April 28, 2007

I've Been Technorati-ed

Paris tagged me for the link-boosting thingy which is supposed to increase your ranking or something. Apparently it works really well, especially for money-making blogs. Since mine is not (honestly, I would LOVE to, but I'm too vain to fill my site with ads. Dammit), hey, like Paris said, it's all in the name of good karma, huh? ;)

Okay, here we go. LOTSA sites to fave *phew*.


Here are the Rules:

1) Write a short introduction paragraph about what how you found the list and include a link to the blog that referred you to the list.

2) COPY the Rules and ENTIRE list below and post it to your blog. To avoid duplicate content and increase the amount of keywords your site can accessible for, go ahead and change the title of the blog. Just don’t change the links of the blog.

3) Take “My New Faves” and move them into the “The Original Faves” list.

4) Add 5 Blogs that you’ve just added to your Technorati Favorites to the “My New Faves” section. Remember to also add the “Fave Me” link next to your new blogs (i.e. http://technorati.com/faves?sub=addfavbtn&add=http://www.yourfavesdomain.com)

5) Add Everyone on this list to your Technorati Favorites List by clicking on “Fave the Site.” Those who want good kharma will fave you back. If not, you will for sure get the benefits of faves from the bloggers who continue this list after you.

My New Faves:

Blogsreview.Net - Fave the site

PabloPabla's Whatever - Fave the site

(Sorry, I could only do three. And man, I had to sieve through my bookmarks for this. The rest of the bloggers whom I know do not use Technorati. But hey, do feel free to take this for your own.)

The Original Faves:

Giddy Tiger - Fave the site

Oh! For the love of me - Fave the site

Live Life, organics and your health - Fave the site

Pink Elle - Fave the site

Paris Beaverbanks - Fave the Site

Tigerfish - Fave the Site

Wennnn - Fave the Site

SiwwyPig - Fave the Site

angel - Fave the Site

Cool Insider - Fave the Site

Simple America - Fave the Site

Chen - Fave the Site

Captain Picard - Fave the Site

East Coast Life - Fave the Site

Culture Shiok! - Fave the Site

Pond Perspective - Fave the Site

Carlo Ocab - Fave the Site

Fruity Oaty - Fave the Site

Nice4Rice Free Backlinks - Fave the Site

Work at Home, Make Money Online - Fave the Site

Web 2.0, Tech Reviews - Fave the Site

Wireless LAN Security - Fave the Site

Bobs [ReformatThis] - Fave the Site

Everyday Weekender - Fave the Site

Armen’s Blog - Fave the Site

Gary Lee - Fave the Site

Dosh Dosh - Fave the Site

Nate Whitehill - Fave the Site

Ms. Danielle - Fave the Site

Jeff Kee - Fave the Site

Scribble on the Wall - Fave the Site

Jimi Morrisons Head - Fave the Site

Jon Lee - Fave the Site

Samanathon - Fave the Site

Eat Drink & Be Merry - Fave the Site

The Man of Silver - Fave the Site

Hannes Johnson - Fave the Site

My Dandelion Patch - Fave the Site

Nathan Drach - Fave the Site

SiteLogic - Fave the Site

Julies Journal - Fave the Site

Stephen Fung - Fave the Site

Ed Lau - Fave the Site

QMusings - Fave the Site


April 27, 2007

Good Long Weekend

An hour to go, and my long weekend begins! Four days of unadulterated bliss ... sleep, sleep, sleep. I don't know why, but this week has been really long and exhausting for me. Every morning was a struggle for me; I couldn't get up without feeling even more tired. Must be due to the lack of exercise, which made me so sluggish and lethargic during the day, which lasted to the night.

So what's up for the weekend for you? I reckon a lot of ya will be taking the opportunity to balik kampung, go on a holiday, and perhaps be like me, stay at home and sleep the days away (mmmm). I'd be absolutely unproductive and lazy, but hey, I earned it ;) Gonna start my next DVD marathon too - Grey's Anatomy Third Season, here I come! Do I dare indulge in a facial too? I DO!! :p

Anyhoos, wherever y'all are going, be safe, and don't do anything I wouldn't do. For those who unfortunately do not have the long weekend off, well, don't be too jealous of us who do. Tee hee hee.

Have a good weekend, folks.

April 26, 2007

Math Will Be The Death Of Me

Yesterday my colleagues and I attempted something which we haven't touched in ages. We tried our hand in what I'd call Form-Five level Mathematics. There was an article on the BBC, on the differences between the entrance exams for UK universities and Chinese universities, and being the *ahem* engineers that we were, we thought we'd give it a go.

