CASU2009 Forum Index CASU2009
A forum for past graduates of the College of Agriculture, Serdang, Malaysia
 
  
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Greetings CASUans especially Luke and Pheh
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    CASU2009 Forum Index -> Common Room
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
atancan



Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:35 am    Post subject: Greetings CASUans especially Luke and Pheh Reply with quote

Luke,

Had you not replied to the email, I would not have logged onto this site. It has been ages since I logged on. I thought everyone had moved to FB. Glad this is still in existence.

I read all the messages so am up to date on what had tanspured between you only. Will certainly come on this more often from now.

I totally enjoyed the piece you wrote Pheh and of course your response, Luke. Both of you write well, do continue to post them on the site and share with us or just me so far.

Luke,
I remember the roses you nutured when you were working in Serdang. Are you still growing them? I recall some beatiful pictures Stella shared that showed the lovely plants you grew. They are great.

Pheh,
I enjoy the various photos you attached in your emails on bonsai and they are just great.

Hope to drop by one day to see your "garden" and to catch up on things.

Take care

Best
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Thean Teik
Site Admin


Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Morning Mui Heng,
Thanks for writing. Hope you will post more often. For the past few months if not a year, Luke and I are the only members who are posting. The rest as you said have migrated to FB. Both Luke and I are resistant to change and refuse to join. They say we are the losers. If that's the case so be it.
We got lots of rain over the last three days - a whole month's supply of 90mm. It's unusual for us to have 3 continuous days of rain. Normally we say if you don't like our weather just wait 5 minutes. Global warming and climate change?
Peace
Thean Teik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Luke Tan
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mui Heng,

Welcome back. Yes, this site is still alive, - thanks to our good old faithful, Pheh, who spars with me here throughout these past lonely months. We believe the site is still useful, even though everyone else seems to have embraced FB. Even Lai Chin Fook, who started this site, has not come in for a long while now. Personally I think people can be in FB and still be a participating member here. It need not be a case of either-or. We can all participate in both forums.

Your mention of the roses I grew back in the early 70's has brought to my mind a flood of memories of the good old days I spent in Serdang then. I remember that roses were the craze of gardeners at around that time. I started growing roses when a friend gifted me with two plants. They grew so well, I was eager to grow more of them. I was captivated by the beauty of the flowers, not to mention their fragrances. Very soon I had one of the largest personal collections, with more than 200 named varieties! They proved to be the admiration (or envy?) of everyone who passed by my house and smelt their fragrance. But every good thing had to come to an end.

When Stella and I were transferred to Kota Baru in 1974, we took with us about 30 of our best rose varieties,- along with other ornamental plants - hoping to continue planting them at our new place. Unfortunately, there were no quarters available for us to stay then. We had to leave the plants at the Lundang Station while we stayed away in a rented house with no compound to hold all the plants we had brought. With no personal care and attention, the plants naturally died off one by one. By the time we were given quarters to stay, all the plants were gone except for some hardy bougainvilleas.

All my plans for growing roses again had to be put on hold due to two reasons: 1). There were no nurseries in Kelantan where I could buy the plants, and 2). I was too busy minding our first two kids who were so demanding of our time. (They were very difficult to manage, especially as babies and in their early years).

Two more kids came along in the early 80's when we were stationed in Kuala Lipis. I continued to give total attention to my growing family and was only able to resume some house gardening in 2004, when we bought the present house we're now staying in - exactly 30 years after I had to stop gardening due to circumstances beyond my control.

However, by this time my zest for gardening had waned considerably - no thanks to my growing interest in things more spiritual. Further, with my deteriorating health, I don't have the stamina now to do too much physical work. So nowadays I just potter around the small space we have in our semi-D house, maintaining just a few pots of assorted plants which are relatively easy to grow and maintain. This means no more roses-lah!

There seems to be a growing interest in medicinal herbs for some time now. I might be interested in growing some of these herbs for a change - primarily for home consumption, of course. Who knows, I might yet find a cure or two for my many ailments!

Cheers,
P.S. Stella sends her regards. Also say hello to Sik Sya.


Hi Pheh,

I thought you were worried you'd be getting a very dry year. Looks like your prayers have been answered manifold! Well, everywhere the weather pattern seems to have changed or modified so as to be somewhat different from those of previous years. Wouldn't it be nice for you to have warmer weather throughout the year, especially for winter?

