Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day +969 : Refreshing ROM, no cure :-(

I am fine today.

I brought back the HTC Touch 3G to Gadgets Junction at Subang Square this afternoon. I described the GPS problem that I encountered to them. In order to rule out that the problem was due to the system software, the technician refreshed the ROM of the handphone.

The guy who sold me the handphone to me was very gentle. He apologized for the problem and said he would make sure that my handphone work properly; else he would exchange my phone with a new one.

After refreshing the ROM, we tested the GPS function of the handphone, and I was so glad that it worked like a charm. The handphone acquired many good satellite signals and got locked onto many of them in a very short time.

I drove home happily with GPS navigation. It worked very well initially, but when I reached IOI mall, the handphone lost all satellite signals, causing the GPS stopped to function :-)

I called Gadgets Junction and complained to them the problem.

“Don’t worry, we will fix your problem,” they assured.

They asked me to bring back the phone to them on Monday for further checking.

Again, I was suspecting if I made a right decision of acquiring an AP set. But who know you would get a perfect set even if you purchased it through the authorized distributer?

See you next post :-)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Day +968 : GPS – No Show :-)

I am fine today.

In order to demonstrate how GPS works on my new handphone, I brought my family for a ride. We set the GPS destination to Tesco Puchong, and started driving toward our destination.

It was very disappointing to find out that the GPS didn’t work at all. The GPS application, MapKing, just kept quiet throughout the journey to the hypermarket :-( We shopped at TESCO and tried again on the way back but no luck again.

As I am not familiar with how GPS works, I did a search on the internet and zoomed into the satellite signals, which I suspected prohibiting the GPS to start navigating.

When I checked the GPS status on the MapKing, all the satellites shown were red, and it seemed that no satellite signal was detected. This prevented the GPS to acquire satellites that could be used to identify my location.

The satellites were identified, but signals received were not strong enough :-( In my case, the red signal level below were all zero.

I didn’t give up and continue troubleshooting the problem. Sometime, I managed to get good satellite signal, and that was when the GPS worked.

The blue satellites are what we need
I suspect that the GPS receiver of the unit might be faulty. This might be the first consequences of getting an AP set :-(

As I am not a regular traveler, the GPS feature is not a must for me. If I brought back the unit for repair, I worry they might bring in more troubles than fixes, as what my nephew encountered. I am still deciding...

See you next post :-)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day +967 : First physiotherapy session

I am fine today.

I went to UH for my first physiotherapy session yesterday morning. The appointment was at 9:30am.

The traffic was extremely heavy. It took me two hours to reach UH. Fortunately, the appointment time was flexible as it was based on first time first serve basic, else I would have to reschedule my appointment.

After a brief interview, the physiotherapist started the therapy session. The first thing she did was to bend my wrist as much as possible with my fingers extended.  Then she asked me to press my palm on the table and try to bend my wrist as much as possible for 30 times.

This was followed by a series of exercises, including a 15 minutes cycling, that lasted for about 2 hours.

And the session didn’t end there as I was requested to the exercises at home every day.

My next physiotherapy session is scheduled on Thursday, 12 March – about two weeks from now.

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day +966 : A HTC Touch 3G PDA phone (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

The differences of the original, AP and underwater set are as follow (from a website):

Original Set
  • Imported through authorized distributors. 
  • Can service your phone at any service centres.
  • 1 year warranty for the full set including charger, battery, handsfree.
  • Genuine parts are used for repairing.
AP Set
  • Approval Products
  • Mainly imported from oversea and sell it to the consumers.
  • AP set warranty by companies that imported the units.
  • 1 year warranty for the phone and 1 month for the accessories like charger, battery, handsfree.
  • Have to bring the phone back to the place where the unit was purchased for servicing.
Underwater Set
  • Stolen / Brought in from oversea without paying tax aka SIRIM Sticker. 
  • Considered as Illegal. Mostly brought in by student studying oversea.
How To Identify Original and AP Set
  • Take out the phone case and battery.
  • Original set comes with authorized company sticker
  • AP set comes with AP company sticker
  • Press *#06# to check the phone 15 digit serial number (IMEI).
  • Compare it with the IMEI written on phone sticker (back of phone case) and package box sticker.
  • For original set, these serial numbers are the same.
There was claim that the AP set might be recon set or underwater set. In addition to this, the warranty service given might not be as good as the one from the authorized distributors.  

