Sunday, July 31, 2005

Special Guests, Special Talents

One evening, we had a few friends over for dinner, actually, only two adult friends and three kiddo friends.

(but we're secretly more aiming to see our little friends hee.... the parents just have to be fed hee....)

We're happy to see them at our place, all ready to eat all the food that Ad had pain-staking prepared and our young friends were ready to explore the X-box, or the cross box.

Amazing, without any coaching, young Matt and Gab can play all by themselves, just by trial and error.... shot shot aim shot! These young folks has got the "try and try again" spirit which is totally admirable!

Their younger brother Josh, also never fail to amaze us with his ever wide smile and total concentration at someone eating their food.... hee... its no wonder that this little young boy of barely 9months old, weighs a whooping 10kg. (its GREAT workout just carrying him... I can feel my arm musles aldy)

Here's what artists Gab left for us on his drawing canvas:

can you make out who is who?? hee.... the long green haired gal is ME! the boy in sexy singlet is Ad hee.... interesting eh?

we had a toy which he took a look at and immediately drew:

a look-alike robot! Amazing kid!

So these were our Special Guests, with their Special Talents brought up with definitely Special Parents! =D

Farewell R. Shan

One of my ex-labmates Mr. R. Shan has decided to quit his high paying job in Singapore (after 6 yrs of graduate studies and working) and to return to Beijing to start up his own business. So that gave us an excellent excuse to get together and have a hearty meal of ChongQing Steamboat again! (eating the super spicy steamboat used to be one of our highlights during the many long years in the uni....)

So there's alot of old familiar jokes and things to bring up during the dinner, sadly, we'll be missing one more of the funny jokers after Jiangyan, Bensheng, Haiyan, Wanghai has left us.... :( Although the times that we've spent together was a short 3.5yrs, we had numerous fantastic memories, of shifting to a bigger space, where Mr. R. Shan would indulge in his 3D games (n often getting caught by our BOSS ha ha ha), the many lazy after lunch siestas, the many walks to the canteen for lunches, the many interesting jokes that arise from our different culture and upbringing, there were hardly any ill-feelings, instead we enjoyed the diversity of background and characters which shaped our experiences in a shared space.

Here, I bring you the people who made the words, Thumb, Thank You and Rubbish ultra famous among the crowd....

The guy in the middle is Mr. R. Shan, he's the made who bring meaning to lightning marriage, in his simple yet sincere manner, he wed his wife in Singapore and they have a baby girl name YiDing.

This guy... Dr. David, started the ball of wedding rolling when he announced that he was seeing someone and would like to marry her.... they met online!! We were of course shocked! But jumped in joy for their happy news. =)


The athletic looking young man here is on his way to get his PhD and being a keen swimmer, has offered swimming lessons and also played basketball with us the YOUNGER folks! When I first met Ad, he wanted to challenge Ad to the different sports to "test" Ad out hee.... We had great fun at the basketball courts trying to snatch the ball from each other, it was definitely a good workout then. Needless to say, the pretty young lady next to him is NOT at all related to him but she's my JieMei, a humorous, fun-loving and definitely a loving person.....


So Mr. Shan, here's to wishing you all the best in your future endeavors, remember to write to us often and brighten our days with your crappy jokes. *wink*

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Fatherless Males?

Read this article from The Biology Refugia

Fatherless sons
"Some insects, specifically most species of the Hymenoptera, do things differently, with a sex determination system called haplodiploidy.

Males are always haploid, having only one set of chromosomes, and they produce only one kind of gamete, and all of their gametes are genetically identical. Females are diploid, and produce haploid eggs.

If the eggs are fertilized by a male, they develop into females; unfertilized eggs develop into males. Fathers can only have daughters, and mothers produce sons without the contribution of a male. Males don't have fathers, literally."

Confirmed: I'm a BAD scientist

After 50mins of close scrutiny at the gel.... I noticed 2 things about it.

1. There's leakage (yes AGAIN! wan to yank the whole set apart and thrash it on the floor already....)
2. The gel has yet to polymerise!!!! 50mins!!! something is thoroughly WRONG!

