Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Haunted Places in the US

Wanna know the most haunted places in the United States? Would you be brave enough to spend any time -- or perhaps even a night -- at the most spooky sites in the list?

Happy Halloween!

Real Estate in Malaysia

I read the other day that sales of second-hand properties have declined in the US. Over the news on tv the other day, I heard property sales have also declined somewhat in Britain.

Here in Malaysia, people are still snapping up new houses. Looks like real estate investment is still high on people's priorities. Buyers have known to queue up way before the developer's office opens.

Have you been to a Garage Sale?

I've often seen garage sales being advertised in the local dailies but have so far been to just one and that was many years ago. The other day, I went to another one with two other girlfriends. One of them was looking for second-hand bar stools. I was surprised to see shirts going for a Ringgit and they were pretty good ones too. Was looking out for original paintings but too bad there wasn't any.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Convenience of Computer-based Training

With our advanced technological era, e-learning has become a common way of learning. Computer courses are part and parcel of contemporary education and computer training has taken a new twist too. Computer training need not be classroom style anymore as training can now be computer-based and can be done anywhere, not necessarily in the classroom.

Leadership training has also evolved and allows you to apply any leadership styles and skills in real time, and have you discover what you don't know in the safety of simulations.

Indeed, training methods have come a long way.

A Pair of Panties instead

There is always room for some laughter, innit? Some jokes are classic and never go out of style, just like the one below which always gives me a good chuckle everytime it came my way. Enjoy.

A young man wished to buy a pair of gloves for his sweetheart's birthday, so he went to an expensive boutique, bought the finest gloves available and asked the saleswoman to have them delivered with a note.

While wrapping the gloves, a clerk accidentally mixed up the order and sent a pair of panties instead.

Here is the note the young man sent to his sweetheart:


I chose these, because I noticed that you are not in the habit of wearing any when we go out in the evening. I would have chosen long ones with buttons, but because your sister wears the short ones that are so easy to remove, I decided to get the same style for you.

Although these are a delicate shade, the lady I bought them from showed me a pair she had been wearing for three weeks and they were hardly soiled. I had the sales girl try them on for me and they looked really smart.

I wish I could be there to put them on for you for the first time. No doubt many other hands will touch them before I see you again. When you take them off, remember to blow in them before putting them away as they will naturally be a little damp from wearing. Be sure to keep them on while cleaning them so they don't shrink. Just think how many times I will kiss them during the coming year. I hope you like them and will wear them for me on Friday night.

All my Love.

P. S. The latest style is to wear them folded down with a little fur showing.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Enjoy a holiday in a log-cabin

A friend who has emigrated to the US with his family recently came back to Malaysia to visit with his family. We met up. During the course of our conversation he shared about his summer vacation staying at a log-cabin. Not sure whether it is one of those Pigeon Forge cabins but the whole family of three kids and parents enjoyed themselves. Can you imagine snuggling up under 600-thread count sheets? That's how comfortable they all were.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Airbus A380

Everyone has been talking about the Airbus A380. Delivery delayed by almost two years, Singapore Airlines made its maiden flight yesterday with 450 passengers onboard. The superjumbo took off from Changi Airport to Sydney at 8am. The youngest passenger a 10-month-old boy to the oldest, a 91-year-old man. There were 75 journalists from all over the world and many of the successful bidders for seats.

SIA, the first to operate the double-decker giant sold more than 650 one-way seats to Sydney and back in a charity auction. The bids came from 35 nationalities paying from USD560 for an economy seat to USD100,300 for a pair of one-way suite tickets. Close to USD2million (RM7million) were raised for charity.

The A380 is the biggest jetliner ever built. The combined floor space of its two decks could contain nine squash courts with a tail seven storeys high. Airports have had to widen runways and install special jetways just to handle the plane.

The aircraft has been certified to carry 853 passengers, yet SIA is providing just 471 seats on the aircraft which has 50% more floor space than the Boeing 747-400. The French fashion house, Givenchy, has been hired by the airline to create the interior of the plane.

For all that luxury, SIA's first class fares between Singapore and Sydney are 20% more than for the same route on the airline's 747-400s. The one-way fare comes up to around USD6000, excluding taxes and extra charges. Business class passengers pay a 15% premium, about USD4140 one way, excluding taxes and charges.

Seven out of the 14 carriers that plan to fly the A380 are also doing them up in luxury. The seven are Emirates Airline, Qantas Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, Korean Air, Kingfisher Airlines and SIA. They have all configured their planes with an average of 503 seats even though the A380 is certified to carry 853 passengers.

SIA has 19 of the super-jumbos on order, Emirates 47 and Qantas 20. Airbus which has received an order for 165 A380s from 14 customers will need to sell about 420 units to break even.

Have a Virtual Cabin experience

Related article: Airbus A380 lands in Sydney on first commercial flight

Applying for a Loan is Easy

If you are in the UK, application of UK Home Equity Loans has never been easier. You can apply for one online. MagicLoans allows for that. The site has a Loan Calculator in which you can find out how much you have to pay back monthly. The site also has a Loan Budget Calculator which can help you work out your monthly finances and how much is left at the end of the month.

Outstanding balances on credit card bills can result in high interest payments. A consolidation loan would help pay off all outstanding repayments and high interest credit card bills. Magic Loans could ease the load by arranging terms at an improved rate and over an extended period.

Need a secured homeowner loan? MagicLoans offer immediate secured homeowner loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 for any purpose whatsoever. The loan can be arranged to suit your personal circumstances exactly, allowing for repayment from 3 to 30 years.

If you have queries that need immediate answers, the site has five frequently asked questions to provide you with immediate answers. If you are in the UK and need a loan, check out MagicLoans.

Friday Frolics: What Should Your Superpower Be?

Have you ever fantasized about being a Superhero? Given a choice, what superpower would you like to have? Me? I'd like to have the power to become invisible. Alas, my reading here says I should be Super Speed. I better learn to slow down or I'll get bored with myself.

Your Superpower Should Be Super Speed
You're quick witted and fast to act.
Your mind works at warp speed. From your perspective, everyone else is living in slow motion.
You get so much done, people have accused you of not sleeping.
Definitely not a couch potato, you feel a bit crazy if you're not busy doing something.

Why you would be a good superhero: You'd be the first on the scene... and likely to finish the job before anyone else shows up

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Being bored by everyone else. Including other superheroes!

More Fun Quizzes here

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong dies at 90

The Star reported that Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, the founder of the Genting Group and one of the world’s richest men, died Tuesday. He was 90.

His son Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay said his father died at the Subang Jaya Medical Centre where he was admitted two days ago.

The funeral will be held on Monday.

Remembering Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong
Photo gallery
10,000 bid farewell to Lim Goh Tong
Ong: Goh Tong will be forever remembered
Final resting place for Goh Tong

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Romance and the French Bed

A good night's sleep requires a good bed. A good-looking bed would be an added bonus, would it not? While checking out beds online, I came across some lovely French Beds. I think they'd pretty up any bedroom. You can now buy French design beds online.

A UK-based bed company which specialises in leather beds has a new collection of French beds. They have a wide range of French beds from painted rattan to painted upholstered to French gilt to Moulin Noir bed and many other designs. Any of these French-inspired beds would surely add a touch of romance to any bedroom.

A World of Colours

The weather has been dull the past week. There's been more rainfall than sunshine. Grey seems to be the order of the day. It's awesome to step outside and be greeted by the blue sky but this has been missing. I was glad to see a yellow-hued sunset the other evening. Notice the dark clouds overhead. Instead of cropping the darkness off, I chose to keep it - for the mood.

I've always loved colours so was I glad I stumbled upon this site, Colourlovers. The profile says COLOURlovers™ is a resource that monitors and influences color trends. COLOURlovers gives the people who use color - whether for ad campaigns, product design, or in architectural specification - a place to check out a world of color, compare color palettes, submit news and comments, and read color related articles and interviews.

The beautiful picture below is borrowed from the site - sunset in Burma. The accompanying colourful essay provides great insights into the country that is undergoing turmoil and hopefully a change for the better. Enjoy Landmark Colors: Burma (Myanmar) and enjoy the site.

Blackpool's The Big Blue Hotel

On a visit to Blackpool, finding a hotel to put up is not a difficult task as there are many Blackpool Hotels and the one you'd want to pickis Blackpool's newest hotel, the Big Blue Hotel.

The only Hotel on-site at Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, a visit to the Big Blue Hotel will change the way you see Blackpool forever! The hotel has been recently voted Hotel of the Year at the Blackpool Tourism Awards. This unique hotel is located at the south entrance of Pleasure Beach on Ocean Boulevard. There are 157 spacious and beautifully designed bedrooms with a totally contemporary feel - perfect for both business and leisure.

The hotel is just five minutes from Blackpool Airport and a short stroll from Pleasure Beach's very own railway station. Europe's tallest and fastest rollercoaster, the Pepsi Max Big One, provides the breathtaking backdrop to the Big Blue Hotel with many rooms overlooking the park so that guests can truly experience the fun and excitement of staying at Pleasure Beach.

No visit to Blackpool is complete without a trip to the Pleasure Beach which is adjacent to the Big Blue Hotel. Set in 42 acres of grounds with over 145 rides and attractions, plus many cafes and restaurants, it includes many thrilling rides and the very best in theatrical entertainment with a capacity of over 7000 seats per day across 3 spectacular live shows.

Kayakking in Kuching

Checking out some interesting ads, I found this site on kayakking. It's got instructions on the how-to's. If you are keen on kayakking and would love to know some theory before you embark on the actual activity, you may want to check out this site:

And if you happen to be in Kuching, Sarawak, you simply have to contact FH2O. He takes adventurous folks out kayakking. New to the sport? No worries as kayaking with FH2O is very safe as he takes great pains to ensure high safety standards. Who knows, you might even get to savour some of the wild durians which are only available in that part of the country. FH2O will ensure you an unforgettable kayakking experience.

Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Theme Park (UK)

For some fun and excitement, what better place to visit than to a theme park? Theme Parks are places for good, clean fun for the whole family.

Blackpool (UK) has the UK's oldest theme park which is also one of the UK's biggest tourist attractions. On a 42-acre ground with more than 125 rides and attractions and spectacular shows, it welcomes almost 6 million visitors annually.