But I only know these details after I purchased the phone. If I know this earlier, I might get an original set.

However, in order to justify that my decision of acquiring an AP set might not be too bad either, I shared with you my nephew’s experience.

He purchased an original set of Dopod PDA phone and just before the warranty expired, the screen didn’t response to touch properly. He sent the unit for repair and he waited for one month to get his unit back. Tolerating a long waiting was secondary matter; the worst thing was that his PDA phone hanged very frequently after the repair, rendering it almost useless. And this was the quality of warranty offered through purchasing the original set :-(

I am quite interested at the GPS features of the phone and as I don't have any experience using such feature, I couldn't get it working on the way to UH this morning. But when I was on the way home, I heard the phone suddenly talking to me and after a quick check, I found out that the GPS was working :-)

I am going to show how this GPS works to my wife and children later. Just taking them for a ride to one of the shopping malls nearby :-)

Highlights of features of the phone
  • 2.8-inch touch screen, with four times the resolution of most phones.
  • Powered by Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional.
  • Next generation TouchFLO™ user interface, responding perfectly to your finger gestures when scrolling through contacts, browsing the web and launching media.
  • Small, lightweight design available in a range of vibrant colours.
  • Surf and download at broadband speed with HSDPA internet connectivity.
  • 3.2 megapixel camera for quality stills and video.
  • microSD™ slot for expandable storage.
The phone
See you next post :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day +965 : A HTC Touch 3G PDA phone (1)

I am fine today.

I purchased a HTC Touch 3G today. It is a PDA phone powered by Windows Mobile 6.1. 

The O2 XDA II which was given to me by my boss didn’t work anymore. When I got the unit, I found out that the screen was always out of alignment. This led to many erroneous actions. For example, when I clicked on the “reply” button blow the SMS message, the phone simply deleted the message :-) This is because the “delete” button is located next to the “reply button” and due to screen misalignment, the phone thought that I pressed the “delete” button. 

Even thought I have to realign the screen very often, I still kept the handphone as it was still usable. However, one thing I must mention is that I might spend more time aligning the screen than actually using the phone.

The screen touch problem became more serious lately until such a point that it simply didn’t response to touch :-) As the unit didn’t come with a keypad, I couldn’t even make a call in the end. I don’t have a choice but to replace the unit. 

I get used to the Bible and dictionaries on the O2 XDA II which ran on Windows mobile 2003. So the replacement unit has to be one that runs Windows Mobile as well. In addition to this, it is good to have GPS support. I also decided to get a HTC phone as it is quite popular. 

Yesterday, after the McDonalds meal, I went to a phone shop in IOI mall to look for a HTC phone that satisfies my requirement. I was introduced to this HTC Touch 3G with a price tag of RM1899, one year warranty.

I did a search on internet today and found out on that Gadgets Junction is selling the unit at RM1650 but with 15 months warranty.

Given the substantial price difference, I doubt if the Gadgets Junction is cheating. I consulted my nephew, Heng Chiek, who had a lot more experience on than me. 

He told me that there were two types of handphones in the market; the original and the AP set. The original set is imported through authorized distributors and AP set is imported through non-distributors. 

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day +964 : Not a bad deal :-)

I am fine today.

Daniel said he scored full mark for his English dictation test. I rewarded him with a McDonalds burger meal. In addition to this, Joseph and I were also rewarded with the same because of Daniel’s achievement. Collateral reward :-)

All three of us ordered Big Mac McValue Meal. These meals are known for their high calories and thus are classified as unhealthy food. Nevertheless, it is good for me as I lost more than 2kg of weight over the last few weeks, and eating a McValue Meal would definitely help to recover my weight faster :-)

The normal price of the meal costs RM10.10 each but we paid RM6.95 only with discount coupons:-)

We spent about RM21 for the meal.

