Hark! The merry chimes are pealing,

Soft and glad the music swells,

Gaily in the night wind stealing,

Sweetly sound the wedding bells.

(Eliza Cook)

My wife and I attended the holy matrimony between my wife’s cousin Josephine Ngieng and Stephen Tan held at 11 a.m. this morning at the St Joseph Cathedral in Miri. How time flies! We used to carry Josephine when she was still a baby…….alamak! This means that we are really getting old, haha!

Stephen and Josephine exchanging marriage vows

Stephen and Josephine exchanging marriage vows

Stephen kissing his bride

Stephen kissing his bride

The holy matrimony was conducted by a personal friend Father Gabriel Chiong.  We got to know Father Gabriel about 20 years ago when he was still a music teacher. He was the piano teacher for my son Clarence for a couple of months and even gave Clarence a violin as a birthday present. My son used to call him Uncle Ding Dong, lol! Gabriel is a person whom I have a lot of respect for as he walks the talk and has such a gentle and kind temperament.

Stephen & Josephine walking down the aisle after the holy matrimony service

Stephen & Josephine walking down the aisle after the holy matrimony service

  • The smiling couple at the church entrance The newly-weds
  • The newly-weds with some of their family members

    The newly-weds with some of their family members

    To the newly-weds, we extend our heartiest congratulations. And may the following quotes be an inspiration to you both as you start out on your journey as a married couple:

    To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up (Ogden Nash).

    A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person (Germaine Greer).

    Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one (Friedrich Halm).

    There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage (Martin Luther).

    The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through all eternity (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe).

    There are three things that last: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love ( I Corinthians 13:13).


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    World Vision is an international aid Christian humanitarian organization operating in nearly 100 countries around the world to combat the root causes of poverty and to provide international disaster relief. It is dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people and serves all people regardless of race, religion, gender or ethnicity. It helps the poor to help themselves, working with them to build sustainable futures for their children, families and communities through emergency relief, education, health care, economic development and promotion of justice. You can visit their website at this link and the website of World Vision Malaysia at this link.

    You can do your part by sponsoring a child for RM50 a month. By sponsoring a child, you are giving that child a chance in life, a chance for the child to develop his or her potential. It really makes a difference!

    I am currently sponsoring 2 children through World Vision: Ha Van Minh  of Vietnam and  Mutakali Ronica Mononoga of South Africa. Being able to do something worthwhile without any expectation of personal gain really gives you a sense of inner joy…..it makes you feel you have a purpose in life.

    Ha Van Minh

    Ha Van Minh

    Motakali Ronica Mononoga

    Mutakali Ronica Mononoga

    I know of some children who are World Vision child sponsors. You too can be a child sponsor….you too can make a difference. Listen to your heart and sponsor a child today!



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    Buah dabai is native to Sarawak and Brunei. The skin of the oblong-shape fruits are white in colour when immature, turning blue-black when ripe. The flesh inside is white or yellow and covers a single large three angled seed. The skin is edible but some people don’t like to eat the skin so they just suck out the flesh and throw away the skin. It is good to eat the skin as it contains fibres. But don’t be alarmed if you happen to see black traces in your faeces……they are the skin of the dabai, haha!


    The fruits cannot be eaten straight from the trees. They have to be  soaked in hot water (about 55 degree Celcius) until they soften (Never use boiling hot water as that would make the fruits taste weird). Then either sprinkled with a little salt or soy sauce plus sugar and shake lightly.

    Softened dabai shaken with soy sauce and sugar....yummilicious! The inside of a dabai Dabai seeds


    The kernel or nut inside the seed is also edible. You need a chopper to hack the seed into half and then just use a toothpick to pry out the kernel. Be careful when you are hacking the seeds…they may fly off like missiles! If these “missiles” hit someone’s eye or a glass window, it can cause damages, so be warned!

    Two dabai seeds chopped into halves The kernel inside the seed
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    If you are trying to find your soul mate on the internet, just be careful……..be very careful. You have been warned!

    internetreality

    honestyoninternet

    cybersex

    Forget AVG, AVAST, Avira, Norton, Kaspersky, McAfee….this is the latest anti-virus product:

    internet_viruses

    Wanna see an internet-age beggar?

    funny-pictures-internet-bum-05b

    The internet has become such an entrenched part of our lives that it has given rise to situations such as these:

    dad-son-email-300x204

    facebook

    babiesoninternet3

    babiesoninternet2

    babiesontheinternet

    shopping

    internet-distress

    emails

    getofftheinternetcard

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    Another Sunday and another trip to Emart…and this is what we bought:

    A kilo of buah dabai ror RM12 Tampoi....1 tompok for RM2.....the fruit's name sounds like urinary pot in Hokkien
    A kilo of langsat for RM3

    A kilo of langsat for RM3

    1 tompok of wild durians for RM10

    This is what a wild durian look like when it is opened up:

    Durian nyekak......yummy!

