Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When the Modem Broke Down....

Lately, I had been having too many problems with internet connection at home.
First, it was streamyx connection problem. Then 2 days after that was solved, our wireless router starting giving problem. We had to switch back to the unstable old router. Just as dear hubby was about done fixing the wireless router, the modem pulak went kaput!
Now, we are on modem loan from my SIL - Nini. But the wireless connection is still intermittent. Fed up le teman!

When the modem broke down...
  • I can't continue my Challenge Sudoku with Elisa (and other friends)
  • Browsing internet is painful at home
  • I had to steal some time at the office to check on messages at FB
  • I end up playing Sudoku on papers only:-(

BUT....I ended up

  • getting some progress on my curtain's goblet heading (almost 2 yrs sangkut)
  • AND..I'm back to Korean drama ...:-) ha ha...preparation for my Korea trip this coming Dec (alasan je tuh!)

*sigh*...I hope it'll resolve soon

Monday, October 27, 2008

NOT an Easy Peasy Breadstick

Tonight I venture into a baking session for cheese pizza (mainly because there's only cheese in fridge) and kids-loved-it breadstick(supposed to be pizza hut style).

I found the breadstick recipe by "Chef Dee" at sometime ago. The kids love pizza hut's breadstick so, more to save cost and also allow them to eat to their heart content, I looked for the recipe and try to make ones. Finally, after few trials, I got this recipe that really suit to their taste. Of course, i had to improvise the recipe as I do not own a bread machine.

The dough, after I had cut and placed them on the tray, prior to bake

Here's the recipe (after modification)
Mix all of these together:
4 cups of high protein flour (bread flour)
1 tsp salts
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp oregano
3 tbsp milk powder
(I love to put extra - 1 "bumbu" tbsp)

Put all these ingredients in your mixer. Use the hook meant for bread. You might want to reduce the proportion to half if you're not using high power mixer (I burnt 3cheapo mixer motors - even one that is supposed to be about 500W. Once all of them had mixed, add on 1 1/3 cups of warm water (you might want to go slower on this, dont put them all at once. Add on about half of the cup and then slowly add the rest of the liquid until you get them all to mix.
Then add 3 tbsp olive oil and let it mix well. Let the mixer knead the dough for about 5 minutes more until the dough becomes smooth. Then put the dough into airtight container and let it rise till double for about 1 hr.

Once the dough had risen, roll them onto a floured surface, into rectangle shape. Cut them out using pizza cutter to the size that you like and transfer them onto greased baking tray.
Let it rise for another 30 - 45 minutes. Then you can use the topping as recommended by the recipezaar or just spoon some original traditional prego (the tomato one) on it and put mozarella shredded cheese on top of it. It'll taste like pizza stick. The original topping was to mix all of these listed ingredients below and shake it onto the breadstick (after you had greased them with olive oil)
2 tsp dry parmesan cheese,1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp oregano. You can place them into a shaker (or re-use the oregano container) and shake on top of the dough. Bake them at 180degreeC for about 15 minutes or until done. The dough is very soft even when it is cold (if you get the dough done correctly la..)

You'd need to place the bread on wire rack to keep the bread fresh

Fruit of labor...:-)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1st Trip to Kota Kinabalu

ps: the picture arrangement didn't turn out the way I want it to be...haven't master this blog's layout yet...

My new work in another company has gotten on the move, almost every month. I guess I will be seeing more Malaysia now than I ever was. Probably this'll give me more ideas on where to bring the family for next vacation

KK is the 3rd site on my schedule that I had to visit and do the health risk assessment. I do not know what to expect but I do look forward to the trip , more because I will be meeting my long-time-never-see friend, Patricia G. Plus, Sapangar Bay (the site I was supposed to go to) was made known to me as a beautiful place to see. Of course, there's another goal that I have to achieve this year to be counted in my deliverables for this year.

The plane ride to KK from KLIA took about 2hrs and 40 mins. I get my preference seat on the front wing at window - that allows me to start snapping. I love watching the clouds. They're soo white and pure. And with polarizing filter, the shots captured looks so much better.

