Thursday, November 30, 2006

IKEA Can't Wait

IKEA Tampines Opening 30 November 2006
Thought I had planned it this weekend, but why wait when I would be passing by one of the places in my weekend list, on my way back home anyway.

So happened that my son called me over the phone while I was just starting my journey back home this evening from work on bus Service 72.

He was with 3 of his cousins swimming at Tampines Swimming Complex and were heading to IKEA Tampines afterwards to have a look-see, and maybe receive door gifts too.

Since I would be passing IKEA Tampines a few stops before my home, I thought I would meet him for dinner there as well. It would be great to see the maga-store than wait for this weekend.

The bus was quite packed than usual, and as I alighted a normally deserted bus stop, there were several people alight with me as well. They were heading to IKEA as well.

IKEA Tampines Opens 30 Nov 2006
Once nearing IKEA, I could see hundreds of people going back while hundreds more were just coming to thyis flagship store. Throngs of cars were lining up at the side of the road queuing to go into the 1,400 free parking spaces it boasted of.

The once quite, Tampines Industrial Wafer factories now buzzing with house-proud families and bargin hunters... and curious people like myself.

The queue to go into IKEA was super long, but thankfully it was a moving line. Fast enough to get into the store and have a look around.

The concept is exactly the same as Alexandra's. The items there were mostly the same ones, with the exceptions of a few innovative items, a signature of IKEA's never-to-fail designs.

I could not help but think of my parents while I was in there. Mom would love to be shopping at IKEA. Maybe I would bring them here instead. After that, we could head down to Pet Safari in Simei to get their hamster cage as well.

IKEA Tampines Self-Service Floor
It would be a great outing on the eastern part of the island for them this Sunday. It is wonderful, just thinking about it!

I picked up a few stuff and did not exceed my $50.00 budget I had mentally prepared myself to spend. I shopped alone. There was no sight of my son, nor his cousins until I was nearly at the checking counter, after about 45 minutes later.

He called again to say they had just arrived. Argh... I had to leave early and buy dinner. One of my nephews was coming to our home after that for a sleep-over.

I had everybody eat Indian Fried Noodles tonight. Now the weekend is open even wider for more activities. Yes!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sister Celtic Surprise!

Bold Eagle From Sister Celtic & Geo
I would like to thank my old-time favourite blogosphere Sis, Sister Celtic from Life On Lopez for sending us a beautiful and majestic framed photo of an American Bald Eagle.

It was no surprise that Sis would do something so nice to someone that is thousands of miles away from her. You have a beautiful soul, a giving spirit, unconditional. Glad we met.

When the package was opened, our son was the most excited as I have told Wifey and him of the special gift you are giving us.

Bold Eagle At Home In Tampines SingaporeHe let me open the package, handed-over the photo to him... he looked at it intensely, with frowned eyebrows, as intense as the eagle in the picture and said "Can I have this picture? It will look good in my room."

"OK, sure." I replied. It will look good in my Gym Room too, though. Anyway...

"Don't take it out of the plastic cover. It will last much longer that way." Wifey said as our son passed us to his room.

"Please thank Sister Celtic for me, Ayah." He requested and went straight to his room to see where it should be hang it

It has found its place purged right on top of his on his favourite collectibles. That is where all his animal figurines and nick-knacks from different countries we have toured so far are placed.

Thank you again Sister Celtic for this beautiful gift. Thank you George for this outstanding photography.

The temperature is dropping... I know, but here's wishing you a great time on Lopez anyways. I know you guys will have stunning white-winter Christmas photos pretty soon.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One Bittersweet Weekend

SITEX 2006 PC Show 30 Nov to 3 Dec 2006
In spite of the impending holocaust that is going to sweep through my workplace, my excitement of the events coming-up this weekend is never dampened.

In fact, as the days grew near to this weekend, there are just too many better things to do than sulk at the inevitable. Sooner or later, but the inevitable.

So, until that black cloud hovers over me, the sun is still shining and no one will rain on my parade this weekend with my son. Yeah, yeah... Wifey has got to work.

There are so many activities planned for this weekend.

Friday night, I will stop by Wifey's shop to put up festive decorations for Christmas sale. It will be a long night as the deco can only start to be put up after business hours.

Saturday morning, we will visit IKEA Tampines to join in their flagship mega store opening celebration. No items to buy, but chances are, there will be lots of temptation to make a purchase from all that sales items.

