Tuesday, 14 August 2012

From Multiply 2010 Jul-Dec

From Prepaid To Postpaid (4 jul 2010)

Yes, I have finally done it!! After nearly 10yrs of “prepaid” status, I have finally upgraded to being “postpaid” mobile user!
It was not without much deliberations and calculations before I made the switch. Deliberations: need to inform half of Singapore of the change (from banks to insurance co to friends), the loss of my old number (prepaid number cannot be used for postpaid) and having to memorize the new mobile number (I hate numbers). Calculation: monthly fee and cost of mobile phone.

I do love my Samsung L760, it had served me faithfully for 2yrs but recently has been rather “naughty”. It is still functional but has some minor problems in connecting calls. After 2yrs of abuses, it is in need for a “facial” upgrade. I am fine with the abused look but the connection problem is the main factor for the switch. With all mobile phones going touchscreen, I have this fear that the technology will be too hi-tech for my simple mind. This was the same when all phones went slide and my ideal phone is still a clam/fold phone. Anyway, I went from clam to slide and now to touchscreen.
Now my new mobile is a Samsung Jet, I love Samsung cos it is KOREAN and reliable (unlike certain brand “N****”). I am using a corporate plan and paying about S$14/mth. With my low usage, I dun foresee myself paying more than S$14 and got the Jet for S$48. Okay, it is now an almost outdated model but hey, I low-tech so better stick to old models.
Post 24-hr review: I love JET!!!! It is so simple to use, currently my usage is only SMS, Calls, Calendar, Alarms and camera, and so far so good. *fingers crossed* customized the wallpaper with 3 pics, unfortunately all my pics are small and doesn’t filled up the screen but it doesn’t matter. SMS is a challenge but am getting the hang of it. My ringtone is Clay Aiken’s Don’t let the sun go down, there is no way I am going to use the pre-programmed ringtones (even my L760 was a Chinese song). I am almost happy with the customization, still exploring a bit without the user manual. Unless I seriously can’t understand or need a function, I wouldn’t be referring to the manual. Okay, I would probably look thru the removal of battery, SIM and micro SD but that’s about all. Hands on is better!
Light & Darkness (6jul 2010)

no, this is not about good vs evil but a project that will teach the boys about the effects of light on plants.

on 3july, ah gong gave the boys 2 plastic cups (hereby known as pots) of moist cotton and green beans. they are to care for the beans with enough water and sunlight for the beans to sprout into plants. instructions to me: after the beans have sprouted, place 1 pot in dark and 1 in light. this is to show the boys plants need light to grow big and strong.

the beans started to sprout on day 2, showed dom the little "tail-like" root growing out of the beans. today is day 3 and 4 of the beans have grown into little seedlings.

can't wait to show dom when he comes home. he would be so amazed at the sight of the seedlings. this is more for dom, as part of "feeding" his curious mind.

as for bry, he has been trying to "murder" the beans right from the start by shaking the pot and draining out the water. *sigh* probably will do this project again when he is older. maybe then dom can conduct the project. i am a strong believer of peer teaching to re-enforce the concept.

Best Of Dom's Creations (6 jul 2010)

this is a showcase of, what i think, is the best of dom's creations. things that he has constructed out of simple "lego" pieces. so enjoy.

for full collection, pls look for the photo album "dom's creations".

this is the latest creation of a motorcycle. the blue piece is the seat.
 this is named as the "gears". inspiration from thomas train.
another #1 hit! this is the car which was constructed from the same "lego" pieces as the "lift". the blue triangle piece in front is the engine, on top is the curved side mirrors. the driver will seat comfortably behind the curved mirrors.

Family's Portrait (6 jul 2010)

yes!!! it is finally ready!!! you can view them and others (by self) in "Da Jiu Family SG Trip" album.

the photo session was less than ideal as bry was really fussing and refused to listen to the photographer's instructions or our coaxings. still the shots turned out fine and we chose the following.
 parents' portrait. they only had 1 taken for their wedding and it is time for a update!
 this is for the canvas portrait. look the kids are even in matching colour, blue! no, i didn't pre-arrange with yih leong. hey, this is what i call family connection!
mdm po po could not resist this pic. to her, the kids are so lovely in the pic. i think the pic showed the kids being "protected" by the elders of the clan.

post sale review: i am not too impressed with the after sale service.

