Thursday, December 31, 2009

Scenic Sunday: Removing weeds and water lilies in a lake.


This is for Eileen of http://justnaturephotosfromeileen.blogspot.com/2009/12/frogs-and-my-pond.html#comment-form. Just imagine the boys are your frogs.

Skywatch Friday: West Australia


Is this sun set or sun rise?

The water engineer was on work assignment and was in West Australia when he took this photo.

He visited our old friends, Z & M from Auckland university. M and I were both young mums and we went out a lot with her daughters A & B. When Deborah was 17, she spent a week with them.

Watery Wednesday: Weir


These are weirs, says the water engineer.

I only knew a weir in theory that there is such a word when I played Scrabble.

A weir (IPA: /wɪɚ/) (also known as a lowhead dam) is a small overflow-type dam commonly used to raise the level of a river or stream. Weirs have traditionally been used to create mill ponds in such places. Water flows over the top of a weir, although some weirs have sluice gates which release water at a level below the top of the weir. The crest of an overflow spillway on a large dam is often called a weir.


I used to grit my teeth when we had to drive miles and miles, and walk miles and miles to see an engineering structure. Not any more, we met an engineer's kid, and he described the same feeling as me. Much later, I met an engineer's wife, and she too, talked about the same thing. Now, I just follow along, as we drive and walk miles and miles.

In fact, since I started blogging, I am glad he took me to these places so I could borrow his photos or take them myself.

There is a Chinese saying, JIA JI SUI JI, meaning, marry a chicken, follow a chicken,
JIA GOU SUI GOU, marry a dog, follow a dog.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

ABC Wednesday: Letter X

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt every week

When I saw this building in Auckland, I wanted to use it for my letter X, the diagonal rods looks like letter X.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ruby Red: Japanese lunch boxes


Japanese food comes in dainty form. The Japanese also have great details when they pack their food. They have collapsible chopsticks, and compartmentalised containers for different food.

When I see my Japanese students with nice sushi, I tell them that their mums are very clever.

mellow yellow: special swing for special people


This special swing was at Orakei Park in Auckland New Zealand. Recently, I also saw one at the Gold Coast of Australia.

A great invention.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Photohunt:12: How many persons are required to put up the beam?


Bill Starr helped the university navigator's club, cooking for the camps we had. We went to help him put the main beam on his house. I was there just to look pretty.

Just as well I was there to make it exactly 12 persons.I was wearing the Japanese dress the plastic surgeon gave to me.

Bill had a spa pool, and we enjoyed using that especially in winter.

fine memories of the good young days, when we were young and energetic. Raymond C

Scenic Sunday: How does the fish cross the road?


At Waiuku, a structure to help fish cross the road. The Water Engineer saw this and took the photo.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Friday Sky watch: Auckland Sky Tower, telecoms


Emtelle's fibreflow has become the Fibre Optic system of choice in the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand as it allows the easiest of upgrade paths at the lowest entry cost.

The Sky Tower is 328m to the tip of its antenna mast and most fibre optic connections are to the communications deck at 182m, this is below the observation deck which is at 190m. There are then links from the communications deck at level 47 to more transmitter aerials at 192m.
fibreflow product runs from manholes outside the Sky Tower up to 600m away where it connects to the OSP optical fibre network of Telecom New Zealand for example.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ABC Wednesday, Letter W: Waipa Delta


The original paddle-steamer, the Waipa, transported settlers to the fertile heartland of the Waikato as far back as 1876. People took a pleasure journey up and down this beautiful and longest river of New Zealand.

The "Waipa Delta" is a replica paddle steamer which operates pleasure cruises on the Waikato River at Hamilton on the North Island of New Zealand. She was built in Tauranga in 1985 and is operated by Delta Tours Ltd of Hamilton. Since 1985 the Waipa Delta has carried over 600,000 passengers.

This year, the owner Mark Goudie and Hamilton City Council couldn't agree on a deal to keep it in Hamilton.

