Thursday, May 31, 2007

Day +330 : The choice of thought

I am fine today.

My mother-in-law told me that our Daihatsu Charade was missing in the early morning. It was true that the car was not at the front porch where we always parked it. My mother-in-law was very nervous; she said that the grill for the front door was wide open and only the wooden door was locked.

My nieces drove it out to see late night movie last night. They were sleeping now. Without waking them up to enquire about the situation, I went for jogging. Applying what I learned from the book “Formula for a perfect life”, I chose to be positive. While I was jogging, I wondered what happened to the car. Could someone steal the car? Very unlikely, because the car is so “老爷”(old). Only very stupid thief would do this. They should steal the Perdana parked next to the Daithasu, and even that, they were still stupid, because the Toyota VIOS next door is a lot more valuable than the old Perdana :-) So my cars should be safe, at least from the clever thief, and I assume that most thieves are clever.

What if a really stupid thief stumbled upon the car? Still, not to be too worried :-) Because that is the only way that will made us to ‘reward’ ourselves with a better car such as the newly released Perodua’s Viva :-) So no matter how bad the situation is, the ending still sound good :-)

This is “the choice of thought” – the very first principle advocated in the book “Formula for a perfect life”.

So now, what happened to the car? The car failed to start due to flattened battery. My niece called in my nephew to help at 1:00am in the morning. My nephew rushed to the scene, bringing along security guards to help. I wonder how he persuaded the security guards to follow him. But no matter how hard they pushed the car, the car won’t start. Finally, they left the car at the car park.

Fortunately, they did not wake me up early in the morning. Next time, if you need help in the midnight, don’t call me, call my nephew :-) He will bring along security guards to help you :-)

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day +329 : Huh! Nearly miss the interview (sweating…)

I am fine today.

This morning, I sent my niece for an interview for the teacher training program – Kursus Perguruan Lepasan SPM (KPLSPM). As I blogged on Day +322, this interview was granted only after appeal due to some technical error.

The interview was conduct at Institut Perguruan Bahasa Melayu Malaysia (IPBMM) at 10:30am. I did not know where it was, but from the map, the place is very near to UH, which I am very familiar with. Based on the map, I planned the route to go to IPBMM and estimated that we would reach there within 30 minutes.

We started our journey at 9:45am against the original plan; to start at 9:30am. When we almost reached IPBMM, I was shocked to find out that my planned route was blocked by a locked gate :-( This made me a little bit nervous because I only know to reach IPBMM through this route. The guard there explained to me the alternate route which had to go through the Universiti Melaya campus.

I rushed off to the alternate route and enquired the way from a student, but still made a mistake. It was almost 10:30am. This made me very nervous. I turned back and after seeking help from another student and a guard, I managed to reach the place at 10:35am. Fortunately, the officer let my niece to attend the interview. I found out later from my niece that the first part of the interview started at 10:45am.

I thought the interview would end in not more than 2 hours, so I decided to wait for my niece there. But it ended only at 3:00pm :-(

I did not know the best way to go home either. The only way that I could do is to follow the Bandar Sunway sign and you know, the sign leads me through three tolls, RM1.60 each, before reaching home :-(

Let us pray that my niece will be admitted into the teacher training program. May God bless her.

See you next post :-)

Day +328 : Holiday Photos

I am fine today.

We reached home at 7:30pm.

My brother was busy meeting customers while I was ‘babysitting’ the three boys :-) Since all three boys can swim and could play independently, my job was very relaxing.

I am very kind. I let them played at the beach until they felt satisfied and requested to go back themselves. Yesterday, they played at the beach and swimming pool for more than 3 hours; played another 2 and half hours this morning :-)

I did not play, but I managed to finish reading the book "Formula of a perfect life" at the beach :-)

We visited war museum yesterday morning. The boy nearest to me is Richard's eldest son, Dennis.

The boys in front of a gun.

Japanese mortar shell.

The boys enjoyed playing sand at the beach.
Dennis and Joseph were very busy all the time.

Richard dropped us at Bukit Bendara at 1:20pm today before meeting a customer, unfortunately, all the train tickets before 3:15pm were sold out. We decided not to go up the hill as we have to go back at 4:00pm
See you next post :-)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Day +327 : Going for holiday again

I am fine today.

