Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day +818 : Holiday in Langkawi (1)

I am fine today.

Langkawi Holiday Day 1 (Monday, 29 September 2008)

Yesterday, we touched down Langkawi airport at 9:00am, 10 minutes earlier than the scheduled arrival time. Immediately upon arrival, we proceeded to a car rental counter in the arrival hall to claim the car that we rented a day earlier. A day rental (24 hours) of a Perodua Kancil cost us RM60. I saw other counters were offering RM50, but I couldn’t switch as I had already paid the rental in advance.

Welcome to the Island of Free Tax signboard erected at the airport Take a photo near the airplane
The car we rented
We made a wrong turn into a kampong road after leaving the airport, and this buffalo was there to greet us
After refilling the petrol, we went straight to Kuah Town. There were so many duty free shops there that sell almost the same things; chocolates, liquor and wine, cigarettes. We didn’t smoke and drink alcohol, so the only thing that captured our attention was chocolate. But which shop to shop?

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Day +817 : Going for holiday!

I am fine today.

My wife and I are going to Langkawi for a 4 days 3 nights vacation :-)

We are taking 8:10am Airasia flight and will be arraiving at Langkawi airport at 9:10am. We will be staying at Awana Porto Malai situated on the south-western tip of the island.

I will keep posting if we get internet access over there.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day +816 : Full house :-)

I am fine today.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is coming very soon. Many institutions will be getting a full week of holiday. My nieces and nephews and some of their friends who study in various universities over West Malaysia started to come to my house since Thursday for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday.

My house is hosting 8 guests now. Together with 6 members of my family, my mother-in-law and the maid, we have now 16 occupants in the house :-)

My house is having peak season again. No more room is available now. However, the house is still open for those guests who are willing to sleep on the sofas in the living room :-)

A Domino's Pizzas and homecooked spaghetti dinner
Aaron proudly present his new necktie, made by my wife using handkerchief :-)
See you next post :-)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day +815 : Two delicious homemade dishes :-)

I am fine today.

I cooked successfully a delicious dish called stir-fried tofu with roasted pork in shrimp paste (吓酱烧肉豆腐). Since we didn’t keep any shrimp paste as we seldom use it, my wife suggested replacing it with fish sauce (鱼露). And it did turn out to be a brilliant suggestion :-)

This dish is very easy to prepare. If you are interested to give it a try, let me know, I will scan and email you the recipe :-)

A photo of the dish. Perhaps I should replace the "shrimp paste" with "fish sauce"
A zoom in view
The recipe is from this book which we purhased from Popular Bookshop last night.

Another dish we have today is red wine residuum pork (红酒糟猪肉), a Foochow delicacy. It was prepared by the maid under my wife’s instruction.

The red wine residuum is a residue of Foochow red wine making. It is a very excellent ingredient for preparing many tasty dishes.

A church member shared with me some red wine residuum sometimes ago. We have been using this precious ingredient to cook duck, chicken and pork since then :-)

Does the redness hampered your appetite? But I tell you, a Foochow will normally drool over (流口水)the dish :-)
A closer view
See you next post :-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day +814 : Where do you get so many teeth?

I am fine today.

“Where do you get so many teeth?” Adriel asked me after seeing the above photo.

The shape of these buns is quite similar to teeth, so she mistakenly thought that they are teeth :-)

When Chih Yung brought the buns to my house, my newphew, Ming Hui, was the first one to eat it. But when he realized that I haven’t take photo of these delicious buns, he quickly put it back. However, this only happened after a big bite.

This is why we have a “decayed tooth” on the lower left of the photo :-)

See you next post :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day +813 : Miracles Do Happen!!

I am fine today.

I would like to share with you an encouraging message that I received from a good classmate, Ee Ding and her husband, Dobrin. They are currently staying in US.

Dear Ah Kiew,

We want to share the story of this Olympics Gold Swimmer with you. With the grace of God, miracles DO HAPPEN!! We are confident that you will recover fully and be stronger than before!

Dobrin and I also have a great news to share, we are pregnant!!! Yes, we are thrilled that our prayers have finally been answered. So far the pregnancy is going well, we are almost in our 15th week, and we pray that we will deliver a healthy baby in February next year.

Praise to the Lord and thank you so much for your well wishes and prayers.