*DEEP SIGH*

Pluck up some courage, read the thousands of protocols again and realised that, I'm suppose to TOP UP the volume to about 10mL and not simply ADD 6.5mL of water to it (cos in the last few preparations, I did noticed that it was alot more diluted than it was supposed to be).

So we re-weigh the chemicals and add all the reagents in, this time, add only a tiny weeny bit of water first, to dissolve everything together. So happily, to help it dissolve better, I smart-aleck put it on a heat block to increase the 'speed' of dissolving with higher temperature. After about 10mins, both me and my lab mate found ourselves staring into a beaker of crystals!!!!! The whole beaker of gel wasnt suppose to solidify nor crystallise!! It was just suppose to be in liquid state till we add in another two catalyst to make it polymerised....

*super strange*

So we had to discard the whole beaker of crystals again and re-start the weighing, adding, dissolving process again. This time without any heat, no heating, no heating.

after 5mins of stirring, most of the chemicals hasnt dissolved.

I'm wondering if there's a gel God out there whom we should seek permission to cast the gel and to pray for smooth smooth set up of the gel.....

yes, for those who are wondering, we started out at 9am this morning, attempting to cast one small tiny mini gel... now its almost 3, we're still fighting with the chemicals and reagents to cast a perfect gel.... think i'll go and frame this gel up if it works!

*blah* I suck at being a scientist

Today, I was suppose to try out a new protocol that involves alot of toxic chemicals and steps that I've never ever done before. It took me a few days to gather the chemicals, reagents, check out all the different protocols etc and finally today is the DAY to try my hands on it to actually doing it!

So... I made ALL the mistakes that I can possibly make....

I weighed my chemical and then added the wrong volume of water to it.... Darn, had to repeat the step again...

I had to coat the glass plates with silicon and I was overly generous with the silicon, so had to re-do it like 4times!!!

Then after like an eternity, the plates seemed to have dried, we were suppose to wipe it clean with ethanol... not sure if it was really working but the ethanol seems to be sticking onto the plate with tiny bubbles... eeks!

So great, the plates looked ready, we can clamp them together with paper clips and try to load the gel into it.... (all protocols says that the gel polymerises ada hardens almost IMMEDIATELY after adding the final 2 components into it so got to be QUICK!) My sharp-sighted fellow lab-mate pointed out that we ought to tape up the glass plates to prevent leaking of the gel, so we took a whole roll of tape and taped it up like a dummy....

k.... while loading the gel, we noticed that the gel seems to find its way OUT of the glass plates... it was LEAKING!!! ARGH... the worse NIGHTMARE has happened. After re-taping the plates 3 times.... yes... we finally stopped the leak. At the back of my head I was thinking why doesnt the gel polmerise yet? It was suppose to be like super fast, almost INStanT is'nt it? *strange*

So both myself and my lab mate sat down on our seats puzzled.... and then she realised that we did not remove the gas out of the gel material!!! AHHH the gas will prevent the gel to polymerize! that's Y!! I forgot to degas the gel !! darn....

so I had to weigh chemicals AGAIN (for the 3rd time) and then add all the magic potion inside and DEgas the darn thing and then load it onto the nicely cleaned plates..... and guess what?? it started to leak AGAIN!! you would think that we got better at sticking tape around the glass and clipping it full of clips right? Well, it din work! after two rounds of re-taping... it finally settled down properly.

now for the next 20min-30mins... we'll have to keep our fingers crossed that it polymerises PROPERLY!!

yah.. in conclusion, I suck at doing new experiments and that I'm a bad-tempered one when it fails too many times! HA HA HA

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Jenad's Favourite little friend

Do you have a friend who never fail to brighten your day?

A friend who always seemed eager to see you?

A friend whose smile lights up even the darkest day?

A friend whom you look forward to meeting?

Here's our little friend Joshua who does his magic to us every week....





Want to hear more about him? check him out at his family blog!

The Singapore Heritage Hunt 2005

YES! We have signed up for yet another contest, this time, its a brainy sounding contest that is based on Singapore's Heritage. When we first saw the advertisement for it on the papers, we thought of teaming up with the contest-junkies of the dive junkie owners. However, we were too late to seize their partnership, they have already signed up with their usual partners of previous races.

