Monday, March 31, 2008

The Pianist

Of the five senses, which one would you rate as the most important? To me, I'd rate sight as the most important of our senses. I think I'd be really lost to not be able to see.

Just this morning, I learned of a colleague (in his mid-twenties), who lost the sight of his left eye while playing rugby in school. He was a teenager then.

When he came back from his studies overseas, he tried driving a car but was involved in an accident and since then, his family would not let him drive. He now takes public transport. At least he still has one good eye. Some people are born blind though blindness is sometimes not a deterrent to great achievements. The following is an inspiration. (Get your Kleenex ready.)

Of Trucks and Bed-Liners

I was having a chat with an expat colleague the other day and the conversation shifted to his new vehicle. He just bought a brand-new pickup truck. Back home in the States, he owns a truck so he'd like a somewhat similar vehicle here as well. Besides, being big-built, a truck would be a more suitable vehicle. He wanted to know about truck accessories and was particularly interested in getting a bed liner for his truck.

People-watching Can Be Fun

People-watching. A girlfriend said that when she was studying in London, one of her favourite pastimes was people-watching. She would sit at the hotel lobby and just watch people going in and out. I thought she was weird until much later.

Sitting at open cafes downtown here, along Jalan Bukit Bintang, or better known as Bintang Walk, offers one the chance to engage in people-watching. It's rather interesting taking in the view of faces, all kinds of shapes and sizes, fashion, cute kids, locals, foreigners, everything and everyone. A thought came to mind when I noticed that more and more people are growing sideways. I was thinking how is it that restaurants don't serve hoodia the same time they are serviing food? Sorry, my bad.

When in Dubai...

In tune with spring in the northern hemisphere, some trees here bear beautiful blooms. I managed to capture some pink and white blossoms two weeks ago before they all fall off the trees. Beautiful as they are, they only stay in place for a few days, after which it's the ground's turn to be dressed.

Yesterday was a terribly hot day and it happened to be a popular day (being a weekend) for tomb-sweeping or rather paying respects to departed family members. This is a yearly affair and is only practised by Taoist/Buddhist Chinese. This year, the actual day is April 4. There is a small window in which this activity has to be carried out (which is ten days before and ten days after the actual day) and yesterday (Sunday) was ideal for office-workers as most would prefer to go before the actual day rather than after.

As it turned out, it was not such a good day as most roads leading to grave-sites either downtown or in memorial grounds away from the city were congested from early morning. My family and I were caught in the congestion. We were on our way to the memorial grounds in Semenyih, south of Kuala Lumpur. Never before was the traffic condition that bad. We were practically moving by inches! The scorching sun was no help but it was still better to be in an air-conditioned vehicle than to be out there waiting for a bus, for instance.

By the way, this is a common bus stop in Kuala Lumpur (nope, doesn't come with the man) and all over the country. This one is put up by the municipal council or government. Blue is the standard colour and similar design across the board. It has a decent-sized roof and seats.

Those that are sponsored by private corporations have better designs and colours though they are a far cry from those in Dubai. Did you know that bus stops in Dubai are air-conditioned? Me neither.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Memory, Anyone?

Is your memory failing and perhaps need a memory boost? I read with interest an article claiming that card-games, Sudoku and crossword puzzles are no longer adequate in boosting one's memory or to slow down memory deterioration. There are many sources where brain training exercises are available. They range from self-help books to computer games.

In the past, memory is what we associate with our brain and neurons but in this time and age, memory most times refer to that of computers and other contemporary playthings. So, a common question could be "How much memory would you need?", which decades ago, would seem irrelevant.

A Lange Sohne Watch

When it comes to object-collecting (there's a name for it, of course, which escapes me right now), watch-collecting would be among the top of the list of objects being collected. If you are a watch-collector, what kind of watches do you collect? Some people collect by make, others vintage, others by era, and many other categories.

A friend recently acquired a Lange Sohne, a German watch. I was told the entire Lange product line is desirable and in limited supply and the gold versions of each model are easier to find than the platinum versions.

