Wednesday, February 22, 2006

bubble bath for my tiles

many many months ago, i got inspired to get my MJ tiles cleaned... like really really cleaned. so i treated them to a bubble bath! hee...

p/s: i found out much later (after 2days of soaking...) that its not such a good idea to do that... cos the painting on the tiles will come OUT! *bleah*



A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was
still groggy from surgery.

Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.

That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Caesarean to deliver couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.

"I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could.

"There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.

She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say.

She and David, with their 5-year old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.
But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.

Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw', the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love.

All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero,

Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering grey eyes and an unquenchable zest for life.

She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment.

Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing.

As always, Dana was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent.

Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?"

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."

Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?"

Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain."

Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children.

Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along.

During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

"I can do all things in Him who strengthens me."

Sunday, February 19, 2006

a wake up Fall

today was a great day, spent in church, lunch with church mates, took the afternoon to do some shopping with our friends... we took a ride back home from them and while missing a turn, we took a slight detour and as we were approaching home, we saw a gathering of people around a block, with police barriers around it, there were at least 3 police cars, 2 mini fire-engines and a big fire engine truck turning into the block.

with such a big commotion, we could not help but look out if it was a fire in our neighbourhood, there were no sighs of fumes or flames or water hoses sprunting out...

that lead to another conclusion, sucide.... since I noticed a huge area around the block of flights being out of bounds.

we deliberated if we should walk back towards the crowd to check out what was happening, afterall, it is our neighbourhood. I dread to read about what happened in the newspapers tomorrow as if it is totally none of my concern. I guess, the kampong spirit in me is still quite strong, I need to know if this is a safe neighbourhood, are there many unhappy people living around here??

So we dropped off from the car round the bend and quickly moved towards the general direction of the crowd. When we arrive, most of the people were looking upwards towards one of the blocks, just as we were trying to narrow down which unit they were looking at.... I noticed a figure decending from the block, followed by the surround sound of many on-lookers' gasp of breath...

Yes, someone jumped out of the window from a 13th floor. I couldn't help but voiced out "OMG" and feeling a strong pang of sadness for her and her actions. Standing there in shock (my first witness of a sucidal jump), I was praying real hard that she'll be alright. (but what are the chances? the big fire engine just just arrive mins ago, would there be enough time to set up something?)

a million questions raced through my mind.

was there anything set up for her? the civil defence often showed adverts of how responsive they were....

even if the CD did not have the time/resources to do so, wont the neighbours be able to pool together some mattress just to cushion the fall?? I mean, its someone's life wer are talking about here, it cost more than what a mattress would mean to anyone I'm sure...

did someone profession manage to speak to her? I'm sure there was quite a lag time between sitting there and the jump.

what was bothering her so much that she had to end her life?

was it money? the new budget was announced! surely she would be able to have some of her finances taken care of? (but was she even aware of it?)

what does her fall mean to all those by-standers around? would it be another piece of news to pass around? we noticed alot of folks around started their own little stories already....

did anyone in the crowd even know her? or her problems? or do we really live in a concrete jungle when the person next door to you could be in terrible state but yet, you have no clue of it. would you extend a helping hand out to your neighbor if they had asked?

the biggest question i have is: do we even care about our neighbors? I dare say now, after witnessing the brutal fall, I do care alot more than before. How do we start to share our lives with our neighbors? In order not to be invasive but yet let them know that they can count on a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, sometimes these are all they need to get over their sorrows...

with the million questions racing through my head, Ad noticed a stretcher was being moved towards the ambulance and catching a glimpse of the middle-age lady on the stretcher, looking alright with no breathing aids was reassuring that she did not pass on. Indeed there was a air-bed that she landed on at the bottom of the block.

Thank God!

Now we pray for her recovery and that her issues will be taken care of... maybe one of these days, when I gather enough courage.... I may knock on her door and try to offer my ears and shoulders to her...... ( i scared...) But I'm certain that her case would be referred to the social services and prayfully, she'll be able to resolve her issues.....

it was definitely a wake-up Fall to remind me about how valuable life is and that we should show our concern to those who lived next to us.


during one late lunch... after a full lunch.... one of my colleagues decide to rest his eyes...

and guess what we decided to do ... hee... we quietly left our seats and leave him to continue sleeping... hee...

this lesson teaches us NOT to sleep on the job! or you'll be left all alone! ha ha ha

high-rise building

one leisurely afternoon, at a friend's house, we looked out of the window to peek at the construction works in the nearby blocks....

the project was for a 40 storey housing block and it was about quarter way through at around 9-10th storey. We could see the individual "rooms" being added together like Lego building blocks minus the color.

Then Ad noticed something very very very interesting.....

What do you think of a young construction worker, working on the edge of a 9-10th storey building with NO harness? Dangerous? Well, maybe he doesnt think so... and I wonder what was the "safe-indicator" of this construction company....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Mushroom over Mirror

in one public washroom, i discovered an astonishing finding....

yes, its a row of mushroom growing neatly over the top of a mirror, over and above the cracks on the tiles.... I wonder how long does it take for the mushroom to establish their roots on concrete walls?

