Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1 Week Away

Will be going off to Toronto tonight. Then heading down to Niagara Falls for 2 days and a night. Then back to Toronto for the rest of the week. Finally will be back to Halifax the following week. Good news is all the strikes are over so our plans to go to Toronto Island is still on. And hopefully it won't stink everywhere we go in Toronto.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Peanut Butter

1kg of peanut butter cost about CAD3.90 when discounted, +/- 50 cents depending on the brand and offer.

Peanut butter (PB) has been a staple diet of late. It's considered something we can fall back on when we're not in a creative mood or have no other options (that means we have ran out of resources).

1kg is a lot of peanut butter. And I really mean -A-L-O-T- Alot more than we have back home. Infact back in Malaysia, I don't recall having seen 1kg Peanut butter sold on the shelf. The biggest is usually about a 0.6 - 0.7 kg one.

So it got me thinking, since we love to have PB as our "fall back boy", that means we're going have to depend on it alot, especially when we get back home. Obviously PB ain't at all cheap back home. My bet if a 1kg type is sold, it would cost even more expensive after CAD3.90 is converted to Ringgit Malaysia. The conclusion go make your own PB.

Now, all we got to do is hope peanuts are cheap!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Time Would Tell

Its the time of the month again when we come to that point where we'll do some short reflection. As the days and weeks have gone by and so has our time here in our home away from home.

Its really a crazy feeling for us to be "so full of time". I suppose given the nature of our work and new roles its pretty obvious that life is no longer what we use to think it was.

Although we crave occasionally the comforts of life back home - of having an easy mode of transportation, of having friends to call and chat, of family members that are not too far away from us, etc, we are resigning to the fact of this new found life. After all it is what we wanted.

A little while back, we were watching Transformers the movie and there is particular moment in a scene that struck us (particularly me) and I told my wife that this is just like us. It was the scene where Sam (the boy hero in the show) was faced with the choice of whether or not to trust the Autobot, BumbleBee which he just met and faced with the decision whether or not he should get into the car. Beside him, his school mate (and would be girlfriend). Then staring at her eyes, he says "20 years down the road, when you look back at your life, you'd be asking yourself this question - why didn't I get into the car!". So with that, they took a chance and trusted the alien robot and swiftly entered the car. The rest was history as was told by the movie.

How does that relate to us? Well, we entered the car too. And we are now traveling in it. The journey hasn't ended yet for us. But one action has led to another. We've faced many challenges and also surprises along the way. But for now nothing beats home. Having gone through just 4 months of this ride, our hearts seems very much incline to be back home once this ride is over (for now).

Come fall, we'll be taking up 2 classes - Machine Learning and Advance Natural Language Processing. That's a mouthful. There's a bit a nervousness on my end particularly on how much maths would be needed to excel in these courses. Oh well, not to worry, we have time on our side and both of us to help crack the nut open. I am sure it'll be not too bad. After all, it is part of the ride. And you know what, only time will tell - if this ride will continue here or end back home or somewhere else out there.

Hope that you too have gone into your own ride!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

While I was preparing the snow crab, wife was busy preparing to bake Peanut butter cookies.

Check it out.

Here's the end result.

Don't be fool by the looks. Its actually more delicious than it looks :)
Loved it...

Seefood, Seafood (Snow Crab)

We had the opportunity today to travel to Bedford Fisherman's market. Well actually its not what you think it is. Not a wet fishmarket like we have back home. Its more like a store and even has its own website -

Traveled in a friend's car. First time we were in car here since we arrive (apart from the taxi that took us from the airport to downtown) - how pathetic is that!

(oh, it was raining)

When we got to the shop, we just can't resist the luring call of the snow crab.

(this is how a snow crab looks like)

Yea, the lobsters were there but we had enough of it and wanted to try something new.

Luckily, the guy who took our order did the deed of executing the little critter. I guess he also cleaned it for us as I recall most of the snow crab having barnacles on them.

All we had to do was to simply boil it when we got back home.

