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Showing posts from February, 2017

Getting old

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  Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.  ~ Ausonius Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art. ~ Stanislaw Jerzy Lec Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.  ~ Mark Twain Those who improve with age embrace the power of personal growth and personal achievement and begin to replace youth with wisdom, innocence with understanding, and lack of purpose with self-actualization.  ~ Bo Bennett You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.  ~ George Burns Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.  ~ Francis Bacon Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.  ~ Arthur Schopenhauer pearlie 

A good tête-à-tête with a friend

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It has been quite a long time since I have had dinner and a nice long chat with a girlfriend. I met up with a good friend after work today. I have not seen her ever since I stopped attending CG a year ago, when we used to meet once a week.  We had a lovely dinner and stayed on until quite late for a good catch up. It was a good thing that the choice of restaurant we ended up in was a cafe & bar, and so it was still quite busy when we left at 11:30pm.  We caught up on stuff like work, financial planning for retirement, our husbands, and especially how to be better wives.  I think we had a longer chat this evening than all the chats we had in CG added together! I have been blessed by her sharing and thoughts, and I hope vice versa.  I think I should do this more often.  pearlie

A Thousand Words #197

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pearlie

Il Mare ★★★☆☆

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Il Mare (2000) Encouraged by my good friend Wee Yin to watch more Korean films, I watched Il Mare today. It is a film like  The Lake House with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock that I have watched a long time ago, which I did like. And so I thought it will be interesting to watch the Korean version.  I find that it is a good film, though I think that logically, as far as time travel can logically go, The Lake House made more sense than Il Mare . At least the exchange of letters in The Lake House centers on the letterbox at the house as a portal. The method of letter exchange in Il Mare is a bit vague. It does converge on the letterbox but it implies that letters are also mailed but how are they mailed across different time continuum is unclear, and it bugs me.  The funny thing though is that I thought Il Mare was a remake of The Lake Hous e. But when I saw the year of release, I did a double take.  Il Mare was released in 2000 and The Lake House in 2006. Wait, the two film share

Technology and the Christian faith

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Just when I bought the book, iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives , my husband sent me a link to this article by BBC:  How smartphones and social media are changing Christianity .  There are really so many of such coincidental things that happens to me. But anyway... I haven't started to read the book yet, but I read the article. It is interesting.  It says that smartphones and social media are changing the way people practice their faith. They are making people read the Bible more literally compared to reading from the book form, in that they end up reading the text like it's Wikipedia. They are promoting a new kind of mutated Christianity referred to as moralistic therapeutic deism where it is more focused on the charitable and moral side of the Bible, not the Gospel.  I am not sure what state is it here in Malaysia, but we could very well be getting there if we are not careful. I am already in a Whatsapp group that my acquaintances will often send meme

When I wait, I buy books!

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It is the second day of a training session I am facilitating for work today. I was early and while waiting for the participants to arrive, I bought three books.  iGods, How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives by Craig Detweiler Since I am somewhat a gadget and app-freak, this book attracted me. I took a read at its preview copy and I think I am quite okay with the author's voice. I do hope it will prove to be a good read.  Crucify! Why the Crowd Killed Jesus by Timothy J. Stoner I thought this book will be suitable for me to read in the coming Lent season. I have not heard of the author or the publisher before but its review in Amazon claimed that it is a very, very good book. We'll see.  The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Janet A. Zimmerman I have stopped buying cookbooks a long time ago but since both my mom and I bought a pressure cooker each, we are somewhat at a loss on how best to use it. I know there are a whole lot of articles and recipes online but I

Best of both worlds - Apple Music and Spotify

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When my one year free Spotify Premium account expired  November  last year, I decided to try Apple Music free for three months before I make a choice which one to subscribe to.  I was quite happy with Apple Music  at first . But I soon got frustrated because songs in my playlists can become unavailable quite often. I then found out that it could be possible that some songs and albums are updated or reloaded, and all you need to do is to perform a new search for those same songs or albums, add them into your playlists, and remove the old ones. But some recording labels or artists may decide to remove their songs completely from Apple Music (or Spotify for that matter) and you will not have any access to them anymore unless you purchase them separately.  On top of that, Siri wasn't that effective. I tried to get it to play songs from my playlists but I never got it to play what I wanted.  I couldn't find some songs in Apple Music that are available in Spotify. But there are songs

