Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Who says "books are outdated...just read online?

Bookfest Malaysia 2011 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Jalan Ampang, KL City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur. (http://www.bookfestmalaysia.com

Bookworms, here's your chance to grab some new titles and bargains.Touted as one of the largest book fairs in the region, the annual BookFest Malaysia is back again, this time showcasing leading publishers from the UK, US, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. The fair will also feature modern and innovative stationary products for school students and working adults. For further info,visit - http://www.timeoutkl.com/books/events/Bookfest-Malaysia-2011

Sales have been good and contrary to what some may say, reading books is still a favourite past time. Some would say you could download some e-books and read at your on leisure but it still woudnt be the same..of course one could read it with the help of a e-reader or i-Pad. But nothing beats curling up on a sofa, lounge cahir, bed..with a good book, imagine doing that with the hard laptop or i-Pad..how to lie down and read at ease.

So whoever said don't buy anymore books is knocking it too far.
We should encourage reading in various forms and media. Online e-books/journals...hard cover books, magazines, ...all contribute towards a knowledgeable society. Can one really do away with books in the future? I don't know...it will be a pity..what will happen to the bookshops and libraries? I was watching the news this morning and there was a piece about Nottinghill, the Travel Bookshop closing down and there are some folks planning to keep it open. Good luck. Imagine the future existence of libraries in universities and everywhere else...I hope no matter how advanced we become, we will still keep the simple pleasures of reading in a quiet library somewhere in the picture in the future.

I enjoy a book or two every evening especially before I go to bed...I can't do without it, can you?

Happy Merdeka Raya...31 August 2011

Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! 3 times! We all think that Tunku Abdul Rahman shouted 3 times but in actual fact he said it 7 times! yes, so lest you forget here's some write-up on the event. Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) is the national day of Malaysia commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule in 1957, celebrated on August 31 each year. In a wider context, it is to celebrate the formation of Malaysia.

The effort for independence was spearheaded by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, who led a delegation of ministers and political leaders of Malaya in negotiations with the British in London for Merdeka, or independence along with the first president of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) Tun Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lock and fifth President of Malaysian Indian Congress Tun V.T. Sambanthan. Once it became increasingly clear that the Communist threat posed during the Malayan Emergency was petering out, agreement was reached on February 8, 1956, for Malaya to gain independence from the British Empire. However, for a number of logistical and administrative reasons, it was decided that the official proclamation of independence would only be made the next year, on August 31, 1957, at Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), in Kuala Lumpur.

On the night of August 30, 1957, crowds gathered at the Royal Selangor Club Padang in Kuala Lumpur to witness the handover of power from the British. Prime Minister-designate Tunku Abdul Rahman arrived at 11:58 pm and joined members of the Alliance Party's youth divisions in observing two minutes of darkness.[2] On the stroke of midnight, the lights were switched back on, and the Union Flag in the square was lowered.[3] The new Flag of Malaya was raised as the national anthem Negaraku was played. This was followed by seven chants of 'Merdeka' by the crowd.Tunku Abdul Rahman gave a speech hailing the ceremony as "greatest moment in the life of the Malayan people".

Tunku Abdul Rahman announcing the independence of Malaya from the British on August 31, 1957 at the Merdeka StadiumOn the morning of Saturday, August 31, 1957, the festivities moved to the newly-completed Merdeka Stadium. More than 20,000 people witnessed the ceremony, which began at 9:30 am. Those in attendance included rulers of the Malay states, foreign dignitaries, members of the federal cabinet and citizens.[4] The Queen's representative, the Duke of Gloucester presented Tunku Abdul Rahman with the instrument of independence. Tunku then proceeded to read the Proclamation of Independence, which culminated in the chanting of 'Merdeka' seven times with the crowd joining in. The ceremony continued with the raising of the National Flag of Malaya accompanied by the national anthem being played and a 21-gun salute, followed by an azan call and a thanksgiving prayer in honor of this great occasion.

The formation of Malaysia.
The Federation of Malaysia, comprising the States of Malaya, North Borneo (later renamed Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore was to be officially declared on the date August 31, 1963, on the 6th anniversary of Malayan independence. However, it was postponed to September 16, 1963, mainly due to Indonesian and the Philippines' opposition to the formation of Malaysia. Nevertheless, North Borneo and Singapore declared sovereignty on August 31, 1963. Indonesian opposition later escalated to a military conflict. Indonesia considered Malaysia as a new form of colonization on the provinces of Sarawak and Sabah in the island of Borneo (bordering Kalimantan, Indonesia), which they laid claim on. To assure Indonesia that Malaysia was not a form of neo-colonialism, a referendum, organized by the United Nations, and the Cobbold Commission, led by Lord Cobbold, were formed to determine whether the people of Sabah and Sarawak wished to join Malaysia. Their eventual findings which indicated substantial support for Malaysia among the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, cleared the way for the final proclamation of Malaysia.

The formation of the Federation of Malaysia was then announced on September 16, 1963 as Malaysia Day. The nationwide Independence Day celebration is still held on August 31, the original independence date of Malaya, while Malaysia Day is a public holiday only in East Malaysia. However, this has caused some minor discontent among East Malaysians in particular since it has been argued that celebrating the national day on August 31 is too Malaya-centric.In 2009, it was decided that starting 2010, Malaysia Day would be a nationwide public holiday on September 16 in addition to Hari Merdeka on August 31.(wikipedia.com)
This year's theme for Merdeka Day is:
1 Malaysia, Transformasi Berjaya, Rakyat Sejahtera
(1 Malaysia, Transformation Success, People Peace)

So since today we are celebrating Hari Raya, and tomorrow Hari Merdeka, the following day is also a Raya holiday, here's wishing everyone Selamat Menyambut Merdeka Raya, ya ya.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to make your child a future millionaire?

