Friday, February 17, 2012

80's flashback

So Annie gave me a list of songs to download for her to put into her hand phone. She likes the usual teen pop stars like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Big Time Rush, Taylor Swift, etc...

I used to use Limewire to download songs and tv shows, but that got into trouble, so I used another shareware program called Frostwire. Then SIL introduced me to another program where you could download videos and songs directly from YouTube. Here's the link if you're interested

I like to save them as MP3 files, so they don't take up too much space. It's good in a sense that you can preview what you are downloading first. For Limewire and Frostwire, you had to take the chance on the quality. You could only see or hear it after completing the downloading. Sometimes the song was a totally different one from what it was named!

Anyway, I remember how we did it when we were teens... We would write a list of songs and bring it to the music shop. They would then record all the songs we wanted onto a cassette tape! What joy! :) And remember walkmans??

I think audio cassette tapes and video VCR tapes were fabulous, as you could record anything with just the press of a button! You could record your own singing or set the VCR timer to record a movie which you wouldn't be home to watch!

You could record a song you liked when it came on the radio. How was that okay and yet now downloading songs from the internet illegal? Hmmm....

Anyway, I absolutely love 80's music. I was a teenager in the 90's, but I think 90's music is unremarkable. 80's music is way more fun in my opinion. The fashion wasn't as great though! lol! Think shoulder pads and big hair!! Luckily I was still a kid in shorts and t-shirts then, so I wasn't a victim!!

Footloose was and still is such a great song dontcha think? They even made a remake Footloose movie last year, so that just goes to show that the songs are timeless. Imagine a 90's song like let's say, "I'm a Barbie Girl" by Aqua! Yikes!! Don't think that would go down very well with the kids nowadays! Hahaha...

 There are so many cool 80's songs. Here's another, from the movie St. Elmo's Fire. I can't remember anything about the movie except it had Demi Moore in it.

Oh and what about New Kids on the Block??!! Wahahaha! My friends and I in Grade 6 (12 yrs old) were crazy over Jordan Knight and we even bought photographs of him for 50cents to stick on our bedroom walls!! Hilarious!

That's Jordan Knight, the one with the curly hair at the bottom!! lol!

Apparently they got back together for another tour recently, albeit a little fatter and a lot older!

Gosh! How time flies! Oh to be a teenager again! A know-it-all with every possible emotion (happiness, love, hate, anger, sadness...) multiplied a hundred fold! How we felt everything so fiercely back then!

Well, I'll be having a few teenagers of my own soon! I'm prepared for slamming doors and such... in fact it's already starting! I truly love and appreciate my mother right about now! :)

So here's to life! I think we all need to bring back a bit of our teenage selves and live life soaring on the wings of dreams!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Handy Manny

This is a monkey wrench. I never even knew until a couple of days ago what this was called and then promptly went to sleep excited to buy one at the hardware store the next day!! lol... how did that happen?

So it started like this. There were a few light bulbs and a flourescent tube which needed changing at the shop. I usually procrastinate when it comes to changing lights, cause I figure might as well wait for more to blow so I can fix them all in one shot and save time!! heh...

Then one day the faucet at the back started leaking.... or spurting water from the base would be more accurate... like a fountain in fact!! That, unfortunately, couldn't be postponed. It was totally unusable until the faucet was completely changed to a new one.

So, I called the plumber and asked him to come help and have a look at the shower as well which had very low water pressure for a quite a while already. He said he would come the next day.

Guess what? The next day came and no plumber. I called him and he didn't answer my calls!! I tried a different number and even tried calling from another phone in hopes of tricking him into answering, but noooo... he was ignoring me!!!!!!!!!! The gall!!

I really can't understand these people. If you do not want to come, just tell me! Is it so hard???

So I was really pissed and wondered why we had to beg and plead for their help. It isn't rocket science is it?? Pipes and faucets?! Driven by annoyance and rage, I decided to do it myself. I know Hubby doesn't like doing these things and would just give me another number to call, so I didn't bother complaining to him. He was so stressed with work and matters so much more severe compared to broken faucets anyway!

Thus, I went to the hardware store a total of four times over two days.

First, I went to get the energy saving bulbs, a 4 foot fluorescent tube, a shower head and hose as well as a nice new shiny kitchen faucet. I also got a spanner which I thought I would need when changing the faucet and shower hose.

Then, I went back to the  shop and changed the lights without incident, as I was quite used to doing that.

Later, I discovered my spanner was stuck and had to go back to the hardware store a second time to change it to another working one.

Then came the kitchen faucet. I had no problem removing the old one and installing the new one. Only the extension for the filtered water wouldn't come off the old faucet. It was stuck fast. I tried the spanner, pliers and even asking the guys next door, but to no avail. So I brought the old faucet and went back to the hardware store a third time and asked the uncle for help!

