Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gobble gobble gobble!

Here's wishing everyone in -- or of -- the USA a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Gobble gobble gobble!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oes tsetnoc?

Heehe I had to chip in and help fellow expat blogger Hospitalera with this: Oes tsetnoc. Can you figure out what it's all about?

Actually thanks to my mad Scrabble(TM) and Scramble/Boggle skills, I can tell you that Oes does have a definition: the winds that blow on the Faroe Isles, if I'm not mistaken... you'll find it in the Scrabble dictionary, but not in regular 'normal' ones :D A quick search online returns a few hits for Oes: Occupational Employment Statistics; Order of the Eastern Star; Open Enterprise Server. But if you go in this direction, you're on the wrong track.

... but if you were to search for tsetnoc you might start to see the light. ... Remember that episode of (Family Guy?) where Alex Trebeck was vanquished when a contestant used "kcebert xela" (or was it "xela kcebert"?) when called upon during Jeopardy!? This is something similar.

"Oes tsetnoc" is just SEO Contest spelled backwards. If you want to know more, just go visit Hospitalera's Oes tsetnoc page, k?


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Monday, November 23, 2009

Cat Tales: I cheated on her!

Today I cheated on our cat.

It was maybe 6:15am, and she had started up another round of hissy fits - looking out, I saw that it wasn't the scrappy ginger tom with flappy ears that was bothering her -- it was another ginger cat, this one belonging to our neighbors.

The neighbor's cat in better days

I suspect our neighbors recently decided to make the cat an outdoor one. About two weeks ago, all of a sudden, the cat's carrier and litterbox appeared on their back porch. With a green collar with a bell, and a white flea collar, it's easy to differentiate this one from the scrappy tomcat that also hangs out here. For a while, the both of them together would be harassing our poor cat!

This morning, I felt sorry for the cat outside, it had given a meek meow at me as I shooed it off the window sill... so with our psycho kitty hissing and yowling away, I carefully made my way outside, careful not to let either cat in/out... shut the screen door behind me, and beckoned at the ginger... ... in the past it hasn't dared approach, too wary or whatever, but today it trotted up and proceeded to batter itself against me. Poor thing seemed starved for attention (I ~hope~ it's not also starved for food!!), and was going around in circles rubbing against me.

So I finally managed to study this feline up close. ... now, in my limited experience, I noticed that ginger cats were (almost) always male, and I assumed the neighbor's cat was also male. However, its face wasn't "flared" the way toms' usually are. Also, I didn't see any dangling scrotum at its nether regions - sure, it could mean it's been neutered, but don't neutered cats put on weight? This one's nice and slim. I didn't look closely enough at its behind to determine if it had female parts. But I have a feeling this ginger's female.

One of these days, when I next see the neighbor on the porch, I'll try to ask sans accusation about why their cat is now living outside. ... the weather's turning cold, I don't think it's wise to turn your cat out now, right?

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Friday, November 20, 2009

"we've met!" list continues to grow!

I am certainly no social butterfly... though I can do pretty well in small groups... which is why my fortnightly Bloody Mary Mafia sessions work so much better for me than, say, that rather overwhelming Tweet-Up we had last week! But hey, the bottom line is I'm meeting people here in Springfield, and slowly but surely feeling like I have a social life. Yay?

Here are some folk I'd like to add to the "We've Met!" blogroll:
.. and I say "like to add" because, well, as you can see, many of them are Twitterers but not necessarily bloggers. A sign of the times!! No problem, I'll just populate two overlapping lists: the "We've Met!" blogroll on this blog's sidebar, and the WeHaveMet Twitter list.

And actually I've "met" more folk at the Tweet-Up, but didn't really have much chat time, so in my mind they don't count.


My objective is to add lots more names to both lists -- always quality over quantity! -- ... preferably without assaulting my default introvertedness too much! :D

Wish me (good) luck with that...

btw, there's an impromptu tweet-up tonight (brainchild of Jeanette!) in combination with the CD release party of a local band, Music for Big Kids (@m4bk). And that photo? Proof that I'm studying for it. Yes, I'm a freak.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Long lost pals - found!

A *wave* to SG aka SnglGuy and Omni!!

These are two bloggers from my early years in the blogosphere.
  • SG was someone you could reply on to leave a comment on almost every post you had, it was so heartening, encouraging and gratifying! He had moved from blogspot to his own domain, then pleaded burnout, if I remember correctly, then... nothing. A while ago I checked his site and saw it was no longer his. I have wondered how SG was doing, how life was treating him, and how he was channeling his observations / rants / moved to The Incurable Pessimist. It's great to "see" you again, SG! Glad you've been visiting me, even if silently! :)

  • Omni wrote very long treatises on deep spiritual perspectives, the nature of karma, and the like at Every Topic in the Universe(s?). I admit that many times I would end up skimming her posts, because, this woman could write for many many many page downs worth! :D She called it quits a long time ago, and when I decided to take down the mega long blogroll on this blog, I didn't want to lose her blog addy, so I punched the RSS into my GoogleReader just because... and whaddaya know? She's started posting again! Yay! Welcome back, Omni! You have been missed!