What was a loss to Hamilton became a gain to Auckland. The voyage is one that needs three days of suitable weather and will be a large logistical effort. At this stage the boat will sail for 42-hours non-stop north along the Waikato River, up the west coast, and around Cape Reinga before docking at Mangonui in Northland.

The epic journey took at least two skippers and the Delta traveled at a top speed of about 10 knots.

The Waipa Delta now sails in the Auckland Harbour and is available for Lunch and Dinner Cruises, Thursday to Sunday, for public bookings and is also available for charter cruises 7 days a week

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thursday Challenge: Lights


Thursday challenge for fun and learning

Christmas light up in Singapore is very spectacular. The most famous road road, Orchard Road is lit up and there is a competition for the best decoration.

Watery Wednesday: Onehunga


All over Auckland, there is water. Here the water engineer took me to Onehunga.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Photohunt: Fast water in a creek


December 19: Fast

After a week of heavy rain, the water in the creek in Sandringham was flowing very fast,

Weekend reflections: mirrored wash basins


When I went to the ladies at the Observatory Restaurant up 192 meters of the ky Tower, I knew this is for my reflection photo. Half of the wash basins are reflections.

Mellow Yellow : Big truck

When Sam was little, he loved trucks, and he learned his numbers by counting the number of wheels. We would sit at the bus stops and look at the trucks go by. I too got interested in the big trucks that go vroom! vroom! vroom!

Now, I am looking for a MACK. I told Ed that I have been looking for a MACK for a long time. My ESL adult student calls himself MACK.

I asked ." Is it Mike?"
He said," No!"
I asked," Is it Mick?"
He started feeling irritable," No!"
I asked," Is it Mitch?" thinking of David Hasselhoff
He said," NO!!!! It is MACK, I saw it in a American Magazine."
The next class, he brought the magazine. He gave it to me. It was a trucking magazine/catalogue.
There was his MACK. Proud and strong.
I said," Very Macho!" I should never have doubted him.

This photo is not a MACK, I think here in Auckland, there are very few MACKS. I have seen only 2, and each time, I was about to whip up my camera, the Macho MACK had gone.

I am still looking for a MACK!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Scenic Sunday: Pohutukawa , the New Zealand Christmas Tree


This is a Scarlet Flowering Ironwood, and known as Metrosiderox excelsa. It blooms around Christmas and the whole tree is crimson.

The Maori word "Pohutukawa"means "sprinkled with spray", a delightful tribute to a tree that happily clings to seaside cliffs, or grows with it's roots partly submerged in the sea.

This is commonly called The New Zealand Christmas Tree.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Dinner at 192 metres

My Uncle D. treated us to dinner at the Observatory restaurant at the Sky Tower in Auckland. We were up at 192 metres, and the view was fantastic. The sun set was beautiful too, so was the food.

Black magic?

I read this news article with interest. Coming from Borneo, I didn't find it incredible. When I was 17, my friend R told me that her married uncle was dying in his thirties, falling sick out of the blue, and the western doctors couldn't heal him, the family consults a woman medium.

According to R who swore she personally saw it, her uncle had been put on a hex by w vicious woman whom he had jilted and returned to his wife. The needles were slowly traveling to his heart. When they reach that destination, he would die.

So there was this big ceremony of extracting the needles, and R insisted she personally saw the medium extract needles from all parts of her uncle's body.

I wasn't sure whether she was telling the truth, or whether the medium got the needles from else where and pretended to extract the needles.

In the New Zealand Herald today, I read a similar case in Brazil.


Here is a short story I wrote a few years ago. It is fiction, but based on the environment I grew up in Borneo.

Toddler has 50 needles stuck in body, black magic suspected
9:30 AM Thursday Dec 17, 2009


An x-ray of a two-year-old boy showing needles inside his body in a hospital in Ibotirama, northern Brazil. Photo / AP

BRASILIA, Brazil - A two-year-old Brazilian boy has as many as 50 metal sewing needles inside his body and a doctor treating the boy said Wednesday they were apparently stuck there one by one.

