Saturday, April 30, 2011
Book 15... and this is one is violence filled; that sort of violence typically associated with drug world. Llewellyn Moss stumbles onto dead bodies while out on a hunt for animals. Alongside the bodies was a bag of money, totaling 2 million. Unknown to him, the bag of money had a transmitter. Anton Chigurh, a psychopathic killer was sent to recover the money. He is a cold, calculating killing machine, who shows no mercy to anyone. He kills anyone in his path. He has no enemies because all who stands in his way will be destroyed. He is portrayed as one having no feelings. And on the side of the law was Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, who tries to save Moss.
I thought Moss, who was a former sniper in the Army would survive his encounter with Chigurh and get to enjoy his money but it wasn't to be. I was rooting for him cos it would be like rooting for the small guy to get a break in life. But he was tracked down and killed in cold blood. Chigurh then went after Moss' wife, Carla Jean, not because she was a threat to him but simply because he had made up his mind to do so earlier on after an encounter with Moss in a gunfight. The fate of Chigurh was not made known at the end of the story.
To cut the long story short, I didn't quite enjoy this book. Though I've read books with quite a fair deal of violence in them, this one somehow just didn't go down very well with me. In fact I found this brand of violence rather disturbing cos it seems to highlight the worst of our human nature. It's disturbing because it also feels chillingly possible, going by violence meted out by e drug cartels which we read about in the news. Greed brings out the worst in us and this book seems to be that reminder of this.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I think it's only fair to say that all of us have been jerks one time or another, to different people. But for some, it sometimes feels like it's a permanent condition (I know it's not but it just feels that way). Jerks are people filled with self importance. Jerks become jerks because the space they have for others in their lives is very tiny.
Jerks are very loud people. They leave an incessant ringing sound in you, of their voice, scratchy and pitchy.... in BM there's this word... terngiang-ngiang. You get a hearing impairment because their voice continue to ring way after they are out of your presence. The sound of their voice leave you cringing, and a bad aftertaste.
Jerks expect you to pity them because the world is supposed to evolve around them. Last I checked, our world evolved around something bigger, the sun. But no... jerks think we owe it to them. They feel that they deserve all our pity cos they are doing so much and therefore deserve our gratitude.
When jerks are in charge, they bring out the jerks in the people around them too! That's the saddest part. Cos in each of us, there is this jerk waiting to be released. And like it or not, it takes a jerk to bring out another jerk.
So, jerks... It makes you feel like jerking their heads.... you feel like putting them in front of a mirror. But nah! Jerks don't see their reflection.... futile effort. Cos if at all any reflection they see... it's of themselves, larger than life.
And I am probably being a jerk writing about this.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Blogging on the iPad is actually quite easy with Blogsy. It's not a free app. But at USD$2.99, what started of as a price-to-pay for a tryout has turned into something quite useful. BTW, one of the beauty of Apple apps is the price.... they don't make you dig deep into your pocket. And upgrades are free. So, I guess that's why many young people have no qualms about purchasing the apps.
My only complaint is whenever I click to use it on the first try after turning on my iPad, it will tell me that I am not connected to the Internet. Because of that, I cannot access my posts for editing. I expect the developers will look into that! So what I would do is to start a new post and save it as draft. Once that is done, I can view all my posts; scheduled and drafts.
I've actually begun to type out some of my posts on it and also done some editing. Verdict - it's easy enough cos the iPad is a true coffee-table companion, compact and comfortable to use, though I think some weight reduction will be great on the wrist. This app is worth a second look for those who blog. Blogging can take on a new dimension, one that entails greater mobility. After all free wi-fi spots abound in the Malaysia, unlike many parts of the world.
In Dec 2009 1kg of sugar was RM1.45. Robert Kuok exited the sugar business in Malaysia in Oct that same year. Entered Syed Bukhari as the new sugar king. In December 2010 sugar rose to RM2.10 per kg. In the span of 12 months sugar went up by 65 sen after it changed hands, cos the government said it was reducing subsidies.
But sugar isn't the only thing that has gone up. Everything is. Prices of butter will go up by 10-12% this coming May. Life is getting to be rather expensive even in Alor Setar. If you opt to buy just an egg or two from the sundry shop now, it costs up to 50 sen per egg. If you buy in tens, it's around 35-40 sen. And if you work really hard and search for good bargains, you might still be able to get a really big egg for around 36 sen. But you've got to know where to look for such eggs and you have to buy in bulk. Not everyone does that or is able to get friends to buy the same type of eggs. People in the 'can-afford-to-buy' bracket have way too many idiosyncrasies.
