Friday, June 29, 2007

iPhone fever

the iPhone fever has generated quite a lot of stirr in the technology market, since its announcements a year ago, today is the day when lay man, general public will get their chance to touch it, feel it and most likely caress it.

With some luck or alot of bad luck, Ad maybe one of the few rare Singaporean souls who will have his hands on one of these iPhones. (for the luck part, he'll have to explain to you guys hee)

One of the major "headaches" of wanting to own a new iPhone is the service contracts that binds one to their service provider making them invalid to purchase another new phone without paying a hefty penalty. So these guys at Wired for their clever suggestions.


Ready for an IPhone? Tips to End Your Existing Cell Contract
Daniel Dumas 06.27.07 | 2:00 AM

You’ve got a serious case of iPhone fever. The one big problem? You’re locked into a two-year contract with another carrier.
How do you jump ship without getting reamed with an early termination fee? Time to conjure up your inner Houdini and perform some clever escape tricks.

Check out our eight easy, tried-and-true tips for ditching the shackles of that nasty contract … so you can jump headfirst into another one.

Pawn it off
Don’t want your contract anymore? Find someone who does. Websites like specialize in connecting thousands of people together for the express purpose of transferring the financial responsibilities of cell contracts from one person to another. As long as the recipient meets the minimum qualifications (credit check, etc.) you can transfer the plan over without getting hit with the early termination fee.
Odds of success: 2-to-1

Get out while you still can
If you just signed up for service, you typically have 14 days to drop it -- 30 days with some carriers. A simple call to customer service cancels your plan. All you may have to do is pay a prorated amount for the service you’ve already used.
Odds of success: 3-to-1

Move to the boonies
It's pretty simple to register a change of address with most carriers. Change your address to an area your cell carrier doesn't have service, then call and complain about not getting reception. Contractually, if a service provider can’t offer access in a given area, the contract is null and void.
Odds of success: 5-to-2

Military service
If you’re already in the armed forces, deployment overseas usually means you’re free and clear to end your contract early -- without any financial obligation.
Odds of success: 6-to-1

Read the fine print
The wee print in your bill’s Terms of Service? Read it closely. Providers frequently make small changes to you plan -- an increase in the number of text messages here, a few more night and weekend minutes there. It doesn’t matter if these alterations benefit you -- they automatically void the contract and give you as much as 30 days to get out.
Odds of success: 8-to-3

Demand to see the paperwork
Did you sign a contract in the store? Ask the carrier to come up with a hard copy of this legally binding document. If the provider can’t come up with a physical copy, then you’re free to go. Paper gets lost, you might have forgotten to sign and sales reps are often too busy or lazy to file the paperwork.
Odds of success: 10-to-1

Abuse the system
Cell-phone service providers usually have roaming agreements with other carriers where they don’t offer reception. Roaming areas can often be close, sometimes the next county over. Chances are you have a friend with a house in one of these roaming areas. Check a service map to find out. Then take your phone over on Friday night and as soon your Unlimited Nights and Weekends start, call POPCORN, and leave the phone on. Roaming is usually free to the customer but costs the carrier dough. They’ll practically beg you to leave when you call to cancel the contract.
Odds of success: 20-to-1

Fake your own death
Have a friend or colleague work up a good set of tears and call in on your behalf claiming that you’ve shuffled from this mortal coil. Report something feasible yet horrible, e.g., "He … he was just ripped to shreds by that farm machinery." The contract will be terminated because you are. Note: This is wholly unethical and probably illegal.
Odds of success: 50-to-1


Ezlink - True or False?

this is a forwarded email from a good friend who received this information from her good friend. Can anyone verify if this is true?

Out of curiosity, I called the Translink enquiry line 1800-225-5663 it seems the undermentioned fact is absolutely true.They charge one full fare + 63cents for second deduction if flashed at the front entrance door, but willing to refund if complaint is lodged at the above tele' number within 5 working days, regretably who is so free to go through the process, so it's better to avoid such a catch. Maybe we should let more people be aware of the above misleading above

Helpful tips for those use EZ Link card.

To those who always use ez card. Like to bring to your attention on local bus service provider.

Normally, when you board the bus, you flash your ezlink card and move in and when you get down the bus, you flash your card again at the exit door
(located at the middle of the bus). We all know that if we forget to flash the card, full fare will be deducted from the card.

Below is something not known to public:-

But if you alight from the front door (the entrance) and you flash your card while exiting without informing the bus driver, the card will capture
another entrance fare instead of exit fare thus meaning that two full fares will be deducted from the card as no exit was being captured for the
two entrances.

