Sunday, October 26, 2008

No updates here

This is a community service message.

Forgive me while I try to sort a few things out.
Meanwhile, if you're interested you can head up to my photoblog.
I've just updated it.
Will write more when I'm not so sleepy!!!

Catching forty-winks in...


Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's just one of those days

Guess what?

I was locked out of the house today. In case you're wondering, no, my wife and I didn't have a fight. Rather, the whole thing started from a pile of dirty laundry. There we were, lazing in bed on an early Sunday morning (it was just past 6 am). Adelle was already up and was actively trying to get both my wife and I involved in her games. Then, wife says that we should put in the pile of dirty clothes into the washing machine so that we'd be in time to hang them up before going to church.

Being the dutiful husband that I am, I groggily got up from the bed, went downstairs, picked up the heap of smelly clothes and proceeded to put them into the washing machine. So, I opened the door to the side of the house (that's where the washing machine is placed), stuffed the clothes into the machine and started the wash cycle. Now, at the same time I was doing all this, the door decided to close on me. But, I hardly took notice of it. Satisfied that the clothes were in the good care of the machine, I turned back to go inside and turned the door knob.

It was locked.

I turned it again, just in case the knob was stuck or something. Still, it didn't budge. No matter I thought, I'll just knock. My wife would surely hear the knocking. After all, it was still early in the day, and the whole neighbourhood was still relatively quiet.

So I knocked. No response. I knocked again, harder this time. Still no response. I knocked harder still. Again, no response. I could hear Adelle squealing in the room upstairs, but as far as my wife was concerned, there was no response. So I went to the back of the house and started knocking on the back kitchen door. I looked at the time. It was 6.20 am. After a few minutes of knocking without receiving any sort of response, I stopped and went back to the side of the house. You might be wondering why I didn't go to the front of the house and just shout out to my wife. I wished I could, but we have a grille door that blocks the side walkway that links to the front part of the house. And I didn't have the key.

So, back to the side of the house it was. I knocked again, hoping this time that my wife would hear me since it was quiet then. No luck. I overturned a big pail and sat on it, thinking. Then I saw the piping that connects to the toilets upstairs. And in front of me, leaning against the wall were several chrome-plated bars that we had wanted to use as curtain rails but never did. An idea formed in my head. I could use the bars to knock on the piping. Since the piping would amplify the sound of the knocking, my wife would surely hear it. And what better knocking sound than the SOS - three quick taps, followed by three slow taps and ending with another three quick taps. Perfect! I was quite pleased with my self for thinking of such an ingenuous idea. So, I eagerly took the bar, raised it above my head and knocked it on the piping.

Tingtingting, ting-ting-ting, tingtingting.

I did this several times. But after each time, my good spirits slowly stated deserting me. Still, there was no response.

The next hour saw me doing either one of three things: sitting, knocking on the door, or tapping the pipes with the bar. When the washing cycle was finally done, I hung out the clothes to dry. Just then, my neighbour came out of her house. I said hi, and asked if I could borrow her phone. I quickly explained my predicament but leaving out the detail that I had been stuck out there for a long time. As it is, it was already an embarassing situation for me and to give her that extra bit of detail would have forever put me in her long-term memory filed under dimwits. She laughed as she passed me the phone.

Oh well, the embarrassment was more than worth it - my wife opened the door and I was inside my house again! When I was finally inside I looked at the clock. It was 8.40 am. My entire ordeal had lasted more than two hours!

Later in the day, I asked my wife if she heard any knocking. She said she did. Then I asked her, wasn't she curious that there was this incessant knocking that was going on? Her reply - she thought that it was the neighbour's kids who were up to some mischief as they are wont to do. She said she was actually irritated because it woke Adelle up. Then I asked her again, didn't she find it odd that the knocking was in the form of an SOS. Her reply - what's that?

What a way to start the day!

All happy

Last Friday, the whole family went to 1 Borneo (supposed the largest shopping mall in East Malaysia). My wife was interested in visiting the Sabah International Expo which was being held there. We had visited the same expo which was held a few years back, and we enjoyed the experience. After all, it was free for visitors.

