Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sweating Muka Lima Sen

I think my cousin is trying to tell me something when she gave me this for Christmas.

Sweating Muka Lima Sen

Yes, I admit I've been using both the =.= (I name it the muka lima sen, literally meaning five cents face) and sweat emoticons far too often lately. The thing is, how in the world did she manage to find one that symbolises BOTH?!? Is it such a coincidence she gave me this particular smiley face since I've not chatted with her on any instant messaging clients before basically due to the fact that she never chats online hence not being able to know I've been abusing these two emoticons? Creepy if you ask me. =.=' (meet my new emoticon - sweating muka lima sen).

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wedding Planner

Another wedding, another time to get together. Nothing beats weddings when it comes to pulling friends and relatives together from near and far, especially those you've not seen for awhile now. It was no different last night during my friend's wedding at the posh E&O Hotel. A jolly moment indeed for all of us there. Congratulations Sze Meng and Chaik Wee!

It was a very elaborate wedding steep in tradition and protocol. To be honest, it was a little too formal for my liking. We even had to wear coats and ties! The rebellious nature in me kept my coat hanging in my wardrobe. Initially, I planned to leave my tie at home too but decided to bring it along just in case. I even had to change my choice of shirt so it could match a tie. I hope I don't put my guests through so much fuss when I tie the knot. Like the promise of no loud music blaring into your eardrums, you are most welcome to give me an earful if I put you through all the fuss of a too formal wedding.

E&O Hotel is not exactly a great choice when it comes to wedding receptions. It may have that classy fairytale feeling and all but having to separate some of your guests to the balcony above is quite a farce especially when there are so many performances involved. However, the dinner was great and the free-flow alcohol made it all that much better. ;)

Do men think about weddings? I can't speak for all men but I personally do. Maybe not to the extend of how things should be but at the very least how it should not end up. One grouse I have about wedding banquets is the choice of menu which is always the same old same old. So, I came up with this menu idea for a Penang wedding banquet. Since guests from afar always like to taste the famous Penang delicacies of during their visits, why not bring the best of Penang to the wedding banquet itself?

1st course: Lok-lok (Four Seasons dish replacement)
2nd course: Laksa (Shark's fin soup replacement)
3rd course: Tandoori Chicken (Chicken dish replacement)
4th course: Pasembur/Rojak (Vege dish replacement
5th course: Fish Head Bee Hoon (Fish dish replacement)
6th course: Hokkien Prawn Mee (Prawn dish replacement)
7th course: Nasi Kandar (Rice/Noodle replacement)
8th course: Ais Kachang/Chendol (Dessert replacement)
Thank You Gift: Tau Sar Pneah (Cake/Sweet replacement)

It saves the guests from having to travel to different hawker stalls to taste the best that Penang has to offer when time is so limited and already tired from their travels. I don't know if I'll be able to invite all the best hawkers to prepare their trademark dishes for my wedding banquet. Neither do I know if any hotel will be willing to allow such a thing to happen in the first place. Whatever it is, you know you read it here first. ;)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Reminders From Mother Nature

Two years ago on this very day, Mother Nature gave us all a reminder of what she's capable of by moving earth and water, causing major devastation across a few regions. I haven't started my blog yet then but I do have my own tsunami story to tell, but that will have to wait for another day. Looks like she had more up her sleeve.

Last year, Mother Nature disposed Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, USA. Many lives perished. Lots of destruction. Uncountable families displaced. The disaster did serve its purpose of reminding humankind not to ravage and plunder Mother Nature indiscriminately but only for a short period of time. Soon enough, humans went back to their old ways.

This year, heavy rains (coupled with poor planning and development without consideration of Mother Nature) caused the Johor floods [PDF] which has claimed seven lives so far. Neighbouring states down south were also affected. Another reminder from Mother Nature.

Humans just love acting as Gods but tragedies like these are just the right reminders we need to realise we are not that great after all. Even during these trying times, the dark side of human nature will manage to rear its ugly head. Looters and profiteers never fail to make the headlines regardless of where or who the tragedies happen to. Fortunately, there are still Good Samaritans living among us.

Even with these constant reminders, we still fail to heed the call for change. When will we ever learn? As I see it, not anytime soon.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Spoilt Christmas

Events that transpired last night has totally spoilt my Christmas mood although I'm trying my best to make the best out of the situation. Will blog about it soon, hopefully in the next few days if time permits.

Here's wishing you all a better Christmas than mine.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Tale Of Two Rats And A Mouse

Rats. Rattus rattus. Pest. Vermin. Destroyer of property. Carrier of diseases. Even ardent fans of rodents cannot deny what a pain in the ass this tiny little creature can be.

