Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Here's saying goodbye to 2009. You've been a good teacher and we're going to miss you dearly. But the lessons you've taught, we'll cherish much as we move a step forward into 2010. With the knowledge and experience we've gained in 2009, we hope to make huge strides in 2010 with more umppphhh and ommpphhh. Cheers and good night everybody.

Planet Organic

This past few days have been crazy - not because we are rushing for some kind of deadline or what, but because we've been occupying ourselves with going out every so often. On one of those crazy days, we drop by Quinpool Rd and decided for once to walk right to the very end of where any proper retail shop may exist. Before that, we checked it out on Google Maps and found that there were a couple of shops that may interest us. So off we went out on the Metro Transit bus, with our winter boots on and our thick and overweight winter coats. When reached Quinpool, we walked from one end to the other, passing by many of the stores that we regularly go to like Canadian Tire, Atlantic Superstore, NSLC and even KFC. And apart from the Asian grocery, we found this little store which at didn't really intrigue us much (at first), called Planet Organic (for many reasons but for me, mainly because of the O word in its name).

View Larger Map

But having roam this tiny store, we stumbled upon a very interesting aisle that sold spices, flour and beans which allowed customers to buy how much they wanted. This is unlike other stores that usually sells in certain quantity. We haven't really compare the price as this store only displayed the cost by a smaller unit of weight, but plan to do so soon. Although we are very please to know that they allow customers to buy how much they want as this will prevent us from the need to buy too much of something which we would only want to use it once in your cooking or baking.

Here are just of the many array of flour/beans that were sold

Year End (Window) Shopping

No we didn't buy anything. But we did open our eyes to lots of stuff out there. Some interesting things were the Foosball table which was on bargain in Walmart. You can't find such things sold back in Malaysian, even if you were to convert it in RM.

Then of course there was kitchen stuff. One thing that caught our eye was the bread making machine. Yes we are currently very much into baking and our all time favourite apart from muffins - is none other than our all time most consumed food - bread...

Which is why the following kitchen equipment caught our attention when we went for some window shopping in Zellers

It wasn't really that cheap as Zellers tend to hike up their actual prices.

Here's another brand - Sunbeam. From what I read, it is a better one than Black and Decker

Monday, December 28, 2009

HRM Metro Transit Ferry Ride

Just some old photos we took when during the end of summer and beginning of fall. This one was taken when we decided to use HRM Metro Transit from Halifax to Dartmouth to get to Mic Mac Mall. Its a 5 - 10 minutes ferry ride from Water St terminal in Halifax and landed at Alderney Gate terminal.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Parcel From Malaysia

We got our parcel that my parents mailed over from Malaysia. It was delivered by sea, so it took a while though (roughly 2 months).
Shucks, opening the package and going through some of the old clothes we left behind back home kinda brought some nostalgic feeling.

On the other hand, we got more things now that we're collecting over here. 4-5 years, boy I can't begin to imagine how things would be when we want to leave.

Of Sleds and Toboggans 2

So we headed out to Canadian Tire today and got ourselves a sleigh.

Look at it, pretty sleek isn't it.

Ain't exactly the Rolls Royce of sleds but it'll do
By the way it is called, Snow Runner.

Sadly, all the snow is melting right now. Weather Canada predicts that the next few days would be pretty warm for this time of the year. A high of 5 and low of 0 C. Pretty unusual for beginning of Winter season. So guess, we'll have to wait awhile before we let Snow Runner for a test drive. But the change of weather is good though as we'll be heading to Cape Breton next week. Hopefully, it'll be good enough for us to go to Cabot's Trail too.

Apart from the sleigh we also got ourselves board games and a deck of cards.

Of Sleds and Toboggans

Ok, I can't wait. Just need to get a sled or two and test out the snow hill behind our apartment complex.

Guess the best place for us to get and where there's alot of choices is from Canadiantire. Here's the directory. Which should we go for?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow Storm

I guess some of you may have read in the papers of a bad snow storm hitting North Eastern parts of United States.

Well that's a famous places of course - NY, Washington, Virginia, Boston etc. Unfortunately places like Halifax and Nova Scotia usually slips through the radar. But yes, we here in Atlantic Canada, which is just north of those places and we too had a fair share of the bad weather. It came out in the news. I took some shots (video of the snow storm) from our apartment but will upload it later.

Here's the news from the papers the next day.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Just Some Links

So, here you are, finished with projects and exams. Fall can be said unofficially ended (since we've been having snow regularly of late) though technically speaking we're still in the Fall season. You're trapped more or less as going out is bothersome and cumbersome (it takes an extra 10-15 mins to prepare going out, now that the weather is colder). Not to mention, you've effectively increase the mass you carry (including your on body) wherever you go - due to things like your boots, gloves/mittens, winter coat, middle layer coat, long johns for your top, long johns for your legs, and also thermal (thick type) socks. By the time you walk 10 minutes around the mall (like we did today), you'll feel so tired that you want to go back even though you only got there.

