Join Me for Next Training

New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Engineermunn Announces Plans for His 2006 Season, Newbies Rejoice At Realistic and Attainable Goals

Upper Thomson, Singapore - After completing his first half marathon at the annual Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon yesterday, Engineermunn has announced that his 'professional' races in the 2006 season would consist of mostly half marathons and Olympic distance triathlons.

"I am on track with my progressive and incremental distances when I race. I started off with the 10km distance in 2004. This year, it was mainly sprints and then the penultimate half marathon yesterday. I have achieved what I had set out when I first began in this endurance endeavour", Engineermunn told the Trifam Times. "I might throw in a half ironman distance sometime towards the end of the year, in line with achieving my Ironman dreams in 2007 or 2008", reassured Engineermunn who was quelling rumours from a certain media celebrity that he did not 'look like an Ironman'.

Newbies welcome this piece of exciting news as they have recently been feeling very intimidated by the very rapid and sometimes crazy races that members of Trifam are embarking on. One of the members who only wants to be identified as Seng Chiow said, "Lucky I now can train properly. All those guys say jump means jump. I cannot lah. Must train properly. I still want to enjoy my races. Now, Engineermunn decide to do half marathons, I can still tahan lah. We will not run lonely anymore!"

When asked why he wants to just concentrate on half marathons, Engineermunn said that he would like to know that he can improve on his 21.1km distances first before taking the big leap, adding that his motto has always been "Slow and Steady, Everything in Moderation". "I know when I'll be ready for a full distance in the sanest of ways. Don't worry, I'll get there." Engineermunn reassured his rousing fans from Phillips, Toyomi and KDK.



It's been an awesome year for personal achievement through health and fitness. Exactly one year ago, I embarked on a personal journey to test my abilities in multisports. I told myself that no matter how long or tedious the race would be, I would sign up for races that would test my abilities in a progressive way. I used the annual Standard Chartered Marathon as my yardstick - my personal datum for sporting excellence.

I started with the 10km segment of the 2004 Stanchart Marathon. Yesterday, I completed the half marathon segment of the 2005 Stanchart Marathon. In between these milestones, I also managed a few biathlons, triathlons and duathlons. Along the way, I have been inspired by so many athletes. I've met so many ordinary people who have also proved to themselves and others that they can do it too. I hope I've inspired those around me too, especially those who are skeptical of their own abilities.

The Half Marathon Report

The day started out really humid. I was wondering to myself that the cloud cover was indeed thick and motionless at the ungodly hours of 5am. Climatic conditions were very unlike the 5am Sengkang training runs we had prior to race day. There was no wind at all, not even the reassuring breeze or a cool whiff of welcome respite. My initial race strategy was to carry my camelbak with my ipod nano. Alas, my nano screwed up on me. I have been doing my training runs with my nano and I even set up playlists for 5km runs, 10km runs and my half marathon. But it has got to be TODAY that my nano had to crash. The nano just didn't want to run with me on this day. Although I felt dejected, I knew I couldn't let this chance of running the half just because of a rotten Apple. I set off for the race site with heavy feet. No kidding, the lightweight New Balance 901 shoes didn't help at all. I decided against the camelbak as well which on hindsight was a wise decision as the water support was excellent.The full marathon was off at 6am. I was just focusing on my Half. At 0620 hrs, I followed the masses to the starting pens like sheep to slaughter. The starting boom at 0630 hrs was accompanied by " The Final Countdown" and a single lightning bolt in the distance. The bolt sent the masses woo-ing and wow-ing. I bet some runners were hoping that the weather would turn alittle bit cooler.

The rotten Apple made me decide to change my pacing strategy by incorporating alternative psychological boosts. Without the sounds of U2, military cadence and Chariots of Fire, I ran on the right-most side of the route so I could keep a lookout for fellow Trifamers attempting their marathon feat. I caught glimpses of Ben Wee, David Lim, Coconut, Yew, Bklew, IMIM, Tricia, Mythos, Francis, Kenneth, etc. I thought to myself that at least I could keep my mind busy trying to identify our Trifam Crazy Horses with balloons tied to their waists. Don't they even know the concept of drag? Gee whiz.

My first 10km was a breeze and I managed a personal best of 1hr. I thought if I continued at this pace, I could really 'smell' my sub-2 hour target if only I put in that little bit of effort. And then I had this urge to answer nature's call. I was running along like a dog and searching for suitable places to 'mark my scent'. The civilised part of me told me to use the toilet which on hindsight was a terrible decision this time because it took a good 7 minutes and my momentum away! Now I knew what accumulated time wastage is all about! Ergh!

Second part of the Half saw me engaging my other strategy of run-walk-run-walk. I told myself that if I had to walk, I would walk at a pace of 7kmph or more. Thanks to my RS200sd, I could maintain my pace at comfy speed. But no thanks to my RS200sd, I was somehow reading someone else's heart rate. Either that, or I think I have 2 hearts because my max HR was 102%! By the way, running long distances without audio accompaniment made me think alot about life as well. There were some serious thoughts going through my head but that's another story entirely.

Screw the heart rate monitoring. So I was relying on listening to my own body and on my pacing to keep me in check.I planned to approach our glorious Supreme City Hall steps by picking up pace towards the finishing line. Baaaaasket...... my left leg cramped up at the last 40m. Dammit. Nevermind, I pushed on with mental recordings of Chariots of Fire and I completed the Half with a smile on my face - because I have achieved what I've set out to achieve.

Race Analysis

The official timings are out!

Chip Timing: 2 hours 33 min 36 sec (RS200sd timing recorded as 2:33:43)

Overall Placing in Entire Field: 1978/4021

Overall Placing in Gender: 1550/2857

Overall Placing in Division (Men/SIN): 1030/2102

The overall results indicate that I'm within the top 50% of all half marathoners, which surprisingly was what my 10km results indicated last year. I'm just an average joe when it comes to all these but I'm proud of myself!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Why 5am Training and Lack of Sleep Don't Mix

Did an 18km run yesterday at 5am from Sengkang to Orchid Country Club and back. A record 20+ trifamers turned up at that crazy time to do an LSD.

Gee whiz, but I didn't sleep well the night before. I think I had only 3.5 hours of sleep.

And now I have the flu. My body decided to protest against my sanity.

Therefore it is important to Hydrate, have Sufficient Sleep, Eat Properly the day before any training.

Or else suffer the consequences.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What's In A Name?

A few days ago, I sent my parents off at the airport and we saw a directional sign that said "LOW COST TERMINAL".

Of course, for the well-initiated, this was the low-cost carrier airport terminal - or some would call it "The Budget Airline Terminal".

We were pondering over the "Low Cost Terminal" terminology. It sounds very cheapskate and the unintiated might have visions of a very cheap thatched-roof kind of structure. It's something that is rather un-modern-Singapore.

"Low Cost Terminal" - somehow it exudes a caste-like discrimination.

But seriously, why can't the authorities call it "Budget Airline Terminal"?

Emergency G.A.W.K Review

I admit. I'm not disciplined enough to do the G.A.W.K. I think it is quite sedentary and boring. Maybe I feel lazy and I just feel the need to get out and run or swim.

Excuses, excuses, excuses.

But I need to work on my abs.


Perhaps I should target a more realistic number.... say 60 a day for a month?

Alright... I'll do 60 a day for a month.

G.A.W.K II starts today!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


It's 26 Oct. In a bid to 'progress' in my training routine and perhaps spice up the cardio workouts, I've decided that I'm going to embark on the G.A.W.K, also known as the Great Abdominal WorKout.

Will start tomorrow. Basically I'll start with 200 crunches on my first day. I will increase my crunches by 2% everyday up to a month (or 30 days). Then we'll see if there are any improvements in:

  1. achieving any form/shape/inkling of a six-pack washboard ab,
  2. overall endurance to overcome the daily incremental load,
  3. improvement in heart rate (will wear HRM)
Please motivate me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Are Reality Shows Real?

Reality shows are becoming a farce.

America's Next Top Model is just a showcase for the aging Tyra Banks boob job. And who's that has-been judge? What-ever-her-name-is talks too much and she still thinks she's a hottie. Please lah, her face is enough for me to puke. I'm sure you've heard of phrases like "Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier" or "Once an Engineer, Always an Engineer". Modelling is one job that cannot use this type of phrase. Instead, it should be "Once a Model, Now an Old Hag". Come on, face it. WE ALL AGE. WE ALL GET OLD.

Actually, ANTM is not as bad as Singapore's productions. Recently, Channel 5 aired Villa Wellness. I seriously think it should have been called Villa Grossness. Then there's that uber fake David Gan who insulted one of the contestants "You look like banana". Erm.... okay.... banana.

Why do I even end up watching these shows on prime time slots?!?! See, now you all know why I'd rather be training!

Disclaimer: I only caught one meagre episode of Villa Grossness hor... and you guessed it right, I caught the 'banana' one.

A SIM-biotic Wedding Made In Heaven

Congrats to Calvin and Lynn!! - Both my juniors from Purdue.

Calvin came into campus in the Fall of 1997, and is one year my junior, while Lynn enrolled during my Senior Year in 1999.

My first impression of Calvin was during the Freshmen Welcome BBQ at Happy Hollow Park. We were having a conversation with Calvin (blur blur cute cute face) while he was drinking some pop and he suddenly started to slur and stutter. My first thought was that this poor chap had some inherent speech impediment so I kinda took pity on him. Then he began to lisp really badly and he pointed his finger into his mouth. We thought he had choked but then we saw this 'thing' in his mouth, stuck on his tongue. It was a bee! A bee had stung him ON HIS TONGUE while he was drinking pop! Damn funny. But anyway, I cannot remember if he spat the poor bee out or someone took him to the health center. That was my first impression of Calvin Sim - the blur blur cute cute clumsy one.

I met Lynn for the first time when she and CY contacted me during summer of '99 to enquire about studying at Purdue. We met at Breeks! at Wisma Atria and Dave and Tap were with me to give these 2 new birds some advice and such. The seniors tried our best to advice them on what to bring, how much to bring, what to expect, what to do on first day, etc. That was my first encounter with Lynn Phua - smarty scholar.

