Sunday, 30 September 2012


These almost-fluorescent red autumn leaves we found in the Einar Jónsson museum garden are just crazy pretty, so I had to share.

In other news, here's our mayor, Jón Gnarr, opening the Reykjavik International Film Festival on Thursday night. We like him. He's got Force ~°~

(Interesting tidbit: my father, Thor Roff, played Jón's father Roy Washington in the awesome movie, Bjarnfredarson, which you should definitely see.)

Have you tried Dynamic Viewing yet? Five new views in all. Use the blue tab at the top of the view page to check them all out : )

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Why I Tweet

(This post is part of the #WhyITweet series on Twitter)


This question can pretty much be answered in one word: sociability!  Twitter, for me, is simply a forum for bringing people together.  It's a very basic human need to have social interaction, to talk, and to listen.

I live in the middle of nowhere in East Anglia.  I moved here from Central London and Twitter has completely transformed my relationship to living here.  Twitter has become an integral part of my life: I flick my phone on in the morning and check my @mentions, I respond to any messages that come during the day, and in the evening I love reading what people are up to and quite simply "chatting" online.

On Twitter I can access a whole range of people: "my" kind of people (as a lefty, Europhile, vegetarian, gay man they're in somewhat short supply where I live) as well as all sorts of other people I would not otherwise talk to.  I love the range of perspectives: I literally follow from 16 year olds up to people in their 70s.  I can chat to journalists, actors, students, mums, QCs, feminists, politicians, a bishop: people of all backgrounds and interests - many of whom I wouldn't have access to in real life.  It literally does broaden my horizons and view of life.  A huge eye-opener has been the subject of depression: people can be incredibly frank and this is hugely valuable and genuinely educational.  When these issues are presented in the context of real people's experiences, you tend to listen.

Making & Keeping In Touch With Friends

Because I see Twitter as a social hub, I like to meet people off it too.  If I go down to London I find that people who tweet regularly seem to be more likely to meet up on the spur of the moment, and share this casual sociability.  In true OCD fashion I keep a list of people I've met from Twitter (this means met and actually spoken to).  It's currently on 173 people.  Almost everyone is pretty much how I imagined them to be from their online persona.  I find it wonderful that I can drive, say to Manchester, and see signposts for towns where I know people from Twitter live.  I have a network of friends across the country, and indeed to a lesser extent, abroad.

Wonderful people: everyone of whom I know from Twitter

I've tweeted 107,000 times in about 2 and a half years.  That sounds like a horrendously high amount of times.  A quick count of today's tweets (it's currently 6pm on a Saturday) shows I've tweeted 197 times - however only 12 are general tweets to all my followers.  185 are "conversation" tweets, where I've been interacting with someone, either answering a tweet of theirs or answering a tweet they've sent to me.  Over time I've noticed people forming real, overlapping networks of friends.  It is a social community: we share good times, we have a moan.  It's what people do.  I don't tweet, as some do, primarily as a broadcasting platform without follow-up interaction.   I'm here to talk to people, some of whom I regard as very real friends in every sense of the word.  I also don't just talk about one subject as some do (e.g law or politics): it's everything for me.

I also tweet to keep in touch with "real life" friends.  I find emails so onerous to answer, and who calls nowadays anyway (except my Mutti, obviously)?  Tweeting is a brilliant way to keep in touch.  They're fast, short and I very rarely find responding to my @ mentions a pain in the way I do sitting down and answering some great long email.  Some of my friends are abroad, in China or Australia: it means we stay in touch day to day in a way we wouldn't if we had to mechanically call, email or write letters (Remember them? I don't, but I saw some in a museum once.)

Who DOESN'T like seeing @LassieOscar?

I love tweeting my thoughts and experiences: from "serious topics" such as sharing my views on current affairs, through to my disasters in the kitchen, or pictures of my dog.  I know sufficient people on Twitter, that it's rare that a tweet, no matter how mundane, will not get some kind of response.  There is always someone "listening", no matter what time of day.  I've experienced being lonely in real life, both in London and living up here.  It sounds a bit ridiculous to someone who doesn't understand the medium, but it's nice to know that if I see some twatty sign somewhere, there are people there to share it with and have a laugh about it.  It's basic social interaction via a photo, an app, and a smartphone.

Is It Just About Egos?

