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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I know, my bad

I truly apologize to those who visited my blog in the past couple of months only to find it dormant since June. Well firstly I was thinking of taking a months break following my wedding which subsequently was extended for a few more months when I later found out I was pregnant!

Yes, I'm now on my fifth month and have finally gained some energy to stay awake for 14 hours without requiring any nap times. Honestly, I didn't expect the first couple of months of being pregnant to equate to hibernation. Anyway, I sort out my thoughts on all the things that happened in the past 5 months and post them on my blog soonest possible.

In the mean time, enjoy your week!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pudu Jail - The mysterious Watermelon

When I was still a kid, dad used to drive us every Sunday to Sungei Wang. Back then we lived near Cheras area and to reach Sungei Wang, we have to pass by the eastern walls of Pudu jail (along Jalan Pudu or Pudu Road). I can't remember how old I was then, but it used to be a great pass time to play "Spot the Watermelon" along these walls. You see, even in the early 1990s the intersection between Jalan Pudu and Jalan Imbi was already notorious for it's traffic jam especially on Sundays. So to pass time, we'll try to spot a watermelon painted by one of it's convicts (or so I read from the news later on). It was rather peculiar to have a watermelon painted against a backdrop of jungles and beaches! But never the less it was as good as playing "Where's Wally"

Anyway, early this year there was news of the authorities wanting to demolish the jail which is over a 100 years old. So during Chinese New Year, when most city dwellers were out of town, I asked hubby to drive me along this wall in hopes of finding the watermelon one last time. Alas, I couldn't find it. So there's no picture to be taken or at least shown to dear hubby. One part of me felt quite disappointed that I don't get to "preserve" that part of the memory in a solid photographs. I really do hope that there is someone out there who photographed that watermelon.

Sadly on Monday 21st June 2010, they started to process of demolishing the eastern walls - the very wall with the painted watermelon...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

McCafe WILL BE OPENING IN MALAYSIA

Ok. This happened like 10 minutes ago. Had to interrupt my wedding post for another date...


So 10 minutes ago, I got a call from a gentleman. He claimed he is from McDonalds. At first I found it weird that McDonalds would be interested in calling ME (of all Homo Sapiens on Earth). Then the caller mentioned about an email I sent to them regarding McCafe. Technically only one other living person that I KNOW knows about that particular email - hubby. And this email correspondent happened back early June. So I thought maybe it's really from McDonalds.

Anyway, the phone conversation was a very short one - 2 minutes FLAT. Honestly, I forgot his name because what he told me really caught me off guard -  There will be a McCafe opening in Malaysia either 4th quarter of 2010 or 1st quater of 2011.  Their first McCafe will be in the Klang Valley so those staying in Penang (like myself) would have to wait a little much longer. So the moment I hung up, the first thing I did was actually to Google the number that called me "+603 7843 3388" - just to be sure I think... And guess what's the first result that pop-up? Yup yup. Indeed that number belonged to McD. Since the caller DID say I can inform my friends and family, might as well put it up on my blog and let EVERYBODY know... he didn't say no blogging (^_^)

Update 17 August 2011
 Well, time came and gone. Even my daughter is born. But there is no McCafe YET. I don't know what happened and there is no reply to my mails either. Dang, I should have taken down that guy's name!

When "facts" are distorted by fats


Image sourced from: http://www.sanandres.esc.edu.ar


Way back in primary school we learned about the food pyramid. The most items we must consume is grain, wheat, bread and rice (bottom of the pyramid). Followed by fruits and vegetables. In the midspan of the pyramid is dairy products (usually at par with poultry or one rung below) and the least food group we must consume are those snack and junk foods.
When we proceeded to secondary school, things got more detailed. We learned specific sources of energy for the body and how nutrients effect our bodies - carbohydrates (glucose), proteins (amino acids), vitamins and other minerals. Also this is when we learned how carbohydrates (from rice, bread, potato) are broken down into glucose which is the main source of energy for the body. Access energy are stored as FATS. Correct? That's what we were taught in school and also learned from encyclopedias and text books.


