Thursday, July 27, 2006

For the Retro Fanatics

Just a couple of days ago, I was sitting at a friends new place, reminiscing the good old days of how we frequent China Jump or Devil's Bar when another commented that we are just like the uncles at the coffeeshop drinking their Tiger. It was also an expensive habit in those days depite the existence of Ladies' Nights. Either you hail a cab or you get a free ride, from someone you just met. Gone are the good old days of going without sleep while preserving your sanity. I had long given up on the expensive habit. You can't replace the sleep you lose anymore. You can't work off the empty calories any more effectively. Which probably explains why I prefer breakfasts now, no matter how not a morning person I am.

I've also resigned to the fact that there isn't a single place with good retro. You only get it on radio at best. I found it on Radio 91.3 today before lunch. The music remained good through the day.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 1:15 AM with 2 comments

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

SLAs

Finally, someone is talking sense.

They should have thought about it 10 years ago, my goodness. To date, my longest wait was a good 45 minutes outside PSA building. We all know how near PSA bldg is to the then WTC terminal, where the bus originates. I am not kidding. 20 minutes is bad enough. Those who have tried waiting for bus 200 will atest to that. Who cares about why the frequency is odd. I am a consumer.

Next, partial AC. Even a ratio of 2:10 still qualifies as partial AC isn't it? What happens then is that, when the morning is crowded and sweltering hot, the non AC would come, leaving you sticky and you arrive at your destination with the latest hair style in town. When the moon awakes, the night is nice and cool and the air smells a little better, the empty, freezing bus greets you, leaving you with no where to hide. If you're lucky, its one bus, otherwise, you wait thrice to take 3 buses from point A to point B.

The planners. I wonder what they have been doing for the last decade, withdrawing useful routes and coming up with an all inclusive one that ensures that you know Singapore like the back of your hand. It takes something like 15 minutes by car and one-and-a-half god damn hours by bus. I am supposed to understand that they withdrew a route because it is not profitable. It is very irritating to have a bus come every other minute when you're waiting for the one that comes once every half hourly. It sounds exaggerated but it happens.

They say, the fare hikes are much lesser than the salary increments. Has anyone proven that ALL companies received an increment? Based on the mathematical logic of car owners who are also decision makers, maybe it makes sense. This is the power of averages, percentages and statistics.

The joke of the day had to be that, on the day they announced the hike, the NEL malfunctioned. Tens and thousands of people were affected. It's quite a paradox because technology is supposed to help us be more efficient.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 11:29 PM with 0 comments

Monday, July 24, 2006

Pasir Panjang Ridge

For a second day in a row, I awake from my slumber at the unearthly hour of 7am. I'm certainly not a morning person. But a good hearty BREAKFAST with some FRIENDS could tempt me enough. I took the NEL to HFC for the first time. It was quite fast. I would have waited for the bus if I had more time so as to continue with my slumber.

Coffee Club breakfast was not bad. I preferred Coffee Bean. Maybe I should try Starbucks (witchling's recommendation) one of these days. Let's go for breakfast again! :)

To think I studied and worked here for some 7 years without realising a wonderful place existed. We had to start from SP1 because some dratted cycling race was going on and eventually found ourselves behind Normanton Park. I had no idea that Kent Ridge was just behind Normanton. Everything in a park is man-made, from the roads to the ponds to even the plants, that were planted in neat rows and decorated the walkways.

Someone came to feed the fishes, we saw the red earred terrapins too. We found a cute little squirrel scurrying about on its tree. The guide told us that someone argued that the squirrel should rightfully be the national mascot. It wasn't long before we reached the ridge line as the beautiful breeze welcomed us. The viewing point presented a clear view of the southern islands from end to end.

I like seeing big trees. It brings me back to my childhood days as we walked through the tembusus and realised that there were many things that were not natural to Singapore. The story traces back to history when the Australian and British were in Singapore. It certainly amazed me when the Aussie Eucalyptus Tree could be found here. Many people come here. Joggers, families, pets. It goes to show how people still do appreciate the greenery.

The walk ended at the Reflections of Bukit Chandu where we found 2 people drawing their potraits. Reading about history and the WWII reminds me of my ah ma who lived to tell vivid stories of the past when I was a little girl. It is a reminder that the peace we now enjoy should never be taken for granted as our forefathers paid for it in sweat and blood.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 1:13 AM with 1 comments

FoF2006

Some almost 10 years ago, I would have scorned at the idea of a silly treasure hunt in a suburban/city area. But as you age, it somewhat mellows.

