Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Come Rain or Come Shine

I didn't manage to take many photos in Ho Chi Minh City last week. It rained most of the time. Thanks God all of us were arranged to stay at Park Hyatt which is only 5 minutes walk from Sheraton Saigon where the meeting was held. I walked with other colleagues every morning - I must say, very struggled walk. Vietnamese drivers don't seem to pay much attention to traffic lights. These are some of the photos I have taken using my handphone.

Caption of photos shown: friendly salesgirl; the place where I bought the fridge magnet; and busy commuters without helmet on.

Monday, May 29, 2006


The Chinese characters are hieroglyphical. The earlier a stage at which they were found during the course of their evolution, the closer they would resemble the objects or concepts they represent. Take for example, the Chinese character "home/family". Doesn't it look like many people living under one big, stable roof?

Among all Chinese characters, I particularly like this character because it brings harmony & warmth, and it shoulders responsibility. Also, this character appeared, respectively, in my great-grandfather's (Kok Kah, translation: a Country) and step-grandfather's name (Kah Teck, translation: a man who is efficacious).

Monday Blue

Today is frustrating at work.

"Said also don't listen
Listen also don't understand
Not understand also don't ask
Ask also don't do
Do also do wrong
Wrong also don't admit
Admit also don't improvise
Improvise also not happy
Not happy also don't say"

Sigh ..... Is this called Life?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Lost in Encryption

I thoroughly enjoying Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. I have not yet got around to reading The Da Vinci Code - I do own it (bought it few months ago in Ho Chi Minh City), I just haven't got around to reading it yet. My guess is I probably the one & only in my country to own a pirated copy of The Da Vinci Code! Digital Fortress however caught my interest because it related directly to mathematics, algorithms, computers and network security. Dan Brown certainly does his homework w.r.t. computer security technology and he talks intelligently about encryption algorithms. The crux of this story revolves around a new encryption algorithm which, even with a relatively small numeric key, is almost completely unbreakable. I found the book fast-paced and engaging. I usually don't take many forays into the world of crime & thriller fiction, but if you like encryption and algorithms, I highly recommend this book.

One imperfection of this book: I wish Susan Fletcher is a more useful person in the book than just a flower vase. May be the book is meant to be of patriarchal content, but it doesn't make sense a country's National Security Agency would hire such a dumb head as head of crypto.

8-1-16-16-25 18-5-1-4-9-14-7!

Monday, May 22, 2006


Have a good week ahead! I'll be away for a few days, and promise will post some great photos of my trip when I come back.

The Art of Work

  • Be realiable (if you do your work well, you've nothing to worry about)
  • Be wary (you can never be too complacent - watch your back and always be ready to pull out the necessary defences)
  • Be confident (if you think you can, you can; and vice-versa)
  • Be happy (there is a proven, positive correlation between happy employees and productive performance).

Snowy Berlin

Favourite boots Euro$139

Favourite scarf AUD18

My happy smiling eyes - Priceless

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Candle-lit Lunch

Today is an interesting day filled with (1) smiles & (2) REAL laughters (really spiced up an usually-dull-Saturday)!

First, I managed to create many XML codes for my Portal Content Management workshop. I'm thinking of investing in the Stylus Studio software when I find time. (Speak of time, I am looking forward to my 5 days leave during the 1st week of June).

Second, I scheduled to meet a good friend for lunch today. Knowing it's Saturday, I've reserved parkings and table in advance. I didn't see my friend as I entered the cafe on time, instead was greeted by Grace Pow Yi, the owner. We chatted a bit and something interesting caught my eyes: a blue table with a red candle all lighted up in the middle of the table (I should take a photo!). We are all very familiar with the usual casual atmosphere of Blues Cafe, and can you imagine blue table cloth & red candle in the middle of the day ;-))))

I asked Pow Yi: That candle-lit lunch looks a bit too warm for a Saturday afternoon, don't you think? Who on earth would call for an over-decoration like such?

Pow Yi replied: THAT IS the table you've asked us to design for your lunch today, haven't you?

I was almost hyper-ventilated for five seconds.
Blue table cloth & red candle! My friend must be thinking I have been hexed by the goddess of madness!!