But today I met up with one certain individual over breakfast who shot me down over her crack pot theory that eating meat (especially chicken meat SHE SAYS) makes you fat. It all began when she questioned my decision to not eat rice for dinner. Initially it was only for 6 months when I needed to get into shape for the wedding. But then it sort of become a norm for me which lead to my decision to cut rice out of my dinner menu PERMANENTLY. Unsatisfied with my explanation (by the way I was in biology class in F6, equivalent to A-Levels) she went on with her twisted story of how her own children got fat after eating meat. I know her children personally and none of them are fat. In fact her son have been on a high protein diet lately just to build up some muscle for an upcoming martial arts competition. To make matters worse she even boasted how she taught her friend's child who is on the verge of being categorized as obese, to stop eating meat and only eat rice and vegetables!

Personally I don't care what she says or thinks. But what bothered me most is how she's teaching the wrong things to someone else's child! It is true that if you eat things beyond the recommended amount, is not good for you. But blaming entirely on one particular food source for something that's actually caused by another (or a combination of others) is totally unfair. I may have lost some weight from not eating carbs for dinner but have not become pencil thin because I still consume carbohydrate for breakfast and lunch. Basically my conversation ended the moment she claimed to taught her friend's child some diet regime of hers. For me, it was beyond my ability to reason with the unreasonable...
 

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Saturday Before

On 29th May we had a feast for relatives from MY side of the family and also my closest pals. So ladies (and the handsome gentlemen) the two tables of friends you guys met are my closest buddies - so no bitching please (hehehe...).
That day I woke up an hour earlier from my usual schedule - 0700. Dragged myself out of bed while dear hubby is still stuck in slumber land. Jamie (my official photographer) and I envy men who do not need to put on makeup or do their hair while us ladies have to wake up extra early to (as my big brother puts it) - get our faces fixed! Well I got my makeup done by my brother's friend's friend but the hair we decided to leave it alone since curly hair makes me look FAT. I'll blog about the makeup another day including some pictures my hubby took.

Anyway, by the time I was done with my makeup it was almost noon. My family was already there at the restaurant while hubby and I slowly wiggle our way there. From there on it was 4 hours of non stop all you can eat and greet. While I know some of my friends and relatives managed to catch up with one another but being the bride it's hard to sit still. It's either I'm off greeting someone or having a picture taken. By the way, I do wish to take this opportunity to thank all my friends for staying all the way till the end. If I find it exhausting, I know you guys would too. Below is another set of montage of pictures I've taken (hijacked from Jamie's preview pictures). I'll just let the pictures do the talking ... Enjoy (^.^)

The Newly Weds

p.s Tell tale signs of rebelliousness? Wedding dress paired with boots (^_^)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Games on Google?


Click on the image above to play Pac Man on Google

I got this information from BBC news. It sort of became a hit with many Google users though some may not be aware of it because it was on Google's official page (http://www.google.com) for only a day. The next day they created a permanent link (http://www.google.com/pacman) for those who wished to play the game. Do try if you're interested (^_^)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I DON'T WANT TO GET MARRIED!!!!!

Please excuse the sudden title. It's not that I don't want to get married, but not THIS WAY. I mean not the way I see it at the moment at least (^_^)

Two years ago when we decided to sign the papers, all was well. In fact that was one of the happiest moment when everything was kept to simplicity - a simple two table dinner consisting of my family and his. Of course there were some set backs and objections from all four corners of the world when I suggested that the registration ceremony to be our wedding itself and forgo all those traditions of banquets, tea servings and what not. You can't blame the elders for wanting to stick to tradition despite young folks like us think of it as a burden more than anything else. My cousin sis K knows best. She's been through this road before, the hordes of objections for keeping things simple was overwhelming. But I really have to thank her for setting up this path. As I followed her footsteps of simplicity there were lesser objections AND the majority truly enjoyed themselves with the freedom of sitting with whom they liked and eating what they want. Anyway, isn't freedom what we all love most?

I'm really really lucky that for the lunch banquet last week, all I had to do was show up! Everything else was prepared by my brothers and parents and not to forget eldest aunt who is the sole person around here to know the family hierarchy at her finger tips. On that day, I could just waltz around the restaurant like a doll knowing that no one would ask me anything when the whole world knew I know nothing! (^_^)

As the days draw near to this Saturday's event, I try not to get too many things into my head. But things doesn't seem to permit me to repeat the previous event. Already I'm being told to do this and that, which I'm currently dragging my feet to it. Not to forget those "small people(小人 xiao ren)" who always have their say in things despite knowing very little while pretending they know the better than all holy books combined! In Chinese small people sometimes take a second meaning referring to individuals who are narrow minded and gets easily offended when their opinion/request/ideas gets rejected - commonly all negative characteristics (ie autocratic,temperamental,uncooperative)are associated with these people. The first meaning refers to midgets.

