Monday, January 31, 2011

Chinese New Year décor tips

Need some decor tips dressing up the home for this Chinese New Year? The experts have tons of ideas from putting up beautiful wall decals with symbols of luck and prosperity, hanging intricate lanterns, placing red throw-pillows on your sofas, decorating plants (bamboo, pussy willow, and others) with red ribbons. Get some unique yet easy ideas on Chinese New Year decoration from the experts.


More ideas for Home decorations to usher in the Rabbit.

Here is a video on how to make lanterns from red packets..


Related articles:
Auspicious dates to stop/start work before/after Chinese New Year
Auspicious Colors to Wear during Chinese New Year 2011
What does the Year of the Rabbit hold for you?


Source: The Star

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Crop Circle in Yogyakarta, Indonesia












Are crop circles (or also referred to as crop formations as they are not always circular) created by UFOs? The above (courtesy of TheJakartaPost), a large circle formation has been found in a rice field in Krasakan hamlet in Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, a few days ago.

Though clearly sculptured by humans - it looks like an intricately designed flower - the 70-meter-wide (70-yard-wide) circle has drawn so much attention that police have blocked off the area with yellow tape. Villagers have started charging entrance fees.

Among those turning out offering opinions were officials from Indonesia's space agency, well-respected astronomers and nuclear agency officials. All agree it was not left by a UFO.

From Wikipedia,
While the exact date crop circles began to appear is unknown, the documented cases have substantially increased from the 1970s to current times. Twenty-six countries ended up reporting approximately ten-thousand crop circles, in the last third of the 20th century, and 90% of those were located in southern England. Many of the formations appearing in that area are positioned near ancient monuments, such as Stonehenge. Formations usually are made overnight, but have also been made during the day.

Crop circles have been created as part of art practice as well as for commercial reasons. Crop circle pranksters have also been taken to court for causing damage to crops.

Whatever it is, I think crop circles are beautiful creations much like the crop art of Japan. Here are two crop circles as featured in Wikipedia.

This one was in Switzerland.











This one is a 780 ft crop circle in the form of a double (six-sided) triskelion composed of 409 circles found in Milk Hill, England.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Frolics - The Stripping Down Test

Now don't let the post title turn you off. This is a clean quiz. Never cleaner.. Common things we do do tell about us. Find out something else you didn't know about yourself, maybe. Go on..

Happy Friday, Everyone!



You Are Observant in Life



You are serious and stable. You are a bit of a perfectionist, and you like structure.


You are the happiest when you are planning and dreaming. You like to live in the future.


You are sensitive and considerate. You are always putting other people's needs before your own.


You have found what you want in life and are quite content. You know a lot about yourself.

Dog Abuser, he is not


Alamak! A case of mistaken identity.

Yesterday, I agonised for over 15 minutes watching that video of a brown poodle being abused by its owner. The video is 15:07-minute long, I believe. The news was all over the papers the past few days and complaints officially lodged with the relevant authorities.

Fingers were pointing at a chef in Malacca (name, shop location and even his mobile phone number were provided) and his ex-wife as being the perpetrators - one did the actual beating, the other did the recording.

Well, whaddayaknow! As it turns out as confirmed by The Star today, it is merely a case of mistaken identity and his business experienced a sudden increase as curious people thronged his shop to catch a glimpse of him. Meanwhile, the dog-abuser is still not known.

I will spare you the agony by not linking the video here but one thing is for sure, I think people like that need professional help, help they can only get at a residential rehab centre where they have expertise for all sorts of rehabilitation treatments.

By the way, the video is posted not by the dog-abuser himself but by the person who found the lost pen-drive with the video in it, with the hope of highlighting this inhumane act.


Image source: The Star

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What does the Year of the Rabbit hold for you?

Now that we know when to stop work before and start work after the Chinese New Year and what auspicious colors to wear to attract positive vibes in the new Year of the Metal Rabbit, let's now find out what the new lunar year has in store for each one of us according to the Chinese Horoscope.

