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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Good News for the Disabled

It is rather seldom that we hear good news for the disabled apart from the giving of once a a year angpows to them, or the raising of funds for the organisations. These have always been like giving a man a fish to eat for a day.

But the following announcement is indeed heartening.

I would always remember the accountant in my British college who was wheel chair bound. And I was impressed by all the ramps and facilities made available for him and other disabled students and staff. That was way back in the 80's! And then we started to be more politically correct too,and could look at any diabled person in the eye. Having a disabled person working alongside with you has its positive effects too. Colleagues become more humane and caring.

Korean movies are taking the lead in this matter. In almost all the better movies, they have an actor in a wheel chair. And usually he is the most intelligent charactor with a broad shoulder to cry on, some one who has a lot of sympathies for the leading actress. I think Malaysian script writers should also write a disabled character into films so that Malaysians can develop their social sympathies. Noblesse oblige.

And I do hope that this piece of news will augur well for all the Sibu disabled people.

I hope registration of our disabled people will continue in a positive manner. And those who are temporarily employed by the government should become permanent and pensionable so that they do not have to be in the streets in their old age.

10,000 jobs for disabled people in civil service

KUALA LUMPUR: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, with the cooperation of the Public Service Department (PSD), have created 10,000 jobs for the disabled, which represents one per cent of the workforce in the public sector.

Its minister, Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said the intake was endorsed at a meeting between the ministry’s task force and PSD recently, and the application forms would be distributed to the organisations for disabled people nationwide beginning next week.

“The disabled people can collect the forms from their organisations and their applications would be considered based on certain criteria,” she told reporters after presenting aid to fire victims at Jalan Chan Sow Lin yesterday.

At present, only 581 disabled people were employed in the civil service while the private sector recruited less than 5,000.

About 220,000 disabled people are registered with the Welfare Services Department.

Ng said the meeting between the ministry’s task force which was formed in May and PSD was also attended by representatives from the Welfare Services Department and the disabled people associations.

Among the issues raised at the meeting were matters pertaining to road tax, wheelchairs and the welfare of parents with disabled children and they would be brought up to the attention of the Finance Ministry.

To ease the burden of the disabled people in coping with the rising cost of living, Ng said the ministry had recently increased the eligibility of disabled people to apply for allowance from a household income of RM750 a month to RM1,200 a month.

She said the ministry had also asked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to increase the allowance for disabled people who were unable to work from RM400 a month to RM700 a month.

Earlier, Ng presented mats, blankets, food and RM1,270 in cash from the Welfare Services Department to two families who were made homeless in a fire on June 13.

S/S08 Trend: The Luella Way

So I've been meaning to write about this ever since this look started appearing around London back in early March (-yes, that's early March or maybe even late February. Girls actually willingly wear skirts in the cold just so they look fashionable.) And maybe this post is coming too late but oh well, it's only June. You can still wear this look for another few months.

High street stores have really supported making the Luella look into the street look of the season. The easiest stores to find those cutsey floral skirts are Top Shop and Urban Outfitters.

The Luella skirt is of the tiny flower printed on ra ra skirts. The left skirt is by Top Shop and the right one is by Miss Selfridge.

For something that are less obviously Luella-wannabes and more 'individual', there are other cute options by Top Shop. The one of the left has that found-in-a-thrift-store look to it, and the one the right gives off a rock chic vibe.

If you're wearing a floral top then make your skirt a solid-coloured one. A mid-waisted, A-line skirt that ends above the knees is the way to go.

If you want to adhere to Leulla's Superheroes theme, choose a superhero-themed t-shirt. The two shirts in the image are from Urban Outfitters UK. But really, any t-shirt will do. Just make sure it is solid-coloured and the graphic have solid colours too.

Sneakers (normal or high-heeled) will make your outfit hip and unfussy.

The key to this look is making sure that the floral skirt or top is the only fussy item in your outfit. The other items should be solid and tough-looking, like a leather jacket and patent leather booties. Your hair and accessories shouldn't be overly girly either. Take note of the messy, imperfect hairstyles, the very natural makeup and if you can carry them off, the oh-so-trendy nerd glasses. (This image is by the Urban Outfitters UK website from awhile ago. Just more styling ideas for you!)