So for those who are attending this Saturday's dinner, if you can't find me, try looking at the makeshift kitchen behind the school hall...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm an ogre!

In my previous post - Dress Crisis, I mentioned about a little problem with my luncheon dress. Well it turned out that there wasn't any problem with the zipper or the dress as a matter of fact. But me.

Little did I know that there's a technique in wearing this dress. How you pull up the dress and zip up the zippers MATTERS. In short you have to be gentle and kind to the dress and not rough it up like some wrestling event! Anyway, this is what happened...

I went back to the bridal this morning, let them know of the problem and left. They called up later to say there was nothing wrong with the dress. Perhaps the sizing was not right. So I went back there again to have it all ironed out. First they pointed out to me that there is nothing wrong with the zippers or other parts of the dress. Then we proceed to HOW TO WEAR THE DRESS PROPERLY - hook the claps BEFORE you zip.

There's no problem with the dress now and I'm all set for the luncheon. Here goes another week of silence before I bombard my blog with posts and pictures... Happy Weekend Everyone!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dress crisis!


Just collected my dress this evening from the bridal studio. Above is what I'll be wearing for the luncheon this weekend. Actually I'm really lucky to have those good ladies at the bridal to let me rent the dress for a week. I mean some friends told me they can only get the dress a day or two before the actual event. And I'm already at a crisis.

It's now midnight and I just found a problem with the dress. The zipper pops open when stressed. This is one big disadvantage when trying the dress with an empty stomach. I for one, didn't know the zipper was THAT weak. When I tried the dress at the studio some 5 hours ago, it was alright. There was even some loose space for my tummy to expand. Mind you I've been on a strict diet since last December and most of the dinner meals only leave me 70-80% filled just to avoid having food tummy after meals. So imagine my horror when I tried on the dress right after dinner only to hear "PIAK"

Somehow I didn't get furious or enraged.  I just turned it all into a great humor with dear hubby when each time I exhale there will be an echo of "PIAK(s)" and the zip opens up bigger! Dear hubby doesn't get angry so easily. In fact he found it rather amusing (^_^) Oh well, they are closed tomorrow so that leaves me with Wednesday to get the dress all fixed...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beetle

I was out gardening yesterday morning when I spotted this -
Oh wait. It's out of focus... oops (^_^)
There you go. It's a beetle! Let's zoom in and see the beetle up close. Looks a little scary huh?

The beetle in these pictures is actually dead. It went belly up two nights ago and since I did not want to waste a good looking specimen, might as well turn it into my little model. Unfortunately when I took this picture I did not have a macro lens so I cannot take really really up close pictures. The only option is to crop the image.  Anyway, the macro lens cost about MYR2,000 (yup, you read it right TWO THOUSAND Malaysian Ringgit) while a cheaper alternative is to stick a magnifying glass in front of the lens which would cost about MYR200 (less one zero from the macro lens).

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Beauty of Pain

“Many saw a pretty face but only one saw torture and pain” – Me –
Last Saturday we were at Pisa for BriPex 2010. It’s a bridal and camera fair merged into one. Coincidentally we arrived just in time to watch a bikini fashion show. Now I don’t quite know how to put this fashion show into words. The girls are not the most beautiful in town, in fact there are some faces among the crowd of spectators who seemed to fair much better (no, I’m not referring to myself). Anyway, it’s quite predictable on what to expect when you have a stage with girls in skimpy clothing and a throng of photography enthusiast waiting at the edge of the runway!
If you try typing BriPex 2010 Bikini Photoshoot in Google, you’ll get plenty of pictures as result. But of the many pictures that shows the faces and bodies of those pretty girls (which I later found out one of the models is ALMOST 18, I wonder if it it’s illegal??) However, I doubt anyone would bother looking at their feet as most of them (mainly men) would be busy ogling at something else (O.o). I learnt about taking pictures of someone’s feet from another photographer – Pak Din. I don’t know if he reads my lame blog but if he does, and then I’ll say “Terima kasih Pak Din! MakCik dapat banyak gambar kakiiiiiiiiiii”. The translations meaning “Thank you Pak Din! Auntie (apparently he likes calling me MakCik or Auntie, but I’m okay with it) took plenty of feet pictures” He taught me that a person’s feet tell a different form of story compared to faces as there are no expressions on one’s feet. But the impression left behind is a picture that worth a thousand words.
Of the 5 bikini models that day, I saw 2 wore ill fitted shoes. In Chinese, these pictures carry a hidden meaning. The term 抓痛脚 [zhua tong jiao] literally “grab pain (wounded) leg” actually means to catch someone red handed (committing a crime or sin) but instead of handling over to the authorities (or superior of a workplace), you use it to blackmail that person for personal gain. But in these pictures the grab is about grabbing a picture, not the physical grab.