Fast forward October 2004. Bok Chain was back in Singapore for some Motorola thingy. Lynn flashed her engagement ring at the girls (the usual bunch - HX, CY and Naomi). I saw the ring... WAH....

Fast fast forward 22 October 2005. I see Calvin waiting anxiously for his bride to appear. Honestly, I kept having visions of the Cheshire Cat throughout the solemnization and dinner. Calvin was just grinning endlessly! Anyway, I digress. The atmosphere was so full of love. Ask me about love during weddings and I can tell quite abit. I've done so many assignments for weddings and I can honestly say that this was one wedding that had all the makings of true love. To be frank, I always dread weddings for all the happy endings and mushy stuff associated with it. Calvin and Lynn's wedding was one which was just that - and it was awesome for them! I'm happy for them, seriously. I just feel... lonely when I think about it. Oh well, but the day belonged to them. Lynn hit it on the nail when she said "I love you" to Calvin (who else?) when the couple were giving their thank you speech during dinner. It was so sweet and simple. It was like a small girl so excited about opening her christmas presents. Yeah.. that kind of joy, simple pleasures in life.

It was also great to meet up with the other Purdue guys...

Calvin and Lynn, may God guide you through your marriage with fun, love and lots of laughter and may the two of you start a Sim-City soon!


Greetings to all faithful readers of my blog.

I am back. I have returned to blogosphere! No I wasn't being hunted down for sedition (apa ini?). Neither was I keeping a low profile.

I just needed a break from the public eye (haha... like real). I just wanted to chill out from so many things that were bothering me. I wanted to keep things in perspective. I wanted to do a major overhaul (well, not so major lah). I just needed a re-think.

In a nutshell:

Did the Terry Fox Run on 18 Sept. It rained and it rained and the 8km got cancelled. Eventually did a 2.4km (according to my trusty footpod). CY ran with me. The boys ran too (Clayton, Jiji, Vincent, Nick, Yihan, etc..). Bloody Mythos WALKED the 2.4km. Okay lah, give him credit for completing the Desaru Half Ironman only the day before and rushing back to Singapore to support the cause.

Then I did the NIE Biathlon on 25 Sept. 500m pool swim + 5km hilly run around the NTU campus. Finished in 45 minutes. Not too bad considering I had absolutely NO IDEA of the running route. I also met some of my former PTIs who conducted last year's Remedial Training. One of them asked me if I was one of the RT-men from Maju Camp. I sheepishly said yes coz apparently it's quite embarrassing for RT-men to show up for endurance multi-sport races. haha... Well, for the record the PTIs beat me at the biathlon by a mere 3 minutes! Come on lah, they're like 10 years YOUNGER than me ok. I'm so proud of myself.

Then there was the NTU Ultramarathon (168km) Run-Round-Singapore on 1 Oct. I was supposed to do escort running for 6.5km. Gee whiz... I ended up with a personal best of 35km in total! I even got lost in Senoko. You know you're lost when you see the 3 Senoko smokestacks/chimneys and you don't see any other runner in a 2km radius!). Supported Adrian Mok till he couldn't run anymore. That was the beginning of the Changi Coast stretch. But that crazy boy still managed to complete the 168km distance in respectable time and through all that pain! He ran... amok... that's all I can say.

The ultra gave me more confidence and strength to increase my mileage. I'm averaging 40km per week now. I've also learned that I have to be careful about overtraining. Hence I'm constantly listening to my body for signs of over-fatigue (increased heart rates, nagging sores, wierd aches, etc..)

That's it. Been running and running and running. No wonder no time to blog much... heh heh... but the thoughts are all in my head while I run - that keeps me sane (and creative too!)

Okay... will write more soon. Promise.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Daily Log

MacRitchie Run - Mee Sua at Sin Ming - Run Home

Indeed there were 2 parts to my running this morning. I arrived at 7:30am at the gates of MacRitchie to meet some friends. Saw Ser Luck and Mok on separate occasions. Both of them were training for the ultramarathon of 168km on 1st and 2nd Oct. My weekly mileage is nothing compared to their daily mileage. At this rate they are going, Ser Luck and Mok will be poster boys for alternative transport modes.

MacRitchie (short) Run:
Total Distance - 4.32 km
Time Taken - 28.02 min
Max HR - 172 (91%)
Avg HR - 163 (86%)
Max Speed/Pace - 10.8 km/hr, 5:33 min/km
Avg Speed/Pace - 9.2 km/hr, 6:29 min/km
Calories - 413 kcal

Running Home after eating Mee Sua and drinking ice-Milo:
Total Distance - 0.98 km
Time Taken - 6:01 min
Max HR - 169 (89%)
Avg HR - 162 (85%)
Max Speed/Pace - 13.5 km/hr, 4:27 min/km
Avg Speed/Pace - 9.8 km/hr, 6:07 min/km
Calories - 87 kcal

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Terry Fox Run Details and Daily Log

I'm going to sign up the entire group on Friday and will collect all the barang barang (T-shirts, wristbands, etc.) Friday evening. Here are the instructions for those who've signed up with me:

I'll be at the Seah Im Hawker Center car park (opposite Harbourfront) from 6:45am to 7:15am on Sunday 18 September. The race starts at 8:00am and we all should be there latest by 7:45am. If I'm not mistaken, the wristband will give you entry into Sentosa. For those who have signed up with me, you can collect your T-shirt and wristband while I'm at Seah Im. If we miss each other, then you would have to look for me in Sentosa after 7:15am.

Moby and Clayton, you guys be in charge of your respective sub-groups. You have my number so can call me if anything.

If you want to meet me on alternative times, can try giving me a call and we'll see what we can do about it.

Oh yes, please pass me the registration money too - whether you make it to the run or not. Thanks hor...

Daily Log:
Warm-up Swim - 500m

Run Summary:
Total Distance - 2.91 km (loop Upp Thomson Road - Bishan Park (800m) - Sin Ming Ave)
Time taken - 18:21 min
Max HR - 176 (93%)
Avg HR - 169 (89%)
Max Speed/Pace - 12.4 km/hr, 4:50 min/km
Avg Speed/Pace - 9.5 km/hr, 6:18 min/km
Calories - 287 kcal

I consciously did a faster pace today. This is a particularly good route to train for some speedwork and would be quite ideal for IPPT 2.4km training.

A Ray of Hope - and that's why i love Singapore!

Our government protects us! I have an avenue to complain about the incessant smoking in my office. I also learned a few new things about the harmful effects of smoking.

Check out this really helpful article from our very own Health Promotion Board. The most useful thing is the hotline I can call "in case the supervisor cannot do anything about smoking in the workplace".

Heh heh heh.... watch out smokers!

For those who are lazy to check out the hotline number through the hyperlink, it is 1800-2255-632.

The Butt Stops Here!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Daily Log: Run-Swim-Run

Now I'm contemplating if I should join the Powerman in Putrajaya, Malaysia. It's gonna be held on 25th September 2005. The long distance portion is 10km Run, 60km Bike, 10km Run. The Sprint version is 5km R, 30km B, 5km R.

Maybe I'll do the Sprint distance if I go.

Anyway, I went for the Trifam training today but didn't join in fully coz I wanted to work on my running. Hence I decided to run 4km, swim 1km, then run another 4km.

Overall, I think I managed pretty well.

Run Summary for 1st Run:
Time start - 18:27 hrs
Total Distance - 4.35 km
Time taken - 33:22 min (walked the final 500m to cool down)
Max HR - 178 (94%)
Avg HR - 155 (82%)
Max Speed/pace - 13.6 km/hr, 4:25 min/km
Avg Speed/pace - 7.8 km/hr, 7:40 min/km
Calories - 452 kcal

Run Summary for 2nd Run (after 1km interval swim):
Time start - 19:54 hrs
Total Distance - 4.05 km
Time taken - 30:50 min
Max HR - 170 (89%)
Avg HR - 162 (85%)
Max Speed/pace - 9.7 km/hr, 6:09 min/km
Avg Speed/pace - 7.9 km/hr, 7:36 min/km
Calories - 445 kcal

By the looks of it, the avg HR and avg speeds are quite constant. This is a comfortable pace I think.

Monday, September 12, 2005

What's the Price? What's the Prize?

This is not a lesson in english spelling. It is a lesson of ethics and morals.

I've recently had several people who have asked me these 2 questions when I approached them about the Terry Fox Run. I find it quite difficult to tell them about the merits of joining this run without offending them for their ignorance. No, I'm not saying that they don't know who Terry Fox is. Rather, it is just exasperating sometimes to hear certain comments from them.

What's the price? How much do I have to pay? I tell them it is $25, and I have to quickly add that they would get a free T-shirt, free wristband and free entry into Sentosa. I have to do this to entice them to join it, as though they wouldn't even bat an eyelid if there were no perks. I also have to tell them that the registration fees would go for a good cause - cancer research.

Some are even worse. They ask what the prize is 'if they come in top 10'. Top 10 position, my dear friend. And I'm being asked by people who've never been knowned to be athletic or have never even been seen bouncing any type of balls in their lives before. It is not about the prize. You mean the prize will actually be the deciding factor?

Think about it.

What is the price? The price of $25. Your contribution to the cancer research fund goes a long way. I have said this many times, and I will say it again - I can safely say that all of us have personal attachments to someone suffering from cancer. Some of us have cancer. Some of us have seen our loved ones die from cancer. There isn't a cure for cancer yet. But there has been advancements to treat cancer, to make it less suffering for patients. The advancement of medicine and research has made this possible. Cancer research is a big thing and those oncology dudes doing research need the funding. Terry Fox put it upon himself to raise funds for research. He ran a marathon every single day until he died. He wasn't an athlete. He had one leg amputated to prevent the spread of cancer cells. He ran with a prosthetic leg instead. A marathon is 42.1 km long. Even I find it a chore running 5km a day. How about you? You mean he isn't enough an inspiration that $25 is an issue?

