Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Power of one..

Over the weekend, saw a movie based on a true story about a young man who had to cut off his leg because of bone cancer. His name was Terry Fox. When he got out of the hospital and got used to using an artificial leg. He decided to run across Canada to raise awareness and money for Cancer research. This was in the late 70's, so the artificial leg is not that advance yet.

He and his friend set out the journey. At first there were dissapointments cause not many publicity but he kept on going. He never gave up. Later on his brother joined and a guy from the cancer foundation joined too, things began to look up. He ran until he could not run anymore because the cancer had spread all over but what he did had raise hope, awareness and money for cancer research.

It all started with just one person with a lot of heart.

About Terry Fox

Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and raised in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, a community near Vancouver on Canada's west coast. An active teenager involved in many sports, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977.
While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

He would call his journey the Marathon of Hope.

After 18 months and running over 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles) to prepare, Terry started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 with little fanfare. Although it was difficult to garner attention in the beginning, enthusiasm soon grew, and the money collected along his route began to mount. He ran 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through Canada's Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario.

It was a journey that Canadians never forgot.

However, on September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs. An entire nation was stunned and saddened. Terry passed away on June 28, 1981 at age 22.

The heroic Canadian was gone, but his legacy was just beginning.

To date, more than $400 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name through the annual Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world.


Getting use to..

Trying to get used to stop eating oily food. Also cutting down on meat (boo hoo hoo, there goes my steak and rice). So i think here are the list of food i should advoid for the moment.

1) Kolo mee/kuih tiaw
2) Fried kuih tiaw
3) Mac Donald (there goes the french fries)
4) Any chop with rice
5) Meat (chicken and gang)
6) Roti canai and any oily food
7) yau cha kwai (literally oil-fried ghosts)
8) Sea Food (only sea food i do eat is fish and prawns)

Can;t think of any more...ahaha...but this is basically it.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Congratulations to Iraq Football team

For the first time, Iraq football won the Asian Cup. They beat hot favourites Saudi Arabia 1-0. They overcome many hardship and i think they deserve to win. Now hopefully the people will unite like they did when they supported their football team to reclaim back their country.


About 3,000 Iraqi refugees celebrated in Damascus, Syria. In Dearborn, Mich., Iraqi-Americans gathered in the streets, honking horns, sitting on car roofs and waving flags.

Jubilation over the team known as the "Lions of the Two Rivers" gave Iraqis a rare respite from the daily violence. The victorious run sent men of all ages cheering and dancing in Baghdad.

Celebratory gunfire resounded across the city and revelers poured into the streets in defiance of orders from authorities while mosques broadcast calls for the shooting to stop. Security forces enforced a vehicle ban in an effort to prevent a repeat of car bombings that killed dozens celebrating Iraq's progress to the final.

"The players have made us proud, not the greedy politicians," said Sabah Shaiyal, a 43-year-old police officer in Baghdad. "Once again, our national team has shown that there is only one, united Iraq." Notes: Qatar was announced Sunday as the host of the next Asian Cup, to be played in 2011.

I am sure many football fans in Malaysia would agree that they deserve the win..A team from a country full of sadness and tragedy can win, i hope Malaysia football team can learn a thing or two from this competition.


Since 21.7.2007, 22 Koreans have been kidnapped in Afganistan by the Talibans. Supposed to be 23, but the leader of the group was killed just to show people that they mean business.

They kidnapped the people in order to force the government to free some of the captured Talibans.

As of today talks are still on going in securing the release of the Koreans. They have been split into 3 groups and in 3 different areas. The reason the Talibans do so, in case any rescue attempts by the government and US forces.

I just do not understand the thinking of the Talibans. What do they hope to gain by doing this kind of things?

I pity the leaders of Afganistan, US and Koreans. If they release the prisoners, there is no gurantee that kidnapping won;t happen again. If they do not, innocent victims will be killed. There is no win-win situation in this problem. The government stand will always be 'We do not negotiate with terrorist'.

The families of the victim are also innocent in this conflict. All prayers and thoughts to the victims and their families. No amout of comforting will ease their heart ache. But i believe the good Lord will take care of them. And what ever happens, happens.

In your prayers please spare a moment to pray for them. Pray that they do not give up hope and although the situation may look grim, pray that they be spiritually strong.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blood test results..

Just got my results. Eveything ok except my cholesterol. Total cholesterol went up from 227 to 256 (accepted level is <200), Triglycerides went up from 330 to 805 (accepted level is <150), my good cholesterol (HDL) went down from 42 - 37 (accepted level is >40), due to the high level of my triglycerides, they can;t calculate my bad cholesterol level.

My bro was surprise when he saw the 'Lipid' section, he asked me whether i know what lipid means...he said fats...then he said 'where is your fats?'. Yep i do not have any fats and yet my cholesterol is high.

Well, i have to take medication and retake the blood test again in 3 months time. And go vegetarian for awhile.

I have to take care of my health or it will take care of me.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Congratulations to Coach Rexy.

The Malaysian government gave coach Rexy and family PR status in Malaysia. It is recognition for his contribution to the Nations Badminton team. In the doubles department.


The Associated PressPublished: July 27, 2007

Indonesia's Rexy Mainaky wins recognition from Malaysian government

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Rexy Mainaky, Indonesia's former top ranked doubles star, received permanent resident status from Malaysia's government Friday — a surprise gift for helping the nation's badminton players to international success.

Home Affairs Minister Radzi Sheikh Ahmad handed Mainaky a certification card confirming his permanent resident status as a tribute to his stewardship of Malaysia's doubles pairs to numerous international victories since he started coaching here two years ago, the national news agency Bernama reported.

Mainaky said the government's decision was a "surprise."

"I had at one stage denied Malaysia from winning the men's doubles title at the (1996 Atlanta) Olympics, but now my target is to ensure Malaysia wins the title," Bernama quoted Mainaky as saying.

Mainaky said he planned to help a Malaysian doubles pair win the BWF World Championships in Kuala Lumpur next month.

During his playing days with partner his Ricky Subagia, they won all the major tournaments in the world, including an Olympic Gold medal. May the young players learn as much from him as possible, be it on court or off court. He did not let success get into his head. On court he is playing all out some time to the point of being arrogant but off the court, he is a humble person and a man of faith (he is a Christian).

Check this out : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haGgy4qeEo0

Friday, July 27, 2007

Stock Market

Recently our country's stock market is doing well. Reached a high a few days ago. But yesterday it went down and today during lunch time went down again by 20 over points. Now i am not sure how many it translate to in $$$ but 1 point drop is already a lot of $$$.

Met a guy recently and he said the moment you see house wives getting into stock market, you will see the danger signs already. The last time market was bad was in 97/98. The 10 year cycle. Old college lecturer mentioned to the class, during good times do not go into stock market. Go in when the market is down. But you know humans being humans, where got such thing? Thats why when market crash, a lot of hopes and dreams went with it. But there will be one or two who will go in and make big $$ when market is down.

But what is the stock market? How did it came about?


Stock Market History

History of stock market trading in the United States can be traced back to over 200 years ago. Historically, The colonial government decided to finance the war by selling bonds, government notes promising to pay out at profit at a later date. Around the same time private banks began to raise money by issuing stocks, or shares of the company to raise their own money. This was a new market, and a new form of investing money, and a great scheme for the rich to get richer. A little futher on the history tumeline, more specifically in 1792, a meeting of twenty four large merchants resulted into a creation of a market known as the New York Stock Exchange(NYSE). At the meeting, the merchants agreed to meet daily on Wall Street to daily trade stocks and bonds.

Further in history, in the mid-1800s, United States was experiencing rapid growth. Companies needed funds to assist in expansion required to meet the new demand. Companies also realized that investors would be interested in buying stock, partial ownership in the company. History has shown that stocks have facilitated the expansion of the companies and the great potential of the recently founded stock market was becoming increasingly apparent to both the investors and the companies.

By 1900, millions of dollars worth of stocks were traded on the street market. In 1921, after twenty years of street trading, the stock market moved indoors.

History brought us the Industrial Revolution, which also played a role in changing the face of the stock market. New form of investing began to emerge when people started to realize that profits could be made by re-selling the stock to others who saw value in a company. This was the beginning of the secondary market, known also as the speculators market. This market was more volatile than before, because it was now fueled by highly subjective speculation about the company’s future.

