Pasir Ris Park

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30 Apr 2009 – Happy Bday John Cheng 

In the midst of this confusing world with the swine flu pandemic alert etc, concerns and worries for the grand children’s generation are very valid; words are not good enough to convey emotions or thoughts within at present. Just wish and want all these bad news to go away… that too shall pass, but preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. Am so out of focus that a simple brief for the HKG Royal Geographical Society AT Thru-Hike talk next week kept me awake until 0400hrs! Today 4 years ago, was the 1st day of the hike.

Spent yesterday at a Pasir Ris chalet with HimSuan, Karl Desouza, their 2 kids Mike (6) and Rachel (3) who are visiting from Goa. The heat made it quite impossible to be outdoor until late afternoon. Was such a pity that the sea was too polluted and the kids were unable to play with their water guns or swim in the water. But the Children’s Playground with giant space-nets, cable-ways and innovative play stations was a success. Pasir Ris=beach bolt-rope (Malay), implying a narrow beach. This charming and tranquil park features a carefully preserved 6-ha mangrove forest. Bird enthusiasts can also observe birds from the 3-storey high Bird Watching Tower.

Happy Bday to grand nephew Stanley LAM who became a teenager yesterday.

To a mother, a child is everything; but to a child, a parent is only a link in the chain of her existence – Benjamin Disraeli

Low-Flying Jet

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28 Apr 2009 – Reminders of 9/11

NEW YORK (CNN): A White House official apologized Monday after a low-flying Boeing 747 spotted above the Manhattan skyline frightened workers and residents into evacuating buildings.

The aircraft was a White House plane taking part in a classified, government-sanctioned photo shoot, the Federal Aviation Administration told CNN.

‘Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision,’ said Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office. ‘While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption.’

Witnesses reported seeing the plane circle over the Upper New York Bay near the Statue of Liberty before flying up the Hudson River. It was accompanied by two F-16s. The incident outraged many New Yorkers, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A picture is worth 1,000 words, but it uses up 3,000 times the memory –

Hawkers’ Food

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27 Apr 2009 – Marine Terrace 

In Singapore, carrot cake, chai tow kway (菜頭粿) is white radish grated and then mixed with rice flour. Together with water, the mixture is stirred while cooking. Then the thick mixture is poured in a round pan and steamed to form the carrot cake. This is cut into pieces and stir fried with eggs, diced garlic and spring onion. Fortunately some of my favourite carrot cake, soya bean milk and Chinese porridge stalls are next to the Marine Terrace wet market, 5mins walk from the flat.

Due to the recent food poisoning I encountered in Kuching and the Geylang Serai incident where two people died, I took special observations to the hygiene ratings of the three stalls at Marine Terrace, which are As & Bs. The rating given to the Geylang stall was a C or D. If is it true that Singaporeans don’t really care about the hygiene rating system of hawker stalls – therefore it matters little if the stalls get a C or D rating as Singaporeans will still continue to patronize it unless someone dies like in the Geylang case.

When people who eat natural foods die of food poisoning, do they die of natural causes?

Swine Flu

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25 Apr 2009 – Another Pandemic?

The news reported of at least 68 deaths in and around Mexico City and have closed many public buildings, suspended public events plus launched a vaccination campaign. Karin Korkowski and her family lives in Mexico City. Karin, please take precaution and take good care. Hope that it will not be another pandemic. The worst pandemic happened in 1918, the Spanish Flu where between 50-100 million deaths were noted.

John Cheng left for Hong Kong yesterday and today I am expecting Garry Rogers from Sydney. Will catch up for a meal before visitors from Ireland next week. My new front-load LG washing machine is functioning well even-though off-white is not the same colour with the rest of my designs in the kitchen. The grey top-load was not possible as my flat is only constructed for the front-load plumbing… a learning experience to shop for a washing machine! If only we could wash away this new virus like dirty laundry!

The weather is overwhelming hot and without AC, it is extremely uncomfortable. Spending most of my time indoors in the library to access Internet or at home in my flat with the AC on. Feeling rather lethargic and unwilling to go out in this heat. How does anyone survive without AC in SIN??

In a pandemic, if it’s worldwide, you realize in the first five minutes of studying it that you’re on your own – Bob Kennedy

Babies to Save Our Legacy…

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24 Apr 2009 – Today’s paper 18 Aug 2006 on Babies…

Currently Singapore’s citizens is 4.86 million. Of the 4 million smiles in the campaign, how many are really Singaporeans? Since figures are not my forte, will stay with the alphabets!

Once upon a time, Sang Nila Utama was shipwrecked on an island. Temesak (meaning sea town) was the island, then a calm, capacious, carefree, charming and comfortable fishing village. Was Sang Nila Utama high or was it due to poor eye sight that caused the confusion of a tiger to be a lion? Thus the illusion of a lion city continues to live happily ever after.

The colonial days chronicled ceremony, change, commotion, constitution and culture. Independence contributed to the 5Cs – car, cash, condo, credit card and country club. Have our statisticians and market researchers not taken into consideration with the configuration of the causes and consequences? Is it compatible to create more children in a concrete, competitive and commercial community where smiling and courtesy campaigns are necessary???

