Saturday, March 31, 2012

Not so free weekend and Gganu breakfasts

This was written on and off during the weekend to be posted early Monday to give some space to the long winded health article. ;).
Saturday morning started with Yohwang rushing to buy coconut milk at the wet market and Mokyang rushing to her kitchen to kukus (steam) nasi dagang immediately after Suboh (dawn) ..the steamers leaked steam.. And have to be changed 3 times as the ' center ' part of nasi dagang was not properly cooked! The tuna was steamed on Friday morning and has been cooked to Gganu gulai ikan aya in the late evening of the same day. The results.. Our Saturday breakfast ..voila!


Nasi Dagang

Saturday afternoon saw us in Branang still trying to fix my not so good shoulder..have to abandon the plan to go and search for that Bangi golf club due to time constraint.. My geophysicist , angling, fisherman friend will be holding his wedding reception there in the evening. We rushed back to our place, buy some sardine fish (ikan selayang) and went home to bathe and change before rushing back to Bangi.. Went to Bangi and failed to find the place although we circle the area for more than one hour and asked three guys for direction ;(((. Have to abandon the wedding reception plan and on reaching our home, mokwang quietly went to the kitchen to steam 'ikan selayang' . Then came the sticky part of preparing laksam.. Another steaming process .. Steaming the rice powder.. Ah time consuming... The steamed ikan selayang was deboned, blended to paste and will be cooked with santan.
So when the morning came Mokwang heated the kuah laksam and chopped the laksam into small morsels and voila... our Sunday breakfast..


After breakfast.. We went to wet market and supermarket for our weekly food supplies before attending another wedding reception in Melawati. The evening saw us in Mahbob Restaurant in Bangsar after some 20 days abstaining ourselves from mamak food... Oh Mokwang has managed to cook some laksa noodle .. Looks like another Gganu food - laksa Gganu style for Monday breakfast.. No picture this time to busy trying to reach office in time in the morning rain.

Have a good productive week.

Want to live to 100? And stay healthy too!

I have received this rather long article from a practising medical doctor friend, Abdullah Daud and thought maybe it will be good for my blog readers as well.

11 Habits That Will Help You Live to 100
Healthy Steps to a Longer Life

One of the biggest factors that determines how well you age is not your genes but how well you live. Not convinced? A study published in 2009 in the British Medical Journal of 20,000 British folks shows that you can cut your risk of having a stroke in half by doing the following things: being active for 30 minutes a day, eating five daily servings of fruit and vegetables, and avoiding cigarettes and excess alcohol.
While those are some of the obvious steps you can take to age well, researchers have discovered that centenarians tend to share certain traits in how they eat, move about, and deal with stress—the sorts of things we can emulate to improve our own aging process. Of course, getting to age 100 is enormously more likely if your parents did. Still, Thomas Perls, who studies the century-plus set at Boston University School of Medicine, believes that assuming you've sidestepped genes for truly fatal diseases like Huntington's, "there's nothing stopping you from living independently well into your 90s." Heck, if your parents and grandparents were heavy smokers, they might have died prematurely without ever reaching their true potential lifespan, so go ahead and shoot for those triple digits. Follow these 11 habits and check out Perls' lifetime risk calculator to see how long you can expect to live.

1. Don't Retire
"Evidence shows that in societies where people stop working abruptly, the incidence of obesity and chronic disease skyrockets after retirement," says Luigi Ferrucci, director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. The Chianti region of Italy, which has a high percentage of centenarians, has a different take on leisure time. "After people retire from their jobs, they spend most of the day working on their little farm, cultivating grapes or vegetables," he says. "They're never really inactive." Farming isn't for you? Volunteer as a docent at your local art museum or join the Experience Corps, a program offered in 19 cities that places senior volunteers in urban public elementary schools for about 15 hours a week.

2. Floss Every Day
That may help keep your arteries healthy. A 2008 New York University study showed that daily flossing reduced the amount of gum-disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria is thought to enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammation in the arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease. Other research has shown that those who have high amounts of bacteria in their mouth are more likely to have thickening in their arteries, another sign of heart disease. "I really do think people should floss twice a day to get the biggest life expectancy benefits," says Perls.

3. Move Around
"Exercise is the only real fountain of youth that exists," says Jay Olshansky, a professor of medicine and aging researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "It's like the oil and lube job for your car. You don't have to do it, but your car will definitely run better." Study after study has documented the benefits of exercise to improve your mood, mental acuity, balance, muscle mass, and bones. "And the benefits kick in immediately after your first workout," Olshansky adds. Don't worry if you're not a gym rat. Those who see the biggest payoffs are the ones who go from doing nothing to simply walking around the neighborhood or local mall for about 30 minutes a day. Building muscle with resistance training is also ideal, but yoga classes can give you similar strength-training effects if you're not into weight lifting.

4. Eat a Fiber-Rich Cereal for Breakfast
Getting a serving of whole-grains, especially in the morning, appears to help older folks maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day, according to a recent study conducted by Ferrucci and his colleagues. "Those who do this have a lower incidence of diabetes, a known accelerator of aging," he says.