May God bless you and your family richly,

Ee Ding and Dobrin

You can read the Olympics Gold Swimmer, Maarten van der Weijden’s story here.

Some extract from the story:

Dutch swimmer Maarten van der Weijden already fought back from leukemia. An open water fight hardly compared.

The leukemia taught me to think step by step,” van der Weijden said. “When you’re laying in the hospital bed and feeling so much pain and feeling so tired, you don’t want to think about next week or next month, you’re only thinking about the next hour.”

Van der Weijden was diagnosed with leukemia in 2001, came back in 2003 and began swimming faster than before.

“You lay in your bed and just wait,” he added. “It’s almost the same strategy I’ve used here—to stay in the pack, to be patient, and stay easy just waiting for your chance.”

I printed this article and gave it to an 11 years old Leukaemia patient in the hospital. She is the daughter of my wife’s colleague. At that time, she was admitted to UH due to post-chemo fever. She overheard someone in the ward talking something very negative about the disease and became very down. The parents requested me to pay her a visit to convince her that it is not too bad to be diagnosed with Leukaemia. You see this uncle still alive :-)

Finally, we wish Ee Ding a very smooth pregnancy. She and Dobrin wanted to have a baby for quite some time. We prayed and God listened to our prayer. God is good! May God bless the family richly.

Van der Weijden - You see he is not only alive but swim faster after Leukaemia. I think I should swim too.
See you next post :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day +812 : Brother and Sister

I am fine today.

This is a photo that I took while I was at my kampong house early of the month. They are the children of my niece, Ting Siew Na. The girl is 3 years old while the boy is 11 months younger than the girl.

They play together and fight each other every day, and always enjoying afternoon nap together on the wooden floor in the living room.

This is kampong life. No matress is required and pillow is not a must too :-)

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Day +811: A miracle

I am fine today.

I received the following message from my friend Mr. Teh :


He said that his last follow-up’s blood counts were excellent. His white blood count was in normal range and his platelet and hemoglobin count were also improving very much, approaching toward the normal range. Doctor certified that he is now able to work. He gives all glory to God. He also fetches his child to kindergarten using bicycle every day.

I am very excited to receive this message, given that his condition was so bad that we even doubt if he was going to make it. I blogged about his condition on the following blog entries:

Day +603 : Pray for a friend (1)
Day +604 : Pray for a friend (2)

I prayed from him and at the same time also asked my church members to pray for him. Even though it seemed that he was on the losing side, we still rested our hope in our Lord Jesus. And we believed that God listened to our prayer.

He was hospitalized for 94 days in a single admission. After he was discharged from the hospital, he took traditional Chinese medicine every day until now. Perhaps, this herb helped him to recover from the disease.

Doctor said that he no longer needs to do bone marrow transplant and he is fit for work now.

If you would like to know the whole story about this friend, read the following posts (just click on the link below):

Day +721 : Update on my two friends
Day +661 : Visiting friends
Day +656 :Follow-up
Day +603 : Pray for a friend (1)
Day +604 : Pray for a friend (2)
Day +371: Another car hijack.
Day +167
Day +166
Day +165
Day +164

We wish him all the best and may God heal him completely.

God is good. See you next post :-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Day +810 : Braised pork belly bun(扣肉包)

I am fine today.

A gluttonous me can't resist from sharing with you delicious food. So I am talking about food again.

When I was hospitalized June this year, my nephew, Chih Yung, brought me some braised pork belly buns (扣肉包) as breakfast one day. The bun was very big and its stuffing abundant. And the best thing is that it cost only RM1.9 per piece. I wished I could share the buns with my wife and other family members.

Without forgetting the cheap and delicious, I asked Chih Yung to buy 18 buns for me and Richard this morning from a stall in Taman Tun. Chih Yung said that only buns from this particular stall come with abundant stuffing. But the cost has increased to RM1.9 per bun; a RM0.40 price hike.

However, the stall owner charged him RM1.80 per bun only this morning due to bulk purchase :-)

Let me know if you are interested in the bun, I don’t mind to treat you one :-)

A different views of the bun.

See you next :-)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Day +809 : Pancakes

I am fine today.

It was our turn to host the church cell group last night. We treated the cell group members Taiwanese pancakes after the meeting :-)

The pancake is easy to make. Just mix the wheat flour, chives (韭菜), egg, salt and water together. Then cook the pancake batter on the preheated frying pan with minimal amount of cooking oil.

