Strovek Writes


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Knitting Art

Recently, I visited Sungei Wang in Kuala Lumpur. I came across this store near the entrance adjacent to Low Yat. This was a tiny store specializing in knitting supplies. I saw some people sitting near the back of the store - looks like they were teaching people to knit.

What I was most impressed with was the quality of the knitting done, here see for yourself:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Piggy Bank collection

Banks used to give very nice piggy banks. Here is a little collection I have:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nine Hundred Dollar Chicken

The following chicken cost approximately USD 900/- each (between RM 2800 - RM 3000) each.

The following chicken was put on sale during the Malaysia Agricultre, Horticulture & Agrotourism (MAHA) expo current held in K.L. (August 11 - 23, 2008).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Offerings to the Gods

At certain times of the year, Buddhist will put offering for either the Gods or their ancestors. Typically, the will place food and burn incense.

Here is a photo of such an offering table at a market in Penang:

In the picture above, you have a roasted pig. The roasted pig is a delicacy that which is very delicious and normally sold in pieces as you would for any type of meat. If prepared right, it is crispy and succulent.

Sometimes to celebrate birthday, piglets are used instead but preparation is the same.

Here you see Rambutan - a local fruit (Rambut is Malay word for hair) - you will notice the skin is very hairy:

Here another fruit favorite is Durian. This is the type of fruit that you either love or hate. There are many variations which is best illustrated here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

7 Rs to help Earth Recover

First I heard of 1 R, Recycle now I suddenly realize that there are 7 R that will help Earth recover.

1. Rethink

It is time to rethink our lifestyle. We need to change our mindset. Everything has a limit, resources on earth are not inexhaustible. Think of about what you need to be happy and how much of it do you really need. Is that trip to the supermarket really necessary? Do we need the extra bottle of soda? Is it necessary to switch on the air conditioner?

2. Reuse

What are the things we throw away that can be reused. Often times if you go the garbage dump, you may find a lot of thinks that are still in good order that can be reused. Take this to the charity home. Clothes we no longer wear can be given to the orphanage or old folks home. Often times we throw them away not because they are worn out but because they are out dated or we have outgrown them. Remember the cartoon Robots a couple of years back where he literally recycle parts from his cousins.

3. Recycle

A lot of things we throw away can be recycled. Things like newspaper, old books, plastic bottles, cans etc. In fact, you can also recover some cash from it by selling it to the recycling centers. Even if you don't need the cash, donate it to charity.

4. Resist

Resist buying things you don't need. How often have you gone shopping and looked and something and bought it just because you think it is a good idea or that you might need it. Then how often do you find that after buying it you never ever use it after you take it home.

5. Refuse

Refuse what you know is not right. If you purchase a simple item and you get a big plastic bag. Do you really need that plastic bag to carry your packet of candy or a can of pop?

6. Reduce

Reduce your consumption, do you need two can of pop? Do ou really need that extra helping of pie. Reduce your consumption, earth will thank you and so will your body (think of the extra time in the gym you don't need to spend to burn off those extra calories you reduce). Same applies with when going for buffet. How often do you take extra and then ending up wasting it. Reduce the amount of take and take just enough for your needs? Too often, people over indulge just because it is free.

7. Re-Plant

Replant trees, this will help address some of the effects of global warming.

Here are some examples of recycling:

Taking a metal pen cover wires and convert it into something to help carry bags:

An old t.v. that is spoilt converted into a book shelf:

An old dirty ladle to be used for gardening:

An old bent fork to be used for gardening:

An old oil can converted into a dustbin:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August Month of the Hungry Ghost

August is the month of the Hungry Ghost. The Buddhist believes this is the month where the gates of hell opens and their ancestors are allowed back to earth to visit the living relatives.

During this month, many Buddhist will burn offerings and candles on the roadside and stages and temporary tents will be set up for people to burn offering to their ancestors who have passed on.

There are two type of stages that are set up to entertain the living as well as the dead. The traditional ones (Chinese Opera) as shown in the picture below and the more modern ones (where you may see scantily dressed singers).

