Saturday, June 30, 2007

Managing your expectations..

A year ago, i was a small baby in the working force. I was bearly a few months old and eager like a small child asking for sweets, learning what was a one of the most interesting tax and interpreting it with the managers and the directors and showing off my potential.. then the big drop came, GST was postponed and life turned downhill.. yet i stayed on and learned what was then the most grey area tax and life began to be boring.. the team then dwindled in size but yet i stayed of course..

so what about expectations? The minimum requirements to get promoted is a reasonable review from your managers and to work for a period of 1.5 years.. So what about my expectations? I expected more support from the managers, despite my rally to get good grades, i was facing people that stuck to the book of scores, and gave you a crap score if you did something so bad once, but finally agree with you that you deserve a decent score, if i didnt give them trouble.. I was only a month or two away from the 1.5 years..

So if one was to manage their expectations properly, last Thursday should not have been a problem for me, the promotion list was released. But yet the greedy part of my heart and brain said, hey you never know, miracles and surprises happen all the time.. Maybe you might be on the list perhaps? So after a long day at a client office, sneezing away in a room full of dusty files, i switched on the computer and scrolled down the list..and i didnt see my name.. But so what? if i manage my expectations, i would have been happy for the names on there and treat life as normal.. But i wasnt.. I guess i didnt manage my expectations at all.. I was greedy into taking the next step of the ladder.. I didnt want to be at the bottom of the ladder..

Then i came to know my assistant manager also didnt make it, despite her many years and with a strong technical background, because why? her scores didnt make it.. which was ridiculous.. many know that the scoring system is a way for promotion, with the support of the seniors, its really up to them whether they want to promote you.. Its no point arguing over the directors table, if your score didnt make the band.. Sigh, then i heard some more thunder, for another staff that was meant to be promoted, the order was released internally for the managers to give him the "reasonable score" and no otherwise..

At the end of the day, i guess i have to manage my expectations properly, instead of looking at your peers getting promoted and wished you were on the same page as them, some times i guess its good to just step out of the circle and wish them all the best and fingers crossed till the next promotion period in December, if i am there that is..

On the bright side, bonus and increment is bearly a month away, infact July 28th is the day.. I still remember last year, we were given a paltry sum of RM900, because we just joined but we were happy as we didnt have any expectations.. i guess this time around, i better manage it properly, if not my dreams for the DSLR and my golf set can go swimming down the Klang River for all i care..

Ok, i think i feel better, its been eons since i procrastinated on my blog.. It feels kind of good actually.. Well.. for those readers who have managed to read until the last sentence.. Have you ever failed to manage your expectations? How did you feel after that? Did you fare better the next time around?..

Happy weekend people.. i have been abit slow with the reviews and i guess it should all be coming back very soon..

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Somo @ Mont Kiara

Somo is currently one of our first choices when the words "Happy Hour" are being mentioned, especially on a Friday where there is no rain and the weather has been dreadfully hot the whole day. The desire to sip on cold frosty beer controls your mind and before you know it, you are seated outside the main bar ordering your happy hour Tiger beer and you start to point your finger all over the menu as well.. this place serves pretty cheap beer, at RM50++ for 2 jugs and after happy hours, its slightly steeper at RM33-35++ which is still cheaper then most places especially for the ambience..the music is a mix of slow, jazzy and old school music which doesnt drown out your procrastination while you drink more beer..

Another good thing is they serve my favourite cuisine, Japanese which i automatically give plus points for..Strengths include teppanyaki and the yakitori..they do a decent softshell crab maki for only RM12++ and also that takoyaki with a yam twist to it..They also did do an affordable salmon and ikura bowl which is basically sushi rice with salmon sashimi slices and roe for RM32++ although we were warned to order it during the days it comes in for ultimate freshness, if not mistaken its wednesday and another day..aiks! Ok no more trying to sell like a sales man..lets have a look..

The assorted yakitori platter (10 sticks for RM32++ or RM36++ or ala-carte) This platter had alot of weird items like pig fat which was superbly crunchy..i am swallowing my saliva as i type this..bacon with asparagus and assorted chicken and beef cubes as well..

The chicken teppanyaki (RM19++) which was done well..the meat is on the crispy side and the veges are plentiful..makes it a perfect meal for those who wants to cut down on the carbs and replace it with beer..

