Friday, April 30, 2010

Sunday Stills: Controls

This gadget controls much of my life, it has power sockets for my lights, and computer, and the source of our wireless internet.

This is my router, again to do with the computer internet, not that I know much about it. I may be a blogger addict, I am actually helpless when something goes wrong.

This too controls my life. The radio alarm clock wakes me up. I am an owl and go to bed very late. If the alarm fails to ring in the morning, I get into a frantic rush. otherwise Sam has no lunch to take to school, and I will be late.

These cell towers control so many people. They swear they can't survive without their cell phone. Recently, I went to a friend's house in the bush. She lives just at the edge of cell coverage. Parts of her house gets coverage, parts don't. Just last week, she tried to help a girl who had a nasty accident, but there was no cell phone coverage. The girl sadly died.

The car controls not only the radio, CD but also the temperature.
My classroom can be very hot in summer, I have a standing fan to keep me cool. In winter, we have a panel, it is controlled by some central heating system, so I couldn't find a knob here. The furnace is just next to my room. Once, in another school, the furnace blew up and some one died. My building superintendent joked with me to watch out, my life is controlled by the furnace.

I have an old fashion radio CD and cassette player which I don't use a lot. My students use my computer.

Most of you may not have seen these car steering wheels lookalike. In companies or schools where there is a lot of things that need to be stored and not much storage space, these mobile cabinets can be moved by steering these wheels. The cabinets move and allow users to enter the aisle.

This is the side of a very big truck. This truck is not solid but have strong plastic materials. These clasps controls the truck. The little knobs too must be some controlling thingy.

Sunday Stills,the next challenge: Controls
Posted in Sunday Stills, Sunday Stills Challenge of the Week, the next challenge with tags Sunday Stills, Sunday Stills Challenge on April 25, 2010 by Ed

This may take a little looking for. By controls I mean anything used to turn on or control a non-living device, knobs,switches,keypads,buttons, you get the idea, I hope. Any Q’s and I’ll try to get online to answer them.


Hi Ed,

Help, we are under sieged by these little gadgets.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Friday shoot out: April 30 - Sports and other games in your town
“I don't think many Canadians are even aware of Worker's Mourning Day because, while its an official day of recognition it is not a holiday. When we get the day off work, we tend to notice. If not, its just another day.

I'd be content with either Places of Entertainment or Sports. In fact, thinking about it, I think Sports would make for more interesting photographs.

Here we have kids playing hockey on the streets, softball leagues at every ball diamond, soccer in most school yards, tennis, basketball and even cricket is making an appearance.

With an epidemic of obesity sweeping the world it would be good to pay tribute to the men women and children who are still getting out there and being active.

I'd love to see what sporting events take place around the world through the lens of our FSO members.”


I have posted these photos before, but I want to post them again. Kirikati or Samoan cricket is played by the Pasifika or Polynesian people. I want to show case this game. When I ask the kids, they tell me with passion how to play it. They play it as church teams. I have many students and friends from Samoa and other Polynesian islands in Auckland. This post is dedicated to them.

Last year, Samoa was hit by a terrible Tsunami. It propelled the name Samoa internationally. The CBS reality show was film in Samoa, Survivor Samoa had a challenged where the contestants had to use a Samoa Kirikiti bat to hit a ball.

It is like a West- Samoa fusion of cricket. It has many aspects of Western Cricket, but with Samoa flavour. It is the Samoalisation of cricket.
In Tuvalu, they call this game Kilikiti, which is the Polynesian word for cricket.
The game is played in several South Pacific countries. Teams are mixed and can be any size - up to about 50 people.

"Lava Lavas" or wraparound pieces of cloth are worn instead of whites. These are colourful cloth like the South East Asian Sarong that we wear in Sarawak, Malaysia and Thailand.
*** The game I saw one evening at Wesley Park was a mix team. There were many players in the field. And there were lots of supporters, Mums and Dads with young children and push chairs. It looked very much like a social gathering. It is good that they brought over this aspect of their culture and retained it.

You can read up on this game written by Polynesians, the real McCoy ones. There are photos of the bat. Click on the link on Kilikiti,

The Samoan cricket bat is one real heavy piece of tree and the blade cross-section is roughly an equilateral triangle. The bat is much bigger and three-sided, meaning there was no telling which direction the ball would fly in when contact was made! There is no real style in Samoan cricket, be it batting stance nor batting grip. What happens is the batsman just stands in front of the stumps and when the ball is bowled, the batsman takes a wild heave (I literally mean a wild swat) and so there is no attention paid to how the bat is gripped. See ball, hit ball.

I went back to Wesley park to try my luck to see if they were there. And they were. I think they must be having a post mortem of the match. They were sitting in a semi-circle and listening to two elders. I was taking the pix of the bats when they called out to me. One of them obliged me by holding up his bat.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Save the World: Respect public property

I went to a beautiful park in Owairaka.

New Zealand has very good timber. My brother in law Kallang admired how the timber were slotted without nails to make benches and BBQ tables. He said how ingenious the makers were. He wanted to visualize how to make them and intended to take the technology back to his home in the Bario Highlands in Borneo.

I am always happy when I go out in the open greenery and sea front. Unfortunately some idiot had ruined the joy for the day. They burned a perfectly good bench.

The burnt mark looked like a heart. The only consolation is I thought of fellow blogger Brenda. She has a collection of stone hearts. This ironically is for you Brenda.