I'm not dishonest enough to say that there isn't a bit of an ego-boost in knowing people will be prepared to listen to me and find me interesting enough to follow me.  Of course we all like it when people follow us.  However, I'm also not enough of a knob to realise the truth in the following tweet, from my "real life" friend Jamie in Australia.  He's always GREAT in bringing people down a notch in true, blunt Aussie fashion. 

If your sense of self-worth is dependent on how many people follow you and how many retweets you get a week, your relationship to Twitter is probably not that healthy.

The Good And The Bad

Again, Twitter is people (and of course sometimes people pretending to be their pets.  Ahem).  They can inform me, challenge me, make me laugh, make me cry: that's just what people do.  It is something I regard as an integral part of my life.  I met my stunning boyfriend Ste through it.  I find this literally amazing, wonderful and exciting all in one.  (No blog is of course nowadays complete without making you all reach for the bucket.  I therefore thought I'd slip that in there as a reminder.)  I incidentally don't think Twitter has become "less fun" over the time I've been on here: more people have joined, and I'm constantly meeting new, interesting folk.

Just in case anyone needs it, here's one

Sometimes there's abuse: my big brother, who doesn't really "get" the whole thing recently pensively asked me "is it worth it?".  This was after the colourful tweets I received from Assange supporters.   Yes it is worth it: on average for the one trolling message, I receive probably 1000 pleasant ones.  There are pillocks in life: I hardly feel threatened by keyboard warriors at the other side of the country directing their pathetic abuse at me hidden behind an egg avatar.  If it weren't bringing me pleasure, I wouldn't be on Twitter.

Last, This Blog

The last reason I tweet is to promote this, my blog.  My blog doesn't exist separately from my Twitter experience: it's just a form of "Twitlonger" with pictures.  I love it when people read it, share it and comment on it.  I can do the same thing I here that I do on Twitter: voice my thoughts from the mundane through to sharing very personal reflections..

You're one of these people, so as ever, thank you for reading :)

UPDATE: Two interesting things came out of chats on Twitter this morning about this post:

1) It's not just sociability.  It's about being able to switch it on and off when it suits you.  If you want quiet, it's not like having friends or relatives around for the evening or weekend.  It's take it or leave it and no one notices or objects.  This is, I guess, pretty selfish in a way, but it's this instant access sociability that is a key thing that I like.

2) For gay men it's a really important way of making gay friends without the omnipresent background context of sex involved in talking to people in bars, on Gaydar or Grindr.  Twitter isn't a dating site: it's a place to get to know gay men with their shirts on for a change.  Guys on Gaydar and Grindr can say what they want about "looking for friends" - we all know it's bull.  I've seen tweets saying "I've never had actual gay friends before Twitter".  That is *wonderful*.

Friday, 28 September 2012


There's so much going on in this tableau in the window of the shop Vísir, at Laugavegur 1. I'd wager to bet that every person reading this who has actually walked Laugavegur (the main shopping street in Reykjavík, not the trail between Þórsmörk and Landmannalaugur) has passed by this store, and maybe even dropped in for supplies or a bite to eat.

I wish I had the time to translate this entire article about this shop and the historic building it's in, but suffice to say the building is 164 years old and has always houses some type of business, starting with a restaurant in 1848 that unfortunately didn't thrive as planned. The store Vísir was established in 1915, and ownership has stayed in the same family: according to the article, as of 2003 the grandson of one of the original owners still ran the store.

I remember back when I was a little one staying with my Amma, Frú Ásta Beck, on Óðinsgata just up the hill that I loved going to Vísir where, since 1959, the owners have prided themselves on always having a supply of fresh fruit. (Across the street, at the corner of Skólavörðurstígur and Laugavegur, in the half-basement where the café Kofinn is now,* was a butcher's shop with all sorts of cuts hanging in the window, a total novelty for a California-raised kid like me.)

*In the yellow building to the left in the third photo down in the linked post ; )

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Mail for me

Mail from Google for me! Sounds so cool.... Feeling proud when it is actually nothing yet laaa ;)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Buy 1 free 1 @ Octopus Sushi & Thai

Again, Octopus is having buy 1 free 1 sushi! But only two plates of sushi appealed to me. I ended up ordering a bento set instead as the choices on the sushi belt was quite limited. Standard jatuh dy at festival city. It was so hot that I asked the waitress why and then she only turned on the aircond. Ish.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Mooncakes for sale, anyone?

