Friday, 31 July 2009

When You Believe

Red Alfa (RA): Yang, be the good storyteller and tell the F*nd*q M*'T*m story for laughs! I have just tried with my secretary. She did laugh.

Zen: Did she?

RA: Ah..but then ALL good secretaries would laugh at their bosses' jokes, wouldn't they?!

Zen: She's REALLYgood if she knows Arabic and Tamil, too. But I won't tell it here.

RA: Why not?

Zen: Well firstly this blog is a respectable blog, it's visited by respectable people like Dr. Sam, and Madam Markonah, and other people from the east coast - they are all so refined you know. Malulah. Not to forget my nephews and nieces - whose minds I do not want to corrupt any further.

RA: Maybe you can tumpang other blogs?

Zen: Hmmm there's that vicious feline, Saya Kitty, who's place is X-rated as she declared. But your joke is "for men only" bar-counter joke lah. Forget it Bang, I've got a reputation to protect.

RA: Alaa.. Yang.....

Zen: Eh Bang you forgot today's special occasion.

RA: Oh-Oh.... What occasion? Your birthday's months away what!

Zen: Today 9 Sya'aban lah.

RA: Ehmmmm......... remind me

Zen: 29 Muslim years ago???

RA: Our first date?

Zen: That was 34 infidel years ago!

RA: Oh yeah, we were married! Then 3 weeks later have to start fasting - Argggh! Why suddenly you remember the muslim calendar?

Zen: Dah pencen. Thank you for the 29 years, Bang. Remember 1997 / 1998?

RA: Don't I ever.

Zen: That was a tough year kan? But YOU were TOUGHER. Here's THE SONG for you to well tears over.


GO CORE - If you're not Kaur (core) you're Sikh (sick).......sic

Happy Anniversary, Bang!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

It's All in the Blood - Part 2

T and wife's blood profile reports are out.

Wife: Bang, how many times did you "go" today?

T: Eight. What about you Yang?

Wife: Six - 4 at home, 1 at Pathlab when I fetched the blood results and later at the gym while the kids were at McD's.

T: Haha you leave your tracks everywhere!

Wife: Any port in a storm lah Bang. You know at the gym I met my friend Fadzillah ... she told me about Arabic classes starting in August. Twice a week... 100 ringgit a month.

T: Owh?? Where?

Wife: Some condo at 17. Way the other side and they begin at 8.15 am. The jam will be horrendous.

T: What days?

Wife: Tuesdays and Thursdays. One hour each session. By some ustaz who does it on radio as well.

T: Join lah. It's cheap and the jam at that time is not that bad.

Wife: OK. Then next time when we go on umrah, I can chat up the Pak Arabs .... hahaha

T: Yeah and you won't make the same mistake I did with the fa nun dal qaf word. Heeheehee and I pronounced "matt'am" as maktam.... hahahaha

Wife: Embarrasing....hihi

T: So how are the results?

Wife: OK see this..... Just compare your ESR with mine. Yours is 12 and mine is 25. Maybe that was why you bled for so long tak?

T: What is ESR?

Wife: it says in this booklet "If blood is left to stand, the cellular component will sediment and the amount it settles in 1 hour is the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate". It says here "the higher the ESR, the higher the chance of a chronic disease. Investigations are then needed to find the disease". Looks like I have a lot of sediment!

T: The lab did not highlight these so probably not significant lah. Ok what else?

Wife: Both our uric acid readings are high - mine is 0.38 and yours is 0.60. Luckily it'll be fasting month soon - I think can get mine down easily. You, Bang will have to stop eating all those Shandong peanuts OK?

T: (smiling sheepishly) OK laah. Next.

Wife: Cho-les-te-rol! My ratio, at 3.3 is OK even though the total is high, my good HDL cholesterol is exceptionally high so it wipes out the bad guy. It says here "high levels of HDL are associated with low risk of atherosclerosis and are seen in women before menopause, persons who exercise regularly, and non-smokers". Yay my blood is young.

T: Mine?

Wife: Yours disasterous lah. Well... not too bad actually, only your triglycerides are out of whack. The rest - HDL and LDL are borderline. The lady at Pathlab said you must reduce your carbohydrates because they are the ones that can drastically increase your try's.

T: So I must take statins lah.

Wife: I don't think so - just don't eat so much rice at night.

T: But don't cook so many varieties of lauk lah....

Wife: OK lah Bang - that is quite easily done! Starting tomorrow.

T watched CNN and dozed off in front of the TV whilst wife updates her blog, again...

This is a healthy meal - Acehnese Asam Ke'eung Fish
with gado-gado and Air Terong Belanda (background)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Usrah on Umrah

Hey there kiddos,

Addoii, this morning Aunty Z kena pukulan kacang kuda rebus from last night's Usrah pot-luck. Had to "go" 4 times already but still feeling the fullness in the tum. But Aunty needs to de-tox anyway, so it's alright.

Waaah, the food last night was gorgeous, Mak Cik Awi brought her usual delicacies: sambal goreng jawa, rendang trio (daging, hati and limpa), and kuah dhall; not to mention other contributions - fruits, trifle (without the cake), murtabak, bubur jagung, pulut panggang, and Aunty J's dinner spread - rice, begedel, asam pedas, telur dadar, vege, keropok. SCRUMPTIOUS!

You all should have come, good dinner and good learning as well.