Although I can't say I learnt a lot more about heritage because I am getting very senile, I enjoyed myself. We were all having fun. It makes things even more fun that we had a few groups of friends with us as we shared the clues and tips. 安全第一,好玩第二,赢奖第三. You had be really careful while crossing the road. I think the drivers must have been quite mad on this day, cursing and swearing.

Jalan Besar and Balestier is a very complicated area. But the event helps put everything in perspective. It showed me places I've never seen before and that it's possible to walk to Kallang even. The Tau Sar Piah at Balestier was quite yummy.

My only gripe was that the clues are just terrible. The fact that some stations actually moved about certainly pissed us off. I interogated someone at the station, "Where's the pagoda?". All I got was a "They only told me it's here." I didn't think it was a good answer at all. They were similarly interogated by several participants alike. All of us were quite sure that we had passed by before and the station wasn't there.

Well, the goodie bag was not bad actually, nothing expensive, but you could tell they had certainly put in efforts to put everything together.

The funniest moment had to be how all 3 groups of us rushed to get up on stage when the MC called for it. :P Fun comes in numbers, I think it's true.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 1:11 AM with 1 comments

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Nice Friendship

People say, the best mirror is a true friend. Indeed.

On the contrary its very much easier to just be nice to the people around you, including the best of friends. Isn't it easier to try to maintain peace, harmony, remain cordial and careful not to offend at all times? The depth of a friendship, is not measured by how nice you can be to one another, by the amount of happy times you shared and not by how much you understand of each other, through being nice.

Nice friends are everywhere, they are easy to find and easy to get along with when all is fancy and fine. Be nice, because this way, everyone will be happy.

Mirror, mirror on the wall... you realise it isn't easy pointing out flaws at all.

Like a pimple rearing its ugly head, we don't want to see them and wish they never existed. You wouldn't do that to someone you just met, would you? And if you didn't care a little more, would you have bothered? I wouldn't. It's really much easier keeping the comments to yourself and be the nice friend you always wanted to be.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 8:28 PM with 1 comments

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Love Thy Self

Self help - the best (& fastest) help you can get.

The consequence of going trekking, untrained is not new. Worse if you have no idea what to expect. It's ok to go but know humulity and leave the gungho mentality behind, or learn things the hard way. Sometimes, a "positive" attitude can do more harm than good. You want to do everything and anything that comes along, and you want to have your cake and eat it.

"Someone" will look after me, one may think. But because you didn't do something, "someone" had to do it for you. Sometimes, I think we tolerate too many bad habits that it encourages them to form. Things get taken for granted. Whatever role we play, each of us have our responsibilities and obligations to fulfill. Yes. What I mean is, the paying customer is not always right. Because, your own well-being is at risk. Someone will have to bear the risk for you if you do not. So, you had your cake and ate it. You forgot to ask how much it cost the "someone" who had to pay for you. I guess there is really no free lunch in the world.

"Someone" will look after you, only if they can look after themselves FIRST. If you don't learn to look after yourself, who will?

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 10:44 AM with 0 comments

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Last Natural Shore on Sentosa

Time and tide waits for no man. So I flew all the way there on a bloody Saturday morning when I'm supposed to be in bed. I had to be at Harbour Front at the unearthly hour of 615am. Glad I made it though. The weather was beautiful. I visited the last natural shore on Sentosa, only visible at the lowest tide.

The natural shore line made me appreciate nature even more. There were plenty of sea grasses, out of the transect line, there we were, mapping our 0% sea grasses. If there's one thing I learnt, you don't have to be a diver to see the things divers do. It also sharpened my senses to fake landscapes. Turning around, on the way back, you realise what a stark difference Siloso Beach was compared to the world I stepped out of. Immediately, the word FAKE flashed across my screen. On the way home after lunch, I noticed a patch of bird's nest fern's sitting on the ground. And immediately the word FAKE appeared again.

Oh, I saw this little pigeon. Back home, I never paid attention to them. Here, I took special notice. First, it was smaller and skinner than most of his brothers and sisters back at home, perhaps a juvenile. Secondly, the leg was a stump. Don't look down on this crippled bugger, he was chasing (bullying) this other smaller piegeon.

Read about the Sentosa Seagrass Transect 2006.
Read about the Orientation.
See the pictures.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 10:56 AM with 0 comments

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Shape Run 2006

Run already, got SHAPE. I wish. Actually, don't run also got shape, OUT OF SHAPE.

Pre-race administration sucks, typo errors, wrong emails, late delivery and empty promises. Luckily race day and the goodie bag went quite fine enough to compensate for all their earlier boo boos. If you've been to other runs and this one, you would agree with me. OK, I admit, I was really after the attractive goodie bag, all nicely catered to a lady compared to standard races and marathons, where we mostly end up with an oversized dri-fit pyjamas and vouchers we didn't need.