IKEA Catalogue EntranceSaturday afternoon, my son and I will head down to SITEX 2006 for the latest and real bargain hunting electronic gadgets to be owned. As promised, my son wants his 160GB Harddisk to beef-up his PC while I wish to take a look at DOPOD's range of PDAs to call my own. Just hope I can control myself not to over-spend...

It is like a Black Friday, but a Singapore's male version of it.

Sunday morning, will be the toughest. It is that time again to do spring cleaning for the whole of HamsterVille. Yike! Not a fun task but should be nice enough because I will be doing it with my son.

Sunday afternoon, will be with my parents. Since it already pay day, I will be with them for outings and visit the pet shop since my Dad want to have a bigger cage for their adopted hammies.

It is going to be such a wonderful weekend. I am solid booked for fun with the ones I love!

I love my life... however high and low the points may be thrown at me. As long as I have my health, I promise myself I will make good and full use of the times and opportunities that I am given.

Enjoy your life. There is always hope. There is always salvation when you are with your loved ones and being guided by The Almighty.

Have a great weekend. Have a wonderful life.

Monday, November 27, 2006

In Uncertain Times

Yep! It is that time again.

The workplace does not seem to be at its "pink of health" again.

It is once again, time to exercise to get "lean." Yes, to be a totally new skeleton-like model, all the fat and the meat have to be trimmed away.

So trim away they will. Maybe at the end of the month I will see shocked and pale faces walking out of the door. One of those faces can be me too. I will not be shocked. In fact, it is expected.

The uncertain time is here again, here to stay until this very lean model collapses on the runway from nothing in the body to burn on.

Thursday evening will be the verdict. Maybe I am totally wrong and am totally paranoid about this. I hope, no pray that I am absolutely wrong about this! No, I am not so concern about me, I am more concern about the people under my charge.

I had my former Boss of more than 20 years, left the door alone... no management or HR representative to give him the dignity of seeing him out the door, bidding farewell. He left the main door for the last time alone, it was like the end of a work day. Sigh.

Yes, they had their last lunch with him. After that, nothing matters. I just had to walked him out the door and bid farewell. The least I could do. He deserved the respect of an Operations Manager should receive even for the very last hour.

The Time LeftThis long, drawn-out Survivor series will have to end somehow. It is just a matter of time. Like all Survivor series, everybody will be voted out until an HQ winner will emerge.

If I have to walk the walk of shame, I will not feel shame, I will not feel angry either. In fact, I am grateful that I lasted 15 years with the model. I have honestly done my best in every task I did, the best I know how without hurting anyone along the way.

I am proud I have rendered my services and have honestly received my dues.

I may be jumping the gun here, but I am at peace. Like someone said to me just before he left "... it may be a blessing in disguise, if I don't go, I will never do what I have always wanted to do..."

He is successful and happy where he is now. So, there!

I have good plans that I wish to do with Wifey. The plan can of course wait until an opportune time, but if I have to go, then I will make the opportunity, and do it sooner.

Wish me luck... either way!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Launchpad To Space

Spaceport Singapore Opens In 2009
Sunday afternoon was spent at home watching TV.

After Mega Cities on Discovery Channel, it was Space Launch from Inside by National Geographic.

Gregory Olsen, was the 3rd space tourist after Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth to have gone to space and spent 10 days in orbit, 3 days on the Russian spacecraft Soyuz and 7 days on the International Space Station. He is one lucky man!

At USD20 million, money really goes a long way... far, far away into space in his case.

That is really not far-fetched any longer, visitors who wish to go on a weightlessness flight will need to fork out between USD2,000.00 and USD4,000.00. Children can go on space camps for USD150 to USD200 too. Maybe affordable for my son when its ready.

And those with deeper pockets who may have spare change of about USD100,000.00 stashed away unused, you would want to go on a tour of a lifetime that is out of this world... literally at an altitude of 100 kilometres or 64 miles.

The amazing thing to me is, the routine space tours will be closer to realization in my lifetime as it is closer to home. In fact it is at home, here! The "launchpad" is being built as we speak... right in Singapore.

Spaceport Singapore Visitors Centre
Spaceport Singapore is due to open and be operational by 2009. Being built on the eastern part of the island where Changi International Airport is now. Outstanding!

Imagine a country that is about 680 square kilometres and amongst the 20 smallest in the world, but with such a gigantic ambition where the sky... and beyond is the limit.

In collaboration with US Space Adventure, and funding partially by private sector and by Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Crown Prince of Ras Al-Khaimah from UAE, it costs USD130 million dollars to build.

As for me and the many earth inhabitants, will be a visitor to the Spaceport terminal only. Maybe watch the Explorer M-55X shuttle take to flight. The rest is my limitless imagination.