So, after school we went home and changed right away. Then we headed of to 1 Borneo and we had difficulty finding a parking. The car park was packed! After going round a few times, we decided to stop and wait instead for people to leave. Not too long after we managed to get a parking lot. All of us went straight to the expo.

We met my uncle there who was with the Sabah Tourism Promotion Board promoting Sabah handicrafts. After a brief chat, we explored the whole place. The expo was quite big. There were many booths to see and lots of free food-tasting as well! My wife bought a few fashion accessories, Adelle was given a balloon and a small piece of sweet which she was absolutely fascinated with, and I got to take a few pictures and eat a few things. So, all in all it was a happy time for everyone. We spent more than three hours there.

Sabah handicrafts on display at the expo

One of the many booths at the expo

After the expo, we decided to walk around the mall a bit more. I previously spotted some nice-looking exotic sports cars which were on display when we first arrived and I had already told my wife that I wanted to take a few shots of them. There were models too, but I didn't shoot any of them because none of them were there when we came back. Adelle got to pose with some of the sports cars so she became my model. Finishing with that, we walked around a bit more and then, we went home - tired but happy.

Adelle's very own super car!

Beauty and the beast

Quick, run! Before they catch you for going beyond the boundary!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ocha on my mind

Edited: Pictures of food inserted!

This week is PMR (that's the Form 3 examination) week, so for my school the students in all forms except those sitting for their examinations are off on break. But, we teachers still have to come to school. It can be quite boring since there's nothing much to do, but at least we get to go back slightly earlier.

Anyway, the moment I arrived home today, Adelle calls me from upstairs. "Daddeee! Get readeee!". I ask her why and she reponds, "Go lunch!". So, I go upstairs and ask my wife what kind of lunch did she have in mind. Then, she replied by asking me if I had anything in mind (don't you think replying a question with another question is so normal?). I said no, and then she said she was thinking of going to City Mall (that's the place where I bought my Code 10 gel from. If you haven't read that story, click this). I immediately knew what she had in mind.

Earlier in the day, as is usual at school, I read the local newspaper which our staff club subscribes to. Among the many advertisements I saw, I saw one about Hana (a Japanese restaurant) having a promotion on some of its menu items. I remembered that my wife had been wanting to try it out but we just never had the chance. And since Hana is located at City Mall, and that's where my wife wanted to go for lunch, so logically, that's where she'd want to go right? Of course, I was right. And of course, I agreed. A gaping chasm was already forming in my tummy due to hunger, so all of us quickly got changed and drove to City Mall.

At the restaurant, we both browsed through the menu but I decided to leave the ordering to my wife. I told her I was hungry and that she could order anything - just as long as it would fill my tummy. So, she ordered three different dishes, and in addition to that, she took a plate of salmon sushi from the conveyor belt. Our dishes arrived quite quickly, so that was good. And as is usual, I also took pictures of the food, but right now, I can't share them with you. I usual do a bit of processing to my pictures before putting them here, but now I can't. You see, my monitor's screen has turned all greeny on me. I'm not too sure what's the cause. I've checked the connections from the monitor to the cpu and they seem okay. So, I'll just leave the monitor as it is for now, and see whether tomorrow, thing's will be whiter and brighter so that I can upload the pictures for all of you to drool on (hehe!).

The interior deco of the restaurant

My thoughts on the food? I would say the overall quality is quite good - except for the sushi. We found them quite hard to eat. The rice that makes up the rice balls don't stick together very well. And it doesn't help that you are using chopsticks to eat them. So when we try to put the balls into our mouths, the whole thing just breaks up. Probably the skill of those making the sushi is still not up to par? Also, my wife commented that the meat on one of the sushi balls was not very fresh. So, if I was looking for sushi, I'd probably find better quality elsewhere.

Food on wheels

But, we enjoyed the rest of the food. The sushi tempura bento was quite good, apart from the disingtegrating sushi, of course. The set came with rice, the tempura, the sushi, and a side dish of salad. We also found the ebi kushou don quite nice. This was rice served in a bowl topped with gravy, onions, sweet pea sprouts, and prawns. Appetizing.