This was the pretext for appearance of such stock market giants as NYSE. History books tell us that the reason the NYSE is so highly regarded among stock markets was primarily because they only trade in the very large and well-established companies. It acted as a more stable investment alternative, for people interested in throwing their capital into the stock market arena. The smaller companies making up the stock market formed into what eventually became the American Stock Exchange (AMEX). Contrary to the 80-year old history, today the NYSE, AMEX, NASDAQ and hundreds of other exchange markets make a significant contribution to the national and global economy.

The growth in the number of market participants led the government to decide that more regulation of the stock market was needed to protect those investing in stock. History was made in 1934, when following the Great Crash, Congress passed the Securities and Exchange Act. This act formed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which, through the rules set out by the act and succeeding amendments, regulates American stock market trading with the help of the exchanges. It also includes overseeing the requirements for a company to issue stock shares to the public and ensures that the company offers relevant information to potential investors. The SEC also oversees the daily actions of market exchanges and how they trade the securities offered.

Although historically, investing in stocks was a “hobby” for the rich, an average person too soon came to realize the value of the investing in stocks vs. traditional assets like land or a house.

Stock Market - Explained in Brief

A typical dictionary definition for stock is (the capital raised by a corporation through the issue of shares entitling holders to an ownership interest (equity); "he owns a controlling share of the company's stock").

Stocks are usually explained to be a collection of shares in a company,and are also referred to as stock shares. A stock is a certificate (sheet of paper) declaring you own a small fraction of that company (corporation). To explain further lets look at some of the reasons for why a company might want to issue stock. A company issues a stock so that it might use the money from a stock offering to buy equipment, hire people, advertise, or expand facilities. Basically, stocks help companies grow

Trading in stocks on the stock market is typically driven by speculation, based on company news and performance factors. There are two ways to try and find the market value of a stock. Stock value is determined using some type of cash flow, sales or earnings analysis. This form of stock valuation is based on historic ratios and statistics and aims to assign market value to a stock based on measurable attributes. Another way a stock market can be be explained is to ask one to look at how much investor is willing to pay for a particular share of stock and by how much other investors are willing to sell a stock for. In other words, it explains the market’s supply and demand. This form of stock valuation is very hard to understand or predict, and it often drives the short-term stock market trends.

In 1865, the New York Stock Exchange opened its first permanent headquarters near Wall Street in New York City. The irony of stock market is that companies live and die by their stock price, yet for the most part they don't actively participate in investing and in trading their stocks within the market. Companies get funds from the securities market when they first sell a security to the public in the primary market, commonly referred to as an initial public offering (IPO).

In the subsequent trading of these shares on the secondary market (what most refer to as “the stock market”), it is the average investor exchanging the stock who benefits from any appreciation in stock price. Fluctuating prices are translated into gains or losses for these investors as change of ownership of stock takes place. Individual traders investing in the market acquire the full capital gain or loss after transaction costs. The original company that issues the stock does not participate in investing and taking of any profits or losses resulting from these transactions because this company is not supposed to have any monetary interest in stock market transactions.

From the start there was not need to explan that individuals couldn’t realistically be buying shares of stock directly from the company. Stock market brokers have facilitated the obstacle of individual buyers dealing with companies issuing the stock. A stock broker is someone who performs transactions in stock on a stock market as an agent of their clients who are unable or unwilling to trade for themselves. A firm that buys stock from the company and resells it to the investors is known as the underwriter.

Technology and internet have made investing in the stock market incredibly accessible to the mainstream public. Electronic trading began to grow in popularity by mid 1960s and by 1968 NASD (National Association of Securities Dealers) created the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation System or NASDAQ. The trading floor of the ‘new stock market’ is now virtual computer space driven by 21st-century technology that makes investing in stock market EASY. The new technology brings news and other info to the investor, and stock trades can now be done from around the world at lightning speed. Internet stock market trading continues to grow and a special study by the SEC found that as of the second quarter of 1999 there were 9.7 million investors with online trading accounts.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dos and Don'ts of Negotiating a Salary

Got this article from MSN. Who knows may be some of the info is applicable in this country. I am sure all companies operates under the same thingy....the bottom line.


Dos and Don'ts of Negotiating a Salary

By Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com Editor

As if the résumé writing and panel interviews weren't grueling enough, now you've got to negotiate a salary before you can successfully end your job hunt. "If you want something, you had better negotiate for it." That's the bottom line according to authors Robin L. Pinkley and Gregory B. Northcraft in their book "Get Paid What You're Worth." They note, "Employers routinely will offer you less than they ultimately expect to compensate you with the expectation that you will negotiate."

To help you nail the big bucks, heed these dos and don'ts.

Do arm yourself with as much information as possible by checking out industry Web sites for your occupational and geographic areas and others that specialize in salary information or the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Don't overlook information from consulting firms. Mike Nichols, vice president of compensation, benefits and HRIS for Cendant Corporation, places the most confidence in surveys conducted by major consulting firms. "I frequently seek out surveys from Mercer, Hewitt, Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt," Nichols says. While most of the survey data from these firms is cost-prohibitive for an individual, there are a lot of good articles and information available from their web sites to help you understand how companies view and determine compensation levels.

Do withhold salary information for as long as possible. "Salary information is often used by employers as a screening tool. You want to keep all salary information away from a potential employer for as long as possible so that you're not "screened out" before you even get your foot in the door," suggests Denise Cooper, vice president of human resources for Peoples Energy in Chicago.

Don't feel pressured to divulge a specific figure on an employment application. Instead, write "open," "negotiable" or "competitive" on every application form you complete.

Do delay the salary negotiation process for as long as possible. Each minute spent with your prospective employer is another minute you can use to explore the job and the types of responsibilities it entails. This will allow you more time to focus on your strengths and accomplishments as they relate to the job and demonstrate your value.

Don't be shy about outlining the skills and experience you will bring to your employer and how they will help the organization meet its goals or solve a problem. If there's ever a time to toot your own horn, the time is now. Know what the value of your skills, experience and achievements are worth in the current marketplace.

Do let the prospective employer make the first move into the salary negotiation phase. Knowing what the salary range is for the job will give you an idea of the interviewer's negotiating parameters and will help you gauge how much selling you may have to do.

Don't give the employer an actual figure if you are asked directly about the salary you want. Instead, turn the question around and ask what salary range would be offered in the company for this type of job for someone with similar years of experience, level of expertise and knowledge of the business.

Do be honest about your current salary. Falsely inflating your pay or padding numbers is dishonest and can come back to haunt you when your new employer verifies your past employment . . . and salary.

Don't act too eager to accept, even if the offer was more than you expected. Most employers have some room to negotiate and you should strongly consider making a counter offer. Pinkly and Northcraft found of the companies they interviewed, "Eighty percent told us that the job applicant who negotiates in a professional manner would make the best impression. Only 20 percent said they would be most impressed by the applicant who accepted the offer as made."

Do be professional in your negotiations. Keep the salary discussion positive and upbeat by focusing on why you should be paid what you desire and the value the employer will receive in return.

Don't let your current salary limit your viewpoint of what you're earning potential might be. If your research shows that the industry is paying more than your were being paid, hold out for this higher amount and remind the interviewer of your qualifications and experience.

Do be realistic in your expectations. Some candidates have inflated opinions of what they should be earning. Consider the industry, the economy, your experience and the competition from other potential candidates.

Don't let the employer rush you into accepting a salary that you know you'll be unhappy with soon after you take the job. Let them know that the salary offer is less than what you desire by saying something like, "Taking my experience into consideration and knowing that I have the ability to jump right in and make a difference, I really feel strongly that a salary of $55,000 would be appropriate."

Do aim high. Keep in mind that you can always lower your desired salary expectations, but it's impossible to inflate it once you indicate what would be acceptable to you.

Copyright 2007 CareerBuilder.com. All rights reserved.


It looks like its going to rain again. Being raining since yesterday evening. Weather pattern seems to be changing. It can be real hot in the day and rain at night. But for today, seems to going to rain again in day time.

For those who is driving please drive carefully. Let us spare a thought to those who is in UK. Some parts of UK are facing severe flooding. The new PM Gordon Brown has been very busy since taking office less then a month ago.

First was the security threats and now natural disaster.

UK fights worst floods in 60 years

EVESHAM, England (Reuters) -- Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged more funds on Monday to tackle some of Britain's worst flooding for nearly 60 years as rising waters made thousands homeless and plunged entire towns under water.

Flooding has caused wideswept disruption across the country with further regions braced for more floods.

1 of 3 more photos » "Our first priority is the safety and protection of our citizens," he told a press briefing at 10 Downing Street, his London residence.