For example, you board a crowded bus at Pasir Ris (where it terminates at Jurong East) and decided to get down ten stops later. If you flash your
card at the front door without informing the bus-driver, a second entrance fare will be captured instead of exit fare thu s you are paying for two
full fares (2 X $ 1.90! = $ 3.80) instead of one fare (approximately $0.83). This is a useful info. Here's the solution:-

Go to the "big" machine (ie machine for U to top up the card) located at the MRT stations.
1) Insert your EZ link card
2) Press the function key "Check card"
3) Press "more"

The above function will show U the last 20 transactions. Information on the fare deducted, bus no, boarding time and the boarding and alighting
point will be reflected on the screen.

Hope the above information is useful to U.
Please pass this email to people you know so that they will not pay extra charges for nothing and burn a big hole in their pockets. !

Last but not least, call the hotline line:
1800 767 4333 when the incorrect fares are deducted.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

UOB Phone Banking Sucks!

How long does it take for one to call through to talk to a phone banking officer??

In OCBC, about 2-3mins.

in UOB, I've been on hold for over 10mins, its still the same message, "over officers are busy with other callers at the moment, please hold."

terrible, its time to terminate the card!!!

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yes indeed I'm overjoyed!

heard good news today that something that I've been fighting for is coming my way finally.... not the full amount, but at least its a start!

Thank You dear God!

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Heavy rain...

Woah its been a really long time since it last poured like it did this evening.

The winds are exceptionally strong. I can hear many doors being slammed shut. Flying objects in the skies banging into other things.

Let's hope that there are very few causalties on the roads/jungles/hills tonight.

brrr... even our main door has sounded its resistance towards the wind.

Which is stronger? wind or rain? hmm....


Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm loving IT!

Technology is amazing!!

As I am preparing some samples to be sent out to Korea for processing, it involves lots of form filling and clarifications to avoid mistakes and delay in time.

Guess what?? Their customer service center has a msn available, online during their working hours (which is the SAME as ours) and we can ask them any question, any time!

Its really lovely to be able to seek clarifications on the spot, beats sending out emails and waiting for responses. Beats trying to figure out what the other party is trying to say.

I'm loving IT!!

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Understanding our roots

This June is a special month for my family as we remember the passing of Dad in a different way.

We chose to go do a little study trip. A trip to understand the journey, the background my grandpa took to come to Singapore all the way from Niu Mian Shi (Cow Sleeping on Rock) village in Dongguan. We wanted very much also to return to Guangzhou to thank all who has helped us in one way or another during the same time last year. We knew that we were very fortunate to have so many helping hands when we were so far away from our actual homes surrounded by our relatives from our ancestral home.

This journey took 9 adults, 3 young children on a 4hr flight across the globe....

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Internet Banking Boon or Bane?

*sigh* banks seems to chose the "right" time to have system maintenance. Just as I got ready my machine, remembered my userid, password and armed with the 2FA token (which generates random numbers which only the bank can decipher), I logged onto the website only to find out that they are having a system maintenance the very same hour after I'm done with my emails/work/dinner/drinks/late night out with friends & family.....


Does majority of the folks do their internet banking IN the DAY??

Let's vote: When do you do your internet banking transactions?

A. Day

Its so frustrating to have every piece of equipment ready only to find out that the source is NOT ready! Now I've to put the banking stuff on my TO-DO list which is already growing by the minute and come back to it another time and hopefully I would not pass my due date for the transactions that I wanted to make..... *bleah*

It was easier last time when we dun have so many bills to pay, no scv, no broadband, no hp, no PUB, no singtel, no house renovation loan, no gas, no conservancy, no tv license....... the list goes on..... cant we just pay one central place for ALL of our bills?? Wont that be lovely? hee....

yes I know, for some of it, its called GIRO but we need to keep track of our bills so that we can use less electricity, less water, less gas at home.... if we GIRO everything, we will just see numbers flying in and OUT (cos more OUT going cost so OUT is faster and bigger haha) and hopefully got enough to support ALL the OUTs haha

notty banks! make me post so late at night. sleepy. *yawn*

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Woman's Aching Prayer Request

by Jon Walker

“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting.” (Ephesians 5:25 MSG)

For a long time I carried in my wallet a deep, aching prayer request from a woman in my church. The request was anonymous, but it could have been made by any number of women across the country. In fact, it’s the number one complaint I hear from Christian women wherever and whenever I visit other congregations.

The request came my way in – and I give away my age by using this phrase – a prayer meeting. The pastor distributed blank pieces of paper and asked everyone present to write down one specific prayer need. Then he collected them all and randomly redistributed them. He asked us to pray for the request we received and for the person who made the request.

I say he redistributed these prayer requests randomly, but is anything random in God’s universe? When I opened the prayer request I had received, it took my breath away. It was written in pencil with an elegant script. It read, “Pray that my husband will be the spiritual leader in our home.”

It's an open secret that Christian men consistently and continually fail to provide godly leadership within the home. But I was particularly shocked by the request because just days before, my wife had made the same request of me. Here I was in ministry, yet my wife felt I was neglecting the spiritual nurturing of my own home. Sort of like the cobbler’s children being the ones with the worst shoes.

I’d come to the prayer meeting wrestling with this very issue, and when it came time for me to write my prayer request, I wrote out: “Pray that I will become the spiritual leader of my home.” My request also went out anonymously and, like a divine boomerang, this anonymous woman's request returned to me. There, in the same meeting, another family was struggling with the same problem, and because of my wife I knew how deeply this other woman’s heart ached.

So what?

· Pray for godly leadership – If you're not already doing so, start praying for godly leadership in your home and for the godly leadership in your home (note the distinction). Pray that husbands will trust God and provide humble, godly spiritual leadership.

· Lead with God’s wisdom – Ask God to give you (or your spouse) his wisdom and his strength to be the kind of Christian leader God requires: gentle, loving, and other-centered.

· Go “all out” for your wife – “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting.” (Ephesians 5:25 MSG)

· Pray for consistency – Pray for me, my friend. I’m still inconsistent and struggling in this area. And I will be praying for you.

Friday, June 15, 2007

An evening walk

Last night Ad decided that we should put on our walking shoes and start to a causal neighbourly walk in the evening.

Brillant idea I thought. I asked, Normal walk or Brisk walk?? hehe

Ad stunned and shocked for a while, erhm, brisk walk?

Good idea I thought it'll help me burn some calories and finally see the effects of brisk walking after hearing so much about it. (can lose weight wan right?)

Then the big question came.... How to brisk walk huh? Do we have to walk alot faster than our normal casual walk? Do we swing our arms by our side? Do we need to have proper warm up and warm down??

hmm... too many unknowns. So we decided on what we know best. Casual walk! haha

Next was target destination.... to Thomson? Walk there and do what there??

To give ourselves some motivation, we estimated that if we walk to Balestier, it'll be dinner time by the time we reach there. Cool! Lots of great food along that stretch of road.

So we put on our walking shoes and started our walk.

We cut through a few blocks in the neighbourhood and realised that we do have alot of stray cats around. Like 3 in a small area of 20m radius. No wonder there's a need to look into the stray cats issues. I bet there's really alot of cat-lovers who go around the neighbourhood feeding these cats. Cos they dun look a wee bit hungry to us. Just having a relaxing evening lying around the void deck.

There was one cat however, still had its native instincts to hunt for rats hee.... Ad spotted it carrying a rodent in its mouth, scurrying to safety before it devours its dinner. Cool! That's how cats should be doing right? I mean their natural instincts is to hunt down rodents. Thus getting rid of the pest. The natural food cycle.

We crossed the giant overhead bridge towards Balestier, marking the halfway point of our walk?? It was barely 15mins before we started our walk haha. Then I realised that I should have worn white top and a blue long pants hee hee... Cos this bridge is the favourite spot for TP standing behind one of the pillars with their handycam. Wonder if I stood there in the same position would have any effects for fast travelling vehicles. Erhm, I doubt so, peak hour, too many vehicles travelling on the expressway that time. No chance for them to speed. No wonder there's no Uncle White there at that time haha

We arrived at Ah Hood Gardens. Hee.... what a local flavoured name. Imagine filling up in the address column as Ah Hood staying in Ah Hood Gardens. Robin Hood Gardens would have sounded more glamourous.

We walked spotted a coffee shop that has a huge banner that says that its got Hotel Standard Chicken Rice at coffee shop prices. Hmm.... too early to stop now for dinner, we'll come back for it on the way back....

We were walking by Caltex Petrol Station when Ad started walking towards one of the parked vehicles next to the pump... He knew the driver of the vehicle! haha... What a small world.

It turned out that this person is a teacher from my alma mater! What a tiny world! Like that also can hor...

We continued to discover more of our neighbourhood on our feet and spotted a telephone booth! haha.... its been a while since I last saw a phone booth in the middle of the pavement with a working phone in it! Card Phone. Who uses it these days?? Not even sure if the book stores still sells the phone cards hee abit retro hor??

As we walked further, we realised that our stomaches are growling.... its 745pm! We've walked for about an hour! We headed back... along the way we found an Italian Resturant serving beef, soup and salad in a pretty upmarket set up and the prices are also very Up Market ah!

As we move towards the chicken rice (supposed to be by the famous Mandrian Hotel Chef) and reached there in time to buy the LAST order of their chicken rice. Hmm.... chicken is not bad, not as tender as the Boon Tong Kee one, rice is soft and chewy but again not as nice as the BTK one haha... so the verdict is... BTK is more expensive but nicer!

8pm we started eating.... one of the bus that will bring us back home pasted by.... I figured it will take another 15mins before the next bus comes along. We ate at our normal pace and before we know it, we are done eating, its 815 and guess what?? Our bus is coming!!

Yahoo! We jumped out of our seats, ran 20m and we were at the bus stop waving madly for the driver to stop the bus for us. haha

Yep, that's how our walk ended, with a yummy dinner and a bus ride home! :P

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tiny slit

one would think that one tiny slit across the thumb where only the skin is flapping away from the flesh, no bleeding would be a small insignificant cut....

But it wasnt.

2 hours after the slit then I realised how useful that part of the thumb is to me. After opening and closing close to 200+ tubes, that flap of skin has threatened to tear to unearth the red bloody flesh beneath it.

I had to find a remedy before it gets worse (of course stopping all work would be the BEST hehehe but who would issue a 2-3 day MC because of a tiny slit on the thumb??)

(side track- why 2-3days, cos I old liao mah, skin take longer time to regenerate and grow back, so that 1day MC would not have made any difference haha)

I went to the first aid box in the lab and scanned for a handiplast. I found one easily and realised that the contents of the box has been refreshed (from the ghastly overdue bandages, antiseptic creams which I saw last year). Good sign!

There was a few packs of plasters. I took the first one box on the top and found that there was only one plaster left inside. Perhaps someone else also had a cut?? Or they gave us a used pack of plaster?? Were these contents re-cycled from another first aid box?? hmm....

With the plaster, I worked with much ease almost like that tiny slit wasn't there! Until I took out the plaster and found that the slit is still threatening to open wider.... must take care of it.

Next day, came back to the lab, first thing I did was to put on a fresh plaster over my thumb. After 2hrs of lab work, opening and closing another 200+ tubes, the plaster torn!

sigh, wonder how many plaster will I go through before my tiny slit heals....

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Marriage Celebration 2007

Each year, there is a group of dedicated folks who would work very hard to put together a day of activities to celebrate being married.

This year, we were roped in to help with directing traffic for this event. We thought that its held at our own backyard, would not post any problems at all.... but needless to say, we have met with some interesting situations that teaches us not to take anything/anyone/anyplace for granted. haha

here's the team of traffic wardens....

with our light sabres hee.... was alot of sweat and hardwork getting over 400 couples into their respective venues for the talks and 1000 into the church to attend mass. At the end of the long day, covered in smelly "uniform" we retreated to feast at railway haha

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Botak Jones in TP!

Botak Jones has finally arrived in TP!

In the industrial park somemore haha.... one evening, after much hype, we finally went down to try out the food.

To kick start the night, Ad ordered their Hoegarden....

foamy and in a huge glass, yum yum

the food was ok, but the mint sauce that went with the lamb chop was delicious, it went well even with fries hee

there was a bar with a pool table next to it. a pretty relaxing place to chill out if one is not too particular about airconditioning. With a definite place to sit for sure!!

But they are CLOSED on sundays hor....

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What does 53 pairs of shoes look like??

hee.... like this lor....

cool eh?? after so long, finally got my act together to stick photos of my shoes onto their respective shoe boxes hee... (thanks jie for printing the photos for me)

now i just bio and i know exactly where my shoe is hee....


Monday, June 04, 2007

Fungus by the park

This park was undergoing re-construction, although now that its done up, I cannot recall what are the new features being added to it besides the more ah-tas looking carpet grass grown next to some paths. These grass require alot of water to survive, doesn't seem like a good idea to be grown in hot tropical Singapore unless they intent to have someone full time to maintain them. Else, it'll only look good for the first few months then ha-base!

