Monday, October 29, 2007

Snatch Thieves

Not a day goes by without me having thoughts about looking for a better way to transport my worldly belongings safely with me. There will be at least one report everday of someone having had their belongingss snatched from them. Sometimes, the poor victim does not suffer only from the loss of the belongings but also her life as well. The situation has gone so bad that snatch thief victims are no longer women but men too.

It was reported in today's newspapers that the Nanyang Siang Pau crime editor (Chiew) has become the lastest victim of such a crime. His injuries are pretty bad from the report and when I read the article further, it was reported that the bag was slung around Chiew's body. I would gather it was not casually slung across the shoulder, where it would have been quite easily removed from the owner's grasp. Either the snatch thieves are becoming very desperate or they are getting more stupid. Don't they calculate the risks, the success and failure rates before they attempt to relieve their victim off their belongings.

Well, come to think of it, I had an ex-colleague who is a guy, about 5ft 8ins, weighs no less than 250lbs, had an idiot of a snatch thief making an attempt to grab his labtop bag. Mind you, that snatch thief was about 5ft 6ins, weighs no more than 140lbs. As expected, it was like a kind of tug and war thing for a couple of minutes.... with no prize for guessing who won. The snatch thief finally realized that he was not going to win this one, give up and ran off. The cheek of the man.. or the sheer stupidity. My ex-colleague could have just tripped, fell on to the thief and either suffocated the man or broke a few of his bones.

It looks like no bags are safe from being a potential target of these snatch thieves. It would also appear to be more dangerous if one attempted to sling the bag across one's body or wear it as a knapsack behind the back. I checked some websites with the hope of getting some ideas or availability of snatch-proof bags being sold in the market when I found these.

PacSafe City Safe 100 Secure Red Hand Bag with Exomesh Product Details
The CitySafe 100 is a secure and functional hand bag equipped with 4 anti-theft features and practical internal organization.

anti-theft features
- Tamperproof zipper
- Slashproof side and bottom panels
- Adjustable, slashproof wire-reinforced shoulder strap
- Snatchproof shoulder strap clips around a secure fixture

Security Neck Safe by PacSafe
Ideal for concealing your passport, money and credit cards in crowded places. This security neck pouch keeps valuables close, out of view, and protected from sneak-thieves and professional pickpockets.

Incorporated into the neck/shoulder strap is the patented Slash-Proof, adjustable, wire-reinforced strap, so it cannot be cut or broken. Comfortable and made with a breathable backing, the Pouchsafe neck pouch has a zippered compartment and two velcro sealed pockets for concealing valuables.

My friend JW has a great way of keeping her belongings safe. She wears tailor-made skirts with pockets. She will carry her mobile and keys in her hands and her purse will be in her skirt pockets. Well.. I suppose I can to... once I have gotten rid of my 3 sets of house keys, my diary, lip stick, lip balm, my loyalty cards and all the other stuff.. If only they allowed cargo pants to work, then I'd be fine. But until they do... sigh..

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Official Opening of Kechara House 2

I was at the Offical Opening of Kechara House 2 yesterday, which started at 2:00pm for Registration. The actual kicked off was at 4:00pm with the welcoming address by our Kechara President Tan Sio Chian.

2-4 pm Arrival of distinguished guests and Friends of Kechara
4pm Opening Ceremony
4.15-4.30pm Opening Speech, Presentation of keys, Datin Ng's announcement, New Liaisons swearing-in
5.30-6.30pm China Trip video presentation
6.30-7.00pm Presentation of gifts 4 Migtsema achievers
7.00pm Dinner & Chill out Celebration

It was a great event as there were so many people present and there were people from overseas too, from Singapore, Thailand and even Portugal.

Kept enthralled by what the President had to say.

Paul Yap and Kennie (who can be a real clown...but a nice one)

Joey and Roland (who came all the way up from Singapore to be here with us for this wonderful event)

Kechara Members & Friends

Kechara Staff, Volunteers, Liaisons and Friends.

