Friday, May 30, 2008

What I have been up to...

Well nothing much these days. Got some visitors though - friends from school (Swiss Hotel Mgmt in Caux, Montreux) who came all the way from London. Thanks guys for visiting and THANK YOU SO MUCH PHI FOR THE RIBENA & Kripsy Kreme!! Me and food.....

Loving the mess!

Any ways, Owen started WALKING!! Yup! He just got up and then started holding on to the sofa edge, then he let go and start to walk over towards me on the other end of the sofa! I was like WOW! I was too excited to even remember to take a photo or capture the moment on video... He's walking with two arms opened up like he's going to stabilise himself as he gets wobbly. Its just so cute the way he moves.

Look at the little tiger go!

Now the seasoned parents knows this; a walking child will mean as house that is already in a mess WILL BE MESSIER.... :p How true. He's moving chairs and the side table at the moment. My lower kitchen cupboard (which is filled with plastic containers, Tupperware, ) is currently being emptied every time he sets foot (or on all fours for speed) in the kitchen. So does my bookshelves (currently books are being "relocated" to the "upper levels for hibernation"). Sigh*

Its not that I'm not happy that he's walking but that the mess we'll have to face every day for the rest of our natural lives. Let's face, even if Owen (or any of our future kids) grow up and leaves the nest, there's bound to be some mess some where that has to be cleaned up now and again by us, the parents. That is what the job description says: "24 hours worry, always on stand by and willing to do the cleaning up no matter what - no pay increment. Will be lucky enough to get "a return of investment" for retirement". Not that I'm complaining but it is what it is.

The book

Moving on, I'm on to this new book, P.S. I Love You, I've got from the trip to Frankfurt - OK not that new any more. Haven't really read it till last week or so. Finished it just today. I can't believe that I can actually finish a book in a week. Used to be in a day or two; depends on how thick and "heavy" it is. What can I say about it? It has a great storyline with plenty of tears and laughs in between. I find that somehow this Holly character is kinda selfish in away. But then again, how you I or anyone react when their dearly beloved is dead just like that? Plus at a young age. I don't think I could do it any better. Bravo Cecelia Ahren!

The movie in DVD....

Then I saw the movie. I still like the book best. Hilary Swank just didn't not met my expectation as Holly - she's just very annoying! Why are there just really (REALLY) short parts of Holly and Gerry? What's up with the karaoke scene? Holly was suppose to suck at singing and have stage phobia. Perhaps I was expecting too much.... As book setting was in Ireland and I prefer it being played in Ireland rather than in New York City. I think it gives a "fresh" look. Whatever it is, I just can't seem to like it that much. Plus I seriously think this; Why can't they get Irish actors to play the Irish parts? I bet they would sound better anyways.
I just can't wait to see the latest Narnia epic; The Caspian Prince. I've got the book or rather the books (bought on eBay!), read them and truly enjoyed it. The 1st one; The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe was just as I've expected. I do hope that the next one will be even better.

A ballerina for the princess

OH! Did I mentioned that I'm on a new cross stitch piece? Still a Work-In-Progress for over a week now. A kit actually, as I can't find the chart only, by Margaret Sherry's Charlie & Friends series. Its a gift for our niece, 3rd SIL's baby girl who's turning 6 month when Owen turns 1 this June 11th. She's our only girl on hubs side of the family, our little princess. I just hope that even though we treat her like one (princess) but she won't have this princess tantrum like my other niece does when she grows older! EEIIKKKSSSSS! Will be a nightmare for the parents. I do hope that ours don't turn up having "his highness" tantrum as well, fingers crossed!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Fake shark fins anyone?

a Mako shark all ready to be finned than thrown back into the sea ALIVE... How cruel!

While Googling for free shark photos on-line, this article pops up.

Fake fins eye saving sharks, Chinese wallets

by Staff WritersTokyo (AFP) Oct 19, 2007

A Japanese company is launching fake shark fins in China, hoping to tap a market as prices for real ones rise amid concerns the species is being hunted to extinction.
Shark fin is considered one of the highest-end delicacies in Chinese cuisine and also fetches high prices in select Japanese restaurants.

Nikko Yuba Seizo Co. a Japanese food-processing company, said it had developed artificial shark fins made out of pork gelatin. Its top executives returned Friday from a two-day trip to China to introduce the products.