    And this is a tampoi “exposed”…..and “naked”.

    A tampoi "exposed" A "naked" tampoi

    Play around with some of these fruits and you can get interesting “fruity” art!

    A durian smiley! Another durian smiley with 3 strands of hair! Dabai+Banana+Durian=Mr Da Ba Du Tampoi+Banana+Durian= Mr Tam Ba Du Dabai+Tampoi+Durian+Banana combo art? Mr Smiley Tam Da Ba.......tamboi, dabai & banana combo art New fine dining dish from Sarawak....Datamdaba!
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    Whenever we hear of deal making, one of the first name that pops into our head is none other than Donald Trump. His name has become synonymous with deal making. He authored the book “Trump: The Art of the Deal”.

    Donald Trump.....The Deal Maker

    Donald Trump.....The Deal Maker

    I am very sure you have never heard of Kyle MacDonald….oh no, he has nothing to do with the fastfood chain McDonald’s. This guy is a great example of successful deal making in action.

    Kyle MacDonald

    Kyle MacDonald

    Kyle traded his way from one single red paperclip to a house in the space of about one year. His project stirred up a great deal of publicity. This is what he did:

    1. He started his website offering to swap his one red paper clip for anything.

    This red paper clip started it all.

    This red paper clip started it all.

    2. He swapped it for a fish-shape pen.

    The fish-shaped pen

    The fish-shaped pen

    3. He swapped the pen for a hand-sculpted doorknob.

    The hand-sculpted doorknob

    The hand-sculpted doorknob

    4. He swapped the doorknob for a Coleman camp stove.

    The Coleman camp stove

    The Coleman camp stove

    5. He swapped the barbecue for a portable Honda generator.

    The Honda Generator

    The Honda Generator

    6. He swapped the generator for a keg of beer and a neon Budweiser sign.

    The empty keg, an IOU for filling the keg with the beer of the holder's choice, and a neon Budweiser sign

    The empty keg, an IOU for filling the keg with the beer of the holder's choice, and a neon Budweiser sign

    7. He swapped these for a Ski-doo snowmoblie.

    The Ski-doo Snowmobile

    The Ski-doo Snowmobile

    8. He swapped the snowmobile for a two-person trip to Yahk  British Columbia.

    Two-Person Trip to Yahk

    Two-Person Trip to Yahk

    9. He swapped the trip to Yahk for a cube van.

    The Cube Van

    The Cube Van

    10. He swapped this for a recording contract with Metal Works in Toronto.

    The Recording Contract

    The Recording Contract

    11. He swapped this for a year’s rent in Phoenix, Arizona.

    The One Year House Lease

    The One Year House Lease

    12. He swapped this lease for an afternoon with the rocker Alice Cooper.

    An Afternoon With Alice Cooper

    An Afternoon With Alice Cooper

    13. He swapped this for a KISS motorized snow globe.

    KISS motorized snow globe

    KISS motorized snow globe

    14. He swapped this for a role in the film “Donna On Demand”.

    Role in movie

    Role in movie

    15. He swapped the movie role for a two-storey farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada.

    House in Kipling, Sakatchewan, Canada

    House in Kipling, Sakatchewan, Canada

    Kyle is now looking to trade the house for anything. He is looking for nothing in particular. He just wants to make a trade and sees where that will lead him to. So if you have anything you’d like to offer in exchange for the house, and I mean anything, be sure to send in your offer to Kyle at oneredpaperclip@gmail.com.

    Details about the red paperclip house:
    Located at 503 Main Street in Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada.
    Fully furnished.
    Two floors + basement
    Three bedrooms
    Two bathrooms
    Refinished hardwood floors.
    Fridge, stove, sinks, drawers, shelves…all the regular kitchen stuff.
    Electricity!
    Large grass front yard + large grass backyard.
    Gas hot water tank + gas furnace.
    Close proximity to schools, restaurants, grocery stores, hospital, etc. Kipling has most services in town.
    World’s largest red paperclip on the front lawn.

    The Two-Storey Farmhose in Kipling with the giant red clip

    So what lessons can we learn from Kyle? Well, for starters, these are some of the lessons:

    1. Never give the excuse that you do not have anything to start with.

    2. Have a goal.

    3. Make use of free publicity.

    4. Be open to opportunities.

    5. Be flexible.

    6. Network, network and network!

    Ask yourself this question: What do I have that others might want? And think broadly here. What you have includes not only physical possessions but also your skills and your knowledge. Trade your way to success!

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    It’s so frustrating. Streamyx connection in my house has been down since about yesterday. I contacted Streamyx’s hotline today and went through a series of troubleshooting procedures with them via telephone without any luck. They promised to send a technician to my house within 2-3 business days. What the heck!

    The Streamyx downtime proved costly for me. I had been planning to bid for an eBay auction closing at about 9.20 am yesterday. The auction was for a huge collection of stamps, coins and sports collectibles weighing about 30 kilos. I had intended to put in a bid of $1,000 for the item 30-40 seconds before its closing but I was unable to do so due to the Streamyx downtime. I later found out that someone won the item for less than $600. Had I been able to place my bid, I would have won that item.

    Being unable to surf the Internet, my family and I spent hours shopping yesterday. We first had lunch at Cheng Kee Chicken Rice at Krokop 10. As usual, the place was packed. Try out the steamed tofu…it’s nice. It seems that a lot of chicken rice outlets in Miri are doing a roaring business.

    After our lunch, we walked over to the nearby Krokop market where we bought a kilogram of the local olives. I have a soft spot for these olives since young. You just soak these olives in warm water and when they have softened, you can either add some salt or black soya sauce and sugar. If you manage to buy the good quality ones, they taste so yummy!

    Black olives....locally known as buah dabai

    We then dropped by Ng Sian Hap Pottery where we bought 4 flower pots and some groceries. My wife decided to buy some orchid plants to add to her collection of flowers and plants so we drove to LG Nursery situated just before the Lutong Bridge as you drive from town to Lutong.

    A view of LG Nursery

    LG Nursery has a good variety of flowers and plants. We had a great time looking around the place and what made it even more pleasant was the friendliness of the lady towkay or “towkay neo” and her staff. We ended up buying 2 orchid plants,and 2 other plants plus 2 kilograms of mangoes. One of the plants that we bought have leaves that look like butterflies.I love mangoes!

    This looks weird!

    This looks weird!

    This reminds me of a certain part of the male anatomy, haha!

    This reminds me of a certain part of the male anatomy, haha!

    The first orchid that my wife bought

    The second orchid plant bought by my wife

    Another new addition to my wife's plant collection

    Another new addition to my wife's plant collection

    A new addition to my wife's plant collection...don't the leaves look like butterfly?

    Mangolicious!

    Mangolicious!


    Emart was our final destination before we headed home. At the tamu there, we bought another orchid plant and two soursops (locally known as durian belanda). In Hokkien, we call the soursop “ang mo durian” meaning Caucasian durians…..I think it’s probably because of the white flesh of the fruit. By the way, sousop is now known as a fruit with amazing health benefits. Its botanical name is Annonaceae muricata or graviala.

    The third orchid plant bought by my wife

    The third orchid plant bought by my wife

    Soursop (aka ang mo durain aka graviola)

    Soursop (aka ang mo durian aka graviala)

    I am now writing this inside Double Star Restaurant in Pelita Commercial Centre as the place has WIFI access. I really hope Streamyx will send a technician to my house soonest and restore my internet connection. It’s such a pain in the ass to have no access to the internet at home.

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    Today is the birthday of my cousin Sylvester Lim and his daughter Krystle. I find it amazing that a father and a daughter share the same birthday. I guess that is probably why there is such a special bond between my cousin and his daughter. To my cousin and my niece, I wish you both  an awesome birthday. Sylvester, you finally hit the magical 55 today…..can I call you a senior citizen now?

    I finished listing my China first day covers, stamp presentation packs and maxim cards on eBay this afternoon. That gave me a sense of accomplishment.  It was then that I realised how hungry I was…it was almost 3.30pm and I had not taken any lunch. I went to Pelita Commercial Centre to have a plate of “char siew” (barbecue) pork rice and some cucur pisang (banana fritters).

    After picking up my wife and my son from their respective offices, we drove back to Senadin to have dinner at one of the restaurants there.  After dinner, I noticed this huge rainbow in the sky….I have hardly ever seen such a huge rainbow.  I don’t know why but seeing the huge rainbow gave me a sense of euphoria and a feeling that something good is going to happen.

    What a lovely rainbow!

    dsc02294

    On reaching our home, I checked my mails and my eBay account……hmmm, there had been a few sales from my eBay listings. I took a quick warm bathe and then left my house to attend the World Vision Sharing Session by Malaysian actress Lee Sinje at the Imperial Hotel.  I have been a World Vision child sponsor for a couple of years so I did not want to miss the opportunity to hear an Asian movie queen ( Lee Sinje won the Golden Horse Best Actress Award for her role in the Hong Kong horror movie “The Eye”) sharing her experience with World Vision child sponsorship.

    lee-sinje1

    I estimate the crowd to be over 200.  Lee Sinje received a very warm applause when she entered the ballroom where the session was being held.  She shared her experience about going to Mongolia to meet her sponsored child and what an impact it had on her. She also talked about her trips to Africa and India. She obviously touched quite a lot of hearts with her sharing as evidenced by the number of people signing up as child sponsors after the sharing session.