My brother, Richard, is going to Penang today for a business trip. He invited my family to join him for the trip. Only Daniel, Joseph and I are going with him this time. Apart from this, Richard also brings his eldest son, Dennis along.

We are going to stay at a resort hotel by the seaside. The children are very happy because they like seaside very much – playing the sand and swimming in the sea.

We will start our journey at 6:00am and it will takes us 4 hours to reach Penang from Puchong.

May God bless our journey.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Day +326 : Formula for a Perfect Life (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

Everyone wish to have a happy life, but not many live happily. The formula for a perfect life, if practiced faithfully, will result in a perfect life which brings happiness.

The author presented 12 thought principles and 7 values of life that one must possess to achieve a perfect line.

The 12 thought principles are:

  1. The choice of thought 思想的选择
  2. Law of balance 平衡的定律
  3. Legitimate, reasonable, sensible 三合原则 – 合法、合理、合情
  4. Loving tender 以爱心待世界
  5. See the whole picture 了解图画的全部
  6. Appreciate 欣赏是进步的开始
  7. Thankfulness is the source of joy 感恩是快乐之泉
  8. Forgiveness 宽恕是创伤的灵丹
  9. Truthfulness 诚信的观念
  10. Worries eradication 忧虑化解法
  11. Secret of success 成功的秘诀
  12. Time management 时间管理

The 7 important values of our life are:

  1. Career 事业
  2. Family 感情
  3. Wealth 财富
  4. Health 健康
  5. Relationship 良好的人际关系
  6. Character 崇高的品德
  7. Faith 信仰

Success in one or some of the seven values above does not guarantee a perfect life. This is why we don’t see happiness in some of the famous and wealthy people. They excel in one or two values but failed miserably in others. A perfect life is a life which takes good care of all the 7 values above – balanced life.

I highly recommend the book to you. It is a very practical workbook that guides readers to achieve a perfect life. If you would like to buy the book, please let me know. I am more than happy to buy for you.

See you next post :-)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Day +325 : Formula for a Perfect Life (1)

I am fine today.

My wife and I attended a course called “Formula for a Perfect Life” (美满人生方程式) in the church. The speaker, Alex Chow, is a Hong Kong resident who is now staying in Peking, China. He and his wife used to have a very strong financial background, but the economic crisis in 1997 brought them to the brink of bankruptcy.

Due to company restructuring, his wife was posted to Peking, China. He followed his wife and started a new life over there. Now he owns a bookshop and is also a qualified psychological counselor in Peking.

The speaker was also addicted to gambling. On one occasion, he lost almost all his scholarship overnight. His success today is only attained after overcoming many challenges and transformation of life with God’s help. He was featured in CCTV in China.

He wrote a book called “Formula for a Perfect Life”. The course today is based on the material from the book. It talks about achieving perfect life through 12 thought principles (思想法则) and 7 values of life (人生价值观).

I took a photo with the speaker :-)

The cover of the book. I pasted the author signature on it. To be continued and see you next post :-)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Day +324 : Hear two new Leukaemia cases in a day

I am fine today.

On Wednesday, one of my colleagues told me that one of his church members’ brother was diagnosed with Leukaemia. The patient was treated for eyes cancer earlier. So Leukaemia might be developed as a side effect of the earlier treatment – secondary cancer. My colleague said he will refer my blog to the family.

Then on Wednesday night, a classmate of mine who is a senior pastor now called me from Miri, Sarawak. He said a relative of his church member was diagnosed with Leukaemia. He would like to find out how bone marrow transplant is done. The patient is currently reluctant to go for conventional treatment and is trying to combat the disease with health products.

I visited a friend who is doing his third round of chemotherapy in UH on Monday. He told me he saw many new Leukaemia cases recently. It looks like it is gaining popularity now :-(

Leukaemia is considered to be quite rare among cancers. Based on a study on Peninsular Malaysia in 2003, it constitutes of 4% and 7.1% of total cancers among females and males respectively.

