Sunday, December 10, 2006

My Vision 2020

I have been wearing spectacles or eyeglasses since aged 14. To this date no one has ever told me what to consider when buying one. Normally, I w'ld start picking out a frame first. I'ld always end up with a squarish frame which I think is suitable for my round face - except in the 80's when 'tear drop' shaped frame were a craze during that era! I have never focussed on the lenses though, which to me their functions are vision correction only. Recently I have come to know a few pointers (from Transitions) before buying my next pair of eyeglasses. First, I need to focus on the lenses that can greatly enhance comfort and eye protection. Some factors to consider are my prescription, lifestyle, and my eye and medical histories. Thick lenses can be made thinner and flatter which Opticians refer to by the names mid-index, high index, and polycarbonate. Surely I would need something that's strong & durable since I am rather hasty & active. I might also need lenses that let me see both far and near without squinting or switching specs. Nowadays, most have invisible lines called progressives. For those who only have trouble seeing close up, reading glasses will probably help. But, some inexpensive drugstore versions can have significant distortions, so its best to order ones made for your own prescription. I sit in front of a computer several hours a day, so I need lenses that are created to relieve both eyestrain and tiredness. Light bouncing off fluorescent bulbs and computer screens can also cause eye fatigue. And if I drive at night, the glare of oncoming headlights can be very distracting. Lenses which have anti-reflective treatment works wonders in these situations; it provides the clearest, sharpest vision. I am concerned about protecting my eyes from the sun. Thankfully, many lenses have built-in UV protection which is available as a coating. I might also want to consider photochromic lenses which darken when I go outside, exposed to UV rays, and get clear again when I am back inside. Polarized lenses will help reduce glare and reflection if I spend a lot of time near water or snow or even if I do a lot of driving. Next, I need to choose a frame that's flattering my round face and works well with my prescription. Tips: Contrast the shape of the frame with the shape of our face. Rectangular works well for round faces, round for square faces. Frame size should be in scale with our face size.Frame color should complement our skin tone and hair color. Also, I need to pay attention to frame materials - lightweight, flexible, strong, or hypoallergenic. I don't know whether I need more than one pair. Sometimes, another pair of specs may come in handy.

The opthamologist at Pantai Medical did a laser procedure to get rid of my 'floaters' last month. The readings he gave showed my vision worsened. My eyes somehow needs more correction. Is it due to the laser ? One thing for sure, going for Vision 2020 is not cheap!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Farewell to TM

At last my Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) has been approved - that's when the company you work with pays you for leaving your job. Great, eh? Well, it beats resigning with no compensation at all! Had to keep my actual reason a secret, except to Ummi who had been a gem of a friend. I knew the rest wouldn't understand...stop working? sayang gaji dah banyak... Well, if anything happens to hubby, siapa nak susah?...muka ni jugak kaan. Somehow I just want them to be happy for least TM is happy, I am out of her way. A fresh graduate who will be paid a fifth of my salary can be hired :-). But how come I am not jumping for joy now that I am a fulltime homemaker. That is what I was hoping for & wished for when I was bogged down with work, when I was being reprimanded by bosses, when I had to work late, when encountered with traffic jams! I guess I still need the sense of security that a job offers... I remembered my mom saying..." ..tak apa dia ada ijazah, ada Masters" refering to my BSc & MSc... She is forever the positive one. Although my education have made me a better person, I don't know whether I can still use those 'papers' later on. I think I better cross the bridge when I get there, or else I will have more lines on my forehead & more silver in my hair..... My farewell note..
To all my superiors (bosses), colleagues, friends & acquaintances (kenalan2);
I have received my VSS approval letter yesterday & as of 1st Dec 2006 I will be one of those who have VSS-ed from TM. Funny...but I have always thought I would live, breathe & retire in TM :-). But life has many winding turns & I believe Allah knows what's best for us. My heartiest thank you & sincere gratitude to all superiors & bosses. I owe you for all your guidance & support throughout my career in TM. To my colleagues & project team mates, I won't forget your coorperation & commitment that you have given. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!. To my friends, haaa...what can I say!? You all are the BEST! . To all acquaintances, great knowing you all!. Lastly, I apologise for any words that have hurt your feelings & for any of my wrongdoings. Mohon halal makan minum. Insya Allah jumpa lagi...

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

The KTM Komuter

My daughter surprised me the other day, with her enthusiasm when doing her school assignment on Malaysian transportation. Armed with a camera & sweet smiles, she and 2 girlfriends headed to the nearest Komuter Station. Mission - to get as many pictures and comments as possible on the service provided by the electric train - the first of its kind in Malaysia!!.
She was all chattery coming back that afternoon, describing how she and her friends conducted interviews on several willing (and some unwilling!!) passengers.....although a small feat, I was proud of their achievement. And, somehow glad they reached home safe and sound! (pic: Shah Alam Komuter Station.)
Here's something I picked out from the Malaysian National Library website:
The KTM Komuter was introduced by Keretapi Tanah Melayu- the Malaysian Railway, back in 1995. It is a fast and efficient public transport for commuters working in Kuala Lumpur, as they can travel to the city without the hassle of traffic congestion
( yeah..very true! ....except during peak hours when the Komuter itself gets congested. Heyyy.. add more coaches laa!).
KTM Komuter tickets can be purchased at the counters or by using the self-service Ticket Vending Machines, which are available at all stations and halts. Single, Return and Weekly tickets for adults and children are available at the Vending Machines. The fare structure is also displayed at all stations. All tickets are in single payment, including trips that require a transfer at an interchange station. Currently, there are 2 routes only, which are Sentul to Port Klang and Seremban to Rawang, totaling 22 stations and 17 stops.
If you happen to be at the Ticket Vending Machine and require tickets, do follow these 'buttons' instructions:
A - Select your destination. Be certain of your destination station. Route maps are located at all stations.
B - Select "Adult or child". Select type of tickets - Single, Return or Weekly.
C - If you require additional tickets, select "Add-On". Repeat steps 1 and 2. To cancel transaction, press button "B".
D - Take note of payment required.
E - Insert coins into slot; 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents or RM1 coins are accepted. Notes RM1, RM2, RM5, and RM10 are also accepted.
F - Take your ticket. Please check that the right destination is printed on your ticket. Collect change, if any.

Follow signages to the ticket validation point and validate your ticket at turnstiles or give your ticket to the ticket checker. Once your ticket is validated, take it back and follow the directionals to the correct platform. For safety, please stand behind the yellow line and follow the queue.
(Malaysians are getting better & better these days..despite all our other moral lackings ( or are there? ) ..we queue!!. To get to the other platform, please use the overhead bridge. (make sure you are not late as the overhead bridge stairs can be quite a chore on the knees!)
When the train arrives, please allow alighting commuters to get off first
.(sometimes I do see traffic attendant guiding/controlling the passengers..but most of the time..where are they!!? hmmm..please someone, we do need them especially during peak hours).
When boarding the train, be cautious of the gap between the door and the platform. A bell chime will sound before the doors close. (the few times me boarding the train, I don't recall hearing any bells.!.or is it due to me focusing too hard on scrambling for the seat! OK daughter says..ADA!! (there is!)..) Do not enter when you hear this chime. When making a transfer, use the route diagram to check for the right interchange station. Important:-
1.Observe the Do's and Don't's signs
2.Do not lean against the doors

3.Have your ticket with you at all times
4.Listen for your destination station to be announced

Passenger must have a valid ticket before boarding the train.
A minimum penalty of RM 10.00 including a journey fare from sector originating station will be imposed to the passenger without valid ticket.
To reduce traffic congestion on Malaysian highways as their main objective, KTM also puts speed, accuracy, comfort, environmental cleanliness, safety as well as reasonable fare into their services. We hope KTM Komuter can live up to their mission and vision, and expanding to more routes in the near future.....insya 'Allah..... with God's will!.

For a faster, easier and more relaxing way of travelling to or from the city, KTM Komuter is your best choice of transportation! o yes, as a can't eat, drink or smoke in the advice - just enjoy the view loh......Malaysian greenery!! :-)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Step by Step Approach to Doughnuts

Would like to share this doughnut recipe with you guys. It looks simple enough, even for me!!
Prep: 30 mins ; Chill : 2 hrs ; Fry : 2 mins per batch
Doughnut - Ingredients :
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp. shortening(butter, margerine) , melted
1 tsp. vanilla
Cooking oil for deep frying
Sifted powdered (icing) sugar (optional)
Method :
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In another mixing bowl, combine eggs and granulated sugar; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes or until thick.
3. In another bowl, stir together milk, shortening, and vanilla.
4. Beat item 2 at low speed (just to combine), after each addition of item 1 and item 3, alternately.
5. Stir in remaining flour mixture by hand. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and chill dough for 2 hrs.
6. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.
7. Cut dough with a floured 2 1/2 inch doughnut cutter, dipping cutter into flour between cuts.
8. Reroll remaining dough as necessary
9. Fry 2 or 3 doughnuts in deep, hot cooking oil (375F) for about 1 min. each side, turning once. Removing with slotted spoon.
10.Drain on wire rack covered with paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.
11. Dip tops of warm doughnuts in Chocolate Glaze. If desired, place cooled glazed doughnuts on waxed paper and drizzle with Cocoa Icing.
12. Or, dust plain doughnuts with powdered sugar. Makes 12 doughnuts and "holes".
Chocolate Glaze - Ingredients :
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp. margarine or butter
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 - 4 Tbsp. warm water
Method :
1. In a soucepan melt chocolate, and butter over low heat
2. Remove from heat, stir in powdered sugar and vanilla
3. Stir in warm water until glaze coats back of spoon
Cocoa Icing - Ingredients :
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp softened margerine or butter
2 -3 Tbsp warm water
Method :
1. In a small bowl, stir powdered sugar, cocoa powder and butter
2. Stir in warm water until icing is of drizzling consistency.
Have FUN !