Kiddos, the 3 bros and their Mum are going on Umrah, so Ustaz went through with us some pesanan on proper conduct whilst on Umrah, which he translated directly from this Arabic kitab. Just to share:

Hukum Umrah adalah WAJIB sekali dalam seumur hidup selepas haji atau bergandingan dengan haji.

Kebaikan Umrah mengikut hadith Nabi SAW - "akan dapat menghilangkan kefakiran dan menghapuskan dosa seperti hilangnya karat apabila besi dipanaskan".

  1. Pasang niat dengan betul - kerana ibadat kepada Allah (bukan shopping / melancong)
  2. Banyak bertaubat nasuha dan beristighfar
  3. Membanyakkan ibadat umrah dan tawaf sunat
  4. Menjaga adab dan etika sepanjang perjalanan
  5. Belajar dan faham hukum-hakam
  6. Bawa bekalan seperti ongkos secukup-cukupnya dan berpada-pada
  7. Perbanyakkan sedeqah yang termampu - hadith: "Tidak berkurangan rezeki seseorang yang rajin bersedeqah".
  8. Banyakkan bantu orang sekadar mampu.
  9. Hiasi diri dengan akhlak yang baik
  10. Jaga mulut dari cakap kotor, buruk sangka, mengumpat, fitnah
  11. Mengawal pandangan mata daripada perkara maksiat
  12. Jauhi perkara haram
  13. Elak dari kesesakan
  14. Jauhi dari pertelingkahan
  15. Perbanyakkan berfikir dan muhasabah diri
  16. Perbanyakkan zikir dan doa - "doa tidak ditolak untuk musafir haji dan umrah"
  17. Perbanyakkan amal ma'aruf dan nahi munkar dan lain-lain yang sunnah
  18. Elakkan perbuatan dengan terburu-buru
  19. Jangan dengan sengaja melakukan kesalahan
  20. Kembali dengan Umrah yang mabrur iaitu dengan perubahan positif

Aiits - macam tip-tip untuk hidup sepanjang zaman

Let's all wish Aunty J and Along, Ali and Arez all the best in their journey, take care guys and Umratun Mabroor.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Yin and Yang

I used to have a lady-boss who was quite knowledgeable in the "heatiness" and "windiness" of various foods. She was afflicted with adult-onset asthma at the age of 50 and had preferred natural remedies over conventional medicine. If memory serves, water-melon is windy, as is tea, ginger heaty, durian very heaty, crab soup for asthma, barley is cooling, cincau too, nangka very angin and phlegm-inducing, and not too forget some fish like ikan tamban and ikan talang are really "itchy" rendering your throat and the roof of your mouth quite sore.

Classifying food as heaty or cooling is a Chinese thing, I would say, that complies with their philosophy of yin and yang. Literally translated, yin and yang mean the dark side and sunny side of a hill and are "energies" believed to be present in everything.

As explained in an article I found on

Opposites comprising of a whole, yin and yang cannot exist without each other and nothing is ever completely one or the other. There are varying degrees of yin and yang within everything and everybody. The well-known yin-yang symbol illustrates how these forces flow into each other with a little yin always within yang, and a little yang always within yin. In the natural world, sun and fire are yang, while earth and water are yin. Life is possible only because of the interplay between these forces.

....Both yin and yang are necessary for sustaining any kind of function. If one force dominates over the other, the imbalance typically leads to or perpetuates illness.

While science has attributed the cause of our various ailments and temperaments to imbalances in our hormonal make-up, it is still fascinating the way the Chinese simplifies it all with yin and yang. Take ageing, for instance:

It is interesting to see that as people age, they naturally start to get low in their gender-related yin or yang energy. For example, as women age and their yin begins to decline, they go though menopause. They may experience hot flashes, night sweats and frequent waking, which are all symptoms of yin deficiency. Their character also tends to become less yin. Some women grow less meek -- going out, doing more and standing up for themselves. If they become pathologically yin-deficient, they may become agitated, demanding and shrill. This is all relative, I suppose, based on your perspective or proximity to the person (e.g., "Your mother's driving me crazy!" Dad may say).

The opposite happens with men -- their yang decreases and they mellow with age, becoming more yin: easygoing, less confrontational and less combative. It's a good thing this happens to men, because their partners may be going in the other direction! This certainly isn't to the point of being pathologically yang deficient; on the contrary, both men and women may feel more centered, balanced and comfortable with themselves and others as they develop more gender-neutral dispositions.

If yang deficiency develops, men may become sexually impotent, thus the multi-million dollar market for Viagra. Getting up at night to go to the bathroom, cold extremities and lower back pain all point to a possible yang deficiency as well. A man's character may become too mellow, to the point of losing his confidence, becoming listless and apathetic. If he tries to "treat" his boredom with a younger woman, how ironic it would be if he couldn't "perform." It would be safer to get a sports car to prove his masculinity (haha), but better still, he could start Asian bodywork treatments!

Please understand that this is a generalization. We can by no means put everyone in these categories. For one thing, men are not all yang, and women are not all yin. There is a balance of yin and yang within both genders in different proportions. But there is a tendency that you may have noticed for men and women to switch polarities slightly as they age.

The tables above indicate that I may be slightly yin-deficient for which the following fortifying tips might indeed help.

"To increase Yin, spend more introspective, relaxing, solitary time. Pursue the spiritual, emotional, and intuitive inner sides of life. Work with ideas and imagination. Yin represents one's innate capacity. Cultivate the inner nature by focusing on feelings of receptivity, humility, flexibility, and development of inner essence. Relationships fall under the yin aspect of life. Use cool colors: blue-greens, blues and purples, muted, diffuse colors as well as dark shades of all colors, dimmed lighting, cooler temperatures, heavenly representations in artwork and photography, artwork depicting valleys, curved lines in designs, either in the built environment, furnishings, or patterns in fabric and artwork."