5. Get at Least Six Hours of Sleep Each Night
Instead of skimping on sleep to add more hours to your day, get more to add years to your life. "Sleep is one of the most important functions that our body uses to regulate and heal cells," says Ferrucci. "We've calculated that the minimum amount of sleep that older people need to get those healing REM phases is about six hours." Those who reach the century mark make sleep a top priority.

6. Consume Whole Foods, Not Supplements
Strong evidence suggests that people who have high blood levels of certain nutrients—selenium, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E—age much better and have a slower rate of cognitive decline. Unfortunately, there's no evidence that taking pills with these nutrients provides those anti-aging benefits. "There are more than 200 different carotenoids and 200 different flavonoids in a single tomato," points out Ferrucci, "and these chemicals can all have complex interactions that foster health beyond the single nutrients we know about like lycopene or vitamin C." Avoid nutrient-lacking white foods (breads, flour, sugar) and go for all those colorful fruits and vegetables and dark whole-grain breads and cereals with their host of hidden nutrients.

7. Be Less Neurotic
It may work for Woody Allen, who infuses his worries with a healthy dose of humor, but the rest of us neurotics may want to find a new way to deal with stress. "We have a new study coming out that shows that centenarians tend not to internalize things or dwell on their troubles," says Perls. "They are great at rolling with the punches." If this inborn trait is hard to overcome, find better ways to manage when you're stressed: Yoga, exercise, meditation, tai chi, or just deep breathing for a few moments are all good. Ruminating, eating chips in front of the TV, binge drinking? Bad, very bad.

8. Live Like a Seventh Day Adventist( just an example and article written for American )
Americans who define themselves as Seventh Day Adventists have an average life expectancy of 89, about a decade longer than the average American. One of the basic tenets of the religion is that it's important to cherish the body that's on loan from God, which means no smoking, alcohol abuse, or overindulging in sweets. Followers typically stick to a vegetarian diet based on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts, and get plenty of exercise. They're also very focused on family and community.

9. Be a Creature of Habit
Centenarians tend to live by strict routines, says Olshansky, eating the same kind of diet and doing the same kinds of activities their whole lives. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is another good habit to keep your body in the steady equilibrium that can be easily disrupted as you get on in years. "Your physiology becomes frailer when you get older," explains Ferrucci, "and it's harder for your body to bounce back if you, say, miss a few hours of sleep one night or drink too much alcohol." This can weaken immune defenses, leaving you more susceptible to circulating flu viruses or bacterial infections.

10. Stay Connected
Having regular social contacts with friends and loved ones is key to avoiding depression, which can lead to premature death, something that's particularly prevalent in elderly widows and widowers. Some psychologists even think that one of the biggest benefits elderly folks get from exercise the strong social interactions that come from walking with a buddy or taking a group exercise class. Having a daily connection with a close friend or family member gives older folks the added benefit of having someone watch their back. "They'll tell you if they think your memory is going or if you seem more withdrawn," says Perls, "and they might push you to see a doctor before you recognize that you need to see one yourself."

11. Be Conscientious
The strongest personality predictor of a long life is conscientiousness—that is, being prudent, persistent, and well organized, according to The Longevity Project, coauthored by Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin. The book describes a study that followed 1,500 children for eight decades, collecting exhaustive details about their personal histories, health, activities, beliefs, attitudes, and families. The children who were prudent and dependable lived the longest, Friedman says, likely because conscientious types are more inclined to follow doctors' orders, take the right medicines at the right doses, and undergo routine checkups. They're also likelier to report happier marriages and more satisfying work lives than their less conscientious peers.

Thank you for trying to take care of your goodselves even though if you have skipped a lot;).

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I do not know what came over me when I made a promise to my respected blogger friend, that I will write something on topic of retirement this time around. Maybe I was envious of his predicament(?).. Maybe my friend knew that I have a deep seated wish to have my own place where poor and needy children can improve themselves. Come to think of it I did talk to him the raison d'etre of my involvement with food production thingy that has more or less put me in a lot of heartaches.. to get a few acres of land for tahfiz and agricultural activities to co-exist in a symbiotic manner.

A few years before my 55th birthday (the day most of Petronas staff retires) two of my colleagues came to me( at different times and locations) to talk about retirement.

The younger one, albeit some seven years my junior, came up and talked to me on his retirement plan.. to retire from Petronas and become an unpaid mosque or surau caretaker and as always, Q & A session ensued:-

Me: " So you think you will have enough for you to retire gracefully then?".

Him: " If you want to talk about enough.. It will never be enough!"

Me: " Have you ever tried to stay in the mosque from dawn prayer to midnoon prayer?"

Him: " No, I have not but it would not be too difficult, would it?"

Me: " I have tried and failed miserably and I have yet to see someone who has successfully do that in this modern time, maybe those students in Tahfiz can easily succeed.. But try it first before rejecting an offer to work when your retirement time comes".

Him: "May be I should try to do that one of these days".

Me: " No harm checking to see whether you like the task you set for yourselves first before you embark on it full time, I heard it is easy to loose money when we retire and go into business doing something we are not familiar with.."