Cheers
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Thean Teik
Site Admin


Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Morning Chegu Luke,
Yes, I was worried and am still worried because it can still be dry down the road. Yesterday was the first official day of summer - 17 hours of sunshine. We still have another 2 months to go. My six 45-gallons drums are full and my wife is telling me to go and buy more drums. The problem is there is rarely sufficient rain to fill 4 drums at a time. Secondly that means I have to keep more goldfish. You see. to prevent mosquitoes explosion I place a fish in each drum. These have to be brought indoor for the winter. I use rainwater to water my gooseberries, blueberries and cranberries since these are sensitive to the high pH and chlorine of tap water. Each drum will last me about 3 days.
Gardening is good for the body and soul. I find there is a symbiotic relationship between gardening and spirituality. Whenever I'm faced with a problem that no horticulturist can solve I ask the Lord for guidance. This is George Washington Carver's approach too. So please try to get back to your hobby 'and let this mad world goes by'. (You shouldn't have led me back to Ricky Nelson. Hehehe)
Peace
Thean Teik
PS Oh, by the way do you also have one by Johhny Mathis (I believe) that goes something like "I'm in love with the wild wind, with the sea and the sky and the sun. Yes, I'm falling in love with the wild wind...." Cannot remember its title. Many thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
atancan



Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings Luke and Pheh,

Could one or both of you please solve this little problem of mine. When I was in Taiping last year, a friend tells me to eat spinach and it was "heng chye". I thought heng chye (bayam) is an amaranth. Do educate me.

Gardening is good for the soul. When I get annoyed and depressed I go out to the garden. There are several logs about 5 feet long that my neighbour had cut up from the several trees that fell. I rolled these logs next to the driveway to keep the soil from erosion so my hostas would continue to grow. I would give vent to frustation hacking at the damdelion telling them that I am doing my part to eradicate cancer. Or I would rack the leaves, my neighbour used to tell me that it is losing battle, to let off steam. I will return to the house in abetter frame of ming and cmuch calmer.

I have several rose bushes, they need very little care except fertilise, spray sulphur fungicide and loosen the soil somewhat. I enjoy hostas as they grow on their own. I am quite cheap according to my brother 'cos I buy the straggly one just before the greenhouses close for the season.

By the way Luke, wonder if you have tried tai chi. It helps us ovecome health problems. I have joined the class in April. It helps me get a little more patient and helps my OA affected joints. I am very reluctant to take pain killers.

We all have health issues Luke. It is part of being humans and I though it is due to growing old. When I realise what my neighbours' little girl has and is undergoing I realize that this our cross to bear. It also helps me deal with the loss of my brother.

Wonder if you care to share your ailments. Not that I can be of much help but sometimes talking about it to a third part may help.

Pheh,
we have some rain finally. My three barrels were empty this morning and I do hope they get filled by tonight. Bugs are pretty bad though. I sprayed with off but my head still get "stung" by the mosquitoes, deerflies and blackflies. Any advice from your end?

Best

muiheng

p/s ss says hi.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Thean Teik
Site Admin


Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Morning Mui Heng,
You are correct - 'Heng Chye' is bayam. Spinach is 'Po Chye'. But then common name is not so common after all. My part of the woods is too cool to grow bayam but spinach grows like weeds.
Mosquitoes? I just ignore them and if it got to the point where they blacken my face then I wear the Australian bush hat. One of the scientists I worked with swears by sesame seed oil while my wife says eucalytus oil has no equal. Both of them refuse to use OFF or any synthetic materials. Fortunately we do not have any of those 'no-see-them' flies in Edmonton or Brooks.
Peace
Thean Teik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Luke Tan
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Pheh,

Looks like you'll need bigger tanks for your rain harvesting if the weather does change to give you more precipitation in the future. Your method of keeping the water mosquito-free, though innovative, also seems primitive - we did those things more than 50 years ago in our kampongs! Don't tell me, in your stubbornness you're refusing to use more up-to-date technology for your harvesting and storage of rain water? Surely there are set-ups there available for you to choose, according to your needs and budget?

By the way, I thought the simplest way to remove chlorine from water is to let it stand overnight to allow the chlorine gas to escape. That's how we use our tap water for our aquariums over here. And if we need to use fresh tap water we'll just run to the pet shop that sells aquarium fish and get some chemicals to de-chlorinate it! Also, at present, many of our houses-owners are fitting water-filters that will not only filter out the dirt but also harmful chemicals including much of the chlorine in our tap water.

Learning further from our aquarium fish lovers - they would lower the water pH by soaking some peat or sphagnum moss in it. Over here some use dried ketapang leaves for the same effect!

