Thursday, 28 May 2009

A mother's day advert

Have you noticed this mothers' day advert? When I first saw it I kind of found it cool. It reminded me of the photo shoots from America's Next Top Model where the top model wannabes had to adopt poses which suited the "haute couture" standard.

And then eventually my opinions became divided about this poster.

Why depict a zombie-like posh mom (who clearly does not seem to be happy with the gifts she has just received) for a mother's day advert?

And have you noticed the expression of the children? The girl in the front is okay, but look at the boy at the back, he seems to be totally unhappy, with a blank expression and handing the gift in blind servitude.

I don't know what kind of message they are trying to pass with this advertising campaign but if it involves mothers who do not show any reactions to the gift they receive and children behaving like zombies, I'd better keep out of this. Haha!

Even though the concept of this advertising is original and it changes from the regular "happy-family" adverts, I don't think it suits the whole mother's day spirit.

Ah anyway dudettes and dudes and my posh aliens, what do you think about this?

P.S: I haven't yet bought a gift for my mother! Is it too late? :S

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Any given Wednesday

Today I had breakfast in the garden. It was not too cold outside and my tea was quite hot. Breakfast required no preparation; I only had to heat up a "feuillete" and toss some biscuits in a plate. Not a really healthy breakfast I grant you, but then it's the holidays right?

Then I cycled for an hour or so while watching Cuisine TV. Jamie Oliver's Happy Days Tour was airing. I had missed his shows during this past semester and now I'm making sure to catch up.

In this picture: Noushie on the cycle.

After a quick lunch and a shower I set out to meet my sister at Goodlands for some shopping. We shopped a lot but we also brought back something unexpected: a mocha cake. :D

A mocha cake slice

The cake was not bad, better than what I expected. It really had a slight coffee taste to it. But I'm not gonna try another slice anytime soon(at least I'll try not to :p) as this past week has been so filled to the brim with cakes and pastries.

On Saturday Jev brought a donut for me before we went for Marley and me.

On Monday my sister and I had lunch at Pizza Hut Caudan and we both got a free brownie.

All these are way too much pastry for a week but I sure had a great time with them except for the Pizza Hut brownie which was a little dry but the ice-cream was not bad.

Ah! Anyway, so much for my pastry week dudettes and dudes and my pastry-loving aliens. I'm off to some veggies slicing. See ya'll!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Vinivi's milk round

Yesterday I attended a presentation from the guys of Vinivi to students at the University of Mauritius regarding the company's structure and IT job prospects in the organisation.

The guys doing the presentation were Gilles Granger, the founder of Vinivi and Jevin O. Sewaruth, developer, who has joined the organisation less than 1 year ago.

Gilles Granger started by talking about Vinivi, which is a startup, having been founded in 2006 by himself along with Jean Francois Topige. The company is currently working with 85% of French on-line travel agencies and the website holds the 2nd most significant collection of hotel videos in the world.

Presently, Vinivi has an employee count of 14 and the IT crew is recruiting up to 2 new members. Potential candidates for the job, as per Gilles Granger, should be "geeks", not what is derogatorily said about geeks but rather those having a passion for programming, and more specifically for stuff like .Net, SQL, Ajax, Javascript and API, among others.

As a leader of the organisation, Gilles Granger seems to be very motivating and inspiring, placing an emphasis on the job requirements and profile of future employees right from the beginning. He also stated that past experiences of employees is of little interest to the organisation, it is more driven by the potential of its people and what they can accomplish in the future.

Moreover, Vinivi is a flexible organisation, having very little hierarchy. Being small in terms of employees and flexible implies that it can easily adapt to changes in business situations. These also favour communication as well as team work and encourage employees at being pro-active and good decision-makers.

On my part, I particularly liked Vinivi's dress code, which is casual wear and which says a lot on the organisation's culture. :D

Gilles Granger surrounded by inquisitive students after the presentation

As for Jevin, he talked briefly on the projects he has worked on since joining Vinivi and about what his job consists of. He also replied to a few questions, like what Panoramio is about, for instance. Damn! I did not know about panoramio before yesterday.

Anyway, I was quite proud of him, after knowing about the stuff he did, even though I barely understood most of it.

On the overall, I really enjoyed the casual tone of the presentation, which, dabbed with a spontaneous sense of humour of the interlocutors, grabbed the attention of the audience till the end.

I'd like to wish good luck to Vinivi for their recruitment and selection process and if ever you wish know about the vacant job, mail at : emploi AT vinivi DOT com.

That's me ending this post. So take care dudettes and dudes and my aliens. :)

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Marley and Me

Yesterday Jev and I went to Cine Star at Caudan to watch this movie, Marley and me. It had been a pretty long time since we last watched a movie together. The previous one was Invasion, starring Nicole Kidman and it was a real bore for a zombie movie.

Anyway, I was quite skeptical about Marley and me. The movie summary I had read the day before did not convince me and I'm actually into horror and action movies, especially when it comes to watching them in theatres. But then I let Jevin convince me into watching this one and I must say that I was not disappointed.

Spoiler ahead:
Marley and me is the story of a newly-wed journalist couple, John and Jenni Grogan (played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) who adopts a really mischievous labrador, Marley (named after Bob Marley) and who gets really attached to the dog. Marley soon becomes an important member of the family and even inspires most of John Grogan's columns. The dog grows along with the family as 3 children are born. The movie ends with the death of Marley in tragic circumstances.
Needless to say that I cried for most part of the movie. I was touched by how this film depicted the relationship that the couple and their children shared with Marley. It reminded me of my first dog, Brownie and about how she brought us lots of happiness when we found her just after we came to live here several years ago.

Marley and me also consisted of some really good humour and funny situations, especially those involving Marley and his mischiefs which makes it a great family movie.

What made the movie even more lovable to me is the fact that it is based on a real story, that of John Grogan and his family and that Marley had really existed. I feel somewhat nostalgic, it's like in those 2 hours spent watching this movie, I kind of got to know Marley. Damn, I must say that the dog who played Marley was a terribly good actor. :D

Ah! Anyway dudettes and dudes and my nostalgic aliens, I'm off to some hot tea sipping and then to some room cleaning. Take care. :D
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Friday, 22 May 2009

Save the Mauritian geckos.

Today I was going through a local weekly magazine when I came across an article about Mauritian geckos and how those creatures are supposed to be on the path to extinction. No need to say that I was elated at this news. Okay, I'm just kidding. :D

Though I can't make myself agree with any reason why someone would want to save a gecko, I guess its survival is important. It forms part of the fauna of our island and one just can't think of the latter without remembering those lovely colourful parasites, huh?

(a male Phelsuma ornata here in the picture, don't ask me how I know it's a male, a friend gave me the info but I have a feeling it's got something to do with its markings)

So those Mauritian geckos, also known as Phelsumas are being chased out of their territory by a gecko who was brought from Madagascar and who goes by the name of Phelsuma Grandis. The Phelsuma Grandis is mostly green and can reach up to 30 cm long. It differs a great deal from local Phelsuma mostly from the distinguishing characteristic that it is a lot freakier than usual local ones.

So according to the article, if you were to find a Phelsuma Grandis in your garden or anywhere else, do chase it away and make sure it does not reach other local Phelsumas. In theory this is all very interesting, but how do they expect people to do that really? Do you imagine yourself shooing away giant green lizards and protecting local ones? Haha! I don't!

Anyway dudettes and dudes and my spooked aliens, do tell me if you managed to spot a Grandis and how you dealt with it. :D

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Holidays are coming...

Today will go down in my history as the day when Jevin tried to surprise me and I almost spoiled the surprise. So it happened thus: he arrived at Reduit at around noon and my exams were over at half past noon. Yesterday and this morning, he had asked me to call him once my exams were over today. I had absolutely no idea that he would be coming around to meet me at UOM. So I was climbing in the Port Louis bus and at the same time talking to him on the phone when he told me that he's right there at Reduit.

Making a fool of myself, I got down the bus and went to meet him and we headed to the MES cafeteria to celebrate my new-found holidays with a cup of coffee and some cakes! :D

Plus Jevin brought this really mini-mini chocolate bar from Madagascar which made me laugh a lot.

After that, from Reduit we went to Caudan and by that time it was raining heavily in Port Louis (or anywhere else for that matter), and we saw a couple of crows in the parking lot. These birds are really freaky.

I now have to catch up on some sleep dudettes and dudes and my zombie-ed aliens. I'll be in my right mind tomorrow (or maybe the day after tomorrow).

Monday, 18 May 2009

Rust in peace

This afternoon I went down the basement to do something which made me really happy; I've put most of my hand-outs and notes in a doggy bag and went to keep it down there. :D Hehe... Won't be needing them for a long time now. Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m my exams will be over and holidays are coming! Yuhoo!

The visit to the basement made me rediscover some forgotten stuff like my old carom board and some of the board games such as scrabbles, monopoly and des chiffres et des lettres. I remember how I used to really love those games some years ago. I think I'll have to get back to playing with those one of these days.

I also found some really big spider webs. This basement is getting creepier year after year and I must say that I totally love this. :D I'll finally be having my dream spooky basement! Haha! But I gotta find a way to get out of my allergies first if I wanna hang out there often.

Damn this post is getting long. I'll leave you dudettes and dudes and my spooky aliens here. I gotta revise for the last one now. Argh.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Some kind of Sunday

Today I spent some quality time in the garden. The last time I did that was some weeks ago. The thing is, the garden looked so inviting today after last night's rain and with today's sun.

This little garden-hopping gave me the opportunity to play with the pets, though Adou (the white dog), was the only one who was in the mood to play. Kushie (the black dog) was lazily relaxing under the shades of the lime trees and Noushie (the cat) had found himself a sunny place far from the dogs so that he could sleep without being harassed. :D
Right now I'm listening to some Metallica. I'm kind of addicted to Hetfield's voice. Damn I wish I could sing like that. :D Low Man's Lyric almost makes me cry. :$

That said, I'm gonna leave you dudettes and dudes and my Sunday aliens. Revision is waiting for me. Argh!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Something to talk about... has been here since November 2006 and the layout has not changed much since its beginnings except for the tweaks I did on the blogger 565 template.

At first the template looked like this:

After the tweaking and until today it looked like this:

As from today, with a great help from Jev, it now looks like this:

Plus you people can now access the blog by using :D A couple of new stuff have been added here and there to fit the "buzz" spirit and I hope you guys will like it. :p

P.S: The flu is gone thanks to hours of sleep and litres of water. :D

Friday, 15 May 2009

It's a flu

Winter's here. Yeah some moron on the radio announced this today, like we already did not know about it. It seems lame that they should tell people "Hey today, May 15th, winter begins officially!". As if yesterday was not cold enough to be classified as winter. Hell no!

Anyway, I'm in one of those moods people are in when they have red eyes, dried lips and are sneezing as hell. Yeah you've guessed it. I've got the flu. Yet somehow I feel like specifying that I've got the regular flu. Nothing alarming. Nothing piggy. Ha! Can't be clear enough. I don't want my blog quarantined you see. :D

"Le blog oblige", I'll have to post a picture of my tissue papers. Les ames sensibles s'abstenir.

Damn! I hate this flu and I only have to wish you dudettes and dudes and my cold aliens to stay warm and cozy.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

When I was a kid

When I was a kid I wanted to be an archaeologist. I especially wanted to travel to Egypt and explore the country and possibly discover new tombs of some unknown Pharaoh. Everything about Egyptian history used to catch my attention,and I had even started collecting books, magazines and newspaper articles on the subject. I used to watch every single documentary that was remotely related to Egyptian history and bore my parents and friends to death about this passion of mine.

Ah how naive I was at that time to be thinking that I'll be able to truly live this dream of adventure and exploration someday. But then I'll never give up on the hope of one day realising this dream of mine, even if it means just visiting Karnak as a tourist. :D

I felt like writing about this when I did a quiz on Lady Angele's blog. One of the questions there reminded me of my own childhood dreams. :D

And I hope you will feel like sharing your own childhood dreams dudettes and dudes and my dreamy aliens.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Opened on public holidays?

First I would like to say a big Thank You to all those who gave their contributions by voting on the poll I had placed some days ago on this blog. :D

At the time that I am writing this, the question as to whether or not you people think that shops and shopping malls should remain opened full-day on public holidays has received 21 votes out of which 18 people voted Yes and 3 people voted No. Based on these obvious results I am assuming that there is a majority of persons who would have wanted to see shops opened during public holidays and this includes Sundays.


Personally I would have replied Yes to this question.

How many times, on a Sunday or public holiday have you ever wondered how convenient it would be if some shops were opened or there were some places where you could have hung out and relaxed or just done some shopping?

People who work and who do not have the time to do their shopping during week days or Saturdays have to rush on Sundays to get their shoppings done before supermarkets are closed at one in the afternoon. This is very inconvenient and convenience is the key.

Imagine if you could do your shopping at ease on Sundays and anywhere you go, you see all kinds of facilities available to you. Wouldn't this be great? Wouldn't this be convenient? Wouldn't this induce you to spend more?

This higher propensity to spend could imply a probable rise in shop owners' profits.

Without forgetting that it would be a semi-realisation of HRDC's dream of 24 by 7 economic activities in Mauritius.

In fact, I tend to think that with local shops and businesses opened during public holidays, a lot of places would no longer look like deserted no-man's land and this can be good in terms of security of those who are out on the streets on those days.

But then crops the issue of free time and leisure for shopkeepers and salespersons. Alternative shop closing times could be found, such as for example opening up later during weekdays, 'cause I honestly don't think that there are so much customers who do their shoppings early in the morning on week days.

Plus there are days such as Thursdays when shops are closed as from 1 in the afternoon in some regions. This could be maintained to give shop employees their due holidays.

So dudettes and dudes and my aliens, I would like to know your opinion on this. So feel free to give a little of yourself. ;)

Edit (21/05/2009): The poll closed some days ago with these results.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made those huge chocolate chip cookies this morning. :D

Chocolate Chip Cookies
In 2007 I posted an Orange Cookie Recipe. The recipe of this chocolate chip cookie is similar to that of the orange cookie, with the exception that here the chocolate chips replace the fruit peels. I've also included about 25g of almond flakes to the cookies to give a little additional crunchy feel.

I'm now off to taste my cookies and I'll let you guys know how yummy it was. So long dudettes and dudes and my chocoholic aliens!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Gmail Server Error

The Temporary Error (500) had to come just at a time when I was getting used to staying on gmail 24/24. :p

Anyway, here's a screenshot. And yuhoo... my first Gmail down screen.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

13 Days Baby!

In 13 days I'll be so damned free that I wouldn't know what to do in my free time. Well I'll blog, most obviously and I'll go photograph cows 'cause I've been wanting to do that for such a long time, I'll make cookies 'cause the last time I made one was in December and most importantly, I'll sleep. Ah the joys of being able to sleep at will, nothing can beat that.

Anyway, for now it's revision-time and exams. Everybody gotta go through that,huh?

Sunday, 3 May 2009

About my allergies

I am allergic to cats' fur. I learnt the news last year in May. I had been sneezing quite a lot for some months before I decided to see a doctor and that's when I got to know about my allergies. The news really saddened me since I love Noushie, my cat a lot.

But rest assured, we made special arrangements so that both Noushie and I could live in the same home. For instance, Noushie sleeps in the living room and is not allowed in my room and I am not allowed to sit on Noushie's couch. A win-win situation, huh? :D Plus I've got some pills that I take in case I start feeling the allergy symptoms.

So I've been wondering, are you dudettes and dudes allergic to something?
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Friday, 1 May 2009

Labour day political gatherings always make me laugh

Labour day political gatherings always make me laugh. It's like a once-in-a-year privileged moment which my family and I rarely miss watching on TV. It's one of those occasions when you'll see politicians with their little pieces of paper and you wonder why they did not come more prepared. They look so much like newbies on a presentation with those "pense-betes".

Then you'll get to hear the latest gossips on who did what and how awful it was. Some politicians will try to convince you that you made the right choice and not to change it next year for the general elections. Others will try to remind you of the good old days when they were at the head of the country and yet some others will try to gain the sympathy of the population by telling about how they have been betrayed by people they trusted.

Some would work on their speech to add a touch of humour and others will forget some of their text in the middle of their speech and will need to refer to their paper.

Then there's the crowd, those huge mono-coloured crowds, which make me wonder why so many people would want to ruin their public holiday and go attend those meetings. And I've always wondered why politicians fought over the number of people attending their meeting. It's like:
1st politician - I got the hugest crowd.
2nd politician - No I did.
1st politician - You manipulated the image so that your crowd looks bigger.

Huh? But that's the way it goes and it will go on and on every single year. Can't change that, can we? It's part of our culture, which is not a bad thing actually. It provides some free entertainment and discussion topics and we sure as hell need that. :D

Chocolate Cup-Pies

I am not a great cook but I love eating and I guess that's enough to make me want to try out some recipes. This chocolate pie recipe is a personal one and it's simple as hell to make this pie.

All you need is:
For the crust (makes 12 cup-pies):
300 grams of flour
150 grams of unsalted butter cut in small cubes
1 pinch of salt
5 tablespoon of milk

For the filling:
200 grams of dark chocolate
10 cl liquid cream
2 tablespoon of icing sugar
30 grams of butter

To make the crust:
Sift the flour and mix the salt.
Put in the butter.
Rub the flour and the butter together. The mixture should look like moist sand.
Add the 5 tablespoon of milk gradually to bind the mixture together and obtain a dough.

Leave the mixture in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

If you are in a hurry, start spreading the dough with a rolling pin right away.
Dust the pastry board and rolling pin with a little flour before rolling, this will prevent the dough from sticking. :)

Next place the rolled and thinned dough in any pastry tin that you have and prick the dough with a fork before placing it in the oven to be baked at 210 degrees celsius for about 15 minutes on the oven's top shelf. The crust should look golden brown after coming out of the oven.

Mine are a little less tanned. :D

Note: The crust will be baked alone. The filling will be added after baking the crust.

As for the filling, simply chop the chocolate beforehand using a bread-knife and place it in a bowl.
Heat the liquid cream until it starts simmering and pour it over the chocolate. The chocolate will start melting on contact with the hot cream. :D Start mixing and add the sugar and butter immediately.

The chocolate filling is ready, just fill the empty crusts! :p

You might also use canned peaches or apricots as well sliced, grilled almonds to decorate.

After all those "hard work" it was rewarding to taste these chocolate pies. :D A little labour-day treat.
Take care dudettes and dudes and my chocoholic aliens. Have a nice week-end ahead! :p