The forecast of happenings and behaviors for each animal sign is derived from planetary positions so the forecast is authentic readings and because of its authenticity, there is an increasing number of people looking forward to knowing their horoscope forecast each year. It provides an idea of what to expect or what to watch out for in the coming year in aspects of health, love, finance or overall outlook for the year. In the old days, the Chinese Almanac used to be a must-have item in the home. Today, though it is still the source for yearly Zodiac sign forecast, it is not as popular to the younger generation who has turned to information online.

If you are not sure which Zodiac sign your birthday falls under, here is a Zodiac sign chart for your reference. For a better print, Wikipedia has it which the chart has been borrowed from. The chart covers birthdates between the years 1924 to 2043.

















Whether you believe it or not, here is the 2011 Zodiac sign forecast courtesy of freehoroscopesguide.com

Rat Horoscope
The Chinese New Year 2011 will be very good for most of the Rat people. First half of 2011 will bring in new opportunities and increased prospects in work and business. Those at work will get lot of support from their teammates and colleagues. Rat people have lot of new ideas to implement. The first thing you should do is discuss with your senior. Rat Chinese Horoscope 2011 says that there will be times when excess of work can take a toll on you. You need to remain calm and go on with the work.
More..

Ox Horoscope
At work, Ox people need to be away from any kind of office politics and arguments. Ox Chinese horoscope 2011 says that this is an important year for your career prospects. Engaging in anything but your work may impact your growth prospects. Money wise, the Chinese New Year will be good for most of the Ox people.
More..

Tiger Horoscope
These people will be loaded with lots of work this year. Tiger Chinese horoscope 2011 sees these people getting frustrated at times. You need to be calm while at work. The first half of 2011 will be testing your patience. Second half however might be a bit better with pressure easing on Tiger people.
More..

Rabbit Horoscope
Among all the aspects of your life, money and love will rule the year. People born with rabbit zodiac sign are sure to get loads of money in their pockets. They will however leave no stone unturned to spend it on all the luxuries of life. Rabbit people will be spending good amount of money on their home.
More..

Dragon Horoscope
The Chinese New year 2011 will be a satisfactory year for most of the Dragon people. Those at work will enjoy a smooth life at office. There will not be much of ups and downs in professional life. Dragon Chinese horoscope 2011 forecasts a healthy business life for these people. You just need to be aware of happenings around you and keep a track of your partner’s moves. The jin jui star will shower good luck and love on most of the Dragon people.
More..

Snake Horoscope
As far as the Chinese New Year 2011 is concerned, these people will live a smooth life in the year. The year will start with a very good note with your family getting some good news in the first quarter of the year 2011. Snake Chinese horoscope 2011 tells that these people will get unmatched support from their relatives and friends.
More..

Horse Horoscope
The Chinese New year 2011 will be an important year for many Horse people. They will experience sea changes in their lives during this year. Most of the Horse people will have to face tough time at work and in business. Horse 2011 horoscope suggests these people to do some introspection on the changes that they need to inculcate in their lives and in their nature. At work, Horse people will be used by their own team mates and colleagues to get over and gain a promotion.
More..

Sheep Horoscope
The first half of 2011 might not be very good for Sheep people. Those at work can face difficult times owing to their lack of interest and lack of result focus. You will have to be very careful while talking to your seniors. Sheep Chinese horoscope 2011 also advises you to be away from any wrong happenings at work or you might be dragged into problems by your own colleagues.
More..

Monkey Horoscope
The Monkey Chinese horoscope 2011 foresees a smooth year for most of them. At work, Monkey people will excel in all aspects. The presence of Yi Ma star shall help Monkeys get the good news going in form of promotions at work, profitability in business.
More..

Rooster Horoscope
The Chinese New Year 2011 will mark the starting of a new relationship for Rooster people. Those looking out for proposing someone special should not waste much of their time and ask her right away.
More..

