Saturday, 30 July 2011

Sunshine......

No, this is not a post on Sunshine, a sci-fi movie directed by Danny Boyle with Michelle Yeoh in the cast. Rather, it's an award from, Ellen, the owner of Katz and Other Tales. Thank you, Ellen! 


We have to answer the questions below and then pass it on.




1. My favourite colour: Pink and apple green
2. My favourite animal: Cats
3. My favourite number: 007
4. My favourite non-alcoholic drink: Ambra juice with sour plum
5. Social media: Facebook, blog
6. My passion: Reading, movies and cats
7. Getting or giving presents: It's probably not correct for me to say this, but what the heck....getting presents. But I do love giving gifts to people on occasions, too. There, I sound more correct now.... :D
8. My favourite pattern: Abstract
9. My favourite day of the week: Saturday
10. My favourite flower: Sunflower, the bigger, the better


We're passing this on to friends who epitomize sunshine in their personalities - brightness and cheerfulness:
1) A desperate reluctant housewife
2) Celena
3) CazzyCazz
4) The Fluffies and The Purrs
5) Bookface
6) The Chair Speaks
7) Life around with my mini zoo
8) Hot takes

Yellow Shirt on Saturdays

Oops...forgot it's Saturday. Time to put on my cyber yellow shirt.  :P


Friday, 29 July 2011

Suria Cherating, The Good and The Bad

The Bad.....
We had booked a deluxe sea view room with Suria Cherating but when we checked in, we were disappointed at the size and condition of the room. It was small, bare and run down. It felt like a prison cell. 

I felt exactly like how Yin felt when she was put inside a carrier....I started yowling and scratching at the bars on the windows.....well, maybe not, but you get the idea.

Without wasting a single second, we rushed back down to the reception. We asked for a room with a balcony or patio. We had thought the deluxe sea view came with a balcony, based on the hotel's photos, but apparently not. 

The Good.....
The staff were very helpful and friendly, and tried their best to make our stay a happy one by listening to what we want from a hotel room, and then offering to upgrade us to Terrace with Sea View for only RM20 per night.  

Do you see the lady sitting on one of the deck chairs? Our room is directly behind her. 

There, at last....a place where I could sit outside the room and read. So peaceful. I spent many hours outside on the patio, reading my Kindle and drinking cups of tea. The wi-fi signal was not strong though, and I could not get any access from my Kindle (the Kindle is an ebook reader with wi-fi capabilities).

The view from our room



Although the furnishings were minimal, we were comfortable and cozy. A place I would like to return to if I visit Cherating again.

Other topics on Cherating:

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Mangrove River Tour @ Cherating

Besides turtle watching, another interesting activity in Cherating is the mangrove river tour. The boat leaves daily at 9am and 4pm, and the boat ride lasts 1-1/2 hours, for RM20 per person.


It is managed by the same person who runs the nightly fireflies boat tour. His name is Hafiz, and he can be reached at 017 - 978 9256. Hafiz is full of information on the mangrove trees, the animals and their habitat. His eyes are exceptionally sharp, and is able to spot the snakes and monitor lizards on the tree branches from afar.




The mangroves


Spot the monitor lizard


Spot the black snake with yellow rings....*hint: click on the photo for a larger view*


Makes me think of anacondas and Stephen King.....


Me: Are there any crocodiles in this river?
Hafiz: There are, but only at specific season, and this is not it.


The mounds beneath the tree stump are lobster mounds


Hafiz: Lobsters are dug from those mounds, but one has to be careful as there is usually a cobra inside if you dug in too deep.




Attap seed (or palm seed) plant


Back at Hafiz's shop, he showed us the attap seed plants that he's growing. Attap seeds are those sweet, white fleshy seeds added in ice kacang (shaved ice).


Hafiz's shop at Cherating Village


Other topics on Cherating:
1) Turtle-watching
2) Payung Cafe
3) Suria Cherating, The Good and The Bad

Let Us Help Protect Our Turtles

Turtle watching is an experience not to be missed. It's not the same as watching documentaries. Being up close and personal with a turtle (or a few) is a life-changing experience.


This is the first time we were in Cherating at the right season. You could be picked up at your hotel, for RM50 each, or you could find your own way to Pantai Teluk Mak Nik (D'Monica Bay) at Kemaman, Terengganu and pay only RM30 per person. We opted for the latter, since Teluk Pantai Mak Nik is only a fifteen-minute-drive from our hotel in Cherating.