Dr. Luiz Cesar Soltoski said surgeons hope to remove most of the needles - some as long as 5cm - but because some are stuck in his lungs, they have to wait until the child's breathing improves.

Some cannot be removed; they are too close to vital organs or actually inside them, Soltoski said.

The boy's mother, a maid, brought him to a hospital in the small northeastern city of Ibotirama, saying he was complaining of pain. Three days later, after X-rays revealed some of the needles, doctors had him shifted to a larger hospital in Barreiras.

The mother told police she doesn't know how the needles got inside her son, but police have opened an investigation. The boy's name was withheld because of his age.

The boy's father, Gessivaldo Alves, told Brazil's A Tarde newspaper that he believes his son could have been a victim of a black magic ritual.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thursday Challenge is a place for photographic fun and learning.

"TOYS" (Cars, Dolls, Video Games, Puzzles, Balls, Board Games,...)
Next Week: LIGHT (Candle, Reflected, Shiny, Colourful, City Lights,...)
Thursday Challenge is a place for photographic fun and learning.


These are sam's bionicles. He had been given quite a number of them, for some unknow resons, he doesn't like to play with them.

Lucky for me, he lets me borrow them to take to school. Usually, only boys like to play with them. I promise the boys if they behave, they get to play with them. No many boys have them at home because they are quite expensive. So the boys behave well so they can play with them. They play like angels.

Bionicle is a toy line by the LEGO Group marketed primarily at 6 to 16-year-olds. The toy line was launched in December 30, 1999 in Europe and June/July 2001 in Canada and the United States. Despite what it may appear to be, "Bionicle" is not "Bionic" with an "-le" suffix, but a portmanteau constructed from the words "biological" and "chronicle".[1] The concept is similar to Lego Group's earlier themes, Slizers/Throwbots and RoboRiders in that each of those lines had characters based on classical elements.

I personally do not like bionicles, they look really ugly.

Outdoor Wednesday: Outdoor Park


We often go to the park at Western Springs. Sam is old enough to play safely at these equipment of monkey bars. He is brave enough to go on top of the frame. It doesn't show how high up it is, it in about ten feet high. Underneath are wood chips, so there be a fall, he won't hurt himself much.

All my kids were monkeys on the monkey bars. Their palms were callous. I have tried and managed to swing only 4 rungs, and my kids in school thought it was very good. One has to be young, light and nimble to swing like a monkey.

Sam went to a camp, and did a confidence course. He came back with a certificate of "Toughest feet." you see, he is 3/4 Hakka. http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2008/11/my-amazon-gabrielle.html The Hakkas are a Chinese Dialect group and legend has it that Hakka women did not bind their feet and hence have big feet. I tease my size 13 Water Engineer and size 10 daughters that they are indeed Amazons.

waterywednesday: outboard engines in Sarawak, Borneo.


There are many rivers in Sarawak, Borneo. In the upper tributaries, there are many long boats powered by out board engines.

At Mulu, Sam and I traveled a lot by these boats. We sat on the short planks across the boat. It was quite hot in the mid day sun. Once, after a long gruesome hike of four hours and with a heavy backpack, I couldn't get out from the boat to the much higher jetty. I couldn't even get up as the boat was wobbly. Some handsome gentlemen came and helped this damsel in distress. One held each hand. I was in cloud nine. LOL

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ABC WEDNESDAY: Letter V, volume

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt every week and it is time to play once again. The letter for the day is V

Volume is an invisible thing, so you have to have some imagination.

My sisters Rose and Elizabeth had a helicopter flight. I was so envious.

The helicopter was so loud that you needed your headset on.

Ruby Red:It's Christmas time


My sister Margaret came from Malaysia to visit us. My Uncle D treated us to dinner at the Sky Tower restaurant. It's Christmas and the whole place was decorated red and green. Here the glass Christmas balls were very big.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yellow Mellow Monday. Road reparing machine


They were fixing the road, and I guess this little machine supplied power to some of the machines they use.