Few more days till mooncake festival and the sales of OBINE's snow skin mooncakes has been soaring!

Thank you to friends and family for being supportive!

We are still taking in orders.

1 box = 4 mooncakes = RM56

A choice of flavours like yam, lotus and white lotus are available.

Order now by emailing:

Sms or whatsapp: 0122002169

Details required:-
Number of boxes:
Date of delivery:
Address of delivery:
Full name:
Contact number:

5 years ago..

I looked like that! Now after so much stress i look.... Old haih

Five signs it is time to walk away

I can totally relate to this article! I love the comments given by the public too..

Sunday, 23 September 2012

H&M opening at Lot 10

Were you at the H&M public opening at Lot 10?
Were you part of the tremendously long queue outside?
Were you part of the queue waiting to try on clothes?

Lol... I was not. I was only a passerby and the above scenarios was what I saw. H&M has two floors in Lot 10. I realised they took over Debenhams lot. Debenhams is now located in Star Hill. How many times has Debemhams moved already? Four? Five?

Anyway, I did not get a chance to step into H&M. I have been to the ones in USA, but was never a big fan of their stuff.

Then it had me thinking: with Forever 21 and H&M here, I really wish someome could bring New York and Company to KL. Thats my favourite brand from USA! Dang, brings back memories of being in USA....

Anti-Abortion Protests and Free Speech

A US-Style Pro-life "Mobilisation"
 On 26 September, 40 Days for Life will begin “the largest and longest internationally coordinated pro-life mobilisation in history”.   The organisation is US-based, but operates worldwide. Ostensibly it exists to organise 40 days of Christian prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach.  It just so happens this will be directly outside nine UK abortion providers including BPAS, Marie Stopes and NHS hospitals.

