Friday, November 30, 2007

Day +513 : A win-win solution? (1)

I am fine today.

Many politicians claimed that the shifting of S.R.J.K (C) Ladang Harcroft from Perlis to Puchong is a win-win solution. Some others said that this showed that our government is now very open and is no longer discriminating against the Chinese school. Many people also see this first ever cross-state shifting of Chinese school as a great breakthrough.

These are all the “good news” that we get from newspapers, but how many Chinese would share their view? Let me share with you what I think.

The coming of Prime Minister to Puchong is not more than an election show to convince the Chinese that under the effort of the two Chinese political parties – MCA and Gerakan – the Prime Minister is taking care of the interest of Chinese community. The question we need to ask is : if the election is not around the corner, would Prime Minister be coming to Puchong?

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day +512 : She weighs 28kg only

I am fine today.

I brought my wife and mother-in-law for a health screening early this morning. We are very surprised to find out that my mother-in-law weighs 28kg only. She said she weighs about 33kg last time. I am a little bit worried about this weigh drop. We hope that the health screening will give us a better picture on her health.

My mother-in-law is 74 years old now. Apart from having high cholesterol, she has been strong and healthy.

A number of occasions we saw her almost falling asleep while doing something recently, but she always denied she was feeling sick or uncomfortable. She is quite an introverted who rarely expresses her feeling. It is very hard for us to know what she thinks or feels. So we have to do a lot of “guessing work” on her :-(

Judging from the fact that she walks 40 minutes almost every day to visit Jusco, we are quite confident that she is healthy.

May God bless my mother-in-law to be always happy and healthy.

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day +511 : Prime Minister is coming to town

I am fine today.

Our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be coming to Puchong this Friday (30 November 2007) to officiate the opening ceremony of the S.R.J.K (C) Ladang Harcroft (哈古乐华小). The school is nicely situated on the hill top and is within walking distance from my house.

It is extremely difficult to have a new Chinese school in Malaysia due to government policy. A lot of Chinese schools here are over-crowded with almost 50 students per class, but the government still reluctant to establish new school :-( So the only way to overcome this problem is to shift those Chinese school with very few or no student here, and this is the case for S.R.J.K (C) Ladang Harcroft.

The government plays no part in building the school too; it was built by IOI Group led by Tran Sri Dato’ Lee Shin Cheng.

Even though Malaysian Chinese contributed substantial fund to the government through taxes and various other business activities, but they are denied of the basic right of having Chinese school :-(

With this, I don’t see the point to have Prime Minister here to officiate the opening ceremony, and certainly I will not attend the event even though the school is so near to my house.

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day +510 : Invited to share in a Christmas event

I am fine today.

I am invited to share on the trial which I faced for the past two years on the coming Christmas day.

The event is called Caring Christmas and it will be held in MCA Hall, Taman OUG from 9:00am to 12:30pm on the 25 December 2007. The organizer gives me 20 to 25 minutes to share my experience.

I pray God to give me right words so that my sharing will encourage and strengthen people who are encountering difficulties in life.

I also welcome you to attend the event.

The posters for the event. Click on the poster to have a larger view.

See you next post :-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Day + 509 : A Genting Highland Trip

I am fine today.

I took a day off to bring my sister-in-law’s family to Genting Highland today. We left Puchong as early as 6:30am. The traffic was extremely smooth that it took us only one hour to reach Genting Skyway station at Batang Kali.

We were the rare few who reached Genting Highland at 8:00am.

We all tried the 4-D Motion Master at First-World Plaza for the first time, but the quality of the show was far below our expectation :-) The so called 3-D view was too dull and unreal. It was definitely not worth the RM8 ticket price.

This is the first time my sister-in-law’s children visit Genting Highland. I am very happy to be able to bring them for the trip.

A photo taken inside the cable car.
A photo taken at the hill top.
A view from the cable car.
See you next post :-)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day + 508 : A Japanese Buffet at Shogun

I am fine today.

My sister-in-law’s children wanted to try some buffet here. After some thought, we believed that the Saisaki Japanese Buffet at Wisma UOA II should give them a memorable dining experience.