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Foody Friday: Tandoori and Enchiladas!

Chicken!!! :) Here are two dishes I produced over the past two weeks:

1. Chicken Tandoori
For some reason I wanted to play with yogurt last week, so using this recipe as a guide, I embarked on my first ever tandoori chicken experiment.

Not having all the ingredients, I made do with what I had: click the above picture you might to see the variety of spices I mixed in with the yogurt and lemon juice, and compare that to the "guide" :D

The chicken was then refrigerated for a day and a half, marinating.

Next came a big lesson: when the recipe calls for grilling/roasting, it might be a good idea to do the same... For some reason, I decided to just use a skillet instead. Hmmm... there's A LOT of water that emerges, the chicken looked to be pathetically drowning! In the end I kinda scooped out as much of the water as I could, and then let the "gravy" thicken. Of course, because it had been so wet, I let it thicken for too long, and burned the bottoms of the sauce & chicken! And I had to reuse the pan to heat up the accompanying roti pratha (no, not naan) too! Aaarrgghh!! (No photos at this stage because I was very upset at how things seemed to be turning out)

In the end, this was what was served:

Despite the burnt parts, it was actually quite decent: it had the correct taste, perhaps a little dry, which would have been addressed by an overlooked cool white sauce (recipe didn't call for it, so I totally forgot!), but some ranch dressing did the trick, phew!

I don't think I'll repeat this in the near future... but hey if you're inspired to try it out, please tell me how you fared, k?

2. Enchiladas
Okay, not just any enchiladas, but creamy chicken with chile enchiladas!

I've been craving "Mexican" for a while now... so when cans of Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce called out to me on one of my shopping trips, I totally succumbed, grabbing two different cans -- a mild with chile and a hot red. After looking at online recipes which seems unnecessarily complicated, I decided to just go with the recipe on one of the cans' label: creamy chicken enchilada.

    Oven should start heating to 400F, and the baking dish (13x9, preferably glass) sprayed with cooking spray.

    One pound of sliced/cubed chicken thigh was cooked in a skillet until no longer pink. One can of chopped Green Chile and one brick of cream cheese were then stirred in until melted & well mixed. I then added half of the red hot sauce, again stirring well to ensure a good mix.

    The really creamy chicken was then spooned into 6 tortillas, one at a time, each rolled up carefully and placed seam down into the baking dish.

    I then sprinkled who knows how much shredded cheese all over (recipe calls for 1 cup of the stuff, I think), followed by the sauce(s). This was in the oven for about 20mins - taken out when it was bubbling nicely along the edges.

End product:

Kosh and I had 1.5 each, with a side of shredded lettuce and some sour cream.

It was sooooooooooooooooooo good!

Seriously, like restaurant quality good.
This is something I could serve guests (once I get us a proper glass baking+serving dish!), without hesitation!

Changes I would make: try ground/minced chicken instead of having spend all that time cutting up those thighs, although I wonder if it would "go" with the creaminess. Oh, and maybe try a low-fat brick of cream cheese instead?

So, are you tempted to try this recipe out? If you do, please tell me how it went: I do hope you enjoyed it as much as Kosh and I did :)

Have a great weekend, y'all!

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Music Monday #22 (my #2): Meat Loaf

I've been knocked out by a nasty cold since last Wednesday, resulting in this blog being just a wee bit neglected. I did participate in the third World Blog Surf Day with my take on Holidays & Festivals over at a malaysian abroad, you are invited to drop by and surf around the world :) I've only made my way through half the entries myself, no worries!

Today marks my second entry in Music Monday (#22), and this time around it's my pleasure to introduce perhaps my favouritest singer EVAH, Meat Loaf!

Depending on your age and/or exposure, you may have first heard of him due to Paradise by the Dashboard Light (from Bat out of Hell), or from the mid-90s I would do Anything for Love (But I won't do That) (from Bat out of Hell II). Today's featured song is the title track of the 2003 album Couldn't Have Said it Better, a very special album to me in so many ways. Ironically, this album might have totally escaped my attention if I hadn't stumbled across this particular song/music video while accessing Malaysia Airlines' inflight entertainment channels on a flight to Switzerland.

I could barely recognise Meat Loaf: he had aged, lost weight too, but there was no mistaking that voice!!

Once I got back to KL, I went a-hunting for the album... finally found it, put it in my car's CD player, and o.m.g. I had goosebumps and shivers all throughout the first few songs, that's how much they resonated with me.

I hope it does something for you, too :)

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