On this plot of garden, the wood fillings were put on it for a couple of days and no plants were planted over it yet. Then we noticed something cute growing out of it hee....

close up

its amazing how one day it was vacant and another day its fully occupied by these hardly fungus. Well, they died a natural death quickly as well, but the amazing sight of overnight growth never fail to amaze me :)

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Bad Driver!

One lovely evening, my sis and I took our mum to a concert along with sis-in-law, grandma and cousin....

As usual, the parking in Indoor Stadium is atrociously full, with the road works, national stadium under construction and the construction of a new train line in the same area, a few roads were closed/diverted.

Anyone with any slight imagination of the traffic condition will know that it'll be a game of patience to get OUT of the car park.

There was only ONE exit point for the whole entire car park just infront of the Indoor stadium for about 100+cars. And the road leads to another one lane traffic all the way to Nicoll Highway, imagine the nightmare.

I was fully mentally prepared that it'll take a while for us to get out of the car park...

However, there was this other driver who seems to think that by honking his horn persistently, the jam will magically dissolve.

He was super annoying!

His horn was loud and long, lasting almost half a min in his first attempt. I saw that there was NO WAY anyone could miraculously hasten the traffic, it was not due to incompetent driving nor navigating of the roads, there was simply 200 cars trying to get out of one tiny road.

I was furious that there would be someone who is so self-centred and impatient, ignoring the pain he caused to other's standing next to his vehicle.

Considering it was a concert for MOTHERS, you can imagine how many mothers will be there and the normal age for anyone to be a mother would be say 24yrs old? (very liberally speaking hee) and for their kids to grow up, earn enough money to pay for their mothers to attend the concert will take another 20yrs, so the MINIMUM age of mothers there would be 44yrs old!

Of course grandmas will be alot older....

Who can be so insensitive to spoil such a lovely evening with their sickening noise??

I went up next to his car to take a good look inside his car, perhaps he has an emergency??

NOPE, seated next to him in the passenger seat was his young son about 6yrs old with both his hands covering his ears. Behind was a woman with another younger kid both trying to shield their ear drums from the sound of the horn.

Imagine, his entire family was INSIDE the car and found the sound of his horn intolerable. What about the tonnes of pedestrians standing outside? Along the pavement, waiting for their loved ones to come and pick them up since most of them are old folks, who cannot walk 500m to reach the car after a 3hr concert...

I stared at the driver with all my might (it was quite dark lah, dunno if he'll see me if I just looked intently hee) and I put my index finger to my mouth to indicate shut up!

He certainly got my message and did not dare to sound his horn again. For a brief moment, he wanted to unwind his car window to pick a fight I think, the window came down like 1/3 and went back up again. Bet it was family pressure for him to just shut up!

He was pretty obedient along the jam (could be I secretly continued to stare at his vehicle, at one point I was walking alongside of it hee hee)

Well I had to take a picture to remember this bad driver. I was tempted to send his particulars to TP for bad driving ethics.

What do you think? Shall I do it?

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Friday, June 01, 2007

A dream in a dream

One night, I had a dream that felt so real when I was in another dream. So interesting.

Did you have had a dream in a dream experience before??

The dream was about me in my home before I got married, my parents were at home, doing normal home stuff, which actually means that Dad would be sitting on the sofa all day to read newspapers while Mum will be blasting her radio/tv/karaoke music while she prepares food in the kitchen/trimming her potted plants.

It was a very normal "scene" at home, while I retreat to my room, chatting away online or going crazy writing thesis/paper etc.

So I was watching all this happen and then in another scene, someone asked me who was home. I replied my parents lor.

The person's response shocked me!

He said, how can your Dad be home? He's dead already.

I could hardly believe what he said.

I JUST saw my DAD, how can he be dead??

Then I "woke up" from my dream and realised that yah, that person was right. My Dad is no longer around.

A sad, tangy feeling shot through my body and I cannot control myself but broke down in tears (still in my dream). Memories of what happened last year around this time of the year came flooding back. How times fly, its almost a year yet it still feels like yesterday. The shock, the preparations, the reluctant acceptance.

It was definitely heartbreaking to be cremating Dad on Father's Day. And we were only two months away from his birthday, during which, we would have taken a proper family photo together, one which we would blow up and hang on the wall. Now, there's no way to fill that void left behind by his departure. And we'll always have a missing photo in our home.

My friends, treasure your parents while they are around, no matter what happens, they are still our parents, we cannot chose them. They are our responsibility whether we like it or not.