Dog Horoscope
The Chinese new year 2011 will be a year full of great opportunities. Dog people will get good opportunities during the first half of 2011. On professional front, Dog people have high chances of getting a good promotion and bonus. Those looking for a job change will be successful in getting into new position during third quarter of 2011. Dog 2011 horoscope foresees strengthening of relationships too during this year. Be it with friends or with relatives, Dog people will make every effort to clear things out with them.
More..

Pig Horoscope
People with pig zodiac sign have to work hard to achieve things. This Chinese New Year 2011 will be no different. Though there are chances of a rise in your career, you need to work hard and show your performance to your superiors. Pig 2011 horoscope tells you that it is not only the hard work that one does but the ability to showcase it that also matters.
More..

Let me take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous Chinese New Year of the Rabbit.


Image source: Wikipedia

Jothys Fish Head Curry Restaurant sues blogger and Google


The Star today carries an article of a Malaysian blogger and Google being sued for defamation by a director of a curry fish head restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The restaurant is recommended by Lonely Planet.

Excerpts from The Star..
Jothys Sdn Bhd director Tharumaraj Sivaperumal filed a RM6mil civil suit at the Kota Kinabalu High Court, naming blogger Poh Huai Bin as the first defendant and California-based Google Inc as the second defendant.

Tharumaraj said he felt very let down when the blogger demeaned his fish head curry and banana leaf restaurant and urged the people to “avoid it like a bad case of herpes”.

The company is also seeking an order from the court to remove the offending articles from Google and other popular search engines used on the Internet.

Read full article..Google and blogger sued by curry fish head restaurant

Related article:
Google to retain ‘offensive’ contents on fish head curry outlet

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Auspicious dates to stop/start work before/after Chinese New Year


Check out 2013 Auspicious days to start work in the Year of the Snake

Following up on Auspicious colors to wear for the Chinese New Year, here is a schedule for when to stop work and dates to start work after the holiday. Observing this can help you attract positive vibes to enhance your life in general - health, happiness, prosperity, etc. - in the coming year of the Metal Rabbit.

When to STOP work:
The 4 days before the Chinese New Year are suitable days to stop work - Jan 30, Jan 31, Feb 1, and Feb 2. Everybody can use any of these 4 days.

When to START work:
2011 开市或开工吉日系列:
6-2-2011 Sun (except for Dog person 肖狗忌用)
7-2-2011 Mon (except for Boar person 肖豬忌用)
8-2-2011 Tue (except Rat for person 肖鼠忌用)
9-2-2011 Wed (except for Ox person 肖牛忌用)
12-2-2011 Sat (except for Dragon person 肖龍忌用)
14-2-2011 Mon (except for Horse person 肖馬忌用)
16-2-2011 Wed (except for Monkey person 肖猴忌用)
17-2-2011 Thu (except for Rooster person 肖雞忌用)
18-2-2011 Fri (except for Dog person 肖狗忌用)
20-2-2011 Sun (except for Rat person 肖鼠忌用)

Also note When NOT to start work:
Do not start work on Thu, Feb 10 or Fri, Feb 11 though Feb 11 can be used for special purposes such as opening.

Coming up, What's in store in the coming year for the different zodiac signs. Stay tuned..

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Medicine-man of time past

One or two decades ago, any market square will surely have a Chinese medicine man hawking his goods comprising traditional oils, pills and whatnots. He would be calling out in a number of Chinese dialects so that his message went across to a wider population. This brand of medicine-man is no longer seen in current times.

The following is a re-enactment of what used to be the norm decades ago - though the translation errors were part of the comedy act. This is hilarious if you understand Hokkien, Cantonese and Hakka, three common Chinese dialects used here in Malaysia. Enjoy..

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flea market and Auction at AmCorp Mall














I was at the AmCorp mall one weekend some years back and it so happened they were also having the auction. I believe it is held once a month and that weekend was it. That was the first time I ever witnessed an auction and was naturally interested enough to stay on and watch.

