Anatomy of a birthday present

•June 22, 2008 • 4 Comments

Man has landed on the moon. Man has conquered Everest, K2 and various other apexes all around the world. And yet there is one thing that Man constantly grapples with – WRAPPING GIFTS! AAARGH!

This is what i needed to wrap. . . . . . I took it out of the tin can, and put it in a square box. . . . . . .

This white paper just makes the box contents feel more . . . . . . er . . . . . . . full? Then when all the paper is in, we close up the box. . . . . . .

So once that is done, the black wrapping comes on. Gosh you have no idea how difficult it is to measure the little edges so they don overlap when they are folded over each other. This time, i used glue instead of scotch tape. . . .

Gosh it actually looks like a box! I am so proud of myself. Now comes something new. A wrapper and ribbon! (DRUM ROLL). . . . . . .

Can you actually believe that i made this? =) had some guidance, but well most of it is me! Hehe. Trade secret. Hahahahahaha. I wonder if its reproducible. But for real effect. . . . . . .

You need to hide it in some place out of view……….. And have it presented in a way that is totally unexpected. . . . . . . . I asked the waiter to bring it out on a dessert platter after dinner. He he. . . . . .

Check out the expression on her face. . . . . i guess the glue did not dry (Note to self: wait for glue to dry. . . ) wrapping paper. . .RM5. Ribbon paper with hearts . . .RM5. . . . . . black paper . . . .RM3. Snapshot of your girlfriend unwrapping your present with the glue getting on her fingers. . . .PRICELESS!!!!!!

Its really tough to wrap, it took so much time, and i had to do it again and again, but at the end of the day,

I can really say it was worth it. Happy birthday dear. =) Part 2.8 . . . . .

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DIM SUM @ the SPOON!

•June 22, 2008 • 7 Comments

Hey everyone. Not been blogging for a bit.

But anyway, was sorting through some pictures, and well decided that i should post some pictures from my recent trip to Kay-Elle.

The pictures were taken at a dimsum place down by KL Central. Parking was ample on a sunday morning, and the place was pretty close to DUMC (well me not being the driver. . . i thought it was close).

The place was pretty empty when we got there – we probably got there post/pre peak time. Anyway here is a sampling of some of the food we had. We had more stuff than what is shown here, but I let my hunger and verocity get the better of me. Ha ha.

Porridge. . . . .excellent stuff. I can’t remember now if it was the century egg kind or the salted fish kind. Perhaps a little from column A and column B? =)

I don know what the stuff on top of the picture on the left is – probably some exotic asian toping –  like abalone or scallop or abalope and scalone. . . . .

But the food that really took the biscuit was the hedgehog red bean buns. . . . .so cute you’d wanna bring them home and raise them as your own . . .

Nevertheless, I gave them a good home in the end!

Ha ha ha!

All in all, the service was good (maybe too good?) everyone was like hovering around our table. I got the feeling it was because i whipped out my camera and started taking pictures of the food and premise. Earlier on, Jade had brought a couple of bloggers (yes, she does PR for bloggers!). They recognized her, and when they saw me with a camera, they assumed that the pictures and reviwes would make it to someone’s page. Well, they did eventually. Hahahahaha.

Well thats it! officially got my lazy *ss blogging again.

My pain my salvation

•April 22, 2008 • 2 Comments

pain
noun.

  1. a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder; “the patient developed severe pain and distension”
  2. 2. emotional distress; a fundamental feeling that people try to avoid; “the pain of loneliness” [ant: pleasance]
  3. 3. a somatic sensation of acute discomfort; “as the intensity increased the sensation changed from tickle to pain” Suffering or distress.
  4. pains Great care or effort: take pains with one’s work

Picture the following scenario: you are on your way home from dinner one night, and suddenly as you transit home you feel a stabbing pain in your chest. The pain keeps building up and you finally collapse by the street, unable even to slump into a decent seated position. You are later awakened by a piercing pain between your rib cage. You awake and are surprised to see a man stick a knife in you, and then leave you in your own pool of blood. This causes u to pass out immediately once more. You awake once again, and this time u are able to sit up, but find that apart from the sting from the gash in your torso, you find your money is gone. Seems like you have just been robbed.

However, supposed the man was a doctor, and the alleyway was more like the corridor of a dimly lit emergency room. The man who stuck the knife in you was a doctor, removing a tumor or a blood clot in your chest cavity. After the surgery you fall once again under the influence of the anesthesia. You awake once more ‘healed’ and the doctor also takes your money – as surgery fees!