Brown said money was being made available to help people caught out by rising floodwaters in the south of the country, the result of days of unusually heavy rain.

"We are also doing what we can to make sure the defenses against further flooding are in place," he said, adding that Britain would have to look at improving its infrastructure to respond to such emergencies.

"Like every advanced industrial country we are coming to terms with some of the issues surrounding climate change." Watch as Britons brace for more flooding »

The government said it would raise the flood defense budget to £800 million ($1.6 billion) a year by 2011 from 600 million now.

Brown rejected criticism that his government and its agencies had failed to anticipate the latest floods, which came just weeks after heavy rains in northern England killed a number of people and flooded several towns.

"I think the emergency services have done a great job," he said. "I am satisfied people are doing everything they can."

Brown earlier flew over the county of Gloucestershire, where 70,000 homes have had water supplies cut and up to 140,000 may be affected in the coming days. More than 40,000 homes in the area had their electricity supplies cut early on Monday after a nearby power station was shut down.

Insurers estimate claims for flood damage could top £2 billion, on top of an estimated £1.5 billion of claims after the floods in June in central and northern England.

Nine severe flood warnings remained in force, large parts of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire in southern England were under water and authorities said river levels were still rising.

In some towns cars and trucks were abandoned after streets turned into waterways. Emergency crews in small boats have been handing out drinking water and evacuating the elderly and young.

More than 2,000 people spent Sunday night in emergency shelters and the Royal Air Force and coastguard helicopters were called in over the weekend to airlift hundreds to safety in one of Britain's largest peacetime rescue operations.

"I'm afraid to say that I don't think we have seen the peak yet," John Harman, of the Environment Agency, told BBC radio.

"All this water that we have seen ... is now into the river system. Even though the rain has eased off a bit ... it's the water in the rivers now that constitutes a threat."

Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Picking up my bro...

Due to family emergency, today i had to pick up my youngest bro from school (primary 1). So i was there about 10 minutes early and lo and behold, a lot of parents are already there. Either inside the car or outside the gate waiting. Today, rained a bit, so most parents carried their umbrellas.

I looked around and thought, i really hope the children knows what the parents do for them when they are growing up. You know how kids can be when they are in secondary schools or Colleges. Before this i heard from my aunty, there is this father who rides in motobike (advoid traffic jams). If the child got afternoon class, he will bring the bag for the afternoon class and take the morning one back.

School bags nowadays are darn heavy (i carried my bro's)lucky got wheels if not i am not sure how my bro going to handle the bag (cause he is quite small size).

He took his sweet time in coming out. I was rushing for time, cause i had an appointment to meet a supplier. But it turn out ok, by the time he came out, the jam was not bad. If he had come out on time, i will also be stuck in the jam. So it work out quite well today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

reading list

Got this from http://robinlee.typepad.com/i_was_just_thinking_/2007/07/the-reading-lis.html

Lisa at Author Intrusion posted this meme, and I think it's irresistible, even if only for marking how many I've read. There were a few that I think I read back in the dark ages. But it was so long ago, I cannot be sure so I didn't bold them. I did bold books I started but didn't finish, marking those with ++.

Out of the list of 100, I've read 46 all the way through (some more than once), started 4 that I never finished (Anna Karenina I have started and failed to finish about five times), never heard of 14 of the books, saw two titles I would like to read, and the rest held no interest to me for a variety of reasons.

* Bold the ones you’ve read.
* Italicize the ones you want to read.
* Leave in normal text the ones that don’t interest you.
* Put in ALL CAPS those you haven’t heard of.
* Put a couple of asterisks by the ones you recommend.
* Put a ++ by those started but not finished.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A FINE BALANCE (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling)++
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
17. FALL ON YOUR KNEES (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. THE POWER OF ONE (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much Is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)**
43.Confessions of a Shopahaulic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible ** read many times through
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)**
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. ENDER'S GAME (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. THE STONE ANGEL (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)- saw the movie
65. FIFTH BUSINESS (Robertson Davies)
66. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) -
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones's Diary (Helen Fielding) -
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) - saw the movie
75. The Secret Garden(Frances Hodgson)
76. THE SUMMER TREE (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. THE DIVINERS (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83.Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. WIZARD'S FIRST RULE (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. THE STONE DIARIES (Carol Shields)
89. BLINDNESS (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. IN THE SKIN OF A LION (Michael Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch) -
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

As for me I have only read 12 out of the 100.

What about you?

Role Model

Malaysian youngsters and sports persons should take a cue from Squash Queen Nicol David. At such a young age already reached the top of her game. Being world number 1 and winning numerous prestigious titles. She is the Tiger Woods of Squash. If given the chance to watch her play, please do so. Do not let her size fool you, she is a very fit player. Ask any players that played against her, they probably tell you the same thing.

Her never give up attitude in any game, should be emulate/copied. She is young and got many more years of top flight games in her. May she stay healthy and fit and reign in her game as long as possible until another Nicol comes again (which i hope is another Malaysian).

Our sports people should really learn from her, her mental toughness, fitness and her never say die attitude.

Recently she was given an Honorary master's degree. Its something her parents should be proud of, since she and her family gave up so much for her to be successful. A big congratulations to her and her family.


KUALA LUMPUR: The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus has awarded Nicol David an honorary master's degree for her remarkable accomplishment as the most successful Malaysian female squash player of all time.

The university's pro-vice-chancellor Prof Doglas Tallack presented the award to Nicol during the university's eighth graduation ceremony on Saturday.

"For what she has accomplished on the court and for the way that she has handled herself off the court, Nicol is a true role model for all young people and someone who will continue to command our respect and admiration for many years to come," he said during the presentation.


Nicol Ann David (born August 26, 1983 in Penang) is a Malaysian squash player and was said to be the Malaysian sport 'superstar'. She is officially the World Number 1 in women's squash, and is the current (as of 2006) British Open and World Open champion. Recently she has defended her British Open title in 2006 by beating Rachael Grinham in the final. She was the first Asian woman to win the Open. She is also the first and the only female squash player to have won the World Junior title twice in 1999 and 2000. David has been training in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, since she was 18, when she finished her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, scoring 7As. David's other titles include the Asian squash championship, which she won with a record of five times (in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006).

She is the daughter of Ann Marie David and Desmond David. She has two sisters named Liane and Cheryl, both of whom are accomplished squash players at national levels. Her father is an engineer, and her mother was a school teacher (now retired).

On 4 December 2005, she beat Rachael Grinham from Australia to become the youngest world champion.

On 25 November 2006, at the historic Ulster Hall in Belfast , she beat Rachael's sister, Natalie Grinham in a thrilling five sets. She became the first Malaysian athlete to win a world championship title for the 2nd consecutive time, and the fourth person in history to retain the world championship.

She held a 13-month, 51-match winning streak, from March 2006 to April 2007 when she finally lost to Natalie Grinham in the final of the 2007 Seoul Open. In today's standard of professional squash, which is regarded by many as being much more competitive than what it was decades ago, having a winning streak comparable to this is an achievement not easily obtainable.

Small and slight, the girl nicknamed the Duracell Bunny is certainly spellbindingly fast, a great retriever, but also now a more rounded attacking force too. She threatens to take a strong grip on the rankings for a while to come.

Nicol was also named WISPA Player of The Year for 2005 as she won six WISPA titles, the World Games gold medal and the World Open title on 4 December 2005. She has been a sports icon in Malaysia and the Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was quoted saying that David is "now more famous than me".

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tower of London

The Tower of London has a very interesting story behind it. It was begun by a man who was not even English, William of Normandy. At the time he was the cousin of England's Kind Edward. It all started because William became outraged when Edward backed down on his promise to give the throne to William and ended up giving the throne to his English brother-in-law, Harold. William sailed his army across the English Channel to conquer England. On October 14, 1066, he met Harold at Hastings and conquered him. On Christmas Day later that year, William - now called William the conqueror - was crowned King of England. Immediately after William took over as king, he built forts everywhere. One stood in the southeastern corner of London, near an old Roman wall on the north bank of the Thames River. William ordered that this fort be removed in 1078 to be replaced by a huge stone stronghold. This would be the "symbol of his power, a fortress for his defense, and a prison for his enemies". (Fisher, 1987) He named it the Tower of London.

