Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who visited my Blog?

Nowadays, when creating blogs (oh yes! I create numerous blogs, not joking, but it's for work!), I would include a widget to keep track of the number of visitors 'dropping by' my blog.
Haha... guess it's a way to tell myself... hey, the blog is not for my eyes only... it has served others, too! Of coures, the excitement comes when I see lots of dots all over the globe!

However, discover something interesting as I zoom into one spot in Singapore that someone has visited... after zooming in... notice that the spot comes from the sea! Oops! Who could that be??? I wonder...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Love the World

A colleague shared this... pretty funny... but nice tune!
Hey, I like the line that says, "I love Eygptian kings" hahaha....


作事时,喜欢静静地作着。讨论时,喜欢集中精神去宁听,思考。或许,知道自己的弱点 - 容易分心 - 结果,就事倍功半。



讨厌这种人 - 只顾自己而不管周围的人的感受。难道,这世界就只有你吗?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Icon at Crossroads

The last time I passed by this location, it was all covered... I wondered... What's this mysterious structure? Hm... something interesting? er... about the height of a Christmas tree. That was last year...

Yesterday, passed by, saw the real thing... snapped these pictures while crossing the road (oh yes, Eunice scolded me for not crossing the road "properly") It's a "human Christmas tree"? hahaha... I wonder... it's going to be one of the artistic landmark in Singapore? An icon in this busy crossroad? Hm... That's art? I see... Heard that it does not come cheap... hm... how to get iconic & cheap stuff in Singapore?

...It's a tree? It's art!...

...Here's the man who's behind the design...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Spiral Staircase

I like spiral staircase... not for its practical reason... but for its artistic look... hm... so elegant!

Practical reasons? hahaha... one may wonder... what practical reason it has? One gets giddy after going up or down for a while... in fact, it slows one down! Well, it saves space... just go around a central pillar... and yes, we can see what's out there... er... 360 degree view!

Simply like its look... in fact, some schools use spiral staircase! For instance, in MSHS (Pri) to proceed from the general office in staff room, simply use the spiral staircase!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Christmas Time!

Tis the season to be jolly.... hoo hoo hoo....
Yes, the bells sound much earlier than previous years... the Christmas trees were erected earlier than previous years! Shoppers begin to 'contribute' to the economy earlier this year, too! In almost every mall, could hear the heart-touching Christmas carols...

Like this song - Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
It's so visual! First came across the song when we went choraling in my college days...

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.
Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.
They know that Santa's on his way;
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother's child is going to spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.
And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
A very Merry Christmas to you

I'm on leave today!

Have been clearing my leave... bit by bit... usually, will stay at home, work from home - in fact, it's clearing work from home... hahaha... But I like working from home... at my own pace and own comfort... certainly, less distraction, while everything will be taken care of :D

This morning, started clearing a couple of email, however, had arranged to collect a set of cables left in a school on last Tuesday's workshop. Well, well... it took me about an hour to reach Yishun by bus... but enjoyed the ride along SLE, reading the book, Mind Gym... oh yes, have not read for a long time liao! What an opportunity!

Ended up at Raffles Place... yes, the other day saw a couple of blouses from Marks & Spencer (Centrepoint & Wheelock)... did not buy... today, saw that again... still, did not buy... hm... still thinking hard $140 for a coat that I would only wear at most once a year when go places in winter... hm...

Well, shopping on a Tuesday morning around 11 am... with few people around... it's really hassle free... on top of that, I think, really, it's the service that counts! Yes... when served by nice people... you tend to reciprocate too! Thanks to them, for a pleasant shopping experience... hm.... will drop an email to Robinsons - It's Christmas time! It's also time to give... yes, give encouragement and a pad on the shoulder to the deserving ones! ^.^

Usually would pamper myself for lunch... even when go solo... well, "Food Court" crossed my mind... hahaha... have been spending a lot in my meals recently, I thought... Up I went to level 3... Oops! Under renovation till 2 Dec! Ok, no luck for hawker food... hahaha... zoomed straight to "Soup Spoon"... Yes, nice soup... with a half a bowl of salad and a cup of ice lemon tea... Enjoyed my meal.. with a book on my hand...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Greetings from KL

It's a pleasant surprised to receive an email "Greetings from Kuala Lumpur"! Who? My heart was wondering? The only time that I used similar kind of headings is with friends from Bhutan!