Math Question - UK

Math Question - China

What a difference in the questions, eh? And the sad part was, we bloody engineers, could not even answer the first question! (okay, the second one was a bit of a doozy lah, which I'm sure y'all would agree) I reckon it's because it's been such a long time since we've tackled such questions (we definitely do not use this kind of Math at work), but still, it shouldn't even be such a difficult task, should it? A colleague of mine suggested bringing her Additional Mathematics text book (which was used in Form Four and Five) to the office to look up on a possible solution!

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine was given some past-year Math exam questions (1st year engineering Math) by his friend who was still studying. His friend needed some help with the questions, and thought his engineer friends might be able to help him out. My friend brought up the questions, and it took FOUR engineers to tackle the questions on a whiteboard. And I don't think we actually solved any of them. Did I mention they were supposedly rather simple integration and differentiation questions?

Sigh. Humbling moments indeed.

Still, it's sad, isn't it? And what's even sadder is that UK universities are now mocked for setting such a low standard for their entrance exams, compared to the Chinese. Does that mean us UK graduates actually fare worse than the Chinese graduates?

Anyhoos, there's a prize of 500 pounds if you can solve the questions and enter the contest or something. I'd give anything to be back in Form Five now :p

April 24, 2007

Blog Template Wonky on IE

Update: Finally managed to get the torn-paper background working on IE. Hope it continues to work on other browsers too.

I was just checking out my blog statistics, and realised that most of my readers use Internet Explorer as their web browser.

Browser stats

I designed my template in order to work on as many browsers as possible. Before I added the torn-paper look on the background, the template was tested on Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera, and it looked fine on three browsers. However, when I added the torn-paper look, it disappeared on IE.

On Firefox

Internet Explorer

A question - do y'all actually see the torn-paper background, as shown above? Or do you only see a white background? Apparently it only works on Firefox (at the moment; I have yet to test it out on Opera and other browsers). Something's wrong with my CSS, I'm sure of it, but I have no idea how to fix it. I only use Firefox, thus I didn't see this problem until much later. Obviously I can't force everyone to use Firefox (which I honestly think y'all should; it's a lot more stable than IE, that's for sure), so I have to get this fixed on IE as well.

Any ideas? Any assistance is much appreciated. Also, if you use other browsers, it'd be great if you could just let me know if any part of the layout's not working. Thanks!

April 23, 2007

Tax Returns? Check!

Finally gotten my tax returns sorted out today. Yep, my money's going into the "send Malaysians to space to make teh tarik for the Russians" fund. Well, if not, then I'm sure it's going to some hare-brained scheme's the government's coming up with. Anyways, at least that's done and over with. Went to two banks and the post office to get my stuff sorted out. Don't have to do so much banking stuff for at least a few months. Yay :)

So, oh citizens of Boleh-land, remember to file your tax returns before the end of April now. Don't leave it to the last minute like yours truly. And rest assured that our beloved government will put your hard-earned money to very good use.

April 22, 2007

Shoppin' Sunday

Queensbay Mall is NOT a good place for me. Well, not good for my wallet, that is. Everytime I'm there, I always end up buying something. I went there with the SOLE intention to buy a few greeting cards (Borders is the only place that sells Hallmark cards, for some reason. And they are friggin' EXPENSIVE!) but ended up with 3 bags-ful of stuff. Yay goes my credit card for some use, big ouch to my bank account. Doesn't help that there are sales everywhere. Sigh.

Oh yeah, something to gripe about. Why is it that salespeople automatically assume you can speak in Mandarin, 'cos that's the first language that comes out of their mouth everytime they serve us Chinese customers. And when I reply in English, they give me this "oh poor you, you can't speak Chinese" look, whilst serving me in broken English. Yeah I know. I'm a "banana". Whatever. Anyway, last I heard, English is still the universal spoken language. Gah! *roll eyes*

Anyhoos ... yeah, that's my weekend, which is almost over. Finally unpacked my boxes, up to two left. At least my room looks semi-decent now.

Hope y'all had a good weekend. Work begins tomorrow, which ... okay, I don't even wanna get started on that. Gotta enjoy what's left of my Sunday, no?

PS: Oh, and by the way, have y'all tried Origin's Peace of Mind On-the-spot relief (RM44)? I saw it on Bee's blog, thought I'd try it out. It's fantastic. Great for headaches.

April 20, 2007

Shoot The Crank Callers!

Reading this, this and this reminded me of the stupid crank calls I used to receive (still am receiving, although by different idiotic callers). I don't understand the so-called 'fun' these people derive out of crank calls; they're annoying and quite frankly a huge pain in the ass if the calls are frequent.

I remembered my first crank caller. I was about 10 years old, and I had a phone extension in my room (at that age, most of the calls coming in to the house were mine; dad reckoned it would be easier to just extend the phone line to my room so that they do not have to pick up the calls). I would receive calls from the same person either in the afternoon, or at night. He sounded rather old to me, and he would always say the same phrases in Hokkien - "I wanna f**k you", whilst breathing heavily. At that time, I was pretty freaked out. My Hokkien wasn't good enough to fully understand what he meant, so I had a friend answer once. When she told me what the caller meant, I was really scared. For a few months, I didn't dare answer the phone, and when I did, I kept quiet, until the other party said "hello". I had a whistle by the phone; if he were to call again, I'd blow hard at it. He never did call again, but that was one scary experience.

