Friday, February 29, 2008

Extra day?

Wow, Feb 29! An extra day! Or is it? For those who work for a regular salary, it's an extra day working for free. Hmm... this is like the "half-full" or "half-empty" glass thing.

Again, the photo has nothing to do with the subject. These shoes are part of a doll house diorama which is now in a museum somewhere in the States.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Engine warning light (2)

It's still on. My mechanic still haven't phoned me yet. Which means, he hasn't been able to contact his friend who worked at Honda for 20 years. According to the owner's manual, I could be damaging the engine driving with this light on. Of course it doesn't tell me what could be wrong. So I think Tonee is right. However, when my boss had her engine light lit up, it was the brake fluid. Even though the level was between max and min which should be fine, filling it up to max got rid of the warning light. In her case, continue driving could actually mean problem. So, hmm... I really hate it when I can do nothing but wait. On the other hand, I still haven't been able to figure out how to loosen the old wipers to put new ones on. Stupid... (T_T)

(The photo has nothing to do with the subject. )

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Taco (Syria chocolate bar)

Translated some text for a Japanese blog friend a little while ago, and she sent me a bunch of stuff, including this chocolate bar from her friends in Syria. Thanks Utaneko and Sora! (^_^)

Of course the name Taco has nothing to do with the Mexican food. But I don't know what it means in Syrian either, sorry! The chocolate bar itself has a construction similar to Twix. Cracker center, caramel layer, then chocolate shell. Except for a lot thinner. If the quality is the same as Twix, this should be pretty good, because making it thinner will probably increase crunchiness. However, to be honest (sorry about that), it's kind of yucky. The cracker is a bit stale, and the chocolate quite waxy. It doesn't want to melt in your mouth. Wish I could read the ingredient list. It's not expired either. Made December 2007 and expires December 2008. Hmm... do chocolate bars normally last for a whole year???

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Green Tea Condensed Milk Chocolate

Thanks Totsu for this exotic chocolate by Morinaga that's not available over here. (^_^) The packaging looks exotic already by North American standard. But the taste is 100% what it says. Looks like it's based on white chocolate? It's quite heavy in condensed milk. And condensed milk is very sweet. Then there's the green tea. A bit overpowered by the condensed milk but nevertheless it's there. I shared the box with my family during Chinese new year. My nieces like all kinds of candy so they like it by default. To my surprise, my parents like it too! Although I'm not a big fan of milk and I think this is a little too sweet.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Harper's lucky money

A representative of Steven Harper gave out "lucky money" at my parent's church today. Of course it's only a chocolate coin.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Shark Fin Soup Pretz

Hey it's triple 2 today!
Yikes! What the heck? There were also 3 other flavours besides this. Shanghai Crab, Peking Duck, Mapo Tofu. Judging from the simplified Chinese on the box, they're from mainland China, and only come in packs of 12. Each box is smaller than the Japanese small size box and doesn't have the tear strip like the Japanese version. Both front and back are the same. The ingredient list is only printed on the 12 pack They were more expensive too, and didn't sell for a long time. 12 boxes is a big commitment so I hesitated until a sale, and got a pack of the Shark Fin. Went back a few days later hoping to buy another flavour, they were all sold out! Oh well!

The taste is... kind of weird. Yeah, it does resemble shark fin soup, but before all that, loaded with MSG. Hmm... you can also say real shark fin soup is heavy in MSG too. Then a bit of grounded pepper, vinegar, and the slight fishiness of shark fin. A little too salty, though.

The texture of the cracker stick feels weird too. Can't really pinpoint it. It leaves a somewhat greasy film in your mouth and sour aftertaste.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

61% Cacao KitKat

Yup, limited edition dark chocolate KitKat. Honestly, it's just dark chocolate to me. Can't really taste anything special. (And it's double the price of a normal KitKat!) (T_T)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Sorry this is an old photo that I took a while ago. The "homework" has been handed in.

Added 080221: sigh... motivation is at it's lowest. These "homework" photos are actually stocked up stuff for the days that I don't feel like writing or posting anything. (To be honest, the junk food ones are also stocked up.)

