Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007, Hello 2008


Before I forget, I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year. I hope your 2007 was good and your 2008 will be great!

Polar lights

In areas near the north and south poles, you are able to see different coloured lights at night in the sky. They are called auroras (or aurorae). The northern lights are called aurora borealis while the southern lights are known as aurora australis.

I've known about these lights but never really got around to learning more about them until aurora australis was featured in the Disney movie, Eight Below. Since Christmas, Caitlin has been averaging a dozen views a day of this movie and has practically memorised all her favourite scenes and lines.

As usual, Wikipedia has been my most convenient source of information and it gives a good description and information on the origin of auroras and other details.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Six months later

Caitlin has been learning the drums for six months now and has progressed quite well compared to when she first started.

This was taken a few days ago when she was practising.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Life is a highway

I'm rediscovering the value and effects of music to the soul. Caitlin is currently watching "Cars" on Disney Channel. This is the theme song sung by Rascal Flatts:



Life is a Highway

Life's like a road that you travel on
When there's one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
There's a world outside every darkened door
Where blues won't haunt you anymore
Where the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore
We won't hesitate to break down the garden gate
There's not much time left today

CHORUS:
Life is a highway
I want to ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I want to drive it all night long

Through all these cities and all these towns
It's in my blood and it's all around
I love you now like I loved you then
This is the road and these are the hands
From Mozambique to those Memphis nights
The Khyber Pass to Vancouver's lights
Knock me down get back up again
You're in my blood I'm not a lonely man

There's no load I can't hold
Road so rough, this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in
Tell 'em we're survivors

[CHORUS x2]

There was a distance between you and I
A misunderstanding once but now
We look it in the eye

There ain't no load that I can't hold
Road so rough this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in
Tell 'em we're survivors

[CHORUS x3]

From: "Cars" the Disney movie

Most posts this month

I just went through my archives and realised that this month, I actually broke my record number of posts ever since I started blogging. As at today I have hit 27 posts this month compared to 20 last month and less in the months before....Having Caitlin at home this school holidays must be stressing me out more for me to escape here!

Happy Christmas to all!

To all our family and friends - wishing you a meaningful Christmas. Also, a happy and fruitful 2008.

Here's a song (or rather lyrics only!) for you:

My Wish

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big

- Rascal Flatts

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

I'm another year older physically today, but mentally, I still feel the same like at least ten years ago. Physically, the skin has become less smooth (probably more lines developing!), a few strands of grey has started sprouting (that's why I just coloured my hair), joint and muscle aches are more frequent,....ok I'm revealing too much!

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by Caitlin and Eugene this afternoon when I returned home from some last-minute shopping. As you can tell from the picture, the choice of cake was Caitlin's, (gaudy)rainbow colours with Hello Kitty and Ultraman! And the birthday banner was her idea too, with Eugene's help of course.

Thanks my best pals!!



Friday, December 21, 2007

Last minute again

It's three more days to Christmas and we have yet to get presents for some family members...Looks like every year is the same. There is always some last-minute shopping to be done. We normally start early enough but somehow get stuck along the way because Eugene just has to take his time to find the perfect presents. This is probably the only time every year when he is more of a perfectionist than me....

(sung to Jingle Bells)
Dashing through the shops, in a rush to get presents
Wondering what to get, for everyone we love
Is it this or that, for friends, and mum and dad
Oh what stress it is to get these gifts, and make sure they are right

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh what stress it is to shop
'Tis only three days away!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Certain Sadness

Eugene recently replaced the cassette player in my car with a CD player. It was what's left to remind him of his Cookie RX7 Monster which he reluctantly parted with sometime mid this year. Now I can listen more to my CDs which have been collecting dust for quite a long time. This afternoon I played Astrud Gilberto on my way home from getting lunch from a nearby shop.

It had just rained and track number five somehow struck a chord in me to turn up the volume a little so that I could appreciate the lyrics. It was refreshing to hear a familiar beautiful voice singing and the soothing sounds of the guitar, piano and percussions in the background.



Look out the window when that rain storms
I let the wind blow up a brain storm
and now I'm wondering whether weather like this gets you too

It may go on like this for hours
Too late in Fall for April showers
So what we got here
Got a thought or two
I need to share with you

Here goes

Darling tell me now
Have I done wrong somehow
That you won't look at me

It is pointed out
Can't keep my wits about
When you won't look at me

Is there something I outta know
You're finding hard to say
Well there's just a trace
Hiding on your face
And I learned it that way

Just another soul
That really knows my soul
And you won't look at me

Does that take the prize
How much I love those eyes
and they won't look at me

Now the rain has gone
But something lingers on
There's certain sadness here
Now that the sky is clear

And it's so so clear
yes, it's all so clear
To me now

And I can't help but feel
That certain sadness's here
To stay


- sung by Astrud Gilberto

Be open

I sometimes wonder why people are not able to say what they really think, especially people in my part of the world and culture. This 'saving face', respect for elders, etc practice just gets me frustrated at times, when people don't know how to say 'no' or avoid confrontation by changing or avoiding the subject, postponing a response, giving excuses etc. It could be as simple as an invitation to an event, or a request to consider an idea. It sometimes gets worse if you press them a little further for a proper, definitive answer.

What's more irritating is that after this, they go behind your back and gossip about the issue with other people, without even having gotten the full facts simply because they were not open to listening and/or thought they knew better. Or they accuse you in your face with some unreasonable accusation.

I don't see anything wrong in saying 'no' or giving your honest opinion. It must however be arrived at after gaining proper knowledge and understanding i.e. an educated and fair opinion. I believe if it is done tactfully, politely, there is no reason for the person to feel offended, more so if he is a friend or close one. He would understand and respect the other's opinion/decision.

I'd prefer the person to speak his mind (reasonably, objectively, rationally) so that I can understand his thoughts and feelings better.

I have been a culprit of this too. I guess we who have been 'nurtured' in this Asian environment somehow tend to do it more than others. From young, children were to be seen and not heard. At school, you speak only when you are spoken too. You get scolded, belittled or worse still punished, if you were to offer your ideas or thoughts. We are spoonfed with information and learn by rote. We are not encouraged to question, discover, explore independently.

On the subject of respect, it is good that we are taught to respect our elders. But how can one learn respect when it is not mutual? Some people view respect as listening, obeying, following their instructions and ideas without consideration of new/alternative ideas or opinions. How can one expect respect if one does not first show respect?

OPEN communication and OPEN minds, that's what I'm all for.

“The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.”

“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”

- E. B. White (American writer 1899-1985)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Inspiring


A good friend sent me this video clip. Watch it if you need to be motivated, inspired, comforted....

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Caitlin's stories

I have started a new blog to keep a record of the stories told by Caitlin. It's called Caitlin's Stories. It is open to invited readers only.

Discovering the blogging community


The blogging community is amazingly huge! I've just joined MyBlogLog and wish I have more time to explore and learn new things about what the blogging world can offer.

Monday, December 17, 2007

To be (employed) or not to be, that is the question!

Caveat: This is a rather rambly and probably disjointed piece of random thoughts so if you are not interested in my personal opinion, please skip this post. All illustrations or examples mentioned do not refer to anyone in particular.

I received a call from someone who works in a hiring department of a prominent financial institution this afternoon. They were looking for someone to head their Corporate Communication department and wanted to consider me. I passed on the opportunity. The position comes with a five-figure monthly salary and the responsibility equivalent to that, reporting directly to the Group CEO.

Five years ago, I would have jumped at it. For now, I hesitate at the thought of:
1. having to become a 'rat' again and join the race to help the employer fatten its pot of gold
2.getting up in the morning, skipping breakfast to join the traffic jam to reach the office
3. worrying if my five-year-old is really in the good hands of hired help, especially if she, being mildly asthmatic, is sick
4. having to be responsible for the entire company's public image and communication functions
5. having to 'report' to a boss
6. missing out on the once-in-a-lifetime moments with my daughter and family

The list can go on but I shall stop. I'm sure you get the picture I'm painting. While we could really do lots more with the additional five-figure salary, I'm just not convinced this is the only way. This could be the fastest way but this is surely not the best way for the long term.