After reading this article, thought I'd share it... I don't know about you but I sure would like my kids to become future millionaires...albeit responsible ones.

The Edge Malaysia
By Celine Tan of the edgemalaysia.com | The Edge – Mon, Mar 21, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: Your child's wealth can be your financial success story. If you have failed in your quest to become a millionaire, it doesn't mean that your child should too. Time is on his side and all it takes is for you to start things rolling. Here, parents and financial practitioners relate how you can put your child on the millionaire's path.

Tell them why

While many parents want their children to be wealthy, one fear they all have is that the little ones may grow up to be too materialistic. “There is nothing wrong in ‘being rich'. Teach your children the ‘concept' of being wealthy, which is more important than being wealthy itself,” says C T Lim, senior partner of IPPFA Sdn Bhd, a Capital Markets Services Licence holder for financial planning with the Securities Commission.

“Explain to them the purpose of making good money. For example, I always explain to my three kids that although their mother is educated and we can afford to hire a servant, she chooses to devote all her time to their needs; and for this to happen, I have be the sole breadwinner of the family.”

Tell your child that money is not evil but it is an enabler, says Brandon Liew, CEO of Moneytree (M) Sdn Bhd, a company that coaches children and youth about money, investing and entrepreneurship.

“Make it clear that money is not everything, but almost everything needs money. Once you have set the right foundation and the values are in place, it is unlikely that your children will pursue material things.”

Create opportunities for them to earn

A million-ringgit gift to your child may sound impossible. But it is very much within reach, says Ong Shi Jie, head of wealth management of OCBC Bank (M) Bhd. “A monthly contribution of about RM300, made diligently from the time your child is born until he turns 18, and then left untouched until his retirement at 55, will hit the million-ringgit mark [assuming returns of 6% pa].”

But, is “giving” the right way to help your children? Ong takes a leaf from personal finance book, The Millionaire Next Door, in which Thomas J Stanley and William D Danko show readers how to become millionaires: “Built on years of research, it profiles people who have already become millionaires. Their research indicates that most millionaires were supported financially by their parents and ‘the more dollars adult children receive from their parents, the fewer they accumulate, while those who are given fewer dollars, accumulate more',” says Ong.

However, don't give them the money without asking them to do anything. “Or else, the level of appreciation is nominal. You don't want your child to have the perception that ‘no matter what, I will have my mum/dad to fall back on to help me out,” says Liew. “Create opportunities for your child to earn the money.

The plans can be tied to their academic achievements or other milestones. When you make them earn the money, the level of responsibility is far higher. This gives them a clear mindset that they have to ‘do something' to achieve the million-ringgit goal.”

Teach them millionaire habits

Planning financially for your children is not sufficient, you need to teach them some financial ground rules. “they also need to be equipped with the skills to save and grow the money,” says Liew. “Instil the knowledge and money habits so that they can responsibly handle any money you hand over. This will also give you peace of mind.”

It helps to understand the habits of millionaires and inculcate them in your children. “Teach them simplicity and frugality,” says Lim. “The focus should be how to manage money as a limited resource.”

Encourage them to follow their passion

While it is many a parent's wish to have their children graduate with a law or medical degree it is important that you do not try to fit a square peg into a round hole. “Don't quash their harebrained ideas, lest you stunt their budding creativity,” says Ong.

“While I'm not recommending that your child drop out of school and throw his textbooks out the window, nurture his strongest talent and encourage activities that make him happiest. After all, it is their passion that drives it. Whether it will help them arrive at being a billionaire, as most entrepreneurs will tell you, will be a combination of a multitude of factors.”

Your child will never be a millionaire if you force him into something he's not interested in. If you think that your child's passion won't pay, says Lim, help to turn it into a moneymaking idea. His daughter loves animals and her ambition is to be a veterinarian. “As the prospects for veterinarians are uncertain and I don't want to ‘kill' her passion, I encourage her to pursue her passion and give her suggestions on how to turn her ambition into a business. I gave her the idea of building a pet cemetery behind her future veterinarian clinic, which I feel has far greater prospects, and she likes it.”

Getting third-party help

You may be capable of teaching your child about money. “But, can you guarantee that your child is going to learn everything that you teach?” says Liew. “Teaching your child financial literacy doesn't happen in isolation. No matter how hard you try, you cannot provide the group dynamics needed as a part of learning. They need peer pressure to compete among and measure themselves. This is where programmes like financial literacy are important.”

Walk the talk

Children learn by imitating. Thus, it is vital that you watch your own money habits. “Be conscious of your simple everyday actions. For instance, if you use a credit card to make payments, make sure you explain how it works. Educate your child on the connection between plastic cards and real money. Otherwise, your child could misunderstand that the credit card is a tool to easily get things that he wants,” says Liew.

Make sure you are financially independent. Gone are the times when parents raised their children with the aspiration that they would grow into successful adults who would be able to take care of their parents. “The cost of living is going up at a tremendous pace,” says Liew.

“At the end of the day, your children will have their own expenses and families. To avoid being a burden to your children, plan for yourself financially.” This means that you must be on a sound financial footing, says Ong, with adequate insurance coverage, no credit-card balances or high-rate debts and are well on your way to saving for your own retirement.

By taking care of your own retirement needs, it can speed up your children's financial well-being.

Give them a good jump-start

Planning for your child education's funding is important. “Having a plan that helps your children pay their education fees can possibly be one of the best jump-starts. This could at least relieve them of the burden of having to repay their study loans and thus kick-start their personal savings plan as soon as they start their career,” says Lim.

