Friday, February 29, 2008

Oprah's Book Club goes ONLINE

I've always been fascinated with the things that this lady does on her shows, especially her GIFTS!!! OMG if ever one day if I ever get the chance to go on her Christmas giveaway shows.... I'll so be living in ecstasy every moment of receiving the news heehee

Last year a group of us read a book together and we did some exercises and did some sharing and some reflections. It was a pretty enjoyable experience coupled with some essential materials made available by a very generous source.

Now, Oprah has launched another book in the same domain, called A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and she's inviting anyone and everyone to join her online in her "virtual classroom". Maybe it will be one of the biggest classrooms ever...

So go and pick up the book today! Join Oprah and join me! (if i can get out of the house tomorrow to get the book.... hopefully its still in stock and not too expensive!)





Click here to go to Oprah.com direct!

OR Click here to go to her book club direct.

You will have to register at her Oprah.com site first to be a member (pretty fast and easy), get a activation email and link to click to confirm your membership. Thereafter, you can have access to the materials for "A New Earth"'s online classroom materials which includes very pretty bookmark, worksheets (you can write your answers/feelings/thoughts/reflections online and save it for reference later on or print it out to be used in your classroom) Pretty cool stuff if you ask me!

Go sign up today! Let's read A New Earth together with Oprah!!

Yeah!

oh btw, the classroom will start on the 3rd March in USA, so it'll be 4th March Asian timing.... *excited*

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What's Up Jen?

I think the very interesting question which many have been asking me is... What are you doing Jen?

Sometimes I also wonder.... yes, mostly to myself... especially in the past few days, crunching the data is really driving me up the wall... now I know why they call it permanent head damage, its actually quite hard NOT to have some form of brain damage considering the amount of time one has to sit infront of the computer staring and staring at the screen....

So after a really long and painful time, I finally figured out the relationships between some of my data... but still a marathon away from putting them together in understandable form... well at least I can seek some contentment in my enlightenment... its another one of those toilet bowl enlightenment moments.... I guess if I'm a smoker, its much faster with a cigarette in my hands... ha ha I can truly appreciate those artistic people who comes out with innovative ideas when they are shitting or bathing or just dazing...

So wanna have a look at what "enlightenment" looks like?


ok, it took a few attempts to make it look pretty, I have to right? Afterall, this will be pasted on my wall for quite a while until the whole experience is wrapped up :)

(some of the o-biang drawings are contributed by my very artistic other half hee hee)

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Making Allowance For Each Other’s Faults

by Jon Walker

“Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” (Ephesians 4:2b NLT)

The more we understand, the more patient we become.

When we see the hurt beneath the anger, or the reason behind the behavior, we’re more likely to “make allowance for each other’s faults.”

The ability to understand is a sign of patience. (Proverbs 14:29) The Bible teaches, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV) God’s wisdom teaches us that love is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4), and that impatience is not love.

When facing a challenge to our patience, it helps to remember God is not asking us to give more patience to others than the patience he gives to us. The apostle Paul uses his own life as an example of this, saying God showed him mercy, despite his many sins, so that “Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience.” (1Timothy1:16 NIV)

We need patience with one another because God created each of us with different shapes, assigning each of us a different mission in life. We all have different backgrounds, and we’re each at a different place in our journey with Jesus. Practicing patience keeps our view on the things above, allowing us to see how God works even in the most difficult of circumstances. It is in patience we often learn that diversity is a strength, instead of a weakness.

The apostle Paul wrote, “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with – even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.” (Romans 14:1 MSG)

What does this mean?

· Work at being consistently patient – Anybody can be patient when it’s convenient, but it’s much harder to remain patient when the day is slipping away or when you’re faced with the same mistake for the third time in one week. Patience often comes at significant cost; it requires you set aside your agenda and yield your rights in order to “welcome each other with open arms.”

· Learn to listen – Listening means more than just hearing someone talk; it means carefully considering what the other person is saying and actively trying to understand his or her point of view. The Bible says, “Listen before you answer. If you don’t, you are being stupid and insulting.” (Proverbs 18:13 TEV) That’s pretty clear! It means we shouldn’t evaluate what someone has done or said until we’ve heard the full story. God gave us two ears and one mouth, perhaps to tell us we should listen twice as much as we talk. Ha!

· Ask yourself these questions:

§ What makes me impatient?

§ What does my impatience say about my priorities?

§ How can I better understand the people who bring out my impatience?