But of all models, Barbie was the best. She stood still the entire day and entirely up to me to decide how to take her picture!

Friday, May 7, 2010

My First online Shopping

Let's face the facts that shopping via the Internet is nothing new. Some can spurge up to thousands a month by just clicking here and there. But not all Internet purchases are sunny side up. There are stories of individuals being cheated of their money. And with all those horror stories being added up, it kind of freaked me out in wanting to buy anything online.

Anyway, last month I saw an advertisement on another blogger's site. Cheeserland was advertising about this particular online company which sells cosmetic products at discounted prices. The company Best Buy World is registered to a Hong Kong company Yinlai Trading (HK) Limited and the Malaysian branch is a company called Telescan Network Sdn Bhd. Unfortunately, I couldn't get much information from the website so I did an additional Googling. I found out that there is another identical company under the name Best Buy World but one registered in Singapore and another in Indonesia. Then I saw the difference in the URL, the Singapore company is written as http://sg.bestbuy-world.com while the Malaysian company is written as http://my.bestbuy-world.com/ and the Indonesian company as http://id.bestbuy-world.com/. I clicked on the Singaporean website and found the "parent company" is written as Bestbuy World (HK) Limited which is the same as the Indonesian site. A little different from the Malaysian site but never the less, the street address on all three sites are the same. Perhaps all the companies are of the same bosses.
The only reason that made me wanted to buy from this site is because they are selling samples at a reasonable price. Let's do some simple maths here. For example a 100ml bottle of cleanser is sold at MYR100 (retail price) while the samples that are sold is only MYR10 for 15ml. So if I were to buy 7 bottles of 15ml samples from this site, I only pay MYR70 for a total of 105ml. Which means I save MYR30! But this isn't exactly my reasoning of purchasing from them. I actually saw a pallet of lip colors (4 shades) sold at MYR35. Retail stores hardly sell you these pallets in fact these samples are only given if you've spent like hundreds of Ringgit buying their products. And since I need some new lip colors for my wedding I thought maybe I should just get it. It's better than spending MYR50 or so for just ONE color.

So I've decided to put my money to the test. I placed order of the lip color along with a few more items to qualify for free delivery charges (if I spend a total of MYR100 and above I get free delivery via Pos Laju). I made my order two weeks ago but delayed payment until Tuesday when my salary cleared. And today the items are delivered to my office as requested! The sample pack is indeed small but since I'll rarely put on makeup, I bet I'll only be using it ONCE!
Things I bought from them. Shiseido sun block (SPF34) MYR20 for 2 bottles of 7ml each.
Estee Lauder lip color pallet of 4 colors at MYR35 and that green bottle is also from
Estee Lauder, pore minimizing lotion at MYR52 for 15ml.

When I made my payment on Tuesday I was nervous that I might get cheated. The company information was so limited I had doubts that this site is genuine. But when I received the goods in good condition I felt relieved. Even though this "test" turned out to be a success I couldn't help but worry of all the WHAT IFs. Like what if this company closes down suddenly and ran away with my money? Or the website disappeared over night and I have no one to help me claim my money. So would I buy stuffs from online stores in future? MAYBE... just maybe

Update 18 August 2010
I did an extra search via Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (in English is Companies of Commission of Malaysia) or SSM for short. All I can say is Telescan Network Sdn. Bhd. is a company registered in Kuala Lumpur with the registration number 572271-X. If you need extra information you'll have to pay SSM.