When we reached KK, the scenery gets much better and the sky are bluer than you'd ever seen on the city of Kuala Lumpur. The town is actually build along the sea side. I managed to capture few shots before the stewardess came and stop me "No electronic should be turned on". This is something that I dont really understand - camera do not have any transmitting device, why the restriction on camera?

I stayed at Le Meridien, KK. It is right in the heart of the city, with fruits and craft markets across the street. We can see the harbor from the hotel. They put me in the room at city view but from the window, I could actually see the see. The hotel wasn't that great but the room is definitely nice. Food - so-so. I had to dine in the hotel mainly because I was too tired to be advanterous and eat out but also more for convenient. Since I'm traveling on actual, what the heck, bantai je la kat hotel. Internet connection is complimentary but, a big BUT here... it surely can discourage you from using it. VERY SLOW.

Took another picture from the room - looking further in the sea .. it's actually near the fisherman's pier. But behind the restaurant, the view are breathtaking. Unfortunately, I only discover this on the last day of my stay there, well, I only stayed there for 2 nights only.

The Phillipines Market
I took the first trip to the market on my first night there. Heard that it closed at 6pm but when we (a colleague and I) reached the hotel from Sapangar about 6:30pm, some shops are still opened. So, we went there just to look around first and survey the bargains and prices. On the second night, I went there with a goal in mind - need to get some cheap pearl bracelets and brooches for the children - price, less than RM30 for the bracelet. I did accomplished that. Actually bought 4 pieces for RM90. They're all fresh water pearl. The girl in the shop demonstrated to me on how if you try to scratch the pearl with scissors, no colors will come out but with plastic, many things will come out. Ok, that's indication enough. After that - we went to the local produce next door and bought ikan bilis (anchovies). Those are pretty cheap - 1kg of ikan bilis, good one, for about RM15. The dried prawn is also quite cheap.

Phillipino or Craft Market next to local produced market

I also got myself some terubuk masin sarawak. Apparently, there are Terubuk Sabah and also Terubuk Sarawak. Terubuk Sarawak supposed to be nicer, less salty, all the stuffs inside the fish had already been removed. But Terubuk Sabah did not removed anything and the stuffs inside the fish now becomes salt and makes the fish more salty than Sarawak ones. The picture on the left is Terubuk Sarawak and the right one is Sabah's

To Sapangar Bay
The ride to Sapangar Bay was quite long, about 35-45 minutes from KK, depending on the traffic. We left early, at about 7:30am so, it was ok. We got there in a little bit over half an hour. The scenery going there was calm and soothing to the eyes. I would not say breathtaking but it did make you feel a little bit "wow" with Allah's creation.
From now on... I would make short pictorial description of what I see on the road to Sapangar Bay. I managed to actually take pictures while the taxi was moving on my last morning there.

Menara Tun Mustapha from far

Here it is once we arrived - about 10 minutes later

Another view is the mosque. From far it looked like the mosque is on the left side of the road, really next the beach, but it was really quite a distance and on the right side of the road, a distance away from the beach. Amazing. It must have been curvy road

One thing that really amazed me was a flat that we passed by, closer to Sapangar Bay. The water tank is blue and all are outside the house. My best bet is that they're at the back. I had never seen such sight in Semenanjung yet. I dont know if this is the new way of putting in water tank. My good old DBKL flat has small water tank inside the house. I know some apartment's water tank is on the roof somewhere, but never have I seen anything so visible as this.

The days had been really wet in the evening, I didn't get a chance to get a glimpse of the summit of Mount Kinabalu. There was a place near Sapangar Bay that we can really see a nice view of the summit, however, when I was there, it was all clouds. So, no luck. But finally, when we reached the airport at 5:30pm, we can see the summit from there. Not a clear one, but still ..better than nothing. Here's pictures of the summit from the new airport. Overall, this is one good trip. I would definitely want to come back with the troops someday...