Thankfully we bought only one - because one was just nice for us. About 1.6 pounds equivalent to 0.72 Kg and alot of crab meat.

Little snowy in the sink.

Another pose

In boiling water (covered)


So, after an approx of 20 minutes, I had to nicely remove and break the crab into smaller pieces first. Actually youtube helped alot.

I followed this vid.

After the boiling and the cleaning (basically removing the rear end, mouth and lungs - which are all non edible).
Its time to serve.

Overall, I'll say that the meat is pretty sweet. But unlike crabs in South East Asia countries, you'll find that the best part of the flesh for snow crab is in its legs and not the claw. But if you have a go at the green gooey thing, you find that it is also not too bad. Some folks prefer the one from lobsters. Wifey prefers snow crab ones instead. For me, I'll stick with white flesh.

Sinful sinful... We're becoming vegetarians for the next few days.

Tall Ship 09

Over the weekend we went to Halifax waterfront to catch a glimpse of the many tall ships that we docked at the harbour for the Nova Scotia Tall Ship 2009 event.

Fortunately it was a sunny day and the weather was cooling.

We took lots of shots and including vids of the event and here are some of them I've selected to be shared.

The view of Georges Island from the waterfront. The weather was great which resulted in a good shot it.

Here's a view of Georges Island from a distance (we'll definitely plan a trip there later...)

View Larger Map

Of course we took shots of the many ships that were there. There were big, medium and even small ones.

Having said that, I can't resist taking shots of monuments and interesting signboards.

Here's one of Sir Samuel Cunard a famous figure in world history (so to speak and apparently a Halagonion).

Here's one I took of a crew reenacting a royal soldier carrying a cannon.

I've captured it on vid as you'll see below later.

And the Mrs captured a pic of a sailor as he ushered visitors into a ship.

While here's a pic of a crew hoarding up supplies to a ship.

And of course with such an event expecting a huge crowd would definitely need a huge number of "loos" aka toilet. And here's a pic of all the blue little johns staked up in a line.

Here are some of the vids we have.

This final one is where the crew explains the preparation of the cannon and also firing it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Atlantic Jazz Festival

Some photos taken from our short stop at the free Atlantic Jazz Festival tent last week.

Sorry folks, I took this from the handphone which is why the sound is distorted. Need real vid cam for that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

17 July - A Day To Remember

17 July 2009 is a day to be remembered. Why?

Well, blades were sharpened, youtube was on, gears were out and its the day this happened...

The preparation...

ironically the book which I was reading was titled Head First...

The aftermath! "No animals were hurt in the making of this blog post!"

In the end. I survive and got a great haircut. It was FUN.
Thanks dear.

Mid Week July Update

Another 1and half week to go before we head to Toronto & Niagara Falls. We've already book a room there in Niagara. We've borrowed books from the Spring Garden Library, both on Toronto and Niagara region to help us plan our trip.

While we were at the library, we made a pit stop at Atlantic Jazz Festival's free screening tent. We've got some videos and pictures but I've yet to upload them. Stay tune. Music lovers would love this event! Its a great place for amatuers and budding musicians to pit their talents for others to see. There's also paid shows which obviously we didn't go to. But overall its an event that one can go to when in Halifax during the Summer. Its also an event that the city is proud of and promotes very much (apart from Pride Festival - which is the festival organized to promote tolerance for gay folks - that's coming up soon). Someone I met once said that he wish he has a remote control to the whole city on pause except for the event he wants to go to so that he doesn't miss anything. Yup, there's so many running all at once during this peak season. Another event that is a must go is the Tall ships which is a the waterfront.

Also, another great leap for us here in our home away from home - I've finally got my first hair cut in Canada.

Today's Breakfast

Well another day of mist and rain. But nothing can dampen our spirits and today's breakfast spread was the result of high spirits.

Bacon with mushroom with ginger, fresh veges (includes spinach and lettuce), tomatoes, large eggs, sandwiched between high fiber toasted bread slices. Yum!