The right amount to contribute should be based on your capacity. If the money you have set aside for them is insufficient, Ong proposes that you “have an open conversation with them. Start talking about the importance of saving money with your children, even when you don't have enough of it. Do not be afraid to share with them these difficulties and be transparent with them on making lifestyle adjustments in order to cope.”

So...start now...talk to your kids now...

Latest on hurricane Irene...

My prayers go out to all who live along the coast from NC, NY, NJ, MD, VA to PA.
Stay safe. It will all come to pass.

For updates on Hurricane Irene visit this website.
Matt Daniel will keep you informed.


Curry fish head for lunch, or just bones...?

Yes...that's what we had or tried to have for lunch today. We went to a restaurant in Puchong today for some lunch and was anticipating some good fish head curry..instead it was just the fish head bones chopped into pieces..hardly any meat at all...but was filled with vegetables and some taupok. What a let down!
There wasnt any fish head to speak off...how can they serve this to the customers. needless to say,we are not going back there again. I was the one who ordered it so of course, I felt pretty bad about it, though my hubby was not happy he didn't say much...the saving grace was the gravy though..it was nice but we felt cheated.
I have had pretty good curry fish head and assam fish head in my many years eating out, this has got to be the worst. Indeed nothing like the picture above...

So that's why I am cooking dinner tonight...got to be better than the lunch we had...

There is no sacrifice without pain and there is no love without sacrifice...

I was at church this morning and the homily delivered by the parish priest was about making sacrifices and choices in life.
He said there is no sacrifice without pain...how true. How many times in our lives have we sacrificed one thing or another; sometimes for friendship, sometimes for love and soemetimes beacuse it's the right thing to do. we scarifice our time to help others, we sacrifice some of our pocket money to give those in need, we sacrifice our love so that others can enjoy. Sometimes we sacrifice for our kids and our parents...but as the priest says all come with choices. We are the ones who choose to make the sacrifices...yes indeed. We choose to give up on some things, time, cash..love...and it is painful at times. In the end, we make the choice to sacrifice because we know deep in our hearts, others need it more. So as I wrote some time ago about making choices about life and love, it is difficult and indeed painful but somehow we do move on, we change and we move forward. Pain can be numbed after some time...when I do believe that time heals everything and it does numb the pain. Friends do help a lot...thank you all.

I'd like to believe that the hurt we feel does go away over time..goodness knows..I have felt pain and hurt numerous times the past few years, yet I know that life has to go on and we have to move forward...so I let it pass because i know that if we wallow in self pity it will break us...the people who hurt us know what they did. I believe that what goes round, comes around so I know one day..they who inflict the pain will feel it too.I believe their time will come if not now on earth later when they meet their Maker.
I am not perfect but so are you!
For me...yes I may forgive but I don't think its that easy to forget the hurt and pain...we just numb it all and carry on with our lives..else how can we go on right.
So to everyone...let's do good to others, let's not hurt others...let's make sacrifices while we can and do our part in making the world a better place to live in. Let's make the right choices.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Selamat hari raya to all Muslim friends here and everywhere.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Arab: عيد الفطر‎; 'Ayd al-Fiṭr; "perayaan fitrah") disambut pada Syawal tahun Hijrah. Perayaan tersebut juga dikenali sebagai Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Raya Fitrah, dan Hari Lebaran. Hari Raya Aidilfitri merupakan perayaan yang dirayakan oleh umat Islam di seluruh dunia tidak kira bangsa sama ada Melayu,India-Muslim dan lain-lain bangsa di seluruh dunia yang beragama Islam bagi menandakan berakhirnya bulan Ramadhan yang mana umat Islam telah menjalani ibadat puasa dengan tekun. Ia merupakan antara dua perayaan terbesar bagi umat Islam, selain Hari Raya Korban.

Hari Raya Puasa bermula melalui dua cara; iaitu melalui rukyah (melihat anak bulan) ataupun secara hisab(kiraan). Sekiranya melalui rukyah, apabila anak bulan kelihatan, ini menandakan bermulanya bulan Syawal, iaitu bulan ke-10 dalam Takwim Hijrah Islam. Di Malaysia, anak bulan akan diperhatikan oleh pegawai bertugas pada sebelah petang hingga waktu maghrib di beberapa tempat strategik.

Perayaan Hari Raya Puasa merupakan berakhirnya tempoh untuk membayar zakat fitrah iaitu zakat yang dikenakan kepada mereka yang masih hidup sehingga masa itu. Zakat fitrah tidak perlu dibayar bagi mereka yang telah meninggal dunia. Kebiasaannya orang Islam juga akan mula membayar zakat fitrah semenjak bulan puasa bermula dan zakat fitrah ini akan berhenti dikutip apabila solat sunat Aidilfitri dimulakan. Oleh itu, pada kebiasaannya solat sunat Aidilfitri dilewatkan sedikit berbanding solat sunat Aidiladha. Hikmahnya dilewatkan sedikit solat sunat Aidilfitri adalah bagi memberi peluang kepada mereka yang belum membayar zakat untuk menunaikan kewajipan mereka dan disunatkan makan dahulu sebelum pergi ke masjid. Berlainan pula, solat sunat Aidiladha digalakkan diawalkan waktunya bagi memberi lebih banyak masa untuk penyembelihan korban. [1]

Apabila tarikh Hari Raya telah ditentukan, umat Islam akan bertakbir dan bertahmid sambil memuji kebesaran Allah. Tempoh bertakbir bagi Hari Raya Aidilfitri adalah antara terbenamnya matahari(hari terakhir bulan Ramadan) sehingga solat sunat Hari Raya Aidilfitri bermula pada pagi 1 Syawal tahun Hijrah. Hari raya disambut pada pagi hingga malam.


