Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reads: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

I have just finished this book and well, the ending is sad (sorry, spoiler ahead). Perhaps I was hoping for a happy ending, since I was reading it at the end of 2016.

31st Firsts - The Darkness and Scorpions

How could I have forgotten to include my first time seeing The Darkness live!?!

Sepang October 2016
The Darkness live in Sepang - every bit like their records!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cooking Experiments: Spaghetti Carbonara Scrambled

When the cat is out, the mouse comes out to play. It's just so awesome to have all the ingredients at hand and the only 'need' is to get into the mood. Today, after a long day at work and dinner-less, I decided to try cooking carbonara. A friend had said it's really easy and you basically only need eggs!

So I modified a recipe to suit... well, actually I just like modifying things according to gut feel! haha! It turned out...

Somewhat spaghetti carbonara - maybe next time...

Saturday, December 17, 2016


I am happy to report that after a week, my little planting experiments have yielded the first sprouts!

curry plant from cutting
First sprouts (l-r): curry plant cutting, desert rose seedlings, bird's eye chili seedling
Here's hoping they will survive and I'll do my part of watering and speaking to them daily! Looks like a butter chicken dish is in the making (maybe in a year's time! haha)

Marveling at God's gift of nature and the starting of life.

I found my 30th firsts for 2016

Picking up from my previous post, I found my 30th firsts experience for this year - being called into impromptu discussions with the President and ED and for the past few days having to join/present at meetings of HODs and senior management. This is what happens when your boss goes on long leave and somehow suddenly so many issues come up on top of all the service agreements due for renewal by year end. A classic case of Murphy's Law.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

More Firsts for 2016

Just another half month to the new year and a couple more entries to add to my 2016 stocktake list!

22. First time to Taiwan and smelling chou tofu (smelly tofu)
23. First time flying on business class (this was a pleasant accident during check-in)
24. First time using Uber
25. First time in Taipei 101 and seeing the damper in real life (not as impressive as I remembered it in a documentary)
26. First time in a trampoline park and trying all the stuffs which I wouldn't try on my own choosing
27. First time wall climbing - I made it halfway up
28. Which resulted in my first time wrist injury - immobilized for the whole weekend but thankfully improved by Monday and I didn't need to see the chiropractor (dreaded)
29. First time building a nano block Pokemon!

Pokemon Gengar!
Unfortunately I couldn't think of #30 - another 15 days or so to achieve it!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Desert Rose - Dead and Alive

Every year we have charity sales in the office around September. I got a little desert rose plantling, which I was supposed to love and nurture as advised by my colleague. But by October, my poor desert rose plant lost all its leaves. I didn't dare tell my colleague this, because it was "hard work growing them from the seeds!". I was worried that I was indeed a plant killer!

Desert Rose plant - alive (left); seemingly dead (right)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Baking Experiments: Baked Cheese Tarts

When we were in Japan (a few years back), I remember buying this Pablo 'rare cheese tart' because (1) there was a long queue (kiasu lah) and (2) I was curious why they called it "rare" since I've only seen the term used in steak. It turned out to be a light cheese cake with a wobbly centre - we took the medium rare. At that time, we were greenhorns and put up all our mental barriers that it was too oozy for our schmoozy time.

Recently there's been a craze for Hokkaido baked cheese tarts. A slew of stores have been popping up in all the malls and there are a few brands which are all yellow with black text - I haven't been paying attention, I thought they were all the same. The tarts would sell for around RM5 each (but I've not bought any in Malaysia so far). The only time I had it was in Bangkok earlier this year - and it was gooood!

hokkaido cheese tart
Bake Cheese Tarts we had while waiting for a seat in After You Cafe in Central World, Bangkok

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Of Doppelgangers and Dejavus

Have you ever met someone new and felt that the person was so familiar? Familiar in the sense of looks, character and circumstances. Recently I have met one such person and upon getting to know her, it is uncanny.