Disappointed, we almost gave up going for this race, but we met up with old time buddy of Ad, Mr. Pavi (a history teacher - Ha Ha, who would know lots MORE about Singapore's history then me and Ad combined!!)! & his wifey Inderpal (who's history knowledge spans further than the secondary school history books like most of us....) PERFECT!! (plus, i must admit that they were really hardworking, searching online for information, printed out important landmarks, even checked out previous year's questions!)

Through many emails and funny exchanges later, we were finally signed up for the race, about 2 days before application closes. We found out that, there were over 500 teams that signed up for it with over 2300 contestants to spar with. *woah* At the thought of waking up so early on a sat morning (be there at 8am) plus the strong competition.... I was almost tempted to sleep in... *shhhhh*



Well, one good thing did come out of signing up later... we got blue T-shirts meant for the organisers instead of the orange ones meant for the contestants... ha ha ha... it was much easier to spot each other in sea of orange. That was a HUGE advantage!

We took breakfast at the good old trusty Maxwell Market and by some interested twist of luck, we found one of the checkpoints!! ha ha ha.... but we were not "smart" enough to read the questions... hmm....

Rules for the game was to go to over 20 designated spots in Singapore spread over 3 zones (random order within the zones but have to move from zone 1- chinatown to 2-kampong glam then finally to 3-labrador park). hmm... planning, planning, lots of planning to do....



You know... as adults competitors in the open category, we used alot more resources and pulled alot more stunts than any of those thousands of kiddos did.... we formed alliance with another group Mola Mola


Heh Heh..... and also... we got backup resources, see Ad on the hp??


BUT on hindsight...NONE of those tactics worked.... because, everywhere we went, there was just a mad rush of people running, dashing, pushing to get to the board, look at the passage for the answers and scribble them down and edging their way to the organisers to get their chop then scramble off to the next checkpoint.



So as super geared up Singaporeans, we saw others running... we RAN too!! and RAN and RAN like mad!
At the end of Zone 1, we covered 9 checkpoints under 45mins! not bad eh? We had to move to Zone 2, with very little contestants that we saw at the bus stop, we figured that we were ahead of the pack! HEH, very happy, very confident!


Next stop was a Hindu Temple, we dashed out of the bus and HEY, our allies caught up with us! Cool, 8 of us, ran, walked, jogged, briskwalked from Skih Center to St Teresa's Church to Mosque Temenggong and to the bus interchange opposite to harbor front. You can imagine how FAR all these were! All we can think of was to be fast to widen the gap between us and the teams behind us. During our llllloooonnnnnngggg and sometimes painful run, job, sprint, briskwalk, walk saga, we actually saw teams going in the reverse directions! Silly we thought.

Right done with Zone 2, we are on to Zone 3, final place, its here that our alliance may end... cos if we are at the top 3 positions, each team was for their own.... (sounds familiar huh?)

On the bus, we met with another team from the Corporate category... *surprised* there were a few teams in these cat!! NOT right... we should have signed up for that cat!! Well, we know better next time.



Final leg, we were all happy and totally confident with the information that our alliance has given us to make sure that we bring each other to the top 3 positions. *confident*

We raced out of the bus, dashed (yes AGAIN) towards the left side of the bus and ran and ran towards the next checkpoint, but... hey! the organisers were not there YET!!! ARGHHH.... We were so upset! Well, nothing is perfect eh? We saw another team sitting at the checkpoint, looking really disappointed, and announced that he has been waiting for the last 30mins! woah.... They were FAST! (does that means that we're not so fast afterall?? hmm.....)

After running down the slope, up and down the coast line of Labrador Park, did 20 skips... we thought that we have done it! YES, we did it! We finished!! But on a closer examination of our contest card.... we realised that we left out ONE check point! AHHH..... So Pavi & Inderpal ran and ran and ran and ran up some monsterious stairs to get to the last checkpoint. At this very point, it started to pour, not rain but poured cats and dogs, we could hardly see where those two runners disappeared to! After a few mins (which felt like a lifetime, knowing that we're not the 1st team anymore), we saw their blue tees peeping out of the greenery, totally soaked through, we quickly rescued them from the rain and relay the form and raced to the finishing point.

We made it! We were 5th team to finish! YIPEE!

Still no news from Mola Mola yet, both our teams missed the last checkpoint and their took a different route to search for it, poor folks... In the end, they finished 8th, not bad eh?

Here's how we all look like after the race, totally DRENCHED, but HAPPY!





oh.... poor C had an injury... due to the heavy rain and the last checkpoint, he had quite a few St John angels tending his injury....

Friday, July 22, 2005

Which Peanuts Character are You?

Hey, I'm a Franklin! :)

Franklin
You are Franklin!


Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Our 100th Blog!

Yeah! its our 100th Blog! *applause* *applause*

time to celebrate the blogging cyberspace for bringing a new meaning to our lives... heh...

wonder how long would this fag last?

The Ultimate Peanuts insult

I cannot believe it when people started to talk about the "peanuts" that the NKF CEO is getting with respect to the source of his income and the "charitable organisation" behind it....

When people started using the famous Peanuts comics strip as a way to criticize the situation is still bearable... what was truly unbearable painful for a Peanuts fan like me was this:



which was so truly heart-breaking to see Singaporeans would stop at nothing to poke fun at a ugly situation at the expense of a piece of great work, so painstaking built up over 50years.



Why not, give constructive feedback rather than pull down another great person's effort to introduce good moral values, good manners through comics?

I truly hope that all those pranksters who are trying to create a new way to use my favourite comics strip to "comment" on the current NKF situation to re-think their efforts and give the Charles Schulz some respect for his contribution.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bye Bye iCon

Ad bought an interesting read about Steve Jobs, his life story, a biography which as not exactly endorse by him... hee... u may have guessed, it contains alot of juicy reads.

So my darling Ad, brought the book around with him for the whole day and kept reminding himself not to lose it.

True enough, during lunch at KFC, he left the book behind.... =(

But he remembered it almost immediately and managed to recover it. Heng AH!

Then, in the evening, he sat at Kopitiam trying to catch his breath after a marathon afternoon of meetings and donated his book to someone who claimed that it was his.

=((

So here's to say Bye Bye iCon.



oh yes... that person who got the book... does not have the cover for it! If u see someone lurking around with the book without its covers... and uses Ad's namecard as the bookmark, feel free to jump on him!

p/s: if anyone reading this blog has a copy of the book and dun mind lending to Ad... pls contact us!!!! use the tagboard or leave a comment or something!! ;)

An evening of being a Tai Tai

YEAH... after about 6mths, I went to get a facial again today... woah, I forgot how good it feels like to be pampered... all u need to do is to lie down and relax, let someone do the work of washing your face... ha ha ha... plus they do it many many times, getting rid of those pesky black heads, white heads, acne etc (ouch).

I fell asleep so many times that i wish i can be there longer. =D

Thereafter, I went to do some light gorcery shopping and discover so many new things in our friendly neighbourhood shops... interesting!

check out this set of knives at Cash Converter for only S$88. Its a single henckel mind u... 8 knives in total.. definitely a steal!

Check out NTUC's shelves!

I'm so proud of my neighborhood!

After about 4months... I've started to wander around in the NTUC just for fun instead of rushing for the milk, bread and margarine and to my surprise, I've discovered that NTUC does have NEW stuff!! So exciting!

For those Korean fans who are crazy about Da Chang Jin and want to indulge themselves in the K food culture, NTUC has a whole corner for YOU!


And for those who love the opposite, want to indulge is some Aussie food fare, or u just want tickle your taste buds a little with cheese macaroni they also shelves and shelves of the Australian food, about twice the size of the K corner.


AH.... and dun think that the Ang Mo food from America is forgotton, they also have a section where food from Liberty Market can be found! So happy to find my favourite sweet of LifeSaver (multicolor ones too!). U know the story behind the LifeSavers? Its great for people who needs to stay awake while driving on the road. The different flavours have strong tangy taste which are very different from those available here in Singapore. Go check it out!