Alex Tiberi suggests buying a pet to help tonify yin. A dog needs you to nourish and take care of it, more so than fish or other types of pets. There is nothing like the feeling of the unconditional love from a pet when you arrive home. Plus, you get the added benefit of gentle yin-tonifying exercise, by having to take it out for a walk regularly! This is particularly true of older people who don't exercise regularly or have the opportunity to care for anyone anymore.

Since people who are yin deficient are already depleted, they need to avoid stimulants that will cause them to use more energy than they have, such as alcohol, coffee and sugar. Pungent spices also should be avoided, as they will create more heat.

Daverick Leggitt writes in Helping Ourselves: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics:

"Yin tonifying foods combine deep subtle nourishment with moistening and often cooling qualities. Yin tonics travel deeply into the body replenishing our core and soothing our overworked system."

Foods that especially tonify yin are: apples, asparagus, cheese and milk (in moderation), chicken and duck eggs, clams and oysters, crab, cuttlefish, duck, honey (in moderation), kidney beans, lemon, malt, mango, peas, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, pork, rabbit, string beans, tofu, tomato, watermelon and yams. Another excellent reference is Leggitt's book, Recipes for Self-Healing.

Chinese herbs are also beneficial, used in conjunction with Asian bodywork therapy for supporting yin.

With such a focus in our culture on the value of yang -- doing rather than being, and going rather than relaxing -- you may find several of your clients suffer from some sort of yin deficiency, to put it mildly. Even if you forget all of the differentiation and treatments mentioned in this article, and just give your clients the space to receive, feel nurtured and renewed, you will be starting to address and treat their yin deficiency! One of the most enduring and valuable yin-supporting "techniques" is to be present and peaceful.

The series of articles on yin and yang deficiency at the MassageToday website:

Yin and Yang Deficiency Part I
Yin and Yang Deficiency Part II
Yin and Yang Deficiency Part III
Yin and Yang Deficiency Part IV
Yin and Yang Deficiency Part V
Yin and Yang Deficiency Part VI

Sunday, 26 July 2009

It's in the Blood

It was time for T and his wife's twice-yearly urine and blood-profiling.

The hypochondriac in him had felt some uneasiness in his liver.

So off they went to Pathlab where they presented their pre-paid vouchers, plus urine (self-administered) and blood (lady-assisted) samples.

On the drive home after a mamak breakfast:

Wife: (ultra-sweetly).... Baaaang....

T: (just as sweetly).... Yes, Yaaang....

Wife: Could it be possible........

T: Yaa....?

Wife: that you could have .......

T: Naaawh..... you of all people should know thaaat

Wife: umm... Baang... know what?

T: I don't have ........ a secret bank account? hahahahahah!

Wife: Well at least you're jovial .... even after the run-in with so-and-so ........

T: So what do you think I could have, Yaang?

Wife: ummm ..... high blood pressure?

T: Naaawh.... I was 110/70 the last time the doctor measured

Wife: Isn't that high for you? When you were younger you were always on the low side? The doctor always thought you were anaemic.

T: That's right. Why the sudden interest? I think I'm relatively healthier and fitter now than I've ever been.

Wife: Well....... I want you to NOT take your eyes off the road... but to just peek, OK?

T: Hmmm.... you naughty old lady....

Wife: Eeeessshh you dirty old man... it's the PLASTER lah ......the plaster that lady put on your vein.......... is drenched with blood .......and so is your sleeve............just peek, just peek!!!

T: Yaaang, my arm is numb ..... (shaking his arm)

Wife: Take a look at mine (rolling her sleeve), there's only a dot of blood

T: Yeah lah, I think it's my liver .... something's wrong...

Wife: And your smile is crooked....

T: I'm not smiling.........

Wife: You're having a stroke then

T: (parking outside the house) I may have high blood..... and my blood's not clotting.... I need a LOVING stroke....

Wife: Quick let's get inside....

T: You serious?

Wife: Yes! I need to take a picture of your plaster before it drops off by itself... since it's so wet .......... for my blog lah

T: Owh...

Got a diagnosis?

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Compatibility Issue

From my Inbox

A little boy goes to his father and asks 'Daddy, how was I born?'

The father answers, 'Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway!

Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo.

Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe.

We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive.

As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and it was too late to hit the delete button.

Nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

'You got Male!'

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Uncle Zoob


I'm sure you all remember Uncle Zoob, your one and only favourite uncle.
How he used to make you laugh at his jokes and his teasings, how he could draw you guys out of your shyness and have you sing while he played his guitar, how clever he was with his camera with you as the subjects of his photography, how versatile he was be it at sports, as a musician, MC, nikah spokesman, imam, etc.

For everything that he did, he put in 101 percent if not more.

Uncle Zoob returned to Rahmatullah 2 years ago today. With Aunty J's kind permission, here is Uncle Zoob's e-mail message to us on the occasion of his 55th birthday in December 2006.


Thank You
to the Clan.

At 55 today, I join the "warga Emas" sector and tradionally should be off into the retirement phase. However, donning the kain pelaikat and making the beeline to the kampong is no longer the fashion. For me, at least. Born in the Adat Perpateh Clan, I have no kampong. The Perpateh men moves out to build his own kampong.