On earth, I am contented to be touring the globe as most people do. It has been more than a year since my family and I travelled. Maybe it is time to take a break... take off from Changi to Turkey or Cyprus?

Changi International Airport Terminal 3 & Spaceport Singapore Under Construction

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Singapore's Cherry Blossom

Water Apples Bright Pink Flowers
For the past few weeks, I have been awakened early in the morning by squeals from our hamsters' territorial disputes. Things are calm, now that they are all separated in clustered homes in HamsterVille.

Not for long though. Now, for several days I am awakened by chirping of birds outside my bedroom. Not singing their Morning Song, but more like fighting over something. That something happens to be among the trees in full view from my bedroom window.

Suspecting nothing, I know that it has been raining heavily for the past couple of weeks. When the rain finally stops in between for longer, the trees and grasses become alive and green. Budding with shoots of varied shades and now flowering everywhere I see. It is just a nice sight to see all around Singapore. A cheerful sight, indeed.

Water Apples Budding Shoots 16-Nov-06
The trees outside my bedroom window are no different. I watched the trees show off their glorious coloured leaves inter-playing with the vibrant of bright coloured flowers - white and pink against different shades of green background.

Somehow, the birds chirped extra loud this morning and in bigger groups too which got my attention and naturally, my curiosity too by the commotion. The pink flowers were too bright and far too many to ignore either.

I had to investigate and went down today to see for my self what the fuss was all about.

To my surprise, these trees that I have watched growing from little plants out from my bedroom window everyday, are actually Water Apples!

Water Apples With Falling Pink Petals 24-Nov-06
Like green fruits, these water apples are the green species. The Malay name for it is Jambu Bol or literally translated as Bulb Guava, while the bright red one is called Jambu Air or yes, you guessed it... Water Guava.

How nostalgic! I had a red water apple tree growing near the kitchen window when I was living in my village, more than 20 years ago. It was my solace, my quiet place. I climbed it and stayed on it for hours just day dreaming, while the tree swayed me to and fro with the wind. I got to eat the delicious fruit as well too. Magical!

Maybe fate has it that now, these trees are growing right beside our block. Maybe it is meant for my son to enjoy. Only difference is, the trees do not belong to us as it did at the village.

With so many computer games and school activities filling-up my child's time, I am not sure children these days care much about what I cared way back then.

Water Apples & Mynas Feeding 25-Nov-06
Anyway, it looked so much like Japanese Cherry Blossom in Singapore. Just an awesome sight to be under these trees. The colours are stunning! I get to relive my childhood happy times again... and I will get to enjoy the second time around, and season after season when the birds come by to remind me.

Thank you Tampines Town Council for planting the trees. Thank you to The Almighty for the beauty you created.

Water Apples Like Cherry Blossoms In Singapore

Water Apples on Fallen Pink Needle Petals

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Greater Good?

Singapore's 7% GST Hike Poll by Yahoo
Nothing political. I hate politics and I cannot understand much about it even if I tried. The Goods and Services Tax - GST, is going up by 2% to 7%.

This decision was made to benefit the lower income group as it is suppose to facilitate increased spending to "strengthen the safety nets and tilt the balance in favour of the lower-income groups who do not benefit from the fruits of economic growth."

I honestly hope so.

When it will be implemented will be announced on 15 February 2007 during Budget Day. More of this report at Channel News Asia website.

Me, Mr. MagooFor now and until what is being promised can be seen, Yahoo Singapore is holding a "fun poll" on this GST increase, "feeling" the people's take on who will best reap the benefit of this policy. The result is astoundingly... not surprising.

Since I am no-expert in politics, and can hardly balance my finances properly for my own home economics, I will just have to brace myself and leave it to the experts to do their job as promised.

Yeah, yeah, I know I am flaky and kind of "Magoo" of sorts... I can not see what is in front of me that well... bad combination. How have I survived all this time?

Hmm... wonder if I need to buy anything expensive before the GST hike?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bye-Bye Goldie

Goldie - The Comet Goldfish
I only realized that our sole-surviving goldfish was dead this morning.

Goldie was one of the two, out of 20 odd Comet Goldfish, that survived not ending-up as fish-food. It was rescued by my son when he kept buying an oxygen-inflated plastic pack of about 20 odd baby goldfish for a S$1.00.

He kept buying them out of pity, after learning from the pet owner that the packets of fishes stacked outside the shop were meant as food for bigger fishes like the Arowana.

Of lower standard breeding, these fishes were not meant to last long enough, but alive enough to give the bigger fishes sport-hunting exercise before being eaten. Sad fate. That's life.

