Saturday, 30 November 2002

(pause for a moment and let me ask you some questions....)

Do you have dreams?

Goals and ideals that you want to achieve before you bid this world farewell?

How serious are you about your dreams?

Deep in your heart, do you really want to make these dreams come true?

But who’s going to make them happen if even you are not serious about them yourself?

What’s holding you back from pursuing them?

Are these obstacles real?

Are they really insurmountable?

Would these things that hold you back matter anymore when you die?

Suppose you really wanted to make your dreams come true..

What would you do?

What would you need to do?

(i'm asking you but i'm asking myself too...)
Breast Scarves from Japan!!! Yucky!! (via AccordianGuy in the 21st Century)
i'm trying to figure out this thing about the nauga.. is it real? looking like this? or is it just an urban legend?

One day, Bob decided that he really needed to have some leather pants to complete his rock-star image. He didn't know where to get them, so he went to the wise and beautiful Lana, his sister, and asked where he could get a pair of leather pants.

Lana, however, told him that leather pants were too expensive, especially considering Bob's salary. So Lana advised him to track down the elusive and mysterious Nauga in the wilds of Target ("tar-jay")and take its hide. She said she could make him a pair of pants out of Nauga hide to rival all the leather pants in the world.

So Bob went to Target and stalked down the Nauga. It was a long and arduous chase. it fiinally ended when Bob cornered the Nauga somewhere between the snack bar and electronics. Bob tackled the Nauga and brutally murdered it with the Super Plastic Commando-Man Playset Knife. He then skinned the Nauga and attached the hide to his wallet chain using the Super Plastic Commando-Man Playset Handcuffs. Toys are a wonderful thing. Bob took the Nauga hide to the wise and beautiful Lana, who made a marvelous pair of pleather pants.

Bob loved the pleather pants with all his heart and soul. He wore them all the time even though they were miserably hot and reeked of dead Nauga.
(story from "Bob and The Mysterious Origins of Pleather")

hahaha... i love the Internet...

Friday, 29 November 2002

hi! how was your day today?

i sat in a cafe with a cappuccino and a wonderful book.... got your envy yet?? hahaha...

Cappuccino, Book & Time on My Hands

don't worry.. it's just my off-day... gonna work over the weekend (both Sat and Sun) so stop beating your chest moaning about the unfairness in life.. :p

i've bought my Grandluxe 2003 diary to get ready for the New Year! It's a very handy palm-sized notebook but packed with loads of space (one full page per day) for penning down my everyday thoughts (yes, i'm abandoning my Palm and going back to pen and just feels a lot more natural than scribbling on a slippery glass screen with a plastic stylus) have you decided what grand plans you have for the year ahead? what hopes? what aspirations?? something you want to change about yourself? a new look? a new hobby? a new language? a trip somewhere perhaps??

how about getting together with a couple of like-minded good friends and talk about it before the year is through?? it will be so much fun! Beats complaining about your job or about how boring life is or about how you hate office politics or how nothing ever changes (and nothing ever will)! Inspire each other! Find out how you can all work together to make each other's dream come true! Join the gym together! Plan to run next year's Marathon together!

a day of self-reflection does much wonders.. :)

and i saw a giant toadstool on my way home just now.. it's the biggest freaking toadstool i've ever seen in my life! check this out!

giant man-eating toadstool
i love it when i get pleasing fluke shots like these..

view from car
haw par villa
pics taken with LCA using Kodak T400CN b&w C41 film

Thursday, 28 November 2002

what a tremendous day!

went to the botanical gardens in the morning to take pictures of the dragonflies there (loads of them in all hues of red, purple, yellow and blue dart around any of the large muddy ponds there) and found relaxed retired couples walking around, parents with noisy kids on holiday and all sorts of random yuppies and ang moh backpackers sitting or hanging around, meditating on the beauty of the natural surroundings and breathing in the fresh foresty air. Really nice. should make it a habit to come here often - it really is a gem in the city, great when you need moments of solitude to think stuff over :)

Dragonfly stunning morning sky!