I finally understood words with the meta- prefix

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I have a friend and language partner who happened to use the word "metaphysical" on me. And I had to tell him I only have a vague inkling of what that word means.  But since he brought it up, and being language partners and all, I had better figure it out.  But instead of searching the dictionary for its meaning, which I have done before and it wasn't of much help, I searched the Internet for "words with the meta- prefix" and found a Wikipedia  entry .  This portion was very helpful: "In epistemology, the prefix meta- is used to mean about (its own category). For example, metadata are data about data (who has produced them, when, what format the data are in and so on). In a database, metadata are also data about data stored in a data dictionary and describe information (data) about database tables such as the table name, table owner, details about columns, – essentially describing the table. Also, metamemory in psychology means an individual's knowledge

Cantonese Movies: one bad, one good

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I took the day off today (after having cancelled two days leave which I have taken, due to work) and I spent some time in my parents' home, which I seldom do these days since they moved.  Whilst I was there, my mom was watching some old Cantonese TV series on Astro and I felt that I missed listening to Cantonese dialogues since I have not watched anything in Cantonese for quite a long time.  So when I got home, I thought I'd catch up on some Cantonese movies and started with this one: From Vegas to Macau I am not sure why I chose to watch this. It was horrible. I was not in the mood for a drama and thought what can go wrong with Chow Yuen Fatt and gambling. Everything.  The ridiculous plot, poor dialogue, bad acting, scenes that don't make sense. It seems like there hasn't been many good Cantonese movies lately, not like before. But it then occurred to me that there is one Cantonese movie I have been trying to find time to watch.  Ip Man 3 Ah...a much better choice by f

It's challenging and costly to follow Christ

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The sermon this morning was from Luke 9 on the theme of being active for Christ or being an active disciple of Christ. Rev Roger Bray talked about its call, cost and commitment.  When someone addressed Jesus and told him that he will follow Jesus ( v.57 ), Jesus replied most unexpectedly. He did not say "that's great" or "wonderful, let us fix a time and help you with your bible reading." Even though that is important, he cut to the chase and went straight to the cost of following him ( v.58-62 ).  It is costly to follow Jesus. It is putting him above everything in our lives, everything .  Rev Bray quoted this scene from the movie The Fellowship of the Ring to stress on the cost and the commitment of following Jesus.  Frodo : I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened... Gandalf : So do all who lived to see such times...but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. What do we d

Who Made God? by Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler for only 99 cents

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Who Made God? And Answers to Over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith by Ravi Zacharias & Norman Geisler (Eds.) I bought and read this book way back in 2004 and learned a lot, but it's time I read it again. And so when I found its Kindle version on sale, I bought a copy in no time.  I won't be able to list out all the 100 questions here but they deal with these themes: 1. Tough Questions About God by Norman Geisler 2. Tough Questions About Evil by Ronald Rhodes 3. Tough Questions About Science by William Lane Craig 4. Tough Questions About Christ by Lee Strobel 5. Tough Questions About the Bible by Norman Geisler  6. Tough Questions About  the Bible, False Prophets, and the Holy Books of Other Religions by Norman Geisler  Get it while it's still on sale.  pearlie

A song I haven't sung in a long, long time

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I just had a practice session for this Sunday's worship today. And I will be using this song, which I certainly have not sung it in a really, really long time. It will be good to sing it again.  pearlie 

Play Tetris to lose your cravings

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I read an  article  today about crushing unhealthy cravings in three minutes by playing Tetris.  Really? I have a lot of cravings lately for food, desiring to eat and satisfy my tastebuds. I did put on some weight as a results and now I have willed myself to lose them, and more.  I don't play Tetris but I do have this game called Drop7 that I do play once in awhile. Would it work? The article said that playing Tetris may "provide a visual distraction which helps people control their cravings." So maybe I shall go search for a Tetris app and try it out for three minutes everytime I have a craving.  pearlie 

Woohoo! I bought 4 books today

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I am very happy I found four good ebooks on sale today and with four clicks I bought them.  Which Bible Translation Should I Use? A Comparison of Four Major Recent Versions by Andreas J. Kostenberger and David A. Croteau (Eds.) I have read two books on bible translation but a long, long time ago, probably more than 10 years ago, and as such I don't remember what I read. They are Gordon Fee's How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth: A Guide to Understanding and Using Bible Versions and David Dewey's Which Bible?: A Guide To English Translations . When I saw this new book, I thought it would be good to update myself on the four major recent translations. I checked the preview of the book, and it turned out that the three versions out of the four are what I am using currently and it had crossed my mind before on how good a translation they are: the NIV, ESV and NLT. I was also recommended the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) and it's the other translation disc

Happy Valentine's Day all!