Cooking Experiments: Creamy Curry Pasta

Over the weekend I bought some cooking cream in the hopes of trying my hand at carbonara (my fav which causes fatty ass but I probably need some adipose there!). When I got home and started googling for a recipe, to my surprise most of the recipes only used eggs and no cooking cream! A moment of enlightenment for me.

So over to today's lunch. The lunch gang decided that Friday is a splurge day after the crazy week we've had. And so we drove out to the nearby New Chapter by The Owls Cafe. Going into CCC reminded me of the Sponsor a Brick from many many years ago and now I was a stranger entering.

curry leaves cooking cream egg mushroom
Creamy curry pasta - New Chapter (left) & homemade (right)

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Disruption to the Ordinary

Perhaps it's the routine nature of my job but whenever I need to attend an external training, funny things just tend to happen. Yesterday wasn't a fruitful day in terms of knowledge acquisition, but it WAS an interesting day.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Reading and Reflecting

Recently I've somewhat got back into reading - perhaps with the realisation that pretty soon I may not have the luxury of reading for pleasure anymore. Although what I read are from the fiction genre, with every book there is a certain realness when I'm immersed in it and it is inevitable that the mind starts drawing parallels with real life.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Don't understand the words

Today seemed to have passed by so quickly. I'd slept at 3am reviewing the Limits of Authority, which was supposedly due last Friday. I kept thinking why does the LOA come under us when we aren't the operations or finance team. So my comments were purely based on my logic and what I imagine of the possible operational scenario. Having to think it from the standpoint of a separate entity from the group made everything complicated. Couldn't help being legalistic, what with borrowing manpower from the group and shouldn't there be a management agreement for provision of the shared services functions? What about professional indemnity for the decisions we make as employees from a separate entity? Seems like I'm thinking of more ways to spend money than saving resources. Anyway I quit the ouroboros before it was branded in my brain and I'm just glad I submitted it by 10am.

Also quite happy that my appraisal is done and my feedback on my team member is completed. In fact I managed to close quite a few tasks today as opposed to last week's scramble to clear backlog. Got some pats on the back too.

I may have been a bit light headed from lack of sleep but when I was driving back, I had to switch radio channels because BFM had a football commentary programme, and I ended up with one of the popular stations. For some reason I just couldn't catch what the lyrics were for three consecutive pop songs. The tunes were alright but the words were some lagg-ey gibberish. I don't know if it's a new trend of singing style or I'm just too used to the classic stuffs.

Pretty worrying I'd say, soon I won't be able to understand the youngsters' talk. Somewhat like Newspeak in Nineteen Eighty-Four. 😂

Monday, November 14, 2016

Health & Wellness week

I knew it was not a good idea to have a toffee nut latte after dinner and this is the consequence - a wee hour post.

The good thing about smaller organisations is that corporate initiatives can be done in a more intimate setting. We had our Health & Wellness week a couple of weeks back. I for one, was quite excited to see how the plans would pan out after hearing the first mention of this in management meetings and then seeing the proposal papers come through. The objective was for us as an organisation to walk the talk as well as to reduce our medical claims.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Weekend Jog and Reading

After working a full week, the weekends tend to be a time to sleep in and do nothing; or to carry out the non-work routines. Life (or at least mine) tend to revolve around routines and little blips of irregularities from time to time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nexus 5 hot and not powering up [Solved]

I thought I could rest on my medical leave but while I was clearing my Nexus 5's memory to accommodate the software updates, the phone suddenly wouldn't turn on when the standby button was pressed. I tried to boot the phone but it didn't work too.

remove battery
Nexus 5 surgery - I sick you also sick!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Long Day

Sometimes there are days where my brain just feels so exhausted although there wasn't any particularly stressed situation. The feeling is inexplicable. Today was such a day.

I skipped BSF to read up the 200-odd pages meeting papers for tomorrow's management meeting. However, as usual, it was difficult to start the process. And on top of that there was a need to discuss our accommodation bookings for the trip.