then dropped into the shop and my very funny colleague gave me two of these paper barbie doll sheets that we used to play as kids. said she found it in a shop in Chinatown selling the most amazing and random 80s stuff (the really tacky, really obiang things that we grew up with).. hahaha.. should check out this place.. in case you want to play with it as well, you can download one of the pieces and print it on some kind of stiff white paper and cut them out to play.. hahahaha.... :D

XiaoTianTian XiaoTianTian's Dress XiaoTianTian's HandBag

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

i love books and i love reading... which is why being sandwiched between the two most wonderful places in town for books (Kinokuniya @ Takashimaya - which is indisputably the best bookstore in Singapore, and Library@Orchard - which allows me to bring all these otherwise really expensive books home for free) isn't exactly a good idea... even walking through the bookstore without buying anything, just thumbing through the thousands of books on display - checking out the latest award winners, or browsing through the library when my loan quota has already been reached, pleases me immensely... i used to even buy hardcover books just for the spines, imagining what they would look like on the bookshelf (good friend lynn can attest to that :p) i think i am a book addict.. i still dream of opening a cafe one day just displaying all the books that i have accumulated all these years (so my mum can stop complaining about the growing book warehouse at home) where people can spend all afternoon reading and drinking coffee al fresco under shady trees or beach umbrellas... pondering on the meaning of picture that in your mind... :)

someone (i think it was my Marketing lecturer) once told us that he can predict how anyone will turn out in the future just by knowing what and how many books they read and the friends they keep. Just today, i read something similar:

"You are the same today as you'll be in five years except for two things, the people you meet and the books you read"
(Charles E. "T" Jones)

isn't it so true? most of what motivates us comes from who we meet at different points in our lives and what we read and encounter along the way.. umm.. :)

Monday, 25 November 2002

my present has become dull.. i've decided to blog about my past instead.. err.. is it allowed?.. blog rules.. umm... :O

anyway, this was me twenty-seven years ago..

mini me & my beautiful mum

took a spontaneous and random trip to Haw Par Villa this afternoon to finish up the roll of film in my LCA .. haven't been there since i was twelve or so (way before they made the place a silly amusement park and started charging exorbitantly high entrance fees) even though it's only like 5-mins drive from where i stay. I remember that it was mosquito-infested and the ten courts of hell were scary as.. er.. hell.. (durrh..).. on my way there, i wondered if the place would still charm me as much as it did when i was a child, looking up at the life-sized, coloured plaster statues of deities, mythical beings and all things odd and bizarre....

boy was i impressed! even though the place has really suffered from poor maintenance and it was still mosquito heaven, it is one-of-a-kind, a true original - something i think we should all be proud we have in Singapore.. where else in the world can you see a no-holds-barred depiction of crime and punishment at it's very extreme?? parents with their kids at the ten courts of hell can't help but explain (even if they don't believe in stuff like heaven and hell) to the bewildered but definitely captivated kids the importance of traditional chinese virtues such as filial piety, honesty, hard work, albeit the rather morbid setting.. the whole place is amazing, a work of art meets mythology meets 60s hip… no wonder they tried to change it into an amusement park (i'm glad they failed.. it could have done much damage to the inherent beauty and magic of this place)..

go visit it.. it's really really cool.. a tad bit kitsch but cool... (you'll be seeing some pics from me on this place soon :))

Sunday, 24 November 2002

you're no smiley you're a banana
What Smiley Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

caught Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets yesterday. great storyline, great effects and captivating from start to end. pretty impressive. but a tad bit too dark, i feel. i think it should be rated NC16 or something.. i wouldn't want my kids growing up with this sort of ideas running around their immature minds..especially if they start wanting to buy wizardry stuff! gulp.. but great show. looking forward to Lord of the Ring: The Twin Towers!

squeezed with the weekend crowds at the motorshow @ suntec to look at all the impractical racing and sports cars on display there. these couple of things caught our eye...
a true art car.. very cute..Esplanade Beetle
BMW Z4 definite dream car of many.. drooling over it..
ASIMO ASIMO - honda's innovative new robot. amazingly flexible.. it looked like it could move every single one of its joints, making it incredibly human-like - going up and down steps, waving and dancing.. very impressive - could be the sort of thing that will take over the world in the future... :O