Gambar ketupat yang dianyam dari riben.Simbol terkenal bagi perayaan Hari Raya di Malaysia ialah ketupat. Ketupat adalah juadah istimewa yang masih dihidangkan pada hari ini. Ketupat adalah nasi yang dikukus di dalam anyaman daun kelapa atau daun palas dan selalunya dihidangkan bersama dengan rendang. Juadah-juadah yang lain termasuklah lemang, lontong, dodol, dan kuih raya.

Namun begitu, simbol lain yang berteraskan Islam seperti kalimah Allah dan Nabi Muhammad, bunga-bungaan, tumbuh-tumbuhan, geometri, dan lain-lain yang tiada unsur haram juga adalah digalakkan untuk digunakan sebagai simbol perayaan Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

PersiapanDi Malaysia, Hari Raya Aidilfitri disambut dengan meriah. Berminggu-minggu sebelum perayaan tersebut menjelma, suasana persiapan menjelang Aidilfitri telah dirasai. Pusat-pusat membeli-belah akan mengadakan jualan murah dan dihiasi dengan perhiasan secara besar-besaran. Lagu-lagu raya juga akan diputarkan di radio dan di televisyen. Rancangan-rancangan yang berkisarkan Aidilfitri akan ditayangkan. Bank, sekolah, dan premis-premis perniagaan akan ditutup selama beberapa hari sehingga seminggu sempena Aidilfitri.

Di jalan raya utama dan lebuh raya di seluruh negara, kesesakan akan berlaku akibat kebanjiran warga bandar yang pulang ke kampung halaman untuk menyambut Aidilfitri bersama-sama sanak saudara dan kaum keluarga. Fenomena ini juga dikenali sebagai Balik Kampung.

Amalan lazimAntara amalan yang dilakukan pada Hari Raya Aidilfitri ialah amalan berziarah. Amalan ini adalah bertepatan dengan suruhan agama Islam itu sendiri. Pada pagi Hari Raya Aidilfitri(selalunya sebelum dan sejurus sesudah menunaikan solat sunat Hari Raya Aidilfitri), umat Islam yang telah kehilangan saudara-mara akan mengunjungi pusara mereka dan menghadiahkan Surah Al-Fatihah atau bacaan surah Yaasin. Kemudian mereka akan berkunjung ke rumah sanak saudara dan rakan taulan. Mereka akan bermaaf-maafan dan melupakan kesilapan yang lampau. Pada asasnya, Hari Raya adalah hari untuk bergembira, bermaaf-maafan, dan hari untuk mengeratkan tali persaudaraan di kalangan umat Islam di samping meraikan kejayaan beribadah kepada Allah.

Amalan memberi wang kepada kanak-kanak juga amat popular pada Hari Raya. Duit raya selalunya diberikan oleh orang dewasa kepada kanak-kanak melalui sampul duit yang selalunya berwarna hijau dan kuning. Sampul duit raya diadaptasi daripada amalan orang Cina yang memberi sampul merah berisi wang ataupun "Ang Pau". Pada Hari Raya, sampul selalunya berwarna selain daripada warna merah, iaitu hijau atau kuning. Terdapat pelbagai saiz sampul yang dikeluarkan oleh bank-bank dan syarikat-syarikat perniagaan, antaranya saiz yang bersesuaian dengan saiz wang kertas polimer RM 5. Kadangkala amalan pemberian Duit Raya diganti dengan pemberian hadiah-hadiah.

Sudut agama pula, malam tujuh likur sering dikaitkan dengan Lailatulqadar iaitu detik keemasan untuk individu Muslim merebut syurga apabila malaikat dan Jibril akan turun ke bumi untuk mengaminkan doa orang yang bersembahyang, bertasbih, bertahmid dan bertakbir kepada Allah. Dengan itu timbullah tradisi memasang pelita bagi sebagai simbol meraikan bulan mulia dan memudahkan membantu mereka yang berjalan ke surau atau masjid bagi menunaikan tarawih kerana merebutkan Lailatulqadar, kerana suasana pada malam terlalu gelap dan mungkin membahayakan keselamatan. Ini adalah kerana pada masa dahulu, tiada kemudahan elektrik seperti hari ini.[2]

Malah diriwayatkan juga Ali k.w. mengelilingi masjid-masjid pada bulan Ramadhan dengan membawa lampu sambil mengucapkan kata-kata yang bermaksud: "Semoga Allah s.w.t. menerangi kubur Umar sebagaimana dia telah menerangi masjid-masjid kami." [3], dan juga riwayat dari Umar (رضى الله عنه) menyebutkan bahawa:

"Barangsiapa yang memberikan lampu penerang pada masjid-masjid Allah maka Allah akan memberi pula baginya lampu penerang di dalam kuburnya. " [4]

Rumah-rumah terbuka akan diadakan pada Hari Raya itu sendiri ataupun sepanjang bulan Syawal. Kemeriahan Hari Raya Aidilfitri selalunya akan berpanjangan sehingga sebulan, dan kemeriahan itu akan hilang dengan sendirinya apabila semua orang pulang ke bandar setelah cuti tamat.Biasanya minggu pertama hari raya,jalan akan dipenuhi dengan kereta dan menyebabkan jalan sesak.

