Photo for wallpaper

Recently, I decided that it was time to change the wallpaper of my laptop. I then selected one of the photos I took during my latest trip to Canberra :

Autumn ANU4

Due to the fact that this was taken with my gimpy 2MP camphone, I'm surprised at how good it looks as wallpaper. I can actually believe that it is one of those pictures specially made for wallpaper hehe. Also, the green colour is soothing for my eyes :)

The curry chicken that wasn't

Curry chicken

This is my first time cooking curry chicken in Malaysia. In fact, it is the first time in a long while.

It's not my usual style:
  • The curry powder seems less red than I'm used to
  • Instead of drumstick and thigh with skin on, I used chicken keel so that Ban could eat it too
  • Olive oil and at less quantity so that Ban could eat it too
  • Added a little sugar
Besides chicken, there were potatos and large red onions. The toughest part during the preparation was chopping the onion. It was so stinging. I was about to put on my swimming goggles when Ban volunteered to continue chopping. I could have used large white onions but from experience, large red onions are better at flavouring the curry.

I would love to add in some curry leaves but those are so hard to get.

The resultant dish wasn't spicy at all lol. In fact, the first time I smelled it, it reminded me of ABC soup, likely because of the onion though I used large white onions for the latter.

It was a success since Ban was able to eat it :) Next time perhaps I should look up how to cook Japanese curry since it's something he can eat.

Consistent weird weather

These past weeks had weather that were consistently the same each day:
  • Breeze in the morning, with darkening clouds
  • Breeze stopped just after noon, with clouds gradually lightening and sun peeking out
  • Quite sunny in late afternoon, with some breeze
  • No rain!
I want heavy rain to wash my car! :)

Stomachache when go to bed

For years, I usually get stomachache half of the time when I'm ready to sleep. It could just be purely gastric or stomach cramp or both. If I'm certain it's just gastric, I'll take some bread and then antacid. If that fails, then it's omeprazole and domperidone. If I'm not certain, then it's all of these.

The only time I manage to reduce the frequency is when I'm in Australia (each time!). I couldn't seem to duplicate that, unfortunately. I tried all sorts and sometimes it worked for a few nights and then it was back to the same regularity.

This time I tried this:
  • No milk before bed (I used to drink cow's milk and then goat's milk)
  • A glass of Nestum (not mixed with milk or anything else)
  • A slice of plain bread, with no milk component in it (so far, only Hailam bread fits this criteria but boy, it's quite difficult to get)
So far, for about 2 weeks, there was only once or twice I needed to take medication. Otherwise, the worst was that I do feel some discomfort in my stomach but I could still sleep, especially if I use my small pillow to keep my stomach warm.

Hopefully this formula (though I wish it's tastier!) works in the long term.

Business strategy

Conventional wisdom holds that companies should see to their shareholders' needs first, their customers' second and their employees' last of all. I have always done the opposite and so has the rest of our team.

At the Virgin Group, our employees come first, then our customers, then our shareholders. It is simply common sense: If your workforce is happy and well-motivated, your customers are more likely to be happy as well - which means there is greater chance that your business will see strong sales and good profits, generating the results that your shareholders demand.

- Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and companies such as Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Active

Bubba Gump

Ban told me of this place that specialises in shrimp dishes. We decided to try it after watching Kungfu Panda 2.

A decent shrimp dish costs between RM30 - RM45, whereas other sort of meat dish costs about RM10 lower. Fair price? You decide.

Bubba Gump 4

We took advantage of the special lunch deal (available from Mon - Fri, excluding public holiday), which entitled us of 1 free dish for every 2 dishes we ordered. We weren't sure the portion and so just went ahead.

Turned out that, other than the shrimp broth dish, the portion was quite large. We ended up having to forgo the rice and tried eating everything else.

The pasta dish, broth and the shrimp stuffed with crab meat dish were all delicious, although towards the end it was just too much shrimp for me.