He bought packets after packets on different days after his weekend morning religious class at Tampines Street 82 neighbourhood aquarium shop. The money he was given for his Seven-Eleven Slurpee was used to rescue these unfortunate souls.

This boy has compassion. I love him for that.

Bottom Tank From Left: Goldtron, Goldie & Silver DollarsI have explained to him the way things are, and left it to him to think about it. He finally let it be and stopped bringing back after the umpteenth packet as the baby fish could not survive beyond a month or so.

The rest died in a matter of a few days, but Goldie and Goldtron were strong enough to survive for more than a year in our aquarium.

Goldtron died when our aquarium filter pump died on us at night. By the time I realized it in the morning, all 4 Silver Dollars and Goldtron were dead. Except Goldie and 3 Sword-tailed Mollies.

They were saved and placed in another tank at the top, but at the expense of our Tetras and the landscaped aquatic plants. Goldie must have gobbled them up like sushi. Sigh.

The Burial DilemmaAnyway, Goldie has left for a better place in Fish Heaven; not known if it had lived its full lifespan here on earth, like the 3 Sword-tailed Mollies... but Goldie and Goldtron... both have given us much needed tranquility just by looking at their antics for hours on end.

I have to tell my son about its death. He is sleeping over at his cousin's place until Saturday where they will go to watch Bob The Builder cartoon character coming to Singapore this school holiday.

Dilemma... do you flush it down the toilet, wrap it with paper and put in the rubbish bin or bury it under the tree just like our hamsters? Let Wifey decide tonight.

Now the tank is empty, desolate except for the bubbles. I guess it is ready for new occupants and to be landscaped again as beautiful and as serene as my son's and my imagination, and yes, as much of my money can be spent.

Life goes on. Bye-bye Goldie, Goldtron & The Silver Quartet.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Boost To Blogging

Starhub MaxOnline Free Upgrade Promotion
My left palm itched again this morning, but I thought nothing of it.

As it itched again, I scratched it hard and started thinking that maybe something good is coming my way... no, no, that is stupid. That defies logic, defies my faith.

Like I have said before in my Longines For Loyalty post, I am not a superstitious person, but it is so trying when this old Malay Superstition thingy seems to hold true, or at least so darn coincidental every... single... time it itches.

Later today, I received news from a fellow office colleague that Starhub, the ADSL line both of us are subscribed to for Internet access, have offered free upgrade the surfing speed from 4MB to 6MB for free. Previously from 1.5MB


We've boosted your bandwidth for free!

From 28 December 2006, MaxOnline 6500 and MaxOnline 4000 will be upgraded to speeds of up to 12,000Kbps and 6,000Kbps respectively.


I had to surf Starhub website to confirm. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise indeed!

I did not connect the two together until I reached home. Itchy left palm and little good fortunes. I dare not think about the right palm being itchy. I dare not think I have some kind of hidden medical problem either.

Wonder should I ask him if his left palm itched before learnt about the good news...

Then again, he is a Chinese, and he scratches himself everywhere, and so often, Nah!

Everything comes from The Almighty; the good, the bad, the whole works, but it is up to us to recognise it and appreciate it. Be thankful and count our blessings every single one of them, every single day.

Now, by 28 December 2006, I will zoom like only an electron can, at 6000 kilobytes per second into cyberspace and blogosphere. Yes! Life is sweet.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gone Too Soon

Life Before Death Banner
No, I did not hear Michael Jackson's Gone Too Soon song over the neighbour's radio.

I woke up today and as usual, get my morning papers at the front door.

Today, only the English Straits Times was there but not the Malay Berita Harian. Made a mental note to tell Wifey to minus off 1 issue from the monthly payment.

Like every morning, I did my morning gym workout, made my protein drink and breakfast and sat a few minutes reading the papers. The Malay papers arrived only when I was leaving home for work as I walked out the door.

NewspapersWith just a glance of the front page, I saw Mr. Mohammad Abdooh's Hari Raya photo. He was all dressed-up handsome, casting a big smile in his traditional Malay Baju Kurung.

I was glad to see that he was still good and lived to celebrate Hari Raya celebrations with his family. Then the caption below his picture hit me... he died yesterday, succumbed to his disease at last. Though it was expected eventually, it still surprised and saddened me to learn about the new.

He was 46.

Mr. Mohammad, a chicken rice stall owner whose face fronted the Singapore Hospice Council campaign to raise awareness on terminally ill and hospice care, died of lung cancer. Diagnosed with the last stage of the disease, he invited everyone to learn about the plight of his illness and to witness his final journey.

