Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fighting Sarah - More Olympic Moments

Sarah Stevenson the Taekwondo exponent from Great Britain has to fight on two fronts. In the quarter-finals she was up against Zhong Chen the gold medalist in Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004). She lost but would have won but the referee did not award her the 2 points for the kick that landed on Zhong Chen's face at the end of the third and final round.
Screenshot from http://www.dailymail.co.uk - Photo by Dave Shopland
Sarah was predicted to be a future champ by movie star Jackie Chan when she was 17. Jackie pitched in by supporting her travelling expenses.

She was ranting for dear life as she was also in Sydney and Athens but with nothing to show. Angry, she said that refrees can rule and ruin one's life. At 25, she may be past her prime when the London Olympics comes around in 2012.

An appeal was made. The battle lines on another front was drawn. But Sarah and her officials were not expecting to win this 'fourth' round away from the competition mat. No appeals against refreeing decisions in the Olympics has ever being successful.

And when they got what they wanted, a shot in the semi-finals, to an opponent she has met and defeated twice before, Sarah was not ready psychologically and emotionally. Worse she has only 20 minutes to prepare as the show was already back up for more than an hour and must go on for the cameras and the big shots.

She lost.

This was the post-mortem after the defeat:
1. "It was tough, I wasn't ready, it was too much for me to handle and I just lost it," 2. "The crowd got to me and I didn't have time to get a strategy."

3. "We can prepare for the competition but not for that sort of stress,"

Learning from this incident:
Emotionally she has a roller coaster ride. She came back from the depths of despair, anger and screaming bloody robbery. Her body though competitive was not ready. She sprained her ankle and lost 4-1.

Psychologically she did not expect to win the appeal. They tabled it out of spite. There were too much negative energies around. It poisoned the body. It get knotted up and no longer tough, supple and agile.

Strategy-wise there was none for the fight. There was no time to prepare for the fight. Sure way to lose.

Mentally, she was weakened. She was stressed out. It was too much too handle. The crowd not only booed her but also supported her opponent. She lost focus and the fight.

Tuning in and sharpening focus
1. Believe in the impossible. Keep the focus on the job at hand and also winning. Expect to succeed even though the appeal has never being successful. Otherwise, don't appeal. Once committed believe in ourselves.

2. Shield the competitor from emotional and psychological harm and distractions. Let the handlers do the job away from the mat. But Sarah was too much part of the anger that she was a spent force and was not ready when called on to fight.

3. Tactical discipline and formation must be maintained under stress and external opposition. Someone obviously forgot his/her job to control and prepare Sarah. Division of work is important. Staying discipline under all circumstances separate the gold medalist from the silver and the bronze.

4. Be firm for all you want but also be polite despite provocations. This tune the body and cool the mind and keep it under control. Sarah was sreaming, "Its a blatant robbery."

Usain 'Lightning' Bolt

Bolt's coach said that he could have done 9.52 instead of 9.69 if he had not celebrated before the tape.

"Call me Lightning Bolt", Usain told the media. Don't nickname me Superman or Flash Gordon. I am my own man. I work hard and the records show.

He has a mind of his own. Like refusing to train in the USA, where he fears burnout. He bolts around Jamaica and eats lots of yam.

He refused to be boxed in and wants to define himself. A natural athlete but most importantly with a spontaneous personality. He captured the heart of all. The Games was touted as sterile and controlled in many ways. In security and muted opposition. Sterilized and edited opening ceremony. No life and spontaneity.

What the Water Cube could not do, despite Phelps winning an incredible 8 gold medals in one Games, it was achieved in the Bird's Nest.

Life. Fun. Youthful Exuberance. Celebration. He connected with the crowd in the stadium and the rest of the world through the screen. Who can forget his 'hunter pose', 'slowing down to celebrate and beating his chest', glancing at the clock as he grimaced and clawed to a new 200m record.