Update October 14, 2011
The company named YINLAI TRADING (HK) LIMITED (Company Registry Number 1181316) is a Hong Kong registered business incorporated in 02-Nov-2007. In 06-Oct-2010, the company name is changed to BEST BUY WORLD (HK) LIMITED. Sourced directly from Hong Kong's Companies Registry - http://www.icris.cr.gov.hk/csci/. As of today, the company's status is ACTIVE.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Invasions of Photographers

Last Sunday we were invited the last minute to join a little get together at Penang's Botanical Gardens to test out Panasonic Lumix series lenses by a friend who is also a sale rep from Panasonic. It turned out that we weren't the only ones having a little gathering there. A Buddhist society have organized a photo shoot session for enthusiast.  When Hubby Dan and I arrived, I felt intimidating to see a horde of 50-or-so people loitering near the entrance. All with a camera in their hands. While they chatter away, I joined hubby for a little "warm up" session and snapped on some flowers blooming nearby.

When our friend arrived, we wasted no time in testing out the goodies he brought along. Among them include a macro lens
And fish eye lens or wide angle lens. Which was used to create the big head effect.

But the highlight of the day isn't about us or the lenses actually. It was the fun of watching this group of enthusiast who moved about like paparazzi. The reason? Well, we later found out that the event coordinator had invited 3 beauties to pose as models. Of the 3 one was significantly attractive making everyone to follow her where ever she went. Across the park...
into the jungle...
over the bridge...
until there was no where to go!

Who's Fault is it anyway?

Last month I began working on the invitation cards. I had 3 invitations to work on. The first one was for my family's event in PJ, the second involves the twin boys here in Nibong Tebal on June 5th and the third invitation is for my sister-in-law's family some 3 weeks later.

I drafted the initial copy and emailed it to my younger brother to proof read and make the necessary changes. He changed a few words here and there, and added an RSVP at the bottom. Sounds normal right? But little did we know that the RSVP my dear brother added  has a mistake - he wrote in the wrong phone number. And I "continued" the mistake by blindly copying and pasting the edited version without actually reading the entire content.

The wrong number practically stayed there even when I emailed him 3 times to double check and counter check with my parents. His response was "Good to go" so I gave the green light to the printers and they were off for printing. So when my mom received the package last week, no body knew of the problem until yesterday when she was about to send the card out by post. But instead of finding out where went wrong, I got a verbal lashing over some mistake I didn't create. I may have my fair share of being careless but if that's the case, everyone's at fault too isn't?

So who's fault is it anyway? YOU TELL ME

Monday, April 19, 2010

My First Photography outing - Spice Garden

 Price of Digital SLR cameras has reduced greatly over the years and it's becoming a popular trend among young enthusiast who have a limited budget to fiddle in the world of photography.
When digital camera replaced films, it was a major break through that changed the world. Back then only a small select few would want to take photography as a hobby as the negatives (films) are the main set backs. If you've made a mistake in taking a photo, your film goes to waste. But with digital cameras, you can take the same picture a hundred times yet, you can delete the "rejects" from the memory card directly.
When I was in university (circa 2006), I wanted to take photography as an extra curricular activity. But the lecturer shun those who didn't own an SLR (or at least a DSLR). He said those with dummy cameras or point and shoot can never take good photographs. At that point I really wanted to show him my works with my "dummy" Panasonic TZ1. But what's the point of arguing with an arrogant individual who thinks he's the world's best camera man?  
So two Sundays ago, I joined the boys for my first photography outing. I'm still clueless in many aspects of photography but never the lest enjoyed getting pointers from expert photographers who have been in this field for many years.
Our trip is to the Spice Garden in Penang Island - a popular location for pre-wedding photography. Even though I was bogged down with flu from my cactus pollen attack a few days before, at least I managed to get a few interesting shots.
Unfortunately for us, it was not the flowering season so there was very little bloom.
And what more irony when the only spices we saw in the garden are those dried up ones inside their museum!
Apart from my hubby and his brother Danny, we were joined with other photography enthusiast like Pak Din (Uncle Din) who turned my FEET as his model and posted it here!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cactus Bloom

The week before QingMing Festival, it began to rain. Many flowering plants were blooming and the 6 foot tall cactus tree bloomed like there was no tomorrow. It attracted quite a lot of attention in our neighborhood. On the first night, my hubby organized a little photography sessions with his friend and brother.

