The Last Day of 2012

31 Dec 2012 – New Hopes for 2013 to a better world…

Thoughts regarding the New Delhi/India’s gang rape: Democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive [overpopulation]. Convenience and  decency cannot survive [overpopulation]. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only  declines, it disappears – Isaac Asimov

The above quote was recently posted 19 Dec. Also as mentioned in posting 1 Aug 2012: we all play a role and are culprits contributing to the pollution on this lovely planet. The question is how to limit our needs, comfort zones, wants, greed, etc??

Valid concerns for the future generation like my grandchildren regarding overpopulation. Will not survive to see the total picture of overpop consequences but my children will and my grandchildren will have to live in it! How do we try to slow down the overpop and the destruction of the environmental issues??? If only we have the answers to all the questions…

https://amylamsg.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/with-7-billion-humans/

As we say goodbye to 2012, let us at least try our best to do our parts by making it a decent world for the next generation. Everyone has their own ways in contributing. However and whatever ways, please try to make sure that evil thoughts and actions are NOT any part of it!

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Appreciations to Bev, Ting & CH, 4th aunt, sis Jo, cousin David, Mica & Mun, Laine, Kyle, Renee for good company, food and drinks as we wrap up 2012. Safe journeys to David, Laine & Kyle who will be heading back to HI tomorrow via Thailand.

Decency is indecency’s conspiracy of silence – George Bernard Shaw

Old Airport Road

29 Dec 2012 – Food or Hawkers Centre

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Undoubtedly is one of the best hawker centres in SIN for both quality and quantity. Previous posting, Whitley Road Big Prawn Mee located here was given the thumbs up.

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To add another stall with 5*rating is Lee Brothers #01-79, Otak-Otak in Malaysian, which means brains, but don’t let the mushy consistency scare you. Otah is a fish paste made from mackerel, chilies and spices, then put into either a coconut or banana leaf and grilled over hot coals. The result, though it may be slightly disgusting looking, is a salty, spicy treat. Price ranges from 0.60c – S$1+ depending on if it is fish, squid or crab otak.

Appreciations to Kiwi and Aya for their company at Old Airport Road Food Centre.

Thank you to Calvin at Campers Corner for his location to show the National Geographic DVD celebrating AT 75th Anniversary. Grateful to Victor (SIN 2nd AT thru’ hiker) and to Grace (AT section hiker) for their presence and for sharing their experiences. Also thanks to Laine and Kyle (transit en route back to HI after a semester in Shanghai) for taking time to be there.

http://www.camperscorner.com.sg/main/index.php

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To Alvin who was on the Camino for 30 days, congratulations to his beautiful SIN pilgrim’s sketchbook journal. Interesting exhibition.

img_5868There would not have been this posting if not for Leonard, IT, comics and toy guru 🙂 Notebook was infected with a horrible virus a couple of days ago and took a couple of hours to get rid of those pests. Leonard is also the one who has taught me whatever that is in IT and computed related + choosing and fixing my computers, laptops and notebook over the years. Our paths crossed in 1989 and hopefully will keep crossing!

AudreyGreat to catch up with Audrey (1st co-worker and piano student when our paths crossed in SIN 1990), She is here for the holidays from Korea. Will certainly try to visit her in Korea before her teaching post ends there. Good of her to take time from her busy and short holiday.

Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever – Isak Dinesen

Brewery with A View

27 Dec 2012 – Food Glorious Food

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Home spreads need no ratings as they are always the best. Appreciations to Les, Ivy, Angelique, Paul, Clement & friends.

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Thanks to Adeline for trying to introduce LeVeL 33 at Marina Bay Financial Centre, Asia’s highest urban craft-brewery. Not being a fan of beers and not in the mood for Western cuisine, we headed downstairs to Akari Japanese Dining & Bar***

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Would like to go back to LeVeL 33 another time just to take for a taste of the beer from the only brewery in Asia with a view from the 33rd floor!

The food which is on the list of cravings are local food like rojak/Malay=wild mix or combination of ingredients. My preference is just veggie without fruits or peanuts. A dressing of seasoned fermented prawn paste, sugar, tamarind pulp, fresh lime juice and ground chilli is mixed up and everything is tossed together in this mixture. Yummmmy!

