Saturday, March 31, 2007

Confetti is FUN!

Happy 18th Birthday AKI!

570 to 632 AD...

In conjunction with the Maululd celebrations, Saffron will be giving away FREE Doner Kebabs from 11am this morning until stocks run out (Maximum of 2 per person). So come on down to Saffron to enjoy your free Doners!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Kshara Purusha

Happy Fifth Birthday Little Nina!

Pictures from the Yoga Flow session at
Bukit Shahbandar Recreational Park last weekend...
Click play... Relax... Ommmmm...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

How old are you now?

Nina the Bartina turns five tomorrow... Tonight we had a little cake cutting ceremony for her in conjunction with her grandparents return from Umrah. Happy happy birthday my little pixie! I can't believe you're five already! And guess who else is five? Uncle Pablo's son Funboy!! Happy Birthday Funboy!

Oh, thank you for choosing as this week's featured Blog of the Week. Its an honour indeed :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Return of the Prodigal Son...

Today's gibberish is brought to you by

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Young Echo...

Taken on the set of Young Echo, a show that discusses current issues that matters to our youth from politics to business to leisure to human interests. I was there with her and him. We had a nice chat on air with the show's host, Dean, about the internet, n-generation, virtual communities, blogging, and cyber-crime among other issues...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The one that didnt get away...

Pics above taken during this morning's "Maitah Mengail",
a fishing event organised by Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources.

In preparation for my participation in an episode of Young Echo which was looking at the cyberworld and its impact on young people, I revisited Don Tapscott's work, "Growing Up Digital". Here's an interesting piece on the net-generation, i.e. our kids, for thought:
The Ten Themes of N-Gen Culture

Strong Independence. The typical N-Gener has a strong sense of independence & autonomy. N-Gen's unprecedented access to information also gives them the power to acquire the knowledge necessary to confront information they feel may not be correct.

Emotional and Intellectual Openness. When N-Geners go online they expose themselves. They will maintain online journals and post their innermost thoughts on a Web page or in a chat room. A strong online example of N-Geners' openness is The Diary Project where young people around the world contribute their thoughts, feelings, experiences and aspirations.

Inclusion. N-Geners are moving toward greater social inclusion with technology, not exclusion. Their creative processes show a move toward global orientation in all of their activities. Check out a virtual community of about 30,000 N-Geners at Freezone.

Free Expression and Strong Views. Being exposed to a lot of information on the Internet is to their benefit, insists N-Gen, and is a key element of the Internet's appeal and usefulness. This issue is discussed in The Generation Lap.

Innovation. N-Geners live and breathe innovation, constantly looking for ways to do things better. These expectations of constant change and the ability to build or construct experiences have implications in our discussion of N-Gen Thinking and the education of N-Gen in N-Gen Learning.

Preoccupation with Maturity. The changing nature of childhood makes itself most obvious when N-Geners are contrasted with the baby boomers who, as a generation, have spent their lives obsessed with being youthful. N-Geners insist that they are more mature than adults expect.

Investigations. When it comes to technology, N-Gen's initial focus is not how it works but how to work it. It is important for children to understand the assumptions inherent in software and to feel empowered to change those assumptions. When the Internet first became popular, one of the joys of surfing was never knowing what site you could end up at next. Search engines like Yahooligans have contributed to ending that level of mystery and uncertainty.

Immediacy. Interactivity and the speed of the Net have greatly increased the process of communicating. What used to take days or weeks, now takes seconds.

Sensitivity to Corporate Interest. N-Geners feel that much of the broadcasting material they see on television is there to satisfy corporate agendas. However, on the Internet there has been such a flurry of creation involving so many people working in home-grown cottage industries, that there is even more intense sensitivity to corporate interest.

Authentication and Trust. Because of the anonymity, accessibility, diversity, and ubiquity of the Net, children must continually authenticate what they see or hear. Many sites provide inaccurate, invalid and even deceptive information. Pranksters spread false rumours. Who can the child trust? What sources of information are valid? Authentication of everything is required to establish trust.

The proliferation of Internet hoaxes spread via e-mail has often been used to emphasize the inherent weakness of the Net. Don't Spread That Hoax! is one site that gives credence to that question.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mercy, Mercy Me...

I covered the International Women's Day event this afternoon and aside from catching up with several high profile women friends including my dear ex-principal from sixth form who is now a deputy permanent secretary (I was so thrilled that she remembered my full name and my employment history!! heheh!), I had the honour of listening to the keynote speaker, Dr Jemilah Mahmood, President of Mercy Malaysia or Malaysian Medical Relief Society.

