Friday, 17 April 2015

Handling the heat

Today has been another exceptionally hot day.

I was planning to make a trip to visit someone in Perak but decided to cancel it because it was simply too hot to leave the comfort of the house.

Then there is also the matter of my recurring poor health largely caused by the extreme weather.

On the political front, the row between Tun M and gang against PM and his "supporters" are still hot and sizzling.

I have refrained from commenting on the subject mainly because I find the whole thing unproductive and damaging to the political interests of Malays in general at a time when we need unity more than anything else.

When they should be focused in making sure that everyone contribute to build on strengthening their collective political clout through unity, the Malays are further breaking apart into little fractions.

Everyone is so focused on their own opinions of what is right and wrong that they do not see that the ultimate direction they are taking us to is further fragmentation of the Malays.

He is often accused of being "lembik" and yet many failed to realise that DS Najib inherited an Umno that has been corrupted well before he holds the reign of power.

His style of appeasing the warlords within is the only way that he could hold the party together in order to ensure Umno stays in power.

In a way, I can also understand why he is surrounding himself with consultants - unlike the all powerful warlords with their almost cultic followers, these consultants are people under his payroll that he can control and lead to certain objectives.

I disagree with many things that DS Najib has done, in his way of governing the country and leading the nation, but I see that as his prerogative as the leader that has been chosen by his party, and through the election process, as our leader.

I personally disagree with BR1M, but I accept his sincerity in trying to give to the needy.

Besides, I have personally seen some of the feel good factor on the ground - what those few hundred ringgits could do to make them feel someone up there cared.

However, I wholeheartedly agree with the doing away of subsidies as I believe that blanket subsidies for consumer goods, including fuel, benefit those with better purchasing power more than the under privileged who make do with less.

The decision to implement GST is also good one although they could have done a better job of educating the public on it.

I do find the stories about 1MDB alarming but I will accept that the audits are required before any opinion is formed either way - that is because I am a strictly fact-based person.

As for the Altantuya murder and Sirul mention, I think that was not really directed at DS Najib, but at the Police, the Attorney General Office and the judges who investigated the case, charged all three of them, found the two policemen guilty and sending them to the gallows.

Actually it was the Altantuya question that made me decide to give DS Najib the benefit of the doubt - it was standard Pakatan-style politics of innuendo.

For me, that last question was really what made his explanations on the other issues easier to accept.

I hope he can ride through this heatwave and prevail.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Uninterrupted TV and other things


We finally got Unifi installed at the house after more than 2 years of waiting and getting rebuffed with the same message of "missing address" or "dah tak ada port".

And for the first time we are watching tv uninterruptedly despite the heavy rain outside.

TM in the TV cabinet

We only subscribed to the VIP5 package, and yet uploading and downloading stuff from the 'net is sufficiently speedy and we no longer get "sakit hati" with the constant timeouts when browsing the 'net, especially when pictures are involved.

Even Yaya is happily browsing on her tablet, looking up gardening resources to expand her herb garden and new recipes for freezing now that we've got a bigger freezer.

Today, for the first time I made 6 pizza crusts for the freezer, and they turned out okay and now freezing nicely.

Pizza crusts in the freezer

I know, they look more like pita bread, but the boys prefer these fat, fluffy crusts to the thinner crispy ones that I like.

However, since the very reason we are freezing food stuff is to make it easier to prepare their favorite food, thick pizza crusts it is that get frozen.

We are planning to make more food stuff for the freezer this week - pau, karipap, roti canai, bread, gravy, meatballs, fishcakes, pasta sauce - as these pre-prepared food makes food preparation while on the go become less chaotic.

The boys' days are full - day school, religious school, homework, taekwondo, music lessons, basketball training - which means Yaya's days are full too as she ferries them everywhere and supervises their school work.

There isn't much time to spare, what with cleaning up after two boisterous boys who seem to demand constant attention, two cats who are equally attention seekers and having a life of our own.

I help out with tutoring them in my free time, the sewing and mending too, but food preparation that involves baking, roasting, or anything to do with the oven is what I love doing most.

I just love the fresh smell of bread baking, the scrumptious smell of pies cooling on the rack, and stretching gooey cheese as we break open cheese buns, still warm from the oven.

Kneading dough is such a soothing activity, just like sewing and embroidery work, which I love too.

Whenever I get stuck with work, I will start baking or sewing.

They keep the hands productive, but free the mind to think things through, and enable me to maintain some sense of balance.

I used to drive to clear my mind, but now I realise that driving around aimlessly not only wastes petrol, it also contributes to air quality degradation, traffic congestion and cost of car maintenance.

Besides, with the state of the roads in Selangor nowadays, it can be right down dangerous.