Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Yankees don't welcome Malaysians

One of my relatives had to go for an "interview" at the American Embassy to get a Visa to go to U S.  You know what she had to go through?

1. Fixed up an appointment with the Embassy.
2. Paid RM500.
3. Had to wait in a common lounge for her turn.
4. Guess what, the interview was conducted in "public" with PA system so that all present would listen to the interrogation.
5. Question like how much was your savings was asked.
6.  This relative was retired, and the interrogator rudely told her that she must be going there to work.
7. Enough of all the other stupid and irrelevent questions they asked.

Enough of that.  I suppose that they are not welcoming Malaysians to visit their country.  The manner they conducted the interrogation (I don't consider it interview) plainly showed that they wanted you to get embarrassed, to get angry and walk out with your RM500 going down the drain.

 Hey, come to think of it it's easy and good business for the Embassy.  RM500 x 100 interrogations per day =RM 50,000 per day!  Plus the fun of ridiculing Malaysians in their own country. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Today is an auspicious day

(My favourite painting by a Burmese artist)

To-day is the full moon day of the month of Vesakha which corresponds with the month of May.

It is Wesak Day, the day The Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and the day he passed away.

Buddhists observe this day with gratitude to the Buddha for what he had taught them :

To be contented and to live in peace with oneself, with the society and with nature.


Today is also my birthday.  This is my 60th year.  I am now officially a Senior Citizen to be respected and cared for, or so it seems.  The Chinese almanac has a 60-year cycle.  So if I am not mistaken, next year my Chinese birthdate will correspond with my Gregorian birthdate.  I think the Indians (Not Red Indians, but people of India. I need to say this because I noticed that many readers are from the USA) regard the 60th year as a new threshold in life.  It is the beginning of the final stage in life.  Sounds rather frightening.  In very crude language, it is time to prepare to die.  That is why the emphasis is to concentrate on the spiritual journey from now onwards.  As for me, not a problem; as I have always been interested in spiritual matters. 

Many people have the wrong perception that if one is spiritually inclined, one must be a goody-two-shoes.  It may be true.  But consider another perspective:  One is not so good; that's why one is trying very hard to be spiritual.  I can consider myself to be one of the latter.  I am not of good character; full of hatred, full of greed, full of foolishness, always impatient, always angry; I am what a good person is not!  But knowing what I am, at least I try to cultivate the virtues of a pleasant person; or rather at least I try to reduce my negative traits as best I can.  I must admit most times I failed, but then again I tried again and again.  I shall do this till the day I die, even if I failed most times.  At least I can die contented that I tried and tried.
Pity my poor wife!

On a more positive note; it is said that knowing one's true self with all the faults, is half the battle won!  Or to be on a more realistic mode; still losing half the battle! Hahahaha!!!

From today onwards, a new day is a bonus day for me to be alive!  I shall continue to "strive on with diligence."  That was the final advice given by the Buddha before he passed away.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Secret recipes of a young blonde wife

Diary of a Young Blonde Wife and her Secret Recipes:

Now home from honeymoon and settled in our new home.
It's fun to cook for Tim. Today I made an angel food cake and the recipe said, "beat 12 eggs separately." Well, I didn't have enough bowls to do that, so I had to borrow 12 bowls to beat the eggs in. The cake turned out fine though.

We wanted a fruit salad for supper. The recipe said, "serve without dressing." So I didn't dress. But Tim happened to bring a friend home for supper that night. They both looked so startled when I served them, I think it was the salad.

I decided to serve rice and found a recipe which said, "wash thoroughly before steaming the rice." So I heated some water and took a bath before steaming the rice. Sounded kinda silly in the middle of the day. I can't say it improved the rice anyhow.

Today Tim asked for salad again. I tried a new recipe.
It said, prepare ingredients, then toss on a bed of lettuce one hour before serving." I hunted all over the place for a garden and when I got one, I tossed my salad into the bed of lettuce and stood over there for over one hour so the dog would not take it. Tim came over and asked if I felt all right.I wonder why? He must be stressed at work, I'll try to be supportive.

Today I found an easy recipe for cookies. It said, "put all ingredients in a bowl and beat it." Beat it I did,to my mum's place. There must have been something wrong with the recipe, because when I came back home again, it looked the same as when I left it.

