Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our Dog

I think it was October last year when we "adopted" this puppy...

Her mother had since died for unknown reason. Look, at that time she looked very skeptical about us...

But now, she is jumping all over whenever we came back...

... and she loves to bite gently on our legs or anything eg, bag, clothing, etc.

More Rain

31-Jan-09 8:50AM This morning, as I am writing this entry, it is raining very heavily outside. I have never experienced such heavy rain prolonged over such a long period since I came to Miri 28 years ago.

See the pouring water...

Can you see the pouring rain? It is a huge challenge to take photos of rain! I just hope that the rain will stop when the school reopen after the Chinese New Year holiday. Also hope that there is no flood or landslide.
I remembered that some 10 years ago (1998), we had severe drought and the water tap ran dry during this period. We went all over the place to collect water. In fact, the red container above is a reminder of the drought as we bought it for transporting water.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Another landslide in Miri

30th Jan 2009: Today at around 1:05PM, another landslide on Canada Hill in Miri occurred about 1KM away from the last landslide at Kampong Lereng Bukit. This was the result of heavy rainfall every night since Christmas. According to Bernama news, the landslide occurred at 10am and another at around noon.

It is unclear how many houses were affected. But from the roadside, we could clearly see two houses badly damaged. (You may click on any photo to view a larger version).

This house was pushed a few meters from the original location.

As a result of the landslide, the bare hill at the back is clearly visible. The house on the right was pushed to the left hitting the orange house...

... and a tree trunk pierced right through the house. You could see visible damage to the orange house.

Huge volume of earth has been pushed down...

... "burying" a road with some 15 feet of earth .

A villager was being interviewed by the people from the local press.

Huge traffic jam on both side of the road.
At this moment of time, there is no reported casualty. I heard from the villagers that some 15 people run as fast as their feet could carry them and safely escape from disaster.
Thanks God that this landslide happened during the day time.

Update: Apparently six houses had been damaged.
31 Jan update: Apparently 8 houses had been damaged as there was another landslide at the same place at 3PM yesterday.

According to my wise friend Andrew Chan, he said that one cubic meter of wet soil can weigh up to 5 tons (5000 kg) or about the weight of 3 Proton cars!

According to See Hua Daily News, the following were the landslides over the last 50 years:
1963, 13-Jan-1981 4 casualties, 16-Jan-2009 2 casualties; 30-Jan-2009 - by grace of God, there was no casualty;


Near perfect orchid on sales during Chinese New Year.

This one is a new orchid from Taiwan. I thought the colour is a little too contrasting.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Taman Bunga (Flower Garden)

Taman Bunga (or Flower Garden) is situated just opposite the Central Post Office in Miri. I seldom went there but one fine morning, I decided to go in to take some photos for all to see...

The main entrance. There is a security office on the left.

Pathway lined with well trimmed vegetation.

A small lake in the middle of the garden ... some fish inside there!

Another angle of the lake.

A cactus garden...

... and an orchid garden.

Man's best friend

Rain or shin, our dog Snowie is always at the gate welcoming us home.

If our neighbour's dog is nearby, she would chase her away. Then she will jump up and down, literally dancing in the compound. Next she would jump on us, wet or dry. Often, she would gently chew on our leg or our clothing.
This Snowie is very passionate and a jealous dog. How can she not be our best friend!
This photo was taken the other night when it was raining heavily. She brave the rain to greet us!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chinese New Year Day 3

Today we visited my colleague Ivy. At her place we met a group of her ex-classmates.

All of them have a job and most are still single! They are one year Esther's seniors.

I met Ivy's sister baby boy born 7 days ago. This little boy reminded me of my own 6 children! I have actually forgotten how small they were at birth.
It is interesting to note that during labour pain, women tend to say "interesting" stuff, like "never to have another baby" etc.
Oh, I was the confinement person for all my children. So, I do know quite a lot on how to handle babies, eg, bath, changing nappies, etc.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wireless Iron

Do you know that wireless iron was invented by the Chinese more than a thousand year ago well before electricity and wireless communication? It depends on heat transfer from a heat radiation source that is about a centimeter from the shiny/glossy base of the iron.