[SOURCE: Thinktank Studios]

My house like many others, however clean they may be, will somehow face problems with rat infestation one time or another. In recent times, a family or so of those pesky little rodents decided to migrate over to my house after a long spell of enjoying a rat-free environment. This was when all the problems started.

These rats eat (or at least bite/chew) everything that comes to mind. Foodstuff undoubtedly remains top on their list of chewables. Bars of soap do seem to be very much an integral part of their food pyramid. Paper, rubber, cloth, wood, carton boxes, hard plastics, soft plastics, plastic bags, styrofoam and anything imaginable under the sun, they will eventually take the opportunity to sink their teeth into them. One that remains an evergreen preference for them however are cables. Telephone cables, electrical wiring and even their futuristic brethren, the technological advanced computer mouse is not spared. That @#$%$# rendered my RM60 Logitech optical mouse useless just so they could satisfy their crave for cables!!!

Damaged Mouse
A victim of sibling rivalry or something more sinister?

The new breed of migrants seems to be a bunch of Einsteins. We've set traps at different areas, using different types of food but nothing seems to nab them. So, every night, we are presented with sounds more disturbing than a heavy metal concert. When I came home last night, I smelt the stench of a decomposing rat. Great! One decided to die on us and now we've to hunt for its corpse. We couldn't pinpoint the source of the smell but a few rooms were affected by the stench, including my room. I ended up bunking in the study room but didn't get too good a rest as I was awaken by various things throughout the night, probably due to me sleeping at a new place.

I woke up this morning to find one rat captured in the trap. Great! A catch after so many barren weeks. My attention was now focused on finding the decomposing corpse. Within the first five minutes of searching, I found its bloated body, trapped between some boxes. Wonderful! Two down, a dozen (?) more to go. Bring on the rest!

Discarded the bodies and did some cleaning, scrubbing and a generous dose of Lysol solved the affected areas. No more stench. Fewer pests. Better sleep? We'll see. Casualty count? Two rats, one mouse.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mars And Venus Diary Writing

Another one of those Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus comparisons. If a husband and wife were to keep a diary, this would probably be the contents of their respective diaries.


Sunday night - I thought he was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a cafe to have some coffee. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment.

Conversation wasn't flowing so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk, he agreed but he kept quiet and absent. I asked him what was wrong - he said, "Nothing." I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said it had nothing to do with me and not to worry.

On the way home I told him that I loved him, he simply smiled and kept driving. I can't explain his behavior; I don't know why he didn't say, "I love u, too." When we got home I felt as if I had lost him, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there and watched TV; he seemed distant and absent.

Finally I decided to go to bed. About 10 minutes later he came to bed. I decided that I could not take it anymore, so I decided to confront him with the situation but he had fallen asleep. I started crying and cried until I too fell asleep. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.


Today Manchester United lost the match. DAMN IT!!

Have a great week ahead and may the husband not need to write that entry so often this season! :)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I So Hate Comment Spam

Comment Spam
(click to enlarge)

Don't you just hate comment spam? Don't you just hate any form of spam?!? I so hate comment spam. Comment spam that have no relation to what your blog topic is about. Comment spam that hijack your blog to promote their own agenda. Comment spam by chicken-shit raisins-for-balls mongoloids who hide behind a cloak of anonymity to spew their poison because they are just not brave enough to stand up for what they say. Comment spam that try to get others in trouble for their vicious content. Comment spam that are so hypocritical, you laugh your ass off at the whimsical nature of the writer. I so hate comment spam.

I'm an advocate for freedom of speech. That's why commenting on this blog is open to everyone and anyone who feels like having their say. However, this is always lead to abuse. Every so often I would get comment spam but ever since I've activated the anti-comment spam feature on Blogger, comment spam has dropped to the random few once awhile. However, this morning I received notification that there were TWELVE comment spam in the space of one hour. Never have I seen someone so dedicated in cutting and pasting their propaganda AND having to go through TWELVE captcha word verification processes in between. Credit has to be given to this fella for all the trouble he went through but seriously, if he could just channel that time, energy and dedication towards something more beneficial than spreading political and racially sensitive propaganda on blogs, I believe he/she could actually change the world. Seriously! Maybe a look in the mirror first would be wise.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Migration To Blogger Beta

Migration to Blogger Beta
(click to enlarge)

Just So You Know has finally moved to Blogger Beta. There are plenty of new features only available on Blogger Beta I've been longing to use since forever. First impressions - it's very neat and I just can't wait for the full implementation of the beta features to all of Blogger.

The thing is, I either create my own layouts or modify available blogger templates out there. Considering the number of blogs I have, it will be too time-consuming at this time to rebatch all my blogs to the new platform so I can fully utilise all of the new features available on Blogger Beta. The interface requires some getting used to though.