For the fee, you get to watch the turtles laid their eggs (I was lucky as there were four turtles that came to nest on the beach that night) and helped to release the hatchlings into the sea. 


A turtle heading back to the sea after it has laid its eggs

78 eggs from turtle with tag no. 8991


I could hear the explosion of breath and quick inhalation as the turtle laboured and expelled its eggs. After the turtle has covered its eggs, the ranger removed them and took them to a sanctuary where they will hatch in 40 - 45 days' time. Once hatched, they would be released back to the sea. The turtles we were asked to help release that night was only a few hours old.


My hatchling

Hubby's hatchling





Some were going in the wrong direction....one even crawled towards me.


The odds are stacked against their survival. Out of one thousand hatchlings, only one or two survive to reach adulthood, at 25 years. They get caught in fishermen's nets, under a boat propeller, or preyed upon by fish, crabs, birds and humans  We can't control the other factors, but we can say NO to turtle eggs and soup. There are many other eggs and meat, why consume turtles and their eggs??!!


They eat mainly sea grass, seaweeds and jellyfish. When humans throw plastic bags which are washed into the sea, the turtles mistook them for jellyfish, ate them and died. So, please do not throw any plastic bags at the beach or riverbanks as they will be carried into the sea. Let us help protect our gentle, defenceless turtles.


Other topics on Cherating:
1) Mangrove river tour
2) Payung Cafe
3) Suria Cherating, The Good and The Bad

Friday, 22 July 2011

Mrs Potato Pigs Out is Blackie Bond's Alter Ego

I've been playing with the idea of having a separate blog for food, but have never took the trouble to do so. But thanks to the hacker, I've stirred myself and created not only a replacement blog for the hacked ones, but a separate food blog, too.


From now, all restaurant reviews and home-made recipes will be posted in my other blog at mrspotatopigsout.blogspot.com


And to the hacker(s) of my blogs, when you also hacked into my email account, you left a trail of your ISP and where you logged in from..... you didn't know that, did you, that Google alerts the owner of the account of suspicious activities from an ISP that is different from the one that is normally used. Or you just didn't care........

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Letter From Blackie the Cat to Muffin The Toy Gorila

The earlier letter referred to is at Letter from Blackie.

Blackie007 Is Now Blackie Bond

When my blog post titled July 9, 2011 - A Day To Be Remembered was hacked, I had thought it was just one post. I had checked all other posts filed under 'Politics' (not that there were many posts on that topic) and they were untouched. Little did I imagine that my two other blogs would be hacked later and stolen.


Yes, stolen. As in, I am no longer able to edit or have any control over those blogs. I only realised it today, when I was about to edit my blog profile. I saw with surprise that one blog was missing, while another one was renamed to Muffin with a different URL (muffingorila.blogspot.com). The original name was Muffin The Toy Gorila, and my URL was muffinthetoygorila.blogspot.com. The other one was Muffin The Toy Gorilla with a double 'l', for those who might have typed gorila with a double 'l.


I tried to contact blogger support, but all the message I got was, 'you might have entered the wrong email address', 'you might have entered the wrong password', and 'fill out the form and an email message will be sent to you to verify that the blog belongs to you'.




Well, I did all that, and guess what? I never received that email associated to Muffin's blog. Why? Because it has been stolen from me and is no longer associated with my email. And there is no way I could contact Blogger support (no email contact, or other forms to fill out) to return the blog to me.

So now what do I do?? I'll figure that out later. First and foremost, I have shut down blackie007.blogspot.com, and have created a new blog, for reasons of my own. I apologise to those who have been following my blog, it isn't possible for me to contact each and everyone of you. I hope you'll stumble upon this new blog name and realise it's me......


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Nelson Tan Cafe & Restaurant

Nelson Tan has been around for at least three years, and has undergone several changes. Yet, I had never blogged about them. I could never be sure if this cafe is named after its owner, or if it's just a pronunciation of its Chinese name. On its signboard, in Chinese, are three words that are pronounced as "Neow Sen Tan" which, literally translated, means bird lays egg. No, don't ask me any questions.....


Anyway, when it first opened its doors for business, Nelson Tan started off as a Japanese-fusion food restaurant, then it changed its menu to local fare, but before long, it changed itself into a Japanese buffet restaurant. And now, it's back where it began....a Japanese-fusion food restaurant.


