Monthly Archives: January 2012

Caterpillar on Camera

In or booming and growing (well, sort of) house garden where it has also become natural habitats to many different kinds of animals, we have come across many of them, including birds (of many kinds), snakes, rodents, biawaks, butterflies, etc.

Thus, I was rather not surprised to find this colourful little caterpillar making itself comfortable in our garden too..:-D

I found caterpillars much easier subjects to focus because they are almost always stationery and the fact that they were out sunbathing in direct bright natural light is comforting news for the lenses.

Here are some shots taken with my Nikon P500 of our caterpillar:

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Macro 4mm; 1/80s; f/3.4; ISO 160

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Macro 4mm; 1/40s; f/3.4; ISO 160

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Aperture; Focal length 71.7mm; 1/60s; f/5.6; ISO 360

Hmmm..I wonder if these are the ones that will eventually turn into butterflies? :-\

Higher Education, Indeed!

Somehow, you just know the new generation of kids are taught stuff at a much higher level these days when you see these kind of posters on the walls of their pre-schools…

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Yup, I’m pretty sure I never learnt about such a shape when I was a little boy…:-p

Makes me wonder what they will learn in primary school? War tactics?

and Astrophysics in secondary school?

!!!

Parenting Tip: The Washing Machine Canvas

If you have kids around the house, I’d bet your fridge is completely covered with their photos, paintings, bills, important phone numbers, newspaper clippings, other works of art, etc. :-)

It’s completely understandable. After all, the fridge is one of the biggest household appliances in the house, giving it maximum visibility to put up such family stuff for all to see. In addition, the fridge’s natural magnetic properties on its outside makes it even more perfect to stick those things easily with just a piece of fridge magnet, art magnet, or heck, even a doodle board stamper!

Problem is, no matter how big your fridge is, you would eventually find yourself short of space. So what do you do then?

Unknown to many people, there is another big household appliance that also has these ‘magical’ magnetic properties….the washing machine!

Why many people do not stick stuff on their washing machine still eludes me, but so if you ever find yourself running out of fridge space, you may want to consider using the washing machine too! Works just as well too!

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Fantasy Football: Q2 Report

Whew! With just a blink of an eye, Gameweek (GW) 20 of Fantasy Football is in the bag, which means I’d need to report on my Q2 progress. Have I shown any improvements since my Q1 report?

At the end of GW 10, I was ranked ranked 3rd amongst my friends, and 17,088th overall, placing me in the 4% global bracket. My team value stood at $162.1M, an increase of $12.1M since GW1.

After GW 20, I’m pleased at my progress which has seen me more or less caught up with my two front -running friends. Heck, I even peaked in 2nd place for two GWs at one time! I am still ranked 3rd amongst my friends, with the three of us quite comfortably far away from the chasing pack. Globally, I have improved my positioning to number 3,855, which is in the 0.8% bracket globally. As expected, my team value has only increased a further $5.9M to $168M. I don’t foresee any more significant increases in my team value over the final two Quarters of the Fantasy Football season.

I did mention in my earlier report that I had to catch up to the top two by GW20 and I’m glad I did! The key stretch in Q2 was surely the chaotic Christmas-New Year period where all teams played like 3-4 games within a two-week timeline. For FF managers, that meant making critical trades during the short windows that was only opened between 1-3 days of each other. There was also one double gameweek for Tottenham and Everton, so that required some pre-planning and stocking up on players from these teams for the important double gameweek of GW20.

With only a mere 10 points separating the three of us, it will definitely be a real dog fight all the way for the remaining 18 GWs. Friend A currently has 896.6 points and Friend P has 891.6 points, whilst I sit a further 5 points back at 886.6. It has been pretty surprising to see Friend A continuing to amass huge points despite having a team worth more than $10M lesser than my team! Just another proof that a FF team can be successful without having to have a bulging team budget!

With the points so close between the three of us, I can only postulate these critical factors in our battle over the final half of the season:

1. Picking the Right Captain for each GW

2. Having the depth of squad as I notice more and more injuries over the past couple of weeks

3. Having a squad that is injury free!

Tips of the Week:

1. Get rid of all your African players as they would be involved in the African Cup of Nations for at least 2-3 weeks…with the exception that your players come fromВ Cameroon, South Africa and Togo because these countries failed to qualify..:-P

2. Buy King Henry at a quick steal price of $10M. Value is bound to soar – only problem is how many games will he actually start for Arsenal?

 

A Legacy of Recipes

A Our Legacy Recipe Book

Of all types of books, I must admit I really love to read cook books. Not because I love to cook (coz I can’t!), but simply because they always supplement the recipes with those delicious-looking end-result foods that just screams “Eat Me!”

Interestingly enough, my church, KL Wesley Methodist Church, recently went on a noble drive to collect timeless, tried and tested recipes from its members and friends and compiled all these golden nuggets of recipes into a delightful hard cover cookbook called “Legacy”, with the tagline ‘Recipes to pass on to our children‘….Awwww.