I had walked that road before and I don't think a fat paycheck is worth having if you have to put up with demanding bosses, sit and contribute your salary's worth in three-hour long management meetings, answer your boss's calls and SMS at midnight simply to assure him/her that the email has been sent out, manage staff who drift around wondering about their purpose in life....

Mix that with the stress of managing a household, frequently incompetent hired help, demands of family life and you'll get lots of grey hair. That's the mildest way to put it. Labels such as "supermum", "successful career mum" to me are over-hyped.

It is only when one lives out his/her passion, whatever that may be, is when he/she is successful. I am still searching for that 'passion'. Work will no longer become work or a job when it is done with love and enjoyment. Others will certainly ask what if your 'passion' cannot bring you the money you need to simply survive? There are many ways to make money. It is only whether one is able to think out of the box and not be shackled by the age-old idea that you are set for life only if you have a good education plus a well-paying job.

What is your self-worth based on? Long ago when I was in the career of "being an employee", I thought that having a grand title like "Vice President" (which I eventually did have), dressing up in designer suits, jet setting around the globe for "business" meant I had made it in life. Imagine if one day, all that disappears when your employer decides to end your career as an "employee"....

I came across this in a book I'm reading: "There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self...if you want to improve your life and live with all that you deservce you must run your own race. It doesn't matter what other people say about you. What is important is what you say to yourself.... Never be ashamed of doing that which is right; decide on what you think is good and then stick to it....never get into the petty habit of measuring your self-worth against other people's net worth....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More veggies, less meat!

I am trying to cut down intake of meat and 'outside' food but finding it difficult to do so. I think I'm not trying hard enough. Time management is always the problem here. Planning meals and preparing them myself takes time. Household chores, one active kid, errands etc is a juggling act.

I take my hat off to older generation parents with literally a dozen kids. But I actually think that they could have been more focused because they didn't have to ferry the kids to and from school, extra curricular activities etc. Kids those days either walked,cycled or took public transport if they could afford it unlike kids nowadays who are pampered by air-conditioned cars, chauffeurs etc. Kids those days didn't have to go for tuition for every subject, art classes, special math or computer classes, music, dance, swimming, gymnastics, ice skating or golf lessons.

Okay, enough of comparisons - back to the actual topic about becoming 'vegetarian'. This is mainly for health reasons since becoming more aware of the dangers of processed foods, preservatives, artificial additives, 'unhealthy' animal proteins, etc, etc, etc. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. The risks are so evident nowadays - high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood glucose, obesity, cancer, allergies, etc, etc, etc. Fresh and organic food seems like the better way to go these days....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lotus Root


Caitlin simply loves to eat lotus root. She calls it 'wagon wheel', from the way it looks after I cut them across to produce 'holey' circular slices. Although she dislikes foods in the vegetable category in general, she quite enjoys those that are crunchy like celery, carrot, broccoli stems, cauliflower, french beans and lotus root. So to retain its 'crunchiness', I normally stir-fry these veges lightly in oil with a bit of salt, to where they are just cooked, having lost their 'raw' taste, yet still crunchy.

Lotus root is high in dietary fibre, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, copper and manganese. It can be boiled in soup, stir-fried with other veges, mixed in salads. I normally boil it in soup with red dates, wolfberries and some meat to further sweeten the broth. You can also add dried cuttlefish and/or scallops as well as arrowroot. This is one of the common and nutritous types of Chinese ways of cooking lotus root. The Chinese believe that besides it being nutritious, lotus root has medicinal properties too.

Dreaming of travelling again

My restless mind is travelling again. This time to Norway. I checked out visitnorway dotcom and the pictures are just scenic enough to get me dreaming. Norway has more than the mountains and fjords I remember learning about in my secondary school geography lessons.

There's this interesting activity of swimming with killer whales! This takes place in Lofoten where you can go on a whale-watching safari. Apparently there are no reports of killer whales having attacked people, so "the bravest whale watchers are actually allowed to swim among them when conditions are favourable".

There's also a spectacular train ride on The Flåm Railway, a steep railway taking you by spectacular waterfalls, in and out of snow-capped mountains. The website says: "The train journey provides some of Norway's wildest and most magnificent scenery. On the 20 km-long train ride you can see rivers that cut through deep ravines, waterfalls cascade down the side of steep, snow-capped mountains and mountain farms that cling dizzily to sheer slopes.