One same sensation and disturbingly similar ending – ergo your money in someone else’s hands – yet with immensely different results. One involves an artisan who weaves his stainless steel instrument in between tendon, flesh and bone to remove a harmful tumor. The other a petty thug who would stick his own grandmother for the bus fare across town.

My point is simple tonight. Pain, as implied in the underlined definition above, is merely a symptom. The same symptom that would quickly suggest that you draw your hand back from a hot oven lest it cause more severe and crippling burns. Just like drawing our hands away from intense heat, emotional trouble and pain also signal that something is not right within us; and that something needs changing before further more grievous damage occurs.

Yet our discrediting of pain has led many of us to all out avoid any form of inconvenience or pain. And ironically, this numbing and avoiding of certain pains hide from our vision the need to deal with tumors and wounds in our lives.

So we should always remember that we are given pain because we need to discover what it is that is not right. Is something wrong in your relationships? Are you not living in the right path? This pain is not forever, and normally our decision to handle it can determine whether the momentary suffering under our Divine Surgeon’s skilled hands placate the need for amputation or further suffering.

I have learnt early on then to embrace the painful situations momentarily – long enough to ask myself the deep probing questions, to discover why I am hurting. Nothing new lah guys. All been taught to us before:

James 1:2-4

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

So not that i am into the whole whip and wax thing, but the end result of enduring the right kind of pain is completion, maturity, and promise of growth and a strengthened heart and mind.

Good night everyone.

Frisbee anyone?

•April 19, 2008 • 4 Comments

Fris•bee [friz-bee]
Trademark. A brand of plastic concave disk, used for various catching games by sailing it between two or more players and thrown by making it spin as it is released with a flick of the wrist.[Origin: trademark resp. of frisbie, from the Frisbie Pie Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut; throwable metal pie tins such as those produced by the company are alleged to have been the inspiration for the plastic disk]

Who the heck plays sports at 4pm? Apparently i do.
Last Sunday I joined some of the Youth at my church in a game of Frisbee – Ultimate Frisbee (The ultimate makes it sound not so hippie)! Ultimate Frisbee rules are pretty straight forward: its like American football (which actually is not so straight forward), where you basically have to pass the Frisbee from one end of a field to a scoring end-zone over in your opponent’s side. Another rule in Ultimate is that you cannot run once you have the Frisbee in hand. The most you can do is pivot around on one foot. Finally, what could be the least fun part – but in a way the most appealing part of the sport (so girls can play, which in turn will get more guys to play) is that it is a non-contact sport. Sigh . . . .and I was so looking forward to get the wind knocked out of me mid-flight. . . . .

Anyway, so u basically understand this unique game, the rest of this blog is just plain and simple pictures! =) With some narration and needless lame comments stuck in here and there. . . .ENJOY!!!!!

So this is the start – its a good thing we learn fast . . . . . .

And here we go . . .  the first throw . . . . .

all eyes on the flying disc. . . .mesmerizing!

And with such high levels of concentration, even a contact sport ends up with a fair bit of contact. Enchanced here for your viewing pleasure. . . hahahahaha.

And then more pictures of collisions. . . . .

Luckily, we look out for each other. . . . . .

And that makes all the difference! =)

But hey, as long as everyone has fun. . . . .

Good night everyone!

The O’hare story

•April 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

sig•nif•i•cance [sig-nif-i-kuhns] –noun
1. importance; consequence.
2. the quality of being significant or having a meaning.

I don’t know about you, but I have been asked many times, by the devout, the carnal and the average Joe /Joanne the same question: “what do you want in life?” Imeediately images of fancy houses, fancy cars, fancy women (hmmm perhaps i have said too much) flash past my eyes. It is indeed a tough question to answer. The funny thing is we want to answer this question in such a way that we show that we are ambitious, yet at the same time oh not so greedy.

As I was pondering the drive we all innately have to find significance, I chanced upon a story I heard long ago about the O’Hare airport in Chicago. The following story tells of the significane of a singular life in repentance, and the Divine redemption of a family name.