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Favourite stall where the torch ginger flower and calamansi juice are added to the rojak is at block 59 Marine Terrace. S$3, 4 or 5. Whitley Road Big Prawn Mee on Old Airport Road Food Centre for prawn noodle soup is a die die must try, the soup is excellent. S$ 4, 5 or 6. Street-stalls food are usually not rated but if any ratings, they will both get 5*

If more of us valued food  and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world – JRR Tolkien

Images of Christmas Past

25 Dec 2012 – Thru’ the Decades…

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For those who grew up celebrating Christmas as a religious reason, this date will mean more to them. For others, it is another holiday, but with the exchange of gifts. Remembering one of the first Christmas with mother and her relatives in the 1950s but the memory is blurred. Mother, clutching her purse and me in a red dress without a hat but with a big smile 🙂

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1964 was the saddest Christmas as it was the last Christmas with mother. She was then fighting a losing battle to cancer. Left to right back row: 2nd bro Kwok Kiong, sis Jo, sis-in-law Mable, myself and eldest bro Lawrence who returned from Ireland/Dublin after studying and working overseas since the mid 1950s; mother & father sitting. That was also the last Christmas spent with both parents.

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1976 Christmas in Tromsø/Norway where we lived from 1976-1980. Trying to find Christmas pix for this post is rather time-consuming! The colours are fading fast in some of these pix and before long the memory will also fade. Working hard to save pix in a digital format but as for the memory, that’s another story.  If possible it is best to forget the sad ones and remember the happy ones 🙂 🙂

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1981-82 Christmas on Nesøya/Norway, sad and the most difficult Christmas as our last Christmas together as a family with the children’s father. A brave smile thru’ struggles of depression, desperation and devastation with all the ups and downs of life! But then hopefully we learn to be stronger for every experience, ie the survivor of the fittest!!

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1986-87 first Christmas in USA/CA Long Beach.

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1988 first Christmas in USA/FL Casselberry with our first colour coordinated tree and gingerbread house baking.

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1989 USA/FL Casselberry with the Hustads visiting from Norway.

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1990 USA/FL Casselberry with niece Patricia and her friends Priscilla & Jennifer/not in the pix visiting. Still celebrating Christmas at the same place in 1991, 92 & 94. Also the gingerbread houses are looking good with years of practised 🙂 🙂 🙂

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1998 SIN Patricia & Albert’s wedding and Christmas.

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2006 SIN PatLynn & David’s wedding after the birth of JohnW. The only 2006 Christmas pix found, must check if there are more. This was the last Christmas spent together with May, Linn, Jeff, Katy, Ellie and JohnW. Will see if it is possible to plan one more Christmas together with the whole family before life’s journey reaches its destination!! 

2012 Merry Christmas with a Christmas village collection dated from 1968 to present date!

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store – Dr. Seuss

Beyond 2012

21 Dec 2012 – Welcome Ole K & Family to SIN

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The last time Ole K was in SIN must have been app 20yrs ago. Ole is Linn’s childhood friend from Norway, Tromsø days. His parents, Ingrid and Han K are also good friends since the 1970s. Now he and his family, Hanne, Jenny and Martin are en route to Vietnam for their holidays. A lovely cool evening at Gardens by the Bay. First impression, impressive and certainly a garden beyond 2012! Need more time to check it out.

21-12-12 Why the World Won’t End and the scientific explanation…

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012.html

Some take the end of the Mayan calendar seriously, while some find it as the perfect excuse to make jokes and internet memes about it and here is my all time favourite…

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http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/415718/20121217/best-mayan-calendar-jokes-memes-people-find.htm

The Mayan calendar and its speculations of the world’s end have caused dialogues and discussions world wild. But according to the calendar, after 21 Dec will be the ‘rebirth’ after a 5125-year cycle, changes will happen, NOT ending!!

Considering such an ancient civilization (c. 2000 BC to AD 250), the Maya charted a calendar to the winter solstice up to 2012. They must have been quite advance then. The Maya centers went into decline during the 8th and 9th centuries and were abandoned shortly thereafter. This decline, coupled with a cessation of monumental inscriptions and large-scale architectural construction has no universally accepted theory explaining the collapse??