The Flåm Railway is one of the world's steepest railway lines on normal gauge. The gradient is 55/1000 on almost 80% of the line. The twisting tunnels that spiral in and out of the mountain are manifestations of the most daring and skilful engineering in Norwegian railway history".

Check out the site and see for yourself what Norway has in store for those who enjoy exploring new countries and experiences.

I decided not to put any pictures here so that you can view all of them yourself in the site.

Btw, this is not a sponsored post. I simply found this site while 'travelling' at my workstation.

Use Buzzfuse* to easily rate, review, and share this item

Boring subject of weather

The year-end monsoon season is in full swing. It has been raining daily for the past two weeks. The usual east coast and southern states of Peninsular Malaysia has been hit again by floods, forcing thousands to be evacuated. Here in the capital city, the sky's grey most days and the temperature cooler than usual.

Caitlin's into her coughing bout again since the past two weeks and she now has a mild fever. I guess the combination of the weather, her refusal to take her usual afternoon rest and late nights have caught up with her. Hey, tis the school holidays so why nap or sleep when there's much more fun things to do?

Sigh, kids these days....Compared to her, I guess I was pretty stupid to be obedient when I was her age and missing out on more of whatever fun I could have had!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dr Seuss


Many of us know Dr Seuss for his rhyming stories for children. His unique style is peculiar yet sensible, his rhymes are catchy and funny. Caitlin was first introduced to Dr Seuss when she was three with his infamous Cat in the Hat. She was enthralled with the sound of his words and his illustrations. Since then, we've collected a number of his books and PC games. One of her favourite stories at one time was Horton Hatches The Egg and later on, Horton Hears A Who!

What prompted me to write this post and to find out more about this man via Google is the sound of Dr Seuss PreSchool, an educational PC game, coming from the room next door. Caitlin has decided to entertain herself with it while I blog and Eugene fixes one of her broken toys.

Do you know that Theodor Seuss Geisel was a political cartoonist? He was chief editorial cartoonist for a New York newspaper before World War II and you can read more about it and view a catalog of his political cartoons here. This is something new to me and very interesting.

I also came across Dr Seuss's Seussville which I believe Caitlin and other kids would enjoy.

Prison and Work

I received an email from my aunt with a comment that this could just be the incentive to work towards financial freedom:

Just in case you ever get these two environments mixed up, this should make things a little bit clearer.

Prison:You spend the majority of your time in a 10X10 cell
Work:You spend the majority of your time in an 8X8 cubicle

Prison:You get three meals a day fully paid for
Work:You get a break for one meal and you have to pay for it

Prison: You get time off for good behavior
Work:You get more work for good behavior

Prison:The guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you
Work:You must often carry a security card and open all the doors for yourself

Prison:You can watch TV and play games
Work:You could get fired for watching TV and playing games

Prison:You get your own toilet
Work:You have to share the toilet with some people who pee on the seat

Prison:They allow your family and friends to visit
Work:You aren't even supposed to speak to your family

Prison:All expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required
Work:You get to pay all your expenses to go to work, and they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners, and welfare

Prison:You spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out
Work:You spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars

Prison:You must deal with sadistic wardens
Work:They are called managers


Something to think about?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Friends

My friends are the ones:

1.I still keep in touch with since age seven (Standard 1 of primary school)
2.I still keep in touch with since age 13 (Form 1 of Secondary school)
3.I rarely keep in touch with since age 18 (Form 6 i.e. pre-university)
4.I became close to while at university, some still in touch, some drifting apart
5.I got to know in my working life in various companies, some out of touch, some no longer in touch, some still in touch especially via email
6.I unexpectedly found since I became a stay- and work-at-home mum

Some we meet again along the way, some we part temporarily or for good,
Some we meet again after parting a long time and it still feels like we met only yesterday,
Some we meet again and don't know what to say because we have changed,
Some we meet again along the way but we pretend not to see or know each other,
Some we could have spoken to but prefer to keep to ourselves or at best, share with or learn about from other mutual friends,
Some we just exchange smiles or hugs with and that's enough,
With all of these, some are precious enough to keep for life, some are unfortunately not...