Pleasure Beach has everything from thrilling, white-knuckle rides like the Big Dipper. the Grand National and the Avalanche to the milder more leisurely river cruises.There's also the world's first interactive maze and Ripley's Believe it or not! Odditorium. There are lots more to enjoy at the Pleasure Beach - even shopping. With 54 restaurants and food outlets, no one would go hungry.

You don't have to cram everything into one day, put up a night or two at their new hotel, the Big Blue Hotel. It has spacious rooms and every category of rooms to suit every need. Being the newest hotel, the rooms are equipped with the latest amenities.

What's UP?

How about a word puzzler? Stumbled upon it from the Word Guy, Rob Kyff.

There is something unusual about these eight words. See whether you can figure it out: assess, banana, dresser, grammar, potato, revive, uneven, voodoo. The answer is at the end of the column. No peeking. In the meantime, here's something for English lovers. Click on article to enlarge.

Source unknown

Puzzler answer: If you take the first letter of each word, place it at the end of the word and read the word backward, it will be the same word.

Monday, October 22, 2007

She went to Manchester and London

A friend's colleague just came back from a two-week holiday in Europe. One of the cities she visited is Manchester. She took in a tour of Old Trafford, but of course. Being a fan of Manchester United, that's not to be missed. Manchester is not only Manchester United. She also went to the theatre and even attended a pop concert. Hotels in Manchester are aplenty and many of them are close to places of interest.

She spent a week in London too and she immensely enjoyed herself. London is home to countless historical and modern attractions, from the London Eye to the National Gallery and Tower of London. Admission to many top attractions is free. She was glad her accommodation in London was close enough to the places she visited. Anyone looking for London accommodation would have no trouble finding one close by to major places of interest. Even if one stays a liitle way off, the Tube is a convenient way to get around London.

Men Never Listen

Men, have you ever been accused of not listening? Here's a case in point. I'm sure this is just a joke poking fun at men. You probably have read this before. It's Monday. Thought we all need something light to rev up the day.

In a Chicago hospital, a gentleman had made several attempts to get into the men's restroom, but it had always been occupied.

A nurse noticed his predicament. " Sir", she said " You may use the ladies room if you promise not to touch any of the buttons on the wall."

He did what he needed to, and as he sat there he noticed the buttons he had promised not to touch. Each button was identified by letters: WW, WA, PP, and a red one labeled ATR. Who would know if he touched them?

He couldn't resist. He pushed WW. Warm water was sprayed gently upon his bottom. What a nice feeling, he thought. Men’s restrooms don't have nice things like this.

Anticipating greater pleasure, he pushed the WA button. Warm air replaced the warm water, gently drying his underside. When this stopped, he pushed the PP button.

A large powder puff caressed his bottom adding a fragile scent of spring flower to this unbelievable pleasure. The ladies restroom was more than a restroom, it is tender loving pleasure.

When the powder puff completed its pleasure, he couldn't wait to push the ATR button which he knew would be supreme ecstasy. He was immediately knocked out by an excruciating pain.
Next thing he knew he opened his eyes, he was in a hospital bed, and a nurse was staring down at him.

"What happened?" he exclaimed. “The last thing I remember was pushing the ATR button.”

"The button ATR is an Automatic Tampon Remover. Your t---icles are now in this jar, sir."


Source unknown

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Arizona and the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon National park must be one of the most visited places in the United States with droves of tourists visiting the place every year. Arizona has other attractions too. There is the Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, the Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead. Even the much sung-about London Bridge has also been brought piece by piece to Arizona at Lake Havasu City. Manufacturing has become Arizona's most important industry, principal products being electrical, communications, and aeronautical items. Arizona luxury real estate must come with an interesting price tag.

Picture source: Wikipedia

Dewali in Auckland

New Zealand is a beautiful country to visit. Auckland is normally the first stop when you fly into New Zealand. Besides visiting the attractions of Auckland and other cities, time your visit to Auckland to coincide with one of the many events on the region's calendar. Don't worry about Auckland accommodation, there is plenty of it across the city.

What's currently on in Auckland? If you like dance, there is Tempo, New Zealand's Festival of Dance and the Yacht Race. Also happening next week is the Waitakere World Junior Badminton Championships 2007. These events are crowd-pullers but the number of hotels in Auckland would be sufficient to accommodate every visitor.

And yes, if you like rock music, Auckland plays host to WE WILL ROCK YOU, the musical by Queen and Ben Elton. This should be a treat for all rock fans in Auckland.
New Zealand has become a popular country to emigrate too so it is not surprisingly to see various ethnic groups in New Zealand. Immigrant South-Asians will be celebrating Diwali Festival of Lights next month and during such festivals families would want to get together. Auckland would then see an influx of visitors. If you are planning to visit Auckland around this time-frame, you may want to book Auckland hotels in advance. The Internet has made it so easy and cheaper to book hotels online. Check out Their rates are cheaper than hotels - either last-minute or all year round.

