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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Galerie d'image III

Let's juice it! Just meddling around with Photoshop. Anyone want some oranges? ;)

Buffet breakfast at Ridel Hotel, Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Chocolate Parfait, Häagen-Dazs

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Toaster Ovens Guide

They say having a great breakfast is essential for starting a new day. Usually we'll have cereals, eggs, milk, freshly squeezed orange juice, and yes, toasts! How can we not love toasts? I love my toasts with peanut butter, coconut jam, fruit jam, or honey. They make a nice combo and believe me, you'll definitely ask for more!

To make a good toast, you'll need a good toaster oven. Toaster Ovens Guide is here to help you potential buyers choose a nice and reliable toaster oven. The toaster ovens reviewed by the site are pretty affordable and they come in various designs and models. Some can even bake a pizza or roast a chicken! How great is that?

Check it out now, all you toast lovers!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Genealogy - What's yours?

I'm always intrigued by one's ancestry and lineage. I always make it a point to cherish my own. A man who shows no appreciation for his family history is one who fails to be a descendant of his family.

Nearly all Malaysian Chinese trace their ancestral roots to the Chinese provinces of Guangdong 广东省 and Fujian 福建省. Along with Hainan 海南省, these coastal provinces are the largest contributors of Chinese emigrants, who are now collectively known as the Overseas Chinese 海外华人. With 7 million people, Malaysia has the world's 3rd largest Overseas Chinese population after Indonesia and Thailand.

My dad is a Teochew while my mum is a Hakka. Since Mandarin is my mother tongue, I rarely speak Teochew and I'm totally lost in Hakka. How I wish I were fluent in both dialects. In fact, I could understand Cantonese and Hokkien much better. But it's my lifelong dream to make a trip back to where my ancestors came from. To retrace their footsteps is something I hope to accomplish one day.

I read up somewhere that the great Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan has at least 16 million living descendants today, scattered across the huge Eurasian landmass where he once conquered. Islam's Prophet Muhammad has many living descendants today, and King Abdullah II of Jordan is reportedly the 43rd-generation direct descendant of his. China's greatest sage and teacher Confucius has over 2 million living descendants, most of them living in Mainland China and Taiwan. Have you guys ever met or known someone with the Chinese surname Kong 孔? He or she might have been one of them.

Most Americans have multiple ancestry since America is a land of immigrants and a great melting pot of cultures and traditions. Hollywood actress Brooke Shields is a descendant of distinguished European nobility, including the great 8th-century Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, Valencia-born Pope Alexander VI, English King William the Conqueror, French King Henry IV, and many others. And do you know that Angelina Jolie, Céline Dion, Madonna, Hillary Clinton, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are distant relatives with the common French ancestors?

Sometimes I do wonder who my great great great grandparents were during the heydays of Imperial China. Were they nobility? Artisans? Merchants? Or mere peasants? But whoever they were, I'm proud to be part of the lineage.

Do you know who were your ancestors and where were they from?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So you think you know about vegetarianism?

Those who have followed my blog(s) long enough would have known about my alternative dietary lifestyle. I just celebrated my 2nd anniversary as a vegetarian on November 8th last year, which you can read more about it here.

While the vegetarian lifestyle is immensely popular and strongly established in the West (it is alleged that close to 10% of the UK's population have at least adopted a form of vegetarianism, and that's some 5-6 million Brits), many people in this country are still confused about the vegetarian diet. Malaysians often see vegetarianism as something associated with the Indic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc). Although this is largely true, there are also those who resort to this lifestyle for health and moral reasons.

A lot of vegetarian eateries in Malaysia are either Chinese Buddhist or Indian establishments. Before I go any further into this, you ought to know the 4 general forms of vegetarianism:

  • Lacto-ovo vegetarianism: A vegetarian diet which includes animal products (honey, eggs, and dairy products)
  • Lacto vegetarianism: A vegetarian diet which includes honey and dairy products but not eggs
  • Ovo vegetarianism: A vegetarian diet which includes honey and eggs but not dairy products
  • Veganism: A strict vegetarian diet which excludes all forms of animal products
Being a Malaysian Chinese vegetarian (and a Buddhist one as well), I'm automatically perceived to be one that practises Su vegetarianism, which is basically veganism within the context of Buddhism where the 5 fetid vegetables 五荤 (onion, garlic, scallion, leek, and shallot) are not part of the diet. Hell no, I love my onions and garlics as well as milk, cheese, and eggs! I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian, and definitely not a vegan nor a Su vegetarian. It's somewhat annoying that my vegetarian diet is often questioned by my friends or the people around me whenever they spot me having eggs, onions, cakes, or dairy products. I hope I make myself very crystal clear now.

One of the most popular myths about the vegetarian diet is that it won't be able to provide you sufficient protein. My friends, you don't need meat to cater for your active lifestyle. A balanced vegetarian diet can do that equally well or maybe better. Here is a list of famous sportsmen and athletes who are, well you guess it right, vegetarians. And you think being a vegetarian won't grow you muscles as well? Behold, professional bodybuilders like Bill Pearl (who was also the 1971 Mr. Universe) will have you swallowed your own words.

