Archive for September, 2009

Night Out

30/09/2009

Hubby was given two tickets to go out for a special dinner. It was a dinner about Korea’s Saranghaeyo Festival.

What a cultural delight it was! These dancing ladies were a visual feast.

Korea01But they were usurped by the men who followed after – I have never seen men who dance head-banging style and swing a long ribbon in the process. Who said men couldn’t multitask like women! Alas, I couldnt take good shots of them – they moved too fast for the camera of my mobile phone and I forgot to charge the battery of my camera!

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Building Houses and Marriages

28/09/2009

Today some friends came over for a visit. They commented how nice our home, but were also surprised at how long it took for us to build the place.

Many would think building your own home is an easy task. Well, we built our own home from scratch. We bought a nice piece of land, did the design with the architect, got the engineers to draw the blue print, had the local authority to approve, even got the geological engineer to check our soil for stability as it was on a hill. We did the piling and got the contractors to build the structures. Then we had still more to do – deciding on the finishing and fittings.

Wall and floor finishes were major decision-making, marriage-stretching issues! Tiles, carpet, timber, laminates, granite or marble? And where?

Well we chose tiles for our external flooring and some of our walls, especially the kitchen. Looking for the tiles alone meant we had to drive all over town to look at samples. It was tedious and tiring. If only we knew some tiles suppliers. We would have saved time and money. And the choices! Wow. So many to ponder over.

Needless to say we eventually finished. AND our marriage is intact… Hmmm, stronger than ever!

Black Stripes With Meaning!

27/09/2009

We were watching the English Premier League. “We” meaning my husband and my sons. I am “stuck” because they are holding on to the remote whilst I do the ironing!

Suddenly my beloved gives this interesting piece of information – that there is a soccer team in England nicknamed “Barcode” because their jersey is black and white stripes! Alas, this team is not doing so well at the moment. In fact, he observes, if they were as efficient as the real barcodes that can be found in almost all products in the supermarkets nowadays, they would not have been relegated to the second division of the English Soccer League!

I had a good chuckle, but it did make me think. Barcodes are excellent for keeping inventory and tracking sales. In fact, I reckon it to be one of the best inventions in the last twenty years.

Of course barcodes have to go hand in hand with barcode scanners. Otherwise there would not be any point having barcodes. Indeed poor barcode scanners would be absolutely frustrating. Imagine the impatient queue and harrassed checkout personnel at supermarkets? It would probably be faster to key in the info like the old days!

So yes, I do agree with my Hubby that the real barcodes are great…. and perhaps the nicknamed one leaves a bit more to be desired!

Improving Oneself

26/09/2009

Our house is pretty full now – all the children are around. It’s nice in a way. We get to do things together and friends drop by. The children’s friends especially.

One such friend looked a little miserable. Upon questioning, he shared how he felt aimless and needed some stimulation. My immediate response was, “Why not try online learning?”

You see, he is almost finished with his studies and is wondering what next. I heard about this course offering  Organizational development program. It sounded right up his street! This place offers learning at your pace, specially tailored degree plans and even your own course patterns! “To study what?” I hear you ask.

Well, this master degree is in organizational leadership. It puts together social science, communications, arts, humanities, business and of course, leadership. I gather that this course to be equipped with these tools necessary for leadership of any organization is so good that some people even got promoted WHILST doing the course! Not bad eh? And yes, of course it is a reputable place – one of the top US universities, and with a long standing record too!

Anyway, I have recommended it to this young man… I am now thinking of others that I ought to suggest this too as well.

Smart and Convenient Shopping!

22/09/2009

So here I am, wondering what to get my friend for their kiddo’s birthday. Then I was introduced to this site! I must admit, I am very, very impressed. Here I can get tips on everything I can think of and more where it comes to buying things.

Take for instance if I wanted to get some clothes for this toddler. With my children well into their teens and beyond, I was glad to be able to refresh my memory on the pitfalls one can have in such a simple matter. I recall that there were a number of things that I would consider before getting a t-shirt, a romper or even socks! But that was a loooong time ago. Hence, I was glad that I could refresh my memory!

Well, clothes was one option on my shopping list. When I thought about it, I recall getting lots of still-new passed-on cltohes for my little ones! In turn, I would also have lots to pass on to others too. At this age, they outgrew their new clothes before they wore them out! So I felt perhaps some activity set or toy might be longer lasting. A few clicks and voila! I found some good links to check out.

Apart from that, there are also things that I could get to furnish my friend’s nursery. Hmm I am tempted to give her my budget and ask her to go online herself to find what she would like. She can pick what she wants and if it is more than what I can afford, she can top it up herself. With so much to choose from, it would be best if she made the choice herself! Good idea?

You see, this site is like a search engine. It takes you to places and shops that are offering sales…. for free! No need to pay for this facility! Not bad eh?

And no, they don’t get paid either. That means no strings attached, AND it means that you get the best choices. That’s right – this site links you to sites that are best for you, the customer, not for the shop that pays.

I am definitely going to bookmark this site!

My Cat

20/09/2009

This is how my cat sleeps. She lies on her back!

20081210(004)Don’t ask me why she does it. She just does.

Anyone else has a cat who does the same?

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

19/09/2009

This has got to be one of the hardest posts I have had to write.

What does one do when someone one knows drops a bombshell – the he/she is about to enter a drug rehab centre.

Worse, the physical distance means that one is not able to be there to offer any help!

Whilst going through a barrage of emotions ranging from sadness and guilt to anger and frustration, this is also the time when one has to trust that the rehab centre does a good job. It is interspersed with question of “How?” “Who?” and much more.

One can’t help but wish that there had been courses to prevent this happening. There should be more avenues to protect youths from substance abuse and to reduce the demand for such. There should be some form of help BEFORE they get to this stage.

It breaks my heart… and I wish her all the best.

Guilty Breakfasts!

18/09/2009

I wanted to take a new friend out. She doesn’t get to go out much, you see. So we settled on breakfast. Her choice of venue.

This is what I ordered.

coffeebean01And this is what she ordered.

coffeebean02Needless to say, our conversation inevitably went towards topics such as what sort of weight loss diet had we tried and so forth! We were not very conclusive but decided to skip the sugar in our drinks! Yes, we felt rather guilty for indulging… just that once!

Careful Drivers Needed

18/09/2009

I was driving along, minding my own business. My daughter was in the front passanger seat. We were making our way to the shops at the other side of the hill where we live. As we negotiated the narrow shortcut, an old white sedan came in the opposite direction and pulled to a stop. Seeing that, I went forward, setting the left set of wheels off the road to make sure I didn’t get too close to the sedan.

Just as I thought I had passed the old automobile, I felt it – the distinct shift and crunch of metal meeting metal. Somehow that old car and mine had made contact.

“Not possible!” my mind screamed.

I hopped out of the car. To my dismay, the other driver didnt bother – he drove off!

Now I have to go look for a car accessories place to try to fix up my still new car.

“What happened?” I hear you ask.

The best that I can make out, the other car got impatient and instead of waiting for me to go right by, the driver opted to try go ahead…. with disasterous results.

Sigh….

Take One Bowl for Salad….

13/09/2009

Half a dozen of us were having dinner. It was time to get the salad. Being a self-service salad bar, one of our friends said that he would get it. With one little empty bowl, he assured us that he would get enough for all of us.

This is what he came back with.

PizzaSalad01I know what you’re thinking – Looks interesting, but not very impressive, right?

But wait…. we then tipped the bowl’s contents..

PizzaSalad02

Here’s the comparison. The truth! One small bowl filled this large pizza pan!

PizzaSalad03

And it fed six people!

PizzaSalad04This is the last portion, which went on to my plate after this photo was taken.

PizzaSalad05And voila! The end result – a shiny but empty large pizza pan!

We have decided that our friend is a honorary Foochow. For the unaware, the Foochow is considered the Jew of the Jews of east!