Dining Set from FurnitureFromHome

Looking to beautify your home dining room? Furniture From Home has a huge selection of good quality dining sets with the best prices on the internet.
You can find dining sets in all shades and styles from contemporary to traditinal, simple to formal to elegant. They have the simple metal and glass set to the formal traditional sets. There are table tops of glass, marble and wood. Quality wood is being used from oak to cherry wood to maple hardwood to mahogany. With the wide selection of dining sets available, it is not difficult to find a set that meets your needs. Get a cherry dining set. It's the popular choice right now.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Frolics: The Five Factor Personality Test

Very interesting this Personality assessment. For me, the thing that hits the nail on the head is that I give people the benefit of the doubt. I do and that's why I get bashed twice sometimes. Ouch!! Oh well..
Your Five Factor Personality Profile

You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.


You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Have you been to Easter Island?

We often say things like it's a small world but of course this is just a figure of speech. The world is actually a very big place. There certainly are many places, more places than we can ever hope to visit. Fortunately, the Internet has given us a chance to at least visit the places virtually through others experiences. There are tons of websites we can get information on places and people. This site I found would be really helpful for any trip planner.

The site has accounts from actual travellers, people who have been to the place and experienced the things they talk about. How would you like to read about wildlife viewing or being on Galapagos or on Easter Island? You can read all these on the site.
RealTravel is the travel guide and trip planner powered by advice from real travelers. On this site, you'll get to discover places and get to know the things to do there. The travel reviews allow for learning from real people and to avoid the pitfalls. This type of information is helpful if you are on your own, not on a guided tour.
Every traveller hopes to be able to plan a perfect trip. The site has a free Trip Planner to help you do that. Travelling is not a cheap hobby so any travel deals can come in handy. Find out the deals available here. Sometimes, we've been to places and find you've had such a great time that you want to share your experiences. You can do that on this site. Share your story with the world and make someone else's holiday an enjoyable one too.

Visit Gay Paree!

France must be one of the most visited countries in the world. It boasts a variety of activities to keep one's travel itinerary exciting. When we think of France, Paris surely comes to mind.
Paris, the French capital, known as the City of Lights, also the land of love and romance, is bursting with activity, day and night. Theatre, music, major exhibitions of art, photography and sculpture, opera, popular celebrations and fireworks, reading improvisations, contemporary or classical dance, festivals of all kinds: Paris just never stops, hosting hundreds of major events every year. There’s always something different to do at any time of the year. One thing is certain too. Visitors to Paris are never short of accommodations as there is a wide variety of Hôtels en Paris.
Visit the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Opéra National de Paris and Louvre. These are merely a few of the attractions in Paris.
Paris never sleeps. All year round, when day turns into night, when the lights go down on the city’s sublime sights and the French capital turns into one big dance floor. The Cabaret shows are also not to be missed when in Paris.
Naturally, Paris is not the only place to visit when in France. There's Nice along the Riviera, Marseilles, Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, the wine country and lots of other nice little towns in France. Visit the Rhone-Alpes for a different experience of lovely countrysides of mountains, lakes and vineyard.
There is a wide range of accommodation options in France, be it hotels in Paris or any other city. Booking online is easy and can even save you quite a bit. Cheaperthanhotels and Hotelsenfrancais offer last minute and year round accommoation at prices often less than direct prices, but also with free inclusions. This works out to be excellent value when 2 or more persons are travelling to hotels, hostels or serviced apartments. Ensure you get the hotel of your choice by booking Paris hotels online. You'd be paying rates that are cheaper than what hotels offer.
Picture source:

Top Ten Best Honeymoon Destinations

A girlfriend and her long-time fiance will be tying the knot this April. One of the items on their to-do list is to select the place they'd like to spend their honeymoon. They are considering a few places but have not decided on THE place yet.

Did you know that there are some cities that are popular with honeymooners? According to a survey conducted in the US, the following are the Top Ten Best Honeymoon Destinations:

1. Paris, France
2. Rome, Italy
3. Venice, Italy
4. Bahamas, US
5. Rome, Italy
6. Sydney, Australia
7. London, England
8. Tahiti
9. French Riviera
10. Fiji

Wanna Do a Kissing Quiz?

Doing quizzes is what I like to do for some light reading activity. If you can call it that. Some people enjoy working on crossword puzzles, I like working on quizzes - only the simple ones, mind you. It's just a frivolous activity to pass time or when I feel overloaded and I need a break. The results can sometimes be amusing, most times mostly true. I wonder what would these kissing quizzes tell about me.

Alaska - Today in history

Today, October 18, in 1867, ownership of Alaska changed hands. Alaska transferred to United States from Russia. To mark the change, an American flag was raised for the first time in the Alaskan town of Sitka.