So you think you know about vegetarianism?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bed bugs

Yes, I'm talking about those nasty creatures. These microscopic bugs are a real pest ~ they bite you when you're asleep! Just when you're happily wandering around in some dreamland, suddenly you feel an itch on your skin that gets you scratching like crazy. Sometimes it's just not an itch, but a lot of itches! When this happens, you'll find yourself jumping into reality from your sleep and starts brushing your bedsheets with your bare hands, hoping to sweep off those invisible bloodsuckers. Sheesh, aren't they as annoying as the infamous mozzies?

I too have my fair share of bitter memories with these bugs. Whenever I wake up with rashes on my skin, I know they are either the works of the mosquitoes or these lil' vampires. One thing for sure, these tiny red spots can ruin your otherwise beautiful day. And when this happens, you'll most probably find me grumpy and moody for the rest of the day. It sucks, really.

There are a lot of guides available on the Internet on how to treat bed bug bites, and bed bug bite treatment is one of the good ones. It's very easy to follow, and I'm sure it spells effectiveness too!

My dear friends, together we say no more to itchiness from bed bug bites!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Whatchu gonna throw today?

USA Products and Services to Boycott

On the list:

Intel, AMD, Microsoft, Apple Computers, iPod, Mastercard, Visa, and many more.

So... Anyone gonna dump their computers and credit cards today? Buzz me please when you were going to do that. I'd be real glad to come and collect 'em from you, especially if they were an iMac, MacBook, iPod, or iPhone. And one thing, they must be in tip-top working condition, okay? *ROFL*

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The laundry, the PR, and the Middle East conflict

Just finished doing my laundry an hour ago, which included the damn towel that I loathe washing the most. It's the hardest thing to wash, okay? I was feeling like a dead fish after brushing to-and-fro on that damn piece of fabric. I'd rather have 10 pieces of clothes to start with than doing this stupid thing! And oh, I think I was being so exceptionally diligent this week as I've done my laundry for like 3 times already. Amazing!

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I was shocked to find the Google PageRank for this blog dropped drastically from 3 to 1 one day. I thought it must have been Google going around punishing blogs laden with PPP entries, like what happened a year or two ago (mine was not affected then, thankfully). This left me feeling kinda dejected for the rest of the day. But after 1 week, it climbed back to the gleeful 3 again. Yay! But then, my PPP database still records it as PR1. I must somehow take an action else I'd lose a great deal of opportunities that cater for blogs of higher PageRanks! As for my dear sOleiLian, it's now a PR2 blog. Whee... Double happiness!

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And regarding the recent hot political issue, posters calling for an end to the Israeli occupation in Palestine are everywhere at my university campus. While I strongly condemn the killings of innocent civilians like those defenceless womenfolk and children, it doesn't mean that Israel is to blame for all these acts. It is those cowards of Hamas who triggered this war by frequently firing rockets into Israeli zones which of course provoked the Israeli army. These rockets, although weaker in power and much smaller in scale to the big artillery used by the Israelis, do possess the canny ability to kill and inflict harm on others, in this case the innocent Israeli civilians.

I'm so tired of this one-sided national view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's always the fault of the demonic Israelis and Americans, while the Palestinian murderers are unanimously hailed as heroes and warriors. Bullshit! So double standard. You see, I'm not standing on either side of the war, but murderers will always remain as murderers. No matter Israeli or Palestinian (or wherever shit one is from), those who murder someone intentionally should be brought to court in the name of justice. If they want to battle, fine, do it the proper, gentleman way, i.e. not targetting the masses who are largely innocent. What's the point of killing an old lady or a young toddler when the ones behind these heinous acts are the big guys who form the Government?

Apart from McDonald's, Coca Cola, Starbucks, L'Oréal, IBM, and other familiar big names, Intel is also included on the list of products to boycott. This makes me wonder whether the dudes behind this boycott thing were using Intel-powered computers to create all their posters and stuff, which I'm 99.9% certain that they were guilty of it. Plus, those who wholeheartedly support the ban should just throw away your Intel-based computers immediately and stop being a hypocrite. You guys disgust me.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Funky Holiday Eyeglass Frames

New Year's Day is finally here! A brand new year, a brand new me. Hmm... This kinda make sense, doesn't it? So what better way to kick off a fantastic year than going for an image change? No, I don't mean those intimidating plastic surgeries, liposuctions, botox injections, or expensive designers wear and accessories. There's no need for me to folk out thousands to undergo a transformation. All I need is a funky pair of eyewear that matches my style and personality and I'm ready to impress everyone out there! :D

I've been wanting to change my pair of glasses since God knows when. The paint on the frame has faded that I feel like dumping it somewhere. Honestly, it's a sight that's downright pathetic. Even my friends are urging me to change! And yes, I'm aware that I've been saying this too many times but heck, I can't seem to find a suitable one. *sigh*

But this time around, my saviour has finally come to save me! Zenni Optical is introducing a range of super affordable Holiday frames fit for any joyous occasion! They are all funky and stylish, so I'm sure everyone will definitely find his or her desired pair of eyewear from the range. I've found one, and here it is...

Zenni Optical Holiday Frames

How's it? Oh do say it looks nice! I wonder how it would look on me. Haha!

And I hereby wish each and everyone of you a fantabulous year in 2009! :D