Here fishy-fishy...

My little girl insists to feed the tilapias in our small pond at the backyard. Mama tried to stop her but no use. Vanessa cried out her protests and shouted on top of her lung, “Mau! Mau! Mau!” So,as expected, Mama gave in to her request and let the little girl do the job. So, starting this morning, Vanessa is the official fish-feeder. Feeding the fishes twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon will be her routine. As long as Mama remember to allocate the fish food in a small can, everything will be fine. Otherwise, Van-van won’t stop feeding the fishes until there is no more food left in the container…hahahaha…

Vanessa loves feeding them. She will scoop bit by bit the fish food with a small teaspoon. Every now and then, she’ll break into excited giggles, pointing the fishes that came to feed. *smile* Hmm, she has yet to pronounce ‘fish’ or ‘sada’ (Kadazan for fish) properly though. So far, they come out sounding more like ‘pi’ and ‘da’ only…..hahaha… But it’s okay; I know she will get better in time.

Okay, to tell you the truth, I’m not really in the mood to blog-hop or even work lately. The reason being, I am already in holiday mood! LOL! I have already taken 2 days leave starting tomorrow, with the weekend and public holidays for Kaamatan included, I’ll be on 6 days break…wooohooo!!!
I feel good!

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Bend it like Beckham

As the compound of our house is quite big, my neighbours’ kids like to come every evening to play. Some time badminton, some time football, some time just running around, playing the game of “Police and Thief”. Hehe…it sounds more like “Polis-sen-tep” though. LOL!

* sigh * Daughter Vanessa doesn’t want to be left behind. She also wants to join in the fun. When the kids are playing badminton, she wants to play along. She whines for the badminton racket and cry for a chance to hit the shuttlecock. Tapi, mana la dia pandai, interrupting their game ada la. Obviously, some of the kids, especially the boys, do not welcome her in the play…kacau saja, they said. And being the protective Mama, my mom always warn them," Kalau kamu tida mau kana kacau, pigi la main di tempat lain." (If you don’t want any interference, then go play somewhere else) hahaha...

In the end, the kids agreed to have Vanessa around but refused to let her play. Instead, they gave her an ‘important’ task, the shuttlecock-picker. Vanessa was more than happy with her task. Every time the shuttle dropped, she will scramble to her feet to pick it up and give it to the nearest person. Sampai berpeluh-peluh bah dia. A win-win resolution I must say. The kids get to play in peace, while Vanessa had her fun, picking-up the shuttlecock…hehe. While the kids are engaged in the play, she will watch at the side with Kakak, the maid. Waiting patiently for the shuttlecock to drop. :)

Hmm, that was the badminton fever. Now it was over. The latest craze in town is – football. Just as I expected, Vanessa will be crying, whining to join in the fun. Football is just too rough for her. She’ll get knocked-down if we let her join in the play. Ah, a tricky situation to handle.

This time, I don’t think she’s suitable for the task as ball-picker. It will be a laborious task for her as the ball is big and heavy…it will take her forever to deliver it to the players. And I doubt that they can wait that long. So, I bought her a ball for her to play. A smaller and lighter one. Phew! Nasib baik la my girl relented to it. She can play indoor football anytime. So far, she is happy with it, as long as there is somebody to play with. If Mummy and Daddy goes to work, then Kakak and Mama will do. :)

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Animal cruelty

[MELBOURNE (AFP) — Australian police charged a man with animal cruelty for allegedly shooting two kangaroos with arrows, leaving one of them with a shaft embedded in its head. Victoria state police said the 27-year-old man was arrested after raids on two homes in Melbourne's outer suburbs, where they seized arrows, bows camouflage clothing and a computer.

The kangaroos were shot earlier this month. A male Eastern Grey kangaroo was pierced through the head and veterinarians believe he wandered around bushland for a week before being rescued. A female of the same species was shot in the rump.Both the animals, dubbed Beau and Hope by animal shelter staff, had operations to remove the arrows and are expected to fully recover.

The alleged shooter has been charged with four counts of aggravated cruelty and one of hunting protected wildlife. He also faces an additional charge of reckless conduct endangering life for allegedly using a bow and arrow in parkland near other people. The man was bailed to appear in court next month.]

You guys must have read about the same yesterday. In a civilized society, animal cruelty still occurs and evident in many forms. So sad but true. And we don’t have to look far. Don’t be surprise that it is even closer to home. These pictures were included in the press release from Forestry Department, Sandakan last April where a District Forestry Officer was seriously injured and Forestry Department vehicles were damaged, when a group of 20 armed men attacked the base camp at Ulu Segama Forest Reserve, Lahad Datu, Sabah. Click here for the full press release.
Dead baby elephant shot at random by illegal hunters in Ulu Segama. District Forestry Officer standing by it.
Another victim of illegal hunter- a clouded leopard lies dead after being shot in FACE Foundation area.

