Monday, October 29, 2007

Of Ikan Bilis and Baguette...

You must be wondering why I am giving this post a strange title. Ikan Bilis [anchovies] once known a the poor man fish, and Baguette a French bread, a speciality of the French. Well it is like this, both have one thing in common in that the prices of both has gone up. My first shock was when I went to the wet market at Datuk Keramat last week. I frequent this market to get fresh Chicken, Beef and other vegetables and the Ikan Bilis of graded varieties. Here I would choose the one which has been split into two and the head taken out. It has been cleaned and great for making quality sambal Ikan Bilis [Chilly fried gravy anchovies]. Everyone in our family including our grandchildren love this, so we are never without this Sambal Ikan Bilis. I believe every Malaysian of any race or ethnic group love the Sambal Ikan Bilis. Add some Petai and voila !! it became a Sambal of another kind. A wonder by itself and a great appetizer. Taken with white rice it is just delicious. And of course there can never be Nasi Lemak without this Sambal Ikan Bilis. So to us folks, the richest, the middle class or the poor, Ikan Bilis is real special.

But today at the market while browsing for that particular Ikan Bilis which had a price tag of RM25.00 per kilo, I could not find it displayed. I kept looking and looking but just could not see it but I saw the same kind of Ikan Bilis with a price tag of RM30.00. So I asked the stall owner where is the one that he normally sell at RM25.00. He said that the one that is priced at RM30.00 and that the price has gone up and he no longer could sell it at the former price. Well, it has gone up by RM5.00 a kilo, What a hike!!!. Anyway I bought a kilo and he gave me less RM2.00 for been a regular customer. We all know that the price of Chicken has gone up too, so are other items. I am just told by a friendly store owner that the price of our favourite Sardine Cap Ayam would be up next month. There it goes again foods for the common folks like us, up and up it goes. So folks add these to your list of what has gone up so that you do not get a shock like me when you next get to the market.

And as for that Baguette, I do not really buy Baguette often, only from time to time when I am around the vicinity of Delifrance. So today I bought one at the Delifrance nearby and guess what!. The price has gone up too. It now cost RM3.05 includes tax. Before it was just RM2.70. I ask the counter when this price changes. She said that just last month. This is not the end of my shock of the price increases.

Two weeks ago I went to the Supermarket to get some Cling Wrap, the one you use to cling foods for cooking or steaming in a microwave oven or just to keep food fresh in the fridge. Here again I got another shock, the normal one that use to cost RM5.80 or so is now RM8.60 plus according to the brand and some brand has gone up to more then eleven ringgit a roll. I decided not to buy this item at the Supermarket and would look at the other stores. I then went to the nearby Mamak Store and there I found the price is a bit less but still above the normal price that I paid for before. Since this item is often used in our home I then bought a roll there.

So as you can see consumers goods especially foods has gone up. With the cost of Ikan Bilis gone up I believe the cost of our favourite Nasi Lemak would be up too. I believe this all started with the increases of Patrol prices recently. Transport been a major aspect of all goods, thus the spiral effect of pricing on other goods and services. Indeed it is unfortunate for us all to have to spend more money on the same things.

To digress a little, I am still in a shock. People in the state of shock do not think clearly. People of my age takes time to adjust our thinking capability and at time it takes a while to understand of what is really going one. Getting old has its effect but one thing folks of our age do have is Wisdom. So excuse me for nagging on this issue that just comes to my mind. Everyone of us love Sambal Ikan bilis and I believe this includes Fishermen at sea or Space Traveller. Now I am getting more confused as to the economic of all these, the subject of much talks during the many Hari Raya open house last weeks. You have to excuse people of my generation especially me on the economic of things in the world of today. Is there any rational on this. I wonder!!. Well, I am still in a shock but as with everything else in life, Life has to go on come rain or shine. Have a nice day..

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The butterfly and the orchid..

The rain has just stop, so it is a bit cool up at the patio. My spouse and me sat at the Kopitian table and chat while having tea. For the last weeks or so it showers in the afternoon. It is nice to watch the rain and enjoy the fresh air that comes with it. So this afternoon is one of those day that the rain has brought cool weather to us folks in the city.

While we whilst the times away my spouse said to me that she saw a beautiful butterfly at one of the orchid. Without thinking much I went inside and took my camera, got it ready to shoot and went to look for the butterfly, before it fly away. It is still there enjoying it relationship with that gorgeous orchid. It seem to play dead or just enjoying itself of the nectar of the orchid, care less of its surrounding. I aimed the camera and voila!!! I got it in many positions. It is the first time that I got the images of a butterfly attached to my orchid.