Saisaki is so popular that it was fully booked for today's dinner. Fortunately, my wife knows another Japanese Buffet Restaurant at 1-Utama Shopping Mall which is the sister restaurant of Saisaki. I successfully made a booking for dinner there:-)

The food was great and abundant. Even though I have to avoid many raw and spicy foods, I was still very satisfied with the meal as there were so many varieties of foods to choose from. This was also the first time ever I have a Japanese buffet after bone marrow transplant :-)

To the children, this was the best buffet they ever have.

Take a group photo before the meal.

Some of the foods.

The restaurant.

Actually, I would like to take photos of some the foods they served, but a waiter stopped me from doing this; else I would be able to give you a better idea of what we have tonight.

See you next post :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Day +507 : A big group staying in my house

I am fine today.

My house accommodated 18 occupants last night :-)

Who are they?

  • My family : 6
  • Mother--in-law : 1
  • Maid : 1
  • Sister-in-law’s family : 4
  • Nephew : 2
  • Niece : 1
  • Niece’s friends: 3

When I was under treatment, a group like this is considered “dangerous” to me due to the elevated risk of infection after chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant. I thank God this is not the case now. Though my immune system is still suppressed through some medication to control GVHD, I am considered fairly strong now :-)

I also thank God to bless me with a house that can accommodate so many people, and I am very happy to see them staying in my house :-)

See you next post :-)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Day +506 : Enjoy Satay Celup or Satay Lok Lok

I am fine today.

I brought my family and my sister-in-law family to enjoy Satay Celup in of the night market nearby our house this evening. This type of food used to be found in Melacca only. It had been many years since I last enjoyed the food in Melacca.

The Cuti Malaysia website provides the following description about Satay Lok Lok:
“Satay celup or satay steamboat only found in Malacca, are assortment of raw and semi-cooked seafood, meat and vegetables on skewers that are dunked into a boiling pot of water and eaten withsauce that is similar to the ubiquitious satay sauce but ha s different ingredients”

We do not need to travel all the way to Melacca to enjoy this special food now as there are many mobile Satay Lok Lok stalls available in our area. As all these mobile stalls bear the name “肥佬碌碌” (The fat guy lok lok), I am quite sure that they are belong to the same owner.

This is the first time I ever eat Satay Lok Lok after my bone marrow transplant :-)

The mobile Satay Lok Lok stall. The sauce.
Daniel and my wife.
My sister-in-law, her daughter and eldest son.
My sister-in-law's 2nd son.
Most of the childre having the food for the firs time.

See you next post :-)

Day +505 : Riding “Eye On Malaysia”

I am fine today.

I brought my family (except Aaron) and my sister-in-law’s family to Lake Titiwangsa tonight where the “Eye on Malaysia” is situated.

What is “Eye on Malayisa”? It is in a 60 metres wheel – the largest portable one in the world.

The description on “Eye on Malaysia” website on what we can see from the wheel - "The “Eye on Malaysia” provides stunning views across Lake Titiwangsa, all the way to the world renowned Petronas Towers and KL Tower.This astounding viewing wheel consists of 42 fully air-conditioned gondolas, 39 of which have the capacity to carry a cosy eight passengers per 12-minute ride."

A photo of the wheel, but actual scenery is a lot less beautiful than this :-(
I heard of the wheel before, but never know that it is called “Eye on Malaysia” until my sister-in-law’s children said that they were interested to ride the wheel.

If you haven’t ride the wheel before, better hurry up as the wheel will be available at Lake Titiwangsa until the end of this year. If you miss it this year, you might still have a chance to ride it as they plan to move it to Putrajaya next year, but the view would be totaly different.

A group photo. Daniel and my sister-in-law's 2nd son.
Joseph and my sister-in-law's eldest son.
Adriel, my sister-in-law's daughter and me.
A photo before boarding.
My wife and sister-in-law didn't ride the wheel.

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day +504 : Drinking too much water can be fatal too!

I am fine today.