1st, the studio only informed me, nearly aft 3wks the photo was selected, that the choosen frame was out of stock and sales lady recommended me another frame which was in stock. shouldn't the studio has placed my frame order immediately and inform me immediately (1-1.5wks) if there is a stock problem?

2nd, about 3wks after frame was changed, she called me again to inform me the canvas portraits (family and parents) are ready for collections BUT the 4R copies are not. OMG, what is this!! never mind, she promised me that everything will be ready for collection during that wkend.

3rd, went to collect during that wkend and horror of horrors! the 4R copies are still not ready!!! only the copies for the extra photos are ready, along with the canvas portraits and CD softcopy. she then apologised, saying that they will be ready by evening or the next day, and promised to mail to me. FYI, i have yet to receive them and mails get delivered promptly by SingPost. if i dun see them by tomolo, i am gonna kick up a fuss.

overall, i am extremely disappointed in the after sale service with the endless delays and excuses. can't imagine if one has to have their bridal shots taken there. the studio only saving grace is that the photos turned out well and it's location (near Kovan MRT).

Emergency Number (11jul 2010)

As you have read, I have made the big switch from “prepaid” to “postpaid”, resulting in a change of mobile number. I have informed all necessary parties of the change and request a written acknowledgement be sent to me once the new mobile number is updated.
I am sure all of you have received sms alerts from your various banks and credit cards about promotions on your mobile. I have a credit card with a major bank (called C) and informed them of the update of mobile number via phone and letter, bank C sent me an acknowledgement that my record has been updated. End of story right? WRONG!!
This afternoon I received a sms from bank C on my OLD mobile number informing me of some shopping promotion. I called the bank and was informed that my NEW mobile number is indeed already in their records. The lady went on to confirm that the promotional sms was sent to my OLD and not to the NEW or BOTH mobile numbers. Upon further checking, she told me that when I applied for the credit card (years ago) I had listed my OLD number as an “emergency number” and hence the sms went to the OLD number.
Who is the smarty pants that came up with such a stupid policy? She must have realized how silly it was and I told her that once a customer requested for an update of numbers, the OLD number should be removed from the customer’s records! Plus when I received the acknowledgement from bank C, there was no mentioned of my OLD number in the letter. she assured me that the OLD number would be removed and updated with the new number, and she would also mentioned to her supervisor or whoever. I informed her that my OLD number would eventually be cut off and there is no reason why I should maintain 2 mobile numbers just for the sake of this silly policy.
If I received another promotional sms from them, I am going to bite off their heads or whoever answered my call is going to get an earful from me.
Light vs Dark (11 jul 2010)
The project has ended. Dom didn’t want to carry on and decided to allow both pots to hang at the window.
 Bit of information, we had switched to watering them with rice water(water from washing rice) instead of tap water, to provide some nutrients for the plants. The pots were placed in their respective places (light-window; dark-storeroom) for about 3 days, and watered daily.
 Bean pot in light: the plants have fatter stems and leaves were of dark green.
Bean pot in dark: the plants have thin stems and are much taller, leaves were light green to yellow.
Now both pots are hanging by the study room window grills to live out their lives. Wonder how long they will be able to survive in their present conditions.
Lego Me And F1 (11 jul 2010)
 This is made by yours truly. Playing lego pieces with dom and created this little prison-like house. Quite like it but it is bit childish. Oh well…..

Dom made this F1 tracks all on his own! *claps* he did have some problems but resolved them by himself. Look at all the turns and curves! Even the most experienced drivers would have a hard time driving this circuit!
Fever (21 jul 2010)
*sigh* yes bry is down with fever again.... he seems to take a long time to shake off the fever.... it seems that there are 2 possible factors, him not drinking enough water in childcare and some viral thingy is going around.

it seems that as many as 6 of his classmates have come down with fever and we are talking high fever of 38.5-39oC. when he was first down with fever, i tot he caught some throat infection cos dom had it about 1.5-2wk back. so told GP and was started on antibiotics. it didn't help and bry fever just stayed around the 37.8-39oC, that's when it hit us that it is probably viral.