Indeed a colorful event that would etched in my memory and immortalised in digital images. This scene is made possible because of my small garden of orchids and other greens which provides the environment for birds, small animals, ants and flying insects to made it their playground as well. It is a sort of an Eco system in action. Nature in miniature. Everything are in harmony to be enjoyed by all and that butterfly is having a field day enjoying the environment.

So today I got the butterfly in action there but as yet to get that elusive squirrel that frequent my little garden to have it meals of cut apples. One of these days I believe I would get a chance to immortalised it too, just like that butterfly in the images above. Enjoy and Have a nice day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What a Cyber grandpa said on TV9...

The TV9 Talk Show on October 16, 2007. A historical day for Malaysian Blogger. It was an opportunity that comes once in a while, so I tried to do my best so that viewers of the program get a clear message of what Blogging is and how the society could benefit from this new media.

Since many blogger including those outside Malaysia did not get to see the live show, many ask me what I said during the talk show. So for the benefit of all I am narrating here about the contents of the show.

I spoke on the important of this new media, new compare to the Newspaper, the TV and the Radio as a mean of disseminating of information to the masses. The Internet and Blogging especially is a totally a new tool and like any new tool we have to handle it with care and in blogging we have to be responsible of what we blog. Malaysia is an emerging society with its set of the do and don't. Much as we might like to write our thoughts and share it with the public, we also have to take into consideration of the Malaysian factors, a country which is just fifty years old. In history fifty years old is but a brisk period.

I talk of why I blog, first it is because I have an active mind. I am sixty eight years old and had seen this country progress from day one. I saw the country during the colonial era, the Japanese occupation, the fight again the communist insurgents, the Emergency period and how we had progress this far. With the experiences and some wisdom I wanted to share it with the society of the country I love. I felt that my thoughts would just go to waste if I just kept it to myself. So blogging gave me that opportunities to share my thoughts and at the same time keep my mental faculty active. I gave some example as I spoke.

I then spoke of the important of the Internet. As we all know the Internet is nothing without its content and at present most of the contents came from the west, so by blogging Malaysian who blog are actually the content provider for the Internet. We write about various subjects and this enriched the content of the Internet. Without our contribution in form of blogging the Internet would have to relied on other sources to get information. So blogger are actually playing a very important role in the storing information especially about Malaysia in cyberspace. These information would be there for eternity.

I was ask about the digital divide and the safety of the young in the Internet. I told them if children are given the proper education with love in their home, the children would not abuse the uses of the Internet. I told them I have no problems with our grandchildren on this aspect. Children are always curious for that is their nature in growing up. Like us adult they want to know so do not shut them up but find a way out like do not place the computer in a room but instead place it in an open area where everyone who passes by could always pop in to see what the grands do in cyberspace. It all with the culture of parenting. If it is done the right way, children would grow up with the right value and norms. I also emphasis that it is the the duty of the parents of the grandchildren to handle their children and I am indeed happy of the way our children educate their children [our grandchildren]. Grandparents should not interfered in the up bringing of their grandchildren, but do play an active role in their live. Always be there when they needed you most. Give them all the loves. The rest would come naturally.

On the generation gap that was brought up by a young lady on the show. She complain on her communication problem with her grandma. I spoke of the digital divide and the need to explain to the grandma in a language they understood. Grandparents that are not savvy on the Internet would never appreciate this new technology. I said that she must do some research and find what are the liking and dislike of her grandma. Always remember before embarking any project first to do research to back up your project. Treat the communication problem with the grandma as a project. For example grandmas normally love to cooks. Why not take photo of her cooking and then download it onto the laptop. The next time when she see the grandma, show her that and believe me her grandma would be delighted to see all those images of her foods in the computer. Now she would start to understand what the computer could do. It is a start to get her interest. And then work from there. I explained that it is not going to be that easy to do but it could be done.

I quote an example to her of how my spouse [Nenek] and our grandson first got to teach each other about computer. It all started when this grandson was just two years old when we were living in Boston,US. Nenek [grandma] at that time was totally illiterate on computer. But because the grandchild of two years old could not operate the computer on his own, like switching on and off. This part got the Nenek to know the working mechanism of the computer. Soon Nenek learn what a mouse and cursor is and at the same time when the grandchild start to use the computer, like on how to use Window, the grandson would start asking this and that which he did not know and soon the learning went both ways, from the two years old grandson to the Nenek and vice versa. So with that the gap between the third generation and the first generation soon get closer and closer. From then onward it became second nature for both the two years grandson and the Nenek. In our family we the Grands, our children and now our grandchildren communicate very well indeed. the communication channel is always open. Even today this grandson of mine, now eleven introduce new happening in cyberspace to me. In a way I am learning from him.