Tim went shopping today and brought home a chicken. He asked me to dress it for Sunday. I'm sure I don't know how hens dress for Sunday. I never noticed back on the farm, but I found an old doll dress and it's little cute shoes. I thought the hen looked really cute. When Tim saw it, he started counting to ten. Either he was really stressed because of his work, or he wanted the chicken to dance.

When I asked him what was wrong he started crying and shouting out "why me? why me ?"

Hmmm....It must be his job.

Moral of the story?
It is better to be a monk!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Don't accept the rubbish thrown on you.

This is a nice story.  And the moral of the story?  Don't worry, be happy!! Read on...

"Law of the Garbage Truck"

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.

We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.

My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches!

The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.

As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally.

Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so ...

Love the people who treat you right.

Pray for the ones who don't.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

Have a blessed, garbage-free day!

Have a very nice day!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What now, not again!?

What now, not again!!??

This is from Bernama News:


Bernama - Sunday, May
KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 (Bernama) -- Kerdau state assemblyman Datuk Zaharuddin Abu Kassim who slipped into a coma this morning was transferred back to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) of the National Heart Institute (IJN) in critical condition.

Ismail said doctors had asked Zaharuddin's family members to come to IJN because his lungs and heart had weakened while he remained in a coma.

The Kerdau assemblyman had stood under the Umno banner during the 2008 general election and won the seat after polling 4,135 votes to beat PAS candidate Hassanudin Salim by a 1,615-vote majority.

The constituency comprises 89 per cent Malays, 6 per cent Chinese, 3.7 per cent Indians and 2.5 per cent others.

Zaharudin's condition had sparked rumour early last month about an impending by-election.



(By the way, I just checked, Kerdau is in Pahang)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Latest Toyota Hybrid : Guaranteed No Recall

Lately Toyota has been plagued with recalls of their vehicles.  Fed up with this bad turn of events, the President issued an urgent ultimatum to his R&D Team to come up immediately with a fool-proof hybrid prototype that will not cause any more problem.

True to Japanese ingenuity, the perfect vehicle was unveiled recently.

Presenting the 
Cowrolla ,Toyota MooMoo capacity 6 hi-breed grass - cowspower double overhead twin horn cam and string power steering model .

Available now for order; choice of colour; no deposit required.  Just  bring your own cows.

You got to be fast to get it.  It's selling like hot cows!!

Gesang of "Bengawan Solo" fame, dies.

[Gesang Martohartono at the JVC Studio (1994) Age76]

Quite some time ago I wrote in this blog on the topic of keroncong.  The most famous song is "Bengawan Solo" by Gesang.

Sadly, Gesang passed away at a ripe old age of 92, yesterday, Thursday 20 May 2010. 

May he rest in peace.

For those who are interested to know what I wrote, please go to my post by clicking HERE:

As a tribute to Gesang, below is probably one of his final impromptu renditions of the greatest evergreen "Bengawan Solo":

 (December 06, 2007 — Gesang, maestro keroncong Indonesia kini telah memasuki usia 90 tahun, tapi di usia yang telah senja tersebut, Gesang masih bisa menyanyikan lagu Bengawan Solo sebagai oleh-oleh tim Kabari dari Solo)

Just a reminder; if you wish to know more about this topic please go to my earlier post by clicking HERE:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Are we doomed with the uncontrollable oil disaster in Mexico?

If this engineer is right, this is truly a scary scenario! Here's his story.
"Heard your mention of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico this morning, and you (and most everyone else except maybe George Noory) are totally missing the boat on how big and bad of a disaster this is.

First fact, the original estimate was about 5,000 gallons of oil a day spilling into the ocean. Now they're saying 200,000 gallons a day. That's over a million gallons of crude oil a week!

I'm engineer with 25 years of experience. I've worked on some big projects with big machines. Maybe that's why this mess is so clear to me.

First, the BP platform was drilling for what they call deep oil. They go out where the ocean is about 5,000 feet deep and drill another 30,000 feet into the crust of the earth. This it right on the edge of what human technology can do. Well, this time they hit a pocket of oil at such high pressure that it burst all of their safety valves all the way up to the drilling rig and then caused the rig to explode and sink. Take a moment to grasp the import of that. The pressure behind this oil is so high that it destroyed the maximum effort of human science to contain it.