I'm not even asking everyone to run/walk/stroll 4km - that's the 'fun run' distance. You guys can stay home and sleep through the 4km worth of dreams. There will be many excuses not to attempt the short 'gruelling' distance of 4km.

What is the prize? If any gurkha or kenyan asks me this question, I'd find out for them. But if prize is so damn important, then I'm sorry this is not the NKF-enticing-you-with-brand-new-car type of fund raising. You can even save the trouble of blaming your trigger-happy grandchildren who robotically keep pressing the 'redial' buttons of your cellphone.

The prize is in knowing that YOU can contribute to something worthwhile. The prize is in knowing that YOU can complete the distance - run/walk/stroll, I don't care. The prize is in knowing that YOU will achieve something personal by 10am on a Sunday morning.

Come on everyone. How much worse can it get?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Reflections of Nine-Eleven and Sheares Bridge Run

Today happens to be the Annual Sheares Bridge Run (Army Half Marathon) and the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks in the USA.

To be honest, I didn't have a good feeling about this run. I was afraid that terrorists would strike during the run and cause massive physical losses and psychological damage to Singapore and Singaporeans. After all, our island state is one of their targets. It would have been quite easy for them to hit us. The thought was scary and disturbing but I knew I shouldn't let thoughts like this hamper me from taking part in a national event. I must not be scared as a citizen yet I have to be vigilant.

What hindered me from doing my best was the gastric flu that I had for the past two days. I felt queasy on Friday evening and the abdominal pangs remained on most of Saturday. I had my doubts if I wanted to take part in the 12km mini race due to health issues. I still tried to drink lots of water, especially isotonic ones to replenish the lost electrolytes in the body.

Anyway I woke up at 5:30am to get ready to meet Chad Mobley at the Hotel Intercontinental. We met at 6:30am and had breakfast at the hotel. We walked to the Esplanade Bridge after that to start the run at 8:00am.

We ran for the first 6km and then walked for the next 3km. We ran the remaining and final 3km back to the Padang. We took a total of about 1hr 45min. Not much speed and glory put into it as I felt my stomach churning. The lack of water points didn't help much either. False hopes of Gatorade stations added to the frustration. Nevertheless we finished the distance. My 200sd read 12.5km.

We caught sight of Mythos slightly beyond the finishing line with his wife Margaret and son Jonathon.

Run Summary:
Total Distance - 12.57km
Total Time - 1hr 50min
Max HR - 174 (92%)
Avg HR - 142 (75%) - walked quite abit
Max Speed - 11.1 km/hr
Avg Speed - 6.6 km/hr - see lah! must be walking too much!
Calories - 1337 kcal

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Daily Log

The 2nd-hand smoke in the office was extremely terrible today. I kept applying medicated axe oil near my nostrils to mask the nicotine inhalation. I don't know if by doing that I'm harming myself more or not. Nevertheless, I still prefer the smell of fung yow.

I came home about 5:30pm and my clothes reeked with smoke. Erghhh...

I hope someone from the Health Science Authority is reading this: Please, please tell the french boss not to smoke in the air-conditioned office! Someone from higher government authority should tell the bugger off! If anyone has friends from HSA, please tell them of this lobang okay?

And so I came home and went for a short swim of 500 m, then changed into my shoes for a round-Bishan Park run.

Run Summary:
Total Distance - 5.46 km
Total Time - 35:55 min (includes 2 min walk out to main road)
Max HR - 177 (93%)
Avg HR - 162 (85%)
Max Speed - 16.9 km/hr
Avg Speed - 9.1 km/hr
Calories - 521 kcal

I sense a little bit of improvement. Slow and steady.... slow and steady wins the race!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Daily Log and More!

Went to the (old) SMU pool again for brick training. Francis, Kenneth and I did not follow the Trifam today.

We swam about 1200 m and then came out for the run around the campus. We did a total of 3.50km on gradual slopes to condition our legs for Desaru Half Ironman. Although I'm not participating it myself, I might as well train for the upcoming NIE Biathlon which is also notorious for the NTU slopes.

Before I give today's run summary, here's a little something more about the Terry Fox Run. Just today alone, I'm encouraged by many friends who are willing to sign up for the good cause. I've received verbal commitments from Sky and his friends, my former students from CJC, my Purdue friends, and even my primary and secondary school friends!

Thank you all guys! I promise that you will be encouraged even further by other people's enthusiasm to see this event kick off. Cancer is so prevalent these days. It might just happen to any one of us. While we're still alive and well, what is a morning jog in the park? Are we going to wait for another year before we decide to contribute somehow? What is 4km or 7.5km when cancer patients are suffering more than this?

Here's my own personal experience. I've only started taking part in multi-sports since early this year. In my first triathlon alone (which was in Napa Valley, USA), I was so tempted to quit the gruelling hills on the bike course. It was supposed to be a low-key competition and yet it was tough. Then there were several cancer survivors and a dude with a prosthetic leg who passed me on the bike course AND running course. Could I tell myself to quit?

I know I'm not a quitter. These guys have inspired me with their willpower and enthusiasm. What struck me even more was that they even encouraged me to complete the race. They spurred me to carry on!

The OSIM triathlon also featured a chinese national with only one hand. Mind you, I think he was fifty-plus in age. Yet he completed the OD tri in good timing!

Then the local marathon swim also featured our local boy who lost his leg in an accident earlier THIS year. The marathon swim was in June. Barely a few months after losing a leg, he swam 7.5km in the open sea.

My dear departed buddy in Scouts - Yonghua - passed away due to leukemia. That was in 1993. He battled cancer for a few years but yet he fought on and on. He knew he had a slim chance of being able to live through JC, but yet he pressed on to get distinctions in the O levels. He was special to many of us.

I'm sure we all have our personal brushes with cancer.

The guts and the willpower shown in so many patients.

Like they always say - There are so many reasons not to take part in races, but there's only one reason to take part in it, and that's to complete it.

Cancer is a race in itself. A race against time. A survivor - in the simplest sense - would make the best use of his or her life. A quitter never sees the day, never sees the Life. A patient lives a full life only when he or she completes the cancer race. It's similar to normal races, we all complete it with a smile of contentment, a pat on our backs, a job well done.

This is why I don't want to give myself any excuses to quit.

Enough said.

Run Summary:
Total Distance - 3.50km (Bukit Timah campus hills)
Total Time - 26:18min
Max HR - 168 (88%)
Avg HR - 155 (82%)
Max Speed - 9.8 km/hr
Avg Speed - 8.0 km/hr
Calories - 340 kcal

Registration for Terry Fox Run

Dear all,

I'm helping to raise funds for the upcoming Terry Fox Run on 18 September 2005. You may either do the 4km or 7.5km run/walk route. All proceeds go to the Cancer Research Fund.

I've taken part in several races and this is one event in which I know for sure that the registeration money ($25) goes to research funding for cancer. In addition, you get free entry into Sentosa (worth $2), a free commemorative T-shirt, a wristband and a certificate of participation.

My friend, Derek, is also running the Terry Fox Run. He suffers the same as Terry Fox and will be running the 7.5km route with a prosthetic leg - some of you might have seen Derek in the recent Terry Fox Run commercial.

Terry Fox himself did a marathon every day (that's a whopping 42 km per day!) until he died at age 22. If someone with a prosthetic leg can do a marathon a day while himself not being an athlete, then I'm sure YOU can do a 7.5km leisure stroll for a good cause.

Heck, if YOU can go googoogahgah over my "almost" daily 4-5km runs, then think Terry Fox. Think cancer research.

Please let me know if you're interested by 16 September 2005 (Friday). I'll assist in signing you up for the good cause.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Daily Log

Went to the (old) SMU pool again.

Justin's late as usual!

I swam about 1200 m, then went for a run at the tracks.

Run Summary:
Total Distance - 4.0 km
Time Taken - 27:34 min
Max HR - 173 (91%)
Avg HR - 164 (86%)
Max pace - 4:22 min/km
Avg pace - 6:53 min/km
Calories - 407 kcal

Saw Calvin Sim (fellow Boilermaker) at the pool also.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Daily Log

Swam about 800 m at the 25-m lap pool this morning. That's about it - more like a recovery swim.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Balance Aquathlon

Race started at 1200hrs. Swim was called cut-off at the 17th minute. I was already halfway through the swim. Then it was restarted at 1300hrs when the storm subsided. The restart meant another 1.5km swim. Whoa... considering the earlier 800m, this means a total of about 2.3km in the open sea! I don't really like Sentosa lagoons because they are saltier than East Coast - somehow.

Abrasion on the armpits due to the LG tri top. Next time must apply Vaseline or BodyGlide to prevent the chaffing.

Transitioning at T1, I passed the Championchip transponder to David (Tri Succulent) for the 10km running segment. While he was running I was watching out for Mythos to come out to the beach and start his 10km run. He came out and I promised to pace him for the final 5km (2nd loop).

He came around and we ran together.

Run Summary:
Total time - 33:02 min
Distance - 4.26 km (so the actual race distance is less than 10 km... hmmmm...)
Max HR - 203 (107%)
Avg HR - 161 (85%)
Max pace - 4:55 min/km
Avg pace - 7:45 min/km
Calories - 481 kcal (run only)

After the race we came back to mainland for Thaksin Beef Noodles at Seah Im Food Center - regular post-training recovery meal for Trifam dudes.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Daily Log

Went for a morning run at Bishan Park. Sky was slightly overcast with a slight drizzle. Some headwinds on the return leg along Sin Ming Avenue.

Run Summary

Total Distance - 5.20km
Time taken - 35.00 min
Max HR - 177 (93%)
Avg HR - 165 (87%)
Max pace - 5:24 min/km
Avg pace - 7:07 min/km
Calories - 523 kcal

TP16 Scout Troop Gathering

Marist Scouts from my batch met up at the Harbourfront Sakae Sushi. There was Hanguo (Henry), Biwu, Damien, Mingming, Elgin, Heli and myself.