This is Paris Jamie. She is one of the senior editors of Kechara Media Publications.

The MCs Shin and Joe

Datin Ng giving a speech on our retreat centre Tsem Kacho Ling

A little batboy totally fascinated with the little Tibetan boy's toy

Rajendra and Rajeswari

The "Gang of 4" who went to China to check out the place for the future pilgrims

Fung and Raymond

Rosalind and Ash (also from Singapore, together with Roland)

More of the crowd

Guess who is having a great time :)

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Friday, October 26, 2007

The ugliest Muffins I've ever seen

Remember what I said about praying each time I cooked? This time I must not have prayed hard enough... Haha. Took 2 days off to do some personal errands and also in anticipation of a celebration and a long dharma talk on my Guru's birthday on the 24th of October. Guru's dharma session ended at 3am plus on the 25th which was considered short. Most of the time, his sessions will end at 5am or so in the morning.

So, managed to get enough sleep by about 9am in the morning and with really nothing much to do, decided to try an experiment with baking with my old oven (those el cheepo ones without a fan).

Everything was going quite well until after I shove the muffins into the oven. Firstly, I didn't really get that fantastic smell that I used to get with the other oven with the fan. When I took those muffins out eventually, the first thought I had was "Gosh.. those must be the ugliest bunch of muffins (if you could even call them that) I have ever seen". By the way... they are supposed to be choc walnut muffins...buahaha

Need to post them so that if ever they had an Ugly Muffin contest... these will definitely win hands and ladles down. MMS-ed to several people about my lot of disasters.. with the hope to get rid of them. So far.. only 3 takers...JW, her sister Jean and my friend Tobiyama. Been walloping about 2 of them each sitting myself ... just to get rid of them. Not going to offer babe or fishman ... too embarassing.... and dcky is on a carb free diet... else he might be a good choice too hahaha.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Alamak..Forgot that I got tagged :p

Beribu ribu ampun.. my friend Fishman. He tagged me last Friday and I must have gotten too caught up with my cloud of saddness on Friday that I did not respond immediately. I was blog-surfing as usual and by the time I hit Babe's blog.... alamak.. I remembered that I forgot.

Okie dokie.. so here goes nothing ..

5 things found in my room:
1) My lovely Queen-sized bed which I find hard to leave every morning
2) Tonnes of fengshui books, recipe books and trashy novels
3) Makeup and all them goo to make me pretty (barf...)
4) My 3 teddy bears
5) My trusty back scratcher

5 things I’ve always wanted to do:
1) Take a cruise around the world on the Queen E
2) Meet a drop dead gorgeous hunk and get stranded on an island with him :)
3) Shop and shop without thinking about paying them credit card bills later
4) Eat anything I like without the weight issue
5) Quit this BL**DY job and have the financial freedom to practice my fengshui and bazi

5 things found in my bag (hey you saw what's in my bag already what):
1) Wallet
2) Mobile phone
3) Keys
4) Diary/Notebook
5) LipBalm

5 things found in my wallet:
1) IC Card and Driver's License
2) Photo of my Guru - HE Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
3) Money
4) Loyalty Cards
5) Receipts

5 things I’m currently into:
1) Personal Date Selections
2) Cross stitch
3) Brushing up on my Bazi reading abilities
4) Cooking and trying recipes from the blogs that I read
5) Blogging :)

5 parent/s to tag:
Alamak.. I don't know any that have not already been tagged how??

Once in a while..a cooking miracle does happen.. :)

It is not an every day affair that I cook. In fact, it may not even a once in a week or fortnight affair that I cook. But when I do, I always pray for a miracle. There are times (mostly) where the food is barely edible but definitely never good enough to show-off or to brag about (blush..). But when a miracle does happen, then I would want to tell as many as I can that cooking miracles do happen haha...