A more recent annoying call was to my mobile phone about a year ago. I had an extra Maxis number which I bought just for fun, since the starter pack was really cheap. Thus, no one knew that phone number except for me. I normally wouldn't answer calls which came to that number, but there was one particular caller who kept calling, so I reckoned I'd tell the person he'd gotten the wrong number. He spoke in Malay (sorry folks, no translations to English for today).

Caller: Eh boleh saya cakap dengan XXX? (he was really rude from the getgo, which pissed me off)

Me: Sorry, nombor salah (yeah, I know. I speak rubbish Malay)

Caller: HA? APA? I mau cakap dengan XXX!!

Me: Encik, nombor SALAH.

Caller: Ini siapa ni??

Me: *sigh* Nombor salah lah. You mau cakap dengan siapa?

Caller: XXX LAH!

Me: Saya sudah cakap tadi. You nombor salah!

Caller: Ini siapa ni?? Ha? Siapa??

At this point, I got really annoyed, and hung up. I mean, hello? I told you so many times that you've gotten the wrong number, and you kept asking me who I was, and you had the cheek to raise your voice at me?! The caller rang the number again, many times too. After about 6 times, I thought I'd answer the call once more. This time, it was a different man on the other line, but it was from the same number.

Me: Hello?

Caller: Ini siapa ni? Ha?

Me: (really pissed off, and couldn't speak in Malay anymore as my command in the language gets poorer when angry) Look, I've told you many times, you've gotten the wrong number.

Caller: Ya I know.

Me: (WTF?!) Huh?? What? I said you've gotten the wrong number.

Caller: Ya I know. Who's this? Siapa ni?

I hung up. Didn't even know why I bothered to answer the phone in the first place. That was OBVIOUSLY a crank caller, and not simply a mistaken call. The phone rang again, for about 3 more times. This time, I didn't bother answering his calls anymore. To my surprise, a text message came in.

"Who's this? Ha? Cannot answer the call is it? Answer me, you b***h!"

That's it. I saw red, and replied his message.

"Go to hell. Stop calling."

No more messages came in, but the phone kept ringing. It was the same caller. I switched the phone off for a week. The caller never called again.

Have you had any bad experiences with crank callers? What did you do? Next time I face this again, methinks I'll use the whistle on the crank caller. GAH! *shake fists in the air*

April 19, 2007

I Cain't Say No

A song to share today is from the musical Oklahoma! by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The lyrics are pretty funny (very Southern, so you kinda have to listen to it properly), but please ladies, this does NOT apply to us! I just thought it was a funny song to share, that's all. We CAN say no.

But just for now, let's all tie on our bonnets, be all prissy and proper, and pretend we're Southern belles now, shall we? ;)

Southern belle

I Cain't Say No

It ain't so much a question of not knowing what to do.
I knowed whut's right and wrong since I been ten.
I heared a lot of stories and I reckon they are true
About how girls're put upon by men.
I know I mustn't fall into the pit,
But when I'm with a feller, I fergit!

I'm jist a girl who cain't say no,
I'm in a turrible fix I always say "come on, le's go"
Jist when I orta say nix!
When a person tries to kiss a girl,
I know she orta give his face a smack.
But as soon as someone kisses me,
I somehow, sorta, wanta kiss him back!
I'm jist a fool when lights are low
I cain't be prissy and quaint
I ain't the type that can faint
How c'n I be whut I ain't?
I cain't say no!

Whut you goin' to do when a feller gits flirty, and starts to talk purty?
Whut you goin' to do?
S'posin' 'at he says 'at yer lips're like cherries, er roses, er berries?
Whut you goin' to do?
S'posin' 'at he says 'at you're sweeter 'n cream,
And he's gotta have cream er die?
Whut you goin' to do when he talks that way,
Spit in his eye?

I'm jist a girl who cain't say no,
Cain't seem to say it at all
I hate to disserpoint a beau
When he is payin' a call!
Fer a while I ack refined and cool,
A settin on the velveteen setee
Nen I think of thet ol' golden rule,
And do fer him what he would do fer me!
I cain't resist a Romeo
In a sombrero and chaps
Soon as I sit on their laps
Somethin' inside of me snaps
I cain't say no!

Click here to listen.

PS: Drop me an email if you'd like to sample the album.

April 18, 2007

Japan: Ueno

In Japan, one of my favourite hangout spots is Ueno. It's about an hour 45-minute ride by local train from Takasaki.

