Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Healthy Dinner Alternative

If you are a meat lover, this dinner will turn you off, totally. As we just returned home from Cameron Highland with about 15kg of vegetable that are fresher than what you can get in the market (almost, as some were just harvested when we bought them), we decided to have an all vegetable/vegetarian dinner that consist of brinjal, zucchini, capsicum, tomatoes, more tomatoes and butterhead leave. The 3 days of pigging out at the scrumptious meal served by Strawberry Park Resort sort of call for an overhaul of the system again. I guess by now, some of you might think i am overdoing the "healthy eating regime".
I kid you not, it is only in the interest of good health.
The menu for dinner was to grill all the vegetables except baby tomatoes and butterhead. All vegetable will be immersed in the homemade olive oil infused with herbs (such as basil, bay leave, oregano and parsley) and with the perfect ratio of 1 part of balsamic vinegar to 6 parts of extra virgin olive oil.
Shake before serving
You can grill the vegetable over a non-stick pan or if you have a grilling pan (can be bought at that Swedish furniture store with most stuff made in China), it gives more visual effect to the "grilling".
Cut and sliced with CRKT M16-14T. The vegetable received Titanium treatment. No guess which EDC will be reviewed soon ;-)
I decided to add some nuts into the salad. Wifey hard boiled two eggs as well, and that too, will be used for the salad to add on some protein into the ruminant diet. How many type of nuts did you spot from the photo above? One tip to share is to cut the vegetable in large chunk. The brinjal was divided into 4 cut laterally. The capsicum too, in 4 slices. Same as the zucchini and tomato. That would make it easier for portion control as well if you are a calorie-granny like me.
When grilling vegetable, care must be taken not to do it over high-heat. Medium or low heat on hot grilling pan work best. Olive oil were used to line the pan so that they do not stick too much on the surface. using olive oil also meant that the smoking point is lower. If your pan starts to smoke, that meant the pan is too hot. Lower the heat, or kill it and use the residue heat on the cast iron pan for grilling.
Looks good already
Another important tip to share is to grill the vegetable that will take the longest to cook first. In this case, the brinjal and zucchini goes into the pan first. For a bit of flavor, you can sprinkle some salt (i use sea salt) over the vegetable instead of rubbing the salt on them as if you are marinating them. Sodium causes water retention and that is one thing you would want to avoid if you are watching your weight.
While the vegetable are being grilled, this is the best opportunity to prepare the salad. Wash the the leafy vegetable thoroughly and then drip dry them to get rid of the access water. Then, toss in the baby tomatoes and pour in generous amount of the homemade dressing (olive oil infused herbs with balsamic vinegar) and toss it lightly. Leave it there until it is time to serve.
Remember to turn the vegetable at the grill to avoid charring or burning them. Do it consistently until the vegetable is semi cooked. Overcooked vegetable will turn color and will lose it's nutritional value.
Remove the vegetable from the pan and then pour generous amount of the same dressing (ya, i know, i am boring and predictable) over the vegetable and allow it to soak the oil up. The herbs will be covering the grilled vegetable and prevent them from drying out, or turning soggy.
If you love nuts like me, throw them into the still hot grilling pan (heat/fire is shut off) and let them get toasted for a while. It will bring out the oil in them and as you smell the distinctive nutty smell, pour them over into the salad and toss it again lightly. End it with the Eggs, sliced whichever way you want and place them randomly on top for that "visual". For me, food that look good is a bonus. :)
Can we eat now? Seriously?
As the food are proportioned for two person, the total calorie per person in this dinner is about 350kcal. Fiber intake is high - perfect for overnight digestive and a "flushed" system the next day. The calories are mostly from the olive oil, eggs and nuts. Vegetable by it's own carries very little calorie but packed a huge punch when it comes to phyto nutrients. Don't forget those known cancer-fighting properties in tomatoes and anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil and nuts oil. You get first grade protein via the eggs. This is a good alternative than the usual dinner that Malaysian eat - which will typically overload the system and causes indigestion before one retires to bed.
Enjoy the visual!
Grilled Vegetable and Salad on a plate in the foreground. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Healthy Avocado Spread