The following statistic is contained in the HOPE hand book – a resource guidebook for newly diagnosed cancer patients. It can be downloaded here.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day +323 : Liver function improved

My Blood Count Today:
ALT = 78(Normal 30 - 65 )
GGT = 133(Normal 15-85)

I am fine today.

During last follow-up on Monday, the doctor said he dared not reduce my Prednisolon (steroid) dosage without knowing the result of my liver function test. Prednisolon is used to control GVHD that affects my liver, mouth-throat, eye and skin.

I called the hematology clinic today and I am very glad to know that the liver function has improved significantly over the past two months. Compared to 26 March 2007 result, the ALT level is reduced from 146 to 78 and the GGT is reduced from 267 to 133.

With this result, the doctor advised me to reduce the Prednisolon’s daily dosage from 2 tablets (10mg) to 1.5 tablets (7.5mg) for two weeks, followed by 1 tablet (5mg) until the next follow-up. Compared to initial dosage of 24 tablets (120mg) per day, 1.5 (7.5mg) tablets are considered very small dosage.

Hopefully, the reduction in Prednisolon will reduce my appetite and the swelling of my face.

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day +322 : The appeal is successful

I am fine today.

Yesterday afternoon, while she was teaching in school, my niece noticed that a missed call from Bahagian Pendidikan Guru (BPG) was registered on her hand phone. It was registered in the morning while she was still at home. How she managed to miss such an important call? She was so kind that she lent her hand phone to another niece who replaced the hand phone SIM card with her own one.

She called me in the afternoon telling me that BPG called in the morning, but she didn’t pick up the call and now her hand phone was run out of money. I advised her to call BPG using public phone in the school. Sometime later, she called me again, saying that the BPG number was engaged all the time. I tried to call for her and faced the same problem. After calling so many times, I called Education Ministry Malaysia and asked them to transfer the line to BPG. This approach did not work as the operator said that the line was engaged too.

We suspected someone in BPG called my niece to arrange her for interview, and we worried if we didn’t get in touch with them, my niece might miss the interview.

In the end, I rushed to BPG office at Putrajaya at 4:00pm. Initially, no one knew her appeal case because the officer in charge already went outstation in the afternoon. When I was just about to leave after much enquiry, I was so relieved to see an officer holding the appeal documents appeared.

Initially the officer asked my niece to go back to Sarawak for the interview because there are many empty slots here. She said she would call to inform us the detail of the interview. I told her it would be better for them to inform us the date of the interview earlier so that we can arrange the flight. She then called the officer in charge and then fixed a interview for her at Kuala Lumpur on next Wednesday :-)

We thank God that my niece has a chance to go for interview now. We should pray that she would perform well during the interview, and eventually, be selected into the teaching training program.

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Day +321 : The best might not be the best

I am fine today.

Before I went to UH to do my follow-up yesterday, I brought one of my nieces to Bahagian Pendidikan Guru (Teacher Education Unit) of Kementerian Pendidikan (Education Ministry) at Putrajaya. She applied for Kursus Perguruan Lepasan SPM (KPLSPM), a teacher training program for those with SPM qualification, but she was not selected for interview.

She applied to be trained under Chinese teacher category and based on her SPM result, she is more than qualified to be selected for interview. Unfortunately, she made a very serious mistake when applying for the program; she didn’t enter her SPM Chinese result which is crucial for the application to be a Chinese teacher. She got A2 for the Chinese subject. When applying for the program, she entered all subjects with A1 result; overlooking the fact that Chinese subject is the determining factor for the program she applied.

The officer said my niece is definitely qualified to be selected for interview, but due to the mistake that she made while applying for the course, she can’t do much now. She asked for a copy of my niece’s SPM result and said that she would call her should they decided to interview her after a meeting.

The best might not be the best if it does not fit the purpose. In this case, those subjects with better result than Chinese subject look better but do not fit the purpose, so they are actually not the best. In life, we tend to admire what other people possess; their spouse, children, cars, houses, achievements, wealth etc. We thought that how good if we also possess something like that, neglecting the fact that these things, though look better, might not fit us. Our life would be much happier if we appreciate what we possess - even though sometimes they do not look the best, but God knows that they fit us perfectly :-)

Let us pray that my niece will receive good news from Bahagian Pendidikan Guru soon.

