Friday, September 30, 2005

Brrrrrr....

The weather is turning, the weather is turning!!!

It's hard to imagine that just 2 days ago, the high was 105 degrees!


18:00 Max since Midnight Min since Midnight 24 Hour Max 24 Hour Min
Temperature 80.0° F 80.0 at 18:00 53.0 at 9:00 80.0 at 18:00 53.0 at 9:00

p/s: K. Restoule..none of us have spontaneously combusted yet *hehe*, and we'll gladly take this turn in the weather, tardy or not!

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( map courtesy of Mapquest.com)

Can someone explain to me why it gets hotter in Texas even though Malaysia is closer to( if not almost ON ) the Equator??

Wow, the map just reminded me how far away from home I am....

he distance between abilene and batu pahat

The distance:

Origin:
Destination: Johor, Malaysia
Distance in miles:
Distance in kilometers:

Please note: The distance is calculated "as the crow flies". It uses the latitude and longitude of the cities to calculate the distance, so this may vary from the driving distances.

If you wish to lookup other cities, then you can use this form.


Monday, September 26, 2005

I'm Melting...I'm Melting.....

Abilene swelters in 104-degree heat
(Our local county weather station says 107F)

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Abilene Reporter News
September 26, 2005

You would think hitting 104 degrees this late in the year would break a record.

You'd be wrong.

Sunday's 104-degree high only tied a record set for the date in 1977.

This was the fifth day temperatures went over 100 this year; the last one was July 26.

You would think that maybe this is last time Abilene hits 100 this year.

You might be right.

The forecast calls for highs only in the upper 80s today and Tuesday. However, Abilene has recorded 100-degree temperatures even in October. Abilene's latest 100-degree fall day fell in 1979 when it hit 102 on Oct. 8.

Abilene wasn't the only sweltering place in the Big Country Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Brownwood baked at 106 degrees, Comanche cooked at 104, and Sweetwater sizzled at 100. Big Spring and Snyder simmered at only 99.

*sigh*

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Well, there's always next year...

OR New Mexico.

First of all, thank you to everyone who had us in your thoughts over Rita. Sorry I haven't blogged for a few days. I've been filling up ( or trying to ) my brain with Physiology and man, after having graduated from medical school 4 years ago, and not having practised medicine for almost 2 years, things get a little rusty.

But back to the matter at hand.



Abilene was hosting its Big Country Balloon Fest the past few days, which got me terribly excited because I had never been in a hot air balloon or seen one up close. And one of the attractions was tethered ballon flights.

So, I was really disappointed that during the few days that the festival was held, I didn't even see ONE, because of non cooperative weather ( i.e. windy conditions - hey, the fall and spring seasons in Abilene are real gusty, what WERE they thinking.. ).

Well, at least now I'll have an excuse to bug David into bringing me to New Mexico for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta that's starting end of this month..

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rita is turning northward

RITA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 10 MPH...17 KM/HR.

A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 24
HOURS. ON THIS TRACK... THE CORE OF RITA WILL BE APPROACHING THE
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA AND THE UPPER TEXAS COAST LATE FRIDAY.

...INLAND HURRICANE WATCH FOR BROOKS COUNTY HAS BEEN CANCELED...

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Looks like Brooks county is going to have to brace for just tropical storms right now. I pray that people who are stuck en route getting out of the affected areas manage to do so safely

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Here we go again

NOAA BULLETIN

HURRICANE LOCAL STATEMENT...415 PM CDT WED SEP 21 2005

...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE RITA MOVING WESTWARD
ACROSS THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO...

...AREAS AFFECTED...
THIS STATEMENT RECOMMENDS ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY RESIDENTS
ACROSS DEEP SOUTH TEXAS AND THE LOWER TEXAS COASTLINE WHICH INCLUDES THE
FOLLOWING COUNTIES: KENEDY...WILLACY...CAMERON...
BROOKS( Where our other home in South Texas is )...AND HIDALGO COUNTIES.
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Rita, the ninth hurricane and 17th named storm of the June 1-Nov. 30 Atlantic hurricane season, was about 755 miles (1,215 kilometers) east-southeast of Corpus Christi, on the Gulf Coast. This is the first time in 10 years that Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes, named in alphabetical order, have reached the letter ``R.''

Galveston, Texas, smashed in 1900 by the deadliest hurricane ( that killed up to 12,000 people ) in U.S. history, is in the center of the storm's projected path.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

West Texas Fair and Rodeo

As Promised,

here are pictures from the West Texas Fair and Rodeo, Abilene featuring exhibits, rodeo, livestock shows and a carnival at the Taylor County Expo Center with letti's infamous Turkey Leg.



Click on the picture above to go to "Letti's Photos" and see what the picture really is.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

Mooncake Festival and authentic Chinese Food

Another night of no cooking..

Eunice, a fellow chinese in Abilene, invited us over for dinner tonight and among the dishes that she prepared was some savoury glutinous rice and sweet pig ears...Cindy brought some turkey lasagna to "balance" the menu... *smiles*

The folks back home are celebrating Mooncake Festival though, with all its legends and good food ( read Here ) and children with their lanterns, but over here, all I can find to celebrate right now is National Dog Week... oh well, we love our dogs and celebrate them EVERY day.

Abilene hosted the West Texas Fair and Rodeo last week and it was so much fun..will be posting pictures in a few days...there's one of me eating a turkey leg that was almost as big as my head...*laugh* Is that a tall Texas tale? Well, we'll just have to wait for the pictures to see.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Intimidating Task under control... or NOT

I've finally got most of the cabinets..

Exterminating, that is.