For close up view of the flourishing fungi...

everyday we discover something interesting eh?

Monday, February 06, 2006

poor senses... good deed...

on the way to my lab this morning, I saw two young gentleman walking towards my direction and they stopped by the side of the curb of the road. They bent down to examine something by the side of the road, after discussing for a mere 10secs, they turned and walk away from that item... I was closing in on them by that time and overheard the last sentence being:
"but we dun have a box"

wondering that was bothering two grown up men with such a tough situation on the side of the road.... I quickly walked over and check it out for myself... hee....

Guess what did i see???? a turtle! a lost one I guess.... it had its head and limbs fully retracted inwards as the boys must have scared it quite a bit.

I was in shock! how can two young man abandon a lost turtle on the side of the road as they have found it??? No box?? What for?? There was a perfectly big pond by the side of the road, a perfect home for the turtle! Brainless fools!

I quickly scooped it up with both my hands, trying to avoid its claws and head and gently placed it by the side of the pond where there were lost of low-lying foilage.

yeah... it does feel good that I've done a mini good deed early in the morning... :)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

funky CNY...

Amos Amos.... of the best parts of CNY is that I get to meet up with my pals from my JC days, after more than a decade, we're still able to keep to the cool "tradition" of having the visiting... although now we have a much more scaled down version of it.... we used to cheong from houggang to bukit batok to stevens road in one day on public transport, often having great conversations and opportunities to tease each other along the way.... as we mature... as more of us have our own families... the visits now just limits to one household... and it becomes a cosy affair with the same level of closeness as our JC days, it felt as if we never "left" each other....

this year, we had the pleaures of having their company in our humble home and we discovered how a 18months old boy can be CHEEKY! yes... cheeky! he was simply adorable!

His daddy is a big game fan... and guess what? this boy Amos, can spot an xbox a mile away! check out how stylo he is with the controller....

and he can pose for photos!

notice how he can give different looks....

maybe America's Next Top Model finalists should take a few lessons from Amos....

CNY MJ saga....

in the few short days, we've spent over 10hours on the square table having numerous creative exchanges about our 156 ivory friends.... called MahJong!

Invented many decades ago, its a great way to spend quality time with a bunch of friends when we run out of movies to watch, out of jokes to crack.... more can be created over this square table, often rumbling with noise heh.... in this game, there are lots of different combination to WIN the game. In my 30yrs of experience with this game, I'm ashamed to say that I've not learnt ALL the advance MJ rules yet.... or I could be forgetful... hmm... whichever the case... the best remedy is to play MORE!! ha ha ha....

(MJ is a highly recommended game for older folks who are in the danger of suffering from dementia-like forgetfulness illnesses, I know it works wonders for my old folks... they can still do a PONG without much hesitations!)

Of the many combinations to GAME, we've experienced quite a few wonders during this festive CNY season.... Cav kicked started with a win of mini-4-wonders (小四喜)

cannot see clearly what it means??? look again....

hmm.... for a while we were wondering what brought about his lucky start... then we realise something...its the way he eats our official MJ snack: Da Fa fish snack...

in the same night... Ad got lucky too! He had a game with pretty big hands and guess what?? Jas "bao-ed" the game for us AGAIN! ha ha ha..... she.... sigh... dun want to talk about her lah.....

notice the V sign?? ha ha ha.... he was doing his mini-victory dance! ha ha ha....

and... of course our most generous lady...

but having being so generous, Jas never lost her temper, she graciously gave up her chips and even gamingly posed for the picture.... she's a great sport! (so anyone want her tel no. to play MJ with?? hee.... *wink*)

on the 1st day of CNY, we had a re-match of our MJ tournament... since Cav kinda swept the winnings..... and guess what?? Jas created another milestone for us in MJ history.... she gamed mini-3-treasures!(小三圓)

yes, she was soaked in happiness as you can see.... ha ha ha.... good for her!

Then then then... in the same night I had 2 other MJ milestones.... first was having to win the game when I take the last card!
(海地落珍)As I was drawing the card, we all jokingly said that it might be my winning card! true enough it was! pity that we were too excited about it to take any photos... *stamping my feet in protest*

then hor then hor..... I got another super lucky win! ha ha ha.... I had a "gang" (four of the same card) as I was taking a replacement card for it, I took a flower.... and when I took the replacement card for the flower.... I took the winning card! (花上自抹)Woah! the feeling was SHIOK ah!

well... that's our MJ saga for this CNY, after 3 days of games.... we've had our fill and now can look forward to many other things! ha ha ha.... *wink* *wink*

Jenad CNY 2006!

a look at our homey home.... with some CNY touches....

oops.... u caught us snacking away... or was it slacking away??? ha ha ha....

Happy CNY pple!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Mac Excel shortcut!

I just discovered that when you want to add a new row or new column, just select the column/row at the top/side, click "apple" and "alt" key and vola!

try it! *happy*

I'm a DISCOVERER! ha ha ha....

alternatively, this is want lots of research and many restless nights can do to you.... go cranky!