If you need the coupons, you can download it from

Joseph and Daniel
The meals
French Fries
Big Mac
The coupons - click the picture to get a larger view. You can print this coupon, as many as you like.
See you next post :-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Day +963 : DIY saves money

I am fine today.

The water tap that I installed on 18 November 2008 as I blogged on Day +867 : “Air putus” was having problem again. The tap was leaking when it was turned off.

When I purchased the tap, the hardware shop owner said that the water tap was of high quality. I thought by fixing it, I would have peace of mind for a long time, but unfortunately, it gave me problem again after 3 months:-(

I went back to the hardware shop yesterday with the intention of purchasing another one. I told the shop owner that the water tap that she sold me three months ago was leaking now. This indirectly hinted that the quality of the water tap that she sold me was not so good.

The shop owner told me that in fact I could just replace some part to fix the problem. And the part cost RM8 only :-)

I replaced the part and now the water tap works perfectly :-)

The various parts of the tap
The part that needs replacement - the right one is new
See you next post :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day +962 : Happy Day

I am fine today.

“Happy Day” is a type of steamed cake.

When my wife and I were dating more than 20 years ago, she used to give me “Happy Day” to eat :-) At that time, the cake was made by my mother-in-law.

My wife decided to make “Happy Day” for me today :-) She said the cake would recall sweet memory of the initial period of our long lasting relationship :-)

The cake is still good, as good as before. My wife is still attractive, as attractive as before :-)

The cake
In the baking tin
See you next post :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day +961 : A dinner with my wife

I am fine today.

“It’s been a long time we haven’t had dinner together,” my wife said a few days ago.

As a consequences, I brought her to Meaty House, Taipan for dinner tonight.

A colleague who stays in USJ introduced the restaurant to me. The restaurant serves a variety of pork products such as pork sausages, pork ribs, pork knuckles and so on.

We ordered two dishes – Baby Back Ribs with Sausages and German Style Pork Knuckle.

We were not really satisfied with the foods especially the German Style Pork Knuckle. It was so tough and salty. It was as though we were eating salted fish :-( And there was nothing special about the pork sausages too.

However, we were still very happy because we just wanted to have a private dinner together. Again, it is the togetherness that counts, not the food :-)

The photos of the dishes that we had can be attractive but I would not recommend the restaurant to you.

The restaurant
The menu - meat set
Sausage set
Ham steak set
Baby Back Ribs with Sausages
The ribs - looks very nice, but really not much too eat
The sausages
German Style Knuckle
Cripsy, but too hard and salty
Lime plum
The total bill was RM68.40.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day +960 : The helicopter arrived finally, but…

I am fine today.

Joseph celebrated his 9 year old birthday on 29 December last year. I promised him a remote control helicopter as his birthday present. However, I could not deliver the present to him timely as I intended to acquire the helicopter through my credit card reward program. I needed 31000 points to redeem the helicopter, but I only accumulated 24000 points at that time. Therefore, I asked him to wait.

After a few weeks of waiting, the helicopter arrived finally Wednesday. It is a Salvation 9 Helicopter with three channels remote control capability - forwards, backwards, left and right, up and down.

I asked Daniel to study the manual in detail first but only fly the helicopter when I came back from work. But he and Joseph couldn’t wait. They charged the helicopter and managed to fly it in our bed room. At one occasion, Joseph hit the helicopter on a table in the room resulting in a broken blade. However, the helicopter still could fly well with the broken blade.

I dreamed of remote control helicopter and airplane when I was young but didn’t have a chance to have them as they were expensive. I was thinking of playing the toys with the children at night.