Hence, Kampong Tropicana it shall be. As far as the kain Peleikat is concerned, my attire can perhaps be described as going in the opposite direction. The shorts are getting shorter. First the biking shorts. Then, the running shorts. Now, the
swimming trunks. I am not a good cyclist. I am not a good runner nor a swimmer.I just want to be a Triathlete. My 2007 target. If age is just a number and the number increases steadily (and rather rapidly too...),there is nothing we can do about it. Come today, even if I shift the numbers remains 55. So, you see I have grown 10 years suddenly. Yesterday, with the "clever" manipulation of figures, I was 45. It does bother me though not to the extent of worrying me. As long as the weight goes down in inverse proportion, I am the happy 55 year old cycling around the country, running 10km within the hour and swimming 1km in 45 minutes.

Alhamdulillah, Allah gives me the interest and ability.
I am blessed being surrounded by a very loving wife who had recently taken up a new additional role as the support car driver and three adult sons who tries very hard to keep up with me on two wheels. I am blessed with the beautiful closeness of the Hassan Clan. I am blessed with the "jemaah" friends who have stuck with me since I knew them 8 years ago. I am blessed with Uztaz Shihabuddin who have yet to surprise me by not turning up in my house on Tuesday nights...for the last 5 years. Thank You all for the best wishes.


We miss him very dearly, indeed.
May Allah forgive him, have mercy on his soul and grant him Jannatul Firdaus. Amin


Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Seven Ages

Thought I'd re-post this entry from my very first attempt at blogging way back when.

All the world's a stage is the phrase that begins a famous soliloquy from William Shakespeare's As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jacques. The speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play, and catalogues the seven stages of a man's life, sometimes referred to as the seven ages of man:
  1. infant,
  2. school-boy, student
  3. lover,
  4. soldier, jealous in honour - quick in quarrel
  5. justice, reflecting and deciding
  6. pantaloon, meaning rich, retired and lecherous
  7. second childhood,
Shakespeare means that the world is nothing but a theatrical stage where we humans are actors. From our birth we enter the stage and keep on acting true to our age, until old age when we act the last scene.

By contrast, here is how "The Seven Ages of Woman" was depicted eons ago ( by Hans Baldung Grien at theLeipzig, Museum der Bildenden Künste).

(Note: I've removed the actual picture and provided just the link)

How typical of men indeed, they talk of themselves in terms of functionalities but see women only in forms!

All God's creatures, if they live long enough, shrivel and die. It does not matter really how you look when you die but it is how you had acted in your various roles in life that measures your worth in God's eyes.

So is the world a stage? Hey, we are all auditioning for the next show.

I am KaiZendra and I embody KAIZEN.

Penguin Fact or Fancy

Monday, 20 July 2009

Reconciliation and Makeover

I feel elated today because it marks the day when hubby and I witnessed two sisters, dear friends of the family, making up after almost two decades of deliberate avoidance of one another. Alhamdulillah.

Both alpha-females, younger sis had to be coerced into a meeting at her (younger) house, as requested by elder, who chose to ignore seniority in the interest of reconciliation.

After the hugs and initial awkwardness, both were chattering away as if the twenty years had never been. When we were restrained from taking our leave after a couple of hours, it was then that we knew that they are back to being family again.

Blood is indeed thicker than water.


Over the weekend I decided on a make-over of my header and intro piece. Out with the stuffy power kebayas and "calling" pretensions, and in with some fun and fascinations concept.

Why the zebra? Well, why not? Actually I had stumbled on the sunglassed and lipsticked zebress image while looking for a cow picture for another entry. A fellow blogger had taken to call me Zeebra for some unknown reason, so I thought let's play on that. After all this is my fun blog and I can always change to something else shoud things get out of hand.

Maybe I should carry this theme into my real life, too. Look below at the fine zebra designs available for just about everything.

A cat bed-cushion! A certain kitty may like this.

A funky disposable diaper

A chic table lamp. Will surely add razzmatazz to my bedroom.

A sassy carry-bag with a sixties peace symbol

An elegant evening dress with matching over-jacket? Love it!

Le Zebre Rules!

Saturday, 18 July 2009


I came back from my regular Saturday afternoon class to find father and son enjoying a football match on TV. On closer inspection, I realised that it was the live telecast of the match between MAN U and a MALAYSIA Selection. Malaysia was represented by mainly youngsters aged 24 years and below, with only two players who were about 28. Off course nobody thought they had any chance against the sleek United. Malaysia had already been whacked 0-2 when I returned.

I sat down to watch too since there's a stack of laundry on the sofa to be folded. After all we were already trailing by a huge margin, and so the boys wouldn't blame me when Malaysia officially loses. You see, it had always been that whenever I watched Malaysia competing in any sport on TV, she'd end up losing. Suddenly son bolted up from the floor and waved his fist shouting GO!GO!GO! Wonder of wonders! Amri Yahyah had scored a goal from almost mid-field! I cheered with delight - my fortunes have changed - I must have brought some berkat from my class, haha.

After half-time and a phone conversation later, I was still with the laundry. It was a mountainous stack anyway, it being the weekend. Hubby got up to wash his cars which he finds more interesting to do.

Malaysia was playing confidently but MAN U looked listless, probably from jet-lag and the humidity. And again, up shot my son from the floor, there was some kind of scuffle going on at the goal, and YES! Another goal from Amri! It's now 2-2 and the WHOLE STADIUM WAS CHEERING (red jerseys included), and the hero was jogging down the field with hands waving beside his ears asking to hear more! I was beside myself from the zen of it all - it's confirmed, I am indeed no harbinger of ill-luck for Malaysian sports.

Both United and Malaysia are now busy doing substitutions, Owen came on and a bit later some others. With 10 minutes more of play, I was finished with the laundry and headed upstairs. And then, a loud GROAN from downstairs... United had scored - it's now 3-2. Awwwww... I should have stayed on till the finish. I turned my back for just a couple of minutes, and it happened. The goalie slipped and a Red tucked the ball in.

So, as we say it in these parts, it's DOUBLE-CONFIRMED!


Manchester United's Anderson fights for the ball with
Malaysia's Mohd Amri Yahyah in Kuala Lumpur

Image Source:

Friday, 17 July 2009

Brain Exercise, Everyone

Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles. As we grow older, it's important to keep mentally alert. If you don't use it,you lose it!

Below is a very private way to gauge your loss or non-loss of intelligence.

Take the test presented here to determine if you're losing it or not. The spaces below are so you don't see the answers until you've made your answer.

OK, relax, clear your mind and begin.

1. What do you put in a toaster?

Answer: BREAD.

If you said "toast," give up now and do something else. Try not to hurt yourself. If you said, bread, go to Question 2.

2. Say "silk" five times. Now spell "silk." What do cows drink?

Answer: Cows drink WATER.

If you said "milk," don't attempt the next question. Your brain is over-stressed and may evenoverheat. Content yourself with reading a more appropriate literature such as Kama Sutra or something. However, if you said "water", proceed to question 3.

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from GLASS!.

If you said "green bricks,"
why are you still reading these???
If you said "glass," go on to Question 4.

4. It's twenty years ago, and a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over Germany (If you will recall, Germany at the time was politically divided into West Germany and East Germany. Anyway, during the flight, TWO engines fail. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately the engine fails before he can do so and the plane fatally crashes smack in the middle of "no man's land" between East Germany and West Germany.

Where would you bury the survivors?

East Germany, West Germany, or no man's land"?

Answer: You DON'T BURY survivors.

If you said ANYTHING else, you're a dunce and you must stop. If you said,
"You don't bury survivors", proceed to the next question.

5. Without using a calculator - You are driving a bus from
KL to Marang in Terengganu. In KL, 17 people get on the bus; in Kuantan, six people get off the bus and nine people get on. In Kemamang, two people get off and four get on. In Kertih, 11 people get off and 16 people get on. In Dungung, three people get off and five people get on. In KT, six people get off and three get on.

You then arrive at Marang.

What was the name of the bus driver?

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud!

Don't you remember your own name? It was YOU!!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Aunty Z's Stress Buster

Hey there kiddos!

Are you stressed at school, at college, at work?
The hostel food making you puke?
The warden rampas your link to the outside world?
Your seniors pestering you? Your gf/bf pestering you?
You got no gf/bf?
You can't study? can't sleep?


But Aunty Z has the remedy...... just click on PLAY!

(mmmm, it's NOT MLM)

OK, off you go now, ....back to the books!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Excerpts from "The Road to Mecca"

Arabian Wisdom

"Coffee, in order to be good, must be bitter like death and hot like love."

"If water stands motionless in a pool, it grows stale and muddy; but when it moves and flows, it becomes clear: so, too, man in his wanderings."

"You traveller, he traveller; your way and his way is together."

"We Arabs .... we want to commit our errors ourselves and so learn how to avoid them - just as a tree learns how to grow right by growing, or as running water finds its proper course by flowing."

"We do not want to be guided to wisdom by people who have no wisdom themselves - who have only power, guns and money, and only know how to lose friends whom they could so easily keep as friends..."

A Jew against Zionism
"It was not without a purpose that God made us lose our land and dispersed us; but the Zionists do not want to admit this to themselves. They suffer from the same spiritual blindness that cause our downfall. The two thousand years of Jewish exile and unhappiness have taught them nothing. Instead of making an attempt to understand the innermost causes of our unhappiness, they now try to circumvent it, as it were, by building a "national home" on foundations provided by Western power politics; and in the process of building a national home, they are committing the crime of depriving another people of its home."

2 retired Jewish couples whom we befriended in Rome
(originally European and Indian respectively)

The Chant of the Mu'azzin
"... made me realize in those days at Cairo how deep was the inner unity of all Muslims, and how artificial and insignificant were the dividing lines between them. They were one in their way of thinking and judging between right and wrong, and one in their perception of what constitutes the good life."

"I became aware how near their God and their faith were to these people. Their prayer did not seem to be divorced from their working day; it was part of it - not meant to help them forget life, but to remember it better by remembering God."

Spiritual Development

"The Quran never let its followers forget that the life of this world was only one stage of man's way to a higher existence, and that his ultimate goal was of a spiritual nature. Material prosperity, it said, is desirable but not an end in itself: and therefore man's appetites, though justified in themselves, must be restrained and controlled by moral consciousness. This consciousness ought to relate not merely to man's relation with God but also to his relations with men; not only to the spiritual perfection of the individual but also to the creation of such social conditions as might be conducive to the spiritual development of all, so that all might live in fullness..."

Dedicated to mamasita

Monday, 13 July 2009

Urban Definitions

I was on Facebook again and found a term used by niece Yan quite shocking to my zen eyes.

The word was C+A+M+W+H+O+R+I+N+G!