but still enough was enough and i bundled bry and went to see a PD. PD conclusion was we are at the tail end of the viral infection and bry fever should be coming down within 24hrs. BUT should it continue to be high or climbs, then have to do blood test.

speaking of blood test, the thal registry has sent another reminder to have bry tested. both dom and papa are alpha thal minor, i think bry is also a carrier. but getting his thal status sorted out is not urgent, i would probably have it done before he enter pri school (earliest) or NS (latest). but i would have to bring bry to KKH to have it done.... not urgent.... there is nothing medically or food wise that he has to avoid due to the thal status. well let the thal registry send all the reminders they want.... it is their paper and resources.

sorry for the grumpy post, had a bad day and lack of sleep.

Underwater World (21 jul 2010)

dom recently asked how a live prawn moves in the water, i related this to his ah gong and a trip to the Underwater World was born! if he asked about the world cup, you may have seen me on TV cheering in south africa! oh well....

the trip was planned for 17 jul, decided by the weather cos it was rainning and bry was down with fever. so the grandparents were responsible for dom... parents (meaning us) had to be at home to monitor bry.
the boys now have a small sling bag, thanks to my employer, and i packed an extra set of clothing, wet tissues, hankie, camera and EZ-link card into dom's bag. he was wearing his brand new jacket, the 18mth carters was given to a fren and bry inherited dom's max cool jacket.

dom was so excited as they travelled on the MRT from sengkang to harbourfront before changing to the monorail to enter into sentosa. after which, they took a bus to get to the Underwater World and it was all very exciting for dom to travel on the different modes of transport. plus he felt really grown up with his own EZ-link card.

unable to provide much details about the trip but he saw sharks, stingrays, jellyfish and some tropical fish there.

lucky boy!
Bry Lion (21 jul 2010)

bry has taken much interest in the fruits flashcards. he loves to look at them and able to indentify most of the fruits. if he is unable to identify, he would inform you "i don't know".

other than learning about the different types of fruits, he has also like to scatter them on the floor and then pretend that he is a lion! yup, you heard right, a lion.

our dear bry will then crawl on all fours and announced that he is a lion, and roar! go to the "videos" and look for bry lion, it is not too clear but you get the idea.

Paul octopus (23 jul 2010)
i am sure all of you know this famous octopus....

he has provided much conversation flodder during the recent world cup, i am a strong supporter of paul. he is so clever and not to mention lucky.

so what do you think of his latest prediction??

Singapore Turtle Museum (26 jul 2010)


This is a highly recommended place to visit. It is located within the Chinese Garden and opens daily from 9am to 6pm, child and senior citizens fees is S$3 and adult S$5.

There are many different types of turtles to be seen, from the normal terrapin to the dangerous alligator snapping turtle. I am sure you will find the turtle that is just you.
The boys didn’t want to go in, probably thinking that it is old and boring, what is the fun of looking at turtles. So this will probably good for children of pri school going age. Anyway, i was amazed at the variety of turtles there, saw the snake-necked and pig-nosed turtles, turtles that i have seen on the telly. The most amazing is all the DANGEROUS turtles. I didn’t have the chance to photograph them cos dom refused to let me take any pictures.
The turtles are housed in glass tanks with a brief write-up on the original habitat and nature of the turtles. Those turtles must be at least 50yrs old, they are at least the size of a dinner plate!! Wow, older than me!! We told dom that some of the turtles are probably much older than his grandparents.
Ah gong bought some feed, S$1 per pack, and we went to the pond area to feed the turtles. There are so many terrapins in the pond, along with 1 pig-nosed and unknown giant turtles. They are probably used to be fed and immediately swam near us. Few of the terrapins even managed to climb out of the pond and onto the wooden bridge, causing much excitement in yours truly. Bry got frightened by the turtle and ah gong had to stand between him and the turtle before he would walk pass it. There is also a big catfish in the pond. We also saw 2 lizards, not too sure of the correct name, at the pond but they are much too concerned with sunning themselves than fight with the turtles for food.
The staff, 2 ladies, are very friendly and tried to get the boys interested in the turtles, pointing out the different turtles while carrying on with their duties. Very friendly staff! Especially when we were screaming and shouting during the feeding.
After we left the museum, i would love to visit again when boys are older, we had a mini run around Chinese Garden. There is even a bonsai garden but doesn’t seems to be opened to public. Even if the boys didn’t fully understand and enjoy the turtle museum, they did have a great time running around Chinese Garden.
 Po po told me about this late Singapore gentleman who had a wide collection of bonsais, some as old as 70yrs old, which was offered to be donated but rejected by the botanical garden. In the end, his collection went to shanghai. A major loss for Singapore.  Somethings should be kept in the country, regardless of the difficulties.
Sungei Buloh (3 aug 2010)

went to the famous sungei buloh on 31jul 2010. free parking and if you get there early enough, you dun even have to pay!!! ok.... senior citzens and children at S$0.50 and adult S$1.

we were early and didn't have to pay cos the cashier wasn't there yet and the security guard just waved us thru.

there were many bird watchers, nature trail walkers and nature photographers. the weather was cool and we managed to see many wild creatures, big grasshopper, some brown sparrow-like bird, monitor lizards, mudskippers, squirrels, flying fish(maybe cos it leapt out of the water), archer fish and needle fish.
didn't mange to get a clear shot of the archer and needle fish but explained to dom how the archer fish hunts its prey. we saw lots of monitor lizards and they were big, probably as tall as dom(head to tail), basking in the sun. this is probably the only chance of the boys (and us adults) to be so close to a monitor lizard.
the most amazing thing was the mudskippers, we were at at viewing platform overlooking the river and it was low tide. the mud bed was exposed and we could see 2-3 fairly big sized mudskippers. we saw one of them "walking" from it's pond towards the river, creating rather interesting tracks. it looked like some tractor's tracks, probably could have passed off as tractor's tracks if you have 2 mudskippers walking side by side. one of the mudskippers was busied "cleaning" house, disappearing into it's house and reappearing to spit out mud! it did quite a number of times, something that i have seen on TV only.
there are many interesting places within the park, wanted to go to the aquatic pond, but it was closed for maintance, it was there when we were attacked by mosquitoes! the rest of the trail was rather insect-free. the prawn pond looked promising, bry loves prawns, but it was getting late and we couldn't visit it.
a very interesting place to visit but bring your insect repellents!! the photos are in "Special Outings Album 1".

Dom's Airport (3 aug 2010)


Dominic's latest creation: airport!

Fire Station's Visit (11 aug 2010)

What do you think are the duties of a fire-fighter in Singapore civil Defence? Fight fire, save the odd kittens stuck on trees, save people from jumping to their deaths and get road traffic accident victims from the wrecked car. These and so much more!

We went to visit a fire station at Hougang, and there we saw the different types of vehicles they had to keep Singapore safe. The usual fire engine with the ladder (reaches to 8 storeys), smaller fire engine that we normally see on the roads, red rhino and red firefly. There are also the fire fighting and first aid motorcycles. There are also a couple of ambulances parked there and we went into one (currently under repair) to have a more details look. It was the first time i have the chance to view the interior, despite of seeing them at work, and it was amazing even without the life saving equipments of a full-service ambulance.
It was really impressive to see all the equipments, from the facemask to the oxygen tank. The firemen were very eager and helpful, giving us lots of information and showing us all the different equipments. The backpack with the oxygen tank alone is a hefty 30kg! Plus they would probably have to wear a fire suit and helmet, and maybe carry the hose. We always think of firemen just fighting fire, risking their lives to save others, but now i really admire them and all the preparation and equipments they have to do/carry.
All the firemen, whether they are NSmen or regulars, are fit. The in-charge (IC) explained to us the various fitness tests they have to undergo (7!) in 1 yr, carrying their personal equipment backpack(the whole works) and climbing up and down ladders, crawling thru tunnels, and all has to be done before a time limit! They are probably so much fitter than the average policeman or soldier. One of the regulars even showed us how he slides down from the fireman pole, the pole that the firemen used to get to their vehicles from other storeys when the alarm sounded. It was impressive, not to mention dangerous! He mentioned that the pole is from storey 1 to 4 and someone was badly injured from using the pole. Guess there isn’t a faster way to get down from the higher storeys, not to mention that they had to reach their equipments within 1 minute of the alarm sounding! Dom was really stunned when he slides down!
The boys didn’t want to take pictures and bry was so scared of the loud sirens, the firemen turned them on for the boys.
The firemen are also involved in hazard chemical cleanup, radiation detection and cleanup, search and rescue for disasters and bomb disposal! I tot there are some other divisions or taskforce in the army or police for all these but the IC said the Civil Defence is responsible for the safety within Singapore while the army for external!
After today visit, i think the firemen are a noble breed of people, taking on a heavy responsibility to keep Singapore safe and putting their lives on the line when duty calls!
Birthdays (11 aug 2010)
time to plan dom and bry birthdays!!