Top 10 Smart Phones

Mobile phones are no longer a luxury in the corporate world. They are now a necessity. They are the lifeline in the corporate world. They link people, they link ideas and they make or break millions in trade.

The 10 Best Smart Phones
PC World Test Center reviews identifies 10 models that are the best of the smart phones, also known as PDA phones. RIM's BlackBerry models dominate both ends of the Top 10 Cell Phone-PDAs chart.

Everyone has a liking or inclination towards certain types of phones and if you're in the market for a cell phone that has QWERTY input and a whole lot more, consider one of these 10 smart phones.

At No. 1 is the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8320 -- PCW Rating: 88

The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8320 from T-Mobile looks the same as the original BlackBerry Curve 8300, though it comes in two different colors, titanium gray or gold. The news is under the hood: The 8320 adds technology that lets you make voice calls over a Wi-Fi network.

Check out the whole Top 10 Smart Phones

Source: MSN

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Frolics - The Shamrock Personality Test

Let's do an easy-to-do quiz this week, something perhaps more appropriate during Saint Patrick's Day but no matter, it's still fun. Do the The Shamrock Personality Test. You just pick a shamrock, and it'll tell you who you are. Quick, easy, and maybe even a little insightful! Me, intimidating and complicated. hmmm...

What Your Shamrock Says About You

You are brilliant, analytical, and somewhat of a perfectionist. You are ultra competent and knowledgeable.

At times, people find you intimidating. You can be a bit sarcastic and harsh.

You don't really consider yourself a lucky person. In your view, people create their own luck.

You are creative, innovative, and complicated. You definitely have a unique spin on the world.

More Quizzes Here

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Software and Hardware

For about ten years or so, all subjects in Malaysian schools (other than English, of course) were conducted in the Malay language. But for the last few years, the medium of instruction for Math and Science subjects was changed to English. Some people up there finally realised that Math and Science are better taught in English. About time too as they realised that the standard of English has deteriorated for one generation of students.

The official reason cited for the use of English for Math and Science is because the whole world uses English as the information and technology language. Besides there are no suitable translations for certain terms and translating English terms into the local language may be misconstrued and with dire consequences too. Below is an example of literal translation. I apologise for non-Malay readers but you get the message, I'm sure.

Hardware = barangkeras
Software = baranglembut
Joystick = batang gembira
Plug and Play = cucuk dan main
Port = lubang
Server = pelayan
Client = pelanggan

Try to translate this:

That server gives a plug and play service to the client using either hardware or software joystick. The joystick goes into the port of the client.

Now in BAHASA:
Pelayan itu memberi pelanggannya layanan cucuk dan main dengan menggunakan batang gembira jenis keras atau lembut. Batang gembira itu dimasukkan kedalam lubang pelanggan.

Now you know WHY...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Barron's List of World's Best CEOs

The World's Best CEOs - According to Barron's, the test of a Chief Executive comes in tough times. Not that it's easy managing a large corporation in good times, but when the economy and financial markets turn unfavourable, you need more than nerve and knowhow to prevail. Besides confronting a challenging business environment, CEOs need also to juggle the demands of customers, employees and investors.

Crisis management wasn't the main criterion Barron's used to assemble their fourth annual list of the 30 best corporate leaders worldwide. Yet great CEOs shine in hard times, and their bet is that these 30 that they have identified are up to the task.

(Barron's Magazine, sister publication of The Wall Street Journal, is published by Dow Jones & Company.)

Here is Barron's list of The World's Best CEOs.

Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazardis (co-CEOs since 1992)
Research in Motion
Two underappreciated northern lights

Warren Buffett (since 1965)
Berkshire Hathaway
Minding Fort Knox, taking on the bondsmen

John Chambers (since 1995)
Cisco Systems
Runs silent, runs deep

Kenneth Chenault (since 2001)
American Express
Ready for the storm

Richard Clark (since 2005)
A flair for the undramatic

Charlie Ergen (since 1980)
Dish Network
His eyes are on the stars, his feet on the ground

Laurence Fink (since 1998)
A brainy and steady steward of assets

Lew Frankfort (since 1995)
Delivering profits in style

Fred Goodwin (since 2000)
Royal Bank of Scotland
In a world of loose spenders, his Scottish values stand out