=D

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Oops, I'm being watched....

who would have thought that my "hardworking" night of rushing my report was captured ?

wonder if he knew what I was up to... heh....

Familiar Songs

I used to study in the middle of the night. I remember the serenity of the night, the mind becomes alot clearer and with little or no distraction, I can completely focus on studying... or mugging (local terminology).

Often when my parents find me crazy having to struggle to get out of the cosy warm bed to the stillness of the night where even the roaches are not active (usually ard 4am hee...)

I would plug my tiny FM radio earphones into my ears and allow the music to semi-distract me. When a nice song was played I would stop my mugging and sway to its music.

Tonight, as I mug for my report (super over-due....) I find these familar songs being aired again. Feels like old friends accompanying me while i'm fighting the sleepyness and trying hard to meet the deadlines.

*happy* *contented* *ultra sleepy*

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Picture to Match the Yummy Pinoy Food

Yeah... finally got my IrDA to work again so here's the photo gallery of the super sinful but totally yummy food that we ate....

the famous deep fried pork knuckles, super sinful, totally YUMMY!


the ultra cannot beat crunchy deep fried pork skin... esp. when u dip it in the vinegar sauce YUMMy!


heres another fried stuff which Ad and the rest enjoyed! but since it was intestines... I stayed out of it... but according to the reviews... its GREAT!


ahh...finally something to reduce all that "heat" VEGGIES! looks inviting eh?


so it'll be another quarter before we indulge in such sinful food again... Ad dun go eating without me ah!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Contest Junkies

Yeah.... We have a new hobby... that's to join competitions... heh...

Over the last weekend, in 24hours, we took part in a 8 prize lucky draw using sms in HRC and also cheong with thousands of Singaporean for the chance to win a Mazda after solving the clue on the ST newspapers with the help of two friends. *wink*

Next week, we've signed up for the Heritage Fest Race..... maybe it'll be 3rd time lucky for us to WIN the big prize!!!! wish us luck!

We are now Contest Junkies!!

Contest Junkies Part 2

hehe... here's the photo "show" of the ST competition which we took part in... We started at around 11+pm on 15th July, the draw was to take place at 12pm the next day. We had to find 35 letters in the 15 days worth of newspapers and solve the riddle which will tell us where to deposit the "contest" form for the lucky draw. 12hr saga begins....




in 30mins, together with the help of our two friends, we cut out all the available clues from the 15days worth of newspapers and managed to "solve" the riddle... but it was a life saving sms from fren's sis that actually confirmed our riddle hee..

Unfortunately, we realised that we had ONE letter missing... the letter T!

After cutting down all the alphabeths from the newspapers, we had to wait till saturaday's papers to paste all these letters into the space available to solve the riddle.. with one missing letter, all our late night efforts would have been wasted.

SO we HAVE to FIND the last letter T, by hook or by crook, we started formulating all the possible ways to find that letter over a square table and finally we arrived at the conclusion that we'll have to depend on our extended family to get the "extra" help...

After the extensive 4hr "discussion" we were exhausted but not going to give up, we got up early the next day morning and started hunting from my bro's hse... he's the nearest to me heh... lucky me.. the first set of papers i started to dig.. got the letter T!!! YEAH!!!!

We got news that the traffic at East Coast (the destination) was really jammed packed with people and CARS!!! There will be NO way for us to get there on time to deposite our form... so we took a detour, travelled on some inland roads, prayed real hard and managed to find a suitable spot to deposit the car first... heh... AD was sent to run ahead to get to the BOX. but he only found some pple who said that they were staff of SPH and handed them our forms... we never got to see how the form looked like, nor how the draw was being held... we're too far away, too exhausted and too engrossed in our own conversations. =D

well, one lucky winner took away that car... not us... but we did have great fun and a bunch of memories to bring home with us.

Am definitely looking forward to next week's Heritage Race heh... more blogging to follow!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Increase ur Blogger community

Heh heh... its my pleasure to announce the new kakis to the blogging world...