He was no longer in pain. His final journey ended yesterday.

I sat in the cab quietly, lost in my thoughts reflecting how fragile life is. Prayed in my heart for his safe return and acceptance to his Creator. I was sad for him and his family.

AMK Avenue 5 - Flight of Fancy
I thought I would be in low spirits the whole day because of his death, but ironically Life Before Death is so vividly shown to me along my journey in a cab.

I got to see a rare sight that made my eyes popped-out like a little child, all exicted; and I got to see the usual, happy sight that always makes me smile. Sights that never fail to pick my spirits up.

It was a rare sight to see the "flight of fancy" of a large flock of migratory birds manoeuvring across the sky along the open field in front of IKEA Tampines. A few hundreds of them, unknown to me what sppecies those were.

Flashes of white and brown, and white again as their wings flapped and caught the reflection of the morning sun. The flock swayed left and right in sync, making beautiful patterns in the sky. How awesome it was, just like a scene from National Geographic in the Serengeti.

Sengkang East Open Field - Egrets Playground
Cruising along the journey, I saw the familiar and welcomed sight of the Siberian Egrets, about 20 odd of them catching their morning meal on the open field of Sengkang East Road. Splashes of white against the green-field background.

As expected, the same, familiar face of an old man doing his morning jog along the perimeter of the field. He may be about 70 years old, but a strong and tough-looking old man, he is. Always cheers me up to see these sights on my morning journey to work... a journey of life this morning.

Life Before Death...

To enjoy life, make the best of what we have, do not abuse our body, our loved ones, our time; but to enjoy the journey guided by The Almighty. Be kind.

Threading our journey with our loved ones will make it that much sweeter. Serve our purpose while we are put on this earth before our time to go.

Hey, that is just me. You enjoy your day, now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Longines For Loyalty

Marina Square Longines Boutique #02-132
This is silly, but you just have to indulge me.

On Friday last week, my left palm was itching at work. As I was scratching it, I came to realize a silly Malay superstition that goes like this: "if the left palm itches, money was coming in." Yeah right!

I wrote about this before when I had a windfall the other time, with the itchy palm phenomenon. I am still not superstitious in spite of it.

Guess what? I had a windfall last Friday again! Itchy palm or not.

I received a letter from American Express to collect my complimentary watch for my loyalty and for spending S$5,000.00 using the Visa within a specific period. Wow! A free gift.

Wonder how they earn from me because I have not let them charge me for interest payments before. I paid-up in time religiously everytime I swipe the card. Wifey helped too with her shopping.

The fact is, the gift is not too shabby at all! The watch that I collected is THE Longines Presence, worth S$830.00!

I collected it from Longines Boutique in Marina Square on Saturday afternoon before my son and I went outing to MV Doulos - the floating bookstore ship berthed at VivoCity.

Marina Square Atrium with Christmas Deco
I felt quite out of place when I entered the posh Longines Boutique. Only to be greeted by 2 suave-looking sales persons in coat and tie. While I was dressed very casual. Wearing a tank-top and track pants, a pair of sandals and a baseball cap I bought when I was in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I thought they would have mistakened me as a delivery boy, or someone who had unknowingly wondered into their boutique. Not sure whether the Amex letter I was holding gave me away, but they were very nice and non-judgemental.

Come to think of it, it was like in the movie... Pretty Woman in a Rodeo Drive boutique. Only that I am not pretty nor am I a woman... and of course not a "smart, hygienic street walker." Thank God!
The Amex Platinum Card is real and it is mine, not Edward's!

Anyway, I was seated and served in a matter of a few minutes. With big smiles from both of them and a heartfelt apology for making me wait. Wait? I almost had to wait. Nice! I can get use to this high-life.

This Longines Presence is an L4.720.4.11.2 model with a nifty description...

"Precise movement with handsome features and luxurious material presenting the sophisticated Presence collection from the Prestigious Longines family.

Attractive white dial is accented by a date display as the '3' marker, and classical black Roman Numeral markers and black hands with seconds hand movement.

Presented by a perfectly round stainless steel case made from superior quality steel. Elegant strap is made of top-quality black leather, for a durable, yet contemporary look.

Features a sapphire crystal that is known for its scratch resistant, hand-polished finish. Automatic ETA 2892-A2 movement with 21 jeweled movement is reliable and precise, with a 42 hour power reserve, and water resistance to 30m."


Never had such an expensive timepiece before. Not sure if I want to wear it... keep it in its prestine state perpetually... hmm, it is just too perfect to be worn, it seems. I guess the best time to wearing it will be on special occasions. Thanks Wifey for making this possible.