Prices of daily stuff is going up and up. Our ringgit may be strengthening but our purchasing power doesn't seem to be growing in tandem. Inflation is something that is very real for the man on the street. The funny thing is our economy is supposed to be doing well... but the more money we bring home don't seem to be bringing in very much more goodies for our families. We're working harder than before to bring in more dough... but more dough doesn't seem to give us more food, relatively speaking.
Weekend is the only time I go out for breakfast with my girl. A plate of fried mee/kwayteow, one small meat pau and one small bottle of soya (we share) cost approximately RM6. Used to be below RM5. It is costly to eat out now. Government and service taxes add on to the cost. It's cheaper to eat at the hawker stalls; more value for money.
Prices of things continue to rise.... and rise. Economy rice is also not that economy nowadays. Chak-fun with 3 choices ranges from RM4 - 5, depending on the type of dishes you take. It's worse at the Nasi Kandar shop. Nasi kandar is food for the rich now... which is just as well, I supposed since it brings with it all those rich man's health problems. One of the few good news is that RON95 is still stable at RM1.90 per litre, heavily subsidized. But that's one of those few places I see my taxes coming back to me. But we can never continue subsidizing.....
A bun from the cake shop is now no longer cheap. And it seems to be smaller. The cheap mee (pre-fried mee) that we used to buy from Jalan Putra and the market is now RM1.50; portions are smaller too. It used to be RM0.50 per packet and you could fill your stomach with it. If the prices remained, the size would shrink. Value for money is beginning to feel like distant dream.
Our strengthening ringgit....yup! No denial that electronic gadgets are getting cheaper. But those stuff don't feed the stomachs. The stuff that feeds our stomachs don't seem to be benefitting from the strengthening ringgit..... unless you are thinking of importing false eggs or melamine tainted products from China.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Lynas Rare Earth.. till this came around, I didn't even realize that a $100 million clean-up is ongoing in Bukit Merah for a rare earth plant closed down in 1992. If it's so good for us, why aren't all the first world countries clamouring to have their own plants? You only find such plants in Inner Mongolia!!! Anyway, if it's so safe, why not build it next to Putrajaya? Leaders walk their talk, show the people it is safe. Then we can build some more plants all over the country and Malaysia will be super rich from rare earth elements production. Now, how come other countries all so stupid?? And we're the only smart ones around.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
7 years ago, I started my own version of 'homeschooling' with my boy. Along with 2 other kids, and expanded by one more later on, the group remained together for 5 years. While they were in lower secondary, I would meet with them two nights a week, some nights would turn to 3-4 hour sessions. I taught them History, Geography, English... and whatever subjects that they might be having difficulty with, depending on each child. Each kid has his/her own unique strengths and weaknesses and each one posed a challenge of their own, and so I added my own twist here and there. 8)
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
My tomato plants were flowering a lot but very few fruits remained... mainly my fault cos I didn't ensure that the plants had places to creep on. With the strong winds and the extra hot days, some of them died. The wind broke some of their vines and the heat got to those who were too close the ground. But finally last weekend, we fixed up some places for them to creep on; and transferred in some of the other tomato plants from my other pot. Made of discarded pipes, Other Half built our own 'modular' fencing... LOL! Can dismantle and 'uproot' to any location we want.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I have this friend whom I always tease about always being stressed up over her kids for the slightest bit - that she'll 'si' for 'her gia' (die for her children). Parents love their children.... to a fault. And that's how we're made. So that babies (who are totally helpless) can survive. Parents will move mountains for their kids. This is one of God's truly awesome order in life...I guess in part also to mirror the relationship that we are supposed to have with Him... that God the Father loves us, His children. That He'll do anything to save us. That we need Him.... but I guess this part we tend to forget.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
This is the new novel for SPM English. And I am reading the Student's Edition. 8)
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
... has served as a reminder, of good times, events, food, books, rants, places, the cycles that perpetuate or repeat themselves... in my more reflective moments, it reminds me of this same with a little altered sequence that most of us seem to follow. From the birth of a life to the closing chapters of death, the events that dot my timeline; this blog has served as a reminder of sorts to me.