The Neos
the mummy of the family writes about her interests, her family and many stories surrounding their lives, lots of photos to tickle the taste buds for colors =D

Mdm Keow
is another mummy who has a young child and publishes her simple yet nutritional recipes for busy mummys, being a teacher she has lots of interesting encounters with the school, the system and the kids... look out for more updates!

PurpleDusk
a cool young lady with lots of imagination, lots of questions about the world and a love for cute stuff and online questionaires. from a humble blog, her blog has blossomed into a gadgety blog with chatbox, counter, daily quotes with lots of links to interesting jewellery, books and movies too!

The Business World
a candide capture of the clothing business world by a pretty shy blogger who decided to blog to test out the system, hope she'll fall in love with the ability to speak her mind soon... *wink*

Joanne
a young lady who is in the transition of moving from one learning phrase in her life to the working world, indulges in taking snap shots of herself and the items of interest to her... u can find yourself a Harry Potter and chinese music fan here.

Otterman
a super duper fast blogger who explores numerous topics ranging from Mac technology, environment, mangroves, forest, friends, cycling, conservation etc... check out the MANY types of application that he uses to blog, so for those who wants to know about RSS feed, site visit statistics... visit the guru of blogging

Teuteberg
a occassional writer who writes about almost anything..... *mysterious*

Alvin's Spiel
a singaporean couple who are working in Beijing, China now but still totally attached to the happenings of Singapore. Maybe at times the stuff that they come across is MORE than what we have here hee... Plenty of interesting stories to read here about their experiences, their trips, their doggy Sally and their love for FOOD!

Lekowala
a biologist at heart who spits out scientific names of the plants, animals as if they were his close friends, watch how he bring his kids and family to his biological world.... filled with lots of photos and captures to depict the fruit, flower, plant whatever!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

social animal

I think I'm a social animal, I get energised by the presence of new faces and people. Put me in an environment where there's just me and me alone I'll probably DIE from boredom....

mmm.....

Desperate for more Desperate Housewives

The last episode of season 1 of the DH was aired tonight.... after catching it... there are MORE suspense in the air!!!

Now I cant wait for the 2nd season to be aired on tv...

HURRY u producers!

Monday, July 11, 2005

No need to wonder about your donations anymore....

This article is extracted from a regional newspaper forwarded to me:

Qns:

How does all the TCS artistes feel after knowing this truth? Imagine all their hardwork and sweat, injuries and personal sacrifices....

How does the average income aunties and uncles feel about donating their hard earned money to the CEO of NKF to take his 1st class flight and gold-tap??

What about the millions of flyers and donation gimmicks that often find their way to our mailbox, newspapers, tv commericals? How much $$ is used in these areas??

So for those who know me.... never ask me for any NKF donations ever again!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NKF SUES SPH OVER 'GOLD-PLATED TAP'
-----------------------------------
Claims it didn't even have 12-storey building then; SPH lawyer asks NKF chief about his salary

Tor Ching Li
chingli@newstoday.com.sg

LAST April, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) made headlines in The Straits Times' (ST) on several occasions: First, for its corporate tie-up with insurance company Aviva, then for its $189-million reserves and again on April 19 - a day after an NKF fund-raising charity show - in a report that mentioned a "gold-plated tap" that cost "at least $1,000" at its
Kim Keat Road headquarters.

The non-profit organisation is now making headlines again as it commences, along with its chief executive T T Durai, 57, a libel suit against the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Ms Susan Long, 32, ST senior writer and author of the April 19 report, "The NKF: Controversially ahead of its time?".

In the first six paragraphs of the report, Ms Long set out that her source - "a retired contractor known only as Mr Tan" - told her of a "gold-plated tap" costing "at least $1,000", as well as a glass-panelled shower and a "pricey German toilet bowl", that he had to install on the "12th floor of the $21-million building".

She recounted how the contractor had "scream(ed) his head off" on learning
of the assignment at the NKF's "new headquarters at Kim Keat Road in 1995", but was told to "just do" his job.

According to the report, the taps he eventually installed were "scaled down" to an "upmarket chrome-plated model".