I was cleaning the larder when I saw the bottle of Pregos which I got a few weeks ago and the reason that I got it was for the free melamine plate which comes free with it. Damn cheapskate yah? That was Saturday evening. So, on Sunday, went to the nearest supermarket to pick up some prime Aussie beef, fresh white button mushrooms and fresh basil leaves.

Prepared everything for cooking at 5pm on Sunday. Not even going to bother to put the recipe in here coz cooking spaghetti isn't really rocket science and I bet the food bloggers out there will have plenty of better recipes to share. Took me about 2 hrs to finish cooking (and that is because boiling the pasta-spaghetti took ages). Was doing all this while watching "Mermaid" on Astro. Rather moving parts in the movie which started my tear ducts going.. mmm.. no wonder I didn't have to add too much salt into the gravy.

When everything was looked edible (which is much more than I can say for some of the other stuff I tried to cook up). No one was home.. so, how to show off leh? So, took out my camera phone, took a shot and decided who I can mms to. Could only think of 4 people. They were so very nice, all 4 of them... coz they replied :).

Now feeling kinda encouraged to cook more but for those who knows me well, nah.. the feeling probably will only last til this Wednesday...that lazy cow :p

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Friday, October 19, 2007

A Sad Friday...

This seems like one of the saddest Fridays I have ever experienced. As I was publishing my previous blog about Uncle Peter, it was still raining heavily. I noticed that my friend babe was not online on the MSN. Found out later that she was on MC.. probably having the sniffles, thanks to this weather.

Then JW msn-ed me to let me know that she has to leave the office as she has just received a call from home and she had to leave coz her dad was really not well.

And the rain continued to fall. Everything was so melancholic.

Lunch time came and went. Did not feel like plodding out into the rain to get lunch. Just went downstairs and bought rice with 3 vegetable dishes to eat. A little silver lining broke out through the clouds when JW sms to inform that her dad seems to be ok but they were still monitoring him in the Emergency Ward. She promised to keep me updated.

Sigh.. maybe I will just go to Mid Valley after work.. just to cheer myself up. But only to their Mall not The Gardens. Cannot afford anything from any of the shops at The Gardens. Would not help cheer me up.

Tomorrow will be a better day!

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Goodbye dear Uncle Peter…

Do you know a person for the longest time but not know that person at all? This is the story of me and my uncle Peter.

My late father came from a family 2 mothers and 13 siblings (4 sons and 9 daughters). His youngest sister, Auntie Rosemary is at least 20 over years younger than him. When I was born, many people thought that Auntie Rosemary and I were sisters because I looked more like her than her own sisters. When I was born, she gave me my “English” name. She travels to England often and she was the most “pseudo” mat salleh than any one else in the family.

Uncle Peter married Auntie Rosemary in a beautiful wedding more than 22 years ago. I have met Uncle Peter a few times before the wedding day and I thought of him as a very nice man, though not my version of a Prince Charming, as he was not tall, dark or a kwai loh (as a kid, I only thought that Prince Charming came only in the kwai loh – Caucasian templates). He was Chinese, bespectacled, and had a bit of a pocked-marked face. But he was nice, kind and full of humor.

They stayed in Ipoh, whilst my family stayed in Ipoh. The only times we ever met was during Chinese New Year. So, it was the “hello” and “bye” thing.

Years later, when I started my first job, I met Uncle Peter again. This time, he was working in a subsidiary of the Group of Companies that I was working in. He has shifted his family to Kuala Lumpur. Better career prospects. I got to know him a little better then as he and Auntie Rosemary comes by to visit my family to pass birthday angpows, Chinese New Year angpows and other small family events. By then I had my own life and was hardly ever at home when he visited.

When I moved on to another job, I lost track of Uncle Peter until one fine day, he came and visited me at my place of work. He was promoting Unit Trust investments, which at one time was like the stable-product of every independent business owner. I found out that due to the economic rumblings in the job market, Uncle Peter had lost his job and he was trying to do whatever he has to do to keep the family afloat.