I looked through so many hotels that my brain was literally in pain (although I don't know how that was possible since the brain does not have pain receptors). I was so confused and anything and everything looked fine to me.

What saved me was turning on Casting Crowns on Spotify. Praise God! My headache ebbed away and I was able to start my reading assignment plus finalise the bookings.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Stocktake of 2016

It's October - past the mid-year review of my goals for this year. Initially I was thinking that I had not achieved much so far. But when I look back at the experiences I've had this year, I think I am on track! This year's resolution was to have as many firsts and yes, I have been having many firsts! Some of my 'mini achievements of firsts' thus far, in no particular order:-

Baking Experiments: Blackout Brownies, Roasted Vegetables, Baked Eggs, Berries with Yoghurt, Pizza & Salted Caramel Chocolate Tarts

For the past few months I have been experimenting whenever time permitted. The success rate was somewhat mixed but I am just happy that I completed them and eventually someone ate them up.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Computer Problems Round 2 (Error Code 0xc0000001)

Not long after I had restored my laptop to working condition, probably about a month or so, I had a promo email from Microsoft reminding that the free upgrade to Windows 10 was still being offered. Thinking that my laptop was touchscreen-enabled and not too old, I reckoned that my laptop could handle the upgrade. Unfortunately, halfway through the upgrading, I got the BCD again!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Feel Good

I was driving home from a rather impromptu dinner with some friends when I realised that we can feel absolutely great even without spending a dime. It was just that moment on a light drizzly night, not too late and not too early, with a three-piece jazz band sounding through my 9-year-old stock car radio. No intimidating driving from the other cars around me and the realisation of a simple lighthearted fellowship session with peers.

And you start to wonder, where did all the negativity and insecurity come from? There is much to rejoice for in our lives. The sky and all its hues. The trees and their swaying shadows. The pixelated beauty of insects. The amazing feeling and coordination in taking a deep breath.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Computer Problems Round 1 (Error Code 0xc0000034)

Around end of 2015, I had run into some problems when installing a Windows 8.1 update on my personal laptop (HP Envy Touchsmart). The installation was stuck at 82% the night before and when I woke up the morning after, it was still stuck at 82%. As I had to rush off to work, I forced quit my laptop (I know, such a "girl" thing to do) and I paid dearly for that mistake - blue screen of death!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Gender Conditioning and Bosses

A couple of days back, there was a discussion on the radio about female bosses vs male bosses. The discussion was initiated by one of the local news about a politician who made a statement that he decided to contest in an election because the other candidates were women and he didn't trust women leaders. Such statements are just so wrong on so many levels and yet they still occur in Malaysia. Perhaps it's an underhanded publicity stunt to get 5 seconds of fame.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Wow! It's been over two months of silence here. I've always thought of posting something but the time and mood just never was right. To say that I was busy all this while, would not be too accurate. There has been some super peak times but there has also been lull periods in between.

Every day things happen, big or small. But recently circumstances have nudged me to think about life and death.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

First Birthday Trip: Boracay

Our conversation during New Year's Eve had sparked a yearning to do things differently in Year 2016. So, overnight we had decided and booked a trip to Boracay, Philippines to "celebrate" our three birthdays which spanned from late January to early February (although none of our birthdays were during our trip dates!).

Getting there was an adventure in itself. We boarded a morning AirAsia flight and was about 2 hours into the journey when the captain announced that we were turning back to KL due to "technical problems". Everyone thought it was a joke but it wasn't. This was the first time I have had to fly from KL and transit in KL too! We heard that the reason we turned back was because strong winds were pushing the plane off course and the captain didn't want to take any chances.