Avocado - the fruit of love. It is believed it represent fertility as the root word came from an old Spanish word referring to "testicle". Avocado is a pear shaped fruit originated from Mexico but cultivated worldwide for the nutritional value the fruits give. Avocado is the most "oily" fruits having the highest concentration of monounsaturated fat - a perfect replacement for vegan that does not take fish or meat.
One palm-sized "hold-able" avocado weigh about 100gram gives about 15grams fat of which almost 10grams are monounsaturated, 2grams polyunsaturated and the balance are plant fats. it has 2grams of protein and about 9grams of carbs, of which less than 1gram are sugar. It has 7grams of fiber. With nutritional values such as these, avocado is a choice of many when looking at introducing good fat into their diet and at the same time, lowering the bad cholesterol.
My experience with avocado are mostly blended into a drink or made into cakes. I always had the impression that the sweetness that these beverages and cakes were from avocado. I was wrong. With less than 1gram of sugar per serving, avocado is not sweet but subtle tasting. It is smooth and buttery, almost creamy when eaten and leaves a pleasant after taste in the mouth that is distinctively avocado  -or it reminds you of a certain brand of shampoo or facial cleanser using avocado as one of the ingredient.
Choosing avocado is tricky if you have no experience in eating the fruits. Most people will go for the bright green fruits, thinking that it will be the best. many will then leave it in the fridge, hoping that it will ripen. Many will then throw it away, thinking that the fruits is not edible - and hard.
I learnt about avocado from Wifey, but she has not been having it for some time. Opportunity came when i was buying fruits in the wet market and i saw that 3 fruits were going for RM10. That is about the average price to pay in the supermarket too. I recalled wifey telling me that she will take the avocado and cut them to be eaten with bread. And then, an idea struck me. Why not i make a spread, from avocado?
Here is how.
Step 1 : Get one ripe avocado and halve it. To know if the avocado is ripe, look for dark brownish color with little or no hint of green. Gentle press with your thumb and if the surface is spongy to the touch, it is ripe. If it is too soft, it has over-ripen and do not buy.
Green in the foreground is not ripe. Darker brown on the right is going to be ripe. The one i cut, is ripe.
If you bought green avocado, don't worry, leave them out for about two days and they will start ripening. This is also a good tip if you plan to have avocado twice or thrice a week and you can buy the fruits according to the level of ripeness and ration from there.
Halving the fruit is simple and you can use a sharp kitchen knife or you can opt to use the CRKT M21-12G or CRKT Hissatsu Folder. Once you half it, you will expose the fruits to air and they will slowly turn brown like an apple. The trick, which i found out later, was to sprinkle some lemon juice to stop the oxidization. Lemon juice will also add some zing into the spread you are about to make.
Step 2 : Remove the seed by using a spoon to scoop it out and then use the same spoon to scoop all the flesh out into a small container. 
Buttery goodness. Slippery but not wet.
An avocado is already rich with GOOD fat, lets make them better by adding in...
Step 3: Olive oil. Feel free to add in more. Olive oil is something you can't have enough. It is anti-inflammatory and helps to lower your cholesterol too, apart from giving more mono and poly unsaturated fat into your diet. I filled up 1/4 of the container with olive oil, or roughly about 3 spoonful to an avocado.
Just don't use the oil for frying. Eat/drink them raw!
With the olive oil and avocado in the container, proceed to Step 4 : I love balsamic vinegar. Adding in a spoonful (or less, depending on your tolerance for this herby vinegar) adds flavour and taste to the subtle avocado taste.
 Step 5: involves you taking the spoon or fork and mashing it all up into a smooth mixture. You can alternatively use a food processor but much will be lost in the processor if you do that. Keep mixing and the fruit will quite readily get mushy in the process.
Don't be fooled by the icky texture. It's Fatty Goodness!
This spread will be more than sufficient to layer up 6 slices of bread. To prevent it from overflowing, i suggest that they are spread on a single slide and folded into half. My choice of bread is not Massimo whole wheat. No more white of refined flour bread for me.
This spread was sufficient for a breakfast for two. I suggest you try this too. Stay tuned for more healthy food idea from!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Strawberry Park Resort Family Getaway Day 1

