Sunday, December 27, 2015

Morning Walks...

One of the greatest achievement of this year-end holiday is about resuming the "walking" business on a daily basis, which I think the last time I did it so regularly, almost on a daily basis was more than 15 years ago, and that time, it was evening walks most of the time, where I was highly stressed up and the clear oxygenated-mind helped me to make an important decision.

Only started in early December and so far, except mornings that I have to leave early for work, I would make it a point to commit 50 minutes to walking, taking over 5500 steps :)

Indeed, it's quite cooling behind the sun starts to work her way up to the sky, showing off her golden rays :) It's also a pretty beautiful experience to see how the sky transforms from total darkness to full brightness.

Some interesting observations picked up over the past 3 weeks include:
  • It is actually quite a pleasant surprise that walking is as popular as 'jogging' which I used to associate the morning activities with "jogs" only.
  • It is common to see "lone" joggers and walkers in the morning :)  Of course, we also see couples (young & elderly), as well as friends (usually two) who exercise together.
  • Seeing some regular faces - without fail will meet them every morning (as my morning timing does not differ much. The more regular ones actually do slow jogging (which I refrain from jogging but walking instead). There are not that many regular faces, less than ten.
  • The one who looked like Dr Lee - hahahhaa... remember what I said in the earlier post, I had never saw my dentist's face 100% - he is always 'half-masked'. So, that's my imagination from the hairstyle! Well, this look-alike does not seem to be a regular. Had disappeared after seeing him a couple of times - maybe, he's away for holidays since it's the year-end vacation period.
  • There's this elderly man who would appear after 6.45 am, also not as regular as I initially thought. He would sat at the bench facing the canal, right in front the flats. What left an impression was once, he actually took out a harmonica and blew his heart out in the early hours at around 7 am. That was the only one time I heard the tunes from the harmonica. In that morning, I counted... The tune went as far away as 100 steps from the source! He probably had not practised till he could 千里传音 yet. Hahaha.... No more harmonica this morning. Why? Hm....  
  • Up to now, I saw around 5 different dogs that would accompany their owners for the morning jogs & walks (at varying degrees). I wonder who pushes/ motivates who, sometimes :)
  • Scary stuff in the darkness (before the sun rises)? Well, it's really up to our imagination! Once I saw a huge 'object' in white moving along the canal... with the gentle breeze, I could see the white cloth moved (ok, quite a sizeable amount). As I brisk walk nearer... hahaha... It's a huge-size man in a long loose white baju! 
With the ECO Green Park along the opposite side the canal, morning calls of the birds are common.
Looking at the birds flying pass or resting on the trees... a nice way to start a busy day...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Is this a survey question or it's a....

Came across these questions in the survey, Singapore Life Panel® , a study on Economic Security and the Ageing Demographic. That sets me wondering if it's a survey or a Maths quiz?

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

It's more than 10 years since...

It's more than 10 years since... I had my wisdom tooth (bottom right) extracted. It was the first time I visited a dentist since primary school days... hahaha... that I successfully avoided for more than 20 years then. Frankly speaking, I had no horror dental experience... but simply did not see the need.... Until the bottom right wisdom tooth erupted (ok, I used the dentist's term) and almost beyond recognition. It was left with the crown! Hahaha... you can imagine! Because of its urgency to remove the tooth, I went to somewhere that's most convenient, basically no wait time. That's when I first met my dentist Dr Lee at Raffles Dental.

I guess because of his experience, there's no fear except exhaustion after the extraction. He was patient and I think, the regular updates helps a lot, giving assurance that things are fine... and everything's in control. He wore a surgical mask... and I had no idea how he looked like, except could recognise his hair style! (Hahaha... sounds funny? but it's true). But interesting, his full name is same as Prime Minister Lee - Dr Lee Hsien Loong Bernard! What a coincidence!

Subsequently, I went back to review and removed my stitches; and adhered to his advice, I had gone back annually for general maintenance. He was thorough and would advice accordingly, e.g. pointing out that the stains on the teeth was probably due to medication, etc. and suggested me getting an electric toothbrush for more thorough cleaning, etc. I think it's how the messages communicated got me receptive to his advice and suggestions. The clinic had moved several times, but my record followed :) After a while, I lost track and had not visited the dentist for the recent couple of years until recently, in August, the top right wisdom tooth started to seek attention.

