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Showing posts from October, 2005

trick or *sniff* ah-choooooooo! treat? it's a wet halloween...

... i have a furiously purring kitty on my lap! am typing one handed as the other hand is stroking her while also trying to make sure she doesn't fall off her precarious perch! :p

It's still raining outside... hasn't let up a whit since i commented on it 5 hours ago. ugh. it's a wet wet wet halloween :p

~~
Success: have finished knife of dreams!! I keep saying this, but it's true: this is the most satisfying Wheel of Time book in YEARS!! Now for the 2-year wait for Book 12 :p

One unfortunate side effect to my reading: my nails have been bitten all the way down again... I tend to do that when reading :(

~~
My little 2-sen worth of thoughts on Halloween: it was a horrible sight while in switzerland to see that commercialism has reached its greedy fingers out to Europe... what was once never celebrated is now starting to be observed: orange & black; spider webs; grinning pumpkins... Europe didn't use to make All Hallow's Eve as much as they marked All …

It's Halloween tonite!

Activity for today:
1. 25min walk to the gym
2. 30 min elliptical thingy @ over 250cals
3. leg press 1x10@90lbs, 1x15@110lbs
4. torso twist 2x12x90lbs each side
5. 10mins rowing @ 70cals
6. 25mins walk back
All that done by 1115am.

Once I was done with shower, fixed a salad for a light breakfast, looked out the window, and it’s raining! Wow, good thing I did what I did WHEN I did, otherwise I’d be going stir crazy already :p

What I’ve got planned for the rest of the day? Finish off Knife of Dreams so I can return it to the library… it *is* overdue by about a week… and I *should* have it finished today… It’s only like 10 cents a day, so the cost is not an issue: it’s the guilt at delaying another Robert Jordan fan form his/her opportunity to sink their teeth into the best book RJ’s published in years!! I’m now at page 633 and Perrin’s rescue of Faile is starting. Of course, it happens to be the same day Faile decides to escape by her own means. Ta’vernen? Probably :p

So, off I go… may bl…

getting back on track in the u.s. and other ramblings

Ugh. I'm out of practice wrt tips! Had a breakfast-cum-lunch all by my lonesome, the bill came up to about USD6.50. For some reason I thought 20% = 65cents, so I gave a 1 dollar tip. Only while walking back did I realise that I shoulda given at least 1.30, probably would have rounded it up to 1.50. No, I didn't turn back. Too bad lah. After all it's just a few cents. But imagine if I'd made this mistake for a much larger total?! Ugh. I really don't like the whole tips thing, but well, it's part of the American thing I guess... will have to try to remember for the next time I pick up the tab at a service restaurant :p On to other news... More Swiss-related thoughts:

1. I had images & memories of my late grandfather come to me unbidden at odd times during the 5 days I was at my g'mas's place last week. He passed away in 1998; I last saw him in 1995 when I dropped by after graduating. I was back in switzerland in the year 2000, but didn't actua…

Guess who's back, back again?

No, not "Uncle Em",,, the "opposite" actually,,, ME! :D

Oh boy what a trip.

@ ZRH
Maybe it was just because it was Switzerland, and they take things really seriously? Or because it WAS an American Airlines flight? Or just because it was a U.S.-bound flight? But my oh my, before being able to check-in, I was already interrogated by "security" and had to explain that I'm on an "extended vacation" in the u.s., that I visited my grandmother in switzerland, yes my grandmother is swiss, yes I have a return ticket to malaysia that's valid for another six months or so, no I didn't accept any wrapped packages from anyone, yes I packed it all myself, last night and early this morning, no I will not let my carry-on out of my sight.

First time ever: I had to get my carry-on weighed. Typical Swiss! LOL!

So, I'm all checked in by 830am. My flight's at 1020am. I slowly make my way to the terminal. My heart drops. Looks like a bit of fog out …

... found while surfing ...

FOUND: AWESOME photos of Tornados and other Extreme Weather Phenomena, from Kirby's blog

~~
FOUND: the "worth" of my blog (at 00:45hrs Swiss time)! So cheap, mah?
(tip o the hat to: Incurable Insomniac)


My blog is worth $7,339.02.
How much is your blog worth?

