How To Waste A Perfectly Good Saturday - Part II

Saturday, August 23, 2008

By posting a really silly entry on your blog.

Taken off a thread from the parenting forum of which I am like a stubborn stain you can't remove, it asks (and answers) the perennial question:

Why did the chicken cross the road?

For some of the replies, it's funnier if one is Singaporean or Malaysian or at least familiar with the local politics or current affairs of both countries.

Without further ado,


The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE
The chicken wanted CHANGE!

My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other
side of the road.

When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross
the road.
This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure -- right from Day
One! -- that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves
to cross the road.
But then, this really isn't about me.......

We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road.
We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not.
The chicken is either against us, or for us.
There is no middle ground here.

I did not cross the road with THAT chicken.
What is your definition of chicken?

I invented the chicken!

Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but
will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check
Internet Explorer is an integral part of the Chicken.
This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C%
......... reboot.

We have to be fair to all chickens.
Some want to cross over the road, some do not. ........ Zzzzzz
......zzzzzz .......
Now what were we talking about?
Ah yes, chickens.
We will form a Royal Commission to decide whether it is right for them
to cross the road.

Now even the non-bumi chickens want to cross the road?
How can they disrespect and disregard the bumi chickens?
We must be allowed to cross over first. It is our right!

We have enough chickens waiting to cross over in September.

All foreign chickens are welcome in Malaysia but they must not cross
over the road within 50km of the border.

I am telling u that the highly paid chicken should cross the road first.
It is our right to cross the road.

Gantry points have been set up.
All chickens wanting to cross the road are advised to top up their cash
cards first.

I am sorry that the chicken was allowed to cross the road.
Lets move on.


The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 9:11 am

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How To Waste A Perfectly Good Saturday.

By waiting for the I-don't-think-he's-ever-coming-seeing-how-he's-already-three-hours-late resident repairman to come re-attach your curtain railing that so unceremoniously obeyed the law of gravity yesterday afternoon.

On the brighter side of things, Hubs is, as I speak, enjoying the soccer finals of Argentina vs Nigeria at the Bird's Nest Stadium. Last Saturday, he was at the Track & Field Finals and had a good seat just above the photographers and cameramen. Perfect vantage point for witnessing Jamaica's Usain Bolt into a new men's 100m sprint record.

We are eating out this evening. We don't know where yet but I'm looking forward to it.

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 8:04 am

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Henny Penny, The Sky Is Falling!

So not quite the sky but a curtain railing comes close to it.

Imagine my shock when Sonny-boy and I were seated at lunch and the entire curtain railing in the dining area collapsed. There was hardly any noise as most of the fall was absorbed by the drapes. This made the situation even more surreal as I witnessed it in real time.

Needless to say I was seeing-stars-and-every-single-colour-of-the-rainbow angry. This is the latest episode of Things That Can Go Wrong And Will drama regarding this apartment. What makes it even more aggravating is the apartment in question is a brand new unit in a luxury compound. Everything which has the ability to fall off, chip off, leak, break, flood has already done so. Thank goodness it's leased by the company and not our own.

Kudos to The Girlfriend and Hubs for patiently listening to me go berserk. In one of her attempts to mollify me, The Girlfriend pointed out that after all things considered, the apartment is able to withstand an earthquake and my temper. The earthquake being the recent Sichuan disaster and my temper, well, I am known to slam doors when provoked. I have since slammed a door or two here and miraculously, the door remains intact save for the little mound of fallen plaster just below the door post after each outburst.


Sonny-boy had a case of the giggles as he listened to Mum break out in a tirade over the phone with Dad on the receiving end. Rants like "things only look good but the quality is rubbish", "they build so fast blah blah blah ... the workmanship is rubbish" "What next? The ceiling?!!!!" "Hell! This property is a joint venture between Capitaland and a local company! Where is the Singaporean standard of quality control?!"

This went on for a couple of minutes. Nine years of marriage has taught Hubs to just sit out my wrath as one would a typhoon or hurricane. And like a storm, it played itself out and I was calm again. Or as calm as anyone can be given the circumstances.

Later in the afternoon, Sonny-boy who, like all other kids, have sponges for brains, posed me a question:

"Mummy, if all the buildings here are built so fast and only look good but break down, does that mean the Bird's Nest will collapse, too?"

Good God, I hope not.

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Fun And The Games

Friday, August 15, 2008

Do we know how to party or what?

According to this article, we do.

And later this evening, our family will join in the fun too!

Hup, Holland!

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 4:57 am

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Not Your Average Granny Square Top

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This crochet top, well, I'm especially proud of because I designed it myself. I didn't design the granny square per se, that I took from a magazine. With that, I worked out the motif arrangement, joining stitches and detailing for the neck, hem and drawstring sleeves. I think it turned out rather pretty, even for a first time attempt.

Just for the curious, it took ninety of them squares to make up the top. I wanted to pull my hair out at square number 50 but curiosity to see if my design would work kept me going. That and the latest season of The Unit on DVD.