Meant to write something about the lunar eclipse, but of course I didn't see it, thus nothing to write about. Neck and back are feeling quite bad. Wanted to go to the Y instead, but ended up staying at home. So tired, felt asleep in front of the TV after dinner. It was too late to go when I woke up. Sigh... this is a body of an 80-year-old. Life totally sucks. (T_T)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

... zzz...

s l e e p y ...

Have been dosing off in front of the computer in the past few hours. Can't even keep my eyes open... why am I so tired?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Winter Cocoa Pocky

Yay~ it's back! The packaging is completely different! (Used to be brown.) Again, a seasonal limited edition. I haven't had this for a whole year, maybe even longer. The chocolate part seems to have grown thicker, and less bitter than I remember. In another words, sweeter. Also, I don't remember a box only contain 24 sticks (separated into 4 pouches). Hmm, oh well. This won't be something I'll buy too often. Although delicious, it's a little pricey. Since the chocolate got thicker, it kind of resembles the chocolate truffles from Costco. Someone gave my family a box of those. It's gonna take a long time to finish. I'll post its review later.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Second round

Second round for dad's birthday. We didn't get to do anything on the first round since everyone was sick. (Well I bought mini fruit tarts, though. But that might have worsen the cold.) Third round will be in a week or so, when more relatives are available.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New record

Aaawwww what's going on? Slept 16.5 hours! (Well, I only slept 3 hours per night for the past 2 nights, though.) Feels like I'm completely drain of energy and motivation to do anything. Not good, this is not good...

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Failed to sleep early again. Sigh. Despite getting up late, we arrived at the first appointment at VGH slightly early, but my dad kind of screwed it up and it lasted 1.5 hour.
救命呀!好搞唔搞,點解搞著情人節黎鋪咁既野!個醫生搞乜今日唔拉簾?迫我睇盡晒老豆走光!皺皮變色d毛又疏又長又攣成個腫瘤咁簡直核凸到爆!諗到自己係咁既野製造出黎,即刻胃痛作嘔!冇錯我係有d心理問題,恐怕哩世都唔會有希望!You know, you're not supposed to read this. That's why it's whited out. Now that you've read this, I have no choice but to hunt you down and kill you. (Just kidding.)
Next, my usual chiropractor. 30 minutes late. But that's still not too bad, except for it also took an hour with all the waiting around. Which pushed the time to almost 5. Couldn't go pay for the parking ticket since the office closes at 5. Phoned up my garage. Though they close at 6:30, but they changed to 5. However, they open 2 nights per week and Thursday night is one of them. So I took my car in at 8. Holy crap! It was cold!!!! Cold! Cold! Cold!
He did a bunch of examinations but couldn't figure out what's wrong since the indicator didn't give any signal at all. He will have to consult with his friend of 20 years of Honda experience. He did say it might be the computer. Meanwhile (he said) it's OK to drive. As to my complain of the engine sounding like asthma and doesn't want to start, he replaced the... "distributor"? That thing costs like 300 bucks. But he lets me pay for it when everything is done. Sigh... if only he listened to me when I first brought the car in for tuneup, then I don't have to waste a night shivering in the cold and may have been able to do some homework. Yup, couldn't do any homework at all tonight. (T_T) BTW, replacing the distributor didn't help the "asthma". (T_T)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wow... too much pink...?
Haven't drawn any card for a while. Kind of miss it. All thanks to getting hooked on Pinky... (^_^;)

Photo night

Oops, passed 12 and the date stamp changed. Thanks Andrew for the candies and hosting the photo night! (^_^) Oh I can't wait to go to Japan again! At the current rate, when will I save up enough money? (T_T)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Engine warning light

Last Friday when I was on my way to the new year family dinner, the engine warning light lit up while I was about to go onto Oak Street bridge at around 5:30 pm. (The one with the engine icon, not the oil one.) Imagine instant panic! If my car dies in the middle of the bridge, I'd be so screwed!!! Luckily I made it to the restaurant and the light did not lit up for the return trip.