The Tower was finished twenty years later, rising nearly one hundred feet high, with its walls fifteen feet thick in certain places. Inside was a chapel, apartments, guardrooms, and crypts. The Tower was protected by a wide ditch, a new stone wall, the old Roman wall, and the river. This was done to secure the fact that this tower was a prison that no prisoner would escape from.
The Bishop of Durham was probably the Tower's first distinguished prisoner. He was very fat, greedy, and unpopular. He was dragged to the prison by his brother with his servants and bags of money. But the Bishop lived very well inside the Tower because he could bribe the guards with gold. One night in February,1101, he gave a huge banquet with a lot of food and liquor. When he had gotten the guards very drunk, he pushed his bags through a window and slid down a rope to freedom.

Around the year 1240, King Henry III made this tower his home. He whitewashed the tower, widened the grounds to include a church, a great hall, and other buildings. He renamed the entire new area the Tower of London, and renamed the Tower the White Tower. Although the tower was still a prison, Henry had turned the White Tower into a breathtaking palace. He entertained many important visitors, many of which came with animals as gifts. Near the drawbridge of the tower, Henry built the Lion Tower, a zoo where visitors would be greeted with roaring beasts.

In 1377, when Richard II was king, the Tower continued to be a stronghold. But four years later, on June 14, a group of overtaxed farmers stormed the Tower. Richard and his brothers safely hid themselves inside. But the farmers found the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Royal Treasurer, a tax official, and a doctor. These men were taken to Tower Hill where their heads where chopped off. Richard later made peace with these farmers. The leader of the farmers, Wat Tyler, was beheaded. Richard was eventually thrown into a Tower dungeon, where he was forced to give up the throne to Henry IV.

Several monarchs died in the Tower of London. One was thirteen-year-old King Edward V. When his father, King Edward IV died, his uncle Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, plotted to take the throne for himself. Richard had the thirteen-year-old king and his younger brother, the Duke of York, taken to the tower. Lord Hastings, a royal officer, tried to protect Edward, but was unsuccessful. Hastings' head was chopped off on the Tower Green, and Edward and his brother were murdered. These murders most likely took place in the Garden Tower, which was later renamed the Bloody Tower.

Since the Tower of London was so dangerous, King Henry VII formed a personal bodyguard. Henry moved into the Tower in 1485 after killing Richard III in a battle. His protectors were called the Yeoman Warders, who to this day still guard the tower. King Henry was a very frugal man. He seldom gave parties and tried very hard to avoid war, which both cost a lot of money.

After the death of Henry VII, the Tower of London was never again used to house an English queen or king. The dungeon was still used to hold England's enemies, and the Tower was still used for many celebrations. The marriage of King Henry VIII to his second wife, Anne Boleyn, took place at the Tower on May 19, 1533. A huge party was thrown for the next 11 days at the Tower, topped off with an enormous feast.

But the Tower of London was not always a place of celebration. On May 19, 1536, Anne Boleyn was executed under Henry's orders at the Tower Green. Anne had been accused of misconduct, but the plain truth was that she had born a daughter rather than a son, who would become a future king of England. This daughter was Elizabeth I, who would later become the Queen of England. Elizabeth was held prisoner in the Tower for two months by the order of her half sister, Queen Mary. Mary felt that her throne was being threatened by Elizabeth, so she imprisoned her in the Tower. If you look really carefully, you can see Anne Boleyn's Ghost about the tower. She will tell you about the royalty.

Elizabeth was innocent, and people knew it, leading to a public outcry. Elizabeth was released on May 19, 1554 (ironically, May 19 was the day on which Anne Boleyn was married and killed, and the same day that Elizabeth was released from jail.) In 1558, Elizabeth became the queen of England. She spent three days on her coronation in the Tower, to symbolize that it was her duty to "take possession" of it as the royal monarch of England. (Fisher, 1987) On January 15, 1559, she left in a festive parade to be crowned at Westminster Abby. Elizabeth would never return to the Tower.

In 1603, part of the Tower of London became a museum. King James I had ordered that the royal jewels be kept in the Tower Jewel House and be put on display for the Tower visitors. Though its roots trace back to a non-Englishman, the Tower of London has had a very interesting place in English history. It has been the sight of murders, marriages, uproars, museums, and zoos. But the Tower of London will always be remembered as a "symbol of royal power, a fortress for the monarch, and a prison for the monarch's enemies". (Fisher, 1987)


Blood test...

Its that time again where i do my yearly medical check up (blood test thingy). Have to fast for 12 hours. The last time i ate was around 8 something Sunday night, so by Monday 8 something i should have been able to do my blood test and after that go for breakfast.

But around 11pm Sunday night, totally forgotten that i wanted to do my test the next day, i went and eat 2 cookies. So instead of being able to eat around 8 something am on Monday, i had to fast until 11 something. So today i had brunch.

Last year did my test, everything was fine except my cholesterol. One of the reading could not be done because one part of the formula was way over the chart. Accepted level for Triglyceride is <150. Mine was 570. Way to high.

Two months later, went to do the test again, it went down to 330. Still high but at least now can do some readings. My LDL (bad cholesterol) was higher then my HDL (good Cholesterol). Because of this my cholesterol was high. It has been many months now since the last test. So next Monday, result will be out.


AHA Scientific Position
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. It's an important part of a healthy body because it's used to form cell membranes, some hormones and is needed for other functions. But a high level of cholesterol in the blood — hypercholesterolemia — is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack.

Cholesterol and other fats can't dissolve in the blood. They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoproteins. There are several kinds, but the ones to focus on are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

What is LDL cholesterol?

Low-density lipoprotein is the major cholesterol carrier in the blood. If too much LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the walls of the arteries feeding the heart and brain. Together with other substances it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog those arteries. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. A clot (thrombus) that forms near this plaque can block the blood flow to part of the heart muscle and cause a heart attack. If a clot blocks the blood flow to part of the brain, a stroke results. A high level of LDL cholesterol (160 mg/dL and above) reflects an increased risk of heart disease. If you have heart disease, your LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dL. That's why LDL cholesterol is called "bad" cholesterol. Lower levels of LDL cholesterol reflect a lower risk of heart disease.

What is HDL cholesterol?

About one-third to one-fourth of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL. Medical experts think HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it's passed from the body. Some experts believe HDL removes excess cholesterol from plaques and thus slows their growth. HDL cholesterol is known as "good" cholesterol because a high HDL level seems to protect against heart attack. The opposite is also true: a low HDL level (less than 40 mg/dL in men; less than 50 mg/dL in women) indicates a greater risk. A low HDL cholesterol level also may raise stroke risk.

What is Lp(a) cholesterol?

Lp(a) is a genetic variation of plasma LDL. A high level of Lp(a) is an important risk factor for developing atherosclerosis prematurely. How an increased Lp(a) contributes to heart disease isn't clear. The lesions in artery walls contain substances that may interact with Lp(a), leading to the buildup of fatty deposits.

What about cholesterol and diet?

People get cholesterol in two ways. The body — mainly the liver — produces varying amounts, usually about 1,000 milligrams a day. Foods also can contain cholesterol. Foods from animals (especially egg yolks, meat, poultry, fish, seafood and whole-milk dairy products) contain it. Foods from plants (fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds) don't contain cholesterol.

Typically the body makes all the cholesterol it needs, so people don't need to consume it. Saturated fatty acids are the main culprit in raising blood cholesterol, which increases your risk of heart disease. Trans fats also raise blood cholesterol. But dietary cholesterol also plays a part. The average American man consumes about 337 milligrams of cholesterol a day; the average woman, 217 milligrams.

Some of the excess dietary cholesterol is removed from the body through the liver. Still, the American Heart Association recommends that you limit your average daily cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams. If you have heart disease, limit your daily intake to less than 200 milligrams. Still, everyone should remember that by keeping their dietary intake of saturated fats low, they can significantly lower their dietary cholesterol intake. Foods high in saturated fat generally contain substantial amounts of dietary cholesterol.

People with severe high blood cholesterol levels may need an even greater reduction. Since cholesterol is in all foods from animal sources, care must be taken to eat no more than six ounces of lean meat, fish and poultry per day and to use fat-free and low-fat dairy products. High-quality proteins from vegetable sources such as beans are good substitutes for animal sources of protein.

How does physical activity affect cholesterol?

Regular physical activity increases HDL cholesterol in some people. A higher HDL cholesterol is linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Physical activity can also help control weight, diabetes and high blood pressure. Aerobic physical activity raises your heart and breathing rates. Regular moderate to intense physical activity such as brisk walking, jogging and swimming also condition your heart and lungs.

Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Even moderate-intensity activities, if done daily, help reduce your risk. Examples are walking for pleasure, gardening, yard work, housework, dancing and prescribed home exercise.