I asked Lito the waiter to remove the candle because I didn't want us to look like a pair of weird witch & wizard who were about to perform a ritual. For the first time in my life, I really could sense the real meaning of palpitation. Lunch was good, but honestly I've never been distracted by a blue table cloth as much as this before. Before I left the cafe, Pow Yi apologised. Mark the other waiter was confused when I told him I needed two big parkings right by the side of the cafe, and a specific good spot for table where I could have good aircon circulating.

Don't laugh. I know you guys are still laughing at me. Yes I should tone down my over-organised skill - it has failed me big time today. Nevertheless, it was fun, and I had a great laugh at myself when I recalled the incident a while ago. The above picture was meant for laugh, of course the table setting wasn't as elaborate as that! ;-)))))

Pancakeism p.20052006:Life doesn't have to be too serious all the time.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Albert Einstein, three rules of work:
1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2. From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

I noticed in every word of Einstein lied his passion for the measure of relativity eg. clutter vs simplicity, discord vs harmony.

Be Yourself

"Continue being yourself and the right people who treasure your character will come your way!"

Technology helps?

I like this message a friend e-mailed me this morning, a flaw of modern living:

"A woman wanted to reach her husband on his mobile phone but discovered that she was out of credit, She instructed her son to use his own phone to pass across an urgent message to his daddy who was on site.

After junior had called, he got back to mummy to inform her that there was a lady that picked up daddy's phone the three times he tried reaching dad on themobile.

Women!! She thought.

She waited impatiently for her husband to return from work and upon seeing him in the driveway, she rushed out and gave him a tight slap, for good measure. People from the neighborhood rushed around to find out what the cause of the commotion was. The woman asked junior to tell everybody what the Lady said to him when he called.

Junior said "The subscriber you have dialed is not available at present. Please Try Again Later"...

HaHa .....

Speak of phone technology, what do you think of this Nokia N80 (I d/l it from the page with users' report)? It is selling at BND1,118 currently - too steep to my taste.

Btw, Happy Birthday to Mama!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Princess Lulu

Mama is very busy these two weeks. She is too preoccupied with this Korean soap - Princess Lulu. But a lot of good things came out of dialogues of this soap. For example, Mama shared with me 2 meaningful quotes from the show:

1). Your value depends on what you do. A director post can be given to you, but a "good" director depends on your performance.

2). You have to face the reality. Cover your head with your right palm will only temporarily shield you from rain drops, but you have to think ahead of action plans for heavy rain.

Baby Chloe

In February, my younger cousin Sarah delivered her first baby. This is baby Chloe! HaHa ... excuse the grumpy face, she is currently still at the camera-"angst" stage.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Jiji My Hamster

Jiji is overweight! May be I should stop feeding him cornflakes and wholemeal biscuits haha ...

Red Eyed Pea & Queen Latifah

My brother's hamsters: Red Eyed Pea (left) & Queen Latifah (right).

Happy Mothers' Day

Yesterday was a special day. It was special not because it was Mothers' Day, nor it was because Mothers' Day coincided with my cousin Linda's wedding.

It was special because my brother Dato_k has said something very meaningful, and I believe should be the greatest gift to our Mama.

We went out for dinner with Dato_k's in law family to celebrate HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY. Weird, I noticed sales attendants even greeted men with "Sir, Happy Mothers' Day". Am I losing touch with this world, or it is the trend to greet men Happy Mothers' day and to women Happy Fathers' day. If they really cared so much about this event, at least they should make the effort to spell check (see picture), it should read: Happy Mothers' Day!

Anyway, above story is not the focus of what I am going to say today.

I believe yesterday Dato_k has ordered food for a continent of people, not for 12 persons. We didn't manage to finish all food on the table. Before Dato_k settled the bill, he said to me: Che, we need Woofhams Che here to help with the food. Two of us couldn't finish as much food as we did during the Lunar Year's Eve reunion dinner at Empire Buffet. We are A TEAM, it has to be all THREE OF US then we could conquer this food battle better than other tables.

I listened, I smiled and I told our Mama of what Dato_k has just said. I believe this is the most beautiful gift to our Mama. No matter how different in character and thinkings of her three children, we want her to know: we are her great children, and we are A GREAT TEAM!