Have you been wearing the Luella look this spring? Thoughts?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Black and White Wedding Photos 1940's - 1960's

This is going to be one of the most beautiful pages of my blog. The weddings of my elders in Sibu and Singapore. Sadly,my family does not have many of these black and white photos in our beloved possessions.

How lovely a wedding can be , captured in black and white by good photographers. I would say Amen to the blessings pronounced by the officiating Reverend at that time. These couples have indeed cherished each other over the years!!

The newly wedded Mr and Mrs. Lau Pang Kwong. The gentleman sitting down was Great Grand Father Tiong King Sing. The wedding took place in the Masland Church

Mr. and Mrs. Tiong Tai King the newly wedded couple met each other at the Yuk Ing Girls' School, Sibu.

Mr. and Mrs. Goh Soon Tioe, Singapore. My aunt Tiong Lee Sieng became a great and well respected teacher in Singapore and raised three daughters who excelled in music.

My father and mother in their 1948 wedding. After the Japanese war the economy had not recover.

My 9th aunt married Mr. Henry Lim (also from Sibu) in Kuching.

Kevin's Top 25 Movies: Intro and Another 25

So Troy and I have decided to simultaneously post our 25 favorite films (later we will do albums) where each day we will post five entries. The formula was simple: don't repeat directors. Now, some movies may just look plain odd sitting next to each other, but isn't that how it usually is when we play favorites? We can't really justify a certain film about say, a cyborg cop, being placed next to the greatest film noir ever made (hint: it's Touch of Evil), but when we stop and explain each films merits and why they are our favorite and how they hold up on their own, and not against other great films, then I have no problem with Paul Verhoeven and Orson Welles sharing space together. Some movies may make you scratch your head, others will make sense, but keep in mind that for me, favorites and 'the best' are something different.

It was extremely hard for me to whittle down this list to a mere 25 films; I think I achieved what I wanted to with the list by picking movies that shed some insight into the kinds of films I enjoy now and the kinds of films that enchanted, inspired, and hypnotized me into the avid film-goer I am today. Also...films that just make me laugh for all the right reasons, which means that they are usually films that weren't intended to be funny or had their tongue so firmly placed within their cheek that when the film was released, most people missed the joke. You'll see what I mean when a certain Mike Nichols film pops up.

To see the distinction I have made between 'the best' and 'my favorite' click here. And as is the case with most lists like this there are inevitably films that are hard to cut, so in keeping with the tradition of copping out, here are the 25 supplemental films (call them all 25a) to my definitive list of my 25 favorite films, all in numerical order (because I am better than Troy) with comments on random films. So sit back and relax (sorry for the length of this post, the others won't be this long, we are only doing five movies per day) grab some popcorn, or if you're Brandon or Kyle, some form of sour candy, get a pen and some paper. DVD recommendations abound within:

50. Wolf (1994, Mike Nichols) -- Talk about your bizarre films. Mike Nichols makes a movie with Jack Nicholson and James Spader as werewolves. Uh yeah. However, the film works strictly as a pretty funny allegory for the world of publishing. Worth checking out just for the hilariously awful fight scenes at the end.

49. Leaving Las Vegas (1995, Mike Figgis) -- One of the most heartbreaking films you will likely see. Nicolas Cage's performance is amazing and the score the pain of both his character and Sera, the prostitute played by Elisabeth Shue. A film that his emotionally devastating, but has the amazing ability to actually be quite redeeming by the end.

48. The Awful Truth (1937, Leo McCarey) -- If I could go back in time and be one person, I would most definitely be Cary Grant. He was one suave dude, and real funny to boot. This is one of his best screwball comedies, only to be outdone, in my opinion, by a film that will appear later on in the list.

47. The Wedding March (1928, Eric Von Stroiheim) -- one of the great forgotten silent classics from a master who couldn't figure out who to work within the system. Which is a shame, because Von Stroheim was a rare genius who could manipulate the audience with the power of the pantomime.

46. A Decade Under the Influence (2003, Ted Demme)
45. Nightmare City (1980, Umberto Lenzi)
44. Dirty Harry (1971, Don Siegel)

43. Nosfertau: Phantom Der Nacht (1979, Werner Herzog) -- I acutally prefer this version to the original, with it's extremely long establishing shots, eerie silences, strange goings-on in the counts castle, and one creepy bizarre performance from Herr Kinski. What's so great about Herzong's retelling of the classic vampire story, is that it can work with the sound off too, and be just as eerie as Murnau's silent classic.

42. Chinatown (1974, Roman Polanski) -- "Are you alone?" Those three words are at the heart of one of the best film noir's ever made. J.J. Gittes is a lonely character surrounded by a mystery he has no business being involved in. The drought is the perfect metaphor for the morally devoid characters that inhabit Gittes' world. One of Nicholson's best performances. I never get tired of watching this movie.

41. The Rock (1994, Michael Bay) -- yes you read that right...a Michael Bay film is on here. I still watch this movie at an unhealthy rate. Thanks to Encore Action I can pretty much count on catching at least some of it once every day. This is probably the last action movie that has a lot of the charm and lunacy of 1980's action films. It just never gets old. And seriously, any movie with Tony Todd and Michael Biehn sharing screen time with Sean Connery and Ed Harris is gold in my book. Gold I tells ya!

40. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999, Anthony Minghella) -- One of the best films of the 90's and the closest thing to Hitchcock since the great master left us with his last great film, Frenzy. Matt Damon and Jude Law have never quite topped themselves, and sadly, neither did Anthony Minghella who passed away earlier this year. He was at his pinnacle here, filming in beautiful locations with beautiful actors, until all of that beauty is shattered by one swing of an oar, in one of the most brutal and chilling scenes you will ever see. If you haven't seen it, you need to.

39. Dark City (1998, Alex Proyas)
38. Bringing Up Baby (1938, Howard Hawkes)
37. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989, Steven Spielberg)
36. Halloween (1978, John Carpenter)

35. Wayne's World (1992, Penelope Spheeris) -- One of those movies that as a kid, I never quite understood the jokes, but laughed anyway because my brothers and their friends did. To this day I still quote this film, dating me a bit, but I could care less. The movie has its inspired moments (like the casting of Rob Lowe and the scene with Alice Cooper) and its not so inspired moments (the plot is very generic), that Myers and co. hilariously point out and poke fun of with their multiple endings (the Scooby-Doo one being the best). The thought of the movie always puts a smile on my face. Probably the only good movie to ever exist based on SNL characters.

34. True Romance (1993, Tony Scott) -- Tony Scott should feel proud. I just placed his movie over Citizen Kane (mostly because I couldn't have two Welle's films on here, and I have always liked Touch of Evil more). True Romance is the perfect pairing of Quentin Tarantino's referential dialogue (I still prefer Christian Slater's opening monologue about Elvis to Tarantino's interpretation of Like a Virgin in Resevoir Dogs) and Tony Scott's visual flair. The film has all of the staples you come to find in a Tony Scott film: bright colors, cigarette smoke that has never looked so artistic, a kinetic pace to the action scenes, and lots and lots of bullets. The cast is amazing and sadly it was the last good movie Christian Slater ever made. He's just a lot of fun to watch as he works with Tarantino's dialogue. The film really stands out for three reasons: the scene with Christoper Walken and Dennis Hopper, just watch the way these two pros handle the scene, it's magic, and easily the best scene in the movie, also there is a wonderful and tense moment when Slater and Arquette are trying to sell cocaine to a slimy movie producer (Saul Rubinek) and just watch as one of the characters in the room has a bug on him as he tries to get information for the police...just wonderfully tense and funny. The third scene is worth noting just because it has Bronson Pinchot snorting cocaine and then getting it all over his face. Yes, if you have ever wanted to see Balki from Perfect Strangers snort cocaine, here is your chance. God bless you Quentin Tarantino.

33. Midnight Run (1988, Martin Brest) -- One of my favorite films of the 80's. I first saw this movie because I worked in a video store with a manager who would always recommend that I see films from the 80's like Stripes and Caddyshack or Trading Places, etc. One of my favorite films he suggested to me at the time (I think I was 21) was Midnight Run. It's a great buddy/chase/road trip movie and the odd pairing of Charles Grodin and Robert DeNiro works extremely well for both laughs and when the emotional stuff kicks in (a staple of the 80's action/comedy film). Martin Brest is an underrated director and gets some big laughs out of his cast (especially Dennis Farina). It's one of those films that is so wonderfully 80's (I can't explain it, except if you always find yourself watching Beverly Hills Cop or Lethal Weapon when they are on TV then you know what I mean) and just sucks me in every time I see it play on TV. A real fun movie.

32. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987, John Hughes) -- For my money this is the pinnacle of John Hughes' 80's comedies. It has all the requisite Hughesisms (awkward moments, gratuitous language, and of course the obligatory tug-at-the-heartstrings scene), and it was probably the last laugh out loud movie that John Candy made. Steve Martin has rarely topped himself since (aside from Parenthood, LA Story, and Bowfinger his comedies since this one have been terrible). The movie is worth seeing for the scene in the car rental lot alone, and the conversation about 'ball handling' that follows. Thankfully the film has a Thanksgiving theme, thereby allowing me to have an excuse to watch it every year.

31. The Descent (2005, Neil Marshall) -- Neil Marshall's referential love song to the horror films of the 70's and 80's is the best horror film since Wes Craven's New Nightmare. The story on its surface is about a group of women spelunking, getting lost, and having to stave off weird creatures. But the heart of the film is the psychological. Drawing all kinds of imagery from films like Alien, Don't Look Now, Carrie, and even Picnic at Hanging Rock, the film is more interesting when thought of not as a horror film, but the psychological battle the main character has with trying to fight her demons and letting her husband and daughter rest in piece. The final image is both haunting and an emotional punch to the gut that you so rarely find in horror film. It's proof that the genre still can lend itself to heavy themes by being both artistic and exhilarating without having to be heavy handed. The title is the key the films multi-layered plot. A wonderful film that with time will probably crack the top 25.

30. Wild at Heart (1990, David Lynch) -- Certainly not the best David Lynch film (that would be Blue Velvet), but it is definitely the most fun. Where Blue Velvet's darker undercurrent makes it a lot harder to watch on a regular basis, the pure ethereal experience of Wild at Heart (seriously, watching it you feel as if you are on drugs) is something that I will never not want to experience. It's the typical bizarre 50's/punk-noir storyline that Lynch usually offers up. Great performances by Nicolas Cage (as Sailor) and Laura Dern, not to mention the bizarre and creepy Willem Dafoe. But nothing tops the bizarre relationship between Harry Dean Stanton and Diane Ladd, who as the overprotective mother is something that has to be seen to believe. Everything from the way the film is shot by Frederick Elms, to the editing to the music is meant to give you a sense of reverie. I can't explain it, but the first time I watched the film it was like I just had an outer body experience. A truly wonderfully weird movie.

29. Suspiria (1977, Dario Argento) -- One of the best Italian horror films of all time. It doesn't make the final cut, because I like the campiness of Fulci's The Beyond more than the seriousness of Argento's masterpiece. Actually, I prefer some other Argento like Opera and Tenebre to Suspiria, but it makes the list because I used to watch it so many times, in awe of what Itlaian horror offered that American horror didn't. I saw for the first time that beautiful filmmaking could mesh with squeamish horror visuals. The film is bloody, and bloody good looking. The opening to the film is one of the most famous in all of horror, and rightly so, it kicks your butt right from the beginning, and then takes a break for a bit, before spiraling into a kaleidescope of bright colors, eerie music, obtrusive set pieces, and lots and lots of gore. Oh, and Goblin scores the film. That's enough right there to see it. Modern horror films wish they could be this good.

28. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989, Richard Donner) -- Ah Lethal Weapon 2...where would I be without you? I so badly wanted to put this in the top 25 but I just couldn't find a place, plus there are more memorable and nostalgic action pictures that deserve a place on the list. This was probably one of the first videos that I wore out from watching so much (along with yes...Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Batman, and Last Crusade). I remember this film for a few things: a house on stilts, obligatory 1980's sex scene, Joe Pesci getting effed in the drive-thru, and a surf board decapitating someone. Man I loved this movie. True it doesn't have Gary Busey as the villain, but I think I just like the second one a tad more because of the element Joe Pesci adds to it. It's a funnier film with essentially the same action scenes and pacing. It's a toss up, but I have to go with part two as the better of the Lethal Weapon movies, but seriously, check em both out. They are the Citizen Kane of the buddy cop action sub-genre.

27. Pan's Labyrinth (2006, Guillermo Del Toro) -- Guillermo Del Toro's brilliant film blurs the lines between fantasy and reality so wonderfully that it deserves comparison to Fellini's 8 1/2. Although the film is only two years old, I would argue that it is easily one of the best films ever made. Much like the more serious horror films on this list, The Descent and Suspiria, Del Toro has fun with the conventions of the genre but seeks to excavate something deeper than just a generic shock fest. Also, much like last years The Orphanage (which Del Toro produced), Pan's Labyrinth shows that the Spanish horror/fantasy genre is interested in exploring the themes of fantasy as a means to pull yourself out of the harsh realities of the real world. I wouldn't dare spoil anything from the way the plot unfolds, but everything from the films score to its beautiful imagery draws you in and is truly a special film experience. He not only draws from the horror genre, but also fantasy films like The Wizard of Oz and Snow White, evoking wonderful Blake-like innocence and experience imagery. When the final shot of the film comes, you feel both the sadness and the joy Del Toro wants you to feel. Like any good director he succeeds in playing the audience like a piano, and when you realize what the film is really about, it only makes you want to see the film again and again.

26. Witness (1985, Peter Weir) -- Peter Weir's film is another odd hybrid like The Descent. A film that is a genre picture but seeks to do so much more with that genre. The film on its surface is nothing more than your generic crime picture with John Booke (Harrison Ford) having to go out of his comfort zone to protect a crucial witness who saw two policeman commit a murder. When Booke has to adapt to the Amish lifestyle is when Weir and his cinematographer John Toll shine. The films crime story takes a back seat to a more contemplative and poetic picture. The images are framed in a way to look like old oil paintings, nothing seems real, as the audience feels Booke's displacement as the alien in another country. The film is rewatchable for the wonderful cinematography, the great musical score, and the engrossing murder mystery. But most of all this is Ford's show. Never before or since has he been as good as he is in Witness. Weir is a very underrated director, and it was really hard to find a film of his that I wanted to choose because I like them all so much. the interest of cheating some more, also check out: Fearless, The Last Wave, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and The Truman Show.

The Black Hammer Strikes Again: Antonia Lofaso Tries to Eliminate Yet Another Competitor

Possums, we were as surprised as anyone to learn of Antonia Lofaso's deadly reputation as the Black Hammer. And now comes independent confirmation from Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic for our local rag, the LA Weekly. Gold recently served as a judge in a cook-off between Lofaso and Los Angeles chef Fred Eric at the Taste of the Nation benefit for Meals on Wheels, and this is what went down:

Lofaso, after raising her hands over her head to acknowledge the crowd, somehow brought her chef’s knife down into Eric’s hand, where it plunged almost to the bone.

It was not an intentional move, at least no more intentional than the Celtic knee that found its way into Lamar Odom’s groin in game five of the NBA finals, but while Eric went to get taped up, Lofaso set to work on her competition dish, sautéing mushrooms, pan-roasting duck. After 15 minutes had passed, Eric strode to the front of the stage, stripped out of his street clothes to reveal a Lakers uniform underneath, and announced that he was going to prepare a raw-food dish with the provided juicer. “Eat it raw,” he said.

The crowd groaned; Eric seemed doomed. Lofaso appeared to be almost done cooking, and her food smelled great. Eric, tossing poblanos and habaneros into the juicer like so many carrots, had barely started, and what was coming out of his machine looked like sludgy wheatgrass juice. But when the buzzer sounded, and the first plates were put in front of us, Lofaso’s fresh spring rolls turned out to be the sort of thing you can find at any Asian small-plates café in Los Angeles, competently assembled but without a special spark. Eric brought out one of the most beautiful composed salads I have ever tasted, small lettuces and bright vegetables and willowy stalks of wild asparagus arranged into a rustic still-life, a Cornell Box of a salad held together by a brilliantly spicy lime-chile vinaigrette. He had literally spotted his opponent 15 minutes and competed with one arm behind his back, and he still won a unanimous decision.

Nice try, Antonia, possum. Just remember for next time: do it when there aren't so many witnesses around. It's Law & Order: Criminal Intent 101.

Reunited and It Feels So...Meh

Some of you have asked, possums, and the answer is yes, we did watch the reunion special. And yes, we ought to have written about it yesterday, but frankly, we were still simmering a little from the bait and switch. For a couple of days at least, Bravo had been running promos for the reunion practically on a loop, during which the newly chipmunk-cheeked Dale Talde was seen sternly saying, “That is the one thing I am not going to talk about now,” or words to that effect. So of course, there is nary a sign of that statement, or the circumstances that prompted it, when the reunion actually airs. Not to put too fine a point on it, but WTF?