See you next post :-)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Day +320 : Follow-up and the lost of a good friend

I am fine today.

My Blood Count Today:
Red Blood Count (HB) = 132 (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 109(Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 7.5(Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 6.225 (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)

I did my follow-up today. It is good to see that the platelet count has increased from 101 to 109. Hopefully it will continue to increase until it reaches the normal range. The red blood count (HB) does not change much and white blood count increased from 6.6 to 7.5.

While I was in UH, Uncle Lew Joo’s wife called to inform me that her husband passed away last night. Uncle Lew Joo’s is a retired teacher who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia while I was doing my third round of chemotherapy in UH. We were receiving treatment on the same cubicle in the hematology ward. Unfortunately, he did not response well to the treatment. In the end, he resorted to some alternative treatment. I mentioned about him in my Blog Day +243 (Friends & Food).

After the follow-up, I went to pay last tribute to Uncle Lew Joo. As I am not familiar with the place that the family stays, I only managed to reach their house after numerous errors; paying innocent toll, driving innocent mileage and after making a few “SOS” calls to my brother, Richard.

Uncle Lew Joo was a good friend of mine, may he rest in peace.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Day +319 : A Mother's Day Dinner

I am fine today.

I brought my family for a Mother’s Day dinner this evening. We have two great mothers in the family that deserves a good treat. They are my wife and my mother-in-law.

Last week, I promised my wife a Mother’s Day dinner a little bit later because the restaurant that we would like to go was so popular that it is very difficult to secure seats for dinner during Mother’s Day, and this ”little bit later” means one week :-)

The one who is most happy to go for dinner is not any of the mothers but Daniel. He enjoyed the food so much that he managed to consume two big bowls of rice. His tummy is growing bigger everyday and I think he is my nearest competitor now :-)

See you next post :-)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Day +318 : Only Me!

I am fine today.

I notice Adriel becomes more and more self-centred recently. She likes to say, “Only me!” now. Her kindergarten teacher told me that when she sung, she would like others to stop and listen to her. She felt that “Only me” can sing.

When I hold Aaron, she would complain and ask me to put him down. She would like me to hold her only. I said what about holding two babies, Adriel and Aaron together. She didn’t buy this idea. She wanted me to hold her only by saying, “Only me! Adriel only.”

When I said I would like to sleep with Aaron, she objected immediately and said “Only me! Adriel only, “meaning that I can sleep with her only.

When I made milk for Aaron first, she would complain. She wanted me to prepare milk for her first and said, “Only me! Adriel first!”

When she finished taking bath, she would like me to say that she is the first one to take bath, even if she is the last one to take bath among the children. If I say she is the “no. 2” or whatever other than “no. 1”, she would correct me immediately by saying, “Adriel is no. 1, not no. 2! Only me! Adriel no. 1”

We never taught her to be self-centered like this. I think this “Only me!” personality is inborn. In other words, we don’t have to teach our children to be self-centred. What Bible says is very true: “The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:2-3

One thing which is good about this “Only me!” is that she is the only one who got hand, food and mouth disease in the family. In this sense, “Only me!” is considered unselfish :-)

See you next post :-)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Day +317 : What? Free screws?

I am fine today.

I have been using Palm Tungsten T3 Handheld device for more than two years now. It carries many useful applications: 7 different versions of Chinese and English Bible, 4 different versions of Chinese and English dictionary, many books and games, and standard handheld applications such as tasks, calendar and memos.

The nurses advised me not to bring too many books to the transplant ward during bone marrow transplant. This is because the books will gather dust that makes the environment unclean enough for a transplant patient. Listening to their advice, I don’t bring any physical books to the ward, but loaded the Tungsten T3 with many electronic books. Apart from reading books and Bible on the Tungsten T3, I also played Sudoku on it.

A few weeks ago, I noticed some screws on both side of the sliding part were missing. The screws were very small and there is no way for me to find a replacement. Worst still, there is no Palm service centre in Malaysia. Someone told me that the nearest service centre is in Singapore. I searched the internet and came to know that they charge SG215 per repair. I emailed them about my problem and I got the following response:

"Thank you for contacting Palm Technical Support. My name is Crystal. We are here to assist you with the missing screws on your Tungsten™ T3.