Millions pass through the terminals of the O’hare airport – one of the busiest airports in the world. But few know the history and the significance of the name O’hare. Here is the story as penned in wikipedia:

“Edward Henry Butch O’Hare was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Edward Joseph O’Hare and Selma O’Hare. Butch had two sisters, Patricia and Marilyn. When their parents divorced in 1927, Butch and his sisters stayed with their mother Selma in St. Louis while their father Edward moved to Chicago. Butch’s father had been a lawyer who had been working closely with Al Capone before turning against him and helping convict Al Capone for tax evasion.[3]Butch O’Hare graduated from the Western Military Academy (WMA) in 1932, and the following year went on to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. Graduated and appointed an Ensign from 3 June 1937, he served two years on board the battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40), before reporting for flight training. In 1939 he started flight training at NAS Pensacola in Florida, learning the basics on Naval Aircraft Factory N3N-1 “Yellow Peril” and Stearman NS-1 biplane trainers, later on the advanced trainer SNJ. On the nimble Boeing F4B-4A he trained in aerobatics as well as aerial gunnery. He also flew the SBU Corsair and the TBD Devastator.[4]In November 1939, his father was shot, most likely by Al Capone’s gunmen. During Capone’s tax evasion trial in 1931 and 1932, O’Hare’s father provided incriminating evidence which helped finally put Capone away. There is speculation that this was done to ensure that Butch got into Annapolis, or to set a good example. Whatever the motivation, the elder O’Hare was shot down in his car, a week before Capone was released from incarceration.Lt. Commander Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare (13 March 1914 – 26 November 1943) was a naval aviator of the United States Navy who on 20 February 1942 became the U.S. Navy’s first flying ace and Medal of Honor recipient in World War II.


Why would a man go head to head against the most ruthless and destructive crime lord of all time? It was a sure thing that turning against Al Capone would be suicidal. And to top it all of, Butch’s father was making all the money in the world.

And yet my dear friends something in him was not at peace, and he must have looked into his infant son’s eyes, and dreamt of two futures: one, where he will be known forever as the son of a crook and be himself labeled as a mere scoundrel; and another where he will live on to carry the name O’hare to a better and more honorable place. With his sacrifice, he would be able to redeem his life and perhaps even his family’s life.

Significance: The greatest mystery of the human spirit is that it defies mathematics. The value of a cleared name and the value of redemption have no relevance in the realm of dollars, cents. We are all innately created to have a drive to find meaning in our lives. A drive to see that somehow our miniscule efforts will one day win us a place in the great eternal hall, where mere mortals bound in flawed history are thrusted into the perfected presence of greatness and heroics, where His Glory ever shines and age and rust cannot ravage.

I am Jared, and I want my life to be significant. I hope yours will be too. I believe if we all do our part in His plan, we will find significance, but true significance can only be measured by the Hand of the Almighty, in the annals of Eternity.

Good night.

Link to the O’hare story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_J._O’Hare

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_O’Hare

Canton surprise!

•April 6, 2008 • 8 Comments

Over the weekend jiunnli and i were wandering around Sunway pyramid – trying to answer a very typical Malaysian problem: Where to eat dinner. When i was over in the US, decisions like these were pretty simple. Seeing as how transport was something i had to do without, and most of my eateries were within walking distance – my hunger pangs were often satiated by one of the following choices: Macdonalds, Brand X pizza, Burger King or Maybe even Taco Bell. GASP. . . if you even call those choices!

Anyway, deviations aside, we came to this little spot on the 2nd floor ( i think) right above the skating ring.
Jiunnli and i had eaten at the Indian place next to it. And well because we were hungry – we went in – with no recommendation whatsoever! GASP 2X!

Here’s what the sign looks like. . . . .

So far so good, tables were nicely spread, and hired help hovered all over the place. The waiter showed us to our table, and waited behind my seat – in case his presence may make me less inclined to order more food. . . . (go figure). Creepy breathing aside. . . .we were ok. The price seemed right and of course we were hungry. So we went ahead and ordered – Tilapia deep fried in thai sauce, Khai Lan with oyster sauce and scallops steamed with garlic. for our dessert we tried their honeydew melon and sago. Dessert however is always eaten together with the meal – i mean who waits for dessert nowadays anyway? =) Oh yeah! i also ordered hot and sour soup – but the waiter goofed and forgot to bring it out. I only realised at the end of the meal – at which point i was bloated. Lucky for u waiter-man!

The food came pretty fast – and had good presentation. My seat was actually facing the tilapia aquarium – and i saw them scoop out one of the fishies right after our waiter went away with our order. He went to a better place; of that i am sure (the fish , not the waiter.)

The scallops came in these flattened SHELL logo er – shells. . . I wonder if they wash and reuse them? I bet you they do. . . .

scallops steamed with garlic. . . .on artificial shells?

Here is our fish, with its majestic ‘caught in mid air as it breaks the water face’ stance. Did they actually deep fry this fella whilst he was posied this way? Mystery. . . .