Friday, August 8, 2008

Protect Your Back

Received this from my friend on how to protect your back:

Back Safety
  • Your back is at work 24 hours a day.
  • It takes part in almost every move you make.
  • Because of its workload, your back is prone to injury.
Back Injuries
  • Are extremely painful.
  • Are difficult to heal.
  • Are frequently recurring.
  • Affect everything you do.
Preventing back injuries is a major safety challenge.
For those who suffer from back injury:
  • Only 3% receive training in preventing back injuries.
  • 97% receive medical treatment.
In Saudi Aramco

In 2005, back injuries caused:
  • 19% of all industrial disabling injuries (IDIs) resulting in 157 lost work days.
  • 9% of all off-job disabling injuries (ODIs) resulting in 212 lost work days.
From January 1 to September 30, 2006, back injuries caused:
  • 12% of IDIs resulting in 72 lost work days.
  • 5% of ODIs resulting in 151 lost work days.
Learn the Right Moves

The best way to prevent back injuries is to learn the right moves:
  • Practice good posture—maintain your back’s natural curves.
  • Practice good body mechanics and work techniques—good habits reduce the strain placed on the back.
  • Maintain physical fitness.

Practice good posture:
  • Stand or sit up straight.
  • Keep knees slightly bent while standing.
  • Keep your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles in a straight line while standing.
  • Tuck in buttocks.
Good Body Mechanics & Work Techniques


Remember your BACK when lifting:
B—Back Straight
A—Avoid Twisting
C—Close to the body
K—Keep the lift smooth (don’t jerk)

Always lift with your legs!

  • Keep your weight equal on both feet or with one foot up resting on a low stool.
  • Change positions often.
  • Keep head high, chin tucked in, toes straight ahead.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes (less than 4 cm high) with good support.
  • Take short rest breaks.
  • Adjust car seat so your knees are just below hip level.
  • Sit up straight.
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel.
  • Use a lumbar support (or rolled-up towel) to support your lower back.
  • Sit up straight and firmly against the back of the chair.
  • Keep both feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep knees at or slightly lower than the level of your hips.
  • Protect your lower back with a lumbar support (or rolled-up towel).
  • Sleep on a firm mattress.
  • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your bent knees or on your back with a pillow under knees.
  • Never sleep on your stomach, which can twist your neck and strain your back.
Computer workstations
  • Keep the keyboard directly in front of you.
  • Place the screen at a comfortable distance.
  • Adjust the top of the screen to be at eye level.
  • Maintain your back in neutral posture.
  • Avoid extended reaches.
  • Keep forearms and hands horizontal, with your elbows vertically under your shoulders (no angle at the wrist).
  • Adjust the chair’s height so that your knees are level or slightly below your hips and both feet are flat on the floor.
Manual Material Handling

1. Decrease the weight lifted by:
  • Modifying size, shape, and/or number of objects.
  • Repackaging load.Holding objects close to your body.
  • Distributing the weight of the load evenly.
  • Using lifting teams (ask for help).Using lift assist devices (e.g., carts, dollies, forklifts, cranes).
2. Improve the effectiveness of your work space by:
  • Ensuring clear and easy access to load.
  • Turning by moving your feet and your whole body.
  • Minimizing bending, twisting, and reaching below mid-thigh, above shoulder height, and beyond 50 cm.
3. Minimize frequently repeated and lengthy tasks that are the most tiring by:
  • Alternating heavy tasks with lighter ones.
  • Using larger muscle groups (e.g., thighs).
  • Reducing the number of times a load is lifted.
  • Reducing the pace of the task.
Maintain Physical Fitness

Poor physical fitness can increase the likelihood of a back injury.

Regular exercise:
  • Strengthens back and abdominal muscles.
  • Promotes weight control.
  • Keeps bones healthy and strong.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kek Lok Si Temple

Kek Lok Si temple is one of the more popular tourist spots in Penang. It is a located in Ayer Itam (translated Black Water). Due to the popularity of the temple, it receives a lot of donation and has been constantly renovated.

Here are some photos taken from there:

Kek Lok Si is now divided into two areas, one for Pagoda and another for the Goddess of Mercy. The Goddess of Mercy is located at the higher platform. There is a cable car (elevator) which transports you between the two areas.

The following is the Upper area:

The following is the Goddess of mercy on the building that houses the gift shop and also where you can board the elevator to the lower level - Pagoda.

Here you can see the construction of the Goddess of mercy statue - they are building a towers to support a roof over the statue.

There is a garden next to it with statues of the 12 animals of the lunar calendar:

This is the view from the cablecar/elevator:

This is the view from the lower level:

There is a turtle pond. Turtles are suppose to take away bad luck. There is also a giant turtle in another pond but it is underwater most of the time so I was unable to get a picture of it:

This is a view from the bottom of the hill