Clicking on her link opened up a whole page of photos of Yan and her family in various candid poses. They were funny pictures, as I had expected, as our ohana are wont to such practices. So that got me grinning again.

However, curiosity got the better of me and I ended up in Urban Dictionary looking at 13 definitions offered for "c+a+m+w+h+o+r+e". Sorry for the plusses but at 55, certain insensitive words and pictures (not yours, Yan dear) do rub me the wrong way.

I've extracted a couple of the less nasty definitions as per below - the rest are just too vicious for the likes of me:

- Anyone, male or female, who is addicted to taking countless pictures of themselves to post on the internet. Pictures range from conservative face shots to explicit nude photos complete with visible sex acts. A camwhore may reach the status of such internet fame that they can begin CHARGING for the privelege of viewing their pictures

- A person, Male or Female who likes to take pictures upon pictures of themselves. They may post them all over their little spaces on the net, including but not limited to Lj, Xanga, My Space,, Hot or, Ect... And they may post them all over message boards they frequent. Or they can be one of your friends who likes to send you a dozen new pictures everyday of themselfs, in new and old poses, clothes, makeup, ect... And you now have a bigger collection of their face on your computer than you do Mp3 files and other picture files put together. And if any one were to see said collection of pic's you might be accused of being obsessive, or a stalker or something.

There are also definitions for "Malaysia" in Urban Dictionary - and I'm very sad to say that a number of them are spewing vile and malice. That is as much as I can take from you, Urban Dict: me streaming bad thoughts myself.

Hold on, cut the negativity; I then looked at what this site has to say about....... ZEN...

Among the descriptions are ............. jeng jeng jeng .......


- Used to describe someone/something that has reached an uber state of coolness and inner peace

- A state of mind in which one is calm and impassive and does not betray their true emotions. Nothing phases one who is zen.

- Your inner cool

- Arabic word that means "fine" or "ok"; usually used to answer the following questions: shlonaq? keifaq? both questions mean (how r u?)

You can tell I like that one, right? Also this one below.

- Used in computer programming to refer to a sudden flash of insight, usually regarding a problem, and how to fix it. Faster version of glark, and it usually sends one well on their way to grokking something. A paradigm shift.
"I was this close to giving up, but then I got a zen"

Well yeah, I used to write buggy computer programs at college.

So how am I feeling right now?

Quite Zen, Shukran Jazilan......

Monday, 6 July 2009

Play-play Only

Recently I was in that playland called Facebook, where I had located long lost playmate-at-work, YatieB. When both of us started our careers at a particularly dinghy government department by the jungle back in '79, YatieB and I often reminisced about our student days on an island way out west which was part of the British Isles.

There we were, sharing an office and a B-line telephone, each with her own over-sized government-issue desk, and chair (with arm-rests, because we were Officers, mind you) and which we purposely dragged on the bare cement floor everytime we got up. That had the effect of one of us jolting the other out of day-dreaming of her boy-friend, and getting back to the work at hand.

Waiting for 4.15 pm, the end-of-office time, we'd talk about British jokes, British comedy, British punctuality, British queues - we were absolute anglophiles back then, bordering on "meluat"ly so. But not anymore off course, it took a couple of months before we lost that lingering yearning for the place that had been our home away from home for 4 years or so.

Anyway, I was on FB where 99 percent of my "friends" are myriad nephews and nieces, including my own children. And so I took this Michael jackson quiz..... and surprisingly that had Kaklong going "kiiiikiiiikiiii" and Rez with a "LMAO" (Laughing My A-S Out - jaga kau Rez!!!)

Here's what the quiz says about what MJ's song I am.

You're an all around good person! You look for the good in people and get along with everyone! People feel comfortable with you.

And the kids laughed??? Their As--s Out??? Do they know something else about me that the quiz did not? For sure I know I did not manipulate the answers, I swear!!!

Well YatieB came on and commented:

Ye lah.... Quite accurate ... "quite in the English context"

Aaah, I was wrong, she's still an incorrigible anglophile.

Quite ...... and ....... accurate

YatieB dear, something is ACCURATE ....... or NOT ACCURATE, is black..... or white, no grey-grey lah, no QUITE BLACK or QUITE WHITE.

But I'm no expert in Brrrritish English or even American slang for that matter. Our ever delightful Manglish however, takes "quite accurate" to mean "not that accurate but boleh lah" , reflecting the accomodating Malaysian psyche.

So I took the liberty to google for an explanation. Everyone, a lesson in Brrritish English follows:

In British English, quite has two different meanings. It does mean completely or entirely, but it also means fairly or rather.

quite = completely

When it is used for emphasis with adjectives that cannot be graded, quite means completely. The colour adjective black, for example cannot be graded. Things can't be more black or less black. They are just black. So, if we put this into context and look at some more examples of quite with ungradable adjectives, we may find:

  • There's no trace of red in her hair - it's quite black.
  • I see no hope - the future looks quite black to me.
  • It's quite impossible to learn twenty new items of vocabulary each day.
  • His performance on stage was quite amazing - we were just spellbound for three hours!
  • Are you quite sure? I think you're quite wrong about this.

not quite = not completely

When not is used with quite, it always means not exactly or not completely. Study the following:

  • Shall we go? ~ I'm not quite ready.
  • Do you like this one?
    ~ It's not quite the colour I wanted.
  • Have you finished that book on Che Guevara yet?
    ~ Not quite.

quite = exactly / I agree

Quite can be used in an emphatic way as a one-word response, meaning exactly or I completely agree:

  • I always knew their marriage would never last.
    ~ Quite! / Exactly! / So did I!
  • If you stay quite still, those animals won't harm you.
    ~ Quite! / That's absolutely right.

quite = fairly / rather

If we are using quite with an adjective that is gradable, it means fairly or rather. The adjective easy, for example, is gradable. Things can be easier or harder. Thus, quite, when used with easy, means fairly or rather. Study these examples:

  • How did you find the maths test? ~ Oh, it was quite
    , really. / It was quite difficult.
  • What did you think of the cabaret? ~ Oh, it was quite entertaining.
  • I'm quite tired but I'll try and finish this book review
    before I go to bed.

quite with verbs

When quite is used to modify verbs, the meaning depends on whether the verb is regarded as gradable or not. Compare the following:

  • I wouldn't want to be on holiday with him, but I quite like him.
  • How did you get on at Barry's party? ~ Oh, it was quite nice. I quite enjoyed myself.
  • I haven't quite finished decorating Jim's bedroom yet, but I will have by Saturday.
  • I quite agree with you. Young children must never be left at home on their own.

quite with a / an + (adjective) noun

When quite is used to modify nouns or adjectives with nouns, it normally has the meaning of rather. Compare the following:

  • I know they left in a hurry. How did they leave the house?
    ~ Oh, it was in quite a mess.
  • How was the house contents auction?
    ~ Oh, it was quite a success. Nearly everything went.
  • Let's take a picnic with us. I think it's going to be quite a nice day.
  • Did you get to see Hamlet at the Barbican?
    ~ Yes, it was quite an interesting production.

If you would like more practice more please visit our Message Board in the You, Me and Us part of our website.

Voila! And so YatieB meant "COMPLETELY ACCURATE" - that I am indeed an all around good person! I look for the good in people and get along with everyone! People feel comfortable with me.

Thank you, thank you YatieB. You still remember me from that long ago.


Sunday, 5 July 2009

Rumah Aku

Dah nak masuk bulan mulia ni, aku rasa terpanggil nak ngodit rumah, nak bersedia sikit sebanyak, konon-konon lah.

No. 1 - aku tengok pagar rumah ini sikit-sikit karat, dari jauh macam OK sebab cat gelap, dah dekat rasanya kena touch-up juga - pagar kena jaga, itu squad barisan hadapan

No. 2 - pintu gate otomatik aku sejak kebelakangan terkadang terbuka dengan sendirinya - remotenya aku yang pegang - akulah yang lalai awasi agaknya, entah apa karut-marut dah menyerlap masuk

No. 3 - peti-surat built-in kat tembok OK lagi - boleh muat kad-kad raya yang semakin kurang sejak aku pencen - kenapa tak ada sesiapa hantar aku flyer-flyer jenis peringatan?

No. 4 - bawah peti-surat ialah ruang letak tong sampah - mungkin kena tambah lagi satu tong - sebab banyak toxin dalam rumah nak kena nyah!

No. 5 - well.... keadaan cat luar dan dalam masih mantap lagi - tahun depan tengok macam mana

No. 6 - pintu depan rumah ni ringan sangat - entah jenis apa punya kayu - kena angin sikit dah rattling macam berleter - tapi selak dan kunci in good working order - ensel OK

No. 7 - alamak aku tak perasan cermin-cermin tingkap dah jadi kelabu. Dah tu langsir dua lapis pulak, itu pun dah time masuk washing-machine. Barulah dapat meneropong dengan lebih khusyuk.

No. 8 - grille - kira second line of defence, pun kena dilap sebab dah entah berapa lapis debu yang dah singgah - debu itu suci? Suci dalam debu? Melalut pulak...

No. 9 - keadaan sawang di penjuru-penjuru dinding - nampaknya bersih lagi - mana pergi labah-labah yang dulu suka buat sarang kat sini?

No. 10 - keadaan dapur mencermin peribadi tukang masak - alah biasalah kalau dapur berasap sentiasa - faham-faham aje lah

No. 11 - pintu belakang? dibuka bila nak hantar sampah ke tong je - ok lagi :)

No 12 - selainnya - peribadi ya?!!

Tak boleh lengah-lengah memperbaikki rumah, biar bila sampai bulan puasa rumah aku dah ready.... Insya Allah

sampai raya, nak tunggang langgang pun tak hal
can take it!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Of Muslim Cheesy Matters


This is a fascinating article by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi (brief profile below) where he argues on the permissibility of Muslims consuming cheese vis-a-vis the source of rennet used in its manufacture, and basing on certain fatwas.

There is an extensive discussion and various viewpoints in the comments section of the article at it's original site.

As for me, I have always looked for the حلال logo on the packaging when buying food products, and based on the good Sheikh's arguments, I don't really have to any more as regards cheese. But old habits die hard and I would feel a wee bit better anyway purchasing something with the familiar logo there.


Of Mice and Men – The Cheese Factor

I admit: I am cheesed off. Totally, that is.

Recently, I returned from one of the largest Muslim conferences in North America. While at the convention, I had placed my son Ammaar in the day-long seminars meant for the younger children. When Ammaar got back to the hotel room, the first thing he said as he barged into the room, his eyes wide open in amazement as is his wont, ‘Baba, Baba! Do you know that Doritos and Cheetos are harām?’ I groaned internally, knowing the basic source of this ‘fatwā’, and asked, ‘Why do you say that?’ to which he replied, ‘The auntie in our class said so!’