A time to remember and a timepiece to keep... Life is good!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

World's Floating Bookshop

MV Doulos Berthed @ VivoCity HarbourFront
Yesterday marks the first day of December school holiday for school going children after the stressful final exams. The results were out and our son did a pretty good job in his studies.

So, as a reward for his effort and achievements, the least I could do was to take him for a well deserved outing. I guess I am more excited with this school holiday than he is.

The peak of the outing was being on-board a ship named MV Doulos, that has come to Singapore. Docked just behind VivoCity, this ship is a floating bookshop that tours the world "Bringing Knowledge, Help & Hope."

MV Doulos Danish @ StarboardBuild in 1914, it was listed in the Guinness World Records as the oldest active ocean-going passenger vessel. Initially called Medina, it was a cargo ship that routed between New York and Calveston, Texas.

Then as Roma, carrying pilgrims and immigrants for a few years until it was remodelled to become a cruise liner in the Mediterranean called Franca C.

In 1977, it was named as Doulos and has become a floating bookshop till today.

Throngs of children accompanied by their parents, like ourselves came to cease the opportunity to be on-board a floating bookshop.

It was quite educational for the children and adults as well as the crew members were of different nationalities were at hand to explain the various cultures and life on-board the ship of knowledge and hope.

An exciting experience just to be on-board, and get to tour around the vessel that has been around for 92 years. Never mind that it was stationary, berthed at HarbourFront.

MV Doulos - Bringing Knowledge, Help & HopeMy son enjoyed thoroughly especially when we reached the bookshop deck. It was hot and humid inside packed with as many people as there were books.

My son picked 4 books - 2 books on Sketching Guides of Wild and Farm Animals, a book on Famous Quotes and a book on Care For Tropical Aquarium Fish. Using a point conversion system of 100 units that was equivalent to S$4.00.

I bought myself a Doulos Mug as a souvenir from this amazing Guinness world-record vessel.

MV Doulos Danish Selecting His Books
Since the day was still young, and we had plenty of energy left. We escaped to the cooler enclave of VivoCity where we watched an animated movie - Flushed Away, each armed with a large pop-corn and a large Ice Lemon Tea.

Good movie. The scenes of London at the beginning of the movie were amazingly true-to-life that I could not tell whether they used real scenery or were recreated with CGI. Truly realistic!

A good day spent together, minus Wifey who... yes, tending to the shop. We will tell her all about our good day today. Hope she had a good day at the shop too.

Flushed Away Poster @ GV VivoCity

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Here We Go...

Banquest Foodcourt at EastPoint Shopping Mall
Yes, here we go again.

This morning, I woke up several times from the squeaks from Hamster-Ville.

Yes, many "residents" there are maturing and they fight for space. As "Mayor" of HamsterVille, I have no choice but to "build" more homes to cool the situation down.

I am out of my mind now because I just cannot bare to see these hamsters of ours fighting over territory and dominance so viciously that the dominant ones keep hurting a few "targets" relentlessly.

So, with a light headache from several interrupted night sleeps, today is the day I brave myself to further invest on more cages and stop procreation at its infancy.

Yes, it is kind of late when you have 39 little cute rodents infesting your service balcony, but stop it, I must!

Off my son and I went to Pet Safari at EastPoint Shopping Mall in Simei this afternoon.

Pet Safari Mall Entrance at EastPpoint Shopping MallHad our dinner at Banquet and started shopping for more cages.

The two sales ladies who served us the not so long time ago, were surprised that we came back again for more cages.

We just bought two cages less than 2 weeks ago, with my post Circle Of Life.

I spent a total of S$123.90 on 2 big cages that cost me S$45.00 each, 3 sand-bath containers, 2 medium water bottles and a bag of Hamster food, after a 5% discount with a membership card.

The bullied ones will just have to brace themselves for tonight...

For tomorrow is going to be a new beginning... well a big project with my son, to separate the present 2 cages of males from the females.

We have to stop this fast-moving, exasperating Circle... Cycle Of Life in my service balcony!

We will take care of them with "full-board accommodation" and unconditional T.L.C. in exchange for their calibacy.

Sorry "citizens" of HamsterVille... the buck stops here! Well... tomorrow morning.

Wish us luck! The ladies at Pet Safari did. Sigh.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Making Of...

This is great!

IKEA Home Furnishing is big in Singapore. It has been here for as long as I can remember.