One a question by the host of the show whether there are moment I wanted to tell the grandchildren of the things that they should know, I said that I would blog about good values and love. Since I believe all my grandchildren are computer savvy, they do read my blog from time to time. Thus I hope they get whatever message that I wanted to get across to the present generation which includes them. That my friends is the way I do get important message about 'the birds and the bees' to my loved one.

I hope the narrative above do justice to the real happening of the show that day. It is not like watching the real show. I hope there is a repeat of this program and I shall keep blogger inform when I get any news of this. Once again thanks to all at TV9 for giving me the opportunity to contributes my thoughts in the show that day in October 2007.

In the meantime friends keep blogging and have a great time doing it. Take care.

Note: the above images was taken by our eldest granddaughter during the live broadcast of the show - click to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blogger on Live TV9....

Yes, I was on live TV yesterday. It is a program on cyberspace and the digital divide. It look like blogging do take me places I never expected after I had retired. Anyway it was indeed an honour to be invited to share my thoughts on Live TV. It went live at 1pm yesterday [October 16,2007]. This episode of my life started last month. During the fasting month I got a call from a TV9 personal [Sy.Nur] asking whether I could participate on a Live TV program. Well, without much thinking I said Yes and a week ago they came and did some shots of the happening in my home, where my grandchildren are seen interacting with me on cyberspace. The program yesterday revolved around the problem of the digital divide, the generation gap and how blogger could help.

So yesterday together with three of our grandchildren and my spouse we went to the Media complex at One Utama. I had never been to this place before so I went early to look for the place and eventually found it and was allotted a parking space and told to go in the imposing building where TV3, 8TV, TV9 and radio stations that came under the Media group operate. So we got to a lounge and sat there and wait. Eventually a TV9 personal came and at 12 noon we all went into the studio for makeup and other briefing before the live show.

I had been on TV program before and had some experiences on what to do, so it was not the first time and I just took it easy. Four person was invited to take part on the program which is call 'Atuk Cyber'., which consist of a young lady who had problem of communication with her grandma, a professor from a local University who is a expert on communication and Me together with my young grandson, Anwar whom we call the wizard in cyberspace. After everyone has given their views on the program my grandson and me were invited to the set and from there I took over to talk on the digital divide, the generation gap and of course on Blogging, a subject which is close to my heart.

It was indeed great to be able to talk on Live TV on such subject. The host is a famous TV and Movie/Drama personality, a young articulate person. He is non other then the son of a famous actress. He is Khaeryll Benjamin Ibrahim popularly known as just Benjy. As the host did a good job in moderating the show, it became easy for me to talk. It is also a first exposure to our grandson Anwar and he did his piece on that program. My spouse and the other two grandchildren, both teenagers was also in the studio and I believe it is a great experience for them too. As usual with me I talk on the important of the Internet and Blogging. With a knowledgeable host it was easy to continue talking and give as much on that talk show. As usual in such a situation time flies and soon the one hour allocated came to an end.

Back home I understand that our daughter and son-in-law whose kids are with us at this program saw the live program and they taped it for us to view later. Well to me it was indeed a wonderful day where I get to meet the produce of the program, Aminuddin Yahaya and the Executive Producer Wan Sabariah. I had a short chat with her and she say that while the program was on she did got some SMS suggesting to her to continue on with such a program which could help in exposing the important of blogging and help in narrowing the digital divide especially so among the rural folks. I told her it would be great if such a program is develop and I would help if needed.

Well, friends that was my day and indeed a great day for my grandchildren, my spouse and me. It is not always we get the opportunity to be on Live TV. For that I thanks the good people of TV9 for giving me this opportunity. Indeed another great and colorful day in my life as I journey on in this golden age. Above are some images of the happening in the studio.[click image to enlarge] Have a nice day and take care..

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Raya mood..

As usual the house get a face lift when the Hari Raya comes. So as usual with me I try to do something different this year to my Serambi/Patio and above are some images of the new look Serambi/Patio of our home in Ampang Jaya. My spouse and me love interior decoration and all throughout the year we would bring the interior of the our home into a sort of a new living environment. Once our home was featured in a Local Home magazine. For the Serambi as seen in the above images we have add lights to give it a festive mood. Well, tomorrow Moslem in Malaysia and all over the world would be celebrating the Eid Fitri or Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. So again SELAMAT HARI RAYA to all and do have a great time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy Eid [Selamat Hari Raya]

Happy Eid to all. May we all continue to live in peace and harmony all the time. It has been a great year. I hope that everyone enjoy the prosperity and have a great time this auspicious day of Eid Fidri. SELAMAT HARI RAYA TO ALL. Have a nice day.