Snow may be for those whose not seen it, like it was for us for the past few days, but reality is.... its troublesome....

Going out, should be done ONLY if it is absolutely necessary.

So what do you do then? There's no TV, no going out, and no cable. Apart from cooking food, the Internet is GOD's gift! Thankfully we have high speed Internet at reasonable price here. Its a wonderful technology. With the Internet, you don't need cable or TV. You don't need a phone or a call card.

You've got Skype to make your long distance calls and also do video chat.
For news, there's always CBC or CTV. We try to watch the local news to keep abreast with the local development as much as possible. Unfortunately, just like the locals here, which are bit more relax, local news are only on weekdays. We personally prefer watching CBC Nova Scotia rather than CTV Nova Scotia, because CBC kinda chunks all their new snippets into 1 viewing. I could be wrong but, my guess is, CBC is more like RTM version of Canada whereas CTV's like the TV3. One's government funded whereas the other isn't.

Of course, apart from keeping in touch with friends and families, using social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, we'd also be googling for new recipes. But I'm a video guy so, I'd rather be watching any youtube cooking shows to learn how to do the stuff. Sometimes, I'll search for some popular video shows like The Naked Chef using torrent search engines and download them. With 5Mb, 1Gb download is nothing....

Of course we do visit theStar Malaysia to keep intouch with news back home. I'll even go to MalaysianInsider since MalaysiaKini is a paid service and I haven't bother to renew mine (got simply too many choices right now, so why should I pay right?).

Well, we hope we'd be able to pull through during the New Year break, but too much of the PC may make us sick, so we bought cards and was hoping to get some board games just incase.

Friday, December 18, 2009

MEC - Mountain Equipment Coop

We went to MEC, and purchased some winter stuff. Interestingly, MEC is a coop, so we had to sign up as a member in order to make any purchase. But it wasn't that bad as we only paid CAD5 for a life membership. With that, you could purchase anything from MEC. Although we'd be eyeing for its clearance stuff as normal price could be pretty pricey, unless of course if we had no other choice.

Here are the things we got, a cap for Mrs. and to protect her ears.
Pretty nice with pony tails - but its an acceptable fashion ;) I've seen one with bunny ears too.

Mittens for both of us (because gloves just won't do). Mittens are warmer. We both had to purchase them from the teens corner as the adult ones were simply too BIG....

And a round turtle neck scarf which you could pull up to cover your mouth and nose too if it gets too cold.

We also got a MEC bag for joining as new members. Pretty neat...


So, we went over to the public library today to borrow some magazines and books. This was the day after our night caroling while it snowed. Thankfully it did not rain so, the snow that covered Halifax were still fine (just your ice cendol but even finer).

With our boots strapped and winter jackets zipped to our neck, we joyfully walked to the bus stop. It wasn't that bad since the snow was about 5-10 cm thick most of the places. Guess when there's heavier snow, you won't have to worry about the slippery spots, although I'd still be cautious as one of our friends nearly slipped when crossing the road last night. Its only where there's no snow to cover roads or side walks that there's a potential for it to be slippery.

I took some shots and a short clip of the surrounding as we just exited our apartment. I did it very quickly cause I didn't want my hand to freeze. So do excuse the quality.

Here's a shot from our apartment itself.

Going to Be White After All

Seems like it's going to be a white X'mas after all. Even when we're still strapped with our last remaining project (due next Monday) we managed to find the time to hang out with a uni mates who invited us over to caroling session which is kind of a tradition here (sorry, no photos, fingers were too cold).

Despite the being introduced to new people we've not seen before, we braved the cold weather and headed out to the streets of Halifax (well only 1 street) and sang along.

It was a great experience, especially when it decided to snow and snow it really did. As we were trying to sing the lyrics from the piece of paper each of us had, one could see the snow as they gathered on the paper. Wasn't that thick but thick enough to really feel the magical snowy sensation. Its simply amazing and indescribable. Places like the snow city in Singapore science center or even Bukit Cahaya's 4 season's house can't come close to the real thing.

We truely enjoyed ourselves. Hopefully, we'll bring the camera next time and take a good shot to share.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trapped... Just a little more way to go...

Its how we feel at every moment we catch our breath. We're close but not there yet. X'mas and the holiday feel is creeping though we aren't able to immerse ourselves in the mood.