A lady who experienced mild high blood pressure believed that drinking a lot of water could bring her blood pressure down. After consuming 7 liter of water continuously for 3 months, she fell unconscious and developed permanent blindness.

Never listen to those people especially multi-level marketing(MLM) agent who claims that their product is natural, and thus “the more you consume, the better you are”. This is definitely not the case. For example, when we consume a product too much, our body needs to do extra work to dispose it no matter how superior the product is, and this certainly put extra burden on our organs. In the long run, organs failure are inevitable. So we should rephrase the “the more you consume, the better you are” to “the more you consume, the better I am”, because the more you spend, the more profit the MLM agent will get :-)

A specialist told me he came across a few patients whose liver was damaged due to spirulina overdose. Many claim that spirulina is a good agent for liver detoxification, but consuming too much of it ends up in liver damage :-(

Beware of those who claim their product is of the “the more you consume, the better you are” type. Just applying a little bit of common sense: even drinking too much water can be fatal, what more to say their product?

I attached the article regarding “water poisoning” for your reference. Click on the article to have a larger view.

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day +503 : Sarawak’s Kampua Mee (干盘面)

I am fine today.

Kampua Mee is one of the most popular noodles consumed by FooChow in Sarawak. It is similar to Wantan Mee here, but more suit to our taste. It may be because we are so get used to it due to its popularity there.

My wife’s brother-in-law is very kind. He knows that we “rindu (fond of)” Kampua very much, so he went to pack 15 plates of the Mee and asked my sister-in-law to bring them here yesterday :-) .

Everyone in the house have the delicious noodle for breakfast this morning :-)

A photo of the simple noodle that traveled thousand km to KL; it should be fully digested by someone now :-)
See you next post :-)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Day +502 : Follow-up – Liver function almost return to normal level :-)

My Blood Count Today:
Red Blood Count (HB) = 142 [148] (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 152 [163](Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 8.5 [6.2] (Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 5.525 [3.844 ] (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)
ALT = 71 [135] (Normal 30 – 65)
AST = 26 [53] (Normal 15-37)
GGT = 153 [258] (Normal 15-85)
ALP = 75 [98] (Normal 50-136)

I am fine today.

I went to UH as early as 6:10am this morning to draw blood for this afternoon appointment. The traffic was extremely smooth at this time; it took me only 20 minutes to reach there. I got a queue number of 6 and managed to reach home at 8:10am after drawing blood.

I am very happy to see the continuous improvement of my liver function. Based on the above test result, almost all liver enzyme readings returned to normal level now :-) The previous follow-up reading can be found in the square bracket after today’s reading so that changes between follow-up can be compared easily.

My next follow-up will be on the 31st of December which is 6 weeks from now. The long period of interval is not because my condition is very stable, but because of my holiday trip to Sarawak from 4 to 23 of December.

Doctor would like to reduce the Prednisolon (steroid) dosage by 5mg (1 tablet) every two weeks. That means I would be taking 20mg (4 tablets) of Prednisolon from today onward, then after two weeks, I would be taking 15mg (3 tablets). In order to make sure that the GVHD effect does not resurface due to the reduction of Prednisolon dosage, doctor asked me to do a blood test in Sarawak four weeks later and email the result to him. This would allow him to see the effect of the Prednisolon dosage adjustment and determine if it we should continue reducing the dosage. I really appreciate this type of arrangement.

As doctor prescribed two months of medication for me, I carried back a big bunch of drugs. In addition to the drugs that are available free of charge from the pharmacy, I also need to purchase some other drugs. One indispensable drug is the Refresh Tears which I apply regularly; I could not see properly without it. I consum about three bottles per week.

The amount that I need in 6 weeks - 18 bottles. I believe I stock Refesh Tears more than many pharmacy shops out there :-)

Lastly, I thank God for the continous improvement of my health.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day + 501 : Busy preparing for the coming of my sister-in-law’s family

I am fine today.

My wife’s sister and her three children will come to visit us from Miri, Sarawak tomorrow for about two weeks. She is the closest family member to my wife. When I first started to work in Miri in 1993, my wife and I stayed at her house for quite sometimes. After that, both families purchased a semi-detached single storey house next to each other. Since then we stayed as next door neighbour until my wife and I moved to Kuala Lumpur in 1997.

One thing that we need to settle is to prepare room for them to sleep. Though we are now staying in a two and a half storey link house, there is still not enough room to accommodate so many occupants, considering my mother-in-law, a maid, a niece and a nephew are staying with us now. This makes a total of existing occupants of 10 people.

The top half storey of my house is an open hall without any partitioning. It is not really suitable to be used as a bed room, but we couldn’t find a better place than this at the moment. So a few days ago, my wife decided to tidy up the place so that someone can sleep there.

After a few days of hard work, she could not finish the job because the place has almost become a huge “rubbish dump site” :-( My mother-in-law wants to keep everything because she thought that everything is useful and that we might need it later. With this mindset, everything becomes too “sayang (valuable)” to throw away, so the best thing to do is to “dump” it to the top floor.

This afternoon, my wife asked me to help her to complete the last part of the clearing job. I came across over 30 empty biscuit and milk powder tins there :-( Who needs so many of them? Considering the amount of space that the tins occupy, certainly we did not make full use of our house, and this is just one of the examples.

A big house is not necessarily good for those who like to keep everything, as sooner or later the house will become a “rubbish dump site”. We just hope that my mother-in-law would not be too angry seeing us disposing so many valuable items these few days.

See you next post :-)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Day +500 : The best ever home-made food

I am fine today.

It is our turn to host our church's weekly cell group meeting today. As usual, we prepared some supper for the members to enjoy after the meeting.

My wife and I decided to try something new, and after going through some of the cook books, we finally decided to fry Hokkien Mee.

As this is the first time I cook Hokkien Mee, I decided to try it first in the afternoon by following through the recipe strictly. The Mee was almost un-edible because it was too salty :-( This means that we need to adjust the recipe a little bit.

When I cook it again in the evening, I avoided adding salt altogether and also reduced the amount of light soy sauce. The result is quite good this time though I still find it a little bit salty. Like any another skills, cooking needs a lot practices. I believe I would be able to adjust the ingredient correctly next time I cook the Mee.

Daniel likes Hokkien Mee a lot, and he was so delighted to have it for dinner.

“It tastes exactly like the one we eat in restaurant.”

“It is the best ever home-made food; I wonder how you cook it.”

I promise to show him how to cook next time I fry the Mee :-)

A kg of Hokkien Mee, I fried 2 kgs in the evening.

A zoom-in of the ready-to-eat Hokkien Mee.See you next post :-)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day +499 : A RM 1500 anion cloth

I am fine today.

My cousin forwarded an article regarding negative ion or anion clothing to me a few months ago. She asked for my opinion regarding this type of wonderful clothing which claimed to be able to eradicate all our health problems. This is another promise of miracle cure! I advised her to be very careful in dealing with any product that promises miracle cure.

What are so great about negative ion? The following information regarding the benefits of negative ions is taken from dress-to-cure website.

“ The main advantages of negative ions for human body include cleansing of the blood, enhancement of the immune system, activation of cells, and adjustment of the autonomous nervous system. The interaction between negative ion and human body is part of science of electromedicine, or electromagnetic healing, or bioelectromagnetic healing. When negative ions have effects on the body, the potassium and magnesium in the blood will transfer into cells. Potassium contains a substance which can alleviate pain in cells, help fight infection, and promote wound recovery.”

A few days ago, my brother-in-law showed me his RM1500 anion cloth that he purchased during his recent trip to Sarawak. One of his sisters introduced and sold him the cloth. He purchased two with a total worth of RM3000 – one for himself and another one for my sister. Now they wear anion cloth as pajamas every day :-)

They also lent me a pair of anion elbow supporters :-) I could feel some pain along some blood vessels on my both hands when my bend my arm. Doctor said this could be due to the hardening of my blood vessels due to chemotherapy drugs. If the anion cloth is really as effective as claimed, it should “de-harden” my blood vessel :-)

Though it is too good to be true, I still wear the supporters every night, and who knows it works :-)

The made-in-Japan anion knee/elbow protector.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day +498 : A new modem and surge protector

I am fine today.