I asked Daniel to charge the helicopter. He said that the charger was very hot and it needed some time to cool down. When I examined the helicopter, Daniel told me that power led didn’t light up when it was switched on. The helicopter had malfunctioned before I had chance to try it :-(

After talking to Daniel, I found that he connected the charger in reverse causing damage to the helicopter motor. No wonder, he said that the charger was very hot.

Now I have to look for a replacement motor, else the helicopter would never take off again.

I have no regret of letting the children to try the toy themselves and I didn’t scold them for making the mistake. It is a lesson that they have to learn.

Hopefully, they will be more careful next time.

The helicopter
Another view

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day +959 : I don’t have buttock :-)

I am fine today.

Aaron likes vehicles such as van, bus, car, airplane and helicopter very much. I downloaded pictures of some of these vehicles for him. 

One day, when I was working on my computer, he approached me and sought my permission to let him see his favourite pictures. I loaded the first picture into Microsoft Office Picture Manager and passed the control to him. He just needed to press next or previous button on the keyboard to navigate through the pictures.

When I came back from some time later, I found out that he messed up my work.

“Aaron, you messed up my work, I have to punish you now,” I said to him.

He looked at me quietly. 

“I have to spank your buttock now,” I continued.

He shook his head.

“Where is your buttock?”

He shook his head again.

“Do you have buttock?”

He shook his head and said, “Joseph has buttock”.

In order to avoid being punished, he said he didn’t have buttock. And not only this, he tried to redirect the punishment that he supposed to receive to his brother, Joseph :-)

What a cunning boy!

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day +958 : Interesting and worrying

I am fine today.

After describing or showing your symptoms to your doctor, instead of telling you what is your problem and possible ways to fix it, he/she stares at you and says, “Very interesting!”

How would you feel if you encounter such as situation? Would you feel interesting too?

This was the situation that I faced when I visited the rheumatologist last week. And I tell you, I found nothing interesting but worrying when I heard that my symptom was interesting. 

When doctors said your symptom is interesting, it simply means that they are not very sure what  happen to you or this is the first time they see a patient with such a funny symptom. And if this is the case, then most probably there will be no solution to your problem.

Therefore, the more interesting the doctor feels, the more worrying I am.

See you next :-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day +957 : Follow-up

My Blood Count Today: - Readings in square bracket [] are result from previous test.
Red Blood Count (HB) = 136[146] (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 298[230] (Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 6.2[6.9] (Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 2.294[3.312] (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)
ALT = 88[79] (Normal 30 – 65)
AST = 57[57] (Normal 15-37)
GGT = 82[58] (Normal 15-85)

I am fine today.

My blood count result today is quite normal with liver enzyme level, ALT and AST, a bit out of range only. This means that the reduction of Ciclosporin daily dosage from 50mg to 25mg during last follow-up was a good decision :-)

The chest x-ray that I did today revealed that the right pleural effusion still exists. However, comparing to previous x-ray, the pleural effusion seems to be diminishing. Doctor scheduled another chest x-ray for me two weeks later to see my lung condition. Hopefully, the pleural effusion will be cleared by then.

Doctor also prescribed a course of antibiotic, Augmentin, for me, just in case the pleural effusion is caused by infection.

I also submitted the letter from the rheumatologist to haematologists and they confirmed the possibility of tendon contracture due to GVHD. However, the head of team, professor Gan, was strongly against doing biopsy on my tendon. She said that it is not necessary for me to take the risk to do the procedure as the joint stiffening that I experienced is not life threatening and it also does not impaired too much the quality of my life. I shared the same opinion with her.

The doctor referred me to  physiotherapist for this problem and I will have my first physiotherapy session next Wednesday morning.

Based on what I read on a forum regarding the same issue, it is very unlikely that the physiotherapy would improve the situation. However, someone reported that the situation improved naturally after some time. This at least gives me hope that the tendon contracture symptom is reversible :-)

In addition to the chest x-ray and the routine blood tests that include full blood count, renal and liver function test, doctor also ordered CTD (connecting tissue disease) test for me during the next follow-up. It is a blood test to rule out that the joint stiffness is caused by other diseases rather than the GVHD.