~~

okay, by the time I post this, then shut down the PC, brush teeth, wash face, change into sleep clothes and get into bed, it will be past 130am. Have alarm set for just before 6am. Wake, shower, dress up, final packing, then off to the busstop latest by 715am, to catch the 7:40am bus, that will bring me to the airport at 8am. Then check in, by which I mean get my boarding pass. I am not checking in any luggage! Ah, the freedom of not having to wait at the baggage carousels! Then hang around the airport till my 1020am flight. So so so so so looking forward to getting back to the u.s.!!

pieces of ...

Just found this site by Serge Izoard, thanx to Little Neo, which I thought I'd highlight.

I always have my ex-colleagues in mind... things to keep them "occupied" at their desks when they are essentially not having anything to do...

This one is for the jigsaw puzzle enthusiast in you :-)

Click HERE to get to the page.

Yes, it's in french, but it's easily navigable :)

On the top you can scroll left/right to select the picture for your puzzle.
On the left, where you should see the number 30, is a drop down menu for you to choose the number of pieces for the puzzle, ranging from 6 to 100!

The owl with 30pcs is fun.
Haven't tried the others yet.
I'm not THAT much a jigsaw puzzle fan :p
But I like it enough to pass this link along.
So go check it out, k?

Enjoy, people!

Catching up : October 22nd - 26th 2005

Saturday 22nd October 2005

Train to Bnn.
G picks us up.
Drive to Dss, which is on the plateau of a mountain overlooking Lake Bienne, or is it Lake Neuchatel?

Meet up with other cousin, Jim, who is also waaaaaaaaaaay taller than I am. Geeez I remember babysitting him and Grant. Again. I feel short and old.

I get a pleasant surprise, as I had indicated earlier that I would like to get a few bottles of regional Swiss wine back to the U.S. : turns out not only is Uncle Marty a wine enthusiast, he is also involved in some major purchase & redistribution of wines in relation to his job. I ended up doing a pseudo sampling, and chose a really good white (Pinos Gris - has never heard of it till now) for myself.

A quick check online showed that only ONE LITER of alcoholic beverages are allowed customs-free. Ugh. That translates to 2 bottles totalling 1.5L. Okay, I suppose I need just one more bottle, make it a bottle of red. For that, he chose a Chianti, I think. Not of the immediate region, but …

Catching breath: pause from updates with a joke or more

Just got this in the mail. Feel the need to pass it on, wonder why... :
Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" the president exclaims. "That's terrible!" His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the president sits, head in hands.

Finally, the president looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"

(UPDATE @ 22:30hrs - found another good GWB joke on Sunshine's blog, reproduced here, with thanx to Sunshine)
Important Decision...

This test only has one question, but it's a very important one. By giving an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally. The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation in which you will have to make a decision.
==============================================
THE SITUATION
You are in Florida, Miami to be specific. There is chaos all around you caused by a hurri…

Catching up : October 21st 2005

Friday 21st October

I think today was the day a lady came to help clean my g'ma. Part of the things that have been arranged, that my mom will watch/assess, in relation to making a decision whether to send my g'ma to a home or if she can still manage on her own.

Nothing else remotely exciting happens in the morning.

I am going out of my head in boredom.

Mother can't walk in her shoes due to those nasty blisters. Great, I'm more than happy to walk alone, anyway. So I go for a quick walk - about an hour total. Would have been longer, but the path i wanted to take today would have involved crossing a herd of cows. Didn't feel like walking among them, just in case they got cranky for some reason. Nor did I want to have to step gingerly over the droppings they were sure to have left all over the path.

I get back, and mom seems somehow surprised that I am back "so fast." I wonder what she is insinuating. I never gave any indication of how long *i* expected to be. Wha…

Catching up : October 19 - 20 2005

Last Wednesday, 19th October

Zurich - Bnn: met up with mom a little past noon, accompanied her while she ran some errands. then visited my only surviving grand-aunt. mom hadn't told her I was going to be there too. Surpriiiiiiiiiise! And she was so glad to see me, that she called her daughter (Lucy) and her daughter (Fran).