Oh! I forgot to mention, I met my long-time-never-seen friend in KK - Patricia and her 9 yrs old daughter. The last we met was while I was still studying Chemistry in Madison 16 or 17 years ago. How time flies. But she didn't really changed much. Still the same look, same smiles, maybe her face has a little bit more flesh than before but still as beautiful as ever.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Telur Mata "Kerabu" or Is it Mata Lembu?Kerbau???

All my life, I meant before this, I always refer the egg that is cooked by itself without any stirring prior to as "telur mata lembu". I thought that is right. Then, when I got married and have children, my husband taught me another name - "telur mata kerbau". He said that there is no such thing as telur mata lembu. Really? I guess there was never an occasion within my friends that I need to call such egg coz I dont like egg that much. So, the name telur mata lembu was never challenged until I met my husband and his siblings:-)
Now...egg is one of Anis's favourites. We introduced her to the egg and she loves it - mostly to eat with white rice. And the cooked egg has a new name now -- telur mata kerabu! Courtesy of Anis Syaza. No matter how much we tried to correct her, she still call it telur mata kerabu.

So, this cooked egg now has transitioned into another name...which would be the right one?
Telur Mata Lembu? or
Telur Mata Kerbau? or
best yet - Telur Mata Kerabu
any other names?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


The PM suggested that history should be taught way back at the primary school level. Did we ever learn history years ago? Well, not formally in primary school but I do think that we get to be introduced with what happened years ago in primary school, maybe not in so formal class like "History" subject.
I do so love history in secondary school even though I can never find out how to best memorize all the dates that we're supposed to remember. Well, for one, you'd need to know which date to just ignore and which date should be remembered. I normally just memorized them before the exam and totally forgot all about them soon after the exam was over. But one thing that I love the most is the story that it brings. And I think in primary school last time, history comes in the form of stories - children do so love them.

On our long journey back from Alor Setar after Raya week, we spend the time going through our own family history. It started with questions like,
"Umi ceritalah, camana Umi dengan Abah kenal dan boleh kahwin", and they want details up to the point of how we see "things" at that time, or another famous questions that can go hours and brought up more questions from them,
"What I was like when I was little. Who was the naughtiest? Who didnt sleep well at night"....This part can go on for hours with laughters and more questions and comments from the children. It'll bring back beautiful and funny memories that we sometimes take for granted and the repercussion was - "I dont remember" or "I'm not sure if it happens that way" and so on...But the gist of it - History is important, not just country's history. I think history should start from family history and that's exactly what build us today - our actions today, most of the time are decided on our experience, on what happen years ago maybe and that's what build us and we should treasure it and tell it to our children in education way that'll make them actually know the morale of the story...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Sudoku Meant to me....

1- It'll take me off my mind from "home"work for awhile
2- It gives me the chance to say "pergi main jauh, jangan kacau Umi"
3- It makes me sleep late at night and loose a little bit more of my beauty sleep
4- It allows me to break the Ergonomic rule I set about no bending your wrist with my mouse when I try to click as fast as i can when the time is almost up
5- Give me the chance to play with basic numbers that I have known all my life
6- It probably work out my brain better - spatial side? (huh?)
7- A chance to improve myself with number arrangement :-)
8- Let me practice number counting with Alif (who keeps on adding, ten, eleven,and so on to distract me from the numbers)
9- Let me challenge Elisa again and again and still lose to her (well, about 20% winning record is not that bad)
10- Gives me the break I badly needed from everything else and forget about the goblet curtain header that I've been avoiding for the last 2 years!