When the rig sank it flipped over and landed on top of the drill hole some 5,000 feet under the ocean.

Now they've got a hole in the ocean floor, 5,000 feet down with a wrecked oil drilling rig sitting on top of is spewing 20 0,000 barrels of oil a day into the ocean. Take a moment and consider that, will you!

First they have to get the oil rig off the hole to get at it in order to try to cap it. Do you know the level of effort it will take to move that wrecked oil rig, sitting under 5,000 feet of water? That operation alone would take years and hundreds of millions to accomplish. Then, how do you cap that hole in the muddy ocean floor? There just is no way. No way.

The only piece of human technology that might address this is a nuclear bomb. I'm not kidding. If they put a nuke down there in the right spot it might seal up the hole. Nothing short of that will work.

If we can't cap that hole that oil is going to destroy the oceans of the world. It only takes one quart of motor oil to make 250,000 gallons of ocean water toxic to wildlife. Are you starting to get the magnitude of this?

We're so used to our politicians creating false crises to fo rward their criminal agendas that we aren't recognizing that we're staring straight into possibly the greatest disaster mankind will ever see. Imagine what happens if that oil keeps flowing until it destroys all life in the oceans of this planet. Who knows how big of a reservoir of oil is down there.

Not to mention that the oceans are critical to maintaining the proper oxygen level in the atmosphere for human life.

We're humped. Unless God steps in and fixes this. No human can. You can be sure of that!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The miracle of Sibu!!!

(Picture from The Star Online)
The miracle of Sibu!!!

Thank you intelligent Voters of Sibu.

After much unwarranted delay and "you know what" tactics, DAP won by 398 votes.  398 votes!!??  Do you believe this?  Are we so stupid to believe this? And a surprise...why no call for a recount?? BN is so magnanimous?????

Never mind.  We, the rakyats of Malaysia win!!!

Let there be hope for a better government for the people!!!! 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

'Stop BN from gaining two-thirds in the House'

'Stop BN from gaining two-thirds in the House.'  

This is the appeal by Lim Guan Eng to Sibu voters.

“All BN needs is four more seats to get their desired two-third majority."

This is very dangerous.  The target is getting nearer, and the way things go with frogs and running dogs, it may happen!!!!!

Consider the serious repercussions if BN has the two-third majority.  The first thing they will do is to go after the electoral delineation.  Electoral boundaries can easily be manipulated to favour them.  That will be the end of our hope for an alternative government. 

Please, voters of Sibu; show us the way!!

Horrific oilspill in Gulf of Mexico

I am number 373,563 to sign the petition.  Below is the Avaaz message sent to subscribers worldwide:

Dear friends,
A horrific oil spill is spreading through the Gulf of Mexico. Yet U.S. law-makers still plan to ramp up offshore oil drilling. Let's send a global outcry to President Obama and Congress urging them to overturn offshore drilling expansion -- sign the petition, it will be delivered to the White House:

We've all seen the outrageous images: a monstrous oil spill is gushing as much as 2,500,000 gallons of crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico.

Before the spill, U.S. President Obama and Congressional leaders were planning to ramp up offshore drilling. Now, with the spill, the politics have shifted -- and an opportunity has opened for the world's biggest historical climate polluter to shift away from oil and towards climate-safe energy sources.

At a moment like this, when leaders are making up their minds, the world's voices can help tip the balance. Sign the petition urging the U.S. to stop offshore drilling and invest instead in clean renewable energy -- the signatures will be delivered to the White House in Washington DC when we reach 500,000! Click to sign on now and spread the word:

This disaster is expected to be catastrophic for the land and people in the gulf. The oil has already reached land, contaminating wildlife sanctuaries. Authorities are so concerned about the impacts of more oil reaching land that they are prefer to set the gulf on fire, burning as much of the oil as possible.

Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is raking in windfall profits. BP, which operated the sunken rig, more than doubled its first quarter profits in 2010 to $5.65 billion.

