Sunday, April 30, 2006
If you're even remotely interested in cooking, or like me, just would like to look at pretty pictures of food and salivate: head over there.
Verdict: 5+/5. Unmissable. (I've added the link to her blog in my sidebar).
Thanks Mama Sarah for discovering the blog!
Review of Naruto Movie 2: Daigekitotsu! Maboroshi no Chitei Iseki Dattebayo!!
Sorry but I haven't got the time to write a proper review!
The Sand country is attacked by an assault fortress led by a megalomaniac looking for pieces of an ancient artifact to gain supreme power in order to create a "utopia". Meanwhile, Naruto and team encounters someone from the fortress.
- The plot is nothing special and is predictable.
- The movie is set post Sasuke's betrayal, so he is absent and is sorely missed.
- The movie is more like an extended TV episode
- The enemies are cool. Designs for the enemies are probably inspired by European knights. They come complete with armour, shield and sword. Ninjas vs knights = cool.
- The fighting scenes are definitely something to behold. Truly amazing animation as is typical with the Naruto series.
- The movie assumes the viewers are familiar with the Naruto universe and non of the regular characters are explained.
Nowadays, I simply use the Performancing extension in Firefox to post my blogs (fast, but not really hassle free). Qumana, like Performancing, is also a WYSIWYG blog editor that is free to download for both Windows and Mac. Unlike Performancing Qumana is not a Firefox extension. The latest version is Qumana 3.0 and it features:
- One button posting to weblogs
- Drag and drop content, links and pictures to the editor via DropPad
- Insert keyword-specific ads in one click
- Integration with all major blog platforms
- Save as HTML or RTF for offline editing
Worth a try if you want an easy way to post your blogs.
Lucky! Discovered 2 Tokidoki games in one night. This one is called Sushi Race. It looks very pretty, and I just cannot get the tune out of my head.
Update: oh I just discovered it is actually a racing game]
Update2: I've just discovered that if you explore both the tokidoki sites you'll get access to more artworks. Superb!
It's been a day for Flash games today. Introducing the Tokidoki Ninja Cupid game. Go to the tokidoki website and make sure you allow popups if you use Firefox as the game is a popup on the main page. This is probably the CUTEST game I've played, EVER. I really love the Japanese style art. The music is quirky and fun too.
A must try.
Toki Doki art
Site 3 (wow!)
Saturday, April 29, 2006
This is a picture of Uncle De tackling the latest Sudoku puzzle. Notice the level of concentration, focused eyes, pink checkered shirt, predatory pose, thick glasses and prickling hair? No wonder he's so good at Sudoku! [update: using some of Uncle De's techniques I managed to jump to number 25 at medium setting. I normally rank near the hundreds at the easy setting.]
- (Textbook) Essential Revision Notes for MRCP
- (Site) eMedicine.com
- (Book) Hedgecoe's Complete Guide to Photography
- (Anime) Eureka Seven
- (Anime) School Rumble Season 2
- Still Yuna Ito, still endlessly
- Mika Nakashima, Glamorous Sky
"flOw" is a game developed by Jenova Chen as his/her Master's thesis. The game involes guiding a worm like protozoa to evolve by eating other small creatures and diving deeper and deeper into the evolutionary soup. Features simplistic but cute graphics, easy mouse-only controls and cool sound.
Link to site: here
Direct download to play offline: here
[nOte: nOt as addictive as sudOku]
Backpack is a web based organisational tool. Features:
- Create to do lists, notes
- Plan a project
- Gather information for a research project
- Colloborate with others on your project
- Upload and organise images
- Upload files (for example txt or pdf files) for colloborators to download
- Set email or sms reminders
- Do a shopping list of things to buy
- Upload images of the ingredients
- Upload images of the steps to make sushi
- Create a downloadable pdf file containing all the above
- Set an allow list for people I would like to view my project
- Get other people in the group to add to the page
Friday, April 28, 2006
Part 1: Back to work
Despite waking up feeling groggy today, I (read: Mama Sarah) forced myself to get up and go to work. My throat felt as if it was burning, my stomach was churning and it felt as if I could spontaneously vomit at any time. Still, the thought of my PRHO alone in the wards with no help for two consecutive days was too much for my conscience to bear.