Assorted tempura (RM28++), i had better so try to avoid this one..

How can we come here without the beer..A 3 litre heineken bottle..the guy is not included by the way..

So this is in Shoplex Mont Kiara, two doors away from Terrace Bakery.. happy hours start from 5-9 and scores a respectable 7.8 out of 10.. recently i heard theres been an influx of young good looking chicks hanging around the area starting from Friday nights..unfortunately its all been heard from and not experienced first hand..Haha so at your own risk.. but definitely value for money place to have some drinks and chat all nite long..

Just Heavenly Grand Opening @ Bukit Damansara

My biological clock is slowly rewinding backwards, after that awesome dinner, lets go back to lunch.. So what did we do during lunch? Well of course visit our favourite cake shop where they store plenty of evil goodies haha.. That beautiful and hot Saturday afternoon was of course "Just Heavenly" opening where we were invited for some miniature goodies and of course a chance to mingle around the floggers..dropping by earlier then expected, we of course popped in to have a coffee and decided to commit some dirty thinking please, people..i am talking about cakes! Cakes and cameras gets along very here you go..presenting some cakes and camwhoring!

Our dear Nigel and Allan, brilliant people with a success story.. Congratulations! To Nigel, the first person to call me a babe on the phone other then my girlfriend and Allan, another very jovial and pleasant fellow to talk to, best of luck in whatever you guys decide to venture and lots of success!
If only all their goodies were so small in size, my pants wouldnt be tight ever so often..

I had no more space to fill up these goodies, unless i doggie bag of course..but it was Max! that night..control myself control myself..

Well prior to that, i present to you more pictures of my other half..

See how cakes can give you that natural high feeling..?

Hazelnut coffee..that came kind of lukewarm..would appreciate something hotter thanks! like my girlfriend perhaps? [She is so going to kill me for writing this]

Well cakes have to camwhore to, and by now this should be all too familiar for you..the Choc Durian..surprising i can now taste the chilli powder aftertaste..kind of peppery and cool..

The Banana Caramel Pie which was just fantastic! The cream was not overly sweet and the tart that was laced with chocolate on the inside then topped with plenty of caramelized bananas..ooh lala...
-The End-
On another note, i wish to procrastinate how painful it was just to upload these pictures on Photobucket, my internet at home just wouldnt want to load the website on..Yesterday i waited for the website to load until i fell asleep at 9pm! And of course waking at 1am wondering what in the world just hit me..Of course that just threw all my plans of studying away..Sigh..Looks like i need to go back home earlier to clock in a few hours for the short quiz this Friday..40 pages to go..on auditing..Meena aka Lyrical Lemongrass..would you like to have a coffee on Friday perhaps? haha..its MCQ..should be a breeze for u..hehe..Ok then..till tommorow!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Max! Kitchen and Wines Part 2: I know what you did with the floggers last Saturday

Benchmarking..what about it? Thats what i usually do when i measure fun.. I always benchmark against one of the rarer moments when we had tons of laugh and fun, whether alcohol or food.. But somehow or rather, i cant define the best moment i had with all these floggers, mainly because every single floggers event has been so memorable, leaving me in stitches and joy eventhough on occasion, i find myself with a hole in my expensive wallet..

So what did we do last Saturday..We had a dinner "party" of 14 including myself and my girlfriend, having dinner with 12 virtually unknown people, some i met twice..but laugh and talk as if we known each other for years, others i know them by their online identity..So who are they?? Lets see, Jason, WMW, Sooyin, Mavis, Paprika and Hunky (Mikhail although i thought it was Mikel), Nigel and Allan, Meena and Bald Eagle, Boo and Splashie Boy and of course us.. Links? I am abit too lazy..there should be all under the exclusive list of blogs that i read..

So what else should i talk about given that i have 20 minutes before i start work at my client's office about a dinner that lasted from 8.00pm all the way to 11.30pm bearing in mind i was the first one to leave..? Tons of laugh and chatting..tons of cam whoring..for the food that is..I was suddenly intimately closer to everyone because of my infamous photo.. i am still waiting to get famous by the way.. One thing though, i went away knowing that i made a bunch of friends that i would love to keep for a very long time to come..and of course i was also brain washed and on the verge of being converted to a dslr camera user, took dummy lessons on photography and yes..finally lets talk about food..i think pictures says a thousand words..and i shall leave you with the long awaited pictures..