Fran dropped everything to come and say hello!

But gotta take note that this was my first day, heck first HOUR of French immersion, and the layer of rust on my speaking abilities was majorly thick! While the excitement and enthusiasm of these relatives was endearing, it was also kinda overwhelming, and I was not able to really interact properly with them :(

My grandaunt furtively presents me with a bar of chocolate, and presses two CHF 5 coins into my hand. I can't do much except thank her. I don't remember to do the cheek-kiss thingy tho. For hello's and goodbye's sure, i remember, but for 'thanx', nope, didn't occur to me :p

So, fran dr…

Currently reading...

1. Knife of Dreams : Book 11 of the Wheel of Time series, by Robert JordanFINALLY, after so long, not only is the book out, but the plot seems to be moving!

Yeah, Robert Jordan has been accussed of milking his fans for all they've got. I agree. The last 5 books or so of the series were really crap. How much of it was RJ being overambitious vs "wanting to drag it out"? I wonder. But whatever it is, this book is the best he's written in a long long long time!

I'm only about halfway through it. And it's already overdue (borrowed from library maaaah). Tried to renew it, but can't because it's already been requested by someone else (they probably have quite a long list of requests - sorry y'all, the tale is not enthralling enough that I'm devouring it 24/7! But i *will* try to have it done by the time I'm back in Urbana this weekend, ok? I'll even have it in my carry-on bag so I can read it while hanging around in DFW on Thursday!).

Without s…

urgent for u.s. drivers licence holders!

tip o the hat to: shanna; who saw the most disturbing thing while surfing. There is a website out there where supposedly every Driver's License in the U.S. is available for everybody else to see. That means strangers can get your address, license number and picture.

Kosh: I went to this site & entered your information. It's TRUE!

There is a box at the bottom that you can check to have your license removed. Then, only police officers will have access to it.