Pakaian Baju Melayu adalah pakaian tradisi kaum Melayu yang dipakai oleh kaum lelaki di Malaysia pada Hari Raya. Pakaian ini dilengkapi dengan songkok dan lilitan songket di bahagian pinggang. Pakaian yang menjadi kebiasaan kaum wanita pula ialah Baju kurung dan Baju kebaya. Setiap tahun pelbagai fesyen diperkenalkan bagi mempelbagaikan rekaan baju-baju tradisi ini. Pada tahun 2005, pemakaian batik, songket, dan baju kebaya nyonya semakin meningkat hasil promosi dan komersialisasi oleh Allahyarhamah Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, isteri kepada bekas Perdana Menteri Malaysia ke-5, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Aidilfitri dalam Kalendar MasihiTarikh Hari Raya Aidilfitri adalah sentiasa tetap dan sama mengikut kalendar Hijrah. Namun begitu tarikhnya sentiasa berubah mengikut kalendar Masihi kerana kalendar Hijrah adalah mengikut peredaran bulan manakala kalendar Masihi pula mengikut peredaran Bumi mengelilingi Matahari. Oleh itu, tarikh Hari Raya adalah berbeza daripada tahun ke tahun, dengan beza lebih kurang antara sepuluh hingga 15 hari. (www.wikipedia.com)

Tahun ini, Hari Raya di Malaysia diraikan pada 30 dan 31 Ogos 2011.
Saya mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya kepada Muslimin dan Muslimat rakan-rakan semua.

"Berhati-hati di jalan raya"

Are you ready for retirement?

This is the year many people are retiring since the retirement age for civil servants was raised to 58 years. Just last month two colleagues retired, and yesterday my 2nd boss and another colleague retired...soon my own Director will be retiring in a few weeks time and also another few more colleagues till the end of the year. Which set me thinking...soon it will be my turn...I had better prepare now...though its five more years to go that is, if I remain active and healthy till then. I came across an article on Retirement Blues...perhaps it may help some of you who are in the zone now.
Happy reading.

Getting Over the Retirement Blues. It may be hard to imagine someone being anything but ecstatic to be retired and free to spend their days doing as they wish, but many people do go through some sort of a rough patch when they retire because retirement is a time of adjustment. This article will give you some helpful advice on getting over the retirement blues so you can get on with enjoying this new chapter of your life.

The retirement blues are the result of a few things, like having to say goodbye to a job that you loved and even one that you didn’t. Leaving the workforce can be a rough transition for someone who has spent the last few decades working. All that free time can be overwhelming! Then there’s also the realization that you are indeed retired and yes, aging. We spend every day aging but there’s something about retirement that just really drives it home for some people. Then you’ve also got to adjust to making less money than you’re used to which is even harder if you didn’t have much of a savings set aside for retirement. And for some the blues are a result of retirement not living up to the big romantic picture they had painted of it in their heads. Turns out retirement isn’t one big funny episode of the Golden Girls! It can be stressful and lonely for some. Having the right attitude is the first step in getting over the retirement blues.

If you’re feeling down about aging and feeling like retirement is somehow the end of your life, then it’s time to stop and realize that retirement is actually a whole new beginning and one that you’ve earned after years of working hard. Retirement will be what you make it just like anything else in life. This is your time to try new things and do the stuff that you never had time for before. This doesn’t mean that every minute of your retirement needs to be spent out travelling, salsa dancing or skydiving though! For those of you who romanticized retirement and pictured something more glamorous and exciting, you need to know that it’s okay to just relax and be sometimes. Not every moment needs to be an adventure unless you want it to be—really want it. A few leisurely days spent gardening or having a friend over for tea is to be savoured just as much as a cruise or vacation abroad. Enjoy it—all of it!

For those who are finding things difficult in the financial department you may need to work part time or find some way of earning some extra money. Instead of looking at this as a bad thing you should instead see the positive side which is that you can try something new. Look into jobs at places that you’d always wished you could work or make money doing something you love. Think of your hobbies and see if there’s money to be made selling your crafts, knit scarves or hand carved furniture. The world is your oyster at this point! Getting over the retirement blues is up to you.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Expenditures around the world ..it's the best..wowwww

Germany : The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

Chad : The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina (Sure hope most American
families eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less junk food than this family.)
Food expenditure for one week $341.98

Italy : The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

Egypt : The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

Ecuador : The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

Bhutan : The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

Credited to : Tan Wah Sin

Thursday, August 25, 2011

21 Tips Cegah Jenayah dari PDRM ~ Penting Sempana Cuti Raya

Tips menghalang jenayah seperti yang diberi oleh
Polis DiRaja Malaysia [ PDRM]

1. Jangan biarkan anak-anak tidur di ruang tamu seorang diri (Mereka mungkin menggunakan anak sebagai tebusan).

2. Kunci atau sorokkan semua pisau-pisau yang terdapat di dapur sebelum tidur (Kesemua kes kecurian di dapati pisau hilang dan menurut polis mereka akan mencari pisau dahulu sebelum mencuri bertujuan untuk melindungi diri mereka).

3. Sekiranya terdengar/terlihat paip air di luar rumah terbuka pada tengah malam (pukul 12 ke atas), jangan keluar rumah untuk menutup paip tersebut kerana ini adalah taktik terbaru mereka di mana mereka telah menunggu diluar pintu rumah untuk masuk (Kes terbaru berlaku di Dungun dan PJ).

4. Beritahu anak-anak sekiranya hendak ke tandas (jika tandas jauh) di waktu tengah malam, kejutkan ibubapa untuk bersama mereka.

5. Jangan simpan barang-barang kemas di dalam almari baju (Cara lama).

6. Bawa alarm kereta bersama semasa tidur, kalau terjaga tengah malam, cuba on and off kan balik untuk menakutkan pencuri (Menandakan kita sentiasa peka).