Unlimited flow of bread with reduced balsamic vingear and olive oil to stuff our mouths when we were resting it from laughing and talking

A beautiful portobello mushroom salad with okra and cherry tomatoes..

Yabbies..hmm yumm avocados and wrong can one get with these awesome combination? i reckon a few more plates will not deter me from ordering these again (Rm35)
Sea scallops and basically tuna jerky in the beautiful..i realised how useful my phone was..the lighting that it was as if we had a mini studio for food..

The Pepper Crust Rib Eye with mustard sauce..(RM50) tastes as good as it sounds..a virtually perfect combination that you just cant go wrong.. It was perfectly cooked as ordered..medium with no blood spilling out but still reddish inside..

The Two Ducks..Cooked two styles thus the name, we had a tangy and sweet one on the left..and the roasted one on the right..the left one stole the show although with only four thin slices it overpowered the more subtle roasted one on the right..perhaps i could it get it all done up in the style on the left? (RM40)

The champion dish that actually got me to go back to this place twice to order the same dish..The Wagyu Beef Cheeks..i could see WMW and Lyrical Lemongrass just about to tear as they close their eyes and had that "orgasmic" look before they cut another bite and let it melt in their mouths..its that wonderful..only for RM60

The White Chocolate Tart that Meena guarded with her life from cameras and spoons..

Our Chocolate Souffle that felt abit heavy after being enlightened by some professionals..I feel so enlightened..

Another thing i learnt from these bunch of floggers is the appreciation for food, the taste for food instead of gobbling down everything because its easy on the throat and tastes good..The ratings and details? All in part 1..

I am just laughing alone in a meeting room as i upload all these pictures, the memories..hahaha..

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A preview of what the floggers and i did last Saturday..

Firstly, i had a wonderful and splendid time with a bunch of newly made friends..people that i would have never chanced upon if i had never started up this blog..attended an eye opening night @ Sandias and also a priceless night at FBB place.. the feeling is like finding a needle in a haystack.. its just so speechless.. Thanks to all the floggers and non-floggers for their prescence in JHP opening and the dinner at Max! .. And also for the number of tips on how to use my dumb blonde red camera..

So why a preview and not just blog away as i always used to? I realised i exceeded my free bandwidth that flickr just gave me..So thats another couple of days before i can blog about the weekend..

So with that i show you one of the best photos i took ever in my life..

The tuna served at Max! Kitchen..

I would also like to use this opportunity to thank my readers out there in advance for helping me achieve another milestone.. '10000' page loads (i would like to cheat myself and say visitors instead) but without you guys, i probably would have gone crazy blogging to mid-air just like the poor fellows @ Tanjung Rambutan..

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lai Po Heen @ Mandarin Oriental KLCC

I must have been talking about this place since day 1 of writing this blog, and i guess i finally have the chance to review it..and i must say almost..firstly, i didnt bring my camera and secondly my phone was about to die on me..i guess it didnt fail me because before i left, i took a picture of the entrance..albeit abit blur.. So welcome to Lai Po Heen , a favourite dim sum place for our family eventhough it is halal and they actually steam as you order..

What catches my attention is the see through windows of the kitchen, as you see the chefs in action over a plate of raddish cake or a plate of wholesome noodles.. you know the quality is rest assured and the chefs are all up to standard..

So as always dim sum that are normally done Halal style tends to lack the oomph as pork is traditionally a very common ingredient among the famous kind of dim sum like siu mai and of course, char siu bao..furthermore they are very innovative as some of their dim sum are rotated monthly or bi monthly with new fusion how did the dim sum fare this time around?..

First up, the siu mai..when you bite into actually feels like it doesnt want to be known as a siu feels and tastes rather like yu mai (fish ball)..but with a prawn kick into it..maybe its because of the tight boundaries..the colourful contrast between the green skin and the yellow skin tries to make a home run with this basket but it does indeed lacks the take this dish with the expectation of not eating a siu mai but rather a new dish..