These allegations implied that the NKF had - under Mr Durai's management - misused public funds, said the NKF in the Supreme Court yesterday. It is arguing that the newspaper had an agenda against it.

Following the report, the NKF had sought an apology and retraction of this allegation from SPH. But as none was forthcoming, the case will be heard out in court over the next nine days.

The NKF statement cited that in 1995, it was not yet housed in its current 12-storey premises, but instead, in a two-storey block on site.

The statement also said that there was no "gold-plated tap" nor any tap which "alone cost at least $1,000" in that building.

During his full-day cross-examination session by SPH's Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, Mr Durai stated that in 1994, a shower mixer and basin mixer had been installed in his absence. He "gave instructions for that to be removed" upon his return from an overseas trip.

Mr Durai did not want the office interior to appear luxurious. But, according to the NKF, Ms Long's report had implied that the alleged "gold-plated taps" were "scaled down" only because of the contractor's protestations.

Mr Singh said this incident supported his argument that the report was factual and that the "expensive bathroom fittings" were, in fact, installed and then removed.

Mr Singh also said that SPH had a duty to comment on the NKF's financial affairs in the interest of the public and questioned Mr Durai on his salary package and whether he had flown first class on NKF funds collected
from the public.

Mr Durai, who initially told the court he preferred to keep his salary private, said he earned an average of about $550,000 a year, including bonuses varying from 10 months to a year's salary. Over the last three years, he earned a total of around $1.8 million.

Two years ago, when Mr Durai earned nearly $600,000, the NKF had an annual turnover of $100 million.

Mr Durai explained that his pay package and bonus was a decision made by the foundation's board and that the board had also pegged the flight entitlement for senior staff at Singapore Airlines business class prices.

Mr Durai said that he had flown all classes before and only started travelling first-class in the past two years.

He said he would pay the difference for any first class upgrades and that sometimes, it was cheaper for him to fly first class than on business class.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Siong This is for YOU!

Hello Siong and all those Crispy Pata fans out there... here's the yummy dish for you! hee...



Today, our choir had decided to go "pig" out and stuff ourselves silly with some of the most delicious Filipino food!! Deep-fried pork knuckles (=cripy pata), deep fried pork skin with lard (=?? help Jar Jar Bings), fried cheek and ears (=sisig) and many many more!! Best part is to wash it all down with San Miguel!

Oh... there's even a story for Pinoy's famous local beer San Miguel.... something like every alphabeth in the name is linked up into the first words of a sentence to describe the origins of the beer... Got to get Jar Jar Bings to tell us!

Psst: can u gues who is JJB in the photo? *wink*

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Big Kids Small Play

Sometimes, I wonder about how I would be when I'm 60yrs old, would I be some boring old folks who will sit around and stare into space or will be an active elderly enjoying new experiences....

When I look around my friends and watch what they do.... I believe, my elderly life would fall into the latter category.... =p

check out the two young chaps at the pool table... they took their game really seriously and forbid us to even breath near them....

Music is Back in the CAR!

Yes!! my car is now dawn with music again....some background info for those who have been missing out on my car woes...

my proton is 14yrs old... with age, many "non-essentials" are failing, about 3yrs back the light in the car (the small dingy one that turns on when someone opens the door??) failed. I really thought that it was gone for good... but recently it came back on again! Without anyone doing anything! That was good news right? BUT no...

the passenger side door is not responding to my central locking, so its a hassle to manually open and locking it with each car ride. Thankfully, I've got little guest in my car and Ad has been well-informed to open his own door each time hee...

then the radio started to show signs of aging as well.... once it went silent for a few days!! it came back on after many prayers and fingers crossing... then about 2months back it went off for good... no prayers or turning it on and off triggered any signs of recovery...

It was such a nightmare having to drive daily to and fro work 26km each way, very often met with jams... the silence is deafening! I can even hear myself talking in my head so loudly that I have to tell myself to CONCENTRATE on the road. But of course, it was these times which I would have the chance to formulate my thoughts on my work and also the people that I've met etc hee...

but my darling bought me a radio to accompany me! YEAH. no more silence, no more lonely driver...

check out how cool it sits next to me...THE DRIVER =D

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

New StudY!! Yipee!