The stuff that went on auction was amazing. Even old ashtrays were quickly snapped up. They probably need a cigar auction to complement sale of ashtrays. Auctions sure provide a whole new meaning to old things, don't you think? Here's a little trivia. According to U.S. customs laws, antique is defined as 100 years before date of purchase but in the case of automobiles, it's approximately 25 years old or more.


Image source: shw.myfleamarket.fotopages.com

Friday Frolics - What Kind of Chinese Food Are You?

This being the Lunar New Year and all, this personality quiz comes just at the right time. What kind of Chinese food are you? Take the quiz to find out..



HappySurfer Is Dumplings



You are cute, polite, and considerate. You are well known for your generosity, and you truly love to share.

You have a real style and presence about you. You know how to take the simplest thing and make it look chic.



You tend to order carefully and conservatively off the menu of life. Simplicity is your motto, and you don't like to take on too much at once.

You are the type of person who does one thing at a time, really immersing yourself in the moment. You detest multitasking.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thaipusam in Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

Today is Thaipusam, a holy Hindu festival in honor of Lord Muruga where people pay penance or give thanks for blessings received.

The road leading to Batu Caves is congested as thousands of local devotees and visitors alike make their way up the 272 steps leading to the temple.

Batu Caves is once again the place where thousands throng to each year. If you happen to be in Kuala Lumpur, you may want to visit Batu Caves to witness the unique ritual of Hindu devotees carrying kavadi and with hooks attached to their body and spears pierced through their cheeks. Others bearing a pot of milk, yet others walking on blades of knives.

All events need preparation. Here is a short video on the surrounding area of Batu Caves and on people making preparations for the big annual event - the calm before a storm, sort of. Enjoy the serenity and then head on over to Thaipusam itself.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yee Sang - Dish of Prosperity

With a festival and a long weekend too for everyone just around the corner, food and travel naturally came up as topics at our tea- and lunch-breaks. Everyone was in agreement that after all that good food, meal after meal, the thought of food after that, particularly meat, would be a natural appetite suppressant. I know we shouldn't be complaining when there is food. However, vegetable dishes would of course be much preferred. I sure am looking forward to tossing the Yee Sang, the raw fish salad that is a signature dish for Chinese New Year.

By the way, did you know that there are 27 ingredients that make up this Chinese dish of prosperity? They include daikon (white radish), carrots, red pepper (capsicum), turnips, red pickled ginger, sun-dried oranges, daun limau nipis (key lime leaves), Chinese parsley, chilli, jellyfish, chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, Chinese shrimp crackers (or fried dried shrimp), five spice powder and other ingredients, laced with a sauce using plum sauce, rice vinegar, kumquat paste and sesame oil. (Source: Wikipedia)


Image source: Wikipedia

Auspicious Colors to Wear during Chinese New Year 2011

2013 colours to wear for Chinese New Year

Check out 2012 color to wear and day to start work, Year of the Dragon

I have colleagues who strictly adhere to dressing by stipulated colors during the first few days of the Chinese New Year. Do you also have this inclination?

Want to know what color(s) to wear during the Chinese New Year to enhance your luck? For non-Chinese, if you know the zodiac animal sign you were born in, you too could take steps towards better luck in the Year of the Rabbit. Below is the chart.

First day of Chinese New Year or Spring festival is on Feb 3

UPDATE
For those who would like to know what your Chinese Zodiac sign is, here is a Chinese Zodiac Sign Calculator that can tell you your sign. Thanks to KhengSiong for sharing this useful tool. Thanks, KS.

Bananaz posted an interesting query. I have a colleague who wears EVERYTHING RED inside out on the first day of CNY. That's following it to the hilt, of course, but I think the external colors are good enough. As to your other query, wearing a shirt with the predominant color is good enough, from what I read. That goes for the ladies, as well.