My wife trained our maid to make the pancake quite some time ago and now she is able to cook it independently :-)

The pancake Zoom in viewSee you next post :-)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day +808 : Aaron’s is having fever

I am fine today.

I think we are experiencing another cold and flu season now. Many people are getting sick.

Aaron was the first one who caught a cold in my family. My wife noticed that he started to have fever on Friday afternoon. And we knew that we were going to face a big challenge – making Aaron to take medicine.

Aaron is very afraid of taking medicine. He refuses to take paracetamol no matter how we persuade him. Let him drink milk that is mixed with paracetamol doesn’t work either as he would find out that the milk is “contaminated” very quickly.

We have to resort to “violence” to make him taking medicine. And in order to do this, we need to have at least two people to complete a challenging medicine feeding session – one catch him and the other force the liquid paracetamol into his mouth while he is crying :-( Fortunately, he always open his mouth while crying, else we have no way of feeding him.

I am almost always involved in the “violence“ and I hope that I won’t catch cold and flu because of this.

I pray that Aaron will recover very soon and the cold and flu won’t spread to other people in the house.

See you next post :-)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Day +807 : A computer with 16GB RAM

I am fine today.

The software that we develop needs a lot of memory to analyze big structure. My nephew, Heng Chiek, helped to assemble a computer with 16GB RAM last week.

As the Windows XP/Vista that we use normally is 32-bit operating system, it can use at most 4GB RAM only, no matter how much more RAM you install. To make sure that the computer can use any RAM more than 4GB, we need 64-bit operating system. So we installed Windows XP 64-bit on the computer.

As the motherboard comes with 4 memory slots only, in order to put in 16GB RAM, we need to have 4 memory modules, each with a capacity of 4GB. It is extremely difficult to find such memory module. After much searching, I managed to purchase it from oversea through some middleman.

The specification of the system is as follow:

Motherboard: Asus P5QC
CPU: Quad Core Q9550
RAM: 16GB PC-6400 DDR2 RAM
Display Card: Asus 9500GT 512MB DDR2
CASING: Power Logic
Power Supply Unit : ACBEL R8 Power 750
Standard mouse and keyboard

Without the monitor, the system costs RM6130. We are using the system to analyze a 50 storeys building. Hopefully, it can do the job well.

If you need such a system and don't know where do get it, just tell me. I will help you :-)

The memory cooler used to cool the memory
The 16GB RAM
See you next post :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Day +806 : The bill = RM4299

I am fine today.

I got the Daihatsu Charade back last Friday after a major overhaul. The total bill amounted to RM4299. After a discount of RM49, I paid RM4250.

The car’s engine is no longer as noisy as before and I also feel that the car run smoother than before. However, I still noticed that the temperature meter is pointing on the higher side (60% of full range) after driving it for some time.

In order to make sure that the cooling system works well, I brought the car back to the workshop again on Tuesday. The workshop replaced existing fan motor with a more powerful one and the replacement cost including the labour charge was RM175. It seemed that the temperature could be kept below 50% now. However, more test need to be done to confirm that the cooling system is working properly.

We had spent more than RM7000 so far :-( But I think it is still worth to do it. Firstly, the car body is still in excellent condition, and secondly, I feel the car run like a new one after the major overhaul :-)

The bill (Click to have a larger view)

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day +805 : A family visit to KLCC Aquaria

I am fine today.

Today is Nuzul Al-Quran holiday. I brought my family to KLCC Aquaria.

My youngest son, Aaron, likes train very much. So we decided to drive to Bukit Jalil LRT station and board the train to KLCC. We got off from Masjid Jamek station and then boarded another train (Kelana Jaya Line) to reach KLCC.

This is the first time ever we visited the KLCC Aquaria. It was definitely a good experience for both adults and children. The children were so excited to be able to touch the sharks, star fishes, horseshoe crabs and hermit crabs in the three “DNA” pools situated at the entrance of the Aquaria.

Apart from this, we managed to see many big sea creatures such as the Arapaima gigas. Going through the underwater tunnel surrounded with many fishes and sharks was another good experience.

The admission fee for Malaysian citizen is RM28 per adult and RM22 per children, but with Petronas Maybank Co-brand Credit Card (Maybank credit card with Petronas logo on it), I need to pay RM24 per adult and RM18 per children :-) My mother-in-law was getting senior citizen price which is RM18 only.