YES, its official that our new and improved study is ready! After a marathon 24hrs, we managed to transform it from a cluttered space to a spacious looking room with lots of storage and room for both of our many hobbies... :D *happiness*

For those who have been to our place, the study was under numerous changes and different facades as we were trying hard to understand what our needs for a study was. Initially we both thought that we wanted a huge table, like those in TV or stores where you walk into an impressive space define by the large-ness of the tables hee.... Unfortunately, as the space in our study is smaller than standard rooms after we cut off a corner for our master bedroom and a side for our tv console... the BIG tables that we bought from Ikea originally din not work for us... From the begining of our furnishing journey (about 2yrs ago) we had nightmares with the study....

What we thought was important was really NOT. Instead, we needed alot more storage spaces, we have tonnes of 'stuff' which we both felt that we 'need' and simply cannot do away with them... so we'll need to find space to keep them hee... and here's our solution....

the shelves! bought at 4pm, home by 430pm, up by 12midnight:

Wat do you think? Snoopy fits so snugly on the couch, looks so inviting for a read eh?

then by mon nite, we got the tables and the computers all working neatly..... so cool eh?


and here's Ad looking cool with his PB and mac mini on his flawless desk....

Friday, July 01, 2005

Unexpected Experience

Bill Gates come down to Singapore to give a talk on Technology to Career. Knowing that he's a big name in the PC world, affecting millions of PC users, he's like a GURU.

Of course I dashed for the tickets to watch him LIVE! I was so anxious, that I kept running the schedules of that day in my mind so that I would be super early for the talk.

When we entered Suntec City Hall, the open hall was only lukewarm full of audience, which was surprising because the event was about to begin in about 30mins, we were told to come 2hrs before the talk to grab "good" seats.

We were greeted by friendly microsoft staff and showed us the way to our seats and the 5 gigantic screens showing syncronissed images of different aspect of microsoft was on with music and all... *excited*

However, we noticed that the images seemed to be abit off-color and less "sharp" and captivating to a generally audience. Some of the content was pretty interesting where they showed how undergraduate students around the world congregated to crack codes or write new programs.

When the guru finally came on-stage after about an 45mins wait, he looked tired and carried out a less than satisfactory presentation, Q&A was disappointing as well, I expected a huge BOOM of information, new releases, technology of tomorrow pushing todays' frontier kind of session, instead, it was a dry 45min presentation, with slides cramped with words and I can hardly make out which part of the presentation he was actually talking about.

*disappointed*

Next came a 45min Demo of the NEW MS features..... u would expect a professional display of tools, functions, programming additions that would ROCK the world... instead, it started with new features on the MSN messenger!!! can u believe it?? Oh u can now send cutsy emoticons that are animated to ur frens online! Hello?? WHO in the 6000 audience would actually be INTERESETED in that?? less than 0.1%? Next was the showcase of the media home center which 'everything' can be controled by the remote... heellooo.... doesnt my home DVD player does the SAME thing? alternatively I can always buy a all-in-one control if i'm 'desperate' to control everything.... and who is really interested to chat with a friend on msn massenger WHILE watching tv?? isn't it like super irritating to have your friends popping you msg when you are watching Desperate Housewives or CSI?

Was Longhorn something to croon about?? NAH.... unless you havent been opening ur eyes to the many developments around the world... you may think that LH is big deal, but honestly, all those features that was demonstrated on the LH, was already a reality in the OS X. It did not impress me one bit!

Instead, the lack of professionalism in their delivery has drove me further away from the PC. I nearly wanted to melt into my seat when he showed off the 'transparency' settings between 2 windows.... yes its a cool feature... but its not cool when u try to point it out... its cool when u show it and let the audience WOAH at it.... someone needs to teach them how not to cramp so many points into a powerpoint slide... (else why would they call it powerPOINT?, they shd have called it powerpointS).

It is unimaginable that the event is so poorly thought of, the delivery lacks innovation, creativity and most of all the power to convince.

We left the venue feeling that using a mac is definitely the BETTER choice!

here's the sms conversations that took place that day captured on otterman's blog.