Short runs are fun to join and are easy to complete or train for if you have been out of shape. Still, I wish we could have something to change into.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 10:52 PM with 0 comments

Friday, July 14, 2006

iN2015

Read iN2015. ICT masterplan for the next 10 years. It's cool and interesting. It's something we can all look forward to. 80,000 more ICT jobs in the next 10 years? We'll see huh? Maybe by then, I wouldn't be in this line as technology frees up more time for people to do "other things".

Technology, is good, is cool and it helps, only if you know how to. I'm afraid the people making the decisions are like dinosaurs, intimidated by technology. The jobs we're doing are an underated, understated, unglamourous, underpaid job. Everyone realises its importance, but no one pays enough attention. Are they really able to embrace technology affecting the way we live, work, play and learn in the next 10 years, considering that, they cannot even accept something as simple as IMs? Or the fact they want to restrict internet access (in this broadband era)? Where I work, they can't even use the email system to communicate properly! LOL. I would really love to see the day.

Had a session with the planners today and learnt quite a fair bit about city planning and the principles behind it. It's indeed like, SIMS City. The only difference is that, it feels so real.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 6:02 PM with 1 comments

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Happiness

I seek, happiness.
A small word yet big in meaning
Easy to say, difficult to achieve.

In the midst of my blurry stupor, I overheard the radio this morning say, Singapore ranks as number one again. Unfortunately, we are number one backwards when it comes to our happiness in the Asean region. So who's really number one? Emerging country Vietnam. (I was guessing it to be Thailand)

So what's the deal about being number one in everything when you are not happy? And when your quality of life is lousy? We all know, for everything you can buy, you can't buy happiness.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 6:08 PM with 3 comments

Walking Home

Walking home on a beautiful moonlit night is such a wonder, with a quiet solitude that only on on days like these do you feel it. It is in times like this that you gaze at the wonder of the universe, of the moon so bright, beautiful and round with a magnetic effect that kept my head held up against her face.

There are many things that technology brings. Speed, convenience and all that you can think. But the beautiful sights and sounds, of a person quietly walking beside you, better yet if it was a he holding your hand in the still of the night, the air crisp, the leaves rustling in the slight breeze, sounds of a typical neighbourhood moving by, dogs barking from within their apartments, people taking their late dinners at the KPT in their workout and/or office attire, the guitar strumming and flashing lights of the TV set bouncing off the ceiling. I could name more. I saw all of that in just one night, tonight, all by myself. For all the conveniences that technology brings, it gives us none of the simplest things in life that we really ought to treasure.

Years ago, I would never have walked home even if I had the choice. Today, I realised what I've been missing.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 2:32 AM with 0 comments

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rhythm

I did 2 sessions of Rhythm. Rhythm forms the fundamentals of Waltz. Some say its a little like Foxtrot. You simply 'draw' many 'V's as your travel in your line of dance. It's MUCH slower and its easier to think it to be easier, like I did. I wasn't quite right though the steps were so easy. Whatever that looks seemingly easy (slow) seems harder to master.

I couldn't turn without looking like rolly polly the first few times. And when you get so obsessed with the steps, you forget your beats. In this dance, you're allowed to sway unlike traditional ballroom, where you just have to be very upright, which makes it look very much like a happy, relaxed dance. Its great for couples and the perfect wedding dance to do. The music is just too romantic to resist.

A classmate was going for his Samba exams. Wow..SAMBA is HOT (like chilli, as the name implies) and very beautiful to watch. A little like Salsa, but you travel around the ballroom. It is in fact a very "showy" dance with plenty of "shine" moves. I will ask my cousin to teach me when I'm over there.

It's such a pity most guys do not appreciate dance. They ALL think its kuniang. Dance to them mostly means, shaking their bon bons at some club *bleah* trying to look stylo milo but end up looking milo dinosaur. To date, I've only met ONE "non senior citizen" guy who self proclaims his interest for dancing. As for the guys at Salsa, you really have no idea if its for the salsa or the hot babes that FIRST motivated them :P

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 6:10 PM with 0 comments

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I Can't Wait...

I can't wait. So while I can't wait, I've stuck a "weather sticker" into my blog. I'm going to be there very soon! This morning, it's 7pm over there. I spotted it at a low of 16 degrees C with thunderstorms. I hate to be cold.

I can't wait. Sentosa actually has a place that has NEVER been subjected to human and urban development! And I'm going to be there next weekend. I can't wait!