With regard to your concern, we would like to ship you the screws free of charge out of customer care and goodwill for this time only. "

I am so happy to know this and this is really beyond my expectation :-) With these screws, I believe I can use the handheld longer before buying another one.

Side view of the Palm, both screws on this side already "run away" and there is only one left on the other side.

Zoom into the part - without the screws, I think the Palm will K.O. very soon.
See you next post :-)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Day +316 : A breakthrough

I am fine today.

Today I attended our company meeting. As the launching date of our flagship software is approaching, we organize company meeting more regularly. More meeting, more free lunch, and happier we are :-)

In the meeting we welcome a female engineer into our company. This is the first time ever our company employs a technical lady. Before this, we have two ladies in the company; one clerk and one administration/human resource manager. Having a technical lady is one of the major breakthroughs of the company :-)

Hopefully, more ladies will join later to create a more balanced and happier environment for the guys to work :-)

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Day +315 : Happy Teacher's Day

I am fine today.

Last night, Daniel and Joseph informed me that today is Teacher’s Day. They wanted to give some presents to their teachers. It was 9:00pm at night, what else can we prepare for the teachers? After discussing with my wife, I rushed to TESCO to buy some chocolates as a gift to their teachers :-)

Joseph brought two of the chocolates back this evening. When I asked him why he didn’t gave them to teachers, he said, “Teacher is lost!” :-) What he meant was that he could not find his teacher.

My wife and the two nieces also receive quite a lot of gifts from students :-)

Nowadays, teachers face a lot of pressure from various parties: headmaster, parents, colleagues and students. They also have to handle a lot of paperworks. The working hour is very long; my wife goes to work at 6:30am and reached home not earlier than 2:30pm everyday. In addition to this, they have to attend extracurricular activies during weekends. Nevertheless, the long holiday that teachers entitled to is truly a benefit :-)

Lastly, I wish all teachers a Happy Teacher’s Day.

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Day +314 : Now heaven is my auntie home

I am fine today.

Today we mourn the loss of my youngest auntie who passed away in Sibu, Sarawak at 11:00pm last night. She is 72 years old. She had diabetes and then kidney problem for many years.

We lived quite near to each other in a small village called Bintangor in Sarawak. While I was young, I visited my uncle's house regularly just to hope that I will be given some delicious food to eat, and indeed I was given a lot of goodies such as sweets and biscuit to enjoy. I also joined them for meal very often. Apart from this, I could read many Chinese story books that my cousin purchased. At that time, I always thought that our uncle's family was very rich because they can afford to buy sweets, biscuits and story books. Sometimes, I even dreamed to be one of their children.

My father passed away while I was very young, leaving behind my mother and 9 children. My mother had to work hard in the farm to earn a living. My uncle and auntie helped us a lot in those difficult days.

I never failed to visit them and gave them some money when I went back to Sarawak for holiday. They were very happy seeing me and my family. They told my sisters that they never regret for loving us last time (没有疼错).

Now my auntie ended her journey in this world and starting her new life where heaven is her home, a home full of peace, joy and happiness as what the Bible says, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Photo of my family with my uncle and auntie, and their grandson (daughter's son). It was taken on 19 November 2005 while I was visiting my home town during holiday. Aaron was still in my wife at that time. About 10 days later, I was diagnosed with Leukaemia in Kuching.

See you next post :-)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Day +313 : Adriel’s is having hand, foot and mouth disease

I am fine today.

Adriel was experiencing sore throat and mild fever last Saturday. She then developed mouth ulcers and sores on hands and feet on Sunday. Doctor diagnosed her to have hand, food and mouth disease (HFMD).

The disease is very contagious. Doctor advised us to isolate her, but it is very difficult for us to isolate her completely. We just hope that other children especially Aaron will not get the disease.

I am in charge of taking care of her at night. She woke up every two hours, complaining stomachache. I had to massage her stomach until she fell asleep, then the process repeat two hours later, and so on :-( With the mouth ulcers, she has difficulty drinking milk now. Doctor advised us to give her ice-cream if she can’t take other food. Normally, we prevent children who are sick to have ice-cream, so other children might wonder why we give Adriel special privilege.