Enough of Cs. Will there be any dialogue with the Ds… in devil’s advocate (no derogatory intended)?

What! Can the devil speak true? – Macbeth/William Shakespeare 

Kuala Lumpur

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21 Apr 2009 – Back in SIN

Took 50mins to fly from SIN to KL by AirAsia but 1hr to get by bus from the airport to the center. John Cheng from Hong Kong was traveling for his business appointments and I to visit nephew Larry LAM and 14th uncle LAM Tin Chong who connected me to relatives for my China trip next month. That will really help.

Talked to cousins from Jiangmen to inform them of my upcoming trip so as they can unlock the ancestor’s house for me to take pictures. Am looking forward to meeting up with long lost relatives whom I never knew existed. 

Many thanks to Peggy Tan for the use of her PJ Amcorp suite; to Larry for putting up with me and for blog info. Now I can again insert more thumbnails and the pictures will enlarge by clicking on it . What a beautiful sight to see the flock (very unusual as they usually fly solo) of eagles flying high from his living room; to Jimmy Tan for the ride and for taking time to chat with us on the way to the airport and to Mui Kar Choun for the driving & eating tours.

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber – Winston Churchill

The Original Computer

17 Apr 2009 – Have a hilarious weekend

Will be heading to KL for the weekend and returning Tue in time to receive the new washing machine. Will not be bringing my laptop, so no posting until my return, unless I get to an Internet cafe. Happy Bdays to Anne Stenseth, Amanda Sosa, Sara Lam &  Sharon Goh. Here is a good one from KV Lee in London to share with my bloggers and friends. Enjoy 🙂

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Memory was something you lost with age 
An application was for employment 
A program was a TV show 
A cursor used profanity 
A keyboard was a piano 
A web was a spider’s home 
A virus ! Was the flu 
A CD was a bank account
 
A hard drive was a long trip on the road 
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
 

And if you had a 3½ inch floppy…

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. . You just hoped nobody ever found out!

Aghhh… alamak

15 Apr 2009 – Happy Bday Aileen Koh

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I don’t believe that this is happening… and it is not even Fri the 13th!!! My washing machine decided not to spin, clothes are clean after the wash but dripping wet. Called the service department to discover that the model has been discontinued. Aghhh! Then the study chair broke and bought a new one at IKEA, only to discover that they gave me the wrong colour after I got home. Alamak, had to go all the way back to change it to the white one. Both teddy and I are happy with it now.

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At least I have completed my taxes for Norway, SIN & the USA. Lawrence and I did our duties at Mandai Crematorium paying respects to our parents. Today, am looking forward to friends from Goa and HKG. Planning for a trip to Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia this weekend. A new washing machine will have to wait until sometime next week when there is more time to shop around. 

Alamak (singlish) = oh dear 

Oh Dear! What Can the Matter Be – kids’ song from an unknown writer

The Singapore Shawl

13 Apr 2009 – Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon

img_0044img_9626Sat: Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Minister of Community Development, Youth & Sports was the Guest of Honour for The Singapore Shawl’s 4th Anniversary and to unveil the Wu Guanzhong’s shawl. Was there to help with the sales and the fashion show; presented my book 1st SIN AT Thru-Hiker to Mrs Yu-Foo.

Sat evening: celebrated Peggy Tan’s 60th Bday. Peggy is an old friend and class mate from our primary school days in CHIJ at Victoria Street. She is also the grand daughter of Tan Kah Kee 陳嘉庚 (1874-1961) who built various educational institutions and the Tan Kah Kee Foundation. His resting place is in Xiamen where a University and Museum is named after him.

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Easter Sun: Met up with a cousin from the paternal grandmother CHEN Swee Ngor. Karen LIM is from Sarikei, Sarawak; at present she works and lives in SIN. Wonderful to discover another long lost cousin and thanks for dinner, chilly crab, one of my favourites. I do vaguely recall Karen‘s mother’s SIN visit in the early 1960s. It will be too overwhelming to go into the extended branches of the family tree. Another long lost cousin CHEN Weng Kei (met him for the first time last year in New Zealand) has their branches impressively detailed.

There is no shame in justifiable failure. There is shame only in the fear of failure – Tan Kah Kee

Eggs

11 Apr 2009 – Happy Easter

2005: Katy & Ellie at the 75,000 Easter Egg Hunt

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2009: Katy, Ellie & John with the Easter Bunny

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An Easter trivial question…

Q: How many eggs is a woman born with?

In Pagan times the egg represented the rebirth of the earth. The long, hard winter was over; the earth burst forth and was reborn just as the egg miraculously burst forth with life.

With the advent of Christianity the symbolism of the egg changed to represent, not nature’s rebirth, but the rebirth of man. Christians embraced the egg symbol and likened it to the tomb from which Christ rose.

While the origin of Easter eggs can be explained in the symbolic terms described above, a pious legend among followers of Eastern Christianity says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus, and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ.

A: 400,000 potential eggs but only one is released monthly.

The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed – Martina Navratilova