Monday, October 08, 2007

It rain here too...

Rita from across the ocean talk about the rain and nostalgic about it. Yes I love the rain especially so for it bring back memories of my childhood, growing up on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. We then live in a house where the roof is made of nipah leaves which is the common roofing material for the traditional Malay kampong [village] houses. Our house is a typical Malay house which is raised from the ground with the wall and floor made of plank. So when it rain we get to see the rain fall on the ground below and then flow into the drain nearby. It is the pattering of the rain on the roof that is so special because it create a pattering noise that is so different. The tat tat noise come in repeat sequence when the rain is heavy unlike with the zine roof where the noise is louder. Sometime when the rain is heavy, the rain water would seep through the nipah roof and drip on to the wooden floor below. We would rush to get a pail or whatever container available to collect the rain water as well as to stop it from spilling all over the wooden floor. The water collected is usually brown in color, the color of the old nipah leaves. During the monsoon period which happened at the end of the year, it would rain cat and dog and the temperature in the house would be cool and less humid, making living in the house so comfortable. At time even the cocunut oil would solidified making its difficult to get out of its container. We could also smell the freshness of the rain water and that is what made living so wonderful in the traditional house in the kampong.

A rainy day is often welcome when we were kids, for it is the time that we get to play in the rain. With only a pant or short and sometime sarong we would play in the rain, drenched and shivering with the coldness of the dripping water. We would play in the rain care less of the happening around us. We were not afraid at all even when there are thunder and lighting. We would just laugh and play until we are satisfied or been hauled by our parents to get inside and had enough of the rain. We were never scolded or not allow to play in the rain. Parents especially mom would just cautioned us not to play in the swelling drain or the stream nearby, otherwise we were allow to enjoy playing in the rain. After a while and happy we would go to the well nearby and take our bath and then get into the house. Happy with our adventure in the rain. How I yearned for those days.

Now our grandchildren did not have the chance to play in the rain like we do. Their parent are over protective, moreover nowadays the rain water is not as clean like during our times. Well time changes so is the culture of people. So now children no longer play in the rain. Sad that they did not have that chance to do that and enjoy the rain water like we did when we were kids like them. Indeed they now live in a different world with a different culture. But that is the way today and life goes on. Have a nice day.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Buka Puasa with the gang...

Last Sunday the grandchildren, their mom [our eldest daughter] and dad decided to Buka Puasa with us. As usual they arrive early, around four in the afternoon. Soon the house became crowded and with it came all the noises. All of the kids came over with their books and toys and soon settled down to do their homework. For a while it was quiet on the home front and then their usual selves took over and the house soon became alive with their kind of culture.

As usual when they are around I would have one laptop ready for them to use to served the net. The wizard of the Internet is our eldest grandson. He is just eleven and already savvy with the way the Internet works. Leave him alone and he would soon be lost in cyberspace. The other two young one Azib 6 years old and his elder sister who just start schooling are also crazy with the Internet. So they have to share the laptop with the eldest boy and this is where the 'war' would start among these sibling. As for the eldest, one is doing her SPM this year and the other in form four, they would use my laptop since I considered them to be adult already and could handle with care my laptop. At time I would allowed the wizard Anwar the eldest boy to use it whenever the 'war' over the other laptop became serious. This at time would cool the situation, at least for a while. As we all know too well kids are kids and at time it became part of the fun watching them grow. I have another Desktop upstairs but no one seem to care to use it, so they have to share using the computers when they are at our home. At their home they have their own, other then their computer games gadgets like the Games Boy and the like.

Let me bring back to the purpose of their presence here at Nenek's house today. They all are here to Buka Pusa together. So today to me and Nenek [grandma] it is indeed a special day for today we get the crowd back in our home, just like before when our kids were just growing up. Now with the kids grown up, the house is often left to us, the Nenek and Atuk [grandpa] alone. Soon it is time to Buka Puasa and they all gather at the dinning table to break the fast. As soon as Azan is heard on the TV, little Azib said that he wanted to say grace [Doa] before everyone start the breaking of the fast. It seem that he had learned the Doa at the Kindergarten and He love to lead the Doa. What a way to go for this little tot already taking over the leadership, this time at this dinner table for the breaking of the fast. Above is a snap of little Azib saying grace. As for us Atuk and Nenek it is indeed a sight that we are real proud to see. With that everyone start to break their fast, their own ways.