7.. Tekan butang merah alarm kereta anda jika anda mengesyaki pencuri sudah masuk ke dalam rumah.

8. Sekiranya terlihat orang asing yang mencurigakan di kawasan rumah anda, sila dapatkan plet no motor/kereta mereka (Selalunya mereka ini naik motor dan mereka ni biasanya berdua, setiap kali kita lalu depan mereka, mereka akan menundukkan kepala).

9. Pesan dengan jiran, sekiranya ada sesiapa yang datang ke rumah anda dan mengaku saudara anda bertujuan untuk mengambil barang-barang, jangan benarkan, beri nombor telefon pejabat kepada jiran supaya mereka boleh memaklumkan pada anda.

10. Semasa tidur, pastikan handphone anda berada di sisi atau pastikan juga Cordless Phone anda berada di sisi anda ataupun sambungkan satu extension dalam kamar tidur anda. Ini memudahkan anda membuat panggilan kecemasan sekiranya anda terasa kehadiran pencuri di dalam rumah anda.

11. Adakan senarai nombor telefon kecemasan 999 seperti polis, bomba , 991 atau sebagainya. Pastikan nombor-nombor ini disimpan dalam handphone anda. Kalau boleh, hafal nombor tersebut. Ini memudahkan anda untuk membuat sebarang panggilan telefon.

12. Kalau berkemampuan, pasangkan alat pengesan kecurian di rumah atau automatik alarm.

13. Lampu porch & lampu belakang rumah sebaiknya jenis automatik ,ia akan menyala bila malam, baik semasa kita ada di rumah atau pergi makan angin.

14. Kalau perlu mengambil cuti panjang,sentiasa memberitahu jiran2 anda supaya mereka dapat membantu menyimpan surat dlm mail box. Peti surat yg penuh membantu pencuri menghidu ketiadaan tuan rumah.

15. Kalau kawasan anda kerap berlaku kecurian, buat permohonan rasmi dari Balai Polis berdekatan supaya ada anggota polis buat rondaan yang kerap di kawasan anda.

16. Kereta PROTON merupakan kenderaan yang paling mudah dicuri. Kalau kereta anda baru dibeli, sekurang-kurangnya anda perlu mengunci gear & stering sebelum tidur (Sebenarnya masih boleh dicuri, tetapi ia dapat membantu melambatkan pencuri).

17. Kalau ada anak-anak perempuan, sebaik-baiknya pintu biliknya dikunci dari dalam (Sebab ada pencuri yg mengambil kesempatan seksual) dan anda perlu ada kunci pendua sekiranya berlaku kebakaran.

18. Sekurang-kurangnya simpan kayu hoki atau baseball di bawah katil anda buat mempertahankan diri dari pencuri yang ganas.

19. Jangan letak kunci bawah pasu bunga/mail box/alang pintu/tepi tingkap bila keluar (Pencuri dah lama tau taktik ni). Lebih selamat beri pada jiran yang kita kenal rapat.

20. Kalau menyewa di rumah baru, pastikan anda menukar padlock baru,kerana mungkin penyewa terdahulu masih mempunyai kunci pendua.

21. Kurangkan pendedahan dan pergaulan anda dengan pekerja asing.

Sumber: Bukit Aman PDRM
Harap info ini sedikit sebanyak dapat membantu anda demi keluarga tersayang.
Sama-Sama Membenteras Jenayah.
Jenayah Membawa Padah!
Layari laman web di bawah untuk Info tambahan mengenai kes jenayah:-

Have a safe trip home everyone. Berhati-hati di jalan raya.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vitamin "F"

"My Vitamin F"

A Friend shared this article with me and I want to share it with you.

Why do I have a variety of friends who are all different in character ?
Some of them can be considered marginal even ?
How do I get on with them all ?

I think that each one helps to bring out a "different" part of me...
With one of them I am polite.
I joke with another friend.
I sit down and talk about serious matters with one of them.
With another I giggle at every silly thing.
I have my wine with one
And dance with another.
I listen to one friend's problems and give them advice
Then I listen to another advising me.
They are all like pieces of a jigsaw,
When completed they form a treasure box.
A treasure of friends!
They are my friends who understand me better than myself,
who support me through good days and bad days.
They are like colourful anti-depressants that I take on different days.

Real Age doctors tell us that friends are good for our health.
Dr. Oz calls them Vitamins F (from Friends) and counts the benefits of friends to our well being.

Research shows that people in strong social circles have less risk of depression and terminal strokes. If you take Vitamin F constantly you can be up to 30 years younger than your real age. The warmth of friendship stops stress and even in your tense moments, it decreases the chance of a cardiac arrest or stroke by 50 %.

I am so happy that I have a stock of Vitamins F!

In summary we should value our friends and keep in touch with them.
We should try to see the funny side of things and laugh together, not forgetting
to open our mouths big to swallow the floating vitamins F !!!!

Thank you for being one of my vitamins!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ramadhan Al-Mubarak


Ramadan Al Mubarak (meaning "the Blessed") is the 9th month of the Muslim calendar. Ramadan is singled out for acts of worships and fasting because the first verses of the Holy Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet during a period of meditation and solitude in a cave near Mecca in the 7th Century.

Ramadan, for Muslims is a month of fasting, spiritualism, meditation and abstinence from food, drinks, smoking and continence in all respects between dawn and dusk. It also calls for more prayers and meditation coupled with increased tolerance towards one's fellow beings. Only the sick, the infirm, women in their menstruation periods, nursing mothers and travellers are exempt from fasting, but they are expected to make up the lost days at another time. Ramadan is also a month of charity and compassion. Alms are given to the poor. Special foods and sweetmeats are prepared for breaking of the fast each evening throughout the month.

