Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Expenses Incurred In US Visa

Some of you asked me how much it cost to apply for an US visa, let me tell you that it is now RM512 and this is to be banked in to Standard Chartered Bank before you do the application online.

I am the "kiasi" type so I went to a tour agency to do the application for me.  If you want to do it yourself, here are the following websites:-

http://www.ustraveldocs.com/my/ & http://malaysia.usembassy.gov/visas.html

When I clicked on them, I want to "pengsan." (faint)...  Too stressed to go through the steps.. that is why I rather paid the tour agency to do it for me and that cost another RM100.

Driving down to KL cost another RM100 in petrol and in toll... so adding up the cost and expenses, the total bill comes to RM712 (excluding the sleepless night, mental stress and the air tickets)     :))

Oh, by the way, it does not end there... as Doc said in my comment, there is another "barricade" when we reach the US immigration...there may be another "interview" before we can really enter.... but fear not if one is a genuine tourist...
 

Monday, July 30, 2012

US Embassy In Kuala Lumpur

It was still dark when I was there joining in the queue at around 7am in front of the US Embassy entrance. My appointment was fixed for 7.40am, I guess the earliest slot for the day. Initially the queue was quite long but when the guard announced that those with appointment at 7.40am were only to queue up, the line became so much shorter.

After handing over my ID to the counter, I was given a security pass and I have to join another line again, this time to go inside the embassy. Before entering to the compound, one by one were being scanned and handphones were handed over to the guards.

Upon entering the building, we were given another number by the teller machine and wait to be called. First counter, checking the confirmation letter, bank receipt and passport. Then told to wait for another counter to check our fingerprints, all the 10 fingers... And lastly, the most "heart pumping" counter is the "interview." I guess my blood pressure must be sky-high while waiting for my number to be called... and when it was called, the interview took less than a minute.... pheww.... what a Big relief!

Last and not least, I was given a card, not a green card but white card... LOL... With this white card, you can either collect your passport yourself or you can ask someone to collect for you the next day or within the next 10 working days.   The visa is finally done!
Outside the US Embassy
towards the right...
towards the left...

A nice experience...something not what I expected it to be... that caused me to have a sleepless night yesterday... so glad that it is finally over..

Now I will wait for sponsors.... patiently I will wait... lol...



Sunday, July 29, 2012

Downsouth To Kuala Lumpur

Traveled more than 200 over km today, drove a fair bit and then passed the wheel over to my young driver... so glad he can be able to come down south with me... half way, I could heard my own "snores"... guess I was too tired... concentrating on the road too long can be quite weary for an old mom....
along the highway to KL
nice smooth trip... not many vehicles were in sight...

Last time I could drive for few hours non-stop on the highway but nowadays my eyesight is not so good already.  Thank goodness my son is back for his semester holiday, he is now my driver, at least I don't have to drive for long hours now.  We can travel together and have a nice relaxing holiday in Kuala Lumpur.....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Witness Insecurity Is A Disappointment

I was so excited when I heard that Astro would be showing the last two episodes on Witness Insecurity yesterday.  For the past couple of weeks, I have been following this new HKTVB drama on Astro On Demand and what a great disappointment for me when this show ended so abruptly just like that, not what I expected it to be... (but then I am not script writer nor director)

The show started out with excitement, police protecting the witness... there were some "action" to be seen and then the story unfolds about Linda Chung, an heiress's daughter falling in love with Bosco who is her Protector (Witness Protector Unit).. do we have this over here in our police force?

In the middle, the series became slower and draggy, bringing in some non-relevant casts and issues... while all the time I was waiting for Bosco to "return" his affections for Linda... but to my great dismay, none was displayed....

When the whole series ended last night just like that, it was not worth the waiting-for show after all.  If I were a critic for this show, I would give it a rating of 4/10... though some credit should be given to veteran actors like Paul Chun and his "brother" for their expressive roles.
Paul Chun, Linda and "brother"
They were good in their acting

Linda was not to too bad but Bosco is definitely OUT in his acting especially towards the middle till the end.  His expressions in the show was almost NIL.... in the beginning he was cool and I thought it was his role of being cool initially but to be non-expressive towards the end of the series is a disappointment

Maybe that is the period that Bosco was having his breakup problems with his real-life girlfriend Mollie?
Bosco gets a knock on his head from Linda...

I think he should wake up and improve on his expressions...
His mind and concentrations doesn't seem to be there...
(that's my opinion)

  Elin, you are very right, I agree with you...