"Shark fin prices have been rising constantly in recent years due to a fall in the volume traded, so we decided to develop an artificial fin," said Tadashi Kozuka, a top official of the company which also trades real shark fins imported from Indonesia, Brazil and elsewhere.

"We visited Shanghai and Dalian -- big cities where wealthy Chinese people live -- to seek trading partners. I guess fins sell well among rich people," he said.

But he said the artificial version would also appeal to Chinese who would not be able to afford the real fins, which are served as a luxury at weddings and other important occasions.
Kozuka said the company had long queues of customers when it first presented its product in China at a trade fair in June in the southern city of Guangzhou.

The price of the gelatin-made fin costs only one-tenth of the real one, or about 1,500 yen (15 dollars) per kilogram when sold wholesale, he said.

Controversy over China's appetite for shark's fin rose last year when the country's most famous sports personality, basketball star Yao Ming, called for a boycott of the dish to save the fish from extinction. Some species of shark are now endangered.

Environmentalists have campaigned to stop "finning," when fishermen catch sharks and cut off their fins before throwing the carcasses back into the sea. The practice is blamed for preventing an accurate picture of shark numbers.

Well, good for you Yao Ming! I may not be an environmentalists but as a responsible consumer, I choose not to eat them, and its not only fins I'm talking about here. Its animals like whale, abalone, sea horse, sea cucumbers, tiger, bats and other exotic animals/sea creatures. Its not to say I've never eaten shark fins or sea cucumbers (would be a lie). In fact was slurping on them when I was young and know no better.

What changed my mind was also not due to the latest documentary film by Rob Steward; Sharkwater, which is by the way a GREAT documentary (a must see!) in line with Sicko, 9/11 by Michael Moore, The March of the Penguins by Luc Jacquet and Earth by Alastair Fothergill. It was due to the fact that its expensive, tasteless and has no health benefits at all. Shark meat and fins by the way has very high mercury levels (thanks to us humans), much like the tuna, swordfish and other large predator fishes in the sea. So by eating them we are poisoning ourselves.

The very basic of economics teach us that with more demand, and dwindling supply drives up the prices. And besides I think only its only the Chinese (older and may be middle aged?) who likes to show off how wealthy and "well versed" they are are the ones eating shark fins any ways. And I really loathe show offs. But I believe that the new generation of Chinese- like Yao Ming, are well informed, educated and responsible enough to make their own choice.

By the way, why are we saving elephants, tigers, polar bears, pandas, sea turtles etc and not sharks? Did you know that elephants, AIDS, famine and accidents kill more humans than sharks? And the other thing; HOW COME DON'T HAVE THIS MOVIE SHARKWATER IN MALAYSIA? To many powerful shark fin eaters there ar?

PS: If anyone of you would like to sign a petition to Save The Sharks, please click on the title of this article. Thank you

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What I love...

Owen with his new toy push car

Look! There's something inside!!

  • is when he loves to look for me when he wakes up first thing in the morning or from his nap time.
  • When he just wants a cuddle and sit by my side -preferably not wriggling around. When he leans his head on my chest when he's sleepy or for more cuddles. When he laughs and plays with us.
  • When he has on his mischievous grind over his face - "I'm going to do/up to something" grin.
  • When he has his full concentration - doing the "big business", tearing up catalogues/flyers, trying to find out how does it work, how to play/start his toys.

  • When he makes a real mess in my kitchen and the living room but still gives me a BIG smile to say "look! I've "re-arrange" for you!".
  • When he "switches" TV channels for us.
  • When he actually crawl around looking for me; in the kitchen, bathroom/toilet and bedroom just because.
  • When I tell him bed time stories and sing/hum to him until he's sleepy.
  • When can't wait for his food!

Look mum! I've re-decorate for you!

What I really hate....

  • Is when he cries while pulling at my legs hungry/for attention WHILE I'M COOKING!

  • When he cries if I put him in his bed.
  • When I can't have time to be alone in the bathroom/toilet!!
  • When he still wants to eat when he just ate 5 mins ago...
  • When he switches off the DVD player/TV when we're watching DVD/TV.
  • When he still can't understand the word "NO".
  • When he can't wait for his food!!!

more to add to the list as he grows....