Well friends that is a wonderful day in our life. A colorful day indeed. One of those special day on our journey of life. Life in our golden age has its beauty and reward. This kind of event is indeed a rewarding event in our life, continuing making our life as colorful as ever. They say next weekend they would be coming over again and I believe that it going to be another wonderful Buka Puasa. Have a nice day..

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Blogger new tool- Photos...

Friends, has just come up with a new tool for us to play around and watch new images been uploaded in real time. I found this site from Lynn , a blog across the ocean that I visited frequently. The new site is call Blogger Play where images that are been uploaded could be seen as it appear on the Internet. All the images that are been uploaded which includes images from You and Me could be seen as its been uploaded in real time. Cool and Interesting Eh!!!. Have a nice day and Enjoy.

Bubor Jagung [Corn porridge]..

As for today I shall talk about one of my favourite Bubor/Pengat. In this case it is about the Bubor Jagong. I think the appropriate word for Bubor in English is porridge. Bubor or Pengat in the Malay culture is a sweet porridge made with fruits or cereals and taken at tea time or as an after dinner snack. Sometime it is call Pengat and sometime it is Bubor. In my part of the Malay world it is Pengat Pisang when banana is use and it is Bubor where cereals is used. Thus Bubor Kacang or Bubor Jagong. It is cooked in coconut milk with either white, brown sugar or coconut/kabong sugar. Some small round dried sago are added to create that unique texture and flavour to it. A few strips of Pandan leave complete the concoction. It gives the Bubor that special taste and aroma, making the Malay Bubor or Pengat so unique and special.

For today I bought a couple of fresh sweet corn and my spouse had it made into the Bubor Jagong that you see above. It is a delicious sweet porridge when eaten slightly hot. So after the Buka Puasa today I had a bowl of this golden color porridge, the color of the ripen fresh sweet corn. Truly it taste great when done right and taken after dinner. It also do made a good Buka Puasa snack, for it is nutritious and a health food as well. Have a nice day.

Monday, October 01, 2007

An afternoon in the city..

It was a Saturday and we decided to take a drive into the old part of the city. The Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman [formally Batu Road] and the Masjid India area, now Little India. We left home at just after two in the afternoon. The sky was clear blue with patches of white clouds here and there. It was a hot and humid day but still it is a gorgeous day. With the air conditioning it does not matter once you are in the car.

I took the Honda and drove toward that part of the city via the Elevated Highway. In mere minutes I am at Jalan Ampang facing toward the KLCC and there I got stuck in the Saturday afternoon traffic jam. I took my camera and snap a few images of the monorail passing above the Jalan Tun Dr.Ismail. In the background is the KLCC and some new building been built creating a magnificent view of the skyscraper in the city. When the car stop at the traffic light, I took that opportunity to take a snap of the KL Tower, one of the landmark of the city.

Traffic jam is normal at this time of the day at this part of the city, especially so after Payday. After all this is still the first week of the month and most of wage earners are still with plenty of cash to spend. And I believe they are on their way to do the spending. For what else Malaysian do when they have money to spend. Well they do go on a spending spree. By doing that they are getting back that money into the economic system and it keep rolling. Well that is the way the capitalist system works. With that the country keep on booming and the people prosperous. Prosperous people are happy people and happy people go on enjoying life. And shopping is one of the way to enjoy life.

So here am I stuck again in a traffic jam. I move on and got into Jalan Tun Dr. Ismail and then did a slow drive following the flow of the traffics. Actually the cars was crawling and at time hardly moving. I took advantage of these breaks on the road to take snaps of the images around me whenever my car stopped. In a way it gave me the opportunity to take photos of those buildings as I go by. On a normal day it would be crazy to stop in the middle of the road to take photos. Actually traffic jam like this is a blessing in disguise for photographer. The various stops gave you the opportunity to take snaps of images of which you would otherwise just cannot do while driving a car. Moreover it is illegal and dangerous to use the camera while driving. So I took as many snaps as I could whenever and wherever I stop and eventually got into Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman toward the Sogo building.

Well friends the images above are that of the scene of the ever changing landscape of the city. It was indeed an exciting adventure into the city on that sunny Saturday afternoon. The building boom is still on and the concrete jungles is getting denser day by day. Well cities are like that, it keep growing and in no time the familiar scene is not familiar anymore. Friends, that is living. Have a nice day and Enjoy.....[Click on the image to enlarged]