- Passport Renewal 5-May-2021
1. Apparently, there’s an Immigration SOP which requires making an online appointment prior to going to make/renew your passport.
I made an appointment for 9.00am on 5-May-2021 and reached there at 8.45am. There was no queue and some people did not have any appointment. I guess that in a very crowded situation, the appointment becomes useful (or mandatory?).
2. For Subang Jaya folks, take the LRT to go to the Kelana Jaya Immigration Department. Get off at the Glenmarie station which is just one stop away from the Subang Jaya station. The Immigration Department is about 400m away. The walkway is uncovered for the most part, so take an umbrella in case of rain.
3.You only need to bring your old passport and IC. At the reception, you just have to fill up a tiny simple form to get a queue number.
4.If your shirt/blouse is not dark enough or deemed not suitable, they will lend you a dark jacket for your photo to be taken, on the spot.
5.No cash is allowed for payment. Use a credit/debit card to pay. RM100 for senior citizens.
6.Check, double check that you have taken your IC back before leaving. I left my IC behind and the officer did not bother to call after me. Lucky I realised I left my IC behind.
7.Time taken: 40 minutes from registration to collection of passport.
Does your yellow rubber duck float upright or does it (like thousands of other rubber ducks) float on its side? Here is how you can make your yellow rubber duck float upright and stop your hair from being torn out in frustration.
- The largest coin that you have. In my case, I use the 50sen coins (old version). You may need up to 5 coins for each duck.
- Contact glue.
Glue one coin at a time
It took 5 coins to keep it upright
The duck is floating upright
Has this ever happened to you? Your beloved wireless karaoke microphones, your car interior handles, your favourite multi-adaptor suddenly became sticky and impossible to hold. Their rubberized coatings have turned sticky and no matter how much talcum powder you pour on them, they still remain sticky after the talcum powder wore off.
So why does rubber do this? Natural or synthetic rubber starts out as a very sticky substance. The rubber can revert back to it’s original state under certain conditions. Once that happens you’re stuck with rubber that has become sticky and tacky. (Ref: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Clean-Sticky-Rubber/ )
A common method to cure this sticky rubber is to use 90% isopropyl solution. But this involves actually removing the rubber coating down to the plastic/metal base. I discovered another method that doesn’t end up removing the rubber coating but merely removes the stickiness.
It happened when my karaoke wireless microphones became impossible to hold because the rubberized handles had turned sticky. I used a handle wrap (those that we wrap around racquets to improve our grip) to wrap around the microphones’ handles and I thought nothing more about it. Until one day, as the wrap unravelled itself, I discovered that the stickiness on the microphones’ handles had gone!
You can thank me if you find that it also works for you.
I believe I have a (nearly) complete Home Entertainment setup. Here’s why I say so:
- An “active” system comprising an AV Receiver with large screen HD TV, satellite receiver, digital transmission receiver, BlueRay-DVD player, media player, Chromecast, Raku Stick and a projector with a 110″ screen. And of course 6 speakers. When you watch movies and concerts, your mind has to be “active”.
- A “passive” system comprising a HiFi Integrated Amp, a CD player, a sub-woofer, and HiFi speakers. Your mind is “passive” listening to beautiful music.
- An “interactive” system, consisting of a PlayStation and…. the Karaoke system described below.
- Kaino HS8300KAE Stereo Mixing Amplifier With Matching Pair of Kaino Speakers
- MiPro MR-123D VHF Receiver With Pair of Wireless Microphones
Building the karaoke songs library
- Search for the karaoke song on YouTube. If there are multiple versions, choose the one with the most views.
- In aTube Catcher, select Video Downloader. Use the settings to choose the location for your downloaded files. Set the Output Profile to MP4 Video 1200kbps.
- Paste the YouTube URL in the video downloader and click download.
- Open the Kanto Player application and select the karaoke song that you have downloaded and enjoy!
I hit upon this effective remedy by sheer chance. My pot of Rodent Tuber (Typhonium flagelliforme Lodd.) became distressed with slimy rotting tubers. It was apparent to me that the plant was dying and it seemed that I was going to lose my pot of precious Rodent Tubers. Fellow gardeners will know the hollow feeling in the gut.
Apparently the bulbs’ soft rots are caused by several types of bacteria, but most commonly by species of gram-negative bacteria, Erwinia, Pectobacterium, and Pseudomonas. The soft rot decay is generally odorless but becomes foul and slimy when other secondary bacteria invade the infected tissues.
Meanwhile, I have a large stock of homemade “garbage enzyme”. This garbage enzyme has tons of uses, ranging from natural floor cleaner, kitchen cleaner, dishwashing liquid, air purifier, insect repellent, pesticide, and fertilizer.