Sigh………. One more important lesson in fatherhood: make sure you teach your children that much of what they learn in ‘Islamic’ school is not necessarily ‘Islamic’.

As all of us are so (painfully) aware, of recent there has been a flurry of e-mails in Muslim circles regarding popular products, such as Doritos, that use cheese manufactured from porcine rennet. Since these products are sprinkled with such cheese, concerned Muslims have automatically concluded that the aforementioned products must be totally harām, and thus unceremoniously boycotted. Putting aside the nutritional value of such products, such a (cheesy) attitude, although commendable due to its sincere intentions, also betrays a fundamental lack of knowledge regarding halāl and harām foods. Before jumping the gun, it would behoove Muslims to do a little more research and consider the matter from all angles.

In this article, it is my intention to examine the issue in a more academic manner. However, for those who don’t have the time to read it, then to cut a long story short, the strongest opinion appears to be that cheese, in all of its commonly available varieties (except those that actually contain pork as an added flavoring) is absolutely and totally halāl.

In order to prove this point, first we’ll discuss how cheese is actually manufactured. Then, we’ll look at the Islamic perspective on animal rennet and, finally, the ruling on cheese derived from it. As a disclaimer, please note that this is, firstly, a very cursory look at the issue, both from a chemical and an Islamic point of view (although I do feel it is comprehensive despite its brevity), and, secondly, represents only the opinion of its author.

The Manufacture of Cheese

Cheese is a product formed by coagulating milk using a substance called rennet, and an acidification process. Milk from any animal may be used, although of course the most common ingredient is cow’s milk, followed by goat’s milk (some more exotic cheeses are found in cultures that use milk from reindeers, camels, and llamas, to name but a few). Hundreds of different flavors of cheese may be produced, depending on what type of milk is used, whether the milk was pasteurized or not, the butterfat content of the milk, the type of rennet, the addition of specific enzymes and flavoring agents for taste, the acidification process, and the length and environment in which the cheese is aged.

No one knows when man first ‘discovered’ how to make cheese. The origins of cheese pre-date recorded history, and all ancient civilizations, including the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians, are known to have been cheese producers and consumers. One of the folktales regarding the ‘discovery’ of cheese involves an Arab nomad who wished to carry milk across the desert. Finding no container other than an goat’s stomach, he transported the milk in it, only to discover at the end of his journey that the milk had been separated into curd and whey by the rennet from the stomach!

Rennet is, therefore, an essential component of manufacturing cheese. Traditionally, only animal rennet was used in the manufacture of cheese. However, due to the high demand of cheese and the cost and difficulty associated with the production of animal rennet, more and more companies are turning to other sources for rennet. The two primary types of rennet besides animal rennet are: vegetable rennet, and synthetic rennet manufactured in laboratories from various fungi. It is safe to state that in modern times most cheese is manufactured from non-animal rennet, but the percentage of animal rennet is still quite high. (In one of the cheese manufacturing plants that I visited in Holland, a mixture of synthetic and animal rennet was used; another one I visited in Vermont used only vegetable rennet).

It goes without saying that any cheese manufactured with rennet not taken from animal sources does not raise any fiqh controversy, hence the discussion at hand will focus on cheese manufactured with animal rennet.
Animal Rennet

Rennet is a complex natural enzyme that is produced in mammalian stomachs to digest milk. Animal rennet is typically extracted from the inner linings of the stomachs of young animals, usually cows or pigs. It is the younger animals who need this rennet to fully digest their mother’s milk; older animals do not yield as many necessary enzymes, hence if older animals are used, more stomach lining must be used to produce the same quantity of rennet.

In order to extract the rennet from the stomach linings, a chemical process is used in which the linings are dissolved in a mixture of acid and other solvent. This facilitates the transfer of the enzymes from the stomach linings to the solvent. The final stage involves neutralizing the acid. At the completion of this process, the rennet is available in a viscous liquid form. It is this form of rennet that is actually added to the milk for the coagulation process.

Of interest to note is that most of this final viscous liquid is actually solvent (water, salt and acid remnants); typically less than 1% of the liquid used is actual animal enzyme. The amount of rennet solvent needed for the manufacture of cheese is quite insignificant – as an example, in the factory that I visited in Holland, a small beaker of solvent rennet was added to a large vat of prepared milk.

The Islamic Ruling on Animal Rennet

From an Islamic perspective, animal rennet can be divided into three categories:

Read on here

Biography (from Wikipedia)

Yasir Qadhi was born in Houston, Texas, to Pakistani parents, in 1975, went to high school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, graduating valedictorian of his class, and completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston. After working for Dow Chemical for a short stint, he decided to pursue an education in Islamic studies, and left for the Islamic University of Madinah. There, he completed a second bachelor's degree, specializing in hadith studies, and then went on to complete an M.A. in Theology. Presently, he is completing his doctorate in Islamic studies at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Current activities

He is an instructor in the AlMaghrib Institute. He appears on a number of Islamic satellite channels (Islam Channel in England; Al-Huda Channel in Egypt; Al-Fajr Channel in Egypt; and Peace TV in India , U.K and U.S), where he teaches theology, Seerah, Tajweed, and other topics. He gives regular sermons and lectures. He also blogs at, where he is the group-blog's lead specialist.


* Du’a : The Weapon of the Believer
* An Explanation of the Four Principles of Shirk
* An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an
* A Critical Study of Shirk
* Riyaa: Hidden Shirk
* 15 Ways to Increase Your Earnings from the Qur’an and Sunnah