A short wiki about Ueno:

Ueno (上野) is a district in Tokyo's Taitō Ward, best known as the home of Ueno Station and Ueno Park. Ueno is also home to some of Tokyo's finest cultural sites, including the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, and the National Science Museum, as well as a major public concert hall.
On the day before I left for Narita Airport, I spent a night at Ueno. I'd prefer to stay at Ueno, rather than leave directly for Narita town, as Ueno's a lot more interesting than Narita (Narita's pretty much a dead town, if not for its airport). The kiamsiap person in me limits my travels to Ueno to local trains, rather than shinkansen. It costs me 1890yen to travel one-way from Takasaki to Tokyo on a local train, and 4010yen on a shinkansen. You do the math ;)

Local train

The local trains are pretty wide; this is to accommodate the growing number of people hopping on as the trains head to Tokyo. Empty seats are scarce as you reach Tokyo. A lot of people prefer to stand by the doors. I managed to snap an almost-empty train, as Takasaki was the train's first stop.

Ueno eki

Ueno eki (station) is a very big station, as it accommodates almost every JR East line. Plus it's also a shinkansen station, so you can imagine the number of people who goes in and out of the station every day. Of course, it's nothing compared to Shinjuku eki; 2 million people go in and out of that station every day!

Outside Ueno eki

Outside Ueno eki - 100yen shop

Ueno Park's a lovely place to hang out during spring and autumn, when it isn't too warm. Sakura has already bloomed when I was there, and it was a lovely sight to behold. Unfortunately, the park was packed with people who were having their hanami (cherry-blossom viewing party) there. I love it that the Japanese are really clean; they make sure that all the trash is disposed properly, leaving the park looking the way it did before. Unfortunately, us Malaysians do not practise the same sense of hygiene and cleanliness when it comes to picnicking at the beaches (anyways, will leave that to another time; today's about Japan).

Ueno Koen 1

Ueno Koen 2

Ueno Koen 3

Ueno Koen 4

Ueno Koen 5

Most of the sakura which bloomed were white, which was okay. It was a pity I did not managed to snap any photos of pink sakura; those are a lot prettier.

Elderly artist

The elderly folks love hanging out at Ueno Park. You'll see a lot of elderly artists along the staircase to the park. I wanted to have my portrait sketched, but I did not have enough time.

Tako Balls
Ahh tako balls :p

Towards the station
View from the park, towards the station

Another part of Ueno which is really buzzin' is Ameyoko. I wasn't able to take a photo of the place as it was far too crowded. It's a great place to buy fresh seafood (the prices slash like crazy as the day draws to an end), food, and cheap sportswear (you can get a decent pair of Nikes or Adidas for about 2000 ~ 5000 yen).

This marks my final post about my trip to Japan. I do hope I get to return to the land of the rising sun one day (not on a long-term training trip, of course, but a couple of weeks would do just fine). For those who are planning a trip to Japan, try the spring or autumn seasons (I strongly discourage visiting Japan during summer as it is far too hot for you to enjoy much). And try the onsen! :)

April 17, 2007


My dear friends,

Thanks for the kind and supportive words. I originally intended to close comments off my last post, as I thought it rather personal, which no one would comment on. I forgot to turn the comments off, and to my surprise, all your kind words of encouragement started pouring in, which really touched me. Thank you.


I'm at a crossroads right now, which is putting me in quite a dilemma. I'm pretty keen on a particular diploma course, where I can finally learn something to my interest, but I'm not sure if I should go for it.

First of all, it's quite expensive for a 6-months course, and pretty intensive too. I shall have to leave for classes immediately after work (it's a 30-minute drive to town on light traffic), and will be back quite late. This, of course, means that I won't be able to see Tim online until I'm home, which would be almost midnight for him, given the time difference. Also, this would affect the wedding planning, since I won't have much time for it other than the weekends (this one's a toughie). I'm already complaining about how little I get to see him, and this would seriously cut down our time together.

On the other hand, it's something that I'd love to learn, and picking up a new skill would be great, in case I can't manage to find an engineering job in Australia next year. You see my dilemma here?

Sigh. It's quite a big decision to make, given that I cannot take the course lightly in case I do commit to it (it's pretty expensive). Am praying about it; hopefully will reach a decision soon.

Will keep y'all updated about this.

April 16, 2007

I Miss You

I've been feeling under the weather lately. I need a break. Break from work, break from friends, break from family.

It's forty more days before I see Tim again. I'm missing him so much; now I know the extend of the effort couples put in to make a long-distanced relationship to work. I really thank God for the technology which we have in order to stay in close touch with each other, being able to see each other every night via the webcam, emails, very cheap phone calls over VOIP, and text messages. I really salute couples of yore who were far apart from each other but managed to keep their relationship alive only with letters. I don't think I'd be able to have the strength to pull through.