I truly enjoyed the talks we had as he was so knowledgeable and most of the time, his advices really sounded like one gives to a daughter, and not a client. He was doing this for a short while before he got a full time job. After that, my Unit Trust account with him was passed over to a colleague of his. And I kind of lost connection with Uncle Peter again.

3 years back, I “found” Uncle Peter again. This time, he was with a Unit Trust company which my company had a project with. We did meet up once in a while during office hours but even that, it was not too often. My colleagues who met him also found Uncle Peter to be a nice person. We lost connection again soon after that. But I do hear updates of Uncle Peter and his family through my mother every now and then as he does visit her often, especially after my father’s passing.

The last and final time that I met Uncle Peter was last night. Uncle Peter is now 50 years young. He looked so peaceful, lying there in his suit, with his glasses on but his eyes were closed. He was lying there in his beautiful white coffin, with soft music playing, pretty flowers in wreaths all laid out. The saddest part is that I did hear from my mum about Uncle Peter’s fight with cancer but I didn’t not even manage to visit him once.

His battle started last October, when he was diagnosed with 4th stage pancreatic cancer. He kept it very quiet, within his family and his beloved church group. He told my mum about his battle only a few months after he has commenced his chemotherapy. My mum was surprised as he did not look like the typical cancer patient as he had a head full of hair, and he was looking rather meaty. Probably because of that, we did not think it was that bad.

During his memorial service last nite, I found out that his condition took a turn for the worse only after his treatment at the University Hospital to remove the lesions from his liver area. The downhill journey was terrible and the pain, the nausea, loss of appetite and everything which he had not felt earlier on came with a vengeance. He was totally ravaged by the cancer. The only thing that kept him lucid throughout this pain and agony was his family, his friends, his church and most importantly his God. Apparently, he was the one who encouraged all those around him to never question God, never be bitter about what is happening to him. God always has a plan, only thing that it may not be revealed yet.

Yesterday’s memorial was as beautiful as the previous night’s. People came up and paid tribute to Uncle Peter and it was through their eulogies that I got to know Uncle Peter for the man that he is. His pastor called Uncle Peter his Joshua (must read the bible to find out who this Joshua is), his friends called him a pillar of strength, his family found him to be their oasis and shelter from the world’s confusion and pain.

Everybody who came up to speak last night talked about Uncle Peter having gone back to God, to this better place… May that be so. May he have eternal life with his God… May he be truly happy and fulfilled to be doing what he wanted to do during his time on earth, that is to do his God’s work…. May his family be comforted by this and carry on his legacies…

It is raining now. I was not able to get leave from my office today due to meetings. His final memorial service began at 10:00am just now. It is almost 10:40am now. After the service, the cort├Ęge will take Uncle Peter in his last journey on earth to the crematorium. I am sitting in my office now, looking out of the window… waiting for the rain to stop, the clouds to break and for the rainbow to appear to signify Uncle Peter’s return to his God’s arms.

May I be able to meet Uncle Peter again when it is my turn to go… for I may have my lost my chance to know him on Earth… perhaps we’ll meet at this better place. So, Goodbye for now…Uncle Peter!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Is Ageing Optional?

Did you know that ageing is optional? Hah…. really? How come nobody told me? I have always thought that it was an inevitable and natural process… unless you had money for some Nip Tuck…. haha.

Cosmetics salespersons and MLM businesses have been pushing lotions and creams, vitamins and food supplements respectively to help reverse the aging process for many people. I reckon all these may work, to a certain extent but it will surely cost lots of money.

What if someone came along and told you that the “Fountain of Youth” is actually available and relatively affordable? Would you be interested to listen? I would.

Apparently, this is nothing new and most of us already knew it. Know something and doing it is where we all failed. Did you know that staying healthy and looking young (relative) is 3-pronged?

Food, Sleep & Exercise.

