Friday, January 30, 2009

one for the women

Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business.  When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father dies, he figured he needed a wife with whom to share his fortune.

One evening at an investment seminar, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.  Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary guy," he said to her,"but in just a few years, my father will die and I'll inherit US$200 million." 

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card .... and three days later, she became his stepmother. 

Morale of the story: Women are so much better at financial planning than men.

**received this email from a colleague. thanks, WYO. so, guys, watch out for wily women!!**

Thursday, January 29, 2009

child-like innocence

now that the ang pows have changed hands, what should the kids do with their new found wealth? my daughter will be planning to spend most of that at the next shopping trip (i believe an iPod is top on the list, which i shall try to deter) while the boy is thinking of opening a kiddie bank account. he probably got the idea from going on numerous trips to the bank with me.

when i asked him which bank he intends to save with, without a 2nd thought, he picked Maybank. 


because he was born in the month of May.

good choice, i thought. after all, there's a branch near where we live, parking is easy & free, & it's government-linked. 

so there you are, save your money & support the government. how much simpler can life be??

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CNY at 1-Utama

i like 1-Utama because:
1) it's easily accessible via either NKVE or LDP;
2) it's a RM1 flat-rate parking fee &
3) being a kampung boy, having lunch at dragon -i is a big deal to me.

where i live, no restaurant has a numbered queue system, only banks & govt agency payment counters, but it does provide some semblance of civility as hungry patrons aren't a patient lot. while waiting for a table, one can actually observe the chefs prepare their trademark noodles & dumplings.

we didn't have long to wait despite the lunch crowd (& i thought most KL-lites were out-of-town for the New Year). my order of stewed beef noodles was very good & filling.
this establishment was obviously thriving, despite the steep prices & in difficult times. the boy however didn't join us as he had more pressing matters to attend to:

therein lies our dilemma - when he can play, food, sleep & school are the furthest things in his mind!!

& in line with the festivities, the acrobats...

.....and the lions.....

.....were let loose.

i wonder if this is how a typical KL-lite would spend the weeekend or public holiday?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

year of the ox

this is from Jemima's blog  & although written by Oren Arnold originally for Christmas, i feel it is very relevant for every day of our lives:

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart. 
To a customer, service. 
To all, charity. 
To every child, a good example. 
To yourself,

Happy New Year of the Ox, one & all!

PS. 'tis the season for SMS greetings but occasionally, i receive a few that is not on my phone list & the sender doesn't leave a name. i wonder how you would respond to the SMS?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TV merry-go-round

i've been toying with the idea of getting a plasma/LCD tv for over a year but found no reason for acting on it, notwithstanding that prices are on a slide, much like most other electronic gadgets.

until recently.

my mum had 2 tvs in the old house - a Phillips & a Sony - & for some strange reason, she sold off the latter & kept the Phillips. wrong choice because ever since moving over, it was not working well, & all she saw was blurred images, & even then only could receive TV1 & TV2. 

so i thought it was a good excuse to get that plasma tv now. besides, my regular home appliance guy must be tired of trying to get me to upgrade for the past year & much to his chagrin, i remained defiant.

so i surprised him last week by asking him to make me another offer. after mulling for another few days, i settled for a Panasonic, although i had originally wanted a Bravia. well, can you blame me - after all, i have 2 Sonys that still work? thus began the merry-go-round.

the New Toy now sits proudly in the lounge, while the Sony (8 years old) was relocated upstairs, replacing an even older Sony (11 years) which was promptly moved to my mother's house.

i'd like to think that everyone's happy now, not least the tv dealer.

(now that the tv's in the bag, i'm toying with idea of a GPS device - which means it'll be at least another year before i get that Garmin 205w)

Monday, January 19, 2009

men's night

you'd think this is about a promotion at a girlie bar.

or, a page out of Sodom & Gomorrah tragedy.

actually it's our (very benign) CG night-out solely for the guys. i know it sounds almost juvenile - like kids up to their tricks when the parents aren't watching - but seriously, what kind of mischief can a bunch of middle-aged guys create?

food is always a good reason to meet & this time it's ikan tapah on the menu. it was definitely a marked improvement over the last night-out at KFC, which i managed to wrangle out of due to work commitment. (heh heh)

the fish didn't disappoint..

& neither did the crabs...

nor the karaoke after that...

it also became obvious who will NEVER be potential malaysian idols.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


i avoid posting on political issues but i can't help thinking of this possible SMS to be circulated tomorrow:

"Dear fellow Barisan MPs/Assemblymen,
Please stop playing badminton, or other strenous sports for that matter. We can't afford another by-election. Thank you.

PS. Please go for your 6-monthly medical check-ups."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

change #3: new doctors

it was time to get appointments for my father. 1st stop at the neurologist/physician's clinic. even after having been with his regular doctors all this time, he seemed to warm up to the new chaps easily. perhaps it helped that these guys are my colleagues. after the physician, it's off to the eye doctor. well,the general consensus was that nothing's changed - my father is in an advanced stage - he will not get better, but for now, he's not gotten worse.