It was an awesome gathering and we relived our fondest memories of our Scouting days in Maris Stella. Some of us were also from the Cadet Scout Troop in our primary school. We reminisced our antics and Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn adventures with much gusto...

Like the time when we all went through the De:xuf:to training camp. De:xuf:to meant Discipline, Suffering, Tolerance. I don't know who penned those words but it sure brought back fond memories!There were the confidence-building solo nights at the nearby Bidadari muslim cemetery, uncountable push-ups in muck and grime at the Canal next to our school, drinking mud water for water parade, eating nothing but raw eggs and semi-cooked chicken in Pulau Ubin. National Service was nothing compared to De:xuf:to days of yore.

Then there were the various pioneering projects we did all over the school. We would build structures, towers and bridges out of manila rope and wooden spars. Structures that could take our own loads and more! They were engineering feats in itself. It is probably no wonder that a few of us are trained as civil engineers later in life.

Then there were also the fantastic pyrotechnics (our own mix of gunpowder by our resident pyro expert - Yijie) and the Dancing Lizards during our annual campfires. We were known as the troop with the unusual methods of campfire lighting and abseiling not off walls but off railings and parapets. Our rapelling harness was also improvised from manila rope instead of standard safety gear. On hindsight, we lived a dangerous ECA. Parents would probably ban their children from joining our scout troop in present times.

Then there were the politics involved which - on hindsight - was fun to and actually quite diplomatically resolved.

Of course we all relived our memories of our rare combined meetings with the other Girl Guide companies. There was the combined hike at Ubin with St Anhony's guides (Fiona, Teresa, Kim) and the combined meeting with the Hai Sing High guides (Wenhua).

And there are still so many memories of our scouting days. Too many to recall in one short 2.5 hour gathering.

Hanguo is now a teacher.
Biwu is in LTA with the Circle Line project team.
Damien is now a doctor and he's married.
Mingming was and is still Manhunt... haha... he's in Deutsch Bank.
Elgin is in Renault.
Heli is in Infineon and still has dreams of being THE entrepreneur.
Songping is an RSAF Fokker50 pilot after getting his medical degree.
Westy is in Spain with his Spanish wife and his furniture business.
Gerald Ong is married to a Bruneian lady.

And there's Timothy Lim. Our dear Scout Master who let our seniors torture us to bits which turned us to tougher teenage boys. He was supposed to turn up for the gathering but he had an appointment.

Till then... perhaps someone's wedding...

"Too too taleh nickle one-two!
Oi oi cheelei cheelei Super lei!
Kuchee teh teh, kuchee teh!
Kuchee teh teh, Super lei!
SHout it out! Sa!
Shout it out! Sa!
Shout it out! Sa! Sa! Sa! Sa! Sa!
Oh.... Hai Sing! Tong Jun! All the Way!
We like it here! We like it here!
We found ourselves a Home! A Home!
A Home Sweet Home!"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Happy Teacher's Day

I remember when we used to have blackboards and coloured chalk in primary school. We used to decorate the classroom with home-made streamers that were made from meticulously-cut color paper. We'd spend the whole night 'gumming' strips of color paper into rings. Then we'd also make teacher's day cards. We'll get to school early in the morning to adorn the blackboard with a plethora of colors and caricatures of our teachers. Sometimes we depict certain teachers with feather-dusters or canes. Sometimes we draw flowers and trees and birds as filler material. In the end, the blackboard is a work of art. If only we had digital cameras then, I would have gladly taken photos of our combined efforts in producing this artpiece.

Now the blackboard is extinct in Singapore. I don't know if students still make streamers or blow up balloons to decorate the class. Heck, I don't even think students have the privilege of seeing their own teacher brandishing 'weapons of mass destruction' such as the feather duster, meter-long wooden ruler or rotan cane.

Today is Teacher's Day. I have many fond memories as a student back in the early 1980s. Some teachers have left a very positive influence on me. Some teachers are still the ultimate terrorists in my mind. Some teachers have since passed away - Bless their souls.

I might as well honour the teachers that have taught me through the years. I will honour them as much as I can remember...

In primary school, there were Liang laoshi (chinese and mathematics), Sun laoshi (chinese), Mdm Peng (english), Fu laoshi (chinese and bible knowledge in chinese!), Miss Cecilia Ng (english), Miss Stella Tan (cadet scout mistress), Mr Peter Tan (social studies), and Mrs Mary Goh (english).

Then in secondary school , I had Mr Chee Lian Kee who taught us English and English Literature in secondary 1 and 2. He was also my form teacher. Mr Chee used to smoke his pipe while he wasn't teaching us. I remember his crisp Queen's English pronunciation and his beautiful penmanship. He was the one who introduced us to Alex Haley's "Roots" and Anita Desai's "Village by the Sea". The two books opened my eyes to the lesser developed worlds. I also appreciated the black culture since then and learned about slavery. Mr Chee retired after we left secondary 2. If the retirement age was 60 at that time, he should be 76 by now. I wonder if he's still around.

Mr Timothy Lim Kim Seng taught us Geography. He was also our Scout Troop Master. My batch of Marist Scouts still keep in contact with him. I still recall the piles and piles and piles of notes he gave us. Last I heard, he's in ACS Independent and he's got a huge teddy bear collection.

Ms Grace "Rambo" Ho. Her smell still lingers in my head after all these years! We could tell when she was coming to class by her scent from miles away. She used to make us copy notes right out from our textbooks. We didn't understand the significance of it. We used to score terribly in our Geog exams because of her unorthodox teaching methods. In Sec 4, I stood up on behalf of the class to seek redress in our Geog prelims. After all, most of us had to rely on Geog as a humanities subject to enter junior college. She told me later that I would do well in geog and that I would appreciate geography later in life. She was right. Thanks Ms Ho.

Mr Foo Say Mu and Mr Poh taught us Physics and Chemistry respectively. Both were chinese-educated Nantah grads and they were traditionalists. Mr Poh would go around confiscating the class collection of porn magazines and giving us 'electrons' from his PVC wire casing. He was also Mr Fix-It. Students would approach him to repair their broken walkman players and radios and he'd fix them for us.

Mr John Teo was another English teacher who was very good at puns. He also taught me Bible Knowledge on the Gospels.

Then there were Low Poyen and Han laoshi who taught us Math and Chinese respectively. On hindsight, they didn't get any appreciation from us at all. It was terrible on our part. But hey, boys will be boys.

There was Ms Christina Lim who taught us Math in Sec 1. She was the babe of all teachers at that time. Talk about having crushes on teachers! And then she got married and she broke the hearts of at least half the school. She was also our Scout mistress.

Brother Anthony! He was our principal then, and he's still the principal now! He would go on canoeing trips with us and encourage us to be adventurous and excel in our ECAs. Subconsciously, he build us into all-rounders with compulsory swimming, canoeing and teakwondo.

In junior college, Mrs Low was the most influential teacher. Although she did not teach me (she was the vice-principal), she was a mother-figure to most of us in school. Even when I left school for NS, University and working life, she was there as a counsellor, teacher and friend.

I have so many teachers whom I like to mention but everything is just a blur. There are some things I can remember well, some things are vague. It would require me to write a novel! Whatever it is, teachers have molded me into the person I am today. I really appreciate all of them.

And here's also to the best teachers in my life - Dad and Mom who've guided me throughout my life. I've always believed that teaching is not always from the books, but teaching life skills and imparting knowledge as well.

Thank you to all my teachers! I love you all!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Daily Log

Arrived at the (old) SMU pool at 6:00pm with Tiong Ghee. We decided to do a short run from the campus to Tanglin Mall and back. Then join the guys for the weekly swim interval training at 7:00pm.

Run Summary:
Time started - 18:13hrs
Time taken - 28min 27sec
Distance - 4.00km
Max HR - 174 (92%)
Avg HR - 160 (84%)
Max pace - 5:04 min/km
Avg pace - 7:06 min/km
Calories - 404 kcal

Total swim distance - 2400 m intervals.

How NOT to Pick Up Girls...

Call it fortunate or unfortunate (depends on your leanings), I was hit on today by someone whom I think is gay. No he wasn't the ultra-broken-wrist-sashaying-ass kind of ahkua, but he looked quite decent. The only hint of him being from 'the other side' was his subtle linguistic mannerism - the overly-emphasized 's' sound and endless tai tai banter on everything under the sun.

Sidenote: Tai tai banter is very different from taxi driver talk. Taxi driver talk has objectivity and taxi drivers are well-read professionals. Tai tai banter makes no sense no matter how professional they try to sound. For example "Aiyoooh... I heard this year maybe general election leh. My neighbour husband hor... say that PAP sure win one leh." See what I mean? They make DUH! statements and they refuse to take responsibility when they speak hence arrowing the neighbour's husband as a scapegoat.

But I digress....

Anyway, this ahkua kept asking me mindless questions. Oh, by the way, I was at the hair salon getting my monthly haircut so I was kinda restrained in that sense. I tried to seem uninterested by looking through magazines but they were all in japanese anyway. Bummer. So our dear ahkua friend (AK) kept firing questions at me.....

AK: Eh... so.... you look sporty leh. What type of games you play ah?
CM: (tries very hard to browse through the jap magazines)
AK: I guess correct right? You play games alot right? You also quite tanned leh... You must play tennis
CM: (for a moment, CM thought he said PENis. Looks kinda disturbed)
AK: yah lah, you play tennis lah.
CM: Erm, nope. I don't play TENnis.
AK: Then you go gym is it?
CM: No I don't go to the gym I cannot get a tan from the gym. I just exercise outdoors lah. (I think I sounded rude enough)
AK: You know how to read japanese huh?
CM: No, I don't usually talk to people while the hairdresser is cutting my hair. I don't know how to multitask.
AK: Never mind, later we go for coffee lah.
CM: It's okay, I need to work.
... ...

There you see it. I was IRRITATED. I'm not gay-bashing here. It's just that a thought came to me after AK sensed that I was not interested in his mindless banter. Sometimes, we guys also ask really stupid questions when we try to pick up girls. I've had my fair share of rejections in my dating lifetime. Maybe that's how the girls perceived us when we try too hard to make conversation.