It is school holiday. I am "in-between" job. In came the opportunity to be at Cameron Highland courtesy of Strawberry Park Resort. All i need to do is to be at the resort (obviously) with the family and blog about it. We packed the family into the car on November 25 and headed north towards Tapah. Journey from home (in PJ) to Tapah took about 90minutes (about 140km) and it is another 90minutes (about 60km) up the windy mountain road.
Only the dogs were left at home
I forgot how windy the road up Cameron was having last visited this place by motorised vehicle almost 8 years ago. What made this trip special was that it is the kids' first trip to Cameron Highland.
We were requested to arrive by 1400hours by the resort for the day's activity but delayed due to the kids commitment to their play-class. The trip was filled with constant "Are We There Yet?" by the kids. I was that close to breaking down when we finally reached the resort by 1530hours.
Unmistaken Neo Tudor Splendor. Note that a Gingerbread house is being built
Check in was fast and the front desk staff was efficient with the process and in no time, we received our room key. F647. A Studio Suite
Growing up, Strawberry Park Resort was never in the choice of place to stay as we are always travelling on a budget. Holiday was a luxury. My dad works 7 days a week and holidays are rare. 35 years later, things has not changed much with me having a family of my own. Glad we had this opportunity this weekend.
The Studio Suite that we stayed is 480square feet (sqft) with two super single bed. The room was refurbished with polished hardwood flooring, teak furniture and Slumberland bed.
Sufficiently large for a family of 4.
The modern bathroom has polkadot wall and granite flooring. The shower stall was cleverly hidden behind the polkadot wall and provide a more "covered" showering. Most importantly, the toilet is clean and comes with all the usual creature comfort you can find and expect from any other 4-star hotel.
Completing the room is the private balcony that overlook the mountain range. The balcony is large enough to fit in a set of chairs and table for a late afternoon tete-a-tete over a cup of coffee or tea from the complimentary coffee and tea tray.
Postcard-possible landscape
Balcony big enough for two, or three.
It was raining as we planned to visit the Tea Plantation at Sungai Palas and that was rescheduled to next day. That gave us the opportunity to have a pie or two at Jim Thompson Terrace - the resort's coffee house.
Named after the man that went for a walk and never came back  - 40 years ago.
I was told that the view in the morning with the mist covering the mountains are breathtaking
Tea time until 1830hours
Usually, the order of the day in Cameron Highland is to have scones and tea in the English like weather. However, we decided to have a Chicken Pie and a Strawberry Pie to break the norm.
The pies were made to order - unlike most that actually just heat them up over 2-minutes in the microwave. Our order took 25-minutes and it was worth the wait. At the promotional price of RM11.15 the chicken pie took my weeks' diet away.
how la...calorie is going through my mind...CHIAK! I skipped the fries though.
The Strawberry Delight (promotional price of RM11.16) was even better with light pastries covering the freshly made strawberry jam. The dish was too tempting and i did not manage to take a photo of it - it was that good.
Came as a foot-long pastry stick, with two cup of fresh milk for dipping - and we skipped the fries.
Shared between the four of us, the kids loved the light pastries that was made to order as well. We meet up with Mr. Lim Wui Ming, the resort's manager. Mr. Lim, or better known by his staff as Mr. Ming, has lost count of the years he is with Strawberry Park. Sharing a few stories over Pie and Tea (Boh, no less), i found out that apart from a blogger friends (Rebecca Saw), he knows two senior man from my Alumni. He was surprised that despite my "youthfulness", i knew these men. Small world indeed!
Best Of Highland - BOH Tea. Kosong.
I was then taken on a tour around the resort. With 145 rooms available for rental, Strawberry Park Resort has enough facilities to keep you busy. From Tennis to Swimming, Choices of food places, outdoor activities or just lounging around the balcony to enjoy the weather, this resort has it all. In fact, the distance from the resort to the t-junction down the hill is 2km - looked like a potential hill workout is in the pipeline!
Heated no less
Later in the evening, we headed to the Thai Restaurant to have a steamboat dinner. Cold weather and steamboat is like chocolate and banana - they are perfect for each other. The F&B Manager, En. Zamri was on hand to ensure that everything was ok. The steamboat is ala carte at the Thai restaurant and buffet at the Garden Terrace.
Strawberry Park Thai Restaurant
Buffet (RM40) Steamboat at Garden Terrace over charcoal steamboat
As the kids are just recovering from bout of flu, we decided to head indoor to Thai Restaurant for dinner.
Dinner courtesy of Strawberry Park Resort. 
We met (or rather, Ryan) a Dutch lady that writes for a travel magazine back in her home. The common denominator between us were family, dogs and the love for writing. She was travelling alone and was writing about the Thai food she ordered.