100meters 9.69
200meters 19.30

He connected except with one. The IOC President, Jacques Rogge. He took exception to his celebrations. “I understand the joy,” Rogge said. “He might have interpreted that in another way, but the way it was perceived was ‘catch me if you can.’ You don’t do that. But he’ll learn. He’s still a young man.”

What a condecending behavior. He saved the Beijing Games devoid of personalities except Phelps. Common Jacques Rogge, don't be a killjoy. What 'disrespect'? Show some respect to these winners that have worked so hard.

A new generation will be inspired by this role model that portray the genuine Olympic spirit. The 'can do' and the nothing is impossible guts! That hard work will have a payday. And it should be celebrated. Congratulations, Lightning Bolt! Well done! We will learn from this young man!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Usain 'Yam' Bolt

The hero of the 29th Olympic was athlete Usain Bolt. At 21 and standing tall with a frame of 6ft 5in this incredible running machine has left the rest of the field trailing in his tsunami's wake. Not even Michael Phelps can do that eventhough it is unwise to compare the apple with an orange.

He is the first man to break the 100m and 200m world record in the same games. No athletes have ever before so thoroughly captured the imaginations of the adoring fans and criticisms of the stuffy and jealous 'institutionalized' detractors.

The reason: he devastated the rest of the field. None of the 'rest' can even come close. He is so overpowering and dominating.

What was the secret of his power? Here you have to hear it from Bolt's folks. Are you ready?

Jamaican Yam. “It is definitely the Trelawny yam,” Bolt senior said.

Yes the yam that gives us the 'bo bo cha cha', 'wu kok', 'mui choy kow yoke' and 'yam bowl' (better known as the Buddha's bowl).

When I am away from Malaysia for some time I pine for 'bo bo cha cha' and yam (not flavored) ice cream. The rich taste of the carbo soothes the tongue and the buds.

Back to the folks of Bolt. The proof of the running is in eating yam.

Need more proofs. OK. Jamaican women Shelly-Ann Fraser and Veronica Campbell-Brown won the 100m and 200m athletics events respectively in Beijing also.

Let's start feeding our athletes with 'bo bo cha cha', 'mui choy kow yoke' and 'krepek ubi keladi'.
Wu Kok

Explore Your Memory

Fancy taking a fun challenge and in the process explore the profound topic on how our memory works. This survey is designed by experimental psychologists from the University of Edinburgh and will be used in their research. Going through the survey takes 20 minutes of focused work. It is very challenging but the bonus is an analysis on the state of your memory based on your answers.

Its pretty good. It will appeal to the Mensa (I. Q.) type. Take the survey now!

Screenshot from the BBC Website
This is my result from this fun, 10-part memory challenge. My comments in blue.

1. Visual memory - to spot subtle changes in everyday scenes – 0 out of 3 correct. Disaster!

Are you the observant type? If you’re not a burglar or an estate agent, visual recognition memory still comes in very handy. For example, you can use your visual memory to remember where you just left your car keys, where you parked your car, or to remember the way out of an unfamiliar building.

I get lost in the Mall, the same Mall even after being there many times!

2. Memory binding – 2 correct. Average.

Memory binding relates to your ability to tie things together in your working memory and update them when they change. You need this skill for everyday activities like driving a car.

I love the remote controls!

3. Digit span – The largest sequence of numbers I could remember had 9 digits. Tops!

This type of memory helps us to remember a telephone number long enough to dial it. It also seems to be important for remembering a new word that we have never heard before, for example, in a foreign language.

I love NUMB3RS!

4. Visual memory capacity – My working memory (sometimes called short-term memory) could store a pattern with 16 squares. Above average.

Lots of everyday activities require a good visual working memory. Artists, designers and architects would particularly benefit if they had a good visual memory capacity.

Looks like I need to RAMp up my working memory!

5. Everyday objects – Remembering details about a few common objects. I had trouble remembering them. So So, 1 right and the other wrong!