Finally met the woman behind wildsingapore. She is one really warm, happy woman with a big heart. And I really respect her passion for all that she has done! I learnt a lot in the short afternoon gathering. And got caught in someone else's shot while showing my group how to use the spoilt compass (the new compass came apart). It's no surprise that MANY people do not know how to use a compass. It is another no surprise that only 2 of a group of about 60 are first aid trained. I guess we all _know_, first aid is important. But that's where it starts, and stops.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 11:25 PM with 0 comments

Don't Know What To Say

It is on one of the rare occassions that I paid Bukit Timah Nature Reserve again. It's really not my favourite place but I went since its been quite a while. And so I dragged myself out of bed on a nice cosy morning.

A friend's secondary school kid came along with a friend of his dad whom we know (does this sound complicated?) He was a quiet little boy, very shy too. No, he is not the subject of what I'm going to say next.

I was just wondering if its really such a big deal to have attended a lot of courses that someone would brag about it as though its his own son. I'm quite sure the kid wasn't expecting it either. No doubt, he is certainly an accomplished kid. Kids nowadays are rather accomplished compared to days of our time. APC, SFA, CPR etc. Is it really so important? I mean, is there a need to make a deliberate attempt to highlight his "achievements" out of the blue? *scratch head* The way I interprete it, simply another person looking for a 3rd person to agree with him.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 11:10 PM with 1 comments

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Eyeing my Fujitsu

Everyone on top of me is my boss. I can't say its good for sure. And everyone has been eyeing my smaller-than-theirs Fujitsu, especially ever since a manager borrowed mine a couple of months ago (making me go home to retrieve it in the process).

Don't the people on top on me have their laptops? They do. They ALL do. Reason? So why the need to loan? Too slow to run what they need, they claim. Frankly, what they probably need is something for report and slide presentations which most mediocre laptops run reasonably well. Perhaps, its just not glam to sport a notebook which you can use for your gym training. Speaking of which, I haven't been too diligent in my weight training. Better start soon.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 2:52 AM with 0 comments

The Straits Kitchen

The food was average. I wonder why the Sheikh likes this place so much. They serve pretty much your ordinary local fare. Anything you can think of from Chinese, Indian, Muslim, Peranakan, local seasonal fruits and ice cream flavours, they have it. It's really just another overpriced hawker centre in an expensive setting meant for the Sheikh to entertain his guests. I'm not saying that the food isn't good, it's good but having lived in this part of the world for most of my life, I wouldn't pay this price for something my mum would have whipped up better. Yes. I'm just so proud of my mummy's cooking :D

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 2:47 AM with 0 comments

Monday, July 03, 2006

SCUBA stands for self contained underwater breathing appratus

Another weekend in Aur is not something foreign. The water remained the same as the marine life but spotted many more things than I normally would. Graceful turtles, magical cuttles, tiny jellies, photogenic nemos, colourful nudis, strange worms, eels, fancy cucumbers, shy crabs, colourless shrimps, silvery barracudas, touch-me-not stones, defensive triggers, playful parrots etc. I return from every trip with verbal diarrhoea.

Everyone should dive once in their life. 3 more have taken the giant stride. One managed to overcome her fear of water and the other 2 beaming from cheek to cheek, gushing endlessly despite some knocks and scratches. I'm so proud of them. Each of us enjoyed ourselves in our own way with plenty of jokes and laughter, mimicking _someone's_ antics (it's contagious), and vit C.

The boat ride was terrible. I am very thankful for being fairly resistant to rocky seas. Poor Bee, my heart goes out to her but yet I can't do anything. Damn the flu. I nearly couldn't dive. Gave up my first dive. It's jellyfish season and the tiny jellies looked like a single, tiny molecule of floating debris in the sea unlike the round ones we know.

The night dive was beautiful. I remember how Yam and HoWing were shaking their heads when a silly gal like me spent "wasteful money" on a torch that cost so much more than your ordinary torch when we were at ADEX. Now they finally know why. :)

The last dive ended with the DM bringing us to 'Holland'. We had to swim back against the drift. On surfacing, had to swim back to the god-damn-far-away boat, then decided the shore was nearer. This is part and parcel of diving. This is not a swimming pool and No one gurantees calm seas and nice waters all the time. Which is why the only favour we can do for ourselves is to be prepared and sufficiently equipped. It is Mother Nature's ways of teaching us. "See, I told you diving is dangerous, I repeat, so is crossing the road."

I witness the 2 GARANG DM/Instructor from the other school on the same boat. I smirk silently and I shake my head. Was there a need of such display, I think not. Yes, you're good, you're strong and you're skillful. True skills need no display. Wait till Mother Nature teaches you what GARANG really means. When you look at a diver, don't forget to look at the teacher.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 3:07 AM with 2 comments