§ Have I taken time to listen to their full stories?

§ In what ways do people have to be patient with me?

§ Do I give the same amount of grace to others as I expect them to give me?

§ “Love is patient.” (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV) – that means love puts up with a lot for a long time. The next time your patience reaches its limit, remember how patient and understanding Jesus is with you.

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Marriage is Hard Work, but there're solutions!

February is a month of celebrating love and for those who are married, a celebration of your marriage too. But how often do you admit that being marriage, staying marriage is a whole lot of hard work? How often do you feel like you cant talk about certain issues between you and your partner? How often do you feel frustration, anger, resentment towards your partner but never really, got those negative emotions resolved?

Let's all be honest here, marriage IS hard work!

However, in the spirit of true blue 21st century, where there's a "cure" for almost anything, there IS a whole variety of solutions for making a marriage work. And even if your marriage is in a great shape, you can put it in EXCELLENT shape!

Have you heard of "5 Languages of Love" a book written by Gary Chapman?
READ IT!

ok ok, if you are not much of a reader... maybe you can check yourself in a 3D2N, all inclusive weekend at a lovely location for Marriage Encounter.

Yes it has Catholic origins and is still being organized by the Catholic community world-wide. However, it has been attended by non-believers, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and what have you. It is a weekend meant to bring a couple closer together, and also possibly the best gift to you can give to yourself and your partner.

Here's Gary Chapman to tell you MORE....

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Leaking nose = haze

I know when the haze is back before reading Otterman's blog or the newspaper's report... its when my ultra sensitive, all ready sensor starts to leak....

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Friday, February 15, 2008

talk talk or take picture take picture?

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Wedding Scams...

These days, I'm surrounded by two kinds of news... the wedding bells ringing kind and the "We are getting a Divorce" kind.

Many and I mean MANY wedding parties that I attended or got invites for did not feel right. Din have that they are so in love and they know what they are heading for kind of feeling. Not only do they FALL deaf to advice to ask them to reconsider their options, go for professional marriage preparation courses. They are more engrossed with what gown should I wear, who should be taking our photos, dinner venue, church booking, house renovations etc. EVERYthing except for the one MOST important factor. Are they REALLY SURE about the other party?

Yes, we are an open-minded society now, divorce is acceptable. But isn't that a GREAT excuse for exit when things are not rosy? Which joker told you that everything would be fine once you put on that wedding gown, walk down that isle and say your I dos? If you have heard anyone say anything like that.... that person is truly Lying! (and most definitely NOT a true friend)

NO one marriage I know is without its storms. NOT ONE. Yes, NONE.

So please be PREPARED for what is to come and not face some challenges and say "forget it, I want way out, I'll be happier that way etc etc." Did you think about all those guest whom you invited to witness your vows together? Do you realised that you OWE it to them too? Afterall they did spend alot of time, money and effort to attend your wedding, witness your solemnization etc. You think you can just walk away so simply?

Honestly, I feel very cheated each time a couple turn around and say hurtful words to each other and these words turn into weapons of mass destruction, leading to the big D. If they can profess their love infront of so many people, why cant they work out their differences between the two of them?

I think we should establish a refund system for those couples who signs on their divorce papers to refund all those guest's gifts and money. Since they are no longer a couple, why should they still keep the well-wishes? Its more fair this way, since they got everyone involved in their wedding, they should answer to all these same people for their divorce as well!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

How?

How do you help those people who does not help themselves?

*sigh*

I seriously feel that our students today are overly complacent. How can we help them to learn better, when they are not even making their own effort?

After 6 sessions, I found out that these group of folks do not access their online materials (which is fine with me, its more of their loss not mine) but worse still, they do not know where to find it!

In addition, when it comes to submission of their assignments, they run into problems due to their own lack of initiative to read the relevant documents associated with it, they come running to me EXPECTING me to turn things around for them.

Was so mad! Gave them a good piece of my mind.

wonder how long that would last....

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hand hurts from too much keyboard?



ok it hurts to type this blog post...

does it really happens?

this was a rested hand from a night's sleep...

it hurt the moment i placed my right arm on the keypad to start typing. Now i'm doing a slated hand typing!

I used to spend about 16hrs infront of my keyboard and it doesnt happen. Why now?

hopefully it'll get better with a few days of CNY "break".

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Give Life With Your Words

2008/02/05


Give Life With Your Words
by Jon Walker

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose. (Proverbs 18:21 MSG)

You have the power to kill or give life.