Hugh Grant (since 2003)
Shaping the future of agriculture

Mark Hurd (since 2005)
Determined to keep the technology giant competitive

Jeffrey Immelt (since 2000)
General Electric
Continually spurs growth from a true giant

Satoru Iwata (since 2002)
Took the video game out of the box

Steven Jobs (since 1997)
Still a wunderkind, still committed to insanely great products

Henning Kagermann (since 2003)
Hard-headed on software

A.G. Lafley (since 2000)
Procter & Gamble
An unsentimental innovator

Robert Lane (since 2000)
A banker in the tractor's seat

Terry Leahy (since 1997)
Making us shop 'til we drop

Jack Ma (since 1999)
Alibaba Group
Out e-Bays eBay

Fujio Mitarai (since 1995)
Brought the company into focus

Lakshmi Mittal (since 1976)
Modern-day steel magnate

Michael O'Leary (since 1994)
Ryanair Holdings
Never afraid to throttle up

Samuel Palmisano (since 2002)
Making Big Blue blush

Frank Riboud (since 1996)
Group Danone
Recognized early that health consciousness sells

Peter Rose (since 1988)
Expeditors International
Doesn't suffer fools gladly

James J. Schiro (since 2002)
Zurich Financial Services
Deftly avoiding subprime

Bob Simpson (since 1986)
XTO Energy
Outsmarting the majors

James Sinegal (since 1988)
Costco Wholesale
A retailer whose store has 50 million "members"

Fred Smith (since 1971)
Perseveres at perseverance

Ratan Tata (since 1991
Tata Sons
Ambitious master of low-cost production

Source: MSN

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We're Doing Just Fine

Every once in a while, we come across something interesting on the Web. Some nice and warm site that we simply have to share it with as many people we know. I found a site just like that, exactly one that's after my own heart.

We're Doing Just Fine is a forum site for nice and positive people, like you and I, to gather and share our stories and experiences, our "Aww!" moments, our tears and laughter, our joy, even offer advice. And in the process, perhaps learn a thing or two.

There are more than 200 topics to visit, from Work and Career to Hobbies to The Fireplace to Family & Parenting to What's the worst you can be doing with your life? to World Economy, Culture, Travel, Leg Surgery and lots more.

Check it out!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

25 Most Stylish Couples - Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Top the List

I was watching Channel E!'s "25 Most Stylish Couples" on tv and guess who made the list. Heath Ledger and his ex-wife as well as the Olsen twins, and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi (couple?), Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, so did Michael Douglas and Katherine Zeta Jones and others who made the cut.

In parting, the narrator said something like "Heath Ledger will be missed, so will his style." I was wondering, would he still be alive if he had checked into drug rehabilitation? So many "what ifs" in life.

By the way, the top three couples were:

No. 3 - Beyonce Knowles and JayZ
No. 2 - David and Victoria Beckham
No. 1 - Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I Don't Know How To Love Him

In case you didn't notice, it's a different video on the sidebar. It's Yvonne Elliman singing "I Don't Know How To Love Him", a scene from the 1973 original movie, "Jesus Christ Superstar". According to Ric, who made this video for YouTube, this was shot in low light and candles. It was supposed to be dark.


...Close your eyes close your eyes
and forget all about us tonight.


I don't know how to love him.
What to do, how to move him.
I've been changed, yes really changed.
In these past few days, when I've seen myself,
I seem like someone else.
I don't know how to take this.
I don't see why he moves me.
He's a man. He's just a man.
And I've had so many men before,
In very many ways,
He's just one more.
Should I bring him down?
Should I scream and shout?
Should I speak of love,
Let my feelings out?
I never thought I'd come to this.
What's it all about?
Don't you think it's rather funny,
I should be in this position.
I'm the one who's always been
So calm, so cool, no lover's fool,
Running every show.
He scares me so.
I never thought I'd come to this.
What's it all about?
Yet, if he said he loved me,
I'd be lost. I'd be frightened.
I couldn't cope, just couldn't cope.
I'd turn my head. I'd back away.
I wouldn't want to know.
He scares me so.
I want him so.
I love him so.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Frolics - Easter Fun Quizzes

Easter marks the start of spring in many parts of the world. It is the time to enjoy the changing of the seasons. I have here a stable of some Easter and spring themed quizzes for this week. Do one or do them all, your pick. Have some Easter fun!