Now, know when to stop/start work before/after the Chinese New Year.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Celebrating Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur

If you are planning to celebrate Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur, know that you couldn't have chosen a better place! The city is prosperously-decked in Chinese New Year decorations and colors all set to welcome any visitor to the city.

Yap, a reader from Indonesia, left a comment on this post but not sure why the comment is not showing up.

Yap, I'm answering your queries here.

Even though a good number of Chinese folks will be travelling to their hometown to celebrate the Chinese New Year with their family, there are some who live here in the city. KL will never ever be totally deserted as KL is a metropolis of a good mix of various cultures and peoples. So, no worries about food or restaurants. Restaurants will all be open, including fastfood outlets including McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, etc.. Other attractions around the city will also be open. The only places closed on public holiday the first and second days of Chinese New Year are banks, embassies, government departments and business offices. Chinatown may not be as bustling, though there'd be some shops open for business. Central Market will be open.

Bukit Bintang and all shopping malls will still be open and bustling though to a lesser degree. I think you will enjoy the quieter version of Kuala Lumpur of no traffic and human jams.

People do not just stay at home but go visiting one another, go to the malls, eat out, take in a movie, etc.

Yap, hope all this information is helpful to give you an idea of what to expect in Kuala Lumpur when you visit us during Chinese New Year. Should you require more info, please feel free to leave another comment. Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and Welcome to Kuala Lumpur!


Image: Petaling Street, Chinatown - The Star

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen has the most desired body

When it comes to a killer-bod, Supermodel Gisele Bundchen tops the list. Fox News reported Nov 6 in the 14th ''Famed Hottest Looks' survey that plastic surgeons of Beverly Hills selected Gisele Bundchen as having the most desired bodies. Looks like this Brazilian-born Victoria Secrets model won't be needing any Brazilian diet pill anytime soon.

Although the Brazilian-born supermodel gave birth in December, 2009, she was the most requested by the doctors' patients. Gisele Bundchen is married to US footballer, Tom Brady. They have a daughter.



According to the doctors, 'Some women want the lean look like Gisele, while others want to retain their roundness - just not too round. Men, on the other hand, all want a six-pack regardless of their body type.' Actor Mark Wahlberg is the most desired male body.


Sources:
- Hollywood Celebrity Wiki
- TheStraitsTimes

Friday, January 14, 2011

McDonald's Prosperity burger is back!

Yep! McDonald's Prosperity Burger is back! When this burger was first introduced, only beef was available. Chicken was later added alongside. The meat is cooked to perfection and dipped in mouthwatering black pepper sauce and topped with crunchy slivered onions served in a sesame seed bun.

I went for it the other day not expecting any difference in taste from the one they serve previous years. The burger still tastes good although the sesame-seed bun is not as firm as formerly. The black-pepper sauce is not as spicy that you have to fan your tongue or suppress the heat with gulps of Coke or other chilled soda on hand. The curly fries are still great.

To me, the Prosperity Burger is probably the best burger at McDonald's. Unfortunately, this burger is not a regular item on the menu which in a way could be a blessing otherwise this acne treatment review would be on the cards. The McDonald's Prosperity Burger is only available a month or so just before the Chinese or Lunar New Year. No prizes why it's called Prosperity burger.

McDonald's original restaurant in San Bernardino, California served only hamburgers, milkshakes, and french fries. While still based on hamburgers, today's menu includes numerous other items that have been added through the years and certain items are location or country-specific. The Prosperity Burger is a genuine made-in-Malaysia item. Others like McRib, McCrab, McLobster, McVeggie, McRice, waffles, etc., are available elsewhere.

Friday Frolics - The Glamour Test

This is a simple test but the results tell a lot. Check it out..

Have a glamourous weekend, y'all!



You Think That Intelligence is Glamourous



You find nothing more disappointing than a gorgeous person who is completely vapid. You can't respect anyone who doesn't exercise his or her mind.