So I made the journey to work. My friends were making jokes but were quite sympathetic too. They said it was my own sushi that got me ill. However, I was too relieved to hear that none of them suffered the same symptoms to heed any of their insults. I was also relieved to hear that the PRHO coped well yesterday without my help.
The rest of the day went on fine, and I felt increasingly better as the day progressed. In fact, I resolved to let the PRHO take a well-deserved half day, so that he could start his bank holiday weekend earlier.
I "worked hard" the rest of the day till 5pm (refer to MS' comment on this post).
I'm glad I did not spontaneously vomit.
Part 2: Plans for the bank holiday weekend
You guys have probably noticed: I always like to ask about what everyone's plans are for the weekends. For example, my past 2 reader polls were all on weekend activities. In the UK, major conversations are generated from this question and that's why it's probably one of the most crucial questions to ask on a Friday.
That long intro was just an excuse for me to reveal my plans for the long bank-holiday weekend (this was inspired by Dyanna's post on her blog, thanks for recommending the site D!)
In response to DITH's comment "Kudos to you for being so considerate to your PRHO!", you may want to rethink. The motto we all share here is:
The "PR" in PRHO is for Per Rectal... as in, they do all the PR exams! :p
(but only jokingly so).
Note: PRHO stands for Pre Registration House Officer
I used to be a real fan of the website Anime Tempy back in the days, many years ago. Anime Tempy was probably my favourite anime review site as it had collections of reviews from more than one author, and I really liked that review system. It was from Anime Tempy that I knew about Read or Die OVA, Vampire Hunter D, Seishuu Heiki Kanojo, Fruit's Basket, Arjuna and all the other anime classics. Unfortunately Tempy have stopped updating the site since November 2004, and I have been out of touch with anime reviews ever since.
Well, I rejoiced today upon discovering his blog. What I like about the blog are the pictures he posts up. I normally become interested in a particular series only if I happen to like the artwork. Also, from the pictures you could tell the general "mood" and theme of the series. Tempy also helps by giving introductions and plot descriptions.
The main strength of the blog is also its weakness, as the blog loads s..l..o..w..l..y due to the multitude of pictures. The fact that it is slightly echi may also deter some people.
Still it's my current favourite blog for anime reviews.
Link to Tempy's Live Journal.
I've also added his blog to my sidebar.
I came upon this blog earlier today linked to Dyanna's blog, and I was really intrigued as the author writes about the city we really miss; Cardiff. It made me really nostalgic reading about the Millenium Stadium, Grangetown, Cardiff Bay and the Asda near our old house :~
She writes eloquently, there's even history of the famous places in Wales and I was really impressed reading the blog.
She probably writes better and definitely spells alot better than me!
Did I mention she's like 10 years old? (sorry if I miscalculated your age :p).
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Have you ever felt flustered from having too many windows open while working on your PC? (imagine multi-tasking by opening 7 browser windows, MS Word, iTunes and Picasa all at once). Your screen would be less cluttered if for example, all the browsers are grouped into one desktop, the Word document in another, and iTunes in another.
Virtual Dimension offers to do just that, organise and group windows onto several desktops. It is an open-source, free, virtual desktop manager for Windows, and features:
- Unlimited number of desktops
- Set a different wallpaper, name and background colour to each desktop
- Customisable shortcuts
- Ability to move a window from one desktop to another
- The software size is extremely small
- Minimal CPU usage
- Very convenient to use, I assigned one desktop for myself, and one for Mama Sarah (useful when we are sharing the PC)
- I like the way each desktop could be given individual names and wallpapers (seperate wallpapers for Mama Sarah and I)
Link to Virtual Dimension's download page
School Rumble Season 2 has started! In season 1 my favourite characters were Harima and Erin chan. This season it's Yakumo. (Credit: Allthingschill.com)
People are becoming really serious about changing to Firefox! Via explorerdestroyer.com, Google will reward you $1 for every person you convert from using IE to Firefox. All you have to have is a blog (paste the script on your blog) and an Adsense account.
