Monday, June 27, 2011

Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

To Szup and Coen David respectively!
One of my dearest friends just have birth on Tuesday to her second son. He is adorable and she is a trooper!
Love to both of them and cheers to the entire family!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

No Words....


I’m crying. I just read in The Star about the 2 year old little girl who fell into a tub of water and drowned in her nursery. I saw the photo of her mother carrying her out of the clinic, her little body covered by a cloth but I spy her arm, discoloured and blue. The paragraph where it says (and I paraphrase), “The mother, uncontrollably distraught, carries her child out of the clinic and rushes into a waiting van” sets me off. I do not see how any mother can recover something like that. The little arm, the picture of grief on the mother’s face, the way the child lies over her mother’s shoulder - the way she would have in the morning the last time her mother carried her, alive.


I can’t bring myself to say no one is at fault. Why is the tub filled with water anyway when no one was using it? Why did the nursery guardians not take adequate measures of care and attention when they know they are dealing with precocious, inquisitive children, children who are helpless and naïve ….and innocent. Dead. Dead means gone forever, never to be warm again and held lovingly over and over again in parents’ arms. Dead means no more laughing, no more giggling, the child has no future, no wedding, no children of her own.


Dead sometimes means the mother dies too.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Insightful and Necessary but Effective?

Just read Zainah Anwar's column in The Star today "Same actors, same old script". I love her writing and think her comments and ideas make a whole lot of sense although I do think the title should read "Different actors, same old script".

So many people have come and gone saying the same thing, Malays and otherwise, but these articles have always been the words of a minority who appear on page 19 of a paper once in a while, while insidious, incorrect, inflammatory gossip hog headlines any day of the week.It's come to a point where I'm sure hardworking honest Malaysians just read the news and go on with living their lives. I, for one feel that no real change will come about. I don't believe change will come anytime soon.The current ministers make a mockery of their position and the citizens who elected them into office. Same old, same old.

It will take a very brave man or woman leader or leaders, a courageous, unified populace, ready for change and willing to stand on their own two feet for a genuine, lasting paradigm shift.

I don't think it will happen in my lifetime which is why Talent Corporation or no, if there is a chance of a less selfish, more equal life for my son elsewhere, I'd try out in a second.

Hence the title of this post, all these mature thoughts are necessary and definitely insightful, but effective? I'm afraid not.

Too bad.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Bad Food Galore

Just recently, we tried out The Blue Cow Café at Plaza Damas which was highlighted in the papers for burgers that were out of this world. We also ventured into The Cookbook at Sunway Giza. Actually that one was a second visit. So here are our reviews of these two eateries.


The Blue Cow Café was a little below expectations. We couldn’t get past how the food and the décor and the waiters all didn’t seem to gel. There was just something off about the entire environment. The waiters weren’t very helpful or maybe they just didn’t know their food; I saw a girl in the kitchen (open to public viewing mind you) using her hands when building a burger, I later saw the same girl go off to the freezer and used the same pair of hands (yeah, she only had one pair!) to open and close the freezer door as well as handle all sorts of Tupperware containers. There was a giant refrigerator stuck all over with Tiger beer stickers whilst the wallpaper and wall treatments didn’t scream cheap coffeeshop. A simple visit to the place will have you wondering the same thing – did I wander into a meat house that is just using an-ex restaurant locale while it looks for its own home???


Foodwise, I did not enjoy my lamb burger. I like my lamb and this burger was most definitely a disappointment – it wasn’t lamby in the least. I could taste a mish mash of items but not really any lamb. Hubby had a bite and liked it but when he had to finish the rest of my burger, finally understood my disappointment. His dish was the Pork Platter – the bacon was wondrous but that’s about itlah.


Overall, the place left me wondering what the reviewer was talking about. We paid a lot of money for nothing much by way of good food. It’s a no no for me on a return visit – we don’t actually award it the Sakae Award for suckiness but it won’t get a Recommend that’s for sure.


And now, for The Cookbook. This was actually a second visit because my parents were visiting and my mum mentioned that the place had been reviewed in the papers. Ok, after our experience there that night, I should treat all reviews in the papers with high suspicion. In fact, perhaps the moment an establishment is reviewed in the paper, it should scream ‘AVOID AVOID AVOID’ to me!


The first time we visited The Cookbook, I didn’t like it. I have a genuine dislike for places selling coffeeshop hawker fare for high prices. And what’s worse is when they don’t even do it as well as the old men and women out there sloggin away in non-airconditioned kopitiams. The only thing this place was good for to me, was their novel way of decorating the café and presenting their food.