Thursday, 21 November 2002

i was fascinated to read (via hidden city) about this dietary additive called guarana capsules - and this spirulina powder thingy which apparently helps to focus one's attention and to aid those poorly focused to see more projects to completion.

it sounds just like the sort of stuff that i need.

this is why.. i don't remember when and how it really started... but on a typical day, i will find myself starting on one thing with enthusiasm, but before i actually finish doing it, something else comes along to totally distract me and i'll start on this new thing... but give me another half hour or so and suddenly, i'll remember something else even more important, drop whatever i'm doing to do it.. and the worse thing is, i usually never come back to either one of the earlier activities again (having completely forgotten about them!).. at the same time, i'll leave something somewhere as i'm walking around, find myself completely misplacing it and eventually waste more time looking for it.. according to my rather frank (actually brutally frank) colleague, i "leave evidence" of semi-completed work everywhere, which isn't untrue. :(

so this drug actually sounds quite cool, if it works..

it's not because of lack of sleep. i've tried getting tons of rest and yet i'm still so.. distracted..

very weird really... it's a disease.. my sister says it's called attention deficiency.. huh? i thought that only happens to kids??

Wednesday, 20 November 2002

woo hoo!! turns out the malay guy won in the end even though the chinese guy looked much more confident and everyone was betting on him to win!

oh well, you never know with such things..

life resumes normality.. at least for me... now i have nothing to blog about.. err..
a christmas bandit in our store!

Face to face with the Christmas Bandit

Tuesday, 19 November 2002

It's Party Time!

It’s Party Time! They’re all here! There’s the forty-something Ah Chek wearing his striped polo tee, with his bulging beer belly and loose khaki bermudas. There’s also the housewife-y auntie, with two or three kids in tow, trying to get them to behave themselves. There’re also my favourite Ah Pors in their grey, round-collared blouses (with tiny pink and yellow flower prints) and flowing black slacks. There’s also a good showing of after-dinner yuppie couples, hand in hand, whispering sweet nothings to each other. The smatterings of Bengs and Lians can also not be missed, along with a bunch of folks who look suspiciously like gambling bookies. All in all, a good cross-section of the Singapore demography, even some not commonly seen in this part of Singapore. It’s a lively crowd!

And they have all made their way here to see the latest free attraction in town: Human Magnets!

These human-like creatures, weather-resistant, can go without sleep for extended periods, are capable of having dinner and toilet breaks simultaneously in less than 5 minutes, who can go without using their mobile phones for more than 3 days (an amazing fact indeed!), and are able to attach themselves to their objects of desire without once letting go for 6 hour periods! Amazing!

2 left. And they look like shit. Sleep deprivation. What do you expect??
behold the puppets of materialism!

the day was unbearably hot and then the rain poured twice, making the night really chilly, yet at least 15 of them still remain... many have blood-shot eyes, look terrible terrible terrible, some look distinctly grumpy, and some are barely coherent, unable to answer simple questions posed to them by the chirpy and pesky DJs from the local radio stations.. they have become a bit of a joke for the ever-changing crowds hanging off the barricades around them and so many try to shield their faces when they see cameras pointing at them... some even look angry.. but most of them just look so blank, like they are on some kind of drug or something..

one guy said he was doing it "for his girlfriend" (who had gone home but "will be coming again later".. poor thing...:p). another said it was for his family and they were "all standing over there".. why don't they just admit they are doing it for themselves?? that they are actually "slaves of materialism"?? let's face it, who will actually allow their loved ones to go through this sort of stuff, no matter what the prize is?? i know i wouldn't.. and from the worried looks of some people around, i can tell they don't want the contestants to suffer that much too... i can understand if one goes through suffering for a charitable or justifiable cause.. but for a car? i don't know...

honestly, i have little respect for these people.

Sunday, 17 November 2002

alb got me some mexican jumping beans!! they are so amazing!!