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 5:10 am

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Radish Kimchi With Tofu

I'm in a kimchi phase at the moment so it's likely there will be more kimchi entries peppering this blog. These pickled vegetables are so versatile and yummy. And - short of sounding like an ad (wo)man - are bursting with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients, too.

There are all sorts of kimchi, the most common being the cabbage variety. However, if you're talking about crunch factor, nothing beats radish kimchi. The smaller ones can be served whole while the larger tubers sliced, diced or whatever takes your fancy. For this entry, I cut them into half inch cubes and arranged them over chilled silken tofu. It is then served with steamed rice or eaten alone as a side or appetizer.

Makkelijk en lekker!*

* Easy and delicious!

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 3:52 am

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A Truly 'Gorges' Cruise

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our weekend Yangtze River cruise was completely spur of the moment. Hubs sent me an email telling me to go check out a certain cruise site; that many ships were calling my name. The site in question was Victoria Cruises and the ship that beckoned fervently was the Victoria Empress.

We ran the idea by Brother-in-law #2 who was visiting. He liked it so I made the cruise and flight bookings. Our four day three night downstream adventure would begin from Chongqing and end in Yichang, both cities being just two and a half hours away by plane from Beijing.

Chongqing was huge, congested and very, very humid. As a matter of fact, the humidity enveloped us throughout the cruise like a big damp blanket.


Thingamajig that transported passengers from dock to vessel.

The ship was spacious but not so big that one feels lost. There were under two hundred passengers on board so after a day or two, everyone kind of knew everyone else, at least by sight. We were put into groups of ten for meals and excursions. Our group comprised of two other couples from America and another from the UK.

The standard twin bedded cabins were clean and tastefully decorated. Each came with its own bathroom and viewing balcony:

This was our first cruise ever and I must say it was thoroughly enjoyable. There were excursions to Fengdu, the Three Gorges Dam, ferry and sampan rides on the Lesser Gorges. And while on deck, there were talks and lectures on various topics ranging from Three Gorges Dam project, Chinese Medicine, Basic Mandarin 101, Kite Flying to Mahjong. There was even a class on Vegetable carving!

Spoils of vegetable carving

I took my crocheting along and had some down time at the bar with a cup of Eight Treasures Tea, so named because of the eight ingredients found in the infusion. I could only make out the following: red date, wolf berry, white fungus, crysanthamum and sesame seed. The other three I wasn't so sure and as with most Chinese food and beverages, ignorance is bliss. It tasted good and that was all that mattered.

Eight Treasures Tea - don't ask, just enjoy

The Three Gorges did not disappoint. The scenery was breathtaking and made all the more special because some of the sights will be submerged in October. Come next year, all that we've seen will be completely underwater when the Three Gorges Dam project is complete. The other point of interest was the Hanging Coffins. I saw a documentary on the subject on Discovery so it was a treat to see it in real life, albeit from far away.

We took ALOT of photographs but here are some of them. I also have some of Fengdu where we visited the Ghost City but I think it deserves its own entry. Enjoy these for the moment!

Footnote: This is what a shiplock is all about.

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 6:05 am

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An Apple A Day...

Monday, August 11, 2008

I am now typing this from my spanking new, white Apple MacBook.

My old 'puter died and while Hubs is a genius, he is not a miracle worker. Dead is dead.

This is my first ever laptop and truth be told, I'm pleased as punch. I'm still finding my way around the Mac operating system but so far, so good.

Not ones to do anything halfway, we also bought the extras. Items like the clear case cover, screen and keyboard protectors and the Mighty Mouse ( I hate fiddling on the laptop mousepad!). Hubs also threw in the ipod Nano, something that I've been eyeing but never got round to.

The best thing about the MacBook is it's portability.  I can bring it into the kitchen and refer to my recipes online instead of dealing with pieces of loose paper. Super!


The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 8:17 am

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Close Call

Monday, August 04, 2008

I was just telling The Girlfriend how over the weekend, Hubs has been playing the doctor and me, the nervous patient over my computer.

Sometime Saturday morning, while Sonny-boy was playing his Need For Speed game, the 'puter and not the racing cars crashed and flatlined. Sonny-boy yelped for Dad and after a thorough examination which was more of an autopsy given the situation, the diagnosis was gloomy. The hard drive had crashed, something-something file was corrupt and all information stored... well, I should just kiss them goodbye. Now it was my turn to go into cardiac arrest and flatline.

My documents! My photos! My recipes! My photos! My craft inventory lists! My photos!


I beseeched the Hubby to save my photos. I think I may have said something along the lines of "I don't care for the other stuff, just save the photos!!! " The photos in question were holiday and special occasion snaps taken over the previous year, ones not copied onto a disk yet. My memories.


There is a happy ending.

Hubs did manage to coax the damn machine back to life whereupon he made a backup of all the files. I am so relieved. Hubs is a genius. Hubs is also away on business most of this week so it will be the weekend before my computer is up and running properly again.

With no access to my photos, I'm in blogging purgatory. No matter, it was better than the hell I was in over the weekend thinking all was lost.

Did I already mention Hubs was a genius?


The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 3:23 pm

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