I Miss You

I miss you today
More than I usually do
I’m not sure why today is so different
I just really miss you
Your laugh
Your thoughts
Everything about you
Your scent
Your touch
I miss you so much
I’m at a crossroad in my life
I need your guidance
Your advice
I need you to tell me
It will be all right
I’m uncertain about tomorrow
In my heart
I feel great sorrow
How I wish
That I may borrow
Just one more day
With you

Okay I didn't write that (I'm obviously no poet), but they are my sentiments.

Did I mention I need a break?

April 13, 2007

Gonna Be One Packin' Weekend

The weekend's almost here. Well, it'll be here for me in 10 minutes. Counting down now. Hehe.

Not much going on for me for the weekend. Gonna mostly stay home and do a LOT of unpacking. The six remaining unpacked boxes sitting my in my room are driving me up the wall. My room ain't that big; imagine waking up at 6 every morning, walking to your door in the dark, and end up stubbing your big toe on the boxes (ouch!). Plus the mess irritates me; I can't stand having my floorspace taken up unnecessarily. I'm starting to feel a tad claustrophobic in my room. o_0

Hoping to do a bit of shopping on Sunday. Need to buy storage boxes, cases just to store the extra stuff from Japan. Why can't we have an IKEA here in Penang? At least I'll be able to get nice storage boxes which doesn't look like a kid just crayoned all over his papier-mâchéd chest (the box, not the human part) or something.

White Box

Brown Box

I reckon the next time I head to IKEA in KL, I'm getting myself a nice chest (again, the box, not extra bosoms, although goodness knows I could use more of those). Gonna put it at the foot of the bed, with the plaid throw I bought from Scotland over it. Aww ... nice :)


Wooden Chest

Well ... it's going to be a weekend of unpacking and spring-cleaning for me. Hope yours is more interesting.

Happy TGIF and Friday the 13th, people.

April 12, 2007

Scott Barnes Chic Palette

Guess what came in the mail yesterday?

StrawberryNET package
Ooh ... nice purple ribbon

I bought something from the makeup and cosmetic online store, StrawberryNET which the ladies were hyping about. Thought I'd try it out, 'cos the prices of the items on sale are pretty good, and with free shipping, it's definitely tempting.

Yep, it's the Scott Barnes Chic Palette which Paris was talking about. I'm a big fan of blusher, although Mum's pretty against the idea of me wearing rouge on my face to work every day. She said that her dermatologist advised her against such frequent wear of rouge, as it would aggravate the freckles on the face. Since I too have a tendency of developing freckles (I am fiercely protecting my face with sunscreen), I really tried to not use blusher on my face, but I can't help it. I like that fake glow it gives me when I go to work every morning, or else I'd look all washed-out and tired.

StrawberryNET gift-wrapped
Not bad eh? It comes gift-wrapped too

Anyways, back to the Chic Palette. I reckoned I'd try it out, since Paris was advocating it (hehe). It was on sale anyway; I thought I'd give it a go. I bought it for RM62, which wasn't too bad for three colours. Plus the package is pretty sleek. I don't really like the fact that there's no clasp/catch for the lid to close tightly, but then again, I don't reckon I'd be bringing it around much, given that it's quite big.

Scott Barnes Chic Palette

I have yet to try out all the colours; I tried the medium pink to work this morning, and I found the colour quite pretty (I have a thing for pink). You don't have to use much for the colour to show, which is good. I do not like blushers which you need to use a lot of colour just for it to show on your skin (it's not just a waste, but too much on the face isn't good for the skin). So far, I'm a-liking this one. I look forward to trying the rest of the colours out this weekend ;)

Do check it out if you're a blusher girl like me. I definitely have no regrets with this product, that's for sure.

April 11, 2007

Chivalry Is Dead, Methinks

Was totally swamped with work for the past couple of days. Meetings to attend, reports to write, people to get pissed off at.

My seven boxes from Japan finally arrived. My colleagues were shocked at the amount of stuff I sent home. Well, those seven boxes were my life in Japan. Of course must take back lah!

Bringing the boxes home was a pain in the ass though. First of all, the courier people were rude, and very unhelpful. The boxes arrived at the office, instead of my house, even though I specifically requested that they be sent to my house. I even had to carry the boxes to my car by myself! In a bloody skirt!

I asked the person to help put the boxes into the boot of the car for me, as I carried some of the boxes and put it in. You know what he did? He carried the boxes, and put it right next to my feet when he could have just put it into the boot!! And when I asked the security guards at the guardhouse to give me a hand, they just stood there, WATCHED me struggle with the boxes, and never bothered to help me out at all. Chivalry is dead, people. Plus, when I was home (yeah, I managed to squeeze seven big boxes into my Waja)I , carrying seven boxes up three flights of stairs ain't a piece of pie either. I'm now stuck with achy arms, and possibly an almost-strained back. Gah!

I really need this now.


Aaaaahhhh ...