How does tobacco smoke affect cholesterol?

Tobacco smoke is one of the six major risk factors of heart disease that you can change or treat. Smoking lowers HDL cholesterol levels and increases the tendency for blood to clot.

How does alcohol affect cholesterol?

In some studies, moderate use of alcohol is linked with higher HDL cholesterol levels. However, because of other risks, the benefit isn't great enough to recommend drinking alcohol if you don't do so already.

If you drink, do so in moderation. People who consume moderate amounts of alcohol (an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women) have a lower risk of heart disease than nondrinkers. However, increased consumption of alcohol brings other health dangers, such as alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, cancer, suicide, etc. Given these and other risks, the American Heart Association cautions people against increasing their alcohol intake or starting to drink if they don't already do so. Consult your doctor for advice on consuming alcohol in moderation.

Malaysian Badminton..

Congratulations to Lee Chong Wei for winning the Men's singles 2007 Philippines Open and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong for winning the doubles. Lee Chong Wei has been on a row since winning the 2007 Indonesia Open, Winning all his matches in the Mix team Sudirman cup, reached the Semi Final in the China open (lost to World Number 1 Lin Dan, in 3 sets). It will be a big boost to his confidence for the upcoming World Championship which will be held in KL (13-19.8.2007).

Same goes to the doubles pair. They hit a rough patch after winning the Swiss Open. I hope from now on, they will keep their egos in check and do what the coach tells them to do.

All the best to them in the World Championship.

Friday, July 20, 2007

How to be a writer...

I always like to read. Maybe down the road will try to write. But not at the moment cause i do not have the experience yet. In the mean time, just learning the ropes and hope fully the message/articles below can use as a guideline.

How to Become a Writer Who Writes


by Judy Reeves

Gertrude Stein wrote, “To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write.” Who can say what she meant (she also wrote, “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”), except perhaps exactly what she wrote: that writing is all and everything of it, the beginning and the end. That to write is to write. We just do it. How to get started writing? Write. How to keep going? Write.

Sadly, for many of us it just isn’t that simple. We have trouble getting started, we have trouble keeping the pace and, too often, we simply give up or our enthusiasm and determination trickle away, like a stream petering out.

But because writing is in our hearts and souls and DNA, after a few weeks or months or even years, we’re back at it again. More determined than ever that, this time, we’ll stay with it.

Maybe we do and maybe we don’t. In my experience as a teacher, more often than not people don’t stay with it. For some, the cycle repeats and repeats. Because we can’t keep the thing going, we begin to judge ourselves failures at writing, our self-esteem goes the way of our tossed out pages, and after a while, it becomes more and more difficult to begin again. This is heartbreaking. Because we are writers and when we aren’t being fully and wholly ourselves — when a piece of ourselves is missing — we can never feel at home in the world or at peace within ourselves. Writing is who we are. Not all of who we are, but enough of who we are that when we’re not writing, we’re not whole.

Claim Yourself As Writer
Until you name yourself Writer, you will never be a writer who writes (and keeps writing).

Most writers I know, especially those who have not published, say, “I want to be a writer.” Or “I’m a [fill in the blank] and I like to write.” Or “I’ve always dreamed of being a writer.” But they don’t actually call themselves a writer. Think of all the other names you give yourself: man/woman, mother/father, wife/husband, friend, teacher, technician, masseuse, lawyer, gardener, chef. We take each of these names as a way of identifying ourselves, both to others and to ourselves. We are what we say we are. In some cultures, new names are assumed when character-evolving events take place. These names indicate the person has been transformed. If you announce you are a writer, rather than simply mouthing that you want to be or you’d like to be, you may be transformed. Try it. Right now. Speak your name out loud followed by, “I’m a writer.” Let yourself experience the sensations you feel when you sound out the words. “But I haven’t been published yet,” you might say, as if this were the thing that would give you the right to call yourself writer. After all, when you tell people you’re a writer, don’t they always ask, “Oh, and what have you published?”

Listen to this: Being published doesn’t have anything to do with being a writer! It has to do with earning money as a writer. Maybe. Getting some kind of validation and recognition, perhaps notoriety and fame. Though truth be told, the majority of published writers don’t earn all that much money or notoriety or fame. We might say, to be published is to be published is to be published. To be sure, getting published is the aim of many of us. After all, we write to communicate, and having an audience is the flip side of the communication coin. But it is not the reason we write. We write because it is what we must do. Anne Sexton said, “When I am writing I am doing the thing I was meant to do.”

Besides, once we are published, this doesn’t mean we will stop writing. We will continue to write. This is what writers do. I have this vision of me at my writing table, a fat roll of butcher’s paper at one end and a take-up reel with a crank at the other end. The paper just keeps passing beneath my pen and I just keep writing. As the old joke goes, “Old writers never die, they just keep revising the ending.”

How do you claim yourself as writer?

First, say it. “I’m a writer.” Say it out loud. Say it to yourself in the mirror. Say it to your friends and family. Say it to the next person you meet at a party who asks, “What do you do?” Say it to a stranger in line at the grocery store. Say it to your mother. Mostly, say it to yourself. “I’m a writer.”

· Make a place for your writing, a sacred place where you go with joy as your companion, not dread or guilt or “shoulds” riding your shoulders like weights of sand. If you don’t already have a room or specific place, make one. Take up a whole room or a section of a room. Before she created her own studio, my friend Wendy used a screen to separate her writing place from the rest of the living room. If the only space you can free up for your writing is part of a table, sometimes, when you’re not eating on it, then make it a special place. When you go there for your writing, bring along a candle or lamp or some flowers, anything that transforms the space from the quotidian to the unique. Make it important and make it yours however you can. Claim the space.

· Get the tools you need. Honor your writing with the kind of paper or notebook you like; buy your favorite pens by the box or spend a bundle on that Waterman or Mont Blanc you’ve always wanted. Have a computer that belongs to you — not one you have to share — and a good printer. It’s amazing what just printing out your writing using a laser jet printer will do to make it look — and you feel — professional. Get a good dictionary, thesaurus, and stylebook. Find books on the craft and subscribe to writing journals.

· Hang out with other writers. Go to readings and book signings, open mikes. Communicate with other writers. Drop a note to someone whose book you admire and tell them (not in a gushy, fan magazine kind of way, but as one writer to another). Sign up for workshops and conferences. Get in a group.

· Read as a writer. Learn from the best. Study your favorite authors, and copy passages into your notebook to get the feel of their rhythm and style. Deconstruct their sentences, paragraphs, scenes, and chapters to discover their techniques and their secrets. Read the work aloud and discuss the books with your writer friends. Next to the act of writing itself, reading good writing will be your best teacher.

Make Time to Write
The second thing you must do to be a writer who writes is make the time to write. This is where many would-be writers fall short. Unless you make the time to write, you’ll never write. Extra time won’t just show up, and if you promise to do your writing “as soon as...” you’ll never get to it. Take it from one who knows. For the better part of twenty-five years, I was a writer who would write “as soon as...”; I had more stops and starts in my writing career than a local train. It wasn’t until I actually set aside writing time on a regular basis that I became a writer who writes.

Make an appointment with your writing self, write it down in your calendar: 2:00 p.m. Monday: Write; 3:30 p.m. Tuesday: Write; 9:15 a.m. Wednesday: Write; and so forth.

Find a time that fits you. Don’t set aside two hours if you can only do thirty minutes. Don’t set your alarm for 5:30 in the morning if you always resist getting up and hate the mornings. You may come to resent your writing as much as you resent the alarm clock. By the same token, don’t say you’ll do it at night after everything else is done if, by 8:30, you’re supine on the couch and can’t keep your eyes open. Find a time that works for you. Take half your lunch hour. Do it right after work. Get up half an hour earlier. If you have the flexibility to make your own schedule, set aside time during the workday.

In my classes I listen to the complaints of students who say they just don’t have time to write, then I ask for a show of hands of those who watch television on a regular basis or those who surf the Web. When the rows of hands waving in the air look like an Iowa cornfield in August, I ask again, “Who can’t find the time to write?” Sheepish grins and embarrassed giggles. Write instead of watching TV, instead of surfing the Web, instead of spending an hour or more reading the newspaper, instead of going out with friends. You have to give up something. Even if it’s only leisure time in front of the tube.

Note: don’t give up taking walks or witnessing sunsets.