There's something incredibly appealing about someone who can speak intelligently about any subject at any length.



You also appreciate people who are well mannered and well behaved. Politeness goes a long way for you.

The most glamourous people you know totally have it together. Allure is never skin deep for you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What to wear in Kuala Lumpur?

Blue skies today! A wonderful change from the overcast weather of the past few days. Temperatures in the Klang Valley/KL have been lower than usual. It was just 26 deg C yesterday as shown on this clock tower along Jalan Tun Razak.
Generally temperatures in the lowlands of Malaysia range between 29°C - 35°C during the day and 26°C - 29°C at night, depending on the amount of rainfall and sunlight. This should answer any visitor's question of, What to wear in Kuala Lumpur?

According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department, the weather pattern is a little erratic and the cool weather is expected to continue into the Chinese New Year. Klang Valley can expect to experience thunderstorms in the afternoon on the first day of Chinese New Year while the skies up north are expected to be clear.


Source: The Star..Weather across peninsula is erratic and cold

Sapphires they are not

The thing about being online is you learn something new everyday. The blue crystals you see here are beautiful, aren't they? They could easily be mistaken for sapphires even. But they are not precious gems. They are crystallized copper sulfate. Yeah, the dangerous sulphuric acid that when comes in contact with water produces heat, hot enough to burn.

I was on Dictionary.com when this interesting image of blue crystals caught my eye on the day's Hotword, vitriol. The entry talks about vitriol as in 'harsh speech'.

I'm not trying to be political here but if you've been reading the news and emails that have been circulating, harsh speeches are a commonplace in this country of late. They are not only about laws and procedures, some of them are downright destructive to racial harmony. In this plural society, such harsh speeches by public figures could only spell disaster and probably the need to start making funeral plans for organizations these people are affiliated with. What I mean is that these organizations could become unpopular.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It is 11111 today

Today is Jan 11. Doesn't ring a bell just looking at the date, does it? I didn't realise it either but saw it on The Star, so thought I'd also commemorate this date via a blog entry. Happy 11111 day, everyone!

KUALA LUMPUR: Today, Tuesday, it is 11111.

That is, the 11th day of January in the year 2011, or 11/1/11.

On January 1, it was 1111 or first day of January 2011 or 1/1/11.

On the first day of November, it will also be 11111 or 1/11/11 and on the 11th of November, it will be another 1 added on to make it 111111 or 11/11/11.

When will the next such thing happen? Perhaps on the second day of February 2022 - 2222 or 2/2/22.



Source: The Star

Mud-box Apples

Read this in The Star..

A local Chinese paper, Nanyang Siang Pau, reported that some apple traders in Beijing pour earth into the inner layer of boxes to create more weight to fetch a higher price.

Each box with mud could weigh between 1.5kg and 4kg.

A wholesaler, identified as Lee, told a reporter they started selling apples in mud-insulated boxes since October last year.

A normal (cardboard) box would weigh just over 1kg with a consumer price of 5 yuan (RM2.30).

A “mud box” is sold up to 6 yuan or 7 yuan (RM2.80-RM3.25).

Due to the thickness of the box, there would be fewer apples.

Asked if he was worried that consumers would come back and confront him after opening the boxes, Lee said: “Those who buy will not eat, those who eat will not buy. That’s why the mud boxes continue to exist.”

Explaining his rationale, he said most people bought the apples to give away as gifts.



*Sigh..* Have you experienced anything quite like this?

While we are at it, we might as well learn something about apples. The proverb "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." does hold some truth. According to Wikipedia, research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Compared to many other fruits and vegetables, apples contain relatively low amounts of vitamin C, but are a rich source of other antioxidant compounds. The fiber content, while less than in most other fruits, helps regulate bowel movements and may thus reduce the risk of colon cancer. They may also help with heart disease, weight loss, and controlling cholesterol. The fiber contained in apples reduces cholesterol by preventing re-absorption, and (like most fruits and vegetables) they are bulky for their caloric content.