As old Chinese proverb goes: you can snap a pair of chopsticks, but you can't snap a bunch of chopsticks easily. You can't snap especially these three chopsticks joined forces!!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My Teacher, My Friend

Mrs Lim, my first Economics teacher, has always a good mentor to me.

This morning, she wrote these words in her e-mail which I would like to share with my sister, my brother and friends. They are meaningful words.

Sometimes we do need some encouraging words to remind ourselves that we are in fact MUCH MUCH BETTER than many people in this world.

We do not have the following problems to worry about :-

1. poverty

2. war

3. famine, drought or flood

4. natural disasters

5. health related issues

Our so called 'problems' are really quite trivial in life. We are depressed when :-

1. people backstab us

2. we do not have delicious food

3. children misbehave

4. we do not have time to go overseas

5. we are overloaded with work

6. we can't sleep or not enough sleep

7. we do not see eye to eye with someone

8. we do not have something nice to wear for certain occasion

9. people misundertood us................................ the list goes on and is endless.

Of course we can't help being sad or depressed because we are human and no one is perfect. But we should remind ourselves how lucky we are and try not to be depressed too often because of whatever that has happened. Being depressed will not alter things..........................................

Why not smile and face the facts and take it as lessons in life.

Inspiring words from Mrs Lim.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Exclusive for Women

I was arranged by the host university to stay at FrauenHotel when I was in Berlin two months ago. It's a hotel exclusive for women guests only, and all their employees are women too.

Berlin has a few hotels like such. Inside the hotel, all rooms look very pleasant. I was given the largest room in the hotel (again, Thanks the host agency) and I love the orange, yellow & red colour design in the room. Given the time, I would love to re-design my room this way. I was also impressed by the two toffees they placed on my pillow when I checked in. No, I didn't eat them, I am not a sweets-craz woman. HaHa .....

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What make(s) you happy?

At this moment, I believe the thought of drinking coffee while listening to Corinne Baily Rae's jazz cd with a flea-less dog by my side is most soothing.

Good Luck Charm

The 20th century American charm bracelet features a variety of lucky charms in a bright mix of brass, copper, sterling silver and gold-plated metal.

The bracelet (see picture) is typical of the kind of jewellery worn by adolescent girls in the 1950s and 1960s, collected charm by charm while travelling through the flea markets, jewellery stores and yard sales of the heartland. There are usually 13 charms on it, demonstating the use of "unlucky" 13 as reversed bad luck. Clockwise from the top, they are:

a silver heart engraved with initials: love for the named individual
a brass heart pierced by an arrow: smitten romantic love
a silver horseshoe: attraction or "drawing" luck
a gold wishbone set with a pearl: wishes come true
a silver horseshoe on which is placed a wishbone, a four-leaf clover, a horseshoe and the words "Good Luck": good luck
a gold and green enamelled four-leaf clover: luck
a silver money bag with a $ sign: wealth
a copper horseshoe on which is placed a four-leaf clover: good luck
a brass heart padlock: faithful love
a silver spread of playing cards: gambling luck
a gold double horseshoe set with an artificial diamond: money luck
a brass money bag marked 1000: wealth
a silver horseshoe: attraction or "drawing" luck

Quote from:

Unsure it's lucky or unlucky having to lug such a chunky bracelet on your wrist, HaHa (",)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Idol Fever

Please don't mistake me for a big fan of either American, Australian, Malaysian or Singapore idols.

I just happened to spot Daniel Ong from last week's Urban paper, and wondering whether the idol programme hires same stylist for their Asia franchise counterparts (see pictures).

Co-host of Singapore Idol (Daniel Ong):
Co-host of Malaysian Idol (Kui Jien):

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I was reading my sister's weblog this afternoon, and agreed with her on two issues. First, we can be good but we cannot be too-obliging. Too-obliging would be seen as too-easily-be-bullied. I like to see myself more of a confident, competent, efficient and optimistic person. My life philosoph(ies) are: I don't want to be a doormat, I don't want to be a parrot, I don't want to be a cold-blanket, I don't want to be a sour grape & I definitely don't want to be a flower vase (as if I am qualified (",), well beauty is in the eyes of beholder)!