Amazing isn't it?? Google is giving money for us to convert. Here's a graph at explorerdestroyer.com: illustrating the "dramatic transfer of wealth" from Google to you if you participate in this program:
Hey try it guys, you never know how much money you could make. As for me, I promote Firefox because I really do think it's currently the best browser out there, definitely better than IE. I'll think about it, just maybe I'll paste the script on this blog, just for fun to see how many I could convert.
There's also this site: www.killbillsbrowser.com. It's so funny, Go and have a read now!! I'll cut and paste a few but not all points they say why we should convert to Firefox:
- You'll only see porn when you want to
- Your kids will only see porn when they want to
- Your computer won't spend its free time telling the world about viagra soft tabs.
I'm on sick leave today, for vomiting and diarrhoea. I also have a sore throat and a fever.
It's a big NO to come to work with diarrhoea and vomiting in the UK as we may transmit the disease to patients.
I feel so sorry for my PRHO who's left alone to attend the wards, but unfortunately I'm in no shape to work. Right now I'm still considering just going to work despite being ill, but sometimes you have to accept there are times when you get unwell and should not attempt certain things. I always feel disoriented whenever I stay at home when I'm supposed to be at work.
Now, I wonder where I got this diarrhoea and vomiting from?
I'm suspecting it's the food from the dinner! (I hope and don't think it's the sushi as everyone else are okay, and they ate loads of it).
Part 2: Fotopages
I managed to get myself slightly depressed this morning from browsing Fotopages links from Rosli's gallery. My goodness, there are so many good photographers out there, excellent even. And I don't mean good only in terms of their technique, but they are very creative in terms of their compositions and subject matter. Very inspirational.
I was also browsing Ikelah's (photo)blog and I thought his photos were excellent. Then a guy commented & suggested ways to improve his pictures and I thought to myself wow, I didn't even see the microscopic faults before. They were really constructive comments, and really helped someone who's still learning, like me.
I still have a long way yet to develop my photography sharingan. I'm absolutely humbled.
The photos I've been browsing today:
I absolutely hate it to know if someone takes what looks like a really excellent picture and it turns out he/she is using just a normal autofocus digital camera. Please teach me!
Part 3: Sick Schedule
Since today I'm off sick, I'm going to try and make it as productive as possible. My time-table:
- Read blogs [check]
- Play a few rounds of sudoku [next]
- then Study as much as possible until tea break
- It seems lately that I'm using lots of numbered lists, probably from playing too much sudoku!
- Dr Roza, we are all off this Monday in the UK as it's bank holiday (i.e another long weekend from Saturday to Monday). Yup, we just had Easter holidays. And I'm not working so jangan jealous!
When I got back from work, I had a headache and felt more tired than usual. I went to bed at 11.30pm just now, but now I'm up again with vomiting! ["now" is 01:50 am]
I can't lie down as everytime I do, I'd feel like vomiting. My stomach churns. I don't have diarrhoea (?yet).
I hope it's not food poisoning from my own sushi last night!
nb1: all my friends seemed okay this morning, so perhaps (hopefully!) it's not food poisoning.
nb2: anyone would offer me a faecal enema? (LOL)
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
The AK Rocker 200 is the ideal chair to
enhance the gaming and media viewing experience. Some of its features
and benefits include:
- Sleek, Formula1™ racing design
- Ergonomic bucket seat for long-lasting comfort
- Rocks and reclines to the perfect rest angle
- Easy assembly (no tools required)
- Heavy duty construction for ultra-durability
- Designed to wear any AK Rocker skin
via www.ak.com via Gizmodo
I also found this on Kotaku: Pictures of Reader's Game Rooms. Cool.
It'd be so cool if I could do a post like that.
Topic 1: Target Readers
Alarmingly, an increasing number of my work mates are starting to become aware of my blog and worryingly, some are starting to read it.