So why don't you go check it out, literally? Click HERE to be get there.

~~~~
Ugh! tried to leave a comment on shanna's site, but for some reason that word verification thingy just didn't seem to like me! gave up. So, shanna, if you ever drop by to check out who linked ya and reproduced your blog article - it was me!

Swiss Snippets: portraits of my grandmaman

Portrait #1:G'ma: What's that you're doing?
Mom (painstakingly doing a Sudoku puzzle): it's like a crossword puzzle, but with numbers.
G'ma: Oh. (Pause). Is it in English?

Portrait #2:Mom (shouting to my cousin downstairs): We're going to have supper, do you want to eat?
G'ma (sitting a few feet away from Mom): Eat? Oh no (in incredulous tone). You know I just ate half an hour ago, why would I want to eat again now?

Portrait #3:G'ma: Have I taken my pills yet?
Mom: yes you have.
(they spend a few minutes in the kitchen, looking at the one-week pill box thingy, helping her see that she *has* indeed taken her pills to date)
G'ma (Half an hour later): I don't think I've taken my pills yet.. have I taken my pills?
(This happened like FIVE times in 12 hours...)
A few days after her 92nd birthday, my grandmother was rushed to hospital due to breathing difficulties, and was warded in the ICU. For a while, it seemed like her time had come. Then she got bett…

hammer, nail, head : right on!

You Are Internal - Realist - Empowered
You feel your life is controlled internally.
If you want something, you make it happen.
You don't wait around for things to go your way.
You value your independence and don't like others to have control.

You are a realist when it comes to luck.
You don't attribute everything to luck, but you do know some things are random.
You don't beat yourself up when bad things happen to you...
But you do your best to try to make your own luck.

You have a good deal of power, but you also know the pecking order.
You realize that working the system does get you further.
You know who to defer to and who to control.
When it comes to the game of life, you play things flawlessly.The Three Dimension Luck and Power Test

(tip o' the hat to: Samantha Burns)

no kidding - this really fits.

... one of those things ...

My fave beatle is Paul McCartney.

Paul, or Macca, has a new album out, and is currently touring the U.S.

On Thursday 27th October, he will be performing in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kosh is in Iowa City for his current ENT rotation.

Des Moines is 2 hours away from Iowa City.

Looks like tickets are still available.
(ranging from USD150 - USD432 on ticketTriangle.com)
(strangely enough, Ticketmaster doesn't have Des moines on its list of macca's venues)So looks like I may actually be able to see my fave Beatle?

NOPE.

I'm arriving in the U.S. 9pm Thursday October 27th.

An hour after the concert starts.

Oh well...

Of course, I *could* try to change my flight to a day earlier... or at least 3 hours earlier out of DFW! I wonder about flight availability PLUS penalty for changing at such short notice... expedia, here I come....

but then, seeing as how kosh is being kept real bz there at Iowa City, no guarantees that he'd be free to leave by 6pm on Thursday at the latest to get us there on time a…

happy happy joy joy

survived 5 days' extensive exposure to mother and grandmother

will blog a proper article or three of the past few days

right now just wanna glory in the feel of being back in front of a PC again :D

swiss snippets

I seem to be waking up at 3am local time... at least the night before, I proceeded to fall back asleep and not emerge till 11am. today it was a different story... terkelip-kelip mata, still awake at 4.. 530.. by 7am it really was no use pretending anymore so I got on up...

... and got up to such a dreary day... if I hadn't already made plans to head to Bnn and onwards to Tln, I think I would have just stayed in ... looks like it's wanting to rain, but isn't. Gonna be a chilly icckky day. I'll spend a few hours of it in the train, so I suppose thats good, as in I'm not wasting a bright sunshine-y day riding in the trains, y'know?

but speaking about trains.. OMG but are they expensive!! It's gonna cost me 51CHF from here to Tln, and another 51CHf for my return trip. At least with my bro so close to the airport, my final trip from here to the airport next week will only be about CHF4. Tried looking for some special fares / passes, but I must be willing to spend …

magic?

check this out : http://media.putfile.com/mindfreak-throughtheglass0-6500/480

it may take a while to load for dialup users, but be patient...

can anyone tell me how the "trick" was done???

~~

speaking about tricks.. lemmie copy down an escort services ad in the Zurich Guide (the official city guide, no less!):
First class and biggest Swiss Escort Agency. Over 50 pretty ladys and charmed girls, students, young callgirls and also georgeous top-models availabel. Visit them privat or they enjoy you (dinner, events, vacation, etc)is it just me, do these words just jump out at you? ladys. charmed. callgirls. "they enjoy you".

you reap what you sow!

My patience sometimes is worn so thin by some people...

A friend of mine sent me a text message recently, bemoaning the fact that so many people she knew were getting a divorce, many of which were initiated once it was found out that someone was having an affair. And in many cases of the people she knew, the infidelity was on the wife's part.

Her bottomline: "better stay single than go thru divorce or unhappy marriage"

Hmmpph!

There are so many factors involved that can make or break a marriage ... reasons for getting married in the first place, compatibility of the couple, flexibility, communication skills, empathy, how they deal with problems(and let's face it: no marriage is perfect, there WILL be problems... but HOW they are solved, rather than WHAT the problems are about, is a good indicator of the dynamics, and long-term viability, of the relationship)....

Recognise that there many things that fall within your area of control, but you choose not to do something bac…

how I'm currently spending my time in switzerland

... playing sudoku!!



heehehe, well today *is* my day of recovery after that all-too-long journey here...

i *was* (am still? maybe.. it's already 3pm!) planning to go walk to the railway station, and check out the shoping area my brother said is close to there. Doubt I'd get on the train to zurich for today...

Tomorrow will meet up with mom and head for my grandma's place, and stay there till the end of the weekend. Yes, I'll be severly testing my sanity while there. And will also be out of internet connectivity, so no updates till next monday, maybe...



Will probably spend the days in grandma's place finishing up that all-too-simple sudoku book (*still* disappointed with that, btw), plus continue reading Wheel of Time #11 : Knife of Dreams. Got it from the library a few days before leaving ;)

my tummy is grumbling and rumbling... I suppose I can look for some food, then head out to explore this place and find that railway station.

laters!

... to cook a pizza ...

... shouldn't be that difficult, right?

But if it's your first time trying out the oven since moving into an apartment, sometimes things just don't come easy...

The oven wasn't heating up.

Took us a while to realise that.

Looked for instruction manual for oven - bro was sure he'd seen it recently... but no go.

Went online to the manufacturer's website.

Couldn't find the model, even tho we typed in the model number taken from the unit itself.

Opened instructions for similar models (but with a different button layout), and determined that in order for the oven to work, the clock must be set.

next question would of course be How to set the clock?

well, most of these modles had a little button with the picture of a clock, which, when pressed, along with the + and - keys, would enable fixing of the time. The model in the kitchen didn't match that.

kept looking ... and looking ... and looking ...

*finally* found the instructions we needed to set the clock (it was …

in zurich :)

"hey Pat, I'd like to buy a vowel because O My God!"

yeah, that about sums up the last 24hours (or more? I have *no* idea!) of my life.

Urbana -> Iowa City (Saturday)
Left at 630pm. Arrived at 1030pm. ugh!
Met up with landlord of room that Kosh is renting for the month. OMG. She wouldn't stop talking. And in a very thick Indian accent. And she kept on and on and on. Arthritic hands ("they are not as good as they look"!); Wanting two separate cheques for rent vs deposit even tho she's gonna bank them both in, and issue her own cheque to refund the deposit at the end of the month. Writing long notes to Kosh, and to herself to tell Kosh, and reading them out to us, and so not makimg sense. Zoinks!! Anyways, the place itself is, well, very very basic. But can do lah for a month.

The next day : walked to the medical center area from the house : took almost 30mins! Jinkies! That's a LOT of walking every day. And it certainly seems more than the advertise…

what's wrong with this picture?

it's saturday,12:15 noon.

the "plan" is to leave by 1pm, for that 4 hour drive to Iowa City.
I'm pretty much packed. Just need to shower, and final touches to the packing, then I'm done.
Kosh, on the other hand... is currently eating breakfast, watching the second half of Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed that he slept through last night. Yes, the movie that HE wanted to see last night, but *I* ended up watching all the way thru while he'd dozed off. Grrrr. So, yeah. Guess who hasn't packed... and HE has to pack for a month, and not just clothes but books and whatnot for this away rotation PLUS interview for medical school.Wonder when in *real* time we are gonna be leaving this place!!

Arrgh!

I cringe every time we need to pack & leave for a trip, whether it's to the folks or whatever... it's usually only on that day itself that Kosh will want to run all these tiny errands before leaving town. so often, the time estimated to arrival becomes our act…

smurfing the world wide web...

Many thanx to Gangadhar for the link to the Smurf Name Generator! You can go to his site, or to the original one HERE to play. Using my full/real name, I am Jurassic Smurf(hey, I'm not *that* old?!)
Using Lynne instead, I am Waspinator Smurf(wtf?)

Kosh, you are Radioactive Smurf(hmmmmmmmm..... too much time at the lab?)~~~
And on another smurf-related note... did you hear about UNICEF's new fundraising initiative to shock viewers into donating money to help children in war-torn regions? It features a 30 second cartoon clip of the smurfs doing the usual smurfy things in their village, only to have airplanes fly by and bomb the village - yes, a Smurfogeddon, if you will. It seems that it certainly shocks viewers, but at the same time, really drives home the point of "Don't let war affect the lives of children."

