Strovek Writes


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas - 2 x

Christmas is celebrated by christians world over on Dec 25. It is a time of great rejoicing to remember to coming of Jesus Christ and to celebrate good will among all people.

As a Chinese descend, we celebrate Christmas twice. A few days prior to the Dec 25 - around Dec 21, we also celebrate Chinese Christmas (also known as Winter Solstice). To celebrate this festival, we typically will make Tangyuan. However, it has been several years since we actually made it ourselves. The preparation is very tedious since we have to grind the rice etc. Nowadays we will buy the dough from the market, we just make it into circle and cook it in sugar syrup.

In Hockien language, we call it Ee (or circle - literal translation). It usually comes in multicolor. This year, we bought ones with crushed peanuts and sugar in them. My children call them "Ta Bah Kuih" which is another type of pastry that they are used to eat.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A matter of balance

As part of my fastestman training, I have been reading a couple of books. In the book Run Fast: How to Beat Your Best Time--- Every Time, it mentions that we have slow twitching muscles and fast twitching muscles.

It got me into thinking, why that is the case then I thought about another book - A mind at a time I read about how our brain consist of short term memory and long term memory. Then I think about how our muscles and bone structure is put together, look at your hand and legs, upper part of the leg is shorter and the lower part is much longer. Same with the arms.

Nature is designed that way, and it seems to be the most efficient way for our body to work. So I am surprise that whenever we look at others, we expect others to be the same as us so we judge them by our own standard. Maybe we should stop that, others are there to create a balance. Look at them as pieces that will make our world whole.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Good or Bad - Hard to say!

I received the following stories from two colleagues and thought I would share it here:

First story

Once upon a time, an old man lost his horse, his neighbor consoled him.
The old man said : Good or bad, hard to say.

After a while, the male horse bring back a group of horses from the jungle. His neighbor congratulate him.

Old man said : Good or bad, hard to say.

The old man's son upon getting so many horses, rode on the wild horse and fell down, with a broken leg.

His neighbor consoled him.

Old man said : Good or bad, hard to say.

Then comes the recruitment for rookie/soldiers as it was war against the neighboring country,
the old man's son was not called upon due to his broken legs, so the old man can have his son
live together with him, while his neighbors' sons, most of them died in the battle.

Second Story

Once upon a time, there was a king. The king liked one of his followers very
much because he was very wise and always gave very useful advice. Therefore the
king took him along wherever he went.

One day, the king was bitten by a dog, the finger was injured and the wound was
getting worse. He asked the follower if that was a bad sign. The follower said,
Good or bad, hard to say'. In the end, the finger of the king was too bad that
had to be cut. The king asked the follower again if that was a bad sign. Again,
the follower gave the same answer, 'Good or bad, hard to say'. The king became
very angry and sent the follower to prison.

One day, the king went hunting in the jungle. He got excited when he was on the
chase of a deer. Deeper and deeper he went inside the jungle. In the end he
found himself lost in the jungle. To make thing worse, he got captured by the
native people lived inside the jungle.

They wanted to sacrifice him to their god. But when they noticed that the king
had one finger short, they released him immediately as he was not a perfect man
anymore and not suitable for sacrifice. The king managed to get back to his
palace after all. And he finally understood the follower's wise quote, 'Good or
bad, hard to say'. If he hadn't lost one finger,he could have been killed by
the native people.

He ordered to release the follower, and apologized to him. But to the king
amaze, the follower was not mad at him at all. Instead, the follower said, 'It
wasn't a bad thing that you locked me up.'


Because if the king hadn't locked the follower up, he would have brought the follower along to the jungle.

If the native found that the king was not suitable, they would have used the follower. Again, the quote 'Good or bad, hard to say' stands.

The moral of the story:
Everything that happens in this world, there is no absolute good or bad.
Sometimes good things turned out to be bad things eventually, while bad things
become a gain.

Whatever good things that happen to you, enjoy it, but don't have to hold too
tight to it, treat it as a surprise in your life.Whatever bad things that
happen to you, don't have to feel too sad or despair, in the end, it might not
be a total bad thing after all.

If one can understand this, he or she will find life much easier.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Careful when buying Oranges this New Year

Not sure how true this is, just received it from a colleague.

Do not the recent Chi Jiezi ah!
Sichuan this year, the Orange suffered a disaster of the parasite, called Orange maggots and parasites visible to the naked eye. Far from clearing the light orange skin can not see, it is necessary that each of the orange outside of the skin layer is also Bodiao can see!
It is said that the Government catty to a few cents of the purchase price of orange fruit in the hands of the disease and then buried, but there is still secretly Caimixinqiao fruit of the disease out of the wholesale orange!
So now the market's orange-chuan to be careful! Huaxi Dushi Bao is said to have written this, does not know the truth, but we still pay attention to what you

"I Changzhemeda, has not seen in the orange of the flap of meat hidden in so many maggot Yazi, really strange ... ..." 3 pm, the Jiachuan in the town of Guangyuan Wang Cangxian cock of the mountain orchards, Dan Qiaocun Six groups of 67-year-old Chen Yang significant
For the elderly since
Being buried at the foot of their own for dealing with more than 5000 kilograms of citrus is a very emotion. In the hillside behind the elderly, 200
More labor and strong as he is being de l'Orangerie, the last pick of the fruit, and then focus on piling up, most of them digging deep disinfection
Fanzhuoqingguang also a few fruits.

¦ orange flesh torn up to two maggots

Orchard Hill crow is a well-known in Guangyuan City of citrus orchards. Chen Yang significantly to the elderly to a reporter just finished harvesting the fruits of the Orangerie, the trees have been empty, leaving a fruit. In a piece? Ditch teach myself Yun Mu Yin Jian
The Magic Sui ??
Wide, 5 meters long, "Orange funeral" pits have been dug, the outer edge of the pit densely stacked with thousands of kilograms of oranges, is awaiting the delivery of lime to disinfect can begin to deal with. In half of the green half of the yellow pile of oranges, Chen Hin
Yang picked up three
Only the orange, looks good, there is no gap and no hole, a shell of a separate, rough-looking, and there is no strange, but when he chose a torn orange orange-crimson meat, reporters immediately see more than two
White long grain of rice
The white maggots crawling out ... ...

Chen said Yang Hin, and its own people in the village on September 27 were told to pick up citrus fruit, "without leaving a tree, all the Government can buy. Optical pick, burying light and kill."

¦ up to a "buried" 320,000 yuan

"Message maggots school by the name of Hendel large, commonly known as the Orange maggots." Deal with the fruits of plant diseases and insect pests of agricultural town Jiachuan service station high-Sheng-ming to answer a reporter's suspicions.

Gao Sheng-ming said: "The maggots as a mandarin orchards in the survival of the parasite is not surprising, but this year, such as large-scale outbreak, have catastrophic consequences for rare." According to Gao Ming-sheng, the first of the maggots found in Citrus Adjacent is still
Wu town. With the
After the county government immediately organized experts to the neighboring township to start investigation soon, the army near the town of 4 found a large area of the township of Orange maggots. September 27, the county government's large citrus fruit epidemic prevention and control issued a notice,
According to the Office of disposal
France, the trees will have to mature and immature fruit picking all down 0.30 yuan per kilogram in accordance with the standards by the reunification of the acquisition, and then buried, pollution-free treatment for disinfection.

Shan Jia Chuan cock is merging the town's largest orchards, more than 200 people after 7 days of hard work, as at 3 pm, has been picked to deal with the 250,000 kg.

¦ Chang Chong of the citrus fruit will be buried

There is expected to nearly 30,000 kilograms of fruit need to pick processing. "We have to deal with the town's fruit up to a buried need 100,000 kg of citrus fruit, according to the market last year, the lowest estimate, the loss will be more than 320,000 yuan, the head
The former is still doing
??. "

¦ 1000 Citrus million kilograms were buried

Wang Cangxian deputy magistrate in charge of agriculture Yin Fu-chung told reporters that at present the county need to be addressed in citrus fruit more than 10,000,000 kg, the government will come up with 3,000,000 yuan of funds for the unified purchase of pollution-free deal.

Yin Fu-chung said that in order to control the epidemic to prevent the spread of Wang Cangxian assigned to the industrial, commercial and Drug Administration, agriculture, forestry and other departments sent specialized personnel to all of the county's farm market, individual stalls selling citrus fruit to implement martial law
Grid monitoring
And quarantine, the maggot is strictly prohibited mandarin traded, and deal severely with maggots mandarin sales.

¦ According to the "Huaxi Dushi Bao"

Wangcang citrus orchards why large-scale outbreak of major diseases and insect pests fly? The incorrect use of the "Orange maggot" will not harm the body? Yesterday, for readers concerned about the issue, an interview with reporters on the staff of specialized agencies.

Sloppy management of outbreaks of pests and diseases is an important reason

Wang Cangxian?????agriculture bureau chief, said all summer, according to the records, the mid-1990s there were three Wangcang Township plant diseases and insect pests have emerged, as the group of experts organized by provinces and municipalities have taken strict measures to prevent and control, cut
Find out pests
Black township of all citrus trees, after a fairly long period of time Orangerie is "clean."

According to Xia Jun-ming, the large-scale outbreak of the "big fruit pests and diseases" in recent years with the owners and contractors to relax on the management of the orchard, where not a lot of soil, winter pruning, such as clearance of the park, not in place, such as pesticide spraying
Leading to diseases and insect pests
The outbreak of the important reasons.

In order to prevent the spread plant diseases and insect pests? Ying Wang Yun Yao much prized acres population induced a burning dragonfly? to the town of White as first-line areas, is strictly prohibited in the region citrus fruits and nursery stock sale, tune out
Transportation; especially in the East and West at both ends and the other counties
Zone at the junction of Whitewater, the two become timber checkpoint set up "checkpoints" by the agriculture, forestry and public security departments to send special inspection; assigned to the industrial, commercial and Drug Administration, agriculture, forestry and other departments sent staff to all of the county farm City
Market, individual stalls
Sales of citrus fruit to implement strict monitoring and quarantine.

This year the tube to live, how do the year after next, how to achieve "long-term stability"? It has been said all summer, according to the provinces and cities have the experience and conclusions of the meeting of experts in plant protection, the best approach is to create spaces for tree felling to be low after the graft,
In addition to that plant
Other economic trees. If you choose to graft low, we must strengthen management throughout the year, according to the soil in different seasons, pruning, fertilizing, spreading drugs, for 3-5 years in order to guarantee the basic big fly "disappeared."

The incorrect use of the "Orange maggots," the human body will not be affected much

According to the Agriculture Bureau in Guangyuan City?????related to staff, the citrus fruit fly is a parasite, has a strong hidden. Only a torn orange indeed in all aspects of meat, rice grains can be found in the length of the maggots and white, orange
Citrus can be easily
The incorrect use.

The incorrect use of the "Orange maggot" will not cause harm to the human body? CDC deputy director of the physicians in Guangyuan City, said Sun Wenming, a small amount of the incorrect use of maggots Orange will not have any problems at present there is no medical report of the disease. Customer
Purchase in citrus
Fruit, to be more careful, do not eat as much as possible, "Orange maggot", if the body does not immediately seek medical treatment.

The original message is as follows:




鸡鸣山果园是广元市有名的柑橘园。陈显阳老人把记者带到了一个刚刚采摘完果实的橘园,树上已空空荡荡,不留一枚果实。在一块? 喽云教沟牡胤剑��幻咨睢⑷��?









旺苍县分管农业的副县长殷扶炯告诉记者,目前全县需要处理的柑橘类果品超过1000 万公斤,政府将拿出300万元资金进行统一收购作无公害化处理。







为了防止病虫害蔓? 樱�旺�韵亟��爻撬��诘亩��诱蜓厥〉?线到白水镇一线划为疫区,严禁该区域柑橘类果实和苗木上市销售、向外调运;特别在东、西两端与其他县





Friday, November 7, 2008

10 Steps To Help You Get A Great Night's Sleep

Received the following tip from a newsletter in my mailbox today

1. Make a list of what you need to do the next day, write it all down and keep that paper and pen near your bedside in case you think of anything else you need to do. When you write things down your giving your brain the signal that it no longer needs to think about those tasks.

2. Don't watch television or listen to the radio (especially the news) before retiring for the night - and certainly do not fall asleep with the TV or radio on.

3. Read some inspirational or self-growth material for at least 30 minutes prior to bed. Your goal is to fill your mind with inspirational thoughts before falling asleep so that the last thoughts you have before drifting off are uplifting thoughts - as opposed to the stressful thoughts that most people fall asleep thinking about.