    I was deeply touched by Lee’s sincere sharing and her commitment to help World Vision. I signed up to sponsor another child. For only RM50 a month, you can sign up to be a child sponsor. Think about it..by just sacrificing one dinner outing each month, you can make a difference in this world!

    I know there are a lot of people out there who have the thinking that they cannot make any difference. In their mind, they think of the millions and millions of starving children and they just conclude that they cannot do anything about it and so they adopt an indifferent attitude. WAKE UP PLEASE! YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT……YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! You cannot sponsor millions of children but you can make an immense difference in the life of the child you sponsor! You will be giving that child a chance in life, a chance for the child to reach his/her potential.

    If you are still not convinced that you can make a difference, please watch the following YouTube movie and let its message sink into your heart.

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    Yesterday was a beautiful Sunday except for the unbearable heat.  My wife, my son Les and I went out at about 11.15 am and we dropped by Double Star Restaurant for brunch as I was meeting up with my friend Michelle Tan from Brunei at that restaurant.

    As we were ordering our food, Michelle arrived. I got to know Michelle in April this year at an internet marketing seminar in Miri and we have since then became friends.

    Michelle is an enterprising lady and has recently started business selling Hello Kitty products from her home in Brunei.  You can visit her blog at :

    www.hellokittyandmymelody.blogspot.com

    Michelle has also started selling her Hello Kitty products on eBay and that was why she wanted to meet up with me to learn more about selling on eBay. I shared with her some of my eBay experience and also some tips on selling on eBay.  It was embarrassing for  me because Michelle not only gave me some gifts she had bought in Taiwan but she also foot the restaurant bill without my knowing. Thanks a lot, Michelle! The next round is on me.

    I noted that the restaurant was fully packed. I guess the unbearable heat contributed partly to the brisk business. Double Star is nicely air-conditioned and with WIFI access and enjoys good business everyday.

    After leaving the restaurant, we dropped off Les at Boulevard Shopping Complex as he was meeting up with his friends. We drove around and decided to drop by Beautiful Garden. We were surprised that this was quite a big place as we passed by it everyday and it looked like a small nursery from the road.

    Entrance to Beautiful Garden

    Entrance to Beautiful Garden

    Plants aplenty

    Plants aplenty

    Young plants at the nursery

    Young plants at the nursery

    Lovely flower

    Lovely flower

    Cautus

    Cactus

    Lots of cactus for sale

    Lots of cactus for sale

    Cactus plant with nice flowers

    Cactus plant with nice flowers

    We bought 2 bags of soil and a bottle of organic insecticide as some of my wife’s plants have been under attack by ants and insects.

    We then dropped by the house of my sis-in-law Vun (my wife’s  younger sister) whose dog has recently given birth to a litter of 9 puppies! Gosh, if human beings are so “productive”,  we would have a huge population explosion!

    Three of the puppies

    Three of the puppies

    The proud mother with some of her puppies

    The proud mother with some of her puppies

    Five of the puppies pushing and shoving for thier mummy's milk

    Five of the puppies pushing and shoving for their mummy's milk

    I pity the poor mummy. With so many puppies to feed, she would be “sucked” dry! (not to mention sore nipples, haha!).



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    The prize doesn’t always go to the most deserving


    irenasandler

    Irena Sendler

    On May 12 2008, a 98 year-old Polish lady named Irena Sendler passed away. She was no ordinary lady. During World War II, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto as a plumbing/sewer worker. She had an ‘ulterior motive’ …. She KNEW what the Nazi’s plans were for the Jews. Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids..) She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the noises made by the kids/infants. During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids & infants.

    In October 1943, alerted by an informer, Irena was arrested. Irena was taken to the notorious Pawiak prison where she was methodically tortured and beaten until her arms and legs were broken. She never revealed the names of the children that she had smuggled out of the ghetto or of her underground colleagues who had assisted her.

    Prior to her arrest, Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in glass jars, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she dug out the jars and tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or were adopted.

    Irena Sendler with some of the children that she saved

    Irena Sendler with some of the children that she saved

    In 2007 Irene was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize…..she did not win the prize.

    And do you know who won the prize?

    Give it a guess.


    The winner was Al Gore for his work on Global Warming. It led to widespread criticisms that the Nobel Peace Prize was a sham.




    64 years later
    inmemoriam

    In  MEMORIAM  - 64 YEARS LATER

    cartoon1

    More than 60 years have elapsed since the Second World War in Europe ended. This story is in memory of the  six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10  million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests  who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned,  starved and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking the other  way!

    Now, more than ever, with Iraq, Iran and others claiming the Holocaust to be a “myth”, it’s imperative to make sure that the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again.


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