I have not given up gardening totally - only that I'm not so engrossed in it now, as I used to be in my younger days. Anyway I have learned much over the years - more from observing things rather than doing them myself.

As to the song by Johnny Mathis, - I do not know its title, although I'm faintly familiar with the words and the tune. I have about a thousand oldies (songs from the 50's, 60's & 70's), but your song is not one of them.

Cheers
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Luke Tan
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mui Heng,

You and Pheh are right about the vegetables. Spinach (Spinacea oleracea) is not the same as bayam or "heng Chye" (Amaranthus spp.). Spinach is a temperate plant and should grow well in your place (as Pheh has observed). They are normally sold in bunches and they should be easily available in your supermarkets. Bayam is grown in more tropical or subtropical regions. It is also known as Chinese spinach - causing many to mistake it for the actual spinach.

However, bayam is as wholesome to eat as spinach is. It contains as much, if not more of the vitamins, minerals, and bioflavonoids that are antioxidant (and anti-cancerous?) as found in spinach. That is why people will advise you to eat it to ward off the dreaded big C.

I have no problems with my spiritual health, really. Indeed I would say it's very good. It is my physical health that threatens to bear me down ever so frequently these days. But I'm not complaining like a hypochondriac. I know everybody in our human race suffers one way or the other, and I accept with an open heart whatever is my lot.

Having said that, and since you've asked, maybe I can list out (just for your information only) the main ailments in my long medical history:

Since my 30's I've had peptic ulcers and chronic rhinitis, two incurable diseases. I've no more ulcers, but my stomach remains inflamed and all the medications that the specialists have given me have failed to cure it. I have to be careful with my food, abstaining from all spicy and sour food including fruits and drinks. Both these ailments are still the cause of frequent sickness, pain and sleepless nights. I do not enjoy eating.

I've had an operation done on my nose to enable me to breathe better, but my rhinitis is still there and I still have not recovered my sense of smell. (Can never smell the roses ever again, lol).

My stomach condition has led me to have a condition called Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), whereby I can "lau sai" for no reason. All the patent medicines for diarrhea are of no avail. I still cannot figure out what conditions can trigger off the "lau sai" episodes.

Then I had the problem of palpitation and skipped beats of my heart. It led to my thyroids being removed and, as replacement, I have now to take a daily dose of thyroxin. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels, however, remained a bit high and I'm on tablets to control them. Nevertheless, I still came down with a mild stroke nearly two years ago. The doctors warn of likely, more severe, attacks in the future.

I also came down with an attack of the dreaded dengue fever a few years ago which really drained me of energy and stamina which I have not fully recovered to this day.

But I repeat... I'm not complaining. Others may have more difficult phsical problems to bear. In fact, I've not told many people about my health problems mainly because I do not want to sound as if I'm complaining. Perhaps it is well that they know, because then they can understand why I cannot come to their functions or even why I sometimes take so long to reply to their e-mails, etc.

Cheers
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Thean Teik
Site Admin


Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Morning Chegu Luke,
Thanks for your tips. You forgot to mention another benefit of using the water in which fishes are kept. Their bio-solids and liquids add nutrients to the water. Hehehe, see I'm cheap - always looking for free lunches.
My B-I-L told me that Edmonton does not use 'straight' chlorine (whatever that means as I am not prepared to debate with an engineer with years of experience treating municipal water) but a compound where the chlorine stays in the water for longer period. So leaving it overnight does not cut it. Treating it with chemical does but I'm too cheap, more so now that my income has been reduced by more than half. If I use tap water, it's not the end of the world. I just have to re-pot more frequently - once every 3 years instead of 6 or 7.
Peace
Thean Teik
PS. Oh BTW, Mr. Leong Keong gave me charity marks to pass the chemistry exams. I have absolutely no clue what he was talking about in organic chemistry. Those hexagons, single and double bonds or how to balance a simple chemical equation. He nearly had a heart attack when I caused a small explosion that sent the contents of my test tube shooting straight for the ceiling. Wonder if that stain is still there? Now you understand why he gave me charity marks - he would not take the chance of having me for another year. Hehehe.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Luke Tan
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Pheh,

Mr. Leong Keong was a kindly old chap. He may have looked effinate but he had a Romeo's heart. He had photography as his hobby and I remember he gave us some slide shows of his favourite photograhic topic - young beautiful girls! He also gave some of us some private lessons on the art of photography and some dark room work.