Instead of raising your hand and/or call the waiter/waitress to get his/her attention, they have a unique way for you to do so:

Bubba Gump 2

Flip the signboard to this red side to catch their attention.

Bubba Gump 3

Flip back to the blue side to indicate that you do not need attention.

Cool, huh?

Oh, and they showed Forrest Gump on tv :)

There was this funny sign stating something that I sometimes would like to do to some of my clients at my ex-company:

Bubba Gump

Expensive chair

Saw this chair at Ikea:
Expensive chair
Expensive chair 2

I tried sitting on it, just to figure out what was so good about it that it cost that much. Nope, it didn't levitate and started to glide across the floor. In fact, it didn't feel any different from other chairs costing much lesser than this. The price is insane.

Scam suspect

Recently, a relative posted an ad on a Malaysia website to sell his refurbished classic car. In the ad, he left his phone number as his only contact detail. He then received the following (in chronological order):

(1) An sms asking him to e-mail her information on the condition of the car and his price.

Observation: Price was already stated in the ad. Why did she ask again? Also, why doesn't she call? Outstation? Overseas?

(2) Consequently, after giving the requested details, the buyer revealed that she was in Europe and was getting the car for her husband who was working in the Middle East. She claimed to trust my relative's word that the car was in good condition and then said that she would transfer money to his bank, followed by asking an agent to claim the car. The agent would clear the paperwork with him and the government. She stressed that the whole process would be very simple for him.

Observation: She couldn't get such car at where she was? Or where her husband work? Perhaps it was hard to get such classic car? Also, wouldn't she be in great disadvantage buy paying the full price of the car and then only collect the car? She didn't even get someone to look at the condition of the car.

(3) The seller then received 3 e-mails. First e-mail purported from a European bank informing him of impending transfer of money to his bank account, subject to certain steps he should take in the subsequent e-mails pertaining to the delivery of the car. Included in the transferred amount was the transport fee of about Euro600. The e-mail subject heading was something like  "******Abcdefgh*******Abcdefgh*******".Typo and grammatical errors here and there. There was also a Director's name at the bottom, with address of the bank.

Observation: It was strange to have the bank involved in the transportation arrangement when it comes to just a simple transfer of money. Also, normally such notification does not have any 'sign-off' at the bottom. The subject heading and errors were so unprofessional.Also, as I found out on the net, the bank appeared in a list compiled by an European regulator stating that the bank was not licensed by them.

(4) Second e-mail was from a the same bank asking the seller to firstly remit to the freight company 60% of the transport fee i.e. Euro360 to show commitment to the buyer, with the remainder to be paid (out of the to the freight company upon collection of the car. The full amount of the money, including the transport fee, would only be transferred to the seller's account upon successful remittance of the amount above. The formatting of the e-mail was haphazard.

Observation: So the first actual transfer of money in this whole sale/purchase transaction was to come from the seller first? It was strange for a bank to be involved in such a manner. The e-mail was unprofessional. Very fishy.

(5) Third e-mail was from the freight company, asking for details for them to collect the car. They also stated that the goods that they could transport were "Goods Accepted" and goods they couldn't transport were "Goods Not Accepted" (I'm not joking).

Observation: Strange.

Fortunately, my relative responded to the seller that he didn't want such convoluted process but he would happily pass the car over to her after money was transferred into his account without fuss (by now he already knew this was highly likely a scam). Since then, there was no reply whatsoever.

Pain out, exhaustion in

Finally, the pain in my hand/palm is gone. So likely Ban is right: my hand was recovering from the prolonged use of the wrist holder and just needed lots of time to heal.

In any case, I'm taking precaution by not trying to use the laptop continuously for too long.

However, the recent bout of fatigueness is still there. In fact, I feel exhausted every morning when I wake up (and also by about 10pm). I end up finally waking up about an hour after my intended time i.e. oversleep by an hour and that too with me sitting on bed for a few minutes dozing lol.

I attribute this to lack of exercise and so I'm trying to get back to my exercise routine. Lazy but have to lah.