Affordable Apartment Rentals

Making plans to travel far needs some "homework"and "researching" especially when we are not following a group tour or organization.  First of all, decision making, where do you plan to go, which airline are you going to book your tickets, is the accommodation provided alongside with the flight tickets or are you going to book them separately?  Next comes the budget, how much can you afford for this trip you have planned to go?  All these are part of the traveling plans and that is what I always think of when I go somewhere far from my own country.
Yes, I am planning to travel in another couple of months and right now I am still checking some online sites for cheap tickets and accommodation.  If possible, I would like to stay longer and I know that hotel rates are definitely "super-high" for extended stay.  It would be more practical to rent out "homestay" like in this new york city apartment rentals which I came across awhile ago.  Indeed it is much cheaper to rent an apartment if we are planning to stay for a longer period of time.  Before we start booking or renting, do some "homework" and check out the apartment rentals, the prices vary accordingly and I am sure we can get the rates within our budget.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bubur Lambuk For Breaking Fast

To commemorate the Ramadhan fasting month, my colleagues collected some funds and together we teamed up to make two big pots of "Bubur Lambuk" to be distributed to all working staff in the whole building.

Briefly about "Bubur Lambuk" or also known as "porridge", it is a very popular dish served during the breaking of fast, sort of an appetizer before taking the main dishes.

For our Bubur Lambuk yesterday, the "cooks" mixed the porridge with chicken pieces in one pot and minced beef in another plus groundnuts too and other spices. I didn't really see what they put in because by the time I went down, the two giant pots were already brewing to the brim.....
Being part of the "team" 
I have to make myself "Busy" 
especially in front of the camera...
to tell you the truth.. it was really a hot and sweaty work!
With the burning woods and the smoke and not forgetting the hot sun,
it was really hard work, stirring and stirring 
to keep the porridge from getting burnt..
One hand??  Nope... cannot even stir it at all...
Guess I am not a good cook..
I better stay away and let the men take over...

As the saying goes..
Too many cooks will spoil the broth!


Prepaid Cards

I remember reading an article about college kids, it stated that parents whose kids are in college, ought to keep this in mind. "Do not give your kids a car and a credit card, these three "Cs" will spell "Trouble."  Now that my kids are in college, this statement comes to my mind every now and then, so much so that I always keep track of his spending.  So far, thank God, he is "fine" and not misusing them where necessary.  But to have a peace of mind, this prepaid cards for kids is pretty practical too.  With this cards, we can monitor and send money to them whenever there is a need to. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A "Blunder-Ful" Day For Me

Forgetful Makes A Blunder-ful Day....

At around 2pm, I phoned my mom that I would be taking her out for dinner this evening...she readily agreed... I put down the phone. Period...

Then at 6pm, I received a sms saying, "Will come around 7pm." OH ... MY...GOSH!! I forgot I had a dinner appointment with my friends!

Aiyoh!!  On one hand, my mom, sister and nephew were waiting for me to take them out for dinner....  On the other hand, my friends will be coming at 7pm...

I couldn't turn down my friends' dinner because I have been doing that for a few times already... I will be branded "BIG TALKER" if I do that again... (Tai Chak Kong)

So... in order not to disappoint both parties, I went to TWO DINNERS in one evening!
 
Quickly sms-ed back my friend to tell her to come around 7.30pm... and off I went to pick my mom and company for dinner in MarPoh Restaurant, the nearest place to get good food and FAST too!!

What we had were something kind of special.... and I couldn't resist eating one whole bowl of rice... 
Sweet tomato sauce pineapple and stomach belong to the P... LOL...
Crispy fried eggplants with sourish sauce...
Stir-fry deer meat with ginger and spring onions
 Three dishes plus 4 plates of rice
came to RM42... 
Reasonable to me...

Ok... that was my first dinner which lasted till 7pm.. 
and half hour later, my friends came....
I went for my 2nd dinner...
Porridge with spicy frogs and grilled fish....
This is my "Opening Fast" for this evening....

Tell me, why am I so forgetful.... why... 



Online Websites

Just now I read a blog post written by my friend about online shopping.  She ordered something online and after waiting for three weeks, she found out that the goods were delivered to someone else instead and she has to write to the company to inform them and within a short period of time, her goods were reimbursed to her doorstep. Not bad..this proves that we can buy our stuff online, clothing, accessories, cigar store, beauty and health websites, I think it is time to surf for our own shopping pleasure.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

30 Is Not Enough!

Oh dear, I don't seem to have enough "leave" for this year... how nice if I could buy "leave" from my male colleague who always seem to have "abundant!"   My eyes always "drool" when I see his balance of leave.... I wouldn't mind paying RM10 for one day of leave... if only I could buy some days leave.... RM20 per leave also I will grab!!