Some people have no respect for public property. Burning is worst than graffiti. With graffiti, you can wash the writings off. With burning, the whole bench is ruined. In extreme cases, in a very dry summer, bush fires can happen.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My World Tuesday:24/7 Foodtown Supermarket

When I first arrived in New Zealand, tourists complained that this was a sleepy country. Shops closed at 5pm, and there was only one late night shopping a week, and no Sunday shopping.

Things have changed, this Supermarket is open 24/7. I am not sure if they have many customers shopping in the wee hours of the night. Once, I went at 11 pm, and there was hardly anyone shopping.

Would you like a 24/7 supermarket in your city?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

sunday stills: Barns
Sunday Stills, the next challenge: Barns
Posted in Sunday Stills Challenge of the Week, the next challenge with tags Sunday Stills, the next challenge on April 18, 2010 by Ed

I know we have done this before, but I have a really busy day today and this is something everyone can do.

Have fun…Ed

I looked up at Wikipedia to see what barns are:

A barn is an agricultural building used for storage and as a covered workplace. It may sometimes be used to house livestock or to store farming vehicles and equipment. Barns are most commonly found on a farm or former farm.

Here are mine, not the typical barns we normally think off.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

FSO trees (2) Gingko trees

This is not my original post for FSO. This is a supplement to the

Thanks for some of your comments on the Gingko tree. This afternoon, I dropped Sam off to karate and found there is a gingko fruit in the Wesley School. I have much fun writing about Gingko, and I am writing for many of you who have heard about Gingko and that it is good for our memory. For the Chinese, Gingko is valued for the seeds. The seeds are made into desserts and is very expensive.

The gingko fruit is similar to a plum, except the smell is so vile that apart from the Chinese, no body would want to handle it because it really smells like shit.

Last year, my friend M came with a big bag of semi precessed seeds, her husband had kindly removed the smelliest yukkiest pulp. I brought them home, and had to keep them outside to dry. The water engineer refused to let me take them in. He kept saying. YUK! YUK!

When I thought they were dried, I kept them in glass jars and kept them in the fridge. I was lazy to use them, because preparing them involved more troublesome work of cracking the shell and them peeling the membrane. Maybe I was subscious about the awful smell.

Months later, I opened the jars, the seeds had gone mouldy and there was still a smell. I threw them out.

On Good Friday, I snapped these two photos of the Chinese picking the gingko fruits at the Mt Albert War Memorial Park. One man had a long pole, presumeably with a hook to shake the fruits.

My friend C says it was too early to get the fruits, and made a date to go to M's house to pick here. I didn't go, it would be History repeating, YUK! YUK!.

According to Ethnobotanist James Wong , you crush some gingko leaves, and steep with in hot water. Daily consumption will improve your memory. The tea is quite pleasant, I have tried them many times.

I did the following two posts last year. They are more informative and entertaining.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday shootout: Honoring Trees

This flowering cherry tree in my garden. The little fruits are not edible. What a waste.

Lining our main street, Queen street are these beautiful trees.

Sakura, Japanese Cherry Trees

Flowers that bloom in winter

The Gingko tree, the leaves are good for your memory.

The Neem tree which is regarded as a medicine for many cures. I grew this from a cutting. I left two legacies when I departed NTU, in Singapore. People come for the trees to treat ailment.

This week lets get back to our TOWNs and show off the beauty of our trees. Whether it be tropical palm trees or stately old oaks, whether the trees of our town are just beginning to bud, baby green leaves or flowering blooms, whether they are just starting to loose their leaves in preparation for the coming winter, they define our community, improve our environment, make our worlds, our towns beautiful.
April 23 Topic - Honoring Trees

(spring/Fall) Earth Day 2010 - by gingerv

Thank you gingerv. Trees are among my favourite things. I grew up in tropical Borneo, where our hard wood, the belian tree are highly demanded, and so much of the trees are fell that our endangered orang utans are threatened.

I am glad in my adopted country New Zealand, there are giant kauri and totara trees. Visitors exclaim how green Auckland is. There is a council ruling that you can't chop off a tree if it is 10 feet tall. I have posted many photos of trees in this site and my other site.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My world Tuesday: Shasha, an AustralianAboriginal Chant

These are their pipes called didgeridoo, or yirdaki

When I went to Australia last summer, I learned a very useful thing. I learned from the Indigenous people, the Aboriginals this chant and dance. I adapted it and use it to teach my little students. They love it. My Indian student says it like Bollywood.

They now know what is left, and what is right.

You may like to do it to.

Shasha, Shasha,
Shasha to the left,
Shasha to the right,

Shasha, Shasha,
Shasha to the side,

Shasha, Shasha,
Shasha to the top,
Shasha to the bottom,

(Jump as you get up)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Save the World: Not an Ash Tray

When I saw this sign, I knew this is what I have been wanting to post for a long time.

In New Zealand, it is illegal to smoke in all indoor places. It makes my blood boil when smokers hang around just outside sliding doors of shopping malls and smoke. Each time the door opens, a whiff of tobacco smoke gets into the building.

This is a beautiful garden that the mall management have created, the plants are beautiful with native bush and fern. We have been advised by landscapers to grow native plants because they suit the environment better and need less care and attention. You can see the tips of the leaves are dry.

There are bins for people to stub their cigarettes, but some people don't care.