Monday, June 13, 2005

Stuff in general

While chatting to my brother on MSN yesterday, he mentioned that my parents were in Kuala Pilah [1]. Grandfather had taken a fall.

Most times, a fall associated with the older generation would be a worrying thing. As people age, bone mineral density decreases. In women, this is more pronounced at and after menopause due to a sharp decrease in oestrogen in that period. In men, the mineral density reduction is more gradual, but still not to be neglected [2]. As a result of mineral density reduction, bones become less stiff and have lowered fracture toughness. To add to these troubles, a fractured bone in old people recovers much slower than in younger folk.

Grandfather was making an illegal turn on his motorbike when he was knocked over by another motorcyclist. An ambulance brought him to the hospital, and he was discharged after treatment and some observation. It was nothing more serious than some stitches and bruises.

I guess he would be quite chafed by the fact that he would not be able to go wild boar hunting with his friends while his wounds recover. The motorcycle would take a while to repair too, so he cannot just ride out of the house to go yumcha with his kaki.

Already his mid-eighties, grandfather was once faced with a sceptical police officer when renewing his gun licence. Unconvinced of my grandfather’s capabilities, the officer invited him to the balai’s shooting range to see how he would do. The officer was suitably impressed, and there have been no further problems as far as we know.

In other news, I’ve completed all assignments for this semester. I had rushed to complete the Combustion and Air Conditioning assignment yesterday. Just in time too! I finished it just 10 minutes before the Canadian Grand Prix started at 3am.

This morning, I remembered that today is a public holiday. How would I submit this assignment? I checked my email message again.

As stated in class the submission date for the thermo assignment was extended [from June 6th] to midday Thursday June 16th.

I must have missed that class (no surprises there). And there it was, Thursday, not Monday. As usual, my memory has never served me well. On a more positive note, I’ve been immensely enlightened on the subject matter of Combustion and Air Conditioning after ploughing though the assignment.

In yet other news, I recently dined at a Chinese restaurant that targets the white Australian segment of the market. It was an interesting experience, interesting not being a positive nor negative attribute, but plainly something which arouses the curiosity.

Here are a few characteristics of that particular restaurant:

  • It’s dimly lit. The ceiling is painted a mild shade of purple, and a soft glow of purple neon light comes from behind the plasterwork to add to the ambient lighting.

  • Decorative pieces are a mix of modern Western art and Chinese sculpture.

  • White tablecloths! White decoration is traditionally used for sombre events like funerals (白事 – white business)

  • Wine goblets at each seat.

  • Waiters go around unfolding napkins and putting it on your lap.

  • Most waiters are Chinese. They speak with a East or South-East Asian accent, not the Australian bred Asian accent (some international students seem to find the ABC accent [3] distasteful- must hear to believe). They speak English to the customers (mostly white Australians), although I believe if you throw Cantonese or Mandarin at them they can take it with no problems.

  • Food is served in large, wide, white ceramic plates. The food is heaped in the middle of the dish, with lots of clean, white space on the plates.

  • In more other news (last one), I saw a leng lui recently. Not the big breasts, long legs kind that would make hamsap people snap around to stare at her cleavage kind of leng lui, but of a more subtle [4] variety. She was rather short, and not thin as a wire-hangar fashion model. Her face was framed by mane of thick, very black, slightly wavy hair of neck length, parted slightly off centre at the top of the scalp. Her eyes were strikingly clear- the whites had a slight, even pearlescent quality about them, while the dark brown irises were clearly defined. Her mouth was slightly wider and lips were slightly pinker than those of the general population. Her complexion was fair, but not pale; the skin tone retains the yellowish tinge of people of East-Asian origins.

    In summary, not a sexed-up bombshell, but simply a very beautiful lady.

    It’s not easy trying to describe a person’s face while keeping the descriptions accurate and beautiful. Note that the verb here is try.

    [1] If you visited the link, I would advice you NOT to choose Kuala Pilah as a tourist destination. Unless you know people there, you will be bored to death in a matter of hours.
    [2] Prof. Ian Holdaway, “Bone Densitometry- a patient’s guide”, Medic8, 2005
    [3] Australian Born Chinese.
    [4] Synonyms for ‘subtle’, from :
    attenuate, attenuated, deep, delicate, discriminating, ethereal, exquisite, faint, fine, fine-spun, hairline, hair-splitting, illusive, implied, inconspicuous, indirect, indistinct, inferred, ingenious, insinuated, mental, nice, penetrating, profound, refined, slight, sophisticated, suggestive, tenuous, thin, understated