Yes, it's an email from Phuntsho! She's at KL now! Wah! No clue why she's there... till the 2nd email - when she mentioned doing contract teaching at an International School in KL... Faraway friend who has come so near! Wah! Find a day to catch up with her before she makes her way back to Bhutan end of the year...

啊! 久违了,我的大学同学?


上个星期,和同事PC谈到她最近在协助某初院有关科技资讯事项时,谈到负责老师,谈啊谈的,原来,那位负责老师居然就是我那失去联络的“大学同学”!世界真是小!当然,PC成了我们“默默无言”的桥梁!啊!大家都晓得彼此的近况 :D


Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's been 15 years!!!

Thanks to Soo Lee organising this special occasion for all of us... and Thanks to Ming Woon's open house :D

Who's here after 15 years... Boon Siong, Tat Hee, Tow Yi, Li Lian, Ting Lee, Siow Ling, Soo Lee, Meng Woon, Rose, Lee Choo, Lee Hoon & Myself ^.^

Three Cheers to all for the enthusiastic turnout :D Now... counting down to the next one :P Hope the rest could join us then :P


Oh yes, we also tried to recall some of those good old days when we had the class gathering... hahaha... Here are some of them... ^.^

when we met @ Soo Lee's home in 2005 December
(Oh yes, the year I just returned from Bhutan)


our 10th anniversary gathering in 2003 @ Soo Lee's home

Here come the older lot of photos!!!
17 June 1993 @ Pulau Ubin

8-11 March 1993 @ Genting Highlands
Oh yes! I remember we zoomed out of the island after our last paper @ NIE!

17-18 December 1993 @ Sentosa, Youth Hostel

17 Sep 1992 @ UMBC Chalet, Pasir Ris


Here's the Computer Applications Class @ NIE (Bukit Timah Campus) 1992 - with Dr Chong
Hey! We were the very 1st batch of trained CPA teachers!
In fact, we started off learning with Mac machines!