The Easter Egg Personality Test

What Your Easter Egg Says About You

You are cheerful, friendly, and open minded.

You do your best to make sure everyone is happy, including yourself.

Empathy comes easily to you. You are very forgiving.

You don't hold grudges. You easily forget about any negativity in your life.

The Easter Bunny Quiz

Your Chocolate Easter Bunny Personality

You know what you want in life and how to get it.

You're not going to waste time or let yourself be meek

Whether it's chocolate, money, or power...

You take what you can get, and you act quickly.

You have a lot of energy, and people sometimes scared by your determination.

Not that you care what other people think. You're not going to apologize for who you are.

What Flavor Jelly Bean Are You?

You Are a Pineapple Jelly Bean

Easy going and undemanding, you have good taste but aren't a show off about it.

What Flower Are You?

You Are a Tulip

You have a wild, experimental side that craves change.

You often switch jobs and lovers, always looking for something better.

But deep down, you're also very well grounded and content.

And you will come to know that the life you live is already ideal.

What Color Flower Are You?

You Are a Purple Flower

A purple flower tends to represent success, grace, and elegance.

At times, you are faithful like a violet.

And other times, you represent luxury, like a wisteria.

And more than you wish, you find yourself heartbroken like a lilac.

Now, we certainly can't have spring without a garden, can we? So how about having your own lovely garden, a virtual garden, that is. Grow your blooms by just a click. How neat is that! Happy gardening & Happy Easter! Here's your garden patch.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

1000 Places To See Before You Die

"1000 Places To See Before You Die". Sound familiar? This is a 2003 travel book that has been made into a Discovery Travel series that suggests and brings viewers to 1000 well-chosen places to visit in one's lifetime.

This is exactly what a friend and his wife are aiming to do having visited places like Scandinavian countries where they joined a cruise along fiords and coming up real close to icebergs; taking in places like the Mediterranean coastlines as well as other European countries, various parts of China including taking the route of the Silk Road and many others. Theirs is really a life of luxury vacations, blue skies and all things nice.

Living Healthy with Air Cleaners

Spring is here in the northern hemisphere but in Malaysia, it's more like spring is all-year-round. However, there are some plants and trees that follow the seasons of the temperate climates because I am seeing some colourful blooms on trees.

All these blooms and colours may be well and beautiful, but for some, the pollens are creating havoc with their wellbeing. Many people suffer from hayfever this time of the year. The atmosphere outside may be out of their control but at least at home air cleaners and air purifiers may help to keep the air clean and pleasant to offer some relief.

Have A Guy Help Pick Out Sexy Lingerie?

Despite the exposure to Internet and to the cultures of the west, people here generally are still quite reserved when it comes to inner garments.

Some girls are still shy about buying underwear and some guys will avoid shopping for them with their girlfriend, which accounts for why we hardly see a woman with a guy in tow at a lingerie department, let alone have him help pick our a piece of sexy lingerie. It's a bonus just to have him wait at the far end. Little wonder online shopping is fast catching on here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Google Holiday Logos

Did you do a Google search the past few days? Did you notice this Google logo for St Patrick's Day?

Google has a variety of logos commemorating holidays and events. They've put them in this online museum for your amusement. However, we've been advised not to use them elsewhere. And if you would like to include a link to Google on your site, to please use one of their official logo stickers.
Here are more logos for St Patrick's Day.

This one is for last year, 2007:

This for 2006:


And a couple more for 2008 holidays:

For cuter logos, you can visit Google's online museum.

Audio Racks at IKEA

There is an IKEA Sale on right now, so I might go there this weekend to check out some audio racks. I like shopping at IKEA. There's always so much to see (and something to buy naturally). A trip to IKEA would take a few hours each visit but no matter, it's always enjoyable. Sometimes, I'd end up having a meal at their restaurant and they do serve pretty good food.