The latest researches point to drought…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/cultures/maya_01.shtml

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1990 pix in Mexico, Chichen Itza/El Castillo overlooking down to the Plaza of the 1,000 Columns. With Chac Mool at the Temple of the Warriors trying to learn more about this mysterious and advance, yet a brutal civilization!

When will the next doomsday to be predicted again… 🙂 🙂 🙂

I’m not going to take this defeatist attitude and listen to all this crap any more from all these people who have nothing except doomsday to predict – Carroll Shelby

Snowpeople…

19 Dec 2012 – with Calvin & Hobbes 🙂

Some of my favourite winter funnies to deal with the cold season!

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Appreciations to 16th auntie, Jo, Les, Ivy, David, Clement, KK, Aileen, AmyR, Gel, Richard, Grace, Calvin, Sam & Sam for taking time to meet for the past 2 weeks. Expecting Ole K & family from Norway, and yes socially busy but this is what the holiday season is about, family & friends.

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A new Indonesian restaurant, Seribu Sari***tasteful interior and decent food. Located on the 3rd floor at the newly renovated Rendezvous Hotel. Looking at the SIN hotel rates nowadays, could not afford to be a visitor in here. This hotel used to be reasonable, ie app S$100 per night. After the renovations, the rates have gone up at least twice!

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An impressive  panoramic view of the skyline of SIN Central Business District with ships in the foreground uploaded from Wikipedia.

Tourism in SIN is a major industry and contributor to the SIN economy, attracting 11,638,663 tourists in 2010, over twice SIN’s total population. It is a wonder that a tiny island with an area of 710 sq km/274 sq mi can squeeze all these people here. For those who like crowds and the buzz, this must be the ideal place to be living!! For me, I only go out when I have to…

Democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive [overpopulation]. Convenience and  decency cannot survive [overpopulation]. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only  declines, it disappears – Isaac Asimov

Old Places & Romances

18 Dec 2012 – National Museum of SIN

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Two documentaries Old Places and Old Romances by Roystan Tan, Eva Tang & Victric Thng. These were featured at the NMS over the weekend. Well done but only few places meant anything for the real oldies! This new generation who experienced SIN after 1970s is a different era. Many of the places featured are not known to one who left SIN soil in 1965. Thus, again re-enforces and rubs in the age! But then what is considered OLD is relative!!

The National Museum of SIN/新加坡国家博物院 dates back to 1887 will be considered old in SIN. Again relative compared to many cultures and history in the world.  NMS has gone thru’ names changes and restoration and is still the oldest museum in SIN. A restoration job tastefully done by keeping the old building and adding in the new section, good contrast from colonial days to today. First time in this museum was in the 1950s.

http://www.nationalmuseum.sg/Exhibition.aspx?id=13&cat=0

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Enjoy visiting to feel that time has somehow stood still when in the original section and yet when in the new wing, time is brought up to date – kind of like being in a time machine! Trying to download a pix of the description from the net but alas, no luck. Anyone who might have an aerial view to show the contrast, would appreciate the share. Thanks.

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24 Dec: Found one uploaded from unlvasa.org

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A popular place for wedding photography, managed to capture this pix of this couple taking a break. Over last weekend pix of Monumental Weddings were displayed featuring the diverse ethnicity in SIN.

The wise man belongs to all countries, for the home of a great soul is the whole world – Democritus

Truly Sad

16 Dec 2012 – and SAD

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14 Dec 2012 Hanukkah and sad news of yet another tragic massacre in the US Newtown/Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children and 6 adults were the victims. Total of 28 killed including the gunman’s mother and the gunman who shoot himself (edited 17 Dec). CT Gov Dan Malloy just told reporters in Newtown, ‘Evil visited this community today.’ Prayers and condolences to their families, friends and to the community.

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Gregory Gibson is the author of Gone Boy/A Father’s Search for the Truth in His Son’s Murder. Reflecting on the loss of his son on exactly the same date 20yrs ago previously in a school shooting; a father comments…

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/14/opinion/why-we-let-the-school-shootings-continue.html?_r=0

SAD/Seasonal affective disorder, also known as winter depression, winter blues or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter. Noticed that when living above the Arctic Circle in the late 1970s but then SAD did not exist and only years later after research that it was given a name!