Yes, you, gentle reader – a follower of Christ – are capable of murder, and so am I. We can speak death with our words, or we can speak life.

Perhaps you’ve been on the other side of the killing kind of messages: “You’re not smart enough. You’re not thin enough. You’re not fast enough. You’re not good enough. A real Christian wouldn’t think such a thing.”

In a world where people are beat up and put down, God gives you superhero power to punch through the negativity. You speak life to others when you say: “You matter to me. I like you just the way you are. You’re human, anyone could think that. Your life counts. You were created for a purpose. God loves you, and you’re incredibly valuable to him.”

Your words may be the only encouraging thing some people hear in a day, or a week, or a month. You – yes, you – can become the voice of God’s grace in the lives of others, supporting, loving, helping, and encouraging with the words that flow from your mouth. (Romans 14:19b)

In the New Testament, the word ‘encouragement’ often means “to come alongside.” We’re to come alongside one another, “building each other up,” just as the Holy Encourager comes alongside us to teach us and remind us of the way of Jesus. (John 14:26)

We become encouragers when we stop looking down and start looking up (Colossians 3:2) – the need and opportunity for encouragement is everywhere. “Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us,” (Romans 15:2a MSG) and this “will build them up.” (Romans 15:2b NLT)

So, how about it? Will you become today a consistent source of encouragement to those around you? It’s a choice on your part. You can lift a person’s spirit, change the atmosphere of your office, or lighten the burden of someone in your small group. The Bible says we should “look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15b MSG)

What does this mean?

· Commit to encouragement – Make a choice to build up the people around you. Fill your conversations with phrases like: “I believe in you,” “I’m grateful for you,” “I see God using you,” “I appreciate you,” and “I’m glad you’re in my life.” The Bible says we should “encourage one another and build each other up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV)

· Value others – An encourager works hard at bringing the best out in others. Value people by understanding they are valuable to God. He encourages you in spite of the failings in your past; he believes in you in spite of those annoying, little things you excuse in yourself but criticize in others. J (Quite honestly, this thought compels me to give grace to others.)

· Be encouraged – Encourage yourself, for “there is good news of great joy for all people, and his name is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:8-10)

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Monday, February 04, 2008

You know CNY is round the corner when....

You see trays of pineapple tarts waiting to be cooled after baking...



sometimes, they can get really creatively created...(especially when there's an excess of either the dough or the pineapple fillings)



It is almost heavenly when they are all nicely packed into festive mood containers, ready to be shipped "away" (into the mouths of the makers! ha ha ha)
(btw, orders are welcomed for 2009's CNY because we've received overwhelming reviews for our pineapple tarts and have decided to give chance to MORE people to enjoy them hee hee)


If you were to take a walk to Chinatown, you'll see rows and rows of stalls set up selling tonnes of auspicious looking ornaments, food, drinks and even some form of entertainment....

This belongs to a very ancient form of chinese entertainment as there were no television, no internet, no mobile phones, no movies, instead there were lots of creative juices flowing by artists who can mimic a few different voices to bring out a puppet play. The audience have room for imagination to enjoy the play to the fullest. Not bad for entertainment I would say for the dull minds ;)

Ahh... CNY cannot happen without some of these yummy food, namely the waxed duck! This year, these stores are few and far in between, we combed about 4 streets to spot this stall, so we grabbed the opportunity to stock up our waxy food. But they are pretty EXPENSIVE this year, one tiny drumstick was sold for S$7! *ouch*


Another sure sign of CNY is when you see Mother Mary and Baby Jesus dressed up in traditional chinese costume in your church! hee hee... Ad says there was an original painting by some ya ya artist in Rome, so here's a replica.


Finally, when NTUC doesnt sleep, you KNOW for sure you HAVE to stock up your food supplies to combat the few days of store closures. This year there may be more stores who will opt to close for a longer term as the public holidays falls on Thursday & Friday, they can get super extended holiday by just taking another two days off. So be sure to stock up people!

Yes, NTUC closes at 2am until the 5th of Feb. So all the night owls, you can start shopping at midnight, or if you have been cleaning the house till the wee hours, rest assured that NTUC waits for YOU.

(but hor, I feel that the late night opening has always been a feature of the wet markets, for the hawkers to make a killing before they close for the only time in the whole entire year. So with NTUC in the competition for late night business, is there anymore decent profits for these hawkers? hmm....)