By the way, why is it called LEAVE?  Leaving the office?  " How much leave do you have left?"   English language is truly amazing!

Coming back to my topic, I think I will have to resort taking "No Pay Leave" in the later part of the year.  One day = RM......$$ .....flying away.....

But when I imagine the cooling weather and sunny skies running through my mind, the "Pay Cut" will be worth every cent deducted.

So... how many days leave do you have annually?  Are they sufficient for you?  From the very first day I started working, I had 7 days only.. (I remember not finishing them in a year)... then 14 days... after that 20 (that was when I got married and the leave was never enough.... )... and now I have 30 days ... and STILL never say Enough!

Gosh... I heard someone telling me to go for 365 days of holidays!!

Taking Up Music

My cell group is going to "lose" two worshipers, they are going to another group.  Leaving me no choice, I got to "brush up" my guitar chords again, I have lost touch after leaving the guitar hanging against the wall for so long.  From August onwards, I will need to play my guitar again, meanwhile, do you think I should get a set of ableton suite 8 for my own learning pleasure?  I heard that it is pretty easy to learn up musical instruments through this Ableton.  Has anyone tried this out yet? 

Insurance And Medical

Call me "paranoid"... I bought another insurance policy recently.  I cannot keep count of how many insurance policies I have already, *grin*  Well, as my friend said, it is better to invest in an insurance policy than spending off the money unnecessarily.  She has a point actually, paying monthly installments will not make us feel the pinch.  Besides buying insurance policies, I think it is also encouraged to get some medical equipment  to keep in the house just in case some emergencies cropped up.  See, I told you, I am getting a bit paranoid nowadays!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hair Saloon In My Own Home

I cannot sit still staring at the wall... I cannot fold my hands and do nothing, time will be wasted, furthermore, my "little" fingers and will get "itchy-fied" if I am being idle....

In situation like this, when your hair is being done, what is the best thing to do to "while away" the time? 
Isn't it a bliss to sit there quietly looking at the screen while someone is "mingling" your hair and doing it nice for you?  I cannot imagine myself spending hours in a hair saloon now doing practically nothing but falling asleep....
I really want to thank my sister for her patience.... it is not an easy job being MY hairdresser..... she has to come to my place bringing all her equipment, she sits, she stands without a word of complaint.... and most of all, she does a good job... *grins*


A Lovely Gift

Once in awhile, it is a good gesture to buy a gift for someone you love, the happiness shown on the receiver's face will brighten up your day!  Gosh, what am I talking about?  Alright, I thought of getting some gifts for mom and the most appropriate gift for her in this website is a digital photo frame.  I think my mom will like this.  With the digital photo frame, she does not have to keep flipping the photo albums anymore, all she has to do is just a few clicks away!  Isn't that great?

Online Prescription

I went to the hospital this morning to do my annual body check-up.  The hospital was crowded and I was wondering why there were so many sick people on a Monday morning.  But then I realize that not everyone who go to hospital are unwell, some who are like me, go for body check up, blood test or just to take their follow-up medicine.  Nowadays pharmacies are quite strict in some medication, I heard many patients turn to http://www.shoppharmacycounter.com/t-phentermine.aspx to get their dosage.  How much is true, I think it is advisable to get a doctor's prescription before we purchase any drugs online.

Monday, July 23, 2012

An Agonising Night And Morning

A body massage with my regular beautician left me almost sleepless last night.  She detected something not right on the part every women seems to fear.... she told me to see a doctor.... that left me thinking of the Capital C the whole evening through....

Early this morning I couldn't wait to go and check it out with a gynae... unfortunately my all-time gynae has retired, he is of a different race from me and and I feel more relaxed with him... (he was handsome... then)  Too bad he is no more working and I felt at a loss who to go to...

Feeling undecided, somehow, I drove all the way to Kinta Medical Hospital but the nurse told me that it was full for the day!  Not wanting to give up, I proceeded to the next hospital along Kampar Road... I was not familiar with the place there but nevertheless I feel the need to get it over with.... I am of an impatient character, I want fast results.....

After waiting for nearly two hours, it was my turn... he is a chinese gynae in his early 40s.  Very friendly and pleasant at least, that is a consolation... first, he checked my blood pressure and to my horror, he told me that it was sky high, 190/100!  Ready to be admitted!

However he consoled me that it might be due to my stress, not to worry, he said..... then, it was time to lie down (the most dreaded part).... Told me to relax, very gently, he did a full private check up from the top to the bottom for me... ultra sound, poke here, poke there... (ladies, I am sure you understand what I am saying here... )

Then finally he told me that everything seems to be fine according to scan, nothing seems to be found, however, if I really want 100% results, he advised me to go for a mammogram... oh oh.... that is what I fear... painful, right?

Anyway, for now, I can relax a bit ... since the gynae said so far, so good... so let it be good!  The mammogram can come later...  oh, by the way, the blood pressure went down to 150/90 after the check up!  Still on the high side.... need to monitor, he said...

Guess I need to go for more "de-stress-ment."  Maybe go for a nice holiday or do something I love ... (singing!) so that the "stress" can disappear.... vanish.... and not haunt me.....


Back Up Data

Do you back up your data each time you call it a day in the office?  It is advisable to do on line data backup especially when our work involves a lot of important accounts and personal data of individuals.  As for me, I always tend to forget and each time there is a blackout in the office, I would be the first one who exclaimed "OH MY GOSH!"  But thank goodness, it does not happen often but then it would definitely serve me right for not doing some back-up after the day is done.  OK, I better start to do that from tomorrow onwards!

Seat Covers

I am looking for car seat covers, my present ones are worn out and I thought of replacing them with some cooling seats.  It is not easy to find those comfortable ones in the car accessory shops, someone I know advised me to go online to "survey" out more choices.  Drivers like me who love to travel by car ought to get nice and comfortable seats so that we can enjoy the hours of driving without any backache or whatsoever.  Equally important are these seat covers for trucks, these drivers spend long hours on the road, investing in a good seat always pay off. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Charity Sales Event And The Mascot

Back to our charity sales, I think our stall made the most sales because our stuff were sold at a minimum price of RM0.50 sen only! Used clothing were sold at RM1 during Happy Hour after lunch and if I am not mistaken, our sales came to almost a thousand ringgit in just a day! No capital, no loss... all thanks to the donors who make it possible for us...

Though the amount is not "big" nevertheless it was a happy day for us to work as a team... having fun and a great time..."ringing bell" to attract the people to come to our stall all throughout the day....
all arranged... ready to go!
getting the stall ready for our goods...
customers coming in to look at our "recycled" stuff....
 having a short break...
The Mascot
One for the album...
A thorn among the roses?
 ahemmmm...


Garden Weddings

Wedding bells are in the air these days... just around my housing area, I came across a few houses putting up tents furnished with outdoor ceiling fans, big red ribbons and beautiful decorations with lovely flowers around their gates and fences.   No more going to fancy restaurants to have dinner these days, it is as memorable to have buffet dinners to be served right in the couple's own home.  This is what I call a Garden Wedding, you can walk and linger around instead of sitting for hours in the restaurant waiting for food to be served. :)

Annuity Quotes

Often published in the newspapers are settlement money stated by the court to spouses and on accident cases where permanent life injury is inflicted on the accident victims.  Sometimes I wonder how these insurance payments work, do they pay the victim a lump sum or do they pay by installments?  As for spouses with divorced cases, I normally come across deductions monthly, from the husband to the wife usually but I am not so sure about accidents.  At least now I know that there are certain websites which assist victims to get the best settlement in cash and to provide  annuity quote to those who are affected.  This way, we can doubly make sure that we are not short changed if we were the victims ourselves.

Online Shopping

 My face cleaning cream is going to finish, I remember buying this set of facial cleanser from an online website that comes with free shipping.  It is so much cheaper doing purchases online especially with cheap promo codes that come along with them.  I will certainly check out the list here, there are a couple of things I need and their prices are so much more attractive than those selling in mega malls!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Money Lost In Split Seconds

An event held in the office... and the day I lost RM125 in just a matter of seconds... Before the event started, my colleague asked me to take her picture with her camera... and then all of a sudden, within a split second, while taking out the camera, it slipped out of my hands and dropped onto the carpet flooring.. and that was when my money flew away... LOL....

The camera lens got jammed... it couldn't close at all nor can take any pictures... leaving no choice, we sent it to the service centre and they told us it cost around RM250 for repair.... so who is going to pay?
I am the Biggest Loser!

Eventually my colleague and I shared out the expenses...
I am clumsy..... ain't I?  sigh...


Real Football Fan

Thank goodness the Euro Cup is over!  For non-football fans like me, I gladly welcome the finale of the Euro Cup.  Sorry for sounding like a "sour grape"... my reason for being one was because my son has been following the competition and at the same time, his semester exams were around the corner too!  So imagine being an anxious mom who called him up every now and then to remind him to sleep well and not to stay up till wee hours in the morning.  He is really a football fan, he thought of getting some fantasy football trophies after his exam so that his group of friends can have some real competition in his college. :)

Team Work

For the past two days my colleagues and I were having a busy time doing up banners and temporary shelves using cardboards and boxes.  We had a good time working as a team, cooperating in times like this for the first time.  Tiring though because we do not have box cutters to cut the thick cardboards, we ended up using pen knives and that slowed down the work.  Well, it is only events like these that we get to work as a team and to show off our "creativity."  LOL....

Friday, July 20, 2012

Who's The Biggest Loser Hi-Tea Event

One of the departments organized a hi-tea in conjunction with the event "Who's The Biggest Loser" results.... More than 10 staff participated in this "reality show" and the winner is a lady.... who lost 10 over kg in three months.

As for me and my colleagues, we didn't join in the contest... If I join, sure I would be disqualified cos I would be gaining weight more than losing it!  So instead I opted for the hi-tea event, just for the fun of eating and mingling with the staff.  It cost only RM10 per pax and the theme for the party is BLUE...
Blue, Blue, my world is blue...
my colleagues...
and 
the food....
yellow noodles for spicy curry....
rice noodles for beef soup...
 the desserts... 
even the table cloth is blue...
fruits salad
steamed delicacies with coconut
beancurd with stuffed fillings
cakes also bluish...  
my share of satay... 5 sticks
one bowl of curry and my desserts...
I didn't take my dinner after this heavy meal...
 Thumbs up for my colleague here
who prepared for this event...
The cheapest hi-tea I ever been to... LOL...


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Charity Sales For Women's Day!

Busy time at the office! Events galore!! Tomorrow we are celebrating "Women's Day" and there is going to be a sort of carnival in my office's compound. All are invited and many stalls are put up for this event.

As for my department, we are not selling anything to make profit but instead we are doing a charity sales. Not much capital needed... what others donate, we sell at a very cheap price... so far, we had managed to gain a few hundred ringgit just by selling old items like clothing, pots and pans, shoes, magazines, etc.... anything you donate, we sell and the real official day is tomorrow!

All contributions collected will be donated to orphanages.... and today we had a busy time doing up some small tokens for those who are donating in some way or another...
my colleague came up with an idea to do some
small tokens for sale tomorrow...
Small brooches, book clips and laminated bookmarks...
my colleague..,cautiously handling the "gun"
 Have to be very careful with the "nib"
It can burn our fingers if we are not careful...
then slowly stick the "pin" to the "flower"
eventually it becomes like this..... 
and soon... you can wear it on your "tudong" (scarf)
just like this "missy" here... 
sweet, right?
 Our colour theme for tomorrow is purple and pink...
As for me, my duty is to "pump" the balloons for our stall.....
Never knew "blowing air" can be such tedious work!
My hands were all numb after much "pumping" later...
phewwww.... 

Anyway, I am all excited.... 
Looking forward to our Charity Sales tomorrow!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

K-10 Claypot In Ipoh

It has been a long while since we last taken chicken in claypot rice. Nowadays it is not easy to find shops using charcoal to cook the rice using claypots.  Too bad these days, we do not use charcoal to cook our meals anymore... they are kind of messy and not "user-friendly."  (Till today, I cannot light up a fire using charcoal!)

Coming back to the claypot rice, we went to K-10 in Ipoh Garden East for our dinner... (anyone knows why it is called K-10?)
My Small Boss...
No chillie, No appetite...
while waiting for the claypot rice, we ordered some 
"Fei Yuen" and "Tau Foo" (fish paste)
 Fried Wan Ton
Very tasty and nice...
Some greens to go with the claypot rice...
at last.... our claypot rice came....
we ordered two small ones for the 4 of us....
If they put more  of this "white wine" in the sauce, then it would be perfect!
As for the price, I would give a "thumbs-up".... 
For a meal like this, it will not be more than RM30...
So what do you say?
There are two K-10 in Ipoh..
Original shop in Bercham
and one here in Ipoh Garden East.