I will be easing the migration to Blogger Beta slowly for all my blogs (unless I find a simple solution to overcome this problem). I do hope not much problems will arise but I'll promise to be careful. :P

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Durian Update

Malaysians will probably and fortunately not feel the full wrath of Durian. Looks like Typhoon Durian is weakening and may not cause as much havoc in Malaysia as warned earlier. [PDF]

Durian not likely to hit Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: Typhoon Durian is weakening and is not expected to land in Malaysia.

As of 5pm yesterday, it was approximately 200km south-west of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and is expected to move in a south-westerly direction at a speed of 28kph.

However, the Meteorological Services Department has warned of danger to beach and shipping activities in several areas in the northern part of the peninsula due to bad weather and rough seas in the wake of the typhoon.

Wind speeds of 50kph to 60kph and waves of up to 4.5m are expected in the coastal areas of Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis, Kedah and Penang until Friday.

Meanwhile, all residents living along the coast in Kelantan have been placed on standby for evacuation due to torrential rains and strong winds brought by the typhoon.

A spokesman at the state operations centre said residents and fishermen in Sabak, Tok Bali, Pantai Semerak, Pantai Irama and Pantai Seri Tujuh had been informed of possible evacuation.

This follows a warning of worsening weather conditions due to the effects of the typhoon, which had earlier lashed the Philippines and Vietnam.

In a related development, Kelantan police marine commander Deputy Supt Abdul Salam Abdul Halim said all fishermen's associations had been informed of the rough weather.

"However, I was told by most fishermen that they are used to such weather, which is part of the monsoon season. Nevertheless, they are taking all precautions," he said.

DSP Abdul Salam said marine police had placed its vessels on standby for rescue and evacuation work in case of floods.

In Kuala Terengganu, a 1km stretch of coast in Tanjung has eroded, triggering panic among residents that the typhoon was heading their way.

Restaurateur Lau Fook Khoy, 58, said she feared that the typhoon could cause further erosion.

"The soil along the affected stretch is weakening and the situation could become worse due to the strong waves," she said yesterday.

Terengganu Health, Unity, Consumer Affairs and Environment Committee chairman Toh Chin Yaw assured the people that the state government had taken all precautionary measures to prevent further erosion.

"We also anticipate that the typhoon will not hit Terengganu due to its travelling pattern," he added.

However, Malaysians are still warned of the dangers of bad weather and rough seas and all beach and shipping activities should be kept to the minimum. Heavy rain and strong winds still to be expected in the northern states till the end of the week.

Earlier write-up can be found here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's Raining Durians

It has finally happened. It's raining durians. [PDF]

Typhoon Durian warning

KUALA LUMPUR: Heavy rain and strong winds are expected over Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis from Tuesday to late Wednesday as Typhoon Durian heads southwards towards Malaysia.

The Malaysian Meteorology Department said strong winds of 50-60kph and waves of up to 5.5 metres high were expected over the east coat of the peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak.

It warned that the strong winds and rough seas were dangerous to all shipping, fishing and ferry services.

We've made reference to heavy rains being like durians dropping from the heavens but never have I imagined that it would one day come true. As I blog this, the rain is really heavy and the roof on my house sounds like being hit by durians. I just hope it doesn't get any much worse here in Penang.

Oh, if you were trying to figure where they came up with such a name to call a tropical storm, the name was contributed by Thailand. During the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, I've blogged about the naming of tropical storms. You can find more information here.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Gmail Integrates With Google Docs & Spreadsheets

This was bound to happen sooner or later and I'm glad it has happened. Google has finally integrated Gmail with Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Previously, Google rolled out new ways for Gmail users to view attachments in emails. For example, MP3 files could be played with the embedded player. You could choose to view PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides as HTML. Now, Google is adding another option for documents and spreadsheets. You can now open these attachments as a Google Spreadsheet or Google Document within Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

This makes it easy for Gmail users to share a particular document or spreadsheet after it has been edited without the need of attaching it and sending it back and forth through email although some may point to the fact that the document or spreadsheet could and should have been uploaded/created on Google Docs & Spreadsheets to start with.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

But one thing though, it makes it convenient to open such files on a computer that may not have productivity softwares capable of opening such files installed on them. I would prefer opening such attachments on Google Docs & Spreadsheets rather than having to download, save and opening it on a computer that is not mine and having to locate the file and deleting it from the computer.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

There's no official announcement from Google concerning this new feature as of now but it's not unusual. Of course, this could have been rolled out in stages a few weeks back and this feature has only been enabled for my account recently. I find this integration very useful considering my heavy usage of both services and saves me a lot of hassle. So, what do you think about this new feature in Gmail?