"Hold my hand Mama, Don't Kill Me" etc
In our country it is clearly legal and permissible to organise a prayer vigil.  It is also permissible to seek advice on a termination and to have one carried out, within the terms of the law.  The question arises of what happens when the exercise of the first of these impinges on the second.
40 Days states that Christ taught us that some demons can only be driven out by prayer and fasting, and that these acts will bring an end to abortion. On its website it quotes from the Book of Chronicles about wicked people being listened to from heaven, and having their sins forgiven.  However, many would say it is less God’s intervention than the actions of its 500K+ members, which have led to the specific measurable results it boasts of.  These include having closed down 24 abortion centres, 69 workers having quit their jobs, and having “saved” 5,928 babies to date worldwide.
40 Days is not a simple prayer group: it is a highly organised body that agitates to obstruct and prevent individual women seeking legal terminations.  Participants book specific timeslots over its website at the locations targeted.  There’s a code of conduct for participants, none of which prohibits displaying distressing images, or photographing or filming attendees (all of which have happened previously at 40 Day vigils in the UK).  Last week members of the anti-abortion group, Abort67, were found not guilty of public order offences for displaying large images of aborted foetuses and approaching women entering a clinic in Brighton.   One complainant had apparently been raped; another was attending following a miscarriage.
"I disagree your view, but defend your right to say it"
Most of us would doubtless subscribe broadly to the old line (misattributed to Voltaire) that we might disagree with someone’s view, but defend their right to say it.  This suggests an acceptance that freedom of speech should be an absolute, unlimited right.  In fact, almost everywhere the right is qualified, and for very good reason.   In the US, the First Amendment is limited by a series of cases such as Schenck v US (the famous quote about free speech not protecting falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing panic).  In Europe, Article 10(2) of the ECHR specifically sets out permissible limitations on freedom of expression.  We can, and should, argue about the parameters: draw the precise line where you will on the incitement of violence, hate speech, child pornography etc.  It is about balancing free speech with other values and rights society wishes to defend.
A great quote, even if he didn't actually say it
What is often missing, however, is an understanding that the context is sometimes as relevant as the words themselves.   I personally have no problem with “Racist Tram Woman” expressing her views about immigration on a YouTube video.  I’d probably listen for a bit, switch off and feel pity that someone has so much hatred.  No harm done: she is entitled to her views and I chose to listen.  However, I do have an issue when the same words are directed at specific people on public transport.  Their right not to feel threatened, to a quiet journey, and to not be racially abused in front of their children conflicts with her right to express her views.  The place and context are highly relevant.  Similarly, shout “fire” at me in a soggy English field and I’d look round and not be alarmed, but in a crowded room I can well see why your right should be restricted. 
Fortunately most people realise that just because a right exists, doesn't mean it is must be exercised it in all contexts at all times.  I don’t need the law to dictate to me that I shouldn’t make cancer jokes to someone whose mother died of cancer.  I inherently see the harm in that, even if I “have the right” to do so.  Like most people in society, I try to exercise my rights mindful of others.
The Problem of Westboro Church
The problem comes when a minority of people use their speech to deliberately conflict with other people’s rights.  Westboro Baptist Church is famous for picketing soldiers’ funerals with “God Hates Fags” signs.  They believe God is punishing America by the deaths for its “gay tolerance”.  This led in August to President Obama’s signing a federal law that prohibited protests near military funerals.  A Californian law was also signed this week that prevents protests within 300 feet of all funerals (Aids victims’ families have also been targeted).   
"Christian love"?  Still, it's their right to express it
Free speech is the absolute cornerstone of a healthy, democratic society and restrictions on it must be limited and for good reason.  The above laws attempt to balance First Amendment rights with the rights of others to privacy and dignity, in the specific very upsetting context of a funeral.  They permit the Westboro Baptists to express their views, but do not allow them to do so in a particular, limited place.
Genuine Prayer/ Education/ Protest or Targeted Individual Intimidation?
With this example in mind, we return to anti-abortion groups.  I do not agree with 40 Days that a woman may possess “evil demons that must be cast out”, but if they wish to “educate about abortion” on the Internet, on street corners, in newspapers or in their churches, they should feel free.  If they wish to change our abortion laws, they should march, lobby and bring the issue to politicians’ attention.  They could do this far more effectively in Westminster than outside an NHS hospital in Southampton.  If they truly believe that prayer and fasting will bring an end to abortion, they are welcome to organise vigils entirely free of food in any number of venues.  They presumably need not be outside clinics for an omnipresent God to hear them.
Abort 67 protestors/ "educators"
They are, of course, however highly disingenuous about their intentions.  They are groups that seek to bring about the end of abortion by influencing individuals in the difficult and sometimes deeply traumatic position of an unwanted pregnancy.   They protest in front of clinics.  It is hard to view their actions as not being direct intimidation. Their aims are quite transparent: to scare women off from having terminations and to close down services offering them.
We are faced again with a balancing act.  There’s the wider social interest in protecting free speech, and the two sets of individual conflicting rights: the protestors who want to impose their personal values; and the rights of potentially vulnerable women to have privacy, access entirely legal services, and not feel threatened.  A law that moves their vigils away from the doors of clinics undoubtedly involves a limited restriction on free speech.  The protestors are still free to express their views, just not in a specific context, where it is likely to deliberately impinge on the rights of others.  As such I’m clear where the balance rests for me, just as I’m clear that US-style anti-abortion tactics are here to stay in this country.

[The text of this by me first appeared on the New Statesman website on 22 September 2012]

Saturday, 22 September 2012


GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER: Ernesto Olivares Busto

How stunning is this! This season's first amazing northern lights played and swayed in the skies over Reykjavik last week, granting a stunning display of plasmic green for anyone who bothered to look up into the midnight heavens.

The key elements of an auroral show - crisp weather, ionized solar wind and darkness (not available in the summer months, remember) - plus the gorgeous lighting of downtown Smoke City came together beautifully for Ernesto and his camera. Be sure to keep an eye out for them this weekend because, as puts it, "The onset of northern autumn means it's aurora season. For reasons researchers don't fully understand, equinoxes are the best times to see Northern Lights," and today is the Autumn Equinox. In addition, a nice flow of solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field this weekend.

Ernesto is the caretaker of Our House, an award-winning hostel that I mentioned in a previous post. He takes consistently amazing photos of his adopted city, many of them from the balcony of the hostel. Go visit his Facebook Page, Rvk Pics, to see more of his great photography.

So, Gleðilega Haustjafndægur, everyone! May you find lovely balance in your life!!

Snow Skin Mooncakes for sale

I am selling homemade snow skin mooncakes. 1 box consist of four mooncakes. 1 box cost RM56.

My mooncakes comes with a choice of filling:
1) Lotus
2) White lotus
3) Yam
4) Red bean

Free delivery. To order, send me an email to or sms or whatsapp your order(s) to 0122002169.
Tell me:
1) quantity ( as in number of boxes)
2) type of fillings
3) Full Name
4) Contact number
5) Address for delivery
6) Date of delivery

Since It is freshly baked, so special request such as lesser sugar or additional Almond bits for your mooncakes is possible.
Orders need to be sent in at least two days before the delivery date.