& as he lives out his twilight years in a strange place, this song by Mike & the Mechanics keeps playing in my head...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

parents beware!

got this from Alex's blog & as it turned out, ours are rated similarly...

mine got this rating based on the presence of the following words:

death (4x)

dead  (2x)

kill  (1x)

hey, what gives? i also use words like faith, hope & love, so how come they don't mitigate the precautionary rating?

anyway, children, be good & stay away from doc & his morbid blog, while adults may rate their blogs here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

school rocks!

i'm glad & the wife's relief is palpable.  

after a week, the boy is actually looking forward to school & day-care. school dismisses at 1.45pm & the wife sends him to his previous kindergarten where he has a bath, then lunch & gets guidance on homework, esp Chinese.

when he gets home at 5.30pm, he's still none the worse for it - plays a bit & watches TV before dinner, & then goes to bed at 9pm. much like any other day.

i hope he sustains his enthusiasm because this school thing is long haul.

Monday, January 05, 2009

1st day blues?

i don't remember if i had a traumatic 1st day at school. maybe i had been primed by a year of kindergarten, considered a luxury those days. maybe that's why the boy is actually looking forward to primary 1 - he had THREE years of kindie, currently considered mandatory in an environment of kiasu-ism.

having woken up at 6.30am (school starts 7.45am & is less than 2km away), he promptly changed into new uniforms & heartily ate

then, it was time to embark on a brand new adventure....

go on, my dear son, take the 1st steps to school. the world's at your feet now. make new friends, have your petty skirmishes, be strong when teacher punishes you, rejoice but be humble when you do well in your tests & learn when you don't. if you're anything like your father, school will be the best time of your life. go on, my son, have a blast! may God guide you every step of the way.....
Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.

I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.

When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.

Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.

prov 4: 10-13

Sunday, January 04, 2009

honky tonk haven cafe

y friend Dennis took over a cafe in the Jonkers Street area in Melaka recently, & yesterday he invited some of his friends & CG members to a New Year's dinner.
the wall facing the bar was pasted with record (called LP) covers of the artistes of the 50s &60s...

& there was a little stage presumably for live music..

we dined at the back of the cafe, which has been transformed from a dirty river bank to a alfresco-style water-hole, where the Melaka River Boat Cruise plied.

it was really pleasant.

much of the food was catered since there was going to be a crowd of about 50 - there were varieties of curries, meats & veggies. & he gave a little bonus stage show....

now, we don't have to go to Thailand for this anymore. just a stone's throw away is the famed night market of Jonkers St

which was still in full swing at 10pm. brightly-lit trishaws await customers...
...while a street musician showcased his trade at the

he turned out to be an ex-neighbour when i was staying at the previous
place. you can get almost almost any knick-knacks here.
now i know where i can source a screen protector at street prices. but a sign of the times that modernisation has arrived at this quaint market... cards accepted!

this is definitely worth another visit. if you're ever in Melaka, check out Honky Tonk Haven Cafe - the ambience will be worth it! if not, give me a call & i'll have a word with Dennis!


Saturday, January 03, 2009

change #2 : the move

my parents finally uprooted themselves & came over to stay with us for good. well, actually they are staying in a rented single-storey terrace less than 5mins away from my place. my father is unable to climb stairs, so we decided they are better off with their feet on the ground, literally. furthermore, there's an old chinese saying that you can't have 2 tigers on the same mountain, if you know what i mean. ;-)

it was quite easy to get a house at the residential estate adjacent to ours. wasn't it ironic that the landlord is a patient i had treated just a week earlier?? & his sister helped me open an account at a bank she used to work for?? seemed like this house is meant to be. got my cleaning lady to tidy up the place in time for the move. 

on the appointed day, the movers came early in the morning to help pack/load stuff while my brother drove the folks up. by late afternoon, almost everything has been unpacked & arranged around the house.

the wet market, pasar malam, shops are all within walking distance, so i hope they'll settle in quickly. they've already made friends with the neighbours & even the phone line was connected just 2 days after application. 

and, for the 1st time in over 30 years, we will not need to travel for the reunion dinner. this Chinese New year should be a breeze!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

new for old?

didn't we learn from the Aladdin story that it was in the old lamp that the genie resided? & it was the evil uncle who tried to exchange Aladdin's old lamp for new?

so, we stand at the threshold of a new year, & by convention, bidding farewell to 2008 while hoping & wishing that the outlook for the NEW year would be better or brighter. will it? certainly not if we were to believe the economic naysayers. read here and here

that we have made enormous scientific progress is not in doubt, but has human life made the corresponding improvement? people still suffer illnesses & die. medical science has prolonged our lives & devised new treatments for many common ailments but life still has a beginning & ending. hence, January is named after the Roman god of beginnings & endings.

BUT no science known to man has been able to decrease the amount of greed, anger, jealousy or cruelty to the world.

older isn't always worse, but newer, improved or advanced aren't always better either. find out what has gone before & compare the new to the old. & if the new seems like shallow attempts to be hip or relevant, stay with the ancient path that believers have walked for millenia.

This is what the LORD says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls."
Jer 6:16

blessed year ahead, one & all!!

**image** Roman bust of Janus, Vatican Museums