as usual, dom will choose his birthday cake design and it seems that he is leaning towards "transformers". the bad thing is he wants to know the characters on the cake and wants a big cake (2kg). he already told me repeatedly that he doesn't want to celebrate in school this yr, great saving for me!
so i am looking at either celebrating on the 10 sept or 12 sept.

as for bry, i am getting a "doraemon" cake. he probably wouldn't have any ideas abt celebrating in school so i will not be doing for him. the sweet thing abt bry is that he is really loving and generous, not to mention rather blur.

Catch Me If You Can (20aug 2010)

this has nothing to do with the movie, starring leonardo and tom hanks. it is starring our very own bryan aw.

i had to bring bry to the polyclinic to get a referral letter and decided to bring him home early at 12noon.

upon entering the school, i found him sitting on a chair facing the centre supervisor who was holding a cool pack to his cheek. guess the supervisor was very surprised to see me, one of the perks of living near the childcare. apparently, bry was running around and the teachers told him not to run around. bry, as usual, carried on running and laughing AND told the teachers to "come and catch me". he must have turned his face to look at teachers and slammed into a wall. hence an angry red cheek and therefore the cool pack.


Tree Cutting (27 aug 2010)

got from e-mail...... funny
39 Ways To Be A Pain In The Butt At Work (8 sept 2010)

Therefore, in the interest of greater workplace sanity and happiness, not to mention productivity, here's a list of things not to do in the workplace. They're not illegal or immoral. They don't all apply to every kind of work. Some are even not that bad in small doses. But there's enough here to provide food for thought for pretty much everyone.
(Who knew there were so many ways to be a pain?)
1. Your workstation is a sty.
2. You brown nose.
3. You complain.
4. You gossip.
5. You carelessly "reply all."
6. You come to work sick.
7. You try to convert coworkers to your religion.
8. You try to convert coworkers to your political cause.
9. You tell dirty jokes.
10. You use bad language.
11. You loudly chew gum.
12. You conduct personal grooming, such as clipping fingernails, in the workplace.
13. You bring smelly food for lunch.
14. You over-share about your personal life.
15. You forward junk E-mail.
16. You smell of strong perfume or cologne.
17. You smell.
18. You brag about your successes.
19. You are a drama queen or king.
20. You borrow things and do not return them.
21. You steal people's lunches/snacks.
22. You leave long rambling voice mails.
23. You stand behind people and read over their shoulders.
24. You shout over cubicle walls to ask questions or make remarks.
25. You play music loud enough for others to hear.
26. You leave a mess in the workplace kitchen.
27. You burn popcorn in the workplace microwave.
28. You walk so noisily that others can hear you coming and going.
29. You make maddening little noises (tongue-clacking, knuckle-cracking, humming).
30. You click your pen, or tap it on your desk.
31. You set your cell phone to an annoying ring tone.
32. You talk on your cell phone in the restroom.
33. You make loud personal phone calls others can hear.
34. You share detailed descriptions of medical procedures.
35. You repeatedly use "amusing" expressions such as "Working hard or hardly working?" or "Are we having fun yet?"
36. You take credit for other people's work.
37. You are frequently late.
38. You are never around when you're needed.
39. You are dishonest, or unreliable, or just plain bad at your job.

