in helping out in temples have to abstain from meat, and carnal pleasures, alright sexual abstinence, a month prior to this festival. No cheating, the gods would know.

Temple volunteers in white attending to the sedan chair, in which the unseen Nine Emperor Gods are believed to be seated in.

Religious procession to send off the Nine Emperor Gods by Tao Thean Keong temple,Muar, Johor, Malaysia

In the West, October/November time-frame is also a time of some celebration. There is Halloween and Thanksgiving. Just as we each celebrate our Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali, or Christmas, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time where families travel miles to be together. This reminds me of Sleepless in Seattle. Sorry, I digress. The excitment of Thanksgiving is enhanced by the Black Friday sales. If you are in the US, here are some Black Friday ads to give you a headstart on the bargains. Happy shopping!

The Pen is Mightier...

From one penisland to another? Oops! That should have been pen island but nevermind, we are talking about the same item: Pens. I remember back in school, we were not allowed to use ball-point pens. We were only allowed nibbed pens, messing around with ink and all. Happy days.

But these days, school-children are using ball-point pens. Ballpens are cheap, easily available and convenient. BIC is the common brand here for ball-point pens though there are many others.

Ballpens make great corporate giveaways too. You can make a hobby collecting promotional pens at any product or service exhibition. With the vast range available, pens are the way to go for company promotion. Ever thought about giving away pens with your blog site on it? Eh?

If the Name Fits.....

What's in a name, you say? Just like looks, names can be deceiving too. This must be the coolest domain name everrrr!

You like that? But don't expect to find what you think you'd find though.
April Fool! Ooops! except it is October 1st.

Selamat Hari Raya for those of you celebrating this festival. It's a two-day holiday here and I'm wondering whether I should take off Friday too to make this a longgggggger weekend. Or maybe not. No plan to go anywhere nor do anything fanciful. Besides, during major festivals like this, KL is THE best place to be - no traffic congestion anywhere, not on the streets, neither at check-out counters nor at the ATMs, wait-time in restaurants greatly reduced. Bliss! Nothing like being footloose and fancy-free for a change. You, have a great day ahead too.