Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Golden Rule

I'd say just about everyone thinks about money - from the poorest soul, to the world's richest person. It allows you to live comfortably, and it's one of the best motivators. How else do you explain you being willing to go through myriads of inconveniences (to put it mildly) just to get to that place called an office?

We're usually consumed by thoughts of how we can get more of it (either by doing more work, or by investing in something that offers good returns). But, how many of us think about how we can safely store it for use in times of need? I've been told that one of the best ways of doing so is by buying gold. Buying gold is often seen as a hedge against any sort of crises. The often given reason why buying gold is a good choice is that gold retains its value even when the usual monetary forms do not. After all, it's been used for ages!

And if you're like me, you would probably already have started a bit of that investment in gold - there's that gold ring that you may have as your marriage band, or that gold necklace that you wear round your neck, or those gold earrings. But, apparently you can also buy gold coins, actual coins made of gold, as a form of investment. These coins are sometimes referred to as bullion, but I think they refer to the same thing.

But, as usual, there's always the usual caveat: make sure you understand what your investment is all about and see whether it fits with your whole portfolio. Whether it be gold bullion or stocks, let your hard earned money do the working instead.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How good is your memory?

We've each got about 100 billion neurons (that's brain cells to you and me) in our brain. But, how do you explain that some people have better memory than others? Is it because, for the rest of us (or me, at least), a lot of those information-transmitting cells have been damaged? Or is it because people with good memory have somehow trained themselves to remember better?

Just this evening as I was putting Adelle to sleep, I was reminded of the remarkable organ enclosed in our head that is our brain. Part of the routine before Adelle goes to sleep is the bedtime story. She has one particular story that she likes very much, and that is the story of baby Moses. I've lost track of the countless times either my wife or I have read that particular story to her, but Adelle just doesn't seem to get tired of listening to it over and over and over again.

In fact, she's listened to it so many times, that you can just start off by reading the first word, and she'll continue telling you the story! And the amazing bit is she does it almost word for word. My wife told me that she could do this not too long ago, but I hadn't witnessed this extraordinary feat (to me at least) until today. She does miss out or changes certain words as she goes along telling the story, but still...

She hasn't quite memorised the whole 5 half-page story yet. I figure the last page hasn't quite assimilated into her being yet...hahaha. But, that's hardly what describes me. I see, and read the words. But, I don't remember much of them. The only bit I remember very well is the rhyme that's in the story which I've turned into a simple song to the tune of "Twinkle, twinkle little star". Adelle likes it, and she sings along whenever we come to that part:

Little brother in a boat,
God and I will watch you float,
While the river breezes blow,
Rest well in your basket low,
Little brother in a boat,
God and I will watch you float.

Putting words into song is always a good memory-helper, but I can't go round singing everything I need to remember, can I?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Getting pampered

Once in a while, it's nice to get away from it all and just go somewhere else to get pampered for a change. For the last couple of years, it's been a tradition for me, my wife and Adelle to go to a hotel somewhere to just spend the night and enjoy all there is to enjoy about staying at a hotel. We find it a refreshing break from the daily routine.

Anyway, if you're planning on doing the same thing somewhere really soon, Accor Hotels is here yet again with a massive Accor Hotels 3-Day Super Sale Asia Pacific - that means you get to enjoy the great prices as well right here in Malaysia! Of course, if you plan to travel to other places, you can also enjoy the same great price in Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore...well, wherever you can find an Accor Hotel.

There are over a million rooms nights available for sale so there's more than a high possibility that you'll get the enjoy the offer, but you still have to make up quick because the offer is good only from the 27 October till 29 October - that's today, tomorrow, and the day after only! You must book within this period! Hotel stay is between December 9 this year till April 10 next year.

Quick plan your Christmas holidays and enjoy the great stay at a lavish hotel!

Update (29.10.2009): It seems that this fantastic promotion has been extended for a further 24 hours! That means you can still make you bookings on the cheap till 30 October. How great is that?


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Doh! Nuts!!

I got burned.

Not my money, but my skin. Last Saturday, the whole family went for an outing with other church friends at Karambunai Lagoon Park, and the end result was that I was as red as a lobster and my skin was rather sensitive to the touch. Blame that condition on the banana boat ride (which was rather mellow this time round, as the boatman went slow because of the number of kids during our ride), and kayaking (about an hour's worth). But, now that I think about it, I guess the whole reason I did get sunburn was because I forgot all about slapping some thick white sunscreen on my body....

So, to prevent all the unsightly skin peel, I smeared some Johnson's cream (the one with vitamin E) all over the red parts. Now, if you've never known this, it really does work. Rub in the lotion a few times and it should work. After three days, the redness has more or less diminished and there's no sign of skin peeling anywhere. The wonder of it all...

Oh, also last Saturday Big Apple Donuts had some special offer: a 52% discount on their box of a dozen donuts. That basically means that you only had to pay RM13 for twelve donuts. Not a bad deal. So my wife and I went over to their outlet at City Mall, queued for about half an hour (!), and got our dozen. I think that day must have been their busiest for a very long time.

Wonderful (if, a bit pricey) donuts. Mmmmmm....


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The pest control people came over yesterday to treat the house with some pesticides to prevent roaches and ants. So, a few hours after they left, I did the mopping up just to clean up whatever residue was left. And that was when I got it...a crick at my left waist.

I thought nothing much of it at first, but as I was finishing up, I had extreme difficulty in even wringing the mop. I cleaned up and went up for my shower, and suffered some more. Taking my shorts off was a painful ordeal, so was reaching for the shower cream which was on the floor. So, rather than just bending down and picking it up, I had no other choice but to squat, slowly.

Dressing up was as painful. I had to sit down to do it, and even that act electrified my pain receptors. Ugggh! I tried stretching, thinking that it would help, but the pain was too much to bear. Thankfully, sleeping wasn't much of a problem, but when I woke up this morning, my left ear was feeling a bit numb and sore. I had probably stayed in one position for much of the night to cause that.

It's amazing isn't it? Just one tiny part of your body is at unease, yet it discomforts the whole body. But, I'm glad to say that the pain has subsided quite a bit since then, but it's still there. At least I can bend down at my waist now without having to howl in pain.

Which, in my book, means I should be fit enough to play badminton tomorrow!