Lesson learned today: If you wanna chat up girls with pick-up lines, just think carefully before you ask stupid questions - similar to questions that ahkuas might ask you to irritate the shit out of you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

RS200sd Track Test

I wanted to train downstairs in the pool and then run around Bishan Park.

Then Justin called to tell me that he wanted to try swimming at the (old) SMU pool at 6:30pm. I thought it would be a good idea to do at least 30 laps in the olympic size pool and then run at the standard tracks to check out the calibration of the RS200sd.

I arrived at 6:35pm and I thought I was late.

That Justin bugger came 1 hour later! By that time, I already swam like 40 laps with and without pool bouy. Anyway I changed to running gear and was off to the running tracks.

Ran 3.6 km (8 rounds of the track + to/fro pool to track distance).

Time taken: 24:34min
Max HR: 173 (91%)
Avg HR: 164 (86%)
Max Pace: 4:52 min/km
Avg Pace: 6:48 min/km
Calories: 365 kcal

Sunday, August 28, 2005

While the Boys are in Ironman Korea...

I try to clock up some mileage for them. haha....

I just came up from a short training session - one of those 'secret' training that I conduct on my own time, own schedule. Hey, might as well make use of the condominium's pool and gym downstairs right?

Here's the summary, courtesy of the new RS200sd (note: unfortunately, I don't know why the HRM couldn't pick up any signal from the wearlink - hence no heart rate info today):

Start time: 15:57pm

Total time: 1 hr 21 min 27 sec

Pace - Max: 4:23 min/km, Avg: 20:00 min/km (walk)

Distance covered: 4.07 km

Of course the total time included swimming as well, and I couldn't possibly wear the footpod right?

The course of training - 1500 m (S), 4 km (R), 500 m (S)


Mythos and I walked back up to the entrance gates of Upper Pierce Reservoir at Old Upper Thomson after the brief fainting spell. Both of us walked with our bikes and shoes in hand. We walked barefoot because the cleats of our cycling shoes would have made it difficult to walk on. As we walked that 1+ km route up the slopes, I realised that even at such ulu places in Singapore, I could walk barefoot without a second thought. No grime, no shards of glass, no rubbish, and fortunately no roadkill.

It was a great barefoot walk (a Nike Free moment sans the much hyped about barefoot technology shoes). I also realised that I didn't have to worry about washing my feet after or if I'd get some horrible flesh-eating disease.

The surrounding lush greenery made it all the more therapeutic and refreshing.

Nice clean roads, beautiful jungle.

We have a clean, green city. Indeed. This is something that I'm happy about Singapore.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Weekly Training Log

Daily Totals

Sun 21 Aug: 2000 m (S), 6 km (R) - Bishan Park

Mon 22 Aug: Rest

Tue 23 Aug: 2000 m (S), 6 km (R) - Bishan Park

Wed 24 Aug: 3000 m (S) - Trifam Intervals

Thu 25 Aug: Rest

Fri 26 Aug: Rest

Sat 27 Aug: 1000 m (S), 20 km (B), 4 km (R) - Thomson Thosai / Threadmill

HR Max = 178, Avg = 115

Max HR = 193, Avg HR = 155
Pace Max = 6.25min/km, Avg = 8.18min/km
Calories = 437 kcal

Weekly Totals:

Swim - 8000 m
Bike - 20 km
Run - 16 km

I just tried out the new Polar RS200sd heart rate monitor which not only monitors my heart rate (duh!) but it also records distance, time and speed for the run segments. I've included the records for Saturday's training session. Talking about that, the Thomson Thosai team met up with our new jerseys/tritops at 7am for a proposed 60km ride. Alas, Francis dropped the bike part coz his tires burst while he was pumping them. So it was left with Mythos, Kenneth, Elvia and myself. We did 2 loops of Old Upp Thomson then we tackled the Upp Peirce hills. I shot up but I had to quit at the end of the hill coz I felt abit dizzy. Thanks to Mythos who stayed with me. He said my face was quite pale. I was disappointed in myself coz I didn't have a good night's rest the night before. See? Proper sleep IS ESSENTIAL for a good workout. Lesson learnt.

Elvia and Kenneth continued to ride loops around Old Upp Thomson. Mythos and I walked. Along the way and up the slopes, Francis came running towards us! He was doing his secret LSD! haha.... We let him carry on.

When Mythos and I got on top of the hill at the gates of the reservoir, we decided to ride back to rendezvous at casuarina. We pedalled and we saw 2 familiar blokes pushing their bikes on flat ground. Kenneth burst his rear tire! The 4 of us stopped to replace the punctured tire. Then came Francis. It was a reunion! haha... Anyway we tried out the compressed gas canister to fill out the new tube and Kenneth was ready to ride.

We all rode back to my place and it was later decided that all of us fall out without the proposed 12km run. ergghh...

I did a slow 4km run on the threadmill and then swam a slow 1km in the pool to recover.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


It's one of those pitstops in my life's journey that I have to step on the brakes and do a thorough check on my well-being and sanity before I decide to carry on.

Oh, I definitely have to carry on on this journey ahead of me. I know it will be full of surprises, and some roads will be rough ahead. There will always be smooth highways as well. I know. Coz so far, it's been like this. It's gonna be an exciting ride no matter the outcome. Heck I'll also admit I'll clean out the 'car' and contribute to the highway litter of regrets and has-beens.

The pitstop is meant to re-evaluate how I should continue on this journey. What baggage should I bring with me? What needs to be changed/tuned/improved? What routes should I take? And where do I want to go? What is my final destination?

It is also meant to make sure that my integrity and soul remains intact. I might have to scruff off some little dinks here and there.

Am I all set?

Or am I not?

Major pitstop at the big Three-Oh......

Concept of Respect, Leadership, and Personal Time

Sunday 1630hrs and I received a call from one HK director (i dunno he's director of what also).

Him: CM, I'm here in Singapore already
CM: Okay
Him: I'll be at the architect's office for the workshop. You know how to do Powerpoint?
CM: Yes, but I'm not too good with the animation part. What do you need help with?
Him: Oh I just need to change some slides.
CM: Ok, I could help you tomorrow (Monday). Do you want me to collect the slides from you from the hotel tomorrow morning?
Him: No, I need it tonight.
CM: Sorry, I have family commitments tonight. I have Sunday dinner with the family.


I felt good. To be honest, it was the evil grin kind of good. I just didn't like the way he manages things and thinks he's lord over all the projects. I really do not mind working - please don't get me wrong - but when a thin line is drawn with regards to doing a favour and working, it can get out of hand. I'll contribute if you treat me like a fellow professional, not use me like 24/7 every-ready servant at your feet doing the most mundane of personal favours.

He's famous for being quite a faecal-stirrer up on the upper rungs of the ladder. Everyone is wary of him. Fine and praises to him who is a hardworker. But if one is unreasonable, then I'm sorry. Subordinates are not stupid people. The head office doesn't want to do certain stuff because they do not want to charge it to certain projects due to budget constraints. Okay. Then we shouldn't do it either. Our outpost is already losing out in revenue in the past year and yet we have to be subject to free labour? I think all this points to extremely poor management by certain individuals.

Respect is earned. Respect for your fellow team-mate is key to getting a project done. The abuse of power seldom gets anyone anywhere, especially true for a struggling setup here. Face it. It's struggling.

I would really appreciate some respect for the individual and respect for personal time despite us being a small outfit in this little red dot.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Weekly Training Log

Daily Totals:
Sun 14 Aug: 800 m (S), 17 km (B), 5 km (R) - NUS Triathlon
Mon 15 Aug: 3000 m (S) - Trifam
Tue 16 Aug: 1500 m (S) - Self
Wed 17 Aug: 1200 m (S), 3 km (R) - Self
Thu 18 Aug: Rest
Fri 19 Aug: Rest
Sat 20 Aug: 1000 m (S), 30 km (B) - Thomson Thosai

Weekly Totals:
7500 m (S)
47 km(B)
8 km (R)

The inaugural Thomson Thosai ride materialised on 20 August. Kenneth, Francis and David 'Mythos' Tan joined me in riding loops around Old Upper Thomson Road. We veered off to tackle the hills at Upper Pierce. Nice ride. We adjourned to have a post-ride carboloading party at the Casuarina Road prata shop. Unfortunately they ran out of masala thosai. So we settled for prata instead - satu kosong, satu telor.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Band of (Marist) Brothers

And so the bunch of us met last night at the Hotel Rendezvous' Straits Cafe for the buffet dinner spread and some white Chilean wine.

There was Edmond, Shawn, Zhiren, Eugene and myself. Nic couldn't make it as he had some prior engagements. Rick was still in Bangkok.

We were all talking about relationships and families and babies. Edmond and I were the only singles last night. But Ed was more focused on getting the best out of the buffet spread.

Bro, lucky I suggested Straits Cafe! You just kept eating and eating and eating like a binging Energizer Rabbit. But that's just so you. Haha.... Hope you enjoyed the smorgasbord of makan!

Zhiren's wife, Heather, is expecting their first child. 10 weeks pregnant. Way to go, Ah Gong!

Shawn's still the leading dude with a wife and 2 kids and his online gaming under his responsibility. How do you manage eh? No wonder got no time to go running with me! haha..

I seriously have no idea why Eugene suddenly blurted out that he is "A BIG COCK"! I just have this strange feeling it wasn't really meant for us. Maybe it was that one teeny glass of white Chilean chardonnay. Or maybe it was just the salmon sashimi and huge slab of wasabi. Whatever it is, Gene's intending to contest Shawn's brood count. We'll probably hear it from him if he's successful in his mission or not.

We always have a great time when we meet - the bunch of us - the Band of (Marist) Brothers.

We're hoping to meet for the Terry Fox Run on 18 September 2005. C'mon bros, it's only 7.5km. Let's do it for charity. Let's do it for cancer research okay?