HFMD is caused by virus. There is no medication to cure the disease. The symptom will subside within 7 to 10 days.

I just hope that she will not infect me with the disease. Though I am gluttonous, but this time, I am not very interested at the ice-cream :-)

See you next post :-)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Day +312: Happy Mother's Day

I am fine today.

I would like to wish all mothers a Happy and Blessed Mother's Day!

Click "play" to see the animation.

Mother's Day is one of the important events of our church. We never stop celeberating it. This morning, children prepared some special gifts for the mothers. After the church service, we were also treated wit a free lunch :-)

Joseph with a Mother Day's gift. It is very similar to "Wan Tan (云吞)". This reminds me that I have not eat Wan Tan Mee (云吞面) over the past one and half year!
Daniel and Auntie Jessie. Church members enjoying lunch. See you next post :-)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Day +311 : A potluck dinner for Mother’s Day

I am fine today.

Two of my church cell groups, including the one that I attended, organized a potluck dinner to celebrate Mother’s Day this evening at my brother, Richard’s house. There were more than 30 people attended the potluck.

Mothers are supposed to be given a good rest during occasion like this. This means, fathers and children should prepare food and serve the mothers in order to make a difference. However, I noticed that most foods were still prepared by mothers; they were as busy as usual. The sole responsibility of fathers and children were to enjoy the foods and to make sure they were completely consumed :-)

If we were to organize similar event next year, I would suggest fathers and children preparing food for the mothers to enjoy :-)

Delicious food.

In order to make a difference, mothers were given priority to take the food :-)
See you next post :-)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Day +310 : Celebrating Birthday

I am fine today.

My pastor and church members are very kind. They always remember my birthday. To celebrate my birthday, they treated me and my wife a delicious steamboat dinner this evening. I really appreciate their loving care toward me:-) I also thank God for his loving kindness to sustain my life everyday.

On the 11 May, last year, while I was still waiting for bone marrow transplant, my pastor and a group of church members also came to my house to celebrate my birthday.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Day +309 : Fungus or preservative, which one you prefer?

I am fine today.

After I was diagnosed with Leukaemia, many people advised me to take organic foods. These foods are expensive compared to conventional foods. Apart from this, the choice is very limited. The organic shops nearby my house sell a limited variety of vegetables.

One time, my family members bought me organic bread while I was receiving Leukeamia treatment. The bread was made from organic flour and no preservative was added. It is more natural than the normal bread such as ‘Gardenia’, ‘High 5’ and etc. However, one thing disturbed me very much was that it grew fungus way before the stated expiry date. I told myself, “Luckily I notice this, this fungus could kill me.” I had very low immunity at that time due to chemotherapy.

Fungus and preservative, which one you prefer? I would choose preservative for now :-)

If you are told that organic foods are safer, tastier and nutritious, but can’t afford to have them because they are expensive. Don’t be too worry. Read the following paragraph from Malaysian CropLife & Public Health Association (MCPA).

"Is organic food safer, tastier and more nutritious?

There is no scientific basis to prove that organic food is tastier and more nutritious than conventionally grown crops. This marketing line of “safer” organic food is promoted by “organic” farmers and certain outlets to secure high prices and profit margins. In the absence of legally binding regulations and certification processes in Malaysia, consumers cannot be assured that the organic produce they buy at high prices is truly organically grown. Often these produce are of poor quality (when compared to conventionally grown food) and are infested by pests and diseases. Some of these pathogens could pose serious health risks to humans. Recent investigations on organic produce overseas reported higher than normal incidences of bacteria and micro organisms like E. coli in organic food. These harmful organisms are inadvertently introduced to the crop through the use of organic fertilizer like animal dung. From a practical perspective it is well known that sustained commercial farming, conventional or “organic”, in the tropics cannot be possible without pesticides. Even certified organic farms in advance temperate countries often resort to “approved” pesticides in order to bring their crops to harvest. Organic food is expensive and is the fad of the wealthy, while conventional food is generally of better quality and is affordable to all. This explains why governments throughout the world continue to deploy resources for the development of conventional agriculture for food safety and food security. "

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Day + 308 : He cried last night, but laughs this afternoon

I am fine today.