Meet Biggie, L, and Bert.. according to the instructions, i will need to give them a drink once a week, encourage them to jump often and avoid the most common accidents that have happened to other beans, namely:

- Sucked up by the vacuum cleaner.
- Eaten by the dog.
- Fallen down the drain.
- Got too friendly with the cat.
- Accidentally stepped on and squished.
- Went through the clothes washer or dryer.

went to look at the miserable-looking people at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza just now with their hands on the 3 Subaru Imprezas at the "Last Man Standing Wins" contest to launch the new Subara Impreza.. None of them were smiling or talking and a few look dreadfully glum.. gee... i wouldn't be able to do it if i were them. I reckon i will end up falling asleep even while standing. anyway, they do get a toilet and meal break every 6 hours or something like that.. hee hee.. i'll go check on them again tomorrow and take an updated pic of the remaining survivors.. woah.. it turns out Singaporeans are a hardy lot indeed.. :p

miserable people trying to win the Subaru Impreza
this rather bizarre-looking "halloween-recycled" snowman was outside our shop terrorising small children.. evil snowman

the shopping mood of Christmas fills the air.... i have started playing Christmas songs in the store and it seems to have gotten people into the mood of buying crafty kits to give away or to make presents for their loved ones... the crazy shopping will soon begin.. there will be frantic scrambling for bargains, perhaps some pushing and shoving, last-minute buying of gifts for that obscure uncle or auntie x-times removed...gulp.. Christmas shopping can be such a terrifying experience.... has the true meaning of Christmas been hidden beneath all that commercialism??

Saturday, 16 November 2002

what's their problem?? "making Singapore unban chewing gum as part of the FTA deal"?? (via Krisalis)... but we like our floors free from blackish lumps and our MRT doors not to be jammed with wads of gum left by irresponsible chewers!!
for some bizarre reason (bordering on overgrown childishness??!), i feel like checking out the Cartoon Network - Tinseltoon X'mas at Downtown East & Escape Theme Park... I wish i have a toddler nephew or niece to bring down to pretend to be just an escort...sigh.. nevermind, guess i'll just stick to checking out the cool lomowall exhibition at Citylink/Esplanade and the Motor Show @ Suntec instead this weekend...

Poster for Tinseltoon X'mas at Orchard MRT

Thursday, 14 November 2002

i got my exams results and they were quite ok! :)

hope i can finally get around to some daily routine of doing those things i promised myself i would do after my exams.. like go running (which i would have done if not for my illness), take loads of lomo and serious photos (not just all the bunch of digital stuff i have been posting recently... which were fun anyway..), learn a bit of some third language (either Malay or Spanish), paint, read and maybe write (i.e. other than my blog)... sounds arty huh?? :p

me and me and me on christmas baubles
one of those really rare times (on a crowded MRT train) that i could still get a clear view all the way through the train compartments... view caught me by surprise (though it didn't last long - two stations later, it was sardine-packed with commuters again)

a rare view of the mrt

Wednesday, 13 November 2002

Those who do not have power over the story
that dominates their lives,
power to retell it,
rethink it,
deconstruct it,
joke about it,
and change it as times change,
truly are powerless,
because they cannot think new thoughts.

Salman Rushdie,
"One Thousand Days in a Balloon,"
New York Times, December 12, 1991
i'm at the usual annoying and persistent stage of my illness where my ticklish throat causes me to cough violently (especially at night) even though all the other symptoms have gone away.. so i went for a dose of the most effective medicine available in our country..TCM...

200ml of brown liquid.. and i got a giant bottle of noxious-looking liquid from the chinese doc. If you read the English instructions, you are supposed to drink "3 marks (which is a pretty huge gulp) 4 times a day"! fortunately, kind nurse pointed out the Chinese instructions that said it was "3 times a day 4 hours interval 1 mark every time".. phew..

he was the same doctor (Thian Aik Siong Chinese Physician 476 Geylang Rd - off Lorong 26) who cured me completely of a 3 month-long cough back when i was 13/14. Absolutely superb. He feels for your pulse on your inner wrist for an instant - no more than 5 seconds - and can tell in great detail what's wrong with you and what illness you have (more than what a Western doctor will tell you after checking your tongue, throat, prodding here and there). In fact, if you feel the inner part of your wrist, you can hardly detect a pulse there yourself! and the medicine is usually quite tasty and highly effective!

hurrah for TCM!

Tuesday, 12 November 2002

Happy Tree Friends.. cute.. sorta... (via alb)

Monday, 11 November 2002

i've been told that i may be putting too much of my daily life on display for the world to read....i put my life in danger if there really is a stalker..

you reckon i should only put pictures next time?? such as...

wavy lines

The Christmas tree at taka is really cool

Sunday, 10 November 2002

wow! Bintan's really nice! had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend basking in the sun, reading and writing..didn't know we actually have such a spectacular beach and lovely resort literally at our doorstep! This is going to be one of my favourite getaway spots from now on!

see some weekend pics (click to enlarge):

morning calltanah merah ferry terminaleager anticipationthe welcome partymanicured gardenslthe nice beachcoconut treescrab watchingflower
para-surferstrange find on the beachkeropok snacknight scenenight scenenight scenenight scenerather dead mousebad weather suddenly

Friday, 8 November 2002

a day at home doing my favourite things...:)... i spent the entire day in my room, watched a heartwarming vcd (When Harry Met Sally), read a couple of books that have been sitting on my shelf since the day i bought them, listened to some really cool stuff (that i have long forgotten about) from my much neglected CD collection, drank lots and lots of water, did my best to keep away from the computer so i wouldn't strain my eyes, did a bit of thinking about rather important stuff, and slept a little...

now i feel great! :)

the awful eye condition has completely cleared, i'm still hoarse but audible, i'm coughing a lot less and my rose isn't running much anymore.. phew, looks like rest and lots & lots of water really works... i'm heading to Bintan tomorrow!!! :)
halcyon days at nus forum

recalling the halcyon days of studying at the NUS forum, looking out at the lush foliage bordering the compound... (hahaha.. an ex-NUS undergrad wannabe..:p )

Thursday, 7 November 2002

logging on for a couple of minutes just to update on my condition...

i have, sad to say, gotten worse ... according to the kind doctor, "heatiness" has driven my phlegm up my system and now my eyes (right eye yesterday and left eye today) are suffering some kind of odd irritation and secreting weird viscous substances... my sister, who knows about such things, says it could be conjunctivitis. The doctor has prescribed "really strong medication" and told me to stop taking the ones he gave me earlier (i.e. the ones that were for plants and small family pets - see below). wow.... you mean it's that serious??

i always believe that everything (good or bad) happens for a certain reason.. i guess this is really giving me a chance to take a break and to think through a couple of things that have been sitting on my mind for a while...

so it's rest day tomorrow and then the weekend follows... and an early night for me today.. tata.. :)

Wednesday, 6 November 2002

Laryngitis has set in... i have to start mime-ing and sms-ing... thank goodness for sms, what would life be like for a laryngitis-prone person like me without sms??

according to the The Center for Laryngeal and Voice Disorders at Johns Hopkins, i need to "rest the voice as much as possible, increase intake of decaffeinated fluids (particularly water), and use a humidifier". what the heck is a humidifier? is it a "pure humidifier"? or a "whole-house furnace humidifier" ... oh dear.. it also says that "Laryngitis can be secondary to a more serious condition such as benign or malignant growths" if "hoarseness lasts longer than two weeks, or is accompanied by a lump in the neck or blood-tinged sputum"... :O

i hope it doesn't get any more serious than it is now... time for more antibiotics...?

Tuesday, 5 November 2002

i have just been to see the family doctor and was prescribed a colourful array of medicine with the names Trizine, Febrax, Dhasedyl Syrup and the common Paracetamol. I decided to find out what the Internet had to say about them.. a google search for "Trizine" and its scientific name "Trimethoprim Sulfadiazine" turned out...

Animal Health Products. TRIZINE Injection 50 ml vial. Antibacterial (Livestock). Generic Name : Trimethoprim, Sulphadiazine. ... lifestock medicine...umm...

...If trizine herbicides (atrazine/simazine) were used on the row crop, their residual effects can injure legumes planted the following spring. ... herbicide?.. umm...

Drug-Induced Immune Hypersensitivity Disorders in Two dogs Treated with Trimethoprim Sulfadiazine ... treatment for dogs??

Pharmacokinetics of trimethoprim/sulfadiazine in neonatal calves; influence of synovitis. J. Vet. Pharmacol. ... hahaha... neonatal calves!!!!

Drug Therapy in Pet Rodents... enrofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, cephaloridine, oxytetracycline, sulfamethazine, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim-sulfadiazine. ... i'm fed the same thing my friend SA feeds her gerbils with when they are ill!! :O

luckily, febrax and dhasedyl syrup are real human medicines... phew! maybe ignorance is bliss after all...
I’m reading about woodland burials in the latest issue of Utne... i think it is the way all of us should be buried when we die (i.e. if we choose not to be cremated or to be fed to the vultures).

The typical cemetery is as environmentally damaging as a golf course. have you see the cemeteries at Choa Chu Kang? They are nowhere as pretty as the ones we used to have at Bukit Brown and Bidadari (which are wonderful places for walks, runs and even picnics - so pleasant and tranquil..). Rows and rows of tightly packed cement blocks, no trees in sight and the precious land area they take up just keeps growing and growing... and since all the bodies were embalmed and stored in super durable coffins, we will take forever to break down.. we should be buried in biodegradable cardboard boxes and returned to the earth as fertilizer.

excuse me for the bleak topic. i go a bit macabre when i am ill.
Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, exiled Russian novelist, quoted in Yes! (Winter 2002):

"If it were all so simple!
If only there were evil people somewhere
insidiously committing evil deeds,
and it were necessary only to separate them
from the rest of us and destroy them.
But the line dividing good and evil
cuts through the heart of every human being.
And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
i'm home today with a bad throat infection and aching bones and feeling tired and groggy... i think it is flu virus meets throat bateria (yucky!)... come to think of it, i haven't beeen ill for a while.. maybe my body just needs a break..anyway, this is giving mum an oppportunity to tell me all her day-to-day "auntie" stories... she's now telling me about how people kill themselves or get into trouble over gambling...

- about how stacks of passports are left uncollected from the cruise reception desk at the end of all these "cruises to nowhere" (i.e. gambling cruises). apparently, many people just toss themselves off the deck after losing their money... or when they are unable to pay the loan sharks that prowl these places..

- in genting highlands, "friends of my mum's friend" (haha..a FOAF story) discovered a dead body behind one of the beds as they were adjusting the furniture in the room.. apparently, this dead person had committed suicide in the room, probably as a result of over gambling... they were given monetary compensation for the shock and told to "seal their lips".. haha...

- about people who borrow tens and thousands of dollars from their family, friends, associates and even loan sharks and then escape to foreign countries such as Australia..

i can't understand how people can squander away either their own or other people's hard-earned money on gambling.. if you ever have a chance, stand at one of these poker tables or roulette tables in a casino.. it's amazing how these people just keep whipping out thousands and giving them away...

these are 10 questions you should ask yourself if you suspect you or someone you know may be a compulsive gambler...

Monday, 4 November 2002

Why do you read the newspapers?

Do you read it out of habit (the “bread-coffee-newspaper” daily routine)? Because you really want to know about what’s happening so you can do something about it (you are the “activist" type)? Do you read it because you don’t want to be the last to know if something big happens and even the vegetable seller in the market knows about it (kiasu-type)? Or do you read it for entertainment (i.e. vs. watching TV or listening to the radio)?

