Saturday, February 26, 2011

am i overdoing it?

the boy & i felt like having burgers for lunch but not the full meal, because we had a late breakfast. so i decided i'll order a mcvalue meal and another burger alacarte.

he wanted a big mac & i, a spicy chicken mcdeluxe.

that's when i noticed the difference.

a mcvalue meal with either burger costs rm7.95 each, while for alacarte, a big mac costs rm6.70 & spicy chicken mcdeluxe, rm7.55.

if i ordered a big mac mcvalue meal & a spicy chicken mcdeluxe, it would cost rm7.95 + rm7.55 = rm15.50 plus tax. if i ordered a spicy chicken mcdeluxe mcvalue meal & a big mac, it would cost rm7.95 + rm6.70 = rm14.65 plus tax, or about 85sen cheaper for the same items.

so, if you had to order a combination meal like i did, would you be also doing mental calculations to save a bit?

or, am i just overdoing it?

btw, our local mcD allows free refill of soft drinks; however, i don't know if this unwritten & unspoken offer applies nationwide. if your skin is thick enough, try asking. nothing ventured, nothing gained. heh heh!

Friday, February 25, 2011

a boy will always be a boy

it's almost 2 weeks since he broke his forearm. the other day, we went to the park for a walk but when we reached the children's playground, he let his juvenile instincts loose....
in the last picture, he got his just reward for agreeing to walk with me - keropok lekur to take-away. i shan't upload pictures of him kicking the ball at home, on tiled floor, lest you think i'm a bad parent.  :P

Thursday, February 24, 2011

looking & smelling nice

this chatty 50+ lady came for surgery the other day. even though she was in OT attire, i could see that she has groomed herself in preparation for the procedure. she had put on lipstick & face powder, her hair combed & tied neatly AND i could detect a definite whiff of perfume.

the surgery was went well & when i saw her in her room the next day, i asked her why she had put on the make-up & perfume. she replied that in case something went wrong & she didn't wake up from the surgery, at least she would look & smell nice to the end.

with her undeniably good looks, can you blame her?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

fruits & nuts

i like fruits & nuts in chocolates, morning cereals, breakfast bars & salads.

so when i saw this fruit-and-nut flavoured potato chips in the local store, i was immediately attracted, esp since it came with a buy-1-free-1 offer.

however, i must admit this fruit-&-nut flavour is one of an acquired taste, esp after years of getting used to the traditional barbeque, sour cream & tomato types. the rest of the family also didn't quite like the taste. maybe that's why it was on offer - because there were few takers. i can imagine it will go the way of vanilla-flavoured coke or lemon-flavoured pepsi, both of which were widely promoted many years ago but never quite took off in sales.

perhaps, some things should be left well alone but then, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?

in the meantime, i'm stuck with 2 cannisters of stuff that tastes neither like traditional chips nor breakfast cereals. we have a house rule - anyone who buys food that the rest of the family doesn't like, will have to finish it off himself/herself.

anyone game for blueberry & hazelnuts?

Friday, February 18, 2011

deep sh*t

two 2nd-year students from a local private medical university spent some time in the OT this week. since their intention was to learn, i usually ask some general questions relating to the cases that were scheduled in OT. the questions mostly center on basic sciences like anatomy & physiology.

what i find most disturbing about these 2 fully-sponsored students, was that i couldn't get beyond one or two questions before they stumbled or were stumped.

they don't know what factors determine normal blood pressure.

or, the group of drugs used to treat hypertension.

and they don't know the blood supply to the liver.

in an oral examination, these are standard questions that start off the session. if students can't answer these, there's not much else to go on because these are important topics that all medical students & thereafter, housemen & medical officers are expected to know. if they don't know these, it just reveals a big gap in their knowledge of the basic sciences. mind you, these are topics taught in the 1st year & yet these 2nd-year students can't recall any of these. it's obvious they wasted their time here because they didn't learn anything new.

what happens, if by some stroke of "good fortune", they pass their final exams ∓ are let loose to become house officers & then medical officers? they could be treating us.

and we could be in deep sh*t.

P.S. i recently ranted about the housemen glut here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

football injury

the boy injured himself playing football. when i examined him, it was obvious his right wrist was not the normal shape. our worst fears were confirmed when xrays showed that he had fractured 2 bones. he braved thru the pain & only cried after he found out he had to go for surgery. i thought that was rather valiant.

the advantage of working in a hospital is that you get things sorted out in double-quick time. it took just an hour from A&E to xray to OT. the procedure involved inserting 2 wires to stabilise the fractures, followed by an arm cast, which he has to keep on for a month.

he can still go to school, but he can't have music lessons till the cast is removed in a month & no more football or other contact sports for a further 2 months. his friends provide much moral support by visiting him in hospital & at home, bringing gifts to soften the blow (pun definitely intended!)....