Image source: Wikipedia

Monday, January 10, 2011

Do you own a Honda?

I love the smell of cut grass when a lawn is being mown. Unfortunately, something else has to give. That racket from the lawnmower on an early weekend morning is something else. My neighbourhood grasscutter was at work yesterday. There went a blissful Sunday morning..

Talk about lawnmower, I've always thought Honda is just associated with automobiles. Was I wrong. The truth is, Honda also has a line of home equipment from lawnmowers to snowblowers to brush cutters and hedge trimmers to salt spreaders, grills and a host of other Honda equipment and accessories. Knew about this only recently when I stumbled upon this honda generator site that has supplies for all things Honda. A good place to look if you need Honda supplies or replacement parts.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chinese New Year preparations

The sun has not shone for three days. This is unusual because normally around this time of the year, approaching the Chinese New Year, the sun would be up early amid clear blue skies. We'd get strong winds too, so strong that flower pots get knocked off their perch sometimes. Hmmm... none of these so far this year and it's a little under a month to the Chinese or Lunar New Year which falls on Feb 3. I miss all these little reminders actually. And I so look forward to having those lime or kumquat plants around the house. Delightful.

This time of the year would see a lot of preparation and washing leading up to the celebration including washing and drying out cookie containers (for families who bake their own cookies) and food caddies, giving the house a new coat of paint and most importantly, spring-cleaning. A new and nice bath vanity could make a lot of difference to spruce up a home even.

Besides doing up the home (cleaning, decorations and all), there's a lot of other shopping as well. There's stocking up the fridge for the various important meals especially the reunion dinner on the eve and dinner on the second day. It's good when such traditions are upheld. They make the celebration merry.

There's shopping for clothes and shoes too. It is customary to wear new clothes (especially) during the Chinese New Year. It symbolises a fresh start to a brand new year. So, have you done your shopping yet?


Image source: nst.com

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Frolics - What Kind of Wine Are You?

How about a wine quiz this week?

Cheers and happy weekend, everyone!



You Are Chardonnay



Fresh, spirited, and classic - you have many facets to your personality.

You can be sweet and light. Or deep and complex.

You have a little bit of something to offer everyone... no wonder you're so popular.

Approachable and never smug, you are easy to get to know (and love!).



Deep down you are: Dependable and modest


Your partying style: Understated and polite


Your company is enjoyed best with: Cold or wild meat



Your turn..

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Self-healing techniques - simple and free

Having pain or constipation or even recovering from a stroke? Here's an interesting video that's been recommended by a friend. It shows you how to heal yourself. Watch the video till the end because that's where you'd learn how to do it. Share it..

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cheap food in Kuala Lumpur - just RM2.00

Would you think I'm pulling a fast one if I told you that you can still have a meal of a plate of rice with three dishes in Kuala Lumpur for a mere RM2.00 inclusive of a drink? That's right, for just about USD0.65 (at current exchange rate).

A chain of restaurants set up by caring Buddhist organizations are serving vegetarian food for between RM2.00 to RM2.50 around the Klang Valley. You can find one from Happy Garden, Kuchai Lama to Sungai Chua to Sri Petaling to Mahkota Cheras to Kepong to Wangsa Maju, to Sea Park, Petaling Jaya, even two outlets in Kajang.

The website says Everyone is welcome to dine at these restaurants, the food is halal (no sembelih) because it is vegetarian. A plate of rice plus 3 dishes plus drinking water, price range from RM2.00 to RM2.50 (USD0.55 to USD0.69). It differs from restaurant to restaurant, some do not charge for drinking water and some do. I have seen Muslims and Christians patrons. Why not, we need inflation proof food on our table.

You can see if there's one near you at
RM2 Vegetarian Restaurants Listing
.