The food was ready in a jiffy and we ate without much guilt as they were all cooked in clear chicken broth. A good serving of green vegetables were gobbled up, this is after all, Cameron Highland. Land of Fresh Vegetables!
mushrooms, mussel, fish and prawns!
and vegetables!
With dinner done, we took a short drive to Tanah Rata and was surprised to see that globalization has reached Cameron Highland.
Day 1 ended at 2300hours with the kids sleeping after a rather long day by their standard.
Onwards to DAY 2!!!

*The family trip is courtesy of Strawberry Park Resort, Cameron Highland. Our family would like to record our utmost gratitude to the management and staffs for the hospitality given. We would also like to thank Rouge Communication, Petaling Jaya for the opportunity to be here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Project 365 : Day 127 of 365

Nikon D90. 200mm. F8. 1/80. ISO200. SB600 on TTL setting.
Nature at it's best. I was ill equiped and this is the closest i could get. It was challenging as this Praying Mantis was feasting on the white ants (males, with wings) near the florocent light about 10feet from ground. I stood on a stool to get as close as possible. Image is not cropped and i thought the F8 will give me a deeper DOF. Guess i was wrong.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Malaysia Men 4x400m Gold

Yes, i am still sadden by the fact that the quartet was not given the chance to stay ONE MORE NIGHT to collect their Gold medal while the National Anthem is played in Palembang, Indonesia. This Gold was hard fought for, what more they are banded as Category B by the Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) and they are not "medal hopeful".
Our sports are really messed up. Politics doesn't help with the advancement of the sports if it is all about "who get to go for free trips". Countries such as China and even (the former) Russia, takes pride with their citizen's athletic prowess and constantly produces new talent to conquer the sporting scene.
We in Malaysia over-relies on old dogs. And once the old dogs can't do the sports anymore, the blame game begins.
If you think the 4x400m men had it easy - they were without their sole inspirator in Palembang, their coach. Ironically, it was their coach that has fought until the 11th hour to get them on to the plane - short of paying for their own ticket to be at the game.
Here, watch how they won the race in style. They ran like men possessed.
Taken by a Singaporean Official (from YouTube)
The celebration at the end shows just how proud they were. The pain and the glory is all theirs.
1 Malaysia 03:10.49 Gold 
2 Philippines 03:11.16 Silver 
3 Thailand 03:14.90 Bronze 
4 Singapore 03:18.50
5 Indonesia 03:20.18
Myanmar DQ
By the way, if you ever wondered, yes, some of our athletes PAID for their own trip despite proudly wearing the National Color.
Sad ain't it? It is like asking our Soldiers to go to war - but go get your own tickets there.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Project 365 : Day 126 of 365

Panasonic FT2.
Sunset taken at Tg Aru, Sabah. Wish i have this view everyday - now i can by making this my wall paper on the PC. Have a great week ahead!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Food You Should Be Eating Part 2