“How was your Bahasa Melayu (BM) Exam today, Daniel?” I asked.

“Easy,” he gave me a thumb up.

“Do you feel good?”

He laughed.

“You see, if you study hard, you can do it.”

Last night we were in a very different scenario. After the dinner, I gave him a choice to decide whether to do revision. I told him if his attitude is good, I will consider arranging a vacation at his favorite seaside during the coming school holiday. After considering my words for 10 minutes, he agreed to do revision. He did quite well initially, but became impatient and angry sometime later. Eventually, he cried and accusing me for making him to learn too much :-(

This is the first time he said BM exam is easy. He hates this subject. Whenever I asked him to study BM, he questioned me why he was born in Malaysia. I told him it is fortunate that he was not born in those regions plagued by famine in Africa. He takes things for granted (身在福中不知福).

Hopefully, he will pickup the subject slowly and most importantly, his attitude towards study will improve.

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Day +307 : : It is safer to follow insects?

I am fine today.

How do we make sure that the vegetable that we eat is pesticide free? “Just follow what insects eat,” that is the answer many would tell you. Since the vegetable is safe for the insects to eat, it must not contain too much pesticide, so we can conclude that it must be safe for human to eat. Therefore, we are advised to buy vegetables with trace of insects on it or partially eaten by insects – those with many holes on it.

The chairman of Malaysian Croplife & Public Health Association (MCPA) warned that the above argument is seriously flawed. This is because vegetable eaten by insects might contain fungus that could cause cancer. In the end, it is more dangerous than pesticides.

If the vegetable does not contain pesticide, it is safe for both insects and human. Now the insect is cleverer than human, it knows which vegetable is safe and eats them. Human said that they are quite clever too. They just follow what insects eat. But this ‘cunning’ insect leaves something more dangerous than pesticide on the vegetable for human to eat :-(

So now, do you still want to be insect's follower?

I attached the newspaper cutting regarding this for your reference. Click on it to get a larger view.
The MCPA website can be accessed here. Read the FAQ to have a second opinion of what people normally tell us.

See you next post :-)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Day +306 : I am busy, they are happy

I am fine today.

Daniel and Joseph were very happy to see me busy with my nephew the past two days. Since I didn't have time to look after their study, they were free to do whatever they like.

They are in the midst of school exam but don’t have motivation to study at all. The most important thing to them is to play. When I force them to sit there and study, they complain a lot, and sometimes even angry at me :-(

When asked about their weakness in a Sunday school class, both of them told the teacher that their major problem is lazy to study. With this, I realize that they know their problem, but have problem to overcome their problem. This is exactly like what Bible says, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out (因为立志为善由得我,只是行出来由不得我)”.

They must wish that I am busy all the time, so that they could have ‘happy hour’ all the time :-)

See you next post :-)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Day +305 : Wish you a successful project demonstration, Heng Chiek

I am fine today.

I attended the church service in the morning and then spent the remaining of the day to help my nephew, Heng Chiek, to complete his final year project. His program was still buggy. We spent a lot of time to catch bugs (mistake in computer program). Fortunately, the nephew who stayed with us completed his dating earlier today. He helped to find some very important bugs too.

We worked until midnight. The program run as expected now. Heng Chiek needs to demonstrate his program to his supervisors and panel lecturers tomorrow. I arranged for him a notebook computer with all necessary software installed to make sure a smooth demonstration.

We wish Heng Chiek a successful project demonstration.

See you next post :-)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Day +304 : Doing final year project

I am fine today.

I had been busy helping one of my nephews to complete his final year project for the past two days. I asked about the progress of his final year project a few weeks ago. He told me his problem and I gave him some advices to quick fix his problem. The approach was approved by his supervisor.

He informed me last few days that his supervisor rejected his project. I think he did not communicate his approach properly to the lecturer, because he told me that his supervisor agreed to his approach through SMS only. In order to help him pass the project to get better result, I have to crack my head again to think of another quick fix for him.