This is when he used his monkey wrench and effortlessly unscrewed the offending extension. Wow! I had to get me one of those!

So I went and finished up the faucet and started on the shower. Apparently the hose was leaking, which was why there was little water pressure. When I tried to unscrew the old hose, one end was stuck to the pipe. The water pipe was of course mounted onto the wall and I couldn't possibly remove it to bring to the hardware store uncle to unscrew, so the only option was... to get my own monkey wrench!

I didn't have anymore time to play Handy Manny that day, as I had to continue my school bus driver job, so I went to sleep that night thinking of my monkey wrench! Hahahaha...

The next day, I of course went back to the hardware store (me again Uncle!!) to get me that cool monkey wrench! I mean, with one of these babies, who needed men anymore eh????!!

So with the aid of the right tools and a helpful hardware store uncle, I did not need to grovel for help, so there!!

I am also very much influenced by my mum, who was definitely not a damsel-in-distress kind of mum! She could do just about anything, I remember once watching her open the sewage tank and unclogging it!!!

* R E S P E C T *

She was without doubt the all-powerful original Supermum!! :)

Well, anyway, since I was on a roll, I decided to get that new CD/ MP3 player/ radio for my shop. My old cassette player (cassette - that shows you how old it is!!) just died a few days before. So I got a nice Sony one and wanted to put the speakers high up on my shelf, so as not to take up too much workspace. Thus I had to play electrician this time to extend the speaker cables.

All this reminds me of Kemahiran Hidup, a subject we had to do in secondary school. It included woodwork, plumbing and electronics. I liked all the hammering, soldering and creating circuits with blinking lights which had no particular function! Hahaha.. I think that subject in school was extremely practical, useful and fun to boot!

I've always liked taking apart then putting back the radio and VCR player at home when I was small. It was my job to get the video tapes out of the player when they got tangled inside.
All this also reminded me of the time when Hubby taught me how to hack the public phone!!

It was like this. We were 18 and I was studying in KL while Hubby had gone back to Kuching. Back then, we didn't have Skype or even hand phones to make cheap interstate calls. So calls were expensive and we had to be ever 'creative'!!

There were a few ways to hack phones. Sometimes someone would pass you a really long series of numbers to punch into the phone, after which you could make free calls! Those wouldn't work for very long. I remember calling Sis no.3 from my college, Taylor's College at Subang. Sis no.3 was in New Zealand then!

Another method the guys discovered was that certain card phones (one was at the then Kuching Plaza) could be manipulated. They put in cards with full credit, then made the call and somehow removed the card and quickly replaced it with an empty one! I understand it took some skill! lol

So I was then living at my Aunt's house, at SS1 PJ. There was a park there with a payphone. That was my target...

First I took a spare house phone. Then I took the cable and snipped off the end that's supposed to go into the small box thingie on the wall. There are two wires in that cable and I connected those to crocodile clips.

Then I'd go to the park with the phone and an umbrella.

See the black box/ stand/ pillar at the bottom? That could be opened and all the circuits were inside. With the umbrella blocking me from other people's view, I used the crocodile clips to clip on exposed connections. The wire connectors with screws was the weak point. I just clipped the crocodile clips onto the screws and viola!! My 'lil house phone came alive with a dial tone! *Alleluia* I could talk to my Darling for hours!! hehehehe...

Those were the days eh? Such simple pleasures!! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CNY 2012 photos

So I've finally saved, rotated, filed and sorted my CNY photos and here they are...

Lunch and ang pows at Kung Kung Titus' on Sa Chap Meh (CNY eve)

 Hubby reduced his heavy artillery purchases this year, but it was still 3 boxes, plus a couple more leftover from last year! The fireworks at midnight on Chinese New Year's eve was gorgeous and amazing as usual. I love the racket, the lights and the smell! It spells CNY, just like when we were kids.

 Big and small alike enjoying the explosives! Forgot what Eva was sulking about! Where are the little boys???

 Hiding inside! The two boys are petrified of loud noises! lol! When the noise escalated to warfare proportions at midnight, both woke up and howled!!

 Yee sang tossing before the Sa Chap Meh reunion dinner at Kung Kung Paul's.

CNY first day morning, in their brand new clothes

So we usually have dinner at Kung Kung Paul's on CNY eve then spend the night there. Hubby's friends have been coming over to gamble on CNY eve for years, it's kinda tradition already! Then the next morning, the first day of CNY, we go to Kung Kung Titus' house.

This year was more special, as a whole bunch of my relatives on my mum's side came for a visit on the second day. Many were back from other countries or states and most had never been to our condo. It was nice to have them over and to catch up for a while. I guess we don't meet up as often anymore since mum passed on, but we should make the effort to stay in touch, cause family is important.