I bet you now enjoys the occasional choclate (dark, bitter with no less than 70% cocoa solid) better now after reading my Part 1. I hope you do the same for pumpkins and eggs too, for they are truly peasant priced food with king-sized nutritions. Continuing to this series, here are more food that ought to be in your daily diet and that you should eat them.
4. Broccoli
There is a reason why your mum always ask you to eat your greens. Broccoli, while not native in Malaysia, are often sold and bought in market due to the nutrition it packs per serving. At 30kcal/serving (roughly about half a cup), it provides up to 30mg of Vitamin C. That is already 100% more than required daily. It is loaded with anti-cancer properties and study by John Hopkins in 1992 confirms that eating broccoli will help to prevent cancer by 60% and reduce the tumor size by 75%.
The anti-cancer phytochemical known as sulforaphane and indo-3-carbinol is readily available in this vegetable. Reccomended cooking would be steaming or stir fry, which will retain the most sulforphane. Other benefit of broccoli are boosting immune system, lower the incidences of cataracts and even help to support the cardiovascular system. Easily available and cooked, this vegetable should be a staple in many household or when you are eating out.
One serving of Broccoli provides up to 30mg of Vitamin C. That is already 100% more than required daily.
5. Coconut
Wait. Am i trying to pull a fast one on you readers? Coconut? What about all the talk that the coconut cream (santan) is bad for you? Coconut does live up to the name of "a tree with 1000 uses". The fruit, or what we know as coconut has white meat inside which differs in thickness as the fruit matures. Young fruit will have thin gel-like meat while a more matured fruit will have thicker creamier meat. The water in the coconut, known as juice is the best isotonic drink one could have. Forget those carbonated or flavoured isotonic drinks, coconut juice (or water) is the best to replenish all the lost salt and stay hydrated. Believe me when i say that coconut water worked so well during World War 2 as IV drip replacement! How is that for  thought?
If that is not convincing enough, the water contains many natural enzyme to aid digestion. Eating coconut meat will provide medium chain triglycerides (MCT) that can be utilised by the body like carbohydrates. It is known to lower bad cholestrol and elevate good cholestrol level - a step towards healthy cardiovascular system. When consuming the meat, you are essentially taking in the oil as well. Squeezing the meat (usually, after it is grated, then heated or mixed with milk, then squeezed) will produce coconut cream. The rich taste is because of the coconut oil. if you leave a correctly processed coconut milk in the fridge, the oil will separate to the top - this oil is known as the virgin coconut oil which is pure and as good grade as a canola oil or light oil such as olive oil. Caution should be taken that this coconut milk or cream is only applicable (nutrition wise) if they are processed at home. Commercially available coconut milk/cream has a lot of thickening agent, including transfat and food modifier and preservatives. Avoid. Fresh milk/cream, however, is the exception. How you can heave a sigh of relief to have your red bean soup with the coconut cream! Yummy!
6. Tomato
Whichever way you want to pronounce it, it is essentially the same. I am refering to the US and UK way of pronouncing this superfood that is easily available in any market. They are easy to grow as well if you have the space and knowledge on how to do it. Tomato is rich with lycopene, a natural and powerful antioxidant. Just like Chia seeds, tomato was cultivated by the Mayans and was used as a superfood. At 18kcal per 100gram (or about 3 medium sized portion), they are giving you reasons to eat more without loading on the calories! Choose a redder tomato as they are higher in lycopene, which gives them the characteristic color.
They are also a good source of potassium which are able to reduce the amount of sodium in the body to lessen water retention. Best eaten raw (and often not eaten enough in our diet) and not just as a garnish in a dish. Should you have a custom sandwich made to order, get them to pile in a few more slices of this vegetable to pump in those anti-oxidant!. Alternatively, should eating tomato doesn't appeal to you much, using the puree (with no sodium added - i.e. as pure as possible), is a good choice or replacement to the whole tomato. But if you know me, i would say "take them whole as they are, seeds and all!".