I've discovered the degree of closeness with these groups of friends shifts from time to time. That's because we all travel on journeys unique only to ourselves, our own lives. How we view and judge situations and people is from our perspective, based on what we experience at any point of our lives. Everything is relative.

When I was 11 (Standard 5), I remember participating in an inter-school choral recitation competition. My three classmates and I recited this (it is actually a song titled "The World is a Circle"):

The World is a Circle without a beginning,
and nobody knows where it really ends.
Everything depends on where you
are in the cirle that never begins.
Nobody knows where the circle ends.

And just because you think you're small,
that doesn't mean that you're small at all.
And just the way a tiny branch is like a tree to a twig,
to someone else you are big.

The World is a Circle without a beginning,
and nobody knows where it really ends.
Everything depends on where you
are in the cirle that's spinning around.
Half of the time we are upside down.

And just because they say you're weak,
that doesn't mean you've a weak physique.
And even if they're partly right,
at least they're partially wrong.
To someone else you are strong.

And just because they say you're slow,
that doesn't mean that you're slow, you know.
And even if you're never first,
compared to someone who's last,
they're sure to think you are fast.

The World is a Circle without a beginning,
and nobody knows where it really ends.
Everything depends on where you
are in the cirle that never begins.
Nobody knows where the circle ends.

The World is a Circle that never begins.
Nobody knows where the circle ends.


By the way, we won the first prize with that. Ann Marie, do you remember? We did it with Chua Li Suan and Kamaruzah.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Paint mania



We went crazy with finger painting this morning to create our own 'hand' made Christmas gift wrappers. All we need next is to add some sparkle to them with some glitter glue.

These are Caitlin's creations, so if you are a recipient of a gift wrapped with one of these, I hope you won't mind the unique wrapper! After all, most times, the wrappers will be thrown away once the gifts have been unwrapped so why waste money on expensive store-bought wrappers when you can make your own?

All you need is some 'mahjong' paper and your creativity. It's also one way to keep a restless child occupied, as long as you can put up with the accommpanying mess!



Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ain't I cool?

Her inclination towards looking 'pretty' (it could be quite bizarre at times with ridiculously mismatched apparel in my definition) and posing with such natural ease baffles me everytime I ask her to smile for the camera!

Deck the malls

All the malls in town are decked up with mega decorations heralding the Christmas season. We visited two malls this week (Caitlin's 'passion')and I managed to capture some pictures shown here. The pictures actually do not do justice to evoke the overall ambience created by the decor.

Caitlin got a free ride on a mini choo-choo train in Santa's village at Sunway Pyramid, which by the way has become totally unrecognisable after its major renovation and extension.


Mid Valley Megamall


The mini train at Sunway Pyramid


A tree at Santa's village


Caitlin and Eugene by the wishing well

Friday, December 7, 2007

Insurance is important

I am glad that Eugene and I made the decision to purchase insurance for Caitlin right after she was born. When she was three years old, she caught pneumonia and had to be hospitalised for a week. Thankfully, with her insurance, her medical bills for the hospitalisation, and pre- and post-illness visits to the doctor were covered.

And if you have taken a home loan, it is advisable to also get a Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (MRTA). MRTA helps to settle your housing loan in the event something happens to you. It can cover the unpaid portion of your loan and your family can rest assured they will not lose the house.

A few months ago, Eugene's car was hit from the back by a van. Again thankfully for insurance, a large part of the repair cost was covered.

Many insurance companies are pretty innovative nowadays offering various types of insurance from the regular life to
home, car, education, savings, investment types of insurance. And with the convenience of the Internet, such companies also offer value-added services. Some independent companies such as this one, helps you to even compare car insurance.

Getting insured has never been easier. Other than meeting face to face with an agent, we now have the information and ability to purchase online simply with the click of the mouse.

This is a sponsored post.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Homeschooling

I received this through an email subscription and really take my hat off to this mum. The dedication and commitment of any parent or parents who homeschool their children are admirable. The decision to do so is an act of bravery in my opinion.