If we’re a teensy bit cross, it isn’t because we think, though we had hoped, that Dale’s statement (or the question that led to it) would have contained some earth-shattering revelation. Rather, it’s because the bait and switch manifests a lack of respect for the audience and (justifiable) lack of confidence in the show.

We’ve admittedly come a ways from the first season reunion, which included free-flowing alcohol, and the second season, when there was no reunion because of a well-based fear that first- or second-degree homicide might be broadcast on national t.v., but really, to paraphrase original chefbian Gertrude Stein, there was not a lot of there there.

And from the other clips posted on Bravo’s website, it appeared as though there was another reunion show, a more entertaining and revealing one, that, because of editing, we simply didn’t get to see. Mind you, the impression that we got from the reunion show that did air was that there was another more entertaining and revealing Top Chef: Chicago that, because of editing, we simply didn’t get to see. Look, we understand that with so much footage, and only around 40 minutes per show, editing choices have to be made; we’re just puzzled that so many of those choices fell on the less entertaining side of the line.

Perhaps this was the year of the woman, or the year of the chefbian, or perhaps it was decided that rampant if unconscious homoeroticism—er, “bromance”—was so last season, Howie-and-Joey. And yet. This is Bravo, for fag’s sake. How they could have resisted airing, “I’m not gay but I’d probably let him bang me,” is absolutely beyond us. Andrew D’Ambrosi as a power bottom—who knew? (It becomes even more entertaining when paired with another unaired clip from the season where Andrew talks about how Richard always comes in and takes charge, and he, Andrew, loves it.) Or Spike’s unconsciously revealing statement, “We’ll be boys forever”; yes, Spike, that’s exactly the problem, BFF or not.

Still, there were a few things we liked about the reunion special:

There was the moment when Andrew was told that viewers suspected he was smoking something stronger than cigarettes, and those naughty Bravo editors cut to Padma Lakshmi. That was the most lowdown, dirty thing on the show, and it was great. Eisenstein would have been proud, boys!

And how about the implication by Raggaydy Andy that Mark’s was a green card marriage to avoid having to leave the U.S., and Mark’s seeming concurrence? The “man soup” (or should that be “man stew”?) footage certainly won’t help his interview with the immigration authorities, will it? That’s how we think Mark would say it; the reunion made us miss his deadpan delivery all over again.

Having seen a copy of the application that contestants seeking to be on Top Chef have to sign, we understand how onerous the contestants' promotional obligations are; potential contestants sign away their lives. We remember the brouhaha over Harold Dieterle being forced to participate in that shticky, Season 1 vs. Season 2 cook-off thing that aired right before Season 3. He was busy with his restaurant, and did not want to participate, but, according to newspaper reports, his feet were held to the contractual fire and he had to schlep down to Miami anyway. As such, we had to smile when Richard Blais thanked Bravo for allowing him to participate via satellite from Atlanta, instead of having to miss the birth of his first child in order to schlep to New York to participate in the thankless reunion.

Well, Bravo, so much for our culinary boner.

Egg Baskets of olden days

This special photo is very precious indeed. Sent to me by Halamangua (check out his blog),the photo brought back many hours of warm memories. The wire basket was the popular egg basket of the 50's and almost every household had this practical egg basket. Eggs could be carried for long distances without getting broken. And the airy basket could keep the eggs fresh for days. Besides, a hard wire basket like this could stand up and withstand any kind of shaking. All the important criteria were thought out when the designer thought of making such a wonderful wire basket!!
It could also be hung up to prevent rats from eating the eggs too!! So it was really a very significant farm basket.

My mother owned one of these collapsible egg basket, a later design of egg basket. It has to be hung but it has almost all the other features of a good egg basket.

So,I am glad "Halamangua" is very happy to share with me the photo of his mother's egg basket which is "older than him". Thank you Stephen.

This vintage wire basket is indeed a good antique to show our heritage, which is also shared by many world wide.

Starting in the 1920's the French and Americans were leading in egg production and modern agriculture was making many farmers wealthy. Eggs were sold at premium prices and restaurants were serving new exotic chicken dishes.