Just because we see an object frequently it doesn't necessarily mean that we'll remember it accurately. Normally we only have to remember enough information to be able to identify it.

Ladies will do well! They mastered the details and fine print while the men are the headliners.

6. Visual delayed recall – This section tested my long-term memory. I didn't have trouble spotting changes in an everyday scene. A+!

We are remarkably bad at remembering details from scenes that seem unimportant at the time.

It is crucial to be able to relate the past with the present and then projects the amalgamated whole into the future for our benefit.

7. Working memory capacity – This part tested my working memory storage capacity. I could remember the final words of 6 sentences at once. Ace it!

I had to think and remember at the same time.

Multitasking. Processing and storing at the same time. This is hard work.

8. Spatial manipulation – This section tests spatial working memory. I answered 4 questions correctly out of 4 in 30 seconds. A pat on my back!

This type of memory is useful in many sports, when packing a car with boxes, imagining what your room would look like with the furniture rearranged, or planning a route using a map. Previous studies using tests similar to this one have found that men are statistically better at this type of activity than women.

Mindgames and mental gymnastics. I love it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Samuri Kajang Satay

On the 27th May 2005 Hj. Samuri Enterprise Sdn Bhd, the satay manufacturer, pleaded guilty and fined RM45,000 in the Ampang Sessions Court for illegal dumping of industrial waste into a waterway. Malay news version.

Since then, I kind of stopped going to any of its outlets. Personally I have other concerns too at that time as their chicken satay is too yellow for comfort. It is like the 'char siew' being too bright red.

My favourite was the one at the Kesas Highway lay-by on the side heading towards USJ as it was near my home.
Large black and white 'mural' on one of the restaurant walls
Anyway all is forgotten. I dropped in with my son for late lunch at the Melati Utama outlet. It was opened not too long ago. It did not disappoint as the meat was chunky and tasty without the usual thick layer of oil that they brushed liberally on the meat. It was also 'real' whole pieces of meat! The only problem is the chicken satay (RM0.60 per stick) was overdone and dry.

I think it is pre-cooked and as the orders come the workers will just put over the fire to heat it up. It can be done Chicken is popular and moved fast. The beef (RM0.60 per stick) and the venison (RM1.30 per stick) was flavourful and juicy. The price, I must say it is cheap. Those at the road side is already RM0.50 per stick of chicken satay and it is greasy, not 100% lean meat and definitely much smaller in size.

Samuri has 17 outlets (according to the staff in attendance). I have my satay at the Melati Utama shops fronting MRR2 (just before the Shell/McDonald). It is on the side leading towards Karak Highway. All shots by Nokia E90.
Pattaya Fried Rice - My son is a carbo addictChicken Satay (left) Venison (right) and Beef (top)
Lovely sauce though a bit sweet for meSamuri plaque

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beijing Slit Eye (China Part 9)

One World, One Dream

More pictures of the slit-eye kind surfaced. It was discovered by the British press from the website of the Spanish Tennis Federation. It is no longer there now. The photo shows Spanish women tennis players pulling the pose, apparently in anticipation of their Federation Cup match against China in April. There is no suggestion that they intended to cause offence.

It is still a long way to go for the slogan, "One world, one dream" to be realized. The pictures look as if it is of good natured fun but it also reflects ignorance and lack of sensitivity. Ignorance can make one become xenophobic and provincial in outlook and unable to recognized and respect the positive and different features in someone else yard.
Screen grab from www.telegraph.co.uk
It is a tit for tat battle between the British and the Spanish press since 17th Nov 2004 where several black England football players were taunted with monkey chants by large sections of the crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium during England's 1-0 defeat.

The fought another battle when F1 racer Lewis Hamilton was taunted while practicing in Barcelona on the 2nd Feb 2008. It nearly turned out to be a diplomatic row. The picture depicted here is definitely unacceptable. It degrades the dignity of the human race.
Screen grab from www.timesonline.co.uk
One is on the attack the other is on the defense. The latest salvo was interpreted as a conspiracy by the British press to derail Madrid candidacy to host the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. They are competing against Chicago, Rio De Janeiro and Tokyo.

Another photo surfaced albeit from another continent showing four members of Argentina’s Olympic women’s football team making “slit-eyed” gestures. There is no suggestion that they intended to cause offence.
Screen grab from www.telegraph.co.uk Read the Beijing Eye (China Part 8)



Monday, August 18, 2008

Qantas - Mechanical and Technical Problems


Within a span of 3 1/2 weeks Qantas series of woes seems unending. But let's hope it will immediately. When it rains, it pours.

The planes involved are Boeing 767 and 747 (except 17th Aug not identified, 7th Aug and 28th July) and their average age are about 15 1/2 years old. No doubt the planes can be operated even beyond 25 years as I have taken some smaller Boeing planes in Indonesia that is about 26 years old.

But the hallmark of a good airline is re-fleeting, meaning investing in new planes and retiring/selling the old ones. Look at AirAsia, most of their old planes are gone and replaced by brand-new Airbus 320. Even Cebu Pacific (Philippines) who has a longer history than AirAsia has planes with an average age of 1.7 years .

The other hallmark is maintenance which is above board and transparent with external auditors regulating and monitoring the work. This I am sure Qantas has and if there are any blips it must be rectified pronto.

In the meantime pride of the nation may be losing even their most loyal passengers to other airlines. The main beneficiary will be SQ.

Let's check out this long list of unsavory record of Qantas the last 3 weeks:

17th Aug
Flight QF571 from Sydney to Perth diverted to Adelaide after four of seven toilets on board stopped flushing an hour into the flight. It was later discovered the toilets had not been emptied at Sydney airport after its previous flight QF4.

16th Aug
A flight QF26 from Los Angeles to Auckland was delayed by almost 26 hours due to two separate problems with the aircraft. The flight, due to depart at 9:05pm on Friday finally left at 10:30pm the following day, and was the second Qantas flight delayed due to mechanical faults on the weekend.

16th Aug
Qantas QF2 has been forced to delay a Sydney-bound flight from London by more than 15 hours because of a problem with the plane's rudder.

15th Aug
An access panel has fallen from a jumbo jet as it flew from Melbourne to Singapore.

15th Aug
A Qantas flight from Brisbane to Melbourne was delayed by more than half an hour due to a technical problem.

13th Aug
On Wednesday night, a Qantas QF460 experienced a hydraulic failure which affected the plane's steering as it landed at Sydney airport. The plane left a trail of hydraulic fluid as it touched down on its way from Melbourne, forcing the closure of the runway for 40 minutes while the spill was mopped up.

7th Aug
A Qantas jet grounded in Melbourne yesterday because of noise from an air-conditioning fault.

2nd Aug
Qantas QF19 flight made an emergency landing at Sydney Airport after discovering a hydraulic fluid leak. It was the third Qantas plane in just over a week to make an emergency landing because of a mid-air fault.

July 28
A Melbourne-bound Qantas jet QF692 has been forced to return to Adelaide's airport after a door above one of its wheels failed to close, according to reports in the Australian media.

July 25
An explosion ripped a hole in the fuselage of a Qantas jet QF30 en route from Hong Kong to Melbourne, forcing an emergency landing at Manila.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Beijing Eye (China Part 8)

No, its not the observation wheel over the city of Beijing but the Spanish 2008 Olympic Games basketball team making eyes. Or for that matter slit eyes.

Some consider it offensive while others: its just some good nature fun!


Do you think the photo of Spain's Olympic basketball team making eye gestures is racist? Take a vote or see what the readers at CNN says in Quickvote.