Now all that's left is the triangle corner cabinets, the cabinets under the coffee machine, under the sink and the drawers...OMG what am i saying?!?!? I'm not even 50% done yet!



*this is going to take longer than I had thought*

Monday, September 12, 2005

Kitchen Aid

There is a bug situation in our kitchen..

Not just the odd bug or two, but families and clans of them!

It started out innocently enough..one bug here, *SQUASH*, one bug there.. *SQUISH*...
Then out of nowhere, I would go into the kitchen at night, turn on the lights and there would be a whole gang, scurrying off as fast as their little legs can take them! Ever so often, a defiant bug would stare me right in the eyes, as if challenging me to get some tissue and squish the living daylights out of it, all the while thinking "I can outrun you, human!!"

David's way is to flick them with his fingers with such force, that they go flying off and smack their little heads on a far wall and suffer some serious neurological damage..it's effective, I have to say, but leaves them on the floor for me to sweep up at some other opportune time.

SO, a few days ago, I embarked on this massive bug eradication thingy, using the products below .. the project is still coming along - I've done most of the cabinets, behind and around the fridge, dishwasher & oven..



Meanwhile, our kitchen table is in disarray because I've had to unload whatever was in the cabinets onto the table while the cabinets were being "de-bugged". Yesterday, we literally had TV dinners - defrosted and heated up rottisserie chicken and a fruit tray on our laps while watching ( what else ) FOOTBALL!

Tonight it's a break from the extermination ( man, it's intimidating ) so we have our kitchen table back ( well, at least part of it ) and on the menu will be Texas Panhandle Chuckwagon Chili, Crockpot style with broiled sour dough garlic bread...and home grown, vine ripened cherry tomatoes!

YUMMERS!!!!!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Stuffed

I go through these phases, you see..

where for a few weeks I'll be poring over cookbooks, and wanting to try out new recipes and then I'll shift to a phase where I'll just go over tried and trusted recipes off the top of my head, and THEN I'll go into the "Honey, what do YOU want for dinner" phase, which usually drives David a little barmy and then there'll be the I'll-cook-but-I'd-rather-go-out-and-not-cook-besides-I'm-wanting-chinese-so-bad phases.

I was in the last 2 phases this week, and surprise surprise, we had turkey chili dogs for dinner on Wednesday ( david LURVES them ), went out for Chinese food on Thursday, and this afternoon, had lunch at the Golden Corral.

Right now ( 9 pm ) both of us are so stuffed, neither of us have even made a peep about dinner tonight.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Long Awaited Henry Update

Henry's growing so big..

Henry Slobber-Lips Woods

Tabby looking on as Henry messes around

He's only a little over 9 months, but he's already outgrowing his crate, so we went out today to Petsmart and got him a new PetMate Wire Kennel ( for GIANT breeds, mind you...*laugh* - seeing how Henry's dad was 100lbs or over and how poor Henry's is getting a little scrunched in his present crate )

Ah..the pleasures of being a pampered pet

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Fuel Prices on the Mind

I find that I discover more and more about Malaysia

after I came to the States. I suppose being an expat opens you up to questions about your country of origin and I must say my knowledge of all things Malaysian is no where near adequate *hangs head in shame*.

So, as I discover things about America and start comparing them to things back home, I often come across a whole wealth of information about both countries, the latest being what's on a lot of people's minds nowadays, namely,

OIL.

Back in Malaysia, oil prices are heavily subsidized and regulated throughout the whole country. Every gas pump in Malaysia will show the exact same price per liter ( right now regular gas is at about USD$1.64 per gallon and diesel at USD$1.29 per gallon - don't hold me to this information, my math is real bad ) and if there was a price hike ( ever so often so the country won't sink deeper in debt ), every gas station in the country responds by increasing their prices by the exact amount, all at the same time.

Interesting Info:



Natural Gas Production : Malaysia ranked #9



Petroleum Production : Malaysia ranked #22

Which is why it was soooo bewildering when I first came to the states and saw that every gas station had a different price for their gas, and could raise/lower prices as and when was deemed necessarily, independently. Hence, gas price wars - something that was so foreign to me before and which I know better than I would like to, now - ensue.

I was browsing through my links and came across Tao's blog, where Tao has put up several useful links for checking up on local gas prices, as contributed by observers/consumers all across the US here as well as using the nifty little zip code finder below.

Search for gas prices by US Zip Code



WHAT do we pay for in a gallon of regular grade?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Dove hunting season started yesterday

And I know this why?



BECAUSE for the past 2 days, I've woken up to gun shots sounding off around us. Shooting hours for migratory game birds, including doves, is half an hour before sunrise, to sunset.

That's one of the downfalls of living out in the country. You are surrounded by woods, and worse, animals which qualify as game.

Granted, there are specific seasons for different game and we're not affected by all of them and it's not year round, but still, last year, our nearest neighbours claimed to have had their house pelted a couple of times by stray shotgun pellets!

Should I seek comfort in the fact that hunting season ends in December with a short winter dove hunt, in the Texas Central Zone, during Dec. 26, 2005-Jan. 4, 2006?

...till then, Henry is NOT going to be tied outside on his tie-down very much, even for a chance to walk around and explore a bit. ( and man, do i need him to go out there for a while each day to get him out of my hair and for him to "explore" )

Who knows what kind of animal hunters might mistake him for....That's ironic seeing how labradors are often trained to be hunting dogs.

Heck, even I'M a little afraid to go outside. Plus, deer ( and other game ) season isn't even here yet....

At least I know that the recent flood-producing rainfall has spawned swarms of young, hungry and very aggressive mosquitoes ( and we have a bunch of them even though we empty everything that can hold water ) might deter some of the less hardy ones..

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