As long as cruel, heartless people still exists, animal cruelty will not end. *sigh * Being listed as ‘protected species’ does not guarantee the safety of these exotic animals.

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Lighting and Feng Shui

I believe most of us have heard of feng shui, regardless if you’re Chinese or not. It is an ancient, interesting Chinese practice that teaches an individual to live in harmony with one’s surroundings, in order to increase the flow of positive energy and to have a positive state of mind.

* smile * I am no Feng Shui Master or trying to be one. But I have had the opportunity of working with a feng shui-obsessed boss. Some of us even gossiped that she applied the principle of feng shui in selecting her employees. *smile * Whether it is true or merely rumors, I don’t know. But one thing for sure, my lady boss masterminded the whole office layout, from the furniture’s arrangement, plants’ placement, to the lighting.

Speaking of lighting, it is impossible to neglect its significant other – lamps . As my former boss would say, “A good lamp can do magic if we know how to utilize it.” In other words, a lamp should not only brighten a room, it should also add colour and warmth to it. True.

Sharp corners are regarded as bad thing in feng shui. They should be best avoided but some times they are just inevitable. Hence, they need to be ‘softened’ to increase the energy flow and creates a relaxed atmosphere. One way to ‘soften’ them is by using accent lighting. Low voltage halogen lamps are perfect for that purpose. Not only do they last longer, they are also efficient. We had something almost similar to this back then.

Another feng shui-related thing that she always emphasize on was : never leave a cluttered desk at the end of each day. Cluttered free and organized desk will create an easy path for prosperity energy to come your way. Leave only those daily essentials – phone, computer, lamp, stationeries, etc on the desk. Well, not every one of us has a desk lamp. But if you do, make sure it is placed in your fame area (refer the diagram below). It will activate good future career options as well as improve your reputation.
Now, having a desk lamp sounds like a bright idea, don’t you think so? Why not get one today? Anyway, there are a huge variety of desk lamps available to choose from. Whatever the style or design, their main purpose is to provide light for specific tasks. And do make sure that the size of the lamp is in some ideal proportion to the desk.
However, if a lamp is not suitable, a small plant with red flower or pot in your fame area will work just as good as the lamp. *smile*

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Thank you, Teacher!

Do you still remember your school days? I still remember mine, especially my secondary school days. I was one of the 45 students (if not mistaken) in my class. Hehe…it was supposed to be a class for the terrer and goody-goody students…kononnya la. LOL.

Contrary to our seniors, we were a mischievous bunch. As soon as the teacher walk out of the door, the classroom become anything but quiet. It’s not that the Class Monitor didn’t try her best to keep everything in order, but the task was just impossible. We, the girls were co-operative but not the boys. Majority
of this mischievous bunch remained classmates until Form 5. :)

During school time, I’m sure we all have our least favourite teacher. Mine was our Form 2 Class Teacher, Ms Betty. She was also our English teacher. She’s not a bad teacher, not the one that gets angry easily and punishes students for some small reason. In fact, she was a nice, soft-spoken Kadazan lady. Well, I didn’t dislike her for her character but more to what she made us do. I’m sure most of my classmates felt the same way…hehe.

Being the Class Teacher, Ms Betty made full use of her veto power. She separated each of us from our clique. She made us sit in boy-girl, girl-boy arrangement. Disallowed any other language except English during her class. Imagine la how awkward it was for us as most of us were not English-speaker. But we weren’t called MISCHIEVOUS for nothing * evil grin *. We made a pact with our respective partner: 1) to stay in our designated place during her class only, 2) planned our communication, pre-determined the topic and rehearsed before she came in and 3) keep the communication as minimal as possible, never go out of topic. We did it all to please Ms Betty, to avoid the boring lecture. Hahahaha….punya jahat kami kan…J:) Don’t know la if she ever found out the truth…

She also made it mandatory for us to read at least one English book per week. We were to report our reading to her, either in the classroom or see her privately in the office. Hahahha…it was no surprise that most of us prefer the latter. Why? To save ourselves from embarrassment. You can imagine how poor our vocab and grammar were bcos most of us hardly ever speak in English, not at school and certainly not at home. To stand in front of the Class and speak in English was a total embarrassment. A suicide mission! Having Ms Betty hear our broken English was embarrassing too but at least she won’t make fun of us.