The Russians sold the vast territory to the U.S. for $7.2 million dollars, or about two cents an acre. At the time, many Americans considered it money wasted on a worthless "icebox", but within a few years, Alaska's salmon fisheries brought an economic boom to Americans. Additionally, thirty years after the territory was transferred to the U.S., gold was discovered in Alaska.
An iceberg filled Portage Lake makes it one of the most popular destinations in Southcentral Alaska.
- Source:

Groomsmen gift

What would make a good groomsmen gift? That was a question a colleague posed the other day. Yes, what would make a good groomsmen gift? Different cultures have different practices. For the Chinese, tradition dictates that auspicious money be given. It's just a nominal sum but placed in a red envelope. These days, a gift to commemorate the event, may also be given in addition to the auspicious money. I wonder what other practices there are in other cultures.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Design Your Own Bedding Prints

Everyone likes to be different from the next guy. That's why some of us sport modified clothings bought off the peg to make the piece different and unique. Did you know that you can now design the print on your bedding, pillow cases, blankets, etc?
. allows you that flexibility. You can personalize your blanket with photos of yourself, your friends and family. You can even have animal prints on it, your cat or dog, anything.
Giving a gift of a personalized blanket is an awesome idea, don't you think? Give a surfer a Surfer Bedding, for instance, and you'd have him or her as a friend for life. Perhaps not but he or she would be thrilled to bits.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Beginner's Guide to White Water Rafting

Before taking a trip overseas, chances are we'd do some research and find out everything we can about the place with regard to visa requirement, currency exchange rate, weather, food, maps, places of interest, etc., etc. People who have been there is a great resource for real-life experiences while travel agencies, embassies and the Internet are sources for information on official documents and regulations.

A friend who has widely travelled plans to start blogging about his travel stories in Asia. From what he's been sharing, his blog, if ever it materialises, would be an interesting and insightful read.

The Internet has become a boon to travellers. Almost everything to know about a place can be found there. Before a holiday, it'd be wise to be prepared so that the holiday would be as safe and as enjoyable as possible. If, for instance, white water rafting is part of the agenda, an article on Beginner'sGuide to White Water Rafting would be helpful.

With the increasing number of cheating incidents in this part of the world, this insightful article, How To Overcome Con Artists in Asia is certainly a must-read. It's cliched but better be safe than sorry.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Are You a Memorabilia Collector?

I enjoy going to flea markets. Unfortunately, the ones in KL only open during the weekends and we don't have that many too. It's interesting to see contemporary items alongside those of eras gone by. When you look at the items put up for sale, you realise some truth that one man's garbage is really another's treasure. There is no shortage of treasure-hunters looking out for memorabilia to add to their collection. These days, memorabilia hunters look to the Internet for items they don't normally find in flea markets.

Take this site for instance, They have a huge collection of home theatre, game room, movie star, music and sport celebrity memorabilia and collectibles. If you are looking for your favorite movie celebrity or sports idol, chances are they will have it.

Browse their collection of hand-signed and unsigned memorabilia and collectibles. Right now, they are offering a 15% discount and for a limited time only. Their museum quality framing, creative presentations, distinct collection of sports and celebrity photographs, prints and unique shadowbox displays are admired and sought after by sports, entertainment and historical fans from around the world. Millionairememorabilia also supplies to international hotels and restaurants. You can email in your request or call them tollfree., the source for the finest in memorabilia and collectibles.

What's in Your Bag?

Oversized bags are definitely in. I read that what you carry in your bag tells a lot about you. Women carry a lot of stuff or is it fluff? Probably we think we have to be ready to save the world so we need all those tools or is it because we simply enjoy lugging around some extra weight or worse, we are just the lesser organized gender.

If your bag should spill its guts what would fall out? Would it be a book (to read while waiting in line for some appointment), a phone or two or even three (why not!), a pair of spare stockings, your vanity bag, an ipod perhaps, pens, one earring whose pearl has seen better days, a broken brooch, a half-eaten muesli bar, dog-eared brochures, a watch that shows five hours behind, a compass (that too, who knows!). What else?

Ketupat and Lemang

This interesting item is ketupat, a type of dumpling made of rice that has been wrapped in a woven palm leaf pouch which is then boiled. As the rice cooks, the grains begin to expand to fill the pouch and the rice becomes compressed.

Ketupat is usually eaten with rendang (a type of dry beef curry) or served as an accompaniment to satay.

Ketupat used to be the staple during Hari Raya but these days, lemang has taken more prominence.

Lemang is a traditional Malay food cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick. Lemang is made of glutinous rice and coconut milk, with salt added for taste and cooked in a thick hollow bamboo stick over a slow fire. The hollow bamboo is lined with banana leaves before it is filled with rice. Lemang is best eaten with rendang.
Here's a demonstration of how lemang is prepared. (Source: The Star).

The start: The lemang maker inserts banana leaves into the hollow bamboo stick.


The next step: The hollow of the bamboo stick is filled with glutinous rice, leaving an inch or two of space at the top.


Cooking: The bamboo sticks are placed over a medium fire and turned every 15 minutes so that the lemang cooks evenly. It takes about three to four hours to cook the lemang.

End result: To serve the lemang, break open bamboo stick and remove the banana leaf and cut it. Lemang goes well with rendang or serunding. Serunding is tasty shredded meat.

Dell computers

Office systems have come a long way. Now, the 'tool of trade' in an office environment is a computer, be it a desktop unit or a laptop. My companyy uses Dell Desktops and it's not difficult to see why.

Computer processor is a key component of a computer and Dell has a wide range of processors. Dell computer range includes the world famous Intel family of processors - providing great performance and reliability from a name you can trust. Computer processors come in a variety of specs and features so it is important to know what you need. If you are an engineer or a graphic designer and need to work on complex diagrams and artwork, you would need a Dell Precision 490, for instance. For assistance, Dell is always available to offer their expertise.