The fish was jsut superb, with a glistening texture and cooked jsut right – the flesh slightly seared but not burned out, and the fishy smell not apparent. this by far was the signature dish at our table.

The khailan (genetically altered to be identical – each and every stalk) was good as well, without the over-powering taste of oyster sauce, yet good enough to mask the slightly annoying after taste inherent in all khailan.
I’m glad i ordered the bowl of melon sago. awesomeness! and though normally something i would write off as a sissy dessert, i shamelessly gulped down a huge part of this bowl. Sorry jiunnli for almost not sharing. =)
So all in all we were plesantly pleased at the meal, and the price was good to boot. Next time in Sunway, i will defintely try this place out again.
Defintely better than the fiasco we had at Madam Kwan’s. . . . . gosh RM13 for Char Koay Teow. . . that dog won’t hunt!!!!
Incidentally, my engineering instincts which would not let me enjoy a meal without even doing a little research, googled up canton bay (who knows, their wantons may be hand made in hong kong at some wanton sweat shop), and found another site with the review. Seems like they have another branch in Indonesia. And the review was done pretty long ago. So well if anyone knows of any other canton bays. . . .

Anyway, this is the first in a series of food reviews. Yes, since my other bloggy buddies are so high on reviews, i decide to succumb to peer pressure and follow suite with my own host of silly willy reviews. So there! I compromised!

The end? (probably not. . .)

Good night!

I did not have my umbrella today.

•February 27, 2008 • 6 Comments

um·brel·la      [uhm-brel-uh]
1.
                [noun] a light, small, portable, usually circular cover for protection from rain or sun, consisting of a fabric held on a collapsible frame of thin ribs radiating from the top of a carrying stick or handle.
2.
                [adjective] having the quality or function of covering or applying simultaneously to a number of similar items, elements, or groups  

Today a friend approached me with a dilemma he was facing, and a difficult decision he had to make. Another friend was also bringing up a decision he had made, but was wondering whether he had made the correct decision, or whether or not his decision would bear fruit. Over dinner we discussed possibilities and outcomes, and tried to gauge the best course of action.

Dinner btw, was at KAYU nasi kandar. A first time for me – I have never had dinner – or any meal for that matter – at KAYU before. So yeah, its good like everyone says, and it is also expensive. Anyway, at the end of all our discussion, we upped and walked out to our cars, when we realized that apparently we had failed to take heed of the torrential downpour that was going on outside. 

I did not have my umbrella. 

Which brings me to my point: MAN is a foolish creature. We walk around so sure of the control we have over the world around us – when even some falling water droplets could tear all our plans asunder.  

I told my friend earlier at some point in the conversation that  whatever the situation would turn out to be, I wanted to know that in every situation, God had my back. I wanted to know that He would be there with me. I have recalled times when I took stupid paths – not due to disobedience –  which ended up okay in the end. And also other times when I took paths which seemed to me like the surest road, and still ended up one buck short. Why? I don’t know, but one thing I do know. God can turn bad decisions / a bad past / a bad situation good.

Conversely, trudging it out pompously on our own can also make even the simplest of decisions; the surest of roads turn out disastrous. So logically, having the confidence in Him through a righteous walk is the path I want to take. Cause that way, whatever I do, I know my life is in His hands. I have the assurance that whatever befalls me, He has allowed it, He is in control, I have His favor, and in the end, it will all work out for the good of ‘those who love Him’. 

The rain falls on both the good and the evil. The classic parable in the Bible speaks of two houses – one built on sand and one built on the rock. The houses are generic – and so are the weather conditions they face. The rain and storm will come. Whether or not the rain will fall is not an issue. It will. And it is not the houses who decide the outcome, but rather the foundation they are built upon.  

Matthew 7:24″Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 

Again, sometimes I live as if I never knew rain was going to fall one day. Ironically today was such a day. Sometimes we are indoors, sometimes we are outside. And having our umbrella determines whether or not we are soaked. Please do note that the umbrella itself does not stop the rain, but it does serve to keep us dry for the most part. And just like keeping our communion with God, we also can keep our umbrellas with us. Should we decide to constantly ‘walk’ without our umbrellas in the outdoors, a soaking is inevitable. 

So what did I learn today? I learned that in reality, I know nothing of the future and have no control over my environment. What I do have control over is my reaction and the simple decision of turning to and walking close to the One who does have control. So as for me I will make it my business to walk obediently and live right. Far from this state I agree, but at least it’s a start. 

I hope this means something to you. 

Good night.