Any further inquiries, please email
Also, for more Obine treats for parties or tea or functions, visit

Friday, 21 September 2012

Humour #2: He is famous

Mc Donald's Samurai Burger

Another burger to add to my recommended BURGER LIST!

"Let your tastebuds bow down to the Samurai Burger. A formidable mix of juicy quarater pounder beef patty, dipped in sweet teriyaki, topped with special sauce, flanked with crunchy lettuce and golden toasted bun. It's simply a mouth-watering force!"

Mc Donald's new Samurai Burger was pretty good! I did not have much expectation of it, but it surprised me. I opened the burger box and saw a pretty decent size burger. When i took one bite, it was actually very delicious that a second and third bite was not vey far away. I liked the sauce that was drenched onto the burger pattt. Also, the burger patty was not dry and it was tender to my liking. For drinks, we had a choice of carbonated drink or a drink called Samurai Fizzy. I chose Samurai fizzy which was actually a mixture of ribena and sprite. It was good too!!

Price for samurai set:
Regular set: rm11.15 ( includes tax)
Large set: rm12.45

So should order large since the price difference isnt that big. Also, there is a spicy shaker powder for fries provided if you order the large set.

Try it... Its really good!

My burger experience rankings. Click on links to read more:
Sixth place: Chilli's Cheeseburger, KLCC/Midvalley

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Humour #1: The Apple

If you can't afford an Apple laptop, herr is the next best thing:

McDonald's Samurai Beef Burger

Update: I tried the burger, blogged about it and I loved the burger!! Click to read

Samurai Beef Burger - Another burger to try!
I read somewhere that it was sold in McDonalds long long time ago and it was the most delicious burger.... Gotta try it to find out! It is for a limited time only

My burger experience rankings. Click on links to read more:
Sixth place: Chilli's Cheeseburger, KLCC/Midvalley

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Village Park @ Damansara Uptown and Dessert @ Tong Pak Fu

My friends and I met up for lunch yesterday at Village Park at Damansara Uptown. I was there at around 11.30am and parking, I must say, was a nightmare. Illegally parked cars everywhere due to lack of parking spaces. It was also the time of the day where the policemen were giving out summons to those cars.

Village Park was famous for their nasi lemak. I had nasi lemak with ayam goreng which cost RM8.30. It was  more on the pricey side. Anyway, the nasi lemak was not the super spicy kind of sambal and the rice was normal... As for the fried chicken, I liked it because the chicken was not dry nor tough. Pretty good.

Would I go there again? Due to the parking problems, I would not suggest to makan there. Stress only when eating thinking of getting a summon. The food was ok la. Nothing to rave about....

After that, we went to Paradigm mall for dessert at Tong Pak Fu. It was my first time there eventhough I have seen it around a lot. I had the green tea shaved ice. It was good. Not too sweet. I didn't like the jelly or balls that came with it though. Now this place was something different and worth another visit.

Had a great time catching up with my friends :)

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Wow, of late my blog readers has been increasing till I have 6000 plus readers a month! It is nothing compared to those famous bloggers who have probably 6000 readers A DAY!!!

Anyway, please click on my advertisements on the top of the my page, the two advertisements on the right side and the two advertisements after every blog post...Click everytime
You visit ok so i can get more
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I Have no money to invest in shares. No money to get a house yet... So, i can consider my blog as my small investment :)

Kaw Kaw Burger (again) at Puchong Utama

Again, I went for Kaw Kaw burger with friends. The queue might be long, but it did not take very long for our orders to be served. We were so hungry before and so satisfied after devouring the juicy thick burger :) It was also great to catch up with friends whatmore on the eve of my birthday...

Google map to the Kaw Kaw Burger location at Puchong Utama.

My burger experience rankings. Click on links to read more:
Sixth place: Chilli's Cheeseburger, KLCC/Midvalley

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Topshop event at KLCC

I went to Topshop's event at KLCC today. I received my goodie bag and met Joyce, the blogger for It just feels awkward to talk to bloggers because I know so much about them because I read their blogs and then when we meet face to face, reality hits that I do not really know them and I get stuck making conversation as there feels like there is an imaginary boundary... If u get what i mean :)