With KL locked down by the police on July 9, 2011, we decided to stick within Kepong township for lunch and dinner. Moreover, we were keeping an eye on the live news coverage of the rally, and the place we had our lunch would need to have the Astro tuned to either the BBC, CNN or Al Jazeera. Nelson Tan fit the bill.


Tempura Unagi Roll - RM6.90


Hmm....how do I describe the Tempura Unagi Roll? *scratch head* Waxing lyrics over food is never my forte, and that's the reason why I could never make the mark of a food blogger. So, let me put it this way....it tastes as good as it looks.  


Bacon mushroom pepperoni spaghetti - RM12.90


I ordered the bacon mushroom pepperoni spaghetti. Lightly tossed in olive oil, the bacon and mushroom flavour was subtle and not overwhelming. I loved it.


Japanese octopus pepperoni spaghetti - RM18.90


Hubby, the octopus lover, had the above. Although the two dishes looked similar, the taste was quite different. Mine had the unmistakable bacon flavour, while hubby's had an indiscernible taste. To me, anyway. Hubby gave it one-thumb up.


Prawn fried rice - RM6.90


Mum, who don't usually go out with us, joined us for once, as she also could not figure out where to eat. Mum is not adventurous where food is concerned, and tends to eat only what she's familiar with, so, of all the many interesting items on the menu, she picked prawn fried rice. It wasn't bad........just 'boring'.


My drink - orange banana ice blended smoothie - RM7.90. Ever since hubby was diagnosed with diabetes, he could only order either water or Chinese tea, whichever is available. Mum has never been interested in all those non-traditional drinks, so it was water for her, too.


The bill came to RM32.65......after a 50% promotional discount.  :))


Address:
Nelson Tan
Jalan Metro Perdana 2
Kepong Utara
Tel: (03) 6258 5871

Chatterbox @ 1 Utama Again!

Yes, we went back to Chatterbox again, barely one month later. Nope, restaurants in KL are not closing down their business one by one, leaving us with no other places to eat. Rather, hubby and I decided to take his mother and sister there last Sunday, to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday.


The stir fried beef with ginger and spring onions was overcooked and slightly on the tough side.

The deep fried golden pumpkin balls in salted egg was super yummy. The contrast between the crispy salted egg and the sweet, soft pumpkin was out of the world. Much better and more interesting than any of those crab or prawn dishes in salted egg.

Yup, we ordered the same thing again, steamed ladies fingers with lotus roots. Okra is called ladies' fingers here in Malaysia. We wanted hubby's mother and sister to try this 'unusual' topping.

Another repeated dish, steamed salmon head in black bean sauce. Mother-in-law did not enjoy this dish, however. We found out that she does not like salmon......oops.

The dessert this time was red bean soup, but I forgot to take any photos until after we've finished the last drop. The total bill came to RM76.55, inclusive of four Chinese tea.

Address:
Lot 338, LG (Rainforest)
One Utama Shopping Centre
Tel: (03) 7710 - 8833

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Najib Meets Queen Bersih

Ladies and gentlemen, noble citizens of Malaysia, Her Majesty Queen Bersih meets Najib.
Her Majesty is in support of her secret service agent, Blackie007, who recently spoke out on Bersih Kitties.

Bersih Kitties

Hello everyone, this is Blackie. I've tied my human slave up and taken over her computer. I think it's time we kitties are bersih (clean in the Malay language). Now listen up, and listen well.


Humans wear coverings on their two hind paws when they go out, don't they. So, why shouldn't we felines have the same privilege of having our four paws covered when we go out? Who died and made humans king that they should be different from us, huh? Imagine our paws tracking all the dirt humans leave behind, not to mention doggy pooh. Yeee-uck!! We want to be bersih, too.


On 9 July 2011 we held a rally for some bersih household rules reform. We ordered our human slaves to get us some paw-coverings so we can be bersih. The male told the female that they should just sit in front of the idiot box. You know, the one where some humans and animals are captured inside and they talk to you, but can't hear you. Yes, you got that right. Being the incompetent fools that they are, they misunderstood us. They thought we asked them to get us some Bersih news coverings. From 9am to 6pm, they were glued to the idiot box and the computer. And then the female blogged about it, which was hacked and tampered with the very next day. Tsk-tsk. But that's another story, to be covered by the female slave after she catches up with her 101 chores.