The Spanish basketball team pose for an advertisement. Photograph: Public domain

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Foot in Mouth (China Part 7)

It was a perfect Opening for the 29th Olympic Games. Until news surfaced that the song sung when the Chinese flag makes its entry into the Olympic Stadium was lip synced.

Further the nation that invented fire-works has no confidence of getting the 29 footprint-shaped fireworks synced right. They were either pre-recorded or computer generated for the world-wide TV audience.

The General Music Director of the Opening Ceremony was quoted as saying that the miming episode was done for the best of the nation. As for the footprints the reason may be the same.

Xiao Qiang, the Director of the China Internet project at the University of California at Berkeley and former dissident opined that, "It was all about projecting the right image of China with no respect for honesty or for the audience.
For the mistakes in the above two events I hope it can be mitigated by the organizers spontaneity and thoughtfulness by including a child hero to march with the China team (It was an awesome sight to see the child walking with Yao Ming, the flag bearer). He saved two of his friends in the recent Sichuan earthquake. It is the respect accorded to children and recognizing their potential that will marked a truly great nation.

Lets not get the wrong foot forward and dishing out lip service in the name of the nation again.
The Star - Front Page

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Malaysian Airlines Cabin Service

MAS has missed the point by miles in the introduction of meal boxes for their short haul and domestic flights. It seems to have open the Pandora Box. Loyal customers are coming forward using the meal box to represent what is wrong with MAS.

The CEO (on 5th Aug '08) in his recent press conference has all the right moves but did not hit the right notes. Here is his rationale for meal boxes:
- improved aircraft turnaround time by five minutes
- increase revenue by RM50m a year
- passengers who do not feel like eating while on board could take the meal boxes as takeaways
- save on cleaning time
- objective was to increase in-flight efficiency.
MAS First Class Cabin with its award-winning service
Let's hear from CUSTOMER that flies MAS:
- People do not travel by air to take the meal boxes as takeaway
- An airline’s best interest is not "to save cleaning time" but to provide superb service
- Airlines to ensure that flying is always a most pleasant and wholesome experience
- Cabin emanates a warm and cosy atmosphere. There's magic in the air.
- A good product or service that it makes you want more.
- Positive impression immediately transferred in my mind.
- Customers expect to be pleasantly surprised, even overwhelmed, by every little positive gesture and thought.

Here we see the efficient technocrat (CEO) versus the artistocrat (word coined by author of blog). One uses the left brain while the other the right brain. Analyzing the rationale of the CEO and the CUSTOMER, its sensibility versus sentimentalism. Its the mind versus the heart.

The CEO is known to be a turnaround specialist and a cost-cutting expert in the rarefied stratosphere of top-level corporate executives. The CUSTOMER is just somebody who wants to enjoy a good product with the accompanying little luxuries and the warmth and kindness that the mind would probably disregard as unnecessary but the heart still yearns for. For this very irrational reason (an oxymoron), thrift is no longer an advantage.

Airline business is always about selling a life-style albeit for a short period, while airborne, so that CUSTOMER can enjoy a slice of heaven here and now. This makes good business sense quoting CUSTOMER, as "companies that constantly exceed their customers’ expectations reap strong and enduring profits, even during a recession."

Beijing Etiquette (China Part 6)

The authorities in China has tried for years to educate her people in the proper social graces as she enters into the world scene. In the run-up to the Olympics more desperate measures are being undertaken to put the citizens on the best foot forward.

I can recall a number of these inappropriate behaviour like cutting lines, spitting, talking loudly, digging the nose, clipping nails, squatting in public areas etc. These are part of our social aliments here too.

The best advice I heard on this topic is, "do not produce waste in public."

How to behave in public and esp. with so many foreign guests in attendance needs the propaganda organs of the state. In Beijing, Chinese-language posters was put together by the propaganda department of Dongcheng district. One poster focuses on conversational etiquette espousing, "Eight Don't Asks." They are age, salary, love life, health, income, political views, religious beliefs or personal experiences.