Frankly I had never heard of Mercy Malaysia until today and it certainly opened my eyes! One of the questions Dr Jemilah asked of the audience was when we think of humanitarian aid agencies, does any asian organisation come to mind? I must admit, the only one that came to mind was CARE Australia... hardly asian.

The other question she asked was, if tonight your sleep becomes an eternal one, and the maker asks you what have you done with your skills, education, intellect, wealth, influence etc to benefit your fellow human beings? How would you answer? Her objective was clear. To put everyone in a state of perturbation. And perturbed I was! She ended with a deep and meaningful quote from Martin Luther King Jr., "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

Food for thought: What can I do to help these organisations directly or indirectly aside from donating cash and supplies? Something to do with photography perhaps?

Friday, March 23, 2007

b-Mobile 3G ada di sini...

Its been more than 18 months since the successful commercial launch of Brunei's second mobile service provider. One can't help but ask the question, how's it doing really? In terms of penetration, has it really gotten any traction in the market? What is 3G being used for aside from as a modem to access the web? Is there a killer-app out there? Can anyone shed some light on these questions?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Andaman Experience...

Seems like the theme of the month is food heheh, but thats ok, I haven't done enough of those for some time. Anyway, da missus and I decided to immerse ourselves into the Andaman experience after reading all the good things that have been said here, here and here.

Read the rest of my review here

Check out my other reviews:

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Check out da Vans!

Blogs: The evolution
Sometime in 1971 - Stanford's Les Earnest creates the "finger" protocol.

December 1977 - The finger protocol becomes an official standard.

January 1994 - Swarthmore student Justin Hall begins compiling lists of links at his site,, and continues adding to the site for 11 years.

January 1995 - Early online diarist Carolyn Burke publishes her first entry for Carolyn's Diary.

April 1997 - Dave Winer launches Scripting News, which he calls the longest-running Web log currently on the Internet.

September 1997 - Slashdot begins publishing "News for Nerds."

December 1997 - Jorn Barger's site apparently becomes the first to call itself a Web log.

Sometime in 1999
  • Brad Fitzpatrick launches Livejournal, which he calls his "accidental success."
  • Peter Merholz of declares he has decided "to pronounce the word 'weblog' as 'wee-blog.' Or 'blog' for short."
  • The word "blog" first appears in print, according to dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster.
August 1999 - Three friends who founded a San Francisco start-up called Pyra Labs create a tool called Blogger "more or less on a whim."

January 2001 - First crop of blogs nominated for the "Bloggies" award.

October 2001 - First version of Movable Type content management software becomes available.

February 2003 - Google acquires Pyra and its Blogger software.

May 2003 - First official version of WordPress open-source blogging software released for download.

October 2003 - Six Apart releases first version of its Typepad blogging service.

January 2004 - Boston-based Steve Garfield launches his video blog, considered one of the first such "vlogs."

October 2005 - VeriSign buys Dave Winer's Around the same time, AOL snaps up blog publisher Weblogs Inc.

February 2006 - Veteran blogger Jason Kottke abandons his yearlong attempt to live off of micropayments through his blog.

January 2007 - Members of the Media Bloggers Association are among the first bloggers to receive press credentials from a federal court.

February 2007 - Freelance video blogger Josh Wolf becomes the longest-serving journalist behind bars in U.S. history, on contempt charges.
Excerpt from CNet Asia. Read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Corned Buff?

I read this bloke's post on locally manufactured sauces and immediately decided to take the family down to the local product fair at Huaho Mall in Manggis to find it. Found the elusive Tahai Chili Sauce and I'm a happy camper. I think these sauces are bound for Japan looking at the Kanji script on the labels. Cool!

While browsing around, I came across "corned buff" being sold at one of the stalls. Yeah, corned buff, it stands for corned buffalo. Should've seen that one coming! Anyway, that reminded me of one of the associations that have been struck off the Registrar of Societies' list, the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.

I wonder who did the registration and how many members it had. Does anyone know anything about the history of the Brunei Lodge?

Early morning stroll...

Took this just before I went for my swim at JPMC early this morning. Feels good to swim again after a long break. Had a nice jacuzzi after. Too bad the steam room's broken :(

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Not Another Brick in the Wall

Over the weekend, Studio Scene had its inaugural annual concert entitled, "Not another Brick in the Wall 2007". I was there during the dress rehearsal and the first performance on Friday night. The concert is a collaboration of all the genres of dance taught at Studio Scene. Performances ranged from Jazz Ballet to Modern Dance to Salsa to Hip Hop.

Hats off to the organisers and crew of the concert on such a superb production. But a special salute to the kids from Studio Scene who put up such spectacular performances in front of a thoroughly thrilled audience! I found myself clapping enthusiastically with the crowd after every performance as well!

I certainly look forward to next year's extravaganza!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A meal not soon forgotten...