Him: " That is what I heard also and that why I want to quit and stay out of trouble.. Stay in kampung's mosque".

Me: " I heard a story that one successful businessment in KL who built a 200,000 ringgit bungalow in a remote fishing town.. And leave his business to his two capable and qualified children( after mentoring them for more than 2 years) just after his bungalow get completed and furnished.

Him: "Don't tell me he came back to KL again after that!".

Me: " After exactly two weeks of being a Tok Siak (caretaker) of the biggest mosque in the town ( a walking distance from his bungalow).

Him: "what happened exactly.. The kampung folks ostracised him?."

Me: " Nothing of that sort, he was treated like a big man.. A tan sri of sort treatment.. but the fishermen talk about weather, who catch most fish for the day, who was not able to go to the sea.. Those small talks, laissez faire life .. He can take it for a few days, but after a week, he started to miss his business friends, his mosque friends in KL, Those talks that he was used to.. challenging talks, technical talks, KLSE etc etc talks.."

Him: " Now what do you proposed..? " He sounded a bit exasperated....

Me: " It looks like you do not need so much money.. Come back and work as a geoscientist that you have always been.. Take half of your salary and you probably can hire more than 10 Tok Siak to do the work that you have set to do yourselves .. That way Petronas get to keep its experienced geoscientist.. You get the reward of getting more than 10 Tok Siak in more than 10 mosques.. Tok Siak job would then be a well paid job in the kampung etceteras.. And you get enough money to pay most of your bills"

Him: " hm.. Sound good but I am not sure that I will sacrifice half of my salary to get more than 10 Tok Siak.. Even if I want to"

Me : " That is a good problem to have.. non?,".

As for the older colleague, three years my senior.. He wanted to buy a taxi and be a taxi driver whenever he do not have golf games on..
He do not really need more money as he have been working oversea for quite a long time where he has been highly paid. As always, a Q & A followed:-

Me: " Don't you think being a taxi driver is a rather taxing job for a geoscientist that is used to work in an air- conditioned room looking at the desktop computer screens (geoscientists used high end computer with at least two monitor screens) all day long?".

Him: " Maybe tiring lah but that one is only a front.. to while away time waiting for my friends to finish their daily tasks and join me at the golf clubs".

Me: " Careful .. our mutual friend Encik A said that he get one invitation to join golf games a month when he retired from working as compared to more than ten invitations a month while he was working in Petronas ".

Him : " Oh what happened exactly?".

Me: " Nothing much.. But then people tend to forget you when you are not around or they thought you are enjoying retirement and do not feel good asking you out for a game of golf .. ".

Him: " Oh oh! then I might as well continue working if my service is needed".

Me : " I think I am also going to do the same..when my time comes".

I did advise them not to get involved in business sometime during the interactions.. and in contradiction I do get involved in one that is not my expertise... thinking that it is for the good of my country and my religion etcetera..

Ah by the way, I started the day with the good old ketupat palas goreng ( wrapped in Kelantanese style) and rendang ayam.. Daun palas was bought from Kuala Dungun wet market last week and our Chinese neighbour who is nearest to our kitchen get to sample about nine ketupat.. Mokwang thought that the smell might be too tempting for the family and the recipient later confirmed her thought.. Luckily our two Chinese neighbours, living on the right and left sides of our house, are out working;)

Have a fantastic and fabulous weekend / days ahead to all!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Law of the Garbage Truck

For a long time I have been toying with the idea of posting an article on Allah’s guidance to our prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. and his friends (sahabah).
I have yet to complete my research on it but I saw a part of material posted here entitled “forgive those who hurt you”.

The title of that post, however, reminds me an e-mail from a friend entitled “Law of the Garbage Truck”. Searching the web on the subject I found this on go to the last para if you have seen this before ;)

Beware of Garbage Trucks!
By: David J. Pollay

How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly one can get back their focus on what's important.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab when my taxi driver told me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.''

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they'll dump it on you.
When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did.

TOP: The Garbage Man life is an idealic ride...
...from vista to vista.

So this was it: 'The Law Of The Garbage Truck.' I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, 'I'm not going to do it anymore.'

I began to see garbage trucks. Like in the movie 'The Sixth Sense,' the little boy said, 'I see Dead People.'
Well, now 'I see Garbage Trucks.' I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

One of my favorite football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled. He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best.
Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses. Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks takeover their day.

What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?

Here's my bet. You'll be happier.
Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so...
Love the people who treat you right.
Forget about the ones who don't.
Believe that everything happens for a reason.

If you get a chance, TAKE IT!
If it changes your life, LET IT!
Nobody said it would be easy...
They just promised it would be worth it!

Close to home... I have been telling members of my family that our hearts can be likened to small rooms. However big those rooms maybe, we should not fill them up with garbages (I relate garbages to slanders, gossips, worries, hate, anger, dissatisfaction and other people issues), as there will be little space left for us to put in perfumes and other nice staff (relating them to zikrs, search of ilms and knowledge, prayers, zakah etcetera).

Whatever you consider as garbages maybe..

I sincerely wish you

Have a garbage-free days ahead!