I didn't join them because I had other chores to complete first. They stayed up until 3 o'clock in the morning. The second night, many enthusiast who were my in-law's friends came over. They too stayed on till very late but again, I find my pillow more inviting.

By the third night, there weren't many flowers left. So hubby took this opportunity to give me a little lesson using my new Panasonic GF1. I must say there are so many functions and I got totally lost mid way forgetting which setting corresponds to which effect!

Anyway unlike the earlier two sessions, we finished at about 12am. The reason was I accidentally sniffed the pollen from the cactus and Aaaaaaaa CHHHHOOOOoooooo~!

When I woke up the next morning I was already having a runny nose and mucus was flowing freely from my nose like a leaked pipe!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Clear Bright Day

This post contains images of tomb stones and prayer offerings which may be offensive to certain individuals. Viewer discretion advised.
Qingming Festival or Tomb Sweeping Day is a festival for Chinese to tend the graves of the dearly departed. Held on every 15th day from the Spring Equinox or approximately on April 4th, 5th or 6th every year in the Gregorian calendar. In modern times, people either attend to the graves of the dearly departed either a week earlier or after for one simple reason - traffic jam!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vandalism - an expression to seek attention?



A few Sundays back, I accompanied dear hubby for a stroll in the forest reserve in Bukit Panchor (Panchor Hill) which sits at the boarder between Penang, Perak and Kedah state. My hubby focused his attention on the beauty of the park while trying to avoid the scribbles and carvings on the tree, gazebos and even rubbish bins! I on the other hand couldn't resist NOT reading them.

I don't know if this is only happening to certain countries or is it a global problem. Some treat graffiti as art while others may call it an eyesore. But the problem I see isn't about those who can paint well with spray cans - it's those who write vulgar messages and mobile numbers of individuals who can provide "companionship" or in need of one.

It only shows the mentality of the people who come here - desperate for attention. I have not witness any vandalism in progress but what's left on the gazebo pillars or the tree bark tells of individual who are deprived of love and attention from home, sounds like courting danger. Situations like this often put me at thoughts of how am I going to bring a child into this world when the surroundings look so "dangerous"? How do I love him or her enough to prevent my child ending up as a desperate individual looking for "happiness" outside the house? And what more the dangers of sexual predators who looks like your average Joe but the heart of a demons? Or maybe I'm just having a PMS moment, please excuse me (^_^)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Earth Hour - I didn't participate (techinically)


Last Saturday was Earth Hour but I don't know if I consider myself participating to this event. Dear hubby and I had an appointment with a friend an hours drive away. So between 8.30-9.30 we were actually on the road. For security reasons, some lights were left on. But we used energy saving light bulbs (^_^)

There wasn't much of a difference to those who stayed in rural areas. Most of them carried on with their lives as if Earth Hour does not exist. Of the many houses near where I stayed, only one family actively participated.

Businesses in the town were running as usual and some late night eateries still at their best trying to out bright their competitors with spot lights and neon signs. Whether there was any participation from any local business is uncertain. But one thing I'm sure is the sky is still bright even though it was already 12am!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Love me when I'm alive, not when cremated

Image sourced from Hubby Dan

Recently a very close friend of mine broke a "sad" news - her paternal grandmother passed away. I used the word sad with quotes because knowing her for so many years, it's nothing to be sad of. In fact, she was happy her grandmother died and now enjoying a great show of her uncles and aunts fighting over a small plot of land left behind by the old lady.

My friend is a victim of cultural extremism - loving only boys and loathing girls. The reason why she was despised by her paternal grandmother was purely because my friends mother gave birth to 2 girls - no boys. In old fashion families, sons are valued more than gold, diamonds or even petroleum! Unable to carry down the family name, the mother and her two daughters (including my friend) were constantly bullied. It was easy for me to advice her to make a police report, but it was difficult for her to act on because the culprits are her fathers siblings and mother.

She told me that her paternal grandfather once said that if her grandma dies, what's left of the property should be divided equally among children who are still staying there. That's why her aunts did not shift out of the wooden home which was originally designed to fit a family of 5. I advised her to move out because even her own paternal grandmother dislikes her, I doubt she would want her father to obtain a portion of the property. Furthermore, there is no value in the wooden house BUT the land where it sits on have a good market price. For such inheritance, it's not worth the fight.