Sushi Tempura Bento

Ebi Kushou Don

But, we thought the best dish was the watani gani maki. They looked like their sushi counterparts, but they were much bigger and they had different fillings (not too sure now what exactly those fillings were). They were also covered in bits of tempura which was a nice touch of adding some extra oomph to the whole thing.

Watani Gani Maki

At the end of it all, my wife was very full, and I was satisfied. We went to the 'low price leader in Malaysia' after that because my wife wanted to buy some french loafs. They were on offer at 99 sen each, but when we reached there my wife was told that the offer was only till 2 pm. It was already 2.45 pm then. So, we just bought 2 cartons of fresh milk and headed home and we did the the best thing to do on a full tummy.

We slept!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

The vanishing

I know, I know. I've done a vanishing act again. Could it be that after three months of blogging I'm already walking down the road towards bloggers limbo? I certainly hope not. I'd be very disappointed with myself if I ever came to that. I had made a promise to myself that this time round, this blog was going to last way, way, way longer than my first - and since aborted - attempt at blogging. And while I've more than surpassed the space of time it took for me to abandon my first blog, I still want to continue...

So, here are the latest updates:

Yesterday, Sabah celebrated the Head of State's official birthday. It was supposed to coincide with Malaysia Day on September 16, but since it was the fasting month, the governor decided to postpone all celebrations till yesterday, 11 October. My wife and I didn't initially plan to watch the celebrations and parade at the town field - we had earlier gone to the morning market near our house to buy some groceries - but my wife suggested that we go to town to have breakfast. We wanted to eat at our favourite bun shop (all sorts of buns there and the price is very reasonable as well), but it turned out to be closed when we drove past it. So, we settled for beef noodles as well, which was quite nice. Since this particular shop was just across from the town field, and we could hear the marchin band playing their songs, I suggested that we bring Adelle to go have a look and experience the whole thing. Wife agreed and off we went.

Of course, lucky me, I took my camera along (actually, I secretly wished to go and see the parade!) so I managed to take a number of shots. There were performances and all, but I wasn't very interested in them. What caught my attention were the palace guards (yes, the official residence of the governor is called the palace or better known as the Istana). They looked quite smart in their uniform and so, they were my main focus.

Look! I'm part of the parade!

That was yesterday. Today, Adelle woke all of us at around 6 am and then we got ready to go to the beach. We brought along her beach toys and we got her into her swimsuit so that it'd be easier to clean her up later. At the beach, Adelle was quite reluctant to walk on the sand at first. She also didn't want to use her toys to make sandcastles, but after I made a couple she became interested in what I was doing and went on to play by herself while Daddy and Mommy enjoyed a couple of sandwiches that my wife had packed. We didn't stay long as it was getting hot, so we left right after snapping a family photo.

Adelle enjoying herself playing with sand

Family photo at the beach

Just now, our Malay neighbour invited us over for dinner and we went, ate , chatted and came back. I'm feeling rather tired and sleepy right now so I'll stop writing here for tonight.

Have a good week ahead.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The long wait

Okay, okay. I'm guilty. I'm a procrastinator, and it shows. I've probably taken the procrastinator's battle-cry "Don't do today, what you can put off till tomorrow" a bit too far. I just had a look at the post date of this post where I said I would share with you the pictures I took of my friend's wedding and I was shocked to find out that it was over a month ago!

It certainly took longer than I had hoped. But, okay, enough dilly-dallying. Here are the pictures then in all their pixelated glory!


Wait. I forgot to mention that you won't see them here. I've posted them on my spanking new photoblog (erm, not new's been in existence for over a month but the procrastinator in me has not been as diligent in updating it. No fear, though. From this moment on, I will! Procrastinator's honour :p).

Point you mouse here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ain't nothing low here

You see it almost everywhere - that green cursive writing against a yellow background with a red dot dotting the 'i'. I even see it when I look out of my bedroom window. But the low price leader it isn't. I mean, how dare they call themselves that when so many of their things are way so much more pricier than the local supermarkets? Even when their items are supposedly on offer!