Second, actors should be versatile in their acting. This is why I could never endure sitting 120 minutes to watch any of Tom Cruise's MI movies. He is always the hero, and all girls are flower vases - worse is flower vase that blew up a Lamborghini!

I wish there is a version of MI:3 that doesn't has Tom Cruise in it. I am sure there are other Hollywood actors who could carry the role of Ethan Hunt better than an idiot who jumped up and down on Oprah's couch.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Keeping The Faith

Tagline of the movie "Keeping The Faith": If you have to believe in something, you might as well believe in love.

"I love my parents

I love my siblings
I love my good friends
(a-hem) I love my work
I love the feeling of I am being loved in return"

So Pancake-y!

This caricature is so me! So Pancake-y!

My Hamster

I've decided to name my hamster "Jiji". Initially, his name was "Harry Potter". If you may recall, my brother thinks he is more "Hagrid" than "Harry Potter". In the past 4 weeks, I found my hamster looked stupid every time I called him "Hagrid". Somehow, "Hagrid" reminds me of haggard (the name is too stressful). After watching the animation film "Kiki's Delivery Service", I've decided to name my hamster "Jiji".

I've taken some photos of Jiji yesterday, but they all turned out too dark because I took them using my Nokia7610 (probably it's high time to invest in a new handphone!?). I'll try post Jiji's photo here around Mothers' Day.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Cherish The Children Foundation

On Saturday, my brother and I were having a light conversation involving Aussie celebrities that we knew. Of course, the list started with Lleyton Hewitt and followed by Heath Ledger, Guy Pearce, Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue, Poppy Montegory, etc. BUT, we couldn't recall the name of the tennis player who retired about 5 years ago. We recalled he is tall, tanned, looking great (especially when he used to tie up his shoulder length hair in a messy ponytail during his younger days). My brother added this tennis player's 1st name is rather "normal" (meaning not as creative as Keith, Keegan, etc.). It took me 6 hours to recall in fact it's Pat Rafter - the Sunshine Coast boy, the tennis star from Queensland.

I found out only this morning that Pat Rafter donated his earnings from the Australian Open in 1999 to help disadvantaged children in Australia. With the help of his sister Louise and mother Jocelyn, the "Cherish The Children" Foundation has a great support group.

I like particularly his speech during the Australian Of the Year Award 2002 (here the snippets):
This is an unbelievable honour. World rankings and winning Grand Slams have been important to me, but I consider being named as Australian of the Year to be the high point of my life so far.

Thank you to all my brothers and sisters, I'll never forget the sacrifices that you guys made for me. Mum and Dad, I have tried to live by the values you taught me. And now I strongly believe that the values you gain from our families are also the values that shape Australia itself. For example Mum taught me that it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you compete and conduct yourself.

Dad, you taught me to give it my best, and if I lost, to accept it, and to be nice about it. Believe me that came in handy on more than a few occasions. Acting like a spoilt brat doesn't turn a loss into a win.

I mention those teachings because they are based around true Australian family values and when you extend those values beyond the family they become qualities that underpin all that's good in Australia.

We are the lucky ones and I'm proud to be an Australian.

Thank you Australia
Patrick Rafter


Yesterday, I picked an animation film with the title "Kiki's Delivery Service". The story starts with Kiki eagers to leave home - wonder why?? Under the shining full moon, people gather to send Kiki off. Kiki is a 13 years-old witch-in-training. According to witch's tradition, she has to leave her home to spend a year alone in a new town to establish herself as a full witch. Kissing her mom and dad good-bye, Kiki sets herself on her mother's broom with her father's transistor radio and her closest companion, Jiji the black cat, at her side. And she flies off - to a new town, to a new adventure, and to a new life. She settles down at a beautiful seaside city of Korico where Kiki sets up a flying delivery service, to take advantage of the only magic she knows - flying a broom!

In fact, I found out from this animation film why Kirsten Dunst is nicked "Kiki". She is the voice over for "Kiki".

Just the other day, I dreamt I was looking at NY City from above (as if I was flying on a cloud). May be I was a witch in my past life?!