NUS Triathlon Results

I knew it was a slack effort on my part when I took part in this race.

My swim was alright but the swim route was just too tight to squeeze my way through the throngs of splashing arms and legs.
"800m" coz I think it was less than that, took me 11:04 min.

The bike leg. I was just plain stupid for not using my gears efficiently. I was also getting hungry on the bike leg. But at least the photo shows some justice - haha - looks as if I'm leading the pack of angmo riders! The 17km ride took me 46:40 min. Baaaad!

Running. My worst discipline. I was just winging the whole thing but I must admit I was enjoying every part of it. The 5km run/jog/walk took me 38:19 min. Terrible!

Total time taken for this NUS Triathlon: 1 hour 36 min 02 seconds for rank of 210/263. So malu. Now I need to hide my face...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Late August - September is Race Season!

Shiok lah. So many races during this period.

14 NUS Triathlon (800m Swim, 17km Bike, 5km Run)
27/28 28-hour Charity Swimathon
28 New Balance Real Run (10 km Run on different terrains) - not taking part

3 New Balance Aquathlon (1.5km Swim, 10km Run)
11 Army Half Marathon (21km Run)
18 Terry Fox Run (7.5km Run) / Desaru Half Ironman
25 NIE Biathlon (500m Swim, 5km Run)

All the weekends will be tied up with races. Whoa..... maybe can take this opportunity to lose more weight! haha....

Cannot take part in all. Must prioritise.

Definitely doing the Charity Swimathon and Terry Fox Run. At least I know I'm doing this endurance thing for a greater cause.

Maybe do the sprint distances for the rest.

Scale down on the Army Half Marathon - Run 12km instead.

Forego Desaru Half Ironman this year.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Tribute To Them Who Didn't Get The Presidential Pardon

Dear AK, RGN and OBE,

We are sorry that you were not given the Certificate of Eligibility to even get this close to running for Singapore's Presidency.

We really admire the 3 of you who even tried to contest in our democratic society. You are our true modern-day Singapore heroes.

We now realise that our country is seriously lacking in talented people to run corporations and big companies. We just consist of an elite few who are allowed to make decisions.

We applaud your courage and bravery. Please try again.

Yawning Citizen

I Have This Strange and Disturbing Presidential Feeling...

... that because there's this thing about Singapore being globalised, and this thing about attracting the best of the best from every other country, and the proven fact that our very own citizens cannot even stand up to the Presidential challenge of running in it (or are not eligible),


Hanging Up My Special Voting Pen

I bought a cheap Pilot pen so that I could use it to vote for MY President. My hopes to vote are now dashed. Apparently some big shots in the Presidential Selection Committee (or something like that) have made their final decision on who to give certificates of eligibility to.

Incumbent President Nathan will run for a second 6-year term because there is no contest. Sigh...

No, please don't get me wrong. I like President Nathan as he seems to be humble and soft-spoken. I'm also not saying that he's a good President. In my opinion, it's just that he's a much better candidate than the other wannabes. I want my president to be the best person for the job. I'll tell everyone straight that I would vote for President Nathan (it's no secret anymore since there's no election!). But in the name of democracy, why can't we citizens of Singapore get to vote? The facts are quite clear that the other hopefuls are no match at all. Mr Nathan is the best person. However, I still feel that the government should trust us in our choice.

We are already too spoon-fed but we still know what is best for us as a nation. Most of us are educated Singaporeans, you know?

How to be vibrant? How to be creative?

The fact is... I CAN'T! Because every damn thing is decided for me by my uncles and aunties !

It's so difficult to be democratic in Singapore. I think it only exists as a word - as part of the national pledge that all students mutter almost robot-like every morning in school.

I seriously doubt my chances of being able to vote IN Singapore FOR the people of Singapore.

I'll use that Pilot pen to sign my cheques.

Endurox-less/Accelerade-less Race Report

My wave start was at 1400 hrs. I arrived to set up my barang barang at the transition area at 1215pm. I went to Sentosa via the new Queensway Extension. Not bad, but I digress.

There was some thunder and overcast skies - which got me elated but alittle bit worried. Elated because it wouldn't be a hot sunny day to race. Worried coz of the slippery hills for the bike ride. I was ready to chicken out if it became a downpour.

Alas it was only a slight pitter patter drizzle. Cheh.... And then the sun came out from the clouds. Erghh...

Again, waiting time was agonising. I looked at the swim leg and I thought it was definitely less than 400m per round. Anyway as usual, it was mass pandemonium for Wave 3. I had to put my strategy to use - swim on the outside and cut in at the turning point. My wave started and I did just that, but I think 50% of my fellow wave-mates had the same idea. Jialat. Anyway I completed the swim in 10 minutes plus! Hmmm... suspect that it was less than 800m swim total.

I ran into transition and I felt the sun beating on me. Helmet on, sunglass on and I grabbed my tri shoes and ran with the bike to transition. Wow.. I think this was the most shiong T1 I've ever done. It must be the long run into and out of transition and the scorching sun. At the mounting line, I put on my shoes and off I biked to do 6 loops of sentosa satellite. Its rather confusing on the number of rounds I did. What made it worst was that I was getting mixed reactions from the NUS volunteers. Some said 5 rounds, some said 6 rounds, one said dunno. Shit. So I had to rely on my odometer and I think I did the correct distance. (I "thought" because the idiot in me didn't reset the odometer when I started biking).

Back into T2 and I drank some water and slipped on my running shoes. First time I didn't use socks. And off I went. I definitely cut down quite abit of transition times. The sunglasses and visor was a welcome respite.

The run route was seriously lacking in water stations. I had to run off-course to the outdoor shower area to cool off. Shiok! I didn't get the bike-to-run cramps in this race but I was really slacking on the run. But I think my return leg was slightly faster.

Approaching the finishing line, I picked up pace and I arrived in an unofficial time of 1 hour 36 minutes. It's a good 5 minutes off my personal best though I think that there were some miscalcs in distance. Oh well....

Anyway I might as well mention some pet peeves. First, there wasn't enough water points. Second, the NUS volunteers were not knowlegeable at all (I'm sure they are happy to get that stupid CCA point though). Third, some marshalls were not doing their jobs properly, especially for the bike leg. Lastly, there was this NUS girl who was driving the NUS van.... NEXT TIME, USE COMMON SENSE AND DON'T STOP YOUR VAN AT THE U-TURN! Many of us had to use evasion action which shouldn't be the case.

Kudos to all who completed the race and tried their best. I admit I wasn't trying my best but I'm not going to come up with excuses for my tardiness. Glad I completed it despite my half-hearted willingness and lack of training for this particular one.

Another feather in my tri-cap.

And yes, this is the first time I did not use Endurox or Accelerade drink mix for the race. However I took a couple of Powergels since I did not have a proper lunch (wierd race timing lah).

NUS Triathlon Today

It is the NUS Triathlon at Sentosa today. My race starts at 1400hrs. I'm still slacking at home. Can you believe that? I'm actually slacking at home before the race! No pre-race jitters this time despite the fact that it is a sprint distance race and (I think) this is gonna be slightly tougher than the OSIM sprint because the bike leg is hilly. I even slept at 2am this morning after eating my dinner at 1230am! Yep, I was doing a photo shoot for ExxonMobil Dinner & Dance last night so I went against the pre-race unwritten rules of sleeping early and proper carbo-loading. Really slack right? I think the trifam guys will slam me... haha...

I've got 2 theories why I think I don't have the pre-race jitters.

1. This will be my third sprint tri since May. Perhaps I'm a lao-jiao in this thing already and so it's time to move up the challenge ladder - OD on the cards.

2. Perhaps I've got to thank the organisers from NUS. Maybe it's their slack attitude that doesn't make me look forward to this race. Maybe I'm just sian because of this anticipation that the race is just gonna be another chaotic mess - as usual from 'students' who are more concerned with CCA points than doing this for the passion of leadership and the sport in general. But this issue of 'selfish volunteerism' is another subject which I (might) blog about later. So perhaps I'm also adopting the same attitude - okay lah... pay registration liao, so just compete and complete lor. Take it as routine Sunday training.

It's 10am now. I should be there by about 12noon and not later than 1pm. I'm trying to work out a shit now so I can empty my bowels before going to Sentosa. For the uninitiated, shitting before a race is the best thing to do. NEVER do a tri race without shitting first. If possible, don't even shit at the race site. The toilets at the race site are worse than erm.... shitholes. Aiyah, nevermind, I better not think of the porta-loos at the race site - can vomit.

Did I train for this triathlon race? Work has been disrupting my training schedule these past 3 weeks so I admit I haven't put in the running and biking mileage. Nevertheless I can complete it. I'll try to beat my personal best of 1 hr 41 minutes though. I already have some race strategies in my mind having done the NUS Biathlon and the route is somewhat similar.

Stay tuned...

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Brief History of Munn Through NDP Memories

August 9. Significant date for Singapore. A date easily remembered by most Singaporeans. Here, I try to recall my 30 years' worth of August 9s....

1979? 1980?:
Pre-1984 NDPs were held in a few stadiums. Decentralized parades is not a new thing. They've had it even before 1984. Why 1984? That year was also the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. It was also the first time the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games had mass performances. Singapore couldn't lose out, so the NDP committee copied the mass performances concept from the LA Games. Anyway I think it was in 1979 or 1980 when my parents brought Fye and me to Bedok Stadium to watch the parade. Yes! It was purely THE parade! Even then I was awestruck with marching and footdrill and soldiers and SIA girls... haha... Hey, there were even contingents from PAP, NTUC, PUB, SIA, Nurses Union, etc... Singapore then, as I recalled, was truely Singaporean and truely one united people. I think the reason why we don't really see these contingents marching is coz most of the people who make up the contingents now are foreign workers. Therefore cannot say it's a Singapore thingy.