To cut a long story short (we felines are not chatter-boxes unlike our canine friends), the female finally understood what we want, and went out two days ago to get us some paw-coverings. I suspect she forgot to pee along the way to mark her trail and got lost. She spent the entire day away from her chores and returned with only......some cans of wet food, a tube of tuna-flavoured molasses (the slave said it's pronounced as laxatone) to help us eliminate our hairballs, a pair of sneakers and two pairs of socks. A pair of sneakers?? Are we supposed to share the sneakers????!!!  Hmmmp!! 


The female said they're called socks. Do you like my socks?


That's me with the female slave. I got her hands tied above her head with one of those square box that captures one of your souls when a button is pressed. Those white dots you see on the bottom of the socks provide a non-slippery grip when I walked. I could jump onto the dining table without slipping and falling.


Kitty sneakers


The slave said those are called sneakers. I'm not sure why or how paw-coverings sneak up on you? Anyway, she came home with only one pair. I hope she's not expecting Yin and I to share that pair and walk on only our two hind legs like them??


She said the socks and sneakers are available in various patterns and colours. She said there are plastic sandals, too, but she didn't get them. 


The top part and the bottom part with non-slippery grip'


She had meant Yin to have the red socks, but Yin's paws are too big to fit in. I'm not surprised. Yin's more like a cow than a lady to me. She's bigger than me, and when she walks, you think of a big elephant that somehow manages to stomp quietly. 


Socks - RM14.80


Sneakers - RM49.90


Tuna flavoured laxatone for elimination of hairballs - RM30


The above products could be purchased from:
Home Pet Food and Care
No. 41, Jalan 1/149J, Sri Petaling. 
Tel: (03) 9059 - 3191
URL: http://www.facebook.com/HomePetFoodandCare
Business hours: Tuesdays to Sundays 11am to 9pm


While you are there, perhaps you would like to take one of the many adorable rescued kitties home? Your house is not a home until you have a feline companion.  ;)




Warning:
For those who don't know cats well, cats sweat through their paws and wearing socks and shoes for more than a few minutes (short photoshoot only!) can lead to heat exhaustion and heart attacks, esp in this climate. (Thanks,  Ellen, for this timely warning!)



Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Blog Tampered With

Notice:
My earlier post titled July 9, 2011 - A Day To Be Remembered has been hacked and turned into unintelligible junk. It was fine last night. 



Friday, 8 July 2011

Book Review: 1222 by Anne Holt


I've never read Anne Holt's work before even though she's a best-selling novelist. That's because she's a Norwegian author, and her novels are all written in Norwegian. So English readers like me are lucky when her eighth installment of The Hanne Wilhelmsen series was translated into English.


After having read Snow by Orhan Pamuk, also another translated work, Anne Holt's 1222 is a refreshing change. It draws you in, unlike Snow. 


Although it's a crime thriller, it is not one of those action-packed novels that I like. Rather, it is reminiscent of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. It focuses more on solving the puzzle of the crime instead of the crime itself. That said, I do like Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes, too, so if there is going to be anymore English-translated work of Holt's, I'll be sure to read them.


1222 is the name of a hotel atop a mountain near a train station. The story begins with a snow blizzard that caused the train to derail. The survivors were rescued and taken to Finse 1222. Snowed in and unable to go home, people started to die. 


Amongst the survivors was a former police detective Hanne Wilhelmsen. Paralysed from waist down due to a bullet that hit her 12th and 13th verterbrae, she tried to work out who the murderer was from a long list of suspects.


Even though I am more a fan of fast action novels, somehow the narration of 1222 managed to draw me into the story and it was one of those hard-to-put-down books. Imagine this....my nose was buried in my Kindle as hubby and I walked along Jalan Telawi in Bangsar.....

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Cat With Diva Attitude

See the gleam in her eyes


Yin, who earned the nickname Empress Dowager from hubby for her very diva attitude, has asserted herself yet again. Today, she wanted my desk, or whatever remaining space there was, to herself, and when Blackie joined her, she tried to push him off. 










This is the same way she pushes my mum's mobile phone off the table too. The only item she allows on whichever table she is lying on must belong to me. If she smells that it doesn't belong to me, she'll push it off the table. We still haven't figured out why she does that. My mum has been trying, without success, I might add, to instill in Yin that anybody who lives in this apartment is allowed to put their things on any tables, that she should not discriminate.

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