I am actually ticked off by their whole charade especially today. You see, this afternoon the whole family went to 'the low price leader' to get a few things - among others, hair gel for myself. So, I was comparing prices between the different brands and seeing which ones would be the best value for money. I decided to buy the biggest packing of the Code 10 Strong Hold gel (what can I say, I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy). The cost - RM8.90. I was quite pleased with myself since I had stood there in front of the rack with all those colourful jars and tubes of gel for quite a while calculating the whole weight/price ratio before making up my mind.

But, then later in the evening, my wife and I went to another shopping complex (after my friend so kindly volunteered to take care of Adelle) just for a bit of window shopping and as we were walking around, we decided to enter one of the local departmental stores here in Kota Kinabalu. We were passing the personal grooming products, and out of curiosity I went to look for the same gel that I had bought. And lo and behold, I saw it - the green 250 ml tub of the Code 10 Strong Hold Gel. And what greeted me when I turned it to look at the price tage? The price of RM7.70!


That was a RM1.20 difference! Not 10 sen, not 20 sen, not 30 sen but RM1.20! That's preposterous! How in the world can a smaller, with limited purchasing-power, local, one-outlet departmental store be selling this 250 ml Code 10 Strong Hold gel for RM1.20 cheaper than the so much bigger, and with so much more capital for bulk purchases, and with dozens and dozens of stores all over the country? Maybe I'm missing some kind of advanced accounting principles that are involved in all these price differences, but to the average consumer like me, that kind of price gap is absolutely absurd! It's totally illogical!

And they dare call themselves 'the low price leader in Malaysia'? Low price leader my foot! I can understand a few cents difference in products between different stores but RM1.20 is just way too much. Isn't there a law or something against proclaiming something you're not?

Well, at least now I know one place NOT to shop for the Code 10 Strong Hold gel.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Round 1

I guess it's still not too late to wish everyone a Selamat Hari Raya.

I'm enjoying my week-long break. And today being the first day of the celebrations, we went visitng...and eating. My wife and I initially thought of going to the Chief Minister's Open House at the Sports Complex near where I live. Several friends told us that it's such a big thing, with all the big 5-star hotels coming in presenting all their glorious food for all and sundry to eat. That's in addition to the numerous other smaller stalls all around the complex. It sounded so enticing!

But, since my wife and I had already promised a couple of our friends that we'd be coming to their house, we didn't. But, we told each other that next year (God willing) will warrant a definite visit to that food-eating extravaganza.

I actually woke up quite late today, but wife and Adelle were up earlier. So, that pushed back our time for departing for our friends' place. When all of us were finally ready, it was 11.20 am, and by the time we reached the first house (belonging to my wife's colleague) it was close to noon already. Along the way, we prepped Adelle so that she'd be able to wish the hosts 'Selamat Hari Raya' (actually we had been doing this since yesterday!), but no a squeak came out of her when she was face to face with the host. But, she warmed up to everyone later and helped give out packet drinks to other visitors! So, we ate, chatted and ate some more, and said our goodbyes. On to the next house...

The second house was my colleague's family house and when we arrived, all my other colleagues had already left. No matter. Again, we tried to persuade Adelle to say 'Selamat Hari Raya' but she refused (looks like we'll have to train her again for tomorrow's visits). As is usual when visiting open houses, we ate, chatted, and ate some more. Adelle ate as well. She finished off a couple of satay sticks all by herself. Before this, she had already been enjoying the Raya goodies at the previous house and she picked up right where she left off then.

At both houses, Adelle was pretty shy in the beginning. She'd stick to either my wife or me. But she's like a diesel engine - she needs a bit of time to get warmed up. So, when she was warmed up at the second house, she got my colleague's sister, her nephew and another boy to take her round the house for a walk! She also finally said 'Selamat Hari Raya' but that was when we were about to leave. Better late than never, right?

So, we left my colleague's place and went home. Adelle was already asleep in the car when we arrived and both Daddy and daughter went to the room to rest. Ngggzzzz....

Tomorrow's another day.