You may have always heard that if you want to be a writer, you have to write every day. This is not an absolute rule. Few rules are. To be successful (i.e., a writer who writes), you do have to write several times a week — at least four or five sessions, and every day is best. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon swears by his 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday-Thursday routine. Part of it is the daily habit of it and part of it is the continuity. The writing will come easier with regular practice, too. You get better at something you do often. Mick Jagger said, “You have to sing every day so you can build up to being, you know, Amazingly Brilliant.”

In a New Yorker (January 28, 2002) article titled “The Learning Curve — How Do You Become a Good Surgeon? Practice,” Atul Gawande related the importance of practice. In writing about elite performers, he said, “[T]he most important talent may be the talent for practice itself.” He referred to K. Anders Ericsson, a psychologist, who noted that “the most important role that innate factors play may be in a person’s willingness to engage in sustained training.”

Like exercise or losing weight or taking a class, sometimes it’s a whole lot easier to do it with a supportive companion. Make a date with a friend for writing. If you can’t get together in person, make a phone call or e-mail one another to say, “I wrote today” or “I’m going to write at 6:30 this evening,” or “How’d the writing go today?”

Waiting for inspiration to descend before you write is like waiting for Godot. Interminable. It’s been said that if you show up at your page at the agreed upon time, inspiration will know where to find you. Someone else said, “Writing is 20 percent inspiration and 80 percent perspiration.” Besides, if writing is your daily practice, you won’t need inspiration to get to it. Imagine waiting for inspiration to rest her shining arms around you before you take the dog for a walk or drive to work.

Finally, the third leg in the triangle of being a writer who writes is, of course, doing the thing. Talking about writing isn’t writing. Thinking about writing isn’t writing. Dreaming or fantasizing isn’t writing. Neither are outlining, researching, or making notes. All these may be a part of the whole milieu of the writing life and necessary to getting a project completed, but only writing is writing.

“You can’t sit around thinking,” said fiction writer David Long. “You must sit around writing.”

So every day, at the appointed time (or at some spontaneous gift of time), you sit at your desk (or your table in the café or on the grass in the park), you open your notebook or you boot up your computer, and you write.

Do this every day and I will guarantee you, you will fill notebook after notebook, you will begin and complete stories, essays, narrative nonfiction — whatever you want to write. You will have bits and pieces and wild, imaginative ramblings. You will be a Writer Who Writes.

From Writing Alone, Writing Together by Judy Reeves. Copyright © 2002 by Judy Reeves.

Murphy's law

Any one ever heard of Murphy's law? Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") was born at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949 at North Base.

Yesterday, our City was without power in many area. It started around 11am, some places got their power back on around 12 something but most area only got their power back on around 6pm.

For the power company, it was very much Murphy's law in play. "If anything can go wrong, it will". Some of us will face this kind of day in our daily lives, be it work or personal.

But before i go on, i want to show my appreciation on the work done by the Engineers and also the Regional Manager of the said power company. Their job is not an easy one, during good days, no problem....but if their day was like yesterday, big problem. I can assure you, a lot of people must have called their hotline and some probably have called their representatives and asked "What the heck is going on? Do u know how much i am lossing with power failure...." that kind of things.

Any way, i just want to give a shout out (A BIG THANK YOU) to the guys in the power company for keeping their cool, for finding out the problem and for fixing it.

There are some things which no one can foresee and thus, Murphy's law.
Here is the history of it...http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-true.html.

The following article was excerpted from The Desert Wings
March 3, 1978

Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") was born at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949 at North Base.

It was named after Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on Air Force Project MX981, (a project) designed to see how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash.

One day, after finding that a transducer was wired wrong, he cursed the technician responsible and said, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it."

The contractor's project manager kept a list of "laws" and added this one, which he called Murphy's Law.

Actually, what he did was take an old law that had been around for years in a more basic form and give it a name.

Shortly afterwards, the Air Force doctor (Dr. John Paul Stapp) who rode a sled on the deceleration track to a stop, pulling 40 Gs, gave a press conference. He said that their good safety record on the project was due to a firm belief in Murphy's Law and in the necessity to try and circumvent it.
Aerospace manufacturers picked it up and used it widely in their ads during the next few months, and soon it was being quoted in many news and magazine articles. Murphy's Law was born.

The Northrop project manager, George E. Nichols, had a few laws of his own. Nichols' Fourth Law says, "Avoid any action with an unacceptable outcome."

The doctor, well-known Col. John P. Stapp, had a paradox: Stapp's Ironical Paradox, which says, "The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle."

Nichols is still around. At NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, he's the quality control manager for the Viking project to send an unmanned spacecraft to Mars.

Murphy's Law or Sod's Law?

While I admit that the name of Murphy's laws is a pleasant one as is the story of how it came to light, but the original name for 'if anything can go wrong it will' was sod's law because it would happen to any poor sod who needed such a catastrophic event the least. It also removes the ability to say "I coined this phrase!" because sod's law has been around long before any living man and has existed in many forms for hundreds of years.

In the English County of Yorkshire I know it to have been around for generations because it has been passed through several Yorkshire families I know. But this original name is dying out because sod over here is a cursory so is not used much. Murphy's on the other hand is nothing insulting or lacking in hope I hope this clears any problems up and while this maybe hard to come to terms with, think about it, would such an obvious piece of logic have only come about in the second half of the 20th century????

Chris Monkman In the late 1960's I read an article that was photocopied from a magazine where I saw the term "Murphy's Law" coined. Should I say, I believe the term was coined in this article. It had a photo of a bearded man in the upper right corner. The article began simply by describing all the things that had gone wrong in Murphy's life. Near the end of the first section of the article it described the formalization of Murphy's Law, as Murphy was waiting for the pending birth of his first child.

Later in the article other formulations/corollaries of Murphy's law were described. The most memorable one was the mathematical formulation. It was pictured in the text as 1 + 1 -> 2, where the -> was a hand with the index finger pointing to the right. The text defined -> as "hardly every equals".

What prompted me to write this was the foot note on this page, where the author of this comment indicated that the law was not formalized at Edwards Air Force Base, but rather another source.

To the best of my memory, it was in or about the fall of 1968, I saw the photo copied article that presented Murphy's Law. I do not remember the magazine or it's date.

What lead me to this site was the quest for the article described above. To my suprise and disappointment, no one has included the article.

I would be interesting to publish this description and see if anyone else remembers the article or any other facts that would help find it.

Joe Smith
One more thing about the origin of Murphy Law

One important fact about Murphy's Law was that it was not actually coined by
Murphy, but by another man of the same name.
How Mr. Murphy died:

One dark evening (in the U.S.), Mr. Murphy's car ran out of gas. As he hitchhiked to a gas station, while facing traffic and wearing white, he was struck from behind by a British tourist who was driving on the wrong side of the road.

Terry Maynard
Lansing, Michigan
Another story about the origin of Murphy's Law

Commander J. Murphy USN was a procurement officer for the US Navy in the 1930's.
He was in charge of the procurement of aircraft.
When monitoring the design and development of new aircraft, he tried to instill simplicity of maintenance into the likes of Douglas and Grumman.

Apparently one of his most belabored expressions was:
"If an aircraft fitter on one of our carriers can re-install a serviced component wrongly, then one day he will."
Gradually, this got changed into the more familiar version we know today, according to the version on the origin of Murphy's Law I heard.

Incidentally, a lot of Brits think that Murphy's Law is an Irish joke.
Murphy is an Irish name of course, and the Irish have been the butt of jokes from Brits for a long time.

Anyway, a lot of Brits seem to think that what Murphy's Law refers to is that the Irish are to blame for things going wrong because they are careless or stupid or both, at least according to British mythology on the Irish.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ways to turn off employers..


Five Ways to Turn Off Employers

By Tag and Catherine Goulet, FabJob.com

Are you high maintenance? Do your friends tease you about being a "diva"? Is one of your favorite phrases "enough about you, let’s talk about me"?

If you answered "no," check out the following behaviors, compiled from bad moves of dozens of real-life job seekers, for ways guaranteed to make a negative impression on employers. Behave like this and you won’t be getting a job offer anytime soon.

Turn Off No. 1: Get More Information Before Applying

Before you apply for a job, make sure you're not wasting your time going after a position that's beneath you.

When you see an ad for a job that looks interesting, phone the employer and demand to speak with the person in charge of hiring. Once you have that person on the phone (if necessary, keep phoning until they agree to take your call), grill them about the job.

Get answers to questions such as:

How much does it pay?

How much vacation time will I get?

How big will my office be?

Finish by insisting that they fax or e-mail the job description to you.