I did not know if Dr Lee was still at the clinic... but met a young lady dentist. Dr Kim when I returned to the same clinic. It was general maintenance. She did what Dr Lee did in the past... the 'cleaning' job; however, this time, I did not receive any information on her observations; neither did she gave any update on the procedures... ok, though it's cleaning, there are things that Dr Lee would do that I missed. E.g. After knocking the teeth, he would give a quick report on the strength, which were the ones to look out for, etc.


So, what sets the difference between a greenhorn and an experienced dentist? 
Indeed, while I told Dr Kim that I was experiencing some discomfort before the cleaning. She reported that all looked fine after cleaning. I had to request for an X-ray to be done. Only then she "discovered" and diagnosed that the top right wisdom tooth was causing the discomfort because it had started to decay and turn hollow inside :( In a second thought, perhaps she should pay me the fees that help her learn how to diagnose where the issue was! So, if I had not ask for an X-ray to be done, the cause of the problem would not have been surfaced! After the X-ray, she, like following standard operating procedure,  suggested a tooth extraction to be done immediately! Would I leave my tooth to be treated by this dentist?! You know the answer! In addition, this is term time, and 5 days medical leave would have heavy impact on my schedule, too! Since it's non-urgent, the tooth will continue to live with me, but with special care and attention from that point onward.

Well, the tooth sought attention last week when it got chipped while I was chewing on my favourite giant fishball. It's time to see the dentist... and of course, this time, I checked and glad that Dr Lee is still with the clinic! Of course, I shall wait despite of the discomfort.

It was that familiar voice, and that familiar face (covered with a mask). I guessed that helped a lot when calming myself down as I believed I was in safe hands, and what's more, when I checked on the Singapore Dental Council website, he actually started practising since 1990. OK, I'm in the hands of a dentist who has been in practice for 25 years! and yes... he checked, and informed me the plan and describe what I would go through helps a lot! Yes, the updates along the way helped. He was trying to speed up before the anesthesia period is over, he was gentle to handle the 'push' to loosen the tooth. Unfortunately, the tooth was too 'soft' and he had to switch over to surgery to remove the remaining tooth. That took another one hour.

All in all, the one and a half hour was tiring. While I knew I was in good hands, I got nervous when the loosening work started. Having the mouth stretched for so long... it's really really tiring! Fortunately, the anesthesia numbed the right half of my mouth, including half the tongue and my right cheek. That saved me from the pain.

One point to note is, because of the anesthesia, I had the 'taste' of having part of my face numbed and experienced the inconveniences and 'lost of control' (e.g. difficulty in moving my mouth, the 'vacuum' experience when I placed the cup to my mouth. I lost control of my facial expression for a while, especially when it is still quite immense. I don't even know whether my face swell or if there's any drooling! That's scary, right? I could now better emphasize - the "helpless" feel of people who actually lost control of part of their body parts (e.g. the stroke patient).

Job done today. Took the antibotics and painkiller; and a medical certificate - to certify that I shall stay away from meetings in the next couple of days. Well, I'm glad that it's school holidays - no time loss.

Will see you again next Wednesday to remove the stitches. Cheers!

Tooth removed: 1 8


Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Who created today's 'needs'? Are they 'real needs'?

Read this,  (source:

Galbraith writes:
American demand for goods and services is not organic. That is, the demands are not internally created by a consumer. These such demands - food, clothes, and shelter - have been met for the vast majority of Americans. The new demands are created by advertisers and the "machinery for consumer-demand creation" that benefit from increased consumer spending. This exuberance in private production and consumption pushes out public spending and investment. He called this the dependence effect, a process by which "wants are increasingly created by the process by which they are satisfied".'

Having read the above... found it really amazing... did we not fall into this 'trap' set up by the advertisers that created our demands (the "wants"). For the successful cases, they have changed the habit and behaviour of the society (even global) without people knowing it.