Here's the Maths Class @ NIE (Bukit Timah Campus), a subset of the CPA class
1992 - with Dr John Cheung

~~~~~ Teach with Our Hearts ~~~~~

Good luck on your side...

It's not the title of the article that attracted me... but that image - don't know its name, but translating from chinese, it's the 4-petal leave.

As I read on... it briefly describe the 8 count-intuitive traits that help people to taste successes... They are:
1. They talk to strangers
2. They make small talk
3. They "drop" names
4. They eavesdrop and listen
5. They ask for or offer help
6. They go off the beaten track
7. They exit graciously
8. They say "Yes" when they want to say "No"

Couldn't associate to all of them... for some, have not tried them out before... of course, I guess I don't possess those traits... basically they are not in me... hahaha.... But looking at the list... some are pretty commonsensical... When look back, well... yes, unknowingly, I've applied some of them and they have helped me to connect to people...

For instance...
  • Talking to strangers... That was not in me! Till I went for the pre-departure orientation session before setting off to Bhutan... oh yes, realised how important it is to take the initiative to talk to people in order to get things done. This was more so, especially when in an unfamiliar piece of land where people prefer to speak some language that I don't understand! It's a survival skill. I would say, to me, it's really driven by needs! Just like the recent EXCEL fest when we promote the school to the public. Well, people stood around, because they were curious... but it's really up to us to catch this opportunity to bring them closer to us.
  • "Dropping" names... Hm... think not so much of dropping names, but coming to realise that hey, we know someone in common! hahaha... it helps the conversation to carry out... or creating an extra link to bind people together... For example, came to learn that a couple of my friends know colleagues at the workplace... haha! We have more common stuff to talk about... vice-versa, too... just like recently came to know that Jean knows Phua, who's my ex-colleague, and then she learnt that I know his wife, who was my NIE classmate! Apart from "dropping" names, I guess "dropping experiences" helps me to connect to more people, too (unexpectedly)! Didn't know that some people heard about me and my SVO experiences from others till we spoke about my one year stint there! What a small small world!
  • Exiting graciously... That's what I also hope to do. Yes, that's really really important to me... to me, it's kind of my responsibility to ensure things are fine before I left... It does everyone good... For sure, establishing a good relationship before parting helps in extending the network in future. Never never burn any bridges... We may need the help of others whom we have encountered... Ah! I guess EQ matters here!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

That Pair of Shoes...

A friend commented, "Hey, it's weekend! Give your feet a break!" when she noticed that I was wearing that pair of boots... oh yes... it's so automatic... with a pair of socks on my feet, will slipped into that familiar pair of boots that I wear everyday for work...

Oh yes, I have another causal pair... a comfortable one that followed me before the days I left for Bhutan... the brown hush puppies sneakers. Though it looked old and dirty... it's still comfortable. Oh yes, I don't have the habit of washing my shoes... but I wear socks! ^.^

Yesterday, pair of brown sneakers caught my eyes while window-shopping... It's placed on a kitchen weighing machine - to show it's very light... oh yes... it's very comfortable, with some points raised to support the sole. It's made in Japan... That reminded me of flora. Bought it! Came home... There, I said bye bye to the brown hush puppies.

Today, in the crowded train, one woman squeezed pass me... Arg!!!! look at her from head to toe... oops! that familiar pair of brown hush puppies!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SMRT - We pay to stand.

A pleasant surprise turned into a rude shock when boarded the train at Tampines this morning.

Was wondering why some sections of the cabins were so empty before the train came to a stop. Truth unveiled when the train door opened. Instead of the usual 6 rows of seats, it left with only 4! It's as good as reducing almost 20 seats per cabin!

No doubt this is a quick & easy way to increase carry-capacity, has SMRT seen from the commuters' perspective? Will one day we ended up in a totally empty cabin? What an irony compared to the early days when MRT was first introduced in Singapore! So much talk about the kind of seats in the cabin, with/without cushion, plastic, etc...

Take a look at some of the facilities that other overseas train services provide - for instance, in the London Underground, though it's old and usually packed, it even offers 'flip seats! That's about flexibility!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Coronation of the King

The hottest topic in Bhutan in these couple of weeks would be the coronation of the 5th king. Yes, this morning, there's an almost full page write-up (with a photo) about the grand occasion.

Just went to Kuenselonline... and the quote attracted my attention:
"I will never rule you as a King. I will protect you as a parent, care for you as a brother and serve you as a son. I have no personal goals other than to fulfill your hopes and aspirations. I shall always serve you, day and night, in the spirit of kindness, justice and equality.” said his Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, the 5th king.

I'm touched and inspired by the selfless promise! A very humble and touch-the-heart message from the 28-year-old King. The Bhutanese are really lucky and blessed...

Had the honour to meet the then crown Prince in 2005 at NIE Paro. He carried no air with him - in that few minutes of talk... Yes, the impression was great!

Click HERE to see more from KuenselOnline

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Some phrases that irriate...

At the end of the day, some phrases irriate - at interesting headline caught my attention when flipping the newspapers this morning

What are the top turn-offs that researches from Oxford University found...
  1. At the end of the day
  2. Fairly unique
  3. I personally
  4. At this moment in time
  5. With all due respect
  6. Absolutely
  7. Shouldn't of
  8. 24/7
  9. It's not rocket science

Others.... "literally" and "ironically" when they are used out of context....

Look at the list... hm... at least... I've used 4 out of 9 this week :P Oops!

Sometimes, just wonder... is it that I've a limited vocabulary of words/expressions... or these are the expressions in their simplest form already?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Musical: Avenue Q