In 1952 Colonet Sanders founded KFC and fried chicken became a favourite food world wide. After the 1950's chicken rearing became "factory" in style!

Eggs need to be kept in airy baskets to protect its quality. And Foochow housewives knew this important rule.

An excerpt from an article by Phillip J. Clauer, Poultry Extension Specialist
Animal & Poultry Sciences Department

Collect eggs in an easy to clean container like coated wire baskets or plastic egg flats. This will prevent stains from rusted metal and contamination from other materials which are difficult to clean and disinfect.

Do not stack eggs too high. If collecting in baskets do not stack eggs more than 5 layers deep. If using plastic flats do not stack more than 6 flats. If you stack eggs too deep you will increase breakage.

Never cool eggs rapidly before they are cleaned. The egg shell will contract and pull any dirt or bacteria on the surface deep into the pores when cooled. Try to keep the temperature relatively constant until they are washed.

Wash eggs as soon as you collect them. This helps limit the opportunity of contamination and loss of interior quality.

Wash eggs with water 10 degrees warmer than the egg. This will make the egg contents swell and push the dirt away from the pores of the egg. If you have extremely dirty eggs, a mild detergent approved for washing eggs can be used.

Never let eggs sit in water. Once the temperature equalizes the egg can absorb contaminants out of the water.

Cool and dry eggs quickly after washing. Store eggs, large end up, at 50-55ÉF and at 75% relative humidity. If eggs sit at room temperature (75ÉF) they can drop as much as one grade per day. If fertile eggs are kept at a temperature above 85ÉF for more than a few hours the germinal disc (embryo) can start to develop. If fertile eggs are kept above 85ÉF over two days the blood vessels of the embryo may become visible.
If eggs are stored properly in their own carton or other stable environment they should hold a quality of Grade A for at least four weeks.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I feel like I am in preschool it is all about sharing these days. I am grateful there is so much goodness to share. Here is some yummy self expression that Lindsey, the poi mistress, just shared with me. I love it so much that I may have to get my poi skills into action!

The Methodist Primary School Staff Photo

This is a rather unusual staff photo of the Methodist Primary School, Sibu, taken in the 50's. All the ladies, except two, are sitting in the front. The lady in the middle is Miss Annette Constantine, the School Supervisor.

The Headmaster at that time was Mr. Wong Kie Mee, standing on the second row.

My grand aunty is seated on the front row.

What a nice way of arranging these teachers, giving the ladies due recognition. I wonder if many organisations would ask ladies to take their seats in the front nowadays.

A Weekend in Amsterdam

After spending last Friday in Paris (more on that later,) I headed off to meet up my friends (who flew in from London) in Amsterdam for the weekend. We met at the Centraal Station and took the tram to our hotel. The trams make getting around very easy and convenient, although we stayed pretty much within one area for the whole weekend so we mostly walked.

Once we got out of the Centraal Station, we saw this church on the left. We took pictures because it looks so pretty but we weren't bothered to get closer. Throughout the trip, we see other churches around. Afterwards, we went to the famous Anne Frank House, which was very interesting. Unlike most museums you don't actually see a lot of artifacts in the House, but the presentations you see when you walk through each room of the House really gives you a sense of what happened and how it felt.

At night we visited the Red Light District, which was very interesting. I've definitely not seen any 'shops' like the ones there before. It was also really uncomfortably crowded so we didn't stay long.

On Sunday morning, we went to the Van Gogh Museum. I thought it was going to be just another art museum (-I've never studied art so I can't say I know how to fully appreciate art museums,) but it actually turned out to be pretty interesting. The museum splits Van Gogh's work into different time periods and the presentation boards have good descriptions that explain those time periods. As you walk along, you can really see the development and influence in his artwork even if you're not an artist yourself.

My favourite thing to do there was just walking along the canals, admiring the quaint little town feeling of the area and relaxing in the many coffee shops. So pretty and relaxing!

Along the canals, there were some boat houses. Not that I would ever want to live in one but isn't this one look so cute?

Before leaving on Sunday afternoon, we went peddle-boating (-is that the correct term?) Basically we water-cycled in the canals. Even though we didn't seem to be able to master the steering device and kept bumping into the walls and boat houses, it was so fun! It was a great way to just enjoy the sights without getting bored.

Now I understand why people seem to like going to Amsterdam to relax for a weekend!
Image Credit: and my friend, L

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