Hair cut

Ha, W gave me a hair cut yesterday. Definitely not perfect, far from it, but it is actually respectable! First time round, last week, it took her 2 hours just to get a tiny bit of hair off the back of my head. This time it was about the same time frame, got a lot more cut, and most of all she seemed to have got the technique right. Well close. However the hair on my sides ended up non-symmetrical though. Rather amusing to look at, initially, when I let my hair down ๐Ÿ™‚ But it’s okay if I comb my hair back. At least my colleagues have not noticed the flawed hair cut.So W finally got to cut my hair, which she has been yearning for some time, claiming that she has artistic talent and that she knows how to do it, but looks like there are still some work to be done. For example my current hair to begin with ๐Ÿ™‚

Video recording tame Robin

Why it never cross my mind that I could video record Robin birds we have hand fed for the past two years is beyond me. Here is an execellent footage of a Robin fed by this guy with a plateful of meal worms. Oh I missed having Robins around our flat. Nevermind next year I’m pretty sure Robins will come nest in our neighbour’s garden again, which they have been for the past two years. In fact they nested in our backyard 3 years ago, when we have just moved in here and before we cleared up the unrully ivy’s. You can have a look here for the baby Robin which was fallen from his nest, created a lot of mess in my backyard, subsequently learnt the technique of flying and finally flew away.

Wood mouse in our flat

About a week ago, a mouse sneaked into our kitchen while I was cooking, having left the kitchen door opened. Thought I’ve chased the mouse away, as I could not see where else could it have gone, that same night W heard mouse crawling noise in our kitchen. We tried searching it out, but nothing was found. So I left a few small pieces of cheese on the floor overnight to see if there really is a mouse hiding in our flat. To our “relief”, the cheese were still on the floor when we woke up.But that night, I myself heard noise in the kitchen when we were about to go to bed. After clearing up our kitchen for a bit, we still couldn’t find the little creature once again. Feeling challenged, I went to B&Q the next day to buy a live mouse trap. Now equipped with a mouse trap, I happily put in a piece of bread with some peanut butter as bait. After two days of waiting, nope, mouse was no where to be seen, and we did not hear anything too. So we concluded that the mouse must have left our flat. Then yesterday I found a small hole in the new bag of bird seeds I just bought! Some of the bird seeds were scattered on the bottom of the shelf where I keep the bird seeds, and some of them even found its way into my tool box!Looks like my bait was no good. Seeing that the mouse seem to like my bird seeds, I put a good amount of the seeds into the trap, together with some ground nuts, and oh yes freshly roasted cashew nuts too ๐Ÿ™‚ I was quietly confident we will get the mouse this time, but W was still a bit sceptical on whether the mouse trap with such tiny entrance would work, and was considering buying some strong glue instead to encircle the bait. The use of so called “ox skin” glue to catch rats is common practice in Malaysia, with fried squid or salted fish being used as bait ๐Ÿ™‚ These baits give out such strong smell that even rats located miles away might also be just about attracted to the trap, let alone those in the house!As expected, we heard the mouse wandering around in our kitchen again. But we let it have all the freedom it wants this time. The next morning, W woke up earlier than me. She heard something moving in the trap box. Yes, we got the mouse! It is tiny! It does not like a house mouse we have seen attacking our bird feeder in our backyard last year. It’s actually a wood mouse. So cute ๐Ÿ™‚

Wood mouse in a trapWood mouse in a trap

Poor little wood mouse must have been feeling rather stressed inside the trap. I would love to release the mouse from the trap quickly, but I really don’t want it to sneak into my flat again. In fact we just found out that this naughty mouse has also put a hole in our bag of rice! How annoying. So I brought it to the woodlands in the university area, which is not too far away from where we live. That silly mouse initially wouldn’t come out from the trap after I opened it. Not until I started making some squeaky noise to attract its attention to look the other way towards the open woodlands area that it started half running and hoping away into the woodlands ๐Ÿ™‚

Five-point palm global panic crushing technique

So this time the industrialised nations have pledged action to tackle the financial crisis in a “united front”. And according to US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, they have issued a five-point plan of “decisive action” to unfreeze credit markets. Specific details on how this can be done is yet to be revealed. Liquidity seems to be their main focus along with plans to protect savers to calm the market. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts come next week. But I think the main problem is people’s lack of confidence in financial institutions, whether or not they are really failing, and governments’ ability to get them out of the financial crisis. And as rightly pointed out by my colleague, if the media could stop fueling people’s imagination with all the bads that are happening, the situation we now have could be a lot better than people realise. Anyway let’s see if this five-point palm global panic crushing technique will work miracles next week ๐Ÿ™‚

Such volatile stock market

The stock market took another tumble despite the latest bank rescue plan announced by the UK government, and a coordinated 0.5% interest rate cut across the world, involving Americas, UK and European Union. Never have I seen these countries working together at the same time. Just goes on to tell you the scale of the financial problem we are now facing. Property bubble, subprime problem, inflation, bank liquidity problem, now leading to increasing unemployment. The economy is definitely heading for the worse. Has it turned the corner? Apparently not yet, as goverments are still coming up with rescue packages to try and help various sectors – property, bank, insurer, manufacturing etc.Few days ago I thought the banking sector might have already reached the bottom. We started moving into the stock market, acquiring bank shares. That was before the US finally approved the $700 billion rescue plan to buy up toxic debts. Yet that did little to stabilise the market. Today’s announcement from the UK to part-nationalise banks I feel is welcoming, as it should help strengthen the banks, bring some sanity back to how bank should be remunerated, and get the bank to operate more sensibly. Unfortunately, investors are still uncertain and the stock market continue to slide.To be honest, I still feel the banking shares are unbelievably low. If people have cash to spare, it is at this kind of turmoil that you start investing in the stock market, to maximise the return on the meagre sum of money we have got. Often people will question about the timing. Yes, we don’t know how low the market can go, and people always want to catch the absolute bottom. But can we always get the “best” deal?

Global financial crisis

I have never been more interested in the financial state of the world than in the past few weeks. These are worrying times, the stock market is in free fall and nobody has any trust in banks anymore. 1 year ago, a bank collapsing would be rather unthinkable, but nothing surprises anyone anymore.I am actually not overly concerned with the state of economy save for the fact that I am unable to change job due to recruitment freeze by many companies. Other than being bored in the office because nothing much is happening, my life has been pretty much unaffected. However, I have been saying that I’ll probably be made redundant sooner or later with the rate it is going, or rather NOT going. Nevertheless, it is not necessary a bad thing. Perhaps I would then have every good reason to do whatever I want to do. Yes, no doubt finance would be stretch but after all, money does not exist. I am starting to buy into this idea that money is all about confidence, without it, it is worthless. Recent events have shown us that this is more true than ever.My sympathy to those who have lost their jobs. But hopefully we’ll see light at the end of the tunnel.

Stephen Chow

The other day I was looking around on the LOVEFiLM website to see what DVD I can rent. I was amazed to see that quite a number of the British also found Stephen Chow’s movies very entertaining. It is quite fun reading reviews from people who don’t actually know Cantonese yet can “fully” appreciate his movies. This is my favourite scene in Shaolin Soccer.I still can’t stop laughing everytime I watch this ๐Ÿ™‚ Pure genius. In fact I started watching his old TVB series back in the 80’s, which I haven’t the priviledge to watch all the episodes due to tight parenting back then, when I was still a school boy. ๅญ–ไป”ๅญ–ๅฟƒ่‚ is one I’ve been watching at the moment on Stephen Chow is just incredibly funny, even though that was him 20 years ago!