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Monday, November 30, 2009

Fire Safety

I am getting paranoid. Been so since last week when I attended a talk on fire safety.

I never given this subject much thought until this talk. Firstly, look at the statistics. There were 2799 fire in Singapore between January to June this year. Of these, 401 were household fire which made it an average of 2 household fire per day. I am totally surprised. And I thought that staying in apartments is safer but this is apparently not so.

Also, I thought like many others that in the event of a electrical overload, the safety circuit breaker will trip and cut off power supply thus preventing a fire. Boy am I wrong! Just look at this video of the burning Christmas tree. Apart from the speed in which the fire spread, look at the light on the right. It continued to light up until the fire reached it!

So I did an audit of the various hazardous areas around the house.

First, the TV wall. There is only 1 wall socket. From there, I have one extension wire which have another extension wire. Altogether, from 1 wall socket, it branched out to 6 outlets powering 7 devices; the tv, an amplifier (yeah I am that old school), a DVD, a cable set-top, a Xbox, a fan and 1 spare for charging batteries. Okay at least nowadays the Xbox is gathering dust and not plug in.

Another area is the opposite wall where 1 wall socket leads to an extension wire with 5 outlets juicing up the Princess's computer, monitor and printer and the wireless telephone with 1 spare outlet. But here most of the power points are switched off at night.

More terrible is the other wall where I have 2 fish tanks. There 1 wall socket branched out to a 3 ways which branched out to 2 separate wires making a total of 9. These power 2 lights for the fish tanks and 3 filters and 2 air pumps. Except for the lights, the rest runs continuously and is never switched off.

But even more scary than all these is the fact that in the past months, there have been 3 instances when somebody in the house forgot to turn off the gas stove. Once it got so bad that it caught the attention of an opposite neighbour who had to rush over.

I have fire insurance for the house but what is the point of insurance if there are casualties? Money can never replace life. Okay did the minimum that can be done for the time being. Went out and bought 3 fire extinguishers and a smoke detector. And a note to everybody to check and make sure all unused appliances are switched off at the mains rather than just leave on standby mode. Hopefully that will be enough.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

32 Degrees Fahrenheit

Suaku Uncle finally knows what is shaved ice or at the shop they call it Snow flakes ice.

Basically it is ice that is not crushed but 'shaven' so that the texture is very fine. The ice are flavoured and is topped with topping of choices.

Verdict - damn shiok especially in our hot weather.

Milk with strawberries and mangoes

Milk with Cococrunch

Chocolate with orea and nuts

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Learning Chinese

It takes a great man to admit his mistakes and it takes an even greater man to admit his mistakes to the whole world but unfortunately for, I dare say a fair bit of us at the tail end of the baby boomer generation, it is a bit too little too late.

I am referring of course to our elder statesman admission of his mistakes in pushing through the method of teaching Chinese in the seventies to the nineties. Especially galling is the insistence on a pass in Chinese before the student can move on to the next higher level of education. I know of many people and heard of even more bright students who did well in every subject except Chinese and had to go overseas to further their studies. But these are the lucky one whose parents can afford to send them overseas. What about the countless other not so well off students who had to cease their studies because of some silly policy?

My personal experience with Chinese had been so bad that to this day I cannot for the life of me remember the name of a single Chinese teacher who had taught me from my primary school days till JC. The only name I can remember? Miss 懂 不懂 caused that was how this particular teacher ended every other sentence. One other thing I remember was how this particular teacher will make the student stand up in class and read out loud from the text book and whenever the student stumbled or mispronounced a word, she will sarcastically correct it while the rest of the class snickered at the poor reader standing there in humiliation. And more often than not, she loves to pick only a selected few - me being one of the unlucky one. Maybe she enjoyed the laughter I gave to the class or maybe she was genuinely trying to help the weaker students, I will never know.

I managed by the grace of God to scrap through my O level and went on to JC but faltered at that level thus ending my studies for good. To this day, I get by with I hope passable conversational Chinese but I can't read and I can't write (at least not the cheem words) Chinese and have to rely on colleagues for translation whenever I need to read or translate some Chinese stuff.

So let's know the educators out there can now do something so that the current and future students will indeed enjoy learning Chinese.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Those Pesky Fund Raiser

Don't you hate it when you get those annoying cold calls from credit cards, banks and insurance. What can be worse than that? Bladdy irritating people stopping you on the street to cold sell!

Those who works around Tanjong Pagar MRT area would have spotted these people hanging around the passage way stopping the people walking by. Just the other day while on the way home, I was stopped by 3 of them - one after another!

They are not selling credit cards or insurance but raising funds for some charity! The first time I encountered them was I think 2 years ago when they were raising funds for Club Rainbow. Nowadays they appear to be raising funds for the Heart or Cancer Foundation. So what so bad about that? They will follow you as you walk - doing their sales pitch. They will start off by saying they are not selling anything but then they will launch into their pitch and ask you to donate to the cause they are raising fund for. They don't take no for an answer and they not after your cash donation. What they want is your credit card! These people want the donor to sign instalment donation plan and boy are they pushy. They will talked and talked and harassed you following you all the way to the escalator.