April 10, 2007

Blogger Theme Tips for New Bloggers

I've been getting very positive comments about my blog lately, about my writing and the template. I just want to take this opportunity to thank all you folks out there, for taking the time to visit my blog, and read my incessant rantings. And to my loyal readers, hey, I wouldn't have lasted long here if not for you (I'm a very 'hangat hangat tahi ayam' sorta person). So thanks :)

I thought I'd give something back to the folks out there who visited my site, especially to the new bloggers who just came on the blogging scene. First of all, WELCOME! It's never to late to jump on the blogging bandwagon, and it's not only a great way to stay in touch with your friends (by telling them about your current going-ons), but to make new friends too. I certainly did.

When I first started blogging, I was asked to choose a template for the blog to be built upon. I picked a template which I thought was quite nice, quite unusual, and then about 6 months along the road, I realised that so many bloggers had the same template as I did! That got me thinking, okaaaayy, it's time I get something which is different from the rest, so that I could say that, hey, that's my site. It's like back in school, where everyone had brown-covered exercise books, and I had mine wrapped in pretty wrapping paper so that I could recognise my books in a jiffy :P

First template
My first template (provided by Blogger)

So, today, I'm a-gonna talk about themes which you can use for your blog. Obviously I shall be touching only on the Blogger platform, for I know no other. If you're on Wordpress or Movable Type, do share your tips here, or better yet, blog about it! I'm sure us newbies would love to read about it. Bear in mind that when I first started out with HTML, it was on Microsoft Frontpage. So in retrospect, my HTML knowledge's pretty rubbish :P

Second Template
My second template (after minor tweaking)

A great place to look out for ideas for weblog designs would be Weblog Design Studios. They are blog designers, who charge a fee for blog design, but do check out their design portfolio. I took a lot of ideas from the sites which they have designed. Unfortunately, I have yet to design my blog up to THAT level (my CSS knowledge is still barely there, but I'm still learning), but I reckon I'm pretty satisfied with my template just now. Anyways, it's all a learning process for me, so whenever I have time to myself, I'll tweak my site just to try things out.

Sometimes I'd find a particular feature which I like in a site, and I'd want to incorporate that feature into my site (e.g. the click-to-view sidebar). Of course, being a CSS/HTML idiot, I wouldn't be able to pull it off without first having to read up on how it's done, etc etc. A good way to learn would be to take a sneak peek at the page source (in Firefox, right-click on the page, and select View Page Source. In IE, click View on the menu bar, and select Source). Search for the feature you like, and study it. Try it out on your site, maybe tweak it a little to suit your tastes. Voila! Instant coolness.

Instead of using the usual fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, Tahoma for your header and sidebar, you might want to try out the fancypants fonts available freely on the Internet. A word of caution though - these fonts are not easily recognisable; this is especially so on computers who either do not already have the particular font installed in the PC (this is still a gray area for me, as I'm not sure if the fonts could still be read on a webpage if not priorly installed. Any ideas?), or computers which have special-character OS installed (e.g. Japanese OS). A suggestion for you to still keep these fonts would be to make them into picture files instead. This can be easily done on Adobe Photoshop or even Paint. That way, you'll be able to keep the fonts, and also maybe add a lovely picture to the words too.

I've been blogging for close to two years now, and I started off with a pretty sucky template. Okok, I thought it was pretty cool at that time, but after a while, I just wanted a clean, white background (pictures stand out more in a white or black background), so I chose Blogger's Minima template instead. Blogger does have rather sucky templates, but if you like to be able to have something to tweak with, to add your own stuff, their Minima template (white or black) is a pretty easy platform for you to work on. There are plenty of websites out there which offer free templates for Blogger, so you don't have to settle with Blogger's sucky ones. These are a few I'd recommend:
The new Blogger (the beta which is ... err ... no longer beta) offers layout customisation, which I frankly find a tad annoying. It does not give me as much flexibility as I need, compared to the raw CSS file which the old Blogger provided. You can always revert to the classic template in the Templates settings. You lose some of the features which the new Blogger provided, but I reckon that shouldn't be too big of a problem, as you can always code the extras in later.

There ya go. Just a few tips to get you started. But don't fully take my word for it though; explore the CSS file, go wild and experiment. Aftaer all, I'm very new too, and I'm always trying to break my design as much as I can so that I can find areas for improvement (believe me, there are PLENTY).

I'm currently also trying out something new; I may do an overhaul of the design altogether. My design is VERY simple compared to the gorgeous blogs you find out there on the Internet. At the end of the day, like I said, it's all just a learning process. It'd take a bit of time and effort, but the final result would be a whole lot more satisfying 'cos YOU did it.

Good luck!

April 09, 2007

Think Pink

A word of warning, this is one PINK post.

I've been having cravings for baby pink things lately. Well, it wasn't that recently; more like a year ago, when I bought my first baby pink top from Hard Rock Cafe, Yokohama. After that, all hell broke loose; I have a pink mobilephone case (well, half-pink, half blue; I couldn't get a nice solid pink case), pink bed linen, pink bags, etc. I'm like, okay, what the heck's going on here? I craved for black and more black (with an occasional bit of red) when I was in my teens, but pink when I'm way past 25? You see the problem here?

Anyhoos, it's not just the small stuff. I recently saw the Sony T10 and T100 digital cameras on sale at Narita Airport, in pink, and I tell you, it took A LOT of willpower to leave the shop (I was there for over 30 minutes, just LOOKING at the camera).

Sony T10 and T100

When I saw the pink Sony Vaio, I absolutely fell in love with it (actually, with laptops, I'd go for either a pink or better yet, a white one, hence the Macbook). Oh boy. It's girly, it's so pretty, I likey.

Pink Sony Vaio
Pretty, so pretty

My Acer
How mine pales in comparison :(

Look at how sterile my notebook is. Sigh. Oh well, it does the job, so it'll do. Why couldn't they have sold Sony or Mac laptops cheaper when I was looking for a notebook a couple of years ago?

Acer Laptop Bag

Man, Acer provides the UGLIEST notebook bags. I mean, yeah, it's a Targus, so it's sturdy, yadah yadah yadah, but wait till you see these babies available on the Internet.

Black and Pink Notebook Bag

Another Fancypants Notebook Bag

Chanel-like Notebook Bag

My favourite's the last one. Very Chanel, no? ;)

I reckon I'm the only crazy one here wanting 'em all in pink :P How do you carry yours? A nice fancy laptop bag, or a sucky Targus like mine? Chances are, it's the latter. Join the club, people.

I shall now return to gazing at all these pinkness.

April 08, 2007

Happy Easter


Happy Easter, folks. And a good Sunday to all.

April 07, 2007

sweetcontemplation.com Is Now Ready!

I finally did it. Bought my own domain from Godaddy.com, with the help of a few blogger-pals.


I paid extra for private registration to keep my contact details private. It's not much extra; I figured the extra security's worth my money.

I'm actually still hosting this blog on Blogger, rather than having my own host. Since I'm new at this, it would be better if I take it one step at a time. Gonna play around with Wordpress a little more, before I finally get myself a proper webhost. This means I'm still at the mercy of Blogger *gulp*. Anyhoos, like I said, it won't be long before I move on, so I'll just enjoy this for now.

So, people, do update your bookmarks to:

Even if you type the original Blogspot address, Blogger will still redirect you to the new one, which is good.

Many thanks to Kamigoroshi and Paris, for all your help and tolerance to my many green questions :P Really appreciate you guys.

April 06, 2007

Random Ramblings Of The Day

Yay, it's Friday once again. So looking forward to the weekend to just relax and unwind.


Wedding stuff have been driving me up the wall for the past couple of days. Thank God I've calmed down. Bloody technicalities :(


It's been so freakin' hot this week. It's like a bloody sauna outside. Plus, somebody had the brilliant idea of turning up the temperature of the air-conditioner at the office. What gives?!


I'm feeling all bloaty and fat and ugly, and it's not even that time of the month. I need a hug :(


All these talks about Malaysian bloggers having to register their blogs with the government and whatnots are a whole lot of nonsense. Talk about infringing on and suppressing our freedom. In a way, I'm glad I'm using Blogger and not a locally-hosted site, although I have serious plans for it. But that's not the point. Give us freedom of speech, yo! Gah!


It's Good Friday, people. Time to do some serious reflection.


50 more days before I see Tim in Melbourne again. Man, how time crawls when you want it to go faster. Tick tock tick tock ...

Have a good weekend, folks.

April 05, 2007

Japan: Living In Takasaki

A little wiki on Takasaki:

Takasaki (高崎) is a city located in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on April 1, 1900. Takasaki is a regional transportation hub due to the fact that its train station (Takasaki Station) is the junction of several rail lines as well as a shinkansen stop. The city is famous as the hometown of the Daruma doll, theoretically representing the Buddhist sage Bodhidharma but in modern practice a symbol of good luck.

After the initial excitement when told that I was going to be sent to Japan for training wore off, I was a tad apprehensive of living in Takasaki for what could amount to a year. First of all, it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere (well, it's NOT Tokyo, that's for sure), and I heard that no one speaks English! I remembered rushing to the bookstore to buy a comprehensive Japanese language help book, and was really nervous when I arrived at the city.

Paddy field near my apartment

I got used to living in Takasaki after a month. It was not as bad as I expected; in a way, it was a lot less busy compared to Tokyo. It was a good thing, as I wasn't too overwhelmed by the mad rush of people unlike Tokyo. Language WAS a problem, as a high percentage of Japanese living in Gunma do not speak English. I had to rely heavily on body language to get my messages across (which could get tiring after a while; you try flinging your arms over and over).