PM announces new Cabinet

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced his new administration this morning, trimming his Cabinet from 32 to 27 seats, of which more than half featured new faces.

He also scrapped the post of parliamentary secretary and dropped big guns such as Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz (former International Trade and Industry Minister), Datuk Azmi Khalid (Home Affairs Minister) and Datuk Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis (Science, Technology and Innovations Minister).

He merged the Home Affairs and Internal Security ministries, saying that they had many overlapping functions, and named former Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar as its minister.

The full list:

Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Deputy Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz
Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim
Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz

Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department
Datuk Johari Baharom
Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim
Datuk K. Devamany
Datuk Hassan Malik

Minister - Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Second Finance Minister - Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop
Deputies - Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Datuk Kong Cho Ha

Minister - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Deputy - Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop

Internal Security and Home Affairs
Minister - Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar
Deputies - Datuk Chor Chee Heong, Senator Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh

Housing and Local Government
Minister -Datuk Ong Ka Chuan
Deputies - Datuk Robert Lau , Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin

Works Minister
Minister - Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamad
Deputy- Datuk Yong Khoon Seng

Energy, Water and Communications
Minister - Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor
Deputy- Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry
Minister - Datuk Mustapa Mohamed
Deputy - Datin Paduka Rohani Abdul Karim

International Trade and Industry
Minister -Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Deputies- Loh Wei Keong, Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan

Foreign Affairs
Minister -Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
Deputy- Tunku Azlan Abu Bakar

Minister -Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein
Deputies -Datuk Wee Ka Siong, Datuk Razali Ismail

Higher Education
Minister - Datuk Khaled Nordin
Deputies - Khoo Kok Choong, Datuk Idris Harun

Datuk Ong Tee Keat
Deputy - Anifah Aman

Human Resources
Datuk S. Subramaniam
Deputy- Datuk Noraini Ahmad

Women, Family and Community Development
Minister-Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen
Deputy- Noriah Kasnon

National Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage
Minister- Datuk Shafie Apdal
Deputy-Datuk Teng Boon Soon

Science, Technology and Innovation
Minister- Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili
Deputy- Fadilah Yusof

Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development
Minister - Datuk Noh Omar
Deputy- Datuk Saiffuddin Abdullah

Natural Resources and Environment
Minister - Datuk Douglas Unggah Embas
Deputy - Datuk Abu Ghapur Salleh

Rural and Regional Development
Minister - Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib
Deputy- Tan Sri Joseph Kurup

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Minister - Datuk Shahrir Samad
Deputy - Jelaing Mersat

Plantation Industries and Commodities
Minister - Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui
Deputy- Senator A. Kohilan

Youth and Sports
Minister - Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaacob
Deputy - Wee Jack Seng

Minister - Datuk Liow Tiong Lai
Deputy- Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad

Minister - Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek
Deputy- Datuk Tan Lian Hoe

Minister - Datuk Azalina Othman
Deputy - Datuk Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abu Taib

Minister - Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique
Deputy- M. Saravanan

Source: The Star

Looking for Used Cisco Equipment

Recently, a relative of a colleague was looking for used cisco
equipment as he would like to be able to allocate funds for other projects as well.

Big-ticket items can and do involve a lot of money to acquire. Cars, trucks, motorbikes, boats, some electrical appliances, office equipment, etc., involve a substantial initial outlay even if finance can be arranged.

Fortunately, we have a choice of not having to buy them brand-new as second-hand ones cost a lot less and work just as well. A trade-in could also help bring down the total cost of purchase.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, March 17

Eeeky! You might say about the water in the picture. This is Chicago's way of celebrating St. Patrick's Day actually. The Chicago River is dyed green each year for the St. Patrick's Day celebration, shown here in 2005.

St. Patrick's Day is not widely known here so my thirst for knowledge brought me to good ole Wikipedia.

Saint Patrick's Day colloquially St. Paddy's Day or Paddy's Day, is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick (circa 385–461 AD), one of the patron saints of Ireland. It is celebrated worldwide generally on March 17. by Irish people and increasingly by non-Irish people (usually in Australia, North America, and Ireland) as well. Celebrations are generally themed around all things Irish and, by association, the colour green. Although Saint Patrick's Day has the colour green as its theme, one little known fact is that blue was once the colour associated with this day.

Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green or orange, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink (such as Guinness) and attending parades.

Picture of St. Patrick's Day 2004 in Cork, Ireland.

The St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland is part of a five-day festival; over 500,000 people attended the 2006 parade. The largest St. Patrick's Day parade is held in New York City and it is watched by over 2 million spectators. The St. Patrick's Day parade was first held in Boston in 1737, organized by the Charitable Irish Society. New York's celebration began on 18 March 1762 when Irish soldiers in the British army marched through the city.

In many parts of North America, Britain, and Australia expatriate Irish and ever-growing crowds of people with no Irish connections but who may proclaim themselves "Irish for a day" also celebrate St. Patrick's Day, usually with the consumption of traditionally Irish alcoholic beverages (beer and stout, such as Murphys, Beamish, Smithwicks, Harp, or Guinness; Irish whiskey; Irish coffee; or Baileys Irish Cream) and by wearing green-coloured clothing.

Sign on a beam in the Guinness Storehouse.

Many Irish people still wear a bunch of shamrocks (three-leaved clover) on their lapels or caps on this day or green, white, and orange badges (after the colours of the Irish flag). Girls and boys wear green in their hair. Artists draw shamrock designs on people's cheeks as a cultural sign, including American tourists. Shamrocks are said to bring good luck.

To know more about Saint Patrick's Day, visit Wikipedia

Over here in Malaysia, the places who celebrate St. Patrick's Day or at least have some indication of its existence are the pubs in the bigger hotels. Where else?!

Nuffnangers who are attending Nuffnang Birthday Bash (themed Pajamas) this weekend will get to continue their merry-making at Plaza Mont Kiara for the Guinness St Patrick’s Day celebration. So, will I see you there?

Counting Our Blessings

Even though Malaysia is a third-world nation, there are many aspects of the country that are way above some countries which the people can be thankful for. We have the freedom to choose our government as evidenced by the recent general election. An important aspect that many people take for granted is the medical or health aspect.

Any Malaysian can get free medical treatment (including specialist treatment) in a government-run clinic or hospital. There is no need for medicare insurance like in other countries. There is just the registration fee of One Ringgit. It was at fifty sen for a long time. Are we counting our blessings?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Frolics - What Season Are You?

Not too long ago, we were reading about snowstorms in China and in other parts of the northern hemisphere. Despite the winter cold, some people still do prefer it over hot climates.

What about you? What season would you prefer? Do this interesting quiz and find out if the result matches your true preference.

You Belong in Spring

Optimistic, lively, and almost always happy with the world...

You can truly appreciate the blooming nature of spring.

Whether you're planting flowers or dyeing Easter eggs, spring is definitely your season!

I agree. Spring is definitely my season!


More Quizzes Here

Investment Strategies

The Malaysian bourse went south the day after the election but has picked up since. The wiser experienced investors or retailers would have made a profit or maybe a tidy sum picking up the better stocks.

What about those who are not so well-versed in investment strategies? Experts have time and time again advised against dabbling in stocks without a good understanding of the fundamentals. The better alternative would be to invest in something more concrete and more tangible such as silver or other precious metals.

Did you know that Monex Deposit Company (MDC) can help you purchase silver or other precious metals for immediate personal delivery or arrange for convenient and safe storage at an independent bank or depository? Their experts are trained to grow your wealth or at least ensure your financial resources are hedged against inflation and currency fluctuations to preserve your wealth.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yummy Snacks No More!

The enlightening article below was recently published in a local daily. It has been revealed that some hawkers selling crispy snacks are using oil containing dissolved or rather molten plastic or PVC from straws and water bottles.

The authorities are now on the case. In the meantime, I am so not eating these fried and crispy snacks. Thank you very much.

Click on image to read.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Money Rules of Thumb from A Financial Expert

Recently, the Malaysian government made a change allowing members to withdraw money from the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) to pay housing loans monthly. Many house-buyers rejoice at the new amendment.