I sent the faulty modem for warranty claim on Monday. The company which I purchased it from told me that it would normally takes two weeks to get it repaired. This would leave me without internet access at home for quite a long time. As I am somehow “addicted” to the internet, I could not wait for that long. So I purchased a new modem today. It is a China made product called TP-Link TD-8100 Router Modem, and unimaginably it costs RM85 only :-)

To protect the modem and other devices from being damaged by power surge or lightning again, I purchased a Belkin Surge Protector which costs RM128. The surge protector comes with life-time warranty and RM10,000.00 insurance. This means that I could claim up to RM10,000.00 should any devices connected to the surge protector get damaged by power surge :-)

I am not the only unlucky one whose modem was damaged by lightning on last Sunday. My sister and one of her friend’s modem were also fall victim to the lightning. We are all staying at the same “taman (residential area)”. I believe there were many more modems damaged in this “taman”.

With the surge protector installed now, I can leave the modem and computer powered on 24 hours hour with peace of mind :-)

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day +497 : One-in-a-thousand chance (3)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday...

This might be true for most of the time. However, in an unlikely situation where the body fails to cope with the symptoms and thus incurs irreversible damages, it will be too late to regret. A colleague of my wife refused to give medicine to her son when he was having fever thinking that his body could cope with it, but unfortunately, thing does not turn up as what she expected. Her son became a slow child due to unattended fever :-(

Nobody would like to take medicine, and of course most medicine comes with side effects, but I believe it is still worth to take it necessarily despite the side effects. In other words, it is better to play safe by taking the medicine than taking the risk to have irreversible damages, however small the chances might be.

Similarly, installing UPS and lightning arrestor incur cost which can be regarded as a side effect, but in order to prevent the modem from getting damaged, these side effect is still worth to have :-)

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day +496 : One-in-a-thousand chance (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday...

I heard of many cases where modems were damaged by lightning in this area. Someone advised me to unplug the telephone line and power supply from the modem to avoid it from being damaged by lightning. I didn’t listen. Firstly, I had been leaving the modem powered on with phone line attached all this while and nothing happened to it even with intense lightning in the surrounding area. Secondly, I assumed that this unfortunate incident won’t happen.

The damage of the modem yesterday proved that my assumption was wrong. Even though the likelihood of getting another strike is one-in-a thousand, I will arrange to install UPS and lighting arrestor when I get my next modem. It is better to play safe than to take the risk again.

I think it is important to apply the same “play safe principle” to human too. Those who propose natural healing and alternative therapy might tell us how “dangerous” is the western medicine. They would also tell you doctors know a lot about the “danger” of medicine, but they don’t want to tell you about it. If we take what they say wholeheartedly, we might avoid taking necessary medicine when we really need it, thinking that our body can cope with the disease naturally.

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day +495 : One-in-a-thousand chance (1)

I am fine today.

Yesterday afternoon while I and my nephew were working in front of computers, a lightning occurred. The main switch was triggered off instantly and we experienced a black-out straight away.

Even though the place that we stay is very prone to lightning strike, I didn’t install any Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) or lightning arrestor to prevent computers from being damaged by power surge.

When I turned on the main switch again, I heard a “pop” sound upstairs. Without much delay, I rushed upstairs, wondering which device was exploded. After a little bit of investigation with Daniel, we found out that the power adaptor of an external USB ports “exploded” with burning smell. The computers and printer were all fine. What a relief!

The exploded power adaptor.

Later when we wanted to go online, we only realized later that our broadband wireless router modem was also damaged :-( Though the modem is still under warranty, I don’t know whether the manufacturer covers damage caused by lightning. If not, I “rugi (lost)” RM250 :-(

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Day +494 : Enjoy unlimited void calls, SMS, MMS and Video calls with RM5 per month only

I am fine today.

If you need to talk to your family members or someone special 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, just sign up Celcom 1 + 3 plan. You will be able to enjoy unlimited voice call, SMS, MMS and Video calls between family lines (main line or supplement lines) with a monthly fee of RM5 per supplement line.

1 + 3 simply means that each Celcom postpaid line is entitled to have a maximum of 3 supplement lines.

May family members benefited from the plan tremendously. As I mentioned earlier, my eldest sister and second sister are very talkative, and they usually talk at great length to their children who are studying or working here.

I am the 4th one in the family who registered a supplement line under this plan. The line is not for my children, but for my wife :-) In order to benefit from the plan, I think we should talk or SMS through the phone even though we are both at home. For example, if we are at different spots of the house such as when we are on different floors, or if one is in the kitchen and the other one in the living room or for such situation when one realized that the toilet is running out of toilet roll or soap etc :-)

If you need to talk a lot over the phone, then this plan is highly recommended, and I believe it is a lot better than any prepaid package.

See you next post :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day +493 : You increase the price, I have no choice but pay 乖乖ly (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

But when we received the renewal notice for year 2008, we were shocked to know the amount that we need to pay is now RM1,128.00 :-( The reason for this big increment is because the company no longer covers the children for free. They imposed an annual premium of RM96 for each child, and since I have four children, I need to pay an extra amount of RM384.00 next year :-( This translated to an incredible 52% premium jump and compared to the time when we first subscribed to the policy, this is a 91.8% premium hike :-(

Apart from this, they also imposed a 10% co-insurance subject to a maximum out of pocket of RM1,000.00 per claim. Not only this, no claim can be made if the amount is RM200.00 and below.

Certainly, the benefits are greatly degraded! Unfortunately, unlike the bread loaf, there is no way of finding a do-it-yourself (DIY) alternative to reduce this premium cost, and given my poor medical history record, it is extremely difficult for me to get another policy with good premium.

Therefore, we have to stick to this policy whether we like it or not. I claimed quite heavily from this policy due to my sickness, and comparing the amount that I had claimed with the premium that I have to pay next year, we still gain (untung) a lot :-) Besides, we can see the paying of premium as a way to support the group fund to support those who are in needs :-) Positive thinking again!

However, the only thing that worries me is the tendency of current policy holders pulling out from the group due to the premium hike especially for those who have many children. If this happens, the performance of the group fund will be affected and then the company might need to raise the premium again :-( I hope this would never happen.

See you next post :-)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Day +492 : You increase the price, I have no choice but pay 乖乖ly (1)

I am fine today.

My wife received her Great Eastern hospitalization and surgical insurance renewal notice a few days ago. The policy was purchased through the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) since 2002. It covers everyone in the family including all the children.

Initially, we only need to pay RM588 annually, but they increased the premium to RM744 in 2006 – a 26.5 % increment. The notice of premium increment came with the following points to stress the benefits of this policy:
  1. Single rate for those whose age are between 18 to 55 (No increment of premium according to age of policy holder until they reach the age of 55).
  2. Children are covered free of charge.
  3. No 10% co-insurance - means the policy holders have to bear 10% of each claim.
  4. No life-time limit.
  5. Annual limit of RM100,000.00.
  6. Compensation of RM50,000 for each disability for each member.
  7. Medical card can be renewed until 65 years old.

Considering the benefits provided, we were still happy to bear the 26.5% premium hike.

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Day +491 : Dinner with Adriel’s Teachers

I am fine today.

We treated Adriel’s teachers a dinner this evening at a Nonya-Thai Restaurant called Bibi Wok in Bandar Puteri Puchong. The food there is pricey – double the price of dining at a middle class Chinese restaurant in the same area with equivalent food. However, the environment there is good. So I believe a higher portion of the bill goes to the environment compared to the Chinese restaurant. As there is one Malay teacher in the kindergarten, we have to choose a restaurant that serves halal food.

As long as our children are studying in the kindergarten, we would have dinner with their teachers before the year-end school holiday. It is just one of our ways to show appreciation to them for teaching our children. Besides, we want to acquaint ourselves with them; my wife and I met two teachers for the first time at the dinner :-)

A group photo with the teachers. The food.
Adriel was enjoying the food.
See you next post:-)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Day +490 : You increase the price, I make my own!

I am fine today.

My friend contacted me yesterday telling me his intention of acquiring an automatic bread maker to produce bread at home. This idea came to him due to recent 20 – 30 cents price hike of a loaf of bread. As he consumed 3 big loaves of bread per week, he has to spend additional 60 cents a week for the bread alone. He is not willing (不甘愿) to bear this additional spending.

My family consumes more bread than him, at least 5 Gardenia Bonanza Saver (big loaf) per week. A loaf costs RM2.50 before but now it costs RM2.80 - a 30 cents price hike :-( This translates to an additional spending of RM1.50 per week or RM78 per year!

There are two types of flour – general-purpose (GP) and non general-purpose wheat flour. The former is a price-controlled item while the later is not. A kg of GP wheat four costs RM1.35 while a kg of non GP costs about RM2.40. The white sandwich bread is made of non GP wheat flour. Unless, we use the GP wheat flour to make bread, else not much saving might be realized. But the question is can we make sandwich bread from GP wheat flour? I never try that before.

We always purchase bread loaf from a Chinese medicine and grocery store which gives 40 cents discount per loaf. So now we need to pay RM2.40 instead of RM2.10. Even though I have a Baba Arif bread machine at home, I am still will to buy bread loaf to avoid trouble of making it at home :-)

Anyway, additional RM78 for a year is not too much, isn’t it?

See you next post :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Day +489 : The maid (2)

I am fine today. Continue to talk about the maid…

We really can’t expect much from her, and we will be very happy if she could handle the basic house works.

However, I have no regret of choosing this maid at all; it is in fact a blessing in disguise :-) Why?

If the maid is too capable, my wife will start to worry that the maid would entice me and then she will disturb me with all sort of complaints. This was exactly what I face with our previous maids. In the end, I have to handle to sets of complaints: one that complains that the maid didn’t do the works properly, and the other one saying that the maid want to become the owner (女主人) of the family. The first type of complaints is very easy to handle but the other complaints could easily landed me in disaster if I were not careful :-(.

However, this does not mean that my wife is ridiculous. Despite a little bit insecure and sensitive, she is a wonderful wife :-) If I were given a chance to choose a wife again, I will choose her :-)

Now at least with this maid, I only need to handle the easier complaints:-) Positive thinking again!

See you next post :-)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Day +488 : The Maid (1)

I am fine today.

I paid RM130 water bill this month, more than double the amount before the maid came :-( She washes the car porch and waters the plant every morning, but recently I noticed she just stands there spraying the water continuously for a long time. This might explains why the water bill is so high. She should at least use the broom to clean the car porch.

Frankly speaking, the performance of this maid is below average. Sometimes, we have difficulty to communicate with her. Initially, we thought the problem is due to language differences, but the other maids in the church told us that they have difficulty to communicate with her too :-(

Besides, she often skips meals. We were a little bit worried and brought her to the agency for counseling. Only then we knew that she is having gastric problem. In order to make sure she is not starved, we asked her to cook anything she likes to eat. In addition to this, we also purchased milk powder for her.

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Day +487 : Congratulation my wife again for entering “Time-Based”!

I am fine today.

My wife received a letter of promotion – from grade DGA29 and DGA32 on Friday. Not a bad jump :-) The letter stated that this promotion was effective about 10 months ago, that is on the 1st of January 2007. One of the most favourable side effects of the promotion is salary increment (we don’t know how much yet – blur-blur :-)), and since the promotion was effective 10 months ago, my wife will receive a lump sum arrear too :-) She will be a rich wife ;-)

The grade promotion was a result of the first PTK exam that she took last year which she scored a 3-3 as I mentioned in my blog Day +483 (Congratulation my wife for the excellent PTK result). With this result, she entered “Time-Based” successfully with job grade promotion.

What she would benefit from the excellent 4-4 result that she scored recently? By right, this result will qualify her for a salary hike. But because she was just accepted into “Time-Based” this year, she is not allowed to apply for salary hike :-( That means the result doesn’t bring any materialistic benefit to her. “Yu Chien, your 4-4 result is of no use!” the headmistress told my wife. Despite this negative comment, I think the result is still useful; boosting her confidence for the next PTK exam in year 2009. She is not allowed to take the exam next year.

We thank God for this financial blessing!

See you next post :-)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Day +486 : Visit a friend with breast cancer

I am fine today.

A colleague of my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer on Wednesday. My wife and I paid her a visit before we went to collect our travel warrant yesterday afternoon.

My wife’s colleague is a very strong lady. Despite diagnosed with the cancer, she still looked cheerful. When she went to school to handle her sick leave, the headmistress was quite amazed seeing how positive she faced the crisis and asked about her religion. My wife’s colleague told the headmistress that she is a Christian and she leaves everything to God. The headmistress said that she admired the way Christians handle their crisis and then quoted my wife as an example – positive, cheerful and brave.

I shared with her my treatment experience and also how I went through the ordeal with my strong faith in God. Before we left, we read Psalm 23 together with her and then prayed for her. She said she was so encouraged and touched by the bible verses and prayer.

She would have a mastectomy next Tuesday. After that, she has to go through 6 rounds of chemotherapies and then followed by radiotherapies.

Lastly, we pray that her treatment will be successful and may God’s healing be upon her.

See you next post :-)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Day +485 : Finally, we got the warrant for the free air ticket

I am fine today.

I called Malaysia Airlines (MAS) again to extend the booking of our year-end holiday air ticket. Instead of giving me one week extension, this time they are willing to extend the booking for four days only. This means that the deadline to collect the ticket is next Tuesday.

As I mentioned earlier in my bog Day +472 (The free ticket was approved, but they are running out of money temporarily), the staff in the finance unit told my wife that they are running out of money. Therefore we have to wait for the next allocation of fund. What worried us is that if such allocation is getting delayed too much, MAS might simply cancelled our booking :-(

Fortunately, when my wife called the finance department yesterday, they confirmed that the fund arrived and the warrant was ready for collection :-)

Since we have to collect the air ticket as soon as possible, my wife and I went to the education department in Shah Alam this afternoon to collect the warrant. One thing that puzzled us was that the staff in the account unit passed the warrant to us without the authorization signature from the finance unit. MAS would not accept the warrant without the signature. A colleague of my wife was denied ticket collection by MAS office with the unsigned warrant :-( He had to revisit the education department to get the signature and then went to MAS office again to get the ticket. What a waste of time and effort!

Luckily, he warned my wife earlier about this; else we would have to do exactly what he did – running here and there for nothing.

The clerk only gets the proper signature after my wife requested for it; they should get the signature ready by default before handing it over to the applicant. What a “tidak-apa (couldn’t care less)” attitude! With this type of attitude, Malaysia Mana Boleh?

Despite all this, we are still glad that we finally got the air ticket worth more than RM4,300 :-)

See you next post :-)

Day +484 : Congratulation! Heng Chiek for starting his first job

I am fine today.

My nephew, Heng Chiek, went to report duty today as an Electrical Engineer in a multinational HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, Air-conditioning) company at Kajang – a place with a distant about 35 minute’s motorcycle ride from my house in Puchong.

While his classmates were busy hunting for job after finishing their study May this year, Heng Chiek went back to our home village in Sarawak to relax and enjoy kampong life. He then came here again on August to attend his graduation ceremony. Since then, he stayed at my house and looked for suitable job slow and steadily :-)

I advised him not to be too rush to accept his first job. There is no point of accepting a job that he is not interested in for the sack of salary. As long as he stays at my house, food and accommodation will be provided free of charge. Money will also be provided if he is running out of cash :-)

I believe this job is quite suitable for him, and not only this, the salary is also on the higher side :-)

Some other blog entries that talk about him are as follow:

Day +304 : Doing final year project
Day +305 : Wish you a successful project demonstration, Heng Chiek
Day +416 : Congratulation! Heng Chiek

Let us wish Heng Chiek a successful first job!

See you next post :-)