Congratulations to HRH the Crown Prince and HRH Princess Sarah on the birth of their son!
"Saffron is a plant having purple or white flowers with aromatic pungent orange stigmas used in flavoring food."
Tonight, da missus and I dined at Saffron, a well-known upmarket eatery with a pan-asian menu ranging from the mughal inspired kurmas and koftas to the nachos with an asian twist to the middle-eastern grilled meats served with pita and refreshing salad. The specialty however, is the desserts, among them, pavlova, cheese cakes, chocolate cakes and a chocolate torte to die for!

The owners, A and F were kind enough to dine with us and with four of us dining, we embarked upon our gastronomic journey...

For mezzos, we had hummus, followed by the nachos which were served with cheese and a lightly spiced sauce. We also tried the kibbeh, lamb balls served with garlic sauce. Finally, we had the rice crisps with a special sauce which you eat with a basil leaf on top... simply delicious.

The mains consisted of the Saturday special, roasted duck served peking style with pancakes and a beautiful hoisin sauce. This dish has made a name for itself among Saffron afficionados eversince it was introduced. It reminds me of the peking duck at Trader Vic's at the London Hilton.

Since the promo of the month was the mughal inspired food, we ordered one of each, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The non-vegetarian set had lamb, chicken kurma, and fish kofta, while the vegetarian set was made up of a lovely home made paneer or cottage cheese dish, aloo gobi, and a mushroom curry, all served with fluffy white rice.

A then decided to order the mixed-grill, another Saffron favorite which is basically good-sized pieces of lamb, chicken, and fish served on skewers with pita and a gorgeous white sauce. It surely went down well with us meat lovers!

The highlight of the night had to be the desserts! Starting with a heavenly pavlova, followed by F's legendary chocolate cake which was exactly that, LEGENDARY, and then a butterscotch eclair which was so smooth it made da missus shudder when she ate it.

At our journey's end, we were then treated to F's latest creation, a tremendous chocolate torte, which sent the taste buds on a round-trip to paradise and back. Truly a wonderful creation and a must try! All these sweet delights were washed down with a robust arabic coffee. Mmmmm... lovely!

Kanyang brabis! A truly satisfying meal enjoyed in a cosy setting and in the company of the ever gracious F and A. Two thumbs up from me! F, you truly live up to your motto "Quality is our passion". It shows in the quality of the meal, especially the desserts!!

Check out my other reviews:

Look closely...

Coming up: Stay tuned for my review of Saffron Restaurant...

Friday, March 16, 2007

CIMB Islamic Fund Launched

The CIMB Islamic liquidity fund, which was officially launched yesterday, is the first-ever Islamic Public Fund to be domiciled and registered in Brunei. It is a Syariah compliant, open-ended investment instrument that was approved by the national Syariah Financial Supervisory Board in February this year. Bank Islam Brunei Berhad is the custodian bank for this fund.

From The Star Online:
CIMB Group has started an Islamic fund in Brunei that will invest in US dollar assets, the first such fund in the country, to increase its business in Asia.

The CIMB Islamic Imtiyaz Liquidity Fund USD would invest in investment-grade Islamic commercial papers and bonds, certificates of deposit, mortgage-backed securities and repurchase agreements, CIMB Group said in a release.

The fund will be offered to investors in Brunei and overseas.

“We aim to meet the growing regional and global demand for Islamic investment products,” said Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, group head of Kuala Lumpur-based CIMB Islamic.

“In doing this, you can be rest assured that Brunei, undoubtedly, will remain high on our shortlist of possible bases to domicile some of these products.''

The bank wants to lure new investments and tap rising demand for Islamic financial products in Asia, where more than half the world's 1.3 billion Muslims reside.

The minimum investment in the Islamic fund, which is benchmarked against the seven-day dollar deposit rate, ranges from US$100,000 to US$1mil. The average maturity of the investments is three months or less, CIMB said.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A peek through the brick in the wall...

Today has been one loooong day for my trusty 350D. The results however put a smile on my face from ear to ear. These are pics from the full dress rehearsal of "Not another Brick in the wall". A dance concert production by Studio Scene which will take place at Jerudong Amphitheater over the weekend. Looks set to be one heck of a show!
Update: For those who'd like to watch this spectacular production, you can purchase programs for B$5.00 only at Studioscene in Kiarong (just above Top Bake). These programs come with four tickets. Studioscene is open today (16/03/07) from 8am to 12am. You can also turn up at Jerudong Park amphitheatre from 6pm onwards and buy the programs at the gate. So come on down and enjoy these kids' performance!

Migration Complete...

If you recall, sometime ago, I was toying with the idea of migrating to the wordpress platform. Today, that idea becomes a reality. The mig...