My first memory of IKEA was when it was located in Katong in the 1980s. It was expensive for our taste, but window shopping in the store was quite an experience. Katong was considered near to where we live, so it was quite frequent that we ended-up there after going to East Coast Beach for picnics.

I was a kid then, so the place was considered "high class" to us, village people. We looked, we saw, we touched, but we never bought a thing.

IKEA Katong in the 1980sTagging along my Sisters and Brothers when they go city shopping... well, window shopping was great. Eventually Mom and Dad tagged my Sisters and Brothers along and made their first purchases of small items like flower vases and picture frames in IKEA.

IKEA then moved to their own distinctive bright yellow and dark blue building in Alexandra in the mid 1990s until today.

My parents bought furniture from IKEA when we moved from our village to Tampines Street 22. They did it again when they moved to their present home in Woodlands Street 13, with IKEA sofa set.

So did most of my Sisters and Brothers when they had their first homes.

I followed suit when I set-up my own home with Wifey. Not surprising that Wifey loves IKEA stuff too. It is simply because the style and ideas of decorating homes by IKEA designers and interior decorators are always fresh and most importantly, practical.

IKEA AlexandraWe practically grew up either sitting, sleeping or eating on furniture bought from IKEA - furniture and accessories that are modern, attractive, affordable and functional.

We have been religiously visiting IKEA all the way from Tampines, many times a year. Either for our own home or accompanying my parents with their shopping. My favourite section would have to be the indoor plants.

Like in hardware stores, I can spend a long time finding excuses to buy pots and plants for our home garden.

D.I.Y. assembly of IKEA furniture is my forte and I will do it with zest. No manual required until I got stick with something I could not figure out. Then again, these Swedish furniture are designed to fully be functional and easy assembly, its amazing.

I did my own assemblies for my home, for Sis and my parents too. Only Mom had IKEA people assembled and installed several racks in her kitchen that one time.

Now IKEA will open its flagship mega-store in Tampines. Yes! Along Tampines Avenue 10... many, many times bigger than their present building. In fact, it is just 2 bus stops away from our home. How is that for convenience!

They will open end November 2006! A few weeks away. Kind of exciting to watch the construction as it progresses when bus Service 168 passed by whenever come back home from my parents home.

Wifey is bracing herself for my spending stuff at IKEA when it opens here. I am afraid she is right!

IKEA Tampines on October 2006

IKEA Tampines on June 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Toil-let No More!

Johnson's Mr. Muscle - Mold & Mildew Killer
This is probably the lamest post I would ever have written. Well, there were some before. Anyway, it cannot stop me, this is worth mentioning.

I can endure hours of weight training in the gym, but I lack mental strength when Wifey tells me that it is time for me to scrub the bathroom tiles. No..!

All these muscles I have built have are useless against the fight with my bathroom molds and mildew even after I scrubbed it down hard. It would be best changing to new tiles instead!

The molds in between grouts seemed impenetrable. It grew and flourished faster then these muscles can scrub off, even with the aid of tons of chemical agents I have tried.

We even invested on a high-powered, high-jet OSIM steam cleaner for this job. It worked alright but with the amount of hard work put into it, and numbed hands hours later, it was just not good enough. The molds was here to stay. It grew faster than we could recover from cleaning it away.

Until today! I now have a workout buddy who is now my best friend to do the job for me, and did it darn well too!

He, well... it, is Mr. Muscle - Mold and Mildew Killer I bought from NTUC when I was out with my parents at Pasir Ris West Plaza last week.

My mucles are no match against moldsI thought nothing effective will come my way amid all these technological breakthroughs we have been achieving in these past centuries. Then, along came Mr. Muscle to save my bathrooms and the bathrooms of many Singaporeans too.

It states on its label "No need to scrub. Molds and mildew disappear in minutes."

Man, this is some claim.. I thought, but had nothing to loose except S$5.10 if it did not work. I would be more frustrated if the molds win than loosing my money... vengeance unresolved.

Came back home, sprayed along the grouts and left it for several minutes to do its job. And 15 minutes later, I witnessed a miracle when I sprayed the suds off with water.

The grouts were cleared! Months of built-up mold; built-up vengeance... washed away!

A dream come through! No elbow grease needed, just pressing of the fingers on the trigger spray... aim and fire! Clear your dead enemies with water and that should do it. The morning after, the bathroom was even better. The grout looked whiter like new!

Wifey was astonished at the result! She still thinks that I have to scrub to have the grout that clean.

No more toiling in the toilet for me!

PS: I am not getting a cent out of this. I am just so glad there is a solution found. Follow safety precautionary measures especially ventilation.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A.I.O. I Need!