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My hubby isn't really into gift-giving but he has outdone himself this time. He bought me this perfume for Valentine's Day: Victoria's Secret Bombshell and I am loving it! Feeling so special and so loved.  pearlie 

Too much television

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Television is chewing gum for the eyes.  ~ Frank Lloyd Wright Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home.  ~ David Frost If it weren't for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we'd still be eating frozen radio dinners.  ~ Johnny Carson Television isn't inherently good or bad. You go to a bookstore, there are how many thousands of books, but how many of those do you want? Five? Television's the same way. If you're going to show people stuff, television is the way to go. Words and pictures show things.  ~ Bill Nye I'm very shy really. I spend a lot of time in my room alone reading or writing or watching television. ~ Johnny Cash I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book.  ~ Groucho Marx I need a bigger television.  ~ Pearlie Ng pearlie

Be both weak and strong

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A Place of Healing, Wrestling with the Mystery of Suffering, Pain and God's Sovereignty  by Joni Eareckson Tada I knew I was watching too much TV and so I told myself it's a no-TV day today. I did after all purchase two books this morning and thought it'd be good to spend the whole afternoon and evening reading.  It was a good decision.  I'm now halfway through Joni Eareckson Tada's A Place of Healing and she already moved me to tears in the first five pages, and more as I went along. She has so much insight in the presence and love of God through her suffering, especially now even more as her body suffers in unbearable pain.  She made me think more deeply on familiar bible verses that I'm now seeing in different light.  One that strikes me most is from 2 Cor 12:9-10, " I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me...For when I am weak, then I am strong." We are usually ashamed and embarrassed about our we

Hero by Family of the Year

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I know this is an old song but I just noticed it and fell in love with it completely. Even though the tune is repeated hymn-like throughout the entire song, it does have a good melody, and interesting lyrics.  Why doesn't he want to be a hero? Or a big man? Why does he want to fight instead? Why do we want to fight and not be a hero? Family of the Year - Hero pearlie

Helping my mom buy a new phone

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I met up with my mom today to help her buy a new phone.  She has an old Xiaomi Mi2 that was no longer working. She does have a Huawei phone, which I think is the Mediapad model, but it is too big for her to carry around. She is the rare kind of woman that does not carry a handbag.  I wanted to show her the Huawei Y5 but she wanted one with a bigger screen. So it was finally between Oppo, Lenovo and Vivo.  She settled for the Vivo Y51.   It has this one feature that sort of sold me over: a pull-up feature screen from bottom of the phone screen just like the iPhone.  The thing is that my mom is the only one in my family that uses an Android phone and once when she asked me to help her with her phone rotate display, it took me a really long time to figure out how to do it when it only take seconds on the iPhone. This Vivo phone has it just like how I'd do it on the iPhone.  I then advised her to port her number over to U Mobile and had to spend some time explaining to her with patienc

Music plagiarism?

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I  blogged  about this sad song... ...only to realise, thanks to my niece Chloe,  that the introduction sounds exactly like Say Something, which I also  blogged  about on my melancholic playlist.  Can this be considered as music plagiarism? After all, is it just playing one note and then one chord in an even tempo.  And I do wonder how wide can differences in melodies and tunes be, since we are limited to so few notes and chords, in that a composer may accidentally or unconsciously compose something that is already been composed by someone else.  What do you think? Have you ever heard any songs or music that are similar? pearlie 

My Movie List app

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With me watching movies again, I want to keep a list of the movies I've watched and what I would like to watch. I tried a few apps and found this to be the best: ToDoMovies by Taphive GmbH.  It was easy to add movies into the lists and I ended up with 379 watched and 37 to watch. I'm sure I've watched more than that but there are some I couldn't remember if I've watched them at all.  My favourite list of 15 is not complete. I will need time to populate it.  One missing list is for movies I couldn't finish watching. The first movie I will add will be Captain America: Civil War . I know it has very good reviews, but I got quite bored watching it and I think it's because I couldn't identify with any of the characters - they weren't that interesting and I couldn't feel for any of them. Wish it was better. pearlie