I know they are just doing their job but it is so irritating! With cold calls, you can just put down the phone on them, be rude to them, scold them but how to be rude to a real person?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Don't be Rich

"Those people are too lazy to walk on the road"

"I don't understand why this kind of flooding can take place in this prime residential area"

2 very different comments but 2 which caught my attention in the papers.

The former was a remark by a resident of Upp Thomson Road in response to an accident along the stretch of road where he stayed and the latter was a comment by a motorist who was caught in the flood along Bukit Timah Road.

First, the remarks by the resident. Some background. On 8 November 2009, a couple on their way to church was knocked down by a drunk driver. The lady died and the old man was seriously injured. Read the full story here. In follow up story in the other papers, what transpired was that the old couple was forced to walk on the road as the pavement was blocked by cars belonging to the residents living along the landed properties there. The guy who made the quote above was asked for his view on his car blocking the pavement and whether pedestrian should be allowed to walk unhindered on the pavement and that quote was his reply.

What &**^$ callousness. What arrogrance! Instead of being guilty that he could have inadvertedly caused the death of a person, his attitude just show how little disregard he has for other people's safety.

Now for the 2nd guy, I don't know what was he expecting. Flooding don't occur in prime residentail area? Why? The government has to take special care of people in prime residentail area and don't allow flooding to occur there? Is he implying that it is not okay to have flood in say Bedok or Toa Payoh but not in Bukit Timah or Orchard Rd.

So what's the connection between these 2?

Maybe I am reading too much into 2 seemingly innocuous remarks but it gall me whenever people who have a little bit of wealth flaunt it and think that the whole world should kow tow to them and everybody else beneath their status are 'nobody'. And the problem is, this snobbery and 'richer and higher than thou' attitude seems to be spreading. Just witness the number of cars that parked indiscriminately and illegally. Some how it is almost always one of those luxury cars not the ordinary saloon. And their attitude when told off? Just go to Stomp and see a sampling.

Or how about the Serangoon Garden's protest when it was announced that foreign workers will be housed in the neighbourhood. Do we hear the resident in Jurong complaining? No, of course not who are they to complain. They only stay in HDB flat what!

Ok I gotta a little bit lost here. So what's my point? Don't be rich. Ha ha ha

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Was walking around one of the supermart one day and came across this:
Can you believe it? A whole packet of orange M&M! Yummy!

Friday, November 13, 2009

World Kindness Day

Today is World Kindness Day. So:-

Be kind to your loved ones, families, friends, colleagues and enemy
Be kind to me. Give me your money
Be kind to all animals, big and small
Be kind to me. Give me your money
Give up your seat on the train, bus to somebody who need it more than you
Be kind to me. Give me your money
Hold the door/lift for whoever comes after you
Be kind to me. Give me your money
Return the tray and dishes after your meal at the food centre
Be kind to me. Give me your money
Smile and greet everybody you meet
Be kind to me. Give me your money

That is all.

PS: if my subliminal messages work, be kind to me and give me your money. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tofu Chiffon Cake

This has got to be the most expensive chiffon cake I will ever eat. Read in last week's Urban about this place, Glace at Icon, a patisserie (noticed they don't call atas cakeshop a confectionery or bakery?).

Anyway, since the wifey works nearby, got her to get one to try out. She came back with this small beautiful white little box containing eight small slices of the mango chiffon cake. The price? $10.80 which makes it $1.35 a mouthful. Was it worth the money? Well, with tofu as its main ingredients, I supposed it was something different and justified the high price. The bad new is, you can't taste the tofu. The good new is, you can't taste the tofu. Ha ha I can't imagine eating a true tofu cake - it will probably be very bland and I loves my dessert sweet. But if you can't taste the tofu, then what's the difference between this and the other chiffon cake in the market? Okay, it is rather soft, not too sweet and very light and smooth as tofu(pun intended) so one can eat a lot (in fact I think I can finish the whole thing) without feeling guilty.

Final opinion, I think I stick to Yummy Chiffon or Bengawan Solo's Pandan cake.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Spy on the Train

Was on the train. This young couple was openly cuddling and kissing. Nowadays it so common to witness scene like this.

Only problem with this one was - both were girls! One was the typical sweet young thing and the other what we termed a "butch". But anyway the show they put up was pretty off-putting.

Now I just hope I won't and never get to witness 2 guys making out on the train. The thought of it ..... yucks!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Soya Made Moobs

Jeremy Pivers has been reported in the press that he is swearing off soya milk because it gives him man boobs or moobs for short! Apparently he has discovered that estrogen in the soya milk will cause him to grow breast!

So all the ladies out there who have been spending thousand of $ on bust enhancement programs or surgery, save your money - the soya drink guy is waiting!

And for the guys out there who drinks soya milk every day - you may want to try this out soon!

But on a serious note, there has been a lot of discussions and debates about this subject on the web so I will not go into it but to conclude - if you are crazy enough to drink 12 cups of soya milk a day, you probably deserve the moobs!