I wondered what would happen if I were to soak the diseased bulbs in a small container of garbage enzyme and I did just that. I soaked (immersed) the bulbs in the garbage enzyme for about 30 minutes and then re-potted the bulbs in a pot of fresh soil. The bulbs didn’t die and after a few days, there were new fresh leaves! It worked! So if you have a diseased rotting slimy bulb or tuber…immerse in garbage enzyme for about 30 minutes or more before re-potting in fresh soil. You can save the bulb or tuber.
Who has not suffered an inconvenient, irritating, embarrassing hiccup which often is untimely? Yes, everyone has had to endure it at one time or another.
What causes this annoyance?
Apparently, there are various reasons but probably the most common one is when we eat too quickly and especially when we are nervous or excited. But who cares what causes it? You are here now because you are intrigued by the title and just want to know how to stop the *&$# hiccups.
Here’s how to stop the hiccups
Disclaimer: This is something that I accidentally discovered which works wonder for me. I have not seen this method described anywhere else. It may not work for you, but why not give it a try? You have nothing to lose and I hope you will feedback to us if it does work for you.,
When the annoying hiccups start, just pinch your left thumb at the joint with your right thumb and forefinger, then apply pressure and rub /twist at the joint working down to the neck of the left thumb. Do that for a minute or so, then change to the right thumb, rubbing and twisting with your left thumb and forefinger. Do that for a minute or so. Have the hiccups gone away? If not repeat until they disappear. It shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes.
Write and tell us if it works for you!
When I was a kid, I don’t think I ever really looked at a papaya flower. We had a couple of papaya trees in our garden and it seemed like we always had papaya to eat. My mom just scattered the seeds in the ground and without fail, the seeds would germinate, grow to be fruiting trees in no time at all. And the papaya fruits back then were all huge which we could hardly finish eating.
So just imagine now in my adulthood , when I tried to grow the “simple” papaya, I am baffled why I am faced with some challenges.
The first one bore fruits but they kept dropping off before maturity . The tree was quite skinny and sickly. Maybe I didn’t fertilise it enough.
The next three plants bore lots of flowers but they were male and couldn’t bear fruits!
It is very frustrating, to say the least, that after nuturing a papaya plant for many months only to find that it is a MALE papaya plant. Here’s a close-up of the male flower.
Finally I have a possible successful papaya tree… the female flower is already fertilised and the young fruit is forming nicely. Here’s how a proper female papaya fruiting-flower looks like.
I learnt that even though you may have a female papaya plant, the flowers may drop if they are not fertilised. While some papaya trees may self-fertilised, others may require cross fertilisation. So pray that there are other papaya trees around your neighbourhood.
As a footnote, I grow all my papaya trees in large pots, not in the ground. So actually there is a different challenge growing it in a pot compared to directly in the ground.
Hello…Happy New Year 2017! Thank you for visiting.
Here’s my own technique for making yummy, healthy pomegranate juice AND tea, without any wastage.
| 1. First off, you need the pomegranate seeds, or more correctly called “arils”, and there are various techniques taught on the Internet. I opted for the following method.
1a. Slice a bit off the top and bottom.
|1b. Next, look for the ridges and make shallow cuts all along the ridges where the fruit will break open.|
|1c. Gently pry apart the fruit, which should open along the cuts made earlier.|
|1d. Now gently pry the arils off the peels in a bowl of water. The water helps prevent the arils from bouncing off everywhere. I find this most helpful. The white pith will float in the water for easy removal too.|
|2. Use a large strainer to catch the arils and pour into a container. Now you can store these in the fridge for a fairly long period (I don’t really know how long they will keep) until you are ready to consume them. You can scoop with a spoon and eat straight off as a morning before-breakfast snack, or use for juicing as what we are discussing now.|
|3. For juicing, I use a simple “Shake n Take” blender. Whichever blender you use, I suggest that you use the pulse mode to gently extract the juice from the arils without breaking their inner seeds. I imagine the inner seeds, if crushed, may affect the taste of the juice. But then some say that adds more healthy stuff to the juice. It’s your choice.|
|4. I pour the pure pulpy mixture into the centre strainer of my tea pot and use a pestle to gently coax more juice out of the pulp. The strained juice is then poured out from the teapot into a container to chill for a refreshing healthy drink later.||
|5. I then add about 3/4 pot of hot boiling water to my teapot and then immerse the strainer (which contains the pulp). I pour the remaining hot water through the top of the pot/strainer. Don’t try to pour a whole pot of hot water through the strainer. The strainer is choked full of the pulp and will surely test your patience if you try that!||
|6. There you have it! The combined large and medium sized fruits give about 500ml of pure juice. The pulp makes one teapot of pomegranate tea. It may be a rather weak tea to some, but hey, no waste!|
I was wondering whether to use the peels for my vermicasting or as garden mulch. But I discovered that the peels have many healthy uses. See the links below.