What you see here is a more modern iron which was widely used about 40 years ago. I remembered my sister tried to iron clothing with an iron like this. Ironing seems to be big deal at that time...

First, we need to start a charcoal fire and transfer the hot charcoal to this iron.
Some charcoal would fill the cavity of this iron. But how to control the temperature? I afraid I have no idea unless someone reading this blog can remember it.
If I am to do it today using this iron, I would use a damp cloth to cool the temperature down to ensure that it doesn't make a hole in the fabric. I would then try it over a "test" fabric to make sure that it would not burn a hole. If it does, I would apply wax on the base and continuously rub it on another fabric which is a little more coarse in order to remove fabric stuck to the base.
The fabric at that time was mostly cotton. So I need water to be sprayed on the fabric to ensure an effective and faster ironing. Cotton has higher heat tolerant.

By the way, this iron is heavy. It is made from solid brass.

Chinese New Year - 1st day

On the first day of Chinese New Year, we went to church. But there were not many people. Either people are still sleeping or they didn't know that there was a church service.

... but the pastor delivered a good message.

We visited uncle Su...

Lion dance and charity is the culture here... this one is from Riam Secondary School. They depend a lot on public fund to run the school.

Goodies for the visitors...

... then visited by this "lion" from Chung Hua Secondary School...
Their lion is prettier but it is the spirit that count!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year Eve

Perhaps one of the most important meals of the year is on the Chinese New Year's eve. This is when all family members would try to "go home" to their parents and celebrate the occasion. This is also an opportunity for reunion. When I was young, I remembered that my father and the older males of the family would cook this meal! Today, I would do all the cooking.
This year, we decided to go simple as we have been over eating!

So we cooked a mixed vegetable. Method: cut all veg, dip in boiling water for 1 minute and then "fry" with some meat and corn flour. Add salt for taste.

Eating leek (suan) is a tradition. I don't know why.
p/s: Garry told me that this "suan" sounds like "counting". That may explain why Chinese can count very well! ;-)

... roasted chicken legs with rosemary. The chicken from this particular supermarket is badly done ... sometimes, they didn't remove the blood completely and after cooking, the chicken look as if it had been beaten to death! You can see the bruises which was caused by retained blood! Annoying indeed!

For dessert, we had ice cream, longan and yogurt drink. We also had some spaghetti as Ah Jon crave for it!

After dinner, the two younger boys went to the store room and dug out the firecrackers given to us by friend some 10+ years ago! They played safe by throwing the smaller crackers into the fire. We had about 4 feet of large firecracker left and Jos decided that we will blow everything off!

... and this was the result of the final deafening "explosion"! After dinner, my neighbourhood would let off all kinds of firework. However, the showdown will start 15 minutes to midnight.

... and my neighbourhood was like a "battle for explosion". At the stroke of twelve, heavy smoke and lots of noises were everywhere. Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! May the new year brings you good health, wealth and happiness.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese New Year Eve

We went to town to join the pre-new year eve rush! There was hardly any free parking lot in town and people park everywhere in a surprisingly orderly manner. There was a lone traffic police giving out illegal parking ticket.
Anyway, we went to Boulevard, Imperial Mall to do more shopping. We loaded ourselves with oranges, and some other goodies. It is confirmed that many things are cheaper here than the Boulevard branch.

There was happy hour tonight. So lot of items were sold at really good prices...

... and the place was quite busy...

We went over to the town center to visit the temporary market. It was 10:40PM and the road was still congested! It was also raining....

... fish is a must for CNY. It sounds like "plentiful". Anyway, it is a healthy food!

... this group of merchants were really happy selling fish... They requested me to take picture for them.

As it was raining, the indoor market became an instant attraction. There were so many people there!

Almost all "sweet" were red in colour... I believe they were not meant for human but the "gods/ancestors" when they were used for worship on day break.

Many braved the rain and did the shopping at the temporary stores.

... fire crackers! Some are legal and some are not... but they don't care!

Some of the oranges we bought... we wish you a happy Chinese new year. Gong Xi Fa Cai! (May you prosper)