Movie Night

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I have not been watching any movies for awhile and I finally caught up with two. The Arrival This is quite a slow moving movie but I found it very interesting. This is one movie I will watch again after finding out what it's all about. There will be some scenes where I will understand better when I watch it again. I shouldn't say more for fear of spoilers.  Passengers I didn't like this movie that much. It started with a very interesting premise with the protagonist waking up 90 years too soon on his way to a new human colony. He was part of a group of 5000 people who were put into hibernation on a 120-year journey to a new land. His pod malfunctioned when the spacecraft was hit by meteorites, and he woke up way too soon. But when he started contemplating waking up another person just because he was lonely, I felt it wasn't right. I get it that he was a "drowning man" but does that justify him waking up another human to die with him in the ship? pearlie

What I finally learnt from the parable of the lost sons

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I attended the covenant group meeting in church yesterday and it was a very good session. We watched a video by Timothy Keller and it was a very well done video. In telling the story, he used the metaphor of  dinner table with two chairs on each end, one representing the younger son and the other the older son. It was very effective. The session lasted quite long, but we weren't able to discuss all the questions in the workbook. But when we were asked what new things we learnt while watching the video, it was this for me: I have been trained to read passages in the bible contextually, to read them in context with the entire passage, the entire section, the entire book. I did not see it then but when Keller brought the three parables of Jesus together, it was a new lesson I learnt. He highlighted that in the first two parables, when the shepherd lost a sheep and the woman lost a coin, they both actively went out to search for them and when they found their lost item, they

Five Interesting Things about Learning a Language

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I was checking out some articles about language learning and found some very interesting information.  1. There are five sets of people on language acquisition  (Source:  Multilingual People ).  For one, here are five different categories of people depending on the number of languages acquired and their percentage of world population: Monolingual: A person knowing only one language (40% of world population)  Bilingual: A person using or able to use two languages especially with equal fluency (43% of world population)  Trilingual: A person speaking three languages fluently (13% of world population)  Multilingual: A person who speaks more than two languages, but used often for four languages or more (3% of world population speak more than 4 languages)  Polyglot: Someone with a high degree of proficiency in several languages (less than 1‰ of world population speak 5 languages fluently) I am not sure now if I can be considered a multilingual person if I can speak, read an

Do you know what the extra teacup is for?

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  I was out for dinner with my hubby and we ordered a pot of Chinese tea for two, and as usual, they supplied three cups; one for each of us, and another one extra.  Have you ever wondered why? I remember my late grandmother telling me once not to use the extra cup because it is meant for the "other guest", the spirit at the table.  I can't be sure if I remembered that correctly. Is that its purpose?  But we would use the extra cup for ourselves anyway, not for any so-called extra guests.  I did a search in the Internet but couldn't find anything to confirm that story.  Does anybody know? pearlie 

Happy Birthday everyone!

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It's the seventh day of the Lunar New Year and it's the people's day, 人曰, hence everybody's birthday.  I wished some friends from China a happy birthday and was surprised when they asked me what it was for. I did a brief search and confirmed that this is generally celebrated by all Chinese including China.  We discussed it and concluded that most people in China may have lost and stopped most of the older customs and traditions, whereas the overseas Chinese having moved out of their ancestral land have made it a point to maintain as many customs and traditions as they can, and as a result still keeping most of them.  My family and I, whilst not deliberately celebrating our so-called birthdays, went out for dinner and it was a very nice time of being together, though it was quite tough to hold conversations in a very, very noisy Chinese restaurant! But we had a good time, and good food nonetheless.  pearlie 

How often do you update your resume?

I got this habit of frequently updating of my resume from my consulting days, and I think it is a good habit. I used to update it every month back then, but now it serves to do so every half yearly or so. For one, you do not need to crack your brain trying to remember what you have done and achieved over the years, especially when you really need to produce a resume in the nick of time. It is also a good way to review your life and your career, and think about what you would need to do more, or not do anymore and what else you would like to be doing. And what more with platforms like LinkedIn, you can also network with others and request for recommendations and get endorsement of skills. pearlie

Two books by NT Wright for only $1.99

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I was looking forward for the month's free book and special offer from  Logos.com   But I already bought them last year, and have not read them yet. Wish I've waited but obviously I wouldn't have known. Following Jesus, Biblical Reflection on Christian Discipleship by NT Wright Who Was Jesus? by NT Wright pearlie