There was this particular boy, *Gitut who was popular for being galangas (stubborn). He hadn’t report any book, not a single one even though months have passed. Obviously, Ms Betty’s lost her patience. One fine day, she walked into the Class and forced him to stand in front of the Class. She confronted Gitut and demanded him, on the spot, to make up for his lack of co-operation or risk a punishment. He was given the choice to either summarize a book he read recently or tell a story or recite a poem, or sing a song….anything as long as it is done in English. The poor boy opts for singing. He chose the song Only You by Brit accapella group, The Flying Pickets. Even at that time, it was already an old song but it was very popular then. Though I can’t remember why. :)

Now, after 15 years, those memories still fresh in mind. How funny it seems now. I was smiling to myself as I was typing this post. :) Looking back, Ms Betty never did anything wrong. In fact, she did the right thing. I guess, I am forever grateful of what Ms Betty had done for us. If she had not force us to read English books, I could never improve my English. Moreover, develop an interest on English books.

No, no, I’m not saying that now my English is good, malah sekadar cukup makan saja but yes, it is enough for me to read and understand the bestsellers by James Patterson, Steve Berry, Kathy Reichs, etc. It also enables me to come up with an English blog. So, here’s one big “THANK YOU!” for you, Ms. Betty J for your untiring efforts. The same goes to all my former teachers. I’m not sure if they are reading this though. If we bumped into each other on the street, I’ll belanja minum kupi…hehe. To all the blogger friends who are also teachers by profession, eg Carol, Annie Ming, Miss Sab and Nadia…Happy Teachers’ Day to you all. I am sure that one day your students will appreciate your efforts.

*Gitut was his pet name. His mother came to school one day and accidentally called him with his pet name. He tried to cover the slip-of- tongue but it was already too late, damaged have been done! Some of the girls over heard it and soon the news spread like wild fire. LOL! From the day onward, we never called him by his real name. He was also too lazy to argue that he just let it be. *smile*

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Angels & Demons : Movie Review

So, I have watched the movie last night at the GSC 1 Borneo Hypermall. Hubby and I arrived there @ 8pm, half an hour before showing. We managed to get tickets for the middle row seating. 15 minutes before the movie started, the theater was a vacant, only a few ppl scattered here and there. “Hmm, maybe this movie was not-so-highly-anticipated after all," I thought. Crowd only started pouring in 5 minutes before showing and a few sec, the theater was packed. Mostly teenagers, UMS students I guess. :)

Having read some of the movie reviews earlier, I knew the storyline was altered slightly to tone down some sensitive issue e.g. the origin of the Carmelengo. Anyway, if you are expecting some romance between Robert and Vittoria, don’t bother. Their relationship is strictly business :) . By the way, I think Robert’s looks better in his new haircut. Glad that he decided to lose the mullet he sported in The Da Vinci Code..hehehe..

Personally, I don’t think this is a great movie but, yes, it is a good one. Entertaining, fast-paced and worth the money. It moves in a breakneck pace, so fast that you may hesitate to blink for fear of missing a clue or a murder. For 2 hours and 15 minutes, nobody left his or her seat until the movie ended. But still, I prefer the book. *wink*

The backdrop and landmarks are so gorgeous. Rome will definitely be on the top of my Places-To-Visit-Before-I-Die list. :)

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Angels & Demons

One of the most anticipated movies of the year. A prequel to the The Da Vinci Code movie. So, here I am, waiting 'patiently' in the office for hubby to fetch me. We’ll be heading to the cinema to watch this movie. It’s been a while since we last watched a movie together. :)

Anyway, I have read the bestseller book of the same title 2 years ago, after watching the movie, The Da Vinci Code. I love the book. It sure is a page-turner, packed with actions. Hehe…I found myself running along with Robert Langdon trying to stop the deadly threats of the Illuminati.

I am not crazy about Tom Hanks portraying the Harvard symbologist though. He’s a good actor but I think that somebody else should play the role of the Harvard symbologist. Pierce Brosnan, perhaps? *wink*

As with all book-to-movie adaptations, the movie will sure be not as detail as the book. But, I just hope Ron Howard & the gang didn’t butcher Dan Brown's the story. I hope I won’t be disappointed. :)

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Days to remember

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the wonderful mommy out there. :) Among the SMS I received from friends and family whishing a happy Mother’s Day yesterday, this one was my favourite. “Motherhood is a tough 24-hours job with no pay, no day-off, most often unappreciated and yet resignation is impossible!” It came from a dear friend, who is on her way to becoming a first time mother herself. Their bundle of joy is due anytime now. *smile*

I couldn’t agree more on the message, especially on the ‘unappreciated’ part. No, I am not talking on my own account as a mother but rather as a daughter. I remembered those days, when I was a teenager growing up. Let’s just say that I am a little bit on the rebellious side. I don’t like to be controlled, often do whatever mom’s said not to do…but nothing serious :). Some of mom’s advice was never taken seriously, you know like masuk telinga kiri, keluar telinga kanan (in through the left ear, out through the right)...hehe.