Food – we just have to know what’s right to eat and what’s not. I think we have all gone through lessons in school which has taught us the various food groups. Not to much carbohydrates and fats, more fruits, proteins & drink lots of water. Hence, food to eat more often would be in the form of white meat (fish & chicken), lots of beans and legumes, plenty of fruits and vegetables. The trick here is also moderation and balance. I have been told by friends who are in the nutrition field that eating fruits and vegetables also meant selecting a wide variety to eat from and more importantly, to have them in all colors in each sitting.

Sleep – we really have to sleep sufficiently and that would mean at least 6 hrs a night. The key word here is night. Sleeping 6 hrs in the day with the blinds drawn is not the same as 6 hrs in the night. The body apparently is too smart to be tricked and some cells regeneration can only be done effectively in the night-time darkness. Proof of this is confirmed by the Chinese sensei who treated my Guru H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche during his recent bout of illness.

Exercise – the body must be made to exercise at least 30 mins a day on a stretch. I reckon one does not have to join a gym just to do this. Parking further away or walking up to your office floor is a great start. But getting up in spurts or 2 mins from the TV couch to the fridge and adding it up to 30mins a day does not work out to be the same.

I think I will seriously look into this formula and use it together with the British Foundation Diet which babe mailed me a few weeks ago. Look out world to a slimmer and younger ME… buahahah….

Also do check out this Food Guide Pyramid site.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rose, Rose I Love You ...

My friend JW has asked me if I wanted to watch Chicago with her and her sister. Nah.... not that I don’t think that Chicago is good but I would rather put my time and money on Rose, Rose I Love You the musical. Why? Firstly, I have heard much of Rose Chan from my late father and his friends and her life story would be a whole lot more interesting to watch. Besides, I am an ardent supporter of our local artistes.

Getting back to Rose Chan (1925 – May 26, 1987). She is one of Malaya’s truly original Rose. She was a cabaret dancer who became the legendary striptease Queen. She was born in Soochow, China as Chan Wai Chang to acrobat parents.

She arrived in Kuala Lumpur in 1931, at the age of 6 with no formal education. Being a very enterprising kid, she started making a living at the age of 12 by working in a button-making shop. When she was 16, her (adopted) mother arranged for her to marrying an elderly Chinese Singaporean harbor contractor to become his 4th wife. But the marriage did not work out and she returned to Malaysia.

Later on due to her financial issues, she traveled to Singapore in hope that her husband would take her back. Unfortunately, he refused and being stranded in Singapore without money, she took a job as a cabaret dancer at Happy World, Singapore. Her career took off there as she won several championships and even the coveted Miss Singapore title.

Her career from a cabaret girl to a Striptease Queen actually took off accidentally at the age of 27. Whilst performing at the Majestic Theater in Ipoh, her brassiere snapped. The audience was naturally very appreciative and this set her thinking: "Here I dance all night and sweat so much, and nobody claps. My bra breaks and they clap".

Hence, the Striptease Queen took off like a rocket. Rose Chan traveled through Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Alor Star. Tickets for her shows back then cost RM10 to RM15. While she was raking in the money by the buckets, she never forgot about those in need. She was always donating part of her proceeds to charitable concerns, benefiting children and old folks' homes, institutions for the blind, and tuberculosis patients.

Her marriage life was not as smooth running as her career life. She went through 4 marriages, none lasting very long. Very sad.

Rose Chan’s last striptease show took place in Kuala Lumpur in 1976, after which she retired for good. She tried her hand in numerous ventures after her retirement but all of them failed. The final blow in her life would have been when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1980. The doctors informed her that she had only 18 months to live. She managed to fight this cancer for 6 years but she finally succumbed to it on the 26th of May, 1987, leaving behind a husband, a son and three daughters. She was interred at the Beow Hong Lim Columbarium in Air Itam, Penang.

To read more about the Live and Times of Rose Chan Wai Chang, click here.