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Cleaning the Keyboard Cover...

Peppermint has a lot of accessories adorning her beautiful body, one of them is a cover for her keyboard to enable a smoother typing as well as spill-proofing her.

Over time, this plastic piece of "clothing" became dusty and icky to type with. After a few failed attempts of cleaning with tissue, tissue with water, tissue with alcohol, dry cloth, wet cloth, plus alot of "air-blown" effect to get rid of the dust, finally I cannot take the dust anymore, I gave the keyboard cover a bath...



And guess what? I forgot all about it! ha ha ha, next morning when I took it out, thankfully its still in one piece, perfectly cleaned!

Ha ha, so it works! Next time it feels icky again, I'm so going to give it another bubble bath! ;)

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Friday, February 01, 2008

The Scare of my Academic Career

As with every career, especially those which you are going to see the end of the project, there are usually some "excitement". Mine is no different.

Just in the last few days, there was an active discussion among those in the community about how postgrads have "displacement activities" as Alvin calls it. Most were to describe how different individuals would be extremely productive in all other aspects of their lives EXCEPT for that ONE thing they had to do, that is their thesis! ha ha ha

Today, I noticed that my main harddisk space is dropping very quickly (HD is partitioned for Applications and another for DaTa). So I happily backedup my photos, music etc, deleted those music files that I hardly listen to.

NEVER for ONE single moment did I actually think of backingup my OWN research data which I've been working on for the past few years.... (my last backup was 1month back). I'm not sure why I'm so careless!

After happily deleting most of the files, I started to work on some of my data until 2pm when hunger pangs took control over my body, I had to run some errands during lunch, so I put Peppermint to sleep and went off.

When I returned, I was shocked beyond words.... imagine if someone just took away 4yrs of your research, analysis without your knowledge, you did not even get to say goodbye....

I have absolutely NO idea where my DaTA drive went!????

*panic*

(quickly open my trash bin... nope, I have diligently emptied my trash as well)

*more panic*

I recall Jr saying that these data are never really "deleted" off your machines, they just get over-written.

Ad is in KL on his way to a meeting... what do I do? I cant possibly wait till 11pm! I called Jr, hanged on to the foreign sounding ringtone.... I guess he's overseas as well, but he's my BEST BEST bet at recovering anything....

Thankfully, Jr picked up my call and Thank God that he was quick-minded to give me some VERY useful instructions in VERY simple steps in addition to his assurances.

OK, here are the steps, just in case anyone needs them, (but pls do YOUR backUP NOW!)

1. shutdown the computer
2. unplug power cable from machine
3. remove battery from machine
4. Do NOT do anything at all to the machine until....

a. you find another Mac (Jr calls it the Happy Mac)
b. download the trial version of SubRosaSoft
(use the trial copy first to check if its "powerful" enough to see the documents that you want to recover before you pay for it)
alternatively, you can use Virtual Mac Lab or Boomerang Data Recovery
(Jr was the BEST, he gave these links to me within mins of my panic phone call, kept me on the line to ensure that I got the steps right...)
c. Close all software on the Happy Mac and just open the data recovery software
d. ensure that both Macs (Peppermint was Sad Mac for a while...) are plugged in with power (so reassemble Sad Mac withOUT turning the power on) If either one runs out of juice during the recovery, it'll be total failure!
e. Find a firewire cable and connect Sad Mac to Happy Mac
f. Power your Sad Mac while holding on to the "T" on the keyboard until you see the Firewire Logo flashing on your Sad Mac's blue background
g. Recovery software will be able to "see" the files that you might have lost on Sad Mac, so copy them out to an external harddisk or to Happy Mac first
h. leave both Happy & Sad Macs alone to do their stuff - to take a pee/coffee break
i. JUMP up and Down in joy if you can "see" & recover ALL your files, if not, try another software.

I got lucky, I could see my Data Drive on Peppermint without the recovery software's assistance.

YEP, I backed up and backed up and backed up like mad.

And after the backing up exercise, I had to sit around to physically, emotionally recover from the shock, when that wasnt enough, I headed out for Retail Therapy to "remove the cache" from my system... ha ha ha

I must admit I got a pretty nice dress :P

Once again, thank you to Jr for his calm, collected assistance and patience, he makes a great instructor in a crisis anytime.

(some of you might be wondering hey where's Ad in all this action? later I found out that the sms never got to him... *sigh*)

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