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Project 365 : Day 125 of 365

Nikon D90.55mm. F22. 2-second. ND8 filter. ISO100.
My first attempt with ND8 filter over moving water. Also mark my last day in Hibiscus Petroleum. As things in life, all is fluid like the water. There will be instances where there are hindrance (stones) and we just have to be able to adapt and adopt to everything in life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2 Weeks R&R : Doing All I Could.

I am officially on 2 weeks of "in-between" job that i am using and taking all opportunity to SwimBikeRun and to sort out all un-sorted items at home since the renovation that took close to 4 months.
We have moved back home about 5 weeks and there are still some unfinished items - not very happy with the flooring as it was uneven. While some say it was undried Merbau wood, i attribute it to uneven screeding of the floor to start with.
The notion that "chinaman" is the best brick layers, tilers etc. etc. is not true anymore. The skills has since lost like the Apek that has subcontracted his signature Char Kuey Teow to that Burmese man that whip up a mediocre food.
I have not been training and clocking mileage as much as i wished i did. From the time i started my job as an Environmental Consultant to me resigning about 3 months plus ago, i had loads of ups and downs, both health and career. So, naturally, i am taking this break to restart my SBR passion - for i hope to do an Ironman again; that has to be dependent greatly on savings and budget nonetheless.
Today, i accomplished much more than i should despite planning my "break".
To start with, i have been running TWO consecutive days. That got to be a record since 2008. Struggling with Sciatica and my own fitness level, it is like having a problematic Proton power window and a waiting-to-seize Perdana gearbox. Total mileage over the two days was a miserly 12km. I long for the day i run a sub 6:00 pace. See i am not greedy and i am realistic.
Secondly, i managed to hang ALL the paintings, drawings, photos and anything that needs to be on the wall - minus the large 6footer mirror that will need two person to level and mount. Not too bad.
I then managed to re-pack the powerfood; the rolled oats, nuts, berries, raisins and seeds. I was secretly counting calories as i was proportioning them. I found myself where i was again about 10-15 years ago when i was on a quest to pack on muscle mass and getting my body fat low. Nowadays, its easier with technology as applications allowed me an easier way to keep a food journal. In fact, this time around, the driver was to lead a healthier lifestyle, both food and activities. Try to record down your food intake and you will notice how much junk you put into your body everyday.
As it is now school holiday, i am now tasked to pick the kids back from holiday playschool. The smile the kids give when you were there to pick them up is priceless. I wish they wont grow up so fast - soon, they will tell me to park further so they won't feel embarrass that i came to pick them up.
After that, i went to a courier company to collect a parcel that a Telco Tried to send to me. It seldom happen, in fact, for the first time in 8 years (i think), this is a first time i get something FOC from them. I am thinking of porting my number to another Telco actually - i hope my decision will not be jeopardized by two RM10 movie tickets.
The initial plan was to meet up with Mani (a friend i knew since the days where i appeared on national television with Bandit) for lunch. But i sort of missed the message and lunch was cancelled. So, i went to PJ Old Town to buy those Nomad mat. The shoes and sandals at home can't be left outside anymore as the two growing pups are treating all items within muzzle reach a fair game. Four sandals has since went to Shoe-Heaven. My car mudguard has seen better days too.
Talking about efficiency, i got my new work email, even though i am only to join in 2 weeks time. I managed to find out which bank the new company remits the monthly pay and was happy it is one of the two banks i have accounts with. I managed to visit both banks to update my bank book. Both were last updated as late as 2009. I went with two passbook and came back with four as the older one has been filled up over the years.
Feeling a bit notty, i went to eat banana leave rice. It is the typical South Indian fare. Only difference this time was the extra conscious mind playing calorie counter and processing how the food was prepared (and ingredient). I ended up having half the usual rice serving, which amount to a decent plate of rice. The danger of banana leave rice is that the rice stack will look inadequate due to the absence of a plate. So, fans of banana leave rice - beware. You will be overeating without realising. The next dilemma was the delicious looking curry chicken varuval and the juicy looking fried mackerel. Believe me when i said i talked myself out not to take either one. I ended up having only the rice, stir fried cabbage, pumpkin and acar. I even refrained from flooding the rice with any curry. I went for dhal and at a very disciplined one scoop. No drinks were ordered. Papadom was the largest sin. Lunch was about 700kcal - I only burned 400kcal! OUCH!
Then, i went to EPF. Planning to make my first withdrawal after working for 12 years. And at 12 years, the savings accumulated was not much - that was due to lower wages the first 8 years i was working. The EPF officer was helpful and looked like i will need to go back again to submit the forms officially.
Having done that, i went to RSC at Kiara to have a session of stretch in the sauna. I desperately wants my Sciatica to improve. It is affecting my run, my lower back and even the strength of my arms. 15mins in 80degrees C and 60% relative humidity, i came out light headed and feeling i had a good stretch.
It was already 4:30 by then. I shot off to the hard wood furniture place near Tropicana to look for the owner and to arrange for delivery of a side console. Only to find myself eating into my Day 2 program of planting grass at the 7x7 patch in the home garden. I came home with enough grass to cover the full 49 feet square of soil. I can gladly now say i am a qualified grass planter ;). While some of you readers might think there is no big deal about it. I agree. It is really no big deal, and an engineer planting grass is an overkill. It is a waste of engineering talent, really. But that will not stop me from writing about it in the next few days. :)
I even managed to cut down a dead tree outside the home. Talk about overdoing what i should. Best part about the gardening was the kids joining and playing with the two pups. If everyday could be like that!
Cleaned the kids up and i went off to 1Utama to meet up with wifey that was in the gym clocking in some mileage. A quick dinner at Subway (It's BMT Monday, 500kcal minus any dressing) and we went to get some groceries before heading home. It has been a super productive day. Lets hope the next two weeks will be the same. I am without full access to any PC/Laptop. Relying on my iPhone for all online activities. If there are delay, apologies in advance! But please come back everyday, i promise there will be something to be shared!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Are You Gullible?