The EPF, something like a 401(k) in the US and some other courntries, makes it compulsory for employees to contribute 11% of his base rate into this fund while his employer contributes 12%. The entire contribution can only be withdrawn upon retirement at the age of 55 or 30% of it upon reaching 50 years of age. This too has changed slightly recently.

Allowing members to withdraw their contribution in the EPF to pay for their housing loan monthly may be welcome by some but not by others. The latter fear that there might not be enough for retirement later on if they choose to withdraw to pay off their home loan considering the rising inflation rate and the higher cost of living.

All of us have our ways of managing our finances, some with some degree of success, others not so. It's always good to maintain an open mind for new ideas when they do come along. Here are some money rules of thumb from a financial expert. Hope you'll find them useful.

1. Retirement, Part I: "Save 10% for basics, 15% for comfort, 20% to escape."

2. Retirement, Part II: "Retirement money is for retirement; until then, keep your mitts off it."

3. Student loans: "Your total borrowing shouldn't exceed what you expect to make your first year out of school."

4. College savings: "Saving for retirement is more important, but try to put at least $25 a month per kid in a college savings plan."

5. Cars, Part I: "Buy used and drive it for at least 10 years."

6. Cars, Part II: "If you must borrow to buy a car, follow the 20/4/10 rule."

7. Cars, Part III: "To compute and compare the real monthly cost to buy, insure and operate a car, double the price tag and divide by 60."

8. Credit cards: "If you carry a balance, look for the lowest rate. If you don't, get rewards at least equal to 1.5% of what you spend."

9. Debt repayment: "Pay off maxed-out cards first."

10. Financial flexibility: "You need to be able to get your hands on cash or credit equal to three months' worth of expenses."

11. Insurance: "Cover yourself for catastrophic expenses, not the stuff you can cover out of pocket."

12. Life insurance: "Those who need it typically need five to 10 times their income."

13. Mortgages, Part I. "If you can't afford to buy the house using a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, you can't afford the house."

14. Mortgages, Part II. "Fix the rate for at least as long as you plan to be in the home."

15. Mortgages, Part III: "You almost certainly have better things to do with your money than prepay a low-rate, deductible mortgage."

16. Priorities: "Retirement, then credit cards, then emergency fund."

For details, read 16 favorite money rules of thumb by Liz Pulliam Weston


What does your Home Insurance Cover?

Everyone who owns a home will want to have a home insurance policy. This will help to protect your property against untoward incidents such as natural disasters, theft and other liabilities. However, there are certain things your policy does not cover. That is why it is important to read through the policy carefully. You always want to know exactly what your home insurance policy will pay for if something happens.

Do you know what your home insurance policy covers? If not, you may want to get it out and take a closer look. And if you have yet to buy, you'd want to make sure that you know what the policy covers.

Colon Cleansing

Cleanse your body and revitalise your health. We are talking about the internal cleansing here. With the amount and variety of food we consume, how many of us give a thought to how our body system is taking all this. Cleansing and detoxification is necessary to rid our body of toxin buildup over the months, even years. What we need is a colon cleanser. Luckily, there are now supplements available for cleansing our body of harmful toxins and wastes.

Need more push? Here's something startling from the Vegetarian Times:

"Let's face it. Constipation, gas, diverticulitis and colon cancer are simply not things we like to discuss. And yet, as the old expression goes, death begins in the colon. Don't believe it? Ask any coroner. Autopsies often reveal colons that are plugged up to 80% with waste material."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Drug Rehab Saves Lives

Alcoholism and addictions can be fatal when untreated as proven time and time again by the deaths of famous personalities resulting from substance abuse. If you or someone you know is still suffering from an addiction, drug treatment centers are available that are able to provide lasting recovery and support resources. Get help. Drug rehab centers provide the best in addiction recovery, as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Photography Tricks

Boys will be boys. Statues are no different? Enjoy the following pictures that are from a forwarded mail.

Such creativity. lol

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Malaysia is in shock

Malaysians have made their choice! Though Barisan Nasional (BN) will form the next government winning more than half of the Parliamentary seats and the federal territory, five states have been won by the Opposition making this election the worst ever election performance for BN.