I know, I know. An oil change is overdue for 2 months, but the car hasn't been used that much, so I procrastinated. But no more. Got the oil change today plus a minor tuneup. Ouch on the wallet. (T_T) I asked my mechanic about the engine light in 3 different occasions, but he didn't tell me what it means and only said it's nothing to worry about. So whatever it is, I assumed he can fix it easily.

The appointment was suspiciously fast. Did they do everything right?

There was a guy who couldn't pick a worse time to showed up (while all the mechanics were having lunch in the office). Without an appointment, he desperately tried to jump the line. He needs to do air care today, and he's got a pinched nerve on his spine, and it's so painful and difficult for him to come down, bla bla bla... He was refused service because it's not fair to other customers who booked appointments. Then this guy changed his tone, feeling a bit apologetic, and started talking about U.S. politics like he's the expert. (Ya know, the current election and stuff.) Oh boy he was persistent, never leaving the mechanic's side. Then very soon after lunch, my car was ready. Minus the lunch, it took about an hour. There are only 4 cranes. I noticed that guy took my space when I left. So! Am I worrying too much?

I brought along "homework" to do while my car was being worked on, and didn't eat lunch until everything was done. Bought a bento box at Fujiya across the street. Couldn't finish it. Did my stomach get smaller or did the food quality drop? Arrived at the garage at 11:30, left the area at 2:30.

Went to Lee Valley to pick up some strong magnets, then Richmond to check out a new toy store. And then! At around 5, Still in Richmond, the engine warning light lit up again! This time it stays lit! Aaaaaaargh!!!!!! What's going on????

I'd better look it up in the owner's manual and give that shop a call tomorrow. (T_T)

Here's some Chinese new year decorations at Aberdeen mall. Checked out the new toy store but nothing's worth buying. The store I usually go to, decided to take a break from selling Pinky. Which means, they won't be getting the Haruhi Pinky! Aaaaaargh!!! Nooooo!!!!! (T_T)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Meiji Chocolate Effect

A sampler of 4 different kinds of dark chocolate with heavy cacao content. Yikes!! Totally forgotten I have one last piece! And the expiry date was... 2007 August! Aaaaargh!!! I've eaten 3 of the less bitter ones in time, but forgot to write a review. (T_T) From memory, the 62% and 72% were like normal dark chocolate which I easily handled. The 86% was a little bit harsh in terms of bitterness. Not too delicious but nevertheless still eatable.

One thing I thought it's just for cuteness, was that the tiny chocolate bars were divided into a grid of 12 like scaled-down version of normal size ones. Until I ate the 99%, I didn't know smaller pieces is more practical. (Meaning, it can be difficult to eat the whole piece all at once, in terms of taste, of course.) There's even a warning saying it's extremely bitter.
Now, the 99% cacao...
Very fragrant with the aroma of cacao. Smells delicious and deluxe. No sign of fat separation even 8 months after expiry. I guess if 99% is cocoa, there's not much else to separate from.

Popped 1/4 into my mouth. It was weird. Smell = chocolate, taste = ???? I was confused. There's no sugar! Aaargh!! Weird weird weird!!! Doesn't feel like it's food. It melts slowly too. (Which means it stays in your mouth longer.) It's not sweet but not as bitter as I thought.

Then the 2nd 1/4. It started to feel wrong. Bitterness increased. The shock started to kick in. There's a gap between taste and mind. Am I eating plastic? Is this eatable? Should I even be doing this?

The 3rd 1/4 was quite unpleasant. My mind finally registered the experience. It felt like traditional Chinese herbal medicine. You know, the soup from boiling a bunch of dried roots and twigs and insects and what not. Totally disgusting! Yuck!! But then I noticed an unusually nice after taste. It's like liquorice. My mouth watered too. (Maybe a self-defense mechanism to wash away the weirdness?)