Dell computers are not sold at computer stores. That's one of the reasons why they are able to provide such amazing prices. Check out computer deals. Dell offers some fantastic omputer deals packed with the latest deals at unbelievable prices. Computer shopping can be done in the comfort of your home.
I'd buy from an award-winner. Wouldn't you?

Lydia Shum

This is Lydia Shum Tin Ha fondly known as Fei Fei. Hers is the face that Chinese movie-goers the world over is familiar with. I grew up watching her movies. She also does show-hosting for Hongkong's TVB.

Today, she lies semi-conscious in serious condition in a Hong Kong hospital's intensive care unit after collapsing in her home on Thursday.

Shum's former husband, Adam Cheng Siu-chow, visited her and said she was in stable condition.

In 2006, Shum was admitted to hospital and had 32 gallstones extracted. In September 2006, Shum was diagnosed with liver tumor and cancer around the gallbladder. Immediately, doctors removed one third of her liver.

Lydia Shum, Joyce Cheng and Adam Cheng
Hope you'll get well soon, Fei Fei.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cheaper than hotels online

I should like to visit Australia again. I remember eating ice-cream outside the Sydney Opera House on a cold, windy afternoon in early Spring. It was crazy but the ice-cream was so tempting. Of course, the ice-cream and the Sydney Opera House are not the only attractions in Sydney.

There are the spectacular Sydney and Darling Harbours, the famous Kings Cross and the City Centre, Chinatown (for something Chinese) and if you like visiting suburbs, you shouldn't miss Balmain. Balmain is one of Sydney’s oldest working-class suburbs and now boasts a great pub culture. Stylish cafés, bistros, pubs and restaurants burst with creative energy. It is a colourful and artistic suburb, home to some of Australia’s artsy people - writers, actors, film directors, musicians and artists. Its pulsating nightlife is a magnet for a cosmopolitan crowd. Naturally, hotels in Sydney are aplenty so there is no worry when it comes to accommodation.

A trip to Australia should also include a visit to Melbourne. The city of Melbourne is an interesting labyrinth of inner city laneways and arcades where you'll discover opulent bars, eclectic boutiques and fashionable restaurants hidden in alleys and behind non-descript doors. This year's Melbourne International Arts Festival is an event not to be missed, with a spectacular 17-day program featuring more than 700 local and international performers. Even though there is abundance of hotels in Melbourne, it is safer to book in advance. Online-booking will get you cheaper rates in a wide range of choices.
If you love the sun and the sea, Brisbane is certainly the place to visit in Australia. The city of sunshine and smiles offers options aplenty for leisure and pleasure with both outdoor activities and urban adventures. Again, no worries about accommodation as you'll be able to find hotels in Brisbane, some of which are definitely cheaper online.

Celebrating Aidil Fitri

Today, October 13, Muslims around the world celebrate Aidil Fitri, new year of the Islamic calendar. It is a day where millions travel far and wide to be with their families.
In big cities such as Kuala Lumpur, there is much less traffic on the road and no queues at supermarkets as many people have headed back to their hometown to celebrate this holiday.
To Muslims around the world, best wishes for a Selamat Hari Raya.

A King Bed Anytime

There is no denying that a good night's sleep is important to our health. Some people can sleep well anywhere, on any surface but for most of us, the bed is where we get our beauty sleep.

There are many types of beds but the most common and conventional type is the sleigh bed. Sleigh beds with their even and strong lines are the most recognizable bed type.
Furniture From Home, Dealer Furniture hoenix, offers the finest selection of queen and king size sleigh beds on the internet. Their queen beds come in many designs, both contemporary and traditional. I have no doubt their beds would last a long time because they use the finest type of wood available. I like king beds better though.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Frolics: What Color Purple Are You?

We are so caught up with the daily trappings of life that we forget the lighter side of it, the side that nurtures our wellbeing, the side that makes life bearable and gives us the energy and motivation to trudge on, the side that keeps us sane.

Frivolous all this play may seem, but if you really think about it, everyone has a little child inside of him, the little child that wants nothing but to play. I hope these frolics that I bring you every Friday will give you, my dear visitor, a moment to hang up your boots, to loosen that tie, to remove that mask, so to spaeak, and just chill.

What Color Purple Am I?

You Are Iris

You are an interesting blend of fun and wisdom.

You definitely make people think about themselves and their place in the world.

But they'll have fun doing it. You definitely epitomize laughter therapy.

You are a very enriching and entertaining friend!

Told you I'm fun. You mean I never told you?!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

First Malaysian in space

Yesterday, October 10, is a historic date for Malaysia. It marks the first Malaysian to go into space. At exactly 9.22pm (Malaysian time), the Soyuz -FG rocket launcher blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Malaysians watched the event live on tv.

The rocket launcher, carrying the Soyuz TMA-II spacecraft with Malaysian cosmonaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and crew members on board, lit up the clear night sky.
Also on the spacecraft were Nasa’s commander Peggy Whitson – the first female International Space Station (ISS) commander – and Russian Yuri Malechencko.
Many people feel it is a waste to be spending so much money to send just one person into space and that the resources would have been better used elsewhere. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Get Me to the Church on time...