If you do try any of the health tip below and find it works for you, please share for the benefit of others at my other website, Free2Cure ( www.free2cure.com ), which publishes first-person testimonials on natural remedies to eliminate doubt and hear-say.
Here’s a quick and easy way to grow celery. It’s like recycling your celery for an endless supply of garden-fresh crunchy celery.
How To Have An Endless Supply Of Crunchy Celery
1. Carefully cut off the mature stalks at the base, making sure you do not cut too deep into the remaining layers of young shoots. However, you will need to nick the base of the young shoots…. see step 2.
2. Special tip! Carefully nick ( shallow small cut ) the bottom of the young shoots. This will accelerate the formation of roots at the nicks. Picture shows roots growing from the small cuts after 1-2 weeks.
3. Stand the remaining young shoots in some water taking care not to soak the leaf stems. Wet leaf stems may rot. Place the stems in a sheltered place with bright diffused sunlight, such as on a window sill.
4. Within 3-4 days, the pale young shoots will turn a healthy green. Change the water daily. Thereafter, the young shoots will grow bigger steadily.
5. After a week or two, there should little roots growing out of the small cuts in the stems. When you have sufficient roots (make your own judgement!), transplant the young shoots in a suitable pot, and cover the base lightly with potting soil up to the roots level.
6. Here are my first 3 pots of Australian Celery, USA Celery and Dole Celery (USA) after about a month. They appear somewhat stunted and I’m not sure whether they will eventually grow to their parents’ original market-size, considering that I’m in the hot/humid tropics. But if you live in a temperate zone, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to harvest your full-grown celery within a couple of months. Enjoy!
Bonus: Have you ever wondered how long do carrots last? Click here for an interesting article on some of the ways to tell if a carrot has spoiled, as well as ways to extend its shelf life.
Yesterday I had guests over for dinner. In preparation for the drinks, I checked out my wine collection and I happened to have Merlot, Bordeaux and Cabernet Sauvignon. I decided to conduct a research about them to make for a light drinkers’ conversation piece – a talking point. I discovered these three wines originated from the Bordeaux Region with a fascinating history about them. The Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a cross between two grape varieties found in Bordeaux, the Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc, giving rise to the famous Cabernet Sauvignon while the Merlot is supposedly the most widely grown grape in Bordeaux. To my surprise, a Bordeaux red wine is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. And when you order a Bordeaux red wine, the taste depends on whether the winery is on the Left Bank or the Right Bank of the Gironde estuary which cuts through the center of the Bordeaux region.
If the winery is located on the Left Bank, the blend created will have more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot. If the winery is instead located on the Right Bank of the river, the wine will have more Merlot in the blend than Cabernet Sauvignon. (ref: http://vinepair.com/wine-101/bordeaux-what-is-bordeaux-wine/ )
Now, a disclaimer. Not all my three wines are from Bordeaux, France. My Merlot is a Taylors’ 2007 from Clare Valley, Australia while my Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is from the Santa Rita winery in Chile. Only my Bordeaux 2008 is from Bordeaux, France; hailing from the Chateau De Potiron with an appropriate appellation from Bordeaux.
And the verdict?
All my guests and I thought the Cabernet Sauvignon was the best.
I have not developed my taste buds and palate to be able to describe the wines beyond the simplistic sweet/dry/tannin/smooth language. So here goes:
In terms of sweetness/dryness, the wines are ranked in the order Merlot, Bordeaux and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the Cabernet Sauvignon the driest. The Australian Merlot was a pleasant medium sweet/medium dry wine and the French Bordeaux had a slight tannin taste. But the Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon was really smooth and delightfully dry.
That made me curious about the Santa Rita winery and why do they label their wine “120: Honouring 120 Heroes”. The story I uncovered follows:
Santa Rita’s internationally popular, best-selling “120” Series of varietal wines recalls the heroes of a pivotal event in Chile’s successful 19th century struggle to overthrow Spanish rule. History relates that in the early 1800s Doña Paula Jaraquemada, then proprietor of the Santa Rita manor house and estate near the Chilean capital of Santiago, famously gave refuge in the cellars of her property to 120 Chilean patriots. When a brigade of Spanish soldiers arrived at the expansive one-story ranch house in search the band of rebels, the feisty matriarch stated she would rather see the Spanish burn the property to the ground, with her inside, then let them step foot within her family home. Thus it was that band of 120 men lived on to fight another day, and the dwelling, now site of Santa Rita’s highly acclaimed Doña Paula Restaurant, occupies a unique place in Chilean national history.
Isn’t that interesting! What was supposed to be a quiet dinner and wine among friends turned out to be a pleasant evening of discovery of some little snippets of history of the wine.
So ends my first (hopefully of many to come) wine story. Cheers!