More on these reported by BBC and my previous blog.
This shot is taken in an Asian country.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Show Begins - Beijing 29th Olympic Games

Shot lifted off from TV live telecast of the Opening CeremonyMalaysian TeamPS: Posted on 8:08pm 8-8-08

Jodi Picoult - Salem Falls (A Novel)

It took me a few days of periodic reading to finish it. However it was mostly at night. This is my first introduction to her books and it combines romance, courtroom drama and also weaving in her observations on societal matters. She also has a keen eye for details as she fleshes the portrait of the cast as well as the background props.

She is no John Grisham but the romance part is well written with a melancholic twist and a dark side. Her commentaries on witches reflects the popularity of supernatural shows. And off course she explore the inner working of 4 female teenagers and their concern parent/s. Lies, deceits, cover-ups, fears and lusts. The protagonist which takes up the most ink will be Jack.

But he character that was well developed will be the female lead, Addie. After all who knows women better than a female author. It details her tragic childhood, relationship with her father and a dead child as well as trying her hand at romance which is one of the main thrust of this book.

My comments would not be complete without mentioning Gilly the teenager. A mishmash of confused yet confident personality. If this book is put into big screen this will be a big role that can launch the next starlet.

This book has enough meaty characters in teenage girls, mature woman, concern parents of teens and a twisted ill-lucked misfortune man whose life is shaped by circumstances he can't control and women he can't fathom. All in all a victory for a female novelist. 7 out of 10.

Beware of the punch-line at the last line of the book. Watch out for clues to that as you go along.

29th Olympic Mascots (China Part 5)

8:08, 8-8-08 is 'auspicious'. However auspicious has a dark-side cousin called 'superstitious'. The flip-side of it. The good and the evil. Ying and Yang?

For example the mascots. These lovely little creatures are so cute!! But once put through the mind of the superstitious it went through the mud. Each of the much maligned mascots was linked to every major disasters in China this year.

Just got an entire set of these lovely mascots.

Huan Huan, Ying Ying, Ni Ni
Bei Bei, Jing Jing

(Write-up from IOC website) The five mascots are officially called the Fuwa. They are Beibei, the fish; Jingjing, the panda; Huanhuan, the Olympic flame; Yingying, the Tibetan antelope; and Nini, the swallow. The first syllables from their two-syllable names form a line that reads "Beijing Huanying Ni", or in English – "Welcome to Beijing". The mascot’s colours were chosen in line with the colours of the Olympic rings.
In the ancient culture of China, there is a great tradition of spreading blessings through signs and symbols. Each of the mascots symbolises a different blessing and will honour this ancient tradition by bringing their blessings to the children of the world. Beibei represents the blessing of prosperity, Jingjing the blessing of happiness, Huanhuan the blessing of passion, Yingying the blessing of health and Nini the blessing of good luck.

8:08, 8-8-08 (China Part 4)

The 29th Olympic Games will begins in about 10 hours i.e.

8:08pm, 8-8-08

Hosts China will showcase her transformation to the world since the communist takeover in 1949. It should be a super-duper show as she has spared nothing to put her best foot forward to present a modern China.

China Olympic website (English)

Official Olympic Website

Beijing Olympic (China Part 3)

Even as the Olympic Games is about to begin Beijing 2008 is stilled dogged by controversies. The Foreign Ministries and its Public Security Bureau have been working overtime in the PR (public relations) and PS (public security).
NST 7th Aug 2008n- PETA and Free Tibet
They are having problems over:

1. Human/Religious Rights (Tibetan problem and persecution of different religious adherents just will not go away).
2. Even Animal Rights reared its head yesterday. Amanda Beard revealed too much of herself in her publicity stunt for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She is the reigning Olympic 200m breast-stroke champion.
3. Temperature. The heat is get unbearable. It has been hot in Atlanta in 1996 and different cities. Its summer. What's the big deal!
4. Air pollution. After a few days of clear weather a heavy smog descended on Beijing yesterday. Four USA cyclists arrived in Beijing airport donning their respiratory masks. They look more like penguins from Antarctic. The air quality during the 1984 Los Angeles Games was equally bad.
5. WWW Censorship. Can't open Human Rights Watch and Free Tibet websites. May have more sites. Could have been solved by now with no censorship in the Olympic Village.