The final mile it is. Imagine us running a long 8 months lap and we're in our final stretch. The ending bell has rung, and we're now in sprint mode. The cold weather couldn't come at a better time.

The weather is colder. There have been a couple of short flurries of late. Snow is fun only if its not mix with rain. And because its not really winter as yet, they come and go. Weather temperatures are now all entering in the negative - below the freezing point. Although, that's not something to worry as long as one can cover oneself well with the correct amount of layers, what one should watch out is actually the slippery street and sidewalks. Now that the temperature is below the freezing point, any patch of water would easily turn to ice. So puddles get turned into mini ice-rinks. What's dangerous though is that some of them aren't very obvious.

Oh well, we got our list of to do's and put them up on the fridge. I'll blog of that a little later but some of them very quickly are:
  • some home fix it things
  • new recipes to try
  • hobbies to indulge and
  • also we're planning to set up our mini herb garden - yay!...
Stay tune. Until then, we'll see you at the end of the line....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Almost Full Circle

1 year ago around this time of the year, we were in the midst of applying to the get to here. I still remember how intense the moment was as we threaded through the paths we needed to take to eventually make sure getting here became a reality.

Even then, we weren't too sure of the possibility of ending up on this foreign land. But we did eventually. Same time, 1 year later, - December - we're still experiencing the same, "more or less", nerve-wrecking and gut-wrenching moments. This time, it's end of the term season where the pressure is on to complete multiple projects and also slogging for an end of term exam.

I pray for our well-being and sanity to make it through alright. But we'll be fine. We've made it this far and gone through a whole lot more - it'll take more than one hard-press semester to take us down.

On the bright side though, we're dreaming of a "white" x'mas.. So far, we've had 2 snowfalls.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snowy Weekend

Its getting a bit more frequent for the coming weeks ahead. Infact why shouldn't it be. After all X'mas just round the corner and that's how the folks like it to be - a white snowy x'mas. But for now its slushy and cold. Yup slushy because winter's snow here is usually mixed with rain. Notice, Sunday's snow that comes after Saturday's rain. Remember 7 eleven's slurply? Especially when you've been drinking one for an hour or so and there's not much of actual ice left at the end. That's what you get when you mix snow with a rain. And you call that "slushy". Snow would be nice without the slush-i-ness. Oh well, wait and see, I hope we could go out and enjoy it a fair bit on Sunday. Probably built a snow-man. But, who am I kidding, with exam and project due, a good 5 minutes of the outdoor would probably do - and then its back inside and right straight to the books.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Poach Eggs

Ok, this ain't the photo we took of our poached eggs but its close.

The reason I'm sharing this with you is that I've tried numerous methods to do poach egg, but found this to be the simplest of them all. I can't explain it any better than the following video posted on youtube,

So hope you have a great breakfast just like we do with our poached eggs....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Keeping It Together

The past few days has been a wild ride. Although we've achieved alot, this journey is far from over.
Unfortunately, apart from work and studies, there aren't many things that we can do to keep sane here in Halifax.
Guess its the nature of a small city or town (probably not fit to call a city), couple with the fact that it has a pretty erratic weather, and small town culture.

So, you can understand our surprise, when we saw the crowd of people who throng the city over the weekend to witness the Holiday Parade of Lights. It was quite a crowd, something you don't see often here in Halifax.

Although we would say that the floats weren't that fantastic as compared to some of the floats we see during parades back home, but it was indeed a good time to pass to our minds away from our daily hustle and bustle. Besides, we got ourselves an Empire Theaters cash card uploaded with 30 dollars. It was an offer that came along with some additional vouchers. So we're hoping to make good use of it later after the semester is over.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rolled Up Our Shelves, kinda...

Well, that's what we did just recently today. We finally got our flu shot along with our H1N1 vaccination shot as well.
Will have to wait though before the antibodies really start to kick in. For standard seasonal flu shot, it would be around 10 - 14 days whereas H1N1 should take about 14 - 21days.

Well at least, we'll get some kind of protection during the exam period.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Snow Snow Snow...

Its in the news. Nova Scotia's finally witness its first snow fall of the season 1st hand today and that made it into local news already

See CBC's, Wintry weather hits Nova Scotia

or ChronicleHerald's N.S. gets blast of wintry weather

1st Snow Flake

The first snow flake has fallen.
This is the first time we're actually witnessing it (although as of now we haven't gone out yet to touch it first hand).

We can't say we're that eager too because the wind is "crazy" strong - gusting at a high of 110 km/h.
That's almost double that on normal days (without snow). So for now, we're content of just watching it from inside.
Guess until about 2 hours from now when we have no choice but to head for class - then we'll know.

Weather report says it'll be as thick as 15 cm...