The homeschooling system has yet to catch on in my part of the world and support, I believe, comes in the form of community groups, like-minded parents and mainly churches which run such programmes.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Smile...

and the whole world smiles with you! Isn't this smile contagious?

It'll soon be Christmas

Being so caught up with daily life and work, December came last weekend without me realising it. It only struck me when we saw the Christmas tree and decor in Caitlin's drum teacher's living room on Monday. The highlight of December for us would be Christmas. Christmas has become so commercialised that we tend to conjure up images of Christmas trees, lights, shopping, presents, feasting and enjoyment first before anything else, particularly its religious significance.

I need to remind myself that Christmas is beyond these, while still having to shop for presents for family and friends. It is a time for Christians to celebrate and thank God for His Gift, His Son, Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, it does not mean we cannot have fun as we celebrate the birth of Jesus with family and friends. I'm looking forward to putting up our Christmas tree. To me, the tree isn't such a big deal. It's more for Caitlin as she enjoys the activity and seeing it light up. And hopefully that will motivate Eugene and me to tidy up the house too!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Climbing Mt. Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, located in the Malaysian state of Sabah in Borneo. Eugene and I climbed this mountain back in 1998, when I was at my peak in terms of fitness. It was indeed a challenge of our willpower.

The decreasing oxygen as the altitude increased gave me a constant headache. As I climbed on, my legs just got heavier. And for a person who loves the sun more than snow, the dropping temperature did not help in making the climb as enjoyable as when I first started from the bottom of the mountain.

We started our climb at around 10am and reached Laban Rata, the rest stop, in the early afternoon. Laban Rata is where most climbers rest for the night before making an early ascent at around 2am to reach the peak to witness the sunrise. Although we did not make it early enough to catch the sunrise, I was happy enough with just having made it. I literally felt on top of the world standing at over 13,000 feet above sea level.

The descent was much easier and faster. We 'recuperated' at a resthouse in Kinabalu Park, legs feeling like a ton of rocks. The next morning my friend Nicholas, a local resident of Kota Kinabalu (capital of Sabah), arrived to take us for a dip in the Poring Hot Springs before sending us to the airport.

My five-day visit to Kota Kinabalu and climbing the mountain was a memorable experience.

Convenient Hotel Reservations

Making travel plans can be quite a hassle sometimes, especially when so many choices of travel agents, destinations, types of accommodation, mode of travel etc are open to you. If you are the type who prefers to make your own plans and not leave your fate to the hands of a packaged tour, do check out Hotel Reservations. This comprehensive site offers you good options based on your destination, type of accommodation such as bed and breakfast, hotels, motels, vacation rental condos etc.

I checked out one of my dream destinations, Bahamas, and found a beach villa with air-conditioned room, and full kitchen for USD150 a night. Sounds like good value as it comes with a living room, fully furnished bedroom and kitchen, offers seclusion yet within five minutes from restaurants, shops and bars.

This site gives a lowest internet rate price guarantee.



This post is sponsored.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Irony

I received an SMS yesterday evening which stated:

Irony. You know you live in a silly world when being "normal" is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.

I believe one answer to that situation would be to achieve financial freedom. I have just read this book "Speedwealth" by T. Harv Eker. He writes:

"Wealth is not just money. For most people, wealth includes an abundance of money, free time, loving relationships, inner peace, and having a sense of meaning and fulfillment....

What is unfortunate however, is that even though most people want to be happy, have more fun, laugh more, love more and enjoy their lives more, it's difficult to concentrate on these things when you're struggling financially.

Money problems can take the luster out of life. I'm not saying money is everything. Money isn't everything unless you don't have any, then it seems to become everything.

The fact is, in our society, money is an important TOOL. Money is like a lubricant -- going through life without it is very, very, rough.

Money doesn't buy happiness, but it can buy FREEDOM: freedom of choice, to be able to do what you enjoy doing and not be forced to do things just because you need "the money."

It's a shame. I have seen far too many good, kind-hearted, talented people, unable to share their unique gifts and talents to the fullest, because they're simply too busy trying to survive. They work long and hard but never get ahead financially. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "If you're going to work hard anyway, you might as well get rich...and the quicker the better."