If you never been there, I highly recommend it to you, especially for those with children.

The children in the train
At Kelana Jaya Line's Masjid Jamek station
At KLCC Aquaria
Horseshoe crab
Arapaima gigas - really big
Tiger shark
Another one
A burger after the visit :-)
While waiting for Joseph who is in the toilet...
See you next post :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day +804 : Need safety? Ask for ISA

I am fine today.

Our home minister, Syed Hamid, cited the necessity for detaining the journalist under the draconian ISA is to ensure her safety. This is an utterly ridiculous and unacceptable reason. If this is true, then the very first person that needs to be detained under ISA is our dear Prime Minister as he is the one who need security most. And the second one might be the minister himself :-)

“The whole thing was started by her, (so) it was best that we talked to her,” another reason as explained by Syed Hamid later.

Only the most unsound mind would not realize that the issue was brought up by Ahmad. The reporter was merely reporting it. So in this case, the messenger was captured, not the source of message.

In Teresa Kok’s case, the police said that they received intelligence that she might be a national security threat, so they need to detain her to confirm the intelligence. But if the government uphold the principle that the reporter need to be detained, then the one that should be detained should be the “intelligent agent” or the one that tell the police that Teresa Kok is a threat, not Teresa Kok.

On why Ahmad was treated so specially, Syed Hamid said, “I don’t think we treat politicians differently. We have taken action. That politician has been suspended three years by the party. He loses all his position. At the same time, there is a (police) report of sedition (against Ahmad).”

If this reason holds, don’t expect justice and peace in this country. Why? Let me give you a simple example.

If I don’t like someone, I simply ask my son to kill him/her. When police wanted to take action against my son, I would tell them, “I don’t think you should take against my son. I have taken action. My son has been spanked 20 times by me. He loses his ability to sit comfortably. At the same time, he is barred to play computer games for three weeks.”

Do you think that the above reason is acceptable for not taking action against my son? I believe your answer is negative, but the government as represented by Syed Hamid was giving the exact reason for not taking action against Ahmad :-(

If a minister that rules our country can’t even get the very basic reasoning right, what future can we expect of this country?

See you next post :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Day +803 : Follow-up

My Blood Count Today: - Readings in square bracket [] are result from previous test.

Red Blood Count (HB) = 148[145] (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 209[191] (Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 7.2[6.8] (Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 4.4[3.34] (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)
ALT = 53[37] (Normal 30 – 65)
AST = 23[32] (Normal 15-37)
GGT = 77[55] (Normal 15-85)

I am fine today.

I am very happy to know that the blood count and liver function test result are all within normal range. With this “beautiful” result, doctor cut down my daily Prednisolon (steroid) dosage from 2 tablets (10mg) to 1 tablet (5mg).

My next follow-up will be 6 weeks later. If I can achieve the same good result as today’s, the Prednisolon dosage will be halved again; a tablet (5mg) alternate day. Then another 6 weeks later, I might be able to say “sayonara” to Prednisolon :-) In other words, I would be able to stop taking Prednisolon the earliest three months later.

I met a post transplant AML patient in the clinic today. She did her transplant about one year ago and is now having some form of GVHD. She told me her skin is getting darker and darker. Apart from the skin, her liver function was also affected. Once her ALT reading reached more than 1000 and she had to go through a liver biopsy which is definitely not a pleasant procedure.

I am very glad that my ALT level started to “u-turn” after reaching 787 (most probably after heavy seafoods at Pulau Pangkor, but don’t believe me :-)), else I might need to go through the same procedure.

After some conversation, she asked me if I am the one who blogged about my transplant experience on the internet. She said she came to my blog through searching the internet :-)

I pray that her GVHD will be under control very soon and she will be completely healed from the disease.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day +802 : The blood donation

I am fine today.

The blood donation campaign that was held yesterday in our church was a great success. More than 40 people came to donate blood, of which 34 of them managed to complete the donation successfully.

And I proudly announce that 6 of the 34 were from my family. They were Richard, Soon Hui, Heng Chiek, Nga Ming, Chih Yung, and my brave wife, Angela :-) This constitutes 17.6% of the total blood donated yesterday.

I brought Adriel and Aaron to the event as well and explained to them how blood donation was done. My wife told me an interesting conversation between Pastor Tan and Adriel in the church yesterday.