Anyway, this year I gave mommy dearest a home made butter cake. Baked by none other than her rebellious daughter - ME. Mom’s love cakes, any cakes without chocolate and cheese will do. As I am only a beginner in baking, I decided to bake the easiest one, not too much ingredients involved...hehe. The cake came out fine and edible. Usually, I would leave the cake plain but yesterday, I experimented with vanilla-flavoured butter cream. I was going to decorate it too but daughter was whining for me to carry her. Hmm, the cream was okay but the presentation…well, it didn’t turn-out too well. Hahaha…am too embarrassed to snap and post a pic here…..bikin malu saja! Maybe next time la when my skills improve…LOL! Anyway, mom didn’t complained. :)

With Mother’s Day over, Father’s Day is coming soon. My father had passed away 14 years ago, so there is no other gift more meaningful than a prayer, a visit to his grave and some flowers. * smile*

On the other hand, I am thinking of giving hubby a new perfume for Father’s Day. Something light, fresh with aquatic notes that’s perfect for casual wear. Maybe one of those Giorgio Armani perfumes may suits his taste. *wink*

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Customer is always right???

We rarely get any walk-in customer but when we do, they were not as difficult as this one particular guy. He was very fussy! Must be my unlucky day (and maybe the Tech too)!*sigh*

Mr Fussy came in to get his Notebook(NB) repaired. He claimed that the bluetooth function would some time go on and off automatically. Just like Chipsmore, now you see it, now you don’t. He was so kan cheong and determined to have it fixed before the warranty expires some time this year. But, the weird thing was, the problem seemed to occur only when he was using his NB, regardless whether he’s in the office or house or Coffee Bean or Starbucks.Everywhere he goes, he'll get the same problem, so he claimed. When he sent it to our service center HQ in PJ last month, our engineer there failed to detect the problem. After 3 days of monitoring, it was returned to him.

Since the problem persisted, Mr Fussy was advised to send his NB here. Suspected faulty parts are to be replaced. The moment he came in, Mr Fussy demanded to see the replacement parts. That’s when all the commotion started. “Why only 2 parts arrived? Your boss said he would send 3 – the bluetooth board, cable and antenna. “What happened to the antenna?” “Did you lose it ?” bla, bla, bla….Both the Tech and I had a very hard time convincing him that those were all that were sent to us. Obviously, Mr Fussy did not buy that; he showed us my boss’s e-mail to him. And there it was. Our ‘dear’ Boss DID promised him that he would send us the 3 components. Damn. If only he bothered to inform us earlier we won’t be so dumbfounded. THANK YOU BOSS FOR MAKING US LOOK STUPID IN FRONT OF MR FUSSY!!!

Mr Fussy demanded an explanation on why the antenna was not sent. Fair enough, he deserves one. As I was Skype-ing my boss, Mr Fussy just couldn’t keep his big mouth shut. “What did he say?”, “Did he carelessly omitted the antenna?” etc, etc…Can you believe this guy??? Surprisingly, he was able to sit tight in his chair. I half expected him to peek on my conversation with Boss…hehe. After explaining the situation to him, Boss only came-up with this, “Just tell him that the antenna is not necessary.” Yeah, right. “Easy for you to say Boss!” but of course, I only said those words in my heart.

I didn’t really pay much attention to Mr Fussy after that. I was too tired to answer all his endless "What if...?" questions. Thankfully, he got the message. Alleluia! He shifted his attention to my colleague aka Tech, interrogated him on his experience on fixing this kind of problem. Truthfully, Tech admitted that it is his first and the Engineer would guide him from HQ via Skype video call. From the corner of my eyes, I saw the discomfort and lack of confidence in Mr Fussy’s eyes. He demanded to be present during the fixing and testing process. Made it clear that he wants to see the existing components replaced as promised and make sure every screw, every little thing are in its right place.