Gururin bus

On board the Gururin bus to town

City centre
At the city centre

City centre again
City centre - the Chinese-looking building's actually a Korean restaurant

Still the city centre
Still the city centre

Montres - my favourite shopping centre (with Starbucks on the second floor)

I can't tell you much about the whole Takasaki; my bus route only took me to the station (i.e. city centre) and back. I was apprehensive about hopping onto a bus and exploring the city when my Japanese is too poor to take me around. However, it wasn't too bad, as there were quite a lot of shops near the station which were worth popping by. I love scouring for goodies at Montres and Vivre (these are small shopping centres); you never know what goodies you might find. For a higher class of shopping, there is Takashimaya and Suzuran. These malls house designer brands such as Coach, Tiffany, etc. Places like these belong to the "can see, cannot buy" category.

100-yen shop
100-yen shop

100-yen shops are a dime a dozen in Japan. Most of the items in the 100-yen shops are made in China, but you do get a fair bit which are made in Japan. I absolutely love 100-yen shops (e.g. Daiso and Can Do) because you can get almost anything you want, and for only 100 yen! I'd visit the 100-yen shop whenever I was in town. I reckon that's where the junk in my apartment came from :p

Matsumoto Kiyoshi
Matsumoto Kiyoshi

Another favourite haunt of mine was Matsumoto Kiyoshi, a large drugstore chain in Japan. It's kinda like Watson's, but multiply that by ten. This was where I got my low-end to midrange Shiseido, Kanebo and Kose products. There are other Japanese brands of cosmetics and skincare too. Kate and Kose's Visee are sold quite cheaply here. Like I told Paris, these are likened to 'konbini' brands, i.e. you can also buy 'em at convenience stores at Maybelline-like prices. I love this store; my girly needs and wants are often sated here. Hehe.

I have more to tell of Takasaki, but it's too bad I can't include any more photos, as I took very little. There's a whole lot more to see of the city if you have a car. Unfortunately, I don't, thus my 'adventures' were only centered around the city centre.

I hope to return to Takasaki some day. Even though it's not as happening as Tokyo, I did live there for a year, and that meant a lot to me.

April 04, 2007

Call Me Big Sister

I've recently been given a new engineer to be under my charge. It's kinda weird to have someone reporting to me, when I've been free as a bird for so long. Also, the idea of having to cover someone's ass when they screw up doesn't really appeal to me, y'know.

But then again, it IS a good thing to be a real leader for once. Teaches you responsibility and accountability. Guess it's time for someone else to be your junior, eh? Gotta grow up some time. I'm now someone's Big Sister.


Seriously, how weird is that?! :P

April 03, 2007

Imagini Visual DNA

Saw this on Paris' blog, thought I'd nick it for my own too :p Here's mine.

What's yours?

Viva la France!

Okay this is one odd meme, but hey, I'm always game on trying anything once ;)

Paris tagged me to ask where I wanted to go, a country I'd like to visit. It's not the usual memes I've done, so here's hoping I followed the instructions correctly.

*** Place your 2 -3 paragraphs of where you want to go here***

Arc de Triomphe

I think I've mentioned many times that during my three years of studying in the UK, I never ventured outside of the UK. I procrastinated from one holiday period to another ("wait till next Christmas vacation" or "wait till next Easter vacation"), and little did I know it, it was time to return home for good. Sigh.

Eiffel Tower

Anyways, the place I so want to visit is *tadah* Paris! I know it's super overrated; everyone tells me it's not as fantastic as it seems, yadah yadah yadah ... but that's my dream destination. Have been for a long time now.


I want to visit the lovely Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre (The Da Vinci Code really got me curious to check out the museum). I wanna be romanced in the city of love. It's all so la di dah! :P Tim promised to bring me there someday. A late honeymoon, perhaps? ;)


**Start Copy**

Proposition: Where do you want to go next (OUTSIDE OF YOUR COUNTRY) for tourism, work , study, whatever…

Requirements: Find some info about the place, itinerary, etc ... pics if possible so you get MORE Traffic coming in, and maybe some people can find somewhere to go to. Excludes your NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOURS, ie. Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, a country that borders yours. You must register for MyBloglog so we can blogwalk ah ... get it?

Quantity: FIVE PEOPLE.

Tag Mode: Chain Link. 15 of them.

You leave 15 people and their DEEP LINK of their Blog Name and TAGGED POST and hit out for five more. So it will look like this ...

Azrin going Down Under
MaRLinda in Disneyland Paris
Athira Baby and her Balamory Antics
Msau to Japan
Doris to the Carribean Islands
Paris and Bella Italia!

**Add in the blog you get the tags from and tagged post.**

I'm tagging you lot. Go nuts :p

Charmed Cookie