Singapore celebrates her 24th birthday and I was in Sec 2 then. I was involved in the mass display for TaeKwondo. I remember we spent our saturday afternoons practising at Farrer Park. We even got our black belts (when we were actually green belts that time). Then on the full-dress rehearsal, I got into a fight with Shaoming in school before the mass display. He broke my glasses and I couldn't see properly. Because of this, I wasn't allowed to perform at the National Stadium on full-dress rehearsal. I ended up sitting at the grand stand and blind as a bat!

I was doing NS at 3rd Guards. The Guards Formation was in charge of organising the NDP at the National Stadium. Weekends were burnt. I wasn't performing but was part of the logistics crew. I remember following the 3-tonner drivers to far-flung KFCs to collect rations for the performers. At one stage I was also the OC runner, carrying his signal manpack set running up and down the grand stand. Those were the days before handphone! I also recall during one of the rehearsals, my pager kept beeping and I called home to find out Fye was admitted to the hospital for drug allergies. He was warded in Toa Payoh Hospital, which is also long gone.

Singapore celebrated her 31st birthday! And I also left Singapore on this very day for Purdue University. I think there were more people in the airport sending me off than there were people watching the NDP. No lah.... like real....

Summer holidays for me. Came back to watch the fireworks with Dad and Dave Ong at the Kallang River. We were supposed to take photos of the fireworks. Ah Ong forgot to bring his cable release for the shutter.

One of our Purdue buddies - Gregg - was doing his NS. He was performing as a huge flower (don't ask me why). Anyway he had 2 free tickets for the full dress rehearsal. So Ah Ong and I went. Ah Ong and I brought our cameras again. And after the previous year's experience, Ah Ong learned his lesson and brought his cable release. But he forgot to bring batteries for his camera! COCK RIGHT? So he spent most of the full-dress rehearsal asking other spectators for spare batteries. He never got them.

The Guards Formation were the organisers again. As reservists from the Guards Family, we got tickets for one of the rehearsals. JA and I went.

Every year also the same kind of NDP - Red Lion commandos freefalling, flypast, Mari Kita, flash-card display. No mood for NDP... so this year, Dad, Mom, JA and myself fly over to Chiangmai to be with Fye. We had a great time there as a family.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Personal Nonsense: I am Singapore

I Am Singapore
sung to We are Singapore

There was a time when people said
that Singapore won't do it,
but they did.

There was a time when money seems too hard
for us to make,
it still is.

We earn our money,
from blood and sweat.
Saving up together,
to get HDB flat.

Chorus 1:

This is my IR, I want to bet.
It is my future, it is my life.
No time for family, no need for friends.
I am Singapore, Singaporean.

Singapore my homeland, shall I call it home?
Are we all united? But everyone's not home!
They're working late as usual, escaping ERP
Singapore forever! Even water is not free!

(repeat chorus 1)


We the denizens of Singapore
pride ourselves as one united people
Regardless of race, language or foreign talent,
To build the Integrated Resort here
based on hunger, greed and politics
so as to apease my self-worth,
gain wealth and general survival.

Chorus 2:

I am Singapore, I am Singapore
I have served the nation, did the Kallang roar
I am Singapore, I am Singapore
We have casino and rising living costs...

(repeat chorus 1 & 2)

Personal Nonsense: Look At Me Singapore

Sung to the tune of Count On Me Singapore
lyrics by Chelonia Munnstertm

We have a vision for tomorrow,
must be lasik, must be lasik.

We have a goal for Singapore
only one goal, only one goal

You and me,
we'll stand apart,
and together,
we'll loudly fart!

We're going to show the world what Singapore can be!
but not smelly, but not smelly.

There is something down the road that looks like jiu bar
we are told there's no such thing as pei du mama
There's a foul smell in the air, must be something that is bad
We're going to kaypoh and find out what it is,
maybe money, maybe money.

Look at me Singapore, look at me I've done NS and more!

You and me,
we'll stand apart
and together,
we'll loudly fart!
We're going to show the world what Singapore can be!
got MRT, got ERP!


Look at me Singapore! Look at me Singapore!
Look at me I've done NS and more.
Look at me Singapore.

(repeat chorus)

Together Singapore Singapore (x2)

How to Kill One Mosquito with Ten Thousand Sticks

The caption sounds stupid right?

Well, this piece of news really made my day. I'm still laughing......

Eh... when was the last time riot police were used in Singapore? Maria Hartogh riots? Hock Lee bus riots? Weren't they in the 1960's? Oh yes.... the anti-riot cops have new uniform and red beret mah...

I also wonder what happened after the protesters had to surrender the T-shirts. I think they got arrested by the other police for indecent exposure!


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Oil and Water Doesn't Mix

And so does Work and Play.

I work hard and I play hard.

At work, I try to focus to get things done to the best of my abilities. Depending on the situation, I will go all out to get things done. At play, at training, at races, at any other time out of work, I also do my best to achieve what I set out to do. I also try to please the people around me.

I hate it when my leisure time is taken away out of my own free will. I hate it when other people impose their standards on me.

I'm a non-conformist. I only choose to conform if I want to.

I'm not a clock-watcher. If I like to work because I've got something to do, then yes, I'll do it especially if ideas are flowing fresh in my head.

No one takes away my leisure time. If my own free time is compromised, I will look into the matter.

Mid-career crisis?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Reach Out for the Skies

This year's NDP song is Reach Out for the Skies.

I think it should be the theme song for Duxton Plain - that 50-storey HDB flats.

Also reminds me of what I studied in secondary school geography about our tropical jungle and how all the trees are all skinny and all competing for sunlight. That's why all of them "reach out for the skies". If they don't try to "reach out for the skies", they die on the forest ground. Some have it worse, while they're "reaching for the skies", they get strangled along the way by 'foreign parasites'. Some otherwise healthy trees get strangled by llana and figs and fungi. These parasites feed on the success of the healthy trees, freeloading nutrients and sunlight and eventually killing off their host.

Sounds very very familiar leh....

I also just realised that the song was written by local funnywoman Selena Tan.

She meant it as a joke, right?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Why I Don't Wanna Compete with HE SR Nathan

Yes, that's the real reason. I'm not going to wait for the Presidential Election Committee or whatever foodcourt auntie to tell me that I'm not eligible because I only earn 7% worth of peanuts. I have decided to end my presidential dreams (for now) and let the old man do the running by himself. After all, he has proven himself to be a regular fixture at the East Coast Parkway.

The real reason why I don't wanna run for Presidency is because I'm just appalled by the ugly and meaningless symbols given for eligible candidates to choose. There're - amongst other things - a helicopter, sunflower, satellite, an outstretched hand (taken by Andrew what-ever-his-surname-is). They did not have a hamster symbol or a turtle symbol. If they had, I would have reconsidered.

I'm sorry fellow countrymen, now I cannot join you all for all the wonderful dinners and openings that you would have invited me for. Perhaps next time.

The Singapore I Want.....

... ... but can I get?

Our much-touted small island nation has always been in the forefront for taking initiatives and being an example for other cities to emulate.

Despite her short 40 years of independence, I still feel that we have a long way to go. We also have to learn from other cities. An exchange of ideas instead of always trying to be the best. "Keeping up with the Joneses" is a more humble way of putting it instead of "NUMBER ONE!"

Proclaiming ourselves to be NUMBER ONE can be quite embarrassing sometimes. Reminds me of Pinkie and the Brain. Two puny little mice who have grandiose plans of taking over the earth.

So what do I want for Singapore?

This is just one of the things I hope I can get.....

Overall it is not just about giving space to cyclists and pedestrians, but it will ultimately make Singapore a gracious society (we seriously lack this virtue here).

Friday, August 05, 2005

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes

Example from Caltrans - the California State equivalent of the LTA.

I recall in the 1970s, our Singapore roads used to have queues of people at the fringes of the CBD. These people were waiting to get into the Restricted Zone by carpooling into the CBD area. Back in those days, only cars with 4 people in it could get into the city. If you didn't have 4 people, then the eagle-eyed policeman/policewoman in that little cramped-up booth will summon you.

That carpooling scheme is long gone. Extinct. Hey! In fact that contra-flow idea along Nicoll Highway is also gone!

These days, it's very common to see big cars on our roads. It's a fact that most cars only have the driver inside.

Now wouldn't it be more effective to have the HOV lanes for cars with 2 or more people in it? Of course a study has to be done. Maybe a pilot test.

I just don't understand why our world-class authority is not seriously looking into this.

I remember actually mentioning about this before while I was 'there'. Then again, I was told to shut up as a junior officer and 'poof' - the idea was zapped into oblivion.

One Singapore Minute meme

There's a call for us to enter this One Singapore Minute meme.

Here's my take:

One Singapore Minute is just too short! I cannot think fast enough! This takes me back to primary school days when I have to put my pens down! One minute how to be creative? I am not programmed like this! Anyone got ten year series for me to look through before I start doing this meme? How? Stressed! If I don't do it, I will surely fail!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

My Political Dream But Seriously

Fwah! There really is a website to the Thomsoners! My community is online!

But why Thomsoners?

Why not Thomsonians or Thomsonites or Thomsonamians or the Thompson Twins?

Anyway, I found the tagline quite amusing: "The Thomsoners - Developing our Community through Ignition, Initiative, Integration"

Ignition : A fire starts in an HDB flat.
Initiative: Some kaypoh shouts for help "Fire! Fire!"
Integration: All your neighbours - regardless of race, language or religion - come together.... and watch.

Statistics from "The Thomsoners Today"

It's raining during lunchtime and I've decided to become a lunchtime statistician.

Here are some interesting statistics that I collected from reading the 12-page Jul/Aug 2005 issue of "The Thomsoners Today".

Number of times MP Leong Horn Kee's name appeared = 14
Average number of times MP Leong's name appeared on each page = 1.17
Most number of times MP Leong's name appeared on a single page = 3

Number of times "Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC" appeared = 12
Average number of times it appeared on each page = 1
Most number of times it appeared on a single page = 2

Number of photos with MP Leong's face in it = 17
Most number of times he appeared on a single page = 4

Isn't this awesome?

Now - by subliminal means - I definitely know where I belong, and I know who my MP is and how he looks like!

Oh, now my mind is flooded with THAT national song!

"This is home truly, where I know I must be
Where my dreams wait for me, where that river always flows
This is home surely, as my senses tell me
This is where I won't be alone, for this is where I know it's home!"

See what national songs and community newsletters can do to you?

I have this strange feeling that someone wants my vote

I've lived in Upper Thomson for the last 16 years. That's more than half my lifetime thus far. All these years, I've lived in my little world and I'm not too bothered by which constituency I belong to. Through these years, I think my political boundary has changed a few times. In effect, I've become desensitized to the eaxctly which GRC my estate belongs to.

Yesterday - after staying at Upper Thomson for 16 long years - I was finally reminded that my MP is Mr LHK, and that I belong to the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

How I know?

I received "The Thomsoners Today" newsletter at the lift landing area of my estate.

I scanned half of it - this type of thing I don't dare to play play. What if I scan the whole thing and someone sues me? (psst... I heard that one of the MPs for this GRC is a top-notch lawyer leh... even $600k peanut boy kena from him before).

The front page shows our MP "Serving Residents". Wah biang eh, I don't even know how he looks like! (okay, now I know coz his face is everywhere in the newsletter). I wonder when he's gonna pay me a visit coz I would like to highlight that I'm only getting 7% of a peanut.

Anyway, I found the newsletter rather amusing. I kept thinking to myself "You mean there are actually so many Thomsoners who participate in these activities?", "Wow, our MP gets invited to so many events.... being MP can get so much free makan at these events!"

But I really admire MPs. No, no... I'm not trying to carry balls here. But seriously, it really takes quite alot of guts and willpower to meet the people on the ground. I've heard that the MPs have to tahan the most mundane questions from their weekly meet-the-people sessions and they are expected to solve everyone's problems. Yes, even those questions pertaining to the Relativity of Peanuts.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Singaporean Things That Just Don't Make Sense - Part Six of Infinity

The family-friendly side of the gahmen is supposedly encouraging more family time with the children and more time for married couples to make love so they can have more kids.

Good initiative!

Then now got bloody ERP on the northbound CTE from 6pm to 8pm.

So how? It's more expensive to go home to have dinner with the family and have some play time with the kids. Can forget it lah. Leave that job to the maids.

Some suggest to take the local roads. But they are also jammed to the brim because every other kiam-siap Singaporean is taking those roads to go home. And because of the jam, they reach home late anyway. Sway.

I thought the very purpose of the CTE was to ease the jams on the local roads! Now, the gahmen prefers the CTE to be jam-free during peak periods because they want to spread the peak time and/or spread the jam (no pun intended) to other places. And some smart goondu has the audacity to say that the North-South Expressway will not be built if the ERP is successful in decreasing the number of cars on the CTE.

HELLO! Please count the overall number of cars using the OTHER local roads! The CTE can be empty for all I care and you don't built the NSE. So all we get are jam-packed Bangkok-style traffic on the local roads. BACK TO SQUARE ONE! Factor in your vehicle growth rate and you get worse figures.

I think NSE means No Such Expressway.

It justs doesn't make sense. As usual.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

3 Scenarios - Your Comments Please

I will present 3 very real scenarios here on the mindset of drivers in 3 cities. I would appreciate comments from all who read this blog. Thanks.

Scenario 1: Bangkok, Thailand

Anyone (who's not from Thailand) who has been to Bangkok would probably complain and curse the traffic situation there. The Bangkok Jam is always on the must-experience to-do-list when on 'vacation' there (jialat, I sound like civil servant). Truth is, Bangkok is still very mush a developing city. The road lanes are not the usual standard width of 3.6metres. Instead, lane widths range from 2+ metres to about 3.6 metres on the toll roads. But let's get down to earth where all the action is. Forget about the underutilised toll roads. The local roads are extremely narrow in all aspects. Coupled with uncoordinated signal timings and an unorthodox road heirarchy system, it looks like the Bangkok Jam is here to stay for quite awhile. FYI, traversing a 1.5km stretch could easily take in excess of 1 hour during peak hour traffic.

Scenario 2: New York City, New York

Right smack in the city, the streets are arranged in an orderly grid system. But the New York City Jam is also a legend in itself. This is due to the sheer number of cars and yellow cabs on the streets. The lane widths are somewhat close to standard width but I don't think it is 3.6metres. It's probably 10ft wide, so it's almost 3.6metres.

Scenario 3: Singapore

Hardly any jams compared to Bangkok and New York and we have standard width lanes. Kudos to the urban and transport planners who envisaged wide avenues and awesome signal timings to reduce congestion incidences. BTW, I'm not talking about ERP here - it's entirely seperate.

Now, let's imagine a clamity happens on either of the 3 cities and the need to get emergency access to the site of destruction.

New York has pretty much proven itself in her quick emergency response during 9/11.

Bangkok is constrained by physical barriers. I witness it myself when I was there. An ambulance simply cannot get through because there's just not enough space to weave through traffic.

How would Singapore handle this? Given the 'good' physical conditions that we have, would the very mindset of our drivers here be the barrier to social responsibility to get the injured attended to?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Self-Realisation: I'm a True-blue Singaporean!

The truth hurts. It suddenly dawned upon me that I'm a true-blue Singaporean! And it's not because I'm a holder of the all-too-powerful red passport.

It's because I complain about everything from ERP, COE, the heat, the rain, the gahmen (this one, i complain 'quietly' in my blogs or else i kena rotan), etc.

Don't get me wrong, it's really okay to complain. But the problem is that I'm just a selfish, narrow-minded, and snobbish citizen of Southeast Asia who has failed to see the poverty of our neighbours. I'm actually complaining about the good life! Greed has come to eat me! ARRGGGHHH....

And therefore I'm a true-blue Singaporean - and (somewhat) proud of it. Now let me hide myself in my iconic, world-class corner of my room (which incidentally is bigger than most houses in Indonesia).

Disclaimer: This is not my fault that I'm like this. I can't help it if my uncle has taken care of me all these years.

Seeking Job: Renaming Expert to Name your Child, Property, Car, and even your Luohan Fish!

I was thinking if I should advertise myself as a "Renaming Expert" in light of our government's call to be creative, unique and entrepreneurial.

Chelonia Munnster, R.E.

Not bad eh?

I can offer parents some hints on naming their children. Here are a few examples:

Chew Ying Kum
Kan Nah Sai
Ho Seng Lee
Boey Pai Say

Of course some of them want 'unique' english-sounding names like Beckham and Owen.

As an example, I've also thought of what NOT to name my children. I'm not naming them Tom, Dick or Harry. Seriously! Tom Tham (Tom Thumb)? Dick Tham (Dictum)? Harry Tham (Hairy Thumb)?

And since I'm at it, anyone can approach me to name their dogs, cats, cars, plants, tables, chairs, and even their big-ass bays too.

I'll charge reasonable peanut prices and I guarentee nice-sounding names that will tug everyone's heartstrings, pursestrings and G-strings.

Watch out for Chelonia Munnster, R.E. as the New Entrepreneur of the Year!

Singapore in Serious Need to Review Government Dictionary

In my job, I have been attending several meetings with some government agencies.
It seems that in every 'official' meeting with them , I always hear the few ubiquitous buzzwords.
These words are:


Funny thing is that these words are used quite loosely in all the bloody different projects that are coming up all over the small island nation. Now, if all of them have these buzzwords in them, then how can they be 'stand-alone', 'iconic' and 'unique'?

I'm also wondering why these agencies are trying to squeeze the private sectors brains for ideas and 'creative' suggestions?

Whatever happened to 'creativity' in civil service? What happened to the originality of words? Everywhere I see cut-and-paste phrases.

Tsk tsk tsk.... PM Lee was specifically referring to the civil service to wake up and be creative. I hope it wasn't lip service. Something has to be done to clear some deadwood - otherwise, water cannot flow.

I urge civil service to use more original wordings in their presentations, or here's a hint: use the thesaurus. And no, the thesaurus is not an iconic dinosaur fossil I'm suggesting to put on the world-class must-visit Marina Bayfront.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Quiet Day = Random Thoughts

It's almost 1500hrs and I haven't received a single email in my MS Outlook! This is unprecedented! - probably my first major step... I'll probably join APA.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Justifying the cost of branding - my way

For what it's worth, Marina Bay made news in South Africa too....

So sweet of Minister Mah... spending so much only to find out that a piece of undeveloped reclaimed land is tugging at our heartstrings... oh I hold so dearly onto dreams of exploration, excitement and experimentation on this barren soil!

Whatever happened to tugging at our pursestrings and that gahmen initiative called "Cut Waste Committee"?

Why not spend another $400,000 of taxpayers' money on having a namechange for that committee?

The Branding Exercise Whodunnit

It just intrigues me when I think about the process of this name branding exercise for Marina Bay. $400,000 for this exercise and I bet someone's a really happy person to name Marina Bay Marina Bay.

The place that was formerly known as Marina Bay just about 1 millisecond ago is now called... Marina Bay.

I can only think of 3 possible people who might have been given the $400,000 job:

1. The Fengshui Master:
'Bay' sounds like Horse in Hokkien. Horses are good omens in fengshui. Horses usher in luck. Horses are also used in betting. The casino there will have a lot of betting involved. Very auspicious.

2. The ah beng at a local 'branding' company:
One fine day, ah lian asked ah beng if he was serious about marriage. His reply was,"Marry? Nah beh!" And the name kinda stuck.

3. The usual suspect civil servant:
He was given the task of taking care of this branding exercise. Tons and tons of suggestions were given for him to look through. Of course, this meant well for him because then there would be a pile of papers on his desk, which would make him look hardworking. Then again, in a civic society largely driven by last minute work and countless layers of approval stages, he took it upon himself and did the ultimate. He thought out-of-the-box and a sudden gush of creative streak made him tikam tikam one of the papers sitting in front of him. The piece of paper turned out to be the initial RFP and was not one of the suggestions given. Being pantang, he stuck with the name of Marina Bay.