For years, the world has waited for the U.S. to step up on climate. But with the carbon lobby's strangle-hold on Washington, we’ve had more drilling in place of stronger investment in cleaner, safer energy sources. It’s time to for a change -- Senator Bill Nelson of Florida has already introduced legislation to repeal plans to expand offshore drilling. Let's back him up with an outpouring of global public outrage. Sign the petition calling on President Obama and Congress to end offshore drilling, and take the US and the world to clean energy future:

With Hope,
Ben, Iain, Alice, David, and the Avaaz team

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Knowing where to knock.

A giant ship engine failed. The ship's owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure out how to fix the engine.

Then they brought in an old man in his eighties who had been fixing ships since he was a young man. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully from top to bottom.

Two of the ship's owners were there watching this man and hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!

A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.

"What?!" the owners exclaimed. "He hardly did anything!"

So they wrote the old man a note saying, "Please send us an itemized bill."

The man sent a bill that read:

Tapping with a hammer...... ......... $ 2.00

Knowing where to tap.......... ......... $ 9,998.00

Moral of the story?
Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort makes all the difference!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The choice is ours.

The cunning old fox is at it again.  I shall not waste time writing about it.  Instead please go to the link to read the well-written article by Harris Ibrahim of The People's Parliament by clicking HERE:

Then please read my blogger friend Romerz's article HERE:

The Choice is Ours.  Come elections, remember to kick out all these racists into oblivion, to put it mildly.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Elegant silence?

Lately I notice that readers are maintaining a stance of elegant silence in my blog.  I am also surprised to note that there are more readers coming from USA too!  Maybe I am now global!  Hahaha!  Just laughing by myself.

Actually, there are periods of ups and downs.  And this happens to be the time that I'm feeling a bit down.

Let me also shift into "elegant silence" mode and wait for "divine inspiration" to write more interesting and beneficial topics, as and when "divine intervention" intercedes.

You have a nice day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Great lessons in life (Part 3 of 3)

The Pretty Lady

Once upon a time a big monk and a little monk were traveling together. They came to the bank of a river and found the bridge was damaged. They had to wade across the river. There was a pretty lady who was stuck at the damaged bridge and couldn't cross the river.

The big monk offered to carry her across the river on his back. The lady accepted. The little monk was shocked by the move of the big monk. 'How can big brother carry a lady when we are supposed to avoid all intimacy with females?' thought the little monk. But he kept quiet...The big monk carried the lady across the river and the small monk followed unhappily. When they crossed the river, the big monk let the lady down and they parted ways with her. All along the way for several miles, the little monk was very unhappy with the act of the big monk. He was making up all kinds of accusations about big monk in his head. This got him madder and madder. But he still kept quiet.. And the big monk had no inclination to explain his situation.

Finally, at a rest point many hours later, the little monk could not stand it any further, he burst out angrily at the big monk. 'How can you claim yourself a devout monk, when you seize the first opportunity to touch a female, especially when she is very pretty? All your teachings to me make you a big hypocrite The big monk looked surprised and said, 'I had put down the pretty lady at the river bank many hours ago, how come you are still carrying her along?'

What is the moral of the story?

This very old Chinese Zen story reflects the thinking of many people today. We encounter many unpleasant things in our life, they irritate us and they make us angry. Sometimes, they cause us a lot of hurt, sometimes they cause us to be bitter or jealous. But like the little monk, we are not willing to let them go away. We keep on carrying the baggage of the 'pretty lady' with us. We let them keep on coming back to hurt us, make us angry, make us bitter and cause us a lot of agony. Why? Simply because we are not willing to put down or let go of the baggage of the 'pretty lady'. We should let go of the pretty lady immediately after crossing the river. This will immediately remove all our agonies. There is no need to be further hurt by the unpleasant event after it is over.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Great lessons in life (Part 2 of 3)

The Frogs

A farmer came into town and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The restaurant owner was shocked and asked the man where he could get so many frog legs! The farmer replied, 'There is a pond near my house that is full of frogs - millions of them. They all croak all night long and they are about to make me crazy!' So the restaurant owner and the farmer made an agreement that the farmer would deliver frogs to the restaurant, five hundred at a time for the next several weeks.

The first week, the farmer returned to the restaurant looking rather sheepish, with two scrawny little frogs. The restaurant owner said, 'Well.... where are all the frogs?' The farmer said, 'I was mistaken. There were only these two frogs in the pond. But they sure were making a lot of noise!'