It was after this visit that my uncle suffered a stroke. This just further reminds us that life is so short and full of unexpected surprises, both good and bad. So live life with no regrets.

We went to Damai beach to stay for 2 nights. Here is Damai Central, a nice new place to have dinner.

the whole gang having dinner at Damai Central

It was a rainy CNY as usual, but that didn't  stop us from playing on the beach! :)

The weather was erratic, with spots of sunshine alternating with crazy rain and howling wind! The sea however was definitely too rough and unfit for water play. But it didn't matter, as sand was plenty fun enough!

BFFs in the hotel room

We celebrated Kung Kung's 76th birthday! It was also Chap Goh Meh.

So that was it, another year....

Thursday, February 9, 2012


A very sad thing happened on the second day of Chinese New Year. First, a whole gang of my aunts, on my mum's side, and uncles and cousins came to my house. Many of them were back from other states/countries and most had never been to our condo, so it was nice to have everyone over and to catch up with those whom we had not met for quite some time.

When it came time to leave, everyone went to the corridor to put on their shoes and say goodbye. Then suddenly, one of my uncles passed out and collapsed onto the floor!

He has a long history of diabetes and had already suffered a few minor strokes. Initially, we thought it was a hypoglycemic episode, where a diabetic's blood sugar level goes down too low, whether due to medication or lack of food, etc..

We laid him down properly and tried to give him some sugar syrup, but he clamped his mouth shut. When we realized it was a stroke (he was moving his left leg and arm but not his right), we immediately called the ambulance. Thank goodness Aunty Rosa, who was a staff nurse like mum was around.

The ambulance came in about 15 minutes and promptly sent my uncle to the hospital. We initially did not think it was a serious stroke, but apparently there was a lot of damage done and to everyone's shock his condition deteriorated and he passed away a few days later.

I felt really useless, when the whole thing played out and I had no idea what to do, even though I am in the medical field. I decided to ask Big Sis (who is now a professor!!) what to do in such cases. She said that in cases like these, time is most important. Time lost is brain lost.

When a stroke happens, there is either a bleed or a clot in the brain, so parts of the brain is not getting enough blood, thus it is starved of oxygen and dying. Thus the more time elapses, more brain cells die.

Also, if a patient arrives at a hospital within 3 hours, an injection called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) can be administered. It is a very potent clot-busting drug. In my uncle's case, the doctors said he was too weak to handle the strong drug, as they had given him milder drugs and those already made his stomach bleed.

We get a lot of emails regarding strokes and I wondered if they were true. I searched on the internet and it says this one is true and is a good and easy guide to remember:

How to Recognize a Stroke

This might be a lifesaver,  if you can remember the following advice, sent by a nurse, whose husband is a medical doctor.

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke a difficult to identify. A stroke victim may suffer permanent brain damage when people fail to recognize what's happening. Now, doctors say any bystander can recognize a stroke, simply by asking three questions:

  • ask the individual to smile.
  • ask him or her to raise both arms.
  • ask the person to speak a simple sentence.
If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. Researchers are urging the general public to learn to ask these three questions quickly, to someone they suspect of having a stroke. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of a stroke, and prevent permanent brain damage.

There is another email however that recommends we use a needle to prick the patient's earlobes and fingertips and squeeze until a drop of blood emerges. Then it continues to tell us not to send a patient to the hospital in a car until he or she regains consciousness. This is because the bumpy car ride might cause blood vessels to burst.

Now the pricking part is not proven, though I suppose it's harmless to try while waiting for an ambulance or while in the car on the way to the hospital, but for the record, my cousin did do that for my uncle, before the ambulance came. Apparently such a small drop in peripheral pressure does nothing to the pressure in the brain.

The second part of the email is the dangerously misleading part. You should bring the patient to the hospital straight away, regardless of whether he or she is conscious or not. A bumpy car ride is the least of your worries and the worst has already happened anyway. Only in the case of spinal injuries should you not move a patient, for everything else, get to the hospital ASAP!

I think it is a good idea to learn first aid... Sis no2 and I talked about this before, after another sad incident involving a little girl drowning a while back. Well, I'll put it on my to-do list and hopefully will get around to it soon. You never know when it could mean the difference between life and death.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


So Chinese New Year has come and gone and the kids have been to school for a week now post CNY. I've pretty much got the hang of things and can even start squeezing in some gym time for myself. (the weight gained from Christmas and CNY has shocked me into action!!)

So over the week-long break, quite a bit happened. I'll get to the long stories in my next post, once I get my photos sorted out.

In the mean time I wanted to tell you this funny thing.

So I had just picked Solomon up from school and as usual asked him how his day went.

Mummy: How was school today Solomon?

Solomon: My friend vomit.

Sidekick: Why he vomit? Coughing ha?

Solomon: No... Eat rubberband...

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