The five states won by the Opposition are Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor and Kelantan. The Opposition parties are DAP, PKR and PAS.

The State of Parliament thus stands at:

..BN = 136
..Opposition = 80 (PKR = 29; DAP = 28; PAS = 23)

Among the results yesterday were:

- The Barisan lost Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor,

- PAS strengthened grip on Kelantan,

- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting won in their seats,

- Among ministers who lost their seats were Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin,

- Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon lost to Dr P. Ramasamy in the Batu Kawan parliamentary seat.

Meanwhile, party leaders urged for calm and police have banned all victory celebrations.

Here's a video clip of the PM's post-election press conference

Read more..BN wins federal govt but opposition takes five states

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Frolics: Could You Be Violent?

LOL on this one.

There's Not a Violent Bone in Your Body

You're cool and collected, even when someone really gets under your skin.

And while you don't blow up when you're angry, you know how to express your anger calmly.

You don't bottle emotions up or let them get out of control. For you, violence would never be an option.

More Quizzes to check out

Small Business Phone Systems

I've heard of telephone-operators having free time to clip or paint their nails or engage in other beauty routines. Probably, not every telephone operator is so lucky to have so much free time on her hands.

Over here, it's not uncommon for a group of companies banding together to share a main telephone switchboard or answering service. Some of these companies are just a one-man show needing only a desk and someone to take calls and that telephone answering service suits them just fine. Thanks to the availability of small business phone systems, this arrangement is possible and indeed most helpful. In this case, there won't be much time left for the one tending the switchboard to do any personal stuff, would there?

Food Under Cover

The above caption is so appropriate for the Malaysian environment. But then again, I'm glad KL is not in a desert region. Still, it would serve our vehicles good if each one is covered with a car cover to protect against dust and other weather conditions. It is dusty here! And to think that we sit by the roadside enjoying our noodles and stuff. Mind-boggling! Perhaps, we need to eat under a cover?! lol

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What's In A Name?! Lots!

This morning's radio show had the DJs talking about names of companies that they came across. What's in a name?!. Lots, I should think.

I heard of someone, a Chinese gentleman, having a name, "Oh Oh Oh".

Last name: Oh.
Middle Name: Oh
First Name: Oh

No kidding! Imagine his anguish.

In fact, this type of bungle happened a lot in the old days here where some of the older Chinese folks (immigrants) were not quite so literate. Being in a foreign land with a foreign language altogether, complicated matters more.

This story is most apt.

What's In A Name

Walking through Chinatown, a tourist is fascinated with all the Chinese restaurants, shops, signs and banners. He turns a corner and sees a building with the sign, "Hans Olaffsen's Laundry." "Hans Olaffsen?", he muses. "How the heck does that fit in here?"

So he walks into the shop and sees an old Chinese gentleman behind the counter.

The tourist asks, "How did this place get a name like "Hans Olaffsen's Laundry?"

The old man answers, "Is name of owner."

The tourist asks, "Well, who and where is the owner?"

"Me, is right here," replies the old man.

"You? How did you ever get a name like Hans Olaffsen?"

"Is simple," says the old man. "Many, many year ago when come to this country, was stand in line at Documentation Center. Man in front was big blonde Swede. Lady look at him and go, "What your name?" He say, "Hans Olaffsen."

Then she look at me and go, 'What your name?'" "I say, Sem Ting."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Malaysians, Are You Ready?

Saturday, March 8 is THE DAY! Are you ready?

The banner-and-buntings war is heating up with these 'decorations' found at every turn and corner, even trees are sprouting flags.

This time around, there are flags of only three prominent parties. The ruling party's is a weighing scale against a blue background - as circled in red in the picture.

Circled in green are flags of the two opposition parties. One is something like a green version of the Japanese flag, the other is a turquoise/white with red edgings. The latter is a combination of two opposition parties thus the combination of colours.

If you are a first-timer or coming back from overseas (Italy, for instance) to cast your vote, and are wondering as to your centre location, here's where you can check for Electoral info. Below is the kind of information you'll find to confirm your participation.

Happy casting your vote! May the best party win!