Finally - was it a way to waste my valuable time with?
I don't think I will stop playing yet...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Swiper, nooo swiping (say it 3 times)

"Wake up, Story time, daddy!"
"Go read with mummy, I want to sleep!"
"Mummy, story time, now!"
Oh, alright. I had to quit Sudoku and entertain him with his request. Nowadays, he can be very demanding - all his request must be fulfilled then and there!
ok, here goes, we started reading. I meant we coz everytime I read, he would want to read on his own, saying "nak baca sirri (=sendiri)".
I continued reading, trying to summarize the small writings, "Then Dora said, if you see Swiper, say, "Swiper, no swiping!". But Alif stopped me there. He said, "Let me read...say swiper, no swiping! swiper, no swiping! swiper, no swiping!", while counting his fingers 3 times. Of course, the book didn't mention anywhere that you have to read 3 times.
So, i asked, "who taught you to read 3 times? Kakak Anis?"
"No, Dora said it 3 times"
OK - if Dora said it, then, it must have been in the TV. Children - I see, I read and I repeat, whatever it is that he see on TV. So, that's how he know the story and memorize some of the words in the story - from the TV! That's the power of TV nowadays:-) Sampai kami nak tengok pun tak boleh because everyone had to watch channel 613 - playhouse disney! No compromise most of the time.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


After searching high and low, I finally found the journal that I started when Aina first went to school. It housed so many funny and beautiful memories of Aina in school, complete with pictures. Know how I found it?
Well, after coming back from Alor Setar, I got the urged to clean a little portion of the kitchen and throw away all unwanted papers in the basket on top of drawers at the location where supposedly a hand-washing sink should be. We didn't get around to buying a practical but nice and cheap wash-basin@sink since the last 2.5 years that we had stayed in that house.
Anyway, the journal lies in that basket on top of the drawers together with all the other papers and letters and junks that were just stashed away inside that basket, either by myself or my in-house assisstant, whenever we need to clear the dining tables when we had guests at home:-)

History repeats itself as I was going through the journal. There were stories and stories of Aina, none of Anis and a little half finished of Ahmad. I guess, first child has the most memorable things to write plus you'd get busier when it comes to second, third and so on. I should have written about Alif's first day in school as well - that was memorable episode. Actually all the children's first day in school is a nostalgic time, either for parents or the child itself. We parents need to be fairer in keep-sake stories or memories of the children , otherwise the other children will think that we are biased towards one child only. That's what Anis has told me - point blank! "Umi asyik ada cerita pasal kakak Aina je, Anis punya takde!" and then Ahmad will go on "Asyik Alif je, Alif je, Ahmad takde!". A change is needed here...need to show impartial to all children, but when will I get the time to write all 4 in one night? Well - I guess I need to sacrifice my Sudoku, word twist and make sure whenever I write about the children, all 4 of them would be inside in one stories...can I really do this?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bahasa Alif... part 2

From upstairs he shouted, "Mummy, make some milk pleaaassseee..". I told him to come down and get his milk, instead he shouted back, "C'mon mummy,I need some milk, please, upstairs". I insisted that he come down instead. In the end, he did go downstairs to pick up his milk instead of his usual, "Alaa..penatlah Alif".

We went beraya at Titi Gajah, Nini's in laws' house. Since they're having tahlil, the guys went first. Ladies went separately,about an hour later. On the way back, Alif asked for his Abah. “Abah naik siapa kereta?” Remember, he thinks in English, so, that’s a direct translation of Abah naik whose car?

For some reason, Alif selalu anti-Aina. Alif refused to acknowledge Aina as her Kakak. He kept saying “I don’t want Aina”. Yesterday, he said, “I have one sister and 2 brothers. My first brother is Bang Mad and my second brother is Kakak Aina”. By doing that, he can still insist that he only has 1 sister, who is Anis.

In the car, on the way back from beraya (again), the kids who were bored, kept following whatever Alif said. In the end, he picked up from that and start reciting, "Roditubillah hi robbah!", Anis & Ahmad followed him. And then he continued dengan pelat dia "wal Islami mi deena", but his pronunciation was not very clear and the word Islam doesn't come out well, so, the other siblings didn't really follow correctly. Shouting loudly, he said, "I am your teacher! You must follow me, now, read after me, Roditubillah hi robbah!". Pandai dia imitate cikgu dia (which he pronounced as "ciiku")