DOPOD C800 PDA Phone Launching Mid-November
Singapore is going wireless starting January 2007!

Called Wireless@SG, hot-spots will be free for 2 years to all and subsequently be chargeable at small fee and a little more for faster connection option... of which, has no immediate concern to me until year 2009.

What is pressing now is to give myself a good reason enough to have another phone, most definitely an All-In-One gadget for my needs. Yes, needs. I need it.

Though I have a fantastic phone I use currently, a Sony Ericsson S700i, I will eventually require a phone that does almost every feature I want available portable.

My immediate requirement for a phone is a large and bright colour screen. Then comes the camera, a must. The larger the pixel, the better but I would settle for a 2 mega-pixel camera.

The third should be an MP3 player, built-in with extension slot for more songs and files to be stored in it.

Wireless@SG for Tampines Central & Public Area
Now, Wi-Fi is a must, since the whole of Singapore... well all town centres and busy public places on this island will have hot-spots for wireless connections to the Internet.

With lots of free, online files, photos, surfing favourites storage offered and now, the portable, no-downloads required spreadsheets functions available online, the ultra-portable All-In-One phone is virtually all I would need next year onwards.

Anything more, like PDA functions is a pleasant bonus to me!

Now, that is enough a reason to get a new one, with a wonderful option of handing my current phone down to Wifey. She needs nothing more than just basic phone, SMS, MMS and camera and MP3 functions. Anything fancier than that is of no interest to her.

Yes, I have finally figured out "why I need a new phone." I keep telling myself that until I believe it myself.

The power of persuasion... to oneself? Priceless!

Let me not go there.

DOPOD 838 Pro PDA Phone
Now, I have done some homework on the best phone I should have that has all the features I ever need, and have narrowed down to one brand, DOPOD!

Yes, DOPOD... a Taiwanese brand above the popular Nokia, and my trusted Sony Ericsson.

For the design and features that suit so much to my taste and needs, DOPOD seems to have listened to my requests and long-time search, and made it just for me! Scary, but wonderful.

The only thing now, is the different models that are so enticing, with some still not launch yet until before end of this year.

I have my eye on DOPOD's C800 which is to be launched in mid-November. It costs S$1.2K. The other contenders are DOPOD 838 Pro and DOPOD P800w that seem to be equally brilliant! Each costs S$1.3K and S$1.1K respectively.

A hefty sum to fork out, but considering the all-in-one functions, it will cost more to buy a camera and an MP3 player separately.

Lugging around these individual items is not exactly "hands-free" for someone who does not carry a bag to work or to anywhere else for that matter. Having all those gadgets bulging out from all the available pockets in my pants is not really a fashion statement either.

So, convenience costs money! I am good with that.

So much more reasons to buy my phone, now! I absolutely need it! I can taste it, I am practically drooling here.

PDA phone on the palm of my hands... oh, the temptation is just too strong!

You know, even though it is purely my portion of the money to spend on me, I still need Wifey's "blessings" to ease my guilt before buying my new toy.

And oh, what a technologically sinful toy it is!

No, I am not going there either. I just one my AIO PDA Phone!

Wait! Island-wide wireless access... a dual-mode phone with VoIP should be considered too for its free phone calls over the internet lines. Let me think...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Windows To Vista

Widows Vista Aero Glass
This is amazing!

In Digital Life! today, the introduction of Microsoft's new OS, Vista is engaging. Quite nifty, but I agree, its "evolution than revolution."

Streamlined and MACish-like, it is like a daylight robbery from Apple. Then again, since everyone is in-tuned to Windows XP, anything new and simpler are most welcomed.

Windows Vista Desktop SidebarVista will launch in January 2007, so I guess I will on-hold buying a new PC until such date. I can upgrade my present Windows XP to Vista with an upgrade kit as long as my PC is about 1 to 2 years old with at least 1GB of RAM.

Good thing is, I do not have to wait to experience MAC interface... I mean Vista.

With existing Windows XP, I have transformed my Windows interface to Vista by means of a free "Vista Transformation Program 5.0" download at No hiccups during installation and it works fine after the required reboot.

The Vista Glass2K theme is my favourite, with its translucent panel. Nice!

Another great addition to fully experience Vista is to download practical Desktop Sidebar panels with time, weather, latest news, etc at But the best is the preview of my Outlook Inbox real-time. Awesome!

And I say it again. Awesome!! Try it.
And all that for free!

PS: I claim no responsibility if anything were to go wrong with your installation or use. The program will, however uninstall clean-off your system by means of the usual "Add or Remove Program" command.