I supposed to gain weight during Chinese New Year, but yesterday scaling proved otherwise. My weighted dropped from 59.4kg to 57.1kg, losing 2.3kg in 5 weeks. I have to eat very hard to gain more weight; else the doctor will be very worried :-)

See you next post :-) 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day +956 : Cell group dinner

I am fine today.

We treated our cell group members a simple dinner yesterday evening. Two main dishes we served were nasi lemak and fried Mee Hoon. In addition, my mother-in-law prepared spring rolls for the dinner.

It has been more than three years my wife didn’t cook nasi lemak. She used to cook very delicious Sambal but she stopped cooking it after I was sick. When I was in the haemotology ward doing chemotherapy, I promised a patient that once he got well, I would treat him a good nasi lemak meal. Unfortunately, the patient didn’t make it :-(

After bone marrow transplant, I was unable to take hot and spicy food due to GVHD for quite a long time. As a person who is always craving for food, I didn’t give up taking hot and spicy food, and after some “intensive” training, I am now good in taking hot and spicy food again, as good as before :-)

I thank God for blessing me with a mouth that enjoys foods :-)

Fried Mee Hoon
Fried sausage
Boiled eggs
Mother-in-law's spring rolls
Herbal syrup prepared by a cell group members - good for lung :-)
All dishes in a view :-)
It's time to start eating
Everyone is hard at work :-)
Cell group members
See you next post :-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Day +955 : Happy Valentine’s Day!

I am fine today.

Today is Valentine’s Day. We hosted a cell group meeting in our house this evening, so there is no celebration today. However, my wife and I registered for a special Valentine’s Day dinner organised by our church tomorrow, but due to some technical reasons, the event was postponed to 1 March 2009 :-(

I would like to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Some Valentine’s Day cards for you and me :-) All these cards are from

On good friends 
Love, music and life
On family

See you next post :-)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day +954 : My money, your money

I am fine today.

The instructor who conducted the marriage lesson in our church told us one interesting experience that he had with his wife. His wife kept her bank accounts and savings secret from him even long time after they got married. He said he didn’t know why her wife behaved as such but I guess, she must be worried that her husband might abuse her savings. So it was safer to keep it secret.

We found out later that many couples in the group also experienced this kind of situation. And I believe the reason this happens is because the couple still haven’t establish a level of trust where they could fully trust each other. The “secret” somehow gives them a sense of security; if you betray me, I still have money :-)

When my wife and I got married, we didn't have much – no car, no house, no properties, and no savings. And I also don’t mind to tell you that even the marriage expenses was bored by my mother which we only managed to pay back many years later :-)

Apart from an old motorcycle, we had none. But the important thing is that we have each other :-) Since we had nothing, it was even easier for us to trust each other completely :-)

We didn’t have to keep secret of each other’s savings. My money is your money and your money is my money.

Until today, my wife still entrusted all her bank accounts to me. This means that whenever I encounter any financial shortage, I just transfer money from her account :-) She never bothers how much I transfer from her account and also don’t even bother how much balance she still has.

She trusts me and I trust her, and with this, life is wonderful :-)

See you next post :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day +953 : More Mileage, More Savings, More Vroom?

I am fine today.

Have you heard of a product called AutoMax NanoTech Fuel Enhancer (NFE) which claimed to save fuel up to 28%? This product is marketed by Cosway.

Cosway says that the product gives the following benefits:

  • Saves fuel up to 28% - Varies from 8% - 28%, depending on engines, road and traffic conditions, climate and driving habits
  • Increases engine power up to 20% - Enhances combustion for a smoother-running engine with quicker acceleration and increased power
  • Eliminates engine knocks & extends engine life - By keeping the combustion chamber clean, it eliminates engine knocks and helps maintain a quiet and smooth-running engine for a longer time
  • Saves on maintenance - A cleaner engine prolongs life expectancy of the oil filter, engine oils last at least twice longer, thus reduces maintenance costs
  • Reduces harmful emissions up to 98% - Resulting in a cleaner and healthier environment

I decided to try the product. The price per bottle is RM39.8 and there was a promotion – buy 4 free 6 – July last year. I got 10 bottles with the price of RM159.2.