Turn Off No. 2: Create a Cover Letter That’s All About You

Start your cover letter with a strong statement such as, "This is the type of position I've been looking for."

Then go on to explain what you want in a job. For example, "I am searching for a financially rewarding position where I can gain experience and pursue my interests." Add that you see the job as a steppingstone to something better.

Even if they haven't asked for salary expectations, tell them the minimum amount they'll need to pay you "with benefits."

Better yet, don't waste your valuable time writing a cover letter when anyone can see from your résumé how lucky he or she would be to have you.

Turn Off No. 3: Show Them Who’s Boss During the Interview

Arrive late so you can avoid sitting around waiting for the interviewer.

During the interview, ask intelligent questions like "What does this company do?" When the interviewer describes what they do, respond: "Hiring me will help you people achieve some real success."

Explain how nothing they have been doing until this point has been particularly effective, which is why you'd never heard of them before you saw the ad for the job.

If asked what you could do for them, answer with vague generalizations.

Interrupt the interviewer repeatedly. If they try to say something while you're making a point, ignore them and keep talking loudly because it really isn't important what they say; what is important is that you get your point across.

Keep your cell phone on in case someone calls you during the interview with a better offer.

Turn Off No. 4: Follow-Up Repeatedly After the Interview

After the interview, contact the hiring manager and say you want feedback about how you did so they can reassure you that you did a great job.

If the interviewer is reluctant to talk, pressure them to give you information. Contact them repeatedly if necessary. This information could be helpful to you in future job searches.

Moreover, if you don't like what the hiring manager has to say, you can argue that their assessment of you is wrong. If you argue strongly enough, maybe you can convince him or her to hire you.

If the employer offers the job to someone else, insist he or she tells you why you didn’t receive an offer. Then demand to speak to the company president to try to convince him to veto the decision and give you the job.

Turn Off No. 5: Keep Communicating Until They Get a Restraining Order

Phone and e-mail repeatedly for any reason:

to find out more about the job

to ask for help filling out the online application form

to ask if they received your application

to ask what to wear to the interview

to ask for feedback after the interview

to find out if they received the thank you notes you sent

to find out when they'll be making a decision

to demand an explanation for why they didn't hire you, etc.

If you don't get the first job you apply for, apply for every other job that opens up in the company that might be remotely related to anything you have ever had an interest in.

In all your communications with the employer, talk at length about yourself and how you feel.

In short, these tactics will make an impression on an employer, but probably not the kind you want to make! Check out the other articles at this website for advice on how to make a positive impression on employers.

Tag and Catherine Goulet, the Dream Career Experts, are co-CEOs of FabJob.com, a leading publisher of career guides offering step-by-step advice for breaking into a variety of dream careers. Visit www.FabJob.com.

Priceless, simply priceless...hehe.

Blogthing - My EQ.

Your EQ is 113

50 or less: Thanks for answering honestly. Now get yourself a shrink, quick!
51-70: When it comes to understanding human emotions, you'd have better luck understanding Chinese.
71-90: You've got more emotional intelligence than the average frat boy. Barely.
91-110: You're average. It's easy to predict how you'll react to things. But anyone could have guessed that.
111-130: You usually have it going on emotionally, but roadblocks tend to land you on your butt.
131-150: You are remarkable when it comes to relating with others. Only the biggest losers get under your skin.
150+: Two possibilities - you've either out "Dr. Phil-ed" Dr. Phil... or you're a dirty liar.

World Smartest dog?

(Picture taken by United Daily News)


Please check out the web, its a video showing her doing tricks.

This story is for dog lovers out there. Its kinda cool to have such a trained dog.

Smart dog knows to wait in line when buying things for its owner
07/16/2007 (udn.com)

A Japanese Kishu dog named "Hello" that lives in Pingdong in southern Taiwan that has recently become an enormous hit on the Internet. Many people have called the canine the smartest dog in the world. The reason for this is that the dog will hold money in her mouth and walk to a nearby convenience story where she buys a hot dog. In addition, the dog also helps its master, who sells betel nuts, open up the refrigerator and pull out boxes of betel nuts to give to customers. If that was not enough, the dog can also do tricks. She is able to balance her four legs on four glasses.
Hello's master, Chen Yung-po, operates a betel nut stand on Chungshan Road. Many of his patrons make a special point of saying that they want to buy betel nuts from Hello. Once Chen gives the order, Hello then goes and opens the door to the refrigerator and pulls out a box of betel nuts. In addition, there is no hesitation on Hello's part; the dog clearly is well trained in what she is doing. The dog's actions delight customers, who love to play with her.

Hello not only helps out around the stand, but also delivers betel nuts to people who order them. The dog will hold a bag of betel nuts in its mouth and then cross the street. Customers will put money into another plastic bag, which Hello then takes back to the stand. One time Hello was nearly hit by a motorcycle driving by. As a result, Chen Yung-po decided that it was too dangerous to send Hello on carry out missions and decided to cancel this service.

Hello regularly carries a plastic bag with money in it and will go to the convenience store next door to buy things. A worker in the convenience store, Cheng Huan-wen, said that when he sees the amount of money in the bag, he immediately knows what Hello has come to buy. If the bag contains NT$10, this means the dog has come to buy chewing gum. If there is NT$20 in the bag, the dog's mission is to buy a cheese hot dog. If Chen Yung-po wants to buy canned dog food for Hello, he will put a note in the plastic bag along with the money saying that he wants to buy the beef-flavored food. Chen insists on buying the cans of beef dog food since Hello does not like to eat canned chicken dog food.

Cheng Huan-wen said that Hello is an excellent and well-mannered customer. When there are a lot of people in the store, Hello will get in line to pay for things. When it is the dog's turn in line, the dog will put her front paws on the counter and wait for the employee behind the counter to count out the money in the plastic bag and then put the goods purchased in a bag that Hello takes back to her master. Sometimes Hello likes to linger around in the convenience store to enjoy the air conditioning. Chen Yung-po, however, has made it clear to the employees of the convenience store that he wants to dog to come back after she has finished buying things and does not want her to loiter in the store.

Hello's favorite food is cheese flavored hot dogs. However, the dog is so well disciplined in that she will not immediately start eating the hot dog after she buys it. Rather, Hello will take the hot dog back to its master, who will chop it up and put it on a plate, after which Hello will have a chance to eat it. Hello is only a little over a year old. Chen has used hot dogs and canned dog food as treats in order to train the dog.

Chen said that he also taught Hello to stand on four glass cups; Hello mastered the trick in only three months. Every time Hello stands on the glasses, the dog is able to do so for 20 minutes. However, some people have complained, saying that this constitutes mistreatment of the dog. Hello also carries a case on her back that has a mobile phone inside. Chen Yung-po said that the phone is not meant to be used by Hello. Rather, when the phone rings, the dog will come over to Chen and let him answer it.

Many people have posted pictures and video clips on the Internet of Hello carrying hot dogs and bags of betel nuts. Lots of people have gotten a kick out of the dog's tricks, posting comments that the dog is "cool." Chen is looking for a suitable male dog to have Hello to mate so Hello can give birth to the next generation of intelligent Kishu puppies.


I just hope, no one is cruel enough to steal the dog from her owner.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007



ap·pre·ci·a·tion (ə-prē'shē-ā'shən)
1. Recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and
2. A judgment or opinion, especially a favorable one.
3. An expression of gratitude.

Why is it so hard in Asian countries to get appreciation for a job well done? Especially Malaysia. Even in a city it is already like that. Why is it so hard for management to say "well done, u did well today" or "good job in dealing with that account".

Good words do not usually come out from the mouths of management. But if some thing happens, all kind of bad words would come out. Some people are already under paid for the job they are doing. They do not mind the hard work or even the stress but once in a while a show of gratitute or appreciation should be in order. Just a simple kind word (free of charge), yet most management won;t do it. So don;t be shock if some management guy who get into accident won;t be help if any of his/her employee drive by.

Here is an example of good corporate culture.


Southwest Airlines have the combined market capitalization of all other US-based airlines put together. How have they accomplished this? The economic climate over the past four years has not been kind to airlines, so how has the company which did not lay off any staff following September 11, 2001, remained top of the pile? By seeing their employees as the top customer, allegedly.

Southwest: a brief history

Southwest was founded in 1971 by Herb Kelleher and Rollin King as a low cost airline concentrating on short-haul flights of less than 500 miles. A mission statement was adopted in 1980, a dedication of customer service delivered with “a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual price, and company spirit.” A statement was also commissioned for the employees:

We are committed to provide our employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines. Above all, employees will be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest customer.