The project is another initiative to raise funds for our church’s new building project. Personally, I thought it was a wonderful way to get many of these cooking sifus to contribute their favourite dishes for generations to come. Apart from the saliva-inducing photos, the language of the recipes is also very ‘homely’, making it very simple to read, understand and follow. I’d bet even I could succeed in trying out some of these recipes. Heh. But, that’s a story for another day. 😛

Here are some sample pictures of the glorious food and sample pages taken from Legacy…

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Fishpaste
Kai Choy Fan
Kai Choy Fan
Nyonya Laksa
Saybahk (Eurasion Salad)
Teochew Duck
Char Yuk (Hakka Stewed Pork)
Sample page from Crispy Roast Pork recipe

Note: All Images courtesy of Nigel A. Skelchy of Just Heavenly

After you have finished wiping off the saliva from your computer or tablet screen, you may wanna consider purchasing the Legacy cook book, perhaps?

At slightly more than 120+ glossy pages of easy to follow recipes and beautiful photos of food, bound together perfectly in hard cover, I’d say the selling price of RM 100 is really a steal!

You can make your purchase directly from the KL Wesley Methodist Church office, or drop me an email and I can certainly try to help to arrange to get a copy (or more) to you.

Now, excuse me whilst I go give my eyes and tongue a feast first…:-p

The Tunnel Sketch

A recent news article about how both the Malaysian and Singaporean Governments are considering building an undersea tunnel to connect the two countries certainly raised many eyebrows.

To me, it raised more than than that! It brought back some funny memories of a Singaporean audio sketch about a local company winning a tender exercise to initiate this tunnel project between Singapore and Malaysia.

Check out the hiliarious sketch called ‘The Tunnel’ below:

The Tunnel – Sketch

….and its follow up sketch that pokes fun at the progress of the tunnel…

News At Ten – Sketch

Hahaha…now I just can’t wait to see the actual results if we do indeed build this undersea tunnel! 😀

Sheep

Image Credits

 

Book: Sheep

Genre: Children/Fiction/Humor/Animal

Author:В Valerie Hobbs

Thickness: 115 pages

Tagline: “Baa!”

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This book was the last book that I read in 2011, capping off a great year of reading for me, in which I read more books than I thought possible, especially after I challenged myself to not create any word wastages. Hah! The reason why I chose to end the year of 2011 with this “children’s” book В is simply to wind up the year on a happy note, as I gear up for many more books to read and review in 2012.

I picked up Sheep from the last year’s Big Bad Wolf sale at a insanely cut-price of RM3. Sure the back cover had a thin razor cut across it as well but that’s besides the point. I was attracted to the book not because of the price but for its interesting premise of a complete novel entirely written from the perspective of a dog!

Somehow I find myself drawn these kinds of writings. Haha.

Storyline

Sheep tells the heartwarming tale of a Border Collie named Jack as he recalls his life as a puppy on a ranch, and eventually loses his family through a series of events. This sets off an adventure where he travels through numerous different places, getting owned by many individuals who give him their own names like Blackie, Spot, Shep, etc. and growing up to learn how to survive in the world out there. In the midst of all this, Jack also has a dream to pursue, and that is to find his family again, or find some sheep so that he can herd! Seriously!

 

Writing

I loved the way Valerie has written Sheep. Penned from the ‘first-dog’ perspective, she manages to narrate the tale in very simple and believable terms.

From the start of the tale, you’d already know that our dog would eventually end up as Jack. That sets up nicely as I flipped through the pages of Jack’s misadventures of growing up with so many different names, it kept me guessing which name would come next, or would he finally become Jack next?

She manages to write in a way that we’d feel the joy and pain when Jack feels it. Through Jack’s numerous encounters with many different characters, you’d definitely feel his struggles and cheer for him as he continues to relentlessly pursue his dreams!

These are some of the unique and humourous words that Jack uses throughout the book:

I’d had enough of being chased away from the places where food smell was the most enticing: kitchens, restaurants, family picnics. I’d been hanging around people, acting all pitiful. After a while, it wasn’t an act. “Shoo!” the people would say, flapping their arms. “Shoo!” At first I didn’t understand. I thought they meant the things they wore on their feet.

Billy’s Big and Happy Circus looked cheery enough on the outside. But there was only one tent, so it wasn’t very big, and it sure wasn’t happy.

I followed Retardo, who scurried ahead in a low crouch. I guess he thought he’d be smaller that way, invisible. But the crouch is basically an attack position, any half-grown sheep knows that. This kid had a lot to learn.

 

Glue FactorВ (difficulty of putting the book down!)

With only 115 pages in length and very short chapters, this was indeed a very easy and fun book to read through. The funny and touching tales of Jack’s adventures moves along at quite a brisk pace that I found it difficult to put down.

 

Conclusion

Although Sheep can be easily classified as a children’s book, I found that it can be rather interesting to anyone who wants to read something fun and refreshing for a change. Besides, how many books do you know of that is written from the perspective of an animal?

It’s a great book to read to your children or for older kids to read it themselves!

And to cap it off, Sheep not also provides pages of fun and entertainment, there’s also some lessons of life that can be picked up from within the pages too.

For example, check out this excerpt that Jack learns from one of this owners along his journey of discovering life:

“Truth is, a fellow doesn’t need a whole lot to make him happy. A place to bed down, warm food in his belly, honest work, good company. But he’s gotta have one thing more, doesn’t he, boy?”

What is that ONE thing more? Ahhh…do read Sheep and find out! You won’t be disappointed!

 

Storyline:

Writing:

Glue Factor:

OVERALL: