Wine and cheese

I had a real satisfaction having my dinner today. It’s been a while since my hubby and I last did something different for dinner. For starter, we had a cheese plate with mild cheddar, double gloucester and wensleydale with cranberry. I cut some red apple slices and grapes to go with the cheese. Of course this could not be complete without a glass of red wine and it was absolutely delicious! It’s very simple and yet elegant.Then, to stick to our healthy diet, we had a mediterranean style salad, with feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and olives sprinkle with olive oil and black pepper. Again, very simple dish and rejuvenating. For our main course, we had wholewheat spaghetti with carbonara sauce. Yummy.. yummy, I am still lingering over my dinner in my brain after two hours.I think I should quite enjoy owning my restaurant 10 years down the line and share good and healthy food with others.

Blocking Google ads

I’m still wondering what have I done, accidentally, to my Firefox browser such that no Google ads are displayed. I know that at one point I’ve installed the CustomizeGoogle extension to my Firefox. But it does not seem that it is the one that is blocking the Google ads. It should not be the firewall installed on my machine, as the ads are displayed correctly on my Internet Explorer browser.Anyway, should you find that Google ads are getting a bit too annoying, here’s a pretty neat way of blocking them out of your sight:Linux users, edit your /etc/hosts file and add127.0.0.1 pagead2.googlesyndication.comWindows XP users, edit c:WINDOWSsystem32driversetchostsOR you can install Adblock extension to your Firefox browser, and follow the instructions detailed on Jotsheet.

Veggie based diet

I have a colleague who becomes vegetarian because he believes that a meat based diet is not as efficient as a veggie based diet. That was the first time I heard of such perspective. It is certainly very interesting, but I didn’t look any further into it, perhaps mainly because I am already a vegetarian, although from a different perspective. What I hadn’t realise, until recently, was it is possible to feed the whole world, with the current produce, if everyone goes on a veggie based diet. Here are some good information fromViva!.Talk to different people, you get different views about becoming vegetarian. Some coming from nations where cooking and eating good food are joy of their life, taking up veggie based diet is just unattractive, with so much less options. Some believe that their teeth formation do not suggest that they should turn vegetarian. Some think it is more efficient for the animals to digest the “plants” for them, so they can get a “condensed” version of protein easily from meat.Rupert Everett, who starred in “The Importance of Being Earnest“, recently appeared on a cooking show and explained why he turns vegetarian when asked by the host. According to him, he once brought his dog, which he loves, for a walk in the mountain when he was in Switzerland some time ago. While taking a rest, sitting down in a field, he suddenly found himself surrounded by curious cows. It then became a routine for him taking up such walk to the field, as he found himself in love with the experience. The realisation that he loves the cows, as much as his dog, became the reason for him turning vegetarian. Perhaps it requires one or a series of special experience before people will consider taking up a more veggie based diet…

Random numbers

To give you some background, it was apparently not easy to generate random numbers before PC was invented (before the 50’s or so). Quite often, what people understand about random numbers is not what random numbers actually are. Anyway, a book (as a reference to random numbers) called “A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates” was published by Rand Corporation back in 1955. It was useful for the scientists, say when they wanted to do simulations etc, saving them time from “manually” generating random numbers. In 2002, this book was reprinted, and it’s available on Amazon.Read the reviews about this book, they are very entertaining 🙂 If you want to read comments that are more sane, go to this blog – “A million random digits”.

Albino catfish

So excited. I bought two albino catfish to add to our fish tank today, pushing the fish population to 16, with zebra danio, neon tetra and platy being the current incumbent. I was supposed to just go to the pet shop to exchange for a correct size fluorescent light I bought wrongly for my fish tank. But I couldn’t resist. The albino catfish are so cute, and we haven’t got bottom dwellers in our fish tank. We always wanted to have them, but due to unforseen circumstances, we had to postpone adding any more fish due to over-crowding.At the moment I think the two fish are still a bit stressed, as they are still zooming around in the fish tank after five hours of placing them in the tank. Hopefully they’ll be okay tomorrow, and live in harmony with the rest of the fish in the tank happily ever after 🙂

Winter blues

I can’t help but to feel rather depressed when I had to change my summer duvet to a winter duvet last week. I have been trying to convince myself to look further than the winter but then, hey, the winter hasn’t even started! And I am already suffering the blues!Autumn seems to set in really quickly this year. Last year we had a warm November and people were still wearing shorts. I remember boasting about playing tennis in the open late autumn and not having to turn on the heater till late November. That was definitely the most bearable winter I had.I am not so positive about this year though. I had to turn on the heater last weekend and spent on an electric blanket to cheer up myself that winter isn’t too bad after all. Talking about electric blanket, I will definitely rate it as one of the greatest invention after a breadmaking machine 🙂 There’s nothing more cosy than crawling yourself into a warm bed during the winter. I still remember the dark times when I had to warm the bed using my body generated heat! It’s just not right!If there is one thing that I should cherish about winter, it’s the fact that I can start wearing my boots which have been gathering dusts in the shoe shelves for the past few months. Perhaps it is almost time to invest in another pair too!

Tesco record profits

To survive in the current business environment, efficiency is no doubt absolutely vital. But for supermarket chain like Tesco to record �1.15bn profits (for the first half of the year), we are talking about more than just surviving! Money has to come from somewhere, to make up the figure. So naturally, consumers are the one who pay, as they purchase products from the supermarket. However, the consumers are not losing out here, as a trolley of 100 common items bought at Tesco would cost only 74p (according to The Grocer) less at Asda, which claim themselves to be the cheapest supermarket chain in the UK. The clear losers are the producers and farmers. According to the Welsh dairy farmers �supermarkets are charging up to 57.5p per litre for milk with farmers receiving around 17p. Ten years ago supermarkets were charging 44p and farmers received over 24p�.I understand that public listed companies are designed to deliver performance to the shareholders. But for these supermarkets to (partly) booze their profits by squeezing money out from the farmers make Microsoft looks like a saint. At least Microsoft’s biggest shareholder, Bill Gates, is making good use of his wealth and set up one of the largest charitable foundation in Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

Father Christmas

It’s never been a problem for me, grown up in a muslim country, lived in a house without a chimney, with a rather traditional Chinese upbringing, to know that father Christmas does not exist. In fact, I don’t think I believe his existence in the first place anyway when I was a kid. I remember very well once I suggested to my neighbourhood friend, infront of his mum, that maybe the present he found in his room was placed there by his parents rather than Santa Claus. The disapproval look from his mum is still vivid in my memory. I have to admit that I wasn’t very tactful at all, wasn’t I? Oh well, I was less than 10 years old, and I was curious as well, even though I was convinced that the fat guy could have not the slightest chance of squeezing through the Jalousie window that was common in Malaysia’s houses back then to deliver the Christmas gifts! I suppose his mum must have put a lot of effort in convincing her three kids the existence of Santa Clause, and very successfully so, as they were all full of excitement when Santa was mentioned, as well as the wishes that came true, the presents etc. For a period of time, I even contemplated giving it a go and hang a sock in my bedroom so that maybe my wishes will come true as well. Such were their excitement and influence.No wonder the practice of giving young children a surprise with Christmas presents remains very popular among parents. But what amuses me a lot from what I heard is the headache parents have when they are asked about Santa’s existence, and their answers to something they themselves don’t believe in. It can be quite an awkward situation, luckily it’s not something I will likely be put up with.