This mission statement is still carefully followed today, over 24 years later. It is clamed that those traveling with Southwest notice the difference in the employees compared to other similar airlines. The aim of Southwest is to provide affordable air travel to those passengers who usually drive rather than fly. Southwest's average flight is 50 percent less in length than it's major competitors, and the average distance flown is less than 500 miles.

It is presently the fourth largest airline in the USA in terms of domestic passenger miles flown, and presently serves 59 airports in 30 states. In 2001, Southwest's stock price increased 29 percent per annum for the previous ten-year period. The employees (referred to as “people” by Kelleher) have never gone out on strike (a statement to be proud of in the current climate). The culture, referred to as “goofiness” by some, allows its people the freedom to travel economically, obtain financial security, work and have fun at the same time, and make a positive difference within the company.

There are no rigid rules within the work environment, in fact employees often announce a free flight for the first customer to present socks with holes. This is not company regulation, but an example of the creativity of the staff.

Kelleher is renowned as an effective communicator and has gained the trust of the people through the years. He is happy to be seen on floor level, and returns the calls and emails of every member of staff on a timely basis. He relies on other company executives to mange daily activities, both of whom came with him from the Houston-based law firm he managed before setting up Southwest.

A successful business model

Southwest business model consists of two parts:

1. Identify customers you want to serve.
2. Be the low cost provider.

This is consistent with similar companies, however Southwest's methodology is somewhat unique.

The first part is catering for those who would usually drive the distance than fly. Southwest offer a service priced at such a level that it may be preferable to fly on this occasion. By offering such short distances they ensure they are the only airline to cater for such short distances.

The second is ensured by the offer of a frequent but no-frills service. No food is served, and only one model of airplane is flown, providing low cost economies compared to other carriers.

Southwest ensures their competitive cost advantages by keeping unit costs down, that is, the cost per seat for each mile flown. Their unit cost is 50 percent less than that of other carriers, which is a result mainly of:

People job security. The lack of lay-offs and strikes in Southwest Airlines means that the employees feel secure in their job, and enjoy a high level of compensation. The benefits offered are the highest in the US airline industry.

People work for their compensation. Southwest's people work harder than those of any airline. The hours flown by pilots are nearly twice the industry average, as the pilots are paid per trip rather than per hour and are only paid for the hours they are actually in the air. The pilots are therefore interested in minimizing the time spent on the ground, and as such the average turnaround time for a Southwest plane is only 15 minutes. The flight attendants fly 150 hours per month compared to the 80 hours flown by the competition. Therefore there are fewer flight attendants per passenger mile flown. It is also in the contract of each flight attendant to “make reasonable effort to tidy the plane between flights.”

This reduces the need for a cleaning service at the airports, which also helps to cut costs. Of all pre-tax income, 15 percent is contributed to the employee profit sharing plan.

Meal costs. The average cost for providing a meal for passengers is $5.00, compared to the 20 cents it costs Southwest to provide peanuts and soft drinks.
Boarding system. Planes are turned around very quickly at Southwest, and utilizing reusable plastic boarding passes and not assigning passenger seats maintains a cost advantage.

Fare structure system. By keeping costs low and providing a good service that ensures customers return, Southwest can afford to offer extremely low fares.
Reservation system. Southwest does not use any travel agents and therefore does not the added expense of commission, and takes 30 percent of their bookings over the internet.

Airports utilized. Southwest uses the least congested airports, and is therefore able to ensure a quick turnaround and enjoys minimum operations disruption.
Fiscal conservatism. Southwest's relaxed attitude towards their employee's is not matched in their attitude towards finance. The cash on hand time after September 11 was averaging 90 days when the other companies were averaging 40 days.

The debt-equity was by far the lowest in the industry, which enabled Southwest to manage the difficult period after September 11 without laying off any staff. Other companies suffered from a lack of financial reserves and had to cut staff costs.

Corporate culture. In Southwest's first year, the most difficult for any new business, putting the problem to the staff rather than simply making cuts solved cash flow difficulties. They agreed to cut turnaround time by 40 minutes, and pay cuts were taken in exchange for the safety of each job. This survival mode lasted for the first nine years of operation, once the revenue was more stable, the emphasis turned to the people.

He has been known to host a 2.00 am barbeque for the staff that work on the less social shifts, so that everyone can participate in company activities. Staff have been allowed to work in pajamas for a day, and rocking chairs are provided for impromptu meetings. In order to maintain good working relationships and prevent finger pointing between departments, Southwest employees have shared goals and each job involves aiding others whenever necessary.

Any company in Asia have this kind of work culture? Probably no one in top management ever get a pay cut in time of trouble. Instead cut down the work force and force the existing ones to work their hearts out.

Lyrics for Somewhere in time..

Somewhere In Time(By MARTIN NIEVERA)

Somewhere in time,
we'll share
one love,
one life.

And with each gentle touch
i know
this much,
its true.

And when we kiss,
i see forever,
and in your arms,
im lost, you find me again.

No words, no writes,
describe this pain inside,
no matter how hard i tried,
i die inside,
to let you go,

To say goodbye
my heart breaks forever
somewhere in time, i know
we'll meet again

You're in my heart
You're in my soul
and if you go away from me
i cant let go.

Until begin,
i know,
we'll meet again
Somewhere in time.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Somewhere in time..

Few years ago, Astro was showing the movie 'Somewhere in time', acted by Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour. It was a love story between lady and a guy separated by time. The sound track of the movie was also good. It captured the moment. I was half way through the movie when my younger bro started changing channels.

I went to look for the VCD. The movie was quite old. It was released in 1980. Went to many places to look for it. Finally i found it in Speedy. If you have the chance, please buy it. I can assure you, you will like it.


Somewhere in Time is a 1980 time travel romance film directed by Jeannot Szwarc, written by Richard Matheson and starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer, Teresa Wright and an early cameo by William H. Macy. The film's tagline is: "He sacrificed life in the present... to find love in the past." The movie was filmed on location at the historic, very beautiful and majestic Grand Hotel, and the former Mackinac College - both located on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Although this movie was well received during its previews, it was ruthlessly trashed by the critics upon release and was unsuccessful at the box office. It has earned a large and loyal following since its release to cable television and video, and the movie is now regarded by many to be a cult classic.

Reeve plays Richard Collier, a playwright who falls in love with a photograph of a young woman at the Grand Hotel. Through self-hypnosis, he travels back in time to the year 1912 to find love with actress Elise McKenna (portrayed by Seymour). But her manager William Fawcett Robinson (portrayed by Plummer) is not happy at all and is resolved to stop him at all costs.

The film is adapted from the 1975 novel Bid Time Return by science fiction writer Richard Matheson, which was subsequently re-released under the film's title. The film is known for its beautiful musical score, composed by John Barry. In addition to Barry's score, the eighteenth variation of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini runs throughout the film.

The film begins in May 1972, when playwright Richard Collier meets an old woman who gives him a pocket watch asking him to come back to her. Eight years later, Richard stays at the Grand Hotel and falls in love with a photograph of a beautiful woman. Richard asks Arthur Biehl, an old man who's been at the hotel since 1910, who the woman is and learns that she is Elise McKenna, a famous actress. Richard then researches who Elise is and learns that she was the old woman who gave him the pocket watch eight years ago.

Richard learns about time travel from an old college professor of his and that it can be achieved if one can go under hypnosis. However, to achieve this state of hypnosis, one must remove all things from sight that are related to the current time. He is also warned that such a process would leave one very weak, perhaps dangerously so. Richard heads back to his hotel room and then tries to travel back in time to the year 1912 under hypnosis with a tape recorder only to fail under stress. After a trip to the hotel's attic, Richard finds an old guest book from 1912 with his signature in it only to learn that he was there.

Richard again goes under hypnosis (this time without the tape recorder, since it was not around in 1912) and succeeds. Upon arriving in 1912, Richard looks all over the hotel for Elise, even meeting Arthur as a little boy, and has no luck finding her. Finally, Richard meets Elise standing by a tree by the lake and she asks him if he's the one. Before he can ask why, Elise's manager, William Fawcett Robinson, tells Richard to leave Ms. McKenna alone. Richard continues to seek Elise out again until finally she agrees to walk with him. Richard finally asks why Elise asked if he was the one and she replies that Robinson knows that she will meet a man that will change her life. Richard also shows Elise the same pocket watch in which she will give him 60 years later.