I was mucking around Kakiseni sometime back before they even announce Rose, Rose I Love You the musical when I found this very interesting article written by Pang Khee Teik. It was an article posted in 2004 but highly entertaining coversation between the author of the piece and Patrick Teoh. Humourous, tongue-in-cheek, thought provoking.

At the same time, both my friends JH and MH told me about the Rose Musical production. They told me to check out the blog to try to win tickets to watch the musical.

It must have been due to either the Law of Attraction or the people organizing the Rose, Rose I Love You competition at the blog are really very nice people, they announced me as their 2nd winner to win 2 tickets to watch the musical. YIIIPPPPPEEEE! Sooo.. here I come Rosie.. to watch you enshrined on stage.

The organizers informed me of the packages available for this musical and they are:-

Platinum Rose Package (RM3,888)
10 x RM118 ticktes
5 Rooms at Resort Hotel
Dinner for 10 worth RM1,000 or 1 x RM1,000 worth of dinner

Golden Rose Package (RM2,888)
10 x RM118 ticktes
5 Rooms at First World Hotel
10 x Food Vouchers up to RM800

Silver Rose Package (RM418) - SOLD OUT

Love Rose Package(RM388)
2 x RM88 tickets
1 x Room at First World Hotel
1 x Breakfast
1 x Dinner for 2

Friends of Rose Package RM1,288
10 x RM88 tickets
4 x Rooms at First World Hotel

For bookings of the above packages, please call Cindy at 012 292 3803.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back to work....

How quickly time pass when one is having fun. Weekends are normally the time when I really come alive. So, when it is a long weekend, the fun just never seem to end. Just wanted to drop in to say that the highlight of my entire weekend was when I attended a dharma teaching on Saturday nite by my precious Guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche where those of us who stayed on was given the opportunity to bear witness to how Guru deals with one who is disturbed and possessed, not by 1 spiritual being, but 2. More on that later.

Just want to say that the only reason why I look forward to coming to office everyday is to meet up my friends and colleagues and the blogs (mine and all those fabulous blogs that I subscribe to).

Later then :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Weird Cures that Works??

There are lots of home cures and weird cures that people have sworn that works. Today, we are told that Vodka drips saved a tourist in Australia by reversing the effects of poison. Shucks.. I should not have given away my bottle of Absolute Vodka to the guys who washes my car every week :(.

There are lots more of these weird cures which we have tried. I still remember in the old days when my grandmother was still around. Each time any of us kids complain of twitchings in the eyelid area, she will either tie a twisted black and white thread on one of our fingers or she will tear a small piece of red paper (chinese use that for lining their altars) and wets it with her saliva and stick it on our eyelid (Yucks). But if I do recall correctly, the twitchings did stop. Not sure whether it would have stopped anyway in due time.

I would not classify what I am going to share under the category of Alternative Medicine (like Herbs, Accupuncture, etc) but I supposed if it is not too dangerous, it's not going to kill ya (smirk) or you could try them on your best pal (hahaha).

Most of these are researched from this fabulous source UCLA Online American Folk Medicine Database. There are some which are totally mind boggling, like these....

Headaches - To cure headache, take a rope used to hang someone and wrap it around your head.

Birth Control - Jump backwards several times in the direction of the sunset, then wake up and jump backwards several more times in the direction of the sunrise, all to avoid being pregnant.

Hiccoughs - get a small cup of water, and light a match. put out the match in the water (throwing it away when it's out) and then have the person with the hiccoughs drink the water.

Nosebleed - Pull three hairs from the top of the head, and it will stop a nosebleed

Constipation - For constipation give castor oil in small doses. Also rub the armpits, rump, backbone and stomach.

Toothache - charm written on paper and put in cotton bag around neck

Very disappointing to find that there is no cure for Laziness and mum was wrong. There is indeed a cure for Stupidity. The cure for Stupidity (of coz they were too polite to call it that, instead, they call it mental abilities, lack acuity ), the cure is pluck hairs above nose buahahaha.