Two years ago, she finally bought her own apartment unit. A small unit but at least it's comfortable enough for 4 people. So when her grandmother died, she was forced to cancel all good events - weddings, birthdays and parties because old folks believe when there is a death, there must be a 100 days mourning period before any good events can occur. But I don't believe such things so I sent her my wedding invitation.

She was surprised that despite knowing her grandmother passed away, I still invited her. She asked me if I don't mind even though there was a death of a relative? I replied her email in a simple sentence.
Treasure your loved ones only when they are alive, not when they are cremated.
My wedding is once in a lifetime (ironically so is death),
But I rather have you come laugh at my wedding than cry on my coffin when I can't see a thing!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sales gimmick for the greedy

Sometime two weeks ago, there was a new company set up in one of the newly completed shop lots.
At the sight of the sign board, it's obviously another company selling health supplements. On their opening day, the entire housing area was jammed pack with peoples and cars! It's a good thing dear hubby and I overslept till late noon - totally avoided the crowd. Later I got word from my mother-in-law that they were giving out free packets of brown rice on that day. A typical gimmick to bait potential customers. In the coming weeks I was told they will continue giving out free gifts on condition you listen to their health seminar. Those who want freebies have to queue up at their store front and they have their seminar time tables listed at their doorstep for those who are interested.

So every morning (for the past two weeks, except on weekends) people will queue outside the store creating this huge crow, thus slowing down traffic to a snail's pace for those curious busy bodies who were eager to know what's going on inside. What goes on in there, I don't know. My MIL didn't want to listen to such things because she knows there's nothing special about this particular company compared to the hundreds of other similar companies selling health supplements.

Anyway, I may be Curious George at times but not greedy. So instead of queuing up like the rest of those housewives and house-husbands, I Googled the company and TA-DA! A dot com selling health supplements. From royal jelly to Spirulina and other what-nots. Since it's available on their site, I've made a little price list of some of their products for you to gawk

Royal Jelly 1 set of six bottles (6 X 60 grams) RM 1620.00 (approx. USD497)
Plant Enzyme 1 bottle (175 g) RM 883.00 (approx. USD266)
Bee Pollen 1 bottle (300 tablets) RM 420.00 (approx. USD126)
Bio Grain (a.k.a mixed grains beverage) 1 bottle (500g) RM 235.00 (approx. USD80)
Longan Nectar (honey) 1 kg RM 98.00 (approx. USD30)
Spirulina tablets 1 set 3 bottles (3* 400's ) RM 796.00 (approx USD240)

Now I don't care if this is their so called "non-member's" price or not - one thing for sure, its blood sucking expensive. Business wise it's definitely profiteering because you literally cut out the middle men. The headquarters imports the products and distributes to their branches - the middle men (in this case the retail stores) are left out giving these companies a bigger slice of the cake. I have friends who worked with similar places previously and the staffs price for most supplements is only 25% of the published rates. That leaves a whooping 75% of profit between the company and the sales agents! So for every 100 dollars spent, only 25 dollars goes to the product while the rest is nothing more but profits. No wonder these companies are mushrooming all over the country, and even rural areas are not spared...
  

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hershey’s Better Basket Blog Hop

I'm not a mother YET, so it's very hard for me to understand what mothers went through. Both my hubby Dan and I were born two weeks premature so our moms knew the horrors of leaving their little ones getting artificial sun tan in clear casings with surgical tapes to our eyes. Mom said during her pregnancy she only prayed for one thing - a healthy child. She abide to every known fact AND superstition even though some of the superstition may sound absurd to her.

But not all child is born healthy. For many (like myself and hubby Dan), we can go home within days or weeks. While others have to say much longer. This Easter Hershey Company will donate $10(up to total of $5,000) to each blog post to Children Miracle Network, a non-profit alliance of children’s hospitals dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care, life-saving research and preventative education across North America. So this blog post is my contribution to help the little ones get their day a wee bit better. This donation drive officially begin at 12 AM EST on March 18th and end at 12 PM EST on April 4th, 2010. I got my Easter basket from my dear friend Rosidah of Indonesia who got hers from Susan of Ireland. And now I pass this basket to you, my reader.

HERSHEY’S BETTER BASKET BLOG HOP RULES
  •  Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
  • Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
  • Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
  • Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
  • Leave your link at http://betterbasket.info/bloghop/ comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
  • Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.