Monday, February 28, 2011

Post CNY 2011 Pictures

I realized I haven't posted up my Chinese New Year photos! How very remiss! Anyway, here goes. The day before the eve of CNY, my Dad's side will hold the reunion dinners so that married folks like me and another cousin would be able to gather together and meet everyone.

View from my grandparents balcony in Bukit Bintang

When we arrive, we usually hang around for a bit while the ladies are toiling in the kitchen. I'll usually pop into my grandparents balcony which overlooks a park, now the Arab Park or whatever it's called now. I used to play firecrackers on that field decades ago.

The source of good food

Again and again, I am amazed at my auntie who would be able to cook up a storm in this tiny kitchen. Her daughters would take turns to assist her but she usually single-handedly does everything.

This year, my Mum prepared some lo sang, which is a first for us as we've never had it for our reunion dinners.

Here's us, preparing the two large trays of Io sang

And here are the men, pretending to look busy.
Because of the sheer size of the crowd and despite having two tables, we usually have to wait two rounds for a seat to be vacant. See the amount of food? 

The Adult Table
The ah, Kid's Table

The next day, KS and I would head back to Melaka for the reunion dinner with his parents.

This year, we had his uncle and cousin from Sydney visit and celebrate CNY with us. Again, see the amount of food? 

Our annual family photo. Sorry, had to crop fat arms off hence the odd size.

This is us before we head off to Masjid Tanah for the gathering of my father-in-law's family on the first day of CNY.

Since KS's uncle hasn't been back in a while for CNY, he created a new tradition of getting those who wanted their ang pow to line up and greet him, making it a fun affair. It was also his birthday so I baked him a cake, not knowing it would be brought there for sharing with the whole kampung!

Father & Son and a heavily decorated butter cake
1st Generation: Some of my Dad-in-law's siblings and spouses. I believe he has 10 siblings (!) but some have passed on.
2nd Generation: SOME of KS cousins.

 Hmm... I didn't take a photo of the 3rd Generation.

Anyway, on the second day of CNY, the neighbours had a dragon dance. Yup. Not the normal lion dance.

Dragon in action

The 2nd day is also when my in-laws have their open house where there's more food. And people wonder why I don't take photos of myself. Coz I'm FAT lah after all that food!

So, that's my CNY 2011 in pictures.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Missing Grooms

Some time back I read in the local papers that the groom of an Indian couple did not turn up for his wedding. In embarrassment, his family then substituted him with his second brother and the wedding proceeded.

Today, in the papers, again another groom didn't turn up at the temple and what did the family do then? They decided to conduct the marriage ceremony of their second daughter with her boyfriend who was there as a guest for the wedding.

It's just quite amazing!

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Apple Airport Express Works!

Warning: Geek stuff ahead.

About 2 years ago, my then colleague was showing off his new iPhone and mentioned how he was using it to stream music wirelessly from his computer upstairs to his hi-fi set downstairs using his iPhone as a remote. Since I have converted quite a lot of my CDs into mp3s, I thought it would be great to be able to do just that when I shifted into my new house.
So began the process of looking for a house. Then looking for my hi-fi set. Then looking for the cabinet. Then setting up my wifi connection. And finally, reading up on materials related to the Apple Airport Express. Even though I shifted jobs, I emailed this techie ex-colleague of mine who was kind enough to email me materials to research on.
When the Apple Online Store had the sale a couple of weeks ago, I decided to purchase one. I mean, I had everything in place! When it arrived, I was so excited with my new toy and promptly went home to try to install it.

However. It was the most complicated thing to install and the people whom I tried getting help from, the various staff from Apple Support and the technical guy at Machines (Apple dealers in Malaysia), they all were stumped upon telling them I didn't have a Mac.

For many days I rushed home from work to call to get help. I was told to get a wireless card for my desktop to read the Airport Express. Then in finality, I was told to buy the Airport Extreme for twice the price just so to make sure it connects! Finally, I decided to bring it to my usual computer shop who gave it one look and said, "I don't know how to help you since even the Apple folks can't!". In the end, I decided to return the item before my first 14 days to return the item expired.

When I tried to return it, Apple Malaysia asked me to try calling the Apple Support again for one last try. Tried yesterday but was too late, it was past their closing time for their Level 2 Seniors (as the Junior staff apparently are not trained for such a complicated case). So I tried again today. 

After talking to a Shawn for an hour, I am elated to say that it is now streaming music wirelessly downstairs. Except, I need to now look for the correct wires to connect it to my amplifier. Fingers crossed, my amplifier would be able to stream this.

According to Malcom Gladwell's book Outliers, this is the reason why I do well in Maths. I'm amazed at my tenacity at this.

Hmm... I'm not sure if I should write down what we finally did to make it work since I couldn't find support online. Ok, skip the next part since this is just for my records and if anyone else Google's this:

Hardware: PC Desktop Windows XP linked to my wifi modem via ethernet cable and the Airport Express
Software: Install the Apple Utility software given in the CD together with the Airport Express; iTunes later on for storing and playing songs; Remote apps on iPhone for as your remote control.
Purpose: To stream music wirelessly from my computer upstairs to my hifi downstairs.
  • Connect the Airport Express to the desktop via ethernet cable.
  • Plug in the Airport Express and wait until light blinks amber.
  • Open Apple Utility on the desktop and wait for it to detect the Airport Express.
  • At the bottom of this screen there's two options: "Manual" and "Continue".
  • Okay, this part I actually set up the Airport Express using the "Continue" button which is to join an existing wireless network. I had to use the "Manual" option because I didn't know what type of security my internet provider has for my setup so first try was wrong.
Anyway, it then connected to the existing wifi and voila! 

I brought the Airport Express downstairs (without the ethernet cable), connected it to a set of laptop speakers, connected my desktop back to the wifi modem via ethernet cable and launched iTunes. Selecting the Airport Express connection from the bottom right icon with a rectangle and an arrow, I randomly clicked any song AND IT STARTED PLAYING. I can now almost close this chapter after 2 years. Just the wires now and praying my old amp wants to recognize this or not.