Sunday, August 20, 2006

For ChiaYee


For you the world - your oyster

But for you girl - the torch

So bear it with pride

And hold it with your passion

Venture forth and make your mark

For yourself and for humanity*


Go boldly

Leave your footsteps in the sands

But tread lightly now

That you shall walk far

Lest you stir the antagonists

And manipulators of your willingness

To put your shoulder to the plough


Be not afraid, girl

To explore your dreams

To the ends of the rainbow

Let the passions be nurtured

And blossom

Be steadfast in your convictions

Though there may be times

You may have to take the road less traveled

And let go of the shackles of tradition


We who nurtured you from the cradle

Reluctantly, hesitantly

Have to let go

The strings that bind us forever


For you girl,


The sky is the limit 



*in the words of Pro-chancellor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Lin See-Yan -18 August, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Something for your health...

I was waiting patiently for the mechanic to replace some parts on my car when the old foreman motioned to me into his office.  He pulled out a slanted wooden contraption from under his desk and asked me to stand on it.  I almost toppled over.  I couldn't bend my feet and ankles to match that 45° angle even if my life depended on it.  I got off as quickly as I got on.  He laughed and showed me how he could do it.  Wow!  And he's more than 60, a grand-dad, works like a horse and goes fishing weekends.  Now, that's being healthy!!

He told me he learned about this contraption from a Taiwanese friend.  It's supposed to help loosen the tendons behind the legs and strengthen those muscles and the spine and at the same time improves blood circulation, or something like that.... I wasn't paying too much attention anyway as he rambled on.  I was figuring out where I could lay my hands on some planks and make one unit myself.  And I did just that when I got home later.  If one old grand-dad could do it, I could do it too.

I built mine with slightly less incline with the intention of adding on more height to increase the incline to the standard 45° later when I can handle the easier slope. 

That was more than a month ago.  Now I can stand on it and read the papers comfortably for 15 minutes without wincing.  And I can also get up from a squatting position without having to straighten slowly for fear of breaking my backbones.  That's no play-play guys, that's something good for your health.  Wanna try?

For those who can read chinese, here's the manual

Meanwhile, there's also a word of caution for those who are pregnant in these instructions

Friday, August 11, 2006

Just to keep the peace

There were those years before we started to practice this annual ceremony during this month (seventh month of the Chinese Luna calendar).  We had for several years, an annual affair when the management had to deal with mass hysteria within the factory premises around this time of the year, during the 2nd or 3rd shift.  Night guards also told of seeing strange looking figures and were afraid of going on their rounds alone. 


One night while the managers and executives were attending a farewell dinner for a colleague at Penang’s E&O Hotel, they were rudely interrupted by a phone call to inform that there was another upheaval at the plant.  The plant manager and several executives had to cut short the dinner and rush back to the factory. 


That was when a production manager suggested holding this annual ceremony to “appease” the wandering spirits that are allegedly creating mischief among the operators. 

Most Chinese owned companies practice this annual ceremony.  The only difference is, local owned factories have these annual affairs paid for by the management.  Ours being a multinational, I guess we can’t put this into the budget.  So they passed the hat around. 


Eventually it became an official affair whereby a “Lor-Chu” (keeper of the urn) or chairman, and a committee is elected each year to organize the preparations and ceremony for the next year.


Well the first ceremony was started more than 12 years ago.  Until today, we haven’t lost even a minute of production time due to ‘unnatural’ occurrences.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Hey! What's going on..

On the way home yesterday I took out my 'point-&-shooter' while passing by the 'rice bowl' of north Seberang Perai.  They were harvesting padi and creating some smoke signals.  I'd always loved the golden yellow colour of the rice-fields at this time of the year.  Never really got the chance to stop and take a really good shot.  Well, I've always considered stopping on the highway just to take a picture can be very dangerous.  I'd rather try taking 'running shots' like this one...

Then when I got home I smelt something coming from the kitchen which took all the stress of work from my mind.  It was yummy Mee Jawa for dinner.  I made myself a huge one with plenty of juices from 2 limes added in...

Much later, we retired to bed. While wifey and I were having some light conversation before heading for zzzz-land, I heard some scratching noises in the roof.  I thought nothing of it after listening for some more noises and hearing none.  Suddenly there was a loud crash from above.  We both jumped.  I went out to investigate.  Switched on the lights, got my ladder, torchlight and looked into the ceiling.  Came down again and got my camera.  Didn't want to miss this... But too bad, can't get much from the half dozen shots I took.  It was really dark in there.  I just realised there's another meaning to the expression "shooting in the dark."  All I got was these 2 headlamps glaring back at me.  After adjusting the lighting and contrast a little I got this....

It was a baby Musang.  It had sprung my mouse trap because there was a biscuit in it.  Fangyee, who was sleeping by herself in the next room said she nearly jumped out of her skin.  She kept her eyes closed, covered herself under the blanket until she heard us coming out and switching on the lights.

And I was wondering why there were no noises of mice scampering around in the roof the last few weeks.

And then this morning at the market, we came across this strange looking pineapple with 6 crowns!!!: