Join Me for Next Training

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

Friday, June 29, 2007

Raise to Race: The Frog Race

Come August 11, I'll take part in The Frog Race - a Run-Bike-Run format - with a cause. The first ITU standard Aquathlon event in Singapore is a charity sports fund raiser to reach out to at-risk youths and children from disadvantaged families.
Most of us in the triathlon scene have bikes that are worth perhaps a few months' salaries (disclaimer: mine is very cheap cheap compared to the rest hor.... but nevertheless, it's still expensive). Tri gear isn't cheap either. Triathlon and multisports is undoubtedly an expensive hobby. Sometimes it's worth giving back to society.
I try to encourage those around me to take up the sport, or at least join a relay team, or do the mini distance. I'm not even close to elite level; I usually end up last 30% to finish any race. I would also like to raise funds so that I may attempt the Frog Race. I would like to raise at least a total of $100 to support the children and youths of the Student Advisory Centre.
I hope my faithful readers (not many of you... haha)... will help me achieve this goal for the kids.
The distance of the race is 5km run, followed by a 1.5km swim in open sea, then another 5km run. It's actually an aquathlon in the ITU definition. It'll be great if you could give me a call or leave a comment if you wanna contribute.
Thanks alot in advance... and yeah, I'll be training for it as well. There's no bike element in this race, so it falls nicely into my endurance multisports schedule for now. Join me?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Please do not bully your local Ah Chek

Didn't we all fondly call our Bus Captains 'Ah Chek' when we took the school bus?

Now SBSTransit just launched (yet another) campaign to stop assualts on bus captains. I'm not sure if the campaign covers school bus 'ah cheks' as well coz I know that some wild monkeys (oops, i meant kids) bully their 'ah cheks'!

I find the entire campaign so unnecessary. SBS Transit spends so much for this campaign in the hope of what? To protect the dignity of bus captains?

Why not a National campaign to teach R.E.S.P.E.C.T in general?

What's next? Stop Bullying your Teacher Campaign? Stop Bullying your Subordinate Campaign?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dad's Exhibition: Few Days Only!

Dad's exhibition on Pastel Art will be opening today at the Central National Library. His artwork is even featured in the online link!

It's happening for a few days only from today 19 June 2007 to 23 June 2007. Don't ask me why it's such a short duration.

Anyway, details are:

Local Pastel Art Exhibition
NLB Building @ Bras Basah
Level 8 Promenade

I'll be there to take some pictures of my dad and his works.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Why Am I Court Martialled?

Dear NS Portal,

You are meant to be a one-stop portal for all National Service personnel. I applaud this modern initiative as it spelt out the convenience factor and something that NS personnel could finally have something to rely on in terms of coordination, the chain of communication, and yes, even a portal for unit personnel to check on important issues such as Pes Status, Pre-ICT Briefings, and how many more high-key ICTs to serve.

Alas, I'm disappointed to say the least. In fact, I feel rather insulted when I received a letter summoning me to the military court for failure to take my IPPT and registering for RT. If I were a skiver, I would have just resigned to the fact that the law has caught up with me, and I would face the consequence (ever heard the oft said 'do anything you want in SAF as long as you don't get caught'?). But that's not the case: I take my NS commitment as seriously as - if not more than - MINDEF does in its defence policies. If there's anything to prove my loyalty, commitment and seriousness, I earned the Best NSman title in the 5th LSSLC course held last year. In every ICT, I would run with my unit comrades during their IPPT to encourage them to pass their tests of physical fitness.

Likewise this past March 2007, I went for my ICT but I was told that I did not have to take my IPPT because I suffered multiple fractures on my left arm during a triathlon race last July 2006. Nevertheless I could still run and I encouraged my men by running alongside them during their test.

Then I received an SMS from the NS Portal (yet another innovative way of reminding busy NS personnel) in early May 2007, saying that I have not registered for my IPPT before my window closes. I was a little perturbed and so I called the 1800-3NSNSNS number and one of your men told me to book a medical board review with my unit. I did as I was told and subsequently saw the MO on 24 May 2007 and he excused me from IPPT and RT till September 2007 while pending further investigation from the Medical Corps.

And now I have a letter to summon me to court and to 'explain myself' while taking time off from work. The letter even states it clearly to my employer that I have to attend court and that they cannot claim MUP. Now my office is abuzz that I may have committed a crime. I try to explain to the many PRs and foreigners in the office but they just don't understand how a 'one-stop portal developed by a mighty army' can make such a boo boo. Truth is, neither can I fathom the fact of the lack of coordination. On one hand, my eMedInfo says I'm excused; on the other hand I receive a serious summon that compromises my integrity and my service to nation.

Instead of me 'explaining myself' to the military court for my (lack of) action in taking my IPPT, can someone explain why I have to go through an embarrassing situation due to some (lack of) coordination issue with the NS Portal, MINDEF and/or whoever is involved?

I hope this matter will be looked into and I sincerely hope that this is a technical oversight that will be rectified in due time.

As a responsible citizen, I will still dutifully attend the court hearing unless someone over-rules it.

With best regards,
3SG (NS) Cyclingturtle

Monday, June 11, 2007

Someone did notice!

I went for physiotherapy for my back last Saturday morning. The therapist was asking me how I injured my back and I told her that I woke up on Friday morning and got a really stiff backache. She deduced it might have been the bed.

Anyway she asked me to take off my shirt and immediately when I took it off she said that I have swimmer's shoulders! WHOA! Someone finally noticed! I was quite happy.

btw, the therapist is 52 years old with grown-up kids so please don't think that there was hanky panky or that the mention of broad shoulders was a pick-up line from the therapist.

She also did mention that I have abs, but they are hidden.

Appeal to Guiness Book of World Records for World's Fastest Doctor

Knock knock
doc: "come in"
cm: "hi"
doc: "good morning, what's wrong with you?"
cm: "I've got a back sprain."
doc: "okay. can you touch your toes?"
cm: "didn't try, but..."
doc (interrupts): "ok, lie down face up."
cm (takes off shoes and lies down)
doc: "try to lift your right leg"
cm (lifts right leg up)
doc: "ok, you may get up. you need an mc for today?"
cm: "well...."
doc: "you go home and rest lah. I give you some pain killers. okay, see you."

How long did you take to read the above dialogue?
If you considered the actions and took a total of 2 minutes to read this, then that's what it took for the company doctor to give me an mc for the day.

Note: it took him 2 minutes to give me a medical cert so I can have a day off.

Is that what doctors are good for nowadays - just 'professionals' who produce a piece of paper authorizing an official sick day?

There was no mention of medical concerns such as:
1. How to take care of your back;
2. What are the possible causes (is your mattress too soft? Is your pillow too hard?);
3. mentioning of back-strengthening exercises

This is the second time I'm writing about this doctor. Don't laugh at me for being so foolish as to go back to this doctor time and again.

The system's gotta blame too. The system requires me to get a stupid MC!

Friday, June 08, 2007

It's Official: I just Broke Up With Lee Lee Today

The relationship began sometime in 2002 when a friend introduced me to Lee Lee. On hindsight, I was so stupid then. I didn't know what I was getting into; neither did I try to find out. I just went with the flow. After all, KS was a 'friend' whom I initially trusted. His recommendation seemed convincing. Everything went well until March 2006 when all the nonsense began. It has been tumultous ever since.

Fraud. Got cheated. Police case. Lost some money. Definitely lost a friend in KS.

The process of getting myself adequately covered took a long time. I especially understood the seriousness of the matter after my bicycle accident. Through the process, I 'talked' to Lee Lee several times. Funny how she always prompted me to repeat after her. Yet she was ever-so patient with me. I don't blame her for all the trouble caused. It was all KS's fault.

I finally took the courage to break it off with her this morning. She was calm about it. Perhaps she saw it coming. It was a mutual break-up.

I'm sure Lee Lee will continue to be ever-so patient with all her clients. I've got my full confidence in that. After all, she's the automatic voice attendent from Great Eastern Life customer service.

You want her number? It's 1800 248 2888.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Spunky Nuns for the Spurs!

Who says nuns are boring school authoritarians?

Who says they have got nothing better to do than to chant and do charity work?

Well these nuns really know how to enjoy! They are the San Antonio Spurs' biggest fans (considering that the Spurs seem to be relying on divine intervention).

The NBA Finals are here again! I remember watching slightly delayed telecasts on Channel 12 in the late 80s and early 90s. Yeah, that was when the Lakers still had Magic Johnson and Isiaiah Thomas was with the Pistons. The Finals always fall during the June school holidays.

I've seen the Spurs against the Pacers at Market Street Arena (since imploded... I took sequential slides of the implosion... shiok). That time the Twin Towers of Tim Duncan and 'The Admiral' David Robinson played against the likes of Reggie Miller and Company.

I'm still a fan of the Pacers since my Indy days.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What are the odds?

'Twas last Saturday late afternoon and we went to China Square to look for antique shops that may have scout stamps.

First shop we went to was this prominent one called Viewpoint. We walked in and immediately we saw alot of Scouting memorabilia. It was rather coincidental considering we had no prior knowledge of a place in Singapore which was somewhat a mini-museum of Scouting barang barang. And yes, the shop had scouting stamps as well! I got the 1967 Burundi silver and gold foil diamond-shaped stamps and the 1963 Nigeria triangular stamps (will post pictures and comments later).

Then shopkeeper Michael and us were chatting about our scouting days. Dad told him that our whole family were scouts - He was a Sea Scout, Mom was Scout Mistress at Jalan Daud Primary School, Fye was a Cadet Scout, and I served from Cadet to Venture Scout. Even JQ was related coz she was a Guide. So while Dad and Michael were chatting, I was looking around the shop and I came across a group picture of Scouts from the Katong District in the early 70's. They were outside the Ee Peng Liang Building.

Then something interest me.

"'Hey Dad, come over here and take a look at this. Check this out." as I pointed to the 8R framed photo.

Dad's eyes immediately lit up and he exclaimed, "That's my WIFE!"

Yep, that's my Mom standing by the pillar when she was twenty.

Long hair with dark-rimmed glasses.

So.... what are the odds you'll find your mom's picture in an antique shop?

Long Live the King of Pork and his Harem!

Yeah yeah..... May the King of Pork live 10,000 years with his harem of Chinese Chickens and Abalonlin in the Land of Prawn Sante.

This is a page off a menu at a famous steamboat place in Golden Mile.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Turning the Tide on Population Control

It's now GO GO GO!! Start a Family! Raise more children!

Words of Warning

It's still there?!?! This sign's been at the zoo since... I was a kid in the late 70s! Check out the animals in cages (it's an open zoo now), the fashion of the times (cheongsams, hairstyles, socks, etc), traditional chinese words/fonts. The sign is where Cat Country is, obscured by landscaped foliage.

Qingming Festival - This was taken in the columbarium where my grandparents' ashes are kept. I didn't know there were joss ticks to burn.

Reptilian Shadow

It's funny how some shadows play tricks on you. This one - taken at the planters in my estate - looks like the ubiquitous chichak house lizard but it's actually the shadow of leaves.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Resurrecting my Stamp Collecting Hobby

I remember we used to state "collecting stamps" as hobbies and interests. Those were the days when it was common to be a stamp hobbyists (philatelist). We'd write to penpals and proudly bring our stamp collections to school to exchange stamps. It was so cool to cut out stamps from envelopes and dipping them in water so the gum between envelope and stamp dissolved, and then we dried the wet stamps on tissue paper. Dad started me in this great hobby.

Oh yes: the process... and the joys of stamp collecting!

In early secondary school (that was in 1988), I decided to concentrate on collecting Scouts on stamps. Since Scouting was a global movement for boys, and I was (am) a scout, I made sure to collect only stamps that featured scouts from all over the world.

Then came the world of internet and the we seldom hear of stamp collecting and enthusiastic kids having honest-to-goodness stamp exchanges. ('twas a form of barter trade too!). My interest for stamp collecting kind of died with the the advent of internet, except for my first purchase on ebay in 2001 when I tested the system and got myself a set of scout stamps, which honestly I have no idea where they are now.

A trip to the Singapore Philatelic Museum on International Museum Day (27 May 2007 - incidentally my birthday) piqued my interest in collecting stamps again. And so the return of collecting Scouts on stamps all over again. JQ got me some from a starter topical pack to revive the collection.

Today, I realised that there's a philatelic agency (Happy Philatelic Agency) near my office. It's a dying hobby, really, so philatelic agencies are hard to come by. I got myself a refillable album, a pair of tweezers, the 1985 Republic of China (Taiwan) triangle Scout stamps, and the 2007 Centenary Hong Kong First Day Cover and Miniature Sheet.

By the way, 2007 is the Centenary of World Scouting, so there'll be quite alot of countries issuing stamps for Scouting.

And now... to find ways of getting connected to stamp clubs all over the world.....

Poignant Reminders

We are spending too much time at work. The opportunity costs are just too much to lose. You work like a slave, and you get nothing out of it. Where is 'work-life balance'?
'For what?', you ask.
Go home!
Spend some time with your family and friends.
STOP! And smell the roses!