The last 1/4 was like, whatever, let's get it over with. Gotten used to it by now. But it's not any easier to stomach. And when it was done, came the nicest aftertaste. It's not sweet or sour or any taste of food, but a shadow, a reflection of very deluxe and heavenly ghost of liquorice. Kind of like, a faint sense of perfume a beautiful lady left behind long after she exited the room. I didn't drink any water during the tasting despite the unpleasant taste, but I didn't need any water afterwards either.

Well, I kind of wonder if this is like eating hot pepper. After you've been through hell, anything feels like heaven, right? Haha! Anyway, I don't think I'll go for the 99% ever ever ever again. But I'm not saying it's not good, it's just too strong for me.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Chinese new year (2)

As if making up for the lack of eating out yesterday, we did it for both lunch and dinner today. The fried tofu was the best I've ever had. (Those round things in lower left foreground.) I think the key is in the batter.

Somehow my mood took a significant dip. Need a lift so I picked up some toys. Didn't work as well as I hope but at least kept me going. I think what I truly want is a huge cleanup of my room. Which is too big a task and I kept procrastinating... Perhaps it's my brain that needs a cleanup. Hmm... doesn't look good either way...

Maybe it was the news of my oldest aunt in California passing away. I'm not close to her. I don't even know her face. But it's like, all of a sudden people are dying around me. My North Van aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer last May. And another uncle was gone last June. Well, my mom is the 9th child of her family, so I have many aunts and uncles and cousins. They're scattered around the world, so most of them I don't know.

Actually there was a 10th aunt who was born with cleft lip and was given up for adoption soon after birth. The doctor who delivered her adopted her, repaired her palate, and she herself later became a doctor. The 2 families lost contact early on. Sounds incredible but that's how the story goes.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Chinese new year!

Everybody wants a chicken or some pork chop for Chinese new year. The line up was horrible. Such items were in short supply. Whatever was available didn't look that good. So we didn't buy any. Instead, made something from frozen chicken legs... which defeats the purpose of doing something "special" for new year. The ultimate "something special" is eating out. Takeout dishes is one step down. According to a friend, the line up at Chinese restaurants were just as bad. However, the restaurants were smart by providing only special dinner with minimum chance of screwing up, and can be mass prepared ahead of time.
Gotta made use of my Pinky dolls so here's a Chinese new year card. One of the heads was so tight, it broke my nail when I tried to change the hair. (T_T)

On a different subject, Iron Chef is gonna become an anime! I like the original Japanese series, but hate the US version. This anime is said to use Japanese art style but produced in America. But still, I don't think it works... (T_T)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fran: Aromatier Rum & Vanilla

Fran is Pocky's imitator. Both the cracker stick and chocolate layer are thicker than Pocky. This one's got 2 coats of chocolate. The inner layer is normal chocolate and the outer layer is light gray with little black dots. Those seem to be real vanilla seeds as listed in the ingredients. The first stick smells very nice. The vanilla is very strong. The rum is being drown out, though. But I'm sure it's there. Then the second stick went blank. The "magic" disappeared. Hmm... maybe it's too subtle?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Become anonymous

... by wearing this black bar sunglasses. (But I can totally see the tan it's gonna leave...)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Meets Wine Pretz (Cheddar)

"Meets Wine Pretz (Cheddar cheese) seasonal limited edition".
Comparing to the mozzarella version, this one is less cheesy, more starchy and spicy. It's got slices of pizza on the box, which might have tricked me into tasting pepperoni. (The Mozzarella one has cheese on the box.) I like the other one better. Can't help but wonder, why is this a seasonal limited edition? Is it the cheese that's seasonal? Or is it the wine?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Meets Wine Pretz (Mozzarella)

"Meets Wine Pretz (Mozzarella cheese) seasonal limited edition".
What does Mozzarella cheese supposed to taste like? Sorry I'm not that knowledgeable about cheese. Cheese is cheese and that's it. (But I do like Swiss cheese. It's something I can tell apart form, say, the cheese on a pizza.) This Pretz is a little sweet, but nevertheless, has pretty nice cheese flavor. And buttery too. Yes it tastes very good, but expensive. I guess they're trying to be higher class by saying it goes well with wine.