Tech was obviously not comfortable with that. Neither do I. I can imagine Mr Fussy scrutinizing Tech’s every move, criticizing here and there. Whoa, how can you do any work in a situation like that? I immediately sought Boss’s advice on Mr Fussy’s demand. Again, Boss-the man with few words said,” Tell him it is not necessary for him to be present.” Just as I expected, Mr Fussy hit the roof when I relayed that to him. ”How would I know if you replaced the parts or not?”, “How would I know if everything are in the right place?” bla, bla, bla…Once again, we tried to convinced him that his property will be treated with utmost respect. Suspected faulty parts will be replaced with new one. Tests will be done to ensure that it functions normally. We’ll call when it is ready for collection and he himself can check his NB performance before signing the acknowledgment slip. Well, all our effort was in vain. Mr Fussy held his ground and insist to be called when fixing process starts. *faint*

An hour after he left, our Engineer launched a video call and begins the fixing process. We told him of Mr Fussy’s firm request but this nonchalant response was all we got, “Takpe. Kita buat dulu, test semua. Bila semua ok, baru kita bagi tau kat customer supaya datang collect. Customer mana boleh tengok kita buat, company policy."(It’s ok. We fix it now and run some tests. When everything’s ok, then only we call customer to come. Customers are not allowed to see the fixing process. It is the company’s policy.") Tech and I were speechless. I’m sure we’re thinking the same thing, “How are we going to tell Mr Fussy about this?” Mr Fussy will sure explode this time! We were in a dilemma, to adhere to our superiors and get slaughtered by customer OR make customer happy and get fired by Boss for violating company’s policy. Either way we’ll get all the bashing. *sigh * We chose the former.

As foreseen, after receiving my call about the parts had been replaced, Mr Fussy disconnected the call and sped to our office. He was fuming mad and bombarded us with his frustration. What can we say? We told him that we were only following order. We offered to open-up his NB for him to have a look at the internal. With a glare, he refused by saying that the act would only cause further damaged to his NB due to frequently loosening and tightening the screw. With that, we both telepathically agreed not to provoke him. We apologized to Mr Fussy and kept our silence and listened to him rant. Eventually, he calmed down and agreed to leave his NB with us for another 2 days for observation.

The unfortunate incident above occurred two days ago. Yikes! Observation period is over. Mr Fussy is coming again today. Maybe he is on his way now. *roll eyes* I have no interest whatsoever to deal with him. I’ll let one of my colleagues deal with him…if I have a choice. *wink* They are already speculating that it won’t be our last encounter with Mr Fussy. He will be back sooner complaining about another problem if not the same. I sure hope that all their speculating is wrong!!! I don't want to see Mr Fussy again!

Now that I managed to get it off my chest, I felt much better. Phew! I hope I didn’t bore you with this long and winding post of mine. :)

Updates:- Mr Fussy was supposed to come collect his NB on Friday but he couldn't make it. Instead he came on the following Monday. He came with a serious face and didn't say much except when he replied my greeting. Packed his NB, signed the acknowledgement slip and go.

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Peers pressure

[ Girl : “Kakak, mari kita main badminton (Sis, let’s play badminton).”
Me : “Eh, kenapa tiba-tiba pula mau main ni (Why suddenly want to play)?”
Girl :” Sia mau execise bah, mau kasi kurus badan. Kawan-kawan sia bilang sia gumuk (I want to exercise, to lose weight. My friends said I’m fat). “ ]

That was part of a conversation I had with my neighbour's girl last Sunday. The last line was uttered in a quiet tone accompanied by a sad face. My heart fell when I heard the last line. She must have felt awfully bad by her friends’ comments. As we know, children are easily influenced by their peers. A comment like that will certainly hurt a child’s self-esteem.

Personally, I think genetic factor plays a significant role in this girl’s weight issue. Both her parents are quite ‘big’. According to her mom, the girl has always been a chubby child. Bless her for she has a hearty appetite. After being laughed at by her peers, she will try her best to restraint from eating heartily. But, often give in to hunger. Even we adults have a hard time staying on our diet, inikan pula budak-budak… :) But looking at a different perspective, peers pressure do have it’s good. It gives one the motivation to achieve his/her goal.

As for the badminton part, too bad I can’t play with her on weekdays because when I reached home at 6.30pm/ is already too dark to play. I really hope that this girl will continue her effort to shed the extra kilos, with or without me. :)

Er, did you notice the word "kakak" in the conversation above? Hehe...the kids in my neighbourhood are so accustomed to calling me as "kakak" instead of "aunty". I'm going to hit 30 soon...old enough to be called aunty. But, I don't mind at all, as "kakak" makes me feel younger everyday...LOL! Perasaannya si Mama Mia ni kan....hahhaha....

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Supermummy Amazing Blogger Award

The result was out on May, 01 and I didn't make it to the next round. But, no worries. There's always next year, right? :) Nevertheless, to all who had voted for me,"Thank you very much for your support. Your vote meant a lot." To the 10 mummies, who made it to the next round, "Congratulations and all the best to you all." Cheers!

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