After the discipline of prayers fasting and meditation, Ramadan culminates with the joyous celebration of Eid Al Fitr. Muslims observe a three days holiday marked by mass prayers, family reunions, social visits and exchange of courtesies and gifts. People meet together and greet one another with the traditional phrase of "Eid Mubarak".

Some useful Ramadan phrases

Ramadan Kareem: Happy Ramadan. (Response: Allahu Akram)
Ramadan Mubarak: Ramadan blessings.
Siam Maqbool wa Iftar shahee: Well fasted and enjoy breaking fast. (to be said at sunset)
Kul sana wa inta tayyib: Every year you are fine. (Response: Wa inta)

Selamat berpuasa to all my Muslim friends.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today's children are digital learners!


So much has been said about we oldies being digital immigrants and our children being born digital natives. How far is this true? No doubt we are learning about technology and immersing ourselves in it everyday but however fast we are, our kids are one step ahead of us. So much has been said about preparing ourselves for the 21st century, so where are we. What is 21st century learning and what do we mean by 21st century learning skills? Whatever is meant, we have no choice but to move forward, to equip ourselves with the knowledge to face the ever changing technology that surrounds us so that we can prepare to face our children, our students who seem to have everything at their finger tips. How to move from teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning. Accessibility and knowledge of how things work and where to get the information. 21st century skills include the 4 skills of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. Everyone's talking about web 2.0 tools for teaching and learning. Do you use them? I have read successful stories and they are the in-thing now. Suffice to say, we should get ourselves on the bandwagon, shape up or ship out. We have to learn to keep up else we be left behind. I am trying to read more, google more and do depend heavily on my favorite site the wikis. So I got myself a BB so I can keep up with the latest techno, so I can chat with my kids more and acquire skills that are just a finger tip away...to everyone who is also facing techno fever, good luck and keep up the good work.

Moving on...

It's already August...where am I? Have I achieved what I set out to do thus far...according to my New Year resolutions? Time has just passed me by and I have let it pass. Mum is still living in pain, I am still trying to clear my QE...my youngest girl has just been diagnosed with hyperthyroid this week. So what have I been doing a a mum? I have been so busy working and trying to complete my three chapters that I have somehow "neglected" the complaints of my girl. So now I really have to be more a mum than anything else. As they say, work can wait but family can't. So this Raya too, we will spend time with family from Penang and also drop by in JB to see my mum, and my daughter who is studying in Singapore.
Yes, its time to move on with the things that matter most to our hearts and our lives. It's family time and we also miss my son who is in Miri, Sarawak.
Whatever else happens, family should come first and everything else second, agreed?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nicol David wins Australian Women Open 2011

CANBERRA: Malaysian squash superstar Nicol David claimed the Australian Open women's title at her first attempt when she downed England's Jenny Duncalf in straight games in Canberra on Sunday.

David was at the brilliant best as she shut out Duncalf 11-8, 11-4, 11-6.

The world number one took control from the first game, jumping out to a 6-1 lead, and although Duncalf fought back to level terms the Englishwoman was always playing catch up and David never looked like relinquishing her grip.

"I knew that today was going to be a tough final, she knows my game really well and we play each other a lot," David said.

"I really had to stay consistent in there, I was moving well, I focused well and I just stayed on my game."

Nicol Ann David is a Malaysian female professional squash player. She is currently ranked world number 1 in women's squash, and is the first Asian woman to achieve this. She won the British Open title in 2005, 2006 and 2008, as well as the World Open title in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Nicol is the first squash player to have won the World Junior title twice; in 1999 and 2001 under the tutelage of Richard Glanfield. She remained the only female squash player to have achieved this, until Raneem El Weleily emulated Nicol's feat by winning her second World Junior Championship in 2007. Nicol joined WISPA and turned professional in 2000 when she won her first WISPA title, after only a month in the tour. The victory came in February, when she defeated Salma Shabana in the final of the Savcor Finnish Open. On June 7, 2008, Nicol David was honoured with the Order of Merit (Darjah Bakti) or D.B. in conjunction with the birthday of the His Majesty Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. She was the first recipient of the award which was established on June 26, 1975. Nicol was also invited to carry the Olympic torch for Malaysia during the build up to the Athens Olympics in 2004 and being appointed as UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador for Malaysia.

Nicol David's other notable achievements include the Asian Squash Championship, which she won with a record of eight times (in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011). She also held a 13-month, 51-match winning streak, from March 2006 until April 2007, when she finally lost to Natalie Grinham in the final of the 2007 Seoul Open. Nicol has also obtained the WISPA Player of the Year on six consecutive occasions, from 2005 until 2010

Are Today's Youth Less Creative & Imaginative?

Published August 12, 2011

It sounds like the complaint of a jaded adult: Kids these days are narrow-minded and just not as creative as they used to be.

But researchers say they are finding exactly that. In a 2010 study of about 300,000 creativity tests going back to the 1970s, Kyung Hee Kim, a creativity researcher at the College of William and Mary, found creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Since 1990, children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas. They are also less humorous, less imaginative and less able to elaborate on ideas, Kim said.

Has modern society really extinguished the creative spark among our youth?

Experts say creativity is innate, so it can't really be lost. But it needs to be nurtured.

"It's not that creativity can necessarily disappear," said Ron Beghetto, an education psychologist at the University of Oregon. "But it can be suppressed in particular contexts."

The current focus on testing in schools, and the idea that there is only one right answer to a question, may be hampering development of creativity among kids, Beghetto said. "There's not much room for unexpected, novel, divergent thought," he said.