A man with a camera is not a photographer. He is just a man with a camera. Walk around town and you will see someone with a digital single lense reflex camera of dSLR. With the entry model coming in at less than RM2,500, it seems anyone with a dSLR will claim to be a photographer.
I have dSLR - and i am far from admitting i am a photographer. I am a man with camera. So what is my point, really?
Last Thursday, i came across an article in the social networking site Facebook of which a friend posted about how a man, disguised as a photographer, managed to convince 15 girls to strip to the skin for him - on the pretext of making them a "model".
Harian Metro November 17, 2011
I don't usually read crap news from this paper, but the reporting got me thinking - are most girls that gullible? Is there really a "fantasy" life being a Model? Stripping naked for the lense? Didn't you notice the hard on???
I recently commented about girls with BIG EYES and DUCK LIPS, those that wear sexily and enticingly to get the attention of the Male species. Some even have their "portfolio" done - mostly glamour shots (by glamour meant semi naked usually in lingerie, or less).
Also, these men with cameras, they move in packs. These are the typical "nerds" and "geeks" with over-sized tools (and i meant cameras), that are willing to PAY wannabe models or models for an hour or two so they can "practice" their skills with their tools.
While some are real photographer more interested in the lighting setup and the technicality of the photo shoot, most are with itch in the jock. You never know what they do with those more intimately taken photos during their "free time".
I know my post will irk those that has one way or another, engaged models and "models" for photography session - lest you are angered and felt i have judged you too quickly, perhaps, do ask yourself the purpose of the whole photo shoot - in the name of "photography".
And girls - tall, short, fat, thin, big and small...if taking your photos for an hour makes you a model, my kids are supermodels already by now. use some sense - a casting agency, unless it is for some men magazine with dodgy names, WILL not require you to pose naked or close to naked. Do engage the brains before someone engage the shutter on you!
Have a great week everyone! I will be practising my "man with camera" skills as i am on leave until December 5, 2011! Any willing models?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fixing A Minor Dent In You Car