You are not the only one I know who had had a mishap in the Chemistry lab. Stella (Bee Eng) had the contents of a test tube explode into her face (she was trying to smell the vapours!). Fortunately she did not go blind because of it.
(Otherwise she wouldn't be able to have noticed me at all...heh heh heh).

Cheers
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Thean Teik
Site Admin


Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Morning Chegu Luke,
Yes, I remember Mr. Leong Keong's hobby and his joy and pride. the Volvo car. I believe the British Volunteer, Mr. Martin Banks was also into photography but he was more interested in flowering ornamentals.
What was Bee Eng thinking? In my case it was trying to get back to the hostel as early as possible. Our (the bunch of rascals) target was beating the Tong Fong's bus. I remember the instruction said "heat VERY GENTLY" but I cranked up the burner. The ever smiling and patient lab tech Yvonne (don't know if I spell her name correctly) asked if I was listening and reading correctly. "Those were the days, my friend. We thought they never end, could sing and dance....". Remember this song? You must have a record on it too.
Peace
Thean Teik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Luke Tan
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Pheh,

Yes, I also remember faintly that Mr. Martin Banks was then interested in photographing ornamental flowers/plants. So was Prof. Chin, who proceeded to produced a book to show off his best shots.

In the case of Bee Eng's mishap at the Chemistry lab, it was just her carelessness that made her so accident-prone. She was supposed to heat up the contents of the test-tube slowly and try to smell the fumes - with the reminder to position the mouth of the test-tube away from the face. Forgetting the reminder, she pulled the test-tube close to her nose to smell the fumes. And then, before she knew it - whoosh, the contents were over one side of her face!

Yes, the lab tech's name is Yvonne Rosario, an innocent-looking pretty girl from Klang with a smiling face. She happened to be a classmate of a pen-friend of mine then ( the sister of Joyce Low Yin Mui or Mrs.Toh Keng Pong).

Yes, I know the song, "Those were the days, my friend". I have in my collection the version sung by Mary Hopkins.

You can hear it from the Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDVhB0jGP7I

The video is the original version and is in black & white. A more recent cover version of the song for karaoke was done and this can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70rd01Je7aI

P.S. Hope you're enjoying your summer. Any more rain?

Cheers & Happy listening
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Thean Teik
Site Admin


Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Morning Chegu Luke,
Thanks for the website.
Re:Rain. Yes we got more than we bargained for. Some communities are under water. They have it real bad in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec and some parts of the States - still under water from spring. That's why I said be prepared for higher food prices. If that's not bad enough, some farms in Manitoba were purposely flooded just to safe Winnepeg from drowning. That's at least a year's production gone down the drains. In semi-arid Alberta, our normal precipitation for June is 74 mm but this year we got over 130 mm. North of here it was very dry earlier and half the city of Slave Lake was burned to the ground. The entire city had to be evacuated. Just as people were allowed back the rain came and the city is flooded.
Peace
Thean Teik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
atancan



Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:32 am    Post subject: It's fresh fruit season Reply with quote

Greetings Pheh and Luke,

Thought I share with you the great berry picking season. Attended a fund raising on 1 July and after the strawberry shortcake, went over to the strawberry fields. It was pretty hot as we were there after 11am. However, the berries were so good and plantiful that we picked two big baskets in less than 15 minutes. Gave one basket to our neighbour whose 12 year old is dying from cancer. She had her arm amputated to reduce the spread but unfortunately it did not. Anyway she loves fresh strawberries and we thought that was the least we could do.

Tomorrow we plan to go to the local airport which is putting a breakfast spread after which we hope to drive out to a raspberry farm to pick the fresh fruits. We hope to freeze some to last us through the winter.

Sometime early August we hope to drive to another town to pick blueberries.

This whjat we enjoy about the warm weather. Fresh fruits and vegetables are jsut great.

Guess you have your own harvest eh Pheh. You "is can", mo tak t'ng. As for you, Luke, I still have great memories of your lovely garden in Serdang. You are guys are really blessed with green thumbs.

Best

mh
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Thean Teik
Site Admin


Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Morning Mui Heng,
Thanks for your report. Hope other members will also keep us posted.
I strongly disagree with this green thumbs theory. Everyone can grow flowers, fruits or ornamentals. It's a question if one is interested. My father said during the Japanese Occupation, city sleekers who could not tell a root from a stem were growing excellent food crops to feed their families. His fondest memories of that period was no one stole from anyone's garden even when food was hard to come by.
Peace
Thean Teik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    CASU2009 Forum Index -> Common Room All times are GMT + 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Hosted by ForumCity