Yesterday during lunch time, a colleague came up to me saying she has been reading my blog, especially the "pink shirt" post. She said she was anticipating what I'd write next. My team mates are also aware of my blog, although, I doubt they'll read it regularly. At least, I'm very happy they consented to their pictures being posted. Infact, today they even suggested a few posts based on the jokes they were making! Unfortunately, due to the inappropriate nature of the joke, I think it's probably not suitable for Itchiness (Sorry guys! I may rethink and post it up later). Some are even promoting the blog to other people working in the hospital, something I really want to discourage.
Anyway, what I'm getting at is that, it's disconcerting knowing people you know at work are reading what you are thinking and writing. I used to think my blog would be the place that I could write about anything and everything I feel like (and at times moan about people you work with). Being aware of my colleagues reading this post makes me feel like holding back on what I really want to say. We'll see how it goes. Probably if I have to write about something personal, I'll switch to another language. However, I've just realised how appalling my written Malay language/Bahasa Malaysia/Bahasa Melayu (what is the correct term nowadays?) is, huuu;( My BM certainly would not be fit for writing on this blog (but please don't mock it! I got excellent grades for BM in SPM. My written BM is just "rusty" that's all).
And if you are someone from work reading this: do leave comments, I really enjoy reading them :)
Topic 2: Wisecracks
I'm still being teased at work! My colleagues are still teasing me about "past things" but they were also creating things on the go and teasing me about having a blog. I know, they probably don't mean what they say, but most times I find it hard to come up with clever things to parry the insults with.
Last night at the potluck, my team mates were saying; the fact that I only smile and keep quiet makes it seem as if I am validating what people are saying about me, and that I should retaliate to keep negative ideas at bay. They also helped me come up with retorts and I appreciate it. Thanks team.
To be honest, I don't really mind being teased, as long as it's on a subject I approve. Some people DO go overboard, and may create the wrong idea in people listening. The second kind of teasing would be the kind I have to curb.
Topic 3: Flat Sushi
Now to the main topic. I really wanted to share my experiences with the Pot-Luck last night.
I finished work at 5pm, and for the pot-luck I was planning to make sushi. Infact, over the weekend I had been practising to make sure my abilities have not dulled. The Pot-Luck was at 7.30pm, and the SHO was going to pick us up. That meant I had to prepare the sushi within a tight timeframe!
I was quite worried:
- As Mama Sarah had hinted on her blog, it takes me hours to prepare sushi (but the weekend shouldn't count, I was blogging while cooking, something I find extremely difficult due to my lack of multitasking talent).
- I was cooking in my flat, without the non-stick pan, the non-stick rice cooker, without salt, sugar nor the proper utensils.
- I didn't know whether my friends would like sushi or not.
As you could imagine, cooking in the flat was quite a disaster! My rolled egg got burnt, I slightly overestimated the amount of water to go with the rice and I didn't have any salt. I also forgot to bring soy sauce.
I cooked in the flat with all the windows WIDE open (hoping not to set off the alarm, and not to annoy my flatmate). I also had my laptop in the kitchen to entertain me. I don't know how I did it, but the 2 hours we were allowed was enough. Everything was ready just in time.
Thank goodness my friends who probably have never tasted home made sushi yet alone know what a poor rendition of my sushi tasted like were totally oblivious to the fact that the sushi was a slight disaster. Infact, they seemed to really enjoy eating it.
I was extremely relieved.
Umaku ikimashita shi, totemo yokatta desu.
Probably because of sawdust, I was sneezing throughout the day! My eyes and nose were itchy and I had to take a cetrizine tablet. Today if I write funny and seem abit "high", it's probably the H1 antagonist starting to take effect.
Picture: our ward doors being upgraded and all the tools lying around. At first I wanted to include pictures of the people at work, but thought against it just incase they don't consent to their pictures being on my blog.
The dinner started at 7.30pm, and JC the SHO kindly offered to drive. The fun part was showing each other what we had made. JC made Teriyaki chicken, the PRHO brought chick peas with gnoche, something he called a "a generic meat dish" and the tomato-on-cheese-on-biscuit-thing-I-don't-remember-what-it-was-called (all three could be spotted in the pictures above and topmost) . Our PRHO cut his finger preparing the dishes (sharp tin can). No wonder I could taste the subtle yet engaging hint of blood infused with the cheese!
The SSHO who was also the hostess cooked the most. She made roast potatoes, cous cous and salad. The Registrar, pictured below, made a vegetarian stir fry and a totally sumptous bread-and-butter pudding which was strangely made of wholemeal bread but was extremely delicious, probably one of the best I'd ever tasted (the best is of course, Mama Sarah's:p. No contest). The food served reflected the "global" nature of our team with dishes of Meditteranean, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and British origin.
I rarely eat alot but needless to say last night I ate ALOT. By ALOT I mean not realising I've eaten much, but eating continuously until coffee when suddenly it suddenly felt as if my stomach was going to burst.
I feel extremely lucky to have such an exciting, funny, yet talented team to work with. Hurray for our team, Aza Aza Fighting!!
Monday, April 24, 2006
Today at lunch, my colleagues and I were discussing a complication of the prevalent use of antibiotics: Clostridium Difficile
Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic bacteria living naturally as part of our intestine's flora. However, with antibiotics use the elimination of other "protective" colonic microflora fascilitates C difficile's over colonisation and growth. C difficile releases toxins that initiates inflammation of the mucosal surface causing severe diarrhoea, leading to dehydration and more worryingly; death.
Traditionally C. difficile is treated with oral antibiotics, the two main ones are Metronidazole and Vancomycin. More recently "live probiotic" yoghurt (for example Vitagen) and yeast have been utilised to promote recolonisation of the colon with normal colon microflora.
At this point a friend of mine interjected, "Did you know that the latest development in treating C difficile are with faecal enemas?"
A faecal enema is the procedure of introducing through the anus of a patient affected by C difficile, faeces obtained from a healthy individual.
Until that point I was enormously enjoying a curry at lunch, but as you could imagine, I immediately lost my appetite.
Credits for images:
From the ring tone I could tell it's Mama Sarah calling from home. Worried, I ran to the coffee room to accept the call. And you know what MS had to say?
"Bie, have you read my blog yet today?"
I went: "Lerrrrrrrrr, I thought it was a real emergency!"
She actually wanted to boast about this:
Not GIMPed or Photoshopped this time (unlike the previous post about Uncle De the Sudoku Monster).
It's worrying thinking that the way MS and I exchange our daily stories nowadays are shifting towards reading each other's blogs!
Part 2: Sudoku
It seems that MS and I are both struck with Sudoku fever. I could only compare it with two of my previous puzzle game addictions: the classic Tetris and the excellent Bejewelled.
Sudoku is the game where you place numbers on a 9 x 9 board with one rule: the same number could not be on the same line either horizontally or vertically.
It's scarily addictive. When I play I probably devote 9% of my brain capacity to solve the puzzles. Considering we only use 10% of our brain, I suppose the remaining 1% is used to only maintain my basic physiological functions like keeping my heart going and continuing breathing.
When I play, it's like everything around me disappears and after a while I don't need to count the numbers anymore, I just could kind of "sense" the missing number.
Indeed, very scary.
Despite using almost the full capacity (9%) of my brain, my best score is only 3-4 minutes ;(
Long way to go before I could beat Uncle De (he upgraded his brain to an AMD Athlon FX67, with 1Tb of RAM recently) and Mama Sarah (she has Mangekyou Sharingan), the two Sudoku Monsters.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
I've had the chance to test Google Page Creator, and so far my impressions are very positive. Here is my homepage that I created in around just 10 minutes using Google Page Creator: http://mynn.zero.googlepages.com/home. The site is for experimental purposes only, and was done in a hurry so I'm sorry for any silly mistakes or garish colours.