Catching up with family & friends and meeting new friend for lunches & dinners the past week but easily tired out. Not sure if it the travelling, jet lag etc taking toll or if these sad news or SAD or a combination of all – feeling heavy-hearted lately. Life has to go on in spite of these evil illogical senseless acts. But are we wiser from all these lessons???

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IMG_0939IMG_0938Life of Pi***directed by Ang Lee and is well done. Enjoyed it. Hotel Transylvania***grandchildren wanted to see this and it was not showing when in the US. Both decent and entertaining, not sure if it is the loudness in enclosed surroundings or is it me who is getting a headache for not being adjusted yet!

We’ve got to set the clocks back dictators tell us so; and suffer seasonal affective disorder through the months of snow – Steve Fowler

A Tragic Consequence

12 Dec 2012 – 12-12-12…

is the last iterative date of our life time and we will never see again. 12-12-12 is the last of the repetitious, continual, repetitive dates for 100yrs, unless one is born today and live to 2101! Next iterative date is 01-01-01 ie anno 2101 when this life’s journey would have reached its destination long before 2101 🙂

After a week of catching up with sleep and the inner-self ie the awareness so as to be able to adapt back to another climate, culture, society and time again! Takes time and not easy but always a challenge for the body and mind.

Nice meeting up with friends, especially with AmyR who has bought a one-way ticket out of SIN to India, volunteering her talent to teach English to children. Good luck and well wishes to her life’s journey. Looking forward to hearing about her experiences whenever our paths may cross again.

And with Gel, a delightful young lady who is now in the media production. Our paths crossed working for Netball Singapore nearly 10yrs ago.

Those who know me also know that I do not get too emotional about many things but this over-hyped case managed to trigger a nerve somewhere. In this case where a prank call with no premeditated malice intended turned tragic. Pointing fingers is not going to help. ALL of us live on this planet, thus also a culprit and a victim in one way or other. Condolences to Ms. Saldanha’s family, friends and coworkers.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/05/world/europe/uk-royal-prank-call/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20664854

When one is not even aware of the cultural and social, differences, compassion, consideration, respect, tolerance etc are forgotten.  To the Western world, it was just a silly prank and this after all happened in a Western society. Most cities today have imported foreign workers to fill in all kinds of jobs. This create both cultural and social issues for the countries which import these workers and for these workers who sometimes are unable to relate or understand in this case, the inappropriate and unethical sense of humour.

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This supposedly cosmopolitan world is only but superficial ie how many are really aware of the cultural and social differences to take consideration regarding their own action and speech? Life goes on – history and mistakes will repeat themselves in some ways as we are all but human…

To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future – Plutarch

Joy Love Peace Hope

9 Dec 2012 – Peace on Earth

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Yeah finally caught up with sleep! The covers are off the furniture and one can find a chair sit down on, but as for unpacking, that is another story 😦 The apt at present looks like a battle-field with just about everything over everywhere (except the living area) including Christmas correspondences and gift ideas! Oh well, there is always tomorrow 🙂

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Today the advent calendar is up and there are still 16 days to open! For those who are not familiar with this advent calendar – it is a piece of embroidery with 24 pockets switched by hand (took a couple of years!). For the past 10yrs, it appears on 1 Dec if there is life here, otherwise it appear whenever life is around for Dec month. Thank you in 24 languages and 9 Dec is toda/Hebrew.

Hope to one day learn all the 24 languages of thank you without looking at the back where the correct language is written! And all these well wishes for the holiday season should somehow not just be for the holiday season but for everyday.

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Tkx to Helen for introducing Coffee Bar K, which actually is quite misleading! This hip bar specialises in cocktails rather than coffee. An amazing varieties of cocktails prepared by Japanese bartenders and one can find just about any brand of the single malt whisky. Not the best time to be tasting cocktails and whisky with a jet lag but always a good time to catch up with friends.

http://cocktailsg.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/coffee-bar/

What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for – Irish proverb

Helen & Brian returned to SIN after their post-grads from London around the late 1990s when our paths crossed. This delightful young couple decided to tie the knot and I was given the pleasure to attend their wedding back then. Now with 2 children and the successful owners of Lock + Store Self Storage, this couple has come a long way. Well wishes and good luck to them.

http://www.lockandstore.com.sg/