By the way, DO NOT have the Homemade Sour Plum drink – yowzers!


This second time around that we were there, out of 4 dishes ordered, only 1 was good – however, everything was too salty! The worst thing is that my poor mother struggled through her Dry Curry Noodles for so long telling everyone it was salty til we actually tried it. It was unbelievable! I mean there is salty and then there is The Cookbook’s salty! YIKES!


When we referred it to the manager, he took it back and brought back a new plate – but this time without the chicken rolls that come with the dish. Hmmmm….if you’re going to replace a dish, it’s only professional if you replace the entire dish, not half a dish! And he tried to offer a lame excuse that at the end of the day, the sediment of the curry was more salty. Ummm….a chef who valued his name and his job would never allow that to happen. If that was acceptable, that means if I go to Shangri-La’s Chinese Restaurant at the end of the day, I would have to accept bad food??


The manager further went on to say that he had had a lot of orders for the dish that night and we were the only ones who complained. THAT really got JH’s goat! It was error piled upon error – replacing the dish half-assed was bad enough, now it was compounded with a lame excuse for the poor quality of the food and then aggravated further by an employee telling the customer he was basically wrong. And to top it all off, the cherry on the shit cake – the new dish had mee as bland as dishwater.


Caveat emptor if you’re trying out The Cookbook at Sunway Giza – the wait staff is inefficient (don’t even get me started on how they didn’t know how to give us proper utensils etc), the food is mediocre at best, the manager is lousy and customer service is atrocious. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!


We felt so badly about it that we were about to rename ‘The Sakae Award’ with ‘The Cookbook….NOT’ award!


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Facebook Map of The World

I know I’m half a year too late but I blame it on being on maternity leave and not wanting to do anything else but look at my baby. J


Just found out about Paul Butler’s Facebook Map of The World – it’s such a cool idea and I am most definitely taken with the kind of person that does this kind of things! I mean, I would never think of doing it, never be able to do it and even if I did think of doing it and starting, I wouldn’t guarantee being able to work it out to the end. (Shit, I sound sad!)


So anyway, I love the fact that someone got such an interesting thing done and just want to point out that I might as well be in China or Brazil for all the Facebook connections I make! J



The map of the world, drawn by Facebook data structuring intern Paul Butler using connections between 10 million Facebook friends, is interesting enough in itself until you realize that all of the country borders are entirely drawn using Facebook friend connections too. Even if the world was dark and totally unmapped, Facebook could produce a remarkably good approximation of most of its continents’ boundaries, and even the borders of some countries.

It still took some clever math. Butler explains how he did it:

I defined weights for each pair of cities as a function of the Euclidean distance between them and the number of friends between them. Then I plotted lines between the pairs by weight, so that pairs of cities with the most friendships between them were drawn on top of the others. I used a color ramp from black to blue to white, with each line’s color depending on its weight. I also transformed some of the lines to wrap around the image, rather than spanning more than halfway around the world.

Later I replaced the lines with great circle arcs, which are the shortest routes between two points on the Earth. Because the Earth is a sphere, these are often not straight lines on the projection.

What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while travelling, a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life.

Note the lack of definition in China and Russia, and the relative hole in Brazil. As we explained in a recent post, these countries are among the world’s last holdouts in having dominant social networking sites other than Facebook. (QZone, VKontakte, and Orkut, respectively.)

Accents I Love

Am listening to my radio on my phone! (I LOVE my phone!!!!!!) Tuned in to Country stations of course! And it hits me with a pang, how I miss hearing a native English speaker’s accent when they speak English. Now that I work with a local company, I’ve had virtually ZERO chance of speaking to a mat salleh. And I miss it man.

Skin Clinic

I just recently went to visit Sachdev Skin Clinic located along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. Parking is hell but his medications are superb!


I had been having a recurrent upper lip thingy – the skin was very dry and flaky and recently when I started peeling at it, there would be spots of blood. Strange thing is that it set in without any warning about a month ago, would visit like Aunt Flo, leave for a few days and visit again! Didn’t even dare kiss baby in case it was something fungal – I also wondered if I was starting a cold sore at first… which point hubby may start to ask how and where on hell I would have contracted something like that all of a sudden! J Phew then since the doc assured me it wasn’t anything of that sort.


I applied the gel cream he gave 3 times and now it’s nearly all gone. Cost me RM100 though!