By knowing their boundaries, this place tends to offer prawn based dim sum for example the scallop dumpling (tai chi gao)..A nice decent piece of scallop with a prawn base wrapped in a light chewy skin..this was a taste of freshness from the sea..very well done..

Next dim sum to go under scrutiny is another favourite dim sum item for the whole world, the prawn dumpling (har kau) which was once again brilliantly done..just wonderful to taste succulent prawns virtually non stop, basket after basket

Chee Cheong Fun is again another pioneer Hong Kong dim sum dish..which was once again very well done.. the skin was not overly thick and did not stuff you up unnecessarily..

Now everyone must be thinking by now..let me out of my misery and show me no more..and indeed i thought why not? Keep the suspense..after all i have way too many dim sum to i thought this is going to be a two part post..with the second half tommorow.. so more pictures and details tommorow..stay tuned..

I am evil..wahaha! promised..its now day 2..and i shall resume this post..

Continuing with steamed dim sum, here we have a vegetarian dish..with mock meat, carrots and possibly turnips..very refreshing from the overdose of prawns..

By showing off their bravery and their fusion skills, unagi was perfected with cod fish in these wonderful and surprising form of a steamed was plain delightful..

Next up, we had dumplings served with a tangy szechuan sauce..which was kicked up a notch with the slight spicyness.. it was again very refreshing as most dumplings would have been served with a double boil soup..

The fried raddish cake was so so, mainly because the dish was simple..abit too simple..fried with egg, bean sprout and raddish cake.. if there was a prawn or would have heighten the dish..

The onion cake was one of the seasonal items in Lai Po Heen, which was a decent effort from them..i still prefer the artistic version that they did in Prince Hotel

The lotus paste sesame ball.. This was very oily aftertaste..but it lacked the oomph compares to those with a sesame paste filling for some reason..bear in mind this is the original flavour..

The Mango Prawn Roll..( i guess) can clearly see the juicy sweet mango piece together with the bouncy prawns..a wonderful combination..

As we come to a close of an influx of dim sum photos.. my eyes spotted across one of their current promotions, the Nanjing cuisine.. they have specially flew the chefs from China and i wasnt about to miss out on their i quickly sampled two dishes from them..

The meat buns..this was a very unique presentation as the claypot was decently hot as you can hear the sizzle from the meat buns.. cooked to perfection..unfortunately the filling lacked the oomph compared to the ones i had in Macau way back then.. mainly because of the "pork" factor?

Lastly, the stir fry rice flour.. ( i reckon ) cooked with some seafood in a dry style..the pieces of chewy flour was simple taste to it was so homely and is life..if not what is life??

Being someone who loves dim sum and his "pork".. this place still scores a very highly commendable 8.8 out of 10..i love this place for day one with their good service and friendly waiters and waitresses..

Lai Po Heen
Mandarin Oriental
Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +60 (3) 2179 8885

The online menu

Ok..a finally phew..that was a very long review and it has been sometime since i did one like that..hope you guys enjoyed the suspense and the photos..drool on!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chilis @ Mid Valley

There are two places that i normally will go to for steaks..i am referring to the US of A franchises, TGIF or Chillis.. Honestly, i find that both of them are virtually similar but when it comes to steak, TGIF offers more varieties where as Chillis stick to their Ribeye and their NY Strip Steak done in one style only.. Other then that..both of them have identical appetizers and similar desserts..Last i heard there are still very very hot rivals..But to me? You give me good steak, i eat and depending if its good, i come back..simple theory..and oh yeah..huge servings keeps me coming back too!

I talked about steak and therefore i order the steak..A nice big piece of Rib Eye cooked Medium.. I know people will be asking me why not Medium Rare (or Raw) for that matter..but i ask you why not Medium? Anyways, Medium is just fine..(RM49++ or USD 14) ..its steep but well definitely fill up my stomach to the brim! No appetizers and desserts required..A meal fit for the King..

Upon cutting into does look abit Medium Rare..maybe i got lucky..although the blood sort of dominated the black pepper sauce they gave me, in colour..

Another house speciality, is the country fried chicken..A common mistake is calling it chicken fried chicken..well thats what i use to call it last time..the crispy batter soaked with the creamy salty sauce and the chunky mash potatoes..if you dont call this comfort food..i dont know what is..(RM25++ or USD 7)

Then you have their sandwiches or burgers.. Here you have a chicken something sandwich..cant remember..lots of cheese and tomatoes..and tons of fries..another artery clogging meal..ouch (RM20++ or USD 6)

Then you have a new comer, a dish that tries to lure in some more asian fans..a firecracker fish fillet that is marinated and sauced with a sauce that tastes like your bottled thai chilli sauce..(RM20++ or USD 6)

The fact is this place serves enormous amounts of food in one serving..and i am pretty sure this aint your so call one proper portion or recommended portion a meal.. So avoid ordering a main meal a person, and you probably be fortunate enough to try some appetizers and the heavenly chocolate cake..So there you go..a famous franchise..a satisfying meal..less money in your wallet..and a good solid score of 7.8 out of 10 (minus marks for being too salty, or is it me being too healthy?)

This time around i dont have the address nor phone numbers..its at Mid Valley..if you dont know where that might as well not eat it..Available at almost all the big shopping centre like KLCC and etc..

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nippon Tei @ KLCC

Looking for Japanese food in KLCC? Well, look no further because there is honestly one decent restaurant out of the lot. Sushi King and Genki Sushi do not deserve to fall under the Japanese food category for its machine made rice balls topped with thinly cold slices of fish and sells it as sushi, so the only real choice you have is Nippon Tei which is situated next to Genki Sushi ironically..

Based on my taste buds, quality seemed to have dropped since the first time i visited which was almost 3-4 years ago.. Although it still manages from time to time, satisfy my cravings.. so after our extraordinary dinner at Restaurant 52, Semenyih , we did our grocery shopping at KLCC, and decided to pop over for a small snack.. lets see how it went..

Starting off with a rainbow roll, topped with salmon, tuna and prawns randomly on a maki which has the artificial crabmeat as a filling..the colour of the fish was abit dismal but i still respect how it was displayed so beautifully..(RM20++)

There a few classic dish that basically represents Japanese cuisine, and i find that one of them that i rarely fail to order is the adegashi tofu which is a light battered tofu served with a soya sauce base with raddish then topped off with seaweed (RM10++).. This dish often tests how skilled the chef is at frying the tofu because the tofu has to remain smooth and retains the succulent texture..Yeah yeah..listen to me talk cock..I know i look like i gobble everything down but once in a while i do savour my food the proper way..

Another snack we ordered was the bittergourd which was cooked "live".. the hot pot is heated up..egg and oil is thrown in..cooked then the cooked bittergourd thrown in for a stir..the final touchup is the alive bonito flakes that waves about due to the heat of the ingredients..(RM18++)

So voila! A simple snack at a Japanese restaurant, still the only cuisine i think that you can order serious snacks without stuffing yourself and its healthy enough for you to go again..haha..

Lot 426/427 Level 4 Suria KLCC, KLCC, KL, 50888
Tel: 603-21614176

I reckon it stills deserve a 7.5 out of 10..for the sake of old times haha..

I understand that there a few readers from the US of A.. and i will take that in mind next time with the prices..just have to start reading the forex and whipping out a calculator before i do my next post..

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Home Cooked Food @ Taman Midah, Cheras

As a food connoisseur, you cant just talk the got the walk the walk..shit did i get it correct? basically you cant just criticize people got to know why it it sucks..what sucks.. So how do you do that? You got to cook the food and not just eat the food..

As a previous life, i know that it has to be something to do with food, thats why i am so absorbed into being i shall open your eyes and let you guys see what i cooked..It all happened last week, when my girlfriend asked me to take away food for the two of us when she drops by from class last Saturday evening..but being in Cheras the land of lots of good food that i am ignorant of, i decided to hop over to the nearest supermarket and started to picture the following dish: A duo of fish served over a spaghetti of asparagus and mushroom oglio style and a bed of wafu pork salad.. Sounds italian or very class?.. The result?..

Not exactly what you will get in a 5 star restaurant, but it was pretty good after all..marinated salmon and dory fish with miso paste, teriyaki sauce and sugar... spagehetti was cooked with olive oil, garlic, mushrooms and asparagus and at the last 30 seconds drop a slice of cheese..the salad was even easier.. prepacked..cut up some boil eggs and pan fry some sukiyaki sliced pork with whatever marinade you can get hold off, and drizzle some bottled wafu sauce.. Voila.. Easy aint? The result..a very happy girlfriend (i hope)...