An interesting musical, which drew lots of laughter from the audience. I guess, it's more like the audience felt the performers echoed what they have been suppressed in their expression while they fit into the social behaviour - (trying hard) to be gracious in words and actions!

Initially, wonder why the musical was labelled "above 16". After the show I think it's obvious! Several reasons:

  1. The choice & liberal use of words like "s**ks", "f**k", "s**t", etc. Well, though I don't use these words, it was integrated into the performance very naturally - in song and in conversations. Hm... Something I guess lots of adults missed using especially when they wanted to survive in this society of ours! In fact, these words reminded me of an ex-colleague who could readily 'emit' these words unembarrassing matter! Oh yes, my face would turn red if I were to utter such words! Well, some thought that's the way to express themselves candidly. I think it's really a matter of choice - to be gracious or not to be.
  2. Discrimination is another topic - the word "racists" was mentioned several time - oh yes, even a song to go with! Of course, it's something not desireable in our local context, in particular to the young. Well, there are several times they sang "A bit of racist is ok"... it has assumed maturity helps to manage action and emotion!? In fact, humorously , as the musical has put it across - the monsters vs the muppets vs the blacks! That reminded me of the racial discrimination learnt about in "To Kill a Mockingbird"!
  3. Sexual Content, as demonstrated by the 2 puppets - Princeton and Kate, on Christmas eve... in a pretty funny manner!
  4. Homosexuality is another taboo topic. It was illustrated through the relationship between Nick and Rod. Is saying's believing? Rumours come true? (Well, isn't this something I wrote about earlier this morning)?

Of course, there are also some other messages that get us to ponder. For instance,

  1. Purpose: What's our purpose in life? This is a question that many of us would have asked ourselves, especially at times when we got frustrate over things! Or when we reflect and start to ask for meaning in life! This normally happen when we reach a certain juncture in our life - on graduation? when we met a setback? or even when we achieve our short term goal (while long term goal is unclear?). Well, in the story, Princeton asked what's his purpose of life? Well, no answer - from beginning till the end... In fact, towards the end, he helped Kate to actualise her purpose of life... making her dream come true - to build a school for the monster kids (as they are deprived from education, because of discrimination!). Oh yes, the Monsterssouri was built at the end of the show.
  2. The Joy of Giving: Towards the end, when Nick ended up homeless and beg for money. He asked for money, not knowing the joy of giving, except trying to persaude others to give so as to be 'closer to god'. Haha... It sounds like a salesperson talk, right? It seems like only when Princeton parted with his first dollar, he felt the joy and influenced everyone around, including Nick.

This musical is pretty different from the previous ones... a mixture of puppets and human beings... The songs are good... the voices of the performers are good and strong! Though some take on the role of the puppets, the emotions and feelings... er... the soul of the character are fully portrayed through the facial expressions and body language... It's by far, one of the rare productions that comes with little props but I enjoyed...




再看看他们所穿的鞋子,倒是多姿多彩的。。。也发现到,不少的女士们,穿的都是露出脚趾的鞋子 - 不论是平底的,还是高跟的。

自小,就不爱穿露出脚趾的鞋子。总是怕被别人踩到脚趾;另外,也曾经因为穿日本拖鞋而擦伤了脚。。。当然, 也不怎么喜欢那脚跟离鞋的感觉。。。当然,也是欠缺那种“安全感”。。。


Rumours can be Costly

This is the article that fronted the "Recruit" section of the Straits Times this morning.

It a way, the word "Rumour" comes with a negative connotation. Normally it's bad... well, that's also the message that article sends across! It's damaging and destructive! Ah! It's so dangerous!

It influences one's thinking as well as others and could snowball to create an impact! just because of some "tweak" in truth! As the article pointed out, this "tweak" is not necessary caused by 'wrong' info, but it could due to wrong emphasis (due to some bias perception).

As mentioned in the first paragraph, "rumours constitute a feature of any social environment". Hahah... it sounds as if no social environment is spared from it! Why this 'devil' exists? In fact, any environment that is first created is "pure" (as it's empty). So, believe it's the 'devil' that's hidden in the entities that made up this environment. That's people! So, we are the ones who brought this 'devil' with us? Of course, it needs two hands to make a clap!

  • The 'devil' could not act till there's another 'devil' around or if there's another entity that the 'devil' thinks can influence!
  • Of course, if these 2 'devils' are dormant... then nothing happens lor...

In fact, this belief challenges who Confucius said, "人之初,性本善" (Yahoo! Babel Fish: at the beginning of the human, the nature is originally friendly). If one's nature is friendly or harmless... then where the evil comes from? Chim!!!

The next paragraph explained that rumours are essentially unsubstantiated and incomplete information passed by word of mouth and subject to distortion. Oh yes, in this high-tech world, it's not only by a word of mouth, but visuals and media made it deceivingly believable! Scary, isn't it? Mankind is really intelligent!!! Some rumours turn into legends! (eg. the UFOs related stories!)

To help curb this problem (see, we can't possibly prevent 'cos we can't control what others do!), chinese have a saying, "谣言止于智者" (Yahoo! Babel Fish: The rumor stops in the wise). That's where we have to exercise our wisdom and practise what is right (our righteousness and integrity!). Of course, it's important that we are able receive the inputs objectively and filter it off.

As mentioned in the later part of the article, "people are more inclined to believe in a rumour in terms of its content and if it is communicated by someone whom they perceive as being credible". So, is it about information literacy? Could one decifer what's true from the mess of info available out there? Well, today, we still have teachers who would just lift anything from the internet and citing it as if it's true (without checking the reliability of the source)! That's dangerous!

Circulating rumours is definitely damaging to oneself and the others (including the organisation) - it also leads to the lack of trust among people and often second guess the genuine intent of things! That's disastrous... and I think, worst... it's self-destruction - emotionally...