About a year ago, during the last Terry Fox run in Titiwangsa, i came back to find my car dented as someone with a heavy bottom decided to bounce off my car with his/her fat ass. I was upset of course.
I attempted to use a toilet plunger but that did not do much improvement to the dent. Due to the location and the curvature of the car, the small dent looked majorly big due to the light reflection. About a month ago, i could not stand it anymore and decided to try another method - this time, with a smaller "plunger".
I utilised the car phone/GPS holder! Yes, you read me right!
It worked. Minus a very very small dent placed at the curvature line, i now got my car shape back again. Being an engineer, i was able to see things from a different angle and being a miser, i learnt to use resources around me to do this! So proud!
Now that you know it's possible to fix a dent using simple suction cup like a handphone holder, you can now Do It Like A Man.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Baker's Tale Christmas Charity Sales!

Festivities teaches us to be humble and to remember those less fortunate than us. Festivities always draws the softer side in us to give back something to the society. With that spirit in mind, my friend's wife is continuing her tradition of baking awesome cakes to be sold and all proceed will go to an orphanage.
For this Christmas, Baker's Tale is proud to offer two variant of cakes, both home bake without preservatives, to choose from. Unfortunately, the cakes are non-halal as they contain alcohol.
Fruity Christmas Cake
“Rich in its fruity juiciness, each bite is intoxicatingly complex and gratifying.”
The tagline above suits the fruit cake to the T.
Comes in block of 3 inches by 5.5 inches, these cake are sold at RM48 per block. Fruit cakes are not cheap, ingredient wise, and i can totally understand the size and the price. This is a winner in my book. Surely got me salivating there looking at the photo! By the way, an alcohol infused fruit cake gets better as it "age", of course, keep in the fridge!
3inches by 5.5inches. RM48.
Black Stout Cake
“Majestic in its damp blackness, the dark stout lends an intense, not-too-sweet flavour.”
Fan of Guinness Stout, rejoice. Never had a cake made to match the Spirit of Arthur. This cake is "Dark and Damp" as per how the baker described it. No doubt about it, this could just turn Father Christmas into a Stout (instead of wine) lover!
Sold in a 6 inches by 6 inches block. The price of RM38 is hard to resist! So is the photo!
6inches by 6inches. RM38.
Both the cakes above are baked without preservatives and best consumed within two days upon delivery. You can keep it in an airtight container in a fridge to last up to a week. With cake as good looking as above, and assuming it taste better, i do not think it will last more than 30minutes on the table after being served!
Cake is ready within 2-3 days of ordering and delivery within Klang Valley (Klang, Shah Alam, Subang, Damansara, PJ area) can be arranged with additional charge of RM7.
As the quantity is limited, please book in advance to avoid any dissapointment. The baker of these cakes has a day job and she does this in the evening/at night like those elves that helped sew those shoes for the old couple!
To order (and to find out payment and delivery method), email the.bakers.tale at gmail dot com.
All sales proceed will be contributed to Good Samaritan Home (GSH), located in Klang cares for children who have been abandoned and children who have lost either one or both parents. Founded in January 1999 by Albert Ong and YM, a former pastor and his wife, it houses a total of 23 children today, aged 13-17 years.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Ryan!

My boy is 5 today. He is growing up too fast. Our (me and wifey) wish for him today is that he will grow up to be a useful person and a contributor to the country. We also wish that he will always be healthy and will grow up coming to us for advices and guidance. Happy Birthday Ryan. We are blessed to have you as you are.
Happy Birthday Boy!
Wifey and me got him some presents. A box of crayon as he loves to draw. A few colored pens as he uses them to outline his drawings (wow, i only learnt this when i was 12!), A sharpener for his color pencils and a box of medical tongue depressor (big ice cream stick) as he loves collecting and coloring them (he never fail to nick a few from the usual doctor that attend to him).