There was no accidents of vomiting or constant visits to the toilet..Just a very sleepy me at the end of the meal..And oh yeah, i am not open for business...A self praise rating of 8 out of 10..wahahaha..

PS: To the most under-rated person in the world..Dads..Happy Fathers Day!.. Just a short dad has finally mastered the skill of surfing the net and hes constantly scrutinizing my blog..and your blogs too!..Faster wish my father, happy fathers day also ok!..Hes watching..I know its abit too late..but theres still one and the half hour to go..

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just a short thank you

If you guys havent noticed the banner at the top for almost a week, man you are either damn bloody greedy and impatient to scroll down to drool or you must be almost blind.. Thanks to Kenny Mah for creating a beautiful banner consisting some of my recent food adventures..! Thumbs up for giving me the first step to a more professional look to my blog..Thats if you are reading my blog, because i know you have been back blogging but i dont think i have seen you around recently..hehe..

On a separate note, a few of my colleagues plan to head down to Somo, Mont Kiara for a happy hour session which will hopefully spark off ideas for our alter ego blog that will be coming very soon..very soon i promise..thats if we dont get too drunk of course..

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Restaurant 52 @ Semenyih

Located in a house numbered 52, this place is actually a hidden gem since the millenium.. Being creative souls, that was how their restaurant was named, after their house number.. This is a no frill place where you can get dirt cheap food with huge portions, when i mean dirt cheap, it is dirt cheap.. If you have a copy of their name card, the speciality dishes are printed at the back, and the list is enormous, so since it was only the four of us, we only managed 7 dishes..well 8 since we had 2 fishes!..Yes you heard me correct, thankfully we asked for small portions so for the sake of this review, i get to take more photos..hehe..Now lets take a look..

Starting off with their Sang Har Mee.. The prawns used are of a small size and its the way it is..People normally say the way to taste a good dish, is the taste the "wok hei" meaning the heat of the wok..which to be honest , i cant taste or distinguish..until i tasted their delicious noodles..absolute gorgeous..

Their Stout Ribs is another delight..sticky dark sauce with a whiff of is fiery hot in make sure you blow before you swallow..(no pun intended)..We are off to a great start..

Shun Pun Zi which is meant to be small little yam balls? fried together with dried cuttlefish, minced pork and mushrooms..delightful little carb dish for those who doesnt want rice..If only it was abit more chewy..

Lai Yow (Butter) Sotong was another choice well made..the delicious egg shreds and the crunchy sotong is definitely a good snack to go with beer..just that we had this at lunch so beer was abit too early..

The Yao Wat Kam Foong.. What looked like a steam fish turned out to be a shocker.. We knew it was meant to be something different but could not taste it out, what we thought was a fried and then steam fish turns out to be a very creative method that i only heard of only that day.. The oil is boiled..then the fire is off..then the fish is put in until its cooked..the skin remains as if its steamed and the meat is succulent..topped with birds eye chilli, ginger and garlic with soya sauce.. Oolala..

This is not the same fish but another fish since we didnt get enough of it..Wahaha..such gluttons..

When i heard salt and pepper, my ears perked up and my mouth watered, it has been way too long since my australian days that i tasted good salt and pepper..this chicken wings cooked that way was one of the best i ever tasted..although abit too salty since the salt stuck on to the chicken wings..

To finish it off, a fan shee yip (potato leaves) cooked with fu you (fermented bean paste?) which was another simple dish well done..

Now the price of all these dishes, bear in mind 2 fishys..costs RM100.50 only..yes you heard me right..Only RM100.50 only..which will bearly cover coffee and cakes in Starbucks or Coffee Bean or a decent meal in a Char Chan Teng (HK coffeeshop)..The catch? It is in Semenyih, and the name card doesnt have an address! Haha..until i googled and this is what i found:

Restoran 52
52 Jalan Sungai Lalang
Semenyih Negeri Sembilan
Tel: 87238733 or 0126439892
Opened for Lunch (11.30-3pm) and Dinner (6-10.30 pm)
Closed on MONDAYS

A highly rated 9 out of 10.. since the only catch is the slight drive you will have to make..