4. Make sure the room that you're sleeping in is as dark as possible - the body is made to sleep when it's dark out - the darker the room the more potential for a deep sleep.

5. Make the room as silent as possible - turn off all electric devices and ask others in the house to be as quite as they can be.

6. Don't eat for at least 3 hours before going to bed. When there's undigested food in the stomach your body is forced to focus on digesting that food rather than being focused on repairing your body and mind - which is what sleep is all about! The body was designed to digest food best while moving - not while laying down.

7. Try to go to bed at approximately 10:00 pm and awake at approximately 6:00 am. In Ayurvedic medicine it's believed that there are cycles that are the most conducive for certain activities. Going to bed at 10:00 pm and arising at 6:00 am appears to allow the body to rest the deepest, rejuvenate the most, and gives the person the most energy throughout the day.

8. Don't take drugs or vitamins/herbs that are supposed to help you sleep (unless required by your physician). Most of these artificial sleeping aids do nothing more than deaden your senses - the goal of 'sleep' is to give your body the time and means to repair itself and prepare for the coming day. When you drug yourself to sleep, every system in your body is slowed down, including all those systems that are responsible for repairing you.

9. Make sure that there's a fresh air supply in the room. The air indoors is said to be some of the most toxic air around. When you sleep, you're only able to breath in the air that surrounds you in your enclosed bedroom. Try opening a window (if it's cold outside then just open the window a crack). The fresh air that comes in while you sleep will help your body repair itself because you'll have access to cleaner, more oxygenated air.

10. During the day, do 60 minutes of mild exercise. If you don't have time to do 60 minutes in a row, then break it up into 2 - 30 minute sessions, or 3 - 20 minute session, or 6 - 10 minute sessions --- just get a full 60 minutes in. The best exercise when talking about general health and preparing your body for a great night's sleep is "walking".

Monday, November 3, 2008

Penang Twin Tower

Here are some pictures of Penang Twin Tower (courtesy of a colleague of mine) taken during the last Penang Bridge Marathon:

I think it is pretty impressive architecture although not as high as the KL Twin Tower.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Effect of sleeping Late at night

I received this in the mail today and had it translated from Chinese using Google Translate:

Wan Shui consequences of the state

Some people have always had good health, but few stay up late at night in a row, all of a sudden to get up the next day will am very tired, I wanted to sleep with eyes closed, and will be back pains, but a good spirit of the evening up! Do not think this is trivial! According to Chinese medicine's view, is due to fatigue caused by an imbalance of yin and yang organs in the body, is the organ in the body from internal strife, fighting each other, the final result of organ failure and died.

Sleep is the body's self-adjustment time, it's time for you aggression, aggression, it's your health, we should guard ourselves to the following rest periods.

Night 9 - 11 Points for the immune system (lymph) detoxification, this paragraph should be quiet or listening to music.

Night 11 - 1 am, Liver detoxification, to be carried out in deep sleep.
The early morning of 1 - 3, detoxification of bile, is no exception.
The early morning of 3 - 5, The lung detoxification. That is why people who cough cough during this period of time, and was the most intense, action has come as a result of toxins from the lung; cough should not be used so as not to suppress the plot of waste material to exclude.

The early morning of 5 - 7, The toxins from the colon, should the toilet stool.
In the morning 7 - 9, A large number of small intestinal absorption of nutrition at the time, should have breakfast. Treating patients as early as the best food in the 6:30, 7 in health Point and a half years ago, do not eat breakfast should be used to change, even until 9, 10:00 to eat than not eat well.
The middle of the night until 4 am Points for the spine hematopoietic time to be asleep, not stay up all night.

The consequences of lack of sleep:

A. Lack of sleep will increase the pressure on the hormone levels, so we feel the pressure of rapidly rising to a new level.

B. Fitness and energy will be decreased because of lack of sleep, the level of intelligence, to focus on the ability and decision-making ability will be affected in various degrees.

C. Do not sleep well the law will not seriously affect the progress of the study and units of the brain time to reduce the intake of nearly half of the amount of information, learning new things easily frustrated.