of course, in line with tradition, they get to autograph his cast...


and by God's grace, he is a left-hander.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the (secret) personal touch

you know how it is when you've tasted something nice, then ask the person who prepared the food how it's done - you'll be told the ingredients & the method of preparation, & when you do it yourself, it doesn't taste quite so heavenly?

presumably, there may be a important ingredient or crucial technique which was never revealed in the 1st place? after all, not many people are willing to share their prized dish with others, or else, it won't enjoyed its uniqueness.

so when i read that the secret ingredients of coca-cola has finally been revealed (read here), i sniggered to myself because i doubt the authenicity of the secret. besides, the technique of preparation wasn't revealed, so it may be many, many more years before anyone else can come up with an identical brew. i mean, have you tasted tesco's cola??

similarly, whatever spices people think they can guessed from the colonel's recipe, no one can quite fry chicken like KFC. if we could, KFC would have closed down long ago.

it all boils down to the personal touch.

Friday, February 11, 2011

a tale of 2 teenagers

i read with sadness that a 17-year-old student took her life by falling off the 2nd floor of her school building (read here), apparently from a failed relationship. i suppose it could also be a myriad of other possibilities - poor exam results, unable to cope with school, pressure from parents, or just depression - all compelling reasons that can drive teeagers to despair.

but i don't think i will be able to understand why another teenager would want to put on school uniforms, strap himself with explosives, be a suicide bomber & killing 31 in the aftermath (read here) . what can possibly drive someone so young to murder? where did he accumulate so much hatred, or was he just brainwashed to carry out this task by his  military masters?

seriously, i look back & i miss those school-days when we enjoyed going to school (for the camaraderie, not the studies!), attending club activities, playing football & watching movies on weekends & generally making a nuisance of ourselves.

that was an age of innocence that seemed so distant now.

no more needle-phobia?

it seems that the doctors have got it wrong all along!

everytime i take blood samples or give injections, i invariably tell patients to look away & think of something pleasant. a recent study (read here and here) has shown that patients actually feel LESS pain if they look at their own hand or arm, but NOT at the needle.

this just goes to show that although medical science has advanced by leaps & bounds, we still do not have a complete knowledge of pain or its treatment.

so, what will you do when you are next faced with this situation? still look away?

i think i would!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


doctors in malaysia are prohibited from advertising their services in the mass media, in compliance with the Medicines (Advertisement & Sale) Act, 1956. however, private hospitals have some leeway, in that they may place entries in the Yellow Pages, informing the public their location & of services available but not publishing names of their doctors. presumably this is to maintain some degree of  professionalism & prevent doctors from soliciting.

so, i was rather surprised to see these two adverts placed side-by-side in the papers when i was in s'pore last weekend....

they were just 2 of the numerous adverts placed that day. even the names of the doctors & their fees were included along with contact numbers. apparently, the S'pore Health Ministry lifted restrictions on advertisement in 2003 to compete for international clients who may have previously favoured malaysia or thailand. (read here)

should we follow suit & expose the public to a wider range of medical services & let them choose whom they wish to consult? i don't know. so far, the word-of-mouth method of recommendation seems to have worked out well. on the other hand, if advertising were allowed, there is also a possibility that some unscrupulous ones may try to outdo others with outrageous claims like being the best in KL, PJ & some say, seremban.

unlike the hilarious phua chu kang, this would be a tragedy, wouldn't it?

Sunday, February 06, 2011


when i was in primary school, i had friends from all racial background. we never needed any fanciful slogans to spur us on to foster a close friendship. how times have changed. but i was pleasantly surprised to discover this phone charm tied to my daughter's mobile.

EVA are the initials of her name & that of her indian & malay friends. V is now in boarding school while A is still in the same kebangsaan school. whenever the school vacation comes around, they will meet at least once to catch up. i've seen some of the photos they've taken together - they went for meals, tried out clothes at the mall & took cute fanciful pictures at instant photo booths.

that's how i remembered my school days & that's how students (& life as we know it) should continue to be.

unfortunately, those ketuanan bigots politics got in the way.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

a new start

i'm always dismayed when a business fails. it could be due to bad management, poor business model or just lousy location.

when i dropped by the local supermarket this morning, i was greeted by this...

....shutters slammed shut & this is supposed to be peak shopping season. a sign in the front confirmed my fears..

yeah, relocating is a nice way of saying that the business has failed at that premise. i'm not actually surprised since the mall has seen 3 changes of management & the previous supermarket & anchor tenant have both folded up as well. it's the bad feng shui, people say. how else can you explain that jusco, directly just across the road, with its slightly more expensive prices, has not only been in business at that location for over 15 years but has expanded & renovated as well?

i suppose, with the new year, there is hope for better times & for prosperity. blessed new year to one & all!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11