Dom's 5th Birthday (15 sept 2010)


yup, the Dom is 5 this year and we did a mini-family celebration dinner for him on the 10th sept 2010. i did all the cooking (*clap clap*) and it was hard work.

dom has told Ah Gong what he wanted, buses - double decked, single decked and coach. so the poor grandparents ended up going all over to find the buses and finally found them at Toys R Us. he gotten his Bob Builder cake, some game cards and an analog watch from us.

unfortunately, Xiao Jiu was called to HK for a special project and was unable to attend. seems like he is going to miss bry birthday dinner too! charlene came with a remote control car! the boys had fun with it the next day.

dinner included pork ribs, stir-fry prawns with boiled brocoli in egg sauce, boiled chicken thighs and ABC soup. ok, i cheated, the chicken was boiled in the soup to save time. this is the 2nd time i am cooking the pork ribs, did a trial run and turned out well. this time i had 14 ribs which were marniated with honey, salt and pepper for 6hrs. pan fried and steamed for 1hr, to soften the meat. the verdict: it was well received with some comments that it should be more salty, steam longer to soften the meat further. the prawns were shelled and de-veined before being stir-fry. as for the egg sauce, fry diced onions with water, light soya sauce. bring to boil and add beaten egg and flour water to thicken it.

i am very happy that everyone enjoyed the dinner and dom had a nice birthday dinner. he was beaming with all the presents and cake, all his favourite persons were there. charlene had to eat her dinner with him (as requested by dom) at the ikea kids table.

dom was really king that evening!

Bry & Lennys (15 Sept 2010)
yes that is bryan holding his 2 precious Lennys

Bry's Unhappy Birthday (11 oct 2010)

this is bry's unhappy birthday cos he fell down in the toilet on 1st oct and hurt his tooth. so he was on soft diet for the next few days.

the very unfortunate thing happened on sat(2nd oct), i had a bad case of stomach flu and it was passed on to the boys. i vomitted on sat nite, dom on sat midnite and bry on sun morn.

very very sad and unhappy birthday for bry.

When The End Is Near (11oct 2010)

my grandma is currently warded after suffering her 2nd stroke, her 1st was 10+yrs ago. this time it is bad cos half of her brain is now dead and she is in a coma.

went to see her with mum and younger bro, it is sad to see the woman who took care of me lying frail on the hospital. there are things that i felt very strongly about just faded away. didn't expect her to end up like this cos she was a picture of health just on sunday when dad visited her, eating a hearty lunch prepared by mum. and yet, she suffered a stroke that very night.

this is very very unexpected and i wondered how my dad is taking this. true that grandma became rather fussy and handful, but at the end of the day this is the woman who gave birth to him and took care of him and us.

i really hope that my grandma is not suffering in any way now and i hope that she will not suffer when her time comes.

Fire Boys (10 nov 2010)

Boys Portraits (25 nov 2010)

just to share the boys portraits.

this is taken for 2010. lots of frens commented how "twins" the boys are.
this is dom from K1 to N1 (left to right). see how much he matured. so baby-liked when he was in N1 (left most pic).

2010 Christmas Tree (25 nov 2010)

saw this at the neighbourhood supermarket and tot that it would make a nice and unique christmas tree. it cost only S$8.90. the main attraction is the decorations, which are hung from tiny hooks on the tree.
something different from the norm.

This Is just Perfect (27 nov 2010)
this is just perfect. simply beautiful!

From Bry's Teacher (13 dec 2010)

坐下来,  腿交叉
手放好,  眼睛看
耳朵听, 嘴巴关
hey, great for teaching kids to sit still.

Flying Pig? (22 dec 2010)

as you all know that bry was born in the yr of the pig, and we have been teasing him abt "pigs flying".

whenever we ask him if he/pig can fly, he will answer "YES cos i have wings".

yup Pigs really can FLY.

Bye 2010 (31 dec 2010)

today is the 31st dec 2010 and as the yr draws to a close, there have been many things/events that happened.

good or bad, happy or sad, the yr is almost over. all i can hope for is that we all (esp myself) can draw some useful lessons from them.

my hope for 2011, good health for kids (especially) and everyone. wisdom and patience for kids and everyone (esp me). learn to take things easy and keep cool always.

most impt, God's protection over all every day and every way in the coming yr.

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