Image source

Monday, January 3, 2011

School begins today; Flood situation in Queensland, Australia

Happy New Year! This is the greeting that's going around in the office today - afterall today is the first day after a long weekend. Some parents are still away taking their Standard One or kindie-going child(ren) to their first day at school.

It's back to getting up early and bracing traffic jams for some of us. Today is the first day of the 2011 school year after a 7-week long year-end school holiday. In case you (as a parent with schoolgoing child(ren)) haven't got a copy, here's something useful, an (FMM-published) School term and School holiday schedule for 2011. I know parents in my office appreciate such a schedule.
While we're busy getting back to regular year-beginning schedule, people in parts of Queensland, Australia, are having their lives disrupted by floods caused by cyclones. Some lives have also been lost.

Floods in north-eastern Australia are causing havoc of biblical proportions (according to the papers). News.com.au of Australia reported that the Fitzroy River will rise for three more days. With 75,000 stranded, the city of Rockhampton is still days away from peak floods - but that's not the worst of it... more cyclones predicted. Floodwaters could hit 30 feet deep and the ultimate damage could amount to exceed A$1 billion.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Don't leave home without it - an eco-bag

I was caught unawares at a Jaya Jusco supermarket last night. Was at the cashier's and she asked whether I'd need a plastic bag. That was a strange question, I thought and then it hit me. It was Saturday and at JJ (as commonly-referred to) Saturdays are 'No plastic bag' days. Bummer! Sure was glad I bought just a few small items and to think that I almost bought eggs!

Just read the article that Selangor state has implemented the 'No plastic day' ruling for Saturday beginning yesterday, 1-1-11. Each plastic bag comes at a price of 20sen, proceeds of which go to charity or some worthy cause.

The ruling applies to hypermarkets, supermarkets and Petronas stations nationwide as launched simultaneously in all states yesterday. In Penang, it's 'no plastic bag and no polystyrene packing at hawker centers' everyday.

What this all means is that I'll have to remember to bring along one of those recyclable bags I've been hoarding all this while. Even gone to the extent of getting two of those (huge) blue carryalls from Ikea! Love them eco-bags. Love their hugeness and ruggedness. Is it just me? Oh well...

What about you? Do you normally have an eco-bag or two for when you need one?

New Year fireworks around the world

If extra-terrestrials were monitoring Earth activity during New Year's eve, they'd think the Earth was cracking up with colorful explosions! Even in Kuala Lumpur itself, there were more countdown venues this year with their own fireworks display.

Found some good shots of fireworks around the world online.

Here's one of the display at KLCC - Image shows fireworks next to skyscrapers Petronas Twin Towers during the New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur

Of course, there's nothing like seeing the fireworks in person but nevermind, a video could serve as a good substitute. This one is in HD and taken from a strategic location at K Residence Apartments. The best effort on YouTube after checking out the rest. Enjoy!


Here's another pyrotechnics show, an even better one. This one is in London featuring the London Eye. Awesome display. Must watch.


The above video is borrowed from AllVoices.com. There's also one for Sydney's fireworks display at the famous Harbour Bridge. Fireworks were launched from the bridge, to the boats in the harbour and from buildings around the waterfront. However, I found a better one on YouTube, so here it is. This video comes with music.


Here are a few more images of fireworks displays around the world. More can be found on AllVoices.com.

Fireworks explode beside the London Eye and The Houses of Parliament on the River Thames during New Year celebrations in London

Fireworks explode from Taiwan's tallest skyscraper Taipei 101 as part of Taiwan's centennial celebrations in Taipei

Fireworks explode over Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, celebrating the new year in Dubai
This has got to be my favorite. It has a certain serenity about it - quiet and soothing. Come to think of it, doesn't it look like an impressionist painting, something out of Van Gogh's collection? It's an image of Fireworks exploding behind the Houses of Parliament on the River Thames in London.
There you have it. Hope you enjoyed them all. Well, until next new year... may the next 364 days be as awesome as the fireworks you just saw..