Now this quick-fix requires some coding or programming. Worst still, he needs to present his project on the coming Monday. It is impossible to teach him to do it within such as short time. The best way is to let someone doing it for him. I wish the nephew who stayed with us could help him but he is too busy dating his girlfriend. So I have to do it myself :-(

Some people might think that I am looking for trouble by involving myself in my nephew’s final year project. I also have this feeling occasionally while encountering setback in programming for him. But after working hard for two days, I have cleared all technical issues and should be able to complete everything by tomorrow.

Generally, I am very happy to help him for two reasons: firstly, I am a busy body, and secondly, I treated him like my children :-)

See you next post :-)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Day +303: The diagnosis was a mess!

I am fine today.

I mentioned on my blog Day +299 (A beautician turns into a doctor?) that I brought my niece for a health screening. Last night, I accompanied her to collect the result.

The report showed that every aspect of her health being tested is perfect. These include the kidney and liver function, blood count, cholesterol level and thyroid gland. So we can conclude that the diagnosis by the ‘doctor’ at the beauty centre was pure nonsense (一派胡言), causing unnecessary fear to my niece (虚惊一场).

Next time, when those ‘doctors’ diagnosed you something; please have a second thought before taking it for real.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Day +302 : Holiday photos

I am fine today.

I would like to post some photos that we took at Port Dickson. The children were too busy playing until we didn’t have chance to take a family photo.

My wife and Aaron.

This is Aaron first time visiting a beach. When we put him on the sand, he just sat still and showed us this funny facial expression. He used to be very active at home.

An uncle playing with Adriel.

The children are proud of a hole they dig. From left are Joseph, Adriel, Benjamin (Pastor’s son), Daniel.

We had a potluck dinner with lots of delicious food prepared by church members. Everyone cooked the dish which they specialized in. The Rendang Chicken (the first one in the picture) was the best! This dinner was considered to be the best program for me throughout the trip :-) I am hungry whenever I see this photo.

My wife and children were enjoying the food. I only know through this photo that Daniel ate at least 6 sausages. What a great eater, no wonder he is gaining weigh.

After the dinner, there was a BBQ session at 10:00pm. I heard that the organizer prepared 150 chicken wings for 50 people. Everyone got three. However, I did not eat any because many people said the BBQ food is not healthy and secondly, my stomach was still quite full with the heavy dinner earlier. The children were having fun barbecuing.
See you next post :-)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Day +301 : A God-sent Hero

I am fine today.

We reached Port Dickson at 2:00pm yesterday. After settling down, we brought the children to play at the beach together with many church members.

My wife took care of Aaron and I looked after Daniel, Joseph and Adriel. Sometimes, we saw them playing the sand and other times, they were playing in the water. Daniel and Joseph know how to swim but not Adriel, so I had to play more attention to her.

Initially, there was an uncle accompanying her to play water in the sea. Then someone else was taking care of her, and then someone else was carrying her to swim in the sea. She was quite popular; many people liked to play with her.

When it was time to go back to the bungalow where we rented, I saw Adriel was jumping up and down in the sea quite far away off the shore. I believed she slipped to the sea while I was busy calling, urging and ‘commanding’ people to go back. The water almost covered her. She was struggling to get enough air by jumping up from the water. Fortunately, a teenager nearby her discovered this also at the same time. He grasped her and brought her to shore safely.

She vomited for a while and then wanted to go back to the sea again. I am afraid she does not know the danger yet.

This morning, I still let her play in the water, but I paid more attention to her and at the same time, also requested those who played with her to take extra caution.

I thank God for preparing someone to grasp her at the right time.

A photo of the handsome hero, Chin Wei Ken(陈维健).

May God bless Wei Ken!

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Day +300 : Going for holiday again!

I am fine today.

Today marks 10 months of my post bone marrow transplant. We are going for a 2 days I night church camp in Port Dickson this morning.

Bringing many children for a trip like this is not easy. My wife had been preparing for this trip since Sunday :-) And we will be having a hard time to serve them again throughout the trip.

Daniel and Joseph will be sitting for their school exam on Thursday, but we still choose to go for the trip. Sometime, we also think that playing is more important than studying :-)

See you next post :-)