“Do you have blood?” asked Pastor Tan.

“No,” Adriel answered after looking at both her hands and found no blood on them :-)

I believed Pastor Tan was testing Adriel, to see if she was willing to donate blood, and Adriel came to the answer because she didn’t see any blood on her hands.

Doctor's examination before donating blood My wife, Angela
My nephew, Chih Yung. Even though he needs to sit for an exam at 2:00pm, he still insist to donate blood.
My niece, Nga Ming - first time donating blood.
My nephew, Heng Chiek.
My brother, Richard. He donated blood 2 and half months ago but doctor allowed him to donate again.
My nephew, Soon Hui
And finally, Aaron :-) "No, no, I am not a blood donor. I am just in charge of eating and drinking."
See you next post :-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Day +801 : ISA Madness (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

Ahmad was unrepentant and he was not detained. Teresa Kok denied she had any business with the mosque’s noise complaint but she was still detained.

So we see clearly there are elements of the madness in the arrest, and can hence easily deduces that the one who use ISA to “capture” people is unsound.

ISA is an extremely powerful tool. It supposed to be used to tame bad people, but the question is, what if the tool falls into the hand of the of unsound one? If such a case occurs, then the tool will be used to round up the good one, which might in turn causes national security issues.

Deducing along this line of thinking, we can easily arrive to a conclusion that the one who supposed to be “IASed” might exactly be the one who use the tool. But who will be stupid enough to admit himself/herself a national security threat and detained himself/herself under ISA?

Therefore it is better to dispose ISA eternally, just like how the Ring of Power was destroyed in the movie The Lord of the Rings; by casting it down the Crack of Doom and let it vanishes forever.

See you next post :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Day +800 : ISA Madness (1)

I am fine today.

We witnessed another ISA (Internal Security Act) madness today where a blogger, a politician and a journalist were detained. I was following the news on Malaysiakini until midnight to see who was to be held under ISA next. Fortunately, the detention spree stopped after the politician, Teresa Kok.

A very simple minded person will be able to see something very unreasonable was happening in the arrests.

Let’s forget about the blogger RPK, and just focus on the arrest of journalist and the politician.

Ahmad made utterly racial remark. Journalist Tan reported it faithfully. What was the outcome? The racist who said it was not “ISAed”, but the innocent and faithful journalist :-(

Now, Teresa Kok was said to have questioned the azan’s (Muslim’s prayer) noise. Then former Selangor Menteri Besar, Khir Toyo blew it out of proportion, and of course “unfaithfully”. What was the outcome? The politician who said it (if she really said it) was “ISAed”, but not the “unfaithful reporter”, Khir Toyo :-(

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day +799 : Another birthday celebration!

I am fine today.

We celebrated the birthday of two colleagues in the office today. Coincidently, both of them are originated from Sarawak like me :-)

Instead of going out for lunch, we had Domino's Pizzas in the office.

The cake
The birthday boy and girl
The pizzas
All pizzas are of thin crust type this time :-)
See you next post :-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day +798 : Cheap blood test package

I am fine today.

I have here with me a few vouchers that entitle you a comprehensive Blood Test Package which consists of 63 types of tests (inclusive of AFP, CEA, HIV & ECG). Each one of them costs only RM100, the normal charge for such a test would be RM270 :-)

You can present the voucher to any BPDC or BP Lab outlet before 31/12/2008 to carry out the test.

You can purchase the voucher from me if you are interested.

The voucher (Click on it to have a larger view)
See you next post :-)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Day +797 : Come to donate blood

I am fine today.

Our church and UH are organizing a blood donation campaign this Saturday, 13 September, 2008. After a very successfully blood donation campaign last year, the hospital requested us to organize another one this year. And I believe from now on, this will become our church annual event.

As Muslims are observing the holy month of fasting and thus won’t be able to donate blood, non-Muslims should to respond to such event actively.

I received many blood transfusions and really appreciate the importance of having sufficient blood in the hospital’s blood bank. And I believe many patients need your blood especially during this fasting month.

You can come to donate blood any time between 11:00am to 4:00pm on this Saturday.

The address of the church is No43 & 45, Jalan Puteri 5/8, Bandar Puteri Puchong, 47100 Puchong. Tel: 80607037.

The location of the church (Click on the map to get a larger view)Thank you and see you next post :-)