However there were many plus too:

1. Major relocation of polluting industries.
2. Renewal of public taxis, buses and many buses now use eco-friendly gas.
3. Sewage treatment is one of the most modern.
4. Major integration of mass rapid transportation.
5. USD40 billion invested in eco-friendly and sustainable Games.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

MPH Sale (Final)

I have enjoyed myself and bought 10 books at RM170. It would have costs me at least RM650. The books comes in hard-cover mostly. It was written off by MPH according to my receipt. But the books are still in 'new' condition.

The books are mostly on business from Brian Tracy, Marcus Buckingham, Jack Welch (GE fame) and Louis Gerstner (IBM fame) and 1 novel by Jodi Picoult. and a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for Mathematics.

Though my intention is more business but can't help but enticed by Jodi's book. Heard about her but have never read any of her books. Just finished reading it and found it almost "cannot put it down type." Will do a synopsis later.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

BBQ Plaza - 1 Utama (Rainforest)

This is a popular restaurant in Thailand. It is a JV between Thai and Malaysian partners. At the moment they have branches in Sunway Pyramid and Jusco, Bukit Tinggi, Klang. A new one is opening soon in Berjaya Times Square.

While living in Thailand this joint has been a favorite haunt of my son. He just could resist the slices of of lamb, beef, sirloin, bacon as well as chicken and other seafood items.

They pride themselves as preparing the food without marinating it with sauces, spices and herbs letting us taste its natural goodness. The food is fresh and the slices of meat cook well and fast.

The dipping sauce is peanut base and sweet. It would have preferred more variety and taste.

The 3 of us have Deluxe Family and Seafood set. There were good conversation as it takes time to eat. The food we ordered is really not sufficient but we came away satisfied with rice filling the gaps and cracks in our tummy. All these for RM75 (food and drinks). That's economical!

All shots taken with Nokia E90.
The Brass Hot Plate for BBQ.
Sauces - Not so greatGreasing the hot plate with raw lardSeafood SetDeluxe Family SetSoup at the edge of the hot plate/pot. The soup taste great as the juices flowed down and were collected there.Nice searing on meat

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Kids in China Having 6 Incomes - No Kidding (China Part 2)

Taken in Stone Forest, Yunnan, China in 1995

Never before the kids in China are having it so good. They enjoy living off 6 incomes. Why do I say so?

Thirty years ago, Deng XiaoPeng introduced the one-child policy in 1979 millions of children were born sibling-less. Now the product (kids) of this policy is already of child-bearing age. In fact many have their kids already.

These 2nd generation kids of the one-child policy are the ones that are lapping it up.

They have the income/pension/savings of their:

1. Parents

2. Maternal grandparents

3. Paternal grandparents

This poses a hosts of opportunities and problems for the kids depending on how you look at it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Blue Skies and Everything Nice

This shot was captured today at 9:30am in Sri Damansara. The last few days the skies have been unbelievably blue. Though not exactly as blue as it should be but it the best it can be for now and the mid-term. I think the skies today rank only 6 out of 10 in 'blueness'.

Since 1991 hazy days has been a perennial problem. Some bad years and some ok. At least we have something to talk about besides food. The ASEAN agreement on Transboundary Haze have not been doing well and there are some foot dragging on the ratification and implementation.

For many KL teens and kids it is a wonder whether they will struggle with the description, 'The sky is blue!" Worse still many suffers the effects of these particulates being lodged in their lungs causing chronic respiratory problems.