Moral  of the storey?
 Next time you hear somebody criticizing or making fun of you, remember, it's probably just a couple of noisy frogs. Also remember that problems always seem bigger in the dark. Have you ever laid in your bed at night worrying about things which seem almost overwhelming like a million frogs croaking? Chances are pretty good that when the morning comes, and you take a closer look, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.

Great lessons in life (Part 1 of 3)

The Turtles

A turtle family decided to go on a picnic. The turtles, being naturally slow about things, took seven years to prepare for their outing. Finally the turtle family left home looking for a suitable place. During the second year of their journey they found a place ideal for them at last!

For about six months they cleaned the area, unpacked the picnic basket, and completed the arrangements. Then they discovered they had forgotten the salt. A picnic without salt would be a disaster, they all agreed. After a lengthy discussion, the youngest turtle was chosen to retrieve the salt from home. Although he was the fastest of the slow moving turtles, the little turtle whined, cried, and wobbled in his shell. He agreed to go on one condition: that no one would eat until he returned. The family consented and the little turtle left.

Three years passed and the little turtle had not returned. Five years...six years... then on the seventh year of his absence, the oldest turtle could no longer contain his hunger. He announced that he was going to eat and begun to unwrap a sandwich. At that point the little turtle suddenly popped out from behind a tree shouting, 'See! I knew you wouldn't wait. Now I am not going to go get the salt.'

Moral of the story?
Some of us waste our time waiting for people to live up to our expectations. We are so concerned about what others are doing that we do not do anything ourselves.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The marvel of "search engines" (and the photo I took)

I had a wonderful surprise when I Google search "justin choo" and on the third page, line 6 I noticed something interesting and nostalgic.  It said:

Doggerel By Johan Photo By Justin Choo .

Doggerel by JOHAN Photo by JUSTIN CHOO . And he's just me, With both of us drinking our fill, It's rather unfair, That he downs my share, And leaves me to ...
Photo by Justin Choo? I clicked the link, and guess what I saw?  Yes the photo I submitted to the New Straits Times, May 7 1995!  A few days to 15 years! 
First consider the word "doggerel".  In this instance it is more to "doggerel poem" which the dictionary states:
doggerel : poems of no lasting literary value ,just fun to write and fun to read .see what you can do ; .nonsense poems : think jabberwocky ; .forgret about angst ridden soul searching poetry and just have some fun with words.
Before you go to the links, I just like to let you know that I took pictures as a hobby many years ago.  During those "negative film" days, taking pictures as a hobby was quite a costly and  time-consuming past-time. The most you could take in one roll of negative film was 36 pictures, and you couldn't get to see them instantly.  Nowadays digital rules supreme, and anyone can come up with "brilliant" pictures with "Photoshop!"   No such things during the good old days.  A brilliant picture was actually taken as it was.  No computer alterations or enhancement.  The most we used was the polarizer filter to enhance the clouds.  It was fun facing all those challenges, especially lighting.  Today?  Not much fun.
Ok, now the links to all these mysteries:
1. When you click this link, please don't click the link given there.  Just return to this page first.  You will go to the picture link in "2" below.
(UPDATE: Sorry, you may not find the link because Google Search is a dynamic programme which keeps on updating the data.) 
2.Before you click this link, just a bit of information on the picture.  It was taken at the Mutiara Beach Resort.  There was a small but beautiful garden with flowing waters and of course the flamingos.  That was the place I took the picture.  The Resort had undergone a major  renovation, if I am not mistaken.  I don't think the garden is still there, let alone the flamingos!  The picture you see is not sharp.  My original was perfectly sharp and well contrasted. 
Now you can go to the link : 
 Doggerel By Johan Photo By Justin Choo

(I wonder if I were to continue paging down the search pages, would I find my other photos in the NST way back in 1988.  During those times, Eric Peris was with NST, and we would be taken to Sunday "shootings" under the "NST/Kodak Photographic Outings" with free lunch.  Unfortunately, during those years the bus had no air-con, and by the end of the day, I was really spent and exhausted.  For those who want to know who Eric Peris is, can go to his facebook)


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