For the Yahoo!News article, click HERE. Tip o' the hat to Formula3G.

I wanna see this clip! No plans to be shown in the U.S., wonder if I can catch it while …

thanx, Reema!

... feel *so* much better after stumbling across this picture from Reema's blog!

pissed off

i spent a long time polishing up a post on mis-heard song lyrics until it was to my eyes fit for publishing... and for some *#^!$#^ reason, when I hit "publish", blogger asked me to re-log in??!! And my entire post was lost!! I am so PISSED!! I will work on it again, but then again, maybe I won't. Friggin blogger. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

Indiana Jones FOUR!!

Hey y'all... have you heard? Indiana Jones #4 is in the works!

This is the first I heard about it... seems it's been kinda news since 2002, but there have been numerous problems with getting the script or something, but hopefully things are moving forward....

Tip o' the Hat to who formula3G, who was referring to THIS article.

HERE's some news from the spielbergfilms.com site.
Can you believe it's been FIFTEEN years since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? They are going to have to move the setting of movie #4 to the 50's, seeing as Harrison Ford has certainly aged since he last chose wisely...

This I *will* be catching in the theatres!!

... of cripsy axes, duck tape, and other mispronunciations

... exploring the yourdictionary.com's site a little more, I came across another entertaining page: a list of the 100 most mispronounced words & phrases in English

Mispronouncing Arctic and Antarctic as Artic and Antartic would be common for Malaysians, cos as far as I remember, that's how we were taught to say it in school...

I LOL'd seeing a blessing in disguise being commonly mispronounced as a blessing in the skies .. it kinda makes sense, I suppose, but. it's. just. not. "right" :p haahaha that reminds me.... a similar mis-heard lyric... Elvis' "You're the devil in disguise" is oftentimes mis-said as "You're the devil in the sky"!!(Actually there are LOTS of mispronounced song lyrics, will try to get a list of them in an article soon)

First I ever heard chest of drawers referred to as chester drawers I thought CB was referring to specific piece of furniture with drawers... turns out she was perpetuating a common pronuncia…

not Aaron, just a blog on Spelling :-)

I don't claim to excellent at spelling, but I think I have a pretty good grasp of it :)

And most bloggers out there are pretty good about not having major typos... I usually stumble across the "common" ones like mixing up your/you're and there/their...

But then there are some like this one random blog I stumbled across a while ago... filled with atrocious spelling mistakes... just about every 2 out of 3 words were wrongly spelled... and the author actually seemed to be proudly stating in the sidebar that she couldn't spell to save her life... uh-huh, she definitely couldn't! One example I remember: season finale was spelled finally: I had to re-read the sentence before it finally (sorry!) made sense!

So I thought of that random blogger, and the many many poor souls out there who also have trouble with their spelling skills, when I came across this website:

yourdictionary.com 's misspelled words site

It's a "... one-stop cure for all your spelling ills…

Globe trotting & Word association (Week 140)

My last night in St Louis - whoohooo!!!

Oh, guess what... I'm going to be quite the travelling person in the next few weeks.

First will be the trip back from St Louis to Urbana tomorrow... then on Saturday am heading to Iowa City... then taking off on Sunday from Cedar Rapids to Zurich via Chicago & London for a 1.5week visit... visit my relatives and my ailing grandma... then back to the u.s. in late October, from Zurich back to Cedar Rapids via Dallas/Fort Worth. And decide whether to hang around in Iowa City, or make my way back to Urbana to hold the fort, torture the psycho kitty, etc etc... :-)

So, yeah, for those who got my sms saying I'd be back in KL in mid-Nov - change of plans, sowwy! I'll be back probably in Jan '06 instead :-)

~~~

And hey, it's Sunday (or was about 55 minutes ago...) Here's the latest word association list from Unconscious Mutterings:
Quirk:: of fate
Crystal:: ball
Pet Peeve:: Jeeves
Cuban:: cigars
Breasts:: implants / melons / hooters
Whi…

python vs croc: it's a draw!

It seems that in the Florida everglades, there is a battle between the resident crocs and ex-pet pythons... this pic is the result of one such battle...

For the full amazing story, go HERE. (Photo taken from HERE)

office slang :-)

New to me:
Cobweb - A WWW site that is never updated.

New to me, but I can *so* relate to:
Ohnosecond - That minuscule fraction of time during which you realize you’ve just made a terrible error.

I remember these expressions from an email, and *so* related to them that I started using them right away... after all, where I worked, especially for the final one year, had plenty of these going around.... :
Seagull Manager - A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, shits over everything and then leaves.
Blamestorming - A group discussion of why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible

Sound familiar? I bet you've gotten e-mails with a list of these "new" and humourous definitions before, but THIS SITE has a pretty comprehensive list. Check it out for a chuckle or two or three or four ... :-)

(tip o the hat to: Linky & Dinky)