We finally got onto the replacement flight at 3.15 p.m. (without any compensation for the delay from AirAsia) and reached Kalibo International Airport after 7 p.m. The immigration counter was like a soapbox, which was amusing.

small airport
Kalibo International Airport - one of two airports which we can land in to get to Boracay

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Nexus 5 connecting to PC issue

Today's the second time I've had problems connecting my Nexus 5 via USB cable to my laptop (HP Envy TouchSmart running on Windows 8.1). I'm so glad that I bookmarked this website, which has saved me twice!

Symptoms: After connecting Nexus 5 to PC via USB cable, switching from "Charging" to "File Transfer" on the phone results in the PC's alert sound indicating the device has disconnected. Going to "This PC", you won't find your device there either.

Solution: Go to Device Manager (Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers > Device Manager) and like the Passmark forum, my Nexus 5 was listed as "ACER Device". Clicking on it reveals a sub-category "ACER ADB Interface". Right click this and update driver, selecting the "search your local drive". For my case, there were 2 options to choose from and I chose the "MTP USB Driver".

After the driver was updated, my Nexus 5 immediately popped up as a removable drive on my PC. Voila, settled!

Thinking back, I probably needed to do this twice because of my PC 'blue screen of death' problem I had in January - which I also resolved through Google. That will be saved for another post.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Happy Lunar New Year - a year to monkey around!

cny monkey illustration
Monkeying around - CNY 2016 e-card
This year my card came out very late, but my e-card was just in time! CNY celebration was the usual with some adventures in driving and work deadlines.

Happy Lunar New Year 2016! May the fire monkey year bring much laughter and blessings (as opposed to what I've been hearing it is supposed to bring).

Thursday, January 14, 2016

First Car Break Down of the Year

Today was an unexpected day off at home. I had full intention of using the spare car so that my car could go into the workshop to fix the air conditioner problem. However, when I wanted to head out, the spare car couldn't start - the steering lock could not budge. So I took my car instead and it was not meant to be.

orange bug circle shine
Have not seen this buddy in a long long time... I miss catching ladybirds in empty assam bottles

Baking Experiments: Cheese Tarts

Last weekend, I decided to stay home and make something useful of my time. I was looking around for what I could do and found a cheese tart recipe on the MFM superfine flour box. It looked simple, so I went out to buy some butter and started on it.

This was the outcome:

home baked recipe
Home baked cheese tarts from scratch

Saturday, January 09, 2016

My Hot Dog

I found this website where AI would determine if you're hot, from reading a HelloGiggles article and tried it out with various photos. While my own headshots yielded only "OK" ratings (hahaha... okla AI shows dependability), I was surprised with this!
My dog's photo generated using mirror image (used to be my blog profile pic once upon a time)
 And upon looking closer, even more surprised!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Starting with Many Firsts

It's the 5th day of the year and already there's been quite a few firsts for me. But first, let me share my first dessert plate for 2016.

New Year 2016
Cakes, tarts and puffs in Grand Millennium Hotel, KL

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Part 2: Kyoto and Osaka

Continuing from where I left off in my earlier post, with Fujisan checked off our list we headed into the second leg of our trip. Upon C's recommendation, we bought the Hikari shinkansen and hotel package from Japanican to Kyoto for 3 days 2 nights. Our plan was to take a day trip to Osaka using a local train.

As this post is really really late (and I can't remember the details from 2014 anymore), I'll just post my photos and comment on them as we go along.

M had read that there was a famous okonomiyaki place near the Nishiki Market in Kyoto. So when we arrived and found our way to our hotel (which was just outside one of the train stations a couple of stops away from Kyoto Station), we asked for directions from the hotel reception and headed out for dinner. It was well worth the visit - Nishiki Warai.

Okonomiyaki in Nishiki Warai, Kyoto

Happy New Year 2016!

Stock taking and resolution making. 2015 came and went so fast with many stumbles and letting go and moving forward. The past two years have breezed by without me really feeling it.

fireworks at Twin Towers Kuala Lumpur
Happy New Year 2016 from Kuala Lumpur!