I did not find using GPC at all difficult. The interface is similar to many WYSIWYG html editors and comes with a standard set of toolbars with icons for uploading images, creating headers, changing the layout of the site, choosing templates, text styles, paragraph justification and many others.
The interface is fast and it's surprising to think that all the editing was done over the internet as it almost seemed like I was using a program installed natively on my laptop.
However, there are a few minor bugs. There were times when the interface behaved bizzarely and I had to reload the page in order to return it back to normal. Despite that, I did not encounter any major issues.
If you are interested to build a website of your own, giving Google Page Creator a try is definitely worth it. I have a feeling it may be the next big thing...
- Save web page
- Save snippets of web page
- Save web site (in-depth capture)
- Organise the collection
- Highlighter, Eraser and page editing features
- Ful text search and filtering search
- Text edit feature
- Download the Scrapbook Firefox extension.
(Good articles like this is the reason why I love reading Lifehacker so much)
Article: Take Great Notes
Here's a tip: Use the middle mouse button.
If you're using Firefox, and you see a link you're interested in mid-sentence, just click the link with the middle button of your mouse. A new tab will be opened by Firefox in the background. You could continue reading while the new page loads and as soon as you've finished, click the newly opened tab. That's it! No more navigation horrors.
For our family, part of our activity for the weekend is to go buy groceries at the local Tesco. Today while shopping, I saw something that made me feel a primal urge, the urge to buy!
I chose “Scratch That Itch” for the title of this blog as a hint to my impulsive nature and I started this blog purely on an impulse. I am also notorious for buying gadgets, games and DVDs. When I have that urge to buy, it would normally ruminate for several days to several weeks. Sometimes I succumb and end up buying what I want, but most times the urge would grumble on for weeks to months.
However, I’m getting slightly better at not "scratching that itch". For example, I can’t even properly remember the last gadget I bought [Mama Sarah says: It’s your laptop!], the last DVDs I bought were around 1 month ago and they were Howl’s Castle and Spirited Away (by the excellent Studio Ghibli). The last PS2 games I bought were around 2 months ago and they were Ico and Shadow of the Colossus (Ico is still in mint condition, while I’m still struggling to finish Shadow of the Colossus).
To make the urge more bearable, I thought I’d share my current “itch”:
Last book bought: Prey by Michael Crichton (MS hid it somewhere so that I wouldn’t read it before my exams!)
- Book 13, the final book in Lemony Snickett’s Series of Unfortunate Events
- Book 1 of The Edge Chronicles, if book 1 is good I would like to collect the whole series.
by Dyanna Wynne Jones Moving Castle
- KKL has made me want the Earthsea Chronicles.
- Dragon Quest VIII, The King’s Journey (really222 want this, probably after the exams) £29.99
- Guitar Hero £49
- Chronicles of Narnia, Special 2 Disc Edition £16.99
- King Kong 2 Disc Special Edition £14.99
The latest issue of Edge Magazine and PC Format
As you can see, the price of DVDs and especially games are extremely expensive, but that makes keeping the buying urge that little bit easier to resist. Thank goodness there are no gadgets I currently want ... oh wait, I just remembered I would like a DSLR!
Today at Tesco, the “something” I saw that made me feel the urge again was the Chronicles of Narnia DVD. But, I managed to walk out of Tescos without buying any of the above. So far I’m still holding!
Ps: My new year’s resolution for 2006 was: Not to buy anymore gadgets.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Whoever you are anonymous, that joke is VERY good. You've made our day!!
Link 1: Maman's blog
Link 2: Ifos' blog
If you're lucky to have a Gmail account, you are also automatically eligible to sign up for a Google Page Creator account.
I signed up around a month ago, and today I was (pleasantly) surprised to find an email from Google saying they have approved my request for a Google Page account. THANK YOU GOOGLE!
Google Pages is a free online WYSIWYG web page creator. Features:
- create a webpage without knowing HTML
- a What You See Is What You Get interface, so the finished product will look exactly as how you designed it.
- Hosted by Google, for free
Now to decide on what to put on the web page ...
Link: Google Page Creator Beta