The last quarter of the year is a good time for weddings. I just received two wedding invitations One is a church wedding and thence to a wedding reception in a town hall, the other a Chinese traditional wedding and a Chinese dinner in a restaurant. Being a multi-racial society in Malaysia, we get to witness different types of weddings. I have been to an Indian wedding, several Malay weddings, many Chinese weddings and a few church weddings. There is one wedding I have yet to experience and that is a Sikh wedding.

Online shopping for lightings? Why not?

When a girlfriend took possession of her new home last year, she must have visited most if not all the lighting stores in the city and that's no exaggeration. Being one who is a stickler for details and a believer of feng shui, she took the trouble to do the rounds.

She even went online knowing that there are lighting stores out there that offer hundreds of thousands of lighting fixtures, lights, lamps and outdoor lighting in a wide range of styles. Did you know that you could even get the best prices online? Availability of choices is another reason people shop online, yes, even for lightings. They have stocks of top manufacturers such as Ambience, Maxim Lighting, Fine Art Lamps, Fontana Arte, Sea Gull Lighting and many others.

For indoor lightings, one can find chandeliers (of course), accent lamps, picture lights, vanity strips, desk lamps, mounted sconces, etc. Certainly, there is also a range of outdoor lights including pier mount lanterns, flood lights, deck lights and so forth.

Britney Spears

I read with sadness the other day about Britney Spears losing custody of her children to her ex. She now no longer has full custody of them, two boys, I think. All that partying and boozing and what not have finally taken their toll on her life. Something has got to give. Luckily, she realised enough to get herself into drug rehab. I read that she quit halfway but was convinced to resume the full course. Celebrities don't make very good human behaviour models, do they? Fortunately, there are others who do.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Garbage Trucks

Received the following today and it really makes sense. How often do we let others influence how we feel or change our mood by their silly mistakes or gross behaviour? Perhaps taking a "whatever" position would make life more pleasant? Read on.

Beware of Garbage Trucks
David J. Pollay

How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly he/she can get back her focus on what's important.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here's what happened.

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car's back end by just inches!

The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'

And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck."

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they'll dump it on you. When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally.

You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did.

So this was it: The 'Law of the Garbage Truck.' I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, 'I'm not going to do it anymore.' I began to see garbage trucks. I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

One of my favorite football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled. He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best.

Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses. Teachers and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?

Here's my bet. You'll be happier.

So.. Love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance , TAKE IT! If it changes your life , LET IT! Nobody said it would be easy... They just promised it would be worth it!

(Source unknown)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Diamonds say it all

Engagement rings will always get her attention, but getting the right diamonds for that ring will really get her attention. I was nothing but impressed by Danforth Diamond's selection of top quality diamonds, and I'm pretty sure you will be too. Whether you need a diamond for an engagement ring, a necklace, or something else entirely, you can't miss by getting your diamonds from Danforth Diamond.

Stylishly Macho

I wonder if it's true that when you don't regularly wear a watch, the battery goes flat faster. I have this watch that I don't wear that often and I've had to get the battery changed everytime I decided to wear it. I was at this watch shop the other day and saw this guy with six watches that needed batteries changed. They were all very nice watches. One particular watch caught my eye. It was a Jaeger LeCoultre watch. Stylishly macho. As for the gentleman, he's got a ring on the finger.

Baby Sling

Buying gifts for a baby is not difficult. There is a whole lot of baby-related goodies one can get off the shelf. Buying for a first-born is much easier as most of the essentials would not have been bought yet. Recently, there were two new babies in the office and we all chipped in for the gifts. The person assigned to go shopping did a good job. Among the gifts she bought, is a baby sling each. I thought that's a great item.

Visit Spain

Europe, a continent rich in history and culture, offers visitors a lot to see and experience. Just Spain alone has lots to offer. When you think Spain, Barcelona and Madrid come to mind.

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is a cosmopolitan Mediterranean city that incorporates both the charm of old Roman remains, medieval districts and the most beautiful of modern architecture. Such is the beauty, historical and cultural value of the emblematic buildings that they have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

The visitor, whether on business or pleasure, will enjoy Barcelona's Mediterranean character. The city has beautiful urban beaches, marinas, and seafront golf courses. Nature lovers will be able to hike through the hills that are part of the coastal mountain range and the Catalan Pyrenees.

Savour Barcelona's cuisine filled with rich Mediterranean flavours of the greatest of Catalonian recipes. You can find markets, art galleries and antique shops in Barcelona alongside crafts shops, fashion shops and open air markets. Discover a shopping world full of possibilities to satisfy all kinds of taste and all pockets.

Barcelona is attractive and dynamic, and has become a favourite destination for incentive trips. The city has a wealth of quality facilities, large or small, along with a broad array of modern hotel accommodation. Whether it's business or pleasure, there is an abundance of hoteles en Barcelona. Booking accommodations online is convenient. Cheaperthanhotels offers last minute and year round accommodation at hotels , apartments and hostels in Spain at prices generally less than direct, with free inclusions and use of facilities.

Madrid, Spain's capital, is a cosmopolitan city located at the geographical centre of the Iberian peninsular. Its impressive Plaza Mayor (square), which was opened in 1620 and remains one of Spain's most popular and typical spots.