I think it’s probably a bit of a mix of each… anyway, I found the papers thoroughly entertainment yesterday … first, there’s the “Joo Chiat Wayang” thing (otherwise known as “The Everitt Road Show” – admittedly, I would have gone to see what’s happening as well (just like the rest of the other 100 kay-poh people) just for the heck of it.. haha…. Makes you really wonder what’s up with the Chan family…It’s rather silly but I’m definitely tuning in daily as long as the local press keep reporting on them… then there was this other random story about a football match that ended up with a 149-0 score when one of the teams started to score their own goals to show their protest against their coach… and then this article about “competitive eaters who want to be known as athletes” for their “refinement of the skill of eating”… frankly, I find this most bizarre, especially when they mentioned this guy “inhaling food through his nostrils” and they said that is “the mark of a champion” urgh!… I’ll rather enjoy food slowly… check out pics from last night’s haunt at geylang food paradise…

Lorong 9 Beef Noodles

Smooth Tau Hway from Lorong 19

People enjoying dough fritters at the table opposite

Sunday, 3 November 2002

so Robert Kiyosaki is a phoney??

i'm admittedly a closet reader of motivational books, especially Wall Street winners on personal finance, management etc... they rank high in my secret list of "Books that have changed my life" (hey, i'm sure you have one too..)... i'm typically Singaporean i guess - constantly on the drive to make ourselves better, more competitive - which is why this sort of books still regularly top the local best-sellers list .. though if you ask any of us, we would all probably agree that it is mostly "packaged common sense"..:p

anyhow, my list would include books like:-

- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (which i still think is a good book on planning for early retirement and this elusive thing called "Financial Freedom"... i mean, why not? if it is our dream not to spend our whole lives working unhappily or grudgingly and to spend our lives doing what we love to do..)

- Who Moved My Cheese? - by Spencer Johson (still my favourite "Change Management" book.. a lot of gems in this one, albeit the large font size, giant pictures of cheese and lots of repetition with regards to mice running around - a must-read 'cos "The only constant is change".. heh heh.. cliched..)

- Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, John Christensen (simple truth about being happy at work - if all of us followed its principles, i think we will no longer see grumpy salesgirls, stressed out executives and office cleaning aunties who look like they could zap our eyes out with their fierce stares if we forget to lift up our feet while they vacuumed the floor area around us)

- Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (this is the book that is most often accused of being "packaged common sense".. but i personally feel has helped me to prioritise the day's tasks with principles like "Begin with the end in mind" and "First Things First" and to keep relationships with "Seek win-win" and "Synergise".. read it even if you have to read it critically..)

- The One Minute Manager by Spencer Johnson (another book by the same guy who did the cheese book - i finished this one while standing in MPH bookstore but decided to buy it in the end cos it seems to be the perfect solution to my poor handling of our over-reliant staff (who now go through the day in a daze, reacting to our instructions without using their brains)

these are all pretty good books and usually take no more than a day or two (and sometimes even half an hour, especially for the shorter books) to be read from cover to cover. but if you remember what they write, i think they help

Saturday, 2 November 2002

our family of 5 brought mom out for a birthday dinner treat just now at Boon Lay Raja Restaurant and this was what our bill looked like at the end of the meal...

the garoupa, fresh from the tank and weighing a respectable 700g, yummily steamed Cantonese-style with garlic, spring onion, chives and soya sauce, cost us only $5.25??? and on top of that, the whole bill had a discount of an additional 25%!!

so our whole family had a filling and very satisfying dinner, 6 dishes in all, comprising a steamed garoupa, claypot egg beancurd, kai lan with oyster sauce, sweet and sour pork's ribs, foo yong egg, and a whole herbal chicken... enough food for a feast, and ended up paying no more than $13 per person!!! we didn't notice the suspicious billing for the fish until we were way out of the restaurant, rubbing our satisfied tummies...

mum says that it was probably a mistake, made either intentionally (by a disgrunted employee) or unintentionally (by a very "blur" cashier). The fish was supposed to be at least $8 per 100g!! now, it was only a dollar twenty five cents more than the price of the peanuts!!

oh dear! i hope the cashier didn't get into trouble in the end.. and i really wonder how many other mistakes were made in the course of the whole night in the rather packed restaurant... sigh... the perils of employing bad staff...