I gave one to my brother, Richard, and he came to a conclusion that no noticeable fuel saving was observed after using this product.

I did a research on my Proton Perdana for  6 months, and the result is a follow:

Before using NFE, driving a distance of one km would need about 0.14L, but after adding it, the average fuel usage was still around 0.14L per km.

I have to conclude that the product doesn’t work as claimed. The claims are too good to be true. If you really want to give it a try, don’t buy it. Just let me know. I will give one to you free :-)

More Mileage, More Savings, More Vroom? Not really. "More wastage, More troublesome, More disappointment" should be the right one :-(

 See you next post :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day +952 : Not osteoporosis but tendon contracture

I am fine today.

I went to see a rheumatologist, Dr. Yeap, in Klinik Pakar Puchong yesterday afternoon. She is a visiting doctor to the clinic.

I told her my medical history and then showed her my wrist problem as I blogged on Day +916 : Alamak! My bone . The problem is that I couldn't bend my wrist much, and generally, all my joints become stiffer. 

The doctor asked me to close my hand tightly with all fingers bend against the palm. She then discovered that my wrist could bend as a normal person under such hand posture. But if I straightened the fingers, then I couldn’t bend my wrist much :-(

With this, she was very quick to point out that the problem lies in the tendon. She suspected the tendon is either thickened or shortened, pulling the hand when all the fingers are extended.

The next question is why this happens? She found out from her electronic dictionary that this tendon contracture could be part of GVHD.

I found out later that on a website that:

Occasionally patients with chronic GVHD experience "contractures," a tightening of the tendons in pints that makes extending or contracting their arms and legs difficult. Chronic GVHD can also affect the lungs, causing wheezing, bronchitis, or pneumonia.

You can read the full article about GVHD here. The article is not only very informative but easy to understand too.

The doctor would like to refer me to Hand Specialist to do a tendon biopsy to confirm her diagnosis. However, I asked her to write a letter to my haematologists about my condition and let them decide what should be the next course of action.

After the doctor completed the letter, she looked at me and laugh :-)

“Very interesting! This is the first time I see this,” she said.

“Sorry! I can’t do much about this,” she continued.

The consultancy fee is RM80. I will bring the letter to my haematologist next Monday.

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day +951 : Free tickets

I am fine today.

My brother, Richard, alerted me last night that AirAsia was going to offer free seats to all flight destinations starting at 0 hours today. The booking period is from 10 February 2009 to 15 February 2005 and the travelling period is from 12 October 2009 to 31 January 2010.

I woke up 11:45pm and managed to purchase free seats for flight between KL and Sibu, departing on 23 November 2008 and returning on 7 December 20008. Though the airfare is free, we still have to pay the administration fee, airport taxes and luggage handling charges.

The total amount that I paid for 7 persons, including my mother-in-law, was RM480 only :-) Bear in mind that this is the cost of return flight. On way flight for 7 persons cost RM240, cheap?

With this arrangement, we can use the annual government free air tickets during peak season, most probably during next year’s Chinese New Year :-) We haven’t been celebrating Chinese New Year at our home village for more than 10 years.

The details - click to get a larger view
See you next post :-)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Day +950 : Mother-in-law’s Spring Roll and Acar

I am fine today.

My mother-in-law is very good at making spring roll and acar. She made spring roll for the dinner today. And every Chinese New Year, she would make acar, to be eaten with home-made prawn cracker which was produced by my father-in-law in Sarawak.

The spring roll
Zoom in view
A zoom in view
Aaron likes prawn cracker
Adriel showing her prawn cracker topped with acar
See you next post :-)