Art and culture are central to Madrid life. The city has 73 museums. Of these, the most important are the Prado Museum, one of the world's greatest art galleries. You will get to see great works of art by Picasso, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali among others.

Madrid's happening nightlife is another major attraction. Its pubs, bars, discos and flamenco clubs have a tremendous atmosphere, while by day there are traditional verbenas (open-air dances), popular festivals or the San Isidro bullfighting festival.

An enjoyable holiday needs planning. Having a nice place to stay and at the right price can contribute to a great holiday. Like in Barcelona, there is no shortage of nice hotels in Madrid. Whether last minute or year around booking, online booking offers accommodations at prices cheaper than hotels for great savings.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Friday Frolics - What's Your Inner Color?

What is your inner color? Do you think our color or colors determine our personality, who we really are? Is there any truth in the saying that a leopard never changes its spots?

Your Inner Color is Yellow

Your Personality: Life's too short not to have fun. Your bright energy brings joy and laughter to those around you.

You in Love: A total flirt, you need a lot of freedom to play. But you'll be loyal to that one person who makes you feel safe.

Your Career: You love variety in a job, and you probably won't stick with one career. You would make a great professor, writer, or actor.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cash Advance or Pay Day Loans

This site I stumbled upon would be very useful for people who are looking to get emergency cash - and right to their checking account safely and securely. Cash advance or payday loans are short-term, small, unsecured consumer loans and NO credit checks are required.

The Internet has made it so easy for consumers to apply for cash advance or payday loans. A loan through the Internet has the advantages of it being done securely and anonymously from ones home and the loan process is often completed faster. If the application is approved, the loan amount is then wired into the applicant's bank account.

Check out some of the better and more economical cash advance marketing sites on the Web. There's Additional Earnings Pay Day Advance, Maximum Wages Cash Advance, even one called Silent Cash Loan Cash Advance. There is one specifically for women too, Womens Payday Advance.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Watch your back

A cousin who is seeing to the finishing touches to her new home is spending extra time selecting kitchen faucets, sinks and other kitchen stuff and is making sure that the sink is at the right height. She cites that her current kitchen sink and faucet are giving her backache because the faucet is at a wrong height and she has to strain her posture when doing the dishes. A lesson on ergonomics here.

The Bedroom

Which part of our home do you think we spend most of our time in? If we are working in an office, I suppose the bedroom is the one room at home where we spend most of our daily 24 hours. We spend at least seven to eight hours sleeping - in the bedroom. Furnishing our bedroom is really a personal choice of furniture forms and colors. For me, I prefer uncluttered contemporary bedroom furniture - nothing garish in color nor form.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Lost and Found Samsonite Luggage

Have you ever had the experience of a lost luggage? Awful feeling, wasn't it? A girlfriend who went on an extended holiday in Europe recently had a most unpleasant surprise. Her luggage did not come back with her but was on its way to Australia instead. The worry and inconvenience of filing a claim, etc. was no fun. Luckily, her Samsonite luggage came back after a week but not without some scratches here and there.

A Holiday in Australia

For short holidays, a friend loves to take his family to Australia. It's normally Perth and Sydney that they spend their holidays at. Australia boasts many attractions for both first-time travellers as well as seasoned visitors like my friend.

Sydney’s laid-back outdoor lifestyle and physical allure make it one of the world’s easiest and most pleasant cities to visit. There are lots to see and do in Sydney. The main attractions include the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour, Chinatown and King's Cross areas, the Rocks, just to name a few.

While in Sydney, don't miss catching the perfect wave at famous Bondi or Palm beaches or climbing to the very top of Sydney Harbour Bridge’s huge, over-arching span, by day or night with BridgeClimb or being inspired by a wonderful, magical performance at the Sydney Opera House or enthralled by one of the best Aboriginal art collections in the world at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

With accommodations aplenty in Sydney, holiday-makers are spoilt for choice as to the great number of Sydney hotels near the city's attractions.

Brisbane is also a popular place to visit. Famous for its great weather, exciting events and cultural scene, Brisbane has a sophisticated, warm and friendly charm plus, there is the charm of one of world's natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef. Brisbane city comes alive with weekend open air markets which provide a wonderful opportunity to not only find original gifts but to mix with locals. Just like Sydney, Brisbane hotels are in abundance with price ranges for every budget.

Due to work schedules, some people do not have the luxury of planning ahead for their holiday. In their case, Cheaperthanhotels Australia would be the site for them. It offers last minute and year round accommodation at prices usually far less than direct pricing with hotels. Offers often include free extras , such as breakfast, free meal and use of amenities.

Her Night Off

Well, the summer is over in the northern hemisphere. Did you have a great summer of vacations away from home and wonderful BBQ parties and everyone was happy? Was the BBQ scenario something like the one below?

We are about to enter the summer and BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity, as it's the only type of cooking a 'real' man will do, probably because there is an element of danger involved.

When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:


(1) The woman buys the food.
(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking,places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces,and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.

Here comes the important part:

More routine....
(5) The woman goes inside to organise the plates and cutlery.
(6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with the situation.

Important again:

More routine....
(8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread,utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.
(9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:
(10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.
(11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off."

And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women....