Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lovers' Point Monterey

Summer is the time for get togethers, picnics and cook-outs / BBQ at the beach or parks or even kat belakang rumah...backyards. Kalau di Malaysia, rumah teres macam kat Shah Alam tu, nak buat apa-apa semua di depan rumah. The houses here on the other hand, are mostly designed with the garage in front so, kalau nak buat apa2 semua kat belakang. Musim panas ni the days are longer - sunset at 8.30pm - so more daylight time for activities. Jenuh jugak nak puasa nanti, kan!? Most children pulak are out of school - cuti sekolah - macam kat Malaysia jugak, time to do some family bonding! Well, a few of us - 17 adults & 17 children - did some bonding at a place called Lovers' Point in Monterey, which is around one and half hours from here. Monterey is one of the more beautiful coastal cities in California. I agree ! That was why I had no qualms or doubts when the group wanted to hold a picnic at Lovers' Point. Dari nama tempat pun dah tahu pasti menarik. With beach access just below, the nice cosy spot which Izzah & Ridhwan booked offers an excellent location to enjoy the beauty of Pacific Grove and Monterey Bay as well as picnic-ing. The weather was a bit foggy & chilly that day, but it got warmer and nice as the day went by. Upon arriving we quickly put up our 8-person tent that have not been opened since our camping trip in New Hampshire during summer of last year. The 2-room tent became a make shift surau for the ladies. The men however, solat berjemaah kat luar. We got the direction of kiblat from the GPS - how convenient! - and we verified its accuracy using Google Map at home. Bringing the satelite and internet technologies to our advantage... apa-apa pun insyaAllah di terima Allah...:-) Menurut internet, Monterey was established in 1770 by someone called Father Junipero Serra. Rupa-rupanya Monterey ni pernah jadi the state capital of California satu ketika dulu. Currently, the capital city is Sacramento which is located somewhere to the north of the state. There is also some military presence in Monterey and I hear quite a number of our military personnels attended training at the Naval Postgraduate School here awhile back. Maybe, a few of our Navy men are still there... stationed macam kat Rhode Island..who knows! Bila dah tiap keluarga bawa
sedikit sebanyak makanan... banyak la jadi nya, sampai sedeqah kat a group of Hispanics who took the spot after we left that afternoon. At first I was taken aback when one of them requested for makanan kita orang yang berlebeh. Kita patut bersyukur apa yang ada, tak semua yang bernasib baik macam kita. Tak sangka pulak dia orang pun makan Nasi Goreng Kampung! :-)

Salman Amir and Yusuf Chang grilling...

Jina with two of her 'men'... Isa keletihan..

:-) ....

The men in our group... July 4th birthday Aziz & July 8th birthday my beloved hubby...

The ladies ...

Untuk sesiapa yang ingin melihat mamalia yang terbesar di dunia ... kalau timbul..!

Mereka yang berani di lambung ombak.....and loads of insides to throw up!...:-)

An adult ticket cost almost $40 each... a pocket full for a 5 adults family..! On top of that, there is no guarantee any whale will surface and give a good show. So, we opted otherwise and reserve our curiosity for later.

The before picture... too bad tak der gambar rupa masing-masing selepas di lambung ombak Lautan Pasifik..! Tak sangka lautan nie mengganas jugak yer...

Bougainvilla - Bunga kertas yang dijumpai melingkar di tepi salah satu tangga di Cannery Row......seronok tengok..! Teringat akan pokok-pokok bunga kertas yang selalu kekeringan dalam pasu depan rumah di Shah Alam.. :-)

Monday, July 28, 2008

The 'cool' search engine

The internet has grown immensely and some people think that it's time for search engines to do so too. A new search engine sprung from the Silicon Valley named Cuil, pronounced as "cool", began processing requests for the first time last Monday July 28th. http://www.cuil.com/ . Cuil claims it searches more pages on the Web than anyone else—three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft. The President and co-founder of the Bay Area start-up company, Anna Patterson is an ex-Googler who holds a computer science doctorate and mother of four. She began programming during a difficult pregnancy - how cool is that! Patterson leads the company with her husband, CEO and co-founder Tom Costello, who researched and developed search engines at Stanford University and IBM. They are joined by a third founder, ex-Googler Russell Power, and Vice President of Products Louis Monier, a veteran of Google and eBay who also was the founding technology chief of the AltaVista search engine. Cuil is an old Irish word for knowledge or wisdom. Cuil says it has come up with a search engine that indexes 120 billion Web pages, ranks results by relevance instead of popularity, organizes the results by ideas and protects the privacy of its users. Inspite of all that, I found a lot of my search items using Cuil became confusing after some time and I resort Google-ing them back. Nevertheless, Cuil brought me to a free Malay portal website that have the same name as my blog... hmmm.. without the dot and blogspot you'ld reached there yourself. Although, I must say there's nothing much to see and read. Go on 'google' Cuil and experience it ... :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blogsini's New Template..

Blogger has frequently prompted me to change my template to their new ones. After a long thought (scared my postings will suddenly disappear with the change), and now that I have some spare time.. not to mention moood, I have decided to at last change Blogsini's template. The previous template was quite a chore to deal with. Had to use some brain cells in Html editing! My MScIT qualification is made to good use after all.. :-) The new template is more user friendly with drag & drop features when adding new elements. There are 15 templates to choose from, with 3 or 4 colour choices. I don't quite prefer plains and whites, and I like 'My Profile' to be on the right. So I skipped the 'Minimas' and the 'Lefties'. I also don't prefer the backgrounds with dots, bubbles or pillars. That left me with 'Son of Moto' and 'Thisaway'. I chose the latter because its more my style.. However, Atiqah doesn't agree with this peachy, brownish colour. She says the previous pink colour is more vibrant! I don't know...... there are only 4 colours for this 'Thisaway' template: peach, blue, green & pink. Not too many choices! Any suggestions...?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Anybody can blog..!

Just recently Blogger Buzz announced that Blogger is now available in Malay! Hoo... Hoo.. Bahasa Melayu - The Malay Language ! Blogger says that it has a large base of users in Malaysia and they are excited to now bring Blogger in our native language.
I haven't really tested the features yet but I think its a good start understanding the commands in Malay let alone getting translations. Bagus tuu... Blogging is often seen as a young person's game. Orang selalu fikir blogging ni untuk yang muda-muda saja. It's not true... anybody can blog! I got to know about blogging in 2005 from Roslan Ramli - an ex-colleague. Mula-mula tu ingat boleh buat duit. Kelakar! Well, the last I checked my paypal account, I have around 7 dollars in it. I think Roslan would fare better than me! Actually, of the roughly 175,000 new blogs that are created every day, very few of them make any money. I suppose one really have to go all out both day and night at it, like a local man here in Silicon Valley who earns his living through blogging. Bill Belew is one of an emerging breed that spends brutal and irregular hours chained to a computer feeding the insatiable blogosphere machine. He takes his blogging very serious and says there's nothing easy about it. He writes for readers on the East Coast of US as early as 4am and has to log on around 4pm to catch Japanese readers. And, he checks his readership statistics as late as 11pm. It is said that he earned 60 to 70 percent of his income from blogging in 2007 totaling around 60 to 70 thousand dollars. Aduh... banyak tuu..tapi letih! Bill is 54. He maintains 4 blogs:
http://www.panasianbiz.com/, http://www.risingsonofnihon.com/ http://www.thebizofknowledge.com/ and his own personal religion-heavy site.

How he gets traffic to his blogs, beats me! The number of older generation bloggers including octogenarian, and those who have retired or are approaching retirement are growing daily. The oldest that I read of was ( she passed last month ) Olive Riley, 108 who blogged with the help of her friend. Life of Riley can be found at http://www.allaboutolive.com.au/ . Currently Millie Garfield, 83 is acknowledged by ABC as the oldest blogger alive. She has appeared on the ABC show and her blog is http://mymomsblog.blogspot.com/. You can even see her on YouTube trying to openup 'stubborn' bottle caps.:-) As we get older, our social worlds can shrink and when we retire, there isn't the daily camaraderie of the workplace. Blogging is a powerful antidote for isolation and loneliness. Many believe - including me ! - that blogging is also a form of exercise for your mental health. Even at this age, I forget often and isn't it helpful to put it all in writing..!?
Elaine Frankonis http://www.kalilily.net/ Claude Covo-Farchi, 63 http://www.blogginginparis.com/ Pattie, 53 http://texastrifles.blogspot.com/ Ronni Bennet, 67 http://www.timegoesby.net/

Monday, July 14, 2008

Miss Universe 2008: Miss USA Falls again!

Sorry... can't help myself. It's all over the news and internet! :-) I don't have anything against Miss USA, but second year in a row.. C'mon..!

Here's a classy lady for you.... Miss Universe 2008 : Miss Venezuela....!

Miss Malaysia ? Once upon a time ( can't remember when ) we got into semifinals through Christina Ling (not too sure of name) from Ipoh. Then in late 70s Yasmin Yusuf won the Best Costume. She wore Baju Perak.. very nice! First time I noticed her was when she returned from Students Exchange Program to our school up on the hills.. I had always admired her beauty and height. I was in Form One then ! :-) I lost track of other Miss Malaysias after that. Now... I just don't bother..

Friday, July 4, 2008

Lotion & Cream Making Made Easy..

Last month I attended again a class under the Adult Education. No... not baking and cooking for me. This time it was Basics of Lotion Making with Lori Stoia. Before this I also took Soap Making Made Simple with her. Please read my May 2nd posting, if you'ld like to see the soaps I made. Lori taught us how to make the products from scratch. I am glad her recipes has no alcohol content. It's very simple actually and the result is guaranteed. Memang jadi macam lotion yang kita beli di pasaran ! We worked in twos and Amida was my 'lab-partner'. We know it would be more fun if we attend class with friends whom we could make mistakes and giggle with. The class shared together 2 digital weighing instrument, a microwave and 2 stick blenders .. we were always the last to finish.. Mana tak nya.. banyak ketawa! We had fun stamping and coloring our own signature labels. I named mine " Sweet & Simple " by Lady of Leisure (LoL)...he..he.. kelakar! With Amida, Cynthia and our products...

July 4th in California....

4th of July last year we huddled together along Charles River to experience the Independence Day fireworks in Boston. Read more of it in my previous posting... Boston ranked 3rd among the best fireworks show in US and lasted one whole hour. Usaha tu dalam sejuk-sejuk nak pergi tengok.. he..he.. This year it is extraordinarily hot in California on Independence Day - record temperatures everywhere, almost 700,000 acres have been burnt by wildfires, many have lost homes due to the fire and foreclosures, and almost everyone is complaining about the rising oil prices and the downward turn in the US economy - well, maybe excluding Bush and his administration who are still in denial! If homes are lost and oil prices are burning pockets, I think there is not much these days for any Californian to be proud of being independent. Except for living in one of the states to approve licence for same-sex marriages!! Shiiishh... Allah nak turun bala sekejap jer... Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco says the same-sex marriage industry brings in a lot of money to the city. That's really funny! I think he's just re-enforcing his support to his own idea. The fireworks show in Cupertino took place at Cupertino High School - lasted for only about 30 minutes. What is it with fireworks that captures people's hearts !? Ramai jugak Cupertino residents lining the streets....