But the situation is not hopeless, Beghetto said. In fact, there's evidence to suggest that, worldwide, youngsters are very creative, particularly with their use of digital media, Beghetto said. And a recent study found that, at least in their playtime, kids are becoming more imaginative.

Experts agree changes can be made in the classroom to cultivate creativity.

No child gets ahead

In her study, Kim analyzed results from the Torrance test, an exam that measures an aspect of creativity called divergent thinking. In this test, kids might be shown two circles and asked to draw something out of these shapes.

Interestingly, scores on the Torrance test have been decreasing while SAT scores are increasing. However, better test scores do not necessarly translate to improved creativity, Kim said. You can do well on a test by studying a lot, but it won't encourage original thinking.

Kim said No Child Left Behind, an act of Congress passed in 2001 that requires schools to administer annual standardized tests as a way to assess whether they are meeting state education standards, may be partly responsible for the drop in creativity scores.

"I believe No Child Left Behind … really hurt creativity," Kim said. "If we just focus on just No Child Left Behind — testing, testing, testing — then how can creative students survive?" Kim said. Other culprits may be the rise in TV watching, a passive activity that doesn't require interactions with others, Kim said.

Kim's work has also shown creativity declines in adulthood as we become more aware of the notions of right and wrong answers, she said.

But just because we are doomed to become less imaginative as adults does not mean society shouldn't work to salvage creativity in children. After all, ideas in childhood may lead to future career pursuits.

"If this trend continues then students who look different, nonconformists, will suffer, because they are not accepted," Kim said. Research shows that if creative personalities don't adjust to the school system, they can become underachievers and drop out of school, she said.

Time to play

Kids also nurture their creativity abilities when they "pretend," said Sandra Russ, a psychologist at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio, who was not involved in Kim's study. Elements of insight, fantasy and emotional expression all go into this type of story-making, Russ said.

Nowadays, with kids' overbooked schedules, there is less time for pretend play, Russ said.

Russ looked back at studies she has conducted on pretend play since 1985. In all, the studies involved close
to 900 children ages 6 to 9, who were asked to make up a story using two puppets. Stories were rated based on how many ideas the kids came up with, the novelty of the ideas, and the emotions expressed within the tales.

Russ found that, over time, imagination in the stories increased, with the stories in 1985 showing significantly less imagination than stories (created by different groups of kids) in 2008.

"Given the changes in [our] culture, we were surprised, and I would say encouraged," Russ said.
The results suggest kids are resilient, and may be finding ways to develop these abilities through other means besides strict playtime. For instance, some video games call for creative problem-solving strategies, Russ said.

The results do not necessarily contradict Kim's findings. The researchers can't be sure whether kids will actually apply their playtime imagination to the real world, Russ said.

Hide and seek

So how can we make sure not to squelch kids' creativity once they step inside a classroom?

Beghetto said the interaction between students and teachers has become one of "intellectual hide and seek." The students try to match what they think the teacher wants to hear.

"If you can do that, you can be 'successful' in school," Beghetto said.

Teachers don't spend a lot of time exploring unexpected ideas because they might not be sure where it will lead, Beghetto said. As a result, "out-of-the-box" thinking gets discouraged.

Beghetto is not blaming teachers, who may even feel as though they cannot teach creativity.
But teaching to prepare for tests and teaching to develop creativity are not mutually exclusive, Beghetto said. Teachers should recognize that unexpected answers may still lead to meaningful conversation and learning in a classroom, he said.

And schools may be able to implement tests that assess students broadly and allow for more creativity.

"I think there should be a variety of ways to assess what students know and how they know it," Beghetto said.

Follow staff writer Rachael Rettner on Twitter @RachaelRettner.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/08/12/are-todays-youth-less-creative-imaginative/#ixzz1V0Nm5VdT

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The world's fastest growing airport.

Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport is the world's fastest growing airport, according to a new report released by Airports Council International (ACI) August 1.

The World Airport Traffic Report 2010, which analyzed the performance of over 1,300 airports in 157 countries around the world last year, suggests that traffic at Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport, completed in 2009, jumped by 75 percent last year.

That puts it considerably ahead of Campinas in Brazil, the world's second-fastest growing airport, and Rio de Janeiro, the third.

Charleroi in Belgium and Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport rounded off the top five list.

Overall, traffic through the world's airports grew by 6.6 percent in 2010, the report shows, a total of 5.04 billion passengers -- the first time global air travel has passed the 5 billion mark.

The fastest growth was observed in Latin America and the Caribbean (13.2 percent), ACI said, followed by the Middle East (12 percent), Asia-Pacific (11.3 percent) Africa (9.5 percent), Europe (4.3 percent) and North America (2.5 percent).

Preliminary statistics show that for the first six months of this year, global passenger traffic is up by six percent again.

The busiest airports in the world overall were Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson in the US, Beijing, Chicago in the US, London Heathrow and Tokyo Haneda.

However, stripping out domestic passengers to include just international travel, London Heathrow holds the top spot, followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle, Hong Kong International, Dubai International in the United Arab Emirates and Frankfurt in Germany.

The world's fastest-growing airports

1. Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Turkey
2. Viracopos-Campinas, Brazil
3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4. Charleroi, Belgium
5. Moscow Sheremetyevo, Russia
6. Belo Horizonte, Brazil
7. Bogota, Colombia
8. Phuket, Thailand
9. Shanghai Pudong, China
10. Muscat, Oman
11. Ankara, Turkey
12. St Petersburg, Russia
13. Medan, Indonesia
14. Shanghai Hongqiao, China
15. Milwaukee, WI, USA

Data from Airports Council International - http://www.airports.org/

*KLIA...wherefore art thou?