D. Dream is a mood of the adjustment process, it can never help you out in a good mood. However, the absence of sufficient sleep, it is very likely in the negative after finishing the dream will have to get up, which will make during the day and all day Jingshenbuzhen, emotional deterioration, with the passage of time, the formation of a negative psychological crisis.

E. Sleep too little and you may not have difficulties in the case would have been suppressed, psychological tolerance of the apparent decline.

23:00 to 2 am
Skin is the best time to renovate - knowing that this is the beauty of the noble words of experts, but it is always difficult to implement. Only until the next day wake up, find a mirror of themselves not only lost its luster, also covered with acne, his eyes are too serious to be solved on the bridge of the nose to climb the fine lines, under what the two super -
"Panda eyes" to find powder everywhere ... ...

Stay up late first-aid book

1. Dinner there are about

Lack of adequate sleep in the skin, there will be water and nutrients over the loss, it should add some dinner with vitamin C Or collagen containing food, conducive to the resumption of skin elasticity and gloss.

A large number of fruits are rich in vitamin C , Or 1 to 2 oral vitamin C Film. Jishi spicy food and alcoholic beverages, it is best not to smoke.

2. Take care before going to bed

After the end, stay up all night and sleep is the worst habits. At this time should be raised a glass of honey Chamomile tea can also help Runzao sleep.

In the skin thoroughly cleaned, sprayed with a layer of moisture spray, and then coated with a lower concentration of natural acid cream. Lack of sleep the skin must be moist for, the acid cream not only to dead skin, but also to restore luster to the skin, the results are obvious.

3. The most critical in the early morning

A. A few hours sleep is necessary to get up, you may be a splitting headache, then we must face with cold water, and left with borneol or drink tea bag Fu Yan Zhou, an effective elimination of swollen eyes, play down the black eye.

B. Sandy breath of fresh air, so quick. To do some simple movements to relax muscles, relieve bones, to the effect decompression.

C. Breakfast can be a little biased towards protein-rich food such as milk, sardines, and so on, can be added to the brain enough nutrients.

MM stay up all night
Are not the law, unhealthy way of life, of course, requires a radical change, recommended by more than a few stay up all night after the first-aid measures, to a certain extent, the problem can be eased for the time being. However, a good schedule, to shape a more beautiful you!

Doctors: the evening of 10:00 best before going to bed rest, 12:00 as far as possible to sleep for an hour and a half hours of Wu Jue (Nap for an hour had arrived three hours sleep at night), Young people Shuizu at least eight hours a day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tropical Fruit Farm

I recently visited the tropical fruit farm in Penang. It was interesting place to visit however a bit costly - charges RM 25/- for adults and RM 17/- for children. I guess they have to do that because they needed to pay the workers to conduct the tour, the gas for the van to take us up to the farm (short distance from the entrance) and of course the all you can eat fruits at the end of the tour.

The tour lasted about 20 minutes where they showed us various tropical fruits some which are not local in Malaysia - imported from neighboring countries. Here are the pictures of the fruits they introduced us to:

Scenary from the top.  You can see the dam and a nearby fishing village - Teluk Bahang.

Coconut tree:

Other fruits:


Fruits from cactus:


Dragon Fruit which is now getting very popular in Malaysia.  There are two kinds - with white content or purple content.






This is the entrance - with shop and where you can buy some fruits and ticket for the tour:


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Deepavali - Festival of Lights - Rice Art - 2008

Deepavali is the festival of lights which is a major festival in Malaysia. You can get more details here.  One of the things you can enjoy during this time is the art form produced using only different colored rice.

Here are some I photos I collected this year.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Identifying the Origin of your product

I received the following article from a friend through email:

A way to differentiate between Taiwan made products and China made products, by looking at first three digits of its Bar Code.

If the 1st 3 digits are 690, 691 or 692 - China made. If the 1st 3 digits are 471 – Taiwan made

I searched through internet and it seems that the article was taken from here.  I did a further search and found that China is actually covered by 690 to 695 - the country look up is found here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bluebird at my Window

Looking around the neighborhood, you will find a lot of beautiful birds flying around. I was working at my desk this afternoon and saw a beautiful bird just outside the window.

I managed to get a shot using my phone camera and wanted to get a better camera to get a better shot but unfortunately by the time I got the other camera, it had flown away. Anyway, this is what I managed to capture: